Tensions are growing between President Donald Trump, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon show heard weeknights on Newstalk WTIM says should Sessions leave his position, it's unclear as to who would replace him.
Bohannon appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says the situation between the President and the Attorney General is interesting, considering Session's early support of Trump.
One of the sources of tension between the two stems from Sessions recusing himself from the ongoing investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Bohannon says because of this, he doesn't see one possible name to replace Sessions, former New York City Mayor Rudy Guliani, being named to the post.
Bohannon says he personally would like to see South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy considered for the position should Sessions leave or be removed from his position.
The Christian County Agricultural Fair is officially underway. The festivities began with a ribbon cutting this morning in front of the fair offices. Monsanto also presented a bench to the fair as a part of the opening festivities.
Christian County Fair Board President Jim Olive says the Miss, Jr. Miss, and Little Miss Christian County Fair pageants will kick off the evening festivities tonight.
Olive says the weather shouldn’t hold people back from coming out to the fair.
For full coverage of the Christian County Fair, visit the Christian County Fair page on TaylorvilleDailyNews.com.
Around 50 investors, parents and students, attended Monday night's Christian County C-E-O Student Orientation at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Following a light meal, C-E-O board co-chair Brenda Spurling thanked everyone for attending. Following introductions, she then introduced C-E-O facilitator Dick Adams, who outlined the program and what the 14 students that will be in this year's class, can expect, including starting their own business.
Adams added they'll personally visit many Christian County businesses.
And, the Christian County C-E-O facilitator told the group the students will be doing some public speaking during the school year.
For more information on the Christian County C-E-O program, go to christiancountyceo-dot-com.
A church is hardly a church without pews, but one Shelbyville church that has been reborn in the past year no longer has to worry about not having pews. New Free Methodist Church has been next Macari’s Service Center in Shelbyville since the beginning of the year, and the church’s pastor says the new pews help the church take one more step forward as they build their ministry.
Ronald Newman is the Pastor of New Free Methodist Church. He says the church was borrowing pews before these were purchased, and they are happy they no longer have to worry about transporting the borrowed pews.
Newman says the church is now looking to form a Free Methodist Society and expanded their presence in Shelbyville.
Newman says there are plenty of good churches in Shelbyville, and his church is reaching out to those who do not have a church home.
Lincoln Land Community College will offer select courses for free this fall. LLCC will offer an agriculture watershed management class and a landscape lake ecology class at no cost to students. The classes are being offered for free thanks to grant money from the U.S. Department of Labor.
David Bowman is the Program Coordinator for Workforce Development at LLCC. He says the free classes offer students a free opportunity to see if either of these program is a route they want to take for their degree.
LLCC has a 2+2 agreement with SIU-Edwardsville, meaning students completing their agriculture watershed management and horticulture programs at LLCC can transfer to SIUE for a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies. Bowman says the student would not have to worry about their LLCC credit transferring to SIUE.
For more information on the agriculture watershed management and horticulture courses at LLCC, you can give Bowman a call at 786-2317, or you can click here for ag watershed management courses or here for horticulture courses.
As a number of new hires have been brought into Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration one has been fired for past comments on social media and another is facing scrutiny. Brittany Carl, a communications staffer, compared abortion to Nazi Germany’s eugenics programs while writing a blog post. This after Rauner’s “body man”, a person who travels everywhere with him, was ousted just a day or so after being hired for past racist and homophobic tweets. According to Rauner he doesn’t agree with every position that everyone who works for him has taken.
Rauner says even though many of these new hires are from extremely conservative groups his perspective isn’t any different than it was a when he decided to run for office.
Speed awareness day will be observed all across the state of Illinois on Wednesday. Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson from District 7 in East Moline says the effort will involve basically all levels of law enforcement.
Trooper Wilson adds that the goal is not to just simply write tickets, but to help save lives.
Without an education spending reform bill on his desk at noon Monday, the Governor held true on a promise. He’s ordering a special session to bring lawmakers back in order to try and force action on the matter. Senate Bill 1 is waiting to be sent to Rauner, it’s a bill he’s promised to veto parts of. Rauner contends Democrats are playing political games by not sending him the bill. He says it’s the Democrats that want a crisis of schools not opening on time to force their vision of school funding forward.
Rauner has been vague on what changes he wants or how he’d alter the bill that passed both the House and Senate. The session starts on Wednesday.
The Taylorville Park Board approved an ordinance levying necessary taxes for the 2017-18 fiscal year at their regular board meeting Monday night. The total levy for the park district came to $682,000 for fiscal year 17-18.
Park Board Attorney Quinn Broverman explains how the levy breaks down.
The board initially passed the levy for public inspection at their June 26th meeting. The board will meet again Monday, August 28th at 7 p.m. at the board room at Manners Park.
Governor Rauner issued a noon deadline today to get an education funding bill on his desk or he’s calling a special session. The state budget passed with a clause in that tied spending at K – 12 schools to evidence based models of funding – that’s Senate Bill 1. But Rauner doesn’t want the bill or at least most of it to move forward, so he’s asking for the bill in order to use his amendatory veto and change parts of what the House and Senate passed.
Rauner says today that he’d be happy to discuss a new bill after he gets current one on his desk. If doesn’t, he says the special session starts on Wednesday.
The Christian County Fair kicks officially gets underway Tuesday, however those involved in the Christian County 4-H program got an early start to the festivities. 4-H kids were showing off projects they've been working on in the general show on Monday at the expo building on the fairgrounds.
Caleb Grover participates in 4-H through New Vision 4-H club, and entered several projects into the show. Grover says the 4-H program has helped him gain a better understanding of what direction he wants to head in life after 4-H.
Grover is currently pursuing his goal of becoming a doctor through projects done through 4-H, including a project where he has done medical research to help find a cure for cancer.
Grover appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from the Christian County Fairgrounds.
The Christian County 4-H program is a large operation with many different facets to it. Because of this, many kids within the 4-H program serve as 4-H ambassadors, to assist program leaders with the many duties they have.
Brooke Bates is a student involved in the Christian County 4-H program, and serves as an ambassador. She took a break from her time assisting 4-H program coordinators at the general show at the Christian County Fair, to appear as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning show. Bates explained just what being a 4-H ambassador means.
Along with serving as a 4-H ambassador, Bates also had five projects entered in the general show. She says many of these projects revolve around interior design.
The Christian County Fair kicks off this week, which means local 4-H kids are busy showing off the various projects and livestock they've been working on and raising over the past year. For those who raise livestock as a 4-H project, they have the chance to auction off those animals during the 4-H livestock auction, taking place on Thursday.
Hayden Baker is president of the Christian County 4-H Clover Club, and assists with the auction. She says she enjoys watching the joy the kids have as they participate in the auction.
The livestock auction is the culmination of the work the 4-H kids have put in, and provides an opportunity to be rewarded financially for the work they've put in.
The Christian County 4-H Livestock auction takes place at 6pm on Thursday, July 27th at the Livestock building on the west end of the Christian County Fairgrounds.
Christian County Fair-goers will have the opportunity to help save lives and help their community as the Central Illinois Community Blood Center will have a Bloodmobile at the fair from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to collect blood.
Caleb Parker is a Donor Relations Consultant with the CICBC. He says each donor present will be entered to win $2,500 towards the vacation of their choice.
Parker says it’s a short process from registration to blood donation.
Parker says with the Bloodmobile being during the fair, donors will have plenty of options for food and drinks after they donate as well.
There is another line in the sand from the Governor to the legislature. Send him Senate Bill 1, a bill focused on education spending, so he can use his veto pen and according to him make sure that schools open on time. Rauner today asked for the bill by Monday or he will call a special session every day until the bill reaches his desk. Rauner maintains that SB 1 is loaded with a bailout for Chicago public schools and it would add millions in spending to support CPS pension payments.
Rauner continued to use Speaker Mike Madigan’s name when placing blame on the bill not reaching his desk, even though the bill is coming from the Senate.
The Trump Administration will look a little different moving forward during White House press briefings after Press Secretary Shawn Spicer resigned from his job today. US Senator Dick Durbin says Spicer had an impossible job to do.
The US Senate is planning on taking a vote this week on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. US Senator Dick Durbin says a repeal would be disastrous with one Republican measure to replace the ACA ending health coverage for 22 million people another for 32 million. Along with those changes, Durbin says a pending massive cut to Medicaid funding would hurt seniors and families caring for elderly members.
Durbin also stressed that he wants to see the votes go through regular order in the Senate so debate and committees could be held on the possible changes.
A Central Illinois man has died after a train crashed with a farm implement in Moultrie County.
Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards sent a release Friday afternoon saying 41-year-old Robert D. Day of Hammond was pronounced dead Thursday night around 8:30 p.m. at Memorial Medical Center’s Emergency Room in Springfield.
The crash happened near Illinois Route 121 and 2000 North in Moultrie County. Preliminary results from an autopsy shows that Day died from injuries sustained in the accident. The incident is under investigation by the Sangamon County Coroner’s Office and the Moultrie County Sheriff’s Office.
The Findlay Walleye Festival is approaching, taking place July 28th through the 30th. The Festival features a variety of different events and attractions for people to enjoy, and is designed to help bring tourists and business to the town.
Jody McCormick works with the Festival to help promote the event, and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios, and gave a brief history of the event.
The festival also features a parade on Saturday. McCormick says this year’s parade grand marshal deserved the nod.
The festival will wrap up festivities on Sunday with music, pulled pork sandwiches, and vendors.
Governor Rauner is urging Illinois lawmakers to send Senate Bill 1 to his desk so schools can open on time. The governor made the plea Friday morning at Auburn High School in Auburn.
Rauner says it’s time for everyone on both sides of the aisle to come together for students, parents, and teachers.
Rauner ordered lawmakers to have the bill on his desk by noon on Monday. If not Rauner says he will call a special session, calling all lawmakers back to Springfield until an education funding bill is law. Rauner says it’s time to stop playing political games.
Rauner again called out Speaker Mike Madigan for the situation Illinois schools are in, saying Speaker Madigan and his majority has made Illinois “the worst state in America for supporting local schools.”
As the University of Illinois Extension prepares for a new 4-H year, the Extension will be hosting a “Discover 4-H Cloverbuds” workshop for adults interested in working with youth between the ages of five and seven. The workshop will be on Wednesday, August 2nd from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Christian County Extension Office in Taylorville.
Peggy Hampton is a 4-H Youth Development Educator with the U of I Extension. She says 4-H needs adult volunteers because the program is built on volunteers.
Hampton says not only are Cloverbuds groups a precursor to the 4-H program, but they teach kids that they can learning something anywhere at anytime.
There is no cost to participate in the workshop. You can call to register at 287-7246 or you can get a link to their website here.
Many area kids participate in local 4-H clubs, and are getting ready to participate in the many different 4-H shows at the 2017 Christian County Fair taking place July 25th through the 29th at the Christian County Fairgrounds in Taylorville. After the shows, the kids who showed livestock will participate in the Christian County 4-H Livestock Auction.
Rebecca Livingston, Program Coordinator of the 4-H Youth and Development program at the U of I Christian County Extension Office says the auction is a big part of many children's experience in the 4-H program.
Livingston says the students who show livestock as a part of the 4-H program pamper their animals, which can make auctioning them off a difficult experience.
Livingston appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The now former Schafer-Perfetti Funeral Home in Taylorville is under new ownership. Local resident Mike Assalley has purchased the business, which is now known as Schafer-Perfetti and Assalley Funeral Home, along with several other homes under company's umbrella.
Assalley appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the acquisition, which he says took some time to put together.
Many are familiar with what happens during a funeral service, however there are several other things that a funeral home does that may go unnoticed.
There are plenty of young teachers out looking for jobs this summer and now landing a teaching gig might be a little easier. The State Board of Education says that there are one thousand open teaching jobs and a new law to streamline the licensing requirements for those jobs should help fill some of them. ISBE’s Emily Fox says that the new law will lower the minimum age to apply for an educator license and remove a coursework requirement for existing teachers looking to renew provisional career and technical education licenses. Fox says this should help out some specific areas of the state.
Districts around the state also say they are often faced with shortages of substitute teachers.
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is fighting the nomination of John Bush to serve a lifetime appointment on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Durbin told colleagues Mr. Bush has made dozens of provocative comments during his legal career that call into question his temperament and judgment.
Durbin says he's getting little evidence that Bush can be a fair and impartial judge.
As farmers follow the numbers on the Chicago Board of Trade this summer, a trading expert advises them to be patient, especially those with old crop in storage. Doug Werling with Bower Trading says there’s been much volatility already this week, but...
Bower says that was evident Tuesday, the market was “bullish” in the morning and then by midday it was cooler and wetter and there was a sell off. He calls it a “trader’s market” right now.
The Ford Motor Company is looking to support small towns through county fairs and local festivals. Christian County is one of the beneficiaries, as Ford has put many advertising dollars into this year’s Christian County Agricultural Fair.
Bob Ridings with Bob Ridings Ford in Taylorville is the director for Ford dealer advertising in this market. He says he brought this idea up about 6 months ago, and he hopes Ford will continue to expand marketing at local fairs like the Christian County Ag Fair.
Ridings says Ford is still family owned and they understand the importance of small, rural markets to their business.
Ridings says he expects Ford to continue to expand its presence into county fairs and local festivals after getting the ball rolling this year.
From left to right: Deputy James Pickett, Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, and Deputy Phil Deal.
Two Christian County Sheriff’s Deputies were honored for their life-saving work in DUI enforcement. Deputies Phil Deal and James Pickett were awarded a certificate of appreciation and recognition from the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says driving under the influence is a serious problem and these two men are doing excellent work at combatting the issue.
Kettelkamp says everyone can do their part in keeping intoxicated drivers off the roads.
Kettelkamp says every year hundreds of people are killed and thousands severely injured as a result of alcohol and drug related crashes in Illinois. He thanks Deal and Pickett for their dedication and commitment to protecting and serving Christian County residents.
A benefit motorcycle ride through Central Illinois Sunday will stop in Taylorville to honor a local army veteran. The Peace Keepers’ annual ride will start around 11:30 a.m. Sunday with opening ceremonies at the Illinois Military State Museum on the grounds of Camp Lincoln in Springfield. The organization’s president anticipates the group arriving in Taylorville around 1:15 p.m.
Mylas Copeland is the Peace Keepers President and Ride Coordinator. He says for residents to expect road blocks as the group comes into town Sunday afternoon, and the group will honor U.S. Army Private First-Class Maggie Bilyeu with a presentation to her family.
Any motorcycle rider can participate. It costs $20 for the rider and $10 for an additional passenger. There is also a VIP experience that costs $50 for the rider and $25 for the additional passenger. Copeland says Peace Keepers Incorporated saw a record number of scholarship applicants this year, and they continue to strive to help every hero who needs the help.
A group from Taylorville will be meeting at the American Legion at 9:15 a.m. to ride up together for the opening ceremonies on Sunday. If you would just like to come to the ceremony for Maggie Bilyeu, Copeland says everyone is welcome, and you can make cash or check donations on site at the ceremony.
Painted rocks are popping up all over Taylorville, and the rocks are bringing some cheer to many area residents. There is even a Facebook group for those who hide the rocks or want to find the rocks in the community.
Laura Robinson created the “Taylorville IL Rocks” Facebook group. She says she created the group because her parents found painted rock in Springfield, and that piqued her interest.
Robinson says in many other areas, the rocks are about spreading some cheer, and posting about where you found the rock online. But in Taylorville, she says hiding painted rocks has become more competitive.
Anyone can join the Taylorville IL Rocks Facebook group. For a link to the group, click here.
The National Weather Service is upgrading a piece of equipment that helps forecast the weather for the Regional Radio listening area. Work is being done to upgrade the Doppler radar in Lincoln, that helps meteorologists get a better look at what’s going on inside the storms that blow through Central Illinois.
Matt Barnes is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, and says the work has been going on since last week.
Central Illinois is currently under a heatwave, bringing the hottest temperatures seen so far this year. Barnes explained what’s bringing the hot temperatures to the region.
Barnes appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The 2017 Christian County Agriculture Fair is just around the corner, kicking off next week on July 25th, and running through the 29th. The fair has a rich history over it’s 94 years, including many years of quality horse related activities.
Mike Drea, Secretary of the Christian County Fair Board appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the history of the fair. Drea says there were previous fairs held throughout the county, however the current incarnation got it’s start in 1924.
The fair had a long history of horse related events including harness racing, however that has since been canceled.
For more information on the 2017 Christian County Fair visit them online at ChristianCountyFair.com.
Thursday Morning by Doug Jenkins, WBGZ Radio
Do not accept a friend request from Jayden Smith. That's just the latest of what an investigator from the Better Business Bureau calls harmless messages on that form of social media. The name on the message can change, but the theme is usually the same.
According to most of the messages, you can open yourself up to viruses and malware if you accept such a request. That is unlikely, unless there is a malicious link attached which you also click on, according to Dan O'Brien. He says a greater threat is sharing to much of your personal life on social media.
And then there's the tried and true scams where crooks try to get you to send them money. You are advised to never wire money or provide personal information, double check with friends that send you things that may appear too good to be true, and remember that if you did not enter a contest you cannot be a winner.
As Southern Illinois prepares for next month's box seat view of the total solar eclipse, a Breese based bottling company known for the popular Citrus drink Ski is adding some flavor. Carla Baublitz with Excel says they have launched a short term soda flavor in preparation for the August 21st cosmic event.
Baublitz says it won't take ice cubes for the soda to be truly chilling.
Excel is preparing to produce more Darkest Hour soda on Tuesday. The company has already received bulk orders from a summer camp and several schools planning eclipse parties.
One local business is celebrating 42 years in Taylorville with a party and by continuing a yearly tradition. Bob Ridings bought his dealership in Taylorville in 1975, and they will celebrate the anniversary with a party and by giving away sweet corn, as they are known to do, on Thursday starting at 5 p.m. at Bob Ridings Ford on Route 29 in Taylorville.
Ridings was a guest with Danny Russell on WMKR Wednesday morning. He says there will be plenty of food for people to enjoy, and plenty of sweet corn for people to pick up.
Ridings says if free food isn’t enough incentive to come out, then come out for the chance to win some cash.
Ridings says other car related products and miscellaneous prizes will be given out as well.
This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.
Sometime during the evening hours of Tuesday, July 11, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at #47 Fairview Trailer Court. While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took an AK-47 rifle and a 30 round magazine. There did not appear to be any damage done while making entry. The total dollar amount of the theft 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.
Mike Drea (center), secretary of the Christian County Agricultural Fair Association board, was Tuesday's guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. Program chair for the meeting was Raedena Ryan (left). Will Perkins (right), Kiwanis president, presided at the meeting.
TAYLORVILLE KIWANIS HEARS ABOUT CHRISTIAN COUNTY AG FAIR AT WEEKLY MEETING
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the history and tenure of the Christian County Fair, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Mike Drea, long-time secretary of the Christian County Agriculture Fair Association board, told Kiwanis members about how the fair started, and plans for this year's fair, which is July 25th thru the 29th at the Fairgrounds on Taylorville's southwest side.
The Christian County Ag Fair Association was organized in 1924, making this year's fair the 94th edition.
Drea added that this year's fair schedule is full of livestock and 4-H judging, as well as nightly grandstand events. Tuesday night are the Queen and Baby pageants, Wednesday night features stock car races, Thursday night is the truck and tractor pulls, Friday night is the stock truck pull, and Saturday night to round out this year's Christian County Fair is the always-popular Demo Derby.
Admission and parking are both free.
Drea said the Fair continues to flourish, because of the volunteer efforts of the 30-person board. Due to their continued efforts in raising money thru-out the year, renovated rest rooms will be ready for fairgoers this year, costing some 40-thousand dollars.
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.
Dancers in Taylorville and across the area will have a new place to practice and improve their skills. Jeb Odam and his wife Heather are opening the Center Pointe Dance Academy at 119 South Washington on the west side of the Taylorville Square.
Jeb Odam says he saw an opportunity where there were limited options for dancers in Taylorville.
Odam says they will be busy at the academy the next few weeks before a short break once the school year starts.
Center Pointe Dance Academy will open to the public with open houses this Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
If you have driven through Morrisonville recently, you may have noticed the construction on Route 48 on the northeast side of town. That is going to be the location of the new Casey’s General Store in the village.
Morrisonville mayor Larry Tolliver says Casey’s has been looking to upgrade their location in Morrisonville for a while.
Tolliver says the growth in traffic through town, and the need for semis to fuel up has led to Casey’s building the new location.
Tolliver says the village has not received an official date for the new Casey’s to open, but he believes it will open around the end of September.
One of the major attractions to the Christian County Fair is the various exhibits that take place in the Expo Building at the fair. Citizens from around the county bring in different projects from baked goods to horticulture projects to show off and be judged.
Linda Binger is the Superintendent of Exhibits in the Expo Building, and said those looking to exhibit at the fair still have the ability to do so. Potential exhibitors can view the various categories online.
There have been several changes made this year to the exhibits portion of the fair. Binger says one of those changes are new age restrictions placed for those looking to show at the fair.
For more information on the 2017 Christian County Fair taking place July 25th through the 29th, visit the fair online at ChristianCountyFair.com.
The Governor’s office is cleaning house. In the past few days more than 20 administration staffers have left on their own or have been fired by the Governor. And a newly hired one didn’t stick around long after people started reading his tweets.
Ben Tracy was hired to be Bruce Rauner’s “Body Man” an assistant that travels with the Governor and moves between him and people he interacts with while out in the public. Once Tracy was brought on tweets he’d made in the past include homophobic slurs and other insensitive comments came to light. Tracy started Monday working for the Governor but was out of a job by the afternoon – but on Monday - Rauner said his team was hiring the very best people they could find.
Rauner also defended making hires from the Illinois Policy Institute saying it isn’t showing any turn in his administration to a more conservative tone.
There are growing signs of a political showdown some fear could threaten the start of the school year for many districts. Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling on the Illinois Senate to send the Democrat's school funding bill to his desk.
He is pledging to then use his amendatory veto power to strip money for Chicago teacher pensions from the school funding bill.
Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar says that could effectively kill the measure, putting hundreds of districts at risk of shuttering schools. Lawmakers approved a state budget this month that requires school funding be distributed through a new school funding formula laid out in Senate Bill One.
For the first time since 2015, the check is actually in the mail for Illinois public universities. The Illinois Board of Higher Education says the new budget will provide the state's 12 public universities with about $1.1 billion for the 2017-18 academic year. That's welcome news, but the funding level represents a 10 percent decline from 2015.
In a quick Christian County Board meeting Tuesday night, it was mainly housekeeping items on the agenda at the meeting. But one Christian County Board member turned in her resignation letter Tuesday.
The board voted to take 10 health insurance benefits out of department budgets and put into the general funds to help the county’s budget deficit. The county has 10 employees that don’t take the county’s health benefits, which allows the board to put this money there. District 4 Board Member Becky Edwards says this action doesn’t mean a department can’t hire a new employee that would require health insurance benefits.
The board also voted to accept the resignation of District 1 Board Member Ashley Linton. Linton still lives in the county, but has moved out of her district, and moving out of the district meant Linton had to resign. Linton says even with her move, she hasn’t lost her passion to help and serve others.
Linton wants to thank all of her constituents for their support through her time in office. She did not rule out a possible run for a county board seat in 2018, but as she said, she is going to take a break from politics for the time being.
It can be a stressful time once a friend or family member enters hospice, and Quad County Home Health and Hospice looks to help patients and family members alike. Quad County offers services in home health, home medical supplies and equipment, as well as hospice services for patients in Christian, Shelby, Montgomery, and Fayette counties.
Carol Chandler is the Director of Quad County Home Health and Hospice, and says the business recently moved into a new facility in Pana.
Although there are many businesses offering hospice care in the area, Chandler believes it's Quad County's customer service skills that sets them apart from the competition.
Chandler appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
A Nokomis couple is facing aggravated identity theft charges after stealing an elderly Taylorville woman’s debit card and putting over $1600 in fraudulent charges on the card.
22-year-old Sarah M. Hopping and 20-year-old Travis J. Hopping of Nokomis are accused of stealing the woman’s purse, then using her debit card to make $1,625.85 in purchases in the Pana area. Bond has been set at $10,000 each. The two could both face three to seven years in prison if convicted.
The Taylorville Police Department, Pana Police Department, and Christian County Sheriff’s Office worked together to investigate the case and make the arrest.
Although a local World War II veteran recently passed away, she did not go before being honored for her service. Virginia Ferguson was honored with a pinning ceremony through the “No Veteran Will Die Alone” program on July 7 at Quad County Hospice in Pana.
Ferguson was a Pharmacist Technician aboard a naval ship during the war. She was decorated with a Campaign Ribbon and Victory Medal which was awarded during that time for service. Back at home, Ferguson was the original director of Quad County Hospice when the organization began in 1984.
Rachael Springate is the Volunteer Coordinator at Quad County Hospice. She describes the ceremony that the veterans receive when they are honored.
Springate says the “No Veteran Will Die Alone” program has veteran volunteers that go across the area to honor veterans on hospice.
Ferguson died just four days later on July 11th.
Pictured are the Quad County Hospice Veteran Volunteers who conducted the “No Veteran Dies Alone” pinning ceremony with Virginia Ferguson and her daughters. (l to r) Jack Moss, Veteran Chaplin; Richard Simms, Veteran; Erich Weidemiller, Son of Legion; Mickey Clemons, Veteran; Bill Wright, Veteran; Roger Swim, Veteran; and Mark Denton, Veteran. Seated: Lisa Ferguson, Virginia Ferguson, RN World War II Navy Veteran and Suzanne Ehlebracht.
One of the major aspects of the upcoming Christian County Agricultural Fair is the Ag work that many area children and young adults have been working on. These ag projects will be showcased on several different days of the Christian County Fair on July 25th through the 29th.
Lee Mateer sits on the Christian County Fair board, and joined the Newstalk WTIM Morning show to discuss the Livestock and 4-H events at the fair. Mateer gave a preview of some of the events planned.
Many of the kids participating in the various events at the fair this year are showing off the work they’ve done in programs such as 4-H. Mateer says the lessons the kids learn in these programs will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
Heat and humidity are set to return to Central Illinois this week. The National Weather Service is forecasting highs in the mid-90s with heat indices well into the triple-digits. Local emergency officials want the public to remember to take it easy during the summer heat.
Taylorville Fire Chief and Christian County EMA Director Mike Crews says cooling centers will be opened if needed.
Crews reminds the public to use common sense when it comes to being outside in the hot weather.
An excessive heat warning is in effect for Christian, Shelby, Sangamon, Macon, Moultrie, Coles, and Effingham counties, while an Excessive Heat Watch is in effect for Fayette, Montgomery, and Macoupin Counties. Heat Indices are expected to be between 100 and 110 degrees each day, with the highest values likely on Thursday.
A report by a Farm Credit Administration economist told the Administration’s board members last week that the current downturn in the farm economy is not likely to reach a 1980s-style crisis.
Farm Credit chief economist Stephen Gabriel said the “likelihood of this is very low,” adding that a confluence of adverse factors led to the crisis that occurred in the 1980s. He says it would take a similar combination of adverse developments to create another crisis in the farm economy. While the two periods are similar in some respects, Gabriel points out that interest rates were very high in the 1980s, and today’s interest rates are historically low. The price of oil is another major difference, according to his report.
In 1979 and 1980, the price surged, while today it is declining. Also, the general economy is in better shape today than it was in the 1980s. The country experienced two recessions during the 1980s' crisis whereas today we're in an "extended, if lackluster, economic expansion," according to Gabriel.
Ag Chair Pat Roberts says he knew a year before a media report that the Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program was not intercepting fraudulent imports of organic food. Roberts may now be ready to seek a fix in the next farm bill. He says the Washington Post reported recently that millions of pounds of shipments of possibly fraudulent “organic” products were imported into the US.
But that was not news to the Senate Ag chairman.
Roberts told a farm bill hearing last week that lawmakers need to ensure that "overregulation and antiquated government processes" are not keeping farmers from succeeding in tough economic times.
Roberts says the Board is not keeping up with the huge growth and new technology in the organic market, while an influx of fraudulent “organic” corn and soybean imports meantime, is cutting into domestic producer profits.
Kenneth Dallmier operates the Clarkson Grain Company, based in Cerro Gordo, and he told the Senate Ag Committee the threat is huge.
USDA recently decertified two of three firms involved in fraudulent shipments, while three key Senate Democrats have asked USDA’s inspector general to boost enforcement of organic import standards.
Dallmier recommended the Ag Committee consider adding staff at vulnerable ports, imposing tougher enforcement on shippers and recall requirements for end-users, and use of electronic farm- to-customer tracking devices that have less tampering risk than paper documentation.
About A Week Ago by Jim Taylor, RFD Radio Network
The farm economy runs in cycles and an ag lending expert recommends farmers to not only get to know their banker, but also understand their own business. That’s the message from Curt Covington—Senior Vice President of Ag Finance at Farmer Mac. He says it’s a good practice for farmers to “think” like their bankers.
Covington says bankers need to stay with farmers in the bad economic times if they were with them in the good times because farmers have good memories. Last year, Farmer Mac purchased a record $1-billion in first mortgages through 1,500 applications from rural community banks throughout the U.S.
About A Week Ago by Doug Jenkins, WBGZ Radio
With several days of 90-degree-plus heat predicted for much of Illinois, the United Way has opened cooling centers around the state. There are locations in many communities, with a mix of retail businesses and government buildings on that list. The United Way's Erin Smith says if you are homebound or have transportation issues, you can call for assistance.
About one-thousand people have suffered heat related deaths in Illinois over the past 15 years. You can find a cooling center near you by clicking on www.211helps.org.
There was some good news and some bad news for economic development in Taylorville at Monday night’s city council meeting. The city will finally give the green light to start a huge municipal project, but received a setback in another.
The good news is out of the new Taylorville Water Treatment Plant project. With the Illinois state budget in place, the city council was finally able to pass a motion to effectively start the construction of the multi-million dollar project.
Mayor Barry says tonight’s approved motion gives him the go-ahead to give the contractor the green light.
But the mayor received a letter from Illinois EPA that they would not accept the grant application that the city and the Taylorville Development Association applied for in regards to the industrial park. Barry says he is waiting on what the TDA wants to do after receiving this denial letter.
Other action items at Monday night’s meeting included the swearing in of new Taylorville firefighter Rich Holmes, approving the purchase of 18 new Glock 9 millimeter pistols to standardize Taylorville police officers’ primary weapons, and the purchase of a new 2017 Exmark 31 HP lawnmower from Jenner Ag to replace a mower that needed a new motor at the lake. The next scheduled city council meeting is set for August 7th at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.
Firefighter Rich Holmes is sworn in by Taylorville City Clerk Julie Lilly at the Taylorville City Council meeting on July 17, 2017.
The Christian County Fair is just around the corner, set to take place on July 25th through the 29th at the Christian County Fairgrounds in Taylorville. The fair features a wide array of events and attractions, from various shows happening on the grandstand, to the carnival rides and food.
Jim Olive is the president of the Christian County Fair Board, and made an appearance on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the various events happening at the fair. NASCAR fans will recognize one major figure who will be making an appearance at the fair during the fair's stock car races.
Another event taking place at the fair will be the Christian County 4-H auction, where
4-H members will have the chance to sell the livestock they've been raising throughout the past year.
For more information on the various events taking place at this year's Christian County Agricultural Fair, visit them online at ChristianCountyFair.com.
The annual FORE! Taylorville Memorial Hospital Golf Outing couldn’t have gone any better according to one of the organizers. The event took place Saturday at Lakeshore Golf Course.
The hospital’s volunteer coordinator Debbie Johnson says she believes everyone had a good time and the weather couldn’t have been better Saturday.
Johnson wants to thanks those who came out for their support.
Johnson says they are still doing the numbers for how much money was raised Saturday, but she believes at least $10,000 was raised towards their commitment to upgrade equipment at the cardiac rehab facility at the hospital.
The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is in dire need of blood during the summer months, and the center will be hosting a community blood drive Thursday in Assumption. The drive will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m. inside the bloodmobile which will be parked at Masonic Lodge in Assumption.
Caleb Parker is a Donor Relations Consultant with the CICBC. He says people may take it easy over the summer but the need for blood never lets up.
Parker says each presenting donor will receive a $10 gift card of their choice, and there is a wide variety of businesses to choose from.
To schedule an appointment, you can contact the CICBC at 241-7550, or visit bloodcenterimpact.org and use code 60003 to locate the Assumption drive.
Shafer & Perfetti Funeral Home in Taylorville, along with the Perfetti Funeral Homes in Morrisonville, Sorento, and Panama are all under new ownership. Taylorville resident Mike Assalley now owns the funeral homes, and each funeral home has been renamed. The Taylorville location is now Shafer, Perfetti and Asalley Funeral Home, while the other three locations are now Perfetti and Assalley Funeral Home.
Assalley has been in the funeral business since college, and he has always wanted to own and run his own funeral home.
The transition started late last year as former owner Dean Perfetti was looking to retire. Assalley reached out to Perfetti, starting the process that has led to Assalley taking over the four funeral homes. Assalley says funeral homes are meant to be a place where the community is comfortable mourning the loss of a friend or family member.
Assalley went to mortuary school in Galesburg at Carl Sandburg College. Once graduating, he went to work for Butler Funeral Homes out of Springfield.
The annual FFA alumni dinner is coming up later this week. This year’s dinner is on Thursday, July 20 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Stonington American Legion Hall. The FFA alumni are partnering with the Stonington Lion’s Club to put the event together, and money raised will go towards the FFA program at Taylorville High School.
Larry Barry is the President of the Taylorville FFA alumni. He says the money raised will go back to the Taylorville FFA students.
Barry says if you want to come and eat, they will feed you as long as you are hungry.
As Barry said, tickets are $10 each. The dinner is inside and will be in the air conditioning, so Barry hopes everyone will come out and enjoy the food and support the Taylorville FFA.
The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce holds a number of business after hours events throughout the year, where business owners and curious citizens can visit an area business after their standard hours to network, and have a good time. This month’s event will be held this Wednesday at Neikes Floor Covering.
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and had more information for listeners on the event.
The events serve as a great way to network with other businesses in the area, and get a glimpse at the host business as well.
A merger is underway at the state. The Historic Preservation Agency is going to be part of the Department of Natural Resources. IDNR’s Ed Cross says that it’s a natural fit and the paring will be efficient for the state.
The combination will not include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The downtown Springfield landmark will be its own independent state agency.
Historic flooding is devastating parts of the suburbs in Chicago. A very rainy summer in southern Wisconsin has kept rivers high and then big storms early last week have sent water levels to heights not seen in decades. Residents in Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook counties may be evacuated along parts of the Fox River. On Sunday Governor Bruce Rauner added Cook to the list of counties under a state disaster proclamation. Rauner says don’t rest yet… higher water in some places is still on the way.
The Governor took some heat late last week for being slow to respond or show up to tour the flooding and damage. Rauner maintained he and his staff had the situation covered.
Air Force Captain Joseph S. Smith was shot down over Cambodia on April 4, 1971. His remains were recovered in May. And finally, on Saturday, his remains finally returned to his hometown of Assumption.
People lined Second Street early to witness Captain Smith’s return to Assumption. Many area police officers, firefighters, motorcycle riders, and others also helped to bring Smith back to his hometown.
Marguerite Jackson grew up near Smith. She says Smith may have gotten his interest in flying from her brother.
Jackson didn’t expect to hear that Smith was coming home, but that she is glad he finally got his homecoming.
A funeral mass will be held for Smith Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Assumption. For more photos from the motorcade, visit our Taylorville Daily News Facebook page by clicking here.
House appropriators have sent to the full House, the FY '18 Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration spending bill, reversing many of the president's proposed cuts.
The $145 billion bipartisan House bill is $4 billion above the president’s request, but $8.6 billion below current spending.
Still, it restores many of President Trump’s cuts to rural development, research, crop insurance and international feeding programs.
Appropriations Chair, New Jersey Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen.
SNAP is still cut by almost $5 billion, to $74 billion, but an amount that meets SNAP enrollment and Democrats can live with. The minority offered few amendments directed at production agriculture. Riders dealing with horse slaughter and e-cigarette advertising failed…swaps regulatory relief passed earlier by the full House was adopted…and sugar program reform was withdrawn.
Democrats embraced the bill’s inclusion of key trade measures. Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro.
The House USDA spending bill includes $1.8 billion for the new USDA trade mission headed by an Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. The bill reverses the president’s proposal to eliminate funding for the nation’s two international feeding programs, fully staffs county Farm Service Agency Offices, and keeps open 17 USDA research facilities the administration wanted to close.
The bill includes $2.8 billion for Ag research, more than $900 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, about the same for conservation programs, and just over $1 billion for food safety and inspection.
Agriculture Department export program are key to keeping conventional and organic producers in the black, as lawmakers write the next farm bill. That was the message from producers and ag lawmakers at a Senate farm bill hearing.
39 USDA export assistance programs have no funding guarantee when their 2014 farm bill authority runs out in 2019. Programs including Market Access, Foreign Market Development and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops are among them, returning more than $28 for every dollar invested, or more than $2 billion a year in net farm income, based on a study by Informa Economics.
Greg Haines with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Haines, meanwhile, says red meat exports add some 45-cents to a bushel of corn.
Kenneth Dallmier operates the Clarkson Grain Company in Cerro Gordo and told Senate Ag lawmakers USDA also needs to combat fraudulent imports of organic grain by boosting domestic production, legal liability for fraud, and verification tracking.
But verification is not enough. Ag Chair Pat Roberts says the National Organics Standards Board is plagued by “uncertainty and dysfunction,” hampering regulations needed to keep up with rapid growth and innovation in a sector, many growers now depend on to boost sinking margins.
The summer season means vacation for students, however for the Taylorville School District it means getting ready for the coming school year. Part of these preparations are making sure the facilities are in good shape, and the district has had a number of projects to their buildings to ensure they're in good shape for the fall.
Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed these renovations, including work being done to the West Gym at Taylorville High School.
Other projects include work on the science wing at THS, as well as work done to Taylorville's Central School.
Fuerstenau noted that the projects are currently on time, and haven't encountered any major problems so far.
It's Japanese Beetle season in Illinois and many are figuring out how to deal with the garden pest. Some of the issues with the beetle include the wide variety of plants in the insect's diet, as well as the sheer number of the beetles the state is seeing this year.
Andrew Holsinger, Horticulture Educator with the U of I Extension Office Unit 18 appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the pest.
Japanese Beetles have hefty appetites, and have appeared in increased number this season.
Holsinger warned that traps made to capture the beetle, can actually attract more of the insect to your property.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture announced new limits on the use of dicamba-based herbicides this week. The move follows practical bans issued by Arkansas and Missouri for using dicamba for row crop applications, as concerns and drift damages mount.
Missouri, however, released its “stop sale, use or removal” order Thursday on dicamba-based herbicides. The new rule in Tennessee restricts application to certified private applicators or licensed pest control operators, certified by the state. The rule also prohibits the use of older formulations of dicamba products for the rest of this growing season and restricts application hours to between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The new rules, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture, is in response to farmer-to-farmer complaints of suspected dicamba drift damage to crops. The measures are in effect until October first of this year, and violators could be fined up to $1,500 per violation.
With removal of its ban, Missouri announced similar limits on dicamba use Thursday, which includes wind, time and applicator restrictions, as well as required notification of planned dicamba applications online.
Pana Police arrested four people and confiscated over one hundred grams of suspected bath salts and thousands of dollars in cash after responding to a call of a suspicious odor in the early hours of Sunday morning. Police received the call on July 9th just before 3:30 in the morning about the odor coming from the Rosebud Motel Apartments on US Highway 51.
The four people taken into custody are 23-year-old Cody R. Schumacher of Neoga, 29-year-old Holly A. Baker of Neoga, 35-year-old Scott Patnode of Pana, and 24-year-old Blossom R. Plumb of Salem. Schumacher, Baker, and Patnode were taken into custody for Possession of a Controlled Substance, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Plumb was taken into custody for Driving While License Suspended and multiple outstanding warrants from multiple different jurisdictions.
During the search of the apartment, Pana Police recovered 135 grams of suspected bath salts and $8,531 in cash, along with numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia. The case remains under investigation.
Many are concerned that the money they donate to charity actually goes towards the cause they intend for it to go towards. One charity where donors can be confident with is the Central Illinois Food Bank, who just received high marks in accountability and transparency, and donate a large percentage of your money towards the cause of fighting hunger in the region.
Krista Lisser with the Central Illinois Food Bank says almost 98 cents of every dollar donated goes towards feeding Central Illinois Residents.
Lisser says receiving the award for so many years in a row is a rare occurrence.
Lisser appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The 90th annual Morrisonville Homecoming and Picnic is just around the corner, and this year the picnic will be taking place on a weekend, rather than during the week. The new dates for the picnic will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, July 20th, through July 22nd.
Maggie Held, Vice President of the Morrisonville Community Club along with Marcy Langen, 2016 Miss Morrisonville appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event. Held says the organization is excited for the new dates.
The new dates are a big deal for the picnic, as Held says she received a lot of feedback from vendors and the community.