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  • With each passing week of the legislative overtime session that a bill in Springfield to support nuclear energy in Illinois goes without passage, the likelihood of the Clinton Power Plant closure becomes more and more real.


    While the odds of a closure continue to rise, so too does the worry from local non-profits. Norman Emery from Habitat for Humanity of DeWitt County says  the Exelon situation is something their board is keeping tabs on.



    Emery recognizes the closure of the plant would impact all non-profits and would leave all of them even more reliant on local support from other areas. For Habitat, Exelon annually provides them with around $5-thousand and up in financial support.



    While it is a possibility, Emery is hesitant to say Habitat for Humanity in DeWitt County would go away completely if the generosity of Exelon dries up. He feels Habitat instead would take on a different form.



    Emery says partnering with a larger Habitat for Humanity chapter is also a possibility, though he hopes to keep Habitat local with their own identity. He fears they may not have as much control if they partnered with a bigger chapter. 


  • Last week, the DeWitt County Human Resource Center announced they will cease to provide services to their clients starting July 1.


    One service they will continue to provide for a limited time is their Encore Thrift Store. According to Executive Director of HRC, Lynn Scovill, the thrift store remains open however, has stopped accepting donations.



    Scovill says while Encore gives their clients a safe working environment and a place to earn some money, she indicates the store is not a huge money-maker for the agency.



    Scovill also notes, Encore was also a way for their clients to become prepared for community employment.


    With HRC closing their doors for the final time on June 30, administrators remain committed to finding alternative sources of programming for their clients. 


  • Hard bargaining is ahead in Springfield before a budget is in place in Springfield and a political expert says a recent tour of downstate Illinois communities is politically motivated by Governor Bruce Rauner.


    Dr. Kent Redfield is a political expert at the University of Illinois-Springfield and says the Governor's tour of downstate Illinois communities after an agreement deadline came and went for the budget might make coming to an agreement more difficult.



    The Governor's speaking tour in recent weeks could be a sign of where Republicans feel they have an advantage in the November elections.



    Dr. Redfield says the speaking tour is making the possibility of a grand bargain more difficult because of the lack of trust among lawmakers combined with the fact now a two-thirds majority is needed to anything done.




    Dr. Redfield says a lot of the areas the Governor visited earlier in the month could be an indicator of what areas of the state Republicans will target during the upcoming election. 


  • Fans of the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champs and classic rock get the best of both worlds on the opening night of the Illinois State Fair.


    Three iconic members of Buddy Ryan's legendary 46 defense that claimed the Bears only Super Bowl trophy will be on hand for the opening night of the fair August 11th. But don't look for them to sign footballs.


    State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon says you'll find them on a stage.



    The show will be free. The Chicago Six will also perform at Taste of Chicago July 11th.


  • Governor Bruce Rauner lends his signature to legislation designed to bring Illinois in line with tougher federal standards for state-issued identification cards.


    The bill was crafted to ensure Illinois complies with the REAL ID Act and it will help residents avoid security problems at airports and federal buildings. Federal officials recently gave Illinois a two year extension to comply with the Real ID act.


    Secretary of State Jesse White also recently revealed residents would no longer receive a license instantly at driver's license facilities.


    The licenses are now produced at a central location with additional background checks.


  • The state’s been saving on postage and instead racking up millions more in late fees.


    That’s the story from the Secretary of State’s office on effects of not mailing out license plate renewal notices. The total is more than twice what it was last year at this time.


    The Belleville News Democrat reports the state has collected $9.5 million in late fees compared to $4.3 million at the same time last year.


    If you want a reminder you can still get one – by email. The sign up is on the secretary of states website.


  • Almost every central Illinois County saw a boost in unemployment figures in May.
    DeWitt County unemployment dropped below 6-percent to 5.8% in May, down from 6.1 in April.
    Piatt County unemployment was one of the lowest in the area, down to 4.8-percent from 5.1 in April.
    Logan County's 5.2-percent in May was down from 5.5 in April.
    Champaign and McLean County each had a 5.2-percent unemployment rate for May.
    And in Macon County, unemployment figures remain high for the area at 6.8-percent, though was a drop from April. 
    The state unemployment average was 5.6%, behind the national pace of 4.5%. 


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