Local News

Taylorville Park Board To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville Park Board will meet on Monday evening at 7 PM at the Manners Park Dining Hall to discuss business, review ordinances, and go over reports.

 

Under committee reports, the board will hear from maintenance superintendent Gary Brown, Office Administrator Lisa Morillo, and Recreational Director Bailey Hancock. The board will review a report from the finance committee and pay bills. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story at the conclusion of the meeting.

Taylorville Man Sentenced In Biting Incident

A Taylorville man has been sentenced in connection to aggravated battery to a police officer.  33-year-old Michael W. Emery was sentenced to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on Monday following an incident on April 19th, where he bit two Taylorville Officers who were arresting him. 

 

According to Christian County State’s Attorney Wes Poggenpohl, Emery pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated battery to a police officer in the biting incident.  Poggenpohl commended the officers involved in this incident and thanked them for their sacrifices for the safety of the public.  

 

Aggravated battery to a police officer is a Class 2 Felony and carries a sentencing range of 3-7 years in IDOC. The offense is also probation eligible.  Due to Mr. Emery’s prior record, he was extended term eligible on these offenses making the sentencing range from 3-14 years in IDOC. 

Carlinville Police Investigating Fatal Hit And Run

Carlinville Police are investigating a fatal incident that occurred on Saturday morning.  On May 21st, at 7:11 AM, Carlinville Police responded to a report of a male lying in a puddle in the road in the 1100 block of Sumner Street.  Upon arrival, officers began life-saving measures. Carlinville Fire Protection District and Gillespie Benld Area Ambulance Services also tried to help but were unable to resuscitate him. Police identified him as 40-year-old Monteaz Walton. 

 

The Macoupin County Coroner was called in and pronounced him deceased. An autopsy was performed Saturday afternoon which determined that Mr. Walton had been struck by a vehicle and succumbed to his injuries.  The investigation is ongoing with the assistance of the coroner’s office, and the Illinois State Police CSI. 

 

If you have any information, you are encouraged to call the Carlinville Police Department at 217-854-3221 or email info@carlinvillepolice.com.  You can also reach out to the Macoupin & Montgomery Counties Crimestoppers at 1-800-352-0136. 

Protecting Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Protecting your business in 2022 is important. Whether it’s the cyberworld, finances, accountability, or hacking, Shelbyville Insurance Services, Derek Hayden, says to be on the lookout.  He warns about one activity that’s been picking up: cyber liability. 

 

 

Hayden says that smaller businesses are more vulnerable than the larger corporations.

 

 

Hayden says he feels that cyber liability is the most important coverage a small business can get.

 

 

Cyber liability can make all the difference between having protection, and surviving a cyber attack. 

 


Hayden appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from our studio in downtown Shelbyville.

No Bad Days Farm Has Events Coming Up

Through tragedy always comes a light at the end of the tunnel, and for Kenny Schwengel, former principal of Shelbyville High School that came through the untimely passing of his son. Schwengel lost his son Tucker at the age of 21 and built No Bad Days farm in his memory. 

 

 

Schwengel has plenty of events at No Bad Days farms. He is excited to announce a rhythm and blues festival coming on June 4th.

 

 

Schwengel says to bring a blanket or lawn chair and says it should be a good evening. He hopes this event will continue.  He also announced that the farm has chickens now.


 

Another area that Schwengel has talked about is sheep. 

 

 

Find out more about No Bad Days Farm by visiting them on their Facebook page. Schwengel appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show Live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville. 

Multiple Arrests Made Over The Weekend

Both Taylorville Police and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office had a busy weekend. Taylorville Police got a report of a suspicious person and upon arrival encountered 36 year old Stephon Little. After an investigation, it was revealed that Little had an extensive criminal history which includes armed robbery and other crimes. Little was detained and subsequently charged with several gun violations.  Upon further investigation, TPD seized from Little a 9mm loaded handgun with a round in the chamber that had a serial number scratched off, a loaded AK47 with one in the chamber, and an armor vest that contained rifle plates. 

 

In Montgomery County, A Deputy Sheriff conducted a completely unrelated traffic stop in the early morning hours of May 20th on Route 16 in Irving Township east of Hillsboro.  The Deputy made contact with 57 year old David E. Henry of Hillsboro.  Deputies located 3 grams of meth during the stop. Based on information obtained during the stop, and with the help of Montgomery County State’s Attorney Andrew Affrunti, police obtained a search warrant for his residence.  

 

While at the residence, Sheriff’s Deputies confiscated around 90 grams of methamphetamine and a firearm.  Cash, scales, and cannabis were also seized and Henry was charged with armed habitual criminal and methamphetamine delivery.  His bond was set at $150,000. 
 

Nokomis Police Involved In Standoff After Domestic Battery Call

Nokomis Police were involved with a standoff in Nokomis last week.  On Wednesday, May 18th, at 5:13 AM, Nokomis police were dispatched to 402 Griffin Street in Nokomis for a reported domestic battery.  When police arrived they were unable to locate the suspect, 38 year old James A. McCaslin. Police learned that McCaslin had an active arrest warrant in Christian County.

 

Later that morning, at 7:34 AM, Nokomis Police were again dispatched to the residence after a report that McCaslin had returned. When authorities arrived, they learned that McCaslin had locked himself in a detached garage. Officers received reports that McCaslin may have had several homemade explosive devices, and was possibly suicidal. 

 

After attempts to make contact with McCaslin proved futile, Montgomery County States Attorney Andrew Affrunti approved a search warrant for the property due to the possibility of an explosive device, and additional units were requested. 

 

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, ISP District 18, ILEAS critical response team, Illinois Secretary of State police bomb squad and the Montgomery County Mental Health Crisis Team assisted along with the Nokomis Witt Ambulance Company and the Nokomis Fire Department.

 

The standoff ended at 1:08 PM when ILEAS Critical Response team breached the garage door and McCaslin surrendered without further incident or injury.  McCaslin was then transported to the Montgomery County Jail and is currently charged with obstruction of justice, domestic battery, and illegal possession of firearm ammunition with a revoked FOID. 
 

86 Graduates Receive Diplomas at Shelbyville High School Graduation Saturday Night

 

 

It was a packed gym at Shelbyville High School Saturday night, when some 86 graduates were given their diploma in the annual Commencement, which was broadcast live on Cruisin' 98-point-3 WSVZ.

 

 

 

The graduates entered the gym while the Shelbyville High School Band performed the traditional "Pomp and Circumstance", with invocation then offered by Michael Tomlin.  

 

 

S-H-S principal Kyle Ladd welcomed the public and graduating seniors to the event, and Superintendent Shane Schuricht then announced this school year's Students of the Month, with the Student of the Year honor—selected by the Regional Office of Education—going to senior Emma Houska, who also gave the salutatorian speech.

In it, Houska told the gathering about the great memories.

 

 

Shelbyville senior Emma Congenie gave the valedictorian speech, telling those in attendance the class has grown the past 4 years.

 

 

Ladd then presented the 86 diplomas, Ella Tynan gave the benediction, and the Shelbyville High School Band played the recessional as the Graduating Class of 2022 left the high school gym for the last time.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Holds Drive-Thru Donation Day Benefiting Taylorville Food Pantry

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held a drive-thru donation day benefiting the Taylorville Food Pantry at the Miller Media Group front parking lot on Saturday.

 

Despite the rainy weather, Kiwanis Member Joe Hauser said that people still came out to give both monetary and non-perishable food donations.

 

 

 

Fellow member Chuck Martin says that Taylorville is a generous community that can always be counted on to help out.

 

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club, the Taylorville Food Pantry, and the Miller Media Group thank all those who donated.

 

 

159 Graduates Receive Diplomas At Taylorville High School Graduation Friday Night

 

Some 159 graduates received their diploma Friday night at the 129th Annual Commencement at Taylorville High School's Dolph Stanley Gym.

 

 

 

It was a packed house for the just over one hour ceremony where class speaker Kennedie Cearlock told graduates their preserverence led them to graduate.

 

 

 

The night also featured a special Taylorville Senior High Choir number entitled "Like an Eagle", and a special Senior High Concert Band number called "Undertow."

 

 

T-H-S principal Matt Hutchison told the crowd that over 22-percent of this year's grads were honor students all 4 years, and added this class' 4 years were full of challenges.

 

 

Taylorville School Superintendent Doctor Chris Dougherty told attendees T-H-S seniors have made many strides.

 

 

Following presentation of the diplomas by Taylorville Board president Tricia Marberger, senior Elizabeth Schafer gave the benediction.  Here's a portion of it.

 

 

The event was broadcast live on groovy 97-point-3 WRAN. 

 

Here's class speaker Kennedie Cearlock's complete speech:

 

 

Here's senior Elizabeth Schaefer's complete benediction:

 

 

Decatur Man Receives 7 Years For Assaulting A Corrections Officer

A Shelby County judge sentences a 31-year-old Decatur man to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. 

 

According to Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke, the sentence relates to Joshua White’s July attack of a corrections officer resulting in bodily harm. 

 

The case went to trial and a jury returned a guilty verdict for White. The charge carries a sentencing range of 3 to 7 years. 

 

Judge Stan Brandmeyer delivered the maximum sentence after a contested sentencing hearing.

 

On July 27th, 2021, White lashed out at corrections officers when they directed White back to his cell. When officers shut the cell door, White charged an officer, grabbing and striking him forcefully on the head with his fist and threatened to kill the officer. The officer suffered a concussion and missed several days of work following the attack. 

Illinois House Republicans Call For Change of Leadership For DCFS

Illinois House Republican lawmakers calling for a change in leadership at the Department of Children and Family Services. 

 

A state audit released last week found that the DCFS failed to comply with reforms aimed at increasing child safety passed in 2019. 

 

Illinois state Representative Deanne Mazzochi details the case. 

Rep. Mazzochi calls on Governor JB Pritzker to take action. 

For State Representative Steve Reich, it’s about Gov. Pritzker fulfilling his promise. 

State Representative Tom Weber says there’s nothing current director Marc Smith can do but step aside.

The DCFS has responded. “The Department of Children and Family Services has taken aggressive measures to improve the services and care provided to youth in care during the past three years.”

Taylorville Hosting Pair Of Chili Cook-Offs At Palomino Club This Weekend

The Chili Capitol of Illinois, Taylorville, hosting a pair of chili cook-offs this weekend.

 

Chillifest Committee Chili Chair Tom Calvert says the Lincoln Prairie Trail Regional cook-off is Saturday, while the Aldo Klinghammer Memorial Chili Shuffle is Sunday – both at the Palomino Club. 

Calvert loves the family environment of chili cook-offs. 

Both cook-offs still need volunteers to test the chili. 

Chili cooks listen up – Calvert is a world champion and has a word of advice. 

Learn more at chilicookoff.com. Calvert appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

U of I Extension Here To Assist With Cottage Food

In late 2021, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Home to Market Act, which expanded the state’s Cottage Food law passed in 2012. 

 

University of Illinois Extension Health and Wellness Educator Lisa Peterson says the extension office of Christian County is ready to help people navigate the new law which went into effect in January. 

Peterson says cottage foods are typically non-perishable and sealed off items. 

The first step is to sign up for a course to receive a certificate verifying you know the law. 

Peterson says the use of cottage foods is a great way to become an entrepreneur.

Learn more at extension.illinois.edu. Peterson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Shelbyville High School Moves High School Graduation Inside for Saturday Night

Officials at Shelbyville High School have announced that due to possible inclement weather, they are moving the Saturday night graduation ceremony from the high school football field, to the high school gym.  The ceremony will still begin at 7pm, and be broadcast live on WSVZ Cruisin' 98.3.  

Shelbyville's high school graduation ceremony will include remarks from the salutatorian and valedectorian, as well as music from the Shelbyville High School band directed by Charity Astrouski.

Again, Shelbyville's high school graduation has been moved to the high school gym Saturday night with the same start time 7pm, and will be broadcast live on WSVZ Cruisin' 98.3.

Taylorville Superintendent Outlines Plans For Sports Complex and Fine Arts Facility

Taylorville School Board approved a plan to build a Fine Arts and Sports Complex Facility.

 

Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty says this plan has been in the works for a while. 

The plan calls for a field house with two courts and an auditorium with around 400 seats. 

The district is in a good spot to take this project on – dubbed “Project A Plus.” The “plus” comes in a situation where the district is able to raise more money than needed for the original scheme. 

Touring examples of facilities and fundraising are the next steps. 

Dr. Dougherty appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Shelby County Sheriff's Office Cleared Of Allegations Of Theft, Misconduct, And Fraud

An investigation has cleared the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office of allegations of fraud, theft, and official misconduct.  According to the Office of the Attorney General, State of Illinois, Public Integrity Bureau, the allegations do not constitute a criminal offense and they do not support any criminal charges.

 

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office was appointed by the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court as a special prosecutor to review and possibly prosecute allegations of fraud, theft, and misconduct levied by the Shelby County Treasurer in December of 2019.  An investigation showed theft of funds through the payroll system for the Sheriff’s Office as well as an alleged illegal sale of seized firearms.  The ISP DCI Zone 5 conducted the investigation. 

 

The company 20/20 Forensic Accounting was retained by Shelby County to conduct a payroll audit of the Office from January 2015 to July 2020. During the audit, the firm would review payroll records, bank accounts, collective bargaining agreements, and bank statements for the county and the Sheriff’s Office.  The audit showed that $326,315 was overpaid to employees and 332,598 was underpaid to employees.  The final results were a net underpayment of $6,283. The audit finds were shared and reviewed by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.  

 

All firearms that have been related to this incident and investigation have been accounted for and secured within the office according to Shelby County Sheriff Brian McReynolds. 

Navigator Pledges To Do More In Regards To CO2 Project

Navigator and Tenaska’s Heartland Greenway Carbon Capture and Storage project hit a roadblock. 

 

Chief Operating Officer David Giles says Christian County’s moratorium on approving zoning ordinances won’t stop the project. 

The moratorium provides Navigator an opportunity to work on providing more information. 

According to Giles, there is a lot of misinformation floating around in regards to the project. Most recently, Navigator has heard rumors about how this project could impact the aquifer. Giles says it’s just not the case. 

Navigator points those skeptical to peer-reviewed research from private entities. 

Learn more at heartlandgreenway.com. Giles appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Heartland Greenway Releases Statement on Moratorium

Heartland Greenway has released a statement on the moratorium vote in Christian County last night. Jim Prescott of Heartland Greenway says, "We appreciate that County Board members want to have all of the information they need before taking any action in the future.  As we’ve shared with them, Heartland Greenway is not ready to start construction and we haven’t filed for state or federal permits, which will take 18 to 24 months to obtain. We recognize the County Board, landowners, and Christian County residents have important questions about Heartland Greenway, and we are committed to answering all of them, and to ensure that the county has the information it needs to make an informed decision about this project. We also are committed to working with the County Board to develop a fact-based zoning framework that is fair, feasible, and leads to a prosperous future for Christian County that encourages economic development."

Three People Arrested In Taylorville On Drug Charges And Child Endangerment

Three people have been arrested in Taylorville after an investigation led to a search warrant on Tuesday. Police received complaints from citizens about narcotics traffic on the 400 block of East Adams Street.  During the investigation, TPD learned that the persons of interest in the residence could be armed and there were children inside.  Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says that the Emergency Response Team formulated plans days earlier in a way that they could enter the residence in a safe manner. The warrant was executed after hours of surveillance Tuesday evening. 

 

Three people were arrested in the residence.  Thomas Painter was arrested for armed violence, delivery of a controlled substance 5-15 grams, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver 15-100 grams, child endangerment, and unlawful use of a residence. Marissa Tennant was arrested for armed violence possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver 15-100 grams, child endangerment, and unlawful use of a residence. Alexis Rosa was arrested for delivery of a controlled substance for 5-15 grams and child endangerment.

 

 

Chief Wheeler thanked the ERT for their hard work and dedication.  He hopes that the citizens in the area feel safer and thanked Christian County State’s Attorney Wes Poggenpohl for the dedication to the investigation.

 

Chief Wheeler also thanked Kincaid and Assumption Police for their assistance in the execution of the warrant and all of the agencies of the Community Action Team for their continued support.

Shelbyville Students Of The Month For May Recognized

The WSVZ and Family Drug-Shelbyville Students of the Month for May 2022 were presented with their awards recently. Congratulations to McKenna Kull, Katelyne Donald, Kynlee Summers, and Rope Hatfield,

From L to R Senior McKenna Kull, Junior Katelyne Donald, Sophomore Kynlee Summers, Freshman Rope Hatfield, and Family Drug Representative Bridgette Depew.

Pana Students Of The Month Recognized For May 2022

Peoples Bank and Trust and 94.3 WMKR are proud to present the Pana High School April 2022. Students of the Month for the month of May are Logan Roberts, Siarra Hammond, Chloe Bland, and Noah Gorenz. 

L -R: SENIOR LOGAN ROBERTS; JUNIOR(NOT PICTURED) SIARRA HAMMOND; SOPHOMORE CHLOE BLAND; FRESHMAN NOAH GORENZ

Taylorville Students Of The Month Recognized For May

Peoples Bank and Trust along with WTIM The Big 870 AM and 96.1 FM are proud to announce the Taylorville Students of the Month for May. Congratulations to Jack McGrath, Kaden Parini, Jessi Wright, and Trace Helton

 

L-R:  PEOPLES BANK AND TRUST REPRESENTATIVE  SARAH VANHUSS; SENIOR JACK MCGRATH; JUNIOR KADEN PARINI; SOPHOMORE JESSI WRIGHT; FRESHMAN TRACE HELTON 

State Treasurer's Office Helping Farmers With Ag Capital

Farmers are often focused on what their crop is doing now. 

 

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs wants farmers to think about the future with the Ag Invest program.

Frerichs says this program has come a long way from when it first started and now offers direct financial assistance.

The low interest rate allows farmers to make more off their loan-based investment. 

This is to help current farmers, of course. It is also about the next generation of farmers. 

Learn more at illinoistreasurer.gov. Frerichs appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Rep. Rodney Davis Continues To Hammer Support For Ukraine

U.S. Representative Rodney Davis voted yes on the National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2021. 

 

A portion of that resolution sends military aid to Ukraine to help fight Russia. Rep. Davis says that Ukraine must have the aid. 

The bipartisan effort stands out to Rep. Davis. Over 80 percent of legislators voted yes. 

The biggest reason why Rep. Davis believes Ukraine should receive aid has to do with democracy. 

Ultimately, many are concerned Russia will not stop with Ukraine. That includes Rep. Davis.

Learn more at rodneydavis.house.gov. Rep. Davis appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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