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Illinois State Police is joining law enforcement officers from five other states for Wednesday's Speed Awareness Day

(Springfield-jm) – The expiration dates of Illinois driver’s licenses, ID cards and learner permits have been pushed back yet again. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced the four-month extension, from July 31 to December 1. The extension does not apply to commercial driver’s licenses and CDL learner permits. Illinois license expiration dates have been pushed back several times since the spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down driver services facilities.


(Normal-jm) – No jobs will be cut at Rivian’s manufacturing plant in Normal. A company spokesperson said only non-manufacturing jobs would be affected. A report in Bloomberg said the company planned to prioritize certain programs, halt certain non-manufacturing hiring and adopt cost-cutting efforts. 


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Police is joining law enforcement officers from five other states for Wednesday’s Speed Awareness Day. The campaign is an effort to focus on the drastic increase in speeders during the pandemic and State Police Trooper Elizabeth Clausing says drivers can expect to see a heavy police presence that day…



Illinois State Police Trooper Elizabeth Clausing. State police say speeding is a factor in about one third of all motor vehicle fatalities.


(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers needs help finding a thief. Authorities say the man stole a phone, and it was valued at $875. Police responded to Lacey’s Place at East University Avenue and North 1st Street on June 20 at 1:07 PM. Witnesses say the man sat down next to a customer, took their phone and then left on a dark-colored mountain bike with an oversized comfort seat. They say he has a medium build with a receding hairline.


(Champaign-jm) – Two lanes on a street in Champaign will be closing for the next three weeks as crews perform repairs. Weather permitting, one lane in each direction on Town Center Boulevard will close between Prospect Avenue and Neil Street. This work will be part of the city’s Infrastructure Maintenance Project and it will begin today.


(Springfield-jm) – Here’s the latest look at Illinois crops. Rain was down and temperatures were up this past week. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener gives a rundown of the state’s corn crop…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 55 percent of soybeans are blooming and 20 percent are setting pods. 61 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition. 87 percent of the second cutting of alfalfa hay is complete and average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 16 percent very short, 19 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.


(Rantoul-jm) – A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison for having a gun. Michael Wilkens received the sentence in Champaign County court after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. Wilkens was arrested in October 2021 by Champaign police after receiving a report of him waiving a gun.


(Washington-jm) – Growth in U.S. milk production is being constrained by several factors. Gary Crawford reports…



(Paxton—jc)  City of Paxton leaders are working on placing some new playground equipment in various parks and city property. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says plans for additions to Pells and Bixby parks are in the works…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

The city will use its own workers to place any new park playground equipment.


(Springfield-jm) – Governor J.B. Pritzker said he is feeling better after contracting COVID-19 last week. Pritzker said he tested negative over the weekend and plans to return to in-person work. He tested positive after traveling to Florida for a Democratic party event. Pritzker is fully vaccinated and has had two booster shots. 


(Springfield-jm) – The State of Illinois is spending more than $12 million to help more students get to school safely. The Illinois Department of Transportation said the money will improve sidewalks and bike paths near schools, as well as ensure they are accessible to students with disabilities. The state announced that it is awarding grants to 17 communities to help them make sidewalks and bike paths safer for students, as well as reduce the risks of crossing busy roads.


(Springfield-jm) – Sales of adult-use cannabis in Illinois jumped by 50 percent in the last fiscal year. Recreational marijuana sales climbed to one point five billion dollars in fiscal year 22, generating major sales tax revenue for the state, says Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki…



Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki. Under Illinois law, 25 percent of sales tax revenue from cannabis sales is set aside for communities that are struggling or have been disproportionately affected by past drug laws. So far, the state has awarded more than 113 million dollars in grants to such areas.


(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Police are reimplementing directed patrols under the Strategic Traffic Enforcement Program, to promote traffic safety and address community concerns about speeding and other moving violations. Police officers will focus on reducing speeding, ensuring compliance with stop signs and traffic signals, and reducing aggressive driving. 


(Springfield-jm) – Here’s the latest look at Illinois crops. 81 percent of corn is silking and 17 percent is in the dough stage. 71 percent of the corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener turns to soybeans…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 87 percent of the first cutting and 10 percent of the third cutting of alfalfa hay is now complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 16 percent very short, 19 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.


(Champaign County-jm) – The Champaign County Board discussed the proposal of funding for the gun violence reduction plan. They decided to pass the funding and begin contracts for the organizations that will be receiving the money. The reduction plan will give a total of $1.4 million to four different local organizations with the hope of reducing gun violence in the area. The organizations are Housing Authorization of Champaign County ($385,000), DREAM ($500,000), First Followers ($500,000), and Vision to Succeed ($15,000). The money for the plan will come out of the county's two year $40.7 million American Rescue Plan Act fund. The board has pledged a total of $4.1 million to reduce gun violence in the next two years. The final decision on where the money will definitively go, and how much, will be decided at the next county board meeting on August 18th.


(Washington-jm) – The USDA is out with a new higher forecast for retail food prices.  Gary Crawford reports…



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