Local News

Bethany Man Dead After 2-Vehicle Crash in Rural Macon County

A Bethany man is dead as a result of a two-vehicle crash on Illinois Route 121 near McDonald Road in Macon County on Thursday evening.  


Dead is 48-year-old Christopher D. Ripple.  Macon County Coroner Michael Day tells Regional Radio News that Ripple was pronounced dead at the scene following the accident at 6:27 Thursday evening.  

Routine toxicology tests and an inquest both are pending.


Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose On The State's Budget Crisis

Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose outlined the State of Illinois’ critical budget situation and the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on things.    



Senator Rose went on to say that because of the failure of fair tax vote and the unlikelihood of a federal bailout from the Biden Administration, the Democratic leadership is back to borrowing money to balance the budget hole.



The cancelled veto session is making the budget situation significantly worse, according to Senator Rose.



The longer you wait to make budget cuts, according to Senator Rose, the more difficult the cuts will be to implement. 



Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle Is Thrilled To Be A Part Of The Small Town Taylorville Committee

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle is having a blast on the Small Town Taylorville Committee, but she says that there’s a whole lot of work ahead.    



The personnel has been hired, the funding has been received, and now Hornbuckle said that they’re trying to figure out what’s next.



Hornbuckle is thrilled to be a part of the Small Town Taylorville Committee and she went on to say that there will be information released over the next several months before the launch of the new website. 



Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Deer Hunting Season Numbers Down From Last Year During Opening Weekend

Hunters in Illinois got fewer deer this opening weekend of Illinois Firearm Season than in previous years past. Illinois hunters harvested a preliminary total of 47,147 deer during the first weekend of Deer Season compared with 50,713 from last year. The seven-day Firearm Deer Season will conclude December 3-6.  IDNR Spokesperson Rachel Tolbert says that things are lower but there are many factors that lead to that.



In Christian County, there were 419 deer harvested in 2020 as opposed to only 372 last year. In Montgomery County, there were 520 deer harvested in 2020 as opposed to 540 last year. 


Tolbert says there will be other deer hunting opportunities in the near future with muzzleloader-only deer season, late-winter antlerless-only, CWD, and archery season’s coming up. 



For more information click here.


Taylorville Police Sergeant Alan Mills Talks COVID-19 And Shopping Safety

Holiday shopping is in full swing and Taylorville Police Department Sergeant Alan Mills warned Taylorville residents that there have been some reports of packages being taken off of porches and if you see something suspicious to say something.   



Things at the Taylorville Police Department after an outbreak of COVID-19, according to Sergeant Mills, have started to go back to normal.



Sergeant Mills went on to say that TPD Officers wear face masks whenever they interact with the public and the Police Department is being cleaned on a regular basis. 



TPD Officers try to meet with people outside of homes, but with the temperature dropping that will be difficult. 



Sergeant Alan Mills was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


The Taylorville Food Pantry Is In Need Of Volunteers

The Taylorville Food Pantry is in desperate need of volunteers, according to co-coordinator Amy Hagen.   



All you have to do is show up to the Food Pantry willing to volunteer. There is no application process and you don’t need to have any specific skill set, according to Hagen.



The regular Food Pantry volunteers, according to Hagen, are exhausted.



Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March, the Food Pantry has been operating using a drive-thru model. 



Amy Hagen was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Taylorville Police Sergeant Alan Mills Discusses The Importance Of Being Involved In The Community

The importance of the Taylorville Police Department being involved in the community cannot be understated, according to TPD Sergeant Alan Mills.   



During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sergeant Mills says that they have seen a slight increase in drug use in the community.



Sergeant Mills went on to say that overall he thinks the drug issue has been getting better within the community.



The Safe Passage Program, according to Sergeant Mills, has had a positive impact in Taylorville. 



Sergeant Alan Mills was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Taylorville Man Arrested In Springfield Hold-Ups

A Taylorville man was arrested on Wednesday morning for his involvement in a string of Springfield armed robberies on Tuesday. 20-year-old Koty J. Caraker of Taylorville was arrested on Wednesday for aggravated robbery, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and theft and 34-year-old Lamarcus C. Jones of Springfield was arrested for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and aggravated discharge of a firearm. 


The three stations that were robbed were the BP Amoco, Circle K, and the Qik-N-EZ early Tuesday morning from 12:09 AM until 2:29 AM.  Police say that the suspect description was the same at all three places and several officers recognized the description as someone they have been in contact with before. 


Both men are in custody in the Sangamon County Jail and if you have any information, please call the Springfield Police at 788-8311 or the Sangamon/Menard County Crime Stoppers at 788-8427. 


Sullivan Mayor Richard Glazbrook Talks COVID-19

Every conversation nowadays always seems to start out about COVID-19, and Sullivan Mayor Richard Glazebrook says that the Sullivan residents have been great about social distancing and wearing face masks.   



Mayor Glazebrook says that the city of Sullivan has been doing everything they can to keep nursing home staff and residents safe by giving PPE to the Sullivan area nursing homes.



The Holiday season is different for everyone this year, especially for residents of long term care facilities. So the Sullivan Chamber, according to Mayor Glazebrook, will be offering each long term care facility resident a live plant. 



Sullivan Mayor Richard Glazebrook was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Taylorville Fire Department Respond To 1 Alarm Fire At Taylorville Apartment Complex

Taylorville Fire Department responded to apartment fire on Wednesday evening. The Taylorville Fire Department was called out to 2100 Grand Boulevard. Upon arrival, crews noticed heavy fire showing from the second floor of the complex. According to a Facebook post from the Department, Crews were able to contain the majority of the fire to the original apartment.


Due to the size of the building, the fire was upgraded to a 1 Alarm fire. Owaneco, Stonington, Edinburg, Midland, Morrisonville-Palmer, and Assumption all responded to help the TFD. Dunn's Ambulance and Taylorville Police were on hand to assist the many residents. All residents were displaced from their homes, but thanks to the help of many including the Red Cross, they have someplace safe to sleep and stay for Thanksgiving. 


There were no injuries to residents or firefighters, but the building has extensive damage and an investigation is being conducted. 



Photos courtesy: Taylorville Fire Department Facebook Page


Bar & Restaurant Owners Ask For Transparency On Mitigations

Small business restaurant and bar owners reached out to the Christian County Health Department in a meeting on Wednesday evening. Almost everyone expressed their support to the Health Department for the tough role they have had in the COVID-19 pandemic, but a lot of owners questioned how the decisions were being made and why bars and restaurants seemed to be targeted. 


Larry Ceishrokski of the Spring Garden Restaurant in Taylorville says that it has been very rough for him during this time. 



Jean Vanderberg says that she doesn’t understand why bars and restaurants are being targeted.



Vanessa Wiseman who owns Y-Zoes asked the board to look at things on a case by case basis. 



Thomas Snyder Jr. addressed the board and urged them to follow Governor JB Pritzker’s mitigations. 



To listen to the entire meeting see below.




Emergency Health Board Meeting Has More Questions Than Answers

The Christian County Public Health Department met on Wednesday evening for an emergency board meeting. Public comments were moved to the end of the meeting to allow for things to be explained beforehand.


Tier 3 mitigations were discussed. Christian County Board member Vicki McMahon explained why she called for the meeting expressing concern for some of the closed businesses.



Dr. Terry Cunnington of the Christian County Health Board said that some of the concerns for the Board were the deaths and extent of the spread of the virus in the area along with hospital bed availability.



Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera addressed a lot of the concerns that people have about what his department will and won’t enforce. Havera said that by law during a disaster declaration, the IDPH is in charge of the local health departments and has supervisory authority. 



Havera continued by saying that the health department would have to prove that contact tracing came from the offending establishment. Of course, that brings up the big discussion of liquor and food licenses.  Around the state, everyone is doing it a little differently, but Havera says that the County Board or local municipalities have the power to pass and amend the orders to issue licenses so they could put in more restrictive rules if necessary. 


Public Health Director Greg Seiders explained some of the processes and how the order would go for taking a license. The Health Board will always try to find a way to seek compliance before punishments. 



The general consensus from the meeting was that if stronger mitigations were wanted, it would have to be approved at a county, city, or municipality level. However, the IDPH has control over rules during an emergency which has caused all kinds of head-scratching among local officials. Many small business owners were on hand in support of small businesses.

Listen to the entire meeting here:




Take Precautions For COVID If You Plan On Traveling

While traveling is strongly discouraged for the holidays, many people will still be going away from home for the Thanksgiving holiday. HSHS Hospital wants you to know the risks of travel if you do go out and some tips to keep yourself safe when you are traveling. Any type of traveling puts you at risk of the disease but there are ways to keep yourself safer. 


Find out how active COVID-19 is at for your destination. The more cases there are the higher your chance of getting the infection. If you or someone you live with is thinking of visiting people that are more prone to get the virus such as older people, smokers, pregnant women, and others with underlying conditions, you should consider them before traveling.


You should also check into local regulations as well. Some states require you to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The CDC has a full list of websites with information on each state/country. HSHS along with the CDC has released information on risk from levels being lowest to highest. 


Lowest risk is short trips by car with no stops along the way. More risk is longer trips with one or more stops, higher risk is trips with people not in your household or direct flights, and highest risk is flights with layovers and trips on a cruise ship or a riverboat.


Before you leave for your trip make sure you bring extra masks, a sealable plastic bag to store wet or dirty masks, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and sanitizing wipes. Finally, always wear a mask in public, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands often, avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, and bring your own road food as much as you can. 


For more information visit the CDC website which you can find by clicking here.


HSHS Offering Tips For Buying Toys For Kids

With the holiday’s around the corner and Black Friday sales coming up this week, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital says that you should always do a little research and checking before you buy those toys for your young ones. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2018, there were an estimated 166,200 toy-related injuries treated in US hospital emergency rooms. 


Toys are getting better, however, with only 12 recalls in 2019 with one of those toys containing lead, whereas in 2008, there were 172 toy recalls, 19 of which were due to lead. The CPSC along with the US Public Interest Research Group has some tips to make sure a child is safe when playing with toys.


Make sure toys are age-appropriate and look for quality design and construction in toys. You should also make sure all directions or instructions are clear and to read all labels. Throw away the packaging and gift openings including plastic bags, peanut-style packaging, and ribbons.


You should also try to avoid choking hazards by never giving balloons or small balls to young children. The general rule of thumb is to not give toys with parts smaller than the opening of a toilet paper roll. Avoid magnet toys and if it sounds too loud, it probably is. You should listen to toys before purchasing them being careful of toys with sirens or horns. TO learn more visit the CPSC website at https://www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/toys#resources. 


Central A&M Schools To Go Remote For The Week After Thanksgiving

The Central A&M School District will be remote the week after Thanksgiving. Superintendent Dr. DeAnn Heck says that they decided to do that to give time for COVID-19 symptoms to arise and hopefully keep it out of the school district.   



Dr. Heck says that the Central A&M School District has had a great semester, all things considered.



What’s right for one school district may not be right for every school district, according to Dr. Heck.



The Central A&M teachers and staff have done an outstanding job, but are tired. The best thing we can do as a society to help them out, according to Dr. Heck, is to make sure that we maintain socially distanced and wear a face mask. 



Dr. DeAnn Heck was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Attorney General Warning Of IDES Fraud

The Inspector General for the US Department of Labor is warning against fraud alerts and phishing attempts with the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Attorney General Kwame Raoul says that since July, there have been nearly 5,000 complaints about fraud and it is usually in the form of a fake debit card. It got so bad, that even the Attorney General received a card in the mail.



Raoul encourages everyone to check your credit reports regularly.



The State Department of Employment Security is still trying to figure out how much of the 17 billion dollars in unemployment benefits have been given out in fraudulent claims. As always be vigilant and if you detect any wrongdoing please call IDES at (800) 814-0513.


Taylorville Food Pantry Co-Coordinator Talks About The Importance Of Grants

The Taylorville Food Pantry has been given a number of different grants, according to co-coordinator Amy Hagen, that have had a huge impact on what the Food Pantry has been able to offer.   



The lease on those temporary units ended and the Food Pantry was given a grant for a new freezer and refrigeration unit that is being used to store whatever they have a need for, according to Hagen.



The Taylorville Food Pantry, like food pantries across the United States, have been extremely busy recently and Hagen went on to say that they were blessed with a large donation from Bob Ridings of 200 turkeys that they were able to pass out to the individuals and families that they serve.



The Taylorville Food Pantry set a new record last week, according to Hagen, feeding over 140 families in a single night. 



Amy Hagen was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


Memorial Health System Launches Mental Health Clinic

Memorial Behavior Health has launched a Mental Health Crisis Clinic to assist those who need help with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. The clinic is open to the public from 8:30 until 4:30 Monday through Friday for walk-ins or phone calls. Local health care providers can also call to refer their patients. 


Memorial Behavioral Health has a mental health crisis intervention team which is stationed in the Emergency Department at Memorial Medical Center. The intervention team helps individuals in an outpatient setting, which reduced the number of people showing up to the Emergency Room with a non-medical emergency. 


Diane Knaebe who is the system administrator for Memorial Behavioral Health says that the new clinic is like an ExpressCare for your mind.


By having a mental health clinic, Memorial Behavioral Health is trying to limit the number of people that are coming into the emergency room to help stop the spread of not only COVID but also the flu. Other services that are provided include an emotional support hotline at 217-588-5509. Those hours are from 8 AM until 8 PM Monday through Friday. 


If you know of anyone who may be considering suicide or if you yourself are thinking of harming yourself, please call the suicide prevention hotline around the clock at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a trained professional. 


Illinois State Senator Andy Manar Discusses The State's Budget Issues

Illinois State Senator Andy Manar says that the state’s budget issue was serious before the Fair Tax vote, but now the state’s set of challenges are significantly worse.   



Senator Manar went on to say that Democrats and Republicans need to work together despite the fact that Democrats have super majorities in both the State House and State Senate.



Senator Manar doesn’t think a tax increase is in the cards right now, but he did say that there are some other things they can look at to increase revenue.



There are also various sales tax exemptions and service tax exemptions that could be looked at as well, according to Senator Manar. 



Senator Manar was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Christian County Public Health Department To Hold Emergency Meeting To Discuss COVID Mitigations

The Christian County Public Health Department will be holding an emergency public meeting on Wednesday, November 25th at 6:30 PM virtually in accordance with Governor JB Pritzker’s executive order on public meetings. To join the meeting you can either call 701-802-5367 and enter the access code at 7943957# or view it online at https://join.freeconferencecall.com/christiancounty.


Among open issues that will be discussed will be the Tier 3 mitigations and the trends in Christian County. The struggles with contact tracing will be discussed, along with what the processes are for food and liquor licenses and what constitutes violating them. There will also be a discussion on the role and support of the health department. 


Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story as it develops. 


Advanced Eye Care In Taylorville Reports Two Positive COVID-19 Tests

Chris-Mont EMA has informed Regional Radio News of two COVID-19 positives at Advanced Eye Care which is located at 900 W Springfield Road #B in Taylorville. Upon notification of the positive cases, they were in direct contact with the local health department. The facility closed yesterday to allow for cleaning and contact tracing to be completed.


If you were recently at Advanced Eye Care, your exposure time and distance especially if you were wearing a mask would not meet the exposure guidelines of less than six feet for more than 15 minutes. Continue to monitor your health and if you feel ill or have a concern, contact your physician for further guidance. 


Chris-Mont EMA continues to encourage social distancing, wearing of masks, frequent hand washing, and the cleaning of common touch areas often.


For more information, please contact Kevin Schott for the EMA at 217-971-8196.


Taylorville Police Department To Hold Kids, Cops, And Christmas Program In December

The Taylorville Police Department is hosting their annual Kids, Cops, and Christmas program to help needy kids in the Taylorville community have a brighter Christmas. TPD Sergeant Alan Mills says that this is also a way to have a positive interaction with children and their parents.   



The event is scheduled for the 2nd week of December and will be held a little differently this year, according to Sergeant Mills. It will be held over two nights instead of one night because of the COVID-19 pandemic.



If you’d like to make a donation or nomination you can do so by calling the Taylorville Police Department at 824-2211. 



Taylorville Police Department Sergeant Alan Mills was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


COVID-19 And The Toll On Childbirth

COVID-19 has changed nearly every aspect of our life including the birth of a child. For first time mothers, pregnancy is already scary enough without COVID being a constant threat. During this time OSF Healthcare has shifted from in-person classes to develop other ways to reach would-be mothers. Director of the Family Birthing Center, Carolyn Tomeo says that it was important to come up with a new way of reaching parents who have a new baby on the way.



Coleen Martinson, who is a registered nurse and Patient Educator says that parents need to get mentally and physically prepared for having a child. Without the education provided, parenting can be extremely stressful. And that classes cover the important topic of birth plans.



The three-part PowerPoint series is sent to future parents so that viewers can focus on what they want to know. Media has been added such as virtual tours and video and audio clips from experts.



Parents are advised to talk to their health care provider about birthing class options in their community. 


Illinois State Senator Andy Manar Calls For Mike Madigan To Step Aside As Chairman Of The Democratic Party

Illinois State Senator Andy Manar says that it’s time for House Speaker Mike Madigan to step down as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois.   



Speaker Madigan has a tough fight ahead to keep his job, according to Senator Manar, especially with more House Democrats saying that they will not support Madigan for Speaker.



Senator Manar went on to discuss the recent approval of a low interest loan for over $870,000 from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to improve the city of Assumption’s water system. 



Senator Andy Manar was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


Researchers Studying Gambling Addiction In New Study

The Illinois Department of Human Services announced the launnch of a year-long study of gambling and gambling addiction along with support service needs in Illinois. Results will be uused by the IDHS for future ways to prevent problem gambling. The study is a half a million dollar program that is funded from revenue by the state’s gambling tax and allocated funds from the 2021 budget.


IDHS Spokesperson Patrick Laughlin says that the program will study the results carefully.


Laughlin says they will also look for what areas they can address with gambling addiction.



The Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery at IDHS launched the study after legislation asked for expanded access to gaming across the state. With gambling being easier to access, IDHS wants solutions to prevent gambling addiction. 


A team of researchers from IDHS and Health Resources in Action will look at the extent of problem gambling across the state and will explore risk factors for what develops into a gambling problem.  Researchers will also look at barriers residents may face in getting treatment.


If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with gambling, please visit www.weknowthefeeling.org or call 1-800-GAMBLER. You can also text “ILGamb” to 53342.



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