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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday May 23 2017

(Rantoul-jm) -- Despite all the recent rain, corn planting in Illinois is about on pace with previous years. Four days were suitable for fieldwork this past week and some producers had to replant flooded fields says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 48 percent of soybeans have been planted and 18 percent have emerged. 94 percent of the winter wheat crop has headed and the first cutting of alfalfa is now 39 percent complete.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois Prairie Community Foundation is splitting $150,200 among 54 programs in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan Counties. Some of the local groups receiving money include the Clinton Educational Foundation, the DeWitt County Museum Association, the Heyworth and Randolph Township Arts Council and the Heyworth youth summer art camp and community mural rejuvenation.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The DeWitt, Piatt and Macon County Extension Office has a variety of gardening programs as well as other programs available. Horticulture Expert Candice Hart has where you can find out more information about the programs they offer…

 

 

University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Expert Candice Hart.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Incoming 8th graders interested in a possible career in healthcare can attend a free one week camp through Gibson Area Hospital. Camp Gibson will be held June 12th through the 16th. Participants will be involved in hands on activities and interact with professionals in the medical field, become CPR certified and receive information about healthcare career opportunities and the education necessary.  The registration deadline is this Friday. Anyone with question or to get an application can call 217-784-4093.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs office is returning a long lost world war two purple heart medal. The medal belonged to Corporal Edward Dunn of Peoria who passed away in 1970. Treasurer Frerichs says his office received the award as unclaimed property several years ago, and is thrilled to finally be able to reunite the keepsake with Dunn’s daughter…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. The treasurer’s office currently has more than 100 unclaimed military medals. They are never auctioned off and kept until the owners or family members are found.

 

 

(Sibley-jm) -- An area group will be holding a fundraiser in June to help raise money for cancer research. The Sibley Burr Oaks Area Tractor team will hold their tractor drive to fight cancer. For more information about participating, call Russ Tjarks at 217-249-2377 or 217-745-2377.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- May is Mental Health Awareness Month and advocates and experts are trying to raise awareness. Gibson Area Hospital Licensed Clinical Social Worker Tricia Nelson talks about some of the services they provide…

 

 

Gibson Area Hospital Licensed Clinical Social Worker Tricia Nelson.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Monday May 22 2017

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City police have released their activity report for last week. Police handled a neighbor dispute in the 400 block of S. Washington as well as in the 200 block of E. Monroe, a dog bite in the 300 block of S. John and a domestic dispute in the 200 block of E. Clinton. Officers also issued 4 citations for speeding and issued 1 citation each for failure to signal when required and no valid driver’s license. Police arrested Lauren Hardy of Farmer City for driving with a suspended driver’s license and cited for expired license plates.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Farmer City city council has approved work to be done on a sludge pump for the public works department. Mayor Mike Jenkins talks about the work that needs to be done…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Free outdoor movies will be coming to Farmer City this summer. A group will be putting on the free movies on June 10th, July 8th and August 12th.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City Market will hold a memorial day BBQ this coming weekend. The market will hold an $8 rib dinner on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says good data from farmers and producers in the field is important for making decisions on important issue like crop insurance premiums. Stephanie Ho has the details…

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- A request by the Bloomington Normal Airport Authority would tax all McLean County residents instead of Bloomington-Normal residents to support the airport. The group had asked state Senator Jason Barickman to introduce legislation in Springfield to allow the group to tax all residents. Barickman however, declined to introduce legislation. Under the proposal from the group, a $150,000 home in Bloomington Normal would see $20 less on their property taxes. Residents in the rest of the county would see a $47 new tax on their bills. They would also be allowed to double the tax rate from 4 cents for $100 of assessed value to 7.5 cents. The group will ask other legislatures in the state to introduce the legislation.


 

(Clinton-jm) -- An event to help those fight heroin addiction in DeWitt County will be held in July. The DeWitt County Coalition and Illinois Recovery Advocate Sober Jail will hold Clinton Care: A Rally for Hope and Solutions on Saturday, July 22nd at 2 p.m. at the Square.


 

(LeRoy-jm) -- LeRoy will honor veterans past and present next Monday for Memorial Day. Ruel Neal American Legion Post 79 will dedicate their Wall of Honor says Senior Vice Commander Mark Young…



Ruel Neal American Legion Post 79 Senior Vice Commander Mark Young.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City city council will consider bids for the city’s lift station pump at tonight’s city council meeting. Council members will also consider removing some trees in the city. The Gibson City city council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Friday May 19 2017

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Farmer City city council will meet tonight in an emergency meeting. According to an agenda from city hall, council members will be asked to approve the resignation of Larry Woliung and appoint an acting city manager. WWHP News will follow this story and have more updates when they become available.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- Two 14-year-olds have been arrested for allegedly calling in a bomb threat to a LeRoy business over the weekend. The two teens allegedly called in the bomb threat Sunday morning to the McDonald’s. Both teens were arrested, booked and released to their parents.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The 2017 Clinton May Days kicked off last night. The festival continues through Sunday. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marian Brisard has the activities for tonight and this weekend…

 

 

 

Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marian Brisard.

 

 

(Bellflower-jm) -- This weekend’s Bellflower Country Opry show has been cancelled. Mark Boobert, portraying Elvis was suppose to perform. The group says the show will likely be rescheduled.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- DeWitt County residents needing food assistance can go to Clinton on Saturday, June 10th. The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will hold a food giveaway from 10 to 11:30 at the First Christian Church of Clinton on N. Jackson St. Those attending are asked to bring bags or boxes to transport food.


 

(Decatur-jm) -- The Macon County Master Gardeners will hold their 2017 Garden Walk on Sunday, June 11th. Those attending will visit seven Decatur area gardens, learn more about urban gardening techniques and more. The event runs from 2-6 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 the day of the walk. For more information or to get your tickets call the Macon County Extension Office at 217-877-6042.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers continue to meet in Springfield with an end of the month deadline for a budget. The state has been without a budget for nearly two years and the end of the spring legislative session ends at the end of the month with no signs of a budget. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City has the latest on budget talks from Springfield…



State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois officials say the April unemployment rate dipped 0.2 percentage points to 4.7 percent. The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday that nonfarm payrolls decreased by 7,200 jobs over the month. That's based on preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics .

IDES Director Jeff Mays says the drop in unemployment was because of a shrinking labor force.

Officials say March job growth numbers were revised to show a drop of 7,700 jobs. That's fewer than the 8,900 jobs originally estimated were lost.

April's monthly payroll drop kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average. Statistics indicate payroll declines in March and April. That leaves Illinois 25,600 jobs short of reaching its prior peak employment reached in September 2000.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Thursday May 18 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate has rejected a two-year property tax freeze. The Democratic offer to meet Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's demand for tax relief for local homeowners is one of the measures that is part of the "grand bargain" budget compromise. Disagreements between Democrats, who control the General Assembly, and Rauner has kept the state from having an annual spending plan for two years.
 

 

(Mahomet-db) -- A junior at Mahomet Seymour was killed in a multi-vehicle accident last evening near Tuscola on Route 36.  In a letter to the staff at Mahomet-Seymour High School, Superintendent Rick Johnston said a “support team is preparing for extra support at the High School... and the grief dogs will be there as well.” The crash is being investigated by the state police, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Douglas County Coroner’s Office.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The 2017 Clinton May Days Festival gets underway starting tonight. The festival runs through Sunday in downtown Clinton. Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marian Brisard talks about what is on the schedule for tonight…

 

 

Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marian Brisard.

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- A DeWitt County group is seeking volunteers. Friends in Action needs volunteers to help keep senior citizens in their homes. For more information or to volunteer call 217-855-6036.


 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Members of the University of Illinois Rowing team are in Farmer City this week. The group trains twice a day nearby and coach Cameron Carter says they are giving back to the community this week…

 

 

University of Illinois Rowing Team Coach Cameron Carter.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers affected by the recent flooding about several programs available to provide assistance. The USDA offers many safety-net programs to help producers recover from losses as well as through the federal crop insurance program. For more information about the programs call your local Farm Service Agency office.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Can the U.S. in the second half of this fiscal year keep up the very fast pace of agricultural export sales that was set in the first half of the year? Gary Crawford has the answer…

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon says he's considering a change in how the agency conducts abuse and neglect investigations. Sheldon told the Chicago Tribune investigators could benefit from access to records of past unproven allegations. DCFS currently expunges and shreds files if the agency determines there is no credible abuse or neglect evidence.
 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Legislation to extend the repeal of the tuition affordability discount program at Eastern Illinois University from 2022 to 2026 has passed both the House and Senate. The program will allow EIU to waive 10% of available undergraduate tuition revenue, which the university would then cover. Eligible students receive $2,500 toward tuition each year for up to four years. State Representative Chad Hays of Catlin talks about the legislation…



State Representative Chady Hays. The bill now heads to the Governor.


 

(Bement-jm) -- Piatt County residents needing food assistance can go to Bement on Saturday, June 10th. The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will hold a food giveaway from 10 to 11:30 at the Bement Fire Station on S. Sangamon St. Those attending are asked to bring bags or boxes to transport food.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders are beginning to plan their budget. Mayor Dan Dickey says they hope to get the budget talks going soon…



Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will be looking to fill a vacancy on the city council after the sudden death of Ed Day. Day died over the weekend, just days after being sworn in as a ward 3 alderman. He was 64.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The month is designed to raise awareness about mental health issues as well as bring to light resources that are available. Gibson Area Hospital Licensed Clinical Social Worker Tricia Nelson talks about what families should do if they notice a loved one having mental issues…



Gibson Area Hospital Licensed Clinical Social Worker Tricia Nelson.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Wednesday May 17 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Recent wet conditions have left fields too wet to do fieldwork as we hear in the latest crop report. Even with only one inch of rain on average last week, only one day was suitable for field work says crop statistician Lee Tims…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Lee Tims. 23 percent of soybeans are planted with six percent of the crop emerged.

 

 

(Heyworth-jm) -- Several fire departments were called to a two vehicle accident near Heyworth Tuesday. The two vehicle accident occurred on old U.S. 51 at 700 N. One person had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital for their injuries. Firefighters from Bloomington and Downs assisted Heyworth firefighters.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Recycling was a big topic brought up at this week’s Farmer City city council meeting. Mayor Mike Jenkins says there is a lot of support for it…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.


 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Schneider Elementary School could receive several upgrades this summer. The Blue Ridge School board is expected to approve remodeling the flooring in the office at Schneider as well as approve health life safety funds for phase 2 of window repairs and consider a camera system at Schneider. The school board will also consider a budget amendment at tonight’s meeting. The Blue Ridge School Board meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The University of Illinois Rowing Team is in Farmer City this week doing some work around the community. Coach Cameron Carter says they are giving back to the community…

 


University of Illinois Rowing Team Coach Cameron Carter.

 
 
(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly has about two weeks left in the spring session to reach a budget compromise. Talks on a possible “Grand Bargain” continue says State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…
 
 
State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.
 
 
(Springfield-jm) -- Legislation that would allow 16 and 17 year olds  to register for the state’s organ and tissue donor registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card is being sent to the Governor. Under current law, an individual must be at least 18 years old to join the registry. Approximately 4,700 people are on the waiting list and about 300 people die each year waiting on an organ transplant.  For more information about becoming an organ and tissue donor or to join the registry visit your local driver services facility or go online to life goes on dot com.
 
 
(LeRoy-jm) -- The LeRoy School District will be working on some projects this summer. Superintendent Gary Tipsord talks about the projects…
 
 
LeRoy Schools Superintendent Gary Tipsord.
 
 
(Heyworth-jm) -- Students in the Heyworth School District will be receiving new upgrades. The school board is expected to approve a Project Fit Grant and accept bids for a greenhouse for the FFA program as well as consider the purchase of chromebooks for students. The Heyworth school board meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.
 
 
(Springfield-jm) -- Women are being urged to make their own health a priority during National Women's Health Week. This week marks the 18th annual observance led by the U-S Department of Health and Human Services. Veronica Carter reports…
 
 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday May 16 2017

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Bellflower man who allegedly made threats to harm his children and a Champaign County prosecutor’s family remains in the county jail on $250,000 bond. 40-year-old Gregory Todd was sentenced to probation 11 months ago for aggravated battery. A petition to revoke Todd’s probation was filed in February after he allegedly failed to enroll in anger management classes or get a substance abuse evaluation as ordered. During a counseling session earlier this month, Todd made threatening statements and the counselor relayed the information to the state’s attorney's office. Todd is due back in court May 24th.

 

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(Clinton-jm) -- Clinton is gearing up for their annual May Days celebration later this week. Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marian Brisard talks about this year’s festival…

 

 

Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marian Brisard.

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- A DeWitt County group has received a grant. Habitat for Humanity of DeWitt County received a $5,000 grant from State Farm. The grant will be used for financial literacy education for homeowners. Classes are expected to begin in June.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- The LeRoy Police Department has announced the two winners of their scholarship program. Sarah Kaeb and Skielry Trenkle were both awarded $5,000 scholarships from the LeRoy Police Union. Applicants had to submit an essay that was judged by a group from the police union.

 

 

(Farmer City-db) -- The University of Illinois Rowers will be pressure washing Main Street Sidewalks today beginning around 11 this morning.  They will begin in the 200 and 300 blocks on the west side. Please be aware of parking during this time and try to park across the street if parking in the area.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Experts say this new crop year could bring a struggle for many crop farmers just to break even. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Urbana-jm) -- A Fisher man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for child pornography. 45-year-old Clinton Schaffer received the sentence after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a minor and distribution of child pornography. He was arrested in 2016.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers continue to work on a possible “Grand Bargain” budget plan. The talks continue even though both sides of the aisle have differing opinions on the progress. State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington has the latest on the budget situation…



State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.


 

(Undated-jm) -- University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Caitlin Huth will be holding several classes in the months of June and July on using farmers market produce at home. Classes will be offered June 15th from 2-3 and 6:30-7 at the DeWitt County Extension Office, July 10th from 2-3 and 6:30-7 at the Piatt County Extension Office and Macon County Extension Office July 20th and August 15th from 2-3 and 6:30-7. Participants can register by calling the Huth at 217-877-6042.


 

(Monticello-jm) -- Several people have been appointed to positions in the city of Monticello. Gerald Day was appointed to the planning and zoning board. Judy Green and Luanna Miller have been appointed to the historic preservation commission. Dick Jesse was appointed to the fire and police commission. Maura Metcalf has been appointed interim treasurer.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the U-S. Gibson Area Hospital Licensed Clinical Worker Tricia Nelson talks about some of the symptoms of mental illness…



Gibson Area Hospital Licensed Clinical Worker Tricia Nelson.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Monday May 15 2017

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Incoming Illinois State University students this fall won't pay more to attend the school than last year's freshman class. ISU trustees on Friday voted to hold tuition, fees and room-and-board rates steady for the 2017-2018 academic year. The board's decision approves ISU President Larry Dietz's recommendation not calling for a tuition increase despite the ongoing Illinois budget impasse.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Blue Ridge School District is looking at changing report cards for some of the districts students. Superintendent Susan Wilson talks about the changes…

 

 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Susan Wilson.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Those traveling through Farmer City will have to find a new way around part of this week. The Norfolk Southern Railroad will close Route 54 and U.S. 150 to remove the railroad track and install asphalt. The detour will be from 54 and 150 onto Center Street and turning onto Allen Street. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the week.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Recycling could be coming to Farmer City. The Farmer City city council will discuss the option of recycling at tonight’s city council meeting. Council members will also consider entering an agreement with McCumsey Roofing for the pavilion roof at South Park and authorize the repair to the sewer departments sludge pump. The Farmer City city council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue is  highlighting the importance of America's ag trade. Stephanie Ho reports…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois has approved a nearly $16 million renovation for a new medical school at the Urbana-Champaign campus. The Board of Trustees voted to spend $15.9 million to upgrade the existing Medical Sciences Building. The facility is the future home of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Currently the building houses a regional campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle continue discussions on a possible “Grand Bargain” budget. Democrats say they are being met with resistance from Republicans, while Republicans insist they are close to a deal and want to keep negotiating. State Senator Jason Barickman has the latest on the negotiations…



State Senator Jason Barickman.


 

(LeRoy-jm) -- A LeRoy business was evacuated Sunday morning after a bomb threat. LeRoy police were called to the McDonald’s for a bomb threat around 7 Sunday morning. The restaurant was evacuated while police searched the building. Nothing was found and the business reopened. Anyone with information is asked to call LeRoy police at 309-962-3310.


 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Illinois State Police are investigating a car vs IDOT work truck on I-74 Friday morning. 54-year-old Sylvester Mitchell  was traveling westbound on I-74 when he struck the rear of an IDOT work truck providing traffic control for crews working on the road. Mitchell was cited for improper lane usage.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City’s McMillen Field will be getting some upgrades. Mayor Dan Dickey says a group will be doing updates to the dugouts…



Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Friday May 12 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Efforts to jumpstart the “Grand Bargain” budget and reform deal in the Senate may be stalling out. Senate President John Cullerton tried to start moving pieces of the plan but says he was met with resistance from Republicans and expressed his frustration…

 

 

Senate President John Cullerton. Cullerton says they don’t seem to be able to reach an agreement on reforms, they are focusing now on the budget, including a tax increase. Senate Republicans say they are close on several issues and want to keep negotiating.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Workers caring for people with developmental disabilities would get a raise under a bill passed by the Illinois Senate. Direct care service providers currently make a little over minimum wage, but this legislation increases their pay to 15 dollars an hour. Senator Sam McCann of Jacksonville supports the measure, saying it’s needed to keep good workers…

 

 

State Senator Sam McCann of Jacksonville. Officials say the pay raise would cost the state about 300 million dollars a year. The bill now moves to the House.

 

(Mansfield-jm) -- A proposal for the village of Mansfield to maintain a park in the village owned by the Piatt County Forest Preserve is on hold. The forest preserve is offering the village $3,000 to mow and maintain the park. Some board members believe the village wouldn’t break even when it comes to the expenses to maintain the park.

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- Schools across the area continue to wait on funding from the state. The lack of a state budget and lack of payments is causing many districts to struggle. LeRoy Schools Superintendent Gary Tipsord provides an update on the funding for his district…

 

 

LeRoy Schools Superintendent Gary Tipsord.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Kids in the Blue Ridge School District in Grades 1-8 who are interested in basketball have a chance to participate in a summer camp. The Blue Ridge Basketball Boys and Girls Summer Camp will be June 5,6 and 7. The cost is $25 per camper. Registration and payment is due by May 22nd at any Blue Ridge school office.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA's first corn forecast for the upcoming crop year is out. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is highlighting preparedness for people with special needs. Everyone should make their family ready for an emergency says IEMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson…



IEMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson. A guide with helpful preparedness tips for each functional need, plus videos in American Sign Language are available on the website: ready dot illinois dot gov.


 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- Those interested in gardening and other horticulture activities will want to listen up. The DeWitt County Extension Office has several upcoming events says Extension Horticulture expert Candice Hart…



DeWitt County Extension Horticulture Expert Candice Hart.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The cost of health insurance for employees of the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district is going up. United Healthcare is the district's provider of health insurance. They are seeking a 13 to 18 percent increase in premiums. The superintendent of the GCMS school district says the increase is because of the state of the healthcare industry.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Thursday May 11 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate is sending a controversial abortion bill to Governor Bruce Rauner. The legislation makes sure that if Roe-V-Wade is ever overturned, abortions will still be legal in Illinois. It also expands abortion coverage for state employees and women on medicaid. Bill sponsor, Senator Heather Steans (stains) of Chicago says this is about protecting a woman's right to choose…

 

 

State Senator Heather Steans (stains) of Chicago. The Governor has indicated previously that he would veto the measure.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate has passed a bill that protects illegal immigrants detained by law enforcement. State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet voted against the measure…

 

 

State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The 2017 Hot Rod Power Tour will be making its return to the area in June. The tour will tick off on Saturday, June 10th in Kansas City before making a stop at the State Farm Center in Champaign on Tuesday, June 13th. The event is free to attend.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Blue Ridge School District is moving some money around to help cover transportation cost. Superintendent Susan Wilson says the transportation fund has taken a big hit from the lack of payments from the state…

 

 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Susan Wilson.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- Monticello has a new city administrator. The city council voted 4-1 to remove the interim tag off Terry Summers title and make him the new city administrator after the January resignation of Bob Mahrt. Summers have 14 years of experience working for the city of Monticello.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- US winter wheat production estimates, and a first look at the 2017-18 commodity marketing year, were featured in USDA's latest reports. Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State lawmakers are hearing about the benefits of medical marijuana in battling opiate addiction. There are about 40 conditions which people can get approval to use medical cannabis to treat, but fighting an addiction to painkillers is not one of them. Rush University Orthopedic Center Surgeon Doctor Charles Bush Joseph says that should be added to the list, especially for patients who get hooked as they try to manage their pain…



Rush University Orthopedic Center Surgeon Doctor Charles Bush Joseph. Others testifying at the Senate committee say using medical marijuana is finally what get them off drugs like oxycontin and vicodin.

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher village board will swear in a new village president at tonight's meeting. Mike Bayler will be take over for Milt Kelly, who decided not to run for re-election. The village board will also consider an appointment to fill a vacancy on the board, consider approving the motor fuel tax budget, consider a cell tower lease agreement, consider a TIF grant to HC properties and consider a donation to the Lucky Foot Festival. The Fisher village board meeting gets underway at 7pm.

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- May is Mental Health Awareness Month across the U-S. Gibson Area Hospital Licensed Clinical Social Worker Tricia Nelson talks about the purpose behind the month…



Gibson Area Hospital Licensed Clinical Social Worker Tricia Nelson.

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The Monticello Theatre Association is gearing up to present their thriller “Dial M for Murder” on Friday and Saturday, May 19th and 20th and Sunday, May 21st at the Phoenix Theatre. Show times Friday and Saturday are 7:30 p.m. with Sunday's at 2:30 p.m. Cost is $12.50. The show is recommended for anyone over the age of 12.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Wednesday May 10 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- More than a third of adults in the U.S are considered to be obese, and as Veronica Carter tells us, a new study suggests those who are struggling to lose weight might benefit if their doctors stayed in touch with them about the importance of eating a healthy diet…

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- University of Illinois Extension Educators will be providing free workshops for childcare providers in DeWitt, Piatt and Macon Counties. The first one kicks off on June 7th from 6 to 7:30 at the DeWitt County Extension Office in Clinton with the topic of Mealtime with kids. Additional classes include Tummy Trouble at the Piatt County Extension Office on June 26th, Healthy Role Models and Food Science is Fun, July 11th and 27th respectively at the Macon County Extension office. Advance registration is required by June 2nd. For more information, call Staci Coussens at 217-877-6042.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Those attending the 2017 Farmer City Heritage Days will have more alcoholic choices to choose from. Mayor Mike Jenkins talks about the changes…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The Monticello School District will soon own the building it houses its school buses. The school board approved purchasing the 24,000 square foot building on S. Market Street for $387,500.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois firefighters remembered their fallen colleagues in the 24th annual memorial ceremony on the state capitol lawn. Two firemen, Eric Kohlbauer of the Freeport Fire Department and Kenneth Harris of Oak Park were honored with wreaths placed at the memorial statue. Governor Bruce Rauner spoke to the crowd…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Later, several firefighters from around the state were awarded medals of honor for their service and bravery.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A clean up day will in Gibson City will be held later this month. The Gibson City Clean Up Day will take place from 8 to noon on Saturday, May 20th at Strebeck Salvage on Route 9 behind Gibson City Redi-Mix. Those attending must live within city limits and electronics will be accepted. For more information call 217-784-5129.


 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City city council has a new look. Mayor Dan Dickey says they swore in three members…



Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.



 

(Mahomet-jm) -- The Mahomet Seymour school district is reducing the price on a school they are trying to sell. The district originally listed Sangamon School at $1.8 million before lowering it to $1.3 million after no bids were submitted. A new elementary school will replace Sangamon.


 

(Undated-jm) -- Small business optimism remains high, but expectations deflate. WWHP’s Jason Madden has the details…


 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday May 9 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging the state senate to pass a student loan bill of rights. Over the past decade, student loan debt has become the largest form of consumer debt in the country, with 44 million people in the U-S owing more than a trillion dollars. Attorney General Madigan says they need to be protected…

 

 

Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The student loan bill of rights requires lenders to better inform borrowers of all their repayment options and whether their debt can be forgiven, among other things. It’s passed the House but still needs approval from the Senate.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Democratic speaker of the Illinois House has appointed envoys to find areas of compromise on a state budget deal with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Speaker Michael Madigan said Monday that Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago is one of four House Democrats who will seek common ground with the GOP administration on the state's first full budget since 2015.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It was a pretty soggy week as we hear in the latest crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says rainfall was nearly an inch above normal last week, making for some flooded fields…

 



 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 14 percent of soybeans have been planted and one percent emerged. The first cutting of alfalfa hay is now 13 percent complete. Average statewide topsoil moisture now stands at 41 percent adequate and 59 percent surplus.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- Exelon announced yesterday they removed the Clinton Power Station from service to begin a planned refueling and maintenance outage. More than 1,500 contractors, many from local unions, will be on hand for the duration of the outage. It is unknown how long the facility will be out of operation.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- School districts across the state are keeping an eye on Springfield in hopes of seeing money come in for critical services like transportation and special education. One of the districts that is being hit hard is the Blue Ridge School District says Superintendent Susan Wilson…

 

 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Susan Wilson.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorney General Lisa Madigan is pushing legislation aimed at protecting students who take out loans for college. The plan would require student loan servicers to get a state license and establish a "student loan bill of rights" which outlines information companies have to provide, including on all of their repayment options. It also creates the position of a student loan ombudsman in the attorney general's office.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has unveiled his formal portrait in the state Capitol. The 68-year-old Democrat who stepped into the job when his predecessor was ousted donated the first "interactive" portrait Monday. The portrait depicts Quinn in his "lucky" purple-striped tie. He stands in front of a background of 44 instances of people, issues and events from more than four decades of public service.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is kicking off National Travel and Tourism Week, saying tourism is a big contributor to the state’s economy. Governor Rauner says the Illinois tourism industry continues to grow with visitors to Illinois increasing to 110 million last year…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The state’s tourism office is working to turn more day trips by visitors into overnight stays, and offers plenty of suggestions and sample itineraries online at: enjoy illinois dot com.



 

(Macon County-jm) -- A garden walk will be held in Macon County in June. The Garden Walk, sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension Macon County Master Gardeners will be held on Saturday, June 11th from 2 to 6. Cost is $10 in advance, $12 the day of. For more information call the Macon County Extension office at 217-877-6042.


(Farmer City-jm) -- Harness racing will be making a return to the Farmer City/DeWitt County fair this summer. Kurt Becker will be back calling the races this summer. He talks about the return of harness racing to the fair…



Harness Racing announcer Kurt Becker.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Monday May 8 2017

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(Springfield-jm) -- Senate lawmakers are advancing a new automatic voter registration bill. Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is sponsoring the legislation, which automatically signs up visitors to certain state agencies to vote. He says this will only improve the democratic process…

 

 

State Senator Andy Manar. The House and Senate passed similar legislation last year but it was vetoed by the Governor over concerns about potential fraud. The revamped bill now moves to the House.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate has passed a bill that protects illegal immigrants detained by law enforcement. State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet voted against the measure…

 

 

State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City Police have released their weekly activity report. On May 2nd, police handled a report of a disturbance in the 400 block of N. William St, a report of trespassing was taken in the 100 block of W. Clinton Avenue, one person was cited for speeding and Joseph Aaron Seiders of Farmer City was arrested for driving with a suspended license. On May 3rd, police handled a disturbance report in the 100 block of S. Main St.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City leaders will continue discussions on possible street projects later this month. Mayor Mike Jenkins says the council wants to look at a list of possible projects…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

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(Champaign-jm) -- The State Farm Center has announced country music legend Alan Jackson is coming to Champaign this summer. Jackson and special guest Lee Ann Womack will perform at the State Farm Center on Saturday, August 26th. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 12th at 10 a.m.

 

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(Washington-jm) -- U.S. agricultural exports are doing better than expected. Will that pace hold for the rest of the fiscal year? Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner says selling the Thompson Center office building in Chicago would raise million dollars for city public schools. The J-R-T-C is sucking up valuable space and money and needs to be sold says Governor Rauner. He’s promoting a bill directing all future property tax receipts from redevelopment of the center to Chicago Public Schools and questions why the sale hasn’t happened yet…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The legislature needs to approve the sale of the J-R-T-C before it can go on the market. It’s estimated that the building needs 326 million dollars of work done.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police is announcing results from the state’s first “Distracted Driving Week.” State and local police spent last week trying to raise awareness about the growing problem of distracted driving. Master Sergeant Matt Boerwinkle says troopers issued more than 11-hundred distracted driving tickets and 984 warnings…

 

 

State Police Master Sergeant Matt Boerwinkle. Texting or talking on your cell phone without a hands free device is against the law and is a primary offense. That means cops can pull you over solely for a phone violation.





 

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(Pesotum-jm) -- Illinois State Police in Pesotum will be conducting Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement Patrols in Champaign County during the month of May. Officers will be watching for drivers under the influence, safety belt and child restraint use, speeding and distracted driving. State police say alcohol and drug impairment are a factor in more than 30 percent of all fatal crashes in Illinois and that one alcohol-related traffic fatality occurs every 53 minutes in the U-S.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- This weekend will be a big weekend of racing at the Farmer City Raceway. Thursday and Friday night is the Farmer City 74 says track president Lance Spieker…

 

 

Farmer City Raceway President Lance Spieker.

 

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(Gibson City-jm) -- More improvements could be coming to McMillen Field in Gibson City. The Gibson City city council is expected to consider dugout improvements at the field as well as consider Lott Boulevard Engineer’s final payment estimate, consider requests for the 2017 Harvest Fest and consider an amendment to the loan agreement with Heartland Bank and Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services. The Gibson City city council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

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(Undated-jm) -- The battle over net neutrality is heating up again. WWHP’s Jason Madden has the details…


 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Friday May 5 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys for social service providers suing Illinois over lack of payment during the state budget impasse have presented oral arguments before an appeals court. The Pay Now Illinois coalition sued last year in Cook County seeking to force the state to honor contracts during the two year stalemate. The judges didn't indicate when they'd issue a ruling.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- Hundreds of law enforcement officers visited Springfield Thursday to remember their fallen brothers and sisters. The annual Fallen Police Officer Memorial recognized the four officers who were killed in the Line of Duty this year. Governor Bruce Rauner spoke at the service and thanked police families for their sacrifice…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Eight other officers from as far back as 1916 were also honored at the ceremony. Their names will be added to the memorial on the capitol lawn.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City residents will have to find a new way around coming up later this month. The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced they will be removing the railroad tracks at Route 54 and U.S. 150 May 15th through the 17th. A detour will be set up at Allen Street.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- The Blue Ridge School District is transferring money into the transportation fund to help cover the costs due to a lack of state payments. Superintendent Susan Wilson says the transfer is a loan…

 

 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Susan Wilson.

 

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(Clinton-jm) -- Those in DeWitt County who need food assistance can get some tomorrow. The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will hold a food giveaway in Clinton tomorrow at the Clinton 1st Church of the Nazarene on Kleeman St in Clinton from 10 to 11:30.


 

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(LeRoy-jm) -- The 2017 LeRoy Spring Fling will be held this weekend. Organizer Sue Kline talks about some of the businesses participating…

 


LeRoy Spring Fling Organizer Sue Kline.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Senate Democrats say Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration inappropriately spent money to move records from a closed prison to new warehouse space. Sen. Andy Manar is a Bunker Hill Democrat. He questioned Corrections Department Director John Baldwin during an appropriations committee hearing. Manar says records had been stored at the former Dwight Correctional Center in Livingston County. But he says those records were moved to a newly leased Springfield warehouse.

 

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(Clinton-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will hold a clean up day at Clinton Lake tomorrow. Conservation Officer Matt Virerito says they are looking for volunteers…

 

 

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Matt Virerito.

 

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(DeLand-jm) -- The DeLand Weldon School District has a new superintendent. The school board hired current k-12 principal Amanda Geary to take over the top spot. She will continue to be principal of the k-5 portion of the school.

 

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(Clinton-jm) -- The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for their May Day Festival coming up later this month. Chamber Director Marian Brisard talks about this year's event…

 

 

Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marian Brisard.

 

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(Downs-jm) -- The village of Downs garage sales will be held this weekend. Garage sales will be held today and tomorrow from 7 until 4.

 

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(Bloomington-jm) -- Soybeans have now become the state’s number two export. WPXN’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Thursday May 4 2017

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(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is offering residents a chance to get rid of some of their hazardous household waste. Eight collection dates have been set up in May and June at locations around the state. I-E-P-A Spokesperson Kim Biggs says it’s a good time to clean out your garage and basement…

 

 

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Spokesperson Kim Biggs. The collection events will be held on a Saturday in communities like Marion, Jacksonville, Clinton, Oak Forest, Macomb and Schaumburg. For dates, visit the website: epa dot illinois to gov.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- May is Motorcycle Awareness Month and motorists are urged to “Start Seeing Motorcycles”. Motorcycles account for three percent of all vehicle registration in Illinois, but riders make up 15 percent of all traffic deaths. Governor Bruce Rauner is an avid biker and reminds that everyone needs to share the road…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Illinois State Police urge motorcyclist not to drink and ride and say distracted driving is a huge problem for both bikers and motorists.

 

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(Downs-jm) -- The Downs Village Market is looking for vendors. Organizers are looking for local vendors that sell local meat, produce, flowers and handmade items. The market runs Wednesdays starting June 7th through September 27th from 4-6 p.m. on the southwest edge of Downs near the interstate. For more information call Cheryl at 309-378-4396 or email marketmaster610@gmail.com

 

 

Updated

(Undated-jm) -- The American Red Cross will hold some blood drives in the area during the month of May. A blood drive will be held on Monday, May 22nd at the Farmer City American Legion from noon to 6 p.m. One will also be held May 25th at the First United Methodist Church in LeRoy from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.

 

Updated

(Clinton-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police are asking for volunteers to come out to Clinton Lake this Saturday to help clean up Clinton Lake. Officer Matt Virerito talks about the event…

 

 

Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police Officer Matt Virerito.

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(Springfield-jm) -- Legislation pending in the Illinois Senate aims to lower the number of veteran suicides. A recent study found that about 22 vets kill themselves each day in the U-S. The bill, already approved by the House, strives to address some of the problems that may add to a former soldier’s stress. That includes having the State Department of Veterans Affairs better help vets with mental health issues says Murphysboro Senator Paul Schimpf…

 

 

State Senator Paul Schimpf of Murphysboro. Additionally, the state would proactively seek out soldiers coming from high casualty areas and cut red tape so vets can quickly get their paperwork done and start job training and employment.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- Legislative hearings are planned for a balanced state budget proposal that focuses on responsibility and accountability without new or higher taxes. Ray Watt reports from the state capitol…

 

 

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(Fisher-jm) -- A blood drive will be held today in Fisher. The blood drive will be held at the River Valley Church of Christ on Owlcreek Drive from 4-8. For more information call Community Blood Services of Illinois at 217-531-0718.

 

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(LeRoy-jm) -- The LeRoy Spring Fling will be held this weekend. Spokesperson Sue Kline talks about this weekend's event…

 

 

LeRoy Spring Fling Spokesperson Sue Kline.

 

Updated

(Clinton-jm) -- A new Mexican restaurant is coming to Clinton and it’s owned by a popular owner. The owner of Ted’s Garage plans to open a Mexican restaurant at the former HRC West location off Route 54. No word has been given yet as to when the restaurant will open.

 

Updated

(Undated-jm) -- The 143rd Kentucky Derby will be held this Saturday at the famed Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Whether you are going to the derby or having a viewing party, you have to have a hat. If you are looking for one, Pat Milchuck with Simply Pats Hats can help…

 

 

Simply Pats Hats Owner Pat Milchuck.

 

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Wednesday May 3 2017

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(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Transportation is being awarded a grant to help fight impaired driving. The 20 thousand dollars comes from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and the Foundation For Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. I-DOT Spokesperson Kelsea Gurski says it will be used to train police officers in spotting motorists driving on drugs…

 

I-DOT Spokesperson Kelsea Gurski. 10 classes at 10 different locations will be held around the state for local law enforcement.

 

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(Undated-jm) -- Three students from Blue Ridge Intermediate Junior High will be going to the state capitol next week. The students will participate in the annual TECH 2017 Technology Demonstration at the Illinois State Capitol on Tuesday, May 9th. 8th grade students Steven Kollross, Juniper Geralds, and Hannah Cole will showcase their project entitled Digital Bytes. The purpose of TECH 2017 is to raise awareness of the critical role technology plays in preparing students to succeed in today’s world, and to show the need for increased funding for classroom technology. Students will demonstrate for lawmakers and the public the creative ways technology is being used to enhance and accelerate student achievement in Illinois schools today.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- The City of Farmer City has reached a settlement with former police chief Andrew Denno. Mayor Mike Jenkins talks about the settlement…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

Updated

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City Police have released their weekly activity report. During the past week, officers issued 6 speeding citations and 1 citation each for illegal burning, squealing or screeching tires and disobeying a stop sign. On April 22nd, police were called for a retail theft at Huck’s. The suspect was taken into custody. On April 29th, police were notified on a subject that was wanted in the 500 block of S. Maple St. That person was taken into custody. Farmer City Police provide WWHP with their weekly activity report.

 

updated

(LeRoy-jm) -- LeRoy businesses are gearing up for this weekend’s spring fling. LeRoy Spring Fling organizer Sue Kline talks about the event…

 

 

LeRoy Spring Fling Organizer Sue Kline.

 

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(Washington-jm) -- Local schools are going to get more flexibility in meeting school meal nutrition standards. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

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(Champaign-jm) -- District 10 Illinois State Police have released results of recent roadside safety checks in Champaign County. During checks, 1 person was cited for DUI while an additional person was cited for other drug or alcohol related offenses. 3 people were cited for occupant restraint offenses, 3 for registration offenses, 13 for driver’s license offenses and 10 for insurance offenses.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- The Blue Ridge School District will be making some budget amendments over the next couple of months. Superintendent Susan Wilson talks about the budget amendments…

 

 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Susan Wilson.

 

Updated

(Clinton-jm) -- The city of Clinton has announced their summer concert lineup. The concert season will kickoff with last season’s The Voice winner Sundance Head performing on June 17th. Brushville will perform on July 29th with Brooke Eden will perform on August 19th. Emily Ann Roberts and Adam Craig will close out the series on September 2nd. Attendance to the concerts are free.

 

updated

(Clinton-jm) -- The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce is preparing for their annual golf outing fundraiser. Executive Director Marian Brisard says the golf outing will be held in June…

 

 

Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marian Brisard.

 

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday May 2 2017

new

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s Small Business Week in Illinois and Governor Bruce Rauner says the state needs to celebrate and nurture small companies. Governor Rauner says the majority of people working in Illinois are employed by small businesses and that two out of three new jobs are created by small businesses. He’s been traveling the state talking to employers and has heard some of their concerns…

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Governor Rauner says that’s why he’s pushing for a freeze on property taxes, leaving it up to the voters in each community to decide if taxes should be raised.

 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn planting surged ahead despite producers losing a few days in the fields to heavy rains. Only about three days were suitable for fieldwork this past week, but State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says planting is moving along…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 13 percent of soybeans have been planted, ahead of the six percent five year average. Three percent of sorghum and 94 percent of oats are now in the ground and 67 percent of winter wheat has headed. Average statewide topsoil moisture increased to 42 percent adequate and 58 percent surplus.



 

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(McLean County-jm) -- Tax bills for McLean County residents have been released. The first payment is due June 1st while the second payment is due September 1st. Payments can be made in person, at any McLean County bank or online at www dot mclean county il dot gov.

 

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(Clinton-jm) -- The Clinton Community Educational Foundation will hold their 2nd annual Derby Day this Saturday. Foundation Board Member Eileen Carter says the event coincides with the running of the Kentucky Derby…

 

 

Clinton Community Educational Foundation Board Member Eileen Carter.

 

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(Urbana-jm) -- Carle’s Arrow ambulance has unveiled a new ambulance with a special purpose. The group unveiled their new spaceship themed pediatric transport vehicle yesterday. The ambulance will feature the regular features of an ambulance with a few exceptions including an incubator for infants and a tv. Carle employees helped raise the funds to purchase the new ambulance. It will begin its service next week.

 

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(Washington-jm) -- Significant snow totals in the Central and Southern Plains over the weekend could pose significant concerns about some of the region's' winter wheat crop. Rod Bain reports…


 

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(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is activating the state’s Emergency Operations Center to help flooded communities. The center helps coordinate emergency and relief efforts to rain soaked areas. The Governor says a big focus now is on river flooding that will increase throughout the week…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Inmates have already been deployed to help with sandbagging in Murphysboro and Desoto, and sandbags and plastic has been delivered to Dawson, Grant Tower and the Menard Correctional Center. The American Red Cross has a shelter in Marion and others are on standby if needed.


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(Champaign-jm) -- Thanks to a week of heavy rains, last month was the second wettest April on record in Illinois. Average statewide precipitation for April came in at about seven inches, but some areas received a lot more, especially over the last seven days says State Climatologist Jim Angel…



State Climatologist Jim Angel. Other areas with big recent rain totals include Kaskaskia with nearly nine inches, Steeleville and Murphysboro with more than eight and a half inches and Chester and Flora with other eight inches.


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(Pontiac-jm) -- District 6 Illinois State Police have released results of recent enforcement patrols. During alcohol countermeasure enforcement patrols, 5 people were cited for drug or alcohol offenses, 7 were cited for driver’s license offenses and 14 were cited for speeding.  During roadside safety checks, 1 person was arrested for DUI and 1 person was arrested for an unknown criminal offense.

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(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois House returns to the state capitol next week with a deadline to pass a budget. The state has been without a budget for two years. State Representative Tom Bennett says he’s optimistic things will change…



State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.


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(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson Area Hospital Auxiliary has announced the winners for their handmade quilt and afghan raffle. Michele Bein was the winner of the quilt while Jeanette Hensley was the winner of the afghan. The raffles raised over $1,000 that will go towards hospital programs the auxiliary supports.


Updated

(Champaign-jm) -- A face-disfiguring fungal disease is threatening to wipe out a snake species found in Illinois that's already a candidate for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Veronica Carter reports…


 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Monday May 1 2017

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(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Insurance is urging homeowners to review their coverage and readiness for a disaster. State Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer says it’s a good idea to make sure you are properly covered, even in the case of a weather emergency. She recommends going over your policy with your agent annually for any gaps or potential savings…

 

 

Illinois Department of Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer. Hammer says it’s also important to take a thorough inventory of items in your home in case there is a flood, storm or tornado that causes significant losses.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City police are investigating an attempted armed robbery. Police were called to Dewey’s Drive Inn just before 2:30 Friday afternoon after they say a man pulled a weapon but did not take anything. He fled westbound from the business. The suspect is described as a male approximately 5 feet 10 inches, slender build wearing dark clothes, a dark hoodie and black tennis shoes with red soles. The suspect also had the hood up and a partial mask. Anyone with information is asked to call Farmer City Police at 309-928-2111.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- Blue Ridge School District leaders are keeping an eye on Springfield as they try and prepare their budget for the upcoming school year. Superintendent Susan Wilson talks about some of the legislation they are watching at the state capitol…

 

 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Susan Wilson.

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(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City leaders will discuss an ordinance to repeal the ordinance on special use liquor licenses at tonight’s city council meeting. In addition, council members will be asked to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Blue Ridge School District for a school resource officer, discuss a resolution for the 2017 motor fuel tax program, the 2017 Farmer City Haunted Forest and accept bids for a 2007 Chevy impala police car. The Farmer City city council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

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(LeRoy-jm) -- Today is the final day to register to participate in LeRoy’s city wide garage sales. The garage sales will be held May 18-20th. For more information or to register call Courtney Bruning at 309-275-5885.

 

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(Washington-jm) -- The USDA's latest Ag Prices Report shows an overall increase in prices received, boosted primarily by what happened with the March livestock index. Rod Bain reports…

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- The state would have to buy more American-made products under a bill passed by the House last week. The measure requires the state to procure goods from Illinois companies if possible, and if not, at least from U-S based businesses. It’s sponsored by Representative Jay Hoffman of Collinsville…

 

 

State Representative Jay Hoffman of Collinsville. Opponents worry this will mean higher costs for the state. The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote.

 

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(DeLand-jm) -- The future leadership direction of the DeLand Weldon School District could be decided tomorrow night. The school board will hold a special meeting tomorrow night to discuss whether to keep interim superintendent Jeff Holmes on for the next school year or try and hire a full-time person. The Illinois Association of School Boards has been brought in to help with the search.

 

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(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City residents will notice some water discoloration as the city flushes hydrants this month. Water department members will begin flushing hydrants on Sunday, May 14th beginning on the northwest side of town, then moving northeast, southeast and finishing on the southwest side. They expect flushing could take about 2 weeks.

 

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(Clinton-jm) -- The Clinton Community Educational Foundation is gearing up for their Derby Day fundraiser coming up this Saturday at the Clinton Country Club. Foundation Board member Eileen Carter has how you can get your tickets…

 

 

Clinton Community Educational Foundation Board member Eileen Carter.




 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Friday April 28 2017

New

(Undated-jm) -- A 22-year-old soldier from Bloomington-Normal was one of two American Service members killed in Afghanistan Wednesday. Army Ranger Josh Rodgers died in the northeastern province of Afghanistan. He was a 2013 graduate of Normal Community High School.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Comptroller says increased revenues coming into the state during tax season have allowed her to release more than $800 million in payments for health care services. Comptroller Susan Mendoza said the money will go to nearly a dozen managed-care operations in Illinois serving Medicaid patients. The payments come as the state of Illinois has a bill backlog of more than $11.8 billion amid the lack of a state budget.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan met briefly to discuss what has been a two-year budget stalemate. Madigan noted after the meeting Thursday that there's a growing cry from school superintendents, human services providers and credit-rating houses to adopt a full year state budget. Rauner said in a statement that Madigan "hinted" that he might support a budget "with changes that will help create jobs," fund education and reduce property taxes.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- House Republicans says the Governor’s office is rescinding the layoff of 124 Illinois Department of Corrections nurses. The plan was to replace the nurses with private contractors, but Representative Tim Butler of Springfield says they will not lose their jobs after all. He says he hopes both sides can return to the bargaining table very soon….

 

 

State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield. The Governor’s office had estimated using all privately contracted nurses would save the state about eight million dollars.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- Presidential candidates would have to disclose their tax returns under a bill passed by the Senate Thursday. The measure, sponsored by Senator Dan Biss of Skokie, requires candidates running for the top office to release the last five years of tax returns in order to appear on the Illinois ballot…

 

 

State Senator Dan Biss of Skokie. The bill now moves to the House for a vote.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- Unemployment rates were down last month in most Illinois metro areas compared to one year ago. Only the Rockford area saw an increase in the jobless rate from March of 2016 to March of 2017. The bad news is that more than half of the metro areas lost jobs says Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough…

 

 

State Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough. Locally, in DeWitt County the rate fell from 6.4 percent to 4.9 percent. In Piatt County the rate fell from 5.7 percent to 4.6 percent. In McLean County the rate fell from 5.5 percent to 4.3 percent. In Champaign County the rate fell from 5.4 percent to 4.4 percent.



 

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(Undated-jm) -- A Clinton man's life sentence for sexually assaulting three children has been reduced to 45 years. The new sentence for 24-year-old Brett Wilson comes after a 2015 ruling by the 4th District Appellate Court found the life sentence a violation of his constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment. Wilson was convicted on 5 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault back in 2013.

 

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(Farmer City-jm) -- The Farmer City city council has approved their budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Mayor Mike Jenkins talks about their budget…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

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(Undated-jm) -- The Drug Enforcement Administration will hold a drug takeback day tomorrow from 10 to 2. Several area community police departments will be participating. In Heyworth, residents can take their unwanted drugs to the Heyworth village hall. In Clinton, residents can take their drugs to the police department. In LeRoy, residents can go to city hall. And in Farmer City, The Medicine Shoppe will be the dropoff site.

 

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(Champaign-jm) -- How does the forecast look for the month of May and beyond. State Climatologist Jim Angel has the answer…

 

 

State Climatologist Jim Angel.

 

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Enjoy different types of hash browns with your favorite toppings of cheese, gravy, sour cream and other sauces. Saturday from 9-11am at the Farmer City United Methodist Church. Donations will be accepted for our $5,000 Famine Fundraiser to benefit the Salt Creek Resource Center Food Pantry.


Farmer City city wide garage sales will be held today and tomorrow.

Gibson City city wide garage sales will be held today and tomorrow.

 

Unemployed Architects will be playing the best Folk and Classic Rock music from 8-midnight at The Shed in Saybrook Saturday evening

 

The Ellsworth Fire Department will host a pancake and sausage breakfast Sunday April 30th from 7am til noon. $6 for adults, $5 for Children 5-12, 4 and under are free.

 

The Clinton Lake Clean-up day for tomorrow has been moved to Saturday May 6th at 9am at Mascoutin Beach area. Volunteers are still needed. 

 
The LeRoy Chamber of Commerce Spring Fling is May 6th and 7th. Check out the Chamber Facebook page for participating businesses where you can shop and save.

 

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) — Illinois State University is establishing a new academy to help youth in foster care prepare for and graduate from college. University officials announced that ISU received $250,000 from an anonymous donor and the Department of Children and Family Services to start a First Star Academy.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Democratic-controlled Illinois Senate has narrowly endorsed a plan requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns. Senators approved the proposal 32-19 on Thursday. It would mandate that presidential candidates release five years' worth of tax returns to appear on the Illinois ballot. The plan is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston. Republicans accused him of using the issue to play politics in the wake of President Donald Trump's election.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- Gun dealers would have to be licensed by the state under legislation clearing the Illinois Senate Thursday. The idea has been debated for several years and heavily supported by Chicago area lawmakers like Senator Kwame Raoul who say they are tired of the violence on their streets. He urged his colleagues to vote for the bill, saying their districts are not immune to crime…

 

 

State Senator Kwame Raoul. Opponents argue that more guns laws aren't’ going to curb the violence. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

 

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(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate will have the opportunity to consider a balanced state budget plan that could end two years of stalemate, and do so without putting the burden on Illinois taxpayers. Ray Watt has the details from the state capitol…

 

 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- State lawmakers are working on a bill to help victims of domestic violence leave their abuser. The measure let's victims separate from their abuser’s cell phone plan, while keeping the same number. Senator Steve Stadelman of Rockford says this is an important step in getting out of an abusive situation…

 

 

State Senator Steve Stadelman of Rockford. Currently, cellular customers must have permission from the contract holder to leave the plan with their same phone number.

 

New

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois lawmakers rarely know how much bills cost before voting for them according to a new report from the Illinois Policy Institute. WWHP’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

 

new

(Springfield-jm) -- A conservation group is raising questions about Dow Chemical’s attempts to convince the Trump administration to drop studies that show its pesticides could harm endangered species. Veronica Carter reports…


 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Thursday April 27 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — The administration of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says it wants a judge to decide whether state employees who were improperly hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn should keep union contract job protections. Rauner's office says in a statement Wednesday at least 36 employees who were improperly hired into Illinois Department of Transportation positions remain employed with the state. The Rauner administration says they can't be fired to collective bargaining protections.

 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- A new report finds an alarming number of three and four year olds are getting kicked out of preschool and daycare. The study from the group, “Fight Crime: Invest in Kids” finds that children in public preschools are three times more likely to be expelled than students in grades k through 12 and 13 times more likely to be booted from daycare. Representative Juliana Stratton of Chicago is sponsoring a bill that aims to keep kids in their school or child care center…

 

 

State Representative Juliana Stratton of Chicago. The bill has already passed the House and awaits a vote in the Senate.

 

New

(Clinton-jm) -- A Clinton church is hosting a Ladies Night Out tonight. The First Christian Church is holding the event tonight starting at 6:30 p.m. Leslie Kent will be the guest speaker with music by Leslie and Wayne Kent.

 

New

(Clinton-jm) -- The Clinton Community Educational Foundation will be holding their Derby Day coming up May 6th. Clinton Community Educational Foundation Vice President Eileen Carter says the event will be held at the Clinton Country Club…

 

 

Clinton Community Educational Foundation Vice President Eileen Carter.

 

New

(McLean County-jm) -- Visitors to the McLean County Law and Justice Center will no longer be allowed to bring in their cell phones starting in June. The new rule put into effect by Sheriff Jon Sandage came about after several issues with cellphones being used in the courtroom by visitors. Several area courthouses have rules on cellphones. In Champaign County, visitors have to take their phones over to the sheriff’s office. In DeWitt County, security staff will hold onto your phone for you. In Peoria and Logan Counties, you can have your cell phone on you but it must be on silent.

 

New

(Washington-jm) -- The new Agriculture Secretary says he wants USDA to remove obstacles to farmers and their success. Gary Crawford reports…


 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois retirement board is terminating the pension that imprisoned former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert receives for his service in the Illinois General Assembly. The General Assembly Retirement System's board of trustees voted 5-2 Wednesday to end Hastert's $28,000 annual pension. Hastert is serving a 15-month prison term in a hush-money case stemming from his sexual abuse of students when he was a school teacher more than 35 years ago.

 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- Supporters of raising the minimum wage in Illinois are rallying at the state capitol. Advocates say no one can live on the current minimum wage of eight dollars and 25 cents an hour. Representative Will Guzzardi of Chicago is sponsoring a bill gradually raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars by 2022. He spoke at the rally…

 

 

State Representative Will Guzzardi. Opponents argue the increase would hurt businesses. Guzzardi says he’s trying to round up enough support to vote on the legislation very soon.

 

New

(Undated-jm) -- A proposal that would allow 16 and 17 year olds to register to be on the state’s organ and tissue donor registry when they get their driver’s license or identification card has cleared another hurdle. The bill passed 56 to 0 in the Senate Wednesday. Earlier this spring, the House passed similar legislation. If approved by the Governor, Illinois would join 47 other states in allowing 16 and 17 year olds to donate.

 

New

(Clinton-jm) -- The C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum will be celebrating local agriculture in DeWitt County. Spokesperson Larry Buss says local school kids will have the chance to learn about agriculture on May 19th…

 

 

C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum Spokesperson Larry Buss.

 

New

(Macon County-jm) -- Youth horse enthusiasts have a chance to learn more about horses this summer. The University of Illinois Extension will provide a beginner’s clinic in Macon County where participants ages 8 to 18 will learn about horse care, proper grooming techniques and riding fundamentals. The three week course will take place on Monday mornings from 9 to 11 a.m. on June 5, 12 and 19th. Cost is $15 for 4-H members and $20 for non-members. For more information  call the Macon County Extension Office at 217-877-6042.

 

Updated w/new voice

(Springfield-jm) -- The state is receiving 16 million dollars in federal funding to help fight the opioid crisis. The money will be used to support new treatment and recovery services and to set up a new opioid crisis hotline says Illinois Department of Human Services Spokesperson Meredith Krantz…

 

 

Illinois Department of Human Services Spokesperson Meredith Krantz. The funding comes from the 21st Century Cures Act which includes about a billion dollars for states over the next two years to battle opioid abuse.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Wednesday April 26 2017

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign athletic director says his department was operating at about a $6.2 million deficit in 2016, with both revenue and spending numbers ranking in the bottom half of the Big Ten. The News-Gazette reports that Josh Whitman delivered a presentation Monday to the university's Senate Executive Committee where he provided an overview of the athletic department as a whole.

 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers in the Illinois House approved an abortion rights bill Tuesday. The legislation, passed on a vote of 62 to 55, ensures that if Roe-V-Wade is ever overturned, Illinois law would still allow abortions. It also lifts restrictions on Medicaid and state employee health insurance paying for the procedure. It’s supported by Representative Chris Welch of Westchester…

 

 

State Representative Chris Welch of Westchester. Opponents question spending taxpayer money on abortions. Governor Bruce Rauner has said he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

 

New

(Piatt County-jm) -- A University of Illinois Master Gardener will be available to answer your horticulture questions. The Master Gardener will be at the Piatt County Extension Office in Monticello on Monday mornings from 9 until noon. For more information or to talk to the master gardener call 217-762-2191.

 

New

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City will be getting two new police vehicles for the police department. Mayor Mike Jenkins says the department is in desperate need of vehicles…

 


Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Governor Bruce Rauner says he wants the state's children to let him know their thoughts on education. In a news release, the governor asks students to post questions about education to his Facebook page either now or during a live Facebook chat on Thursday at 11 a.m.
 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- Hundreds of Illinois women and several state lawmakers rallied at the state capitol Tuesday for women’s rights. The crowd was fired up at a rally in from of the statehouse, and then urged to meet with their local legislators. Representative Carol Ammons of Champaign told the group that she is inspired by their activism…



State Representative Carol Ammons of Champaign. Others talked about the need to pass the abortion rights bill and to ratify the equal rights amendment which passed congress in 1972.


New

(Undated-jm) -- There will be a contested race for the 13th Congressional seat. Representative Carol Ammons of Urbana announced Tuesday she will run against Rodney Davis. Dr. David Gill of Bloomington has also announced his intentions to run.


New

(Undated-jm) -- The Illinois General Assembly is considering another stopgap bill. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City talks about the bill…



State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday April 25, 2017

new

(Springfield-jm) -- This is National Infant Immunization Week and the Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding parents about the importance of vaccines. The U.S. currently has the safest and most effective supply of vaccines in history, and it’s always a good idea to remember the life threatening illnesses they are preventing says public health spokesperson Melaney Arnold…

 

 

Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold. Arnold says making sure your kids are immunized helps keep your family healthy and the community, since some children are too young to be fully vaccinated or can’t get the shots because of an underlying condition.

 

New

(Springfield-jm) -- Producers have made some nice headway planting corn over the past week. There was an average of nearly five days available for fieldwork last week, and rainfall was below normal. Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says that left time for spraying, tillage and planting…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Four percent of soybeans and one percent of sorghum has been planted 28 percent of the winter wheat crop has headed. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to six percent short, 86 percent adequate and eight percent surplus.

 

New

(Clinton-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police is looking for volunteers to come out to Clinton Lake this Saturday for Clinton Lake Clean Up Day. Volunteers are asked to meet at 9 a.m. at Mascoutin Beach.

New

(Clinton-jm) -- Planning for this year’s Apple and Pork Festival is already underway. The event is held at the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum. Spokesperson Larry Buss talks about this year’s event…

 

C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum Spokesperson Larry Buss.

 

Updated

(DeWitt County-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is studying an old railway route for the potential of turning it into a trail. The trail would run from McLean County to Piatt County and go through areas like Farmer City, Mansfield and LeRoy. The hope is to turn the old rail route into a multi-use recreational route for walkers, runner and bicyclist.

 

update

(Undated-jm) -- Lawmakers return to the state capitol this week. When they return they continue to face a long backlog of unpaid bills, a growing pension crisis and no state budget. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there has been talk of another stopgap bill…

 

*

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

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