Local News

Long-Time Taylorville Community Leader Passes

A long-time Taylorville community leader has died.

95-year-old George Alfred Westrick, 95, of Taylorville, died on Friday at his residence.

He joined the Taylorville-based Sangamon Company, which was founded by his father, in 1946.  Westrick served as CEO of Sangamon from 1961 until his retirement in 2003.  
During his tenure, Westrick expanded Sangamon operations to include manufacturing and distribution facilities in Illinois, California, Missouri, and Georgia. 
He remained very active supporting local community services and faith-based charities. 
Services for 95-year-old George Westrick are scheduled for Friday evening at 6 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Taylorville.

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Four Power Plants Including Coffeen Power Plant To Close

A local coal power plant will be shutting its doors. Vistra Energy has announced the closure of four Illinois power plants in Coffeen, Canton, Havana, and Hennepin.  The Coffeen Power Plant is located south of the city near the Coffeen Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area in Montgomery County. State Representative Avery Bourne who represents the 95th District, says that this is a major blow to the community.

 

 

The plant in Coffeen was lauded as one of the cleanest coal companies in the entire nation. Bourne says that this closure is not just because of Vistra, but also has ties with Governor JB Pritzker’s agenda.

 

 

State Senator Andy Manar who represents the 48th District is confused as to why they are shutting down the plant and says it’s completely unnecessary.

 

Bourne wants to encourage Montgomery County residents that she’s continuing to fight for the community and that she will continue to look for answers from the Pritzker administration.

 

 

Over 300 people will lose their jobs at these power plants that are closing including 95 people in Coffeen. The plants are expected to close by the end of this year.

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Taylorville Tornado Recovery Ahead of Schedule but Still has Long Road Ahead

Taylorville is coming up on 10 months since the December 1st tornado and Missions for Taylorville is still hard at work in the community.

 

Bill Kerns with Missions for Taylorville compares where Taylorville is now to another town hit by a tornado. He says Taylorville seems to be ahead of schedule as of today in terms of tornado recovery.

 

 

Kerns does want to remind Taylorville residents that while Taylorville is ahead of schedule for recovery there is still a ways to go until Taylorville is back to full strength as it was before that tornado.

 

 

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

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No More Calhoun County Peaches at the Farmers Market

The Farmers Market can be found Saturdays on Taylorville Square starting at 9 with great products to fit any need.

 

Ed Downs is the Co-President of the Farmers Market. Downs knows that this news will be hard to hear but it is looking like the end for Calhoun County Peaches this year at the Farmers Market.

 

 

While the peaches may be gone Downs still expects to see plenty of smiling faces on the square on Saturdays as there are still plenty of great products at the market.

 

 

Downs encourages anyone who is interested to stop by and see them on the Taylorville Square Saturday’s from 9 to noon.

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Annual Children's Health Fair at PCH

Pana Community Hospital has seen plenty of adults come in to try to live a healthier lifestyle and sees how difficult it can be to make that change. They know that it is much easier to implement living a healthy life at a younger age.

 

PCH Marketing Manager Melissa Rybolt wants to see plenty of parents with their kids at the Annual Children's Heath Fair on Saturday, October 26th to learn to live in good health.

 

 

Ryoblt knows that for the kids to get this information PCH is trying to share it comes down to the parents. The kids will eat what is put in front of them so parents should try to eat healthier for their kids.

 

 

Ryoblt shares when and where you need to be for this health fair, there is no registration required simply show up and enjoy learning about living healthy. Rybolt does say there is room for a few more vendors if interested.

 

 

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

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Local Campaign Urges Shopping At Farmers Markets In September

A local campaign is encouraging buying from your local Farmers Markets in September. The Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois Campaign is in their 4th annual year, helping farmers as they generally see a slump in sales in September. Communications Director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Molly Gleason says that September is a great time for buying warm season crops.

 

 

In order to encourage shopping locally, Gleason says that there will be a scavenger hunt photo challenge.

 

For those who complete the full scavenger hunt by September 30th, they’ll be entered into a raffle to win $200 to the Buy Fresh Buy Local farm or food venue of their choice. The app is called Scavify and for more information visit: bit.ly/SeptemberEatLocalChallenge. For more information on the Buy Fresh, Buy Local program visit: http://www.buyfreshbuylocalcentralillinois.org/ 

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Not Always the Best Option

The trick to shedding some of that excess weight you may be carrying lies in your diet. It all depends on what is on your plate, the more nutritious it is the better off you will be.

 

Nutrition and Wellness Educator with the Christian County U of I Extension Office Lisa Peterson sees the fad of cooking with extra virgin olive oil as that is the healthiest option, she admits this is true for the most part but if cooking with it you don't want to let it get too hot.

 

 

Peterson sees olive oil heavily in the Mediterranean diet which she recommends but if you hit that smoke point it will become rancid.

 

 

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

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CTI Honored On Inc.5000, Fastest Growing Private Companies

Vice President Adam Vocks and President Billy Williams

 

A local company is trending upward as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Computer Techniques or CTI out of Taylorville was ranked 2,132 on Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 list. This is the second time that CTI has made the list making it in 2018 as well. In 2018, the company was ranked 2,242 so it’s moving higher. President Billy Williams says he’s excited to make this list twice, something that only one in four companies has done.

 

 

Williams says the company is growing and that there are big plans for that growth in the future.

 

 

For the full list of companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000, you can go check it out online at inc.com or click here.

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Some Funnel Clouds Reported In Central Illinois

The National Weather Service has reported that funnel clouds have been reported in Champaign, Christian, Macon, and Piatt Counties. Atmospheric conditions exist for possible weak funnel clouds where they will form and then dissipate before touching down. Christian County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Crews says there was one small funnel reported near Rosamond. 

 

 

 

Stay alert, and be prepared to move to safety if need be.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more updates. 

 

 

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New Law To Expand Banking Opportunities In Illinois

For those who shy away from banks, a new law has been passed to help those who need banking opportunities. Governor JB Pritzker says that 1 out of every 5 households doesn’t use a bank. The new law creates what’s called a “Bank On Illinois” program that helps those with new opportunities.

 

 

In an effort to help keep people from paying high fees at check-cashing stores or payday loans, “Bank on Illinois” will have programs with low or no fees, low deposits, and allow alternative forms of identification. Comptroller Susan Mendoza says that the website will help families.

 

 

 

Illinois is the first state in the Union to offer this program.  For more information visit https://illinoiscomptroller.gov/

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IHDA Offers Help For Closing Costs For Homes

A new grant program for closing costs for buying a house in Illinois is being offered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. With some closing costs in excess of $5,000, the IHDA is helping those who can’t pay those costs. IHDA spokesman Andrew Field talks about the program.

 

Field says the IHDA wants to make sure that it’s easier for people to purchase their own home.

 

 

For more information on the porgram visit www.IHDAMortgage.org. 

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Nat all Fat is Bad Fat in Diet

When trying to get into better shape and live a healthier lifestyle the first thing someone might think is that they need to cut fat out of their diet.

 

Nutrition and Wellness Educator with the Christian County U of I Extension Office Lisa Peterson says there are certain fats that should be cut but there are some fats that are necessary in your system.

 

 

According to Peterson one of the fats you really want to avoid are the trans fats which can really take a toll should you have a high trans fat diet.

 

 

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

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Executive Director Stepping Down From Christian County Senior Citizens Center

Longtime Executive Director Gerry Mahr is resigning from the Christian County Senior Citizens Center. Mahr talked with Regional Radio News about the reasons why he chose now to step down.

 

 

Mahr says he’s looking forward to teaching more and looks back at some of his memories of the Senior Citizens Center.

 

Mahr’s last day will be August 29th. The Senior Citizens Center is actively searching for a new Executive Director for the Center.

 

 

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Secretary Of State Encourages Safety Around School Buses

With school back in session, one of the big focuses has been on safety both in and around schools, and with that buses are no different.  Secretary of State, Jesse White says that people just need to be more observant.

 

 

The Secretary of State is promoting a “Toby Tire” program that teaches kids about staying safe while getting on and off a school bus. 

 

During the last school year, 17 kids in the US were killed by drivers failing to stop for a school bus. For more information on the Toby Tire program visit: cyberdriveillinois.com. 

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Pana Youth Solar Car Team Honored At County Board Meeting

 

The Pana Youth Solar Team was honored at the Christian County Board Meeting on Tuesday evening. The team placed 1st at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas in July after finishing in 5th last year at the Solar Races.  Second year Solar Car member Katelyn Townsend says that it was surreal being able to race and win at the same place as some Nascar Superstars.

 

 

Lucas Duduit says that it was a lot more intense this year, but he enjoyed going down the road course last year as opposed to making left turns this year. 

 

 

Duduit has one word of advice for those kids who want to follow in his footsteps and be engineers.

 

Duduit has informed Regional Radio News that the Pana Solar Car Team will not be competing next year, as this was the last year for the program.

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Tornado Tree Applications Due By September 1st

Any applications for tree replacements in Taylorville need to be turned in by September 1st. Barb Grabner-Kerns of the Taylorville Tree Recovery Team, says that there is still time for you to get a tree.

 

 

Grabner-Kerns says that there are some requirements for you to be able to receive a tree.

 

The Taylorville Tree Recovery Team has been raising money for this and Barb Grabner-Kerns is hoping to get everyone that wants one up to two trees.

 

 

The program is made available by volunteers with the Taylorville Tree Recovery Team, a collaborative effort among the Taylorville Tree Board, Trees Forever, and the University of Illinois Extension and by the generosity of donors to the effort.

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John McClure Honored for Long-Time Service to Kiwanis Club, at District Convention

 

Long-time Taylorville Kiwanis Club member John McClure was honored with a special award at the recent Illinois-Eastern Iowa Kiwanis District Convention in Springfield recently.

 

McClure was given the “Amador Award”, named in honor of Doctor Luis V. Amador, the medical director of the Kiwanis Neuroscience Research Foundation since its inception in 1952.

 

McClure was honored for his many years of personal dedication, lifelong support and service to the Taylorville Kiwanis Club and by extension, the children of Taylorville, Christian County, and beyond.

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club, along with the Raymond-Harvel and North Mac Kiwanis Clubs, nominated McClure for the award.  

 

Taylorville Kiwanis Club members Martin Vota, Blain Cornwell, Dean Ray, Dennis Barnhardt and Dick Wamsley, along with local Kiwanis president Michael Evanchak, were all present when McClure accepted his award.

 

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

 

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Christian County Board Meets; Talks Budgets And Elections

Chad Michel and Chairwoman Becky Edwards.

 

The Christian County Board met Tuesday evening to discuss budgets, Solar Power, and the public defender at their August monthly meeting. It was announced at tonight’s meeting that longtime board member Chad Michel from District 2 was resigning due to personal reasons. He was given an award for his longtime service to the county. During the budget portion of the meeting, it was announced that new election equipment was bought. This equipment is important because it hasn’t been replaced since 2004, and with elections being so scrutinized for security threats, Christian County Clerk, Mike Gianasi says this is an important thing for the County.

 

After reports came out earlier this week that the Macon County Courthouse website had been hacked, Gianasi says, that Christian County doesn’t want to take any chances.

 

 

Other motions that passed included raising Public Defender Mike Drake to a full time position. Chairman of the budget committee Clark Pearce explains why this is important.

 

 

Katrina Dieterich was appointed as the IMRF (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) Authorized Agent. IMRF Rates were selected as an actuarial determined rate of 11.93%.  A two year extension was given to the Solar Farm Development. The tentative plan right now is to break ground on a building in 2021 or 2022. The next County Board meeting will be held on September 17th.  

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Taylorville Kiwanis Hear from Taylorville School Resource Officer at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the Taylorville School Resource Officer, during their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

 

Bryan Thomas, a member of the Taylorville Police Department for some 18 years, became the Taylorville School District’s Resource Officer, last school year.  Thomas said that in his going-on 2 years on the job, he’s learned from both students and staff.  

 

Thomas added that with junior and senior high school students in his family, it was even more reason to accept the position.  Thomas has 5 school buildings that he makes appearances in, with an office at Taylorville High School.

 

Thomas told Kiwanis Club members that he’s working to bridge the gap between the police and students, adding that he truly cares about the students and the school district.

 

During a question and answer session, Thomas told Kiwanis members that school staff is pleased to have him on the job.  And, he added that in his going-on 2 years on the job, the biggest problem he’s dealt with is vaping among students, adding that with state law forbidding vaping or cigarette use by minors, writing tickets for the violations among students with a 200-dollar fine, has reduced the use of vaping in the school district considerably.

 

 

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

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Busting Some Myths About Fat

When trying to get into better shape and live a healthier lifestyle the first thing someone might think is that they need to cut fat out of their diet.

 

Nutrition and Wellness Educator with the Christian County U of I Extension Office Lisa Peterson has some myths in need of busting when it comes to fat. First up is the myth that your body does not need any fat. 

 

 

Peterson says the fad of low fat diets are in fact not as good for you as they might seem, too much of anything can be a bad thing but the same goes for too little. 

 

 

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

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HSHS Good Shepherd Looking For Entries Into Scarecrow Daze

HSHS Good Shepherd is looking for entries into the 2019 Scarecrow Daze Parade. Kristy Gordon, marketing specialist for HSHS Good Shepherd says they’re looking for all kinds of different entries.

 

Gordon says if you want to enter the parade, all you have to do is let her know.

 

 

Scarecrow Daze will take place on October 12th, 2019 in Shelbyville.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Win Several Awards at Kiwanis District Convention

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club won 2 prestigious awards at the recent Illinois-Iowa Kiwanis District Convention held in Springfield.

 

Long-time Taylorville Kiwanis Club treasurer Diane Beatty (left), who recently retired from that position, was honored for her many years of service to the local club.  Kiwanis president Michael Evanchak presented Beatty with her award.

 

 

And, the Club itself was given the “Distinguished Club Award” for achieving several goals as outlined by Kiwanis International, including service to children over the world as well as locally.  Kiwanis president Michael Evanchak is shown holding the award.

 

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

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Taylorville City Council Votes To Add Full Time Dispatcher To Police Station, Discuss Sidewalk Project

The Taylorville City Council met Monday evening, and while the focus was heavy on dispensaries in Taylorville, many other issues were discussed and voted on. A vote was passed 7-0 in favor of advertising for another full-time dispatcher in the Taylorville Police Department as right now there are 4 dispatchers and that’s not enough to cover the full week. There was also a long discussion of the First National Bank of Taylorville Sidewalk Project as the discussion of a prevailing wage is adding to the cost of the actual project. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry wants to remind everyone to please be safe especially as School has started once again. He also says that he has applications for the new Street and Sewer Superintendent. 

 

 

A vote was held for the City Council to contribute $7,500 for three years towards the 4th of July Fireworks Display. The motion passed 6-1 with Aldermen Megan Bryant voting no. She explained her reasons for voting against the motion.

 

 

The motion to have the city partner up with Lincoln Land Community College to upgrade and repair cabins was tabled, as the college has lost their instructor and are unsure whether the program will continue. The next Taylorville City Council Meeting will be held on September 2nd.

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Severe Weather Expected Tuesday; Severe Weather Sirens Fully Operational

Christian County Emergency Management Agency Director, Mike Crews, spoke at the Taylorville City Council meeting on Monday evening to inform the Aldermen that the severe weather sirens were fully operational again, all of them except the Boyd Dappert location which needs to be moved as it is too close to high voltage.

 

 

Chief Crews says to pay attention to the weather tomorrow as the patterns are very reminiscent of the storm that went through on December 1st.

 

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for any severe weather coverage updates.

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Taylorville City Council Approves Marijuana Tax If City Gets Dispensary

The Taylorville City Council met Monday evening, and the opening discussion, and one that held the floor’s attention at both the beginning of the meeting and the end of the meeting was the discussion of cannabis. The Aldermen voted 6-0 with Alderman Shawn Burtle abstaining, and Aldermen Kathy Driskell absent, in favor of adding a 3% municipal tax to all purchases at any Taylorville dispensaries. The city of Taylorville has not agreed at this point in time to actually add any dispensaries, but if they do that’s when they will add the tax. Alderman Larry Budd said it was important to clarify that as he and City Attorney Rocci Romano discussed the issue.

 


    

There were plenty of people that showed up for the meeting to get their points across that even though they realize that this was not the vote to allow dispensaries in Taylorville, that they were against this regardless. Taylor McManigell attended the meeting and shared his views on cannabis and what he has seen it do to families.

 

 

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry encouraged phone calls on the issue one way or the other, he also wanted to encourage everyone to attend the meetings as well.  The next discussion on cannabis in Taylorville will be at the Ordinance Committee Meeting which will be held on October 17th at 6PM.

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