(Springfield-jm) – A federal judge in East St. Louis issued an order Friday blocking enforcement of Illinois’ ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines until a lawsuit challenging the law is resolved. Judge Stephen McGlynn, of the Southern District of Illinois, said the law is likely to be found unconstitutional when the case goes to trial and the plaintiffs in the consolidated cases will suffer harm without a preliminary injunction to block its enforcement. In a 29-page opinion, McGlynn acknowledged that the law was passed in the wake of a mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park last year. But he said the “senseless crimes of a relative few” cannot be used to justify abridging the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. McGlynn’s decision came less than a week after another federal judge, Lindsay Jenkins, of the Northern District of Illinois, reached an opposite conclusion and denied a motion to halt enforcement of the law. Plaintiffs in that case have indicated they intend to appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The state argued that the law is consistent with historical tradition because neither assault weapons nor large-capacity magazines were in common use when the Second and 14th Amendments were ratified.
(Springfield-jm) – Four Illinois counties are at an elevated risk of COVID-19. That’s up from two counties the previous week, but all remain at medium risk. None are at high risk. State Public Health Department Spokesperson Mike Claffey says although the official pandemic emergency ends May 11th, the virus is still circulating…
State Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey. There were nearly four thousand confirmed new cases of COVID reported this past week. An additional 19 people have died. Claffey says they recommend that seniors and those with a compromised immune system get a second dose of the bivalent COVID booster shot.
(Springfield-jm) – Some state lawmakers are looking to increase the number of days for substitute teachers to be in the classroom. Lawmakers said this is all in an effort to continue addressing the teacher shortage that many school districts in the state are still experiencing. If passed, substitute teachers would be able to fill a licensed teacher’s position in an emergency situation for 90 days or until the end of the semester. Lawmakers say under current law, substitute teachers may only fill vacancies in an emergency situation for up to 30 days.
(Springfield-jm) – Illinois lawmakers are working to further address the problem of bullying in schools. Legislation pending in the Senate updates current state laws on bullying. For example, Senator Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago says schools would be required to let parents know that their child has been bullied within 24 hours of administrators learning about the alleged incident…
State Senator Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago. The notification requirement would also apply to cyberbullying. Additionally, the bill expands the definition of bullying to include physical appearance, homelessness, socio-economic status and pregnancy.
(Melvin-jm) – The 2023 Miss Ford County Fair Queen Pageant will be held on Monday, June 26, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Melvin. Any interested young lady at least 16 years old and not older than 21 by January 1, 2024 are eligible to participate. Other requirements are that the individual must either; live in Ford County, currently attend or be a graduate of a Ford County school, or be a participant in Ford County 4-H sponsored activities. An Informational meeting will be held on Saturday, May 13 at the Wall Township Building starting at 9 AM.
(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Centennial Principal Scott Savage has resigned following a video that surfaced on social media showing him grabbing a student during a physical altercation on April 18.
(Paxton–jc) Property taxes will be due soon and several programs are available to homeowners for senior citizens. Ford County Supervisor of Assessments Pam Bruens says some property tax relief is available for Seniors 65 years of age and older and her office has help. Bruens says information is available on line to a phone call
Ford County Supervisor of Assessments Pam Bruens. Bruens also encourages those wanting to take advantage of the two programs, do so by June Second.
(Urbana-jm) – Parkland College will soon become the temporary home of a Champaign School District program that provides trauma-informed alternative education to students. The school district said that the Board of Education approved a lease agreement with Parkland to move Novak Academy to Parkland for the upcoming school year. The program’s current home, Columbia Center, will be undergoing renovations soon and the program needed a new home in the meantime.
(Washington-jm) – The Environmental Protection Agency Friday announced it will again waive restrictions and allow summertime sale of fuels blended with fifteen percent ethanol at fuels pumps across the country. Rod Bain reports…
(Springfield-jm) – Illinois’ gun and magazine ban is on hold after a federal judge in the Southern District of Illinois ruled in favor of a preliminary injunction. On Friday, Judge Stephen McGlynn granted a motion for a preliminary injunction. It’s expected the state will appeal to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where the court has the case brought by Law Weapons owner Robert Bevis. In February, Northern District federal Judge Virginia Kendall ruled in favor of the state, saying the state met the burden that the banned firearms are dangerous and can be banned under the history and tradition of how the U.S. regulated firearms.
(Springfield-jm) – A nonprofit policy organization is speaking out against legislation in Springfield that would make Illinois the first state to give the Income Share Agreement industry its own law. ISAs are a type of private student loan where the loan is made in exchange for the student’s agreement to pay the lender a percentage of their future income for up to 20 years. The Woodstock Institute, said the measure would codify the industry’s worst practices in dealing with student loans. House Bill 1519 would permit ISAs to consume up to 20% of a student’s income and codify interest rates above 20% APR.
(Springfield-jm) – Pets would be protected from further abuse under a bill awaiting a vote in the House. The measure lets police seize companion animals from someone arrested on a variety of animal abuse charges. It also gives judges greater discretion to ban an abuser from having a pet. Representative Anne Stava-Murray of Downers Grove…
State Representative Anne Stava-Murray of Downers Grove. A judge could impose a lifetime ban if warranted.
(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Police were dispatched at 2:03 a.m. Saturday morning, to the 700 Block of Sherwood Terrace in Champaign for a report of a Shooting with Injuries. Upon arrival, officers located a 32-year-old male victim from Champaign with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the left leg. The initial investigation indicated that the victim had been standing outside his home when a vehicle approached, and a subject known to the victim opened fire before driving away. The victim indicated that he and the subject had engaged in an argument earlier in the night. No arrests have been made at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.
(Champaign-jm) – In order to install water main, Duce Construction and Illinois American Water will close lanes of Bradley Avenue between Duncan Road and Pomona Drive. An eastbound lane and a westbound lane of traffic will be maintained at all times in the area. The closure will continue through Friday, May 26, weather permitting. Access will be maintained to all properties.
(Rantoul–jc) Fundraising to help programs for the Community Service Center in Rantoul is always ongoing. A Spring Fling event is planned for mid-May. There is also a golf outing set for July. Community Service Center Executive Director Cindy Crawford says its a fun way to help your friends and neighbors…
Community Service Center Executive Director Cindy Crawford
(Watseka-jm) – The Iroquois County Public Health Department is getting ready for West Nile Virus season and they’re asking the public for help in finding bird cases. The public is asked to turn in any dead bird found in the county between May 1 and October 15. Health officials are specifically looking for crows, blue jays, finches, sparrows and robins, but said blackbirds, bluebirds, catbirds, cardinals, chickadees, starlings, purple martins and others are also acceptable for West Nile testing.
(Washington-jm) – The latest USDA Agricultural Prices report shows a total increase in what livestock producers received for prices for their commodities, and how that impacted the total ag price index. Rod Bain reports…