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Gov. J.B. Pritzker will be in California to promote Illinois to business and film industry leaders.

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday that the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.8% in February. The national unemployment rate was 3.9% in February. Based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payrolls increased by 23,100 last month. In February, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month job gains included government, construction and leisure and hospitality.


(Washington-jm) – The Agriculture Secretary says USDA will need a Little bigger budget next year. Gary Crawford reports…



(Undated-jm) – An incumbent state representative has declared victory in his primary election race. Adam Niemerg and his challenger Jim Acklin both ran as write-in candidates. Niemerg was kicked off the ballot for failing to notarize his candidate paperwork. Niemerg posted on Facebook Wednesday, declaring victory. Acklin conceded in a Facebook post Thursday afternoon.


(Mansfield-jm) – Blue Ridge Intermediate in Mansfield was placed on lockdown after a nearby explosion and manhunt. The explosion and subsequent fire happened around 2 p.m. at a house on Oliver Street between West and Washington Streets. Officials with the Blue Ridge school district said on Facebook that they were informed of a manhunt related to the explosion. The Intermediate Junior High School went on a soft lockdown, which was lifted at 3:15 p.m.


(Paxton-jm) – Paxton’s historic pump house in downtown will be getting a tank added later this summer. Stan Foster is building the tank at his shop west of Paxton. He says it is a major time consuming project…



Stan Foster of rural Paxton. Phil Foster from Foster’s Mechanics will add a roof to it. The Paxton Foundation is seeking donations for the tank, which will be 16 feet tall and 28 feet at the base. Donations are being accepted at The Frederick Community Bank.


(Urbana-jm) – Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski announced that the University of Illinois has been awarded $7.5 million in federal grant funding for the study of permafrost using new technology. These funds are awarded through the Department of Defense’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative. The project, called Interdisciplinary Material Science for the Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Permafrost, will study permafrost properties through newly developed experimental tools including remote sensing, light polarization and electromagnetic theory. The University team will explore the various physical and chemical properties of permafrost under current and changing environmental conditions and will have implications for global climate research.


(Paxton–jc)  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day today is Baier Family Funeral Services. The local funeral home has locations in Paxton, Buckley and Flatville. Baier Family Funeral Services Owner Royce Baier provides information about their service area…

Royce Baier talks about the process of providing the services for the families…

Baier Family Funeral Services Owner Royce Baier. Baier Family Funeral Services of Paxton Buckley and Flatville is the WPXN Business of the day, today. 


(Springfield-jm) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker will be departing Sunday for an economic development mission to California to promote Illinois to business and film industry leaders. Pritzker, alongside representatives from the Illinois Film Office and Illinois Production Alliance, will meet with film studios and distributors to discuss increased opportunities for investment in Illinois. Officials said the governor will depart to Los Angeles for several days of meetings with film studio executives and production companies to discuss Illinois’ tax credit for film production and other incentives for the film industry.


(Washington-jm) – Projects to boost struggling rural economies are showing signs of success. Gary Crawford reports…



(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Police Department is asking for help in identifying a person they believe to be responsible for recent campus vandalisms. Officials said that around 1 a.m. on March 12, security cameras recorded a person spray painting multiple dumpsters, lighting control boxes and map posts on Sixth, John and Wright Streets in Campustown. The damage spanned at least two blocks and required multiple hours of work to repair or remove the paint.


(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign school board convened a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss not one, but two vacancies. On Tuesday, the board scheduled a special meeting to discuss the vacancy left by former Vice President Jamar Brown earlier this month. However, on Tuesday night Mark Thies sent out his resignation letter to the Champaign School District Board of Education and superintendent, leaving the district now with two vacancies to fill. Brown and Thies both cited the climate of the board in their resignation letters.


(Champaign—dm)  The late Senator John McCain and Pope Francis are among the public figures who have dealt with diverticular disease. It’s a common problem involving bugles in the digestive tract. But it’s one that can have serious complications if not treated properly. Tim Ditman of OSF HealthCare has more from a local doctor.



 Severe cases may mean a stay in the hospital for antibiotic medicine or surgery. Doctor Rzepczynski [rep-ZIN-skee] also stresses the importance of colonoscopies as advised by your health care provider.


(Champaign-jm) – State Senator Paul Faraci is joining Illinois legislative leaders in Washington calling on the U-S Postmaster General to stop possible plans to close the mail processing facility in Champaign and move operations to the Chicago area. Faraci joined other state lawmakers in the letter that would affect 5 processing facilities in the state. In both letters, the lawmakers say the closure would impact not only employees but also the public.


WPXN News Notes…


The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will have a food drive in Ford County today from 9-9:30 across from the Piper City Community Building, 10-10:30 at Living Word Church in Roberts, 11-11:30 across from the Melvin Convenient Store, 12:15-12:45 at the Gibson City city hall, 1-1:30 at the Elliott village hall and 2-2:30 at Paxton Hardware and Rental.


Clove Alliance will hold Cosmic Bingo this evening at the Expo Center at the Kankakee Fairgrounds. Doors open at 4:30 with Bingo beginning at 6:30. Tickets are $35 and includes 6 Bingo cards, glo hat and Bingo dauber. Tickets are available by calling 815-932-7273.


Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting Girl Scouts Troop 2728 on Saturday from 10-2.


The Gifford Fire Department will hold their annual pancake and sausage breakfast on Sunday from 7-noon at the German Fall Festival Building.

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