Listeners Club

Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!

WPXN Blog Archives for 2021-09

Unemployment was down for the 5th consecutive month in all Illinois metro areas

(Washington-jm) -- A University of Illinois Sociology professor is lending his thoughts about disinformation to a Congressional subcommittee on the topic. Researchers want to analyze the impact of incorrect information online and expose disinformation campaigns, but they often run into roadblocks getting data from social media companies like Facebook and YouTube, says the U of I’s Kevin Leicht. For example, his team has been studying posts regarding the pandemic...

 

 

University of Illinois Sociology Professor Kevin Leicht. Leicht and others testifying at the hearing want Congress to mandate social media platforms release accurate data.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new bill would allow Illinois residents to sue gun manufacturers, dealers, or importers if the guns they produce are responsible for injuries or death in Illinois. Representative Margaret Croke of Chicago filed the bill. Under the Firearms Dealer and Importer Liability Act, also referred to as the Protecting Heartbeats Act, any Illinois resident other than a state or local government officer or employee can sue a gun manufacturer, importer, or dealer if their gun is responsible for injury or death. A settlement would be a minimum of $10,000 in damages for each person injured or killed by the firearm.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College plays a key role in boosting the local Champaign-Urbana and greater Illinois economies, according to a new study from the Illinois Community College Board. The study estimates that, in the last fiscal year, Parkland College's total economic output on the statewide economy was $85.7 million. During this period, Parkland employed 1,024 employees with a total payroll of $37.7 million in wages and benefits. This activity rippled through the state economy, creating 220 additional jobs, boosting payrolls, and promoting other economic activity, according to the study. Parkland College's economic impact is not limited to the local or statewide economy. The study found that more than 80 percent of Parkland's long-term certificate and associate's degree graduates obtained jobs in their career field within one year of graduation. Employment rates improved over time, with 90 percent of graduates employed after 10 years. Parkland Health Professions degree completers saw the highest employment rate at 88.6 percent.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Unemployment was down for the 5th consecutive month in all Illinois metro areas in August. Locally, Vermilion Counties fell from 8.9 percent to 7.1 percent. Champaign County 7.2 percent to 5.7 percent. Ford County 6.3 percent to 5.1 percent and Iroquois County 5.8 percent to 4.8 percent.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders are looking to add a new well. The well would be in the Falcon Point subdivision and Drummer Creek. It’s estimated to cost around $1.1 million.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report looks at the economic impact of community colleges in Illinois. This latest study shows the state’s 48 community colleges remain a solid return on investment for students getting their associates degree. The same holds true for those completing shorter programs says Board Executive Director Brian Durham…

 

 

Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Brian Durham. Durham says when comparing earnings one year after completion of a community college program to three years after, African American students saw their pay increase by 47 percent and Latin-X students by 57 percent.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The director of a state board that in early 2020 was forced to end a contract with a Democratic activist after his name surfaced in purported government coverups involving a rape and illegal state hiring has been removed from his job. The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board said on Wednesday that it fired former executive director Brent Fischer earlier this month.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County has been serving the area for 50 years. The current director, Andy Kulczycki has been there for over half that time. He talks about some of the changes he has seen during his time with the group…

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulczyki. A celebration will take place tomorrow evening from 3:30 to 6:30 at Wabash Park in Rantoul.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Two groups are helping flood victims in Gibson City. The Gibson City Rotary Club and Lions Club are delivering new appliances to homes. A flood devastated many homes back in August. The rotary club got $25,000 in grants to help people get back on their feet. Recently they have been giving out washers and dryers. They plan to pass out refrigerators next and they hope they’ll have enough money to give people new freezers.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,989 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday and 42 additional deaths. Champaign County reported 65 new cases and 1 additional death. Vermilion County reported 60 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Capitol improvements are coming to the Rantoul Township High School. One of the projects being looked at is adding HVAC to the last portion not currently climate controlled. Superintendent Scott Amerio says another project they hope to complete over the summer is redoing the track…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio. The final project being considered is a $7 million expansion.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Gas prices have fallen 10.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.12 per gallon. The national average price of gasoline has fallen 0.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.17 per gallon. 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The World famous Harlem Globetrotters will be returning to Champaign. The Globetrotters will be at the State Farm Center on Friday, January 7th at 7pm. Tickets go on sale at 10 am Tuesday, October 5th.

 

Illinois State Police continues to reduce the FOID card backlog

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police continues to reduce the FOID card backlog. Adding more staff and overhauling an antiquated system has helped state police lower backlogs by 89 percent for renewals and 75 percent for new applicants. Director Brendan Kelly says it’s been a challenging year with such a big influx of people wanting to get their FOID and concealed carry cards…

 

 

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly. Kelly says the ultimate goal is for the state police to process new FOID applications within 30 days and renewals within 60 days.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,375 new Coronavirus cases and 32 additional deaths. Champaign County reported 39 new cases. Vermilion County reported 54 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Tuesday.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Insurance’s program to help find old life insurance policies has helped consumers collect three million dollars so far this year. Insurance companies are required to try and find the beneficiaries of life insurance policies after someone has died, but families can also do their own search with a tool called the “Life Policy Locator.” The state Department of Insurance’s Shannon Whalen explains how it works…

 

 

State Department of Insurance’s Shannon Whalen. Millions of dollars in benefits have already been paid out. To check for any outstanding policies, visit insurance dot illinois dot gov and type life policy locator in the search bar.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An area airport is receiving statewide recognition. Frasca Field in Urbana was named the Privately-owned airport of the year by the state of Illinois.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Several Gibson City residents have brought flooding concerns before the city council. The residents live in the Railside Drive area. They say every time they get a heavy rain the ditches in the area flood.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- A man who robbed a Hoopeston business will serve six years in prison.  Mathew Hofer committed this crime at about 1:25 p.m. on July 3 at 112 Wine and Coffee Shoppe in Hoopeston. Hofer walked into the business and ordered an employee to give him all the money while pretending he had a gun. Authorities arrested him shortly after the robbery.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- There is mounting evidence to show that we are on the down side of the beef cattle cycle. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A 20-year-old student at the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign was arrested at around 2:43 a.m. on Saturday in relation to an incident of domestic battery. According to officers, Yisi Lyu initially called U of I police to ask for advice regarding a fight that he had on Friday. It was between him and a person that he is dating. During his conversation with the police, Lyu admitted that he choked his partner during their fight. Lyu was in his dorm room at Sherman Hall on South Fourth Street when the police arrested him.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department of Public Health is reporting the first human case of rabies in Illinois since 1954. A Lake County man in his 80s woke up back in August to find a bat on his neck. The bat was captured and tested positive for rabies. The man refused the rabies preventive treatment and later died. So what if you come in contact with a bat? State Public Health Veterinarian Dr Connie Austin…

 

 

State Public Health Veterinarian Dr Connie Austin. Austin says it’s important for those exposed to get the preventive protocol. The rabies virus affects the central nervous system, ultimately causing brain disease and usually death.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attendance at this year’s Illinois State Fair is setting records. After a year hiatus due to the pandemic, State Fair Spokesperson Krista Lisser says the annual August event did well, with more than 427,000 visitors. That’s the second highest total since the state started formally tracking attendance in 2014…

 

 

State Fair Spokesperson Krista Lisser. Over 44,500 tickets were sold to grandstand concerts, generating more than a million and a half dollars in revenue. All the numbers aren’t in yet but Lisser says overall, the 2021 fair produced about five million in revenue, ranking ninth for total revenue over the last 20 years.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Frontier Airlines is now offering nonstop flights from Bloomington, Illinois to Tampa, Florida. Right now, rates are as low as $49. The flights will begin taking off in mid-December 2021.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police in Ashkum have released results of recent Nighttime Enforcement Patrols. The patrols were conducted on September 25th in Kankakee County. 1 person was cited for DUI, 2 citations were issued for other drug or alcohol related offenses, 4 citations were issued for occupant restraint violation, 7 for registration violations and 3 each for drivers license and insurance violations.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Opening day for fall trout fishing has been announced. Opening day is set for October 16th at 59 locations around the state. Locations locally include Kaufman Lake in Champaign, Kickapoo State Park near Oakwood and Weldon Springs State Park near Clinton.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Recent reports and forecasts for the pork sector reflect a mix of both pessimism and optimism. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is looking for your help to track down a thief. They’re responsible for stealing 11 catalytic converters in Mahomet. Authorities say it happened between August 30 and September. 1. The thief targeted vehicles at the Mahomet Car Connection dealership near East Oak Street and Sunny Acres Road in Mahomet.

 

All hospitals and health care facilities in Illinois must begin keeping records that monitor vaccination status for all of their staff

(Springfield-jm) -- A proposed bill would change possible repercussions for domestic violence, sexual assault, or unwanted pregnancies. The people bringing the civil action could seek no less than $10,000 in damages. The “The EXpanding Abortion Services Act," also known as TExAS, would allow anyone to bring a civil action against any person who commits an act of sexual assault or domestic abuse or causes an unintended pregnancy, regardless of circumstances. It would also allow civil action to be brought against anyone who aids or abets those situations or intends to engage in them.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A national publication recognized multiple central Illinois hospitals as being among the best in their region. Places receiving honors from the 2021-22 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings include Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, which ranked as the No. 10 hospital in the state and is nationally ranked (No. 49) for pulmonology and lung surgery, Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, which ranked as high performing in heart failure, knee replacement and stroke, and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. This past week was warmer than normal and rainfall was just a bit above average, leaving about five and a half days suitable for fieldwork. 83 percent of corn acres are mature and 21 percent of the crop has been harvested. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to 11 percent very short, 29 percent short, 58 percent adequate and two percent surplus.. Two percent of winter wheat has been planted.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing 6,671 new and probable Coronavirus cases and 77 additional deaths since Friday. Locally since Friday, Champaign County is reporting 116 new cases bringing their total to 26,196. Vermilion County is reporting 101 new cases bringing their total to 12,799. Iroquois County is reporting 77 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 4,024 and deaths to 72. Ford County did not have a report Monday.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A Gibson City funeral director accused of stealing from her former employer pleaded guilty to a reduced theft charge this summer and was ordered to pay $58,947 in restitution and serve one year of probation. Michelle M. Rosenbaum, who operates the Rosenbaum Funeral Home in Gibson City, pleaded guilty on July 14 in Ford County Circuit Court to one count of misdemeanor theft, alleging she stole less than $500 from the Lamb Young Funeral Home in Gibson City. In exchange for the plea prosecutors agreed to dismiss a more serious theft charge — a Class 2 felony alleging Rosenbaum stole in excess of $10,000.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Are rapidly rising food prices becoming the "new normal"? Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- The Hoopeston police department has a new officer and promoted another. Thomas Kirby was hired as a full time officer while Marvin Dobkins was promoted to sergeant.

 

(Champaign-tr) -- The Champaign County Farm Bureau has started a virtual meeting program that focuses on relaying information from experts in agriculture to local farmers. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken has the details… 

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

The virtual meetings can be found at ccfarmbureau.com

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City Police have released their recent activity report. On September 20th, Gino Parenti of Gibson City was arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property. On September 26, Robert Borders of Sibley was arrested for aggravated domestic battery, battery and an in state warrant. Also on September 26th, Adam Durham of Gibson City was arrested for an in-state warrant.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- All hospitals and health care facilities in Illinois must begin keeping records that monitor vaccination status and Coronavirus test results for all of their staff, according to a new emergency rule issued by the state. The Illinois Department of Public Health quietly filed the emergency rules with the Secretary of State’s office at the close of the first week under Governor Pritzker’s new vaccine mandate for health care workers. Pritzker’s mandate would require all workers at health care facilities and schools to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. The new reporting and record-keeping rules apply to hospitals, assisted living centers, skilled nursing facilities, sheltered care facilities, veterans homes, and a variety of other health care facilities licensed with the state, and go into effect immediately.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police says efforts may be underway to reduce peoples’ rights under the Health Care Right of Conscience Act. The Illinois law has been on the books since 1998. Some say it gives individuals the right to not be discriminated against in their public or private sector job for refusing a medical procedure for which they have a conscientious objection. President Chris Southwood said lawmakers could attempt to revise the law during the fall veto session next month.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean harvesting is underway as we hear in the weekly crop report. It was a warmer than normal week leaving 66 percent of soybeans dropping leaves and 10 percent of the crop is harvested, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Two percent of the winter wheat crop has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture declined to 11 percent very short, 29 percent short, 58 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins is announcing nominating petitions for the 2022 general primary election will be available starting January 13th. Filing runs March 7-14. The primary election will take place June 28th.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Will shoppers start to see lower prices at the meat counter later this year? Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is continuing to use wastewater to detect COVID-19 in communities. According to IDPH, they are collecting samples of wastewater in seven additional counties in the state. COVID-19 can be detected in wastewater three to five days before people develop any symptoms, officials from IDPH said. The state initially sampled and analyzed wastewater in ten counties including Carroll, Cass, Franklin, Fulton, Jefferson, Lawrence, Livingston, Macon, Montgomery, and Vermilion in May. Since then, they've expanded to counties like Champaign and Pike. IDPH says approximately $311 thousand dollars have been spent on this program at this time out of 5.5 million that's been originally allocated. They hope to study all 102 counties by the end of January.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign county will begin offering COVID booster shots starting October 5th. The Champaign Urbana Public Health District estimated about 20,000 residents qualify for the Pfizer booster that was recently approved by the CDC. The health department says boosters will be available at the Carle Health location at Kohls Plaza and the health departments I-Hotel and Conference Center.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is adopting CDC recommendations for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is signing revised legislative district maps into law. The political boundaries were drawn this summer to reflect new census data. Representative Ann Williams of Chicago was a strong backer of the proposal when it was debated on the House floor back in August…

 

 

State Representative Ann Williams of Chicago. Republicans have derided the map making process, saying districts should have been drawn by an independent commission, not just by Democrats.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An animal exploitation watchdog organization said that a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor needs to be fired after he allegedly violated federal testing regulations twice. The organization, Stop Animal Exploitation Now, said that experiments led by the professor could have led to something potentially dangerous to the public. The information revealed that the professor is Principal Investigator Justin S. Rhodes. According to information gathered from the FOIA request, Rhodes had been suspended twice for a violation of the federal guidelines in 2021 and 2017.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Township High School leaders are looking at capital improvement projects. The district is looking at three projects. Superintendent Scott Amerio talks about one of the projects…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio. The other two projects include redoing the track and adding onto the gym.

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley is the latest area community looking to codify and update their ordinance books. The village board recently approved spending $9,000 to codify their ordinances.

 

(Washington-jm) -- One number in Friday's USDA Cattle on Feed report may have given some analysts a mild surprise. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Wine and Chocolate Walk returns this weekend for the 3rd year. Chamber President Alan Meyer says tickets are still available…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is adopting CDC recommendations for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The guidelines are out and State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike offers the details...

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Additionally, those aged 18 to 49 with an underlying condition may get the booster shot and those 18 to 64 working in jobs with a lot of exposure are advised to as well. Ezike says the booster will offer an added layer of protection against the virus.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City is still working to recover after historic flooding hammered the town more than a month ago. Many people had water fill up their basements. So, whatever was down there was likely ruined. Others had water into their upstairs living areas, like the kitchen and living room. That means people have lost expensive appliances. Like washers and dryers, freezers, refrigerators, and ovens. Many organizations in the area saw their neighbors struggling and jumped in to help. The Gibson City Rotary Club and Lions Club started delivering large appliances last week and will continue into this week. They don’t have an infinite amount of money or appliances. So, it’s based on those in the most need. Those wanting to help can reach out to Susie Tongate at 309-825-0311.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton is looking at addressing drainage concerns. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the potential projects….

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The village of Roberts is looking for a new ordinance officer. Sarah Meyer recently resigned from the position after less than a year. Anyone interested is asked to contact village president Matt Vaughan at 217-249-3722.

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. hog producers have cut inventories, but may reverse themselves in the months ahead. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A vigil to raise awareness on domestic violence will take place in Rantoul next week. The vigil is set for Monday, October 4th at 6pm in front of the municipal building on Tanner Street. Femi Fletcher, a former board member of Courage Connection, a Champaign based domestic violence shelter will be the guest speaker.

 

The LaSalle County Coroner has identified the body of Missing ISU Student

(Springfield-jm) -- More than 80 Illinois school districts have signed off on a letter to the state asking for more say in the decision-making process. They're asking Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education to let school board officials do what they were elected to do. This comes after the governor issued a mask mandate for all schools in the state, public and private, overturning some Return to Learn plans districts had already created. Local districts signing on the letter include: Clifton Central, Ridgeview, Oakwood, LeRoy, Gifford Grade and Clinton.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,505 new and probable COVID-19 cases and 44 additional deaths. Champaign County reported 63 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 59 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Thursday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing big investments in getting people back to work. 40 million dollars in workforce recovery grants is now available, targeting industries hit hard by the pandemic. The money can be used for job training, placement and other support services says Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Acting Director Slyvia Garcia

 

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Acting Director Sylvia Garcia. There’s an additional 4.4 million dollars in grants going to organizations around the state to help offer job training opportunities to at risk youth. More information about both programs is available online.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The LaSalle County Coroner has identified the body of 25-year-old Jelani Day. Day was found on September 4th floating near the south bank of the Illinois River. Yesterday the coroner positively identified the body as that of Jelani Day through forensic dental identification and DNA testing and comparison. Further testing is being done to determine the official cause of death. Day was an Illinois State University student.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Agriculture Secretary provides the latest on efforts to assure compliance from member nations in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on ag trade matters. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of the woman who died after a shooting in Urbana this week. Northrup says 32 year old Brittany Lane died after she was shot in a vehicle on Florida Avenue Monday evening. An autopsy will be performed.

 

The Gathering in Gilman will hold their Junk in the Trunk on Saturday from 9 to 3.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the Loda Methodist Men on Saturday from 10 to 2.

 

The Clinton Apple n Pork Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Don't forget to wear your mask to the haunted house. That’s the message from the Illinois Department of Labor, which said because of Illinois’ indoor mask mandate, visitors must wear masks despite vaccination status. Haunted houses in Illinois must also have a permit to operate and follow other rules like random drug tests and background checks of non-volunteer workers.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House lawmakers are hearing from state officials about the ongoing process of fighting unemployment benefit fraud. States across the country have been dealing with attempts to steal benefits since the pandemic began. At a committee hearing, Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Kristen Richards said it’s been a frustrating, uphill battle…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Kristen Richards. State technology experts say these attacks are happening to several government agencies and that they are working on ways to thwart fraudsters with firewalls, a new log in process for customers and more advanced identity checks.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A suspect accused of shooting and killing a woman in an Urbana vehicle has officially been charged with murder.  Devontre Newbill had a count of first degree murder filed against him for the Monday shooting of Brittany Lane late Monday night, Lane was a passenger riding in a vehicle in a parking lot in the 1700 block of E. Florida Ave. in Urbana. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Agriculture Secretary notes two things U.S. officials can do to increase agricultural trade to China under the Phase One agreement. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- DeWitt County Coroner Randy Rice has released the identity of the body found at Clinton Lake. The victim was identified as 65 year old Alan Bell of Clinton. Authorities believe the vehicle Bell was driving went partially down an embankment at the lake. Bell exited the truck from the passenger side and slipped into the lake.

 

 

State officials are clarifying the power school districts have to send your child home due to COVID concerns

(Springfield-jm) -- An Illinois lawmaker wants to prohibit the state or school districts from requiring minors to wear masks or get vaccinated. Representative David Welter filed the Parental Medical Choice Act last week. The bill would make it so the State, schools, and people couldn't require a minor to get a health care service or take a health-related precaution. That would include mandating masks or vaccinations. If approved, a parent could sue for damages of up to $1,000 a day for violations.

 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- State officials are clarifying the power school districts have to send your child home due to COVID concerns. Governor J-B Pritzker filed an executive order that states schools have to "exclude" staff or students with confirmed or probable infections from school grounds and extracurricular activities, instead of relying on local health departments or court orders. It specifies "exclusion from a School shall not be considered isolation or quarantine." The order also says state agencies can file emergency rules to implement these changes.

 

(Paxton -tr) -- A fallen State Trooper will be honored today. Marvin Archer will be honored this morning at 10am at the Paxton Fire House with a road being dedicated in his name in Paxton. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold shares the story of the fallen State trooper…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

 

(Kankakee-jm) -- A man who stole $2 million from Kankakee and a regional wastewater agency has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison and two years of home confinement. Richard Simms was accused of diverting money through a fraudulent software invoicing scheme. Simms served as director of the Kankakee River Metropolitan Agency and superintendent of Kankakee’s Environmental Services Utility.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Several Champaign County communities are looking at water projects. Ludlow is considering connecting to Rantoul’s sewer system but that will come with a $5 million price tag. Thomasboro is considering drainage work on the northwest side of the community that would cost up to $400,000.

 

The Paxton Emergency Response Service will  hold their pork burger and brat supper tonight from 5-7:30 at their station located at 134 W. State Street. Cost is $7.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Twelve Illinois schools are still unrecognized or on probation for not complying with Governor JB Pritzker's mask mandate. The executive order says all students in both public and private schools are required to wear masks, and there could be consequences for districts who say they won't be following that. Public school districts have 60 days from when the Illinois State Board of Education sends them a notice they are not in compliance with the mask mandate to change their policy.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Illinois Department of Human Services in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology are notifying the public of an incident within the State of Illinois Integrated Eligibility System. On November 24, 2020, the State discovered an issue, which is the eligibility system of record for State-funded medical benefits programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. An investigation revealed that household members who were once on a case and had their access removed could still see information even after they were no longer part of that case. 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign School District officials said they are investigating a social media threat that was believed to have been directed at Centennial High School. The district is working with the Champaign Police Department on the issue.

 

 

(Loda-jm) -- Loda’s new water tower will cost over $900,000. The village board approved a contract with Schomburg and Schomburg Construction at a cost of $975,160. $550,000 of the project will be covered by a grant and the other portion by a 30 year loan at 1 percent interest. Work is expected to begin in April 2022.

 

 

(Springfield---jc)  --  Whether it be Covid or the flu, the symptoms are similar. While the fear of getting covid is still present, it could just be the flu, says Illinois Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold…

 

 

I-D-P-H Spokesperson Melaney Arnold

 

 

 

This is Child Passenger Safety Week

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois has now topped 1.6 million COVID infections. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,002 new cases Tuesday bringing the state’s total number of cases to 1,601,759. 22 additional deaths were also reported. Vermilion County reported 150 new cases and 4 additional deaths. Champaign, Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

New

(Springfield 09/22 am-jc) --the Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding people to get their annual flu shot. Since the symptoms for the flu and covid-19 are similar, and because you can get both viruses at the same time, it's very important to make sure you're vaccinated, says State Public Health spokesperson Melaney Arnold. 

 

 

Illinois State Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold. Arnold says for those who haven't been vaccinated against covid-19 yet, it's safe to get flu and covid shots at the same time.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Rantoul man is behind bars after a shooting Monday night in Champaign. Police officers heard multiple gunshots fired just before 8 p.m. near an apartment complex in the 1100 block of North 3rd Street. A black sedan was seen driving away from the scene fast. Champaign Police say the car was seen violating multiple traffic signals, disobeying stop signs, and failing to yield to emergency vehicles while continuing to speed away from law enforcement. The car then crashed in the 500 block of South 3rd Street. Kejuan Carter of Rantoul, was arrested on preliminary charges of armed violence, possession of a firearm by a felon, reckless driving and resisting a peace officer.


 

(Paxton--jc)  Gold Star riders made their way through the WPXN listening area on Tuesday.  WPXN’s Tyler Robinson has the story…

 

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- Mahomet-Seymour Junior High School students invited first responders to lunch with them on Tuesday. The student council puts on this event every year. They do it to help the students get to know first responders and celebrate them and the work they do.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Some farmers are increasingly concerned about rapidly rising costs and smaller supplies for the inputs they need to produce a crop. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The Buckley village board is hitting pause on hiring an ordinance officer. The village had planned to hire former Trustee Terry Whitebird to the position after former police officer and ordinance officer Chris White was relieved of his duties earlier this year. However, the villages attorney recommended the board hire a part time police officer instead of a private citizen to handle ordinance offenses.

 

The Paxton Emergency Response Service will  hold their pork burger and brat supper on Thursday, September 23rd from 5-7:30 at their station located at 134 W. State Street. Cost is $7.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Child Passenger Safety Week. It’s estimated that four out of five car seats are not installed correctly, putting kids in danger. That’s why the Illinois Department of Transportation is focusing on the issue this week, and holding “seat check Saturday” this weekend, says Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

Illinois Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Car seat safety technicians will be available around the state, helping parents make sure they have the right size seat and that it’s being used correctly. Visit: buckle up saturday illinois dot org for more information.

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- The Vermilion County Museum will unveil a new piece for their Lincoln exhibit. The Lincoln penny sculpture was created by lifelong Vermilion County resident Richard Belton. The artwork will be unveiled during the museum’s Lincoln Commemorative Open House on September 26. That will start at 1:45 p.m.

 

 

(Armstrong-jm) -- Armstrong Township High School ag teacher Destiny Swalve was named one of four ag teachers in Illinois to receive an Illinois Agriculture Education Teacher grant for first year ag teachers. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Are the current low interest rates on farm loans about to disappear? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- Roberts will no longer be spraying for mosquitoes during the summer months. That’s because the person who normally does it, did not renew their license with the state. The village board decided to do away with spraying instead of trying to find someone else with a current license.

 

Governor JB Pritzker gives an update on COVID-19 vaccination mandates for certain Illinois workers

(Springfield-jm) -- Here’s an update on COVID-19 vaccination mandates for certain Illinois workers. Under Governor J-B Pritzker’s orders, all pre-k through high school teachers and staff, college students and staff and healthcare workers were supposed to have received their first dose of the vaccine by this past Sunday, and be fully vaccinated within a month. He was asked Monday if this mandate will contribute to the current worker shortage…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Workers in this category who do not get vaccinated must submit to routine testing. As for state employees staffing prisons, veterans homes, nursing homes and the like, they now have until November 18th to get fully vaccinated. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 8,415 new cases and 93 additional deaths since Friday. Iroquois County reported 83 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 3,947 and deaths to 69. Champaign County reported 248 new cases and 1 additional death bringing their total number of cases to 25,849 and deaths to 183. Ford and Vermilion County’s did not have a report.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On September 13th, Laurie Ferguson was arrested for driving under the influence and cited for improper lane usage, driving while license suspended and illegal transportation of alcohol. On September 17th, Daniel Leach was arrested for driving under the influence and cited for no valid driver’s license and improper lane usage. On September 18th, Adam Durham was arrested for an in-state warrant and Justin Durham was arrested for driving with a license suspended.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The Bloomington Police Department is continuing their search for a missing Illinois State graduate student. Officers said 25-year-old Jelani Day was reported missing almost a month ago. Day’s family and an ISU faculty member reported him missing after he did not show up for class for several days and no one could get hold of him. Day’s car was found on August 26 in Peru, IL. On September 5, search teams found a body in the Illinois River in that same city. The LaSalle County coroner said the body was a man; however, investigators said at this time that case is separate from Day’s.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a warm week with plenty of time in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. The statewide average temperature this past week was more than 73 degrees, that’s seven degrees above normal. Below average rain left nearly all seven days available for fieldwork. Crop Statistician Steve Parn says 72 percent of corn is now mature…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 54 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and one percent of the crop has been harvested. Average statewide topsoil moisture stands at 11 percent very short, 27 percent short, 61 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign County Board of Review is down another member. Debbie Estes resigned citing a busy personal schedule and her belief it would affect her ability to adequately serve on the board. Estes is the fourth person to resign from the board after the entire three board group resigned in June.

 

 

(Livingston County-jm) -- Livingston County is reporting a case of West Nile Virus. According to the Livingston County Public Health Department, a bird in Dwight tested positive for west nile. West Nile has been detected in Iroquois, McLean and Vermilion Counties.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College has implemented new COVID-19 safety standards and procedures this week to comply with the recent executive order from Governor Pritzker for higher education. In phase one, the college has been gathering vaccination status information from students and employees and has begun utilizing the Safer Community app to verify compliance status. While no student, employee, or visitor is being turned away at any entrance for noncompliance in this phase, the college is restricting the number of entrances to campus in preparation for a comprehensive entry-checking system that will utilize the Safer Community app for students and employees.



(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is setting up a GoFundMe to raise money for Illegal Gun Bounty Reward Program rewards. The program asks for the community's help with information on felony gun crimes. It pays out $1,000 in rewards to those who have any tips or information on these crimes.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a warm week with plenty of time in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Below average rainfall and temperatures were seven degrees above normal gave farmers most of the week for fieldwork. 72 percent of corn is now mature and 11 percent has been harvested. Crop Statistician Steve Parn looks at soybeans…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 75 percent of the soybean crop is rated in good to excellent condition, an improvement from the previous week. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to 11 percent very short, 27 percent short, 61 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Board has approved changes to its wind farm ordinance. After four years, the moratorium on wind farms was lifted after the county board approved several changes including requiring setbacks of at least 2200 feet from property lines and 2.64 times the turbine tip or 1320 feet from adjacent non-participating properties. Also included in the ordinance is no turbines within one and a half miles of incorporated limits.

 

 

(Paxton - tr) -- The Gold Star Mission will be taking a 5 Day, 530 Mile Journey around central Illinois today to honor fallen Illinois Men and Women service members. Some local stops include the Gibson City American Legion at 12:11pm, Paxton Fire Department @ 2pm and Rantouls Lincoln’s Challenge academy a little after 3pm. The Gold Star mission strives to preserve the memories and ensure the names of our fallen illinois service men and women live on. 

 

Some state legislatures are discussing statues and other monuments at the state capitol

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Department of Employment Security offices across the state are reopening. As of today, all 18 offices, called American Job Centers, will be open to the public by appointment, says Director Kristin Richards…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Kristin Richards. To make an appointment, call the IDES hotline at: 217-558-0401. You can also start your own job search and find other resources online at: illinois job link dot com.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Nearly 26 thousand new and probable cases of COVID-19 infection are being reported over the past week. There have also been 285 more COVID related deaths. At last count, a little over two thousand patients were in the hospital, and region five in southern Illinois has no ICU beds available, says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. 61 point 2 percent of Illinoisans age 12 and older are now fully vaccinated. Locally Friday, Vermilion County reported 98 new cases and 1 additional death. Champaign County reported 37 new cases. Ford County reported 43 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Iroquois County did not have a report Friday.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police have arrested a Centennial High School student who reportedly displayed a gun inside the school. Police say Pereze Collier reportedly got into a verbal fight with other students on September 8th. Collier was taken to the Champaign County Jail on charges of making a threat to a school building or person. Bond was set at $500,000.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Some state legislatures are discussing statues and other monuments at the state capitol. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City is one of the members on the committee…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for selling cocaine. Darryl Nelson received the sentence in Champaign County court after pleading guilty to possession with intent to deliver. A search of his home in 2019 uncovered 1.5 pounds of cocaine. A second charge of possession with intent to deliver was dismissed.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Farm Safety and Health Week. The week kicks off with a message to the public says Illinois Department of Agriculture Spokesperson Krista Lisser…

 

 

Illinois Department of Agriculture Spokesperson Krista Lisser. Lisser says while tractor rollovers are the leading cause of injuries and deaths in the industry, farmers are encouraged to also pay attention to the physical toll the work places on their bodies and the effects of job stress on their mental health.

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- Vermilion County Clerk Cathy Jenkins is announcing nominating petitions for the 2022 general primary election will be available starting January 13th. Filing runs March 7-14. The primary election will take place June 28th.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Area vaccination numbers are lower compared to the state average. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the areas numbers…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College trustees approved their FY 22 budget recently and its not all good news. The Champaign based community college is reporting a deficit of $426,000.

 

Secretary of State Jesse White's Office is reminding drivers to report defective license plates

(Paxton-jm) -- Sean Hudson and Addison Oyer were named PBL homecoming king and queen last night following the parade. Ty Graham and Isabella Martinez were crowned homecoming prince and princess. The Panthers take on the Pontiac Indians tonight.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office is reminding drivers to report defective license plates. If your plates are rusty or the numbers and letters aren’t readable, it's time to get some new ones, says Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman. You can request free replacements online at: il sos dot gov. Failure to have readable front and back plates on your vehicle can result in a fine of $164.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Two people have been arrested on drug charges in Rantoul. An officer on patrol on the village's west side saw a vehicle run the red light at Champaign Avenue and Murray Road. The officer stopped the vehicle and identified the driver as Courtney Stout, whose license was revoked. When she got out of the vehicle a digital scale fell and an officer discovered a bag containing 47.5 grams of cocaine. A passenger, Andrew Lewis, was arrested for possessing more than 100 grams of cannabis. Stout is charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine. Lewis was charged with possession with intent to deliver cannabis. Both are due back in court September 24th.


 

(Champaign-jm) -- The New American Welcome Center at the University of Illinois YMCA unveiled a new plan to Champaign County residents on how best to welcome immigrants to their communities. The Welcoming Plan consists of five topics: economic integration and employment; citizenship and civic engagement; health and well-being; language and education; and public safety.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What does USDA's latest outlook have regarding changes in pork production and price forecasts for this month? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Moyer District Library in Gibson City will have a new director. Sharon Heavilin announced she is retiring in November. Jessica Title will take over as director.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The number of people enrolled in the ACA Health Insurance marketplace more than doubled during the special COVID-19 enrollment period. Over 54 thousand people found a health insurance plan during the special period that ran from February 15th through August 15th. Get Covered Illinois Executive Director Laura Pellikan says this shows there really was a need...

 

 

Get Covered Illinois Executive Director Laura Pellikan. The next open enrollment period begins November 1st, although those without insurance that have a qualifying life experience such as having a baby may be able to enroll earlier. Visit get covered illinois dot gov for more information.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man is facing multiple charges after a woman was shot last week. Deshawn Buford was arrested and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and aggravated fleeing and eluding police. According to police, as they investigated the shooting involving Bufford’s girlfriend, they received information he might be planning retaliatory action against the shooters. An officer located Buford’s vehicle and attempted to stop it, however he took off and tossed out a loaded gun before being apprehended.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a job fair next week. The Get Hired event is scheduled for September 21st from 10-3 at the Hilton Garden Inn. Over 40 businesses are participating.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The trends of production and price for the beef sector are moving in opposite directions, per USDA's September outlook. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Gibson City will host their Friday Night Fun Cruise Night tonight from 6-9 pm with Style in Stereo performing live music downtown.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the St. Peters Melvin Lutheran on Saturday from 10 to 2.

 

Paxton’s annual Swine n Dine will take place on Saturday.

 

The Buckley Fun Day will take place on Saturday at Buckley Lake.

Illinois Department of Employment Security paid out $155 million to Fraudulent Unemployment claims in the first 7 weeks

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinoisans will soon know exactly how much money was paid out in fraudulent unemployment claims during the pandemic. An audit of just the first seven weeks of the federal unemployment programs revealed that the Illinois Department of Employment Security gave about $155 million to fraudsters instead of unemployed Illinoisans.  At that rate over the full 69 weeks of the federal programs, more than $1.528 billion would be given out to fraudsters.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says it’s important that everyone continue to mask up. While some COVID numbers may be holding fairly steady, they aren’t going down. With that in mind, the Governor chastised local officials who aren’t supporting the state’s indoor mask mandate…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. As for the latest daily totals, there are over 4,000 new cases and 44 additional deaths. More than 22 hundred COVID patients are in the hospital. One region of the state in Southern Illinois currently has little to no ICU beds available and a few other areas are down to 20 to 30 beds. Locally, Champaign County reported 51 new cases. Vermilion County reported 20 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police said they are looking for a teenager connected to an incident at Centennial High School last week. Champaign Police officials said that on September 8, officers went to the high school after getting a report that someone had a gun in the school. A preliminary investigation indicated 18-year-old Pereze Collier, a student at the high school, was in a verbal fight with other students. During the fight, witnesses saw Collier get what appeared to be a gun from his backpack. The gun was not fired. A warrant was issued for Collier’s arrest. Bond was set at $500,000.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- A candidate for Iroquois County Sheriff has received the endorsement of the county board. Clint Perzee announced he was running to replace retiring sheriff Derek Hagan. The county board announced Perzee will fill the rest of Hagan’s term when he retires at the end of the month.

 

(Washington-jm) -- How did USDA's recent revisions for soybean acreage and production estimates translate to the September U.S. and global balance sheets? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two Illinois universities have been named among the top 10 in the country for 2022, according to the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The annual Best Colleges ranking listed the University of Chicago at No. 6 in the nation. Northwestern University came in at No. 9. Also named on the list was the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, which ranked 47th.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- METCAD 9-1-1 is actively seeking individuals interested in helping others to attend an upcoming Virtual Information Session to discuss career opportunities as a Telecommunicator, or Emergency Dispatcher. As a METCAD telecommunicator, one will be required to answer emergency and non-emergency phone calls and provide routine and emergency dispatch for local police, fire, and ambulance services across Champaign County. The session will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. tonight. 



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College's Board of Trustees has recognized faculty and staff award winners, received an update on the newest solar array, and approved the college's fiscal year 2022 budget.  At its regular meeting Wednesday, the board also received an update from Vice President for Student Services Michael Trame about recent measures the college has taken relating to COVID-19 and Governor Pritzker's Executive Order for vaccination and testing requirements for higher education.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new analysis puts Illinois near the bottom of the hardest working states in the country. The personal finance website WalletHub looked at more than 10 indicators from average work week hours to the share of workers with multiple jobs to determine the rankings. Illinois was ranked as the 43rd hardest-working state in the nation.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Carle Health is hosting community influenza flu vaccine clinics beginning September. 21 through October 7 at various clinic locations throughout central Illinois. A walk-in clinic will also be held at Kohl’s Plaza, 1901 N. Market Street, Champaign on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. during the same time. Clinics will also be held in Danville on September 25 and October 2 from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The area's regional school superintendent has announced he will run for re-election in 2022. Gary Lewis has served as the regional school superintendent for Ford and Champaign Counties since he was elected in 2018.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA recently took a look at the growth in recent years of crop insurance products designed for specialty crops and organic produced products. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson city leaders will continue discussions on water rates next week. The water and sewer committee will meet at 5pm on Monday where they will continue discussions on whether to increase rates or not as well as discuss hydrant flushing and a new well.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The 2021 Mahomet Soda Fest will take place this Saturday in downtown Mahomet. Over 100 craft sodas will be available for tasting and purchasing. That’s not the only local festival taking place this weekend. The 2021 Buckley Fun Day will take place Saturday at Buckley Lake and the 2021 Paxton Swine n Dine BBQ Festival will take place in downtown Paxton.

 

Around $60 million for rental assistance is being made available through the Illinois Supreme Court

(Springfield-jm) -- County circuit court clerks from around the state may see a significant drop in funding from bail bond payments with the end of cash bail Jan. 1, 2023. That’s according to the Illinois Supreme Court. A report on the financial impact of elimination of cash bail in Illinois released shows bond payments statewide in 2016 totaled $153.2 million. That dropped to $121.9 million in 2020, the year court proceedings were delayed because of the pandemic.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is reminding Illinois drivers not having a readable plate can result in a $164 fine. Damaged or degraded plate owners can call White’s office for a replacement at no cost, the office said. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- This week is homecoming week for Paxton Buckley Loda. One of the traditions for homecoming week is the induction of the newest members of the hall of fame. PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure talks about this year’s inductees…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,660 new Coronavirus cases Tuesday and 40 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 17 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 12,212 and deaths to 174. Champaign County reported 55 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 25,513 and deaths to 182. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The man accused of killing a 14-year-old in Champaign had his pre-trial in Champaign County Court on Tuesday. Daryl Vandyke is accused of murdering 14-year-old Steven Butler III. Prosecutors alleged that Vandyke used an axe or edged object to hit Butler repeatedly.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Constituents of the 53rd state district will have the chance to provide their input. Senator Jason Barickman will be hosting a series of town halls where the public can address issues that they have…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran has announced he will not run for re-election and will instead retire at the end of his term in 2022. Doran has been sheriff for 16 years. Paxton Police Captain Chad Johnson has announced his intention to run.

 

 

(Washington-jm) --  The U.S. was not the only country reporting expected corn production increases in September, per USDA's latest global supply and demand estimate. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- After passing a sweeping energy bill over the span of two special sessions, the Illinois Legislature is off until next month. Lawmakers are set to return for two weeks in October for the fall veto session, but there are no pending bills for them to take up. They could bring about entirely new legislation at that time.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Around $60 million for rental assistance is being made available through the Illinois Supreme Court. The Court-Based Rental Assistance Program or CBRAP is available to tenants and landlords across the state starting today. The court said the expedited payments are intended as a safety net for litigants on the brink of an eviction order.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- New census data shows Illinois continued to lose population and that is having an impact on the number of seats in Washington. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains what that could mean for you…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man will spend a decade in federal prison for enticement of a minor. Michael Turner, 36, was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 9th annual Paxton Swine n Dine will take place on Saturday, September 18th in downtown Paxton. Country Singer Michael Ray will perform that evening. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer says  there is more than just BBQ at the festival…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Several catalytic converters were stolen around Champaign County and now officers want information about those who took them. Between August 13th and 15th, four were stolen at Gordyville. Between August 23rd and 24th several were taken in Savoy. August 25th one was taken from the Maranatha Baptist Church in Rantoul. August 28th, two suspects attempted to take one from a vehicle at Serra Subaru in Savoy. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- New production updates from USDA meant additional changes in the U.S. corn ledger for this month. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Corn harvesting is just beginning in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate is voting in favor of new clean energy legislation. The measure aims for the state to be using 100 percent clean energy by 2050, requires municipally owned coal and natural gas plants to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2045, offers a $4,000 rebate to those buying an electric car and includes money for Exelon to keep nuclear plants open. Senate President Don Harmon…

 

 

Senate President Don Harmon. The compromise package was already approved by the House and Governor J-B Pritzker says he will sign the bill into law as soon as possible.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 9,152 new Coronavirus cases since Friday and 106 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate is 5 percent. Locally since Friday, Vermilion County reported 88 new cases bringing their total to 12,195. Champaign County reported 204 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 25,458 and deaths to 180. Iroquois County reported 107 new cases bringing their total to 3,864. Ford County did not have a report Monday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn harvesting is just beginning in Illinois as we hear in the weekly crop report. One percent of corn acres have now been harvested, and 51 percent of the crop is mature. Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined and is rated as 10 percent very short, 23 percent short, 65 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

 

(Minnesota-jm) -- The leader of an Illinois anti-government militia group who authorities say masterminded the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque was sentenced Monday to 53 years in prison on several civil rights and hate crimes. Emily Claire Hari, who was previously known as Michael Hari faced a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison for the attack on Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center. Hari was convicted in December on five counts, including damaging property because of its religious character and obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs.

 

 

(Ford-Iro-C--jc) Harvest Season has officially started here in central Illinois. Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece says a few farmers are out and about but has no real numbers to share at this time…

 

 

Ford Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On September 11th, Buddy Anderson-Tackett of Gibson City was arrested for assault.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College and Walgreens will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Dodds Athletic Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The production prospects for corn, soybeans and cotton look better than they did just a month ago. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing help for those who need child care in order to head back to work. Starting October 1st, eligible parents actively looking for a job can get three months of free daycare. Governor Pritzker says this will benefit families and the economy…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Additionally, eligible child care workers will get an up to one thousand dollar bonus and later this fall, early childhood providers will be able to apply for grants to help recruit and retain additional workers.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn harvesting is just beginning in Illinois as we hear in the weekly crop report. Starting with soybeans, Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 63 percent of acres are turning color and 33 percent are dropping leaves…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 62 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition, a slight decline from the previous week. Below normal rainfall meant average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to 10 percent very short, 23 percent short, 65 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District will once again be holding their fall tree sale. Tree orders are due by October 8th. To place your order call 217-379-4388.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- As the harvest gets underway, Farm Safety could not be more important. Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece shares his message with a few ways to stay safe this harvest. 

 

 

Ford-Iroquois Farm Bureau Manager David Treece 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Stock and Field stores will have a new name. R.P. Lumber bought the stores as part of a bankruptcy process last spring. The stores will now be called R.P. Home and Harvest. 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Gas prices have fallen 8.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.05 per gallon. According to officials at Gasbuddy, the current gas prices are 23.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Corn, soybeans, and cotton production and yields forecasts were primarily adjusted up per USDA's latest crop production report. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Sport team license plates have raised more than 13 million dollars for Illinois public schools

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing more than five thousand new cases of COVID-19 Friday. The latest daily total is 5,309 and 47 additional deaths. 65 percent of Illinoisans age 12 and up are now fully vaccinated. Governor J-B Pritzker was asked about President Biden’s new vaccine mandates…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Under the Governor’s own mandate, all teachers and staff at preschools through 12th grade, all college staff and students and health care workers must get their first shot by September 19th or submit to regular testing. Locally Friday Vermilion County reported 42 new cases and 1 additional death. Champaign County reported 117 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Ford County reported 69 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Iroquois County did not have a report.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Sport team license plates have raised more than 13 million dollars for Illinois public schools. More than 71 thousand vehicles in Illinois are adorned with plates representing favorite sports teams, with 25 dollars from each purchase and renewal going to education. Secretary of State Jesse White’s Spokesperson Beth Kaufman says some teams are more popular than others…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman. The least popular plates are the Chicago Bulls and the St. Louis Cardinals, although Kaufman says Illinois has more Cardinals license plates on the roads than Missouri.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- School districts are starting to plan how they will spend federal COVID aid money. One of those districts is Paxton-Buckley-Loda. Superintendent Cliff McClure says they are seeking input on some potential project ideas…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Dozens of motorcyclists roared through several towns Sunday as part of the 9-11 Memorial Ride. The group started in Danville before making stops in Hoopeston, Rankin, Paxton, Ludlow, Rantoul, Gifford, Potomac before heading back to Danville.

 

 

(Paxton--jc) --An upcoming blood drive will be held at the 1st Lutheran Church here in Paxton today. Kevin Hansen is in charge of coordinating the drive, and shares some details for those who would like to donate….

 

 

Blood Drive Coordinator Kevin Hansen 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- There are several meetings scheduled for tonight. At 6pm in Rantoul, the high school school board will hear a presentation on their tentative capital development program and approve the fiscal year 2022 budget. At 7 in Gibson City, the city council will review a recycling contract, consider changing credit card companies and consider new welcome signs. At 7 at the Cornbelt Fire Station in Mahomet, the Mahomet Seymour school board and village of Mahomet will hold a joint meeting to discuss the shared tennis courts. At 7 in Paxton, the Ford County board will consider revisions to the wind farm ordinance, and consider highway tax appropriations for townships. In Roberts at 7:30, village leaders will discuss whether to continue spraying for mosquitos, consider hiring a new ordinance officer and continue discussions of ambulance services.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritkzer is announcing a 50 million dollar grant program to help revitalize downtown and main street areas. The idea is to kickstart projects in areas really struggling over the last year and a half, with grant awards ranging from 250 thousand to three million dollars, says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Projects can range from downtown plazas to structural repairs. The deadline to apply for these grants is January 10th. Visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website for more information.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Republican lawmakers continue to criticize the state budget passed in May. The over 3,000 page bill was passed in the middle of the night with not much time for debate and included a critical error that brought lawmakers back a month later. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there was further evidence of that last month…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Urbana police are investigating a pair of weekend deaths. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says Alura Yarber died after she struck several cars and a large tree on Anderson Street. Kendall Jones died at Carle Foundation Hospital after being shot multiple times. Autopsies for both Yarber and Jones are scheduled for tomorrow.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Republicans continue to fight for additional ethics reforms in Springfield. An ethics reform package was approved in the spring session, however, 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says it wasn’t enough…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

The Secretary of State's Office cracked down on uninsured drivers

(Springfield-jm) -- Unemployment filings were nearly flat last week from the week before. The U.S. Department of Labor reports about 15,200 people filed initial claims last week, around 300 fewer than the week before. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Secretary of State's Office crackdown on uninsured drivers has affected thousands of Illinoisans. Approximately 2,700 license plates are currently suspended due to drivers not having automobile insurance. On July 1, 2021, the office started electronically verifying vehicle insurance to make sure drivers are in compliance.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois House is taking a big step toward slowing climate change with approval of a compromise clean energy package. The goal is to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050 and keep the state’s nuclear fleet up and running. The legislation includes incentives for purchasing electric vehicles and invests in wind and solar power. Representative Robyn Gabel of Evanston is a big supporter…

 

 

State Representative Robyn Gabel of Evanston. As for one of the biggest sticking points, municipally owned coal fired power plants in downstate Springfield and Marissa will have to reduce carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2035, and then close in 2045 if they can’t reach zero emissions. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of Neil Street and Arcadia Drive on Thursday in which a school bus carrying kids and an SUV were hit by gunfire. No children on the bus were injured.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Republican Women will be holding a ceremony in Paxton coming to remember the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks. Spokesperson Kim Evans talks about the event…

 

 

Ford County Republican Women Spokesperson Kim Evans.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois homeowners saw their home equity grow at a slower pace than most of the country. A new report from CoreLogic shows in the first quarter of 2021, while the national average was $33,400 in equity gain, Illinois’ average gain was $14,000, behind nearly every other state. Excluding five states that didn’t have sufficient data, Illinois had the fourth slowest growth.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A San Francisco venture capitalist is the latest Republican to run for the chance to unseat Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. Jesse Sullivan, an Illinois native, has nearly $11 million in donations and released a video Thursday kicking off his campaign.However, any candidate faces an uphill battle against Pritzker who is seeking re-election and so far has $35 million set aside for his campaign.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is about to have a new ethics reform law on the books. On a second attempt, the House voted to accept the Governor’s changes to an ethics package. Opponents argued it only scratches the surface of what really needs to be done to clean up government. But Representative Kelly Burke of Oak Lawn says this is a good start…

 

 

State Representative Kelly Burke of Oak Lawn. The legislation does a number of things such as prohibiting lawmakers from immediately working as lobbyist when they leave office and bans elected officials at all levels of government from engaging in compensated lobbying.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois Urbana Champaign student reported a battery Wednesday night. U of I Police say it happened around 8 p.m. in the 1400 block of  West Green Street. The student told officers two people on bicycles came up to her. One of the bicyclists then told her they had COVID-19 and intentionally coughed on her.

 

 

(Loda-jm) -- The 3rd Annual Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease will take place Saturday September 11th at Lakeview Country Club in Loda. Spokesperson Samantha Cox talks about the event and how to get signed up…

 

 

Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease Spokesperson Samantha Cox. Again that number is 217-249-1421.

 

St. Joseph Fall townwide garage sales will take place through Saturday.

 

The 2021 Gilman Super Saturday will take place tomorrow.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the Paxton United Methodist Women on Saturday  from 10 to 2.

 

A 9-11 Memorial Ride will take place on Sunday starting at 10 am in Danville. Riders stop in Paxton for lunch about noon. For more information call Dan hudson at 217-474-5177.

 

The Gibson City Sesquicentennial will host an old fashioned hymn sign and ice cream social on Sunday at 2pm. Then at 3:30 there will be a vintage baseball game at McMillian field.

Ethics reform continues to be a hot topic in Springfield

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,961 new Coronavirus cases and 61 additional deaths Wednesday. Locally, Vermilion County reported 124 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Champaign County reported 97 additional cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) --In updating our story from Wednesday,  One person was injured in a shooting in Rantoul Wednesday. The shooting occurred on Golf Course Road around 11 am. A woman showed up at the Carle Clinic in the village with a gunshot wound. She was taken to the hospital with non life threatening injuries. 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Buckley Loda School District is looking good financially. That’s according to Superintendent Cliff McClure…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton man is facing residential burglary and attempted sexual assault charges. Preston Braaten, 22, is charged with residential burglary, attempted sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse. Ford County prosecutors say Braaten allegedly gained entry into the victims apartment back in August and sexually assaulted the female victim. He is due back in court September 28th.

 

 

(St. Joseph-jm) -- Former St. Joseph Mayor BJ Hackler has died. Hackler served as mayor for 36 years before retiring in 2017. He also cut hair for 60 years.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Ethics reform continues to be a hot topic in Springfield. Lawmakers passed some reforms in the spring however 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says more needs to be done…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been charged with domestic battery and drug charges. Police were called to the 200 block of Letchworth Drive after a woman reported her boyfriend, Cory Worker, assaulted her. She also told police Worker had been bringing cannabis and cannabis related products from Oregon to Illinois to sell. If convicted on the most serious charge he faces anywhere from probation to 15 years in prison.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- With a freshman enrollment of 8,303, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has welcomed a record-breaking freshman class for the 2021-22 academic year. The new class brings total student enrollment to 56,299, the largest in university history. The totals include 5,835 new students from Illinois, the largest number of in-state students in the freshman class since 2018 and the second largest in 10 years. The total undergraduate enrollment of 34,559 is higher than the previous record of 33,850 in 2019.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- This Friday markets will have some new data on yields, production and possibly on acreage. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Economic development on Rantoul’s west side continues to boom. The former Knights Inn hotel was recently tore down and developers plan to build several buildings at that location. But Mayor Chuck Smith says there are plans for other areas on the west side as well…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Paxton mother and daughter are behind bars after authorities say they allegedly brought meth to the Ford County Jail. Police say 21 year old Harlee Nelson was seen on surveillance camera throwing meth over the barbed wire fence at the jail to her mother 49 year old Angela Purtell on August 17th. Purtell allegedly took the drugs bag to her cell where she shared them with other inmates. Both are charged with introducing contraband into a penal institution. Additional charges are pending against Nelson.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Nearly 1,300 students asked the University of Illinois to excuse them from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 942 students made the request for a medical exemption. 350 requests were made for a religious exemption. Faculty and staff have submitted 189 total requests. 61 for medical reasons and 128 due to religion.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 9th annual Paxton Swine n Dine will take place on Saturday, September 18th. Country singer Michael Ray will headline the music act that evening. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer talks about the bbq competition…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- GasBuddy reported that gas prices have fallen 9.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.14 per gallon. Prices around the WPXN listening area are in the $3.20-$3.30 range.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College’s CobraVenture program for aspiring student entrepreneurs is seeking students this fall for its third cohort. Applications for CobraVenture 2022 open today and stay open through Thursday, November 4. Information sessions about the program will be held Thursday, October 7, from noon to 1 p.m. in Room A175 and virtually on Zoom from 6 to 7 p.m. Applications can be found online at parkland.edu/cobraventure.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- A USDA report Friday will forecast demand for this season's crops. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Schools are adjusting to the latest guidance when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic

(Chicago-jm) -- Former U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson III of Illinois has died at his home on Chicago's North Side. He was 90. The Chicago Sun-Times reports his son, Adlai Stevenson IV, confirmed the Democrat's death and said his father had dementia. Stevenson ran for governor of Illinois twice, losing his 1982 run by just 5,074 votes to Republican Governor Jim Thompson.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new state law aims to reduce pedestrian deaths in Illinois. The measure was sponsored by Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines and requires the Illinois Department of Transportation to look more closely at fatal accidents on state highways…

 

 

State Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines. I-DOT will then offer and implement recommendations, which could be as simple as adding a stop sign, says Murphy. The results of each study will be posted online.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Severe weather rolled through the WPXN listening area Tuesday evening. Severe thunderstorms brought strong winds and heavy rain. In Gibson City, several trees and tree limbs came down and strong winds ripped the roof off a baseball dugout. In Rantoul, strong winds knocked out power to most of the village and heavy rains caused street flooding. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Knight for Christ auction hosted by Christ Lutheran HS at the Ford county Fair Grounds was a smashing success this year. Larry Abbe joins us to discuss some auction items featured this year…

 

 

After wrapping up another successful Knight for Christ Auction, Larry Abbe takes time to thank everyone involved…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Knight for Christ Spokesperson Larry Abbe.

 

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- Officials with the Village of Thomasboro are looking for someone they said shut down the power to the lift station on Monday. Officials say a 4-door sedan pulled up to the lift station south of the Public Works building. A man then got out of the car and urinated by the power board. He exposed himself to passing cars and then shut off the power switch on the lift station.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Schools are adjusting to the latest guidance when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Paxton Buckley Loda Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure talks about their plans…

 

 

PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man has been charged after he allegedly stole a car from a parking lot of a business in the village. George Whitlock was arrested for possessing a stolen vehicle. Whitlock allegedly stole a vehicle from the Walgreens in Rantoul back in April. He is due back in court later this month.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Crop conditions declined slightly over the past week. 22 percent of soybeans are turning color and 9 percent of acres are dropping leaves. The soybean crop went from 71 percent in good to excellent condition previously to 65 percent now. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 96 percent of corn is in the dough stage or beyond…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The third cutting of alfalfa is 97 percent complete and average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at 8 percent very short, 17 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Two new state laws require health insurers to cover more cancer screenings. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 48 thousand people across the country will die of pancreatic cancer this year. Senator Adriane Johnson of Buffalo Grove sponsored one law that mandates coverage of medically necessary screenings for the disease…

 

 

State Senator Adriane Johnson of Buffalo Grove. Johnson also sponsored the second law, requiring coverage of colonoscopies when recommended by a doctor and at no cost to the patient. Both laws take effect in January.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Gibson City once again received the brunt of severe weather Tuesday. Strong storms damaged dozens of trees in the western Ford County community. The winds also took the metal roof off of a baseball dugout and damaged the porch of a house. Rantoul also received damage to trees and powerlines causing much of the community to lose power.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State lawmakers are discussing the state’s budget situation. A government watchdog budget group found the state is spending a record amount of money and revenue is down. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the budget was rushed through quickly and had some critical errors…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Kankakee-jm) -- A Christian school in Kankakee that declined to enforce a mask mandate has lost state recognition but will seek accreditation in other ways. Kankakee Trinity Academy is a pre-K-to-12 school in Kankakee. It won't be able to participate in events affiliated with the Illinois Elementary School Association or Illinois High School Association. 

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting distracted driving enforcement patrols tonight. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A University of Illinois student reported they were scammed out of several thousand dollars. The student told officers she got a text from someone she did not know. They told her they would “pay money in exchange for conversation.” After they talked back-and-forth, the suspect sent the student a $4,500 check. They told her to deposit the check and return some of the money to them. The student did so, only to find out the original check bounced.

 

 

(Loda-jm) -- The 3rd Annual Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease will take place Saturday September 11th at Lakeview Country Club in Loda. Spokesperson Samantha Cox talks about the event…

 

 

Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease Spokesperson Samantha Cox.  Contact Samantha Cox at 217-249-1421 for more information.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City Rotary chapter has received a donation towards flood relief. The Champaign West Rotary donated money to help the city recover from the August 12th flood.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Crop conditions declined slightly over the past week. It was slightly cooler and wetter this past week, with about five days suitable for fieldwork. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 22 percent of soybean acres are turning color…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 83 percent of corn acres are in the dent stage and 30 percent are mature. 67 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition, down from 70 percent the previous week. Average statewide topsoil moisture is now rated 8 percent very short, 17 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus.

September is National Preparedness Month

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritkzer is announcing a major effort to address homelessness in Illinois. The Governor has issued a new executive order that creates an interagency task force, the position of State Homelessness Chief and a community advisory council. He says this will help better coordinate existing programs for those struggling...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says homelessness occurs all over Illinois, from the city of Chicago to rural areas in downstate Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- School staff and health care workers have two more weeks to get vaccinated before they'll be required to get weekly testing, state officials said. After originally announcing a September 5 deadline, Governor J-B Pritzker issued an extension to the executive order.

 

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols tonight. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Tax bills for Ford and Iroquois County residents are due this week. The second installment for Ford County residents is due Friday. For Iroquois County residents the second installment is due today.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An area state lawmaker is calling for local control when it comes to the handling of the state's Coronavirus pandemic. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says he is joining several other Republican members of the general assembly in calling for more local control…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Preparedness Month and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants you to be ready for anything. Disaster can strike unexpectedly, so it’s important to gather emergency supplies ahead of time, says IEMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark…

 

 

IEMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. The kit should have a flashlight, weather radio, blankets, batteries, a first aid kit and water says Clark. She stresses that it’s also important to get your kids involved with emergency planning, and designate a meeting point should something happen when everyone isn’t together.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Sixty schools have been placed on probation in total for not following Gov. JB Pritzker's mask mandate. The Illinois State Board of Education began enforcing the executive order nearly a month ago. Just in the last week, 22 school districts have changed their plans and are now requiring masks, according to numbers ISBE released.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- There is new economic development coming to the village of Rantoul. Mayor Chuck Smith talks about some of the new development coming to the village…

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Ford County Soil and Water Conservation District will once again be holding their fall fish and tree sale. Fish orders are due today while tree orders are due by October 8th. To place your order call 217-379-4388.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The debate over legislative maps continues. Lawmakers were back in Springfield last week to take up another proposal which Republicans continue to call it unfair. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says it's past time for lawmakers to make the maps…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

Parents may be able to claim some of their back to school expenses on their taxes

(Springfield-jm) -- Here’s the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois. The latest daily total of new cases is 4,224. Wednesday, new cases hit over 5,000, the highest number since January 22nd. 51 additional people have died. There are 26 known outbreaks of COVID-19 in Illinois schools, on top of the many students who are in quarantine because of possible exposure, says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says another thing to watch is new hospital admissions. He says that number has been fairly steady but that it needs to go down. Locally, Vermilion County reported 85 new cases bringing their total to 11,702. Champaign County reported 104 new cases bringing their total to 24,466. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Thursday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Revenue is reminding parents that they may be able to claim some of their back to school expenses on their taxes. Save those receipts for things like tuition, books and lab fees, says Department Spokesperson Maura Kownacki (kuh-nacky)...

 

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki. The total credit may not exceed $750, regardless of the number of qualifying students in the family. More information is available online at tax dot illinois dot gov.

 

(Danville-jm) -- A Danville man who was convicted on all counts in the murder and dismemberment of Barbara Rose was sentenced to a total of 96 years in prison for his crimes.Ocheil Keys was sentenced to 60 years behind bars for one count of first degree murder, 30 years for two counts of dismembering a body, and six years for three counts of concealing a homicidal death. The sentences will run consecutively.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration will provide recovery assistance to families and businesses impacted by the severe storms and flash flooding in Ford County that happened in August according to a release from State Senator Scott Bennett on Thursday. Officials said families in the surrounding counties including Champaign, Iroquois, Kankakee, Livingston, McLean, and Vermilion are also eligible to apply.

 

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting roadside safety checks this weekend in Vermilion County. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- A Hoopeston man has been sentenced to five years in prison for possessing meth. Anthony Chandler was arrested in July 2020 after police observed a group of individuals arguing and fighting. While police were investigating the situation, an officer searched Chandler and found a bag of meth in his pocket.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Tax bills for Ford and Iroquois County residents have gone out. The second installment for Ford County residents is due September 10th. For Iroquois County residents the second installment is due September 7th.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's latest Agricultural Prices Report reflects primarily lower prices received by producers in most categories compared to the previous month. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding the public not to drink and drive over the holiday weekend. Expect to see more police out on the roads as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel says it’s about keeping people safe as they enjoy Labor Day..

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. According to the most recent data, more than a quarter of all fatal crashes in 2019 involved at least one drunk driver.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- It’s the second week of class for U of I students. In the last week, nearly 200 undergrads tested positive for the coronavirus. Many of those cases are breakthrough cases. Out of 257 positive cases, 214 are vaccinated.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- State lawmakers were in Springfield this week where they took up legislative maps. The General Assembly was in special session to take up the topic Tuesday. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about the process…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) --  For Hunger Action Month this September, Eastern Illinois Foodbank will join Feeding America and other network member food banks to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of people facing the impossible choice of hunger. Food banks around the country are working to make a real and lasting impact on food insecurity in their communities, and they are asking for the public’s support.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Farmland values throughout central and southern Illinois increased 8.54% on average from last year, according to the 2021 annual study of 20 benchmark farms by the Farm Credit Illinois appraisal department. The study has been ongoing since 1974. This is the third consecutive year of an increase in FCI’s 60-county territory. 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- This year is turning into a much better than expected income year for farmers.  Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the Loda Lutheran Church on Saturday, September 4th from 10 to 2.

 

The Central States Thresherman Reunion and antique tractor show in Pontiac continues through Monday.

 

No state government ethics reform after the Illinois House failed to accept the Governor's amendatory veto

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education came out with new remote learning guidance for school districts after some have closed down due to a high number of students in quarantine. According to the Illinois State Board of Education’s guidance, school districts that decide to take a pause from in-person learning also known as adaptive pause due to high COVID-19 transmission will be allowed to, but they have to consult with their local health department first and then provide remote learning to students during the pause.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- No state government ethics reform after the Illinois House failed to accept the Governor’s amendatory veto. The measure was passed earlier this year but the Governor made a minor change. The bill banned lawmakers from becoming lobbyists right after they leave office and from lobbying local governments. From the get-go, Republicans like Representative C-D Davidsmeyer of Jacksonville said the legislation didn’t go far enough to tackle corruption. He argued that they can do better…

 

 

State Representative C-D Davidsmeyer. The Senate accepted the amendatory veto but the House did not, essentially killing the bill.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois reported over 5000 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday. Vermilion County reported 100 new cases. Champaign County reported 240 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State lawmakers returned to Springfield Tuesday to take up a new legislative map proposal. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the original proposal was unfair…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Carle Health is increasing its minimum wage to $15 an hour. The organization says it's to help increase team member support and strengthen work culture. The increase in minimum wage begins immediately and will be fully implemented before the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Ford County Public Health Department and Gibson Area Hospital are hosting a parkinson screening today. Megan Reutter with the Ford County Public Health Department talks about the screening…

 

 

Ford County Public Health Department Community Educator Megan Reutter.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A House Republican who sought “data, studies, scientific or medical articles, and correspondence” from people advocating in support of school mask mandates got her answer in dramatic fashion on Tuesday. Governor Pritzker’s office responded to an August 10th Freedom of Information Act Request filed by Representative Tony McCombie by sending a staffer to her legislative office in Springfield to hand-deliver 870 pages of studies and letters from parents that supported the mask mandate.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing an expansion of mental health services for farmers across the state. A $500 thousand federal grant will be used to make it easier for struggling farmers to connect with mental health professionals, says the Governor. That includes implementing a hotline statewide, with options for texting and emailing to find resources as well…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The money will also be used to train mental health providers in the unique challenges those working in the ag industry face.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 9th annual Paxton Swine n Dine will take place on Saturday, September 18th. Country singer Michael Ray will headline the music act that evening. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer talks about the bbq competition…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch has unveiled their corn maze for this year. The theme is Day of the Dead and honors Día de Los Muertos and the Mexican tradition of celebrating the lives of those who have passed away. The corn maze covers 10 acres. Tickets are $8 for daytime challenges and $9 after 5 p.m..

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Police Department is looking to hire a social worker. Mayor Chuck Smith says there is a growing need to hire social workers to handle certain issues…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.

 

Nearly 60 percent of those eligible are now fully vaccinated in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- House Democrats Tuesday night forced a new set of gerrymandered redistricting maps through the House despite calls against it from dozens of advocacy organizations.  Shortly before the vote, State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian encouraged his colleagues to vote no on the bill…

 

 

State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian. It was approved right along party lines.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Nearly 60 percent of those eligible are now fully vaccinated in Illinois. 59.6 percent of Illinoisans 12 and older have gotten their shots, while close to 77 percent have received at least one dose. Governor J-B Pritzker was asked if the recent wave of new cases has peaked yet…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The most recent daily numbers include 4,871 new and probable cases and 26 additional deaths. There are more than 22 hundred Illinois COVID patients in the hospital. Locally, Vermilion County reported 39 new cases. Champaign County reported 49 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police are investigating a report of shots fired on Tuesday near Parkland College. It happened around 2:24 p.m. at 1300 Mariner Way. A message sent out by the Parkland College Police Department says the shots were fired between two vehicles on West Bradley Avenue. There's no indication the shooting was directed at individuals or buildings on campus.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County has been issued a tentative property assessment equalization factor of 1.0196, according to David Harris, Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue. Assessments in Ford County are at  32.69 percent of market value, based on sales of properties in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Last year’s equalization factor for the county was 1.0000.

 

 

(Louisiana-jm) -- Officials with Ameren Illinois said workers will be heading to Louisiana this week. They will be helping energy crews repair damage and restore power after Hurricane Ida. The storm left more than a million people there in the dark. Ameren Illinois crews will be there for two weeks.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton is looking at addressing drainage issues. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about how they will address problems…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- A Paxton woman has been arrested for drug possession in Hoopeston. Megan Hawk was arrested after police observed a vehicle in an alley in the 200 block of North Market. Hawk was found in possession of meth.

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department , in partnership with Iroquois Memorial Hospital, will be hosting a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination clinic, available by appointment or walk-in, for Illinois residents age 12 and older today from 7-9 AM and 3-6 PM

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Democrats forced a new set of gerrymandered redistricting maps through the House despite calls against it from dozens of advocacy organizations. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City reacts…

 

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A funeral service was held Tuesday for University of Illinois Police Lieutenant Aaron Landers. First responders lined areas of the procession to say good-bye to the 24-year UIPD veteran. Landers died after a crash last week. He had been off duty and riding his motorcycle when he was hit by a vehicle.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Clean-up has come to an end in Gibson City. City officials say they’ve finished their last round of picking up debris and damaged goods from the flood on August 12th. Work to restore homes and businesses in the Ford County community continues.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The 9th annual C-U Oktoberfest is canceled for later next month. Discover Self Community puts on the event every fall as one of the non-profits largest fundraisers. DSC serves approximately 1,100 children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities on an annual basis. This is one of the first major fall events to be canceled in Champaign County due to the health risks and increase of COVID-19 cases.

 

 

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

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl over the summer led to a series of retaliatory fights at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School in recent days, along with threats made on social media and through text messages according to Paxton Police. The victim of the alleged sexual assault told some of her friends about it on Friday, August 20, after classes resumed. Her friends then confronted the person who allegedly committed the sexual assault, which led to a series of fights and threats being made. Following an investigation, Paxton police arrested Janson Campbell, 18, of Paxton, in connection with the alleged sexual assault. Meanwhile, seven juveniles were charged by Paxton police in connection with the series of fights and threats, all of which occurred between August 20, and August 26.



 

 

Get our App

Facebook

On Air Now

Joe Bradley
Joe Bradley
11:00am - 2:00pm
Regular Programming

Listen on Alexa

Weather

Visitor Polls

How do you consume your sports, or news coverage?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.