Local News

Taylorville School Board Meets; Discusses Home Schooling Vs Remote Learning

The Taylorville School Board met on Monday evening to discuss plans for moving forward with the school year. One of the big focuses on the meeting was to talk about how in-class learning would look this year including the difference between home school and remote learning. Curriculum Director Anita Brown says that this year’s remote learning is going to be very different this year from last spring.


Dr. Chris Dougherty says that as of right now with the IHSA guidelines she doesn’t see how there will be competition this fall for sports. 



Dr. Dougherty also says that if you are planning on homeschooling your children this year, and you want to reenter your kids in school, there will be a district assessment.


Under old business, the fast track grant was not approved, as rules for the grant had been changed. Dr. Dougherty is hoping to refile at a later date. Online registration is open and has been open.  You are encouraged to register your children online. For a complete look at ISBE’s guide to homeschooling, and a frequently asked questions section visit https://www.tcusd3.org/. 


Chris-Mont EMA Reporting COVID-19 Case At Taylorville Care Center

A COVID-19 case has been confirmed at the Taylorville Care Center. Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Kevin Schott says that the long term care facility has reported their first case.


Schott says that the test results should take between 3-5 days to get back for everyone else at the facility. No visitors have been allowed at the care facility but staff can come and go but Schott says the chances of it getting outside of the building are slim. 


Chris-Mont EMA along with the Christian County Health Department continue to monitor the situation closely and report that the long term care facility has been very cooperative with health officials.


Montgomery County Board Meeting Set For Tuesday Evening Cancelled Due To Covid-19

The Montgomery County Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening has been canceled.  The meeting, which was set to take place Tuesday, July 14th, at 5:30 PM, is set to be rescheduled for a later date. 


The meeting has been canceled for a number of reasons. A county employee, who works with the county board, was unknowingly exposed off duty to COVID and has recently been tested. That employee is still awaiting test results. That combined with the number of outbreaks at Hillsboro Hospital, Tremont Ridge, and Cornerstone Church and Lillypad Daycare in Litchfield, have all led to the reason that Evan Young, Montgomery County Board Chairman has canceled the meeting for tomorrow night.


A new meeting date has yet to be set.


New Staff Members Join Community Medical Clinic's Fastcare In Pana

Community Medical Clinic’s Fastcare is doing very well. Pana Community Hospital Marketing Director, Melissa Rybolt says that the Community Medical Clinic’s Fastcare has been opened since Jun 29th.



Community Medical Clinic’s Fastcare is welcoming a few new staff members, Jayne Morrison and Nicole McMillan.


Rybolt says that this service is helpful for those who don’t have a primary care physician.


In the fight against COVID, you are required to wear a mask and to answer some screening questions upon arrival. For more information, visit the Pana Community Hospital website.


Jayne Morrison joins Community Medical Clinic's Fastcare Staff


The Shelbyville Public Library Is Open For Business

The Shelbyville Public Library is now open for business after only being open for curbside while they were waiting on plexiglass, sanitizer, face masks, and disinfecting wipes to be able to safely open up the inside of the Library, according to the Libraries Director Monica Cameron.



Cameron was excited that they finally received everything they needed to be able to open the inside of the library.



The Shelbyville Public Library does have a few rules. Patrons must wear a mask and they are still offering curbside services to those who are not comfortable coming into the library. 



Monica Cameron was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville. 


Taylorville School Board Meeting This Evening

The Taylorville School District will be meeting for their monthly regular board of education meeting on Monday evening at 6 PM. The meeting will take place at the Administration Education Center located at 512 West Spresser Street in Taylorville. The meeting can have up to 40 visitors or you can join virtually via Google Hangouts by contacting the district secretary, Julie LeBeane at jlebeane@tcusd3.org to request a code to join the meeting.


After approval of minutes, claims, and a treasurer’s report, the board will also hear from any visitors and receive communications. Under old business, the board will discuss a fast track grant update. There will be a Memorial School Project update as well. A discussion on online registration being open and a look at the public school calendar update.


Under new business, face coverings will be discussed along with an ISBE Home School FAQ session. Bids for textbooks, paper, and supply will be announced. The IHSA Phase 4 Return to Play plan will also be talked about. The meeting will end with a report from Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty. 


Shelby County Office of Tourism Director Discusses Reopening

The Beaches at Lake Shelbyville are open, but Executive Director of the Shelby County Office of Tourism, Freddie Fry, warns visitors to please stay socially distant so that the beaches and everything else can remain open.



Fry went on to say that some events are starting to take place.



The main financial support for the Shelby County Office of Tourism, according to Fry, is the hotel motel tax. 



Freddie Fry was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville. 


IDOT In Heavy Mowing Season

The Illinois Department of Transportation is alerting motorists that mowing is underway on most Illinois highways. IDOT has developed a schedule for mowing and spokesperson Paul Wappel says the heaviest mowing is always done during the summer months.


Wappel says that the reason they do it during July and the middle of Summer is actually due to the environment and Monarch migration patterns.



As always slow down and give mowers room on the side of the road. For a complete list of IDOT’s mowing schedules, you can visit IDOT”s youtube channel or their website.


Shelbyville School Superintendent Discusses The Return Of In-Person Learning

This has been a summer like no one has ever seen before, according to Shelbyville School District Superintendent Shane Schruchit.



The vast majority of parents, according to Schruchit, want kids back in school.



Schruchit says that they’re doing the best they can to keep everyone as safe as possible. 



Schruchit says that adaptation is important in education especially during these difficult times. 



Shane Schruchit was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville. 


Hillsboro Area Hospital Enforcing No Visitor Policy

A local area hospital has enacted a no visitor policy. Starting on Friday, Hillsboro Area Hospital started enforcing a no visitor policy to ensure the safety, health, and wellness of the patients, community, and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. 


There will be exceptions for special circumstances such as critical patients undergoing emergency care, patients undergoing emergency surgical procedures will be allowed one support person over the age of 18. Pediatric patients may have one parent or guardian present. Visitors under the age of 18 will be prohibited unless they are the parent of a child receiving care. Patients reporting for outpatient services should ask their support person to remain in their vehicle during the duration of the hospital visit. Other circumstances may be evaluated on a case by case basis.


To check on family members, patients are asked to call 532-4172. The hospital will also help Facetime as well.


Miller Media And Kiwanis Club Raise $620 For Taylorville Food Pantry

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teaming up once again to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry by doing Drive Thru Donation Days for the remaining Saturdays in July. Non-perishable food items along with monetary donations were accepted in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 E Park in Taylorville.


Kiwanis members Duane Stock and Dick Wamsley were manning the tent and accepting the donations today. They were able to raise $620 that will be donated to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Stock said that these donation are important because the need is still prevalent.



Wamsley spoke about the importance of community and the difference it can make, especially with such a great cause benefiting from it.



Members of the Taylorville Kiwanis club will be taking donations every Saturday from 9 AM until 1 PM in July, and maybe beyond if help is still needed.



There will be Taylorville Kiwanis Club Members stationed in the Miller Media Group parking lot every Saturday in July taking donations to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry.


New Surgeon Joining HSHS Medical Group

HSHS Medical Group has a new surgeon joining their team. Dr. John Powell, an orthopedic surgeon from the University of Missouri Columbia and Saint Louis University Hospital is seeing patients at HSHS Medical Group Multi-specialty Care in Effingham located at 900 West Temple Avenue, Building B. Powell will also have an outreach clinic in Mattoon.


Dr. Powell specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the bones, muscles, joints, and tendons both surgically and non-surgically. Dr. Powell is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery and is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.


For an appointment with Dr. Powell please call 540-2350.






ISP Investigating Double Freightliner Crash

The Illinois State Police is reporting a two commercial vehicle traffic crash with injuries that took place at 2:55 PM on Thursday. A preliminary investigation is underway involving a vehicle crash that occurred on I-55 at Milepost 80 in Sangamon County between two Freightliners.  The first Freightliner was driven by 26-year-old John T. Guilbeaux of Bridgton, Missouri. Guilbeaux was pulling into traffic from the right shoulder and pulled right in front of 61-year-old Hugh Lockett of Chicago. Lockett struck the rear of Guilbeaux’s vehicle. Lockett was airlifted to an area hospital with serious injuries. The lanes were closed for approximately 6 hours.  The accident is still under investigation.


Nokomis Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr On The Upcoming School Year

Dr. Scott Doerr is the Nokomis School District Superintendent and the past few months have been difficult especially for teachers and students who had to quickly transition into remote learning with almost no training.



Dr. Doerr is confident and prepared for anything that might happen during the upcoming school year.



Dr. Doerr is working with the Board of Education and his Transition Committee to work on the health and safety guidelines and expects to have them ready for families by the end of the month. 



For more information on the Nokomis School District, please visit nokomis.k12.il.us. Dr. Scott Doerr was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


Ag In The Classroom Coordinator Rebecca Livingston Discusses Her Plans For The Upcoming School Year

Rebecca Livingston is the Agriculture in the Classroom Coordinator for Christian and Montgomery County and there is a lot of uncertainty in regards to whether or not Livingston will be allowed into classrooms during the upcoming school year.



There are numerous guidelines that Livingston will have to follow. She recently sent a survey out to all of her teachers and they responded with a number of different requests.



Livingston is also working on being able to offer teachers and students the ability to go on virtual farm tours. 



For more information on the University of Illinois Extension Office, please visit extension.illinois.edu/cjmm. Rebecca Livingston was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Be Aware Of All Kinds Of Cancer; Including Testicular

For many men, cancer can be an uncomfortable topic. However, one of the least talked about cancers according to the American Cancer Society, occurs in 1 out of every 250 men and that is testicular cancer.  This year alone, 9,610 cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed and there will ultimately be 440 deaths from the disease.  Dr. Zack Fulton with OSF Family Medicine says there are two kinds of testicular cancer.



Fulton says that signs and symptoms are usually unnoticeable or painless but you should look for a bump.


While not much is known about how men get testicular cancer, some risks include family history, abnormal development of the testicles, and history of undescended testicles.  Dr. Fulton says if you think you have a problem, best not to wait.


Dr. Fulton urges men to check yourselves once a month for any lumps, bumps, or swelling.



For more information visit the American Cancer Society’s website. 


Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle Talks Business After Hours

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is excited to be able to resume Business After Hours. This month it will take place on Wednesday, July 15th at Shafer-Perfetti and Assalley Funeral Home in Taylorville.



Business After Hours is hosted each and every month to get people into different businesses and to give the business owners the opportunity to showcase what they have to offer.



Hornbuckle is also a founding member of the Clinton J. Hornbuckle Memorial Foundation and they’re currently looking for silent auction items for the upcoming 3rd Annual Clinton J. Hornbuckle Memorial Foundation Sand Volleyball Bags Tournament and Silent Auction at the Funky Monkey in Taylorville on August 22nd. To make a donation for the silent auction, call the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. 



For more information on the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, please visit taylorvillechamber.com. Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Montgomery County Seeing Huge Spikes In COVID-19; 13 New Cases In Last 24 Hours

Montgomery County Health Department is aware of three outbreaks that they are currently trying to stay on top of. The first outbreak is at Cornerstone Ministries at 812 Old Route 66 in Litchfield. As of July 8th, there have been 25 positive cases associated with a direct link to this facility over a 3 county area. Two additional Illinois counties have pending tests. Montgomery County health officials are asking that if you were at this facility from June 21 through June 28 regardless of how you are feeling, to contact the Health Department for guidance at 532-2001. The facility remains closed to the public until further notice. 


The second outbreak occurred at a childcare facility, The Lily Pad Learning Center in Litchfield. Upon notification of the first COVID-19 case, Lily Pad owners have been in contact with the Montgomery County Health Department working together to keep staff and children safe from exposure. All staff and many children have been tested after 4 staff members tested positive. The facility has been on summer vacation this week and is scheduled for additional cleaning. The Lily Pad Learning Center is set to reopen on July 13th.


The third outbreak has occurred at the Tremont Ridge Assisted Living Center in Hillsboro. It was noted by Hillsboro Area Hospital on Wednesday on social media, that a resident and employee tested positive.  The hospital is still working with the Health Department as the situation develops. 


Montgomery County has had 33 new COVID-19 cases since July 1st with 13 alone reported Thursday. 


COVID Cases On The Rise But Deaths Remain Low

COVID cases are on the rise but death rates remain low in central Illinois. Since July 1st, there have been over 50 new cases of COVID-19 including 33 in Montgomery County that has seen its biggest spike since the pandemic began. There was also one death since July 1st and that was in Macon County. According to a Facebook post, Sangamon County has stopped reporting negative tests over the last week as Sangamon County was reporting they had negative tests in the 8k range.  The Illinois Department of Public Health was reporting over 20k negative tests. Macon only reports negative tests on Mondays and Fridays.


In Illinois,  there were 1,018 new COVID-19 cases the first day they’ve gone over 1,000 in over two weeks with 20 new deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 150,450 cases including 7,119 deaths in every county in Illinois. Within the past 24 hours, labs have tested 36,180 specimens for a total of 1,878,756 tests. The seven-day positivity rate is 2.6%. 


There are 1,507 people in Illinois who are reported as being in the hospital with COVID. Of those, 317 were in the ICU with 153 on ventilators. 


United Way Announces COVID Relief For Shelby/Moultrie Counties

United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois has announced an investment of $60,000 towards COVID-19 relief and recovery in Moultrie and Shelby Counties. Debbie Bogle, Executive Director of the United Way, says that with everything on with COVID-19, this is a blessing.



Bogle says this is for anyone who has been affected by the pandemic.



If you need assistance and are looking for help call CEFS (Economic Opportunity Corporation programs) at 217-342-2193. The Office of the Governor is giving out $6.95 million dollars towards the state’s most vulnerable populations.


ISP Asking For Help With Missing Person Last Seen In Pana

The Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing person. Daniel “Danny” Crosby of Carterville, Illinois has been missing since February 27th. ISP DCI Investigators say that Crosby’s last known location was near the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Pana. Family and friends of Crosby have not had any contact with him since that morning. Crosby was reported missing to the Carterville Police Department on March 18th.


Anyone who has any information is encouraged to contact the Illinois State Police at 782-4750.




Expiration Dates For Licenses/ID's Extended Until November 1st

Expiration dates for driver’s licenses and ID cards along with license plate stickers have been extended.   Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that expiration dates have been extended an additional month—from October 1st to November 1st. Expired documents will also remain valid until November 1st allowing customers time to get to Driver Service Facilities which have been hit hard as people try to renew their expired information.


White is still encouraging the public to use whatever online services they can as there are still long lines at most DMV facilities. Customers can go online to www.cyberdriveillinois.com to find out what services they can utilize online. June of 2020 saw an increase of 110% in online license plate sticker renewals when compared to June of 2019.


Driver Service Facilities will only be seeing new drivers or customers with expired driver’s licenses and vehicle transactions through July 31st. Face masks are required and social distancing is still requiring that will cause customers to have to wait outside despite hot weather conditions.


Again, for more information visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com. 


Abraham Lincoln Association Announces Campaign For Reconstruction Of Lincoln Cottage

The Abraham Lincoln Association announced earlier this week a plan to reconstruct the original cottage where Abraham Lincoln and his family lived before it was expanded into what is now known as the Lincoln Home.  The Association has launched a $400,000 campaign to acquire land on Eighth Street between Edwards and Cook in Springfield to design the replica home of the 1 ½ story, six-room Lincoln Home.  


For the project $70,000 will go towards land acquisition and $250,000 will be used for construction. President of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Michael Burlingame says he got the idea from visiting the Lincoln Home in Kentucky.



Burlingame hopes to have the project done in less than a year.



There is hope from the Association that the home which will be built away from the park will eventually become part of the park. 


For more information on the Lincoln Cottage Project visit www.abrahamlincolnassociation.org. 


Habitat For Humanity Restore In Sullivan Is Looking For Donations

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Sullivan is gearing up for Fall. They currently have a 50% off sale on all of their summer items, according to store manager Tara Reed.    



The Restore is currently in desperate need of air conditioners and box fans.



The Restore is also in need of Christmas items to get ready for their October Christmas open house.



Reed is also looking for any Food Trucks that are based in Moultrie County.



Tara Reed was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Protect Yourself From The West Nile Virus This Summer

It’s mosquito season and Moultrie County Health Department Public Health Administrator Glenda Plunkett is warning Moultrie County residents to protect themselves from mosquitos because of the West Nile Virus.    



Plunkett urges everyone to use what it takes to keep mosquitos off of you when you go outside.



The Moultrie County Health Department is tracking cases of West Nile Virus by testing dead birds and by talking with physicians on a regular basis.



If you are a Moultrie County resident and find a dead bird in your yard that wasn’t obviously killed by an animal, please reach out to the Moultrie County Health Department.


Plunkett also discussed the importance of wearing a mask when in public to protect those you love from COVID-19.



For more information on the Moultrie County Health Department please visit moultriehealth.org. Glenda Plunkett was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.



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