Local News

Denise Nichol: This Week's Tradewind Energy Christian County Educator Of The Week

The Miller Media Group and Tradewind Energy are co-sponsoring a weekly "Educator of the Week" from September First thru October 13th, to honor a different Christian County educator and the commitment they've made to their students and schools.  

 

This week's "Educator of the Week" is Denise Nichol, who is a Pre-School Teacher’s Aid at Central School in Taylorville. Nichol, who has been teaching for 20 years, says that she got started after being asked to help.

 

 

Nichol was a stay at home parent before she went and started teaching. She volunteered a lot and knew how Preschool works. She says preschool with COVID is quite an adjustment.

 

Nichol says she is happy about the chemistry that she has with the other teachers.

 


Nichol thanks whoever nominated her.

 

 

To nominate an "Educator of the Week", simply go to the Facebook page of taylorvilledailynews.com, or any of our 4 music stations--WMKR, WRAN, WSVZ, or NEW Country 104-point-one--and send us a comment or direct message.

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Chris Miller With The National Weather Service Discusses The Out Of The Ordinary Hurricane Season

The 2020 Hurricane season so far has been extremely out of the ordinary according to National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Miller. 

 

 

Miller says that one of the reasons why this hurricane season has been so weird is that they’re traveling a lot further north than they usually do. 

 

 

Over the past two decades there has been a dramatic rise in both the intensity and number of tropical storms, according to Miller. 

 

 

While the south has had an excess of rainfall, Central Illinois has been rather dry, according to Miller.  

 

 

Chris Miller with the National Weather Service was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Social Security Administration Offices Remain Closed To Visitors

The Social Security Administration is not able to serve people with in-person services at this time, according to Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration, Jack Myers. The SSA is available over the phone to address any concerns you may have. 

 

 

The Social Security offices may have limited personal at the moment, but if you need to mail anything to the Social Security Administration, Myers says that mail is still being gone through and securely uploaded to those who are working remotely. 

 

 

There are also various services that are available online at socialsecurity.gov. 

 

 

If you are a representative payee you can now sign up for a MySocialSecurity account at socialsecurity.gov, according to Myers.  

 

 

Jack Myers was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Two Positive COVID-19 Cases Identified In Pana

Two Pana businesses are reporting positive COVID-19 cases. Pizza Man, located at 800 Jackson Street, and an employee at First National Bank located at 306 Locust Street.  Both facilities have been in direct contact with the Christian County Health Department and the Chris-Mont EMA. 

 

Both facilities are being deep cleaned and following protocols from the Health Department. They are set to reopen Thursday. Each positive COVID case involving a business is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Factors that are looked at include the building layout, ventilation, people answering their phone or returning calls for COVID-19. 

 

If you were recently a customer at the Pizza Man or First National Bank, you don’t meet the exposure guidelines of less than six feet for more than fifteen minutes. Therefore your exposure to COVID-19 would be low. 

 

Continue to social distance, wear face masks, wash your hands frequently, and clean common areas. For more information call the Chris-Mont EMA at 532-9560 or call the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113.

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Chris-Mont EMA Reminding Public Of Health Codes

Christian and Montgomery County Health Department’s is reminding the public of health codes as a response to COVID-19. The Chris-Mont EMA announced that they are working with the local health departments to stay on top of policy, guidelines, rules, and code changes as they change due to the virus. 

 

The Health Departments along with Chris-MONT EMA are stressing public health laws, including any business service, or facility that is open to the public shall require employees and customers who are over the age of two to wear a face-covering as long as they can medically tolerate it. Any businesses that offer food or beverages may allow individuals to remove face coverings when eating or drinking but should wear it at all other times. 

 

For retail businesses, they must have signs saying that face coverings are required, offer face coverings (depending on the size of the business), and give verbal warnings to customers to wear face coverings, and request that customers leave who are not wearing face coverings. Gatherings of more than 50 people or 50% of a building are prohibited unless exempted by the law. 

 

Chris-Mont EMA says that the two counties together have had 889 positive COVID cases, 24 deaths either caused by or contributed to by COVID, 114 that are currently quarantined, and many more with potential exposure, including 5 that are hospitalized.

 

They encourage everyone to not put businesses into compromising positions by wearing a mask inside their facilities.

For more information contact the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113, the Montgomery County Health Department at 532-2001, or the Chris-Mont EMA at 532-9560.

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Representative Avery Bourne To Hold Traveling Hours In Taylorville And Carlinville

State Representative Avery Bourne will be in Taylorville for traveling office hours on September 29th. Representative Bourne will be at the offices of Rodney Davis which is located at 108 West Market Street in the US Bank Building on Floor 2R from 10:30 AM until 1 PM. 

 

Bourne says she enjoys outreach events to help her connect with constituents of the 95th district. She says residents are more than welcome to stop by and receive assistance with issues such as FOID cards, unemployment issues, or any issues with a state agency.

 

Bourne will also be in Carlinville on October 6th from 10:30 AM until 1 PM at the Carlinville City Hall which is located at 550 North Broad Street in Carlinville.

 

For more information visit repbourne.com/events or call 324-5200.

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With Flu Season Coming, HSHS Says Vaccines Important

The subject of vaccines can be tricky. Many people have their minds made up one way or the other about vaccines and whether they are good for you or not. One person who swears by vaccines is Nurse practitioner, Karen Koenig (Kay-NIG) from HSHS Medical Group. Koenig says that vaccines are important especially this year because doctors are concerned that you can get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.  You should also have kids get vaccines, especially if you are around senior citizens.


Koenig says the CDC has a schedule for when you should have a vaccine which you can find on their website.  Koenig goes on to say just because a virus isn’t in America doesn’t mean you can’t catch the virus if it spreads and you’re not

 

HSHS encourages all those over 6 months older to get a flu shot.

 

There will be a drive-thru flu clinic at HSHS Clinic at 1304 W. Burnett Drive on October 10th and October 17th from 9 until 12. Koenig says it doesn’t cost anything to get the shot. For more information call (833) 594-0336.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber Announces More Details on First-Ever Socially Distanced Chillifest

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has announced more details on how this year's first-ever socially distanced Chillifest will happen October 3rd and 4th on the Square.

 

C-E-O Patty Hornbuckle says that although Chillifest chilli won't be served by the bowl, and there will not be a chilli tent serving food, it'll be sold by the quart via drive-thru.

 

 

There will only be a set number of chilli batches cooked, and once it's sold, it's gone.

 

 

Hornbuckle says the entire event's priority will be to keep people socially distanced and safe.

 

 

This year's Chillifest Pageants will also have a different look.

 

 

And, this year's Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Kids Zone will also be safe and healthy for the children.

 

 

Get more information on this year's first-ever socially distanced Chillifest by going to the event's web site, chillifest-dot-info, that's chillifest with 2-L's.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Final Drive-Thru Donation Day to Benefit Food Pantry This Saturday

This month's efforts by the Taylorville Kiwanis Club to collect non-perishable food and monetary donations for the Taylorville Food Pantry, has netted the Food Pantry over 3-thousand pounds of food, and several hundred dollars for the organization.

The local Kiwanis Club has been set up in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville.

 

This Saturday is the last Kiwanis Drive-Thru Donation Day, from 8:30 in the morning til one in the afternoon.   The Taylorville Kiwanis Club asks you to stop by and donate, and thanks all those who have contributed during each Saturday's drive.

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Memorial School Shut Down Due To Possible COVID-19 Exposure

The Taylorville School District, according to Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty has a number of different challenges when it comes to remote learning, including, making sure that all of the teachers are working together and on the same page. 

 

Dr. Dougherty says that she sees improvement each and every week. 

 

 

If any parent is struggling with remote learning, Dr. Dougherty encourages parents to reach out to the school for assistance. 

 

 

Dr. Dougherty would obviously prefer that school be back in person, but the reality is with the lack of subs and so many staff members in quarantine it’s difficult to safely manage the individual schools.  

 

 

Dr. Chris Dougherty also announced via press release on Tuesday afternoon that two additional staff members within the District have been exhibiting COVID-19 like symptoms and are awaiting test results. Due to these developments, six additional staff members are being required by the health department to quarantine and test. The school district is working with the Christian County Health Department along with the Regional Office of Education to keep both of them informed throughout the process.

 

Thursday, September 17th was the last time the symptomatic employees were at Memorial School and Memorial School has been shutdown until further notice to stop the spread of COVID-19. The classrooms and school spaces that have been used and possibly infected will be deep cleaned and sanitized.  The school district continues to encourage all employees and their families to wear masks, practice social distancing, frequently wash your hands, and practice safe and healthy habits.

 

For more information, please contact the school district at 824-4951. Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Sullivan Superintendent Ted Walk Discusses The Start To the School Year

2020 has been an interesting year for everyone, but especially for educators. School is a lot different this year, according to Sullivan Superintendent Ted Walk, but the school year is going well so far all things considered.
 

 

The Sullivan School District is currently going 5-days a week in person, but they do have a remote option for students. 

 

 

Remote learning is a little different depending on the school and grade level, but Superintendent Walk says that for those 5-12th grade students, school is basically the same except that you’re at home on your device instead of in the classroom.

 

 

For those elementary students who are remote learners, Superintendent Walk says that teachers are checking-in multiple times per day.  

 

 

Ted Walk was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 
 

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Flu Season And COVID-19

Flu season is right around the corner and OSF HealthCare Vice President of Community Medicine Dr. Mark Meeker says that the elderly, the very young, and individuals with chronic illness need to do what they can to  prevent exposure. 

 

 

Vaccinations according to Dr. Meeker doesn’t prevent every type of influenza, but it does prevent you from getting as sick as you would without the flu shot. 

 

 

Dr. Meeker went on to say that you will not get the flu or be any more likely to get COVID-19 if you do get a flu shot. 

 

 

The most important thing, according to Dr. Meeker, is to be as prepared as you possible can be.  

 

 

For more information on the flu and vaccines, please talk to your primary care physician. 

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Child Passenger Safety Week

It’s Child Passenger Safety Week and the Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding everyone of some helpful tips. It’s the state law that a child safety seat must be used for children under the age of 8. If the child is under the age of two, that seat must be rear-facing. This is to keep children out of harm's way as best as possible in the event of a crash.

 

Something important to check on is making sure the safety seat is the correct one. The proper seat can vary with the height and weight of a child. IDOT reminds all parents to make sure the seat is properly installed, as well. 

 

Crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 12 and under. Between 2014 and 2018 it was reported that 3,315 children passed away while riding in a motor vehicle. Thanks to proper safety measures, that number has seen a decrease in recent years. 

 

For more on Child Passenger Safety Week, and to see the full press release, click here.

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Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry Announces That He Will Seek A Second Term

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry joined the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show and announced that he would be seeking a second term as Mayor of Taylorville.

 

 

Mayor Barry says that there’s a lot of work left to do, but he’s proud of everything he’s accomplished in his first term. 

 

 

One of the things that Mayor Barry is most proud of is negotiating a new water contract with Kincaid and Langleyville and the new water plant.

 

 

Mayor Barry is also proud of the new TIF District and the Business Development District.  

 

 

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
 

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COVID-19 Testing In Illinois Has Surpassed Five Million

Governor J-B Pritzker says that the State of Illinois has made great strides since the pandemic began. Now running more than 52 thousand tests per day on average. 

 

 

Illinois is one of the top testing states in the country. Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says that they hope to expand testing even further so that everyone can be tested if they feel they need to. 

 

 

llinois State Senator Andy Manar says that Illinois being a testing leader didn’t happen on accident. 

 

 

Senator Manar went on to say thank Governor Pritzker and his administration for listening to all of his concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

 

Public health officials say that testing is a crucial component in battling the virus. Visit coronavirus.illinois.gov and click on "resources" to find a testing site near you. State officials say that they continue to look at new methods for testing such as Abbott Lab's fast-action antigen testing and the University of Illinois' saliva testing.

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Taylorville City Council Meets For Second September Regular Meeting

Taylorville City Council met on Monday evening for their second September meeting. All Aldermen were present except for Jim Olive. A few motions were tabled including an ordinance amending a section of the City Code, a motion to approve a Class O liquor license, and a motion to draft new ordinances regarding Nuisance homes. Those motions are being sent back to committee for a later date.

 

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry announced that Saturday will be the last farmer’s market for the year and Chillifest is coming. Mayor Barry also says that he supports Taylorville School Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty during this time of remote learning.

 

 

Work and bids on the bicycle bridge heading towards Pana continues.

 

 

Mayor Barry also says that census work is going well, but more needs to be done in the next ten days as Taylorville is only at 73.2% completion.

 

The city approved a stop sign at the intersection of Oak and Snodgrass and Ash. The city also approved making updates to the Marina for the 2020/2021 season and the 2021/2022 season. The next city council meeting is set to take place on October 5th.

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Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Committee Makes Safety # 1 Priority This Year

It'll be a very different Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest next month, as Committee officials place their number one priority on the safety of those attending due to the coronavirus.

 

The Committee met for almost an hour and a half last night as they put the final touches on the 2-day event on the Taylorville square October 3rd and 4th.

 

Event chair Greg Hornbuckle told Regional Radio News after the meeting that health and safety will be the focus, with attendees being asked to bring their own lawn chairs to sit on the Square this year.

 

 

H-S-H-S Medical Group in Taylorville is sponsoring the Chillifest Kids Zone this year, and providing masks and gloves for both children and volunteers who will all be socially distanced.

 

 

All Chillifest vendor booths will be spaced out this year.

 

 

Some 24 people have signed up for the "Hot to Trot" Color Run to benefit the Children's Miracle Network, taking place at Manner's Park just before Chillifest gets underway Saturday morning, October 3rd.  Registration will also be accepted on-site just before the race.

 

Pageant committee chair Brittany Moore reported some 27 sponsors have donated items for the participants' goodie bags.   She added that for the first time, the pageant will be livestreamed on the Chamber Facebook page.

 

And, International Chilli Society cook-off chair Tom Calvert reported that registrations continue to come in on-line.

 

Again, the big take away from last night's Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Committee meeting, is to bring your own lawn chairs to enjoy the event this year.

 

More information can be found on the event's web site, chillifest-dot-info, that's chillifest with 2-L's.    

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Taylorville City Council To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Monday at 7 PM. Among hot topics, include work performed on the Ward 3 Storm sewer project, making improvements at the Marina for the 2020-2022 seasons, and purchasing an ACER Laptop for the Street and Sewer Superintendent.

 

The city will also discuss ordinances involving a liquor license for Tangles Salon, a four-way stop sign at Oak, Snodgrass, and Ash, and an agreement to allow CTI to place an antenna on the High School Water Tower.

 

You can find the full agenda online and complete coverage of this story here. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry and City attorney Rocci Romano will have updates as well. 

 

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Ed Lacheta With Shelby County Community Services Discusses Suicide Prevention

Suicidal thoughts can impact anyone, according to Shelby County Community Services Clinical Director Ed Lacheta, and if you or someone you know is in an emergency you can contact a qualified mental health professional by calling 9-1-1.

 

 

There are various other services available you can contact according to Lacheta, including the National Suicide Hotline and the National Association for Mental Illness. 

 

 

Everyone can benefit from an honest conversation about suicide, according to Lacheta.

 

 

Lacheta went on to discuss how a lot of people have at the very least a fleeting thought about suicide throughout the course of their life, according to Lacheta.  

 

 

Ed Lacheta was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 
 

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Shelby County Talks Mail-In Ballots; Assures Residents They Can Vote In Person As Well

Shelby County is clarifying some information concerning letters sent by the Secretary of State. Shelby County Clerk, Jessica Fox says that there have been letters sent to homes in Shelby County alerting them that they have not applied for a Vote by Mail ballot and they should let the Clerk’s office know to complete their application.

 

These letters have been sent to all Illinoisans due to an election bill passed by the State Legislature in May as a response to COVID-19. It requires election authorities to send mail ballot applications to every voter who has voted in any of the past 3 elections.  This bill also says that the Secretary of State shall send a letter to any voter who received an application for mail-in ballot, but has not filled it out.

 

Fox says that the notices are wrong and many people received the letter by mail even if they have shown no interest in voting by mail. Those who have applied for mail ballots will be sent to Shelby County voters by September 24th. These mail-in ballots will start arriving in homes starting in October.

 

Fox assures everyone that if you don’t want to vote by mail you absolutely do not have too. In-person early voting and election day polling places will continue to be available and any voters who wish to use them may do so when the time comes. 

 

If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Fox at the Shelby County Clerk’s office at 774-4421.

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State Representative Brad Halbrook On The 2020 Election

The election is just a handful of weeks away and Illinois State Representative Brad Halbrook wants to remind voters to keep an eye out for a letter in regards to mail in voting and that early voting starts on September 24th.
 

 

Rep. Halbrook also wants to remind voters that you don’t have to vote by mail and you are able to vote on election day in your precinct. 
 

 

On election day, according to Rep. Halbrook, one of the issues you’ll be voting on is a question on your ballot to change the Illinois Constitution from a flat tax to a progressive tax.

 

 

If this were to pass, Rep. Halbrook says that it would automatically raise taxes by $2.5 to $3 billion dollars.

 

 

State Rep. Brad Halbrook was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our studio in downtown Shelbyville.
 

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Ameren Working Hard To Protect Wildlife

Ameren continues to work hard to protect wildlife especially birds. Riley Adams is the Electric Initiatives Manager and Avian Protection Program Manager for Ameren Illinois. Adams says that Ameren is working hard to help protect birds from power lines and they are making adjustments all the time. He addressed how birds are able to land on power lines and not get electrocuted.

 

Ameren Illinois has an Avion protection program in an effort to protect wildlife so they can use the facilities safely.

 

 

Adams says that there are many protective measures that Ameren has taken to protect birds and it’s come a long way since power originally came to central Illinois including creating more space in between lines to give even the eagle enough room where the bird won’t touch both of them.


 

 

Ameren has also worked hard to rehab birds as well.

 

 

Ameren Illinois delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers in more than 1,200 communities with a service territory spanning 43,700 square miles.

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Chillifest Committee Still Looking For A Few Craft Vendors

Chillifest is scheduled for October 3rd and 4th and Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce President Sarah VanHuss is excited that they’re able to hold the event this year.

 

 

Jennifer Franklin is a member of the GTCC Board of Directors and she said that the Chillifest committee still has a few non electricity craft vendor slots available. 

 

 

Franklin and VanHuss want to encourage everyone to come out to Chillifest to support local business and all of the different vendors.

 

 

Something new at Chillifest this year is the Color Run. The proceeds from the Color Run will go to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.  

 

 

Jennifer Franklin and Sarah VanHuss were both guests on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show
 

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Two More Positive COVID-19 Cases At Taylorville School District

Two staff members at Taylorville School District have tested positive for COVID-19. Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty, says that the two employees are currently quarantined. The school district is working with the Christian County Health Department along with the Regional Office of Education to keep both of them informed throughout the process.

 

So far, the High School Employee was last on campus on September 12th, and a Memorial employee was last on campus on Wednesday of last week. As of Saturday, it is not believed that there have been any additional exposures, however, the health department continues to contact trace and will contact any individuals who need to quarantine or test.

 

The classrooms and school spaces that have been used and possibly infected will be deep cleaned and sanitized.  The school district continues to encourage all employees and their families to wear masks, practice social distancing, frequently wash your hands, and practice safe and healthy habits.

 

For more information, please contact the school district at 824-4951. 

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Miller Media And Kiwanis Club Collects $117 And Food For Taylorville Food Pantry

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teaming up once again to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry by doing Drive Thru Donation Days every Saturday in September. Non-perishable food items along with monetary donations were accepted in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville.

 

Kiwanis members Larry Kemner and Will Perkins, along with Will’s son Colt, were taking the donations this previous Saturday. They were able to raise $117, as well as food donations, that was given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Kemner went into detail on what the purpose of the Drive Thru Donation Days are.

 

 

Perkins said that he was amazed by the response of the Taylorville community.

 

 

Kemner made sure to give a shoutout to one group of neighbors who made a significant donation for the Taylorville Food Pantry.

 

 

Listeners got to hear from Colt Perkins as well who was out helping take donations. Outside of teaching the Kiwanis members to dance, Colt said it was great to see the community involvement.


 

There will be Taylorville Kiwanis Club Members stationed in the Miller Media Group parking lot every Saturday in September taking donations to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry.

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