(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois continues to see increased initial unemployment claims. More than 13,000 more initial claims were filed last week than the week before for a total of 108,800. That brings the total of insured unemployed to 337,000. There are 175,000 contractors getting unemployment benefits in Illinois.
(Springfield-jm) -- At the request of the U.S. Department of Defense, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has activated approximately 500 Illinois National Guard members in support of the continued security mission in Washington, D.C. The Illinois Army National Guard soldiers, along with a small contingent of Illinois Air National Guard airmen, are expected to remain on duty in the nation’s capital until mid-March.
(Springfield-jm) -- We could see more winter weather this weekend, here’s what to do if you slide off the road. If poor driving conditions land you in a ditch, Illinois State Police Master Sergeant JC Clarke says you should put on your hazard lights and then call for help…
Illinois State Police Master Sergeant JC Clarke. Clarke says the trooper will likely ask you if you want to stay with your vehicle or would like a ride to the next exit. If you do stay with your car, the Secretary of State’s Office recommends running the engine only briefly and to crack a window to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. You can check the latest road conditions at getting around illinois dot com.
(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,191 new Coronavirus cases Thursday and 103 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 1 million 116 thousand 372 and deaths to 19,067. Locally, Ford County reported 6 new cases bringing their total to 1,425. Champaign County reported 110 new cases bringing their total to 16,171. Iroquois County reported 5 new cases bringing their total to 2,673. McLean County reported 12 new cases bringing their total to 13,646. Livingston County reported 24 new cases bringing their total to 3,872. Kankakee County reported 28 new cases bringing their total to 10,877. Vermilion County did not provide a report.
(Rantoul-cf)-- The Village of Rantoul is hosting a virtual forum for the individuals who are running for office in the village. Spokesperson Debbra Sweat has the details on who will be on the forum…
Rantoul Virtual Forum Spokesperson Debbra Sweat
(Hoopeston-jm) -- A Hoopeston man faces decades behind bars if convicted of child sexual exploitation and trafficking of child pornography. 27 year old Dalton Burmeister allegedly exploited children under the age of six to engage in sexual activity and to create an image of what happened and that he trafficked images of child pornography. If convicted he faces up to 30 years in prison for sexual exploitation, up to 20 years for distribution and receiving child pornography and up to 20 years for possession of child pornography.
(Danville-cf)-- The East Central Illinois Community Action Agency was granted federal dollars to help individuals who qualify pay their utility bills during the pandemic. East Central Illinois Community Action Agency Director Odette Hyatt-Watson has the details on the program…
East Central Illinois Community Action Agency Director Odette Hyatt-Watson.
(Champaign-jm) -- A court refused to dismiss a multi million dollar lawsuit against the University of Illinois. Attorneys for Joseph Petry filed the lawsuit in June 2020 with the Illinois Court of Claims alleging a breach of contract by UI officials. Petry is asking for $7.9 million. Among other things, the complaint says that the UI board of trustees violated a resignation agreement Petry signed in April 2019 by not discontinuing an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct between Petry and one of his students. UI Board of Trustees filed in August 2020 to have the case dismissed, arguing the university’s decision to continue to investigate the accusations against Petry did not cause him further damage. According to the filing, the board argued Petry’s damages were because of actions he did himself or from third-parties, not the university.
(Springfield-jm) -- The U.S. Supreme Court decided this week it won’t take up a case of public-sector employees seeking past union wages the nation’s high court said violated the free speech rights of employees. The case of previous union dues taken from workers stems from the 2018 Janus vs. AFSCME case where the court determined public-sector employees can’t be forced to pay dues to a union they don’t agree with.
(Springfield-jm) -- A new area code is coming soon to central Illinois. The new 447 area code will be an overlay to the territory currently served by the 217 area code to ensure a continuing supply of phone numbers for the area. Starting Feb. 27, 2021, mandatory dialing will occur, where all local calls made in the 217 area code must be made using the 10-digit phone number. Starting March 27, 2021, new phone lines or services may be assigned phone numbers with the 447 area code.
(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is offering scholarships to current and former youth in care. Scholarship recipients receive up to five consecutive years of tuition reimbursement, monthly grants and a medical card. DCFS’ Kim Peck says they want kids that have gone through the system to have all the tools they need to succeed…
DCFS’ Kim Peck. 53 scholarships will be awarded this year. Those interested can apply online at: dcfs dot illinois dot gov. The deadline is March 31st.
(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,191 new Coronavirus cases Thursday and 103 additional deaths bringing the state’s total number of cases to 1 million 116 thousand 372 and deaths to 19,067. As for local active and recovered cases, McLean County reported 13,014 have recovered, 462 are in isolation and 24 are hospitalized. Champaign County reported 15,391 have recovered, 673 are in isolation and 21 hospitalized. Livingston County reported 3,610 have been removed from isolation and 195 cases are active. Iroquois County reported 2,564 have been released from isolation, 49 remain in isolation and 3 are hospitalized. Kankakee County reported 10,877 have recovered and 858 cases are active.
(Springfield-cf)-- One of the new bills that went into law the first of the year capped insulin prices at $100 per month. 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign says the bill has another part, the investigation of the cause of the increase in insulin prices…
52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign.
(Macon County-jm) -- A former Illinois State Police trooper has pleaded guilty to a reckless conduct charge for his involvement in a deadly collision. Former Master Sergeant Jeffrey Denning was charged in a high-speed collision that killed a young Decatur mother. Denning was driving an unmarked police car that was traveling at 108 MPH in a 35-MPH zone in Decatur just before the crash that killed 26 year old Kelly Wilson. Denning was responding to an officer shot in Mahomet.
(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Park District is looking at ways to bring activities back for both adults and youth. Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans says they want to bring activities back and make it safe for everyone…
Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans.
(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County Executive Darlene Kloeppel is announcing the members of the Redistricting Advisory Group. The group meets to redraw the counties district maps every 10 years. The committee is made up of 13 members and will make their recommendations later this year.