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Christian County 4-H Members Do Very Well at State Livestock Judging Contest


The 4-H state livestock judging contest took place on Monday at the Animal Science Lab on the University of Illinois campus, and Christian County’s representatives did very well in the competition. The Christian County senior division team blew away the competition to take home the state title. The senior division is made up of those 14 years old and older.


Rebecca Livingston is the Christian County 4-H Coordinator at the University of Illinois Extension. She says the senior division participants for the county were Eric Schafer, Maddie Fugate, Tanner Mickey, and Makenna Green. She says the group is now eligible for national competitions.



The junior division participants for Christian County were Lizzie Schafer, Drew Mickey, Miley Corso, and Wayland Pollock. She says there are many qualities the participants are judging at the competition.



The senior team’s national competitions will come this fall. For more information on the Christian County 4-H program, you can visit their website here.


Economic Development The Topic at Weekly Taylorville Kiwanis Meeting


Gary Spurling (middle), chairman of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation board, was Tuesday's guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  Chris Weittenhiller (left) is the June Kiwanis Club program chair.  Will Perkins (right) is the Kiwanis Club president.





The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about on-going economic development efforts in Christian County, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Gary Spurling, chairman of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation board, was the program speaker, talking about work the board is doing to attract new business and industry to the county, as well as retaining existing businesses.

Spurling told the Kiwanis Club that with the establishment of Computer Technique's Fiber Optic Network in Taylorville, the recent passage of the Taylorville school referendum, the new Taylorville Water Plant about to break ground, and the establishment of a new TIF district for Taylorville, all of these factors are helping to attract new industry and keep current businesses in the county.

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



Shelby County Young Women to Compete for Junior Miss and Miss Shelby County Crowns

Many young women will be competing this year in Shelby County’s Annual Junior Miss and Miss Shelby County Pageants. The pageants will be on July 8th starting at 6 p.m. with the Junior Miss Shelby County pageant, followed by the Miss Shelby County pageant at 8 p.m. The pageants will be held at Shelby Christian Church in Shelbyville.


Sara Long is the director of the Shelby County pageants. She says both age groups will compete in some competitions that will account for the majority of the score.



Long says the Junior Miss contestants will give a short introduction of themselves, along with other competitions solely for their age group.



Long says the older young women will then compete in other competitions the public will be more familiar with.



Admission to the pageants will be $5 for adults, $3 for children age 5-12, and kids 4 and under are free. The current state queen will also be in attendance for the Shelby County pageants.


Durbin, Duckworth Warn of Dangers of Lack of State Budget

Illinois’ US Senators are expressing their concerns about the state’s stalled efforts to land a budget and the impact on transportation. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are pressing Governor Bruce Rauner and the legislative leaders to reach a budget agreement in order to avoid what they call an unnecessary transportation shut down that could cost tens of thousands of jobs across the state. Without a state budget, Illinois transportation officials will no longer have the authority to spend federal dollars. 700 construction projects around the state, worth an estimated 2.3 billion dollars, would have to be shut down. The Senators say stopping work on the road and transportation projects would trigger the loss of an estimated 25,000 jobs.


World Livestock Auctioneer Champ and Runner-Up Both From Illinois

The 2017 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion hails from west-central Illinois. Brian Curless of Pittsfield won the competition last weekend in Billings, Montana.

With the win, Curless now has a key voice for the Livestock Marketing Association.

Curless is a Black Hawk East product and Oklahoma State grad. 
The runner-up in the competition was also from Illinois--Cody Lowderman of Macomb. 


Security Company Solicitors "Slamming" in Southern Illinois

Solicitors are allegedly "slamming" security company customers in the St. Louis region. Slamming is a technique in which information you give a solicitor is used to switch your some service without your permission. It's most commonly used with phone service, but has also been known to happen with electric delivery. Better Business Bureau Investigator Dan O'Brien says they are from an actual business, and using a ruse to access consumers' homes in many instances.

He reminds if you do decide to buy, pay with a credit card in case you need to challenge the purchase later. And the Federal Trade Commission Cooling-Off Rule requires that door-to-door salespeople disclose to customers that the customers have a right to cancel sales transactions of $25 or more within three business days.


Downstate Superintendent Concerned About Potential Property Tax Freeze

If a property tax freeze is part of a new state budget that could mean trouble for local school districts, according to one downstate superintendent. Sherrard superintendent Alan Boucher says if local school districts can’t increase revenue through local sources, he doubts the state will pick up the difference. So what happens then?

Governor Rauner has indicated he wants a property tax freeze as part of a new budget. A special session started on Wednesday in Springfield. 


St. Louis Dairy Council Celebrating National Dairy Month Along With 85th Birthday

Those in the dairy industry are celebrating during the month of June for National Dairy Month. Along with June being National Dairy Month, it's also the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the St. Louis Dairy Council.


Joyce Fikri with the St. Louis Dairy Council appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the celebrations kicked off on June 1st, and the Council has been celebrating ever since.



Fikri also discussed the birthday celebrations happening at the St. Louis Dairy Council, and discussed how much things like prices have changed since the establishment of the Council.



Firki encouraged listeners to celebrate the month by buying local dairy products, and working more dairy into their diets.


Local Farmers Get Glimpse of Research Work Done At Dudley Smith Farm During the Farm's Field Day

Many in the agriculture industry came out to the Dudley Smith Farm near Pana for the farm's field day. The Dudley Smith Farm works in conjunction with the University of Illinois Extension to research various ag related topics.


Local Farm Broadcaster Jared White was live at the farm for the field day, and spoke with several notable names in the local agriculture industry, one of which was local farmer TJ Curtin. Curtin said his operation has been working closely with the Dudley Smith Farm for roughly ten years now.



Curtin says the work he does with the Dudley Smith Farm allows his operation to try various practices and techniques, before potentially bringing those methods back to his own operation.



House Representative Bourne's Bill Combatting Synthetic Drugs Awaits Governor's Signature

A bill sponsored by state house representative Avery Bourne to help fight the synthetic drug epidemic in Illinois is sitting on Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk. The bill would broaden the language and add to the list of what is considered a controlled substance in Illinois.


Bourne says synthetic drugs are a huge issue in our area and across the state.



Bourne says it’s an ongoing battle to keep bath salts and synthetic drugs off the streets all over Illinois.



Bourne will also be having her traveling office hours this Tuesday, June 27th in Taylorville at Congressman Rodney Davis’ office. With the representative likely to be working in a special session in Springfield, constituents can still come talk to Bourne’s staff and have their voices heard on state and local issues.


Taylorville High School Senior Wins Christian County Ag Group Scholarship

The Christian County Ag Group has awarded its annual scholarship to a Taylorville High School senior. The group announced Wednesday that 2017 THS graduate Madison Taylor will receive this year’s scholarship.


Sue Davis is the Secretary of the Christian County Ag Group. She says the scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school senior looking to go into an agriculture related major in college, and that the scholarship helps achieve their mission of promoting agriculture in Christian County.



Madison Taylor is the daughter of Brad and Kathy Taylor. Davis says they are proud to give the scholarship to someone as active as Taylor.



Taylor will be presented her 500-dollar scholarship check during next month's Ag Appreciation Luncheon at the Christian County Fair. Taylor will be attending Black Hawk Community College this fall to obtain an Associates Degree, and then possibly attend Western Illinois University.


Former WTIM DJ "Johnny Payola" Dies


A former WTIM DJ, long-time broadcaster, and Taylorville native died on Monday. Johnn E. Mazzotti, also known as “Johnny Payola”, died at the age of 74.


Mazzotti started his broadcasting career at the age of 15 at WTIM. He was a disk jockey at many sock hops and high school afterglows He was a Taylorville High School graduate in the class of 1960, and he met his future wife, Becky Brooks, during his high school years. He went on to work for some other broadcasting stations across Illinois before eventually landing a career with the Secretary of State Department of Police.


Mazzotti will be cremated and the family will host a celebration of life at a later date. Memories of Johnn, or condolences to the family, may be shared online at


Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Pageants Gearing Up

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Committee held their organizational meeting Monday night at the Chamber board room, for the 32nd annual event coming up October 7th and 8th on the Taylorville square.

Pageant director Brittany Moore told Regional Radio News after the meeting she was happy with her first year of heading up the pageants last year.



And, Moore says this year you'll be able to apply to participate in any of the Chillifest pageants on-line.



Moore says her first year as Chillifest Pageant director went well...with one exception.



Information on the Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest can be found on-line at


Taylorville Memorial Hospital to Host CICBC Blood Drive Next Week

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, June 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Central Illinois Community Blood Center. The hospital’s goal is 96 units of blood collected from the drive, and they are looking for anyone who can donate to do so.


Taylorville Memorial Hospital Blood Drive Coordinator Pat Anderson says there is no cost to donate other than your time. She says all blood collected will stay in the area.



Anderson talks about what is important to do before donating and what to bring when you come to donate.



Anderson says you can schedule an appointment by calling her at 237-2214 or 827-1490.


Morrisonville Native Joins U of I Extension Christian County Office


The University of Illinois Extension has a new face joining the team in Christian County. Catherine O’Connell has joined the U of I Extension Christian County Office as a Publicity and Promotions Assistant and will be involved with getting information about the Extension’s events and happenings out to the community.


O’Connell is from Morrisonville, and she says working in agriculture runs in her blood.



O’Connell says her college path was excellent in preparing her for her new position and life after college.



O’Connell says she looks forward to educating the public because there are more facets to agriculture than just farming.


Rauner Speaks in Advance of Special Session

Lawmakers are back at work today at the order of Gov. Bruce Rauner. Last night at the Old State Capitol, he urged lawmakers to end what he called the "unnecessary" budget crisis.

In an address that lasted just over three minutes,Rauner said failure to act could cause "permanent damage." to the state. Democrat lawmakers and gubernatorial candidates dismissed Rauner's speech as campaigning.


Air Conditioning Replacement Coming to Christian County Courthouse After Tuesday's Board Meeting


The Christian County Board is starting the process of getting a new air conditioning system after a motion was passed for the County Buildings Supervisor to seek bids for replacing the aging system. That was among the items covered at the Christian County Board meeting Tuesday night.


Becky Edwards is the Audit, Finance, and Purchasing Committee chairperson in Christian County. She says the County’s Buildings Supervisor is going to take it on himself to replace the 3rd floor air conditioner, and that the time to replace it is now.



She said because County Buildings Supervisor Zach Hicks is doing the project himself, they don’t have a clear idea what the project will cost at this point.


Another motion taken at the meeting was a stand against the federal prevailing wage law. Although it is required to pass under federal law, Edwards says the 8-6 vote is a way of showing the board’s displeasure for the law.



The next county board meeting is scheduled for July 18th at 6:30 p.m. in the county board room at the Christian County Courthouse.



Central Counties Health Centers to Open Taylorville Location in July

Central Counties Health Centers currently operates locations in Springfield and Jacksonville, but a new Taylorville location will be opening in just a few weeks. The planned opening for the Central County Health Center location is set for July 10, The center will be on Cheney Street where the Christian County Medical Clinic is currently located.


CCHC President and CEO Heather Burton says the organization’s mission is to bring healthcare to anyone that needs it.



She says that expanding to Taylorville has been looked at for some time.



She says the center plans to offer primary care to start, while working in other practices as the Taylorville location gets up and running.



For more information on the Central Counties Health Centers, you can get a link to their website here.


Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - June 20, 2017

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


Sometime between noon and 3:00 pm on Monday, June, 5, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 835 East Adams Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a Playstation 4 game system, 2 Playstation 4 games, and a controller.  There did not appear to be any damage done when entry was made.  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, or by texting CRIMES (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  


Better Business Bureau and Christian County TRIAD Warning of Bad Charities

Often people donate money to charity, but how do you know if your money is going to the cause you intend for it to go towards, and not to those involved in the charity themselves? The Better Business Bureau has released their list of the worst charities in America, so interested donors can check to see if their donated money is being utilized the way they want it to be.


Rich Peters and Brian Hile with the Christian County TRIAD program both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show to discuss these charities. Peters shared with listeners the BBB's top five worst charities.



In some cases, less than one percent of your money is going towards the cause the charity claims to support.



Hile said on the matter potential donors should seek out local charities to donate too, so they know their money stays local.


Congressman Davis Talks Farm Bill; Virginia Shootings

Less than a week after being on the scene of a politically motivated shooting in Virginia, Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis was visiting with central Illinois farmers Monday.  
Congressman Davis made stops in Macon and Champaign County Monday morning to continue what's been dubbed "The Field Ahead - Farm Bill Listening Tour."  While much of the discussion focused on agriculture, Davis was a bit emotional addressing the events of June 14th when a gunman opened fire on a baseball field where Republican congressmen were practicing.  Davis thanked those that reached out to him, and hopes the incident leads to change in Washington.
Davis has made several stops in recent weeks across the 13th Congressional District to discuss the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill with those that are directly affected by the legislation.  He says common themes such as the importance of crop insurance continue to lead the discussions.
Although there is no immediate timetable for work on the new Farm Bill to begin, Rep. Davis feels getting an early jump on things is a good sign.
In addition to the Farm Bill, Davis also touched on topics such as infrastructure, trade, and new USDA Chief Sonny Perdue at his Champaign stop Monday.  Congressman Davis serves on the House Committee on Agriculture.


Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Committee Holds Organizational Meeting Monday Night


The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Committee held their 2017 organizational meeting Monday night in the Chamber board room, to begin plans for this year's event on the Taylorville square October 7th and 8th.

Chamber C-E-O Patty Hornbuckle told Regional Radio News after the meeting, that work on vendors, entertainment, and the always popular pageants, have already begun.

Several new kid features from last year's Chillifest, are coming back for 2017.

Chillifest's Entertainment Committee this year has 2 co-chair's.  Danny Russell is continuing to chair along with a new co-chair for 2017.

For information on this year's Greater Taylorville Chillifest, go to


Pawnee Prairie Days Coming Up This Weekend


The Pawnee Prairie Days are set for this weekend, with plenty of fun and exciting events scheduled throughout the weekend. Pawnee Prairie Days starts on Thursday and runs until Saturday in downtown Pawnee.


Mike Hall is on the board that organizes the annual festival in Pawnee. He says there will be plenty of events throughout the weekend to entertain those who come out.



Hall says the annual nickel raffle has great prizes this year, and if someone is lucky enough, he or she can win a prize for only a nickel.



The festival is free to attend. In addition to all of the scheduled events, there will be carnival rides and food trucks at the Pawnee Prairie Days throughout the weekend.


Gaming Bird Business Paying Off for Petersburg Brothers

The Illinois poultry industry is more than just chickens. For brothers Cavan and Steele Sullivan it’s pheasants too. They have quite an operation in Petersburg in Menard County. Cavan says there’s a market for gaming birds.

Their idea started in their 4H and FFA days simply as a way to pay for college. Cavan says it’s grown from there.

Gaming birds are just a small part of the Sullivan’s business. Petersburg Poultry Processing processes two to three days per week with each shift slaughtering upwards of 2,000 chickens. They employ 22 people. 


Illinois Convenience Stores Concerned About Potential Loss of Powerball and Mega Millions

Unless lawmakers and Governor Rauner hammer out a budget agreement, it will take a drive out of state to buy tickets for those massive multi-state lottery jackpots in the Mega Millions and Powerball games. Bill Fleischli with The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores is hopeful a budget deal can be struck by month's end.

The state reported nearly $100 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales last budget year. It's not clear how much revenue the state gets from multi-state lottery sales. 


"Steps in The Process" for Water Treatment Plant, TIF Districts at Taylorville's City Council Meeting Monday


The new water treatment plant and the two new TIF districts in Taylorville are both one step closer to reality after actions taken at Monday night’s Taylorville City Council meeting. A new contract was approved between Plocher Construction Company and the city after new negotiations were started amid fears that state money would not come in because of the budget crisis. Also, both proposed TIF district maps were approved, moving those one step closer to fruition in the city.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the new negotiations were started to protect the city if the Illinois EPA were to not release the allocated funds to the city.



Barry says since the contractor has approved the new terms already, things should get rolling quickly on the new water treatment plant.





Barry says there is some work to do to annex some of the proposed land for each TIF district, but that the boundaries are now sorted out.



For the complete interview with mayor Bruce Barry or to see the full city council meeting, you can visit WTIM-TV on YouTube.


Christian County CEO Board Announces 2017-18 Students


Christian County CEO, or “Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities” Board of Directors are pleased to announce the 2017-18 Christian County C-E-O Class.


Students were selected thru a blind application process.  Taylorville High School students named to participate in the program include Reese Bergschneider, Jacob (JT) Boehme, Ryan Brown, Carrie Denning, Luc Johnson, Karlee Kuntzman, Riley Matheny, Jordan Moats, Jessica Parsons and Kyle Woods.  Other students embarking on the C-E-O journey during the upcoming school year include Grace Blakley from First Baptist Christian Academy, James Harris from South Fork, Fayth Stout from Pana, and Sabrina Warren from Edinburg.


The Christian County CEO program is made possible by the generous donations from Christian County businesses, community groups, and individuals.  There is no cost to the students or school districts.   Students will tour area businesses and learn about business from guest speakers.  The program teaches leadership, encouragement, and creativity. 


“Entrepreneurship education seeks to prepare people, especially youth, to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities. The CEO program is much more than a textbook course. Rather, students are immersed in real life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes,” says Cheryl Mitchell, Midland Institute Executive Director.


More information about the program is available at


Many Come Together To Put on Assumptionfest Each Year

Many different groups in Central Illinois come together to put together Assumptionfest every year. Assumptionfest is a festival the city of Assumption puts on every year that offers a number of different activities and attractions for visitors to the event.


Angela Ohl-Marsters, President of Assumptionfest appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event. Ohl-Marsters says the event will have all of the old favorites, along with several new attractions this year.



The event wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the large group of citizens and sponsors from around the region that come together to make the event happen each year.



Assumptionfest will take place June 29th through July 1st in Assumption, and the event offers many of it's attractions to visitors free of charge.


Illinois Treasurer Urging Governor to Sign House Bill 302

Illinois' finances are in trouble with the budget impasse, but one bill that has made it's way to the governor's desk would work to get money back into the pockets of Illinois residents who have lost a loved one. House Bill 302 would mandate that life insurance companies pay out any life insurance policies that haven't yet been paid.


Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs has been a strong proponent of HB 302, and is urging the governor to sign the measure, saying the bill would have life insurance agencies keep the promises they made to their policy holders.



The measure has seen a lot of backlash from the insurance industry. Frerichs says insurance companies will say they do pay out death benefits, but when they do, it's often long after the policy holder has passed.



Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Bullock Named General Sales Manager for Miller Media Group

The Miller Media Group today named its first-ever General Sales Manager for both its Taylorville and Clinton, IL clusters.

Chris Bullock brings nearly 30 years of radio on-air, sales and management experience to the Miller Media Group stations.  He most recently was with the Cromwell Group in Decatur as their general manager, and spent some 27 years with that company.

Chris will be managing sales in both clusters, plus will take over the account list of retiring account manager Judi Humphrey.

Chris will be headquartered in Taylorville.


Morrisonville Community Blood Drive Looking for Donors

The need for blood never stops, and Morrisonville United Methodist Church is looking to help the need. The church is hosting a community blood drive from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 29.


Libby Bair is a Donor Relations Consultant for the Central Illinois Community Blood Center. She says that all presenting donors will be entered into a drawing for a $2,500 vacation package to anywhere the winner would like to go.



The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is the only provider of blood for Taylorville Memorial Hospital and Pana Community Hospital. She says donors should know that their blood will stay in the community.



If you have any questions or would like to donate, you can contact the blood center at 241-7550.


10th Annual Stonington 5K This Saturday

For the tenth year, the Stonington 5K is coming up on June 24th, and all competitive runners and those looking for exercise are welcome to participate. Registration will begin at 6:45 on that Saturday morning, with the 5K starting at 8 a.m.


Event organizer and Taylorville Cross Country coach Steve Walters says the funds will go towards the cross country program at the high school. Walters says this fundraiser has been the backbone for funding the cross country program since he’s been involved with the program.



Walters says there are several area businesses that are helping the event come together this year.



For more information on the race, we have a link you can visit at this story at Taylorville Daily News dot com.


Recently Retired Broadcaster Honored by Miller Media Group


Long-time broadcaster Jim Finks of Shelbyville was recently honored for his 20 years of service with the Miller Media Group.

Finks retired from broadcasting in May, after being the play-by-play announcer for the Shelbyville Rams sports broadcasts on WRAN (now WSVZ) 98.3 FM, and more recently being the host of the Friday Morning Show live from Shelbyville, on NEWSTALK WTIM.

Finks was given a plaque for his commitment to Local Radio and the Miller Media Group, by company president Randal J. Miller.


This Week is National Pollinator Week

June 19th to the 25th is National Pollinator Week, a time for the ag industry to celebrate the bees and other pollinators that are so vital to food production. NAFB's Micheal Clements reports.



Bustos: President Trump's $1-Trillion Infrastructure Plan Not Based in Reality

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos not impressed with President Trump’s $1-trillion infrastructure plan. She’s looking for specific details, but says the public-private partnership, which the plan calls for, will be tough for rural areas to accomplish. 

Bustos, a member of the House Ag Committee, remains critical of President Trump’s budget plan, which calls for closing the Peoria Ag Research Lab. Bustos says she is satisfied with President Trump’s choice for U.S. Ag Secretary—calling Sonny Perdue “a good man.” 


#Cornstars Ready for Another Season

The corn is growing in Illinois and that means the “#cornstars” are ready for another season. Jim Taylor reports on a summer jobs project in Western Illinois. 



Taylorville High School Track Again Hosts American Cancer Society Relay for Life


Several hundred people turned out for Friday night's American Cancer Society Relay for Life at the Taylorville High School track.


The event lasted from 6pm to midnight, with some 20 teams participating as well as individuals, all raising money for the American Cancer Society.


The highlight of the night was the Luminaria Walk at 9 o'clock, honoring those who have passed, those who have fought the disease and won, and those who are currently being treated for cancer.


Funds raised go toward the American Cancer Society's ongoing research efforts.




Taylorville Kiwanis Participate in Raymond-Harvel Kiwanis Golf Outing

4 members of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club participated in today's Raymond-Harvel Kiwanis Club benefit golf outing.  The event is held by the Raymond-Harvel Club each year, to raise money for their Kiwanis programs benefiting children and youth in their area.

Participating in the outing from the Taylorville Kiwanis Club included Blain Cornwell, Dean Ray, Michael Evanchak and Martin Vota.

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of a 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


 Here's Blain Cornwell taking a swing.



Taylorville Kiwanis Club member Dean Ray participating.







Taylorville Kiwanis member Michael Evanchak at the outing.


Former UFC Fighter and Hillsboro Native Hit by Train While Driving South of Raymond

A former UFC fighter and Hillsboro native was hit by a train while driving south of Raymond earlier this morning.


The driver, 43-year-old Matt Hughes of Hillsboro, was seriously injured and taken via Arch Helicopter to a Springfield Hospital. The crash is under investigation.


The accident happened at about 10:45 Friday on Beelers Trail, south of Raymond. The truck was traveling eastbound on Beelers Trail and crossed the railroad tracks in front of a train. The train hit the passenger side of the truck.


Mt. Zion Community What Makes Chill On The Hill Possible

One local event that has been gaining traction beyond the local area is the Mt. Zion Chill On The Hill event. The event is a series of concerts from acts throughout both the local, and regional areas, offered for an affordable price.
Kelly McCourt Edwards, the Event Coordinator for the Mt. Zion Convention Center who works on the Chill on the Hill event, said her connections in the music industry has lead to her being able to get acts for the event that many others aren't able to schedule.
Edwards says even though her ability to schedule musical acts helps, it's the community who steps up and supports the event that makes it possible every year.
Tickets for Chill On The Hill are $4, and free for children 12 and under.
The complete 2017 lineup for Chill On The Hill is as follows.
  • June 1st: Feudin' Hillbillys
  • June 8th: James Armstrong
  • June 15th: Imagine That
  • June 22nd: Melody Line
  • June 29th: Ethan Bell Band
  • July 6th: Lady Luck
  • July 13th: Bygone's
  • July 20th: Lick Creek Band


All concerts are held at Fletcher Park in Mt. Zion.


HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Offerent Several Programs to Help with Rehabilitation

Sometimes rehab is a part of the healing process, and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is working to make sure your rehabilitation is successful. The hospital offers a number of programs to assist with the healing process through their rehabilitation department.
Tonya Bowrey, Manager of the Rehabilitation Services Department at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, along with Terry Waylan, Occupational Therapist at the hospital appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios. Bowrey says the rehabilitation department works to help patients accomplish their goals in their recovery.
Waylan shared information on the Vacation Body School program the hospital offers.
The program will also teach the participants some spiritual information as well.


Illinois Budget Impasse Causes Lincoln Trail Road Project to be Delayed

The Lincoln Trail project has been put on hold, and the reason why is something many across the state have been hearing for a few years. The budget impasse in Springfield is causing this road construction project in Taylorville to be put on hold.


IDOT spokesperson Kelsea Gurski says the department wants to make sure they have the appropriations to pay contractors before they start the project.



Gurski tells about what IDOT will be doing on the Lincoln Trail once the project begins.



The project is now anticipated to begin July 10th, with construction work lasting 20 to 45 days.


Two Pana Men Facing Separate Murder Charges Appear in Court Friday

Two Pana men facing first degree murder charges in separate deaths appeared in Christian County Court Friday morning.


24-year-old Robert A. Stivers is charged with first degree murder in the death of his infant son in February 2016. The state and defense were asked to disclose their expert witnesses that would testify, along with their opinions and reports by Friday’s pre-trial. Because of complications, more time is needed for those to be disclosed. That has forced the jury trial to be pushed back for the second time in two months. The jury trial is now scheduled to start October 10th at 8:30 a.m. The trial is expected to last two weeks.


18-year-old Quinton L. Morrissey appeared for the first time since the murder charge was filed against him in the death of 59-year-old Stephen Presnell of Pana. The defense waived arraignment on the murder charge, and because of the new charge, Friday’s scheduled preliminary hearing has been pushed back until July 25th at 11 a.m.


Jobs Lag in Illinois

The state’s unemployment numbers are falling but the Department of Employment Security isn’t willing celebrate. Illinois’ jobless rate is 4.6%t, but IDES’s Bob Gough says we are lacking in total job 

Nationwide unemployment is 4.3%.


Alaska Seafood Company's Investment in Illinois Paying Off

An Alaska seafood company's investment in Illinois is paying off. Jim Taylor reports.


Mega Millions and Powerball Appear to be Heading Out of Illinois

Unless lawmakers and Governor Rauner agree to a budget by month’s end, you’ll have to head to other states to play Mega Millions or Powerball. The Multi-State Lottery Association voted to remove Illinois from the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries due to the extended budget crisis.


Rauner Calls Special Session

One day after House and Senate Republicans unveiled a compromise balanced budget plan, Governor Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back to Springfield.

Rauner says the Republican budget plan is one he can sign. It calls for a four year property tax freeze, compared to the two year freeze previously passed by lawmakers. House Speaker Michael Madigan released a statement saying House Democrats have tried to compromise with the Governor without hurting middle class families. He says when Democrats have tried to work to find common ground on a balanced budget, Rauner has refused to return to the bargaining table and negotiate. 


Contaminated Seed Helping Spread Invasive Weed in Midwest

The USDA alerting farmers to be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth in conservation plantings. Palmer amaranth is a giant pigweed and is spreading across the Midwest through contaminated Conservation Reserve Program seed mixes says NRCS State Resource Conservationist Gene Barickman.

If there’s evidence of the invasive weed in conservation ground, Barickman says farmers need to attack it early in the game through mowing with hopes of keeping it away from corn and soybean fields.

Palmer amaranth can grow two-to-three inches per day and it primarily emerges in the Midwest May through September forcing farmers to manage the weed for much of the growing season. 


Congressman Rodney Davis Speaks to Regional Radio About Wednesday's Shooting

Rodney Davis stood at the plate waiting to bat at the GOP practice for the Democrats vs. Republicans baseball game tonight at Nationals Park. The last thing he expected Wednesday morning was to be in the middle of gunfire.


Davis spoke with Regional Radio Thursday afternoon about his experience Wednesday morning during the shooting that has left the perpetraitor dead and five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise wounded. Here’s what he had to say about what happened in that scary situation.



Davis says if it weren’t for Crystal Griner and David Bailey, the two Capitol Police on scene, he wouldn’t be alive today.



Davis was back on Capitol Hill at work just hours after the shooting. He says the event Wednesday may be what brings lawmakers back together for the nation’s common good.



Here is the full interview with Representative Rodney Davis:



Heavy Rain, High Winds Hit Area Wednesday Night, Thursday Morning


Wednesday night and Thursday morning's heavy thunderstorms across the Regional Radio listening area, dumped anywhere from an inch and a half, to as much as 5 inches in a few places.

The heavy rain extended in a line from Quincy to St. Louis, then across Interstate 70 to Terre Haute.

Montgomery, Shelby, and Coles Counties in the area received one-point-5 to 3 inches.


High winds that accompanied the storms, damaged corn from Pana to Tower Hill to Effingham.

Thunderstorms could be in store for the area again as we head into the weekend.


Christian County 4-H Program Hires New 4-H Program Coordinator

Christian County 4-Hers have a new face leading the way, and it's a face many will already be familiar with. Rebecca Livingston is the new 4-H Program Coordinator at the Christian County Extension Office, and has been involved in many 4-H programs in the past.


Livingston along with 4-H Youth and Development Coordinator at the U of I Extension Office Peggy Hampton both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. Hampton says the team at the Extension were glad to see Livingston secure the position.



Livingston is quickly getting to work, and highlighted an upcoming workshop the 4-H program is preparing for.



If you'd like more information on the upcoming 4-H workshops, or the 4-H program, you can contact the U of I Extension Christian County Office.


Several New Faces on Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

There are several new faces on the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Board. The board helps to oversee everything that the Chamber is involved in, and what direction they'd like to see the chamber go in the future.


Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, where she revealed who's now on the Executive Chamber Board.



Hornbuckle also shared who will now sit on the rest of the Chamber Board.



Wednesday Evening Train Crash Hits Close to Home for Christian County Sheriff's Office

A train crash with a van Wednesday evening has hit close to home for the Christian County Sheriff’s Office. Five people are dead after the accident just before 7 Wednesday night at the intersection of Illinois Route 16 and 1800 N Christian County Road just west of Pana.  


The victims were identified Thursday morning as Herbert J. Castle, Mary M. Pugsley, John A. Castle, Nell R. Castle, and Mary H. Castle.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says his deputy Tyler Castle is not only the grandson of some of the victims, but he was also one of the first on the scene. Kettelkamp says he also knew the victims well, and it’s hitting him and the department hard.



Kettelkamp reminds the public how difficult it is to be a police officer, and says he appreciates all of the public’s thoughts and prayers.



Kettelkamp asks anyone that was at the ice cream social who may have information on who was driving to call the Christian County Sheriff's Office.


The crash is still under investigation. We will have updates as they become available.


Latest Illinois Pork Tour Leads to $3-Million in International Sales

The numbers are in for the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s latest pork tour. The event brings in international buyers says the agency’s Bobby Dowson.

The tour was last week and Dowson says some nice business was generated for the Illinois pork industry.

Among the tour stops are breeding farms, the Chicago Board of Trade and Mercantile Exchange along with the University of Illinois. 


Illinois Congressman Bost Reacts to Virginia Shooting

Five people, including Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives, have been shot by a lone gunman near a Y.M.C.A. baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia. That is the site where the Republican baseball team has been practicing for the annual Democrats versus Republican baseball game. Illinois Republican Congressman Mike Bost of Murphysboro says two of his colleagues had a strange interaction with a man about five minutes before the shooting.

Bost says the country is at odds politically, but reminds "we can disagree, but we don't have to take it to violence." He also cautions that at this point, the motive for the shooting is unknown.

The shooter is being identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.


Outgoing Illinois FFA President Enjoyed His Term

Illinois FFA elects a new president this week in Springfield. The organization’s outgoing president—J.C. Campbell of Little York says he had a great year. 

Campbell will attend the University of Illinois in the fall. Among his most memorable experience the past year was participating in an international agriculture trip to South Africa. The new Illinois FFA president is elected Thursday morning. 


Congressman Rodney Davis Wants Better Political Tone After Escaping Shooter

For Congressman Rodney Davis, making it home after a morning "at bat" was a matter of life and death. He escaped injury in Alexandria, Virginia where police say a Belleville man targeted a practice for the Republican Congressional baseball team, firing dozens of shots, wounding five, including Congressman Steve Scalise. Davis ran to the safety of a dugout then a nearby apartment. Davis credits Capitol Police with saving the day and he has no words of forgiveness for suspected gunman James Hodgkinson of Belleville, who was later pronounced dead.

An emotional Davis thought the worst when a bullet struck the hip of Congressman Scalise.

He repeatedly called for an end to political hatefulness and he says rhetoric needs to change on all sides. . Davis is happy that this week's Congressional baseball game will go on as scheduled. 


U of I Extension to Hold Kids Cooking Camp in Morrisonville

The University of Illinois Extension wants all kids between 3rd and 5th grade to join them in Morrisonville for a cooking camp later this month. The camp is from June 26th through the 28th from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Masonic Temple in Morrisonville. The classes will provide kids the opportunity to learn the basics of cooking and the importance of nutrition and food safety.


U of I Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Lisa Peterson says the camps are a part of the Eat Local Initiative the extension is promoting this summer. She says learning about nutrition at a younger age will help kids retain that information for the rest of their life and pass the knowledge on to others.



Peterson says there are many skills they will learn related to cooking a good meal.



Peterson says because of a grant from the Lumpkin Family Foundation, the camp comes at no cost. She does say that anyone interested should sign up as soon as possible to ensure they have a spot. For more information or to sign up, you can call 287-7246 or click here.


Taylorville School District Receives Payment from State

The Taylorville School District has been struggling with their budget as the state is behind in their categorical payments to the district. The district received some good news however, as they received one of their owed payments earlier this week.
Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says receiving the payment is good news, however he's not hopeful to receive more payments that are owed to the district for this financial year.
The state aid the district receives from Illinois is very important to the district's budget, and the missing payments represent a lot of money owed to the district.
Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Montgomery County Fair Taking Place June 21st through the 25th

The Montgomery County Fair is quickly approaching, taking place on June 21st through the 25th at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. The event offers affordable entertainment, including various events such as motocross racing, 4-H events, and carnival rides that are included in the cost of admission.
Marty Benning with the Montgomery County Fair Board appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed the fair. Motocross racing is a new event at the fair, and will include an event where dads will race on mini bikes.
The fair comes together through a large effort from the community, and the volunteers who have helped make the fair happen.
Gate admission to the fair is $5, and will include free parking, along with free admission to the carnival rides every evening.


Stonington Man Gets Five-Year Prison Sentence for Child Porn Possession

A Stonington man will serve prison time after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. 28-year-old Bradley E. Martin was sentenced Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to two counts of child pornography possession in February.


Martin will serve five years in prison as part of the plea agreement. Martin was originally arrested and charged in April 2016.  


Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - June 14, 2017

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a hit and run that occurred in Taylorville.


At around 5:50 pm on Friday June 9, 2017, a hit and run occurred at Mach 1, located at Route 29 and Route 104.  While the victim was at the gas pump, a maroon pick up with a younger female driver, struck their vehicle.  The driver of the suspect vehicle stopped momentarily, and then left the scene heading toward Kincaid on Route 104.  There were 2 other younger subjects in the suspect vehicle.  The total dollar amount of the damage 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, or by texting CRIMES (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  


Camacho Home Center Outlet to Open in Taylorville


A local business man is taking on a new venture in Taylorville. Ezequiel Camacho, owner of Charro’s, will be opening Camacho Home Center Outlet next to his restaurant in Taylorville. The business is in the former location of Grandview Home Center Outlet.


Camacho says this opportunity started by buying the building, which he has since renamed Charro Plaza, and he has added more to the area since the purchase.



Camacho says his store will feature a variety of products for around the home.



The store will open this Friday, and be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Durbin Lashes Out at Trump Budget Cuts to Humanitarian and Development Assistance

Senator Dick Durbin grilled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on proposed cuts to the international affairs budget, namely humanitarian and development assistance.

Durbin argued that the proposed cuts would make the world less safe and undermine U.S. global leadership on refugees, global education, emergency food aid, and the fight against poverty. Durbin noted 
more than 20 million people face famine and starvation in Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Somalia. Meanwhile, a record-breaking 65 million people – including 11 million Syrians – are displaced.


Emerging Corn Crop Feeling Impact of Dry June

The emerging corn crop doesn’t look very well in certain parts of the state. Chad Bell farms in Viola in Western Illinois. He describes what his conditions look like.

He’s hoping for some relief soon.

The last measurable rainfall for Bell occurred 19 days ago—only two-tenths of an inch. 


Dry, Warm Air Rules Over Much of Illinois This Month

Dry warm air has been the rule over much of Illinois this month. And it’s starting to have an impact says meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather. 

He says the weather patternwas much different in many parts of the state during April and May.


Hicks says dew points are picking up and the atmosphere is becoming more humid. He adds that rain chances increase for much of the state later this week into the weekend. 


Taylorville Garden Walk Discussed at Taylorville Kiwanis Meeting


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about this weekend's Taylorville Garden Walk, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Carol Alexander (left) told the club that the Taylorville Garden Walk was first launched in 2006, ran for several years, ended, and then was revived by the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners in Christian County.

Alexander said this year's walk is this Saturday from 9 til 2, and features some prominent gardens in Taylorville. She added that attendees will be some spectacular gardens and trees at the homes of several residents, including one that has Lake Taylorville bordering their property on 3 sides.


Incoming Kiwanis president Martin Vota (right) led the meeting in the absence of president 

Will Perkins.

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


Math Curriculum Changes Coming to THS

In the first year of Illinois high school juniors taking the SAT for state testing, Taylorville High School principal Matt Hutchison had high hopes for the test scores. When the scores came back; however, those high hopes quickly came back down to earth.


Hutchison presented the test scores to the board at the Taylorville School Board Meeting on Monday. Taylorville’s high school juniors averaged a 985 on the SAT, short of the 998 national average and 1,022 state average. 66 percent of the juniors met the 11th grade benchmark in English, Reading and Writing, while only 46 percent met the same benchmark in math.


Hutchison told the board that part of the issue with the math scores may be that not every student at the school is exposed to the math on the test before their junior year. He presented a plan to change that going forward.


Hutchison says the changes would mainly affect those in the lower track math courses at the high school. He says it’s designed to give students exposure to geometry and algebra at the same time.



Hutchison says the school cannot control outside factors such as the test itself or test anxiety among students, so they will control what they can.



Also changing in the math curriculum is that students will be able to move between the low, medium, and high track courses to give students the appropriate challenge needed to stimulate their education. Overall, 43 percent of Taylorville juniors hit the composite 11th grade benchmark on the SAT exam given in April.


Illinois State Historical Society Preparing to Dedicate Several Historical Markers Throughout The State

The Illinois State Historical Society are preparing to dedicate three historical markers across the state to honor key moments in history that helped shaped both the state, and the local areas where the markers will be placed.
Gwen Podeschi with the Illinois State Historical Society explained the markers are placed throughout the state, to recognize a number of different historical moments.
The markers help highlight some of the more intricate details of Illinois history. Podeschi says Christian County is home to one of these markers, to honor Abe Lincoln's time practicing law in Taylorville.
Podeschi appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Central Illinois Food Bank Recieves Large Donation of Milk from Paririe Farms Dairy

June is National Dairy Month, and the Central Illinois Food Bank are reminding people that dairy products, primarily milk, are a big need for area food pantries. Prairie Farms Dairy are helping with this need, by donating milk to the Central Illinois Food Bank.
Krista Lisser with the CIFB says the donation is a welcome sight due to the huge need the Food Bank has for dairy.
Lisser did say although the donation helps, the donated milk will be gone quickly. She says milk and dairy products are things people can donate to the food bank, but suggests those donating check with their local pantry to see if they have the ability to accept the donation.
Lisser appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Taylorville Native Doug Quick Wins "Best TV Anchor" Award


Many Taylorville residents know Doug Quick for his time in radio and television. But could you imagine, Doug Quick, the pharmacist?


Quick, the co-anchor and weather anchor at Fox Illinois WCCU in Champaign, took home the Silver Dome Award for being the best TV anchor in a medium market from the Illinois Broadcasters’ Association at the Silver Dome Awards Gala on June 8th at the Abraham Lincoln Museum.


Quick says he’s proud to be recognized among his peers. He says the airwaves belong to everyone, and so he tries to serve everyone.



Although Quick is known for his many years in broadcasting, there was a time that he want to go into pharmaceuticals.



Quick began his broadcasting career when John Ulz hired him to work at WTIM in the 1970’s. Quick says he loves his hometown of Taylorville, and he had many life-changing events happen here, eventually leading him to where he is today.


Steve Curtin Sworn In to Take Bruce Barry's Former Seat on Taylorville School Board


Taylorville’s newest school board member was sworn in Monday at the Taylorville School Board’s regularly scheduled board meeting. Steve Curtin was selected by the board to replace Bruce Barry on the board after Barry’s resignation to become the mayor of Taylorville.


Curtin says he wanted to join the board for multiple reasons.



Curtin says he hopes he and the board can help educate kids in the best way possible, no matter what route they take into the workforce.



A budget amendment hearing was held prior to the board meeting Monday night, amending the actual spending for the 2017 fiscal year compared to what was planned going into the year.


Most action items dealt with Monday were house-keeping items, but it did include most of the hirings necessary for the 2017-18 school year. Those hired include:


  • Rachael Ward as THS Musical Director.

  • Courtney DeClerck as a 4th Grade Teacher at Memorial Elementary.

  • Katherine Webb (Thompson) as a 2nd Grade Teacher at Stonington Elementary.

  • Kevin Loveless as a 1st Grade Teacher at North Elementary.

  • Annie Michalek as a 2nd Grade Teacher at North Elementary.

  • Nicholas Ulferts as an English Teacher at THS.

  • Hayden Eldred as a Math Teacher at THS.

  • Amber Akins as a Pre-K Teacher at Washington School (Pana).

  • Sean Pieper as a Social Science Teacher (Part-time) at THS.

  • Ashley LeVault as an 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher at TJHS.

  • Jenny Campbell as a Secretary (5.75 hours) at Memorial Elementary.

  • Angela Morrison as a Library Aide (5.75 hours) at THS.

  • Mary Vaughn as a Assistant Computer Aide (5.75 hours) at Stonington Elementary.


Duckworth Takes Stand Against Privatizing Air Traffic Control

Senator Tammy Duckworth says the nation's air traffic control system should remain a public enterprise. She expressed her opposition to President Trump's proposed privatizing of air traffic control towers while questioning Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

Moving governance of air traffic control from the FAA to a private corporation would increase the nation's budget deficit by 46 billion dollars over the next decade. 


Marengo Blast Injures Two, Could Have Been Worse

A Northern Illinois explosion rocks a neighborhood. Two homes were destroyed as entire block was wiped off the map in Marengo. 50 more homes were damaged. No one was home in the residences that were destroyed. Four people were rescued from the second floor of a residence next door to the destroyed homes. Two people were treated for minor injuries and have been released from the hospital. The cause of the blast appears to be accidental. City officials are now warning of door to door home repair scam artists targeting the area.


Bustos Gives Trump Budget Plan a Thumbs Down Review, Especially for Ag

Don't count Quad Cities Congresswoman Cheri Bustos among those impressed by President Trump's budget blueprint. Bustos is expressing concerns about funding for the Department of Agriculture.

She says the budget plan will also mean fewer jobs in already struggling small towns. Bustos also is expressing concerns about proposed deep cuts in the crop insurance program. 


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