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WPXN Blog Archives for 2020-11

Several lawmakers are calling on Governor J-B Pritzker to call the General Assembly back to Springfield

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report puts the cost and condition of Illinois’ state-run roads near the worst in the country. The 25th Annual Highway Report, compiled by The Reason Foundation, looks at state highways in 13 different categories, including pavement condition, traffic congestion, structurally deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, and spending per mile. The organization placed Illinois at 37th overall, behind all neighboring states, including second-ranked Missouri. Illinois ranks 32nd in structurally deficient bridges, 32nd in urban interstate pavement condition, and 42nd in capital and bridge costs per mile. Its worst category performance was traffic congestion, ranking 49th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The coronavirus has extinguished some traditional holiday cheer at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield. There will be no Christmas tree nor any holiday displays inside or outside the building. Lights on the Capitol dome won’t be used for the second consecutive year. Engineers have recommended that an observation deck, which is used to anchor the lights, be fortified. The giant artificial tree in the rotunda will also not be put up this year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- If you think you were exposed to COVID-19 over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Illinois Department of Public Health recommends waiting a week before getting tested. Got together with people outside your home over the holiday and fear you may have been infected? It won’t help to get tested right away says State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says you should go ahead and get tested if you start to show symptoms earlier.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois now has over 720 thousand Coronavirus cases and over 12 thousand Coronavirus related deaths since the pandemic began. We will bring you the latest numbers on our news at 4 and 5.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce says they are seeing an influx of out of town shoppers. President Alan Meyer says the many unique businesses in town bring people from all over…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton welcomed in the Christmas season Friday night with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree at the intersection of Market and State. The blue spruce was donated by Mike and Maria Light. Santa and Frosty the Snowman made an appearance as well.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Santa made an appearance around Ford County Saturday. Santa started the day in Paxton and made stops in Elliott, Gibson City, Sibley, Melvin, Roberts, Piper City, Kempton and Cabery. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Several lawmakers are calling on Governor J-B Pritzker to call the General Assembly back to Springfield. The fall veto session was canceled because of the Coronavirus pandemic but 101st District State Representative Dan Caulkins says they want to be at the capitol…

 

 

101st District State Representative Dan Caulkins of Decatur. 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The body of a Watseka soldier returned home Friday. Sergeant Jeremy Sherman was killed in a helicopter accident in Egypt. A plane carrying his body landed at Midway Airport where a motorcade escorted him down I-57 to Gilman and across on Route 24 to Knapp Funeral Home in Watseka. People lined the streets with flags in his honor.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA has a new projection for U.S. agricultural product sales to China during this new 2021 fiscal year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new look at Illinois’ manufacturing industry over the last decade shows that, since 1999, the state has shed one out of every three jobs. That’s far more severe than the national number of one in 4. The report, conducted by Smartest Dollar, looked at Census data on manufacturing sector employment since the turn of the century. It found that the nation’s manufacturing jobs had decreased not only because of outsourcing to countries with lower labor costs but also because the jobs themselves had become more efficient.  The Chicago area accounts for the lion’s share of manufacturing jobs in Illinois, particularly in the automotive industry. In 1999, the metropolitan area supported 648,600 jobs. In 2019, the number had dwindled to 419,500. That’s a reduction of more than 35%. The results are even more pronounced when measuring losses from the recession to last year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, led a coalition of 46 attorneys general in announcing a $17.5 million-dollar settlement with The Home Depot. The settlement resolves a multistate investigation of a 2014 data breach, which exposed the payment card information of approximately 40 million Home Depot consumers nationwide. Illinois will receive more than $1.3 million. The breach occurred when hackers gained access to The Home Depot’s network and deployed malware that enabled them for a period of time to obtain the payment card information of Home Depot customers who used self-checkout lanes at Home Depot stores throughout the U.S. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting how Gibson City will ring in the Christmas holiday season. The typical lighted Christmas parade is off for this year, however, a static light display of floats will take place at North Park on December 10th and 11th from 5 to 9 pm. Spokesperson Susie Tongate says kids can also bring letters for Santa…

 

 

Gibson City Christmas Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- Mahomet firefighters are investigating a garage fire over the weekend. The fire happened near the 1200 block of Partridge Court around 10:50. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The village of Roberts is hosting a house decorating contest. The deadline to submit to be apart of the contest is today. Voting will take place until December 20th. To sign up email mavaughan76 at hotmail dot com.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Several lawmakers are calling on Governor J-B Pritzker to call the General Assembly back to Springfield. The fall veto session was canceled because of the pandemic however, 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there are several issues from the Coronavirus pandemic to reforms that need to be discussed…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A local paramedic has died after contracting Coronavirus. Don Dodson worked for Pro Ambulance before joining Carle’s Arrow ambulance both of which are based in Urbana. Thursday, a procession of emergency vehicles escorted Dodson from Urbana to a funeral home in Watseka.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Looking forward to the coming winter, what are some safe bets in terms of weather expectations for the nation? Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

Illinois Federation of Teachers is calling on the state to make remote learning the norm for the foreseeable future

(Springfield-jm) -- Beginning Today, driver services facilities across Illinois will be closed to the public for walk-in service. The shutdown will be for three weeks. Secretary of State Jesse White’s office said employees will still be paid with some drive-up services available. In-person CDL certification at various locations will continue.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois’ 73 adult-use cannabis stores sold more than $75.2 million of pot in October. That brings the total amount sold since January to more than half a billion dollars. For the sales taxes from adult-use cannabis remitted to the state in October, the state brought in $21 million, nearly a million more than the month before, for a total of more than $127 million.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With COVID-19 well into its second wave, the Illinois Federation of Teachers is calling on the state to make remote learning the norm for the foreseeable future. The IFT thinks a set plan from the governor for all 852 school districts is exactly what they need. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says there’s “Real Hope” for widespread distribution of a Coronavirus vaccine by the spring. The nation will be battling COVID-19 for the next few months, but the Governor says there is a light at the end of the tunnel. He notes recent announcements of promising vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. In the meantime, Governor Pritzker says everyone must do what they can to slow the spread of the virus and to ensure as many people as possible are around to receive the vaccine.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 11,632 new Coronavirus cases Monday and 37 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 585,248 and deaths to 10,779. Locally since Friday, Champaign County reported 469 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 8,184. McLean County reported 507 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 6,723 and deaths to 45. Iroquois County reported 113 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases 1,186 and deaths to 25.  Vermilion County reported 114 new cases bringing their total to 2,267. Livingston County reported 160 new cases to 1,651. Kankakee County reported 754 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 6,722 and deaths to 88. Ford County reported no new cases.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for their annual bag sale. The bag sale starts this weekend says Chamber President Alan Meyer…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County residents may be eligible to receive financial relief to help pay the bills amid the pandemic. The Champaign County Regional Planning Commission is accepting more applications for the CSBG COVID-19 Relief Program. This program is available to Champaign County households that have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, resulting in past-due rent, mortgage, sewer, or water bill payments. Applications are due by November 30th at 1pm.

 

 

(Charleston-jm) -- Eastern Illinois University students won't return to campus for classes after the Thanksgiving holiday break. EIU will be moving to online-only learning after the break and for the remainder of the fall semester. 

 

 

(Watseka-cf)-- The Watseka Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their annual Christmas Parade this year. If you would like to enter this years parade, Watseka Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Amanda Hibbs has the details… 

 

 

Watseka Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Amanda Hibbs. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent activity report. On November 13th, no injuries were reported and no tickets issued after a two vehicle accident in the 300 block of S. Market. On November 12th, Amy Martin of Rantoul was ticketed for failure to yield and operating an uninsured motor vehicle following a two vehicle accident at Market and Pells. On November 11th Benjamin Mason of Paxton was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and ticketed for illegal possession of adult use cannabis, leaving the scene of an accident, disobeying a stop sign following a traffic accident at Pells and Spring.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvest is now complete in Illinois. There were five days suitable for fieldwork this past week with temperatures more than six degrees above normal and rainfall a little more than usual. Harvesting is now done so State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at the winter wheat crop…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 10 percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

(Springfield-jm) -- A judge ruled in favor of Governor J-B Pritzker in recent lawsuits against the governor. Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grishow upheld the latest ruling on the lawsuits, stating Pritzker had the authority to issue his executive orders regarding COVID-19. Additionally, Grishow ruled that schools are not exempt from the state's coronavirus mitigations.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is seeking “tax adjustments” for businesses to bring more revenue into state coffers, following months of stay-at-home orders, continued COVID-19 mitigation and a failed progressive income tax proposal. A five-year budget forecast has the state’s current spending plan nearly $4 billion out of balance. It projects continued deficits in future years. Aside from seeking to close “loopholes,” the administration said it will continue to push for federal aid.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois residents can shop for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment will run through Tuesday, December 15th. The Illinois Department of Insurance said 179 plans are being offered by eight carriers.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise in Illinois, Governor J-B Pritzker is urging everyone to stay home as much as possible. The number of Coronavirus patients in the hospital has increased by 260 percent over the past month and a half. So the message is simple, says Governor Pritzker: stay home if you can and wear a mask if you go out…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says Illinois is averaging about 52 hundred COVID patients in the hospital each day, and that the number of hospitalizations has risen 70 percent in just the last two weeks.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has 585,248 Coronavirus cases and 10,779 deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, Champaign County reported 7,373 have recovered, 772 are in isolation and 12 are hospitalized. McLean County reported 5,119 have recovered, 1,544 are in isolation and 15 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 664 have been released from isolation, 482 are in isolation and 15 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,916 have been released from isolation, 295 are in isolation and 29 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 1,191 have been removed from isolation and 445 cases are active. Kankakee County reported 3,318 have recovered, 3,316 cases are active and 86 are hospitalized. Ford County had no report.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will ring in the Christmas holiday season a little differently this year. Spokesperson Susie Tongate talks about some of the changes…

 

 

Gibson City Christmas Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Police Department received a report of an alleged extortion scheme. Police say a student told them he engaged in a consensual sexual act via the internet with a person he had met online. The sexual act was allegedly recorded without the student's knowledge, and the offender threatened to share the video with the student's family and friends unless they received payment.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Economic development opportunities are booming in the village of Rantoul. The new $20 million sports complex on the village’s west side is expected to bring new restaurants, hotels and businesses to the village. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower says there is a lot of economic interests in the village…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Danville Area Community College will be offering an EMT course starting in January. The training, Thursdays from 6-10 pm, will run January 1st  through May 27th. Cost is $750. For more details or to sign up, call 217-443-8777.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvest is now complete in Illinois. With five days suitable for fieldwork, farmers were able to finish up harvesting. All of the winter wheat crop has been planted and 92 percent emerged. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says wheat declined slightly to 66 percent in good to excellent condition. Additionally…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Temperatures were nearly six degrees above average this past week and rainfall was slightly up, leaving average statewide topsoil moisture at 10 percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing that all driver's services facilities will be closed for a few weeks

(Springfield-jm) -- Independent analysis of COVID-19 data in Illinois by Wirepoints shows the death rate plummeted from nearly 5 percent to 0.9 percent and is clearly more deadly for people of advanced age. Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski said the data also shows the state is failing to control the virus in nursing homes where nearly half the deaths continue to occur eight months into the pandemic.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing that all driver’s services facilities will be closed for a few weeks. As a precaution during the pandemic, the facilities will close Tuesday the 17th and then reopen December 7th says Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. Haupt reminds there are things you can take care of online at: cyber drive illinois dot com, such as renewing your vehicle registration. Additionally, the expiration date for state driver’s licenses and ID cards has been extended to June 1st of next year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois has the second-worst recovery of unemployment in the nation. Consumer finance website WalletHub said despite the U.S. dealing with an uptick of COVID-19 cases, new unemployment claims decreased from the week before nationwide. Illinois saw a decrease of new filings by 2,800, but still saw more than 70,000 initial unemployment claims last week. All neighboring states have among the best recovery, with Kentucky ranked 7th best.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is extending the ban on evictions in Illinois, but with some restrictions. The eviction moratorium will last another 30 days, but will only apply to renters who really need the help says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Renters will have to submit a declaration to their landlord, saying they can’t pay because of loss of income due to COVID-19. That form will be available online at: ihda dot org.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A soldier from Watseka has been identified as one of five U-S service members killed in a helicopter crash in Egypt last week. Army Sergeant Jeremy Sherman was on a peacekeeping mission in the Sinai Peninsula when their helicopter crashed. Sherman was a graduate of Watseka High School.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Parkland College Foundation is announcing they are accepting scholarship applications for Spring 2021. Applications are due by 5pm today. 

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The Paxton- Buckley-Loda FFA Chamber is accepting donations through this Tuesday. They are accepting small items that can fit into shoe boxes. PBL FFA Members Hope Watts has the details… 

 

 

PBL FFA Member Hope Watts.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area school boards meet tonight. The Fisher School Board meets at 630 where they will discuss their tax levy, district report card and the CEO program. At 7 the Mahomet Seymour school board will meet where they will discuss their tax levy and hear an update on the COVID situation within their district. The Fisher School Board meeting gets underway at 6:30 with the Mahomet Seymour School Board meeting getting underway at 7.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Local health officials are raising red flags after a recent surge in Coronavirus cases. Cases have risen significantly not just locally but around the state and even the country. Champaign Urbana Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde says the pandemic will likely get worse this winter…

 

 

Champaign Urbana Public Health Administrator Julie Pryde.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A historic building on the University of Illinois campus will be getting a makeover. Altgeld and Illini Halls will undergo a massive $200 million renovation. Illini Hall will be torn down in summer 2021 with Altgeld renovations expected to start in the fall of 2021. Both projects are expected to be completed by 2026.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker said those who ask questions about his metrics to drive public policy are fueling “conspiracy theories.” All 11 regions of the state are under enhanced mitigations and the Governor has threatened to implement another stay at home order.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As part of the state’s “Rebuild Illinois” program, downstate communities are receiving $112 million in grants for transit needs. 31 downstate transit providers are receiving the funds says Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Wappel says for many people, transit services can be a lifeline for them to get to work, school or the doctor’s office.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker is still stopping short of calling a special session. The governor acknowledged his power to bring lawmakers back to deal with issues, but said with the COVID-19 concerns some lawmakers raised in canceling the fall session, even calling a special session doesn’t mean they’ll come back. The Illinois constitution requires lawmakers to meet if the governor calls a special session.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is launching a new campaign to promote healthy ways to celebrate the holidays this year. “Healthy Holidays to You” comes as the second wave of COVID-19 is hitting Illinois with a vengeance, and offers advice for the coming weeks says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The broadcast and social media campaign features quips such as decking the halls with sanitizer, masking before you mistletoe, and if you’re going to jingle, jingle six feet apart.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Those wanting to get tested for COVID can do so in Paxton this week. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced a free mobile testing site is coming to the Ford County Public Health Department in Paxton Friday from 8 to 4.

 

 

(Mahomet-cf)-- There is a Community Fund that was established in June of this year for the Village of Mahomet. There are plenty of places for families to get food, clothes and other resources in the community but not pay their bills. Spokers person for the fund Leah Wenger details why the fund was started… 

 

 

Spokesperson for the Mahomet Community Fund Leah Wenger. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several area school boards meet tonight. The Iroquois West school board meets at 7 where they will hear a presentation of their tax levy, discuss their FY 20 audit, hear their school report card from the state and discuss winter athletics. Also meeting tonight at 7 is the Tri-Point School board where they will discuss their tax levy, Ag department staffing and consider winter sports. The Iroquois West and Tri-Point school board meetings get underway at 7.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)-- The Parade of Lights that takes place in downtown Champaign will take place on Small Business Saturday this year, which is November 28. The Executive Director of the Champaign Center Partnership Xander Hazel has the details… 

 

 

Executive Director of the Champaign Center Partnership Xander Hazel.

 

 

(Pontiac-jm) -- The Livingston County Public Health Department is issuing a stern warning to businesses, employees and customers must wear masks and social distance. The health department sent a letter out giving all businesses their first warning and said they will be conducting compliance checks. They say any business repeatedly failing to comply could be fined.

 

Governor J-B Pritzker says if COVID-19 numbers don't improve, some sort of stay at home order may be enacted in the coming days

(Springfield-jm) -- Another 70,659 initial unemployment claims were filed last week. That’s down about 2,800 from the 73,500 initial claims filed the week before. The U.S. Department of Labor reports around 339,000 insured unemployed for the final week of October.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois lawmakers are calling for hearings on the state’s response to COVID-19. In a bipartisan virtual press conference, Senator Sue Rezin of Morris said there should be more transparency about why decisions are being made, and that legislators need to have a voice during the pandemic…

 

 

State Senator Sue Rezin of Morris. Rezin and her colleague Representative La Shawn Ford of Chicago are asking legislative leaders to set up the meetings. They say there are many concerns to discuss including extra restrictions on bars and restaurants, and the struggle between tenants who can’t afford to pay rent because of COVID and the landlords needing that income.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says if COVID-19 numbers don’t improve, some sort of stay at home order may be enacted in the coming days. As the number of new cases soars, the Department of Public Health has asked people to limit their activities and travel, and work from home if they can. Governor Pritzker says if we don’t get spread of the virus under control, a statewide mandate may be in order...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says since October 1st, there has been a 459 percent increase in Coronavirus cases and a 217 percent increase in deaths.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported another 12,702 cases and 43 deaths Thursday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 536,542 and deaths to 10,477. Locally, McLean County reported 421 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total cases to 6,096 and deaths to 42. Champaign County reported 414 new cases bringing their total to 7,558. Ford County reported 32 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 440 and deaths to 19. Kankakee County reported 355 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 5,722 and deaths to 86. Vermilion County reported 35 new cases bringing their total to 2,063. Livingston County reported 134 new cases and 1 new death bringing their total number of cases to 1,396 and deaths to 14. Iroquois County reported 86 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 1,014 and deaths to 22.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- We are months into the Coronavirus pandemic and while there has been some recent possible positive news about a vaccine, there’s been a significant rise in cases. With that significant rise in cases, most of the state is under enhanced mitigations to try and slow the spread of the virus. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington calls some of the Governor’s actions into question…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Schools in Champaign County will likely be going to remote learning. The health department announced Thursday they are encouraging districts to go remote as soon as possible and plan on remote learning into January. St. Joseph Community Schools and St. Joseph Ogden High School both announced they will go remote starting Monday. Rantoul City Schools will go fully remote on Tuesday. Rantoul Township High School announced they are working on plans to go fully remote as well. Thomasboro Grade School said the school board will discuss the issue at Tuesday nights meeting. Fisher, Mahomet Seymour, Gifford Grade School and Ludlow Grade School have not yet announced any plans. 

 

 

(Watseka-jm) --  A local bank raised money in the month of October to help children and families in need. Iroquois Federal employees participated in Jeans Day Donation every Friday during the month of October. Employees raised $1,325 which will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Family Sports Complex announced three new partnerships Thursday. One Nation Slow Pitch adult softball will host two weekends of tournaments in August. In April KAOS Sports Foundation will bring a U8 to U14 tackle football tournament. The third announcement is the National Softball Association will host their Senior Softball Tournament at the facility in August.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Board approved to enter into an agreement for a company to send out emergency alerts to those who sign up to receive them. The Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency recently announced the rollout of that program. Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci talks more about the program…

 

 

Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Seven positions will be up for election in the consolidated election in April in Gibson City. The positions include Mayor currently held by Dan Dickey, City Clerk currently held by Carla Moxley, Treasurer currently held by Scott Shull, Ward 1 Alderman currently held by Susie Tongate, Ward 2 Alderman currently held by Randy Wyant, Ward 3 Alderman currently held by Aaron Kafer and Ward 4 Alderman currently held by Dennis Pardick. All the positions are for 4 year terms.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. corn and soybean producers are seeing a major change in their market prospects. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Loda American Legion will host their fish and chicken fry tonight from 4 to 7:30.

 

The Rantoul American Legion Post 287 Auxiliary will host a drive to collect items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and shampoo to benefit the Danville VA on Saturday from 8 to noon in the Legion Parking lot.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting a cookout benefiting Rainbow Girls on Saturday from 10-2.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fitch Ratings Agency suggests Illinois could make taxpayers pay more to shore the budget up, a mantra Republicans say is tiring. The agency's report said there are narrow options for the state after voters rejected the progressive income tax and lawmakers could increase taxes. Republicans say they are tired of more borrowing and higher taxes and structural reforms are needed to shore up spending.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The National Donor Sabbath begins today, a time when faith leaders work to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation. The donor sabbath runs through the weekend, encouraging those in faith based communities to sign up to become a donor and dispelling some of the myths about donation. Secretary of State Jesse White says despite what some think, it does not go against most major religions and truly is an act of compassion and generosity…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. White notes that just one donor can give life or improve the lives of 25 other people. Sign up at: life goes on dot com.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported another 12,000 coronavirus cases and 43 deaths Thursday bringing the states total number of cases to 536,542 and deaths to 10,477. As for local active and recovered cases McLean County 4,738 have recovered, 1308 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 6,970 have recovered, 551 are in isolation and 7 hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 3,149 have recovered, 2487 cases are active and 55 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1779 have been released from isolation, 244 are in isolation and 23 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 1021 have been removed from isolation and 361 cases are active. Iroquois County reported 570 have been released from isolation, 407 remain in isolation and 13 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Work continues on the new Rantoul Family Sports Complex on the village's west side. Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower says they have received interests from restaurants and hotels wanting to come to the area…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- One area hospital is implementing visitor restrictions. Starting today, Carle Hospital is implementing visitor and support person restrictions at all of their facilities. No visitors will be allowed in the hospital unless they are a support person for someone underage or with a disability. Visitors will also be allowed for end of life situations.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The University of Illinois System announced its Board of Trustees has approved a budget of $6.74 billion for fiscal year 2021. The budget also includes $628.6 million in state appropriations, which is unchanged from fiscal year 2020. Additionally, it will provide $402.6 million in scholarships and financial aid, an increase of 20.4 percent. Officials said the budget for the fiscal year that runs through June 2021 is down 3.3 percent from last year's budget of $6.97 billion. The U of I System projects it will incur more than $270 million in negative impacts during the fiscal year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The recent warm and dry weather has fueled further drought conditions across the area. The latest drought monitor issued Thursday shows all of Champaign, most of Vermilion, all but the northwestern corner of Iroquois and the southeastern portion of Ford County in moderate drought. The rest of the area is in the abnormally dry category.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton senior living facility is doing a Thanksgiving food drive. Accolade Paxton Senior Living is doing the food drive for the second year in a row, collecting donations to give to area schools. Spokesperson Laura Hicks talks about the donations they are looking for…

 

 

Accolade Paxton Senior Living Thanksgiving food drive Spokesperson Laura Hicks. The last day they are taking donations is November 15th. They can be dropped off at their facility at 450 E. Fulton between the hours of 8 and 4.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is urging people to shop local for the holiday season. Senator Bennett says small businesses play a vital role in the community. He says you can support them through online sales, carryout or curbside service or by buying gift cards.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA is projecting smaller than expected production and stocks and higher than expected prices. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Genealogical Society will host a soup-erstistic supper tonight from 4-7 pm.

 

The Gilman Women’s Club will host the 5k Raider Run/Walk on Saturdayat Iroquois West High School.

 

St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Woodworth will host their drive thru fish fry on Saturday starting at 11 am. Cost is a free will donation.

 

It's another record setting day for new COVID-19 cases in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s another record setting day for new COVID-19 cases in Illinois. The state Department of Public Health is reporting 12,657 new infections and 145 additional deaths. That’s the highest daily death toll since the end of May. Governor J-B Pritzker says the situation is very serious and that more restrictions may come…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Public health officials recommend working from home if possible and only participating in essential activities for the next three weeks, as well as limiting travel and gatherings. No local case numbers were reported Wednesday because of the Veterans Day holiday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  It's no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted education. The Illinois Education Association now says COVID-19 has a third of Illinois teachers looking to leave the profession. The group says this comes as safety concerns and stress are on the rise while many schools are already dealing with teacher shortages. More than 1,300 members were polled on several issues including their experiences with the start of the school year, how the pandemic has affected their plans to be a teacher and if their workload increased. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The pandemic left hundreds of thousands of people unemployed, so, of course, there is going to be a lot of calls into the Illinois Department of Employment Security. However, this year, the number of inbound calls is more than 15 times higher than last year. From Jan. 1, 2019, to Oct. 13, 2019, IDES took 5,583,184 inbound calls. In the same time frame in 2020, the number skyrocketed to 86,207,724.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says he’s disappointed the fall legislative veto session has been cancelled. The House and Senate nixed the session due to concerns over COVID-19. Lawmakers don’t have any actual vetoes to consider, but the Governor says he would have liked them to meet…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says he will soon be convening the leaders to discuss the budget. The next time lawmakers are scheduled to be back at the capitol is in January for a short lame duck session before a new General Assembly is sworn in.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- Hoopeston police are investigating a burglary at a business. Police were called to Ross-Leemon Construction after an unknown person forced their way into a secured section of the property. Anyone with information is asked to call Hoopeston police.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Those looking to help a good cause can do so in Rantoul Saturday morning. The Rantoul American Legion Post 287 Auxiliary is accepting donations of toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo, body wash as well as snacks and hoodies to be donated to the Danville VA. The Auxiliary will be collecting the donations at their parking lot off of Route 45 on the villages north side from 8 am to noon.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The COVID pandemic has brought Paxton’s streetscape project to a halt. Mayor Bill Ingold provides an update on the project…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Will the Panthers of Paxton-Buckley-Loda be on the hardwood this winter? That is a question PBL school board members will decide at tonight’s school board meeting. In addition, the district will discuss their e-learning plan with a public hearing prior to the start of the regular meeting, hear the districts report card from the state and consider approving their FY 21 budget. The PBL School Board meeting gets underway at 6pm.

 

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- District 10 Illinois State Police in Pesotum is increasing their patrols leading up to Thanksgiving. WPXN’s Jason Madden has those details…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Supreme Court is announcing a vacancy in the 11th Judicial Circuit, which covers part of the WPXN area. The vacancy comes with the retirement of Judge Scott Prazewski at the end of the year. The 11th Judicial Circuit covers Ford, Livingston, McLean, Logan and Woodford Counties.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- November is Adoption Awareness Month in Illinois. The theme for this year is What’s Your Connection? The Department of Children and Family Services is encouraging those who have been in the system or helped through adoption to share their stories. Over 18,000 youth are in the system in Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- After events that have taken place this year involving police, the process to become a law enforcement professional has come under fire in Illinois and across the nation. In Illinois, officials are discussing a switch from certification to licensing officers. The Senate Criminal Law and Special Committee on Public Safety held a hearing this week regarding the idea. However, there is some hesitation among law enforcement to make this change.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The long awaited new, state of the art Chicago Veterans Home is opening. The project has been years in the making and will eventually house 200 Illinois veterans says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The five story facility is 187 thousand square feet, and includes sections specifically focusing on dementia care. Officials say it will be opening gradually, starting with about 25 residents.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett is teaming up with Walgreens to provide flu clinics in the area. The next one will take place today at the Hap Parker Aquatic Center in Rantoul. The flu clinic runs from 3-6 pm.

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- The Mahomet Seymour FFA Chapter is holding a Thanksgiving canned food drive Saturday. The chapter is accepting donations of canned yams, instant potatoes, canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup, canned corn, jarred turkey gravy, dinner rolls and pies. Those wanting to donate can drop them off in the north parking lot from 10 to 11 am Saturday. The chapter donations will go towards Mom’s Pantry Holiday Basket food drive.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- If you would like to donate toys or make a monetary donation to the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign Counties Holiday Bureau, director Andy Kulyzcki has the details… 

 

 

Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- Fisher village board members will consider several projects at tonights village board meeting. Trustees will be asked to approve an engineering and design agreement for the N. First St. project, consider a pedestrian bridge on Sangamon St and consider a softball field project. The Fisher village board meeting gets underway at 6.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Will there be a change in Speaker of the House in the Illinois General Assembly? That is a question lawmakers will face before the new session begins in January. Current Speaker Mike Madigan was implicated in a bribery scheme and that has caused some Democrats to back away from the powerful speaker. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says he thinks Madigan will have a harder time getting re-elected to the top spot this time…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton police have released their recent enforcement activity. On November 8th, Devin Holt of Paxton was arrested following a domestic issue. On November 7th, a stop sign at Patton and Market was struck by an unknown vehicle. On November 6th, a hit and run was reported at Accolade on Pells in Paxton.

The Illinois General Assembly fall veto session has been canceled

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly fall veto session has been canceled. Officials with the Illinois General Assembly said a "COVID tsunami" prompted the veto session's cancelation. The session was scheduled to begin November 17th.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A proposed rule from the Illinois State Board of Education to have Illinois teachers vow they’ll encourage progressive views is unconstitutional and discriminatory, according to the Pro-Family Alliance and the Thomas More Society. The groups say the rule requires people to affirm ideologies they may not agree with and the rule should be dropped entirely.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- How did corn, soybean, and cotton production forecasts and price estimates fare in USDA's November reports? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported an additional 12,623 cases and 79 deaths Wednesday bringing the state’s total number to 511,183 and deaths to 10,289. Locally, McLean County reported 167 new cases bringing their total to 5,675. Ford County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 408. Champaign County reported 15 new cases and 5 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 7,144 and deaths to 37. Vermilion County reported 58 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 1,983 and deaths to 17. Iroquois County reported 50 new cases bringing their total to 929. Livingston County reported 109 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 1,262 and deaths to 13. Kankakee County reported 202 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 5,367 and deaths to 85.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A non-partisan group of lawmakers have released a report on the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s handling of the unemployment crisis following the Coronavirus pandemic. State Representative Tom Bennett discusses the findings…

 

 

State Representative Tom Bennett. Representative Bennett says he along with several other members of the General Assembly have called for public hearings on the issue.

 

 

(Rural Paxton-jm) -- Firefighters from Paxton and Rankin were called to rescue a person stuck in a grain bin Tuesday afternoon. Firefighters received the call just about 3:15 at 200 N 2526 E.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- There is a vacancy on the Paxton City Council. Kammy Johnson Anderson resigned at last night’s city council meeting effective at the end of the month. Johnson Anderson cited becoming Ford County’s new circuit clerk as the reason for her resignation.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County residents have another option when it comes to receiving emergency alerts. The county entered an agreement with a company to provide community and emergency alerts. Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci has how you can sign up…

 

 

Iroquois County EMA Director Eric Ceci.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Good news for drivers: gas prices dropped over the last week. Getting gas is now 2.6 cents cheaper. According to GasBuddy, a gallon costs an average of $2.11. That’s more than $.06 cheaper than last month, and it’s down $.35 from this time last year. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The election may be over but one race in Champaign County has yet to be determined. Ballots continue to be counted for the circuit clerk. Currently, democrat Susan Mcgarth has a slight lead over incumbent republican Katie Blakeman. The county clerk’s office is urging people to double-check that their ballots were counted.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is joining a multi-state effort to lower veteran suicide rates. The state is joining the nationwide “Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide.” That includes putting two million dollars towards the initiative for mental health and suicide prevention programs says Illinois Department of Human Services Spokesperson Marisa Kollias…

 

 

Illinois Department of Human Services Spokesperson Marisa Kollias. In 2019, suicide was the 12th leading cause of death overall, but the third leading cause of death for those age one to 24.

(Springfield-jm) -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will offer free admission to veterans today. For those interested, the museum asks that you bring military identification. All visitors must wear face coverings and go through a brief COVID-19 screening before entering.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state of Illinois is seeking a private company to help distribute a possible COVID-19 vaccine. In a procurement announcement, the Illinois Department of Public Health said it hopes to award a contract by the end of the month. It’s unclear how much such a contract would cost.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- This week's new USDA corn and soybean crop estimates turned out to be surprisingly low. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois now has more than half a million confirmed Coronavirus cases after the state reported another 12,623 cases. The state also reported another 79 deaths including 5 new in Champaign County, 2 new in Vermilion County, 1 new in Livingston County and 3 new in Kankakee County. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 4,590 have recovered, 1,034 are in isolation and 10 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 6,757 have recovered, 350 are in isolation and 7 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,730 have been removed from isolation, 213 remain in isolation and 27 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 558 have been released from isolation, 340 remain in isolation and 10 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 934 have been removed from isolation and 315 cases are active. Kankakee County reported 3,096 have recovered, 1,976 cases are active and 59 are hospitalized.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)--If you want to get registered for the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County’s Holiday Bureau, it must be done face to face. Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki has the details… 

 

 

Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City is announcing some changes to their leaf pickup program. The city says pickup has been delayed because of the pandemic along with working on some other projects. Crews will only make one pass starting on November 20th. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Skaters in Gibson City will be able to do so starting this weekend. The Ed Day skate park opens to the public Saturday. 

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum will be busy leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. WPXN’s Jason Madden details all the enforcement patrols…

 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The holidays are approaching, and FedEx is looking to hire more employees to help throughout the busy season. FedEx plans to hire more than 400 seasonal workers at its Ground facility in Champaign. The company is hiring package handlers. These part-time seasonal jobs may turn into full-time opportunities. Day and night shifts are available.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois is spearheading a $2 million project for cybersecurity. A team there is creating a cybersecurity education program for the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute. The program will teach people about the workforce to hopefully gain more momentum in the field. The team will research and develop an academic standard curriculum that will be implemented in colleges and schools across the nation. It will focus mainly on rural, minority, and gender inclusivity to build a more comprehensive and diverse workforce.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is urging struggling businesses to apply for Business Interruption Grants

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois saw more than $100 million in marijuana sales in October. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation says there was a record $75 million in recreational pot sales last month. Sales of medical marijuana totaled another $33 million. Illinois officials say the first 10 months of legal cannabis sales total more than $500 million, with about $300 million in medical pot sales.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is urging struggling businesses to apply for Business Interruption Grants. Plenty of money is still available in this second round of grants, which don’t need to be paid back says DCEO Director Erin Guthrie…

 

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Erin Guthrie. Guthrie says they are really focusing on getting more downstate, minority owned and agriculture businesses to apply in this round. It’s taking about two to three weeks for the department to process grant applications. Find out more at dceo dot illinois dot gov.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois topped another 10,000 new Coronavirus cases Monday bringing the state’s total to 498,560 and deaths to 10,210. Locally since Friday, McLean County reported 260 new cases bringing their total to 5,508. Champaign County reported 170 new cases bringing their total to 7,129. Vermilion County reported 71 new cases bringing their total to 1,925. Livingston County reported 177 new cases bringing their total to 1,153. Kankakee County reported 502 new cases bringing their total to 5,164. Ford County reported 71 new cases bringing their total to 396. Iroquois County reported 104 new cases bringing their total to 879.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As for case numbers in area communities per the Illinois Department of Public Health and local health departments since the start of the pandemic: 593 in Rantoul, 289 in Mahomet, 177 in Fairbury, 174 in Hoopeston, 164 in St. Joseph, 159 in Paxton, 125 in Watseka, 124 in Clifton, 119 in Gilman, 107 in Chebanse, 92 in Gibson City, 75 in Cissna Park, 69 in Fisher, 68 each in Piper City and Onarga, 63 in Forrest, 51 in Milford, 48 in Potomac, 35 in Chatsworth, 33 in Crescent City, 32 each in Thomasboro and Danforth, 30 in Loda, 28 in Gifford, 26 in Rankin, 25 in Donovan, 21 in Cabery, 19 in Sheldon, 18 each in Melvin and Beaverville, 17 each in Buckley and Martinton, 14 each in Roberts and Penfield, 11 each in Ludlow, Thawville, Foosland and Elliott, 10 in Strawn, 9  in Kempton and 8 each in Dewey and Cullom.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- According to the state, 10 school districts across the state have outbreaks in the schools. Locally, Central High School has an outbreak with between 5 and 10 cases involving students.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting is starting to wrap up as we hear in the weekly crop report. It was a warm, dry week in Illinois, giving farmers plenty of time in the fields says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 97 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 90 percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture decreased to six percent very short, 25 percent short, 67 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Gibson Area Hospital announced late Monday all Elite locations will be closed until at least December 1st. The hospital said the closure is for the health and safety of clients and staff.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Business owners who need assistance guiding through the public health recommendations have an option. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the Illinois Department of Labor is offering a free service for businesses owners…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. That website again is illinois dot gov slash work safe.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Paxton and Rantoul town councils meet tonight. In Rantoul, the Rantoul village board will meet at 6 to consider the purchase of a new front end loader, consider the village's tax levy and consider a local CURES program. At 7 tonight, the Paxton city council will consider a zoning change for Eastern Illini and consider amending some definitions for zoning codes. The Rantoul village board meeting gets underway at 6 and the Paxton city council meeting gets underway at 7.

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The PBL Education Foundation is currently hosting their annual fundraiser. The money raised goes to literacy programs, and this year still will, but it will also go to a new area. Pandemic relief.. 

 

 

PBL Education Foundation President Robin Neiwold. If you would like to donate you can do so at pbleducationfoundation.org 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton firefighters were called to a structure fire early Monday afternoon. Firefighters got the call at 90 N 2280 E just before 1. Ludlow, Loda and Gifford were called to assist. The structure was a total loss. No word on the cause of the fire.

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- Roberts is looking for a new ordinance officer. Janet Walker announced she is resigning at the end of the month. Those interested in the position can email village president Matt Vaughan at mavaughan76 at gmail dot com. You do not have to be a resident of Roberts to apply for the position.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Three members of the special investigative committee looking into allegations against House Speaker Michael Madigan are calling the actions of the committee into question, specifically those of Committee Chairman Representative Chris Welch. In the 71 days since the petition, the committee has only met twice and has heard from one voluntary witness. As of yesterday, no committee hearings scheduled for the foreseeable future.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Three regions of the state are about to be under even stricter COVID-19 mitigations. Regions 5, 7 and 8, which includes southern Illinois and Will, Kankakee, DuPage and Kane Counties will be subject to Tier 2 restrictions starting Wednesday says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The three regions join northwestern Illinois, which has been under Tier Two for a few weeks now. Governor Pritzker says statewide, the number of daily COVID cases has increased 380 percent since October 1st.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported 10,573 new cases Monday and 14 additional deaths. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 4,502 have recovered, 952 are in isolation and 13 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 6,679 have recovered, 420 are in isolation and 6 are hospitalized. Vermilion County reported 1,669 have been released from isolation, 220 are in isolation and 21 are hospitalized. Livingston County reported 905 have been removed from isolation and 236 cases are active. Kankakee County reported 3,035 have recovered, 2,027 cases are active and 48 are hospitalized. Iroquois County reported 551 have been released from isolation, 299 are in isolation and 8 are hospitalized. Ford County could not provide updated active and recovered information at this time.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Sadly several COVID related deaths were reported in the area over the weekend. McLean County added 2 new deaths bringing their total to 41. Champaign County added 3 new deaths bringing their total to 32. Vermilion County added 1 new death bringing their total to 15. Ford County had an additional death bringing their total to 17. Iroquois County also added one new death bringing their total to 21. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Cases have also been reported in Long Term Care facilities locally. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, 139 cases and 14 deaths have been tied to facilities in Ford County. 136 cases and 18 deaths have been tied to facilities in Iroquois County. 193 cases and 10 deaths have been tied to facilities in Champaign County. 56 cases and 1 death has been tied to facilities in Vermilion County. In Kankakee County 581 cases and 47 deaths have been tied to facilities. 30 cases and 1 death have been tied to facilities in Livingston County. In McLean County 228 cases and 23 deaths have been tied to facilities.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting is starting to wrap up as we hear in the weekly crop report. Thanks to a warm, dry week in Illinois, 95 percent of corn and 96 percent of soybeans have been harvested. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener gives an update on winter wheat…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to six percent very short, 25 percent short, 67 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The American Soybean Association is seeking candidates for their soy scholarship. The scholarship is available to high school seniors interested in an ag career. The deadline to apply is December 6th. Application details are available online at american soybean dot wufoo dot com slash forms.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Accolade Paxton Senior Living is hosting a Thanksgiving food drive. The facility is looking for non perishable food items such as stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, canned vegetables and other Thanksgiving themed food. Spokesperson Laura Hicks has the details on how you can drop those items off…

 

 

Accolade Paxton Senior Living Thanksgiving Food Drive Spokesperson Laura Hicks. The donations will be given out to students in area schools.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Vermilion County Board and St. Joseph village board meet tonight. The Vermilion County Board will meet at 6 where county board members are expected to approve the appointments of several individuals to the county board of health, hear an update on the county’s land bank program and consider budget amendments for the county coroner and state’s attorney. In St. Joseph at 7, village board members will be asked to approve the village’s tax levy and approve a bid for $2,450 to remove 5 trees in the village. The Vermilion County Board meeting gets underway at 6 with the St. Joseph village board meeting getting underway at 7.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County’s Holiday Bureau pickup system for this year's event will look a little different this year. Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki has the details… 

 

 

Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) --  A University of Illinois student was attacked outside a fraternity house Friday.  The student was walking through a parking lot adjacent to the fraternity house in the 400 block of East John St. in Champaign around 11:30 p.m. when he said three men got out of a vehicle parked on the street nearby and assaulted him. The student went to a local hospital for treatment of facial injuries. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Champaign Police Department at 217-351-4545 or crime stoppers at 217-373-8477.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- Registration for spring and winter courses at Danville Area Community College is underway. Winter courses run December 21st through January 8th online only. The spring semester starts January 19th.

With Coronavirus cases soaring, the Illinois Department of Public Health says families need to rethink how they usually celebrate the holidays

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is releasing COVID-19 contact tracing data, showing outbreaks and possible sources of exposure. The information is updated weekly and is available on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website. It includes outbreak locations and the top sources of exposure says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says they have improved the system so that you’re called, the number will show up as “Illinois COVID Help” instead of an unknown number that you may ignore.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is self isolating after coming in contact with someone who tested positive. The Governor’s office said the exposure occurred Monday during a meeting in his office. The Governor was tested and came back negative.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With Coronavirus cases soaring, the Illinois Department of Public Health says families need to rethink how they usually celebrate the holidays. Family gatherings where you see relatives you haven’t been around since the pandemic began have been a significant source of spread of the virus. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says it may be just too big of a risk to get everyone together this year…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike reminds that even if you aren’t showing symptoms you could be carrying the virus and spreading it to those at high risk, and that there are several sources of exposure no matter how you choose to travel.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie said taxpayers who are the victim of unemployment fraud should do everything they can to get it cleared up. There could be tax implications for filings next year. McConchie recently got unemployment benefits sent to him fraudulently. He said the state’s unemployment agency needs to tell the legislature what it needs to clear up the issue and clear through backlogs for getting benefits out.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to take important safety precautions as they head out into the fields. When it comes to hunting accidents, unsafe tree stands are often the culprit. Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert recommends checking your tree stand before using it…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. Torbert says hunters should also wear either blaze orange or pink and be certain of their target before pulling the trigger. Last year there were 20 hunting incidents reported in Illinois.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A St. Joseph woman was arrested in Paxton on drug charges. Casey McCartney was arrested following a traffic stop for speeding at Pells and Stockholm. As the officer approached the vehicle, they noticed the smell of cannabis. A search of the vehicle uncovered over 10 grams of cannabis and four tenths of a gram of cocaine. McCartney was charged with possession of a controlled substance and illegal possession of adult use cannabis.


 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A 16 year old was arrested following a shots fired incident in Rantoul over the weekend. Rantoul police were called to the 700 block of Willow Pond Road just before 1:30 Saturday afternoon. Officers located evidence of shots fired and were given a description of a possible vehicle. That vehicle was located and a search uncovered a handgun with a defaced serial number. The juvenile was charged with possession of a stolen firearm and defacing identification marks of a firearm.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Several city council meetings and one county board meeting are scheduled for tonight around the area. The Ford County Board will meet at 7 tonight where they will discuss setting the salary for the circuit clerk position as well as some other department heads, consider an electronics recycling and discuss the sale of 3 properties for delinquent taxes. Gibson City leaders will meet tonight at 7 where they will consider a zoning variance for a residence in the 300 block of S. State Street and consider medical plan benefits. Gilman city leaders will also meet tonight at 7 where they are expected to consider an engineering proposal for the Third, Main and Maple roadway improvement project, consider the city’s tax levy and consider an agreement with the Iroquois County Sheriff’s office for coverage. The Ford County Board, Gibson City city council and Gilman city council all meet tonight at 7.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County is teaming up with the Salvation Army again this year for the Holiday Bureau. With the ongoing pandemic, families will not be able to go to the Bethany Park Christain Church church in Rantoul and select their items for their kids. This year families are being asked to register, and fill out the needs of each child says Director Andy Kulczsicki… 

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Parkland College Foundation is announcing they are accepting scholarship applications for Spring 2021. Applications are due by 5pm on Monday, November 16th.

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says the cost of trying to establish COVID-19 herd immunity is too great. Some have suggested that if enough people get the virus, the majority of the population will become immune and the pandemic will end. But Dr Ezike points out with less than 10 percent of Illinoisans testing positive so far, over 10 thousand have already died…

 

 

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says that is not a moral solution to the problem.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The risk of catching the virus in the dentist’s chair is low, according to infection rates in the industry. Infection data compiled up to June found fewer than one percent of dentists nationwide had been infected with COVID-19, even ones that had continued to see customers.  

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More COVID-19 restrictions may be in the future for Illinoisans. Governor J.B Pritzker said his administration may implement new, more stringent restrictions statewide if virus numbers continue to increase. Months ago, the governor’s orders prohibited indoor restaurant and retail service and also limited elective medical procedures.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is announcing COVID safety precautions for deer C-W-D stations. Deer hunters in some counties are required to take their harvest to a chronic wasting disease check station. Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says there are a few changes this year…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Rachel Torbert. The firearm deer hunting season in Illinois is November 20th through the 22nd and December 3rd through 6th.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A man who defrauded the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign of more than $265,000 was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison. Eric Marcel Mboule of Tucker, Georgia will spend 42 months behind bars for his role in the defrauding. He will also serve three years of supervised release following his sentence. Mboule pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Officials said that in 2016, Mboule worked with others to execute a fraudulent scheme against the university. They deceived U of I officials into believing that a building contractor working for the university had changed banking information prior to the contractor receiving the next scheduled payment. Mboule was also ordered to pay the university over $265 thousand.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Construction on the $20 million Rantoul Family Sports Complex continues. Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower talks about the projects timeline…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two area school districts are expected to make a decision about basketball tonight. The Tri-Point School District will hold a special meeting to make their decision tonight at 6. Also at 6 Rantoul Township High School will discuss that as well as their tentative tax levy and appointing a new school board member. Both the Rantoul Township High School and Tri-Point School Boards get underway at 6pm.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state announced another round of funding to expand broadband access around Illinois. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the program and how it will help rural communities…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police have released October enforcement numbers. During the month, troopers issued 606 citations and 911 written warnings including 20 DUIs, 50 seatbelt citations and 40 criminal arrests. Troopers also responded to 74 traffic accidents.

Hearing on Michael Madigan possible bribery scheme postponed

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois House committee investigating if Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s actions in a bribery scheme were unbecoming of a lawmaker won't hold a hearing today as scheduled. Committee chairman state Representative Chris Welch issued a statement Wednesday that the hearing he scheduled to happen after the election would be postponed. Welch said the committee was waiting for more documents from ComEd and out of caution over spreading COVID-19. Republicans on the committee expressed frustration and disappointment over the announcement.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is issuing a dire warning after his graduated income tax proposal failed to pass. If approved, the new tax structure was predicted to generate more than three billion dollars in revenue each year. Without that money, the Governor says the state is in a tough fiscal situation...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says he will be discussing options with lawmakers in the coming days and isnt ruling out a tax increase. Opponents of the proposal argued it would hurt small businesses and give the legislature more power to raise taxes in the future.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) --  Senator Bill Brady announced he will not seek reelection as Minority Leader in the Illinois Senate. Senator Brady made the announcement to the Senate Republican Caucus in a memo on Wednesday. 

 

 

(Paxton-cf)-- The PBL Education Foundation is hosting their annual fundraiser. President of the Foundation Robin Neiwold gives us details on this year's fundraiser… 

 

 

PBL Education Foundation President Robin Neiwold. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Iroquois County Administrative Center is once again closed to the public. The closure is effective starting today and going until further notice. All county functions will remain in operation. The Paxton Park District also announced they too are closing their office until further notice. Those needing assistance are asked to leave a message and someone will return the call.

 

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- Illinois State Police District 10 troopers will be conducting roadside safety checks this month in Champaign County. Troopers will be looking for those driving under the influence, safety belt and child safety seat violations, speeding and distracted driving.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There is a growing list of groups pushing for a state ethics report to be released. The push comes after many high profile members of the General Assembly have been accused of ethics violations says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton nursing facility is collecting donations to help families during the holidays. Accolade Paxton Senior Living, formerly the Knights Templar, is hosting the food drive through November 15th. Donations can be dropped off at their location, 450 E. Fulton from 8 to 4. For more information, call 379-2116.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- IF Bancorp, parent company of Iroquois Federal, a Watseka based bank reported 1st quarter net income of $1.3 million. Earnings were 44 cents per share. The company reported $6.6 million in expenses and $8 million in revenue which beat Wall Street expectations.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Garage Community Center in Gilman from 9 to 3 today.

 

The Parkland College Foundation will host a scholarship workshop via zoom or Parkland College’s Facebook page today from noon to 1.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinoisans voted not to retain a state Supreme Court Justice Tuesday, something that’s never happened in Illinois history. But what happens now? According to the states constitution, the court will appoint someone for a two year term. Then it will become an open seat where a Democrat and Republican primary will take place in the spring of 2022 where the winners will face off in the fall election.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 on election day to get tested. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says if you were a poll worker, waited in line to vote or participated in any rallies or protests, its probably a good idea to get a test...

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says it can take up to two weeks sometimes to show infection. She says there are 11 community testing sites across the state as well as mobile units where you dont need to be showing symptoms, make an appointment or have insurance to get tested.

 

 

(Rantoul-cf)-- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County will be conducting their Holiday Bureau again this Christmas season. Director Andy Kulcziki has the details on what the Holiday Bureau is… 

 

 

Director of the Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Andy Kulyzcki.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton zoning committee will meet tonight to hear a request from Eastern Illini. The electric cooperative is requesting their zoning be changed from R2 to M1. The zoning meeting gets underway at 7pm at city hall.

 

 

(Gibson City-cf)-- The Gibson City Historical Committee will be hosting a fundraiser for Gibson City’s 2021 Sesquicentennial. The 2020 Crazy Wine Down event will be held Saturday November 7th. Spokesperson Susie Tongate has the details… 

 

 

2020 Wine Down Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s Office has released their October activity report. Deputies issued 18 citations including 13 for speeding, 2 for disobeying a stop sign and 1 each for operating an uninsured motor vehicle, driving with no headlights when required and an unlicensed driver. Deputies also handled 10 animal complaints, 9 for suspicious vehicles, 6 each for suspicious persons and fraud, 5 each for harassment and domestic issues, 3 each for burglary and sex offender notification and 2 each for suicide threat, theft and juvenile complaint and 1 for criminal damage to property.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- East Central Illinois Community Action Agency will be hosting a drive thru health fair this week. The health fair will take place on Friday from 1-4 at their Danville location, 56 N. Vermilion Street.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Paxton Church of Christ today from 12:30-5:30 pm.

 

The Melvin Women’s Club will host State Representative Tom Bennett this evening starting at 7pm at the Melvin Community Hall.

 

Illinois Voters Vote No for the Progressive Tax

(Undated--jc)  Counting on several issues continues including the U S Presidential race. With a report of several counties and state races is WPXN”s Joel Cluver.

 

 

The voters did vote No for the Progressive Tax.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is mostly surrounded by states that have among the lowest unemployment rates. In September, Iowa’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent. Missouri’s was 4.9 percent. Wisconsin was at 5.4 percent. Kentucky was at 5.6 percent unemployment, and Indiana was at 6.2 percent. Illinois’ unemployment rate in September was the fifth-worst in the country at 10.2 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- While the rest of the nation grew at a record 33.1 percent in the previous quarter, Illinois’ recovery has barely nudged upward. The U.S. Commerce Department reported the nation’s historic growth last week, months into the pandemic. An economic index from the University of Illinois on Monday reported individual income tax receipts for Illinois were lower than they were last year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says communities need to follow state issued COVID-19 safety rules. Some bars and restaurants are vowing to stay fully open, regardless of mitigations not allowing indoor dining. Governor Pritzker explains why local leaders and law enforcement must take this seriously…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on the rise in Illinois, and the latest daily case total is 6,516 and death toll is 68. The state now has 430,018 cases and 9,878 deaths. The seven day positivity rate now stands at 8.2 percent. The state is also reporting all 11 regions have a positivity rate over 9 percent.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Construction of the Rantoul Family Sports Complex continues. Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower talks about the progress of the project…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- An outbuilding at a Paxton business was destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon. Paxton firefighters were called to the fire at Lee Excavating just before 1pm.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton park could see their hours changing. Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans says the changes could be coming to Westlawn Park…

 

 

Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois housing market continued to bounce back in September. According to Illinois Realtors, home sales rose 35.2 percent from 13,060 in September 2019 to 17,658 in September 2020. The median price increased 17.5 percent from $200,000 to $235,000. The time it took to sell a home was 44 days. Available inventory was down significantly from 62,406 in September 2019 to 40,047 in 2020.

 

(Undated--jc)   The votes are in, but several races remain undecided including the presidential race. With results for the local and state is WPXN’s Joel Cluver

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J.B. Pritzker is warning more restrictions could be coming to regions that don’t see decreases in the COVID-19 positivity rate. Starting today, the entire state will be under increased mitigation. The Rockford region is under Tier II, which could prohibit indoor shopping at businesses the governor deems nonessential, but that option hasn’t been implemented. Tier III could prohibit elective medical procedures. Regions must be below a 6.5 percent positivity rate to see restrictions relaxed.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Gaming Board is delaying approving new casino applicants for six months. The gaming board says there have been a number of applicants that have pending requests to amend their applications. Officials said the Board will give applicants a status update in 90 days.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton City Council approved a redevelopment agreement for the Paxton motel. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the agreement and the work being done at the motel…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. Mayor Ingold says the money will come from Tax Increment Financing funds.

 

 

(Clifton-jm) -- A Champaign man was arrested after police say he carjacked a vehicle in Clifton and led police on a chase into Chicago. Illinois State Police say they were notified of the incident at the Clifton Circle K just before 4pm. Troopers located the vehicle on I-57 and pursued it until the chase ended at 71st and Hoyne in Chicago.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- Iroquois County residents have a new way to receive emergency alerts. The county signed a contract with a company to provide the service, says Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci…

 

 

Iroquois County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Ceci.

 

 

(Mattoon-jm) -- First Mid Illinois reported 3rd quarter profits of $11.6 million. The Matton based bank with locations around the area reported earnings of 69 cents per share which exceeded Wall Street expectations of 59 cents per share.

It's Election Day!!

(Springfield-jm) -- The enrollment period for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act is now open. If you’re in need of health insurance, there are plenty of choices through the marketplace says Illinois Department of Insurance Director Robert Muriel…

 

 

Illinois Department of Insurance Director Robert Muriel. Three different levels of coverage are offered and a tax credit for premium costs is available to those who qualify. To start searching for a plan that works for you, visit: get covered illinois dot gov.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- With one remaining region of the state set for COVID-19 mitigations Wednesday, and more businesses filing county-level lawsuits against the governor, the Illinois Restaurant Association says it won’t file a lawsuit. Rather, they’d support the lawsuits its members are filing across the state. President Sam Toia said the association decided to file statements on existing cases in counties across the state.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- COVID-19 conditions continue to decline in Illinois. The daily number of new confirmed cases has been over six thousand for six days in a row now and the pandemic doesn’t seem to be letting up says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. As of Wednesday, the entire state will be under stricter safety guidelines such as no indoor dining or bar service due to rising positivity rates.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Looking at the numbers reported yesterday locally. Since Friday, McLean County reported 125 new cases bringing their total to 4,483. Champaign County reported 258 new cases bringing their total to 6,588. Livingston County reported 63 new cases bringing their total to 840. Vermilion County reported 51 new cases bringing their total to 1,701. Kankakee County reported 245 new cases bringing their total to 4,014. Iroquois County reported 46 new cases bringing their total to 648.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health along with area health departments are reporting cases in area communities. Since the pandemic started, 538 cases were in Rantoul, 266 in Mahomet, 149 in St. Joseph, 135 in Hoopeston, 101 in Fairbury, 89 in Gilman, 86 in Clifton, 84 in Paxton, 76 in Watseka, 71 in Chebanse, 61 each in Fisher and Piper City, 48 in Cissna Park, 44 in Gibson City, 41 in Forrest, 40 each in Onarga and Potomac, 39 in Ashkum, 37 in Milford, 28 each in Thomasboro and Rossville, 23 in Chatsworth, 22 in Danforth, 20 in Gifford, 19 each in Loda and Crescent City, 17 each in Rankin and Donovan, 15 in Sheldon, 14 in Saybrook, 13 in Cabery, 12 in Beaverville, 11 in Ludlow, 10 each in Penfield and Wellington, 9 each in Foosland, Buckley, Roberts, Bellflower and Martinton, 8 in Dewey, 7 in Cullom, 6 each in Kempton, Melvin and Strawn and 6 in Colfax.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The election is today. Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick has the races for Ford County…

 

 

Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick. Champaign County voters will have a variety of positions to vote for in this year’s election. County Clerk Aaron Ammons runs through the ballot…

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons. Champaign County residents will be asked to approve a referendum for the forest preserve. In addition, voters will also be asked about a change to the state’s tax structure. Polls close tonight at 7.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- 32 businesses in Champaign and Vermilion Counties have received Business Interruption Grant funding. 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett made the announcement recently. The 32 businesses received a total of $1.65 million to cover payroll, rent and utilities during the pandemic.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum have released numbers for two recent patrols. During Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols, 15 safety belt citations were issued. During Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement patrols, 2 were cited for drug or alcohol related offenses, 2 for occupant restraint offenses, 2 for registration offenses and 1 for drivers license offenses.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Ford County Treasurer Krisha Shoemaker is reminding residents the 2nd installment of 2019 payable in 2020 real estate taxes are due this Friday. Taxes can be paid at the courthouse, the dropbox in front of the courthouse, at any Ford County bank, online at gov tech tax pro dot com or by mail if postmarked by this Friday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- COVID-19 has adjourned a federal courtroom in Illinois for the remainder of the year. The U.S. 7th District Court in Central Illinois announced late Friday that it would suspend all jury trials and public gatherings until Jan. 25, 2021. The 7th District covers 46 counties including Ford, Iroquois, Champaign, Vermilion, McLean, Kankakee and Livingston Counties.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting continues ahead of the five year average. About four and a half days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, with wet conditions in southern counties. Overall, harvesting is on track says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 94 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 82 percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to three percent very short, 18 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

 

OSF St. James-John Albrecht in Pontiac will hold their diabetes support group tonight at 6pm.

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is urging the public not to rely on social media for election results. With so many mail in ballots to be counted, it may take at least a few days to finalize winners. The Governor says you need to be careful about election information on social media sites…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Pritzker advises people to get election results from reputable news sources or their local election authority’s website.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Lottery players got particularly lucky in September. Lotto reports Pick 3 and Pick 4 players won more than $40 million in prizes – the largest amount ever paid out to Illinois Lottery Pick players in any single month.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Vermilion County reported 2 new deaths Monday. According to the Vermilion County Public Health Department says both are men in their 80s. That brings their total to 14.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Voters go to the polls today to cast their ballots for the next President and Vice President of the United States as well as a possible constitutional amendment. Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins talks about the races in her county…

 

 

Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins. Iroquois County voters will have a variety of positions to vote for in this year’s election. County Clerk Breein Suver has the list of local races…

 

 

Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver. In addition, voters across the state will also be considering a possible change to the state’s constitution when it comes to taxes. Polls close tonight at 7.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- New details are coming out on the kidnapping scheme busted in Urbana Friday evening. Police say the victim was taken from his family 14 years ago. In court proceedings Monday, prosecutors accused 27 year old Felipe De Jesus Guevara Sanchez of demanding the victims parents pay thousands of dollars in ransom money to bring their son back from Mexico. A meeting to exchange the 25 year old victim was to take place Friday evening at a gas station in Urbana. Police arrested Guevara Sanchez at the gas station. 6 others were in the vehicle at the time. Police believe they too were kidnapping victims. Guevara Sanchez remains in the Champaign County Jail.

 

 

(Cissna Park-jm) -- The Cissna Park FFA Chapter is getting some new equipment thanks to a donation. The chapter received the donation from the family of Harold Froehling. The chapter used the money to purchase new auto-darkening welding helmets and safety glasses. Froehling was the 1st President of the Cissna Park FFA Chapter and was inducted into the Cissna Park FFA Chapters Hall of Fame in 2017.

 

 

(Champaign-cf)--  The Champaign County Forest preserve has a referendum on this years ballot in this years primary election that constituents can vote to increase the tax levy to  five dollars and thirty three cents for every one-hundred thousand dollars of assessed value. There has been a lot of backing from various county entities says Sarah Livesay Vice President of the Champaign County Forest Preserve…. 

 

 

Sarah Livesay Vice President of the Champaign County Forest Preserve.

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- District 10 Illinois State Police in Pesotum have announced roadside safety checks in Champaign County during the month of November. Troopers will be watching for those driving under the influence, safety belt and child restraint use, speeding and distracted driving.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is announcing enrollment for Spring 2021 is underway. Classes are set to begin January 16th.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting continues ahead of the five year average. 89 percent of corn has been harvested, compared to 83 percent normally, and 93 percent of soybeans are now out of the ground. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at winter wheat…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to three percent very short, 18 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

 

Nearly 3 million ballots had already been cast in the general election

(Springfield-jm) -- As Election Day draws nearer, the number of early voters is shattering records. Nearly 3 million ballots had already been cast in the general election, far more than in any previous election in Illinois, according to the State Board of Elections. That includes mail-in ballots as well as votes cast in person at advance voting locations. The biggest issue on the ballot that could be affected by late-arriving ballots is the proposed constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax. The measure requires approval by 60% of the people who vote on the amendment or a simple majority of all the ballots cast in the election. Officials won’t be able to determine how many ballots were cast until the cutoff date of November 17th. Under Illinois law, mail-in ballots that are postmarked by Election Day can still be counted as long as they are received by election officials within 14 days after the election.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says at this time, another stay at home order is not in the works. As 10 out of 11 regions are placed under increased safety measures, some are wondering if the state will just move back to phase three. The Governor responds…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Most regions have Tier One mitigations, although Region 1, the Rockford and Northwestern Illinois area, is at Tier Two with even stricter restrictions. The only region without any enhanced mitigations is Region Two, the Peoria, Bloomington and Galesburg area although those communities will join the rest of the state Wednesday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois set a new daily record high number of Coronavirus cases Saturday. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported almost 7,900 new cases Saturday. Sunday the state reported just under 7,000 cases. Illinois now has 417,280 cases and 9,792 deaths.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Region 6, which includes Ford, Iroquois, Champaign and Vermilion Counties will undergo enhanced mitigations starting today. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health the region has seen a positivity rate of over 8 percent for 3 consecutive days. The new mitigations include the closure of indoor dining at bars and restaurants, outdoor dining closes at 11pm and gatherings of no more than 25 people.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Repainting of the clock tower at Paxton’s City Hall has been delayed. Mayor Bill Ingold says the two bids for the project were far apart and the council rejected both of them…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Minnesota-jm) -- Michael Hari’s trial is expected to begin today in Minnesota. Hari, a Clarence native, is being charged with several federal charges in connection to the firebombing of a suburban Minneapolis mosque in 2017. Two others have already pleaded guilty for their involvement in the crime. Hari also faces charges in Illinois including the attempted attack on an abortion clinic in Champaign. His trial in Minnesota is expected to last about three weeks.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- A Gilman man is behind bars on child sex crime charges. 76 year old Edward Dill was arrested Friday afternoon on charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police say the allegations involve two juvenile victims.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- First Busey is reporting 3rd quarter net income of $30.8 million. Earnings for the Champaign based company were 56 cents per share which surpassed Wall Street expectations of 41 cents per share.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Restaurant owners from across Illinois say the closure orders being instituted by Governor J.B. Pritzker will devastate small businesses, leaving thousands jobless even though the state found an estimated 1 percent of COVID-19 outbreaks came from restaurants. Illinois Restaurant Association board member Kevin Vaughn tabulated all of the outbreak information from a state list acquired by NBC 5 Chicago and found 400 cases were related to restaurants in Illinois out of 40,000 cases. The list represents about 10% of all COVID-19 cases from March to September in Illinois. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- New research suggests access to emergency paid leave could help limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Mary Scheurmann reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois now has more than 417,000 coronavirus cases and almost 9,800  deaths following a daily record high Saturday. The state reported 7,899 new cases Saturday and 6,980 new cases Sunday. The seven day positivity rate is now 8 percent.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- County clerks around the area are announcing the enhanced mitigations that start today will not affect the elections. Among the enhanced mitigations include a reduction in the size of gatherings. County clerks say safety precautions including the use of plexiglass barriers, sanitizing of voting stations and hand sanitizer along with the use of facial coverings and social distancing will be in place.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A miniature golf course is coming to the village of Rantoul. Administrator Scott Eisenhower talks about the attraction…

 

 

Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A New York man is in the Champaign County jail for allegedly being involved in a kidnapping scheme. Police say 27 year old Felipe De Jesus Guevara Sanchez is charged with aggravated kidnapping and forcible detention. Guevara Sanchez is alleged to have demanded that the parents of their adult son pay a ransom for his release. Police learned a meeting to exchange custody was going to take place Friday afternoon at a gas station on Cunningham Avenue in Urbana. Several people were present in the vehicle upon its arrival, including Guevara Sanchez and the victim. Police are working to determine the involvement of the others.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County’s Clerk and Republican leaders were in court Friday afternoon. County Republicans accused Clerk Aaron Ammons of breaking election code. A Champaign County Judge dismissed 5 of the 7 counts against Ammons however ruled Ammons must provide a list of Republican workers to the party chairman and that he must provide adequate access to the list of absentee ballots and where they were being mailed.

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The November 3rd election will look a little different due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver talks about some of the changes Iroquois County voters could see if they decide to go vote in person…

 

 

Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College is announcing a new tuition-assistance program which aims to expand access to Dual Enrollment classes for low-income, underrepresented, and/or first-generation high school students within their district. The program will provide eligible students up to $2,500 in assistance for tuition, fees, and books/technology in an award package determined by the student’s program of choice. The money comes from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. Applications for the GEER Up program are due December 11th and can be submitted online at parkland dot edu slash geer up.

 

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