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Local News

Clinton BOE Approve New Vehicles

The Clinton Board of Education earlier this week approved the buy and trade of a couple district vehicles.
 
Superintendent Curt Nettles indicates the drivers education program will be equipped with a new car.
 
 
Additionall, the district plans to buy and trade a van for a truck. Nettles indicates that vehicles serves several purposes.
 
 
Nettles indicates the van was damaged in a traffic accident, the insurance company totalled the van out and almost $68-hundred will go towards the payment of the vehicle.

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Local Small Businesses Awarded $10,000 in Grants From A Clinton Bank

First National Bank and Trust in Clinton recently awarded $10-thousand dollars across several small businesses in DeWitt County.
 
The REV winners were awarded last week. The Buttered Bun was awarded $5,000 to purchase a commercial stove. Triple-M Farms received $3,000 for a delivery truck and Mason Dial of Dial Farms, received $2,000 to add livestock to his growing operation.
 
It was the first small business competition and was a way to re-invest in the small businesses of the community. 

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Quincy Veterans Home Site For Another Legionnaires Outbreak

A Quincy veterans home where 12 people died from cases of Legionnaires' disease in recent years, has seen the issue resurface. 
 
There are pair of new cases at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. One victim has died, but state veterans affairs officials believe that was the result of other factors. 
 
Right now the department isn't certain of the cause of the two new cases. 
 
The water at the facility is being tested and officials are keeping close tabs on residents to ensure they don't contract the disease.

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Weekly Weather Summary

It was a pleasant week in central Illinois and State Climotologist Jim Angel indicates we could see some rain later this weekend, ahead of a cool down.
 

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Boil Order

Boil order until further notice. The area is 700 - 900 blocks E. Main to S. Taylor to E. Jefferson to S. George.
 
Call 217-935-3432 with questions.

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County Board, Exelon Agree To Tax Assessment Settlement

The DeWitt County Board followed the lead of about a half-dozen DeWitt County taxing bodies Thursday night when they approved an agreement with Exelon taxes to paid out for the next three years.
 
DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg indicates the agreement eliminates a series of appeals dating back to 2011 and sets the EAV up to 2020.
 
 
The Clinton Board of Education approved the same agreement Tuesday night of this week.

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NOAA Climate Prediction Center Releases Winter Outlook

The NOAA weather prediction center released their outlook for the winter of 2018-19 Thursday morning. 
 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, Deputy Director of the Climate Prediction Center, Mike Halpert, says conditions are similar to last year at this time but that doesn't mean we're in for another winter with above normal temperatures.
 
 
Drought is predicted in the northern plains is predicted for this winter, despite record rains from last year.
 
 
Wetter than average conditions are expected in the northern plains while the southern US is expected to be dry. Halpert says right now, Illinois finds itself in an 'equal chance' category for temperatures. He explains there is not enough information available to make a prediction yet. 

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Warrensburg-Latham Schools Plan to FFA In 2018-19

Adding an FFA program in 2018-19 school year is the goal for a local school district.
 
Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle is the Superintendent of the Warrensburg-Latham School District and indicates they are seeking an ag teacher for next year with the hope of getting the program off the ground at the same time.
 
 
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle points out, with the facilities and resources they have in place, they are hopeful the offerings could go beyond FFA if they make the right hire. She says they are just excited overall about the potential for an FFA program in Warrensburg-Latham.
 
 
With agriculture playing an integral part in the lives of their students, Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says it only makes sense this should be an opportunity for their kids.
 
 
Warrensburg-Latham schools also recently received a grant from ADM to add an outdoor garden to their high school, which should be a good resource for an FFA class and the program along with their greenhouse. 

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University of Illinois Making Big Investments in Chicago

The University of Illinois is looking for a bigger footprint in Chicago and an announcement today might be the step forward it needs. 
 
The Discovery Partners Institute is a planned facility that will focus on specialized research in big data, food and agriculture and other fields. Situated on land that will be donated along the Chicago River the campus is expected to have 90 faculty and about 2,000 students. U of I System President Tim Killeen says the DPI is going to be a massive project.
 
 
U of I System President Tim Killeen says this is the right move at the right time to keep human capital in the state. 
 
 
Partners include the state, the city of Chicago along with the private institutions University of Chicago and Northwestern. 

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September Unemployment Steady

THE ILLINOIS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HELD STEADY LAST MONTH…BUT THERE WERE SOME JOB LOSSES.
 
THE SEPTEMBER JOBLESS RATE CAME IN AT FIVE PERCENT…THE SAME AS AUGUST. STATE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON BOB GOUGH (goff) SAYS THE STATE SAW SOME GAINS.
 
 
GOUGH (goff) SAYS THE STATE LOST MORE THAN 10 THOUSAND JOBS LAST MONTH.
 
 
THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR SEPTEMBER WAS FOUR POINT TWO PERCENT.

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Rural Energy Roundtable Event Planned

Illinois landowners might not have oil fields beneath corn and soybean fields. Still, many opportunities exist to earn some additional cash by generating energy on farms throughout the state. Some officials from Illinois and Minnesota ventured to Germany earlier this year to see the role on-farm power plays in that country's effort to become energy self sufficient, including Minnesota Director of Agriculture Dave Frederickson;
 
 
Illinois Farm Bureau plans to host a Renewable Energy Roundtable on Tuesday, October 31st in Bloomington. Frederickson says his state will host the same two days later and worth the time for farmers and others to explore energy-generating opportunities;
 
 
The Farm Bureau energy seminar will feature farmers from Germany and Illinois who are generating energy and income on their farms. Contact your county Farm Bureau to find out how to attend the Renewable Energy Roundtable. It will run from 11:30 a-m to 4:30 p-m on the 31st and include an Octoberfest-style lunch.

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IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Most Anticipated Event of Year

The IHSA’s biggest night of the year coming up this weekend and a game’s not even being played. 
 
The association’s release of the high school football playoff pairings on Saturday is a highly anticipated event says the IHSA’s Scott Johnson.
 
 
The pairings are released shortly after 8 Saturday night. It’s the heaviest traffic night on the IHSA’s website. Johnson estimates more than 200,000 individual users with up to 1-million hits. 

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Earthquake Drill Being Executed in Area Schools

At Springfield's Blessed Sacrament School, Mrs. Ketchum's class passed a key test with flying colors. They took part in an earthquake drill, the Great Shake Out Drill, with Illinois Emergency Management Director James Joseph. Students practiced the Drop, Cover and Hold On actions people can take to protect themselves during an earthquake. 
 
While outside of Southern Illinois, the state wouldn't have the kind of earthquake damage that levels buildings, Joseph notes residents in Central and Northern Illinois should be wary of threats within their homes.
 
 
The one minute earthquake drill was practiced at 10:19 this (Thursday) morning at schools and workplaces across the state. 

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Duckworth Puts Holds on EPA Nominations

This week, Senator Tammy Duckworth placed a hold on two of President Trump’s nominees to lead offices at the EPA – Bill Wehrum and Dr. Michael Dourson – claiming they each have a track record of putting corporate profits ahead of public safety. 
 
Wehrum has been nominated to lead the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation and Dourson, the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Duckworth is a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. She released an op-ed piece claiming Wehrum has opposed the Renewable Fuel Standard, something she says it crucial to Midwestern economies. She says that standard supports more than 4-thousand jobs through biofuels usage and generates more than 5 billion dollars in economic impact. 
 
Duckworth, went on the offense with her voice instead of her pen when it came to Dourson. She pressed Dourson for answers about his past research that Duckworth says claimed petroleum coke (petcoke) is safe.
 
 
Duckworth says Dourson’s research on petcoke was used to justify not cleaning up petcoke storage facilities on Chicago's Southeast side, leading to the presence of black dust which has been tied to high asthma rates and respiratory problems.

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Boil Order Issued in Clinton

A boil order is in effect in Clinton for the area near South Madison St from Benton St to Revere Road including Violet Valley and Evans and Stone. 
 
If you have any questions please call 935-3432. 

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Liquor License For Theater About Keeping Up With The Times

There was a lot of discussion surrounding the choice to allow alochol to be served at the Clintonia Eagle Theater during the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting. 
 
Eagle Theater Owner Eric Gubelman says the theater industry is shifting from movies and popcorn or candy during movies to serving food and beverages and the decision to serve alcohol is in line with that change in the industry.
 
 
Commissioner John Wise, who ultimately supported the decision, made his consideration based on what would be best for the theater and if it would help them. Wise says while there is always the considerations for new businesses, they need to do what is best for current businesses. 
 
 
Commissioner Tom Edmunds, who was the only descending vote from Monday, questioned was the validity of the sale of alcohol with kids in the theaters and limited food options.
 
 
Gubelman obliged the request to not serve drinks for those purchasing admissions to G-rated movies. The Council also amended their original version of the ordinance to state that in it. 
 
Gubelman also explained their staff has been and will continue to be extensively trained on the serving of alcohol and the rules that apply. He adds when a person purchases a movie ticket, they are given a wristband and limited to two drinks for the duration of their movie. 

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School Board Compares Figures For Wages For Aides

Discussion and research has been done on the wages of aides in the Clinton district and Tuesday night at the Clinton Board of Education meeting, that work came to a head when the district released Clinton figures compared to area districts.
 
Superintendent Curt Nettles presented the Board of Education with figures they gathered in the past month and says Clinton Schools compare well but points to the issue of attracting good aides and retaining them.
 
 
Advocate for the aides, Ron Conner, says this discussion boils down to bringing in the best possible candidates and the administration holding them accountable. He's calling for a scale to be established for the aides.
 
 
Clinton's highest paid aides did not compare well to other districts and it was pointed out that the retention of aides was not very high. Nettles says if aides are not staying around, for whatever reason, they will not be employed long enough to get salary increases of a long tenured aide elsewhere.
 
 
Principal of Jerry Wayne indicates in the interviewing process for aides at the high school, many turn down the opportunity because the pay is not enough.
 
 
Nettles says he will do further research, come up with a pay scale and present that to the Board during the spring semester to have scale in place for the next school year. He would like to also have something in place that considers the assignment an aide has. 
 
 
You can check out the data the district gathered today at by clicking here.

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Sen. Duckworth Says She's Seen Obama Meet With Gold Star Families

Senator Tammy Duckworth is firing back at the President for his comments about what other Presidents haven’t done when it come to contacting family members of fallen soldiers. 
 
President Trump has said that then President Obama didn’t contact gold star family members. Duckworth told MSNBC the statement is false and she personally witnessed Obama meeting and consoling family members.
 
 
The President is also fighting back against claims that he told one gold star family that the solider “must have known what he was signing up for.” Trump says on Twitter that part of the conversation was “fabricated”. That solider and 3 others were recently killed in Africa. 

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Global Demand For Soybeans Exploding, Push Coming From China

The global demand for soybeans should remain strong with most of that interest coming from China. So says trading expert Jim Bower with Bower Trading in Lafayette, Indiana. 
 
 
And Bower says that’s due to the country’s expansion in turkey, pork, chicken, beef, lobster, catfish and even shrimp production.

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Another Entry For Attorney General Race

Two's company, four's a crowd. 
 
The Democratic race for Illinois Attorney General continues to draw new candidates. Chicago attorney and Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners President Jesse Ruiz has entered the race. 
 
He has worked as a partner at law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath for over 20 years. He also has made an impact in the educational realm, having served as interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools and chairman for the Illinois State Board of Education. 
 
Senator Kwame Raoul, State Rep. Scott Drury, and former chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability in Chicago Sharon Fairley are also running on the Democratic ticket. 
 
Republican attorney Erika Harold stands alone so far on the GOP side.

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Fall Veto Session To Include "Tax Dollar" Abortion Debate

Some members of the Illinois House looking to bring down House Bill 40 before it becomes law. The house will take up House Bill 4114 during the upcoming veto session. 
 
The bill would prevent state tax dollars from funding “elective” abortions. State Representative Avery Bourne of Raymond says the bill is modeled after the federal Hyde Amendment.
 
 
Bourne says she’s disappointed the governor chose to sign House Bill 40, but now the legislature can take action to stop it.
 
 
The Illinois House is scheduled to reconvene for the fall veto session on Tuesday.

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Clinton Schools, Exelon Settle on EAV

Clinton School and Exelon have reached an agreement on the EAV in light of the recent legislation to keep Exelon in the community for the foreseeable future.
 
The agreement was approved by the Clinton Board of Education Tuesday night at the monthly Board of Education meeting. Superintendent Curt Nettles indicates the settlement is a five-year agreement.
 
 
Additionally, the Board approved a transfer of funds to the district's tort fund. Nettles says the fund should stabilize with decreased legal fees over negotiations with the power plant now in the rear-view window.
 
 
Also at the Tuesday night Board of Education meeting:
 
>>The Board approved the purchase and trade of the district's drivers education vehicle at a cost not to exceed $20-thousand.
 
>>The Board also approved the purchase of a district delivery truck for $30-thousand. The vehicle will replace the current van. 

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State's Bid In For Amazon Headquarters

The state has submitted its bid to land the second world headquarters or HQ2 of Amazon. 
 
The web retailer right now is being courted by every major city in the nation and that includes a bid that centers around Chicago. Amazon is offering the possibility of fifty thousand jobs that pay more than a $100,000 a year. 
 
Governor Bruce Rauner says in the end each one of those Amazon jobs will create another opportunity for employment.
 
 
Rauner says the Amazon bid process is wrapping up in a few days and then the state will share more details of what it offered to land HQ2. 

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DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition Eyeing Another Program For High School Students

Last November, the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition hosted Tim Ryan, a nationally renown speaker at Clinton High School.
 
The coalition is discussing something similar this year. Secretary of the Substance Abuse Coalition, Pam Schwartz, indicates they are considering a St. Louis area team to bring in and talk with the youth.
 
 
Additionally, the Coalition is looking into creating their own version of the 'Hidden in Plain Site' demonstration. It was an exhibit at their Clinton Cares event on the downtown square that shows a teenagers bedroom and shows places they might be hiding drugs.
 
 
The substance abuse coalition meets the third Tuesday of each month at 10 am in the Warner Library's Revere Room and is seeking new faces and perspectives. If interested, contact Pam Schwartz at the DeWitt County Sheriff's office for more information. 

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Forbes List of Billionaires Includes Gubernatorial Candidate Pritzker

Illinois has a very rich man as Governor but he’s not nearly as wealthy as a person that’s trying to run against him next November. 
 
Forbes magazine ranks Democrat gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker as 219th richest American, saying he’s worth $3.4 billion. Pritzker is among the richest people in Illinois, but hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is atop the state list. 
 
His personal wealth is pegged at $8.5 billion. 

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Durbin Pans GOP Tax Plan

Senator Dick Durbin is giving the Republican tax plan a thumbs down review. He told the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago that the GOP proposal would benefit the wealthiest of Americans and leave the paycheck to paycheck crowd picking up the tab.
 
 
Durbin offered hard numbers for the impact of the tax changes.
 
 
Durbin says there will be 2.6 trillion dollars in tax cuts for corporations over the first decade of the new tax system. Durbin says those tax cuts are made possible by hiking taxes on middle-income families. 

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Around 140 Ameren Customers Lose Power Tuesday Afternoon

Ameren crews responded to roughly 140 customers in Clinton who were without power early Tuesday afternoon.
 
Ameren officials indicate crews were on scene for a fuse that was blown and hoped to have power restored around 2 pm.
 
Ameren indicated they would continue to monitor the area for the remainder of the afternoon. 

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Clinton City Council Approves Alcohol for Eagle Theater

You'll soon be able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage while taking in a move in Clinton.
 
The Clinton City Council Monday night approved the measure and Clintonia Eagle Theater owner, Eric Gubelman (pictured right addressing the Council) says it would be a two drink max for those with a wristband, a system they have tested at their Streator theater, and has worked there.
 
 
A lot has been made of serving alcohol when there are children's movies at the theater and Gubelman says he is very committed to not serving to someone coming for a kids movie.
 
 
The Council spend about 45 minutes in discussions with Gubelman about the ins-and-outs of the process and how things would work. John Wise and Dan Ballenger called out some pointed criticism from ex-mayor Carolyn Peters about a letter to the editor that was omitted in print but more pointed in the remarks to Council members about their stance on the issue.
 
 
The measure passed 4-1 with Tom Edmunds being the only descending vote. The theater hopes to have everything in place to start serving in time for the holidays. 

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Clinton Authorities Discuss Leaf Cleanup Season

The annual leaf cleanup season will soon be in full swing and local authorities recently discussed an upcoming busy season across the community.
 
It's getting close to that time of year when you'll clear your yard of leaves and within a few hours that same yard will look like nothing happened. As the leaf cleanup season approaches, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers is reminding Clinton residents it is unlawful to burn leaves within city limits. 
 
 
When cleaning up leaves in the community, Chief Lowers indicates the City has a yard waste facility on South Cain Street. Additionally, the City has a pick up service that will likely start in November.
 
 
The City wide cleanup program breaks the community into five quadrants and can take about a day to get through each one. Chief Lowers implores the public to be patient while crews make their way to your house. Weather can also slow crews when it gets wet. 

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Medicare Open Enrollment Period Now Open

The open enrollment period is underway for Medicare.
 
Sissy Leggett is the Executive Director at the DeWitt County Friendship Center senior center in Clinton. She indicates it's a good idea to discuss your plan and any potential changes with Diane Cusey with Community Cares System. 
 
 
While scam activity remains high, Leggett says this will be a time when seniors will be targeted for additional insurance policies or people posing as a representative from Medicare or the IRS. She stresses, none of those entities will ever contact you over the phone.
 
 
When dealing with a potential scam call, hang up and contact the DeWitt County Sheriff's office and they will help guide you through any questions you may have. Leggett says it is still best practice to either not answer those calls or hang up once you know it is a scam. 

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Weekly Crop Report

CROP HARVESTING IS PLUGGING ALONG AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
 
COOLER TEMPERATURES AND MUCH NEEDED RAIN PREVAILED THIS PAST WEEK. STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SUMMA SAYS 95 PERCENT OF CORN IS NOW MATURE.
 
 
63 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS AND 60 PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN HARVESTED…AHEAD OF LAST YEAR AND THE FIVE YEAR AVERAGE. 
 
 
51 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED AND 13 PERCENT EMERGED. 
 
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IMPROVED TO 12 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 19 PERCENT SHORT, 56 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 13 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Rauner Ready To Meet With Leaders Ahead of Veto Session

Lawmakers are preparing to return to Springfield next week. 
 
The fall veto session will be underway then and there are a host of issues to address. The state budget will still be one of them and perhaps a capital bill to fund road and other infrastructure projects. 
 
Governor Bruce Rauner says before everyone returns to Springfield he’s happy the four legislative leaders have been meeting to perhaps set an agenda for the end of October.
 
 
The House and Senate return on Tuesday October 24 and will continue the veto session through the second week of November. 

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National Teen Driver Safety Week

THIS IS NATIONAL TEEN DRIVER SAFETY WEEK AND SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE IS NOTING THE SUCCESS OF THE STATE’S GRADUATED DRIVER LICENSING PROGRAM.
 
SECRETARY WHITE SAYS THE PROGRAM MAKES SURE HIGH SCHOOLERS GET PLENTY OF PRACTICE DRIVING, AND LIMITS TEENS TO JUST ONE FRIEND IN THE CAR ONCE THEY GET THEIR LICENSE.
 
 
WHITE STRESSES THE NEED FOR PARENTS TO DISCUSS OTHER DISTRACTED DRIVING DANGERS WITH THEIR TEENS, INCLUDING TEXTING AND TALKING ON THE PHONE.
 
 
WHITE SAYS SINCE THE G-D-L REQUIREMENTS TOOK EFFECT IN 2008…TEEN DRIVING DEATHS HAVE DROPPED BY 51 PERCENT.

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Illinois Lottery Brings Back Lotto Ticket for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Illinois Lottery is recognizing breast cancer awareness month with the re-launch of a scratch off ticket. The Illinois Lottery’s Acting Director Greg Smith says since the Ticket for the Cure’s creation more than 12 million dollars has been raised to support breast cancer programs.
 
 
The three dollar scratcher is now for sale at your favorite lotto retailer.

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Durbin Says Democrats Need To Find The Middle

Sen. Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, said in a radio interview Sunday that his party could lose to President Donald Trump in 2020 if they "overdo it" and become too liberal.
 
The Illinois senator was asked on a local Chicago radio program about comments made by Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos, which the host characterized as a warning to fellow Democrats that if the party becomes too liberal, they would give Trump another term.
 
"We need to be balanced," Durbin said on "Connected to Chicago" on WLS-AM on Sunday. "She's right about that. And as downstater like her, I understand she represents a challenging district. We don't give up on our values, but we better be sensitive too that there are people with more moderate views, and people who may disagree with some parts of the Democratic platform as they as they are presented. We've got to be open to that possibility."
 
"So you could lose it by being too liberal?" asked the host.
 
"You can," Durbin said. "I think you can overdo it. We have to really appeal to that sensible center. It's a thin stripe now. It used to be a lot wider stripe, but it's an important and determining factor in most elections."
 
Durbin added that he doesn't count Trump out and that the 2016 election showed that "if you take (Trump) for granted, he'll beat you."

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Central Illinois College Hosting Drone Conference in November

Is it a toy or is it going to impact the bottom line of your operation? Farmers need to answer that question before moving forward with drone technology says GROWMARK’S Agronomy Information Services Sales Manager Brian Henze.
 
 
Henze is participating in a drone conference next month, hosted by Heartland Community College and Scott Smigel.
 
 
The conference is November 10th at Heartland’s Astroth Community Education Center in Normal. Advance registration is $69. You can register at “heartland.edu”. 

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AFSCME Questions Recent Illinois Corrections Decisions

AFSCME officials say safety at Illinois Correctional facilities needs some serious correcting. AFSCME, which represents corrections officers, reports inmate attacks on state employees have surged 51 percent since 2015. Two years ago, there were 541 assaults. 
 
AFSCME projects that number will hit 819 based on assaults so far this year. AFSCME Council 31's Anders Lindall believes the expansion of inmates eligible for minimum security accommodations has played a major role.
 
 
Lindall says the state had previously maintained strict standards for inmates who were held in minimum security lockups like the facility in the Quad Cities....
 
 
Corrections officials say inmates are only transferred to lower-level security prisons when their progress and behavior warrants.

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DeWitt County Board Continues Work on Budget

It's getting close to when DeWitt County puts on file their fiscal year 18 budget.
 
DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg indicates things look to be in good shape and the Board will have a special meeting later this month to put the budget on file.
 
 
Newberg indicates there will be some minor cuts in places but does not anticipate them being anything noticeable.
 
The DeWitt County Board will meet Thursday of this week.

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Community Action Seeing Huge Response To Their New Food Pantry Coop

A DeWitt County non-profit is finding a huge and positive response to a new cooperative program they rolled out earlier this fall.
 
Community Action's new food pantry coop has been a huge hit and Executive Director Alison Rumler-Gomez indicates the community's response has been overwhelmingly positive as well.
 
 
Rumler-Gomez says all the fears they had about the program have quickly been put to rest and the response from the community has been better than expected.
 
 
Rumler-Gomez says the program can take 150 and the spaces are quickly going fast so if you are interested in participating, you need to get in touch with Community Action now.
 
 
To get more information about the new food pantry program, contact Craig Farnham by calling 217-732-2159 or you can stop by the Community Action office in the Cedar Square subdivision during regular business hours. 

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Warrensburg-Latham High School Excited To Be A Part of CEO Program

Area schools are partnering together to provide a first-hand business learning experience for their seniors in high school and one of those districts is very excited about the opportunity.
 
Warrensburg-Latham Schools are among the area high schools that hope to have the CEO program up and going by the 2019-2020 school year. Their Superintendent, Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle says it is a great opportunity for their students.
 
 
For Dr. Kendrick-Weikle and her staff, the appealing aspect of the CEO program is that it is a community supported opportunity.
 
 
The process of getting out in the communities to rally support among businesses. Dr. Kendrick-Weikle points out that the local businesses play an integral part in the startup of it and keeping it going.
 
 
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle indicates that students will know ahead of time the setting for the nine-week class. She says a lot of aspects of the program are being investigated and continue to come together. 

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EPA Tightens Use of Controversial Herbicide

The U-S Environmental Protection Agency announced stricter measures on the use of a crop herbicide that led to complaints in Illinois and dozens of other states. 
 
E-P-A says it worked with states, land-grant universities, seed and crop protection companies to examine the underlying causes complaints about a soybean crop protection product containing dicamba. The Senior Director of Commodities for the Illinois Farm Bureau, Tamara Nelsen, says the decision allows Illinois farmers and others to have access to the technology;
 
 
E-P-A Administrator Scott Pruitt called the actions "...intensive, collaborative efforts..." with states and university scientists working together to find a solution. As of earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Agriculture had received more than 200 dicamba-related complaints.

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Opioid Task Force Begins Work Around State

THE GOVERNOR’S NEW OPIOID PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION TASK FORCE IS KICKING OFF A STATEWIDE LISTENING TOUR.
 
THE FIRST MEETING WAS HELD THIS WEEK IN CHICAGO…AND THE GROUP HEARD FROM THOSE AFFECTED PERSONALLY BY THE HIGHLY ADDICTIVE DRUGS. FIRST UP WAS AMY MCCORMICK, WHOSE SON OWEN BECAME ADDICTED AFTER AN OUT-PATIENT HAND SURGERY.
 
 
DURING THE FIRST HEARING IN CHICAGO, DENNIS PAGACH, AN ADDICT WHO HAS BEEN CLEAN FOR MORE THAN A MONTH NOW STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL SUPPORT PROGRAMS.
 
 
NEARLY TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE DIED OF AN OPIOID OVERDOSE LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS, AND OFFICIALS SAY THAT NUMBER IS QUICKLY RISING.
 
NARCAN IS AN ANTIDOTE FOR OPIOID OVERDOSES. OPIOID RELATED DEATHS ARE DRAMATICALLY INCREASING IN ILLINOIS. THE TASK FORCE IS WORKING TO REDUCE THOSE NUMBERS.

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Democrats Looking To Bustos To Help Engage Rural Voters

Not only will Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos face a challenge from Republicans in the 2018 election cycle, but she’s also been appointed by Democrats to help candidates with game planning, specifically in rural areas. 
 
Bustos was one of just 12 Democratic lawmakers last year that won in a district carried by President Trump.
 
 
Bustos says she represents rural interests as the only member of Democratic Party leadership from the Midwest.
 
 
In the 17th District, three Republican candidates will be running in the March primary—Galesburg businessman Mark Kleine along with Craig Cameron and Jon Schuh.

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EPA Announces Dicamba Label Changes

The Environmental Protection Agency Friday announced new restrictions for dicamba-based herbicides, classifying dicamba as a restricted-use product. The EPA said that only certified pesticide applicators, or people under their supervision, will be allowed to spray dicamba. The EPA also is reducing the maximum wind speed and the hours during each day when dicamba may be sprayed, and will require farmers to keep records proving they’re complying with the product label, according to Reuters. Monsanto says the EPA decision will “ensure farmers have even more success” with dicamba-based herbicides, such as Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System. Thousands of complaints during this growing season, and many last year, of dicamba drifting to neighboring fields not tolerant to the herbicide, prompted the announcement by the EPA.

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Weekly Weather Summary

It was a wet week in Illinois but State Climotologist Jim Angel says the sun returns as we head into the new week.
 

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New USDA Yield Numbers Give Markets a Boost

Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released new yield and acreage data in their October World Ag Supply and Demand Report. The agency put the corn yield at 171.8 bushels per acre, up from last month’s 169.9 and lowered the soybean yield to 49.5, last month it was 49.9.
 
Mike Zuzolo, a Market Analyst with Global Commodity Analytics, talks about the grain trade’s response.
 
Also in the report Thursday, USDA cut corn planted acres by 500,000 and cut harvested acreage by 400,000. For soybeans, they raised planted acreage by 700,000 acres and harvested acreage by 800,000.
 
Zuzolo says with the latest market reaction, lines at the elevator may start to get lengthy.
 
               
 
That’s Mike Zuzolo with Global Commodity Analytics.

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Former Foreign Exchange Student Returns To Clinton

A former student from Brazil that came to Clinton as a foreign exchange student through Rotary International returned this week.
 
Pictured right: Baccara with Clinton Rotary's Tom Reddington.
 
Mariana Baccara came to Clinton from Brazil. She says after she spent time here she has graduated college and has gotten into acting all over Europe.
 
 
Baccara speaks fondly of her time spent in Clinton.
 
 
She feels without her experience as a foreign exchange student, she would likely not be doing what she is now and has some advice for those considering traveling to another country as a student.
 
 
Baccara has re-connected with many friends in Clinton and paid a visit to the high school as well. 

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Monticello Band Having A Big Year

The Monticello marching has had a big year and looks to continue their success next week when they head to St. Louis for the Band of America marching championships.
 
Band Director at Monticello High School, Allison Allender indicates they've had a great deal of success already and look to continue that success as they take on bigger venues in the next several weeks.
 
 
Allender says the participation for this year's band is very strong. There's 130 students that are performing a show surrounding the life of Abraham Lincoln. 
 
 
Allender calls the band one of the best sounding groups they've had in a long time. She credits the students and staff with working hard to get an orchestra sound on the field.

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Pawar Drops Out of Democratic Governors Race

Illinois voters won't make a final decision on their choice for Governor for more than a year, but already two top contenders are dumping millions of dollars of their own wealth into their campaign warchests. 
 
In that high stakes fundraising game, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar is saying fold. 
 
After promising early polling numbers, Pawar says he's ending his bid for the Democratic nomination because he doesn't have enough money or resources to mount a successful statewide campaign.

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Deer Hunting Season Underway in Illinois With Archery Season

The deer hunting season is here and conservation authorities are reminding hunters of some basic things to keep themselves safe.
 
DNR Conservation Police Sargent John Williamson notes the archery season is underway and there's plenty of places to get out and hunt.
 
 
If you have not been out to hunt yet, Williamson says it is best to get out and get those tree stands checked. He says by this time of the year he's heard or responded to a call of a collapsed tree stand.
 
 
Cross-bows are now a legal way to use during the archery season. 
 
The first shotgun season will open before the Thanksgiving weekend.

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Illinois Livestock Industry Seeing Young People Return To The Farm

The Illinois Beef Association is happy with a trend they are seeing. Young people are actually coming back to the farm says the organization’s Jill Johnson.
 
 
Johnson is a native of Henry County and grew up on a Galva farm that included Hereford cattle, corn and soybeans. 

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Durbin Weighs In On Trump's Healthcare Executive Order

Senator Dick Durbin is weighing in on President Trump's order on health care, something he says is destabilizing the Affordable Care Act. 
 
Durbin says "“Make no mistake—after spending nine months repeatedly trying and failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump is sabotaging America’s health care system and hurting working families to make a political point." 
 
Durbin says the President is using familiar tactics, including instructing federal agencies not to enforce the law, cut the open enrollment period in half, and cancelling television and radio ads that educated people about how to enroll for insurance.

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Bustos Challenger Has Raised Over Half-Million Dollars

A GOP challenger in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District off to a strong start financially. 
 
Mark Kleine of Galesburg has raised $507,000 since the beginning of his campaign in late August. He says around $400,000 of that has come from within the district and he provided $100,000 of his own money to jump start the effort.
 
 
Kleine is the former owner of John Deere implement dealer Kleine Equipment. Democrat Cheri Bustos of Rock Island has held the 17th District Congressional seat since 2013. 

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Clinton JFL Active During Apple and Pork Weekend

The Clinton Junior Football League, or JFL, wrapped up this past weekend.
 
During the season, the Maroons took part in the Apple and Pork weekend in several capacities to raise money for their season. Coach of the 6th-grade squad, Mike Fulmer indicates they helped at the Homestead's ham and bean stand with the parking near the grounds as well.
 
With the season wrapped up, Fulmer says the teams were very competitive.
 
 
The Apple and Pork weekend funds for the JFL program will go towards new equipment for the youth.
 
 
The JFL will bring in around $5000 which covers almost all the expenses they have. 

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Heyworth's Annual Haunted Trail This Weekend

The second Heyworth Haunted Trail is this weekend.
 
This family-friendly event offers haunted hay-rack rides, activities for youth and food and drinks. Steve Vandiver feels there's something for everybody at their Centennial Park. 
 
 
The event is a fundraiser for Heyworth Summer baseball leagues. Vandiver says they couldn't make the event a success without their volunteers.
 
 
Visit Facebook.com/heyworthhauntedtrail or visit www.heyworthhauntedtrail.com. 

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DNR Discusses Motorist Safety During Harvest

With the harvest in full swing in Illinois, deer activity in rural areas has picked up and Illinois authorities are advising motorists use extra caution this time of year.
 
DNR Conservation Police Sargent John Williamson indicates this is the time of year when deer activity picks up and could causing hazards when driving in rural areas.
 
 
In the event of a car/deer accident, the driver of the car does have the option to keep the deer. 
 
 
In addition to increased deer movement, with farmers continuing the harvest, heavy machinery and slow-moving vehicles will be on roadways for several more weeks. Always slow down and allow those vehicles plenty of space. 

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Governor Planning More Overseas Trips

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER SAYS HE’S PLANNING MORE OVERSEAS TRADE MISSIONS IN THE COMING MONTHS. 
 
LAST MONTH, THE GOVERNOR WENT TO CHINA AND JAPAN TO FOSTER RELATIONSHIPS WITH OFFICIALS AND BUSINESSES AND SAYS HE WILL NEXT BE HEADING TO ISRAEL IN ABOUT THREE WEEKS.
 
 
HE PLANS TO MEET WITH OFFICIALS, BUSINESS LEADERS AND UNIVERSITY HEADS IN HOPES OF EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES IN ILLINOIS.
 
 
GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS A FEW MONTHS AFTER THAT TRIP, HE WILL TRAVEL TO EUROPE WITH STOPS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, GERMANY, AND POLAND.

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Tax Filing Deadline Oct. 16

If you filed for an extension on your income taxes for 2016, the next deadline is rapidly approaching. Michael Devine says that penalties will begin after October 16…
 
 
Further information available at irs.gov.

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Illinois FFA President 'Not A Farm Kid'

Illinois' FFA president enjoying his time in office. Joseph Birrittier (beer-uh-tear) was elected to the position last June and now represents 17,000 FFA members statewide. He doesn't live on a farm. 
 
 
After his one year term is up in June of 2018, he plans to enroll at the University of Illinois to study agriculture science education. 

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IDOT Wants Input on Rest Stops

Illinois Transportation officials are rethinking the layout and role of the state's highway rest areas in the Digital Age. 
 
IDOT's Kelsea Gurski says the agency has posted an online survey seeking public input.
 
 
Gurski says the rest stops aren't just a convenience, they're a proactive lifesaver for drowsy drivers and those who would be in their path.
 
 
The 20 question survey is available at idot.illinois.gov, is available through Sunday, Oct. 29. IDOT maintains a system of 30 rest areas and 11 welcome centers on highways throughout the state, serving more than 36 million visitors annually. 

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Another AG Candidate Emerges

There's a new entry in the Democratic race for Attorney General. Former federal prosecutor Sharon Fairley has left her post leading Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability to run for the Democratic nomination. Fairley says the A-G's office is no stepping stone for her.
 
 
While the Attorney General's office has drawn notice in recent years for tackling consumer driven matters, Fairley says she brings a lot of law and order experience to the table.
 
 
Fairley says she'll push back against President Trump's administration on a number of civil rights issues.

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Clinton Maroons Basketball Coach Optimistic About Upcoming Season

As the Clinton football season winds down over the next few weeks, the sports calendar will soon be turning their attention to the basketball season.
 
Head Coach of the Maroons basketball program, Clay Haurberg says right now there are open gyms happening and there is good buy-in from players that are not involved in a fall sport. He also calls his coaching staff this year the strongest in his 21-years in coaching.
 
 
Speaking to the Clinton Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon, Coach Haurberg has been pleased with the progress of the program in his three years in Clinton.
 
 
With the season right around the corner, the team has collectively set goals for this year. Coach Haurberg says they have some achievable goals like finish with a winning record and win the Central Illinois Conference.
 
 
The Maroons open their season the week of Thanksgiving at the Cerro Gordo High School Turkey Tournament, followed by a road game at Tri-Valley the final Tuesday of November and then the first of December they play their home opener, hosting Maroa-Forsyth. 

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Monticello Schools Continue To Investigate Facilities Futures

A Piatt County school district is continuing their investigation of the future of their district's facilities and that process continues tonight.
 
Monticello Schools Superintendent Dr. Vic Zimmerman indicates tonight is the latest of a series of meetings to discuss what the future of the district's aging buildings holds. 
 
 
According to Dr. Zimmerman, the new plan eliminates a transition for their elementary students and would create a singular K-3 center.
 
 
The new plan would range between $28-$32-million dollars and Dr. Zimmerman indicates they would have to raise taxes to make things happen. That in addition to the sales tax money the district receives.
 
 
The next possible referendum date is in the spring of next year and Dr. Zimmerman says it is possible the Board of Education has a plan ready to present to voters by that time. 

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Boat Traffic At Clinton Lake Not Slowing With Warm Fall

The warmer weather this fall is playing into the hands of boaters. 
 
That's the report from DNR Conservation Police Officer John Williamson. He indicates with the warmer days there's been a lot of boaters out for some later-than-normal joy rides on the Clinton Lake.
 
 
Portions of the lake have closed down this week and Williamson indicates the warm water area of Clinton Lake serves as a refuge for the traveling waterfowl.
 
 
Williamson indicates this past Columbus Day weekend was busier than normal with the warmer weather from Sunday and Monday. 

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Weekly Crop Report

THE WARM WEATHER HELPED KEEP HARVEST PROGRESS MOVING ALONG AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
 
38 PERCENT OF CORN HAS NOW BEEN HARVESTED…BEHIND LAST YEAR’S PACE AND THE FIVE YEAR AVERAGE. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 64 PERCENT OF THE CORN CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 
 
 
63 PERCENT OF THE SOYBEAN CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION SAYS STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
 
 
50 PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN HARVESTED. 30 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED AND AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IMPROVED TO 24 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 37 PERCENT SHORT AND 39 PERCENT ADEQUATE.

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Rauner Still Mum On Gun Control Talk

Gun control is again a topic up for debate in Washington after the Las Vegas mass shooting. But that conversation will be one that does not include the voice of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. He says his focus includes issues important to the state of Illinois.
 
 
Rauner so far will not say if he approves of changing the law that makes bump stocks legal in Illinois.

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Rauner Hoping To See Computer Upgrade Cash Freed Up Soon

Illinois Governor Bruce Raner says Comptroller Susana Mendoza's refusal to pay for information technology upgrades does not compute. 
 
As Mendoza continues to address a backlog of billions of dollars in bills, millions for the Governor's computer technology iniative remain on ice but Rauner is calling for Mendoza to end the wait.
 
 
Rauner says recent spending decisions by lawmakers make it more important to release the I-T funds.
 
 
In the spring, Mendoza suspended 27 million dollars in payments for Rauner's Enterprise Resource Program.

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Clinton Fire Department Hosts Annual Fire Truck Parade Wednesday

The annual fire truck parade is this week in Clinton.
 
It's part of Fire Prevention week and Clinton Fire's Blake West says 25-30 trucks from across central Illinois will converge on the Junior High School to take part in the route that ends at the downtown Clinton Square.
 
 
The annual parade is attended by a couple-dozen departments from across central Illinois and West feels it is something everyone looks forward to.
 
 
A refurbished smokehouse will be on the square as tool to teach youth about fire safety and what to do when a fire may be in your home.
 
 
The fire truck parade is set to get underway around 7 pm, originating from Clinton Junior High School. West indicates they expecta larger than normal turnout this year as they've received a lot of early RSVPs. 

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Macon County Farm Bureau Hosting Special Ag Event

Giving area residents the opportunity to see what happens in local agriculture beyond corn and soybeans is the goal of the Macon County Farm Bureau next week.
 
Jennifer Fink with the Macon County Farm Bureau explains their Families on the Farm event is geared toward local families who'd like to learn more about what agriculture in the county looks like.
 
 
Fink says there will be a lot of different aspects of agriculture to get to experience.
 
 
Fink says the Macon County Farm Bureau is using this event as a way to get information about where their food comes from. Where food comes from is becoming a very popular topic in urban America.
 
 
The event is next Wednesday morning where all those attending will meet at the Macon County Farm Bureau office in Decatur at 8:30 am and will tour the final farm before lunch. 
 
While the event is free, Fink is asking those wanting to attend to RSVP by Wednesday of this week. To do so, contact the Macon County Farm Bureau, dial 217-877-2436. 

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WWII Soldier To Return Home

It's a long-delayed homecoming but a Springfield hero is headed home. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Aiello (Ail-Lee-oh) was killed in action in the Netherlands in World War II. He had taken part in Operation Market Garden, the failed attempt to invade Northern Germany. His great grand nephew, Brian Aiellio .is thankful Army efforts to identify him have trudged on.
 
 
Sgt. Aiello served in the 401st Glider Infantry Regiment. He and fellow glider and airborne troops were deployed to seize bridges in the Netherlands and hold them until British armored units could reinforce their positions. 
 
Once Sgt. Aiello’s remains arrive in Springfield, he will be buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Riverton. There will be a public ceremony at Camp Butler at 10 a.m. Oct. 28.

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Renewable Fuels Industry Expressing Concerns With EPA Administrator

The renewable fuels industry expressing some reservations with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. The issue is lowering the renewable fuel standard or RFS. 
 
Bob Dinneen with the Renewable Fuels Association believes President Trump is supportive of ethanol and other biofuels, but that may not be swaying the EPA chief. 
 
 
Pruitt was confirmed as EPA administrator last February. He formerly served as Oklahoma Attorney General. 

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Opioid Deaths Continue To Rise in Southern Illinois

Opioid use continues to take lives in the Southern Illinois region, and Madison County is on pace for another record year for heroin deaths. 
 
In 2009, Madison County reported 9 heroin deaths, in 2010 the number doubled. So far in 2017, there are 10 confirmed heroin deaths, another 10 attributed to a combination of heroin and Fentanyl, and 15 solely blamed on Fentanyl. 
 
When prescription overdoses and other drugs are factored in, there are 60 drug-related deaths in Madison County so far in 2017. Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn says the emergence of Fentanyl is disturbing.
 
 
He says education efforts appear to be starting to have an impact, as age groups that have heard the message of the dangers of the drug are accounting for fewer deaths.

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New Endorsement For Pritzker

It’s another endorsement for the gubernatorial campaign of JB Pritzker. The Illinois Democratic County Chairman’s Association voted to endorse the billionaire and Julian Stratton for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. 
 
IDCCA President Doug House says the vote shows that Pritzker has created a strong grassroots campaign that leaves him the best prepared next November.
 
 
House says all the candidates are qualified for the job but Pritzker is the best prepared to win a general election.
 
 
House says he thinks the top issues in the coming election will be healthcare and creating and supporting jobs.

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Trade Wind Energy Ready To Occupy Second Magill Hotel Space

The second tenant is set to move in this week at the DCRA's Magill Hotel in downtown Clinton.
 
Becky Adams with the DeWitt County Restoration Association, or DCRA, says Trade Wind Energy is set to move into their space next to Edward Jones, which would be their second tenant in the last 12 months.
 
 
Adams indicates it has been a good relationship with Trade Wind the entire time they have been discussing the lease. She explains the DCRA had to take out a mortgage to get them in the building and the energy company stepped up to make sure they could get it and keep it paid.
 
 
In addition to establishing a brick and mortar front in the community, Trade Wind Energy is also investing the community through more means than just the wind farms. They have donated to The Vault and several groups locally.
 
 
That's Tom Swierczewski, Development Director at Trade Wind Energy, who adds they have land leases already in place and now they just need to get approvals from the County governing bodies.
 
 
Trade Wind Energy joins Edward Jones Financial Agent Bryce Starkey in the DRCA's Magill Hotel. The DCRA is continuing their efforts of restoration and will continue to work on getting a developer for the property or find more tenants to provide them with revenue. 

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DeWitt County Ladies Group Doing Coat Drive in October

The DeWitt County chapter of Beta Sigma Phi sorority is hosting a coat drive most of the month of October.
 
Bev Jones indicates they are seeking new or gently used coats, hats, and gloves to give to children in need in the community.
 
 
The coats are being collected at Clinton IGA, Clinton YMCA, Save A Lot and the Warner Library. The drive is ongoing until October 22 and is distributed through DOVE to local youth in need. 

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