Local News

Over 1200 New Cases Of COVID-19 In Illinois, 53 Additional Deaths; Governor Adding More Hospital Beds At McCormick Place

The Governor announced the opening of McCormick Place in Chicago for mild cases of coronavirus. There will be 500 beds available for those that need it. Governor JB Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot thanked the workers who had worked so hard to transform the convention center into an alternative care center to help those that may need help in the future.


The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced 1,209 cases of coronavirus disease in Illinois including 53 additional deaths in Christian, Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee Lake, and Will County.  


DeWitt, Effingham, and Jersey counties are reporting their first COVID-19 cases. The IDPH is reporting a total of 8,904 cases with 210 deaths in 64 counties out of 102 in Illinois. 


The age of cases of people with COVID-19 range in age from younger than 1 to older than 100. If you have any PPE that you would like to donate email ppe.donations@illinois.gov. You can always call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.


You can always visit www.taylorvilledailynews.com or visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov. You can listen to every press conference by Governor JB Pritzker by tuning into NEWSTALK WTIM and its many platforms at 2:30 every afternoon.


Christian County Has 2 More Positive COVID-19 Cases Raising Number To 17

The Christian Montgomery County EMA released some new numbers as Christian County announced two new COVID-19 cases. Christian County is reporting 4 pending tests, 17 positive tests including two deaths, and 38 negative tests.  For Montgomery County, there are 27 pending tests, 2 previous positive tests, and 49 negative tests.  Sangamon County is reporting 91 pending tests, 23 positive tests including 2 deaths and 405 negative tests. Macon and Fayette Counties are reporting 2 cases, and Moultrie is reporting 1 case.


There isn’t a whole lot of information in regards to identifiable information due to HIPAA and federal law however, the Health Department does go through and call individuals that may have been exposed.  If the Department of Public Health calls you, please answer.  It is imperative for your safety.  If you do not get a call, you do not need to concern yourself with a positive patient report. As always stay vigilant and practice social distancing.


For more information on COVID-19 visit www.taylorvilledailynews.com or visit the Chris-Mont EMA Facebook page.


Taylorville Development Association Takes Huge Step Forward; New Industrial Park To Be Completed By Fall

Taylorville's new Industrial Park took a huge step forward this week, when the Taylorville Development Association, a group of local and civic leaders that own the property on Taylorville's northwest side, awarded bids for infrastructure totaling some one-million dollars.


Mary Renner is Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, which has assisted the T-D-A in obtaining a 537-thousand dollar matching grant from the Economic Development Administration in Chicago.


Renner gave a lot of credit for getting T-D-A to this point, to its chairperson and long-time Taylorville banker Ken Hart.



And Renner also told Regional Radio News that nothing will be as satisfying for her, than the announcement the Economic Development Administration had approved the 537-thousand dollar matching grant for the new park.



Construction is expected to begin this spring with completion by the fall.


Melissa Rybolt With Pana Community Hospital Talks About The Incident Command Team

Melissa Rybolt is the Marketing Manager at Pana Community Hospital and she joined the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show to discuss PCH’s Incident Command Team.


Rybolt started out by explaining what the Incident Command Team is and who is on the team.



Rybolt went on to explain what it is that the Incident Command Team usually does.



Finally, Rybolt talked about what the Incident Command Team is currently doing now that they’ve been activated by Governor Pritzker.


For more information on Pana Community Hospital please visit their website which is panahospital.com. Melissa Rybolt with Pana Community Hospital was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


CTI's Jeff Durbin Talks COVID-19 Related Scams

Jeff Durbin is the IT Operations Manager at Computer Techniques also known as CTI and he talked with Regional Radio News about COVID-19 related scams and phishing attacks.


Durbin started out by discussing what type of scams and phishing attacks that they’re seeing right now.


Durbin went on to explain how it is that you can keep yourself safe from these types of attacks.


For more information on CTI please visit their website which is ctitech.com. Jeff Durbin with CTI was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


Cannabis Sales Reach Nearly $36 Million In March

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has announced early numbers for adult cannabis use in March. Statewide totals indicate sales of $35,902,543.22. Dispensaries across the state sold over 812,203 items over the 31 day period. In-state totals to residents came out to $27,096,931.23. Out-of-state residents bought $8,805,611.99 as well. These figures do not include taxes that were collected. A portion of sales is invested back into communities that were hurt by the war on drugs.


Senior Advisor for Cannabis Control to Governor Pritzker, Toi Hutchinson, said, “Three straight months of consistent adult use cannabis sales show there is – and will continue to be – strong support and demand from consumers. To Ensure medical users are able to access the product they need during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, curbside pickup will remain an option for medical patients through April 30th.”


Montgomery County Farm Bureau Announces Changes Due to COVID-19

Katie Wilson is the Director of the Montgomery County Farm Bureau and she talked with several Ag retailers in the county and she wanted to let farmers know that these businesses are still operating and still caring for the needs of farmers, but may just be operating a little different than normal.


The doors are locked to the public at all M&M Service Company locations, but they are still offering all of their services and they encourage you to call or email them.



Wilson went on to discuss what Sloan Implement, Farmers Grain, and Miller Brothers Fertilizer are doing to keep their employees and farmers safe.



Finally, Wilson discussed what Sorrells Farm Supply and Sievers Equipment are doing to both serve their employees and keep everyone safe.


For more information on the Montgomery County Farm Bureau, please visit montcofb.com.


Pana Community Hospital Restricting Access To Visitors

Pana Community Hospital has announced some changes that will be taking place in addition to the operational changes from earlier. From now on, no visitors are permitted to enter the facility. All persons who are seeking to enter the hospital will be screened outside the emergency entrance and all other entrances will be closed.  All direct patient care providers are now required to wear a mask, goggles, and gloves during their shifts.


If you do not have a primary care physician and are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath contact the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113 or the Illinois Department of Public health COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-889-3931. 


As always visit taylorvilledailynews.com for more information on COVID-19 or visit the Pana Community Hospital Facebook page. 


City of Taylorville Bans Leaf Burning For April

The City of Taylorville is banning leaf burning for the month of April.  Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry announced in a press release, that all leaf burning is banned due to the effects on the respiratory system from COVID-19. The virus attacks those with weakened immune systems and the mayor is asking everyone to cooperate accordingly. 


Residents are encouraged to take leaves to the street department free of charge or if you bag them up and place them on your boulevard, Mayor Barry says he will see that they are picked up. 


For any questions, please contact Mayor Barry at 287-7946.


IDOC Denies Phone Interview Request: Releases Statement on Coronavirus Outbreak

After 2 requests for a phone interview with Regional Radio News regarding how Illinois prisons are handling the coronavirus outbreak, Illinois Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Lindsey Hess e-mail'ed us late yesterday afternoon, saying she could not grant our request.  Hess did release a written statement which said the following:

"Our response to COVID-19 continues to be deliberate and aggressive. We are taking vigorous steps to protect our staff and men and women in custody from this disease, including thoroughly reviewing those who are eligible for early release, appropriately quarantining or isolating men and women in custody, and equipping staff with personal protective equipment. Our top medical and security personnel are stationed at our statewide command post resolutely working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our facilities. We continue to work closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Emergency Management Agency to ensure we are following all guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control. 
"The Department has taken a number of steps to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including, but not limited to:
• On March 20, all correctional facilities statewide were placed on Administrative Quarantine with restricted movement.
• On March 14, the Department suspended visitation at all correctional facilities. 
• Facilities with confirmed cases of COVID-19 are being placed on lockdown with only emergency medical movement. 
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is being provided to all staff statewide. 
•We are working with the Governor’s Office and Prisoner Review Board to thoroughly review individuals who are eligible for early release.
• The Department modified its Pandemic Influenza and Continuity of Operations plans.
• Hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, and cleaning supplies are being made available to all staff and incarcerated individuals. We are closely monitoring our supply levels at each facility and are in close communication with our vendors to maintain adequate inventory.
• All staff are being screened and having their temperature checked at arrival to their correctional facility.
• All interagency transports have been suspended with the exception of medical and mental health appointments, and emergency transfers. 
• Per Governor Pritzker’s executive order, all county jail intakes have been suspended.
• All correctional facilities and transport vehicles are being routinely cleaned and disinfected.
• Staff and incarcerated individuals are being encouraged to practice good health habits, including hand-washing.
• We are communicating regularly with staff and people in custody to ensure they feel safe."
Hess added that IDOC will continue to monitor this fluid situation and adjust their procedures as necessary. 


Judy Prasun Ends One Chapter of Her Life, Begins Another

Judy Prasun retired from banking on Tuesday, after 46 years in the banking business and 17 years at People's Bank and Trust as Assistant Vice President for Consumer Banking.


Prasun spoke with Regional Radio News on her last day on the job earlier this week, and she shared with us that she enjoyed the variety of jobs she had in her career.



Prasun says she's looking forward to the next chapter in her lift.



And, Prasun added "make every day a special day."


Bids Let to Start Construction on New Taylorville Industrial Park This Spring

The Taylorville Development Association let over one-million dollars worth of bids, to begin construction on Taylorville's new Industrial Park on the northwest side.


At a special Board meeting earlier this week, officials approved awarding bids to 3 contractors who will build infrastructure at the site.  


Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, Mary Renner, is working closely with T-D-A to get the project completed, and told Regional Radio News that job creation has always been the goal for her, the local economic development group, and T-D-A.



Renner added that she, the C-C-E-D-C, and the T-D-A, were prepared to do whatever had to be done to find a suitable location for a new Industrial Park.



Construction is expected to start this spring with completion by fall.


Governor Pritzker Promotes New "All In" Campaign

Governor JB Pritzker announced new incentives for staying at home. The initiative is called “All in Illinois.” Governor Pritzker announced that there is a new website called Allin.Illinois.gov. There will be public service announcements from famous Illinois Natives, like Jane Lynch, Deon Cole, Jason Beghe, Jackie Joyner Kersee, and Matt Walsh.

The Governor announced that through the website you can get yard and window signs and much more. 

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of Public Health in Illinois announced some new numbers for the state, as the amount of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.  Dr. Ezike says just because you get it doesn’t mean you’re going to die from it. 

For more information on COVID-19 visit Taylorvilledailynews.com or visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov. You can listen to every press conference by Governor JB Prtizker by tuning into NEWSTALK WTIM and its many platforms at 2:30 every afternoon.


Chris-Mont EMA receives PPE From Illinois

The Christian County/Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency released its most recent numbers of infections from COVID-19. As of 5 PM on April 1st, in Montgomery County, there are 25 pending tests, 2 previous positive tests, and 39 negative tests.  In Christian County, there are 4 pending tests, 15 positive tests which include 2 deaths, and 37 negative tests. Sangamon County is reporting there are 18 positive tests with 2 deaths. Macon County is reporting 2 cases, and Moultrie County is reporting 1 case.


The Chris-Mont EMA announced that the counties have received their first partial shipment of Personal Protective Equipment or PPE, from the state. The equipment is getting delivered to the public safety responders that need it. 


There is still a concern over too many kids hanging out with their friends during this time. The Chris-Mont EMA is strongly encouraging you to ensure that your kids are aware of the Stay at Home Order and to not let them run around without direct adult supervision and guidance.  


Together we can slow down and stop the spread of COVID-19. For more information visit Taylorvilledailynews.com or visit the Chris-Mont EMA Facebook page.


Moultrie County Has First Positive Case Of COVID-19

The Moultrie County Health Department has reported a positive case of COVID-19. Public Health Services Coordinator Glenda Plunkett said that that the patient is in her 30’s, is at home, and is following CDC protocols.


The Moultrie County Health Department also reported that 19 residents of Moultrie County have been tested for COVID-19 and as of Thursday afternoon 13 of those tests have come back negative and 5 are still pending.


Finally, Plunkett discussed what everyone should do to keep themselves as safe as possible.


For more information on COVID-19 visit Taylorvilledailynews.com or visit coronavirus.illinois.gov.


Christian County Teen Wins State 4-H Award

A Christian County 4-H Student has won a prestigious state award. Caleb Grover was recognized as a winner in the personal growth category for the Emerald Level Leadership Award. Caleb can choose either a $1,000 scholarship or a trip to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta. Sara Marten, Extension Educator for 4-H Youth Development says that leadership has played a big part in Caleb winning the award.


Marten says that Caleb is involved with all kinds of levels of 4-H and has gone above and beyond and that has led to him being recognized.


Despite threats of COVID-19, Marten says that 4-H is still going strong and there are still plenty of opportunities for students to get involved.


For more information on 4-H, the benefits, and how to get involved, please contact your local 4-H department.  For Christian County 4-H call 287-7246.


Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle Talks About What We Can Do To Help Local Businesses

Patty Hornbuckle is the CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce and she joined the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show to discuss what she’s hearing when she talks to small business owners, what we can do to help them through this difficult time, and the Taylorville Development Association’s awarding of bids for the Industrial Park.


Hornbuckle started out by discussing the what she’s hearing when she talks to small business owners.


Hornbuckle went on to discuss what we can do to help them through this difficult time.


Finally, Hornbuckle discussed how important the new Industrial Park is for Taylorville.


For more information on the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, please visit taylorvillechamber.com. Patty Hornbuckle with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


TPD Respond To Break In At Mach 1

Taylorville Police responded to a smash and grab at the Mach 1 on Illinois Route 29 and Route 104. On April 2nd at 1:20 AM TPD responded to a “front counter motion” alarm at the gas station. Upon arrival, TPD noticed a front window was broken and entry was gained. The suspects entered the business and stole numerous items including liquor and cigarettes and left the business through the broken window. 


TPD has and is investigating video footage. 


Chief Wheeler says that he is concerned that there will be a spike in crime due to the pandemic. If you have any information about the incident you are encouraged to contact the Taylorville Police Department.




Consolidated Communications Offering Students Two Months Of Free Internet Service

With students being out of school and with schools now implementing e-learning, students need to have reliable internet service. So, Consolidated Communications has decided to offer students 2 months of free internet service along with free installation.


To take advantage of this offer, call Consolidated Communications at 855-399-3084 and mention the offer code “two months free.” This offer is only available to those individuals who are not currently customers of Consolidated Communications and you do not have to sign a long-term contract to receive this offer.


Taylorville Industrial Park Chooses Winning Bidders For Construction of New Industrial Park

The Taylorville Development Association Tuesday awarded bids for construction of the new Taylorville Industrial Park.  3 contractors were chosen for the one-millon-dollar project to build infrastructure at the site on North Route 29.


Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation Mary Renner is working with the T-D-A on the project, and told Regional Radio News about the timeline for the project.



Renner added that T-D-A's consulting engineer Phil Martin is hopeful the project could be completed by this fall.




Judy Prasun Retires After 46 Years in Banking, 17 at People's Bank and Trust

Tuesday was a bittersweet day for Judy Prasun.  It was her last day on the job before retiring, as Assistant Vice President for Consumer Banking at People's Bank and Trust in Taylorville.  It completes 17 years of service at People's, and 46 years in the banking industry.


Regional Radio News visited with Prasun on her last day on the job, asking for her career track.



Prasun said she's seen a lot of changes in banking in her 46 years.



Prasun looks forward to spending more time with her grandkids.


Governor Pritzker Urges Illinoisans To Take Census; Nearly 7,000 COVID-19 Cases

The Illinois Governor, JB Pritzker, is hoping everyone will participate in the census today as April 1st is named “US Census Day” in America. The Governor says the census goes a lot further than just counting people. 



Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Department of Public Health announced 986 new cases including 42 additional deaths. This brings the total of cases to 6,980 cases, including 141 deaths in 56 counties.  Dr. Ezike says that there are many people stepping up right now to keep everything running. Dr. Ezike says that despite COVID-19 being in the forefront of everyone’s mind, the Department of Health is still monitoring other situations that they need to be aware of on top of the COVID-19.


Governor Pritzker addressed concerns over places like Taylorville Memorial and other rural hospitals that may not have enough ICU beds.


For more information on COVID-19 visit Taylorvilledailynews.com or visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov. You can listen to every press conference by Governor JB Pritzker by tuning into NEWSTALK WTIM and it’s many platforms at 2:30 every afternoon.


Ameren Illinois Donates $250,000 To The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund

Tucker Kennedy is the Communications Director at Ameren Illinois and he talked with Regional Radio News about the recent decisions made by the Ameren Illinois leadership team to not only suspend disconnections, but also to donate $250,000 from the AmerenCares charitable trust to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund.


Kennedy went on to explain how Ameren is considered to be an essential service and that you will continue to see Ameren crews out working.



Finally, Kennedy talked about what precautions they’re taking to keep the employees of Ameren safe from COVID-19.


For more information on Ameren Illinois please visit ameren.com/illinois.


Christian County Coroner Reporting Two Deaths In Christian County From COVID-19

The Christian County Coroner’s Office is reporting two deaths from COVID-19. Amy Calvert Winans, Christian County Coroner, announced that in conjunction with the Christian County Emergency Management Agency and the Christian County Public Health Department that an unrelated male and female both in their 80’s have died.  The names are being withheld at this time pending further notification of family members. 


Coroner Winans says this is a tough day for everyone involved. She urges everyone to do their part to stop the spread.



The Christian County Coroner along with the Chris-Mont EMA is asking everyone to please respect the privacy of these families at this time and allow them to grieve their loss.


Taylorville Development Association Awards Bids on $1 Million Industrial Park

Taylorville's new Industrial Park is one step closer to reality, after the Taylorville Development Association, owners of the property, awarded construction bids to 3 contractors on Tuesday in a special Board meeting.


Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, Mary Renner, has been assisting T-D-A in its efforts to get a new Industrial Park built for Taylorville, and told Regional Radio News that a new Industrial Park was one of the goals she was given when she was first hired 14 years ago.



Renner added that a new site for Taylorville's Industrial Park had to be found, due to issues at its present site that was built in the 1960's.



The winning bids now to go the Economic Development Administration in Chicago for approval, before construction can start.  That agency is providing a matching 537-thousand dollar grant for the project.



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