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WPXN Blog Archives for 2022-10

The Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office is offering some Halloween safety tips.

(Paxton-jm) – Paxton first responders were called to a two vehicle accident Friday evening. Crews were called to the accident at Route 9 and Route 115 around 6 pm. There’s no word on if there were any injuries.

 

(Homer-jm) – Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup confirmed the names of three people involved in a single motor vehicle crash near Homer Saturday night. Police reported the driver, Daniel Albers, age 38, of Fairmount, and passengers Lucas Bohlen, age 36, of Ogden, and Matthew Drake, age 38, of St Joseph, were traveling north on Homer Lake Road. Their vehicle left the roadway and struck a building and a tree near the 2500 block of Homer Lake Road North. All three men were pronounced dead at the scene at 6:41 p.m. on Oct. 29. A fourth passenger in the vehicle was taken to Carle Hospital in Urbana.

 

(Bradley-jm) – The Illinois State Police has made another arrest in connection to the murder of Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic. Prosecutors believe that 23-year-old Jaron M. Shannon of Kankakee took part in a “straw purchase” of a gun that was used in a December 29 shooting that left Rittmanic dead and Officer Tyler Bailey seriously hurt. This means that Shannon is accused of buying the gun and then giving it to accused killers Darius Sullivan and Xandria Harris, who could not legally purchase a gun themselves. He was charged with two felony counts of unlawful sale of a firearm and 10 misdemeanor counts of failure to maintain records of a firearm sale. Bond was set at $500,000.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting an uptick of COVID-19 cases. More than 13 thousand new cases of COVID have been logged over the past week, and that doesn’t count those who tested positive at home and never went to the doctor. Additionally, 38 Illinois counties are at an elevated risk for transmission of the virus says State Public Health Director Dr Sameer Vohra…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Sameer Vohra. Vohra urges everyone to make sure they are up to date on their vaccines before the holidays. That includes COVID and flu shots, which can be given at the same time.

 

(Springfield-jm) – llinois law prohibits all sex offenders who committed a crime against a child from distributing candy on Halloween. This means they cannot hand out candy or attend events geared towards kids. In addition to event attendance, child sex offenders are not allowed to leave their porch lights on during trick-or-treating hours. Law enforcement also recommends checking out the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is offering some Halloween safety tips. For starters, don’t use candles in your carved pumpkin; opt for a flashlight or glow stick instead, says Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Fultz says parents should make sure kids wearing Halloween masks can see through the eye holes and give them a flashlight or glow stick to carry.

 

(Paxton–jc)  -Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is A Picket Fence Florist downtown Paxton. The store features fresh flowers and floral arrangements to inspirational gifts, signs to stocking ;stuffers for the holidays. Owner Teri Hancock says a holiday “sneak peek” sale is coming this weekend at A Picket Fence Florist in Paxton…

 


A Picket Fence Florist Owner Teri Hancock

We have an interview with the gang at A Picket Fence Florist during our noon news today.

 

(Champaign-jm) – On Saturday at 7:48 p.m Champaign Police were dispatched to the 500 block of West Washington Street for a report of a shooting with injuries. Upon arrival, officers located a 17-year-old male from Champaign with a gunshot wound to the back. Police officers immediately rendered medical aid with assistance from the Champaign Fire Department until the victim could be transported to an area hospital. He remains in stable condition. The initial investigation indicated even though the victim was located on Washington Street, the shooting was reported to have taken place in the 700 block of North Elm Street. The investigation remains ongoing.

 

(Urbana-jm) – University of Illinois Police are investigating a pair of weekend sexual assaults on campus.  A student was sexually assaulted early Friday morning at a fraternity house in Champaign. University of Illinois Police confirmed that the victim did not know the offender. Sunday morning police received another report of a sexual assault, this time between Sherman and Allen halls. Police say the student was walking between the two locations when she encountered a man who led her inside a building and assaulted her.

 

(Kankakee-jm) – On Friday Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group Agents, assisted by the Illinois State Police SWAT and the Bradley Police Department, arrested 36-year-old Antonio Paige of Kankakee. Paige was arrested following a search warrant at this residence. The search warrant execution resulted in the seizure of one loaded handgun, approximately 54 grams of suspected crack cocaine, approximately 17 grams of suspected cocaine, approximately 3.2 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and United States Currency. Paige, who is currently on parole with the Illinois Department of Corrections, has been initially charged with Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance between 15 and 100 grams, Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver within 500 Feet of a Park, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, and Possession of a Firearm by a Gang Member.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Community College Board is reporting an increase in fall enrollment for the first time in more than a decade. Overall, enrollment grew by one and a half percent compared to last fall, with 28 community colleges reporting a rise in students. 20 schools saw a decrease over the year. Board Executive Director Brian Durham…

 

 

Illinois Community College Board Executive Director Brian Durham. There was a 30 percent increase in adult learners this fall compared to the previous year. More career and technical students are coming back as well, since much of their work must be done in-person.

 

(Undated-jm) – Doctors are urging safety and practicing safe hygiene this Halloween as cases of RSV continue to rise. As youngsters head out tonight for trick or treating doctors are urging caution. They recommend people handing out candy to have it in bags instead of letting kids reach into a bucket to get the candy. They also recommend using hand sanitizer frequently and if your kid is sick, to keep them at home.

 

(Springfield-jm) – A University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor looks at why we love horror movies and what makes a good film. English Professor Jim Hansen teaches a course on the subject and says for him, a successful horror movie plays upon our fears of a monster, ghost or bad guy trying to get into what we consider a safe space. For example, much of the Exorcist takes place in young Regan’s room as she is possessed by a demon…

 

 

University of Illinois English Professor Jim Hansen. Hansen says there may be several reasons people like horror movies, such as asking themselves if they would be able to survive the scenario or just tapping into a little masochistic pleasure.

 

(Paxton–jc)  -Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is A Picket Fence Florist downtown Paxton. It’s more than just fresh flowers and floral arrangements offered in the store and delivered everyday. A Picket Fence Florist also features gifts for all occasions, and now are taking orders for Poinsettias for Christmas. With a “Sneak Peek” Holiday Shopping event coming this Friday Saturday and Sunday, A Picket Fence Designer Dawn Glad says the colors of the season are featured and ready at the store in Paxton…

 

 

A Picket Fence of Paxton Florist Designer Dawn Glad

 

Paxton’s Halloween parade is back this afternoon at 4. The parade will kick off at the library and go down Market Street to the firehouse.

 

The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce will host a trick or treat in downtown Rantoul on Monday, October 31st.

 

Trick or Treat Hours around the area…

 

Buckley 4-7

 

Elliott 5-8

 

Gibson City 5-8

 

Loda 5-8

 

Melvin 5-7

 

Paxton 5-8

 

Piper City 5-7

 

Roberts 4-7

 

Sibley 5-7

 

Crescent City 4:30-7:30

 

Gilman 4-7

 

Hoopeston 5-7:30

 

Onarga 5-7

 

Thawville 4-7

 

Rantoul 6-8

 

St. Joseph 6-8

 

Mahomet 6-8

 

Champaign and Urbana 6-8

 

Gifford 6-8

 

Ludlow 5-8

 

Fisher 5-8

 

The State Board of Elections is working to answer questions about voting by mail

(Springfield-jm) – The latest Illinois school report card shows the highest graduation rate in a decade. More than 87 percent of students completed high school in the 2022 school year, with gains driven by an increase in minority grads, says State Superintendent Carmen Ayala…

 

 

The 2022 Illinois school report card shows an increase in chronic absenteeism among students. Although students resumed full in-person learning last year, there was a two percent drop in attendance rates. Additionally, State Schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala says 30 percent of students missed around 17 days or more…

 

 

State Schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala. Minority students were more likely to frequently miss school. Ayala says the State Board of Education is already working to address the problem through truancy intervention, counseling and home visits.The report card also shows student growth in English and Math and an increase in kids taking career and technical education or dual credit courses. Data for your child’s school is available online at: illinois report card dot com. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The State Board of Elections is working to answer questions about voting by mail. The board has updated the “frequently asked questions” section of its website, hoping to ease any confusion. Spokesperson Matt Dietrich says one question voters often ask is what do I do if I requested a mail-in ballot but have changed my mind?...

 

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Dietrich says voters have until next Thursday to request a mail-in ballot. You can find answers to many questions about mail-in voting at: elections dot il dot gov.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Carle Health is offering two pop-up bivalent COVID-19 booster clinics for all eligible children ages five to 18 on Saturday, November 5 at two of its pediatric office locations in the Champaign-Urbana area. Bivalent boosters were most recently approved for the five to 11-year-old age group and provide protection from both the original strain of COVID-19 and the omicron variant. Flu vaccines will also be available for this age group. Appointments are required. The offices are located at Carle Champaign on Curtis and Carle Urbana on Windsor.

 

(Paxton jc)  –  The City of Paxton is the WPXN Business of the Day today. City leaders have been busy with the recent Streetscape program that provided new streets in the downtown area, vintage light poles, sidewalks and more. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingod says he has had several “looks like a Hallmark city,” conversations..

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

 

(Roberts–jc) One Thawville area family is dealing with some serious health issues with their two sons. Both sons of Daniel and Lindsey Flessner were diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. There is no cure, but efforts to find one continue. Daniel Flessner talks about the terrible disease…

 

 

Thawville area resident Daniel Flessner.

You have a chance to help raise money to find a cure and raise awareness with the Flessner Fall Festival on Saturday in Roberts. The event runs from noon to 7pm with music, food, bingo, and a silent auction. The Flessner Fall Festival at the Roberts Park Pavilion this Saturday.

 

(Springfield-jm) – State and local police are beefing up enforcement for Halloween weekend. More than one thousand people have died on Illinois roads so far this year, and the State Department of Transportation is hoping this weekend doesn’t bring about any more traffic deaths, says Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. There will also be local roadside safety checks. Wappel urges Halloween partygoers to plan how they are going to get home ahead of time.

 

(Gilman-jm) – In updating our story from yesterday,  at 8am on Wednesday, a nitric acid leak was discovered coming from a semi-tractor trailer that was parked at the Pilot Travel Center in Gilman. Emergency responders, led by Gilman Fire Protection District, were called to the scene and ensured the safety of all present. A private cleanup crew was called in to remediate the spill. Overnight, the cleanup crew suffered an equipment failure that led to more nitric acid being spilled. Private cleanup crews are working with Gilman Fire Protection District, Iroquois County EMA, Illinois EPA, and Pilot Travel Center to finish remediation. Throughout the event, there have been no injuries, and the only interruption to business was to bulk diesel fueling, which has since been restored to full operations.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  The City of Paxton is our WPXN Business of the Day today. Phase One of the downtown Streetscape program is coming to an end. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says several items remain on the yet to be completed list…

 

 

Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. We have a full interview with the Mayor that will air during the Noon news today. 

 

WPXN Weekend News Notes…

 

American Lutheran Church in Rantoul will host a trunk or treat today from 5:30-7.

 

The Loda Sportsman Club splatter board and trap shoot will take place on Saturday from 8 to noon.

 

The Cissna Park American Legion Auxiliary will hold their holiday bazaar on Saturday from 9-2.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Loda Fireworks on Saturday from 10-2.

 

First Lutheran Church in Paxton will host a blood drive on Saturday from 10:30-2:30. Appointments are required by contacting Kevin Hanson at e-m-t-c-o-o-r at hotmail dot com.

 

The Flessner Fall Festival will take place Saturday from 12-7 at the Roberts Park Pavilion. Activities including live music, inflatables, racing simulator, 50/50 raffle, food trucks, kids games and more.

 

Fisher will hold their 2nd annual Trunk or Treat on Saturday at 6pm at the Fisher Fairgrounds.

 

Roberts will host their Halloween Festival on Sunday from 3-5 pm at the Roberts Gym.

Thousands of retired state workers could soon be forced to find new doctors because of a change to the Illinois Medicare Advantage Plan

(Springfield-jm) – A member of the Illinois State Police Merit Board has asked an appeals court to override a judge’s decision to allow Attorney General Kwame Raoul to dismiss a lawsuit against a former board employee accused of fraud costing taxpayers more than $500,000. A Sangamon County judge earlier this year granted Raoul’s request to dismiss the False Claims Act lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks to recover money allegedly stolen through bogus overtime and worker's compensation claims by former ISP Merit Board employee Jenny Thornley. Thornley, who faces criminal charges for overtime fraud, had worked for J.B. Pritzker’s 2018 campaign for governor. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health is offering some tips to stay safe this Halloween. This is the third Halloween since the pandemic started, but it’s still a good idea to make sure you’re up to date on COVID and flu vaccinations, carry hand sanitizer and avoid large crowds, says State Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey…

 

 

State Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey. Claffey says if you’re feeling sick, stay home. Additionally, the U-S Consumer Product Safety Commission says there are about 32 hundred Halloween related injuries across the country each year. More than half of those people were hurt while carving a pumpkin.

 

(Paxton-jm) – Paxton IGA recently presented St. Mary’s CCW with a $1,000 check as part of the charitable rebate program. The grocery store made the donation to the CCW through the store's Charitable Rebate program, which provides $1,000 to a nonprofit organization in return for the organization collecting $200,000 in IGA receipts. This represents the 56th organization that has qualified for a $1000 check since the program started in September 2009.

 

(Undated-jm) – With less than two weeks left in the campaign, the Democrats running for Illinois statewide offices and the U.S. Senate hold commanding leads over their GOP opponents according to a new poll. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

(Champaign-jm) – Planned Parenthood in Champaign has expanded their facility for in-clinic abortion care patients. The facility expanded by five thousand square feet and will offer care to patients around the region. It comes after the U-S Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe vs Wade, giving abortion regulations up to the states.

 

(Paxton–jc) La Hacienda Cantina downtown Paxton is the WPXN Business of the Day today. Owner Victor Torres says the restaurant is family owned and meals to margaritas are made fresh, daily…

 

 

La Hacidena Cantina Owner Victor Torres.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –The Paxton Service Club is on the lookout.  Several members of the local civic group are looking to choose the annual downtown Paxton Christmas Tree.  Paxton Service Club spokesperson Judy Ondercho says they have been given several possibilities, but they continue to search the city and surrounding areas for a good match. Officials with the City of Paxton and E-I-E-C help place the tree at the intersections of State and Market annually.  PRIDE in Paxton is the group that hosts the Tree Lighting Ceremony, which is set for Friday November 25th at 7pm

Also the annual City of Paxton Christmas parade will step off at 1-30pm on Saturday November 26th. 

 

(Peoria-jm) – OSF HealthCare is seeking regulatory approval to build a 100-bed psychiatric facility in Peoria. It would be the largest adult psychiatric hospital in Illinois south of Chicago. Officials said U.S. HealthVest will handle staff hiring at the psychiatric facility because for-profit companies are able to pay staff more. OSF hopes to have the facility open by late 2024 or early 2025.

 

(Springfield-jm) – There’s at least one mountain lion roaming Illinois right now, and the State Department of Natural Resources is asking the public to leave him alone. A cougar was struck and killed on I-88 earlier this month, but there’s a second one. It was fitted with a GPS collar last year by Nebraska officials and has made its way here, says DNR Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer (wee-fer)...

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer. Wefer reminds that mountain lions are protected so it’s illegal to hunt, kill or harass them unless they are an imminent threat to yourself or your property. You can report sightings online at: wildlife illinois dot org.

 

(Pesotum-jm) – District 21 Illinois State Police recently conducted Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement Patrols in Champaign County. During the patrols, 1 person was cited for an occupant restraint violation, 7 were cited for a registration violation and 3 for driver’s license offenses.

 

(CIssna Park–jc) The Holiday season starts on Saturday in one area town. The Cissna Park Legion Auxiliary is hosting its annual Holiday Bazaar on Saturday. The event takes place from 7am to 2pm in the American Legion Building along Route 49. 


 

(Undated-jm) – With less than two weeks, a new poll shows where Democrats and Republicans stand. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) – Thousands of retired state workers could soon be forced to find new doctors because of a change to the Illinois Medicare Advantage Plan. Beginning January 1st, the state will only offer an Aetna PPO Plan for retirees, meaning Carle would be out of network.  But the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association, or SUAA, said these workers were promised health coverage in retirement. SUAA said they believe Carle wants to see retirees buy insurance through their private Medicare Advantage 

Plan. If a deal is not reached, about 10,000 retirees in the area would be forced to find new doctors.

 

(Paxton–jc) La Hacienda Cantina downtown Paxton is the WPXN Business of the Day today. The local authentic Mexican menu restaurant features fresh made meals, 10 types of margaritas and 32 varieties of tequilas. Owner Victor Torres says one of the favorite menu meals is Zarrapes..

 

 

Hacienda Cantina Owner Victor Torres.

Hear more about LaHacienda Cantina on our news cast and an interview with Victor Torres during the Noon news block today. 

 

 

American Lutheran Church in Rantoul will host a trunk or treat on Friday from 5:30-7.

 

Fisher will hold their 2nd annual Trunk or Treat on Saturday at 6pm at the Fisher Fairgrounds.

 

Roberts will host their Halloween Festival on Sunday from 3-5 pm at the Roberts Gym.

 

During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology is discussing the dangers of phishing

(Undated-jm) – COVID-19 vaccines were added to the list of recommended childhood immunizations. An independent advisory committee for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously to approve the 2023 Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule that includes the COVID vaccines. They are recommending the 2- or 3-dose primary series and a booster for children 6 months and older. This doesn’t mean that children are necessarily required to be vaccinated against COVID to enroll in school. The CDC says states hold the authority to establish vaccine requirements for school children.

 

(Springfield-jm) – During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology is discussing the dangers of phishing. Phishing is a technique used to get your personal information by email or phone. The communication will often look very real, like it’s coming from a company you work with. But the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology’s Jennifer Rominger (roam-ing-er) says it’s best to pause before you click on any links…

 

 

Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology’s Jennifer Rominger (roam-ing-er). That includes visiting your account to see if they truly need more information or calling the real phone number for your bank or a business.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A man is facing charges after police say he trespassed on the University of Illinois property and discharged fire extinguishers outside a U of I building. Police say it happened Monday morning after a U of I employee reported someone had discharged four fire extinguishers outside of Freer Hall. Police reviewed security camera footage and say it was Hakim Nouraoui, 24. He had previously been issued a no-trespassing notice for all U of I property. Nouraroui is facing charges of trespassing on state-supported property and criminal damage to state-supported property.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A group of athletes at the University of Illinois are putting together a supply drive for hurricane relief to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. 

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee will be holding the supply drive today from 4 to 7 p.m. in the circle drive of State Farm Center. The drive is being led by Illini track and field All-American Olivia Howell, whose family is from Puerto Rico; one of her family members will be shipping all of the items collected to people in Puerto Rico to assist in hurricane recovery efforts. Items recommended for donation include flashlights, batteries, nonperishable food, pillows, blankets or sleeping bags, toilet paper, toothbrushes, feminine products and portable water filters. The SAAC has also started a GoFundMe with a $40,000 goal.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Gas prices remain high but is there any relief in sight? 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City discusses the high prices and what is still to come…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Explore Parkland College academic programs, campus life, support services and more during the school's Health Professions/General Open House. This event will take place Friday from noon to 2 p.m. in the Student Union atrium and in the L and H buildings for its Health Professions programs.

 

(Champaign-jm) – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois announced distribution details for the $8.25 million in federal funding that he secured in the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus appropriations bill for electric buses. Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District is receiving $3.78 million.

 

(Washington-jm) – If there was any doubt that the beef cattle inventory is contracting, the latest USDA cattle feedlot report has erased that doubt. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  Paxton Hardware and Rental is the WPXN Business of the Day today. Owner Scott Allen  says they have lots of Halloween and Fall merchandise, and they are getting ready for Christmas shopping…

 

 

Paxton Hardware and Rental Owner Scott Allen

 

(Undated-jm) – Loyola University in Chicago completed a study on people taken into police custody from 2017 to 2021. Experts found that 63% of arrests made in Illinois were non-detainable crimes like retail theft or trespassing. Those same people could get sentenced to probation. Meanwhile, the remaining 37% of those arrested were for offenses that can end in prison time or a person is likely to avoid coming to their trial.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state is launching the Illinois Safe Sleep Support Program to help reduce infant deaths. Sudden Infant Death is one of the leading causes of infant mortality. With that in mind, this one-year statewide program aims to better educate parents and caregivers, says Illinois Department of Human Services Early Childhood Director Kirstin Chernawsky (chir-now-ski)...

 

 

Illinois Department of Human Services Early Childhood Director Kirstin Chernawsky (chir-now-ski). Chernawsky says they will also work to reach minority families, which suffer more SIDS deaths. The Safe Sleep Support Program is a joint effort between 12 government and community agencies.

 

(Champaign-jm) – University Police arrested a 27-year-old man for intentionally lighting a car on fire over the weekend in Campustown. According to police, a report came in of a man crouched near a parked car lighting some kind of fluid in the area of Third and Chalmers streets. Witnesses told police the fluid ignited underneath the vehicle and the man walked away from the area.  The fire department was alerted and was able to extinguish the fire, but estimate the vehicle damage to $25,000. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.  University Police investigators reviewed security camera footage from a nearby apartment building, and were able to identify the suspect as Devonte Moore.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Carle has updated their mask requirements to follow the CDC’s county transmission levels of COVID. Carle said effective immediately, any center affiliated with Carle that is not in high county transmission level will not require masks. Carle healthcare workers that are not fully vaccinated or do not have an approved medical, religious, or spiritual exemption will have to wear a mask when they are within six feet of a patient, regardless of community or high transmission levels. If the CDC designates a county to have a high transmission level or a high risk of community spread, anyone in the building will have to mask regardless of vaccination status. Currently, these counties are not requiring masks in almost all settings as of this week: Coles, Douglas, Effingham, Iroquois, Lawrence, Livingston, Piatt, Richland, and Woodford. These counties require masking in clinical settings but no mask requirement in non-clinical settings: Champaign, Edwards, McLean, and Vermilion.

 

(Cissna Park-jm) – The Cissna Park FFA auction will be taking place in early December. The group is still looking for auction items for the auction, says Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton…

 

 

Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Fire Department responded to a fire inside a single-family home at 1002 N. Third St., Tuesday, at 8:02 a.m.  Fire crews quickly extinguished the fire in this single-family home.  Firefighters responded to a report from a passerby of a fire in the residence.  Once on the scene, firefighters reported moderate smoke and fire coming from the front of the structure.  Fire crews deployed multiple hose lines and quickly extinguished the fire. The cause of this fire is under investigation as investigators remain on the scene.  There were no occupant or firefighter injuries reported as a result of this fire.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Toys R Us is coming back to Central Illinois. The children’s toy store closed in 2017 following bankruptcy. Some of the stores are making a comeback in Macy’s. The Macy’s at Marketplace Mall in Champaign is one of 15 Macy’s stores in the state to have a Toys R Us.

 

(Washington-jm) – Beef cattle prices are running far above this time a year ago as cattle supplies tighten. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  Paxton Hardware and Rental is the WPXN Business of the Day today. Owner Scott Allen  says they are more than just nuts and bolts. Paxton Hardware and Rental has paint, seasonal items, housewares and a full line of rental items. Scott Allen says for brick and mortar businesses, it’s important to shop local…

 

 

Paxton Hardware and Rental Owner Scott Allen

 

 

Health experts are warning of a rise in cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV

(Undated-jm) – Health experts are warning of a rise in cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV. The common cold-like virus hit the highest level of cases for any single week in two years. As of last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say there were more than 73,000 cases across the nation. While most symptoms of the virus are mild, parents should still pay attention to how their child is feeling.

 

(Springfield-jm) – More early voting locations are now open in Illinois. Additional sites with longer hours of operation are available to cast your ballot before Election Day. State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich says about 67 thousand people have already voted, although that’s expected to quickly increase…

 

 

State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. Dietrich says nearly 800 thousand people have requested mail-in ballots and about 266 thousand ballots have already been returned.

 

(Urbana-jm) – People driving through Urbana in the next few weeks may need to make changes to their route of travel if it involves Race Street. Starting Wednesday morning, the street will be closed intermittently over the following three weeks due to a construction project. The construction will be located between Windsor Road and Florida Avenue. Construction is expected to be complete on Monday, November 15.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Here’s the latest weekly crop report. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 78 percent of soybeans have now been harvested. That’s ahead of last year at this time and the five year average…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 67 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 17 percent has emerged. Pasture conditions declined to 27 percent in good to excellent shape. Average statewide topsoil moisture also dropped to 23 percent very short, 31 percent short and 46 percent adequate.

 

(Champaign-jm) – An online fundraiser has been started to cover the medical expenses of a 12-year-old boy who was shot in Champaign Wednesday night. Champaign Police said the child remains hospitalized, but has been moved from critical to stable condition.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Former House Speaker Mike Madigan is making headlines following the second indictment against him. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City discusses the indictment and what needs done to prevent corruption in state government…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in a homicide investigation stemming from a shooting earlier this month. The shooting happened in the area of Third Street and Beardsley Avenue on October 4. Champaign Police officers determined that three people were standing in the parking lot of an apartment complex when a car drove up, the occupants started shooting at the three and then drove away. 25-year-old Rashaud Weatherall was shot multiple times and died from his injuries at an area hospital. The other two victims, aged 28 and 20, were also shot, were treated and were released from the hospital.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –   Paxton Pride  and Christmas Parade Committee is the WPXN Business of the Day today. . Pride Director Teri Hancock says this year’s theme is “hometown”...

 

 

Hancock says the city has seen recent developments, new businesses downtown  that have joined a great core of local, “hometown” businesses…

 

 

Paxton PRIDE Director Teri Hancock

Paxton Pride and the Paxton Chamber are hosting a “Sneak Peek Shopping event November 4th through the 6th.

 

(LaSalle-jm) – The Illinois Veterans' Home at LaSalle is experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases among its veterans and staff. The Illinois Department of Public Health says 23 staff members and 42 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Officials say all cases are mild, presenting mostly as cold-like symptoms, and no one has required hospitalization.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office is warning the public about flood damaged vehicles for sale. If you’re in the market for a used car, Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt says you should check closely for water damage from Hurricane Ian or other natural disasters. A little research doesn’t hurt either…

 

 

Illinois Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. Haupt says the Secretary of State’s Office is closely monitoring vehicle title applications from flood impacted counties.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Exactly one year ago, a man was shot in the middle of the day on a busy street in Champaign. He’s still recovering, and his case is still unsolved. Champaign police are still searching for the person who shot now-25-year-old Liam Gasser in the head in broad daylight. Police called it a road rage incident. Since that day, Gasser has been living with a traumatic brain and spinal injury.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Here’s the latest weekly crop report. 65 percent of the Illinois corn crop has now been harvested, slower than the usual pace, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions fell to 27 percent in good to excellent shape. Average statewide topsoil moisture also declined to 23 percent very short, 31 percent short and 46 percent adequate.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Police Department recently offered an update on the ongoing trend of bike and electric scooter thefts on campus and several tips to prevent theft. Officials said that between August 1 and October 12, the UIPD received 69 reports of stolen bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters – 50 conventional bikes and 19 electrical. This compares to 26 conventional bikes and 0 electric bikes/scooters stolen between the same dates in 2021.

 

(Champaign-jm) – With harvest underway, the Champaign County Farm Bureau is reminding farmers and the motoring public to be safe. As farmers continue to bring in the corn and soybean harvest, slow moving vehicles are becoming more prevalent on the roads. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken has some safety tips…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –   Paxton Pride  and Christmas Parade Committee is the WPXN Business of the Day today. . Pride Director Teri Hancock says the Paxton Christmas Tree Lighting is set for 7pm on  November 25th and the parade on Saturday November 26th.&& Hancock says Paxton Pride and Paxton Chamber are hosting  a “Sneak Peek Shopping event November 4th through the 6th.

 

 

Paxton Pride Director Teri Hancock

Paxton Pride and Christmas Parade Committee are the WPXN Business of the Day today. 


 

(Kankakee-jm) – The Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group, Kankakee Police Department, Bradley Police Department, Bourbonnais Police Department, Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration offers another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The public is invited to dispose of out-dated medications Saturday, October 29. Meds can be disposed of at the Northfield Square Mall in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

 

 

More than one million people in Illinois have now received the new COVID-19 bivalent booster shot

(Springfield-jm) – More than one million people in Illinois have now received the new COVID-19 bivalent booster shot. Vaccination rates have increased recently, as the latest booster protects against the most prevalent variant, Omicron. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra recommends everyone eligible get the shot…

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. Vohra says kids ages 5 and up should get the booster as well, in light of a rise in RSV. The CDC rates 26 Illinois counties at an increased risk for COVID. The highest risk right now is in Warren, Knox and Saline Counties. Locally, Ford and Champaign are at medium community level while Iroquois and Vermilion remain low.

 

(Chicago-jm) – Two Illinoisans have now died from the Monkeypox virus. The Chicago Department of Public Health announced the two deaths on Friday. Both were Chicago residents. Both of the individuals had multiple other health conditions, including weakened immune systems, and received a MPV diagnosis more than six weeks ago, and both had been hospitalized. The deaths of the two adults are unrelated to each other.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Judicial Conference is laying out its strategic agenda for the next few years. The conference reviews court practices and suggests improvements in the administration of justice. Soon to be Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis (tice) says the new agenda reflects lessons learned during the pandemic, when remote proceedings became the norm…

 

 

Illinois Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis. Justice Theis says other goals include increasing accessibility to court proceedings, continuing to ensure adherence to the highest standards of professionalism and inviting more public engagement.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Governor J.B. Pritzker will make a campaign stop in Urbana tonight. The American Federation of Teachers 20-day nationwide get-out-the-vote bus tour will stop at the Illini Union for an event to mobilize voters ahead of the midterm elections. Governor Pritzker will be joined by Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, Illinois State Representative Carol Ammons, Illinois State Senator Scott Bennett, Illinois Federation of Teachers president Dan Montgomery and AFT President Randi Weingarten.

 

(Champaign County-jm) – The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday that more than 22 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $100,000, were recently seized during a search of a home in Urbana Township. The Sheriff’s Office is also looking for two suspects in connection to that seizure. Officials said that in light of recent gun violence in Urbana Township, the Sheriff’s Office’s Special Enforcement Team was activated to conduct proactive patrols. During these patrols, authorities developed information about narcotics and weapons offenses at a home on Richard Drive. The information led authorities to obtain a search warrant for the home. The warrant was served on Wednesday. Authorities found no one inside at the time, but did find the marijuana, a small amount of cocaine, two handguns and an assault rifle. Two people who were listed as living at the home are wanted in connection to the drugs and weapons. They are Brandon Koehler and Branden Wells.

 

(Rantoul–jc)  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day today is Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch. Fall is a very busy time at the farm, just west of Rantoul. Reindeer tours, a mythical themed corn maze to pulled pork parfaits are some of the attractions at Hardy's Reindeer Ranch. Champaign resident Erika Holmes says Hardy's Reindeer Ranch was a destination to see corn, reindeer and more…

 

 

Visitor to Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch of Rantoul Erika Holmes of Champaign

 

(Rantoul-jm) – Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a Rantoul, Illinois woman who has died after being involved in a single motor vehicle crash occurring near the intersection of N. Maplewood Drive and Clark Street in Rantoul, Illinois at approximately 10:48 PM on October 20, 2022. Eleida Diaz-Rosales, 28, was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:15AM on October 21, 2022. Ms. Diaz-Rosales was reportedly the driver of a vehicle traveling on N. Maplewood Drive when her vehicle left the roadway and collided with a concrete barrier. Preliminary results from the autopsy performed at the Champaign County Coroner’s Office indicate Ms. Diaz-Rosales died from blunt force chest injuries she received during the crash. Toxicology results are pending and an inquest may be held at a later date.

 

(Champaign County-jm) – For the first time in seven months, home sales rose in Champaign County and surrounding areas.  This September marked the highest number of sales in 17 years with 288 homes sold. This is a 3.97% increase since the same time last year.

 

(Washington-jm) – Producers can now decide if they wish to elect either Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage for this coming year. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Lake County-jm) – Lake County's State's Attorney Eric Rinehart believes the Pretrial Fairness Act allows prosecutors to argue why violent offenders should stay in jail and improve prosecutors' workload. This comes as the current court system allows people accused of crimes to pay a bond and be released before their trial. Rinehart says the new law will not only keep violent offenders detained by removing cash bail, but it will allow state attorneys to prove they are dangerous during the new detention hearing process. As a result, it sets prosecutors on an early path to prove the suspects are guilty later during a trial.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The State of Illinois is hosting its first vendor summit to teach the ins and outs of doing business with the state. Navigating state contracting and the procurement process can be daunting, but this vendor summit on November 10th aims to help answer any questions, says Illinois Department of Central Management Services Assistant Director Raven DeVaughn…

 

 

Illinois Department of Central Management Services Assistant Director Raven DeVaughn. The summit will feature several state agencies and include workshops on a variety of topics. It will be held in Springfield at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. More information is available online at: illinois dot gov slash vendor summit.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Representatives for the owners of the former Champaign County Nursing Home say they can close the facility in as few as 60 days without permission from the County Board that sold them the home in 2019 under the agreement it remains a nursing home until 2028. Thus, the future of the area’s largest nursing home is left in limbo. The county unanimously vetoed University Rehab Real Estate LLC’s request on October 11 to amend the agreement and sell it to be made into a substance abuse treatment facility. Approval from the Illinois Department of Public Health would be needed, which is generally a 60-day process.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A Rantoul business celebrated 60 years in business yesterday. Ott’s has been serving breakfast and lunch since opening in 1962. The restaurant is one of the oldest in the village and has only had 3 owners during the 6 decades.

 

(Rantoul–jc)-Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch west of Rantoul is the WPXN Business of the Day today. The local business attracts visitors from the area, but also around the state and nation. Yesterday, Hardys had visitors from Michigan, Indiana and Washington state.  Owner Mark Hardy says fall brings the maze, pumpkin splat pie and reindeer…

 

 

Hardy’s Reindeer  Ranch Owner Mark Hardy.  

 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Police are hoping security camera footage could help in more investigations. They’re pushing people to register their exterior cameras and security systems.  You can sign up on their website with their online system. Police said it could not only help lead to solutions but deter crime altogether. Registering your camera doesn’t give officers immediate access to your footage, they’ll contact you first.

 

(Champaign-jm) – As part of the City’s 2022 Concrete Street Improvements Project, the pavement on Western Avenue from Kirby Avenue to Chevy Chase Drive is being reconstructed. A and R Services will continue work on the City of Champaign’s project; weather permitting, Monday, October 24, 2022. Beginning on Monday, October 24, the northbound lane of Western Avenue will be closed between Kirby Avenue and Chevy Chase Drive. This section of Western Avenue will temporarily become one-lane, one-way southbound traffic only. Work on Western Avenue is scheduled to be completed by November 13 of this year.

58 state attorney's have sued the state over the SAFE-T Act and now the counts have have been consolidated

(Springfield-jm) – On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced the unemployment rate hasn't changed. The unemployment rate is at 4.5% right now. Nonagricultural jobs did increase by over 14,500 in September. The industries with the most growth are educational and health services, government, and professional and business services. Illinois' unemployment rate was up one percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for September. The Illinois unemployment rate was down one percentage point from a year ago when it was at 5.5%.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is marking the one year anniversary of the state’s Safe-Two-Help program for students. In it’s first year, the Safe-Two-Helpline has received nearly 900 messages from students concerned about a variety of issues, says IEMA’s School Safety Policy Advisor Samantha Kanish (can-ish). She says the most reported problem is bullying…

 

 

IEMA’s School Safety Policy Advisor Samantha Kanish. Moving forward, Kanish says they want to emphasize that the Safe-Two-Helpline is available to all students, including those in private and charter schools. There are five ways to reach the service including online at: safe, the number two, help IL dot com

 

(Urbana-jm) – The City of Urbana welcomes and encourages community members to provide input in its search for the next Chief of Police. The city has partnered with POLIHIRE to conduct the nationwide search. This is to solicit feedback through a community survey, which will help identify leadership qualities the community finds important in this role. It will also focus on the issues and priorities on which the next Chief of Police should focus. Completed surveys may be submitted until November 15, 2022.

 

(Cissna Park-jm) – The Cissna Park FFA auction will be taking place in early December. The group is still looking for auction items for the auction, says Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton…

 

 

Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A teenager accused of bringing a firearm to Centennial High School last week has pleaded guilty during a court appearance. Details revealed in court claim the 16-year-old had a 38-revolver and three bullets in his book bag when metal detectors went off. According to court documents, the teen stated he found the gun and carried it for protection. The teenager is set to appear back in court for a sentencing hearing next month. He could spend 2 to 5 years in juvenile detention.

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA's latest look at beef production and prices shows mostly month-over-month upward trends. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

( Rantoul–jc)  – A House of Flowers and Gifts in downtown Rantoul is the WPXN Business of the Day today. Marlena Smith says they have flowers and floral arrangements, but also things like corn crib candles, Willow Tree figurines to Fannie Mae candies plus wines…

 

 

she says with a wide variety of  flowers, gifts, inspirational signs, table decorations and more, A House of Flowers is ready for all the upcoming holidays...

 

 

Our interview with Marlena Smith of A House of Flowers and Gifts downtown Rantoul will be part of our Noon News today.

 

(Kankakee County-jm) – In just under a month, 58 state attorney’s sued the state over the SAFE-T Act. Now, they are being consolidated into a single count. A court document published Thursday shows all parties involved decided to consolidate all the cases into Kankakee County. Kankakee State’s Attorney Jim Rowe was the first state’s attorney to sue the state over the SAFE-T Act. All parties were consulted before the motion was filed. According to the motion, Kankakee County also filed a claim for injunctive relief. If granted, judges could delay the effective date of the law until the legal battle is finished. Judges in Kankakee County will decide if the sheriff’s and state’s attorney’s claims have merit in November. If the court does not intervene, the Pre-Trial Fairness Act will go into effect January 1.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding that assistance is available for those who can’t afford breast cancer screenings. The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program provides free breast exams and mammograms to uninsured and underinsured women. Public Health’s Phallisha (felicia) Curtis says a variety of services are offered…

 

 

Illinois Public Health’s Phallisha Curtis. The program also offers free cervical cancer screenings and pap tests. You can learn more online at: dph dot illinois dot gov.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The Urbana Police Department is investigating a pair of armed robberies that happened within hours of each other in the same location. 

Police officials said that officers were called to the Town and County Apartment Complex twice between 5:20 and 7:45 p.m. In both instances, the offender lured the victims into the complex’s parking lots under the guise of selling them cell phones that had been advertised on Facebook Marketplace. Once there, the offender presented or threatened the victims with a pistol, stole cash from them and then left the scene on foot. The offender was described as being a Black male, skinny, 6′ 2″ and of unknown age. He was wearing a puffy orange coat, jeans and a white mask.

 

(Springfield-jm) – There’s been a lot of talk about a new prescription drug plan affecting some people in the area. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the situation…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  Start to winterize your home, but also winterize your R-V to your boat. That’s the tip from Scott Allen with Paxton Hardware and Rental…

 

 

Paxton Hardware and Rental Owner Scott Allen

Our 5 minute  weekly feature, Scott’s tips for Success airs at 7-30 on Saturday mornings.

 

(Champaign-jm) – On Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at 10:15 p.m., the Champaign Police Department was dispatched to the 2300 block of Sangamon Drive for a report of a shooting with injuries. Upon arrival, officers located a 12-year-old male victim in a vehicle with life-threatening gunshot wounds to the neck. Presently, the child remains hospitalized in critical condition. The initial investigation indicates that while the victim was located by officers in a vehicle in the 2300 block of Sangamon Drive, the shooting incident occurred in the 600 block of Dogwood Drive. The minor child had been riding in a vehicle with an older family member when the driver determined that they were being followed by another vehicle. After some time, the driver was able to get behind the suspicious vehicle in traffic while attempting to identify the vehicle or its driver. Minutes later, the suspect vehicle stopped before the occupant produced a firearm and opened fire, striking the victim vehicle multiple times and wounding one of the passengers inside. In addition to multiple bullet holes in the vehicle, damage was also reported to a nearby home.

 

 

(Washington-jm) – What does USDA's October outlook for dairy indicate about trends for both production and prices? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

The Parkland College Theater will perform The Story today through Sunday.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Prairie Champions 4-H Club on Saturday from 10-2.

 

Christ Lutheran High School will hold their drive thru pork chop dinner on Sunday from 10:30-12:30.

 

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

(Chicago-jm) – Foreign nationals who illegally crossed over the U.S.-Mexico border continue to be bused from Texas to Illinois. WTTW reports city officials said 145 more immigrants arrived in Chicago since Monday. That brings the total to over 3,500 people. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has promised to welcome the migrants with open arms, but has relocated some to nearby cities.

 

(Springfield-jm) – October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the FBI is spreading the word and tips to help people avoid becoming victims. A report of cybercrime in 2021 by the Internet Crime Complaint Center shows that Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for the most Internet crimes and seventh in total victim losses at almost $185 million. By victim count, identity theft ranks the highest followed by non-payment/non-delivery crimes. By dollar loss, business email composite is at the top. They have some tips to keep you safe: Do not open any email attachment or click a link unless you are expecting the file, document, or invoice and have verified the sender’s email address. Avoid using free charging stations in airports and shopping centers as these can infect devices with malware and monitoring software. Keep systems and software up to date and install a strong, reputable anti-virus program. Create a strong and unique passphrase for each online account and change passphrases regularly. Use multi-factor authentication. Examine the email address in all correspondence and scrutinize website URLs before responding to a message or visiting a site. Be cautious about the information you share in online profiles and social media accounts. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – It’s deer mating season and the Illinois Department of Transportation is urging drivers to be extra careful. Deer are more active this time of year, especially at dusk and dawn says IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel…

 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. Last year in Illinois, there were more than 14 thousand reported deer-vehicle crashes, with most resulting in damage. The top counties for accidents in 2021 were Cook, Madison, Will, Sangamon and Peoria.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The private owner of the former Champaign County Nursing Home hasn’t paid a cent toward property tax bills on the facility this year. The second installment of 2021 tax payments was due September 1 in Champaign County. A month-and-a-half later, Evanston-based University Rehab Real Estate LLC has withheld $284,428.02, including more than $14,000 in penalties. The bills remain unpaid as the future of the facility, now called University Rehabilitation Center,

remains unclear.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Inflation has been making the news headlines lately as the cost of gas and groceries rise. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about how it's affecting the state…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Champaign-jm) – U of I researchers are partnering with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to tackle homelessness in Champaign. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance act is a federal act that was passed to focus on homeless children. Together, they are searching for families with school-aged children to participate in this research. Researchers will pay these families $750 monthly for six consecutive months, with no strings attached.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Parkland College trustees have approved Dr. Pamela Lau's contract, confirming her as the sixth president of the college. Lau, who currently serves as executive vice president at Parkland, will succeed fifth president Dr. Thomas Ramage following his retirement at the end of the year. Lau's four-year contract is set to begin in January and will extend through December 2026. Ramage will retire after 15 years at the helm.

 

(Undated–jc)  –  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is Impact Your Farm Legacy Now. This is a panel group that wants to help farm family owners talk about the process of transitioning farm properties from generation to buyers. They are a group that is not selling anything, just professionals starting conversations says Impact Your Farm Legacy Now’s Cheryl Mitchell…

 

 

 

Impact Your Farm Legacy Now Spokesperson Cheryl Mitchell

A free event on the subject is set for November 16 at the Barn Event Center along Route 49 near Woodworth . There is no solicitation of any type at this event. It is simply informational on how to start a conversation.

 

(Washington-jm) – What are the latest trends indicated in USDA's October forecasts for poultry production and prices for 2022 and 2023? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – With U.S. union ranks swelling as everyone from coffee shop baristas to warehouse workers seeks to organize, Illinois voters will decide next month whether to amend their state constitution to guarantee the right to bargain collectively. The fate of the ballot measure is being closely watched in Illinois and beyond, as it will gauge public support for the labor movement that has lost ground for years in conservative-led states. Unions and pro-industry groups say it could signal a new chapter in the struggle over workers' rights. Unions and others who support the proposed amendment view it as a way to ensure that workers will always be able to use their collective clout to secure better pay, hours and working conditions. They also say it would prevent the Legislature, should it undergo a shift to the right, from passing a so-called right-to-work law that would allow workers covered by union contracts to not pay dues. Business groups and conservatives oppose the measure, saying they think it will drive up taxes, give unions too much power, lead to more strikes and prompt companies to leave for more industry-friendly states.

 

(Undated-jm) – Illinois State Police announced another Scott's Law related crash less than 24 hours after the previous two. A driver hit an ISP squad car a little after midnight on October 19 in Cook County. The trooper was outside of the car at the time of the crash and there were no injuries reported. The driver of the 2023 Land Rover that struck the vehicle was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and issued a citation for a violation of Scott's Law - Improper Passing of a Stationary Emergency Vehicle. The day before, an ISP trooper was struck by a semi-truck outside of Effingham and two construction workers were killed by a passenger car on the Iowa/Illinois border. There have been 21 ISP Move Over Law-related crashes this year and eight troopers have sustained injuries.


(Springfield-jm) – Another round of mortgage assistance will be available starting next week. Eligible homeowners still feeling the effects of the pandemic can get up to 30 thousand dollars says Illinois Housing Development Authority Spokesperson Andrew Field…

 

 

Illinois Housing Authority Spokesperson Andrew Field. The money can be used for overdue mortgage payments, condo association fees, property taxes and more. The application period opens November 1st at: illinois housing help dot org.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Park District is warning the community of a scam on Facebook related to an event series it is hosting later this fall. The district said on its Facebook page that there are several events on the platform that all refer to Winter Nights at Prairie Farm. However, only one of these events was published by the district. The authorized Facebook event is listed as being organized by Champaign Park District Special Events and the Champaign Park District. The other fraudulent event lists the Christmas Holiday Season and World Christmas Event 2022 as the organizers. Winter Nights at Prairie Farm will take place from November 25 to January 1.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Harvesting is underway across the area. That means large, slow moving farm equipment is on the road. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken has some safety tips…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.


(Undated-jm) – The Crescent City Committee of Wreaths Across America is now raising money to purchase wreaths to place on all veterans' gravesites in the Crescent City area. This includes four cemeteries, St. Peter's Lutheran, Flesher, Pierce and Wilson. Last year, the committee placed 170 wreaths on gravesites. The local committee is working with Cissna Park American Legion Post 527 on this project. Money raised in Crescent City will remain in Crescent City for local cemeteries. The cost of a wreath is $15 and orders must be placed by Nov. 15. Checks for wreaths should be made out to Cissna Park American Legion. Those wanting to purchase wreaths they can place themselves can pick their wreaths up after 1 p.m. Saturday, December 17, at the Crescent City Community Center. A ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, December 17, in the Cissna Park and all are welcome to attend.

 

 

(Washington-jm) – What are the factors behind USDA's latest forecast adjustment for pork prices for next year? Rod Bain reports…

 



The 7th annual Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference will take place today through Sunday in Pontiac.

 

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


 

The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing up to three point seven million dollars in grants to help ease health disparities across the state

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is urging eligible borrowers to fill out the newly released application for student debt relief. If you took out a federal loan or received a federal Pell grant and meet certain income guidelines, you will likely qualify for the one-time relief. But do you need to fill out the application? Spokesperson Lynne Baker…

 

 

Illinois Student Assistance Commission Spokesperson Lynne Baker. Baker says the application is simple and must be completed by the end of the year. Check it out online at: student aid dot gov.

 

(Springfield–jc)  –  Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that the state is awarding up to $3.7 million to 18 different organizations across Illinois to address systemic health disparities that have been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The federally funded program called ARISE  which stands for Activating Relationships In Illinois for Systemic Equity) is a joint initiative of the states Department of Public Health and The Center for Rural Health, Among the grant recipients include the Immigrant Cooperative program at the Champaign Urbana Public Health District, the East Central Rural Healthcare Consortium with the Ford County Public Health Department and the Iroquois County Public Health Department and the ARISE program in Kankakee County

 

(Undated-jm) – Illinois State Police investigated two separate Scott’s Law violations that occurred less than an hour apart Tuesday involving injury to a trooper and two deaths. The first violation involved a traffic crash near Effingham where a state trooper received minor injuries after being hit by a semi truck. The second violation involved two construction workers who were fatally injured while setting out construction barrels when they were struck by a car. There have been 20 Move Over Law violations involving state police squad cars this year.

 

(Springfield-jm) – National Mammography Day is this Friday and the Illinois Department of Public Health is stressing the importance of the potentially life saving screening. Too many women put off their annual mammogram during the pandemic, possibly risking their lives, says Dr. Lisa Mansinter (mah-sin-ter), Deputy Director of the Office of Women’s Health and Family Services…

 

 

State Public Health’s Dr. Lisa Mansinter. Public health officials are also concerned that minorities aren’t getting routine mammograms, noting black women are more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – Officials in Rantoul are planning for a big weekend at the Family Sports Complex. The complex will be hosting three tournaments in baseball, softball and soccer this Saturday and Sunday, with hundreds of people expected to attend. That will mean heavy traffic in the area. To accommodate this traffic and large crowd, officials will close South Murray Road between Stone Bridge Drive and County Road 2900 to non-event traffic. Other traffic will be directed onto County Road 2900 and Stone Bridge for travel around the complex. As the area clears Saturday evening, the barricades closing Murray will be removed and Murray will reopen for general use overnight before closing again Sunday morning. The road will reopen again Sunday evening.

 

(Springfield-jm) – We are just a few weeks away from the November election, one that could have major implications. The November 8th election will feature races at the state level all the way down to municipality. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman says elections have consequences…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is Compass Insurance and Compass Insurance agent Grant Kleinsteiber.  Compass Insurance is a full line insurance agency with local offices in Paxton Gibson City, Cissna Park to Leroy and Watseka,  locally.. Kleinsteiber is also from the local area…

 

 

Compass Agent Grant Kleinsteiber says there are many advantages as an independent agency.

 

 

Compass Insurance Agent Grant Kleinsteiber. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health is announcing up to three point seven million dollars in grants to help ease health disparities across the state. The money is going to 18 organizations in hopes of improving care for the underserved, such as minorities and rural residents. The program is called “Arise” , says State Public Health Director Dr Sameer Vohra…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Sameer Vohra. Groups say they will use the money for things like transportation to help area residents get to medical appointments, as well as substance abuse awareness and treatment programs. Among the groups receiving money include the Champaign Urbana Public Health District’s Immigrant Cooperative and the Ford and Iroquois County Public Health Department’s East Central Illinois Rural Healthcare Consortium.

 

(Bloomington-jm) – Since 2019, catalytic converter thefts are up more than 400% across the nation, according to a recent State Farm report. The insurance provider's data from the most recent 12-month period indicates that Illinois ranked third in the nation in catalytic converter theft. Through August of this year, the company said it has paid more than $70.6M to customers to help them recover from catalytic converter thefts.

 

(Springfield-jm) – State education officials are anticipating improvements in the latest school report cards. The report cards for each public school in Illinois come out next week, providing a snapshot of student performance data from 2021. State Schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala says it looks like good news…

 

 

State Schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala. Ayala credits federal COVID relief money which was used for things like tutoring, summer school and social and emotional programs to help kids get back on track.

 

(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana man is facing assault charges. The University of Illinois Police Department says they received a call about an assault in the 600 block of East Green Street. Police say Habib D. Graves, 60, threatened a teenager and two friends with a knife following a verbal argument. When Police arrived around 7 p.m. they confiscated a knife from Graves and also issued him a no-trespassing notice for all U of I property.

 

(Springfield-jm) – With harvest underway, safety on the road is key. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says safety is paramount…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


The 7th annual Miles of Possibility Route 66 Conference will take place Thursday through in Pontiac.

 

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

 

The Parkland College Theater will perform The Story Friday through Sunday.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Prairie Champions 4-H Club on Saturday from 10-2.

 

Christ Lutheran High School will hold their drive thru pork chop dinner on Sunday from 10:30-12:30.

 

Governor J.B. Pritzer and Republican State Senator Darren Bailey will square off for their second and final debate tonight

(Springfield-jm) – According to newly released data, less than 20 percent of vote-by-mail ballots have been returned. Illinois Election Data shows over 729,000 vote-by-mail ballots were requested, with nearly 140,000 being returned. That is a return rate of 19%.  In addition to early voting numbers, nearly 178,000 Illinoisans have voted in the midterm elections.  The election is November 8.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs office is returning the largest unclaimed property award in the nation. 11 million dollars is going to the more than 100 heirs of a Chicago man, Joseph Stancak (stan-check), who died back in 2016, says Treasurer Frerichs…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. The money is being returned through the Treasurer’s I-Cash Unclaimed Property Program, which holds long forgotten bank accounts, bonds and the contents of old safe deposit boxes. You can search to see if you have any funds due you or your family online at: illinois treasurer dot gov.

 

(Urbana-jm) – A mountain lion struck and killed by a vehicle has been delivered to the U of I for a full necropsy and DNA analysis. The analysis will provide valuable information to biologists about the animal, its place of origin, and exploratory movements across the Midwest. Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials announced the mountain lion was killed on Interstate 88 in Dekalb County on Sunday. The animal was then transferred by the Illinois State Police to an IDNR wildlife biologist before arriving at U of I. Mountain lions were eliminated from Illinois prior to the 1870s due to habitat loss and overharvest. Although extremely rare in Illinois, mountain lion sightings have been confirmed in Illinois during the past few decades consisting of younger animals, typically originating from a population in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

 

(Cissna Park-jm) – The Cissna Park FFA group is preparing for the national convention. Advisor Jeff Clifton talks about the convention…

 

 

Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The USDA announced projected crop numbers recently. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the numbers locally…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Gibson City-jc) – Gibson Area Music Foundation is calling all singers to join in presenting a Christmas program that will combine arrangements of carols with selections from “Messiah.” The music will be sung in four-part harmony, and all ages are welcome with no audition necessary. All rehearsals will begin at 7 p.m., and the first one will be held Sunday, October 30 at the fellowship hall in the First Presbyterian Church of Gibson City. Dr. Janet McCumber will be directing, The public performance will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 4 at the Gibson City Bible Church.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Farmers made some nice harvest progress in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. About five days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, and 88 percent of corn is now mature, says Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 55 percent of soybeans have been harvested, compared to 58 percent normally, and 71 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. 39 percent of winter wheat has been planted with 8 percent emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture improved slightly to 22 percent very short, 31 percent short, 44 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.

 

(Champaign–jc)  –  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is Promise Health-Care of Champaign and Urbana. Promise Healthcare started out with Frances Nelson helping underprivileged African American children in the 1940s. A health center was opened in 1968 to serve the underserved in Champaign County. Promise Healtcare’s Stacy Disney says in 20-12 came a new name in Promise Healthcare and three different areas in the twin cities…

 

 

She says the history of  care started with  Frances Nelson in the 1940s….

 

 

Promise Healthcare has three locations in Champaign and Urbana and serves all of Champaign and surrounding counties.

We have an interview with Stacy Disney from Promise Healthcare during our noon news today. 

 

(Chicago-jm) – With only three weeks to go before Illinois voters head to the polls to cast their ballots in the 2022 General Election Governor J.B. Pritzer and Republican State Senator Darren Bailey will square off for their second and final debate. The two are set to meet face to face at 7 p.m. tonight for a televised debate inside WGN Studios in Chicago. The debate will be televised on WCIA 3.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology has some suggestions for creating and safeguarding passwords. Cybersecurity Expert Jennifer Rominger (roam-ing-er) says a good way to protect your information is to use a password manager app. It starts by creating a general password…

 

 

Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology Cybersecurity Expert Jennifer Rominger. Rominger says passwords should be unique to each account and include a combination of upper-and lower-case letters as well as numbers and symbols. You should not use your name or the names of your kids or pets.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in identifying two people who are accused of stealing from an Urbana Walmart last week. The theft happened October 10 at the Walmart located at 100 South High Cross Road. Officials said the suspects took $500 worth of merchandise. One of the suspects is described as being a White male approximately 60 years old with an average height and medium build. At the time of the theft, he was wearing a blue hat with the letter E on it, glasses, a navy-blue t-shirt, blue jeans, a brown wristwatch and white or grey Chuck Taylor-type shoes. The second suspect is described as being a Black female approximately 50 years old with an average height, thin build and with long hair or a long wig. She was wearing a black hat with white lettering, a multi-colored tie-dyed jacket, black leather or pleather pants and black shoes with white soles.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The Paxton Buckley Loda FFA Chapter is preparing for the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. Advisor Kirsten Wyatt talks about what the group will learn…

 

 

PBL FFA Advisor Kirsten Wyatt. Tune in this Saturday for the WPXN FFA Ag Auction from 8 to noon. Bid, Buy and Save on seed, diesel fuel, rock and more.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Harvest time is here and that means large, slow moving farm equipment on area roads. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken has this message for both farmers and drivers…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Legendary rock band Journey is coming to central Illinois. Journey is bringing its Freedom Tour to Illinois in March 2023. Toto will be their special guest. They are set to perform on March 20, 2023 at the State Farm Center in Champaign. Tickets for the Champaign show go on sale starting at 10 a.m. on Friday.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Farmers made some nice harvest progress in the fields as we hear in the weekly crop report. Soybeans are on track with 96 percent dropping leaves, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 88 percent of corn is now mature and 47 percent of the crop has been harvested. 39 percent of winter wheat has been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture increased a little to 22 percent very short, 31 percent short, 44 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.

 

 

Today is the last day for Illinoisans to submit information to get their income tax rebate for the 2021 filing year

(Ford County–jc)  WPXN news has learned  of a multiple vehicle accident that happened this morning in Ford County. Authorities say the accident occurred along Route 9, west of Paxton, just east of Route 115. No other details have been released. WPXN news will update this story when more information becomes available

 

(Springfield-jm) – Today is the last day for Illinoisans to submit information to get their income tax rebate for the 2021 filing year. According to the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website, individuals who file can get $50 while Couples who filed jointly would get $100. Anyone with a dependent can get a bonus of $100, up to $300. The maximum rebate for property taxes is $300 and is dependent on property value.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging parents to make sure their children get the annual flu shot as well as the new COVID-19 booster. State Public Health officials are following recommendations from the CDC that kids ages 5 and older be vaccinated with the new COVID booster, which protects against the Omicron variant. Children 6 months and up should also get a flu shot. Spokesperson Mike Claffey explains the concern…

 

 

State Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey. More than 890 thousand Illinoisans have already received the new COVID booster.

 

(Thawville-jm) – Crews from several fire departments were called to a house fire in Thawville Saturday. Firefighters from Thawville, Onarga, Buckley, Loda, Piper City and Roberts responded to the call on Main Street. There’s no word on the cause of the fire or how much damage was done.

 

(Undated-jm) – The coldest air in several months is set to move into the area tonight. Parts of the WPXN listening area are under a freeze warning tonight through tomorrow morning. Low temperatures are expected to reach the mid 20s. The National Weather Service warns to protect tender plants and let your pipes drip so they don’t freeze.

 

(Paxton-jm) – A Mahomet teenager charged last year in the alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in Paxton pleaded guilty in Ford County Circuit Court to a reduced charge of battery, a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced to two years of probation. Janson Campbell, 19, formerly of Paxton, was also ordered to pay fines and have no contact with the victim for the next four years. The alleged sexual assault occurred in June 2021 and led to a series of retaliatory fights at Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School, along with threats made on social media and through text messages.

 

(Kankakee–jc) –Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is Clove Alliance. The non-profit group provides a wide variet of services for those affected by sexual violence. They have offices in Kankakee, Watseka and Paxton.  Clove Alliance Executive Director Tracy Noe Slach  (‘No-ee Slaw) says the group serves a three county area…

 

 

Clove Alliance started in Kankakee County called Casa, also partnered with an Iroquois County group and now has an office in Paxton.  Clove Alliance Executive Director Tracy Noe-Slach (No-ee Slaw) says help is found on-line and a hot line number is always available…

 

 

Clove Alliance Executive Director Tracy Noe-Slah

The hotline help number is 816-932-3322.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Prominent antiracist theorist and Boston University Professor Ibram X. Kendi was paid $35,000 by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for a 60-minute question and answer session on October 6. That equates to roughly $583 per minute for the “Keynote Conversation with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi” hosted at the public university. A copy of the contract, provided to The College Fix upon request by the school’s media affairs division, shows the deal also funded up to $10,000 in travel expenses, including a first-class airline ticket, hotel accommodations, and travel to and from the event. Kendi’s UIUC appearance was the keynote aspect of “The Chancellor’s Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Symposium.” The event was part of a larger program at the university addressing those topics.

 

(Washington-jm) – Where did a rise in world soybean production come from this month, as the U.S. reported lower forecasts from September? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor JB Pritzker is changing the state's recommendation on face masks to include all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. The recommendation comes in a new executive order issued on Friday. The order previously recommended only those who were not fully vaccinated to wear a face covering. Current CDC guidance on masks states universal masking is only recommended in counties with a high community level. Right now, Illinois doesn't have any counties with a high community level and 16 counties with a medium community level. The rest are at a low community level.

 

(Chicago-jm) – In light of an additional criminal charge against former House Speaker Mike Madigan, Illinois House Republicans are calling for corruption in government to be taken more seriously. Madigan faces another corruption charge, this time involving A-T-and-T. The company has agreed to pay a $23 million fine for illegally trying to influence the former Speaker. Representative Tom Demmer of Dixon says this shows that no one person should have so much power in the legislature…

 

 

State Representative Tom Demmer of Dixon. Madigan has already been federally indicted over an alleged bribery scheme with Com-Ed.

 

(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana teen has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for a shooting. 15 year old Mekhi Davis was sentenced as an adult, and found guilty of aggravated battery and discharging a firearm. On Aug. 8, 2021, Urbana Police responded to a call regarding shots fired on South Cottage Grove. Officers found a man shot in his chest and abdomen outside the home of Kamari Ray-Davis, his 15-year-old brother Mekhi Davis and his mother.  Mekhi Davis admitted he owned a firearm and shot the man with the firearm when the man came over to buy cannabis from him.

 

(Paxton-jm) – Paxton first responders had a busy Sunday. Crews were called to a 2 vehicle accident Sunday morning on 200 north near the Paxton Veterinary Clinic. Then just before 7, crews were called to an accident on Route 45 near 200 north. There’s no word on if there were any injuries.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Two women have been arrested in connection to the shooting death of Champaign Police Officer Christopher Oberheim.  According to the States Attorney’s Office, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Ashantae Corruthers of Indianapolis and Regina Lewis of Normal with conspiracy to illegally purchase and transfer a firearm and conspiracy to engage in misleading conduct. Federal authorities report that Corruthers and Lewis allegedly conspired with Darion M. Lafayette to purchase and transfer a firearm to Lafayette, who could not legally purchase a firearm himself because he was a convicted felon. Lafayette, shot and killed Officer Oberheim and injured Officer Jeffrey Creel. If convicted, conspiracy to illegally purchase and transfer a firearm carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and conspiracy to engage in misleading conduct carries a penalty of up to twenty years in prison. Each charge carries a penalty of up to three years of supervised release, and up to a $250,000 fine.

 

 

(Kankakee-jm) – Authorities arrested nine people in Kankakee during a drug raid led by the Kankakee Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group. Those arrested are: Randolph Douglas, Cory Trapp, Jawan Smith, Calvin Wright, Leonard Green, Takelia Dorsey, Bobbi Prindle, Elton Pendleton and Darryl Hollis. All of the suspects except for Trapp are charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. Trapp is charged with unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Douglas is also charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and several other drug and gun charges. Dorsey is charged with child endangerment while Smith and Wright also face violations of federal parole. Officers found cocaine, more than 1,500 grams of marijuana, mushrooms, and Xanax pills. A loaded Sig Sauer 9mm handgun was also found in the search along with a loaded Glock .45 handgun.

 

(Washington-jm) – The USDA made adjustments down for both our nation's and the world's production of corn in its latest forecasts. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

This is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology is offering ways to protect yourself

(Urbana-jm) – The Illinois State Police are investigating after an inmate died at the Champaign County Jail on Thursday. Sheriff Dustin Heuerman and State Police officials say that inmates at the jail alerted correctional officers around 11:30 a.m. that a female inmate in a different cell was possibly having a medical emergency. Officers and on-site medical staff found her on the floor and immediately began life-saving measures. The inmate was transported to Carle Hospital, but was pronounced dead at approximately 12:24 p.m. While the preliminary investigation showed that the inmate likely suffered a medical emergency, the Sheriff’s Office asked the Illinois State Police to oversee the investigation. The Champaign County Coroner’s Office is assisting in the investigation.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A student at Centennial High School was arrested on Thursday after a gun was discovered in their backpack. In a letter to Centennial parents, the Champaign School District said the school’s Evolv System detected a metal object in a backpack as students were arriving. Security staff and school administrators checked the bag and found the gun, which was immediately confiscated. The Champaign Police Department was notified; officers subsequently interviewed and arrested the student.

 

(Springfield-jm) – THe Illinois Department on Aging says it’s a good idea to review your health coverage during the Medicare Open enrollment period. There are so many plan options, supplemental policies and changes, that it doesn’t hurt to look around, says Senior Health Insurance Program Director Sandy Leith (leeth). You can start online at: medicare dot gov…

 

 

Illinois Department on Aging Senior Health Insurance Program Director Sandy Leith. The Medicare Open enrollment period begins tomorrow and runs through December 7th.

 

(Mahomet-jm) – One town recently added cameras to some of its busiest entry points on the roads. They’re called FLOCK cameras and other towns in Champaign County use them as well. With them, Mahomet Police have already been able to locate and recover a stolen vehicle, track someone with dementia and verify a suspect threatening murder. There are 10 in Mahomet.

 

(Danville-jm) – The birthing center at OSF HealthCare Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville is closed temporarily, potentially for months, due to staffing issues. Expectant mothers will be referred to the Blessed Beginnings Birthing Center at OSF Heart of Mary in Urbana.

 

(Cissna Park-jm) – The Cissna Park FFA Chapter will hold a pork chop dinner this evening. Advisor Jeff Clifton talks about the dinner…

 

 

Cissna Park FFA Advisor Jeff Clifton. Delivery is available by calling Clifton at 815-471-4708. 

 

(Fairbury—jc) –  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is Fairview Haven Retirement Community of Fairbury. Fairview Haven has been in operation since 1962  They have remodeled, expanded, built  independent living apartments, to the Serenity Villa Memory Support assisted living home. Additional services have been added including  an in-home service called Fairview Haven Home Care. That service helps residents with daily tasks to keep people in their homes. Fairview Haven Home Care serves residents in Livingston, McLean Ford and Iroquois Counties. Fairview Haven Assistant Administrator Brandon Stoller says the entire operation is based on Christian principles…

 

 

Fairview Haven Assistant Administrator Brandon Stoller

 

Arla Wheeler, with the Fairview Haven Home Care says the goal is to assist residents to stay in their homes…

 

 

Fairview Haven  Home Care Spokesperson Arla Wheeler

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Police Department announced on Thursday that charges have been filed against three men in connection with the shooting of a senior couple last month. The three men are 24-year-old Shamario Brown and 41-year-old Juvon Mays of Champaign and 27-year-old Kenichi Townsend of Urbana. They’ve each been charged with multiple Class X felonies, including attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. The three are accused of shooting a couple in their seventies on September 8 in broad daylight. Officers learned the couple were pulling into a driveway near Heritage Drive and Clayton Boulevard when they were shot. Officers determined that the couple were shot in a case of mistaken identity and the shooting was not a random act of violence. Brown, Mays and Townsend are already in custody on charges related to a police chase through Urbana on September 12.

 

(Springfield-jm) – This is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology is offering ways to protect yourself. Preventing cyber-attacks comes down to four basics, says the agency’s Jennifer Rominger (roam-ing-er)...

 

 

Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology’s Jennifer Rominger. MFA adds an extra layer of protection when signing in, such as asking security questions or requiring a special code that’s been texted or emailed to you. Rominger says most sites like banks, Amazon and credit cards have this feature. Check your settings to make sure it’s enabled.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The City of Urbana has $750,000 leftover from federal funds to use before April 30, 2023. The funds are from the federal Community Development Block Grant funding. If the funds are not used by April 30th, the city will lose them and it could risk them receiving a smaller amount in the future. The federal Community Development Block Grant program provides annual grants to cities in low to moderate income neighborhoods.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Police Department arrested two men on Thursday. Police say they received a call about disruptive behavior on top of a parking garage, and later observed the men attack a third man on the sidewalk. Officials say in their attempt to detain the men, they were forced to use a taser. Police say they used the taser because the men were aggressively resisting officers investigating the assault. No injuries were reported.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Farmers have made some progress harvesting around the area. The dry weather has helped farmers get in the fields and harvest corn and soybeans, however, the cool weather has also had a negative effect, says Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.


(Paxton–jc)  –  A “Sneak Peak” into Holiday Shopping is coming to the city of Paxton in early November. Paxton Pride Director Teri Hancock says its a full weekend of shopping specials, carriage rides, candy cane walk and fun..

 

 

Paxton Pride Director Teri Hancock

The Medicare Open Enrollment period begins Saturday and help is available

(Springfield-jm) – The Medicare Open Enrollment period begins Saturday and the Illinois Department on Aging says help is available. Navigating the many options for health and drug coverage can be overwhelming, so the Illinois Department on Aging offers guidance each year. Senior Health Insurance Program Director Sandy Leith (leeth)...

 

 

Illinois Department on Aging Senior Health Insurance Program Director Sandy Leith (leeth). The service is free, and counselors can help with questions ranging from Medicare Part D drug plans to supplemental policies. For locations near you, visit the Illinois Department on Aging’s website.

 

(St. Joseph-jm) – A tow truck driver who was killed on the job in Champaign earlier this year was memorialized over the weekend, a few states away from his home and workplace. The International Tow Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee maintains a Wall of the Fallen to memorialize operators from around the world who die in the line of service. In a ceremony on Saturday, Ross Booker’s name was added to the wall. Booker, a native of St. Joseph and operator for Tatman’s Towing, died on March 6 after he was hit by a car the previous day. Booker was working the scene of an accident near Neil Street and Windsor Road when he was hit.

 

(Paxton–jc)  –  Kids in Paxton Park District programs are participating in volleyball, soccer, flag football and dance. Starting next week information about basketball is coming, says Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans…

 

 

Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans

 

(Paxton-jm) – A Hoopeston man is the latest to be caught in an undercover operation by Paxton police targeting predators. Joshua Brewster was arrested by Paxton police after he allegedly sent photos to the undercover officer before traveling to meet her. He was arrested for traveling to meet a minor, indecent solicitation of a child, solicitation to meet a child and sexual exploitation of a child and was ticketed for illegal transportation of alcohol

 

(Springfield-jm) – The latest monthly crop production report is in, showing steady yields for both corn and soybeans. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says it may be a record year for corn in Illinois…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The Illinois soybean yield is forecast at 64 bushels per acre, down one bushel from last year. Soybean production is forecast at 685 million bushels, which is just slightly above 2021 figures.

 

(Gibson City–jc)  –  Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services is the WPXN business of the Day today. Gibson Area Hospital has a brand new state of the art medical center now open next to the hospital in Gibson City. Gibson Area Hospital Spokesperson Bill Kirby says the new building is host to a wide range of medical services…

 

 

With a state of the art new medical center next to the hospital in Gibson City, hospital leaders are raising money to support the facility, says Spokesperson Bill Kirby…

 

 

Gibson Area Hospital spokesman Bill Kirby

Fundraisers are hosting a Glo bingo event on October 21s in Paxton and October 22nd in Gibson City. Just a few tickets remain for the Paxton event, as there are also some tickets available for the Gibson City based event. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois workers participating in the state’s “Secure Choice” program have now saved a combined 91 million dollars towards retirement. Under Illinois law, employers that don’t have any sort of retirement program have to offer Secure Choice to workers. Treasurer Mike Frerichs explains how it works…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. The program is being phased in over a few years, based on the size of the business. Currently, about 109 thousand workers are enrolled.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Congresswoman Mary Miller and the USDA have announced some Illinois counties have been declared natural disaster areas following this summer's drought.  The counties covered primarily include Champaign and Vermilion, but Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Iroquois, McLean and Piatt counties are also eligible for USDA assistance. For more information, contact your local Farm Service Agency office.

 

(Paxton–jc)  Those in the Paxton area on Saturday can stop by a mobile  flu shot and COVID booster clinic from 9am to noon at the former Eastlawn School road. Hudson Drug and Hallmark Owner Andy Hudson says it's an easy way to get shots for families…

 

 

Hudson Drug and Hallmark Owner Andy Hudson.


(Decatur-jm) – The driver accused of shooting two Decatur Police Officers Wednesday morning has been identified. Macon County Coroner Michael Day reports Jamontey O. Neal, 32, of Decatur, was pronounced dead at 12:48 a.m. at Decatur Memorial Hospital Emergency Room. It happened when Decatur Police attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle Neal was driving. Officers told him to show his hands, but he refused to do so. Officers then saw what they believed to be a handgun inside the vehicle near Neal. That's when officers tried to take Neal out of the vehicle. Neal pulled out a handgun and shot at the officers at close range. Police officers then returned fire. One Decatur Police Officer was hit multiple times and a second officer was hit once.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The latest monthly crop production report is in, showing steady yields for both corn and soybeans. Based on October 1st conditions, the Illinois corn yield is forecast at a record 210 bushels per acre, up 8 bushels from last year. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The Illinois alfalfa hay yield is forecast at four and a quarter tons. Production is forecast at one point three million tons, up 17 percent from 2021.

 

(Undated–jc)  A candidate for an Illinois U.S. Senate seat is demanding accountability for erroneous ballots in Schuyler County. Republican Kathy Salvi said the ballot incorrectly listed one of her primary opponents as the Republican nominee for United States Senate. Salvi said she wants answers from election officials as to how this happened and transparency to show inaccurate ballots have not been approved elsewhere in the state. The Schuyler County state’s attorney has agreed to sequester more than 350 inaccurate mail-in and early cast ballots returned to the county.



 

 

Every electric vehicle made so far at the Rivian plant in Normal has been recalled

(Prospect Heights-jm) – About 200 Venezuelan migrants bused to Illinois by the governor of Texas are now staying at a hotel in Prospect Heights. The acting mayor said he had a couple days' notice that the migrants were on the way. The children, around 60 of them, are now enrolled in schools and the mayor said he doesn't see this as a burden on city resources.

 

(Springfield-jm) – It’s Fire Prevention Week and the Illinois State Fire Marshal is urging families to plot out their escape route. If a fire starts in your home, you may have less than two minutes to get out, says Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place…

 

 

State Fire Marshal Spokesperson J-C Fultz. Fultz recommends the whole family practice the escape plan at least twice a year during both daytime and nighttime hours.

 

(Washington-jm) – The Federal Highway Administration announced on Tuesday that it has released $2.2 billion in funding for critical Illinois infrastructure including roads, bridges, tunnels, carbon emission reduction, and safety improvements.  In the announcement, the administration stated that the funds will go directly to transportation leaders across the state in Fiscal Year 2023.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Another dry week gave farmers plenty of time for harvesting. Seven days were suitable for fieldwork and 75 percent of the Illinois corn crop is now mature, says Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 31 percent of soybeans have been harvested and 16 percent of winter wheat has been planted. Average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to 26 percent very short, 33 percent short and 41 percent adequate.

 

(Champaign-jm) – People in Champaign County have a chance to recycle their old or unwanted electronics this weekend thanks to the Cities of Champaign and Urbana, the Village of Savoy and Champaign County. These four municipal agencies are co-sponsoring a collection event at Parkland College for people to drop off their items. The event will take place on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

People wanting to drop off items must register for a 15-minute timeslot. Upon reserving a time, people will receive a confirmation email or text immediately and a postcard in the mail seven to 10 days before the event; this postcard will serve as their “ticket” into the event.

 

(Rantoul–jc)  –  It’s been one week since Rantoul Village officials along with Core Acquisitions announced a new development to house 6 new businesses on Rantouls west side. The development includes a Starbucks,  Verizon store, Jersey Mikes and more. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says the positive economic news continues for the village as more development is coming…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith

 

(Champaign-jm) – If you have received a text asking to run for local government, it’s not a scam. It is part of a new initiative the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association is using to encourage representation across Illinois. The texts ask phone users if they are interested in volunteering for an election or running for local office. People receiving the texts have a history of voting Democrat in two or more elections.

 

(Loda–jc)  –Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is the Federated Bank. Locations in Loda Onarga Chebanse Bradley and Braidwood help with convenience, local, professional hometown banking, says Federated Bank's Senior Vice President and Loan Officer Nick Reutter…

 

 

Federated Bank is a full service local bank says Reutter.

 

 

Federated Bank Senior  Vice President and Loan Officer Nick Reutter.

We have a full interview with Nick Reutter during the noon news today.

 

(Normal-jm) – The recall of nearly every electric vehicle made so far at the Rivian plant in Normal has caused the company’s share price to plummet. The electric truck and SUV maker announced it was recalling more than 12,000 vehicles with issues that could affect the steering control. On Monday, the company’s stock fell over 7% to around $31 a share. Rivian’s stock price has dropped from a peak of $179 last November.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is reminding families to practice fire safety. This is Fire Prevention Week and DCFS Spokesperson Deborah Lopez says they have a program that provides free smoke alarms to families served by the Department. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half when working smoke alarms are present…

 

 

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Spokesperson Deborah Lopez. Lopez says it’s also important to have a family escape plan in case of fire that everyone practices periodically.

 

(Washington-jm) – Two members of Congress are pushing for passage of a measure to protect Dreamers. Young immigrants who have been in the United States the majority of their lives. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois and Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey are pointing the finger at Republicans for leaving Dreamers in limbo for several years. Both men worry the courts could end DACA resulting in the revocation or work permits and the possible deportation of Dreamers. Potential legislation needs 60 votes in the Senate but currently it falls about ten votes short.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Another dry week gave farmers plenty of time for harvesting. 75 percent of corn acres are mature and 27 percent of the crop has been harvested. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 89 percent of soybeans are dropping leaves…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 16 percent of winter wheat has been planted and two percent has emerged. Average statewide topsoil moisture fell to 26 percent very short, 33 percent short and 41 percent adequate.

 

(Urbana-jm) – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $5.7 million to seven universities and public health organizations on Tuesday. 

The grant is to improve the understanding of the longer-term impact of housing interventions targeting lead and other residential hazards, such as pests, injury hazards, and asthma triggers. The University of Illinois was one of the seven universities to receive a grant, receiving $924,410.

 

(Paxton–jc) Those going to park district events in the city of Paxton will see a lot of help with high school and college age students as referees, line judges, cheerleaders and more Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans says the district is blessed to have the help

 

 

Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans

 

(Urbana-jm) – Champaign County’s largest nursing home may be up for sale for the second time in less than four years. The private owner of the former Champaign County Nursing Home, now University Rehabilitation Center of C-U, purchased it from the county in 2019. The sale came with an agreement that the Urbana facility would continue to operate as a nursing home with existing employees through 2027. Evanston-based University Rehab Real Estate, LLC, controlled by William “Avi” Rothner, is now requesting the county remove those two covenants to allow the facility to be sold in 2023 and converted into a substance abuse disorder treatment facility.

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) – More than 463,000 vote-by-mail ballots could be in the mix for Illinois’ November 8 election, with the bulk coming from Cook County and Chicago, delaying election outcomes by up to two weeks. State elections board data shows that in 2018, about 9% of total votes cast, or around 427,500, using absentee, or mailed-in ballots. In 2020, when vote-by-mail was expanded for concerns of spreading COVID-19, 33% of total votes cast were mailed in, or around 2 million.  The election in Illinois features not only county, statehouse and congressional elections, voters will also choose who will be the next U.S. senator, governor, attorney general, comptroller, secretary of state and treasurers. There’s also a statewide constitutional amendment where voters will decide whether to codify collective bargaining in the Illinois Constitution.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office is receiving a nearly 400 thousand dollar federal grant to set up hate crime training. The training will be for law enforcement and prosecutors, to help them better understand hate crimes and create a safe environment for victims, says Attorney General Raoul…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. The attorney general’s office will develop the program over the next year. 

 

(Undated-jm) – With winter approaching, there is a good chance Illinoisans will be paying more to heat their homes. The problem is sharply higher costs for natural gas, used to heat a majority of homes in the state. Nicor, the utility serving a large portion of Illinois, estimated its average residential customer will pay almost $450 more for natural gas supplies this winter, almost double the cost of a year ago. Peoples Gas said it does not have an estimate yet, but the utility acknowledged bills will jump sharply. 

 

(Champaign-jm) – Harvest is underway across the area. Farmers have been taking advantage of the dry weather to get in the fields. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken talks about the crop yields in his county…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Illinois Department of Transportation will be closing an off-ramp at the interchange of Interstates 57 and 74 this week as construction crews continue a reconstruction project under the Rebuild Illinois capital program. 

The ramp leading from westbound I-74 to southbound I-57 is set to close for two days, today and tomorrow while crews construct a temporary ramp to be used during the rest of the reconstruction project. Drivers are encouraged to avoid the area if possible and use an alternate route; if not, they are encouraged to allow for extra time to travel to their destination. A detour will be posted for drivers wanting to get from westbound I-74 to southbound I-57. This detour involves getting off I-74 and onto northbound I-57, traveling north to Market Street and using the ramps there to turn around. The ramp will reopen on Thursday.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The high cost of inflation is being felt all across the state and some lawmakers are trying to find ways to provide relief. 53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the high costs of products and services could have an impact on the November election…

 

 

53rd District State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington. Some Republican lawmakers have called for a special session to address high gas and grocery prices. One of those is Representative Dan Caulkins of Decatur who wants to eliminate the state's gas and grocery tax.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in tracking down a potential suspect in a shots-fired incident that happened last month. Officials said Rantoul Police were called to the area of Saint Andrews Circle and Willow Pond Road just after noon on September 16 for a report of shots being fired. When they arrived, they found evidence that shots had indeed been fired and discovered a home had been hit. Officers found nearby security camera footage that depicted a potential suspect. The person was wearing a dark-colored jacket, dark-colored athletic pants with a white stripe along the leg and white shoes.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The state’s annual GDP has reached $1 trillion dollars. In a new report published by University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Labor and Employment Relations, Illinois joins California, New York, Texas and Florida as the fifth state to have an economy producing $1 trillion in Gross Domestic Product. On the other hand, Illinois has slowed down on economic growth, ranking 34th in the country for economic growth between Q1 2010 and Q2 2022. Economic prosperity is also not evenly spread throughout the state. The report found that while 66 percent of all residents live in the Chicago area, the Chicago area accounts for 75 percent of the GDP. The state’s three largest industries include manufacturing, real estate, and finance. Illinois is also estimated to reach a $2 trillion GDP in the next 25 years due to compound interest. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says squirrel hunting is a great way to get into hunting for the first time. Squirrels are plentiful in Illinois and provide a good introduction to hunting for beginners young and old, says DNR Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer (wee-fer)...

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resource Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer. Wefer says squirrel hunting is relatively inexpensive. All you need is camouflage, a bag and either a small caliber rifle or shotgun. 

 

(Undated-jm) – October through April marks prescribed burn season in Illinois. Prescribed burns are controlled applications of fire to the landscape by a team of experts under specific weather conditions. Officials said fire continues to be an important part of prairie and forest ecosystems to keep them healthy by recycling nutrients back in the soils more quickly and lessening the severity of wildfires.

 

(Paxton-jm) – The state of Illinois announced they were paying membership fees for students to participate in FFA this year. Paxton-Buckley–Loda FFA Advisor Kirsten Wyatt talks about why that is so important and how that is helping members…

 

 

Paxton Buckley Loda FFA Advisor Kirsten Wyatt. The WPXN FFA Ag Auction, sponsored by the Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association and Culvers in Champaign Urbana and Danville, will take place on Saturday, October 22nd from 8 to noon. 

 

(Urbana-jm) – A new U of I supercomputer is making it possible for research on campus to be done from anywhere. The Delta Computer is said to be 10 times more powerful than its predecessor. Along with the processing power, experts said the computer is a huge source of artificial intelligence for people around the globe to use.

 

(Rantoul–jc) Redevelopment has started on a property on Rantoul’s west side that was home to a Days Inn Hotel and then a Knights Inn Hotel. Core Acquisitions has purchased the property near the Rantoul Sports Complex, the Rantoul Super Walmart and Shields Auto Center in the village. The group has plans for a 6 business complex that includes a Starbucks and a Jersey Mikes store. Core Acquisitions Spokesperson Adam Bell says 5 of the 6 spots are already sold as the group looks for a business to take over the final position on the property…

 

 

Core Acquisitions Spokesperson Adam Bell


 

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Police Chief Timothy T. Tyler is pleased to announce the appointment of two long-serving members of the Champaign Police Department to serve as Deputy Police Chiefs. Geoffrey Coon has been appointed as Deputy Police Chief of Operational Support. Coon has served in the role in an interim capacity since December 2021. He oversees the Department’s Investigations Division and specialized units including the multijurisdictional Street Crimes Task Force, Evidence Division, High Tech Crimes, Crime Analysis, and Crime Scene Units. Kevin Olmstead has been appointed as Deputy Police Chief of Operations. Olmstead has served in the role in an interim capacity since November 2021. He oversees the Department’s Uniform Patrol Division and specialized units including the Crisis Intervention Team, SWAT, Field Training, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, and K-9 Units.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is warning the public about potential Hurricane Ian donation scams

(Undated-jm) – Today is Columbus Day. That mean’s banks, post offices and schools are closed. Government offices are also closed today.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Half of all rebate checks approved as part of this year's state budget have been processed. According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, about three million taxpayers received or will receive in the near future income and property tax rebates. The entire process is expected to be completed by mid-November. Information can be found online at www.tax.illinois.gov.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is warning the public about potential Hurricane Ian donation scams. Natural disasters are often followed by scam artists trying to trick people out of their money. That’s why Attorney General Raoul says if you plan to donate to the relief efforts, don’t pay in cash and be careful giving money online…

 

 

Attorney General Kwame Raoul. Raoul says you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions, like how much of your money will actually be used for relief efforts.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – A man is facing multiple charges after police say he pointed a gun at customers inside a pizza restaurant. It happened at the Rantoul Pizza Pub located at 114 E Congress Avenue. Officers arrived shortly after the suspect fled. Police identified the suspect as Eric Grubb. Grubb was later arrested at his home. A search of his home led Rantoul officers to discover a 9mm handgun, a shotgun, and a rifle. All weapons were seized as Grubb is a convicted felon. Grubb was taken to the Champaign County Correctional Center.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Three people from Cincinnati were arrested in the Champaign-Urbana area after officers said they found drugs in their possession. Officials with the Urbana Police Department said the chain of events leading to arrest started when officers were called to the towing yard of Tatman’s Towing, located at 810 Perkins Road. Officers responded to a report of suspicious activity regarding a car there and learned one of the people involved with that car had come asking to collect personal items. The person, later identified as 39-year-old Jonathon Zorrer, was seen removing three bags of suspected illegal items from the car and left with a woman later identified as Zoey Barot, 19. Officers said Zorrer and Barot, along with 33-year-old Raymond Edwards, were on their way home from a festival in Minnesota. Officers found in their possession almost 1.5 combined pounds of cocaine, marijuana, psilocybin mushrooms and ketamine, along with 36 ecstasy pills and 1,148 doses of LSD tablets.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Harvest season is underway across the state. Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken talks about the progress in his county…

 

 

Champaign County Farm Bureau Manager Brad Uken.

 

(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign man is under arrest after police said he brought a gun into a business Thursday evening. Champaign Police officials said the department received a report around 5 p.m. of a pedestrian armed with a gun in the area of Bloomington Road and Highland Avenue. Officers responded quickly, but the individual, later identified as 27-year-old Anthony Wilkins, had entered the business by the time they arrived. Officials said Wilkins entered a non-public area of the business and hid the gun there. To ensure a lawful search, Champaign Police immediately secured the scene until they could contact the business’s corporate owner. Once given consent to search the property, officers were able to find the gun within minutes and arrested Wilkins.

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA is currently wrapping up data collection for its upcoming new crop production estimates. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Bradley-jm) – The Illinois State Police announced on Friday that state troopers have made an additional arrest in connection to the murder of a Bradley Police officer last December. Xavier Harris, 22 of Bradley, is accused of concealing or aiding Darius Sullivan and Xandria Harris, the two people accused of shooting Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic and Officer Tyler Bailey at the town’s Comfort Inn on Dec. 29, 2021. Rittmanic died from her injuries while Bailey was critically injured. 

Xavier Harris is charged with two counts of obstructing justice and two counts of concealing or aiding a fugitive, both of which are class 4 felonies. He is being held at the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee on a $75,000 bond.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Time to get your annual flu shot says the Illinois Department of Public Health. The past couple of years haven’t been too bad, since most people were taking precautions against COVID-19, but that’s changed, says State Public Health Director Dr Sameer Vorhra…

 

 

State Public Health Director Dr Sameer Vorhra. While you’re at it, Vohra also recommends getting the new COVID booster that covers the most prevalent strain. He assures you can get both shots at the same time.

 

(Champaign-jm) – If you are wanting something from Bed Bath & Beyond, hurry. The store on Marketview Drive off of Neil Street will be closed by Christmas. 

Bed Bath & Beyond is closing at least 150 stores across the country. The chain lost over $350 million last quarter. 

 

(Undated-jm) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Illinois Department of Public Health revealed that over 12% of American women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. In Illinois alone, more than 2,000 women die each year of breast cancer. IDPH recommends women have monthly breast self-examinations and annual clinical breast examinations starting at age 20. Women should see doctors when they notice a breast change, such as the development of a lump or swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, pain or changes to the nipple, redness or scaliness of the breast skin or discharge other than breast milk.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Gaming revenues are up in Illinois. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City explains what this means…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Danville-jm) – An 18-year-old from Danville died on Thursday after the county coroner and sheriff’s deputies said he drowned at Kickapoo State Park. Vermilion County Coroner Jane McFadden identified the teen as Areno Woods of Oakwood. Sheriff’s deputies said Woods was fishing at a pond with his girlfriend and her three children at the time of his death. The deputies said a bobber came off a fishing pole and Woods tried to retrieve it. While returning to shore, deputies said Woods had trouble swimming; another person tried to help him but could not reach him.

 

(Washington-jm) – This crop year's market situation forecasts may look a bit different than they did a month ago. Gary Crawford explains why…

 

 

Half of all rebate checks from the Illinois Family Relief Plan have been processed

(Springfield-jm) – Former Illinois Republican Governor Jim Edgar says the state would be better off if the politics were more balanced, rather than being dominated by one-party rule. Illinois Democrats have controlled the Illinois Legislature for decades with majorities in both chambers. Since 2019, they’ve also maintained the statewide constitutional offices from governor to secretary of state.  Edgar said the state needs to be less one-sided.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Half of all rebate checks from the Illinois Family Relief Plan have been processed so far. Eligible Illinoisans have been receiving their income and property tax rebates, with millions more going out in the coming weeks says State Department of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki (kuh-nacky)...

 

 

Illinois Department of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki. Kownacki says most people will get the money via direct deposit, while others will receive a check. You can check the status of your rebate online at: tax dot illinois dot gov.

 

(Undated-jm) – Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker and State Senator Darren Bailey faced off last night in the first of two televised gubernatorial debates ahead of the November 8th election. The candidates focused on healthcare, affordable housing and education along with the economy and crime. The next debate is set for October 18th in Chicago.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – St. Malachy in Rantoul is hosting their fall festival this Sunday. Stewardship Director Vanessa Martinez talks about the event…

 

 

St. Malachy Stewardship Director Vanessa Martinez. Tickets for the dinner are still available and can be picked up at the school.

 

(Rantoul–jc)  The Holidays are just around the corner and one local civic organization held a Halloween event with the proceeds to benefit families in need and toys for kids at Christmas. Rantoul based Community Service Center is gearing up for it’s annual “Holiday Bureau” says Executive Director Cindy Crawford…

 

 

Community Service Center of Rantoul Executive Director Cindy Crawford

 

(Champaign-jm) – As part of the City’s 2022 Concrete Street Improvements Project, the pavement on Western Avenue from Kirby Avenue to Chevy Chase Drive is being reconstructed. A and R Services will continue work on the City of Champaign’s project, weather permitting, on Monday, October 10, 2022. At that time, the southbound lane of Western Avenue will be closed between Chevy Chase Drive and Princeton Drive. This section of Western Avenue will temporarily become one lane, one-way northbound traffic only. This work is scheduled to be completed by November 13, 2022.

 

 

(Cullom-jm) – A Livingston County man convicted of a triple murder was sentenced to life in Prison.  Clifford Brewer of Cullom was handed a life term -- without possibility of parole.  The 55-year-old was convicted of 6-counts of murder for the shooting deaths of his wife, his son and a neighbor on Christmas Day 2019.  He remains in the Livingston County Jail awaiting transfer to the DOC.   A jury convicted Brewer in August for the murders of 48-year-old Shirley Brewer, 27-year-old Christian Brewer and 51-year-old Norman Walker.  All three victims were found shot to death in a home in the 400-block of E. Jackson Street in Cullom on Christmas morning 2019.  

 

(Springfield-jm) – Motor-vehicle traffic deaths reached a 20-year high during the first quarter of 2022.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 9,560 people died in car accidents, which is a 7% increase compared to the same time the year prior. In Illinois, an estimated 276 traffic deaths took place during the first quarter of this year, which marks a 22.7% increase from the same time in 2022.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The latest U-S Drought Monitor shows continued dry conditions in some parts of the state. There hasn’t been much rain lately, which is reflected in the updated Illinois drought map. State Climatologist Trent Ford…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. The most serious drought conditions are in far southern Illinois, especially in Pulaski, Massac and Pope Counties

 

(Springfield-jm) – State Representative Dan Caulkins of Decatur is urging lawmakers to return to Springfield for a special session to address two issues: the SAFE-T Act and the state's gas tax. The SAFE-T Act, also known as the Pre-Trial Fairness Act, takes effect in January. It allows only people accused of qualifying charges to be detained and eliminates cash bail. The Illinois General Assembly is not scheduled to return to work until November 15. Caulkins' request for lawmakers to return before November comes as Governor JB Pritzker and other lawmakers face several lawsuits over the SAFE-T Act. It also comes as gas prices are starting to rise again. The average cost of a gallon of gas in Illinois is $4.38 this week compared to the national average of $3.86 per gallon, according to AAA.

 

(Champaign-jm) – It’s been nearly 40 years since the groundbreaking Farm Aid concert at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, and the Champaign County History Museum wants everyone to remember it. The museum recently unveiled a new exhibit about the concert. People who attended it found and donated ticket stubs, flyers and even a hat worn by Willie Nelson. The history museum’s exhibit will only be around for a limited time, but they’ll continue to accept memorabilia for the permanent gallery at Spurlock Museum coming in 2025.

 

(Fisher–jc)  More new houses are coming to the town of Fisher in Champaign County. Fisher Mayor Mike Bayler says one on going housing development is now full and now developers are working on a new 20 plus acre area for new homes…

 

 

Fisher Mayor Mike Bayler.

 

(Watseka-jm) – Harbor House is announcing plans to open an emergency shelter in Watseka.  The announcement comes during this, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Harbor House is the domestic violence agency for Iroquois and Kankakee Counties. The new shelter for needs in Iroquois County is expected open by January. Harbor House provides Free, confidential services including a 24-hour hotline and counseling for adults and youth, support groups and support thru the court system.

 

(Buckey–jc)  –  Abbe Insurance-Edge Crop Insurance is the WPXN Business of the Day today. Agent Dylan Reetz. Agent Dylan Reetz says as an independent agency, they can offer many  insurance options…

 

 

Abbe Insurance-Edge Crop Insurance Agent Dylan Reetz

 

Fisher and Lake Iroquois townwide garage sales are today and tomorrow.

 

Clove Alliance will host a sexual harassment prevention training today from 12-1 pm.

 

Parkland College’s Staerkel Planetarium Kaler Lecture Series will be held tonight with Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students  talking about Nature and Nurture: Examining How Diverse Organisms Adapt to Changes in their Everyday Environment starting at 7 pm. Cost is $2.

 

Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Gibson Masonic Lodge on Saturday from 10-2.

 

Governor J-B Pritzker and State Senator Darren Bailey will face off in a debate tonight sponsored by AARP of Illinois

(Springfield-jm) – Amendment 1 on the November ballot in Illinois has supporters saying it gives union workers an even playing field when negotiating with their higher-ups. Opponents say the measure will lead to more tax increases. The amendment has been the subject of much debate as many Democrats say the amendment is a way to codify workers' rights in Illinois. Bryce Hill of the Illinois Policy Institute said it likely will increase property taxes. Illinois residents already pay the second highest property taxes in the nation. The Illinois Policy Institute property tax calculator indicates that if Amendment 1 is passed, Cook County residents who own a house valued at the county average will see a $3,000 increase in property taxes over the next four years. DuPage County residents meeting the same requirements would see an estimated $2,200 increase and in Madison County, property owners would see on average a $700 increase over that same time frame.  Hill said if voters approve the measure, it would also stop future tax relief legislation.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois places near the top of a study that ranks states based on the amount of large monetary jury awards over the past decade. The large awards are called nuclear verdicts and are described as being worth $10 million or more.  

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform analyzed nearly 1,400 verdicts in personal injury and wrongful death cases and found that Illinois juries delivered 75 reported nuclear verdicts to the tune of more than $3 billion. That ranks as the state sixth most in the nation. The next two most frequent areas for nuclear verdicts in Illinois are product liability (17.3%) and premises liability (16%). Auto accidents made up 10.7% of nuclear verdicts in personal injury and wrongful death cases compared to 22.8% nationwide.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker and State Senator Darren Bailey will face off in a debate tonight sponsored by AARP of Illinois. The debate starts at 7 pm and will be televised on WCIA 3.

 

(Springfield-jm) – It’s Safe Sleep Awareness Month and this year the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is focusing on the dangers of crib bumpers. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission there were 113 infant deaths associated with crib bumpers between 1999 and 2019. DCFS Spokesperson Deborah Lopez explains why they are so dangerous…

 

 

DCFS Spokesperson Deborah Lopez. Under a new federal law, it’s now illegal to manufacture, distribute or sell padded bumpers that line the inside of a crib.

 

CHAMPAIGN - Champaign Police were dispatched just after 7 last night, to the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Olympian Drive for a report of a vehicular hijacking. Upon arrival, officers found a 67-year-old male victim from Champaign who reported that he had been rear-ended by an SUV before pulling over to exchange information. After pulling over, the SUV’s occupants exited their vehicle wearing masks to hide their features, then exposed a firearm and demanded the victim’s money. After he complied, the subjects struck him in the face with the weapon. The subjects then fled, taking the victim’s car and their SUV from the scene. They were last seen heading westbound toward Interstate 57. The stolen vehicle is described as a gray Toyota Avalon with license plate ZZ64404. The victim reported minor injuries, including a broken tooth. The hijacked vehicle was reported to area law enforcement agencies, including the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office and Illinois State Police. No arrests have been made at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.

 

Rantoul–jc)  –  A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday morning on the west side of Rantoul near the Sports Complex, Rantoul SuperWalmart and Shields Auto Center. Officials with Core Acquisitions, State Senator Scott Bennett, Rantoul Mayor Charles Smith, Village Administrator Scott Eisenhower, several village board members and other dignitaries were in attendance. Core Acquisitions' Adam Bell officially told those about plans for a new Starbucks, Verizon store, Jersey Mikes and more…

 

 

Core Acquisitions Adam Bell

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says it's a time to celebrate a new beginning in Rantoul…

 

 

Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith


(Champaign-jm) – The first defendant to go to court in connection to a Lyft driver’s murder accepted a plea deal and was subsequently released from custody. 

Na’Shown Fenderson, 17 of Champaign, pleaded guilty to a single count of obstruction of justice. In exchange for this plea and testimony against one of his co-defendants, the State’s Attorney’s Office dropped four counts of first-degree murder against Fenderson. By pleading guilty, Fenderson admitted to throwing onto a house’s roof the gun that was used to kill Kristian Philpotts earlier this year. Philpotts, a 29-year-old from Chicago, was driving for Lyft to earn money to attend veterinary school at the University of Illinois.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Smaller supplies of corn than expected may cause continued price volatility for months. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Ford County-jm) – Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran and Ford County State’s Attorney Andrew Killian are the latest to file a civil complaint over the Safe-T Act. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of the law, which would end cash bail in the state starting January 1. Last week, Vermilion County State’s Attorney Jacqueline Lacy filed a complaint and several communities are also taking legal action over the bill.

 

(Buckley–jc)  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is  NextGen Ag Service of Buckley. Co owners are Todd Shively and Brian Dippel. NextGen Ag Service offers area farmers more than just seed, says Todd Shively…

 

 

Shively says the beans that come into the rural Buckley facility are then treated and customized for  specific farm use…

 

 

NextGen Ag Service of Buckley Co-Owner Todd Shively.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Voters largely support policies allowing police to detain suspects charged with violent crimes, a new poll shows. That's in contrast to recent policies being enacted in Illinois. Convention of States Action, along with Trafalgar Group, released the poll, which found that the vast majority of surveyed Americans do not support policies that keep law enforcement from detaining those accused of violent crimes. The poll found that 95.6% of those surveyed “say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports policies which prevent police from detaining criminals charged with violent crimes, such as kidnapping and armed robbery.”

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) – An Illinois lawmaker is calling for more accountability of Illinois group homes for those with developmental disabilities. They are called CILAs, which stands for Community Integrated Living Arrangement. State Representative Charlie Meier said a recent audit shows the Illinois Department of Human Services is failing to monitor criminal activity in group homes, and some residents are not being cared for properly.  When the Auditor General released the audit concerning oversight of CILAs back in July 2018, the audit found weaknesses in the licensing process for CILAs and the monitoring of CILAs by DHS, resulting in 26 recommendations to DHS to improve CILA oversight. In another state audit released in July 2020, DHS had not yet fully implemented 19 of the 26 recommendations from the 2018 audit. Meier and a bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced House Resolution 265 that would direct the Auditor General to conduct a management audit concerning the oversight of the CILA program and the awarding of competitively-procured grants. According to research, Illinois spends more to operate CILAs relative to statewide personal income than nearly every state in the nation.

 

(Undated-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker and challenger State Senator Darren Bailey will face off in a debate tonight at Illinois State University and sponsored by AARP of Illinois. The debate starts at 7 pm and will be televised locally on WCIA 3.

 

(Rantoul–jc)  The Rantoul based Community Service Center has been chosen by the Meijer Company to be a :Simply Give” charity. The fundraising started on October 2 and runs into December says Community Service Center Executive Director Cindy Crawford…

 

 

Community Service Center of Rnatoul Executive Director Cindy Crawford

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is urging families to get college financial aid forms filled out this month. It’s time to get the FAFSA done for the 2023-2024 school year, says ISAC Spokesperson Lynne Baker. It’s the form that determines eligibility for federal, most state and some school financial aid…

 

 

ISAC Spokesperson Lynne Baker. There’s also what’s called the “Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid'' which is for undocuemnt students applying for state map grants.

 

(Undated-jm) – The Iroquois County Public Health Department offers flu vaccines, by appointment, by calling the Watseka office at 815-432-2483.  Adult flu vaccines are available Monday thru Friday 9 am - 3:30 pm.  Walk-in  vaccines are available.  The Ford County Public Health Department in Paxton offers Walk-In Flu Clinics. The CDC and the Illinois Department of Public health suggests vaccines for everyone 6 Months of age or older.

 

(Washington-jm) – A USDA economist explains why the indicator for global agricultural productivity shows a decline in its rate of growth, compared to what is needed to feed the world by the year 2050. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

(Danville-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul Wednesday announced his office obtained a 40-year prison sentence in a murder prosecution in the shooting deaths of two Vermilion County teenagers. Dustin Cooper, of Danville, Illinois, is the first of four individuals to be sentenced for the murders, which resulted from a drug sale and robbery. Vermilion County Circuit Court Judge Derek Girton sentenced Cooper this week to 40 years in prison after a jury found him guilty on July 26, 2022 of first-degree murder in the deaths of Wyatt Bailey, 19, from Oakwood, Illinois and Clayvonte Sloan, 16, from Danville, Illinois. 

 

 

Attorney General Kwame Raoul is warning the public about hurricane ravage cars potentially being sold in Illinois

(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Police say 3 people were shot including one fatally yesterday evening. It happened in the 1100 block of 3rd Street just before 6pm. A 25 year old from Champaign was shot multiple times and taken to the hospital where he later died. Two others showed up at the hospital with non life threatening injuries. Three vehicles and a building were also struck by gunfire.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul is warning the public about hurricane ravage cars potentially being sold in Illinois. The Attorney General says it’s not uncommon for vehicles that have been through a severe weather event like Hurricane Ian to be cleaned up and listed for sale in other states. Raoul says scam artists don’t disclose the water damage…

 

 

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. If you’re in the market for a car, Raoul says you can protect yourself by having it inspected by a mechanic you trust, obtaining a vehicle report, asking the seller if the vehicle has any weather damage and getting the answer in writing.

 

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Board of Education is asking members of the public to give their input on state funding for public education. ISBE is accepting testimony in writing online. After submitting a request online, individuals can attend one of three budget hearings during the month of October. The public’s input will inform the funding recommendation ISBE will provide to lawmakers for fiscal year 2024.


 

(Springfield-jm) – The state climatologist says it’s been a dry and mild start to fall so far in Illinois. Last month’s statewide average temperature came in at nearly 67 degrees, making it the 57th warmest September on record in Illinois. State Climatologist Trent Ford says temps varied quite a bit though…

 

 

State Climatologist Trent Ford. Despite heavy rains in early September, average total precipitation last month was more than half an inch below normal. Ford says while the dry weather has been good for harvesting, the risk of field fires has increased.

 

(Champaign-jm) – Parkland College in Champaign celebrated Manufacturing Month with a new program for high school students. The school partnered with several Champaign County agencies, including the Chamber of Commerce, to launch this program. On Tuesday, they hosted the first student manufacturing day. Students were given tours around area manufacturing companies. They learned about the economic impact of manufacturing and jobs offered in the field.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Come January 1st, the state will eliminate cash bail. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City gives an update on how we got here…

 

 

Bennett goes on to talk about what Illinoisans can do to stop it…

 

 

106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

(Urbana-jm) – Champaign County will once again be hosting their amnesty week coming up later this month. Amnesty Week will take place October 11-21st for those delinquent on paying their tickets or fines.

 

(Ford County-jm) – The Ford County Sheriff’s Office has released their September activity report. During the month of September, deputies responded to 5 traffic accidents and issued 14 citations for speeding and 1 each for driving on a suspended license, illegal transportation of alcohol, reckless driving, improper left turn and disregarding a stop sign. Deputies also responded to 13 domestic issues, 8 reports of suspicious persons, 5 welfare checks, 3 reports of fraud, 2 each of custody disputes and theft and 1 each for trespassing and criminal damage.

 

(Springfield-jm) – An Illinois House committee is looking at ways to teach more college students about managing their finances. At a recent hearing, lawmakers listened to university representatives from several schools to discuss efforts to improve financial literacy. Sol Jensen with Northern Illinois University says they launched a financial advising office last year…

 

 

Northern Illinois University’s Sol Jensen. Representatives from Wintrust Bank talked about the need to start early, saying they offer workshops for young children through college age, covering topics like saving for something special, opening a checking account and tracking expenses.

 

(Springfield-jm) – There are no members appointed to the board that is set to field appeals from Illinoisans who have had their gun privileges revoked by the state. Illinois law requires anyone who wants to buy or own guns or ammo to have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card issued by Illinois State Police. Governor J-B Pritzker said state police have been busy confiscating FOID cards from those the state determines can’t have one. State law says an aggrieved party can appeal to the ISP director. Starting January 1, 2023, they can appeal to the FOID Card Review Board. The board was created by state statute January 1, 2022. But nobody has been appointed to the board.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Duck hunting may be a little more challenging this year. Drought conditions in the Canadian Prairies, where most Illinois ducks breed, have been the worst in decades. That’s led to a decline in the duck population, says State Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer (wee-fer)...

 

 

State Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer. Wefer says that may mean hunters need to be a little tighter on their calling and really brush in their blinds. For more information about specific waterfowl season, limits and requirements, visit the website: hunt illinois dot org.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The City of Champaign announced on Tuesday that routine sewer maintenance will result in a pair of lane closures on one street later this week. The closures will take place on Kirby Avenue between Crescent Drive and Mattis Avenue. Work is planned for the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Thursday and Friday.

 

(Watseka-jm) – A teacher from Watseka has been arrested on felony sexual assault charges. Stephanie Harmon allegedly admitted to Watseka police that she had sexual relations with a student from an Iroquois County school. Police say the assault did not occur at the school and that Harmon was not teaching at a school in Watseka. 

 

(Paxton–jc)  Today’s WPXN Business  of the Day is Monical's Pizza of Paxton. Monicals Pizza’s business positioning  statement is “Home of the Family Pleaser.” Monicals Pizza Paxton Store Manager Jason Mills says one weekly special at the Paxton location is an up to 4 toppings pizza on Monday nights…

 

 

Pizzas are always at the top of the menu, says Monical’s Pizza Manager Jason Mills, but sandwiches are a popular option, with school and harvest …

 


Monical’s Pizza of Paxton Manager Jason Mills

 

(Rantoul–jc) A Ribbon Cutting ceremony is set for 10-30 this morning on Rantoul’s west side near the Sports Complex and Walmart. 

 

(Rantoul-jm) – The American Lutheran Church in Rantoul is hosting a Trunk or Treat event at the church, Friday October 29th from 5-30pm to 7pm Volunteers are needed along with businesses to host a trunk full of treats. Contact the church for more information. 

Comptroller Susana Mendoza is pushing legislation to help the families of fallen law enforcement officers

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker has suggested that changes to the state's controversial SAFE-T Act could be needed to better inform the public. Among other things, the SAFE-T Act eliminates cash bail in Illinois. Supporters say it will keep many criminals in jail, while those opposed say it will let most people out. Pritzker said the SAFE-T Act could undergo some changes, mainly to help Illinois citizens better understand what the measure does.

 

(Rantoul–jc)  A ground breaking ceremony is set for the village of Rantoul tomorrow morning.  The event is set on the former Days Inn-Knights Inn Property on the village’s west side near the Rantoul Sports Complex and Super-Waltmart. Redevelopment in the area has been anticipated. WPXN news will update this story as more official news becomes available. 

 

(Springfield-jm) – Comptroller Susana Mendoza is pushing legislation to help the families of fallen law enforcement officers. The bill ensures that enough money is available to pay out benefits to the families of officers killed in the line of duty. Currently, that fund sometimes runs out, leaving loved ones to wait until more money is appropriated by the legislature. Comptroller Mendoza says families shouldn’t have to deal with delays while they are grieving…

 

 

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza. Mendoza is hoping to get the bill passed during the fall veto session.

 

(Urbana-jm) – University of Illinois Police are investigating after a student was sexually assaulted on campus over the weekend. Police said the assault happened at a university dorm hall at 2:45 a.m. on Saturday. A campus safety notice sent to students, faculty and staff Monday afternoon said the offender is someone the victim met through a dating app. The offender is described as being a White man about 20 years old and approximately 5′ 10″ in height. Police said he went by the name Austin and had bleach-blonde hair. Anyone who has formation about this crime is asked to call University Police at 217-333-1216.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Corn and soybean harvesting is underway in Illinois, but remains behind last year’s pace. Pretty much the whole week was suitable for fieldwork, and 10 percent of soybeans have now been harvested. That compares to 26 percent at this time normally. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at the corn crop…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 4 percent of winter wheat has now been planted and average statewide topsoil moisture declined to 11 percent very short, 38 percent short and 51 percent adequate.

 

(Normal-jm) – The campus community of Illinois State University is mourning the loss of an administrator who died after colliding with a bicycle. Adam Peck was a pedestrian when he was struck by a bicyclist in a sidewalk area near campus last week. Peck worked at ISU as an assistant vice president for student affairs. The accident was the third serious incident involving a pedestrian in Normal this month.


(Paxton–jc)  –  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is the Paxton Park District. Formed in the 1960s around the idea of a city pool, the local park district now has a plethora of programs and activities. Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans says fall programs range from soccer to dance…

 

 

 Evans says volleyball is coming soon…

 

 

Paxton Park District Director Cody Evans.

You can hear more about the Paxton Park District on later newscasts today. We also have a full interview with Cody Evans during our noon news block today.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois political leaders are assessing the tone this election cycle and encouraging civility. Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch last week told the City Club of Chicago that Illinois has diverse voices that must work together for the common good. But, he said, politics is growing more divisive. Former Republican Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar agreed that in the ebb and flow of political discourse, things have “definitely ebbed.” Discourse this election cycle around public safety has heated up with debate over the no-cash bail and other provisions in the SAFE-T Act that takes effect in the new year.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs is hi-liting a state savings account program for people with disabilities and their families. The “Achieving a Better Life Experience” or “ABLE” program helps families save and invest for expenses without risking federal disability benefits. The money can be used for several things, says Treasurer Frerichs…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Frerichs recently announced a reduction in fees for account owners. More information about Illinois ABLE is available online at: illinois treasurer dot gov.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign Police Department announced on Monday that a teenager has been charged in connection to a shooting on Friday that left a man hurt. Qwonn Walls, 19 of Champaign, is charged with a single count of aggravated discharge of a firearm. He was arrested by Champaign Police the day after the shooting and was arraigned on Monday. The charge accuses Walls of shooting a 22-year-old man in the leg during an argument they were having just before 2 p.m. on Friday. The victim was taken to the hospital, treated and released.

 

(Springfield-jm) – Corn and soybean harvesting is underway in Illinois, but remains behind last year’s pace. 63 percent of corn acres are mature and 13 percent has been harvested. Usually at this time, 29 percent of corn is out of the ground, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture dropped to 11 percent very short, 38 percent short and 51 percent adequate. 4 percent of winter wheat has been planted.

 

(Champaign-jm) – The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign announced a new project on Monday. The Speech accessibility project is aimed at making voice recognition technology more useful for people with a range of diverse speech patterns and disabilities. Illinois is teaming up with Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft in hopes of broadening speech recognition. Researchers will recruit volunteers to record voice samples in order to train machines to better understand a variety of speech patterns.

 

 

There is no guarantee Carle Health will continue to treat retired state workers after the end of the year

(Onarga-jm) – The Iroquois County Sheriff’s office responded to a reported home invasion on Saturday evening. Upon their arrival on scene at the 600 block of W. Lincoln Ave., deputies spoke with the alleged victim’s daughter when a single gunshot rang out from inside the garage. Deputies attempted to secure the scene awaiting additional officers, but upon their entering the residence, the suspect had fled out the back door. Police said the suspect is the victim’s daughter’s ex-husband, 29-year-old Jordan R. Johnson of Kankakee. The suspect allegedly threatened to kill the victim and reportedly fired one shot at them during a brief altercation inside the garage. Officers from numerous surrounding agencies responded to the scene in search of the suspect. Around 10:45 p.m., officers located the suspect near the area of Bork Nurseries and fled on foot through a bean field. Officers pursued Johnson through the field, during which time he produced a gun and fired one shot, resulting in a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Emergency medical personnel who were on standby immediately responded to the scene and pronounced Johnson dead.

 

(Washington-jm) – What does USDA's Chief Economist see as the trend for major commodity ending stocks in global balance sheets for the 2022-23 marketing year? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Paxton-jm) – Paxton IGA has announced the latest receiver from their charitable rebate program. St. John’s Lutheran School received a check from IGA for $1,000. The charitable rebate program gives local non-profits $1,000 by collecting $200,000 in IGA receipts. St. John’s Lutheran School is the 55th organization to receiving a check from IGA since the program was created in September of 2009.


 

(Champaign-jm) – A 22-year-old Champaign man is recovering in the hospital after he was shot Friday afternoon. Officers responded to an apartment complex near White Street and Kenwood Road around 1:50 p.m. for a report of a shooting with injury. They found the victim with a gunshot wound to the leg and immediately rendered aid. The victim was taken to the hospital and is listed in stable condition. Officers determined that the shooting was the result of an argument between the victim and another person. The other person pulled out a gun and shot the victim before running away. Officers are conducting a canvass of the area, seeking witnesses and any surveillance footage.

 

(Vermilion County-jm) – Illinois is giving out $371 million in COVID funds to small communities around the state. WPXN’s Jason Madden looks at who is receiving funding in VermilionCounty…

 

 

(Crescent City-jm) – The voters in Crescent City’s grade school district will decide whether to deactivate the junior-high school. And – the community can learn more about the referendum question that’ll appear on the ballot. Crescent-Iroquois Community Unit School District #249 administrators have a scheduled meeting next Thursday, October 6, to talk about the deactivation process. The 6:30 pm meeting invites the public to the Community Center. School administrators, staff and parents are welcome. The ballot question asks voters if the junior-high school should deactivate. That’s grades 6-7-8. Thursday’s meeting will also present facts on the status of the Crescent-Iroquois High School, including district finances and staffing issues. Should voters decide to deactivate, the Crescent City Grade School would become a K–5 set-up. And if the deactivation vote passes, junior-high students would then have the same options as high school students, to attend one of three receiving schools. Those receiving schools are Cissna Park, Gilman and Watseka.


(Watseka–jc)  –  Today’s WPXN Business of the Day is the Watseka Theater. The building was renovated in 2007  into a state of the art facility to house national bands to local events.. Owners Chuck and Deborah Gomez  have booked acts like Bret Michaels, Rick Springfield and coming October 14th…The Outlaws. Chuck Gomez talks about the start of their new business in 2007…

 

 

Gomez  says the list of great acts to the Watseka Theater is a long one…

 

 

Watseka Theater Owner Chuck Gomez

Tickets for the Outlaws Show on October 14th are available by going online at the theater’s website or calling the Theater in Watseka.

You can learn more about the Watseka Theater over the noon hour today with a full interview with Chuck Gomez

 

 

(Washington-jm) – USDA has once again raised its food price inflation forecast. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

(Urbana-jm) – There is no guarantee Carle Health will continue to treat retired state workers after the end of the year. Carle is not committing to see patients who enroll in the only health insurance plan the state has offered its retirees for the next at least five years — Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO — without a contract with Aetna that “Carle feels is fair and protects Carle’s interest, according to Carle. 

In essence, 140,000 seniors who retired from the state, namely the roughly 10,000 in-and-around Champaign County, are poised to lose access to a network of more than 550 Carle doctors and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana barring an agreement.

 

(Undated-jm) – Moultrie County State's Attorney, Tracy Weaver, has filed an injunction against the SAFE-T Act just days after Vermilion County State's Attorney, Jacqueline Lacy, did the same. Weaver expressed concern with the new pre-trial detention rules in the press release announcing her suit that was filed on behalf of the People of the State of Illinois. The lawsuit names Governor JB Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul as Defendants. Several sheriff’s around the state have expressed concerns about the law.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – We are a couple of months into the new school year. Rantoul Township High School Principal Todd Wilson talks about how the year is going so far…

 

 

Rantoul Township High School Principal Todd Wilson.

 

(Rantoul-jm) – Starting today, the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District will be resuming its C-CARTS service. C-CARTS or Champaign County Area Rural Transit System, provides public transportation to people living in rural areas of Champaign County, but is not meant to duplicate the level of service seen in Champaign-Urbana. It has two fixed routes: the Eagle Express and Rantoul Collector, operates for 12 hours every weekday between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and fares are just $2. Curb-to-curb service can also be requested.

 

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