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WPXN Blog Archives for 2021-11

Ice Skating coming to Gibson City

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Senate Republicans are blasting the Pritzker administration for its Illinois Department of Employment Security being nearly a month delinquent in required financial reports. Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie said the delayed report means taxpayers are still in the dark on how much fraud was paid out during the pandemic. IDES said in a letter to the state comptroller the COVID pandemic brought a volume and complexity to their financials, resulting in the delay, and anticipated a completed report by November 30.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- Fall harvesting has wrapped up as we hear in the last weekly crop report of the season. Corn and soybeans are out of the ground and 98 percent of winter wheat has been planted. 92 percent of winter wheat acres have emerged, a little behind last year. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says both temperatures and precipitation were below normal this past week…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions declined to 55 percent in good to excellent condition.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 19,261 new Coronavirus cases and 78 additional deaths since Wednesday. No reports were given Thursday or Friday because of the Thanksgiving holiday. The seven day positivity rate jumped to 5.2 percent. Region 6 which includes Ford, Iroquois, Champaign and Vermilion Counties currently sits at 7.2 percent. Since Wednesday, Champaign County is reporting 431 new cases. Vermilion County is reporting 149 new cases and 2 additional deaths. Iroquois County is reporting 82 new cases. Ford County is reporting 51 new cases.

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Rantoul Police have arrested a 36-year-old man in relation to a shooting incident that happened near Gleason Drive on October 18th. According to police, during the arrest, William Gray was found to be in possession of a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol. This is the second arrest in connection to a shooting incident that left a 16-year-old girl wounded. Police arrested 37-year-old Rory D. Nelson the next day and charged him with aggravated discharge of a firearm. Nelson has remained to be held at the Champaign County Correctional Center. Gray is charged with attempted first-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm.

 

(Gibson City-tr) --  The Gibson City Christmas Parade will feature many extra activities for the family to enjoy like food vendors, horse and carriage rides, and even an artificial Ice rink. Prairieland CEO Brock Philips shares more about the ice rinks availability… 

 

 

 Prairieland CEO Brock Philips.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Police made another arrest of a man with a firearm early Sunday morning near the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Around 1 a.m. University of Illinois Police officers pulled over a vehicle near Goodwin and Oregon avenues after noticing it did not have a front license plate. After the vehicle was stopped, dispatchers notified the officers that the registered owner, Keandre Delaney of Champaign, was wanted on an arrest warrant. Officers found a handgun with an extended magazine hidden under a cloth in the passenger side door where Delaney had been sitting. The magazine was loaded with 28 rounds of ammunition, with one more in the chamber of the firearm.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What are some of the challenges of some of our nation's ag exporters in the shipping transport side of the supply chain?  Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Starting next year, the Illinois State Board of Education will rank districts based on how equitable they are, meaning how well they set up students with different circumstances to get the same outcomes. The goal of this is to level the playing field. Education officials say the public school system here in Illinois has significant gaps in achievement between different groups of students, and this new ranking system will give districts a better understanding of how to close those gaps. Each district’s data will be placed along a four-step continuum, spanning from large equity gaps to minimal equity gaps, for categories like student learning, learning conditions, and elevating educators.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Fall harvesting has wrapped up as we hear in the last weekly crop report of the season. Both temperatures and rainfall were below normal this past week, leaving more than five days suitable for fieldwork, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions also declined slightly, with 55 percent of acres rated in good to excellent condition.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A legendary group is making its way to Champaign in May. Earth, Wind & Fire is set to take the stage at the State Farm Center on Friday, May 6, 2022. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday.

 

 

(Paxton-tr) -- Paxton area may be seeing a tax rate drop of 17 cents depending on property values in the district. PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure predicts it could take effect as early as next year…

 

 

PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois State Police have released results from Thanksgiving holiday patrols. During Distracted Driving Enforcement Patrols, District 21 troopers issued 34 citations for hand held phone or device violations and 6 citations for texting while driving. During Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols, District 21 troopers issued 38 safety belt citations and 6 child restraint citations. During Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols, District 21 troopers issued 9 occupant restraint citations, 14 DUIs and 164 citations for speeding. District 10 troopers issued 5 occupant restraint citations and 2 DUI along with 129 citations for speeding during Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Rapidly rising input costs could have significant effects next season on producers' bottom lines and planting plans. Gary Crawford reports…

 


The Ford County Public Health Department will hold a Medicare Open Enrollment Assistance event at the Kempton American Legion from 9:30-11:30 on Wednesday, December 1st and at the Piper City Library on Thursday, December 2nd from 10 to noon.

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Cissna Park American Legion on Wednesday, December 1st from 12:30 to 6.

 

It's time for seniors to choose whether they want to keep their current medicare plan or switch plans

(Springfield-jm) -- Fall has been warmer than normal in Illinois this year. Climatological fall is wrapping up this month, with some temperatures for the record book says State Climatologist Trent Ford…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Ford says fall precipitation has been all over the place, with just under seven inches since September in northwestern Illinois and over 12 inches in east central Illinois. The early December outlook calls for average temps and precipitation, but Ford says forecast models are leaning heavily on the La Nina effect to increase odds for warmer and wetter weather through February.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 5,558 new Coronavirus cases and 19 additional deaths Friday. The state’s seven day positivity rate remained steady at 4.1 percent. Champaign County reported 95 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Medicare open enrollment is open. It’s time for seniors to choose whether they want to keep their current plan or switch plans, says Ford County Public Health Administrator Lana Sample…

 

 

Ford County Public Health Department Administrator Lana Sample.

 

 

(Ludlow-jm) -- Firefighters from Paxton and Rantoul were called to a semi fire early Saturday morning. Crews were called to the fire on northbound I-57 at milemarker 254 just after 3:30. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Iroquois County-tr) -- The partnership between Toys for Tots and Iroquois Memorial Hospital is proud to keep the donations within Iroquois County for Iroquois County residents. Toys for Tots Spokesperson Bill Nutter thinks that is a big key…

 

 

Toys for Tots Spokesperson Bill Nutter. Last year's campaign had over 4,000 toys distributed to children from newborn to the age of ten. Donations are being accepted until December 3rd.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- The first of 43 wind turbines for the Ford County Wind Farm has been put up. Crews from Apex Clean Energy completed the first one near Guthrie and are moving forward with the rest. Developers hope to have the project completed by the end of February beginning of March.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products in this new fiscal year may not be as large as was predicted back in August.  Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Starting in late December, unemployment insurance benefits will no longer be paid out via a debit card. This won’t affect how much claimants receive but will alter how they get the money says Illinois Department of Employment Security Acting Director Kristin Richards…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Acting Director Kristin Richards. The change comes after the state’s vendor, Key Bank, decided to stop providing debit cards for benefit purposes. Richards says those currently using debit cards can go online at: ides dot illinois dot gov slash payment and switch to direct deposit if they wish.

 

(Champaign-Vermillion County-tr) -- Faith in Action at OSF Healthcare in Champaign will be filling Christmas bags to give to local seniors in Champaign and Vermilion County who could use some Christmas cheer this holiday season. Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling has more…

 

 

 Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling. Donations are being accepted until December 3rd.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Paxton first responders were called to a single vehicle rollover accident Sunday afternoon. The accident happened on I-57 at the Paxton exit just after 3. No injuries were reported.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton held their tree lighting Friday night. The tree is a project put on by the Paxton Service Club with help from the City of Paxton, Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative and Victor Johnson and his family. Spokesperson Judy Ondercho talks about the history of the tree lighting…

 

 

Paxton Service Club Spokesperson Judy Ondercho. Hundreds of people lined the streets Saturday afternoon for the annual Christmas parade. Glenn Kaiser was named the grand marshal. 

 

(Minneapolis-jm) -- Emily Claire Hari is appealing the 53-year prison sentence and criminal convictions she received for masterminding the 2017 firebombing of a Minnesota mosque. Hari’s court-appointed attorney, Shannon Elkins, filed a notice of appeal in U.S. District Court in Minnesota. The U.S. Court of Appeals’ 8th Circuit sent a letter to Elkins and federal prosecutors two days later, notifying them of the briefing schedule for the appeal. U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank sentenced the 50-year-old Hari, formerly known as Michael B. Hari, to 53 years in prison on September 13, after a jury convicted Hari in December 2020 of several civil-rights and hate-crime charges in connection with the August 5, 2017, firebombing of the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Prospects for U.S. agricultural export values in this new fiscal year are good, but not as good as they seemed a few months ago. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

There are several important tips for picking the right Christmas Tree

(Springfield-jm) -- If your family is headed out this weekend to pick out a Christmas tree, you might want to consider a few of these tips. One thing people often forget to do is measure the space where they want to put the tree, and it ends up being too big, says University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Richard Hentschel. He suggests bringing a tape measure when you head out to the tree lot or farm to make sure it will fit. As for the type of tree, that’s a personal choice…

 

 

University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Richard Hentschel. Hentschel says you need to keep that water filled at all times. No special additives like sugar or aspirin are needed.

 

 

(Champaign-tr)-- The 21st annual Champaign Parade of Lights will feature many unique experiences such as meeting Santa, a horse carriage ride through downtown Champaign, and the 1st ever “Candy Crawl”. Champaign Parade of Lights spokesperson Xander Hazel has the details… 

 

 

Champaign Parade of Lights Spokesperson Xander Hazel. The parade is tomorrow night in downtown Champaign.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City, Sibley, Melvin and Elliott firefighters were called to a chimney fire Thursday evening. The fire happened at 130 East State Route 9 around 6:30. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The City of Paxton will light their annual Christmas tree tonight at 7 in downtown Paxton. The selection of the town's Christmas tree is done by the Paxton Service Club. Spokesperson Judy Ondercho talks about this year’s tree…

 

 

Paxton Service Club Spokesperson Judy Ondercho. The Paxton Christmas parade is tomorrow at 1:30 WPXN will be broadcasting the parade live with Becky Puetz and Joel Cluver.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Illinois State Police have released results from recent occupant restraint enforcement patrols in Champaign County. 23 safety belt citations and 4 child restraint citations were issued.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- How do you safely handle those turkey, ham and beef leftovers? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Looking for an easy gift to give this holiday season? The Illinois State Fair suggests purchasing a mega or jumbo pass. You can buy the passes online at the lowest prices you’ll see before the fair next summer says Spokesperson Krista Lisser…

 

 

Illinois State Fair Spokesperson Krista Lisser. Lisser says fairgoers can expect to see some new rides next year as well as favorites like Pharaoh's Fury, Freak Out and Rock Star. Mega and Jumbo passes, as well as admission booklets will be available for purchase at: illinois state fair dot info. The 2022 Illinois State Fair runs August 11th through the 21st.

 

 

(Paxton-tr)-- Pride in Paxton and The Paxton Christmas Committee is inviting the public to take part in the 2021 Pride in Paxton Christmas Parade. Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock shares the theme for this year's parade… 

 

 

Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock. The tree lighting is tonight at 7 with the parade tomorrow at 1:30. Champaign’s parade of lights is scheduled for tomorrow evening.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Firefighters from several area departments battled a fire near Gibson City Thursday evening. Crews from Gibson City, Sibley, Melvin and Elliott were called to the fire at 130 East State Route 9 around 6:30 pm. No word on if there were any injuries.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Yesterday was Thanksgiving and we asked area leaders what they are thankful for this year. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

 

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

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. agriculture is expected to build a large trade surplus with other nations, despite a growing U.S. appetite for imported food and agricultural products. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

State and local police are boosting patrols for the Thanksgiving holiday

(Springfield-jm) -- State and local police are boosting patrols for the Thanksgiving holiday. This is one of the busiest travel times of the year, so extra police, special details and roadside safety checks are being deployed, says IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Wappel says traffic fatalities have increased this year and they want to keep numbers from rising any further.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois House Republican lawmakers are proposing a relief package to help combat rising inflation. The one point four billion dollar plan includes a one time tax credit of up to 400 dollars, depending on income. It would be applied to taxes filed next year and is needed as everything from the cost of bacon to natural gas is going up, says Litchfield Representative Avery Bourne…

 

 

State Representative Avery Bourne of Litchfield. The GOP says this could be paid for with federal COVID-19 relief money and hopes the proposal is approved when the legislature returns to Springfield in January.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 4,589 new Coronavirus cases and 17 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate rose to 4.1 percent. Champaign County reported 100 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 29,250 and deaths to 213. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report Tuesday.

 

(Champaign-Vermillion County-tr) -- Donations are being accepted for Faith in Actions Christmas bag outreach program at OSF Healthcare in Champaign. Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling details how to donate…

 

 

Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling. Donations are being accepted until December 3rd.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Winter is almost upon us and that means snow and cold temperatures. That also means higher heating bills. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says help is available…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- According to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS, home sales hit a record high during the month of October.  Realtors say home sales in Champaign County sold quickly in October due to the upswing in the demand for residential homes with a total of 286 residential home sales reported. Reports show that is a 4.38 percent increase over the 274 homes sold in October of 2020. Year-to-date sales through October of 2021 are on track to end the year ahead of last year’s total number as sales are up 8.49 percent ahead of 2020 totals. $165,000 was the median home sale price in October for the Champaign County area, which realtors say is down 1.35 percent from $167,250 in October of 2020. 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is launching its annual disability parking sting at malls across the state. The message of the operation is simple, says Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman: if you don’t belong there, don’t park there…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman. Those that are busted face hefty fines ranging from up to 350 dollars for parking in a disability spot without a placard to as much as 25 hundred dollars and losing your license for a year if caught using a deceased person’s placard.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Tollway is expecting as many as nine million vehicles on the roads over Thanksgiving and the holiday weekend. Today will likely be the busiest day for the 294 mile tollway system, but heavy traffic is anticipated through Sunday, says Spokesperson Dan Rozek…

 

 

Illinois Tollway Spokesperson Dan Rozek. More importantly, Rozek says they are asking drivers to slow down, especially when they see a vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road. You can sign up for “Tollway Trip Tweets” for real time travel information on the agency’s website: illinois tollway dot com.

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- Illinois State Police will be conducting special traffic enforcement patrols during the Thanksgiving weekend. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

The Central Illinois Farm Toy Show will take place Thanksgiving weekend at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Bloomington across from the airport. Dealers will be set up with farm yoys and memorabilia for sale. Friday the show is open from 5-9, Saturday from 9-5, and Sunday from 8-2. 

 

Cissna Park’s small Town Christmas event will take place on Friday and Saturday November 26 & 27. Friday, there will be caroling in the park at 6pm and around downtown. Stores will be open until 8pm.  On Saturday, Santa will be at Steiner Furniture from 10-2. You can take a horse drawn carriage ride around the park from 1-4. Activities for the kids from 2-3 at the Cissna Park Library. The lighted Christmas parade will take place at 5pm and Stores will be open until 8pm.

 

 

(Paxton-tr)--Paxton’s Christmas parade is this Saturday in downtown Paxton starting at 1:30. Organizers are reminding the public to monitor their kids at the Christmas parade this year. With many expected to attend, Teri Hancock has a few easy guidelines to follow…

 

 

Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock. The Christmas tree was put up at the intersection of State and Market. The tree lighting is set for Friday at 7.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is investing over $29 million dollars in wastewater and drinking water projects in the first quarter of fiscal year 2022 including a project in Iroquois County. The village of Loda is receiving 1 million dollars to construct a new 70,000 gallon groundwater storage tank and upgrades to the existing plant. 

 

The Illinois State Fire Marshal's office is offering some safe cooking tips for your Thanksgiving celebration

(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s top public health doctor is stressing the importance of kids getting vaccinated against COVID-19. IDPH Director Dr Ngozi Ezike visited a community vaccine event in the Forest Park School District, and urged parents to make sure their children in the 5 to 11 age group get the shot…

 

 

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike praised event organizers for trying to make the process fun for the kids and encourages communities around the state to hold vaccine drives for both youth and adults.

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 11,387 new Coronavirus cases and 50 additional deaths between Friday and Monday. The seven day positivity rate rose to 3.9 percent. Champaign County reported 247 new cases bringing their total to 29,150. Iroquois County reported 89 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 4,530 and deaths to 81. Vermilion County reported 302 new cases and 2 additional deaths bringing their total number of cases to 15,493 and deaths to 205. Ford County did not have a report Monday however sits at 2,597 cases.

 

(Rantoul-tr) -- The Community Service Center in Rantoul will be assisting families from Thomasboro, Ludlow, and Rantoul with their Holiday Bureau program. Holiday Bureau Spokesperson Andy Kulczyki gives a summary on what Holiday Bureau is all about…

 

 

Holiday Bureau Spokesperson Andy Kulczyki

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Melissa Courtwright has been named executive director of C-U at Home, which houses and supports people without a place to live on their journey to healing and restoration. Courtwright is a longtime advocate for older adults in Champaign and Vermilion Counties.

 

(Paxton-tr) -- An agreement has been reached on the PBL school district taking on a new resource officer. The resource officer will foster relationships with students and faculty while performing proper safety practices as well as lesson teaching, says PBL superintendent Cliff McClure…

 

 

 PBL Superintendent Cliff McClure

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking assistance from the public regarding a burglary. On November 5, at around 9:40 a.m., police were dispatched to Colonial Liquor on Maplewood Drive in Rantoul for a reported burglary. When officers arrived, they found entry had been forced through the business’s front window and an ATM had been removed. Video surveillance from within the building showed the suspect entered the business wearing a dark hoodie, light-colored pants and dark shoes. Anyone who has information regarding this crime can contact Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois will be permanently closing after the Spring 2022 semester. University officials said they previously announced that the building would be converted into the “Archives and Special Collections” building. “Services for undergraduate students will be integrated into the Main Library, Grainer Engineering Library Information Center, Funk ACES Library, and other units around campus by the start of classes in Fall 2022.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers are just about done with the fall harvest. Corn harvesting is complete and soybeans are just about done, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 90 percent of winter wheat has been planted with 75 percent emerged. 85 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition, down slightly from the previous week. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at 11 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office is offering some safe cooking tips for your Thanksgiving celebration. Four times as many home fires involving cooking equipment occur on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz says you should never leave food that’s boiling, grilling or broiling unattended, and kids should be kept at least three feet from the stove. Another potential hazard is using a turkey fryer…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Fultz says if there is a fire in the oven, keep the door shut and turn off the heat. For the stovetop, smother small flames with the pan lid.

 

 

(Champaign-tr)-- The theme for the 21st annual Parade of Lights in Champaign has been released. In honor of the late and great Elvis Presley, Blue Christmas will be this year's parade theme. Parade of Lights Spokesperson Xander Hazel is excited to see Champaign residents get creative with the theme…

 

 

Champaign Parade of Lights Spokesperson Xander Hazel

 

 

(Buckley-jm) -- The Buckley Fire and Ambulance Department is looking for more volunteers. The department will host an EMT class starting January 20th and running Mondays and Thursdays from 6-9 pm until May. The class will be held at Christ Lutheran High School. For more information call 217-249-4888.

 

(Iroquois County-tr) -- Iroquois Memorial Hospital in Watseka is partnering with Toys for Tots to bring the joy of Christmas to less fortunate children. Toys for Tots Spokesperson Bill Nutter shares details about the partnership…

 

 

Toys for Tots Spokesperson Bill Nutter. For more information on how to donate, contact Bill Nutter at 815-471-0129 or go to ToysForTots.org.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A routine traffic stop early Sunday led to a man’s arrest for illegally carrying a loaded gun. At about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, a University of Illinois Police officer observed a vehicle disobey a stop sign near the intersection of John and Neil streets, Champaign, only a few blocks from campus. After the officer stopped and approached the vehicle, he noticed a strong smell of cannabis emanating from the inside. One of the passengers, Dazhan D. Moore, 23, of Urbana, alerted police that he had a firearm in his waistband and began reaching for it. Officers quickly grabbed his arms and retrieved the weapon themselves. Police also found a small bag of cannabis in Moore’s pants pocket. The firearm was loaded with an extended magazine containing 31 rounds of ammunition. Moore does possess a Firearm Owners Identification, but is not permitted to carry a concealed weapon. Illinois law also makes it illegal to carry a weapon and cannabis in the manner that Moore was carrying it. Moore was arrested for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and was taken to the Champaign County Jail. The driver was released with a verbal warning for disobeying the stop sign.

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The worker shortage continues to hit the airline industry hard this holiday season, and has begun suspending local service throughout Central Illinois. Delta announced its suspending service to Detroit from Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. Service is being suspended for the first quarter of next year and Delta hopes to bring it back by April.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Farmers are just about done with the fall harvest. 95 percent of soybean acres have now been harvested and corn has wrapped up. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 90 percent of winter wheat has been planted…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions declined to 57 percent in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at 11 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.

The State Department of Public Health is joining the FDA in recommending COVID-19 booster shots for all adults

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Department of Public Health is joining the FDA in recommending COVID-19 booster shots for all adults. Most of the state remains at a high risk for transmission of the virus, and new cases increased 25 percent over the past week in Illinois. Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike says with that in mind, it’s a good idea to get the extra protection…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Ezike says the booster should be given six months after the Pfizer or Moderna shot and two months after the Johnson and Johnson version. To find a vaccine booster location near you, visit: vaccines dot gov.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police will be conducting Distracted Driving Enforcement Patrols tomorrow. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

(Rural Rankin-jm) -- A Hoopeston woman is dead following a crash on Route 49 south of Rankin. Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden pronounced 70 year old Brenda McVicker dead at the scene. Illinois State Police say McVicker was in a vehicle that slowed behind a semi because of a school bus that had its lights activated. Another semi hit McVicker’s vehicle causing it to strike the semi in front and catch fire. 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is making it easier for students to apply to in state colleges. The state is using the Common App which allows students to use the same application at more than one in state school. One of the biggest challenges facing students is getting financial aid. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about resources available for students when it comes to financial aid…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Board of Trustees announced that it approved a plan to allocate more money to help students and faculty at all three U of I campuses in the state. The board approved a request for more than $683 million in operating funds for the fiscal year 2023, which is 10 percent higher than the current year’s budget. The request is the first step in the annual budget process and will be submitted for consideration by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the governor and the Illinois General Assembly.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The statewide unemployment rate was down and jobs were up last month in Illinois. The jobless rate for October is six percent, down from the adjusted September rate of six point two percent. Some more positive signs, State Department of Employment Security Acting Director Kristin Richards says more than 41 thousand jobs were added last month…

 

 

State Department of Employment Security Acting Director Kristin Richards. These numbers are a big change over last year at this time, when the October unemployment rate was over eight percent.

 

 

(Champaign-Vermillion County-tr) -- Christmas bags are being prepared by Faith in Action at OSF Healthcare in Champaign for seniors who may be lonely in Champaign and Vermilion County. Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling gives a list of acceptable donation items…

 

 

Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling. Donations are being accepted until December 3rd.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The two Champaign County jails will soon be consolidated into one facility. The vote on the $20 million proposal came after about two hours of heated debate at the Champaign County Board meeting.  The plan is to close the downtown jail and add two new pods onto the satellite jail. One will be a designated special needs pod, allowing for separation of rival offenders and preventing COVID-19 spread, among other purposes.

 

(Champaign-tr)-- With the Covid-19 response pushing the Champaign Parade of lights to go virtual last year, Parade of lights Spokesperson Xander Hazel says that with the 21st annual parade being on and in-person this year, Xander Hopes the parade can help bring the community together… 

 

 

Champaign Parade of Lights Spokesperson Xander Hazel.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Farmer City Heritage Days planning committee is excited to announce the headliners for the 2022 Heritage Days Festival in Farmer City, Illinois. On Friday, June 3, 2022, a country music artist with multiple Top 10 hits, 3 of those being Number 1’s, Tyler Farr, will be headlining the night. Then, on Saturday, June 4, 2022, the rock group Black Stone Cherry will be taking the stage. Several support bands will be announced soon! General admission to the concerts is free to the public. Party pit tickets, which is the section closest to the stage, are available each night and on sale now at farmercityheritagedays.com. Party Pit tickets are $20, and you can Buy One / Get One Free until January 1, 2022.

 

A House committee is looking at the best way to spend federal American Rescue Plan money to increase affordable housing in Illinois

(Urbana-jm) -- One person was injured following a shooting outside Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana Thursday evening. The hospital says one shot was fired and an individual was struck. They were treated and released.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The State Board of Education is launching a pilot program to help attract more minorities to the teaching field. 24 Illinois colleges and universities have volunteered to participate in the program and help come up with a plan for recruiting and retaining teachers, says ISBE’s Jennifer Kirmes…

 

 

Illinois State Board of Educations’ Jennifer Kirmes. The board’s recent school report card found that 82 percent of teachers in Illinois identify as white, whereas more than half of public school students are of color.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 5,644 new Coronavirus cases Thursday and 30 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate continues to rise to 3.6 percent. Champaign County reported 129 new cases. Vermilion County reported 85 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Thursday.

 

 

(Gordyville-tr)-- The Gifford State Bank Country Christmas Craft Show to be held at Gordyville will offer many personalized items that can be custom made right there in Gordyville USA. Country Christmas Craft Show Spokesperson Stacy Huls shares a few options…

 

 

Gifford State Bank Country Christmas Craft Show Spokesperson Stacy Huls

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County health officials announced two upcoming COVID-19 vaccination clinics for kids and adults.  The county will have Pfizer vaccine clinics at Clara Peterson Elementary School on November 23 and December 14. Vaccines will be available for people from age five to adult. 

 

 

(Rantoul-tr) -- The old Circle K gas station in Rantoul has been purchased and the town of Rantoul is excited to hear the announcement. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says they are in the stages of waiting for the company to make their statement…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The co-owner of a bed-and-breakfast west of Paxton who was fined $81,218 by the Illinois Human Rights Commission for discriminating against a same-sex couple 10 years ago has finally paid the civil penalties to the couple and their attorneys. The payment prevented the scheduled court-ordered sale of the B&B from moving forward.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- How are milk producers responding to a squeeze on margins? A New report from USDA has the answer.  Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Urbana police are investigating after a person was shot at Carle Foundation Hospital yesterday evening. The hospital says one shot was fired at an individual, who was struck by the bullet. They were treated and released.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A House committee is looking at the best way to spend federal American Rescue Plan money to increase affordable housing in Illinois. This week’s hearing focused on helping people buy and maintain a home. Sheila Sutton with Housing Action Illinois says more down payment assistance is a good place to start…

 

 

Housing Action Illinois’ Sheila Sutton. Sutton says this is especially helpful in minority communities and rural areas. Her group also recommends using federal funds for home repair assistance and loan counseling.

 

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

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A group called Defund U-I-P-D held a food and supply drive Thursday to bring people in to hear more about the group's goals. The group is made up of students, faculty, and workers to get the police off campus. The group said by defunding the police, it will free up resources for things like mental health, food insecurity, and university needs.

 

(Farmer City-tr) -- The Farmer City Christmas Parade is entering its 45th year and will feature all sorts of floats, antique cars, tractors, and even a few marching bands to help kick off the Holiday Season. Farmer City Christmas Parade Spokesperson Chad Wills has the details… 

 

 

Farmer City Christmas Parade Spokesperson Chad Wills.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Champaign Urbana Public Health Department is hosting Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids ages 5-11. The clinic will be held at the Kohls Plaza on Saturdays from 8-4:30 and Sundays from 8-12:30.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Agriculture Secretary explained why he feels China still has various phytosanitary and purchase commitments to live up to as part of the Phase One Trade Agreement. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Residents in several downstate communities are soon going to have to make an appointment to get their driver's license renewed

(Springfield-jm) -- Residents in several downstate communities are soon going to have to make an appointment to get their driver’s license renewed. Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is expanding its appointment system to 13 more facilities including Springfield, Peoria, Champaign, Bloomington, Belleville and Marion. Spokesperson Henry Haupt says this applies to license and I-D renewals, behind the wheel tests and getting the real I-D…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. The change is being phased in over the next couple of months. 16 Chicago area facilities already use this system. Visit il sos dot gov for more information.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State Representative Dan Brady of Normal has announced his Campaign for Illinois Secretary of State. Current Secretary of State Jesse White announced earlier this year he will not seek re-election.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 4,989 new Coronavirus cases and 23 additional deaths. The state’s seven day positivity rate rose to 3.5%. Champaign County reported 93 new cases. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police will be conducting Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols this weekend. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details..

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The Champaign County Board will be making a decision on the future of its two jails tonight. The sheriff's office currently holds inmates in two different locations in the county. The sheriff and Special Jail Facilities Committee have proposed a $20 million expansion to the satellite jail on Lierman Avenue. The expansion would move inmates from the downtown jail to the satellite and allow all inmates to be overseen at one location.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A man is dead after falling while walking across Bradley Avenue Tuesday night. Champaign Police were called at approximately 11:14 p.m. to East Bradley Avenue and North Neil Street. Arriving officers found 29-year-old Justin Bradley Young in the roadway with life-threatening injuries. He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead just after midnight Wednesday. Police believe the victim was walking northbound across Bradley Avenue when he fell and was hit by an oncoming vehicle. The driver of the vehicle was not impaired and no tickets were issued.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state of Illinois is making it easier for students to apply for college. The state is rolling out the Common App which allows students to apply to any state university using the same application. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about what all the app can do…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

The Paxton Emergency Response Service will hold their all you can eat chicken and noodle supper tonight from 5-7 pm at their building located at 134 W. State Street. Meal includes chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread dessert and drink for $10.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Hog prices are falling right now, but will 2022 bring relief? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Winter weather will be here before you know it and the Illinois State Police and Department of Transportation want to make sure the public is prepared. If the roads are bad and you must head out, State Police Lieutenant Jody Huffman says planning ahead is your best option…

 

 

Illinois State Police Lieutenant Jody Huffman. Huffman also advises slowing down, being especially careful on ramps and bridges and giving I-DOT snowplows plenty of room to clear the roads.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education will be putting hundreds of thousands of dollars to address the state's teacher shortage. Teacher residency programs will be developed thanks to $750,000 in state funds. The goal is to help new teachers feel better prepared to enter the classroom with a focus on rural areas, along with early childhood and special education teachers.

 

(Paxton-tr)-- The Paxton Pride Christmas Parade wishes to highlight a guideline set in place and be sure that all entrants in the parade do not portray Santa Clause. Paxton Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock shares how multiple Saint Nicks may confuse young children…

 

 

Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- New data from the CDC shows more than 100,000 Americans died from overdoses during the first 12 months of the pandemic, jumping 28.5% from the year prior. And in Illinois, the overdose rate from 2019 to 2020 rose by 33%. Carle Health is taking action by starting a new initiative to fight opioid addiction.

 

 

(Gifford-jm) -- Eight years ago yesterday lives were changed forever in Gifford. A tornado ripped through town, destroying or damaging about 200 homes. The tornado was one of three that hit Champaign County that day.

 

 

(Paxton-tr) -- The brush pile in Paxton is being considered for an upgrade. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold explains how current operations are causing a few problems with local residents...

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Steer prices are rising right now, but can they keep the momentum into 2022? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Governor J-B Pritzker is signing a new law creating economic incentives for electric vehicle production

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor J-B Pritzker is signing a new law creating economic incentives for electric vehicle production. The measure provides tax credits to electric vehicle manufacturers which create jobs and build facilities in Illinois says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says this is a major step towards his goal of having one million vehicles on the road by 2030.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 3,005 new Coronavirus cases and 20 additional deaths. The seven day positivity rate rose to 3.4 percent. Champaign County reported 72 new cases. Vermilion County reported 77 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Tuesday.

 

(Gordyville-tr)-- The Country Christmas Craft Show held at Gordyville has featured many unique crafts and holiday decor for 38 years. Christmas Craft Show Spokesperson Stacy Huls took time to honor 38 years of successful craft shows…

 

 

Country Christmas Craft Show Spokesperson Stacy Huls.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign Police were dispatched to the Texas Roadhouse on Country Fair Drive around 9:30 p.m. Monday in response to reported shots fired. After an investigation, police officers said there was a domestic dispute that began inside the restaurant. The dispute carried over outdoors to the parking lot where shots were fired.

 

(Farmer City-tr) -- A big crowd is expected at this year's Farmer City Christmas Parade being held on Sunday, November 21st. Farmer City Christmas Parade Spokesperson Chad Wills says more than just locals join in the holiday cheer…

 

 

Farmer City Christmas Parade Spokesperson Chad Wills.

 

 

(Watseka-jm) -- The Iroquois County Public Health Department is offering Pfizer and Moderna COVID boosters. The health department will host the boosters Monday through Friday 9 to 3:30. The boosters will be given by appointment only.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- 2022 could be a very unusual year for the nation's meat sector. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is announcing some improvements to its winter road conditions website. “Getting Around Illinois dot com” just got a makeover that will provide more localized information, says IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Priority will be given to the most traveled interstates and U-S Routes by appearing more boldly on the map. The website, getting around illinois dot com, is updated constantly, 24 hours a day.

 

(Gibson City-tr) -- The Gibson City Council approved a new part time officer to patrol in Gibson City. Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey says the job also came with a bonus…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A man sentenced to 60 months’ imprisonment for receipt and possession of child pornography. According to officials, Neal A. Evans, 51, previously of Piatt County and now of rural Ogden, Illinois, was sentenced yesterday. Evans pleaded guilty to attempted receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, back in July 2021.

 

 

(Rantoul-tr) -- The Community Service Center in Rantoul is accepting donations for their Holiday Bureau program to help families in need. Holiday Bureau Spokesperson Andy Kulczyki has more on eligibility...

 

 

Holiday Bureau Spokesperson Andy Kulczyki.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign County Coroner has identified the male driver involved in a single motor vehicle crash on Sunday morning.  According to officials, on November 14, Ezekiel Short III, 39, of Villa Grove, was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Officials say Short was traveling on Homer Lake Rd. near Ogden, IL when the crash occurred.  Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup pronounced Short dead on scene, and preliminary autopsy results indicate Short died from blunt force injuries he received when he was ejected from the vehicle during the crash.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Analysts are already trying to predict the outcome of next spring's planting season. Will producers plant more corn? The answer is a definite "maybe".  Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at Iroquois West High School today from 9-3.

 

The Paxton Emergency Response Service will hold their all you can eat chicken and noodle supper tomorrow from 5-7 pm at their building located at 134 W. State Street. Meal includes chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, bread dessert and drink for $10.

 

The state of Illinois is trying to make it easier for high school seniors to apply to college

(Springfield-jm) -- The corn and soybean harvest is wrapping up in Illinois. A warm, dry week gave farmers about five days in the fields, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 86 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 71 percent has emerged. That’s behind the usual pace. Average statewide topsoil moisture is nearly unchanged at five percent short, 84 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

 

(Rantoul-tr) -- The Sports Complex in Rantoul has received some complaints of wild foul balls around the baseball diamonds this last season. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says a netting system is being prepared to keep the public safe during play…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith. Chuck commented further and said measurements will be underway shortly with the netting set to be finished by the start of the  next baseball season.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County Sheriff Dustin Heuerman announced Monday that deputies will be increasing enforcement of occupant protection ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Officers said the intent of this proactive enforcement is to reduce the number of fatalities on Champaign County roadways.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state of Illinois is trying to make it easier for high school seniors to apply to college. 106th District State Representative Tom Benentt of Gibson City discusses what the state is doing…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A federal judge found a Ford County man competent to stand trial on a charge of attempted kidnapping. During a status conference held via telephone in U.S. District Court in Urbana, U.S. District Judge Colin Bruce was presented with a psychiatric report regarding the mental health of Paul E. Theesfield of Roberts, before making his ruling. Bruce scheduled Theesfield’s jury trial for April 5.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The corn and soybean harvest is wrapping up in Illinois. 95 percent of corn and 93 percent of soybeans have now been harvested. That’s behind last year’s pace. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at other crops…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions remained at 66 percent in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at five percent short, 84 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

 

(Pesotum-jm) -- Illinois State Police are announcing patrols ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Classic rock band Chicago will be coming to the State Farm Center in Champaign. The band will perform on Tuesday, April 12th at 7:30 pm. Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 am.


 

(Champaign-Vermillion County-tr) -- Faith in Action at OSF Healthcare in Champaign will be filling Christmas bags to give to local seniors in Champaign and Vermilion County who could use some Christmas cheer this holiday season. Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling has more…

 

 

 Christmas Bag Spokesperson Nicole Dowling

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in solving a purse theft and locating a wanted fugitive in the Champaign-Urbana area. Crime Stoppers said that on November 3, a woman mistakenly left her purse in a shopping cart at the Walmart located at 100 South High Cross Road in Urbana. Surveillance footage captured another woman taking the purse from the shopping cart. The suspect appeared to be 50-60 years old, with black hair, wearing a green jacket and driving a gold or tan minivan. Crime Stoppers is also looking for Caprice Cowan, a 33-year-old woman who failed to return to prison after furlough. Cowan is 5 feet 2 inches, 135 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. Her last known address is 1003 North Mathews Avenue in Urbana. Anyone with information regarding the purse theft or Cowan’s whereabouts is asked to submit their information to Crime Stoppers by calling 217-373-8477.

 

Turkeys are fetching some of the highest wholesale prices in years

(Rantoul-jm) -- A Sullivan, Illinois man has been arrested for allegedly robbing a Rantoul motel. Rantoul police say they were called to the First Heritage Inn around 11:50 Thursday night for a robbery. An employee of the motel told police a man entered the establishment, indicated they had a weapon and demanded money. Police got a description of the vehicle from surveillance cameras and just before noon Friday, officers stopped a vehicle matching the description and arrested Pablo Molina. He’s charged with aggravated robbery.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office announced that one person was killed in a car crash early Sunday morning. The crash happened on Homer Lake Road at County Road 2500E shortly after midnight. From the preliminary investigation, deputies believe a car was driving at high speed on Homer Lake Road when the driver lost control of the car. The car left the roadway and hit a tree. The driver was ejected from the car and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver’s identity is being withheld at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

 

 

(Ashkum-jm) -- District 21 Illinois State Police will be conducting Distracted Driving Enforcement Patrols this month. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 7,952 new Coronavirus cases and 49 additional deaths Friday. That total is a combination of Thursday and Friday because of the Veterans’ Day holiday. The seven day positivity rate is up to 3 percent. Champaign County reported 182 new cases and 1 additional death. Vermilion County reported 183 new cases and 1 additional death. Ford County reported 36 new cases.

 

 

(Gordyville-tr)-- The Gifford State Bank will be hosting a Country Christmas Craft Show at Gordyville on November 20th and 21st. Country Christmas Craft show Spokesperson Stacy Huls has more...

 

 

Country Christmas Craft Show Spokesperson Stacy Huls.

 

(Thomasboro-jm) -- A garage in Thomasboro is a total loss following a fire late Friday morning. Crews from Thomasboro and Rantoul were called to the fully involved fire around 11:30 on West Meyer Street. Two houses were also damaged from the blaze.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- U.S. corn price prospects, on average, have not been changed, even with a larger expected corn crop being harvested. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- The University of Illinois Police Department arrested an armed man Saturday night a few blocks away from campus. In a press release, the department said that around 9:52 pm one of its officers heard over his radio that an officer in a neighboring jurisdiction heard gunshots about a mile north of campus. A few minutes later, the officer saw a car driving away from the reported location at high speed. The car drove through a red light and did not signal at least two turns. The officer stopped the car on East White Street for the traffic violations. When the car stopped, 20-year-old Richard Frazier of Champaign got out of the car and ran away. The officer chased Frazier for two blocks to East Springfield Avenue and caught up to him there.  Frazier threw a gun and an extended magazine to the side as he complied with the officer’s commands. Police found two more loaded magazines and a small amount of marijuana in a fanny pack Frazier was carrying. Frazier was arrested for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, resisting a police officer and illegal possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle.

 

 

(Paxton-tr)-- The Paxton Pride Christmas parade is on the horizon and entries are highly needed. Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock suggests a few ideas for parade entrants…

 

 

Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock. For entry, Teri is accepting phone calls at 217-379-9241 (repeat)

 

(St. Joseph-jm) -- St. Joseph village leaders are looking at how they will spend American Rescue Plan money. Mayor Tami Fruhling-Vogessays they have some projects in mind…

 

 

St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges (Vo-gus)

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- An Urbana man was found guilty for a murder committed on May 21, 2020. Prosecutors say 21-year-old London Taylor was one of the people responsible for the murder of 25-year-old James Coleman from Rantoul. Coleman was shot several times in a Champaign apartment on South Country Fair Drive. The Champaign Police Department determined that a fight broke out amongst a group of people gathered for a dice game, which led to Coleman being shot. He died at the scene. Taylor was charged with first degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon. he was found guilty of murder, but not guilty on the weapon charge. Another man, 25-year-old Keith Baker, was also arrested in connection to the murder. Court records show Baker pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in April.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Turkeys are fetching some of the highest wholesale prices in years as supplies shrink. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Daylight savings time ends this weekend

(Springfield-jm) -- Nearly 700 more Illinoisans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week than the week before for a total of more than 8,400. The total number of unemployment beneficiaries has decreased by nearly 28,500 from the week before to 122,500 in Illinois, but that’s the third-highest in the country, behind only California and New York, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Representative Adam Kinzinger’s political future isn’t decided just yet. Last week he announced he was not going to seek reelection to the House of Representatives. The 43-year-old Illinois Republican says he is considering running for senate, governor, or even president in 2024. Kinzinger has been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump and could face an uphill battle within his party. He says he will likely make a decision about a bid for governor or senator by January of next year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Daylight savings time ends this weekend and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office says it’s a good time to check your smoke alarms. The reminder applies to both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, says Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost three out of every five home fire deaths in the U-S can be attributed to fires where either the smoke alarms didn’t work or weren’t installed at all.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,267 new Coronavirus cases and 28 additional deaths Thursday. Vermilion County reported 26 new cases. Champaign County reported 103 new cases and 1 additional death.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- Two men are facing charges for violations of the Humane Care for Animals Act, according to the University of Illinois Police Department. U of I Police responded to the Ashton Woods apartment complex on the U of I campus to investigate the claims. Officers arrived at one of the apartments to find two dogs surrounded by a large amount of urine and feces. Corey Ketring and Luis Robles, both of Champaign, were arrested and issued State of Illinois notices to appear in court for violations of the Humane Care for Animals Act.

 

 

(Paxton-tr)-- The Paxton Pride Christmas parade is on the horizon and entries are  needed. Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock suggests a few ideas for parade entrants…

 

 

Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock. For entry, Teri is accepting phone calls at 217-379-9241 (repeat) 

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City Melvin Sibley district leaders are announcing their tax rate will be down for the 5th consecutive year. The rate for this year is 5.29 percent, down 19 from 5 years ago. Because of an increase in Equalized Assessed Valuation, the district expects to see their tax revenue increase from $8.2 million to about $8.8 million.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Farm Service Agency Administrator looks at some of the numbers regarding acreage enrollment and payments for two of USDA's major farm safety net programs. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Throughout the pandemic, Illinois’ total number of ICU beds has declined by nearly 1,000, despite recent waves of COVID-19 cases, and some don’t think that makes any sense. Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski said the downward trend of total beds runs counter to why residents were told there need to be mandates such as indoor masks. Hospitals say they base their bed availability on the daily situation.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Board of Higher Education partnered with the Illinois General Assembly Thursday to simplify the application process for Illinois universities. An investment of $1 million will add all instate public universities onto the Common App platform. The Common App platform streamlines the application process so first-year students can apply to any of Illinois' 12 public universities, plus dozens of private institutions, with a single form. Governor Pritzker says that adopting this platform will help expand access to higher education for all students.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The city of Champaign announced Thursday that Deputy Chief Tom Petrilli will serve as the next Interim Chief of Police, effective in December. This announcement came after current Interim Chief of Police Matthew Henson announced his retirement after 20 years of service. He will leave the Champaign Police Department on December 16.

 

(Gibson City-tr)-- The Bishop family would like to extend a humble invitation to  have some family fun at the Miracle for Maci Benefit Saturday, November 6th from 2pm-10pm. Maci started her first battle against a rare form of cancer known as LCH for short at the age of 5 and the cancer has unfortunately spread. Miracle for Maci Spokesperson Mike McDonald shares the itinerary for the upcoming benefit…

 

 

Miracle for Maci Spokesperson Mike McDonald

 

 

(Paxton-jm) -- The Paxton Buckley Loda School District is trying to decide what to do with nearly $1.2 million left from the bond issuance for the addition to Clara Peterson Elementary, renovations to the high school and the tear down of Eastlawn Elementary a few years ago. Some ideas brought forward include rebuilding the concession stand with restrooms at Jerry Zimmerman Field and adding an addition to the band room.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Traders are anxiously awaiting USDA's new round of crop production estimates and supply/demand forecasts. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Central Region Rodeo Finals and trade show will take place today through Sunday at Gordyville USA.

 

The Loda American Legion will host their all you can eat fish and chicken fry tonight from 4-7 pm. Cost is $10.

 

The Rantoul Public Library will host an outdoor movie tonight at 6:20 pm showing Coco.

 

Parkland College’s Staerkel Planetarium will host their Kaler Lecture tonight at 6:30 pm with U of I Professor Caleb Brooks talking about microreactors. Cost is $2.

 

MedServ Equipment Corporation will host a Thriving for Life Health and Wellness Fair on Saturday from 9 to 2 at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana.

 

Paxton IGA will be hosting their cookout benefiting the Class of 2025 on Saturday from 10 to 2.

 

Dixie Flyers will perform at the Melvin Community Hall on Saturday. Doors open at 5:30 with the show starting at 7.

 

Will the state lift the mask mandate in time for the holidays?

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced a new program Wednesday that would provide individuals with a state ID card upon prison release. The Illinois Secretary of State office partnered with the Illinois Department of Corrections to unroll this program. The partnership began with a pilot in December 2020 and an expanded pilot in April 2021. The expanded pilot program has been rolled out to 18 IDOC facilities, as of Wednesday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Will the state lift the mask mandate in time for the holidays? Governor J-B Pritzker had signaled that the mandate could be lifted in time for the holidays; however, that may not happen now…

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 1,746 new Coronavirus cases Wednesday and 40 additional deaths. Vermilion County reported 82 new cases. Champaign County reported 55 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Wednesday.

 

 

(Champaign-tr)--Parkland College and Birkey's Farm Store announce the launch of a new, nationally recognized apprenticeship program to train agriculture and construction equipment technicians. Derrick Baker, dean of Parkland's Career and Technical Education division said its an expansion of Parkland and Birkey's decade-long partnership, the new Birkey's CNH Service Equipment Technician Apprenticeship Program pairs formalized on-the-job training with technical coursework to help Birkey's develop more highly skilled employees.The program began this fall with 11 first-year apprentices and six second-year apprentices.

 

(St. Joseph-jm) -- Downtown St. Joseph is seeing some upgrades with the Kickapoo Rail Trail. St Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges (Vo-gus) talks about the work…

 

 

St. Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling.

 

(Ford County-jm) -- Ford County Sheriff’s police responded to 10 traffic accidents and issued 16 citations for speeding. Deputies also issued 3 citations for driving with no license and 1 each for driving on a suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. Deputies also responded to 11 domestic issues, 7 reports of theft, 2 each of police pursuit and trespassing and 1 each for vandalism and custody dispute.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Agriculture leaders from both the U.S. and European Union announced a new transatlantic collaboration agreement centering on agriculture's role in sustainability and climate change. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The board overseeing objections to concealed carry license applications in Illinois is providing more insight into why some delays persist. During a Senate Executive Appointments Committee, Concealed Carry Licensing Review Board members said the delays stem from law enforcement agencies objecting to applications not providing enough information. They urged lawmakers to get the agencies to provide better data when filing objections. Average delays exceed the time allotted by law.

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Children dealing with distressing and traumatic calls for service will receive some extra bit of comfort from the Champaign County Sheriff's Office. They've teamed up with the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association to offer "Bear Comfort Kits." Each kit includes a teddy bear, a coloring book, and a frisbee.

 

 

(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.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Local unemployment rates continue to fall compared to one year ago. Champaign County’s rate fell from 5.7% to 4.1%. Ford County’s fell from 5.1% to 3.7%. Vermilion County’s fell from 7.8% to 5.6%. Iroquois County’s fell from 5.2% to 3.9%.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Producers now can make their elections for either Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage for the upcoming crop year. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

CDC advisory panel recommended authorizing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11 years old

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,382 new and probable COVID-19 cases and 24 additional deaths. Locally, Vermilion County reported 117 new cases. Champaign County reported 47 new cases. Ford and Iroquois Counties did not have a report Tuesday.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A CDC advisory panel recommended authorizing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11 years old. Governor J-B Pritzker was asked at a press conference yesterday if he would mandate the vaccine for kids in order to attend school…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker.

 

(Urbana-jm) -- University of Illinois Police arrested two people in relation to burglary and identity theft over the Halloween weekend. On Saturday, while the Fighting Illini football game was taking place at Memorial Stadium, a university police detective saw a person entering multiple cars in the State Farm Center parking lot. When police officers approached, this person was seated in a car that did not belong to her with another person’s purse in her lap. Officers said they quickly arrested 39-year-old Felicia Jones of Indianapolis at around 12:35 p.m. for burglary to a motor vehicle, credit card fraud and identity theft. In a separate and unrelated case, police used a bicycle equipped with anti-theft technology to catch a man who was in possession of multiple articles of stolen property. Police said on Sunday, they received a notification that this bicycle had been stolen from the Coordinated Science Laboratory on Main Street. They located the bicycle and its rider, 44-year-old Jeremy Hartman of Urbana, leaving the area. Police said Hartman was in possession of several electronic items and tools, like wire cutters and wrenches, suspected to have been used in other thefts and burglaries. They arrested Hartman for theft, possession of burglary tools and possession of stolen property.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Recent settlements in U.S.-European Union steel and aluminum disputes are expected to have a positive impact on our country's agricultural exports to the E.U. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Agriculture held a virtual grain tour on October 19, that generated $12.4 million in projected sales. The virtual tour was viewed by 143 participants from five Latin American countries. It generated more than $4 million in additional projected sales over last year's numbers. The grain tour gave Illinois farmers, producers and retailers an outlet to showcase their capabilities to participants from Mexico, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Children ages 5-11 may soon be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. A CDC Advisory panel recommended authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for that age group. Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike was asked Tuesday if that would become a required vaccination for kids to attend school…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. Governor Pritzker says he believes the General Assembly would have to pass legislation regulating the vaccine in schools.

 

(Washington-jm) -- The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate - co-led by the United States - was formally launched Tuesday during the United Nations Climate Change Summit.  Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Paxton-tr)-- Pride in Paxton and The Paxton Christmas Committee is inviting the public to take part in the 2021 Pride in Paxton Christmas Parade. Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock shares the theme for this year's parade… 

 

 

Paxton Pride Christmas Parade Spokesperson Teri Hancock


 

(Champaign-jm) --  Champaign homeless shelter C-U at Home is extending the operating hours of its Phoenix Daytime Drop-in Center at 70 East Washington Street. The Phoenix was previously open from Tuesday to Friday between noon and 5 p.m. Starting November 1, it will be open on Mondays as well.

Governor JB Pritzker declared gun violence a public health crisis in a press conference Monday

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence announced that domestic violence deaths were on the rise in fiscal year 2021. In an annual Domestic Violence Homicide Report, the group reported that 78 people died in domestic violence incidents in Illinois during fiscal year 2021. This includes 66 victims who were adults and 12 who were minors under 18.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly wrapped up the fall veto session last week passing a pair of controversial measures. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about one of them…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of hiring new deputies. The Sheriff’s Office is close to being fully staffed, and more deputies will allow the Sheriff’s Office to engage more with the community, including through community events. The Sheriff’s Office needs more correctional officers.

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- University of Illinois Police reported an exploitation scam that caused a U. of I. student to lose $2,000 on Friday. According to police, the student was contacted by an unknown person through social media. The two began exchanging messages that quickly became sexual. After this student sent sexually explicit images of himself, the unknown messenger threatened to send his pictures to the student’s family and friends unless the student gave money to the messenger. Police said the student paid the messenger $2,000 and contacted police after the messenger demanded more money.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- If those pumpkins you carved are looking a little rough, don't just dump them in the trash, says the University of Illinois Extension Office. If your jack-o-lanterns are still in good shape, you can leave them out to feed your local wildlife, says U of I Extension Horticulture Educator Chris Enroth…

 

 

University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Chris Enroth. Be careful about leaving the pumpkins in ditches which could draw critters closer to the road. Another idea is to add the pumpkins to your compost pile. Enroth says some areas are offering drop-off programs to get rid of them as well.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 6,125 new Coronavirus cases and 63 additional deaths since Friday. Locally, Vermilion County reported 19 new cases. Champaign County 86 new cases. Iroquois County reported 53 new cases and 3 additional deaths. Ford County did not have a report.

 

 

(Hoopeston-jm) -- A Hoopeston woman is facing multiple charges after a weekend incident. Police were called to Carle Hoopeston Medical Center after officials there say Latishia Traylor was causing a disturbance and setting off fire alarms. Traylor fled from the scene and led police on a chase before being apprehended. She is charged with disorderly conduct, aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude police, aggravated battery to a police officer and cited for 8 other infractions.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Unfavorable weather conditions have somewhat slowed corn harvest progress. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor JB Pritzker declared gun violence a public health crisis in a press conference Monday afternoon. He unveiled a $250 million state investment to implement a public safety plan over the next three years. The fiscal investment will include both state and federal funding, including $50 million allocated in the fiscal year 2022 state budget. The program will address gun violence with the support of high-risk youth intervention programs, violence prevention services, youth development programs, and trauma recovery services for minors.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers approved two controversial pieces of legislation during the fall veto session last week. One of them has to do with the Right of Conscious Act, says 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. 

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- University of Illinois Police are looking for information regarding several incidents of weather research sensors and equipment stolen from research stations. Police said since December 2019, the University of Illinois has reported at least 14 incidents of theft occurring at weather research stations throughout central Illinois. As of September 2021, nearly $50,000 of sensors, gauges and scientific data collection equipment was taken during the thefts. 

 

 

(Elliott-jm) -- Elliott will issue $500,000 in bonds for the 2nd phase of the water main replacement project. The north side of town has been done, now its time for the south side. The village board is expected to let the bids out in December, receive them back in January with the hopes of starting the project in the spring.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Instead of bagging up your leaves to be hauled away, the University of Illinois Extension Office suggests using them in your garden. Leaves make a great mulch says U of I Extension Educator Nancy Keith. She recommends breaking them down so they decompose quicker with a shredder, mulcher or lawn mower. Then...

 

 

U of I Extension Horticulture Educator Nancy Keith. Keith says another easy way to recycle leaves is to store them in garbage bags with small holes that allow leaves to break down naturally.

 

(Paxton-jm) -- Camping could be coming to a Paxton park. The city is considering adding campsites to Bixby Park on the city’s southeast side. The city committee will take up the consideration this Thursday. The city’s long term planning committee will also meet Thursday to discuss upgrades to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, address flooding issues in parts of the community and discuss street improvements. The meeting gets underway at 7pm.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The pace of the nation's soybean harvest has fallen behind the five-year average.  Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

Gambling on college sports in Illinois could soon become legal

(Springfield-jm) -- Gambling on college sports in Illinois could soon become legal after the General Assembly passed a comprehensive gaming package during the fall veto session. The amendment to House Bill 3136 passed easily through both chambers with bipartisan support. The amendment allows all sportsbooks to take wagers on Illinois college teams, something that was restricted when the original gaming bill passed in 2019. When betting on Illinois colleges within the state line, you must place wagers in person at the sportsbook, not on apps or online. Also, only tier one wager can be made on in-state teams – so only on the outcome of the game. The program has a sunset provision or a trial run until July 1, 2023, unless the General Assembly chooses to extend it.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health released updated guidance to help Illinoisans celebrate the holidays safely as the pandemic continues. Among the new guidance is a recommendation for residents to wait until they are fully vaccinated to travel. IDPH also says indoor holiday gatherings should be small and seating should be spaced to all for social distancing.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Board of Education is releasing the latest school report card, with a look at how the pandemic has affected Illinois schools. More than seven billion dollars in federal funding has gone to schools to help address challenges presented by the virus. This has let districts hire more staff, says State Board of Education Research Officer Brenda Dixon…

 

 

State Board of Education Research Officer Brenda Dixon. The data also shows that student enrollment has dropped over the year, especially among younger children, says State Schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala…

 

State Schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala. Ayala says participation in advanced placement and dual credit courses is up, but there’s been a drop in the number of students meeting learning standards, particularly in language arts and math. She says they plan to launch a tutoring initiative early next year to help struggling kids get caught up.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than half of all Illinoians are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Friday. The Illinois Department of Public Health also reports 69% of Illinois residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Friday, Illinois reported 2,649 new cases and 22 additional deaths. As for local case numbers Friday, Champaign County reported 58 new cases. Vermilion County reported 23 new cases and 3 additional deaths bringing their total deaths to 200. Ford County reported 31 new cases. Iroquois County did not have a report.

 

 

(Gilman-jm) -- The railroad crossing at Route 45 in Gilman will be closed starting today. T-P-and-W Railway will be replacing the crossing. The closure is expected to last seven days and a detour will be set up.

 

 

(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.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Mexico's planned ban on growing genetically modified corn for human food is getting some reaction from the scientific world.  Gary Crawford reports…

***News nws3082gm corn***

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois is on the verge of becoming the 36th state to legalize the practice of midwifery. Midwives provide care to clients throughout a low-risk pregnancy and even help with recovery and newborn care.  The practice has been illegal in Illinois since 1992, but that all changed during the veto session. The passage of House Bill 3401 will provide licensure for certified professional midwives in Illinois and an Illinois Midwifery Board.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Very few Illinoisans are signing up to get a digital copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card. Since the original launch on August 11, the Illinois Department of Public Health says only 141,889 people have signed up for Vax Verify, an online portal that provides public access to the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs is asking the public to reach out to residents of state veterans homes. The Operation Rising Spirit campaign aims to do just that says Department of Veterans Affairs Acting Director Terry Prince…

 

 

Prince goes on to say it can really brighten someone’s day…

 

 

Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Acting Director Terry Prince. You can send cards and letters to the Veterans’ Affairs office in Springfield to be forwarded to one of the state’s five vets homes or send an electronic message via the website: veterans dot illinois dot gov.

 

(Mahomet-jm) -- One person is dead after two semi’s collided near Mahomet Saturday afternoon. Illinois State Police say a semi was merging onto I-74 when a second semi couldn’t move over and struck the rear of the other semi. That driver died at the scene. The driver of the semi merging onto the interstate was cited for failure to yield to traffic while merging.

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) -- The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County has been serving the needs of families in Rantoul, Thomasboro, Ludlow, Gifford and Fisher since 1971. Director Andy Kulczycki says they are always in need of help…

 

 

Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County Director Andy Kulczycki.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Producers, as a whole, received slightly less in prices for their commodities in September compared to the previous month. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

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