Local News

Congressman Rodney Davis Pleased With Tax Reform Progress In Washington

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed their version of tax reform. The bill is designed to simplify the tax code, and give tax breaks across the board for all income brackets.
 
Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says anyone who files taxes should expect the process to be much simpler if the tax bill that the House passed is signed into law.
 
 
The Senate is also working on their own tax reform bill, and the two bills will likely need to be consolidated. Davis says there are some provisions to the Senate tax reform bill that he likes better than the current House bill, such as it's provisions on education tax credits.
 
 
Davis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Members Visit Junior High Builders Club Meeting

4 members of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club, recently visited the monthly meeting of the Taylorville Junior High Kiwanis Builders Club.

Advisor Jackie Foil presided at the meeting, with some 15 members of the Junior High Builders Club attending.

Kiwanis Club members assisted the Builders Club with a project they Builders Club is working on, during the meeting.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club members attending the Taylorville Junior High Kiwanis Builders Club meeting, included Bill Kerns, Will Perkins, Sarah Van Huss, and Blain Cornwell.

 

Taylorville Junior High School teacher Jackie Foil, presides over a recent Taylorville Junior High Kiwanis Builders Club meeting.

 

 

Taylorville Kiwanis Club members (starting 2nd from left) Sarah Van Huss, Will Perkins, Bill Kerns, and Blain Cornwell (not pictured) attended a recent Taylorville Junior High Kiwanis Builders Club meeting.   Macy Richards (left) is the vice president of the Kiwanis Builders Club at Taylorville Junior High School. 

 

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - November 22, 2017

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

 

Sometime during the late-night hours of Saturday October 28, 2017, an unknown subject had made entry after operating hours into Ace Hardware, located at 1713 West Spresser Street.  While inside, the unknown subject removed several sets of tools and then exited the business through a door on the east side of the building.  This was the same door that entry had been made and may had been previously propped open. The unknown subject may have arrived and exited in a red colored vehicle. The total dollar amount of the theft is estimated at over $1400.

 

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 (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

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Pana Community Hospital Establishes Steering Committee to Assist With Capital Campaign

Work continues on the massive expansion project at Pana Community Hospital, and the Pana Community Hospital Foundation is continuing efforts to help fund-raise to help offset the cost of the project. The PCH Foundation recently established a steering committee, designed to help with the process of raising money for the project.
 
Melissa Rybolt with Pana Community Hospital appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the Foundation has kicked off their Capital Campaign to help raise money for the building project, and has established a steering committee to help with the effort.
 
 
The campaign got off to a good start, with large contributions from two area banks.
 
 
The expansion project is expected to cost $20.1 million, and is expected to be comleted in 2019.

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Salvation Army Bell Ringers Are Opening 2017 Season

The holidays are upon us, and the Salvation Army bell ringers will once again be collecting money at area stores. Volunteers are also still needed for some days this season.

 

Bill Kerns is the co-coordinator with the Salvation Army bell ringers. He says at least 85 percent of the money raised will stay in the area.

 

 

Kerns, along with his co-coordinator Bob Cook, have filled many of the volunteering slots but some volunteers are still needed.

 

 

Kerns says you can volunteer to ring bells by calling him at 824-8181 or by private messaging Davis Memorial Christian Church on Facebook.

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Avoid Holiday Food Illness

Don’t give the gift of food poisoning this holiday season. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that 48 million people will get sick this year from a food borne illness. IDPH’s Melaney Arnold says that there are a few things to think about at home to keep everyone healthy.



Leftovers should only be kept for a few days after your big dinner and they should always be stored in the refrigerator.

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Bid for Your Holiday Gifts

Haven’t found the perfect item just yet for your holiday shopping? Maybe you can get that one of a kind gift by bidding online during the state’s unclaimed item auction. There are 450 things to bid on and Treasurer Mike Frerichs says you can find some pretty special stuff.



The items are on the Treasurer’s website and the auction runs all next week.

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Safe Sleeping For Babies

What is more calming or peaceful than watching a baby sleep? But the Department of Children and Family Services wants parents to be reminded that there is a safe way for babies to sleep. Suffocation while sleeping and SIDS are among the leading causes of death for babies under a year old. DCFS’s Jennifer Florent says to lower the risk of those two things happening babies need to sleep safe.



And Florent adds - keep that baby on its back when falling asleep. 

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Michael Gianasi Takes Over As Christian County Clerk

Christian County’s newest clerk and recorder is now on the job after Tuesday night’s county board meeting. Michael Gianasi takes over for Laurie Mense who announced her retirement last month.

 

Gianasi says he was looking to settle his work situation when the opportunity arose for him to take over as county clerk.

 

 

Gianasi says he does have previous experience working in Christian County government.

 

 

Gianasi will serve out the rest of Mense’s term, which will end in 2018.

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Newschannel 20/Fox Illinois Meteorologist Guest Speaker at Taylorville Kiwanis Club

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from Meteorologist Thomas Patrick from Newschannel 20 and Fox Illinois, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Patrick told the club he's a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attended college at Valparaiso University in Indiana.  As an accomplished swimmer in high school, he was able to join the University swim team as a walk-on, while studying to be a television meteorologist.

Patrick joined a TV station in Rapid City, South Dakota, as his first job.  He covered the October 2013 blizzard there that dumped up to 5 feet of snow over the Black Hills in a 36 hour period. 

Patrick came to Newschannel 20 and Fox Illinois nearly 3 years ago as a staff meteorologist.

He says he likes becoming part of the communities that the TV station serves, and added that meteorology is one of the fastest growing sciences because of new technology being applied.

Patrick told the Kiwanis Club that it takes nearly 3 hours to prepare a 2 minute televison weathercast.

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.

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Accident Closes Route 29 in Taylorville

4:25 UPDATE- The accident has been cleared and both lanes of traffic are moving uninterrupted.

 

4:15 UPDATE- One lane of traffic is moving on Route 29, but traffic is still backed up in both directions.

 

A crash has both lanes of Illinois Route 29 closed near the Casey's on the east side of Taylorville. Police and fire crews are on the scene of the crash.

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PHOTO: CNB Bank and Trust Donates to "Kids, Cops, and Christmas" Program

CNB Bank’s Kent Richardson presents Officer Alan Mills a check for the Police Benevolent and Protection Associations annual Kids, Cops, and Christmas program. The program assist families in Christian County. Over the years, CNB Bank has been a generous sponsor for the event.

 

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Better Business Bureau Offering Black Friday Shopping Tips

Once Thanksgiving is over with, many will be heading to stores in search of a Black Friday deal, but the Better Business Bureau wants you to keep a few tips in mind to shop smarter. One thing the BBB suggests is to keep a shopping budget, as well as to keep a keen eye on the products that are on sale to make sure you're actually getting a good deal.
 
Mara Clingingsmith with the Better Business Bureau appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says keeping a budget while you shop is a good way to make sure you don't end up spending more than you would like.
 
 
Clingingsmith also advises shoppers to keep a close eye on the products on sale on Black Friday, saying manufacturers will often sell similar items for cheaper that day that aren't the same items you may see on store shelves the rest of the year.
 
 
The Better Business Bureau also suggests checking to find out if there are any hidden fees associated with the markdowns you may see on store shelves this Friday.

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United Way of Christian County Offering Ideas to Live United This Holiday Season

'Tis the season and many are getting into the holiday spirit. The United Way of Christian County is reminding people that the holidays are a good time to truly “live united”, and suggest several ways to help the community.
 
Susan Lawrence, Executive Director of the United Way of Christian County says there are several opportunities to volunteer and give through the United Way's member agencies, such as volunteering to help with Camp New Hope's upcoming Christmas Party on December 2nd.
 
 
People can also give during this time of the year, and one local organization that's in need is Shadow Home, which is currently in need of many different toiletry type items.
 
 
Lawrence appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Illinois Treasurer's Office Invests $10 Million in Israel Bonds

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs recently announced his office is investing $10 million in investments in Israel bonds. Frerichs says the bonds provide a stable, secure way for Illinois to grow it's funds, and diversify it's investment portfolio.
 
Frerichs appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and provided more details on the bonds, and why Illinois invested money in them.
 
 
Part of the goal with the investment is to diversify the state's investment portfolio. Frerichs says this helps ensure Illinois isn't left high and dry if the stock market takes a downturn.
 
 
With the additional investment, Illinois now invests a total of $50 Million in Israel Bonds.

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CICBC Hosting Blood Drive in Assumption Next Week

The holidays don’t stop the need for blood in area hospitals. That’s why the Central Illinois Community Blood Center is holding a blood drive on Thursday, November 30 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge in Assumption.

 

Caleb Parker is a Donor Relations Consultant with the CICBC. He says because people get busier during the holidays, the center tends to see a dip in donations this time of year.

 

 

Parker says presenting donors will receive a voucher for their choice of a long-sleeve t-shirt or a gift card to Amazon, Starbucks, Subway, or Target. Parker hopes everyone can come out to Assumption on November 30.

 

 

Parker reminds everyone that donating blood can save up to three lives. Potential donors must be at least 17-years-old. 16-year-olds can donate with a parental permission form.  

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Lawmakers Begin Work on Sexual Harassment

Lawmakers hope to reduce concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace. They will look for ways to combat harassment and discrimination. The ranking Republican, State Representative Sara Wojcici Jimenez. She says the state has failed to take care of the basics, namely putting a watchdog in place in recent years.



The group is being called upon to “conduct a comprehensive review of the legal and social consequences of sexual discrimination and harassment, in both the public and private sectors, and make recommendations to the General Assembly.” 

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Deep Southern Illinois Takes Another Jobs Hit

A major employer in deep southern Illinois is going to lay off 170 employees. Honeywell is idling a plant that converts uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride or UF6, a key ingredient in the enrichment of uranium that is used in nuclear power plants. The facility in Massac County is the only place in the United States where that work is done. Honeywell says a declining worldwide need for UF6 is causing the layoffs. According to a press release the plant will move to an idling phase and will be ready to restart if the UF6 market improves.

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Durbin and Duckworth Want Rauner to Weigh in on GOP Tax Plans

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are calling on Govenor Rauner to publically weigh-in on the Republican tax plans in the House and Senate and how these plans would impact Illinois families. The House passed its version last week while the Senate is working out its own version. Speaking Thursday, prior to the House vote in favor of the GOP tax plan, Rauner was staying mostly mum on the subject.


Durbin and Duckworth say the House and Senate bills would finance massive tax cuts for the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans by raising taxes on millions of middle-income families and eliminating vital tax breaks for people in Illinois.

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Taylorville Progressing on Multiple Economic Development Projects

 

 

The city of Taylorville continues to progress on many development projects, and Taylorville’s mayor is optimistic for the city’s future growth. Many payments were approved for the projects at Monday’s meeting, including payments for the new water treatment plant and TIF district work.

 

Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says TIF district number one on the northwest side of Taylorville is finished, and the final touches are being put on the TIF district on the east side of town.

 

 

Barry, along with other area representatives including U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis met with an EDA representative to talk about the city’s application for an EDA grant for Taylorville’s new industrial park.

 

 

Taylorville’s next city council meeting will be held Monday, December 4 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.

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THS Senior Serves as Page for State Senator Andy Manar for a Day

Taylorville High School senior Noah Nelson joined Senator Andy Manar at the Capitol in Springfield as his page for the day.

 

Nelson visited the Capitol Nov. 7 during the second week of the General Assembly's fall veto session. He is the son of Ed and Teresa Nelson of Taylorville.

 

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One Effingham Man Dead, Another Injured Following Decatur Shooting

An Effingham man was found dead in Decatur Saturday evening. 48-year-old Todd D. Feldkamp was found dead from gunshot trauma in the 1600 block of N. Edwards St. in Decatur. Police also found another Effingham wounded when arriving at the scene. The injured person has not been identified.

 

An autopsy is scheduled at the McLean County Morgue. Decatur Police are investigating the case.

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Positive Learning Culture Leading To Success At Shelbyville's Mainstreet School

Teaching is a skill that ironically isn’t easy to teach. It takes an ability to connect with the students, and get them to understand various ideas and concepts. Ryan Scott, Principle at Shelbyville’s Mainstreet School has developed theses skills during his time in education, and now leads the charge for Shelbyville’s kindergarten and elementary school programs.

 

Scott says one of the important elements to a successful school is cultivating a positive culture at the school.

 

 

Scott has gained his experience and knowledge in teaching from several sources, including his time coaching.

 

 

Scott appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville Studios.

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City of Pana Looking for Residents' Help to Earn $500k in Federal Grant Money

The city of Pana is looking to receive federal grant money for infrastructure projects and Pana’s mayor is asking for residents’ help. The grant would total $500,000 , and all residents have to do is take a quick survey.

 

Pana mayor Don Kroski says the city needs a 75 percent response rate on the survey to qualify for the grant, and they need the public’s help in taking the surveys.

 

 

Kroski says once the survey is completed, the data from that survey is good for five years.

 

 

Kroski says the city spends in excess of $100,000 per year repairing water leaks. He says if the city got this grant money, it would go towards new water mains and replacing out-of-service fire hydrants.

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Bourne Hopes New Report on State Budget Changes Lawmakers' Spending Habits

Illinois’ balanced budget may not be balanced at all according to a new report. The report from the Office of Management and Budget shows that Illinois’ budget is $1.7 billion out of balance.

 

95th District State Representative Avery Bourne says she hopes this is a wake up call for all Illinois lawmakers to change the state’s spending habits.

 

 

Bourne says there are cuts that can be made, but the state economy also needs to grow.

 

 

Bourne says she is happy that part of Illinois’ backlog of bills has been refinanced to a lower interest rate, saving taxpayer dollars. But she says that the state budget needs to consistently have a surplus to be able to pay off all of Illinois’ bills.

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New "SPIN" Clubs Coming to Christian County 4-H

It’s not too early to sign up for the Christian County 4-H program for 2018, and the program’s coordinator says there is more reason to sign up for next year.

 

Rebecca Livingston is the Christian County 4-H Coordinator. She says there will be two new special interest or “spin” clubs coming soon.

 

 

Livingston says interested kids have plenty of time to sign up for next year’s 4-H program. If you have any questions, you can give her a call at the Christian County Extension Office at 287-7246.

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Enrollment Still Open for Medicare

There is still time left to sign up or enroll for Medicare. The process can be a bit daunting at times for seniors so the Department on Aging has more than 300 sites around Illinois offering free trained counselors to help in the process. Aging’s Sandy Leith says to start online at Medicare dot Gov and then sit down with a counselor if you still have questions on what plan is best for you.



Seniors looking for a list of the sites where they can meet with someone should start at Illinois dot Gov slash Aging. The sign up period closes on December seventh.

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Illinois Corn Touting More Uses Than Just Ethanol

Corn can produce anything crude oil can. That's what the Illinois corn industry is touting. And Rodney Weinzierl with the Illinois Corn Growers Association says it's more than just ethanol. He says starch from corn is the key driver and can be used in the production of tennis shoes.

 

 

Weinzierl says a similar method is used for the production of degradable sutures used in the medical industry. 

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Taylorville Ministerial Association Holds Open House and Dedication of New Food Pantry

The Taylorville Ministerial Association held an open house and dedication of their new food pantry Building at 1429 East Main Cross, on Sunday afternoon.

 

Co-director Amy Hagen told Regional Radio News during the event, that the new building is the culmination of nearly 3 years of work.

 

 

Hagen added the first Taylorville Ministerial Association Food Pantry opened November 13th, 1984.

 

Hagen (right) and Pam Moses(middle), are the new co-directors of the local Food Pantry, replacing long-time Don Readhead (left) who is retiring.  Readhead was given a plaque for his many years of service.

 

Pastor Rodney Blomquist of the Taylorville Trinity Lutheran Church, told Regional Radio News about the process that he and his committee went thru to get the new building constructed.

 

 

Blomquist says that with that seed money, the appeal was made for donations from the Taylorville community, to get the building up and finished.

 

 

Blomquist was given a plaque for heading up the building committee for the Food Pantry.

 

 

Long-time volunteer Wilbur Mills was also given a plaque for his work at the Food Pantry and on the Building Committee.

 

The new location of the Taylorville Ministerial Association Food Pantry at 1429 East Main Cross, is open for individuals and families to use, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 til 11:45 in the morning,

 

People needing food should obtain a voucher from most Taylorville churches or local social service agencies. People must live in the Taylorville, Mt. Auburn, and Owaneco area, to be eligible for food from the pantry.

 

 

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Change In Leadership At Villas Of Hollybrook in Shelbyville

There has been a change in leadership at the Villas of Hollybrook in Shelbyville. Former Executive Director Jenny Stephens has moved on, becoming a regional director for Villas, and former Assistant Executive Director Kathy Kaigley has taken over as the new Executive Director.

 

Kaigley says she loves the job, and is excited to take over, however understands Stephens left big shoes to fill.

 

 

The family dynamic has changed from the days where an entire family spanning multiple generations would live in the same home. Today families are spread out, in some cases across the country. Kaigley says The Villas of Hollybrook is there to help care for those seniors who may not have family nearby, saying to the staff, those residents become family.

 

 

Kaigley appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville Studios.

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Shelby County Emergency Management Agency Says Prepare for Winter Weather

Winter is coming. This means the possibility of severe winter weather, and the Shelby County Emergency Management agency wants you to be prepared. The office is recommending residents take measures to be prepared for winter weather, from learning the difference between a watch and a warning, to putting together kits that could help you should things go south.

 

Jared Rowcliffe with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios, and says there's an important difference between a winter storm watch, and a winter storm warning.

 

 

It's also a good idea to stock up and have some supplies handy if your situation turns dangerous.

 

 

Rowcliffe also says you should stay off the roads during bad winter weather.

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Fundraising Committee Now in Place to Raise Funds for PCH Expansion Project

Pana Community Hospital’s Foundation has pledged $1.5 million towards the hospital’s expansion project. Now, the foundation has a committee in place to tackle the big fundraising task.

 

Vicky Gullion is the co-chair of the foundation’s capital campaign. She says the committee will have a variety of fundraising activities over the next two years to raise money for the project.

 

 

Gullion says donating time to help raise the funds can be just as valuable as the funds themselves.

 

 

Gullion says you can get more information or donate online at their website by clicking here.

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Lincoln Land Community College Aviation Program Training Next Generation Of Aviation Mechanics

Lincoln Land Community College is helping students in Central Illinois get their start in the aviation industry with their program that’s training the next generation of aircraft mechanics. Becoming an aircraft mechanic offers students the chance to enter a job field that currently has high demand for new employees.
 
Dave Pietrzak is the Director of the Aviation Program at LLCC, says the program at the school lets students earn the certifications they need to become an aircraft mechanic, as well as continue the education on to an associate of applied science degree.
 
 
Students are often concerned about the job market for their field of study once they graduate, and Pietrzak says the job market for aviation mechanics is strong.
 
 
The program typically takes about 18 months to complete, and potential students can get more information on the program by contacting Pietrzak at 217-544-4965.

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Rich Peters Awarded Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry "Big Smile for the Community"

This month’s NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is Rich Peters. Richard Peters, director of the Christian County TRIAD program, works in coordination with local law enforcement to promote older adult safety.

 

Peters says when he retired, he wanted to try something new. He went to the Senior Police Academy, and he’s been working with the Christian County TRIAD ever since.

 

 

Peters says about 60 people graduated through this year’s Senior Police Academy.

 

 

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

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Moweaqua Ambulance Service Could Face Shutdown Without More Funds and Volunteers

When you dial 911, you expect emergency services to be at your doorstep right away. One community ambulance service, however, is on its own form of life support. The Moweaqua Community Ambulance Service is in desperate need for volunteers, or the service may have to shut their doors.

 

Brookie Spa is the EMT Coordinator for Moweaqua Ambulance Service. She says the service, which started in 1982, was completely staffed by volunteers up until last year.

 

 

Spa says the service has since hired EMTs to serve the community, but that is eating away at their reserve funds.

 

 

Moweaqua Ambulance Service is a not-for-profit organization, and they do not receive any more from the village of Moweaqua. They would accept donations to keep them afloat as they search for more volunteers, and those can be mailed to P.O. Box 85, Moweaqua, IL 62550.

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Fresh Turkey Sales On The Rise For This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is coming up quickly, and area residents are stocking up on the holiday favorites such as turkey, potatoes and stuffing. With the holiday, area grocery stores are seeing their sales spike as well.

 

Todd Bailey is the Meat Manager at 6th Street Market in Morrisonville. He says more people this year are buying fresh turkeys over frozen.

 

 

When it comes to sides, Bailey says people have been staying traditional.

 

 

Bailey reminds everyone that Thanksgiving only comes once a year. He says if you are on a budget for your holiday feast, he suggests spending the extra dollars on your main dish and look to save on side items to have a quality meal for you and your loved ones.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Promoting Gift Certificate Program For The Holidays

With the holidays approaching, the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is once again reminding locals of the Chamber's gift certificate program. The program serves as a way for those in the community to purchase gifts for their loves ones, and ensure the money gifted stays local.
 
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the gift certificates can be redeemed at a wide range of Taylorville businesses.
 
 
The gift certificates are easily redeemable at local businesses, and the process for those businesses to claim the money from accepting a gift certificate is simple as well.
 
 
To purchase a Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificate, give the Chamber a call at 824-4919, or stop by their office on the second floor of the US Bank Building on the south side of the Taylorville Square.

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Longtime Trader Expects Boom With Ag Economy by 2019/2020

Is the agriculture economy ready for a boom? A longtime trader says yes. Jim Bower with Bower Trading in Lafayette, Indiana says it may not be this year, but it’s coming.



Bower says either the stock market has to come down or commodity market has to go up because it’s the widest spread he’s seen in his 41 year career. 

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Illinois Treasurer Frerichs Endorses Pritzker

Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker locks up another key endorsement in the race for Governor. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs endorsed him Wednesday morning at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. The location was no accident.



On the other end of the educational spectrum, Frerichs is saluting Pritzker for his support of early childhood education.



Pritzker previously locked up the endorsements of Secretary of State Jesse White and Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

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Turkey Thawing Tips

With Thanksgiving on the schedule for next Thursday, many families will enjoy the traditional turkey dinner. RaeAnn Tucker with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments says that proper thawing of the bird is essential to a good dining experience.


Tucker also says that overnight slow cooking is not recommended as bacteria will have a chance to develop.

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NewCountry WSVZ and Family Drug Shelbyville High School Students of the Month for November Announced

98.3 WSVZ New Country and Family Drug in Shelbyville have announced their Shelbyville High School students of the month for September. The students were nominated by their teachers due to a certain criteria.

 

The 98.3 WSVZ New Country and Family Drug November students of the month are senior Mason Cameron, junior Malori Johns, sophomore AJ Stokes, and freshman Trinity Turner.

 

 

From left to right: Jamie Jefson with Family Drug, senior Mason Cameron, junior Malori Johns, sophomore AJ Stokes, and freshman Trinity Turner.

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Hopper Foundation Commits $100,000 Towards New THS STEM Lab

The Bertrand Hopper Memorial Foundation is making a large donation towards a new STEM lab at Taylorville High School. The foundation held their annual meeting Monday, and they are committing $100,000 to a new STEM lab at THS.

 

Bill Hopper is the President of the Hopper Foundation. He says he was one of three foundation members that visited Taylorville Junior High School’s STEM lab recently, and they were blown away by the junior high’s lab.

 

 

Hopper says the foundation continues to do its best to provide a lasting legacy in the Taylorville community.

 

 

The Hopper Foundation also committed money towards their own and the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation’s scholarship programs, the Taylorville Industrial Park, the local CEO program and the Christian County Economic Development Corporation.

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Ameren Illinois Warning Of Utility Scams That Often Target Small Businesses

With the cooler months taking hold, many are keeping a closer eye on their utility bills. One issue that some may have however are scam phone calls from people pretending to be with somebody's utility company, demanding immediate payment while threatening to shut off the power.
 
Brian Bretsch, Illinois Spokesman with Ameren says these kinds of scams often target small businesses.
 
 
Bretsch says Ameren, or any utility that's a part of the fight against these kinds of scams, won't call threatening disconnection, and would rather work with their customers to keep the lights on.
 
 
Bretsch appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Christian County 4-H Members Honored at Annual Achievement Night

Christian County 4-H members were recognized for their accomplishments at the 2017 Achievement night held on November 3rd. Over 100 members and guests participated in the annual achievement night.

 

Rebecca Livingston is the Christian County 4-H Coordinator at the University of Illinois Extension. She says many different kinds of awards were given out.

 

 

Livingston says the most rewarding aspect of her job is to watch the kids learn and grow.

 

 

For more information on the Christian County 4-H program or to sign your child up, you can give the Christian County U of I Extension office a call at 287-7246.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation Holding Gifts Of The Season Event December 2nd

While the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is preparing for their Holiday Extravaganza, the TMH Foundation are preparing for their holiday event, Gifts of the Season taking place December 2nd at 6pm at the Pillars Event Center in Taylorville. The goal of the event is to help raise money to fund local scholarships that encourage career choices in the healthcare field.
 
Raedena Ryan and Dave Hixenbaugh with the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event. Ryan says with a large portion of the workforce in the healthcare field considering retirement, TMH Foundation Scholarship program is an important step in replacing leaving talent.
 
 
Hixenbaugh added that the Foundation would like to help keep local students local, giving them training to take jobs at small town hospitals such as Taylorville Memorial.
 
 
Tickets cost $50 per person, and reserved seating is available. To purchase tickets or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, call 217-824-1600.

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Christian County TRIAD Presents Check to "Kids, Cops, and Christmas" Program

The Christian County TRIAD is helping the Taylorville Police Department provide Christmas gifts to area youth in need. The not-for-profit presented a $100 check to the “Kids, Cops, and Christmas” program on Monday.

 

Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile is also a part of the Christian County TRIAD program. He says many community groups support the TRIAD so they give to other groups when they can.

 

 

Hile says the “Kids, Cops, and Christmas” program gives area kids a meaningful, positive experience with police officers.

 

 

For more information on the “Kids, Cops, and Christmas” program or the Christian County TRIAD, you can call the Taylorville Police Department at 824-2211.

 

 

From left to right: Chief of Police Brian Hile, TRIAD Director Richard Peters, Officer Alan Mills, and Officer Aaron Reimann.

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AFBF Chief Economist: Illinois Farmer Needs NAFTA

The chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation says the Illinois farmer needs the North American Free Trade Agreement. Dr. Bob Young believes the U.S. should maintain its role with NAFTA.

 

 

NAFTA talks are taking place this week with trade representatives from the U.S., Canada and Mexico all meeting in Mexico City. 

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Durbin on GOP Tax Plan

Senator Dick Durbin blasted Senate Republicans for supporting what he calls a partisan tax plan. Durbin says the tax plan would noticeably hurt middle income families.



Durbin says there will be greater problems down the road.



Durbin says under the House Republican plan, which will be voted on this week, the medical expense deduction will be eliminated. He says that means seniors will no longer be able to deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

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Duckworth Opposed Confirmed USDOT Nominee

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth spoke out against a nominee for General Counsel of the US Department of Transportation. The former military aviator told fellow Senators they should reject the nomination of Steven Bradbury, but he was was confirmed before the day was out. Duckworth says he authored legal memos that paved the way for American forces to use torture in the war on terror.

 


Duckworth says torture authorization has only made war zones more volatile.



Duckworth says she's fearful Bradbury might endorse actions that could hurt traffic safety if the President so chooses. 

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Kettelkamp, Vincent Both Set to Retire from TJHS After This School Year

Taylorville Junior High School will have a new principal and assistant principal next year. TJHS principal Kirk Kettelkamp and assistant principal Beth Vincent turned in their letters announcing their retirement at Monday’s Taylorville school board meeting. Kettelkamp has been with the district for 33 years, while Vincent has been with the district for 24 years.

 

Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says it is hard to replace that much education experience at one time.

 

 

Fuerstenau says the two willing be leaving the junior high in great shape.

 

 

Fuerstenau says because the letters were turned in so early in the year, the district has plenty of time to search internally and externally for the best candidates, and it will also help the transition between administrations.

 

 

TJHS Principal Kirk Kettelkamp

 

 

TJHS Assistant Principal Beth Vincent

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Registration Open for Youth Basketball And Swimming At Christian County YMCA

The Christian County YMCA is currently registering youth for several different activities. Teams can currently sign up for youth basketball at the Y, and there is still time to register for the YMCA's Predator Swim team to be able to compete in district and state competitions.

 

Chris Whitenhiller, Executive Director at the Christian County YMCA says there is a new twist to how to register for the youth basketball leagues this year.

 

 

Although the YMCA's Predator Swim Team has held several meets already, there is still time to sign up for the team in order to participate in district and state competition.

 

 

For more information on the Christian County YMCA's youth basketball or Predator Swim Team programs, stop by the Christian County YMCA at 900 McAdam Drive in Taylorville.

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Many Vendors and Food Available At Annual Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Extravaganza

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is preparing for their annual Holiday Extravaganza, taking place this weekend in the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auditorium. The event is designed to give people a jump start to their holiday shopping, while raising money for the hospital.

 

Debbie Johnson and Cheryl Sexton with the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the Holiday Extravaganza. Johnson says the event is one of the Auxiliary's largest fundraisers of the year.

 

 

Sexton says attendees can expect a number of vendors at the event offering a wide array of items for the holidays.

 

 

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Extravaganza is taking place this Friday, November 17th from 10am until 5pm, and Saturday, November 18th from 9am until 1pm at the TMH Auditorium.

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Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Looking To Increase Awareness Of The Disease

Pancreatic Cancer is one of the toughest cancers to treat, with a five year survival rate of only 9%. Part of the reason behind the bleak numbers is due to a lack of understanding behind the disease, and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is working change that.

 

Frank De Seno with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network says researchers are playing catch up in detecting and treating the disease.

 

 

One way the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is trying to increase awareness of the disease as well as how to treat it is through their website, pancan.org. De Seno says the website is a great source for anybody looking to learn more about Pancreatic Cancer.

 

 

Again to learn more about Pancreatic Cancer as well as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, visit them online at pancan.org.

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Springfield Teacher Enters 13th District U.S. House Race

A Springfield teacher has thrown her name into the ring for Illinois’ 13th District House seat in 2018. Angel Sides has announced her candidacy for the seat currently held by Rodney Davis.

 

Sides says there are three main issues she wants to tackle.

 

 

Sides says public education is the best way to educate America’s youth.

 

 

Sides is originally from Jacksonville. She went to the University of Illinois to get her psychology degree before she became a teacher.

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New Miller Media Group General Sales Manager Guest Speaker at Taylorville Kiwanis Club

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the new General Sales Manager at the Miller Media Group, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Chris Bullock of Mt. Zion joined the Miller Media Group in June, with some 30 years of radio experience on air, in radio advertising sales, and management.

Bullock, who is originally from Byron, Illinois near Rockford, shared how he got into the radio business as an overnight board operator for a Rockford station.  He enrolled in Millikin University in Decatur because it had a student-run radio station, which later in his career he managed on a part-time basis for some 10 years.

Bullock interned at a Decatur radio station, then was hired when WEJT went on the air in Decatur in 1990.  Bullock went up the ranks there, first on-air, then as program director, and later as general manager for what became a group of stations in Decatur.

Bullock told the Kiwanis Club that he's enjoyed doing local radio over the years, because the people on the air live and know the community.

He added he enjoys building relationships with local businesses, in his new role as General Sales Manager for the Miller Media Group.

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.

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National Weather Service Says La Nina Winter Developing, Bringing Varying Temperatures

The things happening at the equator this time of year can give weather officials a good idea of what will happen during the winter months. Chris Miller with the National Weather Service indicates the water temperature of the ocean near the equator can dictate the weather patterns La Nina and El Nino. He says right now La Nina is developing.



According to Miller, a La Nina weather pattern will bring variable temperatures which could leave us with some nasty conditions when the precipitation comes around.



Miller also notes La Nina patterns have already been showing up this fall with varied temperatures and precipitation. 

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Kennedy Ad Tackles Gun Violence, Cites Family Legacy

Chris Kennedy’s campaign for governor has rolled out its first television ad of the campaign. He's connecting the impact of gun violence on his legendary family with the blood on the streets of Chicago and elsewhere. Kennedy's ad immediately notes the impact of the events of June, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.



Kennedy doesn't just draw on tragic memories in the ad.



The campaign has also rolled out a new digital ad as well as the Kennedy camp tries to gain traction in the social media realm.

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Oral History Project Highlights School Consolidation in Illinois

An oral history project details the story of school district consolidation in Illinois. The work is through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum says oral historian Mark DePue.



54 interviews were conducted for the project. You can find them at oralhistory.illinois.gov. 

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Former Tower Hill Treasurer Accused of Stealing Over $100k from Village

The former Tower Hill village treasurer is out on bond today after being arrested and charged with stealing more than $100,000 from the small town. 51-year-old Nancy Finley has been charged with Theft of Government Property more than $100,000, a Class X felony.

 

Finley is accused of stealing the money from the village between 2010 and 2016. Bond was set at $50,000 and she has posted that bond. Finley could face 6 to 30 years in prison if convicted. Her next court date is scheduled for November 29th at 9 a.m.

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - November 14, 2017

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

 

Sometime between October 17, 2017 and October 23, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a truck parked at 306 East Poplar Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a crossbow and a case.  There was some damage done to the vehicle when entry was made.  The total dollar amount of the theft is estimated at over $1400.

 

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 (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

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Bourne Calls for Atmosphere of "Respect and Dignity" in Illinois Statehouse

Women across the country are coming forward and standing up to sexual harassment. The accusations have also hit the Illinois capital as well, with 8th District State Senator Ira Silverstein being accused of harassment by a legislative activist.

 

95th District State Representative Avery Bourne is one of the youngest women to represent the people of Illinois in Springfield. She says the position that would investigate harassment and other claims has been vacant for three years.

 

 

Bourne says she has heard many stories from other she works with, and she wants to make working in Springfield the best it can be for the next generation.

 

 

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

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Peoples Bank And Trust Makes Donation Towards Pana Community Hospital Expansion Project

Pana Community Hospital has begun a massive expansion project that will grow and improve the hospital as it moves forward with it’s mission of providing the best health care it can to residents of Pana and Central Illinois. Peoples Bank and Trust is helping with the expansion project, by donating $50,000 to the hospital to help with the costs.

 

John Gardner, President and CEO of People’s Bank and Trust says the bank felt the donation was a way to help the community.

 

 

Gardner says the bank was happy to see the hospital move forward with it’s expansion project, and was happy to assist.

 

 

Over 30,000 square feet will be added to the hospital as a part of the project, and will create space for several new departments, as well as expanding existing departments.

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Illinois State Historical Society Looking to Get Lincoln Portraits into All County Courthouses in the State

The Illinois State Historical Society is looking to get Abraham Lincoln portraits into every county courthouse in the state, but time is running out before the price of the portraits go up. The portrait being sold was originally taken by Alexander Hessler right after Lincoln was nominated for president, and although the negative was likely destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire, the society has the glass-plate positives.

 

Gwen Podeschi with the Illinois State Historical Society says they would like to see outside groups help make getting Lincoln portraits in every courthouse a reality.

 

 

Podeschi says the price will be 500 dollars before the jump to 650 in 2018. She says the photo is a great way to see what Lincoln looked like as he lived in central Illinois.

 

 

Podeschi appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning show.

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There's Still Many Ways to Take Care of Your Garden This Late in the Season

It is well into the fall season, and some days have already seen winter like temperatures, but there are still plenty of ways to take care of your garden this time of year. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi says now is the time to start preparing for spring.

 

Podeschi appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says if you haven’t done your garden cleaning, there is still a little time.

 

 

Podeschi says now is the time to be planting bulbs for spring of 2018.

 

 

The annual Master Gardener classes are also coming up in January. Podeschi says for more information, you can call the Christian County Extension office at 287-7246.

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Social Security Helping Veterans Through Various Programs

Veterans Day is over but the Social Security Administration still has a few reminders for those who have served. 



That’s Jack Myers. He indicates if you were injured on or after October 1, 2001, you're claims are eligible to be expedited. Additionally, if you are on active duty but incapacitated, that doesn't mean you can't receive social security benefits.



When filling out a disability application, Myers says to make a note on your application that you are veteran rated 100% permanent and total. 

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The Future Role of U.S. in NAFTA Remains Unclear

What’s the future role of the U.S. with the North American Free Trade Agreement? That’s a tough read says reporter Jenny Hopkinson. She covers the issue for POLITICO.



NAFTA talks take place Wednesday in Mexico City with representatives from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. all scheduled to be in attendance. 

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Pritzker Still Pushing for Progressive Tax But Plan Still in Works

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker continues to call for a progressive tax structure in Illinois, but as of last week he had no hard numbers just yet for his push to have wealthier Illinoisans pay more.



A progressive tax would require a constitutional amendment because the Illinois Constitution calls for the current flat tax system in the state.

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State Senator McCann Wants to Make it Easier to Stripe Roads

State Senator McCann is tired of blurred lines and we're not talking about political viewpoints. He has filed legislation giving local road authorities the potential for financial assistance to stripe dangerous roadways. McCann says road authorities often aren't able to use state and federal funds to stripe roads because of complicated financial rules. Currently only motor fuel taxes can be used for striping but increased fuel efficiency and heavy state use of motor fuel taxes has limited those dollars. 

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2018 Tax Levy Presented to Board at Taylorville School Board Meeting

 

It’s been known that the Taylorville School District’s funding picture was bright for a few months, but the Taylorville School Board got to see the first estimates for incoming property tax money when the 2018 property tax levy was presented at Monday night’s meeting.

 

The district, which took in just under $10 million in 2016, is projecting to receive almost $11.8 million this coming year. The new money will come from the referendum passed in the spring.

 

Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says multiple factors have come together to make the district’s funding picture the best they could have hoped for.

 

 

Fuerstenau thanks the residents of the district for approving the referendum, which alone will provide the district with about $2.8 million more in annual funding.

 

 

The board will find out how much the district will actually receive in 2018 property tax money in the spring. There will be a truth in taxation hearing prior to the next board meeting to be held on Monday, December 11 at 7 p.m. at the district administration building.

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Two Democratic Candidates for Illinois Attorney General Stop in Taylorville

Two democratic candidates for Illinois Attorney General stopped in Taylorville last week to speak with members of the community. Longtime lawyer Jesse Ruiz and State Senator Kwame Raoul appeared in Taylorville Wednesday night.

 

Ruiz, who currently serves as the President of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners, says he wants to take on the complex job of protecting Illinoisans’ rights.

 

 

Raoul is the State Senator for the 13th Senate District, serving parts of the city of Chicago. He says when he took office, his predecessor, former U.S. President Barack Obama, gave him a piece of advice that he has followed his entire time in public service.

 

 

Ruiz and Raoul are among a crowded field of candidates running for Attorney General on the democratic side. Current Illinois AG Lisa Madigan announced she would not seek re-election in September.

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Building Demolition Among Topics Discussed by Christian County Mayors at Meeting

Communities across the area are looking to beautify their towns in any way they can. Infrastructure was one of the issues discussed at a meeting of Christian County mayors Wednesday, and the topic of building demolition was a key item of discussion.

 

Assumption mayor John Kehl says building demolition hasn’t been the biggest issue there.

 

 

In Pana, there are currently five buildings on the chopping block according to Pana Code Officer George Heintz.

 

 

Moweaqua has unique stories that came out of their last two demolished properties.

 

 

The Christian County mayors plan on meeting quarterly. The next meeting is scheduled for February.

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State Senator Andy Manar Says State Legislature Fighting Back Against Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment has become a major issue in both Hollywood, and government, with allegations being made accusing many of unethical behavior. These types of allegations have made their way to Springfield as well, and the Illinois State Legislature are working to stop sexual harassment.

 

State Senator Andy Manar says sexual harassment is difficult to legislate, due to its nature.

 

 

Although difficult to legislate, Springfield has responded to the wave of sexual harassment allegations being made across the country, and has made moves to help ensure it doesn’t become a major issue in the State Capital.

 

 

Manar also says there is more work to be done, and says there are several measures in the works to help further discourage sexual harassment.

 

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

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Strasburg Santa Brigade and Breakfast Getting Community Into The Holiday Spirit

The Strasburg Santa Brigade held their annual breakfast over the weekend. The breakfast aims to help bring the community together and raise money for a number of causes.

 

Jane Giertz helps to organize the breakfast, and says it takes a community effort to put on the event each year.

 

 

Along with the breakfast, the event welcomed a number of vendors to the community to allow attendees to get a jump on their holiday shopping.

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Country Music Star Tracy Lawrence Bringing Radio Show to Miller Media Group

The Miller Media Group will be bringing the radio show of one of country music’s biggest stars to New Country 98.3 and 104.1 in the near future. “Honky Tonkin’ with Tracy Lawrence” has been on the air for three years, and the show is aired in almost 80 markets across the United States.

 

Lawrence says he plays the music he grew up on.

 

 

Lawrence says he’s had to learn interview people as he has hosted the show, but he brings on plenty of his friends to join him on the program.

 

 

Lawrence’s new album “Good Ole Days” was released on November 10. The album features nine of Lawrence’s most memorable hits re-recorded with some of country music’s contemporary superstars and newcomers.

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Manar Says Pritzker Good for Dems

State Senator Andy Manar is endorsing J.B. Pritzker for Governor. Manar doesn't just say Pritzker would be the right fit for Governor, but he believes his intense statewide campaign could lift up the state Democratic party in key spots.



Manar once was linked to the Governor's race but opted not to join to focus on his work in the State Senate.

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