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Headlines for Sunday, December 8, 2013

Most area roadways remain at least partially snow-covered this morning following Thursday night and Friday’s snowfall, amounting to 13 inches locally.  Another small chance of wintry precip is in the forecast for today, followed by a reinforcing shot of cold air for most of this week, with temperatures expected to remain below freezing.  The snowfall resulted in numerous cancellations over the weekend, and several churches cancelling their services for today and tonight.  A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued until 5 p.m. today which includes Edwards, Wabash, White and Saline counties in southern Illinois for the possibility of freezing drizzle.

Wayne County Treasurer Donna Vaughn postponed the due date for the 2nd installment of Wayne County real estate taxes due to the weather.  The taxes were originally due this past Friday, however the due date has been extended to this Monday, December 9th.  Those with questions can call her office at 842-5087.

Starting this Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Human Services will be offering food assistance to residents in 15 counties declared federal disaster areas as a result of tornadoes and severe storms on November 17th.  Wayne, Wabash and Jasper counties are among the counties included in the declaration.  To qualify, residents will need to provide proof of residence in a disaster area and meet other requirements.  The benefits will be taken at several IDHS Family Community Resource Center locations in the state.  For Wayne County the applications will be accepted December 11th through 13th and 16th and 17th at the Jefferson FCRC at 333 Potomac Blvd. in Mt. Vernon, IL and in Wabash County at the Wabash FCRC at 2517 W 9th Street Suite A in Mt. Carmel, IL.

One Illinois lawmaker wants to ensure the state’s motorists are not distracted behind the wheel while wearing Google’s new computerized glasses.  A bill has been introduced that would ban the wearing of the Google Glasses while driving.  The device is worn similar to eyeglasses and can do several things that a smartphone can do including searching the Internet.

Toyota’s 2014 Highlander was introduced late last week at its Princeton, IN plant.  The new model also represents a significant expansion and investment at the plant.  Toyota announced plans in 2012 to expand its Highlander production to the Princeton, IN plant, adding a hybrid version to its lineup as well as exporting several versions for the Australia and Russia markets.  The Highlander had previously been produced at a Japan facility.  By the end of next year, the move is expected to create a total of over 600 jobs at the Princeton, IN plant and a combined investment of around $430 million by Toyota and its suppliers.  About 400 of the 600 jobs have been added so far.

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