Local News

Barry Thankful for Water Department's Quick Response

Mayor Bruce Barry was thankful at Monday night’s City Council meeting.


Barry named individual members of the water department and thanked them for their work in identifying and fixing a water main break in the overnight hours Thursday night and into Friday morning.


Barry says that his home was one of the areas affected by a boil warning for much of the weekend, but that if not for the hard work of the water department, many more residents would have been affected.



Barry says he also believes the boil order, which remains in affect for those on the south side of Lake Berenetti, will be lifted on Tuesday, following tests of water quality from the water department.


City, School District Come to Deal to Add School Resource Officer

The City of Taylorville and the Taylorville school district have struck a deal to put a Taylorville police officer in the building next year.


The deal involves a Taylorville PD officer serving as a school resource officer, a trend that has spread across the United States in the wake of a number of high profile mass shootings, including a shooting Sante Fe, Texas just last week.


Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry said he ran on the principle of protecting Taylorville’s youth and was proud the two boards found a way to make a deal to help Taylorville’s students.


Barry hailed the deal as a win-win, with the school district picking up the over 36,000 dollar tab, and the City being able to readjust current officer’s schedules so no new hire was needed, all while protecting students.


The vote passed by a 6-2 margin at Monday’s city council meeting, and followed lengthy discussions in committee prior to Monday’s vote.


Shelbyville Named Opportunity Zone

Shelbyville is receiving an economic boost thanks to the federal government.


Illinois Governor Bruce Rautner announced that 327 land tracts have been approved for the Opportunity Zone Census tract, including an area in Shelby County that includes Shelbyville.


Opportunity Zones is a program through the federal government that present an opportunity for private, tax-free investment in low-income areas with economic need, benefiting both residents living in the area and private investors. The program is in its first year, having been established by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.


State Repersenative Brad Halbrook of Shelbyville hailed the news as a huge economic opportunity for the area, saying, These areas are in desperate need of jobs, benefiting individuals and communities. This is a great opportunity to bring jobs and investments into east Central Illinois.”


The Opportunity zone includes most of the city and areas near Lake Shelbyville.


BBB Advises Residents on Potential Scammers

Scammers are always looking for ways to pull the wool over the eyes of their next victim. With the weather turning nicer residents are advised to pay close attention to who comes knocking at their door.


Mara Clingingsmith is with the Better Business Bureau, she says some residents let scammers into their homes who pretend to be checking on the residents thermostat.



Clingingsmith says a simple phone call can save residents from the scammer even making their way into the home.



Clingingsmith appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.


State Treasurer Frerichs Sees Budget Passing

It is officially crunch time for Illinois Legislatures as time is winding down for the two parties to agree on a budget.


State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says even though time is dwindling he is still confident the two sides can decide on common ground on a budget.



Frerichs says the struggles over the last few years have been a lesson to the parties and serves as their main motivation to get the budget done.



Frerichs appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.


Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Committee Holds Second Meeting of Year

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Committee held their second monthly meeting of the year Monday evening at the Chamber board room, to begin work on what will be the 33rd annual Taylorville Chamber Chillifest taking place on the Square October 6th and 7th.

Chillifest chairperson Greg Hornbuckle told Regional Radio News it was a good meeting with lots of topics covered.

And, Hornbuckle said the International Chilli Society is bringing a 2nd category of chilli judging to this year's Taylorville Chamber Chillifest.

Get more information on the Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest as the dates get closer, at chillifest-dot-info, that's Chillifest with 2-L's.


Boil Order Remains for Some Near Lake Bertenetti

A water boil order remains in effect for Taylorville residents on the south side of Lake Bernetti. All other areas that were affected by a boil order are herby released from the order.  The City of Taylorville will be resampling the South side of Bertenetti Monday 5/21 and Tuesday 5/22 for further result.


Sports Enhancement Program Ready to Train Athletes

Summer might be right around the corner but Shelbyville’s HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is preparing athletes for their fall sports seasons.


The hospital’s rehabilitation department is offering their annual sports enhancement program, which aims to help improve the overall athletic performance of local high school and junior high athletes in the area.


Sarah Thoele a physical therapist for Good Shepherd Rehab explains how athletes are tested so that she and other professionals can tailor the program to the individual athlete.



Thoele believes that the program is designed to help athletes of all sports gain an advantage this summer.



The program begins on June 4th and runs twice a week through July 27th, at Good Shepherd Hospital’s rehab department in Shelbyville. The deadline to register is June 1st, for more info call 217-774-6434.



CICBC Having Blood Drive In Stonington Tuesday

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center Bloodmobile will be making its way to Stonington Tuesday for a community blood drive.


The blood drive will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at 308 S. Pine Street in Stonington.


Donating blood takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and those with diabetes or controlled high blood pressure may be accepted as donors. For more information, you can call the CICBC at 1-800-747-5401.


Aaron Allen Named Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry Big Smile for the Community Honoree for May

This month’s NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is Aaron Allen. Allen is a former county board member, referee, coach, and United Way Board member and he’s shown through dedication and effort the importance of stepping up and serving the community.


Allen says being involved is what he was taught as a kid.



To nominate someone for the NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” award, send your nominations to bigsmile@randyradio.com.


Barry, City of Taylorville Demolishing Homes to Beautify City

The City of Taylorville continues tearing down blighted properties in the community. Mayor Bruce Barry ran on a platform of beautifying the city, and in the past year he has gotten to work on fulfilling that goal.


At last week’s Christian County Mayors meeting, Barry discussed how the city has torn down 15 homes in the past year with more demolition projects on the horizon.


The City of Taylorville fronts most of the costs for the demolitions. Barry says that leaves just dumpster fees to the property owner, and is a benefit for the city, residents and the property owner.



Barry says the city has at least four more demolitions ready for the fall, and residents interested in having the city demolish a building on a property they own can contact city hall for more information on how to begin the process.


Business After Hours on the Third Wednesday of Every Month

On the third Wednesday of every month the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce puts on an event called Business After Hours. For this event a local Chamber business will be chosen to host residents after the store has closed in order to help promote.


Patty Hornbuckle is the CEO of the Chamber she says this year the Business After Hours at McMillian went much better thanks to the weather.



Hornbuckle says next month Business After Hours will be taking place at the newest Chamber business.



Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Roxy Theater Open for Business

Shelbyville residents looking for something to do need not look too much further as the Roxy Theater is open and ready for business.


Camice Barker is with the Roxy Theater, she explains how the theater got to where it is now.



Barker says the theater has a great lineup coming this summer and encourages residents to come on out.



Barker appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.


Christian County Sheriff's Office Stepping Up Patrols During National Click it or Ticket Campaign

Summer means more people will be on the roads, and the Christian County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with IDOT to remind motors to wear their seat belts. The Christian County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign starting this weekend and running through May 29.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says his office has received a grant to help step up patrols through the campaign.



Kettelkamp says the extra enforcement is just one way he hopes his office can prevent any tragedies during the upcoming holiday weekend.



Of the 1,093 traffic deaths in the state in 2017, where seat belt use was known, more than half of those killed were not wearing seat belts.


Good Shepherd Hospital Looks to Help Athletes Improve Over Summer

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville is hosting its sixth annual Sports Enhancement summer program for High school and junior high athletes.


Glenda Plunkett the Marketing Coordinator at Good Shepherd explains how the program measures and improves athlete’s performance.


Plunkett believes that all athletes, regardless of skill level, age, or sport will see improvement by working on their skills over the summer in the program.


The program begins on June 4th and runs twice a week through July 27th, at Good Shepherd Hospital’s rehab department in Shelbyville. The deadline to register is June 1st, and for more information, visit our website, Taylorville Daily News dot com.



New Subdivision Coming to Shelbyville

Shelbyville residents may be seeing some new places to live in the near future.


Martha Firnhaber is with Shelbyville City Council. She says the city has a new subdivision in the works.



Firnhaber says communication among all parties involved is crucial and they need to stay on the same page.



Firnharber appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.


Christian County CEO Students Give Back to Program

The Christian County C-E-O Class of 2018, that just held their year-end trade show on May Eleventh, gave the C-E-O board a parting gift as they ended their participation in the program.

As a result of the monies they made during their Powder Puff football game and their Annual Banquet, the class gave the C-E-O board a check for 3-thousand dollars, during the C-E-O monthly board meeting this morning.

C-E-O facilitator Dick Adams, gave the check to Investor Relations Committee chair Ken Hart (right), who then presented it to C-E-O board president Brenda Spurling (left).

The Christian County C-E-O program teaches entrepreneurial skills to Christian County high school seniors enrolled in the program.  It's entirely supported by private investors.  15 students from thru-out the county participated in the 2017-18 program; 16 students are enrolled in the 2018-19 program.


Boil Order In Effect For Some Residents Near Lake Bertinetti

A boil order has been issued for Taylorville residents on the south side of Lake Bertinetti. The order is because of a water main break in the area.


Residents on south side of Lake Bertinetti, Route 29 from South Side Bertinetti to the prison, E. Lakeshore Drive, Sunset Drive, Eastwood Drive, Pinetree Drive, Davis Lakeshore, Oakwood Circle, Camp Grounds, Westwood Drive, and White Oaks Drive are urged to boil their water used for drinking and cooking purposes for five minutes before using. The boil order is in effect until further notice.


Windsor Schools to Continue Discussion on Bringing School Resource Officer to District

The Windsor School Board has voted to continue looking into bringing a School Resource Officer into the district. The plan currently is to look to split the costs of a full-time Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy between the Windsor, Stew-Stras, Cowden-Herrick, and Okaw Valley school districts.


Windsor Superintendent Erik Van Hoveln says the cost to the district could change if any district does not want to be a part of the School Resource Officer sharing agreement.



Currently, each district is gauging interest with their respective school boards. Van Hoveln says the next step in the process would be for all participating districts to sit down and hash out the agreement.



Van Hoveln says his district wants to have a police presence in their district for everyone’s safety.


Edinburg to Renovate Village Hall

The village of Edinburg will be renovating their village hall. The village board approved renovations to the 40-year-old building earlier this week.


Edinburg mayor David Luttrell says the changes will mainly be for the exterior of the building.



Luttrell says the upgrades go along with the message the village is sending to residents to keep Edinburg looking as nice as they can.



The project will include work to the building’s siding and roof.


Largest Historical & Political Memorabilia Show Coming to Springfield

For the first time ever the largest historical and political memorabilia show is coming to the Midwest.


Steve Henry with CSH Investment Management is the man in charge of running this event. Henry says it is about time that the event made a stop in the Land of Lincoln.



Henry shares the process of bringing the event to the Illinois Capital.



Henry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Pana Mayor sees Elevated Energy Paying Dividends

Pana as a community is trying to be more energy efficient, they have an incentive to as they are competing in the Elevated Energy competition with two other towns.


Pana Mayor Don Kroski says there is 15,000 dollars on the line when it comes to this contest and is pleased to see his town in first.



Kroski says the contest is far from over and he urges residents to get involved saying it is both beneficial for them and the town.



Kroski appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Taylorville City Council Finance Committee Recommend New City Web Design, Chillifest Donation

The Taylorville City Council Finance Committee had an agenda full of items to consider at their Tuesday night meeting.

The committee, made up of chairperson Larry Budd, and members Lee Lanzotti, Earl Walters, and Bruce Jones, acted on a number of issues.

The committee recommended to the full City Council, that the City hire a Carlyle, Illinois, web developer, to create a new web design for the city, at a cost of just over 27-hundred dollars. 

The committee heard from Dan McNeely of Diamond Brothers Insurance, the city's health insurance agent, that Blue Cross Blue Shield will be increasing the city's health insurance rates in the coming fiscal year, just under 4-percent.

The Taylorville City Council Finance Committee recommended to the full City Council, a donation from the hotel-motel tax fund, of some 8-thousand dollars to the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest. 

And, they budgeted 45-hundred dollars to the local Optimist Club for the annual fireworks display on Lake Taylorville. 

The Finance Committee also began work during their over 2-and-a-half hour meeting Tuesday night, on the 2018-2019 city budget.


Good Crowd Attends Vision Source Taylorville Grand Opening, Chamber Ribbon Cutting at New Location


Vision Source Taylorville held a grand opening and Chamber ribbon cutting at their new location at 904 West Springfield Road across from Taylorville High School, Thursday afternoon from 4 til 7.

Miller Media Group radio stations NEWSTALK WTIM and WRAN broadcast live, and spoke with one of the owners Doctor Bob Jones, who said Vision Source has been accepted well in the 3 years they've been in Taylorville.

Owner Doctor Brian Sehy (say-HE) said the 2 optometrists that run the Taylorville office have become a part of the Taylorville community.

Owner Doctor Matthew Jones told the Miller Media Group in our live broadcast Thursday, the business had outgrown their downtown Taylorville space.

To make an appointment in Vision Source Taylorville, call 287-20-20.


Extension to Host "Save Energy, Save Money" Workshop Tuesday

The University of Illinois Extension wants to help residents save money and reduce their electricity usage. The Extension will be holding a “Save Energy, Save Money” workshop on Tuesday for residents to learn the basics of managing household energy usage.


Dr. Ashley Belle is the Environmental and Energy Stewardship Educator at the Extension. She says the workshop is interactive and will give residents common sense tips for conserving energy.



Belle says they will also be giving more information on technology many newer area homes have.



Those who register before the end of the day Friday will receive a free home energy conservation kit at the workshop. It is not required to RSVP by Friday to attend, but if you do and would like a kit, you can contact the Christian County Extension Office.


Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - May 17, 2018

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.


Sometime between May 5, 2018 and May 11, 2018, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 525 ½ South Walnut Street. While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a Dell Laptop and several DVDs.  Entry appeared to have been made through an unlocked window.  The total amount of the theft is estimated at over $600.


Please contact Crimestoppers if you have any information on this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons.  Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest and you do not have to give your name.  Crimestoppers will pay double the normal reward for information that leads to an arrest for the crime of the week. 


You can contact Crimestoppers at 824-9100, at our website Christiancountycrimestoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274637) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  


Suspect in Dixon High School Shooting Identified and Charged

Illinois State Police officials have identified the individual involved with Wednesday’s shooting at Dixon High School. Police say 19-year-old Matthew A. Milby of Dixon has been charged for his involvement with the shooting just after 8 a.m. at the high school Wednesday morning.


The Lee County State’s Attorney’s Office has approved three charges of Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, all of Class X felonies. Bond has been set at 2-million dollars against Milby. The investigation is still open and ongoing, and more charges may be filed.


Nokomis Community Health Fair to be Held Next Thursday

The Nokomis Community Health Fair is coming up next Thursday, and the public is invited to attend this free event. It will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nokomis Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Nokomis.


Amanda Spade is the Community Relations Coordinator at Nokomis Rehab and Health Care. She says there will be plenty of activities, screenings, and information relevant for all residents’ health needs.



Spade encourages everyone to attend and learn more to better their health.



For more information, you can contact Patsy at 217-563-7725.


Christian County Sheriff Kettelkamp Reminding Residents to Not Leave Kids and Pets in Cars

It’s only May, but Central Illinois has already seen some 90 degree days, and the brunt of summer is still on the way. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is reminding residents that with summer approaching, they need to always make sure they don’t leave their pets or children in their vehicle unattended.


Kettelkamp says in the heat, cars warm up very quickly, and it can become fatal for a child in a matter of minutes.



Kettelkamp says something as simple as leaving something you need in the back seat of your car can prevent a deadly accident.



Kettelkamp says his office has been receiving some calls already about children and pets being left in cars with passers-by concerned for their safety.


Pana Could Use City Owned Sites as Solar Farms

Solar energy continues to grow across the country, and one local community is looking at its solar future.


Michelle Knox with Wind Solar USA presented more information on solar energy to the mayors present at Monday’s Christian County Mayor’s informal meeting. Pana mayor Don Kroski says the city has plenty of land and is near a utility substation, both of which are big benefits towards building a solar farm in the community.



Kroski says the sooner Pana can get involved with solar power, the better it will be for the community.



Kroski says the city already owns some sites that could be used for solar farms, and he does not want his community left behind in upgrading its energy sources.


THS Teaming Up with GSI for Prime Program

Taylorville High School is teaming up with GSI to be part of the Prime Program in hope to give THS students an opportunity to continue their growth.


Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says this partnership has been in the works since the beginning of the year and THS is excited to be part of the program.



Fuerstenau says students that are enrolled in the program will have the opportunity to learn skills to get them in the workforce.



Fuerstenau appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Taylorville City Council Finance Committee Looking for Infrastructure Funds for New Steak and Shake

The Taylorville City Council Finance Committee had a full agenda Tuesday night, and continued their discussions towards making a new Steak and Shake restaurant happen on the city's northwest side.

The city is working to find the dollars to improve sanitary sewer and roads in that area, to enable the new restaurant to happen.  Consultant Steve Kline brought to the Finance Committee, the idea of enacting a Business Development District in that area, which would have a higher sales tax than the rest of the city, with the money going towards improving infrastructure in that area.

The developers of the proposed Steak and Shake want to know what infrastructure costs they'll have to pay for, or what kind of incentives the City of Taylorville will offer, to get the needed improvements done.

After an extensive discussion, committee members voted to recommend to the full City Council, that Kline's company be hired to determine if a Business Development District will work for the Steak and Shake developers, as well as other potential parcels in the Tax Increment District that's on Taylorville's northwest side.


Shooter Injured After Shootout at Dixon High School

A man confronted a Dixon police officer at Dixon High School just after 8 o'clock (this) Wednesday morning.  The suspect fired shots at the officer, who then returned fire.  Dixon Police say the man was injured and taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  The police officer was not injured, and no students or staff were injured. 

Dixon High School and all Dixon Public Schools were on lockdown as a result of the incident.    Dixon is located in northern Illinois, about 2 hours west of Chicago.

Dixon Police believe the suspect acted alone.

The suspect's name has not been released.


Sullivan Sees Brunt of Tuesday's Severe Weather

Some pop-up thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon packed a punch for some area residents. Sullivan saw the brunt of the damage from Tuesday’s storms.


Sullivan Police Chief Jim Waggoner says plenty of tree limbs and branches were knocked down in his community, and some residents lost power for a time.



Waggoner says the city and local businesses are already back to work.



Shower and thunderstorm chances have diminished from earlier this week, but we could see more wet weather this weekend.


Taylorville Freshman Visit LLCC and CACC

The Taylorville High School freshman class got a peek into their futures last Wednesday when they toured Lincoln Land Community College and the Capital Area Career Center.


Taylorville High School Assistant Principal Eric Bruder says the school’s administration felt the trip was important to help show freshman the importance of thinking about their life after high school sooner rather than later.



Bruder attended the trip alongside the freshman class. He says the students overwhelming viewed the experience as positive, and feels the school might even expand the trip in the future to allow students to have more time to explore both campuses.



The school continues to expand its course offerings through classes at Lincoln Land and the Capital Area Career Center.



5K Run 3K Walk for PCH

Pana Community Hospital is over a third of the way to their fundraising goal for their hospital construction project.


Melissa Rybolt is the Marketing Manager with PCH. She says there is a charity event coming up that she thinks all Christian and Shelby County residents should be able to participate in.



Rybolt says the money raised at this 5k run 3k walk will be going to two different causes, one of them being a scholarship fun in a fallen officers memory.



Rybolt appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Farm Bill Passes Still Has a Long Road Ahead

Congressman Rodney Davis represents the 13th district of Illinois. He has been hard at work trying to improve the Farm Bill that was passed four years ago.


Davis says the bill passed but unfortunately it was a Republican only vote as the Democrats chose to sit this one out. This surprised Davis seeing as some of the Democrats represent rural Illinois communities.



Davis says he believes two Democrats told Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee to abstain from the vote.



Davis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Taylorville City Council Finance Committee Recommends School Resource Officer Agreement with School District

In a long and at-times contentious meeting, the Taylorville City Council Finance Committee Tuesday night recommended to the full City Council, the agreement for the Taylorville School District to re-imburse the city for 176 days at an agreed-to hourly rate, for use of a Taylorville police officer during the school year as a school resource officer.

Finance Committee chair Larry Budd, along with committee members Earl Walters and Bruce Jones, voted to recommend the agreement to the full City Council.  Alderman Lee Lanzotti voted against the measure, citing concerns that the city would be footing more of the bill than it should.

The bone of contention thru-out the meeting, was the fact the School District was not re-imbursing the City for health insurance and other benefits, during the hours they were paying for the city-employed police officer.  Committee chair Budd expressed financial concerns at the start of the discussion.

Mayor Bruce Barry explained to the Council, that the proposal was not costing the City any money, and was re-imbursing the City for a portion of the hourly wages of the city-employed police officer.

Alderman Martin Vota presented minutes from the Council's Emergency Service Committee meeting October 5th of last year, which stated that the last police car being purchased would be for school functions.  Vota questionned whether the car would be used by the proposed school resource officer, and this brought a testy exchange between Vota, Mayor Barry, and Alderman Budd.

The Taylorville Council voted in their last meeting, to table the school resource officer issue, pending the outcome of Tuesday night's Finance Committee meeting.  The proposal now heads for the full Council again, at their May 21st meeting.


Here is the full audio of the school resource officer discussion Tuesday night:




Christian County Joins Growing List of Counties to Declare Themselves as "Sanctuary County" for Gun Owners


Christian County has joined the growing list of counties to declare themselves as a “Sanctuary County” for gun owners in Illinois. The resolution passed unanimously at Tuesday night’s county board meeting.


Vicki McMahon is a second district county board member and the chair of the Christian County NRA. She says the state of Illinois is infringing on citizens’ constitutional rights.



McMahon says she hopes the growing list of counties passing this type of resolution is sending a loud and clear message lawmakers to Springfield.



Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Christian County resident Vince Harris was hired as the county’s Animal Control and Zoning Director, and a company was selected to help the county build a new, updated website. The board will reconvene on Tuesday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Christian County Courthouse.


FCC Approves WTIM To Build New FM Signal at 107.7 in Sullivan

The Miller Media Group, based in Taylorville, has announced that the Federal Communications Commission has approved its application to build a new FM signal at 107-point-7 in Sullivan, for its Central Illinois newstalk station WTIM.

Company president Randal J. Miller is hopeful that the new signal will go on the air this summer.

The new Sullivan FM signal for WTIM will cover all of Moultrie County, so that listeners there can hear WTIM's local news and sports coverage, Swap Shop, Cardinal baseball, NFL football and NCAA football and basketball.

WTIM at 107-point-7 FM in Sullivan will operate 24 hours a day, and join other FM signals WTIM has at 96-point-one in Taylorville and 107-point-5 in Shelbyville.


Miller Media Group Wins Statewide Award from Crimestoppers

The Miller Media Group of radio stations in Taylorville, has won the 2018 "Outstanding Media Organization of the Year" award from the Illinois State Crimestoppers Association.

The award was presented today to company president Randal J. Miller (left), by Christian County Crimestoppers coordinator Alan Mills (right).

The local Crimestoppers organization nominated the company for its exemplary activity which exhibits motivations and professionalism in the promotion of the Crimestoppers concept in the state, according to state president Loren Hamilton.

It's the 2nd time in 4 years that the Miller Media Group has won this statewide award.


Taylorville Kiwanis Tour Visionway Christian School, Taylorville Christian Church Addition at Weekly Meeting


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club visited Visionway Christian School, and toured the new addition at Taylorville Christian Church, during their weekly meeting Tuesday.

Kiwanis member and retired Taylorville Christian Church pastor Dick Wamsley, arranged for the club to have lunch at Visionway Christian School.  School director Glenna Tolliver told Kiwanis members the school now has some 198 students in pre-school thru 8th grade, with 33 full-and-part-time staff members.  Tolliver added the school has placed more emphasis on technology the past 2 years.

Lindsay Davis (above), who was hired as the technology director at Visionway 2 years ago, then gave Kiwanis members an overview of how the school has integrated technology into learning.  Davis said the school has some 180 electronic devices being used by students and teachers, with Chromebooks on a one-on-one basis from 3rd grade thru junior high.

Davis talked about an animal notebook that some grade school students did electronically.




Senior pastor James Jones gave Kiwanis members a tour of the nearly completed 8-thousand square foot building that will be a combination fellowship hall, junior high ministry center, and bus garage.  The new building is scheduled for completion in mid-summer.



The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.  Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.


Windsor School Board to Discuss Adding School Resource Officer at Wednesday's Board Meeting

The Windsor School District is considering adding a School Resource Officer in their district for the coming school year. The officer would be a Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy that would be split between multiple participating school districts across the county.


Windsor Schools Superintendent Erik Van Hoveln says the conversation started at a recent meeting of Shelby County school leaders and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. He says the topic came up because of recent school shootings across the country.


Van Hoveln says having a police officer in the building would be a positive for the kids because it would give them someone to talk to. He says the officer can educate the kids on safety and the officer’s presence can provide a sense of security for everyone in the building.


The discussions are in their preliminary phases, and Van Hoveln says there may not be any decision made at Wednesday night’s school board meeting. But, he says the topic will be brought up to see if board members would be willing to make the kind of financial commitment needed for a School Resource Officer.


Solar Energy, Water Billing on Christian County Mayors' Docket

Six mayors of Christian County villages and cities gathered this morning in Taylorville to discuss common issues, brainstorm ideas and hear from presenting speakers.


The mayors, representing Tovey, Morrisonville, Palmer, Mt. Auburn, Pana and Taylorville took time to hear from Michelle Knox of Wind Solar USA, who led a discussion on the benefits of residential and commercial solar energy use in Christian County. Lisa Badger representing the Illinois State Treasurer's office, also spoke to the group discussing ways to help the local communities of Christian County become more involved with the Treasurer's office.


After presentations, the six mayors discussed the process of demolishing homes, with Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry noting the city has demolished 16 buildings in the past year. In addition the group talked about the intricacies of water billing, with Barry noting that the City is hoping to move to monthly billing by the end of the summer.


The next meeting of the Christian County Mayors will be in Taylorville on August 13th.


Illinois Residents Get Tax Reform

Illinois residents are going to be having some extra cash in their pockets soon as the tax reform is going through


John Shimkus is Illinois’ 15th District US House Representative. He says Illinois natives should be able to see the money right now in their paychecks.



Shimkus says he hopes the money is being put to good use.



Shimkus appeared as a guest ion the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Garden Walk Coming to Christian County

The Master Gardeners of Christian County are in between events. After completing the plant sale they are now focusing all their attention on the Garden Walk.


Gwen Podeschi is the President of the Master Gardeners for Christian County. She says the plant sale event was smashing success.



Podeschi says while they are still excited about how well the plant sale went they have no time to rest as the Garden Walk is coming up in the middle of June.



Podeschi appeared as a guest ion the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Pritzker Won't Support Death Penalty Coming Back to IL

Governor Rauner wants the death penalty back in Illinois. It’s part of a plan of action he has along with some gun control measures to increase public safety. His Democrat challenger for Governor, J.B. Pritzker says the death penalty debate shouldn’t be tied to gun control and it shouldn’t become part of Illinois’s justice system again.


Rauner’s move to reinstate the death penalty comes as part of an amendatory veto that will be debated and voted on by lawmakers.


Rauner Calls For Death Penalty In Illinois

The Governor today says he wants to reinstate the death penalty. The proposal is part of an amendatory veto focused around a gun bill. Rauner wants mass murderers and anyone who kills a law enforcement officer to be able to face capital punishment. 


Rauner also wants to place a 72 hour waiting period for purchases of any type of gun, ban bump stocks and have a plan to authorize restraining orders to disarm violent individuals. Rauner calls it a thoughtful proposal. And it now heads to the house for consideration. 


Taylorville School Board Votes to Petition to Create New Special Ed Coop With Pana and Nokomis

The Taylorville School Board took the first step to creating a special education cooperative with the Nokomis and Pana School Districts. The board voted to pass a resolution for withdrawal from the Mid-State Special Education Joint Agreement at Monday night’s meeting.


Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau told the board that leaving the cooperative will make attracting and retaining special education teachers easier for the district.



Fuerstenau says at the end of the day, he believes there’s no question leaving the Mid-State cooperative is the best decision for Taylorville kids.



After the Pana and Nokomis boards pass the same resolution, the next step would be to take the proposal to the Regional Office of Education board, who would grant or deny permission to take the proposal to the state board of education.


Also at Monday’s meeting, the board voted to move Stonington third graders to Memorial for the coming school year, along with approving a project to replace a boiler at Taylorville High School.


Severe Weather Moves Thru Central Illinois Monday Night; No Damage or Injuries Reported

Central Illinois was hit by severe weather Monday afternoon into Monday evening, that caused the National Weather Service to issue a severe thunderstorm watch for the Regional Radio listening area into the evening.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued Montgomery, Fayette, and counties to the southwest, as heavy thunderstorms moved out of the St. Louis area during the 6 o’clock hour.

The line came thru Christian County during the 7 o’clock hour Monday night.  Christian County Emergency Services Agency director Mike Crews spoke with Regional Radio News during our live severe weather coverage Monday night, and said the leading edge of the storms caused some high wind gusts and pea size hail but apparently no damage or injuries.

Thunderstorm chances continue thru Tuesday night.


Taylorville AFSCME Union Looking to Pursue Allegations of Racism Against Street & Sewer Superintendent

The Taylorville branch of the AFSCME union is starting the process of gathering testimonials after the NAACP accused a city official of racial and homophobic slurs in the workplace at last Monday’s city council meeting.


Taylorville AFSCME Employee Representative Ingbert Schmidt says before Monday, he had no knowledge of any incidents involving Taylorville Street and Sewer Superintendent Dick Wiseman. But union members have came to him with incident reports since the accusations from NAACP Springfield chapter president Teresa Haley came out.


Schmidt says there had not been any formal complaints or grievances filed by the union before, but that the issue had been directly taken to a past Taylorville mayor. Also, a representative of the Illinois Department of Human Rights told Regional Radio News in an email that no grievances had been filed against Wiseman with their department. Schmidt says the union is happy the NAACP has brought these issues to light so they can prevent these kinds of issues from happening in the future.



Haley says she hopes that positive change can be brought out of these reports.



Schmidt is asking any union member with knowledge of any incidents to come to the union so they can effectively pursue further action.


Cowden-Herrick School District Names New Superintendent

The Cowden-Herrick School District has a new superintendent in place for next school year. Junior and Senior High Principal Seth Schuler has been hired to replace Darrell Gordon, who turned in his resignation letter earlier this month.


Schuler says he has roots in the Cowden-Herrick School District, and this is the only place he can imagine himself living and working.



Schuler says his biggest goal is to continue providing the best education to kids in the district with the resources available.



Schuler will officially assume the superintendent’s position on July 1.


TMH Foundation Names 2018 Dr. George Ferry Memorial Scholarship Winners

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation has announced the winners of the 2018 Dr. George Ferry Memorial scholarships. THS seniors Emma Curtin and Jessica Oyler will each be receiving $2,500 towards their college educations through the scholarship.


TMH Foundation Executive Director Raedena Ryan says these two young ladies plan on being in the medical field after college.



Ryan says they hope to see the two recipients one day back in Taylorville helping better their neighbors’ lives.



Curtin and Oyler were presented with their scholarships during the THS Senior awards night last week, and they will be honorary guests at the TMH Foundation’s signature event in December.


CICBC Holding Two Blood Drives in Christian County This Week

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center will be hosting two blood drives in Christian County later this week.


The first drive will be on Thursday, May 17 in Assumption. The bloodmobile will be located at 225 N. Chestnut from 3:30 to 6 Thursday afternoon into the evening. Then on Friday, the bloodmobile will be parked on the Taylorville square from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


Potential donors must be 17-years-old, but 16-year-olds can donate with a parental consent form. You must have a valid form of photo I.D. to donate. If you have any other questions, you can call the CICBC at 800-747-5401.


Information Meeting Wednesday for Shelby County Girls Interested in Competing in Annual County Pageant

Beauty pageant season is about to kick off, and the Shelby County pageant will be having an informational meeting for interested young women on Wednesday.


Sara Long is the Shelby County Pageant Director. She says she can’t believe it’s already pageant season again.



Long says there’s an unnecessary stigma of what girls should participate in pageants.



Long encourages all girls interested in participating to come to the meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the basement room of Monical’s Pizza in Shelbyville.


Abate Raising Awareness for Motorcyclists

Residents are reminded to be aware of all motorists while on the roads. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month and Abate is trying to bring raise awareness of motorcyclists.


Kim Wiley is with Abate she says their motto is to let those who ride decide.



Wiley says residents may be surprised by how many are involved with Abate and how they are spread all over the state of Illinois.



Wiley appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.


Women and Investing Event Coming to Taylorville

A Christian County Chamber of Commerce wants the residents of Christian County to know about an event for the ladies coming up.


Women and Investing is an event that will take place at the Pillars Event Center Wednesday May 16th. Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle says they haven’t done an event like this before and are looking forward to the turnout.



Hornbuckle knows this event could be a hit, seeing as women have money too and need to look at their futures.



Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.


Social Security Promoting Spring Check-In

Doing a spring check-in of your Social Security position continues to be a good idea. 


Social Security’s Jack Myers says catching problems early is important and having documentation remains key to resolving any issues.


One final area to take a look at would be estimating benefits.
Myers encourages doing this each year. More information is available at socialsecurity.gov where you can also create a My Social Security account. 


Good Shepherd Hospital Partnering With Red Cross for Community Blood Drive

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is sponsoring a community blood drive for the American Red Cross on Thursday, May 17. The blood drive will be from noon to 6 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Shelbyville.


Erica Johnson is the Communications Manager for the HSHS Central Illinois Division. She says donors will have free food provided to them after donating thanks to a Shelbyville restaurant.



Johnson says summertime is a busier time for residents, but the need for blood also increases with summer activities.



Johnson says residents can stop in and donate, but if you would like to register beforehand, you can visit the Red Cross’ website here.


Hillsboro Cleaning Up Community During Civic Pride Week

The city of Hillsboro has been celebrating their civic pride week. Many residents and community groups have been helping to beautify the town this week.


Don Downs with the community group Imagine Hillsboro says he’s happy to see people taking pride in their hometown.



Downs says a variety of members of the community have done their part in helping to clean up Hillsboro.



Downs says civic pride week is just one of the many events Imagine Hillsboro helps with to spruce up the community.


Shelby County Emergency Management Agency Prepared Should Earthquake Occur

According to geologists the Midwest is due for a big earthquake every 200 or so years.


Jared Rowcliffe is the Director of Shelby County Emergency Management Agency. He says the good news is the state is very away of the earthquake possibility and has been training should such a day occur.



Should an earthquake of that magnitude happen Christian County residents could expect some damage but it would be minimal. Rowcliffe says the county is in a perfect spot to be a first station for help for the injured.



Rowcliffe appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.


Missing Vets Legisation Moving Forward in Springfield

There are Amber Alerts to find missing children and Silver Alerts for seniors and earlier this year, Wisconsin became the first state to issue an alert for vulnerable veterans….now Illinois wants to follow suit with a bill sponsored by State Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha. 


The measure was approved in the House Veterans Affairs Committee and now heads to the full House for consideration. The legislation amends the Missing Persons Identification Act to add veterans suffering a physical or mental health condition that is related to their service to the definition of a “high-risk missing person” for the purposes of an immediate search.


Over 225 Attend Christian County CEO Trade Show Friday Night

Over 225 people attended Friday night's Christian County C-E-O Trade Show at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

This was the climax of the school year for the students, who have attended C-E-O class from 7:30 til 9 in the morning facilitated by C-E-O facilitator Dick Adams.  The students, seniors from all over Christian County, learned entrepreneurial skills that they can use in life.

Each student showcased their own business that they started either during the C-E-O year, or that they premiered during the Trade Show Friday night.

Students who had booths at Friday night's Trade Show included Reese Bergschneider,  J-T Boehme, Ryan Brown, Carrie Denning, Luc Johnson, Karlee Kuntzman, Riley Matheny, Jordan Moats, Jessica Parsons, Hayden Walton, Kyle Woods and Kayden Wright, all from Taylorville; Grace Blakley from Faith Bible Christian Academy, and James Harris from South Fork.

C-E-O board president Brenda Spurling told W-R-A-N Radio during its live broadcast from the event, that the turnout was great.

Facilitator Dick Adams told W-R-A-N during its live broadcast Friday night, that this year's C-E-O class was remarkable.

17 Christian County high school seniors have been accepted for next year's Christian County C-E-O program, which is entirely supported by local businesses and individuals.   To contribute to the program, contact Ken Hart at People's Bank and Trust in Taylorville.


Taylorville Kiwanis Club Awards 3 $500 Scholarships During THS Awards Night

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club awarded 3 Taylorville High School graduating seniors, scholarships of $500 each, during the recent T-H-S Awards Night Ceremony.

Scholarship winners are Noah Nelson, Jessica Oyler, and Kamilla Allen.  Presenting the checks on behalf of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club, was Kiwanis president Martin Vota.

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.  Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.


CAPTION TO PICTURE:  The Taylorville Kiwanis Club presented $500 scholarships to 3 Taylorville High School graduating seniors, at the recent T-H-S Awards Night Ceremony.  From left to right:  Noah Nelson, Jessica Oyler, Kamilla Allen,  and Kiwanis president Martin Vota who presented the $500 scholarship checks on behalf of the Club.


Steak N' Shake Appears to No Longer Be Question of If, But When Location Comes to Taylorville

It appears it is no longer a question of if Steak N’ Shake will build a new restaurant in Taylorville. The questions are now where will it be located and when will construction begin.


Some Taylorville city officials recently had a meeting with the investors looking at bringing a Steak N’ Shake to the community, and the final details are being worked out.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the recently implemented TIF district is what could bring Steak N’ Shake to town.



Barry says the developers want to start construction as soon as possible.



Barry says other investors are also looking into the TIF district on the northwest side of the city, but Steak N’ Shake is the closest project to starting construction.


Jenner Ag to Offer $2,000 In Scholarships to Illinois / Indiana Ag Students

Jenner Ag will again be giving Illinois and Indiana high school and college students pursuing an ag-related degree with the opportunity for a scholarship. The company will be giving out two scholarships this year.


Autumn Pitman with Jenner Ag says the company wants to give back to the up-and-coming generation of ag leaders.



Pitman says agriculture education will continue to be crucial for our society in the future.



The deadline to apply is June 30. Applications are available online at Jenner Ag’s website. We have a link to their website here.


TMH to Provide Free Skin Cancer Screenings for Residents

Summertime is coming, and with summer comes sunburns for many residents. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and Taylorville Memorial Hospital will be providing free skin cancer screenings to the public on Wednesday, May 16.


Lora Polley is the Director of Ancillary Services at TMH. She says skin damage is cumulative, and residents should be wearing sunscreen any day they are outside.



Polley says if there are any concerning spots on a patient’s skin during these screenings, pictures will be sent to a dermatologist to determine if more exams need to be done.



Appointments are available from 9 to noon and 1 to 3 on May 16, but they will go fast. To set up an appointment, you can call 824-1696.


Residents Encouraged to Leave Wildlife Alone

With the weather heating up there is a greater chance to see wild life out and about.


When residents see a young animal in their backyard they may feel the need to help. Ed Cross is the Director of Communications with the Department of Natural Resources. He simply says, don’t!



Cross explains what can happen to residents and the animal if residents decide to help.



Cross appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.


CEO Trade Show Tonight

The CEO Trade Show will take place in the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auditorium tonight from 5:30 to 7:30.


This is a great opportunity for to see the growth of 14 high school seniors. JT Boehme says the course is unique and is beneficial as a hands on opportunity.



Boehme says the course teaches how to behave as a single CEO compared to a group CEO situation.



Boehme appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.


Norfolk Southern to Increase Maximum Train Speeds Through Taylorville

Norfolk Southern will be increasing the maximum train speeds through the city of Taylorville. The company announced that starting Monday, the maximum speed will be raised from 50 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour on a three mile stretch of track in and near Taylorville.


Jon Glass is the Public Relations Manager for Norfolk Southern. He says should make the tracks through Taylorville more efficient for their trains and for motorists traveling in the community.



Glass says safety is Norfolk Southern’s number one priority, and that the speed increase would not lead to any safety issues for trains or motorists.



Glass says all train warning devices in Taylorville have been updated for the increased speeds. He reminds residents to follow warning devices at railroad crossings for their safety.


Pana Community Hospital Holds Annual Board of Directors and Foundation Board Meeting

Pana Community Hospital recently held their annual Board of Directors and Foundation Board meeting. The biggest topic of the 2018 meeting is the ongoing construction work at the hospital.


Melissa Rybolt is the Marketing Manager at Pana Community Hospital. She says work is about to begin on connecting the expansion to the current building.



Also at the meeting, appointments and re-appointments to each board were made. Rybolt says Carol Schramm, the presiding chair of the board of directors, has retired after eight years of service on the board and the last two years as the board’s chair.



Rybolt says the hospital foundation has raised about $590-thousand towards their $1.5 million fundraising goal for the hospital’s expansion project. She says with the fundraising effort starting in December and the deadline being the end of 2019, they are off to a great start towards that fundraising goal.


Bill Kerns Honored as Taylorville's Volunteer of the Month

A Taylorville pastor was recently honored as the city’s Volunteer of the Month. Davis Memorial Christian Church pastor Bill Kerns was recognized for his work in the community, including as the coordinator of Missions for Taylorville.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says Kerns’ work with the organization continues to improve the quality of life in the city.



The next Missions for Taylorville work day is scheduled for Saturday, June 2nd. For more information, you can call Davis Memorial Christian Church.


3rd Annual Christian County CEO Trade Show is Friday

Another class of Christian County CEO students is wrapping up their coursework, and the program’s annual trade show is coming up Friday. Some members of this year’s Christian County CEO class came on the morning shows on NewsTalk WTIM, Groovy 97.3 WRAN, and Genuine County 94.3 WMKR Wednesday morning to talk about the upcoming trade show.


Karlee Kuntzman is a senior at Taylorville High School. She says the trade show is where each of the 15 CEO students get to show off their business to the community.



Carrie Denning is also a senior in the CEO program from Taylorville High. She says it has been a year-long, more than just fundraising process for each student’s business to come to life.



The 3rd Annual Christian County CEO Trade Show is Friday, May 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. It is free to attend and everyone is welcome to come check out the work this year’s CEO students have done.


TMH Turn the Corner Bed Swing Program

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is offering a special service for those who do not need around the clock care but are not quite ready to leave and take care of themselves at home.


Becky Erlenbush is a Registered Nurse and the Manager of Care Management for TMH. She says Turn the Corner Swing Bed Program is the right service for those in hospital limbo.



Erlenbush says physicians are always on site and will check in around three times a week, but are always there if needed.



Erlenbush appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.


Staples Family Travel Helping Plan Dream Vacations

Staples Family Travel wants to help Christian County residents plan their next dream vacation.


Keith Staples is a travel agent at Staples Family Travel. He says planning a vacation can be difficult at times, he recommends using his services to make the process easy.



Staples encourages residents to give him every detail so he can make their vacation exactly what they were looking for.



Staples appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.


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