Local News

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Holding Prayer Ceremony Monday

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville, will host a ceremony to honor the nation in prayer, on Monday morning at 10, at the hospital campus grounds across from the main entrance on 201 South Pine in Shelbyville.
The VFW Color Guard will also present the nation’s colors. Reverend Kevin Ray from the First Christian Church will lead the crowd in prayer, and Reverend Helmkamp from the Lutheran Holy Cross Church will offer a blessing. The crowd will be asked to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance and a shared patriotic reading.
 The hospital will will hand out flags.
The public is invited to attend.

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TMH Auxiliary Announces Scholarship Winners

 

 The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is proud to announce the 2017 recipients of the TMH Auxiliary Scholarship.  Recipients are part or full time employees of TMH who are furthering their education to fulfill a career goal in the health care field.

 

The 2017 recipients are Colleen Miller–Schaefer, Katelin Hadley, and Rebecca McCauley from the Emergency Department; Susan Justice of Health Information Management; and Peyton Kennedy and Jacob McCauley from Laboratory.

 

“Candidates must complete an application and a committee of Auxiliary members, at least one of which has a background in education, review all applications and select the recipients,” said Debbie Johnson, TMH Auxiliary Volunteer Coordinator.  “The scholarships are available each spring and are funded through the Auxiliary fundraisers, membership dues and some anonymous donations.”

 

Established in the 1950’s the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary promotes the mission of TMH to improve the health of the people and communities it serves through service to its patients, the community and to sponsor healthcare related projects through fundraising efforts.

 

Pictured: l to r: Debbie Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator; Martha Zimmerman, Auxiliary Scholarship chair; Colleen Miller–Schaefer, Jacob McCauley, Peyton Kennedy, Rebecca McCauley, and Susan Justice.. Not pictured, Katelin Hadley.

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Brady Appointed New Republican Leader

 

ILLINOIS SENATE REPUBLICANS ARE CHOOSING SENATOR BILL BRADY OF BLOOMINGTON AS THEIR NEW LEADER. 

 

SENATOR BRADY WILL REPLACE CURRENT LEADER CHRISTINE RADOGNO, WHO ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK THAT SHE IS STEPPING DOWN. HE BEGINS THE POSITION IN THE MIDST OF A LONG RUNNING BUDGET STALEMATE.

 

 

BRADY HAS BEEN SERVING IN THE ILLINOIS SENATE SINCE 2002…AND BEFORE THAT, SERVED IN THE HOUSE.

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Illinois House Takes Step in Right Direction; Passes Spending Plan

It’s not the moment that ends the state’s budget crisis but it’s a step closer than lawmakers have been in quite some time. The House today voted 90 to 25 for an amendment that contains a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. House Speaker Mike Madigan says the vote is a good step forward. Republican Representative Steve Anderson gave a stirring speech on the House floor in support of getting a budget passed.



Another vote still needs to be held – and that might not be done today. The House will be back in session on Saturday if needed. No votes so far have been taken on increasing revenue’s to help pay for current state spending or the massive backlog of unpaid bills. 

Madigan also sent a letter to bond houses to ask them to delay in dropping the state’s credit ratings to junk status. 
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No Budget But A Little Closer (audio)
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It’s not the moment that ends the state’s budget crisis but it’s a step closer than lawmakers have been in quite some time. The House today voted 90 to 25 for an amendment that contains a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. House Speaker Mike Madigan says the vote is a good step forward. Republican Representative Steve Anderson gave a stirring speech on the House floor in support of getting a budget passed.

ANDERSON

Another vote still needs to be held – and that might not be done today. The House will be back in session on Saturday if needed. No votes so far have been taken on increasing revenue’s to help pay for current state spending or the massive backlog of unpaid bills. 

Madigan also sent a letter to bond houses to ask them to delay in dropping the state’s credit ratings to junk status. 

 

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Insect Concerns Kick Up "Scouting Season" for Illinois Farmers

The scouting season in full swing for Illinois farmers. What are they finding? GROWMARK’s Crop Nutrients Technical Manager Tim Laatcsh has a rundown on the insect concerns. 



And when fighting weeds, farmers need to keep the calendar in mind says GROWMARK’s Weed Science Technical Manager Dr. David Powell.



And as far as treatment, both are recommending best management practices specifically as it relates to pollinators. They say spraying should be timed when bees are less active. 


 

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Farm Credit Unions to Merge This Weekend

A merger of three farm credit organizations takes effect this weekend. 1st Farm Credit Services of Illinois, AgStar Financial of Minnesota and Badgerland Financial of Wisconsin will officially become Compeer Financial on Saturday. Nicole Polich will serve as a rural living lending officer for Compeer in western Illinois.

 


The organization’s headquarters will be in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and Compeer will operate in 144 counties through 47 offices in parts of Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin with a total of $18.6 billion in assets.

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"Dog Days of Summer" to Take Over Lake Shelbyville This Weekend

The 23rd annual Lake Shelbyville Dog Days of Summer Dog Show is coming up Saturday, and any dog is welcome to participate! The dog show will start at 6 p.m. at the Coon Creek Recreation Area Amphitheater. Categories to enter include Best Trick, Best Dressed, Smallest Dog, Biggest Dog, and Most Precious Puppy.

 

Lake Shelbyville Natural Resource Specialist Ashley Florey says there will be many different prizes for the winners.

 

 

Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. for the show. Florey says you don’t have to be camping to have your dog participate or watch the show.

 

 

Dogs must be kept on a six-foot leash for the safety of everyone involved. All participating dogs must be up-to-date on their vaccines as well.

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Today a Key Date for Census of Agriculture


The information found in the Census of Agriculture is used to make decisions that will shape the future of agriculture. Pork Checkoff spokesperson Cindy Cunningham encourages all farmers to participate…

          

There are important deadlines coming up for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. To participate, the deadline to sign up is TODAY:

                                

The results of the Census of Agriculture will be available in aggregate form only, keeping everyone’s individual information confidential. The Census of Agriculture is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every county in the United States…

         

For more information, producers can contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center. Go to Pork-dot org or call 800-456-PORK.

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FSA County Committees Accepting Nominations

Now, through August first, the Farm Service Agency is accepting nominations for the County Committee Elections.

Rod Hamilton with the FSA says they are looking for farmers of any walk of life interested in representing agriculture in their county…

                         

Hamilton says Committee meetings typically take place once a month. He adds this beneficial for growers who feel their voice is often not heard…

                                     

To nominate someone for your County Committee, contact your local FSA office. Learn more at FSA dot USDA dot gov. (https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/).

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Taylorville Fire Department Awarded Homeland Security Grant

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, Republican from Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, Thursday announced that the Taylorville Fire Department has been awarded a regional request grant from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.
The grant, from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, is in the amount of $3,500 and will be used to pay instructor fees for the training of firefighters in other regional fire departments.
The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an important component of the larger, coordinated effort to strengthen the Nation’s overall level of preparedness and ability to respond to fire and related hazards.
Since 2001, the AFG has provided approximately $5.6 billion in grants to first-responder organizations to obtain much-needed emergency response equipment, personal protective equipment, firefighting and emergency vehicles, and training.

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Hornbuckle Providing "On the Spot" Coverage of Taylorville Resident in Senior PGA Open

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce C-E-O Patty Hornbuckle wore a 2nd hat this week, while completing another item on her personal bucket list.

Hornbuckle is Regional Radio's "On the Spot" Reporter from this week's Senior P-G-A Open which started this morning at the Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachussetts.

What makes this event special is that 2 Taylorville golfers are participating.  Dave Ryan and Jerry Smith are playing in the tournament, and Hornbuckle told us during the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show this morning, that he played practice rounds Tuesday and Wednesday before teeing off in the tournament today.

Hornbuckle says this tournament is a big deal for Ryan.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for further updates from Hornbuckle on Ryan's performance at the Senior P-G-A Open from Peabody, Massachussetts.

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Broadband Services To Expand into "Under-Served" Illinois Areas

A rural telecommunications expert wants to see more broadband expansion in under-served areas of Illinois. Matt Johnson of Shawnee Communications in southeast Illinois says reliability is key in today’s digital world.



And that’s where certain rural areas are not keeping pace.



An Illinois project was awarded a $3.3 million loan from USDA earlier this month to construct 104 miles of fiber cable and provide supporting equipment to deliver enhanced telecommunications services to rural subscribers. The money is going to Viola Home Telephone Company in western Illinois

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Rodney Davis Fighting Against Drugs with New Task Force

Setting aside all the political strife over health care and Russia, Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis is part of a bipartisan task force to combat heroin addiction. At a task force news conference in Washington, Davis said heroin became a drug of choice as government took steps to cut back on over-prescriptions of such opioids as Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine. 



On the task force's agenda this year, a series of bills that another congressman said combined enforcement with compassion. A news release from Davis cites statistics showing Illinois ranks 8th nationwide in the number of deaths from a drug overdose. 

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State Representative Dan Brady Demanding Progress from Top Lawmakers

A series of reform bills that Governor Bruce Rauner has pushed could be called for votes in the Illinois House today as lawmakers creep toward Friday's budget deadline. State Representative Dan Brady says House Speaker Mike Madigan has undermined progress negotiators have made toward a budget solution, by unveiling his own demands in the final days of the session. Brady has a message for the speaker and governor.



Madigan says the Democrat’s proposed spending plan is balanced. Minority Leader Jim Durkin says that has yet to be seen because House Democrats have yet to introduce a tax increase.

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HSHS Hospital Fighting for State Funding

HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield has been dealing with delayed state reimbursement and a shortfall of state insurance payments for state worker healthcare. Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is battling reduced state funding for healthcare providers as well as cuts to the SIU system. Despite those obstacles, both are teaming up to build a new womens' and childrens' out patient clinic. St. John's President and CEO Dr. Charles Lucore says the facility will meet a pressing need for a large portion of Central Illinois.



The $48.4 million facility is expected to open in August of 2018. The construction work is seen as crucial for the region's economy, especially with the potential for work on Illinois roadways threatened by the lack of a budget. 

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Illinois General Assembly Approves Child Support Bill

A child support bill has won approval in the Illinois General Assembly. The measure requires cellular phone companies to disclose location information on delinquent non-custodial parents. The legislation was sponsored by State Representative Norine Hammond of Macomb.



The companies in the past have requested the Department of Family Services provide subpoenas in order to disclose location information. 

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Antique and Thrift Store Open in Shelbyville with Themed Rooms

Thani’s This N That Thrift & Decor is now open at 142 N Morgan St. in Shelbyville. The store is a combination antique shop, home décor, and furniture store but offers many other items and services as well.

 

Thani’s Owner, Tonya Farver was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM’s Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios and says the store offers exactly what is in the name, a little bit of everything.

 

 

Each of the 8 different rooms in Thani’s has a specific theme as in, “Man Cave” or “Farm Decor”. Farver says there is one themed room in particular she likes best and that is her "Americana Room".

 

 

Farver has done consignment sales out of her own home in the past and says she is wanting to incorporate that into her store as well if someone has something they would like to bring by so she can buy it outright.

 

 

You can begin shopping and find out more information through Thani’s This N That Thrift & Decor on Facebook or by calling 217-774-1558.

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BREAKING: Conor's Law Legislation Passes in Illinois

A drunk driving arrest and suicide of a Staunton man two years ago prompted legislation to make its way through the Illinois General Assembly this year entitled “Conor’s Law.”

 

Senator Andy Manar sponsored the legislation and State Representative Avery Bourne carried the measure in the house where it was given final approval this (Thursday) morning.

 

In 2015, 20-year-old Conor Vesper was arrested for DUI. Vesper posted bond and was released while he was still intoxicated. He got behind the wheel again, was pursued by police and upon arriving at his home, took his own life with a gun. Representative Bourne spoke on who Vesper was in life before this tragedy occured.

 

 

The bill (SB2185) requires police to hold DUI suspects under 21 for a period of time long enough for them to sober up or to be picked up by a responsible adult. Representative Bourne laid out her hopes for the passing of this legislation.

 


The bill passed unanimously in both chambers.

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Shelbyville to Have Annual Fireworks to Celebrate the Fourth

The Shelbyville Fireworks are once again planned for July 4th, and everyone is invited to attend. The fireworks will be shot off at the same place they were last year at the Dam West Recreational Area.

 

Vonda McConnell, the office manager with the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce, says there will be plenty to do other than just the fireworks.

 

 

McConnell says the festivities in Shelbyville are always fun for all ages.

 

 

The fireworks will be shot off at dark, which McConnell says they usually start around 9 p.m.

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Taylorville Wide Garage Sale 2017 Registration Time is Now

Taylorville Community Wide Garage Sale 2017 will be here before you know it and now is the time to register and get involved. United Way of Christian County is sponsoring the event for the 2nd year in a row and Executive Director, Susan Lawrence was a guest on Newstalk WTIM's Morning Show to discuss why now may be the perfect time to start planning for this event.
 
 
You can sign up to have a garage sale on Friday, Saturday, or both, but United Way asks you to specify during your registration. If you register to take part in the city-wide garage sale, you will also be put on a map which Lawrence says might bring you more customers.
 
 
Lawrence gave a rundown of all the different ways to register.
 
 
Contact United Way for more information at united-way-of-c-c-at-consolidated-dot-net or 824-8404.

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Crop Reporting Deadline Nears

The Shelby County Farm Service Agency would like to remind producers of the crop reporting deadline.  To participate in most USDA programs and receive certain benefits, producers are required to timely file Form FSA-578 on all cropland acres prior to the following date:
 
The deadline to report CRP acres and spring-seeded crops, acreages, shares, and planting dates is July 17, 2017.

As soon as planting is complete, please visit the office or if you have any questions regarding the process, please contact the Shelby County Farm Service Agency at (217) 774-5561 ext. 2.

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LLCC Announces Scholarship Winners

The Lincoln Land Community College Adult Education Department has announced its scholarship winners for 2017. The scholarship provides support for students who have earned their high school equivalency to continue their education at LLCC in the fall. The 2017 recipients are Ryan Beeler of Springfield who will be studying digital arts, Vincent Hoffman of Nokomis who will be studying computer science and Rebecca Lawson of Litchfield who will be studying nursing.
Students in the adult education program who have successfully completed their high school equivalency exam are eligible to apply for this $1000 competitive scholarship. It is made possible by the LLCC Foundation through donations made to the general scholarship fund.
LLCC Adult Education provides a variety of learning opportunities in such areas as high school equivalency preparation, English language skills and career pathways. Visit www.llcc.edu/adult-education for more information.

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Bourne Frustrated at Wednesday's Committee of the Whole Session

House members sat through another Committee of the Whole session Wednesday after voting on 4 reform bills that House Republicans refused to put their support on.  Republicans have been negotiating with Democrats, and achieving progress, but Wednesday the Democrats decided to bring the bills forward for a vote. 
During the Committee of the Whole, members heard testimony from the State Board of Education and General Services.   State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) said what was frustrating about Wednesday’s questioning by Democrats is asking what is going to happen if there is no budget instead of working on getting a budget passed..  

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Taylorville Library to Welcome New Director

 
 
Taylorville Library is getting a new director and one with big ideas to help the community be more well informed. Steven Ward, an Academic Librarian for the last 2 years will begin his tenure as Taylorville’s new Library Director this Saturday.
 
Ward spoke with Regional Radio News and says obtaining this job is fulfilling a lifelong dream.
 
 
Ward knows the transition from Academic Librarian to director of a community library will require much learning, but it’s a task he is willing to take head-on.
 
 
The Taylorville Library is currently running a summer reading program for kids but Ward has a few ideas he would like to implement right away to better the library’s relationship with the community.
 
 
Ward was a Faculty Librarian most recently with the University of Illinois-Springfield for the last 13 months.

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2017 Illinois State Fair Entry Deadlines

 

 

The Illinois State Fair committee would like to remind fair-goers of several upcoming competition deadlines for the 2017 Illinois State Fair.

 

July 1st:

Open Show for beef, dairy, sheep, and goats.

Junior Show deadline for beef, dairy, sheep, swine, goats, pultry, and rabbits.

 

July 7th:

Society Horse Show – late entry due 07/21; fees will be doubled.

 

July 10th:

Open Show: Poultry & Rabbits

 

July 11th:

Twilight Parade

 

July 15th:

General Entries

 

July25th:

Open Show: Late Entry ($50/head)

 

August 9th:

Dairy Products

 

August 10th:

Bee Culture-Open

 

If an entry deadline falls on a weekend, entries must be postmarked by the following Monday to be accepted. More information about the 2017 Illinois State Fair competitions can be found at illinois-state-fair-dot-info or by calling the Competitive Events office at 217-782-0786.

 

The 2017 Illinois State Fair will be held August 10th-20th.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Will be Doing Its Part in Collecting Needed Blood at Blood Drive Thursday

Taylorville Memorial Hospital needs the blood collected by the Central Illinois Community Blood Center every day. So they want to do their part in helping to collect that blood. The hospital is hosting a blood drive Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the hospital’s auditorium.

 

Libby Bair is a Donor Relations Consultant with the C-I-C-B-C. In a previous interview with Regional Radio, she said all presenting donors for this drive will be entered to win a $2,500 vacation package to wherever the winner would like to go.

 

 

Pat Anderson is the coordinator putting together the blood drive for T-M-H. She says there are somethings you need to do before you come to donate blood.

 

 

Anderson says you can schedule an appointment by calling her at 237-2214 or 827-1490.

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Local Golfer Dave Ryan Teeing Up With Golfing Greats At US Senior Open

A local golfer is heading to the U.S. Senior Open after his performance in the U.S. Senior Amateur Tournament in September. Dave Ryan is a Taylorville native who won the Senior Amateur Tournament, and will now play alongside golfing legends as he tries his hand on a much larger stage.

 

Ryan spoke with Regional Radio News and said he still wonders how he managed to take home the trophy at the Senior Amateur Tournament.

 

 

 

Ryan will now take on some of golf’s greats, and is hoping to learn a few things while he plays alongside them.

 

   

 

The U.S. Senior Open will take place June 29th through July 2nd at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachusetts.

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Several Projects Underway to Improve Facilities at Pana Community Hospital

Several upgrades are planned for the facilities at Pana Community Hospital. These upgrades are designed to help improve patient flow and the overall experience for those who visit the hospital.

 

Melissa Rybolt, Marketing Manager at Pana Community Hospital says one facility getting a refresh is at the Pana Medical Group office in downtown Pana.

 

 

Rybolt also shared how the hospital has received approval for a major expansion plan for the hospital.

 

 

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

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Durkin Talks About GOP Demands That Are Not Negotiable

What will it take to get 30 GOP votes to pass a budget plan in the Illinois House? Minority Leader Jim Durkin talks about demands that could be described as immovable objects.



On budget issues, Durkin says he will accept a four-year freeze on property taxes in exchange for a four-year, temporary income tax increase.

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WIU Students Monitoring Asian Carp

Students at Western Illinois University monitoring Asian carp in Illinois. They caught a big one last week just south of the Quad Cities—at Sturgeon Bay near New Boston. A 76-pounder says Dr. Jim Lamer—the site manager for Western Illinois University’s Alice L. Kibbe Life Science Research Station.



The research station—based in Warsaw, Illinois-- promotes teaching and research in field biology and ecology. They are monitoring Asian carp at various sites throughout Illinois this summer. 

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Dems Reveal Property Tax Freeze Plan

A major concession from House Democrats but it may be too soon to use the word optimism in the final days of the special session. House Democrats have signed on to the four-year property freeze that Gov. Bruce Rauner has been demanding, but there’s a big catch. The concession comes with a number of exemptions, something Rauner has objected to. Two exemptions include Chicago Public Schools and the City of Chicago. The House version exempts taxes needed by school districts and local governments to pay debt service and pensions. School districts that have been certified by the state as being in financial distress will also qualify for the exemption. Only 18 districts qualify at this point. Many democrats say they don’t like the freeze but say there is little choice to wrap up a budget deal. Republican critics say the deal doesn’t provide tax relief for everyone.

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Taylorville Park Board Finishes Fiscal Year Under Budget

The Taylorville Park Board received good news during their monthly board meeting Monday night at the Manners Park Board Room. The Board reviewed their annual audit report for the most recent fiscal year, and learned that they finished the year under budget.

 

Taylorville Park Board Office Administrator Mary Ann Becker spoke with Regional Radio News where she gave a recap on what the park board discussed during their most recent meeting.

 

 

Becker discussed the results of the audit, saying a lack of major expenses helped lead to the board finishing the fiscal year under budget.

 

 

The next meeting of the Taylorville Park Board will be held on Monday, July 24th at the Manners Park Office Board Room in Taylorville.

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Jim Bohannon Not Sure if Senate Health Care Bill Will Pass As Is

All eyes are on Washington as the nation waits to see what will come of the Senate GOP health care plan. Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon Show heard on Newstalk WTIM, recently appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says he doesn’t expect this version of the bill to pass.

 

Although Bohannon wasn’t certain about the future of the bill, he did point out that it scored better by the CBO than the House version of the health care bill.

 

 

The bill has received criticism from many for it’s rushed nature through congress. Bohannon is among those who don’t understand what the hurry is all about.

 

 

Tune into the Jim Bohannon Show weeknights from nine until midnight on Newstalk WTIM.

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Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville Seeking Submissions for Quilt Show

Calling all quilters, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is hosting a Quilt Showcase from Thursday, July 6th through Sunday July 9th at the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center, and your quilt submissions are wanted.
 
Sarah Haslett is a Natural Resource Specialist for the Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville. She says they normally make a booklet talking about all of the quilts on display.
 
 
Haslett says there is no cost to be a part of the quilt show.
 
 
Haslett appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville studios.

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Annual Assumptionfest Kicks Off This Weekend

Need something to do this weekend? The annual Assumptionfest is this weekend in Assumption, and everyone is invited to come out for the fun.

 

Angela Ohl-Marsters is the President of Assumptionfest and recently appeared on the Newstalk WTIM morning show to talk about the festival. She says those activities people know and love will return, and there will be plenty of new events at the festival as well.

 

 

Ohl-Marsters says the board’s goal is to have something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

 

 

The festival starts Thursday and will run through Saturday.

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Dudley Smith Farm's Unique Funding Allows Stability In Otherwise Unstable Research Field

Many in the agriculture industry came out to the Dudley Smith Farm near Pana for the farm's field day. The Dudley Smith Farm works in conjunction with the University of Illinois Extension to research various ag related topics.
 
Local Farm Broadcaster Jared White was live at the farm for the field day, and spoke with several notable names in the local agriculture industry, one of which was Vickie Jarrell, Associate Director of the Illinois Ag Experiment Station. Several local producers are already using research done at Dudley Smith on their own operations, which Jarrell says is why it's there.
 
 
Due to the unique funding and in turn, stability of the Dudley Smith Farm, the U of I has unique abilities to conduct research that they may not have had the ability to conduct otherwise.
 

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Proposed Cobblestone Hotel Still a Reality for Taylorville

The proposed Cobblestone Hotel is still in sight according to the executive director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation.

Mary Renner reported to the corporation's board during their quarterly meeting on Friday at Charro Mexican Restaurant in Taylorville, that work on attracting the hotel to Taylorville is ongoing. 

And, Renner said the stakeholders continue to work towards making the proposed hotel for Taylorville a reality.

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Taylorville Mayor Sets Sights on Cleaning Up The Town

 

Clean up Taylorville is in full swing this summer with Mayor Bruce Barry leading the charge. Mayor Barry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to speak about the progress of an initiative that seems well received across the board and in the community. 
 
Mayor Barry says now with the proper funding and willing helpers, they are getting a lot done to clean up the city.
 
 
The issue of a cleaner Taylorville is nothing new to the city or Mayor Barry as he says in the early stages of him winning this election and taking the job, it was on many citizens minds.
 
 
You can find out how to get more involved with cleaning up Taylorville by calling the Mayor's office at 287-7946.

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United Way of Christian County Gears Up for 11th Annual Golf Outing

 

The United Way of Christian County is hosting their 11th Annual Randy France Memorial Golf Outing this Friday at Lakeshore Golf Course in Taylorville. Executive Director of United Way, Susan Lawrence, says the current number of teams is in the mid-20s but United Way will always take more golfers.
 
 
Lawrence appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and said each year, the outing saw the same teams winning so United Way decided to add some twists to each team's game plan.
 
 
Shotgun start is set for 12:30pm and you can bring your team to the course as early as 11am that morning to register. You can also email Lawrence at unitedwayofcc@consolidated.net or call her at 824-8404.

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Bourne To Hold Open Office Hours in Taylorville

State house representative Avery Bourne will hold office hours in Taylorville from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday. The open office hours will be at Congressman Rodney Davis’ office on the second floor of the U.S. Bank building on the Taylorville square.

 

Bourne herself will likely be in Springfield for the governor’s special session, but her staff will be available to talk to anyone that wants to be heard. She says constituents need to be able to talk to their elected leaders for government to work better for the people.

 

 

If you cannot attend the office hours but would like to contact Bourne, you can call her office at 324-5200 or visit her website here.

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Taylorville Fireworks Show To Light Up Night Sky on Fourth of July

Taylorville’s fireworks will once again light up the night sky on the Fourth of July this summer. The annual fireworks are once again being put together by the Taylorville Optimist’s Club.


Taylorville Optimist’s Club Secretary / Treasurer Jim Adcock is also the Fourth of July Fireworks chairman for the club. He says that there will be musical entertainment before the big show at dusk.

 

 

Adcock says the Optimist’s Club has been proud to put on the fireworks for many years.

 

 

The fireworks will be shot off at Lake Taylorville once the sun has set.

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Morrisonville Community Blood Drive This Thursday

Morrisonville United Methodist Church is hosting a community blood drive from 3 to 6:30 p.m. this Thursday.

 

Libby Bair is a Donor Relations Consultant for the Central Illinois Community Blood Center. She says the needs for blood this time of year is especially high.

 

 

 

She says that all presenting donors will be entered into a drawing for a $2,500 vacation package to anywhere the winner would like to go.

 

 

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is the only provider of blood for Taylorville Memorial Hospital and Pana Community Hospital. She says donors should know that their blood will stay in the community.

 

 

If you have any questions or would like to donate, you can contact the blood center at 241-7550.

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Rosenthal Guest Speaker at Ag Group Luncheon in July

The Christian County Ag Group, a group of agriculture leaders from business, government, and non-profit organizations that work to promote the importance of agriculture in Christian County, will hold its annual Ag Appreciation Luncheon at Ag Day at the Christian County Fair, on Thursday, July 27th.

The event includes a free lunch, scholarship presentations, and a guest speaker.  This year's speaker is Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director and Morrisonville native Wayne Rosenthal.

Rosenthal was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in January 2015, and before that was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives since 2011.

He also served in the Illinois Air National Guard for 30 years, retiring as a Brigadier General. During his time in the National Guard, he was responsible for a budget of $15 million and military assets worth $500 million.

A ticket is required to attend the 11:30am free lunch inside the Fair's Beer Tent.  They're available in advance only, at the Christian County Soil and Water Conservation Office on North Webster; the Christian County Farm Bureau on Market Street; the University of Illinois Christian County Extension Office on North Webster; or the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce office on the 2nd floor of the U-S Bank building on the square, all in Taylorville.

Several door prizes donated by local businesses, will also be given away. 

The annual Christian County Ag Group Ag Appreciation Day Luncheon takes place, because of the generous sponsorship of many agricultural businesses and ag non-profit organizations thru-out Christian County, as their way of promoting the importance of agriculture to the local economy.

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U of I Extension Asks Residents to Pre-Register for Local Food Initiative Workshops

 
The University of Illinois Extension Office is continuing with their Local Foods Initiative, with the goal of getting more people to eat local. As a part of this initiative, the Extension will be offering a number of food related workshops to help people grow, cook, and preserve the local foods they grow and buy.
 
Terri Miller, Publicist with the U of I Extension Office says these workshops are to help people keep the local foods they have longer, and will be offering a workshop on cucumbers on July 1st.
 
 
Other workshops offered through the summer will include a freezing and drying workshop, along with a workshop centered around tomatoes.
 
Miller asks those interested in the workshops to contact the extension office and per-register.
 
 
Miller appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Dudley Smith Farm Near Pana Serves as Important Research Operation For Local Ag Industry

Many in the agriculture industry came out to the Dudley Smith Farm near Pana for the farm's field day. The Dudley Smith Farm works in conjunction with the University of Illinois Extension to research various ag related topics.
 
Local Farm Broadcaster Jared White was live at the farm for the field day, and spoke with several notable names in the local agriculture industry, one of which was retired University of Illinois Extension Educator Ed Ballard. Ballard explained how the Dudley Smith Farm came to be.
 
 
Ballard says the farm can do preliminary studies on a number of topics, before expanding that study on larger operations.
 

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Former Tenaska Site Under Contention for $1.2 Billion Project Near Taylorville

The former Tenaska site northeast of Taylorville, is one of the sites being considered by EmberClear, to build a one-point-2 billion dollar plant to turn natural gas to liquid fuel power.  That is one of the projects Christian County Economic Development Corporation executive director Mary Renner shared with her board during their quarterly meeting on Friday at Charro Mexican Restaurant in Taylorville.

Renner told Regional Radio News that EmberClear is an energy company.

Renner said they're negotiating with the City of Taylorville for a preliminary agreement.

And, Renner added there will be several versions of the agreement before it's nailed down.

Discussions between the various entities are continuing to keep Christian County in contention for the project.

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Youth Football in Taylorville Receives Donation and Name Change

Dimond Brothers Insurance in Taylorville recently made a donation to sponsor the Christian County YMCA Flag Football League in memory of their colleague, Barry Allen.

 

To recognize this annual contribution and honor a great friend of the Y; the program has been renamed the “Barry Allen Youth Flag Football League”.  Barry loved football, the YMCA and his community.

 

Dimond Brothers Insurance shows financial support to the activities in the community by will continuing this annual sponsorship as a way to give back and honor the memory of Mr. Barry Allen.

 

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Lake Shelbyville Beaches and Boat Ramps Situation Improving

The Lake Shelbyville beaches' situation is slowly improving. Dam West Beach and Sullivan Beach have both been opened to the public after heavy rainfall this spring brought high water levels to the lake, forcing the beach closures.
 
Sarah Haslett is a Natural Resources Specialist at Lake Shelbyville and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning show live from our Downtown Shelbyville studios. She says there are other beaches still closed, but they should reopen soon.
 
 
Haslett says the news is all positive when it comes to the boat ramps on Lake Shelbyville.
 
 
Haslett says admission is $2 per pedestrian or $5 per vehicle for anyone looking to come out and enjoy the beaches this summer.

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Revised Christian County CEO Student List Announced

The Christian County CEO, or “Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities” Board of Directors have announced a revised slate of high school students that will be participating in the 2017-18 C-E-O program.

Students applied for a slot in this year's class, thru a blind application process, then went thru a series of interviews with some of the C-E-O board members. 

Taylorville High School students named to participate in the program include Reese Bergschneider, Jacob (JT) Boehme, Ryan Brown, Carrie Denning, Luc Johnson, Karlee Kuntzman, Riley Matheny, Jordan Moats, Jessica Parsons, Kyle Woods, and Kayden Wright.  Other students accepted for the program this school year include Grace Blakley from First Baptist Christian Academy, James Harris from South Fork, and Fayth Stout from Pana.

The Christian County CEO program is made possible by the generous donations from Christian County businesses, community groups, and individuals.  There is no cost to the students or school districts.   Students will tour area businesses and learn about business from guest speakers.  The program teaches leadership, encouragement, and creativity. 

More information about the program is available at www.christiancountyceo.com.

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Shelbyville Manor Providing Alzheimer's and Dementia Care in Shelby County

It's hard for a child to take care of a loved one that is slowly losing their memories over time. Shelbyville Manor provides the needed care for people suffering from Alzheimer's and Dementia.
 
Kristy Gordon is the Marketing Director at Shelbyville Manor and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville studios. She says the scenarios that can play out with your declining loved ones can be hard to believe.
 
 
Gordon says although treating Alzheimer's and Dementia still needs plenty of research, the staff at Shelbyville Manor has found that activities to keep the mind sharp does help the patients.
 
 
To find out more information about Shelbyville Manor, you can visit their website at Shelbyville Manor dot com.

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USDA Halts Brazilian Beef Imports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday evening announced that it would halt imports of fresh Brazilian beef. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a statement said: “Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is one of our critical missions, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness,” in making the announcement. The suspension of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which USDA finds satisfactory. Since March, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been inspecting 100 percent of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil.  FSIS has refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products. That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world. Brazil’s meat industry has been in turmoil this year since the investigation of a corruption scheme that allowed tainted meat to pass in-country inspections.

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Property Deed Solicitation Letters Appearing in Central Illinois

Shelby County Clerk and Recorder Jessica Fox wants to remind you to not take everything you see in the mail seriously. Fox’s office has received reports of letters being sent from Records Recovery Services out of Naperville telling people they can receive a copy of their property deed for 87 dollars.

 

Fox says landowners in Macon and Moultrie counties have received the letter. She reminds Shelby County residents that her office will provide copies of property deeds and mortgages for only $1 a page from her office.

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Check Dicamba Soybeans After Spraying

Farmers are turning to an old technology this year to control weeds in their fields. Dicamba has been around for about half-a-century. It is a corn herbicide, but soybeans have been modified to tolerate it. This was done because so many weeds have modified themselves to resist being killed by glyphosate, commonly known as Round-Up.

 

The primary problem, says University of Illinois Extension Weed Scientist Aaron Hager, is waterhemp.

 

 

This inconsistency makes the timing of dicamba applications extremely important. Without a doubt, says Hager, most post applied herbicides are going to do a better job of controlling a full suite of weeds in a field when the weeds are less than three to four inches in size.

 

 

It is possible for the weeds to recover, flower, and produce seed. And that, says Aaron Hager, is something to avoid.

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Infrastructure Application Filed for Funding Match for New Taylorville Industrial Park

 

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board met for their quarterly meeting this afternoon at Charro Mexican Restaurant, to review ongoing economic development efforts to attract and keep jobs in the county.

Executive director Mary Renner gave her report during the meeting, and told Regional Radio News afterwards that following weeks of preparation, her office—assisted by a team of people—submitted the Corporation's formal application for 50-percent funding for an infrastructure project for the new Taylorville Industrial Park, on June 7th.  Renner said she's hopeful E-D-A funding will be approved

Renner also told the board, that plans were continuing towards a new hotel for Taylorville, as well as potential use of the former Tenaska property northeast of Taylorville for a proposed natural gas to liquid fuel plant with a proposed investment of up to one-point-2 billion dollars.

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Taylorville Native Dave Ryan to Play in U.S. Senior Open

A Taylorville native will be taking his talents to the U.S. Senior Open next weekend. Dave Ryan won the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship in September, earning him a spot in next weekend’s tournament.
 
Ryan was a golfer at Taylorville High School and went on to Eastern Kentucky to play golf. He says whether it's playing high school golf or in the pros, it all has one thing in common, competition.
 
 
Ryan says the pairings haven't been announced for the Senior Open, but he believes he knows who he will be paired with.
 
 
The U.S. Senior Open will be played at Salem Country Club in Peabody, Massachusetts starting on Thursday.

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Krueger Presides Over Her Last CEO Board Meeting; Spurling New Chair

It was the last board meeting this morning, for Christian County C-E-O chairperson Dee Krueger, as she is resigning from the board due to additional duties being assigned as director of Lincoln Land Community College's Taylorville campus.

Krueger told Regional Radio News after the meeting, it was a pleasure to serve as chairperson in the first 2 years of the local C-E-O program.

Krueger said her greatest satisfaction was getting the program off the ground.

Brenda Spurling is the new C-E-O board chair, and she said she's looking forward to continued growth in the program that offers an entrepreneurial expreience for Christian County high school seniors.

The new board of directors approved at this morning's Christian County C-E-O board meeting include Spurling as chairperson, Joe Curvey as vice-chairperson, Ken Hart continuing as treasurer, and Patty Hornbuckle continuing as secretary.  Board members re-appointed include Spurling, Curvey, Hart, and Hornbuckle, along with Greg Brotherton, Lacy Glenn, Heather Strom, Randy Miller, Adam Vocks, Michelle Reiss, and Mary DelValle.  Ex Officio board members include Marchelle Kasselbaum and Mary Renner.

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Illinois Department of Public Health Warns Public About Rabid Bats and Animals

Rabid bats have been found in Illinois this year, and the Illinois Department of Public Health wants the public to beware of rabid animals. So far, 15 bats have tested positive for rabies in the state this year, including some in Sangamon County.

 

Connie Austin is the Illinois State Public Health Veteranarian. She says people shouldn’t let their curiousity take over if a wild animal lets you approach it.

 

 

Austin says bat colonies can live in your house. She says keeping your house maintained is the best way to prevent bats in your home and to also keep pets away from bats.

 

 

Austin says if you do find a bat in your home, make sure to call the proper agency and wait for their instruction.

 

 

Austin says if you have a bat in your home and it tests positive or remains untested for rabies, you may have to go through a series of complicated shots. She says that isn’t something people would want to go through.

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"Dog Days of Summer" Dog Show Coming to Lake Shelbyville

The Dog Days of Summer are coming to Lake Shelbyville, literally! The 23rd annual Lake Shelbyville Dog Days of Summer Dog Show is coming up on July 1st at 6 p.m. at the Coon Creek Recreation Area Amphitheater.

 

Ashley Florey is a Natural Resource Specialist at Lake Shelbyville. She says the event was created as a way to give man’s four-legged friends some fun.

 

 

Florey says the show is not as serious, but still as entertaining as those you see on television.

 

 

It is free to attend the Dog Days of Summer Dog Show. Registration for dogs to participate will start that evening at 5:30.

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Local Farmer Discusses Cover Crop Uses At Dudley Smith Farm Field Day

Many in the agriculture industry came out to the Dudley Smith Farm near Pana for the farm's field day. The Dudley Smith Farm works in conjunction with the University of Illinois Extension to research various ag related topics.
 
Local Farm Broadcaster Jared White was live at the farm for the field day, and spoke with several notable names in the local agriculture industry, one of which was Owaneco area farmer John Hebert. Hebert sat on a producer panel to discuss various topics with the crowd at the field day, and shared with White what he was planning on discussing as a member of the panel. 
 
 
Hebert's work with cover crops over the past 30 years would be considered ahead of the game by some, however he explained its something farmers have been doing for some time now.
 

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Energy Expert Says Now is Good Time to Evaluate Fall Propane Needs

It’s never too early to lock in prices for fall and winter propane needs. That’s what GROWMARK’s Harry Cooney is telling farmers as they think about the grain drying season.



Cooney says fortunately for farmers, grain drying hasn’t been a big issue the last several years.



Cooney says now is the time for end users to secure some prices for the fall and he recommends producers talk with their local FS member cooperative about meeting future needs.

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Durbin Calls on Republicans to Force Debate on Health Care Repeal

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is complaining about a lack of sunlight. He's attacking the Senate GOP leadership for its handling of the health care repeal bill.



Durbin called for a small sampling of Republicans to force open debate.



Durbin says the vast majority of Republicans as well as Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price have no idea what is in the bill

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Weather Key Driver in Commodity Markets Ahead of June 30th Acreage Report

Weather will be the key driver over the next few weeks at farmers follow the numbers on the Chicago Board of Trade. July contracts for corn were on a path to 4-dollars just a few weeks ago, but that has stalled says Jim Bower with Bower Trading.



Bower says another key measuring stick for farmers is coming out at the end of the month—the June 30th USDA acreage report. 

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Gateway Foundation Helping Illinois Residents Overcome Drug and Alcohol Addictions

 
Drug abuse is a growing issue across the country, and is hitting those in Central Illinois hard. Those seeking help can contact the Gateway Foundation, a local organization helping those overcome their addictions.
 
Barb Berger, Outreach Coordinator along with Jenny McCormick, Admissions Coordinator with Gateway both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show. Berger shared information on the services Gateway provides.
 
 
McCormick commented, explaining the initial steps patients go through when they contact Gateway.
 
 
To contact Gateway Foundation, give them a call at 877-505-HOPE, or visit them online at RecoverGateway.org.

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Christian County CEO Program Doubles in Number of Students

 
The Christian County CEO Program has helped with several classes of students now, and has grown tremendously with it's latest class. The program will welcome 15 students into the program for the upcoming year.
 
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, and also involved in the Christian County CEO Program says the increase in the number of students will lead to some changes in the program to accommodate the increased class size.
 
 
The students will learn from a number of local Entrepreneurs on a number of topics, and can help tremendously in the student's leadership skills.
 
 
Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Economic Development The Topic at Weekly Taylorville Kiwanis Meeting

 

Gary Spurling (middle), chairman of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation board, was Tuesday's guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  Chris Weittenhiller (left) is the June Kiwanis Club program chair.  Will Perkins (right) is the Kiwanis Club president.

 

 

TAYLORVILLE KIWANIS HEAR ABOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FROM BOARD CHAIR

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about on-going economic development efforts in Christian County, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Gary Spurling, chairman of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation board, was the program speaker, talking about work the board is doing to attract new business and industry to the county, as well as retaining existing businesses.

Spurling told the Kiwanis Club that with the establishment of Computer Technique's Fiber Optic Network in Taylorville, the recent passage of the Taylorville school referendum, the new Taylorville Water Plant about to break ground, and the establishment of a new TIF district for Taylorville, all of these factors are helping to attract new industry and keep current businesses in the county.

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

 

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Christian County 4-H Members Do Very Well at State Livestock Judging Contest

 

The 4-H state livestock judging contest took place on Monday at the Animal Science Lab on the University of Illinois campus, and Christian County’s representatives did very well in the competition. The Christian County senior division team blew away the competition to take home the state title. The senior division is made up of those 14 years old and older.

 

Rebecca Livingston is the Christian County 4-H Coordinator at the University of Illinois Extension. She says the senior division participants for the county were Eric Schafer, Maddie Fugate, Tanner Mickey, and Makenna Green. She says the group is now eligible for national competitions.

 

 

The junior division participants for Christian County were Lizzie Schafer, Drew Mickey, Miley Corso, and Wayland Pollock. She says there are many qualities the participants are judging at the competition.

 

 

The senior team’s national competitions will come this fall. For more information on the Christian County 4-H program, you can visit their website here.

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Shelby County Young Women to Compete for Junior Miss and Miss Shelby County Crowns

Many young women will be competing this year in Shelby County’s Annual Junior Miss and Miss Shelby County Pageants. The pageants will be on July 8th starting at 6 p.m. with the Junior Miss Shelby County pageant, followed by the Miss Shelby County pageant at 8 p.m. The pageants will be held at Shelby Christian Church in Shelbyville.

 

Sara Long is the director of the Shelby County pageants. She says both age groups will compete in some competitions that will account for the majority of the score.

 

 

Long says the Junior Miss contestants will give a short introduction of themselves, along with other competitions solely for their age group.

 

 

Long says the older young women will then compete in other competitions the public will be more familiar with.

 

 

Admission to the pageants will be $5 for adults, $3 for children age 5-12, and kids 4 and under are free. The current state queen will also be in attendance for the Shelby County pageants.

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Durbin, Duckworth Warn of Dangers of Lack of State Budget

Illinois’ US Senators are expressing their concerns about the state’s stalled efforts to land a budget and the impact on transportation. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are pressing Governor Bruce Rauner and the legislative leaders to reach a budget agreement in order to avoid what they call an unnecessary transportation shut down that could cost tens of thousands of jobs across the state. Without a state budget, Illinois transportation officials will no longer have the authority to spend federal dollars. 700 construction projects around the state, worth an estimated 2.3 billion dollars, would have to be shut down. The Senators say stopping work on the road and transportation projects would trigger the loss of an estimated 25,000 jobs.

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World Livestock Auctioneer Champ and Runner-Up Both From Illinois

The 2017 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion hails from west-central Illinois. Brian Curless of Pittsfield won the competition last weekend in Billings, Montana.



With the win, Curless now has a key voice for the Livestock Marketing Association.



Curless is a Black Hawk East product and Oklahoma State grad. 
The runner-up in the competition was also from Illinois--Cody Lowderman of Macomb. 

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Security Company Solicitors "Slamming" in Southern Illinois

Solicitors are allegedly "slamming" security company customers in the St. Louis region. Slamming is a technique in which information you give a solicitor is used to switch your some service without your permission. It's most commonly used with phone service, but has also been known to happen with electric delivery. Better Business Bureau Investigator Dan O'Brien says they are from an actual business, and using a ruse to access consumers' homes in many instances.



He reminds if you do decide to buy, pay with a credit card in case you need to challenge the purchase later. And the Federal Trade Commission Cooling-Off Rule requires that door-to-door salespeople disclose to customers that the customers have a right to cancel sales transactions of $25 or more within three business days.

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Downstate Superintendent Concerned About Potential Property Tax Freeze

If a property tax freeze is part of a new state budget that could mean trouble for local school districts, according to one downstate superintendent. Sherrard superintendent Alan Boucher says if local school districts can’t increase revenue through local sources, he doubts the state will pick up the difference. So what happens then?



Governor Rauner has indicated he wants a property tax freeze as part of a new budget. A special session started on Wednesday in Springfield. 

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St. Louis Dairy Council Celebrating National Dairy Month Along With 85th Birthday

Those in the dairy industry are celebrating during the month of June for National Dairy Month. Along with June being National Dairy Month, it's also the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the St. Louis Dairy Council.

 

Joyce Fikri with the St. Louis Dairy Council appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the celebrations kicked off on June 1st, and the Council has been celebrating ever since.

 

 

Fikri also discussed the birthday celebrations happening at the St. Louis Dairy Council, and discussed how much things like prices have changed since the establishment of the Council.

 

 

Firki encouraged listeners to celebrate the month by buying local dairy products, and working more dairy into their diets.

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Local Farmers Get Glimpse of Research Work Done At Dudley Smith Farm During the Farm's Field Day

Many in the agriculture industry came out to the Dudley Smith Farm near Pana for the farm's field day. The Dudley Smith Farm works in conjunction with the University of Illinois Extension to research various ag related topics.

 

Local Farm Broadcaster Jared White was live at the farm for the field day, and spoke with several notable names in the local agriculture industry, one of which was local farmer TJ Curtin. Curtin said his operation has been working closely with the Dudley Smith Farm for roughly ten years now.

 

 

Curtin says the work he does with the Dudley Smith Farm allows his operation to try various practices and techniques, before potentially bringing those methods back to his own operation.

 

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House Representative Bourne's Bill Combatting Synthetic Drugs Awaits Governor's Signature

A bill sponsored by state house representative Avery Bourne to help fight the synthetic drug epidemic in Illinois is sitting on Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk. The bill would broaden the language and add to the list of what is considered a controlled substance in Illinois.

 

Bourne says synthetic drugs are a huge issue in our area and across the state.

 

 

Bourne says it’s an ongoing battle to keep bath salts and synthetic drugs off the streets all over Illinois.

 

 

Bourne will also be having her traveling office hours this Tuesday, June 27th in Taylorville at Congressman Rodney Davis’ office. With the representative likely to be working in a special session in Springfield, constituents can still come talk to Bourne’s staff and have their voices heard on state and local issues.

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Taylorville High School Senior Wins Christian County Ag Group Scholarship

The Christian County Ag Group has awarded its annual scholarship to a Taylorville High School senior. The group announced Wednesday that 2017 THS graduate Madison Taylor will receive this year’s scholarship.

 

Sue Davis is the Secretary of the Christian County Ag Group. She says the scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school senior looking to go into an agriculture related major in college, and that the scholarship helps achieve their mission of promoting agriculture in Christian County.

 

 

Madison Taylor is the daughter of Brad and Kathy Taylor. Davis says they are proud to give the scholarship to someone as active as Taylor.

 

 

Taylor will be presented her 500-dollar scholarship check during next month's Ag Appreciation Luncheon at the Christian County Fair. Taylor will be attending Black Hawk Community College this fall to obtain an Associates Degree, and then possibly attend Western Illinois University.

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Former WTIM DJ "Johnny Payola" Dies

 

A former WTIM DJ, long-time broadcaster, and Taylorville native died on Monday. Johnn E. Mazzotti, also known as “Johnny Payola”, died at the age of 74.

 

Mazzotti started his broadcasting career at the age of 15 at WTIM. He was a disk jockey at many sock hops and high school afterglows He was a Taylorville High School graduate in the class of 1960, and he met his future wife, Becky Brooks, during his high school years. He went on to work for some other broadcasting stations across Illinois before eventually landing a career with the Secretary of State Department of Police.

 

Mazzotti will be cremated and the family will host a celebration of life at a later date. Memories of Johnn, or condolences to the family, may be shared online at www.mccclurefuneralhome.com.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Pageants Gearing Up

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Committee held their organizational meeting Monday night at the Chamber board room, for the 32nd annual event coming up October 7th and 8th on the Taylorville square.

Pageant director Brittany Moore told Regional Radio News after the meeting she was happy with her first year of heading up the pageants last year.

 

 

And, Moore says this year you'll be able to apply to participate in any of the Chillifest pageants on-line.

 

 

Moore says her first year as Chillifest Pageant director went well...with one exception.

 

 

Information on the Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest can be found on-line at chillifest.info.

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital to Host CICBC Blood Drive Next Week

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, June 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Central Illinois Community Blood Center. The hospital’s goal is 96 units of blood collected from the drive, and they are looking for anyone who can donate to do so.

 

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Blood Drive Coordinator Pat Anderson says there is no cost to donate other than your time. She says all blood collected will stay in the area.

 

 

Anderson talks about what is important to do before donating and what to bring when you come to donate.

 

 

Anderson says you can schedule an appointment by calling her at 237-2214 or 827-1490.

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Morrisonville Native Joins U of I Extension Christian County Office

 

The University of Illinois Extension has a new face joining the team in Christian County. Catherine O’Connell has joined the U of I Extension Christian County Office as a Publicity and Promotions Assistant and will be involved with getting information about the Extension’s events and happenings out to the community.

 

O’Connell is from Morrisonville, and she says working in agriculture runs in her blood.

 

 

O’Connell says her college path was excellent in preparing her for her new position and life after college.

 

 

O’Connell says she looks forward to educating the public because there are more facets to agriculture than just farming.

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Rauner Speaks in Advance of Special Session

Lawmakers are back at work today at the order of Gov. Bruce Rauner. Last night at the Old State Capitol, he urged lawmakers to end what he called the "unnecessary" budget crisis.



In an address that lasted just over three minutes,Rauner said failure to act could cause "permanent damage." to the state. Democrat lawmakers and gubernatorial candidates dismissed Rauner's speech as campaigning.

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Air Conditioning Replacement Coming to Christian County Courthouse After Tuesday's Board Meeting

 

The Christian County Board is starting the process of getting a new air conditioning system after a motion was passed for the County Buildings Supervisor to seek bids for replacing the aging system. That was among the items covered at the Christian County Board meeting Tuesday night.

 

Becky Edwards is the Audit, Finance, and Purchasing Committee chairperson in Christian County. She says the County’s Buildings Supervisor is going to take it on himself to replace the 3rd floor air conditioner, and that the time to replace it is now.

 

 

She said because County Buildings Supervisor Zach Hicks is doing the project himself, they don’t have a clear idea what the project will cost at this point.

 

Another motion taken at the meeting was a stand against the federal prevailing wage law. Although it is required to pass under federal law, Edwards says the 8-6 vote is a way of showing the board’s displeasure for the law.

 

 

The next county board meeting is scheduled for July 18th at 6:30 p.m. in the county board room at the Christian County Courthouse.

 

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Central Counties Health Centers to Open Taylorville Location in July

Central Counties Health Centers currently operates locations in Springfield and Jacksonville, but a new Taylorville location will be opening in just a few weeks. The planned opening for the Central County Health Center location is set for July 10, The center will be on Cheney Street where the Christian County Medical Clinic is currently located.

 

CCHC President and CEO Heather Burton says the organization’s mission is to bring healthcare to anyone that needs it.

 

 

She says that expanding to Taylorville has been looked at for some time.

 

 

She says the center plans to offer primary care to start, while working in other practices as the Taylorville location gets up and running.

 

 

For more information on the Central Counties Health Centers, you can get a link to their website here.

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - June 20, 2017

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

 

Sometime between noon and 3:00 pm on Monday, June, 5, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 835 East Adams Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a Playstation 4 game system, 2 Playstation 4 games, and a controller.  There did not appear to be any damage done when entry was made.  The total dollar amount of the theft is unknown at this time.

 

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

 

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

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Better Business Bureau and Christian County TRIAD Warning of Bad Charities

Often people donate money to charity, but how do you know if your money is going to the cause you intend for it to go towards, and not to those involved in the charity themselves? The Better Business Bureau has released their list of the worst charities in America, so interested donors can check to see if their donated money is being utilized the way they want it to be.

 

Rich Peters and Brian Hile with the Christian County TRIAD program both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show to discuss these charities. Peters shared with listeners the BBB's top five worst charities.

 

 

In some cases, less than one percent of your money is going towards the cause the charity claims to support.

 

 

Hile said on the matter potential donors should seek out local charities to donate too, so they know their money stays local.

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Congressman Davis Talks Farm Bill; Virginia Shootings

Less than a week after being on the scene of a politically motivated shooting in Virginia, Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis was visiting with central Illinois farmers Monday.  
 
Congressman Davis made stops in Macon and Champaign County Monday morning to continue what's been dubbed "The Field Ahead - Farm Bill Listening Tour."  While much of the discussion focused on agriculture, Davis was a bit emotional addressing the events of June 14th when a gunman opened fire on a baseball field where Republican congressmen were practicing.  Davis thanked those that reached out to him, and hopes the incident leads to change in Washington.
 
 
Davis has made several stops in recent weeks across the 13th Congressional District to discuss the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill with those that are directly affected by the legislation.  He says common themes such as the importance of crop insurance continue to lead the discussions.
 
 
Although there is no immediate timetable for work on the new Farm Bill to begin, Rep. Davis feels getting an early jump on things is a good sign.
 
 
In addition to the Farm Bill, Davis also touched on topics such as infrastructure, trade, and new USDA Chief Sonny Perdue at his Champaign stop Monday.  Congressman Davis serves on the House Committee on Agriculture.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Committee Holds Organizational Meeting Monday Night

 

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Committee held their 2017 organizational meeting Monday night in the Chamber board room, to begin plans for this year's event on the Taylorville square October 7th and 8th.

Chamber C-E-O Patty Hornbuckle told Regional Radio News after the meeting, that work on vendors, entertainment, and the always popular pageants, have already begun.

Several new kid features from last year's Chillifest, are coming back for 2017.

Chillifest's Entertainment Committee this year has 2 co-chair's.  Danny Russell is continuing to chair along with a new co-chair for 2017.

For information on this year's Greater Taylorville Chillifest, go to chillifest.info.

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Pawnee Prairie Days Coming Up This Weekend

 

The Pawnee Prairie Days are set for this weekend, with plenty of fun and exciting events scheduled throughout the weekend. Pawnee Prairie Days starts on Thursday and runs until Saturday in downtown Pawnee.

 

Mike Hall is on the board that organizes the annual festival in Pawnee. He says there will be plenty of events throughout the weekend to entertain those who come out.

 

 

Hall says the annual nickel raffle has great prizes this year, and if someone is lucky enough, he or she can win a prize for only a nickel.

 

 

The festival is free to attend. In addition to all of the scheduled events, there will be carnival rides and food trucks at the Pawnee Prairie Days throughout the weekend.

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Gaming Bird Business Paying Off for Petersburg Brothers

The Illinois poultry industry is more than just chickens. For brothers Cavan and Steele Sullivan it’s pheasants too. They have quite an operation in Petersburg in Menard County. Cavan says there’s a market for gaming birds.



Their idea started in their 4H and FFA days simply as a way to pay for college. Cavan says it’s grown from there.



Gaming birds are just a small part of the Sullivan’s business. Petersburg Poultry Processing processes two to three days per week with each shift slaughtering upwards of 2,000 chickens. They employ 22 people. 

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Illinois Convenience Stores Concerned About Potential Loss of Powerball and Mega Millions

Unless lawmakers and Governor Rauner hammer out a budget agreement, it will take a drive out of state to buy tickets for those massive multi-state lottery jackpots in the Mega Millions and Powerball games. Bill Fleischli with The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores is hopeful a budget deal can be struck by month's end.



The state reported nearly $100 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales last budget year. It's not clear how much revenue the state gets from multi-state lottery sales. 

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"Steps in The Process" for Water Treatment Plant, TIF Districts at Taylorville's City Council Meeting Monday

 

The new water treatment plant and the two new TIF districts in Taylorville are both one step closer to reality after actions taken at Monday night’s Taylorville City Council meeting. A new contract was approved between Plocher Construction Company and the city after new negotiations were started amid fears that state money would not come in because of the budget crisis. Also, both proposed TIF district maps were approved, moving those one step closer to fruition in the city.

 

Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the new negotiations were started to protect the city if the Illinois EPA were to not release the allocated funds to the city.

 

 

Barry says since the contractor has approved the new terms already, things should get rolling quickly on the new water treatment plant.

 

 

 

 

Barry says there is some work to do to annex some of the proposed land for each TIF district, but that the boundaries are now sorted out.

 

 

For the complete interview with mayor Bruce Barry or to see the full city council meeting, you can visit WTIM-TV on YouTube.

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Christian County CEO Board Announces 2017-18 Students

 

Christian County CEO, or “Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities” Board of Directors are pleased to announce the 2017-18 Christian County C-E-O Class.

 

Students were selected thru a blind application process.  Taylorville High School students named to participate in the program include Reese Bergschneider, Jacob (JT) Boehme, Ryan Brown, Carrie Denning, Luc Johnson, Karlee Kuntzman, Riley Matheny, Jordan Moats, Jessica Parsons and Kyle Woods.  Other students embarking on the C-E-O journey during the upcoming school year include Grace Blakley from First Baptist Christian Academy, James Harris from South Fork, Fayth Stout from Pana, and Sabrina Warren from Edinburg.

 

The Christian County CEO program is made possible by the generous donations from Christian County businesses, community groups, and individuals.  There is no cost to the students or school districts.   Students will tour area businesses and learn about business from guest speakers.  The program teaches leadership, encouragement, and creativity. 

 

“Entrepreneurship education seeks to prepare people, especially youth, to be responsible, enterprising individuals who become entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial thinkers and contribute to economic development and sustainable communities. The CEO program is much more than a textbook course. Rather, students are immersed in real life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes,” says Cheryl Mitchell, Midland Institute Executive Director.

 

More information about the program is available at www.christiancountyceo.com

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Many Come Together To Put on Assumptionfest Each Year

Many different groups in Central Illinois come together to put together Assumptionfest every year. Assumptionfest is a festival the city of Assumption puts on every year that offers a number of different activities and attractions for visitors to the event.

 

Angela Ohl-Marsters, President of Assumptionfest appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event. Ohl-Marsters says the event will have all of the old favorites, along with several new attractions this year.

 

 

The event wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the large group of citizens and sponsors from around the region that come together to make the event happen each year.

 

 

Assumptionfest will take place June 29th through July 1st in Assumption, and the event offers many of it's attractions to visitors free of charge.

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Illinois Treasurer Urging Governor to Sign House Bill 302

Illinois' finances are in trouble with the budget impasse, but one bill that has made it's way to the governor's desk would work to get money back into the pockets of Illinois residents who have lost a loved one. House Bill 302 would mandate that life insurance companies pay out any life insurance policies that haven't yet been paid.

 

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs has been a strong proponent of HB 302, and is urging the governor to sign the measure, saying the bill would have life insurance agencies keep the promises they made to their policy holders.

 

 

The measure has seen a lot of backlash from the insurance industry. Frerichs says insurance companies will say they do pay out death benefits, but when they do, it's often long after the policy holder has passed.

 

 

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

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Bullock Named General Sales Manager for Miller Media Group

The Miller Media Group today named its first-ever General Sales Manager for both its Taylorville and Clinton, IL clusters.

Chris Bullock brings nearly 30 years of radio on-air, sales and management experience to the Miller Media Group stations.  He most recently was with the Cromwell Group in Decatur as their general manager, and spent some 27 years with that company.

Chris will be managing sales in both clusters, plus will take over the account list of retiring account manager Judi Humphrey.

Chris will be headquartered in Taylorville.
 

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Morrisonville Community Blood Drive Looking for Donors

The need for blood never stops, and Morrisonville United Methodist Church is looking to help the need. The church is hosting a community blood drive from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 29.

 

Libby Bair is a Donor Relations Consultant for the Central Illinois Community Blood Center. She says that all presenting donors will be entered into a drawing for a $2,500 vacation package to anywhere the winner would like to go.

 

 

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is the only provider of blood for Taylorville Memorial Hospital and Pana Community Hospital. She says donors should know that their blood will stay in the community.

 

 

If you have any questions or would like to donate, you can contact the blood center at 241-7550.

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10th Annual Stonington 5K This Saturday

For the tenth year, the Stonington 5K is coming up on June 24th, and all competitive runners and those looking for exercise are welcome to participate. Registration will begin at 6:45 on that Saturday morning, with the 5K starting at 8 a.m.

 

Event organizer and Taylorville Cross Country coach Steve Walters says the funds will go towards the cross country program at the high school. Walters says this fundraiser has been the backbone for funding the cross country program since he’s been involved with the program.

 

 

Walters says there are several area businesses that are helping the event come together this year.

 

 

For more information on the race, we have a link you can visit at this story at Taylorville Daily News dot com.

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Recently Retired Broadcaster Honored by Miller Media Group

 

Long-time broadcaster Jim Finks of Shelbyville was recently honored for his 20 years of service with the Miller Media Group.

Finks retired from broadcasting in May, after being the play-by-play announcer for the Shelbyville Rams sports broadcasts on WRAN (now WSVZ) 98.3 FM, and more recently being the host of the Friday Morning Show live from Shelbyville, on NEWSTALK WTIM.

Finks was given a plaque for his commitment to Local Radio and the Miller Media Group, by company president Randal J. Miller.

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This Week is National Pollinator Week

June 19th to the 25th is National Pollinator Week, a time for the ag industry to celebrate the bees and other pollinators that are so vital to food production. NAFB's Micheal Clements reports.

 

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Bustos: President Trump's $1-Trillion Infrastructure Plan Not Based in Reality

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos not impressed with President Trump’s $1-trillion infrastructure plan. She’s looking for specific details, but says the public-private partnership, which the plan calls for, will be tough for rural areas to accomplish. 



Bustos, a member of the House Ag Committee, remains critical of President Trump’s budget plan, which calls for closing the Peoria Ag Research Lab. Bustos says she is satisfied with President Trump’s choice for U.S. Ag Secretary—calling Sonny Perdue “a good man.” 

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#Cornstars Ready for Another Season

The corn is growing in Illinois and that means the “#cornstars” are ready for another season. Jim Taylor reports on a summer jobs project in Western Illinois. 

 

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Taylorville High School Track Again Hosts American Cancer Society Relay for Life

 

Several hundred people turned out for Friday night's American Cancer Society Relay for Life at the Taylorville High School track.

 

The event lasted from 6pm to midnight, with some 20 teams participating as well as individuals, all raising money for the American Cancer Society.

 

The highlight of the night was the Luminaria Walk at 9 o'clock, honoring those who have passed, those who have fought the disease and won, and those who are currently being treated for cancer.

 

Funds raised go toward the American Cancer Society's ongoing research efforts.

 

 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Participate in Raymond-Harvel Kiwanis Golf Outing

4 members of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club participated in today's Raymond-Harvel Kiwanis Club benefit golf outing.  The event is held by the Raymond-Harvel Club each year, to raise money for their Kiwanis programs benefiting children and youth in their area.

Participating in the outing from the Taylorville Kiwanis Club included Blain Cornwell, Dean Ray, Michael Evanchak and Martin Vota.

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of a 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.

 

 Here's Blain Cornwell taking a swing.

 

 

Taylorville Kiwanis Club member Dean Ray participating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taylorville Kiwanis member Michael Evanchak at the outing.

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Former UFC Fighter and Hillsboro Native Hit by Train While Driving South of Raymond

A former UFC fighter and Hillsboro native was hit by a train while driving south of Raymond earlier this morning.

 

The driver, 43-year-old Matt Hughes of Hillsboro, was seriously injured and taken via Arch Helicopter to a Springfield Hospital. The crash is under investigation.

 

The accident happened at about 10:45 Friday on Beelers Trail, south of Raymond. The truck was traveling eastbound on Beelers Trail and crossed the railroad tracks in front of a train. The train hit the passenger side of the truck.

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Mt. Zion Community What Makes Chill On The Hill Possible

One local event that has been gaining traction beyond the local area is the Mt. Zion Chill On The Hill event. The event is a series of concerts from acts throughout both the local, and regional areas, offered for an affordable price.
 
Kelly McCourt Edwards, the Event Coordinator for the Mt. Zion Convention Center who works on the Chill on the Hill event, said her connections in the music industry has lead to her being able to get acts for the event that many others aren't able to schedule.
 
 
Edwards says even though her ability to schedule musical acts helps, it's the community who steps up and supports the event that makes it possible every year.
 
 
Tickets for Chill On The Hill are $4, and free for children 12 and under.
 
 
The complete 2017 lineup for Chill On The Hill is as follows.
 
  • June 1st: Feudin' Hillbillys
  • June 8th: James Armstrong
  • June 15th: Imagine That
  • June 22nd: Melody Line
  • June 29th: Ethan Bell Band
  • July 6th: Lady Luck
  • July 13th: Bygone's
  • July 20th: Lick Creek Band

 

All concerts are held at Fletcher Park in Mt. Zion.

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HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Offerent Several Programs to Help with Rehabilitation

Sometimes rehab is a part of the healing process, and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is working to make sure your rehabilitation is successful. The hospital offers a number of programs to assist with the healing process through their rehabilitation department.
 
Tonya Bowrey, Manager of the Rehabilitation Services Department at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, along with Terry Waylan, Occupational Therapist at the hospital appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios. Bowrey says the rehabilitation department works to help patients accomplish their goals in their recovery.
 
 
Waylan shared information on the Vacation Body School program the hospital offers.
 
 
The program will also teach the participants some spiritual information as well.

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Illinois Budget Impasse Causes Lincoln Trail Road Project to be Delayed

The Lincoln Trail project has been put on hold, and the reason why is something many across the state have been hearing for a few years. The budget impasse in Springfield is causing this road construction project in Taylorville to be put on hold.

 

IDOT spokesperson Kelsea Gurski says the department wants to make sure they have the appropriations to pay contractors before they start the project.

 

 

Gurski tells about what IDOT will be doing on the Lincoln Trail once the project begins.

 

 

The project is now anticipated to begin July 10th, with construction work lasting 20 to 45 days.

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Two Pana Men Facing Separate Murder Charges Appear in Court Friday

Two Pana men facing first degree murder charges in separate deaths appeared in Christian County Court Friday morning.

 

24-year-old Robert A. Stivers is charged with first degree murder in the death of his infant son in February 2016. The state and defense were asked to disclose their expert witnesses that would testify, along with their opinions and reports by Friday’s pre-trial. Because of complications, more time is needed for those to be disclosed. That has forced the jury trial to be pushed back for the second time in two months. The jury trial is now scheduled to start October 10th at 8:30 a.m. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

 

18-year-old Quinton L. Morrissey appeared for the first time since the murder charge was filed against him in the death of 59-year-old Stephen Presnell of Pana. The defense waived arraignment on the murder charge, and because of the new charge, Friday’s scheduled preliminary hearing has been pushed back until July 25th at 11 a.m.

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Jobs Lag in Illinois

The state’s unemployment numbers are falling but the Department of Employment Security isn’t willing celebrate. Illinois’ jobless rate is 4.6%t, but IDES’s Bob Gough says we are lacking in total job 
creation.



Nationwide unemployment is 4.3%.

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Alaska Seafood Company's Investment in Illinois Paying Off

An Alaska seafood company's investment in Illinois is paying off. Jim Taylor reports.
 

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Mega Millions and Powerball Appear to be Heading Out of Illinois

Unless lawmakers and Governor Rauner agree to a budget by month’s end, you’ll have to head to other states to play Mega Millions or Powerball. The Multi-State Lottery Association voted to remove Illinois from the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries due to the extended budget crisis.

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Rauner Calls Special Session

One day after House and Senate Republicans unveiled a compromise balanced budget plan, Governor Bruce Rauner is calling lawmakers back to Springfield.



Rauner says the Republican budget plan is one he can sign. It calls for a four year property tax freeze, compared to the two year freeze previously passed by lawmakers. House Speaker Michael Madigan released a statement saying House Democrats have tried to compromise with the Governor without hurting middle class families. He says when Democrats have tried to work to find common ground on a balanced budget, Rauner has refused to return to the bargaining table and negotiate. 

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Contaminated Seed Helping Spread Invasive Weed in Midwest

The USDA alerting farmers to be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth in conservation plantings. Palmer amaranth is a giant pigweed and is spreading across the Midwest through contaminated Conservation Reserve Program seed mixes says NRCS State Resource Conservationist Gene Barickman.



If there’s evidence of the invasive weed in conservation ground, Barickman says farmers need to attack it early in the game through mowing with hopes of keeping it away from corn and soybean fields.



Palmer amaranth can grow two-to-three inches per day and it primarily emerges in the Midwest May through September forcing farmers to manage the weed for much of the growing season. 

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Congressman Rodney Davis Speaks to Regional Radio About Wednesday's Shooting

Rodney Davis stood at the plate waiting to bat at the GOP practice for the Democrats vs. Republicans baseball game tonight at Nationals Park. The last thing he expected Wednesday morning was to be in the middle of gunfire.

 

Davis spoke with Regional Radio Thursday afternoon about his experience Wednesday morning during the shooting that has left the perpetraitor dead and five people, including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise wounded. Here’s what he had to say about what happened in that scary situation.

 

 

Davis says if it weren’t for Crystal Griner and David Bailey, the two Capitol Police on scene, he wouldn’t be alive today.

 

 

Davis was back on Capitol Hill at work just hours after the shooting. He says the event Wednesday may be what brings lawmakers back together for the nation’s common good.

 

 

Here is the full interview with Representative Rodney Davis:

 

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Heavy Rain, High Winds Hit Area Wednesday Night, Thursday Morning

 

Wednesday night and Thursday morning's heavy thunderstorms across the Regional Radio listening area, dumped anywhere from an inch and a half, to as much as 5 inches in a few places.

The heavy rain extended in a line from Quincy to St. Louis, then across Interstate 70 to Terre Haute.

Montgomery, Shelby, and Coles Counties in the area received one-point-5 to 3 inches.

 

High winds that accompanied the storms, damaged corn from Pana to Tower Hill to Effingham.

Thunderstorms could be in store for the area again as we head into the weekend.

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Christian County 4-H Program Hires New 4-H Program Coordinator

Christian County 4-Hers have a new face leading the way, and it's a face many will already be familiar with. Rebecca Livingston is the new 4-H Program Coordinator at the Christian County Extension Office, and has been involved in many 4-H programs in the past.

 

Livingston along with 4-H Youth and Development Coordinator at the U of I Extension Office Peggy Hampton both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. Hampton says the team at the Extension were glad to see Livingston secure the position.

 

 

Livingston is quickly getting to work, and highlighted an upcoming workshop the 4-H program is preparing for.

 

 

If you'd like more information on the upcoming 4-H workshops, or the 4-H program, you can contact the U of I Extension Christian County Office.

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Several New Faces on Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

There are several new faces on the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Board. The board helps to oversee everything that the Chamber is involved in, and what direction they'd like to see the chamber go in the future.

 

Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, where she revealed who's now on the Executive Chamber Board.

 

 

Hornbuckle also shared who will now sit on the rest of the Chamber Board.

 

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Wednesday Evening Train Crash Hits Close to Home for Christian County Sheriff's Office

A train crash with a van Wednesday evening has hit close to home for the Christian County Sheriff’s Office. Five people are dead after the accident just before 7 Wednesday night at the intersection of Illinois Route 16 and 1800 N Christian County Road just west of Pana.  

 

The victims were identified Thursday morning as Herbert J. Castle, Mary M. Pugsley, John A. Castle, Nell R. Castle, and Mary H. Castle.

 

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says his deputy Tyler Castle is not only the grandson of some of the victims, but he was also one of the first on the scene. Kettelkamp says he also knew the victims well, and it’s hitting him and the department hard.

 

 

Kettelkamp reminds the public how difficult it is to be a police officer, and says he appreciates all of the public’s thoughts and prayers.

 

 

Kettelkamp asks anyone that was at the ice cream social who may have information on who was driving to call the Christian County Sheriff's Office.

 

The crash is still under investigation. We will have updates as they become available.

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Latest Illinois Pork Tour Leads to $3-Million in International Sales

The numbers are in for the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s latest pork tour. The event brings in international buyers says the agency’s Bobby Dowson.



The tour was last week and Dowson says some nice business was generated for the Illinois pork industry.



Among the tour stops are breeding farms, the Chicago Board of Trade and Mercantile Exchange along with the University of Illinois. 

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Illinois Congressman Bost Reacts to Virginia Shooting

Five people, including Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives, have been shot by a lone gunman near a Y.M.C.A. baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia. That is the site where the Republican baseball team has been practicing for the annual Democrats versus Republican baseball game. Illinois Republican Congressman Mike Bost of Murphysboro says two of his colleagues had a strange interaction with a man about five minutes before the shooting.



Bost says the country is at odds politically, but reminds "we can disagree, but we don't have to take it to violence." He also cautions that at this point, the motive for the shooting is unknown.
 

The shooter is being identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois.

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Outgoing Illinois FFA President Enjoyed His Term

Illinois FFA elects a new president this week in Springfield. The organization’s outgoing president—J.C. Campbell of Little York says he had a great year. 



Campbell will attend the University of Illinois in the fall. Among his most memorable experience the past year was participating in an international agriculture trip to South Africa. The new Illinois FFA president is elected Thursday morning. 

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Congressman Rodney Davis Wants Better Political Tone After Escaping Shooter

For Congressman Rodney Davis, making it home after a morning "at bat" was a matter of life and death. He escaped injury in Alexandria, Virginia where police say a Belleville man targeted a practice for the Republican Congressional baseball team, firing dozens of shots, wounding five, including Congressman Steve Scalise. Davis ran to the safety of a dugout then a nearby apartment. Davis credits Capitol Police with saving the day and he has no words of forgiveness for suspected gunman James Hodgkinson of Belleville, who was later pronounced dead.



An emotional Davis thought the worst when a bullet struck the hip of Congressman Scalise.



He repeatedly called for an end to political hatefulness and he says rhetoric needs to change on all sides. . Davis is happy that this week's Congressional baseball game will go on as scheduled. 

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U of I Extension to Hold Kids Cooking Camp in Morrisonville

The University of Illinois Extension wants all kids between 3rd and 5th grade to join them in Morrisonville for a cooking camp later this month. The camp is from June 26th through the 28th from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Masonic Temple in Morrisonville. The classes will provide kids the opportunity to learn the basics of cooking and the importance of nutrition and food safety.

 

U of I Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Lisa Peterson says the camps are a part of the Eat Local Initiative the extension is promoting this summer. She says learning about nutrition at a younger age will help kids retain that information for the rest of their life and pass the knowledge on to others.

 

 

Peterson says there are many skills they will learn related to cooking a good meal.

 

 

Peterson says because of a grant from the Lumpkin Family Foundation, the camp comes at no cost. She does say that anyone interested should sign up as soon as possible to ensure they have a spot. For more information or to sign up, you can call 287-7246 or click here.

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Taylorville School District Receives Payment from State

 
The Taylorville School District has been struggling with their budget as the state is behind in their categorical payments to the district. The district received some good news however, as they received one of their owed payments earlier this week.
 
Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says receiving the payment is good news, however he's not hopeful to receive more payments that are owed to the district for this financial year.
 
 
The state aid the district receives from Illinois is very important to the district's budget, and the missing payments represent a lot of money owed to the district.
 
 
Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Montgomery County Fair Taking Place June 21st through the 25th

The Montgomery County Fair is quickly approaching, taking place on June 21st through the 25th at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. The event offers affordable entertainment, including various events such as motocross racing, 4-H events, and carnival rides that are included in the cost of admission.
 
Marty Benning with the Montgomery County Fair Board appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed the fair. Motocross racing is a new event at the fair, and will include an event where dads will race on mini bikes.
 
 
The fair comes together through a large effort from the community, and the volunteers who have helped make the fair happen.
 
 
Gate admission to the fair is $5, and will include free parking, along with free admission to the carnival rides every evening.

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Stonington Man Gets Five-Year Prison Sentence for Child Porn Possession

A Stonington man will serve prison time after pleading guilty to child pornography charges. 28-year-old Bradley E. Martin was sentenced Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to two counts of child pornography possession in February.

 

Martin will serve five years in prison as part of the plea agreement. Martin was originally arrested and charged in April 2016.  

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - June 14, 2017

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a hit and run that occurred in Taylorville.

 

At around 5:50 pm on Friday June 9, 2017, a hit and run occurred at Mach 1, located at Route 29 and Route 104.  While the victim was at the gas pump, a maroon pick up with a younger female driver, struck their vehicle.  The driver of the suspect vehicle stopped momentarily, and then left the scene heading toward Kincaid on Route 104.  There were 2 other younger subjects in the suspect 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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Camacho Home Center Outlet to Open in Taylorville

 

A local business man is taking on a new venture in Taylorville. Ezequiel Camacho, owner of Charro’s, will be opening Camacho Home Center Outlet next to his restaurant in Taylorville. The business is in the former location of Grandview Home Center Outlet.

 

Camacho says this opportunity started by buying the building, which he has since renamed Charro Plaza, and he has added more to the area since the purchase.

 

 

Camacho says his store will feature a variety of products for around the home.

 

 

The store will open this Friday, and be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Durbin Lashes Out at Trump Budget Cuts to Humanitarian and Development Assistance

Senator Dick Durbin grilled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on proposed cuts to the international affairs budget, namely humanitarian and development assistance.



Durbin argued that the proposed cuts would make the world less safe and undermine U.S. global leadership on refugees, global education, emergency food aid, and the fight against poverty. Durbin noted 
more than 20 million people face famine and starvation in Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Somalia. Meanwhile, a record-breaking 65 million people – including 11 million Syrians – are displaced.

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Emerging Corn Crop Feeling Impact of Dry June

The emerging corn crop doesn’t look very well in certain parts of the state. Chad Bell farms in Viola in Western Illinois. He describes what his conditions look like.



He’s hoping for some relief soon.



The last measurable rainfall for Bell occurred 19 days ago—only two-tenths of an inch. 

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Dry, Warm Air Rules Over Much of Illinois This Month

Dry warm air has been the rule over much of Illinois this month. And it’s starting to have an impact says meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather. 



He says the weather patternwas much different in many parts of the state during April and May.

 


Hicks says dew points are picking up and the atmosphere is becoming more humid. He adds that rain chances increase for much of the state later this week into the weekend. 

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Taylorville Garden Walk Discussed at Taylorville Kiwanis Meeting

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about this weekend's Taylorville Garden Walk, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Carol Alexander (left) told the club that the Taylorville Garden Walk was first launched in 2006, ran for several years, ended, and then was revived by the University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners in Christian County.

Alexander said this year's walk is this Saturday from 9 til 2, and features some prominent gardens in Taylorville. She added that attendees will be some spectacular gardens and trees at the homes of several residents, including one that has Lake Taylorville bordering their property on 3 sides.

 

Incoming Kiwanis president Martin Vota (right) led the meeting in the absence of president 

Will Perkins.

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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Math Curriculum Changes Coming to THS

In the first year of Illinois high school juniors taking the SAT for state testing, Taylorville High School principal Matt Hutchison had high hopes for the test scores. When the scores came back; however, those high hopes quickly came back down to earth.

 

Hutchison presented the test scores to the board at the Taylorville School Board Meeting on Monday. Taylorville’s high school juniors averaged a 985 on the SAT, short of the 998 national average and 1,022 state average. 66 percent of the juniors met the 11th grade benchmark in English, Reading and Writing, while only 46 percent met the same benchmark in math.

 

Hutchison told the board that part of the issue with the math scores may be that not every student at the school is exposed to the math on the test before their junior year. He presented a plan to change that going forward.

 

Hutchison says the changes would mainly affect those in the lower track math courses at the high school. He says it’s designed to give students exposure to geometry and algebra at the same time.

 

 

Hutchison says the school cannot control outside factors such as the test itself or test anxiety among students, so they will control what they can.

 

 

Also changing in the math curriculum is that students will be able to move between the low, medium, and high track courses to give students the appropriate challenge needed to stimulate their education. Overall, 43 percent of Taylorville juniors hit the composite 11th grade benchmark on the SAT exam given in April.

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Illinois State Historical Society Preparing to Dedicate Several Historical Markers Throughout The State

The Illinois State Historical Society are preparing to dedicate three historical markers across the state to honor key moments in history that helped shaped both the state, and the local areas where the markers will be placed.
 
Gwen Podeschi with the Illinois State Historical Society explained the markers are placed throughout the state, to recognize a number of different historical moments.
 
 
The markers help highlight some of the more intricate details of Illinois history. Podeschi says Christian County is home to one of these markers, to honor Abe Lincoln's time practicing law in Taylorville.
 
 
Podeschi appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Central Illinois Food Bank Recieves Large Donation of Milk from Paririe Farms Dairy

 
June is National Dairy Month, and the Central Illinois Food Bank are reminding people that dairy products, primarily milk, are a big need for area food pantries. Prairie Farms Dairy are helping with this need, by donating milk to the Central Illinois Food Bank.
 
Krista Lisser with the CIFB says the donation is a welcome sight due to the huge need the Food Bank has for dairy.
 
 
Lisser did say although the donation helps, the donated milk will be gone quickly. She says milk and dairy products are things people can donate to the food bank, but suggests those donating check with their local pantry to see if they have the ability to accept the donation.
 
 
Lisser appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Native Doug Quick Wins "Best TV Anchor" Award

 

Many Taylorville residents know Doug Quick for his time in radio and television. But could you imagine, Doug Quick, the pharmacist?

 

Quick, the co-anchor and weather anchor at Fox Illinois WCCU in Champaign, took home the Silver Dome Award for being the best TV anchor in a medium market from the Illinois Broadcasters’ Association at the Silver Dome Awards Gala on June 8th at the Abraham Lincoln Museum.

 

Quick says he’s proud to be recognized among his peers. He says the airwaves belong to everyone, and so he tries to serve everyone.

 

 

Although Quick is known for his many years in broadcasting, there was a time that he want to go into pharmaceuticals.

 

 

Quick began his broadcasting career when John Ulz hired him to work at WTIM in the 1970’s. Quick says he loves his hometown of Taylorville, and he had many life-changing events happen here, eventually leading him to where he is today.

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Steve Curtin Sworn In to Take Bruce Barry's Former Seat on Taylorville School Board

 

Taylorville’s newest school board member was sworn in Monday at the Taylorville School Board’s regularly scheduled board meeting. Steve Curtin was selected by the board to replace Bruce Barry on the board after Barry’s resignation to become the mayor of Taylorville.

 

Curtin says he wanted to join the board for multiple reasons.

 

 

Curtin says he hopes he and the board can help educate kids in the best way possible, no matter what route they take into the workforce.

 

 

A budget amendment hearing was held prior to the board meeting Monday night, amending the actual spending for the 2017 fiscal year compared to what was planned going into the year.

 

Most action items dealt with Monday were house-keeping items, but it did include most of the hirings necessary for the 2017-18 school year. Those hired include:

 

  • Rachael Ward as THS Musical Director.

  • Courtney DeClerck as a 4th Grade Teacher at Memorial Elementary.

  • Katherine Webb (Thompson) as a 2nd Grade Teacher at Stonington Elementary.

  • Kevin Loveless as a 1st Grade Teacher at North Elementary.

  • Annie Michalek as a 2nd Grade Teacher at North Elementary.

  • Nicholas Ulferts as an English Teacher at THS.

  • Hayden Eldred as a Math Teacher at THS.

  • Amber Akins as a Pre-K Teacher at Washington School (Pana).

  • Sean Pieper as a Social Science Teacher (Part-time) at THS.

  • Ashley LeVault as an 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher at TJHS.

  • Jenny Campbell as a Secretary (5.75 hours) at Memorial Elementary.

  • Angela Morrison as a Library Aide (5.75 hours) at THS.

  • Mary Vaughn as a Assistant Computer Aide (5.75 hours) at Stonington Elementary.

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Duckworth Takes Stand Against Privatizing Air Traffic Control

Senator Tammy Duckworth says the nation's air traffic control system should remain a public enterprise. She expressed her opposition to President Trump's proposed privatizing of air traffic control towers while questioning Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.



Moving governance of air traffic control from the FAA to a private corporation would increase the nation's budget deficit by 46 billion dollars over the next decade. 

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Marengo Blast Injures Two, Could Have Been Worse

A Northern Illinois explosion rocks a neighborhood. Two homes were destroyed as entire block was wiped off the map in Marengo. 50 more homes were damaged. No one was home in the residences that were destroyed. Four people were rescued from the second floor of a residence next door to the destroyed homes. Two people were treated for minor injuries and have been released from the hospital. The cause of the blast appears to be accidental. City officials are now warning of door to door home repair scam artists targeting the area.

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Bustos Gives Trump Budget Plan a Thumbs Down Review, Especially for Ag

Don't count Quad Cities Congresswoman Cheri Bustos among those impressed by President Trump's budget blueprint. Bustos is expressing concerns about funding for the Department of Agriculture.



She says the budget plan will also mean fewer jobs in already struggling small towns. Bustos also is expressing concerns about proposed deep cuts in the crop insurance program. 

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IDOT to Close Lincoln Trail for Up to a Month

People who use the Lincoln Trail on the east side of Taylorville should start planning more time in their commutes. IDOT will be closing Lincoln Trail to replace a culvert just east of Woodbine Street. The closure starts this coming Monday, June 19th.

 

Taylorville Ward Four Alderman and Street and Sewer Committee Chairman Earl Walters says along with the road closure, some local utilities are trying to get work done before IDOT takes over the reigns.

 

 

Walters says IDOT believes the closure will last for a month, but he believes it could be done a bit sooner as well.

 

 

Walters says as a detour into Taylorville, motorists should use Roosevelt Road to Kennedy Road to Illinois Route 29.

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Many Frustrated At Lack of State Budget Including State Representative Avery Bourne

Illinois has entered it's third year without a budget and many in the state are frustrated. Lawmakers are among those frustrated, including State Representative Avery Bourne, who wants to see lawmakers return to Springfield and get a budget deal done.
 
Bourne says the lack of a budget is unprecedented, not only because of a budget not getting passed, but recently not even making it to the governors desk.
 
 
The General Assembly still has time to get a budget passed, but it will now take a super-majority to pass.
 
 
State Representative Avery Bourne appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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U of I Extension Master Gardeners Garden Walk This Saturday

The University of Illinois Christian County Extension Office's Master Gardener's Garden Walk is just around the corner, taking place this Saturday from nine until two. The garden walk is an opportunity to see what local gardeners are doing in their gardens.
 
Gwen Podeschi, Master Gardener with the U of I Extension Office appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says all the gardens featured on this year's garden walk are wonderful.
 
 
Tickets for the garden walk are in the form of a pamphlet, which features information for those on the walk to find all of the featured gardens.
 
 
Master Gardeners will be posted at each walk along with the gardeners themselves, to answer any questions visitors may have about the gardens. Tickets can be purchased for the walk at the Christian County Extension Office, among various businesses in Taylorville and the surrounding areas.

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C.E.F.S. Christian County Outreach to Hold Open House Thursday

The public is invited to come to the C.E.F.S. Christian County Outreach Open House this Thursday from noon until 3 p.m. People can come in and check their credit, or talk with a foreclosure specialist or an insurance agent during the open house. There will also be door prizes for those in attendance.

 

Outreach Coordinator for Christian County Outreach Jodi Rusher says there will also be a member of the Citizen’s Utility Board available to talk to people between 2 and 3 p.m. She says for those that have been reached and asked about switching utility providers, talking to this representative can answer any questions.

 

 

Rusher says C.E.F.S. provides many services to the community.

 

 

The open house will be at the C.E.F.S. Christian County Outreach Office at 311 South Main Street in Taylorville. If you have any questions, you can call 824-4712. 

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Construction Company Near Sullivan "Complete Loss" After Fire

A rural Sullivan construction company burnt to the ground Thursday night. The property, owned by Mast Construction northeast of Sullivan, is considered a complete loss.

 

Mike Piper is the Chief of the Sullivan Fire Protection District. He said multiple buildings were turned to rubble.

 

 

Mast Construction owner Chester Mast says that they are in the very early stages of getting estimates for how much damage was done, but that he estimates that there is at least $600,000 in damage.

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Saving Orphaned Animals Helping Shelby County Animals Get the Care They Need to Find Loving Homes

A local organization is working to help animals in the region to get the care and attention they need to become more adoptable, in an effort to help relieve stress on the Shelby County Animal Control facility from overcrowding.
 
Penny Standerfer, founder of Saving Orphaned Animals says the organization takes care of the many things that pets need that the county doesn't provide, to help them find loving homes.
 
 
Standerfer was inspired to start Saving Orphaned Animals after seeing the poor conditions at area facilities when she was adopting an animal.
 
 
Standerfer appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Pana Teen Accused of Murder to Appear in Court This Week

A Pana teen will be in court again this week in the murder of a man at his home on Pana Lake on May 31st.

 

18-year-old Quinton L. Morrissey of Pana will have his first appearance on the first degree murder charge and a preliminary hearing on the aggravated battery charge on Friday. Morrissey is accused of killing 59-year-old Stephen L. Presnell by knocking him out and then stomping on him to his death.

 

The Christian County Coroner’s initial findings show that Presnell died of blunt force trauma to the head, chest, and abdomen.  

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Soy Transportation Group Pleased with Trump's Infrastructure Plan

Agricultural groups reacting favorably to President Trump’s massive infrastructure plan. He made the announcement last week in Cincinnati with the executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition—Mike Steenhoek—in attendance.



And Steenhoek says the President made key three points very important to his group.



Trump has indicated he wants to accomplish the $1-trillion plan to repair aging levees, dams, locks and ports through public-private partnerships. The Soy Transportation Coalition includes representation from thirteen state soybean boards, including Illinois. 

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Tractor-Trailer Length Bill Wins Approval in Springfield

The trucking industry picked up a win during the spring legislative session in Springfield. House Bill 683 dealt with tractor-trailer length on secondary roads and was supported by Don Schaefer with the Midwest Truckers Association.



And Schaeffer says the ten foot differential created problems for truckers in certain jurisdictions.



The bill was approved in both the House and Senate and the governor is expected to sign the measure. 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Members Complete New 2nd Pavilion at Kiwanis Park

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club recently completed a 2nd pavilion at Kiwanis Park on Lake Taylorville, for children and their families to use.

The newest pavilion is a smaller pavilion than the large pavilion the Kiwanis Club constructed in 1995.

Kiwanis member Duane Stock donated the supplies for the new pavilion, and led the work crew.

Kiwanis member Brad Davis donated a picnic table as well as being part of the work crew.

Other Kiwanis members helping with construction included Dean Ray, Larry Kemner, and Kiwanis president Will Perkins.

 

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 Resident Hits Jackpot On Lottery Scratch-Off

One Taylorville resident recently struck it big on an Illinois Lottery scratch-off. Tiffany Atkinson played a Roulette instant ticket and won the top prize of $250,000.

 

In a press release, Atkinson said she wants to use the money to pay her bills and buy a house.

 

The winning ticket was sold at Casey’s General Store at 925 East Main Street in Moweaqua. They will receive $2,500, or one percent of the prize amount, for selling the winning ticket. 

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CIPT Wants You to "Dump The Pump" on June 15th

This coming Thursday, Central Illinois Public Transit and other mass transit agencies across the country want you to “Dump The Pump!” CIPT is participating in the national Dump The Pump day by offering free in-county rides on their buses.

 

Susan Love is the Director of Central Illinois Public Transit. She says there are more reasons to try out CIPT that day than just a free ride.

 

 

Love says public transit can help everyone keep our planet a little cleaner.

 

 

To book a ride, you can call CIPT’s dispatchers at 855-755-2478.

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Taylorville Police Help Lead to Conviction in Texas Murder

A Texas woman has pleaded guilty of murder in a case that the Taylorville Police Department helped to get the ball rolling on. 34-year-old Cassandra L. Amole entered the plea Thursday, and will serve 60 years in prison in Texas.

 

Amole, along with her sister Jessica L. Shepherd, murdered Jimmie Muir at his home in Dumas, Texas, about 50 miles north of Amarillo in May of 2015. After killing Muir, the pair stole his truck and many of his personal belongings and valuables and fled the state. The pair was apprehended in Greensburg, Kansas. Greensburg is the town that is known for being hit by a large tornado nearly wiping the town off the map about 10 years ago.

 

How does the case relate back to Taylorville? Texas’ 69th District Attorney David Green says it all has to do with a phone call to a family member in this area.

 

 

All told, six police agencies worked together to investigate this case in Texas, including Taylorville Police, the Moore County, Texas Sheriff’s Office, Texas Rangers, Kiowa County Kansas Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the Moore County District Attorney’s Office.

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Shelby County Office of Tourism Fielding Many Calls on Lake Shelbyville Beach Status

Tourism is one of the major draws to Shelbyville and Shelby County. Due to the heavy rains in the spring, one of Shelbyville's major attractions, Lake Shelbyville, has had to temporarily close beaches due to high water levels.
 
Freddy Fry, Executive Director of the Shelby County Office of Tourism says that one of the most asked questions her office is receiving, is the status of the beaches at the lake.
 
 
Fry says beach goers should keep an eye on the tourism office's website or social media pages for the latest information on when the beaches open.
 
 
Fry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

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Shelby County 4-H Programs Helping Area Youth Grow

4-H is a program where youth get to participate in a number of different programs and activities that help them grow. The 4-H programs in Shelby County recently launched a new group called 4-H Ambassadors, which seeks to continue to build on the work that 4-Hers already get.
 
Yolanda Nation, 4-H Extension Program Coordinator for Shelby County appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios, and discussed the 4-H Ambassadors program.
 
 
Nation says she's seen several kids blossom due to their participation in the 4-H program.
 
 
Nation also pointed out that there are a tremendous amount of different programs available through the 4-H program, and that there is a 4-H program for everyone.

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NEWSTALK WTIM's 107.5 Shelbyville Signal Back On the Air

NEWSTALK WTIM's 107-point-5 FM signal in Shelbyville is back on the air following a power outage that took the station off the air yesterday afternoon. 

Due to the power loss, Internet settings used to send audio to the Shelbyville transmitter from our Taylorville studios, was lost and had to be re-installed late this (Friday) morning.

The 107-point-5 FM signal in Shelbyville came back on the air during the noon hour today (Friday).

NEWSTALK WTIM thanks its Shelby County listeners for their patience while we worked to restore our Shelbyville signal.

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Scott Stallman to Leave LLCC Position

A Lincoln Land Community College administrator is leaving the college in July. Scott Stallman, Associate Vice President of Education Outreach at LLCC is leaving the college to take a position at a community college in Texas.

 

Stallman says he will be taking the position of Vice President of Instruction at Lonestar College in Tomball, Texas, about 30 minutes north of Houston. He says the position, the college, and the area all intrigued him about this new position.

 

 

Stallman says he and his wife love this area and the people of Central Illinois. He says that people shouldn’t believe the stereotype that all rural areas are the same.

 

 

The college will have a farewell reception for Stallman on Tuesday, July 11th from 1 to 3 p.m. at the LLCC-Taylorville campus. Stallman’s last official day is July 13th.

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Law Enforcement: Be Cautious of Door to Door Home Repair Contractors

Law enforcement urging caution when dealing with door to door home repair contractors. In a recent incident in Madison County, an elderly woman was approached by two men claiming they were there to do repair work authorized by a family member. Scammers will commonly use the scheme in which they say they need entry to the house for one reason or another. While one is talking to the victim, the other disappears and begins stealing items from the home. Madison County Sheriff's Department Captain Mike Dixon says this is becoming a more common scheme.



Police recommend never letting anyone into your home you are not expecting ahead of time, and to report any suspicious visits to proper authorities.

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Corn Rootworm Continues to be One of Top Corn Pests in Illinois

Lightning bugs are a sure sign of summer, but they also serve as an important indicator for farmers. If you see them, it’s time to scout your fields says Kelly Estes with the Illinois Natural History Survey. 



Even though populations have been low the past couple of years, Estes says corn rootworm still remains one of the top corn pests in Illinois. 



Estes says she’s also been receiving scattered reports around the state of army worm in both wheat and corn. 

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Rauner Warns of Special Session

Governor Bruce Rauner says lawmakers may be returning to Springfield sooner, rather than later and not by choice as the state's budget disaster rolls on.



Despite the threat, Rauner says there is some work going on in the General Assembly toward a budget deal.



Despite his claims the school finance restructuring bill is a bailout for Chicago schools, Rauner told a reporter in Peoria when it comes to a possible delayed start to the school year because of the budget impasse "we won't let that happen".

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June Business After Hours Event to Be Held at Jenner Ag in Taylorville

Another Business After Hours event with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is right around the corner, with the next event set to take place at Jenner Ag in Taylorville. Business After Hours is a great opportunity for businesses in the community to interact with one another, network, and have a good time.
 
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says this will be the second time Jenner Ag has hosted a Business After Hours.
 
 
Hornbuckle encouraged people with an interested in the Chamber to attend a Business After Hours event to learn more about the Chamber and it's members.
 
 
This month's Business After Hours will be hosted at Jenner Ag in Taylorville on June 21st from 4:30 until 6:30.

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Tips on Growing and Preserving Strawberries to be Taught in Hands On Workshop Held at U of I Extension Office in Taylorville

 
As a part of the University of Illinois Extension's Local Foods Initiative, the Extension will be hosting a number of different workshops and activities designed to get people to eat locally grown foods. One of those workshops will look at growing and preserving strawberries in your garden.
 
Andrew Holsinger, Horticulture Educator with the U of I Extension will be teaming with fellow Extension educator Lisa Peterson in this hands on workshop.
 
 
Although strawberries grow decently well in Central Illinois, Holsinger says there are still some things that gardeners need to be aware of when growing strawberries, which will be taught during this workshop.
 
 
The workshop will take place on June 22nd from 9 until 1 at the Extension's Taylorville office free of charge, and interested parties can sign up through the U of I Extension's website. Holsinger appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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Illinois Author's Book Deals With Sometimes Troubled History of Central Illinois

 
Illinois Author Heinz Suppan just recently published his new book “Pana: The Crossroads of Crisis”, which takes a look at the history of Pana, and an incident that sparked tension in the area about 100 years ago.
 
Suppan appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the book, and explained why he gave the book the title he did.
 
 
Suppan explains how this influx of people into the area, partially lead to tensions between different parties in the area.
 
 
Suppan's book “Pana: The Crossroads of Crisis”, along with the several other titles that Suppan has penned can be purchased online on Amazon.

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911 Center Funding In Jeopardy Without Governor's Signature

In addition to not having a state budget after the end of the general session, 911 centers across the state also are wondering where their funding will come from after July 1st. Current funding for 911 centers will cease at the end of June, and Senate Bill 1839, which would provide that funding, is now sitting on Governor Rauner’s desk.

 

Shelby County Undersheriff Robert McCall says although all 911 centers won’t necessarily shut down on July 1st, they won’t be required to stay open either.

 

 

Part of the bill includes a 911 surchage fee increase to $1.50, up from $0.87. McCall says it’s important to note that although Shelby County gets a brand new 911 system starting in July, it’s important to look at the bigger picture when taking the surchage increase into consideration.

 

 

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police are calling on the governor to sign the legislation to fund 911 centers.

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Rauner Calls For Property Tax Relief

Governor Bruce Rauner spent the day Wednesday around the state lobbying for property tax relief for Illinois residents. The governor made stops in Moline, Peoria, and Poplar Grove, near Rockford, at private residences to talk about why it’s necessary to keep property taxes where they are at.

 

Rauner says Illinois’ high property taxes compared to its neighbors are pushing Illinois residents and businesses out of the state.

 

 

Rauner says with the state’s deficit spending, underfunded services, and high taxes; Illinois’ future is in a downward spiral.

 

 

Rauner and the state legislature continues to work out a budget for Illinois, with one of the issues being settled is including a property tax freeze.

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Efforts to Roll Back Regulations Roll On

Illinois and other farmers from around the country submitted thousands of comments to the Environmental Protection Agency last month as a result of a promise by its administrator, Scott Pruitt, to review the validity of federal E-P-A regulations. Don Parrish with the American Farm Bureau Federation says the effort could not only benefit farmers, but other sectors of the economy as well.



The Illinois Farm Bureau rallied its members to submit suggestions to the federal E-P-A. The A-F-B-F's Parish also expects progress on legislation to reform the way the federal government creates rules and regulations in the first place.



Critics of the process say some federal agencies go beyond the original intent of laws passed by Congress.

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Local Extension Units Eating Into Cash Reserves

Just like school districts, local extension units in Illinois are eating into their cash reserves. The culprit remains the state's ongoing budget stalemate. Jim Taylor reports.


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Durbin Warns of Job and Economic Consequences with New Health Care Bill

Senator Dick Durbin continues to blast the health care repeat bill from Congressional Republicans. He told colleagues on the Senate Floor that the bill would would jeopardize medical services in rural communities across the country. Durbin says they are often a main economic engine in smaller, rural areas.



Durbin says the House passed health care plan would cut funding for Illinois' Medicaid program by $40 billion. He believes pink slips and closures wouldn't be far behind.



Durbin notes in rural Illinois communities, half of all children get their health care through Medicaid. 

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New Budget Deficit Projections Out

Illinois budget deficit figures get more and more dire. The latest fiscal forecast provided to the General Assembly shows the deficit will hit 6.2 billion dollars when the fiscal year ends at month’s end. The bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability released the discouraging numbers. Last summer, the state ended the fiscal year with a deficit of 3.8 billion dollars. Without a budget over the next twelve months, commission members say the deficit will approach 8 billion dollars.

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Diabetes Self Management Classes Being Offered at Taylorville Memorial Hospital

 

Diabetes is on the rise across the United States, and many have questions once faced with a diabetes diagnosis. Taylorville Memorial Hospital is looking to help answer those questions, and is offering diabetes self-management education classes for those with a diabetes diagnosis to help with their health and wellness.

 

Jeanelle Cornelle, Clinical Dietitian with Taylorville Memorial Hospital says these classes cover a wide range of topics, all about diabetes and how you can manage it.

 

 

Those looking to sign up for the class need a diabetes diagnosis along with the completion of an order form from their physician. The class also comes with a small fee, however it's covered through insurance in many cases.

 

 

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

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Free Yoga Session Being Held June 21st at Christian County YMCA

The Christian County YMCA recently held a yoga demonstration on the Christian County Courthouse Lawn, and will be joining an international day of yoga, and will be hosting an open to attend yoga session on the YMCA lawn on June 21st.

 

Andrea Bach with the Christian County YMCA, along with YMCA Yoga Instructor Liz Garrison appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss yoga, along with the yoga session on the 21st. Bach said the Y was excited about the interest they've seen from the community for the yoga demonstrations.

 

 

Many have misconceptions about yoga and the benefits it can provide. YMCA Yoga Instructor Liz Garrison says yoga can provide benefits ranging from stress relief, to helping with digestive health.

 

 

The yoga session the Christian County YMCA is hosting on June 21st will take place at 6am on the YMCA lawn. The session is open to the public, and Bach says those interested can participate or spectate however long they would like. For more information contact the Christian County YMCA.

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Taylorville Cleanup Day Goes Without a Hitch Saturday

Many volunteers helped spruce up properties around Taylorville Saturday. The Missions for Taylorville Volunteer Work Day went off without a hitch, and about 45 were completed that day.

 

Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry participated in the program and was pleased with how the day went.

 

 

Missions for Taylorville Director Bill Kerns says he appreciates the support of the city and the volunteers from the community.

 

 

The next cleanup day is scheduled for September 9th. Kerns says any volunteers that could sign up for the next day beforehand would be appreciated. He says they can group volunteers together based on their skills beforehand if people preregister to volunteer.

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Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - June 7, 2017

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

 

Sometime during the overnight hours between Thursday May 25, 2017 and Friday May 26, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into the concession stand at the pavilion in Manners Park.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects rummaged through areas looking for items, but it did not appear anything had been taken.  There was damage done while making entry.  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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Farm Progress Show Returning To Decatur

Progress City at Richland Community College in Decatur, Illinois is set to become the mecca for agriculture once again as the 2017 Farm Progress Show returns August 29th thru the 31st.  Every other year, hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the world converge to learn about the latest and greatest in agriculture.  Matt Jungmann, National Events Manager for Penton Farm Progress, says the 2017 show is already shaping up to be an exciting one.

 

Hear the summary above.


2015 was the last time the Farm Progress Show was held in central Illinois.  That show saw a permanent expansion hastily included to the show site.  While no expansion is taking place this year, 

The 2017 Farm Progress Show will really start taking shape on Decatur's north side in July.  Jungmann says that's when companies will start prepping and constructing their exhibits.

The 2017 Farm Progress Show runs in Decatur August 29th thru the 31st.  To learn more, visit farmprogressshow.com.

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Rescheduled Edinburg Veteran's Memorial Dedication Set for Sunday

 

After being rained out on Saturday, May 20th, the dedication ceremony of the new Veteran’s Memorial at the Edinburg Cemetery has been rescheduled for this Sunday at 2 p.m., and the public is invited to attend. 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 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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Taylorville Softball League Raising Money and Collecting Food for Local Food Pantry

Many recreational sport leagues are just about playing the game, but one Taylorville league is looking to give back to the community. The Taylorville Men’s Softball League is collecting food and monetary donations for the Taylorville Food Pantry throughout the summer. The group has already raised $1,400, and they will continue to collect donations through July 23rd.

 

Men’s Softball League Vice President Justin Hall says this isn’t the first time the group has raised money for charity.

 

 

Hall says you don’t have to play to help the cause. He says spectators can bring donations to their games on Sundays, along with enjoying some good old-fashioned softball.

 

 

If you have any questions, Hall says you can contact the group through their Facebook page, Taylorville Men’s Softball, or they play every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Don Braggs Sport Complex on West Vandeveer in Taylorville.

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LaHood: Proposed Cuts to USDA Too Deep

Central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood says a 20-percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget runs too deep. And one of the casualties in President Trump’s budget plan is the Peoria ag lab. LaHood says a joint effort is already underway in Illinois to keep the facility open.



And LaHood says the Peoria ag lab is more than just a central Illinois issue.

 


LaHood says Illinois’ entire congressional delegation has signed a letter sent to the President pushing to keep the lab open. 

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Applicator Training Center Opens for Fertilizer and Chemical Industry in Illinois

A new training resource will soon be available for those ag businesses that apply fertilizer and chemicals in Illinois. Jim Taylor reports.

 

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Murder Charge Filed Against 18-Year-Old Pana Man

 

1st degree murder charges have been filed against a Pana teen in the killing of a 59-year-old Pana man near Pana Lake. 18-year-old Quinton L. Morrissey has been charged with murder in the death of Stephen L. Presnell at Presnell's home near Pana Lake. If convicted, Morrissey could face 20-60 years in prison. The case is set for a preliminary hearing on June 16.

 

The Christian County Coroner said last week that Presnell died of apparant blunt force trauma to the head, chest, and abdomen. The case is still under investigation.

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Local Talent Taking Stage In Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka at the Springfield Muni

 

On June 9th through the 11th, along with the 14th through the 18th, the Springfield Municipal Opera will be hosting Ronald Dahl's Willy Wonka. Several local children and young adults will be performing parts in the play, including the beloved characters we've all grown to know and love, along with one of an army of oompa loompas.

 

Amalia Schneider, Peyton Knowski , Ella Hohenstein, along with Zeke Kern appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the play and their parts in it. Knowski says tickets for the show are reasonably priced.

 

 

One of the major roles in the story of Willy Wonka are the oompa loompas. The play has recruited a number of local children, including Taylorville resident Ella Hoenstein to play the parts. Knowski gave credit to the makeup department for the production, saying they did a good job with the kids.

 

 

For more information on ther performance of Ronald Dahl's Willy Wonka, you can visit The Muni online at TheMuni.org.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Hold Board, Business Meetings Tuesday

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their monthly board meeting, then heard from committee chairs on their work helping children and youth in the Taylorville community, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

 

It was the monthly business meeting, and various committee chairs reported on their efforts either directly or indirectly in Taylorville Kiwanis children and youth programs.  The local Kiwanis Club board held their monthly meeting, before the weekly club meeting.

Kiwanis Park committee members reported that the 2nd pavilion for the park was recently completed.  Kiwanis member Duane Stock donated the materials for the pavilion, and Kiwanis member Brad Davis donated the picnic table.  Other Kiwanis members involved in construction included Dean Ray and Will Perkins.

 

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

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Christian County Senior Center Raising Money Through Annual Variety Show June 16th

Many in the region look forward to the annual variety show put on by the Christian County Senior Citizens Center. The show will take place on June 16th at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auditorium, and serves as one of the Senior Center's largest fundraisers of the year.
 
Gerry Mahr and Judy Gates with the Christian County Senior Citizens Center appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the show. The lineup for the show has been finalized, and includes some notable local acts.
 
 
The variety show helps to raise money for the Senior Center, and fund the various programs the center offers. The Senior Center will be offering a number of different activities like live auctions and 50-50 raffles to help raise money along with the cost of admission.
 
 
The Senior Center is still searching for additional items for their silent auctions. More information on the variety show is available by calling the Senior Center at 824-4263.

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Dee Krueger to Resign from Christian County CEO Board

Christian County CEO Board Member Dee Krueger is resigning from her position on the board. The Director of the Lincoln Land Community College Taylorville campus will be taking on more responsibilities in her work position.

 

Krueger says the board is very active and puts a lot of time and effort into the CEO program.

 

 

Krueger says she’s proud of where the program is today and is sure it will continue to grow.

 

 

The next board meeting for the Christian County CEO Board is Friday, June 9th.

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Fore! Annual TMH Golf Outing to Support Updating Hospital Equipment

 

Pictured: FORE! TMH Golf Outing Committee – Left to Right: Jane Simmons, Missy Keiser, Debbie Johnson, Louise Noren, Donna Castelli and Jan Vaughan.

 

Attention all area golfers: The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will host the annual FORE! Taylorville Memorial Hospital Golf Outing on Saturday, July 15th and are calling all golfers who want to play around and help a good cause. The event will be hosted at Lakeshore Golf Course, with registration and breakfast starting at 8 a.m. on July 15th, and shot gun start will be at 9 a.m.

 

Debbie Johnson is a volunteer coordinator at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. She says although the event will have four-person teams, you don’t have to have a group of four person team to participate.

 

 

Johnson says proceeds will be going towards updating equipment at the hospital.

 

 

There is a $85 registration fee per golfer, which includes 18 holes of golf with a cart, gift, breakfast, and lunch.

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Retired Taylorville Judge to Serve as Illinois Judges Association President

 

A retired Christian County judge and life-long Taylorville resident is stepping into a leadership role in the Illinois Judges Association. Former Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge John Coady was installed as President of the association at their annual meeting on Saturday at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Coady served as a judge on the Fourth Circuit of Illinois from 1987 until his retirement in 2009. He has also served as the Christian County State’s Attorney.

 

Coady says he wanted to stay involved somehow, and that his previous work with the association should suit him for the association’s current needs.

 

 

Coady says he will have many responsibilities in the role of President of the Illinois Judge’s Association.

 

 

The association represents 1,200 active and retired Illinois state court judges. Coady is the first retired member to serve as president of the association.  

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Crop Progress and End of Season Yields

The weekly Crop Progress report is mostly the work of Extension and FSA employees, at the least the data collection part. They report local crop conditions to state USDA offices, mostly on Monday morning, who in-turn tally those numbers and pass them along to Washington, D.C. for compilation and release on Monday afternoon.

 

Work at the University of Illinois shows a strong relationship between the end-of-season crop condition ratings and crop yield, however, agricultural economist Scott Irwin says that doesn't hold so well for the rest of the season.

 

 

The first corn rating of the season, released just after Memorial Day, wasn't good. The crop had been cold and wet. It showed up, or in this case didn't show up, in the good and excellent categories USDA NASS uses. Those are the two grades the U of I economist say correlate. The math works like this; the first corn condition rating was 65% good or excellent, minus 8 points for the average drop to the end of the season rating, which brings you to 57 percent.

 

 

If you do, in about mid-July you can use the math in the farmdocDaily article to forward calculate the national average yield for corn; mid-August for soybean.

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US Beef To China Moving Forward

U.S. trade officials are meeting this week with counterparts in China to finalize trade protocols regarding the export of U.S. beef to China. The move follows last month’s announcement that the U.S. and China reached an agreement to restart U.S. beef exports to China, sidelined since 2003.

 

However, as the Financial Times reported last week, China already has access to some prime U.S. beef cuts. That's because there is a flourishing market in secondary imports from Hong Kong, where China's ban on U.S. beef did not apply. Cuts destined for China could make up half of U.S. beef exports to Hong Kong, according to some experts.

 

Still, beef demand is growing in China, along with demand for higher-quality beef cuts. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts says the plan gives U.S. beef access to more than one billion consumers.

 

 

Roberts told the U.S. Meat Export Federation recently that trade “wins” like the agreement with China is a good start to helping farmers and ranchers when it comes to trade negotiations.

 

 

U.S. agriculture and beef groups have estimated that exports to China, once established, could be worth an estimated $2.6 billion for the U.S. livestock industry.

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Blagojevich Makes No Traction With Appeals Court

Another legal defeat for former Governor Rod Blagojevich. The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his request for another resentencing. He has exhausted virtually all of his legal options. One of the last options would be to ask his former TV boss, former Apprentice host and President Donald Trump for clemency.

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State Rep. Butler is Seeking a New Constitutional Convention

State Representative Tim Butler is leading the charge for a new Illinois Constitutional Convention. If lawmakers approve Butler's legislation, a question would be added to the 2018 Illinois General Election ballot asking Illinois residents if a state Constitutional Convention should be called. Butler believes the timing is right.



Butler says the state's 200th birthday next year is the perfect opportunity to revamp the state constitution.


 

The last state Constitutional Convention was in 1968. It led to the state's fourth and current constitution. 

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Health Insurance, TIF Districts Discussed at Taylorville City Council Meeting

 

Health insurance, the possible TIF districts, and a water treatment plant contract re-work were among the items discussed at the action-packed Taylorville City Council Meeting Monday night.

 

 

One of the first items of business was the swearing in of new Taylorville Fire Captain Cody Rogers. Many family and friends came to watch his swearing in as the Fire Department’s newest Captain.

 

A personnel committee meeting was held before the city council meeting, where the main discussion of the new health insurance policy took place. The council voted unanimously for the plan. Mayor Bruce Barry explains what the changes are.

 

 

Another item discussed was re-working the water treatment plant construction contract because of the state budget crisis and most of that money coming from the state. Barry says the city wants to get the contractor involved for the protection of both the city and the contractor.

 

 

The possible TIF districts were brought up again at Monday’s meeting, show that there is still disagreement on whether or not the TIF should happen. But the action taken at the meeting was more of a formality for the developer, according to Barry.

 

 

The council will meet again on June 19th in the city council chambers in the Taylorville Municipal Building.  

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Christian County Senior Center SHIP Program Helping Area Seniors With Their Medicare Needs

Many people are paying attention to when they turn sixty-five since that's the age where many are eligible for healthcare coverage under medicare. The Christian County Senior Citizens Center wants to help those in the community find the coverage they need with their Senior Health Insurance Program.
 
SHIP counselor with the Christian County Senior Center Gerry Mahr says many don't realize that the program is available year round.
 
 
The SHIP program can help seniors with their health insurance questions, but Mahr asks that you schedule an appointment first.
 
 
Gerry Mahr and Judy Gates both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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LLCC Taylorville Campus Working To Build Relationship With Local Community

Part of the mission for most community colleges is to be a positive member of their local communities. Lincoln Land Community College is working to achieve that goal, and one way they try to stay in tune with the area is by holding community partnership meetings.
 
Scott Stallman, Associate VP of Education Outreach at LLCC appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says these meetings are a chance for the community to learn more about whats going on at the college.
 
 
These meetings also allow the community to let the college know what they are looking for from the college as a member of the community.
 
Stallman stressed the importance of the connection between a community, and it's local community college.
 
 
For more information on Lincoln Land Community College, visit them online at LLCC.edu.

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Kincaid Boil Order Expanded, Now all of Kincaid and Bulpitt Under Boil Order

UPDATE - As of Tuesday at 3 p.m., the boil order has been lifted.

 

The boil order issued for the weekend in Kincaid has been expanded. The boil order is now for all residents of Kincaid and Bulpitt until further notice.

 

The boil order was set to expire after the weekend, but has now been extended and expanded.

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TCCU to Put On Third Annual Freedom Tree Food Drive

Taylorville Community Credit Union is holding its third annual Freedom Tree food drive to help local food pantries through the summer months. The drive kicks off today and will run until Friday, July 14th. All boxed and canned food donations, along with any cash donations, will go directly to local food pantries in each of the credit union’s three locations of Taylorville, Litchfield, and Hillsboro.

 

TCCU President Will Perkins says this is a way for local businesses to have an impact in the community.

 

 

Perkins says the credit union started this drive to help alleviate some of the giving slump that happens at food banks during the summer months.

 

 

Perkins says you do not have to be a member of the credit union to donate to the cause. All donations to the Taylorville location will go to the Taylorville Emergency Food Pantry.

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Illinois State Police Warning Public About Scammers Posing as ISP

The Illinois State Police are warning residents about a phone scam where someone is calling claiming to be from the ISP and collecting donations for fallen police officers. The phone number most often associated with the call is from a 312 area code number, but phone scammers have the ability to quickly change the phone number they use.

 

ISP Master Sergeant Jason Bradley says the state police will never call you looking for money.

 

 

Bradley says everyone has resources to check and see if an organization calling you is legitimate.

 

 

The ISP encourages anyone who believes they have been victims of a phone scam to call 1-800-243-0618 and report it to the Office of the Attorney General.

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IHSA Baseball Administrator: Pitch Count Policy Here to Stay

High School baseball in Illinois adjusted to a new pitch count policy this season and an IHSA administrator says the rule is here to stay. Jim Taylor reports.

 

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Rauner Roommates Relocate

The Rauners drew plenty of attention for tenants at their temporary home who don't help with the rent. A family of foxes has been staying underneath the front steps of the Agriculture Director's Home at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, where the Rauner's are staying during renovation work at the Illinois Executive Mansion. First Lady Diana Rauner says it appears their wild roommates have had a change of address.



The Rauner's hunting dog Stella has had to relocate temporarily while the foxes continued to reside at the Director's Home. The Governor's office confirms Stella has been reunited with the Governor and First Lady.

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IDNR Offers $100 Bounty for Black Carp Caught in Illinois Waterways

Illinois and several other states want to rid waterways of a fish that threatens others and could be on the verge of entering the Great Lakes. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources seeks help from the state’s commercial fishermen. The agency wants black carp out of Illinois waterways—a species of the invasive Asian carp says IDNR’s Kevin Irons.



Irons says there are several different species of the Asian carp. 



Those that catch a black carp, can contact Irons at 217-557-0719 or kevin.irons@illinois.gov to collect the $100 bounty. Groups such as Illinois Farm Bureau are watching control efforts closely, since efforts to control black and other Asian carp have the potential to disrupt the river navigation system.

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Plenty of Reaction in Aftermath of Failed State Budget Talks

Plenty of reaction as the spring legislative session adjourned Wednesday without a state budget. Steve Bridge reports from Springfield. 

 

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Another Rough Income Year for Grain Farmers

It looks like 2017 will be another rough year for grain farmers in the United States.

 

Even in Illinois, where the trend line yield for corn is 200 bushels to the acre and 61 for soybeans, the average income on a 1500 acre grain for this year is just $25,000. That's not good says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey…tape

 

 

It is a projection that wasn't quite so low earlier in the year. Then, like today, Schnitkey was using an average cash sales price of $3.70 a bushel in the Illinois crop budget for corn…tape

 

 

A decline in soybean prices to $9.00 likely will trigger 2017 ARC-CO payments, given county soybean yields are at trend levels. As a result, Illinois’s 2017 projections build in a $15 per acre government payment. It arrives until the fall of 2018, but an estimated $20 payment from last year's crop should arrive this fall.

 

In 2017, revenue is projected to be $755 per acre for corn, down by $77 per acre from last year. Gross revenue for soybeans is projected at $564 per acre, $140 per acre lower than in 2016.

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Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act Awaits Senate Action

Legislation passed by the U.S. House last week and supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation will bring regulatory relief to farmers and ranchers. NAFB's Micheal Clements has more.
 

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2nd Boil Order In Less Than a Week Issued in Kincaid

A boil order is in effect for the Kincaid area, specifically those residents south of Illinois Route 104. The boil order has been issued because of a water main break in the area.

 

This is the second boil order for the area in less than a week, with the other being issued on Wednesday for a few hours.

 

The boil order will be in effect through the weekend.

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Road Work Begins on Cherokee Street in Taylorville

 

You may want to plan on using an alternate route if you regularly use Cherokee Street in Taylorville on your commute. Road work has started on Cherokee between East Main Cross and Ash Street. The Taylorville Street and Sewer Department is installing new sewer and water lines, along with widening the street.

 

Taylorville Street and Sewer Department Superintendent Dick Wiseman says some of the work being done next week will lead to partial closures of Cherokee Street.

 

 

Wiseman says the project has been a long time coming.

 

 

Wiseman says the project should be completed sometime in the fall.

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Diana Rauner On Hand for Groundbreaking of Illinois Governor's Mansion Renovations

Ground was broken Friday on renovations to the Illinois Governor’s Mansion. The mansion is the third oldest in America, and the process began in January of 2015 leading up to the groundbreaking Friday.

 

Governor Bruce Rauner’s wife Diana was on hand for the groundbreaking, and she says there will be many new features and upgrades with the renovations.

 

 

Rauner says she hopes Illinois leaders won’t let the building get to the shape it’s in currently again.

 

 

The project is privately funded, and a ribbon cutting ceremony for the completion of the project is planned for the state’s bicentennial celebration.

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Elevated Water Levels at Lake Shelbyville Causing Problems for Beach Goers

Central Illinois recently received a large dose of rainfall, which has since flooded out farmland, and disrupted the day to day lives of many in the region. Another impact the rains are having is at Lake Shelbyville, where elevated water levels have caused nearly all beaches at the lake to close until further notice.
 
Ashley Florey, Natural Resource Specialist with the US Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios, and said the water level at Lake Shelbyville is well above average.
 
 
High water boat ramps are being utilized at the lake so visitors can still enjoy their time on the water, however the options for beach goers at Lake Shelbyville right now is limited.
 
 
Florey says the lake level is gradually falling back to normal levels, and that the Corp hopes to see the beaches open once again sometime in July.

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Education Reform Bill Sponsored by Manar Heading to Governor's Desk

An education funding reform bill sponsored by a local state senator will be heading to the governor’s desk. Senate Bill 1 is sponsored by Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, and it’s a bill that tackles an issue that has faced the state of Illinois for decades.

 

Manar says this bill fixes the state’s education funding system that has become a mess over time.

 

 

Manar says that although the bill leaves currently allocated money going to the schools it would have went to in the old system, any new money allocated towards education will go to the schools who have the least resources first.

 

 

95th District House Representative Avery Bourne does not support Senate Bill 1. She said in a statement released early Friday that she wants to see a new education funding model passed, but that this bill is “rigged for one school district, Chicago.”

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Meghan Leach named Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry "Big Smile for the Community"

 

The Central Illinois Dentistry's Big Smile for the community for the month of May is presented to Meghan Leach. Rain or shine, on warm days and cold, Leach spends each school day volunteering as the morning crossing guard on Bidwell street. Meghan's sole purpose is the safety of our children. Leach says she's just trying to keep everyone safe and happy.

 

 

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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Only in Illinois Can You Celebrate Horseradish and Rhubarb on the Same Weekend

You just may be in Illinois when one part of the state celebrates horseradish and the other celebrates rhubarb…..on the same weekend. Aledo in western Illinois, will usher in its 26th year of the Rhubarb Festival this Friday and Saturday says organizer Pam Ricke.



Collinsville—just outside of St. Louis, is celebrating 30 years of the International Horseradish Festival this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

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U of I Report Shows Middle Class Shrinking in Illinois

Any way you slice it, the middle class continues to shrink in Illinois. That’s the finding in a report finished by a University of Illinois expert in urban development and local economies. Robert Habans (hay-bins) says defining the middle class can be a moving target.



Habans research found that middle income households made up nearly 60-percent of Illinois in the 1970s to just under 50-percent in 2015.



And Habans says although there has been some growth in the percentage of upper income households, it hasn’t outpaced growth in the lower income demographic.


Habans says the complexion of the middle class is also changing because of the declining manufacturing base. Those jobs in middle income households are being replaced by service sector jobs—like health care, professional services and retail. 

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Alton Expo Returns to Alton Riverfront

After an absence of about a decade, the Alton Expo will return to the Alton Riverfront Park this year. The carnival rides, games, food, and local entertainment that was a decades-old tradition moved away from the Riverfront as Amphitheater plans came together near the start of the century, but the city has finalized plans to bring the festival back to its traditional spot, both on the map and on the calendar.

The Expo ceased to exist after a final attempt by previous owners of Alton Square Mall to host the event, but Alton Mayor Brant Walker made the announcement Thursday morning that the festival will return.



The Expo will be held September 13-17. 

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Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Hosting Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Chamber Offices Tuesday

There have been a flurry of ribbon cutting ceremonies at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, and their latest one will have a slightly unorthodox setting. Care Link will be welcomed into the Chamber with a ribbon cutting ceremony June 6th, however will take place at the Chamber Offices on the south side of the Taylorville Square.
 
Typically ribbon cutting ceremonies are held at the area business, however Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber explained the reason for the move.
 
 
The ribbon cuttings aren't just for the business owners and local dignitaries. Everybody who would like to attend is welcome to.
 
 
Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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U of I Extension Summer Youth Program Has Kids Interacting With Worms

Summer is here which means many area youth are beginning to enjoy their summer breaks. Summer doesn't have to mean children don't learn anything however, and the U of I Extension office is offering programs for kids to help keep their minds sharp.
 
Charlotte Schuricht, Ag Literacy Coordinator at the U of I Extension Office appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and discussed the Summer Youth Programs the Extension is conducting. One program has the kids interacting with live worms.
 
 
The program aims to teach children about soil science and how creatures such as worms interact with the soil. Schuricht says some children are hesitant to interact with the worms, but it doesn't take long before they've overcome their fears.
 
 
The course costs $8, and parents who are interested in signing their children up for the program can get more information by contacting the Christian County Extension Office.

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Taylorville Christian Church Hosting Summer Starts Here Community Event This Sunday

Those looking for an opportunity to get out and interact with their community in a fun setting will have the chance to do just that as the Taylorville Christian Church will be hosting “Summer Starts Here” on Sunday, June 4th. The program will feature free food and refreshments, along with several different activities to give families the chance to get out and have a good time.
 
Susan Lawrence along with Zach Crowley with the Taylorville Christian Church appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event. Lawrence says this free event allows local residents to kick off summer as a community.
 
 
Lawrence says the church hopes the event will allow the community to become closer, and develop relationships among one another.
 
 
Among the activities will be a basketball contest for four age groups, with first place prizes awarded to the winner of each age category. You can find the event this Sunday at the Taylorville Christian Church at 1124 North Webster Street in Taylorville from 4 until 7.

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Peoples Bank and Trust / WTIM Pana May Students of the Month

 

The WTIM and Peoples Bank and Trust Pana May Students of the Month are from left to right:

 

Jennifer Mathis of Peoples Bank and Trust-Pana, Senior Nicholas McMillen, Junior Tess Miller, Sophomore Jordan Bock, Sophomore Josie Pauley, Freshman Kacey Swisher, and Joani Jones of Peoples Bank and Trust-Pana.

 

There was a tie for the Sophomore Student of the Month.

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18-year-old in Custody in Connection with Death of Pana Man

 

UPDATE 6-1 4:25 p.m. - The Christian County Coroner says that the Pana man killed was 59-year-old Stephen L. Presnell of Pana. He died of apparant blunt force trauma to the head, chest, and abdomen. The case is still under investigation.

 

An 18-year-old Quinton L. Morrisey Jr. of Pana was arrested Thursday, and has been charged with Aggravated Battery. Further charges could be filed pending results from the autopsy on Presnell.

 

Morrisey made his first appearance in Christian County court on Thursday morning. Bond has been set at $500,000.

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Manar Reacts to End of Illinois Lawmakers' General Session

 

Illinois lawmakers are once again leaving the general session without a budget in place as the state enters its third year without a budget. Although the session is over with nothing being done on what many believe is the state’s biggest pressing need, one local senator says bills and reforms that have been needed did get approved this session.

 

State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill says there is a laundry list of necessary actions that were passed in the Senate this session.

 

 

Manar says Senate Democrats have produced a budget that meets the guidelines of the governor and is best for the state moving forward.

 

 

Manar says the Senate has passed bills to “end the system” in Illinois, and he hopes the governor is ready to make progress for the state as well.

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Pana Pool Now Open for 2017 Season

With Memorial Day come and gone, it’s now all about summer across Central Illinois, and one area pool is back in business for its 41st year. The Pana Pool reopened yesterday for the 2017 season.
 
Aurdlia Weddle with the pool says a new addition from last year has been very popular with area kids.
 
 
Weddle talks about the prices for entry to the pool this season.
 
 
For more information on the Pana Pool, you can give them a call at 562 4521.

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No Budget Movement at Deadline

Morale is sagging in Illinois as the state enters its third year without a state budget. House Speaker Michael Madigan didn't call for a budget vote and pledged to work with his rival, Governor Bruce Rauner.

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Rauner wasn't so diplomatic....



A budget vote now need a three-fifths majority to pass.

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Protesters Charged With Trespassing After Blocking Goveror's Capitol Office

34 activists who walked 200 miles to the Capitol before causing a stir in the House gallery, and blocking entry to Governor Rauner’s office, face preliminary criminal trespass charges. The leaders from Fair Economy Illinois were arrested one by one starting at 10:30 last night when they refused orders to disperse from Capitol Police.

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USDA Political Appointment Nominee’s Expected Soon

Nominee’s for The Department of Agriculture’s political post within the agency are expected within a month or so. Sources close to the Secretary have allegedly told Politico that Perdue has made his picks for key positions within USDA, and those picks could be announced in June. There are nearly a dozen political positions that require confirmation by the U.S. Senate, to go along with near 200-some political appointees within the federal government. No official announcements have been made yet by USDA or Perdue, but several have speculated that Steve Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association, will be nominated as USDA undersecretary. Other names floated for USDA posts include Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, Indiana Agriculture Department Director Ted McKinney, and Sam Clovis, who has served on the USDA transition team.

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