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The fight over legislative redistricting maps continues to play out

(Springfield-jm) – With a budget of around $300 million, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol plans a multi-stage, multi-year plan to renovate the north wing of the Illinois State Capitol. The plan includes a new entrance to screen visitors and create more underground parking, tunnels and an underground conference space. The total project will take years to complete.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A look back at Illinois weather this year. 2021 started off very cold, with Dixon, DuQuoin and Mount Vernon experiencing their chilliest February’s on record. Low included minus 21 degrees in Mount Carroll and Negative 17 in Aurora. State Climatologist Trent Ford says spring and summer brought plenty of rainfall to central and southern Illinois…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Ford says humidity was higher than normal in July and August, October was pretty soggy and November ended up being mild. So far December has been 8 to 14 degrees warmer than normal and has included a tornado outbreak.

 

(Undated-jm) – Illinois recorded a record number of COVID-19 cases Thursday. The state reported 18,942 new cases and 78 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate continues to rise, now at 8.6 percent. Locally Thursday, Champaign County reported 277 new cases. Vermilion County reported 26 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford County reported 77 new cases. That was the last report from the state before the Christmas holiday weekend. Numbers for Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be released today.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The fight over legislative redistricting maps continues to play out. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman talks about where things stand…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A Rantoul man wanted in a Vermilion County shooting case has been charged with weapons offenses in Champaign County. A judge ordered Danny Bryant be held on $150,000 bond after his arrest by U-S Marshals. Prosecutors say marshals went to his home to arrest him on charges of aggravated discharge of a gun in a Vermilion County case. They found him in a vehicle nearby with a loaded Ruger handgun in his pocket. If convicted of the gun charges, he faces an extended term of three to 14 years in prison due to his prior convictions. Bryant is due back in court January 4th.

 

(Washington-jm) – The latest USDA report shows that the nation's hog producers are being very cautious in making any moves that would alter production very much. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois is doing a better job than most other states when it comes to showing where federal tax dollars for COVID relief are being distributed. GoodJobsFirst.org reports Illinois is one of six states in the country providing a detailed website to show where the billions of dollars are going.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A new law taking effect January 1st aims to end hairstyle discrimination in schools. The measure prohibits school dress codes from banning natural or ethnic hairstyles such as braids, afros and dreadlocks. It was championed by Senator Mike Simmons of Chicago and signed into law back in August…

 

 

State Senator Mike Simmons of Chicago. The law applies to both public and private schools in Illinois.


(Ford County-tr) – 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City has officially announced his bid for re-election. Tom Bennett says he will continue to build what he's started and maintain focus on the 106th district even with the new census in effect… 

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Ludlow-jm) – A Ludlow man with a pending criminal case for allegedly possessing a stolen motor vehicle has been arrested for allegedly stealing another. George Whitlock was wanted for failing to appear in court on that case and others when he was arrested. Champaign County sheriff’s deputies were notified by a Gifford man that his 2016 pickup truck and trailer were stolen from a farm field last Tuesday. Not long after, the truck and trailer were spotted in Rantoul. Police stopped it and arrested Whitlock, who was alone in the truck and unable to explain how he came to be in possession of it. Deputies had been told there was a cased gun in the truck when it was stolen. They found that gun, loaded, in Whitlock’s coat pocket. They also found methamphetamine on him. He’s charged with armed violence, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm, aggravated unlawful use of weapons and possession of methamphetamine. Bond was set at $150,000.

 

 

(Washington-jm) –  The new USDA Cattle on Feed report was pretty much what most analysts expected. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

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