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A state lawmaker introduced legislation that aims to strengthen Illinois' child labor laws

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is marking a month-long observance to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness messages and promote prevention efforts during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. Officials said this year’s theme, Building Together, Prevention is Partnership, is a call to action to recognize that everyone in the community has a role to play in ensuring children grow up safe and loved; and families have the resources they need to thrive.


(Springfield-jm) – A state lawmaker introduced legislation that aims to strengthen Illinois' child labor laws. State Sen. Robert Peters’ Senate Bill 3646 addresses children under the age of 15 who obtain a work permit. The current law primarily permits employment for 14 and 15 year-olds, as long as it is within allowable work hours and it’s not in hazardous conditions. Iowa and several other states in the U.S. have loosened regulations on child labor in response to a national workforce shortage. Peters' proposed Child Labor Law of 2024 would remove the regulation where children under the age of 16 can’t work in restaurants. The special provision said children under 12 can’t work at a farm unless it is a family farm, but any child over 10 can work at a farm that isn’t a family farm during school vacations or outside of school hours. Other provisions exempt agricultural education programs…


State Senator Robert Peters. 


(Rantoul-jm) – A building in downtown Rantoul partially collapsed Sunday. A portion of the front of the Hallmark store collapsed onto the sidewalk below.  The structure was set to be restored in the near future. No one was hurt in the building collapse. 


(Loda-jm) – Crews from three fire departments battled a fire at a business in Loda over the weekend. Crews from Loda, Buckley and Paxton were called to the fire at the Dollar General on the village's south side Saturday afternoon. When firefighters arrived they found smoke coming from the roof of the business.


(Washington-jm) – One expert says don’t carve USDA's Prospective Planting acres in stone. A lot can happen before the seed drops. Gary Crawford reports…



(Mahomet-jm) – Mahomet-Seymour Junior High has been named the State Winner for Illinois in the 14th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition. This selection secures a $12,000 Samsung technology package to enhance their educational capabilities further. Mahomet-Seymour Junior High proposed a solution to a pressing sports safety concern. The junior high’s project focuses on the development of a multi-sport jersey/shirt designed to offer rib cage and heart protection. The apparel aims to safeguard athletes from minor trunk injuries and the potentially fatal condition known as commotio cordis, a sudden cardiac arrest caused by a blunt impact to the chest area.


(Buckley–jc)  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is Christ Lutheran High School and St John’s Lutheran School in Buckley. Executive Director Sandy Spitz says funding for both schools come from churches, businesses and the public…

She says providing a quality education at all levels along with a Christ centered message is key for both institutions…

Christ Lutheran High School and St John’s Lutheran School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.


(Springfield-jm) – A newly released survey shows that teachers continue to be in short supply in Illinois but conditions are improving. The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools partnered with Goshen Education Consulting and surveyed more than 750 school districts around the state regarding staffing numbers. The survey found that more than 90% of schools said they have a teacher shortage problem, and that teacher shortages are the most severe in city districts, in vocational centers, and in more rural parts of the state, such as west-central, southwest and east-central Illinois.  The number drops to as little as 20% of schools in some more affluent counties. The survey found that 73% of school leaders said half or less of their teacher candidates have the proper credentials for the position they are seeking.


(Washington-jm) – If you don't believe farm commodity prices are weakening, just have a look at USDA's latest Ag. Prices Report. Gary Crawford reports…


(Ford County-jm) – Roberts and Melvin firefighters were called to a two vehicle accident Saturday afternoon. Crews were called to the accident at 1600 north and 1400 east around 3:30. There’s no word on if there were any injuries.


(Mahomet-jm) – Mahomet firefighters responded to reports of a structure fire early Saturday morning. Around 6:15 a.m., the Cornbelt Fire Protection District dispatched firefighters to 69 County Road 2000 North. Upon arrival, firefighters saw a shed on the property engulfed in flames. The Cornbelt firefighters were assisted by Sangamon Valley Fire from Fisher, Bondville Fire, Seymour Fire and  Northern Piatt Fire in Mansfield.


(Rantoul–jc)  The sports tourism industry means a lot more to East Central Illinois since the start of the Rantoul Sports Complex on the villages west side. Not only are there local baseball and softball there this weekend, sponsored by Rantoul Township High School, but soccer, football, quidditch and frisbee events will bring in an estimated 1 to 1 point 4 million people to Rantoul. Rantoul Sports Complex Director of Operations Ryan Reid says there are lots of benefits to local businesses and a larger tax base for local municipal operations…


Rantoul Sports Complex Director of Operations Ryan Reid


(Paxton–jc)  – The Ford County board sheriff’s Committee is set to meet on Wednesday in Paxton. Agenda items include discussion and action on law enforcement services with the towns of Elliott, Kempton, and Piper City. Committee members are also looking to approve intergovernmental agreements with Gibson City and The Gibson Ambulance Service. The Ford County Sheriff’s Committee meeting comes to order at 9am on Wednesday in the sheriff’s boardroom at the Ford County jail in Paxton.




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