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WPXN Blog Archives for 2022-06

Attorney General Kwame Raoul is announcing a new tool to help police investigate gun crimes in Illinois

(Undated–jc)  It’s Official, the race for the Republican position in the 2nd Congressional District has been decided. It was a three way close race between former state senator Shane Cultra, Iroquois County Board member Thomas Lynch and Kankakee County’s Ashley Ramos. Lynch won the nomination be several hundred votes in Tuesday’s Primary.  Lynch will face Democrat Robyn Kelly of Chicago. The fall election is set for November 8th.  

 

(Fisher-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul Wednesday announced a consent order with People’s Gas over a natural gas leak that reached one of Central Illinois’ largest fresh water sources and nearby residents’ private wells. The consent order, entered in Champaign County Circuit Court, resolves a lawsuit the Attorney General’s office filed after natural gas leaked from a Peoples Gas underground storage facility near the village of Fisher into the Mahomet Aquifer and the private wells of nearby homes. The consent order requires Peoples Gas to mitigate the release by implementing a Groundwater Management Zone approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Implementation includes the operation of four new relief wells to remove methane from the aquifer. Peoples Gas must also conduct periodic sampling of a monitoring network to track the extent of the release and the progress of mitigation by the relief wells. Peoples Gas must continue to operate relief wells and sample until IEPA concurs that clean-up objectives have been met. Peoples Gas must then conduct at least three years of additional monitoring to ensure that methane remains within approved levels.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is signing a new law to address hair discrimiation in the workplace. The “Crown Act” ensures employers can’t discriminate against employees who wear their hair naturally or in ethnic styles. It was sponsored in the House by Peoria Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth…

 

 

State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth. Studies have shown that black women are 80 percent more likely than their counterparts to conform their hairstyles to meet expectations at work. The Governor signed a similar law last year that applied to schools.


(Champaign-jm) – A woman was sent to the hospital on Wednesday after she was hit by a car in Champaign. Champaign Police say that at approximately 1:30 p.m., officers were dispatched to Neil and Healey Streets for a report of an accident with injuries. They said that the woman stepped into Neil Street mid-block and was subsequently hit by a passing car. The driver of that car remained at the scene. The investigation indicated that the woman was at fault for what happened. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The latest unemployment numbers show mixed results. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there was good news and bad news in the report…

 

 

106th  District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Parkland College has a new trustee on the board. Brad Uken was sworn in to replace Tim Johnson who passed away recently. Uken is currently the manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau.

 

(Rantoul-jm) –  A Rantoul man who allegedly repeatedly sexually molested a child is in the Champaign County Jail. Joshua Nibbe who listed an address in the 700 block of Maplewood Drive, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Urbana and charged with predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. According to a Rantoul police report, Nibbe repeatedly committed sex acts with a child under the age of 13 between October 2021 and February 2022 at a home in Rantoul. Nibbe is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

 

(Washington-jm) – A new USDA report shows a pork industry that's being very cautious and somewhat uncertain about the future. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Paxton-jm) – Paxton police arrested a Milford man early Wednesday after he allegedly solicited sex from a 15-year-old girl and traveled to Paxton to meet her. Andy Leppard was arrested on charges of traveling to meet a minor and indecent solicitation of a child, both Class 3 felonies, and solicitation to meet a child, a Class 4 felony. Tuesday, Paxton police initiated their investigation into Leppard’s alleged indecent solicitation of the teenager. On Tuesday night, Leppard allegedly drove to Paxton in a 2007 Ford Escort to meet the girl.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul is announcing a new tool to help police investigate gun crimes in Illinois. The online platform is called “Crime Gun Connect,” providing law enforcement access to thousands of crime gun trace records dating back to 2009, says Attorney General Raoul…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Raoul says the platform also features sophisticated mapping technology to identify gun trafficking trends and likely offenders.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The Champaign County Humane Society will be closed to the public for at least a week. It's due to an outbreak of upper-respiratory infection in dogs and cats. Those interested in adopting small animals such as rabbits, rats or guinea pigs are asked to call the adoption department 217-344-7297.

 

(St. Joe-tr) –The Village of St. Joseph is currently in the process of having a few of their downtown locations appraised. Village Administrator Joe Hackney says the village recently acquired a unique piece of property with some initial thoughts about consolidating village offices into one municipal building…

 

 

St. Joseph Village Administrator Joe Hackney.

 

(Champaign-jm) –  A Grammy award-winning musician is coming to Champaign. Melissa Etheridge is set to perform at the Virginia Theatre this fall. She'll take the stage on Sunday, October 2. The show kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Virginia Box Office, online at thevirginia.org, or charge by phone at 217-356-9063.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Habitat for Humanity’s Re-Store are aiming for October 1st to move into the vacant building, which the County Market formerly occupied, on Mattis Avenue, just north of Church Street. The new space will be about 25,000 square feet, but they plan on leasing around 10,000 square feet to other businesses. The company still needs to raise around $150,000 for the move.

 

(Washington-jm) – The pre-Fourth of July prices for beef and pork being offered by some grocery stores may surprise many shoppers, in a good way. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office is urging the public to leave fireworks to the professionals

(Undated–jc)The 2022 Illinois Primary Election is now history and the two major parties can now look to the November 8 fall election. In Illinois, Incumbent JB Pritzker won his challenge easily and will face Darin Bailey for the governor's spot in November. Bailey won out over a field of 6 republican candidates in Tuesday's Primary. Kathy Salvi is the Republican nod for US Senator. Salvi will face Democrat Tammy Duckworth, who ran unopposed. Bloomington’s Dan Brady is the Republican nominee for Illinois Secretary of State. He will face Alexi Giannoulious in November.  Thomas Devore is the Republican Candidate for Illinois Attorney General. He will face Democrat Incumbent Kwame Raoul in the fall. In the US 13th Congressional District Mary Miller defeated Rodney Davis for the Republican nomination.  In the Republican race for the 2nd Congressional District, the race continues to be close for three candidates. Cissna Park Republiacn Thomas Lynch has a 200 vote lead over former State Senator and Onarga Village President Shane Cultra.

 

In other election news, TheMahomet Seymour School Districts 97 million 900 thousand dollar proposal failed. Unofficial vote totals are 2650 No and 1251 yes votes.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is urging the public to leave fireworks to the professionals. Fireworks and even novelty items like sparklers can be dangerous, causing fires or a trip to the ER, says Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Last summer in Illinois, 202 people were injured by fireworks and one person died…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Fultz reminds that sparklers burn at temperatures of more than 12 hundred degrees, which is hot enough to melt many metals. Just one touch to the skin may cause permanent damage or scarring.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man has been charged in connection to a shooting that left a woman hurt last August. Markel Sanders, 22, was arraigned on multiple charges including Attempted Murder, Aggravated Battery with a Firearm, Aggravated Discharge and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. He is in custody at the Champaign County Jail awaiting trial. The charges allege that just after midnight on August 2, 2021, Sanders knocked on the door of a house near Neil Street and Beardsley Avenue. The 58-year-old woman who lived there approached the door and asked “Who is it?” The offender fired through the door, shooting the woman five times. She was taken to the hospital and recovered from her injuries. Officers discovered 75 shell casings at the scene and also found additional damage to houses and vehicles nearby.

 

(Pesotum-jm) – Part of I-57 in Champaign County was reduced to one lane as a result of a semi-truck crash. The crash happened in Pesotum at milepost 220. The truck, which was carrying creamer, rolled over into the right-side ditch. 

 

(Champaign County-tr) –  It's safe to say that planting in Champaign County is done. In addition, Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken says many farmers are happy with their progress, However, a few issues have arisen… 

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Median prices rose and Illinois homes sold quicker in May 2022 than they did in May 2021, as demand remained strong and mortgage interest rates moved higher, according to data from Illinois REALTORS®. Statewide home sales in May 2022 totaled 16,194 homes sold, down 10.1 percent from 18,016 in May 2021. The average Illinois home sold in 24 days in May 2022, compared to 33 days a year ago. The statewide median price went up 6.2 percent to $276,000 in May 2022 compared to May 2021. The number of homes for sale statewide was 21,718 in May 2022 compared to 28,717 in May 2021, an inventory decline of 24.4 percent.

 

(Paxton-tr) – The downtown area of Paxton is still under construction as the streetscape project continues. The rest of this week will be crucial according to Iroquois Paving Corporation of Watseka Spokesperson Ali Morel. Morel warns that traffic will be slowed, and Drivers are being asked at this time to not park on the street, through thursday evening…

 

 

Iroquois Paving Corporation of Watseka Spokesperson Ali Morel.

 

(Washington-jm) – Have farmers actually planted more soybeans than corn this spring? The answer to that will be known later this week. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state is receiving nearly 200 million dollars in federal funding towards the new Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy. This is the final grant payment from the feds, to build a 210 bed skilled care facility and 80 rooms for independent living, says State Veterans Affairs Director Terry Prince…

 

 

State Veterans Affairs Director Terry Prince. Prince says the facility will be state of the art and let vets have their own rooms. The independent living area is set to open next summer and the long-term care building is expected to be done in 2024.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Police officials said a Seymour man was arrested in connection to an attempted arson at Town Center Apartments. Caleb Barnell was arrested on an aggravated arson charge. This comes after Champaign Fire crews were called to an apartment on June 18. Ring Security Camera footage showed someone pouring lighter fluid on a family’s door. The suspect was then seen trying to set it on fire.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Illinois State Police have set up speed vans and cameras along the Interstate 57 and 74 interchange just west of Champaign in an effort to keep drivers and workers safe. The area is in the midst of construction zones where speed limits are lower, around 55 miles per hour, compared to the rest of the highway. The first offense is a minimum of a $250 ticket, and if you do get a second offense, you can be suspended for 90 days and the minimum fine will be $750. Construction is expected to be completed in 2025.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Inflation and high gas prices have caused pain to everyone’s wallet. But now there are new concerns about a thing called shrinkflation. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett explains…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Undated-jm) – Area communities are receiving several thousand dollars in federal COVID money and are putting it to use improving their communities. We look at communities in Ford County…Gibson City is receiving $439,961 to upgrade their water system. Kempton is receiving $28,033 to paint their water tower. Paxton is receiving $561,349 to replace two blower motors at the wastewater treatment plant. Roberts is receiving $44,771 for their water wells.

 

(Paxton-tr) – Paxton’s 38th Annual July 4th Celebration will take place on Monday. Pells Park will be the location for the Old-Fashioned festivities. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer shares that city workers have been cleaning up the park for the 4th… 

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer. 

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA's quarterly look at grain stocks will be released in a few hours. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Today is primary election day in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) – Today is primary election day in Illinois. Here’s what you need to know. The polls opened at 6 am and close tonight at 7 says State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich…

 

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Not sure if you are registered to vote or which polling place you should go to? Dietrich says that information is available online at: elections dot il dot gov. Mail in ballots must be postmarked by election day or dropped off at a designated collection box. In Champaign County, County Clerk Aaron Ammons gave his outlook regarding both sides of the primary. Ammons says current Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is likely to get the nomination for his party… 

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons. Voters in Ford, Iroquois, northern Champaign and northern Vermilion Counties will vote for the 2nd Congressional District in Congress. Currently that is held by Chicago Democrat Robin Kelly. Running on the Republican ticket for a chance to go against Kelly in November is Onarga Mayor and former state representative Shane Cultra, Thomas Lynch and Ashley Ramos. Vermilion County Republican voters will have to choose between Mary Miller and Rodney Davis. There are also contested races in county board districts 1, 2 and 4. Again the polls close tonight at 7. Stay with WPXN News we will have the latest on election results tomorrow morning.

 

(Springfield-jm) – There’s been a big jump in winter wheat harvesting. Farmers used the more than 6 days suitable for fieldwork to harvest winter wheat, going from 18 percent the previous week to 66 percent now. The average is 57 percent. Crop Statistician Steve Parn looks at soybeans…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. The condition of the Illinois corn crop dropped slightly to 70 percent in good to excellent condition. The first cutting of alfalfa is nearly complete and average statewide topsoil moisture came in at 9 percent very short, 22 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

 

(Champaign-jm) –  A Savoy teenager was charged with three felonies on Monday following a hit-and-run incident on the University of Illinois campus. 19-year-old Brendan Trumann was charged on one count each of Aggravated Reckless Driving, DUI and Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident. Champaign Police say Trumann was kicked out of Joe’s Brewery just before closing time on Sunday morning for causing a disturbance. Trumann then got into his Dodge Challenger and started driving erratically in front of the bar. The victim of the eventual hit-and-run, a 20-year-old man from Gibson City, approached Trumann’s car. Then a fight broke out and another person hit the victim’s head from behind, knocking him to the ground, and that person began punching the victim’s face. Trumann sped away from the scene, running over the victim twice in the process. Trumann was later found walking in the parking lot of his apartment complex with visual signs of impairment. He admitted to driving the car. Trumann had no prior criminal record and faces a maximum of 22 years in prison if convicted. Bond was set at $600,000 and a preliminary court hearing was scheduled for July 20.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers needs help to find two thieves. A person from Champaign County had their credit card stolen, and police say two women have been using it to pay for thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise from various Menards stores across the area. In total, the two women have stolen about $10,000 in merchandise from at least three Menards locations in the region. Those stores are located in Normal and Danville, Illinois. They even traveled out of state to Terre Haute, Indiana to steal from that Menards location too. 

 

(Onarga-tr) – Onarga will be having festivities for the 4th of July this weekend with their Independence Day Celebration. Featuring a parade, local food, and a car show. Onarga Chamber President Randy Lizzo says they are still accepting parade entrants.. 

 

 

Lizzo also gave some instructions for those who enter the parade… 

 

 

Onarga Chamber President Randy Lizzo.

 

(Undated-jm) – The latest metro unemployment numbers are out. 11 of the state's 14 metro areas continued to see the unemployment rate fall in May. Locally, Champaign County saw their rate fall from 4.6 percent to 4.4 percent. Vermilion Counties remained the same at 6.1 percent. Ford and Iroquois Counties saw a rise in their unemployment rates. Ford Counties rose from 4.0 percent to 4.3 percent. Iroquois Counties rose from 4.0 percent to 4.5 percent.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign County Sheriff is asking for an additional $1.3 million to house 140 prisoners at other jails. It costs the county $60 per day per inmate. The county is moving inmates to other jails in order to close the downtown jail that is outdated until an expansion of the satellite jail can be completed. 126 inmates are currently in the Kankakee County jail but they have hit the maximum they can take so the county is looking to house the rest in Macon County.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Voter turnout may be hard to predict this year as voters head to the polls in Illinois today. Typically, turnout is around 27 percent for mid-term primary elections in Illinois, but there are several factors that may affect that this time around, says State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. That includes the late date of the primary, which is typically held in March. …

 

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. For this primary, Dietrich says there are some hotly contested congressional races and both Democrats and Republicans running for Secretary of State now that Jesse White is retiring. Nearly 156 thousand mail-in ballots have been cast so far and more than 234 thousand people have taken advantage of early voting. Looking locally, Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick has who is on the ballot in Ford County…

 

 

Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick. Voters in Ford, Iroquois, northern Champaign and northern Vermilion Counties will vote for the 2nd Congressional District in Congress. Currently that is held by Chicago Democrat Robin Kelly. Running on the Republican ticket for a chance to go against Kelly in November is Onarga Mayor and former state representative Shane Cultra, Thomas Lynch and Ashley Ramos. In addition to the 2nd Congressional District race, voters in Iroquois County will have contested races on the Republican ticket for districts 1 and 2. Again the polls close tonight at 7. Stay with WPXN News we will have the latest on election results tomorrow morning.

 

(Springfield-jm) – There’s been a big jump in winter wheat harvesting. Producers got a lot done in the fields this past week says Crop Statistician Steve Parn…

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 96 percent of soybeans have emerged and 2 percent are blooming. 66 percent of the soybean crop and 70 percent of corn is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture now stands at 9 percent very short,  22 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

 

(Peoria-jm) –  A local harm reduction group has confirmed that a new antidote-resistant drug called “Benzo Dope” has been found in Central Illinois.

JOLT Harm Reduction Peoria detected this new drug while conducting mass spectrometer testing, the group announced on Facebook Monday morning. Benzo Dope is a blend of benzodiazepines and an opiate such as heroin or fentanyl.

 

(Springfield-jm) – High gas prices continue to be a major concern heading into the busy summer travel season. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains part of the issue is the high taxes on gas and diesel…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Retired financial executive Joseph D. Gutman has been appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Gutman has extensive experience both in finance and as a member of advisory and oversight boards, including an appointment by President Barack Obama to the Council of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Gutman will fill the seat being vacated by Ricardo Estrada and, pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate, serve a term that runs through 2025.

 

(Champaign-tr) –  Planting in Champaign County is done.  Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken shares some details on a program to bring better connectivity to rural Champaign county… 

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

(Undated-jm) – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is announcing more than $500,000 in unsewered community grants. Ludlow is receiving $30,000 while Pesotum is receiving $25,000. The Ford County village of Piper City is receiving $30,000.


 

 

Governor J-B Pritzker is calling lawmakers back to Springfield to further protect reproductive rights in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker says despite Friday’s Supreme Court decision, women will continue to have the right to choose in Illinois. The Governor calls overturning Roe versus Wade an abhorrent decision, but reassures women across the country that the state will remain a beacon of hope…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says the ruling may lead to other rights being taken away such as birth control and fertility treatments. 

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign-Urbana community group, Party for Socialism and Liberation, was one of many organizations nationwide speaking out against Friday’s Supreme Court ruling to Roe v Wade. The group held a protest at the Champaign County House to express their disapproval given that people they know needed to get an abortion in the past.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says when thunder roars, go indoors, since that usually means lightning is close behind. But if you’re stuck outside, spokesperson Kevin Sur has this advice…

 

 

IEMA Spokesperson Kevin Sur. IEMA says even indoors you need to be careful when it’s lightning. That means avoiding anything connected to electricity, landline phones and plumbing. Sur says you should also stay off your balcony or porch and don’t lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls.

 

(Undated-jm) – 67 Illinois counties are now at medium to high risk of COVID transmission. Champaign and Ford Counties are at high risk while Iroquois and Vermilion are at medium. 

 

(Kankakee County-jm) – A 31-year-old man from Champaign is recovering after he was involved in a crash that killed another man. The crash happened early Sunday morning on northbound Interstate 57 at milepost 304, just north of Chebanse. State Troopers said the man was a passenger in a sedan that, for unknown reasons, drove onto the shoulder of the road, hit a construction sign, rolled into the ditch and caught fire. The driver of the sedan, a 27-year-old man from Chicago, was ejected from the car and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Champaign man and another passenger, also 27 years of age and from Chicago, were taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

 

(Paxton-jm) – A blood drive will be happening in Paxton today. Coordinator Kevin Hanson talks about the event…

 

 

Paxton blood drive coordinator Kevin Hanson. 

 

(Gilman-jm) – Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver has announced a temporary change for Douglas 1 Precinct registered voters to cast their vote on Election Day. The change of this polling place will be effective for the June 28, 2022 Primary Election. Due to the construction on Central St in Gilman, City Hall will not be accessible to voters on Election Day. All voters who voted at the Gilman City Hall will vote at the Gilman United Methodist Church in the Fellowship Hall. Voters should access the Methodist Church from the 2nd Street entrance of the church.

 

(Washington-jm) – Food prices continue to rise.  Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is calling lawmakers back to Springfield to further protect reproductive rights in Illinois. The special session will be held in the coming weeks and will in part address the influx of women expected to come to Illinois for an abortion…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Other topics that may be discussed include allowing nurse practitioners to perform early abortion procedures and more funding for providers to increase services and locations.

 

(Washington-jm) – While much of the nation focused on the overturning of Roe versus Wade on Friday, a separate Supreme Court decision is also leading to controversy about gun rights. The ruling is striking down a New York law. It required people to show a specific need to get a license to carry a gun in a concealed way out in public. That ruling won’t affect Illinois’ concealed carry law. This new decision is coming as Congress just gave final approval on Friday on a bipartisan bill that's aimed at combating gun violence. That new legislation is set to enhance background checks and make it a requirement for authorities to look at mental health records for those wanting to buy a gun.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is highlighting a big increase in college map grant funding that will help as many as 155 thousand students. 601 million dollars in grants will be available in the new fiscal year that starts next month. ISAC Spokesperson Lynne Baker says that means more students will be able to receive the valuable financial lifeline to college…

 

 

Illinois Student Assistance Commission Spokesperson Lynne Baker. The grants will cover 42 to 55 percent of average tuition and fee costs, depending on where a student goes to school in Illinois. More information about the map program is available at: isac dot org.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Two streets in Champaign will be reduced to one lane each this week as crews install fiber optic infrastructure. This work will take place near the intersection of Mattis Avenue and Windsor Road starting Monday. Northbound Mattis will be reduced to one lane of traffic between Windsor and Harbor Point Drive and westbound Windsor will be reduced to one lane between Mattis and Carlisle Drive. These closures will end on Friday.

 

(St. Joseph-tr) – The Village of St. Joseph is currently in the process of having a few of their downtown locations appraised. Village Administrator Joe Hackney says the goal is to help bring in the private sector… 

 

 

St. Joseph Village Administrator Joe Hackney.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Shield CU, a partnership between OSF HealthCare and the University of Illinois, is working to keep Illinois communities safe from COVID-19 through the quick and free administering of tens of thousands of saliva tests. The university developed the saliva COVID test before the start of the fall 2020 semester. The Shield CU partnership was unveiled in March of 2021. Nearly 80 thousand tests have been administered since the program began. 

 

(Washington-jm) – A new USDA report gives signs of shrinking cattle supplies. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The latest drought monitor came out and it shows conditions worsening around the area

(Undated-jm) – The latest drought monitor came out Thursday and it shows conditions worsening around the area. All of the WPXN listening area is in abnormally dry conditions with southern Iroquois County, most of Vermilion County, all but the northwestern part of Champaign County and the southeastern part of Ford County are in moderate drought. The latest forecast continues to show warm temperatures and below normal precipitation.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The West Nile Virus has been reported in seven Illinois counties so far, and the State Department of Public Health is urging people to “Fight the Bite.'' 15 mosquito batches in DuPage, Cook, Will, Logan, Edgar, Macoupin and Washington Counties have tested positive for the virus. No human cases yet. Still, Public Health spokesperson Mike Claffey says you should be careful. …

 

 

State Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey. Common symptoms of the virus include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Last year in Illinois, 64 people tested positive for the virus and five died.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois drivers will soon have more professional sports teams to choose from if they want team license plates for their cars. Governor Pritzker signed into law on Thursday a bill that adds the Chicago Fire, Red Stars and Sky to the list of options Illinoisans can choose from for their license plates. These three teams will join the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals as options effective January 1, 2023.

 

(Rankin-tr) – The Rankin Lions Club will be hosting their 23rd annual Tractor Pull tonight. Rankin Lions Club Tractor Pull Spokesperson Aaron Bertan explains how the local pull became a sanctioned pull with bigger tractors in the lineup…

 

 

Rankin Lions Club Spokesperson Aaron Bertan.

 

(Philo-jm) – A man from Philo has been arrested after University of Illinois Police detectives said he uploaded 30 illicit videos, many of which depicted child pornography, to Snapchat. The chain of events that led to this arrest started in April when Snapchat sent a tip to the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that someone had uploaded a pornographic video to the app. Detectives learned the account used in this crime is owned by 22-year-old Cecil Kimble. When Police obtained a search warrant for his account, they found 28 files of apparent child pornography. They also found two non-pornographic videos of young women checking out at the register of the Philo convenience store where Kimble works

 

(Undated-jm) – A pair of COVID-19 testing sites will be closing down at the end of this month. SHIELD CU has been providing saliva-based COVID-19 testing at Danville Area Community College and Parkland College in Champaign, but those testing centers are closing on June 24 and 30, respectively. They are closing because state funding is coming to an end.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Parkland College Foundation will be creating a new scholarship fund thanks to a generous donation from the Royal American Legion and Sons of the American Legion Post 996 in Royal, Illinois. The $10,000 endowment, presented to the Foundation on June 21, will establish the Royal American Legion Post 996 Scholarship for veterans or veterans' dependents.  The Parkland College Foundation also received a generous $20,000 endowment for a new scholarship fund. The gift from the I & I Antique Tractor & Gas Engine Club will provide scholarships for Parkland students in the Agriculture, Diesel Power, and Case New Holland Service Technician programs.

 

(Washington-jm) – August First is the deadline for eligible voters to nominate themselves or another ag producer to serve on their local Farm Service Agency County Committee. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Undated-jm) – The latest Drought Monitor came out this Thursday morning, and as expected, we have seen a spreading and intensification of dry conditions across Central Illinois. Due to temperatures in the 80s, 90s, and even 100’s with sunny skies, we have entered what is called a Flash Drought. Like a Flash Flood, a Flash Drought is an extremely fast onset of dry conditions. All of the WPXN listening area is in abnormally dry conditions with southern Iroquois County, most of Vermilion County, all but the northwestern part of Champaign County and the southeastern part of Ford County are in moderate drought.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is providing more financial support to foster families. The state had already planned a three percent cost of living increase, but now will add another boost to help foster parents, caregivers and older youth in care. It’s vital to support the generous people who open their homes, says DCFS Spokesperson Bill McCaffrey…

 

 

DCFS Spokesperson Bill McCaffrey. The average increase for the more than 96 hundred licensed foster families in Illinois will be 74 dollars a month, with the exact amount dependent on the child’s age.

 

(Chicago-jm) – Citadel, an investment company, announced Thursday morning it's moving the company's global headquarters to Miami, Florida. The company is run by billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin. The Chicago location employs about a thousand. Citadel has been in Chicago for more than 30 years. Citadel is the third major company to announce plans to move. Boeing and Caterpillar announced within the past two months they are moving global headquarters out of Illinois.

 

(Roberts-jm) – Roberts will be celebrating 150 years. It will be a full day of activities tomorrow, says spokesperson Stan Daro…

 

 

Roberts 150th Celebration Spokesperson Stan Daro.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County needs judges for the upcoming election. County Clerk Aaron Ammons office says they would like to get 150 judges. If there are not enough workers, polling locations could be impacted.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The First Lutheran Church in Paxton will be hosting a blood drive later this month. The blood drive will take place on Monday from 2:30-6 pm. Coordinator Kevin Hanson says there is always a shortage of blood donation in the summer…

 

 

Paxton blood drive coordinator Kevin Hanson.

 

(Mahomet-jm) – Officials with the Sangamon Valley Public Water District in Mahomet issued a warning asking people to restrict their water usage. In a news release Thursday, officials stated their facilities had power outages because of a power spike issue from Ameren Illinois. A large power surge caused two of their three wells to experience catastrophic failures and they are now only able to pump water from the one well. Repairs will not be able to complete repairs before Monday. Water is not to be used from the water system to water yards, gardens and other open spaces. It should also not be used for the initial fillings of swimming pools or to wash buildings and motor vehicles.

 

(Paxton-jm) – Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick is reminding voters Tuesday is the state’s primary election. Her office will be open this Saturday for early voting from 8:30 to noon. 

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA's Farm Service Agency reminds crop producers that the deadline is coming soon for reporting crop acreage for this season. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

The Rankin Lions Club 23rd annual truck and tractor pull will take place tonight at 6 pm.

 

Roberts will hold their 150th Celebration on Saturday with a flea market at 8 am, kids games from 10-1, beard and baking contest at 11, parade at 1, car cruise in at 1:30, corn hole tournament at 2, food vendors downtown at 4 and live music at 8.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Paxton Evangelical Covenant Church on Saturday from 10-2.

 

The Merrell Ride for PTSD will take place on Saturday starting at the Westville American Legion at 11 am.


 

A new Illinois law creates a statewide drug take-back program

(Gilman-jm) – Firefighters from Gilman, Onarga, Danforth and Piper City were called to a structure fire near Gilman late Wednesday evening. Crews were called to the fire at 1900 North 500 East after 9 pm. No word on the cause of the fire.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A new Illinois law creates a statewide drug take-back program. The goal is to keep unused medications out of the hands of kids, those who might abuse prescription drugs and water supplies. The measure was sponsored by Senator Laura Fine of Glenview…

 

 

State Senator Laura Fine of Glenview. Some counties and pharmacies already offer some sort of take back collection, but this will be the first statewide initiative. It will be the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies to get the program set up.

 

(Chicago-jm) – The public corruption trial surrounding ComEd and associates of longtime former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan set for late summer has been postponed until possibly next year and it appears it is because of singer R. Kelly. Kelly’s child pornography trial had been set for August 1, while the ComEd bribery case involving four members of indicted former Speaker Madigan’s inner circle had been scheduled for trial September 12. It was announced the courthouse’s largest courtroom won’t be available for Kelly’s trial until August 15. That two-week delay was enough to knock the ComEd case off the calendar.

 

(Springfield-jm) – There will be no live poultry shows at the Illinois State Fair this year. The move is due to continued concerns about the highly contagious Avian Influenza, says the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Dr Staci Slager…

 

 

Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Dr. Staci Slager. Junior poultry exhibitors have until July 15th to enter the poster contest. More details will be available online at: illinois state fair dot info.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois’ Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost is leaving the university to take a leadership position in Saudi Arabia. Andreas Cangellaris joined the university faculty in 1997 and served as the dean of the Grainger College of Engineering before being appointed to his current post in 2018. During his time at Illinois, Cangellaris played a major leadership role in maximizing safety during the pandemic, laid the groundwork that secured a private donation for the Siebel Center for Design and helped develop the vision that led to the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. After 25 years at Illinois, Cangellaris will leave the university in August to become the first president of the newly-founded NEOM University in Saudi Arabia.

 

(Roberts-jm) – The Ford County community of Roberts will be celebrating 150 years on June 25th. Spokesperson Stan Daro says they are trying to replicate their centennial celebration 50 years ago…

 

 

Roberts 150th Celebration Spokesperson Stan Daro.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A Rantoul man has been arrested for stealing two vehicles in two days. Moises Concepcion-Roman is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. Police say he allegedly stole two vehicles in two days in the village.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Police is urging motorists to tamper down the road rage, especially on Chicago area expressways. According to the State Police, there’s been an increase in road rage incidents on Chicagoland Expressways that have escalated to gun violence. Trooper Roger Goines (go-ins)  says you should try to avoid drivers who are tailgating, speeding and cutting off other vehicles…

 

 

Illinois State Trooper Roger Goines. If you think you’re being followed by an aggressive driver, the state police recommends driving to the nearest police station if possible or pulling over in a well-lit area and calling 9-1-1.

 

(Chicago-jm) – The Vice President of the United States is scheduled to visit Illinois this week. Kamala Harris will stop in Chicago Friday to speak at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials 39th Annual Conference. Harris will then travel to a hospital in Plainfield to address the maternal health crisis.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The invasive Asian Carp is getting a brand makeover. The goal of the new campaign is to make the extremely plentiful fish more enticing to eat so that numbers are reduced in Illinois waterways. The new name for the carp was announced by Chicago Chef Brian Jupiter…

 

 

Chicago Chef Brian Jupiter. Several chefs, retailers and distributors have already committed to offering Copi. Recipe ideas are available online at: choose copi dot com.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The Illinois Energy Conservation Authority NFP, an Illinois tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, announced the closing of a $147,000 Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy refinancing deal for a 35-unit multifamily property located in downtown Urbana, Illinois. The C-PACE program is an economic development tool that helps commercial property owners reduce operating expenses and improve the efficiency and sustainability of their buildings and operations. This is the first C-PACE closing in Champaign County.  The funding will finance energy efficient improvements including the installation of a rooftop solar PV system and shade pergola. These improvements are expected to provide the owner with a lifetime savings of $153,000 over the span of 25 years.

 

(Danville-tr) – The Merrell Ride for PTSD came to life with the help of Operation Desert Storm Veteran Matt Hall along with the Working Out PTSD Foundation. Merrell Ride for PTSD Organizer Matt Hall says that this year, the ride will be much more local… 

 

 

Merrell Ride for PTSD Organizer Matt Hall

 

(Rantoul-jm) – The Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County will have a new director. Andy Kulczycki retired after 33 years. Cindy Crawford will take over.

The Illinois Department of Public Health warns to watch out for ticks this summer.

(Paxton-jm) – The next phase of Paxton’s streetscape begins today. No parking will be allowed in downtown Paxton from Orleans to Holmes Streets as crews from Iroquois Paving work.

 

 

(Beaverville-jm) – Two people are recovering after they were stabbed Tuesday afternoon in the rural Iroquois County town of Beaverville. Deputies from the Kankakee and Iroquois County Sheriff’s Offices found the victims on South Bower Road and learned they had been stabbed in a domestic-related incident. Whoever stabbed them had left the scene before deputies arrived and was not located. Both victims were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. They refused to cooperate with investigators. This incident remains under investigation.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health warns to watch out for ticks this summer. Ticks are usually found in wooded areas, tall grass and brush. The best way to avoid them is to wear long sleeves and pants and wear insect repellent with 20 percent DEET, Picaridin, IR-35-35 or oil of lemon eucalyptus, says Vector Control Program Manager Samantha Kerr. She also recommends checking yourself and your pets for ticks once you come inside. If you find one, remove it as soon as possible…

 

 

IDPH Vector Control Program Manager Samantha Kerr. Kerr advises saving the tick in a baggie or container to take with you to the doctor if you do become ill with a fever or a rash.

 

(Pesotum-jm) – A K9 assigned to the Illinois State Police’s 10th District in Pesotum  will soon receive a bullet- and stab-proof vest thanks to a charitable donation. K9 Odin will receive the vest from nonprofit Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. 

 

(Champaign-jm) – Good news for parents looking to get their child, who is under the age of 5, vaccinated against COVID-19. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District says it will be hosting child COVID vaccination clinics starting this week. The vaccination clinics will be for children between 6 months and 4 years of age. Clinics are set for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at Champaign-Urbana Public Health District

 

(Champaign-tr) – Early voting is ongoing in Champaign County. 30 different locations are offering early voting until June 28th. Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons shares his outlook on how the race is going so far for each side of the isle… 

 

 

Champaign County Clerk Aaron Ammons.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 2 years probation for hitting an administrator at Rantoul Township High School. Stephone Nixon received the sentence in Champaign County court after pleading guilty to aggravated battery to a school employee. Nixon came to the school to defend his sister, when he took a swing at someone and struck the female administrator in the face.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Summer Band will continue a longtime tradition this Thursday when they perform on the Quad at 7 p.m. The Twilight Concert series has been held every summer for 110 years. This year’s Summer Band consists of more than 80 students, alumni and community musicians under the direction of Marching Illini Director Barry Houser.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Soybean planting is wrapping up in Illinois. 98 percent of soybean acres have now been planted, and the condition of the crop dropped to 66 percent in good to excellent condition. The condition of the corn crop fell a little as well, to 71 percent in good to excellent shape. Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at the winter wheat crop…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at two percent very short, 29 percent short, 68 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

(Paxton-jm) – Paxton firefighters were called to a fire Tuesday evening. Crews were called to the fire on Park Lawn near Fall Street for grass on fire near a house. No injuries were reported.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul is launching an employment pilot program for victims of violent crime. After the trauma of violence, survivors may have a hard time going back to work or finding employment. The new Rebound to Work Program will match those impacted with local advocacy groups and corporations says Attorney General Raoul…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Current corporate partners include A-T-and-T, Illinois American Water, Amazon, McDonald’s and Southwest Airlines.

 

(Undated-jm) – The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that Future Farmers of America dues for every student taking agriculture education classes across the state will be covered starting this fall. The $550,000 appropriation is spearheaded by State Senator Doris Turner.


(Undated-jm) – Sam's Club is celebrating the Fourth of July a little early by offering $8 club membership, plus taxes, for new members. The offer is available starting June 17 through June 26, and the deal is only redeemable in-person at Sam’s Club locations.

 

(Champaign County-tr) – It's safe to say now that planting in Champaign County is done. However, Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken shares some insight on what farmers are doing next…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

(Champaign-jm) –  As the Rebuild Illinois capital program enters its fourth year, nine projects are either underway or scheduled to start soon throughout Champaign County. The nine projects represent an investment of more than $270 million. The two main projects in Champaign County, which make up a cornerstone of the entire Rebuild Illinois program, are taking place at the interchange between Interstates 57 and 74. More than $120 million is being used to reconstruct the interchange, which serves 40,000 vehicles every day. Construction began last August and will continue into late 2025. Other projects include repairing the bridge deck of the I-74 bridge over Market Street and the Canadian National Railroad in Champaign and should be completed this fall. Bridge deck repairs on I-74 west of St. Joseph that should be done by December. Resurface Route 150 from St. Joseph to the Vermilion County line and should be done in September. the resurface I-57 from Thomasboro to Rantoul should be done in December. Starting in August, resurfacing of I-57 from Rantoul to the Ford County line  will continue into next summer. Installing new shoulders and rumble strips along Route 45 between Thomasboro and Urbana will begin in July should be completed in December.

 

(Urbana-jm) – An off-duty University of Illinois police officer has been charged with official misconduct. Kiel Cotter of St. Joseph is accused of displaying his badge and gun to a group of people in Campustown while drunk. Cotter was booked into the county jail after admitting he was so drunk, he couldn't remember some of what happened early Sunday morning, police said. Cotter was fired Monday after being put on administrative leave Sunday afternoon. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Soybean planting is wrapping up in Illinois. It was a fairly dry week, with nearly six days on average suitable for fieldwork, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The condition of the corn crop fell to 71 percent good to excellent. 18 percent of winter wheat has been harvested and the first cutting of alfalfa is now 85 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at two percent very short, 29 percent short, 68 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger says he has received a death threat

(Washington-jm) – An Illinois congressman says he received a death threat for participating in the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Congressman Adam Kinzinger is one of two republicans participating in the House committee investigating the incident. He told ABC the letter was addressed to his wife and threatened to execute him along with his wife and 5-month-old child.

 

(Springfield-jm) – State officials celebrated Juneteenth, but say more must be done. Last summer Governor J-B Pritzker signed a law creating the holiday, marking the end of slavery in the U-S. Juneteenth later became a federal holiday. Monday he joined an event in Chicago, echoing the sentiments of many that the fight isn’t over…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says the state is making strides with investments in violence reduction programs, job training and education and reforms to the criminal justice system. 

 

(Undated-jm) – Forecasters say a “dome of heat” is shifting over Illinois this week. AccuWeather says temperatures in Illinois will soar to above-normal levels beginning yesterday. The heat will build into today which is the start of the 2022 Summer Solstice. Temperatures will reach the triple digits in many parts of the state, especially in southern Illinois.

 

(Rankin-tr) – The Rankin Lions Club will be hosting their 23rd annual Tractor Pull on Friday, June 24th. Rankin Lions Club Tractor Pull Spokesperson Aaron Bertan explains that Saturday will feature events as well, including a waterball fight for the kids… 

 

 

Rankin Lions Club Tractor Pull Spokesperson Aaron Bertan 

 

(Paxton–jc)  Work on the streets of downtown Paxton is continuing this week. Iroquois Paving Corporation of Watseka is providing some of the work and spokesperson Ali Morel says there is a “No Parking” restriction for portions of Market Street in the downtown area starting Wednesday morning…

 

 

Iroquois Paving Corporation of Watseka spokesperson Ali Morel

 

(Washington-jm) – USDAs June dairy forecasts indicate a slight reduction in production in the current and upcoming calendar years which plays a role in forecasts of higher milk prices. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Rantoul–jc)  –  A ribbon cutting ceremony was Monday morning on the East Side of Rantoul to officially welcome Beltone to the village to its new location. Co-owner Jenifer Thompson says that Beltone has been operating at the site for a couple of years, but the ribbon cutting ceremony was official at the 1720 East Grove address Monday. Thompson says Beltone Hearing has been in operation since 1965…

 

 

Co-Owner Jenifer Thompson says the Rantoul  Beltone  is there to  provide professional hearing services…

 

 

Beltone Hearing Co-Owner Jenifer Thompson

The family has several other locations including Champaign, Danville and Watseka, locally.


(Springfield-jm) – Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill into law restricting the use of latex gloves in food preparation and medical services. House Bill 209 is meant to protect people from adverse allergic reactions. Latex allergies can range from skin irritation to severe anaphylaxis. The legislation includes provisions for food service unable to source nonlatex gloves. If other gloves cannot be obtained, latex gloves can be used providing prominent signage that warns customers of the change. The same exception applies for medical providers, with specific instructions to prioritize available non-latex gloves for use on patients with latex allergies or patients unable to give medical history.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state is awarding nearly 75 million dollars in grants to increase affordable housing options in Illinois. The federally-funded grants will be used to finance construction and rehab projects around the state, providing over one thousand units, says Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Kristin Faust…

 

 

Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Kristin Faust. Other locations receiving grants include Peru, Bloomington, Mundelein, Mount Carroll, East St. Louis and Marion.

 

(Decatur-jm) – A former Illinois Department of Corrections employee has been sentenced to 50 days behind bars for custodial sexual misconduct and official misconduct. Michael Williams was facing 25 counts of custodial sexual misconduct and eight counts of official misconduct. However, all but two of those counts were dismissed after he pleaded guilty in January. Williams served as an Correctional Food Service Manager before he was charged in 2019. Allegations first came to light in April 2019. He was arrested by Illinois State Police in September of 2019 at the Decatur Correctional Center.

 

(Watseka-jm) – The Iroquois County Board approved spending more of their $5.2 million in ARPA funds. The county board approved giving $57,143 to the Country Theater Workshop in Cissna Park to assist in paying off a loan for mold remediation. The Chebanse Civic Center will be receiving $47,875 for a new roof. Beaverville Township will be receiving $108,993 for a cold storage building. Ashkum Township will be receiving $88,370 towards a drainage system and HVAC upgrades at their township building.

 

(Danville-tr) – The Merrell Ride for PTSD came to life with the help of Operation Desert Storm Veteran Matt Hall along with the Working Out PTSD Foundation. Merrell Ride for PTSD Organizer Matt Hall says that getting veterans back into the gym can help immensely…  

 

 

Merrell Ride for PTSD Organizer Matt Hall.

 

(Washington-jm) – USDAs June Meat Production and Price Forecasts focused primarily on changes in categories in this calendar year. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Governor J-B Pritzker is signing a new law requiring insurance coverage of continuous glucose monitors

(Champaign-jm) – On June 19, 2022, at approximately 1:48 a.m., Champaign Police responded to the 900 block of W. Bloomington Road for a report of a shooting with injury. Upon arrival, officers located multiple victims suffering from gunshot wounds and immediately started rendering medical aid. A male victim was found in a vehicle having suffered multiple life-threatening gunshot wounds. He was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Two female victims also suffered non-life-threatening wounds to the legs. The initial investigation indicates that an impromptu gathering had started in the parking lot of an area business just minutes prior to the incident. All three victims were in or near the same vehicle at the time that the shooting occurred. The driver then reversed across a parking lot and struck another vehicle, leaving a third female with non-life-threatening injuries. 

 

New

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign County coroner identified a man killed in a 2-vehicle crash on Thursday. In a news release, Coroner Duane Northrup said the crash happened on County Road 2200 East near 1950 North in Stanton Township. The coroner stated 27-year-old Caleb Huls was pronounced dead at the scene. Preliminary investigation indicated Huls was driving northbound on 2200E when he rear-ended a vehicle with his car. Huls died from blunt force trauma he sustained during the crash. Toxicology results are pending. This crash is still under investigation.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is signing a new law requiring insurance coverage of continuous glucose monitors. The wearable monitors are essential for patients with type one and type two diabetes to track their blood sugar level throughout the day but aren’t always affordable says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The law, which takes effect in January, ensures that health plans cover the devices. More than one point three million people in Illinois suffer from diabetes.

 

(Undated-jm) – Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing all drivers services facilities will be closed for the Juneteenth holiday. Facilities open Monday through Friday will be closed today. As a reminder banks and the postal service will also be closed.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is adding training and resources to better serve LGBTQI plus youth in care. DCFS now requires foster parents to take an enhanced course on the unique needs of LGBTQI plus kids says Spokesperson Deborah Lopez…

 

 

DCFS Spokesperson Deborah Lopez. DCFS staff are undergoing additional training as well and the agency is working on other ways to support the LGBTQI plus population by listening to former youth in care about their experiences.

 

(Rankin-tr) – The Rankin Lions Club will be hosting their 23rd annual Tractor Pull on Friday, June 24th. Rankin Lions Club Tractor Pull Spokesperson Aaron Bertan shares how tractor pulling grew in the small town of Rankin… 

 

 

Rankin Lions Club Tractor Pull Spokesperson Aaron Bertan. WPXN will be broadcasting live on Friday afternoon at the Rankin Celebration as part of our Summer Fun Tour 2022.


(Danville-jm) – Vermilion County leaders have approved another round of ARPA funding. The county board approved spending $312,000 to upgrade four courtrooms at the counties courthouse. $133,000 will go toward upgrades to the counties dispatch system for emergency services.

 

(Mahomet-jm) – A Mahomet man is dead following a motorcycle vs vehicle accident in Mahomet. Colton Fender was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana after the motorcycle he was driving collided with another vehicle, ejecting Fender. 

 

(Champaign-jm) – A shooting and subsequent crash early Saturday morning sent one person to the hospital. At 5:43 a.m., officers from the Urbana Police Department responded to the intersection of West University and North Goodwin Avenue for a report of a two-vehicle accident. When officers arrived, they found a 32-year-old male passenger in one vehicle with a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the torso. Officers from the Urbana Police Department immediately rendered medical aid and the victim was transported to an area hospital. Upon investigation by officers from the Urbana Police Department, it was determined that the shooting took place somewhere in Northwest Champaign.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is signing two bills to further protect survivors of sexual assault. One new law clarifies that a person who knowingly gets drunk or high cannot give consent, says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The change as based on the case of an Illinois woman who was raped after drinking and was told the case liekly wouldn’t be prosecuted as a result. A second new law expands where survivors can access treatment and for how long.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois now has an official state snake. Add the Eastern Milksnake to the list of state symbols. It’s found across Illinois and is typically 24 to 36 inches long. Senator Dale Fowler of Harrisburg sponsored the legislation, explaining that the name comes from an old myth that these snakes milked cows…

 

 

State Senator Dale Fowler of Harrisburg. Fowler says the idea for an official state snake was brought to him by a 7th grader in his district.

 

(Roberts-jm) – Roberts will be celebrating 150 years on Saturday. A parade is being planned for this celebration. Roberts 150th Celebration Spokesperson Stan Daro says there is no need to sign up ahead of time, just to show up and join in… 

 

 

Roberts 150th Celebration Spokesperson Stan Daro. WPXN Summer Fun Tour Stop number 4 is Saturday at 1pm in Roberts

 

(Rantoul-tr) – The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will be celebrating Beltone’s move to 1720 E Grove Street in Rantoul today at 8:30 am with a Ribbon Cutting and Open House. Coffee & Donuts will be served. Free Hearing Screenings will also be available.

 

Ford County Fair hosts Country music artist Chris Janson tonight

(Urbana-jm) – State Police say a truck hauling potatoes caught fire on I-74 in Urbana Thursday. The eastbound lanes were closed near the Lincoln Avenue exit so crews could extinguish the flames. No word on how that fire started.

 

(Cissna Park-jm) – A 53-year-old man from Cissna Park was killed after his homemade go-kart collided with an SUV. The crash happened at the intersection of County Roads 1300E and 400N near Cissna Park. Sheriff’s deputies said James E. Trent was ejected from his go-kart in the crash and sustained serious injuries. He was taken to the hospital by Cissna Park EMS, but later died. The driver of the SUV, 36-year-old Joel M. Kaeb, also of Cissna Park, was not hurt. The Illinois State Police is assisting the Iroquois County Sheriff’s deputies in investigating the crash.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A 31-year-old man from Champaign will spend six decades in prison for molesting children more than a decade ago. Francisco Domingo Castaneda was convicted by a jury in April on two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, stemming from two separate incidents in 2009 where he sexually assaulted a nine-year-old girl. Now an adult, the victim of those sex acts came forward with another victim to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office in 2020. A judge sentenced Domingo Castaneda to 30 years in prison for each count. Because Domingo Castaneda committed these crimes in separate instances, those sentences will run consecutively. He has been credited 21 months for time already served. Prosecutors had asked for 100 years.

 

(Melvin-tr) –  Last night at the Ford County Fair it was Illiana Truck and Tractor Pulls. Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan gives a look at the main music acts gracing the stage tonight…

 

 

Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan. We were able to catch up with Lennie Betrand, Owner and Operator of Bertrand’s Petting Zoo, at the Ford County Fair. Many animals will be available for kids to experience. Lennie also shared their operating hours during fair week… 

 

 

Owner and Operator of Bertrand’s Petting Zoo Lennie Bertrand.

 

(Undated-jm) – Four area FFA Chapters were recognized at the State FFA Convention. GCMS, PBL, Iroquois West and Watseka FFA Chapters received the recognition.

 

(Washington-jm) – A forecasted decrease in India wheat production is behind USDA's adjustment down for global wheat production this month. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) –In updating our story from earlier this week,  Officials say a truck that caught fire near Rantoul Wednesday was carrying 44,000 pounds of peanut butter. That fire happened on I-57 just north of Rantoul. No word on the cause of that fire.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man was sentenced for murdering his girlfriend. Tenesha Jenkins was found dead in her home in February of 2020. Her boyfriend, Antoine Craig, was sentenced for her death. Craig was sentenced to natural life without the possibility of parole.

 

(Elliott-jm) – Three people were taken to the hospital following a two vehicle accident near Gibson City Thursday afternoon. Illinois State Police say the accident happened on Route 9 at 700 East just after 2pm. One person was airlifted to the hospital, while two others were taken by ambulance. 

 

(Melvin-tr) –  The Ford County Fair is coming to a close but not before a few more worthwhile events. Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan details the last few events of the fair for Saturday…

 

 

Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan. WPXN caught up with Ford County Fair Grandchampion Sam Munsterman. Sam shared the different events that earned him the title grand champion… 

 

 

Ford County Fair Grandchampion Sam Munsterman

 

(Watseka-jm) – A member of the Iroquois County Board has resigned. David Penny served the residents of District 2 and was seeking re-election, however, he resigned at the recent county board meeting and withdrew from the primary.

 

(Gibson City–tr)  – Statewide candidates for the Republican ticket were in attendance at an event in Gibson City earlier this month. Republican candidate for

Governor Darren Bailey says that on his first day in office, it's time to clean house… 

 

 

Republican Candidate for Governor, Darren Bailey

 

(Paxton-jm) – The law enforcement torch run came through Paxton Thursday heading to Normal for this weekend’s summer olympics. The group stopped at the Paxton police station before going through town and heading west through Gibson City.

 

(Washington-jm) – One expert says growers of most crops will be able to turn a profit this season......with perhaps one exception. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The 2022 Buckley Fun Day is set for Saturday. Fishing derby 8-10 am, antique tractors 9-2, golf cart games 10:30-11, bounce house and kids games 12-3, live music 1-3, bossie bingo 2 and the duck race at 4:17.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting Lutheran Youth Group on Saturday from 10-2.

A new state law aims to protect people with latex allergies

(Rantoul-jm) – A semi caught fire near Rantoul Wednesday causing traffic backups. State police say northbound lanes had to be closed so firefighters could put out the flames. There is no word on what caused the fire.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A new state law aims to protect people with latex allergies. Latex gloves will be prohibited in the food service industry as well as in medical facilities under the law. Latex allergies can range from skin irritation to severe anaphylaxis, says Representative Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg. The law applies to emergency workers as well…

 

 

State Representative Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg. The law takes effect for food service establishments and EMS personnel on January 1st. Healthcare facilities have until 2024 to implement the change.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Republican leaders are calling for more transparency in the prisoner review board. House GOP Leader Jim Durkin wants the board to be more victim-focused so he introduced House Bill 5126. The bill would require some of the board members to have a background in law enforcement and it would require a higher threshold vote for prisoners convicted of first-degree murder. House Bill 5126 would also require the governor to approve or deny the prison review board's decisions to release an inmate.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Illinois primary is just a few weeks away. Early voting has been slow so far in Ford County which is normal for the primary. Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick says you can vote early at her office up until election day…

 

 

Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick.

 

(Thomasboro-jm) –  Village leaders in Thomasboro have eliminated the village Chief of Police position. The Board of Trustees announced via Facebook that it had voted to get rid of the position. The post did not make clear why the position was being removed, but said the Board had decided to go in a different direction.

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA's global corn supply and demand balance sheet for June was affected by production news from Ukraine. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Ford County-jm) – One person was flown to the hospital with life threatening injuries following an accident near Paxton Wednesday. Illinois State Police say the accident happened at Route 115 and Route 9 just after noon. Police say a box truck collided with an SUV. The road was closed for several hours.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker and Candymaker Ferrero are announcing  a new production facility to be built in Central Illinois. The expansion of the Ferrero plant in Bloomington will make Kinder Bueno Bars, a wafer covered in milk chocolate with a creamy hazelnut filling. Ferrero North America President Todd Siwak says the facility will create 200 new jobs over the next four years…

 

 

Ferrero North America President Todd Siwak. Ferrero already has a strong presence in Illinois, with over 13 hundred full time staff in the state.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Farmers, ranchers and agricultural landowners with property prone to flooding and nutrient runoff will have the opportunity to enroll in Illinois’ reopened land conservation program, now available in 68 counties. The Illinois Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program will reopen for enrollments June 15 for the first time since 2015. The counties include: Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion Counties.

 

(Melvin-tr) –  Last night was Midget Wrestling at the Ford County Fair. Those that braved the heat was provided with spectacular entertainment. Short Sleeve Sampson is the Owner of the Midget Wrestling Warriors.The warriors will also be in Watseka tomorrow night at the Watseka Theater. Sampson says they provide a great show…

 

 

Owner of the Midget Wrestling Warriors Short Sleeve Sampson.

 

Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan gives a rundown of the events today...

 

 

Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign police shared that gun violence has gone down significantly compared to where the city was a year ago. In the first five months of 2021, the city saw 112 shootings compared to just 61 shootings so far this year. 

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA's latest look at the global soybean balance sheet shows a mixture of changes for a variety of categories.  Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The 2022 Buckley Fun Day is set for Saturday, June 18th. Fishing derby 8-10 am, antique tractors 9-2, golf cart games 10:30-11, bounce house and kids games 12-3, live music 1-3, bossie bingo 2 and the duck race at 4:17.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting Lutheran Youth Group on Saturday, June 18th from 10-2.

 

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is offering tips to stay safe during the heatwave

(Springfield-jm) – Once again, schools will be able to take advantage of free COVID-19 tests from the University of Illinois’ Shield Program. About 258 districts throughout the state plus many private schools worked with Shield Illinois during this most recent academic year, utilizing the speedy saliva tests, says the Program’s Beth Heller…

 

 

Shield Illinois Program Director Beth Heller. Heller says this PCR test is especially helpful in early detection of the virus. The free testing for the upcoming school year will be paid for with federal funds. Districts are urged to sign up by July 15th at: shield illinois dot com.

 

(Undated-jm) – Caterpillar is moving its global headquarters out of Illinois. The formerly Peoria-based company announced the company's existing officers in Irving, Texas will become its new headquarters from the current location of Deerfield, Illinois. 

 

(Melvin-tr) – The Ford County Fair is underway in Melvin. One staple at the fair for nearly 2 decades is Becks Concessions.  Owner, Jay Beck, talks about his journey at the fair… 

 

 

Ford County Fair Vendor Jay Beck of Becks Concessions

 

(Paxton-jm) – After three years, the Paxton Pool is officially open again. They opened Tuesday at noon for the first time since August of 2019. The pool is open Monday through Sunday with adult swim 12-1 and open swim 1-5.

 

(Watseka-jm) – Early voting is already underway ahead of the primary. The primary is set for June 28th. Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver talks about early voting as well as grace period voting…

 

 

 

Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver.

 

(Gifford-jm) – A Rantoul man is dead following a weekend crash near Gifford. Illinois State Police say 34 year old Scott Boyne was traveling on U-S 136 near county road 2400 when he left the road, struck an embankment and telephone pole and overturned, ejecting the driver. 

 

(Champaign-jm) – Heat stroke and dehydration are common whenever the mercury rises and people without a home have fewer options to avoid the heat. That’s why CU at Home is extending hours for its Phoenix Center to offer a cooling station for people who need a break from the heat. They want to provide a safe place to make sure people don’t overheat. Often, when people think about shelters, it’s during the winter so people can stay warm. But the summer is just as important when central Illinois has high temperatures. When the heat index gets up to triple digits, the shelter opens up for extra cooling hours.

 

(Washington-jm) – What is USDA's latest outlook for corn and soybean production in Ukraine this year, based on information from that nation's ag ministry? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is offering tips to stay safe during the heatwave. Extreme heat is hitting many parts of Illinois, and it’s important to use a little extra caution says IEMA Spokesperson Kevin Sur…

 

 

IEMA Spokesperson Kevin Sur. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, Sur says it’s important to stay hydrated with water, electrolyte drinks and diluted juices, and stay away from carbonated beverages and alcohol when it’s this hot. Loose, light-colored clothing is best, with long sleeves and pants to avoid sunburn. Also, please check on elderly neighbors and those who live alone, to make sure they are doing OK with the heat

 

(Washington-jm) – U.S. Representatives Rodney Davis of Illinois and Jake LaTurner of Kansas have introduced two pieces of legislation to implement work requirements for unemployed, able-bodied childless adults who are participating in Medicaid or the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program. The legislation requires those people to work or volunteer no less than 20 hours per week to remain eligible for the federal social welfare programs. H.R. 8004, the America Works Act of 2022 reinstates work requirements for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents requiring childless adults, unless exempted, to work or participate in work-related training or education, for at least 20 hours per week in order to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Davis is the lead sponsor of this legislation. H.R. 8014, the Jobs and Opportunities for Medicaid Act would impose a Medicaid work requirement directing all able-bodied adults to work or volunteer for no less than 20 hours per week. LaTurner is the lead sponsor of this legislation.

 

(Melvin-tr) – The Ford County Fair is underway in Melvin and we were able to speak with the new Ford County Fair Queen Gracelyn Greenburg. Gracelyn took time to share a little about herself and her family… 

 

 

2022 Ford County Fair Queen Gracelyn Greenburg

 

(Melvin-jm) – Last night was the Little Mister and Miss Pageant and the Talent Show. Fair President Steve Meenan talks about what's happening tonight…

 

 

Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan.

 

(Gibson City-jm) – The former Bayern Stube restaurant in Gibson City has new owners. Gibson City resident Sam Horsch wants to bring a farm to table German restaurant to the building, called Horsch Radish.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign County coroner identified a man killed in a crash last week. In a news release, Coroner Duane Northrup said the single-vehicle crash happened around 1:30 a.m. near Kirby and Mattis avenues on June 9. The vehicle was westbound on Kirby when it approached the intersection, veered to the north and hit a utility pole. It is unknown what caused the vehicle to veer. Northrup stated 32-year-old Marcus J. Thomas was pronounced dead at the hospital. Preliminary autopsy results indicate Thomas died from blunt force trauma to the chest. Toxicology results are pending. The crash continues to be investigated by the Champaign Police Department and the coroner’s office.

 

(Urbana-jm) – University of Illinois among institutions receiving a total of $5M in research grants.  U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth announced $5,063,700 will go to institutions to invest in groundbreaking research, improved care, and efforts to treat illnesses and diseases. The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign will receive $150,000.

 

(Washington-jm) –  The U.S. may harvest a slightly bigger winter wheat crop than was expected a month ago. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The American Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Watseka American Legion today from 9-3.

 

Gracelyn Greenburg of Paxton is the new Ford County Fair Queen

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton community pool is opening today. The park district announced late yesterday the pool will be opening Monday through Sunday 12-1 for adult swim and 1-5 for public swimming. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is touting new investments in early childhood programs. The Governor says the changes will help provide affordable childcare to working families and help providers serve their communities. For example, an initiative set to end this month giving three months of daycare assistance to parents trying to re-enter the workforce will continue…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Additionally, income eligibility limits for the state’s child care assistance program are increasing and participating providers will receive more reimbursement funds.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The former head of the Illinois Department of Public Health finds herself under investigation for possible ethics violations. According to the Better Government Association, the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General is trying to determine whether Dr. Ngozi Ezike took a job too soon with a company that does business with the state. Illinois law requires department heads to wait a year before taking a position with companies that have contracts with their departments.

 

(Melvin-tr) – The Ford County Fair Queen Pageant is officially over and a new queen has been crowned. Gracelyn Greenburg of Paxton is the new Queen. She is the daughter of Kelly Reitz and Matt & Kristi Greenburg.Former Ford County Fair Queen Jolee Hastings has some insight into what the new queen can expect… 

 

 

Former Ford County Fair Queen Jolee Hastings. First runner-up was Kate Wilson of Paxton, daughter of Mike and Heather Wilson. Lyndi Allen of Paxton was selected as Miss Congeniality. She is the daughter of Scott and Lisa Allen.

 

Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan gives a rundown of the events today...

 

 

Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan. We will broadcasting live over the noon hour today as part of the WPXN Summer Fun Tour 2022

 

(Ludlow-jm) – Up to 20 Ludlow households may experience a second water outage this morning. This comes after most of the village was without water Monday morning from 8 a.m. until around noon. The outage was necessary to install new fire hydrants. They replaced four hydrants and plan to replace three more today. Houses across the train tracks on the west side of the village may want to plan ahead of the potential second water outage, which may happen around 8 a.m.

 

(Gibson City–tr)  – Statewide candidates for the Republican ticket were in attendance at an event in Gibson City earlier this month. Republican candidate for Lt. Governor and Richard Irvin Running Mate Avery Bourne explains their plan to reach everyday illinois residents… 

 

 

Republican candidate for Lt. Governor and Richard Irvin Running Mate Avery Bourne

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Police Department is looking for a pair of men who are persons of interest in a vandalism case at the on-campus Japan House. Officers said that on May 31, staff at Japan House heard something crash into a window and found a glass sliding door had been broken by a rock. Two men were spotted on security cameras in the area of Japan House at the time the damage occurred and officers said they would like to speak to these men to resolve the matter. Anyone who knows the identities of these men or other information about this incident is encouraged to contact the UIPD by calling 217-333-1216 

 

(Undated-jm) – Dangerously high heat and humidity is hitting the WPXN listening area this week. A heat advisory is in effect through Wednesday evening. The National Weather Service says daytime highs could reach close to 100 degrees with heat index values closing in on 110. People are encouraged to stay in air conditioning as much as possible and if you have to be out drink plenty of water and wear light weight light colored clothes.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Wheat harvest is underway in Illinois. Nearly five and a half days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, giving farmers time to work on the winter wheat crop, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Corn planting is finished and 96 percent of the crop has emerged. 94 percent of soybeans have been planted and 88 percent have emerged. The first cutting of alfalfa is now 71 percent complete and average statewide topsoil moisture came in at one percent very short, 11 percent short, 85 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

 

(Washington-jm) – Ag producers have until June 30th to sign up for and receive the 2022 Census of Agriculture - the nation's most comprehensive dataset on agriculture. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – State officials are remembering former Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan as a dedicated public servant. Jim Ryan passed away over the weekend at the age of 76. He served two terms as State Attorney General and ran twice unsuccessfully for Governor. Governor J-B Pritzker comments on Ryan’s death…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Current Attorney General Kwame Raoul also praised Ryan for his service and strength, dealing with unimaginable personal tragedy including the death of two of his children and a diagnosis of cancer while in office.

 

(DuPage County-jm) – Public health officials have identified a third case of monkeypox a week after the first two cases appeared in Illinois. WLS-TV reports that a man in DuPage County tested positive for monkeypox after traveling internationally. The adult male was in a country that has reported an outbreak, according to the DuPage County Health Department. Test results were positive Friday at an Illinois Department of Public Health lab. A test to confirm the outcome is pending at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

(Danville-tr) – The Merrell Ride for PTSD came to life with the help of Operation Desert Storm Veteran Matt Hall. Merrell Ride for PTSD Organizer Matt Hall says all the funds will go towards the Working Out PTSD Foundation… 

 

 

Merrell Ride for PTSD Organizer Matt Hall. The Working Out PTSD Foundation is a program that helps struggling veterans get work out plans and memberships at local gyms around the area.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers is asking for your help regarding a retail theft in Champaign. Police say on May 14 three people entered the Zales inside of Market Place Mall on north Neil Street. Reports say they stole a gold chain worth $3,200. The three suspects were seen leaving the store together.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The University of Illinois Police Department reports another crime involving a dating app. A U of I student said he was scammed out of $100 by someone he met through a dating app. The student claims he arranged a dinner date with a woman on Friday. While the student was waiting at the restaurant, he received a text from the woman. She claimed to need money to pay for a babysitter. Police say the student sent electronic gift cards and the woman never showed up for the dinner date.

 

(Gibson City-jm) – Gibson City police have released their recent activity report. On June 11th, Dallas Hernandez was arrested for an in-state warrant. On June 12th, Mindy Odom was arrested for possession of meth, possession of a controlled substance and driving while license suspended.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Nearly five and a half days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, giving farmers time to work on the winter wheat crop says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Three percent of the winter wheat crop has now been harvested, and 70 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 96 percent of corn has emerged and 77 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is now at one percent very short, 11 percent short, 85 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

 

(Washington-jm) – Most experts say the USDA's Margin Coverage Program for dairy has worked well for many dairy producers. Could such a program work for crop producers? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Backyard chickens could be making you sick

(Springfield-jm) – Those backyard chickens could be making you sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to issue a warning about salmonella infections across multiple states. They say the infection is linked to backyard poultry. A total of 219 illnesses have been reported from 38 states, and 27 people have been hospitalized. One in four sick people is a child younger than 5 years, according to the CDC. Last year in 2021, a total of 1,135 people got sick from contact with backyard poultry.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A new state law will make it easier for men in Illinois to get prostate cancer screenings. The measure requires health insurers to cover prostate screenings without imposing a deductible, co-pay or any other cost-sharing fee. It was sponsored by Chicago Representative LaShawn Ford, a prostate cancer survivor, who says that everyone should have access to life-saving screenings…

 

 

State Representative LaShawn Ford of Chicago. The law takes effect in January of 2024.

 

(Champaign County-jm) – Champaign County election officials are seeking helpers for the primary. Officials are urging anyone with an interest in elections to come forward. It’s a volunteer role that comes with a stipend of $13 dollars an hour. Those interested can reach out to the Champaign County Clerk’s Office.

 

(Leverette-jm) – Strong storms Sunday morning caused damage in Leverette. Storms rolled through around 7 am causing several tree branches to fall in the trailer park. Damage was also reported at the grain elevator. Ping pong ball sized hail was reported as well causing significant crop damage.

 

(Melvin-tr) – The Ford County Fair is in full swing with many events planned for this week. Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan gives a rundown of the events today … 

 

 

Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The University of Illinois became the face of COVID-19 testing during the pandemic thanks to its SHIELD test. The rapid, saliva-based test was developed by university scientists to ensure students could return to campus for and remain healthy throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. Recently, a new report of collected data showed the test successfully slowed the spread of COVID through the university community and reduced hospitalizations and deaths. The report, published in Nature Communications, showed that Champaign County saw roughly a third less COVID cases than expected between early July and late December of 2020. Among 251 counties in the U.S. with a major university located in them, Champaign County also saw the greatest reduction of deaths – more than four times less than predicted based on those other counties’ numbers.

 

(Washington-jm) – As the slow spring planting season begins to wrap up and the growing season gets going in earnest, USDA is involved in a huge weekly undertaking that brings us every Monday a look at planting progress and crop development. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – A new report shows a number of corrections officers in the state of Illinois received little to no punishment after being found responsible for misconduct. The ProPublica investigation says that between 2014 and 2019, eighteen Illinois Department of Corrections officers had misused force or sexually harassed inmates in Illinois state prisons, and still remained on staff. Eleven still hold their jobs today. The other seven either retired or were let go for other reasons. The report says eight of the eighteen were suspended temporarily and four were fired, but later reinstated to IDOC after filing grievances.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is signing a new law to increase access to mental health care in Illinois. The idea is to make care more readily available by strengthening the state’s mental health workforce. The law lets those who have been out of the profession for less than five years reactivate their state license, and makes it easier for advanced practice RN’s to treat patients, says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The law also creates a tax credit for qualified employers who hire people in recovery from a substance use disorder or mental illness.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign-Urbana Public Health District recently announced that COVID-19 community level transmission in Champaign County is now high. On May 20, CUPHD announced that Champaign County had a high community transmission rate for COVID-19. On June 3, it was changed to a medium level of transmission. It was changed back to the high transmission level. The health department is encouraging people to wear masks indoors regardless of their vaccination status.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A professor at the University of Illinois teamed up with local gun safety advocates in First Followers to take a deeper look at gun violence. UIUC Post-Doctoral researcher Tariq Khan taught history class in the spring with a focus on local history and policing. Khan is working with First Followers to look at why gun violence has grown in recent years.

 

(Paxton-jm) – A blood drive will be happening in Paxton later this month. Coordinator Kevin Hanson talks about the event…

 

 

Paxton blood drive coordinator Kevin Hanson.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Four Parkland College students earned top honors among the 14 persuasive speakers who recently presented at the 19th annual David M. Jones Persuasive Speaking Contest. Earning first place honors in this year's May 11 contest was Joel Langston of Champaign, whose speech supporting the Eastern Illinois Food Bank earned him a $500 scholarship. The food bank will receive a $500 donation from the Communication program faculty. Delma Cobb of Rantoul came in second with her speech for the Equal Justice Initiative, earning a prize of $250. Jake Van Anrooy of Poplar Grove was third with a speech supporting Jazz at Lincoln Center, and won $100. Fourth place winner Cavan Morber of Champaign will receive $50 for his speech supporting the Ocean Cleanup.

 

(Washington-jm) – The latest Consumer Price Index shows no slowdown in food price increases. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

Republicans are calling for a special session to deal with rising gas prices

(Paxton-jm) – A Ford County man was sentenced to 25 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after he pleaded guilty to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. The charge stems from an incident on September 11, 2020, where Richard Cruse was showing a 12-year-old pornographic images. Last month, he was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison on child pornography charges for the crime. While investigating the incident authorities learned that Cruse committed an act of predatory sexual assault to a minor and he was charged. Cruse will serve his most recent sentence of 25 years concurrently with his federal sentence of 27 years.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is signing a new state law giving workers time off after a miscarriage or other loss. The Family Bereavement Leave Act provides up to 10 days of unpaid leave for employees who have had a child, step-child, parent, sibling or grandparent pass away. It was sponsored in the House by Representative Anna Moeller of Elgin…

 

 

State Representative Anna Moeller of Elgin. The leave also applies to failed adoptions and unsuccessful fertility treatments. Moeller says it’s important to give employees time to grieve and heal.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Republicans are calling for a special session to deal with rising gas prices. Representative Adam Niemerg introduced House Bill 5732. If passed, it would eliminate the motor fuel tax for four months. He says it would reduce the price of gas by 44-cents per gallon. Governor JB Pritzker is blaming the high prices of gas on the war in Ukraine. Governor Pritzker says his budget will help Illinoisans pay for gas. He says not only does it freeze the motor fuel tax at its current rate of 39 cents for the next six months. It also sends direct rebate checks to families.

 

(Roberts-jm) – Roberts will be celebrating 150 years later this month. A Flea Market is being planned for the celebration. Roberts 150th Celebration Spokesperson Stan Daro says vendors are still being accepted at this time…

 

 

Roberts 150th Celebration Spokesperson Stan Daro 

 

(Danville-jm) – A marijuana company is one step closer to opening a dispensary in Danville. Seven Point is still waiting on a license from the state, but it was recently awarded two cannabis Craft Growers licenses. The licenses allow the company to grow, sell and move marijuana. It would be the second adult-use dispensary in Danville.

 

(Melvin-tr) – The Ford County Fair will kick off this weekend starting Sunday June 12th. Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan says they are still looking for multiple volunteers to help out during fair week…

 

 

 Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan. If you’d like to volunteer your time and help the Ford County Fair this year. Please call Tammy Kendrick at 217-249-2282 or call the Fair during fair week at 217-388- 2815. 

 

(Champaign County-jm) – Champaign County law enforcement recognized heroic employees and citizens in an annual awards ceremony.   An award for valor was presented to Deputies Josh Demko, Richard Ferriman, Casey Donovan, and Robert DeRouchie. Life saving awards were given to Chad Beasley, Tracy Wagner, and Jason Moore, while commendation awards went to Mark McCallister and Ted Nemecz. The sheriff's office gave out certificates of merit to Sergeant Dave Sherrick, Sergeant Chris Darr and Deputy Josh Demko.

 

(Cissna Park–jc)  The park in Cissna Park will be busy on Saturday. It is the first of the summertime’s, Shop the Park from 9am to 1pm. Event Spokesperson Bud Petry says vendors will fill the park area…

 

 

Shop the Park in Cissna Park Spokesperson Bud Petry

 

(Watseka-jm) – Although summer break has just begun, the Iroquois County Public Health Department is encouraging parents to begin scheduling their children’s back-to-school vaccines early. The health department said scheduling vaccinations now helps parents avoid the rush that will occur closer to the first day of school. That rush can make it difficult for parents to schedule appointments. People who are unsure of whether their child needs vaccinations for school can contact their doctor or the health department to review their child’s vaccine records. They are located in the Iroquois County Administrative Building, located at 1001 East grant Street in Watseka. For more information or to schedule an appointment, people can call 815-432-2483.

 

(Gibson City–jc) The Ford County Republican Central Committee held a meet the candidates night, last night in Gibson City. 5 candidates are vying for the Republican nomination for governor.  Candidate Darren Bailey talks about what his first day in office, if elected, would look like…

 

 

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey. The event was well attended at the Kruse Center in Gibson City on Thursday night

 

 

(Savoy-jm) – Dozens of nursing homes in Illinois were fined thousands of dollars for violations. One of those homes is Champaign Urbana Nursing and Rehab. The 213-bed skilled care facility in Savoy was fined $25,000 for failing to prevent the verbal and physical abuse of a resident. The Illinois Department of Public Health released its quarterly report listing all the Illinois facilities which violated the Nursing Home Care Act.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Comptroller Susana Mendoza says the state’s rainy day fund is getting another boost. The stash is vital in times of emergency and just received a deposit of 320 million dollars. That brings the long-neglected funds up to more than 751 million, which is a big improvement says Comptroller Mendoza…

 

 

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza. Mendoza says ultimately, she would like to see the rainy day fund be seven and a half percent of the state’s current budget. That would be about three and a quarter billion dollars.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois is the 16th most expensive state for household bills, according to the 2022 State by State Bill Pay Market report released by doxo.

This report investigates the $4.6 trillion U.S. consumer bill pay market and breaks it down into the 10 most common household bill payment categories, including mortgage, rent, loans, utilities, insurance and more. Illinois residents spend $2,029 each month across the top 10 household bills, 1.3% above the national average of $2,003. The report reveals 36% of household income is required to cover the bills.

 

(Melvin-tr) – The Ford County Fair will start on Sunday. Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan gives a rundown of the events on Sunday… 

 

 

Ford County Fair Board President Steve Meenan.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The City of Champaign announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation will be conducting a series of upgrades on traffic lights along Springfield Avenue next week. Work will begin at the intersection of Springfield and Staley Road starting Monday at 7 a.m. and at the intersection of Springfield and Duncan Road at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. These intersections will be switched to all-way stops while crews work on the lights. The work is expected to significantly impact traffic along and near Springfield and IDOT said drivers can expect significant backups at certain times of the day. This work is dependent on the weather and may be postponed in the event of inclement weather.

 

(Paxton-jm) – Early voting for the spring primary is underway. Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick talks about how early voting is going so far…

 

 

Ford County Clerk Amy Frederick. 

 

(Undated-jm) – Illinois American Water is investing over $6 million to replace over 20,000 feet of water main throughout the Champaign County water service area. Work started in May and will continue across Champaign-Urbana, Fisher, and Sadorus.  The company said it works to replace water mains annually to keep up with aging infrastructure. 

 

(Urbana-jm) – 11 girls will be vying for the title of Miss Champaign County. The fair queen pageant will move back to the fairgrounds for the first time in several years. The pageant will take place on July 17th.

 

 

Gifford Community Garage Sales will take place Saturday from 8 to 2.

 

The Paxton Police Department shooting range will be open to the public on Saturday from 10-noon. Cost is $10.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting Knights of Columbus on Saturday from 10-2.

 

Cissna Park Shop the Park takes place from 9-1 on Saturday.

 

The 69th annual Buckley and Buckley Loda High School Alumni Banquet will take place on Saturday at the 103 in Buckley starting at 5 pm. 

 

Logan Kirby will perform at the Melvin Community Hall on Saturday at 7 pm. Cost is $10 for adults. Children 12 and under are free.

 

Schools will be able to teach students about proper gun storage under a new state law

(Urbana-jm) – The Champaign County Sheriff says a man is dead after apparently shooting himself inside an Urbana motel room. Deputies were assisting the U.S. Marshals with an arrest warrant Wednesday afternoon at the Courtesy Motel. Authorities say they knocked on a motel room door, and a person inside the room said they had a gun. Shortly after, authorities heard a gunshot come from inside the room. Authorities were then able to get inside, and they found a man’s body with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Schools will be able to teach students about proper gun storage under a new state law. The measure was sponsored by Representative Maura Hischauer of Batavia…

 

 

State Representative Maura Hischauer of Batavia. Supporters say this will help prevent gun accidents at home. Schools can already teach kids about hunting safety. The new law takes effect in January.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign launched a new program that trains law enforcement officers and social workers. According to U of I police, the one-week academy may be the first of its kind. The course puts an emphasis on clinical assessment of people experiencing mental health related emergencies, with a heavy focus on suicide risk assessment. A large part of the academy involves scenario-based training.

 

(Danville-jm) – A man who used to live in Danville will spend 11 years behind bars for delivery of methamphetamine. Jeffery Pate pleaded guilty to a charge of delivering between five and 15 grams of meth. Approximately one year ago, Pate was the subject of an investigation conducted by the Vermilion County Metropolitan Enforcement Group and was recorded on video delivering 14 grams of meth to an undercover operative.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The latest unemployment numbers are out. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City discusses what they mean…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Danville-jm) – New technology is already being used in courtrooms at the Rita B. Garman Vermilion County Courthouse.  And more is expected to be installed soon.  Judges have requested the county upgrade technology in four courtrooms.  The request includes a new sound system, installing a courtroom evidence presentation system in each courtroom, and upgrading the fiber in the courthouse for better connectivity and speed. Members of the Vermilion County Board’s Finance and Personnel Committee heard the plans for the upgrade.   The County was able to secure a grant totaling over $275-thousand dollars earlier to upgrade some equipment in the Circuit Clerk’s Office.  Other improvements would cost $312,000 under a bid that was received.

 

(Washington-jm) – Traders will very shortly have a much better idea about the size of the upcoming U.S. wheat crop and the market situation for that crop.  Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – June is Pet Preparedness Month. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency reminds to include your dogs, cats and other pets in any disaster preparations, says Spokesperson Kevin Sur…

 

 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Kevin Sur. Sur says you should also include a toy for your pet and any other comforting items, as well as a few photos of you with your pet. IEMA says it’s also a good idea to think about where you would go if you had to evacuate your home since not all hotels or shelters accept animals.

 

(Guthrie-jm) – New automatic warning devices will be installed at the 750N grade crossing of the Illinois Central Railroad Company’s track, located near Guthrie in Ford County.  The Illinois Commerce Commission granted approval of the Stipulated Agreement, the project estimated cost to install the safety improvements is $327,927.

 

(Gifford-jm) – One area community won’t be holding their annual 4th of July celebration this year. Organizers of the Gifford Celebration canceled this year’s event. They hope to bring it back next year.

 

(Watseka-jm) – The Illinois primary is coming up on June 28th. Early voting is already underway. Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver talks about how early voting is going so far in Iroquois County…

 

 

Iroquois County Clerk Breein Suver.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign tech firm is expanding. Starline Industries is moving into a larger building. The cost of the move and renovations of the new facility are expected to cost $9.4 million.

 

(Washington-jm) –  U.S. agricultural export sales values continue to break records, but what about actual sales volumes? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

The Illinois Department of Transportation is launching a new public safety campaign called "It's Not a Game."

(Springfield-jm) – While 50 Illinois counties are now recognized for being at medium or high-level risk for COVID-19, the Pritzker administration is not considering new mitigations. Governor J.B. Pritzker said he is not considering reinstating a mask mandate or other mitigations right now. He said the state is in a much better place to be able to respond to the pandemic today.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Transportation is launching a new public safety campaign called “It’s Not a Game.” You may have seen the tv ads already, designed to look like an old-school video game says IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. “It’s Not a Game” takes a comprehensive approach to safety, addressing everything from distracted driving to pedestrian safety.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers is asking the public for help in solving a shooting that left two people hurt last month. One of those victims was just five years old at the time. Kamryn Riley was only a few days away from his sixth birthday when bullets flew into his home near Fourth and Church Streets on May 18. One of the bullets hit Riley in the hand; he was treated at the hospital and released shortly after. An 18-year-old man was also hurt in that shooting; he too survived. Officers found multiple shell casings at Fourth and Church and determined that two suspects walking on foot opened fire on a third person in the street. The suspects fled the area in a white four-door sedan, last seen traveling north on Fourth Street.

 

(Gilman -tr) – The Iroquois West School District will be turning their focus towards summer projects such as general maintenance and the new playground. Iroquois West Superintendent Angelo Lekkas says he's ready to bring the building back to life for the next school year…

 

 

Iroquois West Superintendent Angelo Lekkas.

 

(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana man already awaiting trial has been found guilty in another case. Michael Simmons of Urbana was found guilty of aggravated discharge of a firearm. Police say Simmons fired a gun at a vehicle in 2019. Simmons is awaiting trial for a 2018 murder.

 

(Washington-jm) – This week USDA will have an updated assessment of the agricultural situation in Ukraine. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Undated-jm) – Illinois is one of 13 states where a gallon of gasoline is over $5 a gallon. The Illinois average for a gallon of gasoline is about $5.45, according to AAA, with some stations in Chicago approaching $7 a gallon. There are some areas in the state where gas is closer to $5 a gallon, including Champaign, the Quad Cities and Metro East.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois now has an official state rock. The push for naming a state rock came from elementary school students in Naperville and Burr Ridge. They came up with a list of potential contenders and launched a campaign for other kids across the state to cast a ballot for their choice. The winner was Dolostone, a type of limestone that makes up the majority of bedrock in Illinois, says Representative Janet Yang Rohr…

 

 

State Representative Janet Yang Rohr. Students involved in the project wrote letters to lawmakers about their effort and a few testified in a legislative committee.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The opportunity for debt-free college is becoming more of a reality for students across the state thanks to 23 institutions’ partnership with Hope Chicago. Hope Chicago is a nonprofit that would like to reduce economic and social burdens of higher education for students. With community partnerships, the organization raises money to offer scholarships to students. This money could go toward tuition and fees, room and board, books, laptop or other academic materials and an annual stipend. The University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign, Springfield and Chicago campuses, Illinois State University and Eastern Illinois University are among the institutions partnering with Hope Chicago in this endeavor.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois residents are already feeling the pinch of high inflation but now they have a new concern…rising electricity costs. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman explains the increase and what assistance is available…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A downtown Urbana staple will be closing its doors for good in a few weeks. Crane Alley announced over the weekend that it will be closing on June 18 after serving the community for 19 years. 

 

(Washington-jm) – There is more than the usual market interest in the size of Brazil's corn harvest. Gary Crawford has why…

 

 

Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed two pieces of legislation that allow for the expanded use of expressway cameras

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed two pieces of legislation that allow for the expanded use of expressway cameras, allowing law enforcement agencies to investigate criminal activities along expressways and state highways. One measure increases the number of cameras along expressways and state highways in 22 counties. The state’s fiscal year 2023 budget included $20 million to expand the technology.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Here’s a look at the latest COVID-19 numbers in Illinois. 19 counties remain at high risk for transmission of the virus, while another 30 plus are at medium risk. The most recent daily total is over 41 hundred new cases and no deaths, although weekend reporting may be lagging. As of Sunday night there were about 12 hundred COVID patients in the hospital. That number has been creeping up but well below the peak of more than seven thousand seen in January, says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says if you do test positive for the virus, you should call your doctor right away so they can prescribe one of those treatment options.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A man was injured over the weekend after he invited over someone he met on a dating app, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Police said. The victim said he was beaten shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday at his apartment in the 100 block of East Daniel Street. Police say he invited someone over after meeting them on a dating app. The victim said he was attacked when the person he invited over tried to steal his phone.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Corn planting is nearly complete in Illinois. After nearly six days suitable for fieldwork this past week, 95 percent of corn acres have been planted, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 88 percent of soybeans have been planted and 75 percent have emerged. 82 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. A little over half of the first cutting of alfalfa hay is now complete and average statewide topsoil moisture is rated one percent very short, nine percent short, 84 percent adequate and six percent surplus.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A man has been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm after shooting a dog that got into a fight with his. Lenard Gibson is accused of shooting the dog on July 12th after bringing this dog to a home in Rantoul to breed. The other dog started attacking his dog. Gibson pulled out a gun and shot the other dog and then left.

 

(Washington-jm) – Some of the latest efforts of the Biden Administration and partners to increase infant formula supplies in our nation are set to take place this week. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – A company that analyzes wastewater for signs of COVID-19 infections in Illinois will stay on the job longer. The Illinois Department of Public Health has given Discovery Partners Institute an $8 million extension through the middle of next year. The company analyzes wastewater in 46 counties. Wastewater acts as an early indicator of increased infections. Nearly 200 samples are collected each week and transported to a University of Illinois at Chicago microlab for analysis.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – Two Rantoul men have been arrested on drug charges. Josh Bell and Demarco Gray were both arrested by police following an investigation. Bell is charged with possession with intent to deliver cannabis, possession of ecstasy and unlawful possession of weapons after two guns were found in his possession. Gray was charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Corn planting is nearly complete in Illinois. 95 percent of corn has now been planted and 89 percent emerged, ahead of the five year average. 81 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 88 percent of soybean acres are now planted…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 97 percent of winter wheat has headed and 77 percent is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil came in at one percent very short, nine percent short, 84 percent adequate and six percent surplus.

 

(Hoopeston-jm) – Hoopeston police are investigating a pair of thefts from cars over the weekend. In the first incident, a cell phone was taken from a vehicle at the Dollar General. About an hour later, a person reported their wallet was taken from their vehicle at the IGA. Anyone with information is asked to call Hoopeston Police.

 

The 2022 Ford County Lincoln Day Dinner will take place this Thursday at 5pm at the Kruse Center in Gibson City. Tickets are $35 per person and are available from any Republican precinct committee member.

 

Illinois has the fifth highest gas price average based on AAA website

(Chicago-jm) –  The second probable case of monkeypox in Illinois has been detected in Chicago, health officials announced Friday. The patient was a close contact of the first case, who had recently traveled to Europe. The state reported the first case Thursday. Both haven’t been hospitalized. Health officials said the risk to the general public remains low, though residents are advised to exercise caution. No monkeypox-related deaths have yet been reported. As of Friday, the U.S. had identified at least 20 cases in 11 states.

 

(Undated-jm) – Summer is officially here and with no COVID-19 regulations, people will be out and about this summer. This time of year is what AAA is calling the next one hundred days the deadliest for teens. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, officials are recommending safe driving practices with expectations for this summer to be the busiest. Each year in the U.S., 2,063 teen drivers are involved in fatal crashes. In Illinois, an average of 33 teen drivers are in fatal crashes every year

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor JB Pritzker signed several measures looking to combat the national opioid crisis. Senate Bill 2535, which takes effect on January 1, 2023, says pharmacists and those who prescribe opioids will be required to tell patients about the addictive nature of the drugs and inform them that they can receive an opioid antagonist if they want. House Bill 4408 takes effect January 1, 2024, and stops insurers and Medicaid from charging a copay for Naloxone, which can be expensive and inaccessible.  Senate Bill 2565 takes effect immediately and allows circuit courts to implement drug court treatment programs. House Bill 4556 takes effect immediately and expands access for pharmacists and other health care professionals to distribute fentanyl testing strips to help reduce opioid overdoses.


 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker and the Illinois State Police say for the first time in decades, there is no longer a backlog of forensic kits waiting to be tested. This is a result of adding more resources to the State Police’s Forensics Department and is a historic achievement for survivors of sexual assault and other crimes says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Current processing times are 180 days or less, a benchmark set by state law. The Illinois State Police webpage has a tracking system for survivors to follow the progress of evidence from their case.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are voicing concern after a report of "serious animal welfare violations" at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. PETA says a new report by the USDA shows violations in the laboratories at the school. The report details an incident where a lamb bled to death during the teaching of a veterinary class. The incident took place in November of last year.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A Rantoul man will spend the next 7 years in prison for possessing a gun. Darius Ervy received the sentence in Champaign County court of pleading guilty to possession of a weapon by a felon following his December 1, 2020 arrest. Charges of aggravated discharge of a firearm and battery were dismissed.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A new report out from Orkin has two Illinois cities ranked as the top 50 rattiest places in the nation. The report shows that Champaign came in number 37 on the list. If you think that New York City is the number one spot, guess again. Chicago took home that prize this year. The report and rankings are based on the number of new treatments that Orkin performed from September 2020 to September 2021.

 

(Washington-jm) – The U.S. and Japan Friday signed an agreement that would revise the beef safeguard mechanism under the bi-lateral trade agreement between both countries, yet what could this potentially mean for U.S. beef exports to Japan? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign County State's Attorney said that the rise in accessibility of guns for young people has continued to be an issue. Gun crime has continued to be an issue and the Champaign Police have shared new data on the number of young people involved. In May, of those 18 and younger, 14 gun charges were filed against them. A total of 59 have been filed so far in 2022. This compares to 33 charges in 2020, which made up a quarter of the city's 120 gun charges filed. The numbers did drop off in 2021 with 20 gun charges being filed of the 150 total charges.

 

(Undated-jm) – Illinois has the fifth highest gas price average based on AAA website coming in at $5.31 as of Friday. That’s higher than the $3.28 price average this time last year. Josh Sharp with the Illinois Fuel and Retail Association) said gas prices are rising due to more families hitting the road this summer and covid-19 restrictions being lowered.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Human Services has announced a $250 million investment to combat gun violence in the state. The investment will go towards reimagining public safety over the next three years.

 

(Edwardsville-jm) – Several United States Representatives are now saying Amazon is not complying with the investigation following the Edwardsville tornado. The House Oversight Committee is investigating if the company's labor practices during December's storm led to the deaths of six amazon workers at the Edwardsville facility. According to committee members, Amazon has not produced information for the investigation weeks after the March 31 deadline.

 

(Springfield-jm) – May weather closed out spring and brought a taste of summer to Illinois. After a cold and dreary April, last month ended up as the 29th warmest May on record. State Climatologist Trent Ford says the second week of May was especially hot, with temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above normal in many areas. As for rainfall…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Ford says the long term outlook is calling for cooler than normal temperatures this month but warmer conditions in July and August.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Hundreds showed up for Tim Johnson Saturday. The Illinois lawmaker and Champaign County native died last month at 75. His friends and family gathered in Urbana’s Lincoln Square Mall, a beloved destination of his daily strolls through his hometown, to say their final goodbyes. Johnson spent 12 years serving the 15th U.S. congressional district. For 24 years before that, he was an Illinois House representative.

 

(Sibley-jm) – Sibley firefighters had a busy Saturday. Firefighters were first called to a vehicle fire just before noon. Then later that evening, crews were called to a person that had been struck by a vehicle.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Carle Hospital and Christie Clinic have announced they are dropping COVID testing requirements before surgery. Both facilities had the requirement in place since the pandemic began.

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA is currently surveying thousands of farmers for one of the most anticipated USDA reports of the year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison for an August 2021 shooting that injured a child. The shooting happened on August 8th. Cody Brown pleaded guilty to reckless discharge of a firearm and possession of a weapon without a FOID card.

 

The first probable case of Monkeypox is being confirmed in Illinois

(Watseka-jm) – Iroquois County Coroner Bill Cheatum recently released the results of a toxicology report after an inmate was found dead in the Iroquois County Jail last month.  On May 12, an autopsy was completed in Champaign County on 32-year-old Apolinar Solis Jr. of Hoopeston who was found unresponsive at the Iroquois County Jail earlier that morning. Solis was in the process of being booked into the jail on an outstanding Newton County , Indiana, arrest warrant at the time of his death. Preliminary autopsy findings showed there were no unidentified natural diseases present and no evidence of significant or internal trauma that caused Solis’ death. Upon receipt of Solis’ toxicology report, the Forensic Pathologist has ruled his cause of death to be “Acute Toxicity of Cocaine and Methamphetamine due to Cocaine and Methamphetamine Abuse.”

 

(Springfield-jm) – The national average for a gallon of diesel is around $5.50, according to AAA. The high prices are forcing trucking companies to spend a lot just on fuel. The high prices are causing companies to increase shipping prices and could trickle down to consumers.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The first probable case of Monkeypox is being confirmed in Illinois. The patient is a man from Chicago who recently traveled to Europe. He did not need to be hospitalized and is isolating at home. State Public Health Veterinarian Dr Connie Austin says monkeypox can be serious but is rare. She has this advice for Illinoisans…

 

 

State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Connie Austin. At least 19 cases of Monkeypox have been confirmed across multiple states. The last time the virus popped up in Illinois was in 2003. It causes flu-like symptoms and a rash.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Park District will be showing several films this summer at Hessel park as part of its Friday Night Flix series. The films will be screened on select Fridays starting at dusk. Community members are invited to bring a blanket and enjoy food from on-site food trucks. The Park District said there will be a different truck for each film. It starts tonight with the Lego Batman Movie.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Three of the four people charged in a Rantoul shooting and car chase have been sentenced to five years in prison. Davontis Miles is the latest to be charged in the crime spree that started in Rantoul and ended in Urbana. Police say the four people attempted to get back at someone accused of shooting one of the people’s mothers and injuring the other's pregnant girlfriend.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The June primary is just weeks away. Voters head to the polls June 28th to select who will be on the November ballot. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about some views among voters and what the party needs to do to pick up votes in the Chicagoland area…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Rantoul–jc)  Plans for the annual 4th of JulyParade in Rantoul continue. The parade  will step off on the 4th at the corner of Maplewood Avenue and Champaign Avenue in the village. Those wanting to participate in the parade may call the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce. The parade route moves through several streets into Wabash Park. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – A new law in Illinois means prenatal vitamins may not cost as much for pregnant women. House Bill 4338 was signed into law. The law requires insurance policies that cover prescription drugs to also cover prenatal vitamins when they are prescribed by a licensed physician.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The State Board of Elections is launching a new effort to make it easier for those with disabilities to cast a mail-in ballot. The blind, visually impaired or deaf-blind can now request a special ballot so they can vote privately in their own home without assistance, says Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich…

 

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Voters will then print out that ballot and send it back using the special envelope provided. This option is available for the June 28th primary election. Anyone interested should contact their local election authority.


 

(Springfield–jc)  –  Is there any new information or help for those families seeking baby formula?  106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there is a help line…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A one-block stretch of Lincoln Avenue in Urbana will be closing next week as crews install a new water main. Weather permitting, Lincoln between Springfield Avenue and Green Street will close at 7 a.m. on Monday. Access to properties in this block of Green will be maintained, but no through traffic will be allowed. Traffic will be redirected to Goodwin Avenue for travel around the construction area.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man has been charged with possessing a stolen vehicle. Shane Castelo is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and theft. Bond was set at $3,000.

 

(Gilman -tr) – The Iroquois West School District will be upgrading the elementary school building with some new playground equipment. Iroquois West Superintendent Angelo Lekkas shares how much some of the new equipment is used and took the time to acknowledge everyone involved… 

 

 

Iroquois West Superintendent Angelo Lekkas.

 

Paxton townwide garage sales will take place today and tomorrow. 

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting Hometown Heroes on Saturday from 10-2.

 

Illinoisans on average are now paying  more than $5 a gallon for gasoline

(Springfield-jm) – Motorists across Illinois and the rest of the country continue to deal with gasoline prices that are reaching new records almost daily, and it appears there is no end in sight.  Illinoisans on average are now paying  more than $5 a gallon for gasoline. A year ago it was $3.20 a gallon. According to AAA Illinois, the average price in Chicago is $5.59, in Quincy it is $4.94, motorists in Bloomington-Normal are paying on average $4.74 a gallon, and in Decatur it is $4.65.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says you can go ahead and hang bird feeders back up in your yard. DNR had asked the public to put away bird feeders, concerned that birds flying through Illinois would eat the seed and potentially spread the Avian flu, says Wildlife Disease Program Manager Chris Jacques (jakes)...

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Disease Program Manager Chris Jacques (jakes). Jacques says it’s a good idea to wash your bird feeders and baths before putting them out again and to clean them regularly. DNR is still advising against feeding ducks and geese.

 

(Washington-jm) –  United States Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois is calling for stricter gun regulations following the tragic Uvalde school shooting. Representative Kinzinger says the country needs harsher so-called red flag laws. He emphasized the intention is not to take everyone's guns away, but to create solutions for responsible gun ownership. Kinzinger went on to say that Americans are obsessed and worship guns. He is advocating raising the age you must be to buy a rifle to 21.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Agriculture is issuing the next round of craft growers licenses for adult-use cannabis. 48 licenses have been awarded, all going to social equity applicants. They are designed for small growers just getting started, says the state’s Division of Cannabis Manager David Lakeman…

 

 

State Department of Agriculture’s Division of Cannabis Manager David Lakeman. Social equity applicants come from areas hardest hit by the war on drugs or who have been arrested for minor marijuana offenses in the past.

 

(Gifford-jm) – Gordyville USA in Gifford is now up for sale with an offering price of $4 million. The complex is located on Route 136, just seven miles from I-57, and eleven miles from I-74. Gordyville USA was built in 1988. It was founded by auctioneer Gordon Hannagan and his wife, Jan. The 160,000-square-feet event center is well known throughout the Midwest as it has hosted rodeos, tractor pulls, country music concerts, livestock events, craft shows and trade shows. Gordon Hannagan passed away in 2012. His wife, Jan, died in 2020. Their children have carried on the legacy of the events center. But now, as they get older, they decided to sell the complex.

 

(Sibley-jm) – A planned power outage in the town of Sibley has been rescheduled for tonight. Ameren crews planned to shut off power to the town late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning in order to work on the electrical connections of replacement power line poles in the area of 216 North Franklin Street. However, due to storms Tuesday night, Ameren had to reschedule their work. The work and outage is now planned to begin tonight at 11 p.m. and will last into Friday morning. People can expect the power to be on again by 7 a.m. on Friday.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Two lanes of a street in Champaign will be closing this Friday in order to allow for contracted grading. One lane in each direction of Town Center Boulevard will be closing at 6 a.m. between Neil Street and Moreland Boulevard. The lanes will reopen at 3 p.m. later that day.

 

(Washington-jm) – Late corn and soybean development cause for extra worry later on in the growing season. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Melvin-jm) – Four young ladies will be vying for the title of Miss Ford County later this month. Kate Wilson of Paxton, Lyndi Allen of Paxton, Gracelyn Greenburg of Paxton and Ariana Coe of Loda will compete in the queen pageant June 13th.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Wednesday marked the beginning of the repeal of parental notification for abortion in Illinois. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois says the repeal gives "pregnant young people" the same right as everyone else in Illinois. The group March For Life said the repeal of clinics having to notify parents when a minor girl gets an abortion makes Illinois an outlier in the Midwest and takes away parents' rights to know about if the medical procedure is performed on their children.  

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing more than 50 million dollars in grants for essential infrastructure projects around the state. The money is going to 34 communities for a variety of important projects, says the Governor…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The grants range from 343 thousand dollars up to two million, going to areas like Rockford, Macomb, Litchfield, Shelby County, Vandalia and the Village of Justice.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois state government could run into budget trouble in a few years because they’ve been using a one-time surge of federal tax funds to pay recurring, longer-term expenses, a report says.  The Volcker Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes responsible government spending, said Illinois is vulnerable for budget stresses when American Rescue Plan funds run out. The report said states need to be mindful of what happens after the federal funds go dry to avoid the types of budget headaches they experienced in the Great Recession. 


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is filing his office’s first hate crime lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in Carroll County against a mother and adult son who allegedly spent months harassing their black neighbor. This included hanging a bound and chained effigy of their neighbor from a tree in their front yard says Attorney General Raoul…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. The suit seeks civil penalties and equitable relief. Raoul says he will continue to prosecute hate crimes and send a message that hate and bigotry will not be tolerated in Illinois.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) – A Gibson City man was arrested on probable cause stemming from a fire investigation by the Bloomington Police and Fire Departments. Anthony Hughlett was arrested for attempted murder, aggravated arson and residential arson by the Gibson City Police Department. Hughlett was taken to McLean County and booked into the county jail on a $600,000 bond. The charges allege that on May 16, Hughlett started a fire at a multi-unit apartment building in the 2200 block of Todd Drive in Bloomington. Responding police officers found smoke coming from the building, which was spotted by firefighters from their station. By the time firefighters arrived, heavy fire was visible from possibly multiple apartments. No one was hurt during this incident.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) – A 35-year-old man from Champaign has been arrested and charged in connection to a murder that happened in October of 2021.

Demarco Lucas was arrested on Tuesday on a warrant previously issued by the Champaign County State’s Attorney. He was formally charged the following day with first degree murder and is in the Champaign County Jail awaiting trial. Lucas is accused of shooting 42-year-old Charles Evans in the 500 block of West White Street on Oct. 7, 2021. Officers responding to a shots-fired report found Evans in an alley with multiple gunshot wounds to the torso and arm. Evans died shortly after arrival at a local hospital.

 

(Watseka-jm) – Iroquois County Treasurer, Kurt Albers, announced that the deadline to pay the first installment of real estate taxes without penalty is Thursday, June 9, 2022. After that date, 1 ½ percent interest on all property must be added to the first installment each month; it remains unpaid according to the Illinois State Statutes. If you have not received your bill, please call the Treasurer’s Office at 815-432-6985.

 

(Washington-jm) – Here are the latest numbers on corn and soybean planting progress. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Roberts-jm) – Ford County Public Health Department is announcing a fresh Produce Pantry on Friday June 3rd, in conjunction with Jeremiah 33:6. The Produce drive will be held at Roberts Village Gym, 118 W Weldon, from 3-6 PM or while supplies last. Produce is available to anyone, regardless of income.

 

Paxton townwide garage sales will take place Friday and Saturday. 

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting Hometown Heroes on Saturday from 10-2.

 

A new state law aims to curb catalytic converter thefts in Illinois

(Champaign-jm) – After a large fire broke out at a house on Stonebridge Court last week, first responders have been looking for 50-year-old Jose Javier Andrade. They just found human remains yesterday. Once on the scene that morning, firefighters were informed that one occupant remained unaccounted for and was possibly in the home. Despite attempts by firefighters, only limited searches could be performed as the structure was heavily damaged by fire and unstable in many areas. On May 26, the Champaign Fire Department supervised the controlled demolition of the structure by a contractor. As the structure was brought down and made safer to search, crews continued to search through the debris for the missing occupant. The search performed that day did not reveal the location of the missing individual. Yesterday demolition contractors returned to the scene and continued to remove debris from the basement of the structure. During that excavation work, human remains were located in the structure.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Officials from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said on Tuesday that people can resume using backyard bird feeders and baths starting today as concerns about bird flu subside. The IDNR recommended on April 21 that people remove feeders and bird baths from their backyards as cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza started to be detected throughout the state. Since the first confirmed case of HPAI in March, Illinois experts have found cases in wild eagles, snow and Canada geese, mallard and redhead ducks, American white pelicans and red-tailed hawks among other species in eight counties, including Champaign and Sangamon.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A new state law aims to curb catalytic converter thefts in Illinois. The measure was sponsored by Representative LaShawn Ford of Chicago, who explained how it works…

 

 

State Representative LaShawn Ford of Chicago. The law also prohibits metal dealers from paying cash for a catalytic converter worth more than 100 dollars. A report by State Farm last summer ranked Illinois in the top 5 states for stolen catalytic converter claims filed.

 

(Gibson City-jm) – Gibson City officials said all residents on Hager Drive and Hager Court are placed under a boil order until further notice. This is due to mandatory scheduled maintenance. According to officials, the city is working to return water service back to normal usage as quickly as possible.

 

(Springfield-jm) – We are just weeks away from the Illinois primary, where voters will head to the polls to select who moves on to the November election. Several Republican candidates for Governor are vying for the chance to take on Governor J-B Pritzker November 8th. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says voters have a lot to think about…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Watseka-jm) – Iroquois County tax bills are due soon. The first installment is due by June 9th while the second installment is due by September 9th. Taxes can be paid at the Iroquois County Treasurer’s office. Some banks in the county can also accept payments.

 

(Undated-jm) – Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades have released their grades for hospitals in Illinois. Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana received an A as did OSF St. James-John Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac and Riverside Hospital in Kankakee. OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville received a B. OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana received a C.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Corn and soybean planting is moving along as we hear in the weekly crop report. Nearly four days were suitable for fieldwork on average, letting farmers continue to make progress, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 89 percent of corn acres have now been planted with 76 percent emerged. 91 percent of winter wheat has headed and the first cutting of alfalfa is about a quarter of the way done. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated at four percent short, 72 percent adequate and 24 percent surplus.

 

(Springfield-jm) – School boards across the state of Illinois will have the option to include safe firearm storage in their safety education curriculum under a newly signed law. The law was sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa. Under House Bill 5193, safe gun storage will be added to existing safety education instruction taught in schools in Illinois. Automobile safety, CPR training, safety in the home, and safety while carrying out vocational training or work are all examples of what is already included in statewide safety education curriculum. House Bill 5193 would bring that information to classrooms discussing gun safety in the home to raise awareness of firearm safety and to educate young adults about responsible firearm ownership. Schools are not mandated to teach safety education, but if they elect to offer it they are required to teach all existing components. The law goes into effect in January.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is signing a new law to improve nursing home care for elderly Illinoisans. The Governor says this historic law will provide increased Medicaid funding to nursing homes that meet certain staffing and quality standards…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The law also includes a new pay scale for certified nursing assistants, based on years of experience.

 

(Watseka-jm) – A veterans motorcycle ride made a stop in Watseka on Tuesday as part of its planned trip across the country. The Run for the Wall is an annual motorcycle ride that starts in California and drives all the way to Washington D.C. The ride’s mission is to promote healing among all veterans, their friends and family, call for an accounting of all POW/MIA from all wars and honor the memory of those who were killed in action. This year marked the inaugural year of the ride’s Sandbox Route, which takes riders back west after arriving in Washington. As part of their stop, they presented Watseka Community High School Salutatorian Mitchell Galyan with a $1000 scholarship for a patriotic essay he wrote. They also presented Watseka Mayor John Allhands with a plaque for his support of the ride and enjoyed lunch at Legion Park served by members of the local American Legion post. The riders traveling the Sandbox Route will conclude their ride in Marseilles at the Middle East Conflicts Wall Memorial.

 

(Rantoul-tr) – A commercial property right off the I-57 at Rantoul has been seeing some interest according to realtors of the property. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says if the requirements are met, the village supports the project…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.

 

(Paxton-jm) – PBL High School will have an interim principal in the fall. The school board hired Tom Shallenberger to take over for Travis Duley who will become associate superintendent before taking over as superintendent in 2023.


 

(Champaign-jm) – This week Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking assistance from the public regarding a shooting. On May 11, at around 8:40 p.m., Champaign Police responded to a shooting at the Mach 1 Food Stop on Bloomington Road. Officers arrived and found evidence of a shooting, including surveillance footage from the business, which captured four people exchanging gunfire. Police seek the public’s assistance in identifying the persons captured on the video. After the shooting, all involved parties fled in two different vehicles described below: Suspect vehicle #1 – Silver Pontiac Sedan and Suspect vehicle #2 – White Dodge Sedan.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Corn and soybean planting is moving along as we hear in the weekly crop report. 75 percent of soybean acres have now been planted, ahead of the five year average. 52 percent have emerged. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 89 percent of corn has been planted…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 91 percent of wheat acres are heading and 26 percent of the first cutting of alfalfa is complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture is now rated as four percent short, 72 percent adequate and 24 percent surplus.

 

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