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There are tips to help avoid overspending on holiday gifts this year

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported a significant increase in COVID cases Friday. The state reported 11,524 new cases and 40 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate rose to 5.7 percent. Vermilion County reported 77 new cases. Champaign County reported 268 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.



(Springfield-jm) -- Here’s some tips to help avoid overspending on holiday gifts this year. The best thing you can do to stay within budget is to get organized, says University of Illinois Extension Consumer Economics Educator Kathy Sweedler…



University of Illinois Extension Consumer Economics Educator Kathy Sweedler. Sweedler also suggests buying group gifts for a family or household instead of several individual gifts and advises against taking out a vehicle title or payday loan to purchase presents since fees and interest rates are usually quite high.



(Champaign-jm) -- Thanks to a federal grant, Parkland College's Child Development Center will be able to offer childcare stipends to full- or part-time students who are also parents. Parkland College students can apply for and receive help through the Child Care Access Means Parents in School grant, designed to support the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based childcare services. With the grant, full-time student-parents could qualify for 100-percent tuition coverage, while part-time student-parents could receive a prorated amount of coverage based on number of credit hours per semester. The grant will also expand the Child Development Center by two additional rooms to increase capacity, broaden comprehensive support services, and raise awareness of resources to single parents and pregnant students.



(Champaign-Vermillion County-tr) -- Donations are being accepted for Faith in Actions Christmas bag outreach program at OSF Healthcare in Champaign. Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling details how to donate…



Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling. 



(Hoopeston-jm) -- A Hoopeston school is shutting down because of COVID-19. Hoopeston Schools Superintendent Robert Richardson sent out a letter to parents stating John Greer School will be closed until December 8th because of COVID staffing issues. The district says all the other schools in the district are open.



(Washington-jm) -- Rising farm production input costs are becoming a major factor influencing producers' plans for next year. Gary Crawford reports…



(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul and CVS Health are announcing new safety measures to help reduce pharmacy robberies in Illinois. All 392 CVS pharmacies in the state will be equipped with time delay safes for storing certain drugs. This will make it difficult for thieves to rush in and steal narcotics, says CVS’s General Counsel Tom Moriarty…



CVS’s General Counsel Tom Moriarty. Attorney General Raoul says they are seeing gangs target pharmacies to steal opiates and sell them on the street or online to finance their illegal activities.



(Oakwood-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will again host a mentored archery deer hunting opportunity for adults and youth at Kickapoo State Recreation Area December 21 through January 9. Participating hunters will be provided access to sections of the recreation area otherwise closed to archery deer hunting. Adult and youth hunters with less than three years of deer hunting experience and who have not been successfully drawn in the mentored deer hunt program previously, which will be verified by IDNR license records, may apply. Hunters drawn in the lottery will be assigned a hunting location and allowed to hunt Tuesday through Sunday within an assigned week.



(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul will ring in the Christmas season tonight. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Director Amanda Vickery talks about everything happening tonight…



Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Director Amanda Vickery. Becky Puetz will be broadcasting from the parade tonight.



(Urbana-jm) -- The Urbana Park District is asking ATV riders to stop riding through Weaver Park. Weaver Park is a natural area where people can walk trails and observe and enjoy wildlife. Urbana Park District says the ATVs are creating ruts and destroying the trails.



(Washington-jm) -- What will 2022 bring in terms of crop prices and input costs? Gary Crawford reports…



The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at Gibson Area Hospital today from 9:30-2:30.


Rantoul’s lighted Christmas parade will take place tonight at 6 pm.


The Paxton Emergency Response Service will hold their cookies with Santa on Saturday from 1-2:30 at their building located at 134 W. State Street.


The St. Joseph Church of Christ will hold their Winter Wassail on Saturday from 4-9 pm.


St. Joseph will hold their lighted Christmas parade on Saturday at 5pm.


The Neverly Brothers will perform on Saturday at 7 pm at the Melvin Community Hall.


The Gibson Area Music Foundation will host their annual Christmas program on Sunday at 3pm at the Gibson City Bible Church.


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