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WPXN Blog Archives for 2020-09

Another member of Governor J-B Pritzker's staff has tested positive for COVID-19

(Springfield-jm) -- Another member of Governor J-B Pritzker's staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The governor along with all other people who came into close contact with the individual will self-isolate for the next two weeks. According to the governor's office, the staff member was tested during a weekly testing for the governor's office. The test came back negative, but after experiencing symptoms, the staff member was tested again. That test came back positive.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- If you’re having trouble paying your home energy bills, the Illinois Commerce Commission recommends discussing the situation with your utility company. In many cases, those struggling with utility costs just need to ask for help says I-C-C Chair Carrie Zalewski…

 

 

Illinois Commerce Commission Chair Carrie Zalewski. Additionally, several companies have agreed to extend the moratorium on disconnections for low income residents through the winter, including Ameren Illinois, Peoples Gas, ComEd, Nicor Gas and North Shore Gas.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,362 new Coronavirus cases and 23 additional deaths Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 291,001 and deaths to 8,637. Locally, Ford County reported 5 new cases bringing their total number to 160. Livingston County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 427. Vermilion County reported 18 new cases bringing their total to 673. McLean County reported 8 new cases bringing their total to 3,298. Kankakee County reported 6 new cases and 1 additional death bringing the total number of cases to 2,780 and deaths to 72. Champaign County reported 42 new cases bringing their total to 4,691. Iroquois County reported no new cases leaving their total at 404.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting case numbers in local communities. Rantoul’s case total is at 310. 169 in Mahomet, 92 in St. Joseph, 79 in Gilman, 64 in Clifton, 55 in Watseka, 48 in Paxton, 44 in Chebanse, 39 in Fairbury, 37 in Hoopeston, 36 in Fisher, 31 in Onarga, 28 in Gibson City, 23 in Forrest, 19 in Potomac, 18 in Cissna Park, 15 in Thomasboro, 14 in Ashkum, 13 each in Rossville and Milford, 12 each in Gifford and Danforth, 10 each in Piper City and Crescent City, 9 each in Foosland and Donovan, 8 each in Saybrook, Martinton and Cabery, 7 each in Buckley and Bellflower, 6 each in Loda, Ludlow, Beaverville and Cullom, 5 in Dewey and 1 in Penfield.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Autopsy results on one of the inmates who died at the Iroquois County Jail last month is complete. Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum says Andre Maiden died from an overdose of fentanyl and heroin. The investigation is still ongoing. Results on a second inmate, Jason Fancher, who died at the jail has not yet been released.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- September is coming to a close and tomorrow we start October. How does the climatological outlook for the month look? State Climatologist Trent Ford has those details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Paxton and Buckley fire crews were called to a fire on I-57 Tuesday afternoon. Crews were called to the rest area for a truck with a camper on fire. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- EnterpriseWorks, the tech incubator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Research Park, is a recipient of a grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA grant, worth $125,000, intends to support the growth and development of tech companies across the state. U of I's Research Park is one of 24 awardees nationwide.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Last week was Child Passenger Safety Week in Illinois. State law requires children to be in a safety seat until the age of 8 and face rear facing until the age of 2. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City provides some statistics…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Construction on a new city storage shed in Paxton won’t happen until next year. Due to a shortage of construction materials available, the new shed won’t be built until 2021 instead of this fall. The existing shed caught fire in late May destroying several pieces of city equipment.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- There will be no 15 minute or handicap parking along Route 45 in Buckley. The village board looked into the issue at their recent meeting. The village learned that if they were to move forward with handicap parking, they would have to make the area to meet ADA requirements.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA is about to release two important reports of major interest to grain producers and traders--grain stocks and small grains production. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A joint hearing of the Senate Criminal Law and Public Safety Committees on Tuesday took up the subject of drug sentencing reform. In 2015, then-Governor Bruce Rauner created a criminal justice task force to identify areas of the criminal justice system that could be reformed that would result in a 25% reduction in the prison population by 2025. Advocates say the best way to start is to change how the state responds to low-level drug felonies.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office says paying by check online will be free through the end of the year. The state is waiving the e-check processing fee until December 31st. The goal is to get more people to take care of things like renewing their license plate sticker online says Secretary White…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. You can also get a duplicate license or ID card online and renew your driver’s license if you qualify for the safe driver renewal program. The Secretary of State’s website is: cyber drive illinois dot com.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois has over 291,000 Coronavirus cases and 8,637 deaths after the state reported 1,362 new cases and 23 additional deaths Tuesday. Kankakee County reported their 72nd death Tuesday. As for local active and recovered cases, Ford County reported 139 have been released from isolation while 16 remain in isolation. Livingston County reported 380 have been removed from isolation, 41 cases are active with 3 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 569 have been released from isolation with 100 active cases. McLean County reported 3,088 have recovered, 178 are in isolation and 9 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,459 have recovered, 249 cases are active and 12 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 4,315 have recovered, 356 cases are active and 8 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 370 have been released from isolation, 13 remain in isolation and 2 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 29,517 Coronavirus cases and 4,642 Coronavirus deaths have been at long term care facilities in the state. According to IDPH, 132 cases and 18 deaths have been at facilities in Iroquois County. 53 cases and 3 deaths have been at facilities in Ford County. 72 cases and 5 deaths have been at facilities in Champaign County. 17 cases and no deaths at facilities in Vermilion County. 99 cases and 12 deaths at facilities in McLean County. 12 cases and 1 death at facilities in Livingston County. 537 cases and 46 deaths at facilities in Kankakee County.

 

 

(Gilman-cf)-- This summer seemed to be one of the better growing seasons for local crops due to the amount of moisture that the area had. Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece has the details, heading into harvest.

 

 

Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The president and CEO of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank announced retirement plans yesterday. Jim Hires has served the organization for the past 15 years. He will continue to serve as president and CEO until the position is filled or his planned final day of April 2, 2021.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- A bird on Bloomington’s east side has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The McLean County Health Department reminds that even with the cooler temperatures, west nile is still around in mosquitos. They say you should remove stagnant water from your property, wear long sleeves when outside during peak mosquito hours and wear insect repellent that contains DEET.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- There hasn’t been much precipitation in the winter months the last few seasons. The average precipitation in the winter in the WPXN area is usually 30 inches in total. Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick details how we could see around the same amount this winter season, but that there are other issues we could see this year… 

 

 

Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County has renewed participation in an electric aggregation program. The county negotiated the 100 percent green energy for December 2020 through December 2022 at a cost of 0.04543 per kilowatt hour. Notices were sent out to all residents. Champaign County residents will be automatically enrolled unless they opt out by October 30th.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Ameren says it plans to invest $8 billion in renewable energy projects during the next two decades, with a goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 across Illinois and Missouri. The company says it plans to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2030 and 85% by 2040, based on 2005 levels. It also will eventually close its coal-based power plants, starting with the retirement of the Meramec Energy Center in 2022 and ending with the final coal-power plant closing in 2042.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What's in store for pork production and hog prices? Rod Bain has the latest from Washington…

 

 

 

Officials are moving forward with a lawsuit against Governor J-B Pritzker regarding the executive orders he issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

(Springfield-jm) -- The special investigative committee that is investigating Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is set to meet for a second time. The committee will meet at 2pm today. This comes after Madigan was implicated in a federal bribery scheme involving Chicago utility company Commonwealth Edison.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A national judicial watchdog group has sued the state of Illinois and Illinois elections officials over voter roll access. Judicial Watch this month filed the federal lawsuit, claiming officials failed to allow meaningful public access to its voter roll data after a request in 2019. The group says in Illinois, it found more registered voters than citizens over 18 in 14 of 102 counties with a total of 660,000 inactive registrants.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Federally Qualified Health Centers in Illinois and other health facilities that have been on the front lines in the state’s battle against COVID-19 are in line to receive $140 million in grants to help them maintain operations. Federally Qualified Health Centers have accounted for a large part of the state’s COVID-19 testing program where tests are available free of charge, regardless of a person’s ability to pay or citizenship status.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was another dry week for Illinois farm fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Rainfall was nearly an inch below normal this past week, leaving average statewide topsoil moisture at 11 percent very short, 25 percent short, 62 percent adequate and two percent surplus. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener gives an update on the soybean crop…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 73 percent of corn is mature and 13 percent has been harvested. Eight percent of winter wheat has been planted.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 1,709 new Coronavirus cases and 13 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 289,639 and deaths to 8,614. Locally, since Friday, McLean County reported 63 new cases and one additional death bringing their total number of cases to 3,290 and deaths to 23. Champaign County reported 142 new cases bringing their total to 4,649. Ford County reported 9 new cases bringing their total to 155. Vermilion County reported 52 new cases bringing their total to 655. Livingston County reported 32 new cases bringing their total to 422. Iroquois County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 404. Kankakee County reported 40 new cases bringing their total to 2,774.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- One area lawmaker is speaking out against a proposed constitutional amendment before voters in the November election that would change the state’s tax structure from a flat tax rate to a progressive income tax. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says the Governor’s proposed plan is not in the best interest of the state…

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating a report of shots fired in the village over the weekend. An officer was in the area of Klein Avenue, heard gunshots and found several shell casings in the area of Congress and Century. A vehicle was struck by the gunfire. No injuries were reported.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County is seeking applicants for several vacancies. The vacancies include positions on cemetery boards and drainage districts as well as on the Eastern Prairie and Pesotum Fire Boards and the counties Zoning Board of Appeals. Details are available on the counties website.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Politicians on both sides of the isle continue to debate another round of Coronavirus relief. One of the major sticking points is money for state and local governments. U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says not approving money could cause other issues…

 

U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is encouraging local small businesses to apply for the 2nd round of Business Interruption Grants from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The grants can help businesses with expenses related to COVID-19 or civil unrest. More details are available on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunities website.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxtons former public works director was recognized recently. Mark LeClair retired after 42 years with the city. LeClair was named Wastewater System Operators Specialist of the Year. He started in 1978. LeClair will stay on as a consultant.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Officials are moving forward with a lawsuit against Governor J-B Pritzker regarding the executive orders he issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lawsuit was filed by Christian County Board Member Ray Koonce. He filed the lawsuit as a private citizen, not as a member of the Christian County Board. The lawsuit alleges that Illinois residents' " fundamental rights to associate with friends and family have been unjustifiably infringed" by Pritzker's executive orders 2020-10, which issued the stay at home order, and 2020-18, which extended the stay at home order.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, plans to introduce a bill this week that would expand protection for dogs. The Puppy Protection Act would create stronger standards for housing, veterinary care, and breeding for dogs. The legislation would ensure that dogs within a breeder's care have access to outdoor areas, suitable and safe enclosures, and regular interaction with other dogs and humans.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Hayrides and haunted hayrides with capacity restrictions are allowed amid COVID-19 concerns after the Pritzker administration reversed course. Documents showed hayrides were prohibited, but an update said the events can proceed with distancing and masking guidelines. Haunted houses must remain closed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was another dry week for Illinois farm fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Precipitation was below normal, leaving plenty of time for harvest in the fields. 60 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 11 percent has been harvested. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 72 percent of soybean acres are in good to excellent condition. Looking at corn...

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 73 percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition and eight percent of winter wheat has been planted.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 289,639 Coronavirus cases and 8,614 deaths according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 3,074 have recovered, 186 are in isolation and 7 are hospitalized including 1 in the intensive care unit. Champaign County reported 4,292 have recovered, 337 cases are active with 5 hospitalized. Ford County reported 137 have been released from isolation while 13 remain in isolation. Vermilion County reported 551 have been released from isolation and 100 cases are active. Livingston County reported 375 have been removed from isolation, 41 cases are active with 3 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 362 have been released from isolation, 21 remain in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,448 have recovered, 255 cases are active with 9 hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As students attend school remotely this fall, the National Fire Protection Association is urging added caution around using and charging laptops and other electrical devices at home. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- Six vehicles were damaged following a two vehicle accident in Hoopeston. The accident occurred on south Dixie Highway. The impact of the collision sent one of the vehicles into the parking lot of the Ford dealership where it struck four other vehicles. One person was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- University of Illinois police are investigating after a student had her car stolen. The student was walking from her car in lot D6 near the intersection of Goodwin and Illinois when a man asked her what time it was before stealing her keys and leaving with her car. The vehicle was later recovered however the suspect is still at large.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Last week was Child Passenger Safety Week in Illinois. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains state requirements when it comes to child seats…

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City Police have released their recent activity. On September 24th, Glenda Wittemann was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs. On September 25th, Justin Durham of Saybrook was arrested for an in state warrant.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County Public Health Department will be hosting a series of drive thru flu clinics this week. The clinics will take place October 1st from 8-11, October 2nd from 2-6, October 3rd from 9-1 and October 8th from 8-11. The flu clinic scheduled for today at St. Mary’s in Westville is postponed due to a shipping issue. Those coming to get their flu shots must bring their insurance card.

Haunted House and Hay rides are the latest victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic

(Springfield-jm) -- Hay rides, train rides and haunted houses are no longer allowed this fall. The state updated guidelines Friday ordering them closed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Members of Illinois' House Special Investigating Committee into House Speaker Michael Madigan’s involvement in a bribery scheme with ComEd could hear Tuesday from executives from the utility. Chicago Public Radio reported the update from a letter House Minority Leader Jim Durkin sent Democrats. Madigan declined to testify. The committee could forward charges to a disciplinary committee.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The debate over the proposed graduated income tax is heating up in Illinois. In the election, voters will be asked to support a change in the state’s income tax structure, taxing people based on how much they make instead of at a flat rate for everyone. Democrats say this system would be fairer and generate much needed revenue for the state. If not passed, they say a general tax increase of up to 20 percent will be needed. GOP Representative Tom Demmer of Dixon responds…

 

 

State GOP Representative Tom Demmer of Dixon. Governor J-B Pritzker says Republicans should indicate which areas of government should be cut if the graduated income tax isn’t passed.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 2,514 new Coronavirus cases and 25 additional deaths Friday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 283,885 and deaths to 8,563. Locally, McLean County reported 19 new cases bringing their total to 3,227. Champaign County reported 72 new cases bringing their total to 4,507. Vermilion County reported 15 new cases bringing their total to 603. Ford County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 146. Kankakee County reported 14 new cases bringing their total to 2,734. Livingston County reported 6 new cases bringing their total to 390. Iroquois County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 399.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Senate lawmakers are looking at lowering the compulsory school age in Illinois. Children must start attending school by age six, but last week a Senate committee discussed lowering that to five. Dr Brenda Dixon with the State Board of Education says they support the idea…

 

 

State Board of Education’s Dr Brenda Dixon. Dixon says kids that don’t start school until first grade often struggle and find it hard to catch up to their peers.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Another area newspaper is shutting down. The News Gazette announced this week will be the final week for the Rantoul Press. The Rantoul Press has been around for 145 years. The News Gazette cited the closure as a business decision.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- University of Illinois testing numbers will no longer be included in the Region 6 of the Restore Illinois plans totals. The University tests about 10,000 people a day with the 20 county region averaging a total of about 13,000 a day. Health officials say the high number of tests is skewing the region’s positivity rate lower and could be impacting the actual impact in the region. Data will now show numbers with and without the U of I’s data.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Some places could see their first frost this week as a cold front pushes through the area. State Climatologist Trent Ford says that would be earlier than normal…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Area first responders were busy over the weekend. Saturday, Sibley firefighters were called to a field fire Elliott first responders were called to a car vs tree accident Saturday afternoon. Also Saturday afternoon, Piper City first responders were called to a FedEx vehicle vs car accident. Early Sunday morning, traffic on I-57 southbound was detoured at Paxton after a truck pulling a camper crashed at the bridge south of Paxton. 

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital will be hosting an open house for their Gilman clinic. The open house will take place tomorrow from 1-5 pm at their new location along Route 45 next to the CVS.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Legislation in Congress is being proposed to help those who have lost their health insurance due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The legislation is sponsored by U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois…

 

 

U-S Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County home sales rose 23 percent in August. 322 homes sold last month compared to 260 in August 2019. The median price also rose although slightly last month. The median price rose from $165,500 to $169,900.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Some sidewalks and alleys in Paxton will receive some upgrades. The city set aside $40,000 for the work. The city will likely hire a contractor to do the work while the city will provide materials.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The numbers in USDA's latest report on cattle feedlots are generally higher than most industry analysts expected. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Peoria U.S. Representative Darin LaHood introduced a bill designed to make sure federal bailout funds are used for essential services and not to eliminate existing debt. The bill authorizes state and local governments to seek forgivable loans from the federal government, with loan forgiveness available only to states with sound pensions, truly balanced budgets and sufficient rainy-day funds.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An economic report by the website Yelp is painting a dire picture for businesses in Illinois and the rest of the country. Yelp notes that businesses already well suited for takeout service, such as pizza places, fast food and delis, are treading water better than other restaurants. Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, said a fifth of all dining establishments in the state are expected to close, eliminating a lot of jobs.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 2,514 new Coronavirus cases and 25 additional deaths Friday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 283,885 and deaths to 8,563. As for local active and recovered cases as of Friday...McLean County reported 2,993 have recovered, 202 are in isolation, 10 are hospitalized with 2 in the ICU. Champaign County reported 4,124 have recovered, 363 cases are active and 4 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 496 have been released from isolation, 95 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 131 have been released from isolation and 10 remain in isolation. Kankakee County reported 2,241 have recovered, 422 cases are active and 9 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 341 have been removed from isolation, 43 cases are active with 3 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 359 have been released from isolation, 20 remain in isolation with 1 hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health says it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot this year. Flu season is coming soon and won’t be put on hold just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. That’s why everyone six months and older should get the flu vaccine says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. The vaccine is available as either a shot or nasal spray. Ezike says many of the symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are the same, so it’s vital to protect yourself by getting immunized and continuing to wear a mask.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Fisher man who pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and fleeing from police has been sentenced to 30 months probation. Devon Todd received the sentence after pleading guilty to the charges in two separate cases. The aggravated battery charge stems from an incident in March after he entered a home in Mahomet and attacked a person. In late April he was charged with fleeing from police after they attempted to stop him as they were investigating an individual flashing a gun. In exchange for his pleas more serious charges were dismissed. The court also ordered Todd to undergo substance abuse treatment.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Some area Goodwill stores will be extending their hours. The Goodwill stores in Champaign, Savoy and Bloomington-Normal will be open Monday through Saturday 10 to 8 and Sunday noon to 5 starting October 1st.

 

 

(Gilman-cf)-- October is almost here and that means that harvest is underway in the WPXN listening area. Are yields on pace from last season? Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece has the details… 

 

 

Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Those wanting assistance in lowering their utility bills can do so later this month. 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign will be hosting a virtual clinic with the Citizens Utility Board on Wednesday, September 30th from 5:30-7:30 pm. More details are available by calling Senator Bennett’s office at 217-355-5252.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Iroquois County Sheriff’s police have released their recent activity report. On September 23rd, Joshua Schnaiter of Peoria was arrested on an outstanding warrant. On September 24th, Izabelle Danields was arrested on an outstanding warrant in Vermilion County and Adam Martin of Chicago was arrested on an Iroquois County warrant. On September 25th, Kenny Pheifer of Onarga was arrested for DUI and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and Harold Alliss of St. Anne was arrested for violating an order of protection.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Illinois voters will be asked to change the state’s tax structure through a constitutional amendment when they head to the polls in November. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about the amendment…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Jordan Industrial Park in Gibson City will be receiving some upgrades. The upgrades include adding a half mile path with either mulch, till/compact or seed with grass, 4 new benches and planting 3 Norway Spruces. Connor Ray will be doing the upgrades as part of his Eagle Scout project.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Buckley village leaders are warning residents about a recent scam. The scam involved 2 people posing as a utility or service workers. The individuals stole valuables from the residents. They remind residents to report suspicious activity to the village or police.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What does beef production and cattle prices look like for 2020 and 2021? Rod Bain has the details…

 

 

Early voting is underway across most of the state

(Springfield-jm) -- Another 23,000 Illinoisans filed for initial unemployment claims last week, down more than 4,200 from the week before. More than 1.4 million Illinoisans have filed for the benefits since the beginning of March. Locally the unemployment rate in Champaign County rose from 3.9 percent to 7.6 percent. Ford County’s rate rose from 4.3 percent to 6.7 percent. Vermilion County’s rose from 5.5 percent to 9.3 percent. Iroquois County’s rate rose from 3.9 percent to 5.9 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Of the $64 million in legal cannabis sales in Illinois in August, $17.2 million was to out-of-state residents. That’s nearly double the $8.6 million sold to consumers with out-of-state residency in January. It's unclear how much of that went across state lines. The Illinois cannabis business group CannaBiz said Illinois dispensaries have signage and inform out-of-state buyers of the limits and the law against taking marijuana products across state lines.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Senate Republicans unveiled a package of ethics proposals Thursday which they say is targeted to stop the type of corruption that has led to the indictment of four legislative Democrats in recent months. To enhance the ability to enforce laws, Republicans are backing bills to: allow the state attorney general to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate, indict and prosecute bribery and misconduct by members of the General Assembly; provide state’s attorneys with wiretap authority; and grant the legislative inspector general the ability to investigate members of the General Assembly without first receiving approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission, while changing the composition of the commission to make its members part of the general public, rather than legislators.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Early voting is underway across most of the state. If you don’t want to mail in your ballot but still want to avoid the polls on election day, early voting is a good option, says State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich…

 

Illinois State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Dietrich says while most early voting typically occurs shortly before election day, they are hoping voters take advantage of it now.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,257 new Coronavirus cases and 30 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 281,371 and deaths to 8,538. McLean County reported 9 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 3,208 and deaths to 22. Champaign County reported 65 new cases bringing their total to 4,435. Vermilion County reported 19 new cases bringing their total to 588. Kankakee County reported 15 new cases bringing their total to 2,720. Livingston County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 384. 9 of their 16 new cases were reported at the Pontiac Correctional Center. Iroquois County and Ford County both reported no new cases.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Gold Star 500 will take place this Saturday across the area. The Gold Star 500 is a fundraiser and endurance ride for Gold Star Missions. Spokesperson Chris Milchuck talks about this weekend’s ride…

 

 

Gold Star Missions Spokesperson Chris Milchuck.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A former Rantoul bank teller has received 2 years second chance probation for stealing from her former employer. Andrea Taylor pleaded guilty to stealing over $500 from her teller drawer at Busey Bank. If she successfully completes probation, she will not have a conviction. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College will be adding a COVID-19 Dashboard to its official website to better track coronavirus cases. The Parkland College COVID-19 Dashboard displays cases that have been self-reported within Parkland’s faculty, staff, and student population.  Data reflected in this dashboard is provided by the Parkland College COVID Response Team. The dashboard will be updated every Friday with the previous week’s data.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Not only is this week Farm Safety Week, it is also Rail Safety Week in Illinois. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City has some statistics…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will be replacing every water meter in the city by the end of 2021. The existing water meters are not working properly causing the city’s water billing department to estimate water usage. The new water meters should resume water bills back to actual usage. The existing water meters are still under warranty.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A popular Rantoul Haunted House will not open for thrill seekers. Necrosis Haunted House announced on their social media page that due to unforeseen circumstances they will not open this year but looks forward to a bigger and better show in 2021. The haunted house, located off of Route 45 in Rantoul, was named the 2019 Top Overall All Attraction in Illinois by Illinois Haunted Houses dot com. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- If you want to update your yields for the Price Loss Coverage program, you have very little time to get it done. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Arc of Iroquois County in Watseka today from 8 to noon.

 

Relay for Life of Ford and Iroquois Counties will be held virtually on Friday, tonight from 8:30 to 10 pm.

 

The Buckley St. John’s Ladies Aid will be hosting a bake sale at the Buckley Lake Pavilion on Saturday from 8 to 11 am.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting Accolade on Pells on Saturday from 10-2.

(Springfield-jm) -- Check that Facebook notification, it may be worth some money. Facebook is notifying users in Illinois through its notification system that it has settled a class action lawsuit that claimed the social media company violated the state’s biometric security laws. The notification said Facebook users located in Illinois for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011, are eligible for payments of up to $400 to be paid from a $650 million fund.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois households spend the lowest amount per household income than neighboring states, according to a review by Filterbuy.com. The company looked at state utility bills and found Illinoisans spend no more than 20 percent of household income on utilities. Neighboring states spend between 20 percent and 30 percent.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Public Safety agencies across the state are participating in If you see something, say something campaign. The awareness day is today and is a national campaign on the indicators of terrorism and terror related crime.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Ballots started going out yesterday for more than one point eight million Illinois voters who have requested to vote by mail. That number is shattering records, with mail in voting appealing to those hoping to avoid exposure to COVID-19 says the State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich…

 

 

Illinois State Board of Election Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Dietrich urges the public to fill out and return their ballot as soon as they can to help ensure the most accurate results come election day. Some areas have drop boxes for your mail-in ballot.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has over 280,000 Coronavirus cases and 8,538 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 2,960 have recovered, 216 are in isolation, 10 are hospitalized with 2 in intensive care. Champaign County reported 4,088 have recovered, 327 cases are active and 4 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 475 have been released from isolation, 102 remain in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,229 have recovered, 420 cases are active and 9 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 341 have been removed from isolation, 37 cases are active and 3 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 356 have been released, 20 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Ford County reported 126 have been released and 12 are in isolation.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Thousands of Illinoisans are receiving additional help when it comes to assistance during the Coronavirus pandemic. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the state has received millions of dollars from the Lost Wages Assistance Program…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Rural Elliott-jm) -- Elliott first responders were called to a single vehicle rollover accident Thursday afternoon. Emergency crews were called to the accident along Route 9 between 1400 and Route 115 around 3:45 pm. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul will be flushing hydrants over the next couple of weeks. The village says hydrant flushing will take place September 27th through October 4th from 10 pm to 5 am.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Masonic Lodge is holding a “Get out of Dodge” raffle. The raffle is for a $2500 voucher to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis Tennessee. Tickets are $75 and only 300 will be sold. The Drawing will be on October 24th at he Masonic Lodge in Paxton. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Masonic Lodge, there will also be a tour of the building that day so you can learn more. Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral has the details… 

 

 

Paxton Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral. 

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County Public Health Department will be hosting a series of drive thru flu clinics. The clinics will take place September 25th from 2-6, September 26th from 9-1, September 29th at St. Mary’s in Westville from 9-1, October 1st from 8-11, October 2nd from 2-6, October 3rd from 9-1 and October 8th from 8-11. Those coming to get their flu shots must bring their insurance card.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Starting in January, Buckley residents will see an increase in their water bills. Village trustees approved adding a $5 drain maintenance fee on water bills. The increase was approved by a 4-2 vote.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- For farmers and for USDA's Farm Service Agency, Fall, and particularly October, is a busy time. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

The Moyer District Library in Gibson City will be holding a Women’s Suffrage Centennial today from 2-5, Saturday from 10-12 and Sunday from 2-4.

 

Rantoul will host a clean up day on Saturday from 8 to noon.

 

The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County is hosting a drive thru food distribution on Saturday from 9 to 10:30.

 

Danville Area Community College will host a day trip to the Myers Dinner Theatre to see The Overtones on Sunday. Cost is $55. For more information or to sign up to go call 217-554-1667.

 

Early voting begins today

(Springfield-jm) -- Early voting begins today. That’s also the day local election authorities will begin sending out mail-in ballots to those who made such a request. The deadline to request a mail in ballot is October 29th. Many authorities have in-person voting at the elections offices up to election day.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The next hearing of the House Special Investigating Committee into Speaker Michael Madigan’s involvement in the ComEd bribery scandal is next week. The bipartisan committee hasn’t met since earlier this month when the group of six unanimously agreed to send the U.S. Attorney investigating the criminal matter the panel was also going to investigate.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says another region of the state is coming dangerously close to facing tighter COVID-19 restrictions. Will and Kankakee counties improved their numbers and no longer have stricter mitigations, and the Metro East area has seen some positive trends says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. New rules like no indoor dining may be implemented if a region has an eight percent positivity rate or higher for three days in a row. Illinois now has more than 279 thousand positive cases of the Coronavirus and over 85 hundred deaths. Locally, McLean County reported 24 new cases bringing their total to 3,199. Vermilion County reported 23 new cases bringing their total to 570. Ford County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 143. Livingston County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 360. Champaign County reported 34 new cases bringing their total to  4,370. Kankakee County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 2,705. Iroquois County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 396.


 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is again extending expiration dates for Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards. You now have until February 1st to renew your expiring license or ID says Secretary of State Spokesperson Dave Druker...

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Spokesperson Dave Druker. Druker says license plate stickers remain extended until November 1st since you can do that online at: cyber drive illinois dot com.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A portion of Murray Road in Rantoul will be closed for several days. The road is closed between 2900 N and Chandler Road. Crews hope it will be open next week.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- An area airport is adding a new destination. Starting next month, you can fly nonstop from Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington to Detroit on Delta Airlines. The flights will be Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday beginning October 11th. The schedule includes a flight leaving Detroit at 4pm eastern time and arriving at Bloomington at 4:17 pm central time. Then leaving Bloomington at 5:10 pm central time and arriving in Detroit at 7:25 pm eastern time.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Gold Star Mission group will be hosting a ride this weekend. Spokesperson Chris Milchuck says this year’s Gold Star 500 looks a little different…

 

 

Gold Star Mission Spokesperson Chris Milchuck. The group will start in Gibson City, ride to Roberts, down to Paxton, then Rantoul and back to Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Some Paxton intersections will be receiving painted crosswalks. The crosswalks will be coming to Taft and Orleans and Market and Orleans. Safety issues with children crossing the streets at those locations brought on the change. There could be other intersections added later.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- OSF Healthcare is expanding access to flu vaccines. The hospital announced they are making them available at all primary care offices, Urgo care and some drive up locations.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A La Nina winter is expected. How long does the weather pattern known as La Nina last? Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some former Illinoisans may have received a reminder to their new out-of-state address to request a mail in ballot from Illinois. Elections officials say if someone had previously requested a vote-by-mail ballot at an out-of-state address or if the local election authority for some other reason had an out-of-state address on file, the authority was required by law to send the reminder.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ chances of balancing its state budget without additional borrowing or a “sizable increase” in the state’s bill backlog “are looking slimmer as congressional agreement on further federal assistance remains elusive,” analysts for credit rating agency S&P wrote in a new report. Illinois’ rating from S&P Global Ratings is BBB- with a negative outlook. That’s one notch above speculative status, sometimes called junk bond status or non-investment grade. Illinois’ backlog of bills is more than $7.6 billion.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Roaul is warning the public about work from home scams. The scams aren’t really new, but have become more prevalent during the pandemic. Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson says the offers can look enticing…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Spokesperson Annie Thompson. Thompson says they are also seeing fake job postings in hopes of getting the applicant’s personal information, and pyramid schemes disguised as gifting clubs. She says you shouldn’t send money or gifts to people you don’t know or pay for any materials or training upfront.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man faces assault and battery charges against a 10 year old girl. Police say the alleged incident took place at a park in the village Sunday evening. The girl's parents called police after she said Jeremy Woodmansee allegedly grabbed her by the arm and knocked her to the ground. Woodmansee left the scene and was apprehended Tuesday. 

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police are releasing results from recent Nighttime Enforcement Patrols. During patrols, troopers issued 1 citation for DUI, 2 for registration offenses and 3 for insurance violations.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Illinois voters will be asked to amend the state’s constitution in the November election. Governor J-B Pritzker is pushing for a progressive income tax instead of the current flat tax rate says 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A drive thru food distribution will take place this weekend. The distribution will take place at the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County on Saturday, September 26th from 9 to 10:30 am.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City employees will have a handbook. The city’s personnel committee has been working on creating a handbook. The committee hopes to put the handbook up to the council soon.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- This week is Farm Safety Week in Illinois. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says this week is not just for farmers but also motorists…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

Illinois is getting a failing grade for its financial health, according to a government watchdog

(Springfield-jm) -- State and federal lawmakers from some of Illinois’ neighboring states say taxpayers there, many of whom left Illinois, should not be on the hook for a federal bailout of the state’s budgetary mess. U.S. Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, joined Missouri state Representative Justin Hill, U.S. Senator Rick Scott of Florida, and others for a call hosted by the Save our Country Coalition to warn against the ongoing negotiations in Washington D.C. that could result in federal dollars being funneled to states without spending restrictions. The $43 billion budget Governor J-B Pritzker enacted for the current fiscal year appropriated more than the Legislature ever has and relies on billions of dollars in federal aid and the passage of a progressive income tax amendment in November.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois is getting a failing grade for its financial health, according to a government watchdog. In its “Financial State of the States” report, the think tank Truth in Accounting said Illinois received an “F” for going into the COVID-19 pandemic in dire fiscal health, and will probably come out of the crisis even worse. The report said before the pandemic, Illinois had a debt burden of $226 billion, or $52,000 per taxpayer. According to Truth in Accounting’s rough estimates, the 50 states are projected to lose a combined $397 billion in revenue, with Illinois accounting for $16 billion of that total.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Internal Revenue Service is mailing 309,972 letters to people in Illinois, encouraging them to see if they are eligible to claim an Economic Impact Payment this year. The letter urges recipients to register at IRS dot gov using the special Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool before the October 15 deadline to get a payment by the end of the year.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois is reporting 1,531 new COVID-19 cases and 30 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 277,266 and total deaths to 8,486. Locally, McLean County reported 13 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 3,175 and total deaths to 20. Livingston County reported 8 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 365 and total deaths to 6. Vermilion County reported 16 new cases bringing their total number to 547. Iroquois County reported 1 new case bringing their total to 392. Kankakee County reported 11 new cases bringing their total to 2,689. Champaign County reported 37 new cases bringing their total to 4,336. Ford County reported no new cases Tuesday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Farm Safety and Health Week. Given recent challenges, Illinois Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Kristi Jones says they really want to focus on mental health this year...

 

 

Illinois Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Kristi Jones. The department will be hi-liting different health and safety topics all week on its facebook and twitter accounts.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s office is hosting their 4th annual Amnesty Week. The program allows residents to avoid collection fees and interest on unpaid traffic tickets and past due criminal case fines.  Champaign County Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman’s office will host the event through October 2nd. More information is available by contacting the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s office.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul group is hosting a healthy voting event this Saturday. The group, Concerned Citizens of Rantoul, will hold the event from 10 to 6 Saturday at the Rantoul Youth Center. Those coming can register to vote, take a COVID test and submit their census forms. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker recently announced he is ordering state agency directors to begin making budget cuts after the federal government has deadlocked on a bailout for state governments. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says he, along with other Republicans, warned about this possible issue…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Those wanting to run for office in the April consolidated election in Vermilion County can pick up and start collecting signatures on their petitions soon. Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins said packets can be picked up starting September 22nd from her office. Packets can be returned starting December 14th. The deadline for all packets to be submitted is December 21st. The consolidated election will take place April 6th.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Scott Allen and Paxton Hardware and Rental has donated PPE to the PBL School District. Allen donated 4 gallons of hand soap, 8 gallons of hand sanitizer and 50 KN95 masks. The donation was made possible through True Value Foundation’s Educational Heroes Safety Campaign.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Nominating petitions for Parkland College Board of Trustee positions are now available. Those wanting to pick up petitions can do so by calling Krystal Garrett at 217-351-2533.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinoisans unable to pay their utility bills during the coronavirus pandemic may soon be out of luck. The shutoff moratorium for many state-regulated electric, water, sewer and natural gas utility companies, such as Illinois American Water, Nicor Gas and Aqua Illinois, expires September 30. Ameren and ComEd’s moratorium ended September 10. Governor J-B Pritzker said he plans to put pressure on the utility companies.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ potentially deepening pension hole, brought about by the pandemic and subsequent government lockdowns of the economy, have reform advocates calling for the state to finally make some tough decisions about its debt. Illinois’ pension liabilities, long underfunded by state lawmakers as a way to balance their books in lieu of spending restraint, are going to come out on the other side of the pandemic with more unfunded debt than ever. Despite this, Illinois lawmakers and Governor J-B Pritzker have discounted the thought of reshaping the state’s arrangements with pensioners as “fantasy.” 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A survey of bankers in Illinois and other Midwest states shows the rural economy remains weak, but includes signs of improvement. The Rural Mainstreet Survey from Creighton University showed slight improvements in rural economies in September. The overall index remained negative at 46.9 in September, but that was improved from August’s 44.7. Professor of Economics Ernie Goss says many factors go into the index. In Illinois, the RMI advanced to 43.6 from 42.9 in August. Compared to the same time last year, Illinois’ Rural Mainstreet economy has lost 8.1% of its nonfarm employment representing 390,000 jobs. The overall index remained negative at 46.9 in September, but that was improved from August’s 44.7. In March, the index hit a low of 35.5. Any score below 50 suggests a shrinking economy, while a score above 50 suggests a growing economy.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says they are working to make the process of awarding adult use cannabis dispensary licenses fairer. Applicants who didn’t fare well in their bid for one of 75 initial licenses will now get a score sheet to see where they did poorly and get a chance to revise their submission. Recreational marijuana is a new industry for Illinois, and the Governor says the process has been a learning curve...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. After the first 75 licenses are awarded, a disparity study will be conducted.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,531 new Coronavirus cases and 30 additional deaths Tuesday. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 2,918 have recovered, 227 are in isolation, 10 are hospitalized with 1 in the ICU. Livingston County reported 318 have been removed from isolation, 41 cases remain active with 2 hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 452 have been released from isolation, 86 remain in isolation and 5 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 356 have been released from isolation, 16 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 2,044 have recovered, 574 cases are active and 8 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 3,989 have recovered, 327 cases are active and 4 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 124 have been released from isolation and 12 are in isolation.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Child Passenger Safety Week, and the Illinois Department of Transportation says guidance is available online this year. Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young kids, so it’s important that families use the right car seat for their child and install it correctly. IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel remindsus , it’s the law…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has car seat help for parents and caregivers on the website: nhtsa dot gov slash the right seat.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- After a vote on a special permit by the Urbana city council, the Champaign County Humane Society will be allowed to expand to add an additional facility for training. The expansion will include an education building on the property that will double as a multipurpose room. Construction is expected to begin in the spring. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Illinois State Police and the City of Champaign police department are receiving federal funding to help combat human trafficking and help survivors. The Department of Justice awarded the Illinois State Police over half a million dollars while the Champaign Police Department will receive nearly $54,000.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton Masonic Lodge is holding a “Get out of Dodge” raffle. The raffle is for a $2500 voucher to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis Tennessee. You have to be 18 years of age to purchase a ticket, and tickets are $75. Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral has the details on how tickets can be purchased… 

 

 

Paxton Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral. Tickets will be sold Until October 24th, and will be drawn at 1pm at the Masonic Lodge in Paxton.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul restaurant is temporarily closed after a fire Tuesday morning. Firefighters were called to Ott’s around 9:15. The restaurant says damage is minor but they will be closed while they assess the damage.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons is expanding ballot drop box access. Drop boxes will be added to the Brookens Administrative Center, Champaign Public Library main branch and Douglas branch, Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department, Sholem pool, Urbana Public Library and the University of Illinois Quad.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- A Christ Lutheran High School sophomore has won a state American Legion award. Deanna Auxier came in 1st place in the Legion’s Americanism essay contest.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is warning residents about work from home scams and pyramid schemes

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is warning residents about work from home scams and pyramid schemes. Scammers are taking advantage of the COVID pandemics economic impact by using job opportunities and promotions that guarantee they can make large sums of money working from home but require an up front fee to cover materials or training. Attorney General Raoul says participants send in money however, some reported not receiving training or materials while some reported they did not receive money for their work. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is recognizing Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs through Saturday. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death of children 12 years and younger. Under Illinois law, children must use a car or booster seat until they are 8 years old, and must be in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years old.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing 156 million dollars in child care grants with more to come. The Business Interruption Grants are going to nearly 47 hundred daycare centers and homes across the state. The Governor says it’s important to make sure providers keep operating, so moms and dads can keep going to work…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. An additional 114 million in grants for child care providers will be available in coming weeks. Visit il gateways dot com for more information.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 1,477 new Coronavirus cases and 7 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 275,735 and deaths to 8,457. Locally, since Friday, McLean County reported 88 new cases bringing their total to 3,163. Champaign County reported 140 new cases bringing their total to 4,299. Livingston County reported 35 new cases bringing their total to 357. 20 of their new cases were at the Pontiac Correctional Center. Vermilion County reported 23 new cases bringing their total to 531. Ford County reported 9 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total cases to 141 and total deaths to 5. Iroquois County reported 8 new cases bringing their total to 391. Kankakee County reported 28 new cases bringing their total to 2,678.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a dry week for Illinois crops. There was no measurable rainfall this past week, dropping average statewide topsoil moisture to nine percent very short, 27 percent short, 61 percent adequate and three percent surplus. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener provides an update on the soybean crop…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 71 percent of soybeans and 73 percent of corn were rated in good to excellent condition, relatively unchanged from the previous week. 53 percent of corn is mature and four percent has been harvested.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating a report of shots fired in the village over the weekend. Police were called to the 1200 block of East Grove. Officers found a gun that was later determined to be stolen out of Tennessee, and two spent shell casings. No injuries or damage were reported.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- A former Vermilion County Assistant State’s Attorney has had his law license suspended for two years by the state. The Illinois Supreme Court suspended the law license of Aadam Alikhan’s license after he purchased and used cocaine while employed at the Vermilion County Courthouse. Alikhan was fired in 2018 after an investigation into his actions began.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- This past weekend felt more fall like around the area with temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s. But how does the outlook look for the rest of September and into October? State Climatologist Trent Ford has those details…

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Police Department said the amount of parties on or near U of I's Urbana-Champaign campus have dropped recently. This comes after university officials put stricter health regulations in place due to a rising COVID-19 positivity rate on campus. According to U of I Police, 114 complaints for loud parties were reported during the first week of the semester. Last week, 44 complaints for loud parties were reported.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville has an interim leader. The hospital announced Bradley Solberg will take over the position on an interim basis from Jared Rodgers. Solberg will continue to run operations at OSF St. James-John Albrecht in Pontiac. Rodgers will focus on OSF Heart of Mary in Urbana.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman is the latest local lawmaker to call on House Speaker Michael Madigan to resign. Madigan was recently in the headlines for his alleged role in a ComEd corruption scheme. Senator Barickman says his call for the speakers resignation goes beyond the corruption scheme…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker’s administration awarded more than $80 million to school districts around the state to help close the digital divide. Locally, PBL will receive $103,568. Rantoul City Schools $125,286. Rantoul Township High School $72,907. Iroquois West $79,441. Fisher $63,363. Thomasboro Grade School $37,607. Mahomet Seymour $209,897. St. Joseph Ogden High School $54,958. Hoopeston Area $93,444.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker gave his opinion on when the new Supreme Court justice should be appointed, following the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In a press conference Monday, Pritzker said he believes a new justice should not be appointed until after the November presidential election.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Despite getting the green light to continue their investigation of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s involvement in a bribery scheme, a House committee has not scheduled its next hearing. The first and only hearing the week before last prompted a letter to the U.S. Attorney notifying them of the House inquiry into the scheme ComEd admitted to. The U.S. Attorney said the committee can continue, but not to ask witnesses about grand jury proceedings. The lawmaker leading the special panel notifying witnesses that they're going to have to face some questions.  State Representative  Chris Welch sent letters to Madigan and several others connected to ComEd.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 testing in Illinois is surpassing five million. Governor J-B Pritzker says the state has made great strides since the pandemic began, now running more than 52 thousand tests per day on average…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Public Health officials say testing is a crucial component in battling the virus. Visit coronavirus dot illinois dot gov and click on resources to find a testing site near you.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 275,000 Coronavirus cases and over 84 hundred deaths. Ford County reported an additional death Monday. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 2,553 have recovered, 584 are in isolation, 7 are hospitalized including 2 in intensive care. Champaign County reported 3,932 have recovered, 347 cases are active with 4 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 284 have been removed from isolation, 68 cases are active and 3 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 438 have been released, 84 are in isolation and 5 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 124 have been released and 12 are in isolation. Iroquois County reported 353 have been released, 18 are in isolation and 1 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 1,897 have recovered, 710 cases are active and 9 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a dry week for Illinois crops. Precipitation was minimal across the state and temperatures were cooler than normal. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleuesener says 44 percent of soybean acres are turning color and one percent has been harvested. And for the second week in a row, 71 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to nine percent very short, 27 percent short, 61 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A man who listed an address in Rantoul and Champaign is facing robbery charges. Deshawn Burries-Brumfield is accused of robbing a gambling cafe in Champaign back in March. Burries-Brumfield was already in the Champaign County Jail on three felony and two misdemeanor cases. If convicted he faces up to 45 years in prison.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- The Vermilion County Coroner is releasing the name of a woman killed in a pedestrian vs train accident in Hoopeston Monday. Coroner Jane McFadden says 49 year old Jodi Tyszko was pronounced dead following the accident at the Lincoln Street crossing. The accident remains under investigation by Hoopeston Police and the Vermilion County Coroner’s office.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congress could take another Coronavirus package. There’s been little movement after Congressional leaders and the White House have been deadlocked over an agreement. 16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger says it’s a balance between helping people and keeping an eye on the budget…

 

 

16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital has announced their scholarship winners. The winners are Tayler Fairley, Jenna Lemenager, Cassandra Brandenburg and Brandon Olson.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- An Iroquois County Christmas tradition is being canceled this year because of the Coronavirus. The 45th annual Christmas Cantata was supposed to take place at the First Christian Church in Watseka. The group hopes to bring it back next year.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security went before the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission last week. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City is one of three House Republicans on the Commission. Bennett says the acting director addressed the backlog of unemployment benefits to those affected by the pandemic…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police are investigating the theft of over $1,500 worth of cigarettes from a gas station. Police say the incident occurred September 8th at the Phillips 66 on the west side of town. The burglar used a tire iron to smash a window before making off with 100 packs of Marlboro cigarettes, 60 packs of Newport cigarettes and 16 packs of Kool cigarettes. The suspect was described as a Black male wearing a long-sleeve undershirt, a white or light-gray T-shirt, gray jogging pants, black tennis shoes, a black bandana over his face, and a gray shirt over his head. He was driving a small red-colored vehicle. Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Ford County Crimestoppers at 217-784-4173.

24 Illinois counties are at warning level for the Coronavirus

(Springfield-jm) -- Before voters cast ballots in November on whether Illinois should move from a flat income tax to a progressive income tax, they'll face a barrage of advertising. Governor J.B. Pritzker donated more than $50 million of his own money to a committee supporting the constitutional amendment. Advertisements from AARP and from the group “Vote Yes for Fairness” supporting the change have been a mainstay on TV for weeks. Groups such as the Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Chamber of Commerce oppose the constitutional amendment. The proposed amendment would replace the state’s current tax structure for a new plan allowing lawmakers to tax different levels of income at different rates. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker has, again, extended the state’s stringent ban on rental evictions in Illinois as property owners report more renters have failed to pay for housing. The moratorium will now extend into its seventh month even though Pritzker lifted the stay-at-home order on May 29. The Governor said that more than 100,000 tenants have applied for the state's rental assistance program. The program only has funding for about 40,000 people. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- National farm income this year is expected to be higher than 2019. Here's the new USDA forecast. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Additional testing is needed on the remains found northeast of Rantoul this week. An autopsy was conducted Friday morning to begin the identification and cause of death. The remains were found 3100 North County Road 1838 East, less than a mile from where the bike of David Franklin was located a little over a week earlier. Franklin has been missing for about a month. Authorities say it could be several months before the results are known.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Arson charges against an Indiana woman accused of starting a fire in Iroquois County have been dismissed. Melissa Emery was facing residential arson and insurance fraud for a house fire in Sheldon in 2017. Prosecutors dropped the charges citing flaws in the state fire marshal’s report.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign Costco is expected to open in a month. Construction on the new store is wrapping up and will open October 22nd. The Costco will be located at Marketplace Mall.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The Iroquois West School board meets tonight at 7 where they will discuss several items. School board members will hear an update on the high school roof project, approve their fiscal year budget, go through the 2nd reading of policies, discuss the districts title 1 plans and discuss the districts remote learning and return to class plans. The Iroquois West School Board meeting gets underway at 7 pm.

 

(WPXN-cf)-- The Winter months are right around the corner and that means cold temperatures and snow, but how much snow? Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick has the answer… 

 

 

Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick.You can hear Doug Quick, daily on WPXN  

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- Fisher will be getting a new village administrator. Jeremy Reale announced he is stepping down to take a grant specialist position with the Regional Planning Commision. Reale will stay on to help with the transition.

 

(Undated-jm) -- 24 Illinois counties are at warning level for the Coronavirus. The counties are Bond, Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Edwards, Effingham, Greene, Jasper, Jo Daviess, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Rock Island, St. Clair, Shelby, Washington, Wayne, Williamson, Wabash and Union. A county enters a warning level when two or more COVID-19 risk indicators that measure the amount of COVID-19 increase.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Funds from the federal Lost Wages Assistance program are being distributed. Illinois applied and was approved for $1.3 billion in assistance to distribute to those unemployed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A projected drop in farm production expenses this year could improve the income prospects for some producers. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul woman has been arrested after police say she had an alleged drug growing operation in her home. Julie Perez was arrested following a court ordered search of her home uncovered 30 cannabis plants. She was charged with possession of cannabis. Perez is due back in court October 2nd.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Steve Mertes of Paxton was the winner of the Weber Smoker as part of the Paxton Swine n Dine raffle fundraiser. The fundraiser was put on by the Swine n Dine committee and Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce. Swine n Dine was supposed to be this past weekend however, due to COVID was canceled.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- The Iroquois County Sheriff’s office has released their recent activity. On September 13th, Jason Kottke of Watseka was arrested for possession of meth. On September 16th, Leann Ravens of Chatsworth was arrested on a warrant for battery. On September 17th, Tyler Bruens of Watseka was arrested for a warrant for possessing a stolen vehicle. Also on the 17th, Milford police arrested Paul Love of Chicago on a warrant for failure to appear for unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. He now also faces two new charges of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and aggravated use of a weapon by a felon after a firearm was located in his vehicle. On September 18th, deputies handled two accidents: one near Gilman, the other in Danforth.

 

 

(Gilman-cf)-- The storm that moved through parts of Iowa and Northern Illinois into Wisconsin in mid-August caused the crop prices to fluctuate somewhat however, minus some hail damage to crops in Ford-Iroquois County that storm shouldn't have much impact come harvest season says Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece…

 

 

Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece. 

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols in September. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The Vermilion County Public Health Department will be hosting a series of drive thru flu clinics. The clinics will take place September 24th from 8-11, September 25th from 2-6, September 26th from 9-1, September 29th at St. Mary’s in Westville from 9-1, October 1st from 8-11, October 2nd from 2-6, October 3rd from 9-1 and October 8th from 8-11. Those coming to get their flu shots must bring their insurance card.

Governor J-B Pritzker says he will not give into pressure about letting youth sports resume

(Springfield-jm) -- Unemployment in Illinois dropped to 11% in August, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Despite the decrease, Illinois' unemployment rate was 2.6 percentage points higher than the national average in August. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Internal Revenue Service said 309,972 Illinois residents will receive a special mailing this month, encouraging them to see if they are eligible to claim an economic impact payment. The letters will be mailed to those who typically are not required to file federal income tax returns, but may qualify for an EIP, along with those who haven't filed a tax return for either 2018 or 2019. Eligible individuals can receive up to $1,200, while married couples can receive up to $2,400. Furthermore, those with qualifying children under the age of 17 at the end of 2019 can receive an additional $500 for each qualifying child. To register for an EIP, people must visit the "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info" tool on IRS.gov before October 15.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois plans to continue withholding federal payroll taxes on behalf of its 62,000 employees despite a program President Trump launched in August that allows workers to defer paying those taxes through the end of the year. Trump announced the program in a memorandum August 8. It applies to the 6.2 percent tax that employers withhold for their employee’s Social Security benefits. The intent is to temporarily boost workers’ income during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the taxes that would be deferred would have to be repaid after January 1. Then, the employee’s withholding would double to 12.4 percent until the amount of taxes that were deferred is repaid. According to an analysis by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a worker earning $50,000 a year would see a temporary increase of $119.23 in each two-week pay period. But at the end of the year, that person would owe $1,073.08 in deferred taxes.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says he will not give into pressure about letting youth sports resume. The Governor has been hearing from a lot of coaches, parents and student athletes who want to get back on the football field or hockey rink. He says the risk of spreading COVID-19 is too high and that your actions affect others…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. An infectious disease expert at the Governor’s press conference agreed and said it’s not just the actual game that’s a problem. He says a sports team is together in the locker room, working out in the gym and while traveling, giving the virus more opportunities to spread.

 

 

(Rural Rantoul-jm) -- Several law enforcement agencies are investigating after a body was found in rural Rantoul. The body was found near 3100 North County Road 1838 East. Police say the remains appear to be that of a male and was located near where the bike belonging to David Franklin was found. Franklin has been missing for nearly a month. Police would not say at this time whether the body found was that of Franklin’s. An autopsy is scheduled for this morning. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,056 new Coronavirus cases and 25 additional deaths Thursday. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 268,207 and total deaths to 8,392. Locally, McLean County reported 22 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total numbers to 3,025 cases and 19 deaths. Champaign County topped 4,000 total cases after 127 new cases were reported. Their total now sits at 4,074. Livingston County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 310. Vermilion County had 1 new case bringing their total to 476. Ford County reported 3 new cases bringing their total number to 130. Kankakee County reported 25 new cases bringing their total to 2,634. Iroquois County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 381. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Indoor dining at bars and restaurants in campustown can resume. The temporary order suspending indoor dining ended this week and was not extended. Champaign and Urbana both issued the orders back when students first started returning to campus.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will be hosting their annual fish and chicken fry tonight. Director Sandy Spitz talks about the dinner…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul teen found with cannabis and a gun has been sentenced to 5 years probation. The 17 year old pleaded guilty to armed violence in Champaign County court. Had he been charged as an adult he would have faced a mandatory 6 to 30 years in prison.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Unemployed people in the state and some businesses have the opportunity to receive some funds to get people back to work. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Watseka American Legion today from 9 to 3.

 

The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will host their golf outing today at noon at Lakeview Country Club in Loda.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- U.S. Attorney John Lausch Jr. has cleared Illinois lawmakers to conduct interviews of key players in an admitted patronage scheme by ComEd to curry favor with House Speaker Michael Madigan, including questioning the speaker himself. In a formal reply to the two heads of the Illinois House Special Investigation Committee, Lausch said his office doesn’t have an objection to the committee seeking testimony from witnesses or the production of documents in its independent investigation. Republicans indicated they plan to call Madigan, his long-time ally and former ComEd lobbyist Michael McLain, as well as a host of other current and former ComEd employees. Lausch cautioned the lawmakers to stay away from asking witnesses about statements or documents they’ve been asked to provide the grand jury in the course of the ongoing federal investigation.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With a flood of complaints that the marijuana licensing process is flawed, Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced that his team will meet with those affected to address the issue. Only 21 of about 700 applicants qualified for a lottery to determine who will get 75 new recreational marijuana retail licenses. State regulators say they have indefinitely delayed the lottery to review objections.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Experts expect consumer spending to play a big role in how Illinois' economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, but predicting how far consumers will open their wallets during the remainder of the year isn't as easy. A survey by Chicago-based PowerReviews found spending, including for the holidays, could actually increase this year. Almost three-quarters of consumers said their overall holiday spending will either stay the same or increase this year, and 64% said they will spend more online than last year. Not everyone shares that optimism. Personal finance website WalletHub said spending will likely fall from last year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and the Illinois Department of Public Health says this is especially important during the pandemic. While there aren’t statistics yet regarding COVID-19 related suicides, many of the issues people are facing now such as job loss, financial problems and social isolation are risk factors says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Some of the warning signs for suicide include often talking or writing about death, feeling hopeless, increased substance abuse and withdrawing from friends and family. That number again is 1-800-273-TALK.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,056 new Coronavirus cases and 25 additional deaths Thursday. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 268,207 and total deaths to 8,392. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 1,740 have recovered, 1,260 are in isolation, 6 are hospitalized with 1 in the ICU. Champaign County reported 3,615 have recovered, 439 cases are active and 7 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 268 have been removed from isolation, 37 cases are active and 3 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 378 have been released from isolation, 88 remain in isolation and 4 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 118 have been released from isolation and 8 remain in isolation. Kankakee County reported 1,858 have recovered, 705 cases are active and 11 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 344 have been released from isolation, 16 remain in isolation with 2 hospitalized.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Illinois Terminal in Champaign will receive an expansion thanks in part to a $17.275 million grant to the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. The plans include adding onto the terminal into the existing parking lots creating tenant space, apartments and a parking deck. Construction is expected to start in late 2021. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois will receive nearly $1 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The U of I will receive $999,377 in funding from the EPA to research how to control and prevent harmful algal blooms. Harmful algal blooms are algae overgrowths in water that can potentially harm human health and aquatic ecosystems. Some factors that cause these to develop include excess nitrogen and phosphorous in waterways.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic continues to see national attention. 16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger says while some people may be ok others may not…

 

16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- An Urbana teen who was involved in an battery incident in Rantoul has been sentenced to probation. The teen was one of three individuals that was involved in an attempted drug related robbery where one of them got shot in the leg on Aspen Drive. The Champaign County State’s Attorney's office says the teen is on track to complete a job training program, has a certificate as a roofer and has a job and therefore recommended 9 months probation.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- An area GOP lawmaker is urging downstate democratic lawmakers to push for the speaker of the Illinois House to resign in the wake of the recent corruption scheme at ComEd. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington joined other Republicans in demanding the long standing speaker to resign. Now Senator Barickman says members of the Democratic party need to do the same…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

The Loda American Legion will be hosting their all you can eat fish and chicken fry tonight from 4 to 7:30 pm.


 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Melvin on Saturday from 10-2.

 

Illinois' cannabis sales are skyrocketing

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois' cannabis sales are skyrocketing. State officials announced weed dispensaries in the state sold almost $64 million in cannabis products last month. In total, the state's cannabis shops have done more than $360 million in sales since legalization on January 1st.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Several Illinois Republicans have called for public hearings of the Illinois Department of Employment Security after months of dysfunction.  Representatives Tom Bennett, Dan Caulkins and Mike Murphy came together to ask for more public input. They said their offices are still receiving hundreds of calls and emails every week from people who can't get their unemployment issues resolved. They are also requesting public hearings regarding the failures of the organization during the pandemic.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,941 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday and 35 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 266,151 and deaths to 8,367. Locally, Vermilion County reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 475. Livingston County reported 4 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 294 and total deaths to 5. Iroquois County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 378. McLean County reported 28 new cases bringing their total to 3,003. Kankakee County reported 21 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 2,609 and total deaths to 71. Champaign County reported 136 new cases bringing their total to 3,947. Ford County reported no new cases Wednesday.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's September supply and demand estimates for corn factors in changes in both sides of the balance sheet. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The family of a missing Rantoul man will hold a prayer and candlelight vigil this Saturday. David Franklin has been missing for nearly a month. His bike was found about a week ago northeast of Rantoul. Franklin was last seen in the Maplewood shopping plaza. The candlelight vigil and prayer will be in the County Market parking lot at 7 pm Saturday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last week the likelihood of a La Nina winter. State Climatologist Trent Ford explains what La Nina is and the impacts it could have this winter in Illinois…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County voters will be asked to approve a slight tax increase for the Champaign County Forest Preserve to address the $3.7 million backlog of maintenance projects. The increase would be 1.6 cents per $100 equalized assessed valuation. That means a Champaign County homeowner with a $100,000 home would see a $5.33 increase or approximately 45 cents a month. Some of the projects that would be funded by the increase include dredging Willow Pond at Middlefork Forest Preserve in Penfield, maintenance of the covered bridge at Lake of the Woods and trail and accessibility upgrades at all forest preserve locations.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A new restaurant is open in downtown Paxton. La Hacienda Cantina opened in the former Harvest Ale House location at the intersection of Pells and Market. Hours are Monday through Thursday 11-8, Friday and Saturday 11-9 and closed on Sunday.

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Lottery has a new scratch-off to help with homelessness. Lotto announced that all profits from "Cupcake Cash" will go toward combating homelessness in the state. The ticket costs $2 for a chance to win up to $20,000.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus continued to set the stage for its fall legislative agenda Wednesday, calling a news conference and committee hearing to discuss education policy. Education and workforce development make up one of four pillars on the agenda unveiled by the caucus earlier this month. Potential actions include, according to advocates, significant financial investment to provide affordable child care, pre-kindergarten education, literacy programs and other measures focused to give preference to low-income students and families that need resources the most.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 266,151 total Coronavirus cases and 8,367 total deaths after the state reported 1,941 new cases and 35 additional deaths Wednesday. Livingston County and Kankakee County each reported additional deaths bringing their total deaths to 5 and 71 respectively. As for local active and recovered cases...Vermilion County reported 378 have been released from isolation, 90 are in isolation and 3 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 264 have been removed from isolation, 25 cases are active with 6 of them hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 343 have been released, 14 remain in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. McLean County reported 1,629 have recovered, 1,348 are in isolation, 8 are hospitalized with 2 of them in the intensive care unit. Kankakee County reported 1,840 have recovered, 698 cases are active and 11 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 3,517 have recovered, 410 cases are active with 5 of them hospitalized. Ford County reported 116 have been released, 6 are in isolation and 1 hospitalized.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A USDA research project is going deeper into the potential economic and environmental impacts of precision agriculture. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- The city of Danville has taken its next step towards building a casino in town for a much needed economic boost. The city council received all 10 votes it needed for a supermajority to pass the rezoning of a plot of land on Eastgate Drive to be used for business purposes. The vote comes two weeks after the cities Planning and Zoning Commission votes 5-1 in favor of declining the rezoning of the land.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The investigation into House Speaker Mike Madigan continues in Springfield with a legislative committee meeting to possibly discuss his fate. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains the process…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul will have a new public works director. Greg Hazel announced he will be retiring after 22 years with the village. Hazel agreed to stay on and help with the transition which is expected to be done by the first of the year.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A historic house in Watseka has won a prestigious award. The Roff House received one of Landmark Illinois’ preservation awards. The 1868 Italian style house was restored by John Whitman. A virtual awards ceremony will take place October 21st.

Governor J-B Pritzker says unfortunately, contact sports are still a no-go this fall

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says unfortunately, contact sports are still a no-go this fall. Hashtag, Let Us Play Rallies are scheduled for this weekend in Chicago and Springfield, with parents, students and coaches urging the Governor to allow them to get back on the football and soccer fields and volleyball courts. Pritzker says it’s still not safe…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says this isn’t a political decision and points to an outbreak among a community college baseball team in downstate Fairfield as an example of why certain sports should be delayed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Lawmakers should be able to call House Speaker Michael Madigan or other witnesses to testify in the Illinois House's ethics investigation into Madigan and a ComEd bribery scheme, according to the Chicago Tribune. The U.S. attorney's office says it has no objections to lawmakers calling witnesses. The Chicago Tribune reported that three Republican members of the investigative committee submitted a voluntary witness list. The list includes Madigan and others implicated in the investigation, such as former ComEd executives and lobbyists.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 264,210 Coronavirus cases and 8,332 deaths. Locally, McLean County has reported 37 new cases bringing their total to 2,975. Champaign County reported 136 new cases bringing their total to 3,811. Vermilion County reported  32 new cases bringing their total to 471. Kankakee County reported 14 new cases bringing their total to 2,588. Iroquois County  reported 4 new cases bringing their total to 376. Livingston County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 290. Ford County reported no new cases.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says if Illinois doesn’t get federal aid, many state and city jobs may be lost. The Governor says his state agency directors are identifying five percent cuts that could be made if Congress doesn’t approve an aid package. He says cities and counties will be hurting too, including in public safety…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says no federal help may mean thousands of people are furloughed or laid off.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- A lawsuit has been filed in Champaign County court to remove the counties treasurer. John Bambenek filed the lawsuit seeking to have current Treasurer Marisol Hughes removed from office and a replacement and financial audit be performed. Bambenek filed the lawsuit after he allegedly paid his second installment of real estate taxes on time however, due to a backlog in the treasurer's office he was assessed late penalties. The county treasurer’s office has been under intense scrutiny after a litany of issues including property taxes not being processed in a timely manner resulting in many receiving late penalties, failing to submit monthly reports to the county and not dispersing property tax funds to government entities in a timely manner. 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Some Ameren Illinois customers received a disconnect letter in the mail and they aren’t sure if their services will end this month. Officials from Ameren say if customers received a disconnect letter or are currently struggling to pay their utility bill, they should call the company. Ameren’s moratorium on disconnections ended on September 10.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U-S Congressional leaders are still negotiating a Coronavirus relief package. One key part of the package is an extension of unemployment benefits. The $600 boost to unemployment benefits ran out recently. 16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger says the benefits should be extended…

 

 

16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating an attempted armed robbery of a restaurant in the village. Police say two men entered the Papa John’s about 9:30 Monday night. One of the suspects displayed a handgun and demanded money. The employee refused and the subjects left. One was described as a young Black male, standing about 5-5, wearing a maroon-over-blue hoodie with a white stripe, dark pants and black boots. The other was described as a young Black male, standing about 6 feet tall, wearing a dark gray hoodie, light-colored pants and black shoes with white soles.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Christ Lutheran High School in Buckley will be hosting their annual fish and chicken fry this Friday. Director Sandy Spitz talks about the dinner…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker is reminding Ford County residents the deadline to pay your first installment of real estate taxes is Friday. Taxes can be paid at the courthouse, any Ford County bank or by mail if postmarked by Friday.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The National Weather Service declares that La Nina is officially here. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The second state Senate committee hearing spurred by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ recently unveiled legislative agenda focused on criminal justice reforms Tuesday. The joint hearing of the Senate Criminal Law and Public Safety committees addressed truth-In-sentencing laws that mandate violent offenders serve more of their sentence; mandatory minimums that restrict judicial discretion and require longer sentences for crimes; three-strike enhancements to sentences that give repeat offenders more jail time for minor crimes; and resentencing convicted persons after one of their infractions is decriminalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- New data from the Illinois Board of Higher Education finds that while minority women are faring better than men in college, they are earning less once they graduate. According to the numbers, african american and latin-x females have better access, retention and graduation rates than males, but end up with a smaller paycheck says Board Executive Director Ginger Ostro...

 

 

Illinois Board of Higher Education Executive Director Ginger Ostro. The analysis is part of a larger effort to put together a long term strategic plan for improving higher education in Illinois.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 1,446 new Coronavirus cases and 20 additional deaths Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 264,210 and total deaths to 8,332. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 1,609 have recovered, 1,341 remain in isolation, 7 are hospitalized with 2 in ICU. Champaign County reported 3,385 have recovered, 406 cases are active and 1 is hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 377 have been released from isolation, 87 remain in isolation, and 3 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 1,821 have recovered, 677 cases are active and 11 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 340 have been released from isolation, 15 remain in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 262 have been removed from isolation, 24 cases are active with 5 hospitalized. Ford County reported 116 have been released from isolation, 6 in isolation and 1 hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State is offering 245 million dollars in grants to small businesses struggling during the pandemic. This is the second round of Business Interruption Grants, focusing this time on heavily impacted industries, downstate businesses and those in areas hit especially hard by COVID-19. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Erin Guthrie says there’s also money for businesses that suffered during recent civil unrest…

 

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Erin Guthrie. Grant applications will be available starting Thursday on DCEO’s website.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul firefighters and investigators from the state fire marshal's office are investigating after a house trailer that caught fire last week caught fire again over the weekend. Firefighters were called to the fire just before 2:30 Sunday morning. The house trailer was deemed a total loss.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressman John Shimkus is accepting applications for military service academy nominations. To be eligible: applicants must be American citizens at least 17 but not more than 23 years of age, not married or have legal obligations of child support and must live within the 15th Congressional District. Applications are due by October 30th and can be obtained by calling his office at 618-288-7190.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Small business owners listen up. If your business has been negatively affected by the Coronavirus pandemic help is on the way. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City will be hosting a facebook live event this week focusing on helping small business owners…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- A new wind farm could be coming to Vermilion County. Tri Global Energy is proposing a 225 megawatt wind farm near Georgetown. The company is in the proposal stage. If approved, it would be the largest wind farm in Vermilion County. 

 

 

(Paxton-cf)--The Paxton Masonic Lodge is raffling a trip to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis Tennessee. The winner of the raffle will receive a voucher with $2,500 to use at the hotel. Tickets are $75 and only 300 will be sold.  Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral has the details… 

 

 

Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral. You can purchase your raffle ticket from any active Lodge Member, at Hudson's Drug and Hallmark shop, or from Beau Tyler the Manager of the Public House 130.

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police District 21 based in Ashkum have released their August statistics. During the month troopers issued 422 citations and 741 written warnings including 11 for DUI and 34 seatbelt citations. Troopers also made 23 criminal arrests. During the month troopers responded to 67 traffic accidents and conducted 810 traffic stops.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Brazilian soybean producers are receiving incentive to plant more, but how does that equate to production? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,373 new Coronavirus cases Monday

(Springfield-jm) -- With the economy showing signs of life despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinoisans were among the leaders nationally in paying down credit card debt. According to the personal finance website WalletHub, Illinois ranked fifth in the nation in paying down debt in the second quarter of this year. According to the study, the average household in Illinois owes $8,339 in credit card debt, following a $491 decrease in the second quarter. Nationally, U.S. consumers paid down $58.1 billion in credit card debt. That followed a record first-quarter pay down of $60 billion. As a result, WalletHub now projects that U.S. consumers will end the year with a slight reduction in credit card debt for the first time since the end of the Great Recession in 2009.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ public pensions, long underfunded by lawmakers, are beginning to show just how much of a financial hit they took during the pandemic. A report from Moody’s Investors Service estimates Illinois’ pension liability will spike to $261 billion in 2020, up from $230 billion in the 2019 fiscal year. Moody's said the increase was because of a combination of lower interest rates and investment losses. That state has estimated its pension liabilities to be about $137 billion. The funds are around 40 percent funded, one of the lowest funding ratios in the nation.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education is asking for input from educators, parents, students, and community organizers on state funding for public education. The department wants to hear what investments will support student learning, improve learning conditions, and elevate educators, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group will be accepting testimonies in writing and at three virtual budget hearings in October.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- During Disaster Preparedness Month, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants to make sure seniors are ready for a disaster. Nearly two point seven million seniors live in Illinois, and need to be ready for anything from flooding to the current pandemic, says IEMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. She says they should focus on four areas…

 

 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. Creating a support network includes getting to know your neighbors, since about 46 percent of people will rely on those living nearby immediately following an emergency. Clark says families can help make seniors comfortable using a cell phone, and a program called Illinois Care Connections can provide technology services such as I-pads and tablets to qualifying seniors.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,373 new Coronavirus cases Monday and 5 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 262,744 and total deaths to 8,314. The seven day positivity rate is 3.6 percent. Locally since Friday, McLean County reported 136 new cases bringing their total to 2,938. Vermilion County reported 21 new cases bringing their total to 439. Champaign County reported 255 new cases bringing their total to 3,675. Ford County reported 2 new cases bringing their total to 127. Livingston County reported 10 new cases including 3 at the Pontiac Correctional Center bringing their total to 288. Iroquois County reported 3 new cases bringing their total to 372. Kankakee County reported 25 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 2,574 and total deaths to 70.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting case numbers for area communities. 285 cases were in Rantoul, 125 in Mahomet, 72 in Gilman, 64 in Clifton, 63 in St. Joseph, 51 in Watseka, 43 in Paxton, 36 in Chebanse, 34 in Fisher, 31 each in Hoopeston and Fairbury, 30 in Onarga, 19 in Gibson City, 15 in Forrest, 14 each in Cissna Park and Ashkum, 11 in Danforth, 10 each in Thomasboro, Rossville and Foosland, 9 each in Milford, Donovan and Crescent City, 8 each in Saybrook, Gifford and Cabery, 7 each in Bellflower, Potomac, Martinton and Piper City, 6 each in Buckley, Ludlow and Beaverville, 5 in Dewey and 1 in Penfield.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- It’s feeling more fall like. How does the forecast look for the remainder of September and into October? State Climatologist Trent Ford has the details…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul woman was arrested following a single vehicle accident in the village. Rantoul police were called to the area of Eagle Drive and Pacesetter Drive just before 6pm Sunday evening for a vehicle that struck a tree. Officers arrested 63 year old Marion Trotter for driving under the influence of alcohol, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, intimidation and cited for improper lane usage. Police say Trotter was driving drunk when she struck the tree then threatened officers who were there investigating the accident.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- If you haven’t submitted your census, your time is running out. The deadline to submit your census information is the end of the month. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about why filling out the census is so important…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Gilman/Onarga-jm) -- Gilman and Onarga residents may notice some changes if they are Comcast customers. The company unexpectedly began removing overhead lines and poles in the area. The company has not said what they are doing.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn harvesting is just beginning in Illinois. In the weekly crop report, State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 37 percent of corn is mature and two percent has been harvested with 72 percent of the crop rated in good to excellent condition. He says soybeans are turning color on 49 percent of acres…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The third cutting of alfalfa is 95 percent complete and average statewide topsoil moisture improved to four percent very short, 26 percent short, 63 percent adequate and seven percent surplus.

(Springfield-jm) -- A new study found six Illinois cities rank among the top 50 most affordable housing markets in the country, largely as a result of depressed home prices. The website RefiGuide compared income and the cost of a house to determine how far the median household income could go toward the purchase price of a home in that city. Peoria ranked sixth in the country, Decatur ranked eighth, Joliet ranked 13th, Rockford ranked 21st, Springfield ranked 29th and Bloomington ranked 34th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will conduct a statewide investigation into the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking water. The investigation will look into all 1,749 community water supplies in Illinois and is expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Eleven Illinois organizations that are helping people amidst the COVID-19 pandemic will receive some extra financial support. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority announced a total of $8,062,251 will go to 11 organizations that are providing resources and services to communities that are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. These grants will support housing, victim services, legal aid, advocacy, food security, and reentry services in the areas that have been the hardest hit by the coronavirus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- While the world fights the pandemic, health experts say there's a chronic epidemic that continues to hide in the shadows. Mary Scheurmann reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 262,744 Coronavirus cases and 8,314 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 1,501 have recovered, 1,412 are in isolation,7 are hospitalized with 2 in ICU. Vermilion County reported 365 have been released from isolation, 66 remain in isolation and 4 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 3,370 have recovered, 285 cases are active and 1 is hospitalized. Ford County reported 116 have been released, 6 are in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Livingston County reported 257 have been removed, 27 cases are active and 2 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 336 have been released, 15 remain in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 1,780 have recovered, 724 cases are active and 11 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 28,189 of the state's Coronavirus cases and 4,515 deaths are from Long Term Care Facilities in the state.  According to IDPH, in Champaign County,  4 cases and 1 death has occurred at Champaign-Urbana Nursing and Rehab, 7 cases at Country Health and Rehab in Gifford, 2 cases at Clark Lindsay, 2 cases at Illini Heritage,  28 cases and 4 deaths at Reflections Memory Care, 5 cases at University Rehab Center and 5 cases at the Villas of Hollybrook in Rantoul. In Ford County, 38 cases and 3 deaths have been reported at Accolade on Pells in Paxton, 2 cases at Accolade Senior Living in Paxton and 4 cases at Gibson Annex. In Iroquois County, 79 cases and 15 deaths were reported at Gilman Healthcare and 3 cases were reported at Prairieview Lutheran Home in Danforth

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- An area lawmaker is expressing frustration with the failure of the state’s unemployment backlog. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says his office has received lots of calls and emails from people wanting answers…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois student told law enforcement she was the victim of a phone scam. The student said she received a phone call from someone who said they were a member of the U.S. Marshals Service. The caller reportedly claimed that the student's Social Security number had been compromised and there was a warrant for her arrest. Police said the scammer told the student she could resolve the issue by wiring $2,900 to an unknown account via Bitcoin. The student made the transaction. The student reported the incident to police after the caller demanded more money.

 

 

(WPXN-cf)-- The Farmers Almanac is predicting a cold and flaky winter this year. Fox 55/27 Meteorologist Doug Quick says that assumption is pretty on par… 

 

 

Fox 55/27 Television Meteorologist Doug Quick. 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is resuming household hazardous waste collections this fall. The agency stopped collections due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saturday, October 10th, will be the closest recycling event in the WPXN listening area in Watseka. Oil based paints, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, insecticides and pesticides are allowed. Items such as latex based paints, explosives, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and ag chemicals are not accepted.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn harvesting is just beginning in Illinois. 95 percent of corn is in the dent stage or beyond says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 49 percent of soybeans are turning color and 17 percent of acres are dropping leaves. 71 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to four percent very short, 26 percent short, 63 percent adequate and seven percent surplus.

30 Illinois counties are now at the warning level for COVID-19

(Springfield-jm) --  In hopes of catching up to high demand, Illinois State Police announced an extension to FOID Card owners whose card expired after the start of the pandemic. The update still requires residents to have a FOID Card to own a firearm or ammunition, but gives an extension to those whose FOID cards expired after March 9 under the State's Disaster Proclamation. The extension will continue for 18 months after the State's Disaster Proclamation ends, but owners must submit a renewal application.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- 30 Illinois counties are now at the warning level for COVID-19. The counties are located all over the state, with warning levels triggered by rising test positivity rates, ER visits, clusters of cases and other troubling trends. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says local officials are seeing people gathering in large groups, not social distancing and not wearing a mask…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says some people refuse to participate in contact tracing and are not providing information about close contacts or answering the phone. Vermilion County is one of the counties now at warning level. Local health officials say they have seen an increase in the number of ER visits.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 260,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced there are 261,371 total cases and 8,309 total deaths. We will have the latest numbers tonight on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is launching a new website just for hunters. The new “Hunt Illinois” website is a great resource, says DNR Spokesperson Rachel Torbert…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. The website is: hunt illinois dot org.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The minuteman missile on the west side of the former Chanute Air Force Base in the village of Rantoul will remain. Late Friday the village received word from Washington that demolition of the missile, which was scheduled to begin next week, will not happen.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Four Rantoul teens have been arrested for allegedly breaking into vehicles in the village. Police say they were called to the 1200 block of Sycamore Lane for a report of a burglary to a motor vehicle. The victim told police four juveniles attempted to get in their vehicle and believed they had gotten into the neighbor's vehicle. The four juveniles between the ages of 13 and 17 were found and arrested.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Dozens of motorcycles roared through Paxton Sunday afternoon. It was part of the annual 9-11 Memorial Ride. The group stopped at the Paxton firehouse for lunch before heading south to Rantoul before going back to Tilton.

 

 

(Gilman-cf)-- We are just under a month away from harvest in the WPXN listening area. Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece gives an update on how fields are looking… 

 

 

Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two area school boards meet tonight. The Mahomet Seymour School Board will hold a budget hearing at 7 pm followed by their monthly study session at 8 where they will hear a COVID-19 update. Rantoul Township High School will also have a budget hearing tonight. That starts at 5:45 with their monthly meeting starting at 6. School board members will discuss the first reading of updated school policies and possibly approve the FY21 budget. The Rantoul Township High School school board meeting gets underway at 6 with the Mahomet Seymour School Board study session getting underway at 8.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The prospects of a second round of stimulus payments look bleak after a Republican led proposal failed in the U-S Senate this week. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois condemned the bill saying it didn’t help the people who need it most…

 

*

 

Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton restaurant will be moving to a bigger location later this month. Pueblo Lindo will move from their location in the Marshall Building in downtown Paxton to the same building as Elite Fitness. The new location will allow them to have space for up to 130 guests compared to 77 at their current location. They will also have a banquet room that can seat an additional 300. They also plan on adding a bar and gaming room at their new location.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A railroad crossing in Gibson City will be closed starting today. IDOT officials announced the Route 9/47 railroad crossing will be closed between 1st and 8th streets. The closure could last through the 25th. Detour signs will be put up.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA has lowered its production forecasts for several major crops.  Gary Crawford has the details…

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Check the mail for the pros and cons of a proposed amendment to the Illinois constitution voters will be asked in the General Election. The blue, four-page pamphlet includes an explanation of the amendment to change Illinois’ flat income tax to one that increases tax rates on people who make more money, and an argument for and an argument against. The pamphleting budget was $2.5 million through the Secretary of State’s office.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is urging construction managers to take part in this week’s national campaign to prevent falls. Falling from an elevation is the leading cause of death for construction workers, says Illinois OSHA Director Brandy Lozosky…

 

 

Illinois OHSA Director Brandy Lozosky. A training guide, lesson plans, videos and more is available online at: osha dot gov slash stop falls stand down. Topics covered include scaffolding and roofing safety.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has over 261,000 Coronavirus cases after the state reported 2,145 cases Friday, 2,121 cases Saturday and 1,462 cases on Sunday. The state also reported 68 additional deaths in that timespan. The seven day positivity rate is 3.7 percent.



 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 30 months probation for writing bad checks. Shannon Sabol pleaded guilty in Champaign County court to deceptive practices. Police say on two occasions Sabol wrote checks at a Rantoul business from a closed account. He was also ordered to pay back the amount he owed.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum have released results from two recent enforcement patrols. During Distracted Driving patrols, 14 citations were issued for being on a hand held device and 7 citations were issued for texting while driving. During Nighttime Enforcement Patrols, 2 citations were issued for occupant restraint offenses, 1 citation for a registration offense, 4 citations for drivers license offenses and 4 citations for insurance offenses.

 

 

(Rural Melvin-jm) -- Roberts and Melvin firefighters were called to a shed fire Saturday evening. Firefighters were called to the fire at 35625 East 400 North in Livingston County, just after 9 pm. No word on the cause of the fire.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Illinois’ GOP Congressional members have sent a letter to the state to show how federal Coronavirus relief money is being spent. An Inspector Generals report found less than 20 percent of the money given to the state has actually been distributed. 16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger says he and other GOP members want to make sure rural and downstate areas are getting their fair share…

 

 

16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area communities and one county board meet tonight for their monthly meeting. Gibson City council members will consider a contract with Ridgeview Recycling, consider hiring special legal counsel for a cyber breach and consider approving a bid to rehab well #1.Gilman City Council members will consider a cable tv franchise agreement and consider approving an engineering proposal for an IDOT grant application for the North Central Streetscape project. Roberts village leaders are expected to approve mulch bids for the park, consider creating a CURES program and provide an update on the positions up for the 2021 election. The Ford County Board will meet where they are expected to approve an ordinance creating a countywide CURES program and possibly set the salary for the public defender position. The Gibson City, Gilman and Ford County Board meetings get underway at 7. The Roberts village board meeting gets underway at 7:30.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- An area state lawmaker is criticizing the state’s handling of the massive unemployment crisis during the Coronavirus pandemic. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the state has failed to help those unemployed…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington

 

 

(Kankakee-jm) -- The Kankakee County Public Health Department is announcing a batch of mosquitoes in the county have tested positive for west nile. The health department says the batch of mosquitoes were caught in Bourbonnais. They remind people to wear long sleeves when out during peak mosquito hours and wear insect repellent that contains DEET.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Those wanting assistance in lowering their utility bills can do so later this month. 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign will be hosting a virtual clinic with the Citizens Utility Board on Wednesday, September 30th from 5:30-7:30 pm. More details are available by calling Senator Bennett’s office at 217-355-5252.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Despite an downward adjustment in corn and soybean production and yield estimates in September, USDA notes numbers that reflect potential records or near records for both crops this year.  Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The state of Illinois could lose out on millions of dollars in funding if residents do not fill out the 2020 Census

(Springfield-jm) -- The state of Illinois could lose out in millions upon millions of dollars in funding if residents do not fill out the 2020 Census. Governor J-B Pritzker visited Illinois State University to highlight the importance of making sure everyone is being counted in this year's census as the deadline quickly approaches. Colleges and universities are usually hard places for the census to get an accurate count, but because of the pandemic, it's made things even harder. Nearly $195 million could be lost in federal funding for the state if there's even just a 1% undercount.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has filed a lawsuit against e cigarette manufacturer Juice Man. The lawsuit alleges the company developed and marketed their product to minors. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 cases in Illinois now top 255 thousand. As over 19 hundred new cases are reported in the daily numbers, two regions of Illinois, the Metro East area and Will and Kankakee Counties remain under tighter restrictions. Governor J-B Pritzker says the mitigations are needed when the test positivity rate gets too high and reminds that we can’t outrun the virus...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Over 82 hundred people in Illinois have now died from COVID. About 16 hundred with the virus were in the hospital. McLean County reported 35 new cases bringing their total to 2,697. Vermilion County 14 new cases bringing their total to 405. Livingston County 7 new cases bringing their total to 271. Kankakee County 24 new cases bringing their total to 2,520. Iroquois County 3 new cases bringing their total to 367. Ford and Champaign Counties both reported no new cases Thursday. McLean and Kankakee Counties each also reported 1 additional death bringing their totals to 18 and 69 respectively.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois House Special Investigating Committee gets underway. The group is looking into whether disciplinary action should be taken against House Speaker Mike Madigan over the recent Commonwealth Edison bribery scandal. Committee Chairman, Representative Chris Welch, says this first meeting was organizational. He says the next step is to make sure these hearings won’t impede federal prosecutors…

 

 

Committee Chairman Representative Chris Welch. House Republicans have submitted a list of potential witnesses and documents they would like to see.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating after an apartment building in the village was hit by gunfire. Police were called to the 100 block of north Chanute Street for a report of shots fired. Officers found an apartment building had been struck by three bullets. No injuries were reported and no description of the suspects were given.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Sheriff's Office recently received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding. The Department of Justice awarded $487,422 to the Champaign County Sheriff's Office through the National Crime Statistics Exchange program. The Sheriff's Office will use the funding to upgrade and replace the current records management system to comply with state and federal incident-based crime reporting.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Illinois GOP Congressional members are asking the state government to show where the federal Coronavirus relief money has gone. 16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger talks about Illinois’ budget and the relief funds from Washington…

 

 

16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education has announced SAT exam dates. High school seniors will have three dates to take the exam: September 23rd, October 14th and a make up test date of October 27th. 

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- A former Gilman lumber yard is getting new life. Iroquois Paving bought the former Alexander Lumber facility.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Farmers-dot-gov website has more features to help farmers and ranchers more easily interact with USDA. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Supreme Court announced Thursday they will hold their September term at the state Supreme Court chamber. The Supreme Court hasn’t met in person because of COVID. Their last term, which was in May, was held virtually. There are 17 cases scheduled for the September term.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Two companies that were rejected for Illinois marijuana licenses have filed a lawsuit to delay the state from awarding licenses to the winning applicants. The state announced that only 21 of 700 applicants would proceed to a lottery for 75 licenses. Southshore Restore and Heartland Greens did not make the cut and are suing the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which regulates dispensaries, and Bret Bender, deputy director of the Cannabis Control Section. The applicants allege in the suit that the 21 groups are politically-connected insider companies and that it is unconstitutional to not give unsuccessful applications a chance to challenge the department's decision.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Corrections and Illinois Department of Public Health are investigating two cases of Legionnaires Disease at the Pontiac Correctional Center. The two individuals are currently hospitalized. Inmates and staff will continue to be monitored by IDOC and IDPH.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 cases in Illinois now top 255 thousand. Most patients have recovered, but over 82 hundred people have now died. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike reminds everyone to wear a mask, because even if you feel fine, you still may be carrying the Coronavirus and infect others…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Two regions remain under stricter mitigations. Officials say while Will and Kankakee numbers are improving, the Metro East positivity rate remains above 10 percent. As for local active and recovered cases, 1,342 have recovered in McLean County with 1,330 in isolation and 7 hospitalized including 2 in intensive care. 2,415 have recovered in Champaign County with 629 active cases and 3 hospitalized. 331 have been released from isolation in Vermilion County with 56 in isolation and 4 hospitalized. 226 have been removed from isolation in Livingston County with 41 active cases and 2 hospitalized. 1,682 have recovered in Kankakee County with 769 active cases and 15 hospitalized. 322 have been released from isolation in Iroquois County with 24 in isolation and 2 hospitalized. 100 have been released from isolation in Ford County with 15 in isolation and 1 hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing a new 166 million dollar investment in putting more Illinoisans back to work. The Governor says the federal funding will be used to train and place nearly 13 hundred people in a variety of jobs, including those created by the pandemic…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. For more information about this effort, visit: illinois dot gov slash get hired.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul woman has been charged with DUI after her car struck a light pole and rolled on Neipswah Avenue in the Indian Hills area. Rantoul police say 23 year old Ashanti Ellis was driving under the influence when she struck a light pole and rolled at least two times. Ellis was also cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. No injuries were reported.


 

 

(Paxton-cf)--The Paxton Masonic Lodge is raffling a trip to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis Tennessee. The winner of the raffle will receive a voucher with $2,500 to use at the hotel. Tickets are $75 and only 300 will be sold.  Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral has the details… 

 

 

Paxton Masonic Lodge Member James Sheral. You can purchase your raffle ticket from any active Lodge Member, at Hudson's Drug and Hallmark shop, or from Beau Tyler the Manager of the Public House 130. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A new store is coming to the north Prospect Avenue area in Champaign. Burlington announced they are going into the space between Target and Lowe’s. The store hopes to open in Spring 2021.

 

 

(Savoy-jm) -- OSF Healthcare is announcing a new primary care office is coming to Savoy. The office will feature 9 exam rooms. The new office will be located at 501 North Dunlap and will open this fall.

 

 

(Gibson City-cf)-- Today's WPXN News local business spotlight is MCS Office Technologies in Gibson City. MCS Owner and CEO Todd McNutt details how MCS got its start.. 

 

 

MCS Office Technologies Owner and CEO Todd McNutt.

 

 

Colleges and universities are facing several challenges as the semester begins amidst a pandemic

(Springfield-jm) -- The first case of human West Nile Virus infection is being confirmed in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting a woman in her 40’s from DuPage County became sick last month and has tested positive for West Nile. Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says most people with the virus don’t show any symptoms, but some may experience fever, nausea, headaches and muscle aches and should call their doctor…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says the best way to protect yourself is to wear insect repellant and report any stagnant pools of water where mosquitoes can breed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A House legislative committee will meet at 9 this morning where they will begin their investigation into House Speaker Mike Madigan’s role in the ComEd bribery scheme. Madigan was implicated in a deferred prosecution agreement between federal investigators and the utility giant. The committee is made up of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans. Madigan has said several times he never did anything wrong.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- While the latest total adult-use cannabis sales for Illinois for the month of August weren’t immediately available, the amount of taxes for the month is in. Data from the Illinois Department of Revenue show the state took in $19.2 million in cannabis taxes last month, which is $5.3 million more than collected in July and nearly double what was brought in back in January. That money is split several ways, including grants to nonprofits in certain areas. State taxes can be more than 40 percent, depending on the potency. Local governments that approved additional local taxes started collecting up to 3 percent more beginning July 1.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Colleges and universities are facing several challenges as the semester begins amidst a pandemic. The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign has increased restrictions on students and Bradley University in Peoria has quarantined the entire student body after an outbreak of COVID-19. Many schools have had to quarantine at least some students, and Governor J-B Pritzker says that’s the best option for those who are sick…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Many college administrators have expressed concerns about students attending large parties as well. And as for the Coronavirus numbers from Wednesday. The state reported 1,337 new cases and 30 additional deaths. Locally, McLean County reported 36 new cases bringing their total to 2,662. Vermilion County reported 9 new cases bringing their total to 391. Champaign County reported 158 new cases bringing their total to 3,064. Livingston County reported 9 new cases bringing their total to 264. Kankakee County reported 13 new cases bringing their total to 2,496. Iroquois County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 364. Ford County reported no new cases leaving their total at 120.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois announced enrollment this fall set a record. The University announced Wednesday 52,331 students enrolled for classes for the 2020-2021 school year. Undergrad enrollment fell slightly to 33,492 from 33,850 in 2019.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- One area lawmaker is criticizing Governor J-B Pritzker’s order fining businesses for not requiring individuals to wear masks in their stores. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says businesses are not mask police and it unfairly targets businesses…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul fire officials say a fire at a mobile home Tuesday morning is suspicious. Firefighters were called to the fire in the 1200 block of Wedgewood around 3 am. Fire officials say the mobile home had been abandoned at the time of the fire.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On September 5th, John Green of Champaign was arrested for disorderly conduct after police were called to an intoxicated individual at Casey’s. Also on September 5th, Devin Bradford of Paxton was arrested for domestic battery, interfering with the reporting of domestic violence and criminal damage to property. On September 3rd, Elijah Cannon of Champaign was arrested for possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and cited for speeding and illegal possession of adult use cannabis in a motor vehicle following a traffic stop at Pells and Washington.  Also on September 3rd, Stephanie Dorrough of Paxton was arrested on a Champaign County warrant for failure to appear.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A look at USDA's latest farm product price index report shows declines for many products, with a few notable exceptions. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There’s just a few weeks left for small non profit groups to apply for food and housing grants through Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs office. 375 thousand dollars will be split between 30 organizations through the charitable trust stabilization program says Treasurer Frerichs…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Groups selected will receive up to 12 thousand 500 dollars each. Apply by September 30th at: il charitable trust dot com.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and cold weather approaches, the Illinois Commerce Commission is pushing for the moratorium on residential customer disconnections for non-payment to be extended. Last week, the Illinois Commerce Commission sent a letter to large state-regulated utilities to request an extension of the moratorium until March 31, 2021. All five Commissioners signed the letter, which includes data from the Illinois Department of Public Health about COVID-19 in the state.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- For the second straight year, the number of workers who are members of labor unions has declined in Illinois. Analyzing data from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, researchers from the Illinois Economic Institute, the University of Illinois, and the University of California-Irvine found that union membership has decreased in the state by over 56-thousand workers since 2017. The report said the decline was largely due to decreases in union workers in public sector jobs, a traditional labor stronghold. The public sector was shaken by the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Janus vs. AFSCME case, which ended requirements that government workers covered by collective bargaining pay union fees.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Colleges and universities are facing several challenges as the semester begins amidst a pandemic. Bradley University in Peoria has quarantined the entire student body after a COVID outbreak and cases doubled over the weekend at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. At Illinois State, President Larry Dietz says they had large crowds gathering overnight as two YouTube stars visited Normal…

 

 

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz. The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign has increased restrictions on students and is conducting mass testing, while college administrators across the state warn students about having big parties. As for Wednesday numbers, Illinois now stands at 253,690 confirmed Coronavirus cases and 8,214 total deaths. And for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 1,307 have recovered, 1,330 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized with 2 in intensive care. Vermilion County reported 331 have been released from isolation, 52 remain in isolation and 4 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 2,414 have recovered, 630 cases are active and 3 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 215 have been removed from isolation, 45 cases are active and 2 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 1,646 have recovered, 782 cases are active with 15 hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 320 have been released from isolation, 24 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Ford County reported 100 have been released from isolation, 15 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- The Livingston County Public Health Department announced late Wednesday a bat found in Pontiac has tested positive for rabies. The health department says August and September are when the highest number of bats are submitted to the state for testing. The health department doesn’t think any people or pets were exposed. So far 33 bats have tested positive in Illinois for rabies this year.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting Nitetime Enforcement Patrols in September. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton business is closing at the end of the month. Chakra Studio, located in downtown Paxton, announced they will be closing September 30th. The studio offered yoga, indoor cycling and group fitness classes.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Drive Thru job fair for Fed Ex in Champaign will be held today. The job fair will take place from 10-3 at the FedEx location on Mercury Drive. Positions include full time, part time and weekend only with positions earning up to $16.50 an hour.

 

 

(Tilton-cf)-- Today’sWPXN’s local business  spotlight is DTI Office Solutions in Tilton. DTI services from Danville to Watseka, and Bloomington to Paris on all your office needs. DTI Office Solutions Owner Tony Mages gives a background on how DTI started… 

 

 

DTI Office Solutions Owner Tony Mages

The Progressive Tax is a big topic for the upcoming elections

(Springfield-jm) --  More than 100 labor organizations in Illinois endorsed a proposed amendment on the November ballot to change the state's flat-rate income tax structure to a system that has higher rates for those who make more than $250,000 a year, but business groups said it would make it easier for lawmakers to raise taxes. Representatives from the UAW, AFL-CIO, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Brotherhood of Electricians called for the passage of the fair tax amendment in November. Proponents have said that the proposal would make the state tax code fairer and provide tax relief to more Illinoisans. Opponents have said it will open the door to future tax hikes that hurt taxpayers and small businesses and would drive more people to leave the state. Illinois has had a flat rate, which is currently 4.95% for individuals, since the income tax was instituted in 1969. The Illinois Constitution mandates that any income tax be imposed at a single rate for all individual taxpayers, regardless of their income level. Illinois is one of eight states that has a flat rate tax. If the referendum is approved in November, the new tax rates would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Months of economic shutdowns, remote working, virtual classrooms and violence in larger cities in Illinois could be taking its toll on the state’s population. From March 1 to August 14, 67 percent of all moves United Van Lines carried over Illinois’ state lines were residents leaving the state. That’s an increase from 2019, when 61 percent were outbound. Only New Jersey had a higher rate, at 69 percent. On the opposite end, Vermont, Idaho, Oregon, South Carolina, Arizona, and Tennessee saw the highest rate of inbound movers. 


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing the last round of grants from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund. $7.5 million is going out this 5th and final time to 7 non-profit organizations in Illinois. That includes the Community Health Partnership of Illinois, which will use the money to offer mobile clinics in downstate counties like Champaign and Peoria says CEO Eleace (elise) Sawyers…

 

 

Community Health Partnership of Illinois CEO Eleace Sawyers. More than 30 million dollars in grants have been awarded, funding things like meal and utility assistance, supplies for emergency workers and short term rental assistance.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 1,392 new Coronavirus cases and 7 additional deaths Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 252,353 and deaths to 8,186. Locally since Friday, McLean County reported 314 new cases bringing their total to 2,626. Champaign County reported 309 new cases bringing their total to 2,906. Ford County reported 4 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 120 and deaths to 4. Vermilion County reported 16 new cases bringing their total to 382. Livingston County reported 21 new cases bringing their total to 255. Kankakee County reported 63 new cases bringing their total to 2,483. Iroquois County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 359.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn continues to progress at a faster pace than usual as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says corn is moving along nicely…

 


 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 13 percent of soybean acres are turning color, compared to 33 percent normally. Two percent are dropping leaves and 68 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined last week to 13 percent very short, 44 percent short and 43 percent adequate.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton first responders were called to a two vehicle accident late Tuesday afternoon. Crews were called to the accident at Route 9 and 115 just before 4:30. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The village of Rantoul has received two donations for the sports complex. Denny and Anne Long donated $30,000 while the Bank of Rantoul pitched in $100,000. The bank is celebrating a century of service to the village and area

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- An Illinois Congressional member says he believes the Coronavirus pandemic will show more than just a health crisis in the country. 16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kizinger says he believes it will bring to light the need for broadband internet access in rural areas…

 

 

16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police are investigating an argument that led to damage to a vehicle. The incident occurred in the 400 block of Marco Drive. Police say there was an argument between two individuals when one of them grabbed a baseball bat and smashed the headlight of the others vehicle.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police say a report of an armed individual in the village turned out to be false. The alleged incident took place August 25th in the 1200 block of E. Grove. According to police, witness statements and surveillance video from the area did not support the allegations.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- China continues to expand purchases of U.S. agricultural products. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois could be on the verge of entering Phase 5 of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 reopening plan, if the statewide plan remains in place and a vaccine is approved by the federal government. On May 5, Pritzker revealed his five-phase reopening plan called “Restore Illinois.” That was after nearly two months of stay-at-home orders. His plan four months ago laid out what would relax all restrictions. The White House last week said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent notices to states to start preparing for a vaccine. Pritzker last month said when a vaccine is ready, he doesn’t expect it to be required to attend school.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A special investigative committee of the General Assembly will begin meeting at the Capitol this week to decide the fate of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Madigan was implicated in a bribery scheme in July when officials from the utility giant Commonwealth Edison admitted to federal prosecutors that, over a period of years, they awarded lobbying jobs and contracts to close associates of Madigan as part of a concerted effort to curry his support for legislation that would benefit the company. The special investigative committee will be made up of six members, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. The first hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 9 am.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An economic development educator at the University of Illinois Extension offers some tips for businesses working to make customers feel safe from the Coronavirus. The Extension’s Jennifer Russell says it’s important for customers to get a good vibe about health protocols from the moment they walk in or sit at a table…

 

 

University of Illinois Extension’s Jennifer Russell. Russell says businesses should be very upfront about their cleaning protocols, and even do small things such as having a cup for sanitized pens and dirty pens for signing receipts to help customers feel comfortable. Frequent hand sanitizer stations and going touchless wherever possible is also a good idea says Russell.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported almost 14 hundred new Coronavirus cases Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 252,353 and deaths to 8,186. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 1,290 have recovered, 1,311 are in isolation, 8 are hospitalized with 2 in the Intensive Care. Champaign County reported 2,362 have recovered, 524 cases are active and 3 are hospitalized. Ford County reported 100 have been released from isolation, 15 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 323 have been released from isolation, 51 remain in isolation and 4 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 204 have been released from isolation, 47 cases are active and 2 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 1,645 have recovered, 770 cases are active and 19 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 312 have been released, 27 are in isolation and 1 is hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn continues to progress at a faster pace than usual as we hear in the weekly crop report. 86 percent of corn has reached the dent stage or beyond, compared to 78 percent normally. 23 percent is mature and 70 percent of the corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener takes a look at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is now 93 percent complete and average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to 13 percent very short, 44 percent short, and 43 percent adequate.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two area school districts reported new Coronavirus cases within their district. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley schools announced a GCMS elementary student as well as an elementary school staff member and a shared staff member between the middle school and high school have tested positive. Yesterday, Rantoul City Schools announced a Pleasant Acres employee tested positive.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Two Kankakee teens have been arrested for beating up an elderly man in Rantoul last month. 18 year old Bryson Russell and a 16 year old juvenile were arrested in Kankakee and charged with aggravated battery, mob action and battery. Police say the two teens attacked the gentleman in his front yard on August 17th. The teens are in custody in Champaign County.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Several Illinois counties are now at the warning level for the Coronavirus. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the criteria for the level…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Mahomet man has been sentenced to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty in 3 separate cases. Matthew Lee entered the pleas in Champaign County court. In the first case, Lee pleaded guilty to DUI for an arrest in October 2019. He was given credit for 205 days, charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and failure to report property damage accident were dismissed. In the second case, Lee pleaded guilty to possessing a stolen vehicle. He was given 3 years for that charge. In the third case, Lee pleaded guilty to damaging a Rantoul police squad car after he was arrested for trying to break into vehicles. In exchange for that plea, charges of attempted burglary and aggravated battery to a peace officer were dismissed.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul police provided an update on the search for a missing man. Police say the bike belonging to David Franklin was found in rural Rantoul over the weekend. Franklin is a 62 year old male last seen August 19th in the Maplewood Plaza area. He was last seen wearing green jogging pants with blue shorts over the top of them and a royal blue hooded sweatshirt. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul police immediately.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The USDA is forecasting that the median 2020 income for farm households will be $89,674 dollars. Is that up from last year, or down? Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

After a fairly dry August, half of the state is experiencing drought or near drought conditions

(Undated-jm) -- Among Illinois residents, active military personnel make up 164 out of every 100,000 people – the 32nd highest share among the 50 states, according to a new analysis by the website 24/7 Wall St. Illinois contains 27 military bases, with per-capita defense spending in the state estimated at $600. 24/7 Wall St.’s analysis is based on March 31 numbers compiled by the Defense Manpower Data Center.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois wine drinkers pay the equivalent of $1.39 per gallon in state wine excise taxes, according to a new analysis from the Tax Foundation based on January 2020 data. The wine excise tax in Illinois was 13th highest among the 50 states, the Tax Foundation study found.

 

(Rantoul--jc)  --  Rantoul firefighters were called to a mobile home fire just after 3 this morning. The fire occurred at a mobile home in the 12 hundred block of Wedgewood Drive. No One was hurt in the blaze. Rantoul fire department officials continue to look to the cause of the fire. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 250,000 Coronavirus cases. The state reported 1,381 new cases and 8 additional deaths Monday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 250,961 and total deaths to 8,179. The seven day positivity rate stands at 4.2 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- After a fairly dry August, half of the state is experiencing drought or near drought conditions. Although last month included a little bit of everything including high temps, low temps and a derecho, it ended up cooler than normal and the 15th driest August on record in Illinois, leaving the top half of the state either abnormally dry or in a moderate drought. State Climatologist Trent Ford says that probably isn’t changing anytime soon…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. The long term outlook calls for cooler than average temperatures and a slight chance of above normal precipitation for September.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul City School District announced yesterday a temporary employee has tested positive for the Coronavirus. The district says no students were in close contact to the individual however, six employees were and have been quarantined.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton will have fall townwide garage sales. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce announced fall garage sales will take place October 9th and 10th.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A special committee will meet this week to discuss the allegations against House Speaker Michael Madigan. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City discusses the process…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Rantoul and Paxton city councils meet tonight for their September meetings. The Rantoul Village Board will meet at 6pm where they are expected to approve the purchase of a vacuum excavator and award a contract for the construction of a new salt shed. The Paxton City Council meets tonight at 7pm where they will discuss sidewalk and curb repairs, consider ordinances addressing cats at large and underground electric fences, advertise bids for repainting the clock tower and go into executive session to consider the sale of city property. The Rantoul village board meeting gets underway at 6 with the Paxton city council meeting getting underway at 7.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The national debt continues to rise in part because of the Coronavirus pandemic. But 16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois says there is another reason the national debt has risen…

 

 

16th Congressional District Congressman Adam Kinzinger.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Danville Area Community College is hosting a drive thru job fair this week. The job fair will take place on Wednesday, September 9 from 9 to 11 am.

 

 

(Normal-jm) -- Illinois State University in Normal is announcing strong fall enrollment numbers. Total enrollment for the fall semester is at 20,720. 3,353 are freshmen.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA experts are taking the first objective, scientific look at this season's corn and soybeans crops in the field. Gary Crawford has the latest…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois is among the most lazy states in the nation, according to consumer finance website WalletHub. The list of Hardest-Working States in America put Illinois at No. 40, based on a variety of factors like unemployment, hours worked and number of jobs an individual works. For the metric of volunteer hours worked, WalletHub ranked Illinois No. 48.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinoisans who shifted to telecommuting have reclaimed nearly five hours of their lives each week.  About 1 in 4 employed people teleworked or worked from home for pay because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data from July. That’s a decline from May, when nearly one-third of the workforce was working from home, not counting those who already were. CoPilot, a car shopping app, analyzed pre-pandemic commuter data from the U.S. Census and found Illinoisans spent an average of 4.9 hours commuting to and from work every week, working more than 43 hours. 

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An anticipated eviction tsunami has been calmed temporarily, but that doesn't mean Illinois renters who have fallen behind are completely off the hook. Mary Scheurmann reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Senator Scott Bennett will be hosting a blood drive at Community Blood Services in Urbana this week. The blood drive is today through Friday. Hours Tuesday through Thursday 9-6 and Friday 7:30-4:30.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson Area Hospital Auxiliary has announced the winners of their scholarships. Keegan Kutemeier and Jessica Mueller were each awarded scholarships from the auxiliary. Allison Heavilin and Emily Clinton were awarded the Verna Buck Scholarship. Kelsey Cliff was awarded the CEDF scholarship. Brandon Olson was awarded the Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services Gift Shop Scholarship. Summer Roesch was awarded the Arthur and Ann Jensen Noland Scholarship. Lauren Leonard was awarded the William and Viola Garrett Scholarship.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols in September. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Vermilion County Board and St. Joseph Village Board meet tonight for their September meeting. The Vermilion County Board will discuss their fiscal year budget, consider surplusing some vehicles and make several appointments for various boards. St. Joseph village leaders will hear an update on sewer repairs, 1st Street project and the Linden Street retention pond. The Vermilion County Board gets underway at 6pm and the St. Joseph Village Board gets underway at 7.

 

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Illinois GOP lawmakers continue to express frustration over the Governor’s lack of communication when it comes to the Coronavirus pandemic. Governor Pritzker has issued several executive orders without seeking input from the General Assembly. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the public, not government, should make the decisions they feel are best…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- OSF St. James-John Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac is seeking volunteers for their main lobby information desk and gift shop. Those interested are asked to call 815-842-6818 and ask for Michelle.

 

 

(Kankakee-jm) -- Kankakee Community College will be offering 5 free job hunting webinars over the lunch hour. The first webinar is September 22nd titled 5 steps to a winning resume, September 29th titled AIDA cover letter, October 6th, micro internships for students and recent grads, October 13th, Leveraging Linkedin and October 20th Acing your Video Interview. For more information or to sign up, call 815-802-8207.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- So far, this fiscal year U.S. agricultural export values are running just slightly below last year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow summer meal programs to continue serving free meals as late as December 31

(Springfield-jm) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow summer meal programs to continue serving free meals to all children through as late as December 31. The USDA said this extension is to ensure all children have access to nutritious foods as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 24,000 Illinoisans filed for unemployment in the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor. The weekly jobless claims for last week were nearly 2,150 fewer than the week before when the state saw an uptick. Illinois also has been approved for President Donald Trump’s temporary unemployment benefits extension. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is receiving $36 million in federal funding to fight the opioid crisis. The funding will expand prevention, treatment, recovery and overdose response initiatives across the state. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is warning the public about robocalls trying to discourage people from voting by mail. Attorney General Raoul says his office started getting complaints about the calls about a week ago, where in many cases an automated message claimed that if you vote by mail, your personal information will be compromised…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. A few other states are reporting the same problem. The Illinois State Board of Elections says voting by mail is a secure option this November.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has over 240,000 coronavirus cases and 8,115 deaths. Locally, McLean County reported 99 new cases Thursday bringing their total to 2,095. Champaign County 47 new cases bringing their total to 2,509. Livingston County 4 new cases bringing their total to 224. Vermilion County 12 new cases bringing their total to  356. Iroquois County 5 new cases bringing their total to 350. Kankakee County 35 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 2,387 and total deaths to 68. Ford County reported no new cases leaving their total at 110.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State public health officials urge caution over the Labor Day weekend, even if you’re just getting together with family. Not to put a damper on your weekend plans, but State Public Health Assistant Director Dr Amaal Tokars (toe-cars) says you need to continue to take the Coronavirus seriously, even around family…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Assistant Director Dr Amaal Tokars. I-D-P-H has found outbreaks occurring after some extended family gatherings, where not everyone has been in close contact with each other during the pandemic.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is announcing all non emergency road construction lane closures will reopen this afternoon for the Labor Day holiday weekend. Some construction projects that will have lane closures include Mattis Avenue over I-57 and I-74 in Champaign and I-74 near St. Joseph. The reopening will begin about 3pm and last until Monday night.

 

 

(St. Joseph-jm) -- A St. Joseph veteran will be honored in an event over the Labor Day weekend. Sergeant Dustin Leemon served in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Leemon will be honored on September 6th at 6pm at the St. Joseph Sports Complex Veterans Memorial plaza.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- If you are struggling to pay your mortgage because of the Coronavirus pandemic, help is on the way. The state is launching a mortgage assistance program says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for a shooting in Champaign last fall. 21 year old Jabari Morris pleaded guilty in Champaign County court to aggravated battery with a firearm. Police say Morris and the victim got into an argument with the victim on October 19th when he pulled out a gun and shot the victim in the leg.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton bank is getting an upgrade. The Frederick Community Bank announced they are adding a drive up ATM at their drive thru facility.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- We are a week away from some major USDA crop reports and forecasts. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

The Ford County Republicans will be hosting a Trump Road Rally on Saturday, September 5th starting at 10 am at the Ford County courthouse in Paxton. All vehicles are welcome. You are encouraged to decorate your vehicle to show your patriotism. The cruise will leave Paxton then follow a route through Elliott, Gibson City, Sibley, Melvin, Roberts, Piper City, Stelle, Kepton and Cabery. If you are not able to join in the cruise, then venture out and wave as they go by.


 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting Loda Lutheran Church on Saturday, September 5th from 10-2.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s unclear when the Illinois House special investigative committee into House Speaker Michael Madigan will first meet, or if they'll take any final action before the 101st General Assembly finishes its term in mid-January, but state Rep. Tom Demmer says there’s sufficient time for the committee to perform its role. Demmer said the investigative committee could produce a report of whether charges are warranted. That could then be forwarded to a select committee on discipline which could then put forward a resolution of censure or expulsion, or not take any action.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois State Police are reminding motorists to not hang their mask from their mirrors. State police say not only is it a distraction for the driver but it is also illegal and can result in a fine of up to $164.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Cover crops can help keep the soil healthy and now it could provide a discount on a farmer’s crop insurance premium. The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced eligible applicants can get a $5 per acre discount on the following year’s crop insurance invoice for every acre enrolled in a verified program. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Expect to see more police out on the roads this holiday weekend. State and local police are boosting patrols as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign.” ISP Trooper Josh Korando (co-ron-doe) says it’s simple: if you plan to drink, plan how to get home...

 

 

Illinois State Police Trooper Josh Korando. Police will also be on the lookout for speeders, distracted drivers and those not buckled up.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,360 new Coronavirus cases Thursday and 25 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 240,003 and deaths to 8,115. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County is reporting 1,160 have recovered, 911 are in isolation, 8 are hospitalized including 3 in the ICU. Champaign County is reporting 1,893 have recovered, 596 cases are active including 3 hospitalized. Livingston County is reporting 177 have been removed from isolation, 43 cases are active and 1 is hospitalized. Vermilion County is reporting 300 have been released, 49 remain in isolation and 3 are hospitalized. Iroquois County is reporting 292 have been released, 38 are in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Kankakee County is reporting 1,615 have recovered, 704 cases are active and 7 are hospitalized. Ford County is reporting 95 have been released from isolation, 11 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is reminding Illinoisans they only have a few weeks left to participate in the 2020 U-S Census. An accurate count of all Illinoisans will help ensure Illinois gets its fair share of federal funding for schools, roads and more says the Governor. He urges everyone to get it done…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Fill out the census form at: my 2020 census dot gov.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College’s Automotive program has received a special gift. The program received a 2017 Mercedes Benz from the company. The car will be used for the automotive program for students to train and learn on.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton Buckley Loda High School student has come down with COVID-19. The district announced Thursday they were notified the student had tested positive the day before and was not at school yesterday. This is the 3rd PBL student to contract COVID so far this school year.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting Distracted Driving Enforcement patrols in September. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s Office has released their August activity numbers. During the month of August deputies responded to 5 traffic accidents and issued 14 traffic citations including 7 for speeding, 2 each for disobeying a traffic control device and illegal transportation of alcohol and 1 each for operating an uninsured motor vehicle, no seatbelt and squealing tires. Deputies also handled 10 domestic issues, 5 each for suspicious activity, suicidal subjects and burglary, 4 each for damage to property, abuse and harassment, 3 each for missing person and sex offender failure to register and 2 each for a fight in progress, vandalism and theft.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- IF Bancorp, the parent company of Watseka-based Iroquois Federal, reported 4th quarter net income of $1.4 million or approximately 45 cents per share. The bank also reported revenues at $7.7 million which surpassed Wall Street expectations of $6.1 million. For the year, the company reported a profit of $4.2 million or $1.35 per share. Revenue for the year was reported at $23.1 million.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What's the biggest and most common goof that outdoor grilling enthusiasts are likely to make during this Labor Day weekend? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

On the Gas Promotions is hosting the Hoopeston Demolition Derby at McFerren Park on Sunday, September 6th starting at 5pm.

 

Governor J-B Pritzker says nine out of the state's 11 designated regions have seen an increase in COVID-19 test positivity rates

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,128 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday and 27 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 238,643 and deaths to 8,091. The seven day positivity rate also rose Wednesday to 4.5 percent. Locally, Vermilion County reported 8 new cases bringing their total number to 344. McLean County reported 158 new cases bringing their total to 1,996. Ford County reported 7 new cases and 1 new death bringing their total to 110 and total deaths to 3. Livingston County reported 22 new cases bringing their total to 220. Champaign County reported 138 new cases bringing their total to 2,462. Kankakee County reported 28 new cases bringing their total to 2,352. Iroquois County reported 10 new cases bringing their total to 345.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says nine out of the state’s 11 designated regions have seen an increase in COVID-19 test positivity rates. In four of those regions, the positivity rate has risen by more than a full percentage point. It’s not a good sign says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Only two regions, West Central and East Central Illinois have seen the positivity rate drop. The Metro East area and Will and Kankakee Counties are now under stricter mitigations such as no indoor dining or bar service because the rates there are over eight percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state of Illinois is getting $2.4 million from the federal government to combat unemployment insurance fraud. The taxpayer-funded grant from the Department of Labor covers the recently created unemployment programs as part of COVID-19 relief. More than 100,000 instances of alleged unemployment fraud were reported by the Pritzker administration last month.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois House has formed a special panel to investigate Speaker Michael Madigan, who has been implicated in a federal bribery probe. Republicans petitioned to form the committee this week, saying Wednesday that the House must “do its job and conduct a thorough investigation.” Republicans and some Democrats have called on Madigan to step down after federal prosecutors named him by title in a criminal investigation in which ComEd acknowledges engaging in bribery in the Capitol. Madigan has said he won’t step down.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Several utility companies in Illinois are coming together to extend the moratorium on residential disconnections. Nicor Gas, Northshore/Peoples Gas, Illinois American Water, Aqua Illinois, and Utility Services of Illinois are extending the moratorium through September 30, 2020. Ameren Illinois and ComEd will extend theirs through September 10, 2020.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Preparedness Month and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants families to be ready for anything. IEMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark says preparedness is more than just putting a few bottles of water and a flashlight, it’s also about planning…

 

 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. It’s recommended families have a weather radio, emergency kit and designated meeting spot. Clark says parents can get kids involved by practicing the emergency plan and including games or a favorite stuffed animal in the emergency kit.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois is cracking down on enforcement of Coronavirus guidelines. The campus has seen a spike in cases recently as a result of students not following guidelines of social distancing and wearing masks. In a massmail to students, campus leadership said if the trend continues they could end in person semester of learning.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The McLean County Public Health Department is reporting a batch of mosquitos has tested positive for the West Nile Virus. The health department says the mosquitoes were collected on the east side of Bloomington. 

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Coronavirus numbers continue to rise daily around the state. While the numbers may be high, 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says there are other numbers that should be used in making decisions…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County home sales soared in July to the highest in 14 years. According to the Champaign County Association of Realtors, home sales jumped 28.62 percent compared to a year ago. 364 homes sold last month compared to 283 in July 2019. That’s the most since 2007. The median price also rose from $156,800 to $167,525 up 6.84 percent. Average home sale prices rose double digits in July from $177,285 to $199,221, a 12.37 percent increase. The average number of days rose from 71 to 80.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is optimistic about agricultural trade with China. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,128 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday and 27 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 238,643 and deaths to 8,091. The seven day positivity rate also rose Wednesday to 4.5 percent. As for local active and recovered cases, Vermilion County is reporting 293 have been released from isolation, 46 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. McLean County is reporting 1,143 have recovered, 828 are in isolation, 9 are hospitalized and 3 are in the ICU. Ford County is reporting 95 have been released from isolation, 11 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. Livingston County is reporting 167 have been removed from isolation and 49 cases are active. Champaign County is reporting 1,893 have recovered, 549 cases are active and 2 are hospitalized. Kankakee County is reporting 1,593 have recovered, 692 cases are active and 6 are hospitalized. Iroquois County is reporting 286 have been released from isolation, 39 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Doctors are reminding that dining out and socially drinking are high risk activities during the pandemic. Getting together to share a meal and have a drink is an important part of our culture, says Dr Susan Bleasdale, an infectious disease expert with U-I Health. But she says those situations can be problematic…

 

 

UI Health Infectious Disease Expert Dr Susan Bleasdale. Bleasdale urges the public to be very careful in these settings. Precautions include opting for carry out, wearing a mask when possible, sitting at tables at least six feet apart from others and washing or sanitizing hands frequently.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With revenue shrinking amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois municipalities are mulling over budget cuts, including to emergency responders. The Peoria city council this week voted to cut two fire department engine companies, eliminating 22 jobs and that may not be enough as some city council members want to freeze all capital expenses currently not being spent. The city of Decatur is looking at numerous budget cuts, including shutting down its busiest fire station in the city, costing 27 firefighters their jobs. In Springfield, union wage hike freezes are needed, but eliminating positions has to be considered. The Illinois Municipal League recently released a survey showing a whopping 87 percent of communities face revenue shortfalls of 20-30 percent compared to last year. The survey included results from 227 municipalities across the state. Municipalities reported shortfalls across several categories that usually generate tax revenue, including sales taxes, gaming taxes, motor fuel taxes and income taxes.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Illinois was in dire financial straits before the pandemic-induced shutdowns ground the economy to a halt, but a new study said the state may have an option that would bring in $19 billion to pay off debt or invest in its crumbling infrastructure without doing so on taxpayers' backs.  The nonpartisan Reason Foundation found Illinois could net $19.4 billion by leasing the rights to nine state-owned toll roads.  Even though Illinois stands to make more than any other state Reason examined, it’s estimated the deal would pay down about 14 percent of Illinois' $136 billion in total pension liabilities. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The American Lung Association has big plans to end youth vaping for Illinois students, parents, and schools. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20% of high school students used e-cigarettes last year. The American Lung Association  is launching a public awareness campaign with the Ad Council called “Get Your Head Out of the Cloud." The campaign aims to provide parents with the facts about e-cigarettes and help support conversations with kids before they start to vape. The group also plans to work with lawmakers next year to pass legislation to add e-cigarettes to the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House and Senate lawmakers are taking a closer look at police officer training in Illinois. At a virtual hearing, legislators asked Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Director Brent Fischer about the initial hiring process, including drug testing and whether psychological tests are given. He says that’s up to local departments but that having  a statewide standard may be beneficial…

 

 

Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Director Brent Fischer. Lawmakers stressed the importance of getting more feedback from local law enforcement agencies about how well current training programs are working.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- An iconic piece of Rantoul history will be coming down later this month. The village was notified by the U-S Air Force they will begin dismantling the missile that sits on the west edge of the former Chanute Air Force Base September 15th. Chanute once housed training of the minuteman missile program. The village fought to keep the missile however, the Air Force refused and the missile will be scrapped.

 

 

(Rural Roberts-jm) -- Roberts and Melvin first responders were called to a single vehicle accident Wednesday evening. Emergency crews were called to the accident on Route 115 a couple miles south of Roberts. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting Nitetime Enforcement Patrols in early September. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- The Gifford Grade School budget looks to be in the black this fiscal year. The district estimates they will be in the black by just over $43,000. The district warns though they aren’t sure how much they will receive in state funding as well as the one percent county sales tax revenue because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Crop conditions in the Midwest are continuing to drop. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

The Illinois State Board of Education is revealing the guidelines for free and reduced-price meals

(Springfield-jm) -- Some Illinois road construction projects scheduled to be completed this year could be delayed until next year because of lower-than-anticipated gas tax revenues during the coronavirus pandemic. Transportation Secretary Omer Osman says the department will prioritize projects related to safety improvements. State officials say from March through June of this year gas tax revenues are down $82 million from the same period last year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education is revealing the guidelines for free and reduced-price meals. The guidelines are for the 2020-21 school year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will extend free meals until at least December 31, 2020. If families experience a change in income at any time during the school year, they can reapply for the free or reduced-price meals program by requesting a Household Eligibility Application from their child’s school.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Schools are back in session for the fall semester around the area despite the Coronavirus pandemic. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says many district leaders around the state had several questions and frustrations about reopening…


 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has over 235,000 COVID cases. Locally, since Friday, McLean County is reporting 395 new cases bringing their total to 1,767. Champaign County is reporting 164 new cases bringing their total to 2,369. Vermilion County is reporting 12 new cases bringing their total to 330. Kankakee County is reporting 58 new cases bringing their total to 2,303. Ford County is reporting 2 new cases bringing their total to 103. Iroquois County is reporting 15 new cases bringing their total to 336. Livingston County is reporting 12 new cases bringing their total to 193.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois corn and soybean crops are progressing ahead of the five year average for the most part. 97 percent of soybeans are setting pods, compared to 94 percent normally. 72 percent is rated in good to excellent condition. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener turns to corn…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The third cutting of alfalfa is now 84 percent complete, and average statewide topsoil moisture declined to 12 percent very short, 40 percent short and 48 percent adequate.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Eastern Illinois Foodbank has received a $417,000 grant from the Feeding America COVID Response Fund. The money will be used to purchase a new food distribution truck and expand food inventory to include more culturally-diverse choices.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton city property committee will meet tonight at 6pm. The committee will discuss contracts to replace the city storage building destroyed by fire earlier this summer. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Last week felt summer like with temperatures in the upper 80s and low 90’s however, the weekend felt more fall like. State Climatologist Trent Ford has a look ahead into the first two weeks of September…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- Parking changes along Route 45 in Buckley could be coming. The village is considering adding handicap and 15 minute parking signs along the route. The signs must be approved by the state. The village will take up the issue at their September meeting.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A retention pond will not be coming to Coady Park or at least not for now. The park district tabled the idea at their August meeting. They could take up the issue again in September.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security has submitted its application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for federal Lost Wage Assistance funds. Under the new federal program, people who are unemployed due to COVID-19 may be eligible to receive $300 per week in addition to their weekly benefit amount. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- When the coronavirus pandemic hit Illinois, state officials scrambled to buy scarce gear like protective gowns and masks and lifesaving patient ventilators. Governor  J.B. Pritzker pledged to be on the lookout for price-gouging and to report it to Attorney General Kwame Raoul. But in response to an Associated Press records request, the administration hasn’t made any reports. Raoul’s office has received 1,800 price-gouging consumer complaints but has no summary of actions taken because of staff working remotely.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is expressing his frustration over the U-S Postal Services delay in mail delivery. The Governor was recently asked about the potential delay in mail delivery due to budget issues and whether it would impact the state’s efforts to implement mail in voting due to the Coronavirus pandemic…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 1,668 new cases of Coronavirus and 7 additional deaths Monday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 235,023 and 8,026 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County is reporting 907 have recovered, 840 are in isolation, 4 are hospitalized and 1 is in the ICU. In Champaign County, 1,845 have recovered, 504 cases are active and 2 are hospitalized. In Vermilion County, 289 have been released, 36 are in isolation and 2 are hospitalized. In Kankakee County, 1,544 have recovered, 692 cases are active and 13 are hospitalized. In Ford County, 96 have been released and 5 are in isolation. In Iroquois County, 282 have been released, 34 remain in isolation and 1 is hospitalized. In Livingston County, 156 have been removed from isolation and 33 cases are active.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois corn and soybean crops are progressing ahead of the five year average for the most part. 71 percent of corn is in the dent stage or beyond and 12 percent is mature. 70 percent of the corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Now for soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Conditions this past week were drier, with average statewide topsoil moisture dropping to 12 percent very short, 40 percent short and 48 percent adequate.

 

 

(St. Joseph-jm) -- The village of St. Joseph is once again looking at adding a village administrator. The village has been considering hiring a village administrator for several years. The village administrator would run day to day operations of the village.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- The Thomasboro Grade School District is facing a $126,309 deficit this fiscal year. The numbers however, showed deficits in more than one fund. Normally, the district runs a slight deficit in the education fund, however, this year there is also a deficit in the operations and maintenance fund as well as the transportation fund.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A new area code will be coming to the area. In updating our earlier stories, 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett explains the new area code coming to the 217…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Forbes has named OSF Healthcare one of America’s Best in State employers. The hospital group says they employee nearly 24,000 at 145 locations and 14 hospitals.

 

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- Ludlow village trustees are going through and updating village ordinances and codes however, there are a couple issues they aren’t sure how to address. One issue is should billing for garbage be added to resident’s water bills. Another is how long should the village allow camping trailers to sit on private property and should permits be required to do so. The village hopes to address these issues at their September meeting.

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