Local News

Taylorville Kiwanis Hold Another Successful Drive-Thru Donation Day for Food Pantry Saturday

The Miller Media Group of Radio Stations and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club held another drive through food drive to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry on Saturday. 


Kiwanis Members Duane Stock and Dick Wamsley manned the tent in front of the studios at 918 East Park street accepting both non perishable food items and money.  Stock says that helping the food pantry is in-step with the mission of Kiwanis which is to help youth in the area.



The Miller Media Group and Kiwianis will hold their final September food drive this Saturday, September 25 from 9am-1pm.


Road Work To Begin On US51

The Illinois Department of Transportation will be starting construction on US 51 from Cold Springs Road in Pana to the Shelby County line today. IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel says the project is set to go. 



The project is going to be done to resurface the road and is expected to be finished by November.



Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 3,500 miles of highway and 9 million square feet of bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program.  



Motorists should expect delays and allow extra time for trips through the area.  People are asked to avoid the work area and to use alternate routes if they can. Pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, and refrain from using mobile devices.


The work is expected to reduce US-51 to one lane at times and will have message signs, flaggers, and barricades. 


For IDOT District 6 updates check out Twitter at @idotDistrict6 or visit www.gettingaroundillinois.com.


Salvation Army Shelby County Looking For Volunteers

You can help the Salvation Army of Shelby County. 


Don Jefferies is heavily involved with the Salvation Army and he says they are always looking for volunteers. 

Jefferies also says that you can do more than volunteer. 

He says that the goal of the Shelby County chapter of the Salvation Army is to help others find the help that they need. 

Of course, Salvation Army has help for more than just adults. 

You can learn more about the Shelbyville chapter of the Salvation Army on the Shelby County Salvation Army Facebook. 


Jefferies appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show from studios in Shelbyville. 


Villas of Hollybrook Offers All Inclusive Assisted Living

Assisted living in Springfield is readily available. 


Erica Linn is the director of Villas of Hollybrook and she says that the living spaces are available and ready to look at in person.

Linn says that the Villas of Hollybrook is all inclusive. 

Villas of Hollybrook offer apartments, so if you lived there you’d have plenty of space to yourself along with a sense of community. 

Linn also says that the Villas of Hollybrook have specialized staff to take care of your health needs. 

You can learn more at villasofhollybrook.com.


Linn appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show from studios in Shelbyville. 


Memorial Health System Increasing Minimum Wage

Memorial Health System announced that they will be raising their minimum wage. Starting Thursday, Memorial raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour for jobs at its five hospitals and dozens of other health care locations in central Illinois.


The rates won’t go into effect until this fall and employees whose pay will be affected will receive a letter mailed to them with full details.  The letter will be sent no later than October 15th. Nearly 1,200 employees or 14% of the staff will see their pay go up to or slightly above $15 an hour.  More than 3100 employees or 37% of the health system’s staff will receive larger checks as roles are compensated and adjusted.


President and CEO of Memorial Health System Ed Curtis says that raising wages is one small way the hospital can express its gratitude for workers' dedication. Currently, the minimum wage in Illinois is set at $11 but it will go up until it reaches $15 in 2025. This increase will mostly impact entry-level positions including support staff, housekeeping, customer service, and food & nutrition.


Memorial Health System includes five hospitals including Taylorville Memorial Hospital and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln. 


Illinois State Rep. Halbrook Talks Energy

The Illinois General Assembly passed the Energy Bill last week. 

The bill requires the state to have 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Gov. JB Pritzker says that the bill will more than double the state’s investment in clean energy. 


Illinois Rep. Brad Halbrook represents the 102nd district talked a little about the other details of the bill. 

Rep. Halbrook says that there’s a lot of uncertainty with this new law. 

Rep. Halbrook also talked about the immediate impacts you will see with your energy bill. 

He says that you can always contact him yourself if you have any questions or concerns, especially if you are in the 102nd district. 

Rep. Halbrook appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning show from studios in Shelbyville. 


Taylorville City Council To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Monday evening at 7 PM at the Municipal Building in Taylorville. The board will present the new rescue squad truck to the Fire Department, the board will review ordinances under the business development district, along with amending the Taylorville City Code for the no parking on the south side of West Park Avenue, and the board will review a real estate lease with Rick and Lisa Champley, along with Jake Heberling. 


Under committee reports, the board will vote on modifying the city code to change the overnight camping rates to $30/ per night and $35 for holidays starting in 2022. The board will also vote on accepting the treasurer’s report, and purchasing a portable radio for HBO Goodall. 


The board will go into closed session to discuss some pending litigation and hear from visitors. Reports are expected from Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry and the city attorney.


Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story after the conclusion of the meeting. 


This Week Is Farm Safety Week

This week marks National Farm Safety and Health Week in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Agriculture and Labor remind all farm workers to stay safe during the upcoming and busy harvest season. Each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. The theme for this year is “Farm Safety Yields Real Results.”  


IL Dept. of Agriculture Spokesperson Krista Lisser says that roadway safety is extremely important.



Lisser continued by stressing that farming is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, with farming accounting for 573 fatalities or 23 deaths per 100,000 workers. Lisser says it’s important for farmers to take care of themselves.



Most injuries and death are caused by tractor overturns, according to OSHA.  These incidents result in 130 deaths each year nationwide. For farmers, visibility is super important. Display slow-moving vehicle signs, install proper lighting, and for other drivers remember that farm vehicle operators have limited rear visibility. If you do pass a farm vehicle, use extreme caution.


Each day during this week, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will highlight topics on their Facebook and Twitter.  On Monday, it will be tractor safety and rural roadway safety.  On Tuesday it will be overall farmer health, on Wednesday, it will be safety and health for youth in agriculture, on Thursday it will be agriculture fertilizer and chemical safety, and on Friday it will be safety and health for women in agriculture. 


Follow the Illinois Department of Agriculture on Social Media all week this week for more on this topic. 


Christian County Authorities Looking For Missing Man

Christian County Authorities are looking for a man who's been missing September 16th. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Jonathan Deutch, please contact the Christian County Sheriff's Office. 



Autopsy Results Announced In Teenager Death

The Christian County Coroner along with the Taylorville Police Department has released the results of an autopsy on 17-year-old Alexia J. Garrison.  On Wednesday, September 15th at 11:58 PM, 9-1-1 received a call regarding an unresponsive female at her home in Taylorville. Emergency Crews responded and she was transported to the hospital where at 12:43 AM, she was pronounced deceased. 


An autopsy was held on Thursday in Bloomington, where preliminary reports indicate she died due to natural causes with COVID-19 being a factor.  Taylorville Police and the Christian County Coroner’s Office are handling the investigation.


Chillifest Right Around The Corner

Chillifest will be here before you know it. 


Linda Allen, executive assistant to the CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, says that the chamber has been working hard on the 36th annual event. 

Allen says that the chamber is still taking entries for the Color Run at Chillifest. 

Not to mention, Chillifest isn’t just about chili. There’s plenty for kids to do as well. 

Allen says that the chamber still needs volunteers for the event in early October. 

Learn more about Chillifest happening the weekend of Oct. 2 at chillifest.info. 


Linda Allen appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show as part of Chamber Week.


Always Remember - Never Forget

The Gold Star Mission 500-mile bike ride memorializing fallen heroes in central Illinois makes a pit stop in Taylorville next weekend. 


Eric Murray is the director and organizer of Gold Star Mission. He says that the goal of Gold Star Mission is to make sure our fallen heroes are never forgotten. 

Murray says that the ride will wrap up with stops in Effingham, Taylorville and Springfield on day 5 of the ride. 

He also talked a little about the main function of Gold Star’s charitable efforts. 

Rich Wagoner is a volunteer with Gold Star and he says that the ride is breathtaking. 

Gold Star Mission will be at Bob Ridings Automotive at 12:15 p.m. Saturday Sept. 25 until 1 p.m. There’s a free lunch from the VFW and the local American Legion. 


There will also be a check presentation for $1,000. 


Gold Star Mission is always looking for volunteers. Learn more on the Gold Star Mission Facebook page.


Director and Organizer Eric Murray and volunteer Rich Wagoner appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. 


Chillifest Unveiling Cashless Technology

Angelos Pizza in Taylorville is unveiling cashless technology for Chillifest. 

J.I. McDowell is the owner of Angelos Pizza. 

McDowell hopes that this will speed up the lines for his stand. 

The theory is that this will make life easier for his business and volunteers with a couple thousand potential customers in the square. 

McDowell says that for him, the move to adopting cashless systems was about adapting to the current business environment.

McDowell appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show during Chamber Week. 

Learn more about chillifest at chillifest.info. 


$5.6 Million Awarded For Adult Literacy Programs

Millions of dollars in grants awarded to assist adult literacy in Illinois.


Secretary of State and State Library Jesse White awards over $5.6 million in Adult Literacy Grants to help students develop and enhance their reading, math, writing and English-language skills. 


White says, “an estimated two million Illinois residents need adult literacy and/or English-Language instruction.” He adds that he is pleased to provide funding for 108 local literacy projects allowing adult students to achieve their utmost potential. 


The grants will serve over 10,000 students around the state while a proposed total of 5,600 volunteer tutors will provide training. 


Grants awarded can be as large as $100,000, but do not exceed $25,000 in the first year of the grant award. 


The Secretary of State’s Illinois State Library Literacy Office administers the grants in three categories, which include the aforementioned program, as well as the Penny Severns Family Literacy Program, and the Workplace Skills Enhancement program. 


Those interested in becoming a volunteer tutor are encouraged to call or text the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 800-321-9511. 


St. Mary's Church To Hold Parish Fiesta

The St. Mary’s Church Annual Parish Fiesta is this weekend. 


It’s this weekend starting Friday morning and wraps up with a round of raffle’s Sunday. One of the organizers, Rita Moomey talked about the dinners including a fish dinner on Friday and a Chicken Dinner on Sunday. 



Friday and Saturday morning you can check out the garage sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The raffles include $5,000 in prize money, a freezer with meat – cut and customized by Taylorville Food Center – and a basket raffle. You can view the basket on the St. Mary’s Facebook Page. 



Enter the raffles at the Parish Office, the drive-thru fish or chicken dinners, or at the garage sale. 



Again, the St. Mary’s Church Annual Parish Fiesta Pandemic Style is this weekend. The St. Mary’s Facebook page has more information. All drawings will take place on Sunday, September 19th. 


Pana Man Sentenced In Shelby County For Meth Charges

The Shelby County State’s Attorney’s Office has announced a Pana man has been sentenced to prison time for meth charges. Aaron B. Coulter of Pana was sentenced to 21 years in prison for unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver with prior unlawful possession of methamphetamine conviction. 


Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke announced on Wednesday Coulter will serve 21 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and will have to pay a statutory street value fine of $14,000. Coulter had already served six years in Christian County following a conviction for meth manufacturing between 15 and 100 grams. 


Coulter was arrested on March 25th after a Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped his vehicle for an equipment violation. The police canine “Kilo” alerted Deputy David Myers to the passenger side lower door and between 100 and 400 grams of meth were discovered in the vehicle.


Wright's Furniture and Flooring With Two Custom Mattress Sets

Wright’s Furniture and Flooring unveiling two new mattress models at its stores. 


The 1889 Firm and 1889 Plush mattresses are both made in central Illinois and will now be sold at Wright’s Furniture & Flooring. Alex Wright is the owner of the company and he says that he wanted to offer his customers something unique. 

These new mattresses are a bit more boutique than popular name brands. 

Wright says that it’s easy to see the new mattresses for yourself, and his company has plenty of other options. 

Of course, you can always find out more about Wright’s Furniture and Flooring online. 

Wrightsfurniture.com has more details on the 1889 Firm and 1889 Plush custom designed mattresses. 


Scooter's Coffee Construction Continuing in Taylorville


Construction continues at the corner of Illinois Routes 29 and 104 on Taylorville's northwest side, for the new Scooter's Coffee location.


From information provided by Scooter's public relations firm, the new location will be a drive-thru only, offering many coffees, teas, and "grab and go" breakfast and pastry products.


The Taylorville location is targeting an opening in mid to late November, and will employ around 15 people.  To apply, go on-line to scooterscoffee.com.


Taylorville School District Grieving After Loss of THS Senior

Taylorville High School is grieving after it was announced that a high school senior passed away last night.

Taylorville School Superintendent Doctor Chris Dougherty, in a news release sent this morning, announced that Alexia Garrison, a senior student at Taylorville High School, died last night at her home where she collapsed. 

Dr. Dougherty, in the release, said there are no words to express the
grief, heartbreak, and sense of loss felt by everyone in the Taylorville School District.

She added that in response to this tragedy, the school counselors are at school and available for students and staff to assist for as long as help is needed. Dr. Dougherty added that for some students, school is the best place to be with friends, to begin to deal with their grief, and to fondly recall friendships and happier times.

Dr. Dougherty encourages everyone who has been affected by the tragedy to seek comfort in each other, in the resources available in the school and in our community, and with the assistance of trusted adults. Any student, parent, or staff member in need of assistance should be encouraged to reach out for help.

Dr. Dougherty completed the news release by saying the thoughts and prayers of the entire school district are with Alexia’s family and friends who are grieving from the loss of what Dr. Dougherty called a remarkable young lady. 


Building Trades House On The Market In Taylorville

The house completed by the Building Trades Program in Taylorville is complete and on the market.  Led by Teacher Matt Blomquist, the building trades program worked for two years with COVID and other setbacks to make sure the house was ready and complete at 727 W Vandeveer in Taylorville. Blomquist says he’s proud of the hard work the students put in to make the house ready to go. 



Blomquist says that the building is very efficient when it comes to energy. 



The home also protects against moisture and humidity. Blomquist says the students prided themselves on having a home that was up to standard and code and was ready for people to move in right away.



The Building Trades Program is now starting on a new house.



The house already has a couple of interested buyers and is being sold by Craggs Realtors. Features of the house include:  Energy Efficiency Features, Triple glazed Marvin casement windows, Trane brand high-efficiency heat pump heating/cooling, and all LED lighting. 



Taylorville KIwanis Club Hears Report on This Year's High School Key Club, Repairs at Kiwanis Park During Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the organization of this year’s Kiwanis Key Club at Taylorville High School, and repairs to the Kiwanis Park rest rooms, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  


Kiwanis Key Club and Builder’s Club committee chair Will Perkins reported to Kiwanis members, that over 40 Taylorville High School students have joined the Key Club, which is the high school arm of Kiwanis, this school year.


And, it was reported that Kiwanis members Larry Kemner and Eric Kahle, replaced some shingles on the Kiwanis Park rest rooms, that flew off from the August 9th high winds.


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 Moose Lodge.  For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.     


Missing Mattoon Man Found In Lake Shelbyville

A body was found in Lake Shelbyville that has been identified as a missing Mattoon man. Nathan Tipsword of Mattoon was last seen on September 10th around 6:30 PM, leaving a campground site at Lithia Springs Campground.  A family member saw him walk into the wooded area of the campground.  His family hadn’t seen or heard from him since and filed a report on September 11th that Tipsword was missing. 


After an extensive search of the wooded area and a search of Lake Shelbyville, he was unable to be located. 100's of search and rescue personnel were used including many volunteer searchers.  Overall 30 agencies were involved in the search.


Tuesday morning, a body was located at around 10 AM that was identified as the missing male.  The body was recovered and the family was notified.  An autopsy has been scheduled. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says that they are deeply saddened over this loss and thanked all the agencies for helping in the search.


Watch Out For Invasive Insects and Pests

Keep an eye out for invasive insects. 

Gwen Podeschi is a master gardener at University of Illinois Christian County area, and she says that they aren’t in central Illinois yet, but they could make their way to the region. 

The master gardener says that if these pests become prevalent in the area, they will cause major harm to the ecosystem. 

Podeschi says that you should report a box tree moth or spotted lantern fly if you see them. 

She does say that Christian County has been safe from most invasive insects, including the emerald ash bore, but she thinks the emerald ash bore is in the county already – just unreported. 


There are cards of invasive pests you can find at the University of Illinois Extension Office in Taylorville. If you think you see an invasive pest, take a sample and put it in a jar and turn it in. 


Podeschi appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 


Rep. Avery Bourne Objects Energy Bill

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is expected to sign an energy bill after it passed the senate Tuesday night. 


State Rep. Avery Bourne says that the bill is taking away from Illinois power capacity. 

Rep. Bourne also talked about the language including eminent domain to buy out farm owners to put power lines across central Illinois. 

She also talked about how this use of eminent domain is not like other uses of the law. 

Ultimately, Rep. Bourne wishes the bill was written with private landowners in mind. 

Rep. Avery Bourne appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 


Multiple School Superintendents and Representatives Send Editorial to Gov. Over Exec. Orders

A group of 80 school superintendents and school board members from around the state send an editorial opinion to the governor’s office in regards to masking and vaccination mandates. 


Representatives from Taylorville, Central A&M, Nokomis, Mt. Zion, Pana, Shelbyville, Windsor, Cowden-Herrick, Vandalia, Sullivan, Mulberry Grove, Effingham, Beecher City, Altamont and dozens of others want school decisions to be made by local school boards. 


The letter from the group of superintendents and school representatives asks what the point of electing school boards is if this power is taken out of the hands of them. 


The letter cites Gov. JB Pritzker’s more than 80 executive orders regarding COVID-19. 


It concludes with, “It’s not just about the pandemic. It’s about all of the decisions that have been taken out of local hands by those who are all too distant from the resulting fallout. Enough is enough.”


To see a full version of the editorial along with all schools that signed their names at the bottom, click here.



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