(Springfield--jc) -- Governor. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday that he was excited to implement the state's gambling expansion law, but it’s unclear when that will happen.The gambling law the governor signed last month will help fund a $45 billion, six-year infrastructure plan. The measure included adding a $1 per pack tax to cigarettes and was coupled with another bill doubling the state’s gas tax and increasing other driving fees to pay for both horizontal infrastructure like roads and bridges and vertical infrastructure like public universities. After watching a race at Fairmount Park in Collinsville on Tuesday, Pritzker told the crowd that the state is taking the allotted 40 horse-racing days and increasing it to 100 racing days.
(Paxton--jc) The meeting of the city of Paxton long term planning committee heard some ideas last night on the future of marijuana sales in the city. The state of Illinois will become the 11th state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana on January 1st. Several at last night’s meeting say the city should be proactive and allow the sale of marijuana and look to gather in sales tax revenue. City leaders were using the meeting to discuss the idea. If the city council and mayor would pursue sales, they would need to pass a new ordinance. Monticello, GIbson City, and St Joseph are other area towns looking into sales of legal marijuana starting in 20-20.
OTTAWA, Ill. (AP) — Two skydivers are said to be fine after they collided in midair during a jump outside Ottawa. A spokesman for Skydive Chicago said one of the licensed skydivers was knocked unconscious in the collision Tuesday. However, his automatic activation device opened his parachute. Because he was unable to steer, he landed in the Fox River. The Ottawa Fire Department says the other skydiver landed at the airport and both were taken to OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Ottawa for evaluation.
(Washington--jc) -- Farmers will likely be given the go-ahead to grow hemp in 2020, but will they be able to have a crop insurance policy for their crop? Gary Crawford reports…
(Rantoul--jc) Champaign County not only has a local citizen as the Illinois Veteran’s of Foreign War State Commander, but also an advocate for local veteran’s in the area. Rantoul resident Brad Gould is the current V-F-W State Commander, he also heads a group in Champaign County for veteran’s assistance. Gould says his office in Urbana is an easy reach by phone, when veteran’s have questions and issues…
Illinois V-F-W State Commander and Rantoul resident Brad Gould
(Springfield--jc) -- A new state law aims to further protect the public from food allergies. The law requires products with sesame that are sold in Illinois be labled as such. State Representative Johnathon Carroll of Northbrook sponsored by bill…
State Representative Johnathon Carroll of Northbrook
There is also a push to put sesame on a list of common food allergies at the federal level.
(Gibson City--jc) August summer activities continue with a group based in Gibson City to host a kids day. The Corn Belt Shrine Club’s Kids day is set for Noon to 3pm on Sunday August 18th at North Park in the city. A parade kicks off the day at 11-30 along Sangamon Avenue. Hot dogs, go-kart rides, a cake walk and other games for kids will be offered. All activities are just 25 cents.
(Springfield-jc) -- Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has signed legislation to bolster the state’s “Move Over” law, The legislation increases the penalties for not slowing down and moving over when you see a vehicle with flashing lights stopped on the side of the road. The governor says there will also be higher fines for highway construction zone violations…
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker
This year, 22 stationary Illinois State Police squad cars have been struck by motorists and 2 troopers died as a result of those accident.
Ford County, IL - Ford County Public Health Department is collecting dead birds through October 15 Christy Wallace, Vector Program Coordinator is asking for assistance from the public in the collection of dead birds found in Ford County. Collecting and testing dead birds are important components of our West Nile virus surveillance program. If you find a dead bird, contact Ford County Public Health Department (217)379-9281. However, before you submit a dead bird, please ensure the following criteria are met they include that the bird is dead, but the carcass is in good condition. Birds should be dead no more than 48 hours prior to collection and shows no sign it died of causes other than West Nile.
(Washington--jc)-- Although taken by producers every 5 years, work is ongoing to develop the Census of Agriculture ... both products from the last Census, and the latest Census scheduled for 2022. Rod Bain reports..
(Springfield-jc) --The architect of a plan to buy out a portion of state retirees’ raises defended the program after a report found it saved the state about $13.1 million, far short of the $445 million it was expected to save the state this year. A report from the Civic Federation found the plan to offer retiring state pensioners a buyout of a portion of their annual raises in retirement had saved the state little more than $13.1 million. Former Gov. Bruce Rauner had estimated it would save the state an estimated $445 million this year. State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, who crafted the buyout legislation, said the program wasn’t fully implemented and that Rauner’s administration overestimated the projected savings to shore up the state’s budget.
(Watseka--jc) Iroquois County’s Policy and Procedure committee will hear an update on flood matters in the county when they meet tomorrow morning in Watseka. The county committee is expected to approve revised job descriptions for the Finance Center and hear an E-M-A report. The Iroquois County Policy and Procedure committee meets at 9 tomorrow morning in Watseka.
(Washington--jc) -- It’s drier than normal conditions for crops in the midwest. U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey says despite some midwest rains, the Corn Belt is dry…
U-S-D-A Meteorologist Brad Rippey
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has announced the names of two U.S. soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan on Monday. The Defense Department says 20-year-old Pfc. Brandon Jay Kreischer of Stryker, Ohio, and 24-year-old Spc. Michael Isaiah Nance of Chicago died "as a result of wounds sustained in a combat related incident" in Tarin Kowt, in southern Afghanistan. Pentagon spokesperson Jessica R. Maxwell says the incident is under investigation.
(Rantoul--jc) -- Do you want to celebrate National Coloring Book Day? Your opportunity will be Friday in Rantoul as the Rantou Public Library will host an open house. The observance runs from 10am until 4pm on Friday. Supplies will be provided for those who want to color at the library on Friday.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's transportation agencies are boosting services to accommodate tens of thousands of people attending Lollapalooza. The Metra commuter train and the CTA subway agencies will expand capacity for one of the nation's most popular music festivals. It takes place Thursday through Sunday in Chicago's Grant Park.
(Cissna Park--jc) Do you have talent? If the answer is yes then you are wanted for the Cissna Park Old Settler’s Talent Show set for August. The annual event sponsored by the Cissna Park American Legion takes place from Thursday August 15th through Saturday August 17th in the park in Cissna Park. A junior division will feature groups and individuals 14 and under. The senior division is for groups and individuals 15 to 21. The show starts at 7-30pm. Some one will also win a brand new car at this year’s Old Settlers celebration.