Local News

Hope House of Central Illinois Completes Purchase of Land South of Taylorville

One local charity is looking to expand their efforts after purchasing land south of Taylorville. The Hope House of Central Illinois completed the acquisition of seven acres of wooded land on January 5th.

 

Randy Thompson is one of the founders of The Hope House. He says the organization has big plans for the land.

 

 

The Hope House helps parents and families after the loss of a child. Thompson and his wife, along with the other two couples who helped create the organization have all lost children. He says the cabin to be built will be a place to get away for these families as they grieve.

 

 

For more information on The Hope House of Central Illinois, you can visit their website here.

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Highs And Lows In 2017 For Christian County Sheriff's Office

2017 was a year full of ups and downs for the Christian County Sheriff's Office, but undoubtably the big story for the department was the escape of two inmates at the Christian County Jail at the tail end of the year.
 
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says there were mistakes made that lead to the two inmates escaping the jail, and that measures have been taken to ensure it doesn't happen again.
 
 
Kettelkamp says the aging Christian County Jail is an issue, and that the building needs to be replaced. He's unsure however where funding could come for a new jail, saying he doesn't see taxpayers agreeing to a tax increase to help pay for it.
 
 
The Sheriff did praise the teamworkwork that local agencies put in to quickly apprehend the suspects.
 
 
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Christian County LEAD Program Tours Christian County Mental Health

The Christian County LEAD program is underway, and the group taking this year's class took a tour of the facilities at Christian County Mental Health on Wednesday. Christian County Mental Health both provides employment for the mentally disabled, as well as provides services for those dealing with mental health issues.
 
Patty Hornbuckle is the CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, and one of the organizers of the LEAD program, and says the visit was one of the larger visits of the year for the class.
 
 
Hornbuckle praised the work done at the facility, from the jobs the organization provides for the mentally disabled, as well as the other services they provide.
 
 
Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Next Week is National Lutheran Schools Week

Next week is National Lutheran Schools Week and Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Stewardson’s pastor David Weaver says there are many differences between a public education and a lutheran education.

 

Weaver says they try to incorporate religious studies throughout all course subjects.

 

 

Weaver says at Trinity’s school especially, there is a noticeable family atmosphere.

 

 

Weaver says that the education provided through his school and all Lutheran schools provides a solid foundation for kids for the rest of their lives.

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Specialty Growers Seek Ready Labor

A lack of ready labor continues to be a key issue for specialty growers. A conference in Springfield heard that message from Kevin Hosey with Knoxville, Tennessee based Seedway Seed. 



Seedway offers a full line of commercial vegetables and serve as dealers for about 50 major seed companies. Their biggest seller in Illinois is sweet corn followed by pumpkins, cucumbers and squash. 

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Sheila Corso Awarded Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry "Big Smile for the Community"

This month’s Newstalk WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is Sheila Corso. Corso is a volunteer for the Taylorville Ministerial Association Food Pantry and has devoted her time and energy to serving others.

 

Corso says she got started at the food pantry because of her daughter.

 

 

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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Pana Receives Funding For Spillway and Water Plant Projects

Pana is looking to start soon a major project that would repair the spillway at Pana Lake, as well as refurbish the water treatment plant at the lake. The city has already received the funding needed to complete the projects, and is looking to start construction soon.
 
Ron Miles sits on the Pana City Council, and detailed the work that needs to be done, saying it's been a lengthy process to get to this point.
 
 
Miles says the city has received a loan as well as a grant from the USDA to fund the project.
 
 
Miles says the city is hoping to get bids on the work this year, with construction beginning next year.

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TIF District Leading To Improvements In Assumption

There are several good things going on in Assumption to help that town grow and prosper in the future. These include a TIF district that will allow the city to improve the look of the town, as well as attract new businesses.
 
John Kehl is the Mayor in Assumption, and says the TIF district is a crucial building tool for the city.
 
 
Kehl credited the people in Assumption who take pride in the community, and help to improve the town.
 
 
Kehl appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Hometown Tour broadcasting live from Assumption City Hall.

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Christian County Board Looking to Upgrade County Website

Christian County is looking to redesign its website to make it more user friendly. The county board discussed the new website Tuesday night at their regularly scheduled meeting.

 

Becky Edwards is the Finance Committee chairperson, and she says the website is only a part of what the county board is looking to do in regards to internet presence.

 

 

Edwards says re-doing the website would give anyone access to as much county information as they could receive online.

 

 

Edwards says the board is looking at making a decision on the new website at its March meeting, and the earliest the website could be up and running would be August.

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New Tax Scam Making The Rounds

With the general public becoming more aware that the Internal Revenue Service does not call or e-mail citizens with tax related issues, scammers are coming up with new methods to deceive the public. Michael Devine with the IRS says letters claiming to be from the IRS are hitting taxpayer’s mailboxes.



Devine says contact the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 to verify any situation that seems out of the ordinary.

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Ives Believes Chicago Straw Poll Win Sends a Message

GOP State Representative Jeanne Ives says her grass roots campaign for Governor is continuing to gain ground while Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker continue to spend millions. Ives, who describes herself as a conservative reform candidate, won the Chicago GOP Central Committee straw poll 17-3 over Rauner, Ives believes its a mistake for Rauner to think ahead to November.



While Chicago is a known Democrat stronghold, Ives believes a message may be sent to the rest of the state.


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Money Spent in Governor's Race Surges

It will be nearly ten months before Illinois voters pick their governor, but the money already spent is mind boggling. Campaign disclosure reports show 28 million dollars was spent in the final three months of 2017. It's no surprise that 9 out of every 10 dollars spent, was spent by the campaigns of Governor Bruce Rauner and Democrat J.B. Pritzker. Both candidates spent 13 million dollars apiece. While Rauner has more in the bank with 56 million dollars compared to Pritzker's 8 million, Rauner raised 3 million dollars during the period, Pritzker $21 million.

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HSHS Good Shepherd Partnering With Red Cross To Hold Blood Drive Thursday

January is National Blood Donor Month and with the holidays over, blood supplies tend to drop with the beginning of each new year. HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is working with the American Red Cross to hold a community blood drive Thursday afternoon from noon to 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Shelbyville.

 

Glenda Plunkett is the Marketing Coordinator at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. She says the hospital saves lives every day, and so does donating blood.

 

 

Plunkett says the catering for this month’s drive is provided by a Shelbyville staple.

 

 

The blood drive in Shelbyville does accept walk-ins, and Plunkett says there is no better time to donate blood than during National Blood Donor Month.

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Kyle Norris Named Miller Media Group Employee of the Quarter

Kyle Norris, the news and sports reporter with the Miller Media Group in Taylorville, was named the "Employee of the Quarter" for the 4th quarter of 2017, at a recent staff meeting.

Selection is made each quarter by station staff and management.

Norris has been the group's news and sports reporter since April of 2017. 

Norris received a 100-dollar check from the company, and is in an April  drawing for a Florida vacation.

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Metal Buildings Again a Hot Topic at Taylorville City Council Meeting Tuesday

Allowing metal buildings in residential neighborhoods was again a hot topic at the Taylorville city council meeting Tuesday night. The board took two different votes on the matter, with the final vote ultimately failing and sending the ordinance back to committee.

 

The ordinance currently says all buildings built on residential property must match the existing structure of the home. With the first vote, the council was split 4-4 on allowing the city’s board of appeals to make a determination on if a homeowner can be allowed to build a metal structure such as a carport on their property. Mayor Bruce Barry broke the tie by voting yes, and he says he will likely always vote with his board of appeals when they make a unanimous recommendation.

 

 

When a change needed to be made to the ordinance, it then failed to pass 5-3 on the second go around. Barry says he doesn’t want metal buildings like carports all over the place, but he also believes the board of appeals should have the leeway to make the decision on a case-by-case basis.

 

 

The city is also exploring the possibility of refinancing to a rate reduced loan for the new water treatment plant, which could free up hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for Taylorville. The next city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 5 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - January 17, 2018

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

 

Sometime during the early morning hours of Saturday, January 6, 2018, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 709 North Ridge Avenue apartment #6.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took 2 dozen Playstation 3 games and a money order.  There did not appear to be any damage done while making entry.  The total dollar amount of the theft is estimated at over $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 (274637) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

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Man Dies in Taylorville

911 received a call to respond to a residence in the 500 Block of North Cherokee St. in Taylorville Tuesday morning before 6 a.m. where a male was unresponsive and not breathing. Taylorville Fire and Dunns Ambulance arrived on scene and requested the coroner to respond.

 

Deputy Coroner Austin Peters identified the 39-year-old male as Casey Brandon Evans of Taylorville. Evans was transported to Bloomington for an autopsy. An autopsy was conducted Tuesday afternoon and results are pending toxicology and additional studies.

 

Taylorville Police and Christian County Coroner’s office are handling the investigation.

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Pay The Date Promotion Back At Christian County YMCA

Pay the Date is back at the Christian County YMCA. The promotion which allows local residents to “pay the date” for their first month's membership at the YMCA, offers a low cost option for people to get off to a healthy start to the new year.
 
Christian County YMCA Executive Director Chris Weittenhiller says this promotion is a great way to get involved at the Y at a reduced cost.
 
 
The Pay the Date promotion is one of a number of things the Christian County YMCA offers to help residents with the financial cost of becoming a YMCA member.
 
 
Weittenhiller appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Solution For Infrastructure Spending A Goal For Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis in 2018

Anybody who’s driven on a road in America will know that the nations infrastructure needs some attention. Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) is hoping that President Trump makes infrastructure spending a priority in the new year, and that Congress can figure out a way to diversify how America funds it’s projects such as road construction.

 

Congressman Davis says the majority of roadworks projects are funded through the federal gas tax, however those funds are diminishing due to an increased number of fuel efficient vehicles on the roadways.

 

 

The nation has seen an increasing number of electric vehicles on it’s roads this decade, which poses a problem for infrastructure spending since those vehicle owners end up paying nothing into funds such as the Highway Trust Fund. Davis says this is one of the reasons the country needs to diversify the way it funds it’s infrastructure projects.

 

 

Davis warns that if a solution isn’t found for funding for the nations infrastructure, the nation’s projects will have to be funded through the general fund, taking away money from many other essential services such as schools and healthcare.

 

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

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Springfield Man Killed in Crash on I-55 South of Glenarm Identified

The Springfield man that died on a crash on Interstate 55 south of Glenarm has been identified. 44-year-old Mark Heaton was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at about 1:15 p.m. Monday afternoon. Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards released the identification Wednesday.

 

Heaton was driving at a high rate of speed southbound on 55 when his vehicle crossed the median, hit the I-55 northbound bridge, and then struck a 2017 GMC pickup truck that was traveling northbound.

 

Illinois State Police are continuing to investigate the crash.

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Durbin Stands by Expletive Claims

Senator Dick Durbin is sticking to his guns, saying there is no doubt that he heard President Trump say expletives comparing African countries and Haiti to something akin to a toilet. He says claims that the President referred to houses of excrement rather than holes, makes little difference.



Durbin also expressed certainty as to which word he heard.



In a Tweet, President Trump referred to Durbin as "Dicky Durbin". He said “Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can’t get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military,”''

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IAA Foundation Has 76 Scholarships Available

The IAA Foundation reminding current and prospective agriculture students about over seventy scholarship opportunities. The deadline to apply is February 1.



IAA Foundation Director Susan Moore says specific guidelines are available at “iaafoundation.org”. 

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TMH Auxiliary Hosting "Men Who Cook" Event Saturday

Are you a man who has a thing for cooking? Or do you enjoy good food? The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is having its annual “Men Who Cook” fundraiser this Saturday at the Janice Hopper Auditorium at TMH, and the public is invited to attend.

 

Pam Whittaker is on the hospital’s auxiliary board. She attends the event each year and says you should never leave the event hungry.

 

 

20 men will be cooking their specialty dishes for the event Saturday. Whittaker says the list of cooks includes some well-known people in town.

 

 

The event will also feature a cash bar and live auction. Rhonda Trost, who is also a member of the auxiliary board, says there are plenty of great items up for bids.

 

 

The doors will open Saturday at 5:30 p.m., with food sampling to start at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the hospital’s gift shop or by calling the hospital at 824-1677.

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TMH to Tear Down Five-Story Building, Start $60 Million Expansion

Taylorville Memorial Hospital announced a major, multi-million dollar construction project Wednesday. The 97,000 square foot building will replace most of the current hospital.

 

Kim Bourne is the President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital. She says the project has been years in the making.

 

 

The project will be completed in two phases. The first phase will hold 25 new private patient rooms, outpatient and therapy services, laboratory, pharmacy, specialty clinic, and central utililty plant. The second phase will include food and nutrition services, administrative offices, and conference rooms. The current five-story building will also be torn down during phase two.

 

Bourne says the nearly $60-million expansion comes at a time when Taylorville is seeing many economic boosts in the community.

 

 

Bourne says this expansion shows that TMH is committed to Taylorville for years to come.

 

 

The project is pending approval from the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board. Groundbreaking is anticipated to take place this summer, and the entire project is expected to be completed by 2021.

 

Rendition of Taylorville Memorial Hospital following completion of construction.

 

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Blighted Buildings Coming Down Slowly But Surely in Assumption

Many communities across the area are looking at beautifying their town by tearing down blighted buildings. The city of Assumption is doing its part, and the city’s mayor John Kehl says blighted building are a common problem in small town America.

 

Kehl appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show’s Hometown Tour live from Assumption City Hall. He says the city has demolished a handful of buildings the past few years.

 

 

Bringing down blighted buildings is no small task according to Kehl.

 

 

Kehl says the city still has a few more buildings they are looking to tear down.

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Assumption Police Department Working To Foster A Positive Relationship With Community

Stopping crime starts with a good working relationship between a community and it's police department according to Assumption Chief of Police Brian Wade. Wade says the Assumption Police Department has partnered with several organizations in town to help identify potential problems in the town, and how they can be solved before becoming an issue.
 
Wade appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show's Hometown Tour live from Assumption City Hall, and highlighted some of the work the department is doing to help put an early stop to crime.
 
 
The Police-Community relationship has been strained in many communities across the country. Wade says the police department in Assumption actively works with the community to help foster a positive relationship.
 
 
Wade also credited the community's help in keeping Assumption a safe community.

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ICC to Hold Hearing on Coal Power Plants in Hillsboro Today

The Illinois Commerce Commission is holding a hearing today in Hillsboro that could affect how many in the area receive their electricity. The hearing will be at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Hillsboro from 1-5 p.m. and is open to the public.

 

95th District State Representative Avery Bourne says the hearing is on the status of the current electricity distribution system, and the coal power plant closings in the state, which includes the plant in Coffeen.

 

 

Bourne says the jobs at these plants are high-paying good jobs that need to stay in these small communities.

 

 

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

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Double-Crop Forum Set for February 7th in Mt. Vernon

Farmers would be well served to look at the ‘triple threat’. So says Illinois Wheat Association Executive Director Jim Fraley. He’s referring to double-cropping wheat and soybeans to generate income from three different sources—wheat, wheat straw and soybeans. And Illinois Soybean Association’s Dan Davidson says double–crop opportunities are expanding in the state because of new seed varieties.



The wheat and soybean associations are teaming up to host a double-crop forum February 7th in Mount Vernon. You can register at “Illinoiswheat.org.” The fee is $20. 

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Congressman Davis Expects Trump To Tackle Infrastructure in 2018

The farm bill and infrastructure are two key things Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis believes President Trump will focus on in 2018. With the tax bill overhaul in place, the Taylorville Republican believes the President will shift his focus to the American infrastructure in 2018.



Congressman Davis is also focused on getting a farm bill passed this year.

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Rauner Discusses Amendatory Veto of School Funding Bill

The State Board of Education warns Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of the school funding reform bill may bring “further disruption and confusion” for all school districts in the state. The State Board issued a statement last week indicating efforts to install a new school funding formula depend on lawmakers. Rauner explained his use of amendatory veto powers to rewrite the bill.



Rauner pinpointed areas that need the most help.



Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield later this month and could attempt to override Rauner’s amendatory veto.

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Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant Begins Thursday

Over 70 county fair queens will be converging on Springfield later this week. The Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant begins Thursday. Among the contestants is 18 year old Josie Finch. She won the Mercer County Fair Queen title last July.



Miss Illinois County Fair Queen will be crowned Sunday. 

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Local School Districts to Receive State Grant Money for Libraries

Multiple local school districts will receive library grant money thanks to the School District Library Grant Program. The Illinois State Legislature has authorized up to 75 cents per student for qualifying schools.

 

The Central A&M and Nokomis school districts will receive $750 each. Pana will receive about $935, and Taylorville will be getting almost $1,800.

 

95th District State Representative Avery Bourne says school libraries help to improve literacy for area students by working with teachers to choose books that inspire, grow imaginations, and challenge young readers.

 

The grants will be processed by the Secretary of State’s Office this week and then will be forwarded to the Illinois Comptroller’s Office for payment.

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Edinburg Boil Order Lifted

The boil order in Edinburg has been lifted as of today 1/15/18.

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Springfield Man Dead After Crash on I-55 South of Glenarm

A Springfield man is dead after an accident Monday afternoon on Interstate 55 just south of Glenarm.

 

The 44-year-old man has not been identified pending notification of next of kin. He was driving southbound on 55 at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his vehicle, a 2001 Nissan. His vehicle left the roadway, went across the median and struck the bridge on the I-55 northbound side. The car then traveled into the northbound lane of traffic and struck a 2017 GMC pickup truck that was traveling northbound.

 

The 44-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. The conditions of those in the pickup truck, a 53-year-old male and a 55-year-old female both of Kennett, Missouri, are not known at this time.

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Stonington Village Treasurer Passes Away Friday

Stonington’s village treasurer for more than 20 years died on Friday. Kevin LeVault passed away in Clarksville, Tennessee at the age of 58.

 

Stonington mayor Ryan Marucco says LeVault has left his mark on the community.

 

 

Visitation for LeVault will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at McClure Funeral Home in Taylorville, with the funeral service to be held on Friday morning at 11 at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Decatur. To see the full obituary, click here.

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Lake Ice At Lake Shelbyville Not Always Safe For Winter Activities

Winter is here and many are getting outside and enjoying activities such as ice fishing. The Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville is reminding visitors to the lake that due to the fluxuating levels of the water at the lake during the lake's winter draw down, the ice on the lake may not be as solid as it looks.
 
Ashely Florey is with the Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville, and says the winter draw down causes large differences in lake levels that has an impact on the thickness of the lake ice.
 
 
Florey reminds visitors that it can be difficult to judge what ice on the lake is safe to be on.
 
 
Florey appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

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Stivers Murder Trial Continuing Into Second Week

The trial for a Pana man accused of killing his baby is continuing into its second week this week. 24-year-old Robert A. Stivers is accused of killing his 4-month old in February of 2016.

 

The trial started Wednesday with the state starting its case through the Friday recess. It resumes Monday at the Christian County Courthouse.

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TMH, Christian Co. Health Department Partnering to Conduct Area Health Needs Survey

Taylorville Memorial Hospital and the Christian County Health Department are partnering to get public input about residents’ health needs in the county. The online survey was released Thursday.

 

Kim Bourne is the President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital. She says the hospital and the county health department are both required to conduct this kind of survey regularly.

 

 

Bourne says it is important for the hospital and the health department to have this information so they can best provide for the community.

 

 

The survey will run through February 12th. You can find a link to this survey here, or you can get a hard copy at the Christian County Health Department or at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.

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Christian County Extension Office Holding Public Meeting Thursday

Residents can have their voices heard about what they would like to see offered through the University of Illinois Extension this week. The Extension is hosting a public meeting Thursday to collaborate on ideas with community leaders and the general public.

 

Amanda Cole is the County Director at the Extension. She says the last time they had these public meetings, the community wanted to continue to provide opportunities for the area’s youth through the 4-H programs.

 

 

Cole describes how the meeting will play out Thursday.

 

 

The meeting will be held at the Christian County Extension Office in Taylorville. Lunch will be provided starting at 11:30 a.m., and the meeting will start at noon. You can get more information or RSVP for the meeting by calling the Christian County Extension Office at 287-7246.

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Rauner Offers Short But Direct Response to Trump's Alleged Comments on Africa, Haiti

Governor Bruce Rauner is responding to claims President Trump used a (toilet like) expletive to describe Haiti and African nations during a bipartisan meeting.



Rauner was visiting Rockford to speak with small business leaders.

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Durbin Blasts President Trump's Alleged Comments About Haiti, Africa

llinois Senator Dick Durbin says President Trump said things that were "hate-filled, vile and racist." during bipartisan immigration talks. He also says the Commander in Chief isn't being truthful when he denies using an expletive to describe Haiti and African nations.



Senator Durbin., speaking at a Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in Chicago, also took issue with the President's choice of immigration terminology.



Durbin says his hope of getting a bipartisan agreement approved by the White House died Thursday.

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LaHood Named to Ways and Means Committee

Congressman Darin LaHood has been tabbed to serve on the House Ways & Means Committee. The Peoria area Republican received the appointment, replacing Ohio's Pat Tiberi. LaHood looks forward to the post on chief tax writing committee in the House.



LaHood believes the new committee assignment will give a boost to the 18th Congressional District.



The Committee has jurisdiction over all taxation, trade and tariffs, and other revenue-raising measures. The appointment will be confirmed by the full House Republican Conference in the coming days.

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Select Interiors in Shelbyville Under New Ownership

There's a new owner at Select Interiors in Shelbyville. Ryan Hendrix has taken over the ownership position, and says he has several things in mind to continue to improve the business.
 
Hendrix says taking over the ownership role was good timing for both himself, and the previous ownership.
 
 
Hendrix says that service is going to be an important aspect of the business for him moving forward, saying Select Interiors and Flooring Company does it right.
 
 
Hendrix appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

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Carlinville Man Struck and Killed on I-55 South of Divernon

A Carlinville man was killed early Saturday morning after being struck by a semi on interstate 55 south of Divernon.

 

26-year-old Aaron R. Carr was in the left lane of southbound traffic when he was struck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Illinois State Police, Divernon Fire Department, Divernon and Pawnee Police, and the Sangamon County Coroner all responded to the scene.

 

The case is still under investigation.

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Shelby County Office of Tourism Event Calendar Keeping Locals Up To Date On Area Events

Although this time of the year is typically a slower time of the year for tourism and events in Shelby County, the Shelby County Office of Tourism says those looking to stay up to date on what's going on in Shelby County by visiting the Office's Events Calendar at LakeShelbyville.com.
 
Freddy Fry is with the Shelby County Office of Tourism and says those in the county can contact the Office of Tourism to have their events added to the calendar.
 
 
One upcoming event to Shelby County is a trivia night behing held in Strasburg. 
 
 
The Strasburg trivia night will take place on January 20th from 6:30 to 9:30 at Stew-Stras High School, with entry fees of $80 a team in advance, and $100 at the door. 
 
Fry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville Studios.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce to Host 4th Annual Scholarship Awareness Day

Students looking for scholarship money will have one place to be to find many area scholarships later this month. The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce will hold the 4th Annual Scholarship Awareness Day at Taylorville High School on Thursday, January 25th.

 

Patty Hornbuckle with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says there isn’t a good resource to find all area scholarships in one place, which is why the Chamber of Commerce puts on this event.

 

 

The event will start at 10:30 a.m. on the 25th and run until 12:45 p.m. Hornbuckle says there are a lot of dollars out there to help college-bound young adults with their high education expenses.

 

 

If your group or organization has a scholarship that would like to have a table at Scholarship Awareness Day, you can RSVP by calling the Chamber of Commerce’s office at 824-4919 by Tuesday, January 23rd.

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Decatur Man Who Died in Taylorville Tuesday Suffered Apparant Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

A Decatur man appears to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at Taylorville Memorial Hospital Tuesday. Taylorville Police responded to the hospital Tuesday evening, and an autopsy was performed on 30-year-old Gregory J. Robbins on Thursday.

 

Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says while there is still some investigating to do, what has been done so far has led to this indication.

 

 

The Taylorville Police Department, Christian County Coroner’s Office and Sheriff’s Office, and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services continue to investigate. Taylorville Police ask that if you have any information concerning this investigation to call the department or Crimestoppers.

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Heart Attack May Have Led to Crash that Killed Effingham Man

A heart attack led to the crash that killed an Effingham man Wednesday afternoon. 62-year-old Jerry A. Newburn died when his semi-tractor trailer went off of Bear Creek Road west of Pana after 1 p.m. Wednesday.

 

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans released a statement Friday morning saying Newburn died from cervical spinal injuries due to the crash. Winans says an ongoing heart attack also played a significant factor in the crash.

 

Toxicology is still pending. The Christian County Sheriff’s Office and Christian County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate the crash.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber and Rodney Davis Putting On Tax Reform Informational Open House Today

With tax reform on the way, many have questions as to how it will effect them or their businessse. The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is pairing with Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) to provide an open house today to answer questions on taxes.
 
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show and says it's a great way to learn more about the new tax code.
 
 
The event is an informal event, where people can come and go as they please, and no reservations required.
 
 
The Tax Reform Open House is taking place today from one until two at the US Bank Community Room on the south side of the Taylorville Square.

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State Senator Manar Reacts To Governor's Veto Of School Funding Bill

Schools waiting on equity funding through the recently passed school funding reform bill will have to wait for that money, possibly not receiving any of those new dollars until next school year. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoing a “trailer bill” to the school funding reform bill, that now puts that funding on hold.
 
State Senator Andy Manar, one of the main legislators behind school funding reform says the governor's office requested this additional bill to deal with some aspects of school funding reform that the original bill didn't address, but then waited to act on the bill, and ultimately re-wrote it.
 
 
According to Manar, this puts a halt to school funding reform for the time being, meaning school districts waiting on additional funding through school funding reform will have to keep waiting.
 
 
State Senator Andy manar appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Shelbyville Police Warning Public About Counterfeit Bills Being Used in the Area

The Shelbyville Police Department is warning residents about counterfeit money being spread around the community. Shelbyville Police Cheif Dave Tallman says three businesses and one individual have all received a fake hundred dollar bill in recent weeks.

 

Tallman says the bills being used are intended to be movie props.

 

 

The counterfeit bills are only a piece of what Tallman says has been a nationwide problem.

 

 

Tallman says if you receive one of these counterfeits, try to remember as much as you can about who gave it to you and call your local police department.

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CICBC Holding Blood Drive at Taylorville High School Next Week

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is holding a community blood drive next Friday at Taylorville High School. The drive will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the east gym at the high school.

 

Krista Jiroutek is a Recruitment Development Coordinator with the CICBC. She says all presenting donors will receive t-shirts, and there is extra reason for donors to come to the drive at THS.

 

 

The winter has taken its toll on the area’s blood supply according to Jiroutek.

 

 

Jiroutek encourages people to sign up to donate online at their website here.

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum Celebrating Illinois Bi-Centennial and Four Presidents with Illinois Roots

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield will spend much of 2018 celebrating Illinois’ Bi-Centennial. Research historian Christian McWhirter says special attention will be paid this year to the three other presidents with Illinois roots besides Lincoln. 



You can check out a complete calendar of events at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum at “presidentlincoln.illinois.gov”. 

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Rauner Says No to Closing Quincy Veterans Home, Yes to New Plumbing

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has wrapped up his week long stay at the troubled Quincy Veterans Home. He says the state will install new plumbing at the facility, which has been plagued by deadly bouts with Legionnaires' Disease. However, he isn't interested in closing the doors.



Rauner says he didn't cut corners in his visit.



Legionnaires' has contributed to the deaths of 13 residents at the home since 2015. In addition to installing new water pipes, Rauner says he'll look into construction of a new dorm facility. 

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Effingham Man Dead After Single-Vehicle Crash Wednesday West of Pana

An Effingham man is dead after a one-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon west of Pana. The accident occurred around 1:15 p.m. on Bear Creek Road, a half mile east of 1700 East Road. Pana Fire, EMS, Ambulance, and Police, along with the Christian County Sheriff’s office responded to the scene.

 

62-year-old Jerry Newburn was driving a semi-tractor trailer at the time of the crash. Newburn was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday. The Christian County Coroner’s Office and the Christian County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the crash.

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New Timeslot Offered for TMH Diabetes Self Management Classes

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is once again offering Diabetes Self Management Classes to help teach people about the disease, and how they can better manage it in their day to day lives. This upcoming class will be offering a new, daytime class to help people who may not be able to make evening classes.
 
Janelle Cornell is a Clinical Dietition at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, and says the new time slot offers more options for those in the community looking to learn more about the disease.
 
 
Cornell says this class is designed to help prevent people losing control of their diabetes, and seeing severe reprecussions as a result.
 
 
Cornell appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Christian County Senior Center Providing Transportation To Taylorville Food Pantry

The Christian County Senior Citizens Center is teaming up with the Taylorville Food Pantry to provide transportation for those who need it to the food pantry's new location.
 
Gerry Mahr with the Senior Center says the Center was approached by the Pantry after it became apparent that there was a need for the service in town to get people to the pantry.
 
 
The bus will pick up and drop off those using the the service at “bus stops” in Taylorville, instead of the traverler's homes.
 
 
The Senior Center's bus will also pick people up from Park Glenn on Saturday Mornings at 8:30 to bring to the food pantry.

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Shelby Electric Cooperative Employees Open 2018 With Donation to Pana Food Pantry

The holiday seasons have wrapped up but Shelby Electric Cooperative is helping one local food pantry serve the community into the new year. The co-op presented food and monetary donations to Loaves and Fishes in Pana on Monday.

 

Heidi Hall with Shelby Electric Cooperative says the co-op does something like this to give back to the community each year.

 

 

Hall says being able to give back after the holidays is huge, because the need doesn’t diminish after the holidays.

 

 

Loaves & Fishes is open on Monday from 9 a.m. to noon and Friday from 3 to 5:30 p.m. It is located on 120 East 2nd Street in Pana.

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Action-Packed Day One of Stivers Murder Trial

It was an action packed day one of proceedings in the trial of a 24-year-old Pana man accused of killing his 4-month-old child. Opening arguments in the Robert Stivers trial took place Wednesday morning at the Christian County Courthouse.

 

Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera started presenting the state’s case with testimony from John Yard of the Illinois State Police. He testified on the interviews with the defendant’s family members. Havera also presented the videotaped interview of the defendant. Both the testimony and video presentation continued into the afternoon. Havera also presented a phone call and text from Stivers’ phone into evidence Wednesday.

 

The trial will continue Thursday at the Christian County Courthouse, and will probably go into next week.

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Pana Community Hospital Expansion Construction Continues Through Winter Months

Frigid temperatures aren’t hampering the progress of Pana Community Hospital’s multi-million dollar expansion project. The hospital continues to work on its biggest expansion project in 40 years.

 

Melissa Rybolt is the marketing manager at Pana Community Hospital. She says there are many projects construction crews are working on over the next few weeks.

 

 

Rybolt says she anticipates the first phase of the project to be wrapping up by the end of the summer.

 

 

Rybolt says the steel beams for the hospital’s expansion will start being placed next month.

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McCann Calls for Health Director to Resign

State Sen. Sam McCann is offering the strongest response yet to the ongoing concerns about Legionnaire's Disease at the Quincy Veterans' Home. The Macoupin County Republican is calling on Illinois Public Health Director Nirav Shah to resign, citing communication issues with the newest cases at Quincy.



He is also calling for a capital plan to help upgrade the infrastructure of the state's veterans’ homes and finish the stalled veterans’ home project in Chicago.

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Don't Tailgate Someone on the Roads in Illinois

One of the pet peeves that many motorists have is when another vehicle comes up from behind, and rides the tail end of the lead motorist and often times simply will not pass no matter the conditions. Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson says there is a specific law that addresses that situation…



Wilson says offenders can be ticketed if caught.

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President Trump Touts Regulatory Reform During Speech to Farmers

President Donald Trump told Illinois and other farmers attending the American Farm Bureau convention in Nashville his administration has rolled back more federal regulations than originally promised. Farmers listening gave the president rousing approval;



Trump also touted recently approved legislation designed to cut taxes, including the estate tax. He also pledged to work with Congress to achieve approval of a new federal farm bill before current law expires.

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Decatur Man Dies Tuesday in Taylorville of Apparent Gunshot Wound

A Decatur man died from an apparent gunshot wound Tuesday evening. 30-year-old Gregory J. Robbins died of the wound suffered.

 

Taylorville Police were called to Taylorville Memorial Hospital just after 5 p.m. Tuesday in response to Robbins’ gunshot wound. He died at the hospital. An autopsy is scheduled for today in Bloomington.

 

The Illinois State Police, Christian County Coroner’s Office and Taylorville Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

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Stivers Murder Trial Set to Start Today

The trial for a Pana man accused of killing his baby in 2016 will start today at the Christian County Courthouse.

 

24-year-old Robert A. Stivers is accused of killing his 4-month old child in February of 2016. The jury was selected Monday at the courthouse. The trial was anticipated to start Tuesday but was pushed back because of the judge being ill.

 

The trial could take as long as two weeks.   

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New Training Facility Helping Taylorville Fire Department Stay Prepared

The Taylorville Fire Department recently completed work on a new training facility that will allow the department to give it’s firefighters training in a more realistic environment so they’re better prepared to fight fires in the community. The facility comes in handy, as the department has hired several new members who will be using the training facility before undergoing further training to become full fledged firefighters.

 

Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews says the community was very supportive of getting the new facility built.

 

 

The location will be seeing heavy use soon as the department utilizes the facility to help train new new additions to the department.

 

 

Along with the new facility, the fire department is working on attaining several grants that would help the department both further their training, as well as purchase new equipment.

 

 

Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Hometown Tour live from the Taylorville Municipal Building.

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Elementary School CEP Program Seeing Better Than Expected Results in Taylorville

Taylorville Kindergarten through 4th grade students have been provided a free breakfast and lunch each school day this year thanks to the CEP program put into place for this school year. The CEP program was one topic of discussion at Monday night’s Taylorville School Board meeting. Taylorville District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the program has seen better than expected results through the first semester.

 

Fuerstenau says the program was projected to run at a loss for the district this year, but so far, that hasn’t happened.

 

 

The number of elementary students eating school-provided meals has significantly increased so far this school year.

 

 

Fuerstenau says the students eating breakfast provides a better learning environment.

 

 

Elementary school consolidation was also a point of discussion Monday night. The district presented a report on how bus routes would be affected by bussing third and fourth grade students to Stonington. The board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday the 16th at 7 p.m. for more discussion on consolidation.

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Three Vie for Shelby County Judge Seat

The filing deadline has come and gone for those looking to run for the 4th Judicial Circuit Shelby County Resident Judge Position. Three people have filed to fill the seat vacated by the death of Allen Bennett.

 

One lone Democrat has filed for the position. Shelby County State’s Attorney Gina Vonderheide of Shumway is running for the judgeship on the democratic ticket.

 

On the Republican side, Associate Judge Amanda Ade-Harlow will seek the Shelby County judge seat, and local attorney Dennis Atteberry is also running for the position. Atteberry does have a pending objection to his candidacy.

 

Illinois’ primary election is set for March 20.

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U of I Extension Seeking Public Input at Meeting Next Week

The University of Illinois Extension wants to hear from residents at an upcoming public meeting. The meeting will be held on Thursday, January 18 to share programming ideas, look for collaboration opportunities and develop new educational program ideas.

 

Amanda Cole is the County Director at the Extension. She says the meeting will feature some short presentations on current offerings at the Extension, followed by a time for public comments.

 

 

Cole says they last had these meetings about four years ago. She says the last go-around, there was overwhelming support to continue the strong 4-H programs in Christian County.

 

 

There will be a lunch provided for those in attendance, starting at 11:30 a.m. The meeting will start at noon. You can get more information or RSVP for the meeting by calling the Christian County Extension Office at 287-7246.

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QVH Under Focus of Lawmaker Panel

In order to get more answers as to why Legionella bacteria remains a problem at the Quincy Veteran’s home the Illinois House and Senate held a joint committee hearing on the matter. In 2015, 12 people died of Legionnaires disease and in October another person died of Legionnaires. Erica Jefferies the Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs says that they have taken multiple steps to address Legionella bacteria in the water system.



Jefferies says that despite all of those steps they still do have Legionella bacteria in the home’s water system but they know about it because of the increased testing efforts. 

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Trump Signs Executive Order to Expand Rural Broadband

Following an address to Illinois and other farmers in Nashville, President Trump signed two executive orders that the administration believes will fund and streamline expansion of broadband access in rural areas.



Trump says the action will improve internet access in areas of Illinois and other parts of the country that have lagged behind recovery from the Great Recession a decade ago. The president addressed more than 7,000 farmers in Nashville taking part in the American Farm Bureau Federation convention.

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Duckworth Joins Colleagues in Fight Against FCC Over Net Neutrality

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth joined Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate colleagues in calling for restoration of net neutrality rules. Duckworth talked about the fallout she believes the end of net neutrality would cause a number of troubles.



Senator Duckworth is teaming up with over 30 of her Senate colleagues in cosponsoring a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would undo action by the FCC and restore the 2015 net neutrality rules.

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WTIM, People's Bank and Trust January 2018 Taylorville High School Students of the Month Announced

The NEWSTALK WTIM and People's Bank and Trust Taylorville Students of the Month for January were presented with their awards recently.

 

Pictured left to right are: Senior Danielle Epley, Junior Emma Dilley, Sophomore Jacob Beyers, and Sarah VanHuss from Peoples Bank and Trust. Freshman Brock Schoonover is not pictured.

 

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Fuerstenau Anticipates School Funding Reform Dollars to Start Flowing Soon

School funding reform went into effect in Illinois on January 1, and Taylorville School District superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the district should be finding the amount of new state money it will receive in the near future.

 

Fuerstenau appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says once those numbers are known, it will help in the planning for next school year’s budget.

 

 

Fuerstenau says state lawmakers need to continue to put more money into education each year to make sure the school funding reform bill does its job.

 

 

Fuerstenau doesn’t know how the election year will play into the funding debate for schools this year, but he says State Senator Andy Manar is already pushing for lawmakers to continue letting school funding reform do the job of getting all districts to adequate funding.

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McClure Funeral Home Offering More Relaxed Environment To Answer Questions About Final Arrangements

Speaking about final arrangements can be difficult, and many questions sometimes go unanswered. McClure Funeral Home in Taylorville is looking to get those questions answered, and is holding a Q and A session at their location on January 24th to help families get answers in a more relaxed enviornment.
 
Scott McClure with McClure Funeral Home says it can be difficult to set the appointment to speak with a funeral home about final arrangements, which is why the funeral home is offering this more informal option to get general questions answered.
 
 
McClure had more information on when and where the event is taking place, and asks that all who are interested pre-register for the event.
 
 
The event is free to attend, and those interested can register by calling McClure Funeral Home.

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