Classic Rock 98.3 Blog

Tuesday May 29 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- State lawmakers say they are on track to have a balanced full-year budget before the Thursday deadline, but one remaining question is whether it will get the governor’s support. After canceling session Saturday and Sunday, legislative leaders continued to craft the budget. Democratic State Senator. Heather Steans, who’s been involved in crafting the budget, said Monday that the four caucus leaders are close. She said she couldn’t predict whether Gov. Bruce Rauner would sign it.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The unemployment rate is down in all Illinois metro areas for the second strait month. The drop shows  continued improvement in the economy says Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough…



Illinois Department of Employment Security Spokesperson Bob Gough.

Jobs were added over the year in 9 of the metro areas including the Chicago suburbs and Kankakee.



CHICAGO (AP) — Many people arrested in Chicago were within just a few degrees of separation from someone illegally possessing a firearm, according to a recent study.  The study by Northwestern University researchers was published in the Journal of Urban Health this month, . It attempts to understand the city's gun market through network science. Researchers used arrest records, gang membership rosters, shooting data and gun recoveries to group together about 188,000 arrestees and pinpoint who possessed illegal weapons. People within these networks were usually two or three connections away from a weapon, according to the study.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Memorial Day is complete for another year but the annual wall of Remembrance display continues to be open. This is the 4th year for the display, which is put on by Illinois Senate Republican. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says visitors may add to the wall…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. The display is open to the public during normal business hours at the state capitol through the 4th of July



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Corrections indicated Monday it will consider appealing a federal judge's order that the agency immediately provide sufficient staff and treatment to 12,000 mentally ill inmates, arguing that it has made significant strides in complying with a two-year-old lawsuit settlement.



(Rantoul--jc)  -- A Public meeting is set for 5-30 this afternoon in Rantoul  to look a bus routes for the Eagle Express bus service in the village. The main topic of the meeting is bus service fixed-route changes. Members of the Champaign County rural Transit System will be in attendance. Several routes will be expanded to various parts of Rantoul. The meeting takes place in the Municipal building on Tanner Street.



LEWISTOWN, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Museum-Dickson Mounds is offering a series of nature adventure days for kids each Wednesday in June in western Illinois.A variety of outdoor adventures and hands-on learning will be offered, including hiking, nature observation, wildlife viewing and laboratory discoveries.Topics and locations might be different each week. Children, ages 9 to 12, can participate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.Museum staff will provide transportation during the program. Participants should bring snacks, drinks and lunch.




(Washington--jc)  For much of the country it’s beginning to look a lot like summer. Stephanie Ho reports…




American Legions across the country will be celebrating 100 year anniversaries in 2019. The LeRoy American Legion Ruel Neal Post #79 is offering several special collection packages to commemorate this event. To receive your package by November 11th , you need to preorder by August 15th. If you would like more information, please call Mark at 309-530-1313.


(Springfield--jc)  -- Legislation sponsored by local State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City meant to create greater flexibility in the medical system by permitting medically qualified individuals, to utilize their training in a pre-hospital environment is now on its way to the governor’s desk. Bennett says the Illinois House gave its final approval on Monday….




Local Republican State Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City.

The idea for the measure came from a Carle Foundation Hospital employee wishing to help with E-M-Ts.



(Mattoon--jc)  Excessive heat was to blame for another road buckling incident along Interstate 57 on Monday evening. Illinois Department of Transportation crews were called to mile marker 193 in the northbound lanes to fix a portion of the road. Traffic was slowed down to one lane for several hours as crews made repairs. Last week a similar road buckling occurred between Rantoul and Thomasboro in the southbound lanes of I-57.  State police and I-Dot officials advise motorists to be aware of on-going road buckling with the hot temperatures to rainfall in East Central Illinois.


(SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A dormant gambling-expansion plan came to life just long enough to stall in a House committee. The Executive Committee's 5-4 vote Monday on Representative. Robert Rita's plan was one vote shy of the six needed to move it to a floor vote. The Blue Island Democrat's  plan won Senate O-K 15 months ago as part of a "grand bargain" to break what was then a 20-month stalemate over the budget. It would authorize six new casinos, including one in Chicago and one in Danville, and allow slot machines at horse racing tracks.



(Washington--jc)  -- Will the average food shopper pay more for groceries this year than last year? Gary Crawford has the story…




(Springfield--jc)  -- With the Memorial Day holiday complete for another year, state police say they continue to look for four common violations with motorist.  Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz says distracted driving is a major problem on Illinois roadways…



Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) —First ladies are getting their own day in in the Illinois state capitol. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is celebrating the lives of the first ladies of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.The June 14 event is called "History Sparkles." Four historians stationed around the museum will give brief presentations and take questions about Mary Lincoln, Julia Grant, Nancy Reagan and Michelle Obama.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial minute…



The DeWitt County Farm Bureau is hosting a Young Leader meeting Tuesday

June 5th at 6:30pm. Anyone between the ages of 18 & 35 and is interested in Ag is invited to attend.The meeting will include discussion about the 2018 Ag Olympics to be held at the 4-H Fairgrounds ahead of the 4-H Fair. The Guest Speaker is Logan Frye, Farm Manager and Associate Appraiser from the First Illinois Ag Group. Frye will address landowner-farmer relationships and discuss land value trends. A light meal will be provided. If you are a not a Young Leader, you may still attend for the guest speaker. RSVP on the Facebook event page




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Museum is among 2,000 museums across the nation to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer. The Blue Star Museum Program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense. The program is designed to give families the chance to enjoy the nation's cultural heritage. And it helps families after a military move learn more about their new communities. The Illinois State Museum's program runs until Sept. 3.

Active military and veterans always get free admission to the museum.



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Graphic and industrial design students at the University of Illinois have created "immersive reality scenarios" to help prison inmates on the verge of release navigate the world outside.The spring class involved students developing a headset and controller followed by the scenarios themselves. Scenarios include navigating public transportation, paying for gas at the pump and ordering from a fast-food restaurant's digital kiosk. Lisa Mercer is a graphic design professor who co-taught the class with industrial design professor William Bullock. Mercer says the goal was to teach students to use methods to create products based on social-impact research that are easy to use.



Friday May 25 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois House panel has endorsed a proposal expanding the use of medical marijuana to fight the state's opioid crisis. The House Executive committee voted 8-3 Thursday. The plan would allow individuals who qualify for opioid prescriptions to apply for the state's medical cannabis program. The bill’s sponsor is working on provisions to get the measure into a committee for approval next week.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois roads will be extra busy this weekend for the Memorial Day Holiday and police will be on the lookout for unsafe drivers. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says in between parties, sporting events Memorial Day services and cookouts, you need to make sure you have a safe drive plan…



Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

State and local police are increasing patrols for the Memorial Day weekend. They will be targeting speeders, those not wearing a seatbelt, drunk and distracted drivers.


(Clinton-dg)-Baum Chevrolet Buick in Clinton is celebrating 90 years. They would like to invite you to their open house today from 9am to 7pm. They will have some dealership memorabilia on display throughout the showroom. Refreshments will be served throughout the day. There will be giveaways for everyone that attends. You will also be able to register to win Cubs and Cardinals tickets, a Weber grill, or a $500 visa gift card. Stop by Baum Chevrolet-Buick in Clinton today. A tradition of Service since 1928.



(Champaign--jc)  -- Champaign County crimestoppers is  seeking information about a robbery at Market Place Mall that happened earlier this week. Authorities say the incident happened Wednesday around 3pm when police were called to the Roger’s and Hollands Jewelry store.The subject ran from the scene and is described as an 18 to 25 year old black male, five feet-six inches tall and weighing around 170 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call Champaign County Crimestoppers. You could receive a one thousand dollar reward.



Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois lawmakers passed a workaround Thursday designed to help residents avoid federal caps on property tax deductions despite a warning the day before from the Internal Revenue Service. I-R-S officials  addressed efforts in some high-tax states to create laws to allow residents to continue to deduct state and local taxes in excess of 10 thousand dollars from federal taxes. Illinois law now caps the deductions at the 10 thousand dollar mark The measure moving through Springfield would create an education donation fund.


The Farmer City pool will open June 1 instead of May 28 due to some repairs needing to be made to the walls and deep end of the main pool. It is now being filled with water and still needs to be treated before it is ready for the public.



(Rantoul-rb) Happ Parker Aquatic Center in Rantoul opens this weekend. Supervisor Hannah Razzo talks about the hours…



Happ Parker Aquatic Supervisor Hannah Razzo



Gibson City, IL, May 24, 2018— Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services  will host an event on behalf of the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians on Wednesday, June 13th at the Gibson Area Hospital Community Services Center in Gibson City. Dinner will be served at 5 p.m., followed by the 6 p.m. program “Joy in Medicine” presented by Kathy Mueller, MD, a Connecticut family physician.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A bipartisan group of Illinois legislators have introduced a bill that would reinstate the death penalty for convicted mass murderers and killers of first responders. In a statement released Thursday, the lawmakers said the legislation does not include gun control measures proposed by Governor. Bruce Rauner when he used his amendatory veto authority on gun legislation earlier this month. They contend Rauner's amendatory veto places overreaching restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.


NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald's isn't ready to stop offering plastic straws, despite environmental concerns. A shareholder proposal to pressure the world's biggest hamburger chain on the matter was voted down at the company's annual meeting Thursday. The proposal by activist group SumOfUs asked for a report about the "business risks" of using plastic straws at the chain's 37 thousand locations globally. McDonald's said it was already working on finding alternatives to plastic straws.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — One Illinois lawmaker says the process for investigating ethics complaints in the Illinois General Assembly is rife with trap doors, blind alleys and loopholes. And she is claiming retaliation from  House Speaker Michael Madigan On Thursday, State Representative Kelly Cassidy called for an overhaul of the Legislative Ethics Commission, the same panel to which House Speaker Michael Madigan turned this week.



(Undated--jc) --  The Memorial Day holiday means its grilling time. Safety is a key for outdoor grilling. WEXG’s Joel Cluver has the details…





(Springfield--jc)  -- One candidate for Illinois Attorney General says the state has failed its #MeToo test. Republican candidate for Illinois Attorney General-Erika Harold  is backing the governor sweeping changes on the way harassment allegations are handled in Springfield. The Champaign county resident says the failure by Speaker Michael Madigan, Democratic Senator Kwame Raoul and the Democratic majority in the General Assembly to enact meaningful reform of the investigation and complaint resolution process is a failure of leadership. Harold adds that women deserve real reform. Harold faces Raoul in the November election for Illinois Attorney General.



(Undated--jc)  -- Some Illinois towns could lose broad home rule taxing authority as the state's population continues to decline, a possibility that could ease local taxes and further squeeze municipal budgets. U.S. Census numbers released Thursday show the population  of cities like Freeport, Collinsville and Harvey fell below 25 thousand. That is the threshold for automatic home-rule status.



(Springfield--jc)  -- State officials continue to remind motorists to “give them distance.”  Illinois Tollway Executive Liz Gorman says to move over if someone is stopped on the side of the road…



Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman.

You can make the pledge on line at Give-Them-Distance-dot-com


(Champaign--jc)  Ameren is expanding two sub stations in the Champaign area. The project will help with electric service for the twin cities. Channel 3 reports the substations are on Oak Street in Champaign and a second in Bondville. The projects are expected to be completed by the end of this year.



(Champaign--jc)  The Champaign County Nursing Home now has a new owner. Champaign County board members voted 16 to 5 to sell the county owned property. The price tag is 11 million dollars to Extended Care Clinic and Altitude Health Service.


(Gibson-DG) Historical tours of Drummer Township Cemetery in Gibson City continue in early June. The historic tours  take place on Saturday, June 9th at Drummer Township cemetery, with performances at 1pm and 3pm. The tours will feature 7 gravesites of notable and historic people portrayed by local citizens in period costumes. Tickets are 10 dollars for adults and 5 dollars for anyone under 18. Tickets are available at the Moyer District Library in Gibson City.




Area Memorial Day Services


Bellflower Community Memorial Day services will be held at the Bellflower Methodist Church at 9am. This is open to the entire community. There will also be a service at the Bellflower Township Cemetery at 2pm.



The Mansfield American Legion Post 650 will have Memorial Day services at 12:30. Starting at the legion. The public is  welcome.



Farmer City American Legion Color Guard Joe Williams Post #55 Memorial Day services at 10am at Downtown City Park.



The Blue Ridge Marching Knights will be performing in the nation’s largest Memorial Day event in Washington DC on Monday. The National Memorial Day Parade will be streamed Live on at 1pm central.



The LeRoy American Legion Ruel Neal Post #79 will hold Memorial Day services at 8am at Gilmore Cemetery, 9am at the American Legion Wall of Honor followed by a downtown parade. Services at Oak Grove Cemetery will take place at 10:30.  

This is the 1 year anniversary of the Wall of Honor. There are over 1,400 names from LeRoy on the wall.



Clinton's Memorial Day Service will take place at 10am at Woodlawn Cemetery's Civil War Soldier's Plot. The public is invited.



The Saybrook American Legion Post 427 will conduct Memorial Day services at 10:30am at Riverside Cemetery followed by services at Cheney’s Grove Township Cemetery.



The DeLand Sons of the American Legion will be having Memorial Day services at 11am followed by a fish lunch at noon.



GIBSON CITY-Gibson City’s Memorial Day parade kicks off at 10am in front of the GCMS district’s office building on Sangamon Ave and will end up at Drummer Township Cemetery around 10:30 for a special service. Then they will hold at Elliott Cemetery around 11:30.

MELVIN-A special Memorial Day Service will be held at 10am at Melvin Cemetery.

SIBLEY- The Martin H. Suntken American Legion Post 244 of Sibley will hold services at 11am at Mount Hope Cemetery.





Thursday May 24 2018

(Farmer City-rb) Farmer City Heritage Days kick’s off tonight. They will have fun for everyone including dollar rides. Event Coordinator Felicia Hughes talks about the events taking place tonight…



Heritage Days coordinator Felicia Hughes



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has sent the governor a measure legalizing industrial hemp.The House voted 106-3 Wednesday to allow hemp cultivation for commercial use . Hemp is a form of the cannabis plant distinct from marijuana. It does not produce any high-like effects and is often used in clothing or food.Hemp was banned nationwide in 1937 for its relation to the marijuana plant. Former President Barack Obama opened the door for states to legalize industrial hemp in 2015. That removed opposition from Illinois Republicans who had blocked previous attempts to legalize the plant in the state.



(Springfield-dg) If it doesn't have a motor, you don't need a state license to float it on an Illinois lake, river, or pond. The state's Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday that it is doing away with stamps for non-motorized watercraft. Ed Cross with the Department of Natural Resources says the stamps proved tough to attach to some kayaks and canoes. Illinois had charged six dollars for a stamp for paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks. The change takes effect June 1st



(Springfield--jc_  -- In a series of tweets yesterday, State Senator Daniel Biss criticized House Speaker  Mike Madigan for enabling a political culture that uses retaliatory tactics to intimidate fellow Democratic Party members who speak out against Madigan and his political party. Biss defended State Rep. Kelly Cassidy for speaking out against Madigan after his staff when she called for an independent investigation following allegations of harassment from within Madigan's political organization.



(Springfield--jc)  -- One local state representative is seeing legislation he is sponsoring, move through the Illinois House. Republican State Representative Chad Hays of Catlin says the measure creates a five year program to train entry level workers…



Republican State Representative Chad Hays of Catlin.

Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana praises the legislation. Carle currently operates two  programs in Champaign-Urbana. They are Job Readiness and Healthy Beginnings..



RANTOUL, Ill. -They call it Lincoln’s Challenge for a reason.

The cadets say it is not easy—from waking up at 5 A.M. every morning to staying on top of homework to exercising daily. For 25 years, the National Guard's Lincoln's Challenge has been home to more than 15,000 cadets. The military-style school in Rantoul focuses on providing an opportunity to help at-risk teens get back on the right track. It’s a 17-month federal and state funded program focused on setting teens up for success. Only 22 weeks are spent on campus and then cadets enter a post-residential phase.The program is recruiting for the next class, which starts in July. There are orientations throughout Illinois. The academy takes in teens 16 to 18 years-old that are drug free and have no felony convictions.



(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois House paused Wednesday prior to the Memorial Day weekend to honor Illinois’ fallen soldiers.   An annual event in the House chamber, the names of those men and women in uniform who have passed during the past 12 months, are read by the representative from the home district of the soldier. State Representative Jeannie Ives of Wheaton says it is the American fighting men and women who keep us safe…



State Representative Jeannie Ives of Wheaton..


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A showdown between two Democratic measures to close the wage gap ended with Illinois senators rejecting one considered more business friendly. The Senate Labor Committee voted 11-6 Wednesday to approve legislation prohibiting employers from asking applicants their salary history. It has stiffer penalties for violators than one supported by business interests.The legislation is considered a pay-equity plan. Basing pay on salary history can hurt women. They often spend time outside the workforce for familial or other reasons not applicable to men.



BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Police say the closing of two southwestern Illinois high schools was prompted by a teenager who took his mother's handgun to possibly confront his girlfriend at one of the schools.Belleville police said the 18-year-old man was arrested without any trouble Wednesday morning after officials had already closed Belleville East and Belleville West high schools for the day. Police say the teen's mother called about 1 a.m. saying he made suicidal comments and was having relationship troubles with his girlfriend, who is a Belleville East student.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner is not demanding reinstatement of the death penalty in exchange for Democratic-favored gun restrictions in an all-or-nothing package, an aide said after testimony before a House committee Wednesday. David Risley, the Republican's director of criminal justice and public safety policy, said each of the other provisions Rauner added in an amendatory veto last week— including a 72-hour gun-delivery waiting period, a bump-stock ban and a court procedure for taking guns from dangerous people — would have the governor's support.


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected the Illinois Department of Corrections' plan to address flaws in mental health care for 12 thousand inmates. Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Douglas Rees recommended a two-step plan to identify and provide additional care for inmates. But U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm called the state's plan insufficient, Mihm said it is not a plan and the biggest issue is a lack of staff The judge also opposed a state request for more flexibility in how existing staff is assigned within the mental health system.


(Springfield--jc)  -- State officials in Springfield are launching the “Give Them Distance” campaign and reminding motorists to move over for someone who is pulled off on the side of the roadway. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says the state’s move over law was expanded last year in hopes of protecting those stopped along the road..



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner


LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Heavy equipment and machinery maker Caterpillar plans to renovate existing facilities in the Lafayette, Indiana, area.The plans by Deerfield, Illinois-based Caterpillar would bring 125 new jobs to the Lafayette area. Documents submitted to the Lafayette Redevelopment Commission say Caterpillar plans to invest $73.6 million through 2021 in building improvements, information technology software and equipment. The Lafayette facility currently employs about 1,350.


RANTOUL — The Rantoul Village Board will hold a town hall meeting from 6- til 7-30 tonight. The public event is set for Rantoul Township High School in the  cafetorium. Rantoul Mayor Chuck Smith says the trustees will be separated into three groups to talk with area citizens on their concerns. Smith will also be available for conversations. Rantoul leaders also plan for additional town hall meetings through the year.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…




ASHKUM – Illinois State Police  District 21 Commander, Captain Don Aaron Harsy, is reminding motorists to take the necessary safety precautions to prevent senseless tragedies during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest periods for travelers, and millions of motorists are expected to hit the roads and interstates across the country. Harsy says his department and the entire state police force will be doing their part in keeping the roads safe for those traveling through the state.




(Undated-rb) It is national safe boating week. WEXG Joel Cluver has more on safety tips willing using a boat…





Wednesday May 23 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- The Illinois House is set to hear testimony about a slew of measures Gov. Bruce Rauner has raised to enhance public safety, and among them is freeing up money for armed school resource officers.The House heard the governor’s plan Monday to bring back the death penalty for cop killers and mass murderers, but other issues the governor injected in a bill he changed with his amendatory veto are slated for a Wednesday hearing. Rauner says his plan will increase the safety of school children and all citizens.



(Washington--jc)  -- A new farm bill faces an uncertain future after conservative House Republicans wanting a vote on an unrelated immigration bill joined Democrats in defeating the legislation. Between Democrats opposing work requirements for food stamp recipients and conservative Republicans wanting a vote on a tougher immigration bill, they had enough votes to sink the farm bill. The 600-page legislation would renew the federal laws on farmer subsidy programs like reimbursement for crop insurance, but the biggest monetary portion goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. President Donald Trump wants to add a stronger work requirement for able-bodied SNAP recipients.


(Springfield--jc) Corn planting is nearly complete as we hear in the weekly crop report. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says this year’s corn crop is ahead of the 5 year average…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.



(Springfield-rb) The State of Illinois  is just over a week away from the deadline to pass a budget. Local  State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington talks about his stance on the budget.


Local State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington



(Rantoul--jc)  -- The Hap Parker Family Aquatic Center opens this weekend in Rantoul. Saturday is the first day the center will be open for swimming. The doors will open at noon, with Memorial Day hours of noon to 7pm through Memorial Day Monday. Regular hours are 1pm to 7pm Monday through Friday.


CHAMPAIGN — With a holiday weekend on the horizon, gas prices nearly hit $3 a gallon Monday. Beth Mosher, a spokeswoman for AAA Chicago says you could see $3 a gallon by the end of the week. Right now, the average is $2.92.  A year ago the average was $2.24. "This is really the trend across the country, but Illinois and Michigan have been hit a little harder than the rest of the Midwest states," Mosher said. Gas prices usually increase in the spring as refineries switch to a more expensive summer blend of gasoline, though that already happened in Illinois. Mosher said higher gas prices typically don't affect travel plans till they reach $4. AAA expects Memorial Day travel to increase this year, despite the higher gas prices A GasBuddy survey of 17,000 of its members revealed that only 58 percent of respondents said they'll take a road trip this summer. That's down from last year, with 39 percent citing high gas prices.

(Colfax-DG) A local School district will be looking for a new superintendent. Ridgeview Community Unit School District 19 in Colfax will be looking to hire someone to fill the top position as current superintendent Guy Gradert will take over as Unit 9 superintendent in Watseka in Iroquois County, at the start of the new fiscal year July 1. Gradert has been superintendent in Ridgeview since 2011.




(Washington--jc)  -- Trading with China. Reaction coming from U-S-D-A officials. Rod Bain reports…  


( Springfield--jc)  --An Illinois lawmaker who believes House Speaker Michael Madigan retaliated against her for speaking out on sexual harassment is pleased that Madigan has asked for an independent investigation.. But Chicago Democratic Representative Kelly Cassidy said Tuesday she doesn't trust the process that exists for reviewing complaints involving legislators.Cassidy says she was forced to resign from her part-time job as a program manager for Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart after Madigan allies made an issue over her opposition to legislation Dart proposed. Madigan denied he had any involvement but asked the Legislative Inspector General on Tuesday to investigate the claim.



(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says with the programs his office is promoting, the state will grow. The governor says Illinois over the past 30 plus years has not provided a good business environment…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



(Chicago--jc)  -- Small and medium-sized banks will no longer have to comply with many of the strict new regulations put in place in the wake of the global financial crisis of a decade ago.The U.S. House on Tuesday joined its Senate colleagues in voting to roll back portions of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which in 2010 placed vast new regulations on financial institutions across the country.In a bipartisan showing, House representatives voted, 258-159, to ease the rules on community and regional banks.



(Farmer City-rb) Farmer City’s Heritage Day’s start this Thursday and Run thru the weekend. Event Coordinator Felicia Hughes talks about why you should come out to the events…



Heritage Day’s Coordinator Felicia Hughes



(Washington--jc)  One U-S-D-A- leader  used recent visits with Chinese officials to continue trust building in the trade relationship between both countries. Rod Bain reports…





(Springfield--jc)  -- Soybean planting is ahead of the 5 year average. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says over have of soybeans have emerged…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s BiCentennial minute…




Tuesday May 22 2018

(Undated--jc)  -- An Illinois law allowing pension boards to raid a delinquent municipality’s state income tax funds has caught the eye of Wall Street. This is the first year that a city that’s not paying enough into their police and fire pensions can have millions of dollars in state-allocated funds funneled directly to the pensions. It’s already happening in suburban Harvey and North Chicago. Hundreds of underfunded police and fire pensions across the state have the capability to cause a “fiscal reckoning” by diverting state funds away from the city.


(Undated--jc)  --As warm weather returns to Illinois, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reminding people about the risk for tick-borne illnesses Nationwide, the number of tick-borne disease cases doubled between 2004 and 2016, according to a new C-D-C report.  Illinois doesn’t see as many tick-borne illness cases as states on the coasts, but the danger is still present. Illinois reported more than 3,600 tick-borne illness cases in the past dozen years.



(Springfield-rb) Medical Marijuana is a hot topic in the State house right now. Proposal’s have been making their way to Governor Rauner’s desk recently regarding school aged kids being able to use their medical marijuana at school. Some parents are worried about the second hand nature of Medical Marijuana if kids were allowed to bring it to school.  State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington says that the there is not much to worry about.




(Gibson City--jc)  -The Ford County Daughters of the American Revolution will hold a genealogy workshop at Moyer Library in Gibson City on Saturday  June 9th from 9 to 11 a.m. D-A-R members will be available to assist those interested in joining the organization by following their lineage, generation by generation. Those planning to attend are asked to bring any helpful data concerning their ancestors, such as birth, death & marriage certificates, family trees or obituaries.  Information is found by calling Marilyn Ames at (217) 727-1177.




SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The most popular baby names in Illinois last year? Noah and Olivia.The Social Security Administration has released Illinois' top five boys and girls names for 2017. For boys, the top five were: Noah, Liam, Benjamin, Logan and Alexander. The most popular girls' names were Olivia, Emma, Ava, Sophia and Isabella. The Social Security Agency compiles a list of baby names every year and has name records dating back to 1800.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Democratic legislators grilled a top aide to Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Monday over a compromise plan to reinstate the death penalty in exchange for even stricter gun restrictions than the ones the Legislature approved. Rauner used his veto powers last week to insert the capital punishment language, along with measures that include extending the waiting period on all guns from 24 to 72 hours, into a bill both chambers approved with veto-proof majorities. The original bill would impose the restriction just for assault-style weapons.


(Peoria--jc)  --A central Illinois congressman has proposed legislation that would offer tax credits for investments in existing nuclear power plants across the country .Republican Congressman Darin LaHood of Peoria, is behind a bill that would provide a 30 percent credit for refueling costs and capital expenditures at plants through 2021. LaHood says 51 percent of the  electricity in Illinois is generated from nuclear plants. His proposal would keep nuclear power as a competitor in the energy business. The nuclear power plants in Illinois are in Clinton, Braidwood and Marseilles.


(Springfield--jc)  The governor and family are back at the executive mansion in Springfield.  Renovations began in 20-15 and included structural repairs, a new visitors center and some new art. An open house and tours at the Executive Mansion in Springfield will be held in July.



(Springfield--kc)  -- It's not just roads, bridges, schools, and pensions that are making it tough for Illinois lawmakers to come to terms on a new state budget.Legislators in Springfield are beset by social service groups and the people who they serve, who want more. For each state-supported or state-managed service, there is someone with a personal story who says lawmakers cannot possibly cut their program.  State leaders have until the end of the month to pass a balanced budget on time.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The state's inspector general has found mismanagement on the part of Gov. Bruce Rauner's office for improper hiring. The Office of the Executive Inspector General's report released Monday targeted seven people hired in the Department of Central Management Services as "regional client managers." The job description indicates it's a policymaking post which a governor can fill based on political loyalty. The review found that employees set up tables, inspected state buildings and monitored inventory. It's the type of hiring for which candidate Rauner in 2014 lambasted his predecessor, Gov. Pat Quinn. Rauner's office responded to the report saying it can't be responsible for employees not doing work they were hired for but would improve oversight. The jobs were eliminated. Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold says Rauner has eliminated 2,500 patronage jobs.





Monday May 21 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- With no deal for a balanced budget, and billions in unpaid bills, leaders in the state continue to try to change the business climate in Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner says the efforts are there to sell the state as a business center…



Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner



CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — One of the nation's most acclaimed university-based performing arts facilities is gearing up to celebrate its 50th anniversary. It' s the Krannert Center for the  Performing Arts at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. It'll mark the anniversary over two concert seasons starting in September. Director Mike Ross says it will be a celebration of the past but also "a springboard" propelling the center into the future.It opened in April 1969. It cost about 21 million dollars to build. The bureau says replacement costs today would be around 300 million dollars.



(Washington--jc)  -- The farm bill has, at least temporarily, been defeated in the House of Representatives in Washington. Gary Crawford has the latest…




PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Park officials in central Illinois will soon begin construction on new cabins that are part of a  Two point 4 Million dollar capital campaign.

The campaign was recently launched by Forest Park Foundation, which operates Wildlife Prairie Park, the Journal Star reported. The 14 cabins will overlook a bison and elk enclosure at the park. New fences will also be constructed, enabling the animals to approach the back decks of the cabins.Foundation president Mark Spenny said the cabins will enhance the quality of lodging the park offers



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Abraham Lincoln once said, "Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way." So it's not improbable that the 16th president would endorse a unique fundraising method to ensure that priceless artifacts belonging to him stay in his hometown. The crowdsourcing site GoFundMe — currently featuring requests of 800 dollars  to finance a boy's Eagle Scout project to 55 thousand dollars for a school playground. Now GoFundMe has a new goal: that is to raise 9 point 7 Million dollars to save from auction thousands of items, including bloody gloves carried the night of his assassination and a stovepipe hat purportedly belonging to Lincoln. Those with the foundation in Springfield  must pay the debt by October 2019 or sell off parts of the well-known Taper Collection acquired in 2007. The pricetag for all the items was 25 million dollars



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois State Fair is giving people a taste of what's to come this summer — complete with their favorite fair foods. The fair is hosting a "Corn Dog Kickoff" on June 9 in Springfield. It will include live music, food and a 5K run and 3K walk through the state fairgrounds. The state fair box office also will be open so people may buy tickets to events at the fair's grandstand.



CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a new exhibit that chronicle's the zoo's history. The exhibition that will open Sunday and run throughout the summer will recount the zoo's history that began in 1868 when it received two pairs of swans from New York's Central Park commissioners.The exhibition will include family-friendly activities and drawings to win prizes such as cruises on the Chicago River and anniversary-themed Twilight Safari walking tours.



DIXON, Ill. (AP) — A judge refused to lower bail Friday for a 19-year-old charged with firing shots inside of his northern Illinois high school as seniors met for graduation rehearsal, an offense a prosecutor described as one of "the most serious crimes you can commit."Matthew A. Milby Jr. appeared in court via video from the Lee County Jail, where he's being held on $2 million bail. His appearance came as a tragedy was unfolding at a high school in Texas, where authorities say a 17-year-old gunman killed 10 people, including nine of his fellow students.



LA ROSE, Ill. (AP) — An often traveled rural road near Peoria will be closed for a summer-long bridge replacement project. South La Rose Road, will close starting today for the nearly One Million dollar project.Work on the bridge that spans Crow Creek is expected to be finished by Sept. 7. Officials say a segment of the route more than a mile long will be shut down during that time.



(Springfield-rb) From 4:00pm to 8:00 pm today, law enforcement agencies across the country will partner to send a zero-tolerance message to travelers in a coordinated effort dubbed Border to Border.   Law enforcement agencies will join forces to provide increased seat belt enforcement at state borders, sending a zero-tolerance message to the public: Driving or riding unbuckled will result in a ticket, no matter what state.  Seat belt use is the single most effective way to survive a crash. The goal of this campaign is to reduce traffic fatalities and save lives.


(Washington--jc)  -- Everyone has until June first to sign up for the Margin Protection Program for farmers. Stephanie Ho reports…




(Springfield--jc) --  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is highlighting preparedness for people with disabilities. Everyone needs to have basics such as food and water to a first aid kit ready in a disaster situation. Illinois Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Patti Thompson  says some have other concerns too…



I-EMA Spokesperson Patti Thompson

The complete guide is available on line at Ready-dot-illinois-dot-gov



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — One lucky karaoke star will open for country music star Brett Eldredge during this year's Illinois State Fair.The State Fair Karaoke Contest challenges young singers around the state to show off their singing chops. Nine regional county fairs around the state will host qualifying rounds in July. First and second place winners will then compete head-to-head at the Illinois State Fair the next month. The winner will sing two songs later that same day prior to the Brett Eldredge concert.Eldredge is country music star from Paris in central Illinois. He's best known for songs including 'Don't Ya' and 'Lose My Mind.' The contest is free to enter and open to anyone at least 18 years old. The Illinois State Fair will take place August 9-19.



(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200 anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…



Wednesday May 30 2018

(Springfield--jc)  -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois Department of Transportation are unveiling a new 11 Billion Dollar, six year state infrastructure plan.The plan aims to improve nearly 2 thousand miles of road and 525 bridges in Illinois. The governor says they are focusing on new management strategies to take better care of the states transportation system…


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A plan to prohibit smoking for those under age 21 failed in the Illinois House Tuesday after meeting opposition from lawmakers calling it a governmental overreach. The plan, which would ban under 21 sales of tobacco or related products including e-cigarettes or vaping materials, fell four votes short despite a strong lobbying campaign and Senate approval in April.

Rep. Camille Lilly, a Chicago Democrat, said her measure is meant to prevent teens from forming a deadly habit. She added it will save the state millions of dollars in long-term health care costs.



(Springfield--jc)  Temps were more than 8 degrees above normal and rain was a little below normal this past week. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 90 percent of soybeans are planted and 75 percent has emergered, and corn…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener.

Average statewide topsoil moisture stands at 2 percent very short, 25 percent short, 69 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus.



There will be a DeWitt County Board meeting this evening. The board’s controversial consideration of a special use permit for the LeRoy Rifle and Pistol Club’s 40 acre site for a meeting and gun range near Waynesville is expected to draw a large crowd. The meeting will begin at 5:30 in the DeWitt County Courthouse.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has approved another plan for state licensing of gun dealers after an earlier version was vetoed by the governor. The vote Tuesday was 65-49 in favor of requiring firearms dealers to pay a fee for a five-year state license. It would require training for gun shop employees to spot illegal purchasers and videotaping of key areas of the business.The measure is opposed by gun-rights advocates as too vague and too burdensome to small dealers. Addison Democratic Rep. Kathleen Willis says her plan is aimed at stopping the legal sale of firearms to those who transfer them to criminals. Opponents say a majority of law-abiding gun dealers is being punished.



The Village of Fisher is holding its 2nd Annual Lucky Foot Festival June 2nd. There will be activities for the entire family. There will be a Vendor Fair, BBQ competition and car show. Live Music from 6-10 by Flatville Road.



The DeWitt County Farm Bureau is hosting a Young Leader meeting Tuesday

June 5th at 6:30pm. Anyone between the ages of 18 & 35 and is interested in Ag is invited to attend.The meeting will include discussion about the 2018 Ag Olympics to be held at the 4-H Fairgrounds ahead of the 4-H Fair. The Guest Speaker is Logan Frye, Farm Manager and Associate Appraiser from the First Illinois Ag Group. Frye will address landowner-farmer relationships and discuss land value trends. A light meal will be provided. If you are a not a Young Leader, you may still attend for the guest speaker. RSVP on the Facebook event page




Woodlawn Country Club in Farmer City is hosting the Monsanto Golf Outing on June 23rd & 24th. This is open to the public. $260 per team. Teams will be flighted after the first day. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top teams in each flight. For more information contact Woodlawn Country Club.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Senate has again approved a prohibition on employers asking applicants their salary history .The Senate voted Tuesday night 31-16 on Senator. Cristina Castro's legislation. The Elgin Democrat says the plan would benefit women. Women often have lower salaries over time because they enter and leave the workforce for family and other issues more often than men. Castro says Illinois women lose 20 billion dollars in wages over their careers because salaries are often based on previous wages.Republicans say it's a burden to employers and penalties are draconian. The Senate rejected a similar plan that had less-severe penalties for wayward employers.



(Springfield--jc)  In the final days of the spring legislative session, lawmakers are looking a expanding gaming. The latest plan allows for 6 new casinos, including one in Chicago and one locally in Danville. Critics say the market is already saturated, but State Senator Terry Link of Waukegan, disagrees…


State Senator Terry Link of Waukegan.

The measure fell short in the Illinois House on Monday, Another attempt to bring the issue to the full house is being made in Springfield.


(Springfield--jc)  Some Illinois union workers are due raises from as far back as 20-11. The raise was included in their contracts with the state of Illinois. The state legislature did not approve funding on time, and since then, only 50 percent of those union workers have received their raises. Democrat State Representative David Meyer of Jacksonville says it’s time for the state to settle up…



State Representative David Meyer of Jacksonville.

The measure passed the Illinois House and is now in the hands of the Illinois Senate. The cost for the back pay is 63 Million Dollars.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Heated debates over income taxes and abortion funding in the state Capitol Tuesday belied what legislative leaders said was a collegial negotiation over the full budget which made lawmakers optimistic they could complete their work by Thursday's deadline. The Democratic-controlled House endorsed a resolution  calling for abandoning Illinois' flat income tax for a graduated tax that hits wealthier taxpayers harder than those of lesser means. It's endorsed by Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker, but the vote was 61-52 in a legislative chamber with 67 Democrats.



(Springfield-jc)  -- Temperatures were above normal and rainfall was below normal this week, leaving more than 5 days suitable for fieldwork. State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener says 89 per cent of the corn crop has emerged…



State Crop Statistician Mark Schleusener

93 percent of winter wheat has headed and 66 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent shape.


(Champaign-rb) For the third year in a row, the Interstate 57/Interstate 74 interchange was included in the Illinois Department of Transportation's annual list of infrastructure projects, coming in at $121.2 million. The cost covers reconstruction of the interchange, a new bridge, a bridge replacement, a culvert replacement, a new culvert and other costs, according to IDOT's plan for fiscal 2019-2024. In fiscal 2019, which begins July 1, IDOT plans to spend $21 million on 10 projects in Champaign County, and from fiscal 2019 to 2024, it plans to spend about $230 million on 34 projects.


(Undated--jc)  -- Illinois is celebrating its 200th anniversary as a state. Here is today’s Bicentennial Minute…





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