(Watseka-jm) – Bond was set Thursday at $25,000 for the man accused of shooting a person in the head in Loda Wednesday. Colton Johnson went before an Iroquois County judge where he was charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm. Johnson is accused of shooting a 19 year old in the head. That person remains in the hospital in critical condition.
(Springfield-jm) – Tax filing season begins next week. It’s that time of year again says Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki…
Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki. If taxpayers file an error-free return and choose direct deposit, they should receive their refund in about four weeks. Income tax returns are due by Monday, April 18th. Visit tax dot illinois dot gov for more information.
(Undated-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 23,246 new cases and 198 additional deaths Thursday. The seven day positivity rate fell to 14.8 percent. Champaign County reported 190 new cases. Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties did not have a report.
(Springfield-jm) – House Republicans are seeking to repeal last year’s criminal justice and police reform bill. The so-called “Safe-T Act” included several changes such as ending cash bail and addressing police misconduct. Since then, crime has skyrocketed, says Westmont Representative Deanne Mazzochi…
State Representative Deanne Mazzochi of Westmont. Mazzochi and her GOP colleagues have introduced a resolution urging the repeal of the Safe-T Act and are asking Democrats to come back to the drawing board.
(Urbana-jm) – Urbana Police were dispatched to the intersection of Vine and Water Street at around 1 p.m. on Thursday in response to a report of a vehicle vs. pedestrian traffic crash. According to officers, a Dodge pickup truck driven by a male occupant was driving eastbound on Water Street. The driver of the pickup truck was attempting to turn left onto Vine Street. When he turned left in order to enter the northbound lanes, he struck a pedestrian who was crossing Vine Street while traveling westbound. The pedestrian was traveling on a motorized scooter. They were taken to the hospital in critical condition.
(Rantoul-jm) – Another Rantoul school is closed because of COVID concerns. Superintendent Scott Woods sent an email out saying Eastlawn Elementary would be closed today. The district announced Wednesday that Pleasant Acres Elementary would be closed yesterday and today. Both schools are expected to reopen on Monday.
(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Fire Department responded to a fire in an apartment complex Thursday afternoon. According to officials, fire crews were called out to 710 W. Church St. around 12:27 p.m. after someone walking by reported the two-story apartment building was on fire. The cause of this fire is still undetermined as investigators remain on the scene conducting their investigation.
(Washington-jm) – The Agriculture Secretary vehemently denies the charge that the Biden Administration is dropping its support of the biofuels industry. Gary Crawford reports…
(Watseka-jm) – Up for election in Iroquois County will be Sheriff Clint Perzee, a former investigator for the sheriff’s office who was appointed to replace the retired Derek Hagen as sheriff last fall; County Clerk & Recorder Breein Suver, who was appointed to replace the retired Lisa Fancher in 2020; and Treasurer Kurt Albers, who is in the final year of his first four-year term. Also, all 16 members of the Iroquois County Board will be up for election, four in each of the four districts, including District 2 members John Shure and David Penny, both of rural Buckley, and Barbara Offill and Steve Huse, both of rural Gilman; and District 3 members Charles Alt and Thomas Lynch, both of Cissna Park, and Paul Bowers and Donna Crow, both of Milford.
(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing a new round of Back to Business grants for small businesses in Illinois. The latest round is more than 111 million dollars, says the Governor, funding over 29 hundred grants to businesses still recovering from the pandemic…
Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The deadline to apply for Back to Business grants has passed but grants will continue to go out to previous applicants until funds are exhausted.
(Springfield-jm) – New legislation aims to help smartphone app companies based in Illinois. Currently, you can’t purchase an app on your phone unless you go through Google or Apple, which takes as much as 30 percent of the developer's profits. This new bill, called the Freedom to Directly Subscribe Act, cuts out the middleman, says Senator Robert Peters of Chicago…
State Senator Robert Peters of Chicago. Supporters say this would help more than creators of games and other apps. For example, it will save newspaper companies money by letting them directly sign up digital subscribers.
(Urbana-jm) – Urbana Police said that four people have been arrested following a fight at Urbana Middle School Thursday afternoon. According to police, three juveniles and one adult were arrested for mob action. Officers said that they responded to a fight at the school after 3:30 p.m. and had to use pepper spray in order to break it up.
(Champaign-jm) – Champaign police said no victims have come forward after a witness reported shots fired between two vehicles late Thursday morning. Police say a dark gray SUV was going southeast on Bloomington Road toward State Street. When the vehicle was stopped at the intersection, a dark-colored sedan drove past it, and someone fired a gun. Newell said someone in the SUV returned fire. Police found shell casings and shattered glass believed to be from the vehicles, but no property was damaged. Police have no information on the suspects.
(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois cited American inflation in deciding to increase tuition. The News-Gazette reports trustees will raise tuition and housing costs for incoming freshmen. It's the second increase in tuition in the last eight years and follows a period of stability for undergraduates who are residents of Illinois, which happened from 2015 to 2019. Base tuition is expected to go up by 1.8 percent, or about $220, to $12,474 a year. Those who are incoming freshmen will pay an increase of about 1.8 percent in room and board fees. Miscellaneous fees for all students are expected to go up by $52.
(Washington-jm) – There may not be a quick fix for current very high fertilizer prices. Gary Crawford reports…
(Urbana-jm) – Urbana is the latest Central Illinois city to search for a new police chief after chief Bryant Seraphin announced his retirement on Thursday. Seraphin will step down on March 25. He’s been with Urbana Police for 27 years and has been chief since 2018.
The Loda American Legion will hold their fish and chicken fry tonight from 4-6 pm.