Local News

Infrastructure for New Taylorville Industrial Park Discussed at CCEDC Board Meeting

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board met for their quarterly meeting on Tuesday in the First National Bank in Pana board room, to review ongoing economic development efforts.

Executive director Mary Renner gave the board her quarterly activity report, which included 3 major items.


One of those was applying for federal money to go with a 50-percent local match, to build infrastructure at the new Taylorville Industrial Park.  Renner talked with Regional Radio News after the meeting.

The other 2 major items Renner told the board she's working on, is the proposed Cobblestone Inn for Taylorville, and a proposed expansion at G-S-I in Taylorville.

House Agrees To Stopgap Budget Deal

It's one down, one to go for the Illinois General Assembly in striking a stopgap budget deal. In a strong statement of compromise, the Illinois House has voted 105-4 for the budget plan, sending the Senate the final pieces of a budget deal that would increase funding for schools by more than $500 million and keep the state operating for six months. The Senate has already voted on pieces of the stopgap spending bill. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin summed up the feelings of lawmakers and voters...


House Speaker Michael Madigan says the key to the deal.... the absence of Governor Rauner's turnaround agenda...

The partial budget plan locks in money for prisons, universities and social services. 

Shelby County C.E.F.S. Office Offering Free Student Loan Workshops

Paying for college can be a struggle. Many students turn to student loans to help cover those bills, but those can often lead to financial hardship. The C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation is teaming up with State Farm to offer two free student loan workshops to the public. Beth Beck-Marts, CEFS Coordinator for their Shelby County Office spoke with Regional Radio News and said how C.E.F.S. wants to help future and former students know about all the details of various student loans, and how to pay them.



Beck-Marts shared about when and where those workshops will be taking place.



The workshops are free to attend, however C.E.F.S. does ask that you contact them to register for the workshops ahead of time. You can do that by contacting either Beth Beck-Marts at 774-4541, or Lisa Hayes at 342-2193 extension 149.

​House Committee Quickly Passes Components of Stopgap Budget Compromise

A house legislative committee is quickly approving components of the stopgap state budget compromise. The tentative deal includes more money for "K" through education, and an additional 250 million in funding for schools with many low income students, expecially Chicago. It also lets Chicago raise property taxes to pay for city school pensions.



There is also one billion dollars for colleges and universities, and more money for human service programs. The full House is expected to vote on the full package today, and send the bill to the senate for approval.

Amendment That Threatened Budget Deal Removed

The Illinois House gathered to vote on the stopgap budget deal but there was a last minute speed bump, in the form of a last minute amendment from House Democrats that would provide $10 million for help for minority teaching needs. There's word House Speaker Madigan has had that amendment removed.

Local Accident Results In Hospital Trip

One accident that happened in the local area recently resulted in one of the participants being transported to Taylorville Memorial Hospital. On June 27th, 28 year old Danielle L Hague of Taylorville was traveling east on IL Route 29 coming into the intersection of Route 29 and 104. 16 year old Cole M. Bland was traveling west on Route 29 and was attempting to turn left onto route 104 towards Kincaid. Bland looked down at their radio and turned into Hague’s vehicle causing a collision. Both vehicles had to be towed from the scene, and Hague was transported to Taylorville Memorial Hospital via Dunns ambulance to be treated for injuries.

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO, Patty Hornbuckle, Gives the Town Two Reasons to Celebrate Next Week

With Independence Day weekend just around the corner, the town of Taylorville is preparing to celebrate with their annual 4th of July parade. With town residents ready to honor America's birthday, Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, gets many calls and questions about times and locations of events. Hornbuckle shared when and where people need to be in town to celebrate.

Taylorville is also looking to celebrate being one of the first cities or towns in the country to have giga-bit internet service offered. Hornbuckle said that CTI's Launch Party for the internet service will be July 9th and they invite anyone in the community to join so they explain and show off what this service provides.

For more information on the Taylorville Chamber of Commerce or events coming up in the town, call 217-824-4919, email them at taylorvillechamber@gmail.com, or visit their office on the second floor of US Bank on the south side of the Taylorville Square. Hornbuckle recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Flag Retirement Ceremony at Lake Shelbyville Marina on 4th of July

With Independence Day just days away, everyone should know there will be an event hosted by the youth of Christian County. The Cub Scouts in Packs 68 and 132, will be retiring worn and tattered American Flags at the Lake Taylorville Marina. Pack 68 Den Leader, David Crouch said that a flag should be retired when it's no longer dignified for use and should be burned in honor of all of those who have fought and fallen in battle.

Crouch said flags can be given to the cub scout packs during the 4th of July Parade by handing them your flag as they pass by.

For any questions about the flag retirement ceremony, or to have Crouch pick it up call him at 217-823-6858. Crouch recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Entrepreneurial 3D Printing Class Held for Kids at U of I Ext. Unit 18 on July 9th

The University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 continues to stay busy throughout the summer by holding workshops and classes for both kids and adults. From July 5th through the 7th, Maker Monkeys Digital Fabrication Camp for kids in grades 6 through 9 will be held. Terri Miller, Publicist for U of I Extension Unit 18, said the camp is great for kids to learn problem solving and learn how to things that can improve the use of items, such as cell phones.

Miller also explained what the kids will be doing during each day of the Digital Fabrication Camp, and how they will be utilizing design software, creating their products with a 3D printer, tweaking them, and getting them ready for sale as they would in the business world.

For more information on the class or 4H at the U of I Extension Unit 18, you can call 217-287-7246. Miller was recently a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

$1 Million Bond Set For Kincaid Woman Arrested in Connection With Death of Kincaid Man

Bond has been set at $1 Million for a local Kincaid resident who was arrested in connection to a homicide investigation in Kincaid. 18 year old Angela N. McKinnon was arrested on Wednesday in connection to the death of Charles Stevens. McKinnon is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, a Class X felony. Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera gave a probable cause statement to the court regarding the bond for McKinnon. The statement said how officers with the Kincaid Police Department had responded to a call from the grandfather of Stevens, stating how Stevens was unresponsive. When officers arrived they stated how Stevens was found in his bedroom unresponsive and without a pulse, and that Rigor Mortis had already begun to set in. Also found in the bedroom was a hypodermic needle, and other drug related paraphernalia. An investigation had been launched, and search warrants were issued. Kincaid Police learned that McKinnon had sold Stevens heroin on several previous occasions, and had obtained text messages from McKinnon to Stevens discussing the sale of heroin. The state also stated how McKinnon had stated in phone calls to her boyfriend that she was worried about being charged for the death, felt that it was her fault, and that she was trying to figure out a way to blame someone else for the death. After probable cause was read, Judge Brad Paisley found there to be probable cause for the bond and issued it to be set at $1 Million. McKinnon’s next court date will be on July 15th at 10AM.

Christian County Economic Development Board Hears About GSI Proposed Expansion

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board met for their quarterly meeting on Tuesday in the First National Bank in Pana board room, to review ongoing economic development efforts.

Executive director Mary Renner gave the board her quarterly activity report, which included 3 major items.


One of those was a proposed expansion by G-S-I in Taylorville, moving some of their machines from Assumption as well as a factory in Alabama, to a new 120-thousand foot addition at their existing plant on Taylorville's south side.  Renner talked with Regional Radio News after the meeting.



The other 2 major items Renner told the board she's working on, is continuing work on a proposed Cobblestone Inn for Taylorville, and applying for federal dollars to go with the local 50-percent match to build infrastructure at the new Taylorville Industrial Park.

Illinois Unemployment Benefits Now Require A Resume

Collecting unemployment won’t be as easy anymore but the changes are designed to benefit the individual looking for work. The Illinois Department of Employment Security is going to require anyone filing a new claim for benefits to fully register for the state’s employment services and send along a resume that can be shared electronically. IDES Director Jeff Mays says that the change is to get more people connected to a data base of hundreds of thousands of jobs. 

If you’re looking for work or want a new job, anyone can use the job bank. Find it at Illinoisjoblink.com.

Governor Asking Lawmakers to Their Jobs

Lawmakers are back in Springfield today. The House and Senate are expected to take up state budget proposals. But will any of them pass the muster of Governor Bruce Rauner. He says as lawmakers return to Springfield he wants them to do what they need to keep state services like prisons operating and give families the peace of mind that schools will open.

This is the first time that both sets of lawmakers will be in the capitol since the end of May.

Lake Shelbyville Army Corp of Engineers Promoting Safety On The Water

Safety is a primary concern for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville, which is why they will be teaming up with local business to promote the importance of wearing a life jacket while out on the lake. Ashley Florey with the Army Corp of Engineers spoke with Regional Radio News and shared how those being safe on the Lake can potentially earn a prize because of it.



Local businesses can still get involved with the program as well.



If you or your business is interested in becoming a sponsor for the “I Got Caught” campaign, you can contact Ashley Florey at 774-3951 extension 7005.

Taylorville Library Finally Reopens on June 30th

The Taylorville Public Library will finally be re-opening its doors tomorrow (today) at 10am. The Library had been closed since April 12th due to a mold issue that needed to be fixed. The Library will be observing their summer hours, which are Monday and Tuesday 10am to 7pm, and Wednesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm. The Library Board of Trustees and its staff want to thank the public for their patience and understanding during the library’s closure.

American Legion in Pana Holding 3rd Annual Car Show on July 16th

The American Legion Post 168 in Pana was first chartered in 1920, and since then, the members of the organization do all they can to help and support veterans of the military, as well as the surrounding community. Greg Gruber, Financial Officer of the American Legion in Pana, said that it's gratifying to help with all that they do, including holding veteran's breakfasts, finding canes and crutches for people, and being an honor guard in the park during certain holidays.

The American Legion in Pana is holding their 3rd annual car show on July 16th, and Gruber said the organization is hoping for a big turnout this year, in both number of cars, and spectators.

The car show will be held on July 16th at Kitchell Park in Pana. Registration is from 9:00 until noon that day and judging will begin directly after. Gruber recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

McMillan Landscaping Continues to Work Hard Through the Summer Months

As the summer sets in people begin to feel like they aren't able to plant new vegetation because it won't be able to grow. John Heck, Gardening Manager from McMillan Landscaping, confirmed that the myth isn't true, and McMillan is continuing to work and landscape throughout the summer.

Heck also explained all of the services that McMillan landscaping does for its customers, especially throughout the summer months, including excavating for a boat dock, adding fire-pits, patios, and more.

For more information on McMillan Landscaping call 217-820-5114 or visit their website at mcmillanlandscapes.com. Heck was recently a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Shelbyville Rotary Club Meets With Representatives from Decatur Memorial Hospital

The Shelbyville Rotary Club held their regular weekly meeting on Monday at Shelbyville Memorial Hospital. The club heard from two guests, Timothy D. Stone who is CEO of Decatur Memorial Hospital, and Decatur Mayor Julie Moore-Wolfe, who is also director of Community and Government Relations at Decatur Memorial Hospital. Stone and Moore-Wolfe discussed the plans for a new facility for Decatur Memorial Hospital on North Fourth Street and Route 128 in Shelbyville, and DMH’s future forward services as a local healthcare provider with a local Shelbyville Medical Center. The Shelbyville Office will have the ability to coordinate with specialists in all fields of Medical Specialties, and will have room for future expansion. A doctor and staff will serve as the anchor for development of local medical services for the growing needs of the Shelbyville community. Specialists will also begin offering local services as well. The new Shelbyville Facility is planned to open on October 24th of 2016, with the goal to be a high quality health service provider, who is able to respond more promptly due to being a local healthcare provider.

Christian County Economic Development Corporation Board Meets; Hears About 3 Major Projects


The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board met for their quarterly meeting on Tuesday in the First National Bank in Pana board room, to review ongoing economic development efforts.
Executive director Mary Renner gave the board her quarterly activity report, which included 3 major items.
One of those was the proposed Cobblestone Inn for Taylorville.  Renner told the board that plans are being scaled back to enable the hotel to cash flow sooner, and that developers are still looking for local investor money.  Renner talked with Regional Radio News after the meeting.

The other 2 major items Renner told the board she's working on, is an expansion project for G-S-I in Taylorville, and applying for federal dollars to go with the local 50-percent match to build infrastructure at the new Taylorville Industrial Park.

Former Taylorville Businessman Dies in Missouri

Regional Radio News has learned of the death of a former Taylorville businesman.  Doctor Stephen Moore owned and operated Taylorville Vision Center for many years, before selling it in the spring of 2015.

Moore then moved his family to Missouri, where he was an optomistrist for Wal-Mart Super Centers.

Moore died June 16th at his residence in Rocky Mount, Missouri.  He was 51 years old.

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear About Coal Miners Museum at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the Christian County Coal Miner's Museum at the club's weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.


Chuck Martin, the Museum's Executive Director, spoke to the club about the museum and the history it's trying to preserve.  Martin said that Christian County has a long history of coal mining because of its supply of coal.  He also shared about the Coal Mine Wars of the 1930's.


Martin is passionate about finding a more suitable building to house the museum.  Right now, it's in one room on the 2nd floor of a building at 118 South Main, but it can only hold half the exhibits.


Martin told the Kiwanis Club that the Museum is holding a golf outing at Lake Shore Golf Course in September to help raise funds for a larger building.


The Christian County Coal Miner's Museum is open Thursdays from 10am to 1pm.


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. 

Illinois House Democrats Ready To Share School Funding Plan

Senate Democrats are ready to share their school funding plan. They say the plan will bring $500 million more than Governor Rauner's plan. Rauner told the media Monday a compromise is a good possibility with Democratic lawmakers when it comes to a partial-year budget plan.

Cindy Deadrick Wolfer Suspends Campaign for 96th District Seat

There's one less potential Illinois House seat up for grabs. Decatur Democrat Sue Scherer will now run unopposed for re-election after Republican Cindy Deadrick Wolfer suspended her campaign in the 96th District. Deadrick Wolfer said it was a "Difficult Decision". She thanked volunteers, family and friends but said "the effort is just not enough in this politically challenging time.''

Route 29 Project In Jeopardy Due to State Budget Crisis

The Route 29 Project Committee will hold their monthly meeting on Wednesday night. The meeting will cover several subjects, but there is one giant elephant in the room; that giant elephant being whether or not the work will be able to continue on the Route 29 project after July 1st due to the State Budget Impasse. Mike Bell with the Route 29 Project Committee spoke with Regional Radio News recently and said how those at the meeting will hear from a representative from IDOT, hopefully on whether or not the work will continue on the project. Bell shared how the Christian County Economic Development Corporation along with the Route 29 Project Committee is planning on having a presence in Springfield Wednesday to help support the project.



Bell expressed frustration with the current economic situation, stating how all anybody would have to do to see firsthand the impact the budget impasse has had on the state and to local areas, is look at the Route 29 Project and how even though there’s been a lot of progress on the project, it would all come to a sudden stop should the state not pass any sort of budget.



Bell said how there are many local jobs on the line with the budget issues involving local works projects, stating how for every $1 million spent on a project such as the Rout 29 project, roughly 13 jobs are created. Bell also said how many of those jobs are local jobs.

Taylorville Police Department Hosts Active Shooter Training Course

There has been an increase in active shooter situations across the country in recent years. With that in mind the Taylorville Police Department along with several other area Police Departments want to be prepared should that situation happen locally. The Taylorville Police Department hosted an active shooter training exercise recently here in Taylorville, to help local police departments train for those situations. Taylorville Chief of Police Dave Herpstreith spoke with Regional Radio News and said how the exercises were great training for everyone involved.



Herpstreith also said how Taylorville’s current training practices as well as its central location makes it a good place to host these active shooter training exercises.



Herpstreith said how many of the changes on how law enforcement agents handle active shooter situations came with the Columbine incident, and put a focus on ways law enforcement agencies can handle those types of situations better.

Shelbyville Gearing Up For 4th of July Festivities

With the 4th of July coming up quick, many towns all across the country are preparing for their annual holiday festivities. The story is no different in Shelbyville, where the festivities have had to move due to the growing size of the event. Vonda McConnell with the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce spoke with Regional Radio News recently and talked about the many festivities that Shelbyville has planned for their 4th of July celebration.



Many communities are struggling this year with their summer celebrations due to reduced funds because of the state’s budget impasse. McConnell said how Shelbyville wouldn’t be able to have their festivities without the support of the local community.



For more information on the 4th of July festivities happening in Shelbyville, or for more information on the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce, you can contact the Chamber by calling them at 774-2221.

Mauro Archer to Help Local Farmers Receive Money they Lost From Syngenta

Corn farmers have been hurting the past few years because of Viptera, a GMO that has been introduced into a lot of corn because of the company Syngenta. Viptera is used as a pesticide to keep black cutworms and corn earworms from entering the crop and killing it, but when Syngenta began campaigning the pesticide, China, a major export of US corn, did not approve the GMO. Sean Fagan, an attourney at Mauro Archer and Associates, said that because China rejected hundreds of millions to billions of tons of corn over the past few years, they are trying to help the local farmers, regain the money they lost.

Fagan said Mauro Archer is trying a different way to reach out to the local farmers instead of calling them or advertising. They don't want the farmers to feel like a piece of meat, but people who have been through a lot and who need a true helping hand.

Mauro Archer and Associates have had meetings with local farmers in the local areas last week and early this week. More information on Mauro Archer can be found at midwestcornlawsuit.com, or call them at 515-635-1626. Fagan recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Life's Journey Senior Living Wanting to Help in Any Way Possible

Alzheimer’s and dementia are two serious afflictions that affect the senior community. With Former NBA coach Jerry Sloan, now suffering from Parkinson's, and Hall of Fame NCAA coach Pat Summit passing away just five years after being diagnosed with early onset dementia in the form of Alzheimer's, now is the time to prepare.  Blair Minton, President of Life's Journey Senior Living, said that it's important to look out for the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer's, and when you notice them, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Minton also said that Life's Journey Senior Living can help families to care for their relatives, as it's an assisted living community with a staff that is dedicated and passionate about helping others.

For more information on Life's Journey Senior Living in Taylorville, call them at 217-287-7000, visit their facebook page, or go to their website at lifesjourneymc.com. Minton recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Jim Bohannon of the Jim Bohannon Show Talks How England Splitting from the EU Affects the US

Great Britain voted to leave the European Union last week and with it came a lot of backlash. According to Jim Bohannon, Host of the Jim Bohannon Show, Britain’s choice  made stocks fall and could further strain the relationship between the United States and them.

Bohannon said that because this move interrupts trade, it interrupts the profit of companies, so now is the time, to look at the stock market, and possibly think of making a move.

More can be found about this and other world and national news on the Jim Bohannon show, weeknights from 9 o’clock to midnight on NEWSTALK WTIM. Bohannon was recently a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Park Board Getting Ready for More Summer Events

The Taylorville Park Board of Trustees held their regular monthly meeting Monday night in the Manners Park Office Board Room. The brief meeting started off with the approval of the May23rd minutes, followed by the Treasurer’s Report. In discussion of the new business for the Park Board, there were two ordinances that needed to be passed. One was the Notice of Christian County Prevailing Wage Rate. Board member James M. McCoy did make a statement on the issue asking if anybody had found out where the county got their figures for the wage rate. It was determined that nobody currently knew that information. The other ordinance dealt with levying the necessary taxes for the fiscal year starting March 1st 2016, and ending February 28th 2017. It was noted that the taxes were roughly the same as the previous fiscal year, with only a slight increase.


The next several items on the agenda for the Taylorville Park Board meeting were the reports from the Maintenance Superintendent, Office of the Administrator, and the Recreation Director. During the Administrator’s report, it was shared with the Park Board that health insurance rates had gone up $278 a month. There was also discussion about the memorial for former Park Board President Jim O’Brian. It was decided that the memorial will be two benches at the Don Bragg complex, with a memorial plaque in-between. Maintenance Superintendent Gary Brown was tardy for the meeting due to personal reasons; however Board Member James McCoy gave a glowing review of the job that Gary Brown has done.



Another report that was given at the Taylorville Park Board Meeting Monday night was from Recreation Director Bailey Hancock. Hancock started her report by saying how the pool at Manners Park had already seen over five thousand guests since it’s opening this year, and said how the lifeguards at the pool had been given random evaluations, in which every lifeguard passed with exceeding grades.


Hancock also commented on the various events that had been happening within the Taylorville Park District. One of the events discussed was the Music under the Chautauqua Building, where despite incredible heat saw a large turnout for their latest event. Details were also given on the next Music under the Chautaqua event.



The reason for the increased attractions for the next event is because of the Chautauqua building’s 100th birthday. There will be food, tropical snow, as well as music and other attractions for that Music under the Chautauqua event on July 23rd. After the motion to accept the various reports as given was passed, there was a motion to approve the payment of bills from the finance committee, and the Taylorville Park Board Meeting adjourned at approximately 7:30 PM.

Mayor Brotherton Talks Officer Arrest and Summer Positives in Taylorville

The Taylorville Police Department has experienced an issue this past week, where one of the officers, Anthony Telford, has been arrested for domestic battery, while in Chicago. Mayor Greg Bortherton, there isn't much he can say about the case, but everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and he hopes the situation can blow over quickly for Telford.

Brotherton mentioned some of the positives coming to Taylorville, and felt it was important to focus on the positives, especially with a lot of the negative energy being pushed out from the state government.

Brotherton also mentioned St. Mary's School expansion, as well as sewer and road repairs happening throughout the summer as positive things to focus on. Brotherton was recently a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Water Department to Send out Surveys to Ensure Clean and Safe Water

Clean water is always essential to living a healthy life, and the Taylorville Water Department wants to make sure everyone gets just that. Water Superintendent, David Speagle, said that the water department will be mailing out surveys to people of the community to find any hazardous things that might be passing through or irregularities.

Speagle said it was important to get the large majority of these surveys back or the EPA would make them send them out again to ensure people's safety in the area.

For any questions, call the Taylorville Water Department at 217-287-1441, or email them at water@ctitech.com. Speagle recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Christian County Fair Coming July 26th With Some New Events

The Christian County Fair start date is less than a month away and the Fair Board is doing everything they can to get the public ready for it. The Fair starts on Tuesday July 26th, and is a week later than it normally is to make sure that it can have the same carnival that the community has enjoyed for years past. Jim Olive, Christian County Fair Board President, said the start date won't be the only thing new for the fair this year, but to expect some new events, especially during the night of pageants.

Olive also highlighted the horticulture and agricultural events that will be taking place during the fair.

People can enter themselves in the Horticultural contests or get information from Linda Binger by calling her at 217-824-8946. And For more information on the full fair and it's events, go to christiancountyfair.com. Olive recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Two Accidents Result in Injuries Last Week

Two accidents recently resulted in the participants being treated for injuries.


On June 25th, 22 year old Jessica A. Hatch of Edinburg was traveling east bound. Hatch ran off the roadway to the right in an attempt to not hit raccoons. Hatch lost control of the vehicle, causing the vehicle to travel into the ditch on the south side of the road. Hatch’s vehicle then rolled after colliding with the ditch embankment. The vehicle came to rest on its wheels facing west. Hatch had two passengers, who were both treated on scene by EMS and refused further treatment.


On June 23rd, 20 year old Deiona A. Andrews of Kincaid was northbound on County Highway 11 just north of 1800 North Road. Andrews stated that she was trying to get her purse for a cigarette when she ran off the right side of the roadway. Andrews traveled about 108 feet on the right shoulder in the rocks before sliding down into the grass in the right ditch. Andrews then traveled approximately 123 feet in the ditch before striking the first utility pole north of pole 40. Andrew’s vehicle hit the pole on the driver’s side just in front of the driver’s door. Andrews was taken to St. John’s Hospital via Medics First Ambulance to be treated for injuries.

Taylorville Police Officer Arrested While Off Duty

The Taylorville Police Department is conducting an internal investigation regarding the arrest of one of its Officers. Taylorville Police Chief Dave Herpstreith spoke with Regional Radio News on Monday and gave some details about the investigation.



Information concerning the incident is still being gathered by the Taylorville Police Department. Regional Radio News will have updates on the investigation as details are released.

Pollinator Plot Coming to Taylorville

Last week was national pollinator week. The Christian County Farmers Supply is planting a pollinator plot in Taylorville to help boost the local bee population to help with pollinating local plants and crops. Nathan Rodgers with the Christian County FS and Regional Area Agronomist spoke with Regional Radio News recently to talk about the program that the Christian County FS is doing to help local growers plant their own pollinator plots.



Rodgers also spoke on the purpose of pollinator plots, and said how they’re intended to give local bee populations something they can pollinate, rather than the local commercial crops which can be harmful to the bee populations.



It’s currently unknown as to what has caused the drop in the honey bee population; however the use of pollinator plots is a potential way to help those local honey bee populations have an environment where they can thrive.

Local Landmark in Christian County Stolen

A local landmark has gone missing. On June 24th officers with the Christian County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 2225 East in Christian County. The officer met with Darren D. Hall, who stated that he and his wife own a large metal rooster that they let stand in their front yard. Sometime in the night, the rooster had been stolen from their yard. Hall had stated that the public enjoyed seeing the rooster dressed in different costumes throughout the year, and was the talk of many citizens in the local area. Hall stated that the rooster was about 6 or 7 feet tall with a bright red cone and breast, as well as a yellow neck and dark blue feathers. If you have any information on this crime, the Christian County Sheriff’s Office asks that you contact them at 824-4961. You can also contact the Christian County Crimestoppers by calling 824-9100 or 1-800-568-TIPS.

Miller Media Group Visits Pawnee Prairie Days

Pawnee Prairie Days took place at the end of last week and into the weekend. Groovy 97.3 WRAN was live on location at the event on Friday, and spoke with Dan Cobb, President of Pawnee Prairie Days who said how the festival had many different events and attractions throughout the festival.



The event also included live music, a car show, as well as many different rides and shows. There was also a wide selection of food available that Cobb highlighted.



Again Pawnee Prairie Days took place Thursday through Saturday on the square in downtown Pawnee.

Fayette County Man Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Friday that a Fayette County man had been charged with possessing and disseminating child pornography. 61 Manuel D. Prater of Vandalia was taken into custody as a part of “Operation Glass House”, a statewide initiative to apprehend the most active offenders who download and trade child pornography online.  Prater was charged in the Fayette County Circuit Court with 10 counts of possession of child pornography, which are class 2 felonies punishable by up to three to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Prater was also charged with seven counts of dissemination of child pornography, which are class x felonies punishable by up to six to thirty years in prison. His bond was set at $1 million.


This is the 81st arrest since “Operation Glass House” was launched in August of 2010. Madigan’s office has focused on apprehending offenders who are seen trading and watching extremely violent videos involving children, including infants and toddlers. 

Dick Van Dyke Inducted Into Illinois Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Friday Night

Above:  Dick Van Dyke performing at a benefit for his Foundation, on Friday night in his hometown of Danville. Van Dyke, who is 90 years old, is 2nd from the left.  He continues to travel with his quartet, singing around the country.



Legendary television and movie entertainer Dick Van Dyke, who is now 90 years old, came back to his hometown of Danville, Illinois, late last week, to raise money for a Foundation he's establishing dedicated to restoring his childhood home in Danville, as well as providing monies for the Performing Arts in schools around the country.

Several fund-raising events took place, including an evening where he entertained over 200 people at the David A. Palmer Conference Center Friday night.

There was one surprise for Van Dyke before Friday night's performance.  Dennis Lyle, C-E-O of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, presented Van Dyke with the I-B-A's Hall of Fame Award.  Van Dyke began his entertainment career at age 16 at W-D-A-N Radio in Danville, and spent several years there before going on to acting on television with his own TV show in the 1960's.  He was one of the main actors in several movies in the 1960's, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins.

Van Dyke joins such legendary Illinois broadcasters as Paul Harvey, Ann Compton of ABC News, and Oprah Winfrey, in the I-B-A Hall of Fame.

Several I-B-A board members, including Randal J. Miller of the Miller Media Group, were also present to give Van Dyke his award.

The entertainer said he was humbled by the honor, and thanked the Illinois Broadcasters for the award.

Following the presentation, Van Dyke was part of a quartet he travels with around the country, and sang several songs that were part of  Van Dyke's movie career, including Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang.

Van Dyke continues to perform around the country with his quartet.

Julio Monge Latest "Big Smile for the Community" Honoree

Julio Monge of Taylorville is the latest honoree of the "Big Smile for the Community" award, co-sponsored by NEWSTALK WTIM and Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry.

Monge has volunteered at the Christian County Senior Citizens Center for over 30 years, including time as board chairman, committee chair for various committees, and helped raise thousands of dollars over the year in fund raising for the Center.

Monge told Regional Radio News about his years of involvement at the Center.

Monge said his work hosting "Rules of the Road" review courses at Senior Centers across the state, led him to his further involvement at the local center.

To nominate someone for the "Big Smile for the Community" award, e-mail your information to bigsmile@randyradio.com.

Shelby County Shrine Club Holding Fundraiser For St. Louis Hospital

While the Shelby County Shrine Club likes to have a good time and be a part of the community, there is an important and serious side to the organization. That side is where the true purpose of the organization lies. Tim Finks, Owner of EcoWater of Shelby County, is a dedicated Shriner and said that the purpose of Shriners is helping children with physical disabilities or who were burn victims.

Finks said, the Shelby County Shrine Club doesn't go for the big fundraisers to help the children because they don't have a club large enough to do so. But they do have fundraisers that help them raise as much money as they can, including a raffle being held throughout the summer.

Proceeds will go to the St. Louis Hospital for care and research. Finks recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Shelby County Senior Center Hosts Programs to Assist Local Seniors

The Shelby County Senior Center has activities planned Sunday through Saturday, and rarely has a day with nothing planned. One event they have planned once every month is the Dining to Doc Program where free lunch is provided and allows seniors to have lunch with a local physician and ask questions. Mary Beth Massey, Director of Shelby County Senior Center, said this experience is a valuable one and is glad they are able to provide it.

Another program the center runs is Wits Fitness, which Massey said, is a program that will keep your mind working and healthy with brain exercises.

For more information on the events or on the Senior Center, you can call 217-774-2251. Massey recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Central Illinois Public Transit Ridership Growing Steadily

Central Illinois Public Transit operates in seven counties in central Illinois, including Effingham, Shelby, Christian, Montgomery, Clay, Moultrie, and Fayette Counties. One thing that not everyone knows about CIPT is that people who use the service aren't limited to staying within the county they reside. Nathan Nichols, CIPT Mobility Manager, said that the drivers will take riders wherever they need to go as long as it's in one of the 7 counties the service is located. He also said that during specific days of the month they will travel outside of their service location for trips to areas such as Springfield and Decatur.

Nichols also said that the number of riders they service has been increasing steadily since last year.

For more information on Central Illinois Public Transit, go to cefseoc.org or find their Facebook Page for a full list of events by searching Central Illinois Public Transit. Nichols recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Christian County Coroner's Office Releases Information On Death Investigations

The Christian County Coroner’s office has both released information on a death investigation taking place, as well as the results of a death investigation of a local resident who was recently found dead.


On June 23rd at 1:11pm, Taylorville Police received a call that the management staff at Park Glen Apartments had been asked to check the welfare of one of its residents. Upon entering the locked door, staff members located the resident and requested the coroner. Coroner Winans responded to the scene, and identified the deceased as Jane M. Hailey of Taylorville. Taylorville Police processed the scene and the coroner’s office ordered toxicology to be drawn. Results are pending, and the investigation is being handled by the Taylorville Police Department and the Christian County Coroner’s office.


The Christian County Coroner’s office also released the toxicology results for Mark Szabo. Szabo died on June 2nd in his home. Toxicology results have concluded that Szabo died of diphenhydramine intoxication, and his death was ruled a suicide. The Christian County Sheriff’s Office and the Christian County Coroner’s Office handled the investigation.

United Way Survey Shows Service Cuts Are Growing Worse

A United Way of Illinois survey of state human service providers offers a blunt assessment of the impact of the state budget standoff. The survey of 429 member agencies with contracts with the state shows nearly two-thirds have cut programs, leaving almost one million people without services. Illinois owes an average of $525,000 to those recipients. Over . half of agencies surveyed report they'll have to stop serving clients if the stalemate continues another six months. The areas hardest hit were substance abuse services, childhood education and mental health treatment.

Kent Redfield Says Best Case Scenario is Temporary Budget

The best case scenario for the State of Illinois to end the budget stalemate is a short term budget that Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed. That's according to Dr. Kent Redfield who says a short-term budget would include a spending plan for Illinois schools and get the state to the end of the year and through the November election.

Dr. Redfield warns the longer this budget stalemate goes, the farther in debt Illinois gets.

The state is paying salaries of state employees and other payments are being made through consent decrees but Dr. Redfield points out, the state is without money to buy every day items like paper or ink for printers.

Taylorville Resident Wins Award For Outstanding Leadership

A local Taylorville resident has been awarded for her volunteer work. Geri Niemann was one of the 2016 Outstanding Volunteer Award winners at Trees Forever’s annual celebration and awards dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on June 16th. Jackie Wedeking, Communications and Marketing Manager for Trees Forever spoke with Regional Radio News Recently, and shared that Niemann received the award for her excellent volunteer work.



Wedeking also said how has a mission to create a brighter, greener future for the next generation.



For more information on Trees Forever including resources should you have questions on your trees, as well as their local groups, you can visit them treesforever.org.

One Day Food Prep and Food Science Classes to be Offered at U of I Extension

The University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 has a couple of classes coming up soon that are focused on food and food science. These two classes are being offered for the first time and are being taught by Nutrition and Wellness Educator, Lisa Peterson. The first class being offered on July 22, is called “Ready, Set, Marinade,” where Peterson said you'll learn how to make a marinade and learn all of the benefits of using a marinade, opposed to grilling straight on the grill.

Come August, Peterson will also have a canning work shop called “Yes You Can Preserving Practice,” to teach people how to make Jams and Jellies, and how to properly can them, so they will stay preserved for as long as someone would need.

There will be a fee of $15 for the canning class, but the extension is offering scholarships, if needed. Peterson was recently a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Lincoln Land Community College Focusing on Fall Semester

With graduation finished, Lincoln Land Community College faculty and staff is now on the Fall semester. Fall registration is going on now, and classes are beginning to fill up, with most classes set to begin on August 22nd. Scott Stahlman, Associate Vice President of Education Outreach for LLCC said that anyone who is already a student or was a former student can go ahead and sign up for classes now, but new students will need to go through orientation to be able to sign up for anything.

LLCC in Taylorville is also adding new classes in the Fall semester that will take advantage of the Mac Lab.

For more information on Lincoln Land Community College, go to their website at llcc.edu. Stahlman recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Holding Business Seminar, Date TBA

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has a seminar coming up for people who are starting, or want to start, their own business in Illinois. The date will be announced in the near future, but Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, said the seminar is the perfect way to make connections and find ways to learn how to start your business or make your business more successful.

Hornbuckle also said, it's not too early to mark your calendars and start getting prepared for the LEAD Program, or Leadership Excellence Achieved by Design. The LEAD Program will run for 12 weeks from January through March and get you involved and educated about the community.

For more information on the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, call them at 217-824-4919, email them at taylorvillechamber@gmail.com, or visit them at their office on the second floor of the US Bank on the South side of the Taylorville Square. Hornbuckle recently appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Library Set to Reopen on Monday

The Taylorville Library was set to open this week; however the open date has been pushed back, and is now tentatively set for Monday. The Library, which has been closed since April 12th due to mold issues, has completed the mold remediation; however interior repairs on the library haven’t been complete. Gary Merker, President of the Library Board had said that they couldn’t get as many people working on the project as they would have liked, thus leading to the delay. The Library when it re-opens will remain mostly the same, although the locations of audio books, DVDs, and other similar material have been rearranged. Taylorville residents have been patient and understanding of the closure, but are growing anxious for the library to re-open. Residents with a Taylorville Library card can still use their card in other libraries in Christian and surrounding counties while the Library is closed.

Strasburg Currently Under Boil Order Until Further Notice

Strasburg is under a boil order until further notice. The order started at 9am, and was caused by low water pressure due to work being done on the water system in Stasburg. According to the Village Clerks Office in Strasburg, the order isn’t due to any sort of contamination in the water system, and is simply due to work being done on the water lines. Residents are urged to boil the water their water prior to use.

IRHA Hosting Annual Educational Conference in August

The Illinois Rural Health Association will host its Annual Educational Conference on August 10th and 11th at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham. This year’s conference has the theme “Sharing Solutions for Success”, and is an opportunity for rural healthcare administrators and clinicians to advance their professional skills, while networking and learning the best practices from their counterparts throughout the state. Margaret Vaughn, Executive Director of the IRHA spoke with Regional Radio New Recently, and shared some details about the Conference.



Vaughn went on to say why cyber security is such a big deal for rural health care workers.



If you’d like more info on the IRHA or the Educational Conference visit online at ilruralhealth.org or search for Illinois Rural Health Association in your web browser.

McDonalds Introduces New Muffin Flavors To Lineup

McDonald's Restaurants this week rolled out several new flavors of muffins which are available at their area stores in Taylorville, Pana, Shelbyville, and Vandalia. Brad Davis is the local McDonald's owner-operator and says that Berry Bran will join the current lineup of Muffins available at McDonalds.



McCafe Fresh Baked Muffins are baked in-house daily and are available all day at participating restaurants while supplies last. For a limited time, customers can also add a McCafe Fresh Baked Muffin to any order for $1. 

Rauner Still Not Ready for A Special Session

Another week goes by with the Illinois House cancelling a session and skipping a day that could have been used to take a vote on proposed budgets or a new one. Governor Bruce Rauner could make those lawmakers return to Springfield by calling a special session. It’s something he says that he’d rather not have to do. 

This marks the third week in a row that House Speaker Mike Madigan has cancelled a session of the Illinois House. The Speaker says he keeps cancelling the sessions so bipartisan working groups can continue the effort designed to find compromise on the budget and turn around agenda items. 

Governor Bruce Rauner could force lawmakers back with a special session but he’s been hesitant to do so, saying they never seem to accomplish much. But there are just 9 days left to pass a budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1. 

Upcoming Parade and New Exhibits are the Current Focus of the Christian County Historical Society

has a few ideas lined up for this year's theme, but nothing set in stone yet. One thing Jodi Heberling, President of Board, of the Christian County Historical Society is looking for, is people to walk with the historical society and help spread information about the organization to the community.

Heberling also said how the Christian County Historical Society will be having a couple new exhibits to add to their collection with the donation of furniture it has received.

You can find the Christian County Historical Society at 325 Abe's Way in Taylorville, and information can be found by calling them at 824-6299. Hebering appeared on Wednesday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center Always Trying to Benefit the Community

The Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center is a non profit community supported organization servicing Christian County and the surrounding areas. The faith based organization offers many programs to help women and men to prepare their route through pregnancy and on their way to parenthood. Cathy Coker, Executive Director, said that the main goal of the organization is to be there for anyone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy.

Coker said that Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center has incentives for couples who may not have the funds for things such as baby cribs.

Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center also provides transportation for those who can't afford it through cab or bus fare. Coker was a guest on Wednesday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Independent Map Amendment Possibly Headed To November Ballot

It’s looking like the Independent Map Amendment will be on the November ballot in Illinois. Supporters gathered about double the number of required signatures, and next up is a court challenge by opponents, followed by a voter information campaign, according to independent map amendment chair Dennis Fitzsimons;

Legal precedent indicates the court will approve putting the amendment on the ballot. If approved in November, it will form an independent commission to draw state legislative districts with the goal of making as many as possible competitive. Right now, the districts are drawn by the legislature, putting as many incumbents as possible in ‘safe’ districts.
FitzSimons says a similar initiative in California in 2008 has brought big changes to that state;

A decade ago, California was facing similar gridlock and budget problems that we are facing now in Illinois. Since the passage of a fair map amendment, California has turned things around and now runs budget surpluses. For more information on the Independant Map Amendment you can go online to Map-Amendment-dot-org.

Speaker Madigan Calls Off Another Session of the House

House Speaker Michael Madigan calls off another session of the House so that the bipartisan working groups of legislators can meet. Madigan's office reports the groups will meet three times this week, as they hope to pave the way to a long awaited state budget. Madigan said "Governor Rauner has been supportive of these groups’ efforts, and I agree with his recent comments that until there is a compromise budget, lawmakers should not be brought back to Springfield."

Shelbyville Rotary Club Hears From Master Hypnotist Terry Trueblood

The Shelbyville Rotary Club held their weekly meeting at noon on Monday at Shelbyville Memorial Hospital. During Monday’s meeting, Terry Trueblood was introduced. Trueblood is a winner of the lifetime achievement award from the Association of Dive Rescue Specialists, and is also a basic, advanced, and master Hypnotists as well as a Regresionist. Trueblood is currently studying for a PhD in Mystic Research, and presented a program introducing the areas of Hypnotism to study and Mystic areas of reality to learn and to understand. Several questions were addressed by Trueblood, providing insights into several areas of inspiration, revelation, and fields of thought. Rotary is an international organization, currently working to end Polio worldwide.

Accident in Taylorville Involving a Motorcycle

There was an accident in Taylorville recently involving a motorcycle. On 6/18/16 54 year old Brent A. Cornell of Taylorville was traveling east on Spresser Street on a 2008 Honda Goldwing, and was passing through the intersection of Spresser and Shumway Streets. 62 year old Jeffrey M. Bland of Taylorville was attempting to exit Amity foods and was having trouble seeing due to a sign. Bland partially entered into the roadway. Cornell saw this, applied the brakes and swerved. Cornell was thrown off the motorcycle and landed in the roadway. Cornell’s vehicle continued driverless, into the parking lot of Gordon Olds and struck a parked vehicle causing damage. Cornell’s vehicle had to be towed from the scene, and Cornell was taken to Taylorville Memorial Hospital via Dunn's Ambulance to be treated for injuries.

Abe Lincoln Museum Hosting Baseball Themed Day for Kids

Summer has arrived and that means warm days, barbecues, and baseball. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is teaming up with the Springfield Sliders for a day of baseball activities on June 27th. Christopher Wills, Spokesperson with the Abe Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum spoke with Regional Radio News Recently, and shared what the day will have to offer.



The day will have many activities lined up. Wills shared with Regional Radio News what some of those activities are.



The event goes on from 11am until 2pm, with baseball trivia questions every half hour. Sliders players will be joining the fun, and will be bringing along their mascot Speedy the Turtle as well.

American Lung Association Offering Free Patches to People Trying to Quit Smoking

The most recent data on Illinois Smokers shows that Christian County has the highest smoking rate in the state at 29.9 percent. Those wishing to quit often times try several times before succeeding, but proven treatments and services are available. Smokers in Illinois can get free nicotine replacement therapy medications from the Illinois Tobacco Quitline between June 20th, and July 1st, or while supplies last. Lori Younker, Director of Program Services and Regions Liaison for the American Lung Association serving Illinois and Indiana spoke with Regional Radio News recently, and shared some details on why this program got started.



The program isn’t just a way for smokers looking to quit to get free medications to help them do so either. Younker said how when smokers take advantage of this campaign, they’ll receive a support network to help them as well.



To take advantage of the campaign, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or visit quityes.org. Quitting has many health benefits, including lowering your risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, as well as helping reducing the risk of developing lung disease. Smokers can and do quit, and today there are more former smokers than current smokers in the United States.

Stonington Summerfest Kicking Off Friday June 24th

This Friday, June 24th, marks the start of the Stonington Summerfest. The Summerfest always has tons of events going on Friday through Sunday for both kids and adults. Some of which include children's tractor pulls, live music from local artist Jenny Campbell and her band, and Miss Summerfest Contests. Janet DeClerck, Chairperson of Miss Summerfest, gave some insight of what the Miss Summerfest Contests are all about.

DeClerck said another draw of the Summerfest is the food they have each day of the festival.

The Stonington Summerfest will cap off their celebration with a Fireworks Show after dark on Sunday June 26th. DeClerck appeared on Tuesday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Summer Months Call for Safer Driving

Summer is officially here and the warm weather continues to roll in, and with it comes more motorcycles on the roads. Motorcycles can be a bigger problem on the road than most would think because they are because they are small, hard to see, and accelerate and slow down quickly. State Trooper and District 9 Safety Education Officer, Sean Ramsey, said that both motorcyclists and drivers need to make sure they aware of their surroundings.

Ramsey also said that with 4th of July coming up, he expects people to celebrate bye drinking, but he would prefer to not have to arrest anyone for a DUI.

Ramsey said the perfect holiday night for State Troopers is a night where they don't have to give out any tickets and no accidents occur. Ramsey was a guest on Tuesday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears About American Red Cross at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the South Central Illinois chapter of the American Red Cross, at the club's weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Chapter executive director Bryan Soady was the program speaker, and talked about the Red Cross mission of alleviating human suffering.  Soady said the Red Cross around the world and in the United States, does that in a number of ways, including Preparedness and Health and Safety Services, Biomedical including helping to provide some 40-percent of the nation's blood supply, Disaster Services, Service to the Armed Forces, and their International efforts.
Soady added the Red Cross does not get regular funding from the Federal Government, and that over 90 cents of every dollar donated goes to the donor's intent.

The Red Cross executive director also told the Kiwanis Club that 90-percent of the Red Cross workforce is made up of volunteers.
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.

CTI Fiber Bringing Gigabit Internet Access to Taylorville

Gigabit internet service is coming to Taylorville. Computer Techniques Incorporated will be launching their gigabit internet service on July 9th. CTI recently received an award from the Fiber to the Home Council of North America. Lucy Burtle, Marketing Coordinator for CTI recently spoke with Regional Radio News, and shared what that award is all about, and why CTI was the recipient of it.



Burtle also said how Fiber Internet can benefit a community, stating how it can bring many people and businesses into a community due to the better internet infrastructure of that community. Burtle mentioned how the gigabit internet will help Taylorville, due to it not being available in many other towns and cities, let alone a town the size of Taylorville. To celebrate the launch of the gigabit internet services, CTI will be hosting a launch party. Burtle shared with Regional Radio News some details of the event.



The gigabit fiber internet is comparable to Google’s Fiber internet services. Currently CTI does not have pricing available for the gigabit service for businesses; however residential customers can get the gigabit service for $99.95 a month. CTI is also offering a price lock offer, where they offer the service for $69.95 a month for the duration of you having the service. For more information on CTI or the gigabit internet, call CTI at 824-6398.

Taylorville City Council Hears from Citizens for Education

The Taylorville City Council met in regular session Monday night. The meeting started off with the local Citizens for Education group addressing the council. The group gave the council some information regarding the progress of state education funding reform, stating how State Senator Andy Manar’s plan which the group supports had passed through both the council process, as well as being passed in the Illinois State Senate, however was stuck in the State House due to House Speaker Michael Madigan not calling it, or anything for that matter, to the floor. The Citizens for Education group informed the council that without any assistance from the state, an idea that’s quickly becoming reality, the school would have to issue a referendum for more local funding in order to keep the school operating. The Citizens for Education group said how should Taylorville fail to fund its school system, law dictates that the State itself could step in and take over the running of the school district.



Another item that was mentioned during the opening of the meeting was the public hearing to consider the request of the Grace Baptist Church a Special Use to build an addition onto the worship center of the existing structure, and add an additional addition to the building to better join the old and new structures together. There was a motion to vote on an ordinance to allow the church the special use of the property to build the additions, which ultimately passed 7-0.


Several other resolutions were discussed at Monday night’s Taylorville City Council meeting, one of which was an alarm agreement with FBS Inc. and the city of Taylorville. It was pointed out during discussion that the agreement was a three year agreement, which the city would be locked into, regardless of whether or not the city owned the building that the alarm was installed in anymore. The resolution ultimately passed 7-0 with the agreement to amend the language of the agreement with FBS Inc. that the city would be able to opt out of the agreement at any time under the right circumstances.


A rather controversial item that was discussed during the meeting was a motion that had come out of the ordinance committee to recommend to the City Council to direct the City Attorney to prepare an ordinance that provides and adds a definition of “gross revenue” in sections 3-3-1 and 3-3-21 of the Taylorville City Code. The discussion was to help better define what businesses could or could not have video gaming on the premises. Alderman Shawn Burtle, who had opposed to motion during committee, commented saying how he didn’t understand why the statue couldn’t be less complicated in terms of what businesses could have the video gaming.



The motion ultimately passed 5-2, after some lengthy thought by several of the alderman before they casted their vote. City Attorney Rocci Romano gave some updates to the council, as did Mayor Brotherton, and the meeting adjourned at approximately 8:30 PM.

Lack of State Budget Causing Short and Possible Long Term Damage For Regional Universities

 The lack of a state budget, is beginning to take a larger toll on government funded agencies. This is making things difficult, especially for things like schools, where they are worried about not being able to open. Dr. Kent Redfield, Political Science Professor, at the University of Illinios in Springfield, said that the best option could be a temporary spending bill, that will get the state through the election in November.

Redfield said that because of a lack of a budget there are multiple universities in danger of having to close their doors.

Redfield said there would be long term damage including retention and recruiting, with students going to schools in other states. He also said that this issue is causing lower income students problems because they are not able to get the scholarships they would otherwise get if not for the budget issue. Redfield was a guest on Monday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

New Loans Service in Christian and Sangamon County

Central Illinois Loans is now able to service Christian County as they have opened a new office in Rochester. The company grants loans of all kinds including home improvement loans, auto loans, and vacation loans. Manager Julie Wilcoxon said that Central Illinois Loans is like one big family, and they do everything they can to try to make the loan for the person and help out members of the community.

Wilcoxon said that it can be easy to get a loan from Central Illinois Loans, as long as you can pass the initial qualifications.

Central Illinois Loans in Rochester specializes service in Sangamon and Christian County, but can go beyond if they need to. For more information on Central Illinois Loans in Rochester, you can call them at 217-498-3250. Wilcoxon appeared on Monday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Retired Long-Time Taylorville Businessman Ralph Harrison Dies

A former long-time Taylorville businessman has died.  Ralph Harrison owned and operated Harrison Motors at the corner of Webster and West Main Cross, for decades until retiring over 10 years ago. 

Harrison had spent his retirement years traveling, including coming back to Taylorville in 2014 for the 150th Anniversary of Taylorville and Christian County, and the 60th anniversary of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club.  He was the last surviving charter member of the club.

Harrison died Friday night.  Funeral arrangements are pending.

Christian County Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

Christian County Crimestoppers would like your help with this week’s crime of the week. Sometime between the evening hours of Thursday, June 16th and the morning of Friday, June 17th, a person or person of currently unknown identity broke out a passenger’s side window of a vehicle located at 1123 East Elm Street. While inside the vehicle, the unknown subject or subjects took a laptop computer. A piece of cement was used to break out the window. Crimestoppers asks you to contact them if you have any information on this crime or any other crime or wanted persons. You can contact Crimestoppers at 824-9100, or at their website at christiancountycrimestoppers.org. You can also text Crimestoppers by texting 274632, and then your tip. You will remain anonymous, and Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1000 for information that leads to an arrest, and will pay double the normal reward for information leading to an arrest for the crime of the week.

Dr. Jeisy Discusses Taylorville Memorial Hospital Stroke and Cardiac Care

Recently the Taylorville Fire Department learned that they are receiving a grant to help go towards the purchase of a new cardiac monitor for the Fire Department Ambulance. One of the neat things that this new cardiac monitor can do is send results of EKG tests that the Fire Department EMTs take in the ambulance to local hospitals for their cardiac teams to review. It was mentioned in a recent story on Regional Radio News how patients need to be transported to hospitals in Springfield or Decatur for cardiac or stroke care. Dr. Richard Jeisy, Medical Director for the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Emergency Department recently spoke with Regional Radio News, and wanted listeners to know that this isn’t always the case, and that Taylorville Memorial Hospital can in fact treat cases of stroke or cardiac related problems.



Dr. Jeisy as well as Kim Bourne, President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital shared with Regional Radio news how Taylorville Memorial Hospital is a state designated strike ready hospital, and has protocols to begin lifesaving drugs for patients experiencing heart attack or stroke. Dr. Jeisy shared how Taylorville Memorial has plenty of experience treating patients with cardiac or stroke related issues.



Dr. Jeisy expressed how if you are experiencing chest pains or stroke symptoms, don’t hesitate to come to Taylorville Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Farm Income and Innovations Conference Taking Place In July

The Illinois Farm Bureau will be hosting the Farm Income and Innovations Conference on July 27th at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal, IL. The conference, formerly known as the Illinois Farm Bureau Commodities Conference will feature many Ag related topics. Nicole Moore, Farm Income and Innovations Conference Coordinator spoke with Regional Radio News recently, and shed some light on what the Conference has to offer.



The event will also feature a guest speaker. Moore shared who that guest speaker will be, and what they will be talking about.



The event is primarily for Illinois Farm Bureau members, staff, as well as agri-business professionals; however Moore said how anybody who’s interested in the event can attend. Registration is open for the event, with a $35 registration fee. If you’re a Farm Bureau member, you can contact your local Farm Bureau for registration information.

U of I Extension Hosts Illinois Jr Chef Camp

The University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 in cooperation with the Illinois Nutrition Education Program SNAPED, as well as Illinois 4-H hosted their “Illinois Jr Chef” camp in Kincaid from June 13th through June 16th. Jodi Heberling, Community Working with the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 spoke with Regional Radio News recently and shared what the Illinois Jr Chef Camp is all about.



The program not only teaches the students how to prepare healthy and delicious meals, but also teaches proper safety precautions in the kitchen. Heberling shared some of the things that the camp teaches so kids can be safe when handling and preparing food.



The University of Illinois Extension provides practical education that help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future. For more information on what the University of Illinois Extension has to offer, contact your local extension office.

Taylorville Cruise On The Square Returns in July

An old event is making its return to Taylorville. The Taylorville Cruise on the Square will be taking place in the Taylorville square on July 9th. Marlana Wadkins, Coordinator for the Taylorville Cruise on the Square reunion spoke with Regional Radio News recently and gave some info on the event.



Wadkins said how many of the people involved in the cruise were involved in the event when it started, and said how she decided to get the event going again after some time of the cruise not taking place, and said that the cruise is now an annual event.



The cruise will be taking place on July 9th in the Taylorville Square.

Two Recent Accidents Result in Injuries

There were two accidents with injuries recently. The first happened on Friday at approximately 10:50 PM. Sgt. McWard of the Christian County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to IL Rt. 29 at 1850 North for a deer vs car accident. He arrived on scene and observed a 2015 Chevrolet Spark with significant front end damage. He spoke with the driver, 40 year old Jacqueline R. Holmes of Taylorville who said she was southbound on IL Rt 29 when a deer entered the roadway from the east. Holmes struck the deer and contacted the Christian County Sheriff’s Office. Two female juvenile passengers reported minor injuries, and were transported by Deputy Pickett to Taylorville Memorial Hospital.


The second occurred on Thursday, when 39 year old David J. Bolletto of Thayer was southbound on Webster attempting to turn left onto Spresser. Bolletto said that the sun was in his eyes and could not see the traffic light. He pulled into the northbound lane of traffic starting to make a left turn and realized that there was another vehicle coming towards him. 55 year old Dan R. Conrath of Taylorville came into the intersection, and tried to stop to avoid hitting Bolletto’s vehicle, but was unable to stop in time to avoid the collision. Witnesses described the accident the same way. Conrath was taken to Taylorville Memorial Hospital via Suttons Ambulance to be treated for injuries.

Shelbyville School District Prepares for the Upcoming School Year

The Shelbyville School District will be seeing quite a bit of change next year, after there were several teachers who retired, including 5 from Shelbyville High School. Also at SHS, a new principal was appointed, after Richard Stuart was hired at Mattoon High School, and will fully begin his duties on July 1st. Shane Schuricht, who just completed is 21st year in education in Illinois, said he's excited to be in Shelbyville. He said, he has been happy with the interactions he's had, and is glad he was able to be part of the hiring process of the new staff at SHS.

With the Illinois State Budget not being finalized, Denise Bence, Superintendent of Shelbyville Schools, said the county may not have half of the revenue they're supposed to get from the state to support the schools.

Because of the lack of a budget, the Shelbyville School District relies heavily on their property taxes, but Bence did ensure that schools would continue with a full staff.

Schuricht and Bence appeared on Friday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville studios. 

Sheriff Koonce Explains Do's and Don't's of Tubing the Kaskaskia River

As the warm months continue to press on, outdoor activities become more prevalent in Shelby County, and one that's rising in popularity is relaxing or tubing in Kaskaskia River. Sheriff Don Koonce of Shelby County said that it's okay for people to have fun, because recreation is a big part of the Shelby County Community, but he did clarify what won't be permitted during the river.

Sheriff Koonce wanted to make sure the public knew that the sheriff’s office would enforce rules at the river, especially after the incident that occurred there last week.

For more information or to report someone to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, you can call 217-774-3941. Sheriff Koonce appeared on Friday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville studios. 

Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Ready to Celebrate July 4th

Just a few weeks away, the Fourth of July is quickly approaching, as is the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce's Annual Firework Show. Vonda McConnell CEO of the chamber said, even though the holiday does fall on a Monday this year, the fireworks show will still be held on the 4th and not the Saturday or Sunday before.

McConnell said one of the few things the chamber asks from people during the holiday, is patience.

There will be concessions set up mid-day, as well as live music later that night on the Fourth of July. McConnell appeared on Friday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville studios. 

TCCU Holding Second Annual Freedom Tree Food Drive

The second annual Freedom Tree Community Food Drive sponsored by Taylorville Community Credit Union has begun. The event runs from June 6th through July 15th. The food drive will benefit local food pantries in Taylorville, Litchfield, and Hillsboro. Will Perkins, President of Taylorville Community Credit Union spoke with Regional Radio News recently and shared why the Credit Union started the food drive.



The first Freedom Tree Community Food Drive was a rousing success. Perkins said how Taylorville Community Credit Union was able to donate thousands of pounds of food and other items to local food pantries last year, and would like to surpass that mark this year.



Anybody is welcome to come into any TCCU location and make a donation of canned and boxed food items to the food drive. You can also donate personal hygiene items such as tooth brushes and toilet paper, and monetary donations are accepted as well.

May Jobless Rate Down Despite a Loss of Jobs

The May jobless rate for Illinois is down from it's figure in April. The jobless rate came in at 6.4 percent for the month of May, down from 6.6 percent in April. State Department of Employment Security Analyst Evelina Loescher says Illinois also experienced a loss of twentyfive hundred jobs last month.



Educational health services, manufacturing, and government jobs saw the biggest job losses, with jobs being added in financial activities, and professional and business services sectors.

State Representative Bourne Pushes Stopgap State Budgets

House Republicans have proposed two bills in the Illinois House, both of which are stopgap, fully funded bills to provide stability for critical Illinois services. House Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) and her colleagues are calling on a vote on the legislation. Bourne spoke with Regional Radio News Recently and shared some details on what the two bills would fund.



These proposed budgets are both fully funded budgets, actually identifying sources of revenue to pay for its spending. Bourne spoke on how she believes this is the way you handle government finances, and how the state shouldn’t be writing anymore IOUs.



One obstacle for the proposed bills is the fact that so far every scheduled session of the house legislature has been cancelled by House Speaker Madigan. Bourne commented saying how it’s troubling how the state legislature hasn’t been meeting, saying how if nothing gets done on the budget issue, she expects frustrations to continue to grow.

Sheriff Kettlekamp Gives Safety Tips for the Summer Months

With school being out and warmer weather coming in, it can be expected that children will use their free time during the summer to have fun and play outside. The warm temperatures and daunting sun can pose threats to the kids, especially threats such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp gave tips to avoid heat stroke and explained what to look out for in case someone is experiencing it.

Kettlekamp also said that heat isn't the only thing to look out for while the kids are out of school during the summer, and gave some tips on other risks, such as them being home alone.

You can find all of those tips and more on christiancountysheriffsoffice.com. Kettlekamp was a guest on Thursday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

U of I Ext Unit 18 Having Busy Summer With Day Camps and Upcoming Fair

The University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 has been having camps for kids throughout the beginning of the summer and they have more planned. These camps have included things such as robotics, photography, and science, and in the near future, they'll have more camps and workshops such as a babysitter's clinic, sewing camps, and visual arts camps. Alicia Gullidge 4H and Youth Development Coordinator at the U of I Extension Unit 18, said that one thing she likes about these camps and 4H is that they can help kids find out what they want to do career wise and help them focus solely on that. Whereas, they aren't really able to do that in school, where their primary focus is general education.

Gullidge said that the U of I's summer schedule for kids will be very busy, just as June was, but they will more focused on the fair.

For more information of the 4H program at the University of Illinois you can visit their website at web.extension.illinois.edu/cjmm or call them at 217-287-7246. Gullidge appeared on Thursday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Business After Hours For Jenner Ag Was A Success

June's Business After Hours was held Wednesday night at Jenner Ag, one of the newer members of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. The night for Jenner Ag was a complete success as they had one of the biggest turnouts for Business After Hours of the year, while they celebrated their formal induction into the Chamber of Commerce.  Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Chamber, said that everyone who attended was very supportive, as Jenner Ag introduced their employees and had their ribbon cutting ceremony during the social event.

The next Business After Hours will be July 20th, and the location is to be determined.

Hornbuckle then discussed some of the bigger summer events in Taylorville, specifically highlighting the upcoming golf outings.

For more information on the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce you can call 217-824-4919, or email them at taylorvillechamber@gmail.com. Hornbuckle appeared on Thursday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Governor Says Many State Agencies On Verge of Crisis Without A Budget

The Governor is reiterating his call for passage of education funding and a short term operations budget. Failing to do that will have severe consequences says Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn.



Blankenhorn says stopping and starting projects can end up costing the state millions of dollars. Additionally, the capital development board says projects and maintenance at state facilities have had to be put on hold during the budget impasse.

Bill Awaiting Governor's Signature Would Allow Police to Carry Epi-Pens

A bill awaiting the governor's signature would let police carry and administer Epi-Pens. Police would have to undergo training, but would then be able to give the life saving Epinephrine to those suffering from a severe allergic reaction. Senator Chris Nybo of Lombard says it's known as the Annie Legere Law.



Annie's family worked hard for passage of the bill. It still needs to be signed into law by the governor.

Christian County Farm Bureau Announces 2016 Scholarship Winners

The Christian County Farm Bureau Foundation and Young Ag Leaders have named their 2016 Scholarship Winners. The winners are Leyton Brown of Morrisonville, Benjamin Curtin of Stonington, Mary Kate Curtin of Stonington, Alec Higgason of Taylorville, Andrew Livingston of Nokomis, and Garrett Stephens of Edinburg. Melissa McMillan, Christian County Farm Bureau Manager spoke with Regional Radio News and shared some information on the scholarships.



Students who are interested in the scholarships can begin applying for them sometime in the beginning of the year. McMillan gave some details on how the application and selection process works.



For more information on the Scholarships, as well as for more information on the Christian County Farm Bureau, visit them online at christiancofb.com

Zika Not An Issue In Illinois But West Nile Is

Sharks, crocodiles and even grizzly bears can be a threat in some places, but worldwide the lowly mosquito is the real threat to humans. Mosquitos, or more accurately the diseases carried by mosquitos, are the leading cause of death worldwide, and can be a problem here in Illinois…. Where we have plenty of mosquito’s. One disease we hear a lot about is the Zika virus, but fortunately the type of mosquito that carries Zika is not present in Illinois, according to state epidemiologist Dr Connie Austin.

And if you have travelled to those areas, you can be tested for Zika if you are concerned. Meanwhile the major Mosquito borne disease to worry about in Illinois is West Nile virus, which is still around and showing up early this year.

West Nile can be threat to anyone who spends time outdoors, which this time of year is most of us. 

Several Area Blood Drives Taking Place Soon

There will be several blood drives in the near future in several towns across Christian County. Libby Bair, Donor Relations Consultant with the Central Illinois Community Blood Center told Regional Radio News about where and when those blood drives will be taking place.



There are several requirements that one needs to meet in order to be able to donate blood. Bair shed light on what those requirements are.



Bair said that you can still donate blood with diabetes and high blood pressure, stating that it was a common misconception that you couldn’t. Bair also said that when you give blood you can save up to three lives. For information on the blood drives or if you’re eligible to donate, call the Central Illinois Community Blood Center at 1-800-747-5401.

Central Illinois Food Bank Celebrating Dairy Month

The month of June is Dairy Month, and that's a cause for celebration for the Central Illinois Food Bank in Springfield as well as food pantries throughout Central Illinois. During Dairy Month the Food Bank receives 500 gallons of milk from Prairie Farms that the food bank is able to provide to food pantry agencies in 21 counties in the state. Kristy Gilmore, Food and Agency Resource Director for the Central Illinois Food Bank, said that dairy month is a great opportunity for families to be able to get the extra nutrients they might not always be able to get from food pantries during the rest of the year.

Gilmore said Dairy Month is also a way for the food bank to let the public know that they can carry milk and other perishable items.

For more information on the Central Illinois Food Bank you can go to centralilfoodbank.org or call 217-522-4022. Gilmore appeared on Wednesday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Families Anonymous in Taylorville and Pana to Support Family and Friends of Addicts

More families are becoming affected by drug use and addiction in Christian County as drug use increases. This can be taxing on family members and few know how to handle the situation in a proper way to help them sleep easy. Dennis Metsker, Group Leader of Families Anonymous in Taylorville and Pana, said that Families Anonymous is a safe place for family members and friends can go to focus on themselves.

Metsker said that this type of group is used to support family members who are hurting, and while he is the mediator of the group for now, he wants the group to be able to grow to where the attendees can lead it.

For more information on the local Families Anonymous, you can call or text Dennis Metsker at 217-254-5027 or email him at dmdm5027@gmail.com. Metsker was a guest on Wednesday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Fire Department Recieves Grant From Washington

The Taylorville Fire Department has received word from US Congressman Rodney Davis’ office that the Fire Department has received an Assistance to Firefighters Grant to go towards the purchase of a new cardiac monitor for the Fire Department Ambulance. Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews spoke with Regional Radio News recently and gave some details on the grant, and why the Taylorville Fire Department needed it.



Although Taylorville Memorial is a top flight facility, patients requiring cardiac or stroke care interventions must be transported to hospitals in Springfield or Decatur. With every minute counting in cases of cardiac arrest or stroke, Crews said how the new machine will help patients that the Fire Department is transporting by relaying information directly to the hospitals so their teams can be ready to receive the patient as soon as they arrive.



With Taylorville’s aging population, there is a higher risk factor for the Fire Department associated with the need for high quality cardiac care. The new equipment purchased with the help from the grant allows the Taylorville Fire Department to be better prepared when it comes to helping patients with cardiac or stroke issues.

Construction Begins on New Jimmy Johns Location in Taylorville

Construction has begun on the new Jimmy Johns location in inside the Family Video building on West Spresser Street in Taylorville. Patrick Wampler, owner of the new Jimmy Johns spoke with Regional Radio News recently and said what prompted the decision to bring Jimmy Johns to Taylorville.



Wampler said how Family Video has sectioned off a portion of their store and will be operating with less overall square footage to accommodate the new Jimmy Johns, and said how there will be two different spaces between the new stores. Wampler also stated how he and his managers are planning on a day to conduct open interviews for anybody who would wish to be employed at the new location.



Wampler said how he expects the new store to open up somewhere from Mid-August to September 1st, although he did note that in his time owning several Jimmy Johns locations, he knows that construction times always vary.

Several Accidents Result in Drivers Being Ejected From Vehicles

There were two accidents recently that resulted in the drivers of each accident being ejected from their vehicles.


On Saturday 28 year old Jeremy D. Key of Decatur was southbound on County Road 1600 east in a 2002 Dodge Sedan. At approximately 1000 feet north of 1260 North Road, Key crossed over the center line and entered the east ditch. Key continued southbound through the ditch for approximately 213 feet before striking a field entrance. Key’s vehicle then became airborne traveling approximately another 230 feet and overturned several times. Key’s vehicle then rolled back onto the roadway traveling another 420 feet overturning and came to rest on it’s top in the west ditch area. Key was ejected from the vehicle, and taken to Memorial Medical Center via Dunns Ambulance to be treated for injuries.


On Monday 57 year old James L. Dlakis of Morrisonville was east-bound on Sangamon road. Dlakis approached the railroad crossing in a 1991 International 4000, and did not see or hear the approaching train. Dlakis’ vehicle was struck in the passenger’s side by the train. Dlakis was ejected from the truck onto the side of the roadway, and transported to St. Johns Hospital via Dunns Ambulance to be treated for injuries.

Farmers Catch Up On Bean Planting

Farmers in Illinois made up for any lost time with planting last week and continued with other work in the field under warm and dry conditions. USDA Statistician Mark Schleusener says that farmers found temperatures around the state above normal, those warm temps dried fields and allowed for the final stretch of soybean planting to occur.

Farmers were also busy with in season fertilizer treatments and cutting 
hay and alfalfa for animal feed.

Elections Board Officially Approves Legislative Redistricting Reform Initiative For Ballot

The Illinois State Board of Elections voted Monday to move an effort to reform legislative redistricting one more step closer to Illinois voters. The board officially validated hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions for the so-called Independent Map Amendment. It would take legislative redistricting out of the hands of the Illinois General Assembly and into the those of an independent, non-partisan commission. Illinois Farm Bureau Vice President David Erickson serves on the board of the Independent Maps Amendment coalition;

Opponents have filed a lawsuit claiming the measure is unconstitutional. The Farm Bureau's Erickson says he and other Independent Maps board members believe it stands a good chance of holding up in court. 

Illinois Loses $31 Million in Potential Earnings Due to Budget Impasse

Illinois is looking at missed earnings of just over $31 million for 2016 due to the state budget impasse. Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs held a press conference in Chicago on Tuesday, and explained where the missed earnings figure comes from.



The threats of unplanned fund sweeps and the need to pay court-ordered bills required the treasurer’s office to make short-term investments, that prioritized cash availability rather than longer-term, higher yielding investment opportunities, with Frerichs saying how without a spending plan, it’s very difficult to know what money is needed for basic government operations and what money is for normal investments. Frerichs stated how not having a budget hurts every citizen in Illinois.



It was also mentioned that Metropolitan Family Services of Chicago is among the service providers that have essentially lent the state money because the state has not paid its bills. It was said how by the end of the fiscal year 2016, the state of Illinois will owe Metropolitan $2.6 million.

Montgomery County Fair Coming June 22

The Montgomery County Fair is on its way, as it's set to take place June 22nd through the 26th in Butler. The fair has many events going on, that Directors of the Montgomery County Fair, Marti Benning and Shannon Durbin, are excited about. Some of which include a kids and an adults demolition derby, a speed horse show, and a karaoke contest. But what Durbin and Benning are most looking forward to is the County Fair's first concert in 20 years, headlined by Nashville Recording Artist, Jacob Bryant.

Another event they are looking forward to is the 3rd annual Mini Special Olympics, taking place on Saturday June 25th.

Tickets will be five dollars per person at the gate and that will grant access ulimited access all of the rides for the day. You can find more information on the Montgomery County Fair and all of the events they are having at montgomeryfair.org. Benning and Durbin appeared on Monday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Tips To Stay Safe and Have Fun During the Holidays

With warmer and clear weather, as well as the 4th of July approaching, it's important to make sure people are being safe while celebrating or participating in recreational activities. Sargent Alan Mills of the Taylorville Police Department said that with the holiday approaching he wants to make sure people are being smart and safe with any fireworks they have and use.

Mills also wants people to make sure while people are out partying, they are taking precautions to make sure they can get home safely, and the holiday can be considered a joyous occasion for the citizens and the police officers.

To report a crime, or for any information or resources you can contact the Taylorville Police Department at 217-824-2211. Sargent Mills was a guest on Monday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Aarons in Taylorville Holds Customer Appreciation Day

Aarons in Taylorville held their customer appreciation day on Saturday at their store in Taylorville located at 714 Springfield Road. The event had many different activities going on throughout the day, including a bounce house, corn hole games, as well as a selection of food available. Miller Media Group’s Randal J. Miller was on location during the event, and spoke with Aaron’s Regional Manager Mick Wise who said how customer service is his number one priority.



The event was in part to help welcome the new customers that the Aaron’s store acquired from the Taylorville Rent-A-Center. Dunning’s Partners had purchased the customer base from Rent-A-Center, and wanted to welcome the customers to the Aarons family. Roy Dunning, Owner of Dunnings Partners that owns the Aarons location in Taylorville had some kind words for those customers at the event.



If you were a current customer at the Rent-A-Center location in Taylorville, you will now be going through the Aarons location in Taylorville for all of your future payment needs.

Drowning at Lake Shelbyville

There was a drowning in Lake Shelbyville over the weekend. Regional Radio News has learned that the victim was 21 year old Brandon Breeze from Decatur. The incident was reported to Shelbyville Police at 4:28 on Saturday. Shelbyville Chief of Police Dave Tallman spoke with Regional Radio News and explained what happened.



After the Police Department received the call a search was conducted. Tallman said how several other departments were notified, and how the victim’s body wasn’t found immediately.



An autopsy was held Monday, and an inquiry is ongoing.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

The Christian County Crimestoppers are seeking information in regards to a burglary to a vehicle that occurred in Taylorville in this week’s crime of the week. Sometime during the early morning hours of Wednesday May 18th, a person or persons of unknown identity made entry into a vehicle parked at 1011 West Elm Street. While inside the vehicle, the subject or subjects unknown took a blue Smith and Wesson 9mm Semi-Automatic handgun. Crimestoppers asks you to contact them if you have any information regarding this crime or any other crime or wanted persons. Crimestoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest, and double the normal reward for information that leads to an arrest for the crime of the week. You can contact Crimestoppers at 824-9100, or on their website at christiancountycrimestoppers.org. You can also text CRIMES (274632) and then your tip, and as always, you will remain anonymous.

Taylorville School District Simplifies Registration Process

The Taylorville Community Unit Schools Board of Education held their regular meeting on Monday night at the Administration Education Center in Taylorville. It was a short agenda for the meeting, with most of the items on the agenda being mandatory issues that the school board must vote on. One item of note however was the Treasurer’s Report, with Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau reiterating that the Taylorville School District is in better shape than most regarding the state budget impasse. Fuerstenau also mentioned that the state needs to pass a budget in order to receive Federal Aid.



Fuerstenau mentioned how the Taylorville’s Journalism department brought home a state championship for the Yearbook Layout Double Page Spread. He commended how it’s a proud moment that the student’s talent in the Taylorville Journalism department is being recognized across the state.


There were several new business items to attend to, including consideration of Property, Casualty, and Workers Compensation Insurance bids. The Taylorville School district has decided to go with Diamond Brothers insurance, since it’s a local company, and the school district wanted to keep their business local. They also decided to go with Gerber Life for their student insurance needs.


Another notable item of discussion was the report from the superintendent that Taylorville Schools will be switching to a one location registration system for the upcoming school year, where registration for all Taylorville Schools will be held under one roof. Taylorville Schools Business Manager Colene German explained why the school district is making the change, and gave some details on how the new registration system will work.



It was explained that each school will have its own station where parents can register their students for the upcoming school year. Dr. Fuerstenau said how this new registration system helps simplify the process by having all of the forms that parents need to fill out in one location. This way if a parent has children in multiple schools in the Taylorville School System, they don’t have to visit each school to register their child and fill out the necessary paperwork. It can simply be done in one stop. The Taylorville School District Board of Education meeting adjourned at approximately 8:42 PM.

Christian County Prevention Coalition Holds Emergency Meeting on County Drug Use, Deaths

The Christian County Prevention Coalition, a group of local civic leaders and concerned citizens, held an emergency meeting on Monday afternoon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium, to discuss the rapid increase in drug use in the county, and the apparent death of at least one person over the weekend due to a drug overdose.

Several Christian County officials, including Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, State's Attorney Michael Havara, and Coroner Amy Calvert Winans, were in attendance.

Former Christian County Circuit Judge John Coady led the meeting.  Christian County Circuit Court judge Brad Paisley talked about the Drug Court that has gained results for several people charged with drug use, but added that the court isn't reaching enough people.  Paisley added that the county needs to partner with local hospitals for detox beds.

Former drug user Dennis Metzger told the group that the county needs a treatment center, sober living facilities, and jobs for the addicts. 

The Coalition's next meeting will be Wednesday, July 27th at 4:30 in the afternoon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital, in room 466.  The public is welcome to attend.

Emergency Preparedness Kits Should Include Pet Supplies

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is reminding you that your family prepardness plans should include your pets as well. Your disaster prepardness kits should include a three day supply of food and water for your pet, extra supplies of their medication, as well as copies of their vaccination records and an extra leash and collar says IEMA spokesperson Patti Thompson.



Thompson says your pet's kit should also include a toy and some of their favorite treats to help comfort them during an emergency.

IDPH Has Tips to Keep Families Safe While Swimming This Summer

As the summer swimming season heats up, the Illinois Department of Public Health has some tips to keep families safe. Every day, two chidren in the US under the age of 14 die from drowning. That's why it's so important to make sure your child has a life jacket out on the water and a lifeguard is present at your local public pool says health spokesperson Melaney Arnold.



Arnold says you should stay out of the pool if you have diarrhea. Kids should be taken to the bathroom frequently for potty breaks, and urged not to swallow the water.

State Representative Avery Bourne Sponsors Senate Bill to Ban Synthetic Drug Retailers

As synthetic drug use continues to be a problem for Christian County and law enforcement officers, a Senate Bill is waiting to be passed to gain control over it. Senate Bill 210 is a Bath Salt Prohibition Act, and provides penalties for retailers who sell banned synthetic drugs. Avery Bourne, State Representative of the 95th District, is sponsoring the bill to help get rid of the addictive and unpredictable drug.

Senate Bill 210 will be used to crack down on the retailers selling the bath salts no matter if they're selling it locally or online.

For more information on Senate Bill 210 or any news regarding Bourne, you can go to her website at repbourne.com or you can call her office at 217-324-5200. Bourne was a guest on Monday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show

Christian County Garden Walk Coming This Weekend

Two teachers from the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 are holding the 6th annual Garden Walk, on Saturday June 18th. Christian County Master Gardeners Nina Branum and Gwen Podeschi are leading this walk, which this year will have all four gardens in Taylorville. Podeschi and Branum said the Garden Walk is mostly meant to educate and show people some of the various gardens around Christian County.

The Garden Walk takes place from 9:00-2:00 and will travel to four different gardens maintained by homeowners including one by a waterfall and a memorial garden.

Tickets are available for pre-sale at McMillan Landscaping, Cottage Rose, or the University of Illinois Extension Office. To buy tickets or for more information you can call 217-287-7426. Podeschi and Branum appeared on Monday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

People's Bank and Trust in Pana Holds Community Appreciation Event

People’s Bank and Trust in Pana held their community appreciation cookout last week. Miller Media Group’s Danny Russel was on location at the event, and spoke with a representative from People’s Bank and Trust who told everyone a little bit about what the bank does, and why they have been putting on a community appreciation day.



Danny Russel also spoke with another representative from the bank that helped explain why the event was an entire community appreciation day.



The bank served food for the community at the event, which included drawings for prizes. If you’d like to know more about People’s Bank and Trust in Pana and the services they provide, you can give them a call at 562-2137 or stop by their location at 200 South Locust Street in Pana.

Shelby Electric Helping IHI Turbo Expand

Shelby Electric is helping a local Shelbyville business to expand. IHI Turbo has received a loan from the USDA and the Shelby Electric Cooperative to help with the expansion projects that have helped grow IHI Turbo’s business. Vice President of Media and Public Relations at Shelby Electric Kevin Burnsen spoke with Regional Radio News and shared some of the details of the loan.



Burnsen shared how IHI Turbo is a global business that manufactures automotive parts for various companies all over the world. Due to growing demand, IHI Turbo had to add another production line to their facilities, which added jobs at IHI Turbo.  Burnsen said how Shelby Electric likes having a local business grow such as how IHI Turbo has.



The expansion project cost roughly three million dollars overall, with the loan that IHI Turbo received helping to offset some of those costs. The expansions also helped show IHI Turbo’s parent company in Japan that the Shelbyville area wants IHI Turbo to keep its business in the area.

Assumptionfest Offering Many Free Events This Year

Assumptionfest will be kicking off on June 23rd. Angela Ohl Marsters, President of Assumptionfest spoke with Regional Radio News recently, and gave some details on what the festival is all about.



Assumptionfest has many events going on, the vast majority of which are free to the public. One of the events that Marsters shared that she was excited about was the Sanction Barbecue Fest taking place at Assumptionfest. Marsters said how the event is still looking for cooks to participate in the event.



Assumptionfest will be going on from June 23rd until the 25th. The festival is free to attend, with many of the events going on at the event being free to partake in as well. For more information on Assumptionfest, you can call Marsters at 820-1690, or visit the Facebook page for Assumptionfest.

Christian County Relay For Life Taking Place This Weekend

Relay For Life of Christian County will be taking place on June 17th and June 18th from 6PM until 6AM at Taylorville High School. Lisa Sims, Chairperson for Relay for Life of Christian County was a recent guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show to discuss the event, and said how the Relay For Life event is free to participate in, and open to all ages.



Lisa Sims also discussed some of the events that will be going on for those who attend the event.


To sign up to participate in the Relay For Life event or to make a donation, visit the Relay For Life of Christian County’s webpage by googling Relay For Life of Christian County.

Christian County Coroner Investigating 2nd Weekend Death

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans is investigating the death of a Pana woman that occurred Sunday afternoon.

Winans tells Regional Radio News that at 12:45 Sunday afternoon, Christian County 911 received a call that a 37 year old was unresponsive and not breathing in her residence in the 200 Block of Kennedy Street in Pana.

Pana Fire and EMS arrived on scene and requested the coroner.  Coroner Winans pronounced Crystal Wicker of Pana dead at the scene.  Ms. Wicker's body was taken to Bloomington for an autopsy to be held Monday. 

The Pana Police Department and Christian County Coroner's office are handling the investigation.  

Christian County Coroner Investigating Death of Kincaid Resident Saturday Morning

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans tells Regional Radio News that
she is investigating the death of a Kincaid resident.

Winans says that Saturday morning at about 2:30, Christian County 911 received a call that a 25 year old male was unresponsive and not breathing in the 400 Block of Prairie St., Kincaid. 

EMS arrived on the scene and asked that the Coroner be called.  Winans identified the male as Charles A. Stevens of Kincaid.  He was transported to Bloomington for an autoposy which was held late Saturday morning. 

Winans says results are pending toxicology results.  Kincaid Police Department and the Christian County Coroner's Office are handling the investigation.  

Munger Warns of Dire Consequences If State Doesn't Reach Budget Deal by July 1st

Comptroller Leslie Munger has no comforting words to offer as Illinois remains firmly entrenched in a budget quagmire. Munger says without some spending agreements in the next three weeks, her office will soon be issuing a lot fewer checks, if any......

If a budget deal or partial deal isn't reached by July 1st, the state will once again halt paying lottery winners, college MAP grants and stop funding for 911 call centers. Munger says the strain is growing on many who are dependent on state funds.....

No State Capital Budget Means No Road Project Funding

While the state of Illinois continues to limp along without an operating budget, July first looms near. July first is the start of the new state fiscal year and not only will we be without an operating budget, but we have not passed a capital budget. That means that road construction projects, and other infrastructure projects that have been planned, and contracts approved cannot move forward, according to Don Scheafer, of the Midwest Truckers Assoc.

Construction firms are waiting to begin work on July first, but lack of a budget means everything grinds to a halt. Contractors lose income, workers get laid off and downward economic spiral continues without a capitol budget.

Don Schaefer. Delays in construction and repair projects mean the cost goes up as infrastructure further deteriorates.

Shelby County Fairs Hurting From Lack of State Budget

The Shelby County Junior Fair is coming to town July 18th through the 21st, where kids will be able to showcase things they have been working on throughout the year. Lisa Mott, President of the Shelby County Fair Board said that while this fair does showcase agriculture, that's just the beginning of what will be presented.

Lisa Mott also mentioned how the lack of a state budget is hurting the Fair Board because they aren't able to get any funding from the state. This is making it difficult for them to continue to put on events, but the Shelby County Fair Board does have a plan to keep the events going.

If you're interested in making a donation to keep the Shelby County Fair going, you can call Lisa Mott at 217-412-9378, you can mail donations to Brad Burgner at 752 East 2500 North Road in Mowequa, or drop one off at the extension office in town. Mott appeared on Friday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville studios.

Accident on June 8th on Springfield Road

On 6/8/16 54 year old Carol L. Ennis of Taylorville was exiting a private parking lot onto Springfield Rd in a 2006 Jeep Wrangler. 62 year old Patricia J. Enlow of Taylorville had turned onto Springfield Rd from Maxwell and was traveling westbound on Springfield Road in a 1995 Buick Century. Ennis struck Enlow on Springfield Rd. Ennis’ vehicle sustained front bumper damage. Enlow’s vehicle sustained front end damage. Enlow and a passenger were transported to Taylorville Memorial Hospital via Dunn’s Ambulance to be treated for injuries.

Shelby County Office of Tourism Holding Photography Contest

The Shelby County Office of Tourism is beginning its 2016 photography contest on Monday, June 13th. The contest runs through September 9th and is limited to nature and activity shots on Lake Shelbyville and in Shelby County. Freddie Fry, from the Shelby County Office of Tourism said that these photos will be used to help promote the county and what it has to offer, because they want all photos used for a pamphlet or tourism guide to be actual, and not from a stock website.

There are prizes offered to winners of the contests. The winners will be decided after the contest is over, and they are selected through a vote.

An eight megapixel digital entry is required to take part in the contest, and you can find a contest form online at lakeshelbyville.com. Fry appeared on Friday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville studios.

Shelbyville Memorial Hospital Adding Group Fitness Classes

Shelbyville Memorial Hospital is beginning to offer more group fitness classes on site to help the public stay healthy and fit. These classes include total body fitness, yoga, weight training, and much more. Tonya Bowery, Occupational Therapist at Shelbyville Memorial Hospital said that her department is now adding a few more classes, including a new yoga class, called Mommy and Me Yoga.

During the summer, the hospital is also offering a sports enhancement camp for kids where kids can learn to not only stay healthy and develop their muscles, but also how to prevent injuries.

For more information you can call the Rehabilitation Department of SMH at 217-774-6434.  Bowery appeared on Friday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Providing Slight Visual Change to Taylorville

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for June's Business After Hours, which will be held at Jenner Ag this month. CEO of the chamber, Patty Hornbuckle, said that the function is not open only to present chamber members, but potential chamber members as well to help them get a feel of the group.

Hornbuckle is also in the process of making and placing banners around town to welcome visitors and new residents, and to give the town an even more homey feel.

For more information or questions about the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce you can call 217-824-4919, or email them at taylorvillechamber@gmail.com. Hornbuckle appeared on the Thursday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show

Dudley Smith Farm Cow-Calf Field Day to Educate Farmers on June 15th

The University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 is holding their Beef Cow-Calf Field Day at Dudley Smith Farm on June 15th. Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator, Gary Letterly, said that the event, which takes place from 9:30-1:30 that day, will have a lunch provided by the university, as well as many speakers, including Ted Krauskopf, a beef producer from Highland, Illinois.

Letterly also said the University of Illinois has been planting something fairly uncommon on their farms which will allow for research to be done to benefit the growing of crops everywhere. And it will be talked about in-depth during the field day.

You can register to attend the field day online at web.extension.illinois.edu/cjmm, or at the event from 9:30-10:00. Letterly appeared on Thursday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Business Growth Coming to Taylorville

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation is doing their part in getting Taylorville ready for more businesses to move into the area as it continues to grow. Mary Renner, Executive Director of CCEDC, said she wasn't able to talk about certain businesses planning to move or grow, because these businesses want their strategies to be kept secret. She did say that one the corporation's goals is to get the new Taylorville business and industrial park up and going.

Another thing that is expected to be built in the future in Taylorville is the new hotel project sponsored by Cobblestone Hotels and Brimark Builders.

For any information on CCEDC you can call Mary Renner at 217-638-5032, or email her at r.consult@att.net. Renner appeared on Thursday's NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Aarons Acquires Taylorville Rent-A-Center Customers

Aaron’s Inc. and Dunning Partners have announced the acquisition of the Rent-A-Center in Taylorville. Roy Dunning, Franchise Principal of Aarons in Taylorville as well as Litchfield spoke with Regional Radio News and explained how Aarons will be acquiring the current customer base at the Rent-A-Center in Taylorville, explaining how those customers will now go through Aarons for all of their future payments.



To help welcome the new customers to the Aarons family, the Aarons in Taylorville will be holding a customer appreciation day on Saturday from 12 until 4. Dunning shared what some of the events will be at the customer appreciation day.



Dunning said how Aarons wanted to welcome the new customers coming from the Rent-A-Center acquisition to be satisfied with the change. He also said how the customer appreciation day isn’t just for Aarons customers. Anybody is welcome to attend the event and partake in the activities.

Moody's Downgrades Illinois' Bonds; Governor Blames Madigan

Moody's Investor Service this morning downgraded Illinois' bond rating due to the General Assembly and the Governor not coming up with a state budget for the new fiscal year starting July First.

Governor Bruce Rauner's Press Secretary Catherine Kelly released a state this morning saying that the Administration warned the super majority in the Illinois Legislature that there would be consequences, and that the ratings downgrade underscores the need for structural changes to repair the years of unbalanced budgets and deficit spending by Democrats.  Kelly's statement also blamed Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan for the downgrade.

Christian County Health Department to Participate in State Wide Emergency Preparedness Exercise

The Christian County Health Department will be participating in a state-wide emergency preparedness exercise on June 15th. Nancy Martin, Public Health Administrator at the Christian County Health Department spoke with Regional Radio News recently, and shared what the exercise entails.



The exercise will simulate an Anthrax release. It will require the State to request the Strategic National Stockpile of medications, receive them within 12 hours of the request, break down the packages, and distribute them across the state to locations where the medications are needed. Martin said how the exercise serves as a way for the various health departments and hospitals within Christian County that are participating in the exercise to practice distributing medications to the public during an emergency.



The Christian County Health Department itself will be practicing their drive thru dispensing plan as a Closed Point of Dispensing scenario for first responders. The Christian County Health Department’s office in Taylorville will also be closed the day of the exercise, so the staff may train and exercise for emergency preparedness. Residents may leave a voicemail message, and their call will be returned the next day.

People's Bank and Trust in Pana to Hold Community Appreciation Event

People’s Bank and Trust in Pana wants to show its community just how much they appreciate them. Karen Kurr, Vice President of Finance at Peoples Bank and Trust in Pana told Regional Radio News what the bank has planned.



Kurr said how the event is open to anybody who would like to attend.



That event again is this Friday at 4 at the People’s Bank and Trust in Pana, located at 200 South Locust Street in Pana.

Central Illinois Public Transit Has No Rider Specifications, And Wants to Help the Community

Jennifer Moore, Mobility Manager at the Central Illinois Public Transit, appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Wednesday. Moore joined to discuss the transit, how people can take advantage of using it, and who all is allowed to ride on it.

CIPT is a Door to Door Service that accommodates people and is willing to do anything they can to get someone where they need to be, as well as back home, if needed. All of their vans and buses are handicap accessible and all drivers are certified and willing to help however they are needed.

For more information or to book a ride you can call 855-755-2478 and the number is good for all 7 counties CIPT is located.

Published Poet Comes out of Taylorville, Will Have Book Signings in June

Local Published Poet, Barbara Stonaker, appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Wednesday. Stonaker just published her first book of poems, in April, and is now beginning to make public appearances to connect with people through poetry. Stonaker also mentioned that one of the things she had to clarify is the title of her book, “Between Athens and God” and let people know the title has nothing to do with religion or against religion.

Stonaker hopes her poems will inspire young writers to follow their dreams and have faith that they can become writers, and also hopes that she can help teens and young adults by knowing they aren't alone with things they are going through. Stonaker shared one of her poems live on NEWSTALK WTIM.

Stonaker has three book signings lined up with the first being on June 11th from 2:00-4:00 at the Walnut Street Winery in Rochester. Her second one will be in Shelbyville at Willow Ridge Winery from 2:00-4:00 on June 12th. And her final scheduled book signing will be on June 19th at Arpeggio Winery in Pana from 2:00-4:00. 

Multi-Vehicle Accident Monday Afternoon in Taylorville


Taylorville Police and Fire, and ambulances were all dispatched to the intersection of Illinois Route 48 and the connecting road with Illinois Route 29 near Whit's End Restaurant at 5 o'clock Tuesday afternoon.  At least 2 vehicles were involved.  It's not known if there were any injuries.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio and taylorvilledailynews.com for further information.

Jim Olive Appointed and Pana Bike Trail a Hot Item at Taylorville City Council Meeting

The Taylorville City Council met Monday night in regular session. One of the big stories of the night was the Mayoral Appointment of Jim Olive to the Alderman Ward 1 seat. Olive will be taking the seat left vacant by the resignation of former Alderman Rocky Moore, who resigned on May 13th. There had been some discussion over whether or not there was a conflict of interest with Olive serving on both City Council, as well as serving as President of the Christian County Fair Association. City Attorney Rocci Romano explained that there was no conflict of interests with the appointment.



The appointment passed unanimously, with Olive taking his seat on the council after being inducted to the council. The Taylorville City Council took another roll call to reflect the addition of Olive to the Council, and proceeded with the meeting.


Another item to generate discussion was a resolution for the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois Service Agreement to conduct a Phase Two Archeological Study of the proposed site of the new Taylorville Water Treatment Plant. Several items had been found on the site that may be tied to early Taylorville settlers. Alderman Bruce Jones asked the question as to what made this particular site any more important than any other early Taylorville site that had been demolished or built over in the past.



Taylorville Water Department Superintendent David Speagle clarified to the council that the University would conduct the archeological survey, and then determine if the site needs a phase three study as well. He also let the council know that the water department could proceed with building the new plant, even if the site was deemed a historical location. Speagle said that the new plans would include moving several proposed facilities around as well as demolishing others that weren’t currently planned to be demolished. The Taylorville Water Department currently cannot continue with the original plans for the new plant until the Phase Two study is conducted. However the altered water treatment plant would cost far more to build than the Phase Two study would cost to be conducted along with the costs of building the new plant under the original designs. The motion on the resolution to conduct the Phase Two study passed 7-1.


The Pana Bike Trail was another item that generated lengthy discussion at Monday Night’s Taylorville City Council Meeting. There was a resolution in question that said that the city of Taylorville would assist the city of Pana with the costs of the repairs of the trail. The resolution also stated that should the city of Pana apply for a grant to repair or replace the railroad trestle bridge in Taylorville that’s part of the bike trail, that Taylorville would reimburse Pana of 50% of the costs of applying for the grant, with an amount to reimburse not to exceed $1,250. Also should that grant be given, Taylorville would reimburse Pana for up to half of the required local spending on the project, not to exceed $45,000. Alderman Earl Walters stated how he was against the resolution, stating how he thinks that it’s the first step towards Pana signing over the trail and the costs associated with it to Taylorville.



Several other Aldermen spoke after Alderman Walters’ comments stating how although they agreed that the resolution is most likely the first step in Taylorville taking over the bike trail; they felt that the trail was something that the citizens of Taylorville wanted to incorporate into the city. Several of the Alderman said how even though there is other issues that they feel is more pressing to the city, that they’ve taken much more phone calls regarding the bike trail than anything else. The motion on the resolution passed 7-1, with one emphatic “No” vote from Alderman Walters.


All motions from the various committee reports passed without much discussion. Several members of the community spoke thanking the council for passing the resolution on the bike trail, and the meeting adjourned at 8:21 PM.

Relay For Life Coming to Christian County June 17th

Relay For Life is coming to Taylorville on, Friday, June 17th, and to spread the word, Lisa Sims, Chairperson for Relay For Life of Christian County, appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Tuesday. Sims wanted to talk about the event, things that will be taking place, and who all is allowed to come.

One thing few people know about Relay for Life, is that the 12 hour time frame from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. has a special significance.

To donate to Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society, you can stop by Relay at Taylorville High School on June 17th and participate in any of their raffles or booths. You can also call the local American Cancer Society office at 217-523-4503. And for more information on Relay For Life, itself, you can visit relay.org.

Karen Vatthauer Has Tips for Newlyweds to Celebrate Marraiges in the Month of June

Karen Vatthauer, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor at Beacon Professional Counseling , appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Tuesday. With June being the most popular month for weddings, Vatthauer thought the most significant thing to talk about was relationships. Especially those that are moving into the marriage phase.

The other tip Vatthauer had for newlyweds or couples on the way to being married is to learn to compromise and solve disagreements in a way that makes both people happy.

To contact Vatthauer for any questions or information, you can call her at 217-824-3435 or email her at karen@beaconprofessionalcounseling.com.

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear About Kiwanis Aktion Clubs at Weekly Meeting

The Kiwanis District coordinator for Kiwanis Aktion Clubs, Glenn Scott from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, was the guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Kiwanis Aktion Clubs are for those with disabilities.  Scott said the first Aktion Club was formed in Florida in 1987.

Scott told Taylorville Kiwanis member that Aktion Clubs can do local projects just like regular Kiwanis Clubs, enabling Aktion Club members to serve and improve their communities.
He added there are anywhere from 15 to 40 members in Kiwanis Aktion Clubs, with the average number being around 20.
Scott's home club sponsors a Kiwanis Aktion Club in Glen Ellyn.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their monthly board meeting before the Tuesday program, and voted to install 2 new concrete pads, each eleven-feet by 24-feet, for future additional pavilions at Kiwanis Park.  The board also learned from the club's Kiwanis Park committee, that additional signs are being ordered, and the existing sign at the entrance to the park had been refurbished.
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. 

Mission For Taylorville Taking Place Saturday to Help Community Members in Need

Bill Kerns, Pastor at Davis Memorial Christian Church appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Monday. Kerns joined to talk about the Mission for Taylorville happening this Saturday throughout the city. The Mission for Taylorville is a volunteer based event where people from the community spend the day helping others by making minor house repairs, cleaning up their lawns and much more.

Kerns said that doing this will help people who aren't able to do this themselves whether it's because of monetary or physical reasons.

One of of the bigger projects Kerns is looking forward to this weekend is building ramps for 5 or 6 houses with disabled residents. Kerns said you do not have to be skilled to help with this mission, the community is just looking for as much help as possible. For any questions you can contact him at 217-824-8181.

Christian County Senior Center's Variety Night Fast Approaching

Gerry Mahr, Exectutive Director of the Christian County Senior Center appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Monday. Mahr discussed the upcoming events the Senior Center is holding which includes one of their biggest fundraisers of the year, Variety Night.

Variety Night will have eight total acts, most being singers or dancers, but this year most of the acts are also brand new and have never performed at the variety show before.

Miller Media Group's own Danny Russell will close out the show. For more information on the variety show or Christian County Senior Center, you can call them at 217-824-4263

State Treasurer Mike Frerichs Helping People Get the Life Insurance Claims They've Been Owed

Mike Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer, appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Monday. Frerichs joined the show to discuss his current battle to make Life Insurance Companies pay the money they promised to people, but never did because of a loophole in the contract.

Some companies, like the Kemper Corporation, know there will funds from the insurance that won't be claimed and that's how they plan on making their profits. But after Frerichs found there were over half a billion dollars in unclaimed funds, he wanted to make sure these families were given the money they were promised.

To find out if you're owed any money by a life insurance company, you can go to illinoistreasurer.gov click on iCash, and put your name or a family member's name, and see if you've been left anything after someone's passing.

Chautauqua Day Coming to Shelbyville June 11th

Brenda Elder, Fundraising Event Planning Chairperson for the Chautauqua Auditorium Preservation Committee, appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, live from our Downtown Shelbyville studios, Friday. Elder explained that the preservation committee is holding some events this summer in the auditorium, including Chautauqua Day on June 11th which will have food and merchandise vendors selling their wares and a special area just for kids.

Chautauqua Day will also have other events going on such as a Fireman's Smoke House, to teach about fire safety, a car show, and live music from Jeannie Kendall and Carl Acuff Jr.

You can get tickets to this event from the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce or Shelby County Tourism, and for more information on the Chautauqua Auditorium Preservation Committee and the events they are holding, you can find them on Facebook at Save Our Chautauqua.

Lake Shelbyville Soon Hosting Bike Race and Fishing Tournament

Phil Manhart, Assistant Lake Manager at Lake Shelbyville, appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, live from our Downtown Shelbyville studios, Friday. Manhart joined the show to talk about the events Lake Shelbyville is hosting throughout the month of June, including The Loop de Lake Shelbyville on the 11th.

Registration will run through the day of the race at the Lake Shelbyville Visitor Center and the registration fee is $30.

Another event the lake is also looking forward to holding is the 18th Annual Kid's Fishing Tournament on June 18th at Possum Creek Pond.

For more information on Lake Shelbyville and their upcoming Summer events, you can call their office at 217-774-3951 or visit their Facebook Page at Lake Shelbyville USACE.

Being a Member of the Chamber of Commerce Has Its Perks

Vonda McConnell, Office Manager of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, live from our Downtown Shelbyville studios, Friday. Host Jim Finks asked McConnell about what the office manager does for the chamber as well as what her job duties entail. One of her more important duties is making sure events are set up and go as well as possible, and she is thankful for all of the help she gets from members of the chamber.

McConnell's job also keeps her busy with phone calls from Shelby County residents or visitors about restaurant suggestions, rental property companies, and much more.

McConnell mentioned that one of the perks of being a chamber member is when she gets questions from residents of where they need to go to get something done, she can give out their information.

Rural Taylorville Resident Found Deceased

On Thursday, June 2nd, the Christian County Sherriff’s Office received a call to check the welfare of a rural Taylorville resident. At approximately 11:24 AM, the sheriff’s office made entry to find the male subject was deceased. Christian County Coroner Amy Winans identified the male as 51 year old Mark Szabo of Taylorville. The Christian County Sheriff’s Office processed the scene, and toxicology results will be available in a few weeks. The Christian County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Christian County Coroner is handling the investigation.

University of Illinois Has New Program to Help Communities and Organizations Succeed

Chris Casey, Community and Economic Development Educator, from the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Thursday. Casey talked about a new program called Planning for a Purpose. The program goes to local local towns and some neighboring counties to find groups, organizations, or communities that are trying to improve themselves.

Casey said, this program is different from a SWAT Analysis because it doesn't look at the negatives of the group, but it focuses solely on the projects they want to accomplish to become successful.

For more information on how to get your group, organization, or community involved with Planning for a Purpose, you can call 217-287-7246 or email Chris Casey at ccasey1@illinois.edu.

Taylorville Job Fair Had Huge Turnout

Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show Thursday. Hornbuckle was excited about the job fair that took place on June first because it was the first job fair that has taken place in Taylorville in four years and the turnout for both businesses and potential employees was impressive. 

Hornbuckle said that even though this was the first job fair in a while for Taylorville, employers have discussed possibly having one occur up to four times a year especially with the business growth Taylorville is experiencing.

For more information on Job Fair or anything related to the Greater Taylorvlle Chamber of Commerce, you can contact Hornbuckle at her office at 824-4919, email her at taylorvillechamber@gmail.com or go to their website at taylorvillechamber.com.

Taylorville Community Loses Beloved Member John Lawrence


The Taylorville community lost an incredible member and friend of many on Monday. John Lawrence passed away on Monday at approximately 3:40 PM at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. Lawrence was the kind of individual who got himself involved, and was a part of many groups and organizations in Taylorville, including the local Kiwanis Club, as treasurer of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, as well as treasurer of the Taylorville Development Association and its predecessor. Mary Renner, Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, as well as longtime friend of John Lawrence spoke with Regional Radio News, and shared what made John such an incredible individual.



Renner said how the CCECD is planning on honoring Lawrence, and his memory.



Funeral services for John Lawrence will (was) be Friday (today) at 10 AM at Fairview Church in Nokomis. Memorials can be made to Camp Care-A-Lot, PO Box 9407, Springfield IL, or to the Christian County YMCA. Many in the local community have lost a good friend in John Lawrence, and he will be missed.

Jenner Ag Hosting June Business After Hours

Andy Gregory, Turf and Utility Specialist from Jenner Ag appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Thursday. On the show Gregory explained how Jenner Ag came to be, and as one of the newer employees at Jenner Ag, now working there for just over two months, he can tell why the farm and lawn equipment provider has been able to prosper in Christian County.

Jenner Ag is hosting The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours for the month of June on the 15th and Gregory and his co-workers are excitedly nervous about letting people come in that evening to see what the company is about.

For any questions or information about Jenner Ag or the Business After Hours you can call them at 217-287-7411.

IDNR Seeking Redevelopment Proposals for Eagle Creek Resort

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will seek redevelopment proposals for the Eagle Creek Resort and Conference Center facility on Lake Shelbyville, which has been closed since 2009 after mold was detected in the resort building. State Senator Chapin Rose shared with Regional Radio News how he hopes that the new developers of the site will manage the property better than the IDNR has in the past.



An assessment survey estimated that the probable cost to repair or replace the various structures and systems on the property would be over $17 million dollars. Senator Rose explained how part of the problem is that the current facility was built before the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that bringing the property up to current ADA standards is a pricey venture.



Senator Rose shared how there are several parties interested in redeveloping the site, and bringing in a more modestly sized resort. Rose did say that the property would still technically be the IDNR’s, but the site would be leased out to the redeveloper.

Steve Henry Says Value of Gold Going Up in Near Future

Steve Henry, Owner of CHS Investment Management, appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show, Wednesday. Henry explained that investors are buying gold right now, and are expecting the value of gold to skyrocket in the next three to seven years.



Henry also explained that governments and large companies aren't the only one that can invest in it but the regular person can too.



For more information on how you can invest in gold or anything else, you can call Steve Henry at his office at 217-824-4211 or visit his website at chsinvestments.com.

June Dairy Month Tries to Help People Remember Farmers and Good Health

Joyce Fikri, Nutrition Educator from the St. Louis Dairy Counsel, appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show Wednesday. Fikri joined to discuss how June is Dairy Month, and that this is a time to not only honor dairy farmers, but great way to remember that milk, cheese, and yogurt play an important role in a healthy diet.



Fikri said that it's important to get the recommended amount of calcium in our diet per day because if people don't get enough, they can see certain deficiency effects later in life.



You can learn more about the importance of dairy and what the St. Louis District Dairy Council does for schools and the community by going to stldairycouncil.org.

Rural Electric Convenience Coop To Hold 79th Annual Meeting June 9th

The Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative will be holding their annual meeting Thursday, June 9th at Glenwood High School in Chatham. The meeting has several things planned. Dana Smith, Manager of Public Relations for the Co-Op spoke with Regional Radio News recently and conveyed what those things are.



You do need to be a member of the Rural Electric Convenience Coop to register for the meeting, although Smith did say that others are invited to stop by should you be interested in the displays that the meeting will have or some of the vendors that will be there. Smith mentioned how the meeting will see three new members of the Co-Ops board being elected.



Rural Electric was formed nearly 80 years ago in an effort to bring electricity to rural areas of the country. The Rural Electric Convenience Coop’s meeting this year will mark the 79th year of the meeting. For more information on the Co-Op, visit recc.coop.

Two Arrested in Connection to String of Burglaries in Pana



Two individuals have been arrested in connection to a string of burglaries that took place in Pana last week. 20 year old Tristan L. Dilley and 26 year old Hannah F.L. Banyai were both arrested in connection to the crimes. Dilley has been charged with residential burglary, with Banyai being charged with misdemeanor theft and criminal trespass to residence. Dilley remains in the Christian County Correctional Center with bond set at $50,000. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is anticipating more charges to be filed against Dilley. Banyai was released and given a notice to appear in court. If convicted, Dilley could face up to 15 years in the Department of Corrections.

NEWSTALK WTIM Moves FM Dial Positions while MMG Signs on New Station


The Miller Media Group overnight moved it's FM dial positions for NEWSTALK WTIM, and signed on a new station.


NEWSTALK WTIM's dial position in Christian County is now at 96.1 FM and in Shelby County WTIM moved up the dial to 107.5 FM. Both moves improve WTIM's coverage in both counties.


And, a new station signed on just past midnight this morning. Easy Hits 96.5 featuring core artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Andy Williams, and Nat King Cole, hit the air and joins the Miller Media Group family. Miller Media Group owns and operates 6 signals from it's Taylorville studios, as well as 3 signals from it's cluster in Clinton.


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