Letter Policy

Letters Policy

 

taylorvilledailynews.com welcomes letters to the editor, as a way we can let our readers and listeners sound off on the issues most important to them. If you wish to submit a letter, please note the following guidelines:

 

  • All letters should be no more than 500 words in length, and should include the writer's name, address and phone number. We will not publish street address, e-mail address or phone number; rather, we reserve the right to contact writers to determine their validity.
  • Letters must be submitted electronically in Word doc or text format; no hand-written letters are accepted.
  • If the editor comments about a letter, the reader may respond with at least as many words as were used by the editor. We would like to stimulate a sincere dialogue.
  • All letters become property of Miller Communications, Inc., and are subject to editing for length, content, grammar, punctuation at the editor's discretion.
  • Material that may libel or slander an individual or group will neither be accepted nor posted.
  • All letters must be e-mail'ed to editorial@randyradio.com to ensure your message is received, please include "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line.


                                                                   We look forward to hearing from you.
Letters

Letter to the Editor - Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp

The holiday season is a time when people can become vulnerable to theft and other crimes. People are often rushing to buy gifts, decorating homes and travelling to visit family and friends. With the increase in the amount of people that are out shopping at the malls and grocery stores – parking lots are becoming packed, car seats are filled up with bags and the lines at ATMs are a little longer for cash gifts. Unfortunately, the bad guys use the holiday season to find easy targets. And, the theft and other crimes happen so quickly that people don’t feel it happen to them, in the case of being pickpocketed, or realize something they might have done caused this to happen. Unfortunately, through the hustle and bustle and festive moods, people do become careless without noticing and often, the sense of caution temporarily goes away – in the example of going to the car and placing bags in the back seat because the trunk is full.

 

Thieves, now more than ever, are becoming invisible – in the shopping malls and online. They are able to move through big crowds of rushed, distracted people and grab things out of bags because they weren’t zipped or held close enough to the body and online, fake websites are being used to prey on those who are looking for a good deal. The holiday shopping experience should be joyous and we’d like to make sure you’re prepared when shopping.

 

Here are some tips to help keep the holiday shopping safe, in stores and online.

 

Shopping in Stores:

  • Do not buy more than you can carry. When shifting bags around to try and carry them all, a bag may be left for a thief to grab. Try to plan ahead by taking someone along to help.

  • Save all receipts and keep them together to verify all holiday credit card purchases.

  • When checking out and paying with a credit card, wait to take it out until asked. As noted, thieves are invisible and are blending in with the crowd. So, one might be standing in line looking over shoulders to get that card information.

  • When headed to the parking lot, have the keys in hand when approaching the vehicle and be sure to check the back seat and around the car.

  • Do not leave bags in site in the vehicle. Lock all bags in the trunk.

 

Shopping Online:

  • Before shopping, secure computers by updating the security software. All computers should have anti-virus, anti-spyware as well as a firewall installed.

  • Keep all personal information private and passwords secure. If a request appears to verify passwords or credit card information, do not respond unless you initiated that contact. Legitimate online businesses will not contact you in this manner.

  • Shop with companies you know and trust. Check the business background information if you plan to buy from a new or unfamiliar company.

 

As always, if there are any questions or additional tips needed, please contact your local law enforcement. I’d like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season!

 

Source: National Crime Prevention Council (ncpc.org)

 

 

Department Activity for the last 5 months:

 

 

June

July

Aug.

Sept.

Oct.

Warrants

20

23

10

11

14

Citations

118

89

89

136

 

73

Crashes

37

30

44

22

32

DUI’S

3

2

3

1

0

Civil Process

76

91

111

91

 

102

Criminal Arrests

4

4

5

5

6

Domestic Calls

11

12

11

13

11

Calls For Service

499

500

531

508

449

Correctional Center

Prisoners Processed

96

89

89

87

79

Average Daily Population

51

59

57

54

59

Fingerprints

19

21

11

21

24

Transports

15

29

15

19

16

Transport Mileage

1410

2198

3522

2124

2414

Transport Hours

65

140

162

113

103

 

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Letter to the Editor and the Hornbuckle Family

Letter to the Editor and the Hornbuckle Family

 

Posted October 29, 2017

 

Dear Editor:

 

This letter is directed to the Hornbuckle family.

 

These lovely people are deserving of our condolences, and I have sent mine, privately. That is not the purpose of this letter. Instead, this is intended as a message of gratitude.

 

When Clint was diagnosed, you must have been both devastated and terrified. I can’t imagine. In fact, I don’t like to think about it. But when you received the news, you could have shut yourself off from the world, and no one would have faulted you for it. You could have thanked everyone for their concern, but said that this was a family matter and that you were choosing to focus your energies on your son exclusively.


You did not do that. Instead, you recognized how important your son was to this community. You created the Hornbuckle Warriors page on Facebook, and a movement was born. You took uncomfortable pictures and shared medical information and personal moments, all combined with daily updates as to Clint’s progress. His fight became our fight. And your hope became ours as well.


While the updates themselves were appreciated, so were the comments. When I would get down, I would go to the page and see everyone’s messages. It made me feel better to see others as upset as I was. Maybe that is a strange thing to be grateful for – I don’t know. But sometimes, in times of sadness, company can bring comfort.


Clint was my friend. Cindy is my friend. And by extension, their family is my family. But I am not someone who would have warranted daily calls about his condition. And I wouldn’t have asked. I would have given you your privacy and waited for news. I wouldn’t have had a place to remind myself just how much Clint meant to people. Your selfless decision to share your son with us, and to keep us up-to-date on his progress, made me feel as if I were there, getting to spend some last time with someone I cared about. And someone I will miss.


I don’t know if creating and writing that page brought you any comfort. I hope that it did. But to be honest, what kind of comfort can there be for such a devastating loss? I can only hope that as time passes, you will return to that page, read the comments, and know that Clint was loved. Losing him is nothing short of catastrophic. But I hope that you can see that your son touched the lives of hundreds of people.


Maybe this letter is inappropriate. I hope not, and am sorry if so. I don’t intend it to be. And I don’t intend it to make light of this devastating loss. My pain is incomparable to yours. But I, for one, am grateful for your decision to allow us to be with you on this journey. Your choice, and that page, reminded me why I love this community I will always call my home. Your loss is now our loss. My heart reaches out to you, and I offer you my sincere thanks for sharing your last days with Clint with all of us.


Love,
Sara Clark

Springfield, IL

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Letter to the Editor from Taylorville Kiwanis Club President

As President of Taylorville Kiwanis for the 2017 - 2018 term I want to bring an awareness of what Kiwanis is about to our community.  Bottom line is…… Kids need Kiwanis!

For more than 100 years, Kiwanis International has been active in communities around the world. In our community, the Kiwanis Club of Taylorville was established October 26th, 1954 and has been helping kids for 63 years.

You might know some of our members. You’ve probably seen us in the neighborhood, in church or at the grocery store. Our members aren’t just dedicated to helping children, but dedicated to helping our community through a number of excellent community organizations.  We’re the do-gooders in the community—the ones who arrive early to help set up an event and stay late to clean up. Sometimes we serve pancakes and sausage or offer peanuts to help raise money to support our efforts to help kids.  Taylorville Kiwanis members provide annual support for the following activities. 

Provide coats, hats, and gloves for children in our community
Support the Pediatric Dental program in Taylorville
Award college scholarships to Taylorville High School graduates
Support the local YMCA
Donate to the CEO program
Help stock the shelves at local food pantries
Make needed improvements and repairs at Kiwanis Park
And provide help to many more projects that support the Kiwanis mission

As Kiwanis members, we believe we can make a difference in the world, in our community and in the life of a child. Along with clubs for adults, Kiwanis offers clubs for kids in elementary (K-Kids), junior high (Builders Club), high school (Key Club) and even in college (Circle K). We also have a club focused to give developmentally disabled adults the opportunity to volunteer in their community (Aktion Club). Kiwanis members believe everyone can benefit from helping others.

To be honest, we’ve struggled with membership over the years. The demands of a family, a job and a social life can interfere with the best of intentions to help others. Yet more kids than ever before need our help. With more Kiwanis club members we can help more kids. And we know kids need our support. In an effort to strengthen our club we ask the question, “Can we count on you?”

Call us at (217) 827- 5342 or visit our Taylorville Kiwanis Club Facebook page to find out how you can help. Kids need Kiwanis—and Kiwanis needs you.

In Kiwanis service,
Martin Vota
President – Taylorville Kiwanis Club

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Letter to the Editor: Christian County Tea Party Chair Not Supporting Rauner's Re-Election

Letter to the Editor

Posted October 4, 2017

 

Dear Editor:

 

Let this be my official statement: As Chairman of the Christian County Tea Party, I will NOT be supporting Governor Rauner for re-election for his stance on funding abortions and making IL. a sanctuary state. This goes against my firm beliefs in respecting LIFE and the rule of LAW.

                                                                                             

Thank you,

Ray Koonce

Taylorville, IL

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Letter to the Editor On Pana's Liquor Ordinance

Letter to the Editor

Posted October 1, 2017

 

Dear Editor:

 

It’s truly disgusting to see how two-faced the Pana City Council truly has been for decades, but even moreso when they discussed extended liquor sales during the month of September.

 

On September 11, the council vote 5-4, with a tiebreaker vote from Mayor Don Kroski to authorize city attorney Steve Mahrt to prepare the potential changes to the ordinance. Two weeks later, it gets shot down 5-3 without any valid or logical reasoning why liquor sales can’t be extended to Sundays. There were absolutely no valid arguments presented in the September 27 issue of the Pana News-Palladium on WHY the council decided to back out two weeks later.

 

From our economic perspective, Aldermen Butch Hocq, Joe Wiss and Tim Eddy cast their votes as an attempt to save the city’s crumbling economy. If you haven’t checked, Downtown Pana is a ghost town as compared to its former glory 25 years ago when it seemed there was a business in every building. Now, over half of the buildings are empty with one of them recently declared as condemned (with many more to come, including the former Metzger Drug building). These three men voted from an economic perspective that expanding liquor sales to Sunday would benefit not only the businesses that would serve on Sunday, but also the city regarding sales tax revenue. You can’t shame these three for truly looking out for the local economy.

 

The nay votes from Aldermen Glenn Schneider, Jerry Jordan, Ronald Miles, Leon Goff and Kirk Woods can easily be construed not only as caving in to pressure from the religious right but also as an anti-economic, anti-commerce vote. While Woods originally voted in favor of drawing up the potential revisions, we truly don’t understand why a businessman of his stature would flip-flop on the idea that the city could have benefitted from added sales tax revenue in his most recent vote.

 

It’s because of status quo politics why the City of Roses and Christian County can’t ever get ahead anymore. For as long as the Sunday ban has existed in Pana and in Christian County, both governmental bodies have allowed millions of dollars in potential sales tax revenues go to neighboring communities and counties that don’t impose a Sunday ban. If Pana doesn’t make a step in the right economic direction, your residents will keep purchasing their alcohol in Nokomis, in Tower Hill, in Shelbyville, in Vandalia, in Moweaqua and now in Ramsey on Sundays. These communities benefit from not imposing liquor sales bans.

 

Aldermen Hocq, Wiss and Eddy: keep fighting the good fight for the local economy. Aldermen Schneider, Jordan, Miles, Goff and Woods: you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for being against your local economy, especially when the Sunday ban is oppressive and detrimental to said economy.


Jake Leonard
Chapter Chairman & SOC Representative | Tri-Counties Libertarian Party
Deputy Communications Director | Libertarian Party of Illinois
Libertarian Candidate | Illinois State Senate, District 48
Website: www.tricountylibertarians.org
Nokomis, IL 62075 

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Letter to the Editor: Congressman Rodney Davis In the Pockets of Sugar Cartels

Letter to the Editor

Posted September 28, 2017

 

Dear Editor:

 

Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) is in the pocket of the nation's beet and cane sugar cartels!  Davis continually votes to maintain the U.S. Sugar program.  Why? It is really quite simple, Congressman Davis received well over $65,000 in political donations from the sugar cartels since coming to Washington in 2013. 

Thanks to Rep. Davis and others, the U.S. Sugar Program continues.  The Sugar Program is a Soviet style command and control scheme that restricts planting and imports.  This inflates the price of sugar in the United States to almost double the world price. So, when you go to the store to buy a snack cake or anything sweetened, you pay more!   According to the Congressional Budget Office, the program means Americans pay $3.5 billion every year in increased grocery costs, which breaks down to $58 per household.   
In Rep. Davis' 4 years in office, he repeatedly voted against sugar reform costing each Illinois family an additional $232 for groceries.  You have to ask yourself, is my Congressman really fighting to make life better, or is he just another politician in it for the campaign contributions?  It's time for Congressman Davis to step up and end this costly government giveaway to the cartels!   
The Independent Bakers' Association is an international trade association that fights to protect the interests of mostly family owned wholesale bakers and allied trades.  For more information about IBA and sugar program corruption, visit IBAbaker.com. 

Sincerely,
Nicholas A. Pyle, President
Independent Bakers' Association
Washington, DC

 

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Editorial from Miller Media Group on 25th Anniversary in Taylorville/Pana/Shelbyville

Posted September 20, 2017

 

This is Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller, here to remininise about our quarter century serving our listeners and advertisers in the Taylorville, Pana, and Shelbyville markets.

It was the day after Labor Day in 1992, that I took over management, then ownership, in WTIM Radio. 

In the 25 years that have ensued, my wife and I have raised our 3 girls in Taylorville, they all graduated from Taylorville High School, and are now gainfully employed, I'm proud to say!

And, in those 25 years, our Taylorville group has grown from one station to 6.

We thank God for opening the door for our family to come to Taylorville, Pana and Shelbyville 25 years ago.  We are blessed with countless friends, business relationships, and people that have been there for us in good and bad over this past quarter century.

There are 2 special relationships we've worked hard to build over this past quarter century, and that is with our listeners and our advertisers. 

Every day, we strive to create compelling local content that attracts listeners.  And, every day we offer the listenership we've worked hard to build, to local businesses in giving them an opportunity to effectively attract customers to their business.

As we begin the next quarter century of service, I want you to personally know how much YOU are appreciated, and that everything all of us at the Miller Media Group do every day, is to serve YOU.

THANKS for 25 great years...and here's to 25 more!

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Letter to the Editor - Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp

REPORT A BULLY

 

Bullying. A word all of us are, unfortunately, familiar with. Bullying can happen to anyone – someone who is the quiet one or even the tough guy in class. It can come from anyone also– girls, boys, preschoolers, etc. A sure thing is that no one deserves to be bullied. For those that get bullied, they need to know it’s not their fault. Bullying includes repeated behaviors that focus on making someone else feel inadequate or belittled. It comes in many forms, such as harassment, physical harm, and demeaning words. Bullying makes the person feel less about whom they are.

 

According to Teen’s Against Bullying, this year, 13 million students will be bullied, which is almost one of every four students. Because of bullying, teens who are bullied, and even those who are witnesses to bullying, are scared to go to school. This hinders the learning in our schools for students, which is another reason why it is time to have “all hands-on deck” when it comes to preventing bullying.

 

Who gets bullied and who does it?

As noted earlier, bullying can happen to anyone, but let’s focus on teenagers. Teens are the largest age group of getting targeted, but also of being the “bully”. The targets for teen bullying are those who are perceived to be different by a disability, race, sex, body shape, etc. It’s not about appearance as some might think. We may say, “it’s the kid in all black” or “the one who gets mad”. In all reality, it could be the kid at the top of the class or the star athlete. It’s about behavior. Teens who bully can be any size, age, race, gender, or in any social class. Bullying is becoming more common amongst younger teens. However, unlike older teens, the younger teens are using physical bullying, which is easier to see. Older teens are utilizing other methods like social media, which is harder to identify. Bullying trends can be seen by gender. Boys are more likely to use physical bullying and girls lean toward verbal and emotional, such as targeting others with nasty rumors.

 

How do people get bullied?

There are many forms of bullying:

  • Physical. This is self-explanatory. The instigator attempts to physically harm the other person by kicking, punching, shoving, etc. With this type, the instigator instills fear in the one being bullied and often, coerces the other person to do something.

  • Verbal. This is the use of demeaning language to tear down another person. Excessive teasing, belittling words and uses of sarcasm are common ways to hurt the other person’s feelings or humiliate them.

  • Emotional. This type of bullying is designed to get someone else to feel isolated and alone, which can often cause depression and is becoming frequent for teens.

  • Cyber. Electronic bullying is becoming a serious problem for teens. Through social media and text messages, bullies are humiliating and embarrassing others and can be extremely devastating to the one’s being bullied.

 

What can we do to stop teen bullying?

Teen bullying can be difficult to address, but there are things we can do as a community. To start, family members should discourage bullying. First, it’s important to understand that all bystanders, a person who witnesses bullying, have an opportunity to prevent this from happening. For example, if a teen is in a group of friends and one of the friends is bullying someone else in front of them, that group has a decision to make – to let this happen or stop the bully. This “group” is really important and their reaction has a direct impact on the bully, and the situation. As a community, we must work together to educate our teens about bullying. We need to show them how being a bystander only hurts someone else. Second, our teens should be encouraged to find friends who are supportive and kind. Having a strong friend network can minimize bullying, as bullies are targeting those who are alone. Supportive and diverse environments are crucial in the fight against bullying. Our community is enriched with different types of people, and with your help, we can be role models to show our teens that bullying shouldn’t happen.

 

If you have any questions about bullying or how you can help in our community with bullying prevention, please reach out to your local law enforcement for more information.

 

Source: pacerteensagainstbullying.org

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Letter to the Editor from Senator Andy Manar and State Representative Avery Bourne

Letter to the Editor

Posted September 12, 2017

 

Dear Editor:

 

Educating kids should be a bipartisan issue. Two weeks ago, in the General Assembly, it finally was. After years of working on this issue and months of intense negotiations, the General Assembly passed a landmark school funding reform law that will fundamentally transform the way that Illinois funds our schools. This once-in-a-generation school funding reform legislation is the single most important, bipartisan reform Illinois has seen in decades. As Downstate legislators of different political parties, we were proud to work together on behalf of the schools and children we represent in negotiating the final agreement.

Illinois will go from having the worst school funding formula in the country to having one of the best. Students in school districts lacking local wealth will be prioritized regardless of zip code. That means underfunded Downstate districts will get the help they need.
There has been a lot of discussion about the imperfections of the bill. To paraphrase one of our colleagues, this is what compromise looks like. Neither side got everything they wanted but both sides got something. In the end, this is a transformative reform and a victory for every student in the state.
One main Republican concern under the previous version of school funding reform was that Chicago would have received their pension payment through the school funding formula - skewing education dollars to CPS first. Under this compromise Chicago still does well, like all other underfunded school districts. The bipartisan agreement pays Downstate teacher pension in full and moves Chicago’s pension costs out of the school funding formula treating them like every other school district in the state. Chicago is also given the ability to raise their property taxes so that they will support their own schools locally like every other district in the state.
One main Democratic concern under the Governor’s amendatory veto of a the previous version of school funding reform was his move to strike several provisions that protected underfunded schools in future years from potential cuts. The bipartisan agreement keeps these provisions intact. That will ensure that the state continues to make underfunded schools the highest priority with the goal of eliminating our worst-in-the-nation inequity gap.

In short, this compromise treats all 852 school districts the same and will benefit every school district and every student in Illinois.
We have had real disagreements on school funding reform along the way. You have probably heard our disagreements in your local paper and in the media. But at the same time, the well-being of the schools and students we collectively represent took precedent over partisanship. In the final school funding reform deal, the sponsors of the bill were both balanced and bipartisan - five democrats and four republicans including both of us. We believe this reform legislation represents what bipartisan compromise should look like.  
In a state as regionally and economically diverse as Illinois, changing such a formula is a difficult proposition under the best of circumstances. Yet, under some of the most difficult circumstances, this summer state lawmakers and Governor Rauner came together to stand up for Illinois’ two million public schoolchildren by voting for and signing a comprehensive school funding overhaul.
SB 1947, the final compromise, is a landmark reform for school funding. It became possible because legislators from both parties and from all parts of the State decided to work together and compromise.
Kids took priority over politics and every student in Illinois is better off for it.
 
Senator Andy Manar is a Democrat from Bunker Hill. Representative Avery Bourne is a Republican from Raymond. They were part of the group of state lawmakers that negotiated the bipartisan school funding reform legislation signed into law Aug. 31.

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Letter to the Editor Opposing Expansion of Hog Farm in Montgomery County

Letter to the Editor

Posted September 5, 2017

 

Dear Editor:

 

Written In Opposition To Proposed Hog Confinement by Dereke Dunkirk & Borgic Farms
This letter is being written to you in opposition of the proposed new Dereke hog confinement facility proposed on E. 5th Road, Farmersville, and any expansion thereafter.  All residents will be affected by this facility if constructed, either directly or indirectly.


My property is about a mile from the proposed site.  Some residents are closer to the site, while others will be caught between the current hog confinement on Morrisonville Avenue, west, and the new proposed one to the east.  They would be less than three miles apart.  Two hog confinement facilities in our rural neighborhood is too many and puts us at severe risks.


It seems they are building all the hog confinements around Farmersville.  We have at least three now.  Residents had no prior notification of this concentrated hog facility or any information on it: wean to finish operation, waste application intentions, use of hormones or steroid feed additives, available water sources, etc.  There are several environmental, financial and quality of life factors that put myself and my neighbors at risk if this facility can be built here.


The first major concern is our water and the flooding issues we have in this area by the proposed site and south, east, north, west of it and directly in front of the just recently sunk well.  It is scientifically proven that hog waste, fumes, chemical applications, and various diseases will contaminate our water, air, and soil with field and ditch run off, leakage and spills.  Last year a tanker carrying hog waste from outside of Farmersville had a large gash in the side of the tanker and the driver knew it but kept hauling several loads from Route 48 down E. 5th Road heading north.  I could smell it from inside my home.  Finally, a law enforcement officer stopped this.  It was gushing from the tanker all over the road for over seven miles at least.  The smell was the worst I have ever experienced in my life and it lasted for days!  There wasn’t any clean up by anyone and it drained into the ditch when it rained.


I have hauled water on numerous occasions over the last few years during dry conditions and worry that our water table will not be able to support a facility of this size or smaller, because at times it cannot support us.  When they have applied the manure application on the fields it does drain into our water supply and the stench alone keeps me confined to my home.  The direct injection method some use does not prevent the run off that drains onto our properties and into our wells because some of the land is lower and more prone to flooding (coal mine/Gob Nob), in addition to lack of field tile or adequate drainage in the fields.  This becomes a public health and safety concern.


Hog waste impacts our watershed and not just the areas immediately surrounding our neighborhood.  Water flows as you well know.  This contamination impacts waterways and pollutes our drinking water and the water for hundreds of residents downstream, many of whom do not know where this facility will be located.  It is important to recognize the cumulative impacts of multiple hog confinements in our area.  Two hog confinement facilities within three miles of our rural neighborhood is too many and puts us at severe risks.  WE all need and deserve a sustainable and uncontaminated water source.


Flooding is an issue here, due to the low-lying round and absentee landlords who lease their ground and do not take care of it, nor do the farmers they lease to.  I have had almost three feet of water in two acres of pasture, had my paddock flooded all the up to my barn, and this is after they sprayed the field with manure.  It cost me several hundred dollars to haul dirt to build up where the farmers field would flood my property.  The insurance company won’t cover it and would have to redo my entire fence line.  The landowner assured me the farmer would make good for all the property destroyed.  Not so.


The second major concern is our air.  It is well known how horrific hog facilities, lagoons and manure field applications smell.  It sickens you to the core.  The odors and toxins emitted into our air will be detrimental to our health and our quality of life.  Many of us spend more time outdoors than in – mowing, gardening, horseback riding, fishing, caring for other small livestock, camping, entertaining family and friends – and this facility would halt these activities, as it does when they liquid manure the fields.  These odors impair our air quality which is a serious health hazard, not just a nuisance.  Health issues from these fumes cause mucous membrane and throat irritation, respiratory conditions, stress, anxiety, reduced lung function and acute blood pressure elevation.

 

The dangerous and deadly effects of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and other dangerous gases that rise from decomposing manure are associated with numerous diseases like E. coli, Salmonella, influenza, chronic respiratory problems and antibiotic resistant strains of MRSA and staph.


The third major concern is our land and soil.  Antibiotic resistant bacteria can reach and infect us through consumption of contaminated food, through direct contact with animals, or through contamination of soil or water with the antibiotic resistant bacteria.  These same bacteria are found in swine waste lagoons and on fields where manure is used as fertilizer.  These residues have been found in both surface and groundwater supplies around the state of Illinois.  Antimicrobials have also been found in private water wells, surface and groundwater supplies, demonstrating that contamination of drinking water is a reality and a threat to our health, not just a possibility. 

 

The hog confinement will also damage our county roads and increase truck traffic on East 5th Road.
The fourth major concern is the damage to our property, its value, and the increased financial hardship this hog farm will cause.  Damage to our properties is inevitable, due to the field spray which was used this spring and has rusted my barn already.  Property values plummet to almost 40 percent in some areas, depending on the scale of the stench and the resale value can be less than what your paid for your home.


The county and Illinois need to implement sound AG policies and practices that protect the environment, human health and our rural quality of life from the impacts of these concentrated hog confinements.

 

Sincerely,

Kelly Robbins
Farmersville, IL 62533

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Letter to the Editor from Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp

FROM THE SHERIFF’S DESK, VOL 7 R. 8

By Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp

 

OVERDOSE AWARENESS

 

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day – a global event held each year to raise awareness of drug overdoses and to reduce the stigma of drug-related deaths. This day also serves as a reminder and acknowledges the grief felt by the families of those who have experienced death, or a life-changing injury, because of a drug overdose. From 1999 to 2015, the death rate of teenagers overdosing on drugs more than doubled. Although drug overdose affects those of all ages, this is alarming. There were 772 drug overdose deaths for adolescents, 15-19 years old (NBC News). Again, the stigma associated with drug overdose is worldwide, and is seen at all levels. It is found in large cities, rural communities, and can be found in our own county. Christian County has had 18 overdose deaths in the last three years. Within the past year, our local hospitals have treated 30 overdose patients. This is not an accurate picture of how many local overdoses have occurred in our county. Many individuals who overdose refuse to go to the ER after being revived by Emergency Medical Services. It is our job, as community members, to make ourselves familiar with what overdose is, how drugs are used, and how to work together to prevent the tragedy associated with drug overdose.

 

To overdose means having too much of a drug, or a combination of drugs, for the body to cope with. With an overdose, there are several signs and symptoms that show it has happened and these differ due to the type of drug used. All drugs, including prescription medication provided by a doctor, can cause an overdose. It is very important to know the correct dosage for your body and if the particular drug can be mixed with something else.

  • Depressant Overdose: This is Opioids (heroin, morphine, fentanyl), medical depressants (benzodiazepines and barbiturates), and alcohol. All of these drugs slow the central nervous system down. They may produce a calming effect to relieve pain or even help people sleep. When taken in excessive amounts, or in combinations, they can depress normal functions such as breathing and heart rate. These reactions can result in coma or even death.

  • Alcohol Poisoning and Overdose: Since alcohol is a depressant, it is possible to overdose and get acute alcohol poisoning, which is often a result of binge drinking. Drinking a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time can make the amount in your bloodstream high and cause the body to stop working correctly, such as stopping your breathing and heart.

  • Stimulant Overdose: This is speed and ice (amphetamines). These increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and seizures.

 

When a person uses drugs like these regularly, a tolerance is developed. This means more of the drug needs to be used to get the same effect. And, if a person hasn’t used regularly or they haven’t been able to get the drug, the tolerance will drop. In this case, more often than not, an unusually high amount is taken after the break of not having it and causes the body too much to handle, ending in an overdose. Also, taking more than one kind of drug at a time can put a strain on the body. For example: most heroin-related overdoses are caused when the user mixes it with a depressant drug, such as alcohol.

 

For a majority of the drug overdose deaths in 2015, they were unintentional according to the CDC. And, the drug that killed Americans of all ages across the country that year was heroin. This is why the stigma of drug related incidents, and death, needs to stop and become more of a conversation. As mentioned previously, drug overdose and related incidents are in our community. This is local. Therefore, it is our time to join together on August 31st and every day. Overdose day spreads the message that this is preventable. By wearing silver, you can be a part of the fight to support those who need help the most and to raise awareness.

 

If you have any questions about drug overdose or International Overdose Awareness Day, please reach out to your local law enforcement or learn more at overdoseday.com.

 

Sources: Overdoseday.com and NBCNews.com

___

 

 

Department Activity for the last 5 months:

 

 

March

April

May

June

July

Warrants

23

15

14

20

23

Citations

117

270

123

118

 

89

Crashes

23

36

37

37

30

DUI’S

4

4

2

3

2

Civil Process

145

 

90

120

76

 

91

Criminal Arrests

7

8

4

4

4

Domestic Calls

10

10

9

11

12

Calls For Service

537

506

597

499

500

Correctional Center

Prisoners Processed

85

74

80

96

89

Average Daily Population

49

54

51

51

59

Fingerprints

17

17

13

19

21

Transports

11

16

18

15

29

Transport Mileage

1456

1638

1686

1410

2198

Transport Hours

65

92

96

65

140

 

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Letter to the Editor from Illinois High School Association

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted August 17, 2017

 

By Bob Gardner, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and Craig Anderson, Executive Director of the Illinois High School Association.

 

Tailgates. Pep rallies. Friday night lights. The new school year is here! And that’s exciting news for student-athletes and high school sports fans alike.

 

Research shows that being a student-athlete is about a lot more than fun and games.  It teaches important life lessons, too. In fact, high school athletes not only have higher grade point averages and fewer school absences than non-athletes, they also develop the kind of work habits and self-discipline skills that help them become more responsible and productive community members.

 

Attending high school sporting events teaches important life lessons, too.  

 

Among them, it teaches that we can live in different communities, come from different backgrounds, faiths and cultures, cheer for different teams, and still have a common bond.

 

That’s why attending the activities hosted by your high school this fall is so important. It’s not only an opportunity to cheer for your hometown team, it is also an opportunity to celebrate our commonality. And that’s something our country needs right now.

 

The bond we share is mutually supporting the teenagers in our respective communities. We applaud their persistence, tenacity, preparation and hard work, regardless of the color of the uniform they wear. We acknowledge that education-based, high school sports are enhancing their lives, and ours, in ways that few other activities could. And we agree that, regardless of what side of the field we sit on, attending a high school sporting event is an uplifting, enriching, family-friendly experience for all of us.

 

Many of the high schools in our state lie at the heart of the communities they serve.   They not only are educating our next generation of leaders, they also are a place where we congregate, where people from every corner of town and all walks of life come together as one. And at no time is this unity more evident than during a high school athletic event.

 

This is the beginning of a new school year. Opportunities abound in the classroom and outside it. Let’s make the most of them by attending as many athletic events at the high school in our community as possible. 

 

Turn on the lights, and let the games begin!   

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Letter to the Editor from State Representative Avery Bourne

Letter to the Editor

 

Posted July 26, 2017

 

Dear Editor:  

 

There are 16,629 students in the 95th legislative who depend on me to advocate for them at the state capitol. Each one of them deserves the chance to receive a world class education. Their future - that is what this fight for school funding reform is all about.

In the past three years, I have served on three school funding commissions and taskforces. I can tell you firsthand - throughout those meetings there has been genuine, groundbreaking, bipartisan work done to produce a new, fair, evidence-based school funding formula.

Unsurprisingly, at the last second, negotiations were cut off, amendments were filed that benefitted Chicago and the bill was forced through on a mostly partisan basis. Good bipartisan work was abandoned for partisan politics that send more money to Chicago first.

You’ll hear both sides argue about whether or not there is a Chicago bailout or what that means. Let me share what sending Chicago more money means for my neighbors in the 95th District.

In the 95th, there are 16,629 students in school districts like Taylorville, Pana, Carlinville, Gillespie, North Mac, Hillsboro and Staunton. That equals 0.85% of the students throughout the state of Illinois.

Chicago has 367,003 students. That equals 18.74% of the students in Illinois.

Under Senate Bill 1, Chicago will receive 63.62%  of the new money. Meanwhile students in the 95th District will receive 0.5% of the new money.

Once the bailout for Chicago is removed from SB1, Chicago’s students receive 19.06% of the new money while students in the 95th District receive .82% of the new money. That is fairness.
19.06% of new money for 18.74% of the students in Illinois and 0.82% of the money for 0.85% of the students.

Our students downstate deserve a fair shake. We need a new school funding formula - one that treats every school district the same and one that sends money first to the students and school districts that need it most. SB1, in its current form is not that solution. With structural manipulations in the base funding minimum (where money goes first), that means millions of dollars are shifted first to Chicago before any new money is dispersed to all other 851 school districts.

After years of education cuts under previous administrations, I cannot blame the schools who are desperate for more money. They need it. We owe it to the students they serve. However, we as downstaters, must fight for our fair share. We cannot settle for second fiddle. Lord knows Chicago isn’t settling. Our kids deserve more.

Now, the political games continue. Instead of abiding by the process every other legislature uses - sending a bill to the governor once it passes, they’re holding on to it.

To end the political gamesmanship, Governor Rauner has called us back into special session to get this done. There are two options - work with us in the legislature to come to a bipartisan solution or send the bill to the governor and let him take out the Chicago bailout. Either way, it is immoral to hold the school funding bill and hold our schools hostage until there is a crisis.

No special deals, No hostage taking. Let’s get this done for every school and every student, now.

 

State Representative Avery Bourne

Litchfield, IL

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Letter to the Editor from Shelby County Sheriff Don Koonce

Letter to the Editor

Posted June 6, 2017

Dear Editor:

9-1-1 is the backbone of public safety and Illinois' back is breaking.

On behalf of the Sheriffs, the Chiefs of Police, and all the man and women of public safety in Illinois, we encourage Governor Raunder to approve SB 1839.  Without that approval, the system will be unfunded at the close of business June 30th, 2017.  It's unthinkable that someone in Illinois might call 9-1-1 after June 30th and nobody would be there to take the emergency call.

Legislation passed in 2015 requires the consolidation of 9-1-1 systems, and upgrading technology to help our telecommunicators deliver the most professional and expedited service to our communities.  Our emergency dispatch centers are required to implement location services, receive text messages and automatic crash alerts within the next 3 years.  None of this comes without a cost and that cost spread across all users is the fairest and most efficient model for delivery.

The goal is to develop a fully-funcational 9-1-1 system that meets the deamdns of ever-changing telecommunications technology in a digital world, while being accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device in Illinois.  Providing 9-1-1 services for all members of our community simply cannot be done by keeping old, costly and failing technology in place.

We firmly believe the proposed revenue provided in SB1839 for 9-1-1 allows for much-needed upgrades to outdated, flawed and ineffective technology--including landline phone services using copper wire--in 9-1-1 centers statewide.  The surcharge increase also addresses the rising cost of salaries, technology and resources required to effectively deliver 9-1-1 services across Illinois.

The time is now for Illinois to move forward, not backward, in protecting the citizens we all serve.

 

Don Koonce, Sheriff

Shelby County

Shelbyville, IL   62565

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Letter to the Editor: NO MORE NEW TAXES!

Letter to the Editor

Posted April 27, 2017

 

Dear Editor:

 

Outside of the Chicagoland region, Montgomery and Christian counties are among the most overtaxed counties in south central Illinois. For those who don’t follow the news, Montgomery County passed a 1% county school facilities sales tax and Taylorville voted in yet another oppressive property tax hike on April 4. Unfortunately, things are only going to get far worse before things get any better.

 

It’s time for you to become informed on some pieces of pending legislation in committee hearings awaiting release to the legislative houses of the Illinois General Assembly that will be even worse than our current property tax rates, as well as the 8.25% overall sales tax effective in the business districts of Nokomis, Litchfield and Hillsboro beginning July 1.

 

Senate Bill 9, drafted by Senator Toi W. Hutchinson of Chicago Heights, was originally a bill proposing a 1% tax on bottled beverages which contain sugar products, but was abandoned after much criticism from voters. Since then, revisions have been made that, if passed, you can be charged sales taxes for Internet streaming, satellite Internet service, parking in a municipal parking lot or garage and services like laundry/dry cleaning, storage unit rentals, plumbing, landscaping & gardening, heating & cooling (HVAC), information technology and dog grooming. The bill also proposes increased taxes on your utility bills, tax penalties for a municipality wishing to establish a TIF or business district and a “business privilege” tax. This also doesn’t include attempts from Democrats to increase the individual income tax to 5% from 3.75% and the corporate income tax to between 15% and 20% from 7.75%.

 

You may have seen occasional ads in your local newspaper advocating for you to contact your legislators to oppose another tax proposed by Democrats in the General Assembly since 2015: a 10% sales tax on advertising. It essentially punishes small businesses for advertising in newspapers, as well as on radio and television. A proposed House Resolution (HR 28), written by Republican Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills and co-sponsored by Democrat Reps. Jay Hoffman of Swansea, Natalie Manley of Joliet and Martin Moylan of Des Plaines, opposes the proposed tax as it is oppressive toward small businesses which rely on advertising to build up their business and bring in new customers. A study done by No Ad Tax Illinois in 2015 showed that small businesses make up more than 98.2% of the state’s employers, helping create 53,000 new jobs a year.

 

We’re among the highest taxed states in the nation, third only to California and New York, mostly because of all the additional taxes we’re forced to pay. As a result of this excessive taxation and reckless spending in Springfield, the state’s billions of dollars in debt simply because they haven’t had a balanced budget since 2001, something our legislators are bound to according to Article VIII, Section 2, subsection (b) of the Illinois Constitution, which clearly states: “The General Assembly by law shall make appropriations for all expenditures of public funds by the State. Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.” So if Democrats in Springfield clearly can’t balance a checkbook, then why are they in office forcing unbalanced budgets to be passed?

 

There is absolutely no need for more taxation when the problem over the past sixteen years is overspending and a lack of fiscal accountability. Call your legislators and voice your opinion that you don’t want to be bogged down with an even heavier tax burden. It’s because of their recklessness with money which has led to one person leaving the state of Illinois for a less hostile environment in regards to taxation and commerce every five minutes. Yes, Illinois loses 12 residents every hour and can lose a little over 100,000 residents in a calendar year.

 

It’s time to project a strong message to both Democrats and Republicans in Springfield: NO MORE NEW TAXES!

 

Jake Leonard
Chapter Chairman | Tri-Counties Libertarian Party
Deputy Communications Director | Libertarian Party of Illinois
Nokomis

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Letter to the Editor Endorsing Rob Heberling for Taylorville Mayor

Letter to the Editor

 

Posted March 27, 2017

 

Dear Editor:


Over these past weeks, the citizens of Taylorville and I have had the opportunity to observe and evaluate the perspectives and agendas of the various candidates in the upcoming election.   On Tuesday, April 4th, Taylorville will be electing a new mayor.  While attending the recent mayor’s forum and hearing each of the candidates it became obvious that only one mayoral candidate stands out as having knowledge of and has been actively engaged with City issues.   That candidate is Rob Heberling.   While serving as Alderman for Ward 2 over the past eight years Rob has shown leadership in action.  As an Alderman, Rob has always placed the City first when looking at needs of the community by providing the best services while utilizing tax dollars in the wisest manner.  He has shown that he will not move forward on any issue without having a plan to provide support and a source of revenue.  Rob is always professional in his thinking and decision making, and acts in the best interest of our citizens.  He has the vision, maturity, wisdom and courage to lead the City of Taylorville into the future.
Rob Heberling is a man of high integrity who values God, family and community.  He is a natural leader who has gained experience and knowledge through his eight years as an Alderman.   As a City, we have some issues which require continuity during transition from the current Mayor to the next.  We need a mayor with experience who is current on city issues.   Someone who can lead the effort and make the learning curve as short as possible.  Someone who has been a part of the City Council who knows the background of current issues – some of which we have been working on for years.  I have watched his thoughtful and seasoned approach to issues, both large and small.   He has shown that he has the knowledge that is needed at this critical time to provide the leadership this City needs.
Rob Heberling’s experience and understanding of the issues involved in our community’s economic and financial development makes him an exceptional choice for mayor.  He is always working on creative solutions which reap positive impacts for the City.
Taylorville is at a critical time in its history, and this election has the potential to define our future for this generation as well as future generations.
There is only one candidate running for mayor who has the community and business experience to lead our City immediately and that candidate is Rob Heberling.  I have evaluated all mayoral candidates very carefully with much thought, prior to and during the mayoral forum.  As a result I am stongly endorsing Rob Heberling for mayor of Taylorville during this election and ask you to join me in voting for Rob on Tuesday April 4th.
Thank you for your consideration.
Martin Vota
City of Taylorville Alderman

 

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EDITORIAL on Taylorville School Referendum

Posted March 4, 2017

 

This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.  The Taylorville School District has placed on the April 4th ballot, a referendum to increase the property tax rate.  If passed, it would be the first time the tax rate for the Taylorville School District has been increased since 1979.

The District announced proposed cuts should the refrendum fail, in their February 13th meeting. The cuts include non replacement of 4 retirements, teaching and other staff reductions, Madrigals, Scholastic Bowl, FFA, Journalism, Spring Musical, all school athletics, music, and art among other cuts by the 2018/2019 school year. The cuts would reduce the district’s expenses by nearly two million dollars.

Should the referendum pass, it’s projected to raise enough money to allow the district to continue with the programs cut. There would be a period of time before the district begins to receive the funding from the referendum, and the Taylorville School District said they would have to bridge the gap before they started to see the funds generated by the referendum.

The way we see it, passage of this referendum is a "quality of life" issue.  It was the Taylorville Schools that was part of my family's decision to buy WTIM back in the fall of 1992 and move my family to town.  All 3 of my girls graduated from Taylorville High School.  Schools continue to be one of the major reasons why families decide to locate to the community.

And, with the completion of the 4-lane Illinois Route 29, families looking to locate in a more affordable community, are looking at Taylorville as a town to move to.

The future of the Taylorville community is at stake with this April 4th Taylorville School referendum.  My wife and I are voting "YES" on April 4th to support our community's future.  We hope you will do the same.  Let's keep Taylorville the great community that it is...for our children now and in the future.

That's our opinion....we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial-at-randyradio-dot-com.

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Letter to the Editor Supporting Taylorville School Tax Referendum

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted January 29, 2017

 

Dear Editor:

 

I support the upcoming tax referendum for the school district. One reason I support this is the fact the money stays here in our area and not sent off to Chicago. I believe investing in education is one of many things needed to combat the problems we face in the long term such as the drug epidemic and crime in general.

 

Thank you,
Ray Koonce
Taylorville,IL. 62568
                    

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Letter to the Editor: COMPLIMENTS to 2 Local Churches

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Posted January 24, 2017

 

A compliment to two of our Taylorville area churches:
Grace Baptist Church of Taylorville during each month that has five Sundays, upon the 5th Sunday evening of that month, the evening sermon is preached by either a teen or the youth pastor.  The body of the service is performed entirely by youth of Grace Baptist Church.  Following the service, a potluck for the entire congregation is held in the fellowship hall, which is a great way to celebrate the blending of generations.

First Baptist Church of Taylorville for their innovative courage and faith in holding services at the Taylorville Cinema. How perfect a setting to reach the broader public and in presenting Faith based films, such as that being offered the morning of January 29.

Congratulations to both of these Taylorville Churches!

Linda Hagood 
Taylorville, Illinois 

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