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WPXN Blog Archives for 2018-09

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Those who want to get a jump on the November election need not wait. Early voting in Illinois began yesterday across the state. But voters will have to visit their county clerk's office or the office of their local election authority to do so. Those who aren't registered to vote may join the rolls at the time they cast their ballot. Online voter registration is also available through the Illinois State Board of Elections through Oct. 21.The Nov. 6 election features races for governor and lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller, treasurer, and seats in the state House and Senate and in Congress. According to the State Board of Elections, 1.4 million voters cast early ballots in 2016, a presidential election year. Two years before, there were 497,000 early voters.


BLOOMINGTON — A father held in contempt of court for refusing for attend child custody hearings in McLean County was sentenced to six months in jail Thursday. The Pantagraph reports that  Michael Cadena's sentence is the maximum penalty for the direct criminal contempt of court issued by Associate Judge Lee Ann Hill for his failure to comply with multiple court orders to return to Illinois for hearings on his 2014 petition for custody of his 4-year-old son, Michael Cadena Jr.



Attorney General Lisa Madigan is announcing a 148 million dollar nationwide settlement with Uber over a 2016 data breach. The case stems from hackers accessing personal information about approximately 600 thousand Uber drivers. Attorney General Madigan says the company didn’t report it for more than a year.



The state will get eight and a half million dollars in the settlement…and affected Uber drivers in Illinois will each get 100 dollars.



(Springfield--ab)The unemployment rate fell in nearly all the state’s metro areas last month. 13 of the 14 metro areas saw a decrease in the August jobless rate compared to one ago says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.



10 metro areas added jobs over the year with the largest increases seen in Kankakee…Champaign/Urbana, the Quad Cities, Rockford and the Chicago area.


(Rantoul--ab) Retired Air Force instructor Larry Snider teaches basic electronics Mondays, October 1-29, from 1:00-5:00 pm at the Rantoul Public Library. Get hands-on experience with electrical components while learning theory. Paced to your ability with a lot of one-on-one training. Teens and up welcome. Great for home-schooled teens. For more information call the Rantoul Public Library at 217-893-3955.



(Paxton--ab) The harvest continues with farmers getting back into the fields after early week rains. Moisture and volume, the two factors for crops are rated at the local elevator. Ludlow Coop Manager  Paul Seaman says its a low moisture year and a varying volume year...



Ludlow Coop Manager Paul Seaman


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Leaders of the state's major political parties are embracing a report's recommendations to end sexual harassment in Illinois government. The Illinois Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel issued the report Wednesday. It suggests that parties help elect more women to public office, only fund campaigns with strict anti-harassment policies, set up an independent process to investigate complaints and more



(Springfield--jc)  -- Democrats and unions renewed a push to require local school districts to pay a minimum salary for starting teachers ahead of the fall veto session despite a new funding formula injecting $350 million of new money for Illinois’ public schools. Senate Bill 2892 would circumvent local school boards’ decisions on contracts for teachers by making the minimum teacher wage $40,000 a year. With the backing of the Illinois School Management Alliance, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the measure earlier this year. He said it was an unfunded mandate.State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, urged for an override at a news conference outside of the Illinois Education Association this week Consumer finance research group WalletHub reported Illinois currently is the fourth best state in the country for teachers.


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



(Undated--jc)  -- The controversy over sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spilled into governor's races across the country as the woman at the center of the claims told her story to a riveted nation. In Illinois, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said earlier this month that there should be an investigation and the allegations, if true, should disqualify Kavanaugh. He did not specify whether he thought the Senate inquiry was sufficient or whether the FBI should investigate. Rauner's spokesman said the governor was traveling Thursday and did not watch Ford's testimony. His Democratic challenger, J.B. Pritzker, criticized Rauner's response. Pritzker said the governor continues to support Trump and Kavanaugh. Pritzker says he opposes Kavanaugh  because the judge poses a grave threat to Roe v. Wade, the Affordable Care Act, and critical consumer and environmental issues.


(Urbana--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was in Urbana on Thursday to help welcome the new Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory. The state of the art facility is another key to keeping the University of Illinois at the top for research. Governor Rauner said it was another good day bringing a promising future for the U of I and local area…


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


(McLean County--jc)  The McLean County Landfill is expected to reach capacity and close this weekend. County and EPA Officials have been monitoring the landfill for several years. Starting next week, waste collected in McLean County will be taken to Livingston County. The McLean county landfilled will be capped with soil and monitored for 30 years General Manager of Republic Services in West Central Illinois Dan Winters says  he does not estimate the cost of waste removal will increase in McLean County, outside of annual inflation adjustments.



WEST FRANKFORT, Ill. (AP) — A closed private college's lawyer says part of a political memorabilia collection from the late southern Illinois Congressman Ken Gray is missing. Gray's widow gave the collection two years ago to Morthland College in West Frankfort. School attorney Aaron Hopkins says the building storing the collection was broken into earlier this year, but he didn't know what was taken.


(Bloomington--jc)  One member of the Illinois Soybean Growers Association met Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Illinois Soybean Growers director of Market Development Mart Albertson says the Illinois based farmers group was honored to talk with the Cuban leader. Albertson says Illinois has been working on opening doors with Cuba since 2012. Last year the U-S exported 50 million dollars of soy to Cuba..


(Champaign--jc)  -- September will finish with hotter than normal temperatures and above average rainfall. State Climatologist Jim Angel says the outlook for the last several days of the month and the start of October is cooler temps and some precipitation..



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



(Undated--jc)  --Early voting is upon us in Illinois. Mail-in ballots are free to fly. But don’t dare take a picture of your vote.Snapping a photo of your filled-in ballot and posting it on Facebook or Instagram is technically a Class 4 felony in Illinois, which comes with a prison sentence of one to three years. According to the Illinois Election Code, anyone who “knowingly” casts his or her ballot in a way that “can be observed by another person” is breaking the law.


(Washington--jc)  What information was provided in the latest U-S-D-A quarterly hogs and pigs report. U-S-D-A Livestock Analyst Shayle Shagam provides the numbers…



U-S-D-A Livestock Analyst Shayle Shagam.



(Paxton--jc)  Carmen Gronewold and Tom Meents are now in the Paxton Buckley Loda Hall of Fame. Gronewold was a 1975 graduate of Buckley Loda High School that has devoted her life to a Christian Ministry. Meents is a 1985 Paxton High School graduate who played on the Mustangs State final football team and is an 11 time champion of the Monster Jam Tour. Also last night. The Paxton Buckley Loda Homecoming Queen is Mikayla Jones and the Homecoming King is Tim Hewerdine.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics Thursday announced a gift of $3.1 million from Illinois alumnus and agriculture businessman, Greg Heckman. Heckman's gift pledges $3 million toward the completion of the Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center, which will feature the naming of the main entrance as the Heckman Lobby. The additional $100,000 will be dedicated to student-athlete scholarships through the I FUND. The gift officially helps the DIA reach its announced fundraising goal of $30 million for the football project, bringing the total announced pledges to $31.175 million. Despite meeting the $30 million mark, fundraising will continue for the $79.2 million project.  



(Paxton--jc)  Do you like history?  The Ford County Historical Society’s Water Tower Museum in Paxton is open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those attending the local museum will see the history of the 102nd county in the state. The museum is located behind Paxton City Hall in downtown Paxton. There  is no charge for admission to the museum.


$47 Million Project to Rebuild the Interstate 80-U.S. 30 Interchange Announced

NEW LENOX — Gov. Bruce Rauner joined Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn and local officials Wednesday to announce the start of a $47 million project to rebuild the Interstate 80-U.S. 30 interchange. The new interchange will provide congestion relief, improve safety and enhance traffic flow in a critical freight and jobs corridor for the state. The Illinois Department of Transportation project will extend a third lane in each direction on I-80 from approximately Interstate 355 through the U.S. 30 interchange. The bridges carrying I-80 over U.S. 30, Metra’s Rock Island District Line and Hickory Creek will be rebuilt.


(Pesotum--ab) The Champaign county Sheriff's office has some information for the public headed to the Luke Bryan Farm tour show on Friday in Pesotum. No Buses or motorhomes will be allowed to park in the parking lot. All vehicles left overnight will be towed away. In The concert venue Chairs and Blankets are allowed in the designated areas, No coolers will be allowed, No backpacks will be allowed, No outside food or drink will be allowed on the premises, No fireworks or weapon of any kind, No Animals other than service animals, No video cameras or professional camera lenses, No re-entry allowed, No Glass containers allowed, and tickets must be presented for access to the parking lots.


CHICAGO (AP) — Following years of reformulating at McDonald's, most of the burgers it serves in the U.S. are now preservative-free. As of Wednesday, the world's largest burger chain says classics like the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese are preservative-free, with reformulated buns and sauces. Pickles on the sandwiches still contain artificial preservatives, but customers can request sandwiches without pickles. McDonald's has been gradually removing preservatives from its menu for several years in an effort to appeal to more health-conscious buyers. In 2016, it removed high-fructose corn syrup from its buns and took artificial preservatives out of its Chicken McNuggets.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Several car seat safety checks are being held around the state this weekend. It’s estimated four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly says Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Jessi Hopkins…


Illinois Department of Transportation spokesperson Jessi Hopkins.

Visit  Buckle-up-Illinois-Dot-Org to find a car seat safety check near you.



(Gibson City--ab) Due to Gibson City police officers helping with Gibson City- Melvin Sibley homecoming events, the Gibson City Police Department Range will not be open today.



CHICAGO – State Representative. Bob Rita will bring together two House committees for legislative hearings aimed at bringing gaming expansion and broad economic opportunity to Illinois. Rita, a Democrat from Blue Island, has been the House Democrats’ point person on gaming issues since spring 2013. He has proposed several bills on gaming expansion, including a large amendment to Senate Bill 7 that combined new casinos, race tracks and slot machines. The issue did not receive enough support by the end of the Spring legislative session that ended in May. The next  committee meeting on the issue is set for Wednesday, Oct. 17th at the Capitol in Springfield.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Three women in Illinois government who are studying sexual harassment and gender equity say a solution would be to elect women to half of all political offices in the state. The Illinois Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel issued a report Wednesday recommending measures for political parties to combat sexual harassment and make politics fairer for women.


(Thomasboro--jc)  -- State police say a Rantoul resident was injured in a two vehicle accident along Route 45 near Thomasboro Wednesday afternoon. Two Rantoul residents were injured and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Police say driver one was attempting to cross Route 45 and was struck by the second vehicle going south. Driver one was not injured, but was cited for failure to yield at a stop sign.


(Urbana--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is set to help a research lab at the University of Illinois this afternoon. The governor will help with the ribbon cutting on the new Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory at 3pm. University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones and U of I President Tim Killeen along with local State Senator Chapin Rose are also expected to attend the event.



(Kankakee--jc)  In a release to media, Kankakee Meg agents say an arrest was made late Tuesday night on a Kankakee man on an unlawful use of a weapon by a felon charge. Arrested in the incident was 22 year old Emil France. France was taken to the Jerome Combs Detention Center.



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



(Springfield--jc)  This weekend is the last opportunity for Illinoisans to avoid paying sales taxes while shopping online, even though the practice has technically been illegal for years. Tucked away in one of Illinois’ 2019 budget bills was a requirement that out of state businesses selling Illinoisans goods will have to tack a 6.25 percent sales tax on to purchases starting Monday. Sellers with a physical presence in Illinois, like Amazon, have been doing this for years, but this year’s Supreme Court case South Dakota v. Wayfair says online purchases are subject to the destination’s state tax even if there’s no building within state lines according to  Carol Portman of the Taxpayers Federation of Illinois.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Rural areas and small towns in Illinois are seeing expanded Medicaid coverage. Mary Ann Schuermann reports…




(Paxton--jc)  -- One from Paxton and another from Buckley. One was a Mustang and the other a Rocket. Two former students in the Paxton-Buckley Loda School system are set to be inducted into the P-B-L Hall of Fame later today.  Carmen Gronewold grew up in Buckley as was a 1975 graduate of Buckley-Loda High school. Gronewold has devoted her life to Christian based work. Organizations like Hosana National Team and Rainbow of Promise work with the Lutheran Church with various Christian ministries. Since 1996, Gronewold has been serving as the North America associate director for Peace Rehabilitation Center.

Tom Meents graduated Paxton High School in 1985. Meents played on the Paxton Mustangs football team that finished runner up in the state in 1984. Meents got involved with the Monster Truck series and has been one of the most successful drivers in the series. Tom has won 6 world championships and 5 free style championships during his career with the Monster Truck series. His career started in 1993. Gronewold had prior commitments and will not be attending this weekend’s festivities. Meents is set to address the high school this afternoon and will participate in tonight’s 6 pm Homecoming parade.


CHICAGO (AP) — Uber has agreed to pay $148 million and take steps to tighten data security after the ride-hailing company failed for a year to notify drivers that hackers had stolen their personal information, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Wednesday. Uber Technologies Inc. and all 50 states and the District of Columbia reached the settlement after a massive data breach in 2016 that went unreported for a year.


(Washington--jc)  - Producers in parts of the nation’s midsection could see a frost and freeze event. Gary Crawford has the details…



(Gibson City--jc)  -- Gibson City Rotary Club says it’s ‘time to play.’ The local Ford County service group has completed work at North Park in Gibson City. The club is inviting the community to a celebration event on Sunday October 7th from 1 til 3pm. In addition to the park toys, the event also features ice cream popcorn, water, face painting and barrel train rides for the little ones.



(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Chamber officials are looking at another space for the chamber office. The Rantoul area Chamber of  Commerce has been located in the downtown area of the village for a couple of years, before that the chamber had an office in the Rantoul Business Center. The former Matthews Building was also a location for the local chamber. Chamber leaders are just seeking options as it looks at the best position for the local chamber to serve all its members.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Watch your mailbox, Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerich’s office is sending out 12 million dollars worth of checks to some Illinois taxpayers. The money has been sitting as unclaimed property. The money belongs to thousands of Illinoisans. Treasurer Frerichs says that’s why they launched the money match program…



Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs.


(Paxton--jc)  -- One local Thrift shop has its semi-annual bag sale going on now through Saturday at noon. The Paxton Thrift Shop has a 75 cent per bag offer today. Saturday is listed as a surprise. The Paxton Thrift Shop is open from 10am until 4pm Wednesday through Friday and Saturday from 10am until noon.



(Champaign--jc)  -- The month of September has seen warmer than normal temperatures. State Climatologist Jim Angel says its not a recording setting month, but warmer than normal…



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



(Rantoul--jc)  Paxton Buckley Loda and Gibson City Melvin Sibley schools are celebrating homecoming events this week. At Rantoul Township High School the annual homecoming parade takes place at 4 on Friday afternoon. The 2018 Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at an assembly just before 3 on Friday. The Rantoul F F A is hosting a tailgate party and the Rantoul Eagle football team host I-V-C on Friday night. The Rantoul High School cafetorium is the setting for the homecoming dance on Saturday night.


Illinois Man Charged with Conspiracy to Interfere with Commerce by Threats and Violence Pleads Guilty  

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — One of four Illinois men charged with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats and violence has pleaded guilty to the charges. Ellis Mack of Clarence also pleaded guilty Tuesday to unlawful possession of a machine gun before U..S. Magistrate Judge Eric Long in Urbana. Long set the 18-year-old Mack's sentencing for Jan. 9 before U.S. District Court Judge Sara Darrow. As part of his plea agreement, Mack agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their cases against the other alleged members of the Patriot Freedom Fighters, Michael Hari, Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris. Prosecutors allege the four conspired to rob or attempt to rob Walmart stores, and attempted to extort Canadian National Railway by threatening to damage tracks if the railroad didn't pay ransom. The 47-year-old Hari, 29-year-old McWhorter and 23-year-old Morris are charged in Minnesota with the August 2017 bombing of the Dar al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. No one was injured.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois campus senate is backing a Native American tribe's stance that the school's longtime Chief Illiniwek mascot is a degrading racial stereotype.The Academic Senate approved a resolution in a near-unanimous vote this week supporting the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma's statement against any use of the chief as a symbol or mascot.University officials dropped the portrayal in 2007, but professor Jay Rosenstein says  that the tribe's statement calling it a harmful stereotype is important. Resolution sponsors said the Peoria tribe is the only one recognized by the federal government that includes descendants of the Illinois Indians who once lived in the Urbana-Champaign area.

A recent university report suggested adopting a new sports mascot. Chancellor Robert Jones told the senate that Chief Illiniwek won't return.


(Thawville--ab) Harvest in the Onarga, Thawville and Gilman areas was going quickly, until the rain over the past several days. Thawville farmer John Hildebrand says the crops are what was expected...



Thawville area farmer John Hildebrand


(Springfield--ab) This is National Child Passenger Safety Week and Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding families about a new car seat law taking effect in January. The law requires kids to be in a rear-facing car seat up until the age of two. After that, they need to be in a seat recommended for their size and weight…up until they are eight years old says Secretary White.


Secretary of State Jesse White

White says many car seats are not installed properly. Many hospitals, local state offices and police and fire stations hold car seat safety checks for parents.


CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Chinese citizen in Chicago has been arrested for allegedly spying, including by helping recruit U.S. engineers, defense contractors and scientists for intelligence services in China. Twenty-seven-year-old Ji Chaoqun has been charged with one count of knowingly acting in the U.S. as an agent of a foreign government without prior notification of the attorney general. He's accused of working at the direction of intelligence officials with the People's Republic of China.


(Bloomington--jc)  -- Frontier is now flying again at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. The airline started new flights to Denver this week and coming in early October, Frontier will have non-stop flights to Orlando Florida.  10 AM flights on Tuesdays Thursday and Sundays to Orlando. Central Illinois Regional Airport continues to have nonstop flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and more.


MARKHAM, Ill. (AP) — A man previously barred from a mayoral post in suburban Chicago has been sworn in as a result of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's intervention on his behalf.Roger Agpawa was the top vote-getter in Markham's 2017 mayoral race. However, an Illinois appeals court ruled in April he wasn't eligible to hold the position because of a felony conviction. Agpawa pleaded guilty in 1999 to federal mail fraud charges and was ordered to pay restitution.

After Agpawa's swearing in Tuesday, his attorney, Burt Odelson, said a certificate from Rauner, dated Sept. 14, restored Agpawa's rights of citizenship and made him eligible to hold elected office. The governor's office Tuesday confirmed the filing of the certificate with the Illinois Secretary of State's office.


BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington man involved in a five-hour standoff with Bloomington police was in court Tuesday  to face weapons charges. 31 year old Cody Powell barricaded himself in his home and son around noon on Sunday. He refused to surrender until just after 5pm on Sunday. Powell was charged today with possession of a firearm with a revoked firearm owners identification card and illegal possession of ammunition without a FOID card.  He bond was set at just over 10 thousand dollars.



(Rantoul--jc)  It’s Dancing through the Decades for the Rantoul Township High School homecoming.Today is Cross color day and it’s Throwback Thursday. Friday is spirit day for the Eagles. This year’s homecoming parade is set for 4pm on Friday. The king and queen will be crowned at the high school around 2-50 Friday afternoon.. The homecoming football game kicks off at 7 with the dance on Saturday evening..



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



CHICAGO (AP) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has settled a lawsuit filed by a man who alleges he was abused when he was a boy by a priest. The man's attorney said Tuesday the archdiocese agreed to pay $2.9 million to the alleged victim of disgraced former priest Daniel McCormack. The man, who is in his 20s, claims McCormack abused him twice when he attended St. Agatha's Catholic Church. Out of deference to the victim, the archdiocese declined to comment on the settlement.


(Washington--jc)  -- Soybean conditions are better this year than last. The crop progress is also ahead of the five year average. Stephanie Ho reports…




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The building that once housed President Abraham Lincoln's law office in Springfield will soon be opened as a tourist welcome center.

The first floor of the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices historic site will open next month as an extension of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau .Major work to replace the floors and painting are complete, says Bureau Tourism Manager Jeff Berg. The renovations cost around 100 thousand dollars.


EUREKA, Ill. (AP) — State wildlife crews have poisoned a central Illinois lake as part of a plan to kill off the carp that have overrun it and restock it with game fish. Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologists on Monday spread a compound toxic to fish around the 30-acre Eureka Lake near Peoria. Carp multiplied rapidly after most of the lake's game fish died during a harsh winter in 2013.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A new proposal cracks down on motorists who drive recklessly through work zones. The legislation comes from State Senator Tom Cullerton of Villa Park and the Illinois Tollway. It slaps a one thousand dollar fine on anyone intentionally  entering or cutting through a work zones says Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman…



Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman

The measure also raises the fine for striking a highway worker from 10 thousand to 25 thousand dollars. To date, 14 people have died in work zone crashes in the state.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is renewing his call to reinstate the death penalty in certain cases. The Chicago Police Department retired the badge of fallen commander Paul Bauer yesterday and praised Governor Rauner’s bravery on the issue. Governor Rauner also urged lawmakers to bring back capital punishment for those who kill police officers…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Bauer was shot and killed in February of this year by a four-time convicted felon during a car chase in Chicago. The state abolished the death penalty in 20-11.



(Paxton--jc)  Want to learn more about 4-H? Those with the Paxton area Walltown 4-H club are hosting a backyard bonfire on Saturday. The event is set for the Loschen farm in rural Paxton. Games, a hotdog dinner, s’mores also hi-lite the event. Information about joining the Walltown 4-H club will also be available.


Illinois is 23rd Happiest State

(Springfield--jc)  -- A bill that would keep insurance providers from removing a drug from a customer’s coverage plan mid-year is now on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.If signed into law, the bill would keep an insurance provider from changing an enrollee's coverage of a drug during the plan year if the drug was previously approved for coverage in certain situations. Should the insurance company remove a drug, the bill would create an appeals process for providers to receive exemptions for their patients from plan changes, something supporters say ensures continuity of the medical care for the prescription drug benefits.



(Undated--jc)  It’s not Hawaii, but Illinois came in at No. 23 on personal finance website WalletHub’s 2018 Happiest States in America  report. Hawaii, Utah and Minnesota were at the top of the list. West Virginia, Arkansas and Louisiana were at the bottom. Wallethub analyst Jill Gonzalez says  Illinois did pretty well especially in the emotional and physical well-being category which was weighted the most heavily in the state. Gonzalez adds that Illinois has room for improvement in areas such as employment.While Illinois fell right in the middle, it did well in overall emotional and physical well-being with a ranking of 12th.



(Buckley--ab)  - The rain patterns for area farmers this past Spring and Summer was from heavy rain amounts to dry. NexGen Ag co-owner Todd Shively says the harvest yields show the difference in the amount producers have received....


Nextgen Ag co-owner Todd Shively.

Shively and partner Brian Dippel hosted Monday’s WPXN Farmers in the Field Harvest Lunch Program. Today WPXN will be broadcasting live at the Hildebrand farm in rural Thawville over the noon hour.



ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A conference at the University of Michigan is bringing together experts to share ideas on dealing with a warming climate in the Great Lakes region.The biennial Great Lakes Adaptation Forum runs from Monday through Wednesday at the campus in Ann Arbor.Discussions will focus on four broad themes.

They include cooperation between U.S., Canadian and indigenous peoples; getting funding for climate adaptation initiatives; developing leadership in schools, businesses and government; and the latest innovative tools such as building design and smart sensor technology.


(Urbana--jc)  -- The University of Illinois is asking lawmakers to let it offer tax breaks to lure companies to campus. University of Illinois President Tim Killeen said to keep Illinois students in Illinois after they graduate, the school needs to bring employers to the state. Killeen says the school is pushing lawmakers to allow it to offer tax breaks for companies to come to Illinois, and work with the university.The issue could come up in the fall veto session following the November 6th election.



(Buckley--jc)   Abbe Insurance Agency in Buckley is hosting a Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event on Thursday, October 4th. The event takes place at Abbe Insurance’s home office in the big white building on the south edge of Buckley  from 5:30 to 7 p.m.



(Paxton--jc)  -- Paxton High School’s class of 1978 will celebrate its 40-year class reunion during Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School’s homecoming week this Friday and  Saturday. The weekend will kick off with an informal gathering at Market Street Tap in downtown Paxton following the homecoming football game Friday evening. On Saturday, classmates will gather at 6:30 p.m. at the Cobblestone Hotel on Paxton’s west side.



(Springfield-jc)  The dry weather gave farmers plenty of time in the fields as we here in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says the harvest progress put corn at 28 percent in the bin..



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener..

75 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 17 percent of soybeans have been harvested.



(Rantoul--jc)  - Local State Representative Mike Marron is hosting an office hours event in Rantoul this afternoon. The 104th district state representative will meet with constituents from 1 til 3 this afternoon at the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce office in downtown. Marron has replaced Chad Hays in the state representative seat. Hays retired earlier this year.


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



WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The third trial in the 1990 killing of a 9-year-old girl has ended in a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a verdict after three days of deliberations. A judge Monday declared the mistrial in the trial of Stanley Liggins. He'd twice been convicted of murder in the killing of 9-year-old Jennifer Lewis, of Rock Island, Illinois. Her burned remains were found Sept. 17, 1990, in a field in Davenport. She had been sexually abused, strangled to death and then doused with gasoline and set on fire.Liggins knew Jennifer's mother and investigators focused on him as a suspect. He was twice convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but both convictions were overturned.


(Rantoul--jc)  One Rantoul based Church is hosting a food distribution event later this week. The Christian Life Church in Rantoul is holding the event for Champaign County residents from 9 til 10-30 Saturday morning at the Community Center on Wabash Avenue in Rantoul. Those participating are asked to bring a box and identification with current address.


(Urbana--jc)  The city of Urbana is joining the efforts of other Champaign County communities in bringing in body cameras for its police force. Urbana city leaders made that known at its meeting last night. Rantoul and Champaign already have cameras in use for its police force.


(Springfield--ab)  With Flu Season around the corner,  Illinois Department of Public Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jen Layden says the shot is necessary. She adds that there are various spots to get your shot....



Illinois Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jen Layden.


(WASHINGTON) September 24, 2018 – The National Corn Growers Association Monday, called on leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to put partisan differences aside and find common ground on a farm bill. The  current bill expires September 30. In a letter to Senate and House Committee leaders, N-C-G-A President Kevin Skunes said a new farm bill would provide certainty to farmers during increasingly uncertain times for agriculture.


(Onarga--ab) The Ford-Iroquois 4-H auction is coming up in Mid november to help with costs associated with costs to operate local 4-H projects.  Ford-Iroquois extension Deb Mason says the kids will benefit from the auction.


**NWS 1907**


Ford Iroquois Extension Auction Spokesperson Deb Mason



(Chicago--jc)  --A new survey shows more Illinois community college students move on to complete a four-year degree than students in any other state. Illinois moved up from number 3 in the previous survey, jumping Iowa and Washington in the process. Nearly 54 percent of students who entered a community college in Illinois in 2010 graduated with a bachelor’s degree within six years. Illinois’ number is almost 12 percentage points higher than the national average.Eric Lichtenberger, deputy director of Information Management and Research with the Illinois Board of Higher Education, credits the top ranking to efforts to make the transfer process easy for students.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Farmers have had time over the past 7 days to get harvest going. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 28 percent of corn is in the bin and the soybean crop is moving along at a good pace…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Topsoil moisture is rated at 4 percent very short, 18 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus



Pesotum, Il. (09/24/18) – The Illinois State Police (ISP), assisted by the Champaign Police Department, conducted an Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement  Bar ID Check detail on Saturday. In a news release yesterday, state police say the purpose of the ACE program is to reduce and deter underage drinking. As a result of the ACE detail, 21 citations were issued for Possession / Purchase, 2 citations for Possession Prohibited on Public Property, and 1 citation for Adult Responsibility.  In addition, minors convicted of purchase, possession or consumption of alcohol will face a one year suspension of their driver’s license. During the detail, bar checks were conducted at five bar locations and a Street Sweep in Champaign County. Brothers Bar & Grill, The Red Lion and Kams were ticketed for 6 violations. Joe’s Brewery received 4 violations. The Illini Inn received zero violations.

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois plans to conduct a survey to study the drop in African-American student enrollment. The university had 475 black students enroll this fall, down from about 500 last year and almost 550 in 2016. The 2018 number doesn't include 115 multiracial students who also identify as African-American. University officials plan to survey the more than 700 applicants who declined the school's admission offer this year.


BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) — Police say a woman called in a false threat of a gunman that prompted dozens of officers to search for the suspect and place several schools on lockdowns. Belvidere police say 20-year-old Sabrina Andrews of Belvidere has been arrested on felony charges of making a false police report. Police say Andrews claimed Thursday a man with a gun outside of Belvidere South Middle School was threatening to shoot her child.


DU QUOIN, Ill. (AP) — Officials say attendance at the 2018 Du Quoin State Fair in southern Illinois dropped by 8 percent from last year. Organizers say the 11-day fair attracted about 100,800 before it wrapped up on Labor Day. The attendance decline was about the same as last month's Illinois State Fair in Springfield that drew about 370,000 people.


CHICAGO (AP) — The archbishop of Chicago has removed a priest as head of a North Side church after he burned a rainbow banner, angering the LGBT community. The Chicago Tribune reports that Cardinal Blase Cupich announced Rev. Paul Kalchik's removal in a recent letter to parishioners and staff at the Resurrection Catholic Church. Kalchik told the newspaper on Friday he's not anti-gay.



(Springfield--jc)--  The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is limiting the archery deer hunting season in 5 East Central Illinois Counties. The restriction is meant to boost herd numbers in  Douglas, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt and Champaign Counties says Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Ed Cross.. .


I-D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross.

The restriction runs from October First through the 15th.


(Washington--ba)  -- Supporting the health of your soil is not only good for the environment, but also great for your profits. Clay Pope of USDA’s Southern Climate Hub explains how they both fit together.



Clay Pope USDA Southern Climate Hub



CHICAGO — Governor Bruce Rauner Friday issued executive orders eliminating 53 boards and commissions that serve no public purpose and have been inactive for years, some for as long as two full decades. Governor Rauner says tis is a matter of good government through transparency and the people of Illinois need to understand the ongoing work of the state. They should not be led to believe that people are still at work doing tasks that were completed 10 years ago, or that they are supporting advisory roles for which the need expired in the 1990s. Over the years, the State of Illinois has created more than 600 authorities, boards, bureaus, commissions, committees, councils, task forces and other similar entities. Many of them have completed their work and no longer operate, yet they still appear in State publications, public-facing websites, and Legislative Research Unit reports as if they were still doing the people’s work. Collectively, the orders eliminate 72 redundant or inactive boards and commissions so that executive branch operations are more transparent and efficient.


BLOOMINGTON — A man is in custody after barricading himself inside a west Bloomington home for more than five hours Sunday afternoon. The Pantagraph reports that Sunday evening, Bloomington police ended a Public Safety Alert it issued earlier in the day. A tactical unit and negotiating team attempted to convince the man, identified Sunday night as Cody Powell, to use a phone that was placed on the back porch and the standoff ended peacefully. Bloomington police say that Powell had been "threatening people in the area" before officers arrived at the house.


(Fisher--jc)  Pending a final inspection set for later today, a grocery store is returning to the village of Fisher.  Ingolds Meats and Deli is under the ownership of Fisher residents Brandon and Carissa Chandler. A grand opening is set for Saturday.



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



CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois State Police will be out this week issuing tickets and handing out safety literature in a bid to bring down numbers of railroad-crossing deaths in the state. A greater emphasis on the problem in Illinois comes during U.S. Rail Safety Week this week. There were over 100 railroad-crossing collisions in Illinois involving vehicles last year, leaving 25 people dead and causing 29 injuries.


CHICAGO (AP) — A former OpenTable employee has been charged with wire fraud for allegedly making hundreds of bogus reservations at Chicago restaurants to undermine a rival booking service. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that prosecutors allege in charging documents that 30-year-old Steven Addison booked more than 300 reservations at at least 45 Chicago restaurants using Reserve, aiming to hurt the company's reputation. OpenTable's CEO said in March that one "rogue employee" was involved.


CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago commodities trading firm has agreed to pay a 1.5 million dollar  penalty after admitting to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission it created and instantly canceling fake orders to induce favorable transactions. Geneva Trading USA admitted at least three of its traders engaged in "spoofing" between 2013 and 2016. The orders involved futures contracts that were traded at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Geneva Trading settled with the CFTC without admitting or denying any of the findings.



(Iroquois County--jc)  -- Iroquois County Sheriff’s police arrested 30 year old Chad Koester of Watseka on Friday. Koester was charged with forgery. He was taken to the Iroquois County jail in lieu of bond.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul Village leaders say a new village administrator could be named sometime this week. Two final candidates have been interviewed for the job. They are Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhower and Jeff Eder of East Peoria. The contract for Rick Snider expires at the end of this month. Snider extended his position with the village for several months as his family is making the move to the East Coast.



(Milford--jc)  A Milford man was arrested by Iroquois County authorities for theft under 500 dollars. Police say 58 year old Jack McKay was transported to the Iroquois County jail where he posted the required bond and was released.


(Paxton--jc)  -- Now that autumn has arrived, those properties with falling leaves in Paxton have to deal with them, without burning them. Paxton City council members enacted a leaf burning ban ordinance. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says its up to property owners to get rid of leaves this fall…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Tickborne Heartland virus is showing up in Illinois.  State Public Health Department officials warn that ticks are still a problem this time of year. The heartland virus has only been in the the U-S since 2009. And just one case of infection, a Kankakee resident has turned up so for in the state says State Veterinarian Doctor Connie Austin…



State Veterinarian Doctor Connie Austin.
Symptoms for Heartland virus are similar to other tick illiness. They include fever, headaches, fatigue and diarrhea.


(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton area Chamber of Commerce has a new executive director. She is Ashley Tolley. Tolley replaces Madison Duden. Duden has taken a position with Busey Bank. Tolley also works at Edward Jones in downtown Paxton. Tolley does the Edward Jones market reports on WPXN weekday afternoons at 4-30.


Illinois Governor Candidates Debate Over Income Tax Hikes

CHICAGO (AP) — Republican Governor Bruce Rauner on Thursday accused rival J.B. Pritzker of plotting a massive income tax hike on the people of Illinois, a claim the Democrat dismissed as another lie from a governor who's "been lying for three-and-a-half years." One of Pritzker's top priorities is changing Illinois' flat income tax to a graduated system.  But Pritzker refused during a debate Thursday, as he has throughout the campaign, to detail what those rates should be. Governor Rauner says Pritzker is dodging the question of Pritzkers income tax increase and can not be trusted when it comes to taxes. Pritzker again called Rauner a liar. The debate at NBC-5 in Chicago was the first of the race, and included two third-party candidates: Conservative Party candidate and GOP state Sen. Sam McCann and Libertarian Grayson "Kash" Jackson. Rauner leveled several attacks on Pritzker and his connections to longtime Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who he said has had Illinois in a "stranglehold." But his attacks weren't limited to Pritzker. Rauner accused McCann of being a "phony candidate" put up by Madigan to take GOP votes and help Pritzker win. That launched one of the most spirited moments of the debate.


(Southern Illinois--jc)  -- A federal judge has refused to grant class-action status to a lawsuit alleging wage discrimination against female doctors at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. The case was  initiated by former S-I-U surgeon Doctor. Sajida Ahad and joined by four other female doctors, will proceed after the ruling by U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough. Myerscough said Ahad failed to show there was a "common cause" to produce a "common answer to the questions of whether and why compensation for female physicians was lower than compensation for similarly situated male physicians. The lawsuit alleges female physicians at SIU were being paid more than $12,200 per year less than male doctors for similar work. SIU officials, who have denied Ahad's allegations in the past, declined to comment on the judges ruling.


(Urbana--jc)  One Urbana hotel remains closed with faulty fire-alarm system. In updating our story from earlier this week, the Garden Hotel in Urbana fire officials closed the hotel on Wednesday citing the infractions at the facility. Hotel owners say it will take around 3 weeks to correct the system and that 20 employees will be out of jobs during that time.


(Rantoul--jc)  One local police department is reporting bogus 100 dollar bills being circulated in the area. Officials with the Rantoul Police Department say several 100 dollar bills have been passed through some Rantoul businesses. U.S. Treasury officials say that if you believe you have received a bogus bill, remember some tips.  The first is to be safe and not put yourself in danger. Also do not return the bill to the passer. Observe the passer’s description and vehicle information. Contact your local police department when it is safe to do so. Rantoul police add to know how to recognize a bogus bill.



DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — Northern Illinois University's board of trustees has named a woman for president for the first time since the school opened its doors in 1899. In a news release, the DeKalb university says that Dr. Lisa C. Freeman is the 13th president. Freeman has been serving as acting president since July of last year.



(Cissna Park--ab) The Cissna Park FFA Pumpkins in Park is coming up on September 22nd. Cissna Park FFA ag advisor says its not too late to be a vendor at this years event just give him a call.



Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton


(Pesotum--jc) -- State police along with other Champaign County police agencies are offering some good advice for those attending the Luke Bryan Farm Tour Concert one week from today. The first is for those not attending the concert. That advice is to avoid the area between Tolono and Pesotum next Friday between 1pm and 1am on Saturday. The second bit of advice is to follow the traffic patterns set up by local authorities and follow the proper paths to and from the concert.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says combating sexual harassment in the Capitol has become a "personal mission" but he wishes he'd acted sooner to "correct past mistakes." The Chicago Democrat spoke out Thursday in a Chicago Tribune op-ed. A string of Democratic lawmakers and workers in Madigan's political and government organizations have been accused of sexual misconduct this year amid the #MeToo anti-harassment movement. Madigan has been criticized for not having rooted it out.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Hunters and landowners are urged to report suspected cases of E-H-D in white tailed deer to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. E-H-D stands for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease which can kill deer. Department of Natural Resources. Spokesperson Ed Cross says infected animals develop a high fever…



D-N-R Spokesperson Ed Cross

55 cases in deer have been reported so far this year.


(Buckley--ab) Buckley Christ Lutheran is hosting a dinner fundraiser tonight. The event is set for the  Buckley American Legion. The meal starts at 4pm and runs through 7pm C-L-H-S Spokesperson Charlie Goldenstein says it’s a delicious menu...



C-L-H-S Spokesperson Charlie Goldenstein



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



CHICAGO (AP) — The candidates for Illinois governor are clashing over taxes during their first televised debate. Democrat J.B. Pritzker says he wants to change Illinois' flat tax to a graduated system, in which the highest earners are taxed at a higher rate than others. But he won't say what the new rates should be. He says it should be negotiated with the Legislature. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says Pritzker won't answer the question because "the truth is so painful." Pritzker called  Rauner a liar.


St. Charles, IL, September 20, 2018 --Today is the start of a new beginning in Illinois. A new upstart citizen activist organization, Illinois Citizen Uprising is out to change the corrupt, self-serving status quo that has rigged the political game. Rigged by the entrenched politicians so they remain in power. A rigged system that has buried this state in unconscionable debt, and bred corruption at the highest levels. Illinois Citizen Uprising will join with citizens across Illinois and demand structural changes to Illinois government.  Illinois Citizen Uprising’s mission is to give the voters an opportunity to vote on two constitutional amendments that will change the corrupt political system this state is mired in: term limits of 8 years for all members of the Illinois General Assembly, and an independent commission to draw fair legislative maps that will promote competition. Additionally, this organization will work towards the defeat/removal of Speaker Mike Madigan. Madigan has become the single greatest obstacle to every effort at real reform.


(Watseka--jc)  -- Officials with the Watseka school district took precautionary measures on Thursday following some social media posts caused concern. School officials brought in local law enforcement to help with the investigation. Several police vehicles were at Watseka High School on Thursday. Student and staff safety always a top priority for all schools


(Gibson City--ab)The Gibson City Rotary Club has begun selling their 2019 fundraising calendars.  This year these 8" x 10" colorful calendars are available for a $20 donation to the Gibson City Rotary Club.  There will be 56 drawings throughout the year, and each drawing has a prize valued at least $100 assigned to it.  Each calendar is assigned 3 unique numbers, giving THREE chances to win on each of the 56 drawings, which means your $20 donation to Rotary gives you 168 chances to be a winner. Those interested in a donation calendar are asked to contact any Rotary Club member.


(Springfield--jc)  The state’s unemployment rate dropped to four point one percent last month, matching the lowest rate on record in Illinois. The August rate is done more from the previous month says State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough…



State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.


(Lake Iroquois--jc)  -- Its a 50th anniversary open house on Sunday for those in the Lake Iroquois area. A dedication is set for 1 on Sunday afternoon. Basketball and volleyball games, a home run derby and bingo hilite the event at the lake pavilion E I E C is helping the event by providing food. The public is invited to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lake Iroquois.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A 13 member team of first responders is in North Carolina helping with hurricane recovery efforts. The Illinois Task Force One Swiftwater Team is providing mutual aid says team leader Chuck Gross…



Illinois Task Force One Swiftwater Team Leader Chuck Gross.

So far the team has been involved in over a dozen rescues and has also helped with rising flood waters and also hooking up generators for gas stations.



(Paxton--dg)  -- With harvest upon us, many people will be out traveling that aren’t familiar with rural areas. Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran has some advice for driving on rural roads...



Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran



(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m on Saturday. The cookout will raise funds for Toys for Tots. On the menu is Pork chop sandwiches, chips and pop.


November 13th is the Next Court Date for a Ford County Man Accused of Battery and Unlawful Restraint

(Paxton--jc)  -- November 13th is the next court date for a Ford County man accused of battery and unlawful restraint concerning an incident in Clarence earlier this year. Those are the Ford County charges against 47 year old Michael Hari of Clarence. Hari and three others also are facing terrorism charges. The next court appearance on those charges in Federal court in Urbana is also November 13th. Additional information is found in the Ford County Record



CHICAGO (AP) — A leading medical journal has retracted six food research articles by a Cornell University marketing professor, saying the results can't be verified.The papers under question include a 2005 study that said people eat more when served food in large bowls and a 2013 article that said hungry grocery shoppers buy foods with more calories but not more food. They appeared in journals published by the JAMA Network, which include the Journal of the American Medical Association.



(Paxton--ab) Harvest has started in East Central Illinois. In our first Farmers in the Field program,  we stopped by the Meyer farm northeast of Paxton and talked with local farmer Mike Herriott. Herriott talks about the progression of the soybean crop this year....



Paxton Area Farmer Mike Herriott

Diversifed Insurance-Abbe Insurance of Buckley sponsored our first farmer in the field harvest lunch event. Shields AutoMart of Paxton provided the use of a 2019 GMC truck and Monicals Pizza provided the pizza lunch. Our next farmer in the field program is coming soon.


(Askum--ab) For the fifth consecutive year, Illinois State Police District 21, announces District 21 is partnering with local, state and federal agencies to promote vehicle and pedestrian safety around railroad tracks and trains during Rail Safety Week, which is taking place September 23-29, 2018. To promote rail safety awareness and education and prevent injuries and fatalities, ISP District 21, has planned enforcement details throughout the week at various railroad grade crossings. Drivers and pedestrians who disobey the laws associated with railroad grade crossings and railroad property will be cited. In addition to enforcement efforts, the ISP is also committed to changing behavior through education. Officers will be distributing literature to the public that contains rail safety information.


(Gibson City--jc)  Friday is the final Friday for summer 2018. One Ford county town has its final cruise night on Friday. Gibson City is the venue for the cruise event. Various local groups and Gibson City area business are also participating. The Friday nite cruise takes place from 6 until 10  in Gibson City.



(Springfield-jc)  -- The Illinois Community College Board is launching a new statewide billboard campaign to help more adults meet their education goals. Whether it’s getting the G-E-D or finishing up adult literacy to English as a second language. Board Deputy Director Jennifer Foster says adults need these skills to earn a livable wage…



Illinois Community College Board Deputy Director Jennifer Foster

More information is found on-line at Adult-Education-Dot-Org


(Onarga--ab)  -- A fundraiser for 4-H is coming to the Iroquois County town of Woodworth.  The Ford-Iroquois 4-H Auction is set for November 18th. University of Illinois Extension spokesperson Deb Mason says the auction brings benefits to area kids...



U of I Extension Spokesperson Deb Mason


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Failed efforts to authenticate Abraham Lincoln's ownership of a stovepipe hat were kept secret for years by the nonprofit group that owns the hat. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation sought national museum experts' review in 2013 and an FBI DNA analysis in 2015 to prove Lincoln's link to the iconic hat. Neither turned up sufficient evidence it belonged to the 16th president.



(Washington--jc)  -- What does the latest soybean and corn price ratio mean? Stephanie Ho has the details…



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


(Addison--jc) -- -The National Federation of Independent Business has has endorsed Bruce Rauner for a second term as governor. N-F-I-B State Director Mark Grant says Governor Rauner is the clear choice for Illinois. N-F-I-B is the  nation’s leading small-business association. Grant added the endorsement was based on the candidate's record and position on issues affecting small businesses.



(Bloomington--jc)  -- An early morning collision on Wednesday caused three fatalities. State police say a semi driver going north along Interstate 39 just north of Bloomington lost control of his rig and struck a southbound semi head-on. The accident happened around 5-30 Wednesday morning.



(Danville-jc)  -- A man arrested in connection with a Vermilion County shooting is being held on 7 Million dollars bond. Police arrested 34 year old Yuri Lillard late Tuesday night in Colorado, according to a Channel 3 report. Lillard is has been charged with first degree murder and use of a weapon by a felon. Lillard is accused of shooting Tyrell Henderson last Saturday night in Danville.


As harvest is underway, drivers need to slow down for slow moving equipment. Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran says drivers needs to be patient and aware of an increase of deer crossing the roads.



Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran




(Washington--jc)  U-S-D-A is forecasting strong meat trade in beef and pork. Stephanie Ho has the details…



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Parkland College Board of Trustees approved its FY 2019 budget and hired a new athletic director Wednesday, as well as announced a successful refinancing of its bond debt at a greater savings to taxpayers than originally estimated.The board adopted the fiscal year 2019 budget, which includes a $333,191.00 operating surplus. Chief Financial Officer Chris Randles first presented the tentative budget in July, and the budget was on display for public review and input starting Aug. 1.Parkland College officials also named Brendan McHale as the school's next director of athletics, overseeing its eight Cobras sports teams.


(Paxton--jc)  -- WIth summer winding down, economic development remains very positive in Paxton, especially in the downtown area. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says, several buildings are receiving upgrades and the streetscape program is going according to plan…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold



URBANA — One Urbana hotel has been ordered to remain closed after faulty fire alarms were found. The Garden Hotel in Urbana is closed until further notice. The order came from Urbana fire officials.


(Cissna Park--abjc)  Cissna Park’s Pumpkins in the Park event takes place on Saturday in the downtown area of the village. Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton says the day begins with a breakfast followed by a host of activities…



Cissna Park High School F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton.

Cissna Park is also hosting fall garage sale days on Friday and Saturday.


BLOOMINGTON — Health care closer to home for veterans came one step closer to reality Wednesday as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs selected a Bloomington site for a future $6 million outpatient clinic.The VA will locate its first clinic in McLean County at 207 Hamilton Road, Bloomington.The vacant building is the former Illinois Department of Employment Security office. The VA Clinic will serve several area counties including Ford and Iroquois.




McDonald's Workers Staging Protests in Several Cities in the First Multi-state Strike Seeking to Combat Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — McDonald's workers are staging protests in several cities in what organizers called the first multistate strike seeking to combat sexual harassment in the workplace. The protesters are demanding that McDonald's require anti-harassment training for managers and employees. The fast food chain declined to comment on the protests, saying it stood by a statement issued last week defending its anti-harassment policies.


WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — A former Marine under a death sentence for killing a sailor in Virginia has pleaded guilty to fatally attacking two young girls in a suburban Chicago park in 2005. Thirty-year-old Jorge Torrez was sentenced Tuesday to 100 years in prison for killing 8-year-old Laura Hobbs and 9-year-old Krystal Tobias in Zion. Torrez was sentenced to death in 2014 for killing Navy Petty Officer Amanda Snell of Las Vegas.


(Springfield--ab)  -- This is National Farm Safety and Health Week.As harvest season begins, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is Highlighting some of the dangers associated with the industry. that includes being careful on rural roads says Spokesperson Denise Albert.



Spokesperson Denise Albert

Albert says farmers also need to take care of themselves as they work long days during harvest…and make sure kids know to be safe around large equipment.


(Cissna Park--ab) -  The Cissna Park FFA chapter is hosting their annual Pumpkins in the Park on September 22nd. Cissna Park Ag Advisor Jeff Clifton says there is events for people of all ages.



Cissna Park Ag Advisor Jeff Clifton**



(Paxton--jc)  -- The Ford County Public Health Department released the 2018 flu clinic schedule. A total of 15 Walk-In Flu Clinics are scheduled in Ford County beginning next week and lasting through October. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  and the Illinois Department of Public Health are strongly advising vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older. It is requested that those attending a clinic wear a shirt or blouse that provides easy access to the vaccination site.The first flu clinic is Monday September 24th from 9 til 11am at. Piper City Rehab & Living Center in Piper City



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois appellate court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed to stop a law that'll expand Medicaid and state-employee group health insurance to cover abortions. A three-judge panel of the Fourth District Appellate Court ruled unanimously that a Sangamon County judge correctly dismissed the lawsuit filed by anti-abortion groups. The judge ruled in January that courts shouldn't intervene in General Assembly "political questions." The Catholic Thomas More Society appealed the decision, saying lawmakers passed the measure too late in 2017 for it to take effect Jan. 1 and didn't appropriate funding. Republican state Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard was a lead attorney representing the pro-life organizations. He said the case will be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.


(Washington--jc)  -- USDA's latest crop report indicates a potentially huge U.S. corn crop on the way. Stephanie Ho reports…



(Watseka--jc)  -- A national test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System  originally scheduled for 20th September 2018 has been postponed to October Third. The Federal Emergency Management Agencies website has the official information on the scheduled test.


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



(Undated--jc)  --The CEO of Sears says among the financial problems the Illinois-based company is grappling with is long-term pension obligations.A think tank says it should be a wakeup call for governments to move away from offering defined-benefit plans to employees. Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said in a blog post that the changing retail landscape, with an increasing number of online shoppers, is a major issue, but he also said the company’s pension payments add to the problems. Lampert said in the last five years, Sears has contributed almost 2 billion dollars to pensions. Lambert added that if the company had been able to employ those billions of dollars in its operations, Sears would have been in a better position to compete with other large retail companies. Most of those do not offer large pensions Sears plans to close 78 stores across the country this month. Sears has already closed around 500 stores including those in Champaign and Bloomington, locally


(Springfield--ab)  -- This is national farm safety and health week,there are a lot of safety issues when it comes to farming says state Department of Agriculture spokesperson Denise Albert. That includes handling stress, farm equipment on rural roads and tractor safety.



the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Facebook page will cover various safety topics and offer tips all week long.


(McLean County--jc)  -- A budget deficit for McLean County and cutting positions is in the past for the McLean County board. Last year McLean County officials cut jobs and reduced services. This year the McLean County Board voted to bring some county jobs back to the county. McLean County officials also want to add a county motor fuel tax to help with local road projects and more.




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Fair lost nearly 210 thousand dollars on its Grandstand concerts in Springfield last month after seeing record ticket sales a year ago. Figures released by fair officials show it took a big hit over country star Thomas Rhett's weather-canceled show. The State Journal Register reports  the fair would have lost only 75 thousand on the nine scheduled concerts if Rhett could have performed. Five concerts didn't break even. Concerts headlined by alternative rock band 311 and metal band Halestorm each lost about 110 thousand dollars Three concerts were in the black, led by 132 thousand dollar profit for a country show featuring Luke Combs. Fair spokeswoman Morgan Booth says the grandstand had an extraordinary 2017 with nearly a quarter-million dollars in profit. Booth says the fair aims for a diverse concert lineup each year.



PITTSBURGH (AP) — A scientist who warned about the environmental threat of microbeads is one of six people being honored with $250,000 cash awards from the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Family Foundation. The annual Heinz Awards recognize achievement in the arts, public policy, the economy and other areas. Among the winners is SUNY Fredonia researcher Sherri Mason, who found that billions of tiny plastic microbeads were being released into the nation's waterways each day. Another winner is one from Illinois.  The winner from Urbana is environmental psychologist Ming Kuo.



(Washington--ab) USDA meteorologist, Mark Brusberg, has the latest on both the winter and spring wheat crops.



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Mark Brusber

(GIbson City-jc)  -- The Ford County Relay for Life event raised thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society this past August. One team from Ford County continues to host events to raise more money. The Chic Meredith Ford County Relay for Life team is hosting a Euchre party on Friday night at the Moyer library in Gibson City.  The event starts at 6-30 and money raised goes to the Ford County Relay for Life.



(Buckley--jc)  Want to help raise money for a local Christian based high school? Then eat fish, or chicken.  Christ Lutheran High school is hosting a fish and chicken fry on Friday night at the Buckley American Legion. Donation is 10 dollars for adults and on the menu is fish, chicken, german and regular potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans and lemonade. All proceeds benefit Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley.



(Fisher--jc)  One local high school is celebrating its homecoming festivities this week. The annual homecoming parade in Fisher is set for tonight at 6-30. A pep rally follows tonight’s parade. A dance is set for Saturday night. The Fisher Bunnies. The Fisher Bunnies football team is 4 and Oh on the season and receiving votes in the latest I-H-S-A polls released on Tuesday

Illinois Farmers Mostly Staying Out of Back-and-Forth Over Whether Farm Bill Should Include Work Requirements for Food Assistance

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois farmers are mostly staying out of the back-and-forth over whether the farm bill should include work requirements for food assistance.The federal farm bill, which contains a slew of government programs for crop insurance, farm credit, research and more, is in conference committee where U.S. senators and representatives are hashing out the differences between two separate versions.One sticking point is over whether able-bodied adults should be required to work or get job training in order to be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which used to be called food stamps.



(Paxton--jc)  -- City of Paxton leaders are looking to renovate the cities Pavilion at Pells Park. One estimate was for 150 thousand dollars. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the cost may be less.  Mayor Ingold says a 12 thousand dollar donation to help was received from the local V-F-W…


Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

The project could start as early as this fall and Paxton city leaders want to have it completed by the 4th of July next year.



(Springfield--jc)  4 percent of soybeans have been harvested as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says last year only 1 percent had been harvested…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.ago.

75 percent of corn is mature and 12 percent has been harvested

WPXN’s Farmers Harvest Lunch in the Field Program begins this week. We will be bringing a Monical’s Pizza Lunch to an area farmer and talk about the local harvest over the noon hour on Wednesday.


(Rantoul--jc)  --The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that they will host a job and  career fair for its members and community on October 12 from 11 to 1 at Rantoul Business Center. If you are hiring and would like to participate in the event or are an organization that offers job skills and workforce development services in order to help job seekers become more employable and would like to participate please call 217 893 3323


(Chicago---jc)  -- Should lawmakers tinker with the state’s income tax rates and scale them higher for people who make more money and lower for those who make less? That’s a question voters could answer in the governor’s race when they vote November 6th Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker wants a progressive tax, though he hasn’t revealed what the rates would be or what income levels might trigger higher taxes. He has said the rich should pay more and that he would work with lawmakers to determine a rate and income structure for the progressive income tax. Pritzker says it would take a couple years to implement a progressive tax because there would need to be a state constitutional amendment to change the existing flat tax to a system with graduated rates. To get more revenue to spend on programs in the short-term, Pritzker has proposed legalizing sports betting, marijuana for recreational use and implementing service taxes.  Governor Bruce Rauner says Illinois needs to do is to follow the federal government’s cue in cutting tax rates and simplifying the tax code.


CHAMPAIGN — A variety of fall-semester midterm courses at Parkland College will begin on Monday, October 15. All courses provide full college credit for successful completion within an eight-week period.Subject areas include art, music, theatre, math, history, communication, economics, English and psychology, among others.The deadline to register is Sunday, Oct. 14. Those interested may call the college at  217-/351-2482 or visit the Parkland College website at w-w-w-dot-partkland-edu-apply.



(Washington--jc)  -- Plans are already in place to get food quickly to victims of Florence. Gary Crawford reports…


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois House Republicans have ended campaign support for a sitting GOP lawmaker amid allegations of "harassment." The Chicago Tribune reported Friday that the House Republican Organization cut financial ties with Rep. Jerry Lee Long of Streator and asked him to step down. GOP spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis says campaign officials were "made aware of allegations into Rep. Long's behavior" but would not elaborate. Long wouldn't comment on the claim but says he won't quit the re-election race


Undated--ba)  -- It’s National Farm Safety week. Scott Heiberger of the National Farm Medicine Center discusses the need for farm parents and grandparents to keep younger kids safe in the workplace….



Scott Heiberger of the National Farm Medicine Center.



(Saybrook--jc)  One local V-F-W post is hosting a “Salute to Freedom” motorcycle ride event. Officials with the Saybrook V-F-W Post 4-5-4 say registration begins at 9-30 Saturday morning with the ride to begin at 10-30.  A Dinner, silent auction and music also hi-lite the event.



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



(Chicago--jc)  Hundreds of thousands of Illinois students are considered “chronically absent” and that may make life difficult for schools in light of the new federal education requirements. In the 2015 school year, the most recent year for which data was available over 335 thousand Illinois students missed at least 10 percent of their school days. This is what advocacy group Attendance Works classifies as “chronically absent.” In a report, the advocacy group said that a pattern of missing instruction can hurt a student’s development for years ahead. Attendance Works figure is higher than the Illinois State Board of Education’s because the state only measures chronic truancy, which is classified as missing five percent of school days, but doesn't include excused absences. In 2015, ISBE said nine percent of students were chronically truant, compared to Attendance Works’ finding of 16.5 percent of students being chronically absent in Illinois. That gap represents more than 150,000 students.


(Springfield--ba)  -- Voters are choosing Enrico Fermi as their number one pick for illinois scientists in the latest top 10 poll. Fermi developed the world’s first nuclear reactor and played a key role in the manhattan project. abraham lincoln presidential library spokesperson Chris Wills says James Watson, who discovered the shape of d-n-a takes the second spot...



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills.

You Can Vote Now In The Next Poll…top Illinois Athletes…at Illinois Top 200 Dot Com.

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois judge has thrown out a murder conviction in the 2014 death of a Southern Illinois University student. A Jackson County judge vacated Gaege Bethune's first-degree murder conviction Monday in 19-year-old Pravin Varughese's death, after saying that jurors could have been confused by wording in Bethune's indictment. A jury convicted the Eldorado, Illinois, man in June in Varughese's death, but his new defense attorney sought to have the conviction thrown out.


(Champaign County--jc)   Champaign County Crimestoppers are seeking information about a Champaign man wanted  on a failure to appear charge. 25 year old Douglass Driver is wanted on a no bond warrant for failure to appear for possession of a stolen vehicle.Driver is described as  , black, 5'9", 150 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. His last known address is 714 West Vine Street, Champaign.Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crime Stoppers.



(Springfield--jc)  The soybean harvest is underway as we here in the weekly crop report. 58 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 4 percent has been harvested. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 75 percent of the corn crop is mature…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

2 percent of sorghum has been harvest. Average statewide topsoil moisture is 3 percent very short, 10 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.



(Rantoul--jc) On your things to do Friday night, how about a paint party. The Rantoul Recreation Department is hosting a “Paint Like Me” Party at the Rec building Friday evening at 6. Rec Department officials say a few more people are needed to make the event work. Those interested are asked to contact the Rantoul Recreation Department at 893-5700.


(Undated--ba) -- Its National Farm Safety week. Scott Heiberger of the National Farm Medicine Center says safety in agriculture has improved and has gained more attention over time...



Scott Heiberger of the National Farm Medicine Center.



(Paxton--jc)  -- A new business is now open in rural Paxton. Prairie Material is open for pick-up and delivery at 100 North 32-80 East road in rural Paxton. The company offers construction gravel, and Ag lime to construction sand. Phone sales are available at 708-514-0017.


(Rantoul--jc)  --.There will be a special meeting of the Rantoul Police Pension Board on Wednesday, September 26  3:00 PM. The meeting will be held at the Village of Rantoul Municipal Building on . Tanner Street. One new business item is the review and approval of transfer of Creditable Service for Eric Ruff from the Rantoul Police Pension Fund to the Urbana Police Pension Fund for just over 120 thousand dollars. The local board will also have an open period to hear concerns from local citizens.



INDIANAPOLIS – Garth Brooks, the reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, will take the stage in Indianapolis for a private show at this year’s 91st National FFA Convention & Expo. The premier youth leadership organization dedicated to preparing members for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture, the National FFA Organization boasts a membership of nearly 670,000 nationwide. The National FFA Convention & Expo remains one of the largest student conventions in the world, annually drawing more than 65,000 attendees.

Governor Bruce Rauner Promises to be Less Confrontational and More Understanding of His Opponents if Given a Second Chance

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A humbled Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, one of the most endangered state executives in the country, promised Thursday to be less confrontational and more understanding of his political opponents' views if voters give him a second chance in the November election.Fighting an uphill battle for re-election in a Democratic-leaning state, the first-term Republican delivered an unorthodox address that was part apology, part State of the State address, and part stump speech.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois report suggests that the school consider adopting a new sports mascot to help quell ongoing turmoil over the 2007 decision to do away with its longtime Chief Illiniwek portrayal. The report by a group of university administrators released Thursday also proposes greater campus education about Native American history and imagery, including presentations on why the use of Illiniwek is inappropriate.


(Washington--jc)  -- Winter wheat is starting to go in the ground. Here is USDA's first look at planting progress. Gary Crawford reports…




(Washington--jc)  The latest USDA crop production estimates show both corn and soybean production up for this year's crop and reaching record yields if realized. Rod Bain has the story...



(Paxton --jc)  Several members of the Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative are on the road today. They are heading the the Carolinas to help with the Huricanes and severe weather in that area of the country  The local crew will help South River E-M-C in recovery efforts.



URBANA — A Rantoul woman was killed in a crash early Thursday near Rantoul along Route 45 near Leverette road.Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup sayas 23 year old Shana Outlaw was pronounced dead at 6:40  Thursday morning at Carle Foundation Hospital. No autopsy will be performed, Northrup said.Illinois State Police Master Sgt. Mark Holley said Ms. Outlaw was headed south in the right lane of U.S. 45 just south of Leverett Road when her car developed a mechanical problem and she stopped and got out. About 5:50 a.m., a pickup truck driven by a 30-year-old man from East Lynn whose name was not released struck her car.


ELGIN – Governor Bruce Rauner and Faber-Castell Cosmetics announced the company’s first North American manufacturing facility in Illinois. The German company has leased a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Elgin that will be dedicated to producing cosmetic pencils for the North American market. The $9 million project will create 50 full-time jobs. The announcement comes after the Governor visited with the company in Stein, Germany in late spring.


CULLMAN, Ala. (AP) — Two inmates who escaped from an Alabama jail have been captured in Illinois.The Cullman County sheriff's office told news outlets that Justin Eugene Curington and John Patrick Parsons escaped Wednesday while assigned to pick up trash in Cullman.Details on where they were caught in Illinois were not immediately available.Deputies said the men will be returned to Cullman. 



(Paxton--ab)  -- The Paxton Swine and Dine is tomorrow in the city of Paxton. Paxton Area Chamber or Commerce Spokesperson Ashley Tolleys says there is events on Saturday for the whole family...



Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Ashley Tolley



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



(Paxton--jc)  -- Summer is still here, but the autumn leaf raking process will begin soon. In Paxton, City leaders looked at options from a leaf vacuum to using local city workers to help with leaf removal in the fall. Due to high costs of any proposal, property owners in Paxton will have to get rid of leaves on their own. The City council in Paxton voted in July to ban burning leaves within city limits.


(Washington--ba)  -- Agriculture Secretary still hopeful for a new farm bill before the old one expires, but many issues stand in the way. Gary Crawford reports...




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld Illinois' campaign contribution limits.The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the limits set in a 2009 law do not violate First Amendment free-speech rights . Illinois Liberty PAC filed a lawsuit in 2012. It challenged the campaign-finance limits imposed following scandals involving now-imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.Illinois Liberty PAC argued limits on individuals' contributions shouldn't be lower than those for corporations or unions. It complained that political parties and "legislative caucuses" formed by lawmakers may make unlimited contributions and that all limits are off when a self-funded candidate chips in enough.



(Paxton--ab)  -- The Paxton Swine and Dine is this Saturday. Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson  Ashley Tolley says the event starts early and pit passes are available...


Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Ashley Tolley.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The state board of education is exploring ways to address the teacher shortage in the state. State Schools Superintendent Tony Smith says it starts with money problems as 90 percent of teaching vacancies last year were in struggling districts…



State Schools Superintendent Tony Smith

The state is in need of bilingual and special education teachers.


(Springfield--jc)  -A former member of the commission that oversees allegations of state lawmaker wrongdoing, and the state’s Auditor General, say an employee of the Legislative Inspector General dropped the ball on key issues.A report from Auditor General Frank Mautino published Thursday of the Legislative Inspector General’s office for fiscal years 2013-2016 found required financial, property and personnel reports were either not filed or filed late.Former commission member and former state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, who served on the commission from early 2015 until she retired from office this summer, said the commission needs to be held accountable to that.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said  Thursday that the two-and-a-half year budget impasse was a fight for reforms. His opponents have called it a failure.While touting success like school funding reform, school choice expansion and criminal justice reforms, Rauner said he’s learned a lot in his first term. The governor says changes in state government are difficult.

As harvest season approaches, many people will be out traveling that aren’t familiar with rural areas. Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran has some advice for driving on rural roads.

Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran

(Paxton--jc)  A local author is hosting a book signing at tomorrows Swine and Dine in Paxton. Tabitha Eichelberger of Paxton is the author of the book, “Diary of a Lonely Prom Queen.” The book signing takes place from 10am until noon  at Hudson Drug and Hallmark in downtown Paxton.

(Loda-jc)-The Roger Schunke kicking cancer benefit ride  and the 2nd annual Ron Harness Memorial ride takes place on Sunday. Sign up is at 10-30 Sunday morning at the Rantoul V F W. The ride starts at noon  and ends at Murdocks in Loda around 3-30. Donation is 20 dollars per person and 30 dollars per couple . Live music, good food and a silent auction hilite the event at Murdock’s on Sunday



University of Illinois Says Record Number of Students Enrolled for Fall Semester

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois says it has a system-wide record number of students enrolled for the fall semester, including an eighth straight year of record enrollment at its main campus in Champaign-Urbana. University officials announced Wednesday that total enrollment at its three campuses grew 2.7 percent to nearly 85,600 students. The Champaign-Urbana campus saw a 3.2 percent boost in its student body to 49,339.


(Rantoul--jc)  A home fire in Rantoul caused damage to a garage and the attached house early Wednesday morning along Juniper Drive. Fire officials say  the blaze caused 60 thousand dollars in damage to the structure. No one was injured in the fire.


(Paxton--jc)  --Due to set-up, event hours, and tear down for the Paxton Swine ‘n Dine, the following streets will be closed starting at 8 p.m. Friday, September 14th:

Market Street: from Center to Holmes

Pells Street: from the alley behind Harvest Ale House and Frederick Community Bank to the Route 45 stop light

The post office will be accessible during office hours.

Frederick Community Bank plaza will be accessible during office hours from the alley.Streets will be open as the activities finish. Market Street from Pells Street to Center Street will be closed until Sunday, September 16th at noon.



(Leverette--jc)  One railroad crossing in Champaign County will be closed to through traffic starting on Monday.  Railroad workers will be fixing the crossing that is located in Leverette, just north of Champaign starting on the 17th at 7am. Work should take around 5 days. Motorists are asked to seek alternative routes in that area.



(Iroquois County-dg)-As farmers are getting into the fields for this harvest season, Iroquois County Sheriff Derek Hagen tells his deputies to remind the public to be aware of all the large slow moving equipment that will be out on the roads for several weeks.


 Iroquois County Sheriff Derek Hagen



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A central Illinois Catholic priest has been removed from ministry after church officials say he misused money from two parishes and pornography was found among his possessions. The Springfield diocese says the Reverend Barry Harmon went on medical leave last October from Mother of Dolors Parish in Vandalia and St. Joseph Parish in Ramsey. The diocese says reviews found Harmon misappropriated up to $29,000 from the parishes and was to repay the money. Diocese officials say Vandalia police determined no child pornography was involved, but that Harmon was charged in July with drunken driving.


NEW YORK (AP) — The #MeToo movement is coming to the Golden Arches. McDonald's workers have voted to stage a one-day strike next Tuesday at some of the company's restaurants in 10 cities in hopes of pressuring management to take stronger steps against on-the-job sexual harassment. Organizers say it will be the first multistate strike in the U.S. specifically targeting sexual harassment. McDonald's is defending its anti-harassment efforts and says it is recruiting outside experts to offer advice.


(Carolina--jc)  With the arrival of Hurricane Florence to the Southern Mid-Atlantic area today, what is the impact on crops and livestock. Rod Bain reports…




(Kankakee--jc)  Kankakee Community College will begin the process to choose another college president. Current president John Avendano announced this week he will step down from the position at the end of June next year.


(Chicago--jc)  --Illinois trails the rest of the nation in terms of wage growth since the Great Recession. Tied with Mississippi, Illinois employees had the second slowest wage growth in the country. One analyst says it’s because the cost of state government regulations limit what companies can offer.The Pew Charitable Trusts released data on all 50 states to show the growth or decline of personal income since the end of the Great Recession.While the national wage growth from late 2007 to the first quarter of this year was 1.6 percent, Illinois’ income growth was 0.7 percent. Only Connecticut had slower growth at 0.6 percent.Analyst Mark Glennon of Wirepoints said the high cost of doing business in Illinois limits what employers can offer employees, adding that is why some companies are leaving Illinois and the state is out of sync with what’s happening with the rest of the country.


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



(WASHINGTON) In a letter to President Trump Wednesday, the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, American Coalition for Ethanol, Growth Energy, and Renewable Fuels Association urged the administration to act immediately to restore the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard and allow year-round sales of E15 and other mid-level ethanol blends. The groups also expressed concern that any benefit from year-round E15 sales and proper implementation of the RFS could be nullified if refiners are given further regulatory bailouts that undercut the spirit and intent of the law.



(Paxton--jc)  -- A handful of household hazardous waste collections will be held this fall. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Spokesperson James Jennings says this is a time to get rid of chemical cleaners, oil based paint, antifreeze to weed killers…



I-E-P-A Spokesperson James Jennings.

Locations for the household hazardous waste collections include Danville and Decatur.



(Springfield--jc)  Illinois State police are taking a different look at distracted driving.  State troopers were driving semis along Interstate 55 on Wednesday and looking for distracted drivers. State police officials say it is one more way to help keep Illinois roadways safer.




(Washington--jc)  A congressman from Illinois has filed legislation to make last winter’s federal tax cuts permanent. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis filed legislation this week that would make them permanent.The lower rates, the higher standard deduction, child tax credit, and other provisions would all become permanent under Davis’ bill. Davis says this is an opportunity for Democrats in the Senate to support tax relief for working Americans. Illinois residents save an average of 2 thousand 300 dollars annually under the cuts, according to the Heritage Foundation.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The state’s leading manufacturers’ group said Illinois could miss out on the benefits of a growing manufacturing sector despite a tentative U.S-Mexico trade deal. Even before President Donald Trump's administration announced a tentative deal with Mexico, the U.S. manufacturing sector was growing. Some have attributed the growth to federal tax cuts enacted this year and Trump’s deregulation efforts allowing for easier expansion and more operational investments, among other economic factors.The Institute for Supply Management recently  reported positive growth for the U.S. manufacturing sector for August.



(Chicago--jc)  The infant mortality rate is two to three times higher for black babies and one major cause is Sids. Rush University Medical Center Pediatrician Gina Lowell says parents are still bringing their babies to bed, putting them at risk. Looking at the issues from another perspective is also key says  D-C-F-S Acting Director B J Walker...



D-C-F-S Acting Director B J Walker


(Rantoul-jc)  Rescue crews are on the scene of a multiple car crash along Route 45 south of Rantoul. The Southbound lanes of route 45 are closed at this time. Police are reporting several injuries. WPXN News will update this story as more official news becomes available.



(Rantoul--jc)  Most Rantoul village officials will receive the same compensation with no raises for the coming year. Rantoul Village board members voted to keep the salaries at their current rate this week. One exception is a 12 hundred dollar raise for Village Clerk Janet Grey.



(Rantoul--jc)  The man who was taking several vintage planes apart has been charged with money laundering and theft. Channel 3 reports that 68 year old Ken Morrison on WHiting Indiana is accused of selling 2 ejection seats. Local police say he sold them for 125 dollars. Air Force officials say the seats are worth 40 thousand dollars.



Striking Chicago Hotel Workers Spend a Fifth Day on Picket Lines

DYER, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. military says human remains found decades ago on a Pacific island have been identified as those of a U.S. Marine from northwestern Indiana who died in a World War II battle against Japanese forces. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says Pfc. Leonard A. Tyma's remains were identified using dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis and other evidence. The 21-year-old Dyer, Indiana, man died on Nov. 20, 1943, during the first waves of the U.S. 2nd Marine Division's assault of the Gilbert Islands.


CHICAGO (AP) — Striking Chicago hotel workers spent a fifth day on picket lines as the walkout grew to 26 downtown hotels. Some visitors say hotels have scrambled to clean rooms and check in guests. The strike has targeted large chains including Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott, but The Chicago Tribune reports employees at the Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile joined the strike Tuesday.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The budget for Paxton Buckley Loda schools shows a 24 million dollar deficit. The reason is the on going major upgrade project at Clara Petersen, and the high school. The actual budget shows a deficit of around 160 thousand dollars. The P-B-L School board will host a public hearing on the budget tonight before their regular monthly meeting. The budget hearing is at 6 followed by the regular meeting.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn harvest is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. Just several days were suitable for fieldwork over the last week, but some producers got a little harvesting in, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…




State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

77 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition and 37 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves.


(Undated--jc)--  Illinois lacks a clear economic advantage over its neighbors, according to new analysis. A group in New Hampshire created a method to measure New Hampshire's economic advantage over its neighbors as the tides of taxation there change. When an analyst did the same for Illinois and its neighbors, he said the results were revealing. New Hampshire had historically lower tax burdens than its neighbors in the northeast. New Hampshire has no income, sales, or estate taxes, which the nonprofit Granite Institute says gave it an advantage. Bill Bergman with Chicago-based Truth in Accounting saw the analysis and used the state datalabs database to evaluate Illinois and its neighboring states similarly. Illinois fared worse than its neighbors. Bergman said the metrics shouldn’t be seen as an indictment of state and local officials, but rather a lesson for the people who put them there if they’re concerned about the state’s economy.


(Undated--jc)  -- There’s still no deal between the U.S. and Illinois’ largest trading partner Canada, but a deal inked with Mexico has farmers in the Land of Lincoln feeling more optimistic.After months of trade uncertainty following the administration’s scrapping of the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Donald Trump announced late last month a deal with Mexico.Trump said last week in Montana that he’s winning on trade.Mexico is Illinois’ second-largest trading partner, with Illinois having sent nearly $9.5 billion in goods. Among the top exports to Mexico outside of automotive parts is corn. Canada is Illinois’ single largest trading partner; it took in nearly $16 billion in exports from Illinois in 2016.



(Chicago--jc)  -- A freelance automotive journalist worries a testing site operated by the Illinois Tollway Authority could be for more than just testing automated tollway technology. Paul Brian said he’s noticed a site with various sensors on northbound I-294 for years with a sign that reads “for testing purposes only.”Illinois Tollway Authority officials said the site is used for testing various sensors, but only for tollway purposes. The site, established in 2015, had an initial price tag of $2.7 million. The Illinois Tollway has used the test site to study a range of systems according to Illinois Tollway Authority spokesman Dan Rozek. He added that the site has been a resounding success based on how many technologies  have actually tested.


(Springfield--jc)  Farmers are able to carry a little heavier loads during this fall harvest in the state. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed an executive order to increase load limits by 10 percent. Illinois Ag Deputy Director Warren Goetsch says it will benefit farmers…



Illinois Ag Deputy Director Warren Goetsch

(Roberts--AB) The Village of Roberts had their regularly scheduled board meeting on Monday night,  Joy Gonzalez has resigned from the board and Taylor Behrends was sworn in to replace Gonzalez. The Village pumped 864,400 gallons of water in August. The village will meet with Ameren CIPS later today. They have voted and will close the library. 


OAKWOOD, Ill. (AP) — A power company wants to wall off Illinois' only national scenic river with rocks instead of removing toxic waste seeping into the water. The Middle Fork of the Vermilion River is home to three pits of toxic coal ash from a shuttered power station. State regulators worry the river is eroding the banks so quickly it could unleash a surge of coal ash. But instead of digging the muck, Vistra Energy proposed building a wall of rocks to armor part of the riverbank.



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



DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A federal reports shows that a Veterans Affairs hospital in eastern Illinois is having trouble filling many of its health care jobs. The national report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that the VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville had 167 open positions as of June 30. Of those, 105 openings were in the medical and dental fields.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Corn harvest is underway with some farmers in the Gibson City area and west of Watseka leading the way locally. 56 percent of corn is mature with 4 percent harvested as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says soybeans are inching closer to harvest..

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Average statewide toposil moisture is 3 percent very short, 6 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus.


(Springfield--jc)  -- With between 3 and 5 inches of rain so far in the area and 4 to 8 inches in western Illinois, the amount of rain for the first half of the month is more than what Illinois sees in September, normally. State Climatologist Jim Angel says blame Hurricane Gordon and the other tropical storms could bring more moisture..



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


(Rantoul--jc)  --Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce officials are hosting a Community Coffee  this morning at 7-30 at the chamber offices in downtown Rantoul. You may 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 , meet great people and visit with old friends or make some new ones

 (Rantoul--jc)  -- Rantoul Community Night Out is one week away. The event is sponsored in part by  the Rantoul Police Department to help bring neighborhoods together and also get to know the local police force. The Rantoul Community Night Out is set for September 19th in the village.


(Gibson City--jc)  With the Labor Day Holiday complete and summer winding down, one Ford             

County city continues to make plans for a Halloween time event. Leaders in Gibson City continue to    make plans for the Gibson City Chamber’s annual Fright Night. The date for the event is set for     Tuesday October 23rd.


(Paxton--jc)  As part of the annual Swine and Dine in Paxton, a cruise is set for 5 on Saturday   afternoon. Participants are asked to get to the downtown area by way of the Holmes Street Bridge.   The cruise in begins at 5 on Saturday afternoon with bands at 6pm.


(Penfield--jc)  -- Gifford firefighters were called to a Penfield home on Tuesday morning to battle a   house ablaze. The fire occurred at the Bice home at 401 Elm Street in Penfield. Firefighters say the   home received around 100 thousand dollars in damages. No one was home at the time of the fire.   Firefighters believe the fire started in the basement area of the home..



(Washington--jc)  -- What agency will regulate new food products from cell culture technology and what should those products be called USDA and FDA will host a joint meeting on this next month. Gary Crawford  has the details… 



(Champaign, Illinois) — Prairie Gardens, a local retailer in Champaign since 1964, is joining forces with CASA with an exclusive Taste of Fall event. The event will be held Friday, September 14th from 6pm-8pm at Prairie Gardens. Guests will enjoy a special evening in celebration of the new fall season and to raise money for CASA. Guests will enjoy complimentary appetizers and beverages, expert-led fall decorating demos, new arrivals for fall, and more.

Prairie Gardens will be closing early for this private event and a $5 donation per guest is required. 100% of tickets sold, plus 10% of all sales this evening will be donated directly to Champaign County CASA. Additional donations can also be made to CASA at the event. 


University of Illinois Offering Free Tuition to Qualifying In-State Students

(Urbana--jc)  -- Illinois’ flagship public university is offering free tuition for four years to qualifying in-state students, and a state senator says Illinois is playing catch up with other states.State Sen. Chapin Rose said the University of Illinois’ program offering four years free tuition for in-state students whose family income is less than $61,000 is done mainly by combining federal Pell Grants with Illinois scholarship programs so Illinois schools can be more competitive. He said schools in other states have been marketing similar deals utilizing federal and state grants for years.



(Springfield--jc)  -- After a year of surveys and panel discussions, the Illinois State Board of Education found that teachers want what workers everywhere want: More money and job security.The State Board of Education recently released a report about the best ways to ease the state’s teacher shortage. State officials found that there is a statewide shortage of teachers. The need is acute for special education and bilingual educators in rural and poor school districts.The Board of Education is proposing programs to attract more young people to the teaching profession and making it easier to become a teacher in the state.


(Springfield--jc)  -- A battle is brewing over the peer-to-peer car rental market in Illinois.Gov. Bruce Rauner recently issued an amendatory veto, attempting to change a bill that would regulate personal vehicle renters and require them to pay the same taxes as big companies.   The governor says that peer-to-peer car sharing is an innovative new service that simultaneously allows vehicle owners the freedom to realize additional income on an existing household asset, while also affording consumers a new service to meet their mobility needs. He added that the bill he vetoed was ill-suited to thoughtfully regulate the new industry.



(Paxton--ab) The Paxton Swine and Dine is taking place this Saturday on Market Street.. Events begin at 6 AM with the BBQ competition registration. Other daytime events include a bags tournament, a petting zoo, food vendors, and inflatables. Event Spokesperson Ashley Tolley says  free concerts also hilite the annual downtown event for the city of Paxton…



Swine and Dine Spokesperson Ashley Tolley



SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – As the fall season approaches, Illinois pig farmers are facing numerous hurdles. This includes market uncertainty, costly challenges due to trade disputes, vulnerability to foreign animal diseases, and a labor shortage. In Illinois alone, these difficulties are impacting an industry that generates $1.8 billion annually to our state’s economy and offers 10,500 jobs. While the entire agriculture industry is struggling with similar issues, the pork industry is shouldering much of the burden.The Illinois Pork Producers Association board of directors just announced that they are committing $30,000 to the U.S. Meat Export Federation to specifically increase pork demand in Korea. Funds are effective immediately to ensure that action is taken before year end.Mike Haag, IPPA President from Emington, IL, is proud of the project and wants to get the word out.



(Paxton--ab) The Paxton Buckley Loda School Board has their latest meeting on Wednesday at 7 PM from the P-B-L administration conference room at the high school in Paxton.  Items that will be discussed are current school year grants, the 2016 Audit, and short term Substitute teachers.


(Rantoul--jc)  The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce office in downtown Rantoul is the venue to discuss issues with local state Senator  Scott Bennett today. The event is set for noon to 1pm The local state senator will be answering constituents questions on issues for the hour



(Springfield--jc)  Today is the date Americans remember 9-11 2001. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is thanking first responders and emergency personnel for their service. The governor says these heroes deal with more than just natural disasters…


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



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



NORMAL — Illinois State University dropped in the latest Best Colleges rankings by U.S. News and World Report, but remains in the top 100 among best public national universities.  Illinois Wesleyan University's ranking was relatively unchanged in the ranking of national liberal arts universities. ISU was 91st among public national universities and number 171 overall, which includes both public and private institutions. IWU dropped one spot from a year ago, ranking number 72 this year.


(Paxton--jc)  -- City leaders in Paxton could move on leaves when they meet tonight in monthly session. The local council approved a ban on leaf burning in Paxton as of July 10th of this year. Options remain for city action from inactivity which puts residents in charge of leaf disposal to a leaf collections by the city. The Paxton City council meets tonight at 7 on the second floor of city hall.


(Springfield--jc)  -- New eligibility guidelines for free and reduced school lunches are being released and low-income families are encouraged to apply to the program. Income limits are set each year and Roxanne Ramage with the State Board of Education says the breakfasts, lunches and after school snacks help make sure students do not go hungry…



State Board of Education Spokesperson Roxanne Ramage.

Questions about the program are found at your local school.


(Paxton--jc)  Two will join the Paxton Buckley Loda Hall of Fame later this month. One from Paxton and the other grew up in the Buckley area. The new inductees  are invited for the parade and the homecoming football game on the 27th and 28th of this month. They are Tom Meents of Paxton and Carmen Gronewald of Buckley.


(Springfield--jc)--  Sunshine today in the WPXN listening area, but is has been a wet start to the month of September in Illinois, thanks, in part, to tropical storm Gordon. September’s statewide average precipitation has already hit 3 and one half inches and that is more than 3 inches above normal says State Climatologist Jim Angel…



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

The highest rain total was just east of St Louis in Clay City, where 10 inches of rain has fallen so for in September.


(Rantoul--jc)  Rantoul village leaders will swear in two new police officers when they meet in monthly session tonight. They are Officer Ashley Lyn Butt and Officer Adrian Alberto Gauna. Local leaders will also recognize new officer Alejandro Carajal. Agenda items include an outside liquor license for outside venues, purchasing a vehicle from Shields Auto Center and selling some village owned properties. The Rantoul Village board meets at 6 tonight in the municipal building on Tanner Street.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois State Police say the Labor Day Holiday was a busy weekend for troopers. State Police beefed up enforcement over the long weekend in support of operation care initiative says State Police Sergeant Jacqueline Cepeda…



State Police Sergeant Jacqueline Cepeda.

Cepeda says over the 4 day detail, troopers made almost 5 thousand traffic stops, 3 thousand speeding tickets, 101 D-U-I arrests and over 500 tickets for not wearing a seatbelt.


(Undated--jc)  -- September 11th 2 thousand 1 is a date that will live in the minds of all Americans. Several events are set for today around the area to commemorate the events of 9-1-1. In Iroquois County, the Iroquois County Republican Women’s club is hosting its 7th annual First Responders event at 6 this evening at the Milford Fire Department. In Paxton the  Ford County Republican Women’s group along with the Daughters of the American Revolution are hosting their event at 6 tonight at the Paxton Firehouse. Both events honor those in the military along with local police and fire department personnel. Other events include at the city building in Urbana at 7-30 this morning and at 8-46 this morning at west side park in Champaign.



Gov. Bruce Rauner Declares a "Harvest Emergency" to Help Crop-Hauling Illinois Farmers

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's new investigation into clergy sex abuse allegations in the Roman Catholic Church is delving into confidential church files in a state where hundreds of people have already made claims through internal church programs. But few criminal cases or lawsuits may come out of the inquiry. New York has some of the nation's strictest time limits on taking child sex abuse claims to court. Yet inquiries by several states could still be valuable to victims by bringing information to light.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Springfield woman to an extra six months in prison after learning a letter of support she submitted to the court was falsified. The State Journal-Register reports 31-year-old Elizabeth Gonzalez was sentenced last month to 15 months in prison for embezzling more than $47,500 from a bank where she worked.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a "harvest emergency" to help crop-hauling Illinois farmers compete with those in neighboring states. The Republican's declaration allows haulers to exceed road-weight limits in taking crops to market. The free permits are available from the Illinois Department of Transportation.


(Rantoul-dg)-The Rantoul Township High School Board of Education will hold its regular scheduled meeting on Monday. Agenda items include purchasing of a School District vehicle, approving Substitute Teacher pay and items concerning personnel. The meeting comes to order at 7pm the in Rantoul Township High School Boardroom.


(Paxton--jc)  -- If you saw  lots of motorcycles and riders in Paxton on Sunday, there was a good reason. The annual 9-1-1 Memorial ride took place around several local stops yesterday. One was in Paxton as local firefighters and E-M-S held a lunch for the group.


(Champaign--jc)  A Rantoul woman is facing an aggravated battery charge after police say she stabbed her husband on Friday. 38 year old Sandra Findley was arrested early Saturday morning. Local police were called to a home along Brookshire drive on a report of domestic violence. Rantoul police say the wound is non-life-threatening.



(Undated--jc)  WIth the effects of Hurricane Gordon, it just does not have the feel of drought locally. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey looks at the significant month-over-month changes in drought coverage for various states …



U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey.



(Paxton-jc)- What is next for  the subject of wind farms in Ford County? The Ford County planning commission is set to meet again later this month to discuss setbacks, ordinances and other local concerns. Last week, the county board committee meeting was a packed courtroom in Paxton on wind farms. One proposal is to place set backs at 25 hundred feet. Some in the county feel the positives for taxing bodies does not outway having windfarms in Ford County.

An adjourned meeting of the Ford County planning commission is set for 7pm on September 27th.


CHICAGO (AP) — Deadly blood infections persist in Illinois' understaffed nursing homes, according to a joint news investigation. The Chicago Tribune and Kaiser Health News found that about 6,000 Illinois nursing home residents a year who were hospitalized had sepsis, a bloodstream infection that can quickly turn fatal if not if not cared for properly. About 1 in 5 didn't survive, according to an analysis conducted for KHN by Definitive Healthcare, a private health care data firm. Sepsis is developed in bedridden patients with pneumonia, urinary tract infections and other conditions, including pressure sores. Sepsis can be prevented by turning immobile people every two hours and taking other precautions.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The remains of an Illinois native shot down over Germany 74 years ago during World War II have been identified. The P-0-W and M-I-A Agency announced last week that it had identified 28-year-old Herbert W. Harms. He was a native of Rutland Illinois. Harms was an Army Air Force tail-gunner on a B-17 bomber. His plane was shot down on a mission to Zeitz, Germany on Aug. 16, 1944. Eight of nine crewmembers bailed out safely and were held as prisoners of war.


GRIFFITH, Ind. (AP) — A winning Powerball lottery ticket sold in northwestern Indiana will expire Monday if the $50,000 prize goes unclaimed.The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that the ticket must be redeemed by 5 p.m. Monday at the Hoosier Lottery headquarters in Indianapolis.The ticket for the March 14 Powerball drawing was purchased at a Speedway gas station in Griffith.

While it wasn't a winner of the big cash prize, it secured a smaller payout by matching four of the five non-Powerball numbers drawn.



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



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois high school students are more likely to text while behind the wheel than their counterparts nationwide, according to a new study. Some 38 percent of high school students across the nation text while driving, translating to nearly four in 10 students, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. At 42 percent, Illinois had a slightly higher percentage of high schoolers texting while driving than the national average in 2015. The study was based on data obtained from 35 states that participated in the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.



(Rural Illinois--jc)  -- Rural parts of Illinois could finally get high-speed internet thanks to new federal grants.Almost $100 million in funding is coming from the Federal Communications Commission from a fund created with some of those fees found on phone and internet bills.Illinois Telecommunications Association President Randy Nehrt said the grants were awarded through a bidding process. One stipulation of the grant money is that the companies winning the auctions must bring service to at least 40 percent of the new customers within three years. They have 10 years to complete the projects.


(Washington--jc)  - What does the ag trade look like for the first 10 months of the fiscal year. U-S-D-A trade economist Bryce Cook has the numbers…


U-S-D-A trade economist Bryce Cook.


(Watseka--jc)  A dead crow in Southern Iroquois County has tested positive for the West Nile virus. Iroquois County Public Health Department officials say the crow was found Loda. The virus remains  a possibility due to the time of year and wet conditions. Public Health officials continue to inform local residents to take precautions especially at dawn and dusk where mosquitos are out.


(Rantoul--jc)  There were some military type actions on the former Chanute Air Force base on Saturday and Sunday. The reason was an airsoft event. The Sleeping Giant airsoft event saw around 160 participants fire plastic pellets in a competition. The event took place around Grissom Hall in the southern part of the village.


(Springfield--jc)  - The State is launching a new college and career planning tool for students and parents.  The Illinois College to career website lets families plug in the type of school and field of study students are considering. Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Karen Hunter Anderson says its a valuable resource…



Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Karen Hunter Anderson.

The website is I-L-College-2-career-dot-com


(Springfield--jc)  -- Attendance was down but vendor sales were up at this years Illinois State Fair in Springfield. More than 369 thousand people attended the annual event. That is an 8 percent decrease compared to last year. Illinois State Fair Spokesperson Denise Albert says it was a good fair with high vendor receipts…



Illinois State Fair Spokesperson Denise Albert.


(Paxton--jc)  Two Ford County based groups are hosting a 9-1-1 remembrance event tomorrow evening. The Ford County Republican Women and National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution have a community event at 6 p.m. Tuesday at  at the Paxton firehouse on North Market Street in the city. The event commemorate the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and also to honor and recognize local and firefighters, area emergency personnel, to police officers and ambulance drivers.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College announces the grand opening of its new cafe, Betsy’s Bistro at Parkland Today is the first day for the new college venue in the Student Union cafeteria. Hours of operation are 7-30am to 3pm Monday through Friday  Menu items include breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, fresh-made doughnuts and fresh-ground specialty coffees for breakfast, with burgers, crispy chicken sandwiches, fresh-cut fries, wood-fired pizza, wraps and a salad and noodle bar for lunch says Doug Richter, executive chef for the Parkland campus cafe


llinois State Police Busy Writing Tickets and Giving Warnings Concerning Speed on Interstate 74

(Champaign-dg)-The Illinois State Police have been busy writing tickets and giving warnings concerning the speed on Interstate 74 in Champaign. The Illinois Department of Transportation lowered the speed limit to 60 miles per hour to help reduce traffic accidents.


(Springfield-dg)-Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ new program “MONEY MATCH” aims to return 12 million dollars to Illinois taxpayers. Those with two thousand dollars or less in unclaimed money may soon be getting a check in the mail. Treasurer Frerichs explains how Money Match works.


Treasurer Mike Frerichs

Notification letter will be sent this month and once addresses are verified… checks will be mailed.


(Paxton-dg)-It was a packed courtroom in Paxton as concerned citizens heard discussion on proposed changes to Ford County’s ordinance regulating wind farms. The Ford County Planning Commission advisory panel voted to adjourn the meeting to 7pm on September 27 for further discussions.


(Loda-ba)-The American Legion Riders are having their Roger Schunke Kicking Cancer Benefit Ride & the 2nd annual Ron Harness Memorial Ride Sunday, September 16th. Signup will start at the VFW in Rantoul at 10:30 with the ride commencing at noon, ending at Murdock’s in Loda around 3:30 with food, music, and a silent auction.


NEW YORK (AP) — Burt Reynolds, the handsome film and television star known for his acclaimed performances in "Deliverance" and "Boogie Nights" and an active off-screen life that included relationships with Loni Anderson and Sally Field, has died at age 82.


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



(Springfield-dg)-Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to declare a harvest season emergency later this morning, allowing farmers to apply to the Illinois department of Transportation to get a free permit to haul 10 percent over their gross vehicle weight and axle weight limit on state highways. Local authorities will have the ability to grant similar permits.


(Springfield-dg)-The Illinois department of Public Health is working to get more people vaccinated against Hepatitis A. I-D-P-H is sending HEP-A vaccine to nearly a dozen local health hopes of vaccinating those most at risk which include drug users, men who have sex with men and the homeless. Director Dr. Nirav Shah sasy Hepatitis A si an infection that can damage the liver.



Shah sasy there have been outbreaks of Hepatitis A in several other states...but none so far in Illinois.


(Danville-ba)-The Vermilion County Museum Society will be hosting  Behind the Tombstone, a resident guided walking tour at Spring Hill  Cemetery in Danville on September 14th, 15th, and 16th with all proceeds benefiting the Vermilion County Museum. Tickets are available at the Vermilion County Museum during regular Museum hours, Thursday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00pm.

Paxton’s Swine and Dine event is one week away. There will be plenty of food and activities going on. Event spokesperson Ashley Tolley has some details about the concert.

Event spokesperson Ashley Tolley

(Gibson City-dg)-It’s never too early to start thinking about Christmas. For one area town that’s just what they’re doing. Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey wants to change the name of the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce Lighted Holiday Parade to the Gibson City Christmas Parade. He and his wife are leading the organization of this year’s November parade. The Theme for this year’s parade is “An Old Fashioned Christmas.

Gibson City-dg)-Three area high schools are teaming up to give students an unique learning experience. Paxton-Buckley-Loda, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, and Fisher high schools will be implementing the Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship Prairielands CEO program. The Program will involve students visiting local businesses and hearing from guest speaker from local businesses. And it will all be done without textbooks or classrooms. The curriculum is based on the experiences of the business community. A selection committee will select students based on their application and references provided. The students need to be trustworthy with good work ethics, but not necessarily a straight A student.

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10am to 2pm Saturday, September 8th in its parking lot to help raise funds for the Paxton Evangelical Covenant Church. Pork chops, sandwiches, chips, and soda will be for sale.


State Universities Could Learn Lesson from EIU

(Charleston)-One Eastern Illinois University trustee says the state's other struggling universities may want to look to EIU to get their schools back on track. Three years ago, Eastern Illinois University Trustee Dan Caulkins said the outlook for the school was gloomy. Enrollment was falling, the school had just spent $25 million from reserves, and then Illinois' budget stalemate came.  But Caulkins said over the past three years, EIU has cut programs, narrowed its focus and turned around its enrollment numbers. Caulkins said higher education in Illinois and across the country is changing. And higher education institutions must adapt to the changes.  


(Bloomington)-According to an annual survey from the National Federation of State High School Associations, the total number of football players in the state has dropped about 17 percent in the past few years from 47,068 to 40,111. Matt Troha, assistant executive director with the Illinois High School Association, said injury concerns and new research on concussions play a factor. He said the IHSA has taken steps to make the sport safer. “Most of them revolve around the practice schedule,” Troha said. “The amount of time you’re allowed to practice, what days you can practice, how often you can wear equipment and go full pads and hit when you are practicing.” He adds that shifting enrollment patterns in the city Chicago with the influx of small charter schools, is also to blame. “Many of them are very small and don’t field a team. The opportunity to have a team might not be there. They might be located in an old factory or office building where there’s no gym or football field.



Nike has unveiled its first "Just Do It" ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, a spot scheduled to air during the NFL season opener Thursday night as well as during the U.S. Open tennis tournament and other major sporting events.

The two-minute spot released Wednesday highlights superstar athletes LeBron James, Serena Williams and others, and touches on the controversy of NFL players protesting racial inequality, police brutality and other issues by demonstrating during the national anthem.



IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Mexican man charged with killing an Iowa college student was known for years on the dairy farm where he worked by another name: John Budd. Yarrabee Farms is facing scrutiny over whether its managers had any idea that Cristhian Bahena Rivera was in the country illegally before the slaying of Mollie Tibbetts. The name under which Rivera worked for the last four years was confirmed by three people with knowledge of his employment history who spoke on condition of anonymity.



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department says it's convening a meeting later this month to discuss concerns that social media companies may be hurting competition and "intentionally stifling the free exchange of ideas on their platforms." The statement comes on the same day as Facebook and Twitter executives appeared at congressional hearings. Both companies pledged to better protect their social media platforms in the 2018 elections and beyond.



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



(Springfield)-The state of Illinois has less than a month to set thousands of workers five years ahead in pay and explain how it's going to pay them four years worth of back wages with interest, something the state may claim that it can't afford. The state has until Oct. 1 to set 14,000 union workers’ pay to what it would be had they gotten step increases since 2015. This comes from one of the final legal motions regarding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to freeze the pay of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 members when their contract expired. The state would have to also explain its claim of “insufficient funds” to pay the more than $400 million in back wages, according to the AFSCME release. The Illinois Labor Relations Board wouldn’t turn over the ruling without being legally compelled via a Freedom of Information Act request.



(Springfield)-About 1,000 emergency response crews from around Illinois have been spending time this week in Springfield hearing about lessons learned from recent shootings, both deadly and narrowly averted. Mike Chamness, chairman of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force, said attendees will hear about the task force’s proposals to help address school shootings.The 2018 Training Summit event sponsored by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency was free for attendees with sessions on a variety of issues. Vendors of various services for emergency managers were also on hand showing off services and goods. It wraps up today.



(Chicago)-With Rahm Emanuel's announcement this week that he won't seek re-election, Chicago has a new opportunity to elect a mayor who will help the city tackle some of the systemic issues that have it held it back for decades. After Emanuel's announcement, Rockford Republican Dave Syverson correctly noted that Chicago is a key economic engine for all of Illinois and that Chicago's mayor holds the key to that engine. Furthermore, Syverson said all of Illinois should care about who becomes Chicago's next mayor


(Champaign)-December corn prices approached contract lows not seen since the second week of July as August ended. The continued weakness in corn prices persists despite 2018-19 marketing-year projections of stocks to use near 11 percent. The August Crop Production report forecasted 2018 corn production at 14.586 billion bushels with a yield of 178.4 bushels per acre. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs, the corn yield forecast has recently come under scrutiny due to the latest industry estimates predicting yields below the current projection. “The question is whether the corn production forecast will change enough to result in higher prices than those currently reflected in the market,” Hubbs says.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois city has approved settling two lawsuits accusing police of wrongdoing for a combined $3.7 million. The News-Gazette reports that the Champaign City Council approved the settlement Tuesday, with the bulk of the funds going to a man alleging he was wrongfully incarcerated for nearly 18 years. The council also approved a $220,000 settlement for a man who sued the city and two officers for excessive force. The city doesn't admit any liability or wrongdoing in the settlements.



NEW YORK (AP) — With the start of the NFL season tonight, there is good news for football fans: It's going to be much easier to watch NFL games online this year. The league is finally dropping a requirement that viewers sign in with a cable or satellite subscription, in hopes of expanding its online audience at a time when TV ratings are declining . Though there are restrictions — no free streaming on smart TVs, for instance — the move marks a significant departure for sports. Other major professional leagues still require TV subscriptions for hometown teams.


New Children's Concussion Guidelines Recommend Against Routine X-rays and Blood Tests for Diagnosis



CHICAGO (AP) — New children's concussion guidelines from the U.S. government recommend against routine X-rays and blood tests for diagnosis and reassure parents that most kids' symptoms clear up within one to three months. Signs of potentially more serious injuries that may warrant CT imaging scans include vomiting, unconsciousness and severe, worsening headaches, according to the guidelines released Tuesday. The guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the first broad evidence-based recommendations for diagnosing and treating children's concussions, the researchers say. They evaluated 25 years of scientific research on managing concussions in children and chose procedures with the strongest evidence of benefit.


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Insurance giant State Farm on Tuesday reached a $250 million preliminary settlement in a federal class-action lawsuit claiming the company funneled money to the campaign of an Illinois Supreme Court candidate. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis alleged Bloomington-based State Farm secretly funneled money to the campaign of Supreme Court Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier while he was a candidate for the high court in 2004.


HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — A prosecutor says a southern Illinois physician charged with killing his estranged wife and destroying her body will have his trial delayed because of questions over his fitness to stand trial. Saline County State's Attorney Jayson Clark tells The Southern Illinoisan he was ready to start the murder trial for Brian Burns of Harrisburg later this month.



BLOOMINGTON — A Peoria resident pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday in the December 2016 death of a 41-year-old man during a kidnapping that started at the victim's home in Normal. The Pantagraph reports that 30 year old Danny SMith Junior was charged with kidnapping and murder in connection with the death of Maunds Bryant of Normal. In an open plea agreement with the state that did not include a prison sentence, Smith pleaded guilty to a single count of murder. He is eligible for a term of 20 to 60 years in prison when he is sentence on November 20th.


(Washington--jc)  -- Sports teams can fall in the rankings in no time; but it's not limited to sports. Rankings can change drastically in the world of agricultural buying and selling. Gary Crawford has the numbers…




(Chicago--jc)  Walt Disney leads the list of Illinois Entertainers in the latest Illinois top10 poll. Disney was born in Chicago  and studied at the art institute of Chicago. He holds the record for the most academy awards as a film producer says Abrhahm Lincoln Presidential Library spokesperson Chris Wills. There are more top names on the list…


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Spokesperson Chris Wills

The next category to vote is the state’s top scientists at Illinois-Top-200-dot-com.



(Gilman--jc)  Iroquois West school board members have two items on a special agenda meeting on Thursday of this week. The board will look at Crescent City communication and hear in a closed session student disciplinary cases. The Iroquois West school board meets on Thursday night at 7 at the high school in Gilman.


(Springfield--jc)  -- The average statewide temperature for this past week was more than 76 degrees. That’s about three and a half degrees above normal. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 90 percent of the corn acres have dented…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

16 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and the statewide topsoil moisture is 4 percent very short, 17 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus



(Gibson City--jc)  Harvest fest is coming soon to one Ford County city. Gibson City leaders are meeting later this week to consider a special license for the Sand Trap restaurant and bar in conjunction with the annual event, This years Gibson City Harvest Fest is set for Friday and Saturday. Music, beer garden, bags tournament and a kids area hilite this years event.


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


(Farmer City--jc)  A portion of Interstate 74 near Farmer City was dedicated to a fallen Illinois State Police Trooper. 37 year old Ryan Albin was killed on duty last year on I-74. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner attended the dedication ceremony…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

Illinois State police Director Leo Schmitz also made comments on the somber ceremony…



Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz

The Ryan Albin Memorial Highway stretches from.mile marker 155 to mile marker 160 near Farmer City


(Paxton--jc)  -- Two Ford County service groups are planning a community event next week to commemorate September 11th 2001. The Ford County Republican Women’s group and the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution have set  the event for 6pm on Tuesday evening at the Paxton firehouse on Market street in the city. The groups will also recognize and honor local emergency personnel from firefighters, police officers and ambulance drivers at the 9-11 event. A raffle is also on going for the two organizations.


CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has refused to overturn the fraud conviction of an Illinois judge. Earlier this year, a jury convicted Cook County Circuit Judge Jessica O'Brien of fraudulently obtaining mortgages for Chicago investment properties and illegally pocketing more than $300,000. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin on Tuesday denied several motions made by defense lawyers for O'Brien, including those seeking an acquittal or a new trial. She is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 9


(Paxton--jc)  -- One local business is planning its grand re-opening for this month. The Paxton NAPA store will celebrate the grand re-opening on Friday September 14th. The Store is located on south Market Street in the city.  The event takes place from 11am to 1pm and a lunch will also be served to those attending the event.


(Piatt County--jc)  An Allerton Illinois man was not injured in a one vehicle accident along Interstate 72 in Piatt County on Tuesday. The crash of the truck and its rock load, did block the interstate for several hours. 37 year old Corey Kilgore  was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. The accident blocked the exit ramp for several hours.


(Champaign--jc)  State police reported another  incident in a construction zone on Tuesday afternoon along Interstate 74 in Champaign County. Police say a semi tractor trailer stalled in a construction zone near the Cunningham Avenue exit around 5pm Tuesday. . The stalled vehicle caused a large back up of vehicles in the area. The roadway was cleared after about one hour.



(Rantoul--ab) Rantoul high school has a new security system. The system is called Raptor. The way Raptor works is that when someone enters the high school's main office, they will be asked to present an I-D, such as a Driver’s License. That information will be put into the Raptor system. One use of the Raptor system is to make sure that registered sexual offenders are not entering our school without the schools  knowledge. The Raptor system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. No information is shared with other entities. School officials are ready to answer any question about the Raptor system at Rantoul Township High School.


(Springfield--jc) It was a warm week for Illinois fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Five days were suitable for fieldwork this past week. State crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says soybeans are turning color on 49 percent of acres…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusner.

Schleusener says 36 percent of corn is now mature and 75 percent of the state’s corn crop is in good to excellent condition.




Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced she joined with 17 other attorneys general to file an amicus brief in Ramos v. Nielsen supporting plaintiffs’ efforts to prevent the potential deportation of hundreds of thousands of people who hold Temporary Protected Status in the U.S.  In this case, plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction blocking a new rule issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for purposes of determining whether to extend a country’s TPS designation. The plaintiffs allege that the rule has resulted in the termination of TPS status for natives of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan and violates the due process rights of TPS holders and their children, and constitutes discriminatory action against TPS holders from Latin America and Africa.



Portion of Interstate 74 to be Named in Honor of Fallen State Trooper Ryan Albin Today

(Farmer City--jc)  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is expected in Farmer City this afternoon. The governor is delivering remarks at the Illinois State Trooper Ryan Albin Highway dedication ceremony. The event is set for 1-30 this afternoon at the Trinity Community Fellowship Church along Clinton avenue in the city. State leaders passed a resolution to re-name the portion of the local interstate in his honor says State Senator Chapin Rose…



State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet.

Albin was fatally injured while on the job as an Illinois State Trooper.  Interstate 74 from mile marker 155 to 160 will be named in Trooper Albin’s honor


BLOOMINGTON — The state agreed with lawyers for John Y. Butler on Friday that 16 counts of theft should be dismissed against the man who once oversaw operations of a Bloomington owned arena. Judge Bill Yoder dismissed the counts after Assistant State's Attorney Brad Rigdon acknowledged the allegations involve alleged misconduct outside the statute of limitations for criminal charges. Rigdon said the charges will be rewritten to address the deficiencies and refiled within the next several weeks.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- One local state senator is hosting a town hall meeting this afternoon in Rantoul. State Senator Scott Bennett, democrat of Champaign will meet with constituents from 5-30 until 6-30 this afternoon at the Rantoul Business Center. A second town hall meeting with Bennett is set for the Westville City Hall on Wednesday afternoon at 5-30.


CHICAGO (AP) — Police arrested a dozen participants of an anti-violence protest on Labor Day that tried and ultimately failed to shut down an expressway that leads to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Live TV reports Monday showed Illinois State Police troopers also arresting the main organizer of the protest, the Rev. Gregory Livingston. State police say a dozen people were arrested, handed $120 citations and then released.


(Chicago--jc)  -- A company owned by Democratic gubernatorial candidate J B Pritzker is warning its employees not to join a union, according to a letter one of its employees posted to Facebook. A Channel Three report says the letter states that there's only one way to guarantee that you can avoid the problems a union could possibly cause and to just say no.  Billy Dean, an employee for SeaDog Ventures, which is an Entertainment Cruises company, posted the letter to his Facebook page. Entertainment Cruises is owned by The Pritzker Group, which is owned by Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker and his brother Tony Pritzker.


(Washington--jc)  -- Reaction from Ag officials over a report on meat and poultry testing. The article appeared in this week’s Consumer Reports. U-S-D-A Food and Safety Inspection Service Administrator Carmen Rottenberg says they do extensive inspection on meat and poultry for drug residues and other contaminants…


U-S-D-A Food and Safety Inspection Service Administrator Carmen Rottenberg.



(Urbana--jc)  One thousand 300, that is the amount of seats available for an event with former U S President Barack Obama. The former leader is making a visit to the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois on Friday. A seat lottery for students at the local college started last week and over 20 thousand have entered,  Obama will speak at 11am on Friday at Foellinger Auditorium.


(Ford County--jc)  -- Wind farms and the future of wind farms will be the subject of a meeting in Paxton on Thursday. A Ford County board committee has recommended that setbacks for new windmill projects in the county move to 25 hundred feet.  A large crowd is expected for the meeting on Thursday. The meeting comes to order at 7-30 inside the first floor courtroom at the Ford County Courthouse in Paxton.



(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Foundation is starting to fundraise for the current year.  The local group raises money to help with academic needs for students in the Paxton Buckley Loda School district. Teacher grants along with a 45 thousand dollar grant for laptop carts were provided over the past year. The Paxton Foundation has also has a new website addition that allows donations  to be placed securely on-line.



KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois county has approved a memorial honoring three former governors from Kankakee, including convicted ex-Gov. George Ryan.

The Kankakee County board endorsed it in a 10-to-2 vote last week. It'll be on the Kankakee courthouse lawn. It'll also be dedicated to Len Small, governor from 1921 to 1929; and Samuel Shapiro, governor in the late 1960s. Member Michael LaGesse opposed it, saying he didn't get one call in favor. Board member Robert Ellington-Snipes expressed reservations, citing Ryan's corruption convictions. But he said Ryan also did some "good." He voted for the plan. The Woman's Club of Kankakee led the drive for the memorial in the city. The group hopes to have it completed in October.



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


(Paxton--jc) With the Labor Day Holiday over, there is still summer left and the hot weather to go with it. That also means there remains a possibility for the West Nile virus. Ford County Public Health Department spokesperson Christie Wallace says to be aware of where mosquitoes are especially during dawn and dusk hours…


Ford County Public Health Department Spokesperson Christie Wallace


BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — The Bloomington City Council will consider a proposal to penalize landlords who repeatedly violate city housing codes. The Pantagraph reports the review comes after one landlord racked up nearly 800 code violations at six rental properties. One of those buildings was destroyed by fire earlier this year. Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner says the council needs to take another look at the issue and chronic offenders. Renner says, "We need to come after them and we need to come after them hard."



URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Officials have picked sites at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus and in Springfield to become part of a Chicago-based high-tech innovation center.The University of Illinois Springfield recently acquired Innovate Springfield, a downtown business and innovation incubator, to house the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network. The Springfield hub will connect to the Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago.The Springfield hub decision comes months after Illinois lawmakers awarded the University of Illinois system $500 million in state money to build DPI and to establish hubs across the state. DPI is the centerpiece of the innovation network, which aims to accelerate economic growth in Illinois through research and innovation.


(Washington--jc)  Harvest time is right around the corner. Farm income is on the line. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Rob Johansson talks the basics of farm income…


U-S-D-A Chief  Economist Rob Johansson.

(Chicago--jc)  -- The month of August has provided some good news for Illinois small businesses. Recent reports indicate national gross domestic product increasing at a 4.2 percent annualized rate, the fastest since the third quarter of 2014. Mark Grant, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said small businesses are feeling the effects of that growth here in Illinois and says some are  super-excited because of the amount of business and others continue to hire more employees. Meanwhile, a new survey from the Tax Foundation estimates Illinois will add nearly 9,000 jobs this year as a result of tax cuts in Washington, and nearly 60,000 by 2025.


(Rantoul--jc)  -- The current finalist for the Rantoul Village Administrator position is down to two. Rantoul village leaders are meeting with the pair later today and local leaders could name a new village administrator as early as this Thursday. The two candidates are Jeffrey Eder, the city administrator of East Peoria, and Scott Eisenhauer, the mayor of Danville. Current Rantoul Administrator Rick Snider has stayed on at the position through the end of this month. He is moving to the East Coast.



(Washington--jc)  The Agriculture Secretary believes a recent deal with Mexico, and securing an agreement with Canada, would help the U.S. in advancing additional trade agreements going forward. Rod Bain reports..




(Milford--jc)  One local political organization is honoring first responders next week. The Iroquois County Republican Women’s Club’s 7th Annual First Responder Appreciation Celebration at 6 p.m. Sept. 11. The celebration takes place at the Milford Fire Station. The public is invited to the event.



CHICAGO (AP) — More than two dozen libraries across Illinois will receive grants to teach middle and high school students how to use the latest technology. Secretary of State Jesse White, who also serves as the state librarian, announced the some $525,000 in Project Next Generation grants.

The program provides funding for libraries to offer after-school programs with access to computers, software and other technology. Mentors are hired to help  them. They include libraries in Carbondale, Chicago, Decatur, Joliet, Kankakee, Moline, Peoria and Sparta..


(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Lunch ‘N Learn event on Thursday. Kodi Smith of Ameren Illinois will speak about the utility company’s energy-efficiency program. Lunch will be provided. More information on cost is found by calling the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce.


Congress Has Until the End of September to Get New Farm Bill to President Donald Trump's Desk

(Washington--jc)  -- Talks are now under way between U.S. House members who supported a farm bill with a work requirement for food stamp recipients and a handful of senators who passed a version of the bill without a work requirement.Congress has until the end of September to get a new farm bill to President Donald Trump’s desk before the existing one expires. While the bill is important to the agricultural community, the bulk of the spending goes to federal food assistance. The House’s bill passed with a requirement that able-bodied recipients without young children need to either work or train for 20 hours a week to qualify for food assistance. The Senate’s didn’t.Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss predicts House members of the committee tasked with merging the two bills will not get a work requirement in the final version.


CHICAGO (AP) — A debate coach who went into Illinois prisons to organize teams of inmates has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the Department of Corrections barred the activity in violation of free-speech rights. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports that Katrina Burlet's lawsuit filed Wednesday in Chicago accuses officials of shutting down the program months after she began organizing debates on the topic of parole


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The federal courthouse in Springfield is getting a $2.6 million face-lift. The State Journal-Register reports the U.S. General Services Administration is repairing the exterior of the Paul Findley Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. GSA spokeswoman Cat Langel says weather exposure has worn down the exterior walls of the building, which was constructed in 1930.


HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) — Snakes and amphibians will have the right away for a while on Shawnee National Forest's Snake Road. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports that beginning on Saturday, officials are closing the roadway in Southern Illinois to allow the animals to migrate from LaRue Swamp to the nearby limestone bluffs.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois-Chicago says it will drop men's and women's gymnastics after the 2018-19 season. The university says the decision will affect 11 women and 25 men who still will have NCAA eligibility. Scholarships will be honored for students who stay. Illinois-Chicago Chancellor Michael Amiridis says it was an "exceptionally difficult decision" influenced by the cost of running sports teams.



(Champaign--jc)  -- This summer was warmer and wetter than we usually see in Illinois. The statewide average temperature for June, July and August came in at 75 degrees, which is about a degree and a half above normal says State Climatologist Jim Angel…


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

There are some dry spots in the state in portions of Northern and Western Illinois.



CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has granted eight requests for clemency and denied 85 other petitions. Rauner's office announced the clemencies Friday. The petitions granted were for crimes including burglary, theft, drug possession and delivery of a controlled substance. Some of the cases are decades old, and in most cases the people were sentenced to probation.

Pesotum, IL - The Labor Day weekend signifies the end of the summer and one of the busiest driving periods of the year where millions of motorists are expected to hit the roadways nationwide. Illinois State Police (ISP) District 10 Commander, Captain Louis Kink, is urging motorists to celebrate responsibly, and make safety their number one priority. Troopers will focus their attention on the primary factors that contribute to fatal traffic crashes. Driving under the influence (DUI), speeding, distracted driving, and not wearing seat belts, the Fatal Four, are the four primary causes of fatal traffic crashes. Troopers will patrol Illinois roadways watching for and assisting stranded motorists, and enforcing Fatal Four violations in order to help reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. There will be additional emphasis on DUI offenses over the holiday weekend. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign began on August 17 and runs through today. The ISP will have additional troopers out on the roadways and at roadside safety checks watching for impaired drivers. Troopers will also be watching for those who fail to slow down and move over. Illinois law requires motorists to reduce speed, change lanes if possible, and proceed with due caution when approaching a vehicle on the side of the road displaying rotating or flashing lights.


(Washington--jc) The Labor Day holiday weekend brings out the grills. Marianne Gravely with U-S-D-A's Meat and Poultry Hotline saying there are limits to how long you should leave out perishable foods…



Mariane Gravely with the U-S-D-A Meat and Poultry Hotline.



(Paxton--jc)  Its open again. The direct route from Paxton to Rantoul along U S Route 45. A bridge project just over two miles south of Paxton began this Spring and the hope was it would re open by September. It’s now September and the bring work is complete.



CHICAGO (AP) — Driving north into the City of Chicago? Chicago's Lake Shore Drive is a hot spot for high-speed ticketing, according to city police data. The scenic highway along Lake Michigan accounts for more than half of all such citations in the city The number of high-speed tickets issued on Lake Shore Drive jumped to more than 4,300 last year, up from more than 500 in 2014.



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



(Urbana--jc)  --Authorities in Champaign County say DNA, genealogy research and littering lead them to a suspect in a 2009 Illinois murder case. Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh said DNA evidence is not like what you see on TV. But the DNA trail that lead his office to a suspect in the 2009 murder of Holly Cassano sounds like something out of a story. Walsh said after nine years, investigators turned to a private company to work up a DNA profile of the man who raped and killed Cassano. The sheriff said investigators connected the final dots when their suspect, 30-year-old Michael Henslick, dropped a cigarette butt. DNA testing of that butt matched DNA at the scene of Cassano's murder. Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Hinsleck faces four counts of first-degree murder. He's being held in the Champaign County jail on $10 million bond.


(Washington--jc)  -- Think summer is almost over? With these temperatures, you could be forgiven if you have second thoughts Stephanie Ho reports…




(Champaign--ab) There’s a new speed along one stretch of Interstate 74 in Champaign Thursday 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.



Illinois latest Top 200 list could be the toughest vote yet.Illinois' bicentennial best-of voters are picking the state's top entertainers. But the choices aren't easy. Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, Hugh Hefner, Quincy Jones, John Hughes and Bill Veek are all on the list. Chris Wills with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum said picking the best will be a personal choice.



Members of Illinois’ congressional delegation are touting the importance of maintaining locks and dams in helping move agricultural products, but there’s some caution moving forward. U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, said there are billions of dollars in backlogged maintenance needs in the locks and dams system and if any of them fail, farmers would take a massive hit.The Trump administration announced $10 million for the LaGrange Lock in Cass County. The lock last underwent rehabilitation in 1988. U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, said agriculture is the No. 1 industry in his district. He said with Illinois being connected to major rivers and waterways, locks and dams are crucial in getting agriculture products around the world.



(Watseka--jc)  Iroquois County Treasurer, Mindy Kuntz Hagan, announced that the deadline to pay the second installment of real estate taxes without penalty is Wednesday, September 5, 2018. After that date,an interest penalty will be added to the installment payment.


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