Local News

Amity Food Mart Has Ribbon Cutting Ceremony For Grand Reopening


The Amity Food Mart in Taylorville had a grand reopening today after a long rebuild nearly a year after a devastating tornado tore through the area. The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce had a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning, and Amity Food Mart owner Amit Patel, could not be more happy with how the area has come together in support of his business.



Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle says that she is excited that they have a chance to rebuild.


The Amity Food Mart is located at 630 West Spresser Street in Taylorville.




Raymond To Host Holiday Christmas Mall

Holidays mean that there are plenty of local festivities. The annual Raymond Christmas Mall at the K of C Hall in Raymond will be held on November 30th from 8 until 2. Cathie Downey with the Christmas Mall says there will be plenty of vendors there for you to shop with.



Downey says that for the first time there will also be a scavenger hunt.


There will also be a Christmas Tree Lighting that evening with Santa Claus.



For more information visit the Raymond Facebook page or call Cathie Downey at 710-6678.


Rebecca Livingston With U of I Extension Talks Ag In The Classroom

Rebecca Livingston is the Christian and Montgomery Counties Agriculture Literacy Program Coordinator at The University of Illinois Extension office and she discussed what it is that she does on an everyday basis.



Livingston went on to discuss some of the different Ag in the Classroom programs that she had for the fall season.



Finally, Livingston talked about one of the more popular programs that’s offered to classrooms each and every spring.


Livingston was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


See Actual Copy Of Gettysburg Address At Lincoln Museum

When people look at Abraham Lincoln’s greatest speeches, The Gettysburg Address is considered one of the best. Considered an afterthought at the time, Lincoln was invited to speak at the dedication of the Gettysburg Cemetery and was picked to speak alongside Edward Everett. Everett spoke for over 2 hours before Lincoln spoke for 2 minutes. Lincoln considered his address a failure. However, it is considered by historians to be one of the most famous speeches of all time. A handwritten copy of the speech will be featured at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum for the next two weeks through December 2nd. 


There are only five surviving copies of the speech. This one stays in a climate-controlled vault to protect it from light and humidity. Dr. Samuel Wheeler, who is an Illinois State Historian says that the speech is a tangible connection to President Lincoln and the turmoil of the Civil War. “We look at his handwriting on this plain, white paper, and imagine him searching for just the right words for a nation torn in two. 


The Abraham Lincoln library holds over 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history. For more information visit the President Lincoln website here.





Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp Has Some Important Reminders For Drivers

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp wants to encourage you to have a good time this Holiday Season, but he also wants to make sure that if you do decide to drink that you make the smart and responsible decision and that you have a designated driver because designated drivers save lives.



Sheriff Kettelkamp also wanted to encourage everyone to always wear your seat belt.



Finally, Sheriff Kettelkamp wanted to remind everyone to always be on the lookout for Deer when you’re traveling.


Sheriff Kettelkamp was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


The Greater Taylorville Chamber Of Commerce Has Many Big Events Upcoming

Patty Hornbuckle is the CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce and she discussed the upcoming Business After Hours Event at Angelo’s Pizza at 404 W. Spresser Street in Taylorville. The event is hosted by Angelo’s Pizza, Diamond Brothers Insurance, and First National Bank. It’s this coming Wednesday from 4:30-6:30 and it’s an event that you will not want to miss.



Small Business Saturday is on Saturday November 30th and this year Megan Dain of Megan Dain Weddings and Events is hosting a town wide scavenger hunt with over 60 businesses involved. You can pickup a map in the US Bank Lobby located at 108 W Market St from 9-2 on Saturday November 30th.



Hornbuckle sat down with the Mayor and other city officials to discuss the upcoming one year anniversary of the December 1st Tornado and what the city should do to commemorate it. The One Year Anniversary Memorial will be held on Sunday, December 1st at the VFW located at 515 N. West Avenue in Taylorville from 2-4.


Hornbuckle was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Insulin Bill Heads Back To Senate For Final Approval

The General Assembly today approved Senate Bill 667 sending the bill back to the senate for one last vote before it goes to Governor JB Pritzker, who is expected to sign the bill into law. Senate Bill 667 which is sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar would cap co-payments for insulin at $100 a month for all patients regardless of the supply they require. Senator Manar says that the high cost of insulin is hurting all kinds of people and it needed to be stopped.



Manar says this all happened from ordinary people speaking up and demanding change.



If the bill is signed into law, Illinois and Colorado will be the only states in the country to cap insulin payments.


The Little Theater On The Square To Show Elf The Musical

John Stephens is the Executive Producer at The Little Theater on the Square in Sullivan and he said that they have a lot of pretty exciting things coming up including Elf – The Musical.



If you’re interested in getting tickets for Elf – The Musical, you can call the box office at 728-7375.



Stephens also discussed a project that currently he’s currently writing called, “Icons of Music – Diva’s Through the Decades.”



Stephens was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


November Is National Adoption Month

November marks National Adoption Month. Jen Florent, who is the public information officer with the Illinois department of children and family services. Jen says that adoption is important because there are so many children looking for homes.


The “What’s Your Connection” adoption campaign helps you to tell your story, and what your connection is through adoption. Florent says a lot more people have a connection to adoption than many may realize.



Florent says that every little bit helps and even just talking about adoption, gets other people talking and thinking and it could just help a child in need.


There are over 3,300 children looking for adoption homes in Illinois. For more information on adoption call 1-800-572-2390.


Congressman Rodney Davis Talks Gun Violence, The FEC, And Impeachment

Congressman Rodney Davis has some concerns about the current state of the FEC (Federal Election Commission). Congressman Davis wants to make certain that everyone who runs for office is following the rules.



Congressman Davis and a few other members of Congress were recently honored by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence for authoring a bill to encourage retailers to sell gun safes and lock boxes. Congressman Davis said that passing the bill was a good common sense thing to do.



Congressman Davis said that Democrats in Washington promised to address the serious issues facing this country and instead of working to address the student loan crisis, the rising cost of health care, and the rising cost of prescription drugs, they decided to nationalize elections and impeach the President.



Congressman Davis was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


HSHS Welcomes General Surgeon To Taylorville

HSHS Medical Group welcomes a new general surgeon to Taylorville. Dr. Aftab Jafri, a general surgeon, now sees patients in Taylorville. Dr. Jafri’s office is located at HSHS Medical Group General Surgery Specialty Clinic, at 1304 West Burnett Drive. He also sees patients in Decatur. Dr. Jafri says that he has wanted to be a doctor for most of his life.



Dr. Jafri says it was seeing those patients suffering that made him want to help people. Dr. Jafri is very excited to be helping and seeing patients in Taylorville.


Dr. Jafri went on to say a little about what he does as a surgeon.


For more information about Dr. Jafri and other HSHS Medical Group specialists visit HSHSMedicalgroup.org or for referral information call 329-1000.



Dinner Seasoned With Love Is Having Their Annual Thanksgiving Meal This Saturday

Dinner Seasoned with Love is having their traditional Thanksgiving Dinner this coming Saturday from 11:30-12:30 at Calvary Baptist Church in Taylorville and Suzy Traughber, President of Dinner Seasoned with Love said that everyone is welcome to attend.



Dinner Seasoned with Love has been around since November of 2006 when they had their first meal. Traughber went on to say that Dinner Seasoned with Love was started to share the gospel.



Traughber said that Dinner Seasoned with Love is always looking for donations, but donations are especially welcome this time of year.


Traughber was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Vandalia To Host Old State Capital Building Tours

There is history to be found all over the state of Illinois if you know where to look. The Vandalia Historic Society celebrates their past by holding Candlelight Christmas Tours. Site Representative Kim Lake explains what the event is. 

This is more than just walking around. Lake says there will be an opportunity to have some refreshments and dive into the history of the Vandalia Statehouse.  


The Historic Society puts a lot of effort into bringing the history of the building to life. According to Lake, there is some history involving President Abraham Lincoln.



For more information on the event, contact the Vandalia Historic Society at 618-283-1161, or visit their Facebook page.


Chris Miller With The National Weather Service Discusses The Recent Severe Weather In Central Illinois

The weather so far this year has been extremely unusual, but according to Chris Miller the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service Central Illinois office says that it’s becoming more and more typical.



Miller went on to say that the jet stream is what drives our weather and that the month of October was a time of transition.



According to Miller, the precipitation that we’ve been seeing over the past few years along with the drastic weather changes points to one thing, climate change.


Miller was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Senate Passes Daylight Saving Time Bill

The Senate approved legislation today that will make daylight saving time last year-round. The bill which was sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar is named Senate Bill 533. The bill would go into effect March of 2020 with the time change and than stay permanently. The idea for the bill change came from a class of students from Carlinville High School. Senator Manar says that he was happy to see the Government process work so well.



Manar says that he learned a lot about Daylight Saving Time throughout this process.


So far only Hawaii and Arizona don’t follow daylight saving time. Since time is regulated by federal law, the legislation would have to be passed to exempt Illinois, repeal or amend the Uniform Time Act of 1966. Over 35 states introduced legislation this year to end seasonal time changes. SB533 will now move to the House for consideration. 


Taylorville School Board Meets; Announces Report Card

The Taylorville School Board met Tuesday evening and while school report cards were a huge part of the meeting, the School Board also heard from the FFA who just returned from a trip to Kansas City, Missouri, showing off some of the rewards that the group had won from the trip. 


Some employees were added to some of the sports staffs including bowling, wrestling, and girls basketball. The School Board also announced dates for committee meetings for the strategic planning sessions including November 19th for finance and the building committee.  


The Taylorville School Report Cards were released by the State of Illinois. For the most part, Taylorville did quite well. The Junior High was exemplary after an underperforming in the past. Administrator Anita Brown explains that a lot goes into the rating.



You can view Taylorville’s report card, or any school Illinois by clicking here. Taylorville’s graduation rate is at 88% while the State is at 86%. Superintendent Chris Dougherty also gave her report as well and how proud she was of all the parents who showed up for Parent Teacher Conferences. 


Dr. Dougherty also talked about the recent active shooter drills and how much of a success that was with supervision from both Taylorville Fire and Police Departments.



The school also discussed the 2019 tax levy. A levy is the amount of money a school district certifies or asks, to be raised from local property taxes. Where the extension is the actual dollar amount billed to the property taxpayers in a district as determined by the county clerk. This year’s amount is roughly 13.5 million dollars. The 2019 levy is a 4.99% increase over the 2018 extension. The 2019 extension is estimated to be a $310,329 dollar increase or 2.34% from the 2018 extension.


Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears About Missions for Taylorville, Inducts New Member at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the continuing needs of the Missions for Taylorville organization, and inducted a new member, during their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the club’s new meeting place, the Taylorville Moose Lodge.

Kiwanis member Pastor Bill Kerns spoke representing the Missions for Taylorville organization, an arm of the Taylorville Ministerial Association.  Kerns said the organization’s mission was originally to assist homeowners do home repairs and lawn work twice a year.  That mission was expanded after the December First tornado.

Kerns told the club that after the City of Taylorville designated the organization to donate to in assisting those affected after the tornado, it’s been a whirlwind eleven months.

All told, Missions for Taylorville has collected some 737-thousand dollars in donations from over 17-hundred donors, benefiting several hundred under or uninsured Taylorville residents in rebuilding or repairing their homes.

Kerns emphasized that while the organization has helped many homeowners the past eleven months, there are still 130 homeowners that need their home replaced or repaired, and the current Missions for Taylorville bank balance is some 57-thousand dollars.

Kerns said the group has begun a fund-raising campaign headed by Dick Adams, to raise some 500-thousand dollars to complete the work on those remaining 130 structures.   Kerns stated several times during his remarks, that Missions for Taylorville still needs donations and volunteers to complete their work.

James LeVault, an attorney with the Romano Law Firm in Taylorville, was inducted as the newest member of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club, by past president Michael Evanchak.

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 their new meeting location, the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.


Taylorville School Board To Meet Tonight

The Taylorville School Board will meet this evening for their November meeting. In old business, the board will discuss the Strategic Planning Update, there will also be a discussion of abating taxes for the 2019 year. Included in tonight's meeting will also be a consideration of worker’s compensation insurance renewal, review of the proposed 2019 tax levy, and a review of the 2019 Illinois District Report Card. The meeting will also have a Superintendent report from Dr. Chris Dougherty, claims, treasurer’s report, consideration of personnel, and an executive session. 


Master Gardening Training Classes Start In January

Gwen Podeschi is a Christian County Master Gardner and she discussed the upcoming Master Gardening training classes that start in January. Podeschi said the classes can either be taken in person or online and if you’re interested, online registration is now open.



There are a number of different classes that you would take when training to become a Master Gardener including classes on basic soils, botany, and pest and disease control to name a few.



The classes are taught by University of Illinois trained educators with University of Illinois extension and they all teach to their specialty.



Podeschi was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Central Illinois Receives First Snowstorm Of 2019-2020 Winter Season

A Fall snowstorm dumped over 3 ½ inches in some places in central Illinois snarling traffic, and causing cancellations, closings, and delays. Taylorville reported 3.7 inches of snow, Decatur reported 4.5, Springfield reported 1.3, and Mattoon reported 3.5 inches as well. A jack-knifed semi shut down I-72 for a good portion of Monday evening near South Jacksonville, and ISP reported over 70 vehicle crashes in the Southern Illinois area and over 170 vehicle crashes throughout the state. 


While the snow has tapered off, wind chill values across Central Illinois are supposed to remain frigid today at -7 to 3 degrees throughout the day. Roads today in Central Illinois, especially in the morning, are very slick and ISP is encouraging everyone to slow down and drive safely this morning. Turn your headlights on and give plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you. This evening’s weather forecast is calling for more of the same with a low around 11 and wind chills to remain at -1 to 9 degrees overnight. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more updates on weather, road conditions, closings, delays, cancellations, and everything else weather-related.


State Representative Avery Bourne Talks Veteran Issues and School Funding

Illinois State Representative Avery Bourne is a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives representing the 95th district and she talked about her time on the Veterans Affairs Committee and how it was the model of bipartisanship.


Sometimes when Veterans and their families move they might not have the time to apply for and get occupational licenses. Bourne discussed what the Illinois General Assembly did to help make that process just a little bit easier for Veterans and their families.



Two years ago the Illinois General Assembly passed a bipartisan bill that altered the school funding formula. Representative Bourne supported that measure and she said that we’ve seen a lot of good things happen because of that new law.



Representaive Bourne was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


30th Annual Festival Of Trees Announced

The 30th annual Memorial’s Festival of Trees will be held from November 23rd until December 1st at the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The theme for this year’s event is “Jingle Bells and Seashells” and Program Director, Amanda Johnson says that this theme should whisk you away to beaches despite the cold temps outside.



Johnson says this event is for everyone and could help give you ideas for your own Christmas tree.


With over 200 decorated trees and wreaths, there will be plenty of activities for the whole family including the Gingerbread Village, Little Elves’ Workshop, Candy Cane Express Train, North Pole Toy Shop, the Holiday Kitchen, and of course, Santa.



For more information on the Festival of Trees, you can visit their website at www.memorialsfestivaloftrees.com.


Congressman Rodney Davis Talks About The Work That His Veterans Advisory Council Is Doing

Congressman Rodney Davis has represented the Illinois 13th Congressional District since January of 2013 and he recently announced the opening of a new VA Clinic in Bloomington and he discussed the impact that the new clinic will have for those Veterans in Central Illinois.


Congressman Davis went on to talk about the important work that his Veterans Advisory Council is doing including coming up with the Hire More Heroes Act that changed Obamacare to incentivize small businesses to hire more of our nation’s Veterans.



Finally, Congressman Davis discussed what he hopes that his Veterans Advisory Council can accomplish in the future and what his office has done for Veterans within Illinois’s 13th Congressional District.


Congressman Davis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Lake Land College To Hold Christmas Concert

The Lake Land College Community Choir will present a free holiday concert at 3 PM on Sunday, November 24th in the Lake Land College Theater. Music Instructor Nancy Caldwell, says the choir performs twice a year, but the Christmas concert is everyone’s favorite.



Caldwell says, that after all the rehearsals are complete, it is certainly special to see everyone smiling after the performance.


There will be a reception afterward for everyone.



For more information about the holiday, concert contact Nancy Caldwell at 217-234-5464 or ncaldwell@lakelandcollege.edu.


Accident On Park Street Leading Into Taylorville

Police are urging caution and urging you to go slow throughout the rest of the day, as wind is making for hazardous conditions on the road. With snow still falling, and wind speeds that have the potential to reach 31 miles an hour, Police are asking you to turn on your lights and proceed with caution. A vehicle accident under the train underpass on Park Street leading into the City of Taylorville slowed down traffic on Monday afternoon. No injuries were reported.





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