Local News

ApexNetwork Physical Therapy in Taylorville Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Tuesday

 

Apex Physical Therapy in Taylorville held their ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday. The business opened in late December, and offers patients several different kinds of treatment. Chad Hatayama, Clinic Manager and Co-Owner of Apex Physical Therapy shared what patients can find when visiting Apex Physical Therapy.

 

 

Hatayama said several things separate Apex apart from the various other physical therapy locations around central Illinois.

 

 

Apex Physical Therapy is located at 1000 West Spresser Street in Taylorville, and is open Monday through Friday from 7 in the morning until 6 in the evening.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Announce Men Who Cook Winners

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary have announced the winners of their 7th annual “Men Who Cook” event that was held on January 21st in the Janice Hopper Auditorium.

 

Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton took the prize for best appetizer and best dessert. Tom Fergin and Jim Blakely won for best soup. Jim Davis took the prize for the best main dish and best side dish, and Dr. Patrick Butler won the award for best of show.

 

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Auxiliary’s current pledge to update the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation monitoring equipment at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.

 

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Christian County CEO Winter Banquet Held Friday at Pillars, Tickets Still Available

The Christian County CEO Students are quickly approaching one of their most important times of the year. The CEO Winter Banquet, held at the Pillars Event Center this Friday is a major fundraiser for the students where all of the money will go to the students entrepreneurial projects later in the semester. Brendan Watson and Matthew O'Brian are two students in the class who already have their projects ready and know how the funds will help them.

Watson and O'Brian, were joined by classmate Zebert Dunnaway and said they are a little nervous about the event, but the abilities they've gained through the class and the location gives them a lot of confidence.

The Winter Banquet is held at the Pillars Event Center in Taylorville, this Friday, February 3rd from 5:30 to 7:30. Tickets are $25 and are available from the CEO Students, CEO Board Members, the Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, US Bank, First National Bank, CNB Bank and Trust, People's Bank and Trust or Taylorville Community Credit Union.

 

Watson, Dunnaway, and O'Brian appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Lake Land College Ranked Top 50 in the Nation, Not Letting Budget Issues Affect Them

Lake Land College is in the full swing of its spring semester and with a positive tone. Recently, Lake Land was ranked by Community College Week as one of the top 50 community colleges in the nation for what it is able to provide for it's students. Dr. Josh Bullock, President of Lake Land College said not only were they ranked in the top 50 period, but there are multiple categories within it, where they ranked in the top 25 in the nation.

But with a successful college, comes needed funding, and Lake Land is hurting as much as any higher education source in Illinois. Bullock said this year they were still able to balance their budget, but had to make cuts to do so.

Bullock appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Tax Season is Upon Us, H&R Block in Taylorville is Ready to Help

Tax season is here, and H&R Block in Taylorville was recently hit by a wave of people ready to file their taxes and receive their returns. Laurie Henry Manager of H&R Block said their frenzy has started and will continue through April, but her staff is ready to help customers both with their taxes and showing them the process of filing their taxes. Henry said she always looks forward to this time of year, because the staff in her branch is so willing to help others and is geared up and ready to do a good job.

Henry said this year people should expect delayed returns because both federal and state IRS is trying to find fraud and cut back on that as much as possible.

Henry appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Citizens For Education Host Town Hall Meeting Urging Voters To Support Tax Referendum For Taylorville Schools

 

A town hall meeting was held Monday night at the Taylorville VFW hall by the local Citizens for Education group, asking for the communities support for a tax referendum that will appear on the April 4th ballot. The tax referendum will increase local funding for Taylorville schools, helping to offset uncertain state funding. Several speakers spoke at the meeting, including Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau, who said throughout the difficult decisions the district has had to make over the years, they’ve always put the students first.

 

 

Another speaker during the meeting was Dave Hixenbaugh, who was with the Taylorville School District for 44 years. Hixenbaugh urged those in attendance to vote yes on the referendum to help ensure the future of the community.

 

 

The crowd at Monday night’s meeting also heard from several of the students currently involved in the various extracurricular activities that may have to be cut should the referendum fail. Jack Curtin, a Taylorville student involved in the FFA program at THS said he supports the referendum, not only to help ensure the future of the FFA program for his fellow students, but also to ensure a bright future for Taylorville Schools for his future children.

 

 

The tax referendum is asking for an increase in local property taxes of 85 cents per $100, with the money raised going towards the Taylorville School District’s General Education fund.

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WMKR and Peoples Bank and Trust Pana January Students of the Month Announced

The WMKR and Peoples Bank and Trust - Pana January Students of the Month have been announced. Pictured from left to right are:  Joanie Jones - Peoples Bank and Trust, Senior Daniell Simpson, Junior Natalie Kirkbride, Sophomore Emily Kuhn, Freshman Eric Schafer and far right Sarah VanHuss - Peoples Bank and Trust - Pana.

 

Awards were presented at Pana High School on Monday, January 30th.

 

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Christian County Coroner Named President of Illinois Coroner Association and Medical Examiners Association

 

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans has been elected president of the Illinois Coroner Association and Medical Examiners Association. Winans was elected in November by members of the association, of which nearly all coroners in the state's counties belong. The association sets guidelines for Illinois coroners, coordinates training and is involved in legislation that affect coroners. New coroners are required to take a 40-hour course after being elected. After that, they are required to attend continuing education classes every year afterward. Coroner Winans will be meeting the several newly elected coroners in state of Illinois in February for the 40 hour training session.   

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HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Issues Hospital Visitor Guidelines for Flu Season

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville is adjusting their visiting guidelines during flu season. The hospital recommends you reconsider visiting loved ones in the hospital should you display any signs of the flu. Kristi Curry, Infection Control Manager at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital had a few tips for how to help prevent the spread of the flu.

 

 

Curry reiterated some of the tips to help prevent the spread of flu, including some helpful information when it comes to hand sanitation, and also gave some signs for what to watch out for with the flu.

 

 

Curry also said a big tip for those wishing to avoid the flu this year, is to get vaccinated.

 

 

Other guidelines that the hospital recommends during flu season are to avoid visiting hospital patients if you are under 18 years of age, are a pregnant woman, and visitors should limit themselves to two people per patient at any one time. If you’d like more information on the flu, visit flu.gov.

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Taylorville Police Department Release Details on Stabbing Incident in Taylorville

The Taylorville Police Department have released details regarding an incident in Taylorville that resulted in a Taylorville resident being stabbed. Brian Hile, Taylorville Chief of Police informed Regional Radio News of what happened.

 

 

Hile said the victim along with several witnesses advised police as to who committed the stabbing.

 

 

Rensman appeared in the Christian County Courtroom on Monday, where probable cause for bond was found, and bond set in his matter at $50,000. Rensman is also eligible for extended term sentencing, which means he could face anywhere from 2-10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

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U of I Extension Holds Small Farm Webinar Every Thursday Through the End of March

The Small Farms Webinar Series is going on at the University of Illinois Extension until the end of March. Every week has a new topic and the upcoming topics include, Cut Flower Production and Pruning Old Fruit Trees. Gwen Podeschi, Master Gardener at the U of I Extension, talked about the different topics, and what they can do to educate those who are interested in learning more about small farming.

Podeschi also spoke on the topic held in March about bees, why so many species are going endangered, and what effect it could have on people and agriculture.

The Extension Office will be hosting a new small farms topic every Thursday through the end of March.

 

Podeschi appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Illinois State Historical Society Asks for Businesses More than 100 Years Old

The Illinois State Historical Society has begun taking submissions for their Centennial Business Honors, which they will announce in 2018, the Bicentennial of Illinois. This is where they will recognize businesses around the state for being around for 100 years or more. Gwen Podeschi, with the Illinois State Historical Society, said for a business to be recognized they must have the proper paperwork for proof.

Podeschi made sure to mention that it didn't have to be just businesses, and associations and incorporations are also welcome to apply.  She also said she knows of a few businesses in Christian County that could apply and she's found proof for them.

Podeschi appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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American Diabetes Association Asks For the Public to Help Win a Contest

The American Diabetes Association is in a contest as of now to get likes on their Facebook page to have a chance of winning a nice prize. Vanessa Wiseman, Manager of Development for the ADA said the prize is for $1000 and that could go a long way for the Association. Wiseman explained what the likes contest is, and how people could help them take home the money.

Wiseman explained that money the local ADA gets stays local and only goes to organizations around the state. She said this could help benefit children and adults alike in their battle with Diabetes.

Wiseman appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Christian County Crimestoppers Seeking Information on Vehicle Burglary in Taylorville

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

 

Sometime during the overnight to early morning hours between Wednesday, January 25, 2017 and Thursday, January 26, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a vehicle, a 2005 Jeep, parked at 922 Hawley Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a backpack.  The backpack contained several school books.  There did not appear to be any damage done while making entry.  The total dollar amount of the theft is unknown at this time.

 

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

 

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

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Straw Poll Out for Potential Democratic Candidates

The Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association has released results of an early online straw poll on potential Democratic candidates for Goveror next year. A straw poll of more than 53-hundred responders shows State Senator Daniel Biss garnering support of 25 percent of them. That is well ahead of the next closest competitor, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pewar with 15%. Democratic County Chairmen's Association Executive Director Dan Kovats talks about factors that may put Biss on top.



Kovats says Pewar is enjoying the benefits of publicity that goes with being the first to enter the race. Meanwhile, an announcement is expected soon from businessman Chris Kennedy, who doesn't exactly have weak political bloodlines.




Pewar is the only candidate to enter the race so far. Businessman Chris Kennedy gets 12% support in the straw poll. Quad Cities Congresswoman Cheri Bustos 11%, Billionaire J.B. Pritzker 10% and State Senator Andy Manar received 7%. Congresswoman Robin Kelly received 4% support, State Senator Kwame Raoul 2% and Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers brings up the rear with 1% support. 

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It's Tax Time and Here's How to be Better Prepared Next Year

It’s tax time again. By the end of January all those W2’s and 1099’s should have arrived in the mail, plus interest payment information for any deductible payments to a lender. If you have a complicated tax situation, and are sitting in front of a pile of forms, receipts and other documents wondering how to get started, here’s a hint from Paul Neiffer of the CPA firm of CliftonLarsonAllen. To avoid record keeping headaches next year, use one of a variety of tax accounting software programs throughout the year.


 


CliftonLarsonAllen specializes in farm and business tax returns. Working in co-ordination with county Farm Bureau’s around Illinois, they work with their clients year around to make tax filing a little less painful.



Most farm tax returns must be filed by March 1st, the rest of by April 18, later than the normal April 15th due to a holiday on the 15th in Washington. All of your tax forms from employers, lenders, and others must be mailed to you be January 31st. If you need tax help, regardless of how simple of complex your tax situation, preparers specializing in farm and agri- business returns are available through your county Farm Bureau.

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Slots Possibly Coming to Horse Racing Tracks

Gambling expansion is part of the package of bills that has been crafted in hopes of getting the state a comprehensive budget. Six new casinos would be allowed to be built and a provision would help the state’s horse racing industry. The bill would allow slot machines at race three horse racing tracks. Illinois Harness Horseman Association Executive Director Tony Samone says the added income would shore up the industry



Supporters say the addition of slots would help provide revenue to the race tracks and boost purses for the winning horses.

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Christian County Coroner Reports Death Investigation for Palmer Resident

The Christian County Coroner along with the Sheriff's Office are investigating a death that happened Thursday night. A 911 call was made saying that 50 year old Kevin Minnis from Palmer was unresponsive and not breathing. Christian County Sheriff's Office arrived on scene per the request of the Coroner, Amy Calvert Winans. Minnis was living in a home that did not have electricity or running water. The cold temperatures had caused Minnis to block off a small room and use propane tanks to keep him warm. An autopsy was held on Friday and preliminary results indicate the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning, however, the investigation is still ongoing and results will be updated as soon as they become available to Regional Radio News.

   

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Local McDonald's Will Kick off "Give a Little Love" Event Jan. 30

Area McDonald's are getting ready to start off some promotions to give customers a chance to try new things, but also to help those in need. One promotion local McDonald's are holding is called “Give a Little Love” where people can donate to support the Ronald McDonald House. Brad Davis Co-Owner of McDonald's in Taylorville, Pana, Shelbyvile, and Vandalia said his stores raise the most amount of funds in the country for the promotion.

Davis also said during this event, if cashiers forget to ask the customer if they want to give a little love, the customer is eligible for a free dessert.

Give a Little Love begins January 30th and will continue taking donations until just after Valentine's Day.

 

Davis appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Illinois Lawmakers Butt Heads on State Worker Compensation

 

There always seems to be push back and forth with Illinois lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and most recently, State Representative Avery Bourne is questioning Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s recent court filing in St. Clair County Circuit Court to halt state employee pay.

 

Representative Bourne explained the situation and how she hopes to combat the issue legislatively.

 

 

Representative Bourne spoke with Regional Radio News and says the situation is not so much that Madigan’s decision is wrong, just poorly timed.

 

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Miller Media Group of Radio Stations Make Advancements to Better Serve Listeners

 

 

Two of the Miller Media Group Radio Stations that serve the Taylorville, Pana, and Shelbyville markets, will be getting new transmitters and audio processing in the next 30 days.

 

WMKR Genuine Country 94.3 and WRAN groovy 97.3. will both be getting new solid state transmitters and new audio processing.

 

The new equipment will replace tube-type transmitters that are over 20 years old, and rebuilt audio processors that were also initially manufactured in the 1990's.

 

Listeners should notice a cleaner signal that will have more "punch" on the radio dial, once this new equipment is installed in the next 30 days, according to station president Randal J. Miller. Miller added that technology has changed drastically in the last 20 years, making solid state radio transmitters and processors not only better-sounding but more energy efficient.

 

Both new transmitters are coming from Broadcast Electronics in Quincy, Illinois. Both of the new audio processors are coming from S-C-M-S in Pineville, North Carolina.

 

Wayne R. Miller of Peoria Network Associates, is the contract engineer that will be providing on-site installation services of all the new equipment. Star Electric of Taylorville is providing on-site wiring services, and True Value of Taylorville is providing transportation of the new transmitters to and from the Taylorville tower site.

 

WMKR and WRAN are 2 of the 6 stations that operate from the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville. Miller Media Group is starting its 25th anniversary of owning radio stations in Taylorville, this year.

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Sta-Rite Ginnie Lou Celebrating Business for 100 Years

Sta-Rite Ginnie Lou in Shelbyville was originated in 1917 and has specialized in making hair appliances and accessories such as bobby pins, hair pins, brushes, and even hair nets, to name a few, throughout the years. Noel Bolinger now president of Sta-Rite said they haven't always supplied all of those. They started with just bobby pins where his predecessors helped build the business to supply across the country to as far as California. Bolinger looked back and said from their first bobby pin made from plastic to now, a lot has changed, especially in the equipment used to make them, and the rest of their products. He said when it first started off it would take days to make a bobby pin. Now it takes mere minutes.

Bolinger said for the 100th Anniversary of Sta-Rite Ginnie Lou they have changed their packaging a bit, and so far people have enjoyed the change. He said he recently went to a trade show where he was able to see face to face how people received the change.

Bolinger appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios. 

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Echo Water of Shelby County Offers Water Softeners to Provide Top Quality Water

Echo Water of Shelby County has been in business now for nearly 30 years to serve the local area. Water is one subject people are concerned about because of things going on in Flint, Michigan, and the fact Illinois has one quarter of the nation's lead pipes, it's important people are able to make sure they have the best quality water. Tim Finks, Owner and Operator of Echo Water, said there are many things that build up in pipes such lyme or calcium, and Echo Water offers water softeners to clear it out, make the water taste better, and save costs.

Finks said Echo Water has multiple options to make sure their customers can have the best tasting and best quality water. He said they can mix and match equipment to make sure the job is completed.

Finks appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

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Central Illinois Public Transit Adds New Faces to its 2017 Staff

As the New Year begins, change is something many people expect, and this isn't any different for the Central Illinois Public Transit. Nathan Nichols, Mobility Manager, for CIPT said this year they have been able to become more efficient because of some personnel changes. Nichols said these changes range from directors, to maintenance managers.

Nichols said, one thing that hasn't changed is the service they provide for their areas. Nichols said they always want to make sure people know they are there for anyone who may need their services no matter what age. They only ask for a 24 hour notice.

Nichols appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

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Stonington Man Meets President Trump after Chance Turn of Events

 
Stories of absolute chance happen all the time and Shane Bouvet (BOO-VAY) of Stonington was at the center of a chance happening when he was invited to the Inaugural Ball based off his work with the Trump campaign's social media team. Bouvet had the same response to the invite via a phone call that most would have had.
 
 
Bouvet was an editor on a campaign social media page that had over 150 thousand followers. The story of Bouvet's attendance at the ball began to go viral and was actually seen by, at the time, the President-Elect himself. 
 
 
The story would not end there however, as after the meeting, Trump told a staff aide to give a check for $10,000 to Bouvet to help him and his father who is currently battling cancer.
 

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Taylorville Chamber Brings Awarness to Local Scholarship Opportunities to THS Students

Scholarship Awareness Day is today and the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is doing their part to make sure Taylorville High School Students and Christian County high school students know of the opportunities they have to save on college. Patty Hornbuckle CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said she along with some others were at the school this morning to show the students what area businesses and organizations have to offer them. She said there are many opportunities, where, for some, anyone can apply, but for others, it'll be based on course of study.

Hornbuckle was also there this morning to let students know that applications for next year's Christian County CEO program were being received, and it's not to early to apply.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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U of I Extension Celebrates American Heart Month with Healthy Heart Class Feb. 9

February is American Heart Month, and with the growing obesity of US citizens, it's one month people should begin to take note of. Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator at the U of I Extension in Taylorville, said nowadays, someone dies of a heart attack or heart disease every 40 seconds. She said it's because of the diet most Americans have, and because many don't know what should be eaten in moderation or cut out. She said saturated fast are what cause heart issues and raise cholesterol, but unsaturated fats are good for people.

Peterson is holding a class called Heart Healthy Eating on February 9th from 5:30-6:30 to teach people about what to eat and what not to eat, and about some of the best diets and lifestyles to have that can make sure people can avoid heart problems later in life.

Peterson appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Local Hospital Releases Tips on Preventing The Spread of Disease

 

Flu season has officially hit it’s peak in central Illinois and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville wants to remind visitors of the important role everyone plays in guarding patient safety. HSHS is providing respiratory etiquette stations at hospital entrances that include tissues, masks, and sanitizing hand gel.

 

HSHS Good Shepherd would also like to recommend that you do not visit patients if you have any of the following; a cold or any flu-like symptoms including fever or chills, sore throat, body or muscle aches, headache, cough or a runny nose. HSHS also recommends that if you are under 18 years old or a pregnant woman to also not visit hospital patients as well.

 

Good Shepherd sets a limit of only two people visiting a patient at any one time and sends a friendly reminder that soap, water, and sanitizing your hands are the most effective ways to prevent influenza transmission.

 

You can find out more information on how to do your part in preventing the spread of virus’ by visiting flu.gov online. 

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Christian County Coroner Releases Report

Christian County Coroner, Amy Calvert Winans has released the following finalized report on some area death investigations to Regional Radio News.

Trudi L. Filchak, 50, of Moweaqua died on December 31, 2016  at her residence in rural Moweaqua.  Her cause of death was determined to be fentanyl and hydrocodone intoxication.   The manner of death was determined to be accidental.

Derrick D. Kounse, 38, of Bulpitt died on January 8, 2017 in South Fork Township.  His cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head and body due a motor vehicle crash.  His death was determined to be accidental.  

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Local Baker Working Towards Opening Her Own Bakery in Taylorville

A local baker is moving from her home based baking business, to opening her own storefront in Taylorville. Meredith Eisenbarth, owner of Happy Baked Goods is working towards opening her own storefront location. Eisenbarth said her business started small, and has grown tremendously over the years.

 

 

Eisenbarth said her business is a reflection of a life-long passion for baking. She said after taking some time off, she started taking orders once again, and everything has grown from there.

 

 

Happy Baked Goods’ storefront location will be at 115 West Poplar in Taylorville. There is not yet a determined open date, however Eisenbarth is hopeful they will be open for business in 4 to 6 weeks.

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Pana Fire Department Suspects Arson As Cause of Weekend Fires

The Pana Fire Department suspects that arson was the cause of a pair of fires that occurred in the city over the weekend. Pana Fire Chief Rod Bland gave details on the initial fire the department responded to.

 

 

While battling the blaze, the department received word of another fire going on at a house nearby. With assistance from fire departments from Tower Hill and Oconee both calls were able to be handled. Chief Bland said the department suspects arson, considering the similar nature the fires had to a string of calls the department responded to several months ago.

 

 

If you have any information on the cause of the fires, you’re encouraged to call the Pana Police Department at 562-2141.

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Governor Rauner Gives State Of The State Address

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner gave his state of the state address Wednesday afternoon. Rauner said he’s frustrated with how the state government has operated the past two years, however is hopeful that the state can turn things around.

 

 

The Governor provided examples of change that he has seen during his time in Springfield. Rauner discussed several of the goals his administration set when he entered the office, and how those goals have been accomplished.

 

 

Rauner also pushed for many issues be held to a vote so voters can decide on them, and also pushed for a better school funding formula, calling the current formula “immoral”.

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Taylorville in the Midst of Many Growth Inducing Projects

Taylorville is in the process of upgrading the city on a large scale to make sure the future for it's residents remains bright. One project that shouldn't take long to finish is the addition of a new sanitary sewer line which will allow more businesses and buildings to come to the city. Mayor Greg Brotherton said they had a couple of options to upgrade these sewer lines, and they found one that wouldn't be too expensive for Taylorville.

The sewer line allows for the upcoming industrial park to come to the North East side of Taylorville. Mayor Brotherton said the sewer lines should be done within the next year and the industrial park from 12-18 months. Brotherton said, those who decide to locate there may have extra incentive to do so.

Mayor Brotherton appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show

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Taylorville Ministerial Association to Have Series on "Forgiveness" for 40 Days of Lent

The churches within the Taylorville Ministerial Association are coming together this year to have a six week series for their observance of Lent. Bill Kerns, from the Ministerial Association said their sermons will be based around the idea of forgiveness and how that may be able to give people release during the religious practice. Kern said the services will be held at various locations throughout the six weeks before the Easter Holiday, they will be short services, and will include lunch afterward.

Kerns said Lent is a time when people try to take or replace things in their life that may be holding them back from doing things for the greater good.

 

The 6 week service schedule is:

 

Kerns appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Social Security Administration Has a Way to Help People Pay for Medicare Part D

Because Martin Luther King Jr. Day was held earlier this month, the Social Security Administration wants to make sure they commemorate the holiday for the full month and provide service to others. One way they are doing that is by getting the word out about Extra Help, a program for those who need Medicare Part D, but may not have the funds to pay for it. Jack Myers, Public Affairs Specialist with the SSA, said Social Security can't enroll people into Medicare Part D, but can assist people by helping them pay for it.

Myers said the program is available to those with limited income and resources, and it can help assist people with premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.

Myers appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Gerald McPhillips speaks to Kiwanis about Safe Families for Children

(Taylorville)--The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. The guest speaker was Gerald McPhillips with Safe Families for Children.

 

McPhillips is the senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Taylorville and his church has been involved with Safe Families For Children for a year and a half. Since 2003, Safe Families for children has grown to an international force of 9,000 volunteers who have hosted nearly 22,000 children. Safe Families has grown from having a presence in 1 city (Chicago) to now being in 80 cities across 30 states and having expanded to 4 countries outside of the U.S.

 

Safe Families for Children is a movement of volunteers mobilized through local churches who come alongside families in crisis: medical crisis, mental, substance abuse, unemployment, lack of family support. Safe Families creates a family-like relationship with those families in need. Host families host children while their parent(s) get back on their feet with the support of other volunteers. Their efforts help prevent child welfare, abuse, and neglect while helping families be strong and stable. For more information or to see how you can help, call Gerald McPhillips at 217-824-3405 or visit the website at www.safe-families.org.

 

And, the Kiwanis Club again invites the public to its annual Pancake and Sausage Day at the Taylorville Moose Lodge this Saturday from 6am until 11am. Tickets are on sale from any Kiwanis member, or at the door. Proceeds benefit the many local projects for children and youth sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, including Kiwanis Park, Coats for Kids, high school and Y-M-C-A scholarships.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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Jacob Linder Named Miller Media Group Employee of the Quarter

Jacob Linder, an account manager and on-air announcer for the Miller Media Group Radio Stations in Taylorville, was named on Tuesday as the "Employee of the Quarter" for 4th Quarter 2016.

Linder joined the stations in July of last year.  His duties include being an account manager working with local businesses in both of the Miller Media Group's markets—Taylorville and Clinton—as well as being an on-air announcer.  Linder is also the play-by-play announcer for NEWSTALK WTIM's coverage of Taylorville Tornadoes sports.

Linder was presented with a $100 check by M-M-G general manager Kami Payne, and is in a drawing for a Florida vacation being given one "Employee of the Quarter" after the First Quarter 2017 Employee is announced.

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NEWSTALK WTIM Peoples Bank and Trust January Students of the Month Announced

The NEWSTALK WTIM and Peoples Bank and Trust, Taylorville January Students of the Month are Senior Nicholas Lavin, Junior Faith Moats, and Freshman Tyler Sherbert. Sophomore Kaylee Sloper is not pictured. Lindsay Lopian with Peoples Bank and Trust in Taylorville was on hand to present the students with their awards.

 

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Illinois Sheriff's Association Offering Scholarship Opportunity to College and High School Students

The Illinois Sheriff’s Association has announced they will be awarding $54,000 in college scholarships throughout the state. Some of that money goes to Christian County, where Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp awards a student with a $500 scholarship. Kettelkamp discussed the scholarships and what students need to do to enter.

 

 

Kettelkamp said that it’s often quite difficult for him to choose a winner in the essay contest, due to the great entries he receives every year.

 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp said students can get applications several different ways, and when students need to turn in their essays.

 

 

Applicants must be permanent Illinois residents to qualify, and must be enrolled as a full-time student during the 2017-2018 school year.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at New Edward Jones Office

 

Another business in Taylorville has held their ribbon cutting ceremony as Blake Davis, a Financial Adviser with Edward Jones Investments has officially opened, and joined the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. Davis said it’s a welcome relief that the new location is finally done, and also discussed why he moved out of the Edward Jones location on the square.

 

 

Davis shared some of the services his office offers to customers, and also shared how pleased he was with the transformation of his new location.

 

 

You can find Blake Davis’ new office location at 712 North Webster Street in Taylorville, or give him a call at 217-777-2700.

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State Rep Avery Bourne Looks to Pass Bills to Change the Budgeting Process

As state legislative sessions start back up, one thing people have on their minds is if a budget will be passed. The stopgap budget helped out many sectors of the government until the end of last year, but once January 1st hit, many of those stopped getting funding. State Representative Avery Bourne said a new budget deal is in progress with new rules in place where state senate leaders Christine Radongo and John Cullerton are trying to balance the budget, and make sure things are fair for both sides.

Bourne also said she is trying to get other lawmakers to support multiple pieces of legislation that would restore the people's faith in the state government. These include term limits, ethics tests, and changing the budgeting process every two years rather than it being annually.

State Representative Bourne appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Former Morning Man, Matt McLemore, Joins Regional Radio to Celebrate WTIM's 65th Anniversary

WTIM turned 65 last week and the celebration isn't over yet. Matt McLemore is now retired from WTIM, but was the morning man for 25 years, conducting interviews, hosting swap shop, and reporting the news. McLemore looked back on his time at WTIM and said his time there allowed him to stay in a steady environment, let him to connect with the local people, and also brought him a lot of confidence.

McLemore said, looking back, one of his most memorable moments came from the 1990's where a woman in Roby barricaded herself in her house from the police for more than a month, which gave him the opportunity to speak on a national news platform.

McLemore appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Criminal Damage At Pillars Event Center This Weeks Crimestoppers Crime Of The Week

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

 

Sometime between January 1, 2017 and January 3, 2017, an unknown subject used a rock to break out a window at the Pillars Event Center, located at 303 East Market Street.The stained glass window was located in a door on the South side of the building.  It did not appear that entry was gained to the building. The total dollar amount of damage is unknown at this time.

 

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

 

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

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Help For Low Income Tax Filers

Tax time can be stressful on anyone. It’s especially so if you think you need help in filing your returns but you don’t money to pay for the assistance. So the Department of Human Services is giving low income workers and families access to free help. Meghan Powers says volunteer professionals are ready to help guide people through the process.



Families making less than $55,000 a year and individuals earning less than $30,000 are eligible for the assistance. Last year 29,000 people used the free service. To locate a help center go to DHS dot State dot IL dot gov.

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IDOT Investigating Autonomous Vehicles in 2017

Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn and his agency are looking to the future of driving in Illinois and a big part of that future involves vehicles without drivers.



Blankenhorn says driverless vehicles like the ones operated by Google in recent years aren't just an experiment, it's a movement that is gaining traction and he wants Illinois to be ahead of the curve.



Blankenhorn says some freight companies are talking with his agency about future use of autonomous vehicles in the state.

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January Turning Out Mild

January started out with some typically cold weather, but quickly turned mild. Jim Angel, State Climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey says with a week to go in the month we are running well above average for both temperature and precipitation.



The next two weeks look to be fairly mild with little precipitation. Once we get into mid-February, Angel says the outlook is a little uncertain.



State Climatologist Jim Angel

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Stay Away From Pot Money in Banks

The medical marijuana business in Illinois is growing. So the need for dispensaries and growing operations to have access to banks and loans is important. However, the Trump Administration may not be ready to protect the industry. State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says he wants the new administration to protect them. Current federal law makes it illegal for banks to process money used in legal marijuana businesses. That forces those businesses to work on a cash only basis. The Obama administration shied away from prosecuting banks who dealt with companies and now Frerichs wants Trump to do the same. 



Millions of dollars floating are around medical pot in Illinois. Retail sales are closing in on $40 million since starting the program in late 2015. 

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Congressman Rodney Davis Thanks Project 29 Committee for Their Work to Expand Route 29

 

The expansion of Route 29 between Taylorville and Springfield has finally been completed. One local lawmaker, Rodney Davis was a part of an accident in 1992 that took the life of Melody Traughber. Davis said during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the highway, how Traughber’s death sparked the movement to expand the highway.

 

 

Davis thanked the many people involved in the Project 29 group that has pushed for the expansion of the highway over the years.

 

 

To view the complete Route 29 ribbon cutting ceremony, click on the WTIMTV icon at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com

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Shelby Memorial Hospital Officially Changes Name to HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital

 

Shelby Memorial Hospital in Shelbyville is now HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, as the hospital has affiliated itself with the HSHS Medical Group. The hospital itself has a long history in the Shelbyville community. Marilyn Sears, Chief Operating Officer of Good Shepherd Hospital shared a story about the history of the hospital at a ceremony to celebrate the official name change of the hospital on Monday.

 

 

The event had a group of guest speakers, including Mary Starmann-Harrison, who’s President and CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System,. Starmann-Harrison shared a story of a patient who had undergone physical therapy at the hospital, and the incredible recovery she was able to make, going from barley able to walk, to being able to do yoga.

 

 

Also speaking at the event was E.J. Kuiper, HSHS Central Illinois Division President also spoke with Regional Radio News following the ceremony. Kuiper discussed how the hospital had reached out to the HSHS Medical Group about affiliating, and how that affiliation made sense for HSHS.

 

 

Kuiper discussed some of the additional services that will be available at the hospital due to the partnership.

 

 

Kuiper said HSHS plans to invest in the hospital through expanding the medical staff, as well as expanding the technology available for patients at Good Shepherd Hospital.

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State Representative Avery Bourne Focusing on School Funding Issue as Legislative Session Begins

The state legislation is starting another session to pass new legislation for all sorts of problems from big to small, from hunting laws to school funding. Those are just two examples citizens tell State Representative Avery Bourne, they are worried about. She said she's been part of a committee that's been working for months on a new school funding legislation, and they are less than two weeks away from finalizing things. Bourne said their school funding plan will be able to help these areas and make sure students receive the same quality education across the board.

Bourne said she hopes the school funding can be changed to be more balanced and fair across the state. She said many of the counties she covers don't have a lot of incoming funds, and that hurts their schools. But when the state doesn't pay the full amount they are supposed to, that hurts them even more.

State Representative Bourne appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Dudley-Smith Farm Hard at Work Researching for the Ag Industry During the Cold Season

University of Illinois' Dudley-Smith Farm held a field day this morning to explain all that's going on at this time during the year, and also explain the projects they are getting prepared for to continue research in the agriculture industry. Regional Radio News caught up with Ed Ballard, a retired but active U of I Extension educator, to find out all that's going on at Dudley-Smith Farm. Ballard said in recent years they've focused on programs dealing with both crops and livestock and how they impact and benefit each other.

Ballard said another issue they are looking at and hoping to help fix is soil health. He said with their research they will look at how fungus and bacteria work with the soil, as well as what kinds of other things impact the soil such as the amount of fertilizer and timing of adding said fertilizer.

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SOS Mailings May Have Ads Soon

Secretary of State Jesse White wants to offset the cost of sending out license plate renewal reminders. He is calling for legislation that would allow advertisements to be printed on those reminders. In 2015, the office suspended mailing the renewal notices because of the state budget stalemate. 

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Governor To Give State of State This Week

This week the Governor will deliver his state of the state address. This Wednesday Bruce Rauner will stand in front of the legislature and address future goals of his administration. 



Rauner also has a pending budget address where he has the opportunity to speak to specific spending issues.

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Illinois Democrats Open Door to Input on Gubernatorial Candidates

Since Senator Dick Durbin opted not to join the 2018 Governor's race, it's been a muddled picture as far as who will seek the Democratic nomination and who could be a viable opponent to Bruce Rauner. The Illinois Democratic County Chairman’s Association has launched an online gubernatorial straw poll of its members and Democrats who join the organization online. Association President Doug House notes with Governor Rauner recently putting $50 million of his money into his re-election campaign fund, Democrats don't have the luxury of waiting.

 


House offers details for those who want to weigh in on their favored candidates.



 

The straw poll will run until midnight on January 29th. IDCCA intends to conduct several more polls to continue drawing attention to the Democratic primary race for Governor.


The candidates included in the first straw poll are (in alphabetical order):

* State Senator Daniel Biss
* Congresswoman Cheri Bustos
* Congresswoman Robin Kelly
* Chris Kennedy
* State Senator Andy Manar
* Alderman Ameya Pawar
* J.B. Pritzker
* State Senator Kwame Raoul
* Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers

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Durbin Warns of ACA Repeal

If President Donald Trump and Republicans in Washington D.C. move forward with their pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act US Senator Dick Durbin wants them to know that trouble may lie ahead. Today the senior senator from Illinois says making widespread changes but still keeping what most people feel are positive aspects of the law will be difficult.



Durbin says if Republicans move ahead with plans to scrap the ACA they could put 95,000 jobs on the line in Illinois.

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Representative Shimkus Says 29 Project An Example of Hard Work Paying Off

After nearly 20 years work to expand Route 29 between Taylorville and Springfield has been completed. One of the lawmakers who has worked to get the project completed is US Representative John Shimkus (R-Ill). Shimkus said during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the highway on Tuesday that the project is one of his first earmarks.

 

 

Shimkus also had some words of advice for new lawmakers, saying that hard work eventually pays off.

 

 

You can view the complete ribbon cutting ceremony on WTIMTV by clicking on the WTIMTV icon at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com

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Shelby Memorial Hospital to Undergo Name Change to HSHS Good Shepard Hospital

Shelby Memorial Hospital, is in the process of pairing with HSHS and now undergoing a name change to become HSHS Good Shepard Hospital. The pairing with HSHS will allow SMH to offer more services and better treatment for their patients. Glenda Plunkett from HSHS Good Shepard Hospital said the process began in 2014 because the hospital wanted to continue growth and the best way they could do it was to pair with a larger company.

Plunkett said the full focus of this change is to make the hospital stronger. She said the funds will continue to stay local and there will always be local representation on the board. She said she hopes the local community will continue to support them through the change as they have the past 100 years.

Plunkett appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

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Budget Woes Could Impact Shelbyville Schools for Years to Come

Due to the lack of a state budget, Shelbyville schools are struggling to make sure they can offer everything their students need to be more than successful through and after high school. Denise Bence Superintendent of Shelbyville schools said the Illinois Government is giving more money to schools, but they aren't paying for everything they used to. Bence said some of the things that aren't being paid include special education and transportation.

Bence said the lack of payments will impact Shebyville schools later on by not having enough funds for physical education every day, driver's education, and there may be a change in teacher's pension ,where the district would be responsible for more of the payments than they are now.

Bence appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios. 

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Shelby County Sheriff's Office Talks About Often Forgotten K-9 Unit and What it Brings to the Area

One often forgotten department of the Shelby County Sheriff's Office is its Canine Unit. Shelby County Sheriff Don Koonce and Undersheriff Rob McCall said the Canine Unit is helpful in many circumstances, where these furry officers can help cool down situations with their presence and also help find drugs using their acute sense of smell. McCall said, however, these dogs are well trained to do much more than what most would think.

McCall said finding dogs suitable for the canine unit isn't easy. They can be expensive to purchase, and often times the Shelby County Sheriff's Office will go to the local kennel to see if there might be a dog available that would suit the Canine Unit.

McCall said it can take between 12-24 months to truly know if a dog is right and usable within a canine unit, and sometimes those can fail later on in their career.

 

Sheriff Koonce and Undersheriff McCall appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

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Donald Trump Names Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture

It just about took him right up to his inauguration day, but Donald Trump selected former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be his final choice in his presidential cabinet as the next Secretary of Agriculture. The president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, Richard Guebert Jr., says the organization is relieved a nominee to head U-S-D-A has finally been selected. The leader of the American Farm Bureau, Zippy Duvall, served as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau when Perdue was his home state's Governor;



The American Farm Bureau's chief economist, Bob Young, served on the U-S Senate Agriculture Committee staff under a Democratic chairman;




Like all other Trump cabinet nominees, Perdue will face a panel of U-S Senators for a hearing prior to a confirmation vote up or down in the full U-S Senate. The Senate's Agriculture Committee chairman says he plans to call a hearing on the U-S-D-A Secretary-designate as soon as possible.

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Rauner Insults Daycare Provided to Kids

Governor Bruce Rauner this week took a swipe at the level of quality daycare that some kids receive in Illinois. Last year the Governor moved to cut daycare subsidies for low income working families. The move pushed thousands of families away from state support. And Rauner says now the daycare kids are getting at times is less than they deserve. 




SEIU’s Vice Chair of Child Care said in a statement that Rauner’s words show “someone entirely disconnected from the working families he claims to serve.”

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U of I System Pushes To Boost Student Numbers

It’s a five year push to increase the enrollment of the three campuses that make the University of Illinois system. Tim Killeen, President of the University of Illinois gave the goal of boosting enrollment by 15 percent to the U of I’s Board of Trustees. If achieved Champaign-Urbana, Chicago and Springfield would incorporate more than 93,000 students. 

When considering the move – Killeen notes that 45 percent of Illinois high school seniors who go to college select a 4 year school outside of the state, 15 years ago that number was just 29 percent. The system has about 81,500 students right now. 

The University is also going to freeze base tuition for a instate freshman for the 3rd year in a row.

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Durbin Salutes President Obama for Economic Rescue Work

As President Obama leaves Pennsylvania Avenue, his former US Senate colleague is singing his praises. On the Senate floor, Durbin credited Obama with taking on the recession head on shortly after his Presidency began.


 

In particular, Durbin cited the President's support of the auto industry.
 


 

Durbin also credited the President with reducing predatory lending practices, something often linked to the foreclosure crisis early in his tenure. 

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U of I Trustees Back Plan to Boost Enrollment, Freeze Tuition

University of Illinois system trustees endorse U of I President Timothy Killeen's plan to boost enrollment at the university system's three campuses in Champaign-Urbana, Chicago and Springfield by 15 percent over the next five years. . Killeen says the effort will expand academic programs and opportunities for Illinois students in a bid to ward off efforts by out of state schools to lure incoming Illinois college students. Out-of-state schools have been offering discounted costs to Illinois students. University of Illinois at Springfield Chancellor Susan Koch is thriled with the effort.



Meanwhile, the University of Illinois trustees have decided for a third-straight year not to raise tuition rates next fall for in-state freshmen.

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Christian County Coroner Investigating Death of Edinburg Infant

The Christian County Coroner is investigating the death of an Edinburg infant. On January 18 at about 4:49 A.M., 911 received a call that a baby was unresponsive and not breathing in the 100 Block of East Douglas in Edinburg. EMS responded to the call and requested the coroner. The almost 3 month old was identified as Vivian Marie McDonal of Edinburg. An autopsy was held late Wednesday afternoon and the results are pending further studies. The Edinburg Police Dept, Christian County Sheriff Office, Illinois State Police, and Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services are investigating the death.

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Illinois Secretary of Transportation Says Route 29 Opening Improves Safety and Connects Communities

Route 29 between Taylorville and Springfield is finally complete. One important figure to the project was Randy Blankenhorn, Secretary of Transportation for Illinois, who spoke during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the highway on Tuesday. Blankenhorn said he’s glad that the project has finally been completed.

 

 

Blankenhorn said the upgraded highway will improve safety and help connect communities, and wanted to thank those who helped work on the project first hand.

 

 

The complete Route 29 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony can be viewed by clicking on the WTIMTV icon at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Busy With Local Ribbon Cuttings

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce held their January Business After Hours at Charro Mexican Restaurant on Wednesday. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said the meeting rooms in their new location were filled with people who wanted to join in and see what the new Charro has to offer. Hornbuckle said there were more than 60 visitors which made Charro's official ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday even better.

Hornbuckle said the Taylorville Chamber is celebrating another business opening in Taylorville just next week. She said the business has been open, but the finishing touches weren't until recently.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Sheriff Kettelkamp Warns the Public Against Drunk Driving on Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is one of the Top 10 Days of the year for people to drink and party. And while all of that is just fine, it's important to make sure party-go-ers make good choices when it comes to driving. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said one way to counteract the alcohol in your system is to drink at a slower pace throughout the day and make sure to eat often.

Sheriff Kettelkamp also commented on those who host the Super Bowl parties. He said it's never a bad idea to mention designated drivers on the invitations or at least through word of mouth, and another option would be to use a key bowl and not allow people to leave unless the host knows they are sober enough.

Sheriff Kettelkamp appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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First Detector Workshop at U of I Extension Set of Feb. 23

The University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 has an extremely busy start to the year with 5 different seminars and workshops to come within the first three months. One of these, they are proud to host is their first detector work shop in late February. Andrew Holsinger, Horticulture Educator at the U of I said there is still room available for this full day workshop that teaches people about invasive species that are killing off native plants.

Holsinger said the damage invasive species can have can be horrible and irreparable if left untreated. He said a few to look out for include the Emerald Ash Borer, and a jumping worm.

The first detector workshop is set for February 23 from 9:00-4:00, with a $40 fee that includes instruction, lunch, and hands on training materials.

 

Holsinger appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Hometown Tour. 

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Debate Over Redacted Documents From DCFS Continues in Stivers Case

Debate continues over redacted records in the case of Robert Stivers. Stivers who is accused of causing the injures that resulted in the death of his 4 month old son appeared in the Christian County Court on Thursday with council to discuss records that the state and defense had received from DCFS that had information redacted. An order was placed on December 19th to require DCFS to provide both sides with the unredacted records on the case. The state has since filed a motion to vacate.

 

Jason Adams with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office was present in court representing DCFS. Adams stated that it would be DCFS’s position that they would submit the unredacted records to the state and the defense, however they would request a redaction. The defense argued that the redacted documents contained information about the names of witnesses in the case, and that they needed to know who those witnesses were before going to trial.

 

The court had also received on January 17th a sealed envelope from the Springfield Clinic which was opened in court. Those documents were turned over to to the state and defense. Judge Brad Paisley asked if either party was ready to argue on the DCFS motion to vacate, to which both sides indicated that they weren’t. A court date of February 6th was set for that argument.

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Taylorville Man Sentenced to 18 Years in Illinois DOC for Methamphetamine Trafficking

 

A Taylorville man has plead guilty to drug trafficking charges and will serve time in the Illinois Department of Corrections. 26 year old Kevin Purcell, who was facing several different felony charges plead guilty on Thursday in the Christian County Courthouse to count one in case 16CF219 of methamphetamine trafficking. The state accused Purcell of purchasing methamphetamine in Oklahoma, with the intent of selling it locally. The charge is a class x felony, and Purcell was sentenced to serve 18 years in the Illinois DOC. The charge also carries the stipulation that Purcell must serve at least 75% of his sentence.

 

All other charges that Purcell was facing will be dismissed. Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera informed the court that local law enforcement that was involved with the case have been notified to the terms of the plea agreement, and were agreeable to the terms.

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Compromise in IL Senate May Go Nowhere

Is the grand compromise dead? The combined effort of the Illinois Senate Democrats and Republicans was cooled off Wednesday by Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration. His office of Management and Budget estimated that the Senate spending plan and tax hike would leave the state $4.3 billion short. Rauner was quick to sidestep any direct comment on the findings, preferring to take the stance that he’s staying out of the negations.




The Senate still has to have their compromise bills to that need to be heard in committee. They say that will take all the analysis and review it to see if changes need to be made.

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EIU Considering A Reduction in Majors

Will Eastern Illinois University trim down the number of majors it offers? David Glassman President of EIU says that may be the case, and it isn’t tied to the lack of state funding. It is tied to declining enrollment at the campus – which indirectly might be tied to concerns about state funding. The school is considering doing away with the bachelor’s in Africana studies, philosophy, adult and community education and career and technical education. A master’s in Special Education is also up for being cut. The EIU Board of Trustees will make the final decision – possibly in April.

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March For Life Preparing for Trip to Nation's Capital

With president Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration right around the corner, many groups are getting ready to head to Washington to make sure their voices are heard by lawmakers as well as the incoming president. One group will have local representation as Taylorville High School student Noah Nelson and his family are attending the festivities with March for Life. Nelson shared March for Life’s goal in Washington.

 

 

The group has a packed agenda with many different activities planned. Nelson discussed some of the things the group will do during their time in the nation’s capital.

 

 

The group will leave on January 25th and return home on the 29th. Registration is open so if you would like to join the group on their trip, you can do so by contacting the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. Their number is (217) 698-8500, extension 154.

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Criminal Damage in Taylorville This Weeks Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

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

 

Sometime during the overnight hours between Friday, January 13, 2017 and Saturday, January 14, 2017, person or persons unknown used an unknown item to damage 2 tires on a vehicle. The vehicle, a 2007 Nissan, was parked at the residence, located at 49 Illini Drive, during the time of the incident. The total dollar amount of damage is unknown at this time.

 

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

 

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

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Removing Campaign Signs From Yards is a Crime

 

Political season is once again upon us as local elections loom in the spring. With election season comes campaign signs in yards. Brian Hile, Taylorville Chief of Police had several guidelines for candidates and citizens when it comes to campaign signs.

 

 

Candidates again must obtain permission before placing any signs on someone’s property, and political signs cannot be placed on any city property including boulevards. Hile said signs being removed from yards is unfortunately a fairly typical occurrence during election season.

 

 

The Taylorville Police Department also asks that signs are not placed in a manner which will block the view of motorists, and if signs are considered to be a traffic hazard, they will be removed.

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Congressman Rodney Davis Excited About Route 29, Thinking About Extension

After more than 20 years, the construction on Route 29 between Taylorville and Springfield is complete. One Taylorville resident whom is extremely happy about this is Congressman Rodney Davis. Davis said as someone who witnessed the accident that started the talks of expanding the road, he's pleased to see it finalize. He said the four lanes and heightened speed limit will help build economy for Edinburgh and Taylorviile, as well as create safer travels for those driving on that stretch of road.

Davis said he doesn't expect the construction to be totally finished though. He said he would like to see the road continue though Taylorville and connect to Route 51 near Pana for those who travel greater distance, to make sure they can be safe on more of their journey than now.

Congressman Davis appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Believe it or Not, One Way to Stay Warm and Get Proper Nutrients? Drinking Coffee

As the winter months continue, people often look for ways to warm up. For some, a nice hot beverage does the trick to warm them up from the inside out. These include hot cocoa, hot chocolate, tea, hot apple cider, and the year long favorite, coffee. Joyce Fikri, Nutrition Educator at the St. Louis Dairy Council said coffee by itself doesn't really have  any nutritional value, but by adding milk or cream to the drink, people can attain many of their necessary daily nutrients.

Coffee's high caffeine is a large reason people drink it daily, but it's also a reason people don't. Fikri said the key is to drink it in moderation to avoid things like jitters, or caffeine headaches.

Fikri appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Laura Cooper Speaks to Local Kiwanis at Weekly Luncheon

(Taylorville)--The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. The guest speaker was Laura Cooper with the Christian County Probation office.

 

Cooper discussed the many jobs that her office does in addition to monitoring compliance. She described risk assessment from low risk, diversion cases all the way to probation cases involving serious charges and repeat offenders. Cooper went on to talk about her office’s work with drug court, mental health court, and veterans court. In many ways, these programs are far more difficult than doing time in jail, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. These programs can save as much as $13,000 over a trip to the DOC. More importantly, 75% of the people that complete these programs never get arrested again as opposed to the two-thirds of those that get released from the DOC end up going back. Cooper concludes the rewards of treatment work better than sanctions.

 

And, the Kiwanis Club again invites the public to its annual Pancake and Sausage Day at the Taylorville Moose Lodge, on Saturday, January 28th, from 6 til 11am.  Tickets are on sale from any Kiwanis member, or at the door.  Proceeds benefit the many local projects for children and youth sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, including Kiwanis Park, Coats for Kids, high school and Y-M-C-A scholarships.

 

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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January WSVZ Family Drug Shelbyville Students of the Month Announced

The 98.3 WSVZ and Family Drug Students of the Month for January are, Senior Dalto Owens, Junior Sarah Throneburg, Sophomore Joel Bleskey, and Freshman Holly Metzger.Jessie Reed from Family Drug was on hand to present the students with their awards.

 

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Rauner Stands Behind Not Attending Inauguration

Friday the Governor will not be at the inauguration. Bruce Rauner says its’ not a problem for him or the state that he won’t be going and that existing relationships inside the Trump administration will benefit the state.



Rauner says he’d like to see the federal government relax regulations, invest in public infrastructure and wants to see reforms to the affordable care act.

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Farm Prices May Be Stronger in 2017

On Tuesday we saw a run up in commodity prices, especially in soybeans. This time of year news out of South America often drives bean prices, and Jim Bower of Bower trading says heavy rains, and flooding, in soybean growing areas did help drive the markets higher.



But flooding in South America is only part of the story… Bower says 2017 may bring increased volatility and perhaps increased prices as the stock market seems to have topped out, interest rates remain low, and economic growth lingers at around 2%. Recognizing that demand remains strong and we can’t assume a repeat of excellent growing conditions in 2017, commodities have the potential for price gains this year, and that’s starting to attract a lot of investment money.



While we could have another bumper crop that puts a lid on prices, the big investment funds are starting see more upside potential than downside risk and an inflow of funds can push prices higher.

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Governor Bruce Rauner Speaks at Route 29 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

 

Route 29 between Taylorville and Springfield officially held it’s ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday outside of the community building in Rochester. The event was well attended by many lawmakers from the local level all the way to the national level. The special guest of the day was Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, who said the Route 29 project is a great example of what can happen when people decide to tackle a problem. Even if that problem takes years to solve.

 

 

Governor Rauner said the project is first and foremost about improved safety on the highway, but also brings many economic benefits to the communities along the Route 29 corridor.

 

 

The Governor also thanked the parties involved in the project, and said that the Route 29 project is a good example of why we should invest more in infrastructure.

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WTIM turns 65: Remembers Show from 1980's "Now We're Cookin'"

This week WTIM is celebrating its 65th anniversary, and NEWSTALK WTIM is taking a look back to the past to see how it's changed. Marsha Farr owned WTIM and its sister station WEEE from 1988-1992. Far was also a former Business Manager, Salesperson, and On Air Talent was on WTIM from 1984-1991 and hosted the show “Now We're Cookin'” where people could call in and trade recipes, ask questions, and more. Farr, known on air as Marsha Linton said because of the guests on her show and the callers, WTIM was able to put all of the recipes together to make a couple different cookbooks featuring recipes from Central Illinois locals.

Farr said, through her show, WTIM provided some memorable moments for her, including when CNN came to Taylorville. She said when President Ronald Reagan was in office and was contemplating going to the Soviet Summit, many people were opposed. But one Taylorville resident called in and said they were going to fly their flag and support their president.

Farr appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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New Year's Resolutions Continue, Don't Feel Discouraged, Let the Process Commence

As 2017 continues, people are hopefully staying strong with their New Year's resolutions. But at the same time, change can be very difficult for people. People often expect for change to happen immediately, and don't let the process commence. That's what Karen Vatthauer, Therapist and Owner of Beacon Professional Counseling, said she's gained from her experience. She said people often think change is just one step, but it isn't. She said it's multiple steps, with many of those being steps back.

Vatthauer said people often have unrealistic expectations where they expect to change too fast. She said people need to remember that it will take time to break the old habits and for the new habits to take over.

Vatthauer appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Christian County Health Department Receives Grant Award from the Bertrand Hooper Memorial Foundation

The Christian County Health Department was recently selected to receive $5,000 as one of the Bertrand Hooper Memorial Foundation Award Recipients. The money will go to help update the flooring in the front entrance and waiting area of the clinic area for Women, Infants and Children Program and Family Case Management Programs. The Health Department is also hopeful that they can receive other donations from the public so that the painting that needs to be done to the area can be completed at the same time as well.

 

The award greatly helps the Christian County Health Department’s efforts to renovate it’s facilities, due to the fact that the Department receives it’s funding through state grants, which cannot be used for building improvements. The lack of a state budget has also negatively affected the department’s funding overall, so the award from the Bertrand Hooper Memorial Foundation is a welcome sight for the Christian County Health Department.

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State Senator Andy Manar Discusses School Funding Reform Progress

School funding has been a hot button topic around the state, and more-so locally with questions about local tax levies for Taylorville Schools and groups such as Citizens for Education pushing for school funding reform. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) sits on a commission created by Governor Rauner to tackle the issue of school funding. Manar said in a conference call with the press Monday that although he supported the idea of the group before, solving the school funding problem in Illinois has been a tough issue to fix.

 

 

Manar said even though the school funding issue has been a tough issue to fix for the commission, he still feels as though the commission has done good by bringing both sides of the aisle together to try and fix the school funding issue.

 

 

Manar said one issue the commission has faced is a lack of understanding as to what the ultimate goal is for the commission, however recently there has been a renewed effort to draft a bill to solve the school funding issue.

 

 

Manar said he feels the commission has cut through many of the challenges it faced with the school funding issue, and now the challenge is to take the ideas the commission has had, and draft a comprehensive bill that will solve the school funding problem.

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WTIM Celebrates 65th Anniversary this Week; Kicks it Off with Former DJ and Now FOX News 27 Anchor Doug Quick

Miller Media Group's WTIM celebrates its 65th anniversary this week. One former employee, Doug Quick, was a DJ, News Reporter, and Sales Person for WTIM in the mid 1970's and since has moved on to bigger things, where he's now a co-anchor for FOX News 27. Quick reminisced on the past days of WTIM and explained that back then it had news on it but it also played music at night. Quick said he started off running a rock show in 1974, but eventually they moved him to the morning show.

Quick said since its inception WTIM provides the community with local news and information. He said from when joined it to now its main goal has never changed to bring pertinent local content to the listeners, and making sure those listeners and the radio station work together as a community.

Quick appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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State Treasurer's Office Not Taking MLK Day Off, Looking to Make Change in Illinois Instead

The Illinois State Treasurer's Office didn't take the day off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Treasure Michael Frerichs said his office attended events focusing on one of Dr. King's dreams, ridding the country of lead. Frerichs said last century there was a push to get lead into the country through paint, pipes, and gas, but since then, lead has been known to cause mental issues, especially in making people more violent, and the state is tying to make it apparent to the people of Illinois.

Frerichs said a quarter of the country's leap pipes are in Illinois, but haven't been able to be found. Frerichs said he believes they are within the cities, in areas that have lower income, and science, to an extent shows the effects it has on the people there.

State Treasurer Frerichs appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Louise Noren January's Big Smile for the Community Honoree

 

This month’s NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is Louise Noren, who volunteers for Taylorville Memorial Hospital, and is a former President of the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Noren discussed her time with the hospital and Auxiliary.

 

 

Noren discussed some of the changes she’s seen over the years at the hospital, and talked about what she did was president of the TMH Auxiliary.

 

 

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

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Start Up Run by Students From Milliken University Named A Finalist for Cleantech University Prize

 

A start-up company run by students from a local university has been named a finalist for the Cleantech University Prize, which gives the company a chance to win $50,000 to help assist with the company’s growth. BlueSolar, headed by students from Milliken University is looking to change the solar industry. Estefano Martinez, a sophmore student at Milliken and CEO of BluSolar gave more details on what BlueSolar does.

 

 

Martinez discussed the Cleantech University Prize, and what the company did to get involved in the competition.

 

 

Martinez said how the company wants to help solar cell manufacturers become more sustainable, and help the industry progress forward as a whole.

 

 

Other finalists in the competition include start ups from the University of Minnesota, Michigan and Michigan State Universities, Case Western Reserve University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Christian County Crimestoppers Board Honors Retiring Board Member Dan Austin

 

The Christian County Crimestoppers board recently took time during their December board meeting to honor retiring board member Dan Austin. Austin along with his father helped create the Crimestoppers program in Christian County in 1987. Sergeant Alan Mills with the Taylorville Police Department and Christian County Crimestoppers said how Dan and his Father helped get the program going, and why the board decided to honor him.

 

 

Mills discussed how Austin helped the program grow over the years, and how those involved in the Crimestoppers program appreciate everything Austin has done for Crimestoppers.

 

 

Austin was given an award by the Christian County Crimestoppers during the meeting to help show their gratitude for helping to not only create, but to expand and grow the local program.

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Route 29 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Tomorrow

 

Route 29 will officially have it’s ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow. The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has been hard to make sure everything has been set up, and politicians and press will be able to be there for the official ceremony. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said although she’s excited for the ribbon cutting, she’s not thrilled with the location.

 

 

Since the road has opened it’s made it much easier for people to travel to Springfield, and Hornbuckle says more importantly it’s made it easier for people from Springfield to travel to Taylorville.

 

 

Regional Radio News will have live coverage of the ribbon cutting both on air on Newstalk WTIM, as well as through live video streaming by clicking on the WTIMTV icon at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com.

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Shelby Electric Cooperative Providing Multiple Sources of Information During Weekend Weather Conditions

With the pending ice event predicted for Friday - Sunday, Shelby Electric Cooperative is providing a link to their outage map, https://ebill.shelbyelectric.coop/woViewer/mapviewer.html?config=Outage+Web+Map

Shelby Electric will also try to keep their members informated via their facebook page with the following link, www.facebook.com/YourCoop<http://www.facebook.com/YourCoop>
& also with their website www.shelbyelectric.coop<http://www.shelbyelectric.coop>

For more information, questions or concerns call 217-273-3986.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Preparing for Annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is preparing for their annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast. Will Perkins with the Taylorville Kiwanis Club had details on when and where the event is, and how you can purchase tickets.

 

 

Perkins also shared how businesses can purchase meals to be delivered. Perkins shared how the money raised by events such as the breakfast go to benefit the local community.

 

 

If you’re interested in attending, there are several ways to get tickets. Perkins said the best way to buy a ticket is to contact a local Kiwanis member.

 

 

Again the breakfast will be held at the Moose Lodge in Taylorville from 6:30 until 11am on January 28th.. Adult tickets are $7, with child tickets being $4.

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Sheriff Kettlekamp Speaks at Weekly Kiwanis Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. The guest speaker was sheriff Bruce Kettelkmap

 

Kettelkamp talked about the team of officers, deputies, and investigators and their ability to work together to serve Christian County on the phone, on the street and at their local facility which houses an average of fifty prisoners a day. Kettelkamp also discussed the ongoing drug problem throughout the county. Alcohol and marijuana continue to be the most abused; in addition, meth, bath salts, and prescription drugs are becoming increasingly used and to devastating effect. Fifteen deaths in the county have been attributed to overdose. Finally, Kettelkamp talked about outreach programs available locally to help fight addiction as Kettelkamp was quoted as saying “a drug addict needs treatment while the drug dealer needs to be in jail.”

 

And, the Kiwanis Club again invites the public to its annual Pancake and Sausage Day at the Taylorville Moose Lodge, on Saturday, January 28th, from 6 til 11am. Tickets are on sale from any Kiwanis member, or at the door. Proceeds benefit the many local projects for children and youth sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, including Kiwanis Park, Coats for Kids, high school and Y-M-C-A scholarships.

 

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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UPDATED: Freezing Rain Advisory for Central Illinois. Ice Storm Warning for South Central Illinos

 

 

 

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has revised its freezing rain advisory for the Regional Radio listening area, to now go through noon on Sunday.

 

A break in precipitation through much of the night will be followed by freezing rain and a wintry mix of precipitation spreading northward Sunday through Sunday night. Light additional ice accumulations are likely, along with some sleet and snow. Southern areas will transition to mainly rain Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. Temperatures will quickly warm above freezing in central IL on Monday, as highs reach well into the 40s and low 50s.

 

While a significant ice storm is not anticipated this weekend, it doesn't take much ice to create hazardous travel conditions. Use extreme caution if you must venture out during icy conditions this weekend.

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Luminary Walk on Dacey Trail in Shelbyville Set to Start 6:00pm January 21st

The Luminary walk is coming to Dacey Trail in Shelbyville the evening of January 21st. Bob Niestradt is one of the original organizers for the Luminary walk and said while the walk takes place during one of the coldest months of the year, once you get going the cold isn't even a factor anymore. Niestradt said there are many distances people can walk and depending on the distance someone walks people can see some really neat things on the trail.

Niestradt said they would be nothing without their volunteers, as their volunteers help set everything up during the yearm and the night of the walk, make sure people don't get lost on the trail, and make sure people park safely.

The Luminary walk kicks of Saturday January 21st at 6:00, and volunteer opportunities are still available.

 

Niestradt appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

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Shelbyville Rotary Club Celebrates 95th Anniversary, Plan to Keep Mission True for Years to Come

The Shelbyville Rotary Club is celebrating it's 95th anniversary this year, and they are excited about the possibilities of what they can do to teach people about rotary and extend their hand to the community. Kevin Ray, President of the Shelbyville Rotary Club, said they plan to top their purpose this year, and not only that, the club plans to stay true to their mission for years to come. Ray said the Shelbyville Rotary Club's mission is “To serve the public and community above serving yourself.”

Ray explained the Shelbyville Rotary Club is a part of many community events and organizations. He said they help out with the Boy Scouts, the Halloween Parade, and the local schools, just to name a few.

Ray appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

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Davis Optimistic Trump Will Makes Changes to EPA, Energy Policy

Congressman Rodney Davis has long been critical of the Environmental Protection Agency's overreach in the last eight years and believes things could change under Donald Trump. Congressman Davis says the EPA has wanted to push an agenda in recent years and has hindered America's progress in hinders the country's ability to be competitive.




In 2017, Congressman Davis hopes to address clean energy policies in America. He says nuclear energy has to be a part of the policy as it is one of the cleanest forms of energy available. 




Congressman Davis says he will be making his way throughout the area this year to talk with farmers about ag policy and product shipments as a 
new farm bill deadline looms.

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Durbin and Graham Team Up in Bid to Protect Young People From Deportation

Senator Dick Durbin has reached across the aisle for an ally in his effort to protect undocumented young people brought to the United States as children from deportation.



Durbin fears the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could be discontinued under the Trump Administration. The BRIDGE Act would provide temporary relief from deportation and work authorization to undocumented youth. Durbin hopes a conversation starts soon on the greater issue.



Companion legislation has been filed in the US House with Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez as a co-sponsor.

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Truck Show Coming To Peoria

The Annual Midwest Truck and Trailer Show is coming to the Peoria civil center on Feb 3rd and 4th. Along with the latest in new equipment and technology, Don Schaefer of the Midwest Truckers Assoc. says there will be a number of seminars dealing with regulatory and infrastructure issues coming with the new Trump administration.



Admission to the Truck and Trailer show is free.



One of the largest truck and trailer shows in the nation, the Peoria show at the Civic Center on Feb 3 and 4 draws people form about twenty states. 

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AFSCME Approves Strike Authorization Vote

It’s going to be up for a vote now, whether or not members of the state’s largest employee union want to strike. AFSCME sent a letter to members today telling them that locals in the union will begin holding strike authorization votes starting at the end of the month. AFSCME has never gone on strike against the state and the union was clear that even a vote approving a strike doesn’t mean one will happen. But union leadership noted the authorization vote needed to happen now after the Rauner administration dismissed a union lead opening to further negotiate a new contract. 

The Governor’s office General Counsel responded and says that AFSCME has rushed to authorize a strike and it’s disappointing that AFSCME refuses to respect the state labor board’s bipartisan ruling. 

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Taylorville Mayor Discusses Improvements to City Sanitation System

The state government in Illinois has caused headaches for many, and often times those problems trickle down to the local level. The city of Taylorville however has managed to continue to progress forward. Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton highlighted improvements to the city infrastructure that was a major problem in the past.

 

 

The work on the city sewer system hasn’t been completed, with additional projects on the city sanitation system underway. Mayor Brotherton said how these improvements to the city sewer system can help the city in more ways than just plumbing.

 

 

Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Hometown Tour.

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Shelby Electric Cooperative Working With Army Corp of Engineers to Improve Butterfly Habitats in Shelby County

Shelby Electric Cooperative has several projects that they’re working on to help better their services to their customers. The Co-Op also has projects to help improve the community as well. One of those projects focuses on monarch butterfly migration patterns. Kevin Bernson with Shelby Electric Cooperative explained the connection between the utility company and butterflies.

 

 

Bernson said the butterflies have a migration pattern that heads through the Shelbyville area. He discussed how Shelby Electric Cooperative and the Army Corp of Engineers are planning on creating new habitats for the butterflies that will help improve the scenery of the area as well.

 

 

Bernson explained how the butterfly habitats will help Shelby Electric Cooperative.

 

 

Bernson appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

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Route 29 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Set for Tuesday, January 17th

Next Tuesday, January 17th, Route 29 will officially have its ribbon cutting ceremony. The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has been setting everything up making sure politicians and press will be able to be there for the official ceremony. Patty Hornbuckle CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said she's excited to get everything together and make this a big event, but she's not thrilled with the location of the ribbon cutting.

Hornbuckle said since the new road opened, it's made it easier for people to travel to Springfield. But even more importantly, it's made it easier for people from Springfield to come to Taylorville.

NEWSTALK WTIM will have live coverage of the ribbon cutting both on air and through live video streaming by clicking on the WTIMTV icon at Taylorvilledailynews.com

 

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Enrollment Open for 4-H Summer Camp Through U of I Extension

With cold and cloudy weather around, people aren't really thinking about being outdoors, but the U of I Extension is looking to change that. Alicia Gullidge, 4-H Youth and Development Coordinator, at the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18, said enrollment for 4-H Camp this summer is open and kids should start signing up now. She said this camp is full of activities and offers them a week full of fun without technology that includes swimming, hiking, and fishing.

Gulldige said 4-H Camp is now looking for counselors to take part in the five weeks of activities. She said volunteers are also welcome for those who want to help but can't commit to the full time.

Counselor applications and camp enrollment is available online at the Extension's website.

 

Gullidge appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Keeping Fural-Urban Coalition On Food Policy Together

Illinois farmers argued successfully before the nation's largest farm organization to keep federal nutrition programs together with risk management and conservation programs for farmers. Some 80-percent of the U-S Department of Agriculture's budget goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also known as "SNAP," or food stamps, while only 20 percent is used for crop insurance, conservation and other programs to help farmers. Altona (AL-tone-ah) farmer David Erickson, who serves as vice president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, argued to keep the programs together at the American Farm Bureau Federation's convention this week in Phoenix;



The federal nutrition and farm program comes up for renewal next year. Illinois farmers such as Jeff Kirwan of New Windsor, who also served as a voting delegate to the national farm group's annual meeting, explained the need for both;



The Illinoisans' argument proved successful, as farmers from other states agreed on the need for the rural-urban coalition on a new federal farm bill to continue.

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Limits On Leadership Approved By Senate

The Governor wants term limits for all lawmakers but right now the Senate says let’s start with leadership. The Senate voted to limit Democrat and Republican leaders to no more than 10 years in those spots. Republican Minority Leader Christine Radogno says it’s a good first step.



The limits would begin with current terms.

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Ethanol Demand Grew Last Year

For decades, the standard blend of ethanol in gasoline was 10%. That left ethanol producers facing what was called the ‘blend wall’. Once all gasoline was blended at 10%, there was little room for growth. However, as more gas stations install new pumps and move to the new 15% standard, ethanol demand in Illinois and many other states has broken through the 10% blend wall. Bob Dineen, president of the Renewable Fuels association, says 1016 was a very good year for ethanol production.



As for the future, a lot depends on federal support for increased ethanol demand, and Dineen says so far the new Trump administration seems very supportive of increased ethanol blends.



Dineen reminds farmers that even though they are hearing good things from the incoming Trump administration, there remain powerful anti-ethanol forces at work, and the ag community needs to keep the pressure on the new administration to keep their campaign promises to promote ethanol.

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Madigan Says Struggles For Illinois Universities Aren't Just a Student Issue

House Speaker Michael Madigan says the woes suffered by Illinois colleges and universities with the budget impasse are impacting Illinois in ways beyond hardship for students. In his Wednesday remarks after being sworn in for a 17th term as Speaker, Madigan says Illinois is seriously damaging key economic engines.



Madigan notes companies are flocking to states like California despite the high cost of doing business. He says one reason is investment in its higher education system.

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Community Blood Center Bloodmobile Coming to Taylorville For Community Blood Drive

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center’s Bloodmobile will be making it’s way to Taylorville on January 25th for a community blood drive on that date. Libby Bair, Donor Relations Consultant at the CICBC gave some details on the drive, and also said how the Blood Center is still in the process of rebounding from reduced donations that typically occur during the holiday season.

 

 

The donation process typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and individuals with diabetes or controlled high blood pressure can be accepted as eligible donors. Bair gave some other guidelines on potential donor eligibility.

 

 

If you’d like to donate, you can contact the Community Blood Center or visit bloodcenterimpact.org, and use the code 60145 to locate the drive.

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CNB Bank and Trust and the CBAI Announce Scholarship Opportunity for High School Seniors

CNB Bank and Trust have announced a scholarship competition that enables high school seniors to enter a statewide essay-writing contest. Shelley Singleton with CNB Bank and Trust said where as other scholarship competitions that are based on writing an essay can tend to be long and tedious, this competition is much simpler.

 

 

The competition is part of a program that’s sponsored by Illinois Community Banks and the CBAI Foundation, and offers seniors the chance of a monetary award in the amount of $1,000 a year for up to four years. Up to 12 additional $1,000 first place awards and 13 second place $500 awards are available in each region of the state. Singleton said another perk to the scholarship is that they are available to any student seeking any type of study.

 

 

Contest information is available at each CNB Bank location and at local schools. The deadline to enter is January 20th, and Singleton had information on where students should send their essays to.

 

 

CNB will then submit selected entries to the CBAI Foundation to be entered into the statewide competition.

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Spring Semester Kicks Off, Superintendent Feurstenau Looking Toward Graduation

The Spring Semester has been in session for a week now for Taylorville schools and this is the time when the student's year long work will be showcased through sports, music, and of course their academic career. Graduation is one thing that Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau looks forward to. He said not because the year is over, but because 13 years of work from teachers and students is finally realized.

But Furestenau said at this time in the semester, guidance counselors are working hard to find out what other students want to take for the next year. He said the Career Area Capital Center in Springfield gives students the opportunity to venture outside of general education. He said it allows them to take classes to help them have a better idea of their future and what they might want to major in when they get to the college level.

Fuerstenau appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Alcohol A Factor in Monday Accident on Route 29 Near Taylorville

2 people were injured at 6:19 Monday morning in a 3 vehicle crash on Illinois Route 29, with the Christian County Sheriff's Office saying alcohol was a factor.

 

Officials say 34 year old Justin D. Short of Beecher City, and 20 year old Braden P. Bumgardner of Pana were both northbound on IL Route 29. Just south of Township Road 1100 North in Locust Township, Olivio drove into the northbound lane striking the driver’s side of Short and Bumgardner’s vehicles. Olivio and Bumgardner were transported to Taylorville Memorial Hospital to be treated for injuries sustained in the crash. Olivio was later released and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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Durbin Says GOP Ready to Repeal Obamacare Without New Plan

Senator Dick Durbin is calling for Republican colleagues to work with Democrats on a bipartisan plan to improve the health care system, instead of simply repealing Obamacare.


Durbin says the push to repeal offers no plan to help those who will lose insurance or protect those with pre-existing conditions. 

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Criminal Justice Reforms Passed

Lawmakers did accomplish a few things during the lame duck session. One was a joint effort to reform parts of the criminal justice system in the state. Victims of violent crime now get more support. And judges can take more discretion when sentencing drug offenders. State Rep Chad Hays of Danville says it’s a positive that inmates can earn good time credit while taking classes while locked up. 



Lawmakers say the bill comes at no cost to the state.

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Peoria Stockyard Closing Impacts Producers

With the recent closing of the Peoria Union Stockyards, livestock producers lost the last major open outcry auction of livestock in Illinois. While most hogs and cattle these days are sold by contracting directly to packers, livestock producers like Brian Duncan of Ogle county could use the sale prices at Peoria to determine if they were getting a fair market price for their animals.

 


Today, Duncan markets up to 70 thousand hogs a year. He is paid by the processor by what is called ‘formula pricing’. The price is set by what the packers have to pay other producers for their hogs. Duncan says these prices are reported, but without the open outcry markets like Peoria, where supply and demand determined prices, livestock producers often wonder if they are getting fair compensation for their animals.
 


While Duncan says raising hogs can still be profitable, barring disease outbreak or other production problems, todays lack of marketing opportunities through stockyards like Peoria can make it difficult for small, startup operations to get into the livestock production business.

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Lead Testing Coming To Schools

New testing protocol is coming to the state’s schools and daycares. They will now have to test for lead in drinking water. Lawmakers approved the bill this week. The testing will apply to schools built before 2000 and those that have pre-k through fifth graders. State Rep Heather Sterns from Chicago says the bill is clear cut and works to avoid the troubles Flint Michigan found in their water supply.

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Christian County Crime Stoppers a Proven Success

The Taylorville Police Department uses their Crime Stoppers Program all across the county to make sure the community stays safe. Since its inception in Christian County Crime Stoppers has solved more than 500 crimes and recovered more than half a million dollars in property and drugs. Sargent Alan Mills of the Taylorville Police Department said he's proud the Taylorville PD is able to provide this service locally, and always happy to see how much the community tries to help.

Mills said the Crime Stoppers program prides itself on its anonymity to make sure people can be sure they're in good hands and they'll be safe at all costs if they give information.

Mills said those code numbers work through an organization in Canada, which have no possible way of being uncovered, unlike in the United States. Citizens who give the tip to help solve the Crime Stoppers crime of the week will be given double the reward amount.

 

Sargent Mills appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Single Vehicle Accident Damages Building at LLCC Taylorville Campus

On January 8th at about 2:21 am the Taylorville Police Department responded to a single vehicle accident on South Spresser St. at Lincoln Land Community College. It appeared that a vehicle had lost control, exited the roadway, and crashed into the south building at the LLCC Taylorville Campus. Taylorville Chief of Police Brian Hile gave a rundown of what happened.

 

 

Norris was extricated from the vehicle and was transported to St. Johns Hospital in Springfield to be treated for injuries. As for the building, the wreck caused significant damage to the north wall of the building. Hile however thinks the damage can be fixed.

 

 

The crash remains under investigation at this time.

 

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Accident on Rt. 29 South of Taylorville Diverting Traffic

Regional Radio News has learned of a traffic accident on Rt. 29 between the prison and Taylorville. Traffic is reportedly being diverted to Owaneco in the meantime. We will have more details as they become available.

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Young Illinois Farm Family Wins National Achievement Award

Illinois does have many things to be proud of, and yes, a national organization agrees. The American Farm Bureau Federation honored Illinois farmers Grant and Kristen Strom with the group's young farmer program achievement award. Grant Strom describes the family farm in Knox County;



Strom's wife Kristen grew up in suburban Chicago, but she's now an active partner on the farm and in the community. The farm couple have three young children;



The Illinois farm family beat out competitors from 28 other states to win the young farmer achievement award at the national Farm Bureau organization's convention taking place this week in Phoenix.

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Bargain Stuck, Time Ran Out

It’s a massive lift but the Illinois Senate tried to fix a number of problems around the state all at once. But the process can be slow in Springfield and for now the bills behind fixing Illinois budget stalemate will wait. There wasn’t enough time for the Senate to craft, pass and move bills to the House for their consideration by the time the lame duck session ended this week. But Senate President John Cullerton says it can be done.



The proposed bills the Senate worked on included a spending plan, term limits for legislative leaders, tax increases and one more shot at pension reform.

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Lame Duck Takes Stand Against Lame Ducks

State Representative Jack Franks is down to his final hours as a lawmaker. He has never been shy about going his own way. It was Franks who led a Monday press conference railing against a budget deal and income tax hike during the lame duck session.



Franks is leaving the legislature after winning the role of McHenry County Board Chairman.

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State Senate Leaders Float Budget Bill

While all the political attention has been focused on Washington this week, the Illinois General assembly wrapped up a two day lame duck session, and Wednesday the new legislative session will begin. In the lame duck session, the two senate leaders floated a proposed budget bill. Kevin Semlow, Illinois Farm Bureau’s director of state legislation says the bill was kind of a trial balloon for an actual budget bill.



Meanwhile any budget bill needs to be signed by the Governor, and Semlow says that will only happen if the bill includes key provisions of Gov. Rauner’s ’Turn Around Agenda’.



Meanwhile, lacking a new budget, or an extension of additional emergency funding provisions, Higher Education and Social Service agencies contracting with the state continue to struggle without funding. 

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Brady Says Budget Needed Soon

State Senator Bill Brady is pleased to see progress toward a state budget. The Bloomington Republican says the lack of a normal spending blueprint has caused more problems than overdue bills alone.



Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno also wants to avoid another period of stopgap budgeting, saying on Twitter "Stop gaps just don't cut it."

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Taylorville Superintendent Looking Forward to All Spring Semester Brings

As the school year continues Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau has a few goals on his mind including some of the summer projects to keep the school in good shape. He's also focused on making sure the students have a good opportunity during the spring semester to show their talents, artistically, socially and academically. Fuerstenau said he always looks forward to the spring semester because of all of the opportunities the students can utilize and enjoy.

Fuesrstenau also said he's very proud of what Taylorville schools were able to do in the Fall semester extracuricular-wise, where they had a national FFA winner, school athletics had successful seasons, and they were able to provide students opportunities to learn about careers and other trades in Springfield.

Fuerstenau appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Hometown Tour. 

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Taylorville Police Feels True Community From Citizens

Following national stories from last year, police officers have gotten a bad reputation. But the Taylorville community made sure it's reached out to the local officers to let them know they are behind the Taylorville PD and trust what they are doing. Taylorvile Police Chief Brian Hile said they had many people, calling, showing up to their office, and bringing gifts to support the local police department during this time.

Hile said that's not the only time the community came together to help out the Taylorville PD when they needed it. Hile reminisced of a few years ago when the community supported an officer who was diagnosed with cancer, where they donated time and money to form a benefit to make sure he and his family would be okay with traveling and hospital expenses.

Police Chief Hile appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Hometown Tour. 

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Taylorville Fire Department Keeping Satellite Station In the Back of Their Mind

The Taylorville Fire Department had a busy year, this past year, with a record setting 1,612 calls, and is proving they can handle the task. The department has new state of the art facilities to give the city the best service possible, but they know they can do more. Fire Chief Mike Crews said the Fire Department is in the process of having a satellite station north of Taylorville to make sure response time stays low.

One thing the Fire Department has on their mind is the annexation of Bertinetti. Citizens there will still have the Taylorville FD reporting for emergencies, but because of the distance, by the time the Fire Department gets there, the fires are much stronger.

Fire Chief Mike Crews appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Hometown Tour. 

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Mayor Greg Brotherton Looking Forward to Future City Projects

The City of Taylorville has many projects on the way including new sanitation lines, a new industrial park, and the construction of a new water plant. Mayor Greg Brotherton said the industrial park is one thing that's exciting for the city because it will bring new business to Taylorville, along with new jobs, and possibly new residents. He also said there are positive signs of a new hotel being built on Route 29 near where the new industrial park will be, which could make more room for visitors to the area.

Mayor Brotherton is also focused on the new city water plant. Brotherton said after a lot of thought and discussion it made the most sense to build a new water plant with the best technology possible, even if it will end up doubling the water rate.

Mayor Brotherton appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Holiday Tour. 

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Burglary in Kincaid This Weeks Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

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

 

On Tuesday January 3, 2017, at approximately 3:20 am, a subject broke into the Kincaid Diner.  The same subject is believed to have broken into the Kincaid Phillips 66 Gas Station.  Both incidents involved items being taken.  Both incidents also involved the front doors being damaged to make entry.  The suspect is described as a white male, 5’10” tall, 180 pounds, with blue jeans and a black hoodie.  The total dollar amount of damage and theft is unknown at this time.

 

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

 

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

 

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Single Vehicle Accident Claims the Life of Kincaid Man

On January 8th, at approximately 9:32 A.M., 911 received a call from a passerby who saw a male subject laying in a field, next to overturned truck, in the area of 600 E, 1400 North Rd, in Pawnee in South Fork Township. EMS responded and determined the male was unresponsive and not breathing and requested the coroner. Deputy Coroner Austin Peters identified the deceased male as 38 year old Derrick M. Kounse of Kincaid. Preliminary investigation indicate that Mr. Kounse was traveling East and lost control of his vehicle, slid into the north ditch, and overturned in the field . He was not wearing a seatbelt, and was ejected from the vehicle and died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and body due to a motor vehicle crash. Toxicology is pending. The Christian County Sheriff Office and Christian County Coroner's Office are handling the investigation.

 

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U of I Extension Hosting Invasive Species Detection Workshops

The Illinois Natural History Survey is on the front line of detecting harmful invasive species of plants, diseases and insects in Illinois. Kelly Estes of the Natural History Survey says there are hundreds of species of insects alone out there causing damage to crops, gardens and forest in Illinois.



To assist the professionals in detecting invasive species, the survey will hold First Detector Workshops at eight locations around Illinois from last January through February. The workshops are open to anyone, especially agronomists, foresters, gardeners, anyone working outdoors or in a field related to insects, plants and disease.


Again, check with your local extension office for more information on the invasive species detector workshops. The cost is 40 dollars, which includes lunch and materials, and continuing education credits are available for a variety of professionals.

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Winter Provides Time for Tree and Shrub Clearing for Shelby Electric Co-Op

During the winter months, especially during winter storms, power outages are bound to happen. Shelby Electric Cooperative is there to make sure when that happens, they're there to respond. Kevin Bernson, with Shelby Electric Co-Op said during the winter months, their workers are working to prevent outages. He said they are clearing out trees branches and vines from their equipment, and conducting routine business just like the rest of the year.

Bernson said when an outage occurs, they are usually quick fixes and generally take no more than 20 minutes. He said, on the other hand, they don't always know what the issue may be until they get there, and if it's serious it could take a few hours.

Bernson appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

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'Tis the Season for Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce for Recruitment and Renewals

As the New Year Begins, it's time for membership renewals and member recruitment for the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce. Vonda McConell from the Shelbyville Chamber said their chamber has grown to have more than 180 members, and it continues to grow. She said they are there to use social media and email to make sure people find out about the businesses in town and the services they offer, and the Shelbyville Chamber can't help local businesses unless they commit to being a member.

The new year also brings new board members for the Shelbyville Chamber. McConnell said their executive board has about the same people but they have changed positions around. They have a new president, a new VP, treasurer, and secretary, and still have 13 total board members.

McConnell appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

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IDOT Looks Back on 2016

Despite state budget woes, the Illinois Department of Transportation is calling 2016 a year of progress. IDOT officials say new, innovative approaches to spur continued investment in infrastructure will make the state a better location to work and do business in 2017 and beyond. Secretary of Transportation Randy Blankenhorn says the transportation agency moved forward on key projects.



In 2016, IDOT wrapped up more than 700 highway projects. 
providing enhanced pedestrian, bicycling and transit options.

Downstate, the Interstate 57/70 expansion came to conclusion in Effingham, one of the biggest projects in eastern central Illinois in several years. A widening and reconstruction project on Interstate 74 in Morton and Tazewell County also finished. The project consisted of adding a lane in each direction, modernizing the interchange with I-155 into a safer configuration and improving the entrance and exit ramps at Morton Avenue. In 2017, IDOT is partnering with Iowa to start construction on the new I-74 bridge in the Quad Cities, one of the largest bridge projects in state history.

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Cardinals Winter Warm Up Heading To Illinois

It’s cold outside but spring is getting closer and that means baseball will soon be back on the diamonds in Arizona and Florida. It also means that fans of the St. Louis Cardinals should get ready for the Winter Warm Up - the caravan of current and former players that spreads out over 6 states to talk, shake hands and sign autographs. The team is stopping at 8 towns in Illinois: Champaign, Peoria, Quincy, Mattoon, Decatur, Springfield, Effingham and Carbondale.

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Rauner Isn't Going to DC for Trump Inauguration

He almost never mentions him by name and now he won’t be attending the celebrations surrounding the inauguration of President Elect Trump. Governor Bruce Rauner says that he’ll skip the parties in Washington D.C. The Governor says that he is focused on Illinois. In the past Rauner has gone out of his way not to even use Trump’s name but did say after the election that he and Trump spoke and they will be able to work together.

 

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ECIDC Looking To Help Improve and Develop Central Illinois

Many in Central Illinois are searching for ways to improve their communities. One organization looking to do just that is the ECIDC. Anna Kiley with the Shelby County Economic Development Council shared what it is that the ECIDC does.

 

 

Kiley discussed one of the ways the ECIDC is looking to help businesses in the region.

 

 

Kiley appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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LLCC's Bistro Verde Student Restaurant Opening for Lunch and Dinner Service for Spring Semester

Bistro Verde, Lincoln Land Community College’s student-run café, will open for lunch and dinner for the spring 2017 semester beginning Wednesday, Jan. 25. Nancy Sweet, Culinary Arts Director of Operations at Lincoln Land gave some insight into the cafe.

 

 

Sweet said the cafe offers students real life experience before they begin their culinary arts careers.

 

 

The student fueled menu will have two themes throughout the year. Sweet said the first menu will have a Cajun flair to it, while the second menu will be mediterranean inspired.

 

 

Bistro Verde will operate Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as a casual “Cajun Bistro” from Wednesday, Jan. 25 through Tuesday, Feb. 28, with “Mediterranean” fine dining being offered Monday, March 20 through Thursday, April 27. More information and a sample menu is available at LLCC’s website.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Represented in New Years Day Rose Parade

Taylorville Memorial Hospital was proud to be represented in the Rose Parade on January 1. A rose vial dedicated by TMH President and CEO Kim Bourne was part of the Donate Life America Tournament of Roses – Rose Parade Float. Saving Sight met with TMH President and CEO Kim Bourne in November to dedicate the rose vial in honor of the hospital’s eye donors.

 

Bourne commented saying the vial was to honor those individuals and families touched by organ donation.

 

These vials honor the donors and help spread the simple, life-giving message that eye, organ and tissue donation heals and saves lives.

 

The float’s theme was “Teammates in Life” and won the Theme Trophy.   

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U of I Extension Specialty Food Business Series Kicks off Monday, January 9th

Next Monday, January 9th, the University of Illinois Extension starts off the first of a series of programs focused around Specialty Food Businesses. Amanda Cole, County Extension Director of the U of I Extension, said January's program is more of an overview where they'll be discussing how to start a specialty food business, such as developing a business plan and setting up a business structure that will be most successful. Cole said this program is geared toward people who are or want to be in the process of growing specialty food.

Cole said she doesn't expect many people to come to every program of the series because people are at different stages of their food business. She said there's no pressure for the participants to come to all of the programs, but come to the one's that will benefit them the most.

Cole appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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LEAD Program Kicks off January 10th with a Trip to LLCC in SPringfield

The LEAD Program kicks off next Tuesday, January 10th, and this year they're are overflowing with participants. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce said generally they have a cut off of 20 participants, but this year they extended it and have 22 people who are ready to learn all about what goes on in the city of Taylorville. Hornbuckle said the people who are joining this year come from different types of businesses, and come from all levels of pay grades.

Hornbuckle said the first session kicks off Tuesday morning and the participants will take a strengths finder test through Lincoln Land Community College to help the participants find out what they're best at and make sure they're focusing on those, rather than their weaknesses.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Christian County Coroner Investigating Death in Rural Moweaqua, Finalizes Death Investigation Of Taylorville Resident

On Saturday, December 31, 2016 at approx 2:57 P.M., 911 received a call that a 50 year old female was unresponsive and not breathing at her residence in rural Moweaqua. EMS arrived on scene and requested the coroner. Coroner Winans identified the female as 50 year old Trudi Filchak. Toxicology tests were conducted and results are pending. The Christian County Sheriff's Office and Christian County Coroner's office are handling the investigation.

 

Robby Wempen, 41, of Taylorville died on December 5, 2016 at his residence in Taylorville. His cause of death was determined to be methamphetamine intoxication. The manner of death was determined to be accidental.

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Democrat Announces Bid for Governor

There has been lots of speculation about which Democrats would face Bruce Rauner in the race for Governor. One man who has flown under the radar is the first to enter. Chicago alderman Ameya Pawar is the first Democrat to announce his intentions. Pawar can probably forget about winning the Executive Mansion with cash. The 36-year-old has roughly 50-thousand dollars in the bank. Governor Bruce Rauner just deposited 50 million dollars into his campaign coffers. Pawar says he would push for Illinois to impose an additional tax on incomes over $1 million. That proposal was previously pursued by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

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Winter Weather Hitting Central and Southern Illinois

Winter weather is arriving in Illinois for the New Year. The National Weather Service has issued a number of winter weather advisories across the state. The majority of the snow is going to be seen south of Interstate 72 and then in and along I-70. Southeast Illinois is expected to be hardest hit with 2 to 4 inches of snow. The NWS says by Thursday afternoon most of the snowfall will be wrapping up. 

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Durbin Meets With AG Nominee Sessions

Senator Richard Durbin has played an early role in vetting a key Cabinet nominee of President-Elect Donald Trump. Durbin met Wednesday with Attorney General pick and fellow Senator Jeff Sessions. Durbin took on the subject of how the incoming administration will deal with Muslims after Trump pledged to keep Muslims from entering the country.



Durbin is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has called for an objective and thorough confirmation hearing.

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Winter Weather Advisory Issued By National Weather Service; 2-3 Inches Expected

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for several counties in the Regional Radio listening area, from 2am to 3pm Thursday afternoon.

The Weather Service says that a fast moving weather disturbance will bring snow to the area late tonight into Thursday.

The heaviest snow is expected to fall along and just south of the I-70 corridor where 2 to locally 4 inches of snow may accumulate by later Thursday, with less than an inch expected along and north of the I-74 corridor.
The Weather Service says to be prepared for slick roads for the Thursday morning commute. 

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Eight Individuals Arrested for Underage Drinking at New Years Eve Party

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp has announced that eight individuals were arrested over the new years holiday for illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. Kettelkamp discussed the incident and said how four have been given notices to appear.

 

 

The investigation is still ongoing, however Sheriff Kettelkamp said as of right now it appears that the individual’s parents were not aware of the party.

 

 

Anybody with any information pertaining to the investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office, or Christian County Crimestoppers.

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Relief Effort Continues for Those Affected by Kincaid Flooding

Last December severe flooding ravaged Central Illinois, devastating the town of Kincaid. In the past year there has been an outpouring of support from all across the region for the relief effort. Several groups involved in the relief effort joined together Wednesday to present a check of $100,000 to represent donated money and supplies. John McClure, a prominent figure in the city of Taylorville said why he and many others felt the need to help.

 

 

McClure said he wanted others in the region to see the effort that Taylorville and other surrounding communities put forth, so hopefully they will help in the future.

 

 

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Taylorville Breaks Ground on New Sewer System Bypass

There was a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for the start of a new project on the north end of Taylorville to improve the sewage system for the city. Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton said over the years the outdated sewage system on that side of town has caused issues for Taylorville.

 

 

Mayor Brotherton explained how replacing the older sewage system would simply cost the city too much, however this new project which will act as a bypass to the old system, allowing the city to bring new business into town.

 

 

Mayor Brotherton said he expects the work to be completed by sometime around November of next year.

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Long Term Focus for Congressman Davis: The Nation's Infrastructure

Congressman Rodney Davis was sworn in for his next term in Washington Tuesday. Davis said he's not just looking forward to the next two years for his term, but also the next four years for the United States. Davis said once President Elect Donald Trump is sworn in, their main focus will be to reform Obamacare. But they have long term plans as well, that focus more on the US infrastructure.

Davis said, right now, it's unknown of what Trump will do concerning infrastructure. But if the government budgets at least half a trillion dollars and uses all of it towards infrastructure, not only will the US benefit from it through better roads and bridges, but also through job growth in the nation.

Davis appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Farm Cover Crop Seminars

The Illinois Dept of Agriculture is hosting three regional conservation cropping seminars later this month to assist farmers and landowners in employing best management practices. Joe Bybee of IDOA says the seminars, Jan 24th in Rockford, January 25 in Jacksonville and Jan 26 in Carbondale have a regional flavor and offer Certified Crop Adviser credits.



Registration can be done on-line for the IDOA seminars through the Champaign County SWCD office.
 


 

Or you can check with your local SWCD or County Farm Bureau for registration information. Again, the daylong seminars are only 20 dollars and lunch is included, Jan 24 in Rockford, Jan 25 in Jacksonville and Jan 26 in Carbondale.

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Illinois Economy Slow to Grow

Little growth is how a statistical program looks at the state’s economic success last month. The University of Illinois Flash Index showed a small advancement. The index – at 104.3 trended up just two-tenths of one point from November. The University of Illinois Economist who tracks the number, Fred Giertz says people spent more but they also took home a little less. However the trend to higher sales in December was a positive and not just tied to consumer spending. 



Anything above 100 shows growth, over all the score is a composite of personal spending, income and corporate earnings

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Congressman Rodney Davis Said First Order of Business: Reform Obamacare

Congressman Rodney Davis was sworn in for his next term in Washington today (yesterday). Davis said he's very excited and hopeful for the next two years, and now that Washington isn't split the way it was, he knows things will get done. Davis said the next order of business was to vote Paul Ryan in for Speaker of the House, and then to focus on the people's demands and reform Obamacare.

Davis said the present system is broken, but there are still pieces that could be salvaged and benefit people. Davis said people ask him how he plans on keeping Medicaid the way it is, but he explained Medicaid has to be changed. Davis also said as health insurance continues to rise for people, especially those in the middle class, it's important to make sure there is an affordable alternative for everyone.

Davis appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Christian County Senior Citizen's Center Needs Help as New Year Begins

Now that the New Year is here the Christian County Senior Citizens Center is seeing the effects of the stopgap budget come to fruition. The Senior Center will lose $30,000 in money from the state and this will cause them to cut back on both lunches and transportation. Gerry Mahr, Director of the Senior Center said lunches will be canceled for Wednesdays until further notice and transportation will be limited for those days.

Mahr said something like this happened a few years ago and they had to cut back on lunches for a while, but they were able to get enough help from local people to bring those lunches back. They hope to be able to something like that now, to hold them over until a new budget is passed.

Mahr appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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"Men Who Cook" Kicks Off January 21st

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Board reserved January 21th for their seventh annual program of “Men Who Cook,” where any local man can join and show off some of their recipes. Brenda Spurling and Kathy Fergen on the TMH Auxiliary Board said this year they have some big local names including four TMH surgeons, and State's Attorney Mike Havera. Spurling and Fergen said they will have 5 categories, where, this year, they added soup to the list.

Fergen said people can attend to try the food, and vote for their favorite dish for each category as well as for best presentation. She said generally, even with the small sample sizes, people aren't able to try every single dish made.

“Men Who Cook” takes place January 21st at the TMH Auditorium and tickets are available at the TMH Gift Shop or from any of the TMH Auxiliary committee members.

 

Fergen and Spurling appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Holds Monthly Business Meeting at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their monthly business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Kiwanis Park chairperson Jerry Woodard reported that the Kiwanis Park boat dock needs refurbished.  Woodard added that he was willing to donate the parts to repair the dock, in time for when it's put back on Lake Taylorville in the spring.  The Club thanked Woodard for his donation.  Kiwanis members will be doing the labor on the dock this winter before it hits the water next spring.

And, the Kiwanis Club again invites the public to its annual Pancake and Sausage Day at the Taylorville Moose Lodge, on Saturday, January 28th, from 6 til 11am.  Tickets are on sale from any Kiwanis member, or at the door.  Proceeds benefit the many local projects for children and youth sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, including Kiwanis Park, Coats for Kids, high school and Y-M-C-A scholarships.

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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Vehicle Burglary This Weeks Crime of the Week

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

 

Sometime during the overnight to early morning hours between Saturday December 31, 2016 and January 1, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a green 1999 Dodge, which was parked at 1414 Lincoln Avenue.  A driver’s side window was broken to make entry.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a wallet and cash.  The total dollar amount of items taken and damage is unknown at this time.

 

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

 

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

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Farm Issues in Washington and Springfield

State Legislature will be back for a limited session next week in Springfield. Mark Gebhards, IFB Exec Dir of Govt Affairs and Commodities says the top Farm Bureau priority in Springfield is the budget, but there are other items that will hopefully be addressed in the spring The new congress is starting work in Washington this week, while the session.



Meanwhile, in Washington Gebhards says tax and regulatory reform are at the top of the FB priority list, but trade issues also bear watching.



Mark Gebhards. Talks are expected early this year on a 2018 Farm Bill. Gebhards expects next week’s American Farm Bureau annual meeting in Phoenix to set Farm Bureau policy on what a new farm bill should look like.

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22 County Groups Working to Improve Water Quality in 2017

Eighteen different projects organized by 22 different county Farm Bureaus in Illinois will collaborate with other local groups in a continued effort to improve water quality throughout the state. Illinois Farm Bureau awarded nearly 100-thousand dollars in grants as part of an effort that will require rural and urban areas to address the issue. Lauren Lurkins serves as director of environmental and natural resources for the Illinois Farm Bureau;



It's all part of an effort to make continued progress on what's known as the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy required by the federal E-P-A. The ultimate goal is to reduce a so-called "hypoxic" or dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Lurkins says it will require action not only by farmers but urban wastewater treatment plans as well;



Chicago's treated waste water still includes some of the largest amounts of phosphorus making its way into Illinois streams and rivers. Its water reclamation district installed technology last summer to extract the nutrient from waste water and turn it into pellets that can potentially used as fertilizer on farm fields and other uses.

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Taxes Now Lower On Tampons Other Items

Taxes paid on a few items typically bought the drug store are coming down. Last year state lawmakers approved a measure to remove the general sales tax on items like adult incontinence products and tampons. State Senator Melinda Bush says that those items are have to be used by either half the population or people that need to for medical reasons and they shouldn’t be taxed like other everyday items. 



Illinois became the third state to reduce the tax on those needed items.

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Bad Behavior Continues in Springfield: State Starts Year with No Budget

The state continues its pattern of bad budget behavior. A few months of a stop gap funding plan for government services expired Saturday night and the state is back again to operating without a budget. The state has 90 percent of its spending ordered by the courts but social services, higher education and many others will be left looking for dollars. And it’s not just current funding that’s impacted; the state has about $11 billion in unpaid bills.

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