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Driver's services facilities will be closed for a few weeks because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois' minimum wage will increase to $12 an hour starting Saturday. This is part of legislation signed by Governor JB Pritzker back in 2019 that will increase the minimum wage each year until it hits $15 an hour in 2025.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing that driver’s services facilities will be closed for a few weeks because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Facilities statewide will be closed from January 3rd through the 17th out of concern over the rising number of new infections, says Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. Haupt says you can do things like renew your license sticker, get a duplicate license or ID card and some can renew their driver’s license online. The website is; il sos dot gov.

 

(Undated-jm) – Turning to yesterday’s COVID numbers, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 21,098 new cases and 50 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate rose to 13.2 percent. Champaign County reported 564 new cases. Vermilion County reported 58 new cases and 3 additional deaths.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinoisans could potentially see some financial relief from the rising cost of inflation. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains a proposal by Republicans…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – People who don’t want to follow new COVID rules to get into University of Illinois athletic events will not be given a refund, the athletic department said. Officials on December 22 announced the new policy for any public, university event over 200 people. It’s effective January 1. Anyone 12 and older must show proof of COVID vaccination or a recent negative test. The athletic department encouraged fans to arrive early in anticipation of lines as staffers check each person’s status. That could include being asked to show identification. For children without an ID, parents may be asked to verify their identity. Screening will start 90 minutes before the event starts.

 

 Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the identity of a male teen who has died from a gunshot wound he received during a shooting incident last night in the 1600 block of Hunter Street in Urbana. Jordan Atwater-Lewis, age 17, of Urbana, Illinois was pronounced dead at 9:22PM Wednesday night in the Carle Foundation Hospital Emergency Department. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the head. An autopsy will be conducted later today at the Champaign County Regional Autopsy Facility located in Urbana, . This death is under investigation by the Urbana Police Department and the coroner’s office.

 

(Springfield-jm) – State officials are urging caution as you celebrate the New Year’s holiday. The pandemic rages on, so it’s important to take precautions, says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The latest daily COVID-19 totals include more than 21 thousand new cases, the second highest for the entire pandemic. 50 additional deaths were also reported. 8 of the state’s 11 designated regions now have less than 25 ICU hospital beds available. The seven day positivity rate rose to 13.2 percent. Locally, Champaign County reported 564 new cases. Vermilion County reported 58 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

(Gilman-tr) – The Iroquois West School District met for their December meeting, Iroquois West Superintendent Angelo Lekkas shares more on the tax levy approval…

 

 

Iroquois West Superintendent Angelo Lekkas.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Ford County Courthouse’s rear door, which is used by people with disabilities to access the building, is expected to be replaced in 2022. The handicapped-accessible door is starting to show its age. The public building commission now wants a long-term solution and is asking the sheriff to obtain bids to replace it. Once bids have been received the commission will review the bids and award a contract.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A horticulture expert at the University of Illinois Extension is offering some ideas about what to do with your live Christmas tree. Most communities have some sort of recycling program for trees, offering curbside pick up. But you can also place the tree in your backyard and fill it with goodies or use it as firewood, says U of I Extension’s Richard Hentschel…

 

 

U of I Extension’s Richard Hentschel. Additionally, Henschel says you can cut the branches off and use them as mulch to protect your plants.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District shared that asymptomatic and non-severe close contacts need to be tested at testing sites that are not coordinated by OSF or Carle. Instead, those who are asymptomatic are encouraged to get tested at one of the SHIELD testing sites or the Marketplace Mall testing site.

 

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