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WPXN Blog Archives for 2022-11

Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing a bipartisan deal to pay back pandemic unemployment insurance debt

(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Freedom Caucus is calling for an end to the consent calendar which enables the House leadership to pass hundreds of bills with a single roll call vote. The consent calendar is a list of bills bundled together and voted on in one roll call vote. The list of bills includes ceremonial legislation such as measures to change the name of roads to honor members of the community, but the list could also include substantive legislation. The group said substantive bills deserve individual roll calls so that members are completely aware of the full implication of their votes.


(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is announcing a bipartisan deal to pay back pandemic unemployment insurance debt. The agreement makes good on the remaining one-point-four billion dollar unemployment loan that was needed to pay claims when so many lost their jobs. It will also ensure the fund is replenished for the future, says the Governor…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The state had the plan needs to be passed by the legislature to take effect.


(Mahomet-jm) – The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in solving multiple car burglaries in Mahomet Township and Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. The Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page that victims reported a number of items being stolen from their cars, including credit cards. They said that some of these stolen cards were later used at stores in Champaign. Anyone who has information about this investigation is encouraged to contact the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division at 217-384-1213 or Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-384-8477.


(Paxton-jm) – Several businesses in Paxton are making it easier for children to mail their letters to Santa this holiday season. Nine businesses set up specialty Santa Mailboxes for children to drop their letters into. The businesses participating are: Monicals Pizza, The Pop Loft, Paxton IGA, Mom and Pop’s Kettle Korn Stop, Pueblo Lindo, Ruby Jewel, Hudson Drug and Hallmark Paxton Hardware and Rental and 720 North American Street. They are encouraged to include their first and last names on their letters along with a return address, as Santa will write them back.


(Cissna Park–jc)  The annual Cissna Park F F A auction is set for Friday at “The Barn” event center near Woodworth in Iroquois County. Items are now on facebook and the bidding has begun. Those attending the event on Friday will also have an opportunity to bid on everything from seed corn and beans to homemade desserts and gift cards. Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton says the money raised goes to scholarships and expenses…



Cissna Park F F A Advisor Jeff Clifton. To bid, join the group on facebook. The event  on Friday starts at 4pm with a meal and an auction set for 6pm


(Danville-jm) – The Vermilion County Board Property Committee has voted to officially rename the County Administration Building as the Joseph G. Cannon Building. Cannon is a former speaker of the house. It now goes to the full county board next week.


(Springfield-jm) – Harvesting is complete and winter wheat has been planted as we hear in the last weekly crop report of the season. This past week was slightly warmer and drier than normal and average statewide topsoil moisture is nearly unchanged at 12 percent very short, 16 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at winter wheat…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions were rated as 39 percent in good to excellent condition. The weekly crop report will start back up again in April.

(Washington-jm) – Railroad workers from across the country are threatening a strike if their demands for higher wages are not met. Illinois lawmakers are picking sides.  Rail Workers United, a group supporting railroad workers in various unions from all across the country, said workers have not received pay raises in over three years. Now the union is threatening a strike. Governor J-B Pritzker is joining President Joe Biden in urging Congress to get involved. However, not all Democrats are on board with that. Representative  Michael Halpin, from Rock Island voiced his support for workers on the House floor Tuesday and voiced his frustration that Congress would get involved. If an agreement is not reached, a strike could happen as early as December 9.


(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker says he’s hopeful lawmakers will make some tweaks to the Safe-T Act during this week’s veto session. The fall veto session is scheduled to end on Thursday, but the Governor thinks a trailer bill can be passed by then, clarifying the law that ends cash bail on January 1st…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says lawmakers, prosecutors and others are working hard to reach an agreement this week.


(Champaign-jm) – A 17-year-old from Champaign is facing adult murder charges in connection to a shooting that left another teenager dead earlier this month. Keshawn Brown is charged with four counts of first-degree murder. Champaign Police officials said Brown was arrested Monday night in Normal on unrelated charges and was transported back to Champaign County. The charges accuse Brown of shooting 18-year-old Nizeri Carter multiple times the evening of November 4 in the area of Elm Street and Bradley Avenue. Carter arrived at an area hospital by personal vehicle shortly after officers arrived at the shooting location. She later died from her injuries at the hospital.


(Danville-jm) – The Vermilion County War Museum will collect Christmas greeting cards through December 21st for veterans. The card collection began just a few years ago. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the museum collected over 900 cards. This year, they are hoping to collect even more. The main goal for the card drive is for veterans in Vermilion County to know that someone cares and that they aren't alone for the holidays.  People can drop cards off Tuesdays through Fridays from 12pm to 4pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.


(Paxton–jc)  –  The city of Paxton continues to move towards a goal of a strong shopping district while trying to become a “destination” for goods and services. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a “Tis the Season, to Shop Paxton” event on Friday night from 5pm to 8pm. It’s part of a 4 day bag sale that features goods and services throughout the city. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President Dawn Stack looks at a new trend to support local business in Paxton…



Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President Dawn Stack


(Champaign-jm) – Kids who are a part of the Boys and Girls Club in Champaign got to see their new facility for the first time. The new facility is located at the Champaign Parks District new Martens Center. The facility includes multiple classrooms and learning areas, a gym with several activities for the kids to participate in, and more. The Martens Center will be used specifically for elementary students in the program, and the Boys and Girls Club's old building will be transformed into a teen space for older kids.

(Springfield-jm) – Harvesting is complete and winter wheat has been planted as we hear in the last weekly crop report of the season. 84 percent of winter wheat has now emerged and the condition of the crop declined five percentage points to 30 percent in good to excellent condition. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener on Illinois pastures…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture is nearly unchanged at 12 percent very short, 16 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.


The U.S. Small Business Administration has begun releasing more financial aid to restaurants nationwide

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Monday he has appointed a new replacement Cannabis Regulation Oversight Officer. The new appointee is Erin Johnson, who currently works at the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice and previously worked for former governor Bruce Rauner. The position works in the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to direct state agencies on regulating and taxing Illinois’ cannabis industry, as well as make sure the state is reaching its social equity goals.


(Springfield-jm) – A new report reveals a record number of complaints were received by the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General in the past year. The agency released its fiscal year annual report showing “notable record highs,” including the number of received and reviewed complaints and the number of revolving door determinations issued. The agency has jurisdiction over 170,000 state employees, appointees and officials in state government.


(Springfield-jm) – Bobcat hunting season is underway in Illinois. It’s a popular but complicated season, with a limited number of permits available, some areas of the state off limits and harvest restricted to one bobcat. The good news says Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer, is that many hunters are successful…



Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer. The bobcat hunting season runs through February 15th but is not allowed during this weekend’s firearm deer season.

(Urbana-jm) – A University of Illinois student was arrested after shooting paintballs at people. The University of Illinois Police says Darriontez  McMillion, 19, of Champaign, was arrested Sunday near Silver and Vawter streets, Urbana, for aggravated battery and on a city of Champaign warrant for failure to appear in court. Officials say a U of I employee and her son reported that they had been struck by paintballs shot from a passing vehicle on Sixth and Healey streets on Saturday.


(Champaign-jm) – Firefighters in Champaign were called to an apartment building on Monday after a fire started inside one of the units. The fire happened at 805 South Mattis Avenue, a six-unit building that fire department officials said was vacant at the time. A passerby reported the fire around 1:15 p.m. and firefighters arrived shortly after to find light smoke coming from a third-floor apartment.


(Rantoul–jc)  –  Today is the Can-Do-It Drive at the Community Service Center in Rantoul. The local civic group is asking for canned food or household good donations at the center located at 520 East Wabash in the village. Community Service Center Executive Director Cindy Crawford talks about the items on the list…



Community Service Center of Rantoul Executive Director Cindy Crawford

The center is open from 8-30am to 4-30pm on Tuesday


(Champaign-jm) – A 16-year-old has been denied probation after being accused of bringing a gun to Centennial High School last month. He appeared in court, where the public defender asked if he could be released for having good behavior in the detention center and no prior incidents with police. The judge denied the request, because he is a minor accused of having a gun in his book bag on school grounds.


(Undated-jm) – One state-wide organization is planning to go “ham” for Giving Tuesday this holiday season. In a release, the Illinois Pork Producers Association announced they will be taking part in the #GiveaHam challenge by participating in “Hams for Heroes”, an original campaign created by the Illinois Pork Producers Association to supply military families in need with holiday hams. The group will be challenging the Illinois Department of Agriculture to help them donate hams.



(Washington-jm) – If you are a farmer, you should soon be seeing in your mailbox some information about the upcoming Census of Agriculture. Gary Crawford reports…



(Washington-jm) – The U.S. Small Business Administration has begun releasing more financial aid to restaurants nationwide. The money will come from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which will use its remaining $83 million of COVID-19 relief money to help small restaurants with under 20 locations. Illinois restaurants that are selected to receive funding will receive the funds within a couple of days, and the money must be spent by the end of the program in March 2023.


(Springfield-jm) – Farmers borrow short term money up front every year to pay for inputs and operating expenses. At harvest time when they sell their crops, they pay back their operating notes. For the first time in 20 years, fast-rising interest rates have doubled the cost of short term operating notes, an impact a lot of farmers have never seen before. Costs in 2022 were higher than in 2021. In 2023, farmers can expect significantly higher price tags for just about everything. The Illinois Farm Business Farm Management recommends running a tighter pencil, paying down debt where it makes sense and taking a hard look at cash flow. They also advise farmers to look carefully at their cash flow and discuss purchases with trusted advisers.


(Springfield-jm) – It’s been 20 years since the first Amber Alert was issued in Illinois. Amber Alerts are broadcast when a child is missing or has been kidnapped and is in imminent danger. State Amber Alert Coordinator Craig Burge says they have been an effective law enforcement tool…



State Amber Alert Coordinator Craig Burge. Since the Amber Alert system started being used in Illinois, 118 alerts have been issued. 67 kids were recovered as a direct result and another 22 were found indirectly.


(Urbana-jm) – The Urbana Police Department is searching for a person of interest in connection to a stolen credit card that was used to purchase almost $9,000 in gift cards. The police department shared an image of the suspect on their Facebook page. They are asking anyone who can identify this person or has any information about the incident to contact them at 217-384-2320.


(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking assistance from the public regarding a retail theft. Police say at 2:30 p.m. on November 18, they were dispatched to Home Depot, located at 820 Bloomington Road in Champaign. Upon arrival, officers discovered a male had attempted to steal over $1,400 worth of tools and fixtures but was confronted at the door by loss prevention. The male then fled the area on foot.


(Paxton–jc) With Black Friday and Small Market Saturday complete for the holiday shopping season, one local chamber is setting their sights on a Friday Night Shopping event. The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce has a 3 hour shopping event from 5pm to 8pm on Friday to kick off the annual 4 day holiday bag sale in the city. Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President Dawn Stack says 15 businesses will have special sales and more on Friday…



Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce Vice President Dawn Stack


(Undated-jm) – The average gasoline prices in Illinois have fallen 19 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.78 per gallon according to GasBuddy. Prices in Illinois are 35.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and stand 26.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. Gas Buddy says the national average could fall below $3 a gallon by Christmas. 


(Fisher-jm) – A Fisher man has been sentenced to 6 years in prison for residential burglary. Michel Hoogstraat received the sentence in Champaign County court. Hoogstraat pleaded guilty in October to a single count of residential burglary after admitting he entered a home in Fisher back in June and taking items. Deputies found Hoogstraat holding a crate containing food, a fire extinguisher, a glass pitcher and dog treats. A search of his home turned up several stolen firearms, cleaning supplies, alcohol, a flatscreen TV and a safe containing the remains of the owner's grandfather. In exchange for his guilty plea, other residential burglary and possession of stolen firearms charges were dismissed.



Voter turnout in Illinois was around 49.5 percent during this month's election

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday as state’s attorneys and law enforcement officials await changes to the SAFE-T Act.  The controversial justice reform package eliminates cash bail on January 1, making Illinois the first state to do so. The legislation has been criticized by many, including dozens of state’s attorneys around Illinois who have filed lawsuits to have the SAFE-T Act thrown out.  Before the election, Democrats promised to take up the legislation during the fall veto session, but have vowed not to make major changes to the bill. The consolidated lawsuit against the SAFE-T Act, which was combined from 58 separate lawsuits filed around the state, will be heard in Kankakee County with opening arguments scheduled for December 7. The lawsuits allege the state legislature violated the state’s constitution in the manner the act was presented and approved. State’s attorneys are asking the court to declare the act unconstitutional. A ruling on the lawsuits could come as early as December 15.


(Springfield-jm) – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 52,354 deer during the first weekend of Illinois firearm deer season. In 2021 hunters took 48,964 deer during the first firearm weekend. Illinois’ seven-day firearm deer season will conclude December 1-4.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Community College Board is awarding more than nine million dollars to address educational and career equity. Funding will support initiatives at 55 organizations, including 36 community colleges to help students make the transition to a new career. Board Deputy Executive Director Jennifer Foster says this may include training, job placement and more…



Illinois Community College Board Deputy Director Jennifer Foster. Groups receiving the grant money include Illinois Central College, Joliet Junior College, Kishwaukee College and Literacy Chicago.


(Champaign-jm) – Champaign firefighters battled two fires over the weekend. Firefighters in Champaign responded to a fire at an apartment building that necessitated a two-alarm response Friday afternoon. The fire happened at 1101 South Mattis Avenue, a 14-unit building that was vacant at the time. The cause of the fire has not been determined yet. The other fire happened at 3007 W. Williams Street Saturday afternoon. The cause of this fire is accidental and has been attributed to a dehumidifier in the basement of the home.


(Paxton-jm) – Paxton rang in the Christmas holiday this past weekend. Noah Schaumberg and Brynn McKenry were named the Christmas parade prince and princess. Our very own Joel Cluver was the city’s Christmas Star winner. This coming weekend will be the city’s bag sale Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Santa will be at the Paxton Park District Saturday morning and at the Paxton Emergency Response Service Saturday afternoon.


(Paxton-jm) – Paxton city leaders are looking at participating in a mapping program to guide the city’s planning over the next 5-10 years. Alderman Rob Pacey says its a collective effort among several entities…



Paxton City Council Alderman Rob Pacey.

(Gifford-jm) – An unattended fryer is the cause of a barn fire near Gifford Thursday afternoon. Crews from Gifford and Rantoul were called to the fire out in the country around 4pm. They say the owner started heating the oil in the fryer when he went in to grab the turkey. When he returned he found the fryer and a pickup truck in the barn on fire.


(Washington-jm) – The nation's broiler producers are expected to boost output next year, but what will that do to prices? Gary Crawford reports…



(Springfield-jm) – Illinois state senators are aiming to pass a student loan forgiveness income tax exemption, among other changes to the tax code. Lawmakers were in Springfield for two days the week before Thanksgiving. They’re back this week for three days to finish out the year. One bill is sponsored by Senator Celina Villanueva and would create a student loan forgiveness income tax exemption. Villanueva’s bill at the Illinois statehouse also allows people with disabilities to be exempt from Illinois income taxes for up to $10,000 in contributions to Achieving a Better Life Experience savings accounts. Another provision gives $2 million in tax credits for touring Broadway productions.


(Springfield-jm) – Voter turnout in Illinois was around 49.5 percent during this month’s election. That ranks it as the third lowest turnout for an election in the past 40 years. While turnout was down, the number of people who voted by mail were up by almost double. When all ballots are finalized in December, anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of ballots cast in the election will be from mail in ballots. Political experts say negative campaign ads may have played a role in the decline.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois State Police is offering simulator training to local departments. “MILO” or Multiple Interactive Learning Objective range theater simulators are available at four locations. The State Police has been using them for a few years to immerse trainees into high-stress, interactive situations, says Sergeant Jasmin Dixon…



Illinois State Police Sergeant Jasmin Dixon. Dixon says they started making MILO available to local agencies back in July and so far, 19 have put their officers through the training.


(Crescent City-jm) – Crescent City firefighters had a busy Saturday. Crews battled a tractor fire along with a grass fire. No injuries were reported.


(Buckley-jm) – Buckley first responders were called to a 2 vehicle accident Saturday evening. Crews were called to the accident at 1000 north and 1000 east. There’s no word on if there were any injuries.


(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Police were dispatched Friday morning to the 800-block of Dennison Drive for a report of a shooting with injury. Upon arrival, officers encountered a 36-year-old Champaign man with multiple potentially life-threatening gunshot wounds.  The initial investigation indicates that an impromptu gathering was occurring in the 800-block of Dennison Drive when an argument between multiple individuals escalated, resulting in an exchange of gunfire. During the exchange, the victim was struck multiple times in the torso and legs. The involved parties then quickly left the area. Officers continue to canvass for witnesses and video footage that may be of investigative assistance. Any resident or business in the nearby area with exterior surveillance camera systems is encouraged to notify the police department. No arrests have been made at this time and the investigation is ongoing.


(Washington-jm) – Report shows most hired farm workers are earning higher average wages than a year ago. Gary Crawford reports…



Illinois Secretary of State Police are gearing up for their annual disability placard stings at local malls

(Undated-jm) – A new report shows that dangerous recalled toys are still available in Illinois.   The 37th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report was released by the Illinois Public Interest Research Group Education Fund. Among the recalled toys were stuffed animals, action figures, bath toys and a riding toy for toddlers. The group bought some of the toys from U.S.-based online sellers including Facebook Marketplace and eBay, as well as several online toy shops. They attempted to purchase 16 different products that had been recalled at some point in 2022, and were able to purchase 11 of them.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Secretary of State Police are gearing up for their annual disability placard stings at local malls. Steep fines and driver’s license suspension await those illegally using a disability placard or parking spot. The most common offense? Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman…



Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman. The campaign kicks off on Black Friday at malls in Springfield, Chicago, Fairview Heights, Peoria, Rockford and Schaumburg. It will continue at other shopping centers around the state for the rest of the holiday season.


(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Police Department is asking for the public’s help in solving a stabbing that left a student hurt early Thanksgiving morning near campus. Officials said the stabbing was the result of a physical fight that happened in the area of Green and Fourth Streets. Their initial investigation determined that the student approached another man around 2 a.m. The two exchanged words before the student swung his fist at the man; the man dodged the punch and responded by hitting the student with a sharp object. The man fled the scene while the student was taken to a local hospital; the student is expected to be ok.


(Paxton-jm) – The City of Paxton will be kicking off the Christmas holiday season this weekend. The first event is the tree lighting set for tonight says PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock…



PRIDE in Paxton Director Teri Hancock. Tomorrow will be the annual Christmas parade slated to start at 1:30.We will be broadcasting live tonight from the Tree lighting and also the parade live on Saturday afternoon. 


(Undated-jm) – The median price of Illinois homes sold in October 2022 rose in comparison to October 2021, as year-over-year inventory decreased, according to data from Illinois REALTORS. The average Illinois home sold in 28 days in October 2022, the same as in October 2021. Statewide home sales in October 2022 totaled 11,490 homes sold, down 27.9 percent from 15,945 in October 2021. The statewide median price went up 0.8 percent to $249,000 in October 2022 compared to $247,000 in October 2021.  The number of homes for sale statewide was 26,422 in October 2022 compared to 31,445 in October 2021, an inventory decline of 16.0 percent.


(Peoria-jm) – OSF Healthcare has announced they will be increasing the minimum wage starting next week at all of their facilities. The new minimum wage will go up from $15 an hour to $16 an hour. The healthcare group says all staff will see an increase in their pay.


(Washington-jm) – How do you safely handle those turkey, ham and beef leftovers? Gary Crawford reports…



(Undated-jm– Holiday shopping gets underway in earnest this weekend with many expected to visit brick-and-mortar stores in Illinois. The National Retail Federation predicts over 166 million people will shop from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, which is 8 million more than last year. A survey from NRF showed Black Friday continues to be the most popular day to shop, with 69% (114.9 million) planning to shop then, followed by 38% (63.9 million) on Cyber Monday. The NRF survey showed that 60% of holiday shoppers had started browsing and buying for the season as of early November. A forecast earlier this month from NRF projected holiday sales during November and December will grow between 6% and 8% over 2021 to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion.


(Springfield-jm) – The holiday shopping season is ripe for cyber fraud. The Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology has some tips to protect yourself and your money. Criminals are getting better and better at making bogus emails and texts look like they are from well known companies. Chief Security Officer Adam Ford says additionally…



Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology Chief Security Officer Adam Ford. Ford also recommends keeping a close eye on your bank and credit card statements for any disparities and think before you click on any link or website.


(Urbana-jm) – The COVID-19 pandemic caused supply chain issues for the construction field. It is because of all these unavoidable circumstances that Hotel Royer, formerly known as the Landmark Hotel in Urbana, is behind schedule. Icon Hospitality, the owner of Hotel Royer, says all construction should be done by May 30th, 2023. They are asking the city of Urbana for an extra eight month extension in case of any more unavoidable delays. Without the eight month extension, the tax increment financing, or TIF funds that equal $5.5 million, is in jeopardy.


(Cissna Park-jm) – This weekend marks the unofficial start to the Christmas holiday season. Cissna Park has a full day of activities planned tomorrow. Marti Maul talks about what is happening…



Cissna Park Christmas Spokesperson Marti Maul.


(Danville-jm) – The head of the Vermilion County health department has resigned. Doug Toole resigned unexpectedly. Vermilion County Health Department Director of Environmental Health Jana Messmore was named the new interim administrator for the department. Toole had been public health administrator since 2016.


(Mahomet-jm) – A Michigan man is facing child sex charges in Champaign County. Nathan Baker of Westland Michigan is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault and several counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police say Baker assaulted the girl back in 2012, when she was under the age of 13. A warrant had been issued for Baker back in 2021, but detectives recently learned he was in custody in Michigan. Baker’s bond was set at $20,000 and the judge agreed to let him leave the state to live and work in Michigan while the case is pending. He is due back in court December 21st.


(Washington-jm) – The two major countries on the Iberian Peninsula are the focus of USDA’s latest agriculture trade mission, scheduled to take place next week. Rod Bain reports…



(Paxton–jc)  –  Shopping local is the theme for the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce this holiday season. Chamber President Austin Curtis  says buying the items from a local business supports everything from roads to local sports teams…



Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce President Austin Curtis



The City of Paxton will hold their annual tree lighting tonight at 7 pm.


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


The 2022 Paxton Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday at 1:30 pm. The theme is Home for the Holidays.



Two years after the pandemic Americans are traveling in large numbers once again for the Thanksgiving holiday

(Undated-jm) – Two years after the pandemic Americans are traveling in large numbers once again for the Thanksgiving holiday. There are going to be 2.8 million people in Illinois traveling. Of that 2.4 million are going to be traveling by car. Vehicles will be jamming highways in their favorite gas guzzlers even though gas prices are well above 2021 levels.


(Springfield-jm) – Crop harvesting is nearly complete in Illinois. With nearly six days suitable for fieldwork, soybean harvesting is done and corn is now 97 percent finished, says Crop Statistician Steve Parn. He looks at winter wheat…



Crop Statistician Steve Parn. That’s unchanged from the previous week. Pasture conditions are rated 42 percent in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at 12 percent very short, 19 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.


(Undated-jm) – Police are investigating after two crimes happened Monday night at Rantoul and Champaign’s Walmart stores. Rantoul Police said at least five suspects were involved in a robbery at Rantoul’s Walmart. Witnesses told police the suspects demanded electronics and walked out of the store. They also said a weapon was involved. Meanwhile, a clerk at Champaign’s Walmart was battered by several people. 


(Urbana-jm) – Crews from several departments were called to a garbage truck fire in Urbana Tuesday. Crews from Thomasboro, Rantoul, Edge-Scott Fire Department in Urbana and Eastern Prairie Fire Department in Champaign responded to the fire at Area Disposal. Fire officials say a truck was inside a building getting repaired when the fire broke out. No injuries were reported.


(Cissna Park-jm) – Cissna Park will hold several Christmas events this weekend. Spokesperson Marti Maul talks about everything happening…



Cissna Park Christmas Spokesperson Marti Maul.


(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Police Department says they responded to a report of a home invasion. It happened in the 500 block of South Locust St. Police say the intruder threw two bricks through an apartment's glass door. They then entered the vacant apartment. It is unknown whether anything was stolen.


(Urbana-jm) – Urbana Police Detectives arrested a 16-year-old female identified as one of the offenders in the terrorist threats against Urbana High School on Tuesday. Along with FBI Agents and Officers from Chicago Police Department, officers executed a Champaign County Warrant of Apprehension, secured by the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office following the joint investigation. The juvenile was transported to the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center, where she is awaiting further legal proceedings for terroristic threats.


(Springfield-jm) – The House returned last week for the fall veto session. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City discusses what happened…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


(Farmer City-jm) – Farmer City Heritage Days has announced the headliners for the 2023 festival. Country artist Kameron Marlow, known for songs like ``Giving You Up” and “Burn 'em All” will be in Farmer City on Friday, June 2, 2023. Country & Southern Rock legends, The Kentucky Headhunters, will be headlining on Saturday, June 3, 2023.


(Washington-jm) – What might your part of the country experience weather-wise regarding any Thanksgiving week travel plans? Rod Bain reports…



(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that lanes that have been closed for construction will reopen, where possible, for the Thanksgiving holiday to minimize travel disruption. Non-emergency closures will be suspended from 3 p.m. today to 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and stay alert for workers and equipment.


(Springfield-jm) – Crop harvesting is nearly complete in Illinois. Temperatures were 14 degrees below normal last week and rainfall was short as well. That left nearly six days suitable for fieldwork. Crop Statistician Steve Parn says soybean harvesting is done…



Crop Statistician Steve Parn. 79 percent of winter wheat has emerged. That’s ahead of last year but below the five year average of 87 percent emerged. 35 percent of the winter wheat crop is rated in good to excellent condition, the same as last week. Average statewide topsoil moisture is now at 12 percent very short, 68 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.


(Champaign County-jm) – The Seventh Annual Expungement and Record Sealing Summit will offer help with applying, preparing and filing for expungement and sealing criminal records in Urbana. You will need a copy of your statewide criminal history report. The Summit will be held on Saturday, February 18, 2023.


(Buckley-jm) – A boil order that was previously issued for Buckley has been lifted. 

The order was issued on Saturday due to a water leak and lasted approximately 48 hours. 60 homes were said to have been affected by this boil order, located in the area of West Lincoln to West Main Streets and all of Front and Sixth Streets.


(Thawville-jm) – Firefighters from a handful of departments battled a combine fire late Tuesday afternoon. Crews from Thawville, Roberts and Melvin battled the fire. No injuries were reported.


(Mahomet–jc)  The Mahomet Seymour School board met last night. Local leaders are continuing to search for ways to house and educate a growing number of students, especially in the junior high age group, as the number of students has outgrown the number of permanent buildings in the district. Mahomet Seymour School Superintendent Kenny Lee says school leaders and the board will continue to be creative to find a good solution to the growing district…



Mahomet Seymour School Superintendent Kenny Lee.


(Undated-jm) – The Illinois Community College Board has granted over $9 million to 36 community colleges throughout Illinois to help address education and unemployment gaps.  The funding will be used to help minority and low-income students as well as individuals with disabilities remove barriers to completing their education and career goals through the Innovative Bridge and Transition Grant program. Locally, Parkland College in Champaign is receiving $304,000. Danville Area Community College is receiving $168,000. Kankakee Community College is receiving just over $169,000.


(Washington-jm) – How might agriculture be impacted if the nation's rail carriers and their employees go on strike next month? Rod Bain reports…



The Illinois Department of Transportation says Thanksgiving enforcement is underway across the state

(Springfield-jm) – A new analysis shows the federal tax dollars sent to Illinois and other states since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were used to support public health, education and to temporarily aid Illinois’ financial condition. According to Pew Charitable Trusts, of the $5.2 trillion that the U.S. government has committed in taxpayer funds to respond to the pandemic since early 2020, about one-sixth went to state governments to use at their discretion. Illinois’ share is estimated to be around $14 billion.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging families to help protect loved ones from COVID-19 and other illnesses over the Thanksgiving holiday. Besides the basics of covering your cough and sneezes and staying home if you’re sick, State Chief Medical Officer Dr Arti Barnes suggests improving ventilation in your home during large family gatherings. That includes opening windows if possible and using fans to circulate the air. She also recommends a HEPA air cleaner…



State Chief Medical Officer Dr. Arti Barnes. Barnes stresses the importance of getting your annual flu shot and latest COVID booster, citing a potential surge in cases this winter.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois State Police have updated rules to allow broader use of clear and present danger reports for people applying for a Firearm Owners Identification Card. On Monday, ISP announced the rule was approved by a legislative oversight committee. Before the updated rule, reports had to be “impending” or “imminent,” an issue that arose with the alleged Highland Park shooter getting a FOID card despite local police filing clear and present danger reports in 2019.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Conservation Police are busy this fall hunting season and are letting the public know about some of the most common violations they encounter. Conservation Police check many hunters during the season, making sure laws and rules are followed. Officer Zach Williams says one of the biggest problems is hunters not having the proper paperwork…



Illinois Conservation Police Officer Zach Williams. Williams says other common violations include not wearing the required blaze orange or pink out in the field, using an unplugged shotgun and failing to tag the deer immediately after harvest.


(Washington-jm) – What will the next year hold in store for hog producers? Gary Crawford reports…



(Springfield-jm) – Tuesday is the final day local elections officials have to count ballots in Illinois. While election day was November 8, hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots had up to two weeks to get to local elections officials. The official certified results will be listed December 5.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Transportation says Thanksgiving enforcement is underway across the state. State and local police are beefing up patrols in anticipation of increased traffic through next Monday, says IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel…



IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel. 12 people died during the Thanksgiving weekend last year in Illinois.


(Springfield-jm) – The extension for Illinois drivers with expired dates on their driver’s license ends December 1. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary of State Jesse White extended the date for those with expired documents several times. His office has expanded online renewals for eligible applicants.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois State Fair Mega and Jumbo passes are on sale now. The passes cover rides in the carnival midway and adventure village at the state fair and make a great holiday gift says Spokesperson Krista Lisser…



State Fair Spokesperson Krista Lisser. These are the lowest prices that will be offered for the passes. You can order online at: illinois state fair dot info.


(Washington-jm) – A Turkish bath is fine, but NOT a Turkey bath. Gary Crawford reports…




The City of Paxton will hold their annual tree lighting on Friday, November 25th at 7 pm.


Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Rantoul Masonic Lodge on Saturday, November 26th from 10-2.


The 2022 Paxton Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, November 26th at 1:30 pm. The theme is Home for the Holidays.


The Parkland College Theatre will perform A Christmas Story December 1st-4th and 9th-11th.


The Cissna Park FFA Scholarship Auction will take place on Friday, December 2nd.


The 2022 Light Up Rantoul Christmas parade will take place on Friday, December 2nd at 6 pm.


Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's Office is reminding the public that the extension on driver's license and state ID expiration dates ends soon

(Rantoul-jm) – One person is dead and a teenager injured following a shooting in Rantoul Sunday afternoon. Police say the shooting happened around 1:30 pm in the 1100 block of Falcon Drive. When they arrived they found a 34 year old male deceased and a 15 year old male with a non life threatening wound. Anyone with information is asked to call Rantoul police.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois House lawmakers are looking at an increase in school violence. At the latest hearing of the House Public Safety and Violence Prevention Task Force, legislators heard from teacher’s groups about the growing number of severe student behavioral problems. Shianne Shivley with the Illinois Education Association read testimonials from educators about being kicked, bitten, screamed at and threatened by students…



Illinois Education Association’s Shianne Shivley. Shivley says that teachers are looking for more support from school administrators, consequences for violent behavior, mental health support and social workers on staff.


(Springfield-jm) – The head of Illinois’s education system is stepping down. Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen Ayala has announced her plans for retirement at the end of January 2023. Ayala was the first female and first person of color to be the permanent superintendent for the state.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s Office is reminding the public that the extension on driver’s license and state ID expiration dates ends soon. Drivers were given more time to get their licenses renewed during the pandemic, but that extension is coming to an end December 1st. Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt says they have tried to alert people about their options…



Secretary of State Spokesperson Henry Haupt. For more information and to see if your local driver’s services facility takes appointments, visit the website: il sos dot gov.


(Champaign-jm) – A Champaign family is displaced from their home after a fire broke out inside the chimney Friday afternoon. The fire happened at 1507 Casselbury Lane just after 4 p.m. Firefighters found heavy fire coming from the rear of the structure’s second floor when they arrived. The person who was at home when the fire started managed to get out along with two cats. A third cat, however, could not be found. The cause was attributed to a separation in the fireplace flue and was ruled an accident.


(Gifford-jm) – Gifford firefighters were called to a field fire Sunday afternoon. Crews responded to the fire in the field next to Gordyville. No injuries were reported.


(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois Police Department reported on Friday that two students were scammed out of a collective $25,000 by unknown people who called them. University Police became aware of one scam on Wednesday. Officials said the student received a call from someone claiming to represent the Chinese Embassy and was threatened with arrest if she did not pay a fine. The student provided her passport information and wired $23,000 to the scammer. Another scam was reported to University Police the following day. The student reported that a person had called them, claimed to represent the U.S. Postal Service and said their identity had been stolen. The caller directed the student to purchase gift cards as payment for a new Social Security Number. The student complied and transferred the card information to the caller.


(Washington-jm) – The Agriculture Secretary provided a look at some of USDA's priorities for next year during a virtual visit with farm broadcasters. Rod Bain reports…



(Springfield-jm) – More than 13 hundred new attorneys joined the legal profession at a swearing in ceremony. The lawyers taking the oath passed the bar exam back in July. Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis (tice) spoke to the group about showing compassion, since they often start a case during a tumultuous time in their client’s lives…



Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis (tice). The new admittees bring the total number of license attorneys in Illinois to about 97 thousand.


(Springfield-jm) – With COVID-19 cases and other respiratory viruses circulating in many areas of the state, the Illinois Department of Public Health is urging Illinoisans to take precautions and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday safely without spreading the virus to family and friends. In addition to being fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 and the flu, IDPH encourages the public to get tested before attending holiday gatherings and to stay home if they are sick.


(Springfield-jm) – The annual “Winter Weather, Get it Together” campaign is underway, reminding the public to prepare for bad road conditions. When the roads are covered with snow and ice, motorists are asked to stay home if possible. But if you have to go out, slow down, says Illinois State Police Captain Jody Huffman. She also urges people to be prepared…



Illinois State Police Captain Jody Huffman. The Illinois Department of Transportation has more than 18 hundred trucks to plow roads across the state. Workers ask the public to give them plenty of room to do their jobs.


(Urbana-jm) – Terroristic threats have impacted Urbana High School. Urbana High School has received multiple threats over the month with the most recent one last week. All of the threats are currently under joint investigation by the FBI and Urbana Police. Urbana High School has decided to go with E-learning on today and Tuesday leading into the holiday break.


(Gibson City-jm) – Crews from several departments battled a grain bin fire in Gibson City early Saturday morning. Crews were called to the fire in a grain bin at One Earth Energy around 3:30 Saturday morning. No word on the cause of the fire or how much damage it caused.


(Springfield-jm) – Voters approved Amendment 1, the Worker’s Rights Amendment,  in the midterm elections earlier this month. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about what it means moving forward…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


(Champaign County-jm) – The Regional Planning Commission is opening the final round of the Emergency Rent Assistance Program to eligible Champaign County residents starting today. Only 200 applications will be accepted by the RPC. This final round will address past due housing costs from June 2022 up to November 2022. The deadline is November 30.


(Washington-jm) – The U.S. beef cattle herd may be shrinking faster than had been expected. Gary Crawford reports…



Firearm deer season opens today in Illinois

(Springfield-jm) – Firearm deer season opens today in Illinois. It’s time for hunters to get out in the fields for the seven day firearm season. It’s the most popular of the year, says State Conservation Police Officer Zach Williams…



State Conservation Police Officer Zach Williams. Successful hunters must report their harvest on the Illinois Department of Natural Resource’s website or by calling 1-866-il-check. Hunters in some northern Illinois counties will need to register their deer at CWD check stations. This first weekend of firearm deer hunting runs through Sunday.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul co-led a coalition of 33 attorneys general to call on the Federal Trade Commission to consider the harms of commercial surveillance on consumers. In a comment letter to the FTC, the AGs urged the FTC to acknowledge how much sensitive data is collected from consumers and what happens to that data. Sensitive data includes medical information, biometric data, and location data.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs is launching the annual Operation Rising Spirit Campaign. The effort encourages the public to write to the residents of state Veteran’s Homes in Anna, Chicago, LaSalle, Manteno and Quincy says Agency Director Terry Prince…



State Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Terry Prince. You can send your letters to the Department’s Springfield office or electronically, Visit Illinois dot gov slash veterans to get started.


(Urbana-jm) – As the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact has changed over the years, becoming less deadly from the first to second year, U of I researchers have found new information regarding a shift in affected age groups. Graduate student Ian Ludden, computer science professor Sheldon H. Jacobson and Janet A. Jokela, the interim executive associate dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, published their recent findings in the journal Health Care Management Science. 

The new study gives insights into the trends in death rates among various demographic groups year to year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers said the second-year surge in death numbers were among the middle age brackets, with the biggest increase in mortality among both males and females aged 25 to 54. They pointed to several likely contributing factors.


(Rantoul-jc)  –  The Rantoul Sports Complex is completing its second year in the village. More events are being added for next year, says Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith…


Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.


(Mahomet-jm) – People in Champaign County will see an interesting sight in the skies over the next few weeks. Starting Saturday, a helicopter will be flying over the area while carrying a large coil frame beneath it. It’s all part of a geological imaging project by the Illinois State Geological Survey. The ISGS chapter at the University of Illinois is using the coil frame to create a 3D picture of the Mahomet aquifer. The magnetic exposure from the equipment can penetrate the ground up to 1,000 feet below the surface. There will be no safety risks to people. The helicopter is planned to fly in parallel lines at approximately 100 to 250 feet above the ground. The helicopter will fly over the rural areas of the county only.


(Washington-jm) – Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner this year? How big a turkey do you really need? Gary Crawford reports…



(Springfield-jm) – October marked the 17th month in a row for job growth in Illinois. The state unemployment rate increased slightly last month from four point five percent to four point six percent, but 36 hundred jobs were added, says Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Kristin Richards…



Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Kristin Richards. Industries with the biggest job grains include trade, transportation and utilities as well as leisure and hospitality. The Government sector lost 81 hundred jobs oer the last month.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois House Public Safety and Violence Prevention Task Force met with the Illinois Federation of Teachers, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Association of School Social Workers, and the Illinois Safe School Alliance Thursday.  Administrators who attended the meeting said there has been an increase in school violence since the COVID-19 pandemic began. They cited nationwide surveys that showed 37% of administrators have experienced verbal abuse or threatening behavior.


(Springfield-jm) – A group of Native Americans visited Springfield this week, to raise awareness and advocate for legislation. The Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative discussed their agenda, including getting rid of all Indian-related school mascots. Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton of Western Springs says she will be introducing a bill prompted by a student in her area who wasn’t allowed to walk for graduation because of his beaded cap and eagle feather…



State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton. The group is also calling for more American Indian history to be taught in Illinois schools.


(Urbana-jm) – Police departments work every day to keep you safe, but when they’re short-staffed, it presents more challenges. Urbana is trying to fix that and fill nine vacancies. The mayor said they’re starting a retention and recruitment program. It will cost about $1.34 million dollars over the next four years from their general fund.


(Paxton–jc)  – Paxton City leaders purchased a piece of equipment to help with pot holes street repair. The Hot Box will be used year around to keep the streets smooth says Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold


(Tolono-jm) – Champaign County Sheriff’s deputies said a person was shot in Tolono Thursday morning when they were involved in a domestic dispute as the aggressor. Officials with the Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to the area of Washington Street and Central Avenue around 11 a.m. for a report of a shooting. When the deputies arrived at that location, they found a 34-year-old person with non-life-threatening injuries. That person was taken to Carle Hospital in Urbana for treatment. Deputies and detectives said their initial investigation indicated that a domestic dispute was happening between two members of the same family prior to the shooting. When the situation turned violent, deputies said a third family member grabbed a gun and shot the aggressor to prevent further harm.


(Washington-jm) – The USDA has just unveiled a package of proposed changes to its Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, otherwise known as the WIC Program. Gary Crawford reports…




The Buckley Lion’s Club will host a Bingo night at the Buckley American Legion on Friday at 6pm. Food will be available. Prizes are Hams and Turkeys.


The GCMS after prom committee is having Sleigh the Santa 5K Run/walk on Saturday November 19th at Railside Golf Course in Gibson City. Cost is $35 per participant. You can register at Christmas snacks, water and hot chocolate for all finishers. Christmas music will be played on the course. Dress up in holiday fashion and have some fun with your friends. 


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


The Gifford State Bank Country Christmas Craft Show will take place Saturday from 8 to 5 and Sunday from 9-3 at Gordyville USA.


Gibson City’s lighted Christmas parade will take place on Saturday 6:30 pm.


Farmer City will host their annual Christmas parade on Sunday at 2pm. The theme is Christmas in Who-ville.


Illinois public health officials are warning of a surge in flu cases this winter

(Chicago-jm) – An Illinois public health official is warning of a surge in flu cases this winter. Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the flu picture has dramatically changed in the past week. She said the southeastern part of the country is getting hit and Illinois is not far behind. Arwady advises to get a flu shot as soon as possible because it takes some time for the protection to kick in and she is concerned that it will spread as families gather for Thanksgiving.


(Chicago-jm) – Another Illinois State Police squad car was hit this week. In Cook County Tuesday night, a trooper was parked in the left lane with emergency lights flashing when a truck struck the right side of the squad car. The 19-year-old driver was cited for a Scott’s Law violation and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. There have been 23 Move Over Law crashes this year and eight troopers have been injured.


(Paxton–jc)  –  With phase one of the City of Paxton Streetscape program completed in December, what is the timeline for phase two of the project in downtown Paxton. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says his hope is that planning will happen over the next month so the project can proceed in 20-23..



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold


(Springfield-jm) – Supporters of the Safe-T Act say they don’t expect any major changes to the law before the no-cash bail provision takes effect January 1st. The measure includes the Pre-Trial Fairness Act, and Senator Robert Peters of Chicago says any tweaks will be technical in nature…



State Senator Robert Peters of Chicago. Advocates say its unfair that only rich people can bond out while others languish in jail before their trial. Opponents say offenders may be released and re-commit their crimes and call for the act to be repealed. A group of about 60 state’s attorneys in Illinois has filed a lawsuit against the act, saying it’s unconstitutional. That lawsuit is expected to go to a Kankakee County court in December.


(Urbana-jm) – A University of Illinois student has been arrested and charged after U of I Police officials said he broke into his neighbors’ apartment over the weekend and stole several items. Souvik Ghosh, 19, was arrested, accused of entering an unlocked apartment and taking a number of items, all while the occupants were sleeping. One of the items that was taken was a credit card, which was later used to place a $200 food order.


(Kankakee–jc)  – Clove Alliance’ is celebrating  their 35th Anniversary of providing hope and healing at “A Night at the Museum “on Thursday, December 1st from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Kankakee County Museum  The public is invited to view Clove Alliance’s interactive history timeline, learn how to support survivors of sexual violence, and enjoy hors d’oeuvers, raffle baskets, and live music. The Kankakee Museum’s “Gallery of Trees: Family Holiday Traditions'' will also be on display. Clove Alliance is excited to partner with the Kankakee Chamber of Commerce to host this event Clove Alliance has offices in Kankakee, Watseka and Paxton.


(Mahomet–jc)  With a referendum turned down by voters in the Mahomet Seymour School district. What is the next step, next idea to address the growing school district. Mahomet Seymour School Superintendent Kenny Lee says the school board meets next week and more of future plans will be an ongoing subject for the district…



MahometSeymour School Superintendent Kenny Lee


(Paxton-jm) – The City of Paxton is looking at a community mapping program. The program is through Western Illinois University and helps the city plan for the future over the next 5 to 10 years. Paxton City Council Alderman Rob Pacey talks about the program…



Paxton City Council Alderman Rob Pacey.


(Urbana-jm) – Urbana High School was put on lockdown Wednesday following another threat. The district says they are looking into the credibility of the threat. The district says they received a threat earlier this morning however, just before 11 another threat was made and a hard lockdown was implemented.Multiple law enforcement agencies were on the scene.


(Urbana-jm) – Carle Foundation Hospital is adding more pediatric beds to its facility, due to the ongoing surge of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV among children. According to the hospital the overflow of beds will be added to an area of the hospital formerly set aside for adults with COVID-19. The hospital in Urbana has a 22-bed pediatric unit that includes a dozen pediatric intensive-care beds and has added 11 more pediatric beds in the overflow area. The beds will not only help cover local cases, but potentially be able to help individuals with RSV outside the area where pediatric intensive-care beds aren’t available.


(Chicago-jm) – After weeks of speculation, former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will soon unveil his plans for the 2023 Chicago election. Quinn, who led the state from 2009 to 2015, is expected to hold a news conference today in Chicago. Political experts say Quinn’s announcement is most likely regarding a potential run for Chicago mayor.


(Springfield-jm) – Top officials from the Illinois Department of Central Management Services and Aetna insurance company were forced to answer to state lawmakers at the State Capitol. In the midst of pressing for an explanation as to why CMS cut health benefits for state retirees down to one new Aetna plan and how both parties planned to fill gaps in coverage, testimony to state senators and representatives on the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability  revealed a growing number of medical providers are telling retirees that they won’t accept their insurance come January.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois House and Senate will have new Republican leaders. House GOP lawmakers voted to elect Representative Tony McCombie of Savanna as the chamber’s minority leader. Her top priority…



State Representative Tony McCombie. McCombie will be replacing Jim Durkin in the role. Senate Republicans chose John Curran of Downers Grove to lead their caucus. He replaces Senator Dan McConchie.

(Danville-jm) – Domestic violence survivors in Vermilion County received a helping hand from the state's attorney's office after a supply drive. The Vermilion County State's Attorney's Office collected items for donation to survivors for Domestic Violence Awareness month. The fifth annual supply drive was hosted by Crosspoint at the Y Domestic Violence and Transitional Center.


(Rantoul–jc)  The Village of Rantoul Sports complex is in its second year of operation on Rantoul’s west side. The Sports Complex is a major contributor to economic success says Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith…



Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith


(Champaign-jm) – The Parkland College Board of Trustees has approved the fiscal year 2023 property tax levy.  Parkland College's requested levy is $32.2 million, about a 12.51 percent increase over last year's extension. The new amount would support the school's educational, operational and maintenance, protection, health, and safety, and tort liability funds, among other expenses.


(Hoopeston–jc)  Authorities in the city of Hoopeston are looking for the cause of a fire that destroyed the former  Firestone Building along Route 1 in the city.  In updating our story, Hoopeston Firefighters were called to the scene on Tuesday afternoon. Once on the scene, authorities say the building was engulfed by the blaze. The building did have one business located there. No word was given on damages as investigators continue to look at the cause of Tuesday’s fire. 


(Bloomington-jm) – A McLean County correctional officer has been arrested after an investigation showed that he misused leave time and allegedly committed fraud with worker’s compensation claims. Ryan Hitch, 48, made false statements when claiming worker’s compensation by falsely misrepresenting the severity of an injury, and attempted to obtain over $10,000 as part of that claim, authorities said.


(Gordyville-jc) – It’s time for a Gifford State Bank Christmas craft show at Gordyville USA near Gifford this weekend. Gifford State Bank Spokesperson Stacy Huls talks about what you can find at this year’s show…



Gifford State Bank Spokesperson Stacy Huls

The 39th annual event is set for Saturday from 8am to 5pm and Sunday from 9am to 3pm at Gordyville USA.


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


Projections show the amendment enshrining collective bargaining rights in the Illinois Constitution received 53% support of all votes cast

(Springfield-jm) – Projections show the amendment enshrining collective bargaining rights in the Illinois Constitution received 53% support of all votes cast in last week's election, exceeding the simple majority of all voters threshold needed to pass. Some are waiting to see the officially certified results. The measure known as Amendment 1 has its supporters saying it will codify workers' rights in Illinois. Opponents say it will lead to stiff property tax hikes. The election will be certified on December 9th.


(Rantoul–jc)  –  Business in one area town has been good for the current fiscal year. With the addition of several new businesses, the second year at the sports complex, the village of Rantoul has seen sales tax revenues jump by 30 percent. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says village leaders continue to look for more economic positives for Rantoul…



Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith


(Washington-jm) – The Biden-Harris administration announced a $75 million  investment from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to create good-paying union jobs and catalyze economic opportunity by reclaiming abandoned mine lands in Illinois. Officials say millions of Americans nationwide live within just one mile of an abandoned coal mine or orphaned oil and gas well. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocates a total of $11.3 billion in AML funding over 15 years. This year, $725 million will be distributed to 22 states and the Navajo Nation.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Senate Republicans are unveiling new legislation cracking down on Fentanyl dealers. Dealers selling pills with detectable amounts of Fentanyl would face 9 to 40 years in prison under the bill, says Senator Sue Rezin of Morris…



State Senator Sue Rezin of Morris. The measure also creates new penalties for selling Fentanyl-laced drugs online or over the phone. Supporters say more must be done to stop the increasing number of people dying from Fentanyl overdoses and hope to get the bill passed during the current veto session.


(Urbana-jm) – A University of Illinois student has been scammed out of $6,000. 

It happened last week. The University of Illinois Police Department says the student was seeking help for an upcoming exam, the student requested tutoring services through a website. An unknown person responded to her request and asked for personal information, including passwords to her university accounts and remote access to her computer. On the day of the computer-based exam, the scammer took control of the student’s computer and threatened to expose her for cheating if she did not send money. The student reported that she paid $6,189 and asked a friend to send additional money, making the total around $12,000.


(Undated-jm) – Illinois State Police will be conducting Distracted Driving Enforcement patrols ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. WPXN’s Jason Madden reports…



(Champaign-jm) – In order to perform work for a sewer lining project, Visu-Sewer Construction Inc. will temporarily close single lanes of Bradley Avenue between State Street and Randolph Street and also on Bradley Avenue between Mattis Avenue and McKinley Avenue. These single-lane closures will be of short length and time duration and will affect only one travel lane at any given time.  Work will occur from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday weather permitting.


(Washington-jm) – World corn production is projected down from last season, giving support to prices. Gary Crawford reports…



(Springfield-jm) – Illinois has reached a settlement with Walmart to resolve allegations that the company contributed to the opioid addiction crisis by failing to oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores. The settlement provides more than $3 billion nationally and requires improvements to how Walmart’s pharmacies handle opioids. The settlement will be divided by sign-on states, local governments and tribes, and will prioritize remediation of the opioid crisis.


(Paxton–jc)  – Gathering cost estimates for Phase Two of the City of Paxton Streetscape Program is the next stop for downtown Paxton upgrades. PCity of Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold has met with engineering officials to look at the investment into the 100 block of South Market…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold

More in depth numbers are expected during December meetings with city leaders. 


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Senate is ready to pass an amendment to a House bill that would divest state tax dollars from companies that do business with Russia. The measure passed the House earlier this year. If an amendment is approved in the Senate, the House must confirm before it can be approved by the governor. Lawmakers return to session today.


(Springfield-jm) – The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield is offering free admission this Saturday in honor of the 159th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. The 272 word speech was delivered by President Abraham Lincoln back in 1863, and with no copy machines around, he got to work, says Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills…



Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills. The museum possesses one of those copies, which will be on display from November 18th through the 28th. Visitors get in free on Saturday the 19th.


(Watseka-jm) – Iroquois Memorial Hospital is partnering with The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation by placing toy collection boxes at the hospital’s main entrance, the Iroquois Regional Health Center, and the Watseka, Milford, and Gilman clinics. Last year’s campaign had over 2,800 toys distributed to children from newborn to age 11, all of which benefitted families in Iroquois County.


(Undated-jm) – Some area communities are receiving money from the state. WPXN’s Jason Madden has a look at communities in Ford County receiving funding…




Impact your Farm Legacy Now will hold a free event at The Barn at Double K Ranch this evening from 5:30-8 pm.


(Washington-jm) – For many farmers the harvest is wrapping up a little sooner than normal. Gary Crawford reports…



The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is issuing some reminders about hunting safety

(Undated-jm) – Winter weather is making its way through the area today. Parts of the WPXN listening area are under a winter weather advisory until noon. Forecasters predict 1-2 inches of snow are possible. More snow is possible later this week.


(Gibson City-jm) – State Representative Tom Bennett is resting in the hospital following an accident. His office said Representative Bennett was coming back from an event in Iroquois County when the accident occurred. Representative Bennett will miss out on the beginning of the veto session which begins today.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is issuing some reminders about hunting safety. The most frequent cause for hunting accidents is unsecure tree stands, says State Conservation Police Officer Zach Williams. So what does a safe tree stand look like?...



Illinois Conservation Police Officer Zach Williams. Hunters are also reminded to wear the required blaze orange or pink while out in the woods, to check that their firearm is working properly, and to be sure of their target before pulling the trigger.


(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in solving a suspected murder that happened eight years ago this week. Champaign Police suspected foul play when they discovered Damian Henderson unresponsive the morning of November 18, 2014. Officers were called to the 100 block of Forsythia Drive for a wellness check and found Henderson in a parked car. They believe he died from a gunshot wound the night before.


(Paxton–jc)  –  Phase One of the city of Paxton Streetscape program is nearing completion. New lights and minor street upgrades are the last items on the list to complete the first part of the streetscape program. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says the city made its second to last payment on the work…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.


(Springfield-jm) – Harvesting is wrapping up in Illinois. With nearly six days suitable for fieldwork, Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says harvest progress is moving along…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Winter wheat planting is complete and 74 percent has emerged. 35 percent of the winter wheat crop is rated in good to excellent condition, up a point from last week. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at 11 percent very short, 17 percent short, 71 percent adequate and one percent surplus.

(Undated-jm) – The first measurable snow of the season is coming down in the area this morning. A winter weather advisory is in effect across parts of the WPXN listening area until noon. Forecasters say to expect 1-2 inches with some isolated areas picking up more. The snow isn’t done for the week, as more snow is expected Wednesday and Thursday before bone chilling cold comes in this weekend.


(Springfield-jm) – Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a more than $391 million bipartisan national settlement with Google after an investigation by Raoul and a coalition of attorneys general revealed Google misled consumers about its location tracking practices. Illinois will receive more than $19.5 million under the settlement.


(Mahomet–jc)  It has been one week since the fall mid term election. One area  school system is looking at its options after a building referendum failed. Mahomet Seymour School Superintendent Kenny Lee says plans have been implemented for several buildings in the district and long term plans are being assessed…



Mahomet Seymour School Superintendent Kenny Lee


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Supreme Court has a new Chief Justice. Justice Mary Jane Theis (tice) is only the fourth woman to serve in the role since the court was created in 1818. After she was sworn in, Chief Justice Theis asked her colleagues and judges around the state to commit to the core values of the Judicial Branch…



Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis. Theis will serve a three year term as Chief Justice. She replaces Justice Anne Burke who is retiring.


(Kankakee-jm) – I-57 will close overnight today thru Friday.  The Interstate closes each night from 8 pm until 6 am the next morning while crews accommodate construction on the Waldrong Road/Maple Street Bridge.  Motorists can expect delays tonight thru Friday, November 18.  Traffic will be controlled by temporary signals.


(Rantoul–jc)  –  Work at a business hub on Rantoul’s west side continues. The area near the Rantoul Super Wal-Mart and Rantoul Sports complex will host a StarBucks, Verizon store and more. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says the positive economic growth for the village continues this month and more is expected in 20-23…



Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith.


(Springfield-jm) – State legislators are back in Springfield for the Veto Session starting today.  One of the biggest issues is possible adjustments to the Safe-T Act.  While the Safe-T Act has actually been in existence for a couple of years, it’s changes to it taking effect this coming New Year’s Day that are causing the most debate.  The biggest one is the elimination of cash bail in the state of Illinois, which numerous state’s attorneys and law enforcement personnel are objecting to.



(Springfield-jm) – Harvesting is wrapping up in Illinois. 94 percent of corn and 98 percent of soybeans have now been harvested, both ahead of the five year average. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at the state’s winter wheat crop…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Pasture conditions improved to 41 percent in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to 11 percent very short, 17 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.



Inflation continues to be a burden on Illinois families and a major contributor to rising costs are energy prices

(Springfield-jm) – After months of being criticized by Republicans and law enforcement officials on provisions in the criminal justice reform package SAFE-T Act, Democrats are saying don’t expect a major overhaul of the bill. The measure affects several aspects of law enforcement in Illinois, and also ends cash bail on January 1. House Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth told the Sun-Times that lawmakers will be clarifying the original language during the fall veto session.


(Springfield-jm) – Inflation continues to be a burden on Illinois families and a major contributor to rising costs are energy prices.  The Citizens Utility Board reports natural gas prices have nearly tripled in the past two years, and gas futures recently hit a 14-year high. A 2013 law passed by the Illinois General Assembly allows major gas utilities to add a Qualified Infrastructure Plant, or QIP, fee to bills. It covers certain costs associated with replacing natural gas pipes and other work on the utilities’ gas delivery system. Under the law, the surcharge is slated to sunset on December 31, 2023. According to Illinois Public Interest Research Group, another dark cloud on the horizon is that gas utilities have not put as much in storage as in typical years. Utilities in the Midwest have 8% less gas in storage than they have on average over the past five years. Utilities usually purchase gas for storage when prices dip in the summer. Weather cools down in autumn, when they take out of storage in winter months when prices are the highest. If Illinois experiences a colder than normal winter, prices most likely will spike.


(Undated-jm) – Some area communities are receiving money from the state. WPXN’s Jason Madden has a look at communities in Champaign County receiving funding…



(Paxton-jm) – Paxton first responders were called to a single vehicle accident Saturday. Crews were called to the single vehicle rollover accident on Route 9 about 3 miles east of Paxton. No injuries were reported.


(Buckley–jc)   Veterans  Day is  a special day set aside to honor those who have served or are serving our great country.  Buckley American Legion Spokesperson  Wayne Wagner says they are participating in Wreaths Across America..



Buckley American Legion Spokesperson Wayne Wagner of Buckley


(Ford County-jm) – Ford County Sheriff’s Office has released their October activity report. During the month, deputies responded to 12 traffic accidents and issued 18 citations for speeding, 2 each for expired registration, failure to reduce speed, disregard of a stop sign and DIU and 1 each for driving on a revoked license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. Deputies also handled 8 reports of theft, 6 suspicious vehicles, 3 domestic issues, 2 each of burglary, criminal damage to property, fraud and harassment and 1 each of vandalism, abuse and a report of a stolen vehicle.


(Washington-jm) – The nominations are in, and now it is time for eligible producers to vote on who will represent them on USDA Farm Service Agency County Committees. Rod Bain reports…



(Undated-jm) – As the economy teeters on the edge of a possible recession, there is optimism about the upcoming holiday spending season. The National Retail Federation forecast calls for holiday retail sales during November and December to grow between 6% and 8% over last year to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Last year’s holiday sales grew more than 13% over 2020, shattering previous records. The NRF reports holiday retail sales have averaged an increase of 4.9% over the past 10 years, with pandemic spending in recent years accounting for considerable gains. NRF expects that online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, to increase between 10% and 12% to about $265 billion. That figure is up from $238.9 billion last year, which saw incredible growth in digital channels as consumers turned to online shopping to meet their holiday needs during the pandemic.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, led by a bipartisan coalition of 21 attorneys general, has filed an Amicus brief against a McDonald's no-poach policy. The policy prohibits current employees from moving locations within the same restaurant chain. It also prohibits other McDonald's locations from hiring someone who has worked at any other franchise within the last six months. In 2017, all McDonald's franchisees were required to sign this agreement.


(Paxton-jm) – The City of Paxton is working on a Community Mapping Program. Paxton City Council Alderman Rob Pacey talks about the program and what they are hoping to accomplish…



Paxton City Council Alderman Rob Pacey.


(Champaign-jm) – Joe DeLuce, founder of the Parade of Lights and Executive Director of Champaign Park District, will lead this year's Champaign Parade of Lights. The parade of lights started in 2001. The parade will take place in Downtown Champaign at 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 26. The theme this year is the "Island of Misfit Toys."


(Pesotum-jm) – District 10 Illinois State Police will be conducting distracted driving enforcement patrols ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…



(Champaign-jm) – Champaign Police were dispatched at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning to the alley in the 500-block of N. Elm Street for a report of a shooting with injury. As officers arrived on-scene, they located a 23-year-old Champaign man with a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the leg. Police Officers and personnel from the Champaign Fire Department immediately rendered medical aid until he could be transported by ambulance to an area hospital. The initial investigation indicates that the man was walking in the alley when a vehicle approached him and opened fire before driving away. In addition to the injured person, a vehicle was damaged in this shooting incident. Police believed it to be a targeted incident.


(Washington-jm) – Food price inflation is still happening, but it is cooling off a bit. Gary Crawford reports…



Today is Veteran's Day, a time to celebrate those who have served our country.

(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs is looking to return 11 Purple Hearts to their rightful owners. The medals end up in the Treasurer’s Office after being left in old safe deposit boxes but are often hard to return, says Treasurer Frerichs…



State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Frerichs is asking the public to check out the list of names associated with these medals listed under “news” on his website: illinois treasurer dot gov.


(Springfield-jm) – Governor JB Pritzker was elected to serve another four years as Illinois governor, and he is already laying out the plans for his next term. One of the first things that seems to be on his agenda is amending the SAFE-T Act in regard to the Pre-Trial Fairness Act, which has earned harsh criticism and was a topic that followed him throughout his campaign for reelection. Governor Pritzker promised that vague wording, which was targeted in the lawsuits against the act, can be clarified through amendments to the legislation. It will likely make an appearance in the General Assembly veto session. The veto session starts next week on November 15 and will have six sessions throughout. The last one will be on December 1.


(Woodworth-jm) – The Ford Iroquois 4-H Foundation will hold their auction Sunday in Woodworth. Spokesperson Nita Dubble talks about some of the items on the auction…



Ford Iroquois 4-H Foundation Spokesperson Nita Dubble.


(Urbana-jm) – Urbana Police officers will soon have a new training regimen to help them decide when to intervene concerning the behavior of other officers. The Active Bystander for Law Enforcement Project is a training program developed by the Georgetown University Law Center for Innovations in Community Safety. It prepares officers to successfully intervene to prevent misconduct, avoid police mistakes and promote officer health and wellness. The training teaches officers how to successfully intervene and protects those who do while authorizing and empowering officers to intervene in another officers’ actions regardless of rank.


(Buckley–jc)  Buckley based Christ Lutheran High School is helping with the holidays on Saturday by hosting their annual “Deck the Halls” shopping event. Those attending will see vendors and crafters for Christmas and a St John’s Ladies Aid Bake Sale says Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz..



Christ Lutheran High School Executive Director Sandy Spitz. The event runs from 9am to 2pm on Saturday.


(Kankakee County-jm) – The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that both directions of Interstate 57 through Kankakee will close overnight, weather permitting, from Tuesday, November 15, through Friday, November 18, to accommodate construction of the of the north half of the Waldron Road/Maple Street bridge. The road will be closed between exit 308 and exit 315. I-57 will close each night at 8 p.m. and will reopen by 6 a.m. the following morning. A posted detour for I-57 will direct motorists to use U.S. 45/52 and Illinois 50 to connect back to I-57.  Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area and be prepared for slow and stopped traffic. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.


(Springfield-jm) – Today is Veteran’s Day, a time to celebrate those who have served our country. There are more than half a million vets in Illinois, and State Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Terry Prince says there are many ways we can honor their commitment…



Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Terry Prince. You can learn more on the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.


(Iroquois County-jm) – Two more municipal government contracts are in place for the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department to provide police patrols. Buckley and Cissna Park are now getting police protection through the sheriff’s department. Contracts were approved by the County Board. The two village boards worked out the arrangements with Sheriff Clint Perzee. Several other communities in the county have similar arrangements.


(Springfield-jm) – One and a half million Illinoisans have now received the bivalent COVID-19 booster shot. The booster protects against the latest Omicron strains and while the number of people vaccinated is promising, State Department of Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey says more can be done…



State Department of Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey. Claffey says they also expect an active flu season so it’s recommended that everyone get the flu vaccine as well.


(Springfield-jm) – A new law in Illinois is improving access to services for young children with disabilities or delays. This new law makes early childhood intervention services more accessible to children under the age of three who are a part of the Child Welfare System, through the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services. This new law not only makes early childhood intervention services more available to the children and families who need it, but ultimately helps the child build foundations for healthy development.


(Undated-jm) – State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian declared victory in the 104th Legislative district on Thursday. The unofficial tally from the Champaign County Clerk, Vermilion County Clerk and Danville Election Commission gives Marron 18,682 votes to opponent Cindy Cunningham’s 14,070 votes, a current 14% victory margin.


(Undated-jm) – The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced road construction projects for the upcoming year. WPXN’s Jason Madden has a look at projects in Champaign County…



(Urbana-jm) – Police are looking for a gunman after a man was shot and killed in Urbana Wednesday night.  Police were called to the 1300 block of S. Philo Rd. just after 7 p.m. They found a 24-year-old Urbana man with a gunshot wound to the torso. He was rushed to the hospital but did not survive. Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup identified the victim as Taveon Davis.


(Peoria-jm) – 18-year-old Deven Lane was found dead in Peoria Wednesday. 

The University of Illinois student was reported missing Monday, November 7th. He was last seen on Friday, November 4th, around 9:30 P.M. in the 4500 block of North Sterling Avenue. According to Peoria Police and Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood, the University of Illinois student was found dead Wednesday around 4 p.m. near the 5500 block of N. Graceland in Peoria. The manner of his death remains under investigation, but no foul play is expected.


(Washington-jm) – Are the small changes in soybean supply and demand prospects enough to change price prospects? Gary Crawford reports…



Clove Alliance will host a Glo Bingo tonight at the Expo Center at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds. Doors open at 4:30 with Bingo starting at 6:30. Cost is $35.


Christ Lutheran High School will host their Deck the Halls vendor show Saturday from 9-2.


Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting the Loda Truck and Tractor Pull on Saturday from 10-2.


The Ford-Iroquois 4-H Foundation will hold their auction on Sunday at St. Pauls Woodworth. Dinner starts at 1:30 with the auction starting at 2.


Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin will not seek re-election to a leadership role

(Springfield-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker says he is laser focused on continuing to rebuild Illinois during his second term. Fresh off an election night win, the Governor says voters chose a future of hope, opportunity and caring. He looks forward to getting back to work, including efforts to ensure Illinois protects women’s reproductive rights…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Governor says he received a congratulatory call from President Biden who praised the state’s use of federal funding to get things done in Illinois.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin will not seek re-election to a leadership role. In a statement following Tuesday’s election, Durkin said it is time for the Republican Party to rebuild with new leaders who can bring independents back to the party that are needed to bring change to the state. Durkin was elected to be the minority leader of the Illinois House of Representatives in 2013.


(Undated-jm) – Illinois will get another dose of summer-like weather this week. Many areas saw close to record highs Wednesday and expect more of the same Thursday. Southern Illinois will again see temperatures in the 80s, while northern Illinois will experience comfortable temps in the low to mid 70s. Temperatures will fall during the day Friday as an extended period of cold air is expected for several days.


(Woodworth-jm) – The Ford Iroquois 4-H Foundation will hold their auction this Sunday. Spokesperson Nita Dubble talks about the event…



Ford Iroquois 4-H Foundation Spokesperson Nita Dubble.


(Champaign County-jm) – Moody's Investors Service has upgraded Champaign County’s issuer rating and rating on outstanding bonds to Aa1 from Aa2. Concurrently, Moody's assigns a Aa1 rating to Champaign County, IL's $16.7 million General Obligation Bonds , Series 2022A and $19.5 million General Obligation Bonds, Series 2022B. The issuer rating reflects the county's ability to repay debt and debt-like obligations without consideration of any pledge,

security or structural features. Following the sale, the county is expected to have about $51 million in total GOULT bonds outstanding.


(Springfield-jm) – Gas prices continue to rise. Prices had fallen but in recent weeks it has risen back up to over $4 a gallon. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the rise in prices…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center in Urbana can once again house more inmates.  It comes after staffing shortages caused them to send minors to other locations throughout the state for three months. Some were housed in Lake and Will counties in Northern Illinois, others in McLean county. The out-of-county boarding between July 11 and October 17 cost Champaign County about $137,000.


(Springfield-jm) – The latest Illinois crop production report shows corn and soybeans may be setting some records this year. The November forecast has the Illinois corn yield at 215 bushels per acre, up 13 from last year says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Corn production is estimated at 2 point 27 billion bushels. The Illinois soybean yield is forecast at 64 bushels per acre. That’s one bushel below last year’s record yield. Soybean production is expected to be at 685 million bushels which would also be a record high.


(Springfield-jm) – Concern remains about the lack of ICU pediatric beds available in Illinois. For most part, it’s not kids with COVID-19 filling up the beds, it’s young children with RSV, a respiratory illness. To make matters worse, flu cases are starting to rise. Illinois Department of Public Health Chief Medical Officer Dr Arti Barnes says they would like to see more kids get the flu vaccine…



State Department of Public Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Arti Barnes. Barnes says families should also consider the latest COVID booster for their children. There are about 289 intensive care hospital pediatric beds in Illinois statewide and 94 percent of them are full.


(Chicago-jm) – NASCAR has announced tickets for the first-ever Chicago street race will go on sale today. The two-day reserve tickets, which start at $465, provide access to the Xfinity race on Saturday, July 1, and the Cup series race on Sunday along with concerts being held in conjunction with the event. Two-day general admission passes will be sold at a later date and start at $269.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters to have their deer tested for chronic wasting disease, or CWD. CWD is a fatal disease of the central nervous system in deer and elk. Since 2002, when the first deer was diagnosed with CWD in Illinois, nearly 1,400 deer have been found to be infected. The disease is predominantly found in the northern third of the state. CWD is not known to transmit to humans, but caution is advised.


(Woodworth-jm) – The Ford Iroquois 4-H Foundation will hold their annual auction this Sunday in Woodworth. Spokesperson Nita Dubble talks about what all the group does…



Ford Iroquois 4-H Foundation Spokesperson Nita Dubble.


(Undated-jm) – The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced road construction projects for the upcoming year. WPXN’s Jason Madden has a look at projects in the Ford and Iroquois County areas…



(Watseka-jm) – A police chase led to two men under arrest in Iroquois County. Iroquois County Sheriff’s Police reported a Watseka man and his Sheldon passenger were jailed in Watseka. According to police reports, deputies arrested Christian D.L. Jackson, 19, Watseka, and Todd M. Paine Jr., 19, of Sheldon were in jail. Police reported Jackson fled from a traffic stop.  After the vehicle was stopped, police said an odor of alcohol was detected and after an investigation both men were placed into custody for illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. In addition, Jackson was charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding a peace officer, operating a vehicle with no valid driver’s license, and speeding. Paine Jr., was additionally charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon after a loaded pistol was discovered in his possession.


(Springfield-jm) – The latest Illinois crop production report shows corn and soybeans may be setting some records this year. Let’s start with soybeans. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The Illinois corn yield is forecast at a record 215 bushels per acre, up 13 bushels from last year. Total corn production is expected to be 2 point 27 billion bushels.

On the ballot, nearly 60% of voters said yes to Constitutional Amendment 1

(Undated-jc) – The Mid Term elections were held on Tuesday. WPXN’s Joel Cluver has a report…



(Undated–jc )--  Issues on the ballot, In Iroquois County, Buckley Fire Protection district voters said yes to an increase in tax for the ambulance service and also yes to an increase in funds for fire equipment for the Buckley Fire Protection District. 


Crescent Iroquois Junior High School will now deactivate after voters in the district said yes to the question on the ballot on Tuesday by a vote of 273 yes and 72 no votes. Once the district makes it official, students at Crescent Iroquois Junior High will have the option of going to Watseka, Iroquois West or Cissna Park. 


Also in Iroquois County, voters in  Belmont Township voted against allowing alcohol sales in Belmont township near Watseka by a vote of 490 no and 195 yes votes.


In Champaign County…

Mahome Seymour voters for a second time are being asked to support a school referendum to fund a new junior high school for the district. Nearly 62 percent of voters are saying no to the proposal at this time. Votes are still being tabulated in Champaign County..


Constitutional Amendment 1, which would guarantee the right to organize and collectively bargain, nearly 60% of voters said yes to that proposal.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois has hit six consecutive months of record low unemployment claims. The latest data shows that claims have remained under 70 thousand for 26 weeks in a row now says State Department of Employment Security Director Kristin Richards…



State Department of Employment Security Director Kristin Richards. Last week, there were only 57 thousand continuing claims recorded.


(Champaign-jm) – Champaign County Crime Stoppers is asking for help in solving a string of recent burglaries at a construction storage site. Officials said on three occasions over the last two months, suspects broke into the storage site for Three Phase Line Construction at 904 North Walnut Street. Officers determined that the suspects gained entry by cutting a hole in the fence and once inside, they stole construction tools and equipment. Across all three burglaries, the suspects stole over $15,000 worth of equipment. They also damaged several toolboxes while prying them open. Security cameras captured the suspect and another person of interest on film. The suspect is described as being a Black male with a medium build. The person of interest is described as being White with long light-brown or reddish hair, a beard and tattoos on his neck.


(Paxton–jc)  Holiday Shopping time has begun in the area. One area mayor says its important to shop locally and support businesses in your community and also nearby communities. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says shopping locally helps local street projects,  schools and more…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold


(Urbana-jm) – The Urbana Police Department announced it has made an arrest in the investigation of a pair of armed robberies that happened last month. Ra-Juan Williams, 23, was arrested at Town and Country Apartments. Officials believe he is responsible for the robberies that happened on October 13 in the apartment complex’s parking lots. In both cases, the victims were lured there under the guise of buying cell phones advertised on Facebook marketplace. Instead, the victims were robbed of their cash at gunpoint.


(Champaign-jm) – Three people were arrested after a computer keyboard was shot. 

A Champaign resident heard a gunshot and discovered that a bullet came through his ceiling and into his keyboard. Champaign police arrived at the apartment in the 1700 block of Valley Road and ended up detaining three people who were on the second floor of the apartment building. Police recovered an unlawfully possessed firearm. Sheridan Thompson, Rolan James, and Omari Foster were arrested in relation to the gunshot and the unlawfully possessed firearm.


(Washington-jm) – The U.S. has just concluded a record-breaking agricultural export year. Gary Crawford reports…



(Champaign-jm) – A man was arrested for disorderly conduct and threatening a public official. University of Illinois Police Department says Steven Killiam was arrested at a retail store in the 600 block of East Green Street. Killiam was damaging merchandise and made threats to harm people in the store. Officials say Killam was being taken to jail because he threatened to harm a police officer.

Today is Election Day

(Springfield-jm) – Today is Election Day and the Illinois State Board of Elections has answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Most inquiries are about voting by mail, says Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich. That includes those who have requested a mail-in ballot but have changed their mind and want to vote in person…



State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich.  If you applied for a vote by mail ballot but haven’t received it yet, Dietrich says you can head to your polling place and tell the election judge, who will have you sign an affidavit and let you vote in person. More information is available online at elections dot il dot gov.  WPXN’s Jason Madden has a look at who is on the ballot in Ford and Iroquois Counties…



WPXN’s Jason Madden has a look at who is on the ballot in Champaign and Vermilion Counties…



(Springfield-jm) – Governor J.B. Pritzker has said he would leave the decision of requiring COVID-19 vaccines for school children up to the legislature, but internal emails from the Illinois Department of Public Health show Pritzker is considering adding the COVID shot to the list of school vaccines. According to a report from, the governor’s office inquired from IDPH if adding the vaccine would have to go through the committee and hearing process. Darren Bailey, Monday said the Governor wasn’t being honest. Governor Pritzker, Monday said they were not looking at doing that and claimed Bailey was looking for last minute votes.



(Paxton-jm) – Paxton first responders were called to a car vs deer accident on I-57 Monday evening. Crews were called to the accident in the southbound lanes near the 200 north bridge around 8:30. No injuries were reported.


(Springfield-jm) – Harvest progress has caught up and surpassed the average pace in Illinois There were a little over five days suitable for fieldwork this past week, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 95 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 45 percent has emerged. 34 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to 10 percent very short, 12 percent short and 76 percent adequate and two percent surplus.


(Urbana-jm) – Urbana Police are investigating after they say terroristic threats were called into Urbana High School on Monday morning. It started about 7 a.m. when the school resource officer contacted police about a threat from someone who called the school's office. The caller said he was going to kill students by shooting them at the high school. He also mentioned pipe bombs. This wasn't the only threat called in. Urbana Police say throughout the next hour, several more calls were made by an unknown male and female called from different numbers who made similar "terroristic threats." Out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to cancel classes at Urbana Middle School and Urbana High School for the day, pending verifying the validity of the threats and investigation.


(Paxton–jc)  Another local organization has received a 1 thousand dollar donation from the Paxton IGA. The local IGA has an on going Charitable Rebate program.

The latest donation is to the Paxton United Methodist Church. The grocery store made the donation to the church through the stores 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 57th organization that has qualified for a $1000 check since the program started in September 2009.


(Washington-jm) – USDA analysts are getting ready to issue a new round of market forecasts amidst growing uncertainties about the world economy and demand factors. Gary Crawford reports…



The Sangamon Valley Public Water District has issued a boil order beginning today for Trailside and portions of South Prairieview Road in Mahomet. The order will remain in effect for 36 hours and the district will notify residents once it has been lifted.


(Springfield-jm) – Supporters say Amendment 1 aims to codify workers' rights in Illinois. Opponents say it will lead to property tax increases across the state. The outcome will be determined by voters in today's election. The measure would codify in the state constitution collective bargaining rights for wages, work conditions, and other issues. The language of the amendment says, "No law shall be passed that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and workplace safety, including any law or ordinance that prohibits the execution or application of agreements between employers and labor organizations that represent employees requiring membership in an organization as a condition of employment." Labor unions support the amendment. The question requires either three-fifths approval of those voting on the question or a simple majority of all votes cast in the election to be enacted.


(Springfield-jm) – Harvest progress has caught up and surpassed the average pace in Illinois. 88 percent of corn and 94 percent of soybeans have now been harvested, says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Winter wheat planting advanced to 95 percent complete…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 31 percent of pasture acres are rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture came in at 10 percent very short, 12 percent short, 76 percent adequate and two percent surplus, an improvement over the previous week.


(Rantoul-jc) – Just after midnight Monday morning, the Rantoul Police Department was dispatched for multiple reports of shots heard in the area of the 800 block of St. Andrews Circle, Rantoul. Witnesses reported seeing a white SUV leaving the area at a high rate of speed after the reported shots. Upon investigation, an hour later, a resident in the 800 block of St. Andrews Circle called to report his residence had been struck by gunfire. Officers located evidence, including shell casings, in the area of the victim’s apartment.Rantoul police officers searched images from nearby Flock Automated License Plate Readers  and located a possible suspect vehicle. Officers located the suspect vehicle, heavily damaged, in the 1400 block of Harper Dr., Rantoul. Visible inside the damaged vehicle was an AR-15 style rifle. Then at 2am, Rantoul police officers were advised a subject had been brought to a local hospital Emergency Department, via private vehicle, with injuries from a vehicle accident. Investigation revealed this subject was affiliated with the damaged vehicle located in the 1400 block of Harper Dr., Rantoul. As a result of the investigation, Luis Hernandez, 22, of Urbana was arrested for the offenses of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, and Possession of a Firearm without a Valid FOID card. After further follow-up, Bernardo Hernandez, 25, of the 1400 block of Harper Dr., Rantoul, was arrested for the offense of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm. 


(Mahomet-jm) – The Village of Mahomet announced that the Village Administration Building and Freedom Plaza will be illuminated green as part of Operation Green Light, a new initiative between the National Association of Counties and the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers.

Operation Green Light’s mission is to show support for veterans of all military conflicts, as well as raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by many veterans and their families and the resources that are available at the county, state, and federal level to assist veterans and their families.


(Champaign-jm) – The State Farm Center will host the Harlem Globetrotters on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. when they bring their 2023 World Tour to the arena. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the public Friday at 10 a.m. online at


(Washington-jm) – USDA analysts are keeping close tabs on crop developments in the Southern Hemisphere for clues to forecasting the market prospects for the U.S. crops now being harvested. Gary Crawford reports…



The state's Mortgage Assistance Program is now accepting applications.

(Springfield-jm) – The state’s Mortgage Assistance Program is now accepting applications. The Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund can help qualified applicants with up to 60 thousand dollars for past-due mortgage, property Tax, HOA and insurance payments. State Housing Development Authority Spokesperson Andrew Field explains who is eligible…



Illinois Housing Development Authority Spokesperson Andrew Field. The program is open through the end of January. The best place to get started is online at: illinois housing help dot org.


(Springfield-jm) – In the final days of the campaign for Illinois governor, the major party candidates are taking jabs at each other for closing schools during the pandemic. Friday, state Senator Darren Bailey rallied with school officials from southern Illinois demanding more local control. Bailey criticized Governor J.B. Pritzker for ordering schools closed during the pandemic. He called for Pritzker to apologize for closing schools, canceling graduation and proms. Pritzker responded by saying Bailey would have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for the number of students taking Advanced Placement exams. More than 115 thousand high school juniors and seniors took the test this past school year, a seven percent increase over the previous year. It’s also a sign of recovery from the pandemic, when participation dropped, says the Board’s Director of K-through-12 Curriculum and Instruction Erica Thieman (tee-man)...



Board’s Director of K-through-12 Curriculum and Instruction Erica Thieman (tee-man). There was also an over 18 percent increase in students scoring a three or higher on the exam, which lets them earn college credit.


(Champaign-jm) – The Champaign County Coroner has identified the 18-year-old woman shot and killed Friday evening as Nizeri Carter. Champaign Police said they were dispatched near North Elm Street and West Bradley Avenue around 4:52 p.m. Friday for a report of a shooting. Shortly after officers arrived, they received information that Carter had arrived at a nearby hospital with wounds. Carter was shot multiple times in the torso and leg. She died later Friday night at the hospital. The investigation indicates Carter was walking on Elm St. when two people in masks approached her on foot and opened fire.


(Undated-jm) – Ahead of election day tomorrow, a new poll shows Democrats leading in every state political race. But what issues could impact the election. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…



(Champaign-jm) – In order to retire gas service at 134 E. University Avenue, Ameren Illinois will close one westbound lane of University Avenue between First Street and Second Street. The closure will begin on Monday and will reopen on Friday. During the closure, westbound traffic will be reduced to one lane in the area.


(Washington-jm) – The complete U.S. agricultural trade numbers for Fiscal Year 2022 are in. They show what analysts had projected---a record export year in terms of dollar value. Gary Crawford reports…



(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Public Health is distributing one million free rapid COVID-19 tests to residents of low income areas. If you're in an eligible zip code, you can request a package of five over the counter tests that will be shipped to your home. Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey says this is a joint effort between the state and the Rockefeller Foundation. He urges those with symptoms to get tested for the virus…



State Public Health Spokesperson Mike Claffey. To see if these free tests are available in your community, visit the website: access covid tests dot org.


(Springfield-jm) – Candidates for Illinois governor are taking different approaches on how they’d tackle the state’s unfunded pension liabilities. State numbers indicate around $151 billion unfunded, but some places like the American Legislative Exchange Council place the debt at $533 billion. State Senator Darren Bailey said he’ll use reduced state spending to pay down pensions. Pritzker touts on his campaign website “fully funding pension contributions” as a way to reduce state pension liabilities, “going above and beyond with payments and expanding the employee pension buyout program.” Libertarian candidate Scott Schluter's plan would be three-tiered. Tier 1 is current pensioners left untouched, but offer a cash buyout. Schluter's plan would look to buy out earned benefits for Tier 2 pensioners and provide an optional 401(K)-style plan. New hires would go into 401(K)-style savings plans.


(Springfield-jm) – A horticulture expert at the University of Illinois Extension advises against dumping old Halloween pumpkins. The best way to get rid of your pumpkins is through composting, community events like pumpkin smashes or donating them to a zoo or wildlife center. The Extension’s Chris Enroth says you can also feed the birds…



U of I Extension Horticulturist Chris Enroth. Enroth says you should avoid tossing rotting pumpkins in a ditch or backyard since they aren’t good for wildlife in the state and may bring critters closer to the road. You also shouldn’t put them in the garbage to be buried in a landfill.


(Champaign-jm) – Five people are facing weapons charges after the State’s Attorney’s Office said police found them in possession of guns despite being convicted felons. The five arrested are Jalen Booker, Demonte Billings, Omarion Purnell, Joaquin Hughes and Simeon Smith. The five were all together in an apartment when officers chased a car to that apartment and found the five inside with guns. One of the guns was a ghost gun with no serial number. All five are being held at the Champaign County Jail.


(Undated-jm) – Mild temperatures continue this week, however, forecasters say there is a shift in the pattern this weekend. That means colder temperatures as we head into the winter months. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there is help available for those struggling to pay the high energy bills…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. In the meantime, those who need help with energy bills can go to Keep Warm dot Illinois dot gov, or call 1-877-411-9276 to find out about utility assistance programs.


(Crescent City-jm) – Some junior high students in Iroquois County may go to another school next year. It comes after Crescent City Grade School is facing teacher shortages and limited extracurriculars. The question to deactivate and close part of the school will be on ballots on Tuesday. This school year, 66 students from kindergarten through eighth grade attend the school. If it closes, families will have the option to choose between Cissna Park, Watseka, or Iroquois West instead. If the changes happen, the school would be kindergarten through fifth grade starting next year.



(Washington-jm) – Most U.S. agricultural products registered export gains in Fiscal Year 2022. Gary Crawford reports…



Illinois Democrats and Republicans continue their push for more votes ahead of the election

(Chicago-jm) – A Chicago man is facing charges after allegedly sending Republican gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey a voicemail threatening to “mutilate and kill him.” 21-year-old Scott Lennox is charged with one felony count each of threatening a public official, telephone harassment and harassment by electronic communications. According to police, Lennox left the voicemail on October 28 and used his own cellphone to make the call.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is opening another round of electric vehicle rebates. The rebate is four thousand dollars for an electric vehicle and 15 hundred dollars for an electric motorcycle. IEPA Spokesperson Kim Biggs explains the requirements…



IEPA Spokesperson Kim Biggs. You can get started on your application on the Illinois EPA’s website.


(Urbana-jm) – The University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business announced on Wednesday that it has received a landmark monetary donation to support the construction of a new building on campus. The $25 million donation, gifted by a currently anonymous donor, will go toward the construction of the South Campus Center for Interdisciplinary Learning. The building, planned to be built on Gregory Drive between the Business Instructional Facility and Huff Hall, will be four stories tall and just under 100,000 square feet. Construction is planned to begin in the spring and finish by early 2025.


(Paxton–jc)  – The city of Paxton is looking to get license plate readers to help with safety and security for the citizens of the city. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says its a safe system that works through the Illinois State police…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold.


(Champaign-jm) – It has come to the attention of the Champaign County Clerk’s office that an undisclosed number of African American voters in Champaign County have received text messages falsely advising them where their polling location is. These messages are not affiliated with the Champaign County Clerk’s office. They were sent by a third-party vendor of Black Votes Matter. Black Votes Matter contracted with a third-party vendor to send push notifications to voters.


(Washington-jm) – USDA has raised its projection for 2022 food price inflation. Gary Crawford reports…



(Springfield-jm) – Illinois Democrats and Republicans continue their push for more votes ahead of the election.  The Illinois general election is just under a week away and candidates for office in Illinois are holding rallies for their supporters.  

Incumbent Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker spoke at the Illinois AFL-CIO headquarters in Springfield, and was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, 13th Congressional District candidate Nikki Budzinski, state Senator Doris Turner and others.  Pritzker used the event to bring up past accomplishments. GOP gubernatorial challenger, state Senator Darren Bailey was joined by 6th Congressional District candidate Keith Pekau, attorney general candidate Thomas Devore and others in Glen Ellyn earlier this week where Bailey picked up the endorsement of former Hawaii Democratic Congresswoman Tusli Gabbard.


(Bloomington-jm) – Governor J-B Pritzker is celebrating the groundbreaking of the first U-S Kinder Bueno production facility in the country. The 214 million dollar plant is an expansion of chocolate maker Ferrer;’s operations in Bloomington. The Kinder Bueno chocolate bar was first launched in the U-S in 2019, and its production in the area will create 200 new jobs, says the Governor…



Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker. The Kinder Bueno facility is expected to be completed in 2024.


(St. Joseph-jm) – Christmas lights will hang on a village tree in St. Joseph this winter, thanks to a fifth-grade girl. Lana Schott convinced an entire village board that St. Joseph needed its own tree for Christmas this past July. Lana’s wish to spread cheer will come to life at 5 p.m. on December 3 at the lighting of the village tree. The tree will be placed by the village fire station, making it the first thing visitors see when arriving in St. Joseph.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois is starting to feel some pressure from Washington DC about repaying their loan to cover unemployment claims. 106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about what it means for the state and businesses…



106th District State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


(Urbana-jm) – Students at the University of Illinois aren’t just thinking about classes. After two sexual assaults took place over the weekend, they’re rethinking how to stay safe on campus. Campus Police said sexual assaults are trending down in 2022. One assault happened at a fraternity house while the other happened between Sherman and Allen Halls. Both women did not know their offenders. And while two may seem like a lot, Campus police said it’s not.


(Washington-jm) – The La Nina weather pattern is expected to be in force for the third consecutive winter, but what does that mean for seasonal weather across the country? Rod Bain reports…



On Friday the Loda American Legion will have their All you can eat Chicken and Fish Fry from 4-7


Saturday night the Melvin Community Hall will host Marvin Lee and Friends Country Music Show starting at 7pm. The Melvin Christmas Decorations committee will serve a meal starting at 5:30pm.


The health insurance marketplace is now available for open enrollment.

(Undated-jm) – Rainy day funds in most states are projected to have reached new highs by the end of fiscal year 2022, but Illinois’ reserves still lag the rest of the country. An analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts shows that 33 states project increases in the length of time they could run government operations on rainy day funds alone, compared with a year earlier. After an early pandemic decline in rainy day fund balances, states estimated that their combined savings would reach a record $136.5 billion by the close of fiscal year 2022, according to preliminary figures reported to the National Association of State Budget Officers between March and May of this year. Illinois technically does not have a rainy day fund as defined by Pew Charitable Trusts. Illinois’ Budget Stabilization Fund has a repayment provision that requires all withdrawals from the fund to be repaid in full within a fiscal year, making it in effect a working-cash fund rather than a rainy day fund.


(Undated-jm) – Two programs to help more Illinoisans become teachers are now taking applications. The Golden Apple Foundation has announced they are opening up its applications for its Accelerators and Scholars programs to ensure more people are trained to be teachers. The Accelerators program helps college seniors or people with bachelor’s degree not in education prepare to be a teacher with a 15-month residency program, while the Scholars program provides scholarships to high school seniors, college freshman and college sophomores studying to be teachers. Both programs require grantees to teach at a partnered school in Illinois after completion of the grant. The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents found that 88% of superintendents surveyed reported their districts had encountered a teacher shortage. They also found that 77% of superintendents believed the teacher shortage was getting worse.


(Springfield-jm) – Need health insurance? The health insurance marketplace is now available for open enrollment. This year there are 11 insurers offering more than 300 plans, says Get Covered Illinois Executive Director Laura Pellikan. The online marketplace lets users compare plans to determine which best suits their needs and budget…



Get Covered Illinois Executive Director Laura Pellikan. Open enrollment is available until January 15th, but if you need coverage starting right away in 2023, you must get it done by December 15th. Pellikan says the best place to start is online at: get covered illinois dot gov.


(Urbana-jm) – There are new updates on the U of I student who was robbed last month. University of Illinois Police say a 16-year-old is responsible for threatening a student and taking their money. He was arrested on Sunday. The teenager pushed the student and demanded money. The student followed him to an ATM about a block away and withdrew cash. The robbery happened on Fifth and Green Street on campus.


(Paxton–jc)  –  Redevelopment agreements between the city of Paxtxon and downtown businesses  continue to bring a new look into the city. Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold says agreements with around a dozen businesses are in various stages of development…



Paxton Mayor Bill Ingold. Hear more about the redevelopment agreements in the city of Paxton on our noon newscast today. 


(Urbana-jm) – A Wisconsin man is facing charges after Urbana police say he molested a patient at Carle Foundation Hospital. Patrick L. Hell was charged with criminal sexual abuse. Hell is reportedly a traveling respiratory therapist who inappropriately touches a female patient who was unconscious. According to a police report, it was someone who was familiar with Hell who reported him after finding videos on his Google Drive that showed him performing alleged sexual acts with the patient. Police are still working to find the other videos Hell is said to have taken and possibly tried to delete.


(Rantoul–jc)  We are one month away from the annual Rantoul Lighted Christmas parade. The Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce invites area businesses, civic groups, bands to churches to bring an entry to the local parade. The Light Up Rantoul Christmas Parade and Santa’s Workshop is set for Friday December 2nd and the parade route will be the Rantoul High School to the downtown area.


(Springfield-jm) – Illinois received poor rankings in the Tax Foundation 2023 Tax Climate Report. Illinois finished 36th overall in the report, which looks at the state's corporate taxes, individual income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, and unemployment insurance.  Jannelle Fritts of the Tax Foundation worked on the report and said Illinois could have been ranked even lower than 36th if not for one tax. Illinois' worst ranking on the list was in the property tax category, where they ranked as the sixth worst state. Illinois also is among only four states that still need to pay outstanding state unemployment trust fund debt, with $1.3 billion still left to be paid carrying interest for taxpayers. Illinois finished 38th in the corporate tax rate, 13th in the individual income tax rate, 38th in sales tax, and 43rd in unemployment tax.


(Springfield-jm) – A survey regarding cannabis and real estate shows some people are considering a move to a state where pot is legal.  According to Real Estate Witch, 60% of respondents feel cannabis legalization will impact real estate in some way, and more than half of Americans, 52% say they would consider buying a home next door to a recreational cannabis dispensary.  In Illinois, marijuana has been a cash cow and has helped fill state coffers with sales taxes from legal sales. Cannabis products with a THC concentration higher than 35% come with a 25% sales tax. Municipalities and counties are able to levy additional local sales taxes. 

Illinois adult-use cannabis sales in 2021 reached $1.3 billion, an increase of 106% over 2020. 


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Agriculture is announcing a new tax credit for agritourism. The credit is meant to offset the high cost of liability insurance premiums for farmers engaged in agritourism. The State’s Agriculture Marketing Head, Jackie Sambursky, explains what sort of businesses would be eligible…



State Agriculture Marketing Head Jackie Sambursky. Other ventures include school tours, petting zoos and corn mazes. The deadline to apply for the credit for this current tax year is February 28th. More information is available at: illinois agritourism credit dot com.


(Urbana-jm) – The City of Urbana has provided more information regarding the upcoming South Race Street closures. The road closure begins today and will be in effect until November 14th. Sections of Race Street will be closed to through traffic during work hours for patching during this time frame. Race Street will first be closed between Windsor Road and George Huff Drive. After this work is complete, Race Street will then close between George Huff Drive and Florida Avenue.


(Chicago-jm) – Former House Speaker Mike Madigan pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the latest bribery scandal, this time involving A-T and T. State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian weighed in on the issue…



104th District State Representative Mike Marron of Fithian.


(Paxton-jm) – A Paxton holiday favorite is returning this year. The Johnson Family announced they will be bringing back their Lighting Up Paxton display with music on West Patton Street. They expect opening night will be Friday, November 25th.

PRIDE in Paxton and The Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce are hosting a Christmas Sneak Peak, shop local businesses November 4-6.


Parkland College’s Staerkel Planetarium Kaler Lecture Series will be held Friday, November 4th with U of I Civil and Environmental Engineering  Professor Tugce Baser talking about Harnessing the Heat Beneath our Feet: Geothermal Energy starting at 7 pm. Cost is $2.


Paxton IGA will hold their cookout benefiting St. Mary’s CCW on Saturday, November 5th from 10-2.


Carle Health and Aetna have reached a tentative agreement on an Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO contract effective January 1

(Urbana-jm) – Carle Health and Aetna have reached a tentative agreement on an Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO contract effective January 1, 2023, with Carle hospitals and provider offices in Champaign, Urbana, Hoopeston, Danville, Mattoon, Charleston and surrounding communities. Finalization of this contract will allow Medicare-eligible state retirees to continue to be seen by the Carle providers they have come to know and trust throughout the years according to a press release from Carle. Earlier this year the State of Illinois moved forward with the implementation of the Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO as the only insurance option for Medicare-eligible State of Illinois retirees. At that time, Carle Health did not have a contract with Aetna for the Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO in its east Central Illinois region. Over the past few months, Carle worked to negotiate a contract with Aetna in good faith with the goal of ensuring all in our community can access the providers they know and trust. Carle Health is pleased negotiations are poised to conclude favorably for everyone involved.


(Springfield-jm) – Two bills were filed to improve healthcare access in central Illinois. The bills, filed Monday, were drafted after a group of state retirees met last week to air their frustrations about lack of options. Representative Mike Marron of Fithian filed a bill that would require the state to offer at least two choices of insurance companies for retirees. Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet also filed a bill that would offer a voucher to the state’s retirees for a standard cost and use the voucher to an insurance plan of their choosing. The two proposals came in response to a dispute between the state’s primary health insurance option Aetna and Carle Health.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Student Assistance Commission says help is available for families struggling to fill out college applications and financial aid forms. Students and families can meet for one-on-one counseling with specially trained recent grads and there’s also a free text messaging service where you can submit your questions, says ISAC Spokesperson Lynne Baker…



Illinois Student Assistance Commission Spokesperson Lynne Baker. Baker says the best place to start is online at: student portal dot isac dot org. There you will find locations of workshops, online tools, helpful videos and other resources.


(Undated-jm) – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker got a failing grade in a public policy organization’s fiscal policy report card on governors.  The Cato Institute examined the tax and spending choices made by governors since 2020. Governors receiving an A grade are those who have cut taxes and spending the most, while governors receiving an F, like Pritzker, have increased taxes and spending the most. Cato Institute economist Chris Edwards said one reason Pritzker’s grade was damaged was his push for a progressive tax referendum that Illinois voters rejected in 2020. Twenty-one states have cut individual or corporate income tax rates since 2020, and about 20 states have provided one-time tax rebates.  The report notes that current state budgets may diminish if the economy continues to stagnate, but fortunately states have built large rainy day funds.  Illinois' rainy day fund is around $1 billion, one of the lowest in the country.All the governors receiving an A on this year’s report are Republicans, and all the governors receiving an F are Democrats.


(Springfield-jm) – Harvest season continues across Illinois as we hear in the weekly crop report. Despite above average rainfall this past week, there were nearly five days suitable for fieldwork, says State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. That includes corn harvesting…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 89 percent of soybeans have been harvested, ahead of the five year average. 80 percent of winter wheat has been planted and 26 percent has emerged. 35 percent of the wheat crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to 13 percent very short, 26 percent short and 61 percent adequate.


(Urbana-jm) – Two were arrested, and police are still searching for the third after an armed robbery involving an attempted social media purchase. The armed robbery occurred at Aspen Court Apartment Complex. Three males robbed the man at gunpoint with an extended magazine pistol. They struck the victim in the head with the weapon. After receiving a tip, officers with the Urbana Police Department went to the Aspen Court Apartment Complex on Saturday Officers found two males possibly involved with the incident, both refused to comply and ran, said the Urbana Police Department. Officers were able to arrest Jakeif Green of Urbana before he entered an address off of Hunter and Lierman Streets. The other arrested individual is a 16-year-old with an outstanding warrant of Aggravated Battery to a Peace Officer. Police reported that they conducted a court-ordered search of the address and found items stolen from the victim along with an extended magazine pistol. The Urbana Police are still trying to locate the third man.


(Washington-jm) – Most row crop producers saw prices drop during September. Gary Crawford reports…



(Urbana-jm) – After concerns were voiced by thousands of retired state workers, Carle Health and Aetna reached a tentative agreement on an Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO contract effective January 1, 2023. Before this agreement, retired state workers would have had to switch away from Carle doctors and facilities under their new health plan starting in January. Finalization of this contract would allow Medicare-eligible state retirees to continue to be seen by Carle providers.


(Springfield-jm) – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is offering some reminders about hunting ethics. Hunters need to work to maintain a good relationship with the non-hunting public, says DNR Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer . That means not graphically flaunting their kill…



Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Chief Mike Wefer. Wefer says hunters should also be careful about photos they post, avoiding pictures that show bloody wounds or disrespect to the animal. He suggests taking pics that demonstrate hunter safety and ethical use of the animal such as cooking their meat.


(Undated-jm) – As Governor J.B. Pritzker comes to the end of his term before the November election, one economic analysis shows how taxes have increased during his time in office. Pritzker was elected in 2018 to be the state's 43rd governor. Since taking office the following January, taxes in Illinois have increased each year. Illinoisans already have among the highest tax burdens in the country. Under Pritzker, more than 20 new tax increases have been implemented, according to the Illinois Policy Institute. IPI numbers show that tax increases, including a gas tax hike totaling $264 per taxpayer, a vehicle registration fee that costs $100, a parking garage tax at $270, and an online sales tax expansion of $46.18, have all been enacted during Pritzker's term. While Pritzker has also implemented some temporary tax cuts, they fall short of the total tax increase of nearly $2,700 per taxpayer during his term.


(Springfield-jm) – Harvest season continues across Illinois as we hear in the weekly crop report. 97 percent of corn is mature and 78 percent of the crop has been harvested. That’s about on par with the average pace. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener looks at soybeans and wheat…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. The first condition report for winter wheat shows 35 percent of the crop is in good to excellent shape. Above normal rainfall last week raised average statewide topsoil moisture to 13 percent very short, 26 percent short and 61 percent adequate.


(Urbana-jm) – An Urbana man was found not guilty of first degree murder. Keith Campbell was arrested in Cook County in May 2021 by U.S. Marshals after being charged with first degree murder following an incident in July 2018. Urbana Police were called to a party on July 21, 2018, near Florida Avenue and Curtiss Drive in Urbana after a fight broke out. Urbana Police found 27-year-old Martez Taylor fatally shot. Detectives said Campbell shot Taylor while he was sitting in a car. Taylor later died at a hospital. A warrant for Campbell’s arrest was approved in July 2018. He was arraigned in Champaign County Court in June 2021. Campbell was found not guilty of all charges by an Urbana jury and was discharged from custody.


(Washington-jm) – Dairy growers have until December 9th to sign-up for Dairy Margin Coverage for this coming year. Rod Bain reports…



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