Local News

Taylorville, Shelbyville, Others Receive Funding For Airports

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation will be awarding $94 million to improve public airports throughout the state as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program. There is also $11.5 million in local funding on top of it and the Governor spoke about how much this is a huge help for the state.



There are 96 projects selected for funding to help both large and small airports. The projects will include planning, construction, reconstruction, development, and improvement of public airports for both safety and efficiency. 



Many local projects are receiving funding including Taylorville Municipal Airport, which is receiving $1.4 million for runway rehabilitation, Shelby County Airport, which is receiving $460,000 for hangar construction, and Effingham County Memorial Airport, which is receiving $3.5 million for runway extension and $1.5 million for taxiway extension. 


Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman says that public airports in Illinois have to have the resources they need to thrive.



A total of $150 million in state bonds has been identified in Rebuild Illinois for the state’s airports, with $6 million committed to air traffic control in Romeoville and other airports near Chicago. Illinois has over 850 individual airports. It contributes more than $95 billion annually to the state’s economy. 


Construction on Scooter's Coffee in Taylorville Nearing Completion


The new Scooter's Coffee location at the intersection of Illinois Routes 29 and 104 on Taylorville's northwest side, is nearing completion.


Construction started a few months back towards the December target date to open.


The location will be strictly drive-thru, and offer all types of coffees, teas, and "grab and go" pastries.


Employment opportunities can be found here.


Four People Plead Guilty To Fraud Charges

Four individuals responsible for approximately $1.3 million in losses for the state of Illinois plead guilty to mail and wire fraud and money laundering. 


42-year-old Tarnavis Lee of Burbank, 42-year-old Demetra Jackson of Chicago, 40-year-old LaShanda Hudson of S. Maplewood in Chicago, and 47-year-old Elizabeth McFarland of Madison, Tennessee all pleading guilty to various charges. 


According to the three indictments as well as their plea agreements, the individuals engaged in schemes to defraud the Illinois Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program. They submitted false claims for childcare services that were not provided. 


Both Lee and Hudson have agreed to pay a total of more than $160,000 in fines. 


Lee pleaded guilty on two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering as she was responsible for over $900,000 in losses. 


In October, Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. She agreed she cost the government approximately $250,000. 


Also in October, McFarland pleaded guilty on one count of wire Fraud. She agreed she caused a loss of over $228,000. 


In November, Hudson pleaded to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. She agrees she cost the government over $421,000. 


All defendants remain free on bond pending sentencing. 


Investigations by the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, St. Louis Field Office and the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau - Central Division helped in the investigation.


Doctors Concerned About New COVID Variant

Yet another new variant of the COVID-19 virus has doctors concerned. The World Health Organization or WHO, classified the new variant as omicron. On December 1st, the variant was detected in California and is being classified as a variant of concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a variant of concern is a variant that has the potential for higher disease transmission and more severe cases.


Dr. Bill Walsh, Chief Medical Officer for OSF Healthcare in Evergreen Park says that the Omicron variant has origins in South Africa.



According to the WHO, the omicron variant has many concerning mutations and one is an increased risk of infection. Doctors are concerned that people who have previously had COVID-19 could become re-infected more easily. Studies indicate a lot more information is needed though. Meanwhile, Dr. Walsh says you can continue doing the things you do now to help keep yourself safe from COVID.



Health experts are still recommending you get your booster when you are eligible. Even with the mutations, Dr. Walsh says that getting the booster is your best protection against getting COVID.



Dr. Walsh compares getting your COVID-19 vaccine to wearing a seatbelt and says if you can do more to protect yourself, why wouldn't you.



For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and the Omicron variant, contact your primary healthcare physician. 


Pana Students of the Month For November Announced

Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR along with People's Bank and Trust are recognizing the Pana Students of the Month for November. The November Pana Students of the Month are Isaiah Harbert, Ryan Karbach, Zoey Cvengros, and Austin Karbach.




Holiday Parade In Downtown Taylorville This Saturday

Sign up now to participate in the Taylorville Christmas Parade contest!


It starts at 5 p.m. Saturday. Lineup begins at 4:30

That’s Smalltown Taylorville Executive Director Marsha Neal. She welcomes everyone to walk in the parade, but you must register if you’d like to be part of the contest. 

Neal says that there are some great prizes at stake for the window decorating contest. 

Make sure to bring some lights for your parade entry. 

Sign up for either contest at smalltowntaylorville.com. Registration closes Friday, Dec. 3rd. 


Neal appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.


Holiday Season Gardening Tips

Deck out your garden with plants of the season. 


University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger says there’s a lot you can do.

Groundcovers are a great way to fill space with holiday vibes. 

Trees can be a good way to provide cover from winds and adverse weather, but also shade for when spring returns. 

Holsinger also gives advice on how to maintain your holiday tree.

Learn more at extension.illinois.edu.


Holsinger appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.


Taylorville High School Madrigal Dinners Dec. 10th and 11th

The Taylorville High School Madrigal Singers are ready to put on a show for you!

That’s the singers performing one of their songs live in studio. 


Director of Choral Activities at Taylorville High School Keith Chase says that this is his 14th year working for the high school.

Chase says that this is the 39th year of the Madrigal Dinners. 

Rebekah Krah is the Lady of the Head Couple and a senior at THS. 

Kitchen Steward Athan Sherbert says Madrigal Dinners are one of his favorite things to watch when he isn’t in one himself. 

Gage Matthews is the Sir of the Head Couple. 

The Taylorville High School Madrigal Dinners take place Friday and Saturday Dec. 10th and 11th. 


The Taylorville Madrigal Singers appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. To see their full, in-studio performance, head on over to the Taylorvilledailynews.com Facebook or WTIM TV Youtube. 


Tips To Avoid Overspending During Holiday Season

Staying within your budget during the holidays can be a tough task. 


University of Illinois extension consumer economics educator Kathy Sweedler says that spending tends to increase when people are tired and stressed.


She also says to keep track of what you are buying. 

Sweedler says to be wary of overusing your credit card this holiday season.

Other tips include trading old items, recycling your wrapping paper or use newspaper, and plan ahead for next year. 


State Representative Brad Halbrook Announces Reelection

State Representative Brad Halbrook announced on Wednesday that he is running for reelection in the newly drawn 107th District. Representative Halbrook is from Shelbyville and says that he is excited about the new district. Halbrook is the current 102nd district State Representative.  Halbrook lost a lot of the eastern territory including parts of Douglas, Edgar, Vermillion, and Champaign Counties, and picked up parts of Effingham, Montgomery, Christian, Cumberland, and Macon Counties. 


Representative Halbrook says that he has many goals moving forward, and he knows the area very well being born in Pana.



Representative Halbrook is proud of his many accomplishments in office, including a bill on capping funds for townships.



There is a lot riding on this election and Representative Halbrook wants everyone to be aware of the big issues that Illinois will be facing in the next 5-10 years.



The hope is to get out and meet with local units of government, to be able to see where Representative Halbrook can help and make things easier for local government. 



Halbrook was elected State Rep in the 102nd District in 2016 and previously served as State Rep in the 110th District from 2012-2015.  He and his wife Linda live in Shelbyville and operate a small family farm there. 



Two Area Colleges Offering Scholarship Opportunities

Winter signals the start of scholarship season for those continuing their education. 


Two area community colleges are offering scholarship opportunities. 


Lincoln Land Community College opens its scholarship applications for the 2022-2023 academic year. Those planning to attend LLCC in fall 2022 are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 


Foundation scholarships are available for all students. Many are open to students in any program of study with an average award of $1,000. 


You can find the application at llccfoundation.org/scholarships. You do need an active LLCC email address to apply for these scholarships. 


Meanwhile, Lake Land College in Mattoon is offering a second-chance at a Presidential Scholarship to 2021 high school graduates. 


Those who did not enroll at Lake Land in fall 2021 are eligible for a scholarship covering the full cost of tuition for up to two consecutive academic years and is available to grads who enroll in Lake Land College in the fall following high school graduation. 


Graduating students who were in the top 15 percent of students in their senior class or have an ACT score of 26 or higher and an SAT total score of 1230 or higher are eligible. 


Qualifying students must also reside in the Lake Land College district at the time of graduation. They must also have graduated from a high school located in or serving part of the district within the last year. 


More information about the Presidential Scholarship when you email scholarships@lakelandcollege.edu.


Republicans Announce Election Campaigns For Christian County

Multiple Republican candidates from Christian County announced their election bids on Wednesday morning in a chilly session outside of the Christian County Courthouse. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp, Christian County Treasurer Betty Asmussen, and newcomer Jodie Badman running for County Clerk all announced their bids for this next election. They were accompanied by many other Republicans including State Representative Avery Bourne.



State Senator Steve McClure says that he is proud of the work Sheriff Kettlekamp is doing. 



Sheriff Kettlekamp talked about some of his goals if reelected.



Incumbent for the Treasurer’s Office, Betty Asmussen says that she is encouraged to keep working for the community.



Running for Christian County Clerk is Jodie Badman. 



To hear the full audio clip of the session, see below




Win A Spartan Mower At The Peoria Farm Show

Win a brand new lawnmower from the Peoria Farm Show when you ride and drive a Spartan Mower.  

Jeff Bass is owner of Bass Equipment based in Cuba, Illinois. He has teamed up with Spartan Mowers. 

If you don’t win a Spartan, then Bass Equipment has them for you in shop. Bass says that Spartans are American made which aids in repair times. 

This is in part because of supply chain issues. American made mowers have better access to parts at the moment. 

Bass appeared as a guest on the Noon Farm Show’s coverage of the Greater Peoria Farm Show. 


Collinsville Man Being Charged With Murder In Farmersville

One person is dead and another critically injured after a shooting on Thanksgiving. 45-year-old Leslie J. Reeves of Troy, Illinois was pronounced deceased on the scene and 48-year-old Christopher J. Smith of Farmersville was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.


On November 25th, at 12:42 PM, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office received a call concerning a welfare check at 104 Nobbie Street in Farmersville, Illinois.  Montgomery County 9-1-1 also received a call. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office along with the Farmersville-Waggoner Ambulance Service responded and arrived at the home and once there contacted the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services.


A man is in custody in connection with the death. 48-year-old Robert J. Tarr of Collinsville is being held in the Montgomery County Jail and Circuit Judge Jim Roberts held his bond hearing. He is being held on $3,000,000 bond with 10% to apply and is being charged with 1st-degree murder of Reeves and a charge of intent to kill for Smith, who was injured in the shooting. First appearance with counsel is set for December 23rd. 


2021 Greater Peoria Farm Show Underway!

The Greater Peoria Farm Show displaying the latest in agriculture. 


Show manager Ron Bormaster is celebrating 40 years of the show after not having the show in-person last year. 

Bormaster says this is a great chance for farmers to check out new technology. 

It’s also a great opportunity for manufacturers to show off their new equipment. 


John Davis is a territory sales manager for Midwest Applications based in Decatur touting a brand new machine. 

Many industry and market experts make their way to the show, including Kurt Kimmell with Bates Commodities. He gives tips on how to navigate a turbulent market. 

Kimmell, Davis and Bormaster appeared as guests on the expanded Noon Farm Show’s coverage of the Greater Peoria Farm Show. 


TCCU Donates $1000 Towards Kiwanis Park Pavilion Floor Replacement at Kiwanis Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club got a jump start on their fund raising efforts towards replacing the aging concrete floor in the Kiwanis Park Pavilion on Lake Taylorville, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  


The Taylorville Community Credit Union, led by their CEO and Kiwanis member Will Perkins (right), donated one-thousand dollars towards the effort.  Kiwanis president Brad Davis (left) accepted the check on behalf of the club.


The Kiwanis Club is hopeful that the community will donate 7-thousand dollars towards the Pavilion Floor replacement project.  The Club is matching the community with another 7-thousand dollars from its Foundation account, to cover the 14-thousand dollar cost of replacement.


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.     


PB&T Recognizes Students Of The Month For November For Taylorville

WTIM and People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville have announced their students of the month for November. The program recognizes one outstanding student from each of the four classes.


Congratulations to Anyssa Andreatta, Katelyn Wilson, Samantha Logue, and Abby Heberling.




Rodney Davis Announces Reelection

Regional Radio News has learned that US Representative Rodney Davis will be running for office in the newly formed 15th District.  He is currently in the 13th district, but with the newly redrawn maps that does not cover his hometown of Taylorville, Illinois. 

Representative Davis will make his formal announcement today. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story as it develops. 


Quincy Medical Group Pays $500,000 To Settle Fraud Claims

Quincy Medical Group is settling with the Central District of Illinois U.S. Department of Justice to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act. 


Quincy Medical Group allegedly submitted claims for medically unnecessary cardiac catheterization procedures. The group agrees to pay a half-million dollars to settle the case. 


The settlement comes on the heels of a related settlement in August with Blessing Hospital for approximately $2.82 million. 


The U.S. will receive approximately $459,000 while the state of Illinois will receive nearly $40,000. The states of Iowa and Missouri receive the remainder. 


Acting district attorney Douglas Quivey says that the settlement demonstrates what should occur when alleged fraud is uncovered. 


Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly says that the ISP is dedicated to investigating healthcare fraud and to ensure that tax dollars are used appropriately for the care of patients. 


The settlement absolves Quincy Medical Group of any liability. 



Flora Man Sentenced To 15 Years In IDOC

A state judge sentenced a Flora man to fifteen years in the Illinois Department of Corrections last week. 


Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke announces 42-year-old Nicholas Barfield will spend 15 years in the IDOC for Unlawful Participation of Methamphetamine Manufacturing with Prior Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine Conviction – a Class X Felony. 


The judge sentenced Barfield to a concurrent six-year prison term for the offense of Aggravated Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Peace Officer. 


Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Barfield in mid-January 2021 after an attempted traffic stop. Barfield’s vehicle fled, exited the roadway and traveled through a field, hitting a ditch and disabling both headlights. The vehicle then re-entered the roadway and traveled east to the Tower Hill Blacktop. The vehicle eventually crashed into a guardrail while traveling over 100 yards off the roadway into a field becoming stuck. 


Barfield then fled on foot. A K-9 unit assisted deputies to find Barfield laying on his stomach in a creek. 


Deputies found a meth lab and a liquid substance testing positive for methamphetamine in Barfield’s vehicle. The weight of the liquid came out to over 400 grams of methamphetamine. 


Barfield has three other prior charges related to methamphetamine.


Kroncke thanks the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office saying that deputies have once again removed a repeat methamphetamine trafficker from the community. 


Barfield is required to serve over 11 years of his 15-year-sentence. He will now be transferred to the IDOC to commence his sentence. 


Abraham Lincoln Library Holding Art Contest

Illinois children are getting a chance at joining a statewide art contest sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Board of Education.  The theme for the contest is “Survival Through Self-Expression.” Illinois students from kindergarten through high school can design any two-dimensional art, such as a drawing, painting, or collage.  


The contest will have four age groups: K-2,l 3-5, 6-8, and high school level. Entries must be mailed out no later than December 17th and winners will be announced on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday which is February 12th. Each age group will have a winner and two runners-up. They will be able to have their work displayed at the museum between February 12th to March 18th and the artwork chosen as “best of show” will be used on a poster sent to all schools from March 14th through the 18th which is Illinois Arts Education Week. 


A framed copy will hang in the Illinois State Board of Education office. Submissions may be up to 14x11. Rules state that no copyright material will be allowed and you can find out more by visiting bit.ly/ALPLM-ArtContest. State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Carmen Ayala says that she is encouraging all school-aged artists to participate in this poster contest and display their talents. Entries can also be submitted through youth groups and home-schooled children as well. 


For more information, visit www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov. 


Bust Out The Charcuterie Board

Bust out the charcuterie board for those holiday parties. 

That’s registered dietitian with the St. Louis Dairy Council Kelsey Bentlage. She says that it’s the perfect snack carrying lots of nutrition for your guests. 

Whatever cheese you choose for your party, it’s good to have a variety available for different pallets. 

Bentlage says there’s a great recipe available on the dairy council’s website for a fondue dip. 

Learn more at stldairycouncil.org. 


Bentlage appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.


The Importance Of Keeping Your Child On A Regular Sleep Schedule During The Holidays

With the holidays here, many kids will be home a lot more than they will be at school, but many experts are still encouraging parents to keep children on a schedule especially when it comes to sleep. Dr. Kaninika Verma (KAH-Nuh-Neen-kah VAIR-Muh), director of Sleep Medicine for OSF Health Care says that diminished sleep can become a big issue and that parents should be aware of the recommended amount of sleep for their child.



The National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America Poll found that 30% of elementary school children and well over 50% of both middle and high school students don’t get the recommended nightly allowance of sleep. 



One big problem that Dr. Verma sees is kids spending too much time in front of electronic devices. More screen time is associated with delayed bed time.  She recommends shutting down electronics two hours before it’s time to turn in.



If you have questions or concerns about sleep for your child or even for yourself, please contact your local primary care physician.


TCCU Offering Scholarship Through Local Businesses

Taylorville Community Credit Union is once again doing their scholarship program. 17 senior students from Taylorville are registered for the 8th Annual “Stop.Shop.Vote!” scholarship program that’s open to students from Taylorville, Pana, Litchfield, and Hillsboro. TriCounty residents have until February 28th to vote for their favorite students at participating businesses in town. TCCU President, Will Perkins says it’s a privilege to run this program. 



Perkins says that it’s amazing to have a connection with small towns and these scholarships.



From Taylorville, eligible seniors include Summer Brandis, Kennedie Cearlock, Olivia Enlow, Hunter Gerlick, Abigail Heberling, Jayden Hopkins, Ryan Johnson, Alexis Kent, Rebekah Krah, Jillian Lowry, Luke Markwell, Sallie “Izzy” Miller, Emma Pennock, Lizzie Schafer, Daniel Sloan, Averi Stephens, and Tucker Tippit. Businesses are displaying large posters featuring all registered students and you can find a complete list of participating businesses in each of the four communities on www.tccu.org. 



Perkins says scholarships are such a big deal right now because of how expensive school can be. 



TCCU is a not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution, serving its members’ needs since 1956. Its membership is open to everyone who lives or works within the tri-county region of Christian, Montgomery, and Shelby Counties. For more information visit www.TCCU.org, or stop in or call any of its local branch locations: Taylorville: 422 W. Main Cross Street (217-824-9658); Hillsboro: 138 E. Wood Street (217-532-5300); Litchfield: 801 W. Union Avenue (217-324-7496); Pana: 101 E. Fifth (217-562-2516).


Picking The Right Christmas Tree

With Christmas usually comes decorations, and there is no greater decoration than the Christmas tree. The University of Illinois Extension Office is giving some tips on finding the purchased tree whether you get it from a neighborhood lot or a tree farm. Of course, if you have a plastic one, you are already set. 


The biggest decision is probably knowing where to place the tree. Make sure to place the tree away from heat sources, such as TVs, fireplaces, radiators, and air ducts, and place the tree clear of doors. Make sure you measure the height and width of the space you have available in the room where the tree will be placed. Take a tape measure with you to measure your tree and bring a cord to tie to your car.


Trees sold on retail lots may have come from out of state and may have been cut weeks in advance. Buying trees early before the best trees have been sold can make all the difference in the world. U of I Horticulture Educator Richard Hentschel, says that choosing a fresh tree can help it last the longest and offers some tips himself on what to do including dropping the tree a few inches and seeing how many green needles fall off.



Hentschel says most trees last the same amount of time, but if you’re able to get a local tree it will last longer.



Make sure the handle or base of the tree is straight and 6-8 inches long. Some Christmas trees will hold needles longer than others. If you are going to a farm, be careful of fire-ant mounds, tree stumps, an occasional blackberry vine, uneven ground, and sharp saws. Keep an eye on the weather and bring proper clothing including rain gear if need be. 


For cutting, it’s usually a two-person project and can be done with the cutter lying on the ground while the helper holds the bottom limbs up.  While the cut is being made the helper tugs on the tree lightly so that the saw doesn’t bind.  The tugging force should be applied to the side of the tree opposite the cut.  A back cut should be made first with the final cut coming from the opposite side. 


You can usually bring the tree to the processing area where it will be cleaned and netted. You can also pick up a tree removal bag if the farm has one.  A tree removal bag can be used as a tree skirt and pulled up around the tree to help keep floors clean.


If you aren’t putting your tree up right away, you can store it in an unheated garage or an area out of the wind and cold.  Make a fresh cut on the bottom and place the tree in a bucket of warm water.  Make another cut when you bring the tree inside. The stand for the tree should be sturdy and able to hold at least one gallon of water. Keep the water level about the base of the tree.  If the base dries out resin will form and the tree will dry out quicker.  Plenty of research shows that you only need water to keep your tree fresh.


Check all Christmas tree lights for cord wear and bulbs working.  Unplug trees at night. After Christmas and you are ready to take your tree down, take it down before it dries out.  Many fresh-cut trees can last at least five weeks before drying out. As always, you can check with your community to see if they have a tree pick-up service at the end of the season.



2021-12 | 2021-11 | 2021-10 | 2021-09 | 2021-08 | 2021-07 | 2021-06 | 2021-05 | 2021-04 | 2021-03 | 2021-02 | 2021-01 | 2020-12 | 2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-09 | 2020-08 | 2020-07 | 2020-06 | 2020-05 | 2020-04 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-05 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2019-01 | 2018-12 | 2018-11 | 2018-10 | 2018-09 | 2018-08 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-09 | 2017-08 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-04 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07 | 2014-06 | 2014-05 | 2014-04 | 2014-03 | 2014-02 | 2014-01 | 2013-12 | 2013-11 | 2013-10 | 2013-09 | 2013-08 | 2013-07 | 2013-06 | 2013-05 | 2013-04 | 2013-03 | 2013-02 | 2013-01 | 2012-12 | 2012-11 | 2012-10 | 2012-09 | 2012-08 | 2012-07 | 2012-06 | 2012-05 | 2012-04 | 2012-03 | 2012-02 | 2012-01 | 2011-12 | 2011-11 | 2011-10 | 2011-09 | 2011-08 | 2011-07 | 1969-12 | 0009-06 | 0003-01

Townhall Top of the Hour News
SRN News
Main Office: