Local News

Treat Now for Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer adults are emerging from Illinois to Ohio and points northward. They'll continue to do so for several weeks and it means now is the time to treat for them in hopes of saving your Ash tree. This should most definitely be done if the emerald ash borer has been found within fifteen miles of your tree says University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Phil Nixon.

 

 

Again, you can save your Ash tree, but it'll take about twenty years to do that, if the experience in the state of Michigan is any guide. You or a professional can do that by making an insecticide application.

 

 

Call your local Extension office for more details about the process and how best to go about treating for the Emerald Ash Borer.

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Missions for Taylorville Still Seeking Volunteers for First Build Day This Saturday

The first of two build days for Missions For Taylorville, a local organization working to help clean up the city is right around the corner, taking place this Saturday, June 3rd. The group is still seeking volunteers however, and hopes people pre-register so they can more easily get people to their designated assignments on build day.

 

Pastor Bill Kerns with Missions for Taylorville appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says you don't need any particular set of skills to volunteer with Missions for Taylorville.

 

 

Kerns discussed some of the many benefits the community can see due to cleaning up the town.

 

 

Volunteer forms are available at many area churches, as well as at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Offices on the second floor of the US Bank on the south side of the Taylorville Square.

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Illinois Treasurer's Office Working Towards Returning Property Left Behind to it's Rightful Owners

With all of the chaos taking place lately in Springfield, one office that has been able to bring good things to Illinois citizens is the Illinois Treasurer's Office. The office currently has a program where they attempt to return items left in safety deposit boxes to their owners or their family's owners, and has managed to return several war medals to those veteran's families.

 

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs says the program his office runs was able to return another purple heart medal to it's recipient's daughter.

 

 

Frerichs says his office still has many more medals to return, and urged Central Illinois residents to check the Treasurer's Office Website to check if they have any items that have been left behind.

 

 

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Moweaqua Pow Wow Taking Place This Weekend

It's the time of the year where many communities are starting to have their summer festivals, and one event that's going on recently is the Moweaqua Pow Wow. The Pow Wow features many different attractions ranging from pageants, carnival rides and food, to a car show where local residents can show off their ride.

 

Laura Seitz, along with Kaitlin and Cinda Villanueva with the Moweaqua Pow Wow Comittee appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the festival and what it has to offer. Cinda Villanueva gave a brief preview of what to expect.

 

 

Another attraction of the Pow Wow will be a car show on Saturday. Kaitlin Villanueva says they're expecting quite the turnout for the show.

 

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UPDATE: Boil Order Has Ended in Kincaid

UPDATE: As of 1:34 p.m., the boil order in Kincaid has ended.

 

A boil order has been issued for the Kincaid area. If you live south of 104 in that area, be aware that you are under a boil order, and should take the necessary precautions with water you use until further notice.

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Local's in Pawnee Starts to Clean Up After Fire, But Weekend Bike Night is Still On

(Photo from Local's - Pawnee, IL Facebook page.)

 

The restaurant at Local’s Bar and Restaurant appears to be “a total loss” after a fire engulfed the Pawnee hot spot over the holiday weekend. The bar also has smoke and water damage, and the business is closed as they start the cleanup process. But that isn’t stopping the people at Local’s from continuing with events scheduled for this weekend.

 

Andrea Womack, Local’s manager says the Masonic Lodge and the city have stepped up to help make sure the bike night this Friday still happens.

 

 

Womack says everyone in the community has been supportive during the business’s tough time.

 

 

To follow the cleanup process, you can find Local’s Facebook page here.

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - May 31, 2017

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

 

Sometime during the evening hours of Friday May 26, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 701 Samuel Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took two Playstation 4 game systems, a Dell laptop, a Playstation 3 game system, and Playstation games.  A door was damaged when entry was made.  The total dollar amount of the theft 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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Two-Year Property Tax Freeze Approved by Illinois Senate

The Illinois Senate is approving a two-year property tax freeze.

 

The freeze applies to taxes collected for schools and local governments.Governor Bruce Rauner had been pushing for at least a four-year freeze, but Senate President John Cullerton says they can assess how schools are faring under the proposal and re-evaluate it when the time comes.

 

 

The legislation now moves to the house for a vote.

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It's Do or Die for Illinois Lawmakers and Governor Rauner

It's D-Day in Illinois as an ongoing budget crisis drags on. After two years without a budget, state lawmakers enter the final day of the legislative seesion. Governor Bruce Rauner is hopeful Illinois can avoid starting a third year without a budget.....



Rauner insists a two-year property tax freeze passed by lawmakers is not long enough. The budget crisis has crippled Illinois public universities, the flight of millenials to other states and some social service agencies like drug treatment centers have been forced to close.

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Long-Time Miller Media Group Account Manager Honored at Retirement Reception

Judi Humphrey, an account manager with the Miller Media Group in Taylorville, was honored Tuesday with a reception at the company’s Park Street offices, for her long-time service to her advertising clients and the communities she was part of.

After over 16 years, Judi is officially retiring on Thursday of this week.  She is staying on until a successor is named.

 



A good crowd of ad clients, friends, family and staff, came by to wish Judi well in her retirement.

 



In the company’s weekly sales meeting Tuesday afternoon, Humphrey was given a plaque for her years of service to the Miller Media Group, by president Randal J. Miller.

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Kids' Summer Camps Kick Off at Christian County YMCA

Summer camps for area kids have kicked off at the Christian County YMCA. The camps kicked off today and will last for 12 weeks. Activities will including swimming, field trips, and much more for the Kindergarten through 5th grade students that participate.

 

Camp counselor and former camp director Debbie Pickett says there are weekly themes, and talks about what this year’s themes are.

 

 

Pickett says the goal of the camps is for kids to make new friends and help develop social skills.

 

 

There is a $25 registration fee per child or $45 per family, plus a weekly charge of $75 or $20 per day if the child will be in attendance for three days or less during that week. For more information on the camps, you can give the Christian County YMCA a call at 287-7271. 

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New Taylorville Mayor Program Speaker at Taylorville Kiwanis Club Meeting

Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry (right) was Tuesday's guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club.  Also pictured from the left, are Kiwanis president Will Perkins, and  Kiwanis publicity committee co-chair Patty Hornbuckle.

 

NEW TAYLORVILLE MAYOR SPEAKS TO KIWANIS CLUB

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the new Taylorville mayor, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Bruce Barry was sworn in May First and one of his first initiatives is to clean-up the city.  He said the city has begun placing dumpsters at strategic locations thru-out the city, hiring summer help and assisting with the clean-up. Barry added the city is doing as much as they can to clean up with the resources available.

Barry added he's working with a local committee headed by Jeremy Wilson, to form a 501C3 non-profit organization to raise money and help clean up the city, to supplement the work the city does.

Barry said that his first month as mayor has seen everything from dog bites to a TIFF district, and added the 3 things he believes in are family, friends, and community.

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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Overuse of Extension Cords One of Many Risks for Home Electrical Fires

After a pair of fires that left several dead in Pana recently, many are wondering what they can do to help reduce the risk of fire in their homes. The National Fire Protection Agency has several tips for citizens to reduce the risk of home fires, including limiting the use of things like extension chords in the home.

 

Lisa Braxton, Associate Project Manager with the NFPA appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss things people can do to reduce fire risks around the home, such as using the right light bulb for your lamps.

 

 

According to Braxton, plugging major appliances into extension chords are a major risk of home electrical fires.

 

 

Braxton also says to watch out for sparks coming from your outlets, and to call a qualified electrician to correct any problems with your home wiring.

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Illinois State Police Reminding Drivers to Slow Down to Improve Safety

 

With the recent increase in speed limits in the area, the Illinois State Police are reminding drivers to be safe and check their speeds. Excessive speeding is dangerous, and can lead to bad crashes, and the drivers receiving large tickets.

 

Sean Ramsey with the Illinois State Police says with the recent increase in the speed limits on area roadways, the ISP is seeing speeders hitting speeds in the triple digits.

 

 

Ramsey also wants drivers to remember that driving in of itself is a dangerous activity, and they should keep their focus on getting from Point A to Point B.

 

 

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

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The Landing Barn Offers Customers a Rustic Location for Their Event or Meeting

 

People searching for a venue for their next meeting or event have a new place to consider as local resident Jo Lewis has opened The Landing. The Landing is a barn that was built into an event center that features a rustic charm just off Illinois Route 48 just outside of Taylorville.

 

Lewis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the Landing and what she offers her customers, sharing some of the features the building has to offer.

 

 

One of the features of the building is custom paintings done by local artist Susie Ginger.

 

 

To schedule an appointment with The Landing Barn, give Lewis a call at 827-6690, or visit them on Facebook at “The Landing Barn”.

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Wall of Remembrance Display Opens at State Capitol

The third annual Wall of Remembrance Display at the Illinois Capitol opened Tuesday morning. The display memorializes the men and women of Illinois who have sacrificed their lives during military service.

 

State Senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo represents the 58th district. The former marine says there’s nothing he can say to adequately express the country’s gratitude for our fallen heroes.

 

 

Schimpf says Americans should reflect on Memorial Day, and ask ourselves if we are doing our best to make America the best it can be.

 

 

Governor Bruce Rauner was also in attendance at the event Tuesday morning. He says the United States wouldn’t be what it is without those willing to sacrifice their lives for the country.

 

 

The display will be open to the public in the Capital Rotunda during normal business hours through July 4th.

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House Considering Senate Budget and Revenue's

Managing cuts and revenues are challenges that House Democrats are looking at this week as the spring legislative session comes to an end. They have a Senate budget proposal to mull over that raises income and other taxes to generate $5 billion and spends $37.3 billion. House Democrats aren’t sure that the combination of cuts and revenues are the right way to end the states’ two year budget impasse. 

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Farmers Convert Barns to Event Venues

If you have some weddings to attend in June or the rest of the summer, they just might be in a barn. A northwest Illinois farm couple has found opportunity in converting a barn into an event venue. Ed Livengood and his wife Kali took one of their barns in rural Carroll County and now host weddings and other events;



Kali Livengood says the couple hosted 20 different events in their converted barn last year and this year's calendar looks to be just as busy;



There are several other barns around Illinois that have been converted to public event venues. You can see a video and find out where online at Ilfbpartners.com.

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Automatic Voter Registration Passes House

On Memorial Day the House acted to automatically sign up voters after they do business with a number of state agencies. The bill passed the House unanimously to allow for the Secretary of State to sign up or renew voter registration when an eligible voter applies for or renews a drivers license, the same will also be done if people interact with the Department of Human Services and Natural Resources. It was an act of rare bipartisanship, every member of the House and Senate voted in favor of the legislation. State Rep. Robyn Gabel of Evanston says that the process to vote in Illinois just got better.



Supporters of the bill say it will allow for technology to make elections more secure and efficient. A citizen can opt out of the automatic registration if they choose. The bill needs one final procedural vote and then will shortly head to the Governor for his approval or veto. 

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Procurement Rules See Changes

The arcane rules that surround how the state can purchase the goods and services may be changing. The House approved changes for the regulations that tell departments, agencies and universities how they can buy things. Inside of government it called procurement and it’s hardly a glamorous topic but it’s something that needed improvement according to Representative Al Riley.



The bill started out as part of the Senate’s grand bargain. 

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Early Sunday Morning Fire at Locals Bar in Pawnee

(This photo was posted on Local's Bar and Restaurant's Facebook page.)
 
A fire occurred at Local's Bar and Restaurant in Pawnee early Sunday morning. The bar went up in flames early in the morning before bar co-owner, Jarrad Smith got a call around 5am. 
 
Multiple fire agencies that included Pawnee, Mt. Auburn, Rochester, and Divernon responded to the scene of the blaze.
 
More details will be released as they become available to Regional Radio News. 

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Heavy Spring Rains Causes Problems for Lake Shelbyville Tourists This Holiday Weekend

 

This spring's heavy rains have affected a popular tourist attaction this Memorial Day weekend.

Lake Shelbyville has seen its lake level rise considerably as a result of spring rains, and as a result, the 9th Street Beach just north of the Shelbyville Dam, is completely under water.

 

 

 

Additionally, high water boat ramps are open rather than the normal boat ramps that boaters take to get on and off the lake.  The high water boat ramps were installed a few years ago, after heavy spring rains completely closed all the normal ramps that are used.  This had a major effect on tourism at the Lake, which caused lake officials to construct the high water ramps.

More rain is expected in Central Illinois thru the Memorial Day holiday weekend, which will only add to Lake Shelbyville's pool level.

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Representative Avery Bourne Challenges Students to Read Throughout the Summer

School is ending for area students, and summer break is kicking into full swing. One area lawmaker wants children to read throughout the summer while still enjoying their break. This is the third year that 95th District Representative Avery Bourne has challenged her district’s elementary school students to dive into a good book over summer break, and she will be hosting ice cream parties at the end of the summer for those that participate in the challenge.

 

Bourne says reading has a huge impact on a child’s future.

 

 

Bourne says she’s excited to continue helping educate her district’s youth throughout the hot summer months.

 

 

Bourne says reading logs have gone out to area schools to be passed out to students. If your child did not receive a log, you can visit Bourne’s office in Litchfield to receive a copy or there is a downloadable form on her website. You can visit her website by clicking here.

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Perdue Not In Agreement with Trump on USDA Budget

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue does not agree with the White House on some key spending cuts in the president’s so far, unpopular USDA budget request. Those differences quickly became apparent at a House Appropriations hearing. Perdue faced a barrage of budget criticism from Democrats and Republicans on everything from cutting food stamps to eliminating international hunger programs and paring crop insurance. But that was expected at his first hearing before House Ag appropriators.

 

What wasn’t, were some of the Secretary’s responses, even as he insisted, he was representing the administration’s budget request. Connecticut’s Rosa DeLauro asked Perdue if he stood by his earlier statement defending SNAP, even as the White House proposed cutting food stamps almost 200-billion over 10-years by shifting costs to the states and tightening eligibility requirements…

 

 

Perdue insists FY ’18 SNAP is “fully funded,” while the White House proposes legislation to shift some costs to the states in later years. On ending the taxpayer-funded Food for Peace Program that buys U.S.-produced food to donate overseas, and make cash donations instead, an idea Chairman Robert Aderholt complained, makes no sense and went nowhere when the Obama White House proposed it…

 

 

On urging the White House to get behind efforts to end the Cuba trade embargo…

 

 

Perdue did stand by the White House on cuts to rural housing, infrastructure, agency staffing and a ten-year, 29-billion dollar cut in producer crop insurance subsidies…

 

 

But even in disagreeing, Perdue was agreeable, reflecting his long political experience as a governor and state lawmaker in softening disputes, diffusing controversy, and perhaps helping a controversial president advance a very tough proposition. That proposition would be shrinking the federal government.

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Luke Bryan to Perform in Christian County

A country music superstar will be performing later this year in Christian County. Luke Bryan will perform in Edinburg on October 6th at 6 p.m. as part of his Farm Tour 2017. The show will be at Ayers Family Farm at 2535 North 800 East Road, and is one of six stops on his farm tour in the early fall.

 

Tickets for the concert will be 49 dollars in advance and 60 dollars at the gate. There will also be a five dollar charge for parking in advance, or 10 dollars the day of. Once the concert is sold out, no tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, May 30th.

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*UPDATE* Enhanced Risk of Severe Weather Saturday Evening

 

 

As most are planning for a fun-filled holiday weekend, be alert that Mother Nature may have other plans. Most of the Regional Radio listening area is under an enhanced risk for severe weather on Saturday with some of the southern edge of the area under a moderate risk for severe storms.

 

Christian County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Crews wants residents to keep an eye to the sky over the weekend. He says the sirens don’t necessarily mean a tornado is coming, but that you need to take some action for the incoming weather.

 

 

Crews says the best thing people can do is stay updated on the latest weather forecast.

 

 

Severe storms are likely on Saturday evening between 6 pm and midnight along and south of I-74. The primary hazards will be damaging wind gusts of 60-80 mph along with large hail 1-3 inches in diameter. Tornadoes are also possible. Areas along and south of Jacksonville to Springfield, as well as to the Charleston/Mattoon areas have an enhanced risk of severe storms.

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CNB Bank and Trust Partners With Cardinals For Local Charities

CNB Bank and Trust is once again partnering with the St. Louis Cardinals to get you to the ballgame while benefitting area charities. This is the fourth year the bank has partnered with the Cardinals, and local proceeds will go towards the Shadow Home in Taylorville.

 

CNB Marketing Director Shelley Singleton says the tickets are only $25 each for the game over the Fourth of July weekend against the Washington Nationals. She says the bank is excited to once again pass along this great deal to Cardinal fans and also talks about the rings being given to those in attendance that night.

 

 

Singleton says there are many reasons to buy tickets to the game.

 

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, you can visit cnbil.com or visit the Taylorville branch of CNB Bank and Trust.

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"Thrill of a Lifetime" for Area Veterans on Land of Lincoln Honor Flight

Five area veterans got the opportunity to take the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight to Washington D.C. on Tuesday. Alan Collebrusco of Taylorville, and Ron Chaney, Ed Henne, and Ken Rigan all of Shelbyville, and Ron Clutter of Assumption all took part in the day-long trip. Participants got to visit the war memorials in D.C., the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and more in their visit to the nation’s capital.

 

Shelbyville veteran Ed Henne called the trip a thrill of a lifetime.

 

 

Kenneth Rigan, also of Shelbyville the trip from beginning to end was excellently planned and executed.

 

 

81 Illinois veterans participated in the Honor Flight on Tuesday, coming from all across the state. The next scheduled Honor Flight is set for June 20th. For more information or to sign up, you can visit the organization’s website by clicking here.

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AFBF Looking Forward to NAFTA Renegotiation

The American Farm Bureau Federation is looking forward to the renegotiation of NAFTA. NAFB's Micheal Clements has more…

 

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Mosquito Season is Here

Headed outside this weekend? With all the wet weather in places the Illinois Department of Public Health wants you to prevent mosquito bites. Melaney Arnold says that recent rains have produced some ideal conditions to breed the irritating insect. To avoid the annoying bites and possible illnesses that go along with them take steps to keep bite free. 



A few other tips, wear long sleeves and pants and spend less time out around dawn and dusk. 

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As Summer Season Approaches, State and Local Police Remind You to Buckle Up

IDOT, state and local police say they are not messing around this summer when it comes to getting people to buckle up.

 

The 14 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day are typically the deadliest on Illinois roads says I-DOT's Jessi Hopkins. She explains who they've found to be least likely to wear a seat belt.

 

 

Hopkins says they've also found younger males driving pickup trucks are less likely to buckle up. Police will be holding special seat belt enforcement zones, road side safety checks, and other details to help keep people safe on the roads this summer.

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U of I Extension Offering Classes To Teach Children and Adults About Growing and Using Locally Grown Foods

The University of Illinois Extension Office has been promoting their local food initiative, in an effort to get more people eating and consuming locally grown food. As a part of the initiative, the Extension is offering classes to kids and adults alike to teach them how they can utilize locally grown foods.
 
Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator with the U of I Extension Office appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and had more details on some of these classes. The first class the extension is offering aims to teach children about growing and using fresh herbs.
 
 
Another class the extension is offering is aimed more towards adults, and will teach how to grow and preserve fresh strawberries and cucumbers.
 
 
The Extension Office is now able to offer these classes to the public free of charge, due to a grant received through the Lumpkin Family Foundation.

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Taylorville Chamber Community Blood Drive Huge Success Despite The Wet Weather

 
Giving blood can provide vital life saving blood to those in area hospitals who need it. Because of this need, many areas host community blood drives, including the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, who just recently hosted a community blood drive in the Taylorville Square.
 
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning show to discuss the drive. Despite the rain, the turnout for the blood drive was good. 
 
 
The drive was able to have a record seven first time donors. Hornbuckle also previewed a future blood drive taking place later on this summer.
 
 
Hornbuckle thanked those who attended the blood drive, and said the Chamber will have more information on the upcoming blood drive as it becomes available.

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PHOTO: Former Remmert's Garage Location Torn Down

 

The former Remmert Auto and Tire location in Stonington is being torn down for a new Casey's General Store. The garage has moved two blocks south on Illinois Route 48.

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UPDATE: Brian Ferguson Found Guilty of Arson / Home Invasion

UPDATE: 55-year-old Brian Ferguson, who was accused of invading a former girlfriend’s home and setting it on fire, has been found guilty of home invasion and residential arson. He will now face sentencing on July 6th.

 

The trial for Brian Ferguson, who is accused of invading a former girlfriend’s home and setting it on fire, has officially been sent to the jury.

 

The victim, Jacqueline Anderson, gave her side of the story to the jury Wednesday. She told the court that she had initially ended the relationship in July, but that didn’t stop the defendant. She was scared for her own life, even appeasing the defendant by still seeing him at points between July and the night of the fire. But that couldn’t stop what happened on November 20th.

 

Ferguson also testified on his own behalf. He did not disagree that Anderson had said she wanted space and would call the cops if he kept coming around. He also said that he still regularly saw her, and even maintained a physical relationship up until the moments leading up to the fire.

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Area Man Credits Wife, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital For Saving His Life During Stroke

 

With May being National Stroke Awareness Month, one area man thanks those at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital every day for being alive.

 

It was an average summer morning on July 8, 2013 for the Fulk family. Kathy Fulk had just gotten home from her morning run, and her husband Orville had come downstairs to greet her. As they had their morning exchange, Orville started losing feeling in his right arm, and he lost the ability to communicate. He was having a stroke, and luckily, his wife immediately recognized the signs.

 

He was rushed to what was then Shelby Memorial Hospital. After getting his vitals, he received an injection into his brain to break the clot. Fulk describes the next part of his stroke story:

 

 

Orville has no issues to this day other than some weakness in his right arm. He says he knows he could have lost his life that day, but his wife’s quick thinking and the care from HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital didn’t let that happen.

 

 

According to the Center for Disease Control, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. But Orville Fulk is as strong as ever.

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Former Congressional Candidate / Rodney Davis Opponent Arrested

A number of Democrats have expressed interest in running against Congressman Rodney Davis next year in the 13th Congressional District. The man who represented Dems last year might be hard pressed to get a rematch with Davis. Former Macon County Board member Mark Wicklund is charged with DUI and hitting a police officer at Decatur Memorial Hospital, where he was being treated after a rollover crash last month. Wicklund is free on $10,000 bond.

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Heavy Spring Rains Leading to Nitrogen Loss for Farmers

Heavy rains in the southern half of the state have farmers dealing with nitrogen loss. Tim Laatsch works for Growmark.



And Laatsch says the soil sample will determine a farmer’s best course of action.



Laatsch farms near Altamont in Effingham County. He says his area of the state has seen rain in “the teens” this spring. 

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Farmer Who Serves in Statehouse Supports Industrial Hemp Bill

A Henry County farmer who also serves in the Illinois General Assembly supports industrial hemp as an alternative crop. State Representative Dan Swanson farms near Alpha.



He says a neighboring state already allows farmers to grow industrial hemp.



A bill awaits a House committee vote following unanimous Senate approval. The measure would allow a farmer to get licensed with the Department of Agriculture to plant and harvest industrial hemp. Swanson says the plant has a short growing season, grows to 15 feet tall, needs little maintenance and starves out other weeds. He says industrial hemp would also give farmers an additional revenue stream to help offset current weak corn and soybean prices.

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Right to Know Act Awaits Action in House

The Illinois Senate recently passed the Right to Know Act, which is designed to protect the online privacy of Illinoisans while promoting online transparency. Senator Michael Hastings says the most personal of information is at stake, and it's a highly prized asset...



Online companies would have to reveal what they're sharing under the act. Proponents say online personal info has been used to determine insurance rates and verify loans. The bill is being considered in committee in the Illinois House.

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Humor Can Play an Important Part In Overall Health

April was National Humor Month, and one psychologist wants people to consider the role humor plays in their lives, in an effort to reduce stress in their day to day routines. Steve Wilson is founder of the World Laughter Tour and Director of National Humor Month, and says humor plays an important part in health.
 
Wilson gave a background of himself, and the work that he does.
 
 
Wilson discussed some of the health benefits of humor, saying it can help reduce stress, and increase your overall health and well being.
 
 
Wilson appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Social Security Administration Working to Help Veterans With Their Social Security Needs

Memorial Day is just around the corner and the Social Security Administration is doing what they can to help honor veterans, and assist them with their social security needs. The SSA will at times, expedite the process for veterans applying for social security benefits, to help them get the financial help that they need.
 
Jessica Goodman with the Social Security Administration appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says that the SSA wants veterans to know what services social security can provide to them.
 
 
Under the right circumstances, the Social Security Administration will expedite the application process for veterans, so they can receive social security benefits faster.
 
 
Goodman says a usual claim with the Social Security Administration typically takes around six months to process, where as a veteran with a disability will usually take around two months.

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Tornado Wrestling Foundation Hoping Mouse Racing Fundraiser Event Can Help Keep Kid's Focus on Wrestling and School

 
On June 3rd the Tornado Wrestling Foundation will be hosting their 2017 Mouse Races Fundraiser event at the Christian County Fairgrounds. The event is designed to help raise funds for the wrestling programs in Taylorville, from the youth level, all the way to the high school program.
 
Gerry Mahr and Tornado Wrestling Head Coach Lee Mateer, both with the Tornado Wrestling Foundation appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the fundraiser. Mateer says the idea behind the Mouse Races Fundraiser was to create a fun fund raising event for the community, saying the event has already outgrown it's previous venue.
 
 
The Tornado Wrestling Foundation plays a large part in funding the wrestling programs at Taylorville Schools. Mahr says the Tornado Wrestling Foundation hasn't set a particular fund raising goal for the event, but would like to raise enough money to let the kids focus on their wrestling and academics.
 
 
Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15, or at the door for $20. Businesses can also sponsor a mouse as well. For more information on tickets or sponsoring a mouse, Mahr says to give him a call at 306-5140. 

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Reception To Be Held for Retiring Miller Media Group Employee May 30

A reception for one of the Miller Media Group long-time account managers is set for Tuesday, May 30th at the Park Street studios in Taylorville.

Judi Humphrey has been an account manager handling advertising accounts in Taylorville, Shelbyville, Pana, Effingham, and St. Elmo, among other communities, since joining the company in 2001.

Humphrey has been instrumental in the company's advertising revenue growth, as well as her involvement in the communities she serves.

She's a member of the Shelbyville Rotary Club as well as being involved over the years in many fund-raising efforts in her communities.

Humphrey is officially retiring June First, and to honor her, the Miller Media Group is holding a public reception to wish Judi well in her retirement.  It'll take place Tuesday, May 30th, from 11am to 1pm at the company's studios at 918 East Park Street in Taylorville.  A light lunch will be served.

Staff members, advertisers and friends of Judi, are invited to congratulate her on 16 years of service, and wish her the best in her retirement.

Humphrey has agreed to stay on past her June First official retirement date, until her successors are named.

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Nokomis Water Shut-Off

The boil order that was in place for the City of Nokomis has been lifted.

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Floral Arrangements and Antique Items Businesses Presented During Christian County CEO Trade Show

Eight students participated in the Christian County CEO program this year, and the businesses they created were presented to the public last Thursday at Lincoln Land Community College's Taylorville campus. This is the third in a series of three stories featuring the businesses of the students.
 
Samantha Hafliger's business involves creating floral arrangements for decorating grave stones. Hafliger says a family history in the business lead to her deciding to pursue her own business in the industry.
 
 
An interests in garage sales and other unique items lead Matthew O'Brian to start “Brian's Salvage.”  Brian's salvage is a mish-mash of different items that O'Brian has collected that he feel has value.
 
 
The Christian County CEO Trade Show was broadcast live on Groovy 97.3 WRAN.

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Downstate Lawmaker Speaks Out Against Raising State Income Tax

A downstate lawmaker speaking out against legislation that raises the state income tax. The State Senate approved Senate Bill 9 on Tuesday by a 32 to 26 vote. State Senator Chuck Weaver of Peoria opposed. 



Senate Bill 9 increases the individual income tax rate to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent and the corporate income tax rate will increase to 7-percent from 5.25 percent. The legislation also imposes a 6.25-percent tax on tattooing and body piercing and new taxes of 6-percent on satellite and streaming services. 

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Senate Dems Pass Budget, Rauner Veto Pen at the Ready

Senate President John Cullerton appears to have given up for his quest for a Grand Bargain budget deal with Republicans. Democrats went their own way, approving a $37.3 billion spending plan that features a $5.4 billion tax increase. The additional revenue would come from boosting the personal income tax to 4.95 percent and the corporate rate to 7 percent. Sales tax would be added to a number of services. Governor Rauner says he'll fight the budget plan because it lacks a long term property tax freeze.



No Republicans voted for the budget bills Tuesday. 

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Illinois' Crop Protection Industry Has Voice in Washington

Illinois’ crop protection industry has a voice in Washington. It’s through the group CropLife America where Missouri native Kelly Bray serves as senior director of governmental affairs.



Bray says the organization has just launched a new campaign—called “Give a Crop”.



You can learn more about the campaign at “giveacrop.org” Bray says the site also features a popular section called myth vs. fact--comparing conventionally grown food to organically grown food. 

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Cold Air Funnel Spotted Near Stonington Tuesday Afternoon; No Damage Reported

Weather spotters in northern Christian County got a workout Tuesday afternoon, as a cold air funnel was sighted near Stonington.  The funnel triggered the Stonington tornado siren to go off around 5 o'clock, and the Stonington-Owaneco road was blocked for a time.

Christian County Emergency Management Agency director Mike Crews told Regional Radio News during a live interview on the Miller Media Group stations Tuesday afternoon during the 5 o'clock hour, that while the funnel did look ominous, it was not dangerous and did not do any damage.

No warnings were issued during the afternoon on Tuesday by the National Weather Service.

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Brian Ferguson Home Invasion / Arson Trial Day One Recap

The trial for a Pana man accused of invading a former girlfriend’s home and setting it on fire began on Tuesday. 55-year-old Brian Ferguson is accused of the crimes that happened on November 20, 2016.

 

Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera presented police procedure evidence in day one of the trial. Witnesses called included Pana police officers that responded that night and an Illinois State Fire Marshal Arson Investigator that was assigned to the house fire. He also called witnesses that had interacted with Ferguson in the weeks leading up to the incident.


The state is expected to call one more witness when the case resumes. After that witness, the defense will begin presenting its case. Court will resume for Ferguson at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Present 3 $500 Scholarships to THS Seniors

 

3 winners of 500-dollar scholarships each, were announced at the May 16 Taylorville Kiwanis Club Annual Cookout at Kiwanis Park on Lake Taylorville.

Kiwanis president Will Perkins (left) formally presented the checks to award winners (starting 2nd from left) Alaina Mann, Grace Markwell & Mallory Brotherton.

The scholarships are awarded annually based on an application process, to Taylorville High School seniors that are going to a college or university.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Hear About Hope House at Weekly Luncheon

Several members of the new Hope House Committee, were guests at Tuesday's Taylorville Kiwanis Club meeting to talk about the project to build a house to be used by families that have lost children due to death.  From the left:  Will Perkins, Kiwanis president; Jon Wamsley, committee member; Teresa St. Louis, committee member; Michael St. Louis, committee member who also spoke to the Club; Kiwanis member Dick Wamsley, father of Jon Wamsley and Kiwanis Spiritual Aims Committee chair.

 

HOPE HOUSE FEATURED TOPIC AT KIWANIS WEEKLY LUNCHEON

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the proposed Hope House for families that have had children pass away, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Michael St. Louis was the guest speaker.  St. Louis is the parent of 2 pre-mature babies that died at birth.  He along with his wife Teresa, and 2 other local families that have lost children, formed the non-profit Hope House of Central Illinois, with the goal of building a home near Taylorville as a retreat for grieving families that have also lost children who have passed away.

St. Louis described the process he and his wife went thru after their 2 children died, trying to find the “new normal” and attempting to put a positive spin on their loss. 

St. Louis told the Kiwanis Club that according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, some 595 children age zero to 24 die within a 100-mile radius of Taylorville each year, which represents over 53-hundred family members and friends affected by the death of a child. 

St. Louis said the proposed Hope House will serve those family members who are trying to find their “new normal”, and that many have already volunteered to help with construction.  Fund raising efforts to purchase property are already underway.  More information can be found on-line at hopehouseofcentralillinois-dot-org.

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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New Scam Uses Popular Money Sweepstakes In Effort To Get You To Pay Them

 
A new scam is making it's way around the area that the Taylorville Police Department want people to be aware of. This latest scam involves someone calling you and saying they're with Publisher's Clearing House, and need money before they can give you your winnings.
 
Alan Mills with the Taylorville Police Department appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to inform the public of this scam. Mills said the callers will tell people they need to pay money to cover fees before receiving their winning check.
 
 
Mills wants people to know that if something doesn't seem right with these calls, it's probably not. He understands why people get excited though, but wants them to know that once they pay these callers money, there's not much that can be done.
 
 
If you have any information on this scam or any other scam that's making its way around the area, contact the Taylorville Police Department, so they can make the public aware of the scam.

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Christian County YMCA Annual Golf Outing Helping to Provide Services to Low Income Families

 
The Christian County YMCA is preparing for their 11th annual Golf Outing fundraiser, that helps raise funds to support the YMCA and it's effort to provide services to low income families. The outing takes place on June 9th, and registration is still open for both golfers and sponsors.
 
Chris Weittenhiller, Executive Director of the Christian County YMCA had more details on the golf outing, and when the deadline is to register for the event.
 
 
The financial assistance program at the YMCA allows the YMCA to provide services to families and individuals who couldn't otherwise afford to take part in the programs that the YMCA provides. The Y also receives funding from several other sources that help support the program, however the golf outing provides a fun way for people to enjoy a game of golf, and support a good cause.
 
 
Weittenhiller appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Mayor Proclaims May 23rd as "Lincoln Land Community College Day"; Celebrates 50 Years of The College's Service with New Street Name

 
LLCC President, staff and Taylorville city officials gathered at the LLCC-Taylorville location today during the Community Partnership Group Meeting to not only celebrate 50 years of education services, but to receive a proclamation honor from Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry, and a street name change from Taylorville Alderman Earl Walters. 
 
LLCC President Charlotte Warren (Ph.D.) provided opening remarks to the group on-hand about LLCC's history overall and the services the college has provided to students.
 
 
 
President Warren gave way to Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry for a proclamation celebrating LLCC and naming May 23rd as "Lincoln Land Community College Day" in the city of Taylorville.
 
 
 
Taylorville Alderman, Earl Walters officially presented a new street sign to LLCC's President Warren with a brand new name of "Lincoln Land Way" to take place of the old "Lee Norse Drive".
 
 
  
 
The Taylorville LLCC outreach center was the final stop for President Warren and staff who have been visiting all the LLCC locations across Illinois.

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - May 23, 2017

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

 

Sometime during the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 16, 2017, person or persons unknown used an item to damage a 2011 red Ford that was parked in the parking lot of the Taylorville Christian Church, located at 1124 North Webster Street.  The unknown subject or subjects scratched the letter X, the number 666, and what appeared to be the word “death” onto the vehicle.  The total dollar amount of the damage is unknown at this time.

 

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

 

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

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Second Annual Taylorville Sports Camp Looks to Connect High School / College and Young Athletes

After having 36 kids participate in the first annual Taylorville Youth Sports Camp, this year’s goal is more than 50 area children having fun and connecting with older athletes at the second annual event. The Youth Sports Camp will be held from June 12th through 16th, and multiple sports will be played throughout the week.

 

Event organizer and former Taylorville cross country runner Tommy O’Brien is now running cross country for Millikin University. He talks about the many games that kids will get to play.

 

 

O’Brien says there are multiple goals for the kids that are a part of the camp.

 

 

Preregistration runs until June 1st and costs $40 per child. After that, the cost is $50 per child. All money raised will be distributed among various youth sports programs in Taylorville. Any child is welcome to come have fun; you do not have to live in Taylorville to participate. Flyers can be picked up and turned in at Taylorville Junior High School. If you would like more information, you can give a call to O’Brien at 217-827-5940 or email him at teobrien@millikin.edu.

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Aerial Photography, Bakery, Handyman Services Presented at Christian County CEO Trade Show

Eight students participated in the Christian County CEO program this year, and the businesses they created were presented to the public last Thursday at the Lincoln Land Community College’s Taylorville campus. This is the second in a series of three stories featuring the businesses of those students.

 

Kyle Woods’ business is called KW Aerial Photography. It uses drone technology to get aerial photos and videos for clients. Woods says he had many ideas going in, but this is the one he decided on.

 

 

Alexis Gipson has always had an interest in baking, which led her to start “Bake Me Away” with the CEO program. Gipson talks about some of the products she offers.

 

 

Zebert Dunaway has been told he’s pretty handy around the house, so he started “Bert’s Odd Jobs.” He says there is a variety of the work he’s willing to provide.

 

 

The Christian County CEO Trade show was broadcast live on Groovy 97.3, WRAN.

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Insurance Policy Discussion, Park Manual Language Covered at Taylorville Park Board Meeting

Insurance policy discussion and park manual language was the main discussion points at the May meeting of the Taylorville Park Board. Topics included whether or not to cover the city pool itself under insurance and how to word an extended leave policy up for approval.

 

The meeting started with resident Jerry Cocagne speaking to the board about why the board dropped him as their insurance agent and why he wasn’t notified.

 

 

Park Board President Marlane Miller said while it was unfortunate that no contact was made and should have been made, the board was saving money and better insured without going through an agent. She also said 90 percent of other park districts using the IParks program have dropped their agents as well.

 

In old business, the board had a vote planned on how to word a new policy regarding extended sick leave in the park district manual. After several minutes of discussion, Miller said what the board seemed to be agreeing upon.

 

 

The board then approved the policy as read. Also brought up was the possibilty of adding insurance for the city pool to its insurance policy. Park District Administrator Mary Anne Becker said the pool itself has never been insured, and most districts don’t insure their pool because they are considered “indestructable”, but also pointed out there are multiple ways the pool could sustain damage. The discussion was tabled until the next meeting which is scheduled for June 26th.

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Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry Says Recently Approved TIF Districts Will Help Attract Business to Taylorville

 
Taylorville is in the process of attempting to attract new businesses to town, and one aspect of that is the creation of TIF districts to give the area another tool to attract new businesses. The Taylorville City Council recently approved the creation of two TIF districts in the city to help lure businesses to the area.
 
Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says the creation of the TIF districts give the city another reason for people to move to the area.
 
 
Barry explained what a TIF district is, and the general areas of where the two TIF districts the city approved will be located.
 
 
Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Offering Mental Health First Aid Class to Prepare People to Help Those Dealing With Mental Health Issues

 
May is Mental Health Awareness month and many organizations in the community are trying to help raise awareness of the issue of mental health. Taylorville Memorial Hospital is doing their part by hosting a mental health first aid class to help teach participants how to identify signs of people potentially suffering from a mental health issue, and ways to help that person.
 
Kim Bourne, President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed the class. The course will give people the skills to be able to help with a number of different issues.
 
 
Along with the class, TMH works alongside a local organization to help people who are currently going through a mental health crisis get the help that they need.
 
 
Nearly 44 million adults in America experience mental illness in a given year, and one in five adults experience a mental illness. To sign up for the Mental Health First Aid Classes, visit MemorialBehavioralHealth.org to sign up, or call the hospital at 824-1600.

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United Way of Christian County Holds 2018 Allocations Hearings

 
The United Way of Christian County recently held their 2018 member agency allocation hearings to determine what organizations will receive funding through the United Way of Christian County next year. The United Way of Christian County had one agency choose not to reapply, but also added an agency for 2018: Hope House of Central Illinois.
 
Susan Lawrence, Executive Director of the United Way of Christian County explained how the allocation hearing process works, and said although it's a long process, it's one of the organization's favorite times of the year.
 
 
The new agency the United Way added, Hope House of Central Illinois provides support for families experiencing the loss of a child by giving them a place to get away from the stresses of the situation. They plan to build a retreat center in Christian County near Taylorville.
 
 
Lawrence appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Food Delivery Service, E-Recycling Businesses Created by Christian County CEO Students

Eight students participated in the Christian County CEO program this year, and the businesses they created were presented to the public last Thursday at the Lincoln Land Community College’s Taylorville campus. This is the first in a series of three stories featuring the businesses of those students.

 

Rhett Molen has created a online food delivery business called Taylorville Food Delivery dot com. He talks about how customers can place their orders.

 

 

Molen says his brother gave him the idea. His brother lives in Springfield and they have a food delivery service up there.

 

Brendan Watson has started a computer service and electronic recycling business called Title Computer Technologies. Watson talks about what his business provides its customers.

 

 

Watson says he wanted to do something with computers, and he says the profit margins in electronic recycling business right now are “mind-boggling.”

 

The Christian County CEO Trade show was broadcast live on Groovy 97.3, WRAN.

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Taylorville Post Office Has Record Breaking Year For Food Drive

The Taylorville Post Office had a record collection for the National Association of Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive this year. The Taylorville office collected over 20,000 pounds or 10 tons of food for those in the area in need. This was the 25th year the drive has been held nationwide.

 

Brent Cornell is the food drive coordinator at the Taylorville Post Office. He says that handing out bags has played a big role in collection numbers in recent years.

 

 

Cornell says one retired letter carrier in particular did great work for this year’s drive.

 

 

The “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive happens the second Saturday in May every year. If you would still like to donate food for the cause, you can bring it in to the post office anytime.

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More Changes Coming for HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville recently made a change in the CEO position. Aaron Puchbauer (poo-bower) has stepped in and become the new President and CEO of the hospital, as the hospital continues it's transition as a new member of the HSHS Health System.
 
Puchbauer explained what attracted him to the position at HSHS Good Shephered in Shelbyville.
 
 
Marilyn Sears, COO of the hospital discussed why the hospital, formerly known as Shelby Memorial Hospital affiliated itself with the HSHS system.
 
 
With the new CEO and HSHS affiliation, many changes are being planned for the hospital, including an event being held at the hospital on June 1st, designed to help people eat better.
 
 
Along with new events, the hospital is investing money into improving the hospital, in order to increase the level of care provided at the hospital.
 
 
Puchbauer and Sears both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

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Area Honor Flight Participants Excited for the Opportunity

One Taylorville, three Shelbyville, and an Assumption veteran will be participating in the upcoming Land of Lincoln honor flight to Washington D.C. Tuesday, and they are looking forward to the experience. Alan Collebrusco of Taylorville, and Ron Chaney, Ed Henne, and Ken Rigan all of Shelbyville, and Ron Clutter of Assumption will be making the journey to D.C. to check out the war memorials, along with other important sites in the nation’s capital.

 

Collebrusco says he looks forward to seeing the World War II memorial.

 

 

Chaney is also excited for the trip. He says a friend told him about the Honor Flight program.

 

 

Their day will start before the sun rises on Tuesday for the flight. 81 veterans, along with a guardian for each, will be participating in the flight. The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has been serving veterans in Illinois since May of 2009.

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Louisville Slugger Museum Brings Its Act to Springfield

The Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory is bringing an exhibit this weekend to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Louisville Slugger Museum Curator Chris Meiman (My-men) says the exhibit today and Sunday (5/20 and 5/21) is a perfect fit with the existing Cards and Cubs rivalry exhibit at the museum. As you might expect, they're bringing some lumber along.



The exhibit has something for every baseball fan of every age, including a mainstay of the Kentucky museum.



While the Louisville Slugger exhibit will remain through the weekend, the Cubs and Cards Rivalry exhibit continues through year's end.

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Southeastern Illinois Farmer Says Industry Needs to Speak Up to State and Federal Lawmakers

A south-eastern Illinois farmer hopes key decision makers are hearing from his industry. Dennis Green farms outside of Lawrenceville—near the Indiana border. He says it’s important for his colleagues to speak up, especially to state and federal lawmakers.



And Green says farmers also need to listen and learn from other farmers on various practices, like no-till. Steve Stallman of Chester knows about that. 



Stallman has received almost a foot of rain in his area of the state, but still has 85-percent of his corn planting complete. 

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Commodity Markets Concerning Many Illinois Farmers

Shaky commodity markets continue to be on the minds of some Illinois farmers as spring planting marches on in many parts of the state. The weak markets concern McHenry County farmer Michelle Aavang.



The northern Illinois farmer has been watching new farm bill discussions and debate closely. But, she says there’s still a long way to go in developing what could serve as a farm safety net for her and other farmers beyond next year. 



Aavang represents DeKalb, Kane, Lake and McHenry Counties on the Illinois Farm Bureau Board of Directors. She, her husband and son raise crops and livestock near the northern Illinois town of Woodstock.

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Taylorville Native Ambassador Family for March of Dimes March for Babies Sunday

Over 100 walkers turned out for the annual March of Dimes March for Babies at Washington Park in Springfield.  The event is held each year to raise money to help the March of Dimes in its efforts to prevent premature births and infant mortality.

Taylorville native Sheri Miller was the 2017 Ambassador Family for the event.  Sheri lost her daughter Alexis 40 minutes after birth in April of 2011, due to the baby having underdeveloped lungs.

Sheri led this year's March for Babies, and said she walked today to remember Lexi and other premature babies that didn't make it.

Sunday's March of Dimes March for Babies raised some 39-thousand dollars.  You can give on-line at teamprincessalexis.org.

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Missions for Taylorville Looking for Volunteers for Upcoming Work Day

Missions for Taylorville is looking to clean up the city, and they need your help. The group is looking for volunteers for its work day coming up on June 3rd. No special skills are required to volunteer. All that is needed is a helping heart and a willingness to take part in creating a more attractive Taylorville.

 

Missions for Taylorville coordinator Bill Kerns says the organization would like for volunteers to sign up early to save everyone valuable time on June 3rd.

 

 

Although signing up beforehand is important, it is not required. Kerns says there will be work for anyone that shows up on the work day.

 

 

Volunteers should meet at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium on June 3rd at 8:30 a.m. to receive their work assignments. Kerns says that there could be more than 50 projects they look to complete that day.

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Christian County 911 to Conduct Wireline Tests Next Week

Christian County 911 will be testing wireline numbers in the Shelby County area from Monday, May 22 through Friday, May 26th between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

 

These tests will determine network accuracy and location detail for each wireline phone prefix within Shelby County. This procedure is required to make a successful test with a minimum of 10% of the wireline numbers. A public safety telecommunicator will make a call to the number and ask that a return call is made using a test code. This will replicate a 911 call enabling a verification of data.

 

On July 3, Christian County 911 will begin providing enhanced 911 services for the Shelby County area, including calls for wireline, wireless and VoIP.

 

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Mickie Ehrhardt, Christian County 911 Administrator at (217) 287-7911.

 

The Christian-Shelby Joint Emergency Telephone System Board meets on the 2nd Monday of each Month at 5:30 p.m. at the Pana Police Department, Pana, IL. The public is welcome to attend.

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Local Students Honored in Art Contest Sponsored by Congressman Rodney Davis

A Taylorville High School senior and junior were honored recently in the 13th District's Congressional Art Competition. JT Boehme, a junior at THS, won first place for the piece called "Processing Nature" shown below.

 

 

Victoria Hart, a senior at THS, received third place for her piece "First Model" below.

 

 

Another piece by Boehme, "Writer's Block" shown below, was chosen as the Fan Favorite by Davis' Facebook followers.

 

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American Pickers Show Coming Through Illinois in June

Do you have a noteworthy collection? Do you think it could impress Mike and Frank on American Pickers? You could have your shot to show off your collection next month! The History Channel Hit Show will be traveling across Illinois in June, and they are looking for collections to check out along the way!

 

Cat with American Pickers says there are multiple ways to reach out to the show.

 

 

She says the show’s journey through the state will depend on who contacts them about collections.

 

 

Cat says the pair especially like to check out collections with local history ties. She says the sooner the better if you would like to contact the show to come see you this go-around.

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Shelbyville Schools Wrapping Up Another School Year

The school year is wrapping up for many schools around the region, including Shelbyville schools. Although the year is wrapping up, there are still several events and programs that aren't quite done.
 
Denise Bense, Superintendent of the Shelbyville School District says the next big event her office is preparing for is for graduation ceremonies for the Shelbyville High School Seniors.
 
 
Shelbyville athletics are still in action as well, with track and field events still taking place, and the Shelbyville softball team participating in their regional tournament.
 
 
Bense appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.
 

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CCEDC is One Step Closer to Receiving Federal Funds for Taylorville Industrial Park

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation is one step closer to securing federal funds to go towards the Taylorville Industrial Park. The Economic Development Administration notified the CCEDC on May 11th that they would like to receive a full application for public works funding for the new industrial park. This comes after a pre-application was submitted making a case for funding for Taylorville’s Industrial Park.

 

CCEDC Executive Director Mary Renner says the money being applied for would supplement money already raised.

 

 

Renner says the next step in the process could be lengthy.

 

 

Renner says an important step in this process is identifying companies that will commit to moving to Taylorville within five years if federal funding is awarded. If anyone is interested in learning more, you can call Renner at 638-5032.

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60th Annual Pana Days This Weekend

It’s that time of year again, the 60th annual Pana Days are this weekend at the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Pana. The festival kicked off Thursday night with the carnival opening up to the public. The event also includes craft vendors, food, and numerous events throughout the weekend.

 

Pana Chamber of Commerce President Regina Agney says there is one big change this year that will give area residents more opportunity to swing by.

 

 

Agney talks about some of the events that are happening live on Genuine County WMKR.

 

 

Armbands for carnival rides cost $20 or $1 per ticket. The event being put on by the Pana Chamber of Commerce runs through the weekend.

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USTR Notifies Congress of Intent to Renegotiate NAFTA

The U.S. Trade Representative Thursday notified Congress of the administration's intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The negotiations can now begin in 90 days, as outlined by law after a notification letter is sent to Congress. In a call with reporters, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said President Donald Trump is fulfilling a key promise by starting the renegotiation process.

 

 

Lighthizer says the USTR office will begin working on negotiation intentions immediately.

 

 

Lighthizer says he spoke with his counterparts in Mexico and Canada, adding all three nations will benefit from the renegotiation.

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Free Fishing Tournament for Kids Coming Up

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville want kids 13 and under interested in fishing to join them on June 3rd for a free fishing tournament at Opossum Pond. The pond is located near the entrance to the Opossum Creek Recreation Area, and registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. on that Saturday morning. There will be three competing age groups for ages six and under, seven to nine, and 10 to 12, with prizes in each category for “:Most Fish”, “Biggest Fish”, and “Smallest Fish”.

 

Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Sarah Haslett says the tournament is a great way for parents and kids alike to learn how to fish.

 

 

Haslett says there are safety measures that kids are required to follow, and that means the parents will need to make sure to have some extra equipment.

 

 

Haslett asks that all parents pre-register their children if possible. The number to call to pre-register is 217-774-3951, ext. 2.

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USDA Approves Modifications to Margin Protection Plan of Insurance for Crops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency this week announced greater crop insurance options for farmers against unexpected decreases in their operating margin. Offered through the federal crop insurance program, margin protection insurance for corn, wheat, rice and soybeans will be available in more states and have updates designed to better clarify the real input costs covered beginning in 2018.

 

The RMA is expanding margin protection for corn and soybeans to Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The expansion also includes a harvest price option, which allows farmers to get the greater price so they can rebound faster. Margin protection insurance is privately-developed and first became available in 2016 to provide coverage based on an expected margin, which is the expected area revenue minus the expected area operating costs, for each applicable crop, type and practice.

 

A producer may choose coverage from 70 percent to 95 percent of their expected margin. The last day to purchase a margin protection policy for corn, soybeans, and spring wheat is September 30, 2017.

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Freshman Lawmaker Blasts State Agency Over Costly Memberships

A Quad City area state lawmaker criticizing costly memberships within the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology. State Representative Mike Halpin says the agency’s consulting memberships have already cost taxpayers $208,000. He says the Governor needs to take a stand as well. 



Halpin says in April, the memberships made headlines when $71 million was transferred by then Comptroller Leslie Munger out of the General Revenue Fund and deposited into various other funds, some of which went to pay for the agency’s memberships. Halpin was just elected last November. 

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Champaign Area Start-Up Aims to Keep Top Ag Talent in Illinois

The ag industry remains focused on hiring and retaining top talent. That’s the mission of Champaign based Agrible, Inc. They’re home to agronomists, scientists and developers—who work for the grower in the field says the company’s Cynthia Bruno.



Luke Zwilling has been with the start-up since the beginning and says their location provides a great advantage.



The company opened in 2012 and now features a staff of 53 employees.

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Good Crowd Attends Christian County CEO Trade Show

 

A good crowd attended Thursday night's Christian County C-E-O, or "Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities" Trade Show at Lincoln Land Community College's Taylorville campus.

7 of the 8 students completing this year's C-E-O program, kicked off their new businesses.  One student was absent due to a death in the family.

C-E-O facilitator Dick Adams, completing his 2nd year in the role, told Regional Radio News this year's group of students were great entrepreneurs.

The C-E-O Trade Show was broadcast live on groovy 97-point-3 W-R-A-N.

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Sights and Sounds of Citizens for Education Rally in Springfield Wednesday

 

Representatives from the Citizens for Education committee in Taylorville spoke at the Rally and Footrace for Fair School Funding on Wednesday, you can see the full video above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Christian County 4-H Program Partnering with Christian County YMCA to Offer Local Food Class for Area Youth

 
The Christian County 4-H program is partnering with the Christian County YMCA and their summer program to offer during the summer classes to help teach kids about where the food they eat comes from, and how they can eat and grow food locally.
 
Peggy Hampton, 4-H Youth and Development Educator with the U of I Extension Office  discussed the partnership, including details on when the classes will take place.
 
 
The classes will teach the kids taking the classes about locally grown food, and will give them a chance to grow their own foods as well.
 
 
Parents who are interested in signing their children up for the classes can do so at the Christian County YMCA through their summer program. Hampton appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Ken Hart with People's Bank and Trust Earns Lifetime Achievement Award from the ECIDC

Recently Ken Hart, a local member of the community was given the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce's Lifetime Achievement award. The work Hart has done over the years is continuing to be recognized, as he is also the recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the East Central Illinois Development Corporation.
 
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed the award, and the work Hart has done over the years.
 
 
Hornbuckle reflect on some of the work Hart has done over the years, and that the Chamber is fully supportive of Hart and the work he's done.
 
 
Hornbuckle also thanked those who have helped put the basket for Hart together.

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Several Groups Working to Treat Mental Health Issues in Christian County

May is mental health awareness month, and the Christian County Sheriff's Office is working to help fight the issue in Christian County. The County also provides programs such as mental health court to help people who are dealing with legal issues as a result of mental illness.
 
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show to discuss mental health, and what the county is doing to help those suffering from mental health problems. One thing the county jail does is provides mental health treatment for inmates.
 
 
Kettelkamp is also a part of the mental health court team in Christian County, and spoke highly of the work that the mental health court has done.
 
 
Another point that Kettelkamp wanted to make was that the negative stigma surrounding mental health needs to change, and that those dealing with mental health problems should seek treatment.

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Tornado Wrestling Foundation to Host Mouse Races Fundraiser

Race Day is coming on June 3… Mouse Races that is! The Tornado Wrestling Foundation will be hosting their 2017 Mouse Races Fundraiser at the Christian County Fairgrounds on Saturday June 3. Doors will open at 6 p.m., with races starting at 7. The event will only be for those 21 and older, and will feature complementary beer, a cash bar, and other games that night.

 

Tornado Wrestling Foundation Treasurer Gerry Mahr says Taylorville wrestling coach Lee Mateer brought the idea to town after seeing its success in neighboring communities.

 

 

Mahr says between each race, there will be other ways for people to enjoy themselves or try their luck.

 

 

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15, or at the door for $20. Businesses can also sponsor a mouse as well. For more information on tickets or sponsoring a mouse, Mahr says to give him a call at 306-5140.

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What is the CEP Program Starting in Taylorville Elementary Schools Next Year?

Last Monday, the Taylorville school board voted to try out the CEP program for Pre-K through 4th grade students in the district. But what is the CEP program, and what are the benefits for the district and the students?

 

CEP stands for Community Eligibility Provision, and it’s a federally funded program to feed all students breakfasts and lunches at no cost to the students and families. Districts can choose to participate at certain schools, or an entire district can participate if they meet the qualifications. There are many districts across the state that have signed up for the program. One of those district’s is the East Alton Elementary School District, about 20 miles northeast of St. Louis. The district has about 550 students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. East Alton has just completed their second cycle in the program. The school district participates in the program district-wide, from Pre-K through 8th grade.

 

Jill Miller is the Curriculum Instruction Coordinator for the East Alton School District, and she coordinates the CEP program in the district. She says one of the benefits for the district is there is a lot less paperwork to deal with on the front end, along with feeding every student in the district.

 

 

The plan in Taylorville is to try the program at the elementary level to start, and possibly add higher grade levels in future years. Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Greg Fuerstenau said told Regional Radio News after the May board meeting that the time had come for the district to make a decision on where to take the breakfast and lunch services going forward.

 

 

 

Miller says a school or district must re-apply for the program every four years. She says the program is a blessing for the district and for the families.

 

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Mexican Customers of U.S. Grains Talk About Importance of Trade

A team of customers of U.S. grains in Mexico is in the United States this week to talk with farmers and lawmakers about the importance of trade between the two countries. NAFB's Micheal Clements has more....
 

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AFBF Welcomes Beef Trade Deal with China

The recent announcement of an agreement to restart U.S. beef exports to China could be worth more than $2 billion to U.S. agriculture. AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations Dave Salmonsen says the China beef market is growing, and China is looking to purchase more beef.
 
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Part of the agreement with China includes poultry and biotechnology approvals.
 
                     
 
The target date to complete the agreement is July 17th of this year. Salmonsen says U.S. beef could then be exported to China.
 
         
 
That’s AFBF Senior Director of Congressional Relations Dave Salmonsen.

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Bustos Awaiting Infrastructure Plan From Trump

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos looking for a defined infrastructure plan from President Trump, but says his administration remains too riddled with questions concerning ties to Russia.



Bustos made her remarks on the House Floor Wednesday. 

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Over 1,100 Illinois Farmers Respond to Action Request

A request to support reform the federal government's process to create and enforce environmental regulations stirred some 1,100 farmers into action. Illinois Farm Bureau asked farmers to actively support a so-called "back to basics” effort by new federal Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt. IFB President Rich Guebert explains what it's about.



And as for Springfield, Guebert says farmers await action on a state budget just like many other interests throughout Illinois.



Guebert farms in Ellis Grove in Randolph County. 

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Rauner Offers Pro-Senate, Anti-House Message

Governor Bruce Rauner has good things to say about one chamber of the Illinois General Assembly, the other not so much. On one hand, he says he's cheering on the Senate as the chamber continues to consider the Grand Bargain series of bills.



The temperature in the room cools a little when Rauner offers his opinions on the Illinois House.



The Senate is expected to renew voting on bills tied to the Grand Bargain.

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Wind Advisory Again Extended to 4am Thursday; Many Roads Still Closed

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has again extended their wind advisory for Central Illinois, until 4 o'clock Thursday morning, after continued high winds blowing dust, caused almost zero visibility, closed several highways, and caused numerous accidents.

As of 9:15 Wednesday night, gettingaroundillinois-dot-com reported that Interstate 72 was closed from just east of Jacksonville to Springfield, and from Buffalo to Illiopolis.

The Weather Service reported that a dust storm at 5 o'clock 2 miles east of Tuscola on Route 36 in Douglas County, caused an accident with a semi and 6 cards due to zero visibility and blowing dust.

The Weather Service said that dangerous winds would continue through the overnight hours, due to the strong winds blowing dust and lowering visibilities to less than one quarter mile.

Loose, lightweight objects may be blown around. Minor tree or property damage is possible. Driving may be difficult especially in high profile vehicles and on east- west roads.

The Regional Radio listening area is also in the "marginal" category for possible severe weather on Thursday.  Stay tuned to this Regional Radio station and taylorvilledailynews.com for the latest in weather information.
 

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Wind Advisory Extended til 9pm Wednesday; Many Roads Closed Due to Blowing Dust

The National Weather Service in Lincoln extended their wind advisory for Central Illinois, until 9 o'clock Wednesday night, after continued high winds blowing dust, caused almost zero visibility, closed several highways, and caused numerous accidents.

The Illinois Department of Transportation closed Interstate 72 between the Sangamon-Morgan County line and Springfield, during the 5 o'clock hour Wednesday afternoon, due to the limited visibility.  The eastbound lane of Illinois Route 104 between Auburn and Interstate 55, was also closed at 4:57.

Law enforcement also reported to the Weather Service, that a dust storm at 5:20 Wednesday afternoon caused lane closures on Interstate 55 near McLean due to poor visibility from blowing dust.

The Weather Service reported that a dust storm at 5 o'clock 2 miles east of Tuscola on Route 36 in Douglas County, caused an accident with a semi and 6 cards due to zero visibility and blowing dust.

Blowing dust from the strong winds was lowering visibilities on some east west roads to less than one quarter mile, adding that numerous car accidents have been reported.

Motorists were urged to use caution when driving Wednesday evening, especially on east-west roads due to the strong south wind.

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - May 17, 2017

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

 

Sometime during the early morning hours of Sunday, May 14, 2017, person or person unknown made entry onto a pump station, located at 1900 North 100 East Road.  While there, the unknown subject or subjects opened a hydrant and drained the water tank.   The drain caused a loss of 53,000 gallons of water.  The hydrant was also damaged.  The total dollar amount of the damage is unknown at this time.

 

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

 

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

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Christian County CEO Students Preparing for Christian County CEO Trade Show

The Christian County CEO Trade Show is just around the corner and the students who are currently participating in the Christian County CEO Program are ready to show off the businesses they've created to the community.
 
Several of the students in the Christian County CEO Program appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss their businesses, and what the program has meant to them. CEO Student Rhett Molen previewed what business he has come up with, and will be showcasing at the trade show.
 
 
Meanwhile fellow CEO classmate Kyle Woods said he came up with a number of different business ideas, but one stood out to him.
 
 
The Christian County CEO Trade show will take place on Thursday, May 18th at Lincoln Land Community College's Taylorville Campus. Tune into Groovy 97.3 WRAN for live coverage from the event.

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State Representative Bourne Joins Bipartisan Group in Illinois House Urging Senate to Pass Budget Plan

Illinois hasn't had a full state budget in two years, and a group of lawmakers in the Illinois House are joining together to let the senate know they're ready to get to work on a budget proposal currently making it's way through the senate.
 
One of the lawmakers in this group is State Representative Avery Bourne, who wants to not only see a budget, but fundamental changes in how Illinois does business. Bourne says she joined the group to urge the Senate to keep working on a budget plan.
 
 
Bourne wants to see changes made to how Illinois runs as a part of this next budget, and feels the plan the Senate has been working on would be a good start.
 
 

 

State Representative Avery Bourne appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Two Taylorville Residents Re-Elected to Boards at CNB Bank & Trust

Two Taylorville residents have been re-elected to the boards that run CNB Bank and Trust. Ralph Antle was re-elected to the board of the bank’s parent company, CNB Bank Shares Inc. George Yard was re-elected to the bank’s board.

 

CNB Bank & Trust has 13 locations, including locations in Alton; Brighton; Carlinville; Carrollton; Clayton, Missouri; Hillsboro; Jacksonville; Jerseyville; Oak Forest; Palos Heights; Pittsfield; Shipman and Taylorville.

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Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center to Receive Donation from Monsanto

One local not-for-profit will be receiving a donation of $2,500 thanks to an area farmer and Monsanto. Karen Brockelsby of Christian County was awarded an America’s Farmers Grow Communities donation from Monsanto, and Brockelsby wanted the money directed to the Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center.

 

Loving Arms Executive Director Cathy Coker says the donation couldn’t have come at a better time.

 

 

Coker talks about what the center provides for the community:

 

 

For more information on Loving Arms, you can check out their website by clicking here.

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Taylorville Fire Department to Purchase New Rescue Boat

The Taylorville Fire Department will have a new tool to save lives when water rescues need to be made. The city council approved their share of funding for the purchase of a new rescue boat for pond or lake emergencies.

 

Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews says the purchase was needed because the current boat was aging rapidly.

 

 

Crews says the new boat helps the department to provide quicker response times for water rescues.

 

 

The boat is expected to cost about $7,600, and the city approved $3,000 in funds to go towards the boat at Monday night’s meeting.

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Evidence Based Education Funding Plan Takes Hit

Progress on an evidence based education funding formula takes a hit. State Representative Norine Hammond of Macomb says an amendment was offered Tuesday in Springfield that throws a wrench into things.



Hammond believes the amendment is being motivated by Chicago special interests.



The Governor’s Education Funding Reform Commission offered a report to the state legislature earlier this year. 

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Durbin Weighs in on Trump Sharing of Intelligence

President Trump's sharing of classified information with Russian officials is getting response from one of his most outspoken critics, Senator Dick Durbin. Durbin is expressing fears the developments will hurt the battle against terror threats like ISIS.



Durbin once again turned back the clock to the early 70s and made comparisons to Watergate.



Durbin also renewed his call for a special prosecutor and independent commission to investigate possible ties between the President’s inner circle and Russia. 

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18-Year-Old Honored for Building Own Egg Business

An 18 year old from western Illinois getting some impressive recognition for building his own egg business. Jim Taylor reports.

 

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County Clerk & Recorder Fee Increases Approved at Christian County Board Meeting

 

For the first time in almost 15 years, fee increases at the county clerk and recorder’s office were approved at Tuesday night’s Christian County Board meeting. A study was conducted of all similar fees in neighboring counties to provide input on how much the fees should increase.

 

Christian County Clerk and Record Laurie Mense says she understands that taxes continue to go up, but fee increases keep the cost burden on those who need her office’s services.

 

 

The proposed increase in fees will raise approximately $98,000 for the office. Mense says she is proud of how her office conducts it’s business, and doesn’t want to cut services from what they are now.

 

 

The fee increases will go into effect on June 1. You can see a full video of the Christian County Board meeting by visiting WTIM-TV’s YouTube page.

 

The fee changes are as follows:

 

Land - $75 (currently $60)

Non-Land - $66 (currently $58)

Plat - $95 (currently $98, a decrease)

Tax Redemptions - $94 (currently $25)

Birth Certificates - $18 (currently $9)

Marriage Certificates - $18 (currently $9)

Additional copies of either - $6 (currently $4)

Marriage Licenses / Civil Unions - $75 (currently $50)

Death Certificate - $22 (currently $19)

Additional D.C. copies - $10 (currently $8)

Records Search - $10 (currently $9)

Notary Services - $17 (currently $5)

Mail - $17 (currently $10)

DBA - $30 (currently $5)

Changes - $10 (currently $1.50)

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Christian County Residents Receiving IRS Tax Scam Calls

There is a scam going around where people will call your phone and say they're with the IRS and that you owe them money. These types of scams have hit residents in Christian County, and the Christian County TRIAD program wants people to know what to expect if you owe the IRS money.
 
Rich Peters with the Christian County TRIAD program appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to warn people about theses scams. He says he wanted to continue getting the word out, after hearing from several Pana residents how they had received some of these scam calls.
 
 
Peters said the IRS will not call you if you owe them money, and instead will send you a letter.
 
 
It should also be noted that the debt collection companies will only call you should they not hear from you once they send you a letter.

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Illinois Congressman Says There's A Lot of Misinformation About the New Health Care Bill

Many are wondering what the future is for healthcare in the country. The US House of Representatives just recently passed a revised version of the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, which is intended to reform health care coverage for Americans.
 
Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says he's frustrated at what he calls misinformation about the act. Davis says some of the things being said about the new bill are incorrect.
 
 
One aspect of the bill is it puts more power into the hands of states to determine what kind of health care is offered for citizens in that state. Davis says in some states such as Illinois, this means a more comprehensive health care system than the national system.
 
 
Congressman Rodney Davis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Man Arrested and Charged for Possessing Child Pornography

A Taylorville man has been arrested on multiple counts of possession of child pornography charges. 44-year-old Michael P. Shilling was arrested Monday afternoon and has been charged with seven counts of child pornography possession. Bond has been set at $100,000.

 

Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile said the investigation came about and was executed quickly.

 

 

Schilling returned home during the execution of the search and was taken into custody without incident. Schilling could face two to five years in prison on each count if convicted.

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Taylorville Water Department to Start Accepting Credit Card Payments

Taylorville residents will have another option when it comes to paying their water bill. The city council approved the purchase of two encrypted credit card readers for the Water Department at Monday’s meeting for the purpose of accepting credit card payments towards water bills. Credit cards will be accepted over the counter with a 2.25 percent surchage fee, and online with a 2.5 percent convenience fee.

 

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says this purchase is about helping Taylorville residents pay their bills.

 

 

Barry says it shouldn’t be long before the water department is able to start accepting credit card payments.

 

 

For the full interview with Mayor Barry, or to see the full special and regularly scheduled city council meetings from Monday night, visit the WTIM-TV channel on YouTube.

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Peoples Bank and Trust / WMKR Pana Students of the Month - April 2017

 

The WMKR and Peoples Bank and Trust students of the month for April are from left to right:

 

Jennifer Mathis - Peoples Bank and Trust Pana far left then Senior Courtney Beck, Junior Claire Holthaus, Sophomore Madylyn Rowley, Freshman Olivia Schmitz and far right is Joani Jones -  Peoples Bank and Trust Pana.

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Illinois Department of Agriculture Encourages Safe Agri-Chemical Recycling This Summer

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers and agrichemical facilities to save their empty agri-chemical containers.  The Department announced Monday it has arranged sites where the containers will be collected later in the summer.

 

State Agriculture Director Raymond Poe said in a statement that the program offers farmers and agri-chemical facilities an opportunity to demonstrate their environmental stewardship by not throwing the containers out with any other garbage.

 

The collected containers will be recycled to make shipping pallets, fence posts, drainage tubing, plastic lumber and other products. Metal and household pesticide containers are not eligible for the recycling program. Collection sites will accept only high-density polyethylene, #2 plastic agri-chemical containers that are clean and dry. Participants are responsible for rinsing them and removing all caps, labels, booklets and foil seals.

 

Some of the Central Illinois drop-off locations later this summer include places in Pana, Montrose, Vandalia, Girard, and Jacksonville.

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A Weekend Full of Chili at the Palomino Club This Weekend

Central Illinois chili-cookers can show off their talents and possibly earn a spot at the world chili cookoff in October. A pair of competitions, the Lincoln Prairie Trails Regional Cook-off and the Aldo Klinghammer Memorial Chili Shuffle, are coming up this weekend at The Palomino Club in Taylorville, with money raised from the event going to the Christian County Senior Citizen’s Center.

 

Chief Judge for the cook-offs Tom Calvert says the event is a regional competition for the world contest because of the participation numbers in the local contest.

 

 

Calvert says the cookers will be getting an early start in the morning, but for those that want to eat, taste-testing it will be in the afternoon.

 

 

In a previous interview with Regional Radio News, Palomino Club owner Tina Blazier said her goal for the fundraiser is $3,200 this year.  

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital to Offer Mental Health First Aid Classes

When people think of first aid, a bandage, CPR, or calling 911 are usually the first things that come to mind. But one national program is teaching that the first aid for mental health is you. Taylorville Memorial Hospital will be hosting two mental health first aid classes, with the first being on Wednesday, May 24th. The one-day course will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Kim Bourne, President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital, gives an overview of what the class will offer.

 

 

Bourne says almost everyone knows someone dealing with a mental health issue or stressful situation that could lead to an issue.

 

 

For more information or to sign up for the course, click here.

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U of I Tax Policy Expert: Questions Remain Unanswered With Trump Administration Tax Reform Plan

A University of Illinois tax policy expert says too many questions remain unanswered with the Trump administration tax reform plan. Don Fullerton isn’t calling the plan good or bad. He says it’s just basically a one-page list of bullet points.



The last significant tax reform occurred in 1986, and although it intended to simplify the tax code, Fullerton says special interests got in the way.



Fullerton says just like lawmakers, he’s awaiting analysis on the Trump reform plan from the Congressional Budget Office and Treasury Department. 

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Bipartisan Group of House Members Try to Nudge Senate

A bipartisan group of more than 30 Illinois House members are tired of sitting on the sidelines when it comes to the budget process. With the Grand Bargain seemingly stuck in neutral in the Senate, State Representative Tim Butler and others want to see the Senate craft the best compromise they can so the House can go to work...



Butler says the bipartisan group will have more to say if there isn't progress toward a budget...



Lawmakers face a May 31 deadline to pass budget bills with simple majority votes.

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After Some Spirited Discussion, New TIF Districts Passed at Taylorville City Council Meeting

 

After an hour and 15 minutes of, at some points, spirited discussion in a special board meeting before the regularly scheduled Taylorville City Council meeting, the board voted 6 to 2 to give the go-ahead on two new tax-increment-financing (TIF) districts in Taylorville. The first would be located along Route 29 in the northwestern part of the city, while the other will be on what Mayor Bruce Barry calls the “Old Tenaska Property” along Route 48.

 

Barry talks about the next steps in the TIF creation process:

 

 

Barry says the possible hotel coming to Taylorville now looks more promising with the TIF district’s passing.

 

 

That proposed hotel would be located in TIF district 1 on the northwest side of Taylorville. Also in Monday night’s meeting, the mayor gave an update on his efforts to help clean up Taylorville. He says that some addresses he’s been given are more likely demolition candidates, but that there are plenty of areas of town that he’s started to help begin the clean-up process.

 

 

To watch the full video of the regular and special board meetings on Monday night, visit WTIM-TV’s YouTube channel.

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Christian County CEO Students Preparing for Christian County CEO Trade Show

The Christian County CEO Trade Show is just around the corner and the students who are currently participating in the Christian County CEO Program are ready to show off the businesses they've created to the community.

 

Several of the students in the Christian County CEO Program appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss their businesses, and what the program has meant to them. CEO Student Brendan Watson said the program was something he had considered before, but a growing interest in business made him decide it was for him.

 

 

The CEO Trade Show is an opportunity for students in the program to show off the businesses they've created as a part of the program. CEO Student Samantha Hafliger previewed her business, saying her family has a history in the business already.

 

 

The Christian County CEO Trade show will take place on Thursday, May 18th at Lincoln Land Community College's Taylorville Campus. Tune into Groovy 97.3 WRAN for live coverage from the event.

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Safe Haven Hospice Offers High Level of Care for Hospice Patients and Family Alike

Those looking for hospice care for themselves or their loved ones are searching for the best possible option they can find. Safe Haven Hospice offers hospice care that focuses not only on the hospice patient themselves, but the entire family as well to make the transition as smooth and painless as possible.

 

Jennifer Brooks and Ernie Harvey with Safe Haven appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed what Safe Haven Hospice offers to it's patients. Harvey said there is a misconception of what hospice care is, and outlined what happens when someone elects to utilize hospice care.

 

 

Brooks commented, explaining what sets Safe Haven apart from other hospice providers. She said Safe Haven has high standards for how they treat their patients, and focuses it's care not only on the hospice patient, but their family as well.

 

 

To contact Safe Haven Hospice, give them a call at (855) 879-4096, or visit them online at safe-havenhospice.org.

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CICBC, Chamber of Commerce Partner to Host Blood Drive This Friday

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center and Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce are partnering to host a community blood drive this Friday in the square in Taylorville. The bloodmobile will be in the square from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.

 

Caleb Parker, a Donor Relations Consultant with the C-I-C-B-C, says that all presenting donors will receive a voucher for a free t-shirt depending on whether they “bleed red” or “bleed blue”.

 

 

Parker wants to remind everyone that a little time out of your day to donate could save multiple lives.

 

If you’d like to schedule an appointment to donate, you can call Kristan Patnode at 217-287-7000 or visit www.bloodcenterimpact.org.

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Edinburg Veteran's Memorial to be Dedicated Saturday

 

The public is invited to a dedication ceremony of the new Veteran’s Memorial at the Edinburg Cemetery on Saturday, May 20th at 10 a.m. The event will feature a speaker from the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, along with a benediction, invocation, and a presentation of the colors during the ceremony.

 

Edinburg Cemetery Association Secretary / Treasurer Sandy Sample says her husband Jim, who is the cemetery caretaker, spearheaded the new memorial at the cemetery. The association received the money remaining from the John Poor Post of the American Legion in Edinburg when the post disbanded, and part of that money funded the veteran’s memorial project at the cemetery.

 

Sample says donations to the Honor Flight program will be accepted at the dedication. She asks that checks be made out to Land of Lincoln Honor Flight and that you write “Edinburg Cemetery” in the memo line. People who cannot attend the event but would like to donate to the Honor Flight can mail a check to 57 Country Place, Springfield, Illinois 62703.

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10th and Final Brian McMillen Memorial Run to Take Place Memorial Day Weekend

This will be the 10th and final year for a fundraiser walk in memory of former Lincoln Land Community College student Brian McMillen. The walk is taking for the last time on Saturday, May 27th, and will feature a 5-K run and walk, a 10-K run, and this year only, there will be an after-party!

 

Run committee member Craig McFarland says the original goal of the runs was to create an endowed scholarship for future Lincoln Land students. With that goal achieved, the committee talked with the family, and all parties thought having one final run would be the best option.

 

 

McFarland says with the yearly run coming to an end, McMillen will continue to be honored and not forgotten at Lincoln Land.

 

 

The run will begin at 8 a.m. on the 27th at the LLCC Springfield campus, with the after-party happening at the Chatham VFW Hall. Registrations will be accepted leading up to race-day at a discounted price, but you can show up that morning and register as well.

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$13,000 in Reward Money Raised to Find Suspects who Robbed and Left for Dead Retired Western Illinois Farmer

A retired Western Illinois farmer robbed and left for dead in his home, days later his friends raise $13,000 in reward money to find those responsible for the crime. Jim Taylor reports: 


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Action On Truck/Trailer Length Legislation Expected This Spring in Springfield

A key rural transportation item dots the legislative agenda in Springfield as the spring session winds down. Don Schaefer represents the Midwest Truckers Association and he expects action on legislation impacting the length of truck/trailer combinations….



Schaefer hopes for movement on the bill next week in the senate. He says increasing the length limit will result in greater efficiencies for farmers when hauling products like grain. The spring session wraps up May 31st. 

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Downstate Lawmaker Wants State Ag Director Position Elected, Not Appointed

A downstate lawmaker believes the state ag director position should be decided by voters and not a gubernatorial appointment. State Senator Sam McCann of Plainview presented the constitutional amendment Thursday in Springfield.



McCann says twelve other states elect ag directors, including Illinois neighbors Kentucky and Iowa. 

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UIS Faculty Unanimously Approve New Contract

Tenured and tenure track faculty at University of Illinois-Springfield voted unanimously to ratify their first contract Friday. This comes after 20 months of negotiations and walking out of the classroom earlier this month. The vote comes after the two sides agreed on a contact on May 7th.

 

UIS United Faculty represents more than one hundred sixty faculty members. It is a chapter of University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, which represents faculty, staff, and graduate students at seven public universities in Illinois. 

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My Little Bird on Main in Shelbyville Offering Customers A Number of Different Products and Services

Residents and visitors in Shelbyville can get a number of different products from food, coffee, and gifts at My Little Bird on Main in Shelbyville. Rachael Shewmaker with My Little Bird wants everyone to know to stop on and see what the store has to offer.

 

Shewmaker says the store got it's name from a unique story about he first words as a child, which lead to a nick name her mom gave her.

 

 

The shop offers a number of different products. Ranging from clothing to coffee to light lunch options.

 

 

Shewmaker appeared as a guets on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville Studios.

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Shelby County Offering Several Attractions to Help Bring Visitors to the Area

Shelby County has worked to invigorate the tourism industry in the county, by offering a number of different attractions to get people to the region. These range from camping options offered through the Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville, to community events such as the Shelbyville Farmers Markets.

 

Freddy Fry with the Shelby County Office of Tourism, along with Diane Roberts with the Shelbyville Farmers Markets both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville Studios, and discussed some of the things Shelby County has to offer to visitors. Fry discussed the camping options the county has with the US Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville.

 

 

Roberts shared information on the Shelbyville Farmers Markets, previewing some of the various types of items visitors can find at the markets.

 

 

Roberts says the farmers market is a growers only market, meaning that any of the produce offered was grown by the vendor themselves. The markets will open up on May 23rd, and runs every Tuesday from 3 until 5:30.

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U of I extension Offering Summer Workshop on Growing and Preserving Strawberries

Christian County area residents will have the chance to learn about growing and preserving strawberries at a special workshop held through the U of I Christian County Extension Office. Attendees of the workshop will learn about growing strawberries in their home gardens, and then ways they can preserve those strawberries to enjoy throughout the year.

 

Horticulture Educator at the U of I Extension office Andrew Holsinger appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed the workshop. Holsinger along with fellow U of I educator Lisa Peterson are teaming up to provide the workshop to the community.

 

 

The workshop is a part of the Extension's “Eat Local” initiative, designed to get as many people in the area as possible eating and growing local produce.

 

 

The workshop will be held at the Extension's Taylorville office on June 7th from 9 until 1. More information on the workshop can be had by contacting the University of Illinois Christian County Extension office.

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Sunny Knoll Organics Open For Business In Taylorville

Taylorville residents has a new place to shop for outdoor items. Sunny Knoll Organics offically opened their doors at 215 West Spresser on Friday at noon. Business owner Nick Poor says to him, Sunny Knoll Organics means “Repurpose, Restore, and Reuse.”

 

Poor says there are more reasons this weekend to check out Sunny Knoll than just seeing what the business has to offer.

 

 

Poor says this isn’t his first business venture in Taylorville.

 

 

 

 

For more information on Sunny Knoll Organics, you can visit their Facebook page by clicking here.

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Farmers Worried About Corn Crop Because of Heavy Rains

Farmers are worried about their corn crop across the Midwest. Some of it most certainly will need to be replanted because of standing water, but some whole fields have turned yellow.

Farmers don't worry too much about a few very young yellow corn plants in their fields. They do get concerned when every plant is yellow. The problem, in this case, isn't the wet weather says University of Illinois Agronomist Emerson Nafziger…

 

                     

It's the night time temps that are mostly causing the problems. When those overnight lows are in the 30's, and 40's, it damages the leaf...

 

           

 

The corn should green up once air temperatures return to normal. However, it may be only the new growth that is green says Nafziger. He's not sure if there will be long-term consequences…

 

          

    

The good news, though it is cold comfort says Nafziger, is that any replants that must be done in these yellow fields won't be so very far behind because the standing plants haven't really been growing much.

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Citizens for Education Committee Earn New Chamber of Commerce's Inspiration Award

 

Above: Members of the Citizens for Education Committee stand with their Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce's "Chamber's Inspiration Award."

 

School districts around the state of Illinois are feeling the pinch because of the delay of state aid payments. Taylorville has not been an exception. With the district strapped for cash and huge budget cuts possible, some concerned citizens put together a proposed took it on themselves to make sure district students weren’t the ones punished for the district’s financial woes.

 

A new award given at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet last Friday is called the “Chamber’s Inspiration Award”, and it was given to the members of the Citizen’s for Education Committee that put much time and effort into getting the measure passed. The presenter of the award, Miller Media Group’s Randy Miller, said this award isn’t meant for one particular person.

 

 

The committee’s efforts helped the referendum pass by more than a 2-to-1 margin. With the passing of the referendum, a property owner with a $100,000 should expect to pay an extra $283 per year to Taylorville schools.

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Druby's in Shelbyville Celebrating 25 Years in Business

One Shelbyville restaurant is celebrating a special anniversary next week. Druby’s on West Main Street is celebrating their 25th anniversary of being in business. Druby’s, which is known for their “Four Cheeseburgers and a Pound of Fries” and “Ten Tacos” family meals, will have 25th anniversary specials all day on Thursday, May 18th.

 

Druby’s owner Rob Bosgraaf says there are reasons to come out to the restaurant any time during the day on the 18th.

 

 

Bosgraaf says there’s one question he’s heard many times over the years of running the restaurant. Where did they come up with the name of Druby’s? He says it has special meaning with his family.

 

 

For more information on Druby’s in Shelbyville, you can go to their website by clicking here.

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Hart Honored at Community Reception for Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Ken Hart has been involved with many community projects, organizations, and groups in his 44 years in Taylorville. On Thursday afternoon he was recognized for his recently earned Lifetime Achievement Award at a reception at People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville. The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce presented the award to Hart at the annual awards banquet last Friday.

 

Hart says the project that meant the most to him was the very first project he worked on in Taylorville, the building of the Christian County YMCA.

 

 

Hart says the community has been great to him over the years. He says there are many things in Taylorville that are big city quality for small town value.

 

 

To see Hart receive his Lifetime Achievement Award, visit the WTIM-TV channel on YouTube and watch the full video of the awards ceremony from last Friday.

 

 

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In Central Illinois the Postal Service Will Deliver for You, the Hungry

There's no sleet or snow this time of year, but mail carriers will be helping the hungry regardless of the weather this weekend in the 21 counties served by the Central Illinois Foodbank. On Saturday, Postal Service employees will pick up nonperishable food left in sturdy bags by mailboxes as part of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive. The Foodbank's Krista Lisser says the work of the letter carriers is crucial...



Lisser says the annual event is noteworthy, not just for the number of donations but the type of donations as well...



Last year, letter carriers collected 34,000 pounds of food in the Central Illinois Foodbank's territory.

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Senate President Left Frustrated by No Budget Vote

Yet another failed attempt at passing a budget this week at the Illinois State House has raised the ire of the President of the Senate. Democrat John Cullerton was frustrated after not being able to pass initial bills with little to no Republican support. Cullerton pointed the blame for the lack of votes at Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. 



Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says that she remains committed to the grand bargain processes. But she was unwilling to allow for votes this week on more contentious issues surrounding the package of bills, including a property tax freeze and changes to workers compensation. Cullerton’s point was there has to be compromise on all proposals to find 30 votes to pass the Senate and maybe Rauner isn’t used to working that way. 



Both sides say they are willing to keep meeting.

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Pana Pride Dumpster Project Looks to Help Clean City of Pana

Pana Pride and the City of Pana are working together on a spring clean-up project. The annual Pana Spring Clean-Up Day is scheduled for this Saturday, May 13th from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the City Garage. Residents are encouraged to bring refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners, microwaves, dishwashers and batteries to be disposed of.

 

Pana Pride wishes to thank the City of Pana, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Pana Football players, and Pana Pride Beautification Committee Members for their help in putting the Spring Clean-Up Day together. If you are interested in volunteering to help clean up Pana, please contact Jack Nollman at 820-4752.  

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Several Area Organizations Participate in Christian County Conservation Day to Teach Students About the Environment

“Conservation Day” held through the University of Illinois Extension Office is a program that is designed to teach area youth important lessons about conservation in agriculture. This year the Christian County Extension Office held their Conservation Day at Kehias Farms near Pana, and had many different activities planned to help teach area youth.

 

Charlotte Schuricht, the Christian County Ag in the Classroom Teacher with the Extension appeared as a guest on a special edition of the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show Live from Christian County Conservation Day, and shared how the event featured different activities designed to teach the students about a number of different topics.

 

 

Several area organizations participated in the event, teaching the kids about different topics in a number of fun and interactive ways.

 

 

Schuricht shared how one of the challenges of teaching students about agriculture, is being able to connect to them in a way that makes it fun and interesting for them to learn.

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Christian County YMCA Hosting Annual Healthy Kids Day on May 20th

 

The Christian County YMCA wants kids to “Charge into Summer” during their annual Healthy Kids Day that will be held on Saturday, May 20th at the Christian County YMCA. Healthy Kids Day works to get kids to be more active, both through getting more exercise, and creating habits that will help them in the classroom such as reading more often.

 

Andrea Bach, Program Director at the Christian County YMCA appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and shared some of the details of what the Y has planned for the day. She started off by sharing what Healthy Kids Day is all about.

 

 

Bach said the Y will open up their pool for a portion of the day, as well as kids yoga as a part of the day's activities.

 

The Christian County YMCA will also have information for families on how they can live a healthier lifestyle.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Partners With Missions for Taylorville in Effort to Clean Up City

 

There has a been a push from the community lately to clean up Taylorville and make it a more visually appealing place to live. Several community organizations have made it a priority to help with some of the visually unappealing properties in the city, including Missions for Taylorville, which has recently partnered with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce.

 

Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber says she'd like to see the whole community come together, and be proud of their town again.

 

 

Although Missions for Taylorville appreciates skilled labor helping out with the various projects they take on each year, the main thing they need is simply more volunteers.

 

 

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

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Pana Fire Department, Red Cross Partner to Provide Free Smoke Detectors

The Pana Fire Department wants the people of Pana to have warning if their home catches fire. After three fire deaths in a week in April, the department and the American Red Cross have partnered to provide free smoke detectors to Pana residents. Pana Fire Chief Rod Bland says residents started asking about a program to provide smoke detectors after the fatal fires, and then the Red Cross gave him a call telling him about their program.

 

He says in addition to providing free smoke detectors, there’s an educational program included that provides information on how to prepare for many other kinds of disasters.

 

 

Bland says residents don’t need to worry about installing the smoke detectors, firefighters will do that. He says it’s a way for the department to check in on city residents.

 

 

To pick up a form to receive a smoke detector, there are forms at the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank, the Community Missions Center, the Pana Police Department, Save-A-Lot, or from any Pana firefighter.

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Peoples Bank and Trust / WTIM Taylorville Students of the Month - May 2017

 

The Peoples Bank and Trust and WTIM Taylorville Students of the Month for May 2017 are:

 

Left to right Jessica Bland of Peoples Bank and Trust, Senior Addison Welge, and Junor Drake Helton.

 

 

Left to right: Sophomore Samantha Hodges and Freshman Molly Smith.

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Christian County CEO Program Donates $1,000 to Help Shelby County Program Start

 

Students in the Christian County CEO program combined to earn net proceeds of 13-thousand, two-hundred dollars this school year. The students decided they wanted to help their friends in Shelby County start a CEO program, and on Wednesday morning, they presented a check of $1,000 to the up-and-coming Shelby County CEO Program.

 

CEO stands for Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, and Christian County program facilitator Dick Adams says the program teaches them life skills and gives them something of their own through the process of the course.

 

 

Shelby County Economic Development Director Anna Kiley says they’ve seen the success of the program in Christian County, and they wanted to bring the program into Shelby County.

 

 

Kiley says 16 students are committed to the program for next school year. Shelby Electric Cooperative President and CEO Josh Schallenberger has been a speaker for the Christian County program for the past few years. He says the program gives students the opportunity to meet and work with business owners in the area and builds personal connections for the students’ futures. With what he’s seen in the next generation, he is optimistic about the future.

 

For more information on how to become an investor in the Shelby County CEO program, the best way is through the contact page at ShelbyCountyCEO.com.

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Ken Hart with People's Bank and Trust Earns Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award

 

Ken Hart with People's Bank and Trust originally came to Taylorville in 1973 to take a position with First Trust and Savings Bank. In the last 43 years, Hart has played a huge role in many area activities, movements, and developments across Christian County. At the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet on Friday, he was honored for his years of service to the community with a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

 

In thanking the crowd, Hart told a story of his first day working at the bank. That day didn't go as expected.

 

 

Hart thanked numerous people for the help and support they provided him over the years. One person Hart thanked was Karen Yehman, who wasn't afraid to get after him.

 

 

The awards ceremony was broadcast live on Easy Hits 96.5 and the TaylorvilleDailyNews.com Facebook page. 

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Illinois Tourism Numbers Rose in 2016

Illinois tourism officials say there was a seven figure increase in the number of tourists visiting the Land of Lincoln last year. State tourism director Cory Jobe reviews the 2016 numbers....



Jobe says the economic impact of that visitor investment is clear...



Jobe reports the state tourism and hospitality industry generated 9,600 new jobs during the year.

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1,242 Crop Claims and Counting for Country Financial This Spring

It’s 1,242 crop claims and counting for Country Financial. Those numbers are from Illinois this spring and compare to 150 last year at this time. The heavy rain in the southern half of the state is the culprit says Crop Claims Manager Brad Clow.



Even though claims are way up this year, Clow says Country Financial has been able to handle the workload. The company has 116 federally certified crop adjusters on staff.

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IDNR Reintroducing Alligator Gar to Illinois Waterways

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is moving forward with plans to reintroduce a fish that was once native to Illinois waterways. The alligator gar is coming back says Rick O’Neil with IDNR’s Department of Fisheries.



The last known catch of the fish, prior to the start of the reintroduction effort, was in the Cache River basin in southern Illinois in 1966. The alligator gar is the largest of the gar species and second largest freshwater fish in North America, next to the white sturgeon. The current all-tackle record alligator gar, caught in 1953 in Texas, weighed 302 pounds and measured 7-feet-6-inches in length. Researchers determined that prior to Illinois extinction, the state produced some individual gar that measured more than eight-feet in length, with the heaviest weighing 176 pounds. 

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Severe Weather Triggers Sirens, Floods Streets in Central Illinois

Severe weather in central Illinois triggered the sirens in Taylorville and also brought more heavy rain to the area, flooding some streets.

 

Christian County EMA Director Mike Crews said during Regional Radio’s live severe weather coverage that a false alert went to some cell phones about a tornado warning in Christian County, but there was still merit for the sirens being blown.

 

 

Although no tornadoes, wind or hail was reported with the storms that blew through, one caller told Regional Radio News that parts of North Webster Street in Taylorville had become impassable because of water.

 

 

Regional Radio is your source for severe weather coverage in central Illinois.  

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Boil Order Issued in Morrisonville

This just in to the WTIM / TaylorvilleDailyNews.com newsroom:

 

A boil order has been issued in Morrisonville until further notice. The affected area includes from the intersection of Gertrude and Mohawk to the intersection of Route 48 and NE 48. If you are in that area, take necessary boil order precautions until further notice.

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Christian County Conservation Day Aims to Teach Area Youth About Conservation in Agriculture

“Conservation Day” held through the University of Illinois Extension Office is a program that is designed to teach area youth important lessons about conservation in agriculture. This year the Christian County Extension Office held their Conservation Day at Kehias Farms near Pana, and had many different activities planned to help teach area youth.

 

Gary Letterly, Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator with the Extension Office appeared as a guest on a special edition of the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show Live from Christian County Conservation Day. Letterly said during Conservation Day, the Extension and other organizations involved in the event takes the ideas behind conservation, and presents them to students in a way the children can better understand.

 

 

Along with Conservation Day, the Extension has several other programs they run throughout the year that help teach these same messages.

 

 

Letterly mentioned how many of the organizations that are involved with Conservation Day volunteer their time in an effort to teach area youth during the event.

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Kehias Farms Hosts 2017 U of I Extension Christian County Conservation Day

The University of Illinois Extension Office's Christian County Conservation Day took place on May 10th at Kehias Farms just outside of Pana. The event serves to teach children about the importance of agriculture, and the many ways the agriculture industry impacts their everyday lives.

 

Linda Kehias, owner of Kehias Farms, which was hosting the event, wanted to use her farm as a way to help teach children about agriculture. She discussed how a long time friendship with U of I Extension Educator Gary Letterly, formed through the Extension's Master Gardner program lead to her becoming involved in Conservation Day.

 

 

Kehias currently doesn't have anybody to pass the farm onto, and expressed how she would like to leave the property to an organization that will use it for educational purposes.

 

 

Kehias appeared as a guest on a special edition of the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show broadcasted live from Kehias Farms for Christian County Conservation Day.

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Family Drug / WSVZ Shelbyville Students of the Month - May 2017

 

The Family Drug and WSVZ Shelbyville Students of the Month for May 2017 are:

 

Left to right Senior Jackson Gambrill, Junior Sydney Trainor, Sophomore Morgan Parsons, Freshman Jordan Winings, and Jamie Jefson from Family Drug.

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AG Groups Urging Trump To Keep KORUS

The U.S. pork industry is urging President Donald Trump to renegotiate rather than withdraw from the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, or KORUS. The push follows on the heels of similar comments made by the President regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement.

 

Farm groups are treating KORUS like NAFTA, arguing for renegotiation versus withdrawal. They succeeded in bending the president’s ear on NAFTA, and now hope to do the same on the 2011 KORUS that sharply reduced or ended tariffs on key farm products.

 

National Pork Producers’ spokesman Dave Warner explains...

 

 

Pork products would face huge tariffs without KORUS, as would U.S. beef and other ag exports to South Korea.

 

Warner says a key player in defending free trade agreements for agriculture is new USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, who helped convince the president to stay in NAFTA last month.

 

 

Warner says his industry sells more pork to the 20-nations with which the U.S. has free trade agreements, than it does to the rest of the world, combined. He argues it’s only by negotiating new deals that U.S. agriculture’s able to reduce foreign tariffs, and the U.S. can reduce its overall trade deficit.

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Reed named Volunteer of the Year at GTCOC Awards Banquet

 

It wasn’t just another night for Brian Reed of Pepsi Refreshment Services on Friday at the annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. Reed was named as Taylorville’s “Volunteer of the Year” at the banquet.

 

Reed says that in a community that comes together like Taylorville, he’s honored that he was picked as the top volunteer in the community.

 

 

Reed says the everyone should be proud of what is happening in Taylorville.

 

 

Reed was just one of the award winners from Friday night’s banquet. The awards ceremony was broadcast live on Easy Hits 96.5 and the TaylorvilleDailyNews.com Facebook page.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Recognizes Outstanding Spiritual Leader at Annual Prayer Luncheon

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held its annual Prayer Luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium on Tuesday.  From the left:  Kiwanis member Martin Vota, who nominated this year's Outstanding Spiritual Leader Tom Bellegante, who is next to Vota; guest speaker Bill Hope, who was given a Certificate of High Honor by the Kiwanis Club; Kiwanis Spiritual Aims Committee chair Dick Wamsley, who again organized the luncheon; and Kiwanis president Will Perkins.

 

OUTSTANDING SPIRITUAL LEADER RECOGNIZED AT KIWANIS PRAYER LUNCHEON

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their 27th annual Prayer Luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Reverend Tom Bellegante of Taylorville was given the Spiritual Leader of the Community award by the Kiwanis Club, for his efforts.  Bellegante was presented the award by Kiwanis member Martin Vota, who nominated him.  Bellegante shared with the Kiwanis Club a death experience that changed his life.

Guest speaker for the event, was World War II veteran and retired Taylorville teacher Bill Hope, who spoke about the power of prayer.  Hope said he found his faith as a 19-year-old gunner in an airplane serving in World War II.

Following Hope's remarks, he was given a “Certificate of High Honor” for his leadership in his church and community, by the Kiwanis Club.

Several guests, including Taylorville mayor Bruce Berry, also attended the event.

Kiwanis member Dick Wamsley chairs the club's Spiritual Aims Committee, and again organized this year's Kiwanis Prayer Luncheon.

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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More Wet Weather Coming for Parts of Illinois, Followed by Dry Trend

More rain is in the forecast for parts of Illinois over the next several days. Not in the range of 4-to-8 inches like in some areas of central and southern Illinois last week, but still enough to get the rain gauge some work Wednesday into Thursday says meteorologist Richard Garuckas with Freese-Notis Weather. 



Sothern Illinois can expect anywhere from a tenth to a half inch of rain Wednesday into Thursday. Dryer weather is then expected for most of the state beginning Friday into the early portion of next week and temperatures should be warming into the low to upper 70’s, and possibly 80’s by later next week. 

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Durbin Reacts to Comey Firing and More Signs of Russian Tampering with Elections

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is weighing in on the Trump Administration firing of FB I Director James Comey. Durbin released a statement expressing his concerns about the investigation of possible Russian involvement in the Presidential Election


“The termination and removal of James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raises the critical question as to whether the FBI investigation of Russian interference in the last presidential campaign will continue and as to whether the investigation of any collusion or involvement by the Trump campaign will also be investigated by the FBI. Any attempt to stop or undermine this FBI investigation would raise grave constitutional issues. Under these circumstances, I renew my call for an independent counsel and a special commission to fully investigate the Russian interference. We await clarification by the White House as soon as possible as to whether this investigation will continue and whether it will have a credible leader so that we know it will have a just outcome.”

Meanwhile, Durbin says something smells fishy about this week's French Presidential Election, even though the outcome appeared to be unaffected by outside meddling....
 

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At Some Point, Cash Reserves Won't Be the Answer for Local Schools

A downstate superintendent says at some point, all Illinois schools will be running out of cash reserves. That’s if the Illinois General Assembly doesn’t reach a compromise on a full fiscal year operating budget and education spending plan. Sherrard School District superintendent Alan Boucher says everyone knows it’s not good.



And Boucher says although a new education funding formula plan is being floated in Springfield that shows a modest increase for Sherrard, it still results in inequities when comparing his school to neighboring districts in the Quad Cities area.



Sherrard is currently owed over $500,000 in categorical funds from the state for such things as transportation and special education. 

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Judy Humphrey Named Miller Media Group Employee of the Quarter

 

Judi Humphrey (left), an account manager with the Miller Media Group, has been named the "Employee of the Quarter" for First Quarter 2017.

The award, voted on by station employees, was announced Tuesday by cluster general manager Kami Payne (right), and honored Humphrey for her 16 years of service to her advertisers and the company.  Humphrey is retiring on June 1, but will stay on to help train and mentor new account managers that will be servicing her book of business.

Humphrey received a 100-dollar check from the company, and was included in the company drawing for a Florida trip.

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Several Unique Gardens Featured on This Year's U of I Extension Master Gardener's Garden Walk

The U of I Extension Office Master Gardener's Garden Walk is quickly approaching, and there are several gardens for people to view, some of which draw inspiration from other parts of the country. People will get the chance to view these gardens, and possibly draw inspiration for their own gardens during the walk.

 

Gwen Podeschi, Master Gardener with the U of I Extension Office says one garden featured in this year's garden walk drew it's inspiration from a garden in the gardener's home state of Pennsylvania.

 

 

Another garden has become a Taylorville staple. Podeschi says when the gardener, Mary Milling filled out her Q and A paper for the garden walk, she took a trip down memory lane.

 

 

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

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Behind Locked Doors Owner Tyler Frump Happy to Bring More Business to Taylorville

 

Behind Locked Doors is a new business in Taylorville, that offers visitors an “escape room” experience where groups try to solve various puzzles to escape from a room. Tyler Frump is the owner, and says it was important to her as a younger person living in Taylorville, to return home from school and start a business where she calls home.

 

Frump appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss Behind Locked Doors, and shared how the room that visitors escape from will have a theme that changes throughout the year. Currently the room features a nautical pirate theme.

 

 

Frump says many people she's talked to were surprised to see someone so young starting a business in Taylorville. She reflected that it was important to her to start her business in Taylorville, to do what she can to help the community.

 

 

Frump says she's always loved Taylorville, and she wanted to help the community any way she could.

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Bill Yehman named Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry "Big Smile for the Community"

 

This month’s NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is Bill Yehman. He along with Jeff Wilson and the other "Salvage Dawgs" and through the American Legion Post 73, have worked year round to collect scrap metal that can be recycled, and use the funds collected to aid veterans. Yeaman talks about how the idea for the scrap metal drive came about:

 

 

Yeaman say the drive this year raised 67.9 tons of scrap metal, and raised $20,000 for Christian County veterans.

 

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

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Taylorville Farmer's Market Can Help You Eat Local

The University of Illinois Extension is challenging residents of Montgomery, Macoupin, Jersey, and Christian Counties to grow, purchase, and eat locally this summer, and there’s a program in Taylorville that can help you take on the challenge. Every Saturday, Downtown Taylorville hosts a Farmer’s Market on the east side of the square from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

 

Downtown Taylorville Executive Director Marcia Neal says there is plenty of variety at the market right now early in the season.

 

 

The U of I Extension says most food sold in a grocery store travels hundreds of miles to get there, burning fossil fuels and harming the environment. They say buying local helps the environment and keeps dollars in the local economy. Neal says they want to see as many local growers as they can on Saturday mornings.

 

 

Neal says the market is expanding to the south side of the square this year. She encourages everyone to come check out what the market has to offer.

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Area Veterans to Participate in Land of Lincoln Honor Flight

May 23rd may be another day to some, but for five area veterans, it will be a huge day as the participate in the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight to Washington D.C. The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight program has been flying Illinois veterans to D.C. since May of 2009, and has flown about 3,300 veterans to date. 100 of those veterans have been from Christian County.

 

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight Board Member John Dust says their day will be packed, and describes the morning portion of the trip.

 

 

Dust says the afternoon is just as activity-filled as the morning, and talks about what the veterans will do in the afternoon.

 

 

Eighty-one veterans along with their guardians will participate in the Honor Flight on May 23rd. The trip comes at no cost to the veteran and there is no government assistance. The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight now has five to six flights per year for those in Illinois that have served.

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Kent Richardson with CNB Bank and Trust named "Boss of the Year"

 

The man in charge at CNB Bank and Trust in Taylorville took home the honors of “Boss of the Year” at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Friday. Kent Richardson, the Market President at CNB in Taylorville was named “Boss of the Year” at the event held at The Pillars Event Center in Taylorville.

 

Richardson says he would not have won the award if it weren’t for those who work with him.

 

 

Richardson says he has had plenty of mentors along the way.

 

 

Richardson was one of many award winners announced Friday evening, which you heard live on Easy Hits 96.5 and saw live on the TaylorvilleDailyNews.com Facebook page.

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Quinn Portrait Hangs in State Capitol

Former Governor Pat Quinn was back at the statehouse today and now his image will hang in the hallways forever. Today was the day that Quinn’s official portrait was unveiled and hung in the Hall of Governors. The image shows Quinn standing in an office setting with interactive “found items” surrounding him. Quinn said once heard about idea he ran with it and knew there had to be one item…



Those items include a photograph of Quinn’s parents wedding day, his brothers and sons’. The portrait also includes nods to his professional achievements including advocacy of military families, expanding healthcare coverage and his signing of the Marriage Equality bill. 

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Health Official Says No Area of State Immune From Opioid Crisis

They’re calling it an opioid crisis in Illinois and health officials say no area of the state is immune from the problem. The numbers don’t lie says Dr. Maria Bruni--the acting Assistant Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services. 



Numbers are also on the rise for opioid overdoses that don’t lead to death, but lead to an ongoing addiction with illegal drugs like heroin.



Bruni says the Illinois Department of Human Services has been awarded a $16-million federal grant to respond to the opioid crisis. 

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New House Bill Looks to Help Combat Vet Suicides

A group of lawmakers are striving to eliminate a staggering amount of suicides committed by veterans. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 22 vet’s take their own lives every day. Republican State Senator Paul Schimpf, a Naval Academy grad, says the first thing they need to do is get the message to vets that it’s ok to get help.



Democrat State Senator Michael Hastings, a West Point grad and former Army Captain says they want to make the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs reach out to returning vets of units that served in high conflict or casualty areas. 



House Bill 2647 is advancing through the legislature and also strives to connect local chamber of commerce to hook vet organizations together with employers. 

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New Signs and Scoreboards, Free Meals for Elementary Students Among Topics Covered at Taylorville School Board Meeting

 

 

A new front sign along with scoreboards are coming to Taylorville High School, and all elementary school students will receive free breakfast and lunch next year after action last night at the Taylorville School Board meeting. The meeting also included the resignation of board member Bruce Barry, who stepped down after becoming mayor of Taylorville.

 

After handling the empty board seat, the board was presented the opportunity to work with Diamond Brothers, LLC to buy a new sign in front of the high school, along with new scoreboards for the football fields and gymnasium. Diamond Bros. would cover the cost of the sign and scoreboards, while the district would cover the installation costs.Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Greggory Fuerstenau says the money for installation would come out of sales tax money passed in the spring election, and that no money would come from the general education fund.

 

Finally, the board was presented information on a program that would provide free breakfasts and lunches to students in the school district. The district qualifies for the program because of the number of students that qualify for free and reduced meals, and federal funding would cover the cost of the lunches. 

 

The next scheduled meeting is set for Monday, June 12th. At that meeting they hope to name the person that will take Bruce Barry’s former seat on the board.To see more on tonight's meeting action, view our interview with Dr. Fuersteanu at the top of this story, or watch the full meeting at on our WTIM-TV YouTube page.

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U of I Extension Master Gardeners Plant Sale A Huge Success

The University of Illinois Extension Office held their annual plant sale recently, wich proved to be a huge success. The sale provides an opportunity for people to buy plants from master gardeners at the extension office, and ask any questions they might have about the plants from the gardeners themselves.

 

Gwen Podeschi, a Master Gardener at the U of I Extension Office says she was amazed at the turnout for the sale, mentioning how the master gardeners ran out of plants to sell early.

 

 

It's not just plants that are available for potential buyers at the sale. Customers are welcome to ask the gardeners any questions, and can go home knowing they bought a quality plant to put in their home gardens.

 

 

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

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Illinois State Historical Society Elects Christian County Resident to Board

A Taylorville resident will now serve on the Illinois State Historical Society Board. Rachel Ward takes a seat on the board, and will help assist the ISHS any way she can.

 

Gwen Podeschi appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the new board members, and says Ward gives another Christian County voice a seat on the Board.

 

 

Podeschi was able to meet Ward, as Ward attended one of the events at the recent ISHS Symposium.

 

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - May 8, 2017

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

 

Sometime during the overnight hours between Monday, May 1, 2017 and Tuesday May 2, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 522 West Franklin Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects too cash, broke numerous items throughout the residence, and overturned pieces of furniture.  The total dollar amount of the theft 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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Traffic Alert: Route 16 in Shelbyville to Close at Railroad Crossing for Construction

A heads up for all those traveling on Route 16 in Shelbyville next week: IDOT will be closing the railroad crossing on Route 16 on the east side of town next Tuesday. The closure is scheduled to last until May 19th.

 

IDOT Program Development Engineer Greg Jamerson says the work is needed because of the condition of the railroad tracks.

 

 

Jamerson says because of the location of the crossing, there will probably not be any short detours available for larger traffic.

 

 

Jamerson says that the general public and freight traffic will be asked to take 128 as a detour.  

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Vocks, Williams named GTCOC Citizens of the Year

 

Two lifelong Taylorville residents took home the honors as “Citizens of the Year” at the annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet on Friday. Billy Williams and Adam Vocks with Computer Techniques Inc. earned the honors.

 

Vocks says he is always learning something new from the people at CTI and everyone else he encounters on a daily basis.

 

 

Williams says he is humbled to be named a “Citizen of the Year” because there are so many people deserving of the award.

 

 

The pair hope they can continue to help grow the community through CTI and other endeavors they will work going forward. The awards ceremony was broadcast live on Easy Hits 96.5 and the TaylorvilleDailyNews.com Facebook page.

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Rain Delay Hasn't Dampened Central IL Farmers Spirits

Heavy rains across central Illinois last week left many fields with ponds, and farmers on hold, but most seem to be taking the setback in stride.  NAFB Farm Broadcaster Jared White has more...

 

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Changes Coming to Relay for Life of Christian County

Changes are coming to this year’s Relay for Life event in Christian County. After traditionally being a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. event, this year’s event will be from 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday, June 16th at Taylorville High School.

 

Relay for Life of Christian County organizer Lisa Sims says she hopes the change will bring more people out to the event.

 

 

Sims says the fundraising goal this year is $50,000. She says you do not have to stay the entire time to participate in the Relay for Life.

 

 

Sims says almost everyone is affected by cancer at some point in their lives, whether they get it personally or someone they care for gets the disease.

 

 

You can get more information on this year’s Relay for Life event at their website by clicking here.

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Second Annual Aldo Klinghammer Memorial Chili Cook-Off Approaching

It’s almost time for the second annual Aldo Klinghammer Memorial Chili Cook-off at The Palomino Club & Maustell’s Pizza! The event is scheduled for May 20th and 21st and any chili cooker is welcome to participate. Money raised from the event will go towards the Christian County Senior Citizen’s Center.

 

Tina Blazier, co-owner of The Palomino Club & Maustell’s Pizza, says they are looking to raise one thousand dollars more than last year.

 

 

Blazier says the senior citizens of the county need as much help as they can get.

 

 

To enter into the chili cook-off, you can pick up a flyer and registration form at The Palomino Club in Taylorville.

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Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Starting To Plan July 4th Fireworks Show

Although it's only May, Shelbyville is already starting to think about their July 4th fireworks display. The display is a wildly popular event that draws many from all over the region, bringing business to Shelbyville.

 

Vonda McConnell with the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce is heavily involved with the fireworks show, and said the show which had originally been held at the lake, was moved to the park due to yearly questions about weather conditions.

 

 

The event has been growing over the years, which caused the Chamber to contact the Army Corp of Engineers about moving the event back to the lake.

 

 

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

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Missions for Taylorville Accepting Applications for Home Projects

Missions for Taylorville is a local organization that is working to improve the look and condition of homes and residences around Taylorville. The group has various projects submitted to them from the community, and then organizes volunteers to complete those projects that citizens may not have the money or means to complete.

 

Bill Kerns with Missions for Taylorville appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the program. If you'd like to submit a project to the organization for consideration, there is a form that needs to be filled out and submitted.

 

 

The group normally will only work on three projects per home, however often the volunteers will take it upon themselves to fix other issues they find at the residence.

 

 

To find out more about Missions for Taylorville or to volunteer with the group, contact pastor Bill Kerns at the Davis Memorial Christian Church in Taylorville.

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UIS Administration, Faculty Reach Labor Agreement

After five days out of the classroom, University of Illinois-Springfield United Faculty (UISUF) reached a tentative agreement Sunday afternoon with University administration and suspended its strike. The deal was reached following three days of marathon bargaining sessions.


UIS United Faculty leaders expressed optimism about the future of faculty members’ relationship with University administration.


“We have negotiated a contract that will establish greater transparency going forward,” said Kristi Barnwell, Union Vice President and Associate Professor of History. “This is a step forward in bridging the gap between faculty members and administration.”


The final contract remains to be ratified by a vote of faculty before it can be put into effect. “We will call for a membership meeting and vote on the contract before the end of semester,” said Lynn Fisher, UIS United Faculty President and Associate Professor of Anthropology. 

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New e-News edition of taylorvilledailynews.com starts this Friday

The Miller Media Group is pleased to announce that its on-line daily newspaper taylorvilledailynews.com will launch a new e-news edition starting this Friday, May 12th.

The new taylorvilledailynews.com e-news will feature some of the week's most important local news and local sports stories from the Miller Media Group local news department, sent directly to your e-mail inbox every Friday.

To receive the new taylorvilledailynews.com e-news each week, simply click the "e-news" icon on the menu bar to be taken to a sign-up page.  Complete the form and hit "sign up."

There is no charge for signing up or receiving the taylorvilledailynews.com e-news each Friday.

The Miller Media Group's free on-line daily newspaper taylorvilledailynews.com has been informing local residents since May 2005.

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110th Annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet Held in Taylorville

 

The 110th Annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Banquet and Awards of Excellence was held Friday Night at The Pillars Banquet and Events Center in Taylorville. Five awards were presented to deserving community members and the evening was capped off with a special keynote speech from WICS morning and midday anchor Jenn Sullivan.

 

The annual “Boss of the Year” award was presented to Kent Richardson of CNB Bank and Trust in Taylorville. This year’s “Volunteer of the Year” award was given to Brian Reed of Pepsi Refreshment Services. Two citizens were honored as the “Citizens of the Year,” as Billy Williams and Adam Vocks with CTI earned those honors. A “Lifetime Achievement Award” was given this year to Ken Hart of People’s Bank and Trust. Also this year, a new award was created called the “Chamber’s Inspiration Award” which was presented to the Citizen’s for Education Committee for their efforts to benefit Taylorville children for generations to come. The Miller Media Group was a proud sponsor of this year’s banquet.

 

From left to right: Volunteer of the Year Brian Reed, Boss of the Year Kent Richardson, Chamber's Inspiration representative of the Citizens for Education Committee Melissa Livingston, Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ken Hart, and Outstanding Citizens of the Year Adam Vocks and Billy Williams.

 

The Miller Media Group was proud to sponsor and live stream this year's awards banquet. From left to right: Neil Hohenstien, Michael Pickett and Kyle Norris.

 

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Mobile Food Pantry Helping Needy Families in Rural Shelby County

Shelby County residents who are facing the issue of hunger have a new way to get food relief. The Catholic Charities have launched a mobile food pantry to assist needy families living in rural areas in Shelby County.
 
Robin Murray with the Mobile Food Pantry said the organization saw a need to bring a mobile food pantry to citizens who may not have the ability to secure transportation to one of their area food banks.
 
The Catholic Charities have been buying refrigerated trucks for the program. The first food drive to happen in Shelby County, turned out to be a huge success.
 
 
Murray appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Preparing for Annual Golf Outing

The Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce is preparing for their annual Golf Outing Fundraiser event. The Golf Outing serves as a great opportunity for people and chamber members to network and interact with one another in a fun event with the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce.
 
Vonda McConnell with the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and had details on the event, which will take place on June 9th.
 
 
McConnell says the Golf Outing is always one of the Chamber's most popular events.
 
 
To sign up for the Golf Outing, contact the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce. Team sign ups cost $250 per team, and that price includes golf, cart rental, and food during the event.

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Water Levels at Lake Shelbyville Now Elevated Following Area Rainstorms

The greater Central Illinois area has received a lot of rain the past few weeks, which as since caused flooding in many areas. One area that hadn't been affected heavily until recently was Lake Shelbyville, wich is now dealing with some minor flooding.
 
Sarah Haslett, a Natural Resources Specialist for the US Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and said the lake was actually below their normal water levels until the recent rainfall, which has since more than made up for the shortfall.
 
 
The USACE has now started to put into place high water plans into action. Part of these plans means switching to high water boat ramps at the lake.
 
 
Many beaches are getting ready to open in a few weeks at the Lake as well, and Haslett says some of the opening dates of the beaches may be affected if the water levels remain high.

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Flooding Continues on Kaskaskia River in Southern Shelby County

 

Flooding continued on Friday on the Kaskaskia River south of Cowden.  These pictures were taken at the Illinois Route 128 bridge that crosses the river between Cowden and Holliday.

 

 

Trees were also uprooted in Tower Hill and Pana from yesterday's rain and high winds.

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College Students Have Opportunity to Observe the Pros at Taylorville Memorial Hospital

College and medical students looking to get into the healthcare field have the opportunity to observe professionals and get experience at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. The hospital is one of seven hospitals in the state participating in the Rural Healthcare Program, giving students the opportunity to observe and work in rural healthcare before graduation.

 

Kim Bourne is the President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital. She says students can see what it’s like to work in rural healthcare in multiple different medical professions.

 

 

Bourne says there is a current shortage of physicians and medical professionals in rural areas, and she says it’s not predicted to get better long term. She hopes this program can keep Illinois students at home.

 

 

For any interested student, you can get more information or apply for the program by clicking here.

 

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MBM Officially Changes Name to McLane Food Service

After being purchased by McLane Company, Inc. in late 2012, MBM has officially changed its name represent the company. MBM has been changing its policies, operating systems, among other things to follow the operating processes of McLane. With most other changes already in place, the time had come to officially change the name of the business on the west side of Taylorville.

 

With the change, the 30 MBM distribution centers are now operating among a group of 50 distribution centers as McLane Food Service. Lou Johnson with McLane says the name change reflects the completion of all of the internal changes that have taken place since the merger, and that there are no further changes coming with the name change.

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Legislative Hearings Set for GOP "Taxpayer Bargain" Budget Plan

Legislative hearings are now scheduled in Springfield for a GOP budget plan called the “Taxpayer Bargain.” The sponsors are State Senators Kyle McCarter and Dan McConchie.



The package includes 18-different bills assigned to seven different committees. 

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Farmers may not like what they see on their tax bills this summer

Farmers will be opening up their tax bills around the state this summer and they’re probably not going to like what they see. Farmland market values have been declining, but assessed values will be increasing as will taxation says Brenda Matherly-- Assistant Director of Local Government for the Illinois Farm Bureau. 



Matherly says poorer producing soils look to be hardest hit.



Producers should be looking in the mail for their 2018 assessed values for farmland, which are certified and released by the Illinois Department of Revenue.

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Party Line Vote By Illinois Reps to Repeal ACA

Republicans in Congress voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and in Illinois it was a party line vote. All seven Republican congressmen voted for repeal and 11 Democrats voted against, the effort passed 217-213. Republican Rodney Davis said in an email statement “We promised the American people we would do whatever necessary to fix our broken health care system and this bill is just the start.


Republican Governor Bruce Rauner who has stayed mostly on the sidelines of debate said in a released statement that the ACA was deeply flawed but the bill passed by the House is of deep concern because it did not address fundamental concerns about the bill's impact on the 650,000 individuals that are part of our Medicaid expansion population.

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Aarons in Taylorville Hosting Community Appreciation Day on Saturday, May 6th

 
Aaron's in Taylorville will be hosting their community appreciation day this Saturday, May 6th from 10 until 5 at their storefront location. The event invites all area residents to visit the store, and will feature food, games and prizes, and more.
 
Roy Dunning, Owner of the Taylorville Aarons appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event. Dunning says the community has been very welcoming, and would love to see the community come to the store for the festivities, and to introduce them to a new member of the Aarons family.
 
 
Dunning shared why they brought in Stephanie, saying she has a strong background in customer service.
 
 
WMKR and WRAN will be broadcasting live from the event from 11am until 2pm.

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Final Touches Being Placed on Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce's annual awards banquet is nearly here, and the final touches are being placed on the event which will take place on May 5th at 6pm at the Pillars Event Center in Taylorville. The event is to honor outstanding citizens in the community.
 
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and wanted to thank the Co-Owners of the Pillars Event Center. Decorations are getting ready to be set up, as well as a equipment for a live broadcast of the awards ceremony.
 
Another feature of the event is a catered dinner by Angelo’s Catering in Taylorville. Hornbuckle says when it comes to the food, she isn't worried.
 
 
Easy Hits 96.5 will broadcast the awards ceremony live on the air, and will also have live video streaming on the TaylorvilleDailyNews.com Facebook Page.

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UIS and Professors Prepare to Return to Bargaining Table

It's day three of the University of Illinois-Springfield Professor strike and on the eve of renewed talks, Chancellor Susan Koch is making her first public comments since the walkout. Koch is hopeful next week's exams won't be impacted by the work stoppage....



Koch says reaching the first union contract with professors has an extra level of difficulty... but she's optimistic both sides will overcome that hurdle after 20 months of talks...



Some classes are continuing, while others are not. Koch says faculty and administrators have many values and issues in common and she hopes that comes through in this weekend's contract talks.

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No News Is Good News So Far for Emergency Responders

There are flood warnings across central Illinois as rain continues to fall across the area. Although most of Wednesday night and Thursday has been quiet for area emergency responders, that does not mean the threat is over.

 

A flash flood watch is still in effect for most of the area until Friday morning. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says it doesn’t take much floodwater to do serious damage.

 

 

So far Taylorville emergency officials say no news is good news for emergency calls. But Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall warns that doesn’t mean residents should take unnecessary chances.

 

 

Rain chances should start to diminish overnight, according to the National Weather Service, but another inch of rain could still fall throughout the day Thursday.

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Congressman Davis and Bustos Celebrate Win on FEMA Legislation

Legislation from GOP Congressman Rodney Davis and Quad Cities Democrat Cheri Bustos designed to bring fairness to FEMA's disaster declaration process has received unanimous support. Davis is weary of seeing rural communities in Illinois fighting a losing battle for federal disaster aid.



The legislation requires FEMA to give greater weight and consideration to the localized impact of a disaster when determining the need for federal assistance. 

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Several Area Roads Closed Due to Flooding, Power Outages in Christian County

Due to flooding caused by the storm system that has moved into the area, the Christian County Sheriff's Office has reported the following road closures to Regional Radio News.
 
1500 North at 700 East closed
 
700 North at 1600 East closed
 
NEW ROAD CLOSINGS AS OF 1:30 P.M. IN CHRISTIAN COUNTY:

Bearcreek Township Road
 
400 E between 600-750 N
 
470 E between 600-700 N
 
900 N between 300-400 E
 
300 E between 750-900 N
 
All area power outages from this morning appear to be back online according to Ameren's outage map.
 
The Shelby County Sheriff's Office says there are no major closings at this time.
 
The Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency reports that the southbound lane of Route 48 between Morrisonville and Harvel is under water in spots.
 
The Fayette County Sheriff's Office is reporting that all main routes are open, but there are some outlying roads that are closed.
 
Here's a look at potential rain through Friday from the National Weather Service office in Lincoln:
 
 
Emergency officials in the area would like to remind everyone of the saying “Turn Around, Don't Drown”, and to avoid driving or walking through flooded areas.

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Illinois Natural History Survey Already Monitoring Pest Traffic for Farmers This Spring

Spring planting is not even complete and the Illinois Natural History Survey has already begun monitoring pest traffic for farmers. The first area of concern is cutworm moth and army worm moth activity says the agency’s Kelly Estes.



Estes serves as the agency’s State Survey Coordinator of the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program. She is based at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

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Illinois State Fair Fills Grandstand Hole

The Illinois State Fair has filled its last remaining date on the Grandstand calendar. On August 15th, Sublime with Rome will be joined by Blues Traveler. The Fair's Rebecca Clark says the show will offer no shortage of 90s nostalgia.



Clark notes the prices are a throwback too, although they might seem more like prices from the 70s....



Tickets are on sale now through www.ticketmaster.com or at the Fair box office.

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Farmers Watching Markets Just as Closely as the Weather

With spring planting stalled in much of Illinois due to recent heavy rains, farmers are directing their attention to numbers at the Chicago Board of Trade. Michael Zecher has acreage in Mercer, Rock Island and Henderson Counties. He was happy to see a nice rally in the grain markets on Monday.



Zecher says he saw as much as four inches of rain in different parts of his operation last weekend, but doesn’t anticipate any re-planting.

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Accident on Park Street Just East of Cherokee

At approximately 3:10 p.m., emergency crews were called to an accident on East Park Street just east of Cherokee Street in Taylorville. No other details were available, but this story will be updated once details are reported to Regional Radio News.

 

 

 

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Taylorville High School Journalism Student Places Second in IHSA State Competition

One Taylorville High School student took second place in an non-traditional IHSA state contest this past weekend. Junior Jessica Parsons took second place in the Yearbook Layout and Yearbook Caption Writing categories at the IHSA State Journalism Competition held at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. Overall, eight Taylorville High journalism students qualified for the state competition in Charleston out of ten students that originally went to sectionals at SIU-Carbondale.

 

Parsons says she had some nerves going into the state contest because she was competing in new categories this year.

 

 

Parsons says she doesn’t know if she will pursue a journalism education or career after college, but that if she does she would look to go more into broadcast journalism than traditional journalism.

 

Taylorville High School journalism teacher Steve Steele says the students are training for these contests in all the journalism work they do at the school.

 

Steele says the journalism competitions are great for the students so they can meet other students interested in journalism from other high schools in the state. 

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St. Louis Dairy Council Wants Everyone to Take Several Simple Steps to Improve Bone Health

May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month, and the St. Louis Dairy Council wants everyone to take measures to ensure better bone health. These can include increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake, getting more exercise, and making better nutrition choices that will benefit your bone health.
 
Joyce Fikri with the St. Louis Dairy Council appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says there are four main ways for people to improve their bone health. One way is to increase your calcium intake.
 
 
Another way to help your bone health is increasing your Vitamin D intake. Vitamin D helps your bones absorb calcium, leading to stronger bones.
 
 
Other ways to increase your bone health include getting more exercise and eating more protein rich foods, as well as avoiding negative lifestyle choices, such as smoking or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
 

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Investing in Founder Companies Can Lead To Greater Long Term Returns on Your Investment

Many are looking to improve the way they invest their money in order to get greater returns, and one way to do so that people may not think about, is to invest in companies where the founders still control a large portion of the stock options the company has. WTIM Investment Professional Steve Henry says these kinds of companies have a greater incentive to perform well over the long term.
 
Several studies have been conducted on these types of companies, which show that they often provide greater returns than companies where the founders are no longer involved.
 
 
Often when a founder is still involved with a company, there is a more invested interest in the long term growth of the company, where with other companies, the focus is more on the short term.
 
 
Henry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville and Christian County Emergency Officials Urge Residents to "Turn Around, Don't Drown"

Taylorville and Christian County emergency officials are urging people to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the area, saying that 2 to 3 ½ more inches of rain could fall across the area. Emergency officials say people should never underestimate the power of water.

 

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says it doesn’t take much water to knock an adult over.

 

 

Taylorville Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall says once trouble happens, you may be out of luck.

 

 

Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says water can move, rise, and recede very quickly.

 

 

Goodall says that in the last major flooding event, there were seven deaths in the state and four of those were in Christian County. Kettelkamp says they don’t want to see repeats of those deaths that happened in the Kincaid and Edinburg areas back in December of 2015.

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UIS Professors Go on Strike

Professors at the University of Illinois at Springfield have taken to picket lines today after voting to strike last night. Kristie Barnwell, the Vice President of UIS United Faculty and Associate Professor of History discusses the core reasons for the strike...



It's not the central issue in the walkout but Barnwell says faculty types notice the higher ups are faring better on payday... .



UIS Spokesman Derek Schnapp released a statement “This is disappointing, but progress is being made in negotiations, and our campus will carry on in pursuit of our core mission,” The work to reach a satisfactory agreement must continue.” More talks are set for Friday. 

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Davis Puts Constituent Input on Airlines to Work

Congressman Rodney Davis asked constituents to share their experiences with the nation's airlines with customer service in the spotlight recently. Davis shared the feedback with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He said the feedback was surprisingly positive, with plenty of room for improvement......

 


Davis has been critical of the airline industry’s willingness to improve customer service. 

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Farm Incomes Could See Slight Increase

Farm income could see a slight increase this year, compared to 2016. American Farm Bureau Federation chief economist Bob Young says it’s possible the farm economy hit bottom last year:

 

             

        

He says there are many factors to watch during 2017 that could sway the market, but cautions that there won’t likely be much price movement for row crops.

 

         

         

Young says the current price situation will be addressed during negotiations of the next farm bill.

 

               

    

Despite record or near record crops in recent years, low prices have kept farm profit margins tight.  It looks like 2017 could be shaping up the same way.

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Free Taylorville Waste-Dumping Program Expanding

The ever-popular free waste-dumping program in Taylorville is expanding. The city council approved more money towards the program so a second month can be added to the program later in the year. The program allows Taylorville residents to bring any non-hazardous waste to the street department free of charge, and the department will then take the waste to the landfill.

 

Ward Four Alderman Earl Walters says the success of the first month of the program has led to the extra money allocated for the second month.

 

 

Walters says this program is an excellent way to help clean up the city. He says residents can use this program as a way to help their neighbors.

 

 

The next month that the program will run has not officially been set, but Walters says it will likely be in the fall. He says the city will likely set the next time the program will run in the next month.

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Pana Community Hospital to Host Wellness Fair

The Pana Community Hospital Wellness Fair is this Saturday, and everyone is welcome to attend. The fair will start at 9 a.m. and run until 11 a.m. at Pana High School. Twenty-five agencies will be at the event offering a variety of screenings for those in attendance.

 

Pana Community Hospital Marketing Manager Melissa Rybolt says all screenings will come at no cost.

 

 

Rybolt says the variety of screenings and other activities they will offer will give anyone a reason to come.

 

 

For more information on the fair, you can visit the event on the hospital’s website by clicking here.

 

 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Hold Monthly Business Meeting at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held its monthly business meeting to review Kiwanis efforts for children and youth in the Taylorville community, at the club's weekly luncheon on Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

The local Kiwanis Club will soon have a 2nd pavilion in Kiwanis Park.  A new metal roof will be installed above one of the new concrete pads, so that the park will now have a smaller pavilion for gatherings as well as the large pavilion.  A second small pavilion is in the works, with the concrete already poured.

Some 17 Taylorville High School seniors applied for college scholarships provided by the local Kiwanis Club.  3 500-dollar scholarships will be announced in the coming days.

Kiwanis members were reminded of next Tuesday's annual Kiwanis Prayer Luncheon, where the Outstanding Spiritual Leader in the community will be recognized.  Kiwanis members were also invited to the annual Kiwanis Park cookout at 5pm May 16th in lieu of the weekly noon meeting.

The annual election of Kiwanis officers for the local club, is set for the May 23rd regular meeting.

Kiwanis Peanut Days were also announced, with September 22nd and 23rd as the dates.  Kiwanis members will be wearing bright orange vests at locations all over Taylorville, asking residents to donate to help the local club fund projects for children and youth.  In exchange for their donation, the donor receives a small package of peanuts.

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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Long-Time Kiwanis Treasurer Honored at Business Meeting

 

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club honored their long-time club treasurer, at the club's weekly luncheon on Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Dan Sneed has been treasurer of the local Kiwanis Club for the past 13 years while a loan officer at People's Bank and Trust in Taylorville.

Sneed is leaving Taylorville to take a job at a credit union in Indiana to be closer to family, and will be living in Kokomo, Indiana.

Sneed was recognized by the club, for his many years of service, and given a standing ovation during the club's May 2nd business meeting.

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.

 

CAPTION TO KIWANIS PIX:  The Taylorville Kiwanis Club recognized long-time Club Treasurer Dan Sneed at their Tuesday business meeting.  Sneed is leaving Taylorville for a job in Indiana.  Kiwanis Board members from the left:  Bill Kerns, Will Perkins, who is also president; Patty Hornbuckle; Randy Miller; Dick Wamsley; Diane Beatty; Dan Sneed; Martin Vota; Blain Cornwell; Dean Ray; Larry Kemner; and Jerry Woodard.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Hold Annual Clean-Up Day at Kiwanis Park

 

Kiwanis Club President Will Perkins mowing at Kiwanis Park clean-up day recently.

 

Kiwans Club member Larry Kemner helps out during the club's annual Kiwanis Park clean-up day.

 

TAYLORVILLE KIWANIS HOLD ANNUAL CLEAN-UP DAY AT KIWANIS PARK

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held its annual spring clean up day at Kiwanis Park recently.

Several club members worked to get the park ready for the 2017 season.

Volunteers that assisted included Larry Kemner, Duane Stock, Martin Vota, Dean Ray, Disk Wamsley, Blain Cornwell, Will Perkins, and Tom Pierce.

Kiwanis member Jerry Woodard is chairperson of the Kiwanis Park committee, and has spearheaded efforts to constantly expand the amenities at the park.

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

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Preparing for 5k Fun Run and Walk This Saturday at Taylorville Memorial Hospital

 
The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary are getting ready for their 9th Annual TMH Auxiliary 5k Fun Run and Walk this Saturday at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. The event will include activities for the children and parents alike, and is designed to help improve awareness for heart health, and as a way for citizens to support the hospital.
 
Debbie Johnson and Ashley Basso with the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to promote the 5k. Basso had information on the event, and says people can register early for the event by filling out a form at the TMH gift shop.
 
 
Johnson had some history on how the event got started, saying the rehabilitative services department started the 5k, and the Auxiliary has since taken over running the event.
 
 
Registration opens on Saturday, May 6th at 8:30, with the 5k scheduled to begin at 9, and the children's dash portion of the event scheduled at 10. Registration costs $20 before the event, with a $25 registration fee for registering the day of, and Memorial Health System employees can register for a reduced price of $15.

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Awards Recipients Have Been Picked for 2017 Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet is quickly approaching. The event which will take place on May 5th at the Pillars Event Center in Taylorville is designed so the Chamber as well as the community can present several different awards to outstanding members of the community.
 
Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle says the winners for the various awards have been decided on, including a new award that the Chamber hasn't presented before.
 
 
Several of the award winners have been notified, so they can be prepared once they're presented with the award. A speech is typically involved, and Hornbuckle says sometimes award winners are prepared, while other times, not as much.
 
 

 

The Banquet kicks off this Friday at 6pm, with the awards presentation being broadcast live on Easy Hits 96.5, and the TaylorvilleDailyNews.com Facebook page. Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Pana Community Hospital Launches New Website

Pana Community Hospital is expanding their digital presence with the launch of a new website. The new site is mobile friendly for those who want to check out the website from their phone.

 

Melissa Rybolt, the marketing manager for Pana Community Hospital, says the new site will give them instant access to post updates on the site.

 

 

Rybolt says the public will be able to access information for the hospital and all of its entities in one place.

 

 

To check out the hospital’s new website, click here.

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - May 2, 2017

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

 

Sometime during the evening hours of Thursday, April 27, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into the former South Elementary School, located at 1004 West Prairie Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects did damage to the building.  Numerous glass bulbs and jars were broken, fire extinguishers were discharged in the building, glass doors damaged, and items thrown around.  The total dollar amount of the damage is unknown at this time.

 

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

 

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

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More Flooding Concerns as Wet Weather Returns Wednesday

With more rain in the forecast, there is concern of more flooding across the area. The National Weather Service is predicting another two inches or more of rain for Taylorville Wednesday and Thursday after the three to five inches of rain over the weekend.

 

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says although there are no reported road closures at this time, there are still some trouble spots across the county.

 

Kettelkamp says the area does not need more rain at this point.

 

 

Kettelkamp reminds everyone of the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” saying and to not drive through water on any roadway.  

 

UPDATE: At 10:30 a.m., a Christian County Sheriff's Deputy took the following pictures at 1500 N East at 750 East Road.

 

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State Basketball Tournament Could See Significant Changes

The state basketball tournament could be undergoing some significant changes over the next several years. Jim Taylor reports.

 

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Illinois Farm Bureau Pleased With Organized Response to NAFTA Status

An Illinois Farm Bureau official pleased with the organized response from the state’s ag community following President Trump’s threat to pull out of the North American Trade Agreement. IFB Director of Governmental Affairs and Commodities Mark Gebhards says Canada and Mexico are too important to Illinois corn and soybean producers.



Gebhards says it’s important for the Illinois Farm Bureau to deliver the message from farm country to Illinois’ congressional delegation, especially when key policy decisions are being made on things like a 2018 Farm Bill, tax reform and regulatory reform. 

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Governor Rauner Visits Taylorville Business to Kick Off National Small Business Week

This week is National Small Business Week, and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner kicked off the week by stopping in at one Taylorville business. The governor visited Computer Techniques, Inc. in Taylorville as part of a four-business tour on Monday.

 

CTI President Billy Williams says they gave the governor a full presentation of what they do.

 

 

Williams says the visit from the governor is an honor for CTI.

 

Governor Rauner also visited Custom Cup Coffee in Sprinfield, Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup in Shirley, and DoMor Equipment in Eureka. Small businesses employ two point four million Illinoisans.

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New Administration Sworn In in Taylorville

 

The future is now in the city of Taylorville, as the new city administration was sworn in at Monday night’s city council meeting. Mayor Bruce Barry, City Clerk Julie Lilly, City Treasurer Jacque Nation, and Ward 2 Alderman Lee Lanzotti have all taken on their positions in the city administration.

 

Barry is excited to start his term as mayor. His first act as mayor was to call on the city aldermen to come up with a list of five addresses in their wards that are in need of cleaning up. This was a campaign promise that Barry says is a big issue in Taylorville.

 

 

Although Barry has other goals he wants to accomplish, he says his biggest task the next few weeks is getting settled in and seeing first-hand what problems the city is facing.

 


 

Barry says he was pleased with the attendance at Monday’s meeting. He hopes the see Taylorville residents continue to become more active in the community.

 

 

Other council proceedings Monday included the approval of special events permits for the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce for hosting blood drives in May and August. Previously, the chamber only held one blood drive a year. Also, the board approved another month for clean-up days for free dumping at the street department.

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Hundreds Rally for Higher Education Funding

Hundreds turned out at a State Capitol rally to support Higher Education. Concerns were expressed about funding for schools and students worried about state MAP grants. Democratic Gubernatorial candidates were on hand as well with most speakers attacking Governor Bruce Rauner. JB Pritzker summed up the conditions at Illinois public post secondary schools...



 

State Senator Daniel Biss gave Rauner credit for helping colleges and universities, the ones beyond Illinois' borders....



Pritzker said Illinois needs to fight for more affordable college education, Biss believes tuition should be free.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Hosts Trauma Care Training

In an effort to help provide area health professionals with the latest training, Taylorville Memorial Hospital recently hosted the Rural Trauma Team Development course for 20 area healthcare workers. The course is offered through the Southern Illinois Trauma Center and is designed to provide rural EMTs and hospital staff with a team approach to trauma care before the patient is sent to a trauma center.

 

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Emergency Department Nurse Manager Kristy Cesaretti says two trauma surgeons came in to talk about the importance of trauma care before reaching the trauma center.

 

 

Cesaretti says there were many healthcare professionals in attendance at the training course.

 

 

Cesaretti says all the nurses in Taylorville Memorial Hospital’s emergency room are trauma-nurse certified, which involves taking a two-day course to get the certficication. She says the training helps to refresh and build on those skills needed to be trauma-certified.

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Missions for Taylorville Working on Revitalizing the Look of Taylorville Homes

Missions for Taylorville is a local group made up of volunteers who are actively working towards making Taylorville a more attractive place to live. The organization works on a number of projects each year to help homeowners with a number of repair jobs to improve the look or function of their home.
 
With all the talk recently about the tired condition that much of Taylorville is in, Bill Kerns with Missions for Taylorville wants to remind people about the work that the group does to help improve the look of the town.
 
 
The group is always looking for volunteers to help out with the projects the group decides to help with each year. Kerns stressed even if you think you lack any sort of construction skills, still volunteer as Missions for Taylorville will find a way for you to help.
 
 
To volunteer with Missions for Taylorville, contact Pastor Bill Kerns at the Davis Memorial Christian Church. Kerns appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Christian County Senior Center Offering Driving Referesher Courses to Anybody Who Wants to Brush Up Their Skills Behind the Weel

Although many are experienced drivers with a lot of time behind the wheel, it's still a good idea to brush up on your skills and knowledge of the various laws to follow while you're out on the road. The Christian County Senior Center has partnered up with the Secretary of State's office to provide a free refresher course to anybody who would like to take it to brush up on their driving skills.
 
Gerry Mahr and Judy Gates with the Christian County Senior Citizens Center appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and discussed the courses. Mahr said the course is typically pretty quick, and open to anybody who would like to attend.
 
 
Mahr said the courses really do help, and urged people to attend. The classes have been lightly attended recently, and are in danger of being discontinued should attendance remain low.
 
 
The classes are free and don't require any sort of registration with the senior center. The course takes place May 16th at 9 in the morning. For more information, contact the Christian County Senior Citizens Center.

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Heavy Rains Cause Flooding Across Central Illinois

Rounds of moderate to heavy rainfall over the weekend caused flooding across central Illinois and kept emergency responders to busy. Over three inches of rain fell across much of the region, leading to many low-lying and flood-prone areas turning into ponds.

 

In Christian County, Emergency Manager Mike Crews says there were many different reports of damage from flooding over the weekend.

 

 

Over in Shelby County, they didn’t see as many emergency calls because of the weather. Shelby County EMA Director Jared Rowcliffe says the advanced notice helped the county be ready for anything that could have happened.

 

 

The National Weather Service forecast says skys should clear over the day today and tomorrow, but there’s a chance of more showers coming in on Wednesday.

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Lincoln College, Lake Land Community College Create Transfer Program for Broadcasting Students

 

Lake Land Community College broadcasting students will have another option if they want to continue their education and get done in four years. The college and Lincoln College have signed a two plus two agreement that allows Lake Land students to finish their four-year degree in two years at Lincoln College in Lincoln.

 

Lake Land Radio / Television Program Director Greg Powers says there are many winners out of this agreement

 

 

Powers says that Lincoln College Fine Arts and Communications Chair John Malone approached him last year about the partnership, and it took many people to get the partnership in place.

 

 

Malone says the Lake Land Radio and Television program is well-known throughout the Midwest, and he looks forward to bringing Lake Land students into their program. Powers says the program is based on hands-on experience for the student.

 

Lincoln College added their Radio, Television, and New Media program in the fall of 2016 as part of its expansion of several four-year undergraduate degree programs. Lake Land broadcasting students can also further their education through two plus two programs at Eastern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, and Illinois State University.

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Taylorville Post Office Stamping Out Hunger

Your local mail carrier will be doing more than give you your mail the next few weeks. The Taylorville Post Office is once again participating in the National Association of Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive. This is the 25th year the event has been held nationwide.

 

Eric Martin is the Supervisor of Customer Service at the Taylorville Post Office. He says the annual food drive has raised billions of pounds of food for those in need over the past 24 years.

 

 

Martin says you don’t need to leave your home to donate to the cause.

 

 

Martin says that letter carriers will also be looking for donation bags leading up to the collection day on May 13th. He says any food Taylorville residents donate will stay in the community to help those in need.

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Familiar Faces to Join Cottage Rose Gift Shoppe

You will find some new merchandise from new vendors next time you visit Cottage Rose Gift Shoppe on the square in Taylorville. The business has announced that three new vendors will be joining the team.

 

Cottage Rose owner Sheila Yost says the new vendors are people in the community will recognize.

 

 

Yost says one of those new vendors will be having a special event at the shop soon.

 

 

The paint and pour event will cost $30 per person. You can find out more information about the event by visiting Cottage Rose’s Facebook page by clicking here.

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