Local News

Tuscola Man Drowns in Sangchris Lake

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans tells Regional Radio News, that a Tuscola man drowned in Lake Sangchris on Saturday.

 

Dead is 30-year-old Kenneth Christopher "Chris" Adkins of Tuscola.  His body was recovered by dive team personnel just after 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon.  

 

  

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Rauner Announces Re-Election Bid

The Governor is officially going to run for reelection. Republican Bruce Rauner launches his campaign this morning with an online video. The two minute commercial shows Rauner riding his Harley Davidson throughout the state of Illinois. 




It’s expected to be the most expensive race for Governor ever in the United States. Last election Rauner and then Governor Pat Quinn spent more than a $100 million on the campaign.

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Dacey's Hollow Haunted Trail Spooking Guests for Halloween

The Dacey’s Hollow Haunted Trail in Shelbyville is scaring children and adults alike, and is providing Halloween haunts to help entertain, as well as raise money towards the preservation of the Chautauqua Auditorium in Shelbyville.

 

Abby Hinton-Mars is the Director of the Haunted Trail, and says along with the events intended to scare the adults, they’re also offering not-so-scary events designed for younger children looking to trick or treat, at no cost to those attending.

 

 

Safety is taken seriously at the Haunted Trail, with the trail’s actors being trained in how to scare safely, and measures being taken to ensure the safety of those enjoying the Haunted Trail.

 

 

Hinton-Mars appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

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City of Taylorville Looking to Prevent Nuisance 911 Calls

The city of Taylorville wants to prevent people abusing 911 from tying up needed emergency resources. The city approved a motion at last Monday’s city council meeting to look into options for how to prevent or re-coup costs of people making “nuisance” 911 calls.

 

Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says nuisance 911 calls aren’t a huge problem, but even one person abusing the system ties up the valuable emergency resources.

 

 

Barry says the city wants to deter these calls from happening.

 

 

Barry says calls like these put others in the community at risk in a real emergency.

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Shelbyville Rams Athletics Having Successful Fall Season

The IHSA Football Playoffs are here once again and Shelbyville High School is looking to make another deep run. Along with football, the Rams are experiencing success in other fall sports as well.

 

Tony Pullen, the Athletic Director at Shelbyville High School appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville studios, and explained how the IHSA Football Playoff bracket works.

 

 

Shelbyville High School is also making space in their trophy cabinet for another title brought home by the girls volleyball team, after winning the CIC Conference title.

 

 

The Shelbyville Rams Football team will begin their playoff run with a game at Shelbyville High School this upcoming week against Villa Grove, heard on New Country 98.3 WSVZ.

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Taylorville Fire Department Explorer Open House is Wednesday

The Taylorville Fire Department’s Explorer Open House is Wednesday night. The fire department will be welcoming those between ages 14 and 20 to the fire house starting at 6:30 p.m. on October 25.

 

The fire department is bringing back the Explorer program after a long recess to encourage young people to become firefighters and EMS personnel when they get older. The program combines classroom and hands-on training experience of what it’s like to be a firefighter, EMT, or paramedic.

 

Taylorville Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall says he and Chief Mike Crews were both a part of the Explorer program when they were teens. He is excited to bring back the program after a long hiatus.

 

For more information, you can contact the fire department at 824-2295 or by email at tfdexploring@gmail.com.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital CUPS Fund Helping Finance Mammogram Exams

It’s estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and getting a mammogram is the first step in diagnosing and treating the disease. The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation is offering their CUPS fund to help assist women who don’t have the financial means themselves to get their exam.

 

Raedena Ryan, the Executive Director of the TMH Foundation says this fund got started when a group of area women banded together to help a friend of theirs, and decided to take their help one step further.

 

 

Sammie Smith is the Patient Accounts Supervisor at the hospital, and is the person patients need to talk to to inquire about the CUPS fund. Smith says the fund originally started to help people without insurance, but has expanded to help the under-insured as well.

 

 

Ryan says in 2016 the CUPS fund provided over $4,500 in financial assistance to women so they could receive a mammogram.

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Trio of Blood Drives in Christian County This Week

There will be multiple opportunities for area residents to donate blood this coming week. The Central Illinois Community Blood Center will be hosting three blood drives in the coming days.

 

The first blood drive is Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall at Davis Memorial Christian Church. On Wednesday, the action will move to Morrisonville. There will be a blood drive at the Morrisonville American Legion Hall from 2 to 7 p.m. Then Thursday, the CICBC will have a blood drive at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. The blood drive will be in the hospital’s auditorium from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Potential donors must be 17 years old and all donors must have a photo I.D. with them to donate. Anyone who hasn’t donated in the last 56 days are eligible to give again. For questions about eligibility, you can give a call to 800-747-5401.

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Lawsuit Targets Rauner

The Governor is being sued by a former business partner and his legal team is doing all it can to keep the details of the lawsuit under wraps. But Bruce Rauner says he knows little about the legal proceedings and isn’t behind trying to keep the details private. 



Rauner’s lawyers are also seeking to dismiss the case. The former business partner Harreld “Kip” Kirkpatrick says the crux of the lawsuit predates Rauner taking office as Governor. 

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Economic Development Director Reports on Current Projects During CCEDC Annual Meeting

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board of directors held their annual meeting Friday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  The meeting included a review of ongoing economic development efforts in the county, as well as re-electing board members for another year.

Executive director Mary Renner reported to the board on several current projects to keep and attract jobs to Christian County.  Renner told Regional Radio News after the meeting, about how the C-C-E-D-C and the City of Taylorville are working together on 2 proposed Tax Increment Financing districts, to help attract jobs to the community.

Renner talked about where those districts would be.

Guest speaker for the board luncheon was Steve Kline, who is working with the C-C-E-D-C and the City of Taylorville on the 2 Tax Increment Financing districts.

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Christian County Economic Development Corporation Holds Annual Meeting

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board of directors held their annual meeting Friday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  The meeting included a review of ongoing economic development efforts in the county, as well as re-electing board members for another year.

Executive director Mary Renner reported to the board on several current projects to keep and attract jobs to Christian County.  Renner told Regional Radio News after the meeting, about the pending re-application for matching grant money from the federal Economic Development Administration, for infrastructure construction at the new Taylorville Development Association Industrial Park.

Guest speaker for the board luncheon was Steve Kline, who is working with the C-C-E-D-C and the City of Taylorville on 2 Tax Increment Financing districts to assist the city in its economic development efforts.

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Better Business Bureau Warning Of Employment Scams That Offer Jobs That Sound Too Good To Be True

Many are searching for employment these days, and can be tempted by job opportunities that sound wonderful, but in reality are too good to be true. The Better Business Bureau is warning job seekers of employment scams the organization is seeing, telling those looking for work to be careful what offers you take.

 

Mara Clingingsmith, Regional Director with the Better Business Bureau says work from home opportunities can sound very attractive, but to proceed with caution.

 

 

She says the problem with many of these types of jobs are that they are scams that deal with goods bought with stolen money, that you may end up being liable and even prosecuted for.

 

 

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

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Herrick Wildlife Rescue Getting Injured Animals Back To Nature in Shelby County

The Herrick Wildlife Rescue is working to help rehabilitate animals in Shelby County that have come into the rescue for a number of different reasons, ranging from vehicle strikes, to attacks from other animals. The main goal of the rescue is to get the animals to a point where they can be released back into the wild.

 

Anne Eddings is the owner of the rescue, and explains the rescue handles just about any type of animal in Central Illinois.

 

 

According to Eddings, the reasons why animals come into the rescue for a number of different reasons, that typically varies throughout the year.

 

 

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

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Live Well Luncheon to Feature Quad County Veteran Volunteers

Pana Community Hospital will have their monthly “Live Well” luncheon on Monday, and some area veterans are set to be the guest speakers at this month’s event. Quad County Hospice Veteran Volunteers will speak to those in attendance about how they help hospice patients who served in the military.

 

Carol Chandler is the director of Quad County Home Health and Hospice. She says these veterans help to make sure no veteran will die alone.

 

 

Chandler says these luncheons provide educational opportunities for those who attend, along with a free meal.

 

 

Reservations are not required to attend the luncheon. It will be held in the community meeting room on the lower level of Pana Community Hospital from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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Holidays Lead To Increased Donations At Central Illinois Food Bank

The holidays are a busy time for the Central Illinois Food Bank, with the majority of their food and monetary donations coming in during this time. The CIFB encourages residents in Central Illinois to take this time to donate to their local food bank or pantry, whether it's a food or monetary donation, or a donation of your time through volunteering.
 
Krista Lisser with the Central Illinois Foodbank says the food-centric holidays tend to lead to more donations overall.
 
 
Lisser encourages those who may not be able to make a monetary or food donation, to donate their time and volunteer at their local food pantry.
 
 
Lisser appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville to Offer Free Dumpster Services During Fall Cleanup Next Two Saturdays

For the next two Saturdays, Taylorville will be having its fall cleanup days, and mayor Bruce Barry is encouraging residents to do their part in cleaning up the community.

 

Barry says the city will offer free dumpsters and even free pickup of trash if residents cannot bring their trash to those dumpsters.

 

 

One of the platforms Barry ran for mayor on was cleaning up Taylorville. He says the city has started tearing down blighted buildings across the community.

 

 

Barry says any buildings that can’t be torn down this fall will be added to the list of properties to work on when the weather warms up again next spring.  

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U of I College of ACES and Extension Offering New $2,500 Scholarship to Incoming / Transfer Students

The University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences is offering a new scholarship for the upcoming school year, and the local U of I extension is encouraging all seniors or students planning to transfer to the College of ACES at U of I to apply.

 

Amanda Cole is the Director of the U of I Extension District 18 serving Christian, Montgomery, Macoupin and Jersey Counties. She says two students from the District 18 area will win the $2,500 scholarship. Cole says if you plan on going into the College of ACES at U of I, there is no reason to not apply.

 

 

Cole encourages students who apply or just look into the scholarship to browse the other available scholarships. She says many dollars are left on the table because students don’t apply for the scholarships.

 

 

Cole says students should apply for the College of ACES scholarship through the Extension by December 1st.

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After More Than 20 Years, Stewardson Gets a New Horse Arena

For the first time in over 20 years, Stewardson is once again home to a horse arena. The arena held its first event on August 27th, and the owners of the facility have big plans for its future.

 

Erika Corbin is a co-owner of the Tom Vonderheide Arena in Stewardson. She says the facility is named after the father of her other co-owner Doug Vonderheide, who was a well-known figure in the community.

 

 

Corbin says they already are planning big events to come to the arena next year.

 

 

Corbin says bringing a horse arena back to Stewardson will bring people and dollars back to the community. She says the local Lion’s Club is building a concession stand for their events plus other events to come to arena, and that should be completed for next year.

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Christian County Sheriff's Office Offering Halloween Safety Tips On Their Website

Halloween is approaching which will mean an influx of children traveling around town trick or treating. Although the holiday is meant to be a fun holiday for kids and parents alike, the increased number of people outside can lead to some safety hazards that the Christian County Sheriff's Office wants the public to be aware of.
 
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says he's worried about excited children unexpectedly running into the roadway.
 
 
The Sheriff's Office is offering several Halloween safety tips that are available on their website, as well as a way to find out where registered sex offenders reside so parents can skip those houses if they choose.
 
 
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Duckworth Puts Holds on EPA Nominees

This week, Senator Tammy Duckworth placed a hold on two of President Trump’s nominees to lead offices at the EPA – Bill Wehrum and Dr. Michael Dourson – claiming they each have a track record of putting corporate profits ahead of public safety. Wehrum has been nominated to lead the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation and Dourson, the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Duckworth is a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. She released an op-ed piece claiming Wehrum has opposed the Renewable Fuel Standard, something she says it crucial to Midwestern economies. She says that standard supports more than 4-thousand jobs through biofuels usage and generates more than 5 billion dollars in economic impact. Duckworth, went on the offense with her voice instead of her pen when it came to Dourson. She pressed Dourson for answers about his past research that Duckworth says claimed petroleum coke (petcoke) is safe.



Duckworth says Dourson’s research on petcoke was used to justify not cleaning up petcoke storage facilities on Chicago's Southeast side, leading to the presence of black dust which has been tied to high asthma rates and respiratory problems.

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Earthquake Drill Practiced at Illinois Schools

At Springfield's Blessed Sacrament School, Mrs. Ketchum's class passed a key test with flying colors. They took part in an earthquake drill, the Great Shake Out Drill, with Illinois Emergency Management Director James Joseph. Students practiced the Drop, Cover and Hold On actions people can take to protect themselves during an earthquake. While outside of Southern Illinois, the state wouldn't have the kind of earthquake damage that levels buildings, Joseph notes residents in Central and Northern Illinois should be wary of threats within their homes.



The one minute earthquake drill was practiced at 10:19 Thursday morning at schools and workplaces across the state. 

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Kincaid Traffic Stop Turns Into Drug Bust - Three Arrested

The Kincaid Police Department arrested three people in a routine traffic stop that turned into a drug bust Tuesday.

 

38-year-old Destiny Rickman, 46-year-old Donald Rickman, and 25-year-old Hank Skinner, all of Taylorville were arrested in the bust. Destiny Rickman had an active warrant for her arrest with a bond set at 50,000 dollars. Donald Rickman was charged with Meth Possession, Aggravated Battery to a Peace Officer and Resisting Arrest. Skinner was charged with Meth Possession and Obstruction of Justice.

 

Kincaid Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says all the suspects appeared to be nervous as he spoke with them in the vehicle. Then the driver, Donald Rickman, tried to flee.

 

 

Wheeler says the backup provided by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office and other local police departments kept the situation from escalating.

 

 

Wheeler says the police departments across Christian County work very well together, and they are doing everything they can to get in front of the drug epidemic in the county.

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Dusti Odam This Month's Newstalk WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry Big Smile of the Community Honoree

This month’s NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is Dusti Odam. Odam is co-chair of the Tornado Open, Sports Boosters, and a volunteer for the football program. She can be found lending a helping hand wherever needed.

 

Odam says she’s just a football mom.

 

 

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

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

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

 

The 98.3 WSVZ New Country and Family Drug September students of the month are senior Ryan Skowronski, junior Meliah Hennings, sophomore Evan Matlock, and fresman Dalton Hoadley.

 

From left to right in the photo: Bailey Peadro from Family Drug, Skowronski, Hennings, Matlock, and Hoadley.

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Bourne Co-Sponsoring Bill to Prevent Tax Dollars From Funding "Elective" Abortions

Some members of the Illinois House are looking to bring down House Bill 40 before it becomes law. The house will take up House Bill 4114 during the upcoming veto session. The bill would prevent state tax dollars from funding “elective” abortions.

 

95th District State Representative Avery Bourne says the bill is modeled after the federal Hyde Amendment.

 

 

Bourne says she’s disappointed the governor chose to sign House Bill 40, but now the legislature can take action to stop it.

 

 

The Illinois House is scheduled to reconvene for the fall veto session on Tuesday.

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Pana Community Hospital Auxiliary Preparing For Annual Holiday Bazaar

Pana Community Hospital is getting ready for the holiday season, and the fund raising events that go with it. One event that is upcoming is sponsored by the Pana Community Hospital Auxiliary, the Annual Holiday Bazaar taking place on November 11th.
 
Melissa Rybolt, Marketing Manager at PCH says the event dates back quite some time.
 
 
The Bazaar serves as a way for the Hospital Auxiliary to raise money for the hospital, and for the community to get a jump start on their holiday shopping.
 
 
Rybolt appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Christian County TRIAD Program and Taylorville Police Department Warning of Aggressive Door To Door Salesmen in Taylorville

The battle against scammers continues, and there are several things people should be aware of. One is a second breach of the credit reporting agency Equifax, and another involves a company that has been going door to door around Taylorville trying to sell it's product to residents, with some even claiming to be with Ameren.
 
Brian Hile with the Taylorville Police Department and the Christian County TRIAD program says although some of these door to door salesmen have gotten the proper permits from the city, you don't have to answer the door to them, and urged residents to give the police department a call should you have an issue.
 
 
Meanwhile even more people have had their information compromised through a second security breach at the credit reporting company Equifax. Rich Peters with the Christian County TRIAD program says putting a fraud alert on your credit isn't a bad idea.
 
 
Hile and Peters appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Illinois State Senator Andy Manar Firing Back At Christian County GOP After Facebook Post

Illinois State Senator Andy Manar is firing back after a post made on Facebook by the Christian County GOP claimed Manar had voted for a bill that Manar says he actually opposed. Manar calls the action another example of what politics on social media has become.
 
Manar joined the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed the post, saying he actually opposed the bill the Christian County GOP claimed he voted for every step of the way.
 
 
Manar criticized the post, calling the action “Un-American”.
 
 
The Christian County GOP has since retracted the post on Facebook, and posted an apology. The bill in question, SB2814 passed in the Senate last December 32 to 18.

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Global Demand for Soybeans 'Exploding'; Push Coming from China

 

The global demand for soybeans should remain strong with most of that interest coming from China. So says trading expert Jim Bower with Bower Trading in Lafayette, Indiana. 



And Bower says that’s due to the country’s expansion in turkey, pork, chicken, beef, lobster, catfish and even shrimp production.

The global demand for soybeans should remain strong with most of that interest coming from China. So says trading expert Jim Bower with Bower Trading in Lafayette, Indiana. 
chinademand :43 ‘…protein.’
And Bower says that’s due to the country’s expansion in turkey, pork, chicken, beef, lobster, catfish and even shrimp productio

 

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Senator Durbin Pans GOP Tax Plan

Senator Dick Durbin is giving the Republican tax plan a thumbs down review. He told the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago that the GOP proposal would benefit the wealthiest of Americans and leave the paycheck to paycheck crowd picking up the tab.



Durbin offered hard numbers for the impact of the tax changes.



Durbin says there will be 2.6 trillion dollars in tax cuts for corporations over the first decade of the new tax system. Durbin says those tax cuts are made possible by hiking taxes on middle-income families. 

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Forbes List of Billionaires Includes Pritzker

Illinois has a very rich man as Governor but he’s not nearly as wealthy as a person that’s trying to run against him next November. Forbes magazine ranks Democrat gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker as 219th richest American, saying he’s worth $3.4 billion. Pritzker is among the richest people in Illinois, but hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is atop the state list. His personal wealth is pegged at $8.5 billion. 

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Pair of Accidents Cause Traffic Headaches During Morning Rush Near Taylorville High School

Two car accidents caused traffic headaches on Route 29 near Taylorville High School this morning. The accidents happened just before 8 a.m. as the school rush was ongoing.

 

In the first accident, one vehicle rear-ended another and shortly after that, a car pulling out from Hawley Street did not see a vehicle coming and those two cars collided.

 

No injuries were reported in either accident, but it did make for a longer commute for some in the northwest side of Taylorville.

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Christian County Health Dept. Giving Drive Thru Flu Shots at Taylorville Fire Department

The Christian County Health Department will be having drive-thru flu shots until 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Taylorville Fire Department. Christian County Public Health Administrator Nancy Martin invites everyone who has not gotten their flu shots yet to come to the fire department and get their annual shot.

 

If you cannot make it today to get your flu shot today, that’s ok. The health department will also be giving flu shots on Friday at Stonington Bank from 10 a.m. to noon, and First National Bank in Mt. Auburn from 1 until 3 p.m. You can also go to the Christian County Health Department anytime during their business hours and get your flu shot then.

 

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - October 18, 2017

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

 

At around 3:15 pm on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, a male subject entered Los Rancheros Restaurant, located at 201 West Bidwell Street.  While inside, the unknown male subject went behind a counter and began looking through a set of drawers.  The male subject took an I-Pad and then left the scene.  The male subject is described as around 14 to 17 years old, average height, with a thin build.  The amount of the theft is estimated at around $300. 

 

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

 

You can contact Crimestoppers at 824-9100, at our website Christiancountycrimestoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

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Laurie Mense Announces Retirement From Christian County Clerk and Recorder Position

Although she has not turned in her formal letter, Christian County Clerk and Recorder Laurie Mense told the Christian County board Tuesday night that she intends to retire from the position November 17th. Mense originally announced she would not seek re-election in September, but now she will retire from the position with about a year left in her term.

 

Mense says she wanted to follow through with her term, but circumstances will not allow that to happen.

 

 

Mense says her office always has something going on, but she says the middle of November is a time where she feels a transition can be smoother.

 

 

County Board Chairman Tim Carlson announced the vacancy after Mense’s announcement, and the county will start the process for looking for a replacement. Because Mense is leaving during her term, the replacement will be a Democrat.

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Illinois Treasure's Office Paying Close Attention To Fall Veto Session

The fall veto session is coming up in Springfield, and there are several bills the Illinois Treasurer's Office is keeping a close eye on. One bill deals with life insurance companies paying out death benefits after a policy holder passes away, with another focusing on businesses that incorporate over-seas receiving state contracts.
 
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says HB302 which was vetoed by Governor Rauner, would mandate life insurance companies notify the beneficiaries of purchased life insurance policies of their payout once the policy holder passes.
 
 
Another bill Frerichs is watching would make it so companies that incorporate over-seas  to avoid paying taxes cannot in turn get a leg up on state contracts.
 
 
Frerichs explained how the bill wouldn't allow a company that is incorporated over-seas undercut an Illinois company on a state contract due to the lack of paying taxes.

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Glo Bingo Craze Hitting Central Illinois

It’s not the form of bingo you imagine your grandma playing. Glo Bingo is taking central Illinois by storm for fundraising events.

 

Noel Ernst is one of the people organizing a Glo Bingo event to raise funds for the Palmer-Morrisonville Recreation Association next Saturday. She says Glo Bingo isn’t just sitting at a table and yelling bingo.

 

 

She says she went to other Glo Bingo fundraisers and had so much fun, she wanted to use it as a PMRA fundraiser.

 

 

The PMRA fundraiser is Saturday, October 28 at 7 p.m. at the Morrisonville KC Hall. For more information, you can give Ernst a call at 825-3076.

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AFSCME Questions Recent Illinois Corrections Decisions

AFSCME officials say safety at Illinois Correctional facilities needs some serious correcting. AFSCME, which represents corrections officers, reports inmate attacks on state employees have surged 51 percent since 2015. Two years ago, there were 541 assaults. AFSCME projects that number will hit 819 based on assaults so far this year. AFSCME Council 31's Anders Lindall believes the expansion of inmates eligible for minimum security accommodations has played a major role.



Lindall says the state had previously maintained strict standards for inmates who were held in minimum security lockups like the facility in the Quad Cities.



Corrections officials say inmates are only transferred to lower-level security prisons when their progress and behavior warrants.

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Archery Deer Season Underway in Illinois

The deer hunting season is here and conservation authorities are reminding hunters of some basic things to keep themselves safe. DNR Conservation Police Sargent John Williamson notes the archery season is underway in Illinois. If you haven’t been out to hunt yet, Williamson says it is best to get out and check those tree stands. 




Cross-bows are now legal for the archery season. The busy shotgun season opens before the Thanksgiving weekend.

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Jesse White Calls Graduated Licenses a Success

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says the Graduated Driver's License has been a proven lifesaver for first time drivers. White believes stricter standards for younger drivers has played a lead role in cutting the number of teenage driver deaths by 51 percent in the past ten years. Illinois Transportation Department figures show That compared to 155 lives lost in that age group in 2007. That was the year before the graduated license program took effect. The graduated license program features nighttime driving restrictions, an increased required practice driving time with an adult before a teen can get a license and limits starting drivers to one passenger in the front seat. Cell phone use is prohibited, even with a hands free device, unless there is an emergency. 

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Christian County's 2018 Insurance Plan Needs Plenty of Discussion, Multiple Votes to Pass at Tuesday's Meeting

It took three different votes for property and causality insurance, but the Christian County Board approved that and its workmen’s compensation insurance packages for 2018 at Tuesday night’s board meeting.

 

The board had bids from four different companies to choose from on insurance. In a nearly unanimous vote (one member abstained), Dimond Brothers Insurance was once again chosen to serve the county for workman’s compensation insurance. The property and causality insurance was where the board needed to mull things over.

 

In the first vote, the board voted down insurance from it’s current property / causality provider, Snedeker Risk Management, by a vote of 8-7. A motion was then made to go with Dimond Brothers for that insurance as well. Then that motion also failed 7-6 with two members abstaining. After each insurance company had five minutes to talk with board members and further discussion, the board took a second vote on going with Snedeker and that motion passed 9-6.

 

For those who voted for Snedeker, they did not mind paying about seven thousand more a year for the extra services they provided. District Three Board Member Molly Alaria says from the department heads she has talked to, those extra services provide peace of mind.

 

 

Those who wanted the county to pick Dimond Brothers seemed to wanted the lower cost option, along with keeping the business in Christian County. District One Board Member Ben Curtin voted no both times, and explains his vote.

 

 

The board will reconvene for its next meeting on Tuesday, November 21st at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Christian County Courthouse.

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Taylorville Sertoma Club's "Project Warm Winter" Providing Warm Clothes to Students in Need Again This Year

The Taylorville Sertoma Club is once again holding their “Project Warm Winter” initiative, and they are looking for the public’s help to make sure every Taylorville child will have warm clothes for the winter.

 

Dan Raab is the club’s president. He says “Project Warm Winter” is not a coat collection drive.

 

 

Raab says the club serves over 100 students through “Project Warm Winter” each year.

 

 

Raab says donations can be mailed to the Taylorville Sertoma Club, P.O. Box 74 in Taylorville.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Hear About Renovated Building and 3 Businesses at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about 2 new businesses, and a move of an existing business, all into a newly remodeled Taylorville building, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Pam Moses is the new owner of the former F. E. Storm Lumber building at the corner of Market and Clay Streets in Taylorville.  She purchased the building a year and a half ago, after the lumber yard closed 5 years ago.  Extension renovation has taken place since she purchased it.

They ended up putting up brand new trusses and a new roof on all 3 buildings.

That building today houses 2 new businesses and a 3rd business that moved from Decatur. 

The first new business is “Behind Locked Doors”, which offers people the thrill of finding their way thru one of 2 escape rooms.  Moses said the rooms change themes thru-out the year, such as Halloween, an airplane, and a jail.  Anywhere from 2 to 10 people can participate.

The second new business is a new recycling business called “Indoor Storage Shed Self Sort Recycling”.  As the name implies, it offers a free place for residents to recycle; all they have to do is the sorting.  Moses says she hopes to turn this into a profitable business in the coming months, with the profit coming from the bundling and selling of the items to be recycled.

The 3rd business in the complex Moses remodeled, is one she owns and moved from Decatur to her Taylorville building.  Trans Coastal Supply Company exports agriculture commodities to Asia.

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

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Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit Coming to Shelbyville for Illinois Bicentennial

Illinois is celebrating it’s bicentennial next year, and a Smithsonian traveling exhibit will make its home in Shelbyville next winter. The exhibit will focus on rural America, and there will be a local companion exhibit with a focus on Shelby County’s history.

 

Brenda Elder is the Co-Director of the Shelby County Bicentennial Committee. She says Shelbyville is one of six locations in Illinois where this exhibit will visit.

 

 

Elder says this exhibit gives Shelby County residents who cannot make it to D.C. a chance to have American history brought to them.

 

 

The exhibit will be housed at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Visitors Center at Lake Shelbyville from December 15, 2018 to January 26, 2019.

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Shelby County Community Services Training Locals To Be Part of The Workforce

Shelby County Community Services works to provide many different services to residents in Shelby County to help better their lives. Those looking to train in a workplace environment can receive training in several different fields at Shelby County Community Services.
 
Lori Morman with Shelby County Community Services says their work program teaches it's participants how to do jobs in the workforce.
 
 
The program does actual jobs to help it's participants get the most beneficial experience they can.
 
 
Morman appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.

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Many Volunteer Opportunities Available With United Way of Christian County

The United Way of Christian County is calling for area residents to step up and act out their motto of “Live United”, and give some of your time and effort to help a local cause, or even something as simple as listening to a neighbor.
 
Susan Lawrence is the Executive Director of the United Way of Christian County, and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says sometimes people can fall into a routine, and lose sight of who may be in need around them.
 
 
One way Lawrence urges people to give back to the community is through volunteering. She says there are many different volunteer opportunities through the United Way and it's member agencies, that will match many causes and schedules.
 
 
Lawrence also challenged listeners to make a trip to the grocery store and pick up some items to donate to your local food bank.

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Lotto Ticket Back for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Illinois Lottery is recognizing breast cancer awareness month with the re-launch of a scratch off ticket. The Illinois Lottery’s Acting Director Greg Smith says since the Ticket for the Cure’s creation more than 12 million dollars has been raised to support breast cancer programs.



The three dollar scratcher is now for sale at your favorite lotto retailer.

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Central Illinois College Hosting Drone Conference in November

Is it a toy or is it going to impact the bottom line of your operation? Farmers need to answer that question before moving forward with drone technology says GROWMARK’S Agronomy Information Services Sales Manager Brian Henze.



Henze is participating in a drone conference next month, hosted by Heartland Community College and Scott Smigel.



The conference is November 10th at Heartland’s Astroth Community Education Center in Normal. Advance registration is $69. You can register at “heartland.edu”. 

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Emergency Response Test Next Month at Clinton Nuclear Plant

The Clinton Nuclear Power Station will be the scene of a first responder drill next month. On November first, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has announced it will conduct an exercise to test emergency response plans for a potential radio-logical incident. Emergency response personnel from four counties will join the plant operator Exelon and the State of Illinois in conducting the four hour response test.

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Water Extension Agreements, New Roof and Police Car Purchases Approved at Taylorville City Council Meeting

The Taylorville City Council approved extensions for water service with Kincaid and Langleyville, multiple purchases and more in Monday night’s city council meeting.

 

Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the extension is for 20 years, and it keeps that revenue coming into the city to help pay off the loan for the new water treatment plant.

 

 

The water cooperation agreements must still be approved by the two entities before going into effect.

 

The board also called for action to prevent people from abusing the 911 system. Mayor Barry says the issue isn’t a widespread problem, but even one person abusing the system ties up emergency resources when they could be needed elsewhere.

 

 

A loan with First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust was approved by the council to cover the cost of a new roof on the west side of the Taylorville Municipal Building and the purchase of three new police vehicles for the Taylorville Police Department. Total costs of all of these items equal approximately $195,000.

 

The next Taylorville City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 6, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.

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THS Jazz Band to Host Big Bands Decades Dance Saturday

The Taylorville High School Jazz Band is changing things up for this year’s fall dance for the public. They want to attract more people of all ages to the event Saturday, and this year’s event will be a “Big Band Decades Dance.”

 

THS Director of Music Chris Gunn says this event is just one event the jazz band participates in to be involved in the Taylorville community.

 

 

Gunn says the dance is free to the public, and will feature the high school jazz band along with one other musical act.

 

 

The dance will start at 6 p.m. and run until nine Saturday at the Taylorville High School Cafeteria. He invites anyone who wants to have a few hours of dancing Saturday evening to come out and enjoy, and the bands will be performing a variety of music from the 1960’s to contemporary music.

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Rauner Ready to Meet With Leaders Before Veto Session

Lawmakers are preparing to return to Springfield next week. The fall veto session will be underway then and there are a host of issues to address. The state budget will still be one of them and perhaps a capital bill to fund road and other infrastructure projects. Governor Bruce Rauner says before everyone returns to Springfield he’s happy the four legislative leaders have been meeting to perhaps set an agenda for the end of October.



The House and Senate return on Tuesday October 24 and will continue the veto session through the second week of November. 

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Volunteer Opportunities Available With the US Army Corp of Engineers Lake Shelbyville Office

The United States Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville are looking for volunteers to help their office and what they do for the coming year. There are openings doing many different tasks, from general office work to helping to maintain the trails the Army Corp of Engineers maintains.

 

Sarah Haslett with the US Army Corp of Engineers says the organization already has a good volunteer base, that handles many different tasks.

 

 

There are currently several volunteer positions open, but Haslett warns to sign up soon as the positions are filled quickly.

 

 

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

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Taylorville High School Seeing Big Results from New Freshmen Success Program

Taylorville High School has put a heavy emphasis and time investment on helping this year’s freshmen with the transition to high school, and that investment is paying big dividends. Freshmen at THS have the highest attendance rate school-wide at 96-percent, and 92-percent of the class is passing all of their coursework.

 

Taylorville superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says he’s very pleased with the results of the freshmen success program so far.

 

 

Fuerstenau says the time with these freshmen gives the teachers better ability to identify how to teach each student.

 

 

The freshmen success program consists of 12 advisory classes the freshmen attend each day. In these classes, kids can do homework and make up work, and teachers also talk with students about the best ways to succeed and enjoy their four years of high school. 

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Children's Health and Safety Fair This Saturday at Pana Jr. High

Kids of all ages are invited to the Children’s Health and Safety Fair at Pana Junior High School Saturday. The fair runs from 9 a.m. to noon and is being put on by Pana Community Hospital.


Melissa Rybolt is the Marketing Manager at Pana Community Hospital. She wants everyone to be aware of the location change for this year’s event.

 

 

Rybolt says each booth will have a game that will teach children about a different health or safety hazard.

 

 

Admission is free to the fair, and every child in attendance will be eligible for a grand prize provided by First National Bank. Ronald McDonald will also be at the fair and put on a magic show in the junior high gym around 10 a.m.

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CICBC Hosting Pair of Blood Drives in Taylorville

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is hosting a pair of blood drives in Taylorville in the coming days.

 

The first will be held at Taylorville High School on Thursday. It will be in the school’s east gym from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The CICBC will also host a blood drive in the fellowship hall of Davis Memorial Christian Church next Monday, October 23rd from 4 to 7 p.m.

 

Potential donors must be 17-years-old, but 16-year-olds can donate with parent permission. For more information or to set up an appointment, you can give a call to 241-7550.

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Eco Water In Shelbyville Working To Provide Customers With High Quality Water

Water quality has been a hot button topic with the issues many across the country are having with their water supplies, and Eco Water in Shelbyville is working to make sure residents who use their services get the best water quality they can.

 

Tim Finks with Eco Water says one thing Eco Water won't do is scare you about your water quality.

 

 

One of the ways Eco Water helps improve your water quality is through a process called “reverse osmosis”. Finks explained how this process works.

 

 

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

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U.S. EPA Tightens Use of Controversial Herbicide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced stricter measures on the use of a crop herbicide that led to complaints in Illinois and dozens of other states. EPA says it worked with states, land-grant universities, seed and crop protection companies to examine the underlying causes complaints about a soybean crop protection product containing dicamba. The Senior Director of Commodities for the Illinois Farm Bureau, Tamara Nelsen, says the decision allows Illinois farmers and others to have access to the technology.



EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt called the actions "intensive, collaborative efforts" with states and university scientists working together to find a solution. As of earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Agriculture had received more than 200 dicamba-related complaints.

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Christian County YMCA Holding Pay The Date Sign Up Special in November

The Christian County YMCA will be running a sign up special this November where sign up fees are waived, and the first months price is equal to the day where you sign up. This allows for a very affordable way to become a member of the Christian County YMCA.
 
Chris Weittenhiller says the special is a popular promotion that the Y offers to the community.
 
 
Weittenhiller says it's the perfect time to test out the YMCA and see if the facility fits your fitness needs.
 

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October Business After Hours Taking Place At Midland Community Bank in Taylorville

Now that Chillifest is in the books, it's back to business as usual for the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, and that includes the monthly Business After Hours events the Chamber holds. This month's Business After Hours is being held at Midland Community Bank on Route 104 in Taylorville.
 
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce says Midland Community Bank isn't new to Business After Hours events.
 
 
Hornbuckle says Midland Community Bank is located in an area of town that's expected to grow tremendously in the future.
 
 
Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Hosts 200 Area First Graders at Annual "My Day" Event

Taylorville Memorial Hospital recently welcomed area first graders to the hospital for “My Day.” This is the 37th year the hospital has held the event, and nearly 200 students attended the field trip over two days.

 

Melissa Thomas is an Administrative Secretary at the hospital and the “My Day” coordinator. She says one of the kids’ favorite parts of the day has been a tradition for years.

 

 

Some of the activities the kids do include looking into a microscope, seeing the inside of an ambulance, and distinguishing candies from harmful prescriptions. Thomas says they want the kids to have a good experience at the hospital in case they ever have to make another visit.

 

 

Thomas says this is one of the events the hospital staff looks most forward to each year because of having the kids come to the hospital.

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Miller Media Group Bringing Award Winning Morning Show to 98.3, 104.1

The Miller Media Group is bringing the award-winning country music morning show "Big D and Bubba", to its 2 new-country-formatted radio stations starting November 1. 

newcountry.fm radio stations WSVZ 98.3 that serves Shelbyville, Effingham, Mattoon and surrounding area, as well as NEW Country 104.1 that serves Christian County, will simulcast the "Big D and Bubba" Morning Show live from Nashville, weekday mornings from 4 til 9, and Saturdays from 5 til 9.

The duo won the Academy of Country Music 2014 National On-Air Personality of the Year award, the Country Music Association 2015 National Broadcast Personality of the Year award, and have been nominated for the Country Music Association 2017 National Broadcast Personality of the Year award.

Big D and Bubba interview the hottest country artists and celebrities, according to Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller.

Their sister show, Country with Carsen, will also air live from Nashville from 9 in the morning til 2 in the afternoon weekdays, also on 98.3 and 104.1.

Miller says the addition of these 2 live country music shows from Nashville, will provide these 2 stations destination programming for listeners and advertisers.

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DNR Authorities Warning of Increased Deer Movement During Harvest

With harvest in full swing in Illinois, deer activity in rural areas has picked up and wildlife authorities are advising motorists to use extra caution.


DNR Conservation Police Sargent John Williamson indicates with the crops coming down, deer are much more active, especially in rural areas, and can be a major hazard for motorists.



In the event of a car/deer accident and the deer dies, the driver of the car does have the option to keep the deer. 



In addition to increased deer movement, with farmers continuing the harvest, heavy machinery and slow moving vehicles will be on roadways for several more weeks. Always slow down and allow those vehicles plenty of space. 

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Career Training and College Credit Opportunities Continuing to Expand at Taylorville High School

The Taylorville School District has tried to provide more opportunities for students to receive hands-on training in different career fields in recent years, and many students are taking advantage of the programs.

 

Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the Capital Area Career Center, which 38 students are participating in, gives those students hands-on training in areas like cosmetology, law enforcement, and health occupations that can’t be provided at the high school.

 

 

Many THS students are also participating in the CollegeNow program at Lincoln Land Community College’s Taylorville campus. That programs gives high school students the opportunity to be in college classes as juniors and seniors in high school.

 

Fuerstenau commends the high school staff for the work they’ve put in to making the opportunities a reality.

 

 

Fuerstenau told board members at Tuesday’s meeting that he is proud to see Taylorville’s students participating in these off-campus programs and that those students have recognized the importance of their education for their future.

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Pawar Drops Out of Democratic Governors Race

Illinois voters won't make a final decision on their choice for Governor for more than a year, but already two top contenders are dumping millions of dollars of their own wealth into their campaign warchests. In that high stakes fundraising game, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar is saying fold. After promising early polling numbers, Pawar says he's ending his bid for the Democratic nomination because he doesn't have enough money or resources to mount a successful statewide campaign.

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Illinois Livestock Industry Seeing Young People Return to Farm

The Illinois Beef Association happy with a trend they are seeing. Young people are actually coming back to the farm says the organization’s Jill Johnson.



Johnson is a native of Henry County and grew up on a Galva farm that included Hereford cattle, corn and soybeans. 

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Bustos Challenger in Illinois' 17th Has Raised Over $500,000 Already

A GOP challenger in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District off to a strong start financially. Mark Kleine of Galesburg has raised $507,000 since the beginning of his campaign in late August. He says around $400,000 of that has come from within the district and he provided $100,000 of his own money to jump start the effort.

 

 

Kleine is the former owner of John Deere implement dealer Kleine Equipment. Democrat Cheri Bustos of Rock Island has held the 17th District Congressional seat since 2013. 

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Christian County CEO Students Finalizing Powderpuff Football Game to be Held in November

The date has been set for the Christian County CEO students’ Powderpuff Football Game. It will be held on Thursday, November 9 at 7 p.m. at Tornado Alley at Taylorville High School.

 

Luc Johnson is a CEO student from THS and is on the game’s details committee. He talks about what the differences are between a football game and a powderpuff game.

 

 

Johnson says part of the proceeds are going to go towards local VFW programs.

 

 

Johnson says the other part of the proceeds raised will go towards each of the business’ that the students will start as a part of the CEO program.

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Rained Out Saturday Afternoon Didn't Ruin Very Successful Chillifest Event

The final numbers aren’t in yet, but chili sales on Sunday should set a one-day sales record for Chillifest according to Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle.

 

Hornbuckle says they will have more clear numbers next week, but one interaction with head chili cook J.I. McDowell told her everything she needed to know about Sunday’s chili sales.

 

 

Hornbuckle says the rains dampered sales for chili and vendors on Saturday, but Sunday more than made up for the lost dollars on Saturday.

 

 

Hornbuckle says she got to enjoy something at this year’s festival that she surprisingly hasn’t done for a few years.

 

 

Hornbuckle says this year’s Chillifest wrap-up meeting will be on Monday, October 16th.

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Scarecrow Daze a Big Success for Downtown Shelbyville Businesses

The wind was howling, but the rain stayed away and Shelbyville businesses saw big numbers from Scarecrow Daze Saturday.

 

Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Vonda McConnell says she has talked to many business owners in town, and they’ve all told her they had great days with the Scarecrow Daze festival.

 

 

McConnell says the owners of Craig’s Sporting Goods, Simple Blessings, and My Little Bird among other businesses also told her they had great sales days on Saturday. She says although it’s tough to estimate how many people attended the free outdoor event. But from talking to others involved with the festival and from her estimation, she says this year’s event was very well attended.

 

 

McConnell says when you add both the people that came to Shelbyville and the dollars spent in town that day, the Chamber’s goal for Scarecrow Daze was achieved.

 

 

McConnell says it started to sprinkle in Shelbyville as the last vendors were packing up and calling it a day. She is thankful that the day went as well as it did even with the winds.

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Taylorville Memorial Hosptial 3D Mammography Helping Detect Breast Cancer Early

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is working to provide quality healthcare to residents in Central Illinois, and one way is through offering 3-D mammography. The technology helps the hospital get a better look at any possible issues, and can lead to a shorter response time to combat any problems.

 

Mary Jo Coady, Mammography Coordinator at TMH says the 3-D mammography technology is the newest technology available.

 

 

Coady explained what the process is should the mammography show an issue.

 

 

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

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Pana Community Hospital to Host Children's Health Fair

Pana Community Hospital will host its 14th annual Children’s Health and Safety Fair on Saturday, October 21st. The free event will run from 9 a.m. until noon at Pana Junior High School.

 

The hospital’s marketing manager Melissa Rybolt noted the location change from previous events. The fair is normally held at Pana High School, but with homecoming falling on that weekend, the fair was moved to the junior high school. She says each booth will have a game for kids to play and learn about health and safety hazards.

 

 

Rybolt says there will be a special guest for the kids to come and see.

 

 

Rybolt says they hold the fair to try and educate the public to prevent accidents.

 

 

Rybolt says all kids in attendance will be eligible for a grand prize provided by First National Bank. 

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ISHS Opening Up Johnny Appleseed Tree Adoption to Public

The Illinois State Historical Society has been taking applications from various locations around the state for a number of apple trees that have been grown from one of the original trees that the famed Johnny Appleseed planted. The trees have since been delivered to the ISHS, and the organization is now opening the trees up to anybody who would like to buy one.

 

Gwen Podeschi with the ISHS says there are still a good number of trees available for adoption.

 

 

Podeschi says that the fruit these trees are expected to produce will be a good apple for cooking.

 

 

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

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Illinois FFA Prez Not a "Farm Kid"

Illinois' FFA president enjoying his time in office. Joseph Birrittier was elected to the position last June and now represents 17,000 FFA members statewide. He doesn't live on a farm. 



After his one year term is up in June of 2018, he plans to enroll at the University of Illinois to study agriculture science education. 

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New Democratic Attorney General Candidate Emerges

There's a new entry in the Democratic race for Attorney General. Former federal prosecutor Sharon Fairley has left her post leading Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability to run for the Democratic nomination. Fairley says the AG's office is no stepping stone for her.



While the Attorney General's office has drawn notice in recent years for tackling consumer driven matters, Fairley says she brings a lot of law and order experience to the table.



Fairley says she'll push back against President Trump's administration on a number of civil rights issues.

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