WPXN Blog Archives for 2019-09

Illinois officials have rolled out a statewide video campaign to promote help available to those struggling with substance abuse

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials have rolled out a statewide video campaign to promote help available to those struggling with substance abuse, including opioids.The videos posted online focus on the stories of people who’ve struggled with addiction and are receiving treatment. The Illinois Department of Human Services campaign also includes television spots, social media ads and billboards. The agency’s secretary, Grace Hou, says the goal is to reduce the stigma of addiction and help others.

 

SULLIVAN, Ill. (AP) — A collision between a school bus and a sport-utility vehicle has killed a 5-year-old central Illinois boy who was a passenger on the bus. Moultrie County Coroner Lynn Reed tells the News-Gazette Tyson Mendoza of Gays was pronounced dead at the scene of Friday afternoon’s crash along a rural stretch of Illinois 32. The Sullivan Elementary School student was among 11 students on a Sullivan Schools bus when the collision occurred several miles south of the city of Sullivan. The driver of the SUV, 56-year-old Lori Samples of Decatur, was also pronounced dead at the scene, while the bus driver was injured.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The agricultural prices received index for August is up. Stephanie Ho has the latest from Washington…

 

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- The Gibson City Exploratory Pool Committee is set to meet in early October. On the agenda for this Thursday’s meeting at  7pm at city hall is to review and discuss preliminary numbers and plans with Engineer Andy Keiser.

The local committee continues to look at the future of the city pool in Gibson City.

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  --Encouraging exceptional students to practice medicine in rural areas is crucial to the success of Hospitals like Gibson Area Hospital and the rural communities served. G-A-H Foundation was honored to receive a significant gift to award scholarships to employees of our Hospital for education purposes. The money came from an anonymous benefactor, who wishes only to be recognized as “a grateful former Gibson City resident”. 9 students were awarded with funds to help offset their educational expenses.: Rheann Adams, Gilman; Marissa Arnett, Paxton; Carrie Brazel, Milford; Holly Garcia, Thawville; Kayla McCreary, Gibson City; Sydni Meunier, Melvin; Emily Row, Gibson City; Hailey Sellek, Paxton; and Kamri Thompson-Michael, Fisher.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Seniors and people with disabilities can start applying for the state’s winter energy assistance program October 1st. LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps eligible households pay their heating bills says Illinois Office of Community Assistance Director David Wortman…

 

 

Illinois Office of Community Assistance Director David Wortman. Seniors and people with disabilities can apply starting Tuesday, then families with children under the age of five can apply on November 1st. Visit liheap illinois dot com for all the details. 

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — One of the nation’s most powerful state legislators has for decades tended to shrug off the latest scandal involving Illinois politicians, but the sight of FBI agents hauling bags of evidence from an office on the Democratic side of the Capitol building this week may have startled the normally unflappable Mike Madigan. Madigan, the longest-serving state House speaker in modern American history and the head of the Democratic Party in Illinois, hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing. But over the past 10 months at least half a dozen Democrats — including some confidants and allies — have been charged with crimes or had agents raid their offices and homes. Court papers mistakenly unsealed in one case involving a powerful Chicago City Council member even described a businessman wearing an FBI wire and secretly recording Madigan.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  -- State government finances in Illinois have continued to deteriorate during a decade of national economic growth, according to the latest analysis from Truth In Accounting.The public finance watchdog reviewed state government finances from all 50 states for its latest Fiscal State of the States report. Research Director Bill Bergman said Illinois went from No. 48 last year to No. 49 this year

 

 

(Bloomington--jc)  -- Representatives of the state’s manufacturers are calling on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to allow trade deals to move forward after a trip to Washington. Illinois Manufacturers’ Association President Mark Denzler and almost two dozen other members of the state’s manufacturing industry spent time talking to members of Illinois’ congressional delegation and others, pressing them to approve trade agreements and reauthorize the Export-Import Bank which helps American businesses facilitate international trade. Denzler added that the Illinois’ economy,  relies heavily on the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to act on.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The U.S. hog and pig inventory is as large as it's been in many years. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Monticello--jc)  -- Staff, members and friends of Farm Credit Illinois are mourning the death of its president and CEO in Tom Tracy.  He was with Farm Credit Illinois for over 10 years. Tracy was also a banker for over 20 years. He served on the Kirby Hospital Foundation in Monticello. Tracy passed away earlier this week.

 

 

(Champaign--jc)  -- In partnership with the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute, University of Illinois Extension in Champaign County is hosting an education event on beauty products. This event will be taught by Megan Seig, an Environmental Toxicology Scholar at the University of Illinois.Youth and adults are invited to attend Make-Up Monday. This free event will be held Monday, October 14 at the Champaign County Extension Office in Champaign. Those attending will lear about chemicals in the beauty products they use. More information is found on line at  go-dot-illinois-e-d-u-forward slash make-up-Monday.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- How does the forecast for the first couple of weeks of October look? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Two Congressional members, including one from Illinois have filed a resolution in opposition to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ plan to rewrite the borrowers defense rule. U-S Senator Dick Durbin joined Nevada U-S Representative Susie Lee on Friday to introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval. DeVos’ plan would gut protections for student borrowers and taxpayers by eliminating 11 billion dollars in relief to those who were defrauded. The resolution of disapproval allows Congress to overturn regulatory actions of federal agencies with simple majority votes in both chambers.

 

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Univeristy of Illinois Student Diagnosed with Possible Case of the Mumps

(Springfield-jm) -- Starting Sunday employers cannot ask job applicants about wage history. The new law aims to even out the pay gap that has many women earning less than men in the same job. Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik explains how it works…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor Director Michael Kleinik. The ban does not apply if the person’s salary is a matter of public record or if they are a current employee of the company. The Illinois Department of Labor’s website has more details on the law and a hotline number to report violations.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed former U.S. Transportation Secretary and retired Republican Congressman Ray LaHood as the new chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Board of Directors. LaHood and four others were appointed to the board Thursday, and they await Senate approval as well. Pritzker’s office said the other six appointees will be announced in the coming days. They are the first appointments to the 11-member museum board since it was established in August 2017 when the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency was abolished and most of its duties, except for those pertaining to the Lincoln Museum, were given to the Department of Natural Resources.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The unemployment rate was down in all 101 Illinois counties last month. All 14 metro areas and all counties saw a decline in the jobless rate compared to August of 2018 says State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Jobs were added over the year in 12 metro areas including the Chicago area, Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, the Quad Cities and Metro East. 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois student has been diagnosed with a possible case of the mumps. The Chemistry Department student was diagnosed at McKinley Health Center on campus. It typically starts with a fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. That’s followed a few days later by swelling of the salivary glands, which causes the tell-tale puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Symptoms of mumps typically appear 14-18 days after infection, although a third of infected people don’t have symptoms.

 

(Cissna Park--jc)  --The village of Cissna Park is already filled with pumpkins. The annual Pumpkins in the park event is set for Saturday. Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton says there are activities for the whole family…

 

 

Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- A Gibson City man has been sentenced to 30 months probation and 10 days in jail for traveling to meet a minor. 61-year-old Ricky Ensign pleaded guilty in July to one count of traveling to meet a minor and solicitation to meet a child. In exchange for his guilty plea, charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and residential burglary were dismissed.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)--  The Paxton Buckley Loda School Hall of Fame has a new member. She is Kendra Workman Smiley. Smiley was a 1970 graduate of Paxton High School.  She is an author, speaker, church leader, and Illinois Mother of the Year in 2001. Smiley attended the University of Illinois. She was honored last night during the annual PBL Homecoming parade and festivities at the high school 


 

(Springfield--jc)  - The announcement of a preliminary trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan is good news for Illinois farmers, but some are concerned Congress will be log jammed with impeachment talk.The Japan deal is the latest trade deal President Donald Trump's administration has queued up.The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Japan has committed to provide substantial market access to American food and agricultural products by eliminating tariffs and, enacting meaningful tariff reductions.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state Department of Agriculture is checking the T-H-C levels of Illinois hemp fields. This is the first season farmers can grow hemp in Illinois and State Ag Director John Sullivan says they have to make sure the plants don’t have above point three percent of T-H-C. That’s the component that gets people high…

 

 

State Ag Director John Sullivan. Sullivan says fields with too much T-H-C have to be destroyed and growers will not be eligible for federal crop insurance. 

 

(SPRINGFIELD-jm) -- Business and industry groups are pushing back against legislative efforts to widely ban the use of ethylene oxide, a known cancer-causing gas, in most Illinois communities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, chronic exposure to the gas can cause increased cancer risks, reproductive effects and other major medical problems, while short-term exposure may result in respiratory irritation and lung injury, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and shortness of breath. Representatives of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois sent a letter to General Assembly members this week to “express our serious concerns and opposition to any additional efforts to further restrict or ban the use of ethylene oxide in Illinois.” The group said ethylene oxide, which is used in medical supply sterilization and some manufacturing processes, is “a significant building block in the creation of an exhaustive list of life-improving products … including essential plastics and pharmaceuticals to cosmetics and clothing,” and is “the only acceptable method of sterilization for many medical devices.”


 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Human Services is launching a new video campaign to promote its drug addiction helpline. The effort includes five videos that tell the stories of addiction and recovery. They highlight the helpline says Human Services’ Dani Kirby, urging those suffering from opioid and other substance abuse…

 

 

Illinois Department of Human Services’ Dani Kirby. The campaign also includes social media ads, billboards and transit posters. If you or someone you know is suffering from substance abuse, visit the website: helpline il dot or or call 1-833-2-FINDHELP. 

 

 

URBANA — A fourth Democrat has announced he wants to be his party’s candidate for resident judge for Champaign County. David Moore of St. Joseph informed the Democratic Central Committee  that he intends to run for the seat now held by Judge Jason Bohm, who was appointed to it when Judge Michael Jones retired. Bohm plans to run as a Republican for the seat being vacated in 2020 by Presiding Judge Tom Difanis, who will retire late next year. That requires running in all six counties of the Sixth Circuit: Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt. To date, no Democrat has announced plans to challenge Bohm, but Champaign attorney Sami Anderson has said she plans to run against him in all six counties for the Republican nomination for Difanis’ seat. Moore joins already announced Democratic candidates Ramona Sullivan, an assistant public defender; Ruth Wyman, a private general practitioner in Champaign; and Troy Lozar, an assistant state’s attorney.


 

(Fisher-jm) -- The sale of recreational cannabis will not be allowed in one Champaign County community, at least not for now. The Fisher Village Board instructed the village’s attorney to draft two ordinances-one banning the dispensing of cannabis while the second one allows for a three percent village tax if it is ever allowed. Village board members will vote on the ordinances at their next meeting.

 

 

(Paxton--jc) It’s Homecoming week for those at Paxton Buckley Loda High School The annual parade stepped off in the downtown area at 6 las night. PBL School Superintendent Cliff McClure says the parade is a part of activities from a parade to a dance, golf tournament and more…

 

 

PBL School Superintendent Cliff McCure

WPXN will be carrying the football game live on Friday night starting at 6-05-pm with the Friday Night Preview Show.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Charges against the former Chanute airplane salvager have been dropped. Ken Morrison was facing money laundering and theft after he illegally sold two ejector seats from a plane he was dismantling on the former Chanute Air Base. Court records show Morrison was recently sentenced to two years in federal prison after he was found guilty of tearing down and dismantling a historic bridge in Indiana and selling it for scrap. 

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Driver Going the Wrong Way on Interstate 74 Causes Accident

(Champaign--jc)   A car going the wrong way along Interstate 74 near the Interstate 57 interchange this morning struck a semi tractor-trailer around 3-30. Police are not commenting on those involved, but say the semi driver was taken to a local hospital. The accident has closed the eastbound lanes on I-74 and traffic is being rerouted around that area. That closure is expected til around 9 this morning. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office confirmed this week it denied what appears to be the federal government’s latest attempt to gather data about noncitizens living in the United States, this time through driver’s license information. A spokesperson for White’s office said the agency received a request from the U-S Census Bureau’s Data Acquisition Branch in September and denied the request. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators distributed an email stating the Census Bureau has been seeking driver and identity card information including the name, address, date of birth, sex, race, eye color and citizenship status. Earlier this year, the Department of Commerce, which oversees the Census Bureau, proposed adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. That was blocked by the U-S Supreme Court.

 

 

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (AP) — Congressmen and senators from Illinois are urging a review of health policies after a mumps outbreak at a northern Illinois county jail that houses immigrant detainees. Health officials confirmed six mumps cases at McHenry County Jail earlier this month. In a Wednesday letter the Democrats cite "serious concern" about conditions and urge a "thorough and urgent" policy review. The group also seeks additional details on the outbreak.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White reminds that Real I-D requirements take effect in about a year. Starting October 1st 2020, you will need the Real I-D to fly domestically, a valid passport will also be an acceptable form of identification. Secretary White says you can get the Real I-D at your local driver’s services facility…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

Secretary of State Jesse White. Visit: real id dot ilsos dot gov for more information and a list of documents you will need to get the new license.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton’s Emergency Management Agency building will be receiving some repairs. Mayor Bill Ingold outlines the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Those who need assistance paying their energy bills can do so starting next week. Low Income Home Assistance Program or LIHEAP, will begin accepting applications on Tuesday. Those in a single family can receive up to $1,561 in assistance, two person family 2,114, three person family 2,666 and four person family 3,219.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Museum in Springfield has agreed to return 42 culturally significant objects to Australia after nearly a century after they were brought to the United States. The museum says in a news release that it's the first institution in the world to repatriate artifacts as part of the Australian government's Return of Cultural Heritage Project, that is trying to bring back indigenous materials that were taken from the country.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor and State Fire Marshal’s Office are working to make sure haunted houses are safe for the public. All haunted houses must be inspected prior to opening. The state wants to make sure the public has a scary, but safe time when they visit says Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. There’s also a limit on the number of dead-end paths a house can have and restrictions on open flames and pyrotechnic special effects. Exits and pathways must be wide enough to account for the maximum number of people in the attraction. 

 

 

(Undated--jc)  --Add another village to local governments banning recreational cannabis sales in their jurisdiction.The Village of Chatham, just south of Springfield, voted 4 to 2 to ban adult-use cannabis sales within the community. Just down the road last week, the city of Springfield voted to approve sales and tax it locally at 3 percent.An effort this week in the Springfield city council to bar sales failed to advance.


 

(Cissna Park--jc)  -- The annual Cissna Park Pumpkins in the park is set for Saturday in the southern Iroquois county town. Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton says the event has been growing over the years..

 

 

Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton


 

(Champaign-jm) -- Registration is underway for the one day Hazardous Waste Collection Event in Champaign. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is hosting the event on October 26th from 8-3 at Market Place Mall. You must register first.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Government payments have helped boost farm income. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Undated--jc)  Now is the time to save on Monster Jam World Finals 21. Pre sale tickets are now available Use code PREFERRED before September 30th to be the first to select your seats

 

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Illinois is receiving a $4.5 million grant to fight the opioid crisis in the state

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is receiving a $4.5 million grant to fight the opioid crisis in the state. The funds will be used to increase substance abuse services under Medicaid. More than 130 people die every day in the U-S from opioid overdoses. In 2017, 2,202 deaths from opioid overdoses were reported in Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state climatologist is taking a look at when Illinois might see the first fall freeze. Farmers especially are wondering when the first hard freeze will hit. State Climatologist Trent Ford. Ford says the Climate Prediction Center is calling for above normal temperatures over the next two weeks, so a freeze is probably not imminent. 

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley will receive financial help for their water tower renovation project. The village was awarded a $180,000 loan from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the work. Crews will be washing and recoating the interior and exterior of the water tower among other projects. Work is expected to be completed in December. The village does qualify to have $108,000 of the loan forgiven.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District will show off the new renovation at Clara Peterson this Saturday. Superintendent Cliff McClure says the district is excited to show the public the new building.

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — FBI agents carried materials in bankers’ boxes and grocery bags out of the Illinois Capitol building on Tuesday, and multiple media outlets reported that and other raids were linked to a Democratic state senator. FBI spokesman John Althen said the agents were in the building for “law enforcement activity” but declined to elaborate. Multiple media outlets reported that the raids were conducted at Sen. Martin Sandoval’s Capitol office in Springfield, his district office in the Chicago suburb of Cicero and other locations linked to him. The Chicago Tribune reported that a man who answered the door at Sandoval’s Chicago home said he was not home.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As lawmakers consider tougher vaping laws, one big question remains. What exactly is making people so sick? The more than 500 patients across the country who have fallen ill all vaped, but the next common denominator has yet to be found. At least 75 percent of the patients in Illinois vaped T-H-C. Another possibility being considered is Vitamin E Acetate which isn’t harmful when ingested or applied to the skin but may cause problems if it’s inhaled.

 

 

 (Watseka--jc)  -- The Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department is taking back unwanted prescriptions drugs on Saturday October 26th at the county jail in Watseka.It is the 18th time over a 9 year period that the public will be able to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted medicine.. The event is set for 10 until 2.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is creating a task force to tackle discrimination in schools. The Affirming and Inclusive Task Force is made up of two co-chairs and 25 selected members. Their goal is to create strategies and practices to ensure students feel welcome, safe, supportive and included in the school environment.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- U-S Representative John Shimkus is accepting applications from high school seniors and college students interested in attending one of the military academies. Requirements include being a U-S citizen, at least 17 years of age but not more than 23, not married, under no legal obligation to support a child and must reside in the 15th Congressional district. Applications can be found online. The deadline to submit is November 1st.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Traffic was backed up on I-57 yesterday following a multi-vehicle accident south of Paxton. The accident occurred near the 259 mile marker. No word on if there were any injuries. A second accident also pushed traffic going south on Interstate 57 into Paxton and down along Route 45. That accident was a jack knifed semi. Traffic was heavy into Paxton for about one hour.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Five Illinois residents have joined the ranks of young people nationwide to sue the makers of e-cigarettes that allege the companies’ marketing tactics targeted them when they were minors. The Chicago Tribune reports the plaintiffs are suing in federal court top e-cigarette producer Juul Labs and its parent company, Altria Group, and Pax Labs. Altria Group also owns tobacco giant Phillip Morris. The five — all between 18 and 20 — contend in their federal lawsuit that vaping caused shortness of breath and other health problems and caused their addictions to nicotine. Their attorneys say the five aren’t among the hundreds of people hospitalized nationwide in recent months for respiratory illness linked to vaping.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is looking for winter snow plow drivers. The snowbirds program makes sure the state has plenty of people to man snow plows on Illinois highways once winter arrives. Those interested must have a commercial driver’s license and pass a criminal background check. I-DOT Spokesperson Guy Tridgell says there are openings in many areas. Farmers and veterans often take advantage of the seasonal work. Learn more online at: idot dot illinois dot gov.

 

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World Championship Punkin Chuckin Event Coming to Rantoul in November

(Rantoul--jc)  -- From humble beginnings to national notoriety, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin is an event that has always cultivated an odd, challenging, and competitive quest for distance that, in turn, inspires creativity, ingenuity, teamwork, and passion. On November 2nd and 3rd, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association  will carry on a tradition started more than 35 years ago when they bring their signature pumpkin-launching event to the Rantoul Airport area in Rantoul. With the huge change in venue, the group is planning a two day event on November 2nd and 3rd, rather than a normal 3 day event. This is the first time the World Championships have been held outside the state of Delaware.  A two day ticket for the event is 20 dollars and daily tickets are 10 dollars, when purchased before the event.  

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a hot and fairly dry week for Illinois fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Rain was slightly below normal this past week and temperatures were more than 10 degrees above normal. U-S-D-A Heartland Field Office Deputy Regional Director Steve Maliszewski (mal-eh-sheski) says 77 percent of corn has reached the dent stage…

 

U-S-D-A Heartland Field Office Deputy Regional Director Steve Maliszewski. 53 percent of soybeans are turning colors and 14 percent are dropping leaves. 43 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. The third cutting of alfalfa is 91 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil is rated at 11 percent very short, 22 percent short, 59 percent adequate and eight percent surplus.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- An initial look at the possibilities. That is what those attending an information meeting on the Paxton Streetscape last night at city hall. Dozens of local citizens saw the vision of local leaders for the downtown area of the city. The project will begin with bids later this year and the start of work in the first part of 20-20.

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys have subpoenaed former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in a federal civil rights lawsuit over his 2015 decision to commute the sentence of man convicted in an Illinois Institute of Technology student’s murder. On his final day in office, Quinn commuted the sentence of Tyrone Hood, who’d already served 22 years. Charges were dismissed. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House lawmakers and state officials are discussing how to address the vaping crisis in Illinois. Governor J-B Pritzker and several others are pushing legislation banning flavored nicotine in hopes of curbing use by teens. But Attorney General Kwame Raoul says that won’t be enough…

 

 

State Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Raoul says his office is also looking into the e-cig black market. 69 cases of serious respiratory illness related to vaping have been confirmed in Illinois with another 13 still under investigation. One person has died. 

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Several offices will be up for election in the March primary in Iroquois County. Seats up include circuit clerk, coroner and states attorney. Also up are 10 county board members and 37 precinct committeemen. Those seeking nominations began circulating their petitions on September 3rd. Paperwork can be filed with the Iroquois County Clerk's office between November 25th and December 2nd.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A new event for the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will be held in October. The chamber will hold a wine and chocolate walk on October 5th from 11 to 4:30 says Chamber President Alan Meyer... 

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a hot and fairly dry week for Illinois fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Temperatures were more than 10 degrees above normal this past week and rain was down a bit. 26 percent of corn is now mature and two percent has been harvested, with 45 percent in good to excellent condition. U-S-D-A Heartland Field Office Deputy Regional Director Steve Maliszewski (mal-eh-sheski) turns to soybeans…

 

 

U-S-D-A Heartland Field Office Deputy Regional Director Steve Maliszewski. Winter wheat planting has begun with one percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 11 percent very short, 22 percent short, 59 percent adequate and eight percent surplus.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A special event in central Illinois will dig into the facts and fiction showcased in some of Hollywood’s best known war films. Mark DePue, oral historian for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, is the featured speaker for Thursday night’s event at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Reservations to the free event can be made online . Attendees also get access to an exhibit featuring World War II artists and documents.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s officially fall and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding that state parks offer beautiful fall foliage. As the leaves change color the state parks really come alive says D-N-R Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. She says areas in northern Illinois will be the first to get a real taste of fall…

 

 

D-N-R Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. There’s also the popular Starved Rock State Park on the Illinois River Bluff with 18 canyons and Giant City State Park near Carbondale which offers hiking, rock climbing and horseback riding. Explore the state’s parks at dnr dot illinois dot gov.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- Hoopeston city leaders have approved spending $175,000 to help relocate a restaurant in order to build a new truck stop. The Subway restaurant on Route 1 would move to the former First Farmers Bank and Trust building so the new truck stop could come into the southeast corner of Routes 1 and 9. The money would come from the city’s tax increment financing district. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The deadline to enroll in Dairy Margin Coverage is extended to September 27th, but will that affect the start date for the 2020 DMC sign-up next month? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

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Its National Railroad Crossing Safety Week

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has issued about 300,000 state driver’s licenses that are compliant with a 2005 law aimed at strengthening rules for identification at airports and federal facilities. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that after long delays, the Illinois Secretary of State is now processing thousands of the documents daily. The licenses that are compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 have a small gold circle with a white star in the middle. Those applying for a REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses need to show additional paperwork to prove their identity. Starting in October 2020, Illinois residents over 18 who fly or visit military bases will need a REAL ID-compliant document. Along with the new drivers’ licenses, passports can also be used.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Those wanting to get the best rates for holiday travel should do so next week. Triple A’s flight booking data shows September 25th is the start of the best booking window for air travel around both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Flying Monday of Thanksgiving week has the lowest average ticket price prior to the holiday while the lowest average price per ticket is on Thanksgiving Day itself. For the Christmas holiday, Triple A says Christmas Eve has the lowest average price per ticket and is the lightest travel day of the week.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The September first inventory in cattle feedlots dipped below year earlier levels for the first time in years. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to three years in prison for violating his probation. Tyheam Williams received the sentence Friday after he admitted to failing to show up to appointments for counseling and probation after he pleaded guilty to criminal sexual abuse and burglary in January. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The public is invited to provide their input on the city of Paxton’s streetscape plan this evening. The city will hold an open house in the city council chambers from 4 to 6 pm.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton officials have approved the purchase of a new stump grinder for the public works department. Mayor Bill Ingold says the department has been busy cutting down trees…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Plans to combine Champaign County’s two jails could cost more than expected. Currently, the county has a jail in downtown Urbana, which is deteriorating and a satellite jail on the east side of Urbana that is unable to handle the capacity of both. Its estimated it could cost as much as $47 million to build a new jail. County board members could reach a decision on what to do as early as next month.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Home sales in Champaign County were lower in August compared to a year ago, while the median home price rose. According to the Champaign County Realtors Association, home sales decreased 12.75 percent with 260 homes sold compared to 298 in August 2018. The median home price rose 14 percent to $165,500 compared to $145,000 a year ago.



(Paxton--jc)  -- It was a cool moment, Friday night at Jerry Zimmerman Field at I-57 Stadium. The Make A Wish Foundation made a presentation to a Paxton Youth who serves as the Paxton Buckley Loda Football team Manager. P-B-L High School student Braden Mutchmore was provided with his very own A-T-V.  The delivery of the vehicle to Mutchmore was provided by Paxton’s own Tom Meents.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Its National Railroad Crossing safety week. Illinois State police will be out in full force this week enforcing all crossing laws. State police officials remind the motoring public to follow the law especially when crossing train tracks.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois lawmakers this fall will consider banning most flavored vaping products, following recent restrictions that some other states have enacted amid concerns about the safety of vaping and its allure to young people. The legislation sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Deb Conroy, a Villa Park Democrat, would bar all vaping flavors except menthol, The Chicago Tribune reported. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he supports banning flavored vaping products, which critics contend are marketed at children.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Food and Drug Administration is launching a criminal probe looking into the link between vaping and lung disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 530 confirmed or probable vaping related lung diseases in 36 states. Seven people have died so far, including one in Illinois. U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says he will introduce a federal tax on e-cigarettes and vaping products putting tougher restrictions on retailers and sellers.

 

 

(Dekalb-jm) -- The Environmental Protection Agency says it will revoke California’s authority to set higher standards for tailpipe emissions than those of the federal government-a move that will affect other states’ ability to set higher standards as well. Eric Tegethoff reports…

 

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher Community Building is getting cleaned up following a sprinkler malfunction last month. A sprinkler in the mayor's office broke, causing water to flood his office and the adjacent hallway. Village leaders believe most of the repair work will be covered by insurance.

 

 

Have you ever been interested in seeing the 9/11 Memorial, attending a Broadway play, or visiting Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty? Stacy Johnson is organizing an adult trip to New York City for the Summer of 2020. There will be an informational meeting for anyone that is interested at the Moyer Library in Gibson City tonight at 6:30pm.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The Roberts Library could be sold soon. The village is trying to sell the former library building after structural issues forced the building to be closed. Mayor Rick Flessner says the sale could happen as early as next month…

 

Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An inmate and a correctional officer at the Champaign County Jail were taken to the hospital following an altercation. Champaign County authorities say the inmate tried to overtake the officer while leaving his cell. The two struggled until the inmate was subdued by other officers. Both are expected to be ok. Illinois State Police is handling the investigation.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police are warning shoppers and businesses about counterfeit money circulating in the community. Police say a person gives the cashier a $100 bill while making a small purchase in order to get the most money back. Your asked to call Champaign Police if you have any information.

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The 8th annual Paxton Swine N Dine is now complete for another year. Officials with the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce would like to thank everyone who helped make this event a huge success. Keith Schladenhauffen of Fairbury and Rick Hardesty of Wilmington were grand prize winners in the annual Barbeque contest..

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Federal Government Approves Illinois Request For Federal Flood Assistance

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal officials have approved Illinois' request for local governments recovering from historic flooding to receive federal assistance. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday that 27 counties will be eligible to apply for federal loans or grants. Local governments will have 30 days to submit documents for assistance with flood-related losses or costs from fighting floods

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some of the lead negotiators of the law to legalize adult use marijuana in Illinois are seeking to provide clarity on a provision that gives local municipalities control over which facilities, if any, would be authorized to allow cannabis consumption. The topic is at the top of the discussion list for potential follow up legislation, which could be heard when the General Assembly returns for veto session in late October. The bill legalizes adult use marijuana in public places such as restaurants which sponsorer Heather Steans says is not the intent of the bill. While the bill prohibits smoking cannabis in any place where smoking is prohibited under the Smoke Free Illinois Act, further language permits a local unit of government to exempt certain facilities from the Smoke Free Act.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois unemployment rate hit a historic low last month. The August jobless rate came in at four percent in August, down from four point two in July. That’s the lowest monthly rate on record and a good sign says Sam Salustro with the Illinois Department of Employment Security…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Jobs fell slightly from July to August, but are up by 65 thousand compared to August of 2018. The national unemployment rate is three point seven percent for August. 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A former Ludlow village trustee is facing additional charges after he attacked a correctional officer at the Champaign County Jail. Ross Radke has been in jail since he was arrested and charged with aggravated unlawful use of weapons and possession of a firearm without a firearm owners identification card five months ago. Radke is accused of grabbing a corrections officer by the neck from behind while he was doing security rounds. The officer was not seriously injured. Radke is now charged with two counts of aggravated battery.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A judge is expected to decide next month whether to order a bed and breakfast near Paxton to comply with penalties for discriminating against a same-sex couple in 2011. The Illinois Attorney General's office filed a motion in Ford County court asking the court to rule in its favor in a lawsuit against Timber Creek Bed and Breakfast.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Illinois Department of Human Rights after the Human Rights Commission fined the bed and breakfast $80,000 back in 2016. A hearing is scheduled for October 23rd.



(Paxton-jm) -- There will be a couple of street closures for this weekend’s Swine n Dine in downtown Paxton. Holmes to Center Streets will be closed starting at 4 am Saturday through midnight Sunday. Market Street from Pells to Center will be closed starting at 6pm today through noon on Sunday.


 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The city of Paxton is moving forward with a streetscape project. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. The public will have a chance to hear more about the project and have any questions answered during an open house on September 23rd from 4 to 6 pm at city hall.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- An Illinois senator is calling for a federal tax on e-cigarettes. Dick Durbin says he plans to introduce legislation that would place a tax on the sale of e-cigarettes to help curb the use of the products by kids. Seven people in the U-S have died from the use of e-cigarettes and vaping including one in Illinois.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The current Agriculture Secretary and former Secretaries came have come together in support of the USMCA trade deal. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district is seeking nominations for their Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes alumni who made significant contributions to society, whose accomplishments, affiliations or careers have honored the legacy of excellence. Nomination forms can be found on the district's Facebook page.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- It may be September but the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Gibson City are preparing for their annual Lighted Christmas Parade. The parade will be held on November 23rd at 6:30 pm. Caroling downtown will take place from 4 to 6:30 pm. The theme this year is Silver Bells. For more information or to sign your float up, call Susie Tongate at 309-825-0311 or Mayor Dan Dickey at 781-1905.



(Fisher-jm) -- Another area community is taking up the issue of whether or not to allow recreational marijuana sales in their community. The latest is the village of Fisher. The public is invited to give their input during a special meeting on September 25th at 6 pm.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The village of Roberts is working on a drainage project. Mayor Rick Flessner talks about the project…

 

 

Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner. 

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The former chairman of the Illinois Gaming Board allegedly engaged in prohibited political activity while heading the agency that regulates gambling, according to a report released by the Office of Executive Inspector General. The report says Don Tracy made “loans and contributions either directly, or through his wife, to political committees” in violation of state law. Tracy was named the Gaming Board’s chairman by former Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2015. Tracy, whose term was to end July 1, resigned in mid-June. The Springfield lawyer told the Chicago Tribune the report was “baseless speculation.” The inspector general’s 12-page report focuses on 30 contributions from Tracy and his wife, Wanda, from the time he became Gaming Board chairman until Oct. 29. Included are eight contributions totaling $7,600 from Wanda Tracy to Rauner’s campaign fund. Most of the checks were written from the couple’s joint account, though Don Tracy’s name was crossed off on many of them, the report says.


 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This summer’s Illinois State Fair brought in more money than ever before. 2019 state fair revenue reached more than six point five million dollars, breaking the previous record of six point four in 2013. State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon says great weather, new promotions and an array of musical acts helped booster numbers. He says planning is underway for next year…

 

 

State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. Grandstand concert revenue also hit a new high this year. Gordon says they are working now to book acts for 2020. 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  Get ready...the 2019 Paxton Swine and Dine is set for tomorrow in the city. The barbeque competitors will be busy starting at daybreak preparing their entries. Food vendors open at 11. Paxton Area Chamber President Alan Meyer says there are a lot of things to do for the entire family…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber President Alan Meyer

WPXN will be announcing the winner of our Summer Getaway Giveaway Saturday morning at 8am. The grand prize is a 1 thousand dollar travel voucher from Anywhere Anytime Journeys of Rantoul. 

 

 

 

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Flag that will fly over Paxton next year will be at PBL Homecoming Football game

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal magistrate is recommending that a judge decline to dismiss charges against an Illinois militia leader who was the alleged ringleader behind the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque. Michael Hari’s attorneys had argued that four counts against him should be dismissed, saying that Congress exceeded its authority when it enacted a statute that Hari is accused of violating. U.S. Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer disagreed. A federal judge will now decide whether to adopt her recommendations. Prosecutors allege Hari and two others drove from Clarence,  to bomb a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, in hopes of scaring Muslims into leaving the U.S. No one was injured in the August 2017 attack at Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center. Hari is also charged in a failed bombing of a women’s clinic in Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Owe the state taxes? Now is a good time to pay up. The Illinois Department of Revenue is offering a one time tax amnesty program for those who have outstanding tax debt incurred between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2018. Spokesperson Sam Salustro…

 

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. Taxpayers have until November 15th to make a full payment. More information is available online at: tax dot illinois dot gov. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A new report out shows fewer Americans are signed up for health insurance. The survey revealed 27.5 million people did not sign up for health insurance through the health insurance marketplace in 2018. That is 8.5 percent of the population, up from 7.9 percent of the population in 2017.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- New legislation aims to lower the cost of insulin for diabetes patients. Officials say a person with type one diabetes spends on average, about 475 dollars a month for insulin. That’s led to people risking their lives to cut costs says Representative Sue Scherer of Decatur…

 

 

State Representative Sue Scherer of Decatur. The bill, which may come up during the fall veto session, limits the copay for a 30 day supply to 100 dollars. Only one other state, Colorado, has such a law. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton man has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for violating a court order to stay away from his former girlfriend after a domestic incident last year. Nathan Steinmeyer received the sentence after he admitted to violating the order in August. Steinmeyer pleaded guilty in April to aggravated domestic battery for choking his girlfriend. He was originally sentenced to 3 years probation and must serve at least 85% of his sentence.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School Board is expected to approve their fiscal year 2020 budget at tonight’s school board meeting. In addition to approving the budget, school board members will hear an update on the Clara Peterson addition and Eastlawn Elementary demolition and consider updating school policies. A budget hearing gets underway at 6pm with the regular monthly meeting starting afterwards.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- An open house on the streetscape project in downtown Paxton will be held on 23rd from 4 to 6 pm. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the latest with the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Public Library will be celebrating Banned Book Week with an open discussion. The library will hold discussions on banned and challenged books on September 24th and 25th from 6:30-7:30 pm. Banned book week runs September 22-28.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- If you want to see the flag that will fly over the city of Paxton next June, then you need to attend the Paxton Buckley Loda Homecoming football game later this month. The 30 by 60 flag will be on display at Jerry Zimmerman Field at I-57 Stadium on September 27th. A group of local volunteers has been raising money for the project since flag day this year. To date, the group has raised just over 30 thousand dollars for the project.  The plan is to have the flag raised on Flag Day in June of 20-20. Paver bricks continue to be sold for the project and donations may be dropped off at the Frederick Community Bank in downtown Paxton. 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is making her first endorsement of a liberal challenger to an incumbent House Democrat, backing Marie Newman in the primary against eight-term Rep. Daniel Lipinski in Illinois. The New York congresswoman for now is putting her name and small-dollar fundraising ability behind congressional candidates, rather than in the presidential primary. Lipinski, who opposes abortion rights, is among the more conservative Democrats in the House and defeated Newman in a primary last cycle. By backing a primary opponent to a colleague, Ocasio-Cortez is mounting a campaign strategy that resembles her own political rise last year, when she toppled a House Democratic leader in a stunning primary challenge. It’s a flex of power for the freshman lawmaker but also one that makes colleagues wary.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Energy-efficiency jobs are booming in Illinois, and the pace is not expected to slow down anytime soon. Mary Schuermann reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- National retailer Forever 21 is announcing they are closing 100 stores across the country. The company says declining mall traffic is a major contributing factor. The company is looking to restructure their brand. The only area location is at Marketplace Mall in Champaign. It’s unknown if that store will be affected.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- As Farm Safety Week continues, the Illinois Department of Labor is focusing on the danger of grain bins. In just the past few weeks, two workers in Illinois have become trapped in grain bins. It’s an accident that can happen quickly says State OSHA Director Ben Noven…

 

 

State OSHA Director Ben Noven. The majority of grain bin entrapments happen on family farms. Noven urges workers to wear a safety harness when entering the bin and to “Lock out and Tag out”, making sure all power to the bin is off and tagged to remain off. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- About 2000 Ameren Illinois customers were without power yesterday evening in parts of the area.. 1,972 customers were without power. Customers in Gibson City, Melvin, Roberts, Elliott and Saybrook were affected. No word on the cause of the outage.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Iroquois West school board members are expected to approve Title one plans districtwide at tonight’s school board meeting. In addition, school board members are expected to consider approving a school maintenance project grant, letting of the bids for snow removal, approving the districts fiscal year 2020 budget and reviewing new school district policies. The Iroquois West school board meeting gets underway at 7 pm.


 

(Paxton-jm) -- The smell of BBQ will soon fill the air in downtown Paxton as the 2019 Paxton Swine n Dine gets underway on Saturday September 21st. In addition to the BBQ competition, there will be a bags tournament, inflatables for the kids and of course food vendors. Once again this year, there will be live entertainment says Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer. Also new this year, you can purchase tickets to judge some of the competitors food.

 

 

(Penfield-jm) -- The Champaign County Forest Preserve is looking to raise $250,000 to restore Willow Pond at Middlefork. A hole has opened up underneath the pond causing the pond to lose water and leading to frequent closurers of the beach. The forest preserve is looking to drain, dredge and deepen the pond, add a clay lining and remove the center island. The forest preserve has looked into grants to cover the costs, however, there are no grants available.

 

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This Week is National Farm Safety Week

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker’s office announced the appointment of two census co-coordinators Monday, a position created by an executive order he signed in June to maximize participation in the 2020 U.S. Census. State officials say up to two congressional seats and more than $1 billion in federal funding are at stake in Illinois if the complete population is not counted in 2020. The General Assembly allocated $29 million in state funding to an outreach effort that will be led by the newly created Census Office within the Illinois Department of Human Services. Marishonta Wilkerson and Oswaldo Alvarez were selected for the position. Of the $29 million set aside for the outreach efforts, 500 thousand to 700 thousand will be spent locally in the Ford, Iroquois, Champaign, Vermilion, Livingston and McLean County areas.

 

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Texas-based Vistra Energy has agreed to shutter a central Illinois coal power facility by the end of 2022 under a preliminary settlement with environmental groups that sued the plant in 2013. The Sierra Club announced Monday that the agreement with Vistra Energy affiliate Illinois Power Resources Generating to close the E.D. Edwards coal plant in Peoria County must be approved by a federal judge.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Producers are getting ready for the fall harvest as we hear in the weekly crop report. Crop progress still trails last year’s schedule, but may soon be ready to harvest in a few spots says Crop Statistician Brad Summa. He says 67 percent of corn is in the dent stage and 14 percent is mature…

 

 

Crop Statistician Brad Summa. 25 percent of soybeans are turning color and three percent are dropping leaves. 42 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. The third cutting of alfalfa is now 88 percent complete and average statewide topsoil moisture came in at 12 percent very short, 25 percent short, 57 percent adequate and six percent surplus. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Farm Safety Week and the Illinois Department of Agriculture has some reminders for the harvest season. The theme this week is “Shift Farm Safety into High Gear,” recognizing the perils farmers face working with huge machinery and the need for drivers to give them plenty of room says State Ag Spokesperson Krista Lisser…

 

 

State Ag Spokesperson Krista Lisser. The Department of Agriculture will be highlighting different safety concerns on social media this week, including youth in the fields and mental health issues during a stressful planting season. 

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department will be hosting a series of flu clinics throughout the county later this month and into the next month. 14 walk in clinics will be held throughout the county put on by the health department. The clinics will take place on September 24th (9-11) at the Piper City Rehab, September 26 at the Ford County Public Health Department (9-11, 2-4),  September 30 health department (9-11), October 1 Gibson City Schoolhouse Apartments (9-11), October 4 at the health department (2-4), October 8 Gibson City Telecare (9-11), October 10 American Evangelical Lutheran Church Gibson City (8:30-11) and at the health department (4-6), October 12 Big R Gibson City (9-11), October 15 Paxton IGA (9-11) and at the health department (2-4), October 16 Kempton American Legion (8:30-11:30) and October 18 at the health department (9-11).


 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Buckley Loda FFA is doing some collecting. They want to collect plastic bottle caps and a bunch of them. Their goal is 175 pounds   says PBL FFA Spokesperson Autumn Bruens…

 


PBL FFA Member Autumn Bruens. The group is set to recycle the plastic bottle caps and make a bench out of them

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Champaign County is jumping on the recreational marijuana tax bandwagon. A county board committee recommended the 3 percent tax in incorporated areas and 3.75 percent tax in unincorporated areas of the county. Local municipalities must approve the sale of recreational marijuana in order for the county to receive money. A vote by the county board is expected at their September 19th board meeting.

 

(Kane County--jc)  -- Federal, state and Kane County health officials are adding two confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease to a dozen others in the Batavia communityThe previously reported 12 cases were found in Covenant Living at the Holmstad in Batavia.The two new cases were from out in the community.A water source with the bacteria has not yet been identified.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Gaming Board said Monday that state lawmakers need to change a law they enacted earlier this year if they ever hope to see a casio developed in the city of Chicago. The vote came in response to a feasibility study released last month that said such a casino would not be feasible given the tax and fee structure lawmakers imposed. Under the gambling expansion bill, lawmakers authorized six more land-based casinos however, according to the bill in addition to the taxes and fees that all casinos pay, the Chicago casino would be required to pay an additional 33.3 percent privilege tax which would bring the effective tax rate on a Chicago casino to roughly 72 percent. Lawmakers could revisit the issue when they reconvene for the fall veto session October 28th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Producers are getting ready for the fall harvest as we hear in the weekly crop report. Corn harvest has begun with just one percent complete as only 14 percent of the crop has matured. The condition of the corn crop improved to 41 percent in good to excellent condition. Crop Statistician Brad Summa says 25 percent of soybeans are turning color...

 

 

Crop Statistician Brad Summa. Just 35 percent of pastures are rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 12 percent very short, 25 percent short, 57 percent adequate and six percent surplus. 


(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Farm Safety Week and the Illinois Department of Agriculture has some reminders for the harvest season. Whether it be working with large machinery, dodging cars, or the long hours, farming remains one of the most dangerous professions says State Ag Spokesperson Krista Lisser…

 

Illinois Ag Spokesperson Krista Lisser. Lisser says motorists need to give farmers plenty of room on the road as they work the fields and be aware that a slow moving vehicle may be ahead. Producers are urged to take care of themselves during this busy time. 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County probation officers salaries will be fully funded after the state Supreme Court received an increase in their budget. With the increase in the budget, salaries will be 100 percent funded instead of 62 percent. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- If you are a corn grower who thinks prices right now are too low, you may not have much reason to change that thinking for this next marketing year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Park District is holding off on the purchase of a new truck for now. The park district is looking to replace their 1999 truck. They are currently transitioning a 2009 truck to be a secondary truck. A decision on a new truck is expected to happen sometime in early 2020.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Illinoisans have two of the most fun cities in the country within driving distance. Consumer finance website WalletHub ranked Chicago the fifth most fun city. St. Louis, Missouri, ranked No. 18. The rankings were based on entertainment, nightlife and costs, among other things.

 

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Illinois Government Agencies are Being Advised to Prepare for Budget Cuts in 2020

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ chief fiscal officer has a clear duty to pay lost wages to all members of the General Assembly affected by two statutes a Cook County judge ruled were unconstitutional, the attorney for two former Democratic state senators wrote in a court filing. One law freezing cost of living increases and another implementing furlough days violated Illinois’ governing document because they altered legislators’ wagers during terms for which their were elected a circuit court judge decided in July. Now, two former lawmakers who voted in favor of both statutes are asking the judge to compel Comptroller Susana Mendoza to issue back bay. If successful, the order could cost Illinois just under $13 million.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois government agencies are being advised to prepare for budget cuts in 2020. Illinois’ budget office sent a memo signed by Deputy Governor Dan Hynes and Budget Director Alexis Sturm noting the current budget is balanced however, it orders agencies to prepare a scenario in which 6.5 percent of current year funding would go away. The memo also directs agencies to review their boards and commissions with potentially cutting them by 10 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois motorists can now get their driving records online. Instead of having to go to a local driver’s services facility, you can quickly download a copy of your driving record via Secretary of State Jesse White’s website. Spokesperson Henry Haupt says people need the record for a variety of reasons…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. Visit: cyber drive illinois dot com any time of day to get your record. You’ll be asked to provide information from your driver’s license. The charge is 12 dollars, plus a one dollar credit card processing fee.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will be flushing hydrants later this month. Water department employees will be flushing hydrants September 23rd through the 27th starting on the west side of town. Residents may notice discoloration and/or loss of water pressure. Those with questions are asked to call the water department at 379-2425.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Those hoping to ask questions about VA healthcare can do so in Rantoul. VA Illiana Health Care Systems will be hosting a town hall on September 19th from 5 to 6:30 pm at the Rantoul Business Center. Staff will be present to provide updates and answer questions on care, programs and services offered by the VA. For more information, call 217-554-3000 extension 45073.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will hold an open house later this month on the upcoming streetscape project. Mayor Bill Ingold says the open house allows community members to learn more about the project and get their questions answered…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. Ingold says work is expected to begin in the spring.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Park District is eyeing several thousand dollars in repairs to the community’s pool. Among the issues is a pump and a vacuum for the pool. It’s estimated to cost between $1,000 and $2,000 to repair the pump, while getting a new pump would cost between $5,000 and $8,000. A new vacuum would cost between $2,000 and $3,000. The park district is also looking at an estimated $500 to paint the pool gutters and $240 each for new deck chairs.


 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County Treasurer Kurt Albers is reminding residents the deadline for the 2nd installment of real estate taxes is quickly approaching. The deadline to pay the installment without penalty is today. After that date a one and a half percent interest rate will be added.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  There's been some encouraging news for U.S. pork and soybean producers concerning trade with China. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois has recognized five professors at the Urbana-Champaign campus for their excellence in teaching and service. The University Scholars program started in 1985. Recipients receive $15,000 a year for three years to use toward scholarly work, including for travel, research assistants and books. Applicants are nominated from each campus of the university system.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A coalition of advocacy groups and lawmakers from both parties unveiled a bill Friday that would phase out emissions of a cancer-causing gas in densely populated areas and near schools or daycares by 2022. House Bill 3888 is the latest step in a highly publicized series of legislative and advocacy efforts to regulate or ban the use of ethylene oxide in Illinois. The bill states that by 2021 no sterilization company can use ethylene oxide within five miles of a region with a population density of at least 10 residents per square mile, or within the same distance from a school or daycare. Hospitals that use the gas in sterilization processes would have to meet the same requirements by January 2022, while critical access hospitals have until 2025. Ethylene oxide is a gas used in sterilization and manufacturing processes that has been linked to higher cancer rates. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A popular heartburn medication may have cancer causing carcinogens in it according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA announced Friday that low levels of nitrosodimethlamine, a known substance that could cause cancer is found in Zantac. The substance was found in both the name brand and generic versions of the pill that are sold at major pharmacies like Walmart, Walgreens and CVS. The FDA says the levels found in the medicine barely exceeds the amount found in common foods so the drug hasn’t been recalled.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What are the price prospects for the upcoming U.S. soybean crop? Gary Crawford reports…


 

 

(Loda-jm) -- A Loda church is celebrating a major milestone in October. Immanuel Lutheran Church will be celebrating 70 years with a special service on October 13th at 10:30 am. The first service was held in 1948 by the Reverend E.M.  Goltermann in a local funeral home. In 1949 the church was renamed Immanuel Lutheran Church.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County Farm Bureau Foundation is hosting a rifle raffle. The foundation is raffling off a Henry Golden Boy and a Ruger Mini 14. Tickets are $20 a piece or 6 for $100. Proceeds benefit Ag in the Classroom. The drawing will be held on December 3rd. For more information or to get your tickets call the Vermilion County Farm Bureau office at 217-442-8713.

 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Two area health care systems are combining some of their services later this year. Carle Hospital and Christie Clinic have announced a plan to begin sharing medical records beginning in October. Currently, its estimated about 80 percent of patients who use Carle physicians also see a physician at Christie. Both systems would be able to securely access the records of mutual patients. For patients they would be able to access their medical information for both places through the mycarle portal.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Work on a stretch of road in Champaign County is expected to begin today. I-DOT announced Leverett Road between Route 45 and Market Street will be resurfaced. One lane will remain open during the project. Work is expected to be completed by the end of November.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Keep your receipts parents, your children’s education expenses may entitle you to an income tax credit. Families paying more than 250 dollars for school costs in grades kindergarten through high school may be able to take the credit. Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro says eligible expenses include tuition, lab fees and book fees….

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Sam Salustro. The credit is available to parents of kids in both public and private schools.

 

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Iroquois County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help into who vandalized the Danforth Cemetery

(Danforth--jc)  -- Iroquois County Police are seeking the public’s input on vandalism at one area cemetery. Police say damage to graves at the Danforth Cemetery happened on September 10 or September 11th. Local police continue to investigate. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Iroquois County Sheriff’s office in Watseka

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The advertising and other business practices of tech giant Google will be under heavy scrutiny in the coming months as part of a bipartisan investigation led by 50 attorneys general including Kwame Raoul of Illinois.  In an announcement this week, Raoul’s office said the joint investigation will determine whether the tech giant operates in violation of state and federal antitrust laws. The investigation will focus on Google’s advertising practices and whether its dominance in the advertising and search market constitutes anticompetitive behavior that harms consumers. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The USDA is lowering the crop production forecast for Illinois. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says based on conditions as of September first, the Illinois corn yield is 180 bushels per acre…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The soybean yield is forecasted to hit 53 bushels per acre, down 12 from last year. Total production is estimated at 527 million bushels. That would be a 25 percent decrease from last year.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul will be celebrating Community Night Out on September 18th. Events will take place at Eagles View Supportive Living and Memory Care starting at 1:30, Twin Lakes Senior Villas from 1-3 pm, Youman Place Apartments from 3-5 pm, Hope Meadows 3-5 pm and Golfview Village from 5-7 pm. For more information or to sign up for next year’s Community Night Out, call Nadine Frerichs at 893-5600.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton’s Swine n Dine BBQ Competition is coming up on Saturday, September 21st in downtown Paxton. Activities at this year’s event includes kids inflatables, a bags tournament, remote controlled cars for kids and live music featuring Nashville recording artist Jerrod Niemann. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer says this year you can be a judge for the BBQ competition…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Button Township voters will have a new location when they go to the polls. Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick has announced voters will be voting at the Button Township Hall located at 3379 E County Road 200 N after the previous voting location, the Paxton American Legion, was sold. Voters will receive new voting cards with the updated location.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- After several months of back and forth with the state, the Paxton landfill is officially closed. Mayor Bill Ingold says the announcement was made at this month’s city council meeting…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The University of Illinois set several record numbers when it comes to student enrollment this year. 51,196 students are enrolled for the new school year, an increase from the previous record 49,339 set last fall. The freshman class also set a record. 7,665 freshman students are enrolled this academic year. That is up from last year's record 7,609. The freshman class has the strongest academic profile with an average SAT of 1348, ACT of 29 and GPA of 3.60. 5,698 students are from within the state representing 92 of the state's 102 counties. 

 

 

(Undated--jc)  -- All of Illinois’ neighboring states spend a higher percentage of their gas taxes and license fees on roads than the Land of Lincoln.The Tax Foundation ranked Illinois No. 34 for spending 34 percent of its gas and license taxes on roads.Of neighboring states, Iowa spends the largest percentage at nearly 51 percent.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Several area congressmen are promoting the benefits of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement while praising President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. During a recent news interview, Darin LaHood promoted the trade agreement saying it will help more products to be produced in the US and can help the dairy industry by reducing tariffs. The new agreement would replace NAFTA or the North American Free Trade Agreement. As for the ongoing trade war with China, LaHood said he understands its hurting the agriculture and manufacturing industries but it’s time, after 25 years to stand up to China.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Insurance is helping families collect unpaid life insurance claims. It’s the duty of insurance companies to pay beneficiaries but policies aren’t always paid out for various reasons. Director Robert Muriel says consumers can search to see if they are due any money on the Department of Insurance’s website…

 

 

Illinois Department of Insurance Director Robert Muriel. So far this year, the department has been able to help people find and collect more than 15 million dollars from lost or unclaimed life insurance policies. Visit insurance dot illinois dot gov for more information. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- An electronics recycling event in Champaign County will take place in October. The recycling event will take place on October 12th at Parkland College. Those interested in participating are asked to register online at ecycle dot simplybook dot me or call Nichole Millage at 217 403 4780.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Last months highly criticized USDA corn and soybean forecasts may be "vindicated" as those same basic forecasts in Thursday's new estimates are now within the much revised trade expectations. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department is expanding services and taking over a program for Iroquois County. The director of Iroquois County’s Adult Protective Services stepped down and the agency is no longer staffing it. Ford County signed a 5 year contract with the state to take over the program. Fees from the program are expected to generate enough revenue to hire a new person.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District is gearing up for a busy homecoming week. Superintendent Cliff McClure talks about some of the events happening…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

Homecoming week begins September 23.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --As the Sept. 30 deadline approaches for municipalities in Illinois to decide on whether to allow and tax the sale of recreational cannabis, locally elected officials are under the microscope.The state lawmakers responsible for getting the legislation that legalized recreational cannabis to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk warned last month that municipalities shouldn’t tax sales of cannabis products at the maximum three percent. They said the high taxes would keep people from getting high using legal supply, opting to continue buying cannabis on the black market.In spite of the warning, many of the state’s cities are opting to tax sales at the highest rate. On top of state taxes that can be as high as 40 percent, local city and county sales taxes, the three percent tax can put the total tax on recreational cannabis at more than 50 percent.


 

(Springfield--jc)  --The debate over whether Illinois should change its flat income tax to a structure taxing higher rates for higher earners is expected to be expensive as groups on both sides of the issue prepare for November 2020 election.Voters will likely see more political ads for and against changing the state’s flat income tax to a structure with higher rates for higher earners. That proposed change to the state constitution will appear on ballots in November 2020. Voters will have the final say at the ballot box.Supporters have said the progressive income tax proposal will bring the state an additional $3.2 billion in tax revenue. That money would be used to address the state’s structural budget deficits. Opponents have questioned those revenue projections.

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General Motors is recalling over 3 million pickups and SUVs over brake issues

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office is suing several pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis in Illinois. The lawsuit is filed against companies like Johnson and Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and more. It alleges they engaged in deceptive marketing practices that contributed to the opioid epidemic says Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson…

 

Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson. The suit also alleges that distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health and others failed to look into suspicious orders of opiates like hydrocodone and morphine. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda FFA Chapter needs your help to protect the environment. The group is collecting 175 pounds of bottle caps or approximately 35,000 caps. For more information or to donate your caps, contact a PBL FFA member.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Taxing bodies in Ford County are starting to receive payments from the county for property taxes collected in 2018. After the first round of property taxes were collected, 17.2 million were distributed. Paxton-Buckley-Loda and the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school districts each received 3.8 million while the Tri-Point school district received 2 million. The second installment of property taxes is due by October 28th. After that deadline, an estimated 12 million more will be distributed to taxing bodies. County officials say the payment delays are due to the Illinois Department of Revenue not sending out the county’s multiplier on time.

 

(Washington-jm) --Will this month's new round of USDA crop forecasts cause as big a stir as last month? We will know soon. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- General Motors is recalling over 3 million pickups and SUVs over brake issues. The models impacted include the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks, model years 2014 through 2018. Also included are the Cadillac Escalade from 2015 to 2017, and the GMC Yukon and Chevy Suburban and Tahoe from 2015 through 2018. According to the automaker, the problem lies within the vacuum pump. The amount of vacuum created by the pump, according to GM, may decrease over time. When the vacuum level drops, the brake assist will decrease. This will increase the stopping distance needed, risking a crash.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to four years probation for sexually abusing a girl back in December. Carlos Ramirez-Lopez pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse before the case could go to a retrial after a jury acquitted him of one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child back in July. Ramirez-Lopez also pleaded guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol for an incident in September 2018. He received 30 months probation for that. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is reminding everyone about the farmers market held outside the Paxton Carnegie Library in downtown every Thursday from 4-7 pm. Today, local musical act Vern and Vern will be performing. The farmers market runs through September 19th.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul is raising concerns about at-home rape evidence kits. The do-it-yourself evidence collection kits are being marketed to survivors, but really don’t provide the support system that victims need says Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson

 

 

Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson. Thompson says there are also concerns about whether these kits would be admissible in court.

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- The village of Gifford will likely push their water main replacement project to early 2020. Project leader David Atchley brought to village leaders attention that there is not enough room in the right away in the 1600 feet without replacing field tile. Environmental regulations call for water mains and field tiles to be at least 10 feet apart. A possible solution is to request easements from 16 homeowners. 

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Buckley village trustees have approved a change order for their water tower refurbishment project. During the September meeting, village leaders approved removing a non-code compliant safety handrail on top instead of replacing it after an internet service tower was moved to another site. The change order will cost the village 1600 to remove the handrail, however, the village will be credited 5000 as they no longer need to install a new pressure-vacuum vent.


 

(Roberts--jc)  -- You can add one Ford County town to the list of communities that have placed a three percent sales tax on legal marijuana sales. The village of Roberts voted to put the sales tax on the books this week says Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner…

 

 

Roberts Mayor Rick Flessner

 

 

(Gibson City--jc)  -- For sale, used cars. The Gibson City Police Department is selling two used Ford Crown Victorias. One is a 2007 and the other is a 2008. Neither are running at this time and may need new batteries. If you would like to purchase either car, you may submit a sealed bid by Friday September 20th with the Gibson City Police..

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The Iroquois County community of Gilman is gearing up for their annual Super Saturday. Activities include a tractor show from 9-4, Bingo from 2-4 and a car show. This years event takes place on September 14th.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will be hosting their annual Harvest Fest the second weekend of September. The two day festival takes place on Friday, September and Saturday. Friday night’s live music line up include Jake and Jackson and Fun Pianos Dueling Pianos. Saturday’s activities include a bags tournament, one-third race and beer stein holding. Live music Saturday includes The Fairchilds, Counterfeits, Devon Clemons Band and Nashville-recording artist Colt Ford.

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NEVER FORGET 9/11

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans are commemorating 9/11 with mournful ceremonies, volunteering, appeals to "never forget" and rising attention to the terror attacks' extended toll on responders. A crowd of victims' relatives is expected at ground zero Wednesday, while President Donald Trump is scheduled to join an observance at the Pentagon. Vice President Mike Pence is to speak at the third attack site, near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Former President George W. Bush, the commander-in-chief at the time of the 2001 attacks, is due at an afternoon wreath-laying at the Pentagon.

Locally, The Ford County Republican Women and the Gov. Thomas Ford Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution are inviting the public to attend the annual 9/11 memorial service at the Paxton firehouse tonight. Music will be provided by PBL High School’s Panther Regiment marching band beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by a ceremony at 6 p.m. The featured speaker will be Chief Edmund J. Enright, a retired deputy district chief from the Chicago Fire Department. The event is an opportunity to remember, recognize and honor first responders, including police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel, EMS personnel, ERS personnel, paramedics and EMA volunteers.


 

(Watseka--jc) Watseka authorities are seeking the help of the public concerning a bank robbery that occurred around 10 Tuesday morning at the Iroquois Farmers State Bank in Watseka. Police say the suspect is a white male. He wore a black hat, black jacket, dark pants and a fake beard and was also armed with a handgun.The suspect left the bank on foot going northbound from the Iroquois Farmer’s State Bank. Anyone with information is asked to call the Watseka Police Department or Iroquois County Authorities at 815-432-4918.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state of Illinois is about to overhaul the way it provides health care to an estimated 74,000 of the state’s most vulnerable children and young adults, and the prospect of that is making many lawmakers and health care providers nervous. At issue is a plan by the Department of Children and Family Services to place all of the children under its charge into a single managed care health insurance program similar to those that now manage the bulk of the state’s Medicaid program by November 1st. It’s estimated 17,100 children in foster care, another 18,800 former foster children who still receiving health coverage from the state, plus another 38,200 children with special needs that qualify for federal Supplemental Security Income benefits will be involved. A hearing was held Tuesday in Springfield and many lawmakers present felt uncomfortable with what they were hearing and want to be kept informed as the scheduled start date approaches.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A simple conversation could save a life - that's just one of the messages mental-health organizations are hoping to drive home on World Suicide Prevention Day. Mary Schuermann reports…

 

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- Gifford village leaders are considering ways to reduce flooding in Werner Roessler Park and an area of south Park Street. Village trustees are considering a proposal to cut a ditch to redirect the directional flow of water more to the south. A cost estimate for the project came in between 12,500 and 15,000. Discussions will continue at a later date.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue continues to express optimism that Congress will approve the US/Mexico/Canada trade agreement. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A meet and greet with the new director of the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will be held this week. The meet and greet with Amanda Vickery will take place from 4 to 6 pm Thursday at the chamber’s office in downtown Rantoul. Vickery takes over for Belinda Allen who left in July for a position in western Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- September is National Preparedness Month and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has some advice to make sure your family is ready for a disaster. IEMA recommends involving the whole family is preparing for an emergency, taking into account the needs of children and pets. Kids can make their own kits with books, games and a stuffed animal. Spokesperson Rebecca Clark also suggests brushing up on your first aid and CPR skills…

 

 

IEMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. Clark says it’s also a good idea to have money saved to get you through a disaster and to get involved with community preparation efforts. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 24,000 private sector workers in Illinois have collectively stashed away more than $5 million in retirement savings since January as part of a new state program that increases access to retirement accounts for individuals whose employers do not already offer them. Illinois Secure Choice was created in 2015, requiring businesses with 25 employees or more to offer retirement savings plans or take part in the new program, which automatically enrolls workers in a state-created but independently managed retirement plan. The state treasurer's office and an appointed board of advisors oversee the program, however, it is managed by an independent financial services company which means the state cannot use the funds for any other purpose. Employees are  automatically enrolled with a default rate of 5 percent of the employee’s income withheld and there are no fees for employers to become part of the plan. California and Oregon offer similar retirement saving plans.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Farmers can sign up for the disaster program starting today. Gary Crawford has the details…

 


 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- The village of Thomasboro’s Emergency Services Disaster Agency could be receiving some new upgrades. Village trustees and the ESDA coordinator are looking at upgrades including purchasing a new tv, computer and antenna. Another proposal being considered is looking at operating the villages three emergency sirens remotely.


 

(Piper City-jm) -- The Ford County community of Piper City is working on updating and enforcing village codes. Several meetings have already been held on updating the codes. Among the changes so far are updating solicitor fees,eliminating Class B-E liquor licenses, changing the smoking device age from 18 to 21 and adding an ordinance regulating golf cart use.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A new school year means new students and for some in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District, that also means a new building. Renovations and an addition were added to Clara Peterson Elementary over the past year. PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure says they will be holding an open house for the public to see the new building later this month…

 

Paxton-Buckley-Loda Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton Police have released their recent activity report. On September 7th, Donald Bickel was arrested for driving with a suspended license and ticketed for operating a non-highway vehicle on a roadway following a traffic stop at Pells and Taft. An officer that knew Bickel’s license was suspended saw Bickel driving a riding lawnmower. On September 9th, Laureano Medina of Rantoul was arrested for driving with no valid driver's license following a traffic stop at Railroad and Green.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Lottery is launching a new instant ticket to benefit homeless prevention programs. All proceeds from the new “Easy as 1-2-3” game will go towards rental and utility assistance as well as help for families facing eviction or foreclosure. Lottery Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg explains the game... 

 

Illinois Lottery Spokesperson Jason Schaumburg. Easy as 1-2-3 is just one of several specialty tickets offered by the lottery where all profits go towards certain causes.

 

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104th District Representative Mike Marron is considering running for the seat of John Shimkus.

(Undated--jc)  --Illinois lands in the middle of the pack of all states for happiness.Consumer finance website WalletHub ranked the Land of Lincoln No. 24.The rankings were based on emotional and physical wellbeing, work, community and environmental factors.

 

Chicago’s mayor is warning the state’s high taxes on gambling could hurt the development of the industry.Mayor Lori Lightfoot told Crain’s Chicago Business the taxes on gambling don’t make sense. Illinois lawmakers have banked spending plans on revenue from the addition of six new casinos, including one in Chicago.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is reminding moms and dads that most employers are required to give them time off for parent-teacher conferences. A 1993 law makes sure businesses give workers unpaid leave for school conferences, minus a few exceptions says State Labor Director Michael Kleinik…

 

State Labor Director Michael Kleinik. Workers must request the time off seven days in advance and can be granted up to eight hours during the school year and no more than four hours on any given day. 

 

The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau will sponsor a Price Outlook meeting at 7 p.m. Tonight at the Farm Bureau building in Gilman. AgriVisor manager Joe Camp will give the price outlook. Camp is an analyst specializing in the grains and knowledgeable on matters influencing the other various financial markets. One Earth Energy’s Steve Kelly will also speak at the meeting. Kelly will provide an update on the ethanol industry and give his prospective on the world commodity markets. Reservations are not needed for the meeting. For more information, people can contact the Farm Bureau office at 800-424-0756.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul village leaders are expected to approve the final payment for the shared use path connecting Rudzinski Park to downtown. The final payment of $209,661 comes out of the motor fuel tax fund. In addition to that, village trustees will be asked to approve spending almost $40,000 for an engineering agreement redevelopment of Rudzinski Park, approve the purchase of a pickup truck from Shields for the Code Enforcement Department and approve over $45,000 in upgrades to the Prospect substation relay in the industrial park. The Rantoul Village Board meeting gets underway at 6 pm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Crop conditions have declined a bit as we hear in the weekly crop report. Corn progress continues to lag behind with 88 percent in the dough stage says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener... 

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The condition of the soybean crop also fell slightly to 41 percent in good to excellent condition and just three percent turning color. Average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to 10 percent very short, 22 percent short, 65 percent adequate and three percent surplus. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A newly selected members of the Illinois House could make a run for Washington. 104th District Representative Mike Marron is considering running for the seat of John Shimkus. Shimkus announced last week he is not seeking re-election. Marron was appointed a year ago to fill the seat of Chad Hays who retired from the Illinois House. The Congressional District covers all or parts of Ford, Champaign and Vermilion Counties. So far, John Hursey has announced his candidacy for the seat as a Democrat.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The U.S. has recorded another month of a trade deficit in agricultural products. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Catholics from around the state rallied at the state capitol last week denouncing lawmakers recent expansion of abortion rights and potential votes to further that agenda. A group of 30 led by Father Edward Ohm of the Diocese of Peoria, rallied to voice their opposition to the Reproductive Health Act which made access to abortions, birth control and pregnancy benefits and exams a fundamental right. The act also mandates private insurance companies regulated by the state to cover abortion procedures. 

 

(Chicago--jc)  --Policy experts warned the state’s unfunded pension debt is contributing to Illinois’ population losses, service shortages and high taxes, but said any change would need to be endorsed by the pensioners and their unions.The state has more than $133 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Without changes, the state will have to put $10 billion toward pension payments next year. That’s more than a quarter of the state’s budget. The City Club of Chicago hosted a panel discussion Monday about what needs to be done to address the issue.The consensus from the discussion was that unfunded pension liability is creating a high tax burden and an overall uncertain environment that is sending people to other states.

 

 

(Sibley-jm) -- One Ford County community has approved a 3 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana. Sibley village trustees made the decision at their September meeting. Municipalities have until September 30th to register their decision with the Illinois Department of Revenue. Even with the approval of the sales tax, the village can still decide to opt out of allowing the sale of recreational marijuana through an ordinance.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- It’s expected to be a quiet Paxton city council meeting tonight. Council members will be asked to approve the purchase of a stump grinder for the public works department and consider approving building maintenance at the Paxton Emergency Management Agency building. The Paxton city council meeting gets underway at 7pm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Crop conditions have declined a bit as we hear in the weekly crop report. 53 percent of corn is in the dent stage and just 38 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 90 percent of soybeans are setting pods…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions also fell to 37 percent in good to excellent condition and the third cutting of alfalfa is now 82 percent complete. It was a little drier this past week, leaving average topsoil moisture at 10 percent very short, 22 percent short, 65 percent adequate and three percent surplus. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The majority of people who spoke at the Rantoul village board study session were against recreational cannabis sales in the village. Of the 11 people that spoke, eight of them were against it. The village has until the end of the month to decide if they want to adopt a tax on the sale of recreational marijuana. By the end of the year, village leaders will have to decide whether to allow cannabis sales or cultivation facilities in the village, allow submittal of proposals for cannabis dispensary licenses and adopt rules and regulations. A decision could come as early as October.


 

CHICAGO (AP) — Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to better regulate the electronic cigarette industry in the wake of several vaping-related deaths. Durbin criticized the FDA on Monday for its lack of oversight of the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes and nicotine vaping products to minors. He says he sent a letter last week to acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless demanding the enforcement of existing regulations on the sale of vaping products.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ judicial branch will use its first budget increase in six years in part to alleviate costs paid by local governments. This is the first time in almost 30 years the state’s courts were allocated the financial resources by the General Assembly to fully reimburse counties for salaries and probation services. Before the increase, counties were reimbursed at 62 percent of what the law mandates. With the new allocation of $405 million, that rate will be 100 percent. The lack of funding caused some counties to cut or reduce services including programs for substance abuse, mental health issues and to veterans.

 

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Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran Urges Residents to Join the Illinois Sheriff's Association.

(Undated--jc) Illinois residents in rural areas are more likely to die in car crashes than their more urban counterparts WPXN’s Joel Cluver has the story…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Advocates for a law that would limit the number of patients each hospital nurse is allowed to care for at one time are touting a new national survey that suggests such a rule would lead to better working conditions for nurses and better care for patients. The survey was conducted in 2018 by the group Nurses take DC, a national organization that lobbies for stricter nurse-to-patient ratios. It found on average, Illinois nurses are responsible for five point two patients at a time. Authors of the report say stretching a nursing staff too thin can create workplace stress resulting in higher turnover rates. The Illinois Health and Hospital Association opposes the idea saying it would result in the closure of many rural hospitals and accelerate already rising health care costs.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is recovery month in Illinois with events planned all over the state to raise awareness and celebrate recovery. The theme  this year is recovery belongs says the State Department of Human Services’ Dani Kirby…

 

Illinois Department of Human Services’ Dani Kirby. Several events are being held across Illinois including free overdose response trainings, opioid awareness discussions, a three on three basketball tournament and a candlelight vigil. Visit D-H-S’ website for a complete list.


 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton man is behind bars and another is in the hospital following a fight last week. Paxton police were called to an unconscious male in the 200 block of E. Center Street on Sunday, September 1st. When they arrived they found the 52 year old in the backyard. He was taken to Carle Hospital where he was in Intensive Care. 34-year-old Clayton Marcum was arrested and charged with aggravated battery and obstruction of justice. Bond was set at 250 thousand dollars.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An Urbana hospital is stepping up their security after a data breach. Carle Foundation Hospital says someone hacked the email accounts of three doctors back in June. The breach affected those in cardiology and surgical services. The hospital says patient data including names, medical records and dates of birth were exposed in the breach.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Township High School school board is expected to approve their fiscal year 2020 budget at tonight’s school board meeting. School board members will also be asked to approve a proposal from A and R Mechanical to replace a chiller compressor in the west wing HVAC system and approve the purchase of a new bus from Midwest Transit Equipment. A budget hearing gets underway at 6:45 with the monthly meeting getting underway at 7.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A top USDA official is positive about news that US-China trade talks would resume. Stephanie Ho reports…

 


(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran is urging residents to join the Illinois Sheriff’s Association. Individuals can become members for as little as a $20 tax-deductible donation, while businesses can join for a $50 tax-deductible contribution. The membership helps provide funding for technical resources, training and legislative support on key criminal-justice issues.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Gaming Board is adopting new rules they say will strengthen existing ethical safeguards and require more people to file ethical disclosure reports as part of the casino license selection process. The new rules are the result of legislation enacted earlier this year that allows for the development of six new land-based casinos, including one in Danville, along with legalized sports betting.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some Illinoisans are encouraging state leaders to put the brakes on the rollout of new 5G wireless technology. Mary Schuermann reports…

 

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Two Ford County residents will be visiting the nation’s capitol later this month, all thanks to the Honor Flight. Going on the flight are Russell Plath of Gibson City and Chester Culbertson of Paxton. Plath served in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict. Culbertson served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War. Both will be in Washington D.C. along with 92 others on September 24th as part of the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight. So far, 4,454 veterans from Illinois have been apart of the honor flight.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- People who owe fines on unpaid traffic tickets or court costs in a criminal case, have a chance to pay with no interest or collection fees. Starting today, the Champaign County Clerk's office is offering its amnesty week. The office will allow anyone who owes an opportunity to pay the total of the original fine. It’s the third year for the program. It runs through Friday.


 

 

(Gibson city-jm) --  Gibson City leaders are expected to take the next step in building a new water tower at tonight's city council meeting. Council members will be asked to approve the purchase of land from Alliance Grain for the water tower. Also at tonight's meeting, council members will be asked to consider a recycling contract with Ridgeview Recycling and consider selling an old police squad car. The Gibson City city council meeting gets underway at 7 pm.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Time is running out for dairy producers to get enrolled in the Dairy Margin Coverage Program. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley has a new grocery store again. Rajinder  Ghotra has opened Buckley Food and Liquor. Ghotra also owns the Loda Big Mart.

 

 

(Loda--jc) -- The first Fundraiser to raise awareness and dollars for a cure for Huntington’s disease was a huge success. Several hundred people attended the walk, silent auction and golf tournament on Saturday at Lakeview Country Club in Loda. Organizers want to say thank you to all who participated and donated to the cause

 

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Rainfall Totals Varied Quite a Bit Across the State in August

(Champaign-jm) -- Rainfall totals varied quite a bit across the state last month. Parts of the state were soaked in August and others are officially in drought status says State Climatologist Trent Ford…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. The latest drought monitor shows a band of abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions from the Quad Cities to Will County and down to Vermilion County. It was a different story between I-72 and 64, especially near the Metro East Area. Those counties saw rainfall that was five to eight inches above normal.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul could build a 20 million dollar sports complex in the near future. During the village’s study session last week, the proposed 60 plus acre artificial turf facility would be built on the villages west side south of the Walmart. The project would be paid for through a bond issuance, private donations and grants. If approved work could begin as early as this fall.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The smell of BBQ will soon fill the air in downtown Paxton as the 2019 Paxton Swine n Dine gets underway on Saturday September 21st. In addition to the BBQ competition, there will be a bags tournament, inflatables for the kids and of course food vendors. Once again this year, there will be live entertainment says Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer. Also new this year, you can purchase tickets to judge some of the competitors food.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- An open house showcasing the new courts at Wabash Park in Rantoul will take place next week. The open house on September 12th from 5:30-7 pm, featuring hot dogs and other refreshments, will show off the all-weather courts that feature amenities for tennis and pickleball. The courts cost $150,000.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Those shopping in downtown Gibson City will have a new experience. The Gibson City city council approved spending up to $65,000 for free public Wi-Fi and a speaker system. Gibson City based MCS Office Technologies will provide the work. The city hopes to have the system in place for the Lighted Christmas Parade in November.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Tips to help businesses protect employees from workplace violence were offered this week at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s annual training summit. After the mass shooting back in February, the Aurora Police Department came up with a list of recommendations for employers to increase security. They including having numbers on all doors, a complete roster of workers and maps on the wall says Deputy Chief Keefe Jackson…

 

 

Aurora Police Deputy Chief Keefe Jackson. Businesses are also encouraged to have an entry system where visitors have to check in and security cameras.

 

Prairieview Lutheran Homes will hold their Fall Festival in Danforth today and tomorrow. Woodworth style fish served today from 11-2 and again starting at 4pm. The 5K race begins at 8am on Saturday. Annual Quilt Auction is Saturday at 3pm. Lots more activities planned. For more information, check out their website prairieview lutheran.com

 

The Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau will sponsor a Price Outlook meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Farm Bureau building in Gilman. AgriVisor manager Joe Camp will give the price outlook. Camp, a native of Paxton, offers grain marketing advice to producers in the Midwest and provides hedge recommendations and order execution as a Series 3 licensed broker. Camp is an analyst specializing in the grains and knowledgeable on matters influencing the other various financial markets. Camp can be heard regularly on the RFD Radio Network. One Earth Energy’s Steve Kelly will also speak at the meeting. Kelly has been the general manager at the One Earth Energy ethanol plant in Gibson City since 2007. Kelly will provide an update on the ethanol industry and give his prospective on the world commodity markets. Reservations are not needed for the meeting. For more information, people can contact the Farm Bureau office at 800-424-0756.

 

The Philo Country Opry featuring Chrissy Sparks will perform in concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Melvin Community Hall, 108 E. Main St., Melvin. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the cost of admission is $10. Children age 12 and under enter for free. The Melvin Lutheran Church will be selling pulled-pork sandwiches, chips, homemade pies and drinks. For more information, people can call 217-388-2853. On Oct. 12, Rick & Friends will perform at the Melvin Community Hall.

 

(Danville-jm) -- A lawsuit has been filed against some officers at the Vermilion County Jail following the death of an inmate a year ago. The family of Jamie Moore filed the lawsuit claiming officers didn’t provide medical treatment. Moore was being transferred to another cell because of a leak when he became combative with officers. He was taken back to his cell where he was found dead several hours later.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A cancer walk will be held in Rantoul tomorrow night. The Luke Remington Cancer Walk gets underway at the Rantoul Township High School track at 4. Spokesperson Sue Sawyer talks about the activities going on at this year’s walk…

 

 

Luke Remington Cancer Walk Spokesperson Sue Sawyer.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s office issued 39 traffic citations in August, 19 of which are for speeding. Six of them were for driving under the influence, three for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and one each for disregarding a stop sign, failure to report an accident, driving with a revoked license, improper lane usage, failure to yield and illegal transportation of alcohol. Deputies also handled 33 sex offender registry verifications, 14 suspicious activity reports, seven domestic issues, three thefts and one each of stolen vehicle, fight in progress, burglary and missing person. 

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- The primary election may not be for another six months but candidates are now able to start circulating petitions. Candidates for established political parties began circulating nominating petitions for the primary election on September 3rd. Paperwork must be turned into the county clerk’s office between November 25th and December 2nd. The primary election in Illinois is March 17th.

 

 

The Elliott Amvets will hold Family Night meals on the first Friday of each month: Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1, Dec. 6, Jan. 3, Feb. 7, March 6, April 3 and May 1. The meal includes fish and chicken plus two sides for $10. Also available for purchase are $1 sodas, $2 beers and $4.50 mixed drinks.

 

The Paxton IGA is hosting a cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, in its parking lot to help raise funds for the First Lutheran Church in Paxton. Pork chop sandwiches, chips and soda pop will be for sale.

 

The public is invited to learn lots of history when the Iroquois County Genealogical Society presents its seventh annual cemetery walk at 2 p.m. Sunday, at Amity Cemetery near Goodwine. There will be several speakers and presenters. Some of the topics will include explanation of  symbols on some of the headstones at the cemetery, historical facts about the post offices, towns and cemetery; and some history of the church. There will be a small admission fee, as the event is one of the Iroquois County Genealogical Society’s few fundraisers. The admission fee will include water. A handicap port-a-potty will be available. The cemetery is located at the intersection of county roads 500 North and 1900 East.

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Annual 9/11 Memorial Service to be Held at Paxton Firehouse

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Republican Women and the Gov. Thomas Ford Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution are inviting the public to attend the annual 9/11 memorial service at the Paxton firehouse on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Music will be provided by PBL High School’s Panther Regiment marching band beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by a ceremony at 6 p.m. The featured speaker will be Chief Edmund J. Enright, a retired deputy district chief from the Chicago Fire Department. The event is an opportunity to remember, recognize and honor first responders, including police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel, EMS personnel, ERS personnel, paramedics and EMA volunteers.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois has joined over a dozen states in asking the federal government for more information on a decision to stop considering requests from immigrants seeking to remain in the country for medical treatment and other hardships. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul says the lack of information has left sick patients and their families "afraid, traumatized, and uncertain of their future health and well-being."

 

 

(Bloomington--jc)  --A new Illinois High School Association rule could lead to new football schedules around the state .A policy announced last year and implemented with the start of this season limits all prep football players to one game per night and bans playing on back-to-back days. The state previously had no limits on how much football an athlete could play.  IHSA Assistant Executive Director Sam Knox says in the past, you could have a student who plays in nine J.V. football games and nine varsity football games. One change is not holding JV or Freshmen contests on Friday nights. Knox says some school districts are moving Freshmen and Sophomore games to Mondays or Tuesdays. Student safety is the main concern. The change came after the recommendation of the IHSA’s sports medicine advisory committee.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- People who support alternatives to detention for kids in trouble say the state is set to bring lasting reforms to Illinois’ juvenile justice system. Mary Schuermann (Sherman) has the details…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A deputy township assessor in Champaign County has been arrested on domestic battery charges. William Harris the third of Rantoul was charged in Champaign County court this week with domestic battery and unlawful interference with reporting domestic battery. Harris is accused of grabbing his wife by the neck during an argument and knocking the phone out of her hand when she attempted to call 9-1-1. If convicted he faces a maximum one year in the Champaign County Jail.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Luke Remington Cancer Walk is this Saturday at the Rantoul Township High School track. Spokesperson Sue Sawyer says there will be a silent auction at the event…

 

 

Luke Remington Cancer Walk Spokesperson Sue Sawyer.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  --A key measurement of the U.S. and Illinois economy has begun to slide.The University of Illinois Flash Index dropped to a year-low of 105.1. The measurement factors in individual income and corporate tax receipts.The Illinois economy appears to be slowing slightly from its recent moderate pace but experts say any Index reading above 100 still denotes growth.

 

 

(Chicago--jc)  -- Thanks to a new law, passed with bipartisan support from the legislature, active-duty and former military personnel who live in other states within commuting distance of Illinois can pay in-state tuition rates to attend Illinois public universities, colleges and community colleges.

(Springfield-jm) -- School safety is a major focus at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s training summit in Springfield and state officials are providing an update on what’s being done to target the problem. After last year’s Parkland school shooting, an Illinois School Safety working group was formed and came out with 13 initial recommendations. Group leader Mike Chamness says he’s pleased to report many of the ideas are being implemented, including handing out “stop the bleed” kits…

 

 

Illinois School Safety Working group leader Mike Chamness. Additionally, a new online program called “Safe 2 Tell Illinois” will kick off in January, giving students a way to report classmates threatening to hurt themselves or others. The training summit wraps up today.

 

 

 


 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 2019 Paxton Swine n Dine will take place on September 21st in downtown Paxton. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer says there’s a full days worth of activities…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer. Capping off the evening is a free concert provided by country music star Jerrod Niemann.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  A lawsuit attempting to invalidate a number of loans taken out by the state of Illinois is moving to the next level.Acting as a private citizen, John Tillman of the Illinois Policy Institute has formally appealed Tuesday a ruling that tossed out his lawsuit challenging a number of bonds the state took out.He said the bonds to pay down bills and shore up budgets were unconstitutional.State officials discounted the suit as a waste of the court's time.

 

 

(Springfield--jc)  State Rep. David McSweeney wants an independent investigation of Leader Jim Durkin’s House operation He said a founded misconduct report about a member of the General Assembly” that former Legislative Inspector General Julie Porter hinted at in an op-ed earlier this year should be released. Durkin's office denied any wrongdoing.

 

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Mason's Law takes Effect Next Summer

(Springfield-jm) -- A new state law aims to make it safer for people to cross the street in Illinois. Mason’s Law cracks down on drivers who fail to yield at intersections and at  crosswalks and end up seriously injuring someone says State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst of Kankakee…

 

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst of Kankakee. Previously, drivers in this situation usually only ended up paying a fine. The law takes effect next summer and is named after 24-year old Mason Knorr of rural Clifton. He was killed in an intersection last year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s finances look bad but there are signs of improvement according to a new report released by Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s Office. In fiscal year 2018, the state ran up its deficit up 7.7 billion more. While that sounds bad, that is actually about half of what the deficit was the fiscal year prior. The 397 page report showed the state’s largest area of spending was in the health and social services sector, which encompassed nearly 41 percent of the state’s budget. Education took up the second largest area at 28.5 percent. The state deficit at the end of the fiscal year is 136 billion including $133.6 billion in long-term unfunded pension liabilities plus another $55 billion in other postemployment obligations including health, dental, vision and life insurance for retired state and university employees.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Campus Fire Safety Month in Illinois. Many students haven’t received fire safety education since elementary school and may need a few reminders as they head out on their own says State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Students in dorms are urged not to overload electrical outlets and those in an apartment should test their smoke alarms…

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Fultz also says students should never leave candles or cooking unattended and those off-campus should have an escape plan in case of a fire. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A golf outing benefiting Toys for Tots will be held in Rantoul. Willow Pond Golf Course will host the event on Saturday, September 14th. Registration is required by calling Patti Irvin at 217-841-0532 or Willow Pond at 217-893-9000.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The month of August was a mixed month in the state of Illinois with some places seeing above average precip while others barely saw any. State Climatologist Trent Ford has a look at how the first part of September could look…

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been arrested for allegedly pointing a gun at his neighbor during an argument. Mark Donoho was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after he admitted to possessing a gun and pointing it at his neighbor. Bond was set at five thousand dollars.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will seek a grant to finish repair work to the historic Pells Park Pavillion. The city filed for a $20,000 grant with the help of State Representative Jason Barickman, through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development. The grant would pay to replace the shingle roof, add flashing around the dormer windows and add white vinyl soffit to the interior ceiling above its seating area.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The condition of Illinois’ corn and soybean crops dropped slightly as we hear in the weekly crop report. Crop progress still lags behind, with 82 percent of corn acres now in the dough stage says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The soybean crop also dipped to 46 percent in good to excellent condition, with 84 percent now setting pods. The third cutting of alfalfa is now 77 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to eight percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois student accused of leaving a noose in a residence hall elevator has been charged with a felony hate crime. Andrew Smith was also arraigned on misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges Tuesday. A prosecutor said during the arraignment that the 19-year-old student from Normal found some rope in an elevator and tied it into a noose. Other students reported finding the noose early Sunday. A friend reported him to authorities and he was arrested Monday.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois drivers can now purchase St. Louis Cardinals license plates. The Redbirds are the sixth sports team to be represented on an Illinois license plate. Secretary of State Jesse White says he expects they will be popular…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. The Cardinals plate with random numbers costs 69 dollars after the usual registration fee. Personalized and vanity plates cost more. 25 dollars from each plate goes to public schools. Order online at: cyber drive Illinois dot com.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois circuit court has thrown out a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of two of the state’s general obligation bond issuances. The Illinois Policy Institute filed the suit challenging the legality of the bonds the state issued in 2003 and 2017, arguing they violated the Illinois Constitution’s requirement that such debt may be issued only for specific purposes. At issue were $10 billion in pension funding bonds the state issued in 2003, early in Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration, and another $15.2 billion the state issued in 2017 to pay down debts owed by the state employee health insurance system. The latter was part of a budget package that ended the state’s historic two-year budget impasse which occurred under former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

 

(Springfield-jm) --First responders at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s annual training summit in Springfield are hearing about lessons learned from the Aurora workplace shooting. The Aurora Police Department spent a lot of time analyzing what they did right and what they need to improve after an employee of the Henry Pratt Company killed five co-workers and injured five police officers. For example, Aurora Deputy Chief Keefe Jackson says they realized they need a notification system for the families of officers involved…

 

 

Aurora Deputy Police Chief Keefe Jackson. Jackson says they also realized dispatchers didn’t know all the jargon and acronyms their officers used, which hampered communications.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Frightfest will be making its annual return to the Harvest Moon Twin Drive Inn theater in Gibson City. The multi-weekend event kicks off September 6th and 7th. Screen 1 will feature IT 1 and IT2 while screen 2 will feature IT2 and Annabelle Comes Home. Other Frightfest weekends are September 13th and 14th and 20th and 21st. Each night will feature a costume contest.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- After a blistering report came out in late August of allegations of harassment in the Illinois State Capitol, the state’s highest leader is speaking out. The allegations surround House Speaker Mike Madigan. Governor J-B Pritzker says he is aware of the allegations and is taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County Treasurer Kurt Albers is reminding residents the deadline for the 2nd installment of real estate taxes is quickly approaching. The deadline to pay the installment without penalty is September 16th. After that date a one and a half percent interest rate will be added.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Traffic was backed up on I-57 Tuesday afternoon near Champaign following a crash. State Police say the accident happened around 1pm in the southbound lanes near the University exit. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Township High School is celebrating homecoming this week. Homecoming court is Cecilia Ramirez, Thrinnagee Sengsone, Madison Palmer and Ashlinn Pitzer, Darianyelis Medina, Bria Connelly, Noeloni Franklin and Luke Zech. The parade gets underway Friday at 4pm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The condition of Illinois’ corn and soybean crop dropped slightly as we hear in the weekly crop report. 95 percent of soybeans are blooming, compared to 100 percent normally says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The corn crop is also rated 46 percent in good to excellent condition, with 46 percent dented and two percent mature. Temperatures were below normal, and rain was nearly half an inch above normal, raising average statewide topsoil moisture to eight percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

(Loda--jc) --  A Hope Walk is set for Saturday at Lakeview Country Club in Loda. The event is sponsored by the Great Lakes Region of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. The walk begins at 8 on Saturday around the golf course. Walkers will be going around the course to raise awareness and dollars for Huntinton’s Disease. The public is invited to attend the event. A silent auction will also be held. 

 

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Illinois Governor JB Pritzker Has Appointed a Task Force to Look into How to Ease the Burden on Taxpayers

(Watseka-jm) -- An informational meeting on a proposed swine facility near Stockland will be held in Watseka on September 5th at 8 pm. Officials with the Illinois Department of Agriculture will be present to take questions from the public. The proposed 1800 swine facility would be built one point three six miles southeast of Stockland.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul’s code enforcement has a new vehicle. The village board approved purchasing a 2019 Ford pickup from Shields for almost $25,000. The new vehicle will be able to pull a trailer that will move lawn mowing equipment and other items. The old vehicle will be scrapped.

 

NOVI, Mich. (AP) — A gathering next year in Michigan will seek to identify and explore solutions to water infrastructure challenges faced by the Great Lakes region. The state of Michigan is lining up speakers for the Great Lakes Water Infrastructure Conference, which runs April 28-30 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi in suburban Detroit. Topics are expected to include funding, water affordability, environmental health, water planning, green infrastructure and cybersecurity.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A cancer walk will be held this Saturday in Rantoul. The I made a Difference the Luke Remington Cancer Walk will take place at the Rantoul Township High School track. Spokesperson Sue Sawyer talks about the walk…

 

Luke Remington Cancer Walk Spokesperson Sue Sawyer.

 

(Undated--jc)  -- Some workers with Eastern Illini Electric Coop based in Paxton are in the Florida area helping with Hurricane Dorian. They have joined hundreds of other workers restoring power in the path of the slow moving hurricane that has hit a portion of the Florida coastline.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual golf outing will take on a glowing theme this year. The theme for the annual golf outing is Glow in the Dark and will be held at Brook Hill Golf Course on N. Maplewood Drive. Cost is $50 per person. For more information or to sign your team up, call the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce at 893-1200.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA is forecasting an increase in farm income for 2019. Stephanie Ho has the details…

 

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is helping out the Paxton Christmas Parade again this year. The local chamber is donating 500 dollars in cash and prizes for this year’s event which is set at the Saturday following Thanksgiving at 1-30pm. Some of the donation will be used for prizes for those putting an entry in the parade. 

 

(Bloomington--jc)  -- Illinois tax payers are paying some of the highest property taxes in the nation. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has appointed a task force to look into how to ease the burden on taxpayers in the state. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman, Republican of Bloomington, says he continues to have a wait-and-see attitude, if that task force will come up with any solutions…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman, Republican from Bloomington

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Several offices will be up for election in the March primary in Iroquois County. Seats up include circuit clerk, coroner and states attorney. Also up are 10 county board members and 37 precinct committeemen. Those seeking nominations can begin circulating their petitions today. Paperwork can be filed with the Iroquois County Clerk's office between November 25th and December 2nd.

 

(Undated--jc)  An environmental organization in Springfield lauded the signing of legislation that redefines local foods in Illinois into law.Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 2505 earlier this month. Eliot Clay, agriculture and water programs director with the Illinois Environmental Council, said that the council pushed the legislation, known as House Bill 25-05.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Today is the due date for the second installment of 2018, payable in 2019, Champaign County Real Estate Taxes. The county treasurers office has extended hours from 7:30 to 5 today. Payments can be dropped off at the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana, by mail or online at w-w-w-dot-c-o-dot-champaign-dot-il-dot-us-slash-treasurer. Mailed in payments must be postmarked by today in order for it to not be considered late. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton’s Swine n Dine BBQ Competition is coming up on Saturday, September 21st in downtown Paxton. Activities at this year’s event includes kids inflatables, a bags tournament, remote controlled cars for kids and live music featuring Nashville recording artist Jerrod Niemann. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer says this year you can be a judge for the BBQ competition…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- A blood drive will be held in Fisher Thursday. The blood drive will be held at the River Valley Church of Christ from 4 to 8 pm.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Part of the USDA's program to help farmers hurt by trade disputes also is helping low income families with their food needs. Gary Crawford has the details from Washington…

 

 

 

(Gibson City--jc) One Ford County city has fall garage sale times this week. Gibson City townwide fall-time garage sales start on Thursday and run through Saturday. Maps of sales will be available through the Gibson Area Chamber of Commerce

 

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