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WWHP 7am/8am News Wednesday June 28 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — Attorneys in a lawsuit over $2 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills say court-ordered talks to resolve the issue haven't made progress and they're asking a judge to order Illinois to start paying $1 billion a month it heads into a third year without a budget. The request in a Tuesday filing in Chicago federal court comes three weeks after Judge Joan Lefkow ruled Illinois isn't in compliance with previous court orders to pay health care bills. Tuesday's filing says "the parties are at an impasse."
 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — House Democrats have advanced a statewide property tax freeze to appease the Republican governor and get a budget before Saturday's deadline. The Revenue and Finance Committee approved the measure 7-1 Tuesday. The four-year freeze moves to the House floor. Gov. Bruce Rauner has insisted that property taxes be held in check as part of a budget deal. The state has had no annual spending plan for two years and another fiscal year begins Saturday.
 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- School districts across the state are watching to see if the state reaches a budget before the June 30th deadline. LeRoy Schools have already made some cuts says Superintendent Gary Tipsord…

 

 

LeRoy Schools Superintendent Gary Tipsord.

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressman John Shimkus is applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s withdrawal from the Waters of the United States rule. The rule gave the EPA jurisdiction over ditches, creeks and man-made ponds even on private property. The rule was put in under the Obama Administration.


 

(Washington-jm) -- It's too early to forecast so-called "bumper" crops for Midwest producers, but lately it's been tossed around as a possibility, given the good weather. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The FBI says it has located the car that a missing Chinese scholar studying at the University of Illinois was last seen getting into earlier this month. The FBI said in a Tuesday statement that it has received "numerous leads" regarding the black Saturn Astra four-door hatchback and will not need any further information on the vehicle. Authorities added they've developed "several additional leads" in the active investigation.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Leaders of the Illinois General Assembly are scoping a budget plan from House Democrats that would raise income taxes and make deep spending cuts. Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago emerged from a Tuesday afternoon meeting of Democratic and Republican leaders of the General Assembly. He says the plan presented at the meeting is very similar to one the Senate OK'd in May. It would raise about $5 billion from an income tax increase and spending cuts would exceed $3 billion.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- House Democrats are advancing a property tax relief bill that they say should meet the Governor’s requests. This version freezes property taxes for four years, and exempts Chicago, Chicago Public Schools and 17 other struggling school districts. Representative Mike Zalewski of Riverside says it’s a plan that should move things along…



State Representative Mike Zalewski of Riverside. Republican lawmakers say the proposal is a good start, but isn’t really relief since there are multiple exemptions. They pledge to keep negotiating.


(Gibson City-jm) -- A historic walk will take place in Gibson City on July 16th. The tour of Sangamon Avenue in Gibson City will feature local residents portraying special people in the city’s past and telling the history of six downtown buildings. The tours will begin at 1pm and 3pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth 5-18. Advance tickets are available at the Moyer District Library.


 

(Undated-jm) -- There appears to be some progress towards talks of a compromise on a state budget. Lawmakers have until midnight Friday to reach a deal before the end of the fiscal year. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says there are several reforms he would like to see to turn the state around…



State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday June 27 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois is on track to become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to "junk" status, which would deepen its multibillion-dollar deficit and cost taxpayers more for years to come. At least two major ratings agencies have warned they will lower Illinois' creditworthiness to below investment grade if feuding lawmakers fail to agree on a state budget for a third straight year. That would increase the amount the state will have to pay to borrow money.


(Farmer City-jm) -- The Farmer City city council voted down a request by the Heritage Days committee to provide $10,000 a year, for three years for the festival. Mayor Mike Jenkins explains the council’s decision…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

McLEAN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois health officials say they're seeing an increase in tick-borne illness among residents in the state. Department of Public Health entomologist Linn Haramis tells The Pantagraph that there were more than 40 confirmed cases in 2000. By 2010, the number increased to 200 cases. The provisional total for 2016 is nearly 350 cases. The full number is likely greater because the department only counts cases confirmed by testing.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The condition of the corn and soybean crops improved last week as we hear in the weekly crop report. It was a cool and fairly dry week and crop’s fared pretty well says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Seven percent of soybeans are now blooming and 70 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture stands at two percent very short, 17 percent short, 78 percent adequate and three percent surplus.


 

(Macon County-jm) -- Macon County 4-H’ers will be able to participate in more activities. ADM donated $15,000 to help cover fees for underserved youth, agriculture after school and summer programs and increasing youth interest in robotics. More than 350 participants will benefit from the donation.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed a new director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Beverly "BJ" Walker will take over the agency responsible for child protection and wards of the state. She served in a similar role as the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Resources from 2004 to 2011. Walker replaces George Sheldon, who resigned in May in the face of an ethics probe and as the agency was in the midst of a controversy over a child death.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities are searching for a young Chinese scholar who vanished from the University of Illinois three weeks ago as she headed to sign an apartment lease. Yingying Zhang's disappearance is being treated as a kidnapping. The case has shaken staff and students at Illinois' flagship public school in Urbana-Champaign. And it's led some parents of Chinese students currently studying at American universities to question whether it's safe send to their children to the United States.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House Republicans say their Democratic colleagues are going to have to meet them halfway to get a budget deal done. House Speaker Mike Madigan has said he wants the G-O-P to put 30 votes on any spending and revenue plan they pass. Minority Leader Jim Durkin says his caucus is willing to work with the Democrats to reach an agreement…

 

 

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. Durkin says his members are meeting with Democratic negotiators and hopes they can hammer out a deal on these reforms as well as a budget.


 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressman Adam Kinzinger is joining 15 other congressional members to create the Friends of a Free, Stable and Democratic Syria Caucus. The bipartisan caucus will discuss the conflict in Syria and advance national and international efforts to bring justice and accountability in Syria.


 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers are down to the final week to work together on a budget compromise. One of the sticking points is workers compensation reform. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City hi-lites the need for workers compensation reform…

 

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Monday June 26 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has threatened to reject a plan extending the funding mechanism for the state's 911 call centers, saying proposed fee increases are too high and the plan is loaded with other ideas. The Republican's administration issued a memo, saying he wants lawmakers to send him a "clean bill" by next week's end. That's when the plan sunsets. The extension is needed to ensure 911 centers continue to get funding.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Frustration and finger pointing continue as lawmakers wrap up the first three days of special session. The Governor called the special session and encouraged the legislature to pass a balanced budget with reforms. But Senate President John Cullerton questions whether everyone wants to get a deal done, and says the Senate already did its part when Democrats passed a budget last month…

 

 

Senate President John Cullerton. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says he’s been meeting with House Speaker Mike Madigan to continue negotiations. He says they’ve made progress on worker’s compensation reform.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Judges will be encouraged to prescribe longer sentences for repeat gun offenders under a plan signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner. The idea is to help curb street violence in Chicago. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson attended the bill signing Friday with the Republican governor at the Capitol. The law also introduces a diversion program for non-violent first-time offenders and creates an Illinois State Police-led violent crime intelligence task force.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- The LeRoy School Board has approved their budget for the upcoming school year. Superintendent Gary Tipsord talks about the budget…

 

 

LeRoy Schools Superintendent Gary Tipsord.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City leaders will meet tonight in special session to name an interim city manager. The city council is expected to name Sue McLaughlin as interim city manager. Police Chief Terry Scott is also expected to speak to the council. The special city council meeting for Farmer City gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City police have released their recent activity report. During the past week officers handled a harassment report in the 300 block of W. Water St., a damage to property report in the 900 block of N. John St., a child custody incident in the 100 block of S. Main St., a disorderly conduct incident in the 800 block of N. John St., and a child custody incident in the 800 block of W. High St.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo wrapped up Saturday in Monticello. Brittany Miller was named the 2017 Rodeo Queen. 2016 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo Queen Lanie Randall talks about her experience as the rodeo queen…

 

 

2016 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo Queen.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has threatened to reject a plan extending the funding mechanism for the state's 911 call centers, saying proposed fee increases are too high and the plan is loaded with other ideas. The Republican's administration issued a memo, saying he wants lawmakers to send him a "clean bill" by next week's end. That's when the plan sunsets. The extension is needed to ensure 911 centers continue to get funding.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is signing a new law that aims to curb gun violence in Illinois. The law lets judges impose stiffer sentences for repeat gun offenders. Senator Kwame Raoul of Chicago has seen the violence firsthand, and was a lead negotiator of the bill…

 

 

State Senator Kwame Raoul of Chicago. The law also strives to rehabilitate low level criminals by increasing access to educational and job training opportunities.

 


(Springfield-jm) -- As summer storms pop up, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is reminding families about lightning safety. More than 100 people have died from lightning strikes in Illinois over the past 50 years. And those that survive often suffer long term effects such as memory loss and chronic pain. That’s why I-EMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson says it’s important to take the threat of lightning seriously…



I-EMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson. Once your inside Thompson says you should avoid taking a shower and washing dishes since lightning could hit your pipes. You should stay inside for half an hour after you hear the last rumbles of thunder.
 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The spring legislative session saw few hi-lites with no work on a budget. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says one of the hi-lites with procurement reform…

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Illinois State Police are looking for a person involved in a hit and run with a state trooper in Champaign. Police say 29-year-old Turhan Levelle Sims of Champaign was southbound on Champaign Street at Bradley Avenue when he failed to stop, striking a marked state police cruiser. The impact sent Sims car into two other parked cars before crashing into the porch of a house. Sims fled the scene on foot. Anyone with information is asked to call Illinois State Police in Pesotum.

 

 

(Piatt County-jm) -- The Piatt County Farm Bureau will hold a tractor drive in July. Spokesperson Emily Zelhart talks about the drive…

 

 

Piatt County Farm Bureau Tractor Drive Spokesperson Emily Zelhart.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Friday June 23 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The unemployment rate dropped over the year in nearly all metro areas. 13 metro areas enjoyed a decline in the jobless rate from May of 2016 to May of 2017. Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough (goff) says there was some job growth…

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough. Locally, in DeWitt County, the unemployment rate went down from 5 point 1 percent to 4 point 1 percent. In Piatt County, the unemployment rate went down from 4 point 3 percent to 3 point 6 percent. In McLean County, the unemployment rate went down from 4 point 5 percent to 3 point 8 percent.

 

 

(Saybrook-jm) -- The 2017 Saybrook Stars and Stripes is tomorrow. Spokesperson Sam Homerding says there is a full slate of activities planned…

 

 

Saybrook Stars and Stripes Spokesperson Sam Homerding.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- The LeRoy Chamber of Commerce is looking for participants for this year’s 4th of July Jamboree 5k fun run. The event is set to take place on Saturday, July 1st  starting and ending at LeRoy Elementary School. For more information or to register call 824-72

 

 

 

(FARMER CITY-dg)-The Farmer City/DeWitt County Fair wants to invite Pre-K thru 6th Grade students to a FREE posterboard workshop. Posterboard & art supplies will be provided. Poster contest entry fee will be paid for all participants. Come make your poster to enter in the fair poster contest. Dates available to attend are tomorrow  from 9AM - noon and Sunday - July 9th 2PM - 4PM.

 

(Normal-jm) -- The McLean County Relay for Life is this evening at Normal Community High School. American Cancer Society Community Manager Kimberly Wright talks about the event…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Kimberly Wright.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher School District has approved a lease to own contract for two buses. The district will have to pay a total of $71,250 over three years to own the buses. The new buses will be handicap accessible.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo kicked off  last night in Monticello. 2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo Queen Brittany Miller talks about what is happening today at the rodeo…

 

 

2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo Queen Brittany Miller.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging families to watch for rabid bats and animals. More than a dozen bats have tested positive for rabies so far this year in Illinois says State Public Health Veterinarian Connie Austin…

 

 

State Public Health Veterinarian Connie Austin. Austin advises if you have been bitten by a bat do not kill or release it until you’ve contacted your doctor or local  health department. They can help determine if you’ve been exposed to rabies. If the bat is available for testing and the results are negative, preventative treatment is not necessary.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The Coliseum in Bloomington will have a new name. The group announced Normal based Grossinger Motors has been awarded the naming rights at a cost of $175,000 a year through 2022. The group takes over the naming rights after U.S. Cellular opted not to renew their agreement.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo continues tonight with the coronation of the queen. 2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo Queen Brittany Miller talks about what is happening Saturday…

 

 

2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo Queen Brittany Miller.

 

 

(McLean County-jm) -- McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael has announced she will run for re-election in 2018. Michael was elected county clerk in 2010 and won re-election in 2014. She is the first candidate to announce a run for office. The primary election is March 20th with the general election November 6th.

 

 

(Saybrook-jm) -- Saybrook will hold their annual Stars and Stripes Celebration Saturday. One of the hi-lites is three bands that will be performing says spokesperson Sam Homerding…

 

 

Saybrook Stars and Stripes Celebration Spokesperson Sam Homerding.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Thursday June 22 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Rough estimates show that it costs nearly $48,000 for one day of legislative special session, factoring in travel and per diem payments for lawmakers. The Secretary of the Senate's office provided an estimate, accounting for $111 daily per diem and 39 cents per mile for 177 members of the General Assembly. The total also includes paying staff needed when lawmakers are at the Capitol. However, the actual cost may be lower if there isn't full attendance or lawmakers forgo per diem payments.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There wasn’t much action in Springfield for the first day of the special session. Both the House and Senate spent just a few minutes in special session as frustration continues to grow. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says the recently proposed Republican plan will end the budget stalemate, but says the ball is now in the House Democrats’ court to call it for a vote…

 

 

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. House Democrats say they have already passed some of the Governor’s requested reforms and that the G-O-P plan is not balanced.

 

(FARMER CITY-dg)-The Farmer City/DeWitt County Fair wants to invite Pre-K thru 6th Grade students to a FREE posterboard workshop. Posterboard & art supplies will be provided. Poster contest entry fee will be paid for all participants. Come make your poster to enter in the fair poster contest. Dates available to attend are Saturday - June 24th from 9AM - noon and Sunday - July 9th 2PM - 4PM. This is Sponsored by Farmer City / DeWitt County Fair, the Farmer City Chamber of Commerce, the Farmer City American Legion Joe Williams Post 55 and 98.3 WWHP.

 

 

 

(Saybrook-jm) -- The 2017 Saybrook Stars and Stripes is this weekend. Spokesperson Sam Homerding talks about this year’s event…

 

 

Saybrook Stars and Stripes Spokesperson Sam Homerding.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- LeRoy police are asking for the public’s help in finding a registered child sexual predator. 30-year-old Savoy Jefferson of LeRoy is wanted on two outstanding McLean County warrants for violating the sex offender registration act. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call LeRoy police at 309-962-3310.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Farmer City city council will meet in special session tonight where they are expected to approve an interim city manager. The council meeting will be in executive session starting at 7 p.m.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City is moving forward with plans to work on the Prairie Ridge detention pond. Mayor Mike Jenkins says the city council approved the work at their city council meeting this week…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

 

(Piatt County-jm) -- Pool owners in Piatt County who do not have the proper barriers will be required to bring them into compliance. The county will begin enforcing the state statute that requires a minimum 42-inch high fence for in ground pools. Above ground pools do not have to have a fence but are required to have some sort of locking mechanism.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — An online fundraising effort has brought in more than $80,000 for family of a visiting scholar from China who disappeared from the University of Illinois. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that the U of I Community Credit Union setup the website to help relatives of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang, who disappeared June 9. University officials say Zhang's father, aunt and boyfriend have arrived from China and are staying in university housing.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois lawmakers tasked with resolving the state’s unprecedented budget impasse gathered in Springfield Wednesday. Prior to the start of the session, State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington, one of the Republican leaders and minority spokesperson on the Higher Education Committee spoke about higher education from the compromise budget package that is out there now…

 

 

State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- Monticello’s new city administrator’s contract has several incentives. Terry Summers was selected to replace Robert Mahrt after he resigned in January. According to the four year contract, Summers will be reimbursed for completing his master’s degree and he will receive a 2 percent pay raise to his $82,000 annual base pay.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City is considering changes to their wind turbine ordinance. Mayor Dan Dickey says they are trying to promote alternative forms of energy in the community…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- Four people were injured following an accident on U.S. 51 north of Clinton Tuesday. One of the people had to be airlifted to an area hospital. The road had to be shut down for several hours as police investigated the crash. The DeWitt County Sheriff’s office says they have handed the investigation over to state police.

 

(LEROY-dg)-The LeRoy American Legion Ruel Neal Post 79 is hosting a Country Jamboree on July 8th with Dinner from 6-8pm and music from 7-10 pm.  

Chili and/ or Ham & Beans & Cornbread will be served.  Music will be provided by Harlan “Pop” Bottles and Friend’s. This is a Fundraiser for an American Legion Scholarship in honor of WW 2 Veteran Harlan “Pop” Bottles. Tickets are $12 per person and are limited, so get them now.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo kicks off today in Monticello. Rodeo Queen Brittany Miller talks about the first night of the rodeo…

 

2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo Queen Brittany Miller.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- A food giveaway sponsored by the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be held in Bloomington in June. The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will hold the food giveaway on Saturday, June 24th from 10 to 11:30 at the Regional Alternative School on W. Washington St. The giveaway is for all McLean County residents who meet income eligibility guidelines.

 

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Wednesday June 21 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — A progress report filed in federal court shows that Illinois' child welfare agency has slowly made "incremental" improvements, but concerns linger about the impact of the state's budget impasse and the agency's leadership. The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and outside experts are monitoring progress the Department of Children and Family Services makes in several areas. Attorneys met in court Tuesday for a hearing about the report.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is calling for unity as lawmakers head into a 10 day special session. As the legislature heads back to Springfield, Governor Rauner is urging House and Senate members to come together, compromise and pass a balanced budget…

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Governor Rauner is asking lawmakers to pass a budget plan proposed by Republicans last week that also includes some of his proposed reforms. He says failure to act is not an option.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Foo Fighters will be making a stop at the State Farm Center in Champaign in November. The rock band will be at the State Farm Center on November 8th at 7:30 as part of their fall tour. Tickets go on sale Thursday, July 13th at 10 a.m.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s business climate is at risk if the state doesn’t pass a budget and reforms by the June 30th deadline. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says some business groups are calling out lawmakers for their lack of bipartisanship and compromise during the spring session…

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- A DeWitt County group will be holding an expo today. Life Center for Independent Living will hold the expo at the DeWitt County Friendship Center in Clinton from 3:30-6:30. The focus of the expo will be on low vision and the resources available including a low vision support group. For more information about low vision or the low vision support group, call the DeWitt County Friendship Center at 217-935-9411.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo kicks off this week. Rodeo Queen Brittany Miller talks about this year’s rodeo…

 

 

2017 Piatt County Trailblazers Rodeo Queen Brittany Miller.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois legislators have been called to the state Capitol to attempt solving a budget impasse that could enter a third straight year. There are some options on the table as the feud between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats controlling the Legislature drags on. Meanwhile, the gridlock has hit the state's credit rating, social services and threatens to halt transportation projects.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- State agencies are saving millions of dollars through an energy efficiency program. Several agencies are taking advantage of the “free lights” program, installing more efficient bulbs and lighting upgrades in state-owned facilities. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Molly Lunn says it’s a win-win situation…

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Molly Lunn. It’s estimated the program will save the state about 16 million dollars in reduced energy costs over the life of the products.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- Monticello is looking to fill a vacancy on the city council. Ward 3 alderman Lyle Murdock died last week after four years on the council. Mayor Larry Stoner will name a new alderman, who will serve until the 2019 municipal election.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The McLean County Relay for Life is this Friday at Normal Community High School starting at 4 p.m. American Cancer Society Community Manager Kimberly Wright says one of the hi-lites of the evening's activities is the survivor ceremony…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Kimberly Wright. The theme for this year’s Relay is family game night.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Officials and the family of a Chinese scholar are offering $40,000 for information leading to an arrest in the disappearance of the woman from the University of Illinois. The family of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang announced they're working with Champaign County Crime Stoppers to offer the reward. It comes in addition to the FBI's reward of up to $10,000 for information to help locate her. Zhang was last seen in Urbana June 9.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- When lawmakers return to the state capitol today, one of the focuses will be on education funding reform. State Senator Jason Barickman is on the committee tasked with coming up with a fair funding formula for all the schools in the state. He says they have bipartisan support for a reform package…

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday June 20 2017

 

(Washington-jm) -- A Congressional House Appropriations Committee has unveiled a $4 billion funding increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 2018. Included in the increase is $8.4 million for mental health services, $7.3 million for homeless veterans’ programs and $186 million for suicide prevention initiatives.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Producers made a lot of headway harvesting winter wheat as we hear in the weekly crop report. With about five days suitable for fieldwork, Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says farmers made some nice progress…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. 97 percent of soybeans have been planted and 92 percent emerged. 59 percent of corn and 67 percent of soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition. The recent rains helped raise average statewide topsoil moisture levels to three percent very short, 19 percent short, 72 percent adequate and six percent surplus.

 

 

(Bement-jm) -- Illinois State Police are investigating a train vs pedestrian accident in Bement that killed a teen. According to State Police investigators, a 14 year old was attempting to cross the railroad tracks on Piatt Street Sunday afternoon when he was struck by a passing freight train. Piatt County Death Examiner Troy Dunn says the incident is still under investigation by both the Piatt County sheriff’s office and the Illinois State Police.

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- A vote on a potential management change for the Champaign County Nursing Home will be held Thursday. SAK Management Services has shown interest in taking over the financially troubled facility. If approved, SAK Management Services could take over July 1st.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- LeRoy school leaders are looking at their budget for the next school year. Superintendent Gary Tipsord says they are looking at a deficit in some of the funds because of a lack of state payments…

 

LeRoy Schools Superintendent Gary Tipsord.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced an investigation by her office into several opioid manufactures to determine whether they engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing and sale of opioids and the role the companies may have played in the country’s opioid epidemic. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, in 2015, there were 559 overdose deaths directly attributed to prescription opioids with 1,339 over deaths in which opioids were involved.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- USDA is wrapping up data collection for a much anticipated report on actual planted acreage. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

 

(Champaign County-jm) -- Champaign County will be in the process of looking for a new treasurer. Current treasurer Dan Welch has announced his plans to retire at the end of the year. Welch has been Champaign County treasurer for the last 19 years.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders have approved a facade grant for a business on E. 9th Street. Mayor Dan Dickey talks about the facade grant program…

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 
 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Monday June 19 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — House Democrats will take another look at a Senate-approved spending plan this week as a way to end a two-year budget stalemate. Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago told The Associated Press Friday that House Republicans should step up and help approve the Senate fiscal plan despite GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner's resistance. House Democrats' spokesman Steve Brown pointed out there wasn't enough support among majority Democrats for the proposal in May.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month and the Illinois Department on Aging is reminding that abuse comes in many forms. Cases of elder abuse have increased in recent years, although that could be due to more people reporting the problem says Agency Spokesperson Veronica Vera…

 

 

Illinois Department on Aging Spokesperson Veronica Vera. Other types of abuse include emotional, physical and sexual as well as neglect and confinement. If you suspect some is a victim of elder abuse or are being abused yourself, call the state’s hotline at 866-800-1409.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The Clinton nuclear power plant is back online after an outage last week. Exelon took the plant offline last week when a part of the system that delivers water to the plant’s reactor wasn’t performing correctly. The company said the reactors remained stable throughout the entire process.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- State lawmakers will be returning to the capitol Wednesday to try and reach a budget compromise. State Representative Bill Mitchell of Forsyth applauds Governor Rauner’s decision to call the General Assembly back…

 

 

State Representative Bill Mitchell of Forsyth.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Farmer City city council is expected to approve two donations at tonight’s city council meeting. One of the donations will go towards the June 30th fireworks show. The other one would be a three year commitment, to donation $10,000 a year to the Farmer City Heritage Days. City council members are also expected to approve hiring an appraiser for 420 N. John Street and consider bids for the Prairie Ridge Detention Basin. The Farmer City city council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Blue Ridge School District is looking at revamping and making changes to a program for troubled youth. Superintendent Susan Wilson talks about the changes to the Rebound Program…

 

 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Susan Wilson.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — House Democrats will take another look at a Senate-approved spending plan this week as a way to end a two-year budget stalemate. Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago told The Associated Press Friday that House Republicans should step up and help approve the Senate fiscal plan despite GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner's resistance. House Democrats' spokesman Steve Brown pointed out there wasn't enough support among majority Democrats for the proposal in May.

 

 

(Chicago-jm) -- How to keep young people who have broken the law from reoffending is the topic of an all-day forum in Chicago. Veronica Carter reports…

 

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Congressman John Shimkus is praising passage of the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. The legislation creates an easier process to remove, demote or suspend any VA employee of poor performance or misconduct on the job. It also provides more protections for whistleblowers and bars the VA for using their removal authority if an employee has an open whistleblower case. It now heads to President Trump who has indicated he will sign it.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- One of the big sticking points in the budget stalemate is the re-doing of the school funding formula. State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about the need for education funding formula reform…

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- Kids ages 8-18 that are interested in gardening have several chances to learn more about gardening this summer through the DeWitt County Extension Office’s Summer Program Series. On June 20th taking a trip to a local farm, July 11th youth will learn about pollinators, July 25th, making flower arrangements and August 8th, harvesting produce from their container garden. Each program in the series is $3 and runs from 10 to noon. Registration must be done 5 days in advance of the program and can be done by calling the Extension Office at 217-935-5764.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The clock is ticking for state lawmakers to come up with a budget. Governor Rauner has called the General Assembly back to the state capitol this week to try and work on a budget. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says yet again lawmakers will be working overtime…

 

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Friday June 16 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Appellate Court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by social service providers suing Illinois over the lack of payment during the budget impasse. The Pay Now Illinois coalition sued last year in Cook County to force the state to honor contracts during the stalemate. The appellate court dismissed the case Thursday and directed providers to the Court of Claims for relief.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back to Springfield next week for a continuous special session. It’s been two week since the House and Senate adjourned and now Governor Rauner is ordering members back starting Wednesday, June 21st…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Governor Rauner says he supports a Republican budget and reform plan announced this week. The next big deadline is June 30th, when the state’s fiscal year ends.

 

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bankers continue to expect little growth in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states because of weak commodity prices. The overall economic index for the region slipped to the neutral score of 50 in June from May's 50.1.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois unemployment rate dropped slightly last month, but job growth remains below the national average. The state jobless rate for May came in at four point six percent, down from four point seven percent in April. 24-hundred jobs were gained last month says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough (goff)...

 

 

Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough. The national unemployment rate for May was four point three percent.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The state FFA convention is underway in the state capitol and a few area FFA chapters are being recognized. Three area chapters received FFA Foundation Club Awards including the LeRoy FFA Chapter, Mahomet Seymour FFA Chapter and the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley FFA Chapter. Maddie Fugate of the Mahomet Seymour FFA Chapter received the Star in Ag Science from State Ag Director Raymond Poe.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City leaders have approved the purchase of a new sludge pump. Mayor Mike Jenkins says council members felt it was more cost effective to purchase a new pump…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- Kids ages 8-18 that are interested in gardening have several chances to learn more about gardening this summer through the DeWitt County Extension Office’s Summer Program Series. On June 20th taking a trip to a local farm, July 11th youth will learn about pollinators, July 25th, making flower arrangements and August 8th, harvesting produce from their container garden. Each program in the series is $3 and runs from 10 to noon. Registration must be done 5 days in advance of the program and can be done by calling the Extension Office at 217-935-5764.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The McLean County Relay for Life is next week. American Cancer Society Community Manager Kimberly Wright talks about this year’s event…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Kimberly Wright.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- IDOT is announcing additional road closures in McLean County. Crews started construction on Route 9 between 3200 E and 3300 E near Arrowsmith and County Highway 5 at Sangamon Creek north of Saybrook. Both of those are expected to be closed through mid-August. Gillum Road west of Downs is closed through mid-September to replace Trent Bridge. Towanda Barnes Road from Route 9 to Fort Jesse Road will have temporary lane closures as crews resurface that road.

 

 

(Cerro Gordo-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Fair kicked off last night with go-cart races. Piatt County Fair Board Member Carol Kussart talks about what is on the schedule for day two of the fair…

 

 

Piatt County Fair Board Member Carol Kussart.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling state legislators into a special session to work out a budget deal and end an impasse which could soon enter a third year. The Republican announced the news Thursday in a Facebook video and statement, accusing majority Democrats of "ignoring" his recommendations. Democrats rejected Rauner's statements Thursday, saying they've presented viable options. The special session dates are set from June 21 until June 30. The fiscal year begins July 1.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan and her counterparts in other states are investigating whether drug manufacturers are contributing to the opioid abuse epidemic. Opioids, both prescription and illegal are the main driver of drug overdose deaths says Attorney General Madigan. Her office is looking into drug makers that are pushing their products…

 

 

Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Last year, Madigan’s office filed a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company for deceptive marketing a highly addictive opioid drug to doctors for off-label use.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Police say the FBI is investigating the disappearance of a Chinese woman from a central Illinois university town as a kidnapping. Twenty-six-year-old Yingying Zhang was about a month into a yearlong appointment at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign when she disappeared June 9. University police released surveillance video Monday showing Zhang entering a black Saturn Astra vehicle in Urbana that afternoon. Her friends told police she had gone out to sign a lease.

 

 

(Cerro Gordo-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Fair wraps up this weekend. Fair Board member Carol Kussart has the activities for this weekend…

 

 

Piatt County Fair Board Member Carol Kussart.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The Clinton Fire Department has received a large donation. Monsanto donated $2,500 to the department through their America’s Farmers Grow Communities Fund. The department is considering using the funds to help build a training facility.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Relay for Life of Champaign County is tomorrow at West Side Park in Champaign. Co-Organizer Adele Haag talks about the schedule of events…

 

 

Relay for Life of Champaign County Co-Organizer Adele Haag.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City will hold a clean up day in July. The event will be held on Saturday, July 15th starting at 8 a.m. behind the power plant on Allen Street. Only metal and appliances will be accepted. No TV’s, monitors, tires, paint or antifreeze will be accepted.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Village of Fisher will be doing some road projects this summer. Mayor Mike Bayler says they will be using motor fuel tax funds to cover the project…

 

 

Fisher Mayor Mike Bayler.

 

On Saturday WWHP will be doing a Live remote from Angel Paws Pet Sitting and Pet Grooming in Champaign from 10-11:30. Then it’s on to Summer Fun Tour Stop #6 from the Monticello Forest Preserve with the Piatt County Relay for Life at 2pm.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Thursday June 15 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials say the fairgrounds in Springfield and DuQuoin will be ready for summer state fairs, but that major updates await private fundraising and a state spending plan. The State Journal-Register reports emergency funds are available to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and that $600,000 has been used to enclose a warm-up arena before the 76th annual Midwest Charity Horse Show this week. The show's usual home is a century-old facility that was shut down for safety reasons.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Republican lawmakers are offering a budget and reform plan they say will break the impasse. The proposal includes a four year property tax freeze, funding for social services, pension and worker’s compensation reform and more. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says they aimed to include components that everyone can back…

 

 

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. The G-O-P plan also addresses school funding reform and places a cap on state spending for four years.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- People around the world are asked to wear purple today in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. According to the Illinois Department on Aging, seniors who live at home are at risk of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation by family members or others close to them. To report suspected abuse, call the 24 hour Adult Protective Services hotline at 1-866-800-1409.

 

 

(Piatt County-jm) -- The Piatt County Relay for Life is this Saturday in Monticello. American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly says there is still time to sign up to participate…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly.

 

 

(McLean County-jm) -- A portion of Route 9 in McLean County will be closed until August. IDOT announced the closure between county road 3200 east and Arrowsmith Road starting this week so crews can replace a box culvert. Work is expected to be completed by August 15th. Traffic will be detoured via Illinois 165.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Lawmakers have two and a half weeks to try and come up with a state budget before the June 30th deadline. The state has been without a budget for over 700 days. State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says he has no clue when they will be called back to the state capitol…

 

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Republicans have presented what they're calling a "compromise" budget and reform plan to end the state's nearly three-year budget impasse. It was a familiar refrain Wednesday with Republicans presenting an outline for a four-year property tax freeze, term limits and pension reform, among other things. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said that with those changes, Republicans will agree to a four-year income tax increase. Democrats say they've already taken up many of those reforms.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs is urging the Governor to sign a bill that makes sure families receive death benefits when they lose a loved one. The Life Insurance Reform Act requires insurance companies to search their records and make sure they don’t have any old death benefits they never paid says Treasurer Frerichs…

 

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. If signed into law, insurers would have to check their records back to the year 2000 for any policyholders who have died.

 

 

(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 today 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.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The 2017 Champaign County Relay for Life is this Saturday at West Side Park in Champaign. Co-Organizer Adele Haag talks about some of the events planned for the relay…

 

 

Champaign County Relay for Life Co-Organizer Adele Haag.

 

 

(Ford County-jm) -- A Saybrook man has been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol following a single vehicle accident west of Gibson City. State police say 27-year-old Adam Wilhelmi of Saybrook was traveling on Route 9 at 100 E when he crashed. The trooper spoke with Wilhelmi at Gibson Area Hospital where he noticed signs of alcohol impairment. After being released from the hospital, he was arrested and taken to the Ford County Jail where he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and improper lane usage.

 

 

(Cerro Gordo-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Fair kicks off tonight at the fairgrounds in Cerro Gordo. Piatt County Fair Board Member Carol Kussart talks about what is on the schedule for the opening night of the fair…

 

Piatt County Fair Board Member Carol Kussart.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Wednesday June 14 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — An annual data report says Illinois ranks 19th in the nation when it comes to the well-being of children. The 2017 Kids Count Data Book released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation measures areas including family and community, health, education and economic factors. The report, which examines 2015 figures, says over 550,000 Illinois children live in high-poverty areas and 43,000 Illinois teens are not in school and not working.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Temperatures and humidity are going up and the State Department of Public Health is reminding about the warning signs of heat related illness. There are two main concerns. One is heat exhaustion which is marked by heavy sweating, clammy skin and weakness. Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says in this case, you should lie down and loosen clothing, apply cool, wet cloths to your body and sip water…

 

Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold. Heat stroke can be deadly so you should try to move the person to a cooler spot, apply wet cloths but do not give them any fluids and call 9-1-1.

 

 

(DeWitt-jm) -- The plan to house DeWitt County inmates at the Piatt County jail has been positive so far. The move came after the potential closure of the Clinton nuclear power plant forced the county to look at cost saving measures. The potential closure also left the sheriff’s office with 6 employees to watch over the inmates. Roughly 10 inmates are transferred each day to the Piatt County Jail in Monticello at a cost of $45 per inmate.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City leaders are in the early stages of selecting a new city manager. Mayor Mike Jenkins says the council held a special meeting Monday night to start the process…

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins. Former city manager Larry Woliung and the city voted to go separate ways last month. As part of the agreement, Woliung will be paid through November 30th and he can’t sue the city or any officers. He also agreed to serve as a consultant if needed. Woliung was named city manager back in 2012.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- Clinton’s nuclear power plant was taken off line over the weekend for maintenance. An Exelon official says the plant was taken offline Saturday because of an equipment issue. Exelon says the incident was not an emergency and that the plant was shut down safely and is stable.

 

 

(Cerro Gordo-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Fair gets underway this week at the fairgrounds at Cerro Gordo. Fair Board Member Carol Kussart says the fair is free to attend…

 

 

Piatt County Fair Board Member Carol Kussart.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Police say a Chinese scholar visiting the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus has been missing for 4 days. Yingying Zhang's friends contacted police Saturday to say they hadn't heard from the 26-year-old woman since Friday afternoon. Police say Zhang was headed to an apartment complex to sign a lease. University of Illinois police released surveillance video on Monday showing Zhang entering a black Saturn Astra vehicle in Urbana about 2 p.m. Friday.

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- The DeWitt County Extension Office has several programs for youth this summer. Extension Youth Development Coordinator Kim Gibbons talks about some of the programs…

 

 

DeWitt County Extension Youth Development Coordinator Kim Gibbons.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- With this week’s heat, local emergency personnel are reminding people to stay safe. With temperatures in the 90’s it will be a challenge to stay cool and can lead to heat related illnesses. Officials remind people to drink plenty of water, wear light colored and loose fitting clothes and avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. If you do have to be outside, they recommend taking plenty of breaks and getting into a cooler place. Animal owners are also reminded to keep their pets where it is cool and have plenty of water for them as well.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- State lawmakers have about two weeks left in the fiscal year to come up with a budget. But State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City says the prospects of a budget deal looks slim…

 

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday June 13 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Some say Illinois can't afford to cut its media service that transmits state news, even though it costs $3 million a year as the state is in financial turmoil. Illinois Department of Central Management Services spokesman Richard Bossert tells The State Journal-Register the necessity of the Illinois Office of Communication and Information to communicate with the public doesn't stop due to the lack of a state budget. The office has been around for nearly a century and employs about 20 people.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Producers had plenty of time for fieldwork this past week. With little rainfall farmers finished corn planting and are nearly done with soybeans says crop statistician Brad Summa (some-uh)...

 

State Crop Statistician Brad Summa (some-uh). 96 percent of corn has emerged and 58 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. 73 percent of sorghum has been planted and 24 percent of winter wheat has been harvested. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined to three percent very short, 38 percent short, 56 percent adequate and three percent surplus.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City police have released their weekly activity report. During the week last week officers handled a minor traffic accident in the 800 block of N. Grove, a possible break-in in the 200 block of N. Main, an unfounded report of shots fired in the 500 block of N. Main, a harassment complaint in the 100 block of W. Olive, a report of possible fraud in the 300 block of S. Main and a burglary in the 12000 block of Royal Road. Also during the week, officer issued two citations for disobeying a stop sign, one for failure to signal, three for speeding and one for expired registration sticker.

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- Are you looking for a way to keep your child or grandchild active this summer? The DeWitt County Extension Office will hold their summer program Series. The extension office will hold an Italian Cooking class on June 27th, a food science cooking class on June 21st and Build it Robotics on August 8th. 

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The Piatt County Relay for Life is this Saturday. American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly talks about the event…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — Police say a Chinese scholar visiting the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus has been missing for three days. Authorities say a friend notified police that they hadn't heard from 26-year-old Yingying Zhang since about 1:30 p.m. on Friday. Zhang is visiting the school's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. Police say she's been in central Illinois about a month and was staying in university housing.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Dry conditions persist across Illinois and could soon become a problem. With precipitation well below normal, it’s been a very dry June so far says State Climatologist Jim Angel. He notes Central Illinois has received almost no rain at all in recent weeks…

 

 

State Climatologist Jim Angel. Angel says this rapid drying can lead to a “flash drought” because conditions can deteriorate rapidly. He says we aren’t there yet but will be if Illinois doesn’t see some significant rain soon.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The 2017 Hot Rod Power Tour is making its return to the area. The tour kicked off in Kansas City Saturday and is making a stop at the State Farm Center in Champaign today . The event is free to attend.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- University of Illinois Extension Educators will provide free workshops for childcare providers in DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties. Classes available include: Tummy Troubles on June 26th at the Piatt County Extension Office in Monticello. Healthy Role Models and Food Science is fun on July 11th and 27th respectively at the Macon County Extension Office in Decatur.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Relay for Life of Champaign County is this Saturday at West Side Park in Champaign. Co-organizer Adele Haag says there is still time to get a team together…

 

 

Champaign County Relay for Life Co-Organizer Adele Haag.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Monday June 12 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — State transportation officials are warning motorists that the expected hot weather over the next few days might cause pavement to buckle around Illinois. In a news release, the state's Department of Transportation says that high temperatures can cause the pavement to expand and possible buckle.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- June weather is getting off to a hot and dry start according to the state’s climatologist. The average statewide temperature so far in Illinois has been 70 point five degrees, which is more than a degree and a half above normal. State Climatologist Jim Angel says we haven’t seen much rain…

 

State Climatologist Jim Angel. Angel says that’s led to the first couple of inches of soil drying out, but says there is still plenty of moisture below the surface.

 

 

(Saybrook-jm) -- Firefighters from several area departments were busy with two structure fires near Saybrook over the weekend. Saybrook and Arrowsmith firefighters were called to a fire around 5:45 Friday evening to 904 Courtland Street in Saybrook for a house fire. Firefighters from Anchor, Bellflower, Colfax, Cooksville, Cropsey, Ellsworth and Gibson City assisted. Saturday afternoon, firefighters were called to a fire at 35205 E. Route 9. Assisting Saybrook and Arrowsmith firefighters were Bellflower, Ellsworth, Colfax, Cooksville, Cropsey, Lexington, Towanda and Gibson City firefighters.

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Farmer City city council approved a donation to the Piatt County Senior Citizens Transportation group. Mayor Mike Jenkins talks about all the group does for seniors in Farmer City…

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- The LeRoy School Board will get their first look at their fiscal year 2018 budget at tonight’s meeting. A public hearing on the budget will take place before the regular meeting tonight. During the monthly meeting, school board members will be asked to consider architectural recommendations for Health Life Safety projects and consider transferring money from the working cash fund to the operation and maintenance fund. The LeRoy School District budget hearing gets underway at 6:30 with the monthly meeting scheduled for 7.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The Relay for Life of Piatt County will be held next weekend in Monticello. American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly talks about their goals for this year…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The National Corn Growers Association is applauding President Donald Trump’s pledge to rebuild America's infrastructure a national priority. In his remarks, President Trump called for upgrading the nation’s aging system of locks and dams. Nearly three-quarters of U.S. grain exports are transported via rivers.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture released several crop reports Friday. Gary Crawford hi-lites those reports…

 

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois plans to renovate and expand its historic Illini Union built during the Great Depression. The News-Gazette reports a feasibility study conducted in February spurred plans for a top-to-bottom renovation. The renovation project would cost $247 million and be the most expensive in the campus' history. Preliminary designs include a three-story addition to the middle of the building with glassed-in walls. The project requires approval and wouldn't begin until 2022.
 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner is signing a criminal justice reform bill transforming the bail process in Illinois. The new law will help ease overcrowding by ensuring low-level, non-violent offenders have their bond reviewed and lowered if they can’t afford it says Governor Rauner…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The law also extends the state’s expiring “RICO” statute until 2022 so police and prosecutors can continue to fight against gangs and corruption.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- The McLean County coroner has released the name of a special olympics athlete who died following a medical emergency. McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis says 43-year-old Barry Mogk was competing in a swimming competition when he suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia. Mogk was taken to Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal where he later died. The Special Olympics games continued on at the request of Mogk’s family.

 

 

(McLean County-jm) -- The McLean County Relay for Life will be held June 23rd and 24th. American Cancer Society Community Manager Kimberly Wright says there is still time to sign your team up…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Kimberly Wright.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- The Gibson City city council will be asked to approve a new alderman tonight. Mayor Dan Dickey is expected to appoint Doug Parsons to fill the Ward 3 vacancy following the death of Ed Day. Council members will also consider a facade grant for 110 E. 9th Street and consider bids for a channel grinder. The Gibson City city council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Relay for Life of Champaign County is coming up this weekend. Co-organizer Adele Haag talks about this year’s event…

 

 

Champaign County Relay for Life Co-Organizer Adele Haag.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- A 10-year-old Camargo girl is dead following a three vehicle crash on I-57 late Thursday. The accident happening on southbound I-57 at milepost 237. According to state police, a car and semi were in slow or stopped traffic when a car driven by John Scholes of Charleston struck the back of a car driven by Debra Conner of Mattoon. Conner’s car struck the back of a semi. 10-year-old Caitlin Conner was pronounced dead at the scene. Scholes was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and electronic communication device prohibited while driving.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Tick bites carry the threat of disease, and there are some symptoms to watch out for if you are bitten. Ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and more. Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says you should look for these signs…

 

 

Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold. Arnold says you should let the doctor know where you were when you were bitten so they can better determine what kind of tick was involved and which disease the tick may have been carrying.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Friday June 9 2017

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge says Aaron Schock isn't entitled to detailed evidence prosecutors gathered from a confidential informant on the then-congressman's staff as he prepares for his Jan. 22 trial. The Urbana-based judge notes in a filing that prosecutors say they didn't rely on documents from the informant to charge the Republican and will only use limited recordings the staffer made. So the judge said the unused material can't hamper Schock's defense.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner says he may call a special session if lawmakers don’t return to Springfield to negotiate a budget soon. The House and Senate have not been in session since the May 31st adjournment date came and went with no state budget in sight. Governor Rauner says he is still trying to negotiate, but wants them back in town…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The next big deadline is June 30th, when the current fiscal year ends.

 

 

(Farmer City-dg)-Woodlawn Country Club in Farmer City will be hosting a ladies invitational 9 hole scramble on Tuesday evening June 20th. This is open to the public. Sign in time is 5pm. The cost is $25 for any lady not currently playing in Woodlawn leagues. Woodlawn Country Club is also hosting the Monsanto Open on June 24th & 25th. This is also open to the public. The 4 person scramble costs $260 per team and includes green fees, cart and cash prizes. For more information contact the clubhouse at 309-928-3215.

 

 

 

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Plans to add drainage tile in the Prairie Ridge Subdivision drainage basin are on hold in Farmer City. Mayor Mike Jenkins says they want to get more input from residents in the area…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

 

(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.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- The Fourth District of the Appellate Court in Illinois has a new judge. Justice Thomas Harris has been assigned to fill the vacancy following the retirement of Justice Carol Pope. Harris will take over August 1st with this term running through December 3, 2018. The Fourth Judicial District covers 30 counties including DeWitt, Piatt, McLean and Champaign Counties.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House Democrats are starting a series of hearings on the state budget. First up are those affected by lack of funding to human service providers, including care for the disabled. Representative Greg Harris of Chicago says they need to hear these stories and quickly reach a budget deal…

 

State Representative Greg Harris of Chicago. Republicans say instead of holding hearings, they should all be at the bargaining table working on a budget.

 

 

(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.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- The 2017 LeRoy Smokin in the Park is tonight and tomorrow at Kiwanis Park. Co-Organizer Becky Zook has the categories competitors will be cooking in…

 

 

LeRoy Smokin in the Park Co-Organizer Becky Zook. Zook says there will also be activities for the kids including face painting and a bags tournament tonight at 6.

 

 

(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) -- A new report shows Medicaid plays a bigger role in rural Illinois than it does in larger cities. It looked at all 50 states and found about 45 percent of children in small towns and rural areas rely on Medicaid for their coverage, compared to 38 percent in metro areas. More from Veronica Carter…

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Thursday June 8 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Fiscal forecasters for the Illinois General Assembly estimate the state's end-of-year budget deficit will top $6 billion. The bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability report says that the state will end its fiscal year June 30 more than $6.2 billion in the red. Last year that number was a $3.8 billion deficit. The state Legislature last week ended its third consecutive session without a budget.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A Springfield state representative is introducing legislation which would allow the question of calling a state Constitutional Convention to be on the 2018 Illinois General Election ballot. State Representative Tim Butler introduced the legislation because the state has now gone over 700 days without a real budget and he pointed to the fact that last week the General Assembly once again ignored its mandated deadline to get something done for the people of the state.  He added that changes to our Constitution are needed to truly move forward and thus his call for an Illinois Constitutional Convention. However, State Representative Bill Mitchell of Forsyth does not agree with that idea…

 

 

State Representative Bill Mitchell of Forsyth.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City Police are sending a warning out to businesses to be on the lookout for counterfeit money. According to police, a counterfeit $20 bill was passed recently at a business. If you encounter one, call Farmer City Police at 309-928-2111.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- The smells of BBQ will be radiating through the air in LeRoy Saturday. The 2017 LeRoy Smoking in the Park will be held this Friday and Saturday says Co-Organizer Becky Zook…

 

 

LeRoy Smokin in the Park Co-Organizer Becky Zook.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The Piatt County Extension Office is offering the state mandated Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification course and test in September. The two day course will be from 9 to 3 on September 20th and 22nd at the Piatt County Extension Office in Monticello. Participants must attend both classes. Registration must be submitted by August 25th by calling the Extension Office at 217-762-2191.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- Markets are gearing up for Friday's round of USDA crop reports. Gary Crawford reports…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state's end-of-year budget deficit will top $6.2 billion, fiscal forecasters for the Illinois General Assembly estimated Wednesday. In a review requested by Rep. David McSweeney, the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability said if Illinois goes a third full year without a budget agreement, the state's leviathan of past-due bills will hit $22.7 billion. McSweeney, who said, "Illinois is imploding," released the results to The Associated Press.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is offering some tips for avoiding tick bites this summer. Ticks are most commonly found in grasses and shrubs, waiting to climb aboard a person or animal walking by. You best defense is to wear long sleeves and pants as well as insect repellant says Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold…

 

 

State Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold. If you do find a tick, remove it by grasping it with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight up. Don’t try to smother the tick by using vaseline or nail polish.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The clock is ticking for state lawmakers to reach a budget compromise. The state has been without a budget for over 700 days and lawmakers have until the end of the month to reach a deal. State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says it’s time for both sides to work together…

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City will hold a clean up day in July. The event will be held on Saturday, July 15th starting at 8 a.m. behind the power plant on Allen Street. Only metal and appliances will be accepted. No TV’s, monitors, tires, paint or antifreeze will be accepted.

 

 

(Fisher-jm) -- The Fisher village board will discuss road projects at tonight’s meeting. Village trustees will be asked to award a bid to Illiana Construction for $26,000 for street repairs. Trustees will also be asked to approve a task order for phase 2 of the north side drainage project. The Fisher village board meeting gets underway at 6 p.m.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- A fundraiser for Relay for Life of Ford County will be held in Gibson City this weekend. Committee member Becky Grohler says Rockin For a Cure will be held on Saturday at the Sand Trap…

 

 

Relay for Life of Ford County Committee Member Becky Grohler.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Wednesday June 7 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers aren’t in Springfield, but Governor Bruce Rauner says budget negotiations are ongoing. The legislature left town last week, missing the usual deadline to pass a budget of May 31st. The state has gone more than 700 days now without a full budget, but Governor Rauner says talks continue…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The next deadline is June 30th when the state’s current fiscal year ends.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs is announcing major changes to his office’s college savings programs. The Treasurer’s 529 College Savings Plan, Bright Start and Bright Directions, are getting an overhaul to help families save even more for college at a lower cost says Treasurer Frerichs…

 

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. Fees will be reduced for those in the Bright Directions Program. Account holders will receive notice of the changes. More information is available online at: bright start transition dot com.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- The former director of Replex in LeRoy has been charged with stealing more than $10,000 from the group. Joe Rodts was charged Tuesday with two counts of theft. He’s accused of stealing funds between January of 2014 and December of 2016. An audit done by the park district uncovered more than $160,000 missing. Rodts is being held in the McLean County jail on $5,035 bond.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City leaders voted against approving a bid for a property on John Street at their meeting Monday night. Mayor Mike Jenkins says they are going to have the property appraised…

 

 

Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins.

 

 

(Decatur-jm) -- Those interested in learning how to spot Fatal Rose Rosette Disease can do so in Decatur in July. Dr. Mark Windham, professor of Entomology and Plant Pathology at the University of Tennessee will discuss his research of rose rosette disease on Monday, July 17th from 7-8 p.m. at the Macon County Extension Office. For more information about the free event, call the Macon County Extension Office at 217-877-6042.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- About one in three American adults experience a symptom consistent with a warning or "mini" stroke, but almost no one takes the recommended action, according to a recent survey. Veronica Carter reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Governor Bruce Rauner says property tax relief is needed to help spur job creation in Illinois. The Governor says businesses are leaving Illinois for states with lower property taxes and less regulations. Creating a better business climate is an essential component of getting Illinois back on track according to Rauner…

 

 

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is reminding to consider your pets when thinking about disaster preparedness. Pets are often considered a cherished family member, so it’s important to think about their needs should disaster strike. That includes a three day supply of food and water for them, as well as any medications and their vaccination records says IEMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson…

 

 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Patti Thompson. Thompson says it’s also important to have an extra leash and collar set aside, and toys and treats to give your pet comfort during an emergency.

 

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- Kids ages 8-18 that are interested in gardening have several chances to learn more about gardening this summer through the DeWitt County Extension Office’s Summer Program Series. The first program was yesterday with participants learning about container gardens with June 20th taking a trip to a local farm, July 11th youth will learn about pollinators, July 25th, making flower arrangements and August 8th, harvesting produce from their container garden. Each program in the series is $3 and runs from 10 to noon. Registration must be done 5 days in advance of the program and can be done by calling the Extension Office at 217-935-5764.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- The 2017 LeRoy Smokin in the Park is this Friday and Saturday. Competitors will be cooking a combination of chicken, pork ribs, brisket or pork. Co-Organizer Becky Zook says there will also be activities for kids…

 

LeRoy Smokin in the Park Co-Organizer Becky Zook.

 

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday June 6 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — A study finds that having cancer patients use home computers to report problems like nausea and fatigue surprisingly improved survival, by almost half a year. Doctors say it shows the importance of speaking up about symptoms, not assuming they're unavoidable.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn planting is wrapping up as we hear in the weekly crop report. 98 percent of corn has now been planted, right in line with the 5 year average. 90 percent has emerged and 59 percent is rated in good to excellent condition says Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener…

 

 

State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Winter wheat harvesting has begun, and 57 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition. Average statewide topsoil moisture declined and is now rated as 8 percent short, 85 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois State Police made 80 DUI arrests over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. According to a release from State Police, troopers issued 5,585 citations between May 26th and 29th including 530 for seatbelt violations. During the state’s Click it or Ticket campaign which ran from May 12th-30th, troopers made 165 DUI arrests and wrote 306 cell phone violation citations as well as 1,999 seat belt citations and 146 child restraint citations.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- The smells of BBQ will be filling the air in LeRoy this weekend. The annual Smokin in the Park will take place Friday and Saturday at Kiwanis Park in LeRoy. Co-Organizer Becky Zook says they will also hold a raffle that day…

 

 

LeRoy Smokin in the Park Co-Organizer Becky Zook.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Parkland College in Champaign will hold a campus visit day coming up later this month. Prospective students will have a chance to tour the campus on Monday, June 26th starting at 10 a.m. To reserve a spot for the campus visit day call Sarah Hartman at 217-353-2002.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- June 15th is the first day nominations are accepted for this year's local Farm Service Agency County Committee elections. Rod Bain has the details…

 

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The nonprofit foundation designed to help upkeep Illinois' fairgrounds plans on selling naming rights to state fair buildings to help pay for improvements. Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation chairman John Slayton tells The (Springfield) State Journal-Register that the group is in negotiations with corporations for naming rights to various buildings. He says the foundations hopes to raise $3 million to $5 million a year and naming rights will be the "biggest dollars."

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Last week lawmakers closed the books on the spring legislative session without voting on a budget. State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says the people of the state are tired of lawmakers not doing their job…

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington.

 

 

(McLean County-jm) -- McLean County residents will be able to get rid of their household hazardous waste in the fall. The Illinois Farm Bureau and Rivian Automotive are teaming up for the yet to be determined collection.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City will be removing some trees this summer. Mayor Dan Dickey says the Emerald Ash Borer has caused some problems in the community…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Monday June 5 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation prohibiting the Illinois Department of Corrections from hiring private health care workers. Rauner vetoed the measure Friday. He says it's unnecessary because his administration signed an agreement May 22 with the Illinois Nurses Association about subcontracting for nurses. Carlinville Republican William "Sam" McCann sponsored the bill. He says concerns remain about private health care contracting in the future.
 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois State Police is warning the public about another phone scam. The scam is a variation of several others, this one asking for donations for fallen police officers. That’s not a call they make says Master Sergeant Jason Bradley…

 

 

Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Jason Bradley. Bradley says the call often comes from a 312 number, but the public should be wary of calls asking for money coming from any number. If you get such a phone call, he recommends reporting it to the Attorney General’s office.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Archer Daniels Midland is planning to close a Chicago wheat mill and move operations to a new facility it will construct near Mendota. ADM on Friday announced the new flour mill will open in 2019. It will be constructed next to an existing grain facility, about 90 miles west of Chicago in LaSalle County. ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson says the 250,000-square-foot facility sits on a 2-acre site the Chicago-based company plans to sell.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Last Wednesday was the final day of the spring legislative session. While there was no vote on a budget, State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City hi-lites some of the week’s activity…

 

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City police have released their weekly activity report. Officers responded to a fight in progress in the alley behind Wizzy’s Bar, responded to a neighbor property dispute in the 500 block of E. High Street, responded to a domestic dispute in the 500 block of N. John Street, responded to a child custody issue in the 800 block of N. John Street and responded to an accident in the 800 block of E. Clinton Avenue. Also during the week, officers arrested Saiy Castro of San Juan Hidalgo, Texas for driving with a suspended license and cited for speeding.

 

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- LeRoy is gearing up for their annual Smokin in the Park BBQ competition. The event will be held this Friday and Saturday at Kiwanis Park in LeRoy. For those interested in participating, co-organizer Becky Zook says there is still time to register…

 

 

LeRoy Smokin in the Park Co-Organizer Becky Zook.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Farmer City city council is expected to accept the lowest bid for the purchase of 420 N. John Street at tonight’s city council meeting. Council members are also expected to accept a bid from Stark Excavating for the Prairie Ridge Detention basin drain tile and authorize expending park hours for the outdoor summer movie series. The Farmer City city council meeting gets underway at 7 p.m.

 

(Champaign-jm) -- May weather in Illinois was a little cooler and wetter than normal. The statewide average temperature for May was 62 degrees, which is point six degrees below normal says State Climatologist Jim Angel…

 

 

State Climatologist Jim Angel. Statewide average rainfall for May was five point two inches. That’s point six inches above normal. Precipitation was heaviest in the central third of the state. Danville reported the most rain last month, with more than 10 inches.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A former state lawmaker has filed a lawsuit in Cook County seeking to recover money he lost when legislators voted to reject annual cost-of-living pay increases. The Chicago Tribune reports Michael Noland, a Democratic former state senator from Elgin, filed the lawsuit. He says the state constitution prohibits mid-term salary changes. The lawsuit names Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who declined comment.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Restoration of the Illinois Executive Mansion is underway in Springfield and First Lady Diana Rauner celebrated with a groundbreaking Friday. The mansion is undergoing a major renovation, all funded by private donations. Mrs. Rauner is spearheading the effort, saying it’s in desperate need of a tune up…

 

 

Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner. Renovations will balance historic preservation with making the building energy efficient and A-D-A compliant. Work is expected to take about a year and be done in time for the state’s Bicentennial Celebration. About 14 million of the 15 million dollars needed for the project has been raised so far.

 

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A University of Illinois professor who spent decades advocating for a federal ban on artery-clogging trans fats has died at age 102. Family members say Fred A. Kummerow died Wednesday in Urbana. He was a comparative biosciences professor whose research on trans fats dates to the 1950s. His efforts to have artificial trans fats removed from processed foods included suing the Food and Drug Administration in 2013. Two years later, the FDA ordered food companies to phase them out.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- It’s still unknown how long the Illinois General Assembly will be out of session before they return to the state capitol to continue budget talks. The spring legislative session ended Wednesday without a vote on a budget. State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says all eyes will be on the House Speaker…

 

 

State Senator Jason Barickman.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup is releasing the name of a man who died after he was shot in Champaign Friday. Northrup says 24-year-old Darien Carter of Champaign was shot multiple times while walking in the 500 block of Eureka Street. He was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital where he later died.

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- The DeWitt County Extension Office is holding a summer program series for youth. One of the programs is Art Through Science says Extension Youth Development member Kim Gibbons…

 

 

DeWitt County Extension Youth Development member Kim Gibbons. For more information call the Extension Office at 217-935-5764

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Friday June 2 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Legislation headed to the Governor’s desk is designed to help protect students who take out loans for college. Student loan debt has reached epic levels says Senator Daniel Biss of Skokie, who is the sponsor of the student loan bill of rights…

 

 

State Senator Daniel Biss of Skokie. The bill also requires lenders to explain repayment options with those struggling to pay off their loans and sets up an ombudsman within the Illinois Attorney General’s office so students have somewhere to go with complaints about their lender.

 

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a shooting of a man by a Decatur Police officer as the man ran from a vehicle during a traffic stop. Decatur Police Deputy Chief Jason Walker says two men jumped out of a vehicle and ran when the officers pulled the car over Wednesday afternoon. Walker says the officers saw both men appeared to have handguns before one officer shot one of them in the back, wounding him. Illinois State Police are investigating.

 

(Springfield-jm) -- On the final scheduled day of regular legislative session, State Representative Bill Mitchell of Forsyth voted no on a measure that would dramatically change Illinois’ public school funding formula. Mitchell said the bill unfairly bails out Chicago Public School pensions, while offering empty promises to the rest of the school districts in the state.  He calls it the biggest sham he has seen since joining Illinois state legislature…

 

 

State Representative Bill Mitchell of Forsyth.

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- The DeWitt County 4-H will hold a chicken BBQ Saturday, June 3rd at the DeWitt County Fairgrounds. Dine in is available from 5-6 with carry outs and drive thru 5-6:30. Cost is $8.50 in advance and $9.50 at the door. Tickets are available at the DeWitt County Extension office until June 1st.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The Relay for Life of DeWitt County is this Saturday in Clinton. American Cancer Society Community Manager Crystal Sewell talks about this year’s event…

 

 

Sewell also talks about the goals they have for this year’s event…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Crystal Sewell.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The DeWitt County Soil and Water Conservation District will host a free household hazardous waste collection event on Saturday, June 3rd.  The collection will take place at the DeWitt County Highway Department in Clinton from 8-3. For more information about what you can or can’t bring, call 217-935-2181 extension 3.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Lawmakers have approved funding for 9-1-1 centers throughout Illinois. The funding mechanism for call centers ends June 20th, so this new legislation is needed to keep 9-1-1 up and running. Representative Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg says it includes an increase in the phone surcharge to help emergency services meet technology needs…

 

 

State Representative Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg. The bill also lets A-T-and-T phase out of the old copper landlines. Customers still using those phones would be given several notices about the change and other options. It now moves to the Governor’s desk.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- No budget deal but cats and dogs had a pretty good spring legislative session. One bill that passed this session was a pet shop measure sponsored by Representative Jerry Costello of Red Bud…

 

State Representative Jerry Costello of Red Bud. Another bill requires research institutions to try and get dogs and cats no longer needed adopted into loving homes. Legislation also passed addresses pets and divorce.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A plan to overhaul Illinois' school funding formula has prevailed as a highlight for advocates in a session marked largely by futility. Lawmakers OK'd the plan to direct more dollars to the state's neediest schools in the session's final hours. The measure advanced 60-52 from the House to the Senate. There it received a 35-22 vote in the face of Republican opposition. It would direct new money to districts based on student demographics and local resources.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The spring legislative session ended Wednesday without a budget deal. House Speaker Mike Madigan told reporters that they will continue negotiations during the month of June. State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington says while he’s disappointed at a lack of a budget, he hopes for bipartisan support for a budget bill by the end of June…

 

 

State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The Piatt County Relay for Life will be held on Saturday, June 17th at Monticello Forest Preserve. American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly says there is still time to get a team together…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The Co-Assistant fire chief of the Clinton Fire Department has abruptly resigned. Jason Karr has served on the Clinton Fire Department since 1995. No word has been given as to why he resigned.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The DeWitt County Extension Office will be kicking off their summer series next week for area youth. Most of the programs are aimed for kids ages 8-18. However, Youth Development Coordinator Kim Gibbons says they do have a cople of programs for kids ages 5-7 years old…

 

 

DeWitt County 4-H Youth Development Coordinator Kim Gibbons. For more information or to register your kid, call the extension office at 217-935-5764.

 

 

(Champaign-jm) -- The Parkland College Foundation will hold their annual gala coming up in August. The event will take place on Saturday, August 19th at 5:30 p.m. at Parkland College’s student union. For more information call 217-351-2464.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Illinois lawmakers are voting for a long awaited education funding reform plan. The legislation revamps the way state dollars are divided up among Illinois school districts, in hopes of reaching a more equitable balance. Critics, like Antioch Representative Sheri Jesiel says it’s a sweet deal for Chicago Schools…

 

 

State Representative Sheri Jesiel of Antioch. It will be up to Governor Bruce Rauner to now consider the bill. He has been a big proponent of overhauling the funding formula but has expressed concern about this particular proposal.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Thursday June 1 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- There’s plenty of frustration and finger pointing to go around as the spring legislative session ends again without a full budget. The state sits more than 14 billion dollars in unpaid bills, social service agencies and colleges struggling to stay afloat and state programs at risk. Governor Bruce Rauner calls the legislature’s inaction a dereliction of duty and a tragic failure…

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. Democrats say the Governor is holding the budget hostage over his demands and they have passed some of his reforms. The next deadline is June 30th, the last day of the current fiscal year, although it will now take more votes to get anything passed.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging federal regulators to improve safety of trains carrying crude oil through communities. One of the proposals Attorney General Madigan is urging regulators to set a vapor pressure of less than 9 pounds per square inch. Currently there are no federal limits on vapor pressure. The goal by setting a vapor pressure of less than 9 is to minimize the explosion and fire danger should an incident occur.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Corn and soybean planting continues as we hear in the weekly crop report. Three days were suitable for fieldwork this past week and 93 percent of corn is now in the ground says Crop Statistician Steve Maliszewski (mal-a-shesky)...

 

 

Crop Statistician Steve Maliszewski (mal-a-shesky). 62 percent of soybeans have been planted and 38 percent have emerged. 98 percent of winter wheat has headed and the first cutting of alfalfa is nearly halfway done. Average statewide topsoil moisture stands at one percent short, 74 percent adequate and 25 percent surplus.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Blue Ridge High School Marching Knights have received a special invitation. Governor Bruce Rauner nominated the Marching Knights to participate in the 2018 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. The group received their invitation this week. A special meeting with parents and students interested in participating will be held Tuesday, June 6 at 6:30 pm in the Blue Ridge High School Band Room.

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois State Police are warning the public of a phone scam that is circulating throughout the state. An individual is calling, claiming to be associated with state police and ask for donations for officers who have died in the line of duty. Illinois State Police remind they never call to solicit money.

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- What are some indicators of how growers are dealing with lower commodity prices and a downturn in the farm economy? Rod Bain reports…

 

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Secretary of State Jesse White is encouraging everyone to think about bicycle safety this summer. Secretary White says cyclists should wear a helmet, follow the rules of the road, and be aware of their surroundings…

 

 

Secretary of State Jesse White. 19 people died on bicycles last year in Illinois, with head injuries the leading cause of death. Drivers are reminded to share the road with bicyclists, and to give them plenty of space when passing.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Five key legislative measures initiated by Secretary of State Jesse White are being sent to Governor Bruce Rauner. House Bill 394 allows advertising to offset costs of vehicle registration reminder notices. House Bill 395 brings the state closer to full compliance with the Federal REAL ID Act. House Bill 773 removes car dealership stickers and paperwork from car windows before test drives. House Bill 1805 expands the organ and tissue donor registry to include 16 and 17 year olds. House Bill 2610 upgrades the state’s mandatory insurance program by requiring insurance companies to work with the Secretary of State’s office to electronically verify that motorists in question have insurance.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office is issuing a new “Know Your Rights” guide for immigrants in Illinois. The guide summarizes what rights immigrants have, including those here illegally says Attorney General Madigan. She says many may not be familiar with them…

 

 

Attorney General Lisa Madigan. A pocket-sized version is also available in both english and spanish. You can get the guide online at illinois attorney general dot gov.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The DeWitt County Soil and Water Conservation District will host a free household hazardous waste collection event on Saturday, June 3rd.  The collection will take place at the DeWitt County Highway Department in Clinton from 8-3. For more information about what you can or can’t bring, call 217-935-2181 extension 3.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The DeWitt County Extension Office will be kicking off their summer program series for youth. Spokesperson Kim Gibbons says the first series is for junior gardeners…

 

 

DeWitt County Extension Office Spokesperson Kim Gibbons.

 

 

(Bloomington-jm) -- A food giveaway sponsored by the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will be held in Bloomington in June. The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will hold the food giveaway on Saturday, June 24th from 10 to 11:30 at the Regional Alternative School on W. Washington St. The giveaway is for all McLean County residents who meet income eligibility guidelines.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- It’s vacation season for many Americans, and they’re being encouraged to actually take a break from work and not check in electronically unless it’s an emergency. Veronica Carter has more…

 

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Wednesday May 31 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- 911 systems throughout Illinois are in danger of shutting down if state lawmakers cannot find a way to fund the system before their summer break. Under current state law, funding for 911 in Illinois is set to expire on June 30th. Lawmakers, unable to negotiate a state budget, will end the current session tonight at midnight. If they can’t at least fund 911, then funding to emergency call centers around the state will stop. State Representative Chad Hays expressed his frustration with not only a lack of activity on the 911 situation but dysfunction in general…

 

 

State Representative Chad Hays of Catlin.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The Illinois Senate is approving a two year property tax freeze. The freeze applies to taxes collected for schools and local governments. Governor Bruce Rauner has been pushing for at least a four year freeze, but Senate President John Cullerton says they can assess show schools are faring under this proposal and re-evaluate it when the time comes…

 

 

Senate President John Cullerton. The legislation now moves to the House for a vote.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The first signs of West Nile Virus are popping up in Illinois. The State Department of Public Health has an extensive surveillance system for tracking the virus, and a batch of mosquitoes in Godfrey is the first spot to test positive says Director Dr Nirav Shah…

 

 

Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah. Last year West Nile was found in 61 Illinois counties, infecting 152 people, including five who died. Shah says the best way to protect yourself is to wear insect repellant and remove standing pools of water around your home.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- A Clinton business is receiving recognition by Home Accents Today magazine. Country Junction has been named one of Home Accents Today’s 50 retail stars for 2017 by editors. The list recognizes independent brick-and-mortar retailers of home accidents that have a positive presence in their community. The store will celebrate 25 years in Clinton June 9th-11th.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Relay for Life will be held on June 17th at the Monticello Forest Preserve. This year’s theme is When You Wish Upon a Cure. American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly talks about their goals for this year…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- The state’s minimum wage would rise to 15 dollars an hour under legislation approved by the House Tuesday. The increase would be phased in, starting with nine dollars an hour in January, and hitting 15 bucks an hour in 2022. Representative Will Guzzardi of Chicago says this is a bill about the dignity of work…

 

State Representative Will Guzzardi of Chicago. Critics note the extra cost to employers, especially small businesses. The Senate already passed the bill but must now accept a few changes made by the House before it’s sent to the Governor’s desk.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A display at the Illinois capitol honors fallen heroes, and asks the public to participate. The third annual Wall of Remembrance display features a tv screen with the photos and names of soldiers who have died. It was put together by the Senate Republicans and Leader Christine Radogno urges visitors to stop by and lend their thoughts…

 

 

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno. Visitors can write a message to be posted on the Memorial Wall. The display is open to the public through the 4th of July.

 

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- Are you looking for a way to keep your child or grandchild active this summer? The DeWitt County Extension Office will hold their summer program Series. The extension office will hold an art through science series on June 10th, an Italian Cooking class on June 27th, a food science cooking class on June 21st and Build it Robotics on August 8th. Registration must be done 5 days in advance of the program and can be done by calling the Extension Office at 217-935-5764.

 

 

(Gibson City-jm) -- Gibson City leaders have approved a new pump for a lift station. Mayor Dan Dickey talks about the pump…

 

 

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey.

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Tuesday May 30 2017

 

(Springfield-jm) -- No action on the budget Monday, but a House committee did approve a proposed income tax increase. The plan from the Senate would raise the Illinois income tax to four point nine five percent, retroactive to January First. Corporate income taxes would also go up and some services would be taxed. House Sponsor Representative Will Davis of East Hazel Crest shot back at critics questioning the need for the hike…

 

 

State Representative Will Davis of East Hazel Crest. The package also includes an increase in the earned income tax credit for low income Illinoisans and closes some corporate loopholes. It’s estimated it would raise more than five billion dollars in the first year.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- House lawmakers are approving one component of the Grand Bargain, procurement reform. The bill revamps purchasing rules for state agencies and universities, and is just a start says Representative Al Riley of Chicago…

 

 

State Representative Al Riley of Chicago. The measure is part of the Senate’s Grand Bargain package and House Speaker Mike Madigan says it shows they are willing to work with the Governor. The Senate will need to approve an amendment the House added.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is joining attorney generals in 42 other states in a $33 million settlement with Johnson and Johnson. The settlement alleges Johnson and Johnson misrepresented the manufacturing practices of well-known over the counter drugs including Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, Rolaids and more. The misrepresentation led to recalls of the drugs between 2009 and 2011.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A bill that aims to make college affordable and keep students in Illinois passed the House Monday. The measure provides up to four thousand dollars grants to students attending an in-state college or university. Families would have to meet certain income guidelines and students would have to maintain at least a “B” average while they are in school says bill sponsor, Representative Lou Lang of Skokie…

 

 

State Representative Lou Lang of Skokie. The bill also sets up a fund to help colleges attract and retain top teachers. Critics question how the state can afford the 300 to 400 million dollar annual price tag. It now moves to the Senate.

 

 

(DeWitt County-jm) -- DeWitt County Treasurer Gloria Wills has announced the 2016 real estate taxes payable in 2017 have been mailed out. The first installment is due by July 7th with the second installment due by September 1st. Taxes can be paid by mail, at the treasurer’s office between 8:30 and 4:30 Monday through Friday, online at dewitt county ill dot com or at most financial institutions in DeWitt County.

 

 

(Clinton-jm) -- The DeWitt County 4-H will hold a chicken dinner this Saturday. Extension Office Spokesperson Kim Gibbons says those wanting to get their tickets in advance have until Thursday…

 

 

University of Illinois DeWitt County Extension Office Spokesperson Kim Gibbons. Tickets are available by calling the Extension Office at 217-935-5764.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- After winning House approval Monday, automatic voter registration is one step closer to becoming law. The measure automatically signs up eligible visitors to the Secretary of State’s Office and other state agencies to vote. This will improve election process in Illinois says State Representative Robyn Gabel of Evanston…

 

State Representative Robyn Gabel of Evanston. The Senate still needs to approve an amendment the House added and then the bill will be sent to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Repeat gun offenders could face tougher penalties under legislation approved by the House. The measure has bipartisan support and is designed to help reduce gun violence in Chicago and other cities. Critics says a longer sentence doesn’t necessarily curb crime, but State Representative David Harris of Mount Prospect says these repeat offenders need to be locked up…

 

 

State Representative David Harris of Mount Prospect. The Senate must approve a tweak the House made to the bill and then it will be sent to the Governor’s desk for final approval.

 

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- An area Congressman will be holding office hours in the area this week. Congressman Rodney Davis will hold office hours in Normal Thursday from 8:30 to 10 and in Decatur from 2:30-4. Davis will also hold office hours in Champaign on Friday from 1-3. All office hours are on a first come first serve basis.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- Illinois home prices increased in April although home sales were lower. WWHP’s Jason Madden has the details…

 

 

(Washington-jm) -- The nation's dairy herd continues to expand. Milk production is rising and experts project continued increases into next year. Gary Crawford has the details…

 

 

 

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WWHP 7am/8am News Monday May 29 2017

 

(LeRoy-jm) -- LeRoy will honor those who have served today when they dedicate their Wall of Honor. Local artist Steve Woods was chosen to design the mural at the Ruel Neal American Legion Post. He talks about how he got involved…

 

LeRoy Wall of Honor designer Steve Woods of Go Graphix.

 

The Joe Williams Post 55 American Legion in Farmer City will hold Memorial Day services at 10am on the circle. Then they will march to Maple Grove Cemetery for additional services.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- Various diseases are potentially lurking in the bite of pesky mosquitoes, but which one is the biggest concern? State Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says one virus remains the most common in Illinois…

 

 

State Department of Public Health Spokesperson Melaney Arnold. 152 people were infected with West Nile last year and four died. Mosquitoes carrying the Zika Virus are rarely found in Illinois so you’re more likely to be infected when traveling to areas where they are prevalent. That includes Central and South America.

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- A Farmer City man will be the new president of the DeWitt County Development Council. Kevin Myers stepped down as president after leading the group for the past decade. Curt Homann was selected to take over leading the organization.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- The Blue Ridge School District is amending their budget for fiscal year 2017. Superintendent Susan Wilson talks about the budget amendment…

 

 

Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Susan Wilson.

 

 

(Farmer City-jm) -- Farmer City police have released their recent activity report. During the week, two people were cited for speeding and two for disobeying a stop sign while one person each was cited for an uninsured vehicle and for having an obstructed windshield. Police also handled a child custody dispute in the 600 block of N. John St.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- As you head out onto the water this Memorial Day, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources wants to make sure you keep some boating safety tips in mind. Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Ed Cross warns that State Conservation Police will be on the lookout for drunk boaters and other law violators. He says anyone under 13 must wear a life jacket when the boat is moving and jet skiers of all ages must wear one as well. Cross also has this advice…

 

 

State Department of Natural Resources Spokesperson Ed Cross. Last year in Illinois there were 73 boating-related accidents resulting in 36 injuries and 11 deaths.

 

 

(Waynesville-jm) -- The DeWitt County Sheriff’s office is investigating the theft of 25 flag holders placed in Waynesville Cemetery to honor veterans this Memorial Day. The bronze flag holders stolen from Evergreen Cemetery cost $38 each to replace. The Waynesville American Legion Post 1189 is taking donations to help pay for replacement holders.

 

 

(Springfield-jm) -- A bill that would create the Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship Act passed the Illinois House Sunday. The bill was sponsored by State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City…

 

 

State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City. The bill now goes to the Governor.

 

 

(Undated-jm) -- University of Illinois Extension Educators will provide free workshops for childcare providers in DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties. The first workshop will take place on June 7th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the DeWitt County Extension Office in Clinton with the topic on Mealtime with Kids. Additional classes available include: Tummy Troubles on June 26th at the Piatt County Extension Office in Monticello. Healthy Role Models and Food Science is fun on July 11th and 27th respectively at the Macon County Extension Office in Decatur. Advance registration is required by June 2nd and can be done by calling 217-935-5764.

 

 

(Monticello-jm) -- The 2017 Piatt County Relay for Life is coming up in about two weeks. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, June 17th says American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly…

 

 

American Cancer Society Community Manager Tony Holly.

 

 

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