Local News

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

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

 

Pictured from left to right: People's Bank and Trust Representative Lindsay Lopian; Freshman Kyle Cearlock; Sophmore Caden Mileham; Junior Jolee Clayton; Senior Megan Behl.

 

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Taylorville Big R Store Showing Off Renovation, Celebrating Customer Appreciation Days This Week

The Big R Store in Taylorville has recently completed renovations to their store on Route 104 on the northwest side of the city. The store is having Customer Appreciation Days this week with special events scheduled for Thursday through Saturday to celebrate the renovations and their Christian County customers.

 

Matt Greime is the General Manager for Big R. He says the Taylorville area has always shown great support for the store, and it was time to remodel the location.

 

 

Greime says Customer Appreciation Days will include plenty of savings and giveaways for customers, free food, and a special opportunity for little kids.

 

 

Greime invites everyone to come out to check out the newly remodeled Big R location. He says to sign up for the giveaways, you must come in-person to register.

 

A look at the Big R renovations:

 

 

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April is Safe Digging Month in Illinois

April is Safe Digging Month across Illinois, and Marianne Manko with the Illinois Commerce Commission says there’s a simple way to prevent serious accidents while digging in the state.

 

Manko says the JULIE system will map out any underground lines around your dig site with two days notice.

 

 

Manko says the one phone call to JULIE could prevent an accident that could possibly turn fatal.

 

 

Manko says every nine minutes, someone unintentionally hits an underground utility line, many times because they did not have those lines marked before they put the shovel in the ground.

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TIF District One Being Finalized

The city of Taylorville spent Monday night finalizing TIF district one at a special city council meeting.

 

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says the city is looking forward to plenty of businesses possibly moving into the new TIF district.

 

 

Barry says he expects ground to be broken within a month.

 

 

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

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Fight Crime, Invest in Kids Opiod Epidemic

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office recently sent a group to the capital for a fight crime, invest in kids opiod conference.

 

Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp says every 25 minutes there is a baby born with opiod withdrawls.

 

 

Kettlekamp says the program includes regular home visits to make sure that everything is as it should be for the child’s sake.

 

 

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

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Secretary of State Enlists Help from the White Sox

Secretary of State Jesse White may have been a Chicago Cubs farmhand in his younger days, but when it comes to the life or death game of organ and tissue donation, he easily finds himself on the same team with the Southsiders. White joined Pale Hose announcer Ed Farmer for a Monday press conference. Farmer wasn't on hand just to hear his own voice. The topic hits close to home.



 

Mr White Sox himself, Harold Baines, was also on hand for the White's press conference.

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Fake Pot Kills Another

The death toll climbs. A fourth person is dead and it’s is being connected to synthetic cannabinoid use in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health says it’s a woman in her 30’s from central Illinois. The IDPH recently received a massive donation of vitamin K to help in the on-going care of the sickened individuals. IDPH’s Director Dr. Nirav Shah says if anyone is using the drug and suffers from severe bleeding they need to get help quickly.



More than 150 people have become ill after using the fake pot that’s been laced with rat poison. Large amounts of vitamin K are needed in the treatment to help the patient’s blood clot again. That effort can include the person taking 30 pills a day for 6 months.

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Drop It and Drive

Two hands on the wheel if you’re listening in the car…. it’s distracted driving awareness week in Illinois. “Drop it and Drive” is this year’s slogan. Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says we all need to pay more attention to the most important thing we are doing when were behind the wheel – driving.



The Illinois State Police will be on the lookout too. It’s a good reminder that there is no driving and texting and talking on a cell phone in a car has to be done hands free

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears From Local Doctor on Head Trauma Studies

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from a long-time local physician, during their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Doctor Pavi Gill from Springfield Clinic Taylorville, talked to Kiwanis members about recent studies on head trauma and contact sports.  Dr. Gill said these studies are showing that repeated direct or indirect trauma of the head causes a variety of ailments.

Dr. Gill added that autopsies on NFL football players are showing why many of these players have these kind of symptoms later in life, and he said the same kind of symptoms are showing up in youth as young as 17, also from football trauma.

Dr. Gill told the Kiwanis Club that several large universities are in the midst of a major study the connections of the human brain, to further determine how head trauma can damage the brain.

In other Kiwanis news, 3 members participated in last Saturday's Bicycle Rodeo at Lake Taylorville.  Will Perkins, Brad Davis, and Joe Hauser, assisted young people during the event.

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

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Taylorville McDonald's GM Stewart Receives Prestigious Ray Kroc Award

Late last year, Taylorville McDonald’s General Manager Kenny Stewart was announced as one of the winners of the prestigious Ray Kroc award for 2018. Last week, he received the award at an international conference in Orlando.

 

Stewart says he continues to be humbled that he was selected as a winner of the award.

 

 

Stewart says one of the best parts of the experience was to get to meet other McDonald’s staff members from across the globe.

 

 

Stewart says the goal is for McDonald’s to be the best place to eat and drink, and he tries to live by that each day, along with treating people with respect.

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Shelbyville Couple Suing State Over Right To Keep Guns on Property While Running Home Daycare

A Shelbyville couple is suing the state of Illinois over their right to keep firearms in their home as they operate their home daycare. Jennifer Miller says state law and DCFS rules conflict, leaving a gray area that infringes on their second amendment rights.

 

Miller says state law requires concealed carry weapons to be locked away but allowed on the property, but DCFS rules don’t allow firearms on day care properties at all with some exceptions that don’t include handguns.

 

 

Miller says right now, she is suppose to take her guns out of her home while she works during the day, and is suppose to pick them up after the day is over.

 

 

Miller says concealed carry holders have to go through training, background checks, and fees yet she is still not technically allowed to have her concealed weapon in her home during her work day.

 

 

Miller says they always have their guns and ammunition stored separately and properly under lock and key, but something needs to be done about the gray area between state law and DCFS rules.

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Food and farming are cool again

Xavier Morgan grew up in Chicago, not typically a place you might think would interest someone in farming or food issues. But he went to the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. And, he's now a senior studying agriculture policy and leadership at the University of Illinois; 



One of Morgan's classmates at the U of I, Danielle Brinkmann of Carlyle, is one of the few students in the U-of-I ag college that grew up on a farm;



Brinkmann and Morgan could be hot commodities when they graduate, since some farming and food-related jobs go unfilled. That's a big reason some Illinois high schools and junior colleges have re-started agricultural curriculums. 

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Distracted Driving Month Won't Go Out with a Whimper

Distracted Driving Awareness Month is nearly over, but law enforcement and transportation officials are joining forces in the final days of April to grab driver attention. A half million dollars in federal highway safety funds will be split between nearly a hundred police agencies to step up distracted driving enforcement through April 30. Beth Mosher with Triple A, a partner in the safety effort, talks about the core values of the campaign.



Mosher says the campaign is also tackling one of the biggest distracted driving issues, highway hypocrisy.



Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55 mph for the length of a football field.

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E-Coli Worries in Lettuce Expands to More Products/Types

As answers continue to be sought from public health officials on an e-coli outbreak the suggestion is to avoid more types of romaine lettuce. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that 53 cases have been confirmed nationwide with one in Illinois. And now IDPH says leave whole heads of romaine lettuce in the store.



That’s Melaney Arnold with IDPH. She adds that you can ask the store where their lettuce comes from; you’re trying to avoid products from Yuma, Arizona. Arnold notes that many stores have pulled it already, but you can remain safe by avoiding any unknown product all together. 

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Durbin Holding Off Backing Pompeo

The US Senate is poised to vote on the nomination of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. The first vote comes from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then the whole Senate gets’ their say. US Senator Dick Durbin says he still has to wait for some assurances out of Pompeo on how he may calm the waters surrounding national security. 


It looks like the vote will be very close both at the committee level and in the full Senate. A full nomination vote is expected later this week.

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Taylorville Park District Named Exemplary IPARKS Member

The Taylorville Community Pleasure Driveway & Park District has been named an Exemplary IPARKS Member. The recognition is for the district’s ability to provide a safe, friendly park environment and reducing the need for insurance claims through the IPARKS risk services program.

 

Park District Office Administrator MaryAnn Becker says in addition to being recognized, the district will also save a considerable amount of money on insurance through IPARKS for the next three years.

 

 

The board also approved their 2018-19 budget ordinance at Monday’s meeting.

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Taylorville City Council Approves TIF District # 1 in Special Meeting Monday Night

In a short but historic meeting Monday night, the Taylorville City Council, in a series of votes, unanimously passed ordinances creating a new Tax Increment Financing, or TIF District.  The vote was 6 to nothing with Mayor Bruce Barry also voting yes.  Aldermen Lee Lanzotti, Ernie Dorchinez, and Shawn Burtle were absent from the meeting.

The new district provides tax incentives for those that bring business or industry to properties inside the district.

The vote culminates months of work to determine what properties would be included and how the district would be implemented.

Mayor Barry told Regional Radio News passage of the TIF District was very important to the city.

Alderman Larry Budd told Regional Radio News that work on the new TIF district began a year and a half ago.

Christian County Economic Development Director Mary Renner was also present for Monday night's Taylorville City Council TIF District vote, and told Regional Radio News that with just a few years left on the present Enterprise Zone, the passage of the first TIF District in Taylorville was critical.

Renner added that without a TIF District, many potential projects would not go on.

The Taylorville Council Monday night also formally approved the appointment of Kellie Hamell as Water Office Manager, retroactive to April 17th.
 

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Lake Land College Foundation Names 50 Most Influential People in College's History

As a part of the college’s ongoing 50th anniversary celebration, the Lake Land College Foundation has named the college’s 50 most influential people. These 50 will be honored at a ceremony in June.

 

Among those on the list are the college’s first president Virgil Judge, former athletic director Jim Dudley, and many other faculty members, donors, board of trustee members and others associated with Lake Land College. The college’s current president Josh Bullock was named to the list. He says he is humbled by the honor, but there are more there just 50 people that deserved to be recognized for their contributions to the college.

 

 

Bullock says the committee that selected these individuals looked for people that have had an impact on any specific entity of the college as a whole.

 

 

The ceremony to recognize the honorees will be on June 8th at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham.

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Effingham County Board Passes Resolution Making County a "Sanctuary For Gun Owners"

The Effingham County Board has passed a resolution declaring the county as a “sanuctuary for gun owners”. Although the resolution may not have much legal standing, county board member David Campbell says it is more about standing up to the state of Illinois that he says is infringing on residents’ unalienable rights.

 

Campbell says it’s time action was taken to send a message to higher levels of government.

 

 

Campbell says many other Illinois counties have inquired about Effingham County’s resolution since it was passed.

 

 

Campbell says the county’s resolution was modeled after Iroquois County’s resolution that has already been approved as well.

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CICBC Holding Two Blood Drives in Taylorville This Week

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center will be holding two blood drives in Taylorville this week.

 

The first blood drive will be at Taylorville Memorial Hospital on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the hospital’s auditorium. Then on Friday, there will be a community blood drive at Taylorville High School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the school’s east gym.

 

Donors must be 17-years-old, but 16-year-olds can donate with a parental consent form. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For more information you can call 800-747-5401.

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HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital To Help Feed Those in Need in Community Through Community Garden

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville is continuing to find new ways to help those in the community. Hospital staff celebrated the unveiling of a new community garden on Sunday afternoon.

 

The hospital’s marketing coordinator Glenda Plunkett says how the garden got started is an interesting story.

 

 

Plunkett says there was no better time to celebrate the unveiling of a community garden than the day to celebrate our plant.

 

 

Plunkett says the food harvested from the garden will be given to the Presbyterian Church for their monthly dinners, and any surplus would then be given to local food pantries.

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Eight Christian County YMCA Swimmers Participate and Do Very Well in Fools of April Swim Meet

Eight members of the Christian County YMCA recently competed in the Fools of April Swim Meet in Decatur. 38 members from four area YMCA’s competed in the adult swim meet, and multiple members from the Christian County YMCA took first place in their events.

 

Christian County YMCA Program Director Andrea Bach says one of their members that competed was the oldest swimmer competing at the meet.

 

 

Other swimmers to compete in Decatur include Ryan & Janet Guhlstorf, Nathan Lynch, Tom Fergin, Sessy Lynch, and Catherine and Melissa Brookens.

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U of I Extension Trying to Help with Stress

The U of I Extension Program knows that April is Stress Awareness Month, and they are doing their part to help residents relieve their stress.

 

Lisa Peterson is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator for the Extension. Peterson says stress eating can be a real problem and to combat that, she recommends prepping meals a week in advance.

 

 

Peterson says instead of eating the stress away, taking a walk is a healthier alternative.

 

 

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

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DOVE Standing Up to Domestic Violence

DOVE is an organization based in Shelbyville that is trying to fight against domestic violence.

 

Susie Kensil is a representative for DOVE in Shelby County. She describes what being in an abusive relationship is like.

 

 

Kensil says abusive individuals sometimes come with warning signs.

 

 

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

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Late Winter Hurts Lawn and Garden Sales

The late winter and early spring cold weather has put a damper on many outdoor activities and it has also impacted sales at lawn and garden centers. Martha Smith with the University of Illinois Extension says those retailers are hurting so far.

 


 

Sales are expected to pick up with warmer weather in the forecast.

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St. Rep Butler calls for McCann resignation

Now State Senator Sam McCann has declared himself a third party candidate for Governor, a Republican colleague in the General Assembly is calling for McCann to call it a day in the legislature.. State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield says resigning is the right thing to do.



 

Butler says McCann has betrayed the party and the party's voters.

 


 

McCann's status as a member of the Republican caucus is up in the air. 
Senate GOP officials say McCann tendered his resignation from the Illinois Senate Republican caucus and Leader Bill Brady accepted. McCann says he only resigned his position as the top Republican on the Senate Public Health Committee. 

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Lake Land College to Build Rural Development Technology Center in Effingham

Lake Land College has set aside funding for a new Rural Development Technology Center in Effingham. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and will house the Effingham Regional Career Academy, along with additional classroom and lab space.

 

Lake Land College President Josh Bullock says the project was truly a community effort.

 

 

Bullock says through fiscal responsibility, the new construction will be funded without having to raise taxes on local residents.

 

 

Bullock says the center will provide area students with the technical skills they need to be a productive member of the community.

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Political science expert size up Rauner/Pritzker money game and impact on local races

It’s money, money and even more money. So says Monmouth College political science lecturer Robin Johnson as he sizes up this November’s Illinois gubernatorial race between Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner and Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker spent $70-million of his own money leading up to the March 20th primary with Rauner reaching into his pocket for $50-million. Johnson was asked what type of impact that race will have on local races.



There's now another candidate in the race for governor. West central state Senator Sam McCann announced Thursday that he is running on the Conservative Party ticket.

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HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital to Hold Ribbon-Cutting for New Community Garden Sunday

In celebration of Earth Day, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville will be celebrating a new project the hospital has created to help their community and the planet. The hospital is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday at 1 p.m. for their new raised-bed community garden.

 

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital’s Marketing Coordinator Glenda Plunkett says it’s vital for the hospital to continue giving back to the community.

 

 

Plunkett says the fruit harvested from the garden will go towards feeding those in need in the community.

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Next Week is Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week

The week of April 23-27 is Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week and Illinois State Police will be on the lookout for those who do not have their full attention on the road.

 

Sean Ramsey is a Safety Education Officer with the state police. He says distracted driving should be an easy problem to solve.

 

 

Ramsey says it only takes a second of driving distracted to cause an accident.

 

 

Ramsey says police will be out in full force looking for distracted drivers on Illinois roads not just to write tickets, but to bring awareness to the risks of driving distracted.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours

On the third Wednesday of every month the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce puts on a business after hours event.

 

Patty Hornbuckle is the CEO of the Chamber. She says the event this week could not have gone much better.

 

 

With the event barely behind them, Hornbuckle says the Chamber is already looking forward to the next business after hours.

 

 

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

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - April 20, 2018

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

 

Sometime between 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 5, 2018 and 3:30 am on Friday, April 6, 2018, person or persons unknown made entry into an apartment located at 911 East Park Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took numerous items from though out the residence.  The items included TVs, a video game system, tools, and cash.  There did not appear to be any sign of forced entry.  The total dollar amount of the theft is unknown at this time.

 

Please contact Crimestoppers is 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 did 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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Christian County Historical Society & Museum Hosting Cleanup Day Saturday

The Christian County Historical Society and Museum will be having their annual clean up day Saturday. They are asking for volunteers to help them in a variety of tasks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

 

Museum Director Maureen Bruns says there is a laundry list of different assignments they will need help with Saturday, and the volunteers will be fed.

 

 

Bruns says volunteers are vital for the museum’s success, and there is a big event coming up next week the museum is preparing for.

 

 

Bruns says they do have cleaning and gardening supplies available, but they may need some volunteers to bring these types of items if they have many people helping out.

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Christian County YMCA Hosting Annual Healthy Kids Day Event Saturday

The Christian County YMCA is reminding everyone of the importance of being healthy from a young age by hosting a free community event Saturday. The Annual Healthy Kids Day will feature many businesses and organizations in the community to show residents the many ways to be active.

 

Andrea Bach is the Program Director at the Christian County Y. She says there will be plenty of events for kids and parents alike to enjoy.

 

 

Bach says it is important for kids to be active for long-term health.

 

 

The event is free to attend. Other activities at the Annual Healthy Kids Day will include face painting, a scavenger hunt, and being able to meet Sparky the Fire Dog, Echo the Police Dog, and Clifford the Big Red Dog.

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TMH Construction Project Receives Approval From IL Health Services & Facilities Review Board

The Illinois Health Services and Facilities Review Board has given Taylorville Memorial Hospital the go-ahead to move forward with its $60-million expansion project. The approval came on Wednesday, and hospital CEO Kim Bourne says it is an exciting time as the final hurdles continue to clear before the groundbreaking.

 

Bourne says the approval means now they can take their plans to the Illinois Department of Public Health for final approval.

 

 

Bourne says some preliminary work on the project has been going on.

 

 

So far, Bourne says the project is progressing nicely towards that anticipated final completion date in 2021, but there’s still plenty work to be done.

 

 

Bourne says the first phase, which is the bigger phase of the project, will likely be completed in 2020. The hospital’s five-story building will be torn down once that phase is complete to make room for the final phase of construction.

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PCH Building Project Topping Out Event

Pana Community Hospital is excited to announce that the hospital is putting the finishing touches on stage one of theie multi-million dollar building project.

 

Melissa Rybolt is the Marketing Manager for PCH. She says the topping out ceremony is an exciting part of the process.

 

 

Rybolt says the hospital wants residents to come out and join in the fun.

 

 

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

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Paul Ryan to Step Down as Speaker of the House

United States Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has decided to step down and spend time with his family when his term is over.

 

13th District Representative Rodney Davis says he is sad to see Ryan go, but he understands where he is coming from.

 

 

Davis says with Ryan leaving soon, house members already have an idea of who could his replacement.

 

 

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

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Bike Rodeo Coming to Taylorville

For the first time ever, Taylorville residents will have the opportunity to take part in a bicycle rodeo.

 

Geri Niemann is a volunteer with the Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservency. She says the event is this Saturday at 9AM.

 

 

Niemann says the event will be centered around child safety.

 

 

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

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New Taylorville KFC Owner Doesn't Want to Mess With Success at His Newest Location

Kentucky Fried Chicken in Taylorville is under new ownership, and the new owner says loyal customers of the restaurant don’t need to worry about any changes in the near future.

 

Will Duryea is the new owner of Taylorville’s KFC. He says he doesn’t want to mess with what already is a successful restaurant.

 

 

Duryea is from Quincy and he also owns the KFC / Taco Bell locations in Highland, Greenville, and Vandalia. He says he wants to meet and hear from Taylorville residents, and encourages them to stop by and say hi.

 

 

Duryea says the only changes he could see to the restaurant in the near future are building renovations. But he says those won’t be coming until he meets with the KFC Corporation officials and they say it’s time to remodel.

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Distracted Driver Awareness Week Starts Monday

Distracted Driver awareness week starts Monday.

 

Taylorville Police Cheif Brian Hile says with distracted driver awareness week, agencies will be conducting enforcement details.

 

 

Hile says with all the new technology in cars, it is easier than ever to get distracted while driving.

 

 

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

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After Further Investigation, Charges Dropped Against Taylorville Man Accused Of Making Online Threats to Memorial School

Charges against a Taylorville man who allegedly made a threat to Memorial School were dropped earlier this week. Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera says further police investigation showed that it was not possible for the defendant Todd Daugherty to have made the threats.

 

Havera says more messages were sent following Daugherty’s arrest, making it impossible for him to be the perpetrator.

 

 

Havera says when threats like this are made, local law enforcement will as quickly as they can if they have probable cause.

 

 

Local and state authorities, along with the FBI are continuing the investigation into the source of the threats, and Havera says his office will continue to take online threats very seriously.

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Central Counties Health Centers Helping Those with Little to No Insurance

Last July Central Counties Health Centers opened a location in Taylorville.

 

Heather Burton is the CEO of Central Counties Health Centers. She says the centers are open for everyone including those with little to no insurance.

 

 

Burton says the company also offers dental work.

 

 

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

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National College Recruiting Expert Speak to Area Athletes at THS

Many high school athletes aspire to play at the college level, but there is a lot that goes into the recruiting process and playing a sport in college. A national recruiting expert is coming to Taylorville High School next month to help athletes and parents with the ins-and-outs of being a student-athlete in college.

 

THS Athletic Director Paul Held says recruiting expert Jack Renkens has spoke at other area high schools before, and his information session has a lasting benefit.

 

 

The event is open to any area high school athlete or parent. Held says one of the biggest pieces of information athletes need to know is that you don’t need to go division one to play a sport in college, but that anywhere you go, being a college athlete is hard work.

 

 

Renkens will be speaking to interested students and parents on Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the THS cafeteria.

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BBB Helping with Digital Spring Cleaning

April is digital spring cleaning month and the Better Business Bureau wants to make sure that residents are being secure.

 

Mara Clingingsmith is the Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau, she says one way to help with digital security is to delete old emails.

 

 

Clingingsmith says it is also wise to back up data and only use secure websites when online.

 

 

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

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Illinois State Treasurer's Office Contests

The Illinois State Treasurer’s office is holding a photo contest for Illinois youth that will get them involved in agriculture.

 

Mike Frerichs is the Illinois State Treasurer, he says his office is excited for the contest that opens the young eyes to the world of agriculture.

 

 

Frerichs says one resident will have a chance to influence the bicentennial coin.

 

 

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

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Christian County Board Approves Merging Zoning Officer and Animal Control Warden Positions

The Christian County Board voted to combine the positions of Zoning Officer and Animal Control Warden as they advertise the open position. The vote came at Monday’s board meeting after they had accepted the retirements of Brett Rahar as Zoning Officer and Joelynda Conrad as Animal Control Warden.

 

Many were in attendance to speak on the measure, and resident Patty Rykhus says she was against the merger.

 

 

There were many reasons for supporting or opposing the measure, but county board chair Tim Carlson says it’s a decision that can be reversed if necessary.

 

 

The board voted 10-5 to approve the merger. They also approved two percent pay raises for the five elected officer holders, while district three board member Aaron Allen officially turned in his letter of resignation at Tuesday’s meeting. The board will reconvene on Tuesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Christian County Courthouse.

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Taylorville Water Superintendent Speaks to Kiwanis Club

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the City of Taylorville Water Superintendent, during their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Dave Speagle has worked with the Taylorville Water Department since 1984, and has been the water superintendent for many years.  Speagle gave a history of water treatment in the community, starting with construction of the present water treatment plan in 1951, which was added onto in 1983.

Speagle told Kiwanis members that at best, the present water plant could produce about 3-million gallons of water a day.  He added that the new 24-million dollar water treatment plant now under construction, will be able to treat and produce some 4-million gallons of water a day to meet the city's growing water demand.  He's expecting the new plant to be started up early next year.

Speagle said when city officials found out the former Taylorville Country Club property was headed for foreclosure, they quickly worked to acquire the property for what is becoming the new water plant.

The new plant will provide additional treatment such as nitrate removal, and also ultraviolet radiation for disinfecting the water.

Speagle added that doubling Taylorville's water rates were necessary to pay for the new plant, which he said will handle the city's water production for decades to come.

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

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WSVZ, Family Drug Shelbyville Students of the Month April 2018

The Family Drug and WSVZ Shelbyville Students of the Month for April are (Left to Right): Senior Maggie Furr, Junior Emily Hicks, Family Drug Representative Bridgett Depew, Sophomore Hannah Hicks, and Freshman Rachel Throneburg.

 

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Missions for Taylorville Sets Date for First Work Day of 2018

Missions for Taylorville has set its first work day for 2018. The organization is seeking projects and volunteers for the day of service planned for Saturday, June 2.

 

Bill Kerns is the Coordinator of Missions for Taylorville. He says hundreds have projects since the organization was created in 2010.

 

 

Kerns says there are applications available now for volunteers or projects to be done.

 

 

Kerns asks that volunteers register as soon as possible, as that helps the planning process going into the upcoming work day.

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Taylorville School District Working on Online Registration Process

The Taylorville School District continues to look at how to streamline the annual registration process, along with making it easier for district parents. The district is working on moving its registration process online.

 

Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the district had already created a semi-online application that sped the process along when parents had come in to register.

 

 

Fuerstenau says in addition to making registration online, the district has also been able to drop the credit card fee for online transactions.

 

 

Fuerstenau believes online registration will help many district families, and that if someone still wants to come in-person and register, they will be able to do so.

 

 

Fuerstenau says the plan is to have online registration ready for the coming school year.

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Taylorville Wrestling Club Fundraiser Around the Corner

The Taylorville wrestling club is trying to help teach youth life lessons in Taylorville.

 

Gerry Mahr is the Treasurer of the Taylorville wrestling club. He says they have on fundraiser a year and is is coming up in June.

 

 

Mahr says the event always has a good turnout. It has grown so much in the past few years that they have had to move locations to accommodate all that come out.

 

 

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

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U of I Extension Gives Farming Update About Cold Weather

The March and April weather in central Illinois has not been ideal for planting.

 

Andrew Holsinger, a Horticulture Educator with the U of I Extension Program, is the go to guy for planting questions. He says this cold weather has cause a delay due to soil temperatures being too low.

 

 

Holsinger says if residents are waiting to uncover strawberries they might be waiting a little longer.

 

 

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

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Solar Farm Ordinance Passes First Hurdle at Taylorville City Council Meeting Monday Night

The Taylorville City Council held a public hearing on the possibility of solar farms and solar energy facilities in the city, on Monday night before their regular Council meeting.  Inside that Council meeting, the Taylorville Planning and Zoning Commission held a meeting to do a final review of a draft ordinance on allowing solar farms inside the Taylorville city limits, drawn up by city attorney Rocci Romano. 

The Planning Commission recommended the draft ordinance to the full City Council, with a unanimous vote Monday night.

The City Council then adjourned their public hearing moments later.

The public hearing and related discussions on regulating solar farms and solar energy facilities inside the Taylorville city limits, comes after Cypress Creek Renewables indicated to city and county officials that they're interested in leasing property near Taylorville for a solar farm.  The property the company is looking at, is directly adjacent to the Taylorville city limits, and would have to be annexed as part of the process.

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Special Moment When Taylorville Mayor Names Youth of the Month at Council Meeting Monday Night

It was a special moment for Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry at Monday night's City Council meeting.

4-year-old Landon Durbin was given a standing ovation when his grandfather, the mayor, named him as this month's City Council "Youth of the Month."  Little Landon has battled stage 4 neuroblastoma the past few years.  He endured 6 rounds of chemo, then surgery, then a bone marrow transplant, then more radiation and surgery, and earlier this year got to ring the bell at St. Louis Children's Hospital as being cancer free. 

Landon will be starting kindergarten at St. Mary's School in Taylorville this fall.

 

Pictured are Landon's father Ty Durbin; Landon Durbin accepting his award; and Mayor Bruce Barry.

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Taylorville City Council OK's Water Department Truck Purchase After Contentious Discussion

The issue of buying a new truck for the water department, became a bit contentious at Monday night's Taylorville City Council meeting.

Some aldermen were questionning the need for the truck, and Alderman Ernie Dorchinez defended Water Superintendent David Speagle's request.

Dorchinez talked with Regional Radio News after the meeting, and said he told the Council it was Speagle's idea to purchase the former Taylorville Country Club property, which is across the road from the present water plant, to be used for the new water plant, that saved the city at least a million dollars in construction costs.

The motion to allow the Water Department to purchase the truck, passed 6 to 2 with aldermen Martin Vota and Larry Budd voting no.

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New Water Office Manager Starts Tuesday with City of Taylorville

The City of Taylorville will have a new water office manager as of today.  Kelly Hamel has been hired for the position, after the Taylorville City Council OK'd amending the city code to create it at their Monday night meeting.

Alderman Shawn Burtle questionned whether the position would be considered an employee or a management position, and who would actually appoint the person.

City attorney Rocci Romano discussed with aldermen what their intent was, and after much discussion, Council members stuck with the Water Committee's recommendation to make it a non-bargaining management position appointed by the Water Superintendent with Council approval.

The vote to create the position passed unanimously.

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Taylorville Aldermen Act on Several Issues Monday Night

Taylorville aldermen Monday night acted on a number of items in their meeting that lasted just over an hour at the Council chambers.

An Intergovermental Agreement between the City and the Taylorville School District,
on the creation of a Tax Increment Financing District, passed unanimously.

City attorney Rocci Romano said that a suggestion by Mayor Bruce Barry on a proposed city fee for projects inside the present Enterprise Zone, is a possibility.  Romano added that the fee—which is a maximum of 50-thousand dollars—is already max'ed out, but state statute does allow for the city to request a developer to make a charitable contribution, with the developer then getting a double write-off on their tax return.  Romano added he will pursue this idea further.

The Taylorville Council Monday night OK'd waiving tapping fees for R-P Lumber when they install city water service on their property on West Route 104, and amended out of town water tapping fees from 20-dollars per front footage, to 5-dollars per front footage.

Taylorville aldermen also paid over one-point-7 million dollars in bills on the new water plant project.

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Taylorville Police Department Again Participating in National Drug Take Back Day

National Drug Take Back Day is coming up and the Taylorville Police Department is once again participating in the program. Taylorville police officers will be at Walgreens on Saturday, April 28th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says you don’t even have to get out of your car.

 

 

Hile says leaving unused prescription drugs in your homes can only lead to problems.

 

 

The police department also has a place where you can drop off unused drugs any time of year. That is in the lobby of the Taylorville Police Department in the city municipal building.

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Taylorville Schools Looking to Take Pressure Off Local Families By Reducing and Waiving Some Fees

The Taylorville School Board is looking to help local families keep some of their hard earned dollars next school year. The board voted on next year’s fees for many different items, and some fees were completely waived.

 

Many high school course specific fees were waived, along with the junior high athletic participation fee and the district is adding fifth through eighth grades to the free lunch and breakfast program next year. Fuerstenau says the district took an in-depth look at how they could help Taylorville families.

 

 

Fuerstenau says the community and state have shown their support by passing the referendum and school funding reform. He says it’s time the district does its part to show their appreciation for area families.

 

 

The only fee increases for next year will be a $5 increase in parking spots at THS from $35 to $40. Fuerstenau says that money goes towards maintaining the parking lots. The other fee increase is a 10-cent increase on daily lunch at THS, but Fuerstenau says that was a required fee increase to follow federal guidelines.

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Oconee Lions Club Votes to Donate $5,000 to PCH Expansion Project

The Oconee Lions club has voted to make a five-thousand dollar donation to the Pana Community Hospital building project. The donation will be $2,000 initially, with an additional $1,000 annually for the next three years.

 

The $20.1 million dollar building project is the largest expansion to Pana Community Hospital since the 1970’s. It will add over 30,000 square feet to the hospital. The PCH Foundation has committed to raising $1.5 million of the total cost, and to date about $560-thousand has been raised.

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Local Soil & Water Conservation Districts Again Face Withheld Funds From State

Governor Bruce Rauner has released only $5 million  of the allotted $13.5 million for local soil and water conservation districts. Christian County Soil and Water Conservation District Administrative Coordinator Sue Davis says it continues a pattern of diminishing funds for these local entities.

 

Davis says funds have been slashed considerably since their heyday about 10 years ago.

 

 

Since 2008, Davis has been the only employee at the Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District. She says it has also hurt their ability to help farmers with cost-share funds for projects.

 

 

Davis encourages farmers and residents to reach out to elected officials to make sure they understand the importance of soil and water conservation districts.

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Benefits of the Shelbyville Rotary Club

The Shelbyville Rotary has been around for 95 years and is still going strong.

 

Kevin Ray with the Shelbyville Rotary Club says he has always appreciated the clubs strong foundation.

 

 

Ray says there are many benefits to joining the club, from meeting new people to helping your individual growth.

 

 

Ray 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 Have Lunch and Learn

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce always wants to put on great events for residents.

 

Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle says on April 26th there is an opportunity to learn while being provided lunch.

 

 

Hornbuckle went through a similar seminar and says without it she wouldn’t be in the position she is in.

 

 

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

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Largest dry mill ethanol plant in Illinois

Illinois is home to the largest dry mill ethanol plant in the U.S. It’s Marquis Energy located in Hennepin in Putnam County. They now produce 360-million gallons per year. Company CEO Mark Marquis says Illinois River access has been key to their success.



The first truckload of corn was delivered to Marquis Energy in April of 2008. Most of their corn comes from a 70-mile radius. 

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Gov Wants A Look at German Education System

The Governor’s trade mission to eastern Europe is underway. Rauner is stopping in Germany and Poland to woo new companies to Illinois and create business partnerships. He is also going to learn more about how Germany’s school system works getting teenagers on a career track for hands on technical jobs that don’t always need a college education, or college debt.



It’s expected that Rauner will announce a few business ventures between Illinois and those European countries this week.

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Higher Wages Sought for New Teachers

Some lawmakers in Illinois want to update a nearly 40 year old law and set a new pay scale for beginning teachers. Nationwide teacher pay has been news with strikes and walkouts. State Senator Andy Manar says that a law passed in 1980 setting beginning teacher pay to be a minimum of $9,000 to $11,000 needs to change.



The bill passed a Senate committee and now faces another vote in the chamber. Manar says a higher wage to start will attract more young people to the profession.

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Lincoln Prairie Trail Conservancy Planning First Annual Bike Rodeo and Family Fun Ride

The Lincoln Prairie Trail Conservancy is organizing what they hope to be the first annual Bike Rodeo and Family Fun Ride on the trail. The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 21 starting at 9 a.m. at the Davis Lakeshore Estates at the corner of Sunset and Lakeshore Drives near Lake Taylorville.

 

Bud Altman with the Conservancy says he didn’t know what a “bike rodeo” was until recently.

 

 

Altman says they are looking for volunteers for the event to help make it a success.

 

 

Altman says the event is a great opportunity for parents and kids to enjoy a bike ride together while learning valuable safety tips.

 

 

To pre-register for the event, you can call or email Altman. His phone number is 820-0849 or his email is hlaltman@lincolnprairietrailsconservancy.com.

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Taylorville Vision Source Completes Move to Office Across from High School

Taylorville Vision Source has completed its move to its new location across from Taylorville High School. The business started operating out of their expanded location at the beginning of April.

 

Adam Moore is the Operations Manager for Taylorville Vision Source. He says they fully remodeled the building.

 

 

Moore says they are looking to provide eye care for more residents in the new location.

 

 

Taylorville Vision Source will be having a grand opening celebration from their new office coming up in May.

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Spores N' More Coming to Shelbyville Soon

The Shelby County Tourism Office has some upcoming events they want residents to know about.

 

Freddie Fry with the Shelby County Tourism Office says Spores N’ More is always an exciting time, and this year it will be different.

 

 

Fry says if you choose not to participate in the Spores N’ More day, you are welcome at the mushroom soup dinner afterwards.

 

 

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

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Crews Giving Residents Controlled Burn Tips After House Fire at Lake Taylorville Thursday

The Taylorville Fire Department is warning residents to always be on top of your burns after a controlled fire Thursday went wrong and caught the side of a home on fire near Lake Taylorville.

 

Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews has some tips for those looking to burn yard waste or other items now that the area is seeing some warmer weather.

 

 

Crews also recommends having burns on days with lighter winds. He says wind played a role in the fire Thursday and lighter winds allow for more control of a burn.

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School Board OK's Creation of TIF District One in City of Taylorville

The final preparations are being put in place for the implementation of TIF district one on the northwest side of Taylorville, and the Taylorville School Board gave their approval to the TIF district at its meeting on Monday.

 

Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the city has kept the school district informed of the process each step of the way.

 

 

Fuerstenau says although the school district will lose some revenue under the plan, the jobs and residents the TIF would bring to the community would more than make up for that lost money.

 

 

Fuerstenau says having TIF districts are a necessary tool in today’s economic environment to bring development to the community.

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Jenner Ag Nominated for Great Game of Business All-Star Award

Jenner Ag has been nominated for a Great Game of Business All-Star Award. It is the fourth consecutive year Jenner Ag has been nominated for the award that recognizes companies worldwide that have shown big results in instituting the principles of open-book management and The Great Game of Business.

 

Autumn Pitman with Jenner Ag says the program has helped get their employees more invested in the business’ overall performance.

 

 

Pitman says the recognition from the Great Game of Business gives those at Jenner Ag encouragement that they are continuing to run their business the right way.

 

 

Pitman says the program does an excellent job bridging the gap between owners and employees and motivating everyone in the future success of the business.

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Taylorville Police and Christian County TRIAD Partnering to Host Community Shred Event Next Weekend

The Taylorville Police Department and Christian County TRIAD will be hosting a shred event to get rid of old documents for residents.

 

Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says the event is free but there will be a limit to the number of documents you can bring to be shredded.

 

 

Hile says although there is no cost to have your papers shredded, Hile says they are asking those that come to bring non-perishable food to the event instead.

 

 

The shred event will be on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at CNB Bank & Trust in Taylorville.

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The Best of Harmony Concert Coming to Taylorville

For nearly the past decade, Harmony Choir has been an all female group providing entertainment for Christian County residents.

 

The Harmony Choir is putting on “The Best of Harmony” concert on Saturday, April 21st at First Presbyterian Church in Taylorville. It is free to the public. Debbie LeVault is an alto in the choir and says this concert will have something for everybody.

 

 

LeVault says there will be special guests accompanying the choir throughout the show, but says you need to attend to find out who those guests are.

 

 

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

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Central Illinois Foodbank Attempting to Stop Hunger

The Central Illinois Foodbank is teaming up with Walmart in an attempt to fight hunger.

 

Ashley Earnest is the Public Relations Manager for Central Illinois Foodbank. She says together with Walmart they are trying to stop hunger by preparing meals for Feeding America Foodbanks.

 

 

Earnest says for those looking to help, an option would be plant an extra row in your garden and donate that row when you harvest.

 

 

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

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