(Springfield-jm) – Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday as state’s attorneys and law enforcement officials await changes to the SAFE-T Act. The controversial justice reform package eliminates cash bail on January 1, making Illinois the first state to do so. The legislation has been criticized by many, including dozens of state’s attorneys around Illinois who have filed lawsuits to have the SAFE-T Act thrown out. Before the election, Democrats promised to take up the legislation during the fall veto session, but have vowed not to make major changes to the bill. The consolidated lawsuit against the SAFE-T Act, which was combined from 58 separate lawsuits filed around the state, will be heard in Kankakee County with opening arguments scheduled for December 7. The lawsuits allege the state legislature violated the state’s constitution in the manner the act was presented and approved. State’s attorneys are asking the court to declare the act unconstitutional. A ruling on the lawsuits could come as early as December 15.
(Springfield-jm) – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 52,354 deer during the first weekend of Illinois firearm deer season. In 2021 hunters took 48,964 deer during the first firearm weekend. Illinois’ seven-day firearm deer season will conclude December 1-4.
(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Community College Board is awarding more than nine million dollars to address educational and career equity. Funding will support initiatives at 55 organizations, including 36 community colleges to help students make the transition to a new career. Board Deputy Executive Director Jennifer Foster says this may include training, job placement and more…
Illinois Community College Board Deputy Director Jennifer Foster. Groups receiving the grant money include Illinois Central College, Joliet Junior College, Kishwaukee College and Literacy Chicago.
(Champaign-jm) – Champaign firefighters battled two fires over the weekend. Firefighters in Champaign responded to a fire at an apartment building that necessitated a two-alarm response Friday afternoon. The fire happened at 1101 South Mattis Avenue, a 14-unit building that was vacant at the time. The cause of the fire has not been determined yet. The other fire happened at 3007 W. Williams Street Saturday afternoon. The cause of this fire is accidental and has been attributed to a dehumidifier in the basement of the home.
(Paxton-jm) – Paxton rang in the Christmas holiday this past weekend. Noah Schaumberg and Brynn McKenry were named the Christmas parade prince and princess. Our very own Joel Cluver was the city’s Christmas Star winner. This coming weekend will be the city’s bag sale Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Santa will be at the Paxton Park District Saturday morning and at the Paxton Emergency Response Service Saturday afternoon.
(Paxton-jm) – Paxton city leaders are looking at participating in a mapping program to guide the city’s planning over the next 5-10 years. Alderman Rob Pacey says its a collective effort among several entities…
Paxton City Council Alderman Rob Pacey.
(Gifford-jm) – An unattended fryer is the cause of a barn fire near Gifford Thursday afternoon. Crews from Gifford and Rantoul were called to the fire out in the country around 4pm. They say the owner started heating the oil in the fryer when he went in to grab the turkey. When he returned he found the fryer and a pickup truck in the barn on fire.
(Washington-jm) – The nation's broiler producers are expected to boost output next year, but what will that do to prices? Gary Crawford reports…
(Springfield-jm) – Illinois state senators are aiming to pass a student loan forgiveness income tax exemption, among other changes to the tax code. Lawmakers were in Springfield for two days the week before Thanksgiving. They’re back this week for three days to finish out the year. One bill is sponsored by Senator Celina Villanueva and would create a student loan forgiveness income tax exemption. Villanueva’s bill at the Illinois statehouse also allows people with disabilities to be exempt from Illinois income taxes for up to $10,000 in contributions to Achieving a Better Life Experience savings accounts. Another provision gives $2 million in tax credits for touring Broadway productions.
(Springfield-jm) – Voter turnout in Illinois was around 49.5 percent during this month’s election. That ranks it as the third lowest turnout for an election in the past 40 years. While turnout was down, the number of people who voted by mail were up by almost double. When all ballots are finalized in December, anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of ballots cast in the election will be from mail in ballots. Political experts say negative campaign ads may have played a role in the decline.
(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Police is offering simulator training to local departments. “MILO” or Multiple Interactive Learning Objective range theater simulators are available at four locations. The State Police has been using them for a few years to immerse trainees into high-stress, interactive situations, says Sergeant Jasmin Dixon…
Illinois State Police Sergeant Jasmin Dixon. Dixon says they started making MILO available to local agencies back in July and so far, 19 have put their officers through the training.
(Crescent City-jm) – Crescent City firefighters had a busy Saturday. Crews battled a tractor fire along with a grass fire. No injuries were reported.
(Buckley-jm) – Buckley first responders were called to a 2 vehicle accident Saturday evening. Crews were called to the accident at 1000 north and 1000 east. There’s no word on if there were any injuries.
(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Police were dispatched Friday morning to the 800-block of Dennison Drive for a report of a shooting with injury. Upon arrival, officers encountered a 36-year-old Champaign man with multiple potentially life-threatening gunshot wounds. The initial investigation indicates that an impromptu gathering was occurring in the 800-block of Dennison Drive when an argument between multiple individuals escalated, resulting in an exchange of gunfire. During the exchange, the victim was struck multiple times in the torso and legs. The involved parties then quickly left the area. Officers continue to canvass for witnesses and video footage that may be of investigative assistance. Any resident or business in the nearby area with exterior surveillance camera systems is encouraged to notify the police department. No arrests have been made at this time and the investigation is ongoing.
(Washington-jm) – Report shows most hired farm workers are earning higher average wages than a year ago. Gary Crawford reports…