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WPXN Blog Archives for 2021-10

Tuition and fees are being eliminated for some local students at Eastern Illinois University

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Supreme Court has announced changes to who has access to eviction court files in hopes of expediting rental assistance. The new order gives the Illinois Department of Human Services and Illinois Housing Development Authority access to sealed eviction files. This will help more quickly verify if rental assistance applicants are facing eviction.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly passed a change to the state school code on Thursday that would allow educators to be able to take time off for reasons related to COVID-19, without using any of their accrued sick time. Two amendments to HB2778 require all school districts, community colleges, and public universities to give their employees paid administrative leave “as required to abide by such public health guidance, mandates, and requirements issued by the Department of Public Health.” The amendments also provide for paid leave for the educator if they have a child that must isolate due to virus exposure. The change would also mandate full pay and benefits for employees that must physically work on campus, like custodians and bus drivers, if the school must temporarily switch to remote instruction. Finally, school districts and higher education institutions would have to return sick days that educators used during the 2021-2022 academic year to follow COVID-19 public health guidelines. It now goes to Governor Pritzker for approval.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton first responders were called to a two vehicle head on accident Thursday evening. The accident occurred on Ottawa Street near the Napa Autoparts store. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- Economic Development in Rantoul has been increasing travel to the Rantoul Area. With additional traffic using the I-57 mile marker 250 exit, Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith has put in a request to IDOT about a new speed limit in the area….

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.

 

 

(Loda-jm) -- The village of Loda is one step closer to getting a new water tower. The village board approved the $975,160 bid in September. The board approved allowing the village president to sign documents related to the $1.28 million project. Work is expected to begin in the spring.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- People with certain health conditions that make them moderately or severely immunocompromised may get a fourth COVID-19 shot according to updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The shot is available to those six months after getting their booster shot. Health departments recommend talking to your doctor to see if you qualify for the fourth shot.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report shows Illinoisans are dealing with the highest wireless taxes in the nation. The report from the Tax Foundation shows Illinois charges combined federal, state and local tax rates of 34.56%. Idaho, which has the lowest taxes in the nation, charges 14.63%. The average across the nation is 23.94%, according to the report.


 

(Charleston-jm) -- Tuition and fees are being eliminated for some local students at Eastern Illinois University. The financial aid package is available to qualified incoming first-year freshmen. Students who may be eligible if their family’s annual adjusted gross income is $100,000 or less and if they are from one of the following counties: Champaign, DeWitt, Piatt and Vermilion Counties.

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- A Halloween event put on by the Parks and Recreation Department in Rantoul will be held tonight from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Rantoul Family Sports Complex. Rantoul’s Park and Recreation Director Luke Humphery shares the details… 

 

 

Rantoul’s Park and Recreation Director Luke Humphery

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Civic Center will be getting a new HVAC system. The board approved the $5,200 bid from Magers Repair of Paxton for the project.

 

State and local police are boosting their enforcement efforts over Halloween weekend

(Springfield-jm) -- A measure repealing the state’s Parental Notification of Abortion Act continues to make headway. The Senate approved the bill Tuesday night and now a House committee has okayed it as well. Dr Erin King, Executive Director of the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite city testified at the hearing in support of the repeal…

 

 

Hope Clinic for Women Executive Director Dr Erin King.

 

Representative Avery Bourne of Morrisonville argued against the repeal at the hearing, saying parents should know what’s going on with their kids. She notes that other laws in Illinois limit teens…

 

 

State Representative Avery Bourne of Morrisonville. Proponents say pregnant teens can make the decision themselves, especially in cases of abuse or assault. The bill will be heard by the full House next. Governor J-B Pritzker has said he favors repealing the act.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State and local police are boosting their enforcement efforts over Halloween weekend. More than one thousand people have died on Illinois roads this year, and State Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel says they don’t want to see that number go any higher over Halloween…

 

 

State Department of Transportation Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Wappel says the easiest way to stay out of trouble is to plan ahead of time how you’re going to get home, whether that be a designated driver, public transportation or rideshare.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,013 new Coronavirus cases and 25 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 80 new cases and 1 additional death, a woman in her 30s. Champaign County reported 41 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Staff illness has the Champaign Vehicle Services Facility closing its doors for nearly a week. The driver services facility is set to reopen on November 2. Other facilities open include Rantoul and Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-tr)-- Instead of a parade this year,  Paxton Park District Director  Cody Evans shares a new activity set for Halloween Evening… 

 

 

Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City Melvin Sibley district leaders are learning how much damage was caused by unprecedented severe weather this summer. The flash flooding in August will cost the district around $40,000 to demolish a damaged outbuilding while it will cost $260,000 to replace the four dugouts damaged by a wind event in September.

 

 

(Mahomet-jc) -- Mahomet Police are asking for public’s help to get more information after several burglaries happened Tuesday. Police said they are looking for video footage of suspects on foot and in a vehicle. Some people stole from several motor vehicles Tuesday night. Expensive Halloween decorations were also stolen during the same night, according to police. Anyone with information about the burglaries can call Mahomet Police Department at 217-333-8911.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 8:30-11:30 am at the American Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gibson City.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The La Nina weather pattern is back for a second consecutive year, but will it be a repeat of last year? Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A new round of rental assistance will soon be available to struggling tenants and landlords. The state has already doled out the first 505 million dollars in assistance, making Illinois a national leader in awarding emergency rent grants. State Housing Development Authority Executive Director Kristen Faust says money is going to the most vulnerable…

 

 

Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Kristen Faust. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- We have new details about the investigation into a possible road rage shooting. It happened over the weekend at Prospect Avenue and Town Center Boulevard in Champaign. The police department says a witness told them the suspect was in a Black Chevy Equinox. The 24 year old victim was shot in the head and was taken to the hospital.

 

 

(Paxton-tr)-- Ruby Jewels Antiques and Gifts in Paxton will be having an Open House November 5th and 6th. The Open House will showcase new fall items and holiday decor that can only be found at Ruby Jewels in Paxton. Ruby Jewels Spokesperson Melody Heneger has more…

 

 

Ruby Jewels Operator Melody Heneger 

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- McLean County Coroner Dr. Kathy Yoder and McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage released more information on the body that was located in Lake Bloomington in Hudson Tuesday. The body has been identified as 58-year-old David L. Roesch, of Saybrook, Illinois. Yoder stated that the preliminary autopsy indicated that Roesch died from drowning with non-fatal injuries on his lips and forehead, which are consistent with blunt trauma from a motor vehicle crash into the water.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Buckley Loda School District is looking at what to do with federal grant money. The district has $2.3 million and plans to use $603,000 to address learning lost during the pandemic. The district will work with other stakeholders on what to do with the other $1.7 million. Some ideas include adding HVAC to the junior high gym, adding more electrical outlets at the high school and purchase new Chromebooks for students.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Retail price inflation for meat products is showing no signs of abating. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

A House committee is voting to fine tune a state law so it doesn't apply to COVID-19 mandates

(Springfield-jm) -- A House committee is voting to fine tune a state law so it doesn't apply to COVID-19 mandates. The Health Care Right of Conscience Act was designed to protect health care workers who are unwilling to perform a  procedure or provide a service because it goes against their religious beliefs. But some people have been using this to fight vaccines and testing mandates. That’s become a problem, says Ashley Wright with the Illinois Attorney General’s office…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General's Office Ashley Wright. Opponents want to protect a person’s right to choose and are concerned the act could be further amended to cover other vaccines. The change will now face a vote in the House. Since it would take effect immediately, it will take a super majority to pass the measure.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,213 new and probable COVID-19 cases and 34 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate is 2.2 percent. Locally Champaign County reported 33 new cases bringing their total to 27,268. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report Tuesday.

 

 

(Ford County-tr)--  The Ford County Health Department is partnering with Jerimiah 33:6 to provide food to families in need. Ford County Health Department Spokesperson Megan Reutter shares what the partnership means... 

 

 

Ford County Health Department Spokesperson Megan Reutter. The drive thru food pantry is today from 3:30-5:30 pm.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- In updating our story from yesterday, the University of Illinois Police Department believes they have found the person who inappropriately touched a student on Saturday on the Quad. Richard Endsley, 65, of Champaign, was issued a state of Illinois notice to appear in court for aggravated battery. Endsley reportedly touched the buttocks of a U. of I. student. The student recognized him as the man responsible when she saw him Monday night and called police.

 

 

(Paxton-tr) -- Paxton received a clean audit this year from the Kemper CPA Group, Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold has more… 

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

(Elliott-jm) -- The Ford County village of Elliott will spend $19,500 for alley work. The village approved a bid from Lee Excavating of Paxton to apply gravel to all the alleys in the village in the spring.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Fall harvesting continues as we hear in the weekly crop report. Temperatures were about two degrees above normal and rainfall slightly above average this past week, leaving almost five days suitable for fieldwork, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 67 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 48  percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at two percent very short, eight percent short, 65 percent adequate and 25 percent surplus.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- An amendment repealing the state’s Parental Notification Law cleared a Senate committee Tuesday night. The measure removes the requirement that a minor’s parents be notified before she gets an abortion. Supporters say teenage girls should be able to make decisions for themselves about their pregnancies. Senator Jil Tracy of Quincy questions why teens are mature enough to seek an abortion on their own, but not do other things under current law…

 

 

State Senator Jil Tracy of Quincy. Opponents also argue that parents should be a part of such a big decision and point out that teens in abusive situations can already go to court to get around the notification requirement. The bill now moves to the full Senate.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,213 new and probable COVID-19 cases and 34 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate is 2.2 percent. Locally Champaign County reported 33 new cases bringing their total to 27,268. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report Tuesday.

 

 

(Paxton-tr)-- The Paxton Buckley Loda School district received a clean audit from Russell Leigh & Associates at the board's last meeting. PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure has the details.. 

 

 

PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination clinics will be wrapping up in Champaign County today, health officials announced. Vaccinations will take place today at the iHotel in Champaign from 9-4 no appointment is needed.  

 

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- The village of Rantoul has set its sights on expanding its C-Cart service, Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith has some details on what the village would like to do…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline spiked 13 cents over the past two weeks, to $3.44 per gallon. The price at the pump is $1.22 higher than a year ago. The Lundberg Survey says the rise comes as the cost of crude oil surges. Locally prices range from $3.30 to $3.59 a gallon.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fall harvesting continues as we hear in the weekly crop report. 78 percent of corn has now been harvested, on par with last year and a little ahead of the five year average. 68 percent of soybeans have been harvested, which is behind the usual pace. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at other crops...

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pastures improved to 48 percent in good to excellent condition and average statewide topsoil moisture came in at two percent very short, 8 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 25 percent surplus.

 

The Illinois Department of Public Health is gearing up for the anticipated approval of COVID-19 vaccines for younger children

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing an agreement with the state’s largest employee union for 78 hundred workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The deal is with AFSCME workers at Illinois Veterans Homes and Human Services congregate facilities, requiring they get the first dose right away and their second shot by the end of November…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. This brings the total number of state workers covered by union vaccine agreements to nearly 10 thousand. Negotiations with Department of Corrections and Juvenile Justice employees over the vaccine requirement have reached an impasse and will go to arbitration.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 5,140 new COVID cases and 58 additional deaths since Friday. Locally since Friday, Champaign County reported 68 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 56 new cases. Iroquois County reported 51 new cases and 1 additional death.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- New legislative maps could be brought up during the final week of the fall veto session. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the Democrats were hit with a major blow last week when a federal panel ruled the previously approved maps were unconstitutional…

 

 

Representative Bennett also discusses what’s next with those maps and what is happening with the federal legislative redistricting…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Carle will begin offering the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to people who qualify beginning on Saturday. The vaccine clinic at Kohl’s Plaza in Champaign will begin administering the Moderna booster Saturday in addition to the currently approved Pfizer booster. Patients in Vermilion County can schedule an appointment at a Danville clinic - J&J boosters will be available on Tuesday and Thursday; Moderna boosters will be available on Wednesday and Friday. All Carle booster clinic appointments can be scheduled through MyCarle or on Carle.org. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Illinois State Police District 10 were dispatched to Interstate 74 westbound at the Neil Street exit at around 7:14 p.m. on Sunday for a reported car crash. According to police, preliminary reports indicate while negotiating the Interstate 74 westbound Neil Street exit off-ramp , a 2004 Maroon Toyota Sienna abruptly veered off the roadway to the right and continued to travel northwest. Its front passenger side quarter panel proceeded to strike a 20-foot section of boundary fence located along the north side of the roadway. Due to the speed and force of impact, this car proceeded through the boundary fence, crossed East Anthony Drive and entered an Olive Garden parking lot from the south.

 

 

(IroquoisCounty-tr)-- The Iroquois County Board finalized their budget and has the  put the budget on public display. A vote on the budget is set for November.  Those interested have time to review the  budget before a final vote. Iroquois County Board Chairman John Shure says transparency is important…

 

 

Iroquois County Board Chairman John Shure.


 

(Undated-jm) -- USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack is issuing a disaster declaration for some Illinois counties because of extreme flooding earlier this year. Farmers in Champaign, Ford, Vermilion, McLean, DeWitt and Livingston Counties are eligible.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Rural broadband efforts are getting another shot in the arm with new funding in USDA's ReConnect program. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is gearing up for the anticipated approval of COVID-19 vaccines for younger children. It’s expected the Pfizer vaccine will get the okay for kids ages 5 to 11 in coming days and director Dr Ngozi Ezike says they want to make sure families have several options available to them…

 

 

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says they are also looking at after school and park district events as yet another option for parents. She expects these efforts to kick off around the second week in November.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 5,140 new COVID cases and 58 additional deaths since Friday. Locally since Friday, Champaign County reported 68 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 56 new cases. Iroquois County reported 51 new cases and 1 additional death.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Redistricting maps are one topic that could be brought up in the final days of the fall veto session. Last week a panel rejected the proposal approved in the spring. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says its all about control…

 

 

Senator Barickman says the Democrats' approach to the maps actually hurt voters…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A campus safety alert was issued on Monday for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The University of Illinois Police received a report that a man had inappropriately touched another person at about 6 p.m. Saturday on the main Quad. According to the report, the man may have touched others around the same time.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Hudson Drug is hosting a Moderna booster clinic this morning from 8 to noon at the Paxton firehouse. Call 217-379-4858 to schedule an appointment. Hudson’s can also do Pfizer boosters to those who qualify.

 

 

(Ford County-tr)-- The Ford County Health Department and Jerimiah 33:6 will be hosting a drive-thru produce pantry at the health department for local families while offering recipes to try at home. Ford County Health Department Spokesperson Megan Reutter has more..

 

 

Ford County Health Department Spokesperson Megan Reutter.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- US News and World Report has released their top 200 K-8th grade schools in the state and a couple of local schools are being recognized. Prairieview Ogden Jr High came in 34th, Mahomet Seymour Junior High came in 146th and PBL Jr High came in 196th. Iroquois West Elementary school came in 164th in the elementary school category.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The nation's beef cattle herd may be shrinking at a faster pace than some had expected. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Illinois General Assembly is back for the final week of the fall veto session

(Springfield-jm) -- Day care workers in Illinois will now be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing under a new executive order. In a release about the executive order, Governor Pritzker's office states that testing for COVID-19 may increase from just once a week. The mandate applies to more than 55,000 day care center staff among the 2,872 licensed day care centers in Illinois. Licensed day care center staff have until Dec. 3, 2021, to receive their first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly is back for the final week of the fall veto session. One of the topics that could be brought up is the repeal of the Parental Notification Act, says 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington…

 

 

That’s not the only controversial topic that could be brought up, says Senator Barickman…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A man was shot during an apparent road rage incident in northern Champaign Sunday afternoon, according to Champaign police. Officers responded to the area of Town Center Boulevard and Prospect Avenue at approximately 1:13 p.m. following reports of a shooting. At that location, they found a crashed car with a 24-year-old man inside. The man had a life-threatening gunshot wound to the head and was transported to a local hospital. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There was a violence prevention task force announced recently. 106th District State Representative Tom Benentt of Gibson City talks about the task force…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton’s Tax Increment Financing District saw its biggest growth yet last fiscal year in the district's 9 year history. The TIF fund grew to $130,651. Leaders expect growth to continue.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign Continuum of Service Providers to the Homeless said the community has an unfilled gap when it comes to housing people experiencing homelessness. The gap has left single individuals with what is called 'low-barrier' housing, which is housing that is meant to be accessible to everyone and a safe space for people suffering from addiction or mental illness. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 15,131 newly confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 within the past week. There have also been 183 additional deaths. Locally Vermilion County reported 37 new cases Friday. Ford County reported 37 new cases. Champaign County reported 30 new cases and 2 additional deaths.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The fall veto session wraps up this week in Springfield. There could be some hot topic issues, says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

Representative Bennett also talks about something he would like to see discussed and passed during the session…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A Champaign man who shot and killed his former friend was found guilty of first degree murder by a jury Friday.  Calvin Williams shot Gerryontae Brown, at his home on East Eureka Street in Champaign, on November 12, 2020. Williams testified in his own defense that he believed Brown had a gun in his hand and that he shot first because he believed his life was in imminent danger. Sentencing is set for December 8. Williams can face 45 years to life in prison. 

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- A Halloween event put on by the Parks and Recreation Department in Rantoul will be held October 29th from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Rantoul Family Sports Complex. Rantoul’s Park and Recreation Director Luke Humphery shares the details… 

 

 

Rantoul’s Park and Recreation Director Luke Humphery.

 

(Bourbonnais-jm) -- A Gilman man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly tried to pass fake money in Kankakee County. 54 year old Brian Collins was arrested by Bourbonnais Police after he allegedly tried to pass counterfeit money at a business. Police discovered a loaded revolver under his seat when he was stopped. Collins is charged with forgery and aggravated unlawful use of a loaded weapon.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Moyer District Library in Gibson City is going fine free. The library is removing fines on items returned late. Books will still have due dates.

 

A new program in Central Illinois is training students to work in the electric vehicle industry

(Springfield-jm) -- A new program in Central Illinois is training students to work in the electric vehicle industry. Heartland Community College in Normal offers an Electric Vehicle Energy Storage Technology, preparing workers for the future says Governor J-B Pritzker. The first class is already underway…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says the manufacture of electric vehicles is a high-growth industry and that Illinois workers need to be prepared to meet that need. He’s set a goal of having one million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,146 new Coronavirus cases and 36 additional deaths. The seven day statewide positivity rate is 2.2 percent. Locally Vermilion County reported 247 new cases and 1 additional death, a woman in her 40s, bringing their total number of cases to 14,013 and deaths to 196. Champaign County reported 50 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 27,137. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Thursday.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will host their style and quilt show on Sunday as part of their sesquicentennial celebration. Spokesperson Susie Tongate talks about the event…

 

 

Gibson City Sesquicentennial Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

(Champaign-jm) --  A local lawmaker is working to help United States troops stationed overseas a communication lifeline to families back home. Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign is offering up his district offices as drop-off locations for the nonprofit Cell Phones for Soldiers organization. The program collects new and gently used cell phones, MP3 players, and tablets for soldiers and their families. The collection runs through November 15th.

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- The corn maze at Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch has been a running success with a new design each year to challenge newcomers. Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch Operator Julie Hardy outlines the theme for this year's maze…

 

 

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch Operator Julie Hardy.

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in recognition of the month, the Vermilion County State's Attorney' Office is hosting a supply drive.  The drive will supply and benefit the Crosspoint Human Services Domestic Violence Transitional Center.  Purple donations boxes will be placed at various locations including the Vermilion County Administration Building, McDonald's North Vermilion location and Crosspoint at the Y.  Items needed include men's and young men's hygiene products, baby products, pillow cases, sheets and other toiletries. The drive will run throughout the entire month of October. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The main story in dairy is USDA's reduced forecast for milk production. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate unanimously passed a bill this week that seeks to combat sexual abuse in schools. The measure mandates schools to teach students about the signs of grooming and requires two training days for teachers to learn more about identifying abuse, says Champaign Senator Scott Bennett…

 

 

State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign. Schools will also have to put together a resource guide on sexual abuse for parents. It’s now up to the House to concur with the bill and then on to the Governor’s desk.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,146 new Coronavirus cases and 36 additional deaths. The seven day statewide positivity rate is 2.2 percent. Locally Vermilion County reported 247 new cases and 1 additional death, a woman in her 40s, bringing their total number of cases to 14,013 and deaths to 196. Champaign County reported 50 new cases bringing their total number of cases to 27,137. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Thursday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting Roadside Safety Checks this weekend. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

(Roberts-jm) -- The village of Roberts will spend $22,000 to make repairs to the village’s back up well. The funds will come from federal COVID money.

 

(Gibson City-tr)-- The Gibson Area Hospital Foundation is putting on an event known as GloBingo set for Saturday, October 23rd, at the Kruse Center in Gibson City. Doors open at 4pm, $30 per person with a Cash Bar, Food trucks, raffles, and more. All proceeds go towards benefiting the Gibson Area Hospital Medical Office Building says GloBingo Spokesperson Bill Kirby…

 

 

GloBingo Spokesperson Bill Kirby. A first glo bingo is set for tonight at the Pueblo Lindo on Route 45 in Paxton

 

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- A Hoopeston man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child and child pornography trafficking. Dalton M.C. Burmeister received the sentence in federal court after pleading guilty in June. The judge sentenced Burmeister to 30 years for sexual exploitation and 20 years for the child porn charge, to be served at the same time.

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's latest forecasts show production of two major meat types moving in opposite directions. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today  from 10-noon  at Lakeview Country Club in Loda.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the Lake Iroquois Women’s Club Saturday from 10 to 2.

 

The Paxton Masonic Lodge will host an open house on Saturday from 1-4 pm.

 

The Gibson City Sesquicentennial Committee will hold a Style and Quilt Show on Sunday from 1-3 at the Kruse Center.

 

Boy Scout Troop 32 in Paxton will be hosting a drive thru spaghetti dinner on Sunday from 5-7:30 pm at the Paxton Church of Christ. Cost is $10.

 

House Republicans are pushing legislation to limit the Governor's use of executive orders

(Springfield-jm) -- House Republicans are pushing legislation to limit the Governor's use of executive orders. All of the COVID-19 mandates and emergency orders issued during the pandemic have come from the Governor. That needs to change, says Geneva Representative Dan Ugaste (you-gas-tee)...

 

 

State Representative Dan Ugaste of Geneva. Ugaste says in times of emergency that last longer than 30 days, the legislature should be involved in any decision making. Governor J-B Pritzker has said in the past there was nothing preventing lawmakers from taking up any pandemic related issues during the session.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Senate Republicans are calling for a series of public safety bills to be heard during the fall veto session. The legislation creates the 100 million dollar police grant fund for departments to hire more officers, purchase equipment and expand training. Other bills crack down on gun crimes and those who assault an officer, as well as deny bail to repeat gun offenders. Senator Neil Anderson of Moline says the proposals need to be voted on now…

 

 

State Senator Neil Anderson of Moline. Just three days remain in the veto session, next Tuesday through Thursday.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,447 new Coronavirus cases and 36 additional deaths. Locally, Champaign County reported 39 new cases. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

 

(Gilman-tr)-- The Iroquois County Board passed a resolution in tandem with the sheriff's department to hire a new full-time officer for the Gilman area. Iroquois County Board Chairman John Shure has the details… 

 

 

Iroquois County Board Chairman John Shure.

 

(Paxton--jm)  --Paxton Masonic Lodge #416 is sponsoring the 2nd Annual “Get out of Dodge” Raffle. You can win a trip for 4 days and 3 nights to New Orleans. Experience the history, culture and beauty of the “Big Easy”. Tickets can be purchased $40 for 1, $75 for 2 or $100 for 3. Only 500 tickets will be sold. Additional prizes will also be awarded. Tickets can be purchased at Hudson Drug Shop, Paxton Public House, and Kirchner Building Center in Paxton. Proceeds from the raffle supports charitable causes and service projects within the community and college scholarships for PBL Students. Drawing will be held during the open house held 1-4 Saturday October 23rd, at the Paxton Masonic Lodge in Paxton. 

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County has served the Rantoul, Fisher, Gifford, Thomasboro and Ludlow areas for 50 years. Director Andy Kulczycki talks about some of the services they provide…

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulczycki.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A Wisconsin man was sentenced to prison for committing early-morning break-ins at two Paxton restaurants in July. Tommy Branch of Milwaukee Wisconsin was sentenced to 6 years in prison in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of burglary. As part of the plea agreement, Branch was also ordered to obtain substance-abuse counseling and pay $985 in restitution, while prosecutors agreed to dismiss additional counts of burglary and possession of burglary tools. Branch was accused of breaking into the Paxton Subway and Monicals on July 26th.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state Senate Wednesday approved legislation licensing midwives in Illinois. This has been a long time coming, first proposed in 1986. Current bill sponsor Senator Cristina Castro of Elgin says this will be good for women all across the state…

 

 

State Senator Cristina Castro of Elgin. The bill sets up education standards midwives will have to meet. It now moves to the House for a vote.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is launching a new school safety initiative, called safe-two-help-Illinois. The idea is to give students an easy way to report their concerns, whether they be a suicidal friend, bullying, sexual assault or threats of school violence says State Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Rebecca Clark…

 

 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Rebecca Clark. Safe-two-help is available 24-7 and comes at no cost to school districts. Students can access the service via the website: safe-the-number two-help-il dot com. There they will also find information to phone, text, email and the mobile app.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,447 new Coronavirus cases and 36 additional deaths. Locally, Champaign County reported 39 new cases. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

(Paxton-tr)-- The PBL school board is continuing to work with the state and local police departments to hire a School Resource Officer. PBL Schools Superintendent Cliff McClure has more… 

 

 

PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Paxton-dg) Gibson Area Hospital is having 2 Glow Bingo Events to raise money for the foundation’s Medical Office Building. The first will be Friday October 22 at Pueblo Lindo Event center in Paxton. The second event will be Saturday October 23rd at the Kruse Center in Gibson City. Doors open at 4pm with Bingo starting at 6pm for both nights. Cost is $30 per person which includes 6 bingo cards. There will be a cash bar and Food trucks in the parking lot. There will be over one thousand dollars in cash prizes including raffles and a 50/50. Must be 18 years or older to attend.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The latest report on state revenue had some good news and some bad news. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City discusses the reports findings…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Public Building Commission is lowering their tax levy for the upcoming fiscal year. The commission is lowering the tax levy by $30 thousand to $466,768.

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic on Thursday, October 21st from 2-2:30 at Creekside Terrace Cissna Park.

 

The Paxton Emergency Response Service will hold an open house on Thursday, October 21st from 5-7 pm. Refreshments are available.

 

A three-judge federal panel has declared an initial Democratic legislative map unconstitutional

(Springfield-jm) -- A three-judge federal panel has declared an initial Democratic legislative map passed at the end of the spring 2021 session unconstitutional.  The court said the map. which would have allowed Democrats to keep General Assembly advantages, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Challenges are being allowed to continue on a revised plan for Illinois' 177 General Assembly boundaries.  A push by Republicans to have a map redrawn by a commission, which could lead to GOP control of redistricting in Illinois, was rejected by the judge panel. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says he’s hopeful the state’s indoor mask mandate can be lifted in time for the holidays. With the COVID citation improving in Illinois, the Governor is once again asked when people can ditch the masks…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. According to the latest daily data, there are 2,071 new cases and 21 additional deaths. 14-hundred Illinois COVID patients are in the hospital. Locally Champaign County reported 23 new cases. Vermilion County reported 75 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State officials are urging eligible Illinoisans to get their COVID-19 booster shot. The booster adds an additional layer of protection against the virus, including the more contagious Delta variant, says Governor J-B Pritzker. He notes that more people will soon be able to get that extra dose…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Seniors are especially encouraged to pursue the booster, since they are more susceptible to breakthrough transmission and hospitalization. Others eligible include adults with an underlying medical condition and those who work in high-risk settings.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- A Hoopeston man plead guilty on Tuesday to Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault, a Class X felony, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Richard Ingram sexually assaulted a nine-year old child in the summer of 2019. Ingram was entrusted to watch the child by the child’s dying mother, who was Ingram’s romantic partner. Ingram must serve at least 85% of his sentence and register as a sex offender for life.

 

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul features a Cinco De Mayo themed Corn maze this fall season. With feedback about the maze coming in, Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch Operator Julie Hardy claims that this year's maze has been quite challenging… 

 

 

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch Operator Julie Hardy.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- A former bed and breakfast near Paxton at the center of a dispute over a civil union a decade ago will go to auction in November. A judge ordered the sale of the Timber Creek Bed and Breakfast on November 10th at 10 am after the owners refused to pay over $80,000 in fines for allegedly discriminating against the couple by refusing to host a civil union at their property.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Weather has led to delays in both corn and soybean harvest progress. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved six new retailers for SNAP recipients to purchase groceries online. The newly approved retailers include Capri IGA, County Market, FairPlay Neighborhood Market, Schnucks, Supermercados El Guero, and Woodman’s Market, which operate a combined 83 stores across Illinois.  With the six additional retailers, Illinois residents now have a total of nine online options for SNAP families. The other three previous retailers include ALDI, Amazon, and Walmart, which also accept online orders in Illinois.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A group of Senate Republican legislators say a law requiring parents to be notified before their teen gets an abortion should stand. Some are pushing to replea the state’s parental notification law to ensure access to abortions. Senator Sue Rezin of Morris says this isn’t an argument about the procedure itself…

 

 

State Senator Sue Rezin of Morris. The law does not require parents to give consent, just that they be notified. The issue may come up during the fall veto session which runs this week and next.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Rantoul man was arrested in connection to a shooting on Monday night that left a 16-year-old girl wounded. 37 year old Rory Nelson was arrested and charged with Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm. According to the Rantoul Police Department, officers were called to the 1400 block of Gleason Drive at 9:50 p.m. for a report of a possible shooting. They found the 16-year-old with a gunshot wound to her left forearm. Officers learned she had been inside her house at the time and was hit by a bullet fired from outside. She was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers also learned that a passing car was hit by gunfire. 

 

 

(Paxton-tr)-- Just Hamburgers in Paxton has been serving Paxton and the surrounding areas for over 50 years. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold took time to honor Just Hamburgers and their success… 

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The village of Buckley is moving forward with hiring a part time police officer and ordinance officer. The village considered hiring former trustee Terry Whitebird for the ordinance officer position, however, the village attorney felt it should be up to an officer and not a citizen.

 

(Washington-jm) -- High demand for meat is translating into mostly higher prices. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

There's still no word on when the state's indoor mask mandate will be lifted

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is issuing recommendations for improving the safety and care of nursing home residents. The report is the result of nearly 18 months of review, and calls for some major reforms says Health and Family Services Medicaid Administrator Kelly Cunningham. She says the pandemic further hi-lited dangers and inequalities in the system…

 

 

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Medicaid Administrator Kelly Cunningham. Recommendations for change include increased funding, especially to help hire more workers and offer better pay to reduce turnover. Cunningham says they also want to move to a patient driven payment model in hopes of motivating nursing homes to offer higher levels of care.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There’s still no word on when the state’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted. Generally, the COVID-19 situation in Illinois is better now than it was a few weeks ago, with fewer people testing positive for the virus and new cases slowly declining, says Governor J-B Pritzker. But he reminds those aren’t the only factors…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker cites recent case and hospitalization surges in nearby Minnesota and Michigan as a concern. The latest daily totals for Illinois include nearly 25 hundred new cases and 16 hundred COVID patients in the hospital. Locally, Champaign County reported 31 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of COVID deaths to 201. Vermilion County reported 90 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- With the eviction moratorium come and gone, community activists have been calling on the Champaign County sheriff to halt evictions. The role the sheriff has in evictions is to serve the eviction notice and then enforce the eviction if it is ordered by a judge. The group wants the sheriff’s office to serve the notices.

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- The Village of Rantoul received a grant from the Illinois Department of Revenue a few years ago for Rantouls Forum Construction Project. Rantoul’s Park and Recreation Director Luke Humphery details the project… 

 

 

Rantoul’s Park and Recreation Director Luke Humphery.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Clove Alliance officially has an office in Paxton. The group is opening at 124 W. State Street. Clove Alliance offers sexual violence victims with resources they need.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The latest USDA World Supply and Demand report is forecasting higher corn ending stocks than had been expected. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing more than 15 million dollars in funding to boost the development of wet labs across the state. Eight facilities will benefit from the grant money, which will help fund construction of new wet lab space. The labs are used to conduct research in areas like Biotechnology, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. It’s an industry that needs to continue to grow, says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Private funding will bring the total investment to 90 million dollars. Schools and facilities receiving the money include the Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, both Southern Illinois University campuses and the University of Illinois Research Park.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce has a new president. Austin Curtis was sworn in last night at the chamber’s banquet. Curtis is the local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A Style and Quilt show will be a part of this year’s sesquicentennial celebration in Gibson City. Spokesperson Susie Tongate talks about the event…

 

 

Gibson City Sesquicentennial Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in recognition of the month, the Vermilion County State's Attorney' Office is hosting a supply drive.  The drive will supply and benefit the Crosspoint Human Services Domestic Violence Transitional Center.  Purple donations boxes will be placed at various locations including the Vermilion County Administration Building, McDonald's North Vermilion location and Crosspoint at the Y.  Items needed include men's and young men's hygiene products, baby products, pillow cases, sheets and other toiletries. The drive will run throughout the entire month of October. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's latest World Ag. Supply and Demand report takes into account unexpected corn data that came from the September 30th small grains report. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 10:30-noon at the Clifton Community Center.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic this afternoon from 2-4 pm at the health department in Paxton.

 

The Rantoul Public Library will host an outdoor movie behind the library tonight at 6:50 pm showing The House with a Clock in its Walls.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting York Rite of Paxton on Saturday  from 10 to 2.

 

Ferrero is bringing its first-ever production center in the United States to central Illinois

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers are due back in Springfield next week for the fall veto session. The six day veto session begins Tuesday, with a few items already on the docket. The legislature is expected to take up newly drawn Congressional district maps, as well as a correction to the Clean Energy Bill that just passed last month. The change would ensure the four thousand dollar rebate for buying an electric car applies to all of Illinois, says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Another topic that may be discussed includes the state’s parental notification law for teens seeking an abortion.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,913 new and probable COVID-19 cases and 39 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate has fallen to 2.6 percent. Champaign County is reporting 54 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 34 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- Ferrero is bringing its first-ever production center in the United States to central Illinois. The confectionery company Ferrero Group broke ground on its new chocolate processing facility in Bloomington. The new production center will mean a $75 million investment in the city and will bring up to 50 new jobs.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Higher stocks are putting downward pressure on corn and soybean prices. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Watch your mail, you could be getting a letter from Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs’ office about unclaimed cash or property. More than 25 thousand letters have been sent, letting people know that they have property waiting for them says Treasurer Frerichs…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. This batch of letters represents millions of dollars worth of cash, property and stock. Additionally, Frerichs says they have sent out another nine thousand notifications through the “Money Match” program. If you receive one of those, just cash the included check.

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- A Ludlow man has been sentenced to 3 years probation for drug possession. Hunter Whitson pleaded guilty in Champaign County court to possession with intent to deliver meth. Whitson also pleaded guilty to DUI drugs and reckless driving in a separate incident that occurred in December.

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's October WASDE report says the nation's soybean stocks were higher than expected. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today at the Citizens State Bank in Milford from 9-10:30 am and at The Garage Community Center in Gilman from 1-3 pm.

 

Governor J-B Pritzker says the state will continue to fight lawsuits over state COVID-19 mandates

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker says the state will continue to fight lawsuits over state COVID-19 mandates. A number of suits have been filed, trying to lift the mask requirement for students and stop the vaccine requirement for teachers. Governor Pritzker defends the mandates…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says those pushing these lawsuits are extraordinarily irresponsible and putting the health of students, school staff and surrounding communities at risk. As of Friday, there were 206 classroom outbreaks in Illinois in grades k through 12 and 28 traced back to school sports. An outbreak is defined as two or more related cases.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 7,862 new Coronavirus cases and 64 additional deaths since Friday. Champaign County reported 163 new cases and 1 additional death. Vermilion County reported 103 new cases and 1 additional death. Iroquois County reported 49 new cases.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fall harvest continues moving right along as we hear in the weekly crop report. It was warmer and wetter for most of the state this past week, with an average of about four days suitable for fieldwork, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 87 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves and 43 percent have been harvested. 21 percent of the winter wheat crop has been harvested. 21 percent of the winter wheat crop has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture improved to four percent very short, 17 percent short, 74 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- In updating our story from yesterday, we are learning more on Monday’s shooting on Market Street in Champaign near Marketplace Mall. Police say people inside two vehicles were shooting at each other. A 9-year-old boy inside an uninvolved vehicle was injured during the exchange of gunfire. The child was taken to the hospital by a family member. His injuries are not life-threatening.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- A new report from the VA inspector general is out, and it said Danville’s VA failed to minimize the risk and manage the spread of a COVID outbreak. In the fall of 2020, two nursing homes on the Danville VA campus had a COVID-19 outbreak. 11 people died, 239 patients and 92 staff members tested positive. The complaints said they weren’t observing infection control, like wearing PPE. It also claimed there was inconsistent testing, and residents, families, and staff weren’t told about positive test results.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Baldwin Asylum has been scaring local residents for quite a few years now in Rantoul. With Covid-19 still a factor in today’s world, Baldwin Asylum Spokesperson Mark Dams shares how Baldwin Asylum has adapted… 

 

 

Baldwin Asylum Spokesperson Mark Dams. Find more information on dates and times of operation at www dot slayervilleproduction dot com 

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers recently reported one of its best months in years. The board approved $4,000 in cash rewards to anonymous tipsters, but it’s important to note that money is solely funded by donations, and the group could use your help. A Go-Fund-Me account has been set up with a $25,000 goal.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The nation's corn and soybean crops could be bigger than had been projected a month ago, but for cotton it's a different story. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Labor is stressing the importance of grain bin safety. Grain storage is an essential part of fall harvest, but the Agency’s Hap Hileman says bins can be deadly…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor’s Hap Hileman. Hileman advises workers to avoid entering the bin if possible. If they must, they should follow the lock out tag out protocol so grain is not being emptied into or moving out of the bin. Workers should be well trained and the air inside tested for the presence of combustible and toxic gases.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fall harvest continues moving right along as we hear in the weekly crop report. There were about four days on average suitable for fieldwork, and the corn harvest is now 55 percent complete, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Soybean conditions declined slightly to 71 percent in good to excellent condition. 21 percent of winter wheat has been planted and seven percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to four percent very short, 17 percent short, 74 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- University of Illinois Police arrested an 18-year-old student because he was accused of attacking his roommate during a heated argument on Monday. According to police officers, Benjamin Lu and his roommate had a fight at around 5 a.m. at Nugent Hall on Gregory Drive. It was reported that Lu was the aggressor in this fight.

 

 

(Rantoul-tr)-- Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul features many different attractions that the whole family can enjoy including. Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch Operator Julie Hardy shares a few activities ranging from peddle carts to learning about the ranch's twenty one reindeer… 

 

 

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch Operator Julie Hardy

 

(PAXTON-dg)-Paxton Masonic Lodge #416 is sponsoring the 2nd Annual “Get out of Dodge” Raffle. You can win a trip for 4 days and 3 nights to New Orleans. Experience the history, culture and beauty of the “Big Easy”. Tickets can be purchased $40 for 1, $75 for 2 or $100 for 3. Only 500 tickets will be sold. Additional prizes will also be awarded. Tickets can be purchased at Hudson Drug Shop, Paxton Public House, and Kirchner Building Center in Paxton. Proceeds from the raffle supports charitable causes and service projects within the community and college scholarships for PBL Students. Drawing will be held during the open house held 1-4 Saturday October 23rd, at the Paxton Masonic Lodge in Paxton. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's October crop reports incorporate higher corn, soybean stocks.  Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Kempton American Legion.

 

 

 

Fourteen Illinoisans have been ranked among the 400 wealthiest Americans in 2021

(Springfield-jm) -- Fourteen Illinoisans have been ranked among the 400 wealthiest Americans in 2021, including Governor J.B. Pritzker. Forbes ranks hedge fund manager Ken Griffin as the richest, with a net worth of $16.1 billion. That is good enough to be ranked 47th overall. Pritzker is ranked 318th with a net worth of $3.6 billion. Over the last year, Forbes says the “400 wealthiest Americans saw their collective fortune increase 40% over the last year, to $4.5 trillion.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign police are investigating a shooting on Market Street near Marketplace Mall that occurred around 4:30 p.m. on Monday. No word on if anyone was injured.

 

(Undated-jm) -- Multiple lots of Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal sold across the nation at Walmart and online have been voluntarily recalled after testing ‘above the guidance’ for naturally occurring inorganic arsenic. Maple Island Inc., which manufactures the product for Walmart, issued the recall with the knowledge of the FDA. Walmart has also pulled the product from its shelves. The specific Parent’s Choice Rice Baby Cereal 8 oz lots being recalled were sold after April 5, 2021, and include: Lot 21083 with UPC Code #00681131082907 with a best if used by date of JUN 24 2022, Lot 21084 with UPC Code #00681131082907 with a best if used by date of JUN 25 2022 and Lot 21242 with UPC Code #00681131082907 with a best if used by date of NOV 30 2022.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Christian group for King and Country will be coming to the State Farm Center in Champaign next year. The group will perform on April 21st. Tickets go on sale November 12th at 10 am.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The Iroquois County community of Gilman could begin receiving permanent police coverage from the county. The county board is expected to consider a proposal this morning to purchase the assets of the now defunct Gilman police department.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- There are several meetings taking place around the area tonight. At 6 in Vermilion County, the Vermilion County board is expected to approve their budget and tax levy. Also at 6 in the village of Rantoul, leaders there are expected to approve a resolution expanding C-Cart service, consider selling properties at 721 Galaxy and 501 and 505 Condit and request IDOT to lower the speed limit on U-S 136 from 40 to 35 near Murray Road. At 7 in Paxton, city leaders could approve adding camping to a city park, approve the FY 21 audit and consider a school resource officer agreement with the PBL school district. Also at 7 down in St. Joseph, village leaders are expected to discuss a splash pad project and consider purchasing pedestrian crossing signs. The Vermilion County Board and Rantoul village board meets at 6 with the Paxton city council and St. Joseph village boards meeting at 7.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois ranks seventh in the nation in laser strikes on airplanes. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been more than 6,700 laser pointer attacks in the U.S. this year, with Illinois accounting for 263. The FAA fine for shining a laser at an aircraft can be up to $11,000 per violation. Violators can also face criminal punishment from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police will be holding a special Memorial Ceremony honoring law enforcement officers from around the world who have died in the line of duty. The Champaign Police Memorial Ceremony will take place on Friday at 9 a.m., at West Side Park in Champaign. The ceremony will pay a special tribute to fallen Champaign Police Officers Thomas Dodsworth, Robert Tatman and Christopher Oberheim. During this year’s ceremony, the Champaign Police Department will present the Medal of Valor and Purple Heart Awards to the family of Officer Christopher Oberheim and Officer Jeffrey Creel for their distinguished service with exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in an attempt to protect and save human life on May 19.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College officials said there were shots fired near campus earlier Monday.  A statement to the campus community said this was at Sunbelt Rentals on Mattis Avenue. There is no indication the gunshots were directed at people or buildings on campus, Parkland said. Champaign police said there were no injuries reported to law enforcement from this shots fired call. 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On October 5th, Gino Parenti of Gibson City was arrested for criminal trespass to real property. Also on October 5th, Heather Bland of Urbana was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of meth and obstructing identification.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination clinics will be held in Champaign County throughout October, health officials announced. Vaccinations will take place today and tomorrow, 19th through the 21st and 26th and 27th at the iHotel in Champaign from 9-4 no appointment is needed.  Vaccinations with an appointment required will be held at Kohls Plaza today through Thursday and 19th through the 21st from 10-5:30. Appointments can be scheduled by going to carle dot org slash covid 19.

 

The Rantoul Public Library will host a mobile secretary of state event for drivers license renewals among other things today from 10-2.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic this evening from 4-6 pm at the health department in Paxton.

 

Money made from Illinois cannabis sales in the last three months has nearly doubled since the same time last year

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday confirmed the first human West Nile virus-related death in Illinois for 2021. A Will County resident who first became ill in late August and tested positive for West Nile virus has died. Currently, 40 human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Illinois. Last year, IDPH reported 42 human cases, including four deaths.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- All public and private schools looking to start a COVID-19 testing program are getting a helping hand. The Illinois Department of Public Health partnered with the U.S. Health and Human Services’ Midwest COVID-19 Testing Coordination Center to help expand testing. The expansion will add testing capacity, speed up the testing onboarding process, and help gain access to federal funding.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,744 new and probable cases of COVID-19 Friday and 35 additional deaths. Locally Friday, Vermilion County reported 123 new cases. Ford County reported 33 new cases. Champaign County reported 44 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Iroquois County did not have a report Friday.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A committee of legislators are reviewing statues around the state capitol. One of the committee members is Tom Bennett of Gibson City who discusses what the committee is doing and a recommendation recently brought forward…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- A Mississippi man is dead following a fiery semi crash on I-57 late Thursday in Iroquois County. Coroner Bill Cheatum identified the victim as Jackie Greer of Booneville Mississippi. State Police say for an unknown reason Greer’s semi went into the median and struck the bridge at Del Rey causing the semi to catch fire. 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Could camping be coming to Paxton? That’s a question before the Paxton City Council tomorrow night. Council members will consider adding campsites to a park in the community. WPXN News will continue to follow this story.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Ford County Board and Gibson City city council both meet tonight for their monthly meeting. In Paxton at 7, the Ford County board is expected to approve their fiscal year 2022 budget. Also at 7, Gibson City leaders will hear an update on the storm sewer maps and consider adding American Recovery Funds to the water department budget. 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Traders are anxiously awaiting USDA's next round of reports which should give us a better idea of the size and market prospects for the major crops. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The amount of money Illinois has made from cannabis sales in the last three months has nearly doubled since the same time last year. A new state report shows that cannabis tax revenues have grown almost 89% in the first quarter of FY22 compared to the same since last year. In Q1 of FY22, the state collected $66.2 million in cannabis excise taxes. In Q1 of FY21, the state collected $35 million in cannabis excise taxes.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing all driver services facilities will be closed for the Columbus Day holiday. Facilities open Monday through Friday are closed today.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly will return to Springfield later this month for the fall veto session. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City has what we can expect…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- Young hunters between the ages of 10 and 17 can apply now for the youth wingshooting clinics and Illinois youth pheasant hunts scheduled for Saturday, October 30 at Clinton Lake State Recreation Area in DeWitt County. Permits for the Clinton Lake SRA youth wingshooting clinics and pheasant hunts are available through the IDNR Controlled Pheasant Hunting online reservation system. Hunters need to review the “Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Information” and the “Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Regulations” on the controlled pheasant hunting webpage prior to applying.

 

 

(Fairbury-jm) -- A Fairbury police officer has been released from a Peoria hospital after he was involved in an accident chasing a suspect. The Fairbury Police Department says the officer attempted to stop a vehicle when it took off. Both the suspect's vehicle and the police officer's vehicle left the road and rolled several times. The officer was taken to St. James-John Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac before being life-flighted to Peoria. The incident remains under investigation. The suspect was apprehended.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What's ahead for livestock producers and products? We'll get a new answer to that question very soon. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker says the state will not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for K-12 school children

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker says the state will not mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for K-12 school children. Pritzker was asked at a press conference if he would follow California Governor Gavin Newsom’s lead and mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for K-12 school children in public and private schools. The Springfield school board is asking the State Board of Education to mandate the vaccine for school children.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A central Illinois lawmaker wants public school teachers to be reimbursed for their tuition. Representative Sue Scherer is proposing a new tuition reimbursement program under House Bill 4139. Under the bill, the Illinois Student Assistance Commission would be required to establish the grant program. Eligible teachers would be able to be reimbursed for eight semesters of intuition for up to 10 years as part of the program.

 

 

(Paxton--jc)  It's a homecoming weekend at one local church in Paxton. The two day celebration is set for the Paxton Church of Christ on Paxton’s west side. Minister Tom Anders talks about Saturday’s agenda…

 

 

Paxton Church of Christ Minister Tom Anders.On Sunday a worship service and potluck are planned

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,371 new Coronavirus cases and 36 additional deaths Thursday. Champaign County reported 44 new cases. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Parke County, Indiana-jm) -- A fall favorite just over the border in Indiana returns after a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual Parke County Covered Bridge Festival gets underway today and runs through October 17th.

 

 

(Iroquois County-jm) -- Two men charged in connection to a body found in a gas tanker truck pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday morning at the Iroquois County Court. 33-year-old Billy Roof and 37-year-old Ryan Morrow were arraigned on charges of unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and unlawful concealment in the death of 29-year-old Garrett Meyer from Nashville, Illinois. Two truck drivers discovered the body at a gas transfer hub just outside of Buckley, Illinois on June 4.  There has been no evidence of foul play in the 29-year-old’s death which was ruled an overdose in August. Roof faces another felony: Use of account number or code with intent to defraud. Roof and Morrow remain in custody Thursday. The judge denied requests to reduce their bonds, both set at $50,000. Pre-trial hearings are set for November.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Legislative districting maps continue to be a hot button topic in Springfield. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City provides an update on the latest…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Crime Stoppers is offering people in  Champaign County a chance to safely dispose of personal documents, unwanted prescription drugs and unused cell phones in an upcoming event.  The event will be held on Saturday, October 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in University of Illinois parking lot E14. The lot is at the corner of 1st Street and Kirby Avenue, which is just west of the State Farm Center. Those who participate should enter the lot from 1st Street and follow a marked path to the collection site. Event workers will help guide people.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Here's how export sales of bulk agricultural commodities have been doing. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Paxton Church of Christ will hold their homecoming weekend on Saturday, and Sunday. The homecoming features an ice cream social after Saturday evenings service at 6:30 and a catered lunch following Sunday morning service at 10:30.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker on Thursday announced two new agreements with the Illinois Nurses Association and Illinois Federation of Public Employees that will require nearly 1,300 more state employees to receive COVID-19 vaccines. The agreement with the Illinois Nurses Association covers about 1,100 nurses working in 24/7 facilities. The agreement with the Illinois Federation of Public Employees covers about 160 employees working in Human Services and Veterans’ Affairs. Employees must receive their first shot by October 14. Should an employee elect a two-dose vaccine, they must receive the second shot by November 18. State employees who remain unvaccinated or do not receive an exemption by the dates identified will face progressive disciplinary measures, which may ultimately lead to their discharge. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Broadband today announced a new interactive Connect Illinois Broadband Map and creation of the Illinois Broadband Lab. The efforts will provide Illinois residents and communities with new data on broadband connectivity in their area, as well as an online speed test, to identify gaps and tailor broadband planning efforts to boost access to high-speed internet service.

 

 

(Rantoul--jc)  --  The Baldwin Asylum Haunted Attraction is in its 9th year on Rantoul’s east side in the Taylor Studios building. Spokesperson Mark Dams talks about the latest version of the haunted attraction…

 

 

Baldwin Asylum Haunted Attraction Spokesperson Mark Dams.The local haunt has been rated as one of the top 5 haunted attractions in the state of Illinois


 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- An Urbana man is dead after being shot multiple times early Thursday morning. Champaign Police were called around 3:12 a.m. to the 500 block of West White Street for a report of shots fired. Charles Evans was found in an alleyway suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and arm. He died about an hour later at a local hospital from a gunshot wound to the chest.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- Clinton lake got some more fish, all thanks to the Illinois department of natural resources. IDNR transferred fish from one of their five ponds where they raise fish, into the lake. They unloaded about 37-thousand of them including crappie and catfish.

 

 

(Thawville-tr) -- A new brewery has come to Thawville, Illinois known as Artesia Brewing. Spokesperson Linda Tammen explains how Artesia Brewing is more than just a local bar scene… 

 

 

Artesia Brewing Spokesperson Linda Tammen.An Octoberfest celebration is set for this weekend at Artesia Brewing of rural Thawville

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- OSF is announcing OSF Pro Ambulance will become Advanced Medical Transport come 2022. All OSF PRO emergency ground transportation services in Champaign and Vermilion Counties will transfer to AMT. The timeframe for the transition is still being determined, but it is expected to be completed in early 2022.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Agriculture Secretary testified before the House Ag Committee on the current state of the livestock industry and on matters to be addressed within it. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the health department in Paxton.

 

The Cruisin Towards Cures for Campers MDA Car Show will take place on Saturday at the Champaign County Fairgrounds.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the Prairie Champions 4-H Club on Saturday from 10 to 2.

 

The Paxton Church of Christ will hold their homecoming weekend on Saturday, and Sunday. The homecoming features an ice cream social after Saturday evenings service at 6:30 and a catered lunch following Sunday morning service at 10:30.

 

Homeowners in flood-prone areas of Illinois are bracing for higher insurance rates

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education is reaching out to private schools not complying with the governor’s mask mandates to discuss compliance, and they’re putting them on probation, rather than immediately revoking recognition. The Chicago Tribune reported ISBE’s new policy follows last week's Kendall County court ruling that Parkview Christian Academy’s recognition status be reinstated pending the outcome of the case.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Now that the eviction moratorium has ended in Illinois, some are wondering if there will be a wave of eviction filings that could threaten to overload the system. Landlord eviction filings were allowed to resume in August, but they weren’t enforceable until now. According to a U.S. Census Bureau survey, more than 60,000 Illinoisans said they are likely to face eviction in the next two months.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is Manufacturing Month in Illinois. Governor J-B Pritzker says the manufacturing industry is already a leading driver of the state’s economy, with over 100 billion dollars in annual economic output and more than 18 thousand companies located here. He expects those numbers to grow and more jobs will need to be filled with talented workers...

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor is also celebrating the 40th new manufacturing announcement this year in Illinois, with news that the Chicago Magnesium Casting Company in Dixmoor is expanding and adding 40 jobs.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 2,932 new Coronavirus cases and 54 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 37 new cases. Champaign County reported 53 new cases. 

 

(Undated-jm) -- A Paxton man could face 10 years to life imprisonment after being found guilty of the enticement of a minor. Robert Shawn Anderson was found guilty yesterday. It took the federal jury less than 90 minutes to reach a verdict. Evidence showed Anderson set up a meeting for sexual activity with someone he believed to be 15 years old using a dating application called MeetMe. Anderson is set to be sentenced on January 10, 2022.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County Crimestoppers says September was one of their most productive months in years. The group says that helpful information led to the arrest of 7 people, and 18 firearms were recovered. That includes 12 handguns and 6 rifles. $25,143 in cash was also seized. $4,000 was rewarded to tipsters.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Farm Service Agency guaranteed loans now have a higher loan limit for borrowers needing capital for farm ownership or operating purposes. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-10:30 am at the Iroquois Farmers Bank in Iroquois and from 11-1 at Beaverville Hardware.

 

The Rantoul Public Library will host a blood drive today from 3-7 pm.

 

The Cornbelt Fire Protection District in Mahomet will hold an open house this evening from 6-8 pm.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- For the first time in a while, Illinois takes second place in monthly firearm background checks reported through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. For September, Illinois’ 347,400 checks would be the top spot of all states if it weren’t for Kentucky’s 370,700 checks. But, Illinois still holds the top spot so far this year with nearly 7.5 million checks compared to Kentucky in second place with 2.7 million checks.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Homeowners in flood-prone areas of Illinois are bracing for higher insurance rates after the Federal Emergency Management Agency launched a revamp of its flood insurance program. Beginning this month, FEMA is transforming the program by bringing more equitable pricing to flood insurance.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination clinics will be held in Champaign County throughout October, health officials announced. Vaccinations will take place through today, October 12th and 13th, 19th through the 21st and 26th and 27th at the iHotel in Champaign from 9-4 no appointment is needed.  Vaccinations with an appointment required will be held at Kohls Plaza through today, 12th through the 14th and 19th through the 21st from 10-5:30. Appointments can be scheduled by going to carle dot org slash covid 19.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Now in its 107th year, the National 4-H organization continues to expand its educational outreach to students across different disciplines and locations. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

 

Illinois State Board of Education says a recent CDC study found masks are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19

(Springfield-jm) -- Masking up in school is a contentious issue in many areas, but the State Board of Education is pointing to a recent CDC study that found masks are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The CDC study looked at about one thousand schools in Arizona and determined that schools that don’t require masks were three and a half times more likely to have an outbreak of the virus compared to schools that do. The State Board’s Executive Director of Safe and Healthy Climate Jeff Aranowski…

 

 

State Board of Education Executive Director of Safe and Healthy Climate Jeff Aranowski. Governor J-B Pritzker was asked this week when the state’s school mask mandate will be lifted and he said they will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 3,058 new Coronavirus cases and 23 additional deaths Tuesday. Vermilion County reported 42 new cases and 1 additional death. Champaign County reported 48 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Kwame Raoul and law enforcement partners are boosting efforts to fight online child exploitation. Reports of child pornograhy and exploiting kids are on the rise and everyone must do their part to stop this trend, says Attorney General Raoul. His office has put together a series of webinars for parents and schools to learn more about internet safety, apps like Snapchat and Tik Tok and signs that a child or student has been a victim of online solicitation…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Additional efforts are being coordinated through the Attorney General’s internet crimes against children task force, which is deploying a new mobile computer forensics unit that will travel the state as well.

 

 

(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.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Ethics reform was passed during the recent legislative session. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the legislation…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign County Continuum of Service Providers to the Homeless seek to fill the gap in the homeless service system and advocate for year-round and low-barrier emergency shelter for single individuals.  According to the group, they will be requesting proposals to fill the gap and plan to advocate for local non-CSPH funds, as well as to provide technical assistance to apply for Continuum-controlled funds such as the ESG program. According to the 2021 Point in Time Count, 148 total individuals are experiencing homelessness, with 132 individuals residing in emergency shelter programs.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- October is National Protect your Hearing Month and the Illinois Department of Labor is focusing on safety at work. Hearing loss can occur at any age, and those constantly exposed to high decibel sounds on the job are at particular risk, says the agency’s Hap Hileman…

 


Illinois Department of Labor’s Hap Hileman. Employers in these situations are required to provide workers with hearing protection and to take steps like limiting exposure to loud noises, using low-noise machinery and building a barrier to muffle the noise if possible. Officials recommend talking to your doctor if you’re concerned about hearing loss.

 

 

(Danville-jm) -- A man who stole over $2 million from two companies, including a sign company in Danville, has pleaded guilty to charges. Court documents say 43-year-old Jeffery Henson's string of crimes began in 2016, when he pretended to be an online job recruiter to obtain personal identifying information of a job seeker. With that person's stolen information, he obtained a job in their name as director of accounting at a Schaumburg, Illinois, consulting firm, stole at least $1,868,765. He then worked at Watchfire Signs in Danville when he took the identity of another individual and stole over $330,000.

 

(Vermilion County-jm) -- October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in recognition of the month, the Vermilion County State's Attorney' Office is hosting a supply drive.  The drive will supply and benefit the Crosspoint Human Services Domestic Violence Transitional Center.  Purple donations boxes will be placed at various locations including the Vermilion County Administration Building, McDonald's North Vermilion location and Crosspoint at the Y.  Items needed include men's and young men's hygiene products, baby products, pillow cases, sheets and other toiletries. The drive will run throughout the entire month of October. 

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Cissna Park American Legion today from 1-7 pm.

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 4-6 pm at the health department in Watseka.

 

Deer mating season is here and the Illinois Department of Transportation is urging motorists to be careful and stay alert.

(Springfield-jm) -- Trampoline courts in Illinois are now required to have inspections and permits. This comes after Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 60 into law. Trampoline courts now fall under the regulations set forth by the Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Act. The Illinois Department of Labor does not allow amusement rides or attractions to operate unless they have been inspected and permitted. Gymnastics facilities with trampolines will not be included.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Deer mating season is here and the Illinois Department of Transportation is urging motorists to be careful and stay alert. The season typically runs October through December, so drivers need to be especially cautious, says i-dot spokesperson Maria Castaneda…

 

 

 IDOT Spokesperson Maria Castaneda. Castaneda also warns to prepare for the unexpected as deer sometimes stop in the middle of the road or double back. Last year in Illinois, there were nearly 14 thousand deer-vehicle accidents, resulting in 611 personal injuries and 10 deaths.

 

(Clarence-jm) -- Emergency crews were called to an accident in Clarence just after 8 pm last night. Emergency personnel from Rankin were called to the accident involving a lawn mower and an SUV. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton is considering combining two commissions. Currently 7 people serve on the planning commission and 5 serve on the zoning board of appeals. The council is considering combining the two commissions into one 7 member group.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County is celebrating 50 years serving the northern Champaign County area. One of the services they provide is a food pantry, says Director Andy Kulczycki...

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulczycki.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The Ford County Sheriff’s Office has released their September activity report. During the last month, deputies responded to 5 traffic accidents and issued 33 citations for speeding, 2 each for driving on a suspended or revoked license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, disregarding a stop sign, driving on a sidewalk and DUI and 1 each for fleeing police, failure to reduce speed and reckless driving. Deputies also handled 9 domestic issues, 8 suspicious persons reports, 3 each of theft and harassment, 2 each of abuse, fraud and violation of court order and 1 each of vandalism, trespassing, phone scam, custody dispute and sex offender registration notification violation.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Harvest continues ahead of last year’s pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. There was an average of six days suitable for fieldwork this past week, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 32 percent of soybeans have been harvested, compared to 23 percent at the same time last year. 12 percent of winter wheat has been planted and one percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture improved to nine percent very short, 18 percent short, 71 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The U.S. Trade Representative Monday announced how the Biden Administration plans to address its trade relationship with China. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Buckley--jc)  --  Two Illinois men have been arrested in connection with an incident where a dead man was found in a gas tank in Buckley. 29 year old Garrett Meyer of Nashville Illinois was found deceased in the gas tank in June. Iroquois County authorities continue to investigate this incident. WPXN news will continue to update this story as more official news is released

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, is introducing legislation he believes will reduce gun violence by preventing the theft of firearms from federally-licensed gun dealers or FFL. The Chicago Tribune reported a gun stolen in Wisconsin from a gun store in 2017 has been linked to 27 shootings in Chicago.  Durbin’s legislation seeks to address so-called “smash and grab” burglaries by requiring all firearms to be securely stored when an FFL is not open for business. Either in safes or by fastening them to an anchored steel rod.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Fire Prevention Week. The focus this year is on the “Sounds of Safety” says Illinois State Fire Marshal Spokesperson JC Fultz…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson JC Fultz. Fultz says a continuous set of three loud beeps means there is smoke or a fire in your home and you should get out immediately. He also reminds us that all smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,139 new Coronavirus cases and 59 additional deaths since Friday. Locally since Friday, Champaign County reported 85 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 137 new cases. Iroquois County reported 92 cases and 2 additional deaths. Ford County did not have a report.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City Melvin Sibley school district is assessing damage from this summer's storms. A storage building by the tennis courts and all 4 dugouts at the middle school will have to be demolished. 

 

(Thawville-tr) -- A new business with a unique taste has come onto the scene in the small town of Thawville, Illinois known as Artesia Brewing. Located at 384 E 1200 North Road in Thawville, Artesia Brewing Spokesperson Linda Tammen shares a few key menu items being served at the new brewery…

 

 

Artesia Brewing Spokesperson Linda Tammen. 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign county will begin offering COVID booster shots starting today. 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.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Harvest continues ahead of last year’s pace as we hear in the weekly crop report. 95 percent of corn is mature and 41 percent of the crop has been harvested. That compares to 24 percent harvested at this time last year and 32 percent normally says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 12 percent of winter wheat has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture increased to nine percent very short, 18 percent short, 71 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

 

(Washington-jm) -- What is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's reaction to the U.S. Trade Representative's stance on trade with China? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Iroquois County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Crescent City Community Center.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 2-4 pm at the health department in Paxton.

 

Illinois lawmakers approved energy legislation last month during a special session in Springfield

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,356 new and probable COVID-19 cases Friday and 41 additional deaths. As of Friday, Ford County reported 15 new cases bringing their total to 2,368. Champaign County reported 61 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 26,416 and deaths to 191. Vermilion County reported 114 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 13,074 and deaths to 190.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will be hosting a style and quilt show later this month as part of their sesquicentennial celebration. Spokesperson Susie Tongate talks about the show…

 

 

Gibson City Sesquicentennial Spokesperson Susie Tongate.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 3rd annual Wine and Chocolate Walk was held Saturday. The event was a huge success.  The winner of the grand prize for a one night stay at the Cobblestone Inn was Rick Barnes. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce announced next year’s wine and chocolate walk will take place the first weekend in October.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- A vigil to raise awareness on domestic violence will take place in Rantoul tonight. The vigil is set for tonight 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.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois lawmakers approved energy legislation last month during a special session in Springfield. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the legislation…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Mary Henson, wife of legendary hall of fame U of I basketball coach Lou Henson will serve as grand marshal for this year’s homecoming parade. The parade will take place on Saturday, October 9th at 11 am.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Gibson City Telecare.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 ambassador program is an important part of dispelling misinformation about the virus. The ambassadors are volunteers, committed to talking with friends, relatives and neighbors about preventing COVID infection, the importance of wearing a mask and getting vaccinated. State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike spoke with several ambassadors virtually last week, making sure they have the correct information. She was asked about the strength of each dose of the Pfizer vaccine...

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Others asked if those who got the Johnson and Johnson or Moderna shot can get the Pfizer booster. Ezike says that’s not recommended at this time because there hasn’t really been much research on mixing different versions of the vaccine.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,356 new and probable COVID-19 cases Friday and 41 additional deaths. As of Friday, Ford County reported 15 new cases bringing their total to 2,368. Champaign County reported 61 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 26,416 and deaths to 191. Vermilion County reported 114 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 13,074 and deaths to 190.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Rantoul Township High School school board approved their fiscal year budget. Superintendent Scott Amerio says the district is looking good financially…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- In a single day, 28 eviction cases were filed in Champaign County. For months, it’s been unclear how many people will be sent packing once Governor J.B. Pritzker’s eviction moratorium officially lifted yesterday. For months, renters were protected from evictions being filed in court under the moratorium. That is, up until August 1. Since then, the Champaign County Courthouse has been averaging about three cases filed per day.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- There’s a new sheriff in Iroquois County. Clint Perzee took over for Derek Hagan who retired last week. Perzee will fill the rest of Hagan’s term which expires in November 2022, which he plans to run for the seat then.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County home sales rose slightly in August. The Champaign County Association of Realtors says 328 homes sold up about one percent compared to August 2020. The median home price rose 9 percent in August to $185,000.

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Gibson City Telecare.

 

The deadline is approaching for small businesses to apply for state recovery grants

(Undated-jm) -- Students and parents are being warned about the latest Tiktok challenge that may get their student into serious trouble. School districts are saying the latest challenge asks students to calmly walk up to their teacher, slap them and run away, making sure they capture the whole thing on camera. Many districts say they have zero tolerance for this type of behavior.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The deadline is approaching for small businesses to apply for state recovery grants. 24 million dollars in Back to Business Grants have already been awarded, with another 226 million in funding still available says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The deadline to apply is October 13th. Visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website for more details.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,344 new and probable COVID 19 cases and 42 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate is down to 2.8 percent. Locally, Vermilion County reported 47 new cases. Champaign County reported 55 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Township High School leaders are looking at capital projects over the next few years. One project would be adding HVAC to the only portion not currently climate controlled while another project would be to redo the track. Both look to be done this upcoming summer. But Superintendent Scott Amerio says the district is looking at an even bigger project potentially in 2023…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Superintendent Scott Amerio.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- One person is dead and three people have serious injuries after a Champaign County crash.  State police said the crash occurred at about 7:30 p.m. on Route 150 at Champaign County 2550 East near Ogden. It was a head-on crash involving two vehicles. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police arrested a 16-year-old boy in connection to a shots fired investigation near Centennial High School. Officers are also continuing to search for another suspect they said is involved in the situation. In a news release, police officials said a warrant was issued September 25 for the teenager on aggravated discharge of a firearm. He was arrested Thursday morning near Sheffield and West Lock Raven roads in Champaign. The boy was taken to the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. His name has not been released. On September 15, Champaign Police responded to an area near Jefferson Middle School and Centennial High School for a report of shots fired.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The 3rd annual Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Wine and Chocolate Walk is set for this Saturday from 11 to 4:30. Those participating will be eligible to win several small prizes and a grand prize, says Chamber President Alan Meyer…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Alan Meyer. WPXN radio is one of the many stops on the tour on Saturday in Paxton

 

(Undated-jm) -- If you have an important letter to send in a hurry, make sure to send it early. Starting today, new service standards are being implemented for First-Class Mail and periodicals. The United States Postal Service says it will take an extra day or two to deliver the mail that's traveling longer distances. First-Class Mail being sent locally will still only take about two days.

 

 

(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.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's quarterly stock forecasts revealed a surprise regarding ending stocks for corn and soybeans, compared to industry projections. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A 17-year-old boy has died after he was shot in the torso while sitting alongside the roadway in the 1500 block of West Kirby Avenue on Thursday around 5:30 p.m. When Champaign police officers were called to the scene, they found the victim in the roadway suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to his torso. Officers rendered medical aid until the victim was rushed to a local hospital. The victim died from his injuries a short time later.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The CDC is strongly recommending that pregnant women get the COVID-19 vaccine. Less than one third of pregnant women are fully vaccinated, reports the CDC, which is calling for urgent action to boost those numbers. On a recent virtual call with COVID ambassadors in Illinois, State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike was asked about this very issue…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says pregnant women who contract COVID are more susceptible to complications from the virus and are at higher risk of delivering their baby too early.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton’s streetscape project is temporarily on hold. Mayor Bill Ingold says they plan to start moving forward with the project soon....

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 130 people die every day from suicide. 4URantoul has seen an increase in the number of suicidal calls. The group, which includes an officer with the village police department, believes the increase in COVID cases and people isolating themselves from others.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Two opportunities to receive the COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination are coming to Iroquois County and Champaign. To combat this effort the Iroquois County Public Health Department as well as the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, will each host COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination clinics. The Iroquois County Health Department will be offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine booster/third dose to eligible individuals by appointment Monday-Friday; 9 - 3:30. To schedule an appointment call 815- 432-2483. Eligible individuals are those who received Pfizer for their initial COVID-19 vaccine.  The CUPHD, in partnership with Carle Health, OSF HealthCare, Christie Clinic, Promise Healthcare, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will be hosting community-based COVID-19 Pfizer booster vaccination clinics beginning in October. A clinic will be held at the iHotel and Conference Center from October 5-7 from 9 – 4. Champaign will also offer a second clinic located at Kohl’s Plaza October 5–7, 12–14, and 19–21 from 10 – 5:30. Appointments can be made through MyCarle and at carle.org/covid-19

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County, located in Rantoul is celebrating 50 years with a celebration at Wabash Park tonight. Community Service Center  Director Andy Kulczycki has been with the group for a long time. Kulczycki  talks about how the need has grown for all types of services…

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulczycki.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Buckley Loda School District is considering bringing in a school resource officer. The officer would be from the Paxton Police Department. The school district and City of Paxton will continue discussions.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Water rates in the western Ford County community of Gibson City will be going up. Council members approved the increase recently. A family of four is expected to see their rates increase $10.85 a month.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Extreme drought conditions in various wheat growing regions are contributing to lower wheat production forecasts compared to the previous year. Rod Bain reports…

 

***News nws 2798wheat***

 

Lake Iroquois will have garage sales today and tomorrow from 8-5.

Maps will be available at the Front gate

 

The Ford County Public Health Department will host a flu shot clinic today from 9-11 am at the Gibson schoolhouse apartments.

 

The 2021 Harvest Days will take place today through Sunday at the Old Courthouse Museum in Watseka.

 

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


The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce’s 3rd annual Wine and Chocolate Walk will take place on Saturday from 11 to 4:30. Only 200 tickets will be sold and can be purchased at the chamber office, Mom and Pops Kettle Korn and Hudson Drug and Hallmark. 

 

The Melvin Community Hall will host Wes Wheeler and Battle Creek Country Band on Saturday at 7pm. Cost is $10 per person, 13 and over. Food will be available from the Melvin Women’s Club.

 

The First Christian Church of Gibson City will hold a free concert featuring the Bree Gordon Band from Chicago on Sunday from 4-6 pm.

 

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