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GIBSON CITY — When Jeanine Litwiller opened Strictly Kids Resale Shop in downtown Gibson City 25 years ago, she was a stay-at-home mom hoping to build a business that other mothers like herself could use to clothe their children with gently used, brand-name apparel at an affordable price.

SPRINGFIELD — Legislation that punishes employers in Illinois who short their workers’ pay left Republican representatives with open-ended questions about the bill’s impact on state businesses.

SPRINGFIELD — Census numbers released Thursday show that for the first time in seven years, every major metropolitan area in the state saw population decline between July 2017 and July 2018.

SPRINGFIELD — The unemployment rate in Illinois climbed one-tenth of a point to 4.4 percent in March as the state recorded a net loss of 2,300 jobs, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.

The Ford County Historical Society’s Water Tower Museum will be opening Saturday, April 27, with regular summer hours. The museum will be open each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The museum, which specializes in Ford County history, is located at 135 S. Market St. behind Paxton City Hall. …

LODA — The Loda Village Board voted 4-0, with Trustee Cathy Tittle absent, to allow Trustee Ronda Breeden to proceed with hiring Westmont-based Rubbersafe Playgrounds to install black rubber mulch around all playground equipment at the village park at a cost not to exceed $14,000.

PAXTON — When the 2020-21 school year begins, it is expected that every student in second through 12th grades in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district will have a Chromebook to use in the classroom — and those at PBL High School will even be able to take theirs home.

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PAXTON — A single tear dropped from Paxton Fire Chief Denny Kingren’s right eye as Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board member Steve Pacey listed off his concerns about allowing a 150-foot flagpole to be put on school grounds as a symbol of the community’s patriotism.

PAXTON — Paxton police officers will be checking properties in town for ordinance violations over the next few weeks, including for tall grass and weeds, the accumulation of junk or debris, and abandoned, inoperable or unregistered vehicles.

GIBSON CITY — Gibson City Council members granted Gibson Area Hospital a variance  to city ordinance Monday night allowing it to install a large water-detention basin underneath the future site of a parking lot next to the hospital’s Annex.