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Restaurants across the nation are understaffed with no signs of relief

(Springfield-jm) – Restaurants across the nation are understaffed with no signs of relief, and Illinois is no exception. Illinois Restaurant Association president and CEO Sam Toia says that, although restaurants are doing what they can to keep their head above water, they are still going through the thick of it. Toia recently received data from the National Restaurant Association that shows Illinois restaurants are currently understaffed with 57% of operators saying their restaurant is greater than 10% below necessary staffing levels and 19% of operators are currently greater than 20% below necessary staffing levels. 87% of Illinois operators say the restaurants are less profitable now than they were in 2019. And at 75% of operation, a restaurant currently does not have enough employees to support its existing customer demand,


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Lottery is announcing record returns during this past fiscal year. The lottery posted returns of 834 million dollars to the state, profiting several areas says Director Harold Mays…



Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays. Mays says Illinois lottery players were also winners, with 72 new millionaires made in fiscal year 22. More than two point two billion dollars in prizes were paid out overall.


(Thomasboro-jm) – Thomasboro Grade School was on lockdown while police investigated the arrest of a woman with a gun at a park near the school. Brittany Baker was arrested at West Side Park. She is charged with unlawful possession of a weapon.


(Paxton-jm) – A Down’s Syndrome Awareness Walk will happen in Paxton this Sunday. The group has been a part of the Champaign Area Down Syndrome Awareness Walk before starting one up here says Spokesperson Darla Shall…



Paxton Area Down Syndrome Awareness Walk Spokesperson Darla Shall. The walk again takes place Sunday from 12-2 at PBL High School.


(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana man is facing charges after police said he was involved in the theft of a car from the University of Illinois Campus. Two weeks ago, a U of I employee reported his car was missing from Parking Lot E-14, located across the street from State Farm Center. Using surveillance footage and data from automated license plate readers, U of I Police investigators identified Jonathan Sarolas, 34, as a suspect. They said Sarolas left the car in the possession of another person and also pawned off a piece of jewelry from the stolen car. Officers obtained a search warrant for Sarolas’ home and arrested him there. They found inside the home ammunition, methamphetamine and materials typically used to package drugs for sale. The car has not been located.


(Rantoul–jc)  –The bike paths summer project will be completed over the next week in the village of Rantoul. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says grant money helped with the new bike paths that help transportation and trips to local schools in the village…



Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.


(Paxton–jc The WPXN business of the day is PRIDE in Paxton. PRIDE in Paxton is a local group that was chosen by the state of Illinois to help to rebuild, maintain and grow small towns and cities across the state of Illinois. The Paxton group was one of the first 13 chosen as a Mainstreet City in 1993 and was issued as a resource to revitalize the city's downtown area along with other portions of Paxton. PRIDE in Paxton President Teri Hancock says Paxton continues to be a Mainstreet city…



PRIDE in Paxton President Teri Hancock


Currently the group has just started fund raising for a new state of the art downtown speaker and safety system for Paxton. The project goal is 120 thousand dollars. PRIDE is hosting a queen of hearts fundraiser each Wednesday at the Pueblo Lindo in Paxton says PRIDE board member Dawn Glad…



PRIDE in Paxton Board Member Dawn Glad


(Springfield-jm) – Jobs continue to pour out of pro-union states like Illinois and into states with more free-market policies, a report based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows. Right-to-work states have added 1.3 million jobs since 2020, while non-Right-to-Work states lost 1.1 million jobs, according to a study by economist Todd Nesbit and public policy analyst Michael LaFaive. Right-to-Work laws bar the termination of an employee for refusal to pay union dues if they don't want to. Illinois recently lost major companies like Caterpillar and Boeing to right-to-work states.


(Springfield-jm) – The winners of the over one billion dollar Mega Millions jackpot have come forward. It took about eight weeks for the claimants to present themselves, which is pretty typical when you’re dealing with this amount of money says Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays…



Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays. The prize was claimed by a partnership and members wish to remain anonymous. They opted to take the lump sum payment of more than 780 million dollars. This was the largest lottery jackpot in state history.


(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man will spend eight years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted enticement of a minor. Ozgur Kurt was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. Court documents showed that in 2020, Kurt engaged in sexually-graphic online conversations with someone he believed was a 15-year-old minor. On September 1, 2020, he arrived at a Champaign restaurant to pick up this supposed minor for sexual contact, but was arrested by FBI agents. Kurt was indicted on a single charge he pleaded guilty to earlier this year. He has been in custody ever since his arrest. In addition to the jail time, Kurt will spend five years on parole after his release and was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine by the judge.


(Springfield-jm) – There will be several issues that will be on the mind of voters when they head to the polls in November and on the minds of politicians when they return to the state capital for the fall veto session after the election. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about some of those issues…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


(Watseka-jm) – The Iroquois County Public Health Department announced on Wednesday that it now has flu vaccines available to administer. The quadrivalent vaccines, capable of protecting against four strains of flu, will be available to anyone six months of age and older. People wanting their children under the age of 18 to get a shot are asked to make an appointment by calling 815-432-2483 and must be present for their child’s vaccination. Anyone older than 18 can schedule an appointment for themselves, but may also walk in. Shots will be administered from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Regular vaccines cost $35 while high-dose vaccines for those 65 and older will cost $70. However, insurance will cover this cost and the department said it can directly bill Medicare, Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois, Health Alliance, HealthLink, Cigna and United Healthcare. A receipt will be provided to enable those with other insurance companies to receive reimbursement.


(Paxton–jc)  – Work on the Paxton Streetscape program continues over the next month. With the streets complete for several areas in the downtown of Paxton, new light poles and a vintage style clock are the next improvements, says Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.


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