New area code coming to central Illinois: 447

(Ben Zigterman / News-Gazette)

People are starting to catch on to fake news sources like The Chambana Sun

This article is from Michigan, but it highlights a growing problem in rural (and arguably all of) America. These are sources that present themselves as journalists covering local government – here is our local version, The Chambana Sun:

But in reality, these are aggregate blogs (kinda like Showers) established by Dan Proft and funded with deep pockets to spread propaganda as widely as possible (unlike Showers) with as little actual reporting as possible.

Here’s a description of him from a 2017 article by the Chicago Reader:

North Cook News is one of 20 papers in a year-old chain called Local Government Information Services, whose roots are in the Chicago suburbs but whose reach now extends to Carbondale, Rock Island, and Peoria. Zorn had another point to get to so he didn’t slow down, let alone stop to make a full report to his readers. But let me flesh out Zorn’s critique: if you’re looking for local coverage tailored to serve a political agenda and provided by “reporters” on the other side of the ocean, Proft’s papers are the ones to read.”

“Proft is something of a political operative, though I imagine he’d prefer a loftier description. He’s a senior fellow at the Illinois Policy Institute, which was generously funded when it was young by Governor Bruce Rauner’s family foundation. It’s now in the business of feeding free radio spots and newspaper articles to Illinois media too strapped to pay for something better.”

Attempts to reach Chambana Sun have been unsuccessful for months now:

Sorry for forgetting to post this video yesterday

Taking down Wisconsin is better with Titanic Music from r/UIUC

As African Swine Fever Marches Across Asia, U.S. Pork Industry Prepares

I’ve seen this movie before.

(Amy Mayer / Illinois Public Media)

Listen to the latest Champaign Is Also A Band pod

Sven chats with experimental artist Karthik Kakarala.

Illini basketball receives 14 votes in AP Poll

The hype train has arrived at the station and it’s not too late to jump on.

And Brunderwood stopped by Jon Rothstein’s podcast:

Pritzker, IDOT Officials Tout $23+ Billion For Road And Bridge Construction

Infrastructure is sick.

(Sam Dunklau / Illinois Public Media)

The new Illini basketball poster is bad

Sorry. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people.

WCIA rips off social post from The Chicago Tribune

(Jessica Hammie / Smile Politely)

Champaign County Board member running for recorder with aim to eliminate office

Politics aside, this is very bold, and pretty rare. Joe Tirio, current County Clerk in McHenry County, successfully ran on this platform and eliminated their County Recorder position.

Here’s why he’s doing it.

It will be a very unique election season, indeed. Strap in.

(Tim Ditman / News-Gazette)

DJ Belly hitting the road with Skyzoo

(Patrick Singer / Smile Politely)