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Illinois is one step closer to cracking down on the latest style of electronic cigarettes designed to look like school supplies

(Springfield-jm) – As Illinois grapples with a possible $800 million budget deficit, a measure that could have a taxpayer price tag of an additional $68 million for student teacher stipends is on its way to the Senate. State Representative Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, carried House Bill 4652 out of the House Tuesday. State Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, supported the idea but warned that the measure being subject to appropriation is an empty promise. Last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration told state agencies to prepare for $800 million in cuts if legislators don’t approve nearly $1 billion in tax increases. The measure would be for student teachers in public schools only and could impact close to 5,000 educators for a total cost of $68 million if the program is fully funded.


(Urbana-jm) – A 23-year-old Charleston man was arrested after he allegedly invited an Illinois student into his vehicle and then engaged her in non consensual touching and kissing. Police were called at approximately 3:30 a.m. Friday by an Illinois student who reported that she had entered a vehicle in the 0-100 block of East John Street, Champaign, thinking it was an Uber to take her home. The man allegedly began driving in the wrong direction, made suggestive comments, and then engaged in physical acts. The student escaped the vehicle when he slowed for a red light on Green Street.  A U. of I. police officer went searching for the vehicle and at 8:11 a.m. Friday, the officer found the vehicle and the driver near Kirby Avenue and Neil Street, Champaign. As of Tuesday, he was being held at the Champaign County Jail after being arraigned Monday on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated criminal sexual abuse and unlawful restraint.


(Springfield-jm) – A proposal to make public spaces more accessible for those with disabilities is being considered in the General Assembly. 53rd District State Senator Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains…


53rd District State Senator Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Police Department is investigating a recent smoke shop burglary that resulted in over $6,000 worth of merchandise being stolen. They’re asking for help through Crime Stoppers in solving the crime. The burglary happened at Global Smoke & Vape, located at 1804 South Neil Street. Department officials said around 4 a.m., two people broke a window and stole several items from inside before leaving on foot. The suspects were described as males, around 18 years old and of average build and height. One was White and wore a black t-shirt, black and red pants and white shoes. The other was Black and wore a black sweatshirt that read “Hang Loose,” gray sweatpants and slides.



(Paxton–jc)  The annual Draggin’ Main and Historic Places event for Paxton is set for Saturday. Several historic places will be open for free visits on Saturday including the Former Jail and the Ford County Museum. Paxton Mainstreet Executive Director Donna Pepper says Singer and former Paxton native Jim Swick will be performing at Veterans Square on Saturday evening…


Paxton Mainstreet Executive Director Donna Pepper.


(Springfield-jm) – Spring planting is behind last year’s pace in Illinois, but dry weather over the weekend allowed many farmers to get out in the fields. Over a third of corn and soybean fields have been planted around the state, which is well behind last year. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Illinois Field Office, last year at this time, more than half of the corn and soybean planting was completed. According to ground reports, farmers in the western part of Illinois appear to be further along with spring planting than other areas of the state.Illinois led the nation in soybean production in 2023 with nearly 649 million bushels produced. Iowa and Minnesota were second and third. Illinois was second in corn production behind only Iowa. McLean County is the top corn producing county in the country.


(St Joseph–jc)  State Police responded to an early morning accident along Interstate 74 in Champaign County. Police say the accident happened near mile marker 184 in the west bound lanes around 2am. No word on injuries was provided. Clean up crews were on the scene for several hours and traffic is back to normal at this time


(Paxton–jc)  –  Among all the activities in the city of Paxton on Saturday, there is one event celebrating its 25th edition. The Paxton Buckley Loda High School band is hosting its 25th annual Salute to Veterans Concert at the high school on Saturday. Paxton Buckley Loda High School Band Teacher Timothy  Hess says a lasagna dinner precedes the concert…

Paxton Buckley Loda High School Band Teacher Timothy Hess


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois is one step closer to cracking down on the latest style of electronic cigarettes designed to look like highlighters, erasers and other school supplies. State lawmakers want to ban vaping companies from advertising, marketing or promoting e-cigs that could confuse parents or teachers into thinking the devices are common items. Democrats and Republicans have frequently heard complaints from teachers about students bringing vapes into school that look like pencil sharpeners, erasers and toys. The legislation would be enforced by the Illinois Department of Revenue, Attorney General and local law enforcement.


(Kankakee-jm) – The Kankakee County Health Department and Illinois Department of Public Health are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella, a bacteria that is a common cause of food poisoning. As of May 14th, the health department has identified 8 individuals with Salmonella infections who ate prepared food from Cracker Barrel located on 50 Ken Hayes Dr in Bourbonnais. Cracker Barrel voluntarily closed on May 4th and is cooperating with KCHD to determine a source of the infections.


(Ford County-jm) – Emergency crews across Ford County were busy Tuesday evening. Elliott firefighters were called to a single vehicle rollover accident on 900 east near 100 north. Gibson City firefighters were called to a teenager that fell from a corn crib. Piper City firefighters were called to a single vehicle rollover accident near 2500 north 1400 east.


(Paxton–jc)  Some downtown sidewalk repair is underway in the city of Paxton. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says work has started on the south side of the Frederick Community Bank, city sidewalk…


Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.


(Champaign-jm) – Just one week after a slight rise in gas prices at Champaign gas stations, the price of gas is back where it was two weeks ago. A survey from GasBuddy shows that in the week between April 30 and May 6, the price of gas rose in Champaign by an average of 3.2 cents. In the week since, the price fell by 3.2 cents. The average price of gas in town two weeks ago and as of Monday is $3.53 per gallon. That’s 8.5 cents lower than the average one month ago and 20 cents lower compared to one year ago. The reason for the rise and fall, according to GasBuddy head of petroleum analysis Patrick De Haan, has to do with refinery maintenance. Nationwide, the price of gas fell 3.2 cents in the last week, the same decrease as Champaign, and stands at $3.58. That average is down 3.7 cents compared to a month ago but 6.1 cents higher than one year ago. In addition, the nationwide average of diesel fuel is down 4.6 cents compared to last week, standing at $3.90.


(Urbana–jc)  Sleep Apnea and Strokes.  O-S-F-s Tim Ditman has the story…



When it comes to strokes, every second counts! Nearly 2 million brain cells die each minute a stroke remains untreated. Rapid access to medical treatment often makes the difference between full recovery and permanent disability.


(Undated-jm) – Two Red Lobster restaurants in Illinois abruptly closed their doors Monday in the wake of reports that the seafood chain may file for bankruptcy. According to the company website, locations in Danville and Bloomingdale have closed. They are among at least 50 Red Lobster restaurants that have shut down operations nationwide.


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