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Shelby County Relay For Life Event Quickly Approaching

The Relay for Life of Shelby County is right around the corner. The event is coming up on August 12th from noon to midnight at Forest Park in Shelbyville, and this year’s theme is “Wish Upon a Cure.”


Sarah Lucht is the Senior Community Development Manager with the American Cancer Society. She says there will be plenty of games and costumes related to the “Wish Upon a Cure” theme.



Lucht says participants don’t need to be walking for 12 hours to participate. She says the event is about celebrating survivors of cancer.



Lucht says anyone with any questions should feel free to ask.



For a link to their website, click here or to visit their Facebook page, click here.


CICBC Bloodmobile Coming to Christian County Fair Saturday Looking for Donors

Christian County Fair-goers will have the opportunity to help save lives and help their community as the Central Illinois Community Blood Center will have a Bloodmobile at the fair from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to collect blood.


Caleb Parker is a Donor Relations Consultant with the CICBC. He says each donor present will be entered to win $2,500 towards the vacation of their choice.



Parker says it’s a short process from registration to blood donation.



Parker says with the Bloodmobile being during the fair, donors will have plenty of options for food and drinks after they donate as well. 


Monday Deadline for Education Funding

There is another line in the sand from the Governor to the legislature. Send him Senate Bill 1, a bill focused on education spending, so he can use his veto pen and according to him make sure that schools open on time. Rauner today asked for the bill by Monday or he will call a special session every day until the bill reaches his desk. Rauner maintains that SB 1 is loaded with a bailout for Chicago public schools and it would add millions in spending to support CPS pension payments.

Rauner continued to use Speaker Mike Madigan’s name when placing blame on the bill not reaching his desk, even though the bill is coming from the Senate.


Durbin: Spicer Had An Impossible Job

The Trump Administration will look a little different moving forward during White House press briefings after Press Secretary Shawn Spicer resigned from his job today. US Senator Dick Durbin says Spicer had an impossible job to do.


ACA Repeal Could Devastate Nursing Home Resident

The US Senate is planning on taking a vote this week on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. US Senator Dick Durbin says a repeal would be disastrous with one Republican measure to replace the ACA ending health coverage for 22 million people another for 32 million. Along with those changes, Durbin says a pending massive cut to Medicaid funding would hurt seniors and families caring for elderly members.

Durbin also stressed that he wants to see the votes go through regular order in the Senate so debate and committees could be held on the possible changes. 


Central Illinois Man Dies in Train / Farm Implement Accident Thursday

A Central Illinois man has died after a train crashed with a farm implement in Moultrie County.


Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards sent a release Friday afternoon saying 41-year-old Robert D. Day of Hammond was pronounced dead Thursday night around 8:30 p.m. at Memorial Medical Center’s Emergency Room in Springfield.


The crash happened near Illinois Route 121 and 2000 North in Moultrie County. Preliminary results from an autopsy shows that Day died from injuries sustained in the accident. The incident is under investigation by the Sangamon County Coroner’s Office and the Moultrie County Sheriff’s Office.


Findlay Walleye Festival Looking to Bring Tourists, Business to Findlay

The Findlay Walleye Festival is approaching, taking place July 28th through the 30th. The Festival features a variety of different events and attractions for people to enjoy, and is designed to help bring tourists and business to the town.


Jody McCormick works with the Festival to help promote the event, and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios, and gave a brief history of the event.



The festival also features a parade on Saturday. McCormick says this year’s parade grand marshal deserved the nod.



The festival will wrap up festivities on Sunday with music, pulled pork sandwiches, and vendors.


Governor Rauner Calls On Lawmakers to Send SB1 to His Desk

Governor Rauner is urging Illinois lawmakers to send Senate Bill 1 to his desk so schools can open on time. The governor made the plea Friday morning at Auburn High School in Auburn.


Rauner says it’s time for everyone on both sides of the aisle to come together for students, parents, and teachers.



Rauner ordered lawmakers to have the bill on his desk by noon on Monday. If not Rauner says he will call a special session, calling all lawmakers back to Springfield until an education funding bill is law. Rauner says it’s time to stop playing political games.



Rauner again called out Speaker Mike Madigan for the situation Illinois schools are in, saying Speaker Madigan and his majority has made Illinois “the worst state in America for supporting local schools.”


New Voter Registration Cards Coming In Mail for Christian County Voters

Christian County registered voters should be expecting a new voter ID card in the mail next week. The Christian County Clerk’s office put the new cards in the mail today.


Christian County Clerk and Recorder Laurie Mense says sending out new voter ID cards is required by law, and it helps her office to keep the voter registration database up to date.



Mense says voters should replace their current voter registration card with the new card, and make sure all the information on the card is accurate and current.



Mense says the new cards have a blue background. If you have any questions or need to make corrections to your card, you can call the County Clerk’s office at 824-4969.


U of I Extension to Hold Discover 4-H Cloverbuds Workshop

As the University of Illinois Extension prepares for a new 4-H year, the Extension will be hosting a “Discover 4-H Cloverbuds” workshop for adults interested in working with youth between the ages of five and seven. The workshop will be on Wednesday, August 2nd from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Christian County Extension Office in Taylorville.


Peggy Hampton is a 4-H Youth Development Educator with the U of I Extension. She says 4-H needs adult volunteers because the program is built on volunteers.



Hampton says not only are Cloverbuds groups a precursor to the 4-H program, but they teach kids that they can learning something anywhere at anytime.



There is no cost to participate in the workshop. You can call to register at 287-7246 or you can get a link to their website here.


Many Christian County 4-H Students Preparing for 4-H Livestock Auction Following 4-H Events at Christian County Fair


Many area kids participate in local 4-H clubs, and are getting ready to participate in the many different 4-H shows at the 2017 Christian County Fair taking place July 25th through the 29th at the Christian County Fairgrounds in Taylorville. After the shows, the kids who showed livestock will participate in the Christian County 4-H Livestock Auction.


Rebecca Livingston, Program Coordinator of the 4-H Youth and Development program at the U of I Christian County Extension Office says the auction is a big part of many children's experience in the 4-H program.



Livingston says the students who show livestock as a part of the 4-H program pamper their animals, which can make auctioning them off a difficult experience.



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


New Schafer-Perfetti and Assalley Owner Mike Assalley Discusses Funeral Home Business on WTIM Morning Show


The now former Schafer-Perfetti Funeral Home in Taylorville is under new ownership. Local resident Mike Assalley has purchased the business, which is now known as Schafer-Perfetti and Assalley Funeral Home, along with several other homes under company's umbrella.


Assalley appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the acquisition, which he says took some time to put together.



Many are familiar with what happens during a funeral service, however there are several other things that a funeral home does that may go unnoticed.



Streamlining Teaching Requirements

There are plenty of young teachers out looking for jobs this summer and now landing a teaching gig might be a little easier. The State Board of Education says that there are one thousand open teaching jobs and a new law to streamline the licensing requirements for those jobs should help fill some of them. ISBE’s Emily Fox says that the new law will lower the minimum age to apply for an educator license and remove a coursework requirement for existing teachers looking to renew provisional career and technical education licenses. Fox says this should help out some specific areas of the state. 

Districts around the state also say they are often faced with shortages of substitute teachers.


Durbin Leading Opposition to Federal Appeals Court Nominee

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is fighting the nomination of John Bush to serve a lifetime appointment on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Durbin told colleagues Mr. Bush has made dozens of provocative comments during his legal career that call into question his temperament and judgment.

Durbin says he's getting little evidence that Bush can be a fair and impartial judge.

Bush is an attorney based in Louisville.


Trading Expert: Farmers Should Be Patient in This Volatile Weather Market

As farmers follow the numbers on the Chicago Board of Trade this summer, a trading expert advises them to be patient, especially those with old crop in storage. Doug Werling with Bower Trading says there’s been much volatility already this week, but...


Bower says that was evident Tuesday, the market was “bullish” in the morning and then by midday it was cooler and wetter and there was a sell off. He calls it a “trader’s market” right now. 


Ford Motor Company Investing in Christian County Fair, Expanding County Fair and Local Festival Presence

The Ford Motor Company is looking to support small towns through county fairs and local festivals. Christian County is one of the beneficiaries, as Ford has put many advertising dollars into this year’s Christian County Agricultural Fair.


Bob Ridings with Bob Ridings Ford in Taylorville is the director for Ford dealer advertising in this market. He says he brought this idea up about 6 months ago, and he hopes Ford will continue to expand marketing at local fairs like the Christian County Ag Fair.



Ridings says Ford is still family owned and they understand the importance of small, rural markets to their business.



Ridings says he expects Ford to continue to expand its presence into county fairs and local festivals after getting the ball rolling this year.


Two Christian County Sheriff's Deputies Honored For DUI Enforcement Work

From left to right: Deputy James Pickett, Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, and Deputy Phil Deal.


Two Christian County Sheriff’s Deputies were honored for their life-saving work in DUI enforcement. Deputies Phil Deal and James Pickett were awarded a certificate of appreciation and recognition from the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says driving under the influence is a serious problem and these two men are doing excellent work at combatting the issue.



Kettelkamp says everyone can do their part in keeping intoxicated drivers off the roads.



Kettelkamp says every year hundreds of people are killed and thousands severely injured as a result of alcohol and drug related crashes in Illinois. He thanks Deal and Pickett for their dedication and commitment to protecting and serving Christian County residents.


Pfc. Maggie Bilyeu to be Honored Sunday During Peace Keepers' Benefit Motorcycle Ride

A benefit motorcycle ride through Central Illinois Sunday will stop in Taylorville to honor a local army veteran. The Peace Keepers’ annual ride will start around 11:30 a.m. Sunday with opening ceremonies at the Illinois Military State Museum on the grounds of Camp Lincoln in Springfield. The organization’s president anticipates the group arriving in Taylorville around 1:15 p.m.


Mylas Copeland is the Peace Keepers President and Ride Coordinator. He says for residents to expect road blocks as the group comes into town Sunday afternoon, and the group will honor U.S. Army Private First-Class Maggie Bilyeu with a presentation to her family.



Any motorcycle rider can participate. It costs $20 for the rider and $10 for an additional passenger. There is also a VIP experience that costs $50 for the rider and $25 for the additional passenger. Copeland says Peace Keepers Incorporated saw a record number of scholarship applicants this year, and they continue to strive to help every hero who needs the help.



A group from Taylorville will be meeting at the American Legion at 9:15 a.m. to ride up together for the opening ceremonies on Sunday. If you would just like to come to the ceremony for Maggie Bilyeu, Copeland says everyone is welcome, and you can make cash or check donations on site at the ceremony.


Painted Rocks Popping Up All Over Taylorville

Photo courtesy of Amy Hughes.


Painted rocks are popping up all over Taylorville, and the rocks are bringing some cheer to many area residents. There is even a Facebook group for those who hide the rocks or want to find the rocks in the community.


Laura Robinson created the “Taylorville IL Rocks” Facebook group. She says she created the group because her parents found painted rock in Springfield, and that piqued her interest.



Robinson says in many other areas, the rocks are about spreading some cheer, and posting about where you found the rock online. But in Taylorville, she says hiding painted rocks has become more competitive.



Anyone can join the Taylorville IL Rocks Facebook group. For a link to the group, click here.


Upgrades Done to Doppler Radar in Lincoln, Illinois

The National Weather Service is upgrading a piece of equipment that helps forecast the weather for the Regional Radio listening area. Work is being done to upgrade the Doppler radar in Lincoln, that helps meteorologists get a better look at what’s going on inside the storms that blow through Central Illinois.


Matt Barnes is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, and says the work has been going on since last week.



Central Illinois is currently under a heatwave, bringing the hottest temperatures seen so far this year. Barnes explained what’s bringing the hot temperatures to the region.



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


Rich History Behind Christian County Ag Fair

The 2017 Christian County Agriculture Fair is just around the corner, kicking off next week on July 25th, and running through the 29th. The fair has a rich history over it’s 94 years, including many years of quality horse related activities.


Mike Drea, Secretary of the Christian County Fair Board appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the history of the fair. Drea says there were previous fairs held throughout the county, however the current incarnation got it’s start in 1924.



The fair had a long history of horse related events including harness racing, however that has since been canceled.



For more information on the 2017 Christian County Fair visit them online at


Rauner Dismisses Attention Given to Staff Shakeup

Governor Bruce Rauner's staff has seen turnover in key positions since he suffered defeats on the state budget and tax hike votes, but Rauner maintains it's standard operating procedure.

The shakeup now extends to Rauner's political operation. Former Rauner Chief of Staff Mike Zolnierowicz was expected to run Rauner's re-election campaign but he has resigned.


Facebook Friend Request Likely Harmless

Do not accept a friend request from Jayden Smith. That's just the latest of what an investigator from the Better Business Bureau calls harmless messages on that form of social media. The name on the message can change, but the theme is usually the same.

According to most of the messages, you can open yourself up to viruses and malware if you accept such a request. That is unlikely, unless there is a malicious link attached which you also click on, according to Dan O'Brien. He says a greater threat is sharing to much of your personal life on social media.

And then there's the tried and true scams where crooks try to get you to send them money. You are advised to never wire money or provide personal information, double check with friends that send you things that may appear too good to be true, and remember that if you did not enter a contest you cannot be a winner.


Southern Illinois Eclipse Celebration Now Includes a Soda

As Southern Illinois prepares for next month's box seat view of the total solar eclipse, a Breese based bottling company known for the popular Citrus drink Ski is adding some flavor. Carla Baublitz with Excel says they have launched a short term soda flavor in preparation for the August 21st cosmic event.

Baublitz says it won't take ice cubes for the soda to be truly chilling.

Excel is preparing to produce more Darkest Hour soda on Tuesday. The company has already received bulk orders from a summer camp and several schools planning eclipse parties.


Bob Ridings Ford Celebrating 42 Years in Taylorville

One local business is celebrating 42 years in Taylorville with a party and by continuing a yearly tradition. Bob Ridings bought his dealership in Taylorville in 1975, and they will celebrate the anniversary with a party and by giving away sweet corn, as they are known to do, on Thursday starting at 5 p.m. at Bob Ridings Ford on Route 29 in Taylorville.


Ridings was a guest with Danny Russell on WMKR Wednesday morning. He says there will be plenty of food for people to enjoy, and plenty of sweet corn for people to pick up.



Ridings says if free food isn’t enough incentive to come out, then come out for the chance to win some cash.



Ridings says other car related products and miscellaneous prizes will be given out as well. 


Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - July 19, 2017

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


Sometime during the evening hours of Tuesday, July 11, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at #47 Fairview Trailer Court.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took an AK-47 rifle and a 30 round magazine.  There did not appear to be any damage done while making entry. The total dollar amount of the theft is unknown at this time.


Please contact Crimestoppers if you have any information on this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons.  Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you do not have to give your name.  Crimestoppers will pay double the normal reward for information that leads to an arrest for the crime of the week.


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


Taylorville Kiwanis Hears About Upcoming Christian County Ag Fair At Weekly Meeting


 Mike Drea (center), secretary of the Christian County Agricultural Fair Association board, was Tuesday's guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  Program chair for the meeting was Raedena Ryan (left).  Will Perkins (right), Kiwanis president, presided at the meeting.




The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the history and tenure of the Christian County Fair, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Mike Drea, long-time secretary of the Christian County Agriculture Fair Association board, told Kiwanis members about how the fair started, and plans for this year's fair, which is July 25th thru the 29th at the Fairgrounds on Taylorville's southwest side.

The Christian County Ag Fair Association was organized in 1924, making this year's fair the 94th edition. 

Drea added that this year's fair schedule is full of livestock and 4-H judging, as well as nightly grandstand events.  Tuesday night are the Queen and Baby pageants, Wednesday night features stock car races, Thursday night is the truck and tractor pulls, Friday night is the stock truck pull, and Saturday night to round out this year's Christian County Fair is the always-popular Demo Derby.

Admission and parking are both free. 

Drea said the Fair continues to flourish, because of the volunteer efforts of the 30-person board.  Due to their continued efforts in raising money thru-out the year, renovated rest rooms will be ready for fairgoers this year, costing some 40-thousand dollars.

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


Center Pointe Dance Academy to Open in Taylorville


Dancers in Taylorville and across the area will have a new place to practice and improve their skills. Jeb Odam and his wife Heather are opening the Center Pointe Dance Academy at 119 South Washington on the west side of the Taylorville Square.


Jeb Odam says he saw an opportunity where there were limited options for dancers in Taylorville.



Odam says they will be busy at the academy the next few weeks before a short break once the school year starts.



Center Pointe Dance Academy will open to the public with open houses this Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.


New, Upgraded Casey's Location Being Built in Morrisonville


If you have driven through Morrisonville recently, you may have noticed the construction on Route 48 on the northeast side of town. That is going to be the location of the new Casey’s General Store in the village.


Morrisonville mayor Larry Tolliver says Casey’s has been looking to upgrade their location in Morrisonville for a while.



Tolliver says the growth in traffic through town, and the need for semis to fuel up has led to Casey’s building the new location.



Tolliver says the village has not received an official date for the new Casey’s to open, but he believes it will open around the end of September.


Christian County Fair Still Accepting Exhibits for Show in Expo Building

One of the major attractions to the Christian County Fair is the various exhibits that take place in the Expo Building at the fair. Citizens from around the county bring in different projects from baked goods to horticulture projects to show off and be judged.


Linda Binger is the Superintendent of Exhibits in the Expo Building, and said those looking to exhibit at the fair still have the ability to do so. Potential exhibitors can view the various categories online.



There have been several changes made this year to the exhibits portion of the fair. Binger says one of those changes are new age restrictions placed for those looking to show at the fair.



For more information on the 2017 Christian County Fair taking place July 25th through the 29th, visit the fair online at


Rauner's Latest Hire Quickly Out The Door

The Governor’s office is cleaning house. In the past few days more than 20 administration staffers have left on their own or have been fired by the Governor. And a newly hired one didn’t stick around long after people started reading his tweets. 

Ben Tracy was hired to be Bruce Rauner’s “Body Man” an assistant that travels with the Governor and moves between him and people he interacts with while out in the public. Once Tracy was brought on tweets he’d made in the past include homophobic slurs and other insensitive comments came to light. Tracy started Monday working for the Governor but was out of a job by the afternoon – but on Monday - Rauner said his team was hiring the very best people they could find.

Rauner also defended making hires from the Illinois Policy Institute saying it isn’t showing any turn in his administration to a more conservative tone.


Rauner Wants School Funding Reform Bill on His Desk With Plans for Amendatory Veto

There are growing signs of a political showdown some fear could threaten the start of the school year for many districts. Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling on the Illinois Senate to send the Democrat's school funding bill to his desk.

He is pledging to then use his amendatory veto power to strip money for Chicago teacher pensions from the school funding bill.

Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar says that could effectively kill the measure, putting hundreds of districts at risk of shuttering schools. Lawmakers approved a state budget this month that requires school funding be distributed through a new school funding formula laid out in Senate Bill One. 


Illinois Public Universities Start to See Money

For the first time since 2015, the check is actually in the mail for Illinois public universities. The Illinois Board of Higher Education says the new budget will provide the state's 12 public universities with about $1.1 billion for the 2017-18 academic year. That's welcome news, but the funding level represents a 10 percent decline from 2015.


Small Budget Moves Discussed, Linton Resigns From Christian County Board at Tuesday's Meeting


In a quick Christian County Board meeting Tuesday night, it was mainly housekeeping items on the agenda at the meeting. But one Christian County Board member turned in her resignation letter Tuesday.


The board voted to take 10 health insurance benefits out of department budgets and put into the general funds to help the county’s budget deficit. The county has 10 employees that don’t take the county’s health benefits, which allows the board to put this money there. District 4 Board Member Becky Edwards says this action doesn’t mean a department can’t hire a new employee that would require health insurance benefits.



The board also voted to accept the resignation of District 1 Board Member Ashley Linton. Linton still lives in the county, but has moved out of her district, and moving out of the district meant Linton had to resign. Linton says even with her move, she hasn’t lost her passion to help and serve others.



Linton wants to thank all of her constituents for their support through her time in office. She did not rule out a possible run for a county board seat in 2018, but as she said, she is going to take a break from politics for the time being.


Quad County Hospice Working To Provide Exceptional Home Health Care

It can be a stressful time once a friend or family member enters hospice, and Quad County Home Health and Hospice looks to help patients and family members alike. Quad County offers services in home health, home medical supplies and equipment, as well as hospice services for patients in Christian, Shelby, Montgomery, and Fayette counties.


Carol Chandler is the Director of Quad County Home Health and Hospice, and says the business recently moved into a new facility in Pana.



Although there are many businesses offering hospice care in the area, Chandler believes it's Quad County's customer service skills that sets them apart from the competition.



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


Nokomis Couple Accused of Stealing Elderly Woman's Debit Card, Spending Over $1600 on Card

A Nokomis couple is facing aggravated identity theft charges after stealing an elderly Taylorville woman’s debit card and putting over $1600 in fraudulent charges on the card.


22-year-old Sarah M. Hopping and 20-year-old Travis J. Hopping of Nokomis are accused of stealing the woman’s purse, then using her debit card to make $1,625.85 in purchases in the Pana area. Bond has been set at $10,000 each. The two could both face three to seven years in prison if convicted.


The Taylorville Police Department, Pana Police Department, and Christian County Sheriff’s Office worked together to investigate the case and make the arrest. 


Sarah M. Hopping


Travis J. Hopping


Pana Veteran Honored for Her Service in World War II


Although a local World War II veteran recently passed away, she did not go before being honored for her service. Virginia Ferguson was honored with a pinning ceremony through the “No Veteran Will Die Alone” program on July 7 at Quad County Hospice in Pana.


Ferguson was a Pharmacist Technician aboard a naval ship during the war. She was decorated with a Campaign Ribbon and Victory Medal which was awarded during that time for service. Back at home, Ferguson was the original director of Quad County Hospice when the organization began in 1984.


Rachael Springate is the Volunteer Coordinator at Quad County Hospice. She describes the ceremony that the veterans receive when they are honored.



Springate says the “No Veteran Will Die Alone” program has veteran volunteers that go across the area to honor veterans on hospice.



Ferguson died just four days later on July 11th.


Pictured are the Quad County Hospice Veteran Volunteers who conducted the “No Veteran Dies Alone” pinning ceremony with Virginia Ferguson and her daughters. (l to r) Jack Moss, Veteran Chaplin; Richard Simms, Veteran; Erich Weidemiller, Son of Legion; Mickey Clemons, Veteran; Bill Wright, Veteran; Roger Swim, Veteran; and Mark Denton, Veteran. Seated: Lisa Ferguson, Virginia Ferguson, RN World War II Navy Veteran and Suzanne Ehlebracht.


Area 4-H Members Preparing for Christian County Agricultural Fair

One of the major aspects of the upcoming Christian County Agricultural Fair is the Ag work that many area children and young adults have been working on. These ag projects will be showcased on several different days of the Christian County Fair on July 25th through the 29th.


Lee Mateer sits on the Christian County Fair board, and joined the Newstalk WTIM Morning show to discuss the Livestock and 4-H events at the fair. Mateer gave a preview of some of the events planned.



Many of the kids participating in the various events at the fair this year are showing off the work they’ve done in programs such as 4-H. Mateer says the lessons the kids learn in these programs will stick with them for the rest of their lives.



Heat Wave to Build Across Area This Week

Heat and humidity are set to return to Central Illinois this week. The National Weather Service is forecasting highs in the mid-90s with heat indices well into the triple-digits. Local emergency officials want the public to remember to take it easy during the summer heat.


Taylorville Fire Chief and Christian County EMA Director Mike Crews says cooling centers will be opened if needed.



Crews reminds the public to use common sense when it comes to being outside in the hot weather.



An excessive heat warning is in effect for Christian, Shelby, Sangamon, Macon, Moultrie, Coles, and Effingham counties, while an Excessive Heat Watch is in effect for Fayette, Montgomery, and Macoupin Counties. Heat Indices are expected to be between 100 and 110 degrees each day, with the highest values likely on Thursday.


Current Farm Downturn Not Likely to Reach 1980’s Crisis

A report by a Farm Credit Administration economist told the Administration’s board members last week that the current downturn in the farm economy is not likely to reach a 1980s-style crisis.


Farm Credit chief economist Stephen Gabriel said the “likelihood of this is very low,” adding that a confluence of adverse factors led to the crisis that occurred in the 1980s. He says it would take a similar combination of adverse developments to create another crisis in the farm economy. While the two periods are similar in some respects, Gabriel points out that interest rates were very high in the 1980s, and today’s interest rates are historically low. The price of oil is another major difference, according to his report.


In 1979 and 1980, the price surged, while today it is declining. Also, the general economy is in better shape today than it was in the 1980s. The country experienced two recessions during the 1980s' crisis whereas today we're in an "extended, if lackluster, economic expansion," according to Gabriel.


Senate Ag Chair Looks To Crackdown On Fraudulent Organic Imports

Ag Chair Pat Roberts says he knew a year before a media report that the Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program was not intercepting fraudulent imports of organic food. Roberts may now be ready to seek a fix in the next farm bill. He says the Washington Post reported recently that millions of pounds of shipments of possibly fraudulent “organic” products were imported into the US.


But that was not news to the Senate Ag chairman.



Roberts told a farm bill hearing last week that lawmakers need to ensure that "overregulation and antiquated government processes" are not keeping farmers from succeeding in tough economic times.



Roberts says the Board is not keeping up with the huge growth and new technology in the organic market, while an influx of fraudulent “organic” corn and soybean imports meantime, is cutting into domestic producer profits.


Kenneth Dallmier operates the Clarkson Grain Company, based in Cerro Gordo, and he told the Senate Ag Committee the threat is huge.



USDA recently decertified two of three firms involved in fraudulent shipments, while three key Senate Democrats have asked USDA’s inspector general to boost enforcement of organic import standards.


Dallmier recommended the Ag Committee consider adding staff at vulnerable ports, imposing tougher enforcement on shippers and recall requirements for end-users, and use of electronic farm- to-customer tracking devices that have less tampering risk than paper documentation.


Ag Lending Expert: Farmers Need to 'Think' Like Their Banker

The farm economy runs in cycles and an ag lending expert recommends farmers to not only get to know their banker, but also understand their own business. That’s the message from Curt Covington—Senior Vice President of Ag Finance at Farmer Mac. He says it’s a good practice for farmers to “think” like their bankers.

Covington says bankers need to stay with farmers in the bad economic times if they were with them in the good times because farmers have good memories. Last year, Farmer Mac purchased a record $1-billion in first mortgages through 1,500 applications from rural community banks throughout the U.S. 


United Way Opening Cooling Centers in Advance of High Heat Forecast

With several days of 90-degree-plus heat predicted for much of Illinois, the United Way has opened cooling centers around the state. There are locations in many communities, with a mix of retail businesses and government buildings on that list. The United Way's Erin Smith says if you are homebound or have transportation issues, you can call for assistance.

About one-thousand people have suffered heat related deaths in Illinois over the past 15 years. You can find a cooling center near you by clicking on


Mixed Bag of News for Taylorville Projects at Monday's City Council Meeting


There was some good news and some bad news for economic development in Taylorville at Monday night’s city council meeting. The city will finally give the green light to start a huge municipal project, but received a setback in another.


The good news is out of the new Taylorville Water Treatment Plant project. With the Illinois state budget in place, the city council was finally able to pass a motion to effectively start the construction of the multi-million dollar project.


Mayor Barry says tonight’s approved motion gives him the go-ahead to give the contractor the green light.



But the mayor received a letter from Illinois EPA that they would not accept the grant application that the city and the Taylorville Development Association applied for in regards to the industrial park. Barry says he is waiting on what the TDA wants to do after receiving this denial letter.



Other action items at Monday night’s meeting included the swearing in of new Taylorville firefighter Rich Holmes, approving the purchase of 18 new Glock 9 millimeter pistols to standardize Taylorville police officers’ primary weapons, and the purchase of a new 2017 Exmark 31 HP lawnmower from Jenner Ag to replace a mower that needed a new motor at the lake. The next scheduled city council meeting is set for August 7th at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.


Firefighter Rich Holmes is sworn in by Taylorville City Clerk Julie Lilly at the Taylorville City Council meeting on July 17, 2017.


Stock Car Racing And 4-H Auctions Two of Many Events at This Year's Christian County Agricultural Fair

The Christian County Fair is just around the corner, set to take place on July 25th through the 29th at the Christian County Fairgrounds in Taylorville. The fair features a wide array of events and attractions, from various shows happening on the grandstand, to the carnival rides and food.


Jim Olive is the president of the Christian County Fair Board, and made an appearance on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the various events happening at the fair. NASCAR fans will recognize one major figure who will be making an appearance at the fair during the fair's stock car races.



Another event taking place at the fair will be the Christian County 4-H auction, where

4-H members will have the chance to sell the livestock they've been raising throughout the past year.



For more information on the various events taking place at this year's Christian County Agricultural Fair, visit them online at


Area Golfers Tee Off For Taylorville Memorial Hospital

The annual FORE! Taylorville Memorial Hospital Golf Outing couldn’t have gone any better according to one of the organizers. The event took place Saturday at Lakeshore Golf Course.


The hospital’s volunteer coordinator Debbie Johnson says she believes everyone had a good time and the weather couldn’t have been better Saturday.



Johnson wants to thanks those who came out for their support.



Johnson says they are still doing the numbers for how much money was raised Saturday, but she believes at least $10,000 was raised towards their commitment to upgrade equipment at the cardiac rehab facility at the hospital.


CICBC Hosting Blood Drive in Assumption Thursday

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is in dire need of blood during the summer months, and the center will be hosting a community blood drive Thursday in Assumption. The drive will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m. inside the bloodmobile which will be parked at Masonic Lodge in Assumption.


Caleb Parker is a Donor Relations Consultant with the CICBC. He says people may take it easy over the summer but the need for blood never lets up.



Parker says each presenting donor will receive a $10 gift card of their choice, and there is a wide variety of businesses to choose from.



To schedule an appointment, you can contact the CICBC at 241-7550, or visit and use code 60003 to locate the Assumption drive.


Shafer-Perfetti Funeral Homes Under New Local Ownership

Shafer & Perfetti Funeral Home in Taylorville, along with the Perfetti Funeral Homes in Morrisonville, Sorento, and Panama are all under new ownership. Taylorville resident Mike Assalley now owns the funeral homes, and each funeral home has been renamed. The Taylorville location is now Shafer, Perfetti and Asalley Funeral Home, while the other three locations are now Perfetti and Assalley Funeral Home.


Assalley has been in the funeral business since college, and he has always wanted to own and run his own funeral home.



The transition started late last year as former owner Dean Perfetti was looking to retire. Assalley reached out to Perfetti, starting the process that has led to Assalley taking over the four funeral homes. Assalley says funeral homes are meant to be a place where the community is comfortable mourning the loss of a friend or family member.



Assalley went to mortuary school in Galesburg at Carl Sandburg College. Once graduating, he went to work for Butler Funeral Homes out of Springfield.


Annual FFA Alumni Dinner This Thursday

The annual FFA alumni dinner is coming up later this week. This year’s dinner is on Thursday, July 20 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Stonington American Legion Hall. The FFA alumni are partnering with the Stonington Lion’s Club to put the event together, and money raised will go towards the FFA program at Taylorville High School.


Larry Barry is the President of the Taylorville FFA alumni. He says the money raised will go back to the Taylorville FFA students.



Barry says if you want to come and eat, they will feed you as long as you are hungry.



As Barry said, tickets are $10 each. The dinner is inside and will be in the air conditioning, so Barry hopes everyone will come out and enjoy the food and support the Taylorville FFA.


Greater Taylorville Chamber's July Business After Hours Event To Be Held at Neikes Floor Covering


The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce holds a number of business after hours events throughout the year, where business owners and curious citizens can visit an area business after their standard hours to network, and have a good time. This month’s event will be held this Wednesday at Neikes Floor Covering.


Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and had more information for listeners on the event.



The events serve as a great way to network with other businesses in the area, and get a glimpse at the host business as well.



IDNR Gets Historic Addition

A merger is underway at the state. The Historic Preservation Agency is going to be part of the Department of Natural Resources. IDNR’s Ed Cross says that it’s a natural fit and the paring will be efficient for the state.

The combination will not include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The downtown Springfield landmark will be its own independent state agency. 


Flooding Continues in Northern IL

Historic flooding is devastating parts of the suburbs in Chicago. A very rainy summer in southern Wisconsin has kept rivers high and then big storms early last week have sent water levels to heights not seen in decades. Residents in Lake, McHenry, Kane and Cook counties may be evacuated along parts of the Fox River. On Sunday Governor Bruce Rauner added Cook to the list of counties under a state disaster proclamation. Rauner says don’t rest yet… higher water in some places is still on the way.

The Governor took some heat late last week for being slow to respond or show up to tour the flooding and damage. Rauner maintained he and his staff had the situation covered.


Assumption Air Force Captain Returns Home After 46 Years


Air Force Captain Joseph S. Smith was shot down over Cambodia on April 4, 1971. His remains were recovered in May. And finally, on Saturday, his remains finally returned to his hometown of Assumption.


People lined Second Street early to witness Captain Smith’s return to Assumption. Many area police officers, firefighters, motorcycle riders, and others also helped to bring Smith back to his hometown.


Marguerite Jackson grew up near Smith. She says Smith may have gotten his interest in flying from her brother.



Jackson didn’t expect to hear that Smith was coming home, but that she is glad he finally got his homecoming.



A funeral mass will be held for Smith Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Assumption. For more photos from the motorcade, visit our Taylorville Daily News Facebook page by clicking here.





Full House To Consider Proposed Ag Budget That Reverses Many Trump Cuts

House appropriators have sent to the full House, the FY '18 Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration spending bill, reversing many of the president's proposed cuts.


The $145 billion bipartisan House bill is $4 billion above the president’s request, but $8.6 billion below current spending.


Still, it restores many of President Trump’s cuts to rural development, research, crop insurance and international feeding programs.


Appropriations Chair, New Jersey Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen.



SNAP is still cut by almost $5 billion, to $74 billion, but an amount that meets SNAP enrollment and Democrats can live with. The minority offered few amendments directed at production agriculture. Riders dealing with horse slaughter and e-cigarette advertising failed…swaps regulatory relief passed earlier by the full House was adopted…and sugar program reform was withdrawn.


Democrats embraced the bill’s inclusion of key trade measures. Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro.



The House USDA spending bill includes $1.8 billion for the new USDA trade mission headed by an Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. The bill reverses the president’s proposal to eliminate funding for the nation’s two international feeding programs, fully staffs county Farm Service Agency Offices, and keeps open 17 USDA research facilities the administration wanted to close.


The bill includes $2.8 billion for Ag research, more than $900 million for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, about the same for conservation programs, and just over $1 billion for food safety and inspection.


Ag To US Senate - Export Programs Key In Farm Bill

Agriculture Department export program are key to keeping conventional and organic producers in the black, as lawmakers write the next farm bill. That was the message from producers and ag lawmakers at a Senate farm bill hearing.


39 USDA export assistance programs have no funding guarantee when their 2014 farm bill authority runs out in 2019. Programs including Market Access, Foreign Market Development and Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops are among them, returning more than $28 for every dollar invested, or more than $2 billion a year in net farm income, based on a study by Informa Economics.


Greg Haines with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.



Haines, meanwhile, says red meat exports add some 45-cents to a bushel of corn.


Kenneth Dallmier operates the Clarkson Grain Company in Cerro Gordo and told Senate Ag lawmakers USDA also needs to combat fraudulent imports of organic grain by boosting domestic production, legal liability for fraud, and verification tracking.



But verification is not enough. Ag Chair Pat Roberts says the National Organics Standards Board is plagued by “uncertainty and dysfunction,” hampering regulations needed to keep up with rapid growth and innovation in a sector, many growers now depend on to boost sinking margins.


Work Continues on Taylorville West Gym And Other Taylorville School Facilities


The summer season means vacation for students, however for the Taylorville School District it means getting ready for the coming school year. Part of these preparations are making sure the facilities are in good shape, and the district has had a number of projects to their buildings to ensure they're in good shape for the fall.


Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed these renovations, including work being done to the West Gym at Taylorville High School.



Other projects include work on the science wing at THS, as well as work done to Taylorville's Central School.



Fuerstenau noted that the projects are currently on time, and haven't encountered any major problems so far.


Japanese Beetles Coming in Large Numbers With Large Appetities This Year


It's Japanese Beetle season in Illinois and many are figuring out how to deal with the garden pest. Some of the issues with the beetle include the wide variety of plants in the insect's diet, as well as the sheer number of the beetles the state is seeing this year.


Andrew Holsinger, Horticulture Educator with the U of I Extension Office Unit 18 appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the pest.



Japanese Beetles have hefty appetites, and have appeared in increased number this season.



Holsinger warned that traps made to capture the beetle, can actually attract more of the insect to your property.


Tennessee Joins Other States Limiting Dicamba Use

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture announced new limits on the use of dicamba-based herbicides this week. The move follows practical bans issued by Arkansas and Missouri for using dicamba for row crop applications, as concerns and drift damages mount.


Missouri, however, released its “stop sale, use or removal” order Thursday on dicamba-based herbicides. The new rule in Tennessee restricts application to certified private applicators or licensed pest control operators, certified by the state. The rule also prohibits the use of older formulations of dicamba products for the rest of this growing season and restricts application hours to between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.


The new rules, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture, is in response to farmer-to-farmer complaints of suspected dicamba drift damage to crops. The measures are in effect until October first of this year, and violators could be fined up to $1,500 per violation.


With removal of its ban, Missouri announced similar limits on dicamba use Thursday, which includes wind, time and applicator restrictions, as well as required notification of planned dicamba applications online.


Pana Police Arrest Four, Confiscate Possible Bath Salts and Thousands in Cash Sunday

Pana Police arrested four people and confiscated over one hundred grams of suspected bath salts and thousands of dollars in cash after responding to a call of a suspicious odor in the early hours of Sunday morning. Police received the call on July 9th just before 3:30 in the morning about the odor coming from the Rosebud Motel Apartments on US Highway 51.


The four people taken into custody are 23-year-old Cody R. Schumacher of Neoga, 29-year-old Holly A. Baker of Neoga, 35-year-old Scott Patnode of Pana, and 24-year-old Blossom R. Plumb of Salem. Schumacher, Baker, and Patnode were taken into custody for Possession of a Controlled Substance, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Plumb was taken into custody for Driving While License Suspended and multiple outstanding warrants from multiple different jurisdictions.


During the search of the apartment, Pana Police recovered 135 grams of suspected bath salts and $8,531 in cash, along with numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia. The case remains under investigation.


Central Illinois Food Bank Receives High Marks For Accountability and Transparency


Many are concerned that the money they donate to charity actually goes towards the cause they intend for it to go towards. One charity where donors can be confident with is the Central Illinois Food Bank, who just received high marks in accountability and transparency, and donate a large percentage of your money towards the cause of fighting hunger in the region.


Krista Lisser with the Central Illinois Food Bank says almost 98 cents of every dollar donated goes towards feeding Central Illinois Residents.



Lisser says receiving the award for so many years in a row is a rare occurrence.



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


Taylorville Memorial Hospital Named One of Nation's "Most Wired Hospitals"

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has been named as one of the nation’s “Most Wired Hospitals.” That distinction came from the Hospital and Health Networks’ 19th annual Health Care’s Most Wired Survey.


The hospital’s manager of information systems Greg Saling says this distinction is a result of the hospital’s efforts to always be on top of the newest technology.



Saling says the hospital is continuously looking at ways to improve the patient experience.



This is the first time Taylorville Memorial Hospital has received the distinction. The hospital is one of 29 in Illinois and 460 across the United States to be named a "Most Wired Hospital."


90th Annual Morrisonville Homecoming and Picnic Set to Take Place July 20th Through the 22nd


The 90th annual Morrisonville Homecoming and Picnic is just around the corner, and this year the picnic will be taking place on a weekend, rather than during the week. The new dates for the picnic will be Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, July 20th, through July 22nd.


Maggie Held, Vice President of the Morrisonville Community Club along with Marcy Langen, 2016 Miss Morrisonville appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event. Held says the organization is excited for the new dates.



The new dates are a big deal for the picnic, as Held says she received a lot of feedback from vendors and the community.



USDA Releases July WASDE, Crop Production Reports

The recent World Agriculture Supply and Demand report by the Department of Agriculture projects corn and soybean farmers will grow more crop than previously anticipated.


The USDA on Wednesday increased 2017-18 corn production to an estimated 14.255 billion bushels and soybean production to 4.26 billion bushels. Corn production came in slightly above the highest pre-report estimates while soybean production came in higher than the pre-report average estimate as well, according to DTN-The Progressive Farmer.


The farm price for the 2017-18 soybean crop was pegged at an average of $9.40 a bushel, a 10-cent bump from last month's estimate. For corn, USDA estimated an average of $3.30 a bushel, down 10 cents from earlier estimates. USDA also raised All-Winter Wheat production to 1.279 billion bushels, up 29 million bushels from the June report estimate.  


CBO Expects Baseline Farm Bill Savings

The Congressional Budget Office is out with its latest estimate of baseline funding available to write the next farm bill. The CBO says the last farm bill saved much more than expected on food stamps and crop insurance. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the budget office expects more baseline savings on farm and nutrition programs over the next ten years.



As producers seek a more certain price-floor amid continued low prices and as crop insurance remains a popular safety net program.



7-point-5 billion a year less than the last farm bill. But Grassley points out, funding for 37-farm bill programs will expire without new funding, while numerous groups are calling for new spending in other areas.



Especially since budget writers could demand additional savings in government programs. House Ag appropriators have already proposed a 5-billion dollar cut in FY ’18 food stamp spending.


Trade Retaliation Worries Ag Groups

18 agriculture groups representing the majority of production agriculture sent a letter to the Trump administration recommending it avoid placing restrictions on steel and aluminum imports. The groups are worried that such a move would negatively impact U.S. food and agriculture exports.


The groups said in the letter that, “the aftermath of those restrictions could be disastrous for the global trading system and U.S. agriculture in particular.” The letter points out that many of those countries exporting steel and aluminum are also the same countries that import a large amount of U.S. agricultural goods. The letter stresses that “potential retaliation from those trading partners is very real.”


The 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade says national security can be a reason to restrict trade but is rarely done. The organizations point out that no other country can dictate what another’s national security needs are.


They said in the letter, “Now, every country with a sensitive industry would know it could follow the example of America and find a national security reason to circumvent trade agreements, no matter how flimsy the reason.”


The farm groups urged the administration to “avoid igniting a trade war” through the imposition of restrictions on steel and aluminum imports.


Missouri Ag Department Wants Dicamba Ban Lifted Quickly

The Missouri Department of Agriculture issued an order Friday afternoon stopping the sales and use of Dicamba herbicides in the state. Products currently impacted by the order include Engenia, FeXapan plus VaporGrip, and XTENDIMAX with VaporGrip. Director Chris Chinn says the three manufacturers – BASF, DuPont and Monsanto – have been working on new Special Local Use labels, with the hope to quickly lift the order when her department receives them.



Chinn says as the delay was under consideration, department officials were in regular contact with Dicamba manufacturers and farmers who suspected damage from its use. Those conversations included touring one of the over 100 fields where damage from Dicamba usage is suspected.



Interesting to note, Chinn isn't calling the order a 'ban', but instead 'hitting the pause button'. She adds that the department, Dicamba manufacturers, and Missouri farmers all want a product that effectively manages weeds without harming cash crops.



Discussions have also taken place with neighboring states, including Arkansas, where a 120-day ban on Dicamba took effect Tuesday. Chinn says she’s hoping those discussions will yield ways to better utilize this and other pest management technologies.



The products impacted by the order were recently approved for use on cotton and soybean plants with traits making them resistant to Dicamba.


State Senator Andy Manar Says New State Budget Ends State Overspending


Illinois finally has a full state budget in place for the first time in three years. The budget has met it's fair share of critics, however was largely passed with bipartisan support. One legislator who supported the budget is State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who says this budget keeps the state from continuing to hemorrhage money.


Manar says this budget deal got it's start earlier this year, where Republican legislative leaders called for a bipartisan solution to the state's budget impasse.



One of the best features of this new state budget according to Manar is how it puts a cap to the amount of money the state can spend, effectively ending the state's overspending.



Manar also discussed school funding reform, where he says legislative leaders are working with the Governor's office to further discuss Senate Bill 1, which overhauls the state's school funding formula. Manar appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - July 13, 2017

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to criminal damage that occurred in Taylorville.


Sometime during the overnight hours between Tuesday, July 4, 2017 and Wednesday, July 5, 2017, person or persons unknown damaged a vehicle that was parked at 508 South Houston Street.  The unknown subject or subjects used an item to puncture all four tires on the victim’s vehicle. There were numerous holes punctured in each tire. The vehicle, a Hyundai Sante Fe, was parked in the parking lot at the time of the incident. The total dollar amount of the damage is unknown at this time.


Please contact Crimestoppers if you have any information on this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons.  Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you do not have to give your name.  Crimestoppers will pay double the normal reward for information that leads to an arrest for the crime of the week.


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


Erica Estes, Relay for Life Co-Chair, Earns July 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 Erica Estes. Estes was a 2017 Relay for Life Co-Chair, which has raised over $51,000 for the American Cancer Society.


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


Assumption Soldier's Remains to Come Home After 46 Years

A Central Illinois soldier is finally coming home. Captain Joseph S. Smith served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War and was shot down over Cambodia on April 4, 1971. His body was recovered 46 years later in May. This Saturday, he will finally return to his hometown of Assumption.


Smith’s childhood friend Pat Weger says she hopes the public will come out to show their gratitude for an American hero.



The motorcade will come down 51 from Moweaqua to Assumption where it will turn right at East 1300 North Road. There will be an immediate left onto Business Route 51 and will proceed south on that road into Assumption. While going through the town, the motorcade will turn right onto Second Street where it will proceed to Seitz Funeral Home at the corner of Second and Walnut.


Anyone who would like to line the motorcade route is welcome to come and show their support. The motorcade is scheduled to start on Saturday at around 4 p.m.



Shelbyville First United Methodist Church to Host Drive Thru BBQ Fundraiser Friday

Shelbyville First United Methodist Church is having a drive-thru barbecue fundraiser Friday during the dinnertime rush. The fundraiser will start at 4 p.m. and run until 6:30, and it will be at the church.


Phyllis Feken  is the chairperson of the fundraiser committee, and she says money raised will go towards restoration work on the church’s bell tower.



Feken says although you can drive up and purchase a meal, there are multiple places in Shelbyville to buy a ticket beforehand.



Meals cost $8 for adults, and $5 for children. The menu will include butterfly pork chops, beef BBQ sandwiches, potato salad, baked beans, and a brownie, or a hot dog, chips, applesauce, and a brownie. Feken says they would love to see everyone come out early and enjoy the great food.


Lake Land College to Offer Free GED and Basic Nursing Assistant Classes

Lake Land Community College has announced that they will offer free GED and Basic Nursing Assistant Classes to the public starting in August. The GED classes will be offered in Shelbyville and Pana, while the BNA classes will be offered in Pana.


The college’s Director of Adult and Alternative Education Dirk Muffler says the goal of the GED classes is to prepare students for all areas of the GED exam.



Muffler says everything with the GED classes is free, there is no catch. The only cost to the student will be once they are ready to take the GED exam.



The first meeting of the GED classes will be Monday, August 14th at 5:30 p.m. at Shelbyville Christian Church, and on Thursday, August 17th at 5 p.m. at the Western Region Center in Pana.


The BNA class will begin on August 7th at 5 p.m. at the Western Region Center in Pana. Muffler says the goal of this class is to help those that are struggling with finding or keeping work to get closer to becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.



If you have any questions about either of the classes offered, you can call Muffler’s Office at 238-8383.


Syngenta Settles Nebraska Complaint, Minnesota Trial Next

Syngenta has reached a confidential settlement with a Nebraska farmer who claims the company mishandled marketing of its genetically modified seed, which in turn caused corn prices to plummet. Bloomberg says a settlement heads off a trial that was to start this week. Terms of the settlement were not made public.


It was just two weeks ago that Syngenta lost a jury verdict worth $218 million dollars because of a class action suit brought by Kansas farmers alleging similar claims against the company. Syngenta will next face a class action suit, which starts in August, up in Minnesota. Farmers there are seeking more than $600 million dollars.


The farmers allege that Syngenta rushed its seed into the marketplace before getting approval from China to export the grain over there. China stopped bringing in shipments of corn in 2013, calling the grain shipments contaminated by the GMO seed. The farmers say that set off a five-year depression in corn prices. They also say Syngenta misled them on when China would approve the seed for import.


Syngenta disputes the damage claims, saying it did nothing wrong. The company says it didn’t sell the seed until approved in the U.S. and didn’t need China’s approval to do so.


House Appropriations Committee Includes Funding for Peoria Ag Research Lab

An effort to keep the Peoria Agriculture Research Lab open cleared its first hurdle today. Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos says the House Appropriations Committee included funding for the facility in their markup of the agriculture appropriations bill. 

Bustos and Central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood sent a letter last month urging the Appropriations Committee Chairman and Ranking Member to maintain federal funding for the lab, which was proposed for closure under President Trump’s budget. 15 other members of the Illinois congressional delegation signed the letter. 


USDA Financing Will Extend 100-miles of Rural Broadband in Illinois

The USDA extending over $43-million in financing this summer to expand broadband in rural areas. Over $3-million of that will go to Illinois and will be used to construct 104-miles of fiber cable by the Viola Home Telephone Company. 

The company’s Jay Barton says the USDA funding will also provide supporting equipment to deliver enhanced telecommunication services to customers. The USDA is also funding broadband projects in Texas, California and Iowa this summer with the goal of adding 1,000 miles of fiber cable in rural areas, including the Illinois project. 


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