Listeners Club

Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!

WPXN Blog Archives for 2022-08

Service workers at the University of Illinois have a new labor contract

(Springfield-jm) – After the November midterm general elections in Illinois, voters in local races will have their sights on April for the consolidated elections. People vying for seats on city councils, village boards, townships, school boards, park districts and other local offices will be up for election. Candidates seeking to run in such races are already beginning to circulate their petitions across the state.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The newest justice appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court says while justices are up for election by voters, they need to strive to be nonpartisan. Justice Lisa Holder White is a Republican but said justices have to remain neutral arbiters of the law. While she’s up for a full term in 2024, there are three justice positions on the seven person court that voters will be asked about in November.

 

(Chicago-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting the first human case and first death of 2022 from West Nile Virus. IDPH says the person was a Cook County resident who was in their late 70s who became ill in early August and passed away shortly after.

 

(Washington-jm) – The U.S. is about to wrap up what is projected to be a record agricultural export year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) – After months of negotiations and frustration, service workers at the University of Illinois have a new labor contract. Service Employees International Union Local 73 announced on Tuesday that its 800+ members “overwhelmingly voted” in the last week to ratify their new contracts, averting a strike the union had already filed notice for. The union’s bargaining committee and the university agreed to the contract just a few days before the previous contract expired. Because the contract had not been ratified when the previous one expired on August 22, the union filed a 15-day strike notice and could’ve gone on strike any time after September 5.

 

(Gibson City–jc)  –  The Labor Day holiday is coming this weekend, but road projects in area towns continue as we close out the month of August. In Gibson City, several projects are underway and with a “curb appeal” on the roads says Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

(Undated-jm) – Ameren Illinois is warning customers about a phone scam going around. Customers are getting calls from someone claiming to be with Ameren Illinois. The caller demands immediate payment or says the customer's account will be disconnected in 30 minutes. If you get one of these calls, hang up and call 800-755-5000.

 

(Loda-jm) – The Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease will take place Saturday, September 10th at Lakeview Country Club in Loda. Spokesperson Samantha Cox says there is still time to sign up…

 

 

Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease Spokesperson Samantha Cox.

(Springfield-jm) – Republican state Senator Darren Bailey received a $1 million political donation from Richard Uihlein. Bailey faces incumbent Democrat J.B. Pritzker. That’s not the only big dollar donation as of late. Last week, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America donated $1 million to the group Vote Yes for Workers Rights in support of the labor amendment on the November ballot.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois has the 11th highest number of unionized workers in the country. Stacker.com reviewed all 50 states and found Illinois has nearly 14% of the state’s workers as members of unions. Nearby Michigan ranked 12th in the country. All other neighboring states were further down in the rankings with Missouri and Indiana tied at No. 25, Wisconsin at No. 28 and Kentucky at No. 30. Iowa ranked No. 32.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Organizations will soon be able to apply for an additional $100 million in grants to fund gun violence prevention programs in municipalities across Illinois. The funding, which is a part of the Reimagine Public Safety Act, is in support of nonprofit community-based organizations and local governments as they work to prevent and interrupt gun violence in their communities. The additional $100 million builds on top of an already $113 million in funding made available in May as well as $10 million in funding surged to Chicago and other areas of the state in advance of the summer.

 

(Washington-jm) – The USDA is forecasting a lower level of agricultural exports for the 2023 fiscal year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) – Champaign County health officials recommend residents wear a mask when indoors and in public spaces. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Champaign County community level transmission is high. The level of transmission is based on three indicators which include new case rate per 100,000 population, percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  The Paxton Park District has soccer games coming in September and also flag football this fall. Park District Director Cody Evans says the local park district is also looking into getting volleyball back…

 

 

Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans.

 

(Gibson City-jm) – An increase in property tax bills in Gibson City was an accident, according to Ford County Clerk and Recorder Amy Frederick. Frederick said her office sent the estimated assessed valuations to the city for approval, which inadvertently included approximately $232,714.00 that the City previously abated. Gibson City and Frederick's office are working to fix the issue.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton Masonic Lodge is holding their Get out of Dodge drawing September 17th. The grand prize is a trip to New York City. The group is looking for new members, says Spokesperson Jim Sherl…

 

 

Paxton Masonic Lodge Spokesperson Jim Sherl.

 

The National Sweetcorn Festival takes place Thursday through Monday at McFerren Park in Hoopeston.

 

The 74th annual Pontiac Threshermen's reunion takes place Thursday through Monday, 3 miles north of Pontiac.

 

Parkland College’s Staerkel Planetarium Kaler Lecture Series will be held Friday with U of I Physics Professor Nicolas Yunes talking about The Science of Einstein’s Gravity Playlist starting at 7 pm. Cost is $2.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting Loda Lutheran Ladies on Saturday from 10-2.

 

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

 

The 2022 Arthur Cheese Festival will take place Saturday through Monday.


 

11 people have been arrested after the Paxton Police Department launched an undercover operation targeting child predators

(Springfield-jm) – As the November election nears, campaign finance totals show Republicans lag behind Democratic candidates as Governor J.B. Pritzker continues his large spending. According to campaign finance numbers collected by Illinoissunshine.org, Illinois Democrats are leading the way in funding their candidates with over $110 million. Since his first campaign, Pritzker has given himself more than $303 million to fund his political ambitions.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The next funding round for Illinois’ Electric Vehicle Rebate Program will be reopening this November. Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John Kim announced on Monday the funding will be available from Tuesday, November 1, 2022 – Tuesday, January 31, 2023. The current EV Rebate funding cycle, which opened on July 1, 2022, will close Friday, September 30, 2022.

 

(Washington-jm) – The corn crop continues to progress across the U-S. USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey has the latest on the corn crop…

 

 

 USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey

 

 

(Paxton-jm) – 11 people have been arrested after the Paxton Police Department launched an undercover operation targeting child predators. The operation started in June and led to the arrests of: Kenneth Burklow Jr of New Lenox, Donald O’Toole of Danville, Andy Leppard of Milford, Ruben Aguilera-Santoyo of Onarga, Richard Durbin of Rantoul, Joshua Heisler of Paxton, Danny Dutton of Vandalia, Robert Schaub of Gibson City, Roel Lopez of Arcola, Matthew Hickerson of Buckley and Cody Zoller of Urbana. All of the men arrested were between the ages of 25 and 62 and were charged with felony charges.

 

(Georgetown-jm) – An 11-year-old girl from Georgetown is safe after she was found near Indianapolis at the home of a 19-year-old male. That teenager is now under arrest. Vermilion County Sheriff’s Deputies learned the girl was missing on Saturday and discovered she had been communicating online with the teenager, whose name is Dylan Clark. Police say Clark drove from his home in Franklin, Indiana to Georgetown, picked the girl up and then drove back to Franklin with her. The Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Johnson County Indiana Sheriff’s Office, whose deputies found the girl at Clark’s home. Clark was arrested and is awaiting extradition to Vermilion County. The case is still under investigation by the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, as this is an interstate case.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Taxes could be going up on businesses in the state. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains it comes from the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Danville-jm) – The Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden has identified the victim of an early morning shooting that occurred on Sunday, August 28, 2022, in Danville as 31 year-old Jonathan Barry of Danville. An autopsy is being conducted today. The Danville Police Department and the Vermilion County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate. Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to call Danville Police at (217) 431-2250. 

 

(Champaign-jm) – Sinead Rice Madigan, Chief Operating Officer, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Health Alliance Medical Plans. She is the first woman to hold the CEO position with the organization. Rice Madigan served for four years as COO, with 15 years of experience within the health plan, and an additional 15 years with Illinois state government agencies.

(Springfield-jm) – A new survey shows a record high rent delinquency rate in August among small business owners, especially in Illinois. Alignable, a small business referral network, surveyed more than 7,000 small businesses around the country and 40% indicated that they couldn’t pay their rent. Illinois’ number is even higher at 53%. Many blamed a combination of negative trends in the economy, including rent spikes, gas prices and the increasing cost of supplies and labor.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul Monday announced a lawsuit against Monsanto Company and affiliates Solutia Inc. and Pharmacia LLC for the continued environmental and human health effects of Monsanto’s decades-long production of polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs. In addition, Raoul seeks to hold the companies accountable for its purposeful deceit surrounding the dangers those chemicals posed. 

 

(Washington-jm) – The soybean crop continues to progress across the U-S. USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey has the details…

 

 

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey

 

 

(Rantoul-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers needs help finding people connected to a shooting. Rantoul police say property was damaged, and they believe a suspect was shooting at another person. Police say two vehicles were hit with gunfire, and they found several shell casings at the scene. Police responded to the area of Hamilton Drive and Cantonment Avenue. That was Sunday August 14 before 11 p.m. Authorities believe three people in black clothes approached a vehicle and started shooting at it. They say another person in a red hooded sweatshirt started shooting at another person. If you have any information about this crime, you can call Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The University of Illinois is highly encouraging the use of face coverings in classrooms, as cases of COVID-19 rise on campus. The University sent out a letter Sunday evening to students, faculty and staff, strongly recommending reissuing some COVID-19 guidelines.  According to the University while repopulating campus for the Fall 2022 semester, the school has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given Champaign County a COVID-19 Community Level of “High,” indicating increased COVID-19 spread in our area. The university highly suggested everyone to wear high-quality face covering in classrooms during in-person class time through the next several weeks.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The first phase of Paxton’s streetscape project is complete with the city hoping to get grants to do the next phase. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Austin Curtis talks about how it will benefit businesses and the community…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Austin Curtis.

 

(Buckley-jm) – The Illinois Department of Transportation is closing the ramps at the Buckley exit for road work. The southbound entrance and exit ramps were closed last night. The northbound entrance and exit ramps will be closed tonight at 8 pm and will reopen Wednesday morning at 5 am.

 

(Piper City-jm) – A railroad crossing in the northern Ford County community of Piper City will be closed for repairs starting next week. TP and W Railroad will be doing railroad crossing repairs at Route 115 in Piper City starting Tuesday, September 6th and lasting 12 days.

So you think you might qualify for the President's student loan debt plan, what's next?

(Paxton-jm) – A Crescent City man is dead following an accident on I-57 near Paxton around 7:30 Saturday morning. Illinois State Police say 38 year old Ryan Rippe died after he struck the back of a semi heading southbound on I-57 about 2 miles north of Paxton. Rippe’s vehicle came to a rest in the northbound lane. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – So you think you might qualify for the President’s student loan debt plan, what’s next? About eight million taxpayers across the country will automatically receive relief since the federal government has their income information. All other borrowers will need to fill out an application, says Illinois Student Assistance Commission Spokesperson Lynne Baker…


 

 

Illinois Student Assistance Commission Spokesperson Lynne Baker. You can sign up to be notified when the application is available at: ed dot gov.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Cases of the Monkeypox Virus multiplied this month in Champaign County. The county reports the highest number of positives in any county outside of Chicago and its surrounding suburban counties. Seven cases have been reported in the last two weeks, bringing the Champaign County total count to 10. Two cases were reported in July and before August 11, one case had been reported this month. All reported cases have been in adults whose ages range from their 20s to 40s.

 

(Loda-jm) – The Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease will take place Saturday, September 10th at Lakeview Country Club in Loda. Spokesperson Samantha Cox says the local support has been tremendous over the past four years…

 

 

Team Hope Walk for Huntington’s Disease Spokesperson Samantha Cox.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Police Department is investigating a robbery that happened on campus early Sunday morning. The robbery happened at 12:52 a.m. near Wright and Healey Streets. Officers said that a man walked up to a female U of I student on the sidewalk and pushed her to the ground. He grabbed her purse and ran away. Officers encouraged anyone with information regarding the robbery to contact University Police at 217-333-1216.

 

(Ford County-jm) – Area state Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City will be hosting a town hall meeting. Representative Bennett invites the public to come out to the event…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – One person is dead, three others were injured and one person is in custody following a series of shootings in Champaign over the weekend. The first incident happened Friday night just after 11 pm when police were called to a shooting on Cynthia Drive. They found a 23 year old with a non life threatening wound to the arm. Around 1:30 Saturday morning officers were called to a shooting near Third and Green in Campustown. Two 24 year olds were taken to the hospital with non life threatening injuries. Around 3:30 Saturday morning officers were called to the 700 block of North Neil Street for a shooting in the parking lot of a strip mall. 36 year old Oscar Mallett of Champaign died from multiple gunshot wounds. Neilmyer Anderson of Champaign was arrested for that crime. Suspects have been arrested in the other shootings.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The State Fire Marshal’s Office is now accepting applications for small equipment grants. One point five million dollars for small firefighting and ambulance equipment is up for grabs to eligible departments, says Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson JC Fultz. The grants are up to 26 thousand dollars each. The deadline to apply is November 30th. More information is available online via the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s website.

 

(Undated-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday reported 24,297 new cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 82 deaths since August 19, 2022. According to the CDC, 33 counties are now rated at High Community Level for COVID-19 including Champaign and Vermilion Counties. An additional 48 counties in Illinois are now rated at Medium Community Level including Ford County. Iroquois County remains at Low Community Level.

 

(Gibson City-jm) – 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett will be hosting his annual Bennett BBQ once again this year. Representative Bennett has the details…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – In order to perform storm sewer repairs, SNC Construction will be closing one eastbound lane of Bradley Avenue and one northbound lane of Randolph Street at their intersection. Travel through work zones will be merged into single eastbound and double northbound lanes. Westbound Bradley Avenue traffic will be unaffected by this project. All normal turning movements will be allowed at this intersection. Minor traffic delays may occur at work zones. Work is scheduled to begin today and is planned to be completed and reopened to traffic by 4 p.m. on Wednesday. 

 

(Urbana-jm) – Classes started on Monday at the University of Illinois and this week the Covid-19 positivity rate rose to just over 20%. That’s compared to 8% a week ago. 

University officials say they expected an increase, but they also say it’s important to look at how many people are getting tested. They say most people using on-campus testing are those who have to because they’re unvaccinated or people who are symptomatic. It’s not the entire campus population. The university’s COVID data dashboard shows 92% of campus is fully vaccinated. University officials say they’ll continue to follow all public health guidelines and will make changes if necessary.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their golf outing coming up on Friday, September 30th at Lakeview Country Club in Loda. Chamber President Austin Curtis says there is still time to sign up…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Austin Curtis.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers is recognizing a successful month to achieve victory over violence. Board members say $10,500 will be awarded to anonymous tipsters, who came forward with information to help authorities track down wanted criminals. Crime Stoppers recently raised reward amounts for tipsters, and that has created more of an incentiv

Three people arrested for their alleged participation in a burglary ring that spanned several Illinois counties including Iroquois

(Springfield-jm) – Time is running out for eligible Illinois residents to submit their claims as part of a multi-million dollar settlement in a class-action lawsuit involving Google. The lawsuit, which mirrors one recently settled with Facebook that resulted in many residents receiving checks worth nearly $400 this year, claimed the company violated the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act by "collecting and storing biometric data of individuals who, while residing in Illinois, appeared in a photograph in the photograph sharing and storage service known as Google Photos, without proper notice and consent." The deadline to submit your claim is September 24th.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois House’s Public Safety Task Force learned more about  hate crimes at this week’s meeting. Several speakers from Jewish, Asian, LGBTQ, Hindu and other groups made presentations and one common theme is that hate crimes are on the rise and are underreported. Julie Justicz with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights…

 

 

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights’ Julie Justicz. Others giving testimony offered recommendations such as creating additional avenues for people to report hate crimes and more training for police and prosecutors on the issue.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Park District is hoping to renovate baseball fields at Douglass Park. They gained approval to apply for a $400,000 grant through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  With the grant, they’re hoping to add a concession stand, bathrooms and shade coverings over the dugouts.

 

(Paxton–jc)  — H-VAC work at some of the Paxton Buckley Loda school buildings is continuing through the school year. P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure says delays in getting materials is the reason…

 

 

P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff Mcclure

 

(Undated-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul Thursday announced the arrests of three individuals for their alleged participation in a burglary ring that spanned several Illinois counties. Raoul’s office filed charges against Giulia and Gino Wuttke and Alyssa Slouka, alleging they were part of a ring that stole approximately $400,000 from video gaming machines throughout Illinois. They are accused of stealing from gaming machines in Champaign, Vermilion and Iroquois Counties along with 16 other counties. Gino Wuttke is charged with 41 counts of burglary, 1 count of theft and 2 counts of money laundering. Giulia Wuttke is charged with 2 counts of money laundering and 1 count each of conspiracy to commit theft, burglary and money laundering. Alyssa Slouka is charged with 2 counts each of burglary, theft and money laundering and 1 count each of conspiracy to commit theft, burglary and money laundering. In addition, Brian Morgan of Plainfield is accused of participating in the Iroquois County burglary as well as 12 other counties. He is facing 24 counts of burglary, 1 count of theft and 2 counts of money laundering. Authorities are still looking for 2 other people.

 

(Paxton-jm) – A building in downtown Paxton has come down. The old bowling alley was torn down this week. It’s unclear what will happen to the space.

 

(Washington-jm) – The USDA adjusted beef production forecasts up for this current calendar year and the next year in their latest outlook. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – California’s move to ban sales of gas vehicles in the state by 2035 may go too far even for Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. California Governor Gavin Newsom this week heralded his state’s move. Pritzker told a group of farmers this week he had a chance to sign onto the pact with California but didn’t. Pritzker has a stated goal of one million EVs on Illinois roads by 2030. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Student Assistance Commission says the President’s student loan debt plan could be fairly significant for borrowers here. More than one point five million Illinois borrowers hold over 57 billion dollars in direct student loans, so the debt relief plan could have a serious impact. I-SAC Spokesperson Lynne Baker runs the numbers, but stresses that they don’t know how many borrowers meet the income eligibility guidelines…

 

 

Illinois Student Assistance Commission Spokesperson Lynne Baker. Baker says 31 percent of Illinois borrowers, assuming they are under the income limit, would see their debt completely erased.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Four people have been arrested in connection to a murder that happened almost eight years ago. The Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office charged all four suspects with at least one count of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder. The suspects are: Peter Campbell of Champaign, Dylon Cann of East St. Louis, Anthony Gilmore of Champaign and Joseph Hart of Champaign. Campbell and Hart were charged with five counts of first-degree murder each while Cann and Gilmore were charged with only one count of the same offense. All four are in custody pending trial. The charges allege that the four were responsible for the shooting death of 40-year-old Rashidi Overstreet on December 22, 2014. Officers responded to the area of Brookwood Drive and Winding Lane at 1:10 a.m. that day for a report of a shooting. When they arrived, they found evidence of a shooting and two victims. Overstreet died from his injuries while the second victim made a full recovery.

 

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton Masonic Lodge will be holding their Get out of Dodge drawing coming up Swine n Dine weekend September 17th. Spokesperson Jim Sherl talks about some of the things the mason’s do…

 

 

Paxton Masonic Lodge Spokesperson Jim Sherl.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign police have announced the arrest of an Urbana man in connection to an early July shooting. Jazontae Sanders was arrested by U-S Marshals Thursday morning and charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery. Sanders is accused of shooting at a driver on University Avenue. The victim crashed his car as a result of the shooting. Sanders is being held in the Champaign County Jail.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A new program at the University of Illinois is supporting students who are on the autism spectrum. The director of the Illinois Neurodiversity Initiative Pilot Program said they are helping students reach their full potential through lectures and hands-on lab classes. There are 10 students in the program, all freshmen and sophomores majoring in subjects ranging from business to engineering.

 

(Washington-jm) – What adjustments did USDA make for both hog production and prices for this year in its latest forecasts? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The 2022 Mahomet Music Fest will take place tonight and tomorrow. Tonight its the Tons of Fun Band and Hairbangers Ball. Saturday its Rhett Walker, Onoleigh, Drew Green and then festival headliner Randy Houser.

 

The 1st annual David Williams Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament will take place today at Lake of the Woods Golf Course in Mahomet.

 

The Rantoul Public Library will  host an outdoor movie tonight at 8:15 pm showing Minions.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Hands of Christ Food Pantry on Saturday from 10-2.

 

The State Department of Public Health is urging people to watch out for ticks

(Springfield-jm) – A new report from a patients rights group finds that most Illinois hospitals continue to hide actual prices from consumers 18 months after the Hospital Price Transparency Rule went into effect. Beginning in January 2021, every hospital operating in the U.S. was required to provide clear, accessible pricing information online about the items and services they provide.  PatientRightsAdvocate.org found that only 319 hospitals, or 16% nationwide, were complying with the law. A total of 101 hospitals did not post any standard charges online and were in total noncompliance. 26 Illinois hospitals are not complying while only a dozen are.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The State Department of Public Health is urging people to watch out for ticks after the Heartland Virus was reported in southern Illinois. An older person in Jackson County recently tested positive for the tick-borne Heartland Virus, only the third such case in Illinois since 2018. State Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey says ticks can carry other diseases such as lyme and rocky mountain spotted fever as well, so it’s important to be careful…

 

 

State Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey. Signs of infection may include fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and diarrhea. Most people report feeling sick about two weeks after being bitten by a tick.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The man accused of threatening a state senator at gunpoint has changed his plea to guilty. Michael Hoyle of New Berlin was arrested in March 2021. Police say Hoyle pulled a gun on Senator Elgie Sims of Chicago while the two were driving on Lawrence Avenue in Springfield. Hoyle was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, aggravated assault, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 9 months probation. The other charges were dismissed in the plea.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their golf outing coming up on Friday, September 30th at Lakeview Country Club in Loda. Chamber President Austin Curtis says there is still time to sign up…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Austin Curtis.

 

(Urbana-jm) – It’s out with the old on the campus of the University of Illinois. The university’s parking Department is in the process of removing parking meters from the campus streets. The removal of the meters means that coins will no longer be needed nor allowed to pay for parking on campus. Payment will now be made through one of three apps – MobileMeter, ParkMobile and PayByPhone. People who don’t have a smartphone can still pay to park by calling 217-207-3033.

 

(Gibson City–jc)  –  Gibson City has seen a number of major challenges over the past year from a flood, straight line winds to a fire in the downtown area last month. The city is also coming off another successful Summer Bash which was sponsored by Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services. Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey says the local hospital continues to expand its operations  and that means more jobs in town…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey

 

(Springfield-jm) – Qualified mental health and substance abuse professionals can apply for student loan repayment assistance through a new state-funded program. 

According to a news release, the Community Based Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program is a joint effort from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and the Illinois Department of Human Services mental health division. The program was originally signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker in 2019, but was not funded at that time due to budget constraints. It is now funded with revenue from the state's cannabis program. The program has received up to $5 million in funding for the 2023 fiscal year.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Police is starting to roll out the new next generation 9-1-1 system. Basically, next generation brings 9-1-1 emergency systems into the 21st century, says State Police Director Brendan Kelly, moving on from a time when people called for help from their landline phones…

 

 

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly. Kelly says this should reduce response times and provide first responders with more information. Next Gen 9-1-1 is currently operating in Grundy, Kendall, Peoria, Clinton and Macon Counties.

 

(Watseka-jm) – An August 31 bench trial is set in Iroquois County Circuit Court for the founder of a Thawville-based nonprofit animal sanctuary who was charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty, a Class 4 felony, after hundreds of animal carcasses were discovered in shallow graves at the sanctuary three years ago. Corinne DiLorenzo was indicted by a grand jury  in November 2019 alleging she intentionally caused the death of multiple companion animals including dogs, cats, pigs, rabbits, birds, goats, raccoons and turtles. DiLorenzo faces penalties ranging from probation to up to three years in prison if convicted.

 

(Ford County-jm) – 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City will be holding a town hall meeting coming up later this month. Representative Bennett says it’s a good time for the public to come hear what’s happening in Springfield and have their questions answered…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. The townhall will take place at the Moyer District Library in Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Fire Chief Gary Ludwig has been named Career Fire Chief of the Year from the International Fire Chief’s Association. Ludwig was among 24 people nominated for the award.

 

(Washington-jm) – Beef cattle numbers are in the process of shrinking. What about the numbers of cattle producers? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Paxton–jc)  The city of Paxton will close some streets, but those needing goods and services will be able to access downtown businesses during the annual Paxton Swine and Dine next month. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer talks about stage set up  and safety…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer

The 10th annual Paxton Swine and Dine is set for Saturday September 17 in downtown Paxton 

 

The 2022 Mahomet Music Fest will take place Friday, August 26th and Saturday, August 27th. Friday night its the Tons of Fun Band and Hairbangers Ball. Saturday its Rhett Walker, Onoleigh, Drew Green and then festival headliner Randy Houser.

 

The 1st annual David Williams Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament will take place on Friday, August 26th at Lake of the Woods Golf Course in Mahomet.

 

The Rantoul Public Library will  host an outdoor movie on Friday, August 26th at 8:15 pm showing Minions.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Hands of Christ Food Pantry on Saturday, August 27th from 10-2.

 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Central Illinois Tuesday to discuss clean energy and ethanol

(Watseka-jm) – The Iroquois County Public Health Department is reporting the first case of West Nile Virus in the county. The health department says a batch of mosquitoes in the Watseka area tested positive. So far 27 Illinois counties have reported West Nile, although none have been found in humans so far.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A new student loan repayment program for behavioral health professionals is now available. The program is designed to help retain and recruit mental health and substance abuse professionals, especially in underserved and rural areas. Certain conditions must be met to receive the benefit, says Illinois Student Assistance Commission Spokesperson Lynne Baker…

 

 

Illinois Student Assistance Commission Spokesperson Lynne Baker. That website is: isac dot org.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Traffic on Champaign’s Bradley Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction starting Wednesday as construction crews perform storm sewer repairs between Fifth and Sixth Streets. The westbound lanes of this stretch of Bradley will be directed into the left eastbound lane while eastbound traffic continues to flow in the right lane. This closure will remain in effect until 4 p.m. on Friday.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Fire Department responded to a home fire Tuesday morning. Firefighters responded to a house fire by Hollycrest Drive and Sangamon Road. Officials said they responded to the report from a passerby. At the scene, firefighters reported a small fire outside the home that was beginning to extend to the attic. Officials said the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  As students are getting used to the fall semester at Paxton Buckley Loda High School, some summer time renovations are ready for the school year. P-B-L Superintendent Cliff McClure says some electrical work to add more outlets to classrooms is now complete…

 

 

P-B-L Superintendent Cliff McClure

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Clerk and Recorder, Aaron Ammons will host a Property Fraud Prevention and Property After Death information session on Thursday, August 25 from 6:30-8PM at the Urbana Free Library (Lewis Auditorium). Champaign County residents will learn ways to prevent property fraud and will get resources on how to plan for their property after death. This event is free and open to all. 

 

 

(Champaign-jm) – Petitions for the Champaign Office of Mayor and At-Large City Council Members, and other campaign materials will be available for residents to pick up from the City Clerk’s Office or to download from the City’s website at

champaignil.gov/elections beginning Tuesday, August 30, 2022. Completed petitions for nomination for the Office of Mayor and At-Large City Council. Members must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office between and including the dates of November 21, 2022, through November 28, 2022. Please note the City Clerk’s Office will be closed November 24, 2022, and November 25, 2022, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

(Washington-jm) – Competition for soybean oil as a renewable diesel source resulted in a lowering of that commodity for use in USDA's August forecast. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Undated-jm) – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in Central Illinois Tuesday to discuss clean energy and ethanol. Vilsack was joined by U-S Senator Tammy Duckworth and visited One Earth Energy in Gibson City before going to a new Casey’s gas station in LeRoy where the company announced they will be including the E-85 ethanol option to all their new facilities. Vilsack also announced  $100 million biofuel infrastructure grants to encourage gas station owners to add biofuel pumps.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A horticulturist at the University of Illinois Extension says there are many benefits to planting a fall vegetable garden. In the fall, there are less insects, and many vegetables have a better flavor and quality when there is a little chill in the air, says the Extension’s Ken Johnson. He says you want to plant semi-hardy and hardy vegetables…

 

 

U of I Extension Horticulturist Ken Johnson.  Johnson says you need to give the plant time to develop before the typical first frost in your area. Most veggies can be started from seed in the garden, but some, like broccoli and cauliflower should be transplanted.

 

(Normal-jm) – A man from Normal, Illinois is facing child pornography charges. The Normal Police Department says it began investigating in April 2021 after learning Stephen Schultz may have been distributing material containing child pornography. Schultz was charged with 55 counts of child pornography. He is being held in the McLean County jail.


 

(Vermilion County-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul Wednesday announced a lawsuit against Brainerd Chemical for allegedly allowing excess emissions of hydrogen fluoride from its chemical distribution facility in Danville, Illinois.  According to Raoul’s lawsuit, filed in Vermilion County Circuit Court, three residents living near the chemical facility contacted the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in July 2022 to complain that their grass had turned brown, and plants appeared to die overnight. The IEPA inspected the facility and observed damaged and dead vegetation for approximately a quarter mile south of the facility.  During its July 15 inspection, IEPA officials observed a visible plume of emissions from the facility.

 

(Buckley–jc)  The school week that runs Tuesdays through Fridays, one local school is saving on transportation costs for parents. Buckley based Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz says it is another advantage for Christ Lutheran…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz. The school is gearing up for its annual auction and dinner on Saturday at the Ford County Fairgrounds in Melvin.

 

(Champaign-jm) – In order to facilitate gas main installation, Ameren Illinois and KS Energy will close a lane of Kenwood Road between John Street and Sangamon Drive.  The closure will occur on Wednesday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. The closure will utilize flaggers in order to maintain northbound and southbound traffic.

 

(Champaign County-jm) – State Senator Scott Bennett joined the Illinois Department of Transportation in announcing an investment of $14.3 million in road and bridge improvement projects in the Champaign and Rantoul areas in 2023. As part of IDOT’s latest Multi-Year Plan under Rebuild Illinois, Bennett’s District in Champaign County will see 32 infrastructure projects totaling more than $78.5 million over the next six years. One of the most important projects coming to the Champaign area includes the reconstruction of the bridge under Kirby Avenue that lies west of Champaign. This project recognizes the City of Champaign is growing and is making the western side of the city more accessible. This project, along with 76 other minor and major projects in the county are part of IDOT’s multi-year plan, a $34.6 billion investment in construction projects for the next six fiscal years. 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor J.B. Pritzker once again has extended the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation another month

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J.B. Pritzker once again has extended the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation another month, this time through Sept. 17. According to Pritzker, Illinois is still a disaster zone because of COVID-19, and he gave himself emergency powers that have continued since April 2020. Thirty-four states give their legislatures authority to limit the duration of emergency executive powers.  

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois saw a sharp increase in the number of people killed in vehicle crashes in the first three months of the year. According to a government report, the number of people killed reached the highest number in 20 years nationally. This year, 55 more people died in the first quarter in Illinois than last year, one of the largest increases in the country. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Crop conditions declined slightly over the past week. Last week’s temperatures were about two and a half degrees below normal and rainfall was a little above average. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 80 percent of the Illinois corn crop has reached the dough stage…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 95 percent of soybeans are blooming and 80 percent are setting pods. The condition of the soybean crop dropped to 68 percent in good to excellent shape. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is now more than halfway done. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated seven percent very short, 20 percent short, 68 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers needs help finding more information about a shooting. Two people were hit, and they’re recovering in the hospital. A 19-year-old man and a 25-year-old man are both stable after they were shot earlier this month. Police responded to the intersection of White Oak Court and N. 3rd Street for a report of a large gathering and a fight. That was around 3:55 a.m. on Saturday August 13. Shortly after police arrived, officers heard dozens of gunshots and found the 19-year-old victim with gunshot wounds. He was taken to the hospital to be treated. That’s when the second victim, a 25-year-old man, showed up to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois and the union representing its service workers reached a critical milestone in their negotiations for a new contract. Service Employees International Union Local 73 announced that after the resumption of negotiations on Friday, its bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement with the university on a new contract to replace the one that expired on Monday. Although the union celebrated the “massive victories at the negotiating table,” the proposed contract has yet to be ratified and a strike is still possible. The more-than-800 union members will be voting on the proposed contract between Aug. 24 and 29, with a simple majority needed to ratify it. Before that happens, however, the union will deliver a 15-day strike notice to the university as the previous contract expired without a new one ratified to replace it.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Lawmakers are gearing up for the general election along with the fall veto session. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about how long they will be away from the capital…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Washington-jm) – Friday's USDA Cattle on Feed Report managed to surprise some industry analysts. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Student Assistance Commission has launched the application for a student loan repayment assistance program to support qualified mental health and substance abuse workers. Funded with proceeds from the state’s cannabis program, the Community Behavioral Health Care Professional Loan Repayment Program will provide awards to eligible applicants who have outstanding balances on an educational loan, to help them repay their student loan debt.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois State Police recently completed a firearm enforcement blitz, confiscating guns from over 1,000 people with revoked Firearm Owner's ID cards. Two-hundred enforcement details were conducted in every Illinois county from June 16 through July 31 to verify if those who had their firearm rights revoked are in compliance with the state’s FOID Card Act. ISP seized firearms from 1,014 residents and their FOID cards were surrendered. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Crop conditions declined slightly over the past week. 80 percent of corn has reached the dough stage and 37 percent has hit the dent stage. The condition of the Illinois corn crop dipped to 70 percent in good to excellent condition. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 95 percent of soybean acres are blooming…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions dropped to 49 percent in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at seven percent very short, 20 percent short, 68 percent adequate and five percent surplus.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club in Champaign is bringing back a familiar face to lead them. Sam Banks retired last year, but he’s returning temporarily as executive director. He replaced Charles Burton. 

 

(Danville-jm) – The Vermilion County War Museum in Danville will have a special program tonight. The museum is participating in “TAPS on Tuesday”. A brief program starts at 6 on the front lawn of the museum at 307 North Vermilion Avenue. After the program, TAPS will be played. The public is invited to attend.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  The Paxton Swine and Dine event is set for Saturday September 17th in the downtown area of the city. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer says those attending have the chance to enjoy samples and vote on ribs…

 


 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer.

 

(Washington-jm) – The Agriculture Secretary Monday announced a new initiative to support producers in making the transition to organic agriculture. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

WPXN News Notes…

 

First Lutheran Church of Paxton will host a blood drive today from 10-1:30. Mask and appointments are required. Contact Kevin Hanson by email e-m-t-coor at hotmail dot com to sign up.

 

Clove Alliance will host a sexual harassment prevention training on Wednesday, August 24th from 5-6 pm.

 

Official numbers aren't available yet but all indications point to a successful Illinois State Fair

(Ashkum-jm) – An Illinois State Trooper's vehicle was hit in a Scott's Law Violation. Illinois State Police said on Saturday, at 2:34 a.m., Troopers investigated a two-vehicle traffic crash involving an ISP District 21 Trooper on Route 45 in Kankakee County. According to state police, a District 21 Trooper was outside their squad car with emergency lights activated, investigating a prior traffic crash. Police say a green Chevrolet Trail Blazer, traveling southbound on US Route 45, failed to yield to the stationary emergency vehicle and hit the rear of the ISP squad car. The ISP Trooper and the driver of the previously crashed vehicle sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment. The 24-year-old driver of the Chevrolet was uninjured but was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle, and a violation of Scott’s Law – Improper Passing of an Emergency Vehicle Causing Injury to Another.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Official numbers aren’t available yet but all indications point to a successful Illinois State Fair. The fair wrapped up yesterday. State Fair Manager Rebecca Clark says they are cautiously optimistic that attendance was up this year…

 

 

State Fair Manager Rebecca Clark. Up next, the DuQuoin State Fair which kicks off Friday and runs through Labor Day..

 

(Champaign-jm) – In order to perform storm sewer repairs, SNC Construction will be closing the right lane of westbound University Avenue between Fourth Street and Fifth Street. Travel through the work zone will be merged into a single westbound lane. Eastbound University Avenue will remain unaffected by this project. Work is scheduled to begin this morning, and is planned to be completed and reopened to traffic by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24, 2022.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A student organization is calling out an Illinois university for requiring proof of vaccination this fall. Despite a directive from the governor that removed a requirement for institutions of higher learning to implement a vaccine mandate, the University of Illinois announced that its three campus locations will continue to require students and faculty to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination. Students and faculty at campuses in Champaign-Urbana, Springfield and Chicago will be required to receive the vaccine or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. The student activist group Young Americans for Liberty is critical of the mandate after the Governor and CDC relaxed COVID protocols.

 

(Paxton–jc) School officials continue to receive positive comments on the school buildings near Interstate 57 and even more positive comments on the giant U-S Flag on that same property. P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure says it is nice to be part of those conversations…

 

 

PBL School Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

(Gibson City-jm) – There will be a hymn festival at the Gibson City United Methodist Church on Sunday, August 28, sponsored by Gibson Area Music Foundation. The free event will begin at 3 p.m. and will be followed by a complimentary ice cream social with Crowbridge Ice Cream. Milt Kelly of Fisher will lead singing and offer information about hymns. Special music performances will also be given. The church offers ample free parking and the sanctuary is fully accessible.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Republican candidate for Illinois state treasurer introduced two measures he hopes will block any attempt to tax retirement income in Illinois. 

State Representative Tom Demmer won the Republican primary for treasurer in June and will face incumbent Mike Frerichs in the upcoming general election. Demmer introduced a House resolution that seeks to block a retirement income tax that he says could be coming. Demmer said the action comes in response to Governor J.B. Pritzker introduced a $3 billion tax increase plan in 2020 that voters ultimately rejected. Frerichs has said he supported taxing retirement income but hasn’t said what income brackets he would support.

 

(Springfield-jm) – As the new school year begins, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency says it’s a good idea to arm kids with a preparedness plan. IEMA recommends making a family communications plan in case of disaster and encouraging younger kids to take drills seriously. Spokesperson Kevin Sur says you should also make sure your child has emergency contact information readily available…

 

 

IEMA Spokesperson Kevin Sur. Sur says you can also teach kids to “Text First, Talk Later” and send a simple message like “I’m Ok” during an emergency in case phone calls aren’t going through. College kids should have their own disaster preparedness kits at school.

 

(Paxton-jm) – Paxton firefighters were called to a smoke investigation Sunday afternoon. Crews were called to the 300 block of Fulton Street just before 5pm. Firefighters did not find any smoke in the house.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign is hosting a labor day parade downtown. The theme is “Yes, for Worker’s Rights.” The AFL/CIO of Champaign County is hosting the parade. It will start at 10 a.m. and the route starts at North Chestnut and goes to East Main, and will end up at North Walnut to East Washington Street. Following the parade there will be free food, games, and entertainment at Westside Park.

 

(Cissna Park–jc)  Congratulations to Morgan Sinn of Cissna Park. She was the winner of a brand new car on Saturday night at the Cissna Park Old Settlers Reunion. Though rain hampered events on Saturday Night, the three day event was another success for the Cissna Park American Legion Post 527.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Transportation recently released their 5 year construction plan. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about what it means for the area…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reports July home sales in the Champaign County area moderated from the record-high monthly levels reported in the previous two years.  The Champaign County area median and average home sale prices continued to report gains while the average number of days on the market continued to decline to 19 days in July from 30 days a year ago. According to the group, the median home sale price in the Champaign County area rose 8.33 percent to $195,000 from $180,000 in July of 2021. Home sales in the Champaign County area decreased 15.56 percent in July to 331 units from 392 in July of 2021.  Year-to-date home sales were down 9.73 percent to 1,762 sales from the totals year-to-date of 1,952 sales through July of 2021. The average home sale price for July was $218,020 up 1.74 percent from $214,297 in July 2021.

The 2022 Chicago Air and Water Show is this weekend

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Link card users temporarily won't be able to make purchases or ATM withdrawals. Scheduled maintenance is set to take place from August 20 to August 21. Officials say this is because the state is transitioning to a new link card system. Link cards will be inactive beginning at 11 p.m. on Saturday, August 20 until 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 21. The Illinois Link Helpline and the Illinois Link card website will also be down during that time.

 

(Chicago-jm) – The 2022 Chicago Air and Water Show is this weekend. The U-S Navy Blue Angels and the U-S Army Golden Knights parachute team hi-lite the two day event set for Saturday and Sunday. Several other military and non military planes will also take to the skies.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Police is announcing the result of a summer firearm enforcement blitz. Since 2019, the state police have run hundreds of these special details, making sure those who have had their FOID card revoked, do not have any guns. This latest effort ran from mid-June through the end of July says State Police Director Brendan Kelly…

 

 

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly. Kelly says while this alone won’t put an end to gun violence, these enforcement details are an important tool for law enforcement.

 

(Urbana-jm) – As students return to the University of Illinois campus this week, they are doing so amidst a labor dispute that could impact them directly. The university’s service workers are pushing for a new contract to replace the current one that expires on Monday. They and their union have been trying to negotiate with the university, but union leaders are frustrated by what they see as a lack of respect from the university. So far, the university has offered a 67-cent wage increase in the next year for dining service workers and a 25-cent increase for building service workers. But the workers and their allies are outraged by this, especially given the fact that U of I president Tim Killeen is getting a $235,000 raise. If a deal isn’t reached by Monday, the union will deliver a strike notice to the university. That would result in more than 800 employees walking off the job 15 or more days later.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A trio of siblings were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on nine counts charging them with conspiracy to commit forced labor and kidnapping. Guatemalan nationals Domingo Francisco-Juan, Lorenza Domingo-Castaneda and Catarina Domingo-Juan are facing the possibility of life in prison and mandatory restitution for their alleged crimes. The indictment alleges that between December 2015 and March 2021, the three brought two minors from Guatemala to the U.S. to work at Domingo-Castaneda and Domingo-Juan’s homes. The minors were allegedly compelled by the defendants to provide childcare, cooking and cleaning in the homes and to work outside the homes in local hotels, factories and a restaurant. Domingo-Castaneda and Domingo-Juan are further alleged to have forced a third minor to work in their homes and at a local business. This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Champaign Police Department, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton Masonic Lodge will be holding their Get Out of Dodge raffle coming up next month. The grand prize is a trip to New York City to see two  Broadway shows. Lodge Spokesperson Jim Sherl has how you can get your tickets…

 

 

Paxton Masonic Lodge Spokesperson Jim Sherl.

 

(Champaign County-jm) – People in Champaign County can now apply for assistance in paying their energy bills through the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. People can sign up for an appointment to meet with program representatives. Those meetings begin September 1 and will take place at either 1776 East Washington Street in Urbana, 2009 Round Barn Road in Champaign or the Rantoul Business Center. The office in Rantoul is brand new and will open on September 1.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – With the new school year upon us, it is more apparent that many school officials and parents in Illinois want no part of new standards of teaching sexual education in the classroom.  Democratic lawmakers passed a bill that aligned the state’s standards with a national model. School districts were given the option to opt-out, and they have in droves. According to the website Awake-Illinois, only 20 school districts have decided to fully follow the standards, with 534 opting out. In accordance with the National Sex Education Standards, the Illinois State Board of Education said elementary students, including kindergartners, will learn about consent, gender identity, hormone blockers and healthy relationships. Middle schoolers will learn about dating violence prevention, different types of sex and sexual harassment. High schoolers will learn more about their bodies, pregnancy and sexual health.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Data from a moving website shows the outmigration from Illinois has continued this year.  According to the moving website moveBuddha, data for state-to-state moves shows that for every 42 moves into Illinois there are 100 moving out, the third highest outbound interest in the country this year, behind New York and California. Illinois also has the 10th largest tax burden nationally, with the combined impact of personal income tax, property, sales and business taxes comparatively high. The report notes that when Illinoisans leave the state, they take high incomes with them. The IRS estimates more than $16 million in tax dollars left Illinois from 2019 to 2020 as residents moved away.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state treasurer’s live unclaimed property auction is tomorrow at the Illinois State Fair. The auction is a popular event each year, and includes several unique items, says Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. The auction will be held on the state fairgrounds in Springfield at the Lincoln Stage. You can preview items starting at 9 am. The auction begins at 11.

 

(Danville-jm) – A Danville man will spend 27 years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to murdering a woman in 2019. Henry Graham was charged with First Degree Murder in connection to the death of 29-year-old Tara Jackson in a motel room in early January of 2019. Witnesses told investigators that they heard arguing and yelling coming from the room the night of January 2, which was followed by motel staff finding Jackson unresponsive the following morning. A forensic pathologist determined that Jackson died from asphyxiation caused by strangulation and smothering.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A former student at the University of Illinois has been sentenced to three years probation after admitting to watching child pornography in his dorm room. Daniel Meyka, 19, of Mount Prospect pleaded guilty in June, admitting that he looked at and distributed pornographic pictures of young girls online in September of 2021 while in his dorm room at Saunders Hall. Police said a search of Meyka’s phone and computer resulted in 160 pornographic photos and another 140 videos being found that were downloaded between September 2 and 20, 2021. The state pushed for a six-year prison sentence. Meyka's arrest resulted in his expulsion from the University of Illinois. he will have to register as a sex offender.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing is coming up in September. Chamber President Austin Curtis talks about the event…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Austin Curtis.

 

(Savoy-jm) – A 26-year-old man is facing charges for burglary to a motor vehicle, possession of burglary tools, and possession of drug paraphernalia. It happened at Willard Airport. Police say they received a call saying that Eric Welch of Farmer City, was checking vehicles in the airport parking lot.

 

(Gibson City–jc)  –  Music will fill the air in downtown Gibson City on Saturday night. The Gibson Area Hospital Summer Bash will feature the nationally known group Night-Ranger. Gibson Area Hospital Spokesperson Bill Kirby says a fun walk to raise money for the Gibson City Fire Department, lots of food and music hilite the event..

 

 

Gibson Area Hospital Spokesperson Bill Kirby

 

 

The 146th Fairbury Fair runs through Sunday.

 

The 2022 Cissna Park Old Settlers will take place today and tomorrow.

 

The final Rantoul Farmers Market of the season will be held this evening from 4-7 pm at the corner of Garrard and Congress.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting Boy Scout Troop 32 on Saturday, from 10-2.

 

The Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services Summer Bash will take place Saturday with the band Night Ranger performing at 7 pm.

 

St. John’s Buckley Ladies Aid/LWML will host an ice cream social at St. John’s Lutheran School on Sunday from 10:30-1.

 

Save those receipts, you may be able to claim certain school supply expenses on your tax return

(Watseka–jc)  An investigation is ongoing into the Iroquois County Public Health Department. No major details have been released. Channel 3 news has reported concerns of overtime pay within the department. State police investigators were in Watseka yesterday. WPXN news will update this story as more official news becomes available.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A report by Fitch Ratings says Illinois’ budget is improving but an economic slowdown and inflation could pose a risk. The report found that state budgets across the U.S. are in a much better position coming into fiscal 2023 and are structured to combat inflationary and macro pressures over the next several months. Fitch says a lower credit rating compared to neighboring states and an underfunded pension system poses a significant risk for the state.

 

(Gibson City–jc) –  For one area city the last 12 months has been more than a challenge. Since August 12th of 20-21, Gibson City has experienced a major flood, straight wind damage, an ice storm and a major fire in its downtown area. Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey says as a city, you work through the times of trial…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey

 

It’s positive news for the city today, that includes job growth at Gibson Area Hospital, several street upgrades, a sewer expansion project, a new restaurant in the Horsch Radish and on Saturday night the city is celebrating a Summer Bash with the nationally known act–Night Ranger.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Save those receipts, you may be able to claim certain school supply expenses on your tax return. There are two types of tax credits available says Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki. The first is for families with students in Kindergarten through 12th grade…

 

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki. Teachers can take advantage of the instructional materials and supply tax credit, worth up to $250. Next year, that credit will increase to a maximum of $500.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A professor at the University of Illinois has been arrested and charged with sedition in Pakistan. Shahbaz Gill is a well-known politician in Pakistan who also works with the Gies (geese) College of Business. U of I officials confirmed that he did not teach classes last semester and was not scheduled to teach this semester. During an appearance on a Pakistani TV station, Gill encouraged troops to revolt against an illegal order from top military leadership. If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  The Paxton Buckley Loda School system started its first day of classes Wednesday for the new school year. P-B-L School Superintendent Cliff McClure is in the final year as the local superintendent. McClure says those within the district have always been supportive of the students,  and also passing two referendums during his tenure…

 

 

Paxton Buckley Loda School Superintendent Cliff McClure.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man will spend 30 years behind bars for two cases involving violence against women. Robert Perry pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual assault, which accused him of raping a woman while armed with a kn6ife at a Champaign apartment complex in January 2021. He got away from police, but five months later, a DNA test matched with Perry and an arrest warrant was issued. That same June, police were called to Country Brook Apartments for a domestic dispute involving Perry and learned he was wanted. Perry barricaded himself inside an apartment for several hours until police were finally able to arrest him. Along with the 30-year sentence, Perry will have to register as a sex offender. Other charges against him were dismissed in exchange for his plea.

 

(Washington-jm) – Has retail food price inflation reached its peak? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Cissna Park–jc)  –  A talent show, Schwer Amusements on the midway and lots of food ,hilite day one of three at the Old Settlers celebration in downtown Cissna Park. This evening The talent show starts at 7 on the stage in the park. The last event of the three day celebration is a drawing for a brand new car, says Old Settlers Spokesperson Dick Swing…

 

 

Cissna Park Old Settlers celebration Spokesperson Dick Swing

WPXN will be broadcasting the parade at noon on Saturday as part of our Summer Fun Tour.

 

(Springfield-jm) – As national output declined for the second quarter in a row, concerns of a recession rekindle. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product fell at an annual rate of 0.9% from April through June this year, pushed by high inflation as consumers cut back. It was the second consecutive quarter of negative GDP growth in the U.S. In the Land of Lincoln, the University of Illinois’ Flash Index declined for the third straight month, dropping to 105.5 compared to 105.7 in May.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Still no timetable for a proposed special legislative session on gun violence and abortion. There’s been talk all summer about a special session to further preserve reproductive rights and to possibly address a ban on assault weapons. Governor J-B Pritzker was recently asked for an update…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Any new legislation may need to wait until the spring when less votes are required for passage.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The traveling show, Cirque Italia, is performing in Champaign this week. The Water Circus features high-energy acrobat acts that swing from ropes and flip over trapezes. The show is inspired by the element of water. The stage holds over 35,000 gallons of water and features fountains, jets, and mermaids. Families can check out the traveling show today through Sunday in the parking lot of Market Place Plaza. Tickets can be purchased on their website, cirqueitalia.com

 

(Springfield-jm) – The general election will take place on Tuesday, November 8th. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City has who is running at the state level…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. You can already request a mail- in ballot for the November election. WPXN will have your full election coverage leading up to the general election.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign City Council is moving forward with plans to create a year-round homeless shelter. The council voted unanimously to spend $3.9 million on a low barrier shelter; the money comes from the American Rescue Plan Act. The city will be leasing the old Habitat for Humanity resale store on University Avenue for two years, which will have room for 50 men and 10 women.  The shelter will not exclude people who struggle with substance abuse and will provide help to those who need it.

 

(Washington-jm) – Corn producers are being urged to let their propane suppliers know if they will need more propane than normal for grain drying this year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Gibson City–jc)  –  The Gibson Area Hospital Summer Bash is set for Saturday in Gibson City. The nationally known group “Night Ranger” will perform live in the downtown area on Saturday night. Gibson Area Hospital Spokesperson Bill Kirby says there are other activities planned along with lots of food options and a fun race to benefit the Gibson City Fire Department…

 

 

GIbson Area Hospital Spokesperson Bill Kirby

 

First Lady M-K Pritzker paid $105,000 for the grand champion steer at the State Fair

(Springfield-jm) – The Pritzkers once again engaged in a bidding war at the Illinois State Fair’s Sale of Champions. Everything from grand champion cheese, goats, barrow and wine is auctioned off in the State Fair Coliseum. When the grand champion steer, shown by Ashtin Guyer of Richmond strutted up on stage, Governor J-B Pritzker and First Lady M-K Pritzker started bidding against each other as they have in years past. Mrs. Pritzker won, tying last year’s record of $105,000. The Governor spoke to the exhibitors…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The steer will be donated to the Central Illinois Food Bank.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois' biofuel industry continues to expand and create more jobs every year, a new report by the Department of Energy has found. In 2021, 307 new jobs were added in Illinois, an increase of 4.6% over 2020, the 2022 United States Energy and Employment Report said.

 

(Springfield-jm) – State officials took a step away from the state fairgrounds Tuesday to promote pet adoption. Self-proclaimed dog lover Governor J-B Pritzker toured an animal shelter in Springfield and talked about there being no greater love than that of a dog…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. A representative from the humane society was also on hand and said an estimated one million dogs and cats that could have been adopted are euthanized each year. He pointed out that it’s cheaper to adopt a shelter pet and that many animals are already potty trained and ready to give a new family their love.

 

(Champaign-jm) – After more than two years without one, the City of Champaign has a permanent Public Works Director. Champaign City Manager Dorothy Ann David announced on Tuesday that she has appointed Khalil Zaied to the position. Zaied’s first day with the City of Champaign will be October 17.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  The 10th annual Paxton Swine and Dine is set for Saturday September 17 in the downtown area of the city. The downtown part of the city will be filled with the aroma of barbeque, sounds of music and several competitions. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer says some cash prizes for the contestants are a big part of the day…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer

 

(Washington-jm) – Forces pushing food prices up are still at work. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Washington-jm) – How did USDA latest corn production and yield forecasts for this year's crop impact our nation's supply and demand ledger? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Tuesday was Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair. The day kicked off with a breakfast, honoring producers as well as family farms that have been around for a century or more. State Treasurer Mike Frerichs spoke at the event about his time working on a farm…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Other Ag Day activities included the Governor’s Sale of Champions and Willie Nelson performed. All throughout the fair you can stop by the Illinois Department of Agriculture tent for live music and locally grown products.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A battered hotel industry is enjoying summer travel, but business travel, the industry's big money-maker, is still reluctant to book. Leisure travel came roaring back this year as pent-up demand sent a surge of travelers onto the road and into various lodging across Illinois. June saw hotel occupancy hit 72%, 2% higher than the national occupancy rate.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state honored veterans at the Illinois State Fair this week. A special ceremony for Gold Star Families, the families that have lost soldiers killed in the line of duty was held. Governor J-B Pritzker spoke at the event about what loved ones go through while their soldier is away…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. 

 

(Gibson City-jm) – Gibson City emergency crews were called to a two vehicle accident Tuesday evening. The accident happened on Route 47 near the water treatment plant. There’s no word on if there were any injuries.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state has sold the Thompson Center in Chicago. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says this will help save taxpayers money…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Washington-jm) – President Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the law has many benefits for rural America. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Washington-jm) – The public comment period has now been extended for the proposed rule on greater transparency in poultry contracting and the poultry tournament system. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

New legislation proposed would ensure the families of fallen first responders receive the appropriate benefits

(Springfield-jm) – New legislation proposed by Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza would ensure the families of fallen first responders receive the appropriate benefits. Families are entitled to the benefits under the Line of Duty Compensation Act, but funding sometimes runs out before the end of the fiscal year. This causes delays in the money to be paid out says Comptroller Mendoza…

 

 

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza. The measure just filed would make these payments a continuing appropriation, so that funding for benefits is always there.

 

(Springfield-jm) – President Joe Biden is expected to sign the Inflation Reduction Act passed by the U.S. Congress last week. The impact on Illinois taxpayers depends on who you ask. The measure increases taxes on people and businesses making $400,000 or more per year as part of spending more than $730 billion on various programs, including so-called renewable energy programs. Monday, Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker said the tax increases won’t impact “the middle class.” Republicans however disagreed arguing it is filled with tax hikes that will hurt middle class families, manufacturers and small businesses.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state is launching a new program for elderly Illinoisans. The initiative is dubbed “PACE,” the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. The goal is to coordinate medical care and health services, so that seniors can remain in their homes instead of moving into a nursing home facility, says Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton…

 

 

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton. The new PACE program will initially be available in West Chicago, South Chicago, Southern Cook County, Peoria and East St Louis.

 

(Undated-jm) – The school bus driver shortage that was prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting some Illinois school districts with higher costs covered by taxpayers. In some school districts, alternative transportation options are provided, or even parents are being reimbursed for driving their kids to class, like in DeKalb. Chicago schools are offering families a monthly stipend to cover transportation costs. Locally, districts like Mahomet Seymour are reducing routes because of the shortage.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Crop conditions deteriorated just a bit over the past week in Illinois. In the latest weekly crop report, soybeans are blooming on 93 percent of acres, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 70 percent of corn is in the dough stage and 12 percent is in the dent stage. 73 percent of the corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition, a drop of two points from the previous week. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at 7 percent very short, 16 percent short, 64 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers needs help finding a man who walked into a store and started punching an employee because they refused to sell him alcohol. Green Street Pantry employees say he appeared to be intoxicated when he walked into the store. They say he got upset when workers told him they weren’t selling him any alcohol. Witnesses say he was with a woman. Authorities believe he’s approximately 6’0” tall and 200 pounds, with tattoos on his right arm. The woman has blonde hair and a tattoo on her back. Authorities are trying to find both of them.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton Masonic Lodge is hosting their Get Out of Dodge raffle on Saturday, September 17th. Spokesperson Jim Sherl talks about the grand prize…

 

 

Paxton Masonic Lodge Spokesperson Jim Sherl.

 

(Watseka-jm) – Iroquois Memorial Hospice has been awarded the Strategic Healthcare Program. Top 20% best Hospice Caregiver Satisfaction Award for achieving an overall score that ranked in the SHP national hospice benchmark score among 7,000 healthcare providers nationwide. IMH was one of four hospice

organizations awarded top honors in the state of Illinois.

 

(Washington-jm) – Increased forecasts for soybean production in two countries are contributing to similar changes in the world soybean market situation. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state is awarding 106 million dollars in grants to 50 communities across the state. The money comes from the Rebuild Illinois downtowns and main streets capital program and is the largest investment in community revitalization, says Governor J-B Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Federal matching grants bring total funding to more than 200 million dollars. Locally, Champaign is receiving $3 million for multi-use redevelopment of historic downtown buildings. Rantoul is also receiving $3 million for the downtown Master Plan implementation and overall Downtown revitalization including infrastructure improvements.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution that some argue contradicts federal law governing labor relations could raise taxes on small businesses, opponents of the amendment say. Amendment 1 is on the November ballot in Illinois. It reads: "Employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work." Critics of the proposal say the measure will unconstitutionally enshrine union powers in the Illinois Constitution, making it impossible for lawmakers to curb union powers and giving union contracts more weight than state law. Supporters of the amendment say it is in support of workers to secure certain collective bargaining rights. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Looking for some fun, free activities for the kids at the Illinois State Fair? Check out Conservation World. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources wants fairgoers to embrace their love for the outdoors when they visit Conservation World. Director Colleen Callahan says it’s a great environment for families with plenty to do…

 

 

Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan. Conservation World also has a lumberjack show, live music, a youth bb gun range and a rock climbing wall.

 

(Kankakee-jm) – The Kankakee County Public Health Department is reporting their first case of Monkeypox. The health department says they are working with the state department of public health and the CDC for contact tracing.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Crop conditions deteriorated just a bit over the past week in Illinois. 93 percent of soybeans are blooming and 73 percent are setting pods. The condition of the soybean crop dropped one point and is now 69 percent in good to excellent condition. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at corn…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated 7 percent very short, 16 percent short, 64 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. The third cutting of alfalfa hay is now 47 percent complete.

 

(Thomasboro-jm) – Firefighters from more than 10 fire protection districts were called to Thomasboro early Sunday morning to battle a large farm shed fire. The building was a total loss with a large loss of equipment inside, but firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to an even larger building that contained bulk liquid propane tanks. Firefighters from the Thomasboro, Carroll, St. Joseph-Stanton, Ogden-Royal, Rantoul, Gifford, Paxton, Eastern Prairie, Bondville, Cornbelt and Edge Scott Fire Protection Districts responded to the fire.

 

(Gibson City–jc)  –  The 20-22 Gibson Area Hospital-Summer Bash- is set for this coming Saturday. Gibson Area Hospital Spokesperson Bill Kirby says the national act “Night Ranger” will perform on Saturday night.Kirby says food trucks will arrive at 5pm on Saturday in the downtown area and a “fun” race event for the Gibson City Fire Department is set for 3-30 Saturday afternoon…

 

 

Gibson Area Hospital Spokesperson Bill Kirby.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Republicans are hoping for strong results in the November election. Inflation and the high cost of gas among other things will be a major issue affecting the election results. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says Republicans have plans to provide relief to taxpayers…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing a more than 34 billion dollar six-year state transportation plan

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday reported 26,462 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including 123 deaths since August 5. 42 counties including Ford, Champaign and Vermilion Counties are rated at high community level and 48 counties including Iroquois County are at medium community level.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing a more than 34 billion dollar six-year state transportation plan. The Governor says the investment is the state’s highest yet, addressing repairs and improvements across Illinois…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. There’s also money to boost railroad crossing and highway traffic safety and address airport and transit needs. Among the projects funded in this project include $16 million to resurface and widen U-S 150 (Prospect Avenue) from the I-74 interchange (Bloomington Road) to Route 10 (Springfield Avenue) in Champaign. $46.7 million is set aside to resurface 15.3 miles of I-57 and do bridge repairs and bridge deck improvements from the Ford County line to the Buckley interchange as well as from Route 54 in Onarga to U-S 24 in Gilman.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The City of Champaign is looking to sell three parcels of vacant land it owns and bidding for these parcels is now open. The parcels can accommodate a single-family home and are located at 505 and 606 West Bradley Avenue and 40 East Beardsley Avenue. The City of Champaign attempted to sell these properties in February, but they went unsold. Bids for these properties must be delivered to the Office of the City Clerk, located at 102 North Neil Street, by noon on August 24.

 

(Buckley–jc)  The annual Knight for Christ benefit auction for Buckley based Christ Lutheran school in Buckley is set for Saturday August 27. The event will take place at the Ford County Fairgrounds and start at 4pm. Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz says the event will be catered and a professional auction company will help the proceedings…

 

 

Christ Lutheran High School of Buckley Executive Director Sandy Spitz

 

(Mahomet-jm) – Regional blood provider ImpactLife, in partnership with the Mahomet community, will be hosting a community blood drive later this week. The blood drive will take place at the Busey Bank located at 312 East Main Street on Thursday between 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. All donations will take place inside ImpactLife’s Bloodmobile and will last between 45 and 60 minutes. Potential donors must be at least 17 years old or 16 with parental permission and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate and potential donors cannot have donated blood since June 23. People with diabetes or controlled high blood pressure may be accepted as eligible donors.

 

(Washington-jm) – Friday's USDA crop report had at least one surprise. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – As students in Illinois get set to return to the classroom, the state’s schools will have ample opportunity to obtain free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced that they are offering 1 million over-the-counter COVID-19 rapid tests to K-12 public school districts outside of Chicago. IDPH said the tests will be available upon request and are supposed to augment the district’s regular supply for the 2022-2023 school year.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The application deadline to sign up for home energy assistance is opening soon. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Two people were injured in a shooting early Saturday morning. 

According to Champaign Police, on Saturday at 3:55 a.m. officers responded to the 1100 block of N. Third Street for the report of a large gathering and a fight breaking out. When officers arrived, they observed a couple hundred individuals congregating throughout an entire apartment complex and along the adjacent roadways; however, according to police there was no active fighting observed at that time. Shortly after arriving on scene, officers reported hearing dozens of gunshots being fired. According to police, one person was seen running from the scene and officers started to chase them. Officers quickly diverted their attention once they discovered a 19-year-old Champaign man with gunshot wounds. 

Officers immediately rendered medical aid and the victim was ultimately transported by ambulance to a hospital. While officers were at the hospital, police said a second gunshot victim arrived by personal transport. The victim is a 25-year-old Champaign man and had multiple gunshot wounds.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A man from Danville has been arrested after he allegedly pulled down a female University of Illinois student’s pants last week as a prank. Kasey Hollis was arrested Friday on a preliminary charge of aggravated battery and was taken to the Champaign County Jail. Officers with the U of I Police Department said they received a report from a student who said a man had approached her from behind, grabbed her pants near the knee area and pulled on them. He immediately ran away.  The car’s information was then uploaded into the local automated license plate reader system. On Friday, a UIPD officer received a report from the system that the car had been spotted by an automated license plate reader on U.S. Route 45 heading into Urbana. The officer responded to that area and saw the car entering a gas station on North Cunningham Avenue.

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA first farmer yield surveys for spring crops like corn, soybeans, and cotton led to adjustments in the August Crop Production forecasts. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Illinois Link card users temporarily won't be able to make purchases or ATM withdrawals

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Link card users temporarily won't be able to make purchases or ATM withdrawals. Scheduled maintenance is set to take place from August 20 to August 21. Officials say this is because the state is transitioning to a new link card system. Link cards will be inactive beginning at 11 p.m. on Saturday, August 20 until 6 p.m. on Sunday, August 21. The Illinois Link Helpline and the Illinois Link card website will also be down during that time.

 

(Springfield-jm) – After the latest deposit, the state’s rainy day fund now tops one billion dollars. That’s the most the fund has ever had says Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, and a vital resource should the state suffer tough times…

 

 

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza. Mendoza would eventually like to see more than 3 billion dollars in the fund. During the state’s budget impasse between 2015 and 2017, the rainy day fund was whittled down to about 48 thousand dollars.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois released on Thursday new information about its COVID-19 policies for the fall 2022 semester. The university sent a Massmail to the university community on July 26 detailing its policies, which included full vaccination or a weekly testing alternative for all students, faculty and staff, the lifting of masking requirements in classrooms and campus spaces and the retirement of Building Access Status. Now, the university has released another Massmail regarding testing for those who are and are not fully vaccinated. In the Massmail, Chancellor Robert Jones reiterated that people who are not fully vaccinated must receive an on-campus test once per week.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has been held in contempt over a dozen times this year. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett says something needs to be done…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Undated-jm) – Several central Illinois nursing homes are being fined by the state. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health released its 2022 second quarterly report. Showing nursing homes violating the nursing home care act. Locally: Accolade of Paxton on Pells was fined $2,200 for failing to protect a resident from sexual abuse by another resident, Clark Lindsey in Urbana was fined $25,000 after they failed to monitor a high fall risk resident that resulted in the resident being taken to the hospital 3 times for falls within a week. Country Health in Gifford was fined $2,200 after a resident reported money taken from her purse. Illini Heritage Champaign was fined $4,400 for failing to ensure a resident was not subjected to a physical restraint and assessed for appropriate and necessary use of a physical restraint. University Rehab of Urbana was fined $25,000 for failing to protect a resident being changed, allowing the resident to fall on the floor and failing to protect a patient while moving them in a lift resulting in a leg fracture.

 

(Paxton–jc) The 10th annual Paxton Swine and Dine is more than just a Barbeque Ribs and Chicken contest. On Saturday September 17th,  Kids activities, a Major Bags Tournament and lots of food will hilite the day. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Mayer says a nationally known Country act will be in Paxton in Tracy Lawrence…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer.

 

(Undated-jm) – Farmland values throughout central and southern Illinois increased 27.88% on average from last year, according to the 2022 study of 20 benchmark farms by the Farm Credit Illinois appraisal team. The study has occurred annually since 1974. 2022 values have reached all-time highs in Farm Credit Illinois’s 60-county territory. The previous peak followed a dramatic run-up from 2003-2014. Results slightly declined from 2015-2018 before rising moderately beginning in 2019. This is the fourth consecutive year of an increase in the Farm Credit Illinois territory, with several areas reflecting historic increases due to an active market. Nineteen of the 20 benchmark farms increased in value while one remained unchanged. When considering the individual benchmarks values, the year-over-year changes ranged from no change to a 55.74% increase.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Fair is underway in Springfield. The deep fryers are sizzling, the lemons have been juiced, livestock are settling in and the carnival rides are ready to go. At the official ribbon cutting Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton reminded that the fair is most importantly about agriculture and family…

 

 

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton. Tickets are still on sale for grandstand concerts like Demi Lovato, Willie Nelson and Shaggy and TLC. The Illinois State Fair runs through Sunday, August 21st. You can find all the details online at: illinois state fair dot info.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A man arrested earlier this week for trespassing at Illini Hall was arrested again the next day. Gregory Cowart was arrested again at Illini Hall for trespassing on state-supported property. University of Illinois Police say he was arrested after a witness claimed to have seen Cowart inside the building yelling at a construction crew.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinoisans will be heading to the polls in about four months for the general election. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about what Republicans in the state need to do in November…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The City of Urbana wants to hear from the community about its downtown area. The city is conducting a downtown public realm survey, analyzing streets, parks, plazas and much more. People can provide their input on ways to improve the downtown area and identify a plan to enhance the public realm.

 

(St Joseph–jc)  –  The St Joseph 150th celebration and Community Festival kicks off officially this afternoon in the Champaign County community. St Joseph Mayor Tammi-Fruhling Vogues talks about activities on Friday and Saturday…

 

 

St Joseph Mayor Tammi Fruhling-Vogues. Other events include a parade at 3pm on Saturday. There are also planned fireworks on Saturday night. WPXN will be broadcasting live at the event on Saturday morning at 11 as part of our Summer Fun Tour 2022

 

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

 

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 York Rite of Paxton on Saturday from 10-2.

 

A recent audit shows just how bad the unemployment fraud was in the state during the pandemic

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday it is providing a one-time bulk shipment of 1 million over-the-counter COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to K-12 public school districts outside of Chicago for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year. The tests will be provided free of charge. The tests are being offered upon request and are intended to supplement testing at school districts for the duration of the upcoming school year. Only one request is permitted per district. The tests will be delivered to a single hub location in the district. Districts will then be responsible for distributing the tests to their local schools. The number of tests distributed will be based on the size of the district.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Officials unveiled the 2022 Illinois State Fair butter cow at the fairgrounds in Springfield Wednesday. It took over a week and 800 pounds of butter to make this year’s cow. The bovine is seen holding a sunflower in its mouth as a farmer kneels nearby. Governor J-B Pritzker was on hand for the unveiling…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The butter cow is located in the Dairy Building. The state fair runs through August 21st. Tonight is the Twilight Parade at 5:30.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Registration is now open for the Illinois Marathon’s Run to Remember 8k happening next month on the U of I campus. The Run to Remember will take place on September 17 and registration for this event is taking place until August 15. Participants will receive a commemorative race shirt and a finisher medal with post race food and music from local band Jimi Dragonfly. Registering to run will cost $43. The registration form can be found on the Illinois marathon website. People who register for the Run to Remember will also receive $10 off any race held during the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend in April 2023. People should receive a unique promo code by Aug. 22 that can be used any time before April 23.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – Officials with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District said there have been no cases of secondary spread regarding a case from a Rantoul daycare. Last week, the health department announced a positive monkeypox case associated with a worker at the daycare. All adults and children who had potential exposure were screened and offered the Jynneos vaccine.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A lane on eastbound Kirby Avenue in Champaign will be closing later this week in order to allow construction crews to complete driveway and sidewalk construction. The closure will take place between Rose and Waverly Drives and will begin today. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in this area until the closure ends on Tuesday.

 

(Paxton–jc)  The 10th annual Paxton Swine and Dine is set for Saturday September 17th in the downtown area of the city. Paxton Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer says a nationally known country artist will perform…

 

 

Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Spokesperson Alan Meyer.

 

(Undated-jm) – If you are a believer in the Farmers' Almanac winter predictions, you may not want to hear what they have to say about Illinois. The publication is warning readers that this winter will be filled with plenty of shaking, shivering and shoveling.

 

(Washington-jm) – Grain and cotton traders will likely have a much better idea of this year's expected yields and production when they see this Friday's new round of USDA forecasts. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – A federal judge has found the Illinois Department of Corrections in contempt of court for failing to make systemic health care improvements following a lawsuit from more than a decade ago. A report found older inmates were left sitting in their own waste, developed bed sores, and had cancer symptoms ignored. IDOC has had more than three years to develop a comprehensive health care plan as outlined in a 2018 consent decree.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is urging Illinois school districts to apply for the federal clean school bus rebate program. Applications are due by August 19th, so if school administrators haven’t checked out the program yet, they may want to do so, says Governor Pritzker…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The rebates are for schools replacing existing buses with low and no-emission versions. More information is available online at: epa dot gov slash clean school bus.

 

(Watseka-jm) – The Iroquois County Sheriff's Office is alerting the public to pop-up underage drinking parties that attract hundreds and are being held at random rural roads. The sheriff's office became aware of digital flyers being shared through social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and more. These flyers contain locations of planned parties, usually through GPS pindrops. Last summer, police came across a party on a rural Cissna Park road that had over 300 people gathered. About two weeks ago, a deputy out on patrol found over 150 people gathered on a rural Milford road. Last Saturday, Iroquois County deputies heard about a party on Butterfield Trail property in rural Gilman. Deputies came across vehicles from Rantoul, Westville, Henning, Bradley, Frankfort, Cullom, and more towns. The parties are taking place on weeknights as well as weekends and are occurring regularly, police said.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A 58-year-old man is behind bars after police say he was trespassing on University of Illinois Urbana Champaign property. 

U of I police say an employee notified them that Gregory Cowart was seen trying to enter Illinois Hall through a door that is currently out of service for a remodeling project. Officers found evidence that Cowart had been living there. Cowart was arrested for criminal trespassing on state-supported property.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton Masonic Lodge will hold their 3rd annual Get Out of Dodge raffle on September 17th. Spokesperson Jim Sherl talks about how they came up with the idea for this fundraiser…

 

 

Paxton Masonic Lodge Spokesperson Jim Sherl. This year’s grand prize is a trip to New York City.

 

(Decatur-jm) – This weekend's KANSAS concert with guests Blue Oyster Cult at the Devon Amphitheatre in Decatur this Friday has been canceled.  Multiple members of the band KANSAS and its touring organization have tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms. There is a plan to reschedule the show.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A recent audit shows just how bad the unemployment fraud was in the state during the pandemic. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City shares the shocking results…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

Illinoisans will be able to sign up for permanent mail-in voting starting today

(Washington-jm) – Democratic Senator Dick Durbin is pointing to passage by the Senate of the Inflation Reduction Act as being historic. The measure passed on Sunday after two days of votes and procedural moves that finally resulted in a 50-50 tie. Vice President Harris cast the deciding yes vote. The bill is expected to pass later this week in the House and then sent to President Biden.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinoisans will be able to sign up for permanent mail-in voting starting today. One of the easiest ways to request a mail-in ballot and to sign up for future elections is to start online, says State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. The website is: elections dot il dot gov…

 

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Voters choosing the permanent mail-in option will automatically be sent ballots for primary and general elections. That website again is elections dot il dot gov.

 

(Paxton-jm) – Paxton firefighters had a busy Tuesday. Crews were called to a single vehicle rollover accident with injury at 280 north 1500 east around 1:30 Tuesday afternoon. About 3:45 pm, crews were called to the Ford County courthouse after the elevator stopped working trapping two individuals.

 

(Gibson City-jm) – The Ford County Public Health Department will be hosting a clinic today to help vaccinate people against COVID-19. The clinic will take place at the Community Room of School House Apartments, located at 200 North Melvin Street in Gibson City. It will take place between 9 a.m. and noon and people should enter through the west doors. The community is welcome to attend and receive a shot. All vaccines and boosters will be available and walk-ins are welcome.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state’s sales tax holiday on back to school items continues through the 15th. 52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign says its a great time for parents to take advantage and save money…

 

 

52nd District State Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The City of Champaign will have contractors performing annual outdoor warning siren maintenance to each of the fifteen sirens in the City’s alerting system on August 11 and 12, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Part of this maintenance requires that the contractor activate the warning sirens for short periods of time, not to exceed thirty seconds, to ensure proper performance during emergencies. Should an actual emergency exist, the warning sirens will activate as normal, for a period exceeding two minutes.

 

(Washington-jm) – U.S. agricultural export values are edging closer and closer to meeting USDA export projections for this fiscal year. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(St Joseph–jc)  – The town of St Joseph is celebrating it’s 150th birthday this weekend. The event starts tomorrow and runs through Saturday. St Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling-Vogues talks about the activities on Thursday…

 

 

St Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling Vogues.

WPXN will be broadcasting live from St Joseph on Saturday at 11am as part of our Summer Fun Tour 20-22

 

(Chicago-jm) – Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said they are sending welcoming signals to large corporations based in other states with restrictive abortion laws or bans. Pritzker, asked about Eli Lilly’s opposition to Indiana’s new abortion ban, confirmed he has reached out to the drug maker to tell them Illinois would welcome any expansion projects.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Several improvements are being made to the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The state is investing more than 58 million dollars to repair, upgrade and revamp areas around the fair. Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello says that includes a section of road frequently used by livestock exhibitors…

 

 

Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello. Work is underway at the multi-purpose arena, so that will be out of commission during the fair. And once the fair is over, renovations to the Coliseum will resume.

 

(Gibson City-jm) – Gibson City firefighters were called to a house fire Tuesday evening. Crews were called to the fire in the 200 block of South Sangamon around 6:30 pm. No word on the cause of the fire.

 

(Cullom-jm) – The triple murder trial for a Cullom man is underway. Clifford Brewer is charged with 6 counts of murder in the shooting deaths of his wife, son and a neighbor on Christmas Day 2019. Jurors have been selected and opening statements and testimony is expected to begin today.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The general election is about four months away. When voters head to the polls in November, they will be voting for elected officials from the Governor down to local races. One big topic is the political agenda of the current state government. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says the agenda has caused some negative impacts for those that voted for the agenda…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The 2022 Art and Design Faculty Exhibition at Giertz Gallery at Parkland College opens Monday, August 22.  The annual showcase, featuring the work of Parkland's faculty artists, includes painting, drawing, video, photography, metals, ceramics, and graphic design, will run through September 24. Exhibiting faculty members include Shawn Fairchild, Beverly Kudeki, Melinda McIntosh, Laura O'Donnell, Denise Seif, Peg Shaw, Joan Stolz, Matthew Watt, Kelly White, and Liza Wynette.

 

(Washington-jm) – The way we view the success of our ag product export performance can be very different, depending on whether we measure success by the value of those exports or by the amount of product being sold. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

It was another record year for Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs; I-Cash program

(Springfield-jm) – Voter turnout was low for the June primary election. Illinois State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich says less than 22 percent of registered voters cast a ballot back in June…

 

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Nearly 52 percent of those voting were Democrats and 46 percent were Republicans. 5 Illinois counties offered Libertarian ballots for certain offices. Dietrich says about 16 percent of voters opted for mail-in ballots.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Both Republican candidate for Governor Darren Bailey and Republican candidate for Attorney General Tom DeVore were endorsed Monday morning by the Illinois and Chicago Fraternal Order of Police. Police union presidents endorsed the candidates for their tough-on-crime positions. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The condition of Illinois crops improved again this past week. It was a hot, wet week and 96 percent of corn acres are now silking, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 90 percent of soybeans are blooming and 61 percent are setting pods. 70 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. The third cutting of alfalfa is now 32 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture is 8 percent very short, 16 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Officers with the University of Illinois Police Department arrested a man on Saturday after they found a loaded gun in his possession during a traffic stop. The traffic stop started at 4:21 a.m. when a UIPD officer observed a car driving 20 miles over the speed limit. After pulling the car over, the officer saw an open container of alcohol on the floor and a burnt marijuana cigar in the center console. Seeing this, the officer asked the three occupants to get out of the car so it could be searched. The gun was found underneath the passenger seat and the person sitting in that seat was 18-year-old Tramon Roper of Champaign. He was arrested on an aggravated unlawful use of a weapon charge and was taken to the Champaign County Jail. He has since been released.

 

(St Joseph–jc)  –  One area town is in the midst of a major sewer renovation project. Officials from St Joseph in Champaign County are gathering project costs at this time.. St Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling-Vogues says the goal is to get bids in early 20-23…

 

 

St Joseph Mayor Tami Fruhling-Vogues

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign County Coroner’s Office released the name of a man they said was hit by a vehicle over the weekend. In a news release, Coroner Duane Northrup said this happened Sunday night at Mattis Avenue and John Street in Champaign. He stated 28-year-old Bryson O. Walker was pronounced dead at the hospital. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday afternoon. This incident is under investigation by the coroner’s office as well as the Champaign Police Department.

 

(Washington-jm) – The world's grain markets are changing as the Ukrainian grain export situation changes. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – It was another record year for Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs; I-Cash program. During the last fiscal year, I-Cash returned a record 280 million dollars in unclaimed property to taxpayers. This includes forgotten bank accounts, old life insurance policies and the like. Treasurer Frerichs credits outreach efforts and simplifying the claims process…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Frerichs says about one in four people who search the I-Cash database finds something. He encourages everyone to give it a shot, and to also try inputting your business, non-profit group or deceased relative’s name. Visit: i-cash dot illinois treasurer dot gov.

 

(Chicago–jc)--. A report by Fitch Ratings says Illinois’ budget is improving but an economic slowdown and inflation could pose a risk.  The report found that state budgets across the U.S. are in a much better position coming into fiscal 2023 and are structured to combat inflationary and macro pressures over the next several months.The enacted budgets consider potential economic and geopolitical headwinds. After historically strong U.S. GDP growth of 5.7% in 2021, Fitch expects growth to slow sharply in 2022 to 2.9% and then further to 1.5% in 2023, due to rapidly rising interest rates. GDP in the first two quarters of 2022 showed negative growth.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The condition of Illinois crops improved again this past week. Temperatures and rainfall were above normal and average statewide topsoil moisture now stands at 8 percent very short, 16 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 90 percent of soybeans are blooming…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 96 percent of corn is silking, 55 percent is in the dough stage and 5 percent is in the dent stage. 65 percent of the corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Pasture conditions also improved to 54 percent in good to excellent shape.

 

(Gibson City–jc)  –  A Summer Bash is set for Gibson City on August 20th. Sponsored by Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services,  the nationally known group “NightRanger” will be performing live downtown Gibson City. The band “Eliminator” will also perform at 7pm, before NightRanger on August 20th. Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services Spokesperson Bill Kirby says it is a free event to say “thank you”...

 

 

Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services Spokesperson Bill Kirby

 

(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana man has been acquitted of sexually assaulting a child. It took jurors more than 12 hours to return not guilty verdicts against John Lenoir. He had been charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and faced up to 120 years in prison. Prosecutors say the alleged incident took place over two years ago and the mother of the alleged victim had been in a relationship with Lenoir’s brother, both of whom she claimed were alcoholics and wanted to limit visitations with him.

 

(Washington-jm) – The annual cash rents survey indicates gains in several categories but smaller in comparison to increases in farmland real estate values. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The Illinois Department of Public Health says a downstate daycare worker has monkeypox

(Rantoul-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health says a downstate daycare worker has monkeypox. The infection of an adult at a daycare in Rantoul is the third case in Champaign County. State Public Health Acting Director Sameer Vohra says children and staff at the daycare are being screened and the administration has been in touch with the White House…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Acting Director Sameer Vohra. Local public health officials will stay in contact with the affected families. The infected person also works in home health care and the one client they came in contact with is also being monitored.

 

(Gilman-jm) – The Iroquois County Sheriff's Police arrested a man who was witnessed pushing a 4 and 6 year-old out of a moving vehicle.  According to police, on August 3, sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the 100 block of E. Park St. in Gilman for a report that Jesse McGhee of Gilman was seen pushing children out of a moving vehicle. Police report one of the victims sustained injuries from the incident.  Officers say McGhee fled the scene before they arrived, but after further investigation he was located and taken into custody. McGhee was charged with two counts of domestic battery, two counts of reckless conduct, two counts of endangering the life of a child and violation of an order of protection after being served.  McGhee was taken to the Iroquois County Jail where he posted the required bond and released. 

 

(Champaign-jm) – A road in Champaign next to Interstate 74 will be closed to through traffic this week as construction crews build a new storm sewer for the highway. Weather permitting, Anthony Drive will be closing today between Dale and Dobbins Drives and will reopen on Saturday. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The director of the Department of Children and Family Services was grilled by lawmakers. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about that…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup has released the name of a man killed in a crash in Champaign late Thursday night. Northrup says 34 year old Jovan Smith died at the scene near Kenwood Drive and Kirby Avenue. Police say Smith was driving on Kenwood Drive when he lost control and crashed into a tree.

 

(Washington-jm) – June sales of U.S. food and agricultural products to other countries were far above June a year ago. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Champaign-jm) –  A fallen officer mobile memorial wall rolled into Champaign.  Beyond the Call of Duty's End of Watch Ride to Remember mobile wall parked in front of the Champaign Police Department on Saturday. The wall had photos of fallen officers including Champaign officer Chris Oberheim.. 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana man on probation for possessing a stolen vehicle has been charged with another vehicle theft. Craig Brown was arrested after police were called to Urbana Middle School because a van belonging to a vendor of the school was reported missing. Brown was allegedly seen on school surveillance video entering the school when it was closed, going into the office and taking the keys for the van. At the time of his arrest, Brown still allegedly had the keys to the stolen van on him. Bond was set at $5,000. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Police have made some changes dealing with FOID cards. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City discusses the changes…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Police were called to a shooting early Friday morning. Police were called to the area of west Church and north Prairie Streets around 2:15 am. Police say a fight escalated and ended with one person shot and the suspect is in custody.

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA's annual look at farm land values reveals a rise from last year in several categories. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The state's tax holiday on school supplies begins today

(Springfield-jm) – The state’s tax holiday on school supplies begins today. The 10 day holiday covers many items including folders, pens and notebooks as well as clothing and shoes that are under $125 a piece. Governor J-B Pritzker says this also applies to teachers spending their own money to purchase classroom supplies…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The holiday only applies to the state sales tax, not any local sales taxes. It runs through August 14th.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The U.S. Department of Labor wants to know how much money was misspent by the state of Illinois, but the Illinois Department of Employment Security hasn’t shared that information. Now, IDES has once again been called out by the federal government in a scathing report released. The report by the Inspector General criticizes Illinois and other states for failing to submit required information on the taxpayer dollars spent on federal programs created during the pandemic.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Another Illinois State Police squad car has been struck, marking the 14th Scott’s Law related crash this year. A Chicago area trooper was sitting in his car with the lights activated when he was hit by a drunk driver. The trooper suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but this is happening way too often says State Police Master Sergeant Joey Watson…

 

 

State Police Master Sergeant Joey Watson. Watson says bottom line, anytime you see any vehicle pulled over with the lights flashing or hazards on, passing motorists must slow down and change lanes if possible.

 

(Urbana-jm) – OSF HealthCare Home Care in Urbana has been recognized by Strategic Healthcare Programs as a “Superior Performer” for achieving an overall caregiver and family satisfaction score that ranked in the top 20% of all eligible SHP clients for the 2021 calendar year. OSF Home Care and Hospice in Urbana covers Champaign, Coles, Douglas, Ford, Edgar, Iroquois, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt, Vermilion counties.

 

(Savoy-jm) – The Village of Savoy is asking community businesses for feedback on how the village supports them and what the village can do further for them. The village released a survey on its website to learn what makes Savoy a great place to do business and how the village can better support its business community. The survey is intended to inform future village business support programs and economic development policies and incentives.

 

(Springfield-jm) – With the November general election about 4 months away, area lawmakers are talking about the political agenda heading into the election. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says sometimes those agenda’s have negative consequences…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in a street shooting over drugs. Gregory Sappington pleaded guilty to aggravated battery with a firearm in the November 2019 incident. Police say three men attempted to sell drugs to Sappington, who intended to rob them. The three men were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds. A second persons case related to the incident remains unresolved.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Medicaid reimbursement rates for abortion service providers are going up next month. Governor J-B Pritzker says Illinois will remain a sanctuary for women to make their own reproductive choices, and that providers need more support to handle the influx of patients…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Illinois is one of only 16 states that allow Medicaid coverage of abortions. The Governor is also announcing an additional two million dollars for family planning services.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois attorney general has announced the formation of a nationwide robocall litigation task force. Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced that Illinois is joining the Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force made up of 50 state attorneys general to investigate and take legal action against the telecommunications companies responsible for bringing a majority of foreign robocalls into the country. According to the National Consumer Law Center, over 33 million scam robocalls are made to Americans every day. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Fair kicks off next week, with new attractions and no admission price increases. Unlike everything else, the cost to get into the fair is not going up this year, says State Fair Manager Rebecca Clark…

 

 

State Fair Manager Rebecca Clark. Clark says new features include the giant dinosaurs exhibit with over 20 huge robotic creatures, character brunches and the bass mobile. The Illinois State Fair runs August 11th through the 21st in Springfield.

 

(Danville-jm) – The Vermilion County Health Department was recently honored with an award for its fight against COVID-19. The VCHD received the 2022 Bronze Innovative Practice Award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials at a conference in July. Awarded to ten health departments, the award celebrates local health departments for developing innovative programs to meet the needs of their communities.

 

(Undated-jm) – Multiple reports of funnel clouds were reported Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service issued a statement saying these funnels formed along a weak boundary extending from far Southeast McLean county towards the Dewitt/Piatt County border, through Central Macon county and into Northwest Christian county. Atmospheric conditions were favorable to form some of these funnels, which resemble cold air funnels or landspouts along the boundary. The boundary continued to slowly move southeast and produce occasional funnel clouds. 

 

(Fisher-jm) – The 5th annual Fisher Lucky Foot Festival is this Saturday. Spokesperson Joe Wier talks about what’s happening at the festival…

 

 

Fisher Lucky Foot Festival Spokesperson Joe Wier.

 

The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus will be coming to Durham Park in Onarga today with showtimes at 5 and 7:30 pm. 

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Class of 2024 on Saturday from 10-2.

 

The 5th annual Fisher Lucky Foot Festival will take place on Saturday. Activities include car show 10-3, youth run at 11:30, kids activities 12-3, bags tournament and paint party 1-4 and live music from 2-10.

 

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

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs office will be holding a live auction of unclaimed property at the Illinois State Fair this year

(Rantoul-jm) – Bond was set at $750,000 for a 27-year-old accused of kicking and hitting another woman, causing her death. Khydijah Brazell was arraigned at the Champaign County Courthouse Wednesday on four counts of first-degree murder following the Monday death of Shelby Rix. Multiple witnesses heard the fight and one saw it break out before it moved into a motel room. Brazell claimed she became angry when Rix was smoking in one of the rooms. Later, she was struggling to breathe and one of the witnesses and Brazell took a motionless Rix to the hospital. The autopsy report reads she died of blunt force trauma, and there was a “significant amount of internal bleeding,” according to the prosecution. If convicted, Brazell faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. She was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on August 24.

 

(Springfield-jm) – New rules are now in place for domestic workers including nannies, housekeepers and caregivers. The state’s minimum wage law has been extended to include domestic workers, ensuring they have rights on the job, says Illinois Department of Labor Assistant Director Jason Keller…

 

 

Illinois Department of Labor Assistant Director Jason Keller. The rules also specify that domestic workers must be paid time and a half for any overtime hours.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A bike advocacy group in Champaign County is in the process of overseeing the installation of a series of signs to remind drivers of a state law governing bicyclist clearance. Champaign County Bikes is providing 65 IDOT-approved signs to towns in the county to remind drivers to give bicyclists at least three feet of clearance. However, the state law is not required in just these locations; it is required everywhere.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  It’s open. Just Hamburgers is hosting a “soft” opening this week starting at 4pm and going to 7pm Regular menu items are available. Just Hamburgers General Manager Jonathan Frictl says a ribbon cutting and grand opening is set for 11am on Saturday…

 

 

Just Hamburgers of Paxton General Manager Jonathan Frictl.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The November election is just 4 months away. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about some of the major issues that could impact the election…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Watseka-jm) –  Iroquois Memorial Hospital is pleased to welcome Jaelyn French, to the IMH Medical Group Clinics in Watseka and Kentland. Jaelyn is an ANCC Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with substantial experience in various healthcare settings.

 

(Champaign-jm) – In order to bore a new storm sewer for I-74, Stark Excavating and IDOT will close Anthony Drive between Dale Drive and Dobbins Drive. The closure will begin on Monday, August 8, and will reopen on Saturday, August 13, 2022, weather permitting.  No through traffic will be allowed on Anthony Drive between Dale and Dobbins; however, access to all local properties will be maintained. A detour route will be posted for eastbound and westbound Anthony Drive traffic.

 

(Gifford-jm) –  A man from Rantoul has been arrested in connection to a deadly crash that happened near Gifford in June. Justin Shields was arrested on Wednesday and charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death and aggravated street racing. He is being held in the Champaign County Jail on a $10,000 bond. The charges allege that Shields was involved in a June 12 drag race on U.S. Route 136 that turned deadly. Responding State Troopers found a Dodge Charger had driven off the road and its driver, 34-year-old Scott Boyne of Rantoul, was pronounced dead at the scene. Special Agents from the Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation learned that Boyne had been drag racing with a second vehicle and that the other vehicle made contact with Boyne’s car, sending it off the road.

 

(Springfield-jm) – State Treasurer Mike Frerichs office will be holding a live auction of unclaimed property at the Illinois State Fair this year. The auction is a popular event and includes everything from a faberge picture frame to a 100 ounce Engelhard silver ingot, says Treasurer Frerichs…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. The auction will be held the second Saturday of the fair, on August 20th at 11 am. Fairgoers will be able to preview the items ahead of time.

 

(Urbana-jm) –  The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District said you can get rid of old tires during a special collection event. In a Facebook post, health department officials said the collection is today to Saturday at two drop-off locations. One is at CUPHD. The other is at the Urbana Township Road District east parking lot in Urbana. Those who live in Champaign County can drop off tires from passenger cars and small trucks. They can be with or without rims and need to be 17 inches or less.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state received some good news and some not so good news when it comes to the state's finances. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Ford County-jm) – The Ford County Sheriff’s Office has released their July activity report. During the month of July, deputies responded to 6 traffic accidents and issued 10 written warnings. Deputies also issued 5 citations for speeding, 2 for improper lane usage and 1 each for illegal parking on a roadway, illegal possession of cannabis and expired registration. Deputies also handled 3 reports each of harassment and suicide attempts and 1 each of trespassing, phone scam, fight in progress and missing person.

 

(Undated-jm) – The Illinois Department of Employment Security has released June metro unemployment numbers. Champaign County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.8 percent to 4.3 percent. Ford County’s fell from 5.0 percent to 4.2 percent. Vermilion County fell from 7.2 percent to 5.5 percent. Iroquois County fell from 4.7 percent to 3.9 percent.

 

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to remain aware and be prepared for further heavy rains and flash flooding

(Springfield-jm) – Illinoisans employing domestic workers like nannies, caregivers or housekeepers have new policies they must follow, like the state’s minimum wage law under a new rule finalized by the Illinois Department of Labor. Other provisions announced Monday include ensuring overtime pay, meal times and rest periods.

 

(Paxton-jm) – A local hamburger restaurant in Paxton will be reopening this weekend. Just Hamburgers closed in April after 43 years of operation when its owners retired. But there was so much demand for the restaurant that it will be reopening under new ownership. The grand reopening will be Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and the restaurant will be open until 1:30 p.m. The new owners said the menu should be about the same as it was when the restaurant closed.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Murphysboro, Illinois man wanted for a 2020 shooting in Champaign has been arrested on drug charges. An Illinois State Trooper stopped Robert Grady for a traffic violation in northwest Champaign. The trooper discovered Grady was wanted on charges of aggravated discharge of a firearm and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. Grady is accused of a shooting near Bradley and Duncan in Champaign in September 2020. The trooper also located two pounds of cannabis in the vehicle Bond was set at $450,000.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is urging the public to remain aware and be prepared for further heavy rains and flash flooding. Several significant storms may be impacting Illinois this week, bringing a potential for rapid flooding and storm damage. IEMA Spokesperson Kevin Sur stresses the need to stay alert during the threat of severe weather…

 

 

IEMA Spokesperson Kevin Sur. Sur also advises having an emergency kit at home and in the car and to include family pets in any preparedness efforts.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A man was arrested for possession of a stolen credit card, criminal trespassing, disorderly conduct, and on a Champaign County warrant for theft. Edward Bennett was arrested near Third and Daniel streets. Police say on July 31, a U of I student reported a man, later identified as Bennett, was chasing her near Second and Chalmers streets. U of I police saw Bennett trying to enter an apartment complex in the 900 block of South Third Street, Champaign. Officers say they found a stolen credit card on Bennett when he was arrested.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Savoy man has been charged with making a terrorist threat, a Class X felony. Michael Miller is accused of threatening a mass shooting at First and Green streets in Champaign. Charges were filed after Miller allegedly sent hundreds of emails to Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen over several months. On July 24, Miller reportedly sent a series of emails that suggested a mass shooting would occur at the intersection of First and Green Streets, and referenced “a handful of folk I would personally want to murder.” A search of Miller's home led officers to discover three ghost gun kits and materials used to make 9mm ammunition. Miller's bond was set at $1 million.

 

(Loda-jm) – A Loda man is facing charges following a single vehicle accident Saturday. Iroquois County police say Keanan Crabb was traveling eastbound on 200 east when he failed to negotiate a curve and went into a ditch. A witness told police they saw Crabb leave the scene and later, Crabb reported his vehicle stolen. Crabb was cited for leaving the scene of an accident, improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed and driving while license suspended.

 

(Washington-jm) – Recent adjustments in USDA's Spot Market Hog Pandemic Program result in an increase in available funding for payments to eligible producers. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – An Illinois state agency is asking all federal student loan servicers to take a proactive step to alert student loan holders about a forgiveness program that may apply to them. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation on Tuesday sent a letter to the servicers asking them to alert and educate student loan holders about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The program forgives the remaining student loan balance of full-time government and certain non-profit employees after making 120 qualifying payments.

 

(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana teen has been charged with attempted aggravated arson for allegedly trying to set fire to a Tolono home. Jael Heredia is accused of starting two fires at a mobile home while a woman and her son were inside. Police say a neighbor saw Heredia watching the fires and yelled at him causing him to flee. He was located a short time later. Bond was set at $25,000.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man will spend the next 7 years in prison for shooting his pregnant girlfriend. Desmond Godbolt pleaded guilty in Champaign County court to aggravated battery with a firearm, admitting he shot the woman in the upper body in May 2021. 

 

(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana man has been resentenced to 4 and a half years in prison for violating his sex offender probation. Joseph Sloan pleaded guilty last September to indecent solicitation of a child and sentenced to four years probation. The state moved to revoke his probation after learning he failed to comply with two elements of his probation including not being around children and failing to undergo court ordered treatment.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 2 years probation for flushing cocaine down the toilet when police approached his house. Trayon Parker pleaded guilty to obstructing justice admitting he flushed the cocaine down the toilet as the Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force entered his home with a search warrant. 

 

(Champaign-jm) – There will be a pair of lane reductions because of road construction in Champaign this week. In order to complete fiber optic install for i3 Broadband, Direct Line and Stark Excavation will close an eastbound lane of Windsor Road between Mattis Avenue and Windward Boulevard. The closure will begin today and will reopen on Monday, August 8 weather permitting. During the closure, eastbound traffic will be reduced to one lane in the area. In order to facilitate curb and gutter construction at 409 W. Town Center Boulevard, Mayfield Construction will be closing one eastbound lane of Town Center Boulevard between Moreland Boulevard and Neil Street.  The closure will begin today and will reopen on Wednesday, August 10. Eastbound traffic will be reduced to one lane in the area.

 

(Washington-jm) – Some USDA risk management and disaster programs are utilizing existing data to create pre-populated application forms for qualifying producers. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Governor J.B. Pritzker declared the monkeypox virus outbreak a public health emergency

(Beason–jc)  One tornado was confirmed on Monday morning with storms that ran through the area. The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado in Beason. The storm caused damage to some power lines and  also uprooted trees. 

 

(Dewey-jm) – Two people were taken to the hospital with non life threatening injuries following an accident near Dewey Monday afternoon. The accident happened at U-S 136 and the Dewey-Fisher Road and involved a car vs semi.

 

(Springfield-jm) – July weather in Illinois was wetter than normal. State Climatologist Trent Ford says last month may end up as one of the top 20 wettest Julys on record, although rainfall totals varied widely across the state…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Ford says rainfall was one to six inches above normal in most areas north of I-80 and south central Illinois totals were three to nine inches above normal. High precipitation was seen in Elgin, the Metro East area and Olney. Conversely, drought conditions persist in east central Illinois counties.

 

(Springfield-jm) –  Governor J.B. Pritzker declared the monkeypox virus outbreak a public health emergency Monday. The emergency disaster proclamation allows the Illinois Department of Public Health to work with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to expand testing and vaccination efforts in the state. According to IDPH data, Illinois has had 520 cases of monkeypox as of Monday. Most cases have been located within the city of Chicago, but central Illinois has seen cases recently. Champaign County had its second case and Sangamon County its first probable case last week.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois crop conditions improved over the past week. The weather was cooler and wetter in many parts of the state, giving crops a little boost. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 76 percent of soybeans are blooming…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 91 percent of corn acres are silking and 31 percent have reached the dough stage. 74 percent of the Illinois corn crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture is now rated at 3 percent very short, 23 percent short, 61 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Firefighters in Champaign were called to a house Monday afternoon to extinguish a fire that started in the attic. The fire happened at 1220 Gertrude Avenue just before 2 p.m. A neighbor reported fire coming from the single-story house and arriving firefighters observed smoke and fire coming from the eaves of the home. The firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire, which was primarily contained to the attic. Two adults were home at the time of the fire; they were not hurt, but will be displaced because of the damage.  The cause of the fire has not been determined.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Some Illinoisans may see a tax increase because of the state’s failure to pay back a bill. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Ford County Public Health Department is asking for the public's help collecting dead birds as it continues testing as part of its West Nile virus surveillance program. The health department started collecting dead birds May 1 and will continue through October 15.  If you find a dead bird, contact Ford County Public Health Department (217)379-9281.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A Chicago man has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for looting a Rantoul business. Michael Woods pleaded guilty to burglary after admitting to breaking into Colonial Liquors on May 31, 2020. Woods was among others who broke into the liquor store as part of the looting that took place following the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Secretary of State Jesse White’s office is encouraging more minorities to consider organ donation. This is National Minority Organ Donation Awareness Month and Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman explains why this is so important…

 

 

Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman. Kaufman says transplants can be successful regardless of the ethnicity of the donor and recipient but long term success may be greater if both are more closely matched.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Democratic party has a new leader. State Representative Elizabeth Hernandez of Cicero, will be the first Latina elected chair of the state party. This comes after now-former chair U.S. Representative Robin Kelly announced on Friday, July 29 that she lacked the votes needed to continue in the position and withdrew.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois crop conditions improved over the past week. The cooler and wetter weather helped a bit, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. He gives an update on the state’s corn crop…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 76 percent of soybean acres are blooming and 37 percent are setting pods. 68 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. 92 percent of the second cutting and 20 percent of the third cutting of alfalfa is now complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated as 3 percent very short, 23 percent short, 61 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in identifying the person responsible for a series of liquor thefts. In a news release, Crime Stoppers said that the thefts happened at Haymakers, located at 3501 South Fields Drive in Champaign, over the course of two months. In each theft, a man walks into the store, loads a backpack with liquor and leaves without paying. Crime Stoppers said he has stolen $900 worth of liquor. The suspect appears to be a Black male with a medium build.

 

(Vermilion County-jm) – Environmental groups are celebrating the scrapping of plans for the proposed Bulldog Mine in eastern Illinois. Jonah Chester reports…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana man is facing murder for hire charge. Marcell Drake is accused of soliciting a person to murder his ex girlfriend whom he is facing charges of choking her and threatening her with a gun. He has been in jail since October. He is charged with being an armed habitual criminal, obstruging justice and aggravated assault as well as domestic battery and solicitation to commit murder. Bond for the new case is set at 1 million dollars while the other case is $500,000.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District will stop reaching out to people who test positive for COVID-19 starting August 15. The health department says its due to a reduction in funding and resources being re-allocated.

 

Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing 15 million dollars in tourism grants

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing 15 million dollars in tourism grants. 10 million has already been awarded through a new state program to support exhibits, festivals and attractions around the state and now an additional 15 million is up for grabs. Governor Pritzker says it has been important to support an industry hit so hard by the pandemic…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker.  Grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and applications for this second round are now being accepted via the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website. Downstate communities are being prioritized this time around.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health Friday reported 35,371 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease in Illinois, including 48 deaths since July 22, 2022. According to the CDC, 66 counties are now rated at High Community Level for COVID-19. An additional 31 counties in Illinois are now rated at Medium Community Level. Locally, Ford, Champaign and Vermilion Counties are at high level while Iroquois is at medium.

 

(Fisher-jm) – The 5th annual Fisher Lucky Foot Festival gets underway this Saturday. Spokesperson Joe Wier talks about the history behind the festival…

 

 

Fisher Lucky Foot Festival Spokesperson Joe Wier.

 

(Roberts-jm) – Route 115 in Roberts will be closed today as the Illinois Central Railroad begins crossing improvements. The closure is expected to last seven days. A detour will direct motorists to Route 54, I-57 and U-S 24.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois drivers have an extension when it comes to renewing their driver's license. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Undated-jm) – Several area school districts are receiving a portion of $30 million set aside for safety improvements. Champaign Unit 4, Urbana schools, Thomasboro Grade, Rantoul City Schools, St. Joseph Community, St. Joseph Ogden, GCMS, Tri-Point, Cissna Park, Iroquois West and Milford are each receiving $50,000. PBL is receiving $47,627.

 

(Washington-jm) – Friday's USDA Agricultural Prices Report shows most farmers saw rising prices for their commodities during June. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois is set to receive as much as 760 million dollars to fight the opioid epidemic. The money will come over the next 18 years, the product of lawsuit settlements with pharmaceutical distributors and manufacturers. Governor J-B Pritzker is signing an executive order to ensure the funds go towards the state’s efforts battling opioid abuse…

 

 

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The money will be used for prevention, intervention and treatment. Deaths from opiate related overdoses continue to rise in Illinois.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced it is offering taxpayer-funded, one-time bulk shipments of rapid COVID-19 antigen tests to all eligible long-term care facilities in Illinois.  The shipments are coming in response to the increased community transmission of COVID-19 across many Illinois counties and are intended to supplement the existing testing program that these facilities are required to conduct. IDPH has acquired 250,000 tests that will be distributed through this offer.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The November election is just a few months away and both political parties are gearing up for what could be one of the most important elections in quite a while. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says Republicans are feeling good about the election…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois has named an interim provost. Bill Bernhard has agreed to take on the role after Andreas Cangellaris left. A national search is underway for a permanent replacement.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Three people, including a child, were hurt in a pair of shootings that happened in Champaign over the weekend. The first shooting happened at 9:08 p.m. on Saturday. Officers received a report of a shooting with injuries in the 1100 block of North Third Street; as they arrived, they were informed that two people had arrived by private vehicle at the hospital with gunshot wounds – a 26-year-old man with multiple injuries and a child with a gunshot wound to the leg. Both victims’ injuries were not life threatening and they are listed in stable condition. The initial investigation indicated that the two were outside when the shooting occurred. A building was also hit by the shots. The second shooting happened at 5:49 a.m. on Sunday. Officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of Alberta Parkway and were subsequently informed that a 17-year-old female had also arrived by private vehicle at an area hospital. She had a gunshot wound to the torso, but it was not life threatening and she too is in stable condition. The investigation indicated that the victim was in her car on Alberta when she was shot through the door. Reports indicated that three unknown men were seen running away to the north. Champaign Police are investigating both shootings. At this time, it is not known if the shootings are connected and no arrests have been made in connection to either shooting.

 

(Ford/Iroquois-tr) – The Ford/Iroquois County Farm Bureau will be hosting a Farm Legacy Planning session to discuss how farm families can transfer their farms to the next generation. Ford/Iroquois County Farm Bureau Manager David Treece says that members will need to call in to reserve their spot… 

 

 

Ford/Iroquois County Farm Bureau Manager David Treece

 

(Rantoul-jm) – The Rantoul Fire Department was called to a house fire in the 1000 block of Eastview Drive. The fire started on the outside of the house and was called in by neighbors. There were no injuries reported.

 

(Washington-jm) – Producers suffering qualifying natural disaster crop losses in 2020 and 2021 now have more time to apply for USDA Emergency Relief Program funding. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

Get our App

Facebook

On Air Now

Regular Programming
12:00am - 6:00am
Regular Programming

Listen on Alexa

Weather

Visitor Polls

How do you consume your sports, or news coverage?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.