Wayne Rosenthal, Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources hosted a meet-and-greet and formerly endorsed State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) of the 95th District at his hunt club in Waggoner on Saturday morning. Rosenthal previously served as State Representative of the 95th District from January 2011 until his resignation on January 2015 to head the IDNR. Rosenthal told Regional Radio News about 50 to 60 people attended the event and noted Bourne’s work ethic.
Bourne states she is thankful for Rosenthal’s endorsement of her. She added that she and her team will continue to meet people as the primary election is coming up.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a Montgomery County business owner surrendered on Friday to law enforcement after pleading guilty to evading more than $40,000 in sales tax payments to the state. 50 year-old Long Clayton of Hillsboro, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Circuit Court to one count of sales tax evasion and one count of aggravated identity theft, both of which are Class 2 felonies. He was sentenced in three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and agreed to pay restitution of some $44,000 to the Illinois Department of Revenue as well as some $2,000 to Ameren Illinois.
As the owner of the Cozy Café at 633 South Main Street in Hillsboro, Clayton allegedly convinced current and former employees to register the café under their names in order to use their Illinois business tax numbers to report sales in an attempt to evade paying more than $40,000 in taxes. Clayton fraudulently used those business tax numbers due to his own business tax number being revoked by IDOR for delinquency in paying previous taxes. Clayton also allegedly fraudulently used a Social Security number of a former employee with a developmental disability to open a utility account through Ameren Illinois.
The case was investigated by IDOR’s Criminal Investigations Division and referred to Madigan’s office for prosecution. Assistant Attorney General Gregory Stucka handled the case for Madigan’s Special Prosecutions Bureau.
This week in the State of Illinois is Severe Weather Preparedness Week, as it is held every year during the first week of March. Chris Miller, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News that this week is a reminder to be prepared all year long for severe weather.
He further stated they are putting a real emphasis this year on flooding, since flooding impacted several counties in the State from late December to early January. Miller says on Tuesday at 10 a.m., the annual statewide tornado drill will occur, as they will be testing communication systems.
Miller noted having multiple ways of getting information about the latest in severe weather is a way to keep you safe.
For more information on Severe Weather Preparedness Week, go to weather.gov/lincoln.
According to Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards, 87 year-old Cletis A. Britton of Pana was pronounced deceased at Memorial Medical Center’s Emergency Room at 10:40 p.m. on Saturday. He was a passenger in a car that crashed around 8 p.m. at the intersection of Route 29 and County Road 2050 North in Christian County and was transported from the scene to Memorial Medical Center. The Illinois State Police are investigating the crash. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday morning at 8 a.m. in Springfield by the Coroner’s Office. There is nothing further at this time.
Results of the Illinois State Bar Association Judicial Advisory Poll for the 2016 Primary Election have been released and one area judge scored very high with an average of 98, just shy of the maximum of 100. Associate Judge Brad Paisley notched 100’s on Integrity, Court Management, Health, and Sensitivity. Candidates must have a 65% or higher rating regarding Meets Requirements of Office in order to be recommended, and Paisley garnered a 98.33% rating in that category. Paisley told Regional Radio News these polls are conducted every time there is an election that has an open position.
Paisley says he was pleased with the high numbers he received.
Paisley is running unopposed for Resident Circuit Judge in the Fourth Judicial Circuit, which is vacant due to former judge Ron Spears retiring last December. Paisley says there may be big shoes to fill, but noted Spears as a mentor and inspiration to him.
The term is for six years and following the November elections, the first day of the term is December 5, 2016.
According to a statement by Taylorville Police Chief Dave Herpstreith on Friday afternoon, in the early morning hours on Monday, February 22, the Taylorville Police Department responded to a call, regarding a suspect breaking into a vehicle in the 1200 block of West Adams Street. Multiple officers arrived in the area and located a suspicious vehicle parked at the Taylorville Care Center at 600 South Houston Street.
Officers approached the vehicle and spoke with the occupants. Upon further investigation, it was determined the occupants of the vehicle were involved in burglaries from vehicles in the area. The suspects: 19 year-old Justin Sexton of Taylorville, 19 year-old Lydia E. Wilson of Edinburg, and a male juvenile from Taylorville were arrested and charged with burglary.
During the course of the investigation, numerous items were recovered which included GPS units.
Herpstreith further stated that the community has experienced an increase in vehicles being entered and items taken. The TPD reminds citizens to remove valuables and to lock their vehicles when parked unoccupied.
Anyone with information regarding this incident, or any other vehicle burglaries is encouraged to call the Taylorville Police Department at 824-2211 or Christian County Crimestoppers at 824-9100.
The 98.3 WSVZ FFA Roadshow wrapped up at Windsor High School on Friday afternoon as chapter officers and members in Windsor’s FFA organization were interviewed. Historian Tristan Boehm told Regional Radio News one of the projects they did for Science Fair week for Ag Science class was electrotropism.
There is some international flavor in Windsor’s FFA organization as Mehria Khan, a foreign exchange student from Pakistan and member of FFA, described the difference in agriculture between Pakistan and America.
Sentinel Brad Farmer is looking forward to going to District to compete in public speaking.
The advisor is Jennifer Boberg and the FFA Roadshow was broadcast from 4-5 on Friday afternoon on 98.3 WSVZ New Country.
Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed Ann Deters to the Illinois Teachers Retirement System Board. Deters’ experience in business, finance and consulting make her an ideal choice for the position.
Deters is the founder and CEO of Vintage Outsourcing, a medical service company and was previously named in the Top 500 Fasting Growing Small Businesses in the U.S. She founded the company in 1997, which has grown to include a customer base of more than 175 accounts across the country.
Deters is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and earned an MBA from Northwestern University. She resides in Effingham.
Governor Bruce Rauner on Friday asked President Barack Obama to approve federal assistance to help people, businesses, and local governments in several Illinois counties recover from the flooding that occurred in late December to early January.
Rauner requested federal assistance for people and businesses in ten counties, including Christian. He also requested federal assistance for local governments in 16 counties, including Cumberland and Moultrie. Joint assessment teams from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reviewed damage in ten counties earlier this month. The teams identified 684 homes that were damaged, including 10 homes that were destroyed, 131 homes with major damage, and 543 with less severe damage related to the floods and storms.
IEMA and FEMA personnel met with local government officials in 19 counties in early February to document disaster-related expenses and damages, which totaled more than $15 million. Though the state didn’t meet FEMA’s population-based threshold of $18 million, Governor Rauner said several other factors should be considered when Illinois’ request is reviewed. Some of the same areas hit by the flooding and storms were also impacted by severe storms and flooding last summer, leaving already cash-strapped local governments struggling once again to scrap together funds to repair roads and other critical infrastructure.
All of the counties included in the state’s request for federal assistance to local governments exceeded the required county threshold of $3.57 per capita. If Rauner’s request for Individual Assistance is approved, people in the approved counties would be eligible to apply for grants and low-interest SBA loans. Affected businesses would be able to apply for low-interest SBA loans. If Rauner’s request for Public Assistance is approved, local governments in the approved counties would be eligible to apply for up to 75% reimbursement of their eligible disaster-related expenses.
The 98.3 WSVZ New Country FFA Roadshow made its stop at Cowden-Herrick High School on Thursday afternoon as part of FFA week. Members were interviewed based on their positions and duties. President Matt Buchanan told Regional Radio News that officers and members pitch in to help organize and make this week fun.
Sophomore Blake Barnes says his big brother was Vice President of Cowden-Herrick FFA when he attended and being around him is what lured him to be a FFA member.
Secretary Jenna Wojcik is the daughter of Dave Wojcik, who is the Agriculture Sciences teacher at the high school. Wojcik says he expects more out of her and she mentioned FFA is life to her.
The FFA Roadshow was broadcast from 4-5 Thursday afternoon on 98.3 WSVZ New Country.
A great crowd was in attendance at the Project 29 meeting at Jan’s in Edinburg on Thursday night. Carl Adams, Vice President of the Illinois Ayers Ayerco Convenience Centers and his son Curt, described and displayed the plans for the Gas Station and Truck Stop to be constructed on the old McKeen property off of Route 29. Adams said the cost of the project is over $2 million, excluding the land price. He stated they now have verbal approval of their Storm Water Drainage Permit from the Illinois Department of Transportation, but don’t have the official papers yet.
Adams further stated they will have to reshape the land to have the water run into the ditch along Route 29, as it will flow to the southeast. He also noted they may have to concrete a portion of a street for the heavy trucks to come in. He also stated if they can get the project coordinated, they hope to build it with 90-120 days, and is aiming to be open before summer. There is a possibility that Subway will be built next to the gas station, yet other eating establishments have been discussed as backups.
Verne Evans, Subway Franchisee Owner, was also in attendance. He stated the two major factors of opening a Subway are having customers and having employees.
Evans told Regional Radio News following the meeting he will have to gather the figures to help make his decision if a Subway is possible in Edinburg.
Pictures of the preliminary designs can be viewed at taylorvilledailynews.com.
Following Wednesday’s winter storm that impacted central Illinois, the National Weather Service has provided a recap of the storm. Ed Shimon, Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News that the heaviest snowfall totals were in east central Illinois, outside the Regional Radio listening area.
Shimon noted the high winds made the snowfall total difficult to measure.
National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Miller stated that local snowfall amounts varied, as an observer near Kincaid registered 5.4 inches, Pana received 4.3 inches, and Shelbyville notched 3 inches of snow. Near Neoga, 5 ½ inches of snow was received, while southeastern Shelby County registered 4 inches. There were two wind speeds recorded as 43 M.P.H. were registered at the Taylorville Airport, while IDOT in Shelbyville had the highest at 54 M.P.H.
According to Kevin Bernson, Vice President of Media and Public Relations at Shelby Electric Cooperative, all customers had their power restored by midnight. At one point, there were approximately 4,000 customers without power at one point.
Shelbyville High School Boys Wrestling senior Garrett Brachbill won first place in the IHSA Class 1A, 152 weight class last week. Brachbill went undefeated of the season by posting a 47-0 record and it was his fourth straight state appearance. Shelbyville was also represented by senior Caleb Cloe (220), sophomore Clayton Peterson (138), and freshman Cade Helton (132). Brachbill told Regional Radio News he gives credit to his father, Tadd Brachbill for introducing him to the sport at an early age and Shelbyville High School Wrestling head coach, Greg Harkins for helping his technique.
Brachbill says he tried to not let the nerves get to him while wrestling against his opponents on the mat.
Brachbill further stated he will miss competing in wrestling and thanks his friends, family and the community’s support. He will focus on baseball as the season is not far away. His future plans are to attend Millikin University or Indiana State University to play baseball and major in Finance.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) was recently appointed to the Education Funding Task Force which held their first meeting in Springfield. The Education Funding Task Force was created in the house, and is a bi-partisan effort comprising of legislators from across the State to help craft a legislative plan to equitably fund education throughout Illinois. Bourne told Regional Radio News a system needs to be established where every student, regardless of location, has the same educational opportunities.
Governor Bruce Rauner and Senate President John Cullerton have both endorsed the idea of changing the state school funding formula. Bourne added this could be an opportunity to bring both sides together and to fix the school funding formula.
Bourne further stated since the state budget impasse has been going on for several months, it is getting to a critical point.
The Education Funding Task Force in the House will continue to meet throughout the spring.
Though Wednesday’s winter storm dumped several inches of snow and knocked out power to thousands of customers in central Illinois, there were those who braved the elements to help motorists who were stuck and/or stranded in ditches and those who helped to improve road conditions for motorists. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp told Regional Radio News he commended the county workers and civilians for pitching in to help. He also thanked former Miller Media Group employee Ed Cross for helping motorists between Springfield and Taylorville.
Linemen from area utility companies worked many hours on Wednesday for trying to get power restored to customers during the harsh winter storm. Kevin Bernson, Vice President of Media and Public Relations of Shelby Electric Coop says they are like the first responders when it comes to severe weather.
Kettelkamp added motorists should exercise caution as there are still slick spots in the area.
* Local farmers Howard and John Yoder volunteered to assist in helping open the roads in Christian County. Photo submitted by Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp
According to the American Red Cross late Wednesday afternoon, the Warming Center at the Effingham Performance Center closed at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Residents are returning to their homes as power is or will be restored soon.
The Warming Center at the First Presbyterian Church on 10 Charleston Avenue in Mattoon remains open for now.
The Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative had nearly all of its members back in service this afternoon, with some individual problems still being addressed. At 2:55, the Sicily substation near Kincaid went out due to a trip on the Ameren transmission line. A loose transmission wire along Route 104 was the cause, and power was restored at 5:08 p.m. Three individual outages were also restored in the Taylorville area around 3:30 p.m.
As of 3:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, there are 2700 Shelby Electric Coop customers without power. Crews are working to restore power to customers. Kevin Bernson, Vice President of Media and Public Relations, told Regional Radio News with the weather tapering off, it helps crews do their work of restoring power.
Bernson said the lineman work in groups and it is a possibility that some customers may not have power until Thursday morning.
If you are experiencing an outage, you can call the cooperative at 800-677-2612 or can use the SmartHub app. Shelby Electric Coop members can go to shelbyelectric.coop for updates and click on the outage map or can go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/shelbyelectriccoop
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp issued a statement shortly after 4 p.m. as he has cancelled the Level 2 Snow Emergency. Illinois Route 29 and U.S. Route 51 in Christian County are now open with wet road conditions along with patches of slushy snow that is still remaining on the roadway. Illinois Route 48 is passable, but snow covered and still remains very hazardous in many areas between Taylorville and Harvel.
One lane of Route 104 is open as of 6 p.m. All Christian County township and county roads remain hazardous especially the east/west roads.
Sheriff Kettelkamp reminds everyone to use extreme caution and be aware of the possible black ice while driving this evening.
As the winter storm continues its rage, the Illinois State Police is out in full force. ISP District 9 Trooper Sean Ramsey told Regional Radio News that numerous accidents have been reported in the area from vehicles in the ditch to jackknifed semis.
The majority of roads are snow or ice covered according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Ramsey noted the east-west roads are very treacherous, and the snow plows are doing their best to clear off the roads.
Ramsey also issued a travel advisory statement around 2:30 this afternoon that Route 104 from the east edge of Pawnee to Taylorville will be closed for approximately two hours to allow IDOT to clear snow from the roadway. Motorists should seek alternate routes.
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp issued a Snow Emergency Level 2 earlier on Wednesday and is asking all people to stay off the roadways unless it is an extreme emergency. Road conditions of state highways and interstates by IDOT can be found by clicking on taylorvilledailynews.com by clicking on the road sign icon. They can also be accessed by going to gettingaroundillinois.com.
Officials with Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative informed Regional Radio News early this (Wed) afternoon, that about 38-hundred 50 of its members were without power this morning due to snow and ice. Most outages were due to transmission lines "galloping" and making contact on the spans, tripping protective devices on the lines.
Rural Electric's substations near Kincaid, Taylorville, Litchfield and Girard were affected, along with some distribution circuits in the Harvel and Glenarm areas.
Rural Electric says that repairs were slowed by bad road conditions, and the cooperative had 2 line trucks stuck in ditches at one point.
Crews were able to back feed 2 substations while tranmission repairs were made, and others were restored by mid-morning. Most Rural Electric Co-op members were back in service between 9:30 and 11:30 this (Wed) morning, while a couple of local lines were still under repair. Blowing snow and sleet are continuing hazards as Rural Electric crews worked into this (Wed) afternoon.
Rural Electric Convenience Co-op serves some 58-hundred members in 5 counties south of Springfield.
Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp has provided an update on the road situation in Christian County as there are approximately 14 cars off the roadway in the ditch on Illinois Route 104 between Kincaid and Taylorville. A semi-trailer has jackknifed on Route 104 near that location, and another semi has jackknifed on Illinois Route 48 just north of Stonington.
The Christian County Sheriff’s Office reports at least a total of 65 vehicles have run off the roadway in the County. There was a report of an accident that occurred on Route 29 near Owaneco with two people taken to the Pana Hospital with minor injuries.
All state roads are extremely hazardous and white out conditions are occurring within Christian County. Some county roads have reported to have 7 to 8 foot drifts.
Sheriff Kettelkamp is asking all people to stay off the roadways unless it is an extreme emergency.
Shelby Electric Cooperative is reporting power outages for its customers in their service area and crews are out, trying to restore power. Power has been knocked out due to broken poles and some due to the service provider. According to Kevin Bernson, Vice President of Media and Public Relations for Shelby Electric Cooperative, at 11:40 a.m., there are 2,700 members without power. They started the day with 300 but as the winds picked up and the snow and sleet started accumulating on trees and poles, they are having poles break and trees are getting into the lines. This will be an ongoing situation today with the winds blowing as hard as they are.
If you are experiencing an outage, you can call the cooperative at 800-677-2612 or can use the SmartHub app. Shelby Electric Coop members can go to shelbyelectric.coop for updates and click on the outage map or can go to their Facebook page at facebook.com/shelbyelectriccoop.
Ameren Illinois has been posting updates about power outages as the winter storm rages on. Marcelyn Love, Spokesperson for Ameren Illinois, told Regional Radio News that crews are out, trying to restore power to customers that are affected.
Power lines have been knocked down due to the high winds and Love urges residents to stay away from downed power lines.
Love says if you are experiencing a power outage, you can call Ameren at 800-755-5000 and can report the outage online at amerenillinois.com. Updates on Facebook and Twitter will also be posted as well.
According to the National Weather Service Office in Lincoln, they have issued more information regarding the winter storm that is impacting the area. The storm system is bringing winds that could gust as high as 45-50 m.p.h. along with snow. The high winds and snow will produce blizzard-like conditions in some areas.
Predictions indicate the heaviest snow accumulation and the best chance for blizzard conditions will occur into the Interstate 57 corridor from around Shelbyville and Effingham through Champaign/Urbana toward Rantoul. The heaviest snows will occur this morning, with a diminishing trend later on this afternoon into the evening. The high winds are also expected to shift eastward in the afternoon with a gradual diminishing trend expected.
The National Weather Service further states that snowfall totals could vary and higher amounts are possible. In Taylorville, it is expected that 3-7 inches of snow could fall, while east central Illinois could receive 8-12 inches, and that includes Coles County.
A Blizzard Warning is in effect until 9 p.m. tonight for Shelby, Moultrie, Effingham and Coles counties. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect until 9 p.m. for Christian, Sangamon and Macon counties, while the warning lasts until 6 p.m. for Montgomery and Fayette counties.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for updates and information.
High school and college students in Illinois and Indiana that are pursuing an agriculture degree have the opportunity to further their education with two $1000 scholarships from Jenner Ag. Ag students from their high school senior year up to their college junior year can apply for assistance furthering their education in an agriculture degree program. Darren Dalenburg, General Manager of Jenner Ag, told Regional Radio News the scholarship helps further the education of prospective employees and customers in the future.
Applications are available online at jennerag.com or through any Jenner employee and must be postmarked by June 30, 2016. Scholarships will be awarded in August.
According to Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp in a statement, due to hazardous road conditions with very poor visibility in Christian County, Sheriff Kettelkamp has announced snow emergency at Level 2. Level 2 states that roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and may be icy. This means that only people with real and important needs 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 operations.
Sheriff Kettelkamp also reported that power is out in Taylorville and the Kincaid area. The Christian County Courthouse is also closed today due to the weather conditions.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for weather updates and information.
Due to the winter storm, the Illinois Department of Transportation has been updating road conditions of state roads online. You can go to taylorvilledailynews.com and click on “click here for road conditions’ on the top right corner of the home page which will pull up the statewide map. It is updated continuously by IDOT.
The 98.3 WSVZ FFA Roadshow started off this week on Monday at Shelbyville High School as students were interviewed about their positions and their FFA experience. Jake Pheiffer, Shelbyville FFA Chapter President, told Regional Radio News that he carries many duties from helping his advisor and taking part in competitions.
Ag Plot Manager Curt Campbell says FFA is a great way to be involved in the community.
The FFA Roadshow continued Tuesday afternoon as FFA members of Central A&M High School were interviewed. Sophomore Chapter Reporter Hailey Hunter says her duties are writing articles and take for the pictures. Her favorite part of FFA is obtaining experience.
For seniors, it will be their last FFA Week. Senior Sentinel Rebecca Nash says she will miss the competitions and meeting new friends in agriculture.
The FFA Roadshow was broadcast on 98.3 WSVZ from 4-5 p.m.
The Christian County CEO Class of 2016 donated $841.30 to the Christian County Relay for Life last week. The donation was made possible by the CEO for Life Dinner that was held on January 30. Fifteen percent of the dinner proceeds were donated. Lisa Sims accepted the donation on behalf of Relay for Life. Dee Krueger, Co-Chair of the Christian County CEO Program, told Regional Radio News the students decided to donate to Relay for Life, because of Taylorville native and founder of CEO, Craig Lindvahl, who is battling cancer.
Krueger says this is an important lesson for the students to give back to the community.
Krueger stated the students have already started working on their personal business as they are on different stages, as some are ready to go while others are tweaking their plans.
The Trade Show will be held on May 19 at Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville from 6-7:30 p.m. More information can be found by going to christiancountyceo.com.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the Illinois State Treasurer's “I-Cash” program, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Ted Thomas of the State Treasurer's Office, told Kiwanis members about the program, which returns forgotten bank account money to Illinois residents. Last year, the program returned some 140-million dollars to over 40-thousand Illinois residents last year.
Thomas added the State Treasurer's Office, as caretaker of unclaimed funds and property, is still holding some one-point-9 billion dollars in unclaimed money from former bank accounts and other assets, as well as a large vault full of unclaimed items from safe deposit boxes.
Thomas said Illinois residents can find out if any of the unclaimed money or items may be theirs, simply by typing in their name at the I-Cash link on the State Treasurer's web site, illinoistreasurer-dot-gov.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.
The National Weather Service office in Lincoln continues to monitor a winter storm that could bring rain and accumulating snow into the Regional Radio listening area late tonight into Wednesday. A winter storm warning will be in effect from 6 a.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday for Christian, Shelby, Moultrie and Coles counties. A winter weather advisory will be in effect from Wednesday at 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Moultrie, Fayette, and Effingham counties.
Matt Barnes, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News in the Taylorville area, three to five inches of snow are expected, while heavier amounts will fall to the east and northeast in the Champaign, Danville, and Tuscola area.
Barnes further stated that the heaviest snow will fall during the morning hours and should depart by mid-afternoon. Barnes noted the snow falling will be heavy and wet, and high winds will likely cause a drifting of snow during the afternoon and nighttime hours.
For more information, go to weather.gov/lincoln and stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for weather updates and information.
15 year-old David Bruns of Rosamond has been honored for his exemplary volunteer service with a Certificate of Excellence from The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, and with a President’s Volunteer Service Award granted by the program on behalf of President Barack Obama. It is presented annually by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), as they recognize middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honors young people across America for outstanding volunteer service.
Certificates of Excellence are granted to the top 10 percent of all Prudential Spirit of Community Award applicants in each state and District of Columbia. The President’s Volunteer Service Awards recognize Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.
Alicia Gullidge, 4-H and Youth Development Coordinator for Christian County, told Regional Radio News that she is proud of Bruns and noted one of his achievements is starting the 4-H Medical SPIN Club.
The Presidential Spirit of Community Awards also selected State Honorees and Distinguished Finalists. Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact, and personal growth.
The Taylorville Park District met in regular session on Monday night, and President Marlane Miller was absent. The Board heard from Justin Hall, one of the organizers from the softball league. Hall stated they would like to receive permission from the board about starting the league again this year.
Hall proposed a spring league that will start in April to mid-June, then take a few weeks off, then start up in the fall, but not go quite as late into the year as last year. Hall also noted there are people in communities such as Pana, Kincaid, Edinburg, Auburn, and Chatham that have shown interest in participating in the league. The games will be played on Sundays only. Parking and practices were also discussed. Vice President Don Bragg gave his approval of starting the softball league again this year.
In other Taylorville Park Board action, the Board adopted the Fiscal Year 2016/2017 Operating Budget as presented. There will be a 30 day notice for public inspection and then it will be presented to the Board, to where it will be voted on to be finalized. Secretary/Bookkeeper MaryAnn Becker told Regional Radio News following the meeting that the budget is the same as last year, though the pool may need improvements.
The Board also approved a motion to adopt resolution 2016-1, which is the Internal Revenue Code Section 125 Plan as IMRF Earnings. Becker stated during the meeting they have always done it correctly, but need to have it on file.
After approving the motion, the Board heard committee reports.
In other Taylorville Park Board action, Secretary/Bookkeeper MaryAnn Becker addressed the Board about the recent rise in vandalism at Jayne’s Park as picnic tables and playground equipment have either been damaged or destroyed. Becker says funds are available and she is looking into over venues to purchase surveillance equipment. She has also been talking to Officer Alan Mills of the Taylorville Police Department on how to stop the vandalism from happening.
Becker hopes kids will come forward if they know who is committing the vandalism.
The Board approved the payment of bills and adjourned at 7:26 p.m.
Central Illinois residents enjoyed spring-like weather over the weekend, however, there is a potential for a storm system that could bring rain and possibly snow into the area from late Tuesday night through Wednesday. James Auten, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News that in the Taylorville area, it is possible that two inches of snow could fall, while the heaviest amounts could be further to the east of a line from Danville to Effingham.
Auten further stated that the majority of snow will occur during the day on Wednesday. Another factor is the wind as gusts could top at 40 M.P.H. at times during the afternoon and evening, which could result in a drifting of snow causing hazardous conditions. Auten says there is still some uncertainty with this storm system.
For more information, go to weather.gov/Lincoln. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for updates and information.
22 year-old Robert A. Stivers of Pana appeared in custody in a courtroom at the Christian County Courthouse on Monday morning for a preliminary hearing. Stivers is represented by Public Defender Greg Grigsby. Christian County State’s Attorney, Michael Havera, called Special Agent John Yard from the Illinois State Police to the stand.
Yard testified about the interview that was conducted with Stivers and his account of what occurred on Friday, February 5. It was on that day Stivers’ four month old child was taken to Pana Community Hospital, and then transferred to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. The infant passed away during the early morning hours on February 8. Yard noted that interviews were conducted with family members, and specifically mentioned an interview with one neighbor who stated that he heard a child crying and loud noises earlier on that Friday. All family members stated they were concerned with Stivers temper, as he punched holes in the walls and doors in his apartment.
Yard also testified that Cardinal Glennon completed a medical affidavit and the injuries that the child had were non-accidental trauma. He also noted the autopsy is complete, but the report is not in yet. During cross examination, Grigsby asked Yard about statements in the interviews and medical tests. Yard told the defense that blood tests were conducted and the injuries are still consistent with non-accidental trauma.
Following cross examination, Havera stated it could be two to three weeks when the autopsy report comes in. A pre-trial hearing has been set for March 14 at 10 a.m., while jury trial is scheduled for May 23 at 8:30 a.m. Stivers is facing a charge of Aggravated Battery to a Child under the age of 13, which is a Class X felony, and is currently being held on $1 million cash bond.
According to the Central Illinois Community Blood Center, Edinburg High School will be hosting a community blood drive from 1 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 23 at 100 East Martin Street inside the Bloodmobile. Registration will be in the school library.
To donate, you can contact Nona Blades at 623-5631 or visit bloodcenterimpact.org and use the code 60066 to locate the drive.
Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, call the CICBC at (800)747-5401. Donors who last gave blood on or before December 29, 2015 are eligible to give at this drive.
*LEADership Academy learns more about state and local government
In its fifth week on February 10, participants in the LEADership Academy learned about State and Local government issues facing Christian County. The group participated in a panel discussion with Seth McMillan, Taylorville High School Board Member; Jerry Wesley, Lincoln Land Community College Board of Trustee; Mike Bliler, Taylorville Township Supervisor; Don Kroski, Pana City Councilman; and Paul Schmitz, Christian County Board Chairman.
In its sixth week on February 17, participants in the LEADership Academy learned about the mission and unique work being done by the Christian County Mental Health Association (CCMHA). Brent DeMichael, President and CEO of CCMHA, gave a presentation, which discussed the history of the organization and its services. They also toured the CCMHA’s manufacturing facility.
The group also got a behind the scenes look at the Taylorville Correctional Center, by meeting Warden Kim Smith and toured the facility. The tour also included a look at Central Command, the prisoner’s living quarters, library, horticulture, vocational, and education centers.
For more information about the Christian County LEADership program, contact the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce at 824-4919 or University of Illinois Extension, Christian County Office at 287-7246.
*LEADership Academy group hears from Brent DeMichael
The Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) and Shelby Memorial Hospital (SMH) have announced their pursuit of sharing and aligning resources to continue to improve the patient experience and health care delivery throughout Shelby County. HSHS operates several local health systems in central Illinois. Marilyn Sears, CEO of SMH, told Regional Radio News that an example of one of the programs that will be provided is the Joslin program, a renowned diabetic program.
Sears says she is excited about the ease of access to HSHS specialists.
Sears says as they approach their 100th year in 2018, the alignment helps them lay the foundation down for the next 100 years.
After 198 civil service employees at Eastern Illinois University received their layoff notices and rallies held on campus and in Springfield, the Mayor of Charleston has provided his input on the current situation at the university. Brandon Combs told Regional Radio News that EIU will not close, and they are looking at the negatives as a way to springboard to move forward.
EIU and 11 other public universities are going through the same situation, along with 48 community colleges that are still waiting for funds to come in, as it can account for as much as 30% of the budget at some schools. Money for state grants awarded to low-income students were never distributed, so EIU and other colleges are covering that expense. Glassman and Combs communicate on a daily basis and noted that EIU and other universities are looking at ways of protecting themselves.
Combs added he’s proud of the citizens, students, the faculty and staff for coming together and the outpouring of love and support for the University and hopes it will continue, even after the impasse is broken. Glassman noted if they receive funding by March 12, many or all layoffs could be rescinded. All A&P employees starting March 1 will be required to take the equivalent of one day of furlough per week, each month, until further notification or up until June 30, 2016. Enrollment at the university has fallen by 28% since 2007 and state funding has declined by 11% during that same time period.
A check presentation was held during halftime of the boys high school basketball game between Taylorville and Mattoon on Friday night as Landmark of Taylorville presented a check in the amount of $1,550 to the Tornadoes Sports Boosters. During the varsity football season, the Tornadoes racked up 155 first downs which for every first down, Landmark donated ten dollars to the Tornadoes Sports Boosters. Jason Johnson, General Sales Manager at Landmark of Taylorville, told Regional Radio News that they enjoy doing this every year, especially helping out local sports during a difficult time for schools due to funding cuts.
Tornadoes Sports Boosters member, Shelly Cappellin, says all the money goes back to the sports programs and they try to give back to every program.
All the Tornadoes football games were broadcast on The Big 870 AM, 96.3 and 94. FM Newstalk WTIM and online at taylorvilledailynews.com. Miller Media Group President, Randal J. Miller, was also in attendance during the check presentation.
According to the Office of the Governor on Friday afternoon, Bruce Rauner has appointed Brian Anderson to the Illinois State Museum Board. Anderson has more than 35 years of experience in natural resources preservation and analysis, which will bring an important perspective to the board. He previously oversaw the Illinois State Museum in his role at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
He is currently the Deputy Executive Director of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, where he oversees strategic planning and coordinates programs across the five Illinois scientific surveys. Previously, he was the Director of Institutional Improvement at Lincoln Land Community College where he coordinated accreditation compliance, strategic planning and institutional research. Anderson also worked for the IDNR for nearly twenty years in a number of roles, and left the agency as the Director of the Office of Resource Conservation.
Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree at Kalamazoo College, his master’s degree from DePauw University and his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Louisville. He resides in Rochester.
According a statement by the Regional Office of Education #3 that effective immediately, the passing score for each GED subject area is now 145, instead of 150, in most states including Illinois. If a student achieves a score of 145 or higher, they have passed that subject area. Julie Wollerman, Superintendent of Schools for Regional Office of Education #3 told Regional Radio News the reason for the lowered GED passing score is unclear, but thinks it could be competition among testing places.
The recent change has resulted in some confusion with printing correct transcripts and diplomas. Wollerman stated that correct documentation reflecting this change won’t be in effect until March. She also mentioned they will print a letter free of charge to anyone who has passed with the new lowered score.
For more information, you can contact your local Regional Office of Education. The Regional Office of Education District #3 includes Bond, Christian, Effingham, Fayette, and Montgomery counties.
According to a statement from the office of Governor Bruce Rauner, action was taken Friday on Senate Bill 2043, with Rauner vetoing the bill. Rauner stated if the bill passed, it would’ve exploded the State’s budget deficit, exacerbate the State’s cash flow crisis, and place further strain on social service providers and recipients who are already suffering from the State’s deficit spending.
The bill would have appropriated $721 million for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) and community college programs.
Rauner added that despite its constitutional obligation to balance the budget, the General Assembly has not put forward a plan to pay for these programs, whether through spending reductions, revenue, or cost-saving reforms. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget concluded that Senate Bill 2043 would have added $721 million to the State’s budget deficit.
Rauner also mentioned that House Bill 4539 and Senate Bill 2349 would appropriate $1.6 billion for higher education programs, while Senate Bill 2789 would authorize the Governor, Comptroller, and Treasurer to identify and implement funding by reallocating funds and reducing spending in other areas. Rauner noted that together these bills would fund MAP, community college programs, and public universities without exploding the deficit or exacerbating the State’s cash flow crisis. Rauner concluded it is a far more fiscally responsible and constitutional plan for funding higher education.
35 year-old Steven A. Rigney of Morrisonville appeared in custody with Public Defender Greg Grigsby in a courtroom at the Christian County Courthouse on Friday morning. The State filed a charge on Thursday of Criminal Sexual Assault, a Class 1 felony. Rigney is accused of sexually abusing a minor child on multiple occasions from March to May in 2015. He was arrested on Wednesday, following a lengthy investigation by local law enforcement. In court today, Grigsby requested a preliminary hearing to be held. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 14 at 10 a.m.
The possible penalties of the Criminal Sexual Assault charge include a mandatory 4-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and 2 years to lifetime of mandatory supervised release. Bond is still set at $500,000.
In other Christian County court action, 22 year-old Robert A. Stivers of Pana appeared in custody in a courtroom at the Christian County Courthouse on a bond reduction motion hearing, as he is represented by Public Defender Greg Grigsby. Stivers is facing a charge of Aggravated Battery to a Child under the age of 13, which is a Class X felony. In court on Friday, it was granted that the bond reduction motion be pushed back to February 22 at 10 a.m. It is scheduled on the same day of the preliminary hearing that will also start at 10 a.m. A motion to preserve the evidence was granted in court. Christian County State's Attorney Michael Havera also stated they do not know the results of the autopsy at this time. Stivers is currently being held on $1 million cash bond.
The possible penalties are 6-30 years in prison and is non-probationable, followed by four years of mandatory supervised release. Stivers must serve 85% of that sentence. The case involves Stivers’ four month old child that was airlifted from Pana Community Hospital on February 5 to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. The infant passed away on February 8 in the early morning hours.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for the latest in updates and information regarding both cases.
The Big 870 AM, 96.3 and 94.7 FM, Newstalk WTIM and People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville have announced their students of the month for February. The program recognizes one outstanding student from each of the four classes.
The Big 870 AM, 96.3 and 94.7 FM, Newstalk WTIM and People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville February students of the month are senior Will Seaton, junior Kelly Overhaug, sophomore Taylor Evanchak, and freshman Samantha Hodges.
* Left to right is Senior Will Seaton, Junior Kelly Overhaug, Sophomore Taylor Evanchak, Freshman Samantha Hodges. Photo submitted by Judi McDowell-Humphrey
A retail clothing chain that was in Taylorville many years ago is making its return to the city. Glik’s will be opening a new store next to Shoe Sensation off of Bidwell Street. Lee Ann Runyon, Regional Manager for Glik’s, told Regional Radio News they are excited to be coming back to Taylorville, as their grand opening and ribbon cutting will be held on March 24.
Runyon says now is the time to come back as they have made changes over the years since they left.
Kara Langan of Stonington will be the manager for the upcoming Glik’s store in Taylorville, as this is her twentieth year in the business. She is also the manager of the Litchfield and Jacksonville stores. Langan says she is excited that Glik’s is returning to her hometown.
Forty applicants stopped by the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday as part of the hiring process for the Taylorville store. Runyon further stated she was pleased with the turnout. More information can be found at gliks.com. They are headquartered in Granite City.
* Pictured from left to right: Kara Langan and Lee Ann Runyon
The Christian County Economic Development Corporation held their Executive Committee Meeting on Thursday afternoon. An update on the development of the Taylorville Business and Industrial Park was provided. Mary Renner, Executive Director of the CCEDC, told Regional Radio News that forward progress is being made, but there is a stumbling block of finding a project for the park.
Renner sent a letter to all Chamber members and CCEDC contacts, and will also be sending a letter to the Association of Illinois Real Estate Brokers to get the word out about the Industrial Park. Renner said no one has stepped forward yet. In terms of the hotel feasibility study, Renner stated they just received the final copy which still looks favorable, and they will put together an investor group with constructing the hotel.
Renner added they will have to get a bank loan and seven to ten investors. She also reported they are in the midst of recruiting students for the Christian County CEO program, and the application deadline is on March 1.
It was announced that Ken Hart is the new President of the Board for a one year term, while Gary Spurling is Vice-President for this year, then will be President next January. Both men started their positions in January. Amy Hagen will then succeed Spurling as Vice President next January. The meeting lasted an hour and 15 minutes.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today (Thursday) that an Effingham County jury has found that a registered sex offender is a Sexually Violent Person (SVP) following a two-day trial. Following the jury’s decision last week, Judge Kimberly Koester ruled that 29 year-old Phillip Abraham of Effingham must remain in custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment.
Under the Sexually Violent Persons Act, Madigan’s office prosecutes cases seeking to commit offenders to the custody of IDHS as SVP’s. To be committed under the act, a person must have been convicted of a sexually violent offense and suffer from a mental disorder. Additionally, prosecutors must prove that the offender is likely to commit future acts of sexual violence if release from custody. Once admitted to IDHS, offenders are re-evaluated on a regular basis to determine if they continue to meet the criteria for commitment as a sexually violent person.
In 2006, Abraham was convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in Effingham County and sentenced to a term of 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. His victim was 4 years-old. Prior to that conviction, he was also convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim under the age of 13 and served a period of probation.
Following the jury’s verdict, Abraham was returned to the IDHS SVP Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville. His next court hearing is April 11, before Judge Koester.
Since the law’s enactment, 400 convicted sex offenders have been committed pursuant to the Sexually Violent Persons Act. Madigan’s office currently has an additional 189 petitions filed with courts around Illinois seeking commitment of offenders who otherwise would be released from prison. Assistant Attorneys General Nicole Nelson and Barry Schaefer are handling the case for Madigan’s Sexually Violent Persons Bureau.
35 year-old Steve A. Rigney of Morrisonville made his appearance in a courtroom at the Christian County Courthouse on Thursday morning. Rigney was arrested on Wednesday, following a lengthy investigation by local law enforcement. He is charged with criminal sexual assault, which is a Class 1 felony. Assistant State’s Attorney, Jordan Adams, read the probable cause this morning in court. Bond in the case was set in the amount of $500,000.
The possible penalties of the charge are 4-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, followed by 2 years to life of mandatory supervised release. Rigney’s next scheduled court date is on Friday at the Christian County Courthouse.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for updates and information regarding the case.
WSVZ NEW Country 98.3 in Shelbyville, today announced it will carry Chicago Cubs baseball games in 2016 and 2017.
The announcement was made today by the Miller Media Group, which owns the station.
Company president Randal J. Miller said the 2-year agreement covers regular season and post season games in 2016 and 2017.
NEW Country 98.3's signal will bring Cubs baseball to Shelbyville, Effingham, Mattoon, Vandalia, Pana and Taylorville across south central Illinois.
Saint Louis Cardinals baseball will continue to air on another one of the Miller Media Group stations, NEWSTALK WTIM THE BIG 870 AM across Central Illinois, 96.3 FM in Christian County and 94.7 FM in Shelby County.
A good crowd came out to the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours event at Dansig Insurance on Wednesday night. This is the first time that the business has hosted a Business After Hours event. It was announced by new agent Jason Woodhead that Allstate Insurance Company has joined their list of insurance companies that they have in their selection. Teresa Paul, Account Executive, told Regional Radio News they have been doing training with Allstate.
Paul stated the connection and relationship with the Chamber began with retired agent, Marv Hughes.
Their main office is in Decatur, with branch offices in Taylorville and Shelbyville. More information can be found at dansig.com.
A Witt resident is one of the several winners recently of H&R Block’s 1000 Win, $1000 Daily Sweepstakes. Terry Harris is just one of several who won recently due to the sweepstakes, which just ended earlier this week on Monday. What is more surprising is that Harris’ wife Colleen recently won from the same sweepstakes earlier this month. Harris told Regional Radio News he was shocked to receive the e-mail, notifying him that he won.
When asked how he was going to spend the money, Harris stated he will use it for remodeling his home, and charitable work. Harris thanked the staff for filing their taxes in a professional manner and encouraged those who have not done it yet, to give H&R Block a try.
Other winners include Rian Nagle, Karista Medler, Zach Gibbs, and Brianne Elder. H&R Block owner Laurie Henry stated she has had a total of 13 customers in Taylorville and Nokomis that have received an e-mail notification from H&R Block stating they won, which is more than the three predicted by H&R Block to win in the area.
A local couple appeared on Wheel of Fortune recently as their episode aired on Monday night. Angi Chase and her husband Keith were contestants on the famous game show. The journey started when they attended the Wheelmobile event in Decatur back in June. They had to do a mock game of solving a puzzle and were called back to the Springfield auditions a few weeks later. Chase told Regional Radio News after not hearing back from them in a couple of weeks, the thought they wouldn’t be on the show, until an unexpected e-mail in December came and changed everything.
They flew out to California on January 6, and their show was taped on January 7 at noon and took 30 minutes. Chase stated the taping process was like a whirlwind. She noted the entire staff was professional and down-to-earth.
The Chase’s ended up being the highest dollar amount winners, and advanced to the bonus round to solve the puzzle, but were unable to figure it out. They were able to win over $18,000 total in prizes, including a trip to Peru. After having a viewing party at Krieger’s Sports Grill, letting their students watch the episode, and DVR’ing the episode at home, Chase noted they kept their composure as their nervousness didn’t show up on camera.
Keith is a music teacher for the Taylorville Community Unit School District, while Angi is a music teacher for the South Fork School District in Kincaid.
Virginia Ream, a long-time volunteer at the SHADOW Home for Women and Children, was selected this week as the latest recipient of the NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry "Big Smile for the Community" award.
Ream has been a volunteer at the home since just after opening in 2001, and tells Regional Radio News she's been a host at the home when needed.
Ream says the SHADOW Home is a shelter for women and children, and has been very helpful in its many years of existence.
Ream tells Regional Radio News that there have been a lot of success stories about women who have stayed at the SHADOW Home.
Ream will be presented a certificate from NEWSTALK WTIM and Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry, for bringing a "Big Smile for the Community."
To nominate someone for this honor, simply e-mail your nomination to bigsmile-at-randyradio-dot-com.
Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his Budget Address Wednesday afternoon in a joint session to the General Assembly. After talking about the dismal economic performance and pension situation, Rauner stated they should stop wasting time by voting on spending bills that will be vetoed and to take action now.
Rauner added it is time to work together to enact a bipartisan, balanced budget with a mix of reforms, cost reductions, and revenue. He also stated real reforms must be passed this year, or else tough decisions would be made, including big cuts. Another topic Rauner talked about was education and funding for the K-12 schools. Rauner stated that a stand-alone appropriations bill will be introduced, and proposed full funding for the General State Aid foundation for the first time in seven years.
Rauner also cited he still supports Senate President John Cullerton’s pension plan, yet no bill has been introduced. Before wrapping up, Rauner addressed the General Assembly to come together and transform the State for the better.
Rauner’s Budget Address was under 30 minutes and was broadcast on Newstalk WTIM.
As students are busy completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) stated that February is Financial Aid Awareness Month. Lynne Baker, Managing Director of Communications with ISAC, told Regional Radio News that the FAFSA should be filed as soon as possible, since it determines a student’s eligibility of federal, state, and college financial aid programs.
There are currently 70% of students in bachelor degree programs in Illinois that graduate with student loan debt. Baker added the FAFSA is also determines a student’s eligibility for federal student loans.
Baker also encouraged high school seniors to attend their FAFSA informational meetings with their parents at their respective high school. More information can be found by going to isac.org/studentportal or collegeillinois.org.
* Sharon Holan of Litchfield, Illinois, places colonel rank on her husband, Craig A. Holan, during a promotion ceremony Feb. 5 at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois. Holan was promoted to the rank of colonel after more than 30 years of service and will continue as the full-time Construction and Facilities Management Officer for the Illinois Army National Guard. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Spreitzer, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office
Craig A. Holan of Litchfield was promoted to colonel during a ceremony at the Illinois Military Academy on Camp Lincoln in Springfield on February 5. Holan is the full-time Construction and Facilities Management Officer for the Illinois Army National Guard and is responsible for all construction and maintenance of ILARNG real property as well as physical security and environmental protection. During the ceremony, Holan thanked his family, friends, and mentors who helped guide his career and teach him along the way.
Holan reenlisted with the Illinois National Guard after a break in service in 2005 with the 766th Engineer Battalion where he served in every position from staff office to battalion commander. He was deployed to Afghanistan as the commander of the 766th Explosive Hazards Coordination Cell in 2008.
Holan enlisted in 1983 with the 82nd Airborne Division and has served on active duty as well as in the Army Reserves and the National Guard. He attended the Reserve Officer Training Course at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and received his commission in 1989.
Holan resides in Litchfield with his wife of 30 years, Sharon. They have two daughters, Katerina and Elizabeth.
* Col. Craig A. Holan recounts his time in uniform and those that helped him along in his more than 30 year career during a promotion ceremony at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois, Feb. 5. Holan has served at nearly every level of leadership in his career and is currently the full-time Construction and Facilities Management Officer for the Illinois Army National Guard. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Spreitzer, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office
The Taylorville City Council met in regular session on Tuesday night. Alderman Larry Budd was absent. During the City Attorney updates provided by Rocci Romano, Alderman Rob Heberling said the Taylorville Correctional Center on Route 29 is seven months behind in their water bill, and owes the City over a quarter of a million dollars.
Heberling questioned why they compel the citizens of Taylorville to continue paying their water, when they allow the Prison to not pay their bill. Romano stated the City has the legal right to shut off their water and treat them like residents. Aldermen Shawn Burtle questioned why the City is not applying a 1% late fee, while Councilman Earl Walters says if the State doesn’t send a check, there could be the heavy consequence of their water being shut off.
Mayor Greg Brotherton told Regional Radio News following the meeting that he understands the aldermen’s frustration and there is the possibility of discussing this issue in the future if the State doesn’t pay their bill quickly.
Following the lengthy discussion, Mayor Brotherton provided a short update, followed by Committee Reports.
In other Taylorville City Council action, the Council tabled a motion to earmark approximately $5,000 per month for 20 years from the Sewer Use fees for funding the completion of the Phase 5 Kenton Addition. A motion was approved to retain Hart, Southworth & Witsman as Bond Counsel to administer the IEPA Loan for the 30 foot Northeast Sanitary Sewer Project and the Phase 5 Kenton Addition Project. However, when the motion came up to approve and authorize the Mayor to sign the Engineering Service Agreements with Greene & Bradford, Inc. for the 30 foot Northeast Sanitary Sewer Project and Phase 5 Keaton Addition, Alderman Shawn Burtle had concerns over racking up charges for the project.
Following a lengthy discussion from the other aldermen and two tabled motions on the agenda, it finally passed by a vote of 5-2. Mayor Brotherton stated that Bond Counsel will look over the numbers to verify that if the City has to take out loans that they have the revenue to repay them.
In other Taylorville City Council action, a motion was approved by a vote of 4-3 for a motion to accept the proposed non-bargaining salaries as presented. Another motion was approved for the Crappie regulations for Lake Taylorville to take effect April 1, 2017 which includes Black, White, or Hybrid Crappie that is less than ten inches, ten per day, and Crappie that is ten inches or longer, ten per day. This is due to State Biologist Mike Mounce’s study that the population does not match the current fishing limits. Another motion was passed to approve the Debt Authorization Ordinance for the New Water Plant in the amount not to exceed $33 million dollars. The Council approved the payment of bills totaling some $222,000 and the meeting adjourned at 8:23 p.m.
Christian County Emergency Management Agency director Mike Crews reported to the Christian County Board at their Tuesday night meeting, that claims the county submitted from the after-Christmas flood did not meet the threshhold to trigger payments from the federal government. But, Crews is still hoping the Federal Emergency Management Agency will ultimately declare the county a disaster area.
Crews invited board members to an upcoming Emergency Preparedness seminar he's holding March 30th at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. All city, township and county officials will be invited to attend.
The music playing from speakers inside the Christian County Courthouse clocktower, was the subject of a complaint lodged by local resident Chris Biondalino during Tuesday night's Christian County Board meeting. Biondalino lives on the square where he owns a building, and told county board members the volume is too loud.
After hearing his concerns, there was a short discussion by board members, and they then decided to ask representatives from the Downtown Taylorville organization, that provides the music, to attend next month's Christian County Board meeting.
The Christian County Board handled a number of items in their 45-minute meeting Tuesday night.
The board approved the purchase of a John Deere batwing mower for some 66-hundred dollars with trade from Sloan Implement in Taylorville;l they spent some 36-hundred dollars for a trailer to be used to haul barricades, with the low bidder being Stephens Trailer Sales of Sharpsburg; they purchased a camper shell for the highway department survey vehicle from Brown's Truck Accessories at the low bid of just under 4-thousand dollars; and they voted to give the City of Taylorville 3 tombstones salvaged from the former Leachman Cemetery that is now part of the airport runway.
The Christian County Board Tuesday night passed a resolution asking the state to rescend its increase in juror fees to be paid by counties across the state; they approved the 10 existing liquor licenses in the county; approved monthly claims; and voted to assign a tax sale certificate to Jeanette L. Booker for a parcel in the Hillcrest Mobile Home Park in Taylorville.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the history of Camp Butler National Cemetery, from Carolyn Koehler, at their weekly meeting Tuesday at Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Koehler spoke on the overview of Camp Butler which was established in 1862 and serves over one million veterans in Illinois. Situated on 53 acres, it is located in Sangamon County near Riverton and occupies a portion of what was the second-largest military training camp in Illinois during the Civil War. The cemetery has over 600 burials conducted each year. Criteria for burial in the National Cemetery include serving in the military and being honorably discharged.
Camp Butler was a Union training camp and a Confederate Prisoner of War (POW) camp during the Civil War and was listed on the National Register of Historic places in 1997. The cemetery is open to the public daily from dawn until dusk for visitation of cemetery grounds.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.
National Bank has announced the appointment of Thomas Grunloh to its Board of Directors. Grunloh is the owner of Grunloh Construction Inc. in Effingham. It started out as a family business, but has now one of Central Illinois’ largest Union Affiliated Commercial Contractors. His father, Clifford Grunloh, started a small residential construction company in 1950 that eventually grew into one of the larger homebuilders in the area. For 33 years, Tom has worked to grow Grunloh Construction, Inc. into a premier commercial contractor which has constructed a number of local landmarks. Grunloh Construction is currently two years into a three year renovation of the University of Illinois State Farm Center. National Bank also selected Grunloh to build the bank’s new Effingham branch in 2008.
Grunloh is a lifelong resident of Effingham. He is an active member in the Eastern Illinois University Radio Foundation Board of Directors, EIU Panther Club Board of Directors and the Lake Land College Foundation Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Lake Land College Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Society.
National Bank is headquartered in Hillsboro, with branch facilities in Edwardsville, Highland, Alhambra, Greenville, Keyesport, Carlyle, Pana, Effingham, Altamont, and Vandalia.
It was just over 200 years ago that parts of Illinois and other states felt the effects of some of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in North America, as their magnitude was around 8.0. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is promoting earthquake preparedness all this month. Patti Thompson, Communications Manager for IEMA, told Regional Radio News they are keeping an eye on the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones in southern Illinois as they have the potential for a major earthquake to occur.
Most casualties result from falling objects and debris caused by the earth shaking. Thompson says they remind residents to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” which can help people prevent injury during an earthquake.
Items that are strapped and learning how to shut off gas, water, and electricity are just a few of the many tips that IEMA offers. More information about earthquake preparedness is available by going to Ready.Illinois.gov, or Facebook and Twitter as earthquake safety tips will be posted during the month.
98.3 WSVZ New Country and Family Drug in Shelbyville have announced their Shelbyville High School students of the month for February. The students were nominated by their teachers due to a certain criteria.
The 98.3 WSVZ New Country and Family Drug February students of the month are senior Blair Johnston, junior Haley Adams, sophomore Jacob Martin, and freshman Courtney Hopkins.
Steve Chastain of Family Drug was in attendance when the students received their plaques.
* From left to right: senior Blair Johnston, junior Haley Adams, sophomore Jacob Martin, freshman Courtney Hopkins, and Steve Chastain of Family Drug. Photo submitted by Judi McDowell-Humphrey
Central and southeastern Illinois received two to three inches of snowfall over the weekend as a storm system pushed through the area, while heavier amounts of four inches were reported in the west central part of the state. Patrick Bak, Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio News that another system will arrive late tonight into early Tuesday morning, bringing with it more precipitation, but in lesser amounts.
Bak added that Friday will be the warmest day of the week as the high could be in the 60’s. He also noted the chances of a significant snow event for the next two weeks are low due to above average temperatures.
More information can be found at weather.gov/lincoln.
The Central Illinois Community Blood Center has announced two upcoming blood drives. The Kincaid Community will be hosting a blood drive on Wednesday, February 17 from 3:30-6 p.m. at 200 Springfield Street inside the Bloodmobile. Registration will be inside the Midland Fire Department. Appointments can be made by contacting the Community Blood Center at 217-241-7550 or at bloodcenterimpact.org and using the code 60535 to locate the drive. Donors who last gave blood on or before December 23, 2015 are eligible to give at this drive.
The Stonington Community will be hosting a community blood drive from 1-5 p.m. on Friday, February 19 at 1982 Illinois Route 48 in the Monsanto parking lot. Registration will be inside Monsanto. Appointments can be made by contacting Jackie Dowdy at 217-325-4381 or by going to bloodcenterimpact.org and using the code 60049 to locate the drive. Donors who last gave blood on or before December 25, 2015 are eligible to give at this drive.
Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, you can call the CICBC at (800)747-5401.
The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) ACTIVATOR has announced that State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond), 95th House District, has received the primary election endorsement for her support of the agricultural community. Kevin Semlow, Director of State Legislation for the Illinois Farm Bureau, told Regional Radio News, it was a process of a group of local farmers that looked on Bourne’s voting record and they felt it was best to endorse her.
The Local ACTIVATOR Trustees endorsed Bourne based on her 100 percent voting record during the first half of the 99th Illinois General Assembly, and she also voted to support the Illinois Farm Bureau’s position on all legislation that would have a significant impact on Illinois agriculture. Semlow stated that this endorsement involved a grassroots process.
ACTIVATOR, Illinois Farm Bureau’s Political Involvement Fund is a voluntary, non-profit, segregated fund promoting the economic and social well-being of farmers. The Trustees are local Farm Bureau leaders representing each county in the Illinois General Assembly Legislative District.
Millikin University and Lake Land College have announced a reverse transfer agreement that will benefit students who transfer from Lake Land to Millikin before earning their associate degree. The agreement will take effect starting the 2016-2017 academic year. Lake Land College President, Josh Bullock, told Regional Radio News the agreement allows credits completed at Millikin University to be transferred back to Lake Land College to complete requirements for an associate degree.
Students enrolled at Millikin University who previously attended Lake Land College or are currently enrolled at Lake Land and acquired a minimum of 32 credit hours, may be eligible for reverse transfer credit toward a Lake Land associate degree. For Lake Land students admitted to and enrolled at Millikin with a minimum of 32 transfer credits, Millikin will notify those students who previously attended Lake Land but never completed their associate degree about the agreement.
Bullock says there could be more reverse transfer agreements in the State and across the nation.
More information can be found by going to millikin.edu or lakelandcollege.edu.
* The presidents of Millikin University and Lake Land College signed a reverse transfer agreement that will benefit students who transfer from Lake Land to Millikin before earning their associate degree. Pictured here on the Lake Land College campus are Lake Land College President Josh Bullock and Millikin University President Patrick White.
The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for all of the Regional Radio listening area thru Sunday night.
The Weather Service says snow will spread over the listening area on Sunday as a storm system pushes across the Midwest. Current indications suggest snowfall totals will range from 2 to 4 inches, with the heavier totals along and northwest of the Illinois River.
Most of the snow should taper off to flurries during Sunday evening as the storm system shifts away from Illinois with a warming trend pushing into the region early next week. There is also a chance of freezing drizzle Sunday night into Monday according to the Weather Service.
Daytime highs on Monday will range from 35 to 40, with the thaw continuing on Tuesday as afternoon temperatures rise into the upper 30s to lower 40s.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio and our on-line daily newspaper for the latest weather information.
Participants in the 2016 LEADership Academy were down in Pana recently, as they learned about Healthcare and Education. They began by learning about services offered in the Fitness and Wellness Center, located at Pana Community Hospital. They also received a behind-the-scenes tour of the Fitness and Wellness Center and Pana Community Hospital, which was provided by Marketing Coordinator, Melissa Rybolt.
The group met with Dianne Bailey, who serves as the Chief Information Officer to discuss some of the changes in healthcare and current services being offered at the Hospital. LEADership participants also had the opportunity to discuss how education has changed and got an up-close look at education facilities by touring Pana High School. Principal Gayle McRoberts led the group on the tour and discussion.
For more information about the Christian County LEADership program, you can contact the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce at 824-4919 or University of Illinois Extension, Christian County Office at 287-7246.
While millions of Americans enjoy low gasoline prices at the pump, there is the potential for gas prices to increase. Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst for gasbuddy.com, told Regional Radio News refineries noted they were cutting back refinery runs, which could lead to an increase in gas prices.
DeHaan stated it is a dramatic shift that was unpredictable. He also noted that it could be a sign of a seasonal increase which is much later this year as opposed to last year.
DeHaan added that gas prices this summer should still be their lowest in nearly a decade in the low to mid $2.00 range. More information can be found at gasbuddy.com or through their app. You can also follow DeHaan on Twitter at GasBuddyGuy.
Following President Barack Obama’s speech to the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield on Wednesday, one central Illinois lawmaker has responded to Obama’s speech. State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) of the 95th District told Regional Radio News that she disagrees with the President in regards to his viewpoint on coal and restricting law-abiding citizens and gun owners.
Bourne has filed legislation calling on the Illinois Commerce Commission to promote and restore Illinois Coal Production, and a house resolution to protect 2nd Amendment rights. She is also sponsoring legislation to expand concealed carry for sportsmen and correctional officers. Bourne stated she agrees with the President that it is time for a change in the way legislative maps are drawn.
More information can be found at repbourne.com and averybourne.com.
The case of 22 year-old Robert A. Stivers of Pana continues as Stivers’ First Appearance occurred Friday morning in a courtroom at the Christian County Courthouse. Stivers is represented by Public Defender Greg Grigsby. In court, Grigsby stated they would like to schedule a preliminary hearing. Associate Judge Brad T. Paisley stated that a preliminary hearing would have to be scheduled within 30 days of Stivers’ arrest.
A preliminary hearing has been set for February 22 at 10 a.m., while a bond reduction motion hearing is scheduled for February 19 at 10 a.m. Stivers is currently being held on $1 million cash bond.
Taylorville Memorial Hospital's 2nd annual “TEN” or, Teens Experiencing Nursing Camp, is coming up this July 12th, 13th and 14th and Tracy Seaton of TMH tells Regional Radio News it's an excellent opportunity for juniors and seniors in high school to learn more about the nursing profession.
Applications are due by April 1st and students can find more information from their guidance counselor or by visiting ChooseMemorial.com/Careers.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that all offices and facilities that are open Monday to Friday will be closed from today through February 15th, while facilities that are open Tuesday to Saturday will be closed from February 13 through the 16th, in observance of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and Presidents’ Day.
All Monday through Friday Driver Services facilities will be open for business Tuesday, February 16th and Tuesday through Saturday facilities will open Wednesday, February 17th.
Individuals can visit the Secretary of State’s website, cyberdriveillinois.com to locate the nearest Driver Services facility and the hours of operation. In addition, drivers can change an address, register to become an organ and tissue donor or renew license plate stickers online.
An informational 4-H Livestock Judging Clinic will be held next Tuesday at the University of Illinois Extension Auditorium from 6-7:30 p.m. Any 4-H member or youth who is interested in livestock judging and their parents are welcome to attend the event. Registration is available, but not a requirement. Alicia Gullidge, 4-H Youth Development Coordinator for the University of Illinois Extension in Christian County, told Regional Radio News they are trying to bring this tradition back to interested 4-H members and youth.
Gullidge added it could open up a lot of opportunities for the youth, especially those that are college bound.
Gullidge further stated this is something she has been aiming to bring back since she started working at the U of I Extension a year ago. More information can be found by going to web.extension.illinois.edu/cjmm/ or by calling 287-7246.
The Illinois Sheriff’s Association has announced it will be awarding $54,000 in college scholarships throughout the State to students wishing to pursue a higher education during the 2016-2017 academic year. The scholarships are to be applied to tuition, books, and fees only. The student must be enrolled full-time at a certified institution of higher learning within the State. Applications are available at your local Sheriff’s office or online at www.ilsheriff.org. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp will be awarding one scholarship in the amount of $500.
Kettelkamp told Regional Radio News within the application is an essay question, regarding the heroin use in the community and in the United States.
Kettelkamp said he has received good essays over the years by students who have filled out this scholarship.
Students must complete the application and answer the essay question and return all documentation to their local Sheriff’s office in their permanent county of residence by March 15, 2016. For more information, contact your local Sheriff’s office, the ISA, high school advising center or college financial aid office.
Despite the possibility of Taylorville Community Unit School District #3 outsourcing junior high athletics, Superintendent Greg Furstenau says not much would change. He says things would just, “look a little different.”
TCUSD is facing nearly $700,000 in proposed budget cuts and it was announced Monday night that rather than cutting junior high and freshman athletics altogether, 7th and 8th grade teams would be run by an outside source—essentially a club system—but would still be allowed use of district facilities and equipment, though they will have to provide their own transportation to events. Freshman athletes and their parents will also be responsible for transportation.
Superintendent Furstenau says while things could look different, THS and TJHS they would remain members of both the IESA and IHSA and would continue to represent Taylorville.
The TCUSD #3 School Board is expected to make a decision regarding budget cuts later this Spring.
The State of Illinois this week requested and received an extension for submitting a request to the federal government for a major disaster declaration related to severe storms and flooding in late December and early January. The original deadline was set for Friday, February 12. The deadline has been extended to Friday, February 26 to request federal assistance.
James K. Joseph, Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency stated that in some parts of the state, floodwaters recently subsided to where they were able to accurately document the damages. He also noted they just recently concluded their joint damage assessments with FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) earlier this week and need more time to thoroughly review the information, so they can truly define the true impact of the event.
FEMA and IEMA began reviewing flood and storm-related costs with local government officials in 19 counties on February 1, while FEMA, SBA, and IEMA began assessing damage to homes and businesses in ten counties on February 4.
Joseph said in addition to documenting response and recovery costs and numbers of structures damaged, the assessment teams also noted other disaster-related impacts that could impede a community’s ability to recover, including the displacement of residents, the economic effects of road closures on businesses and workers and concerns in other areas that have been hit by floods twice in less than a year.
The state will decide by February 26 if a state request for federal assistance is warranted. There are two types of federal assistance the state may request: Individual Assistance which would provide grants and low-interest loans to people affected by the disaster. The other is Public Assistance which would enable local governments to recoup some of their disaster-related expenses.
Sangamon County Sheriff Wes Barr has announced a second suspect has been arrested in connection with the homicide investigation that occurred on January 25, 2016 at the residence of 31 year-old Matthew Grady in the 7200 block of Lake Services Road in Rochester. Grady was deceased at the scene due to multiple gunshot wounds.
At approximately 5:40 a.m. today (Thursday), U.S. Marshall’s Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Dewon D. Loman Jr. at a residence in Elkhart, Indiana. Loman is charged with First Degree Murder and Attempted Armed Robbery. His bond has been set at $1 million.
Loman’s extradition back to Sangamon County is pending, as it is unknown at this time if he will fight the extradition or voluntarily return to Sangamon County.
The Sheriff’s Office is still looking for 29 year-old Marcus R. Russell. Russell is charged with First Degree Murder and Attempted Armed Robbery. His bond is set at $2 million and is considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who has any information on the whereabouts of Russell is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 753-6666 or Crime Stoppers at 788-8427.
22 year-old Robert A. Stivers of Pana appeared in a courtroom at the Christian County Courthouse on Thursday morning. The State filed a charge of Aggravated Battery to a Child under the age of 13, which is a Class X felony. It was last Friday at 10:52 p.m. that Stivers’ four month old child was airlifted from Pana Community Hospital to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. The infant passed away in the early morning hours on Monday.
Havera further stated that he hasn’t received any reports and results of the autopsy yet, though charges are pending once the results come in.
Associate Judge Brad T. Paisley announced the possible penalties for the charge which include 6-30 years in prison and is non-probationable. Followed by the sentence, is four years of mandatory supervised release. Stivers must serve 85% of that sentence. Following the announcement of the charge, Stivers requested the Public Defender, as Greg Grigsby will represent Stivers.
Paisley mentioned that bond is set at $1 million and that Stivers would have to pay ten percent of the bond to be released which is $100,000. Stivers first appearance is set for Friday morning at 10 a.m. at the Christian County Courthouse. Other cases that Stivers has will also be pulled to Friday.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for the latest updates and information regarding the case.
Taylorville High School students have the opportunity to learn more about scholarships by attending the 2nd Annual Scholarship Awareness Day at THS on Thursday February 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. in the cafeteria. The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the event, as last year it was known as the “Scholarship Push Day”.
GTCC CEO Patty Hornbuckle told Regional Radio News the purpose of the event is to provide students information about scholarships and the Christian County CEO Program.
Hornbuckle noted the importance of receiving scholarships is vital to a student’s education as it can help them save money and not rack up the student loans.
If any organization would like to be a part of this event, you must RSVP to the GTCC, by Tuesday February 16 at 3 p.m. More information can be obtained by contacting the Chamber at 824-4919 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may have noticed TCCU Scholarship Boxes in Taylorville, Hillsboro, and Litchfield at many participating businesses as the Scholarship program continues until its deadline which is February 29. There will be two graduating seniors from Taylorville, Hillsboro, and Litchfield that will receive $500, as the winners are determined by votes cast by residents and/or shoppers who stop by the participating businesses. For every $10 spent at a participating business, people can cast one vote for a student who has registered in the program.
President Will Perkins of the Taylorville Community Credit Union told Regional Radio News he has received positive feedback from many business owners of the program.
Perkins thanks the merchants for their help and support of the program as they look forward to expanding it in the future.
For more information about the scholarship and the list of participating businesses, you can go to taylorvillecommunitycreditunion.com, or in at any one of the offices in Taylorville, Hillsboro, or Litchfield. Perkins noted they will have a new website up soon that will be more responsive to their customers.
Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director James Joseph provided an update that the preliminary damage assessments are currently underway in several counties that were affected by the severe flooding and storms between December 23, 2015 and January 13, 2016.
Illinois has until February 12 to submit a request to the President for federal assistance related to this incident. Public Assistance and Individual Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessments conducted by IEMA, FEMA, and the SBA are underway. As of Wednesday, due to flood water only recently subsiding, the PDA process is not yet complete. The State of Illinois has requested a time extension pending the completion of the PDA process.
Joseph further stated they continue to work very closely with the FEMA teams in the field, and once the IEMA has the opportunity to review the data from FEMA, they will be in a better position to assess their next steps.
Christian County State’s Attorney, Michael Havera, provided an update to Regional Radio News on Wednesday afternoon regarding the case of 22 year-old Robert A. Stivers of Pana, who is charged with Aggravated Battery to a Child under the age of 13. The case involves Stivers’ four month old child that was airlifted from Pana Community Hospital to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri last Friday due to obvious signs of bruising, healing-fractured ribs, and swelling on the brain. The infant passed away in the early morning hours on Monday.
Havera mentioned that an autopsy was conducted this morning (Wednesday) and is currently awaiting autopsy results. He further stated charges are pending following the results of the autopsy. He also mentioned it is a possibility that Stivers may make his appearance in the Christian County Courthouse on Thursday. The case remains under investigation at this time.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for the latest information and updates regarding the case.
President Barack Obama delivered a speech to the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield on Wednesday afternoon that included highlights of his days in Springfield, what he’s done so far in his Presidency, politics, and the future. Obama admitted that one of his few regrets was to reduce the polarization and meanness in politics.
He cited examples of what they accomplished such as saving the economy from depression, brought back an automobile industry from the brink of collapse, helped create jobs, cut unemployment, and brought vast majority of troop’s home to their families.
Obama offered three steps he believes that would help reform institutions and move the system that reflects citizens in the nation, which included reducing corrosive money in politics, rethinking the way that congressional districts should be drawn, and having the responsibility and working together as citizens and elected officials to change the system. Obama says technology has had an effect on the gerrymandering of the districts.
In regards to a new law that was passed that allows Illinois to register and vote at the polls on Election Day, Obama said he is proud of his home state of the new law and encouraged the expansion of early voting.
As the recovery in Kincaid continues following the flooding in December, members of the Illinois Baptist State Association Region 2 Kincaid Rebuild Team will be in the community on Thursday as they will start rebuilding a home owned by Cathy Stivers. David Howard, Capital City Baptist Association Director of Missions told Regional Radio News that the process of rebuilding the home could take several weeks.
Howard further stated that the focus is on Stivers’ house. He stated the community still needs help, as this is a process and its possible more teams can come in and start rebuilding some homes.
The Illinois Baptist State Association stated they could use more volunteers and those that are interested should bring their favorite tools, snacks, and lunch and meet at the house, located on 1004 Springfield Street at 8:30 a.m. The project supervisor will be Mike Robertson. For more information, you can e-mail Howard at email@example.com.
According to the Central Illinois Community Blood Center, the Taylorville Community will be hosting a community blood drive from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 11 at Davis Memorial Christian Church in the Fellowship Hall on 1500 West Franklin Street.
To donate, you can contact the Community Blood Center at 217-241-7550 or go to bloodcenterimpact.org and use the code 60145 to locate the drive.
Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For questions about eligibility, you can call the CICBC at (800)747-5401. Donors who last gave blood on or before December 17, 2015 are eligible to give at this drive.
The Taylorville Community Unit School District #3 Board Meeting was well attended by Citizens for Students and Community on Monday night as the room was filled with those who sat, stood or were standing out in the hallway. Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau told Regional Radio News following the meeting that he was pleased with the turnout of those that are concerned with the FY17 Budget considerations.
The group mentioned in the letter they would like the opportunity to help pass Senate Bill 1, which was introduced by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), and to learn about tax referendum possibilities. Dr. Fuerstenau says they are learning more about school funding reform and what the State is currently going through.
Though the Board did not schedule another public meeting like the one occurred last month, Fuerstenau stated those that still have concerns, questions, or thoughts can call or e-mail the Board members regarding the FY17 Budget considerations.
Regarding other Board action, Fuerstenau commended Chris Kuntzman on presenting the annual District Technology Report that was given.
The Emergency Telephone Systems Board met in regular session on Tuesday night at the Christian County Courthouse. The main topic was establishing a new joint Emergency Telephone Systems Board with Christian and Shelby County members. Chairman Andy Goodall told Regional Radio News they have to come up with an odd number of how many will be on the Board.
Goodall stated nine members on the Board are ideal to him.
Goodall noted they need to get started on providing Enhanced 911 for Christian and Shelby County by June 2017. He also mentioned they are in a filing process for a statewide 911 grant.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the history of Abraham Lincoln just head of the celebration of his birthday, from retired Judge Ron Spears, at their weekly meeting Tuesday at Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Spears took Kiwanis members thru the former president's life, starting with his birth in Kentucky in 1809, his family's moves to Indiana and then to Illinois.
Spears said that Lincoln's experiences as a child and young adult, influenced his life as he got older and ultimately elected president.
The former judge added that Lincoln's family's trail in Illinois first landed them just west of Decatur along the Sangamon River, then to Coles County, and ultimately to New Salem.
Spears said that although Lincoln was a failure for most of his adult life, those failures enabled him to work to give equal opportunity for African-Americans during and after the Civil War while president.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.
The court case of 29 year-old Nathan M. Emerson of Taylorville continues as he appeared in a courtroom with Public Defender Greg Grigsby at the Christian County Courthouse on Tuesday morning as a preliminary hearing was scheduled at 10:00 a.m. Emerson waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Grigsby stated that the defendant has waived arraignment, pleads not guilty, and demanded a trial by jury. According to Associate Judge Brad T. Paisley, a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for March 24 at 10 a.m., with a jury trial scheduled for May 23 at 8:30 a.m.
Emerson was arrested, following an investigation that he threw his 7 month old child against a wall that caused injuries on Friday, January 15. The State filed a Count 1 charge of Aggravated Battery of a Child under the age of 13 against Emerson on Tuesday, January 19, which is a Class X felony. Associate Judge Brad T. Paisley announced the possible penalties which are 6 to 30 years in prison, and four years of mandatory supervised release. Paisley also noted that Emerson must serve 85% of the sentence. Bond is still set at $500,000.
Christian County State’s Attorney Michael Havera told Regional Radio News today (Tuesday) that the 4 month old infant that was reported to be in critical condition in Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis passed away Monday morning. Havera also stated that an autopsy will be conducted and more charges are pending following the autopsy report. At this time, the State is still persistent in the Aggravated Battery to a Child under the Age of 13 charge against 22 year-old Robert A. Stivers of Pana.
The Pana Police Department issued a statement that on early Saturday morning at 3:10 a.m., they received a call from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri in reference to a four month old child. At the time, the child was being treated after being airlifted from the Pana Community Hospital around 10:52 p.m. on Friday. The Pana Police Department further stated that the child had obvious signs of bruising, healing fractured ribs, and swelling on the brain.
An investigation was launched by the Pana Police Department and the Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigations, in coordination with the Christian County State’s Attorney’s office, the Department of Children and Family Services, and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. ISP Special Agents from Zone 4 and Zone 6 out of Collinsville conducted interviews with the parents at the hospital.
Stivers was taken into custody for the offense of Aggravated Battery to a Child under 13 years of age, as a result of an arrest warrant that was issued by Havera. Stivers was transported to the St. Louis County Correctional Center, and is being held on one-million dollar bond pending an extradition hearing. He will be returned to Christian County. The case remains under investigation at this time.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for more updates and information regarding the case.
The Pana Police Department has issued a statement, regarding an investigation into a four month old child that suffered serious injuries, along with an arrest made in the case.
On early Saturday morning at 3:10 a.m., the Pana Police Department received a call from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, in reference to the condition of a four month old child. The child was being treated after being airlifted from the Pana Community Hospital around 10:52 p.m. on Friday. The child had obvious signs of bruising, healing-fractured ribs, and swelling on the brain.
The Pana Police Department and the Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigations Unit began an investigation in coordination with the Christian County States Attorney’s Office, the Department of Children and Family Services, and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. During the investigation, ISP Special Agents from Zone 4 and Zone 6 out of Collinsville conducted interviews with the parents at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
The father of the four month old child, 22 year-old Robert A. Stivers of Pana was taken into custody for the offense of Aggravated Battery to a Child under 13 years of age, as a result of an arrest warrant issued by Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera. Stivers was transported to the St. Louis County Correctional Center, and is being held on a one-million dollar bond pending an extradition hearing. Stivers will be returned to Christian County.
As of last update, the four month old infant remains in critical condition in Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in the pediatric intensive care unit. The case remains under investigation.
The Taylorville Community Unit School District #3 Board met in regular session on Monday night with a great crowd in attendance. Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau mentioned that they will be hosting the Abe Lincoln IASB Spring Dinner Meeting on March 1 at North Elementary School that starts at 6:30. Fuerstenau mentioned the Taylorville Mid-Winter Music Concert is this Thursday night at 7 at the High School, while the Junior High Night of Music will be held at 7 in the TJHS Gym on February 23.
Dr. Fuerstenau provided an update on the treasurer’s report, stating there have been no other state aid payments in the categoricals, which are special education and transportation. Fuerstenau says if payments come in, it would be later and that a state budget may come following the March primaries.
The Board also approved the personnel recommendations and an overnight request for the THS Ag Department and FFA Chapter to attend the 212 FFA Conference in Springfield on February 19 and 20.
Chris Kuntzman, Director of Computer Sciences, provided the District Technology Report to the Board. Kuntzman stated of the technological improvements that he and his staff have made over the past year such as increasing bandwidth and content filtering. He stated they saved money due to e-rate funding, which is about 80% discount on items purchased.
The Board also approved a SkoolLive Media Kiosk which provides information and content to students, which is at no cost to the school, including maintenance and network costs. The Board also approved the 2016 Mowing Bid specifications, and the meeting adjourned at 9:37 p.m.
A great turnout of the Citizens for Students and Community came out to the Taylorville Community Unit School District #3 Board meeting on Monday night. The group sent a letter to every board member describing how they want to be more informed on the budget crisis and to offer options and find solutions for Taylorville Community School District #3 and the entire community. Several residents spoke up, including resident Jim Moats who addressed the board about uniting as one and collaborating with the citizens and the school board to find solutions.
Finance Chair and Board Member Seth McMillan expressed his concerns if the State doesn’t pass a budget soon and Senate Bill 1 doesn’t pass, which means fund balances could be low.
Board member Dennis Atteberry stated he is trying get a database going to get a rally organized, and mentioned they are potentially looking at a referendum. McMillan stated that November elections are not historically good to put a referendum on a ballot, as an appropriate time could be in the spring, as early as 2017.
The Board addressed and answered questions that concerned citizens had. In regards to when cuts could possibly start, Board President Steve Milling stated that a decision for staff reductions would take place in March.
* Almeta Vail is pictured with the $1000 check she received at H&R Block.
More winners have stopped by the H&R Block store in Taylorville to receive their $1000 as part of the 1000 Win, $1000 Daily Sweepstakes. Reggie Smith and Almeta Vail have received their $1000 check. Vail is planning a family vacation, while Smith’s plan is banking the money and will decide in the future.
The 1000 Win, $1000 Daily Sweepstakes continues until February 15. Those that file their income tax returns are entered into a drawing to receive $1000. A photo of both Smith and Vail can be viewed online at taylorvilledailynews.com. More information on the sweepstakes can be found at your nearest H&R Block office or hrblock.com.
* Reggie South is pictured with this $1000 check at H&R Block in Taylorville.
The main item and most discussed during the Taylorville Community Unit School District #3 Board meeting were the proposed FY17 budget considerations. Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau presented the elementary considerations which include move existing Mt. Auburn K-3 students from Stonington to Taylorville. Leave the Stonington facility a K-3 building for the 2016-2017 school year, and the Pre School Program would still be at Stonington. The Elementary FACES Program would remain at Stonington, along with the Cornerstone/Christ Mont Academy.
In terms of FY17 North Elementary Additional Support, the Kindergarten Grade level would be assigned a Title Reading Teacher and a Reading Aid. The first grade level would be assigned a Title Reading teacher and a reading aid, while second grade would be assigned two reading aids. Fuerstenau also mentioned the funding comes from the Federal Title I Reading Grant.
As for the FY17 Budget Considerations for athletics, it was announced that 7th and 8th grade athletics to be run by an outside youth organization, and teams would use district facilities such as gymnasiums in the schools. The elimination of transportation to away games, as parents would be responsible to transport students. As for freshman athletics, a consideration is to eliminate transportation to away games, as parents will be responsible to transport students.
Regarding the budget considerations proposed for athletics, Fuerstenau mentioned it would save $87,000 out of the $110,000 of the proposed. He also pointed out most districts in this country are run separately.
Fuerstenau also mentioned long range thoughts such as the future of the District Administrative Office, along with the usage of the Stonington Facility and Memorial Facility, and compared both facilities. No action was taken on the proposed FY17 budget considerations.
The Richland Community College Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Charles Novak as Interim President following the retirement of Dr. Gayle Saunders on February 29. The Board of Trustees is engaged in a national search process with the Association of Community College Trustees to select a new President for RCC. Lisa Gregory, Executive Director of Public Information and Chief of Staff at RCC, told Regional Radio News having Dr. Novak back is beneficial to the Board of Trustees as he has experience serving RCC and other community colleges in the State.
Gregory further stated Novak was pleased to receive the call from the RCC Board of Trustees. She also expressed her excitement about working with Dr. Novak when he begins his duties.
Novak served as President at Richland Community College from 1989 until his retirement in 2001. He has served 23 years as a community college president and a number of other years as a continuing education officer, a chief financial officer, and chief academic officer.
It's not everyday the President of the United States comes to Springfield, but a Wednesday afternoon date with the Illinois General Assembly will see President Barrack Obama return to his former stomping grounds.
Though details on the visit have been few-and-far-between, the President does plan to address the GA at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon in the Illinois House chambers.
Illinois State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) confirmed that detail's about the President's visit are sparse, but she told the WTIM Morning Show she's looking forward to what the President has to say and hopes common ground can be found across the aisle.
Newstalk WTIM will carry a live stream of President Obama's address on-air at 870 AM across Central Illinois, 96.3 FM in Christian County and at 94.7 FM in Shelby County. The stream can also be heard online at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com
According to a statement from the Christian County Sheriff’s Department, they along with the Illinois State Police and Christian County Coroner’s Office are investigating a fatal traffic crash that occurred on Sunday evening, February 7 at approximately 8:48 p.m. The crash involved a passenger vehicle and occurred near 2180 East, 350 North Road in Pana Township, approximately two miles west of Pana.
37 year-old Matthew D. Swisher of rural Pana was the driver of the vehicle. Swisher received serious injuries and was taken to Pana Community Hospital, but was then immediately transported to Memorial Hospital in Springfield by Pana Ambulance. A passenger, 43 year-old Kevin G. Thompson of Pana was deceased at the crash scene. Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans stated an autopsy will be conducted later today.
Swisher was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Impala four-door passenger car, heading westbound on 350 North, near 2180 East Road when he lost control of the vehicle heading north and went into a plowed field, rolling the vehicle several times. Both occupants were thrown from the vehicle and were not wearing their seat belts.
Swisher was issued traffic citations for DUI and improper lane usage. The investigation continues with further charges being anticipated by the Christian County State’s Attorney. The Pana Fire Department also assisted at the scene of the crash.
The Taylorville Fire Department responded to a two-car garage fire at the end of Laurel Court early Sunday morning at 2:14 a.m. When firefighters arrived, the structure was fully engulfed in flames. According to Taylorville Fire Department Assistant Chief, Andy Goodall, the Fire Department used about 5,000 gallons of water to douse the fire. He also further stated there was no power to the garage. No injuries were reported. The cause and origin of the fire has yet to be determined at this time and remains under investigation.
The Christian County 4-H & Youth Dog Care Clinic will be held on Saturday, February 20 from 10-11 a.m. at the University of Illinois Extension Office at 1120 North Webster Street in Taylorville. This is a free event, but registration is required. Alicia Gullidge, 4-H Youth Development Program Coordinator for U of I Extension Unit 18, told Regional Radio News this event is for any youth and 4-H member in the county to learn about basic care and information, and a Vet Tech will also be on site.
Gullidge noted it is an informational meeting and that dogs are not allowed.
More information can be found by going to web.extension.illinois.edu/cjmm, calling the extension office at 287-7246, or by e-mailing Gullidge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As March is getting closer that also means spring is around the corner and a greater chance of seeing severe thunderstorms impact the area. The National Weather Service Office in Lincoln has released the dates and times of severe weather spotting training classes that will take place in many communities in central and southeastern Illinois. Chris Miller, NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News these classes are free of charge and will start in late February and run through April.
In our Regional Radio listening area, classes will be held in Taylorville, Effingham, and Charleston. Miller stated spotters play a huge role as they are the eyes on the ground during severe weather.
For more information on the weather spotting training classes, go to weather.gov/lincoln.
Monday March 7 - Eastern Illinois Univeristy in Charleston, Buzzard Hall Auditorium, 7-9:30 p.m.
Tuesday March 8 - Taylorville Fire Department, 202 North Main Street, 6:30-9 p.m.
Monday March 21 - Effingham County EMA Office, 311 Miracle Avenue, 6:30-9 p.m.
The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation welcomed three new board members and elected new officers at a recent meeting of its board of directors. Board members also recognized the contributions of three retiring board members: Roger Hickman, Meg Kettelkamp, and D.J. Kennedy. Those three had a combined 18 years of leadership and dedication to the nonprofit hospital’s foundation.
The new board members are Nancy Handegan, Melisa Livingston, and Billy Williams. Handegan is from Taylorville and is an attorney with offices in Decatur, where she works in real estate, business representation, and estate planning. She is the owner of First Illinois Title Group, LLC, serves on the Christian County Farm Bureau board of directors and is legal counsel for Shadow Home.
Livingston is a Taylorville native and serves as a substitute teacher for Taylorville Community Unit School District #3, primarily in junior high and high school. She is on the board for Taylorville Youth Basketball, and previously served on the board of the Christian County YMCA, and is a longtime volunteer for Vision Way Christian School.
Williams is a lifelong Taylorville resident, and is co-owner and president of Computer Techniques Inc., otherwise known as CTI. He founded CTI in 1998 with business partner Adam Vocks and has been a part of the business community for 18 years.
New officers elected are Shelly Cappellin, president; Scott McClure, vice president; Gloria Brummer, secretary; Mike Blakeman, treasurer; and Eric Kahle, immediate past president.
The TMH Foundation is a nonprofit, incorporated as a 501(c)3 and organized in 1995, and supports TMH’s mission to improve the health of the people and communities it serves.
Jeffrey V. White of Blue Mound was promoted to the rank of sergeant major during a promotion ceremony at Camp Lincoln in Springfield on January 30. White enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in March 1994 as a turbine engine mechanic in Detachment 1, Company E, 106th Aviation in Decatur. In September 1997, he was selected for a full-time position as an Illinois Army National Guard recruiter in Quincy.
White was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 to 2011 with Detachment 36 Operational Support Airlift/Company B, 3/214th Aviation Company as an aerial sensor operator standardization instructor.
He previously served as the Recruiting and Retention Battalion first sergeant for Charlie company based in Machesney Park and is now assigned as the Enlisted Strength Management noncommissioned officer in charge in Springfield.
* Jaycob White places sergeant major rank on his dad, Jeffrey V. White of Blue Mound, Illinois, during a promotion ceremony at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois, Jan. 30, 2016. White is the Enlisted Strength Management noncommissioned officer in charge with the Recruiting and Retention Battalion in Springfield, Illinois. Photo submitted by Sgt. 1st Class Kassidy L. Snyder, Recruiting and Retention Battalion
The West Central Agronomy Day will be held on Wednesday, February 17th at Lincoln Land Community College in Litchfield. Six different speakers will give presentations on the latest research in crop sciences and discuss some of the challenges facing farmers in 2016. Though the conference is free, a ticket is required. Gary Letterly, Extension Educator, Energy and Environmental Stewardship told Regional Radio News what the focus of Agronomy Day is and mentioned one of the speakers, which is Dr. Emerson Nafzinger from the University of Illinois.
Speakers include Gary Letterly, Maria Villamil, Aaron Hager, Dennis Bowman, Todd Kuethe, and David Bullock. More information can be found at web.extension.illinois.edu/cjmm, contacting the Montgomery County Extension Office and the Christian County Extension Office, or by e-mailing Letterly at email@example.com. Tickets are available at any of the U of I Extension Unit 18 locations or by any of the sponsors.
Sponsors where tickets are available:
First National Bank Litchfield; Miller Bros Fertilizer Co.; Litchfield National Bank; CNB Bank & Trust; Morrisonville Farmers Co-op; First National Bank Nokomis; M&M Service Co.; Linco Precision, LLC; First Community Bank; First National Bank of Raymond; Litchfield Farmers Grain; Mennel Milling Co. of IL; Nokomis Savings Bank; Macoupin County Farm Bureau; National Bank; Melvin Rovey Farm & Sales; Security National Bank; and Conklin Distributor – Bernie Hand.
As millions of Americans will be watching Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, the Illinois State Police will be increasing their patrols to keep the roadways safe for motorists going to their destination and back home safely following the game. Sean Ramsey, ISP District 09 Safety Education Officer, told Regional Radio News those that consume alcoholic beverages, should have a designated driver on hand.
Ramsey noted during last year’s Super Bowl Weekend, there were 105 DUI’s and over 1,850 Fatal Four violations citations issued to motorists in the State.
The Fatal Four violations are DUI, Speeding, Distracted Driving, and not wearing your seat belt. The ISP is urging motorists to make this Super Bowl Sunday one to remember, not to regret.
According to the Illinois State Police District 18 in Litchfield, they are investigating a two vehicle crash that occurred on Illinois Route 48 at Black Diamond Trail. A 17 year-old juvenile from Raymond was driving a 2001 Ford Passenger Car, heading southbound on Black Diamond Trail, going across Illinois Route 48. A 50 year-old male from Cape Coral, Florida was driving a 2000 Freightliner Truck Tractor Trailer Combination, and was traveling northbound on Route 48. The juvenile failed to yield to the driver of the Freightliner, and pulled onto Route 48 to cross it in front of the Freightliner. The driver was unable to slow down his vehicle enough and struck the Ford passenger car. Raymond Fire and EMS was on scene. Arch was also utilized to transport the juvenile of the Ford car to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.
Illinois Route 48 was shut down for approximately two-and-a-half hours. The accident occurred on Thursday afternoon at 3:09 p.m. At this time, the crash is still under investigation.
The community is invited by the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Christian County to an ice cream social to celebrate the first Relay For Life meeting of the year next Monday, February 8 at 6 p.m. in the Taylorville High School cafeteria. Crystal Sewell, Community Manager for Relay For Life for Christian County, told Regional Radio News it will be an informational meeting and free ice cream will be served to those who attend.
This is an opportunity for the community to interact with the event leadership team, share their fundraising progress and successes, ask questions, learn how the community benefits from funds raised, and learn how cancer survivors and caregivers will be honored. Sewell says they do a lot for the community and have been planning this event since last year.
Last year in Christian County, 143 participated in the Christian County Relay For Life event and raised over $49,000. Subsequent meetings will take place every second Monday, starting in March. More information can be found at relayforlife.org/christianil or by contacting Sewell at 523-4534 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Left to right: Joanie Jones of Peoples Bank and Trust - Pana, Senior Logan Dameris, Junior Jacob Latonis, Freshman Josie Pauley, and Jennifer Mathis of Peoples Bank and Trust. Sophomore Lily Anderson was not available for the picture.
Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR and People’s Bank and Trust in Pana have announced their Pana High School students of the month for January. The program recognizes one outstanding high school student from each of the four classes every month.
The Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR and People’s Bank and Trust students of the month are senior Logan Dameris, junior Jacob Latonis, sophomore Lily Anderson, and freshman Josie Pauley. Joanie Jones and Jennifer Mathis of People’s Bank and Trust were present when the students received their plaques.
The community of Kincaid continues to recover from the flooding that occurred after Christmas and one local official has provided an update on the recovery process. Mayor David Oller told Regional Radio News it’s been a slow recovery and he’s hoping they can get materials for residents whose homes were impacted.
Oller says they just received a bill of around $6300 after using dumpsters for materials and submitted it to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Oller hopes the Federal Government can step in and help the residents.
Oller further stated the Midland Ministerial Alliance is still accepting monetary donations to help the flood victims.
* Kincaid Mayor David Oller shows IEMA and FEMA members a residence that was flooded.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and local officials were in Kincaid on Thursday, touring the homes impacted by the flood waters in late December. Don Kauerauf, Chief Bureau Preparedness Grants Administration, said they were in the area to do a joint preliminary damage assessment which is comprised of all three groups.
Kauerauf said they hope to have all the assessments collected sometime next week.
Patti Thompson, Communications Director for the IEMA told Regional Radio News if Christian County receives a federal disaster declaration, there would be two types of assistance, which would involve grants and low interest loans.
Thompson further noted the State does not have a disaster relief program similar to what FEMA has. If the IEMA were able to provide any assistance to residents, it would be through a federal program.
According to the United Way of Christian County, all health and human care not-for-profit agencies serving Christian County and wanting to seek funds from the United Way of Christian County for the 2017 funding year should contact the United Way office at 108 West Market Street, 2nd floor of the U.S. Bank Building, Taylorville, IL 62568, by phone at 824-8404 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Agencies must be a 501(c)3 organization. Allocation applications are being distributed and are due by March 30, 2016. Allocation hearings will be held on April 20-21 and are being scheduled now.
Applications can be sent by contacting UWOCC through their e-mail address.
The National Weather Service in Lincoln has released their weather summary for the month of January. Overall, it was a relatively quiet month for the first month of 2016. Chris Miller, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the NWS in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News that temperatures bounced around, and precipitation averaged below normal.
The only significant event that occurred in the region was three to five inches of snow that fell on January 19-20. The heaviest amounts were reported in southern and southeastern Illinois near the Ohio River where 4-6 inches of snow fell. As for the month of February according to the latest models, Miller says temperatures will start below normal, then rebound. He also mentioned precipitation could be below normal.
To view the January weather summary, go to weather.gov/lincoln.
The Taylorville Ministerial Association will be having their annual Lenten worship services this year in several churches on various dates. Worship services will be held on from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. and a luncheon will be held from 12:30 to 1:00. Davis Memorial Christian Church Pastor Bill Kerns told Regional Radio News an offering will be taken at each service for the TMA emergency assistance fund for food, gas, or lodging.
Kerns says he is pleased by the number of churches that will take part in the Lenten Services.
For more questions or information, you can contact Kerns at 824-8181, or any of the churches that will be having Lenten services.
February 17 - Davis Memorial Christian Church - Speaker: Becky Lembke
February 24 - First Methodist Church - Speaker: Michael Evanchak
March 2 – Taylorville Community Christian Church - Speaker - Bill Kerns
March 9 – First Presbyterian – Speaker - Tiney Walker
March 16 – Taylorville Memorial Hospital – Speaker - Ted Marinnan
* Colleen Harris of Witt (left) accepts her $1,000 check at H&R Block in Taylorville
A Witt resident just received her $1000 check in Taylorville as part of H&R Block’s 1000 Win, $1000 Daily Sweepstakes. Colleen Harris is one of many winners across the nation that filed her tax returns early enough to be the recipient of the $1,000. Harris told Regional Radio News it was a stroke of luck as to how she won.
Harris said she was shocked when she received the e-mail notification that she won $1,000. She noted it was a blessing, as they plan on using the money to pay some bills.
Harris further stated that she encourages those who have not filed their income tax returns yet to go to H&R Block, as those who get their tax return in before February 15 are entered into a drawing to win. More information on the sweepstakes can be found at your nearest H&R Block office or hrblock.com.
Illinois State Police District 09 Commander, Scott Compton, has released the activity and enforcement figures for the month of January. Troopers in District 09 serve seven counties, including Christian, answered 327 calls for service and initiated 1872 incidents in the field during the month.
In addition, enforcement figures totaled 1178 citations and 1072 written warnings, including 566 speeding citations, 23 DUI’s, 164 seatbelt citations, 12 child restraint citations, 237 written warnings for speeding, and 93 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted 380 motorists, conducted 415 Motor Carrier Inspections, and investigated 147 traffic crashes. There were no fatal traffic crashes in District 09 during January.
During the month, 715 citations and 225 written warnings were issued for the “Fatal Four” violations. These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include Speeding, DUI, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving.
According to a statement from the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department, Sheriff Wes Barr has obtained arrest warrants in connection with the homicide investigation that occurred on January 25, 2016 at the residence in the 7200 block of Lake Services Road in Rochester. The arrest warrants were obtained on Tuesday.
One person has been arrested and the Sheriff’s Office is searching for two other individuals involved in the case. 37 year-old Travis W. Ramsey was taken into custody at a residence on Red Oak Lane in Springfield. He has been charged with First Degree Murder and Attempted Armed Robbery. His bond has been set at $1 million.
As for the two individuals that are still at large, they are 27 year-old Dewon D. Loman, Jr. He is charged with First Degree Murder and Attempted Armed Robbery. His bond has been set at $1 million, and is considered armed and dangerous. 29 year-old Marcus R. Russell is charged with First Degree Murder and Attempted Armed Robbery. His bond has been set at $2 million. He is also considered armed and dangerous.
The Sheriff’s Office alleges the three individuals attempted to rob the victim, Mathew Grady, during a drug transaction, on the early morning hours of January 25. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Loman and Russell is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 753-6666 or Crime Stoppers at 788-8427.
The Miller Media Group has a new company providing its web site services, and newly designed web sites, as of late Tuesday afternoon.
Riverbender-dot-com of Alton, Illinois, has provided the company's 2 web sites—taylorvilledailynews.com in the Taylorville market and dewittdailynews.com in the Clinton market—since the summer of 2011.
Those web sites are now being provided by Envisionwise Networks of Westville, Illinois. The newly designed sites allow users to see the same content and advertising no matter what the platform—desktop, laptop, tablet, I-phone or smartphone.
Here's a reminder to mobile users: If you had previously bookmarked one of our sites, you'll need to delete that bookmark, then type in the web site name in your browser, then save the newly designed version, otherwise you'll get an error message of a page missing.
The updated sites also provide lots more information in an easier-to-read format, including on mobile devices.
We hope you'll like our newly designed presentation of our 2 on-line daily newspapers.
The Taylorville Fire Department and mutual aid units responded to a report of a ductwork fire on the outside of Ahlstrom’s Filtration early Tuesday afternoon before 2:00. Firefighters had to battle high winds to put out the flames. Taylorville Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall told Regional Radio News that the earlier response was vital as they were able to use their aerial truck to help put out the blaze quickly.
Goodall stated the fire was inside a fresh air ductwork, and attacked the flames by dousing it with water and using chainsaws to cut away the metal and insulation.
Owaneco and Stonington Fire Protection Districts also responded, along with the Pana Fire Department. Taylorville Police Officers were also on scene. Firemen went back to their respective departments around 4:00.
Goodall stated today that they had to return to Ahlstrom’s at 5:10 Tuesday evening to cool down the ductwork.
Following both trips, Goodall further reported there were no injuries to the firemen and Ahlstrom employees. There was also no structural damage to the building itself.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their monthly business meeting, and inducted a new member, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Kiwanis committee chairs gave their reports on local projects to help children and youth in the Taylorville community.
Kiwanis treasurer Dan Sneed reported that Saturday's annual Pancake and Sausage Day netted the club around 27-hundred dollars. Sneed thanked the public for their great response to the event, which served between 350 and 400 people.
And, Don Farrimond, center, was inducted as the newest member of the club, during Tuesday's weekly luncheon. Diane Beatty, left, sponsored Don's membership in the club. Kiwanis membership chair Dean Ray, right, held the induction ceremony.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.
According to Taylorville Fire Department Assistant Chief, Andy Goodall, the testing of the tornado sirens at 10 a.m. will not occur today due to the weather situation of the potential of strong to severe storms in the forecast. He further stated all sirens are functional and working.
The Taylorville Fire Department tests out the sirens on the first Tuesday of every month.
The Christian County Farm Bureau (CCFB) Foundation Board of Trustees and the Christian County Young Ag Leaders (YAL) by approving in continue sponsoring scholarship allotments for 2016 at their January Board of Trustees Meeting. The CCFB Foundation will be awarding three, $1,250 awards and the CCFB YAL will be awarded $3,750 in scholarships to Christian County students who major in agriculture, agribusiness, or an ag-related course of study. The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of exceptional scholastic ability and/or financial need. Melissa McMillan, Christian County Farm Bureau Manager, told Regional Radio News the scholarships are for high school and college students, and both groups are awarding the scholarships as a way of giving back to the community.
Christian County students interested in applying for this scholarship opportunity can contact the Christian County Farm Bureau at 824-2940 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications and eligibility requirements can be found online at christianofb.com. Completed applications must be mailed and postmarked on or before Wednesday March 2, 2016 to be considered.
At the 36th Annual Meeting of the Christian County YMCA held recently, the Board of Directors unanimously approved the slate of officers for 2016 which includes Linda Smith being named the new Board President.
The YMCA recognized retiring board members John Gardner, Mike Havera, Mary Del Valle, and Scott Stallman with a plaque and outgoing Board President Michael Hady spoke highly about their numerous contributions to the YMCA.
The Board also unanimously approved nominations and welcomed four new Board Members. Joining the class of 2018 are Brian Juberigan, Jennifer Nagle, Jarred Rahar, and Adam Vocks. The new board members help make up the eighteen member Board of Directors which includes Michael Hady, Amy Hagen, Kevin Kietzman, Bill Chapman, Bob Febus, Steve Youngblut, Duane Stock, Bruce Kettelkamp, Kenny Hadden, Linda Smith, Matt Beavers, Dan McNeely, J.I. McDowell, and Melissa Rybolt.
Pictured are the new YMCA Board Members: Brian Juberigan, Jarred Rahar and Adam Vocks. Not pictured: Jennifer Nagle.
Pictured are the retiring YMCA Board Members: John Gardner and Mary Del Valle. Not pictured: Mike Havera and Scott Stallman.
* First photo: 2015 Board President, Michael Hady "passing the gavel" to the incoming Board President, Linda Smith.
The Taylorville City Council met in regular session on Monday night, and Alderman Bruce Jones was absent. A discussion occurred regarding the Owaneco water rates. It was back on December that the Taylorville Water Committee met regarding the Village of Owaneco’s water rate to the maximum allowable rate of $3.7387838 per 1,000 gallons, which is a decrease over the current rate of $5.0021328. A motion was tabled at the last City Council meeting for further research. Aldermen Ernie Dorchinecz says Water Superintendent Dave Speagle met with the auditors and confirmed the numbers are accurate.
Alderman Rob Heberling stated he would vote against it, and that they need to find a way to break the contract.
City Attorney Rocci Romano told the Council to keep the rate as it is, and table the motion to take a closer look at the contract and the formula. A motion to table was passed 7-0.
In other Taylorville City Council action, a motion was approved to direct the City Attorney to prepare a contract with First National Bank of Taylorville for the exchange of the City owned parking lot located at the corner of Webster and West Main Cross Streets for lots used for parking located directly north of First National Bank of Taylorville on West Main Cross and for a sum of money yet to be determined. Mr. Jim Beavers and Ms. Linda Crawford approached the Finance Committee back on January 21st about the Bank’s desire to expand the size of its current facility. They stated that in order to complete the project they would like to acquire the City owned parking lot located on the corner of Webster and West Main Cross streets by purchasing and/or trading lots. Beavers also stated parking areas on the southeast corner of the block will be cleaned up. Mayor Greg Brotherton told Regional Radio News following the meeting they are still in negotiations with the Bank.
The council voted 7-0 to approve the motion. Another motion was passed for the City Attorney to advise Consolidated Communications that the City will not sign the revised agreement they provided and that they will need to sign the agreement sent to them by the City Attorney.
In other Taylorville City Council action, City Attorney Rocci Romano raised the question whether or not the City can borrow motor fuel tax funds, following a motion to waive the bidding process and approving Bodine Electric doing signal light upgrades and borrow $70,000 from and reimburse the MFT Fund for the project.
Superintendent Dick Wiseman replied back saying a $400,000 resolution was approved through the State for overall use for the City. Wiseman added they are going to take $70,000 out of the $400,000 and put in the general fund to pay for the project. Mayor Greg Brotherton said they will check for clarification to see if everything is in order.
The council approved to accept the low quote of some $5,000 from Goodman Fencing for installation of a fence for the Market Street Lift Station. Another motion was approved for the Fire Department Personnel to acquire the necessary fixtures and complete the Ladies Bathroom in the Emergency Shelter at the Firehouse at a cost not to exceed $5,000. The Council approved the payment of bills totaling some $383,000 and the meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.
The early part of February will be active as a strong storm system will be coming into the Regional Radio listening area on Tuesday, bringing with it the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms for central and southeastern Illinois. Chris Miller, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Lincoln, told Regional Radio News, the storms will be fast moving and the primary threat is damaging winds.
The majority of central Illinois could possibly see strong storms, while parts of southeastern Illinois including Effingham could see severe storms with an isolated tornado possible. Miller says the storms are expected to develop near the Interstate 55 corridor in the afternoon hours and could get stronger as they move to the east. Followed by the storms, cold temperatures will move into the area.
For more information on this developing weather situation, go to weather.gov/lincoln. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News and taylorvilledailynews.com for more updates and weather information.
A potluck celebration was held on Friday for Keith Vickers, who was the Supervisor of Customer Service at the Taylorville Post Office as he retired following 32 ½ years. Vickers served as a letter carrier for 23 of those years, followed by the Supervisor position he held. He told Regional Radio News when he started in 1983; everything was done by hand, until automated machines were installed.
The automated machines were installed in the office around 1995. During that time, Internet usage started to increase. Vickers believes it has made a huge impact in many areas.
Looking back on his years of working at the Post Office, Vickers says he’s going to miss his co-workers and the usual banter they have in the mornings, and the customers.
Vickers says his plans are to do projects around the house, and travel to Atlanta, Georgia more often to visit his grandson.
The Regional Office of Education #3 received positive news recently, as they have been awarded the New Teacher Induction and Mentoring Program Grant for 27 beginning teachers and mentors. Julie Wollerman, Regional Superintendent of Schools, told Regional Radio News the money from the grant will help mentors and new teachers with their training.
Research has shown that support in mentoring new teachers leads to better outcomes for students. Wollerman stated the state budget impasse raises the questions of whether they’ll receive the monies for the second year.
Wollerman noted the current grant that has been approved for this year is approximately $33,000. That amount will be used to serve 30 new teachers. She is unsure when next year comes if that would be the same amount or if any monies will be available for next year.
This week marks Catholic Schools Week across the nation as Catholic schools are celebrating the arrival of a week that features spiritual, academic, and fun activities. The theme this year is: Catholic Schools - Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service. Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton read the proclamation at St. Mary’s School in Taylorville on Friday. Brotherton told Regional Radio News he always looks forward to reading the proclamation by kicking off the special week.
Brotherton commended Principal Cathy Robertson and St. Mary’s School as being a positive spot in the community.
More information about the schedule and Catholic Schools Week can be found at www.st-maryschool.com.