(SPRINGFIELD) The reaction is mixed in Illinois’ agricultural sector to President Trump’s announcement to send a portion of $12 billion directly to farmers to help lessen the sting of the nation’s tariff battle against foreign importers of American farm commodities. U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the program yesterday afternoon, noting that starting as early as Labor Day, the program will focus on purchasing surplus commodities in hopes to boost prices and give the food to food banks, find new markets globally to sell the commodities, and provide payments directly to producers for corn, soybeans, sorghum, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs. The program does not need Congressional approval according to the USDA as it will be facilitated through the Commodity Credit Corporation.
(SPRINGFIELD) Illinois homebuyer demand was strong in June’s competitive summer market with homes selling quickly and at higher medium prices, according to Illinois Realtors. The statewide home sales last month totaled 18,310 units sold, down 6.2% from June 2017. Illinois’ median price in June was $225,000, up 4.5% from last year. The time it took to sell an average home in June was 44 days, down from 49 days a year ago. Forty-three of Illinois’ 102 counties reported sales gains for June over previous-year numbers.
(EAST ST. LOUIS) A transgender woman, who is incarcerated at a men’s correctional facility in Northern Illinois, is again suing the State Department of Corrections to be housed in a women’s prison after alleging abuse in several male facilities. Deon “Strawberry” Hampton has sued the agency multiple times and has been transferred to four different correctional facilities in the last year. Hampton is currently at the Dixon Correctional Facility after spending time at the Lawrence Correctional Center, where other transgender inmates live. While one of Hampton’s lawsuits was settled back in January against members of the Menard Correctional Center, a separate suit against Pinckneyville Correctional Center officials is pending. Prison officials say that Hampton is currently serving a 10-year prison term on a burglary conviction and sentence.