Local News

Weather Service Extends Tornado Watch Until 2am Sunday

The National Weather Service at 8:40 Saturday night, extended the Tornado Watch until 2am Sunday, for areas north of Interstate 70, including all of the Regional Radio listening area.


At 7:30 Saturday night, the Weather Service in Lincoln issued a statement saying that thunderstorms were increasing across western Illinois as a cold front moves into the area, and were still capable of being severe. Further south, while rain and thunderstorms will continue through mid evening south of I-70, the threat of severe weather there has significantly lowered.


They’ve also issued a Wind Advisory for the area from 3am until 7pm Sunday.  Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.  Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle, and secure outdoor objects.


Stay tuned to Regional Radio for watches and warnings instantly as they’re issued by the National Weather Service.


Montgomery County Announces First COVID-19 Case

The Christian Montgomery Counties Emergency Management Agency or Chris-Mont EMA held a special press conference on Saturday to announce a new COVID-19 case in Montgomery County, the Counties first confirmed case. Brian Hitchings, Public Information Officer for Chris-Mont EMA says that the resident is quarantined in their home and cooperating with the Department of Public Health.



Public Information Officer Mike Havera also released details on one of the Christian County COVID-19 cases.  Havera says that the case has been identified at the Rolling Meadows Senior Living apartments in Taylorville.



Havera read a statement from Mayor Bruce Barry urging everyone to not panic, but prepare yourself and stay home.



Each press release in its entirety is released on the Chris-Mont Emergency Management Agency Facebook page.


Infant Dies Of COVID-19 In Chicago; Nearly 3,500 Cases In Illinois

An infant has died from COVID-19 in Chicago. The Governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker announced today during his press conference that the infant was less than one year old. Pritzker says deaths among children seems to be rare. A State worker also died from the Department of Human Services.


Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Department of Public Health spoke about the new numbers which bring the total to 3,491 cases including 47 deaths in 43 counties in Illinois. 



Governor Pritzker also says that he is very concerned about first responders, health care workers, and their efforts.


You can hear every press conference given by Governor JB Pritzker on our many NEWSTALK WTIM platforms every afternoon around 2:30 PM.


Tornado Watch Issued Until 9pm Saturday; 2 Rounds of Severe Weather Possible


The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a Tornado Watch for the entire Regional Radio listening area until 9pm tonight.

The Weather Service says that a significant severe weather outbreak is possible this afternoon and evening. Damaging winds, very large hail, and strong tornadoes are all possible.

They say that 2 rounds are possible.  South of Interstate 74, severe weather is possible from mid thru late afternoon.  The second round of severe weather is possible between 5pm and 9pm tonight west of a Springfield to Peoria line, and between 7pm and 11pm west of a Champaign to Effingham line which would include the Regional Radio listening area. Areas east of a Champaign to Effingham line could be impacted between 9pm and midnight tonight.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for watches and warnings instantly as they’re issued by the National Weather Service.


Sullivan Area Banks Come Together To Help Local Businesses

The Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development is doing what they can to help Sullivan area businesses through this difficult time. On Friday morning the Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development held a Zoom meeting with area banks in regards to potential financing opportunities for businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Participants in the meeting included representatives from 1st Community Bank, 1st Midwest Bank and Trust, and Scott State Bank. Also in on the meeting was Sullivan Chamber and Economic Development Director Laurrie Minor, Sullivan Mayor Richard Glazebrook and Lynn Lowder who is the CEO of the Veterans Business Project and member of the Small Business Administration Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs. Lowder answered questions that the banks had about the new developments and said that if businesses need help they need to reach out to the banks.


Weather Service Says Severe Weather, Tornadoes Possible Saturday


The National Weather Service in Lincoln says severe weather, including the possibility of tornadoes, will be moving thru the Regional Radio listening area between tonight and late Saturday night.

The Weather Service says scattered thunderstorms are expected to develop in central Illinois early tonight. Some of these storms will have the potential to produce large hail and heavy rain as the push toward the northeast. A few storms may produce high wind gusts close to 60 mph. Make sure you stay alert for any watches or warnings overnight. 

Saturday according to the Weather Service will be unseasonably warm and humid in the afternoon. This will result in a favorable environment for severe thunderstorm development, particularly after 3 pm. At this time, it appears that significant severe weather is possible, including tornadoes, damaging winds, and very large hail. 

They add that thunderstorms may be ongoing in the morning, but the main severe weather threat will materialize during the afternoon and evening. Be alert for watches (your first heads-up) and warnings (take action) Saturday afternoon and evening. When you receive a warning, quickly go to a secure shelter in a basement or lowest floor of a sturdy building away from windows and doors. 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for the latest watches and warnings direct from the National Weather Service.


Governor Calls For Help For Homeless; SNAP Increases

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker held his daily press conference and urged anyone with a medical background to come help in the fight against COVID-19. Governor Pritzker announced increases to SNAP benefits and funding for helping homeless people, as well as a stipend to child care providers who have provided child care to essential workers. The governor announced that he has received more state procured masks to help with PPE to Champaign, Peoria and other areas that have needed PPE. 


The Governor spoke about some of the help for childcare for essential workers.


Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Grace Hou says that SNAP benefits will be increasing.


The numbers for the state of Illinois as far as COVID-19 goes include 3,026 cases in 40 counties with 34 deaths. 21,542 people have been tested. You can listen to every Governor Pritzker Press Conference on the many NEWSTALK WTIM platforms every afternoon at 2:30 PM. 


Christian Montgomery County EMA Director Urging Citizens To Keep Practicing Social Distancing

The Christian-Montgomery County EMA held their daily press conference on Friday and Information Officer Mike Havera talked about some of the numbers from Montgomery and Christian County.  As of Thursday evening, Montgomery County has 16 pending tests, 0 positives, and 20 negative tests. Christian County has 1 pending tests, 2 positive tests, and 17 negative tests. Sangamon County has 98 pending tests, 8 positive cases, and 283 confirmed negative tests. Havera asked everyone to please get medical help if you need it, but to call first.



Chris-Mont EMA Director Greg Nimmo has some concerns about people still practicing social distancing with the warmer weather.


Christian  County Department of Public Health Director Denise Larson addressed concerns about the Crossroads Church where two people have tested positive for COVID-19 saying that everyone knows and the people that need to be quarantined are doing what they have too.


For more information on the Chris Mont EMA please visit their Facebook page.


Avery Bourne Answers Some Questions Concerning COVID-19

Avery Bourne has been pushing hard to get information out about the Coronavirus and answering constituent questions in an effort to hopefully calm a lot of fears people may have about COVID-19 and the virus impact on Central Illinois. Bourne, who is the Illinois Representative for the 95th District, spoke about some of the recent questions that she has received in her many conference calls and phone conversations from citizens. Bourne says the desire for tests has been overwhelming, but tests are only being given out if people absolutely need it.


Bourne is urging people to give blood if you possibly can. There is always a need for blood, but with the current crisis, a lot of people aren’t giving blood who usually do. 



Bourne urges everyone to continue to support the local economy as well as you can. One way that you can do this is through gift cards to be used later on.



If you have any questions for Representative Avery Bourne, please contact her office at 324-5200 or email her at Bourne@ilhousegop.org. You can also tweet her or send her a message on Facebook. Bourne will also be conducting a Facebook Live on her "State Representative Avery Bourne" Facebook Page to address any concerns that you may have as well, Saturday morning at 10 AM. 


Lincoln Land Community College And Memorial Health System Are Working To Address The Nursing Shortage

Dee Kruger is the Director at Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville and she joined the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show to discuss what Lincoln Land Community College is doing to help address the nursing shortage in partnership with Memorial Health Systems.


Kruger went on to discuss when they hope to occupy the new building.



Finally, Kruger wanted to let everyone know that Lincoln Land Community College is still virtually open and if you have any questions or would like to get enrolled to please call 786-2754.



Dee Kruger with Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


Christian/Montgomery Counties Holding PPE Drive Saturday Morning

The Christian Montgomery EMA is working hand in hand with the local fire departments in an effort to try to bring personal protective equipment or PPE into Christ-Mont Counties and the people that need it. There will be PPE drive held at all of the fire houses in Christian and Montgomery on Saturday from 9-11.  Chris-Mont EMA Director Greg Nimmo says that this is a way to get supplies that are still very much needed.


Nimmo says that all kinds of supplies are needed but they should be clean and unused.


While handmade equipment is great, it is not approved by the CDC, so at this time they are only looking for approved equipment.



All 20 fire departments in Montgomery and Christian Counties will be participating. For more information, you are encouraged to contact your local Fire Departments.


Rural Taylorville Man Charged With Discharge Of Firearm

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office along with the Taylorville Police Department, Illinois State Police, and Dunn’s Ambulance responded to a shots fired call on Wednesday. A call was received of a person having a mental health crisis with shots fired in Rural Taylorville. 


The subject had stopped shooting before officers arrived. Officers secured the subject and made sure the scene was safe and Dunn’s Ambulance transported the subject to the hospital for further evaluation. 


During the investigation, it was determined that the subject had been firing a handgun at his own vehicles. Nearly 30 rounds were fired and five of the rounds struck a neighbor’s residence. There were no injuries and the investigation does not show there was any intent to harm anyone. 


33-year-old Matthew B. Adams of Taylorville was arrested and charged with reckless discharge of a firearm, a Class 4 felony.



Previous Positive COVID-19 Cases For Christian County Confirmed In Taylorville

Information has been released from the Christian-Montgomery Emergency Management Agency about where the COVID-19 cases have happened in Christian County. Attendees of the Crossroads Apostolic Ministries Church in Taylorville have been possibly exposed to an individual that has tested positive for the coronavirus.  The confirmed positive was present at services that were held on March 15th. At the time it was believed that this was just one isolated case, however, a second individual has tested positive and the two cases were linked together through the investigation. All attendees of the service in question, have been notified by the Christian County Public Health to quarantine themselves at home and monitor for symptoms.  They are being monitored closely by public health.


Crossroads has been cooperative throughout the process and has been following all orders and guidelines including suspending services and following quarantine guidelines including cleaning of the church. The Chris-Mont EMA would remind everyone that we are all one community and we should support one another during this time of crisis.


As always, practice social distancing, and stay home if you have the following symptoms: fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue/weakness. If you develop one or more of those symptoms, please contact your doctor or the Christian County Department of Public Health at 824-4113. 


The Chris-Mont EMA is reminding everyone to follow the Governor’s Stay At Home Order and that any age group can get COVID-19, it can hit any gender, race, or age. The Chris-Mont EMA will hold their daily press conference Friday at Noon.


Dee Kruger With Lincoln Land Community College Talks About The Move To Online Learning

Dee Kruger is the Director at Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville and she joined the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show to discuss how they’re taking things one day at a time and don’t know when they’ll be able to be open, how all classes have moved online for the remainder of the semester, and how both the teachers and students are transitioning to online learning.


Kruger started out discussing how they’re taking ithings one day at a time and don’t know when they’ll be able to be open.



Kruger went on to discuss how students are transitioning to an online learning experience.



Finally, Kruger discussed how the teachers are working so hard to get all of their classes moved online.


Dee Kruger with Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


U.S. Attorney Warns Of COVID-19 Related Fraud And Scams

U.S. Attorney John C. Milhiser of the Central District of Illinois wants to remind everyone to be on alert for COVID-19 related frauds and scams such as robocalls and social media donation scams.


U.S. Attorney Milhiser released this statement, “We are fortunate to live in communities of people who are generous and caring toward others; however, there are those who use crisis situations to exploit and incite people’s fear and vulnerabilities to do harm. It is a top priority of this office, in partnership with our local, state, and federal law enforcement counterparts, to detect, investigate, and prosecute anyone who attempts to take advantage of the anxieties and uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to defraud others. Remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”


If you or a loved one become a victim of a COVID-19 related fraud or scam, please report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline by calling 866-720-5721 or email disaster@leo.gov.


State Senator Andy Manar On COVID-19 Downstate Small Business Grant And Loan Programs

Yesterday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced two brand new programs that were specifically designed to providing much needed capital to rural and downstate small businesses.


The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund is a $60 million program to offer low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for “small businesses in every industry outside of the city of Chicago.” To be eligible to apply you must have fewer than 50 employees and have less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 and the first payment will not be due for six months.


Additionally, the Governor announced the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This program is a $20 million grant program for “small businesses in suburban and rural counties across Illinois.” These grants are available to businesses of up to 50 employees the chance to work with their local government to obtain a grant of up to $25,000. To be eligible for this grant, your community must be qualified to receive Community Development Block Grant funds.


Illinois State Senator Andy Manar released this statement, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of downstate communities,” Manar said. “Rather than massive corporate investments, the rural way of life is driven by the ability of family-owned businesses to support each other. I applaud Governor Pritzker for recognizing rural downstate business owners’ unique needs and taking bold action to help them protect their livelihoods and endure the challenges and uncertainty posed by COVID-19.”


Applications for these grants will be available on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website by Friday, March 27th, 2020.


Coghlan Sentenced To Five Charges; Receives 16 Year Sentence

A Taylorville man was sentenced today for 5 separate charges stemming from incidents over the last year and will serve 16 years in the Department of Corrections. James Coghlan, 35, had his day in court and pled guilty to five different charges, including theft, criminal damage to government property, and escape from prison. States Attorney Mike Havera says that with all the charges together, Coghlan has a 16 year sentence.



Havera says that despite everything that is going on, the States Attorneys office is still able to perform all of the necessary responsibilities.



In order to remain safe and healthy, Havera says they’ve implemented a video court room so they can carryout their duties, but also practice social distancing. 



The sentence is day for day, but all sentences are consecutive rather than concurrent. Coghlan will start serving his sentence at the Department of Corrections immediately.


Coronavirus Cases Sees Largest Daily Increase; Governor Warning Citizens To Stay Home

Governor JB Pritzker gave a stern warning to the State of Illinois today in his daily press conference admonishing people for not taking the shelter at home warning serious. This comes after Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot closed the beaches in the city as many people went out on a warmer March afternoon. Governor Pritzker said this has to change or more people will die. 



The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced 673 new cases of COVID-19. There have also been 7 new deaths. The age of all cases ranges from younger than 1 to 99 years old. There are 2,538 cases in Illinois with 26 deaths in 37 counties. 


Governor Pritzker has also joined the United Way and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations to launch a COVID-19 Response Fund or ICRF.  The response will support new statewide fundraising to support nonprofit organizations. 



Senator Dick Durbin spoke out about the relief bill that the senate passed, saying it is close to 2.2 trillion dollars. 


While the work isn’t done, Durbin says it’s a solid start and they are looking at other relief bills to pass as well.


You can listen to every press conference given by Governor JB Pritzker on our NEWSTALK WTIM platforms every afternoon around 2:30.


Amid COVID-19 Outbreak Unemployment Rates Rise

Amid the health concerns and quarantining the economy is taking a massive hit due to this COVID-19 Virus. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security(IDES), there as been a major spike in unemployment claims. So far in March there have been 133,763 total claims, as opposed to 27,493 in March of last year.


In his daily press conference on Thursday, Governor JB Pritzker gave figures that show while this is happening in Illinois, it’s also a national trend as businesses try to contend with the stay at home orders.



While unemployment and layoffs are the main component, they are not the only struggle. Governor Pritzker said many Americans are seeing hour reductions as well.



According to IDES the Illinois unemployment rate for February was 3.4 percent, which was lower than the national unemployment rate for the second straight month. More information can be found by visiting the IDES website.


Second Confirmed COVID-19 Case In Christian County

The second case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Christian County Thursday morning. The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed that a second resident tested positive after presenting to a local hospital. The patient was then transferred to Springfield. The Health Department is encouraging all residents to practice social distancing and to stay at home if at all possible. Christian County Director of Public Health, Denise Larson says that the person is stable and improving. Chris-Mont Emergency Management Director Greg Nimmo says he is not giving out any further information for fear of backlash to the individual. Families and people in close contact with them have been getting notified.



If you have flu-like symptoms or have come into contact with someone with flu-like symptoms, you should call your medical provider for what to do. Do not report to a hospital or clinic. This will keep exposure down if in fact you do have the coronavirus.  Nimmo says the hospitals are maintaining as far as supplies go but there will still be a drive this weekend to help support getting PPE to our area hospitals. 


Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more information on what you can do to help. As far as numbers go, Montgomery County has 18 pending tests, 0 positive tests and 17 negative tests, Christian County has 2 pending tests 2 positive tests, and 17 negative tests, and Sangamon County has 265 pending tests, 6 positive tests, and 101 negative tests. Visit Taylorvilledailynews.com for more information on the COVID-19 outbreak.


IHSA Still Optimistic Spring Sports Season Could Happen

The Illinois High School Association, or I-H-S-A, is not ruling out the possibility of a partial spring sports season as nationwide the efforts are intensifying to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.


Craig Anderson is the Executive Director of the IHSA and tells Regional Radio News he does not have all the answers but his staff and their board of directors want to see a spring sports season happen but that will depend on when students return to class.



An option on the table at the moment is pushing the postseason back into the summer months. Anderson indicates this plan is based on what they know about a mid-to-late April of school resuming. 



There is fear the remainder of the school year could be shut down and Anderson says if officials are advising against students gathering in classrooms then they will not advocate for athletes to gather. He says an announcement of that nature would likely negate any possibility of having a spring sports season. 


Chris Mont EMA Announces New COVID-19 numbers; No New Cases; Gives Mental Health Phone Numbers; Addresses National Guard Rumors

During the Chris Mont Emergency Management Agency Press Release today, new numbers were announced for both Christian and Montgomery County. Christian County has 2 pending tests, 1 positive test, and 17 negative tests. Montgomery County has 18 pending tests, 0 positive, and 17 negative tests.  Christian County Information Officer, Mike Havera addressed some concerns over medical care and treatment.



If you are needing mental health treatment, Montgomery County Residents can contact the MCHD office at 1-888-324-5052 between 8 AM and 4 PM. After 4 PM they can call 217-313-4730. Christian County Residents can call the Memorial Behavioral Health Emotional Support Hotline at 217-588-5509. 


Mike Havera also addressed a rumor about the National Guard, stressing that the Guard will not be performing any policing of any kind.



Christian and Montgomery Counties are still actively looking for volunteers for the Medical Reserve Corps.



For more information visit the Chris-Mont EMA Facebook page.


Christian County Board To Meet Remotely Friday Afternoon

Christian County will hold a County Board Meeting on Friday afternoon, at 12:15 on March 27th. The meeting will be conducted via remote participation only.  To join the meeting, dial 1-408-418-9388. There will be a request to enter the meeting number. That number is 626 355 697 #.  


The agenda will include a Christian/Montgomery County EMA update. There will be an approval to extend the Emergency Declaration Proclamation dated March 20, 2020. A motion will be pushed to authorize payroll and payments of bills to continue during the Emergency Declaration. Any unknown business if in emergency status will be looked at. There will also be a section for public comments. 


For more information contact Jan Bland with the Christian County Board at 824-4011.


As COVID-19 Cases Soar To Over 1,800, Governor Pritzker Announces Relief For Families, Small Businesses

Governor JB Pritzker announced massive changes and help for small businesses, families, and employees during the shelter in place order given by the Governor to slow the spread of COVID-19. Governor Pritzker announced that tax filing has been delayed to July 15th. The Governor also announced help for small businesses. 



A small business stabilization program for downstate has also been launched for emergency grants to help small businesses that are being served by DCEO’s office of community development. Hospitality businesses will receive support from a grant program from the DCEO as well as job training. 


Governor  Pritzker also is working to alleviate financial stress on families as well. The DCEO has asked all banks to modify their loan structures to a three-month deferral or 6 months of interest-only payments for small businesses.


Governor Pritzker has also addressed mortgage assistance by asking the federal institutions like Freddie Mac to reduce the strain with multi-month forbearance for financial relief. The Governor has also asked for no punishments on credit ratings for the time being.  


There are 330 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois today with three more deaths.  This brings the total to 1,865 cases in 35 counties and 19 deaths. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of Public Health, expressed her concern over the influx of cases that have been coming day in and day out, and the department of public health continues to learn and educate. Dr. Ezike says that to get tested it all starts with your clinician.



Treasurer Michael Frerichs spoke about the unclaimed property division and helping get people back their money to help in this time of need.


You can hear every Governor Pritzker press conference on the many NEWSTALK WTIM platforms every day at 2:30 PM. 


HSHS President Loren Hughes Continues To Provide Support And Information

The COVID-19 outbreak is an ever-evolving situation in a lot of ways because as more information is made available adaptations must be made. Dr. Loren Hughes, President of HSHS Medical Group, says that the testing protocol has recently changed.


HSHS Medical group is doing all they can to provide as much information as possible. Dr. Hughes says they are making sure to keep their website up to date with any information they receive from the CDC.



Above all else, Dr. Hughes says we need to be cognizant of when we are at risk, and do what we can to mitigate it. 



Information and press releases about the Coronavirus outbreak can be found on the HSHS Medical Group website link at www.shelbyhealth.net on this story on TaylorvilleDailyNews.com.



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