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Third Suspect Arrested in Connection of Rochester Shooting

The search for the third suspect in connection to a shooting in Rochester in January is over. According to the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office, they were contacted by the United States Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force at 9 a.m. Wednesday and were informed that 29 year-old Marcus Russell, who is wanted on a Sangamon County warrant for First Degree Murder and Attempted Armed Robbery, was in custody in Pulaski County, Arkansas. Russell was the third suspect wanted in connection with the murder of Matthew Grady of rural Rochester on January 25th, 2016.

 

The Maumelle Police Department arrested four people accused of credit card forgery after fleeing on foot following a traffic stop. The Maumelle Police were called at 1:41 a.m. on Wednesday, March 30, about a possible credit card forgery at the Kum & Go convenience store located at Maumelle Boulevard and Highway 365.

 

Responding officers stopped a vehicle matching the description of the vehicle reportedly involved in the incident. While officers were conducting a “probable cause search” of the vehicle, all four people that were inside the vehicle fled on foot.

 

Three of the suspects were caught a short time later, with the fourth suspect being found several hours later. One of the suspects was 29 year-old Marcus Russell of Chicago, Illinois. Sangamon County Detectives went to Little Rock, Arkansas to interview Russell. He is being held on $2 million bond and is waiting on extradition back to Sangamon County.

 

The Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the United States Marshals Office for their assistance with man power and resources during this two month investigation. The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank the Springfield Police Department, Maumelle Arkansas Police Department and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office in Arkansas for their assistance. 

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Dr. Gremmels Describes New Laser Therapy Services

Dr. Annette Gremmels of the Wellness Care Center was one of the guests on the WTIM Morning Show on Wednesday morning. She announced she just added laser therapy to services that she provides. She described the ways of how it is used on her patients.

The Wellness Care Center is on 1001 North Cheney in Taylorville. 

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New Museum Coordinator Describes First Christian County Historical Experience

President Jodi Heberling and new Museum Coordinator Rachael Sapp of the Christian County Historical Society were guests on the WTIM Morning Show on Wednesday morning. Prior to becoming the new Museum Coordinator, Sapp says her first taste of the Christian County Historical Society occurred during the Prairie Celebration last fall while residing in Tuscola.

More information on the Christian County Historical Society can be found by calling 217-824-6922. 

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Elected Officials Training Summit Held at TMH

The Christian County Emergency Management Agency hosted an Elected Officials Training Summit at the Janice Hopper Memorial Auditorium at Taylorville Memorial Hospital on Wednesday morning. The keynote speakers were Tazewell County Emergency Manager, Dawn Cook and Decatur City Manager, Tim Gleason. Gleason served as City Manager for the community of Washington during the EF-4 tornado outbreak on November 17, 2013.

 

During the summit, Gleason described the days leading up to the outbreak. He noted before the tornado struck Washington, he did something that he had never done before, which was alerting public safety officials before the event occurred.

Cook talked about one of the steps of any disaster that occurs which is to keep a log and timeline of communications.

Several elected officials from several communities in the area attended the summit.

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Chief Wheeler Provides Flood Recovery Update in Kincaid

A town hall meeting was held at the Kincaid City Hall on Tuesday night. The main topic of discussion was regarding the Midland Ministry Flood Relief Account that has been set up to help assist the flood victims from last December’s flood. Kincaid Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler attended the meeting and told Regional Radio News that some $59,000 was in the account, while $26,000 was dispersed to the flood victims.

Wheeler says Habitat for Humanity has conducted an assessment of the homes that were impacted by the flooding and noted a few of the foundation to the houses were damaged which could be an issue.

Members of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency were there at the meeting. It was in mid-March that the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied the state’s request for assistance. Wheeler said IEMA may file an appeal of FEMA’s denial, but it has to be done by April 9.

 

If you want to make a donation to help assist the Kincaid flood victims, contact the Kincaid Police Department at 217-237-5568. 

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TMH Now Offering 3-D Mammography

Taylorville Memorial Hospital now offers one of the latest advancements in breast cancer detection in 3-D mammography. Doug Ferrill, Radiology Manager at TMH is excited about the implementation of 3-D mammography as it can be used for earlier detection. Ferrill told Regional Radio News the difference between 2-D and 3-D mammography.

The hospital has installed a unit from Hologic Inc., which is a leading medical imaging equipment manufacturer, which uses the company’s Genius 3-D mammography breast cancer screening technology. The installation was completed in late February, as TMH received FDA approval on March 7 and began its first 3-D screenings on March 22. Ferrill noted the technology is relatively new in the United States, while it was introduced in Europe several years ago.

Ferrill further stated a 3-D mammogram requires no additional compression and takes just a few seconds longer than a conventional 2-D breast cancer screening exam. Any patient can set up an appointment, as long as they have a physician referral.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women. More than 230,000 women in the nation are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

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NWS: Chance of Severe Weather Today

According to the National Weather Service in Lincoln, the Regional Radio Listening area is underneath a slight risk for severe weather today, as a strong storm system will impact central and southeastern Illinois. This system will be accompanied by gusty winds, along with scattered showers and storms. During the afternoon hours, some of the storms have the potential to be severe, especially in east-central and southeastern Illinois. Large hail, damaging wind gusts, and isolated tornadoes are all possible this afternoon and early evening hours.

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for more updates and information. 

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Mt. Auburn Boil Order Lifted

According to Mark Whalen of the Mt. Auburn Water District, the boil order that had been in effect for the entire village of Mt. Auburn has been lifted. Customers no longer have to boil water to be used for human consumption. 

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Bullock: Momentum to Formulate a Budget for Higher Education

The budget impasse continues and its effect can be seen at community colleges and universities as there have been layoffs and programs cut. Lake Land College President, Josh Bullock, told Regional Radio News they have been in constant contact with legislators, and noted there has been momentum to formulate a budget for higher education.

Bullock noted that staff at all educational institutions are anxious about the budget situation and when one will be passed.

LLC recently approved a wage and benefits freeze for the 2016/2017 academic year. 

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Princess Reading Events to be Held in Shelbyville and Windsor

The Shelbyville Public Library, Storm Memorial Library, and the Shelby County Pageant Committee are sponsoring two Princess Reading Events that are featuring 2015 Miss Shelby County, Amanda Tucker, and 2015 Junior Miss Shelby County, Maggie Kelly. Both pageant queens will be reading princess-themed story books to children. The first reading event will be held from 10-10:45 a.m. on Saturday, April 16th in the Meeting Room of the Shelbyville Public Library, and the second event will be at the Storm Memorial Library in Windsor from 10-10:45 a.m. on Saturday, April 30th.  Sara Long, Director of the Shelby County Fair Queen Pageant, told Regional Radio News they had a good turnout last year and are doing it again with the difference being at two sites.

Long noted the reading events provide an opportunity for attendees to check out the services that both libraries offer.

Attendees will have time to color princess pages and get photos taken with the queens. Attendance is not limited to children living in Shelby County as all are welcome. No pre-registration is necessary. For more information, you can contact Monica at the Shelbyville Public Library at 774-4432, Stacey at the Storm Memorial Library at 459-2498, or Long at 821-7384. 

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Kincaid Police Seeking Public’s Help in Search of Armed Robbery Suspect

Kincaid Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler is seeking the public’s help in identifying a suspect that committed an armed robbery. According to Wheeler, the armed robbery took place at the American Legion in Kincaid on Saturday, March 26th at 8:14 p.m.

 

Wheeler stated the victim attended a gathering there that night and was walking toward her car to drop off some items and was texting on her cell phone, when the suspect came up from behind her and put her in a headlock. The suspect then held the victim at knifepoint, and demanded money and jewelry. Wheeler reported the woman sustained scratches on her neck during the incident.

 

Wheeler noted that a vehicle pulled up at a stop sign intersection which startled the suspect and he ran eastbound toward Kincaid Park. The suspect is about 6’0” tall with a skinny build, and is about in his middle 20’s. He was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket, camouflage hat, and blue jeans.

 

Chief Wheeler told Regional Radio News that there have been leads coming in and the investigation is still ongoing. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of the suspect, you are to call the Kincaid Police Department at 217-237-5568.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Hears About Elder Abuse at Weekly Meeting

Brenda Beanblossem of the Locust Creek Resource Center in Carlinville, an adult protective service program, was Tuesday's guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Locust Creek has had a contract with the state to work on senior abuse cases in Christian County, for some 25 years.  In 2013, the state changed their scope of services to include disabled people between ages 18 and 59.

Beanblossem told the Kiwanis Club that her agency investigated some 212 abuse cases in Macoupin and Christian Counties in 2015, with 40 of those cases involving adults under age 60.  She added her agency isn't authorized to investigate nursing home or assisted living abuse cases, which come under a different state agency.

She added her agency concentrates on physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of senior citizens, along with confinement, passive neglect, and financial exploitation cases. 

Beanblossem said financial exploitation cases make up the majority of cases they investigate. 

Cases can be reported anonymously and she credits the assistance of area police agencies for their help when needed.

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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Christian County Master Gardeners Host Spring Landscape Workshop

The Christian County Master Gardeners hosted their Spring Landscape Workshop on March 17 at the Christian County Extension Office.

 

Questions were answered in a classroom setting as those attended learned about how to remove or mulch unnecessary plant material, prepare flower and garden beds, and assess the health of existing plants at the University of Illinois Extension’s Christian County “Pollinator Garden”.

 

Master Gardeners are available to answer any questions by the public. You can call the University of Illinois Extension Christian County Office at 287-7246. The office is located at 1120 North Webster Street in Taylorville. 

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Dates and Times Set to Pick-up Campers and Boats at County Fairgrounds

According to Jim Olive, President of the Christian County Agricultural Fair Board, those that have boats and campers that were stored at the Christian County Fairgrounds during the winter, can pick them up on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and every Saturday in April. The fairgrounds will be open on those Saturdays. 

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Three Teens and Juvenile Charged with Ridge Cemetery Vandalism

Three teenagers and one juvenile have been charged with vandalism to a cemetery, following an investigation as they were arrested last Tuesday. According to Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Justin Dudra, the cemetery that was vandalized was Ridge Cemetery, just to the southeast of Tower Hill. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department further stated that between 100-120 headstones were vandalized. Those arrested were 19 year-old Colton J. Brown of Alma, 19 year-old Bradley S. Wright of Shelbyville, 19 year-old Trenton D. White of Pana, and a 17 year-old juvenile of Pana. According to Shelby County State’s Attorney, Gina Vonderheide, the three teens have been charged with Damage to 1-4 gravestones, which is a Class 4 felony, with bond set at $25,000 and ten percent to apply. The juvenile has been charged with Damage to 10 or More Gravestones, a Class 2 felony.

 

Vonderheide further stated that Brown, Wright, and White made their appearance in Shelby County Court on Monday morning. White has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 29 at 10 a.m. The Public Defender filed a bond reduction motion for Wright, but it was denied. His preliminary hearing has been set for April 11 at 10 a.m. Brown’s preliminary hearing has been set for April 13 at 10 a.m. Both Wright and Brown are still incarcerated in the Shelby County Detention Center, while White posted bail. The juvenile’s preliminary hearing is set for April 13 at 10 a.m.

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Boldig Provides Report of Golf Course; Pow Wow Committee Attends Meeting

The Taylorville Park Board District met in regular session on Monday night. The Board heard from Jeff Boldig, who provided a report of the Lake Shore Golf Course. Boldig stated there were 24,000 total rounds last year, which matched the 2014 total. Boldig reported they have been able to get some tee boxes built, yet there is still some work to be done. He noted Alan Jackson, Superintendent of the Lake Department, has pitched in by giving them free materials for building the tee boxes. Boldig mentioned they are upgrading their websites, as they are going paperless by having an automated tee sheet via iPads. He also mentioned through the system, he can log in to monitor the golf courses up to the minute.

Boldig commented the dust is an issue in the parking lot at Lake Shore. He stated they have contacted two oil and chip companies to see if oil and chipping can be done there to help curb the dust. He also mentioned they are thinking about an area to expand near the number one tee putting green, to generate more room for cart staging. The Park Board approved to pay for the kitchen lift pump and elevator repair at a total of some $2,400. Boldig addressed the Board that the contract extension will expire in September 2017.

Park Board President, Marlane Miller, stated they will start working this summer on the contract extension. Boldig also stated they are off to a good start this year, and have received good feedback from golfers and the public.

In other Taylorville Park Board District action, they heard from the committee of the Taylorville Black Horse Pow Wow. Their President, Fred Dubay, stated the fair board has raised the price of having the event and would like to have the Pow Wow at one of the city parks this year.

Dubay noted it is a three day event during the first weekend of June with drummers and fancy dancers. Vice President, Thomas Threefeathers, stated admission is free, but the vendors are charged a $75 fee to sell their merchandise of Native American crafts, while it’s higher in other places. Dubay mentioned one of the big expenses is bringing drummers in which could cost $1000-1500.

After much discussion regarding security and the event, the Park Board decided to table the motion to discuss it further by having a special meeting on April 11 at 9:30 a.m. in the Park District Office. Marlane Miller, President of the Taylorville Park Board District, told Regional Radio News they used to have the Pow Wow at the park during the early 2000’s, before going out to the Christian County Fairgrounds.

Following public guests, the Park Board went into new business and approved the thirty day notice for public inspection to file the Fiscal Year Budget for 2016/2017.

 

In other Taylorville Park Board action, Maintenance Superintendent Gary Brown stated the Caretaker House is down and are still cleaning some concrete up. He also noted they are working on the ball diamonds and the pool. He also noted they are currently installing playground equipment at the Don Bragg Sports Complex. Secretary/Bookkeeper MaryAnn Becker, noted their contract with Direct Energy was to expire this year. Becker noted they have reached a 36 month agreement that will go until September 2019.

Becker further stated an arrest was made as a minor vandalized a fountain at the park earlier this month. Recreation Director Bailey Hancock reported Sunday’s Easter Egg Hunt had a good turnout. She noted that ten new lifeguards have been hired, along with nine returning. She also stated that seven were hired to be part of the Day Camp staff. She also noted the University of Illinois Extension will be holding their Conservation Day on April 21 in the morning at the park, as third and fourth grade students will be attending.


The Board did not go into executive session and approved the payment of bills. The meeting adjourned at 8:06 p.m.

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Entire Village of Mt. Auburn Under a Boil Order

According to Mark Whalen of the Mt. Auburn Water District, the entire Village of Mt. Auburn is under a boil order until further notice. Customers should boil water to be used for human consumption. 

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Applications Available for Lake Shelbyville Deer Hunt for People with Disabilities and Wounded Warriors

The 27th Annual Deer Hunt for People with Disabilities, hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Wolf Creek State Park will be held on November 18 through November 20, 2016 at Lake Shelbyville. Applicants must possess a state-issued disabled person identification card for a disabled veteran identification card. This year, ten spots will be held for Wounded Warriors, as all disabled veterans wounded in combat are encouraged to apply. Lee Mitchell, Natural Resource Specialist at Lake Shelbyville, told Regional Radio News this is a great opportunity for hunters that have a disability to enjoy deer hunting.

Mitchell noted the hunt has a success rate of 60-80%.

Mitchell says they have had hunters locally and even nationally participate. Applications must be submitted by March 31. They are available for pickup at the Lake Shelbyville Project Office, online at tinyurl.com/LakeShelbyville-Hunting, or mail by contacting the Environmental Stewardship Department at 217-774-3951, ext. 7049.

 

On April 4, 25 applicants will be selected by drawing to participate in the hunt during the first Illinois firearm season. 

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Christian County YMCA to Host 25th Annual Healthy Kids Day

The Christian County YMCA will be hosting their 25th Annual Healthy Kids Day on Saturday, April 9 from 9-11 a.m. This event is free and open to the public. Andrea Bach, Program Director of the Christian County YMCA, told Regional Radio News that the event is about keeping the kids healthy and active during the summer months when school is not going on.

The event is geared towards kids that are pre-school to 11 years of age, and parents are welcome to attend the event with their children. Various community leaders will be available to speak to the kids and parents. The first 100 kids will receive a bag, and there will be healthy games, book fair, Clifford the Big Red Dog will make his appearance, and even a FS pedal tractor pull, and more activities. Bach added there will also be registration for summer and fall programs at the Y such as swimming and karate.

For more information, you can call Bach at 287-7271. 

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Herpstreith Provides Safety Tips of Awareness

The warmer weather during spring means more people will be doing recreational activities outside and one law enforcement officer would like to share some safety tips. Dave Herpstreith, Police Chief of the Taylorville Police Department, told Regional Radio News that motorists and people who may be outside should be aware of pedestrians in their area.

Herpstreith mentioned motorists should slow down and alleviate all distractions. He also mentioned bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians should be aware of traffic. Herpstreith encourages parents to teach their children about the dangers of strangers and to talk to them about what to do if they encounter one.

 

To report any suspicious activity, you can call the Taylorville Police Department at 824-2211. 

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Miller Media Group Announces Frequency, Format Changes as of June 1

The Miller Media Group radio stations in Taylorville has announced some frequency changes for its newstalk station, and the sign-on of a new station, all taking place on June First.

 

NEWSTALK WTIM on the FM dial in Christian County, will move from 96.3 to 96.1 on June First, and in Shelby County, WTIM will move from 94.7 to 107.5 on the FM dial also on June First.  Both changes will increase the signal coverage of WTIM in both counties.  WTIM will remain on the AM dial at 870 daytime, and will continue to be streamed at taylorvilledailynews.com.

 

The Miller Media Group on June First will also sign on a new radio station covering Christian County.  "Easy Hits 96.5" will feature the greatest hits from the 50's thru the 80's, with core artists Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Andy Williams and Nat King Cole, aimed at a 45-plus demographic.

 

Also on June First will be the move of 107.5 shine.fm's Contemporary Christian music format, to the Internet.  That station will continue to be heard by clicking the shine.fm icon at taylorvilledailynews.com.

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Ameren Illinois Customers Have Opportunity to Catch Up on Paying Energy Bills

Ameren Illinois customers who have fallen behind on their energy bills have the opportunity to catch up and pay those bills off. Jenifer Hagen, Community Relations Coordinator for Ameren Illinois, told Regional Radio News, customers with past due balances have the option to establish a repayment plan by making a 10 percent down payment on their bill until March 31.

Hagen says this is a great opportunity for their customers because on April 1, it will then be 25% down payment on their bill.

To establish a repayment plan, go to amerenillinois.com or call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-755-5000. 

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LLC Enacts Wage and Benefits Freeze for Next Academic Year

Faculty at Lake Land College has agreed to a one year contract extension that will generate savings and will wage freezes and benefits for the 2016/2017 academic year. Josh Bullock, LLC President, told Regional Radio News the support from the faculty was overwhelming as they are navigating their way through the budget impasse.

Bullock added it helps keep the staffing level stable at the college.

More information can be found at lakelandcollege.edu. 

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TCCU Earns Highest Five Star Superior Rating

The Taylorville Community Credit Union has again earned BauerFinancial Inc.’s highest five-star superior rating, for 83 consecutive quarters. Will Perkins, President of TCCU, told Regional Radio News it is something they are proud of as it shows the longevity of the staff and board.

TCCU has also reached the level of “Exceptional Performance Credit Unions”, which is reserved for institutions that have earned this top five-star rating for ten years or longer. Perkins noted the five-star rating comes shortly before their 60th Anniversary in June.

Perkins further stated more products and services are coming, along with community involvement for the year. More information on TCCU can be found at taylorvillecommunitycreditunion.com or you can stop by at any of their facilities in Taylorville, Hillsboro, and Litchfield. 

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Gas Prices Could Increase Past Two Dollars a Gallon

Residents throughout central Illinois have enjoyed gas prices under two dollars a gallon, but those prices may increase soon in the area. Gregg Laskoski, Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy.com told Regional Radio News there has been a noticeable increase in the state and national average past $2.00 a gallon.

The increase in price is due to the transition of less expensive winter blend gasoline, to the more expensive summer blend. Laskoski says there has been a 50% rise in crude oil prices.

Laskoski says prices will continue to increase steadily until it reaches a peak during April or May. After reaching that peak, it is unknown if it will stay fairly high in the summertime or will consistently decrease.

You can download the free Gas Buddy App on your smartphone or go to illinoisgasprices.com. 

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Citizens for Education Describe Creation; Update on SB1

The Citizens For Education was launched after the Taylorville Community Unit School District #3 board announced earlier this year of budget considerations for the FY 17 budget. CFE is a grassroots committee comprised of parents, community, and business leaders that were created for the purpose of changing the way Illinois Public Schools are funded. Jenny Moats, parent and nurse for TCUSD #3 told Regional Radio News, the inequitable funding of schools within the State opened up their eyes.

Melisa Livingston, Parent and Substitute Teacher, provided an update on Senate Bill 1 that was introduced by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill). She says it will be reintroduced and will receive a new number after it’s officially and formally filed in April.

A CFE Launch will be held at the Taylorville High School Cafeteria on Thursday April 7 at 6:30 p.m. TCUSD #3 Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau will speak, along with Teresa Ramos of the Funding Illinois Future coalition. The public is invited. 

 

More information on Citizens For Education can be found at citizensforeducation.org and Funding Illinois Future at fundingilfuture.org. 

 

* Link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/AcpYeCwgxdR

 

 

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National Weather Service Releases Tornado Summary of 2015

The National Weather Service Office in Lincoln has released their Tornado Summary of 2015. It was reported that 69 tornadoes touched down in the state as the majority of them were brief, and a few carved a path of several miles. Chris Geelhart, Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News that the northern half of the state had the majority of twisters.

Geelhart noted the majority of those tornadoes occurred during severe weather outbreaks on April 9 and June 22.

In our Regional Radio listening area, there was one tornado touchdown confirmed last year in Christian County on April 9, about two and a half miles to the southeast of Tovey in a rural area. It was recorded as an EF0, and stayed on the ground for one minute and traveled northeast in an open field. The strongest tornado recorded was an EF4 that occurred on April 9 as it carved a path of destruction of 30 miles through Lee, Ogle, De Kalb, and Boone counties. It stayed on the ground for 40 minutes. Two deaths were reported and 11 were injured.

 

The weather summary can be viewed at weather.gov/lincoln. 

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American Red Cross Responds to Multi-Unit Home Fire in Mattoon

 

American Red Cross volunteers responded to a multi-unit home fire on the 1800 block of South Ninth Street in Mattoon on Wednesday. After the home fire, Red Cross volunteers ensure that everyone affected has a place to stay, food, clothing and emotional support. They are currently assisting two adults and seven children.

 

The volunteers that were on the scene of Wednesday’s home fire, were members of the local Disaster Action Team, which is a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.

 

More than 225 families receive assistance in the south central Illinois area from the American Red Cross chapter serving the region. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, the American Red Cross serving south central Illinois assisted 349 families after a disaster. 

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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Grand Opening for Glik’s

A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening was held on Thursday morning at Glik’s on 107 East Bidwell Street as several business and community leaders attended. This is the fourth time that Glik’s has been in Taylorville. Jim Glik, Vice President of Glik’s Stores, told Regional Radio News they bring a different assortment of products than what they had in the past.

Glik further stated longevity is important for the business, since they have been ongoing since 1897, and are currently training a fifth generation of Glik’s to help run the company. Glik says they are fond of thriving downtown communities and have gone back to strip mall centers to open their stores.

There was the buzz that Glik’s was coming to Taylorville before it opened. Prior to opening on Thursday, Glik stated the feedback has been positive. He mentioned customers can see them in person and they are also available on the web at gliks.com.

Store hours are on Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 12-6 p.m.

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Pana High School Students of the Month Announced

Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR and People’s Bank and Trust in Pana have announced their students of the month for March. The program recognizes one outstanding student from each of the four classes each month.

 

The Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR and People’s Bank and Trust students of the month are senior Jacob Franklin, junior Dorothy Weddle, sophomore Claire Holthaus, and freshman Elizabeth Epley. Joanie Jones of People’s Bank and Trust in Pana was in attendance to give the students their plaques. 

 

* Left to right: Peoples Bank and Trust - Joanie Jones, and Elizabeth Epley. Missing are senior Jacob Franklin, junior Dorothy Weddle, and sophomore Claire Holthaus. Photo submitted by Judi McDowell-Humphrey 

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Petitions Available for Corn Checkoff Board Positions; Includes District 12

Farmers who would like to run for a three-year term on the Illinois Corn Marketing Board can now start circulating nominating petitions, as elections will be held on July 7, 2016. Kayla Peter, Operations Manager for Illinois Corn Marketing Board, told Regional Radio News one of the districts in the Regional Radio listening area that is open for election is District 12, which includes Coles County.

Petitions are also available at county Extension offices, and petitions should have 200 signatures of producers residing in the counties within the district. Interested corn farmers must be 18 years old, have produced and marketed corn, reside in the district to be represented and have submitted a valid petition by the filing deadline to be eligible for election. Those elected will serve a three year term beginning August 1, 2016.

 

For more information or to request a petition, call the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 524-9130 or go online to www.agr.state.il.us/. You can also submit a letter to Illinois Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Marketing and Promotion, P.O. Box 19281, State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL 62792-9281. 

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Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for Express Employment Professionals

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday morning at the U.S. Bank building for Express Employment Professionals. Community and business leaders, along with Express staff were present at the ceremony. Kirk Considine, Director of Professional Staffing for Express Employment Professionals, told Regional Radio News it is a global staffing agency that covers industrial, administrative, and professional fields.

Considine noted they work out of the Springfield office, and they want to become more involved in the community, as they do business in Taylorville. He says chamber membership is vital to the success of their business.

Considine noted there are jobs available and are currently in a recruiting crunch.

More information can be found on Express by going online to expresspros.com or by calling 217-528-3000.

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Water to be Shut Off for Village of Strasburg on Monday

According to Linda Oakley, Village of Strasburg Administrative Clerk/Treasurer, the water will be shut off for the entire water system on Monday in the Village of Strasburg. Water will be shut off starting at 8:30 a.m., and will be shut off for approximately 5-6 hours, with a boil order to follow once water is turned back on.

 

A larger water valve is being installed to increase the flow of water into the Village’s water system. Customers in the affected area will have to boil any water to be used for human consumption once the boil order is in effect, until the all clear is given. 

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Jenner Ag Having Lawn Mower Raffle; All Proceeds to Benefit Shadow Home

Jenner Ag in Taylorville has announced it will raffle off a Cub Cadet LX42 EFI riding lawn mower during its Lawn & Garden Demo Days on Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16. The hours for the Lawn & Garden Demo Days on Friday are from 3-7 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lisa Daum, Officer Manager of Jenner Ag, told Regional Radio News all the proceeds from the raffle tickets will go to the Shadow Home in Taylorville.

The Shadow Home provides shelter for homeless, abandoned or abused women and their children. Raffle tickets are available now as they are 1 for $5 or 5 for $20. Raffle tickets are available at Jenner Ag, on the corner of Routes 29 and 48, and at the Shadow Home on 118 West Franklin Street. The drawing will be held on April 16 and the winner does not need to be present to win.

 

Jenner Ag’s Demo Days will also feature Kubota obstacle courses, eXmark, Case IH, and Cub Cadet ride-n-drives. There will also be product demonstrations, a bounce house, free refreshments on Friday and free lunch on Saturday. More information can be obtained by calling 287-7411 or visiting Jenner Ag. 

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Lake Land College to Host Annual Health and Safety Fair

Lake Land College will be hosting their annual Health and Safety Fair on Wednesday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Field House on campus in Mattoon. This event is free and open to the public, as area residents and students are encouraged to attend to learn valuable health and safety tips. Sharon Uphoff, College Nurse at LLC, told Regional Radio News the vendors that will be there to highlight the services they provide.

Vendors will explain their services that pertain to prevention, wellness, and beauty services. There were over 30 vendors present last year, but Uphoff says the number is lower this year due to cutbacks and downsizing that vendors have encountered.

For more information, you can contact Uphoff at 217-234-5276. 

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Courthouse Music Issue Brought Up Again at County Board Meeting

 

Music stemming from the speakers on top of the Christian County Courthouse was once again the topic of discussion at the Christian County Board meeting on Tuesday night. During public comments, the board heard from resident Tom Wall regarding the issue. Wall addressed the board saying the motion should be brought back to the committee. He also mentioned he is not concerned about the hours of the music being played.

Wall said he has spoken to Ed Downs, Vice President of Downtowntaylorville.org about the hours of operation. Wall has not discussed the issue with his neighbors yet, but will start to receive feedback on their input. Business owner, Janet DeClerck, commented during the Building Committee meeting on March 8 that her customers gave her positive compliments about the music. It was also during that meeting that a motion was approved to have the hours be from 9 to 4 Monday through Saturday. Wall suggested that speakers should be installed ground level.

Following much discussion, the motion to bring it back to committee to establish hours of operation for the music was approved.

 

In other Christian County Board action, a motion was approved for the assessment of a $5 electronic citation fee to be paid by any defendant in any traffic, misdemeanor, municipal ordinance, or conservation case upon judgment of guilty, or supervision judgment. Christian County Board Chairman, Paul Schmitz, told Regional Radio News that they didn’t approve of it in 2011, as the County adopted a resolution to not participate in the $5 fee.

It was reported that the grant money has not been dispersed by the state for the Solid Waste Fund, and the quarterly tipping fees from the landfill have not yet arrived leaving a cash flow issue. It was observed that the Solid Waste Fund did not have enough cash in the checking amount to cover those expenses. Schmitz says there is a CD coming in on March 31st, yet the market for recycling materials has gone down.

Schmitz noted the contract runs next year with the hauler, and if recycling doesn’t pick up and there is no market for it, then everything will go to the landfill.

 

In other Christian County Board action, the Board heard from Central Illinois Public Transit Program Director Kim Adair and Mobility Manager Nathan Nichols about the progress of CIPT since they started offering public transportation in the county since November. From November 15 through February 16, there have been a total of 1,017 trips. Nichols said they want to employ more drivers to have an overall total of eight to ten. They will continue speaking to the public and attend events to spread the word about C.I.P.T.

 

Laurie Mense, Christian County Clerk & Recorder, reported some election figures from the Primary held last week and compared the totals to four years ago. Mense stated this year’s precinct that recorded the highest percentage was Johnson Township at over 51%, yet represents 284 voters, while the most ballots were cast in Pana Township at 497.

The meeting adjourned at 7:36 p.m. 

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Remodeling Going On at Bob Ridings Taylorville

Remodeling of the outside of Bob Ridings in Taylorville is taking place.  This after the inside of the dealership was recently remodeled.  Both are part of the new Ford motif that dealers are participating in nationwide.

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Christian County Economic Development Board Holds Quarterly Meeting

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board held their quarterly meeting today at the banquet room of Krieger's Sports Bar and Grill in Taylorville, to review ongoing economic development efforts in the county.
Executive Director Mary Renner told Regional Radio News about 2 items she shared with the board in the meeting.  The first was that the proposed Taylorville Business and Industrial Park on West Route 104 has made what she called giant steps forward towards applying for infrastructure funding.

Renner also said that after a positive feasibility study for a proposed Cobblestone Inn for Taylorville, representatives for the hotel chain and their builder are looking at 2 different tracts of land to locate.

Renner added it's not known when construction may begin, as the hotel chain will be holding an local investor meeting to garner local dollars for the  project.

It's not known when that investor meeting will take place, but it'll be likely later this year.

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Annual Easter Egg Hunt Upcoming at Faith Community Worship Center

The Faith Community Worship Center on 2493 South Spresser Street will be having their Annual Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday, March 26 for children up to 12 years old. The Easter Egg Hunt will be at the church, and is free and open to the public. Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the hunt will start at 11 a.m. Jami Hefner, one of the Youth Pastors at FCWC, told Regional Radio News between 10-11 a.m., doughnuts and juice will be provided to those that attend, prior to the children searching for any of the some 20,000 eggs.

Hefner says there will also be free photographs, along with 12 bicycles and 40 Easter gift baskets for prizes.

Parking will be available and there will be golf carts to shuttle people who have to park a distance away from the egg hunt site. For more information, call 827-7256 or 971-1781. 

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Chapter FG of the P.E.O. Offering Scholarship

The Chapter FG of the Philanthropic Educational Organization in Taylorville has announced that applications are being accepted for a $1,000 scholarship. Kathy Coady, member of the Chapter FG of P.E.O. in Taylorville, told Regional Radio News that the scholarship is available to women who have graduated from Taylorville High School and have completed two years in college. She also mentioned the deadline for applications is May 20.

Coady noted they will review all applications, as educational and career goals, college grades, and financial need will be considered when determining the recipient. Applications are available from Suzie Freese at 824-9326 or Kathy Coady at 824-4630.

 

The P.E.O. is a woman’s philanthropic educational organization with local chapters throughout the world. Their projects include the Educational Loan Fund, International Peace Scholarship, Program for Continuing Education, Scholar Awards, Star Scholarship, and Cottey College. 

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Council Approves Site Plan for Midtowne Plaza

The Taylorville City Council met in regular session on Monday night, and approved many motions and resolutions. The council approved the Plan Commission Recommendation of the Site Plan for Midtowne Plaza on 1510 & 1512 Springfield Road. Pat Kretzer, Interim Chair of the Plan Commission addressed the council that there will be no sidewalks built on Route 104, but sidewalks will be built north of the proposed site.

The Council also approved to direct Jacque Nation, the City Treasurer, to begin charging appropriate late fees to the State of Illinois for water delinquent payments. Mayor Greg Brotherton told Regional Radio News due to the ongoing frustration, they will start charging late fees.

City Attorney Rocci Romano was absent, therefore no City Attorney updates were provided.

In other Taylorville City Council action, Mayor Greg Brotherton brought up discussion that residents within the city have been complaining about unsightly trash that has become an issue. Mayor Brotherton says residents who have not picked up their trash on their property will be issued a verbal warning first, and if they don’t comply, George Calvert, City Zoning Officer, issues a citation.

Brotherton further stated the process may take two to three months in court. Brotherton added there are legal ways or lending a hand to help out neighbors.

Following the Mayor’s updates, were committee reports where the Council approved many motions.

 

In other Taylorville City Council action, a motion was passed to approve amendment #9 for engineering services related to water system improvements for the new Water Treatment Plant for approximately $1.5 million and to have the Mayor and City Clerk to sign the appropriate documents upon approval of the City Attorney, along with the other remaining new water treatment plant items. For the new Water Treatment Plant, the Council approved the agreement for Architectural Services-Bidding and Construction Phase with Oates and Associates in an amount not to exceed $95,000. The Council also approved for the engineering services-bidding and construction phase with Clark Dietz, Inc. in an amount not to exceed some $133,000 for the new water treatment plant. They also accepted the low quote of some $2,000 from Sidener Enviromental Services for chlorinator and injector maintenance parts and service.

 

The Council also approved request and grant a special events permit for the annual William Walter Catch a Fish Day on Saturday, May 7 from 8-10 a.m. at Kiwanis Park at Lake Taylorville, and grant a special events permit for the S.B. Edwards Youth Fishing Tournament on Saturday, May 14 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Kiwanis Park Pavilion and boat dock area.

 

The Council approved the payment of bills totaling some $122,000 and the meeting adjourned after 7:30 p.m. 

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Gleason Provides Outlook of Corn and Soybeans

 

Todd Gleason was the guest speaker at the Christian County Farm Bureau marketing meeting on Thursday night at Krieger’s. There was discussion of short-term and long-term marketing plans for corn, soybeans, and cattle. As spring is officially here, the bulk of corn planted will occur during April before mid-May. Gleason told Regional Radio News there is good soil moisture as it’s a good start for a production season.

Gleason provided his outlook for soybeans and says South America, especially Brazil, will overtake the United States as the world’s largest producer of soybeans possibly this year or in 2017.

Gleason hosts the Closing Market Report from 2:06-2:36 p.m. on weekdays and Commodity Week on Saturdays from 8:30 – 9 a.m. on Newstalk WTIM. 

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C.E.F.S. Scholarship Opportunity for Income Eligible Individuals

The C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation is offering scholarships for income eligible individuals who wish to continue their education in an Illinois Institution approved full-time post-secondary course of study. The course of study must lead up to a degree and/or employment, with particular consideration given to a field of study in high technology areas or other growth occupations. Barbara Waymire, C.E.F.S. Outreach Director, told Regional Radio News they have $8,000 to give out in scholarships as any amount helps for the recipients.

Waymire added they will review every scholarship application and a committee of the C.E.F.S. Board of Directors and staff will interview the eligible participants.

Applications are available at any C.E.F.S. Outreach Office, high school counselor, IETC, local colleges and online at cefseoc.org. Completed applications with all necessary documentation, must be received in the County Outreach Office by 4 p.m. on April 28. Funding for the program is made possible by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, as part of the Community Services Block Grant Program. For further information, call 217-342-2193 ext. 149. 

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Robertson Provides Progress Update on New St. Mary School

As the school year is coming down the homestretch with graduation on the horizon, one area principal is hoping that a new school building will be built before the start of the next school year. Cathy Robertson, Principal at St. Mary’s School in Taylorville, told Regional Radio News it’s possible that ground will be broken by the end of May, and if everything goes smoothly, the new facility may be up in August.

It is estimated the overall cost of the project is around $1.5 million. Robertson said the new facility will be added onto the annex that they currently have.

The benefits are that the building will be easily accessible and all faculty and students will be under one roof. Robertson noted once completed the school will be facing Washington Street, yet further away from the road.

Robertson further stated they look at the project as a blessing and they see it as the “next 100 years” for St. Mary’s. 

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CICBC Announces Two Upcoming Blood Drives

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center has released information regarding two upcoming blood drives. The Morrisonville American Legion will be hosting a community blood drive from 2-7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23 at 607 Ricks Street. To donate, please contact the Community Blood Center at 241-7550 or visit bloodcenterimpact.org and use the code 60031 to locate the drive. Donors who last gave blood on or before January 27 are eligible to give at this drive.

 

The Assumption Community will be hosting a community blood drive from 4-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24 at 225 North Chestnut Street inside the Bloodmobile. To donate, you can contact the Community Blood Center or visit bloodcenterimpact.org and use the code 60003 to locate the drive.  Donors who last gave blood on or before January 28 are eligible to give at this drive.

 

Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, contact the CICBC at (800)747-5401. 

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Mense Reports Higher Voter Turnout from Tuesday’s Primary in Recent Years

Citizens came to the polls on Tuesday or voted early to cast their ballot, and one County Clerk & Recorder stated voter turnout surpassed the last primary four years ago. Laurie Mense, Christian County Clerk & Recorder, told Regional Radio News there was over 38% that voted.

Some counties in the State reported having problems with their voting machines and there was also the threat of severe weather on Tuesday night. Mense reported there were no problems throughout the night. She further stated there are still absentee ballots that have to be counted for and the election equipment has to be tested to see if they come up with the same results.

Mense says they are already gearing up for the November election. The general election is on Tuesday, November 8. 

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Discussions of Ag Seminars and Research on Ag Day Broadcasts

During the 98.3 WSVZ Ag Day broadcast at the Farm House Family Restaurant in Shelbyville on Tuesday, local farm broadcaster, Jared White, spoke with Bridgot Giles, Regional Manager of Farm Credit Illinois. Giles described seminars and events that they conduct throughout the year and spoke about one of those seminars which are a “Young Farmer Retreat”.

At the WTIM Ag Day broadcast at Farm Credit Illinois in Taylorville. White interviewed Gary Letterly, Extension Educator of Energy and Environmental Stewardship of the University of Illinois Extension in Christian County. Letterly described the type of research that is conducted at the Dudley Smith Farm, south of Taylorville on Route 29. Besides livestock, Letterly mentioned they will do research on water, soil and nutrient management.

Sponsors for WSVZ Ag Day were Farm Credit Illinois, Shelby Electric Cooperative, and York Bin Company. Sponsors for NEWSTALK WTIM Ag Day were Farm Credit Illinois and University of Illinois Extension in Christian County.

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Police Chief Warns Residents of IRS Telephone Scam

According to Police Chief Dave Herpstreith, of the Taylorville Police Department, they have been receiving complaints in regards to a telephone scam in the area. Their department has been notified of citizens receiving telephone calls alleged to be from the Internal Revenue Service for unpaid taxes for the years 2001-2015. The IRS does not solicit via phone, and the Taylorville Police Department reminds anyone who receives these calls to not give the caller any personal information.

 

Anyone who has questions or concerns regarding these calls may call the Police Department at 217-824-2211. 

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Shelbyville High School Students of the Month for March Announced

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

 

The 98.3 WSVZ New Country and Family Drug March students of the month are senior Kelcie Darnell, junior Dallas Allsop, sophomore Emme Snider, and freshman Luke Brown.

 

Steve Chastain of Family Drug was in attendance when the students received their plaques. 

 

*Left to Right is Senior Kelcie Darnell, Junior Dallas Allsop, Sophomore Emme Snider, Freshman Luke Brown, and Steve Chastain, Owner Family Drug. Photo submitted by Judi McDowell-Humphrey

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Shaw and May Provide Input on Crop Insurance on Ag Day Broadcast

The 98.3 WSVZ Ag Day Broadcast was held on Tuesday at the Farm House Family Restaurant in Shelbyville. Local farm broadcaster, Jared White, conducted the interviews with those associated with Farm Credit Illinois and Shelby Electric Cooperative. White interviewed Josh Shaw, who is a Crop Insurance Specialist for Farm Credit Illinois. Shaw described the differences of two pricing windows which are in February and October.

During the Newstalk WTIM Ag Day Broadcast, White talked to Caleb May of Farm Credit Illinois and May described how to use crop insurance like a tool.

Sponsors for WSVZ Ag Day were Farm Credit Illinois, Shelby Electric Cooperative, and York Bin Company. Sponsors for NEWSTALK WTIM Ag Day were Farm Credit Illinois and University of Illinois Extension in Christian County.

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GTCC Hosts Business After Hours at Mity’s Pub; Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held

A good crowd was in attendance at Mity’s Pub on Spresser Street in Taylorville at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours event. Businesses in the spotlight were Dunn’s Ambulance, Collections of Professions, and Mity’s Pub. Paula Bantner-Dunn, President of Dunn’s Ambulance, told Regional Radio News their turn of co-hosting the event came at the right time as Dunn’s Ambulance celebrated their 20th Anniversary in business this month.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for Mity’s Pub as they recently became a member of the Chamber and recently celebrated their first year in business on March 2. Trisha Barror, Manager of Mity’s Pub, says as a member of the Chamber, they hope to see more new customers.

For more information on the Business After Hours event, go to taylorvillechamber.com or call 824-4919. 

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Gleason and Panel Facilitate Discussion on Marketing for Farmers

The Christian County Farm Bureau and Country Financial co-sponsored a Marketing Meeting in the banquet room at Krieger’s on Thursday night. Todd Gleason was the guest speaker, along with a panel consisting of Merrill Crowley, Ellen Dearden, and Curt Kimmel. The group discussed short-term and long-term marketing plans for corn, soybeans, and cattle. Melissa McMillan, Manager of the Christian County Farm Bureau told Regional Radio News, this is one of three meetings they have and schedule it at this time of year, due to the incoming planting season.

Gleason said the weather can make a big difference in the market, especially the La Nina that is forecasted following the El Nino, as meteorologists are predicting a warmer than average summer.

Jeff Peabody of Country Financial says one thing he learned during the meeting regarding crude oil prices is export is a small percentage of the total gross product.

Gleason hosts the Closing Market Report from 2:06-2:36 p.m. on weekdays and Commodity Week on Saturdays from 8:30 – 9 a.m. on Newstalk WTIM. 

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Something of Value Found at Locust Polling Place; Mense Seeking Owner of It

During the primary on Tuesday, about mid-day at the Locust Polling Place in Owaneco, something of value was found in the parking lot. Laurie Mense, Christian County Clerk & Recorder, told Regional Radio News that a woman found the item of value and surrendered it to election judges. Whoever lost it, should contact the Christian County Clerk & Recorder’s Office.

The number to call if you have lost this item is 824-4969. 

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ISP Troopers to Increase Patrols for St. Patrick’s Day and Weekend

Due to the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, the Illinois State Police will be out in full force across the state, pulling over those that commit any of the Fatal Four Violations which are driving under the influence, speeding, failure to wear a seatbelt, and distracted driving. Sean Ramsey, ISP Trooper of District 09, told Regional Radio News the holiday has been a big celebration in the area in recent years.

Ramsey noted traffic may increase due to college students on spring break and motorcyclists on the roadways.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during the 2014 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period, more than a quarter of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers during the holiday period. The early hours on March 18 were worse as nearly half of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers between midnight and 6 a.m.

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Bernson and Stayton Describe Importance of Agriculture for their Respective Business

During the WSVZ Ag Day Broadcast on Tuesday at the Farm House Family Restaurant, local farm broadcaster, Jared White, spoke with Kevin Bernson, VP of Media and Public Relations at Shelby Electric Cooperative. Bernson described the history of how some 900 cooperatives formed and the services they provide. Bernson says they have two thousand miles of line that are in their service territory, which is an average of four members per mile of line.

During the WTIM Ag Day Broadcast at Farm Credit Illinois in Taylorville, White spoke with Derek Stayton, Vice President of Financial Services of Farm Credit Illinois in Taylorville. Stayton described how they help with agriculture organizations such as FFA and 4-H organizations.

Sponsors for WSVZ Ag Day were Farm Credit Illinois, Shelby Electric Cooperative, and York Bin Company. Sponsors for NEWSTALK WTIM Ag Day sponsors were Farm Credit Illinois and University of Illinois Extension in Christian County.

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LEADership Academy Learns Small Business Development & Community Involvement

On Wednesday, March 9, participants in the 2016 Christian County LEADership program participated in a panel discussion on small business development and community involvement at the Christian County Extension Office in Taylorville. The discussion was led by a group of local business leaders and moderated by Kevin Lust, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Lincoln Land Community College.

 

There were community leaders and business owners who participated in the panel. They were Bob Dunn of Dunn’s Ambulance and Collections of Professions; Billy Williams of Computer Techniques, Inc. and TMH Foundation; Wendy O’Bryan of Taylorville Monogram by Design; Dr. Ronald Mizer of the Taylorville Kiwanis, and Elizabeth Hohenstein of KARMA Salon.

 

For this week, participants learned about Systems Thinking which was presented by Scott Stallman, Ph. D., Associate Vice President, Lincoln Land Community College outreach.

 

For more information about the Christian County LEADership program, contact the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce at 824-4919 or University of Illinois Extension, Christian County Office at 287-7246. 

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Sheriff Kettelkamp Warns Citizens of Jury Duty Scam

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp would like to warn the citizens of a scam that is going around. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming that you missed jury duty and have to pay a fine or there is an arrest warrant for you, it is a scam. Do not give them any personal information and report it to the Sheriff’s Office immediately.

 

Scammers are making these calls and using Judge Brad Paisley’s name as well as State Attorney Mike Havera and Bruce Kettelkamp’s names. The legitimate procedure is if you don’t show for jury duty, as required, you will receive a telephone call from the Christian County Circuit Clerk’s Office or the Sheriff’s Office directing you to come to the courthouse for jury duty.

 

The Sheriff’s Office and States Attorney’s Office do not call and tell people they have warrants. This is a scare tactic designed to frighten people, make them worry, and then divulge personal information to avoid the alleged “fine” or “arrest”. 

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Jarrett Appointed as Interim Mayor of Kincaid

Following David Oller’s resignation last week as Mayor of Kincaid, the Village of Kincaid held their meeting on Monday night and appointed Bill Jarrett to the position as interim Mayor by a vote of 4-2. Jarrett was one of the trustees on the Village Board prior to being appointed. Jarrett told Regional Radio News he commends Oller for the job that he did and will continue to be interim Mayor until April 2017.

Jarrett said one of the biggest priorities is getting the flood victims taken care of and there are some other issues they need to address and move forward.

Jarrett further stated he is more easily accessible since he is retired, while Oller had a full-time job.

Jarrett will have to appoint a trustee to fill in his vacant spot within the next 30-60 days.

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TMH Foundation Announces Opportunity for Dr. George Ferry Memorial Scholarship

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation encourages Taylorville High School students planning for a career in the medical field to apply for the 2016 Dr. George Ferry Memorial Scholarship administered through the Foundation. Raedena Ryan, Executive Director of the TMH Foundation, told Regional Radio News students who have applied for this scholarship in the past were planning their career in a variety of medical fields.

Two $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to Taylorville High School students pursuing an education in the healthcare field and the recipients will be announced during THS Awards Night. The Dr. George Ferry Memorial Scholarships are provided by the Ferry Family, Mid Illinois Dental Associates, Ltd and TMH Foundation. Last year’s recipients were Toryn Davis and Mia Rivecco.

 

Applications for the scholarship are available by contacting THS guidance counselor, Margo Wagoner or by contacting Ryan AT 824-1651 or by e-mail at ryan.raedena@mhsil.com. The deadline to submit the application packets to the high school is April 1. 

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Ag Day Broadcasts on WSVZ and WTIM

On Tuesday morning, two National Ag Day broadcasts were on 98.3 WSVZ New Country and The Big 870 AM, 96.3 and 94.7 FM, Newstalk WTIM as local farm broadcaster, Jared White, interviewed several guests on Tuesday morning. The WSVZ Ag Day broadcast occurred at the Farm House Family Restaurant, just east of Shelbyville. One guest that White interviewed was Scott Montgomery, the Vice President of Lending Services of Farm Credit Illinois of the Effingham office. Montgomery says ag lending has been tough due to the economy and they are trying to minimize losses.

For the WTIM Ag Day Broadcast at Farm Credit Illinois in Taylorville, Dan Pollock, Regional Manager, mentioned they are part of a group called Ag Direct, which does Point-of-Sale Financing.

Sponsors for WSVZ Ag Day were Farm Credit Illinois, Shelby Electric Cooperative, and York Bin Company. Sponsors for NEWSTALK WTIM Ag Day sponsors were Farm Credit Illinois and University of Illinois Extension in Christian County.

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Congressman Rodney Davis Wins Republican Primary

U-S Congressman Rodney Davis handily defeated a primary challenger in Tuesday's election, beating Ethan Vandersand 76 to 24 percent for the Republican nomination for Illinois' 13th Congressional District.

Davis told Regional Radio News late Tuesday night, that he was humbled by the strong vote he received districtwide.

And, Davis expects the Democrats to run someone as it's a 50-50 district between Republicans and Democrats.

Davis says his strong showing bodes well for Republicans in his district.

Davis said he was proud of the Republican candidates for president, and he'll back whoever the nominee is.

Davis and his family reside in Taylorville.

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Avery Bourne Defeats 2 Challengers in Republican State Rep Primary

The Republican nomination for 95th State Representative was won by Raymond native and incumbent State Representative Avery Bourne, who beat 2 challengers to go against long-time Democrat Mike Mathis of Gillespie in the general election.  Bourne told Regional Radio News late Tuesday night that people are tired of the status quo in Springfield.

Bourne said the fact she had 2 challegers after being appointed state representative was healthy for the party.

Bourne will be going up against Macoupin County Democratic Chairman Mike Mathis.  She gave us a taste of what her campaign will sound like in the general election.

Bourne won district-wide with some 64-percent of the vote in the Republican primary.

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FINAL Results in Contested Races in Christian, Shelby, and Montgomery Counties

ELECTION RESULTS IN CONTESTED RACES

ON THE REPUBLICAN BALLOT
IN CHRISTIAN COUNTY
 30 of 30 precincts counted.

FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT:
____________Donald J. Trump 44%
_____________Ted Cruz 36%
_____________Marco Rubio 5%
______________John Kasich 11%

For the Republican nomination for the 13th U-S Congressional District, Christian County results only:
______________Rodney Davis 86%
______________Ethan Vandersand 13%

For the Republican nomination for 95th District State Rep, Christian County results only:
________Dennis Scobbie 28%
________Christopher Hicks 8%
________Avery Bourne 62%

For the Republican nomination for 96th District State Rep, Christian County results only:
_________Cindy Deadrick Wolfer 50%
_________Gary T. Pierce 50%

For the Republican nomination to run for Christian County Board District 3, 2 to be nominated:
___________David K. Driskell 29%
___________Jack Pearce, Jr. 33%
___________Molly Alaria 36%

 

ELECTION RESULTS IN CONTESTED RACES
ON THE DEMOCRATIC BALLOT
IN CHRISTIAN COUNTY
 30 of 30 precincts counted.

For the Democratic nomination for President, Christian County results only:
___________Hillary Clinton 46%
___________Bernie Sanders 51%


ELECTION RESULTS IN CONTESTED RACES
ON THE REPUBLICAN BALLOT
IN SHELBY COUNTY
 33 of 33 precincts counted.

For the Republican nomination for President, Shelby County results only:
_________Donald J. Trump 39%
_________Ted Cruz  42%
__________Marco Rubio 5%
__________John Kasich 9%

For the Republican nomination for the 15th U-S Congressional District, Shelby County results only:
__________John M. Shimkus 58%
__________Kyle McCarter 41%

For the Republican nomination for the 102nd State Representative, Shelby County results only:
_________Brad Halbrook 68%
_________Randy A. Peterson 13%
_________James M. Acklin 17%

For members of the Shelby County Board, district 7, one to be nominated:
_________Robert H. Behl 66%
_________Tim Cyr 33%

 

ELECTION RESULTS IN CONTESTED RACES
ON THE DEMOCRATIC BALLOT
IN SHELBY COUNTY
 33 of 33 precincts counted.

For the Democratic nomination for President, Shelby County results only:
__________Hillary Clinton 44%
__________Bernie Sanders 52%

 

 

SHELBY COUNTY REFERENDUMS
Shelby County results only.
  33 of 33 precincts counted.

Neoga School District tax increase:
________yes 35%
________no 64%

Penn Township tax increase:
__________yes 45%
__________no 55%

Cowden Fire Protection District tax increase:
__________yes 185
__________no 227

Stewardson Fire and Ambulance District proposition to elect trustees rather than having them appointed:
__________yes 260
___________no 265, defeated by 5 votes.

 

 

ELECTION RESULTS IN CONTESTED RACES

ON THE REPUBLICAN BALLOT
IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY
  39 of 39 precincts counted.

For the Republican nomination for President, Montgomery County results only:
__________Donald J. Trump 43%
__________Ted Cruz 35%
__________Marco Rubio 7%
__________John Kasich 10%

For the Republican nomination for U-S 13th Congressional District Representative, Montgomery County results only:
__________Rodney Davis 80%
__________Ethan Vandersand 19%

For the Republican nomination for 95th State Representative, Montgomery County results only:
___________Dennis J. Scobbie 39%
___________Christopher Hicks 6%
___________Avery Bourne 53%

For the Republican nomination for Montgomery County Coroner:
__________Randy A. Leetham 61%
__________Tobin Gunn 38%

 

ELECTION RESULTS IN CONTESTED RACES
ON THE DEMOCRATIC BALLOT
IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY
  39 of 39 precincts counted.

For the Democratic nomination for President:
__________Hillary Clinton 47%
__________Bernie Sanders 48%

 

 

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Illinois Holds Primary Election Today; Result Links Available

Illinois held its primary election today.  There were a lot of contested races on both the national and state level.  

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for the latest returns in contested races all night long, and they'll also be posted at taylorvilledailynews.com.

Results can also be obtained for these Regional Radio counties, at these links:

For Christian County--

http://il.christian.accessliberty.com/

For Shelby County--

http://il.shelby.accessliberty.com/

For Montgomery County--

http://www.montgomeryco.com/countyclerk/pr.php

 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hear from New Pediatrician at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from a new pediatrician in the community, at its weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Doctor Lynn Kink joined Doctor Yaser Freij's practice in Taylorville in January, after a 6-year stint practicing and teaching at the S-I-U School of Medicine.  She lives in Springfield with her husband, a Springfield firemen, and their 2 children.

She said she has always enjoyed children so that's why she selected pediatrics as her profession.

She added that the new practice of allowing new mothers to be with their baby for the baby's first 2 hours of their life, is a big advancement.

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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Preliminary Hearing Held for Rigney; Jury Trial Set

The preliminary hearing of 35 year-old Steve A. Rigney of Morrisonville was held at the Christian County Courthouse on Tuesday morning. Rigney is accused of sexually abusing a minor child on multiple occasions, as he is facing a Class 1 felony of Criminal Sexual Assault. Christian County State’s Attorney, Michael Havera, called Christian County Sheriff Deputy Alan Bailey to the stand. Bailey testified that the victim stated there were multiple incidents of sexual assault between March to May of 2015, and the incidents occurred in the victim’s bedroom at Rigney’s residence in Palmer. While being interviewed by Bailey, the victim stated that Rigney would be drunk during instances.

 

During cross examination, Bailey told Public Defender Greg Grigsby that the victim notified her mother of the allegations on February 1, 2016. While being interviewed by Bailey, Rigney denied committing the acts.

 

Following Bailey’s testimony, Associate Judge Brad Paisley stated that the court has found probable cause. Grigsby stated the defendant waives arraignment, pleads not guilty, and demands trial by jury. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for May 31, 2016 at 10 a.m., and a jury trial has been set for June 20 at 8:30 a.m.


The possible penalties of the Criminal Sexual Assault charge include a mandatory 4-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and two years to a lifetime of mandatory supervised release. Rigney is still being held on $500,000 cash bond.

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Taylorville Police Seeking Help from Public in Locating Runaway Teen

The Taylorville Police Department issued a statement on Tuesday morning as they are seeking help from the public in locating a 17 year-old female runaway who was last seen at her residence on February 18, 2016. Rachel Barrish of Taylorville is approximately 5’7” and weighs 100 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. 

 

According to her parents, they have had reports of her walking in the Taylorville area, but have never been able to locate her. If anyone has any information concerning her location, contact the Taylorville Police Department at 217-824-2211 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-568-TIPS.

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for more updates and information regarding the whereabouts of Rachel Barrish. 

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UPDATED: Severe Weather Possible Today in Region

 

The National Weather Service issued an update at 1 p.m. today regarding the threat of severe weather. The highest chances will be to the northwest of the Regional Radio listening area. Main severe thunderstorm development will occur late afternoon and storms will push eastward this evening. Areas west of the Illinois River will be at risk from 5-8 p.m., with the threat extending east toward Interstate 55 between 6-10 p.m., followed by east central Illinois later in the night time hours from 8-11. The main concerns are large hail and damaging wind gusts, though a few tornadoes are possible. The National Weather Service in Lincoln stated the best chances for tornadoes are northwest of Interstate 55 and as the evening progresses, the threat will shift more toward the high winds.

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for updates and information. 

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Prospective Students & Parents Invited to Laker Visit Day

Prospective Lake Land College students and parents are invited to learn more about the college at Laker Visit Day on April 1. Laker Visit Day will be held from 9 a.m. until noon, as it provides an opportunity for students to tour campus, sit in on a current class, meet current students and talk with faculty. Parents and guardians are welcome to attend and learn more about the college during a parent session.

 

There will be representatives from Admissions, Financial Aid, Counseling, Career Services, and Student Life will provide information and answer questions. Including in the event will be campus tours and informational sessions by current Lake Land College Student Ambassadors and college staff. Participants will also meet with faculty members in their academic area of interest to learn more about more than 150 majors at Lake Land.

 

Guests should be prepared to walk throughout the campus and in the case of inclement weather on the day of the event; you can go online at lakelandcollege.edu.

 

For more information, or to reserve a space, you can go to lakelandcollege.edu/visit or call 217-234-5254. 

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Citizens for Education Provide Input Following School Board Meeting; CFE Progress Report Provided

During the beginning of the Taylorville Community Unit School District #3 Board meeting on Monday night, Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau and Board President Steve Milling, thanked Jenny Moats, Taylorville District Grade School Nurse and Parent, along with community members for attending the House Education Task Force in Springfield recently. Moats told Regional Radio News following the school board meeting she was pleased that only the transportation funds for Taylorville Junior High and freshman athletics were cut as the proposed cuts in January were more significant.

Melisa Livingston, Taylorville District Parent and Substitute Teacher, says they will continue to support the school district and stay informed. She also mentioned they are getting the grassroots of the group established.

Tonya Gideon, a Taylorville District Parent, stated a website has been launched which is www.citizensforeducation.org and is constantly being updated with information.

The Citizens for Education has recently joined a coalition which is Funding Illinois Future which is comprised of more than 230 members. More information can be found at fundingILfuture.org. 

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Transportation Funding Cut for Freshman and Taylorville Junior High Athletics

A good crowd was at the Taylorville Community Unit School District #3 School Board meeting on Monday night. The main item on the agenda was the consideration of FY17 Budget reductions. Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau said the Board has been working since January on these considerations. Fuerstenau announced the Board decided to keep Stonington Elementary as a single section K-3 for next year, and that Mt. Auburn students from K-3 will be going to Taylorville and will attend school at North and Memorial Elementary. As for the athletics considerations, Dr. Fuerstenau announced that transportation funding is cut for freshman and junior high athletics, yet the coaches will be kept for next year. The gate fees will also be raised.

Board member Rick Bryan asked if there were any arrangements for a student that won’t be able to attend due to no transportation. Beth Vincent, TJHS Athletic Director says it shouldn’t be a problem. Board member Seth McMillan questioned if there is a need of a waiver that releases the District from the liability if there was an accident. Fuerstenau stated a waiver is not needed. Fuerstenau told Regional Radio News that parents will have the responsibility to transport students to and from athletic and competitions, and if a student has no parent to transport them, they will have to carpool.

The FY 17 Budget reductions were approved by all board members and they went into closed session following the discussion.

In other Taylorville School Board action on the old business agenda, Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau announced an update on two projects which are the track refurbishment project and the restroom facility at the softball fields. Fuerstenau says the track refurbishment project will start at the end of May, and hope at least half of the restroom facility is operational by April 1.

Board member Seth McMillan asked if there were any funds coming in for the restroom project, especially the $10,000 commitment from the Tornado Open. Board member Bruce Barry stated the Tornado Open is a fundraiser for the student athletes, not for the facilities. Board member Jim Andruch stated Barry pledged $10,000 to the restroom facility.

Board President Steve Milling stated it was discussed in the minutes in October. Following discussion amongst board members, Milling put it on the record that no money will be received from the Tornado Open for the restroom project and for the track project.

 

In other Taylorville School Board action, the consideration of personnel was approved, and the District Master Calendar for the 2016-2017 school year was passed. The Board also approved their annual membership of the Illinois High School Association Membership and approved the CHRISMONT Intergovernmental agreement, which is to participate in the safe school program for the Regional Office of Education. The Board approved People’s Bank and Trust as a designated financial institution. Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau mentioned the District will be starting PARCC testing for grades 3-11 and will be done online. He also noted since the District used an emergency day on February 24, the last official day as of now is Tuesday, May 24. Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau noted there will be a Building and Curriculum Committee meeting in the District Office on Wednesday March 30 at 7 p.m. The public is invited.

The meeting adjourned at 8:09 p.m.  

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Candidate Discusses Importance of Tuesday Primary

As Tuesday’s primaries are getting closer, so are candidates of their respective parties knocking on the doors and traveling to meet citizens within their district in which they are running for. One of those candidates, Christopher Hicks (R-Sawyerville), who is running for the Republican ticket of State Representative of the 95th District, told the WTIM Morning Show tomorrow’s primary is important both locally and nationally.

Hicks says the state budget impasse has reached its ninth month and could possibly make Illinois residents leave the State.

The Illinois primary is on Tuesday. For more information about the voting process, contact your local County Clerk and Recorder. 

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Christian County 4-H to Hold Ag Career Exploration Day

Christian County 4-H will be holding their first ever Ag Career Exploration Day for high school aged 4-H members or FFA members in Christian County on Thursday, March 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The expo will be held at Linda Kehias’ Farm, located on Route 16 west of Pana. Christian County 4-H & Youth Development Program Coordinator, Alicia Gullidge told Regional Radio News the purpose of the event is to help young people learn more about the Agriculture industry and explore related careers.

Gullidge stated this is an opportunity for freshman and sophomores to help lay the groundwork to begin thinking about pursuing a career.

For more information and to register to attend this program, you can contact Gullidge at the Christian County Extension Office in Taylorville at 287-7246.

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6th Street Market in Morrisonville to Celebrate One Year Anniversary

A Morrisonville business will be celebrating their one year anniversary this Friday and Saturday, as Sixth Street Market will be celebrating this weekend. Todd Bailey, Meat Manager at the Sixth Street Market, told Regional Radio News a semi-load of a variety of meats will be there for their two-day truckload sale while supplies last.

Bailey also mentioned there will be some giveaways and prizes.

Back by popular demand, porkburgers will be cooked on the grill and served at the store from 11-2 on both Friday and Saturday. Bailey says this is a way to give back to their customers during their first year in business.

 

For more information, you can call 526-3522. 

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EMA Director: FEMA’s Denial Very Disappointing; Kincaid Recovery Update Provided

It was announced last week that FEMA denied the state’s request for federal assistance following the flooding that occurred in late December. Christian County EMA Director Mike Crews told Regional Radio News that the denial is very disappointing mixed in with disgust.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Director James K. Joseph Crews stated he will contact the emergency management partners in the affected counties to see if there is any additional information that could support an appeal of the denial. Crews noted the Kincaid residents that were affected by the flooding are doing better, and they’re in rebuilding mode.

 

In regards to Kincaid, Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler stated they have worked hard during the recovery and rebuilding process, assuming the federal government was not going to help.

For the recovery process, a long-term committee meets on a weekly basis. The Habitat for Humanity is doing their assessments. Corporate companies and faith-based charities have stepped in to help supply items or have adopted a home to rebuild. Wheeler mentioned some good news as House-In-A-Box out of Seattle, Washington did an assessment of 18 families that needed furniture, and 16 were approved for brand new furniture.

 

The Police Department is still the point of contact if you would like to make a material or cash donation. Their number is 217-237-5568. 

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More Employees Laid Off at EIU

According to a statement from Eastern Illinois University President, David Glassman, 177 civil service employees were laid off on Friday. Glassman cited it is solely because EIU has not received a FY2016 state appropriation. It was announced last month that nearly 200 employees were laid off.

 

Glassman further stated that the ongoing budget impasse has been starving the universities to death and there is a potential for campus closures and more layoffs. Glassman added that Illinois students have been going to neighboring states to pursue a higher education, which dwindles down the enrollment of students. He stated when the public universities receive their funds; the total number of students will be unknown at that time. He also mentioned starting this month, they have mandated 18 unpaid furlough days for all professional staff and administrators, which withholds an entire month’s pay.

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PCH Launches 3D Mammography Fundraising Efforts

3D Mammography is coming to Pana Community Hospital and fundraising efforts are now underway to offset the costs of the new machine. Cindy Miles, Diagnostic Imaging Manager at PCH, told Regional Radio News that a committee is formed, comprising of representatives of the PCH Board, Foundation Board, community members, PCH employees, and physicians.

slogan for the fundraising efforts is “3D Mammography – The Clear Choice” with many events planned to raise funds and to raise awareness of the importance of detecting cancer in its earliest stages through 3D mammography. Miles says the 3D Mammography machine is the latest technology on the market and will be an upgrade of the machine they currently have.

The estimated cost of the equipment is $450,000. The public can look up the upcoming events online. To donate online, you can go to give.panahospital.com. More information can be obtained by calling Kim Rodgers at 562-6340.

 

Pictured are members of the 3D Fundraising Committee: (front) Cindy Miles, Diagnostic Imaging Manager; Marie Bloemer; Vickie Coen, Chief Clinical Officer/Chief Nursing Executive; Janet Dorn; Melissa Rybolt, Marketing Coordinator; (back) Shirley Sharp, PCH Mammography Technologist; Gayle McRoberts, Foundation Board Member; Joyce Morgan, PCH Board member; Kim Rodgers, Foundation Executive Director; and Selena Reed, Foundation Board member. (Not pictured is Dr. Mary Stepping Ludolph). Photo submitted by Melissa Rybolt, Marketing Coordinator at PCH    

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McDonald’s Restaurants Raise Over $245,000 During “Give a Little Love” Campaign

Central Illinois and Peoria/Bloomington McDonald’s Restaurants, including those in Taylorville, Pana, Shelbyville, and Vandalia raised a record amount this year during their annual “Give a Little Love” campaign. From February 2-25, the Central Illinois and Peoria/Bloomington McDonald’s local Owner/Operators and their customers raised over $245,000 to help Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois (RMHCCI) continue their mission of keeping families close.

 

Nearly 100 McDonald’s restaurants came together during the three-week campaign to raise monies and help support the local charity which provides a home away from home for families of critically ill children receiving treatment at Springfield-area medical facilities.

 

During the campaign, customers donated $1 or more at their local Central Illinois or Peoria/Bloomington McDonald’s restaurants. Customers who made a donation had their names displayed on a paper heart in the restaurants with one hundred percent of the proceeds staying local and benefitting the families staying in the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield.

 

RMHCCI keeps families close while their child is receiving medical care by providing them a place to stay and home-cooked meals to eat at no cost to them. The facility is located at 610 North Seventh Street, and serves more than 400 families each year.

 

More information can be found at rmhc-centralillinois.org. 

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Crews Describes Training Tower Facility

* This is the proposed site of the Training Tower Facility 

During the Taylorville City Council meeting on Monday night, councilmen approved a motion to direct the Taylorville Fire Department to move forward with the Training Tower Facility located on the lots directly to the south of the Fire Station and east of the First-Mid Illinois Bank. The proposed site is close to their equipment, water supply, and firemen wouldn’t have to tear down equipment in order to run a call during training. The bank, surrounding businesses and neighbors have been supportive of the facility. Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews told Regional Radio News the storage containers that will be used are interchangeable.

The containers have not been purchased yet, and they are estimated to be 35 feet in length and nine or ten feet tall. They will not be stacked higher than two and can be moved as they are portable. Crews hopes they can have the facility up this year.

The smoke used for the training facility is from a fog machine and is non-toxic. Crews further stated it will help sharpen their skills. 

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Daylight Savings Time on Sunday; Turn Clock Ahead One Hour

Citizens are reminded to turn their clock ahead one hour before going to bed on Saturday night, as daylight savings time begins at 2:00 Sunday morning.

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Oller Submits Resignation as Mayor of Kincaid; Citing Personal Reasons

Earlier this week on Tuesday, David Oller submitted a letter of resignation as Mayor of the Village of Kincaid, effective immediately. He told Regional Radio News via phone on Friday that he resigned due to personal reasons, including the flooding impact that continues and the CMS Surplus Investigation. He also mentioned serving as Mayor of Kincaid was taking time away from his full-time job and family. He further stated the position is better suited for a person that is retired to serve as Mayor that can work during the day. He also mentioned in the future he may consider doing something with the Village of Kincaid, but is not sure yet.

 

Oller noted he is still helping with the Midland Ministerial Association with the supplies to the flood victims and the upcoming benefit on March 18. He added that he enjoyed helping the residents and working with the Village Hall employees.

 

The next regularly scheduled village meeting will take place on Monday, March 14 and the village will formally accept Oller’s resignation. Oller served as Mayor since August 2014, following former Mayor Doug Thomas who was charged with several felonies. 

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State’s Request for Federal Assistance for December Flooding Denied by FEMA

According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the State of Illinois was notified on Thursday that its request for federal assistance to help people, businesses, and local governments in several Illinois counties recover from flooding has been denied. In a letter notifying the state of the denial, FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate said the damage from the floods and severe storms, “was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies.”

 

The state submitted a request for two types of federal assistance on February 26. They were individual assistance to help people and businesses recover and Public Assistance to provide reimbursement to local governments for some of their disaster related expenses. Both forms of federal assistance were denied.

 

James K. Joseph, Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, stated, “This is another example of how the federal government’s population-based threshold for determining assistance works against states with large metropolitan areas.” He further stated they will be reaching out to their emergency management partners in the affected counties and see if there is any additional information that would support an appeal of the denial or either type of assistance.

 

Counties in our Regional Radio listening area that were included in the state’s request for federal assistance for people and businesses were Christian and Sangamon. Counties that were included in the State’s request for federal assistance for local governments were Cumberland and Moultrie. 

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LLC Recognizes Non-Traditional Students of the Year

Lake Land College recently named ten outstanding non-traditional students of the year. The awardees were recognized at the February 26 men’s and women’s home basketball games. They were Cassandra Eilers of Pana, Danielle Lash of Pana, Janie Buchanan of Bethany, Melissa Livesay of Paris, Jennifer Morris of Herrick, Libby Van De List of Effingham, Annette Lynch of Charleston, Leah Keagle of Arthur, Jackie Epley of Pana, and Clyde Powell of Charleston.

 

This precedes the college’s Adult Week celebration that is scheduled for April 18-22. Lake Land will hold two events designed exclusively to invite adult students to explore their opportunities. New adult students, who register for summer or fall classes, may qualify for a tuition-free class up to three credit hours.

 

The first event will be held on Tuesday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on campus. Individuals are encouraged to call 234-5429 to schedule a campus visit and meet with an academic advisor. The second event will be held at the Kluthe Center for Higher Education and Technology in Effingham on Thursday, April 21 from 4-6:30 p.m. Adults are encouraged to stop by the Kluthe Center and explore their options during this open house.

 

To learn more about Adult Week, call Chris Strohl, Director of Community Outreach at 217-234-5429. More information can also be found at lakelandcollege.edu. 

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Christian County Master Gardeners to Host Landscape Workshop

 

The Christian County Master Gardeners will be hosting a landscape workshop at the Christian County Extension Office located at 1120 North Webster Street in Taylorville on Thursday, March 17 at 3 p.m. Linda Smith, one of the Christian County Master Gardeners, told Regional Radio News they will use the landscape at the facility to help plan clean up to prepare for Spring and will have hands-on instruction on spring landscape maintenance and what tools to use.

Participants will also learn how to deal with plant “skeletons” and learn more about plant identification so they can recognize weeds and plants in the spring. Smith hopes the garden will attract pollinators.

There is no charge to attend, but pre-registration is encouraged. For more information or to RSVP, you can contact the Christian County Extension Office at 287-7246 or register online at web.extension.illinois.edu/cjmm/. 

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State Rep. Bourne Introduces HB 6112

State Representative Avery Bourne of the 95th District held a press conference on Thursday morning along with local law enforcement and Pana Community Hospital staff and administration at PCH. Bourne has introduced House Bill 6112 which aims to strengthen and broaden the current ban on synthetic drugs in Illinois, which are classified as cathinones, but more commonly known as “bath salts”. They were technically legal until 2011, but their usage is on the rise following the current ban. Bourne stated her predecessor Representative Wayne Rosenthal introduced HB 2089, but since then manufacturers have slightly changed the chemicals to get around the ban.

Kurt Fenton, Emergency Room Nurse, says patients that he sees who have consumed bath salts have acted either violent or calm.

If signed into law, the bill amends the Illinois Controlled Substances Act as it increases the penalty for the possession of any amounts and synthetic bath salts substances from a Class 4 felony to a Class X felony. Pana Police Chief Daniel Bland says this bill could be a tool for treatment and help those that are addicted and one that court systems can use.

Bourne is also a co-sponsor of HB 3660 which allows banned substances to be added by administrative rule as the synthetic drug manufacturers adapt. HB 6112 has been introduced in the Illinois House and has gained bi-partisan support. It has not yet been assigned for a committee hearing. 

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Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center Holds Annual Fund Raising Banquet

Some 230 people gathered at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium Thursday night, for the annual Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center annual fund-raising banquet.  The event is the center's biggest fund-raiser.

Following dinner and the annual report from Executive Director Cathy Coker, guest speaker Rebecca Kiessling (KEES-ling) shared her story about being conceived as a result of her mother being raped, and how her faith in God has given her strength to tell her story nationwide.  Kiessling talked with Regional Radio News after her presentation last night.

The Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center is a faith-based ministry that promotes sexual integrity to those who are pregnant or have had an abortion.  It's located at 500 North Walnut in Taylorville.

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Congressman Rodney Davis Casts Ballot at Christian County Courthouse

U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) of Illinois 13th Congressional District was at the Christian County Courthouse on Wednesday afternoon as he cast his ballot early for the 2016 Illinois Primary. Davis told Regional Radio News that there will be many new voters casting their votes for the next President.

Seventeen year-olds that will turn 18 by the general election are registering to vote this year and Davis says it gives them a chance to be a part of the voting process.

While there’s not much time left for President Obama and Congress, Davis says there are still issues that need to be done this year.

Davis was with his wife Shannon and daughter Toryn. Early voting continues at the Christian County Courthouse and more information can be found by going to christiancountyil.com or 824-4969. 

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Christian County Historical Society adds new Museum Coordinator

The Christian County Historical Society has announced the addition of new Museum Coordinator Rachael Sapp. President Jodi Heberling told Regional Radio News that Sapp’s duties include tracking and recording items.

Sapp grew up in Tuscola and graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelors in history and theater arts. She is currently completing her masters in History with Historical Administration Option from EIU. She has prior experience at the Douglas County Museum in Tuscola, Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site in Lerna, and served as Historic Sites Intern with the Macon County Conservation District. She currently serves as the archivist for the Macon County Historical Society in Decatur. She is engaged to Pat Ward of Taylorville.

 

Heberling stated they will hold their annual meeting this Sunday which is free of charge and open to the public as retired judge Ron Spears will talk about Abraham Lincoln and hopes to make the museum full-time.

The Christian County Historical Society will return to summer hours on April 1 on Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information can be obtained by calling Heberling at 820-8253. 

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Taylorville High School Students of the Month for March Announced

The Big 870 AM, 96.3 and 94.7 FM, Newstalk WTIM and People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville have announced their Taylorville High School students of the month for March. The program recognizes one outstanding THS student from each of the four classes each month.

 

The Big 870 AM, 96.3 and 94.7 FM, Newstalk WTIM, People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville March students of the month are senior Ida Syvertsen, junior Chase Spinner, sophomore Zane Neville, and freshman Audrianna Lyons. Judy Prasun of People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville was in attendance when the students received their plaques. 

 

Left to right is Judy Prasun of Peoples Bank and Trust, Senior Ida Syvertsen, Junior Chase Spinner, Sophomore Zane Neville, Freshman Audrianna Lyons. Photo submitted by Judi McDowell-Humphrey

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Rural Taylorville Woman Found Dead At Residence Wednesday Morning

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans and the Christian County Sheriff's Office, are investigating the death of a rural Taylorville woman.

Winans tells Regional Radio News that on Wednesday morning at 8:04, Christian County 911 received a call that a 25-year-old was unresponsive and not breathing at her residence in rural Christian County.  E-M-S crews arrived on the scene and requested the coroner to respond. 

Coroner Winans identified the female as Katelyn N. Emerson of Taylorville.  An autopsy was held late Wednesday afternoon and results are pending additional studies and toxicology.  

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TFD Douses Trailer Fire in Clarksdale Area; No Injuries Reported

The Taylorville Fire Department responded to a rural structure fire at 921 North, 965 East, just east of Clarksdale at 8:16 p.m. Tuesday night. When firefighters arrived, they found a trailer that was fully engulfed in flames. According to Taylorville Assistant Fire Chief, Andy Goodall, the person who was residing there at the residence, Destiney L. True, was awoken by a neighbor and they were able to escape safely from the burning structure. The trailer was at a total loss and had no insurance. Mutual aid from the Owaneco Fire Protection District was also there to assist the fire department. Goodall further stated the fire was possibly started due to an electrical issue. No injuries were reported. Firemen were on the scene for about an hour and 20 minutes.

 

*Photo was taken today (Wednesday). 

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Christian County LEADership Academy Gets Firsthand Look at State Government

On Wednesday, March 2, participants in the 2016 Christian County LEADership Academy received a firsthand look at State Government. The group started off the day with a tour of the Illinois State Capitol building that was provided by Pam Weber, who serves as Extension Partners Lobbyist. The group also had the opportunity to meet with State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) of the 95th District. Following the legislative visit, participants met with Randy Michelson, who serves as a lobbyist with Ameren. Phillip Lasseigne and Meg Kettelkamp, Congressional Aides to United States Representative Rodney Davis, and Wayne Rosenthal, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

 

For this week, participants will learn about community and economic development initiatives taking place throughout the County and will have a panel discussion on small business development with local business owners. More information about the Christian County LEADership program can be found by contacting the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce at 824-4919 or University of Illinois Extension, Christian County Office at 287-7246. 

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“Land of Smiles” Program Held at North Elementary School

Tooth Wizard and Plaque Man arrived at North Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon as part of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation “Land of Smiles” Program. The program is used to teach children about cavity-combating oral health habits to help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Lora Vitek, Director of Philanthropy and Community Relations for the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation told Regional Radio News they use superhero-like characters in their presentation to make it more interactive and educational for the students.

Vitek stated tooth decay is preventable by brushing your teeth, flossing, and seeing your dentist and mentioned nearly 40% children had at least one cavity in the past year.

Children who watched the program received knowledgeable tips about how to care for their teeth, and were also given a “Land of Smiles” bag containing toothpaste, a toothbrush, floss, and an oral health booklet. The school also received a curriculum kit to help teachers reinforce good oral health habits in the classroom.

 

*Photos submitted by Linda Frost, North Elementary School Tech Aide 

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Severe Storm Spotter Training Class held at Taylorville Fire Department

A good crowd attended the severe storm spotter training class at the Taylorville Fire Department on Tuesday night. A presentation was given by James Auten, a meteorologist of the National Weather Service in Lincoln. There were a total of ten new spotters that attended the class. Discussion involved the importance of spotters, types of storms, flooding, changes in the last 20 years of issuing warnings quicker and getting weather information faster, and among other topics. During his presentation, Auten stated in 2006 Illinois ranked first in the nation of tornadoes that occurred, which was more than any state, including those in Tornado Alley.

Auten noted the peak times for flooding are during the nighttime hours, along with the most fatalities at night and in vehicles.

Auten told Regional Radio News when he leads the class, he enjoys meeting new people and helps spotters by providing safety tips and advice.

 

More information about the weather spotter classes can be found at weather.gov/lincoln.

 

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Region to Receive Two to Four Inches of Rain this Week

Central Illinois could receive an abundance of rain on Wednesday and Thursday as two to four inches is possible across the region. Chris Miller, National Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio News a frontal system will stall in the region, resulting in a few inches of rain.

The accumulating rainfall could cause low lying roads and areas to become flooded, along with water overflowing out of creeks and streams. Area rivers may become flooded following the rain. Any storms that occur will produce heavy rain, while the severe wind and hail potential is low. Miller says the rainfall this week will not match the magnitude of last year’s major flooding in December. 

Another quarter of an inch to an inch of rain on Friday night through Sunday night is possible. Miller says those who see a roadway that is covered with water to turn around. More information can be found at weather.gov/lincoln. 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hear From Taylorville School Head at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from long-time Taylorville school superintendent Doctor Gregg Fuerstenau, at their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
The Taylorville superintendent gave an overview of many of the good things happening in the Taylorville School District, then discussed the future of state funding of schools.
Fuerstenau told the Kiwanis members that increased enrollment in the Christian County C-E-O program by Taylorville High School students, and the high school sending students next year to the Capital Career Center in Springfield to take vocational dual-credit classes, are 2 examples of what the district is doing to assist students prepare for a career.  He added the Capital Career Center will help those who may not be going to a 4-year college.

Fuerstenau also said that the district is advancing in technology both in the classroom and with students.  Seventh grade students starting next year, will be provided Google Chromebooks, with the parents paying for the new device over a 3-year period, then the student will own it.  He added that textbooks will soon be a thing of the past.
Finally, the Taylorville superintendent asked Kiwanis members to contact local legislators to support Senate Bill One, introduced by local State Senator Andy Manar, to make the school aid formula more equitable to downstate districts.  The Illinois Senate is taking up the bill, but it hasn't been called in the Illinois House.
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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TPD Announces Retirement of Officer Darla Hennings

According to the Taylorville Police Department, they have announced the recent retirement of Officer Darla Hennings. Officer Hennings began her career with the Taylorville Police Department in 1992 and served the community for over 24 years.

 

Officer Hennings’ focus during her career was investigations and juveniles. She handled and assisted with many investigations throughout her career. She was in charge of maintaining all juvenile case files, along with their arrest records until the juvenile was an adult.

 

Officer Hennings was the agency expert on the sex offender registry and the ever changing laws and regulations concerning the registered sex offenders and their limitations. She continuously reviewed their files and their registration to ensure compliance.


Officer Hennings has accepted a new role with the agency and is currently working in the dispatch center. The Taylorville Police Department wishes Officer Hennings a successful and happy retirement and welcomes her to her new civilian role.

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TCCU to Hold Annual Meeting Next Tuesday

Taylorville Community Credit Union Management has announced they will hold its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, March 15 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Taylorville, starting at 5:30 p.m. All current TCCU members are encouraged to attend.

 

In addition to celebrating the successes of 2015 and its continuing growth in membership, TCCU will also use the occasion to kick off its 60th Anniversary year. The credit union was founded in June 1956.

 

The Annual Meeting will feature Board and management reports highlighting 2015, including the opening of TCCU’s new modern branch facility in Litchfield, and management will also announce plans for the coming year as they relate to new products and services.

 

Food and beverages will be available, along with games, giveaways, and prizes. There will also be news about some of the special programs and events that are being planned for the 60th Anniversary.

 

Members are encouraged to call 217-824-9658 or stop by the credit union’s Taylorville office at 422 West Main Cross Street to make a reservation for the Annual Meeting.

More information about the upcoming Annual Meeting can be found at taylorvillecommunitycreditunion.com. 

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Blomquist Provides Progress Report of Upcoming Food Pantry Building

The Taylorville Ministerial Association received a $15,000 grant from the Duncan-Kendrick Fund from the First United Methodist Church in Taylorville for the construction of the food pantry building, as the proposed site is at 1429 East Main Cross between the Secretary of State Office building and Hillcrest Trailer Park. They recently received $269 from the Kiwanis Club to help keep stocking food on the shelves. Rodney Blomquist, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Building Program, told Regional Radio News they need $7,000-10,000 to break ground on the building project.

Blomquist further stated the ideal situation would be to start construction in late April or early May and to have it completed during late summer or early fall of this year. Blomquist added they have made forward progress as a contractor has been appointed and the design has been chosen.

Blomquist noted they would like to separate the building into different rooms and have an adequate parking lot. Food and monetary donations can be made to the Taylorville Emergency Food Bank at 223 West Franklin Street in Taylorville. Citizens can also designate the donation for food or towards the building project. 

 

* Photo: Taylorville Ministerial Association Receives $15,000 grant from the Duncan-Kendrick Fund recently. 

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City Council Approves Planning Commission Ordinances; Owaneco Water Rate Contract Update

The Taylorville City Council met in regular session on Monday night. The Council approved the Planning Commission recommendations of the ordinances of adding to the City Code of the Indoor Recycling Centers as a Special Use and Indoor Firing Ranges as a Special Use and allowing the discharge of firearms therein. While the Indoor Recycling Center passed 9-0, Alderman Larry Budd voted “no” to the Indoor Firing Ranges due to his concern of the automatic weapons. The motion passed 8-1. Mayor Brotherton stated they have to wait ten days before the ordinance goes into effect, then someone can pick up the application and start the process.

 

A motion to approve the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) mediation letter that was dated on February 11, 2016 confirming the City’s application for final payment from the Underground Storage Tank Fund for the Leaking UST incident at the City’s airport was approved.  Alderman Rob Heberling questioned City Attorney Rocci Romano regarding the motion if there were no further obligations, and Romano answered his concern.

Alderman Ernie Dorchinecz stated it was one of the biggest can of worms he has ever witnessed. Mayor Greg Brotherton told Regional Radio News following the meeting that about nearly $250,000 was spent on the leaking underground tank and hopes they never have to go through that situation again.

Following discussion was City Attorney updates provided by Rocci Romano.

 

In other Taylorville City Council action, City Attorney Rocci Romano brought up the latest regarding the Owaneco Water Rate agreement. Romano noted that the City auditors are in agreement with Romano’s interpretation of the contract and amendment to it. Romano further stated that a depreciation expense should be added to the cost of performance when fees are assessed. Alderman Rob Heberling spoke to him regarding the limitations of a number of years for a contract, as it is a 60 year agreement. Romano says there is a statute that addresses contracts for the supply of water, as a contract cannot exceed 40 years.

Mayor Greg Brotherton stated they need verification as it’s possible that a re-negotiation could occur with Owaneco.

In another matter, Alderman Earl Walters stated that the City should go after the prison on Route 29 to get their water bill paid or shut the water off. Alderman Larry Budd commented back saying they need to be cautious, as the new water treatment plant will be based on their usage. Budd warned if word gets to EPA that the water is shut off; it would jeopardize losing the loan for the water treatment plant. Budd further stated they can’t afford to lose the prison and the jobs out there.

Alderman Rob Heberling added that the State owed the City of Taylorville over $255,000 last month and that amount could be higher. Heberling proposed an idea of contacting towns that have State prisons to increase pressure on the State to pay the bill.

 

In other Taylorville City Council action, the Council approved a motion by a 7-1 vote to direct the Taylorville Fire Department to move forward with the Training Tower Facility located on lots directly to the south of the Fire Station and east of the First-Mid Illinois Bank. Alderman Rob Heberling was the lone “no” vote, as he stated the location of the structure is not suitable.

Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews was in attendance as alderman expressed concerns over the use of smoke and if it would be a traffic hazard and will it affect the neighborhoods. Crews stated the smoke is non-toxic and is generated by a fog machine as they used it on portable houses for children to learn fire safety in the past. He added the smoke disappears quickly after use.

The Council approved the payment of bills totaling some $400,000 and the meeting adjourned at 7:51 p.m. 

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Planning Commission Approves Indoor Recycling Facility & Indoor Firing Range Ordinances

A public meeting was held, followed by the Planning Commission meeting downstairs in the basement at the City Municipal Building. The Planning Commission of Patrick Kretzer, J. Michael Welge, Jim Altman, and Drew Stephenson started off with Special Use of the Indoor Recycling Center. George Calvert, City of Taylorville Zoning Enforcement Officer, stated he received a call from someone if they found a commercial building and were thinking a drive-thru seven-day-a-week facility. Calvert said one of his big concerns was the cleanliness of the facility and the complaint about smell, and to have something etched in stone about those concerns.

Calvert added wherever the location of the facility, neighbors around will either be for or against it. Kretzer noted there should be certain parameters to make the Zoning Enforcement Officer’s job easier. Chairman Bruce Jones of the Ordinance Committee noted that included in the Special Use should be a pest control contract.

The motion passed 4-0. 

 

Following approving the ordinance of adding to the city code of indoor recycling centers as a special use, the Planning Commission discussed an ordinance of adding to the City Code of Indoor Firing Ranges as a special use and allowing the discharge of firearms within. It was tabled last month as the language had to be changed. Bruce Jones, Chairman of the Ordinance Committee stated that a monthly maintenance log will be recorded of their equipment. A question was raised about the air being monitored 25 feet from the facility and Jones stated if they are out of compliance, they will shut down the ventilation system to do maintenance and testing will be conducted.

The motion was approved 4-0 on the ordinance of the special use of the indoor firing range and the discharge of firearms within. Following the meeting, Interim Chairman Pat Kretzer told Regional Radio News his concerns regarding the indoor firing range was the sound. As for the indoor recycling facility, it was trash outside of the building and pest control.

Members Alan Collebrusco, Steve Breckenridge, and Joe Hauser were absent. 

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ISP District 09 Releases February Activity and Enforcement Figures

Illinois State Police District 09 Commander, Scott Compton, has released the following activity and enforcement figures for the month of February. Troopers in District 09 serve 7 counties, including Christian. They answered 317 calls for service and initiated 1612 incidents in the field during the month.

 

In addition, enforcement figures totaled 1111 citations and 970 written warnings, including 545 speeding citations, 27 DUI’s, 145 seatbelt citations, 5 child restraint citations, 223 written warnings for speeding, and 102 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 315 motorists, conducted 377 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 126 traffic crashes. There was one fatal crash that resulted in one fatality in District 09 during February.

 

During the month, 567 citations and 187 written warnings were issued for the “Fatal Four” violations. These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include speeding, DUI, failure to wear a seatbelt, and distracted driving. 

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John H. Butterfield Agriculture or Nutrition Scholarship Applications Available

College students that are enrolled in a two-year college or four year college or university and have the intention to pursue a career in agriculture or food nutrition have the opportunity to fill out an application for the John H. Butterfield Agriculture and Nutrition Scholarship. Raedena Ryan, Executive Director of the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation, told Regional Radio News that Butterfield was raised on a farm in Christian County and spent a lifetime promoting agriculture in the State and globally.

Ryan added that TMH is currently accepting applications and one $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student.

The student must have graduated from a central Illinois high school, with priority given to a Christian County resident. In 2015, Eric Winans of Taylorville was the first recipient of the scholarship. Applications can be obtained online at TaylorvilleMemorial.org/Foundation/Scholarship-Opportunities, by contacting the TMH Foundation office at 824-1651 or by e-mail at ryan.raedena@mhsil.com. Application packets must be postmarked on or before April 1, 2016. 

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Gov. Rauner’s Budget Proposal Includes Eliminating Funding Ag Education

For the second year in a row, Governor Bruce Rauner is proposing in his FY17 Budget Proposal of eliminating funding for agricultural education, and one lawmaker provides his input on the situation and what it could mean for the State if it gets cut. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) of the 48th District told Regional Radio News that Ag education is vital as it pays dividends to communities and across the State, and they will fight to restore that funding.

Hundreds of FFA students were at the State Capitol recently as part of Ag Day, including students from Pana, Nokomis and Lincolnwood. Manar says if the funding is cut, then it’s possible that schools could drop the program.

Manar says there are two ways to save funding for Ag, which is to amend the information, or introduce a separate bill that would restore the funding.

More information can be found at senatorandymanar.com. 

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Bell's Jewelry Opens in Morrisonville

A long-time Central Illinois jeweler has re-located to Christian County.  Doug Bell and his wife Gail, along with their trusty mascot, have opened Bell's Jewelry in the former Morrisonville Times building in downtown Morrisonville, after closing their Decatur store in January.
The Bell's spent 23 years in Decatur, and now that he's semi-retired, Doug says he gets to do what he enjoys, and that's jewelry repair.

Bell and his wife purchased the former Morrisonville Times building, gutted it and opened the jewelry store February 23rd.

The Bell family has been in the jewelry business since 1947 when his parents opened in Nokomis.

Doug says his wife Gail wanted him to open the Morrisonville store.

The new Bell's Jewelry in downtown Morrisonville is open Tuesday thru Friday from 9:30 til 5, Saturdays til noon, and closed on Sundays and Mondays.

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Radioactive Container Found by Farmer in Field

According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, a radioactive well logging source holder that was reported missing in October has been found and returned to its owner. The agency was notified on Friday morning by Wayne County Well Surveys, Inc. in Fairfield that the container was brought in by a local farmer who reportedly found it in his field.

 

The IEMA immediately dispatched a staff member to Fairfield to verify the identity and condition of the device. Photos sent to IEMA radioactive materials licensing staff in Springfield enabled them to confirm the container housing the radioactive device is in good condition and posed no threat to the public while it was missing.

 

IEMA Director James K. Joseph appreciated the efforts of everyone including the U.S. Department of Energy’s Radiological Assistance Program, Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation, local law enforcement and emergency management, and the public.

 

The IEMA licenses the company’s possession and use of the radioactive source holder, which is part of a larger tool used to assess geological formations in oil and gas, groundwater, mineral and geothermal exploration. In October 2015, the company notified the IEMA that it was unable to locate the device, which was last known to be in a company vehicle. The notification triggered a search in 18 counties in Illinois and Indiana where the device had been used or traveled through to reach job sites.

 

Joseph stated the agency will continue its thorough investigation into this matter. 

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NWS Releases Winter Summary; Spring Outlook Provided

The National Weather Service Office in Lincoln has released their Winter Weather Summary for the months of December, January, and February. Overall, there was above normal temperatures and precipitation, and below normal snowfall totals for central and southeast Illinois. Seasonal temperatures were six or seven degrees above normal, which many communities witness one of their top ten warmest winters. Chris Miller, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News that this winter will go down in history due to the heavy rains and significant flooding that occurred following Christmas.

Miller noted they were surprised by the amount of heavy rain that fell which is uncommon at that time of the year and were also surprised by not having as many cold days during a typical El Nino-type winter. Miller says the outlook for spring indicates above normal temperatures to continue and precipitation to be below normal.

The winter weather summary can be viewed by going to weather.gov/lincoln. 

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Richland Community College Starts Presidential Search

Richland Community College has begun their presidential search for their next president, following the resignation of Dr. Gayle Saunders. Dr. Chuck Novak is the interim President at the college now, and is a former president. Lisa Gregory, Executive Director of Public Information and Chief of Staff to the President, told Regional Radio News that the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) will be assisting the college with the search.

Gregory added the Presidential Profile is an important stop in the search process as the community can get involved.

Gregory further stated when all the information is gathered, it will be used to create a profile for the search of the new president. A public forum that will be led by ACCT will be held on March 9 in the Shilling Auditorium on the campus at RCC at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. More information on the presidential search can be found at richland.edu. 

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Sheriff Kettelkamp Warns Residents of Recent Scams in County

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp would like to notify the citizens of Christian County of a recent scam that is going around the county. The Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls regarding a male individual calling residents, identifying himself as a deputy from the Sheriff’s Office, saying that they have a warrant for their arrest and they either need to call him back or turn themselves into the office. The phone number showing up on the caller ID’s start with (217)-620 and followed by various other numbers. If the individual leaves a voicemail he says to call him back with an extension to dial. Kettelkamp stated they have not received any calls indicating the individual is requesting money since most of the calls have either been left on voicemail or the residents have hung up on the individual. The Sheriff’s Office will never call people randomly and tell them they have a warrant for their arrest. This same type of scam is occurring in many surrounding counties.

 

Another scam that continues to go on in the County is the Grandparents Scam. Grandparents have been receiving calls from individuals claiming to be their grandkids, explaining that they have been arrested and need bond money or money for an attorney. The individual claiming to be the grandkids begs the grandparents not to tell their parents for fear of getting into more trouble with their parents.

 

If you receive these types of calls, immediately hang up on the caller and never give them any type of personal information and never wire any money or obtained money orders. If you do become a victim of these scams, report it to your local law enforcement agency. 

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Adams Receives Permit to Start Construction on Ayerco Truck Stop & Gas Station

It was announced at the Project 29 meeting last Thursday that Carl Adams of the Illinois Ayers Ayerco Convenience Centers received verbal approval of their Storm Water Drainage Permit from the Illinois Department of Transportation, but didn’t have the permit yet. On Friday morning (today), Co-chair Mike Bell of Project 29 told Regional Radio News that Adams has received the permit to start the construction of the Truck Stop & Gas Station.

The facility will be located on the old McKeen property, and will cost $2 million excluding the land price. Adams stated construction should take about three to four months to complete. There have been discussions of a possible Subway coming in, and Bell stated he has not heard from Subway Franchisee owner Verne Evans yet on his decision.

If Subway doesn’t come, backup plans on an eating establishment have been discussed. Bell also mentioned the school board held a meeting last Saturday and stated the school is doing well financially as they discussed plans to move forward and to use the money that they’ve managed to save. Also in attendance was Larry Dirks of the Illinois School Board Association. 

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PCH to host Community Blood Drive Next Week

 

According to the Central Illinois Community Blood Center, the Pana Community Hospital will host a community blood drive from 1-7 p.m. on next Wednesday, March 9 at 619 Kitchell Street at the Pana First United Methodist Church.

 

Appointments to donate can be made by calling the Community Blood Center at (217)241-7550 or by going to bloodcenterimpact.org and use the code 60036 to locate the drive.

 

Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, you can call the CICBC at (800)747-5401. Donors who last gave blood on or before January 13 are eligible to give at this drive. 

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Senator Manar Provides Update on Inequitable Funding Situation

 

Following Governor Bruce Rauner’s appearance at Memorial Elementary School in Taylorville on Wednesday, one downstate lawmaker provides his take on the latest in the inequitable school funding formula that has plagued school districts. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) told Regional Radio News that Rauner needs to provide leadership to solve the disparity of the outdated school funding formula.

Manar introduced Senate Bill 1 a year ago and stated Rauner’s position is northern school districts have to be comfortable, before getting the resources to downstate school districts.

The Taylorville School District spends about some $6,000 per student, while Manar noted a school district that eclipsed some $32,000 per student. Manar did have good news to report as fixing the inequitable school funding formula is in daily conversations in Springfield.

More information can be found by going to senatorandymanar.com or ilga.gov.

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Moats Participates in Silent Protest in Springfield for Funding Illinois Future

Jenny Moats, parent and certified school nurse for the Taylorville School District, was one of many advocates that were in Springfield at the State Capitol as they participated in a silent protest and attended the House Education Task Force meeting. They urged lawmakers to support their efforts to reform the state’s inequitable and unfair public education funding system. Moats told Regional Radio News they were part of Funding Illinois’ Future, which has nearly 230 members.

Moats says a rally may happen and the Citizens for Education will reach out to other school districts to join them in the effort.

Moats added the school district has done an excellent job of being financially responsible. With the lack of funds coming in, Moats says the students are at a risk of being directly affected.

More information can be found at fundingilfuture.org. 

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Rosenthal: Vendors Still Cooperating with IDNR despite Budget Impasse

Though the state budget impasse continues into its eighth month and with warmer days around the corner, people will be going to state parks for recreation. Wayne Rosenthal, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources told Regional Radio News, despite not being paid since last July, local vendors continue to work and support the IDNR.

Rosenthal encourages people to utilize the opportunity to go to any one of the state parks this year.  

Rosenthal has been the director of the IDNR since last January.  

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Illinois House Fails to Override Governor’s Veto of SB 2043

The Illinois House failed to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of funding for college MAP grants and two-year schools on Wednesday afternoon. The House debated restoring the funding of money that the Governor and House Republicans have argued the state doesn’t have.

 

The Democrat majority needed 71 votes to override the Governor’s veto; however the measure failed on a vote of 69 to 48. Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 2043 back on February 19. 

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TMH Accepting Applications for Teens Experiencing Nursing (TEN)

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is currently accepting applications for a free, three-day summer camp for juniors and seniors in high school interested in a nursing career. The summer camp is Teens Experiencing Nursing (TEN) and will be held at the hospital on July 12-14. Jackie Broaddus, Human Resources Representative of Taylorville Memorial Hospital, told Regional Radio News that participants will learn and practice basic nursing skills and will be given a tour of several departments in the hospital.

Students will also have the opportunity to job shadow and interact with nursing staff in several units, including the emergency department, the operating room, and acute care. Broaddus says the camp has a limit of 15 students and applications are due on April 1.

Campers are expected to attend all three days and may not leave for any reason other than a family emergency. For more information, you can contact Broaddus at 824-1634.

 

Jade Bergschneider, left, and Delaney Goldsmith practice a simulated laparoscopic surgical procedure during Taylorville Memorial Hospital’s Teens Experiencing Nursing Camp last summer. The nonprofit hospital is accepting applications for this summer’s free camp. (Photo: Kara Slating/Memorial Health System)

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Steele Pleads Guilty to Arson and Attempted Escape

29 year-old Nicholas L. Steele of Taylorville plead guilty to arson, a Class 2 felony and attempted escape, which is a Class 3 felony at the Christian County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon. For the arson charge, Steele was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, followed by two years of mandatory supervised release with credit of time served of 301 days. He was held on $500,000 cash bond in the case. Steele was accused of setting fire to his ex-wife’s garage in May of 2015.

 

As for the attempted escape charge, he was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, followed by one year of mandatory supervised release and no credit for time served. The sentence will run consecutively with the sentence he received from the arson charge. Steele was accused of attempting to escape from the Christian County jail in June 2015 along with then 25 year-old Brandon J. Gardner of Kincaid.

 

Steele was represented by Defense Attorney, Monroe D. McWard. The Class 3 felony charge of intimidation was dropped in exchange for the guilty plea. 

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NWS Provides February Summary; March Outlook Provided

The National Weather Service Office in Lincoln has provided a weather summary for the month of February. Overall, the month averaged two to four degrees above normal. Chris Miller, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News the most significant weather event was last Wednesday when central Illinois was impacted by a storm system that brought blizzard-like conditions.

Another weather event occurred on Valentine’s Day when the region received two to four inches of snowfall. Since March just started, Miller says it is known as a transition month, as it’s a blend of cold and warm days, along with snow and thunderstorms.

The first official day of spring is March 20. To view the February weather summary, go to weather.gov/lincoln. 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Donate to Taylorville Ministerial Association Food Pantry

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club, during its weekly meetings the past several weeks, have collected “Happy Bucks” for events its members are happy about, for the benefit of the Taylorville Ministerial Food Pantry.

Club officials recently presented the Food Pantry with a check for 269-dollars to assist the Ministerial Association in providing food stuffs to needy families in the Taylorville community.

Kiwanis member Larry Kemner (middle) presented the check to Food Pantry volunteer Wilbur Mills (left) and Don Readhead (right), who is coordinator of the Food Pantry.

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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Governor Rauner Tours Memorial Elementary; Reads Book to Students

Governor Bruce Rauner stopped by and toured Memorial Elementary School on Wednesday afternoon as part of Read Across America Day in remembrance of the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Rauner also read the book, “Winnie” to third grade students in Miss Daugherty’s class and donated the book to the school library. Rauner thanked the teachers and encouraged students to keep reading. Nancy Ganci, Principal of Memorial Elementary School, told Regional Radio News it was an honor to have the Governor attend the school and talk to the students.

Ganci stated reading is a vital component of any curriculum.

 

 

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Mense Provides Input on Early Voting; Explains Change in Law of Address Notices

Early voting has already begun in Christian County as electronic voting machines are in place, along with those who wish to fill out a paper ballot. Early voting started in the second week of February and runs until March 14. Mail-In Absentee voting is until March 10, and Grace Period Registration & Voting is until March 15, the day of the primary election. Laurie Mense, Christian County Clerk & Recorder, told Regional Radio News those that are 17 years of age, but will turn 18 by the general election have the opportunity to vote and participate in the primaries this year.

Mense further stated several young voters have stopped by and registered to vote. Mense says there are not a lot of locally challenged races, yet weather can play a role in voter turnout.

Mense further stated voting has been steady since it began. She explained there was a change in the law of national change of address notices.

For more information on the voting process, or if you have any questions, you can go to christiancountyil.com and click on the County Clerk/Recorder link, or by calling 824-4969. 

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Christian County Senior Citizens Center Receives New Van

The Christian County Senior Citizens Center recently received a new van that was added to their fleet of vehicles. It is a 2016 Ford F-350 light duty van that was requested in 2014, and will replace an earlier 2000’s Ford Medium-Duty van. Both vans have the same features, yet the difference is the age of the vehicle. Gerry Mahr, Executive Director of the Christian County Senior Citizens Center, told Regional Radio News receiving the van was made possible through the Consolidated Vehicle Procurement Program.

Mahr added having a new vehicle is great as it will help save money for maintenance costs and provide the senior citizens a better ride.

Mahr says the new van has more space for storing items such as motorized wheelchairs, walkers, canes, groceries, and more.

 

 

 

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PCH and SIU Healthcare Partner to Offer Orthopedic Care

Pana Community Hospital has partnered with SIU Healthcare, the Springfield-based clinical practice of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, to provide Pana area patients with orthopaedic care for bone, joint, and muscle injuries. SIU orthopedic surgical specialist Dr. Youssef El Bitar, MD, will be seeing patients at PCH. Melissa Rybolt, Marketing Coordinator at PCH told Regional Radio News that Dr. El Bitar will be start seeing patients on March 10, and every Thursday and Friday following that day.

Dr. El Bitar specializes in shoulder & elbow surgery, knee surgery, hip preservation, joint reconstruction, neck & back pain, and general orthopaedic conditions. Rybolt noted he also has a special interest in sports medicine.

Rybolt added those that would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. El Bitar should see their primary care physician first and have a referral.

To schedule an appointment, you can call PCH at 217-562-6246. El Bitar is married and has a son and daughter, and enjoys all sports especially football and soccer, among other hobbies.

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Davis Reacts to FEMA Formula Provision

It could soon be easier for smaller communities in Illinois like Kincaid to qualify for federal disaster relief after provisions to the FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act unanimously passed through the U.S House of Representatives Monday.  
 
 
Congressman Rodney Davis (R-13) sponsored the proposal that would require FEMA to give higher consideration to the local impact of natural disasters like the holiday floods that devastated the Kincaid community, rather than on a statewide level as is currently the case. Davis says the current formula has been, “flawed for years.”
 
 
The bill now heads to the Senate with bipartisan approval. 
 

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NWS: Soil Conditions Are Favorable

 
March has arrived and area farmers and producers are looking ahead to spring planting season. 
Chris Miller is a Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln and he says after some significant winter precipitation--soil conditions in the Prairie State are looking good. 
 
 
But Miller says we aren't out of the woods just yet: extended forecast models show the possibility of lower than normal precipitation once planting time arrives this spring. 
 
 
Chris Miller with the National Weather Service. 
 

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SUV Crashes Through The Best 4 Less Window; No Injuries Reported

The Taylorville Police Department and Taylorville Fire Department responded to the scene of an accident on the south side of the Taylorville Square around 7:00 Tuesday night. When officers and firemen arrived, they observed a sport utility vehicle that crashed through the glass on the front right window of The Best 4 Less and was stopped halfway on the window.

 

Taylorville Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall told Regional Radio News the firemen were on scene to check for any hazards and found none. He further stated no injuries were reported. Police officers were on scene gathering information for the traffic accident report. 

 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hold Business Meeting at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their monthly business meeting at their weekly luncheon on Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Committee chairs reported on on-going efforts to help children and youth in the Taylorville community.

Among reports heard included Kiwanis Park chair Jerry Woodard report that his committee is working to seal the Kiwanis Park Pavilion floor, to add park benches and 2 smaller pavilions to the park on Lake Taylorville.

The Greater Taylorville Chamber office is the place to reserve use of the Kiwanis Park Pavilion.  Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle, also a member of the club, reported that dates were already filling up fast for this season.  To reserve the pavilion, call the Chamber at 824-4919.

Kiwanis Club treasurer Dan Sneed reported that the January 30 Kiwanis Pancake and Sausage Day netted the club over 28-hundred dollars for children and youth projects.

And, Kiwanis Spiritual Aims chair Dick Wamsley reported that the date has been set for the annual Prayer Luncheon.  This year, it'll be held on May 10th.

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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Pana High School Students of the Month Announced

Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR and People’s Bank and Trust in Pana have announced their Pana High School students of the month for February. The program recognizes one outstanding student from each of the four classes every month.

 

The Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR and People’s Bank and Trust students of the month are senior Sarah Schmitz, junior Hannah Hopper, sophomore Brenna Dameris, and freshman Josie Pauley. People’s Bank and Trust representatives Joanie Jones and Jennifer Mathis were in attendance when the students received their plaques.

 

* Left to right: Peoples Bank and Trust - Joanie Jones, senior Sarah Schmitz, junior Hannah Hopper, sophomore Brenna Dameris and Jennifer Mathis from Peoples Bank and Trust Pana. Freshman Josie Pauley was not present at the time of the photo taken. Photo submitted by Judi McDowell-Humphrey 

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Blood Drive on Wednesday at TMH

Taylorville Memorial Hospital will be hosting a community blood drive from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 at 201 East Pleasant Street inside the Janice Hopper Memorial Auditorium.

To donate, appointments can be made by contacting the Community Blood Center at 241-7550 or going to bloodcenterimpact.org and use the code 60050 to locate the drive.

 

Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, you can call the Central Illinois Community Blood Center at (800)747-5401. Donors who last gave blood on or before January 6, 2016 are eligible to give at this drive. 

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Construction of Two New Lanes of Route 29 to Resume Soon

Spring’s arrival is not too far away and that means warmer temperatures are on the horizon. It also means construction will resume on the two new lanes of Route 29, and completing the four-lane highway. Mike Bell, Co-Chair of Project 29 told Regional Radio News, the two new lanes are to be completed this summer, weather permitting.

Bell says another meeting has been tentatively scheduled for May 25 since there tends to be a lot of rain in April.

The relatively new first pair of lanes of the four-lane highway project was completed in the fall of last year. 

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Christian County EMA to Host Elected Officials Training Summit

The Christian County Emergency Management Agency will be hosting an Elected Officials Training Summit at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Janice Hopper Memorial Auditorium on March 30 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Christian County EMA Director, Mike Crews, told Regional Radio News there will be two keynote speakers along with himself, as they are Dawn Cook and Tim Gleason.

Crews developed an elected official’s preparedness manual for all Christian County elected officials to help better prepare them for a local disaster.

Crews noted the declaration process following a flood, just like what occurred in Kincaid in late December will be discussed.

Crews hopes every elected official in the county, communities, and townships will be able to attend the event. 

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