(Paxton-jm) – On Sunday, Paxton Buckley Loda released a statement addressing a video regarding the district that is circulating on social media. In a Facebook post, the district said that it is cooperating with the Paxton Police Department in investigating the video. The district called the contents of the video offensive and unacceptable.
(Rantoul-jm) – A Rantoul man is dead following a shooting at a bar over the weekend. Police were called to the Rantoul Public House just before midnight Saturday night. The 24 year old victim was taken to the hospital where he later died. Police recovered two shell casings at the scene. The name of the victim has not yet been released. WPXN News will continue to update this story as more information becomes available
(Paxton-jm) – Paxton first responders were called to an accident on I-57 Saturday afternoon. Crews were called to the accident around 3pm. No word on if there were any injuries.
(Springfield-jm) – It’s official, the state’s indoor mask mandate will be lifted today. Thanks to the decrease in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, you will no longer have to wear a mask in gyms, restaurants, bars and stores. Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike said in a facebook post that seniors, people with compromised immune systems and others may still want to keep that extra layer of protection…
Illinois Public Health Director Dr Ngozi Ezike. That includes public transportation, health care settings and long term care facilities.
(Springfield-jm) – A COVID-19 variant of concern, the omicron sub-lineage BA.2, otherwise known as "stealth omicron," has been identified in central Illinois by Reditus Laboratories. Two cases of the BA.2 subvariant were identified during a February 19 sequencing run using the lab’s Illumina NextSeq Sequencing technology.
(Springfield-jm) – Emergency dispatchers would be classified as first responders under a bill that passed the Illinois Senate this week. Senator Neil Anderson of Moline is also a firefighter and knows how difficult the job of taking emergency calls can be. He wants dispatchers to be better recognized for their efforts…
State Senator Neil Anderson. Anderson says this will entitle dispatchers to the same support programs that first responders can access. The bill still needs House approval.
(Undated-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 2,074 new Coronavirus cases and 74 additional deaths Friday. The seven day positivity rate is down to 2.4 percent. Champaign County reported 51 new cases. Vermilion County reported 6 new cases. Ford County reported 15 new cases and 1 additional death.
(Gilman-tr) – Each month the Iroquois West West School Districts recognizes a staff member for their excellence. IW Superintendent Angelo Lekkas shares who they chose this month and why…
Iroquois West Superintendent Angelo Lekkas
(Champaign-jm) – University of Illinois student Jospeh Rejive helped develop an app that uses computer vision to improve health outcomes for people with physical pain. The app is called EZPT. It is an A-I fitness app that helps with injury recovery. The EZPT app is an AI powered personal coach that recommends users with bio-specific exercises to help reduce pain and also increase mobility. When someone exercises, the app will analyze the movement using computer vision and the app will provide real-time feedback and correct a person's form. The app is free to download on Apple and Google devices.
(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Police Department is offering the public several facts and tips about scams so people can avoid them. In a Facebook post, the CPD addressed three types of scams: imposter, phone and identity theft. Officers said that imposter scams include: scammers posing as government officials and demanding immediate payment, requests to wire money to family or friends under odd circumstances and callers offering prizes for contests one doesn’t remember entering. For identity theft: keep documents in a secure location and shred them before disposal, use strong passwords online, do not share them with others and if passwords are written out, store them in a secure location, monitor credit using the one free report people are entitled to every year and report any suspicious activity or fraudulent bank charges to the bank or call 1-877-438-4338.
(Paxton–jc) Last week was National F F A week and the Illinois State Vice President is Jaton Shaffer from Farmer City-Blue Ridge High School. Shaffer was in Paxton this week for the Golden Owl Award finalist presentation to PBL FFA Advisor Mike White. Shaffer shares about traveling the state to talk about agriculture…
Illinois State F F A Vice President Jaton Shaffer of Farmer City.
(Champaign-jm) – A shooting in Champaign left a teenager injured Saturday afternoon, according to Champaign Police. The call came into police shortly before 5:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Seven shell cases were found after police arrived at an apartment building near the 1500 block of West Kirby Avenue. After police responded, officers were notified that a 19-year-old male transported himself to an area hospital with a life-threatening gunshot wound. The preliminary investigation indicates a male subject exited a black-colored sport utility vehicle and began shooting in the direction of an apartment building. Police ask that anyone who has additional information please contact police at 217-351-4545.
(Springfield-jm) – State Department of Children and Family Services investigators would be able to carry mace or pepper spray under a bill passed by the Senate Friday. The legislation was prompted by January’s murder of DCFS worker Deidre Silas in central Illinois. It’s sponsored by Senator Steve McClure of Springfield…
State Senator Steve McClure of Springfield. McClure says DCFS investigators currently aren’t allowed to carry mace or pepper spray. His bill requires those wanting to have such personal protection to first go through training with the Illinois State Police.
(Springfield-jm) – Legislation giving students with disabilities in Illinois and their families access to more fully informed resources passes through the Senate and heads its way to the House. Senate Bill 3474 would require school districts to provide informational material to the parent or guardian of students with disabilities about the Achieving a Better Life Experience account program.
(Springfield-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul is announcing final approval of the national 26 billion dollar opioid settlement agreement. The agreement is with companies like Cardinal, McKesson and Johnson and Johnson and Illinois’ share will be 760 million dollars. Attorney General Raoul says the deal also includes some safeguards…
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Raoul says the money will be used to fight the opioid epidemic and will be dispersed to state and local governments included in the agreement during the second quarter of this year.
(Paxton-jm) – Paxton city leaders hope to finalize a list of street projects for this summer by the end of March. Mayor Bill Ingold talks about the next steps in the process…
Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.
(Champaign-jm) – A plane heading to Chicago made an emergency landing in Champaign. The American Airlines plane left Manhattan Regional Airport in Kansas and was heading to O’Hare Airport when it had to divert and make a preventive stop at Willard Airport. An airport official said the stop was caused by the weather and a windshield wiper malfunction.
(Springfield-jm) – The state’s mask mandate will end today. After several months, you won’t have to wear a mask at most places. However, that rule does not apply to hospitals and other healthcare settings. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City along with a group of lawmakers sent a letter asking the mask order be lifted for schools…
106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.
(Springfield-jm) – GOP State Representative Mike Marron is sponsoring House Bill 4830 that he is proposing would create an inspector general for every county in the state to improve local government ethics and improve protection for whistleblowers. Marron says the recent controversy about how the new state inspector general was chosen is a factor is something he’s been thinking about since he was Vermilion County Board Chairman, and then even more since he was elected to the General Assembly. Requiring this in every county could lead to an unfunded mandate situation without help from the state, and Marron says exploring ways this could be funded is one of many issues to be looked at as the bill is considered. Another possibility would be whether rural counties could share an inspector general.