Local News

Area Arrests

The Christian County Sheriff's Department recorded the following arrests

Paul J. Passini, 49, of Springfield was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for battery and bodily harm.

Aaron C. Bailey, 22, of Litchfield was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for criminal tresspassing. 

Rachael M. Marley, 21, of Pana was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for consumption of liquor.

Matthew N. Adams, 30, of Pana was arrested for driving with a suspended license and speeding. 

Two People Make Nude McDonald's Drive-Thru Stop

Two people are headed to court after allegedly making a nude McDonald's run.  Galesburg Police arrested Paul Kosur of El Paso, Illinois, and Megan Gutierrez of Galesburg just before 2:00a.m yesterday.  A drive-thru cashier called the cops after noticing the two didn't have on clothes.  The car was still in the parking lot when officers arrived.  Officers immediately noticed Kosur was crouched over in the driver's seat trying to put on a pair of pants, while Gutierrez was covering up in a blanket.  Kosur and Gutierrez were taken to the Knox County Jail and charged with public indecency before being released.  They both told officers that the late night search for, perhaps, a Quarter Pounder wasn't a great idea, but they both still thought it was funny.

Decatur Couple Charged With Burglary

Decatur police say they caught on to a husband and wife team accused of robbing five downtown businesses.  Jeffery and Heather Johnson are accused of robbing Jimmy Johns twice, The Smokers Den, and a thrift store. The husband would break into the business and take any visible checks and cash.  Heather would then try to use the checks.  The couple is charged with burglary and forgery.   Police are questioning several others to determine whether they were also involved in the burglaries. 

NEW YEAR?S ?Don?t Drink and Drive? OVERNIGHT SHOW

Miller Media Group radio stations WRAN Solid Gold 98.3 in Shelbyville, WYEC Rewind 93.9 Quad Cities, WEZC 95.9 in Clinton, WEIC 1270 AM/107.5 FM Charleston, and groovy 93.5 Taylorville, will simulcast its annual All-Night New Year’s Party, from 11pm New Year’s Eve, until 7:00am New Year’s Day.

Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller will emcee the show, which will feature requests and dedications of top 40 hits from the 50’s thru the 80’s.  The show will also feature listener contests and give-aways.

The show will also feature messages asking listeners to “Don’t Drink and Drive” over the New Year’s holiday.

Miller began doing a New Year’s Show on his stations since the late 1980’s. 

The phone number to call in requests or to participate in contests during the show will be toll-free 1-866-500-9726.

Area Arrests

A Taylorville woman was arrested Wednesday after police stopped her for alicesnse plate violation. Accoridng to reports, police discovered that 35-year-old Charlotte L. Dela Cruz was driving on a suspended license. She was taken to the Taylorville Police Department, where she was processed and released on a notice to appear.

Taylorvile girls Basketball

As heard on WTIM, the Lady Tornadoes took on Decatur Eisenhour and won with a score of 51 to 46, thus earning them third place.

Quinn Defends Sears Tax Breaks

Governor Pat Quinn is defending his decision to give a multi-million dollar tax break to Sears Holdings, despite the company's announcement it's shutting down more than 100 stores.

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Quinn points to the fact that there are repercussions if Sears doesn't keep its end of the bargain.  The company would have to pay the state back if it renegs on the agreement and pulls the headquarters and jobs out of Illinois.  Sears officials say its fourth quarter performance didn't meet expectations and closing the stores will save nearly 200-million dollars. 

Police Advise for NYE Party Goers

The New Year's holiday is just days away and police are going to be out in force. They're urging drivers to arrange designated drivers.  Illinois State Police Trooper Mike Link of District 11 in Collinsville says some party goers may rent a limousine or a "party bus."

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Cops will participate in the "Click it or Ticket" and "You Drink, You Drive You Lose" campaigns to help keep motorists safe this weekend and well into the New Year.  Link urges party goers to keep their consumption of alcohol under control and most importantly, don't get behind the wheel after drinking.  On average, one person is killed in an alcohol related death every 45-minutes on New Year's Eve.

Corn Growers Support Subsidy Expiration

The ethanol subsidy is expiring at the end of the year and Tricia Braid, with the Illinois Corn Growers Association, says that could mean higher prices at the pump.

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Braid says the expiration creates a bit of uncertainty and that four point four cent incentive will likely be passed on to consumers.   The Illinois corn growers supported the expiration as a way to help reduce the national deficit.  Braid says the oil industry also receives tax incentives but has stepped up to do their part to help bring the nation's economy back on track. 

Group Says Online Lottery Not Good For Illinois

Illinois' next big lottery jackpot could go to someone who purchased their ticket online.  The state is moving forward with a plan to establish the online system but Anita Bedell with the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems is disappointed with the move.  She says the lottery targets young people who don't understand when to stop.

YMCA Remodeled After School and Teen Center Program Area

The Christian County YMCA is officially opening its newly remodeled After School and Teen Center program area.  After more than 250 hours of labor, the program space is ready for kids to enjoy.  The project was designed by Scattergood Construction, which also constructed a closet, hung doors and installed a drop-ceiling over the 2,300 square foot room.  The electrical and lighting work was completed by Morrison Electric, while the painting was handled by YMCA staff.  All project materials were provided, at “cost”, by RP Lumber and Joe Meeks donated four stools. 

This project was funded by the 2010 YMCA Benefit Auction. 

Lupton Talks About Ag Mags

There is a lot of information available on the subject of agriculture.  Ag Literacy Coordinator Anne Lupton says there are agriculture magazines that you can access for a variety of topics:

Social Security in 2012

Some Central Illinois residents will be retiring in the New Year.  If you’re wondering how to handle retirement, Nikki Alvarado of  the Social Security Office in Springfield has some advice for you:

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Cole says another key is to have all your paperwork lined up:

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If you have questions call the Social Security Office in Springfield.

Early January Deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that producers interested in their Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) are facing an early January deadline to be part of the program's first funding period of 2012.  Jared White has more...

Cole Says Local Government program Coming Up

With the New Year come new laws and regulations.  According to Amanda Cole of the Christian County Extension Office, local Government officials who are confused about the complex legal system may want to take advantage of an educational opportunity coming in January:

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Again, the first meeting of the program is January 19th.

Man Hits Pole; Power Knocked Out

Several Taylorville homes lost their power on Christmas Eve after an Ohlman man allegedly hit a utility pole. According to reports, police believe 50-year-old Darryl Morgason took a corner too fast and crashed into the pole at the intersection of Houston and W. England streets, knocking out electricity in several homes. Police say Morgason then left the scene, allegedly pulling into the driveway of a home at 607 Arlington. Several witnesses reportedly told police they had seen Morgason go into the home on Arlington. Police are still looking for Morgason.

Taylorville Basketball

As heard on WTIM the Taylorville boys get there first win against Matoon with a score of 71 to 58


On the flip side, the girls also won against Rantoule with a score of 64 to 41.

Rams at Vandalia Tournament

As heard on WRAN, Shelbyville fell to Stew-Strasburg with a score of 60-57.

Park Board Meets For Final Time in 2011

The Taylorville Community Pleasure Driveway and Park District met for the final regular session of 2011 on Tuesday night. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Vice President Don Bragg, acting in the absence of Marlane Miller. The minutes of the previous meeting was quickly approved, as was the Treasurer's Report. The beginning balance for the District as of October 31, 2011 stood at $444,485.01. After receipts and disbursements for the month of November, the balance stood at $477, 902.99.

Moving on to new business, the board approved the slate of meeting dates for the year, 2012. Park Director Bland gave her report which included an income of $13;958.01 in donations for Christmas in the Park with over $10,000 of that money coming from the donation booth. The booth averaged $603.35 per night compared to $524.45 per night in 2010. Recreation Director Hancock reported on the success of the many programs offered during Christmas in the Park. The last order of business was approval for payment of all monthly bills in the amount of $4683.88. The meeting was adjourned at 7:24 pm.


Backseat Passengers Required To Wear Seat Belts

A new law starting January first requires all backseat passengers to strap in.  Secretary of State Jesse White says the idea is to protect everyone in the vehicle in case of emergency.

Sears, Kmart Stores On Chopping Block

Sears Holdings says they're closing more than 100 Sears and Kmart stores thanks to poor holiday sales.  That leaves some Illinoisans wondering whether the state got duped into giving the company a major tax break to keep jobs in the state.  David Vite, with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, says the store closures have nothing to do with the recent tax deal.

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Vite says it's important to remember that the 100 store closures will likely be spread across the nation, not just in Illinois.  Plus, he says Sears has to live up to its end of the bargain before receiving any money from the state.  The company is required to invest more than 300-million dollars into its corporate headquarters in order to get the 150-million from the state. David Vite, with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, says the store closures don't put the state at risk.

Rural Illinoisans Not Optimistic About Financial Future

Western Illinois University Researcher Cynthia Struthers says 60-percent of rural Illinoisans believe their economic prospects will be worse in the next five years.  She says the state's financial crisis contributes to the poor economic outlook. 

Mac McGwire: Cell Phone Controversy

A recent study by the National Transportation Safety Board yielded a recommendation that cell phone use by drivers should regulated. But not everybody is in agreement. Local Senior Citizens Advocate Mac McGwire’s says an acquaintance of his uses the car as an office:

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McGwire says there are many people like his friend, who are trying to make their commute times productive.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters Need Mentors

Maybe your New Year’s Resolution this year involves volunteering. If so, Vanessa Wiseman of Big Brothers Big Sisters Capital Region has a great suggestion

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Again, Wiseman says they will continue to look for mentors well into the Spring season.  

Edwards Says Main Street Events to Return

With the New Year almost here, it’s time to look head to 2012. Becky Edwards, Taylorville Main Street Director, says if you liked their events last year, you’ll like them again this year:

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Call Taylorville Main Street at 824-3555 if you have questions.  

Golf Clubhouse Being Remodeled

Even though the first day of Winter was just last week, many people are already looking ahead to Springtime. Jeff Boldig’s company is in charge of getting Lakeshore Golf Course in shape, and he says golfers will see some changes in the Clubhouse:

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Boldig says Lakeshore Golf Course will be ready to play as soon as the weather breaks.  

Investigation into Apparent Theft

Police were sent to the Taylorville Wal-Mart store around 3:30 in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. An employee told officers that he had seen a customer in a mobility scooter pick up some wine and eggs and leave without paying. The store employee gave cops a tentative identification of the suspect. Security videos are being reviewed as the matter remains under investigation.

Pana Lake Lot Burglarized

Pana Police are looking into an apparent theft from a cabin on the Pana Lake Lot. Richard E. Gregory says the robbers took a silver RG 25 revolver after breaking a window to gain entry. The suspect or suspects also damaged several screens on the cabin. If you know who may be responsible, you are urged to contact authorities.  

Pana Theft Reported

Pana Police are investigating a theft which was reported late last week. Edward David Ginger of Pana told police that someone had stolen a large winch and some motorcycle rims. Ginger says the theft took place sometime over the past month.

Area Arrests

A male juvenile earned some coal in his stocking on Christmas Eve. It was around 12:40am when officers reported noticed a car driving the wrong way on the Taylorville Square. Cops tried to affect a traffic stop, but the drive allegedly tried to elude officers. The male juvenile, a Taylorville resident, was eventually pulled over near the intersection of Adams and Washington streets. The driver was arrested on charges of aggravated fleeing, eluding, possession of both a controlled substance and cannabis, along with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm, and resisting arrest.

Good police work on Christmas Eve ended in the arrest of a Taylorville Juvenile on drug charges. According to reports, a Taylorville officer noticed a car with a person in it was sitting near some storage units close to the intersection of Maincross and Long streets with the vehicle lights off. After a short investigation the male juvenile was arrested on charges of possession of cannabis.

Jacob B. Melton, 28, of Roby, Illinois was arrested on an original arrest warrant for violation of probation.

Stacia A. Tom, 22, of Taylorville was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Richard S. Ginger, 29, of Illiopolis was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for burglary. 

Kevin L. Honaker, 19, of Sawyerville, Il was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for domestic battery. 

Bailey C. Gronewald, 24, of Tovey was arrested for battery. 

Taylorville Basketball

As heard on WTIM and WMKR the taylorville boys and girls played today with the girls topping Paris with a score of 67 to 51. On the other side, the boys lost with a score of 47 to 25.

U.S. EPA Steps up Enforcement on Farm Fuel Storage

It seems agriculture continues to be hit on all sides with new regulations, and one area the U.S. EPA appears to be stepping up enforcement is on-farm fuel storage.  Jared White has more....

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Listen for Jared White's morning and afternoon farm shows every weekday at 6:40am and 12:20pm.

Hazel Moore Crosby Estate Donates to Lake Land College

 width=Pictured here, from left to right are: Dave Cox, director of the Foundation and Alumni; Lynn Neal, executor of the Hazel Moore Crosby Estate; Scott Lensink, president of Lake Land College; and Pam Crisman, vice president for development and chief executive officer of the Foundation.

The Lake Land College Foundation recently received the largest, single cash donation in its 41 year history from the Hazel Moore Crosby Estate.  The gift, totaling $715,000, will establish the Hazel Moore Crosby Memorial Endowment, which will award the Hazel Moore Crosby Cosmetology Memorial Scholarship and the Hazel Moore Crosby Nursing Memorial Scholarship to Lake Land students.

Moore Crosby was considered by some people to be a pioneer and leader for women, especially during the years in which she lived. Born in 1908 in Dorans, Moore Crosby went on to attend Eastern Illinois Teachers College from 1926-1930 and then continued her education at the University of Illinois where she received her master’s degree in 1938.

The Lake Land College Foundation was established exclusively for educational, scientific and charitable purposes. The Foundation assists the college in developing and enhancing the educational opportunities and service to its students, alumni and citizens of the district.

To learn more about the Lake Land College Foundation, visit: www.lakeland.cc.il.us/foundation/index.cfm.



Donate Christmas Tree to Fish Habitat Improvement Day at Lake Shelbyville

 Don’t let your Christmas tree go to waste this year after the holidays.  Extend your trees life by donating it for Fish Habitat Improvement Day at Lake Shelbyville.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will place the discarded trees into Lake Shelbyville to enhance the fisheries for years to come.  Donated Christmas trees are bundled together in small groups and submerged in the lake at select locations.  These shelters provide fish with breeding areas and escape cover, proving invaluable to not only the fisheries but to anglers as well.  New trees are added to select sites each year to maintain suitable cover.

Trees will be collected in Shelbyville and Sullivan again this year. The designated collection site in Sullivan is at the corner of Water and Main Streets, at the recycling lot across from the Library.   Trees can be dropped off inside the snow fence area on the North side of the lot. (PLEASE, DO NOT PLACE TREES ON THE PARKING LOT). 

In Shelbyville, the designated collection site is the Johnstowne Mall on the West side of Shelbyville.  Please place trees inside snow fence area on the grass at the Northwest corner of the parking area (PLEASE, DO NOT PLACE TREES ON THE PARKING LOT).   Trees will be collected at both sites from December 26, 2011 through February 1, 2012. Before delivering your tree to either of the designated collection sites please remove the stand, tinsel and any ornaments.

A tentative date for the placement of the trees into the lake is March 10, 2012.  Volunteers are needed to help bundle and place the trees in the lake. A free lunch will be provided after the work is completed. More details on the fish habitat improvement workday will be announced at a later date.

For more information on this fish habitat project, contact Ken Pierson at (217) 774-3951, ext 4 or Mike Mounce at (217) 345-2420.


American Soybean Association Supports Renewable Fuel Standard

American Soybean Association Board member, and central Illinois farmer, Ron Kindred, says ASA is in full support for the Renewable Fuel Standard. He recently asked Administrator Jackson about the EPA’s proposed volume requirement for biomass-based diesel.

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According to Kindred, Jackson reiterated the Administration’s commitment to renewable fuels and homegrown energy.

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Kindred also asked Secretary Vilsack about the regulatory certainty project that he has prioritized.

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Kindred lives and farms near Atlanta, Illinois in Logan County.



YMCA Offers Ways to Stay Active

With winter officially beginning last week, many of us will be looking for weather proof ways to stay active. Chris Weitenhiller of the Christian County YMCA says they have several programs coming up that could help:

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Call the Christian County YMCA at 287-7271 if you have questions.

Fursteneau on LLCC

The Taylorville School District recently turned down a proposal from Richland Community College, partly because of cost to the district, but also because of an existing relationship with another college. Taylorville School Superintendent Dr. Greg Fursteneau says the district maintains a strong relationship with Lincoln Land Community College.

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Fursteneau says the schools are currently out for vacation.

Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi

One of the last things on your mind this time of year may be gardening. But Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi tells regional Radio listeners there are garden related activities going on all year round:

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To find out more about the Master gardeners, call the University of Illinoi Extension in Taylorville at 287-7246.

Hurwig: Grain Outlook Meeting Coming Up

The new manager of the Christian County Farm Bureau, Melissa Hurwig, says they are already looking ahead to 2012. Hurwig says they have a Grain Outlook Meeting set up for January:

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Call the Farm Bureau at 824-2940 if you have questions.

College Illinois Pre-Paid Tuition Program in Money Trouble

The state’s College Illinois pre-paid tuition program has a 560-million dollar deficit. Some say taxpayers may be on the hook for the tab but State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says it’s up to lawmakers to bail the program out.

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The program is under the authority of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, which is appointed by the governor. No new participants have been allowed into College Illinois since September. Rutherford says the Bright Start program, which is run by his office, is doing well.

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State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says parent should pay attention to the small details before signing a pre-paid tuition contract.  

New Law for Local Officials

There’s a new law on the books that effects elected officials. It involves mandatory training in the Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Act and applies to those who serve on school boards, county boards, and village boards. Aledo City Manager Terry Dove says small towns have most of 2012 to come into compliance.

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Any elected or appointed official that takes office after the first of the year has 90-days to comply with the law. The training is through the Illinois Attorney General’s office. The law goes into effect January 1st.

Kim Rodgers to be New Foundation Executive Director for PCH

The Pana Community Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Kim Rodgers to the position of Foundation Executive Director.  She will begin working in the Foundation office on January 3, 2012 and assume her responsibilities as Executive Director upon the retirement of Deb Stalets, current Executive Director.      

Rodgers has worked in Network Administration for Land of Lincoln Credit Union and as Director of Sales at Oak Terrace in Pana.  At Oak Terrace, Rodgers was responsible for banquet contracts, securing golf outings, planning events and managing the call center.

Rodgers has resided in Pana her entire life.  She and her husband Markes have four children.

The Foundation Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the PCH Foundation in its mission of securing additional funds for current and future needs of the hospital.  These funds are used to continually upgrade and expand the services PCH offers its patients. 

Steelers Shutout Rams

Rashard Mendenhall rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers shutout the Rams, 27-0.  Charlie Batch filled in for an injured Ben Roethlisberger going 15-for-22 for 208 yards and an interception. Kellen Clemens was 9-of-24 passing for 91 yards in place of Sam Bradford.  Steven Jackson rolled for 103 yards on 24 carries for St. Louis, which fell to 2-and-13.  If the Rams lose Sunday to the 49ers and the Colts beat the Jaguars, St. Louis gets the number-one pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  Jackson surpassed one-thousand yards rushing for a team-record seventh consecutive season.

Blues Face Off With Stars

 The St. Louis Blues play a key conference game against the Dallas Stars tonight at Scottrade Center.  St. Louis currently leads Dallas by three points in the Western Conference.  The Blues are attempting to win for the third time in their last four games

Packers Pound Bears To End Playoff Hopes

 Aaron Rodgers threw for five touchdowns on 21-of-29 passing for 283 yards to lead the Green Bay Packers to a 35-21 victory over the Chicago Bears.  Jordy Nelson finished with 115 yards receiving and two touchdown grabs while James Jones also found the endzone twice through the air.  Kahlil Bell ran for 121 yards while quarterback Josh McCown threw for 242 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for Chicago.  The Bears were eliminated from playoff contention with the setback, falling to 7-and-8 on the year.  The Bears will travel to Minnesota to battle the Vikings next week to close out the season.

Bulls Stage Late Rally To Stun Lakers

 Derrick Rose's floater with 4.8 seconds left lifted the Bulls to a thrilling 88-87 season-opening win over the Lakers.  The Bulls scored the game's final seven points to erase an 87-81 deficit in the final minute.  Rose had 22 points to pace Chicago.  Luol Deng added 21 points and seven rebounds in the victory.  Kobe Bryant had 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists, but had a potential game-winning shot blocked at the buzzer.  The Bulls continue their four-game West Coast trip tonight against the Golden State Warriors. 

Cubs, Reds Make Trade Official

 The Chicago Cubs have officially traded left-handed reliever Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for young southpaw Travis Wood.  The Cubs also acquired outfielder Dave Sappelt and minor leaguer infielder Ronald Torreyes.  Wood, who turns 25 in February, split the 2011 season between the Reds and Triple-A Louisville.  He went 6-and-6 with a 4.84 earned run average in 22 games in the majors.  The 29-year-old Marshall amassed a 32-and-40 record, seven saves and a 3.96 ERA in 292 games during his six-year stint with the Cubs.  Last season, he went 6-and-6 with a career-best 2.26 ERA in 78 appearances.

Cubs, Reds Make Trade Official

The Chicago Cubs have officially traded left-handed reliever Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for young southpaw Travis Wood.  The Cubs also acquired outfielder Dave Sappelt and minor leaguer infielder Ronald Torreyes.  Wood, who turns 25 in February, split the 2011 season between the Reds and Triple-A Louisville.  He went 6-and-6 with a 4.84 earned run average in 22 games in the majors.  The 29-year-old Marshall amassed a 32-and-40 record, seven saves and a 3.96 ERA in 292 games during his six-year stint with the Cubs.  Last season, he went 6-and-6 with a career-best 2.26 ERA in 78 appearances.

Blues Fend Off Coyotes

Jason Arnott scored less than two minutes into the third and the Blues held off Phoenix for a 3-2 victory.  Matt D'Agostini and Alexander Steen also buried one for St. Louis, which has won six-of-eight.  Brian Elliott made 24 saves in the victory.  Shane Doan and Keith Yandle each lit the lamp for the Coyotes, who had their two-game winning streak halted.  Jason LaBarbera turned 15 shots aside in the setback.

Quinn: Pension System Needs Overhaul

Governor Quinn says he's looking to open a quote "robust" dialogue on the condition of the state's pension system.  He says he's creating a team that will look for and recommend solutions to protect the system.

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Quinn senior adviser Jerry Stermer will lead the group. The governor says bringing all the stake holders to the table and giving them a voice is the best way to resolve the pension problems.  Quinn says the model has worked in the past, particularly earlier this year when the legislature passed quote, "sweeping education

Veterans Eligible To Become State Police

Illinois veterans are now eligible for jobs with the Illinois State Police Department even if they don't have a degree.  State Police Director Hiram Grau says military men and women have a smooth transition into law enforcement.

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Governor Quinn signed a new law which waives the education for individuals who have been honorably discharged with a campaign medal after serving in Afghanistan or Iraq.  The veterans will be among the new troopers who replace officers who are in line for retirement.  They don't have to have a degree but they do have to pass a written exam, background check, and psychological exam.  They'll only need the education requirement if they decide they want to move up. 

New Member of the Sheriff's Office

 width=Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp has announced the newest member of the Sheriff’s Office. On Thursday, Deputy James D. Pickett graduated from the Illinois State Police Academy. Deputy Pickett will replace Deputy Neighbors who left the Sheriff’s Office to become a Trooper with the Illinois State Police.

  While assigned to the recruit training class Deputy Pickett was instructed in a variety of courses including Illinois Criminal and Traffic Law, Arrest Procedures, Accident Investigation, First Aid and Firearms Training.

 Deputy Pickett began his field training with the Sheriff’s Office on Monday, December 19th which is expected to continue through January.

Deputy Pickett is a lifelong resident of Taylorville. He attended Taylorville High School where he played football and baseball. He graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Criminal Justice. He also served as an intern with the Illinois State Police.


Inclement Weather Protocols for Christian County

The recent severe winter weather experienced throughout the southwest area of the United States is a clear reminder that we should plan ahead for inclement weather according to Christian County Sheriff  Bruce  Kettelkamp. 

Sheriff Kettelkamp says that during periods of severe weather conditions there is an increased burden on the 911 communications system as a result of vehicle accidents and medical calls. These create incidents can result in a significantly reduced response times by first responders.

Due to the potential risks, it may be necessary to close roads throughout the county. Residents of Christian County are reminded of the Snow Emergency Level ordinance put into effect last year. The Ordinance for the Establishment of Snow Emergency Levels defines what a snow emergency means. There are three levels in the ordinance

Level 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy. Drive very cautiously and travel only if necessary.  Drivers may be ticketed and vehicles may be towed if abandoned on the roads thereby hindering emergency operation.

Level 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and may be icy. This means that only people with a real and important need to be out on the roads and streets should do so. Drivers may be ticketed and vehicles may be towed if abandoned on the roads thereby hindering emergency operation.

Level 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel.  No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. Drivers may be ticketed and vehicles may be towed if abandoned on the roads thereby hindering emergency operation.

Rams At Steelers Tomorrow

The Rams are in the Steel City tomorrow to take on the Steelers.  The Rams have lost five straight and are tied with the Vikings for the worst record in the NFC at 2-and-12.  Kellen Clemens could make his second straight start as quarterbacks Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley are both hurt.  With a playoff berth secured, Pittsburgh might sit Ben Roethlisberger, who has an ankle injury.

Blues At Coyotes Tonight

 The Blues are in the desert tonight to finish a two-game road trip against the Coyotes in suburban Phoenix.  The Note lost 3-2 to the Avalanche Wednesday night in Denver.  St. Louis has dropped two of its last three games since a four-game winning streak.  The Blues are third in the Central Division with 42 points at 19-10-and-4.  Phoenix is third in the Pacific with 39 points.

Beltran Signs With Cardinals

 All-Star outfielder Carlos Beltran has agreed to a two-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.  The deal is pending a physical.  According to the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch", the pact is worth 26-million dollars.  Beltran played in 98 games with the New York Mets before he was traded to the San Francisco Giants last season.  He hit .300 with 22 homers and 84 RBI in 142 games with New York and San Fran.  The 34-year-old Beltran is a career .283 hitter with 302 homers and 1,146 RBI.  The Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays were among other teams reportedly interested in the six-time All-Star.

Packers Host Bears On Christmas Night At Lambeau

A storied and very bitter rivalry will be renewed on Christmas night when the Green Bay Packers welcome in the Chicago Bears for an NFC North battle at Lambeau Field.  The Bears have sorely missed quarterback Jay Cutler, who broke his right thumb in Week 11.  Chicago, which has also been without starting running back Matt Forte the past two weeks, has dropped four games in-a-row on the heels of a five-game winning streak to fall to 7-and-7 on the season.  They are coming off a 38-14 loss versus Seattle at Soldier Field on Sunday.

ChiSox Give Danks Extension

The Chicago White Sox and starting pitcher John Danks have reportedly reached an agreement on a five-year contract extension.  ESPN is reporting that the deal is worth $65-million.  Danks, who turns 27 a week after the 2012 season starts, went 8-and-12 with a 4.33 ERA last season for the Southsiders.

Bulls Kick Off Regular Season On Christmas

The Chicago Bulls open up their 2011-12 regular season campaign on Christmas Day against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.  The Bulls won both of their preseason contests against the Indiana Pacers.  They don't play their regular season home-opener until January 1st against Memphis.

UCLA Preps For Hunger Bowl In SF

UCLA's football team is getting ready to face Illinois in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl on New Year's Eve in San Francisco.  A total of four Bruins players will not take part in the game, including quarterback Richard Brehaut, who was suspended earlier this week for violating team rules.  The other three Bruins are sitting out the game because they didn't meet NCAA academic eligibility standards.

Sheriff's Office Reports Accidents

21 year old Blake A. Hoffman of Springfield, was traveling north on 800 East Rd., when he lost control of his 1991 Chevrolet.  Hoffman left the roadway to the right, collided with the east ditch and traveled approximately 75" before overturning on the driver’s side. 

20 year old Katheryn D. Schmedeke of Morrisonville, was traveling east on Cherokee street and did not see 21 year old Katie M. Flemming heading south on Gertrude street.  Schmedeke went through the intersection and struck the left rear of Flemmings 2005 Chevrolet Impala.  No injuries were reported. 

Charges Filed Against Building Owner In Fire That Killed Two

Criminal Contempt of Court charges have been filed against the owner of a building where two Chicago firefighters died last year.

 [audio:buildingownercharged122211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez says Chuck Dai refused to repair the East 75th Street building, despite a court order.  Firefighters Edward Stringer and Corey Ankum were killed after the building's roof collapsed on them last December.  The fire hurt 17 other firefighters as well.  A lawsuit has been filed by Stringer's family over what happened.

Bank Of America Settles Big Countrywide Case

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is thrilled with Bank of America's multi-million-dollar settlement over discriminatory mortgage lending practices.

Local Deer Car Accidents

55 year old Dale W. Schaffenacker of Moweaqua, was eastbound on Co.Hwy. 4 when a deer ran into the driverside of his 2010 Ford Escape.  The deer hit the mirror, then the rear passenger door.  No injuries were reported. 

60 year old Edward D. Brooks Jr., of Springfield, was southbound on Rt. 29, just prior to Cty. Rd. 1800 north when a deer entered the roadway.  Brooks struck the deer and received front end damage. 

34 year old John J. Lebeane of Oakford, Illinois was southbound on Cty. Hwy. 2 , just soouth of the Sangamon Co. line.  Lebeane struck a deer in the roadway.  No injuries were trported. 


Be Careful When Shopping Online

More and more people are buying online for Christmas and other purposes, but as always, you have to watch for scams. Senior Citizen’s advocate Mac McGwire tells Regional Radio listeners that there have been some problems reported with Craigslist:

 [audio:macsayscarefulwithcraigslist122211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

McGwire says you should always be extra careful when making a purchase from someone unfamiliar to you.

Christmas in the Park Live Nativity

There have been a number of holiday events during this year’s Christmas in the Park. As the annual happening winds down, there is still one more can’t miss event on Saturday night, according to Park Recreation Director Bailey Hancock:

 [audio:cmasinpark122211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Christmas in the park winds up its 10 day run on Christmas night.

Sheriff Praises Deputies

As we approach the end of the year, we begin to think about the good things and bad things that have occurred over the last 12 months. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says some of his deputies went above and beyond the call of duty this year:

 [audio:sheriffkcongrats1222211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The Sheriff reminds you that police are out in full force this holiday season, being especially watchful for impaired drivers and seat belt violations.  

Accident with Serious Injuries

A Stonington Teen was injured in a one-car accident.  According to reports, 18 year-old Fallon M. Roasio was headed west on 1700 N. Road, about a half a mile west of Rte. 48 when she lost control and went off the road, overturning and coming to rest in the field.  Roasio was taken to Taylorville Memorial Hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Local December Students of the Month

Taylorville Students of the Month brought to you by Peoples Bank and Trust of Taylorville:

 width= From Left to Right: Judy Prasun (Peoples Bank & Trust), Senior: Josh Smith, Junior: Bryan Kuntzman, Sophmore: Hugh Mahr, Freshman: Mitchell Rhymes, and Betty Asmussen (Peoples Bank & Trust).


Pana High School Students of the Month brought to you by Peoples Bank & Trust of Pana:

 width= From Left to Right: Ashley Basso (Peoples Bank & Trust), Freshman: Sydney Lett, Sophmore: Morgan Schoonover, Junior: Marissa Presnell, Senior: Jessica Kasch, and Kristi Stinson (Peoples Bank & Trust).


Shelbyville Druby's Restaurant Students of the Month:

 width=Sponsor Rob owner of Druby's on the left and next to him Senior: Miranda Mason, Junior: Emily Rothrock, Sophmore: Becca Wheeler, and Freshman: Rachel Fox.



Central A and M beats Tri City

As heard on WMKR the Central A and M girls played a great game of basketball and beat Tri City with  a score of 8 to 31.

Crime Stoppers is Seeking Information About a Taylorville Theft

 This week the Christian County CRIME STOPPERS is seeking information about a theft that occurred in Taylorville.

Sometime in the early morning hours of Monday, December 19, 2011 someone stole a manhole cover from the intersection of Briarcliff and Elm Streets.  There have been several thefts of manhole covers over the past several weeks from this area.  The unknown subject or subjects may have taken the covers to sell for scrap.  The value of each manhole cover is estimated at $300.

Please call CRIME STOPPERS if you have any information about this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons. CRIME STOPPERS will pay cash rewards up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you DO NOT have to give your name. CRIME STOPPERS will pay double the normal reward for information leading to an arrest for the crime of the week.

You can contact CRIME STOPPERS at 824-9100, at their website ChristianCountyCrimeStoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274637) keyword CCCS and then your tip.  As always you will remain anonymous.


Blagojevich Attorney Wants Off The Case

The face of Rod Blagojevich's defense team is changing.  Attorney Elliott Riebman wants to leave the legal team.  He's asked for the court's permission to withdraw himself from the former governor's case.  Riebman says a new attorney will be joining the former governor's team as the appeal approaches.   Blagojevich has been ordered to serve 14-years in a federal prison for crimes committed while he was in office.  He is expected to surrender on March 15th. 

No New Trial For Blagojevich

At least oneIllinois lawyer is fed up with how former Governor Rod Blagojevich's legal team keeps drawing out the case.  John Marshall Law School Professor Ann Lousin says it's about time the case ends.

Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi

One of the last things on your mind this time of year may be gardening. But Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi tells Regional Radio listeners there are garden related activities going on all year round:

 [audio:podeschitrains122111.mp3]comment here[/audio]

To find out more about the Master gardeners, call the University of Illinois Extension in Taylorville at 287-7246.

Area Arrests

A Taylorville Woman was arrested the other night after a domestic incident. Around 9:15 Friday cops were called to the 500 block of S. Washington in Taylorville on reports of a disturbance. After a shore investigation, officers arrested 39-year-old Vanessa L. Dobyns-Sylvester of Taylorville on charges of domestic battery and endangering the health of a child. She was taken to the Christian County Jail where she was held in lieu of bond.

Two Thefts Occured in Pana

A Pana Laundromat is reporting a theft. According to reports, the report came in Saturday that someone had gotten into the coin compartment of a machine at Laundry Express at 710 E. Jackson in Pana. The theft reportedly occurred sometime between 7am and noon Saturday. It’s not known how much money was stolen, but damage to the machine totals nearly $400.

A Pana man tells police his motorcycle was stolen. Trent A. Karnes reported to Pana Police that his 1998 Harley Davidson was taken from the garage of his home at 313 W. Washington in Pana. Karnes says the bike was stolen sometime between November 1st and December 15. The motorcycle is valued at $6500.

DCP and ACRE Programs Sign Up Delayed

Producers looking to sign up for the 2012 Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP) and the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program will have to wait a little longer than usual.  Jared White has more...

Helen Hinshaw Winner of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Raffle

 width= width= 


The 4th  Annual GTCC Christmas T.V. raffle drawing was held Wednesday  at Noon at the Chamber office. 
Miss Christian County, Bethany Brown,  drew the name of Helen Hinshaw of Ramsey as the winner. This is one lucky lady.  Helen was also the 2009 $10,000 Cash Raffle winner. She was tickled pink when she got the call from Miss Christian County.

Area Arrests

30 year-old Leonard D. Aldridge of Edinburg was arrested on an original warrant for possession of methamphetamine.

State's Late Reimbursement Results In Service Reduction

Late state payments are forcing one downstate agency to suspend a community outreach program that provides care to single teen parents.  Erin Prevmore, with the Springfield-based Family Service Center, says she hopes lawmakers can step in to save the program before its scheduled shut down.

 [audio:centerclose1122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The programs board of directors decided to shutter the program last week and six employees will be out of work because the state is six months behind on payments. The state owes around eight-billion dollars in back payments to similar community-based agencies.

 [audio:centerclose2122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Erin Prevmore, Executive Director of Springfield-based Family Service Center, says the state's inability to pay its bills needs to be taken care of by lawmakers.

Illinois Ahead Of Curve On Mercury Emissions

National lawmakers are coming close to finalizing a mercury emissions rule for coal-fired power plants, but Illinois already has rules in place aimed at the reduction of those pollutants.  Laurel Kroack, with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, says Illinois is ahead of other states because it has required plants to address cleaning up emissions since 2007.

 [audio:mercury1122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Under existing state rule, all 23 of Illinois' coal-fired power plants will have to reduce mercury emissions by 90 percent by 2015.  Kroack says over half of the state's plants have already met the goal or are at least ten percent below it.

 [audio:mercury2122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Laurel Kroack, Chief of the Bureau of Air at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, says policies enacted during the previous governor's administration set Illinois up for success.

Area Arrests

The Christian County Sheriff's Department processed the following arrests: 

39 year-old Vanessa L. Sylvester of Taylorville was arrested for domestic battery.  

23 year old Daniel R. Hayes of Taylorville was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for theft.   

32 year-old Paul E. Spencer of Springfield, was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia. 

49 year-old Mary A. Scott of Taylorville was arrested for domestic battery.   

53 year-old Timothy E. Wiseman of Tovey was arrested for domestic battery.   

51 year-old Orville Ray Zumwalt of Kincaid was arrested for violating an order of protection. 


Veteran Health Benefits Extended

Governor Pat Quinn says the people of Illinois aren't going to turn their backs on struggling veterans.

IDOT Sends Food and Supplies to Military Personnel

IDOT workers donated nearly 1,200 pounds of food and supplies to be sent to military personnel serving overseas through the holidays.  IDOT staff participated in a collection drive for the Operation Support Our Troops - America organization, which also resulted in more than 170 Christmas cards and personal letters going to armed services members.

All nine IDOT districts participated in the collection drive and served as drop off locations. The items collected included crackers, canned pasta and soup, granola bars, foot powder, beef jerky, microwave popcorn, canned nuts, individually-wrapped hot chocolate and coffee packets of ground coffee and Starbucks’ coffee cups. The statewide collection period was approximately two weeks.


Eagle Tours Began Monday

Free eagle watching tours started Monday at the Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton.  Park Interpreter Scott Isringhausen says tour goers could see up to 200 eagles on the trip.

 [audio:eagles122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Isringhausen says the tours will begin with a presentation at the park before taking off on a ride across the Bruseels Ferry.   Tours include stops in Jersey and Calhoun Counties, along with a presentation inside the parks visitor's center. There are a limited number of spaces available for each tour.  To make a reservation for the free daylong tour, call the park office at (618) 786-3323.

Senator Mark Kirk Reacts To Kim Jong-il's Death

Senator Mark Kirk believes the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il will bring many changes to the country and they may not all be good.

 [audio:kirkonkorea1122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Kim Jong-il's youngest son, Kim Jong-un is expected to take over the country.  The weekend passing of the 69-year-old Kim Jong-il was announced yesterday on state-run TV in the North.  It's reported he suffered a massive heart attack.  The White House has released a statement saying they're "closely monitoring" the situation and remain committed to stability on the Korean Peninsula.

 [audio:kirkonkorea2122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Senator Mark Kirk from Illinois questions the leadership ability of Kim Jong-un.

Vatthauer Says Take A Day Off From Your Diet

With plenty of tempting food available at this time of year, it’s hard to think about losing weight, but after the holidays, millions of Americans will look to their waistlines. Psychologist Karen Vatthauer tells Regional Radio listeners allowing yourself one day to pig out may help your diet in the long run:

 [audio:vatthauersplurgeday122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Vatthauer says the method takes a lot of the pressure off of dieting.

Sheriff Says Marijuana a Gateway Drug

A recent study on drug use yielded some alarming results. While the study found less drinking and cigarette smoking among teens, it found an increased use of marijuana. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says Marijuana is in some ways our most dangerous drug:

 [audio:sheriffksaysweedagateway122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The Sheriff says that today’s pot-smoking teen is tomorrow’s drug addict.

New Kid on the Farm Bureau

The Christian County Farm Bureau has a new manager, Melissa Hurwig. Hurwig says her experience on the farm goes way back:

 [audio:hurwig122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Hurwig is originally from Ashton, which is just west of Rochelle Illinois.

Gas Prices Continue to Fall

Illinois, December 19- Average retail gasoline prices in Illinois have fallen 6.2 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.29/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 4.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.23/g, according to gasoline price website IllinoisGasPrices.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Illinois during the past week, prices yesterday were 20.8 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 18.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 13.4 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 26.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

Christmas in the Park Cookie Decorating

One of the many events that go along with Christmas in the Park is cookie Decorating Night Park Recreation Director Bailey Hancock says that event is Wednesday night at Manners Park:

 [audio:cmasinpark122011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Christmas in the Park continues through Christmas Day. There is no charge to drive through the park, but they do accept donations.

Tornado Wrestlers Make Strong Showing at Clinton Invitational

The Taylorville Tornado wrestling squad place 10 wrestlers on the podium this past weekend at the Clinton Invitational wrestling tournament held in Clinton, Illinois. Despite having a very young squad the Tornado team placed fifth overall with the following wrestlers seeing the podium: 

106 lbs - Caleb Dean (sophomore) - 5th place

113 lbs - Nick Flannell (sophomore) - 4th place

120 lbs - Kidd Morrison (junior) - 4th place

126 lbs - Jake Smothers (sophomore) - 3rd place

138 lbs - Keane Rogers (freshman) - 5th place

152 lbs - Aaron Herkert (sophomore) - 6th place

182 lbs - Dalton Stokes (sophomore - 5th place

195 lbs - Heath Garner (senior) - 6th place

220 lbs - Kyle Tex (sophomore) 4th place

Heavyweight - Blake Hooper (sophomore) - 3rd place 

Coach Mateer was very pleased with the results from the weekend and said, "We are having some pretty good days right now, but honestly, our best days are ahead of us and that is very exciting."


Shelbyville Basketball

As heard on WRAN, Shelbyville defeated Neoga with a score of 47-45.

Christian County Board Fills Vacancies

The Christian County Board met in their last regular season meeting of 2011. The first order of business conducted by the board was the appointment of Fred Curtin to fill the un-expired term of John C. Curtin of District 1. The appointment will expire on 11/30/12. The board was then introduced to and approved the recommendation of Marchelle Kassebaum of Litchfield as Superintendent of the Regional Office of Education for Christian and Montgomery counties. The appointment is to fill the vacancy left by the resignation or Tom Campbell and is effective 1/1/12.

Several items were brought to the attention of the board from the Highway, Building and Grounds Committee. A sealed bid for gasoline and diesel fuel to be used in 2012 was approved with the winning bidder being Morgan Distributing. It was also agreed to appropriate $730,000 from the Motor Fuel Tax fund for maintenance and $60,000 from that same fund for payment of social security and IMRF retirement for 2012. Another $102,000 was appropriated from the Motor Fuel Tax fund for payment of the salary and expenses of the County Engineer for 2012. Allied Tube was awarded the bid for sign posts and stubs in the amount of $6502.00.

The Audit, Finance, Purchasing committee report and actions included the approval to assist the City of Taylorville with engineering costs on the TIGER III grant to reconstruct 1700 North Road between Route 29 and Route 48 in the amount of $2000. The reconstruction would allow for commercial traffic between the two highways. Two resolutions were approved to sell delinquent properties, one in Pana Township and one at East Lawn Park Lot 26 in Taylorville.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:10 pm.

No Talk Of Tax Rollback For Individuals

Illinois businesses are getting tax incentives to stay in Illinois and now lawmakers are considering a plan to reduce the amount they pay in income taxes.  They raised rates on businesses and individuals earlier this year but there's no talk about giving citizens any income tax relief.  Bloomington Representative Dan Brady says helping businesses means more jobs for people.

 [audio:taxrollback121611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Brady says first things first, the state has to do something to improve the state's economy.  He says you have to start with employers first because they have the ability to put people to work.  Republicans introduced a bill to scale back corporate income taxes from seven to six-percent in January.  They'd scale it all the way back to four-point-eight-percent next year.  Individuals pay five-percent in income taxes thanks to the raised rates.  That rate is supposed to go back down to three-point-seven-five-percent in 2015.

States May Consider Cell Phone Ban

Drivers in Illinois may soon be prohibited from using cell phones while they're behind the wheel.  Chief Deputy Jack Campbell with the Sangamon County Sheriff's office says cell phones are definitely a distraction but he won't say whether the department supports a full ban on the electronic devices.

News Rules on Child Labor

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran is leading an effort to head off onerous new Department of Labor rules which spell out what young people can and cannot do while working on farms and farm-related businesses. While the DOL says the rules do not apply to young people engaged in working on their own family farms - Moran doesn't buy it. 

Quinn Open To Cell Phone Ban

Governor Quinn says he hasn't done too much research on the proposal to ban drivers from using cell phones behind the wheel.  But, he says he's not necessarily opposed to the idea.

 [audio:quinncellphone1121911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Quinn says he's positive lawmakers, state police departments, and other safety agencies will give a careful review of the proposal.  Highway fatalities are at an all-time low in Illinois thanks to the implementation of new laws and safe driving campaigns.

[audio:quinncellphone2121911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Quinn says he'll review the proposal because he's committed to saving lives on Illinois roadways. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Offers Gift Idea

Christmas is almost here and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to offer a gift idea that could save the life of someone you love.  If your loved one likes to spend time on or around the water, a life jacket is the perfect gift.

The majority of drownings can be directly tied to not wearing a life jacket.  If your loved one will not wear a life jacket because it is too hot and bulky consider one of the new inflatable life jackets.  Inflatable life jackets offer a comfortable alternative to the familiar traditional life jackets.  Prices for the new, comfortable, inflatable life jackets range in price from $50 to $135.

Most people don’t expect to fall overboard or have their boat capsize but it happens way too often.  No matter how good a swimmer someone is, if they exceed their abilities and they are not wearing a life jacket their chances of drowning are greatly increased. 

Resolutions are not Always Best Idea

With Christmas less than a week away, New Year’s won’t be far behind, and many people are considering their New Year’s resolutions. Psychologist Karen Vatthauer says that’s not always such a good idea:

 [audio:vatthauerresolutions121911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

If you need help with your resolutions or have questions, you can call Karen Vatthauer at 824-3435.

Soup With Santa and Mrs. Claus at Park Tonight

Festivities at Manners Park in Taylorville continue with Christmas in the Park. Park Recreation Director Bailey Hancock says tonight it’s Soup with Santa and Mrs. Claus:

Superintendent Discusses Recent Richland Proposal

The Taylorville Board of Education recently voted on a proposal from Richland Community College. Superintendent of Taylorville Schools, Dr. Greg Furstenau, says there were a couple reasons why the board wasn’t too interested in the Colleges proposal:

 [audio:furstenaucollegeproposal121911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

In voting against the proposal, board members cited the cost to the school district, and the district’s current relationship with Lincoln Land College.

Two Vehicle Accident in Taylorville

An accident last week in Taylorville caused damage to two vehicles. According to reports, it was at 9:30 Thursday morning when 36-year-old Amy Jo Hoesli of Taylorville rear-ended a vehicle driven by 51-year-old Debra L. Siebert of Pana. The accident happened on West Park Street. No injuries were reported.

Bengals Down Rams

Cedric Benson ran for 76 yards and a score as the Bengals held off the Rams, 20-13.  Sam Bradford did not play due to an ankle injury.  Kellen Clemens completed 25-of-36 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown in his first start since 2009.  Steven Jackson went for 71 yards on the ground while also hauling in nine passes for 72 yards as the Rams fell to 2-and-12 with their fifth straight loss.  The Rams are on the road Saturday for a Christmas Eve game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.

Blues Score Four In Third To Beat Blue Jackets

The Blues scored four times in the third period en route to a 6-4 win over the Blue Jackets.  Alexander Steen, Jason Arnott, Alex Pietrangelo and Patrik Berglund lit the lamp in the final frame for St. Louis.  Kevin Shattenkirk and T.J. Oshie scored in the first to help St. Louis improve to 13-2-and-4 under Ken Hitchcock.  Jaroslav Halak made 28 saves in the win.  The Blues open a quick two-game road trip Wednesday at Colorado.

Cardinals Named Organization Of Year

The Cardinals have been honored as Baseball America's Organization of the Year.  They used a late September run to get into the playoffs and eventually win their 11th World Series championship.  Class-A Quad Cities and Rookie League Johnson City also won titles in 2011.  Double-A Springfield first baseman Matt Adams was also named Texas League Player of the Year.

Cards Begin New Week After Cluster Of Activity

The Cardinals may have more moves in store this week after a trio of transactions last week.  The Redbirds signed veteran reliever J.C. Romero to a one-year deal on Thursday.  Earlier in the week, they re-signed shortstop Rafael Furcal to a two-year contract and avoided arbitration by signing infielder/outfielder Skip Schumaker to a two-year deal.

Seahawks Slam Bears At Soldier Field

Marshawn Lynch rumbled for 42 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns and the Seahawks got a pair of defensive scores en route to a 38-14 victory over the Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.  Kahlil Bell led the Bears in rushing and receiving.  He had 65 yards via the ground on 15 carries and added 43 yards and a score through the air for Chicago, which has dropped four games in-a-row since losing quarterback Jay Cutler to dip to 7-and-7.  Israel Idonije recovered a fumble in the endzone to account for the Bears other score in a losing effort.  Chicago squares off against Green Bay at Lambeau Field on Christmas evening.

Central A and M beats Altamont

As heard on WMKR the Central A and M girl's basketball team topped out Altamont with a score of 52 to 37.

Area Arrests

The Christian County Sheriff's Department recorded the following arrests:

Michael E. Durbin, 46, of Pana was arrested on an original arrest for battery and bodily harm. 

Taylorville Wrestling Squad Improves to 7 and 1 on the Season

The Taylorville wrestling program continued it's upward climb with resounding victories last night over Decatur MacArthur and Shelbyville. The victories raise the record of the wrestling program to 7 wins and 1 loss on the season. Taylorville defeated Decatur MacArthur by a score of 62 to 12 and beat Shelbyville by a 54 to 16 margin. W

Winners from the Decatur MacArthur matchup were: Caleb Dean, Nick Flannell, Jake Smothers, Hugh Mahr, Keane Rogers, Devon Wemple, Seth Trulock, Nick Turner, Dalton Stokes, Heath Garner and Blake Hooper.

Winners from the Shelbyville match were:: Caleb Dean, Nick Flannell, Jake Smothers, Aaron Herkert, Seth Trulock, Dalton Stokes, Heath Garner, Kyle Tex and Blake Hooper.


Bengals Battle Woeful Rams In St. Louis

 The Cincinnati Bengals will try to keep their fading playoff hopes alive when they face the woeful Rams in St. Louis.  The 7-and-6 Bengals gave up the go-ahead touchdown with only two second left in the fourth quarter in a 20-19 home loss to the Texans last week.  The Rams' dreadful campaign continues with a 30-13 road loss to the Seahawks on Monday Night Football.  St. Louis has dropped four in-a-row to enter Sunday's affair 2-and-11.  The Bengals and Rams are meeting for the first time since 2007.

Struggling Bears Host Surging Seahawks At Soldier Field

 A pair of teams fighting for an NFC wild card spot will square off this weekend as the Chicago Bears welcome in the Seattle Seahawks to Soldier Field on Sunday.  The Bears have dropped three straight games on the heels of a five-game winning streak and were the latest team to get "Tebow'ed" after suffering a heart-breaking 13-10 overtime setback in Denver during Week 14 action.  The Bears, who were without starting quarterback Jay Cutler and star running back Matt Forte, gave up 10 unanswered points with under three minutes left in the fourth quarter to fall to 7-and-6 on the season.  Meanwhile, Seattle has won back-to-back games and four of its last five overall to improve to 6-and-7.  The Bears beat the Seahawks, 35-24, the last time the two teams played in the 2010-11 NFC Divisional playoff round.

Central A&M Lady Raiders

As heard on WMRK, Central A&M defeated Nokomis with a score of 57-35.

Taylorville boys lose to Lincoln

As heard on WTIM, the Taylorville boys played and lost a basketball game to lincoln with a score of 57 to 40.

Sheriff Supports Ban On Cell Phone Usage While Driving

Illinois drivers could soon be prohibited from using their cell phones if they're behind the wheel.  Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz says banning all cell phone usage while driving is a great idea.

Quinn To Visit Wounded Soldiers

Governor Quinn says he plans to see an Illinois soldier when he goes to Germany next week.

No Talk Of Tax Rollback For Individuals

Illinois businesses are getting tax incentives to stay in Illinois and now lawmakers are considering a plan to reduce the amount they pay in income taxes.  They raised rates on businesses and individuals earlier this year but there's no talk about giving citizens any income tax relief.  Bloomington Representative Dan Brady says helping businesses means more jobs for people.

 [audio:taxrollback121611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Brady says first things first, the state has to do something to improve the state's economy.  He says you have to start with employers first because they have the ability to put people to work.  Republicans introduced a bill to scale back corporate income taxes from seven to six-percent in January.  They'd scale it all the way back to four-point-eight-percent next year.  Individuals pay five-percent in income taxes thanks to the raised rates.  That rate is supposed to go back down to three-point-seven-five-percent in 2015.

Retailers Calling For Tax Fairness

Central Illinois business officials say online retailers have an unfair advantage because they're not required to collect sales tax from customers.  Dennis Reiken, with Dick Van Dyke Appliance World, says it puts his employees at a disadvantage.

 [audio:online1121611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The business officials are calling on members of Congress to even the playing field by supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act.  The bill would allow states to enforce their tax laws on the online retailers.  Supporters say it could bring in an estimated 500-million dollars to Illinois' cash strapped bank account.   A similar law is already on the books in Illinois, but passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act would seal the law on a national level.

 [audio:online2121611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Rob Karr with the Illinois Merchants Association says Illinois consumers are left to pay the bill when online consumers skip out on collecting taxes.

 [audio:online3121611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Dennis Reiken, with Dick Van Dyke Appliances, calls it discrimination against consumers. 

[audio:online4121611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Zach Hoffman, with Wiley Office Furniture in Springfield, says all vendors should be responsible for collecting taxes, not just some.

House Agriculture Committee Held First Hearing On MF Global

The House Agriculture Committee last week held the first hearing on the MF Global bankruptcy. Chairman Frank Lucas says customers from across the country who invested with MF Global are looking for answers about what went wrong and when their money will be returned. He says the House Ag Committee is trying to get to the bottom of the issue. While many questions remain - he says members did gain some insight from the hearing.

Illinois State Police Will Conduct Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement

Captain Anna Segura, District 9 Commander, has announced that the Illinois State Police (ISP) will conduct Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement (ACE) patrols in Sangamon County during the month of January.  The ACE patrols allow the ISP to target an area with saturation patrols that focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to violations associated with impaired driving and illegal transportation or consumption of alcohol and other drugs. 

Across the country, an average of one alcohol-related traffic death occurs every 48 minutes.   Alcohol and drug impairment remain significant factors in over 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.  Each year in Illinois, hundreds of lives are lost in alcohol-related crashes.  This project is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

Sideswipe Ends With Two Cars Towed From Scene

37 year old Melinda K. Taylor, of Taylorville, was going west on south street as 71 year old Lawrence E. Ginger of Taylorville, was going east on south street.  Taylor and Ginger sideswiped each other causing damage to both vehicles.  Both vehicles were towed from the scene.  Minor injuries were reported. 

Area Arrests

36 year-old Lisa M. Harker of Taylorville was arrested on  bond forfeiture warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia. 

22 year-old Stephen D. Swiney of Pana was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for illegal sales of liquor. 

An observant Taylorville Police Officer nabbed a wanted woman Wednesday night. According to reports, a patrolling officer recognized the driver of a vehicle as being wanted on a Christian county warrant. The car was pulled over near the intersection of Prairie and Shumway streets. 23-year-old Stephanie E. Reber of Taylorville was arrested and taken to the Christian County Jail, where she was held in lieu of bond.



A loud music complaint on W. Vandeveer Street in Taylorville Wednesday led to a city ordinance violation. According to police reports, it was just before 6pm Wednesday when police were called. 22-year-old Anthony A Adams was cited on a disorderly conduct charge.

A two vehicle accident Monday after noon in Pana has left a Stonington man with a ticket. 67-year-old James L. Cunningham of Stonington collided with a vehicle driven by 77-year-old Vivian Burnett of Pana at stop intersection. Police cited Cunningham for failure to yield.

Dr. Furstenau says Semester is Almost Over

The end of the year is approaching, and that means the end of a semester for Taylorville students. Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Greg Furstenau says it’s hard to believe the School year is nearly half over:

 [audio:furstenau121611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

December 21st is also the last day of classes for Taylorville students before Christmas Vacation.

Sheriff Kettelkamp Says Distracted Driving Can Be Fatal

The National Transportation Safety Board recently issued a statement calling for a ban on cell phone use while driving. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says he thinks it’s a good idea:

Soup Supper Tonight in Shelbyville

Wintry weather sometimes brings a craving for comfort foods, and you can indulge that craving tonight. In connection to the Shelbyville Festival of Lights, a soup supper will be held tonight, according to Tad Mayhall of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce:

 [audio:tadsoupsupper121611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Mayhall says he himself has prepared one of the soup dishes which will be served tonight.

Christmas in the Park Dance Tonight

The Taylorville Park District’s Christmas in the Park continues with special events. Baily Hancock, Park Recreation Director, says there’ll be a dance tonight:

 [audio:cmasinpark121611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Aside from all the special activates, Christmas in the Park is open for viewing lights every night from 5 to 10pm. There is no charge to drive through, but they are accepting donations. Christmas in the Park continues through Christmas Day.

Taylorville Woman Claims Seizure Caused Accident

A Taylorville driver who reportedly rear-ended another vehicle Wednesday claims she had a seizure. 35-year-old Heather M. Jones was driving a pick-up truck when she allegedly rear-ended another pick-up truck near the intersection of Cherokee and East Park. According to reports, police found that Jones was driving on a suspended license. She was taken by ambulance to Taylorville Memorial Hospital where she was ticketed for driving on a suspended license, operating an uninsured vehicle, and for failure to yield. Because of her medical issues, Jones was released on a notice to appear.

Local Boys Basketball Scores

As heard on WTIM, the Taylorville boys fell to Lanphier with a score fo 67-34.

As heard on WRAN, Shelbyville defeated Monticello with a score of 51-44.

Blagojevich Wants To Serve Prison Term In Colorado

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich wants to serve his prison time in Colorado, instead of closer to home.

 [audio:blagoprison1121511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Attorney Sheldon Sorosky says Blagojevich's family doesn't plan on moving to the Denver-area to be close to him.  Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison last week for trying to sell President Obama's former U.S. Senate seat for cash and political favors.

 [audio:blagoprison2121511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Rod Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky says just because the ex-governor wants to go to Colorado, doesn't mean his family will.

Lawmakers Call For Repeal Of Corporate Income Tax

Lawmakers could be heading back to Springfield before the end of the year.  House Minority Leader Tom Cross says Democrats have submitted a proposal to scale back corporate income tax rates.

 [audio:taxesagain1121511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Cross submitted his own proposal today that would gradually repeal the corporate income tax hike that took effect in January.  His plan would scale back the current seven percent rate by one percent in January and then back to four point eight percent in 2014.  Cross says the repeal is just one step in the process of creating jobs, rebuilding the economy, and attracting more businesses to the state. 

 [audio:taxesagain2121511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

House Minority Leader Tom Cross says the state needs to take action to improve the business climate in Illinois.  He says scaling back the corporate income tax is just one piece of the puzzle.

Farmers Raise Big Money To Help Needy

An effort by farmers in Western Illinois nets a big return for a River Bend Food Bank.  Henry County producer Wayne Anderson says the "Bushels for Hunger" campaign raised over 22-thousand dollars in its second year. 

 [audio:fooddonation121511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Seventy-five farmers participated in the program this year.  They represent Henry, Mercer, Stark, Rock Island, and White Side County Farm Bureaus.  Their efforts will help needy families in their communities this holiday season. 

Department Of Ag Hosting Christmas Contest

The State Department of Agriculture is sponsoring a holiday contest designed to highlight products grown and made right here in Illinois.  This is the first year for the "12 Days of Christmas Contest."  The agency's Jennifer Tiery says the prizes all come from Illinois companies.

 [audio:contest121511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

To participate, "like" the Department of Ag's Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.  One fan will be selected to win daily.

Local Car Accidents

An vehicle was struck by another vehicle several times Monday in the parking lot of CVS Pharmacy, with no drivers in either car. One vehicle apparently started to have electrical problems. The remote control start was malfunctioning, and witness says the driverless car started up and repeatedly struck another unoccupied car. No one was hurt. The cars weren’t too badly damaged.

No citations were issued after an accident in Taylorville Tuesday evening. A vehicle drive by 75-year-old William J. Buschon reported collided with a car driven by 54-year-old Pamela L. Martin of Aurora in the intersection of Springfield Rd. and Burnett Blvd. Both drivers claimed to have had the right of way, so officers were unable to assign blame. No one was ticketed. Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene.

Police aren’t sure who is responsible for a two vehicle accident Tuesday at the intersection of Webster and Spresser Streets in Taylorville. A car driven by 49-year-old William Snow reported collided with a vehicle drive by 26-year-old Ashley N. Kozak of Blue Mound. Both drivers claimed to have the right of way. Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene, but no injuries were reported.

30 year old Dustin K. Rosenthal, of Morrisonville was traveling north on Il Rt. 48 about 580 north.  A deer entered the roadway and he hit the deer.  Rosenthal was able to drive away from the scene and came to the Christian County Sheriff's office to file a report. 

28 year old Jacob D. Lefever, of Edinburg, was south bound on Rt. 29 when a deer came from his left (east) side and ran into the roadway.  Mr. Leefever stated he was unable to avoid the deer and struck the deer with the front drivers side of his truck. 


Special Cuts: Cheese

‘Tis the season for entertaining, and if you’re looking for good snacks to serve at your next get-together, Joyce Fikri of the St. Louis Dairy Council says you can’t go wrong with cheese:

 [audio:fikri121511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Fikri says you can find out more at the dairy council’s website, stldairycouncil.org, or check out the website ilovecheese.com.

YMCA Auction This Year a Success

The Christian County YMCA recently held its yearly auction. Y Director Chris Weitenhiller says this year’s event went off without a hitch:

Busy Time for Central Illinois Food Bank

The holiday season generally finds most people ready to donate to good causes. Kaylee Friend of the Central Illinois Food Bank tells Regional Radio listeners that it’s a busy time for them:

Boldig Says Golf Course Improvements Continue

Local links lovers can’t wait for golf weather to return to Central Illinois. Jeff Boldig of J&D Golf Management says progress is being made at Lakeshore Golf Course. Boldig says the availability of water is a definite plus:

November Unemployment Rate Falls To Ten-Percent

Officials say the state's jobs outlook is getting better.  Greg Rivara with the Illinois Department of Employment Security says the unemployment rate dropped to ten-percent in the month of November.

Sheriff Supports Ban On Cell Phone Usage While Driving

Illinois drivers could soon be prohibited from using their cell phones if they're behind the wheel.  Madison County Sheriff Bob Hertz says banning all cell phone usage while driving is a great idea.

Central A&M Basketball

As heard on Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR, the Lady Raiders fell to the Tuscola Warriors 56-44.

Senate Approves Tax Breaks For Low-income Workers

A plan to give tax breaks to low-income workers in Illinois is headed to Governor Quinn.  Senator Matt Murphy supported the measure because it gives people a chance to go to the next level in life.

 [audio:murphy121411.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The proposal will raise the earned income tax credit from five to seven-and-a-half percent next year.  It will jump to ten percent in 2014.  It will also increase the standard exemption for all Illinois tax payers from two-thousand dollars to two-thousand-50 dollars in 2012.  After that, it will automatically adjust with inflation.  The bill will cost the state about 155-million dollars. 

Some Debtors Ending Up Behind Bars

Some people in Illinois are being jailed for neglecting to pay their debts.  Collection agencies are filing lawsuits to get their money but some people say they've never been notified of an order to appear in court.  Kevin Kelly, with the Illinois Collector's Bar Association, says it's possible that a debtor doesn't get notified but that's hardly ever the case.  

 [audio:kelly1121411.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Kelly says he doesn't know how many people have been jailed in Illinois for failing to show up in court.  But he says it's not as extreme as Attorney General Lisa Madigan is making it out to be.  Kelly says the goal is to open the lines of communication with debtors and work out a reasonable agreement.  He says his firm does not issue warrants in situations where they know the debtor is struggling to make ends meet.

[audio:kelly2121411.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Kevin Kelly, with the Illinois Collector's Bar Association, says this can all be avoided.

Familiar Face Land in New Place

Linda Whitlow of Taylorville, a familiar face in the restaurant business, has opened her new restaurant, Linda’s Place in Kincaid. Many of you may remember Linda from her 34 years at Angelo’s in Taylorville. She spent most of those years as a waitress, with the last 4 managing. After leaving Angelo’s, Linda opened the first restaurant to carry her name, Linda’s Place, in her hometown of Blue Mound. It had been a life-long dream of hers to own a restaurant. After 4 successful years, Linda sold the restaurant back to the original owners.

Linda spent some time on herself after selling the restaurant. While she was looking for a job, the opportunity came to open the restaurant in Kincaid where the old Starlite operated for many years. She has been open for a little over a month and has been excited about the response. The town of Kincaid is excited about having a restaurant. Linda’s is open Tuesday thru Thursday from 7 to 8, Friday 7 to 10, Saturday 7 to 8 and Sunday 8 to 4. Daily specials are offered including such staples at chicken and noodles, fried chicken, pork roast and all you can eat walleye every Friday. Many of the recipes for her specials were handed down from Linda’s mother.

The menu also features sandwiches, salads, appetizers, breakfast and  pizzas.

American Agriculture is the Best Performing Sector of the American Economy

 At a time when the American economy is struggling - American agriculture is performing well. In fact - Director of Global Policy Analysis for the Foreign Agricultural Service Michael Dwyer says it’s one of the best performing sectors of the American economy. He notes net U.S. farm income hit a record in 2011.

Senior Center Offers Ornaments

If you’re looking for Christmas decorations with a local flavor, the Christian County Senior Center may be the place to start. Marilyn Fisher of the Senior Center says they have a number of unique decorations available:

 [audio:seniorornaments121411.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Fisher says they quit producing the ornaments a couple of years ago.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters: Need Mentors

Big Brothers Big Sisters Capital Region is busy this time of year as everyone is. Vanessa Wiseman of BBBS says no matter how busy they are, they’re always interesting in adding new “Bigs” as they call them:

 [audio:wisemanbbbs121411.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Big Brothers Big Sisters has one of its most important fundraisers, Bowl for Kids’ Sake, is coming up in February. Check their website for information, bbbscapitalregion.org.

Christmas in the Park Wednesday Events

Manner’s Park in Taylorville is the place for Christmas in the Park. The annual event features a park full of lights and Christmas decorations for viewing. Park Recreation Director Bailey Hancock says they have special events at the dining hall every night, and tonight it will be Kids Craft Night:

 [audio:cmasinthepark121411.mp3]comment here[/audio]

All events in the dining hall are free this year. Christmas in the Park continues through Christmas Day.

Area Arrests

An accident Sunday in Taylorville ended with a Taylorville woman being arrested. Police were called to the Amity Food Mart on W. Spresser ST. at around 11:15 Sunday morning on reports of a two vehicle accident. Joshua C. Hawthorne of Taylorville told police his car was struck from behind by a vehicle drive by 20-year-old Megan Hoenig of Taylorville. Hoenig reportedly told police she couldn’t’ stop in time to avoid the collision. Meanwhile, officers discovered that Hoenig was apparently driving on a suspended license. She was arrested, processed and released on a notice to appear. The accident caused no injuries.

Taylorville police made an arrested Monday. 32-tyear-old Kandi R. Jacobs was apparently wanted on a Christian county warrant. She was arrested and taken to the Christian County Jail in lieu of bond.

Taylorville Police were summoned to the Old Bridge Restaurant in Taylorville in reference to reports of an intoxicated man. Jacylin Bosser told officers that her father, 56-year-old Gary Schwab of Attica, Ohio, was drunk and causing a scene at the restaurant. Schwab was arrested on a local ordinance violation and released on a notice to appear.

Police arrested a Taylorville man Friday afternoon. Taylorville officers were advised of a motorist on Bidwell ST. Driving on a revoked license. They pulled the vehicle over and discovered that the driver, 53-year-old Joseph P. Ballion of Taylorville, was indeed driving with his license revoked. Ballion was arrested, processed, and released on a notice to appear.

19 year-old Hunter J. Oliver of Taylorville was arrested on an original warrant for an  unspecified statute.  

31 year-old Missy A. Kriner  of Mt. Auburn was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for unspecified statute.


Taylorville Basketball

As heard on WTIM the Taylorville boys lost to Matoon with a score of 51 to 32.

Cards Agree To Two-Year Deal With Schumaker

The Cardinals avoided arbitration by signing infielder/outfielder Skip Schumaker to a two-year deal.  The 31-year-old hit .283 in 117 games last season, then batted .381 in the playoffs.  The Cardinals did not tender a contract this week to infielder Ryan Theriot, who is now a free agent.  Theriot hit .271 last season and was arbitration eligible.

Rams Suffer More Injuries

The Rams aren't getting any healthier as the regular season winds down.  Backup safety Chris Dahl went down with an ankle injury and starting cornerback Josh Gordy suffered a hip injury in Monday's loss at Seattle.  Quarterback Sam Bradford and defensive end Chris Long are both suffering from ankle injuries.  Both reported to be sore, they could be limited in practice today.

Report: Rip Hamilton To Sign With Bulls

It appears that veteran guard Richard Hamilton will be heading to the Windy City.  ESPN.com is reporting that Hamilton is expected to sign with the Bulls today after he clears waivers.  The 33-year-old Hamilton was waived on Monday after nine years with the Detroit Pistons.  He averaged 14.1 points per game last season, which was the lowest since his rookie season.

Senate Bill Passed That Provides Tax Relief for Businesses Across the State

State Representative Roger Eddy said today’s passage of a re-vamped “jobs package” is a clear victory for local businesses and farmers. Senate Bill 397 which, as amended, provides tax relief for businesses across the state, including small family-owned businesses and family farms:

 [audio:121211EddySB397a.MP3]comment here[/audio]

Eddy said what had started out as special legislation for a few Chicago-area businesses was amended to include provisions of the House Republicans’ Jobs Package that will help employers all across the state:

 [audio:121211EddySB397b.MP3]comment here[/audio]

Representative Eddy is a Republican from Hutsonville.

Top Experts in the Nation Talk About Cover Crops

Producers from across the Midwest gathered in Decatur, Illinois last week to hear from some of the top experts in the nation in the use of cover crops.  Jared White has more...

 [audio:121211CoverCroppingConfRecapWRAP.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Listen for Jared White’s morning and afternoon farm shows every weekday at 6:20 am and 12:20 pm on Newstalk 97.3 WTIM.

Crime Stoppers Seeking Information About a Vehicle Theft

This week CRIME STOPPERS is seeking information about a vehicle theft that occurred in Taylorville.

Sometime between Sunday November 27  and the early morning hours of Monday November 28, somebody took a vehicle that was parked at a residence at715 East Thompson Street.  The vehicle, a black 2002 GMC, was later recovered in the area ofLakeTaylorvillewith damage to the vehicle.  The total amount of damage is unknown at this time. 

Please call CRIME STOPPERS if you have any information about this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons. CRIME STOPPERS will pay cash rewards up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you DO NOT have to give your name. CRIME STOPPERS will pay double the normal reward for information leading to an arrest for the crime of the week.

You can contact CRIME STOPPERS at 824-9100, at their website ChristianCountyCrimeStoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274637) keyword CCCS and then your tip.  As always you will remain anonymous.

Assumption Fire House Hosting Blood Drive

The Assumption Fire House at 217 North Chestnut in Assumption is hosting a blood drive on the CICBC donor bus on Wednesday, December 21, 2011.  The hours of the blood drive are 3:00pm to 6:00pm.  There will be holiday gifts for donors courtesy of CICBC.  Call Jessica to sign up (toll free) at 1-866-GIVE-BLD, ext. 118.  Walk-ins are also welcome and truly appreciated.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center, a not-for-profit organization, is the provider of life-saving blood for 12 hospitals throughout central Illinois, including Taylorville Memorial and Pana Community Hospitals.  A division of Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC), Central Illinois Community Blood Center and MVRBC collect over 180,000 units of blood annually and serve a total of 80 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Vehicle Collision with Utility Pole Causes Damage in Morrisonville

26 year old Derek W. Kelmel, of Morrisonville, was traveling east on 5th street in Palmer.  He did not stop at the stop sign and was traveling to the east to make the turn onto main street.  Kelmel hit a utility pole causing damage to the pole and to his 2002 Chevrolet Impala.  Kelmel received minor injuries. 

Two Teleconferences Adressing the Basics of Commercial Food Production in Hillsboro

Two teleconferences addressing the basics of commercial food production will be held December 12th and19th. The seminars are directed at the individuals considering the options of commercial production for the first time or expanding a current operation with an additional product. The Teleconferences will be from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM. at the University of Illinois main office (Hillsboro).  There is no fee for the programs.

Christmas in the Park to Feature Supper and Bingo Tuesday

Christmas in the Park continues at Manner’s Park in Taylorville. Special events are featured every night, and tonight it’s Family Dinner and Bingo with Sonny Bertucci. The long time manager at County Market in Taylorville draws quite a crowd, so Park Recreation Director Bailey Hancock says seats for the event are limited:

 [audio:cmasinparkturs121311.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Wednesday night will be Kids Craft Night. If you have questions you can call the park at 824-5878 or check their website at taylorvilleparkdistrict.com.

Wrap, Pack, And Ship: Advice for Sending Packages

Time is running out for those sending packages this holiday season. Larry Peterson, of Wrap, Pack, and Ship in Taylorville, says if you haven’t sent packages in a long time, some things have changed:

 [audio:wrappacknship121311.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Wrap, Pack, and Ship is at 208 S. Spresser in Taylorville near the Christian County Fairgrounds. The phone number is 824-6279.

Deadline for LEADS Program

The deadline to sign up for a popular program is coming up. The LEADS Program, put on by the Christian County Extension Office and the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce takes place soon, and you must sign up by Friday. Amanda Cole of the Extension Office says there are a lot of reasons for the program’s popularity:

 [audio:coleextension2121311.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Call the Extension for details at 287-7246, or the Chamber of Commerce at 824-4919.

Area Arrests

Danielle E. Furness, 22, of Morrisonville was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for unspecified statute. 

Taylorville cops arrested a man Sunday evening. They were summoned to a Taylorville home where a woman complained that a man with an order of protection against him was at her home. After interviewing the woman, police arrested 46-year-old Scott E. Dailey of Taylorville a few blocks away from the residence. He was taken to Christian County Jail.

Taylorville Police made an arrested in a domestic violence situation. Officers were dispatched at 604 Arlington early Sunday morning on reports of a woman allegedly being beaten. They arrested 24-year-old Ethan W. Alberts on several charges, including domestic battery, aggravated assault, resisted arrest, and obstruction justice. He was taken to Christian County Jail.


Vehicle Damage Done at Pana Tavern

A car parked a Pana tavern was damaged last week. Shayla M. Shoraga called police at just before 8:00 last Thursday morning to report the apparent vandalism. Concrete blocks were reported used to break out windows on Shoraga’s vehicle. The damage may have occurred the previous evening. Shoraga was apparently unaware of the damage until she made the report.  

Taylorville School Board Rejects Richland Offer

The Board of Education for the Taylorville School District heard a report from Superintendent Fuerstenau concerning the Early College Charter School program being offered by Richland College. Each year the program would have given 2 students from the Taylorville School District the opportunity to gain early college experience in a 4 year setting. The 2 largest drawbacks according to Dr. Fuerstenau are the costs to the school district and the working relationship already in place with Lincoln Land Community College. The estimated costs to the school district would be a little over $5000 per year, with the total costs for 8 students in any 4 year period to be $43,704. The board voted down the proposal unanimously.

The meeting was called to order promptly at 7:15. The minutes of the previous meeting were approved as were the approval of claims and the treasurer’s report. The board then heard letters of resignation from Mark Britton, Science teacher at the high school, Kay Stephens, cafeteria worker at North School and Seth Ventress, the high school soccer coach. It was moved to accept these resignations as well as the hiring of Jennifer Plants, 4th grade teacher at Memorial, Stephanie Ruppert, Science teacher for the high school and Don Beetem and Troy Chesser as co-assistant wresting coaches. It was noted the numbers for the wrestling program at the high school have almost doubled in the past two years.

The board also approved the bids for the Spring Sports. Superintendent Fuerstenau reported that the school was prepared for the upcoming winter as far as snow removal and the maintenance to the school were concerned. The school messenger system is also fully operational. It was reported to the board to expect major changes in the food services requirements for next year as well as the Principal Evaluation and the Teacher Evaluation process and requirements. The course offerings from LLCC were finalized for next year.

Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah Keyboardist John Jeremiah has Died.

[audio:haynes121211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah keyboardist John Jeremiah has died.  "The Chicago Sun-Times" says the rocker, who was prominent in the 1960s and '70s, passed away on Monday at Memorial Hospital in Chester, Illinois.  He was 65.  Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah's Skip Haynes says John died of complications from pneumonia after falling ill just a few weeks ago.  Jeremiah is perhaps best remembered for his piano work on the trio's hit "Lake Shore Drive."  He'd also previously worked with the late Minnie Ripperton.  At the time of his death Jeremiah was trying to organize an Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah reunion.  The trio was planning to get back together to play a fundraiser for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  Haynes says he and Aliotta will likely still perform, with the benefit also serving as a memorial concert for Jeremiah.  Details on the proposed show haven't been announced as yet.

Haynes says Jeremiah had a "unique style of playing," which he describes as "almost honky-tonk, boogie-woogie, very high speed, very melodic."  While Skip admits John was sometimes a bit of a "curmudgeon," he always enjoyed performing.  Haynes recalls that on stage Jeremiah was "extremely animated and a lot of fun."  He praises Jeremiah as "a true piano player," adding that John would "dance" and "do Jerry Lee Lewis-like runs on the piano."

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford Wants You to Make a Bid!

He’s offering an on-line auction of unclaimed property that’s been in the state’s possession for more than five years, and repeated attempts to reach the owners have gone unanswered. Rutherfordurges you to considering making a purchase before the auction ends Sunday night. 

 [audio:UPDAuction1.MP3]comment here[/audio]

The cost to offer this auction is about two-thousand dollars, much less than the 29-thousand-dollar cost for the previously-used eBay auctions. 

To check out what’s on the list of more than 15-thousand items up for auction, go to w-w-w-dot-treasurer-dot-i-l-dot-gov and follow the link to the auction. 

Rutherford  says the auction features more than 15-thousand items, including coins, jewelry, stamp collections, Beanie Babies, and a baseball card picturing rookie Michael Jordan.

 [audio:UPDAuction2.MP3]comment here[/audio]

The sale price of each lot must reach at least 75 percent of the appraised value.  100 percent of sales proceeds will be held for the rightful owners.

A link to the on-line auction can be found at w-w-w-dot-treasurer-dot-i-l-dot-gov.


Farm Worker's Compensation

While producers have a little down time they are encouraged to step back and evaluate all aspects of their farming operation.  One area that is often overlooked is worker's compensation requirements.  Jared White has more...

Mac Says Watch for Cyber Crimes

By all accounts, “Cyber Monday” was huge this year, with many Americans forgoing the crowded malls in favor of the relative ease of online shopping. But Sr. Citizen’s advocate Mac McGwire says you have to watch for counterfeit merchandise.

 [audio:maccybercrime121211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

McGwire says any time a lot of money is involved, there will be scammers trying to take advantage of honest folks.

Holsinger: New Guy at Extension

The Local Extension Office has a new face. Andrew Holsinger is the Extension’s new Horticulture Educator. Holsinger is an Illinois native:

Lakeshore Golf Course Making Progress

One of the area’s most popular golf destinations is getting a makeover. J&D Golf Management is in charge of improvements. Jeff Goldig of J&D Management says they’re up to the challenge:

Christmas in the Park is Off to a Good Start

Christmas in the Park kicked off Friday night at Manners Park in Taylorville. Park Recreation Director Bailey Hancock says tonight you can get your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus:

Local Newspapers in United States Struggle to Find Sufficient Funding

The parent company that owns the the Decatur Herald and Review, the Mattoon Journal-Gazette, and the Charleston Times-Courier, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Lee Enterprises Inc, which publishes 48 daily newspapers including St. Louis Post-Dispatch, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to slash its debt load, as newspapers struggle with falling advertisement dollars and dwindling readership.

In a filing with Delaware bankruptcy court, Lee Enterprises listed liabilities of $994.5 million and assets of $1.15 billion.

The bankruptcy filing plan comes two months after the company had reached an agreement with most its lenders to refinance $769.5 million of its distressed loans.

Most local newspaper publishers in the United States have been hit by dropping circulation and falling advertising revenue, forcing them to sell off or shut several publications.

Tribune Co, the owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers, had earlier filed a third reorganization plan with the U.S. bankruptcy court.

Lee was founded in 1890 in Ottumwa, Iowa, by A.W. Lee. Most of the company's newspapers trace their beginnings to the mid-1800s. Among Lee's alumni are Mark Twain, Willa Cather and Thornton Wilder.

Departing Pujols Addresses Cardinals Fans

 Slugger Albert Pujols has a message for the Cardinal Nation.  In a letter published in Friday's "St. Louis Post-Dispatch," Pujols calls his decision to leave the Cardinals for the Angels incredibly difficult.  The three-time MVP says, quote, "I want to thank each and every one of you sincerely from the bottom of my heart for the love and support you have shown me and my family for the past eleven years."  Pujols agreed to a lucrative 10-year contract with Los Angeles on Thursday.

Pujols Foundation Will Carry On

Pujols' departure raises questions about the fate of his foundation. The charity helps families with children who have Down's Syndrome. Pujols and his wife, Deidre, have a daughter with the condition. The Pujols Foundation, however, says the slugger heading to California won't affect its work in the community.

Patty Hornbuckle Selected as Volunteer of the Quarter

 width=Taylorville, Illinois As a community bank, Peoples Bank & Trust recognizes the value of volunteerism in our communities.  To recognize, commend and promote the volunteerism, Peoples Bank & Trust has established a program to recognize an outstanding community member for their volunteer efforts of improvement to our community.

Patty Hornbuckle has been chosen as the Peoples Bank & Trust Volunteer of the Quarter for the many tireless hours she spent making the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chilifest a success. Patty serves as Chairperson of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered hundreds of hours of service for the many Chamber activities throughout the year.

In honor of his service, Peoples Bank has donated to the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chilifest and Patty’s name will be placed on a plaque to be displayed at the bank.

Peoples Bank & Trust is an independent Community Bank with six offices located in Pana, Taylorville, Altamont, Charleston, Tower Hill and Springfield.  Peoples is a full service bank offering outstanding customer service to consumers, small business, and farmers in Central Illinois.  People First Bancshares, Inc., with corporate offices in Pana, Illinois, is the holding company for Peoples Bank & Trust.

Pana City Council Meet

The Pana City Council will meet Monday evening. The council will address several issues, including the Tax Levy ordinance for 2011-2012. They’ll also discuss the recent resignation of Jack Dixon from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Several reports are scheduled, including the Community Safety, Community Operations, Community Support, and Administration Committees. The Economic Development and Tax Increment Financing Committee will also report.

Aldermen will also consider a new license for a taxi company and a scavenger license for Garret Wilson.

The Pana City Council Meeting starts at 7:00 Monday evening.

Christmas in The Park Starts Tonight

One of Taylorville’s most eagerly awaited holiday events get underway tonight as Christmas in the Park opens at Manners Park. Tonight will feature Supper With Santa and a performance by local magician Richard Landry. Activities continue this weekend as well according got Park Recreation Director Bailey Hancock:

 [audio:cmasinpark120911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Hancock says there is fun to be had on Sunday as well:

 [audio:cmasinpark2120911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The lights are on every night from 5 to 10pm starting tonight, continuing through Christmas Day. There is no charge to drive through the park, but they do accept donations.

Christmas in Cowden

This weekend the Village of Cowden is putting on a Christmas Celebration. Tad Mayhall of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce says you’ll have another holiday destination for viewing lights this weekend:

 [audio:tadcowdenxmas120911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Cowden’s Christmas in the Park runs tonight, Saturday, and Sunday nights.  

Tim Johnson Says Blagojevich's Setence is Light

Reaction to Former Illinois Governor rod Blagojevich’s sentencing continues to come in. U.S., Congressman Tim Johnson, who is Christian County’s Representative after redistricting, says he thinks the former governor got off easy:

 [audio:johnsonblago120911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Blagojevich was sentence to 14 years in prison by a Federal Judge Wednesday. Because it is a federal case, Blago will not be eligible for parole for 12 years. He is expected to start serving his sentence in February.

Local Basketball Scores

As heard on WRAN, Shelbyville fell to Stewardson-Strasburg with a score of 47-46.

As heard on WTIM, the Taylorville boys fell to Jacksonville with a score of 71-56.

Lake Land College Offers Free GED Classes

Lake Land College’s Adult Education Department will offer GED classes starting Tuesday, Jan. 10,at no cost to participants. Classes have open enrollment and will be available until Friday, June 29.

The classes will be held at the Adult Education Center  in Mattoon. Classes are each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Additionally, there is free childcare available to parents with children ages six weeks to five years while they are in GED class. The childcare lab is on-site and offers age appropriate activities, fun and educational field trips, library visits and much more.

For more information or to register for class, call 217-235-0361.


Madigan Opposes Robo-Calls to Cell Phones

Joined by her state counterparts from across the country, Attorney General Lisa Madigan yesterday called on Congress to oppose legislation that would allow for robo-calls to cell phones. Madigan said the “Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011” would force consumers to pay for the unwanted calls.

Known as H.R. 3035, the federal legislation would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to allow third parties, such as debt collectors or other businesses, to place automated “informational” calls to cell phones, impacting those who pay by the minute or have a limited number of minutes.

Currently, federal law allows robo-calls to be placed to people who have given their explicit consent to receive them or in case of an emergency. Under the proposed federal bill, businesses would be allowed to robo-call any consumer who has provided their telephone number in the course of a transaction – regardless if a consumer asks not to be contacted.

Madigan and 53 other attorneys general sent a letter to members of Congress today urging lawmakers to reject the proposal. Madigan said consumers could get stuck paying for robo-calls to their cell phones even if a business has the wrong contact information.

The letter pointed to the proposal’s potential for distracting callers who may receive calls while driving.  A 2009 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that cell phone use was involved in 995 or 18 percent of fatalities in distraction-related crashes.


Wrap, Pack, and Ship This Christmas

One job during the holidays most people dread is wrapping presents and having them shipped. Larry Peterson of Wrap, Pack, and Ship in Taylorville, says they can take that headache off your hands. Peterson says the cost of shipping, like everything else, tends to go up:

 [audio:wrappacknship1120811.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Peterson says they do their best to save their customers money:

 [audio:wrappacknship2120811.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Wrap, Pack, and Ship is located at 208 S. Spresser in Taylorville. You can call them at 824-6279.


Christmas in the Park 2011

Manner’s Park in Taylorville will be the scene of Christmas in the Park again this year. Bailey Hancock, Park recreation Director, says it all kicks off tomorrow night:


Christmas in the Park kicks off Friday night and continues each night through December 23rd. Hancock says there is no charge to drive thru the park, but they do accept donations.

Pearl Harbor Memories

Wednesday was the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. A local resident, Marcella Pittinger, the wife of a soldier, was on the island when the Japanese attack took place. She says she was concerned because she wasn’t sure of her husband’s fate:

 [audio:pearlharbor120811.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Pittinger says after the attack, she and her spouse did not get off the island for several months. The Pearl Harbor attack caused the United States to declare war on Japan the next day, and on German a few days later.

Deer Harvesting For Illinois

Christian County hunters harvested a total of 177 deer during last weekend’s firearm deer season. The number was considerably smaller than the number taken during the first portion of the firearm season November 18 through 20th, when 510 deer were harvested. Total harvest this year was 687.

In Shelby County, 428 deer were taken last weekend compared with 1002 last month, for a total of 1430. In Montgomery County, hunters brought in 343 deer last weekend and 834 in November, for a total of 1177. Macon County hunters harvest 138 deer last weekend and 227 last month for a total of 365. Sangamon County reports 270 deer harvested last weekend and 524 in November for a total of 794.

Most locations are reported slightly higher totals this year as compared to last. The most deer were harvested in Pike County with a total 2,958.

Meanwhile, the archery deer season continues through January 15th. The three day muzzleloader only season is this weekend.

Conference to be Held to Discuss the Bankruptcy of MF Global

U.S. Rep. Timothy V. Johnson will hold a press conference this morning to discuss the House Agriculture Committee’s inquiry into MF Global’s bankruptcy and the disappearance of $1.2 billion in customers’ investments, including millions from Central Illinois investors.

The press conference will be at 11:15 a.m. Friday at Rep. Johnson’s home in Urbana.

Rep. Johnson was one of the lead interrogators Thursday of former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine and staff of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, which regulates commodity trades. The House Agriculture Committee is conducting the hearings as it has oversight authority over the CFTC. MF Global’s collapse is the 8th-largest bankruptcy in the history of the United States and its impact is sweeping, impacting thousands of farmers and ranchers who invested in futures markets to help protect against risk and price volatility


The House Agriculture Committee voted unanimously last week to subpoena Corzine. Thursday’s hearing was the first public inquiry of Corzine since the firm filed for bankruptcy Oct. 31. As much as $1.2 billion may be missing from customers’ futures accounts, accounts that were supposed to be safe and segregated. The firm declared bankruptcy after disclosing its exposure to investments in risky European bonds.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the FBI are also investigating.

Rep. Johnson is the third-ranking member of the Agriculture Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Rural Development.

Corzine, a former Democrat Senator and Governor of New Jersey, resigned after MF Global declared bankruptcy. Coincidentally, Corzine, a Taylorville native, and Rep. Johnson are both Phi Beta Kappa graduates of theUniversityofIllinois Classof 1969.


Corzine Calls MF Global Bankruptcy Devasting

[audio:corzine1120911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Former New Jersey Senator and Governor Jon Corzine calls the MF Global bankruptcy devastating.  Hundreds of millions of dollars are unaccounted for.  In a House hearing, Corzine accepted responsibility for a risky trading strategy involving European debt.  Corzine took over MF Global after leaving office.  He exited after the bankruptcy filing.  Meantime, a Senate panel has summoned Corzine to a December 13th hearing. 

 [audio:corzine2120811.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Former New Jersey Senator and Governor Jon Corzine expressed remorse over the MF Global bankruptcy. 

 [audio:corzine3120911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Corzine talked about his reaction to the news about the missing money.

 [audio:corzine4120911.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The first witness at the House hearing was Jill Sommers, commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.  She talked about the missing money. 

Chris's Steakhouse Takes Location at Former Gabino's Restaurant

Chris Orange, owner of Orange’s Bar & Grill in Pana has always dreamed of having his own steakhouse. His dream is becoming reality. Chris’s Steakhouse is slated to open by January 1, 2012-located at the corner of Cheney and Spresser in Taylorville. This is the former location of Gambino’s Restaurant.

Chris’s Steakhouse will feature mouthwatering steaks cooked over an open flame with applewood. Chris’s Steakhouse will be open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and dinner, and will offer daily and weekend specials. Orange says Taylorville needs a steakhouse, and opening one here is something he has always wanted to do. Chris’s Steakhouse will serve great food in an atmosphere that is comfortable of the whole family.

Area Arrests

A 911 call early Thursday morning from 534 S. Washington in Taylorville brought police into an apparent domestic violence situation. Several units reported responded to the scene. After a brief investigation, 42-year-old Joseph J. Neville of Taylorville was arrested on domestic battery charges.

33 year-old Michelle R. Mundy of Mt. Auburn was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for unspecified statute. 

40 year-old Starla Hostetler of Pana was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for theft. 



Central A and M beats Monticello

As heard on WMKR, the Central A and M girls basketball team topped Monticello with a final score of 55-43

Illinois Bust Man for Large Quanitity of Cannibas

Illinois State Police, South Central Illinois Drug Task Force, with the assistance of Collinsville Police Department and Metropolitan Enforcement Group Southern Illinois, Arrested Rodney L. Neuner, Bunker Hill, Illinois, for Unlawful Possession of a large quantity of cannabis.  Neuner was taken into custody and taken  to the Macoupin County Jail, where he was held on a $50,000 bond. 

The arrest warrant was a result of a suspicious Federal Express Package discovered at the Federal Express Distribution center, addressed to Neuner’s Bunker Hill residence.  The package was alerted on by Collinsville Police Department K-9 and discovered to contain (5) Pounds of marijuana.  South Central Illinois Drug Task Force was contacted and conducted a controlled delivery on the package at the residence where Neuner was immediately taken into custody.

Bunker Hill, Illinois is located in Macoupin County Illinois where Macoupin County Sheriff’s Department has been a long time representative in the South Central Illinois Drug Task Force.

The aforementioned charge is a Class 1 Felony.  A Class 1 Felony carries a penalty which ranges from a fine up to $150,000 dollars and a possible imprisonment of 4 - 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.


Lee Greenwood Performs in Effingham

Lee Greenwood will bring his show to the Effingham Performance Center at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10.  This holiday show is a celebration of traditional and popular carols.  Greenwood has had 19 Top Ten singles and seven No. 1 hits.  He is best known for his “God Bless The U.S.A.,” which was voted the most recognizable patriotic song in America.  This weekend’s show will feature not only the sounds of the season, but his chart-toppers as well.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, at Ticketmaster outlets or at the Effingham Performance Center, 1325 Outer Belt West, Effingham, IL during box office hours, Monday-Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Prairie Heart Institute Held Their Annual Stat Heart Round Table Dinner

The Prairie Heart Institute of Springfield held their annual Stat Heart Round Table Dinner at the Crowne Plaza on November 3rd in Springfield.  Pana Community Hospital in cooperation with Pana Ambulance Service and Dave Burkham were recognized at the event for the hospital’s Stat Heart “door in-door out time.”  From the time a patient arrives to the Pana Community Hospital Emergency Department with heart attack symptoms to the time the patient departs for transport to Springfield is a critical time.  This is the “door in-door out time”. 

Pana Hospital teamed up with Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants and St. John’s and Memorial hospitals in Springfield in July of 2005 to activate the Stat Heart Program.  The program was developed by Prairie Care Alliance to partner with community hospitals to transfer the patient for treatment by an experienced Prairie cardiologist in Springfield safely and faster than in the past and within the acceptable time frame. 

Here is how the program works.  Upon diagnosis, the Pana Stat Heart team is activated.  This includes lab, cardiopulmonary, diagnostic imaging and emergency department staff and physician.  A call is made to transfer the patient (usually by helicopter) and the Stat Heart team at either St. John’s or Memorial Medical Hospital is activated.  A team of experts will be briefed on the incoming patient’s symptoms and results of preliminary tests and will be ready and waiting for the patient in Springfield. 

Marilyn Fisher on Birthdays

The Christian County Senior Citizens Center celebrates birthdays every month with ice cream and cake. Marilyn Fisher of the senior Center says they have a lot of birthdays this month:

Tad Mayhall: High School Show Coming Up

With the holiday season here, you and your family might like to take in a show. Tad Mayhall of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce has a suggestion:

 [audio:tadschoolshow120711.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Again, tickets are $4 and the show is coming up this weekend. Call Shelbyville High School if you have questions.

Reader's Digest Contest

Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton says a contest being put on by Reader’s Gigest magazine could mean big money for the city:

 [audio:mayorreadersdigest120711.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Again, go to Reader’s Digest.com to find out more.

Two Vehicles Damaged in Accident

An accident early Tuesday morning left two vehicles damaged. According to reports, the accident happened near the intersection of S. Webster and Adams Streets. 41-year-old Douglas S. Bowsher of Stonington was apparently taking a left turn when he struck a vehicle drive by 54-year-old Robert L. Harrold of Taylorville. No injuries were reported, but both vehicles sustained damage.

Area Arrests

Good police work ended in the arrest of two Taylorville men Monday. An officer saw a vehicle traveling west on Park St. which was drive by a man police knew to be wanted. The vehicle was pulled over and 21-year-old Carrington Walker was arrested on a failure to appear warrant. Officers also allegedly found the passenger to be in possession of marijuana. 18-year-old Mathew A. Bialas was arrested for possession of cannabis.

Crime Stoppers is Seeking Information About Armed Robbery and Home Invasion

This week CRIME STOPPERS is seeking information about an armed robbery and home invasion that occurred in Taylorville.

Just before 7pm on Sunday December 4, 3 males forced their way past the victim and into a residence located at403 East Park Street.  While inside the 3 subjects took prescription medicine and cash.  The subjects were described as 3 white male subjects, between 20 and 30 years old. The subjects are believed to have fled the scene on foot in an unknown direction.

Please call CRIME STOPPERS if you have any information about this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons. CRIME STOPPERS will pay cash rewards up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you DO NOT have to give your name. CRIME STOPPERS will pay double the normal reward for information leading to an arrest for the crime of the week.

You can contact CRIME STOPPERS at 824-9100, at our website ChristianCountyCrimeStoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274637) keyword CCCS and then your tip.  As always you will remain anonymous.


Cubs' Santo Finally Gets Hall Call

Former Cubs third baseman and broadcaster Ron Santo was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday.  The nine-time All-Star was the only one of 10 candidates to receive the necessary votes from the Golden Era committee.  Santo played 14 seasons with the Cubs before ending his career with the White Sox in 1974.  Santo died at age 70 last December.

Ron Santo Elected To MLB Hall Of Fame

Chicago Cubs legendary third basemen and broadcaster Ron Santo has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  MLB's Golden Era committee selected Santo today, after over 75-percent of the 16-member committee voted for him.  Santo won five Gold Gloves and had at least 94 RBI for eight straight seasons.  His election comes two days after the one year anniversary of his death.

Rod Blagojevich Given 14 Years For Trying to Sell Obama's Senate Seat

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will be spending the next 14 years in prison.  A federal judge handed down the sentence this afternoon on federal corruption charges.  During sentencing, Blagojevich accepted responsibility saying he was sorry for what happened and didn't set out to break the law.  He was convicted over the summer of trying to sell President Obama's former U.S. Senate seat for cash and political favors.  Blagojevich is still expected to appeal the conviction.  The ex-governor's sentence is twice as long as the prison time given to former governor George Ryan, who Blagojevich succeeded in the governor's mansion.  He has to report to prison by February 16th.  He also has to pay a 20-thousand-dollar fine.

The House Ag Committee has Subpoenaed Taylorville Native

The House Ag Committee has subpoenaed Taylorville native and  former U.S. Senator Jon Corzine to testify at a hearing next Thursday about funds missing from the bankrupt brokerage firm he led.

Area Arrests

Derek W. Kelmel, 26, of Morrisonville was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Randy A. Young, 28, of Stonington was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for unspecified statute. 

Noravella L. Farley, 44, of Normal was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for no drivers licnese. 

Police: Decoration Thieves Caught in Car With Frosty, Rudolph

Here's one way to make the naughty list.  Police in Decatur say they caught three women and two men, all in their 20s, in a car with Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer.  The five had allegedly stolen the light-up decorations from a home in Deactur.  The home owner called police, and officers say they did not have much trouble finding the thieves.  All five are now facing theft charges.

Police: Southern Illinois Woman Found Dead on Road

Police in Southern Illinois say it looks like a woman walking along the side of the road on Illinois 149 near Interstate 57 was hit by a car and killed.  The Illinois State Police say it happened at about 3:30 Monday morning.  Investigators have a description of a suspect's car, dark-colored 2000 to 2005 Cadillac Deville, but the ISP says no one has been arrested.  The State Police have not identified the victim yet.

Roadside Safety Checks Will be Conducted During December

Roadside  safety  checks will be conducted  by  the  Illinois  State  Police  during  the month of December, according  to  Captain  Scott  Compton,  Commander,  Illinois State Police, District  18  in  Litchfield.    Alcohol is a significant factor in over 40 percent of fatal crashes in Illinois.  Safety checks are designed to keep our roads safe by taking dangerous DUI offenders off the road.  Even though the  primary  goal  of safety checks is to remove alcohol-impaired drivers, when  other  violations  are  observed  such as driving with a suspended or revoked  license,  operating  a  vehicle  without  a  valid registration or insurance, or safety belt violations, enforcement action will be taken.

The  roadside safety checks are funded through a grant provided by  the United States Department of Transportation/National Highway Traffic Safety  Administration  and  administered  by  the  Illinois  Department of Transportation,  Division  of  Traffic  Safety.   District 18 includes the counties of Calhoun, Jersey, Greene, Macoupin and Montgomery.


November was Wet and Warm in Illinois

November in Illinois was the sixth wettest November on record and the ninth warmest, according to Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In addition, the drought in central and western Illinois has ended due to the above average rainfall.

The statewide average precipitation amount for the month was 5.23 inches, 1.9 inches above average.  Several sites in southern Illinois had over 9 inches of rain, including Cairo with 9.92 inches. 

The statewide average temperature was 45.3 degrees, 3.6 degrees above average. The warmest temperature reported in November was 80 degrees at Winchester on November 2. The coldest temperature reported was 16 degrees on November 30 at Altona, Mt. Carroll, and Monmouth.

The snowiest spot in the state was in far southern Illinois. A total of 2.5 inches of snow fell by the morning of November 30 at Grand Chain Dam on the Ohio River. A few sites in northern Illinois reported an inch or less of snow.

“The normal snowfall for November typically ranges from 1 to 2 inches in northern Illinois to no snowfall in southern Illinois–the near opposite of this year,” said Angel. “That’s why the weather in Illinois is so interesting.” 

The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a division of the Prairie Research Institute, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.


Christian County Sheriff's Office Respond To Three Traffic Accidents

53 year old Steven D. Donnan, of Greenville, was south bound on County Hwy. #1 near 100 North when a deer ran into the roadway.  Donnan was unable to avoid the deer.  The deer struck Donnan in the front end causing damage.  No injuries were reported. 

 35 year old Robert C. Wemple, of Taylorville, was heading east on 930 North Rd. at about 985 east, when a deer ran into the raodway.   Wemple was unable to stop in time and hit the deer.  No injuries were reported. 

 49 year old Steven D. Trexler, of Pana, was traveling north on Rt. 29.  A witness was traveling south on Rt. 29 and stated that he saw Trexler drive off the roadway to the left and into the trees.  Trexler said he did not remember what happened before the crash.  Trexler traveled off the roadway to the left, collided with the west ditch and some small trees, then came to rest.  He was treated for serious injuries. 



Area Arrests

Taylorville police made a traffic stop last Friday night just after 8. Cops discovered that the driver, 25-year-old Jodee L. Franklin was apparently driving on a suspended license. She was reportedly arrested, then processed and released on a notice to appear.

Security Camera Helps Pana Police Solve Crime

Security camera footage may help authorities solve a crime in Pana. Last Wednesday, police were called out at just after 9pm to the scene of an apparent vehicle burglary. A Tom-Tom GPS was reported taken, along with a coin changer and miscellaneous CDs. Police are reviewing security camera footage to identify the suspect.

Man Accused of Committing a Battery

A Pana man is accused committing a battery Sunday. According to police reports, 46-year-old Michael E. Durbin was charged. The information has been forwarded to the Christian County State’s Attorney’s office for a review of the charges.

Car Accident in Pana

An accident last Thursday in Pana left two vehicles damaged. A car driving by 20-year-old Brittany Rhodes of Herrick was reportedly struck by a car driven by 71-year-old Barry V. Heaton of Pana. Both vehicles were damaged. The accident took place on Locust Street.

Taylorville Walmart Angel Tree

Here’s another way you can help the needy this holiday season: buy a toy for the Angel Tree at Walmart. Taylorville firefighter Cody Rogers is heading up the project. He says it’s easy to help out:

Mac Says: Deadline for Open Enrollement is Wednesday

This Wednesday is the deadline for Medicare Open Enrollment. Local Senior Citizens advocate Mac McGwire says you better get busy if you want to make changes:

 [audio:macopenenrollment120611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Again, the deadline is Wednesday.

Tad Mayhall: Shelbyville Lights Help Schools

The Shelbyville Festival of Lights is ongoing. Tad Mayhall of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce says they’re proud of this year’s Festival, and they’re also proud of being able to help the schools:

 [audio:tadsayslightshelpschools120611.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The Shelbyville Festival of Lights is on every night during the holiday season.


The Taylorville City Council met in regular session on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers. The meeting was called to order promptly by Mayor Brotherton. Pastor Philip Neumann or Grace Baptist Church provided the invocation.

The minutes of the previous council meeting was approved as were the minutes of several of the committee meetings. The Council approved unanimously an ordinance authorizing the city of Taylorville to enter into an annexation agreement for water services with several properties.

A roll call vote was taken to approve an amendment to the city code addressing the excavation fees. It was determined that a $250 excavation fee is to be paid prior to any tunneling under or excavation begins in any street alley or public place; if the fee is not paid in advance, a $750 fine would be imposed on the violator. The amendment was approved unanimously.

The City Council then moved to a vote on the issuance of General Obligation Bonds for the purpose of financing improvements and additions to the stormwater drainage facilities. After some discussion concerning wording in the final agreement, the issuance was passed on a 7 to 1 vote with Alderman Dorchinez being the only nay vote. Alderman Dorchinez stated he was not opposed to the work itself, but to the spending of all the tax revenues at this time.

The Street and Sewer Committee report was heard with 3 items being approved by the Council. The low bid of $1,389,988.80 was accepted and the contract awarded to McIntire and Company for the Kenmore Phase III storm sewer project. Approval for payment was given to Illinois Valley Paving in the amount of $588,760.70 for the work on Spresser Street and payment in the amount of $307,194.75 to McIntire & Company for Ward II Kenmore Phase II storm sewer project.

The Council directed Attorney Fines to draft an ordinance to sell the property at 26 Illini Drive. In other business the Council approved salary increases for non-bargaining superintendants and the secretary to the mayor in the amount of 1% of currenty salary plus a $500 bonus. The Council moved to approve the Human Resource Manager to post a bid for an opening in the Taylorville Sewer Department for a heavy equipment operator. A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the payment of bills in the amount of $1,124,247.24.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:45 pm.

Judge Rules Against Blagojevich On Sentencing Issues

A Chicago federal judge is siding with prosecutors on several key issues at Rod Blagojevich's sentencing.  Legal expert Royal Oakes says the judge ruled the ex-Illinois governor's one-and-a-half-million-dollar offer to Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. to replace President Obama in the U.S. Senate should be considered.

Rams' Feeley Has Fractured Right Thumb

The Rams entered the week not knowing who their quarterback will be for Monday's game at Seattle.  Starter Sam Bradford was inactive for Sunday's loss at San Francisco after reaggravating a high ankle sprain the week before.  Backup A.J. Feeley then suffered a slight fracture in his right thumb against the 49ers.  Tom Brandstater is the Rams' third quarterback

Yotes Top Hawks

Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Radim Vrbata both scored in the shootout, as the Phoenix Coyotes, despite blowing a three-goal lead, came away with a 4-3 win over the Blackhawks.  Jonathan Toews scored twice and added an assist for Chicago, which had won two straight.  Patrick Kane also lit the lamp in the setback.  Ray Emery made 11 saves in relief of Corey Crawford who allowed three goals on 16 shots.  The Blackhawks will hit the road and take on the Islanders Thursday.

NHL To Undergo Major Realignment

 The NHL Board of Governors has voted to implement a radical four-conference realignment plan.  Under the plan there will no longer be NHL divisions, but four conferences based on geography and allowing for a balanced schedule.  All NHL teams will play one other at least twice a season in a home-and-home series.  The top four teams in each Conference will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Under the new alignment, the Blackhawks will be in the same conference as Detroit, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis, Minnesota, Dallas and Winnipeg.

Former 'Hawks Winger Matthew Barnaby Charged With DWI

Former NHL player and ESPN hockey analyst Matthew Barnaby has been charged with driving while intoxicated.  BuffaloNews.com reports Barnaby was arrested Sunday after police responded to a 911 call of an SUV driving erratically without a front tire.  The car was being driven on the rim, causing sparks.  Police say Barnaby failed several field sobriety tests, then had his license revoked after refusing to take a breath test.  Barnaby began his playing career with the Buffalo Sabres in 1992 and played for seven teams.  Barnaby, who had been with ESPN since 2008, had his contract with the network terminated.

Bulls Schedule Released Tonight

The Bulls 2011-12 schedule will be released tonight.  The NBA will unveil its revised 66-game regular season slate in an NBA TV special.  The schedule will kick off with five games on Christmas Day, including the New York Knicks hosting the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden.  The schedule is still contingent on the players ratifying the new labor agreement.

Local Basketball Scores

As heard on WTIM, Taylorville Lady Tornadoes fell to Rochester Rockets with a score of 49-43.

As heard on WRAN, Shelbyville fell to Pana with a score of 43-33.

Safety Tips for Shoppers

With the holiday shopping season in full swing here are some shopping safety tips from Master Trooper Doug Francis, Safety Education Officer, Illinois State Police, District 18, Litchfield.

Park in well-lit areas.

Have a shopping partner.

Roll up the windows, take the keys and lock your car.

When you get out of your car look around at the landmarks so you can find your car later. Also before you enter the store/mall look back at where your car is. Again this makes it easier to find your car later.

Put valuables in the trunk out of sight.  This includes laptops, purses, cellphones, navigation systems   and anything you bought. When walking to and from your car keep your head up and be awareof your surroundings.

When shopping be aware of who is around you.  Pickpockets will bump into you to steal your valuables.

Keep your purse with you.  If you leave it in the cart and walk away for just a moment, it can be gone that quick.

Teach your children what to do if they lose you.  Have them stay in one place.  It makes it easier for you to find them.  Or have them go to the service desk or checkout.

If your children are old enough to go off on their own, have a pre-arranged meeting place and time.

When returning to your car if you see someone suspicious, turn around and go back in the store.

Load your car, get in and leave.  If you have your head down balancing check book, for instance, you are vulnerable at that point.

Area Arrests

30 year-old Ryan M. Tester of Taylorville was arrested on an original arrest for possession and manufacturing of chemicals. 

33 year-old Ashley J. Leonard of Taylorville was arrested on a bond forfeiture warrant for driving with a suspended license. 

28 year-old Joseph L. Barker of Morrisonvillle was arrested for domestic battery and criminal damage. 

65 year-old Maxwell H. Crabb, of Carlinville was arrested for driving with a revoked license. 

Boosting the State's Economy is About Much More Than Tax Deals

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says creating jobs and boosting the state’s economy is about much more than cutting sweet deals with two major Chicago businesses.

 [audio:topinkacme120511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Topinka says lawmakers are missing the point when it comes to providing tax relief. She says they’re running the state on the backs of small business and once they hand out tax deals to a few big companies, others will come linking up. The plan to give Sears and CME about 100-million dollars in tax breaks failed this week in Springfield but Governor Quinn’s says they’re still looking at ways to make it work.

Illinois Still Doesn't Have a Healthcare Exchange

Illinois still doesn’t have a healthcare exchange. Lawmakers were at an impasse over how to create the exchange when they adjourned this week. Jim Duffett, with the Campaign for Better Health Care, says efforts create an exchange have been blocked for over a year because it would allow consumers to negotiate with insurers.

 [audio:healthexchange1120511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The Affordable Care Act requires the state to create the exchange. Illinois is eligible for up to 92-million dollars in federal grants to go towards developing the exchange but they’ll lose the money if it takes too long. The legislation is expected to be taken up when lawmakers return early next year.

 [audio:healthexchange2120511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Representative Greg Harris says the hold-up over whether to allow consumers to negotiate prices directly with insurance companies.

 [audio:healthexchange3120511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Jim Duffett, with the campaign for Better Health Care, says lobbying efforts have paid off so far.

Commodity Groups Met for Annual Commodity Conference

Commodity groups from across Illinois recently gathered for their annual Commodity Conference, and one of the primary goals for all the groups continues to be consumer education.  Jared White has more...

 [audio:112911CommodityGroupsFocusOnConsumersWRAP.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Listen for Jared White’s morning and afternoon farm shows every weekday at 6:40AM and 12:20PM.

Sheriff Kettelkamp Warns About Deer

The firearm deer hunting season ended yesterday. That’s just on factor that makes this a dangerous time of year for deer-car collisions, according to Christian county Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp.

 [audio:sheriffkwatchfordeer120511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The animals are especially active at dusk and dawn, the Sheriff says.

Turner on Event Tonight for the American Cancer Society

Coaches versus Cancer took place Friday, an event designed to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Steve Turners of ACS says there is a way you can help coming up tonight:

 [audio:steveturneracs120511.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Turner says the coach will do his radio show immediately following tonight’s event.  

Bears Battle Chiefs In Windy City Sunday

The Chicago Bears will look to build a new winning streak as they welcome the Kansas City Chiefs to Soldier Field on Sunday for a Week 13 tilt in the Windy City.  The Bears had a five-game winning streak snapped with a 25-20 setback at Oakland in Week 12 to fall to 7-and-4 on the season.  It was Chicago's first game without starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who broke his right thumb on November 20th and had surgery last week.  Caleb Hanie, making his first NFL start, finished 18-of-36 for 254 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in a losing effort.  Meanwhile, the Chiefs have dropped four games in-a-row to sit at 4-and-7.  The team claimed former Bears and Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton off waivers last week and there is a chance he could start under center in place of current starter Tyler Palko on Sunday.  Chicago beat KC, 20-10, the last time the two teams played in 2007.

Illini, Irish Both On The Court This Weekend

The Illinois Fighting Illini and Notre Dame Fighting Irish are both back on the court this weekend.  The Illini host 18th-ranked Gonzaga on Saturday afternoon in Champaign.  Illinois improved to a perfect 7-and-0 on the season with a 71-62 victory over Maryland on Tuesday night in College Park as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.  Meanwhile, the Irish play at Maryland on Sunday.  Notre Dame lost to Gonzaga, 73-53, on Wednesday night to fall to 5-and-3 on the season.

Blues Close Out Road Trip

The St. Louis Blues conclude a three-game road trip tonight in Colorado.  The Blues have won four in-a-row, including wins in Columbus and Washington.  They sit at 14-8-and-2.  On Saturday, St. Louis begins a five-game homestand with Chicago.

Suspicious Fire in Pana

An investigation is underway into a Pana fire.  The Pana Police Department, Pana Fire Department and the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s office are looking into a suspicious fire that took place at 404 E. Washington Street in Pana.

Lake Land College Offers Free Computer Classes

Lake Land College’s Adult Education Center will offer three free computer classes, beginning after the first of the year. Each class will introduce students to basic computer skills such as keyboarding and the Microsoft Office Suite.

Classes will be held at the Adult Education Center at 1617 Lake Land Blvd., Mattoon. All classes are free and open to the public.

The first class will meet Mondays and Fridays from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. January 9 through March 2; the second class will meet Wednesdays from 3:45-6:45 p.m. January 9 through May 5; and the third class will meet Wednesdays from 6:45-9:45 p.m. January 9 through May 5.

Each class is limited to the first 10 students. To register or inquire about classes, please call the Adult Education Center at 217-235-0361

Pana Video Theft

The Manager of the Pana Family Video called police Monday to report dozens of missing DVDs.  After an investigation, they arrested 29 year-old Kevin E. Hix of Pana on charges of retail theft.  88 DVDs were reportedly recovered.

Area Arrests

Taylorville Police made a traffic stop early Thursday morning which developed into something more.  Officers pulled the vehicle over on an equipment violation near the intersection of Cheney and Spresser Streets.  They arrested the driver, 19 year-old Matthew Dean Blake Joplin of Taylorville, when they learned he was apparently driving on a suspended license. 

Illinois State Police District 9 Covered the Roadways

In preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Illinois State Police District 9 saturated the roadways. Over the holiday weekend, District 9 officers issued a total of 360 citations for “Fatal Four” violations. Additionally, District 9 officers removed 14 suspected impaired drivers from the roadway. Fatal Four violations include speeding, not wearing a safety belt, driving under the influence and distracted driving.  Motorists are reminded that the best defense against distracted drivers, aggressive drivers and impaired drivers is wearing a properly adjusted safety belt.

Comptroller Says State Needs Revenue Source

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says Governor Quinn and lawmakers need to need to expand gambling if they want to extend tax breaks to Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

 [audio:topinkagambling120211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Topinka  says there are a few alternatives to increasing revenues.  That includes cutting programs or raising taxes.  She says it's not the right time to raise taxes, especially considering a tax hike went into effect earlier this year.  Topinka says all of the money generated from the recent tax hike has gone toward paying the state's pension obligations.

Sears Employees On Notice In Case Company Leaves State

Sears employees are on notice and many could lose their jobs if the company leaves the state.  Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says the company was probably expecting a different outcome with the tax proposal. 

 [audio:radognosears1120211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Sears was expecting to receive millions of dollars in tax breaks in exchange for keeping thousands of jobs in Illinois.  The measure failed miserably in the House.  Sears officials say they'll know by the end of the year if they're going to stay in Illinois.  That gives lawmakers just one month to try to work out a deal.  Radogno says the state's unpredictability sends a bad message to businesses that are considering moving to Illinois.

 [audio:radognosears2120211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says the tax plan to keep them in the Illinois wasn't the best, but would've helped the state's business climate.

Quinn Vows To Keep Fighting For Worker Tax Breaks

Governor Quinn says no matter what happens to the plan designed to give big tax breaks to Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, he's not backing off of the idea of giving more tax breaks to working people.

 [audio:quinntaxrelief120211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

A proposal to increase the earned income tax credit for working families failed in the House earlier this week.  The measure would've doubled the credit from five to ten-percent in two years.  A different version of the proposal holds the increase flat at seven and a half percent.  Some lawmakers preferred the lesser number.  Lawmakers have given no indication on whether they intend to come back to Springfield and deal with the matter by the end of the year.

Shelby County Health Deparment Sponsors Immunization Clinic

The Shelby County Health Department has an immunization clinic at Shelby County Health Department Wednesday, December 7th from 8:30AM-11:30AM. The clinic is open to all children ages 2 months to 18 years. Vaccines offered are Polio, Hepatitis B, Menactra (Meningitis vaccine), DTaP, TD, Tdap, Varicella (chickenpox), MMR, Prevnar (pneumonia), Pediarix (DTaP-HEPB-IPV Combo), Rotarix, Pentacel, Hepatitis A, and Gardasil (Human Papillomavirus vaccine). Boosters of MMR, DTaP, and Polio are required after four years of age or prior to kindergarten entrance. The administration fee is $10.00 for each immunization. Make all checks payable to the Shelby County Health Department or IPA Medicaid Card is accepted. No one is denied if unable to pay.

If you are bringing children that attend school outside of Shelby County or are new to the school system in Shelby County, you must bring their past immunization records for the nurse to evaluate. Pre-registration before the day of the clinic is necessary to assure appointment time and vaccine availability. Clinic size is limited. All consents must be signed by parent or legal guardian and are valid for 30 days. If you have any questions concerning your child and immunization requirements, call the Shelby County Health Department at 774-9555.

Edwards on Main Street's Mission

The Taylorville Main Street’s Twilight Christmas Parade is set for Saturday evening in Downtown Taylorville. Becky Edwards, Main Street Executive Director says events like the parade are important to the organization, but Main Street’s purpose goes a little deeper:

 [audio:beckyedwardsevents120211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The Twilight Christmas Parade is Saturday evening at 5PM on the Taylorville Square. Line up for participants is at 4:30. The theme for this year is “Castles on Parade”.

Photos with Santa in Shelbyville

This time of year many of us are looking for good charitable causes to support, and Tad Mayhall of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce has an idea: get your picture taken with Satan and make sure to bring your pets:

 [audio:photowithsantatad120211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The event is Saturday from 11:00AM to 8:00PM at the Santa Claus House in the Mini-park.

Social Security Advises: Save Your Money

With the shopping and spending season here, it’s easy to get carried away. Social Security spokesperson Nicky Alvarado says even at this time of year, you should think about saving:

 [audio:alvaradossa120211.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Alvarado is from the Social Security Office in Springfield.

Senior Citizen's Are Invited to the Meridian High School's Christmas Dinner

All Senior Citizens in the Meridian School District are invited to attend the Meridian High School’s Christmas Dinner on Tuesday, December 6, in the High School cafeteria. This is provided free of charge to Senior Citizens.

The State Bank of Blue Mound is donating the funds needed for the meal.

A turkey dinner will be served at 1:00PM. Prior to dinner, Christmas music will be performed by the High School Chorus and Band in the gym at noon.

Signup sheets will be at Peoples Bank of Macon and The State Bank of Blue Mound. You can also sign up by calling the High School Office at 764-5233. Please Call or sign up by Monday, December 5, if you plan to attend.

Senior Citizen's Are Invited to the Meridian High School's Christmas Dinner

All Senior Citizens in the Meridian School District are invited to attend the Meridian High School’s Christmas Dinner on Tuesday, December 6, in the High School cafeteria. This is provided free of charge to Senior Citizens.

The State Bank of Blue Mound is donating the funds needed for the meal.

A turkey dinner will be served at 1:00PM. Prior to dinner, Christmas music will be performed by the High School Chorus and Band in the gym at noon.

Signup sheets will be at Peoples Bank of Macon and The State Bank of Blue Mound. You can also sign up by calling the High School Office at 764-5233. Please Call or sign up by Monday, December 5, if you plan to attend.

Local Basketball Scores

As heard on WTIM, Taylorville fell to Glenwood with a score of 76-29.

As heard on WRAN, Shelbyville fell to Okaw Valley with a score of 54-39.

Lack Of Leadership Equals No Tax Deal

Senate leaders say Governor Quinn's lack of leadership is part to blame for the  legislature's failure to pass tax breaks for Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says it could mean a loss of jobs for the state.

 [audio:radognocme120111.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Radogno says Quinn was nowhere to be found during yesterday's one day emergency session.  Lawmakers were in town specifically to pass the plan to give 100-million dollars in tax breaks to the two corporations.  It passed in the Senate but received a mere eight votes in the House.  The measure would've also provided some benefits for smaller businesses, the film industry, and the low-income workers in the state.

Illinois Develops National Science Standards

Education officials in Illinois are among the ranks to develop new science standards for students across the nation.  Mary Fergus, with the Illinois State Board of Education, says the idea is to develop a core set of goals that will help students be more competitive in the job market.

 [audio:sciencestandards120111.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The new standards will clearly define what students need to learn from kindergarten through high school graduation.  Education officials say they're honored to have a seat at the table to identify ways to strengthen problem areas that keep American students so far behind in math and science.  Twenty six states are working together to create the new standards.

Tenaska Clears Senate Heads To House

A proposal to bring a clean-coal plant to Central Illinois cleared a huge hurdle in the Senate yesterday but Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton says the fight isn't over. 

Three Local Wrecks

27 year old Amanda S. Rhodes, of Nokomis, was traveling north on County One when a deer ran onto the roadway.  Rhodes hit the deer with the front of her 2006 Pontiac.  No injuries were reported. 

64 year old George R. Wamsley, of Taylorville, was traveling west on 1100 North Rd. when a deer ran into the driver side of his 2005 Buick Lesabre.  Wamsley was not able to avoid striking the deer.  No injuries were reported. 

42 year old Cindy J. Hartke, of Beecher City, was east bound on twp. rd. 1600 N. Rd. about a tenth of a mile west of 2600 E. Rd when she apparently went off the road to the right, then drove into a plowed field,  then back through the ditch, across the road and into the left ditch, striking the embankment.  Her 1998 Chevrolet Blazer received minor damage.  Hartke refused medical treatment and was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. 

The New Extension Educator

Andrew Holsinger is the new Extension Educator, Horticulture serving Christian, Jersey, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties.  His program focus will be in ornamental horticulture and fruit and vegetable production. Holsinger joined University of Illinois Extension on November 7, 2011 and is currently learning about the horticultural needs of the area while preparing for upcoming educational programs.

Holsinger graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a bachelor’s degree in Plant and Soil Science with a specialization in landscape horticulture and a master’s degree in Plant and Soil Science focusing on woody plant propagation.  He has prior fruit tree experience from working at a peach orchard. Holsinger also brings experience from previously working at the DuQuoin State Fair in the grounds department.

Holsinger will be coordinating Master Gardener programs. Planning and preparation are underway for the next class of Master Gardeners which is scheduled to begin on January 26, 2012. Holsinger is busy updating the horticulture section of the Unit’s website, meeting with Master Gardeners and developing his program focus. He is glad to be aboard the University of Illinois Extension team and looks forward to meeting growers and gardeners alike and exploring the exciting world of Extension

Woman Charged With Three Criminal Counts

As a result of the investigation conducted by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police an Information was filed on October 29th with the Circuit Court, 4th Judicial Circuit, Christian County, charging 47 year old Teresa D. Burdick of Assumption with 3 criminal counts, including  theft (over $300, less than $10,000.00) – Class 3 Felony, Obstructing Justice – Class 4 Felony, and Tampering with Public Records – Class 3 Felony.

Burdick appeared in Christian County Court Tuesday. She was subsequently booked into the Christian County Sheriffs Office, Correctional Center by Illinois State Police investigators and was issued a Notice to Appear. She is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on January 13th, 2012.

This case is being handled by Michael Vujovich, a Special Prosecutor with the States Attorney Appellate Prosecutors Office.

More Tenaska News: Senator McCarter Opposes

While many in Christian County are happy about the recent up vote on the Tenaska legislation, not everyone supports the multi-billion dollar project.  51st district Senator Kyle McCarter, an early strong supporter of Tenaska, is now one of its strongest detractors:

 [audio:SenKyleMcarter1123011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The Senator who supported the bill until just a few days before it was voted on a year ago, says the bill is full of loopholes:

 [audio:SenKyleMcCarter2123011.mp3]comment here[/audio]

The Senate passed the bill 30 to 28 Tuesday afternoon.  The bill’s next stop will be in the Illinois House this spring. 

Sheriff Kettelkamp on Synthetic Drugs

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently held a summit on synthetic drugs, and one of the officials in attendance was Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp. The Sheriff says some of those products are still legal, despite their obvious dangers:

 [audio:sheriffkonsybtheticdrugs120111.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Several recent have showed the drugs are dangerous, causing increases in user’s blood pressures and other health problems.

Registration Still Going on for LLCC

It’s not too late to sign up for classes at Lincoln Land College for the spring semester, which starts next month. Scott Stallman, Executive Director of Lincoln Land Taylorville, Litchfield and Hillsboro says people tend to procrastinate about getting registered:

 [audio:stallman120111.mp3]comment here[/audio]

You can call the college for more information at 287-7081.

Parked Car Hit and Run

John Tonelle of Taylorville called police this past Saturday to complain of damaged to his vehicle. Tonelle told police that somebody struck the rear end of his parked vehicle, causing damage to the left rear of the car. The matter remains under investigation.

Area Arrests

A sharp-eyed Taylorville Police officer helped collar a suspect Tuesday night at Manner’s Park. According to reports, the officer recognized the suspect as having a warrant out for his arrest in Macoupin County. 20-year-old Joseph A. Leckner of Taylorville was arrested, taken to the Christian County Jail, held there in lieu of bond.

Sunday evening Taylorville Police were summoned to the Taylorville Route Mart after reports of a man taking items without paying. After a brief search, officers arrested 19-year-old Ryan E. Clay of Taylorville. He was accused of retail theft. Police processed Clay and released him on a notice to appear.

32 year old Rhonda M. Whitlow of Taylorville was arrested for domestic battery.

42 year-old Richard W. Cloe, of Pana was arrested on a warrant for reckless driving. 




Cutler Says His Season Could Be Over

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler admitted on Wednesday that his season could be over due to the recent surgery he had to repair a Bennett's fracture in his right thumb.  Cutler, who met with the media for the first time since undergoing surgery on his broken thumb on November 23rd in Vail, Colorado, said he still wants to return but doesn't want to put a specific date on his return because of all the variables concerning the recovery process.  The Bears had a five-game winning streak snapped in a Week 12 loss to the Raiders last weekend in the team's first game without Cutler under center.  Chicago hosts Kansas City on Sunday.

'Hawks Wrap Up Homestand Tomorrow

The Chicago Blackhawks are back on the ice tomorrow evening as they wrap up a brief two-game homestand against the New York Islanders at the United Center.  The 'Hawks had a two-game winning streak snapped with a 4-1 setback to Phoenix on Tuesday to fall to 14-8-and-3 on the season.  Chicago caps off this week's play on Saturday at St. Louis.

NBA Players Can Report Today

NBA executives were given the green light to begin discussions with player agents yesterday and also open up their practice facilities today, according to multiple sources.  A league memo was sent to all 30 teams Tuesday evening outlining the conditions.  Teams will be allowed to discuss financial terms with agents for unsigned rookies and free agents, but can't consummate any deals until the league opens for business, something that is expected on December 9th.  Meanwhile, players will be permitted to access team facilities and work on voluntary conditioning or strength training, but will not be able to work on "basketball-related activity" until the new collective bargaining agreement is officially ratified.  Also, the "New York Times" is reporting that the NBA will kick off its lockout-delayed season on Christmas Day with five games on three different networks.

Blues Close Out Road Trip

The St. Louis Blues conclude a three-game road trip Friday in Colorado.  The Blues have won four in-a-row, including wins in Columbus and Washington.  They sit at 14-8-and-2.  On Saturday, St. Louis begins a five-game homestand with Chicago.

Central A and M Girls beat Unity

As heard on WMKR The Central A and M girls beat Unity at basketball witha  score of 42 to 25.

IEPA Public Hearing on Tenaska

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency held a public meeting Thursday night to hear and answer public questions and comments concerning the issuance of the Tenaska Coal Gasification plant construction permit proposed for Taylorville. When Regional Radio News asked Taylorville mayor Greg Brotherton whats next for the city he stated they will continue working with Tenaska and working with legislators to pleade their case. 


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