The Taylorville Park Board approved new furnaces and air conditioning units for the Lakeshore Golf Course Monday night at their monthly meeting at the Manners Park Board Room. The decision wasn’t unanimous however, as there was much debate over several bids the board had gotten for the work, as well as the type of furnaces and air conditioners being installed.
Office Administrator Mary Ann Becker began the discussion by reminding the board of a bid the Park Board had received from Nolen Plumbing for installing the new heating and cooling systems at the golf course.
The board had received several other bids including one from Blakley Heating and Cooling, but ultimately elected to accept the bid from Nolen. During discussion however the board debated on the air conditioning units being installed, due to the new units being smaller than the old. The board wasn’t sure if the smaller units would perform the same as the larger.
Becker informed the board that all bidders included the smaller units due to the efficiency of the air conditioners, but debate remained as to where that efficiency came from.
The board asked Maintenance Supervisor Gary Brown for his opinion. He said that according to the people he had spoken to, they explained how the smaller units worked better, and assured him that they would work.
The Board ultimately elected to vote to accept the bid from Nolen, with the vote passing with a single no vote.
A house fire in Stonington over the weekend has destroyed a home that had been a staple in the community since 1927. A home on the Briggs Family Farm caught fire on Saturday afternoon, prompting response from several area fire departments. There were no injuries in the blaze, but the home is being reported as a total loss.
Ron Smith, Captain with the Taylorville Fire Department discussed Taylorville’s assistance with the fire.
The source of the fire is still currently unknown and will be investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s office, who was expected to begin his investigation on Monday Morning.
Taylorville City early voting is in progress, and one massive change for the city will be for the mayor position. Victor Pop is one of the names in the pot to be the next Mayor of Taylorville, and he believes his experience in lobbying for new structures will help his case.
Pop said some of the issues include poor infrastructure and lack of jobs, and he's hoping as mayor, he can fix that.
Pop said a “Yes” to the school tax referendum will do nothing but benefit the city, as it will help both the students and economics of the city.
Early voting for candidates has begun at the City's Clerks office at the Taylorville courthouse.
The city of Taylorville has its hands full when it comes to improving its infrastructure as there are multiple road projects taking place, as well as new sewer lines, and a new water plant preparing to be built. Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton said these projects may be expensive, but the end result will benefit the cities utilities and economy as businesses and incoming residents will be more likely move to Taylorville.
Brotherton said the road construction on East Main Cross and Cheney will also benefit the citizens, and while they may be annoying now, they aren't far from completion.
Brotherton said all of these improvements may not be as important if the Taylorville School Tax Referendum does not pass. He said it's important to vote “Yes” for the tax referendum, otherwise businesses and citizens won't move in, and it's likely many will move out.
Brotherton appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
The Governor spent the weekend in Washington D.C. Republican state leaders gathered in the nation’s capitol for their winter meeting. Rauner says the conversations he’d have would be focused on the possible changes to laws that would impact states.
Both February and March are months to focus on being nutritious and staying healthy. February is National Heart Health Month, and one way to make sure to stay healthy inexpensively is buying canned fruits and vegetables, but keeping and eye on sugars and sodium within them respectively. March is National Nutrition Month, and to celebrate the U of I Extension is holding a class about dining out and how to do it in healthy ways on March 22 from 1:00-2:00.
Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator at the U of I Extension said regular diets with more fruits and vegetables will highly beneficial to the heart, and one way to celebrate Heart Health Month is by having your numbers checked.
Peterson said for National Nutrition Month it's important when dining out whether its fast food or sitting down, to do research ahead of time, find the menus and see what might be the best meals to eat that would also be healthy.
Peterson appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
The retirement age, is increasing, starting with those born in 1955 where the age is no longer 66, but has no increased by two months, and for every year after, that continues to rise. The rise plateaus for those born in 1960 and later where the age for them to claim their Social Security will be 67. The increase is because of an amendment passed in the 1980's where the age was no longer 65 for everyone, but increased for the younger generations.
Jack Myers, Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration, said at Social Security they tend to focus on those who are turning 62.
With that people should also start to keep in mind they need to save money since many retire earlier than the Social Security Retirement Age. This week is America Saves Week and Myers said now is a time to start setting goals to save, and if goals are set, then to see if those goals are being achieved.
Myers said no matter what, it's never too early to start saving.
The Rehabilitation and Wellness Department of HSHS Good Shepard Hospital in Shelbyville is partnering with the Shelby County Senior Center to offer a new dance program to help participants get in shape called Go!217. There is no age requirement and anyone is welcome to attend. The classes are free, and, as of right now, will be monthly, but that could change as the program progresses.
Tonya Bowrey, Manager of Rehabilitation and Wellness Services at HSHS Good Shepard said the classes are similar to a Zumba style class, but less strenuous.
Bowrey said as of right now, she and her staff are teaching the classes in a line dancing style, but they hope to connect to the community to eventually offer more and let professional dance teachers take over.
Bowrey was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.
DMH Shelbyville Medical Center is a fairly new operation in the area that is ready to give local citizens the best medical service available. SMC opened this past October and is able to offer a slew of services to the area including CT scanning, lab testing, various therapies, and it's own pharmacy. Patients can make an appointment by calling the center and it's open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00.
Dr. Nathan Roberts, Family Medicine Practitioner at DMH Shelbyville Medical Center gave more details about some of the services they provide.
Dr. Roberts said they are able to offer all of these extensive services in part because of the staff they have, where most are there 5 days a week. Although, some are there as specialists who travel to Shelbyville Medical Center every couple of weeks.
Dr. Roberts appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville studios.
Area schools were participating in FFA week this past week, and every school had their own agenda for how they celebrated. FFA allows students to grow life skills that will help them be prepared for the agriculture industry, prepare job applications and interviews, ag sales and much more. Pana High School's FFA Chapter had their own week of fun planned where they drove their alternative vehicles to school and dressed up every day.
Bradley Barringer, Senior and President of the Pana High School FFA Chapter explained all of the details.
Barringer was joined by Teri Hall, Senior and Vice President of the FFA Chapter, and they said that FFA has prepared them for the real world, both by occupation choice, and socially to where they both, are now more confident.
Barringer and Hall appeared on the special NEWSTALK WTIM FFA Week portion of the Noon Farm Show.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. The guest speaker was Chad Sutton .
Sutton gave a heartwarming story on his love for running. Although Sutton ran in high school with the cross country and track team, he started to take serious ownership of the hobby in 2009. Recently married and 100 lbs heavier, Sutton started running with the purpose of losing weight. He ran in the Chicago marathon where he hit a wall: heavy legs, closed lungs, and a shutdown body. His time: 5 hours, 46 minutes. In spite of the achievement of completing a marathon, Chad was still a little embarrassed and knew he had to make some adjustments to his purpose. At this this point he knew he still wanted to lose weight but also prove to himself that he could do better.
Sutton’s new goal was to lose weight and qualify for Boston within 5 years. During that time, his daughter Claire was born and became involved; moreover, his dad helped with training as well. Running has become a family hobby that has taken the Sutton’s to some fantastic places and has allowed them to meet other athletic icons as well. As for Boston, Chad completed the race in April 2016 with a time of 2 hours, 52 minutes. Sutton was quoted as saying “it’s important to have a purpose, a strong one.” His new purpose is to run for cancer research in his grandma’s name. The goal has been modified as well: Run a half marathon or longer in all 50 states… and Chad is off and running and well on his way!
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.
Taylorville Memorial Hospital is now accepting applications for a free nursing camp for students who are interested in the profession. The camp, which will be held in June at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation as well as Taylorville Memorial Hospital will give students the chance to shadow and interact with nursing staff.
Stacy Hull, Workforce Development Consultant with Memorial Health Systems gave more details on the camp.
Other factors in the application process include a students grade point average and extracurricular activities.
Hull said the TEN Camp is a great way for students to learn more about the nursing field, and gave some details as to what’s on the first day agenda for the camp.
The following days will be held at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, where campers will have the opportunity to shadow nurses throughout the hospital. Hull gave details on how students can apply for the camp.
The camp will be limited to 10 students, and campers are expected to attend all three days of the camp. Applications are available online, and more information is available by calling 788-6254.
Area schools are participating in FFA week this week, and every school has their own agenda for how they should celebrate. FFA allows students to grow life skills that will help them be prepared for the agriculture industry, prepare job applications and interviews, ag sales and much more. Stew-Stras High School's FFA Week is mainly built around fun and sharing the enjoyment of FFA with students from the Elementary and Jr. High Schools.
Alex Walden, Chapter Reporter for the Stew-Stras FFA Chapter, and senior in high school said throughout the week they celebrated with Tractor Day, a petting zoo, serving community breakfasts, and much more.
Olivia Telgmann, Senior and Treasurer of the Stew-Stras FFA Chapter, joined Walden and explained what the importance of the officers are and what they do both for the community, for the younger students, and for the future of their FFA chapter.
Telgmann and Walden appeared on the special NEWSTALK WTIM FFA Week portion of the Noon Farm Show.
Registration for Summer Session is now available at Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville. Many summer classes are general education based, but there are certification programs also available for those who may want to achieve their certificate in half the time as they would if they took the classes in the Fall or Spring.
Dee Kruger, Director of Taylorville's LLCC said Summer is a good time to try to complete one of the harder classes, but it's also a great time to play catch up, or even get ahead, especially for high schoolers.
Kruger said Summer classes are 8 weeks long, so double the amount of information is given to students than in a normal semester.
Kruger appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
Early voting for Taylorville City Elections and the School Tax Referendum has changed. Early voting for Taylorville citizens starts today (started yesterday), and people can go down to the courthouse and cast their ballot whenever they please through April 4th. The city government will go through a major change as there will be a new mayor and city clerk, several Alderman positions are open, and the city treasurer's office is also available, with Jacque Nation running to retain her position.
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce said this is an important election as so much change will happen in the city government. And not only that, the outcome of the tax referendum vote could affect the city for years to come.
Hornbuckle said, it's equally as important for people who live just outside of the city limits to vote, because there are still matters that need to be settled that will affect those in the fringe areas.
Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
Millions came to see it after a 108 year wait, now Downstate Illinois gets a chance to see the Cubs World Series Trophy. The trophy will come to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield March 8th after the Cubs finish showing it off at their Cactus League/Spring Training home in Arizona. The Library/Museum's Chris Wills says the news is the result of a great working relationship with the Cubs.
The first 500 fans will receive wristbands and be assured a chance to take a picture with the trophy beginning at 12:30. Additional fans will be admitted if time permits. No shelter will be provided overnight or during the day of the event, so fans should dress appropriately for the weather.
It’s not a decision to strike but the choice is now on the table for ASFCME members as they voted in strong numbers to support authorizing one. However, the state’s largest employee union says they are prepared to do everything they can to find an alternative path. Governor Bruce Rauner says that his administration has made their last and best final offer and it’s time to accept the contract and keep the state working.
More than 80 percent of AFSCME members voted to authorize a first-time strike against the state.
The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is continuing their 2017 blood drive efforts with another blood drive in the area. Pana Community Hospital will host a community blood drive on March 8th from 1 until 7 held at the First United Methodist Church in Pana.
Potential donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental permission, and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required, and individuals with diabetes or controlled high blood pressure can still be accepted as eligible donors.
The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is the exclusive provider of blood to both Pana Community Hospital and Taylorville Memorial Hospital. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to donate, call 217-623-5631.
February is American Heart Month, a time to truly focus on the heart as heart conditions and issues continue to rise in the country. One true reason for this is because of high cholesterol from unhealthy eating habits, but it doesn’t stop there as tobacco use, and sedentary lifestyles can also attribute to this. If preventative measures aren't taken, by 2030, 40% of the country's population will have some sort of cardiovascular issue, including a stoke, heart disease, a heart attack, and many others.
Dr. Shabaz Mohammad, physician at the Community Medical Clinic in Pana said heart disease and heart attacks are most commonly caused by risks that can be modified.
Dr. Mohammad said the best way to fight heart complications is not to open arteries back up or have surgery, but to prevent them from clogging in the first place.
Dr. Mohammad will be hosting Lunch, Learn, and Live Well, an event where he will talk about taking care of the heart in a casual setting where people can eat and ask questions as he goes. It will be at Pana Community Hospital, on Monday, February 27, from 11:30-12:30.
Dr. Mohammad appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
The Christian County Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to cut the salaries of county board members, as well as the county board chairman. The move is aimed to help reduce the budget deficit that the Board is facing.
County Board Chairman Tim Carlson says the move was the biggest highlight of a generally positive meeting of the Christian County Board.
Carlson says the board is just trying to do their part in helping cut the budget deficit. Carlson said over a ten year span, the move is expected to save the county quite a bit of money.
The next meeting of the Christian County Board will take place on March 21st at 6:30 in the Christian County Courthouse.
Area schools are participating in FFA week this week, and every school has their own agenda for how they should celebrate. FFA allows students to grow life skills that will help them be prepared for the agriculture industry, prepare job applications and interviews, ag sales and much more. Cowden-Herrick High School is celebrating their FFA week like they would spirit week with every day having it's own theme, but also going out to other schools to talk about FFA and draw interest when those students hit high school.
Haley Atchley, President of Cowden-Herrick's FFA Chapter discussed the full week in further detail.
Atchley said this year her FFA project is taking care of chickens and keeping her record book on the things she does as she takes care of them, gathers their eggs, and sells those eggs. But that's not all, as she said FFA is helping build her leadership skills, social skills, and is preparing her to possibly become a veterinarian.
Atchley appeared on the special NEWSTALK WTIM FFA Week portion of the Noon Farm Show.
Recently car insurance rates have risen because of the higher number of accidents due to distracted driving. This goes for all demographics, and all forms of distracted driving including electronic devices, eating, reading, conversing, and even arguing. Taylorville Police Sargent Alan Mills said he knows there are variables that occur, but it's important people take driving seriously and do everything thing they can to stay focused.
He said while many people may want to fault this to millennial drivers, they aren't the only ones who are putting themselves in dangerous situations.
He said while patrolling, he's seen, too many times, people on their phone while driving through school zones, and that's one area where people need to be the most focused.
Sargent Mills appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
A kidnapping charge has been dropped in Pennsylvania against a Taylorville resident. Billie Baker accepted a plea deal this week that drops the kidnapping charge, and sees him plead guilty to a lesser charge of concealment of the whereabouts of a child.
Baker was arrested by authorities during a traffic stop in Pennsylvania in April, concluding a two months search for 17 year old Rachel Barrish. Barrish was found as a passenger in Baker’s vehicle, with Baker originally being arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Baker will face sentencing in March and could face up to seven years in prison.
Next Friday, local beer won’t just mean locally brewed anymore. Spokesman Mike Billy says Tangled Roots Brewing Company will sell a brew made with locally grown barley and hops.
The brew is named 41-88, because Ottawa is at 41 degrees north latitude and 88 degrees west longitude. Billy says just like grapes used in wine, hops take on a local flavor depending on the soil and water where they’re grown. The beer will debut at the company’s one year anniversary party next Friday.
An Illinois farmer proved you can run for a seat in the General Assembly and grow a record-sized crop all at the same time -- and live to tell. Marengo farmer John Bartman did it last year and thinks more farmers belong in the Illinois statehouse;
Bartman entered the race late after the McHenry County Democratic Party slated him to run due to former Representative Jack Franks' decision to run for a county office. Bartman came up short, but hasn't ruled out another run. He plans to share his experience next week at an Illinois Farm Bureau conference in Springfield. You can still attend. Contact your county Farm Bureau.
Health insurance plans can be expensive and confusing to sign up for. And even when you keep the same plan from year to year your plan may change without you knowing. That has the potential to leave patients breaking long relationships with doctors. And Representative Chad Hays of Danville in favor of a bill that would set up a grace period to allow patients to work with existing doctors while they look for a new one.
The bill would also make sure that health insurance providers have up to date information on in-network doctors on their websites.
Area schools are participating in FFA week this week, and every school has their own agenda for how they should celebrate. FFA allows students to grow life skills that will help them be prepared for the agriculture industry, job applications and interviews, ag sales and much more. The Taylorville High School FFA Chapter is using a lot of their week to give back to the faculty, staff and administrators by treating them to a breakfast, and the FFA Alumni will treat the current members to a lunch.
Sue Schafer, Ag Science teach from THS, said the meals aren't all that's prepared for the FFA celebration, as they are also showing pride through their FFA colors and camouflage attire throughout the week.
Schafer said one major part of the FFA members during the year is their FFA project. Madison Taylor, President of the THS FFA Chapter, and Jack Curtin, Vice President, talked about their projects they are looking to complete this school year.
Taylor and Curtin will continue their projects and will be keeping up with their record books throughout the remainder of the year.
Schafer, Curtin, and Taylor appeared on the special NEWSTALK WTIM FFA Week portion of the Noon Farm Show.
The Lenten Season begins next month, and the Taylorville Ministerial Association has 6 weeks of services lined up on Wednesday's During the lunch hour. The services will all have food provided to those who attend, and donations are welcome as all proceeds will go to TMA's Financial Assistance Fund to help those less fortunate.
Bill Kerns, Pastor of Davis Memorial Christian Church and member of the Taylorville Ministerial Association said the 6 services will all have different speakers and will be at different locations. And while they all share the topic of forgiveness, it's a much more broad topic than one would think.
Kerns said the services are important fundraisers for TMA as the money will all go to their program to help those who need financial assistance with food, gas, or lodging.
Kerns appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
March 8: Davis Memorial Christian Church; Speaker: Rev. Michael Evanchek
March 15: First United Methodist; Speaker: Rev. Bill Kerns
March 22: Taylorville Memorial Hospital; Speaker: Rev. Ted Marrinan
March 29: Taylorville Christian; Speaker: Rev. Tiney Walker
April 5: First Presbyterian; Speaker: Rev. Bob Cook
April 14: St. Mary's Catholic Church; Speaker Monsignor David Lantz
It was a packed house Tuesday evening at the Taylorville Municipal Building as many members of the community came out to Tuesday’s Taylorville City Council Meeting in support of the Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail between the cities of Taylorville and Pana. The Council voted 5-3 in favor of a motion to have the city attorney draft an intergovernmental agreement between Taylorville and Pana that would both fix the trestle bridge along the bike path, as well as transfer ownership of part of the path to Taylorville.
Taylorville City Alderman Martin Vota had mentioned during the meeting that he had spoken with many concerned citizens regarding the bike trail. Vota spoke with WTIMTV following the meeting where he echoed some of the concerns that he had heard.
Vota discussed the intergovernmental agreement the council approved to allow the city attorney to draft, and what it would mean for the trail.
Originally, Taylorville had only agreed to help Pana with the costs of the repair of the trestle bridge along the trail. With the costs of the project increasing, Vota discussed why the Council decided to now work towards taking over ownership of a portion of the trail.
Some concerns were raised by several members of the City Council as to whether or not this was a prudent expense for Taylorville, noting the condition of several sidewalks within the city limits. Vota shared why he felt spending money on the trail was well worth it.
Vota concluded by saying that once the Taylorville side of the trail is under city ownership, the city should promote the trail to help bring tax dollars and revenue into the city.
Illinois State Police District 09 Commander, Chris Owen, announced Tuesday activity and enforcement figures for the month of January. Troopers in District 09, which includes 7 Counties, answered 262 calls for service and initiated 1991 incidents in the field during the month
In addition, enforcement figures totaled 995 citations and over 1000 written warnings, including 450 speeding citations, 33 DUIs, 110 seatbelt citations, 5 child restraint citations, 300 written warnings for speeding, and 46 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted nearly 300 motorists, conducted over 400 Motor Carrier Inspections resulting in 16 unsafe Motor Carriers being removed from the roadways, and investigated 60 traffic crashes. There were 0 fatal traffic crashes handled by the Illinois State Police in District 09 during the month of January.
During the month, 331citations and written warnings were issued for “Fatal Four” violations. These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include Speeding, DUI, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving.
Demolition of the old St. Marys School in Taylorville began in earnest over the weekend. So far the front third and part of the back portion of the old building has been taken down. St. Marys Principle Cathy Robertson says it’s sad to see the old building go, but she knows that moving forward moving into the new building was the right decision to make.
Robertson said a crowd had gathered on Saturday to watch as the demolition began on the old building.
As the demolition was taking place, Robertson noticed a small passageway between two rooms at the old school that she hadn’t known about. She said she joked with a coworker about discovering a secret passageway at the old school.
Robertson also said the school had been getting questions on whether or not people could grab bricks from the old school as mementos, and wanted to assure that the public is more than welcome if they’d like to grab a brick from the old school to keep.
Regional Radio News has learned of an accident at the intersection of Rt. 104 and Rt. 29 in Taylorville. It is unclear what exactly happened at this time. At least one individual was taken from the scene by ambulance with unknown injuries. Regional Radio News will have more details once they become available.
The Governor has long sought to sell the hub of state government in Chicago. Bruce Rauner wants to sell the Thompson Center and get the state out of the business of owning expensive real estate and trying to keep up what is now seen as a crumbing building.
House Speaker Mike Madigan says a house committee will take up the proposal. The Governor says after selling the building that existing state workers would move to less expensive real estate in Chicago.
The Illinois State Fair is going public with its first Grandstand concerts. Half of the lineup is finalized and State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon reveals an act that should be familiar to any country fan who hasn't slept under a rock the last few decades.
Other big names include classic rock legend John Mellencamp on the final day of the fair, August 20th. Country star Chase Rice has been tabbed to perform August 11th. Pop star Jason DeRulo takes the stage August 17th and it could be a sleepless evening for any livestock left at the Fairgrounds on August 19th as metal act Five Finger Death Punch turns up the volume. A ticket sales date has not been set.
Special Olympics will continue to benefit from another lotto game. Proceeds from an existing scratch off ticket have already generated more than a million and half dollars. Now a limited edition three dollar ticket will add to the jackpot of funds donated to Special Olympians says Karen Atwood, the Special Olympics Board of Directors.
Lake Land College is planning a series of high school visits to help students know what the college has to offer them. The visits are designed to help the students as they transition from high school to college, and how the school can make that process as easy as they can.
Pam Hartke, admissions representative with Lake Land College said the visits are something that most schools do, and gave insight into how the process works for Lake Land.
Hartke further explained the purpose of these high school visits, and how students can meet with representatives from Lake Land during their school’s visit.
School Visit Day Visit Time
Altamont High School March 1 2:45 p.m.
Arthur/Lovington/Atwood/Hammond High School March 1 2:26 p.m.
Aspire Alternative High School March 15 1:30 p.m.
Brownstown High School March 8 1:05 a.m.
Casey Westfield High School March 6 11:30 a.m.
Charleston High School March 9 11:30 a.m.
Dieterich High School March 8 9:57 a.m.
Kansas High School March 14 11:10 a.m.
Effingham High School March 23 12:40 p.m.
Marshall High School March 9 2:42 p.m.
Martinsville High School Feb. 28 8:00 a.m.
Neoga High School March 10 9:30 a.m.
New Approach Alternative Education March 21 9:15 a.m.
Pana High School March 23 2:35 p.m.
Paris High School March 9 9:00 a.m.
Ramsey High School Feb. 28 2:30 p.m.
St. Anthony High School March 14 11:45 a.m.
Stewardson-Strasburg High School Feb. 28 12:15 p.m.
BluSolar, a student-led startup from Millikin University had an impressive showing at the Cleantech University Prize Competition, finishing second, and earning a trip to the National Competition in June. The judges at the Cleantech Competition seemed most impressed at BluSolar’s rapid development, going from an idea to a growing business in a matter of months.
Estefano Martinez, a sophmore business major at Milliken and CEO of BluSolar gave a peak at what they pitched to the judges during the Cleantech Competition.
Martinez said the judges were both impressed with the technology that the company is developing, but also with the development of the company itself.
It’s on to the National Competition in June for BluSolar, and they’re looking to work on perfecting their business model by then.
The national competition is put on by the Department of Energy, where BluSolar will be competing against a number of different startups from around the country for a chance to win $100,000 to help with their company.
One of the city positions that will change with this year's local election will be the City Clerk's office. The reigning City Clerk, Pam Peabody, has been in office for more than 20 years, and runs a tight ship, and Julie Lilly, candidate for the office, believes she can step in and hit the ground running. Lilly has experience in Real Estate, works closely with the schools, and has been immersed in city organizations for years, and believes she's the right fit for the position.
Lilly said her mission is the same that her father's was. To help the community thrive.
Lilly also mentioned the upcoming vote for the tax referendum, where she said she believes it's important it gets passed, because without it, not only will the city's children be hindered, but so will the city's upcoming plans for growth.
There were many things mentioned that were good about Governor Bruce Rauner's Budget Address from last Wednesday, with a lot of promises for the state. State Treasurer Mike Frerichs wasn't sold on anything though. Frerichs said he thought it sounded a lot like a campaign speech with many promises and not many answers, which is not what the people need to hear when the budget is still $7 billion out of balance
Frerichs said Rauner's address had very little content, and seemed like it had more promises than plans, like a campaign speech. Frerichs said the programs the governor has in mind to set up are great, but where's the money going to come from to set them up and make them work?
Frerichs said he expects someone to step up soon and make the decisions on how to grow revenue so the state can get back on track and fund the organizations and systems it is supposed to.
Frerichs appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) left Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget address last week feeling encouraged about the future of the state budget. Bourne mentioned several of the Governor’s budget proposals, and has said she’s looking forward to working on them in the General Assembly.
Bourne discussed the Governor saying he’s willing to work with the budget compromise that’s being crafted in the Senate, and that she’s hopeful the house can as well.
Representative Bourne also addressed some of the investments the Governor talked about in his address, saying she’s looking forward to getting to work on them.
The state budget remains as one of the biggest issues the state faces, with the current budget impasse reaching it’s second year, and the state’s backlog of bills climbing over 11 billion dollars.
Seneca High School Superintendent Jim Carlson says sometimes lawmaking has unintended consequences. In the case of the proposed sugary drink tax, it means the district could lose a lot of property tax money.
Carlson says if LaSalle Station were classified as a pollution control facility, it would get a big property tax rebate. Seneca High and ten other local government districts get a lot of property tax money from the nuclear power plant.
The Christian County Economic Development Corporation held their Executive Committee Meeting last week at the CCEDC Office in Taylorville. During the meeting, CCEDC Director Mary Renner informed the committee about progress being made for the new industrial park in Taylorville, as well as another possible, high impact project for the city.
Renner says the CCEDC has submitted the pre-application for the park, but are currently waiting on an appraisal on the property.
Although Renner couldn’t shed too many details, she did say that a developer is considering Taylorville for a reportedly “high impact” project.
Renner also touched on the upcoming Taylorville School Tax Referendum, stating how that vote will be critical for the future economic development of both Taylorville, and Christian County.
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a hit and run that occurred in Taylorville.
At around 2:20 pm, on Friday February 17, 2017, a vehicle struck another vehicle as it was exiting Walgreens onto Spresser Street. The victim advised that the suspect vehicle backed into their vehicle and then left the scene. The suspect vehicle is described as a white pick-up truck with what looks like a homemade flat bed attached. The vehicle was last seen heading south on Webster Street. The total dollar amount of damage to the victim’s vehicle is unknown at this time.
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 $1,000.00 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.
On Wednesday the Governor presented ideas about what could comprise a budget in the coming year, but a leading House Democrat says he’s hasn’t seen a current budget book. Greg Harris the Dem’s top budget man says a 198 years of standard budget making process in Illinois has gone out the window with Bruce Rauner. And so the state slogs into another year without a comprehensive spending plan. The Gov has maintained he has little interest in signing a stop-gap spending bill but Harris says it should be considered to keep critical state operations and services running.
Harris says he remains hopeful about what he may see in the senate’s package of budget bills once they reach the house.
State Representative Tim Butler believes the state should tweak one of its symbols before next year's bicentennial celebration. Three Butler bills related to the bicentennial passed through the Illinois House yesterday, including a change to the State of Illinois seal.
Butler said the legislation does not require current state seals to be replaced but will change the date on new seals going forward.
Area Farmers with questions about the use of Dicamba tolerant soybeans on their operations are invited to a free conference in early March. Local Farm Broadcaster Jared White has more onthe conference.
Those interested in attending the conference can sign up for the conference here.
A Christian County resident has been arrested for possession of about 10 pounds of cannabis. Agents with the Central Illinois Enforcement Group, in cooperation with agents from the Metropolitan Enforcement Group Southwestern Illinois conducted a drug investigation that lead to the arrest of Zachary T. Bland of Pana for possession of the marijuana with intent to deliver.
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said the drug task force groups were able to intercept and seize the cannabis as it made it’s way through the mail.
The task force was able to determine where the cannabis was eventually headed through that arrest, which lead to the arrest of Bland. According to Kettelkamp, this takes nearly $80,000 worth of marijuana off the streets.
Sheriff Kettelkamp praised law enforcement officers for making the bust because he feels that it could potentially save lives. Kettelkamp discussed how he feels that marijuana is a gateway drug, that can potentially lead to abuse of other drugs.
Kettelkamp mentioned how with the seized marijuana, you could make nearly 9,000 joints, and how one individual could possibly supply 448 people with 10 grams of cannabis.
The winter seasons are a good time to make sure insulation and home structures are in good working order. At times during the year, things can happen to mess with the insulation in someone's house, but Shelby Electric Cooperative, has many services for their members and non members to help and make sure people aren't wasting their money trying to keep their homes warm.
Dustin Theiss, from Shelby Electric Cooperative said they offer members special prices and even free walkthroughs to prepare them for the winter season.
Theiss said the services are available to those who aren't Shelby Electric members as well.
Theiss said there are some things people can do, themselves, to prevent them from having to call Shelby Electric, or to save money if Shelby Electric still has to visit to fix some issues.
Theiss appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM morning show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.
The Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce ended 2016 with more than 180 total members, and they look to grow even further this year. Businesses don't need to be in Shelbyville, but as long as they're in the greater Shelbyville area or the Shelby county area, the Chamber of Commerce will accept them.
Vonda McConnell, from the Shelbyville Chamber said they'll take just about anyone, and memberships are where they can help businesses the most, as they can use email blasts, and Facebook to help the chamber businesses.
McConnell said what she loves most about her job is using her resources to help the families and businesses in the greater Shelbyville area.
McConnell was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.
The Villas of Hollybrook is a living residence in Shelbyville for people who may need more help day to day than the average family can provide, but they also have the option for people to live there who may not need assistance. Pricing is no different for either lifestyle of the residents, and rooms are available for temporary use for just $65 a night.
Jenny Stevens, Executive Director of the Villas of Hollybrook, said people have the option to have assisted living or not, and also have the option to come and go as they please, as long as they have their own vehicle.
Stevens said Villas is all inclusive, which includes meals, activities, utilities, and much more.
One thing Stevens said she loves about the Villas of Hollybrook is the food. She said the food is some of the best she's had in a community like this, and the dieticians make changes to the food to match the diet needs of the resident.
Stevens appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville studios.
State employees looking to keep getting their paychecks won a sense of relief on Thursday but the fight isn’t over. A St. Clair County Judge ruled against Attorney General Lisa Madigan who was seeking to cut off employee pay because there was no appropriation to spend the money. But Madigan says she will appeal the ruling because the state’s constitution requires lawmakers to approve the spending.
Governor Bruce Rauner had opposed Madigan’s lawsuit and issued this statement after the court’s decision.
“We’re pleased our hard working state employees, who show up to work every day on behalf of the people of Illinois, will continue to be paid. It is our hope the Attorney General drops this lawsuit so the bipartisan negotiations in the Senate can continue in order to reach a balanced budget with changes to get our state back on track.”
Madison County Regional Schools Superintendent Bob Daiber has launched a bid for the Democrat party nomination for Illinois Governor in Edwardsville. In the event Monday afternoon, Daiber says jobs and education will be his campaigns key focus.
Daiber plans to remain on the job as regional schools chief for the time being. He says that could change sometime down the road. Primary balloting for the Governors race is more that a year away, March 20th, 2018. So far Daiber and Chris Kennedy, son of the late Robert Kennedy, are the only announced Democratic candidates.
Following Governor Rauner’s budget address this week, some experts following the state’s budget impasse are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Rauner agreed to sign off on an income tax increase, and expand the sales tax to include some services if the legislature would accept some of his ‘turn-around’ agenda, especially reforms to workmen’s compensation. His budget outline, which would include cuts along with the tax hikes would come close to closing the gaping budget hole the state now faces, and sounds similar to the so-called ‘Grand Bargain’ proposed earlier by senate leadership. Jak Tichener, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy institute at SIU says if there is a deal, it will have to be based on the ‘Grand Bargain’ coming out of the senate.
Tichener says he is more optimistic of a breakthrough than at any time in the past two years.
Jak Tichener of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Each day the state continues without a budget, bond ratings plummet, bills go unpaid and interest and service charges grow by millions of dollars a day.
His style played well in Peoria and Washington. Now a political legend who was known for making life in Washington less political has passed. Longtime House Minority Leader Bob Michel has died at the age of 93. Second generation Congressman Darin LaHood of Peoria witnessed Michel up close and personal with his father, former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, serving on Michel's staff before succeeding him in Congress.... LaHood notes long before his public service in a three piece suit, Michel served this country with his own blood on the battlefield.
LaHood says Michel's style was special whether on Capitol Hill or Main Street.
Congressman Rodney Davis also released a statement. “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of a good friend and mentor this morning,” said Davis. “Bob Michel was a war hero and one of the most respected members of Congress of all time. His 38 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives and the incredible footprint he has left on Central Illinois and this country will never be forgotten. Bob’s ability to reach across the aisle to make a divided government work for the people he represented was second to none – a trait we should all strive to emulate each day. My thoughts and prayers are with his family this morning. He will truly be missed.”
The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation recently honored several retiring board members at their annual meeting held on January 17th. Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau, Eric Kahle, and Joyce Langen were the retiring board members. Kahle was awarded a plaque from the Foundation, for his leadership, service, and significant contributions to the Foundation during his time on the board.
Raedena Ryan, Executive Director of the TMH Foundation highlighted some of the accomplishments of the retiring board members.
The board also welcomed newly appointed members Lindsay Barry, David Brummer, and Duane Stock. Ryan shared the process to being named to the TMH Foundation board.
In addition to the new board members, the Foundation also welcomed aboard a new slate of officers.
Pictured left to right: Raedena Ryan, executive director Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation; Eric Kahle, past chairman; and Shelly Cappellin, current board chairman. Kahle was awarded a plaque in grateful recognition and appreciation for his leadership, distinguished service and significant contributions to the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation from 2007-2017.
HSHS Medical Group has added a new doctor to their organization. Long time Shelbyville Doctor, Dr. Urbano Duaz will be joining the HSHS family of providers, and will continue his tradition of patient-first medical care.
Dr. Duaz said he’s been practicing in Shelbyville for quite some time, and he’s seen many changes during that time.
Dr. David Oligschlaeger, another family doctor with the HSHS Medical Group says Dr. Duaz will be a great fit with HSHS due to his history in the community.
Dr. Dauz’s office is located in the Shelby Physician Center at 207 S. Pine Street, adjoining HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. If you’d like to make an appointment with Dr. Dauz, call 217-774-5508.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. The guest speaker was Autumn Warren with Kemmerer Village.
Warren gave a brief history of Kemmerer Village from its 1914 establishment from humble beginnings. Located just outside of Assumption, the cottages were built in the 1950’s to create a home environment to make foster transitions easier for children. In the 1980’s, Kemmerer was no longer an orphan home, rather it became a home for victims of abuse and neglect from all over Illinois. During this time, an on campus school opened featuring curriculum for Jr. and Sr. high graduation.
Warren also discussed many of the specialized programs for children designed for individual based treatment including therapeutic recreation, vocational education, and equine therapy. The typical census at Kemmerer is around 60 children and the outcomes are positive. From 2010 to 2014, 70% of the children and young adults returned to a family home did not require subsequent in-patient treatment for the twelve month period following discharge from Kemmerer’s program. Kemmerer Village is located at 941 N. 2500 E. Rd, Assumption, Il. 62510. For questions, call 217-226-3511 or log on to www.kemmerervillage.org.
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
The University Women of Christian County will be offering two $1,500 scholarships to female residence of Christian County, who have completed at least one year of college work. The scholarship awards may be used by full or part-time students for graduate, or undergraduate study for the fall 2017 semester.
Judging for the award of the scholarships will be based on academic record, future career goals, employment experience, school and community involvement, and financial need. The deadline for acceptance of completed applications is Saturday, April 1st.
Application forms may be obtained at the Taylorville Public Library, the Taylorville office of Lincoln Land Community College, or the Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. For any additional information, contact the UWCC Chairman at 824-2988, or 820-4457. The scholarship recipients will be invited to attend the meeting of the organization on May 2nd to receive their awards.
Citizens of Taylorville will vote on a tax referendum on April 4th to show if they are willing to have an increase on their taxes to help the school system or not. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp added to the conversation saying, the public should vote yes to the tax increase because if the students don't have extracurricular activities to bind their time, it could cause more crime in the area.
Kettelkamp said idle time needs to be filled in kids lives, and at times teens fill that time with negative behaviors including crime.
Kettelkamp said when he was a student, he hated school, but he filled his time with sports, where he was able to find good life mentors, and grow and develop the frame of who he is today.
Sheriff Kettelkamp appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
The Taylorville Community is growing with new businesses popping up and joining the Chamber. Within the last week the chamber added four new members including Jimmie Johns, Megan Dain Weddings and Events, and HP Rentals.
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said one of the new members is an independent person who joined to be a social member.
Hornbuckle said the Christian County CEO students are spending this nine week session at the Chamber of Commerce, and recently they toured Jimmie Johns and talked to the owner of the local restaurant. Hornbuckle also said through this year's CEO program, one student is being mentored by her.
Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
The Christian County 4H program has paired with schools, where in late March, 25 students, including the top 8 Ag students from areas schools, will learn about careers in agriculture, and about all that's possible in the ag world nowadays. The ag industry isn't just raising livestock and plowing fields, it's much more, and Ag Career Day will hit on careers in Ag Media, Sales, Education, and more.
Alicia Gullidge, 4-H Youth and Development Coordinator at the University of Illinois Extension, said they have eight speakers that will talk about what they do as a career, and how it ties with the agriculture industry.
Gullidge said it's better to have fewer students for the career day, that way the kids will have less distractions, they will be able to learn much more about the careers, and that way it'll have a higher quality impact on them.
Gullidge appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
Democrats are responding to Governor Rauner's latest budget address. State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, the budget negotiator for the House Democratic caucus, says the Governor is going down a wrong, familiar path.
Harris maintains Democrats have done their part to compromise.
Harris maintains Democrats are offering a plan to boost the economy with economic reforms that will boost the middle class while providing good jobs for working families and helping businesses grow.
The American Red Cross are deploying a number of volunteers to California to help respond to the massive evacuation caused by the potential failure of a spillway for the Oroville Dam System. Two of the volunteers, Chuck Bullard and Kathi Knope are from Christian County, and will be helping the Red Cross with their efforts.
Bryan Soady, Executive Director for the American Red Cross serving South Central Illinois spoke with Regional Radio News and gave an overview of what the situation is in California, and how the Red Cross is helping those affected.
Soady discussed the two Christian County volunteers, and shared the role they’re most likely playing in the Red Cross’ efforts.
If you would like to volunteer with the Red Cross, you can sign up online, or contact your local American Red Cross chapter.
February is heart health month and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital has several tips to help prevent heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and simple choices such as eating better and getting a little more exercise can greatly reduce your risks of developing heart problems.
Sheli Evans, Emergency Department Manager at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital highlighted some of the avoidable risk factors for heart disease, and said a little exercise can go a long way.
Other things that can drastically reduce someones chances of developing heart health problems include quitting smoking, and healthier eating habits. Evans said when it comes to a better diet, it’s better to make better eating choices slowly, rather than trying to change your diet all at once.
Evans said if you think you’re experiencing a heart attack, the best thing you can do is get to a hospital as soon as you can, and warned against waiting to see if you feel better later.
Governor Bruce Rauner gave his budget address on Wednesday afternoon. The address largely spoke of unity, and how lawmakers are starting to agree that the state needs to change the way it does business to solve the financial issues the state is facing. According to Rauner, Illinois has fallen behind it’s neighboring states, largely due to irresponsible money management.
After nearly two years of budget stalemates, Rauner says lawmakers are starting to come together and agree on many issues that will help get a balanced budget passed.
Rauner pointed out how although the rest of the country has created jobs since 2001, Illinois has lost jobs. He said that if Illinois had managed to grow at even the national average, the state would be in much better shape than it is now.
Rauner talked about the issues the state has had in the last two years to come to a balanced budget, and said the fact that lawmakers are close to an agreement is great news.
The Taylorville School Tax Referendum vote is coming April 4th and people and organizations are stepping up explaining why the public should vote yes. If the referendum is passed, the schools will be en route to having the funds the state hasn't provided to the schools, but if the vote fails, changes will be made to save costs including teacher cuts, and cutting many key extracurricular classes and programs.
Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau, Superintendent of Taylorville Schools, calls the situation a disgrace for the state of Illinois, as the state is the cause for many communities asking citizens for help to give students the quality education the state has failed to provide.
Fuerstenau said if the vote fails to pass the tax referendum, it will negatively impact the students as they won't have the chance to be as well rounded as they would, if the vote passed.
Fuerstenau appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
Millions ride on roadways and highways everyday without being buckled into their seats. And in spite of seat belt laws around the nation no one is breaking the law. Now that might change in Illinois. Secretary of State Jesse White now says he supports a law requiring seat belts on school buses. SOS Spokesperson Dave Druker says they want to see a standard three point belt in bus seats to keep kids safer.
This is far from a new issue in Illinois or other states, but cost has often been cited as a reason to keep seatbelts off of buses.
In his annual budget address at the state capitol Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says that he can support much of what the state senate wants to do with their grand bargain, but he wants to see changes to their plans for adding revenue or increasing taxes.
He wants the legislature to pass a permanent property tax freeze and change the workers compensation system to resemble what another “blue” state did, Massachusetts.
Governor Bruce Rauner addressed the state budget today. The Governor says that he is considering the merits of many parts of the senate’s grand bargain plan. Rauner wants the state to spend more on MAP grants for college students, upping the earned income tax credit and creating a another pension plan for new state employees. Now he says it’s up to lawmakers to send him a complete budget that he’d be willing to sign.
The Governor also continued his push for other items not tied to state spending like term limits and a worker’s compensation system that is similar to one in Massachusetts.
Deputy Governor Leslie Munger is once again in state government and crunching the numbers for a potential budget as Governor Rauner prepares to deliver his budget address. Munger says Illinois state government finances are a tangled mess.
Munger says the state's debt is the '800 pound gorilla in the room".
Munger, who lost to Susana Mendoza in last year's race for Comptroller, was named Deputy Governor by Governor Rauner last week.
Members of the local Citizens for Education group, an organization of citizens in the area fighting for better school funding was present at Monday night’s Taylorville School Board meeting. The group watched as the Taylorville School Board voted unanimously on a series of budget cuts the district would have to make should a local tax referendum not pass in the April 4th election. The school hasn’t received the funding they anticipated from the state, leaving the school asking the local community for their help in making up for the state’s lack of funding.
Lee Mateer, an educator at Taylorville Schools, and member of Citizens for Education said it’s easy to be discouraged by the proposed cuts, however he’s keeping a positive attitude.
Meteer said Taylorville has always been a community that helps those in need, and the tax referendum is simply another opportunity for the citizens of Taylorville to help each other.
If passed, the referendum would raise property taxes in Taylorville by 85 cents per $100. It’s estimated that the referendum would raise nearly $2.5 million in revenue for Taylorville Schools.
Memorial Medical Center will be holding a free seminar on colon cancer on March 9th at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation. The 90-minute program titled “Get Your Rear in Gear: Demystifying Colon Cancer to Save Lives” will begin at 5 PM, and feature keynote speaker Shannon Davis, a registered nurse and colon cancer survivor who will share her story. Dr. Jan Rackinic, a colorectal surgeon with the SIU School of Medicine will also speak at the event.
Light refreshments will be served, and free parking is available on the first and third levels of the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation’s parking garage. To register, visit MemorialMedical.com/events, or call 217-788-3333.