(Springfield--jc) -- The Illinois Senate is inching closer to allowing schools in the state to share superintendents, but some senators have a problem with the plan because it allows voters to demand consolidation at the top of the school district. The idea is simple: Allow neighboring schools to agree to share one superintendent. Illinois has more than 850 school districts. Numbers from the Illinois State Board of Education show about one third of them have fewer than 600 students and 44 percent of districts have one or two schools. The average salary for a school superintendent is nearly 107 thousand dollars. If state lawmakers approved the plan then a simple majority from two school boards could share a school superintendent.
(Springfield--jc) -- Republican Illinois state Senator Sam McCann of Plainview announced Thursday that he plans run as a third-party candidate for governor. McCann joins Republican first term governor Bruce Rauner and Democrat Billionaire J. B. Pritztker for the state’s top job. The Illinois general election is this November.
(Springfield--jc) -- A threatening message at Chatham Glenwood High School near Springfield caused an evacuation of students and teachers yesterday. WICS news says the threat came from a message written on a bathroom wall. Local authorities and school workers conducted a search of the facility and nothing dangerous was found. Closer to home, a threatening note was found at Normal West High School earlier this week. That threat was also found false. There was a continued higher law enforcement presence yesterday. No school today at Normal West with a teachers institute day.
(Washington--jc) Many farmers are having to deal with more stress and anxiety this year. Gary Crawford reports…
(Germany--jc) Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, on his sales trip to Europe, met with a German leadership team about medications that are distributed to an Illinois company. The governor says Fresenius Kabi is a great partner with the state of Illinois. The German based company has a operation in Illinois in Melrose Park. Fresenius Kabi broke ground last fall on a 250 million dollar expansion of its pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Illinois.
(Undated0-jc) A popular scam targeting senior citizens has popped up again in East Central Illinois. A caller poses to be a public defender looking for money to help with bail and court costs of the person’s family. Local and area police agencies say to call your family and check out the situation. Some scammers are asking for thousands of dollars. The scammers have used correct names with the calls. If you receive a call like this you are asked to contact your local or area police agency.
(Undated--jc) -- As Spring type weather finally arrives, the Illinois Department of Transportation is urging motorcyclists to be careful and “ride smart.”
I-Dot Spokesperson Kelsea Gurski says motorcyclists need to be aware and not become a statistic…
I-DOT Spokesperson Kelsea Gurski.
More details on how to “ride smart” are on-line at start-seeing-motorcycles-dot-org
The LeRoy Boy Scout Troop 950 Pancake & Sausage Breakfast is from 7-noon tomorrow at the LeRoy Christian Church. Cost for adult is $7 and children are $4.
The DeWitt County Foodmobile will be at the Clinton American Legion Hall tomorrow from 10am-11:30am. The foodmobile is open to all eligible residents of DeWitt County.
(Undated--jc) The state of Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois will soon begin a program requiring many employers to help create voluntary retirement-savings plans for employees and offer automatic payroll deductions. Secure Choice could eventually cover 1.2 million Illinois residents according to Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs. The program is not a state defined-benefit program and is not Social Security. Frerichs says this is giving people the tools they need to invest in themselves so that they have a brighter retirement. Businesses that have been operating for two years and have at least 25 employees must either create their own retirement plan or participate in Secure Choice. Employers won't be required to contribute to the program or pay a fee to participate. Employees will automatically have 5 percent of their income put into a savings account, but they can change that percentage. Employees may also opt out of the program.
(Bloomington--jc) The next step for four defendants in a civil case between the owner of a Bloomington management company and several managers at the former U S Cellular Coliseum is a status hearing on July 13th . In court on Thursday, the city of Bloomington which owns the property laid out their claims against John Butler, Kelly Klein, Jay Laesch,and Paul Grazer. The city put forth a 42 page response and counterclaim in McLean County court yesterday.
(Washington--jc) Congress and the Ag Secretary traded words over the McGovern-Dole food program. Stephanie Ho has the details…
(Clinton--jc) -- DeWitt County leaders have expanded the setbacks on a proposed wind farm. The setback mandate is 2 thousand feet between a tower and non-turbine property owners. The board did not approve a height restriction for the wind towers. A wind farm is proposed northwest of the city of Clinton. Trade Winds Energy is the company behind the project. In Ford County, county leaders continue to look at setbacks, noise among issues with wind turbines. A Ford County board committee met earlier this month on wind turbines.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The House has approved a plan pushed by the Democratic state comptroller to require Illinois governors to pay employees from their budgets, not those of other agencies. The vote Thursday was 110-0 to halt what's called"off-shoring" of employees. Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced the plan in March. She says it was wrong under Democratic governors in the past and will be illegal in the future. Governors who need additional help would have to seek more money from the Legislature rather than use money from the State Board of Education or Transportation Department. The bill moves to the Senate.
(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois hit its lowest unemployment rate in 11 years coming in at 4-point-six percent in March. Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough says the state did lose some jobs…
Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.
Job gains were in financial, manufacturing and construction.
(Springfield--jc) Parents could give their sick kids a dose of prescribed medical marijuana under a bill that has passed the Illinois House. The measure is called “Ashley’s Law” after an 11 year old girl was not allowed to use cannabis for her seizures. The proposal is sponsored by Representative Lou Lang of Skokie…
The measure is now in the Illinois Senate
(Gibson City--jc) A Euchre party to benefit fundraising efforts for the Ford County Relay for Life is set for the Moyer library tonight at 6-30. The event is sponsored by the Chic’s Relay team. Entry is 10 dollars. Snacks and water will be provided.
(Bellflower--jc) -- On your things to do list this weekend, the Bellflower Country Opys next music show is tomorrow night at 7. Special guest performer is Marc Bubert. Bubert sings Elvis to country classics. A pulled pork dinner will be served. Admission is 10 dollars.
The Cooksville Fire Department Annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast is Sunday from 8am-1pm at the Fire Station.
(Springfield--jc) -- Two state senators want to give voters a new tool to reduce property taxes. Republican State Senator Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods, and Republican State Senator Michael Connelly of Naperville, said an amendment to Senate Bill 26-70 would allow voters in counties that operate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, to go to the polls to lower taxes.The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, passed in 1990, limits the amount of additional money taxing bodies can levy each year to the rate of inflation or 5 percent. Voters gave up the ability to reduce their property tax levies via referendum when they accepted P-TELL.
(Normal--jc) School officials in one McLean County school say more security will be present at school today. A letter was found in a boys bathroom at Normal Community West High School this week that threatened a school shooting sometime today. School officials investigated the issue with Normal police on Wednesday. School officials say the threat is not considered credible, but additional security will be provided.
(Chicago--jc) -- Momentum is growing to change the way political boundaries are drawn in Illinois. The issue is how to accomplish the change. Illinois’ gerrymandered maps have been blamed for more than 60 percent of statehouse races only having one candidate in the 2016 general election. Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says it’s time to make a change…
Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin
Currently there are several plans to to re-district the political boundaries. Any proposed constitutional amendment question must be agreed on by both chambers by May 6 to make it on the November ballot for voters to make the ultimate decision.
(Gibson City--jc) Two Gibson City businesses continue to host a silent auction at the Moyer District Library through the month of April. Shepherd’s Closet and Closet too are non profit stores and items to bid on include a 1954 Electrolux vacuum to dolls in their original boxes. Those interested in bidding on items are asked to go to the Library and also look for more information on their facebook page.
(Springfield--jc) -- A bill that aims to bring more state government jobs back to Springfield passed the Illinois House on Wednesday. The legislation makes Sangamon County the default location for state jobs. The measure is sponsored by State Representative Sara Wojcicki-Jimenez…
State Representative Sara Wojcicki-Jimenz
If the measure would become law it would not apply to current employees. The issue is now in the hands of the Illinois Senate today.
(Washington--jc) -- Although a version of the 20-18 Farm Bill passed out of the House Ag Committee in Washington D C, there are many more steps remaining in the process. Rod Bain reports…
(Gibson City--jc) -- Legislation sponsored by local state representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City, approved by the Illinois House this week helps to relieve teacher and substitute teacher shortages. Bennett says the measure makes it easier for educators from other states to teach in Illinois…
Local State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City
The measure now goes to the Illinois Senate.
(Springfield-rb) Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White commended the Illinois House today for approving legislation initiated by his office to strengthen Illinois’ law on distracted driving. House Bill 4846 cracks down on texting while driving by classifying first-time offenses as moving violations. Under the current law, which took effect in 2014, second and subsequent texting while driving offenses are treated as moving violations, while first offenses are treated as nonmoving violations. The penalty for a violation of the new law would result in a moving violation that will be recorded to the motorist’s driving record, as well as fines and court costs which will be determined by a judge.
(Washington--jc) Congressional Republicans are proposing stricter work requirements for people who get food stamps.A new poll shows broad support for the changes. Even though it’s called the farm bill, the biggest debate about the newest proposal will be changes to work requirements for people getting food stamps. Should the bill become law, adults ages 18 to 59 would be required to either work or attend job training classes for 20 hours weekly to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The disabled, pregnant and parents caring for kids under 6 would be exempt.
(Pesotum-rb) – Illinois State Police (ISP) District 10 Commander, Captain Louis Kink, announces the ISP will conduct Special Traffic Enforcement Patrols (sTEP) in Champaign and Macon Counties during May. These sTEPs allow the ISP to focus on the fatal four violations which are DUI, Safety Belt, Speeding and Distracted driving. The ISP will increase daytime and nighttime patrols to ensure the safety of vehicle travelers through enforcement of all traffic safety laws.
(Springfield--jc) -- The public is invited today to check out items from Illinois State Treasurer’s office upcoming Chicago auction. Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says a special preview of the May 12 auction are on-line today…
Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs
Frerichs adds the live auction is set for May 12th in Chicago..
(Undated--jc) -- Municipalities across the state may have a small window to pass ordinances regulating installation of small cell, or 5G, phone technology as a state representative works to advance a measure to amend a law signed by the governor earlier this month.Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 1451. With the exception of Chicago, the measure mandates uniform standards for deals telecommunications companies can make with local governments. The new law takes effect July first.
(Normal-rb) A Normal man faces drug and weapons charges. Donnell A. Taylor, is charged with delivery of cocaine and unlawful possession of marijuana. He also is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Taylor was jailed in lieu of posting $250,000.
(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed a balanced budget for lawmakers in Springfield. In the budget are dollars to upgrade and repair some properties at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The governor says the money goes to support agriculture and farm families. State leaders have until the end of May to pass a balanced budget, on time.
(Bloomington-rb) A tentative two-year labor contract has been reached between the McLean County Unit 5 Board of Education and teachers union.Details of the tentative agreement will be made public after the plan is approved, said officials.
(Springfield--jc) -- Democratic Lawmakers in Springfield are moving resolutions to oppose President Donald Trump’s policies in Washington D.C. Critics say the moves are election-year politics rather than sound statehouse policy, especially given that the legislature has yet to adopt a budget for the coming year. Last week, the Illinois Senate passed a resolution opposing the use of National Guard troops along the country's southern border. Governor Rauner has stated he would send the guardsmen to the border if asked by President Trump
(Undated--jc) -- The next step for Bergners stores in area malls from Bloomington and Forsyth to Champaign and Danville is to close. An attempt to sell or garner bids this week fell short of company expectations. Only two bids were received and those were from liquidators. No word on any timetable for the closures were provided in the news release.
(Springfield-jc) -.Illinois farmers are off to a late start. April is the month in Illinois for planting corn. But so far this month, it has been wet and cold. To date, farmers in the state have planted just over 1 percent of the state’s corn crop. State crop experts are not worried at this time. Over the past 5 years, 4 percent of corn has been planted by this date. One good thing is soil moisture, and another is soybeans are due to be planted for several weeks. An Illinois farmers are expected to plant more soybeans than corn this year.
(Undated--jc) -- Some volunteers will be honored in Springfield later today for service in East Central Illinois. WEXG’s Joel Cluver has the story…
(Springfield--jc) Back pay for some 24 thousand American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees is now in the hands of the full Illinois Senate. Democrat Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, and major sponsor of the bill, says its time to pay that bill. The cost is over 63 million dollars or about 2 thousand 500 dollars per worker. Governors Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner challenged the payments and the issue has been in the courts for several years.
(Springfield--jc) -- Supporters of a bill imposing tougher penalties for assaulting a D-C-F-S caseworker are not giving up. The majority of democrats on a house committee put down the legislation since it increases prison sentences. State Representative Tony McCombmie of Savanna wants to see penalties against D-C-F-S caseworkers in line with penalties against police officer or a firefighter…
Illinois State Representative Tony McCombmie of Savanna
The measure was prompted by the beating and death of Pam Knight of Dixon. She was assaulted on the job as a caseworker and later died of her injuries.
(Ford County-rb ) What’s the best way to keep kids healthy. With National Immunization week coming up starting on Sunday, local health departments are encouraging parents talk with healthcare officials to make sure they are current on immunizations. Local Health officials say vaccinating children on time before their second birthday is the best way to protect them against 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases. More information on the immunizations are found by calling your local county public health department.
(Springfield--jc) - Republican Senators at the Illinois statehouse want to block any move to change the state’s constitution for a progressive income tax.The state constitution requires income to be taxed at a flat rate. Several measures at the statehouse from Democrats would ask voters to change that structure to allow progressive income tax rates. It’s the consensus of Senate Republicans that a progressive tax would hit small businesses too hard and hurt job creation. State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet says Democrats passed the biggest tax increase less than one year ago…
Republican State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet
Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker has called for a progressive income tax in Illinois, he hasn't detailed specific rates or income levels.
(Central Il-rb) Police are still searching for a man considered to be armed and dangerous. Todd McGee is wanted in Piatt, Macon and Moultrie counties. He's accused of breaking into a home, choking someone, burglarizing the home and not showing up to court on a suspended license charge. Last week, U.S. Marshals were searching for him in Coles County. Anyone with information on McGee's whereabouts should call 911
(Clarence-rb) - Charges for bombing a mosque in Minnesota could be the next for three men from Clarence. Earlier this week, 4 Ford County men went before a federal judge in Urbana on a gun possession charge. Michael Hari, Joe Morris, Michael McWhorter and Ellis Mack have all been charged with possession of a machine gun. They were arrested in Clarence last month. Hari, Morris and McWhorter are also charged in the bombing of a Minnesota mosque. Lawyers asked the three men be brought to Minnesota after their cases are resolved locally. A June 5th trial date on the weapons charge has been filed.
(Washington--jc) Beef production is on the rise. Cattle prices are dropping. Gary Crawford has the story…
(Springfield-jc) -- Should farm trucks get more leeway to haul heavier loads on Illinois roads year round? One state representative thinks so. A law already on the books allows farm trucks hauling goods to be heavier than allowed during certain emergencies. Governor Bruce Rauner issued such a declaration last harvest season after heavy rains delayed getting crops out of the fields.The declaration also allowed local governments to OK similar weight increases on local roads for a 45-day period.State Representative Democrat Natalie Phelps-Finnie of Harrisburg says her bill would permit increased haul weight by 10 percent annually, is needed because it’s an emergency situation for downstate farms. Some on the transportation committees say they worry about the deterioration of Illinois roads.
(Springfield--jc) -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says volunteers play a crucial role whenever disaster strikes. From sandbagging to assisting disaster victims, I-EMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson says it is important to get involved before a disaster strikes…
I-EMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson
More information on volunteerism is found online at Ready-dot-illinois-dot-gov.
(Undated--jc) Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…
(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is proposing a balanced budget with money to spare to help pay down overdue bills. The governor vetoed last year’s unbalanced budget and tax hike. Rauner says the state needs to be fiscally responsible…
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner
(Springfield--jc) -- People are not supposed to feed wild deer in Illinois. Baiting deer for hunting is illegal, and the state's Department of Natural Resources says feeding wild deer can spread disease. But some people in some places in Illinois could soon give some deer something to eat. Local State Senator Chapin Rose says there are veterinarians who say feeding deer outside of hunting season will help keep the animals healthy. Some with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources disagree. The Senate panel approved the measure but want a pilot program first.
(Springfield-rb) Some Illinois Lawmakers want to cut sales taxes on personal care products by five percent. The tax code already considers diapers, baby wipes, condoms, and pads as luxury items. The plan could drop that sales tax from over six percent to one percent. That's the same tax often used on groceries and medicine. Supporters say the cuts help the family budget
(Springfield--jc) As lawmakers are working in the state capitol on a new budget, some are hopeful a meeting last week between the state’s top leaders will help the budget process. Illinois House Minority Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington says two important steps have been made…
Illinois House Minority Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington.
(Mahomet-rb) A Mahomet teenager was killed after a single vehicle accident. It happened about 9 am, Monday, in Hensley Township near Mahomet. 19-year old Heather Clarke was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday afternoon. The accident is under investigation.
(Bloomington-Normal--jc) --The Bloomington-Normal area will be regaled for the 89th year by the Gamma Phi Circus, with performers comprised of Illinois State University students and staff. Marcus Alouan is director of the circus and says the students have been working on the acts since August. This year’s theme for the circus is ‘Once Upon a Time.’ Show times are Friday night at 7 and 1pm and 7pm on Saturday at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.
(Chicago--jc) -- Go Cubs go. As part of the Illinois BiCentennial celebration, the Illinois Top 200 project asked Illinoisans to pick their favorite buildings in the state. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills says Chicago’s Wrigley Field tops the list..
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum Spokesperson Chris Wills
Other favorites include the Willis Tower and Tribune Tower. The next vote is historic sites. You can vote on line at Illinois Top 200-dot-com
(Springfield--jc) -- One bill in the state capitol could mean higher gas prices in the state, but also includes safety measures.The bill would require certain safety training for employees at oil refineries that operate in Illinois. Several Republicans said the training and prevailing wage causes an negative business climate in the state. The democrat sponsored bill passed through a committee and is now awaiting a vote in the Illinois Senate.
(Champaign County--jc) Champaign County Crime Stoppers is seeking assistance finding a man who threatened a Walmart security guard after he was stopped for concealing merchandise under his clothing. The alleged crime took place between 4 and 5pm at the Walmart Store on North Prospect Avenue in Champaign. Anyone with information is asked to contact Champaign County Crime Stoppers at 217-373-TIPS.
(Chicago--jc) -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…
(Springfield--jc) -- With state legislative leaders signaling they will come up with an official estimate of how much tax revenue they expect to bring in for the coming fiscal year, there is a question of how reliable that figure has been in the past.The state constitution says expenditures should not exceed expected revenues for the year. State statute requires a revenue estimate resolution to be passed in the House and Senate.Two Republican sponsored measures to get an official estimate in the Illinois House were tabled last week by the Democratic leadership.
(Dewitt-rb) Dewitt and Piatt Counties police departments are teaming up to help each other. The two departments will help share funds to get a 911 system upgrade. DeWitt County 911 coordinator Tony Harris talks about the plan…
DeWitt County 911 coordinator Tony Harris
(Springfield--jc) -- New teachers would be guaranteed a starting salary of at least 40 thousand dollars under legislation pending in the Illinois Senate. In updating our story from yesterday, Illinois State Senator Andy Manar says some teachers are living below the poverty line…
Illinois State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill
The current minimum salary for teachers is a salary of 9 up to 11 thousand dollars. That figure was set in 1980
(Clinton-dg) Warner Hospital and Health Services in Clinton will be having a FREE blood pressure screening on Thursday from 9am to 11am in the Warner Hospital Cafeteria. Stop by to to check out your numbers.
(Washington--jc) The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of his corruption convictions, the second time in two years it has declined to take up his case.The nation's highest court offered no explanation for its decision, letting stand the Chicago Democrat's convictions. They included seeking to trade an appointment to the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president for campaign cash.
(Warsaw--jc) -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner marked the 25-year partnership between the Illinois National Guard and Polish Armed Forces yesterday. He met with senior officials from Poland’s Ministry of Defense in Warsaw and proclaimed it State Partnership Day in Illinois to recognize the bilateral economic and military ties between the state and Poland. The State Partnership Program between Poland and the Illinois National Guard started in 1993, shortly after the people of Poland emerged as a free nation.
(Springfield--jc) There was only one day suitable for fieldwork over the past week. Some farmers used the day to apply anhydrous ammonia and some light planting. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says winter wheat is coming along…
State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.
There were just a small number of corn planting reports in the entire state. Topsoil moisture is rated at 1 percent very short, two percent short, 65 percent adequate and 32 percent surplus.
(Undated--jc) --The future of Bergner’s stores in the area remains uncertain after an investor group faced a court set-back in their efforts. Bergner’s has area locations in Bloomington’s Eastland Mall, and MarketPlace Mall in Champaign. A sale of assets was the topic of a bankruptcy court on Monday.
(Springfield--jc) More reaction from Springfield over tariffs on imports and exports with China. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says his office and other state agencies have reached out to federal officials with the point that no one wins in a trade war…
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The governor is currently on a trip to Germany and Poland this week to boost business opportunities between the countries and Illinois.
(Farmer City--jc) -- Farmer City leaders will look to pass its annual budget ordinance when they meet in monthly session tonight. A city manager’s report also hilite’s tonight’s agenda. The Farmer City council meeting comes to order at 6 pm.
7a(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office brought in nearly 900 million dollars to the state coffers over the past year. Attorney General Madigan says she is proud of that amount.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
(Bloomington Normal--jc) It was a community service day on Saturday for some Illinois State University Students. Around 200 I-S-U students participated in the Bring it Back to Normal service event. This year, the students helped with over 40 projects in Normal and Bloomington. The service day has been around for 10 years.
(Mahomet-rb) --A package of legislation sponsored by State Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet is designed to strengthen oversight of natural gas storage sites below ground. The legislation has passed through the committee process. Senate Bill 35-48 requires that a company operating a natural gas storage facility that is below ground and above a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-designated sole source aquifer must notify the public immediately if a leak is detected. The issue is now in the hands of the full Illinois Senate.
(Rantoul-rb) Work to get water and wastewater out of a property on the former Chanute Air Force base is now underway. Local leaders in Rantoul have looked at ways to upkeep the property around the old Chanute hospital. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith has ordered a large section of standing water to be pumped out in that area. Local officials also put up a fence to keep everyone away from the property. The property is privately owned, but working with the owners has been an on-going problem.
(Undated--jc) -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary Here is today’s BiCentennial minute..
(Gibson City-rb) Retired and semi-retired folks are invited to meet for coffee and conversation from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 17, at the American Lutheran Church, 905 E. First St., Gibson City. The guest speaker will be Steve Kelly, manager of the One Earth Energy ethanol plant in Gibson City.
(Undated--jc) -- One state policy organization is urging Illinois Congressman to support the local food promotion portion of the Farm Bill. The draft to Congress released last week would end funding for those programs. The Farmers Market program supports dozens of Illinois communities and family farms. One program helps low income residents in Champaign. Another grant has helped the Kilgus Farmstead near Fairbury start a farm dairy bottling operation. Debate on the programs and the proposed 2018 Farm Bill continue in a U S House Ag Committee. The Illinois Stewardship Alliance is urging the states Congressmen to support the farmers market portion in the proposed farm bill.
(Springfield--jc) -- A lottery jackpot win in Illinois could become a private affair. Illinois lawmakers are moving ahead with a plan that would allow any lottery winner of more than 250 thousand dollars to remain anonymous, including winners of the massive Mega Millions and Powerball lottery drawings. Democratic State Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines, is pushing for the legislation because some winners become targets when they’ve been publicly named as multi-millionaires. The measure cleared a house committee last week.
(Dewitt County--jc) -- A 17 year old juvenile will be tried as an adult on an aggravated battery charge with a shooting incident last week in Farmer City. Michael Cummins was arraigned on the charge on Friday and is being held on a 500 thousand dollar bond. Cummins is due back in court on April 24th. A conviction on charge carries a prison sentence of 6 to 30 years.
(Springfield--jc) -- A new plan at the Illinois Capitol could require local school districts to give some teachers a raise, but doesn't provide any additional funding to do so. The average teacher salary in Illinois is just over 64 thousand 500 dollars. Starting teacher salaries are often about half that. A plan at the statehouse would require schools to start teachers at 40 thousand dollars. The bill is sponsored by Democrat Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill..
Democrat Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill.
Democrat State Representative Sue Scherer of Decatur says the bill would end Illinois' teacher shortage. Some local school district officials say they don't have the money. The measure passed a committee and goes to the full Illinois House for a possible vote this week.
(Bloomington--jc) Criminal charges against a former official at U S Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington were dropped on Friday. The Pantagraph reports that charges were dropped against Bart Rogers. Associate Judge Michael Stroh agreed with the defense that legal technicalities required the charges to be dismissed. Charges for 4 others in the case continue. Charges ranging from theft, wire fraud and tax evasion remain against C-I-A-M owners John Butler, Finance Director Kelly Klein, Concessions director Jay Laesch and Beverage Director Paul Grazer. Friday’s ruling by Judge Stroh does leave open the possibility the state could refile charges against Rogers.
(Champaign-rb) Flightstar Corporation has entered into an agreement with the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College for a biannual scholarship program. Flightstar will also be active in interviewing qualified students or graduates for upcoming pilot positions. Flightstar’s goal is to increase access to qualified applicants for pilot positions while also increasing employment opportunities for Parkland's qualified flight graduates.
(Springfield--jc) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is warning about a multi-state outbreak of E. Coli infections linked to chopped romaine lettuce. 30 cases have reported in 11 states. 22 people had to be hospitalized. Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Divya Mohan-Little says until the identity of the supplier is found, you should not eat romaine lettuce.
Illinois Department of Public Health Spokesperson Divya Mohan-Little.
All officials know so far is that the lettuce can be traced back to Yuma, Arizona.
(Rantoul--jc) -- A spring business after hour event is set for later this month in Rantoul. The April 26th event will take place from 5-30pm to 7pm at Willow Pond Golf Course. Information about leagues and golf outings will be available. Light refreshments will be served. The Kids Foundation and Shop with a Cop organization will be offering tickets to promote their May golf outing.
(Farmer City--jc) Police in Farmer City and Dewitt County are seeking public input concerning a shooting that happened in Farmer City on Wednesday, In updating our story, Farmer City Police Chief Terry Scott says anyone who may have information about the incident is asked to call local authorities…
Farmer City Police Chief Terry Scott. Again, the number to call for the Farmer City Police department is 309-928-2111
(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Legislative leaders met for the first time on the state budget on Thursday. The two major parties agreed to settle on a revenue estimate for the new fiscal year. Illinois House G-O-P Leader Jim Durkin says they also want to make it clear they need to rein in spending…
Illinois House G-O-P Leader Jim Durkin. Democrats say they do not want to see severe cuts to state programs.
( Springfield--jc) -- Illinois lawmakers are working to give people behind bars while awaiting trial a better opportunity to vote.The bill would require election officials to collaborate with county jails to provide voter registration forms to eligible voters who are in jail while awaiting trial. Those serving time after being convicted are not able to vote while in custody. The American Civil LIberty Union says some counties do not offer ballots to those awaiting trial. Democrat State Representative Juliana Stratton of Springfield says those people in jail while awaiting trial don’t know they can vote.
(Rantoul-rb) Allen Jones of Rantoul has a long bloodline of Police officers in his family and he continued that recently when he won the Republican Nominee for Champaign County Sheriff. He talks about why it is important for him to become sheriff…
Champaign County Republican Nominee for Sheriff Allen Jones. There is currently no one running as a Democrat.
(Rantoul--jc) Rantoul village leaders continue to look at the deterioration of the former Chanute Air Force base Hospital as water and debris continue to damage the distressed property. A report by Channel 3 news has also brought the issue back to the forefront of Rantoul leaders. The village is looking to find the owners of the hospital property. For the village, with a proposed budget already in the red, a clean up or raising of the property would cost the village millions of dollars.
(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is headed on the road next week. Rauner says his trip to Germany will strengthen ties and boost business and jobs between the European Countries and Illinois…
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
Police continued Thursday to investigate a stabbing the night before involving what they said was an uncooperative victim. Bloomington and Normal police responded to a call around 9 p.m. Wednesday of a man being treated for a stab wound to his chest at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal. The wound was not life-threatening, according to Bloomington police, who were handling the investigation Thursday, but the man would not give officers any information about the stabbing.
(Springfield--jc) -- The deadline to get a new state budget complete is May 31st. What programs will be cut or added remains to be part of the budget process. Regardless of the outcome, a 5 Billion dollar income tax that lawmakers approved last year over Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto, will likely remain. Governor Rauner met with the four legislative leaders on Thursday to try and find common ground for a new budget. State leaders are agreeing to a revenue estimate for next year’s budget. Lawmakers continue a Spring legislative session today.
(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, on Thursday, asked President Donald Trump to approve federal assistance to help people in Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion counties recover from severe storms and flooding in February. In the request, the governor told federal officials that many people affected by the flood continue to face a difficult road to recovery and federal assistance is needed. 11 hundred residents were impacted by the February floods. State and federal agencies reviewed the damage last month. The federal designation would provide money, including some grants to the local area.
(Springfield--jc) -- Today is the deadline for bills to move out of Illinois state house committees, or the bills will die this session. One measure has overwhelming support, but is not moving. House Bill 816 gives a judge discretion to require someone convicted of battery to register as a sex offender, if the crime was sexually motivated.The measure has 87 House sponsors from both parties, including Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan, of Chicago. It also has backing from police and prosecutors.
(Springfield--jc) -- A bill signed into law Thursday paves the way to standardize and streamline regulation of small wireless cell facilities. Governor Bruce Rauner says this will help for 5-G wireless and other technology in Illinois.,,
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The governor says the new law will create around 100 thousand new jobs over the next 7 years.
(Rantoul--jc) When Rantoul village leaders meet next week, a proposed new budget is expected. Local leaders have been working to cut several hundred thousand dollars off the proposed nearly 9 million dollar budget. A public comment period is set to start at 5-45 Tuesday afternoon inside the Louis Scheling Memorial boardroom. A vote on the annual budget is expected to follow that portion of the meeting.
(Washington--jc) Chances are your overall grocery bill in March was much like it was in February. Gary Crawford reports…
(Champaign--jc) Parkland College released the name of a student who won a national title in precision agriculture. Collage officials say Jared Aden of Saint Joseph won the precision ag title at a competition in Louisville Kentucky in March. Aden is set to graduate from Parkland college next month. Graysen Voekler of Gibson City placed 4th in the national competition.
(Undated--jc) Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s BiCentennial minute…
(Farmer City-rb) A disagreement between two 17-year-old juveniles in Farmer City resulted in one teen shooting another. The shooting happened on the street at 2:55 pm in the 300 block of West Green Street in Farmer City. The suspect is in police custody and the victim is being treated at Carle Hospital in Urbana. Farmer City Police Department, DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office, and ISP Crime Scene Services are investigating the incident. Police are asking any witnesses to the shooting to call the Farmer City Police Department at 309-928-2111.
SPRINGFIELD (Apr. 11, 2018) — At the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Annual Luncheon Wednesday, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner reiterated his call for the legislature to pass a balanced budget without new taxes. He said that restoring the fiscal integrity is a critical first step in revitalizing the state's economy and delivering more jobs. The governor has invited the four legislative leaders to meet with him tomorrow to work on the budget issues. The governor also talked to the group about pension reform and how a new law could put 1 Billion dollars in tax rollbacks.
(Washington dc--jc) -- How do we measure the impacts of potential tariffs on specialty crops. Rod Bain has the story…
(Springfield-rb) Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s legislation requiring judges to explain the rationale for rescinding Statutory Summary Suspensions is moving on in the Illinois House. House Bill 5042, designed to strengthen the state’s current drunk driving law, will prevent a SSS or revocation from being rescinded without a factual basis for the rescission from the court.
(Springfield-rb) Legislation approved by an Illinois House committee this week would raise the fine from $75 to $500 for anyone recording an accident scene while driving a car.House Bill 5635, will now head to the House floor. Legislation was prompted after first responders at accident scenes reported that motorists were stopping to record accidents.
(Champaign-rb) Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Administrator Julie Pryde visited convenience stores, liquor stores and tobacco shops in the county over the last few days and found no traces of so-called fake weed. Pryde also said the shop managers allowed her to post flyers about the epidemic. The Illinois Department of Public Health said since March 7, 114 people have suffered severe bleeding after using the synthetic cannabinoids. None of the reported cases are in Champaign County.
(Springfield--jc) -- Count Illinois National Guard troops in for guarding the nation’s southern border, if an official request is made by the Trump administration. President Donald Trump announced using guard troops to assist border patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border to stem the flow of illegal immigration.While Illinois is far from the border, Governor Bruce Rauner says he would grant a request by the President to send troops to the border.
(Springfield--jc) Is there any plan in Springfield that will help property owners in the state. Illinois taxpayers are paying the second highest taxes in the nation. Attom Data Solutions reports that Illinois taxpayers pay two point two-two percent on properties. That means the owner of a home valued at 150 thousand dollars pays around 3 thousand three hundred thirty dollars in taxes. The property taxes also vary on where you live in the state. Residents of McHenry, Bureau and Winnebago Counties pay the highest property taxes in Illinois. The issue continues to be discussed in the state capitol.
(Springfield--jc) -- The Illinois Department of Public Health is launching a new interactive website with statistics on the opioid epidemic. Spokesperson Melaney Arnold says the data dashboard can be beneficial to law enforcement, health care providers to community groups…
Illinois Public Health Department Spokesperson Melaney Arnold
Arnold says she hopes visitors to the site can use the information to combat the opioid crisis in their area.
(Washingtondc--jc) -- What are the latest numbers in South American corn. And How do those numbers affect the world corn supplies. U-S-D-A Deputy Chief Economist Warren Preston says….
U-S-D-A Deputy Chief Economist Warren Preston.
(Bloomington--jc) Since announcing it wants to sell its former headquarters in Bloomington, officials from State Farm say they have received interest from several buyers. The building is nearly 90 years old and is located in the downtown area of the city The 200 thousand square-foot building is valued around 9 million dollars.
(Undated--jc) Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute….
(Springfield--jc)-- Eight representatives from the Illinois Pork Producers Association were talking pork issues in the nation’s capitol. Issues at the National Pork Producers Council legislative action conference included visa reform, supporting a viable workforce for ag, the importance of positive trade relations, and keeping food affordable
(Springfield--jc) -- The battle over changing the state constitution to allow a progressive income tax rather than a flat one may be dead on arrival, for now. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs announced Tuesday that 50 of his members are on board with a resolution opposing a tiered income tax structure. Durkin stood alongside several other Republicans in Springfield Tuesday afternoon, saying that with Illinois’ high property taxes and tough business environment, Illinois’ constitutionally mandated flat tax is one of the only good things the state has going.
(Springfield--jc) -- This is national work zone awareness week and motorists are urged to use caution. There are about 52 Hundred work zone crashes in Illinois each year. 29 people were fatally injured in 2017. Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says drivers must, do their part…
I-DOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. Illinois has tough penalties when it comes to work zones. Speeding is a 375 dollar fine. If you hit a worker, you could be sentenced to 14 years in prison.
(Springfield--jc) -- A Republican lawmaker who wants to eliminate Algonquin Township in McHenry County is one step closer. State Representative David McSweeney, Republican of Barrington Hills, says his measure would make it easier for voters in McHenry County to eliminate townships at the ballot box. The bill applies only to the 17 townships in McHenry County. The bill now goes to the full House.
(Bloomington-rb) The Circuit Judges of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Illinois have elected Circuit Judge Mark Fellheimer to complete the term of Chief Judge Kevin Fitzgerald. The term goes from July to the end of this year. The Chief Judge has general administrative authority over the court and judicial assignments.
(Fisher-rb) Fisher leaders are expected to make a final payment to the Fisher National Bank for the water and wastewater fund when they meet tomorrow night. At Thursday’s meeting at 6-30, trustees will also put money into a savings account for sidewalks and drainage projects.
(Springfield-rb) Taking daily medication can be a matter of life or death. But, some healthcare providers are taking advantage of that and putting lives in danger. Now, lawmakers are tackling the problem from all angles. One bill would stop insurers from switching drugs offered in a patient's plan. Several healthcare professionals who support the move say "bait and switch" is unfair and unhealthy. They say, when people sign up for healthcare plans, they should get exactly the drugs their bodies need and already rely on. One downfall could be a price hike for employers.
(Undated--jc) Illinois is celebrating its’ 200th birthday. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…
(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois lawmakers are once again going to debate whether to let schools post public notices online rather than in the local newspaper. The almost annual fight over school transparency comes down to two things: Cost and technology. School leaders say its costs too much to post every public notice in the newspaper. Republican State Representative Dave Severin of Marion says it's time to let school districts embrace the 21st century . Democrat State Representative Sue Scherer of Decatur, said not every parent or voter has access to the internet, and may not see notices that are posted online.
(Springfield--jc) --A good Samaritan who breaks open the window of a hot car to save a dog or cat could be arrested or sued for damages in Illinois, but some state lawmakers want to change that. A pending bill would shield a person from potential liability for breaking a window to rescue an animal from a hot car. Republican State Representative. David Olsen of Downers Grove, says his bill is a common sense measure to protect someone trying to save a pet. The measure now awaits a vote in the Illinois House.
(Washington dc--jc) -- With potential tariffs on U S Soybeans, how do exports from South America affect exports here. U-S-D-A Chief Economist Warren Preston says new soybean crop forecasts are in…
U-S-D-A Chief Economist Warren Preston.
(Bloomington--jc) -- The city of Bloomington is looking at the idea of a new outdoor sports complex. The city council has put 47 thousand dollars into next year’s budget to hire a Florida firm to look into the proposal. The city of Normal and the Bloomington-Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau are also providing money for the study.
(Dewey--jc) -- The Dewey and Fisher unit of Home Community Education will hold a historic anniversary this coming Monday. The 100th anniversary celebration of the group is set for the Farm Bureau Auditorium in Champaign. Registration begins at 12-45 on Monday afternoon with the program from 1 til 3pm.
(Champaign-rb) A University of Illinois graduate student who allegedly filed false police reports to bilk money out of his credit-card company has been charged with several felonies. Shan Zou, 25, who listed an address in the 1900 block of North Lincoln Avenue, Urbana, was arraigned Tuesday in Champaign County Circuit Court on six counts of disorderly conduct alleging he filed false police reports.
(Bloomington--jc) State Farm, based in Bloomington, is set to sell its former headquarters building in the downtown area of the city. The company made the announcement on Monday. The building is valued at around 9 million dollars. Company officials say they are in the first stages of selling that property.
(Springfield--jc) -- A Clinton woman will serve three years in a federal prison on a wire fraud conviction. The Pantagraph reports that 48 year old Veronica Luster plead guilty to two of the 12 charges accusing her of stealing over 370-thousand dollars from a Clinton Internal Medicine. In pleading on the 2 charges, the remaining charges were dropped.
(Clarence-rb) After being indicted by a grand jury last week for possession of a machine gun, four Ford County men pleaded not guilty Monday to the charge. Michael Hari, Joe Morris, Michael McWhorter, and Ellis Mack, all of Clarence, were arrested last month on the same charge and are believed by authorities to be part of a homegrown domestic terrorism group led by Hari, a former Ford County sheriff's deputy and one-time Libertarian candidate for sheriff. The indictment, which provided no new details about the case, alleges the four men possessed a machine gun from October 2017 through Feb. 27, 2018. The four men remain in custody. WPXN news will continue to update this story as official information is released.
(Chicago--jc) --Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner framed his legislative agenda for the upcoming session of the Illinois General Assembly around two key imperatives. Governor Rauner says the first is a year-long balanced budget…
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.
No new taxes is the second key issue for the governor. To start the process, the governor has asked House and Senate leaders to meet with him to agree on budget basics. The governor says those in state government could cut taxes by a Billion dollars if the state has the courage to enact comprehensive pension reform. The Illinois House and Senate are back in session this week.
(Springfield--jc) -- Will legalizing sports betting in Illinois lead to fewer teens betting on games online?That's the question anti-gambling advocates and state lawmakers are trying to answer. If the U.S. Supreme Court allows for sports betting in the states, and if Illinois legalizes sports books, then only adults will be able to bet on games. Illinois' proposal would allow casinos to create their own sports books, and would leave the door open to betting kiosks across the state.The plan hinges on a U.S. Supreme Court case on a state's right to gambling, Christie vs NCAA, which will be decided this summer.
(Springfield--jc) -- It was another cold, wet week for farmers in the state. With below normal temperatures and above average rainfall and snowfall, producers had very little time in the field. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says winter wheat is progressing…
State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener. Average statewide topsoil moisture is rated one percent very short, three percent short, 59 percent adequate and 37 percent surplus.
(Undated--jc) -- A third death is connected to synthetic cannabinoids. WEXG’s Joel Cluver has the story…
(Champaign --jc) -- Parkland College has started open registration for fall classes. Those taking classes for the first time are asked to contact the admissions office. Others are asked to look a class availability.
(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th year as a state. Here is today’s BiCentennial minute…
(Chicago--jc) -- The Illinois Economic Policy Institute has proposed more than doubling the state's motor fuel tax – from 34 cents to 85 cents. The main reason is the poor shape of roads in the state. If lawmakers go in that direction, Illinois will have the highest gas tax in the nation. Currently, Illinois is 11th highest in the nation with 34 cents per gallon. On other idea being suggested to state
(Springfield--jc) -- Producers were kept out the fields over the past week, thanks to rain and snow. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 50 percent of the wheat crop in excellent shape…
State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.
Updated from pm monday ka8am
(Paxton-rb) Republican Nominee for Attorney General and former Miss USA Erica Harold made a stop in Paxton on Saturday. Harold, from Champaign county, says after a long primary election, she is looking forward to the general election process…
Republican Nominee for Attorney General Erica Harold. Harold was the guest speaker at an event sponsored by the Ford County Republican women’s group.
(Springfield--jc) A state task force created by the Illinois legislature has released a report that shows how treatment over jail time is a better option for at-risk youth. Veronica Carter reports…
(Champaign-rb) The State Farm Center announced Monday that W-W-E LIVE will return to Champaign on Saturday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. The card for the show currently includes Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe, and Seth Rollins and more. Tickets starting at just 15-dollars go on sale Friday morning at 10, On-line tickets may also be purchased .
(Champaign-rb) Police have identified the suspect in Friday’s armed robbery at the Subway in northwest Champaign. Based in part on multiple Crime Stoppers tips, a warrant was issued Monday for 31 year old Steven E. Johnson,, on charges of aggravated robbery. Bond has been set at 100-thousand dollars. Police spokeswoman LaEisha Meaderds says Subway employees informed police that a man entered the restaurant Friday afternoon and demanded money while implying he had a weapon. The assailant left with cash. No one was injured.
It was a packed house at the Champaign school board meeting, and it was filled with conflicting opinions about a possible new charter school. A committee is pushing for a charter school focused on under-performing and low-income students. On Monday night that committee made their pitch to the district on why this needs to happen. But it came with some heavy pushback.
There were some at that meeting who don't think this is a good idea. The Champaign teachers union showed up and was very outspoken on why this may not be the best option for students. But on the other hand, the room was packed with supporters of the plan. The committee's pitch included details of the "North Champaign Academy" curriculum, the budget, and even the building off West Anthony Drive.
(Gibson City--jc) -- Gibson City Melvin Sibley school officials say counselors will be available today as students, faculty and the G-C-M-S community deal with the death of a high school junior. Police say 17 year old Dylan Benningfield was fatally injured in a two vehicle crash on Saturday morning when the car he was in collided with a fertilizer truck. Benningfield’s younger brother Logan was also seriously injured in the accident. The driver of the fertilizer truck received only minor injuries.
(Springfield--c) -- After failing to override the governor’s veto of a similar bill last year, Illinois House Democrats are again trying to create a state-funded workers’ compensation company. Some businesses impacted by the state’s high costs oppose the idea. The House Labor and Commerce Committee passed the democratic sponsored workers compensation insurance company that would use 10 million dollars for a state fund. The issue continues to be debated in Springfield.
(Springfield--jc) It could be a first for farmers since 1983. U. S Department of Agriculture officials say farmers will plant more soybeans than corn. Soybean acreage is projected at 89 million for soybeans and 88 for corn. Currently, soybeans provide a 70 dollar per acre higher profit than corn. China imports 61 percent of soybeans and a tariff on ag commodities is pending. Last year, Illinois was the top soybean-producing state in the country.
(Rantoul--jc) It’s that time of year, to try an avoid the potholes in the road. Each winter causes road issues for local towns to county and state highway departments. In Rantoul, Village Administrator Rick Snider says it’s that time of year…
Rantoul Village Administrator Rick Snider
(Springfield--jc) When lawmakers return to Springfield this week, one measure is whether to allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. One proposal before state leaders is to keep winners names out of the news. At various lotteries, some winners have faced theft, scams and even murder. Lawmakers return to the state capitol to also work on a budget. The fiscal year ends at the end of June.
(Champaign-rb) Founders of the North Champaign Academy will make their formal case for why Unit 4 should support a new charter school, to be housed in a 15,000-square-foot facility at 1400 W. Anthony Drive.The meeting will be held At 5:30 p.m. tonight at Unit 4's Administrative Center, The request seeks a $14,845-per-student-per-year investment by the district. School board President Chris Kloeppel has said a decision is expected within two weeks of Monday's hearing.
(FARMER CITY-DG) The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series will hold the 11th annual Illini 100 at the Farmer City Raceway this Friday and Saturday. Series Director Matt Curl said that they are looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans. Tickets are still available. The schedule of events will feature one night of practice on April 12, the always exciting 25-lap $6,000-to-win feature on Friday, and the 75-lap $15,000-to-win finale event on Saturday.
(Decatur-dg) -Covering nearly 200 acres, Fairview Park is the oldest park in Decatur and is often referred to as the most beautiful in the area. Currently, the beauty of Fairview Park is threatened by a fast spreading bush knows as Amur Honeysuckle. Join University of Illinois Extension, Decatur Park District and others to help rid Decatur’s oldest park of this new invader. This invasive bush is taking over areas of the park, hindering the growth of native wildflowers and other species. This community effort will take place April 14, 2018. Volunteers will meet at the Fairview Park pool area at 9am and work in teams until noon to remove the honeysuckle. Volunteers should bring lopers, pruners and gloves. This is a great opportunity for high school service hours.
(Chicago--jc) -- There's a growing push to change how Illinois handles early voting. Currently, there are 40 days of early voting in Illinois elections. At a meeting last week, some election commissioners want to see the state shorten the early voting period. One reason is that all local election offices are required to be ready for the early voting period. Other reasons are the decision process for voters and costs to taxpayers. This fall early voting begins September 27th for the November 7 election. The 40 days law began in 20-15.
(Springfield--jc) -- Young people throughout Illinois will have an opportunity to demonstrate their photography skills in a competition showcasing agriculture in the state. Submissions are now being accepted for the Illinois State Treasury’s Cream of the Crop Photo Contest.There are three age-based categories, ages 8-10, 11-14 and 15-18. Each photographer can submit up to two photographs. More information is found on line at the Illinois State Treasurer’s website. Winners will be announced at the Illinois State Fair in August.
SPRINGFIELD (Apr. 6, 2018) — Governor Bruce Rauner Friday signed legislation that makes it easier for teachers with out-of-state credentials to get licensed in Illinois. The governor says that Illinois needs to have ready access to qualified teachers and the new law will help all schools in the state. The new law combines provisions in the Illinois State Board of Education out-of-state teacher licensing process.
(Chicago--jc) -- Half a billion dollars worth of bonds the state of Illinois plans to issue next month got low marks from credit ratings agencies, and that means it will cost taxpayers more to borrow.The 500 million in bonds is meant for Illinois capital programs. The Moody’s investors service ratings are one notch above junk bond status. The reasons for the low ratings are the state's pension liabilities and unpaid bills.
(Springfield--jc) -- Illinois is celebrating its BiCentennial this year. Here is today’s bicentennial minute…
(Washington--jc) President Donald Trump says his office will protect farmers from tariffs against China. Gary Crawford reports…
(Chicago--jc) Illinois governor Bruce Rauner and Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti will be previewing the upcoming legislative session in downtown Chicago this morning. Lawmakers are back to work on the state’s budget and have until the end of May to pass a balanced budget on time.