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WPXN Blog Archives for 2018-08

Expect Busy Travel Days on This Holiday Weekend



(Undated--jc)  -- Today is the unofficial start to the final weekend of summer with the Labor Day holiday on Monday. State and local police are also stepping up patrols for the expected busy travel weekend. State Department of Transportation Spokesperson Guy Tridgell says too many people are dying on Illinois roads…



I-Dot Spokesperson Guy Tridgell


CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is transferring former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's public corruption case in central Illinois to a new prosecutorial team in another judicial district, two weeks after the trial judge was bumped from all of his criminal cases for commenting in emails about a trial he was overseeing. A filing from prosecutors Thursday doesn't specify which U.S. attorney's office would take over the Peoria Republican's case, but the one in Chicago may be the most likely to get it.


JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago Catholic diocese has settled for $1.4 million a lawsuit filed by three men who allegedly suffered repeated sexual molestation at the hands of their priest. The three unidentified men were allegedly abused by Father Leonard Mateo of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet between 1980 and 1982 when the victims hadn't reached the age of 11. The unnamed plaintiffs came forward with their allegations against Mateo in 2014. The settlement was reached in Will County Circuit Court.


(Springfield--jc)  --A bill designed to discourage monopolies in the medical supply industry is making its way through the Illinois General Assembly.House Bill 5930, introduced by Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, and co-sponsored by Rep. Gregory Harris, D-Chicago, would eliminate payment cuts to companies that supply medical equipment for Medicaid patients.One of the reasons for the bill was this year’s reimbursement cuts of 10 percent to 50 percent to medical supply companies.


(Champaign--ab) Yesterday was the last day of the 70 miles per hour speed limit on Interstate 74 from the Interstate 57 exit  to Cunningham Avenue in Urbana. Illinois State Police Department Captain Louis Kink says this was all based on research from the Illinois Department of Transportation….



Illinois State Police Captain Louis Kink

The new speed limit along Interstate 74 from the I-57 exchange to Cunningham Avenue is now 60 miles per hour.



(Watseka--jc)  -- The Iroquois County Public Health Department will continue to

offer free water sample test kits until further notice. Testing for coliform bacteria will reveal whether your water supply may be contaminated with infectious organisms, but it will not provide a direct measure of pathogenic, or disease-causing, bacteria. Specific disease-producing organisms present in the water are not easily identified, and testing for these organisms in the laboratory is complex and time consuming. Coliform bacteria, on the other hand, can easily be identified in the lab. Call the Iroquois County Public Health Department for more information at 815-432-2483.



(Urbana--jc)  -- Former President Barack Obama is set to visit the University of Illinois one week from today. The U of I is honoring Obama with its Paul Douglas Award for Ethics in government. Obama will also present a speech at Foellinger Auditorium  at 11 a m on September 7th.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- If you are a Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce member, today is the final day to sign up for a luncheon with Illinois Attorney General candidate Erika Harold. The luncheon is set for one week from today. Those chamber members interested are asked to call the chamber office at 217-893-3323. Chamber members are also reminded that the new chamber year begins on Saturday and membership fees are due.


(Rantoul-jc)  -- One local state senator is hosting a town hall meeting next week.

Democrat Scott Bennett of Champaign says the event is set for Tuesday September 4th from 5-30pm to 6-3opm at the Rantoul Business Center.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. The parking lot cookout is to raise money for the Paxton Buckley Loda class of 2022. On the menu is ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and  pop.


(Undated--jc)  - Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…


(Undated--jc) The extended Labor Day holiday means cookouts and parties. State police and local police will be out in full force with safety patrols throughout the state. Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Guy Tridgell says those traveling will see the heavy police presence…



I-Dot Spokesperson Guy Tridgell


CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner says he sides with consumers on the issue of car sharing in Illinois. The innovative new service, where people rent cars from peers for short periods of time, often by the hour, gives consumers added mobility choices and is likely to result in lower prices. With his amendatory veto of Senate Bill 2641, Rauner rejected the idea of regulating and taxing car sharing out of business. At the same time, however, he suggested that the new service be subject to certain taxes and insurance on par with existing rental car competitors. The governor believes the service has economic potential for the state.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Save your receipts. The reason is some of that money you just shelled out for school may be tax deductible. Illinois Department of Revenue spokesperson Terry Horstman says some K-through-12th grade expenses can be written off..



Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Terry Hortsman



(Washington--jc) -- What is the new farm income forecast. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson has the numbers…


U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson



(Washington--jc)  The Labor Day holiday is another weekend for outdoor grilling. One important tool is the meat thermometer. Gary Crawford has the story…



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Does your village of Rantoul neighborhood want to participate in the annual Rantoul Community Night out celebration. This year’s event is set for Wednesday September 19th. Event organizers have been planning the event since early Summer. More information is found by calling the Rantoul Police Department at 892-5600.



The Cissna Park Fire Department will be having it’s Waterball Fight and Bags Tournament on Sunday September 2nd out in front of Garfield’s restaurant. Garfield’s will be open during these events.

Champaign, Ill. – The State Farm Center announced today that legendary rock band The Doobie Brothers will perform at State Farm Center on Wednesday, October 10th. The Doobie Brothers have sold over 48 million albums and are regarded as icons of classic rock. They join the list of 2018 State Farm Center headliners this fall that include Jake Owen, The Avett Brothers, and Chris Young. Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, September 7th at 10 a.m. CT online at, over the phone at 866-ILLINI-1, or at the Illinois Ticket Office at State Farm Center. The show is at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

Illinois Republicans Demand that Democratic Candidate Governor J.B. Pritzker Provide Details About Progressive Income Tax Plan

(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois Republicans are demanding that Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker provide details about his progressive income tax plan before early voting starts for the November election. Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti held a news conference in Peoria on Wednesday to call on Pritzker to release details about his plan to change the state’s flat income tax to one that charges more based on level of income. Pritzker consistently has been silent about what he would propose as far as rates he would support if a graduated tax became constitutional. His common answer to repeated questions from reporters is that he would “work with the legislature” to set rates that would be appropriate at that time.


(Ludlow--jc)  An agreement with Mexico and talks with Canada are a start for farm

crops grown in the WPXN Listening area. Tariffs with China are also affecting prices and product. Ludlow Coop General Manager Paul Seaman says a large crop, and tariff situations are causing issues for crop pricing…



Ludlow Coop General Manger Paul Seaman.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is seeking a sixth term in the post. Republican candidate Jason Helland says it is time to retire White. When asked about White's age, Helland told the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board the 84-year-old White is "not capable" of continuing serving until his term would end in January 2023. White replied he thinks he's in better shape than Helland.


(East Central Il--jc)  -- Eastland Mall in Bloomington and MarketPlace Mall in Champaign have openings due to the closing of Bergners yesterday. Wednesday was the final day of the defunct company. Sears at the Eastland Mall is also closing soon. The positive for the Bloomington based mall is several new  businesses are preparing to open this fall. They include Hibbett Sports and Planet Fitness.


(Paxton--jc) City of Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold, along with several other mayors will try to eat on five dollars or less. The mayors are participating in the Eastern Illinois Foodbank SNAP hunger challenge. Some participants are accepting the challenge for the day and others for a week. They also are encouraging others to participate.The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness of the barriers to access high-quality, food on a SNAP budget.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A new Illinois law on companies making money off people by using their arrest mugshots online has been given a few more teeth.Under the guise of public background checks, some for-profit websites will collect local mugshots and post them with information about the accompanying address.Starting in 2019, the publishers of the mugshots face a $100 per day fine as well as liability for the plaintiff’s legal costs if they don’t update information on the sites when told to.


(Kankakee--jc)  Illinoisans are having trouble figuring out what goes in the recycling bin and, so far, it has cost residents of one city their curbside recycling program. Waste Management estimates that 25 percent of America’s recycling isn’t recyclable. It some places, it means services will be canceled., Kankakee’s garbage provider announced that it is stopping curbside recycling service on Saturday in the city. Officials with Republic Services told the Daily Journal that Kankakee residents had been putting far too much garbage in recycling bins.



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Foundation is getting a $20 million donation, including $15 million for the Fighting Illini Football Performance Center. The money is coming from the H.D. Smith Foundation. Henry Dale Smith started H.D. Smith, a medical wholesale company. Chris and Dale Smith say they're honoring their parents' passion for Illinois football. The Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center will have space for strength and conditioning, sports medicine, locker rooms and coaches' offices.



(Rantoul--jc)  A two vehicle accident caused damage to a light pole in the village of Rantoul on Wednesday morning. Police say 26 year old James Zindars of Rankin was attempting to turn left onto Murray road when his vehicle struck a westbound vehicle driven by 37 year old George Papametro of Rantoul. Each vehicle received substantial damage. No word on the amount of damage to the streetlight was available.



(Pontiac-dg)-The Central States Thresherman Reunion in Pontiac starts Today and goes through Labor Day. This year they are featuring the National Gathering of the Orange Allis Chalmers Show. Central States Thresherman Reunion President Dave Herz talks about keeping history alive.



Central States Thresherman Reunion President Dave Herz



(Paxton--jc)  -- Local regulations and wind farms will again the the main topic at a Ford County board meeting in early September.  The Ford County planning commission is set to meet at 7-30 Thursday evening September 6th. Public comment is expected at the meeting. One proposal would be to place setbacks on any new windmill in the county to 25 hundred feet. The Ford County board will look at the issue as early as their monthly meeting in September



(Undated--jc)  The State of Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



(Urbana--jc)  A Mahomet man has been charged with first degree murder in a almost decade old murder case. Michael Henslick was in Champaign County court on Wednesday. Holly Cassano was fatally stabbed to death in 2009. She was also sexually assaulted. Bond for Henslick  was set at 10 Million dollars.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers who want to know what’s happening with the University of Illinois' $500 million Discovery Partners Institute heard a lot of talk of "potential," and plenty of answers about "not yet" at their latest hearing.The Discovery Partners Institute and the Illinois Innovation Network are the University of Illinois to-be-built gems. It's a promised collaborative effort, university President Tim Killeen said, hubbed in Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana that will tap into the university’s students and professors and unlock the economic benefit inside. Democratic state Sen. Bill Cunningham told U of I leaders that the idea sounds great but he wants more actuals on cost and timeline for the project



(Springfield--jc) --  The state of Illinois is using its 108 Million dollar Volkswagon settlement to kick off the “Driving a Cleaner Illinois” program. Illinois Environmental Council Jen Walling says this is a tremendous opportunity to protect the state’s most vulnerable…



Illinois Environmental Council Spokesperson Jen Walling.

The first initiative will help some cities in Chicago and the St Louis area. Future projects will help cities in Champaign, McLean and


( Clinton--jc)  Clinton Fire Department officials say they are looking for their next driver-engineer for the local fire department. Applicants must meet the requirements. The starting salary is just over 41 Thousand 300 dollars. A residency requirement is also required. More information is found by contacting the Clinton Fire Department.



(Washington--jc)  -- Ag exports for fiscal year 20-19 are expected to increase from earlier estimates. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson says the numbers are up…



U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson


(Springfield--jc)--  The Illinois Department of Public Health is confirming the first west nile related human death this year. Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says the patient who died was over 65 and from LaSalle County…



Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold

Arnold  says the chance for West Nile disease continues until the first major frost of the fall or winter.



Governor Rauner Signs Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana as Painkiller

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Governor Bruce Rauner has signed a law allowing medical marijuana to be used as a painkiller instead of highly addictive opioids. The law the Republican signed Tuesday is effective immediately. It allows physicians to temporarily prescribe cannabis for pain relief as a means to combat a growing opioid-addiction epidemic. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that 11,000 people have died from opioid overdoses since 2008.



(Springfield--jc)  --Citing low commodity prices and skepticism over the agriculture economy, bankers are tightening up on loans to farmers.Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Economy Index surveyed bankers in rural areas in Illinois and a number of other states in the Midwest. In total, bankers polled weren’t optimistic about the combination of low commodity prices and drought in some areas this summer. A third of them reported rejecting a higher percentage of farm loans.The confidence index among bankers reflects their opinion of the economy six months out. It rose to a weak 46.5 from July’s 42.7, indicating a pessimistic economic outlook among bankers. Fifty indicates a neutral indice.



(-Springfield--jc)  -- In just a few years, drivers in Illinois will be able to pay for two years worth of registration on their car at once. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that would allow a vehicle registration to be paid for two years at a time. It won’t save money on the $101 annual cost but it would prove more convenient.  Motorists would pay $202 for the multi-year registration. Trailer owners would be able to register for up to five years at once. State Senator Dan McConchie, Republican of Hawthorne Woods says his father inspired the bill.



(Pontiac--jc)  -- The 2018 Pontiac Thresherman’s reunion starts on Thursday and Runs through Labor Day. Event Spokespeson and Club President Dave Herz says farm demonstrations will be featured daily…



20-18 Pontiac Thresherman’s Reunion Spokesperson and club President Dave Herz



(Champaign--ab)  -- After a month's closure, the William M. Staerkel Planetarium will reopen to public audiences on the Sept. 7-8 weekend with a new operating system and a new fulldome show.  "Experience the Aurora," featuring fulldome, time-lapse imagery of the Northern Lights, will premiere September 7th at 8 p.m. and run every Friday and Saturday night through October. The show will be presented on Staerkel's Digistar 6 operating system, an upgrade from the Digistar 4 system installed eight years ago. The planetarium has been closed since Aug. 8 to install the new system.



CHICAGO (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations are challenging panhandling ordinances in 15 municipalities across Illinois.

Letters demanding repeal of the ordinances were delivered Tuesday by the ACLU, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Officials in 15 cities in the state from Chicago to East St Louis and including Champaign, Urbana and Danville are the recipients. Diane O'Connor of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless says panhandling laws unfairly criminalize people experiencing homelessness for exercising their rights.The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled panhandling is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Advocates are pushing to override the governor’s veto of tobacco 21 legislation. The bill raises the age to purchase cigarettes from 18 to 21. Democrat State Senate President John Cullerton supports the measure…



State Senate President John Cullerton

The governor says those 18 years of age are mature enough to make their own choices


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Manufacturers' Association  is applauding Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for the veto of Senate Bill 904. The issue relates to  medical fees and electronic claims. Vice President of the I-M-A Mark Denzler says the governor helped keep the cost of worker’s compensation for Illinois employers that already face the 8th highest costs in the nation. Information used in an injury investigation would also be limited under the bill. The governor says he wants to reign in medical costs and help set proper A-M-A standards. Currently, a doctor can bill a 350 percent increase in a workers compensation case than in a case covered by private insurance.


(Springfield--jc)  -- State Senator Steve Stadelman of Rockford says a a new law requires schools to give kids that can not pay for a lunch, a lunch without making a big deal out of it. Payment plans can be worked out, behind the scenes. Stadelman says is the debt would reach 500 dollars then schools could ask the state to take the money out of a family tax refund…



State Senator Steve Stadelman of Rockford



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



(Mahomet--jc)  -- An arrest has been made in a 2009 fatal stabbing of a Mahomet woman. Authorities say Michael Henslick of Mahomet was arrested at Market Place Mall On Tuesday night. Bond was set at 10 million dollars. Henslick is accused of sexually abusing and fatally stabbing Holly Cassano of Mahomet in November of 2009. Police are hosting a news conference this morning to release more information. WPXN News will update this story as more official news becomes available.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Advocates are pushing to override the governor’s veto of tobacco 21 legislation. Under the bill, customers will have to be 21, instead of 18 to buy cigarettes in Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the bill citing a few concerns…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

The issue is expected during the fall veto session in November.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul village leaders have three possibilities to replace Rick Snider as Rantoul Village Administrator. The local board met in executive session and met with three candidates for the local position. They are Jeff Eder of East Peoria. Eder holds the city administrator post there. Also, private consultant David Nord of Cherry Valley and current Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhower. Rantoul leaders says a new village administrator is expected to be hired in September.


CHICAGO (AP) — A federal appeals court in Chicago has found that the U.S. Fair Housing Act places obligations on landlords to protect LGBT tenants from harassment by other tenants. Monday night's ruling by the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals sides with 70-year-old Marsha Wetzel. She accused a suburban Chicago senior living center of doing nothing to stop other residents from hurling homophobic slurs at her and even striking her because of her sexual orientation.


(Champaign--jc) The Champaign Planning department is looking to build a downtown plaza. They have some ideas in place. A public open house is set for October. And city council members could vote on the idea of turning a parking lot into an interactive zone.


(Undated--jc)  -- The second installment of real estate taxes are coming due in several area counties. In Champaign County, the second installment is due next Tuesday. For Iroquois County property owners, the due date is Wednesday September 5 and for Ford County property owners, the due date is Friday September  7th. Payments can be made on-line, at most banks and at the local county treasurer’s offices.


(Champaign--jc)  There was another shooting last night in Champaign. Authorities say the incident happened  around Larkspur Lane. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says that 16 year year old David Sankey was taken to a local hospital and later died. The death is being investigated as a homicide. Champaign police are continuing their investigation this morning.


(Tuscola--jc)  A semi crash on Tuesday night halted traffic along Interstate 57 near Tuscola. The road was blocked for several hours. No word on any injuries was provided by authorities.


(Washington--jc)  Increasing beef production could bring on lower retail prices. Gary Crawford  reports…




(Paxton--jc)  Paxton Chamber leaders says a  lunch and learn is set for September 6th. The topic is Ameren’s  Energy Efficiency program. More information and sign up is found by contacting the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce.


(Champaign--jc)  The University of Illinois will adopt a clear bag policy for entrance into State Farm Center for the current school year. The policy will be enforced at all public events held at State Farm Center, which includes Fighting Illini men’s and women’s basketball, concerts, shows, musicals, plays, and other sports and entertainment events. Each ticketed guest can carry one large clear plastic or vinyl bag, also binoculars without cases, pocket cameras and items related to a medical condition are o k too. Prohibited items include food and drink, flags, banners, weapons, laptops, and selfie sticks.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Governor Bruce Rauner on Tuesday defended his veto of legislation to hasten paperwork that immigrant crime victims need to stay in the U.S. despite earlier approving welfare assistance for immigrants in similar circumstances. Republican Rauner told The Associated Press that the 2016 law he signed was "good humanitarian action" and did not suggest conditions of a "sanctuary state," which he opposes.The law, which took effect in January, provides state-funded health care, cash and food assistance to immigrant victims of human trafficking, torture and other serious crimes while they await federal visas to avoid deportation.


(Danforth--jc)  The fall festival and quilt auction for Prairieview Lutheran Homes in Danforth is set for early September. The two day event runs on Friday September 7th and Saturday September 8th. A Woodworth fish fry, Singing pastors and the group Natural High hilite the activities on Friday. On Saturday its the popular local band Back Paiges, a 5K Run, quilt auction,  and a pork chop meal are events of day two.



Gov. Bruce Rauner Signs Law Requiring Quarterly Reports on the Health of Veterans Under State Care

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law requiring quarterly reports on the health of veterans under state care after a Legionnaires' disease crisis at a state-run veterans' home. The Republican took the action Monday. It requires the Department of Veterans' Affairs to inform lawmakers of the health of all residents at veterans homes in quarterly reports.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois prison officials say they can't provide information about an incident that left an inmate dead because they've surrendered all records to federal investigators _ a response that has stunned ex-federal prosecutors and detectives. The Associated Press requested documents related to the May 17 incident at Western Illinois Correctional Center, but the Illinois Department of Corrections says it gave everything to the FBI, which is investigating the incident.


KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — Police say an 8-year-old boy was shot to death in what was apparently a terrible accident in a northern Illinois city. Kankakee Police say Jeremiah Wilson, Jr. was taken Sunday afternoon to Riverside Medical Center, where the Kankakee County Coroner pronounced him dead. Police say they are interviewing witnesses and family members, but that it appears the shooting was accidental. Police would not say if they believe the boy shot himself or was shot by someone else.


(Champaign--ab) In-state High school students whose families make 61,000 dollars or less a year will receive free 4 year tuition from the University of Illinois. This big step was crucial says Kevin Pitts  assistant provost of Education for the U of I .



University of Illinois Assistant Provost of Education Kevin Pitts



CHICAGO – Young cancer patients struggling for survival no longer have to give up the prospect of parenthood when they undergo potentially sterilizing treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.   A new law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner amends the Illinois insurance code to require coverage of egg or sperm preservation, a well-established medical practice that gives hope to patients who receive life-saving cancer treatment that they can one day have their own children.  Governor Rauner say with this legislation, we give them a way to overcome the burden of high out-of-pocket expenses for egg or sperm freezing so they can preserve an option to have a family in the future.



(Springfield--jc)  -- County collectors will now be able to eject tax bidders who intentionally disrupt a tax sale to change the outcome of an auction, or who use illegal bid practices in order to monopolize the bidding process, now that local State Senator Jason Barickman’s Senate Bill 585 has been signed into law. Barickman says the new law will protect the integrity of the tax bidding process by allowing county collectors to remove bidders who are purposely disrupting a sale for their own benefit. The new law also provides uniformity to the various fees that are collected on tax sales and clarifies fees that are to be charged for subsequent taxes.

(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn in Illinois is beginning to mature. Rainfall was above normal over the past week, especially in western Illinois where they needed a good rain. State crop statistician Mark Schleusener says corn is chugging along…


State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

16 percent of soybeans are turning color and 29 percent of sorghum is mature. The third cutting of  alfalfa is 84 percent complete. Topsoil moisture is 6 percent very short, 20 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus.


Ashkum--ab) Illinois State Police (ISP) District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, announces the results of a Roadside Safety Check (RSC) held in Kankakee County from late night August 25th to early morning August 26th. The check was conducted at Route 45 and North Street in Bradley, by District 21 officers. There was a total of 41 citations handed out during the roadside safety check period.


Two North American neighbors have reached, in principal, agreements on trade, with finalization expected later this week. Rod Bain has the story…




(Springfield--jc)  - Illinois Secretary of State and State Archivist Jesse White is proud to announce the online exhibit “100 Most Valuable Documents,” is now accessible on the Secretary of State’s website, This exhibit is in recognition of state’s bicentennial. Through the Illinois State Archives, White’s office selected documents they believe reflect the most impactful moments in Illinois’ profound bicentennial history. These valuable documents are housed at the Margaret Cross Norton Building in Springfield.


(Illinois--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…



URBANA, Ill. (AP) — New defense filings in the 2017 slaying of a University of Illinois scholar from China is shedding light on why federal officials presume the missing scholar is dead. Brendt Christensen is charged in the kidnapping and death of Yingying Zhang, who.  went missing on June 9, 2017. Her body hasn't been found.Government attorneys have said they plan to seek the death penalty because Christensen allegedly tortured Zhang before killing her.Christensen's lawyers filed more than two dozen motions last week seeking to suppress evidence, dismiss the main charge against their client and declare the federal death penalty  unconstitutional. Christensen's attorneys are questioning a police dog's alert to the presence of a body in Christensen's apartment bathroom during a 2017 search.



CARTERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A new organization is trying to get more filmmakers and production companies to film their movies in southern Illinois. WSIL-TV reports the non-profit Southern Illinois Film Commission wants to highlight the natural beauty of the area while boosting the local economy. Commission member Jon Musgraves says Illinois offers incentives that are competitive with other states, but most filmmakers tend to go to Chicago.




(Springfield--jc)--  80 percent of the Illinois corn crop is in the dent stage as we hear in the weekly crop report. 11 percent has matured. As for soybeans, state crop statistician Mark Schleusener says they are ahead of last year’s pace..


State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Village leaders are set for a special meeting tonight at 6. The only agenda item is a closed session to discuss employees.  The meeting takes place at the municipal building on Tanner Street.




(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is launching a new clergy abuse hotline. As investigations into sexual misconduct by clergy members increase, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says they want to give victims and whistleblowers, a place to report…



Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The number to remember is 1-8-8-8-4-1-4-7-6-7-8


(Hoopeston--jc)  the 75th annual National Sweetcorn Festival begins later this week. Gates open for the annual  local Labor Day event at 5pm on Thursday. Free sweetcorn is being offered on Saturday, Sunday and Monday during specific mid-day hours of the 5 day event. The Chris Lane concert is set for 6-30 Saturday night. A carnival, Bingo, the National Sweetheart Pageant, lots of contests also hilite the event. The local band Back Paiges performs on Monday afternoon at 2 on Labor Day at the National Sweetcorn Festival in Hoopeston.


(Gibson City--jc)  The Gibson City Police Department as a new officer. City officials say the new member of the team is  Austin Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum was sworn in last night at the Gibson City, city Council meeting. Rosenbaum is a G-C-M-S Graduate and Gibson City native.


(Urbana--jc)--  Eastern Illinois Foodbank will host a bread and produce distribution at the Urbana warehouse again this Wednesday. The event takes place at 25-04 North Shore Drive in Urbana. It’s the final bread and produce date for the month


(Gilman--jc)  -- One Gilman business is set to host a grand re-opening in early September.  The business known as “the Garage” has planned the event for Gilman’s Super Saturday on Saturday September 8th. A ribbon cutting is set for noon. The Garage has been under a refurbished project after a May 9th fire caused extensive damage to the building. The fire caused over 80 thousand dollars damage to the building.


(Urbana--jc)  -- A Rantoul man was sentenced to 6 years in prison for domestic battery. The New Gazzette reports that Tommy Johnson was sentenced after evidence showed he had a long violent relationship with a Rantoul woman. The sentence was handed out on Monday.


(Farmer City--jc)  -- The Farmer City Police would like to make citizens aware that over this weekend there was at least one male subject attempting to get into vehicles in the 600 and 700 blocks of West Market Street. The crimes took place around 3 in the morning.  If anyone has any information or if anyone has camera footage please contact the Farmer City police department at 309-928-2111.


(Washington--jc)  -- A new US-Mexico trade deal will help American farmers. Stephanie Ho reports…



Governor Bruce Rauner Leads Illinois Bicentennial Route 66 Motorcycle Ride

SPRINGFIELD — Governor Bruce Rauner led the Illinois Bicentennial Route 66 motorcycle ride, which made stops in Wilmington, Pontiac, Lexington and Lincoln en route from Shorewood to Springfield — all in celebration of the day 200 years ago when Illinois adopted its state Constitution in Kaskaskia. Later in the day, Rauner dedicated the new Illinois REALTORS Bicentennial Plaza, which is adjacent to the Governor’s Mansion. More than 500 participants started the day at a kick-off rally at Conrad’s Harley-Davidson in Shorewood and continued along the route before concluding in Springfield for a barbecue at the Governor’s Mansion. Stops included a visit to the Gemini Giant in Wilmington, a Route 66 motorcycle license plate presentation at the Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac, a lunch stop at Kelly’s on 66 in Lexington and a water stop at The Mill Museum in Lincoln.



BLOOMINGTON — More State Farm employees could be headed to its Bloomington headquarters as a result of the company closing its location in Florida. The company in an emailed statement last week says consolidation plans to close operations in three other areas and move jobs to Bloomington, Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix. The announcement stated that some of the workers in Florida will be coming to the Bloomington operations.


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — The city of Peoria has sent out temporary layoff notices to more than two dozen employees. The (Peoria) Journal Star reports that the notices went out employees who belong to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees union and 16 members of the Teamsters union. The notices went to members of the unions that decided against taking furlough days.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Democratic president of the Illinois Senate says Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered a "slap in the face" to immigrant crime victims with a veto of legislation to encourage them to participate in criminal investigations. Sen. John Cullerton of Chicago sponsored the plan which Rauner rejected on Friday. It would push police to move more quickly to sign certification that an immigrant is a cooperating crime victim.


(Undated--jc)  -- It will be a visual, if you make a stop at some rest stops in the state of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation is using the state rest areas to show what can happen if people make bad choices when they’re driving. Vehicles from fatal crashes in Illinois will be stationed at 14 rest stops around the state with details about  fatal crashes says Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Guy Tridgell…



I-DOT Spokesperson Guy Tridgell.

More than one thousand people died on Illinois roads last year.



NORMAL —McLean County authorities say a man suffered minor injuries after he was robbed on Constitution Trail Thursday afternoon.The man told Normal police he was on Constitution Trail, east of the bridge over Linden Street, when two males of unknown age approached him and hit him in the face, knocking him to the ground. His wallet was stolen..Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to call McLean County Crime Stoppers at 309-828-1111.



URBANA —The next step in the sale of a Champaign nursing home is set for September.  A state board plans has set a hearing in Urbana on September 13th concerning the pending $11 million sale of the Champaign County Nursing Home. The hearing location is the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center in Urbana



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner calls him "one of the youngest, most effective lobbyists" in Illinois. Hunter Martin's two-year lobbying effort ended this week when the Republican governor signed a law requiring insurance companies to pay for replacement hearing aids every three years for children under 18. 10-year-old Hunter lost one of his hearing aids at school. The Illiopolis boy waited two exhausting weeks for a replacement. His mother Ramona says he struggled so hard to hear in class he often took after-school naps. Hunter began testifying before legislative committees to require insurance coverage of replacements of hearing aids, which can cost up to 4 thousand dollars.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A new state law cracks down on the owners of dangerous dogs. Owners with dogs that have killed another dog and continue to let them run loose, could be deemed, reckless, by a judge. State Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines sponsored the measure based on an incident in her district…



State Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines.

Anyone found guilty will be banned from owning dogs for up to three years.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that would have boosted the maximum damage award allowed survivors of veterans who died of Legionnaire's disease at the veterans home in Quincy. The legislation would have increased from $100,000 to $2 million the maximum damage award survivors of veterans could seek from the state. The bill passed with bipartisan, support in the Legislature. Rauner rewrote the measure to impose "a more reasonable and justifiable $300,000" limit on total awards.



ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A high school football game in northern Illinois was halted after an exchange of gunfire between two vehicles nearby sent hundreds of spectators running away and players dropping to the field for safety. The Rockford Register Star reports that there were no indications that any fans were hurt by gunfire outside Auburn High School's Wyeth Stadium on Friday night. But some people were hurt as they ran away.



(Champaign--jc)  With some rain in East Central Illinois over the weekend and the past week, soil moisture is adequate. The corn crop is almost past the need for a needed rain in Ford Champaign Iroquois McLean and Vermilion counties. The western part of the state also received the needed rain. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says some parts of North Central Illinois including parts of Kankakee County  have been dry for several months…


State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign


(Undated--jc)  -- Marijuana growers across Illinois are expanding, despite years of lower-than-expected demand in the state's medical cannabis pilot program.The facilities expect more residents to gain access to the drug through a bill awaiting a decision by Gov. Bruce Rauner, the Chicago Tribune reported. The opioid bill would allow medical marijuana to be used in place of prescription painkillers.The state's prescription monitoring program tracked 1.5 million opioid prescriptions in the first quarter of 2017, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.The governor's election this November also has operators seeing the potential to attract the general consumer, not just the patients.Rauner has said legalizing marijuana for recreational use would be a mistake. But Democratic contender J.B. Pritzker has said he would work to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.


GENEVA, Ill. (AP) — An investigation has concluded that a police officer was justified in fatally shooting an armed jail inmate who had taken two nurses hostage at a suburban Chicago hospital last year. Kane County State's Attorney Joseph McMahon issued a news release saying he determined that North Aurora police officer Christopher Joswick had a "reasonable belief" that it was necessary to use deadly force to prevent the death or serious injury of one of the nurses or other officers.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois student is pushing for service animals to be allowed into science labs. Fifty-four-year-old student Joey Ramp and psychology professor Justin Rhodes have twice asked a campus committee to approve service animals inside labs that experiment with animals. They were denied both times. Rhodes says the university has many talented people that need their service animal.



(Pontiac-dg)-The 70th Annual Central States Thresherman’s Reunion takes place this weekend in Pontiac starting on Thursday. This year the event is hosting the National Allis Chalmers Gathering of the Orange. Thresherman Reunion President Dave Herz talks about the total number of farm tractors and equipment that is expected at this year’s show.



Central States Thresherman’s Reunion President Dave Herz



CARTERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A new organization is trying to get more filmmakers and production companies to film their movies in southern Illinois. WSIL-TV reports the non-profit Southern Illinois Film Commission wants to highlight the natural beauty of the area while boosting the local economy. Commission member Jon Musgraves says Illinois offers incentives that are competitive with other states, but most filmmakers tend to go to Chicago.


DETROIT (AP) — Michigan seismologists are studying a meteor that exploded in the atmosphere over the state with the help of scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. The University of Michigan seismologists and the California scientists will publish their combined data in an upcoming research paper. The Jan. 17 meteor showered small fragments down west of Detroit. People in Illinois and Indiana also reported seeing the meteor.


Undated--jc)  -- It may still be August, but if you’re anything like me, it’s never too soon to start thinking about Halloween. From costumes and decorations to what candy you’ll be handing out to the ghosts and goblins in your neighborhood, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to the spookiest time of the year. Reese’s, Kit Kat and Hershey’s chocolate treats are getting a makeover for the season — or rather, their wrappers are! They all will be offered with limited edition glow-in-the-dark wrappers


Also...Today is the first day of classes for the University of Illinois.



Former Governor Jim Edgar in Favor of Casinos

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, once an opponent of land-based casinos, now says he favors casino expansion, including one in Chicago. Edgar says there are  “more pluses than minuses" than there were 25 years ago. At that time Edgar said he didn't want casinos in any part of Illinois. Now Edgar says the city of Chicago needs the revenue and the state of Illinois could use the revenue.The former two-term Republican governor made the remarks as an Illinois House subcommittee hearing about casino expansion bill was underway. Among other things, the measure would create six new casinos, including one in Chicago and another locally in Danville..


(Roberts--jc)The village of Roberts is replacing lights on village property with LED lighting. Village Mayor Rick Flessner says the initial cost will turn into cost savings…



Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner


Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has released the name of a Westville, Illinois man who has died from injuries sustained after being involved in a motor vehicle crash at Illinois Route 1 and Greenwood Avenue in Westville, Illinois in Vermilion County on August 22, 2018. Twenty-eight (28) year old Tyler A. Karuzis, was pronounced dead at 10:33AM yesterday at the Carle Foundation Hospital Critical Care Unit in Urbana, Illinois. Mr. Karuzis died from traumatic head injuries he received during the crash. No autopsy will be performed. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Illinois State Police.


(DuQuoin--jc) The official start of the DuQuoin State fair is set for today. Assistant Manager Tibretta Reiman (‘rye-man) says that fair has a different vibe…



Duquoin State Fair Assistant Manger Tibretta Reiman.


(Undated-jc)  -- Crops look very good for the most part in East Central Illinois. Growers in the Ford Champaign Iroquois Vermilion to McLean and Piatt counties are looking to an earlier start to harvest. Dry cool and breezy are the keys to drying the corn crop. Around the nation top soil moisture has a wide range as we hear from U S D A Meteorologist Brad Rippy…



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippy


(Springfield--jc) With the new law creating a scholarship program for college students in Illinois, one local college president says it will help keep students in the state. Illinois State University President Al Bowman says the “aim high” effort provides 25 million dollars to keep the best and brightest in Illinois…



Illinois State University President Al Bowman

The 25 million dollars will be matched by Illinois Public Universities


Pontiac, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) District 06 Commander Bill Langheim announces plans for Saturation Saturday enforcement. The enforcement initiative will occur on Saturday, August 25, 2018 in conjunction with the Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign which runs from August 20 through September 4. Saturation Saturday is a statewide initiative with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to raise awareness on the dangers of drunk and drugged driving, and increase enforcement to remove and arrest individuals driving under the influence. Troopers across the state will join county and local law enforcement agencies for increased enforcement during the evening hours of August 25 and early morning hours of August 26.



Champaign, Ill. – State Farm Center is hiring event staff for the upcoming season.  The State Farm Center Event Staff team is responsible for a wide variety of roles to enhance the guest experience, including greeting guests, scanning tickets, directing guests to seating areas and facility amenities, serving as ushers inside of the arena, and staffing the new Illinois Premium Seating club spaces and seating areas within State Farm Center.  State Farm Center is a multipurpose arena that hosts a variety of events each year, including Fighting Illini Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Broadway shows, concerts, family shows, community events, and more. More information is found on line at state-farm-center-dot-com-forward-slash-jobs. Interview dates are Monday Tuesday and Wednesday.


(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…



PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A Chicago-based federal judge will preside over the public corruption trial of former Republican Congressman Aaron Schock. U.S. Judge Matthew F. Kennelly was named by 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Diane Wood to replace U.S. District Judge Colin Bruce. The Urbana-based Bruce was removed from hearing all his criminal cases after it was revealed he exchanged emails with an employee at the U.S. attorney's office in which he commented on and joked about one of his trials in progress at the time.


(Mahomet--jc)  -- With a new law to help protect the Mahomet Aquifer from natrual gas emissions, the Mahomet Aquifer Task Force continues to look at ways to continue to protect the water that is supplied to East Central Illinois and beyond says Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose…



Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet



PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois museum wants to make sure that a historic mural stays in Peoria as the auction of the Marriott Pere Marquette and neighboring Courtyard by Marriott approaches next month.The Peoria Riverfront Museum filed a claim in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in July indicating ownership of the mural in the hotel lobby depicting the landing of the Marquette and Louis Joliet expedition in 1673 in what would later be Peoria, the Journal Star reported. The mural features French explorer Father Jacques Marquette greeting a group of Native Americans.



(Washington--jc)  --We like to think we have the modern edge in production, but even 70 years ago there were, for example, egg producers getting some incredible production from their layers. Gary Crawford reports…


(Chamapaign--jc)  -- Champaign police continue to investigate a shooting that happened last night in the city. Authorities say the shooting happened along Hickory street and one person was taken to a local hospital.  Police were on the scene for several hours interviewing those at the scene and the investigation continues this morning.



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City leaders will look to purchase artificial lighted Christmas wreaths when they meet on Monday night. An ordinance approving execution of an option for a Solar lease for city property at the Industrial Park on the city’s west side is also a topic for discussion. Gibson City council members may also give a special license to the Burgers and Beer restaurant in conjunction with harvest Fest set for early September. The Gibson City council meets on Monday night.



(Springfield--jc)  We are one week away from the unofficial last weekend of summer with the Labor Day Holiday. The words from the Illinois Department of Transportation in Springfield is for motorist to be aware of their surroundings and do not text, do not speed, do not drive impaired says I-DOT’s Randy Blankenhorn….



I-DOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn


(Rantoul--jc)  -- A new Rantoul police officer has graduated from the Police Training Institute. The local police department is congratulating Drew Frizell on the distinction. The next step for Officer Frizzell is a 14 week field training program with the Rantoul police department.



Gov. Bruce Rauner Signs Laws That Expand Mental Health Services

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed five far-reaching laws that expand mental health services and Medicaid coverage of them. Advocates say the Republican's action Wednesday strengthens the attack on the opioid crisis and puts behavioral health care on par with other types of medical care. The governor says it helps those affected get the treatment they need…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Vermilion County--jc)  -- A Westville man was seriously injured in a three way accident along route 1 in Westville around 11 Wednesday morning. State police say a pedestrian ran out into traffic where a vehicle slammed on the brakes and a motorcyclist following the car struck the vehicle in the rear. The motorcyclist was taken to a Danville hospital with serious injuries. The pedestrian was cited.



CHICAGO (AP) — The Democratic National Committee says an attempt break into its database that houses information on tens of millions of voters nationwide has been thwarted. A party official says hackers created a fake login page to try to harvest passwords and usernames. The party's cybersecurity has been an issue since 2016, when Russian hackers compromised DNC servers and revealed emails that exploited divisions between Bernie Sanders' and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaigns.



(Chicago--jc)  -- One of Illinois' political experts says a new poll that gives J.B. Pritzker a 16-point lead in the race for Illinois governor is more about Governor Bruce Rauner. In the new NBC-Marist poll released this week, 46 percent of voters surveyed want J.B. Pritzker for governor. Another 30 percent say they'll vote for Rauner. The poll also says twice as many people disapprove of Rauner's performance than approve. Chris Mooney with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs said that's not good, but it's not too late for the governor. The poll gives Libertarian candidate Kash Jackson six percent of the vote, and gives third party candidate Sam McCann four percent.  Fourteen percent of voters asked told pollsters that they are undecided.


(Paxton--jc)  -- With the cool fall like temperatures today through the weekend, it seems mosquitoes are also on their way out. Next week, the hot temperatures return to the 90s plus and summer weather sees the opportunity for mosquitoes and the west nile virus. Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Christie Wallace says the pesky bugs are out dusk and dawn, but some even more…



Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Christie Wallace.  



(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton police say a man who was preaching through a megaphone near the Paxton Buckley Loda Junior High School on Monday left the scene and no laws were broken. In updating our story from early this week, the man was questioned by Paxton police and their report said the man was on a public right of way and was expressing his right to freedom of religion. A group of religious people were at the place near the school on Monday


(Paxton --jc)  -- Wednesday, ABATE of Illinois announced their support of Bruce Rauner for Governor of Illinois.  Rauner responded by saying he is proud to received the endorsement. ABATE of Illinois is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the rights of motorcycle riders across the state from safety, education and also promoting freedom to ride.


(Roberts--jc)  -- The village of Roberts is changing light bulbs and using better technology. Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner says its also a cost saving way to do things for the village…


Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner.



(Penfield-dg)-The Buck Creek Tractor Pull will be held at the I & I Show Grounds in Penfield on Friday. I.P.A. Sanctioned Classes include Outlaw Tractor, Naturally Aspirated Tractor, and Farm Stock Tractors. Local Classes include 7500 lb tractors,

Street Diesel Trucks, and 20,000lb Out of Field Tractor. The event starts at 6pm.


(Bloomington--jc)  One of the two remaining anchor stores in the Eastland Mall in Bloomington is closing. The Sears store will close in November and the Sears auto Store is closing next week. The Pantagraph reports that liquidation of the Sears operations at the Eastland Mall will start next week. Officials will Sears Holdings Operations say the national chain is closing 46 unprofitable stores by the end of the year. The closure means that Kohls is the only anchor store at Eastland Mall.



(Paxton--jc)  There is one more free concert in the park this Sunday in Paxton. The Pride in Paxton annual Music Under the Stars series will feature the band Prairie City. The concert begins at 6pm in the pavilion at Pells Park in Paxton.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The annual Paxton Swine ‘N Dine is less than one month away. Organizers are looking for volunteers and vendors for the event. Those interested are asked to call the chamber office. The Paxton Swine ‘N Dine is set for Saturday September 15th in the downtown area of the city.



(Undated--jc) --  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s bicentennial minute…




(Springfield--jc)  After Illinois lawmakers patted themselves on the back and told taxpayers the budget they passed this year was balanced, a bond issuance tells potential buyers that the state budget is $1.2 billion in the red. Even using the proceeds of a $5 billion income tax increase passed in 2017, and assurances from lawmakers it was balanced when they passed it in May, a state filing for bond buyers notes that the “Fiscal Year 2019 General Funds budget has an estimated underlying structural deficit of $1.2 billion.”The governor’s office said the two series of bonds, one a $656.5 million issuance that matures in 2033, and a second for $263.7 million that matures in 2032, is not borrowing, it’s swapping interest rates that are variable with fixed interest rates. That rate is not yet known.



(Undated--jc)  When a newspaper closes, local governments in the area tend to borrow more, spend more, hire more workers and raise taxes, according to a study on the matter. The study by professors from Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Chicago found a pattern of government growth shortly after a newspaper closes. The study is in the process of being peer reviewed and hasn't been published in a journal. The authors analyzed 204 counties with a single newspaper that closed between 1996 and 2015. They found local borrowing costs rose by up to 11 basis points more than they otherwise would. Government efficiency diminished as well. Locally, the Leader newspaper and the County Star in southern Champaign county are stopping operations at the end of this month.



(Rantoul--jc)  One Rantoul police officer has retired from the department. Rantoul Police Department officials say officer Charles Casagrande was an officer in the department from January of 1994 through last week. He served as a patrol officer, K-9 Officer, investigator, SWAT operator and negotiator. Casagrande was also very active in Shop with a Cop and Cop on a Rooftop. Those with the local police department say congratulations to Officer Casagrande on his retirement


(Cissna Park--jc)  Cissna Park School leaders will start the process to hire a new school principal after the retirement of a popular educator. Bethanie Marshall informed the board this month that she intends to retire. Marshall is from the Cissna Park area. The board is expected soon to look at how to fill that future vacancy.


(Springfield--jc)  A package of 5 new laws for Illinois will increase health care options for mental health and substance abuse patients. Illinois Department of Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer says getting those affected the right treatment is the right thing to do...



Illinois Department of Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer


(Ford County--jc)  The owners of a dog in Ford County that died due to rat poison want to find those responsible. Channel three reported that a dog owned by the Clement family died from the poison. Anyone with information about this act, is asked to call local authorities.


PESOTUM – Illinois State Police District 10 Commander, Captain Louis Kink, announces the I-S-P will conduct an Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrol  in Champaign County during September. OREPs allow the state police to focus on safety belt and child safety seat laws. Illinois law requires all vehicle passengers  to be buckled up! Safety belts are still one of the most effective safety devices in vehicles, estimated to save nearly 14,000 lives each year. Half of vehicle occupants killed in a traffic crash were not properly buckled up. The objective of this program is to increase occupant restraint compliance through education, child seat inspections, and enforcement.


(Farmer city --jc)  -- Leaders in Farmer City are looking for a new police chief. Terry Scott is leaving the position to take another position in Vermilion County. Those interested in the Farmer City police job are asked to contact the Farmer City city manager by the 14th of September. Farmer City council members would like to get a new police chief sometime in early fall.


(WASHINGTON DC--ab) U.S. and Chinese officials are having trade discussions this week in Washington. Gary Crawford has the story...




(Urbana--jc)  Its the annual Urbana Sweet Corn Festival is set for tomorrow and Saturday in downtown Urbana. 70 vendors, lots of sweet corn and local entertainment hilite the two day event. On the stage Friday night includes 90s Daughter and on Saturday it’s the Lou Dubello Band.


Federal Judge Says Printing of 3D Guns Should be Decided by the President or Congress

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge hearing arguments over a settlement that allows a company to post online plans for printing 3D guns said the overall issue of such untraceable plastic weapons should be decided by the president or Congress. U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said Tuesday that he'll rule on the legal issues involving the settlement between the company and the Trump administration. He added, however, that a solution to the greater problem is better suited to the president or Congress.


(Coles County--jc)  A single vehicle accident blocked some lanes along Interstate 57 on Tuesday morning. Police say 32 year old Brian Hang of Washington state lost control of his semi in the southbound lanes of I-57 near milepost 192 in northern Coles County. The semi entered the right ditch, eventually rolling and blocking the southbound lanes. Hang was cited for improper lane usage. No injuries were reported.



CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge in two high-profile criminal cases in Illinois has been removed from hearing all his cases after revelations he exchanged emails with a paralegal at Springfield's U.S. attorney's office, commenting on a trial he was overseeing. Colin Bruce has been presiding over ex-U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock's corruption case and the case involving the kidnapping of a Chinese scholar. But the chief judge for U.S. courts in central Illinois said Tuesday he'd "temporarily reassigned" Bruce's cases.


(Champaign--jc)  Illinois governor Bruce Rauner signed a measure into law that focuses on trying to keep the state’s best and brightest students at home in Illinois. Local State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington says it was a bi-partisian effort…



State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County Taxpayers are reminded that Friday, September 7th is the due date for the 2nd installment of the 2017 payable 2018 real estate taxes. Taxes may be paid at the courthouse, drop box in front of the courthouse, any Ford County bank or by mail if postmarked by September 7th.  After that date, you will need to pay by mail or at the courthouse.  The banks will not take payments after September 7th.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 25-40 into law. The law is aimed at protecting the integrity of the non-profit grant process, and makes a multitude of changes to the current grant process—including a requirement that grant dollars are to be spent or distributed during the fiscal year for which they were appropriated·     Other points of the new law restricts governors from transferring money into other state funds to be used for purposes other than what the legislature intended and also creates a  mechanism to allow the comptroller to stop payments in cases where there are issues with a grant program and a blackout period before elections when state officials would not be allowed to make grant announcements. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman was the key sponsor of the bill in the Illinois State Senate.

(Paxton--ab) There has been an overall decline in condition of the nation's corn crop. Stephanie Ho reports...



(Illinois--ab) --  Illinois state police troopers were out on the scene of a crash on I-57 Northbound at milepost 222 in Champaign County Tuesday morning. Both lanes of traffic were shut down and was diverted on to US Route 45. All lanes of traffic were open just before 1pm.  Police say a semi was leaving a rest stop area when a second semi in the northbound lanes applied brakes due to slowing traffic. The two semis collided and diesel fuel was also spilled. Champaign County Hazmat helped clean the scene.



(Roberts--jc)  The public is invited to attend a free concert presented by the youth of St. Paul's Lutheran church in Roberts.  The Waterson, Vaughan, Geerdes, Swan, Kietzman, Pollard, and Walters kids along with some of their friends have prepared a program including pop, Broadway hits, classical, jazz, country--something for everyone. The event is set for Sunday August 26th at 2 in the afternoon at the church on Weldon Street.



(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…



(Springfield--jc)  --A new report on state budgeting has prompted fresh debate about how tax dollars are spent north and south of Interstate 80 in Illinois. A Paul Simon Institute for Public Policy at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale study found that most people in Illinois, no matter what part of the state they live in, don't feel like they're getting a fair share of the state's tax revenue. Furthermore, it found Chicago and the suburban counties in northern Illinois got back less money from the state than they sent to Springfield in taxes while counties in southern Illinois tended to get more money from the state than they contributed.The institute’s report found 19 of Illinois’ southernmost counties received $2.81 in state spending for every dollar they sent to the state. Results were similar in other parts of Illinois, except in the Chicago area, where Cook County received 90 cents on the dollar and the five collar counties got 53 cents for every dollar they paid the state.


(Farmer City--jc)  It was a thank you from one town to another this week. Officials from Farmer City gave a shout out on social media to crews from the village of Rantoul. Rantoul sent 2 bucket trucks and 4 crew members to Farmer City on Monday to help with broken power poles and power lines. The mutual aid was provided as part of both towns being part of the Illinois Municipal Utility Association.


(Paxton--jc)  The process for a new awning for a business in Paxton continues. The Paxton City Council approved a new 90 inch awning and sign for Mom and Pop’s Kettle Korn Shop. The business is located at 119 South Market Street in the city.  The sign is expected to be completed by the middle of September.


(Bloomington--jc)  With the fall mid-term election and the state of Illinois with a hotly contested gubernatorial race, a local Republican leader says he sees more unity in the Republican party. 53rd district State Representative Jason Barickman of Bloomington says Republicans are unified to elect their slate of officials…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington


(Urbana--jc)  A Paxton man plead guilty to stealing scrap silver from a manufacturing plant in  Champaign. The News Gazette reports that 37 year old Dustin Kurtz of Paxton admitted that between July of 20-14 and March of 20-18 he took scrap silver from Littlefuse Incorporated. Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis ordered Kurtz to pay just over 37 thousand dollars in restitution to the Littlefuse company and was also sentenced to a two year second chance probation. He had no prior convictions.


(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois’ tech manufacturers have a serious shortage of skilled talent and optimism about the state’s economic climate.The Technology Manufacturers Association of Illinois has compiled a year of surveys from their thousand members and found that they’re optimistic about the national economy but think the state’s local economic climate is not where it should be. Even with the problematic tariff debate, Illinois manufacturers’ overall outlook in July was 84 percent positive. Their opinion of Illinois’ economy has stayed near 20 percent for the last 12 months.


(Roberts--jc)  With the village of Roberts library closing, what do you do with those books. Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner says some will be donated to other libraries in the area…



Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner.

(Paxton--jc)  -- A sludge removal project is set to begin in the city of Paxton. Local leaders say sludge will be removed from the city’s wastewater-treatment plant on the city’s west side.The  Metro-Ag Company will do the work. Cost is under 5 cents per gallon. The project could cost up to 46 thousand dollars and one million gallons of sludge being removed at the plant.

(Watseka--ab) Tomorrow , the Iroquois County Republican Central Committee will host a steak fry in the 4-H building at the Iroquois County fairgrounds  just north of Crescent City along Route 49.. The event will begin at 6 p.m. Two speakers are now lined up for the evening: Travis Sterling and Joe Alexander. Sterling is the new executive director of the Illinois GOP. Alexander, a member of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign committee, will speak about his travels and experiences with President Trump.A gun raffle will take place with three guns offered as prizes. Check with precinct  committeeman for tickets or on the groups facebook page. Ticket may also be purchased the night of the event.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Lawmakers are summoning University of Illinois officials to Springfield to discuss a new public-private innovation center near downtown Chicago. University of Illinois President Tim Killeen and other university officials have been asked to attend a Senate Higher Education Committee hearing about the Discovery Partners Institute on August. 28. The hearing comes after Killeen was urged in June to inform the community about the project.

(Rantoul--jc)  -- It will be a day of taking time to find ways to deal with bullying and a day to become more tolerant of others. Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen says Illinois Attorney General candidate and Champaign County resident Erika  Harold is visiting Rantoul to bring a program as unification and peace…



Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Belynda Allen. More information about the visits to Rantoul City schools, Rantoul High school and a luncheon with chamber members is found on the chambers website or by calling 893-3323.



Corn and Soybean Progress Looks Good

(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn and soybean progress is moving right along as we hear in the weekly crop report. After a week of about normal temperatures and rainfall, 95 percent of soybeans are setting pods says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

94 percent of corn has reached the dough stage and 76 percent of the Illinois corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed a law that gives families of extremely ill children more flexibility in health care. The Republican's action Monday affects children considered "medically fragile, technology dependent." The law means that their expensive, highly technical care which is covered by Medicaid is exempt from managed-care organizations. These families may maintain fee-for-service Medicaid health care.



CHICAGO (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission accuses a father and son of a Ponzi-style scheme that raised at least $135 million since 2010 from over 900 investors nationwide. A Monday SEC statement says Jerome H. Cohen and Shaun D. Cohen dangled the prospect of double-digit returns, falsely assuring investors the investments were secured by income-generating, South Side Chicago properties. The civil complaint says they began paying older investors with new investors' money as the investments faltered.



(Paxton--ab) Fall is in the air and that means harvest is coming up. Paul Seaman from Ludlow co-op says harvest could be starting after labor day...



Ludlow Coop Manager Paul Seaman.



CHICAGO (AP) — Drugmaker AbbVie is donating $100 million to Ronald McDonald House Charities, which help provide housing to pediatric patients and their families throughout the U.S.The donation announced Monday is the single largest ever gift to Chicago-based charity network. The money will be used to build housing in at least 26 states and at 32 Ronald McDonald Houses.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A new state law bans the sale of Ivory in Illinois. According to the Humane Society of the U.S., more than 30 thousand elephants are killed by poachers each year for their tusks. Illinois representative Marty Moylan of Des Plaines sponsored the measure in the Illinois House and says the animals need to be protected…



Illinois Representative Marty Moylan of Des Plaines.

The new law also bans the sale and purchase of Rhinoceros horns. Antique weapons or musical instruments that contain ivory are exempt under the law.



(Undated--jc)  -- Moms and dads and fans are getting ready for Friday night lights or Thursday on the volleyball courts across Illinois. The start of school is also the start of high school sports. As always, says safety is the top priority says Sam Knox of the Illinois High School Association. Knox said this is also the year that coaches and high school referees need to get re-certified in concussion-protocol training. The law was passed in 20-16 and requires coaches and referees to pass a concussion exam every two years. Friday night football begins this Friday with the WPXN Friday Night Preview show at 6-05pm with the opening kickoff at 7pm between Paxton-Buckley-Loda and the Falcons of Gibson City Melvin Sibley



CHAMPAIGN — No one was injured in a chain-reaction event of three crashes involving six vehicles Monday morning on a rain-slicked Interstate 57 in southwest Champaign.According to an Illinois State Police report, at 7:31 a.m., Marietta Huffstutler, 36, of Champaign was driving a Nissan Altima north on I-57 near milepost 231.5, just south of the Curtis Road exit, when her vehicle hydroplaned as she passed a semitrailer driven by Brian McKeel, 45, of Jackson, Tenn. Huffstutler's car spun out and was struck by McKeel's semi, coming to rest in the right lane of the highway.



(Springfield--jc)  One law signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner allows retiring state, conservation and secretary of police purchase their badge and firearm. The governor says another bill encourages officers to get help from mental health issues without worry about their jobs…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet will re-evaluate the residency of two priests who have faced sexual abuse allegations and live in a retirement home adjacent to a junior high school. The Revs. James Nowak, 81, and Richard Jacklin, 67, reside at the St. John Vianney Villa in Naperville. Diocese officials said the re-evaluation comes after neighbors, school officials and parents raised concerns about the retirement home's proximity to Kennedy Junior High School."The Diocese of Joliet is sensitive to the concerns raised by the school parents," the diocese said in a statement.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn and soybean progress is moving towards harvest as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 95 percent of corn is in the dough stage…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Schleusener says average statewide topsoil is rated as 8 percent very short, 26 percent short, 63 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.

(Springfield--jc)  -- Three of every four students entering kindergarten aren’t fully prepared, according to results from the Illinois State Board of Education’s first look at kindergarten readiness.The Kindergarten Individual Development Study  measured students’ development upon entering kindergarten. Jackie Matthews with the Illinois State Board of Education said the data is an important benchmark. Matthews says children who do well on the “KIDS” program,  arrive at kindergarten with higher levels of readiness are actually more successful in grade

school and, also less likely to drop out of school and more likely to graduate.


(Ford County--jc)  It’s a donation that has been done before. The full Ford County board is expected to be asked to make a contribution to the Ford-Iroquois University of Illinois Extension office in the amount of 50 thousand dollars. The money would be used for operational costs for the current fiscal year. The money comes from the property tax levy.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A new law allows Illinois high school students to take as many college credit classes as they want starting next year. Some school districts had previously limited the number of dual-credit classes that students could take. State Senator Chuck Weaver, Republican from Peoria, sponsored Senate Bill 25-27 to change that. The law requires the courses be taught by instructors who meet state requirements and is worded to allow students to take them either in the classroom or online. Weaver said the law was designed to encourage students to learn at their own pace.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Dick Van Dyke of Danville leads the list of the top actors in Illinois History. Other favorite actors with the most votes in Bill Murray from Wilmette, Gene Hackman, also from Danville and Harrison Ford from the Chicago area. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum spokesperson Chris Wells says a good number of Illinoisans voted in the top 200-dot-com actor category…



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wells

The next category from the Bicentennial group is entertainers.



(Duquoin--jc)  -- The Duquoin state fair begins on Friday. The twilight parade will be held inside the fairgrounds. There is also a new ride, the double ferris wheel, says assistant Fair Manager Tibretta Reiman (‘ray-man)...



Duquoin State Fair Assistant Manager Tibretta Reiman

More information about the event is found on-line at Duquoin-State-Fair-dot-net.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The number is 293. That is the number of new laws for the state of Illinois over the past month. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has been busy to act on the various measures the democratic controlled House and Senate in Springfield have sent to the governor’s desk. The General Assembly is allowed to introduce an unlimited number of bills. Some states limit that number. Governor Rauner is expected to act on more laws as there continues to be a large number pushed to his desk in Springfield.


Cannabis Plants Eradicated in Kankakee County

(Kankakee--jc) --  Kankakee County K-Meg agents along  with assistance from the Illinois State Police eradicated 751 outdoor cannabis plants in the Pembroke Township area on Sunday morning. Kankakee County Sheriff’s police say upon investigation with a search warrant, agents seized equipment utilized in the production of cannabis and four firearms. The investigation continues today.


(Shelby County--jc)  -- An Effingham man was fatally injured in a two vehicle accident in Shelby County on Friday afternoon. State police say the man was in a vehicle  going west along Route 16, One car was attempting to pass a second car, when oncoming traffic approached and the two cars collided. Three residents from Tower Hill were also injured in the accident.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois department of Transportation is asking the public’s help in making Illinois roads, safer. Illinois Department of Transportation  Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says highway deaths are an epidemic, caused by drunk driving, speeding and distracted driving. Blankenhorn says texting while driving is an especially serious problem…



I-Dot Secretary Randy Blankenhorn.

I-Dot is holding a safety summit in October with state and local agencies to discuss ways to end distracted driving.


(Paxton--ab) Paxton Buckley Loda schools have been in session for two days for the new school year. A work project at the Clara Petersen building and the  High school continue. P-B-L School superintendent Cliff McClure says the project continues with school in progress....



P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure


ROCHELLE, Ill. (AP) — A railcar manufacturing plant in northern Illinois is set to close as the factory building goes up for auction. Nippon Sharyo announced Thursday it would be closing its Rochelle plant at the end of this month after a failure to deliver 130 bi-level Amtrak passenger cars for Illinois and California. The company said the complexity of the project ultimately prevented completion and brought significant financial losses. The city hopes in the meantime to recruit another manufacturer to the facility.


(Springfield--jc) --  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is signing a package of public safety bills. The first law encourages police officers to seek mental health treatment if needed, without fear of jeopardizing their career says Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz..



Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz.

Another bill lets retiring troopers, conservation officers and secretary of state police to buy their badge and firearm and a third gives gun owners a 60 day grace period while their FOID card renewal application is being processed.



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City Melvin Sibley school board members are expected to approve field trips for various grades when they meet tonight in monthly session.  Several donations will be announced. They include a 2 thousand 43 dollar donation from the Rick Amburgey Memorial and a 1 thousand three hundred dollar donations from the G-C-M-S Booster Club. That donation is expected to be received for  a softball diamond sound system. Also on the agenda is approval of the Caps program The G-C-M-S school board meets tonight at 6-15 in the board room at the high school.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A new study by the Illinois Board of Education shows that less than a quarter of the state's children were fully prepared to enter kindergarten last year. The study of about 106,000 students was based on teachers' evaluations of their kindergarten students. The data show that about 42 percent of students weren't prepared last year in any of three development areas. Seventeen percent were prepared in one area, 18 percent in two areas and 24 percent were prepared in all three areas.



CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The Carbondale City Council is considering allowing "natural" burials that involve biodegradable materials and no chemicals. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports is discussing altering its code to allow the process at Oakland Cemetery. Natural burials use no chemicals such as formaldehyde to preserve a body. Biodegradable caskets are used and placed directly in the ground with no vault. Typically such graves are not even permanently marked.




(Hoopeston--jc)  --Elvis is coming to Hoopeston. Actually,  it’s Elvis tribute artist Doug Church along with the Change of Habit Band. The event is a fundraiser for the Lorraine Theatre of Hoopeston. The event takes place at 7 on Saturday night at the theatre.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…




PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Around 40 Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers based in Peoria have returned home from Afghanistan. A Friday statement from the Illinois National Guard said the soldiers made their way back to the state over the last two weeks. They are from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 238th Aviation Regiment. Its soldiers were mobilized to Afghanistan last August. Some soldiers operated out of Bagram Airfield and others from the Kandahar Airfield.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Flooding continues to be an issue in one part of Rantoul.  Those on some properties near the Northview school say flooding occurs when the area receives a good size rain. Both the village of Rantoul and Rantoul City schools are discussing which entity is responsible for correcting the problem. Area citizens have brought the issue to both boards and the conversations continue.


(Springfield--jc)  The 20-18 Illinois State Fair is now complete for another year. Although some rain cancelled a few events, it was a successful year says Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer…


Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer.


(Washington--jc)  -- Older Americans need a proper diet too. Aging successfully and a good diet, go together says Michigan State University Extension Advisor Leatta Byrd..



Michigan State University Extension Advisor Leatta Byrd.



CHICAGO (AP) — Helene Walsh, the wife of a conservative radio host and former Illinois congressman, will replace a former state lawmaker who resigned after being accused of sharing nude photos of an ex-girlfriend online. The Chicago Tribune reports Walsh was selected from a pool of about 20 contenders to replace former GOP state Rep. Nick Sauer. She is the wife of former tea party congressman Joe Walsh. Walsh will also appear on the November ballot.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A series of festivals, parades and other events will mark the 200th anniversary of Illinois adopting its state constitution. Among the celebrations planned for Aug. 26 is the dedication of a new Bicentennial Plaza next to the Illinois Governor's Mansion in Springfield. Constitution Day festivities also are planned in Galena and Dixon, and East St. Louis hosts a Heritage Festival. Gov. Bruce Rauner is holding a Route 66 Motorcycle Ride that will travel from Shorewood to Springfield.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed two new hunting related laws.  The first law gives hunters a new fashion choice in hopes of making themselves more visible says Governor Rauner…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

A second law cracks down on illegal hunting.

7am new

(Undated--jc) For decades, Michael Drweiga has opened his wallet whenever the donation basket comes around at church, but the latest revelations of priests sexually abusing children brought him to the conclusion that he can no longer justify giving.Brice Sokolowski helps small Catholic nonprofits and churches raise money, but he too supports the recent calls to withhold donations.And Georgene Sorensen has felt enough anger and "just total sadness" over the past few weeks that she's reconsidering her weekly offering at her parish.Across the U.S., Catholics once faithful with their financial support to their churches are searching for ways to respond to the constant sex-abuse scandals that have tarnished the institution in which they believe, with back-to-back scandals in the past two months.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Bicyclists will get to tour central Illinois farms, vineyards and breweries during a new, five-day ride scheduled as part of Illinois' Bicentennial celebration.The Prairie Heritage Ride will be held Sept. 10 to 14 and cover more than 300 miles in central Illinois. Among the stops will be Mackinaw Valley Vineyard, Rader Family Farms, Prairie Fruits and Creamery and Hand of Fate Brewing Company.The ride is a joint effort between the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bicycle Illinois and the Springfield Bicycle Club. It starts and ends in Springfield and includes overnights in Lincoln, Bloomington, Champaign and Decatur.

7am new

(Loda--jc)  -- One tractor pull that was rained out is set for another appearance this Saturday. The 8th annual Loda Good Ole Days Truck and Tractor pull  begins at 10 Saturday morning on the west side of the village. 13 classes will be featured in the event.Gates open at 8 Saturday morning and food will be available.



Friday August 17 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The field director for Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis's re-election campaign has been charged with felony aggravated battery after he allegedly got into a physical altercation at a campaign event for Davis' opponent. The (Decatur) Herald & Review reports that its media partner WCIA obtained a video that appears to show Levi Lovell confront Davis' Democratic opponent, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, and her husband at a Wednesday night fundraiser in Springfield.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Democrats gathering for their annual state fair rally on Thursday matched the verbal salvos launched by Republican opponents a day earlier in the informal launch of the fall election campaign, even without former Vice President Joe Biden. The Indiana fill-in for the ill Biden criticized Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's handling of the state budget and Rauner's Democratic opponent, J.B. Pritzker, said Rauner has divided Illinois and his own party.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Agreements are almost finalized with city officials in Champaign and Urbana for the area's first dockless-bike-share service. The active transportation coordinator for the University of Illinois says VeoRide has given her serial numbers for 500 bicycles, which is the largest fleet size that's allowed. Each bike features a GPS, a self-locking mechanism on the back wheel and can be accessed with a phone app. VeoRide charges 50 cents for 15 minutes.


(Springfield--jc)  -- July’s jobless rate came in at four point 2 percent, down from four point 3 in June. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough says 37 Hundred jobs were added last month…



Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.



MAHOMET —Governor Bruce  Rauner Thursday signed legislation that requires gas storage field owners to notify local communities if natural gas leaks threaten to expose residents and businesses to contaminated water. The new law also mandates annual storage field inspections by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet says the new law requires notification to local offices and homeowners…



State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet

The issue is in response to a gas leak near the Mahomet Aquifer in 2016. Local officials and area residents were not informed about the leak that contaminated private wells and was so severe that residents reported being able to light their water on fire.



(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner used his amendatory veto concerning the Illinois Secure Choice Retirement Savings program. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs blasted the governor saying its politics…



State Treasurer Michael Frerichs.

Officials will the governor’s office say a mandatory participation in the measure was one reason Governor Rauner vetoed the measure back to lawmakers. Frerichs says Democrats will look to override the veto this fall.


(paxton --ab) Thursday kicked off the first day of school for the Paxton Buckley Loda School district and by all facets it was success. P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure says it’s a great start to the new year...




P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure



(Cissna Park--jc)  It’s day number two for the Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion. On the free entertainment stage in the part at 8 tonight is the popular band Back Paiges. Swyear Amusements is on the midway and cod fish sandwiches is the special in the pavilion. Cash prize drawings will also be held tonight. On Saturday, WPXN will be broadcasting the annual parade live at noon and someone will win a brand new Chevrolet car on Saturday night.



(Champaign--jc)  You can learn and get a good walk in too. Join T.J. Blakeman, President of the Champaign County History Museum, and local history enthusiast on a widely acclaimed trip back through time to explore the rich history of Downtown Champaign. This 1.5-hour walking tour takes a leisurely route through the streets of Downtown discussing the buildings, people, and events of today and yesterday. So put on your favorite walking shoes and join the Champaign County History Museum as we bring history to life! Participants should wear comfortable shoes and dress for the changing August weather.  The walk is set for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. More information is found on line on the museums website.



POTOMAC — Lola’s Bar and Grill in Potomac will host a fundraiser beginning at noon on Saturday and going til 1 am Sunday for John Reardon, a longtime Potomac resident and U.S. Army veteran. Reardon is battling a serious illness. Donations will be accepted at the door, and food will be served from 1-5 p.m. The music lineup is Dixie Flyer at 1pm, the Parrish Duo at 3:30, the . Sound Choice DJ Karaoke at 6pm with the  Zack Dable Experience from 8:30 until close.


(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economy is expected to continue growing slowly in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states, but the ongoing trade disputes remain a concern.Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says grain prices have fallen even lower since the trade disputes erupted.The overall economic index for the region increased slightly to 54.8 in August from July's 53.8.That score still suggests growth because it is above 50, while any score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy.Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The jobless rate fell a tenth of a point to four point 2 percent in July. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough says it is a positive trend…



Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough


BLOOMINGTON — In one of the largest drug busts involving the alleged sale of methamphetamine in Bloomington, two men were charged Thursday with possession and delivery of about 12 ounces of the drug The Pantagraph reports that 40 year old Jeremy Cagle, of Marquette Heights and 24 year old Charles Guilliams of Bloomington were arrested by Bloomington police in Carlock, following what authorities said was Cagle's sale of meth to a confidential police source. The drugs have an estimated street value of 27 thousand dollars


(Paxton--jc)  The cost to repair the historic pavilion at Pells Park in Paxton could cost around 150 thousand dollars.  City of Paxton leaders continue to discuss how to get the dollars to pay for the restoration. One suggestion is to involve the Ford County Historical Society or Paxton Foundation to help fundraise.  Another suggestion from the city council is to save up city funds to complete the project. The Pavilion in Pells Park in Paxton was built in 1907.



(Mansfield-dg)-The Mansfield Homecoming celebration is this weekend, Friday Saturday, and Sunday. The Carnival will be open on Friday and Saturday. Live music with the Feudin Hillbillies on Friday night and Wreckless Whiskey on Saturday night. The IPA Tractor Pull starts at 6pm on Friday. The antique tractor pull starts at noon on Sunday. A parade, car show, Lawn Mower pulls and Power kids Derby hi lite the activities on Saturday. Check out a full list of activities on Facebook.


(Buckley--jc)  One local Christian School has their annual dinner and auction fundraiser tomorrow at the Garden Hotel in Urbana on Saturday. It’s the annual knight for Christ for Buckley based Christ Lutheran High School. Event spokesperson Larry Abbe says hundreds of items will be auctioned off to raise money for the local school…



Christ Lutheran High School Knight for Christ Spokesperson Larry Abbe.


(Rantoul--jc) The village of Rantoul owns around 20 parcels of land they want to place back on the taxing roll. They range from blighted properties and tax lien properties within the village limits. Village leaders are taking with their legal team on how the move forward with the sale of the properties. Property owners near the properties in question are expected to be contacted about buying the parcels.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The Great Lakes Commission says it will divide nearly $900,000 among seven local organizations to help cut runoff of sediment, nutrients and other water pollutants. Runoff feeds harmful algae blooms and oxygen-starved "dead zones" where fish can't survive. Recipients of the grants will install best-management practices for limiting soil loss and applying fertilizer in ways intended to keep it on the land instead of washing into the Great Lakes.


(Champaign--jc)  The Taste of Champaign opens today and the event runs through tomorrow. The event is sponsored by the Champaign County Park District and takes place at Westside Park. 30 vendors are featured at the two day event. Taste tickets are one dollar.


(Paxton--jc)  One local church is hosting a free family movie night tonight at 6-30. The Paxton Church of Christ is showing the film “Wonder.” The movie features the true story about August Pullman. Rootbeer floats also hilite the evening

The Paxton IGA is hosting a parking lot cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Money from the cookout will benefit the Loda American Legion. Menu is Ribeye steak sandwiches, chips and  pop.


Thursday August 16 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has rallied Republicans at the Illinois State Fair by talking about the negatives of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and promising to make the GOP the "majority party." The first-term Republican rounded off a slate of candidates for statewide office at Governor's Day Wednesday. Rauner is facing a re-election campaign against billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker.


CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago activist who helped organize a protest march that briefly shut down Lake Shore Drive this month now wants to disrupt traffic with a Labor Day march on an expressway near O'Hare International Airport. At a Wednesday news conference, the Rev. Gregory Livingston said the anti-violence march will take place on Labor Day on the Kennedy Expressway.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Springfield Republican who holds the Illinois House seat once occupied by Abraham Lincoln says it's a "bad sign" that officials are seeking an auctioneer to sell Lincoln artifacts to pay a $9.7 million debt. Rep. Tim Butler says he was surprised to hear about the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation's action Wednesday. The collection includes a Lincoln stovepipe hat and bloody gloves from the night he was killed. Butler says state money should be a last resort.


(Springfield--ab) A new State law spearheaded by Secretary of state Jesse White Cracks down on texting and driving. The new law makes the offense a moving violation. The old law marked it as a nonmoving violation and the new law also makes the offense go on your driving record.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Driving while texting is 6 times more dangerous than driving drunk. Secretary of State Spokesman Henry Haupt  says the new law will affect people's thoughts about texting while driving…



Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt


(Bloomington--jc) It was day one for  move-in day for students at Illinois State University in Normal on Wednesday.Move in continues today through the weekend.  Several campus groups are helping and local police say certain roads this week are just one way as students make their way to campus. First day of classes for I-S-U in Normal are set for Monday.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The First property tax distributions from Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker are coming soon. They are being made to local taxing units. Shoemakers office also says the 2nd installment of property taxes are due by September 7



(Paxton--ab) Harvest is just around the corner and you may see it as early as labor day weekend. Ludlow Coop General Manager  Paul Seaman says an early start could be happen…



Ludlow Coop General Manager Paul Seaman



(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce says the next Chamber business after hours is set for later this month. The event takes place at the Frederick Community Bank in downtown Paxton on Wednesday August 29th from 5-30 to 7pm. Officials with the bank are providing drinks and appetizers for those attending the event.




CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The search for a new president for Southern Illinois University could take a year following the resignation of its previous leader following a contentious dispute over shifting state funding between its campuses.The board of Trustees members met in a private session for nearly three hours this week to discuss how they will replace former President Randy Dunn, who resigned in July.



(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A trip by former Vice President Joe Biden to Springfield, Illinois, has been called off because of illness. Biden had been scheduled to speak Today at the Illinois Democratic County Chairs' Association brunch at a Springfield hotel, but the group's leader says Biden is under doctor's orders not to travel. Rock Island County party chairman Doug House says he's sure Biden will soon be back campaigning for Democrats in Illinois and elsewhere.

The brunch kicks off the Illinois State Fair's Democrat Day. The group had sold all 2,500 tickets for hotel's main ballroom and made plans to accommodate 700 more people in a second room.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois livestock producers hope to dispel myths with a first-of-its-kind report.The 2018 Livestock Report from Illinois’ beef, milk and pork producer associations says it’s revealing the truth about the state’s livestock farms. The project examines 30 years of publicly available data from the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies. The report shows the number of total livestock complaints to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in the past 10 years is trending downward with a peak of 122 in 2007, down to 24 in 2017.The number of livestock-related violation notices issued by the IEPA in the same period trends downward with a peak of 29 in 2007 down to 5 in 2017.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The issue of wind farms continues to be a topic in Ford County politics. The subject of set backs for wind farm towers and local properties will be discussed  in the next month for the Ford County Plan Commission and the Ford County Zoning Board of Appeals. One Ford County committee recommended that setbacks go up to 2 thousand 5 hundred feet for any new wind farms in Ford County. A  company has proposed to build another wind farm in Ford County. The final decision will be made by the full Ford County board at a meeting later this year.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Teachers in the Paxton Buckley Loda School District have approved a three year contract with the district. The vote was taken on Wednesday. The P-B-L School board also approved the new deal when they met later in the day. The new three year deal is retroactive to July first of this year and runs through June of 20-21. With the new deal, teachers in the district will be given raises of around 14 hundred dollars per year of the pact. Both sides said negotiations were completed in a professional manner.



(Springfield--jc)  Sexual assault victims will soon receive more specialized care when they go to the Emergency room. One new state law requires hospitals to have a specially trained provider on staff around the clock to treat victims. The issue was sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes of Pekin…



State Representative Mike Unes of Pekin


(Cissna Park--jc)  -- The 20-18 Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion begins tonight in the park in Cissna Park. Free entertainment on the stage in the Park tonight at 8 is the Bellflower Country Opry. Swyear Amusements is on the midway with plenty of food. The three day event is sponsored by the local Cissna Park American Legion Post 527 and someone will win a brand new Chevrolet car on Saturday night. WPXN will be broadcasting the parade live on Saturday at noon as part of our Summer Fun Tour.



(Undated--jc)  It’s mid August and you can usually see those Hazy Crazy days of Summer. One reason for some hazy this August in East Central Illinois are the California fires.  National Weather officials in Lincoln say the movement of winds carry some of the fire smoke high in the atmosphere and into the area and state. The haze is expected to last for about a week according to weather officials.



(Washington--jc)  -- Could higher prices be coming for wheat. Gary Crawford has the numbers…



(Champaign County--jc)   Democrat J B Pritzker made a political stop in Champaign on Wednesday. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate  says he would support a state funded capital spending measure to support high speed rail in Illinois. Pritzker says an infrastructure bill is needed. Under Pritzker, the measure would also fund state Universities and high schools.




Wednesday August 15 2018

(Springfield--jc)  With the mid term elections coming up in November,  some with the minority party in Springfield say they  are pushing for reforms in workers comp, to property tax help. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says those proposals have fallen on deaf ears from the Democratic majority…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman



The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a central Illinois city is liable for a woman injured on its uneven sidewalks, a precedent that could affect cities across the state.The state’s high court said the city of Danville wasn’t immune from a lawsuit a woman filed after she tripped on an uneven seam in a sidewalk there. Barbara Monson tripped on the sidewalk in 2012 and sued the city for not fixing it. Lower courts ruled that the city wasn’t liable but the Illinois Supreme Court disagreed, saying laws that give Illinois municipalities immunity weren’t as important as the common law requirement for them to keep their property in working order. The Supreme Court said in its ruling that it is “the common-law duty of a local public entity to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition.”



(Springfield--jc)  -- A group of politically connected state employees are suing Governor  Bruce Rauner to get their jobs. The eight employees were identified by an Executive Inspector General’s report as political patronage hires from the Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn administrations. Rauner fired them and others in 2017 in a push to the end practice at the Illinois Department of Transportation Rauner argued that the employees shouldn’t have union protections.



(Springfield--jc)  5 thousand people have already called in to the state’s opioid helpline.Most of the callers have either been someone that is addicted to opiates or are concerned about a family member. Illinois Department of human services Danielle Kirby says trained specialists answer questions and discuss treatment options and now offer follow-up calls…

Illinois Department of Human Services Spokesperson Danielle Kirby.

The helpline number is 833-2-FIND-HELP. On line at Helplin-dot-I-L-dot-org.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois' attorney general is suing the operators of Trump International Hotel and Tower for removing water from and releasing water into the Chicago River in violation of federal environmental laws. The lawsuit claims the building sucks about 20 million gallons of water out of the Chicago River and returns the same amount 35 degrees hotter. The water is used to cool the building's heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Trump Tower officials say the lawsuit was motivated by politics.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Chamber officials are hosting a community coffee this morning at 7-30.The event takes place at the Rantoul Area Chamber or Commerce office in downtown Rantoul. Executive Director Belynda Allen says to bring your business cards, ideas, and network with other business owners and professionals or members of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce or community and brainstorm thoughts and ideas.


The Paxton Buckley Loda Porkchop Kickoff will be Friday August 17th at the High School. The Volleyball Scrimmage will take place at 5:30 in the gym. The Freshman/JV Football Scrimmage will start at 6:45. The Cheerleaders will do their  routine followed by the PBL Panther Regiment. The Varsity scrimmage will begin around 7:30.



(Springfield--jc)  -- A new measure to foster increased rural broadband access is now law and the Governor Bruce Rauner's administration said that’s good for Illinoisans young and old. AARP’s Ryan Gruenenfelder said broadband internet access plays a critical role in the lives of aging Illinoisans delivering new technologies improve our quality of life. The measure also reduces some regulations to get more broadband in rural areas. Rauner said it’s not just for older generations.


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(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Harvest Fest celebration is set for Friday September 7th and  Saturday September 8th in Gibson City. The event is centered around a scarecrow theme and organizers says there is something for all ages. Gibson City leaders also approved several one day licenses for the “Elite Absurd Foottrace” event. The Gibson City American Legion, Railside Golf Club and Sammer’s 2. Music also hilites the two day event in Gibson City.


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(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…



SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation to better keep the public informed about pending actions of the Illinois Tollway Board.SB 2291 amends the Toll Highway Act to require that the board of directors post an agenda for each meeting at as well as at the authority’s headquarters building at 2700 Ogden Ave., Downer’s Grove, two business days (rather than 48 hours) in advance of the meetings. It also requires that specific details concerning contracts for projects over $100,000 shall be included, with Internet links to those details provided.



(Springfield--jc)  -- With Ag Day Tuesday at the Illinois State Fair, there could be a lot of buzz about a possible trade deal coming together with the U.S. and Mexico lllinois farmers and manufacturers continue to hold out hope for an agreement to continue trade and avoid tariffs. .”Next to corn, Illinois exports a lot of pork south of the border. Hog producer Scott Behrmann from Albers said a deal will be a relief. Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert said the prospects of a deal with Mexico are welcome because Mexico imports a lot of Illinois pork, corn and even cheeses.


(Buckley--jc) There is still time to get in on a brand new Toro lawnmower as the prize for a fundraiser for a local high school. Donation is 50 dollars per ticket for the mower valued at over 25 hundred dollars says fundraiser Larry Abbe…



C-L-H-S Auction and Dinner Spokesperson Larry Abbe. Tickets are available at  Abbe’s office or by calling 217-394-2547.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- A unique event is coming to Rantoul in early September. The game is called “Airsoft.” Similar to paintball, the game is played with B-B like plastic pellets and the two day event is set for Grissom Hall at the Rantoul Aviation Center. The event is private and only registered participants will be at the game site on the 8th and 9th in September.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and First Lady Diana Rauner are donating 1 million dollars towards the renovation of the state fair coliseum. The money will go to the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation. The coliseum was built in 1901, but closed in 20-16 due to structural concerns. The governor wants school kids to choose a name for the building…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


The next night for Draggin’ Main in Downtown Gibson City will be this Friday evening at 6pm. Several Businesses will be open for dining and shopping opportunities



Soybean growers may produce a record crop this season, but could suffer the price consequences. Gary Crawford reports…





(Champaign--jc)  -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking assistance regarding a report of shots fired earlier this month  in Champaign near Centennial High School. The shots were fired on August 6th Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477  Cash rewards of up to $1,000 are paid for information leading to an arrest.


(Gibson City--jc) Hot dogs, go cart rides, a cake walk, and a parade are some of the events set for the Corn Belt Shrine Club annual Kids Day in the park at North Park in Gibson City on Sunday.  All games cost just 25 cents and there will also be face painting and go-cart rides. The Corn Belt Shrine Club annual Kids in the Park runs from noon til 3pm on the 19th.


(Cissna Park--jc)  -- We are just one day away from the three day run of the Old Settlers Reunion in Cissna Park. The annual event is considered the longest running celebration in the state with its 131st celebration this weekend. Free entertainment nightly, Swyear Amusements and a car giveaway hilite the event. One popular event is the parade on Saturday at noon. Cash prizes are given in several categories. They include walking-bicycles and tricycles. Non-motorized floats, golf carts with a patriotic theme and Large floats. WPXN will broadcast the parade live at noon on Saturday.


Tuesday August 14 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Two new laws are designed to help keep more college students in Illinois. One of the measure eases worries about map grants from year to year, giving returning eligible students priority says Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

More on the second law that helps transfer credits on our next newscast this morning.



CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois judge has been reprimanded for using his position to solicit paid speaking engagements from law enforcement groups, medical societies and hospitals. The Illinois Courts Commission said Monday it determined 4th District Appellate Judge Robert Steigmann of Urbana exploited his office and had improper financial dealings with people likely to come before his court. Steigmann said the speeches were his way of sharing his love of the law and denied he was biased toward groups that paid him


PLEASANT HILL VILLAGE, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's recent signing of bills to reduce the backlog of patients waiting for Medicaid approval won't save a small-town nursing home from closing next month. Pleasant Hill Village Administrator Maryann Walker tells the State Journal-Register that she's happy Rauner signed the two Senate bills earlier this month, but that they won't keep her Macoupin County skilled-care facility open.


MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — A new defense attorney for the man convicted in the 2014 death of a Southern Illinois University student has won a delay in his sentencing as he aims to have the conviction thrown out. A judge on Monday pushed back sentencing for 24-year-old Gaege Bethune of Eldorado, Illinois, until Sept. 17. He had been scheduled for sentencing Wednesday on first-degree murder for 19-year-old Pravin Varughese's (VAHR'-geez) death.


(Springfield--jc)  Corn continues to progress ahead of schedule as we hear in the weekly crop report. 90 percent of corn is in the dough stage and 45 percent is denting. That’s well ahead of last year and the 5 year average says State Crop Statistician Brad Summa…



State Crop Statistician Brad Summa.

Summa says 90 percent of soybeans are setting pods and 73 percent of the crop is in good to excellent condition. Statewide topsoil moisture is 10 percent very short, 30 percent short, 59 percent adequate and one percent surplus.


(Springfield--jc)  When the parade of champions happens today at the Illinois State fair, one local resident has an animal ready for the state’s top sale. Hunter Weber of Buckley’s hereford steer was named reserve grand champion Land of Lincoln steer at this year’s Illinois State Fair. At the parade of champions this afternoon, the steer will be sold in the Governor’s Sale of Champions. Proceeds from the sale to to the exhibitor, and towards youth in agriculture like 4-H and F-F-A.



(Paxton--jc)  --Paxton City council members may accept the donation of property to the city on Shal-lee court near the Nelson Field ball diamonds. The Lee family owns a lot in the cal-de-sac and have proposed to donate the lot to the city. The property holds some bleachers and is used by spectators at ball games. The Paxton City Council is expected to approve the donation of property when they meet tonight in monthly session at 7 tonight on the second floor of city hall.




(Springfield--jc)  The 20-18 Illinois State Fair  has several food traditions. One is Culler’s Fries. Jim Cullers says they sell one popular product...fries in a cone with salt and vinegar…



Jim Cullers of Cullers Fries.

The Culler’s stand at the Illinois State Fair is in the same spot they have held for 73 years. The Illinois State Fair runs through Sunday in Springfield.



SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed bills Monday to increase Illinois seniors’ access to high-speed internet and provide more convenience with permanent identification cards. House Bill 5752 creates the Broadband Advisory Council to explore ways to expand broadband access, often called high-speed internet, throughout the state, including in unserved and underserved areas.



(Springfield--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



(Paxton--jc)  Accolade Healthcare in Paxton is closing one of its three buildings and residents will be moved to two other locations in the city. The building on north market is being shut down. A meeting between workers at the sites in Paxton and the management team for Accolade Health is set for today. More information about the merger into two sites in Paxton will be available later today. WPXN news will continue to update this story as more official news becomes available.



(Springfield--jc)  In updating our story about two new laws to help keep college students in the state, the second new law gives students more flexibility towards a degree. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says credits will transfer easier under the new law…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner




(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn continues to progress ahead of schedule as we hear in the weekly crop report. 90 percent of corn is in the dough stage. State Crop Statistician Brad Summa says 90 percent of soybeans are setting pods…



State Crop Statistician Brad Summa

22 percent of sorghum is mature and the 3rd cutting of alfalfa is 70 percent complete.


(Paxton--jc)  Paxton City Council members will look at closing streets for the annual Swine and Dine event when they meet tonight. The Swine and Dine event takes place on Saturday September 15th in the downtown area. Approving several groups to collect donations at street corners in the downtown area over the next several months is also a topic for local leaders. Those wanting to collect donations include the Faulkner toy drive and the Knights of Columbus. The Paxton City Council meets at 7 tonight on the second floor of city hall.


(Champaign--jc)  Weather officials say an El-Nina could be coming this fall or winter. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says that could mean a warmer fall or winter too…



State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign



(Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul village leaders are expected to approve a water main project on North Tanner street when they meet tonight in monthly session. The cost of the project is just under 80 thousand dollars. Also on the agenda tonight is a proposal to accept the three hangers on the former Chanute Air Force Base and a call center into the village. The Rantoul Village board comes to order at 6 tonight in the municipal building on Tanner Street.



(Springfield--jc)  -- WPXN News is taking a look at the long time vendors at the Illinois State Fair. Another mainstay is Vose’s Corndogs. Owner Bob Vose says the lines may be long at the corn dog stand, but it’s worth the wait…



Vose’s Corndog Stand owner Bob Vose.

Vose started at the State Fair delivering ice in the 1940s. The Illinois State Fair runs through Sunday in Springfield.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College officials announced Monday that any interested persons wishing to run for a position on the Parkland Board of Trustees may pick up nominating petitions and related documents from Nancy Willamon in Room U336 at the Parkland College campus, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign, Illinois, during regular business hours beginning August 27th Petitions may NOT be circulated prior to Sept. 18th The term of incumbent trustee James Ayers, Bianca Truitt Green and Jonathan Westfield will expire in April 2019. These board openings will be for a six-year term on the ballot and said seats will expire in April 2025.


(Dewitt County--jc)  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan Monday announced a lawsuit against a DeWitt County trucking company following a diesel fuel spill that contaminated a pond and a nearby creek. Madigan’s office filed a lawsuit in DeWitt County Circuit Court against H&M Trucking Company, which specializes in transporting food products. Madigan’s lawsuit alleges that approximately 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled at H&M’s trucking terminal located  in Clinton. Madigan says the fuel contaminated soil, a pond and a nearby creek. Human exposure to diesel fumes can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea and more severe symptoms like heart palpitations. According to Madigan’s lawsuit, diesel fuel began leaking from a storage tank at the terminal beginning around June 30. The leak went unreported, and fuel soaked into the ground on and around the site. The fuel covered the entire surface of the pond and killed vegetation in a two-foot perimeter around the pond, prompting the property owner to contact state  authorities.



Monday August 13 2018

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — A Northwestern University journalism professor has resigned after being accused of misconduct by former students and employees. Alec Klein said in an email that he voluntarily resigned effective Friday "because I believe it is in the best interests of all involved as I pursue other endeavors." Klein in February took a leave of absence while the university investigated misconduct charges raised by eight former students and two Medill former Justice Project employees dating to 2011.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Using tax dollars to settle sexual harassment claims is illegal under a law Gov. Bruce Rauner signed. Rauner acted Friday on the plan by Republican Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills and Democratic Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park. They pushed it after the resurgence of the #MeToo anti-harassment movement last fall. Harassment complaints felled powerful men in entertainment, politics and the media. Media reports revealed that several congressmen had used tax dollars to quiet complaints.


(Springfield--jc)  It was Veteran’s Day at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed 6 new laws in honor of the occasion. One law makes it easier for vets to eligible benefits, a second is the silver alert program says governor Rauner…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Another new law designates November 4th as G-I Bill of Rights Day in Illinois and two others honors Desert Storm service medal recipients on their license plates.


CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — A former Illinois basketball coach who pleaded guilty to sexual assault involving two former players has been sentenced to 60 years in prison. A judge sentenced 54-year-old Barry Wolfe of Martinsville to the maximum sentence Friday, after hearing from victims. One said in a written statement that high school was a living hell because of Wolfe's actions. Wolfe coached the Central Illinois Storm, an American Athletic Union basketball program for girls age 17 and younger in Illinois and Indiana.



(Springfield--jc)  Families and outdoor enthusiasts are urged to stop by Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair, going on now through Sunday. Conservation World is a 30 acre park with ponds and grass to shade trees. State Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal…



Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal.

There is also a Paul Bunyan Lumberjack show and butterfly house.


(Champaign County--jc)  -- Several members of a Tennessee family were injured in a one vehicle accident in Champaign County on Saturday afternoon. Police say 33 year old Jamal Halloway of Memphis lost control of his vehicle in the northbound lanes just south of Champaign and the vehicle rolled several times. Halloway, and three family members were treated at Carle Hospital with minor injuries.


(Pontiac--jc)  It’s an event that is celebrating 70 years in Central Illinois. The 20-18 run for the Pontiac based annual Threshermans Reunion starts on August 30th. The groups president is Dave Herz and he talks about a plethora  of Allis-Chalmers orange…



Pontiac Thresherman’s  Reunion event President Dave Herz.



(Springfield--jc)  81 cadets have graduated from the Illinois State Police Academy. They will hit the road as new troopers all over the state. The Cadets made it through a grueling 25 week program in Springfield that included physical challenges, vehicle and firearms training. State Police Director Leo Schmitz says the class has met the initial challenge…



Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz

Now the State police is accepting applications for cadet class 129. The classes start next April and applications are due this Wednesday at  Illinois-Trooper-Dot-Com.



(Fisher--jc)  Could a solar farm be coming to the village of Fisher. Fisher Village leaders were informed that a Minnesota company is looking to build a facility in the south part of Fisher near the grade school. Novel Energy has over a hundred wind farms in Minnesota. State incentives and a lottery for such facilities remain a topic in the state capitol.


(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Brewers will have more freedom to expand their businesses under a new state law. Governor Bruce Rauner says this law removes antiquated regulations that were stifling the brewery industry. Illinois Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Danielle D’Alesandro agrees says it will left breweries serve beer and cider from other business in their taprooms…



Illinois Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director Danielle D’Alesandro.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is todays Bicentennial Minute…




URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois report is recommending new efforts to support students in the first weeks of school when sexual assaults are most common, especially among freshman. The  university's second systematic survey of sexual misconduct on campus recommends targeting resources at specific groups who have a higher risk of sexual assault. The survey is also recommending doubling down on efforts to reduce alcohol abuse.

LERNA, Ill. (AP) — Learn how to dye materials 19th Century style at the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. The hands-on workshop will be Aug. 25 beginning at 10 a.m. in Lerna. Instructors will show participants the process for dyeing fabric in the tradition of the frontier. They will use materials available at the time such as flowers and bark.


(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Brewers will have more freedom to expand their businesses under a new state law. The law strips outdated regulations from the liquor control act of 19-34, C-E-0 Matt Port of Destihl in Normal says one of the most important components helps the whole brew industry….


C-E-O Matt Porter of Destihl of Normal



LISLE, Ill. (AP) — Benedictine University officials say the president of the Illinois-based school has resigned. The Daily Herald reports Michael Brophy stepped down Thursday and is planning a yearlong sabbatical. A spokeswoman says Brophy's future position with the university will be determined next summer. The private, Catholic university is based in the Chicago suburb of Lisle and has campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Brophy became president in 2015.


(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Buckley Loda Teachers Union is expected to vote on a  proposed new contract for teachers in the school when they meet later this week. The Paxton Buckley Loda School board and negotiators for the local teachers have worked on a tentative new three year deal. If approved by the local teachers union, the P-B-L school board is expected to give their o-k to the new deal. Contract details will be released after a new deal is reach.


(Springfield--jc)  She is reigning in Springfield. Rural Cissna Park resident and current Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring started her duties at the Illinois State Fair. The event runs through Sunday.  Hasselbring invites you to see her at the fair in the state capitol…



Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring.

(Cissna Park--jc)  The 20-18 run for the Old Settlers Reunion begins later this week. The annual event runs Thursday and Friday evening in the park in Cissna Park. Entertainment on Thursday at 8 is the Bellflower Country Opry. Friday its the popular band Back Paiges at 8 and on Saturday night its the Neverly Brothers band. A parade is set for Noon on Saturday and someone will win a brand new car on Saturday night. The annual Old Settlers  Reunion is sponsored by the local American Legion Post 527 of Cissna Park.


(Washington--jc)  The high corn and soybean forecasts may have surprised many people, but they also may end up being closer than most August estimates. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson says they may be close to the final harvest numbers…



U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson


(Gibson City--jc)  -- One Ford County school district is getting ready for the start of school with a school supply drop off night this evening. The Gibson-City-Melvin-Sibley Elementary School drop off night begins at 4-30 and runs until 6-30. The school will be open for families to drop off school supplies in classrooms and lockers. Entertainment, free ice cream and books also hi-lite the event in Gibson City.

(Champaign--jc)  -- Soil moisture continues to dry, but some mid week rain could help. State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign says a chance for rain in some parts of the state runs from Tuesday through Thursday…



State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois Water Survey in Champaign.



Friday August 10 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner blamed Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday for the city's gun violence, saying the mayor has "failed horribly" on public safety after gunfire last weekend injured more than 70 people and killed 11 . The Republican governor said Chicago police lack sufficient officers and cutting-edge equipment. A spokesman for Emanuel, a Democrat, dismissed the claims and pointed at Rauner's rejection of legislation to license firearms dealers. Speaking at a state Capitol news conference, Rauner for the second straight day said he had no plans to send the National Guard to patrol Chicago's South and West Sides, where many of last weekend's shootings occurred.



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Hundreds of more officers will be deployed to crime areas of Chicago this weekend.


POTOMAC — Lola’s Bar and Grill in Potomac will host a fundraiser beginning at noon one week from tomorrow for a Potomac man battling a serious illness. The event is for  John Reardon, a longtime Potomac resident and U.S. Army veteran. The fundraiser will see music food and auction items at Lola’s Bar and Grill in Potomac starting at mid-day on the 18th and running into the evening hours.



(Springfield--jc)  Gaining support for growing the economy and the fiscal health of Illinois remains on the agenda for Republicans in Illinois. 53rd District State Representative Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the party continues to push the idea of a growing economy…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington




(Champaign County--jc)  -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking information about a Rantoul man wanted on violation of bail bond. Authorities are seeking 38 year old Lance Bufford, whose last known address is in the 400 Block of Sheldon Avenue in Rantoul.  Bufford is described as a black male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing around 190 pounds. If you have any information, you are asked to call Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-8477.



(Washington--  ab) Corn and Soybean crops are far ahead of normal development. Gary Crawford has the story...




(Gilman--jc)  Those traveling along a busy road in Gilman will have to take a different route starting later this month. Illinois Department of Transportation officials say work on the railroad tracks along Route 24 in Gilman will close on the 20th of August and remain closed for the duration of the project. That work is expected to last around 10 days



ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Republican leaders are disavowing a congressional candidate over contentious views he's promoted. The state GOP chairman and other party officials say they're withdrawing support for candidate Bill Fawell after reviewing conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2012 Sandy Hook mass school shooting that he posted to social media. Fawell is the GOP challenger to Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos.




OREGON, Ill. (AP) — Organizers say repair work could begin next spring on the century-old Black Hawk statue in northern Illinois as they are less than $90,000 short of their fundraising goal. Repairs on the 48-foot-tall concrete statute in Lowden State Park are estimated to cost $600,000. The Black Hawk Restoration Team says it has $210,000 of the $300,000 needed for contracts to be signed. The state has provided a $350,000 grant.



(Springfield--jc)  - A new law signed by Governor Bruce Rauner aims to bring more jobs back to Springfield. The measure was sponsored by State Representative Sara-Wojcicki-Jimenez (woe-jisky him-men-ez), who says it makes Springfield the default location for state positions…



State Representative Sara-Wojcicki-Jimenez

No current employees will have to move. The new law applies to new jobs and vacancies.



(Paxton--jc)  - A Ford County committee says the full county board should look at costs for its annual required audit. The cost for the audit by Kemper C-P-A Group of Champaign has risen over the last couple of years from around 27 thousand to just over 45 thousand this past year.  Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick will look to get bids for the audit and the full board is expected to look at the issue in the very near future.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The smell of mini donuts and corn dogs  to the sounds of kids on carnival rides is in the air in Springfield as the 20-18 Illinois State Fair has begun. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner urges everyone to come out and enjoy …



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Undated--jc)  Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



(Paxton--jc)  The Paxton Buckley Loda Teachers Union is expected to vote on a  proposed new contract for teachers in the school when they meet next week. The Paxton Buckley Loda School board and negotiators for the local teachers have worked on a tentative new three year deal. If approved by the local teachers union, the P-B-L school board is expected to give their o-k to the new deal. Contract details will be released after a new deal is reach.


(Springfield--jc)  The Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding families to make sure everyone is up to date on recommended vaccinations. Vaccines protect babies from 14 diseases by the time they reach two years of age.  Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says getting immunized is not just about protecting yourself…



Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold


(Paxton--jc)  -- Could an extra  quarter of a cent tax be coming to Ford County. The purpose of the tax would be for a specific purpose...public safety. The Ford County board could hear about the issue next week when they meet. A  Ford County board committee is making a recommendation to pursue the quarter of a cent tax increase. Any issue before Ford County voters this fall is expected to be an advisory type vote.


(Springfield--jc) Rural Cissna Park resident and current Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring started her duties at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday. Hasselbring says serving as the state’s fair queen is a blessing…



Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Samantha Hasselbring.


(Farmer City--jc)  Event organizers with an annual September event in DeWitt county want you to mark your calendars. The annual Fabulous Farmer City Extravaganza is set for September 9th. The event is set for the Farmer City raceway and one hilite will be Cozair Harley Davidson and their Jumpstart Trailer. If you’ve never ridden a motorcycle, this is an safe opportunity to experience what it’s like.  The event is very affordable with a usual five dollar charge to enter a vehicle in the show, a five dollar registration for the 50 yard bike drag races. Trophies will be given to the top 5 finishers in each class.


(Rantoul--jc)  - Those in the Rantoul school system needing assistance with school supplies to school clothes have an opportunity on Saturday to fill those needs. The Community Service Center is hosting its “Back to school-clothing event on Saturday from 8 until noon. Those wanting to receive clothes and supplies must contact the Community Service Center in the village to register for the program. The referral must be brought on Saturday t receive the items.


BRIDGEPORT, N.Y. (AP) — Two new exotic zooplankton species have crept into the Great Lakes, according to researchers.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Cornell University researchers confirmed the species are in Lake Erie. The findings are part of the EPA's biology monitoring program in the Great Lakes. The species are Diaphanosoma fluviatile, which is from Central and South America and the Caribbean, and Mesocyclops pehpeiensis, which is native to tropical and temperate areas of Asia.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Harness racing, fried food to livestock shows. The 20-18 Illinois State Fair has them all says Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


(Gibson City--jc)- A benefit for a Ford County man who died in a house fire is set for Gibson City American Legion on Saturday. Money raised goes to the Jeremy “Hillbilly” Turner family for funeral expenses and more. Cover charge for the event is 10 dollars per person or 15 dollars per couple. A dinner and silent auction along with music are also event activities.


(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Ford County Corn Belt Shrine Club will host its’ annual Friends of the Shriners Golf Cart run starting at 2 on Saturday afternoon. Registration begins at 1pm. The cost is 70 dollars per couple. Proceeds to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for children


(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton IGa’s cookout on Saturday will feature pork chop sandwiches chips and soda. This weeks service group that will benefit from the efforts is the Gibson City Masonic Lodge.


Thursday August 9 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will not dispatch the Illinois National Guard to Chicago to stem gun violence. The Republican on Wednesday said that "the National Guard is not for neighborhood policing." He dismissed suggestions that he call up the state militia after 74 people were shot in the city last weekend. At least 11 were killed. Chicago police have ordered 600 additional officers to the affected neighborhoods through the weekend.



JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois teacher is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, also a teacher. Authorities say Michael Kazecki beat to death his wife, 38-year-old Rebecca Kazecki, after she tried to intervene Tuesday when he was hitting their 11-year-old son. Rebecca Kazecki died at Presence St. Joseph Medical Center from a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain. Will County Circuit Judge Ben Braun on Wednesday ordered Kazecki held in lieu of $2 million bond.



SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner announced he has appointed Illinois Rep. Tim Butler of Springfield to serve as co-chair of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. Butler joins fellow co-chairs Gloria Castillo and Lori Healey. Butler is a Peoria native, he is the great, great, great great-grandson of Lewis Barker, who was elected in 1818 as the state senator from Pope County and who served during the first four Illinois general assemblies.   As Illinois celebrates its Bicentennial the next Illinois Top 200 project is actors. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Manager Chris Wills says two choices are from Danville in Dick Van Dyke and Gene Hackman. You can cast your vote for your favorite at Illinois-Top-200-dot-com.

(Washington--ab)  -- Chinese tariffs on U.S. soybeans have thrown soybean trade patterns into what one expert calls, "unfamiliar territory". Gary Crawford reports...




(Urbana--jc)  Keeping you updated...the trial of 4 Ford County men accused of conspiracy to interfere with commerce, possession of a machine gun and also charges of attempted arson was moved to November. 47 year old Michael Hari, 29 year old Michael McWhorter, 23 year old Joe Morris and 18 year old Ellis Mack are due back in federal court in Urbana on November 13th.  Hari, McWhorter and Morris are also charged with attempted arson that happened at the Women’s Health Practice in Champaign in November of last year. The same three have also been indicted on civil rights and hate crime violations in Minnesota.



(Loda--jc)  The 8th annual Loda Good Ole Days Truck and Tractor Pull has a rescheduled date. The event will take place on Saturday August 25th starting at 10 in the morning. Registration for the pull starts at 7am and gates open at 8am There are 13 different classes pulling in the annual event on Loda’s west side.



(Buckley--jc)  -- When schools start later this month, one school will not be in session on Mondays. Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley is going to a 4 day school week. The move will help with the academic schedule at the Christian High school, but also with transportation costs for families says Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz…


School Executive Director Sandy Spitz…

The local school is also set to have its annual dinner and auction fundraiser on August 18th at the Garden Hotel in Urbana. Reservations for the event remain available from the school in Buckley, Abbe Insurance of Buckley and at the WPXN studios.


(Springfield--jc)  The 20-18 Illinois State Fair begins today and once again the Butter cow is part of the annual event. It took about 63 hours and 600 pounds of butter to sculpt the butter cow this year. The Jersey cow has a winning ribbon and a Lincoln Top hat says Illinois Ag Director Raymond Poe.



Illinois Ag Director Raymond Poe.

The Illinois State Fair runs through August 19th.


(Rankin-jc) -- Village of Rankin leaders are helping a local civic group with a drainage project.  The three thousand dollar donation from the village to the Rankin Lions Club will help fix some drainage issues at Centennial Park. Work on the project will be done by local volunteers.



(Paxton--jc)  -- One local theatre group has auditions tonight and on Saturday. The Tri-County Players will hold open auditions for “Windy Hollow” starting at 6-39 tonight and also at 10 Saturday morning. The Paxton theatre is located at 120 North Market Street in downtown Paxton. Needed for the production are over a dozen junior high aged kids. The play Windy Hollow will be performed on September 21st through the 23rd


(Rantoul--jc)  -- You are invited to come out to Wabash Park in Rantoul on Friday night to enjoy the last of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce’s Movies In the Park 2018 Summer Series with your family , friends and of course , one of the most popular movies of the summer , Sherlock Gnomes. !! There will be free Swag Bags for all, so bring your people, your blankets, and lawn chairs and come out and enjoy this great community event. The movie starts at dusk


(Undated--jc)  -- The State of Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner spoke to the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce in Peoria on Wednesday. The governor talked about helping minority businesses succeed…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


GODFREY, Ill. (AP) — Ivanka Trump toured the welding facility at a southwestern Illinois community college as she promoted the importance of continued worker training. The daughter of President Donald Trump traveled Wednesday to Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey. Trump said a new national council for U.S. workers is aiming to provide information to mid- and late-career workers about training they could seek for jobs of the future.


(Gibson City--jc)  -- One Ford County church is celebrating two anniversaries this weekend. Gibson City’s American Lutheran Church has a 75th anniversary as a church and has been located along route 9 in the city for 50 years. A pie and ice cream social is set for Saturday from 3 pm to 4-30pm. The Christian Group “Jakes Boys” will perform at 5pm. The church is located at 905 E. First St. in Gibson City.


(Roberts--ab) The Village of Roberts is closing their library. Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner says several factors went into the decision to close the facility…


Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner


(Rantoul--jc)  -- Some property of the U. S Air Force was apparently stolen according to a local news report. The Rantoul Press reports that ejection seats from an Air Force plane, being demolished on the former Chanute Air Force base are missing. Rantoul Police say the ejection seats were taken and sold to a third party. The seats have been recovered, but the investigation into who sold the seats continues this morning.


(Penfield--ab)  A tractor pull is set for Penfield later this month. The Buck Creek Tractor Pull will be held in Penfield on August 24th. Spokesperson  Ryan Musson says several classes will pull at the event...




Buck Creek Tractor Pull Event Spokesperson Ryan Musson


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois legislation designed to ensure ride-share drivers undergo adequate background checks is now law.A statement from Illinois Senate Democrats says it took effect Tuesday. It requires that those applying to be ride-share drivers provide their full name and social security number, as well as their date of birth.The statement says that before the new law prospective drivers were only required to give their address, age, driver's license number, motor vehicle registration and automobile insurance liability.


(Washington--jc)  The first survey based crop forecast is set to come out on Friday. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey says the information might be closer to what the final harvest will be as crops are further along this year…



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey

(Springfield--jc)  -- The 20-18 Illinois State Fair begins today at the grounds in Springfield.  Free Entertainment, grandstand concerts, conservation work to harness racing, livestock show, and fair food, hilite the annual event. State Fair Manager Luke Sailer says officials associated with the fair try to keep the event affordable for families…



Illinois State Fair Manager Luke Sailer.




Wednesday August 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Eight former Illinois workers are suing Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration, alleging they lost their jobs for political reasons.The workers were laid off from the Illinois Department of Transportation. The governor's administration last year said the layoffs were partly a case of "cleaning up past hiring mistakes and personnel practices. Rauner said the employees were illegally hired patronage workers under previous Democratic governors.The lawsuit filed in federal court Friday argues that the layoffs were part of a deliberate "attempt to deprive the plaintiffs of their employment in retaliation for not being supporters of Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Republican Party. The eight were moved to a different department and  eventually laid off.


WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — The Libertarian candidate for Illinois governor, who's campaigned against the state's child-support system, engaged in a shouting match with a judge about money he owes his ex-wife and access to child visitation. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports Grayson Jackson balked at scheduling a meeting with his daughter at a neutral family visitation center.


(Danville-jc)  -- Two semi drivers were injured in a two vehicle accident early Tuesday morning. Police say 63 year old Donald Hendershot of Gospart Indiana lost control of his rig just before 5 am yesterday and his vehicle struck the rear of a second semi driven by 67 year old Simone Certain of Newton Iowa. Hendershots semi rolled over and  Certains ended in the east side ditch. Both were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.


(Washington-jc)  -- What’s the outlook for soybeans? U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brady Rippy provides some details…




(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Village leaders are in the process of crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on sell documents for the three hanger properties and the A T and T call center. All three properties are located on the former the former Chanute Air Force base in the village. Still to go in the process is approval from the Rantoul Village board and publishing the selling of the properties in the federal register. A California group has agreed to buy the three hangers and the call center for just over 5 point 5 million dollars. These are the final deeds from the process that started with the closure of Chanute Air Force Base in 1993.


(Springfield-- ab) -- Advocates are urging the governor to sign legislation creating the Illinois council on women and girls into law.State Representative Anna Moeller of Elgin says the establishment of the council will ensure that women’s voices are heard and influence policies and legislation...



State Representative Anna Moeller of Elgin



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois will receive more than $15 million in federal money to construct an electric transmission line in southern Illinois. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday the $15.3 grant for Illinois is part of nearly $350 million in 20 rural electric projects in 14 states. The Illinois project allows Marion-based Southern Illinois Power Cooperative to install 21 miles of transmission line from the Marion Power Plant to a new substation in Carrier Mills.


(Rantoul--jc) The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a “Paint Like Me” Party next month.  Officials with the local chamber say the event is set for September 21st at the Recreation building on East Flessner. The cost for those interested is 30 dollars.


(Paxton--jc) It was not a lightning strike on a person in Paxton on Monday night. With the severe weather on Monday evening throughout the area, several reports of damage were provided. Reports on a person being struck by lightning was actually a very close lightning strike and a person at Monical’s Pizza felt a tingle in his arm when he touched a door. Emergency officials provided care for the man. The amount of lightning strikes did cause some damage to that area of Paxton.


NANYANG, China (AP) — Christians across China have seen their churches raided and their Bibles confiscated amid the atheist ruling Communist Party's ambitious new effort to dictate _ and in some cases displace _ the practice of faith. Some have lost their jobs or faced evictions as President Xi Jinping pushes a campaign to lend "Chinese characteristics" to a religion traditionally aligned with Western democracy.



(Undated--jc) Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs is honoring purple heart recipients. The purple heart is awarded to any member of the U-S Armed Forces who has been wounded or killed in combat. Veteran’s Affairs Director Stephen Curda was at an event in Springfield on Tuesday and thanked approximately 5 thousand heroes…



Veterans Affairs Director Stephen Curda

A purple heart memorial was built at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield several years ago.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Bicentennial will be on full display this weekend _ for free. The Illinois State Museum will participate in the Illinois Office of Tourism's Doors Open Illinois program. Admission will be free on Aug. 11-12 for the new exhibition "Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection." The exhibit celebrates the Prairie State's 200th birthday and features rare and rarely seen artifacts from the museum's collection of more than 13 million items.


(Springfield--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a law that puts the state in charge of regulating drones, overriding municipal regulations in towns that had them. The governor signed Senate Bill 32-91  making the state the regulator of drones, also known as unmanned aircraft. The law, effective immediately, says the regulation of an unmanned aircraft system is an exclusive power and function of the state. No unit of local government, including home rule unit, may enact an ordinance or resolution to regulate unmanned aircraft systems.


(Chicago--jc)  --The price tag for parents to send their kids back to school this year is estimated at more than 500 dollars. The back-to-school shopping list seems to grow every year, and never seems to get any cheaper. Liz Verrill, an audit partner with accounting and consulting firm Deloitte, said a new survey puts the back-to-school price tag at about 510 dollars per family this year. The total in the country is 28 Billion dollars.


(Washing.ton--jc)  -- What is the latest look at the nation’s corn crop. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey has the details…



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey.


(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois ranked 28th in C-N-B-C's annual list of "America's Top States for Business," far behind other states in the Midwest. C-N-B-C’s scorecard on state economic climate ranked states on competitiveness to show their ability to attract businesses. The list has both Republican-model and Democrat-model success stories at, or near, the top. But even highlighting its strengths, Illinois was in the bottom half of the rankings.The comprehensive ranking of states is based on their ability to lure and retain businesses. It used more than 60 metrics to compare the states against each other. The most important were workforce, infrastructure, and cost of doing business.


(Bloomington--jc)  -- One local Illinois State Senator says the Russia-election hacking probe is being made into a political issue. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says both Republicans and Democrats in Springfield were already working on ways to protect the election process in the state when information was released on Russia hacking in elections. Barickman says Democrats are trying to use the issue against Republicans…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington


(Undated--jc)  --Illinoisans are heading for the door more than nearly any other state, according to a report on how many households are using moving services to leave.Stevens Worldwide Van Lines’ annual long-distance moving study found Illinois had more than twice the number of households moving out of state than moving in. Using data from the American Moving and Storage Association’s database of more than 150,000 out-of-state relocations in 2017, Illinois was the only state that saw more than twice the households leave than arrive, posting 14,147 departures and 6,833 arrivals.The figures don’t include families that use a U-Haul or other methods to move their possessions.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Ford County leaders may address setbacks for wind farms when they meet next week. The Ford County Zoning committee on Tuesday rejected a 15 hundred feet setback for windmills to structures, but then approved a 2 thousand 250 feet setback recommendation. The next step is consideration by the Ford County Zoning board and County planning commission. The full county board could get the issue sometime in the near future.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- A health fair is coming to one nursing home center in Rantoul. The Villas of Holly Brook are hosting the health fair on saturday from 11am until 2pm. Giveaways, free blood pressure checks and free food hilite the event on Saturday at the Villas of Holly Brook in Rantoul


(Buckley--jc)  The St John’s Lutheran Church of Buckley Ladies Aid group has a delicious way to enjoy great food and fellowship on Sunday. The group is hosting an ice cream social complete with sandwiches, ice cream and desserts. Money raised from the Sunday mid day event will help with the Christian groups efforts at the local church.



Tuesday August 7 2018

A tornado touch down, a building losing its roof, a tree on top of a house to tree thatching, occurred with last nights storms that moved at a quick pace throughout East Central Illinois. National Weather Service officials reported the tornado touchdown near Thomasboro in Champaign County. In Paxton the roof of a building along Vermilion Street was torn off by winds. Also a house on Washington was damaged by a fallen tree.  Flooding occurred in Rantoul in several areas including the viaduct along route 136 in the center of town. Several hundred homes were without power due to the storms in the Rantoul, Potomac and Gifford areas. Tree issues were also reported in Rankin, and from Champaign to Danville along the I-74 corridor. Flash flood warnings were also issued for low lying areas throughout the area. Channel 3 also reported over 1 thousand 3 hundred lightning strikes last night as of 11pm


MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 6, 2018  -- Legal Expense Solutions is now advocating for farmers across the country to reduce fees paid to attorneys in the corn seed settlement.  Law firms will be receiving hundreds of millions in fees on the Corn Seed Settlement that was reached with Syngenta. Legal Expense Solutions argues some of the fees may be excessive, unnecessary and unethical.   Tens of thousands of farmers have retained their own attorneys. Hundreds of thousands more are represented by a consortium of law firms in the class action. The settlement requires that no claimant will receive more money per acre/bushel than any other for at least one year.  Individual attorneys have retained some farmers at fees of 40% or more of the farmer's recovery. A federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a $1.51 Billion settlement between the class and Syngenta.




(Paxton---ab) One Local school board  is having their regularly scheduled meeting on August 8th. Paxton Buckley Loda school district will have their 2019 fiscal year budget on display and hear updates on the renovation projects at Clara Peterson School and Paxton Buckley Loda High School The meeting comes to order at 7 tomorrow evening.



(Bloomington--jc)  One local state senator says his job for the constituents in his district is to keep pushing for reforms, lower taxes and to help manage the budget. 53rd district State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says his job is to keep moving the positives forward for those in in the 53rd district and Illinois…



53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington


(Cissna Park--jc)  -- It’s reading with royalty tomorrow in Cissna Park. The Cissna Park News reports that Iroquois County Fair Queen Lyndsey Neukomm will participate with Pre-K to 3rd graders at the Cissna Park Community Library from 10 until 11am on Wednesday. Crafts and snacks will also be provided. Those wanting to attend the free event are asked to call the library at 815-457-2452.


DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — The foundation of Macon County Sheriff Howard Buffett says it's making an "unprecedented investment" in Decatur. The announcement involves community health and will be made Wednesday. No other details were released Monday. Buffett is the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has helped the foundation by giving stock from his company, Berkshire Hathaway.



NORMAL — The final days of summer break typically include shopping for school supplies and soaking up a few more trips to the pool. DeAnn Thompson of Normal has one more task on her back-to-school list: prayer. The Pantagraph reports that for two decades, hundreds of students, parents, community members, school staff members and retired teachers have come together at Eastview for an evening of prayer over Twin City schools. That event is set for 7 tonight  at the Foundry of Eastview Christian Church along Airport road in Normal.


(Paxton--jc)  Concrete work and plumbing is almost complete for the Clara Petersen Building project for the Paxton Buckley Loda School district. P-B-L Superintendent Cliff McClure says the site will be moving upward soon…


P-B-L Superintendent Cliff McClure



CHAMPAIGN (N-G)  Could some venues in the city of Champaign serve alcohol in the morning hours. Tonight Champaign City council members will vote on a an ordinance that prohibits restaurants from serving alcohol outdoors before 11 in the morning on Saturdays and noon on Sundays A proposed change would be to allow permitted outdoor patio establishments to serve alcoholic drinks as soon as they open.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn progress is surging ahead as we hear in the weekly crop report. 81 percent of the corn is in the dough stage and 21 percent is in the dent stage. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says soybeans are also progressing…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Schleusener says 25 percent of sorghum is turning color and the third cutting of alfalfa is nearly 60 percent complete.



Hoopeston -- ab) Hoopeston is having its National Night out today from 4 PM to 7 PM in the front of the Lorraine Theater. The Lorraine theater will be selling raffle tickets for the chance to win Cubs vs. Cardinals tickets for the September 29th game. Another raffle gives you the chance to win tickets to an Elvis Impersonator show on the 25th of August. There will be plenty to do including Corn hole, a dunk tank, and a bounce house. There will be ice cream, Sno cones, hot dogs and other food items from vendors.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



(Springfield-jc)  -- Illinois’ horse racing industry is making a move to add a type of video gambling at its tracks.The idea is called “historical horse racing” and it allows gamblers to bet on random past races without knowing the names of the horses or which race it was. Opponents say it would equate to having slot machines. Proponents say it is just another form of horse racing. Illinois Racing Board Executive Director Domenic DiCera said “HHR” is a move to compete since the tracks have been cut out of slots and other gaming..


(Paxton--jc)  -- Summer means warmer weather and also things like mosquitos. Along with the pesky bugs comes things like West Nile Virus. Ford County Public Health Department.s Christie Wallace says there are different types of mosquitoes…

Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Christie Wallace


(Undated--jc)  - In the past year, grocery stores in Clinton, Moline, Effingham, Farmer City, Fisher, Kankakee and several Chicago suburbs have closed and two more in central Illinois are slated to close by the end of this month.Two Kroger grocery stores are slated to close later this month, one in Decatur and another in Lincoln. Company officials said those stores were not expected to return to profitability. Illinois Retail Merchants Association President Rob Karr says one reason for the trend is that people tend to eat out more and one other is that grocery stores live on the narrowest margins. Karr adds that the local and state government also has a impact on the grocery business in the state.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The newly appointed leader of Southern Illinois University says he wants to heal divisions following the polarizing tenure of the school system's former president. The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports that interim President J. Kevin Dorsey sees a big task ahead of him after taking over for Randy Dunn, whose last day was in July. Public trust in Dunn evaporated after internal documents revealed he worked to split the system's two campuses and reallocate millions in funding.


(Springfield--jc)  -- 95 percent of soybeans are blooming and 84 percent are setting pods as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 81 percent of the corn is in the dough stage…


State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Schleusener adds that average statewide topsoil moisture is 8 percent very short,31 percent short 59 percent adequate and two percent surplus


(PESOTUM--ab) The Illinois State Police announce the use of Roadside safety checks. ISP District 10 commander, Captain Louis Kink announced that they will be conducting roadside safety checks in Champaign County during the month of August. Officers working these roadside checks will be watching closely for the following: Driving Under the Influence, Safety Belt and Child Restraint uses, Speeding, Distracted Driving and other Illinois vehicle code and criminal violations.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Architects dominate the list of top Illinois Artists and Architects in the latest Illinois top 200 poll. Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan were among the top ten on the list chosen by voters says Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills…



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills



(Washington--jc)  What are the export trends for the first 9 months of the fiscal year for ag goods. U-S-D-A Economist Bryce Cooke says some are down…



U-S-D-A Economist Bryce Cooke



(Gibson City--jc)  -- One local service club has a golf cart event on Saturday in Ford County.  The Corn Belt Shrine Club in Gibson City is hosting “Friends of the Shriners Golf Cart Run” at 2 this Saturday in Gibson City. The event starts at the home of Greg Houtzel and ends at Sammers. The run goes around the city and concludes with a dinner. The fundraiser costs 70 dollars per couple  Proceeds benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children.



Monday August 6 2018

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that a woman who was injured after tripping on a poorly maintained sidewalk can move forward with a lawsuit against the city of Danville. The  state's high court ruled 7-0 last week that the city of Danville was not immune from liability, as the city had argued. Lower courts had sided with the city, finding that the municipality was protected by a state law intended to shield government from the actions of their employees.



HOOPESTON, Ill. (AP) — Teachers in Hoopeston schools are learning how to take care of themselves so they can take care of their students. All 220 Hoopeston school staff members this month will attend one-day wellness and self-care training based on "The Happiness Advantage" by Shawn Achor. Hoopeston schools Superintendent Suzi Hesser says teachers "can't give from an empty well." She says the training ensures their "buckets are full" so they can help pupils. The program is funded through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. The commission has a seven-year grant to improve post-high school achievement.

The grant also provides $35,000 a year for seven years to finance a Hoopeston social worker.  Hoopeston will have a social worker at each of the elementary, middle and high school buildings.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois  marked its first Barack Obama Day. A law signed last year made August 4th 4 a day to honor of the 44th president. Saturday was Obama's 57th birthday. Obama was born in Hawaii but began his career as a community organizer in Chicago. He served in the state Senate and U.S. Senate before winning the White House in 2009.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for archery hunting on private property. More than 120 heer hunting sites are available. D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross says hunters need to get their applications in by August 24th to be eligible for the I-Rap program…



D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois children must ride in rear-facing child-restraint seats in automobiles until age 2 under a law Gov. Bruce Rauner signed. The Republican OK'd the measure for small backseat passengers Friday. Rear-facing restraints are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children taller than 40 inches or weighing more than 40 pounds are exempt.



ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is reviewing legislation that would test feeding the state's deer, which some say could help the animals better fight off illnesses while others argue could spread disease.The bill under review would launch a five-year experiment to test how feeding Illinois deer affects the wild herd's health. The study would lift the 15-year-old rule that makes it illegal to feed deer. Dr. Clifford Shipley, a newly retired University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine professor, said the study's feed formula would help deer thrive. If approved, the experiment could be done locally in Champaign County. Brent Manning, former director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, stated that this would be the biggest wildlife bungle the General Assembly could possibly make.


(Clinton--jc)  --Exelon has made a generous donation to the DeWitt County Museum Association. The money will be used to provide the free musical entertainment during the 50th Annual Apple ‘n Pork Festival which will take place September 29 & 30 at the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum.  There are other 2018 festival-related sponsorship opportunities available. Any business, organization, or individual interested in sponsoring a special festival attraction is encouraged to contact the museum at 217-935-6066.



(Watseka--jc)  -- Immunizations gives parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before they turn 2 years old. To recognize the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives – and to make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need – the Iroquois County Public Health Department is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month.

“Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness, and of having a severe case,” said Vonda Pruitt, Director of Nursing at the health department. “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious diseases.” Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, and chickenpox.



(Paxton--jc)  Its official the First National Bank in Paxton and the Cissna Park State Bank are now under a new name. The two local financial institutions were connected through a banking corporation. Now the two are under the same business. The new name is The Frederick Community Bank of Paxton and Cissna Park. the new signs around the two banks were installed last week



(Paxton--jc)  Summer Motor Fuel Tax dollar projects are in the final stages for several streets in the city of Paxton.  One block resurfacing on Center, State and Summer Streets are getting their final touches. Work is expected to be completed very soon and city officials remind the motoring public to be extra careful in road work zone areas.


(Rantoul--jc)  One local Christian organization is set for its annual fundraiser banquet later this month. The “Jesus is the Way” Prison Ministry, based in Rantoul, has the banquet on Friday August 24 from 6 to 8pm at the Laborers International Union facility  along Anthony Drive in Urbana. This year’s theme is “Circle of Love.” Those wanting more information may call the Jesus is the Way prison ministry in Rantoul.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has rejected legislation that would prohibit retailers from charging fees on rebate cards. The Republican vetoed the measure Friday. It would have banned merchants and banks that issue rebate cards to consumers from charging maintenance or dormancy fees. Chicago Democratic Sen. Cristina Castro of Elgin sponsored the bill. She says Rauner sided with "big banks" over consumers. She says a rebate promised at a certain level should not be reduced by fees.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has begun accepting applications for grants to acquire land for open space and recreation.Officials are accepting requests from local governments for the state-administered Open Space Land Acquisition and Development fund. OSLAD provides state money to municipalities to purchase and develop land for public outdoor recreation. It is a matching program that provides advance payment of half the grant award for development projects. It's funded through part of the state's Real Estate Transfer Tax.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The 20-18 Illinois State Fair by the numbers: 160. 200. 30 million. 4. And 1 "Crazy Mouse." The state fair kicks off Thursday, the 160th edition, amid the backdrop of the Prairie State's 200th birthday.After years of fairgrounds deterioration exacerbated by a political deadlock that left the state without a budget for two straight years, there's $30 million available this year for improvements — the roads have already been repaved State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield says the state fair is what Illinois is all about.



State Representative Tim Butler

And to celebrate, the fair is offering a 20 percent drop in the price of a beer, to $4. The fair runs through Aug. 19 and admission is unchanged at $10 except for Thursday's Preview Day, Agriculture Day on Aug. 14 and Family Day on Aug. 19, when $5 gets you in the gate.The "Crazy Mouse" is the state fair midway's first-ever roller coaster.



(Urbana--jc)  -- Experimental Aircraft Association is bringing the first-ever mass produced airliner to Urbana this month.The Ford Tri-Motor 5-A-T flew its first flight in December, 1928 and calls the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton, Ohio home today.  Today, E-A-A and the Liberty Aviation Museum work together to showcase the historic aircraft around the country for all to enjoy The event is set for August 16th through the 19th at Frasca Field just north of Urbana. More information is found on their facebook page.


(Springfield--jc)  -- High school students will be heading back to school this month. They will also be learning more about handling sexual harassment. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the measure into law. State Representative Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego sponsored the measure and says students from her district suggested adding new topics to the current sex-Ed curriculum…



State Representative Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego


BLOOMINGTON — A former Bloomington nurse was sentenced to four years in prison Friday for what a prosecutor termed a "cold, calculated" crime that involved stealing opioid patches from two terminally ill nursing home residents in McLean County  Judge Casey Costigan handed down the sentence to 31 year old James Rellihan. The judge also recommended drug treatment for Rellihan in the Department of Corrections but denied a request for boot camp.



(Paxton--jc)  Wind farms will be the topic for a Ford County committee on Tuesday morning. The committee will be addressing proposed changes to the counties ordinances regulating wind farms in Ford County. Wind tower setbacks is the main topic for the meeting. The meeting is set for 10 Tuesday morning in the small courtroom of the Ford County courthouse in Paxton.


(Gibson City--jc)  The Gibson City American Legion is the venue for a benefit for the family of a  Ford County man who died in a house fire in May of this year. The Saturday benefit is for the Jeremy “Hillbilly” Turner family starting at 5 with  a dinner and silent auction. Music and raffles also hilite the fundraiser. The family home was a total loss in the May 8th fire.



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