Letter Policy

Letters Policy


taylorvilledailynews.com welcomes letters to the editor, as a way we can let our readers and listeners sound off on the issues most important to them. If you wish to submit a letter, please note the following guidelines:


  • All letters should be no more than 500 words in length, and should include the writer's name, address and phone number. We will not publish street address, e-mail address or phone number; rather, we reserve the right to contact writers to determine their validity.
  • Letters must be submitted electronically in Word doc or text format; no hand-written letters are accepted.
  • If the editor comments about a letter, the reader may respond with at least as many words as were used by the editor. We would like to stimulate a sincere dialogue.
  • All letters become property of Miller Communications, Inc., and are subject to editing for length, content, grammar, punctuation at the editor's discretion.
  • Material that may libel or slander an individual or group will neither be accepted nor posted.
  • All letters must be e-mail'ed to editorial@randyradio.com to ensure your message is received, please include "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line.

                                                                   We look forward to hearing from you.

Letter to the Editor: Can't We All Get Along?


Posted October 11, 2020


Dear Editor:


A media blog contributor recently found it odd that Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia got along so well. I asked myself “Since when is disagreeing about the law a reason not to get along?”


If you’re old enough to grasp current issues but not much older, you might find the Justices’ collegiality surprising. We old-timers, however, recall when political opponents, and dare I say society in general, could separate who someone was personally from what they believed. Justices Ginsburg and Scalia were throwbacks to that era. Doesn’t their cordial relationship despite their conflicting ideologies say something positive about both of them?


In 2004 Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, once bitter rivals, teamed up to raise millions of dollars for the 2004 Sumatra area tsunami victims. Republican Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen helped President Lyndon Johnson pass the Civil Rights Bill in 1964. Alabama Governor and segregationist George Wallace worked with Black Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm to get minimum wage legislation passed for domestic workers.


If you are young and disillusioned, or older and resigned to today’s disharmony, watch Jim Lehrer’s 1988 PBS Newshour interview with Senators Barry Goldwater and George McGovern. Though political polar opposites, the interview shows how to disagree agreeably, and should be required viewing for anyone considering public service.. Call it Getting Along 101.


If you’re curious about a time when attitudes defaulted to compromise instead of spite, watch the video. It may make you smile, angry, or sad depending on your degree of cynicism.


You’ll at least see what’s possible—or used to be.


Jim Newton

Itasca, Illinois


Station Editorial: The So-Called "Fair Tax" Is Anything But


Posted October 7, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


Voters on November 3rd will vote on an Illinois constitutional amendment to change the state from a flat income tax to a progressive income tax based on income.


Before you believe the ad campaign being ran by a PAC funded by Governor Pritzker calling it the quote "Fair Tax" to soak the few rich and the fat cats there are left in the state, please consider these points.


Passage of this amendment will give the Legislature unprecedented new authority to increase income tax rates on any group of taxpayers at will – including lower- and middle-income taxpayers and small business owners – and lock those new powers into our State’s Constitution. 


There would be no limit on the number of tax brackets that could be created and no limit on how high tax rates could be increased on groups of individual taxpayers. 


The day after the election, there would be nothing to prevent the Legislature from raising state income taxes on everyone. 


With the state's budget deficit standing at over 6-billion dollars, that's 6-billion with a B, you'd better believe that they won't just be taxing Frank Fat Cat.  They'll come after farmers, small business owners, and middle class families because of the Democrats' penchant for wanting to spend money whether they have it or not.


There hasn't been an OUNCE of discussion about CUTTING the state budget in this year of the coronavirus outbreak.  Not one OUNCE.


When you and I's checkbook doesn't stretch, we cut expenses.  But, Democrats spend, and spend, and spend some more, whether they have the money or not.


And, as they always do, they'll hide behind the state's school children--my grandchildren--stating if this doesn't pass, there will be cuts to the education your children--my grandchildren--receive.


The so-called Fair Tax is anything but.  Anything that gives ANY politician--Democat or Republican--the ability to raise my taxes without any accountability, is a just plain bad idea.


That's our opinion....we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Letter to the Editor on a Silent March Statewide


Posted October 5, 2020


Dear Editor:


Our beloved country is filled with hate and division. 


Not against the common enemies of democracy which dwell outside our borders, the autocratic and totalitarian regimes headed by dictators around the world sworn to our destruction, but hate against each other, our fellow citizens. 


One need look no further than a momentary glance at the social media which dominates our culture today. 


The voices of disrespect and violence completely cover even the smallest voice for respect and unity among our people.  The chasm has grown so wide among us, one must wonder if any bridge of reason or love can span the divide?  It is stunning that our country should come to this point of division.



President Lincoln, in his Second Inaugural, stated this concern in the midst of our Civil War.  “Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained….Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding.  Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.”


Mr. Lincoln had warned in an earlier speech in 1838 that “…if destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.  As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide.” 


Are we there?  Are we on the path?  While we pray America will never endure another Civil War, we can destroy ourselves from within through the hate and violence being espoused by too many.


President Lincoln proposed the only antidote to our situation that I know.  He said at the end of that same Inaugural Address.  “…With malice toward none, with charity(love) for all….let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”


Justices Ginsburg and Scalia showed our country we can be miles apart in our interpretation of the Constitution and remain as friends who share a passion for our democracy and its laws.  John Lewis followed in the footsteps of Dr. King in showing that we can be passionate in our march toward justice without resorting to violence.


But what can I do?  All my life I have attempted to be of service to my country in one form or another.  I can’t just do nothing in these perilous times. 


Beginning this Monday, September 28th, I will be silently marching in front of each courthouse in all 39 counties of the two congressional districts I represented in Congress.  I will be carrying signs of non-violence and respect for our people and our Democracy.  I will be joined by my wife and some of our grandchildren and in a few counties by my 99 year old high school American History teacher. 


Each march is for 50 minutes beginning at either 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 2:00 pm.  A 10 minute recitation of the Gettysburg Address to remind us of who we are as Americans will begin at 9:50 am, 11:50 am and 2:50 pm. 


We will be wearing masks and observing appropriate distances as we walk.  Anyone attending the Gettysburg Address recitation must do the same.


The following is a list of the dates, times, and counties:


Sep. 28  Jackson 11, Williamson 2
Sep. 29  Alexander 11, Pulaski 2
Oct.    1  Jefferson 11, Franklin 2
Oct.    2  Sangamon 11, Macon 2
Oct.    5  Effingham 11, Shelby 2
Oct     6  Clark  9, Cumberland, 11, Coles 2
Oct     7  Union 9, Massac 11, Johnson 2
Oct     8  Fayette 11, Marion 2
Oct     9  Christian 11, Moultrie 2
Oct   13  Perry 9, Clinton 11, Washington 2
Oct   14  Jasper 9, Crawford 2
Oct   15  Clay 9, Richland 11, Lawrence 2
Oct   16  Wayne 9, Edwards 11, Wabash 2
Oct   19  White 11, Hamilton 2
Oct   20  Saline 2
Oct   21  Gallatin 9, Hardin 11, Pope 2 
Oct  22   Randolph 9, Monroe 11, St. Clair 2

Glenn Poshard is a former State Senator, U.S. Congressman, and President of Southern Illinois University.  He resides in Murphysboro, Illinois.

Submitted by

Richard Breckenridge







Station Editorial on 2 Great Communities


Posted October 4, 2020


This is a station editorial,  I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.  I'm recording this editorial on October 4th during the second day of the 35th annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest on the Square.  I'm doing this editorial from this location because I want to give 2 shout outs to 2 great communities.


The first is the Taylorville community and the Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest committee for the hard work they put in to pull off the 35th edition of Chillifest.  Chillifest is a 2-day event that features International Chilli Society judging, entertainment on 2 stages, over 90 arts and crafts vendors selling their wares, and chilli in cold quarts being sold by the Chamber as a fund raiser, instead of by the bowl which was eliminated this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.


As a member of the Chillifest committee, I personally know the immense amount of work they did in making sure the event was socially distanced and safe for the public, including encouraging the wearing of masks, and providing countless hand sanitizing stations.  


Several thousand people from out of state and Central Illinois, came to Taylorville for the weekend.  It's the biggest event of the fall season for the Christian County seat.


The other shoutout I want to give, is to my staff and those involved in the September 26th virtual live coverage of the Clinton Apple and Pork Festival.  Although the event itself was cancelled due to the coronavirus, WHOW WEZC station manager Jared White and our news and sports reporter Seth Laurence, spent 8 hours that day at our studios, bringing in representatives from the C-H Moore Museum, who came up with the idea of the Apple and Pork Festival some 50 years ago to raise money to maintain the beautiful house which was turned into a museum.  


White and Laurence also scheduled and interviewed countless representatives from the many non profit organizations that man various booths at the festival, who make their yearly budget with what they make at the festival.  All of these organizations are now having to come up with alternate fund raisers to make their budget to serve the community.

Kudos to all those involved in our WHOW WEZC virtual Apple and Pork Festival coverage, and those who made the 35th annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest happen.  


Both are examples of people who made lemonade out of lemons, and I'm proud of them all.


That's our opinion....we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Letter to the Editor on the 2020 Presidential Election


Posted September 10, 2020


Dear Editor:


When The Atlantic reported President Trump’s alleged remarks on fallen American soldiers being “losers” and “suckers”, I hoped that Joe Biden would delay judgement until we know more. No such luck.


Instead, Biden responded with fist pounding, stern-faced fury and applause-line oratory that prompts cheers when invoking our military. Would it have hurt his cause to show a little restraint before defaulting to all-out attack mode? Yes, it probably would have. I should know better by now.


My dad was frustrated by President George H.W. Bush’s tendency to “feign anger” when making a point, especially during election campaigns. “Righteous indignation”, I believe, was another term he used.


Most of us aren’t mind readers, but there seems to be a fine line between genuine passion and a well-rehearsed bit of theatre.. So many figures in sports, politics, and show business express “outrage” that the term has lost some of its sting.

Kamala Harris’ “That little girl was me” moment in a Democratic presidential debate drew a lot of attention and likely served its purpose. I don’t doubt that Ms. Harris has strong feelings about bussing, but I thought her remarks came off as a bit practiced. Maybe it’s just me. 


I’m not naïve enough to expect this campaign to turn civil anytime soon. We all know this election is a referendum on President Trump’s character. If I had written solely about Trump’s typical campaign demeanor and tweets, this letter would almost never end.


I focused mostly on Democrats because they’ve promised us a return to civility. If they win in November, let’s hope they can deliver.


Jim Newton

Itasca, Illinois 


Station Editorial: Miller Media Group Starting Suicide Prevention Campaign


Posted August 29, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


The Regional Radio listening area has seen an abnormally high number of suicides in recent months and years.  And, the stress of the coronavirus outbreak has made it worse.


The word suicide is one we don’t like to talk about or deal with.  We think it’s someone else’s problem, and then when you least expect it, a friend or loved one takes their life and you then wonder why.  Why did they feel like their life wasn’t worth living?  Didn’t they think about those they would be leaving behind?  What would lead them to make such a drastic decision?


As I said, we don’t like dealing with the subject because it’s uncomfortable, but too many times even in recent months in our own communities, it’s affected our families and friends.


That’s why we’re going to do something about it.  Over the next several months, you’ll hear law enforcement officials, health care professionals, and clergy in interviews and news stories on our group of stations, talk about suicide prevention.   Please don’t turn it off because it’s an uncomfortable subject.  Listen.  Truly listen to understand the “why”, so that maybe you and I can help a relative, neighbor, or friend that may be feeling depressed to the point they’re contemplating suicide.  


I’ll be listening even though discussing it or listening about it, IS uncomfortable.  But, what’s more uncomfortable is reporting news stories and obituaries about local friends and neighbors that have lost loved ones due to suicide.

Together, let’s address this subject, so we don’t lose anymore of our loved ones, friends and neighbors in our local communities.  Together, let’s help those who may be contemplating suicide.  Let’s tackle this problem...together.


And, if YOU feel depressed, call 800-273-TALK.  That's 800-273-TALK.


That’s our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Letter to the Editor: Complete the Census!


Posted August 17, 2020

Dear Editor:


Free money from the Census! A couple minutes can make the difference between having or not having a local Fire Department or a Hospital. A couple minutes can provide funding to repair that bumpy road we all complain about. It will help our schools. This free money is at our finger tips.


Here's why:

Every year, "Billions" of Dollars in federal funding goes to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. The results of the 2020 Census will directly affect YOUR community funding. If you don't act now, the money will go elsewhere!


Go here to easily do it online: census.gov   Or do it by phone: 1 844-330-2020


Act now, this opportunity ends September 30, 2020.


James Goltz
Bunker Hill


Letter to the Editor: It All Depends On Where You Stand


Posted August 8, 2020


Dear Editor:



Dear Editors:

Mother once said it all depends on where you stand. In 60-plus years, I’ve stood in almost equal parts Chicagoland and rural Illinois. That’s long enough to understand a little about people in each region.


A lot of what we know about each other is what we’ve heard.  When I visited my Grandmother in Harrisburg, IL in summer 1962, and residents heard that I was from Chicago (actually south suburban Hazel Crest), I’d hear quips like “Aha, Gangsters”, and some mention of Al Capone as if he and I were blood relatives. I was nine.


To a Southern Illinoisan in 1962, Chicago was everything down to Kankakee, and qualified as city slicker territory. Southern Illinois residents had other thoughts about Chicago, its politics and fabled windy-ness.


No one, however, mentioned one part of the state seceding from the other. Apparently, that’s changed since there’s talk about Chicago becoming its own state.  Hardly Brexit level stuff, but notable.


My thirty-plus years in rural Illinois included stops in Robinson, Lawrenceville, and Paris where I sold advertising for the local radio station. This meant visiting merchants in a 40-mile radius of Paris. In two years, I learned rural routes 130, 49, 133 and 36 better than I ever knew streets like Harlem, Pulaski, and Kedzie in 23 years of growing up in Hazel Crest.


I also learned what made country folk different from Chicagoans: not much. There were some rural idioms, e.g., referring to travel in terms of miles instead of minutes as we do in rush hour Chicago, or calling Coca Cola “soda” instead of “pop” as most of us did up north. Otherwise both sides just wanted to work hard and be told the truth.


The occasional secession chatter, I think, is due to one side not holding up their end of the “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” deal. Who’s to blame depends on where you stand.


Chicago and Illinois becoming separate states is uncharted water in our lifetime.  Someone could end up with secessionist’s remorse.


Maybe enough level heads will decide to be careful what they wish for.  What we have might not be so bad after all.


Jim Newton

Itasca, Illinois 60143


Station Editorial: The Answer Is In The Middle


Posted August 2, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.  In my travels across both of my Taylorville and Clinton markets the last several months during the coronavirus outbreak, I've heard the same thing from our listeners and advertisers.  And, it's this question:  Who are we to believe?


Sadly, I don't have an answer for them.  When you mix an unknown virus, politicians and fear, that's a bad combination.  Going into the outbreak, both Republicans and Democrats scared us into staying in our homes as much as possible because they didn't want to be blamed for killing off Grandma.


As the months have worn on, the noise from both the left and the right, has gotten louder.  We have Al Sharpton on the left and Tucker Carlson on the right, espousing their views on the coronavirus outbreak, and basically saying if you don't believe everything they tell us, you're stupid.


Unfortunately, the answer to all this noise is in the middle, but no politican is willing to go there for fear they'll be severely criticized for moving from the far left or far right.


The answer is in the middle because that's where common sense is.  Common sense is to respect this virus by being responsible and making smart decisions.  Practice social distancing, wear a mask anytime you're out of the house going to the store or pharmacy, and wash your hands. If you're in the vulnerable population or have other health conditions, take that into consideration anytime you do anything or go anywhere.


We should all just be using common sense thru this.  A vaccine is coming.  We don't know when.  But, until then, let's not go off the cliff and believe everything the left or the right are telling us.


Because, the answer is in the middle.


Stay healthy and safe and there will be a positive end to this.


That's our opinion, we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Letter to the Editor on Compassion Fatigue


Posted July 8, 2020


Dear Editor:


Compassion fatigue is when we tire of hearing about people who are suffering. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey saw millions of dollars in aid sent to Houston before Hurricane Irma struck Florida. Like popular trends, disasters acquire a “flavor of the week” status until the next one arrives.


This doesn’t make us an uncaring society. Sometimes there’s more tragedy than we can process.


We overload on more than just compassion. My generation’s (baby boomer) first taste of war news coverage was Vietnam. Our only connection to both World Wars and Korea was through text books, movies and older family members. The nightly American combat death count introduced us to bad news fatigue.


When Governor Pritzker announced our lockdown in March, his tone turned solemn when he announced Illinois’ first COVID-19 death. Now, more than 7,000 deaths later, how do we comprehend such loss? My best answer is that we feel bad for those directly affected, be thankful it wasn’t us, and move on.


While Pritzker spoke, I wondered what the reaction would be if/when the U.S. approached a million COVID-19 deaths. I’m guessing we’ll react the same way we did to the Vietnam casualties report: we will have conditioned ourselves to receive bad news.


On the popular 1960s “Dragnet” TV series, with detectives Friday and Gannon at a murder scene, a fellow policeman would remark, “I guess you guys get used to this.” Friday’s grim response was “You never get USED to it.”


Except, we do.


Jim Newton

Itasca, Illinois



Station Editorial to Illinois Government: What Were You Thinking?


Posted July 3, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


The title of this editorial is:  What were you thinking?


The Illinois General Assembly in late May, passed and Governor J-B Pritzker signed, a 42-billion dollar budget that has a shortfall of some 7-point-4 billion dollars.  The Illinois Constitution says they are to collectively pass a balanced budget.  What were you thinking?


Legislators and the Governor have relied on several lines they've used with the media for weeks.  Line # 1 is "well, it's due to the coronavirus so we'll just borrow it from the Federal Reserve."  Well, borrowed money DOES have to be paid back...doesn't it?


What were you thinking?


Line # 2 is when reporters have asked Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, why they didn't cut state spending, which is also what Republicans were asking.  Their response has been to hide behind first responders and school kids by saying what we're calling Line # 2:  "Well, Republicans are for cutting funding to first responders and our schools, and we're not about to do that."


My response to line # 2 is:  You mean to tell me that in a 42-billion dollar budget, it all goes to fund first responders and school kids?  I don't think so.  They don't want to cut ANYTHING that might affect their re-election.


What were you thinking?


And, Democrats are also touting that we need to, quote, "make the rich pay for their fair share", unquote, by passing the progessive income tax.  The problem with that, which we'll call Line # 3, is that they know better. There aren't enough fat cats left in the state, to make up a 7-point-4 billion dollar budget shortfall.  Many high income earners have left Illinois for states with little or no state income tax. And, in the end, you know the progressive tax will end up being paid by all of us.

What were you thinking?


That's our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is:  editorial@randyradio.com.


Letter to the Editor: Wind Farms Important to Economic Recovery


Posted June 27, 2020


Dear Editor:


As Illinois’ reopening advances to Phase 4, we’re all understandably focused on the chance to get out and enjoy our favorite restaurant. It’s easy for the source of the food on those tables to be forgotten. But COVID-19 has been especially tough on our ag economy. Farm communities have endured a financial beating from trade disputes already. Just as relief was in sight, the virus arrived.


In a matter of weeks, dining habits changed the world over. Futures prices for farmers declined across the board in response. The closing of schools added to the shock for dairy in particular, with demand from cafeterias gone.

Less driving combined with an oil price war wreaked havoc on corn-based ethanol markets, offsetting the benefits of cheaper fuel. Even the good news seems bad.


But I’m upbeat. In times of uncertainty, farmers innovate. I’ve seen this across Illinois from our work on community-owned grocery stores and new, alternative crop production programs.


One of the most substantial opportunities on the horizon for rural innovation is quite literally already in sight for many of us. Illinois was the third-fastest growing state in the country for new wind energy last year. And that growth is continuing with at least 30 wind projects proposed or under construction in Illinois today.


Illinois’ leadership in winning investment from the wind industry provides a huge private stimulus opportunity for rural recovery in the wake of COVID.


In addition to construction jobs and career opportunities, wind farms support growth throughout the communities where they operate. New private spending on roads by wind operators improves our infrastructure. Additional tax revenue for county governments, and for schools in particular, funds needed improvements in our communities while reducing property tax burden on residents.


Wind farms are providing benefits statewide, too. Wind and solar are now the cheapest source of energy in the majority of Illinois counties. Innovative companies like Microsoft and Amazon are purchasing Illinois wind power and locating new projects here thanks to our diverse energy supply. Our tradition of manufacturing and engineering excellence has led to a strong supply chain supporting the industry, too. We build everything from the wind towers themselves to the construction equipment needed to erect them — powering Illinois to third in the country for wind-related employment.


The benefits wind is providing are more than a promise. They already exist.


Communities with established wind investment are better prepared for the current downturn. Giving landowners greater security to weather uncertainty, providing communities a tax base to maintain essential services, and schools the revenue they need to buy laptops and other tech that is easing the pressure of online learning.


We must not take this success for granted. Public hearings and basic government approvals have suffered as much through this shutdown as our restaurants and shops. To maintain our leadership in capturing growth from wind energy here, local governments must act decisively in adopting proven standards and providing timely reviews and permitting for wind farms.


In maintaining our national leadership on wind and renewable innovation, Illinois can secure its own economic future for our communities. And capture a new era of energy leadership for Illinois.


Sean Park

Program Manager, Value Added Sustainable Development Center at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455



Station Editorial on Moving to Phase 4 of Restore Illinois


Posted June 26, 2020


This is a station editorial, I’m Randal J. Miller, station president.

Well, the state of Illinois has moved to Phase 4 of Governor J-B Pritzker’s 5 phases established to re-open the state following the coronavirus outbreak.

I have a compliment and a complaint for the Governor.

My compliment is that COVID-19 cases across the state are far less right now, than other populous states in the country that are seeing a spike, and for that, we’re grateful.

My complaint is that when he established 4 regions of the state on May First, saying he would allow each region to move to the next phase depending on the data, it never happened.  He treated the state as one.

A WCIA-TV Freedom of Information Act request for data, proves the point.  Their investigation said based on data it obtained from the Illinois Department of Public Health, our region should have moved thru phases sooner because Central Illinois never got above the positive testing rate of 20 percent which was the I-D-P-H benchmark for a region to move.  Data showed our region never got above 8 percent, and that was on April 2nd.

That investigation further shows that even as Chicagoland area hospitals saw the state’s largest surge in Coronavirus-related admissions, once the Governor issued his Stay-at-Home order, the medical facilities there remained above the 14 percent threshold of available ICU beds, medical and surgery beds and ventilators throughout the last several months.

The WCIA-TV investigation further shows downstate hospitals never came close to hitting the 14 percent low-water mark, being well above 30 percent availability for ventilators and beds since late March.

Hindsight is always 20-20, but the last 4 months from my perspective was nothing more than a power grab by the Governor.  And, with any politician, once they’ve got power, it’s difficult for them to let go.

That’s our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Letter to the Editor: Leadership from the Governor is Lacking


Posted June 25, 2020


Dear Editor:


In Illinois, we are three months into governance by Executive Order.  

40 Executive Orders are already on the books since the beginning of the Coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak.

One-person rule has a poor track record throughout history.  Unfortunately, we’ve been living under a one-size-fits-all approach to the Coronavirus, and it’s led to  economic, social and educational harm.

According to the Governor’s schedule, Illinois gets to move into Phase 4 of his reopening plans and permissions on June 26:

“Gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care and schools reopen under guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Face coverings and social distancing are the norm.”

I got news for the Governor, even while we were under his Phase 3 plans (gatherings of 10 people or fewer are allowed), southern Illinois has been getting together in larger numbers, WITHOUT his permission. 

We are frustrated.  We don’t want a new normal.  We want the old normal, and that should have happened at a much faster pace for downstate Illinois.  

Our State Fairs in Springfield and DuQuoin are cancelled, as well as the Grand American World Trapshooting competition in Sparta.  

I note these particular events because downstate Illinois never experienced the COVID-19 outbreak that impacted Chicago.  We should have been farther along on the reopening process.

Wirepoints, an independent online resource for economic research and commentary about Illinois’ government, publishes numerous articles about the Coronavirus’ impact on our state.

In a recent story, Wirepoints claims downstate should have reopened weeks ago even using the Governor’s own data-driven metrics:
“Case positivity rates downstate have collapsed for nearly two straight months…Per capita hospital admissions have also been just a fraction of those in the Northeast region. And there was never the risk of running short of hospital resources downstate like there was in Chicago.”

The Wirepoints article includes a graph showing 90 percent of COVID-19 deaths occurred in northeast Illinois, the Chicago region.

The Governor’s failure to take regionalization into consideration is one of the biggest criticism of his decision-making.  

People I talk to are skeptical of what they’re being told about the impact of the Coronavirus, and who can blame them.  For example, a Chicago Sun-Times story about virus deaths in nursing homes in April, included an admission by the Governor’s spokesman that a “definitional error” resulted in “cases being counted twice.”

At one news conference, the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health admitted that Illinoisans who died with the virus were counted as the same as those who died because of the virus:

“I just want to be clear in terms of the definition of people dying of COVID. The case definition is very simplistic. It means, at the time of death it was a COVID positive diagnosis, so that means that if you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID that would be counted as a COVID death. 

It means that if technically even if you died of clear alternate cause, but you had COVID at the same time, it's still listed as a COVID death. Everyone who is listed as a COVID death, doesn't mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

There are other concerns too.

Rules for Illinois daycare facilities under the governor's lockdown Executive Orders were delayed for weeks before any set of guidelines were released.  The delay caused a lot of economic pain for these businesses, and I fear that some may not be coming back, unable to survive the lockdown orders.

Our schools have only now (as of June 23) received information about reopening.  

Will our teachers and administrators have a chance to provide input moving forward?  Again, can a one-size-fits-all and top-down approach work for both Louisville and Chicago?  What if the schools determine the guidelines to be impractical and unworkable; what happens next?  The Governor previously talked about a combination of in-school and remote learning, but many students won’t get the same level of instruction and guidance if they are out of the classroom.

The lockdown orders have also had a devastating impact on the state economy.  Sadly, there will be businesses that will never come back.

A recent academic study indicates 100,000 businesses across the country permanently collapsed because of the Coronavirus pandemic.  That conclusion was reached more than a month ago.  The University of Illinois participated in the research. Here’s an important quote: 

“A team of researchers at the University of Illinois, Harvard University, Harvard Business School and University of Chicago discovered at least 2 percent of the nation’s small businesses are now gone after conducting a representative survey of more than 5,800 enterprises between May 9-11.”

The University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health released a related report on June 1 about the immediate and lasting impact of the Coronavirus on the state economy.  The report predicts a loss of more than 550,000 jobs by March of 2021: 

“The report says it is likely that somewhere between 1 million and 1.5 million Illinois jobs may be affected overall.”

One person rule doesn’t work fairly and equitably anywhere it’s tried, and neither does one party rule.  One party rule of Illinois contributed mightily to the current fiscal failure of state government.  The state’s public debt is beyond the ability of us mere mortal taxpayers to pay off, yet the most recent budget passed by the majority spends more than ever before in a single year: $43 billion ($43,000,000,000)!

These same people passed two major state income tax increases with promises of better times.  It never happened.  Instead, they are constantly looking to raise taxes, and are proposing to radically change the way state income taxes are imposed – all designed to siphon more money out of the pockets of hardworking Illinoisans.

It’s long past time for “all hands on deck.”  Leadership is about bringing people together, marshalling the forces to meet challenges head on, clearly mapping out a plan and then executing it, but always remaining flexible to adjust and alter it as you move forward.  Illinoisans need confidence in its government and a Governor and the Legislature working together rather than one person’s one-size-fits-all approach, which is a one-size-disservice to all.


Submitted by

State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia)



Station Editorial With Some Observations


Posted June 10, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


As we endure the remaining days of being in the Restore Illinois "Phase 3" recovery following the coronavirus outbreak, here are some random observations.


Observation # 1:  All the numbers I've been hearing and seeing about our Central Illinois region that Governor Pritzker designated, show that we should have moved to "Phase 4" weeks ago.  While he announced May First that the state would be broken into 4 regions to observe data and then follow the 5 phases he outlined, apparently minutes after his announcement he forgot about it.  The only reason he broke the state into 4 regions was to appease downstaters and Republicans.


Observation # 2:  As of June 10th, the statewide recovery rate from the Illinois Department of Public Health web site, is 92-percent.  That's 92-percent.  We shut down the entire Illinois economy despite a 92-percent statewide recovery rate.


Observation # 3:  Based on many other states that have re-opened, it appears that their economies are rebounding and getting back to normal.  I've told a lot of people recently that I don't want us to get to a "new normal."  I want our communities to get back to normal.  And, it IS possible.


Finally, observation # 4: I want to THANK the hundreds of you that are patronizing our local businesses--the car dealers, furniture stores, restaurants offering carry-out or drive-thru food, and other businesses that were allowed to re-open May 28th.  We're encouraging our local businesses to lead the GREATEST COMEBACK OF ALL TIME, and YOU can help make that happen.  The survival of our local businesses in our small towns, depends on ALL of us to spend money LOCALLY where it counts...many times over! 


Let's all look ahead to the coming days, weeks, and months, with a sense of anticipation and excitement, as we together work to keep our small town way of life.


That's our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Letter to the Editor: Let's Vote By Mail


Posted June 9, 2020


Dear Editor:


Voting by mail should replace voting at the polls in it's entirety.  The two
institutions that can definitely be trusted is the County Board of Elections
and the United States Postal Service. 


The money saved by eliminating the
need for poll workers could be used to offer free postage on the envelopes
used to vote by mail.  The person voting would also have more time to
consider what they are voting for and would not be confined to the hours
of the polling place.  It would also prevent unwanted entry to schools and
churches from anyone trying to harm someone.   


In addition the voter would not be harassed by someone trying to place unsolicited campaign literature
into their hand.   


The additional revenue would boost the Postal Service
and perhaps keep it afloat until we as a country are able to vote online.
Voting by mail would solve the registered voter problem and guarantee safe
passage of the ballots to the County Board of Elections.


Joe Bialek
Cleveland, OH 44109


Letter to the Editor on Returning to Church Buildings


Posted June 8, 2020


Dear Editor:

Matthew 18:20 in the Bible states,” When two or three are gathered together in my (Jesus’) name, I am there in the midst of them.” The verse also advises how to deal with disagreeable people in the church, but let’s concentrate on Jesus being ”in the midst of them.”


If Christians truly believe the above excerpt from Matthew 18:20, why is there such hand-wringing over when people can return to church during the lockdown? Could it be politics?


Between sanctimonious White House posturing and a sometimes-pious public at large, there’s a lot more heat-than-light Bible thumping going on. This has been evident since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentioned praying for President Trump, and his subsequent questioning the Speaker’s sincerity.


Holier-than-thou-ism isn’t confined to the President or Speaker Pelosi. A piety virus appears to some degree anytime someone anoints a tragedy as “biblical” in nature.


When Mother Teresa died a few days after Princess Diana of Wales, you could sense the frantic rush of journalists scrambling to give equal reverence to the Catholic missionary as they did to Princess Diana.


Following Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s death in 1996, Chicago media almost fell over themselves trying to out-profound each other with glowing tributes to Bernardin.


I was reminded during a recent online church service that the church isn’t a building. It’s the people within it.


A New Yorker magazine cartoon once showed God and an angel looking down on earth with God saying, “I’m starting to prefer the ones who don’t believe in me.”


I can’t speak for God, but I imagine him saying “For heaven’s sake, people. You’re overthinking this.  Just worship online.”


Jim Newton

Itasca, Il 60143



Station Editorial: Welcome to Phase 3...and Shop LOCAL


Posted May 29, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.  Well, we're into Governor Pritzker's Phase 3 of his "Restore Illinois" plan following the coronavirus outbreak.


Businesses except restaurants and bars are now open, as long as they use the CDC and state guidelines for capacity, social distancing, and require customers to wear masks.


I gotta tell you, it's been a LONG time coming to get to this point.  Our region flattened the curve weeks ago and should have re-opened, but that's now water under the bridge.


I'd like to point out a couple of things.


First, states all around Illinois have opened restaurants and bars, again with guidelines for capacity, social distancing, and having all employees wear masks.  Cleaning is extensive and frequent.  I know all this, because May 23rd, my wife and I dined at a restaurant in St. Peter, Missouri, which opened to dine-in in mid-May.  And, on Memorial Day, we traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana, and dined-in at a restaurant there.  


In both cases, half the tables were blocked from being used, all employees were wearing masks, and extensive cleaning was taking place.  In both restaurants, my wife and I felt comfortable.  Our restaurants in our listening areas could do the same thing...if allowed to.   Otherwise, as I've shared in past editorials, many of our local restaurants and bars will never re-open.


My 2nd point is one I hope you'll follow.  With our local businesses re-opening, you and I need to patronize them to help them get back to normal.  Most have lost money, a lot of money, and to keep them in our communities, we need to SHOP LOCAL.  Remember, the money you spend locally turns over multiple times in our local economy, and that helps everyone.


We're calling this re-opening "The Greatest Comeback of All Time" to encourage YOU to shop LOCAL, and to encourage our local businesses that we have their back.  Let's show them how much we value and appreciate them by spending money LOCALLY.   That will help keep our small town way of life going for you, and for the next generation.


Shop LOCAL, and let's help our local businesses make "The Greatest Comeback of All Time."


That's our opinion....we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Station Editorial On Lockdown, Moving to Phase 3


Posted May 27, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.  Well, the countdown is on to this Friday, when Governor Pritzker's Phase 3 of his "Restore Illinois" plan after the coronavirus outbreak re-opens pretty much everything except restaurants and bars.  Social distancing and masks will be required, but it'll be the first step in our state getting back to normal.


Some random thoughts as we look to Friday and the days thereafter.  


A study by JP Morgan Chase, an investment firm which isn't liberal or conservative, has come out stating that lockdowns nationwide likely failed to alter the course of the pandemic.  


They added infection rates continued to decline virtually everywhere once familiar routines were resumed which indicates the disease's spread may have been diminished by factors as increased hand-washing and sanitizing, the arrival of warmer weather in the northern hemisphere and the fact that the people most vulnerable to COVID-19 had already contracted it.


They added that lockdowns were administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than COVID-19 itself. 


Apply that to what Illinois is going thru right now, and it doesn't take you long to figure out that, based on our region flattening the curve weeks ago, we could move to Phase 4 or even Phase 5 using common sense.


Let's get back to moving to Phase 3 on Friday.  We're calling the re-opening of businesses in our small communities "The Greatest Comeback of All Time" to encourage YOU to shop our local businesses, AND to show how much confidence we have IN our local businesses.  Let's re-start our small town economies together by shopping LOCAL!  


That's our opinion....we welcome yours!  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Station Editorial on Allowing Local Governments to Re-Open Downstate


Posted May 17, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


You may remember in my last editorial I wrote May 10th, I proposed that Governor Pritzker allow counties, cities or other local units of government, to follow his 5-phase re-opening plan NOW rather than waiting for the Executive Order to expire May 30th.    


Since that time, numerous downstate counties and cities have passed resolutions allowing those in their juristiction to open, or have gotten assurances their state's attorney won't prosecute those going against the Governor's Executive Order.  And many downstate businesses, have gone ahead and re-opened.


While all this has been going on, the Governor, when asked what he will do with these entities, threatened to withhold any federal or state funds going to local governments that defy his Order, and any business licensed by the state defying his Order, will have their license revoked.


As I have stated several times, downstate counties flattened the curve weeks ago, and the further south you go in the state, the more they've flattened the curve.


Not allowing our small town way of life to resume in the communities we serve, threatens the economic viability of continuing that way of life.  Many of our local small businesses have closed, and will never re-open.  Others are literally on life support.


The Governor had an opportunity to get ahead of this and show some leadership.  He didn't, and as a result, many local governments and businesses downstate are doing it on their own, despite the Governor's threats.


This does not have a happy ending for anyone.  Keeping things closed doesn't work. Had the Governor told downstate local governments to follow the 5-phase protocol NOW, would have been the right thing to do.  He didn't.  So, now you have countless counties, cities and towns re-opening on their own with their own plans, despite his threats.  This isn't leadership.


To those not able to feed their families, and local businesses struggling to exist, this isn't about phases.  This is about survival RIGHT NOW.


That our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Letter to the Editor Asking Public to Help Taylorville Food Pantry


Posted May 15, 2020


Dear Editor:

I am writing on behalf of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club. For many years our club has been providing support for children from our community as well as the community itself. As we continue to address the complications that are being presented by the COVID-19 virus the Taylorville Food Pantry has seen a substantial increase in those in need.


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is sponsoring a Drive-Thru Food Drive to assist in providing for those in need. To help make this effort a great success we are asking for help from businesses and the citizens of Taylorville. We hope to assist with the needs of families in our community at this difficult time. Whether it be a donation of collected food items or a monetary donation, any amount will be appreciated.


The Drive-Thru Food Drive takes place every Saturday during the month of May from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Your donation can be dropped off during these hours at the Miller Media Group Studios parking lot located at 918 East Park Street in Taylorville. If this time is not convenient, a Kiwanis member can pick up your donation.


Any support will be greatly appreciated by the Kiwanis Club and those who depend on the Taylorville Food Pantry. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a pick up please call (217) 827-5342. Your support is greatly appreciated.


Thank you,

Martin Vota, secretary
Taylorville Kiwanis Club


Station Editorial on Allowing Local Governments to Re-Open Downstate


Posted May 10, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president. 


Since Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker released his plan called "Restore Illinois" on May 5th to re-open the state in 5 phases after the coronavirus outbreak, we've heard him tout this plan a lot in his daily news conferences.  That day, and every day since, he has continued to say that data, science, and public health experts, determine when each of the 4 health regions he designated across the state, will open. 


While he threw downstate legislators and residents a bone with his "Restore Illinois" regional approach to re-opening the state, what's concerning to us is the bar he set for each region to open, is so high, that some regions may not open for weeks or months. 


And, in Regional Radio listening area, he included several metro areas including Springfield, Decatur, and Champaign, that have seen larger numbers of cases and deaths, making our region's data more challenging to hit the Restore Illinois benchmark before re-opening. 


The thing I have YET to hear from the Governor in all his daily grandstanding, is WHEN he will allow a more local approach to re-opening our counties' economies.  There is no better government in our estimation, than LOCAL government.  


Why not let our rural counties, cities and towns, use the "Restore Illinois" 5-phase plan on a LOCAL basis, again using common sense and data from each of those local areas.  Who knows better what's going on with the health and well being of local residents, than governments in counties, cities, and villages? 


In the counties we serve, we've already lost some small businesses that will never re-open, and we're doing major harm to those that hanging on.   Our rural counties flattened the curve weeks ago.  Let those that know their residents the best on the local level, determine when and how our communities will re-open. 


How much longer will we inflect irreparable harm on our small town way of life? 


The clock is ticking. 


That's our opinion....we welcome yours. 


Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Letter to the Editor on Coronavirus and Washington


Posted May 8, 2020


Dear Editor:


Lee Atwater, the late political consultant, had a talent coveted by George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaign team: he directed negative attention away from Bush. In 1988, George Bush Sr., a thoughtful writer of handwritten letters, was deemed too decent a person to suggest that Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis was responsible for felon Willie Horton committing rape while furloughed from prison. Bush was just too nice, but Atwater? No problem.

During the 1988 presidential campaign Dukakis, commenting on Reagan White House scandals said, ”There’s an old Greek saying: ‘The fish rots from the head first. It starts at the top.” President Reagan shrugged it off, but Atwater, with righteous indignation, lashed out in an interview as if the quote was directed at him personally.  It was pure theater that would have made the current White House team proud.

Mark Twain reputedly said “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Enter campaign 2020.

George Bush Sr., a reluctant mudslinger himself, had just enough conscience flexibility to hire those with fewer qualms: Karl Rove, John Sununu, and Atwater. There’s too much difference between George Bush Sr. and President Trump to suggest history is repeating itself, but I think I found a figurative rhyme with Lee Atwater: Peter Navarro.

After a recent coronavirus meeting, Navarro, current trade negotiator, had an argument with immunologist Anthony Fauci over a drug. Why would a trade negotiator be involved in such a discussion? Doesn’t matter. He’s a good lightning rod.

After the 2018 G7 meeting, Navarro said of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader who engages in bad faith…” Lee Atwater would be impressed.

Will Navarro eventually transition to Trump’s 2020 campaign manager? Stranger things have happened.


Jim Newton

Itasca, Il 60143



Station Editorial On Governor's "Restore Illinois" Does Nothing for Downstate Small Businesses


May 6, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker on May 5th, after continuing pressure from downstate legislators and residents, announced a plan he's calling "Restore Illinois" to open up the state by region, based on 6 phases.  Each region earning the right to open based on a set of data-based criteria.


While on the surface, it sounds great, his "Restore Illinois" plan has these problems:


Problem 1--he designed only 4 regions in the entire state--northeast, north central, central, and southern.  These are HUGE regions with not only LOTS of small communities, but several METRO areas where covid-19 has been more prevelent.  This will make it more difficult for such a huge region to open soon.


Problem 2--while the Governor left it up to the Illinois Department of Public Health to "officially" open a region based on a set of data they'll be posting on their web site, he apparently feels that this is his way of avoiding blame for not opening up the state sooner than later.


Problem 3--and this one is the most troubling.  He claims that, despite the phase criteria, the soonest any region can open is May 29th, which is one day before his most recent Executive Order expires.


While the Governor threw small businesses a bone on May First by allowing retail businesses to take orders and have customers pickup outside their door, or have the product delivered, it does NOTHING to provide real relief to the thousands of small businesses that either remain closed, or can't sustain their business by taking orders and having customers do pickup.


We've received reports of some small businesses around the state going ahead and opening, taking safety measures like masks, gloves, and social distancing, because they're saying if they don't open now, their families won't eat and otherwise they'll lose everything and close for good.


As I've been saying for weeks, our rural counties have "flattened the curve" and need to re-open NOW.  


So, Governor, while your "Restore Illinois" plan sounds good, it doesn't provide ANY relief to rural counties where small businesses are in DIRE need to re-open in a responsible manner.


That's our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Station Editorial on Governor Pritzker's Phases to Open State By Region


Posted May 5, 2020


This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.


Thanks to a combination of efforts from downstate legislators and the public, Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker on May 5th during his daily news conference, outlined a plan to re-open the entire state after the coronavirus outbreak caused the Governor to issue a Stay at Home order on March 20, that remains in effect thru May 30th.


His "Restore Illinois" plan calls for the state to be re-opened based on dividing the state into eleven regions, then monitoring the deaths, cases, and hospital beds used in each of those regions.  As those numbers go down, a specific region will then move to the next phase.


You can find the "Restore Illinois" plan to re-open the state, by clicking that icon at taylorvilledailynews.com or dewittdailynews.com.


The Governor also authorized the Illinois Department of Public Health, to make decisions on what regions can go to which phases.  We're told their web site will show the curves of each region, so residents can see how close or how far away they are from moving to the next phase.


While this can be construed as wanting to avoid blame for not opening regions too soon or not soon enough, it at least gives Illinois residents a path to open their region when certain criteria are met.


With the entire state in Phase 2 of his "Restore Illinois" plan, it won't take much for the 2 regions that our counties represent, to move to Phase 3, which opens retail, barber shops, salons, offices, and manufacturing with capacity and other limits and precautions.  Gatherings of no more than 10 are also allowed, and face coverings and social distancing will be the norm.


We CAN get our regions opened, if we do 2 things:  First, continue to follow the C-D-C guidelines on limiting contact with others as much as possible, to continue to flatten the curve in our 2 regions.  Secondly, continue to put pressure on the Governor, making him realize that many regions and counties had few cases and few or no deaths, asking WHY those areas can't move to Phase 3 NOW.


Listeners, it's up to us to help flatten the curve, AND to keep the heat on the Governor.  Our future is in OUR hands.


That's our opinion...we welcome yours.  Our e-mail address is editorial@randyradio.com.


Townhall Top of the Hour News
SRN News
Main Office: