(Springfield-jm) – As of this year, all police recruits in Illinois will have to take a course on avoiding wrongful convictions. This is a new requirement but was developed several years ago and used by Mike Schlosser, Director of the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois. The course focuses on the importance of carefully gathering and analyzing evidence and not jumping to conclusions about certain subjects…
Police Training Institute Director Mike Schlosser. Schlosser says one of the most impactful parts of the class is when they have someone who has been exonerated come speak to the recruits.
(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is suing the makers of so-called forever chemicals, saying the companies hid threats to the environment and to public health. Raoul is suing 3M and several other chemical companies that played a role in making a class of chemicals used in thousands of products, including clothing, food packaging, and furniture. Illinois environmental officials have identified more than 100 drinking water systems around the state that have measurable levels of forever chemicals.
(Springfield-jm) – Just five Illinois counties are now at an elevated risk for COVID transmission. No counties are considered at high risk, and just Hancock, Scott, Johnson, Wabash and Massac are rated at a medium level of transmission. That’s down from 20 counties last week. Still, State Department of Public Health Director Dr Sameer Vohra urges people to get the latest COVID booster, which will provide some protection against recent variants. Only 19 percent of the overall population has done this, but nearly half of those 65 and older have received the shot…
State Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. You can find a vaccination site nearby by visiting the website: vaccines dot gov.
(Rantoul-jm) – A push to change the village’s method of electing trustees back to the previous form has been halted. A judge ruled Friday afternoon that the four year window had not passed before such a vote could take place. Former Trustee Terry Workman filed a petition to place a question on the April ballot that would change from the current districts, back to at large. Proponents of districting argued it assured equal representation of the community, compared to the at large, which they felt left the villages south half underrepresented.
(Paxton-jm) – A Paxton restaurant is closing its doors later this month. Humble Hog announced on their facebook page their last day will be February 17th.
(Springfield-jm) – The state is collecting nominations for the Senior Hall of Fame. 53rd District State Senator Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains…
53rd District State Senator Tom Bennett of Gibson City.
(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man with prior convictions and a warrant for his arrest, was arrested for allegedly having a firearm with him in a store. A Champaign County deputy was driving through a Champaign gas station parking lot when he recognized Michael Braddock, who was wanted on a Ford County warrant for forgery, going into the gas station. The deputy went inside to arrest Braddock when he found a loaded 9 mm on a seat next to him. Braddock denied having the gun, however, the store's surveillance camera showed Braddock removing the gun from his pants and placing it on the chair.
(Springfield-jm) – If you’ve been to Springfield in the past year or so, you may have noticed a lot of construction near the state capitol. Here’s the scoop. A more than 200 million dollar renovation on the north wing of the state capitol is underway. Capitol Architect Andrea Aggertt says this includes replacing the current parking area right in front of the capitol with an underground parking lot…
Capitol Architect Andrea Aggertt. There will also be a brand new, accessible visitors entrance, a bus drop off area and an underground conference center. The parking area is expected to be completed by fall of this year, while the remainder should be done in late 2025 or early 2026.
(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Board of Higher Education has awarded $10.5 million in taxpayer-funded grants through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund program to 21 institutions of higher education in Illinois. The funds are designed to be used to provide academic and social-emotional learning support for students most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including Black, Latino, low-income and rural students. The largest grants went to the University of Illinois Chicago at $2.4 million, and Northern Illinois University at $1.2 million.
(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is urging current and former youth in care to apply for one of at least 53 college scholarships. On average, DCFS receives about 200 applications for the scholarships each year. The award is quite comprehensive, says Spokesperson Deborah Lopez…
DCFS Spokesperson Deborah Lopez. Four of the scholarships are reserved for the children of veterans. The deadline to apply is March 31st. Those interested can learn more on the Department of Children and Family Service’s website.
(Gibson City-jm) – A Gibson City ethanol plant is looking to expand. One Earth Energy is asking the city to annex 103 acres on the city’s west side. If approved the land would be rezoned from agriculture to manufacturing. The expansion would more than double the company’s land ownership at the Gibson City site. Because the plant is located within an enterprise zone, McLean County would have to approve the expansion as well.
(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man has been sentenced to 6 years in prison for having a ghost gun. Keyon McLaurin received the sentence after pleading guilty to the sale of a concealed firearm to a minor. In exchange for his guilty plea, more serious charges of gun running and firearm trafficking were dismissed.
(Decatur-jm) – State Representative Dan Caulkins of Decatur is sponsoring legislation during the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly which requires a healthcare facility or health care practitioner to notify the patient in writing when the health care facility or health care practitioner alters the patient's record within 3 business days of the alteration. Representative Caulkins explains…
State Representative Dan Caulkins of Decatur.
(Watseka-jm) – The Watseka Family Festival Committee is announcing its entertainment lineup for the 2023 festival. Country music superstar Josh Turner headlines the Saturday entertainment on Saturday, August 26. Silver Bullet STL and its tribute to Bob Seger headlines on Friday evening, August 25. The concerts are at Legion Park in Watseka.