Local News

Phone Records to be Allowed As Evidence in McKinnon Trial

Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera and Defense Attorney Tom Finks argued in court on Tuesday afternoon over whether or not recorded phone conversations between Angela McKinnon and her boyfriend in prison should be allowed as evidence at trial.


McKinnon is charged with drug-induced homicide, and is currently in the Christian County Jail on a $1 Million bond. Defense Attorney Finks argued that the prosecution did not properly execute a subpoena, and in turn did not properly acquire the phone records from the Department of Corrections. Finks requested the court throw out the phone records, and reimburse McKinnon $500 for the time he spent preparing the defense, stating that every possible rule of the court regarding subpoenas was violated by the prosecution.


State’s Attorney Mike Havera argued that the evidence would have been discovered anyway, and that the errors committed in the subpoena were inadvertent. Havera also argued that there is no expectations of privacy for phone conversations with inmates.


Judge Brad Paisley ruled that the records will be allowed as evidence at trial, admitting that the State’s sloppy handling of the subpoena process. Paisley stated that he wasn’t happy about it, but it’s not a habit of the state.

End is Near for Mild Weather

December has arrived, and when the totals are calculated for November is will continue the trend of well above normal temperatures for most of 2016. But, DTN chief meteorologist Bryce Anderson says the above normal trend is about to end.

And along with more seasonal temperatures in the week ahead, look for the first measurable snow as well.

Bryce Anderson. As far as the winter forecast, Anderson looks for near normal temperatures and precipitation in December and January, then moderation in February with a return to somewhat above normal temperatures.

No Automatic Voter Registration in Illinois

You won’t have the opportunity to be automatically registered to vote in Illinois. The House fell a few votes short of overriding the Governor’s veto of automatic voter registration. The bill would have signed residents up after coming in to contact with a number of state agencies, but critics were worried about possible voter fraud in the face of increasing voter participation. Republican State Rep. Tome Demmer from Dixon said too much was unknown about how the state could keep up with new names voter rolls. 

The veto had already been overridden in the Senate but is now a dead issue after failing to do the same in the House. 

No Movement on Budget

No one seems any closer to a budget deal at the Statehouse. Today after legislative leaders left a meeting Republicans were upset at House Speaker Mike Madigan’s stance that a budget needs to be voted on without additional reforms. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says that all the issues are connected.

Durkin says Senate President John Cullerton is involved on discussions about reforms. 

No Speaker at Meetings

The Governor and 4 legislative leaders were set to meet every day this week to examine if there was middle ground on issues that could be resolved so a full budget could be voted on. Today the Speaker of the House Mike Madigan wasn’t in attendance. Republican Leaders, Christine Radogno and Jim Durkin were dismayed at his absence. 

State Trooper Sean Ramsey Urges Parents to Stress Driving Dangers to Teen Drivers

Many teens can’t wait to get their drivers license and get out on the road. However many often forget the basic rules of the road, or engage in risky behavior behind the wheel. Illinois State Trooper Sean Ramsey said officers are seeing a noticeable uptick in the amount of teen drivers excessively speeding on the roadways.



Ramsey also said teens very often violate distracted driving laws by being on their phones while driving. He urged parents to help law enforcement, and stress the dangers of distracted driving with their children.



State Trooper Sean Ramsey appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Owanaco 4-Her Wins Bright Futures Award

A local 4-H member has won an award sponsored by Green Leaf and Tractor Supply. Conner Grant of Owaneco and with the Christian County Clover 4-H Club won their Bright Futures award for his work in crops and tractors, as well as his hobbies and collections. Alicia Gullidge, Program Coordinator for 4-H Youth and Development with the University of Illinois Extension said she really got to know Connor during the Christian County Fair.



Gullidge said Connor’s enthusiasm when it came to agriculture made him stand out among the crowd for the award.



Connor received a $25 Visa gift card and a plaque as the Bright Futures award winner for his 4-H efforts.  

TMH Springfield Clinic Welcomes New Physician to Taylorville

The Springfield Clinic at Taylorville Memorial Hospital recently welcomed a new doctor to its staff. Dr. Chiniya Thapa recently moved to Taylorville and is a physician at the Clinic, but has been on quite the journey to get here. Dr. Thapa said he was born and raised in Nepal and went to medical school in China, but his dream of becoming a doctor started when he was very young.

Thapa said he's been in the states a while now and has come to find he likes the small town feel better than a larger city because he gets to know people on a more personal level.


Thapa said, while he is a traditional physician who sees patients for all reasons, he is more intrigued by the patients that have problems regarding their heart and lungs.

Thapa appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Home Tour Homeowner, Ashley Rahar, Hope People Feel At Home When Visiting Hers

The 25th Taylorville Home Tour kicks off Friday at 10 a.m. and one of the houses featured this year is off the corner of Clay and Maple. Ashley Rahar owns this house and has been flipping it since her family moved in a year ago, but being asked to be on the home tour made her focus more on the house and getting things done. Rahar said so far she has replaced flooring, painted, and done extra cosmetic changes to make the house feel more like theirs.

Some of the other cosmetic changes Rahar mentioned includes replacing drapes, and taking down wallpaper. She said she hopes when people step into their home, they feel comfortable enough to feel like it could be their own home.


Rahar said her home still has a lot of work left, but the house off Franklin Street on the Home Tour is where she wants to be when she is finished restoring it.

The 25th Taylorville Home Tour begins Friday Morning at 10:00. Tickets can be purchased from Cottage Rose for $10 now, or for $12 on Friday and Saturday.


Rahar appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Couple Taking Mission Trip to Nicaragua in June, Looking to Bring 12 to 15 Others

Steve Henry and his wife Laurie are putting together a mission trip to Nicaragua this June. The mission trip is through Seeds of Learning and the cost of the trip goes to that non-profit organization and pays for everything including meals and a place to sleep, but does not include airfare. Steve Henry said this is a wonderful opportunity for someone to become familiar with a new culture as well as to give back.

Henry said a country like Nicaragua is very poor, but also very happy and they don't want to change their lifestyle. He said something like that seems unheard of in the United States, and it wouldn't hurt Americans to learn to be more like Nicaraguans in that way.

Henry said the official dates will be June 10th through the 17th and they are looking to bring 12-15 people with them for this experience. The deadline to sign up is in March. Henry said, to sign up, call him or Laurie at 824-4211.


Henry appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Imprisoned Former Speaker of House Wants A Pension Back

Disgraced and imprisoned the former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is fighting for one of his pensions. The former lawmaker is pushing to have his pension from time spent as a public school teacher back. The $17,000 yearly pension was terminated once he was sentenced to 15 months in jail over payment to a student that he sexually abused while a teacher and coach at Yorkville High School. Hastert’s lawyers are making the claim that he’s in jail for banking crimes not the abuse of students while a teacher and coach. His lawyers will get a hearing in front of a review board for the Teachers Retirement System, but no date has been set. The onetime state lawmaker and Congressman is still getting his federal pension but for now the General Assembly Retirement System has suspended payment of Hastert’s state pension. 

Cullerton and Madigan Meet with Governor

All that is left is one more week of lawmakers in Springfield for the fall veto session and the path to accomplish much if anything is still as murky as ever. The leaders and Governor met on Monday and Senate President John Cullerton says that he’s ready to meet often. Cullerton says the topics discussed were varied and he had no problem with votes being put up during lame duck sessions.

The other Democrat in the Legislature, House Speaker Mike Madigan, is showing little determination in passing any of those turn around agenda items. Republicans say they will not get behind another stopgap budget without the passage of any legislative reforms.

Christian County Shooting Stars 4-H Club Holding Educational Open House

The Christian County Shooting Stars 4-H Club is hosting an open house to help teach anybody who is interested about the various shooting sports that the club participates in. Alicia Gullidge with the University of Illinois Extension gave some information on the open house, as well as the different shooting sports the Shooting Stars 4-H Club is involved in.



Gullidge said the event is a good opportunity for those attending to learn more about the program.



The event is free to attend, although pre-registration is requested, which can be done through the University of Illinois Extension’s website.

Taylorville Fire Cheif Gives Fireplace Safety Tips

The temperature outside is dropping and that means many are using their indoor fireplaces. Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews says fire departments often start to see chimney fires in the colder months, and had some tips to safely use your fireplace.



One tip Crews had was to never use any sort of liquid fire starters such as lighter fluid to light a fire in your fireplace, explaining some of the dangers to using it.



Crews also said to make sure that you have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home, and that they’re in proper working order. Here's the complete list of tips provided by Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews to ensure safe fireplace use.


1. Get an annual chimney inspection. Have your chimneys inspected and swept if needed. If the chimney (fireplace & furnace/water heater/flue) is clean and free of obstructions, there is less danger of a chimney fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

3. Cap it. Have a chimney cap installed on all of the flues. They keep out rain, birds, squirrels, leaves and other debris that could obstruct the flow of flue gasses in your chimney.

4. The right fuel for the job. Well seasoned hard wood yields the most heat for your fireplace. Wood that has been split and stacked for 6 months out of the rain will be dry enough.

5. Liquid free light. Never use any type of liquid fire starters (lighter fluid, charcoal grill lighter, gasoline, etc.) to start the fire.

6. Read # 5 again!

7. Keep it clear. Keep all furniture and combustible furnishings at least 36 inches away from the fireplace or wood stove. Exposure to heat can lower the ignition temperature of combustible items over time, and they can catch fire.

8. Screens or doors. Have a fireplace screen or set of glass doors with a screen in front of your fireplace during operation. Flying sparks from sappy wood can burn holes in your carpet or furniture. Remember, if you have glass doors, they must be open during the operation of your fireplace, do not close them if a fire is burning. The glass is not rated for those temperatures and the fire will be starved for oxygen and may smoke up the home.

9. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are a must. Some of the newer units will detect both smoke and carbon monoxide, but both types should be installed throughout the home. Optimum placement is on the ceiling because that is where the smoke and carbon monoxide will be. .

10. Treat your fire like a child, watch them. As you might expect. I had an interest in fire as a young boy. I recall many times my granddad asking my brother and I to stop putting extra sticks in the fire. Tumbling logs off the grate can knock over a fireplace screen and start a house fire. Do not leave them unattended.

Please remember never to hesitate to call 911 if a fire does occur in the fire place. TFD fire crews are well versed on extinguishing these types of fires; which frankly can be a little tricky. 

Pillars Event Center Ribbon Cutting Friday

With the start of the Taylorville Home Tour comes the ribbon cutting of Taylorville's new Events Center. The Pillars Event Center will be open for the public to see this Friday at 10:00 in the morning and will be a part of the 25th Taylorville Home Tour. Jerry Cocagne, co-owner of the Pillars Event Center said they have been working hard converting the former church into a center good for weddings and other celebrations.

Cocagne said on top of all of that, they've torn down walls, leveled where the altar was, made new doorways, and put in a new Heating and AC System.


Cocagne said although they are having the grand opening this Friday, they will be doing much more to continue to transform the building into the final event center.

Cocagne appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Winter Nears, Prepare for Road Hazards

Winter officially starts in a little more than 20 days, but winter weather is expected to hit even sooner. State Trooper Sean Ramsey said snow and icy weather are driving hazards, and something we shouldn't take lightly. He said things to consider when driving or preparing to drive are if the trip is important enough, and, of course, black ice.

Ramsey said because of the slick roads, people can be stranded in the cold, and not just from running off the road, but also from a semi-tractor trailer which could block the road for hours if they get into an accident. Ramsey said it's important to take precautionary measures and have an emergency kit prepared that includes food, water, jumper cables, and even a cell phone charger.

Ramsey appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears from New Miller Media Group Staff Member at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from one of the new staff members at the Miller Media Group, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Jacob Linder grew up in the southern Illinois town of Farina, where he was involved in several high school sports.  Linder attended Kaskaskia College and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he graduated in May with a radio-television degree.
Before joining the Miller Media Group, Linder worked while in college at radio stations in Salem and Murphysboro.
Linder's job at the Miller Media Group includes advertising sales, production and sports play by play.  He said he liked the position because of the different things he does each day.

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.

Burglary in Taylorville is Christian County Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.


Sometime over the past several weeks, person or persons unknown made entry into a garage, located at 800 East Park Street.  It did not appear that any items had been taken during the course of the burglary.  A door to the garage had been pried open and damaged while making entry.  The total dollar amount of the damage is unknown at this time.


Please contact Crimestoppers if you have any information on this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons.  Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you do not have to give your name.  Crimestoppers will pay double the normal reward for information that leads to an arrest for the crime of the week. 


You can contact Crimestoppers at 824-9100, at our website Christiancountycrimestoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

Christian County Sheriff's Office Announce Results of Thanksgiving Holiday Saturation Patrols

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp has announced the results of the Christian County Sheriff’s Office’s saturation patrols over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 56 traffic citations were issued from Wednesday, November 23rd through Sunday evening. 31 of those citations were for speeding, 8 for failure to wear a seat belt, and 2 for improper use of electronic communication devices.


Deputies conducting the patrols had the goal of reducing the number of traffic crashes from last year. Sheriff Kettelkamp announced that the goal was successful, with 9 total traffic crashes reported to the Sheriff’s Office over the 2016 Thanksgiving Holiday period. That number is down from last years total of 11 crashes reported.


Sheriff Kettelkamp wished to remind citizens to drive carefully, obey all traffic laws, especially when it comes to wearing your seat belts and not using your cell phone while driving during the upcoming Christmas season.

Spots Still Available for Little Miss and Mister Snowflake Competition

The Taylorville Park Board held their regularly scheduled monthly meeting on Monday night at the Manners Park Office Board Room. It was a light meeting without much of note on the agenda. One item that the Board did discuss however, was a negative balance in the cash receipts for October. Park Board Office Administrator Mary Ann Becker explained that it was simply due to when money came in and when checks were written.



Another group of items discussed was the upcoming events schedule for the Park District. Recreation Director Bailey Hancock said one event, the Little Miss and Mister Snowflake competition on December 10th, is still looking for participants.



If you would like to sign your child up for the competition, you can do so by contacting the Taylorville Park District. Their phone number is (217) 824-5878.

Curtin Family Hosting Educational Beef Production Event on December 6th

The Curtin family is hosting an educational program on cattle production at the Curtin Land and Cattle sale facility near Blue Mound on December 6th. The program features a lineup of speakers for those who attend. T.J. Curtin, Co-Owner of Curtin and Cattle gave some information on one of the guest speakers at the event.



The event will also feature guest speakers Dr. Mark Hilton with Elanco Animal Health, and Lance Zimmerman, Protein Research and Analytics Lead for CattleFax.


Registration is not needed for the event, but Curtin did say it would be helpful for anyone who wishes to attend to let him know ahead of time.



You can contact T.J. Curtin at (217) 825-3005 if you would like any additional information on the event, or to give advance notice of your attendance.

Drought Conditions Creep Into Illinois

Some parts of Illinois have had little to no precipitation at all, this fall. State Climatologist Jim Angel says the National Drought Index shows some parts of Illinois have been classified as abnormally dry, with parts of southern Illinois actually creeping into the "Moderate Drought" stage;

The Illinois state climatologist says the parts of southern Illinois that experienced some of the wettest months of July and August on record have experienced some of the driest months of October and November.

3 State Universities Get Emergency Payments

State universities are picking up a few extra dollars before the end of the year. The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved the spending of $17 million in emergency funding to prop up the financial picture of Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois and Chicago State. The funds are only to be used to pay down current year costs and can’t be rolled into 2017. WIU receives $8.4 million, EIU $5.6 million and CSU $3 million. 

Central Illinois Has Goods Jobs Picture

Jobless numbers headed into the holiday hiring season are the lowest in central Illinois. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that Springfield holds the lowest area unemployment rate at 4.5 percent. Chicago area Lake County is second in the state at 4.6 percent. The worst place to be out of work is in Danville, where local unemployment is 6.6 percent. Overall the state rate is 5.5 percent. 

October 2016-2015 rates by area were:
Bloomington-Normal: 4.8; 5.0.
Carbondale-Marion: 5.4; 6.
Champaign-Urbana: 4.8; 5.3.
Chicago: 5.7; 5.3.
Danville: 6.6; 7.2.
Quad-Cities: 5.4; 5.7.
Decatur: 6.2; 7.0.
Elgin: 4.9; 5.6.
Kankakee: 5.8; 6.7.
Lake County: 4.6; 5.2.
Peoria: 5.9; 6.9.
Rockford: 6; 7.1.
Springfield: 4.5; 5.3.
Metro East St. Louis: 5.1; 6.1.

Rise Broadband Experiencing Outages on Inbound Calls

Rise Broadband has notified Regional Radio News that their telecommunications provider suffered a major outage on Monday afternoon, for Rise's inbound call center and live chat teams.

Rise says that as a result, call hold times were extremely long, and they add that if your call is not urgent, they would ask that you call back on Tuesday.

Rise Broadband provides wireless internet service to a large portion of Central Illinois.

WSVZ November Students of the Month

The WSVZ and Family Drug November students of the month are Freshman Cole Evans, Sophmore Lauren Russell, Junior Eric Wakeland, and Senior Haley Adams. Kim Guiot of Family drug was on hand to present the students with their awards.

Good News for Illinois Government, Named Among Best States with College Savings Plans

Illinois' state government has been receiving some flack for it's inability to negotiate and compromise from both local citizens and other states. Recently, Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced Illinois was given recognition for one thing it does better than most. Frerichs said Morningstar, an agency that evaluates and rates college savings plans named Illinois among the best in the nation for said programs.

Frerichs said Bright Directions College Savings is a financial advisory program that teaches people what to do to ensure their children will have a bright future with less stress afterward, and it's tax free for the growth acquired within it.

Treasurer Frerichs appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

December Looming Means Taylorville Talks End of the Year Business with Local Unions

December is just around the corner and so is the end of the year. Mayor Greg Brotherton and the City of Taylorville has end of the year business to take care of, most notably with the local union organizations. Mayor Brotherton said, this year the city is starting earlier than normal to talk with these unions about their contract negotiations, that way everything can be explained and nothing has to be rushed.

Brotherton said, the biggest issue comes from health insurance and the not knowing what will happen with the Affordable Care Act once President Elect Donald Trump takes office.

Mayor Brotherton appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Capital City Singers Come to Taylorville for Christmas Concert Thursday

Thursday night, the Capital Chamber Singers are coming to the First Presbyterian Church in Taylorville to perform a free Christmas Candle Light Concert. Dave Hixenbaugh has been a part of the group for a long time and said he's proud to share the same stage as some of the performers. Hixenbaugh said solos by Diane Dietz (Dee-tz) are breathtaking and people should be on the lookout for her.      

Hixenbaugh said the concert is for anyone, young or old, who loves to listen to instrumental, classical, and fun loving Christmas Music, as well as people who are ready to get in the Christmas spirit.

Hicksenbaugh appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

St. Marys School Completes Move Into New Building

St. Marys School in Taylorville has finally completed work on their new building, and has all of the students under one roof. Catherine Robertson, Principal at St. Marys spoke with Regional Radio News and gave some of the early history of St. Marys school, and how the old red brick school came to be.



Robertson said the new building has incorporated a feature from the old red brick school, with features to be incorporated into the new school in the future.



Robertson said there’s still work to be done to complete the move into the new building, and that the old building will have to come down.



Once the old building is torn down, there will be some groundwork to be done, and a playground is planned to be put in it’s place, as well as some additional parking for the school.

Taylorville City Council Adds Ordinance to City Code Regarding Cannabis Use

The Taylorville City Council voted on and approved a motion to add an ordinance to the Taylorville City Code to mirror the Village of Edinburg’s ordinance regarding the use of Cannabis. Alderman Bruce Jones explained what the ordinance does.



City Attorney Rocci Romano commented on the motion stating Alderman Ernie Dorchinecz had pointed out a small error that had to be corrected in the ordinance, and had another, lighter hearted suggestion.



The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

University of Illinois Extension Offering Holiday Wreath Making and Kitchen Gift Class For the Holidays

The University of Illinois Extension is helping your prepare for the holidays with a festive program on wreath making, as well as making gifts from the kitchen at it’s Taylorville Campus. Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator at the U of I Extension said the class aims to be a great way to take a break from the stress of the holidays.



The event is a partnership between two U of I Extension educators, as Andrew Holsinger, Horticulture Educator at the Extension will be guiding the class on building their own wreath.



The class does have a small fee to cover the costs of supplies, and the Extension is also asking that those interested in taking the class pre-register to ensure enough materials for the class.



Again you can register for the event on the University of Illinois Extension’s website, or by calling the extension office at 217-287-7246.

Christian County Damage Assessment Team Assist with Canton Explosion Aftermath

The explosion in downtown Canton has left much of the city battered and damaged. The Christian County Damage Assessment Team assisted in the process of sorting out the damage caused by the blast. Christian County Emergency Manager Mike Crews said the Damage Assessment team had quite the job sorting out the full extent of the damage.



Crews said how the blast was an example of what can happen with aging infrastructure in many small towns across the state, and said his team is putting together exercises in order to be better prepared should anything like that happen in Taylorville.



More than 50 buildings were damaged in the blast. Investigators are still trying to figure out the cause of the explosion.

Pana Man Pleads Not Guilty to New Murder Charges of Infant Son

A Pana man has plead not guilty to new charges of first degree murder of his infant son. Robert Stivers was arrested in February after his four month old son was taken to a St. Louis hospital for treatment of injuries suffered allegedly at the hands of Stivers. The new charges state that Stivers shook and squeezed the child causing injury. The charge replaces a previous charge that has since been dismissed, that merely states that Stivers shook his son. If found guilty, Stivers could face up to 60 years in prison.

Cops, Convicts, and Kids Program coming to Taylorville December 1st

Local high schools, hospitals, the Christian County Prevention Coalition, and the Christian County Problem Solving Court have come together to try to end heroin use in Christian County. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp said these organizations are bringing a program of guest speakers to the area under the name of Cops, Convicts, and Kids. Kettlekamp said through this program high schoolers and the rest of the community can learn more about the real issues of heroin use and how it can be stopped.

The other two speakers include a police officer from a town near the Chicago area and what he's experienced from being on the job there for 25 years, and pro skateboarder Brandon Novak, a recovering drug addict whose message is directly for the teens.


Kettlekamp said through this program, the organizations hope they can get support from the community to want to build a drug treatment center in the area and have volunteers that truly want to help those who want to help themselves and get clean.

Kettlekamp said it's imperative to get the addicts the help they need within the two hours, that way they can't decide to change their mind, go back to the drugs, or experience withdrawals outside of a controlled environment.


Kettlekamp appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville High School Key Club is Growing to Benefit the Community

Taylorville High School is in the process of revitalizing it's Key Club. That's according to it's president Noah Nelson. Noah is a Junior at THS and has been working all year in building the active membership of Key Club to help the community as much as they can. Nelson said so far they are just over 60, and he hopes to continue to grow it throughout the rest of this school year and carry out all of the plans they have.

Noah said he's excited for the possibilities of the future for Key Club and he hopes to get more people involved, whether they are part of the club or not. He said they have a lot of events coming in the spring semester and one soon on the way, if people want to help with them they don't even need to be a member of Key Club.

Nelson said when the Key Club helped with Trick or Treating they made nearly $1000, and will donate the money they make to a local charity that will be decided in the near future.

Nelson appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Social Security Administration Supports Wounded Warriors Through Disability Programs

Veteran's Day was held earlier in the month on November 11th, and Americans spent a lot of time honoring and remembering our troops. The Social Security Administration wanted to make sure they go the word out of how they are able to help the troops with some of their programs. Jack Myers, Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration said they are supporting wounded warriors through their disability programs. 

Myers said the Social Security Administration doesn't look to see where the disability occurred, just that the vets were injured while on active duty. He said they want to make the process quicker for veterans so they don't have to wait as long to get the disability payments.

Myers appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Home Tour Set for Dec 2nd and 3rd

The 25th Home Tour is coming to Taylorville December 2nd and 3rd and the Taylorville Tourism Council believes this year could be one of the best they've ever had. Carol Alexander with the Home Tour said, this year's selection of homes include many that were built in the 1800s and were restored, and also includes one brand new home, built in 2014. She said that people who attend, are able to go at their own pace and spend as much time and fully enjoy the experience as long as they want to.

Alexander said during the Home Tour, The Christian County Mental Health Association will have a family friendly event going on where people can buy crafts, but also offers a Dessert Bar and a Children's Corner to offer fun and games for the kids while their parents shop.

Tickets are available at Cottage Rose and will cost $10 before December 2nd and $12 the day of.


Alexander appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Ken Bone Fine With His 15 Minutes of Fame Ticking Away

It's been a month and a half since a Metro-East man became an instant phenomenon at the second Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis. Shiloh resident Ken Bone and his red sweater became a hit on late night talk shows as well social media. With Election Day now in the rear view mirror, Bone's public profile is shrinking by the day and he's more than okay with that.

Looking back at seeing Trump and Clinton up close and personal, Bone won't say he thought Trump was on his way to Pennsylvania Avenue in a historic upset, but he understands what may have paved the way.


Bone says his family was targeted by a bomb threat at his residence but he credits Shiloh Police with helping protect his family during his sudden rise to fame.

New Instant Lottery Game Benefits Veterans Causes

You have a chance to help Illinois veterans by well taking a chance. The Illinois Lottery has unveiled the latest version of the popular Veterans Cash instant game. Illinois Veterans Affairs Director Erica Jeffries says veterans are never shortchanged with the game.

The Veterans Cash instant game is now ten years old. More than $13 million in grants have been awarded through the three dollar tickets. 

Turkey Day Costs Down

Thanksgiving Dinner will be a little cheaper this year. The American Farm Bureau completes a survey each turkey day to take a look at the cost associated with the feast. And this year prices are lower. A meal for 10 is projected to cost $49.87, over all about twenty five cents cheaper than last year. The price works out to be less than $5 dollars a person. The big driver behind the lower costs is less expensive turkey. 

Christian County Sheriff's Office to Conduct Additional Patrols for Holiday Traffic

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office will be ramping up their patrols for the holiday season. Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp spoke with Regional Radio News and spoke on additional Saturation Patrols that his office will be conducting on Wednesday night and into early Thursday morning, with an emphasis placed on fatal four violations.



Sheriff Kettelkamp said officers will be giving additional attention to drivers who are using their phones while driving, stressing the dangers of texting and driving.



With the added traffic on area roadways due to holiday travel, the patrols will help ensure that everyone can enjoy their holiday season, and come home safe.



Sheriff Kettelkamp again stressed that he wants everyone to enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday, and ensure that you and your loved ones get home safely.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears About New Event Center in Taylorville

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from one of the co-owners of a new event center in town, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Jerry Cocagne spoke before the Club about the new Pillars Event Center which he owns with co-owner Kevin Hamell.  The new facility is the former First Baptist Church in Taylorville, first built in 1925 and was added onto in 1959.
Cocagne and Hamell purchased the building at an on-line auction in 2015, as a result of discussions the 2 and their spouses had on a trip to Florida.

They've spent many months remodeling the facility, to turn it into an event center for weddings, family reunions and fund raisers.
Cocagne told the Kiwanis Club that remodeling the building is being done in 3 phases:  The sanctuary and balconies, remodeling the gym and turning it into a wedding chapel, and phase 3 being remodeling the basement that was formerly used as a kitchen and Sunday School rooms.
Cocagne said the former sanctuary remodeling will be completed in time for the center's December events that have already been booked.
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.

CAPTION TO Kiwanis pix:  Jerry Cocagne (left), co-owner of the new Pillars Event Center in Taylorville, was Tuesday's guest speaker at the weekly meeting of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club.  He was introduced by Club president Will Perkins (right).

American Diabetes Association Wants to Make People Aware in the Month of Novemeber

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and the American Diabetes Association wants people to be aware of what this disease does to people and that it can affect anyone. Vanessa Wiseman, with the American Diabetes Association, said there are many types of diabetes that can be inherited, developed through health habits and developed through pregnancy. She said while two of those ways can't be helped, type two diabetes can be prevented by staying active and eating healthy.

Wiseman said some Diabetes superfoods include berries, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and fish; and many others can be found online at diabetes.org


Wiseman also said if symptoms of diabetes arise, go to the doctor and see if it has been developed.

Wiseman appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

CCEDC Making Strides in Movement for Industrial Park

The Taylorville Industrial Park is beginning to come to full fruition, and made great strides after the last City Council Meeting. Mary Renner, Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation said the city of Taylorville guaranteed to give the CCEDC $50,000 for the industrial park this year and will match those funds in 2017. Renner said they are in the process of guaranteeing funds from many other places including banks, sold land, and The Hopper Foundation, which will total to about 50% of the funds they need.

Renner also said, the CCEDC wants to guarantee a bit more funding to equal 55% of the $1.6 million they need, that way they can apply to the Illinois Economic Development Administrator and have a chance to get the rest through grants.

Renner said, with the best case scenario, the Industrial Park could be up and available by the end of 2017.


Renner appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a theft that occurred in Taylorville.


Sometime between Tuesday, November 1, 2016 and Saturday, November 8, 2016, person or persons unknown made entry into an apartment located at 101 Heights Avenue.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a ISSC .22 caliber pistol.   The pistol is pink with a black handle.  No other items appeared to have been taken.  The total dollar amount of the item is unknown at this time.


Please contact Crimestoppers if you have any information on this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons.  Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you do not have to give your name.  Crimestoppers will pay double the normal reward for information that leads to an arrest for the crime of the week. 


You can contact Crimestoppers at 824-9100, at our website Christiancountycrimestoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

Taylorville City Council Amends Video Gaming Ordinance

The Taylorville City Council voted and passed a motion to adopt proposed ordinances amending the city code pertaining to Video Gaming and Liquor License Classifications at Monday nights Taylorville City Council meeting. In the ordinance, a business who wants video gaming has to have a certain percentage of their business come from a particular revenue stream. City Alderman Ernie Dorchinecz asked the council, who exactly monitors those revenue streams?



Alderman Bruce Jones explained that the businesses when they report their quarterly numbers will give that information to the mayor, who will then monitor the figures.



Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton said the businesses will sign something saying the numbers they’re reporting are true, and the Mayor’s office won’t look further into the matter unless it’s brought to the city’s attention.



Mayor Brotherton said most cases are no-brainers, and there is only a handful of businesses who’s numbers may need closer attention.



The motion to adopt the proposed ordinances passed 6-2, with the motions to accept the changes to the ordinances passing 7-2.

New Wrinkle in Schock Case

There's a new wrinkle in the saga of former Congressman Aaron Schock. Federal prosecutors say he turned meet 'n' greets into a money maker, pocketing thousands of dollars from constituents who visited him. The indictment against the Peoria Republican claims he hosted Washington annual tours and meet-and-greets, assessed a fee and secretly kept some of the cash.

Durbin Calling for Trump to Shield Dreamers From Deportation

Senator Dick Durbin is urging President-elect Donald Trump to avoid an Apprentice style approach in dealing with younger immigrants. Durbin is calling for Trump's administration to shield the group known as Dreamers from deportation. They remain in the country thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which grants temporary reprieve from deportation to certain young undocumented immigrants.

In 2010, Durbin was the first member of Congress to call for the establishment of DACA.

Starbucks at Taylorville Kroger Opens

The new Starbucks location inside the Kroger in Taylorville has opened to much fanfare. The location, which did a soft open on Sunday, officially opened Monday morning complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. Rashad Webb, District Manager for Kroger explained how Starbucks came to Taylorville.



Webb said the process wasn’t a difficult, just lengthy.



The new Starbucks location will be open most days from 5am until 8pm, with some holiday hour changes due to Krogers holiday hours.

Home Invasion and Arson in Pana

The Pana Police Department have released details on a home invasion and arson case that occurred in Pana on Sunday. Regional Radio News spoke with Pana Chief of Police Daniel Bland who explained what happened.



Bland went on to say the subject, reported as Brian Ferguson of Pana, was seen walking towards his residence with erratic behavior.



With assisting agencies, the Pana Police Department were able to make contact with Ferguson, who was treated for his injuries, and charges are pending.



Bland said it was fortunate how authorities were able to locate Ferguson without any injuries to any officers involved, as well as providing treatment to Ferguson, while holding him accountable for the offenses that authorities are looking into.

With Winter Weather Beginning, Taylorville Ministerial Association Focused on Lodging Funds

More than most know, homelessness is a problem in Taylorville and the Taylorville Ministerial Association is doing what they can to help the community. The problem is, they are running low on funds to house people, and unless it's an extreme case, they can only house people for one night. As the winter approaches, Bill Kerns, Pastor of Davis Memorial Christian Church, said food bank funds and gas card funds aren't even being taken in because the lodging funds are so low for the 

Rodney Blomquist, Pastor of Trinity Lutheran, joined Kerns and said because of the extreme weather on the way, there are times, where there isn't any other option but to let people stay an extra night in their facilities.

Kerns and Blomquist said it costs about $55 to house someone for one night and donations can be made to any Taylorville Church, just make sure to identify it is to go to the Taylorville Ministerial Association.


Kerns and Blomquist appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

National Weather Service wants People to be Prepared as Winter Approaches

Last week was Winter Weather Preparedness Week, but it's still important to continue to stay prepared as the fall season beings to move out and the winter moves in. Heather Stanley with the National Weather Service said this winter is looking to bring a lot of cold temperatures and winter storms to Central Illinois this year, and it's important people are as prepared as possible for what could come. She said it's important for families to have at least 3 days of supplies including food and water in case the winter storm hits hard enough.

Stanley said it's important for people to also have a survival kit in their car when traveling to make sure they'll be okay if the worst is to come. Stanely explained some of the items to have.

Stanley said all of this information and much more can be found online at weather.gov. And there are many other links to prepare the public for the winter to come.


Stanley appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Memorial Home Services Announces Closing of Taylorville Retail Location

Regional Radio News has learned that Memorial Home Services of Central Illinois has announced the closing of its medical equipment store in Taylorville, effective at the end of the year.

In a letter sent to customers of the Taylorville store, Medical Equipment Director Lori Valentine said that patients will be served with medical equipment from their Springfield location. 

The letter added that Memorial Home Services Home Health and Hospice offices will remain in Taylorville, but at a different location after the medical equipment store closes.

Former Taylorville Funeral Director Dies

A former Taylorville funeral director has died.  68-year-old James L. Shafer died November 15th at his Taylorville home.

Shafer owned and operated Shafer Funeral Home in Taylorville from 1972 until 2009, when he retired due to health reasons.

Jobs Numbers Still Slow To Recover

Jobs numbers around the state are getting slightly better. But the numbers are still a mix bag. The unemployment rate is up but a small number of jobs have been created. The state’s unemployment rate is 5.6 percent up a tenth of percent from last month. Illinois Department of Employment Security’s Bob Gough.

The nation’s unemployment rate is 4.9 percent.

About Five Bucks A Head Gets You Thanksgiving Dinner

The cost of a Thanksgiving meal for ten this year will average forty-nine dollars and 89-cents says the American Farm Bureau. The group has volunteers from around the country shop for turkey and the traditional fixings and submit prices. John Newton serves as the director of market intelligence for A-F-B-F;

The national farm organization has been conducting the Thanksgiving meal survey for more than 30 years. This year's survey showed the first drop in the cost of a Thanksgiving meal in three years.

AFSCME Protests Statewide

Downtown Springfield and locations across Illinois probably haven't seen this many green shirts since St. Patrick's Day. AFSCME's green shirted members raised their voices in protest against Governor Rauner's plan to impose his terms for a new labor deal for the 38,000 workers covered by the union. Local 997 President Nicole Power was among protesters who turned out at the Department of Revenue's headquarters, the Willard Ice Building.

Workers protested at 120 sites in all. Governor Rauner plans to impose his terms for AFSCME's next contract after the Illinois Labor Relations Board declared talks between Rauner and the workers union were at an impasse. AFSCME plans to fight the impasse declaration in court. 

Food Stamps and Farm Aid

The U-S House Agriculture Committee concluded a round of hearings examining the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as "SNAP." What once was known as the "food stamp" program traditionally has been bundled with crop insurance, conservation and other programs targeted at farmers. Illinois farm and commodity organizations want to know if this makes sense in the future, and the next input session is scheduled for Tuesday in Normal. Rich Guebert farms near Ellis Grove and attended the first of three statewide farm bill sessions;

Guebert serves as president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, one of the groups sponsoring the farm bill member input sessions. Again, the next one takes place Tuesday at 10:30 a-m at the Marriott in downtown Normal. The final statewide session will occur Tuesday, November 29th in Sycamore. You can go to FarmWeekNow-dot-com for more information and to register.

NTSB in Canton

Federal officials are now on the scene of the natural gas explosion in Canton. The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation of the blast that killed one and injured 11. The NTSB investigates pipeline accidents and fatalities. The Wednesday blast has all but shut-down a portion of downtown Canton and authorities there say a few more businesses in the area may reopen today. Federal officials say a report may take more than a year finalize.

Probable Cause Found For Man Involved in Wreck That Killed Taylorville Woman and Her Unborn Child

Probable cause has been found in the case of Lance Pitsch, who is on trial for an accident that resulted in the death of a Taylorville woman and her unborn child. In a preliminary hearing on Friday the Christian County State’s Attorney’s office called Special Agent Eric Weston with the Illinois State Police to the stand. Weston testified that he was contacted to assist in the investigation of a wreck on IL Rt 48. Weston said his team spoke with a witness who said they viewed a pickup truck Pitsch was believed to be driving weaving across the road, and eventually causing the accident.


Weston testified that an officer investigating a possible DUI charge in the accident went to the hospital where Pitsch was transported to, and was told that Pitsch had undergone a medical blood draw for his injuries, which showed a blood alcohol content of .373.


Weston was called to interview Pitsch at this time, where he asked Pitsch to go over the day of the crash. Pitsch said during that interview that he woke up and traveled to the Taylorville area to hunt, and that he was drinking vodka while hunting. Pitsch also said once he left his hunting area for home, he got lost, and was putting in an address in his GPS when he looked up and realized he was heading off the road, and that he didn’t remember much after that. Regarding the vodka he was drinking, Weston testified that Pitsch said he kept his vodka in a water bottle that he drank throughout the day, and that it was apparent Pitsch was still under the influence of alcohol when he interviewed him.


The court found probable cause on all counts for the case to proceed to trial. Pitsch plead not guilty to the charges, and a jury trial date was set for February 27th at 8:30, with further pretrial set for February 9th at 11am.

Christian County Problem Solving Court Preparing for Graduation Ceremony

The Christian County Problem Solving Court is having their graduation Ceremony on Friday, December 2nd at Davis Memorial Church. Melanie Daly, Supervisor of the Christian County Probation Department said the problem solving court program is designed to address individual needs that people who go through the court system may have.



Daly said this particular graduation will be celebrating four graduates who have gone through the program.



The graduation ceremony will also have a special guest speaker.



For more information or any questions on the problem solving court, contact the Christian County Probation Office at (217) 824-4831.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Recieves National Recognition for Excellence in Care and Financial Performance

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has received national recognition from iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health. Kim Bourne, President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital said why the hospital was receiving the recognition.



Bourne said how the iVantage group gathers data from over 2,000 rural access hospitals across the country so that those hospitals can compare how they’re doing.



Taylorville Memorial Hospital was the top quarterly performer among all rural, acute care hospitals in the nation.

Principal's Cabinet of Shelbyville High School Help Generate Positive Changes

The Shelbyville school district is nearly a month away from the end of the first semester, and Shelbyville High School has seen some positive additions made since new principal Shane Schuricht stepped in. One addition Schuricht administered was a principal's cabinet that provides new ideas to help lift school spirit. Tony Pullen, Assistant Principal of Shelbyville High School said one of the ideas generated by the cabinet was a way for seniors to literally leave their mark on the school.

Pullen said another addition Schuricht and the cabinet made was to provide incentives for the students to do well in school. These incentives would be given to students who showed up regularly, did well academically, and stayed out of trouble.

Pullen appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Christmas Plans for the Christian County Historical Society

The winter holidays are approaching fast and the Christian County Historical Society has some things planned to celebrate. The historical society plans on being in the parade on December 3rd, but they don't plan on having a float. Rachel Ward, Coordinator of the Christian County Historical Society, said they'll most likely be dressed in peroid outfits, to represent what the historical society is all about. Ward also said they'll have a Christmas tour and celebration at the historical society on December 10th.

Ward said the tour is small, family friendly, and free to attend. Ward said this year the historical society wanted to separate themselves from the rest of Taylorville's festivities. That way more focus could be brought to the organization, and they don't get lost in the hooplah of the holiday.

Ward appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Davis Honors Fallen Officer From Madison County

Congressman Rodney Davis honored a longtime Madison County resident lost in the line of duty for a St. Louis area police department. St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder, who was shot to death October 6th, was remembered Wednesday by Davis on the House Floor.

Officer Snyder was shot as he arrived at a disturbance call in St. Louis County. A suspect is in custody. 

Canton Rocked by Blast, Ameren Worker Killed

Daylight is exposing the damage of last evening's gas explosion in Canton. Ameren reports one of their employees was killed in the blast, which started when a third party contractor ruptured an underground gas service line. Ameren shut off the gas and workers were making repairs when the explosion occured. 38-year-old Arturo Silva Jr. of Mapleton was killed. Three other workers were injured, and two of them remain in the hospital. Several buildings in the downtown area were damaged. 12 victims were taken to the hospital. Fulton County Emergency officials have sealed off the area around the square.

Christian County CEO Program Now Accepting Applications

The Christian County CEO Board of Directors announced that applications are now available for the upcoming school year. Christian county high students who will be juniors or seniors during the 17-18 school year are eligible to apply. The CEO program provides real world experience that increases the capacity for creative thinking and problem-solving through meeting the challenges of starting and building a business. In the course of the year- long class, students will develop both a class business and an individual business, and write business plans to support them.


Local investors, who also serve as guest instructors, fund the program. Every CEO student is paired with a mentor from the business community. CEO students will visit dozens of area businesses and learn from dozens of guest speakers.


Applications are available from high school counselors or the CEO website. Visit www.christiancountyceo.com to learn more. If you are interested in becoming an investor, hosting the class in a visit to your business, or serving as a guest speaker, contact Dee Krueger at 561-0578.

Miller Media Group and First National Bank in Taylorville Accepting Applications for Community Spotlight Ad Campaigns

The Miller Media Group and First National Bank in Taylorville are again accepting applications for its popular Community Spotlight advertising campaigns provided to non-profit organizations in the Taylorville area in 2017.


The campaign is completing its first year on-the-air on 3 of the Miller Media Group stations—NEWSTALK WTIM THE BIG 870 AM, 96.1 and 107.5 FM; WMKR Genuine Country 94.3; and WRAN groocy 97.3.


The First National Bank in Taylorville, sponsors 4 announcements per day 7 days a week on these 3 stations, that promote a different non-profit organization each month.


Organizations must apply to be promoted in this campaign. The application form is available by clicking the "Community Spotlight Application" icon at taylorvilledailynews.com. Applications must be submitted to the Miller Media Group, and can be dropped off at the company's studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville during weekday business hours; scanned to e-mail and sent to editorial@randyradio.com; or faxed to the company's fax number 824-3301.


The Miller Media Group must receive any applications to be considered, by 5pm December 16th. The non-profit organizations to be spotlighted during 2017, wil be selected and notified, by January First, 2017.

President and CEO of Frey Farms Stresses Importance of Locally Grown Produce

Sarah Frey, President and CEO of Frey Farms recently joined with the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture on Thursday to celebrate Fry Farm’s 20 years of supplying pumpkins to Walmart. Frey spoke with Regional Radio News and stressed the importance of locally grown agriculture.



Frey said that even though Frey Farms is a national supplier and distributor of produce, they still keep a local approach to their business.



Frey said it’s important to purchase local produce, because you’re supporting local farmers and their families.


Recent String of Phishing Popups Looking to Get Your Information


There’s a new phishing scam going around where people will receive a seemingly legitimate pop up on their computers saying that the user can take a survey and qualify for exclusive reward offers. Jeff Durbin with Computer Techniques says these pop ups are just a scam trying to get your information.



The pop ups are very convincing, since they correctly display your internet service provider and your IP address in the pop up. Durbin explained how these pop ups can find this information.



Should you receive one of these pop ups, simply disregard it, and close the pop up. If you have any questions, simply call your internet provider.

Sheriff Kettlekamp Talks Chirtsian County Runaways and Ways to Prevent It

Children and teens running away is something most don't think of as a major problem. But in Christian County and in the rest of the country, it happens more than most would think. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp said in the past year, there have been 41 reported runaways in the county. He said these kids run away when things get too hard for them to handle, and he doesn't think these kids truly think their actions through. Kettlekamp said he believes there are more dangers now than ever.

Sheriff Kettlekamp gave some tips for the youth to prevent them from running away and help them talk out their issues instead.

The full list of prevention tips and a list of causes for teens running away can be found at the Christian County Sheriff's Office Website.


Sheriff Kettlekamp appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Chamber Ready to Welcome Starbucks, and Ready for Busy December 3rd

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is preparing to be busy for the holiday season as Thanksgiving approaches and more events pour in. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber, said the Chamber will be at Kroger next Monday as they welcome in a new business to Taylorville. Hornbuckle said a Starbucks is opening inside Kroger, which will be the only true coffee shop in the city.

Hornbuckle said the chamber will also be busy on December 3rd as Taylorville's Christmas Parade, and the TMH Foundation's Gifts of the Season events take place. And on top of that Return to Downton Abbey is taking place that morning.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

U of I Extension Office Holding Many Creative Events for Kids During Holiday Season

The University of Illinois Extension has many creative things planned to get their youth involved for the holiday season. Alicia Gullidge, 4-H youth and Development Coordinator at the Extension Office said these little events are a way to help kids get creative and take something home with them. Gullidge said on December 3rd, they're holding a Create and Paint Workshop.

Gullidge said on December 5th, they're holding a Gifts from the Kitchen workshop to teach kids how to make some easy treats for the season, that they could possibly use as gifts for others.

And on December 19th, Gullidge said the Extension Office is holding a Gingerbread House Making Contest for the Christian County 4-H'ers.

Gullidge said there are registration deadlines on all of these events that way they can have supplies ready. And to register, contact the U of I Extension Office.


Gullidge appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Pair of Local Accidents Lead to Injuries

60 year old Shelly J. Dennis of Taylorville was traveling westbound on Park St. 56 year old Janet N. Dionne of Pana was traveling eastbound on Park St. Dennis collided head on with Dionne in the eastbound lane. Dennis stated at the scene that she fell asleep while driving and struck Dionne. Dennis and Dionne driver were both transported to Taylorville Memorial Hospital ER for treatment of injuries.


16 year old Steven M. Harris of Taylorville was parked in Taylorville High School’s parking lot. 15 year old Thomas R. Mollet of Owaneco was sitting in his vehicle talking to Harris. Mollet exited the vehicle and attempted to retrieve an item he had dropped while exiting the vehicle. Harris thought Mollet had left the area and began to back from the parking space. Harris struck Mollet at slow speed. Mollet complained of injury to his right leg and sought assistance at THS Student Services. The Taylorville Police Department, Taylorville Fire Department, and Sutton’s Ambulance were called by THS Student Services, and Mollet was then transported for medical treatment of his injuries.

Senate Overrides Governor Veto On Voting

The state Senate has overridden the governor’s veto of automatic voter registration. The move will now send the House the chance to override the veto at the end of the month. The bill would have allowed citizens doing business with a number of state agencies to be automatically registered to vote unless they chose not to. The Governor sited the fear of voting fraud for the reasons behind the veto although he has pledged support for finding ways to increase voter registration.

Rauner Talks to Trump

After trying for months to not say his name Governor Bruce Rauner will actually talk about President Elect Donald Trump. Today the Governor says that he knows a few people inside of the President’s to be inner circle and thinks that after speaking to him the state of Illinois is in a position to benefit from the next four years. Rauner says that he thinks Trump can spur manufacturing jobs in the United States and that would be good for the state.

Leaders Meet...Little Accomplished

Remember the state is still operating without a full and complete budget? The issue seemed to fade into the background over the past few months but now that lawmakers are back in Springfield for a fall veto session the lack of a spending plan is again front and center. House Speaker Mike Madigan says that after a meeting between all four leaders and Governor Bruce Rauner they are going to get a new group together to talk about budgeting. 

You may remember that working groups of both Democrats and Republicans have been meeting for months about the issue. The decision to put together a new group has left Republican leaders scratching their heads. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno….

Leaders on the Republican side say they will not accept another stop gap spending plan. 

Former Guard at Tomb of Unknown Soldier Speaks at Shelbyville Manor

Matt L. Kreeb, a former guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery spoke at Shelbyville Manor on Wednesday afternoon. Regional Radio News spoke with Kreeb before his presentation, where he said what he learned while a guard at the Tomb of the Uknown Soldier continues to guide his life to this day.



Kreeb said people forget that each headstone at Arlington represents a person. He said this also applies to senior living facilities like Shelbyville Manor, because often times the elderly feel forgotten or left behind in society.



Kreeb urged everyone to try to get to know the elderly, because they have lots of stories to tell.


Shelby County CEO Program Recieves Seed Funding to Start Program

The Christian County CEO Program has been very successful in helping local students gain a better understanding on how to run a business, and now the CEO program will be available in Shelby County as well. The Shelby County CEO Board members met on Wednesday with local contributors for the presentation of a check for $25,000 for the Shelby County CEO Program. Anna Kiley, Economic Development Director for Shelby County said how this money will get the Shelby County CEO program off the ground.



Kiley said the program will start next school year, and that students can view the application for the program online.



Some of the local businesses that contributed to the program include IHI Turbo, Shelby Electric Co-Op, as well as the Shelbyville Community Foundation.  

Taylorville Moose Lodge Reaching Out to Potential Members

The Moose Lodge is a family fraternity dedicating to helping children and seniors in both Taylorville and around the world. There's more than 450 members in the Taylorville Moose Lodge Area, and the organization is looking to improve that number and get the word out of what it can do for others. Kenny Stewart is a member of the Moose Lodge in Taylorville and explained all it has to offer to the community.

Stewart said the local lodge offers a scholarship that covers four years of school for a member's graduating senior. He said there's also the opportunity for those high school seniors to be awarded the national scholarship.

Stewart appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


Dr. Fuerstenau Talks Pro and Cons of Common Core in Public School System

President Elect Donald Trump is planning on making changes to the school system and revise the way common core is done. Trump said he would set the guidelines, but it would still be up to the states to make the full change. Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau, Superintendent of Taylorville Schools, said he understands the need of common core classes, especially when it comes to testing for the SAT and ACT.

Fuerstenau said on the other hand, not every student goes to a four year university. He said many go to a two year college or vocational school and it's important those students have classes that prepare them for their future as well.

Fuerstenau appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Kiwanis Hears From Miller Media Group Announcer at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from one of the staff announcer of the Miller Media Group in Taylorville, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Daniel Statum of LaGrange, North Carolina, joined the radio group in May of this year.  Statum is heard on both NEWSTALK WTIM as well as the company's classic hits station WRAN.
Statum told Kiwanis members how his family encouraged him to get into broadcasting.

Statum ended up enrolling in the radio program at Appalachian State University.  Statum was program director for the college radio station, overseeing a staff of over 70 students.
Statum added that he feels local radio is poised to grow because of its ties to the community.
Kiwanis Priority One chairperson Harriett Morrissey reported that the local club provided 89 coats for Head Start children, as part of the Kiwanis Club's annual “Coats for Kids” program.
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.

Taylorville Fire Department Holding Angel Tree Signups

Signups for the Taylorville Fire Department’s Angel Tree program begin on Wednesday. Cody Rogers with the Taylorville Fire Department spoke with Regional Radio News and shared what the Angel Tree program does for local families.



Signups begin tomorrow at the Taylorville Fire House.



Two pieces of mail as well as some type of ID with their name on it is also accepted for signups. The department is also accepting donations to help with the effort.

Sec White Announces New License Plate and Replacement Program

A newly redesigned Illinois license plate is ready to make its debut in the New Year. Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing a cost-efficient, process to replace aging license plates. Spokesman Henry Haupt commented.


Haupt talks about the bold new design.


Even if plates are in good shape, they typically need to be replaced after ten years because they lose reflectivity, making it harder for law enforcement to quickly and accurately identify vehicles.

Beekeeping And Troubled Youth

Salem4youth, a faith based boarding school for troubled young men, located near Flanigan, Illinois has teamed up with the Bayer Bee Care program to start an Apiary, or bee hive operation to provide an educational opportunity for the young men living at Salem4youth.

Steve McNair is Salem director of development. While the bee keeping operation is fairly recent, Salem has been in Flanigan for well over a century.

McNair started the Apiary three years ago after attending a seminar at Heartland community college in Normal. The project won a Community leadership Award from Bayer. But beyond the award, Bayer decided to get involved in helping Salem grow the project, says Becky Langer, program manager of Bayer’s Bee Care program.

Langer says Bayer is helping Salem plant up to fifty acres of wildflowers for the Apiary operation. In addition to providing pollinators for the area, Salem sold 500 pounds of honey this year and plans to grow that in the future as an educational project for the troubled youth at Salem4youth. This Thursday, 11/17, a field day will be held for the public to see some of the innovative work being done at Salem. 

Taylorville School District Reviews Yearly Illinois District Report Card

The Taylorville School Board reviewed their Illinois District Report Card at their monthly meeting on Monday night. Although much of the report card showed the effects of things like budget cuts that the district has underwent, there were positive areas where Taylorville Schools have done well. One of those areas was in teacher attendance, where Taylorville far exceeds the state averages.



Another area where Taylorville Schools have done well is in state PARCC (Park) testing, showing increases in test scores over the past two years in several different grades. That progress however didn’t carry to the high school students who took the PARCC test, where scores were abysmal. Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau explained why that was.



Dr. Fuerstenau pointed out that those in attendance shouldn’t be alarmed by the scores, saying how many of the students who scored poorly on the PARCC test scored very well on their ACTs.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation with Scholarship to Help Pave the Future of the CIty

On December 3rd the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation is holding their Gifts of the Season Signature Event. The event supports the Foundation's Healthcare Careers Scholarship Fund, which is designed to help student's who are interested in a career in healthcare, and the city of Taylorville itself. Dave Hixenbuagh, Committee member of the Foundation's Board of Directors said, this program will offer the students what they need in school, but it would come with somewhat of a catch, to where they would fill a position at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.

Bob Appleton, also a committee member, said this event is meant to allow the community to step up and be a part of it's future and help fund the future of TMH.

Tickets for the Gifts of the Season Signature Event are $40.00 each, and donations are welcome for those who want to help but cannot attend.


More information can be found online at taylorvillememorial.org/foundation/giving, on Facebook, or by calling the Foundation office at 824-1651.


Hixenbaugh and Appleton appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Tips for a Successful Thanksgiving from Beacon Professional Counseling

Thanksgiving is approaching and approaching fast. And with it begins the holiday season, where it seems as if there just isn't enough time to get everything done. Karen Vatthauer, Clinical Therapist and Owner of Beacon Professional Counseling gave some tips to make sure the Thanksgiving holiday will be a successful one for the hosts and their friends and family. Vatthauer said to make things less stressful when dealing with meal preparation, it's best to not let the host take on all of the meal duties, but to make it a fun event where everyone can bring their specialties.

Family feuds are also something to worry about when Thanksgiving comes around, and Vatthauer said the best way to handle it is to contact the people who are feuding, and ask them if they can put their differences aside for the holiday and be civil with the other person.

Vatthauer appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Two Vehicle Accident in Taylorville Tuesday Afternoon

There was a two vehicle accident near the intersection of Long and Park Street in Taylorville at about 2pm Tuesday afternoon. Early indications are that the westbound vehicle on Park crossed over the center line and struck a vehicle heading eastbound. According to the Taylorville Police Department alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the accident, and both drivers were being transported to local hospitals to be treated for minor injuries. Regional Radio News will have more details on this story as they become available.

Taylorville Schools Discuss Proposed Limiting Rate Increase

The Taylorville School Board met for their monthly session on Monday Night at the Administration Education Center in Taylorville. The meeting started off on a light and positive note, with discussion on the Taylorville FFA Chapter and their accomplishments. The Taylorville FFA Chapter just recently attended the National FFA Convention. A Taylorville FFA Administrator as well as several Taylorville FFA students thanked the school board for the opportunities they’ve had this year.



The discussion turned towards more serious matters, with the School Board reviewing the proposed 2016 Tax Levy for local funding. School Board Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau laid out the proposed Tax Levy, and said under the current tax formula and rates, and with uncertain state funding, the school district cannot sustain itself.



One proposed solution to this problem that has come from both the suggestions from the School Board as well as the local Citizens for Education group is an increase in the property tax rate, with the money going to fund the education system in Taylorville. The board had to come up with a suggestion on how many cents on the dollar that increase would be, so they can put together a proposal to be placed on the April election ballot. Board member Bruce Barry said he disagreed with the proposed rate from Citizens for Education.



Board Member Dennis Atteberry pointed out that even at the suggested rate from Citizens for Education of 85 cents, Taylorville residents would only see a minor per month increase in their taxes. Atteberry also said he thinks the citizens of Taylorville would vote for or against the increase regardless of how much the increase was.



A motion for a proposal to be written for a limiting rate increase based on the 85 cent rate increase passed with only one no vote. The school board also said to members of Citizens for Education in the crowd that the task is now on them to get the citizens of Taylorville behind the rate increase.

Hunter Finds Body of Missing Woman

A tragic outcome in the search for a missing Central Illinois woman. A hunter found the body of Jamie Harroun in her crashed pickup along a Peoria County Road. The 40-year-old Mackinaw woman went missing two weeks ago. There's no indication why her vehicle left the road. An autopsy shows she died shortly after the crash. Harroun was last seen October 31 in Galesburg. Her mother soon began appealing to the public for information about Harroun's whereabouts and a search was conducted Wednesday.


Tamoroa Soldier Among Those Killed in Bagram Suicide Bomber Attack

Defense Department officials confirm that one of the four Americans killed by a suicide bomber at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan was a Southern Illinois soldier. 20-year-old Army Private First Class Tyler Lubelt of Tamaroa was killed. He was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas. Pinckneyville High School Superintendent Keith Hagene reflects on the memory of Lubelt.

Lubelt suffered a major knee injury as a freshman, derailing his high school athletic career. He was able to rehab the knee in time to join the military after graduating.

November Peak Month For Vehicle-Deer Accidents

We are in the midst of the mating season for deer, and with hunting season kicking off this weekend more deer than ever will be on the move. That means a lot more collisions with deer on our roadways, says Tim Schweizer with the Il Dept of Natural Resources.

We average about 16,000 accidents involving deer each year in Illinois, resulting in over 600 injuries to people in those cars. And, again, November is the peak month for those accidents. With firearm deer season opening this weekend, expect even more deer on the move.

Christian County Historical Society Needs Funding, Otherwise, Major Changes Could Occur

The Christian County Historical Society is truly starting to see some hard times where their funding is running dry. Rachel Ward, Coordinator of the Christian County Historical Society, said if this continues, the society would be completely volunteer based and would be very limited to when it's open, but most likely wouldn't close up. Ward said this would be harmful to the community because without the Historical Society, where does the history of Christian County go?

Ward said the funding they're receiving is through grants and donations, which can both be very unreliable.

Ward appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Illinois State Historical Society Is Calling for Papers Regarding World War I and Women's Suffrage

The Illinois State Historical Society had a call for papers through November 11th, but is still accepting papers regarding women's suffrage. Gwen Podeschi, with the Illinois State Historical Society said although the deadline has passed, they will still take these historical papers and documents through the end of the year. Podeschi said good examples include registration cards from the draft for World War I.

Podeschi said from April 20 to the 22 Lincoln Land Community College is hosting the 2017 Illinois History Symposium. She said the symposium will commemorate the 100th anniversary of America entering World War I as well as the women's suffrage movement.

Podeschi appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Registration To Be a Master Gardener is Approaching

Registration to become a Master Gardener is approaching, and the current Master Gardeners are hoping to bring aboard at least a half dozen new people to the group. To become a Master Gardener through the University of Illinois Extension, someone must take a 12 week course to expand their basic knowledge of the different types of plants in the area. Linda Smith, a Master Gardener at the Extension Office, said the program isn't daunting, and it helps people get more acquainted with the area and plants themselves.

Smith said one of the main benefits of being a Master Gardener includes knowing and networking with other Master Gardeners, and growing your knowledge of gardening further.

Smith appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Theft in Taylorville This Week's Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a theft that occurred in Taylorville.


Sometime over the past week, person or persons unknown entered onto a property at 620 North Webster Street.  The property houses an office of the United States Department of Agriculture.  While there, the unknown subject or subjects took a black 2003 trailer, belonging to the USDA.  The trailer had a Plot Master planter on it and was parked in the parking lot on the East side of the property.   The total dollar amount of the item is unknown at this time.


Please contact Crimestoppers if you have any information on this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons.  Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you do not have to give your name.  Crimestoppers will pay double the normal reward for information that leads to an arrest for the crime of the week. 


You can contact Crimestoppers at 824-9100, at their website Christiancountycrimestoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

IDPH Asking Illinoisans to Smarten Up on Antibiotics

This week is “Get Smart About Antibiotics” week, and the Illinois Department of Public Heath is asking Illinoisans to learn how they can help prevent the misuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs, however according to IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, up to 50% of all antibiotics prescribed are either not needed or are not as effective as intended.


Shah also said because of misuse, antibiotic resistant bacterial infections are becoming more common. He encouraged everyone to take the time to learn how they can keep antibiotics working.


Antibiotics are medicines that treat bacterial infections. They do not cure infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold or flu. The IDPH points out that taking antibiotics when you don’t need them, can prevent them from working when you do.

Shelby Memorial Hospital has Special Guest Speaker for Diabetes Awareness and Wellness Seminar

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and Shelby Memorial Hospital has a special event planned to get the word out of the ways it's program's can help people of the community. Glenda Plunkett, Marketing coordinator for Shelby Memorial Hospital, said SMH is holding their Diabetes Awareness and Wellness Event next Thursday and there will be free health information, goody bags, and a raffle bag. She said the seminar is free, and no registration is required.

There will be three speakers joining the seminar speaking about what SMH offers for wellness. They will also have a special guest speaker, who was a finalist on “The Biggest Loser.” Sonya Jones, was that finalist and she is also an Outreach Representative for HSHS Medical Group, and will be talking about how people can “Join the Journey” and become healthier.

Plunkett and Jones appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios. 

Shelbyville Festival of Lights Excited to Bring Carriage Rides to This Year's Festivities

The Shelbyville Festival of Lights kicks off next Friday with the Annual Soup Supper at the Shelby County Senior Center in Forest Park. But that's just where the month long celebration begins. Freddie Fry, Director of the Shelby County Office of Tourism, said this year they will be offering carriage rides throughout the park every Friday and Saturday for six straight weeks.

Fry said she thinks Shelbyville is very lucky to have the opportunity to maintain this type of Christmas display throughout the holiday season, considering most communities its size don't usually do that.

Fry appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

J&R Collisions is Happy to be A Part of the Tight Knit Community of Shelbyville

J&R Collisions has now been in Shelbyville for 7 months, and has seen a positive repose from the community for their service. Owner Jake Buhnerkempe followed his father's footsteps and opened his first body shop in 2010 in St. Louis. In 2014, Buhnerkempe expanded his operation to Effingham, and once again in Shelbyville this past April. He said he's extremely happy with his choice of bringing his business to the area, especially since it's such a tight knit community.

Buhnerkempe said he's already surpassed his first year goals, and his extensive goal for J&R Collisions is to truly be a part of the community and give back as much as he can.

Buhnerkempe appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Rauner Says Salutes to Veterans Don't End With Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, Governor Bruce Rauner reminded Illinoisans that the thank yous for veterans won't end with the passing of the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Rauner noted the celebration of veterans will continue through the month.


Rauner made stops in Springfield and Champaign to salute vets. 

Professor: Schock Investigation Was Thorough

Illinois State University politics and government professor Tom McClure says federal investigators went through "everything" while investigating former Congressman Aaron Schock. A federal grand jury indicted Schock today on 24 counts, including wire fraud and theft of funds.

Schock resigned last year amid questions regarding his campaign spending. Being convicted on a single wire fraud count carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. McClure says it's likely Schock will at least be forced to pay restitution.

Brown Says Mendoza Tends to Beat the Odds

Comptroller-Elect Susana Mendoza cruised to victory over incumbent Leslie Munger. The spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, Steve Brown, says Mendoza has a knack for defying the odds and making a strong impression.

Lincoln Museum Rolls Out Red Carpet for Veterans

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is rolling out the red carpet for the nation's veterans Friday. Active duty and retired military personnel as well as Gold Star families will be provided free admission Friday. There will also be a powerful tribute to those lost since the 9/11 attacks from a Mattoon artist. The museum's Chris Wills says the sketches of all Illinois military personnel lost by Cameron Schilling hits a nerve.


Schilling's sketches will be displayed next to another screen featuring quotes honoring military sacrifice from Abraham Lincoln. The exhibit will remain on display through Monday. There will be a wreath laying ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday.

Steve Henry Doesn't Expect Much Change to Investing Under Trump

Donald Trump’s surprising victory in Tuesday’s Presidential Election has many people asking questions. One of those questions is what will the markets look like under the Trump regime? WTIM Investment Professional Steve Henry says he didn’t see much difference between the two candidate’s economic agenda.



Henry said he expects some inflation, however for the investment thesis to remain largely the same.



For more investment advice you can contact Steve Henry at CSH Investment Management in Taylorville.

Miller Media Group's Michael Pickett Speaks at Taylorville Kiwanis Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.


Miller Media Group’s Michael Pickett was the Program Speaker this week, and spoke about his educational background, as well as his career in radio, and what brought him to Taylorville. Michael is the News and Sports Reporter at MMG, and talked about some of his daily responsibilities at WTIM.


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.

Pana Community Hospital Foundation Exceeds 3D Mammography Fundraising Goal

The Pana Community Hospital Foundation have announced that the 3D Mammography Fundraising Campaign has surpassed their goal of raising $200,000. Kim Rodgers with the Pana Community Hospital Foundation said the fundraising started last year.



Rodgers spoke on the many fundraising events the Foundation put on to help with the 3D Mammography campaign, and mentioned the campaign ended up exceeding their goal.



Rodgers said the businesses and individuals in the community were very welcoming and ready to help the fundraising campaign.



For more information on Pana Community Hospital or the PCH Foundation, visit online at panahospital.com.

Taylorville Chamber Going to Veteran's Day Celebrations Friday and Saturday

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day and the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is focused on providing a way for the community to celebrate. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said they'll be out at the American Legion in Taylorville tomorrow starting at 10:00 for the annual Veteran's Day celebration. She said while there is a lot going on in the country and people aren't fully together, tomorrow is a day to focus on thanking and remembering our vets.

Hornbuckle said there will be live music, a guest speaker, and the public is invited to attend.

Hornbuckle also said she will be celebrating Veteran's Day on Saturday at Life's Journey Senior Living in Taylorville while she is there for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at their Fall Festival.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

U of I Extension Office Holding Apple Program and Pruning Workshop Friday

The Horticulture Department of the University of Illinois Extension is busy tomorrow as there are two workshops scheduled. The first, is a program that explains how to prepare and plant apple trees, as well as how to care for them and prune them. Then it they explain ways to use the apples for meals, to give the body better nutrients. Andrew Holsinger, Horticultre Educator at the extension office said one of the key things to keep in mind when growing an apple tree is to have patience.

That program is held at 1:30 at the Extension office off Webster Street in Taylorville, and could last a couple of hours. Holsinger said it costs $5 to participate and the extension prefers people to register ahead of time.

Holsinger said tomorrow night he is holding a workshop dedicated only to pruning trees and shrubs, that explains when is the best time of year to prune different types of trees, and what the benefits are.

The Pruning Workshop will last from 6:00-7:30 and will also be held at the extension office.

Holsinger appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Duckworth Coasts to Senate Win

Tammy Duckworth is moving from the US House to the Senate. She coasted past incumbent Republican Mark Kirk last night and told her supporters her message hit the right target.


Senator Mark Kirk didn't waste time in making his concession speech, and it clearly had an upbeat tone...

After Election, Back to Legislative Work in DC and Springfield

Now that the election is behind us, it’s back to work in Springfield and Washington. The upcoming annual veto session in Springfield is a lot like the lame duck session of congress in Washington, where lingering issues need to be addressed. In Springfield, the budget is the big topic, of course, but Chris Mooney, Dir of the Institute of Government and Public Policy at the U of I, says the continuing battle between Governor Rauner and Speaker Madigan likely means no real progress on resolving the States financial crisis.

Meanwhile, in Washington there is still hope for a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, in the lame duck session. Jenny Hopkinson follows ag and rural issues for the website POLITICO.

Jenny Hopkinson of POLITO. Also, watch for a full change of cabinet and agency appointments with a change of administration in DC.

Rodney Davis Wants to Take A Closer Look at the Affordable Care Act

Taylorville native Rodney Davis (R) won his bid for re-election as 13th District Representative in the US House. Davis is excited to get back to Washington and get back to work, and highlighted one issue that he feels the country needs to take a close look at.



Davis also tipped his hat to other members of the Republican party in Christian County, and talked about how the political landscape has shifted in the county.



Davis said he was excited to take the values of the peoples of the 13th Congressional District, and represent them in Washington.

Mike Havera Thanks People of Christian County for his Re-Election

With the 2016 election over and results tallied, Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera (D) will remain as State’s Attorney for another 4 year term. Havera ran a campaign mostly based on his resume over the last four years, and spoke on some of the issues that he’s seen during his time in office.



Havera said it’s important for his office to stay on top of those issues moving forward.



Wrapping up his time speaking with Regional Radio News, Havera wanted to thank the people of Christian County for believing in him, and re-electing him as State’s Attorney.


The Holiday Season Calls for Experimentation with New Cheeses, STL Dairy Council has Suggestions

The holiday season is coming up fast and the St. Louis Dairy Council wants to help people get creative with their use of dairy in holiday feasts. One way to do this is to use different kinds of cheese to add different flavors than normal to a dish. Joyce Fikri, Nutrition Educator from the St. Louis Dairy Council said it's important to add cheese and dairy to parts of the meal because it provides health benefits and can be a way to get kids to eat their vegetables.

Fikri said the Dairy Council has free booklets available for anyone who wants to try new ways to pair their cheese during the holidays.

To get a hold of the booklet email info@stldaircouncil.org. Fikri appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Top Ranked CNB Bank and Trust has Loan Officers Dedicated to the Community

CNB Bank and Trust is dedicated to helping the local and rural communities, and they have commercial and ag loan officers that prove just how much they care. Mike Brokaw (Broh-Kah), Loan Officer from CNB Bank is a part of the Christian County LEAD Program, The Chirstian County AG Group, the 4-H Advisory Council, and much more, and is always looking for more things he can do to help his community. Brokaw said he is a part of all of these groups because he wants to understand his community's needs and challenges.

Brokaw said one thing that's special about CNB Bank and Trust is they have recently been named as one of the Top 25 Agriculture Loan Producers in the nation, and the only one in Illinois.

Brokaw appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Burglary This Weeks Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.


Sometime between Friday, October 28, 2016 and November 1, 2016, person or persons unknown made entry into a building located at 1323 ½ East Park Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took numerous items, including: an Oxy Acetylene torch, 3 weed eaters, a Honda moped, a Yamaha moped, a 1965 Harley Davidson dirt bike, a outboard motor, and numerous tools.  There was damage done while making entry.  The total amount of items taken and damage is unknown at this time.



Please contact Crimestoppers if you have any information on this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons.  Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you do not have to give your name.  Crimestoppers will pay double the normal reward for information that leads to an arrest for the crime of the week. 


You can contact Crimestoppers at 824-9100, at our website Christiancountycrimestoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

Mike Havera Wins Re-Election as Christian County State's Attourney

Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera won his bid for re-election on Tuesday. Havera, who was up against challenger Deb Riley for the position, said he was tired, but excited, and ready to move on to focusing on the next four years.



Havera said he was happy with the race he ran. He mentioned how he largely ran on his resume, and how that resonated with the voters in Christian County.



Havera also mentioned that he’s grown over the past four years and changed the way he looks at various cases, and that he’s been able to accomplish several goals he set out for himself, such as increasing cooperation between local law enforcement, and the state’s attorney's office.

Rodney Davis Wins Re-Election

One of the contested races in Tuesday’s election was for the US House of Representatives District 13 seat. Incumbent and Taylorville native Rodney Davis ended up keeping the seat, beating his challenger Mark Wicklund. Davis said that he was excited to get back to Washington to address the issues facing the country.



Davis mentioned that he’s excited to work with other members of his party to work on the problems facing the country.



Davis also mentioned that the Tuesday’s election was an example of the American people desiring change in the country.


These are the current percentages in races througout the Regional Radio News coverage area. All results are not final until 100% of the votes have been tallied. Results are as up to date as they are reported to Regional Radio News.


US Senate

Tammy Duckworth (D) 55%

Mark Kirk (R) 40%


US House District 13

Rodney Davis (R) 60%

Mark Wicklund (D) 40%


95th Representative Illinois House-----WITH 100% REPORTING

Mike Mathis (D) 43%

Avery Bourne (R) 57%


Illinois Comptroller

Susana Mendoza (D) 49%

Leslie Munger (R) 45%


Appellate Court 5th Judicial District-----WITH 100% REPORTING

John Barberis (R) 59%

Brad Bleyer (D) 41%


Appellate Court 5th Judicial District----WITH 100% REPORTING

Jo Beth Weber (D) 45%

James "Randy" Moore (R) 55%




Illinois Safe Roads Amendment

YES 79%

NO 21%


Mike Havera (D) 59%
Deborah Riley (R) 41%
Christian County Board District 1
Joe Nolan (D) 21%
Fred Curtin (D) 19%
Timothy Carlson (R) 34%
Leon Craig Corzine (R) 27%
CC Board District 2
Charles DeClerk (D) 23%
Teresa Swiney (D) 22%
Vicki McMahon (R) 31%
David Howell (R) 24%
CC Board D3
Mike McClure (D) 33%
Molley Alaria (R) 34%
Jack Pearce Jr. (R) 33%
CC Board D4
Geoff Burris (D) 21%
Joshua Ishmael (D) 20%
Philip Schneider (R) 31%
Becky Edwards (R) 27%
Chris Matoush (D) 50%
Erik Hyam (R) 49%
Barbara A. Schmedeke (D) 43%
Randy A. Leetham (R) 56%
Montgomery Co Board District 1
Connie Taylor Beck (R) 46%
Jeremy L. Jones (R) 39%
Mont. Co. Board D2
Chuck Graden (R) 53%
Gene Miles (R) 46%
Mont. Co. Board D5
Richard Wendel (D) 44%
Glenn E. Savage II (R) 55%
Mont. Co. Board D7
Glenn Bishop (R) 38%
Mary Bathurst (R) 27%
Dillon C. Clark (D) 33%

Christian County Senior Citizen's Center Need Donations to Help with FY17 Cutbacks

With the end of the year approaching, the Christian County Senior Citizen's Center is expecting to see some cutbacks starting in January. Gerry Mahr, Executive Director of the Senior Center said these cutbacks could affect transportation and maybe even lunches, and they will continue until a full budget is passed.

Mahr said they are always grateful for donations, whether they are through money, time or supplies. He said there's a list of items they need, and a list of volunteer opportunities at the center for people who are interested in helping. 

To volunteer or find out how to donate contact the Christian County Senior Citizen's Center at 824-4263. Mahr appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Kids, Cops, and Christmas as Beneficial to Police as the Children

The holiday season is approaching fast and the Taylorville Police Department has a program in mind to make sure kids in the community can have the best possible Christmas. Kids, Cops and Christmas is already accepting nominations for kids in the county to be chosen to have a $100 Christmas shopping spree. Sargent Alan Mills with the Taylorville Police Department said this is a fun day not only for the kids but for the Taylorville PD, as the kids get to go wild and make sure they get a dream present this year.

Sargent Mills said there is generally about 40-50 kids chosen to participate in the fun every year, but the number can vary depending on how much money the Taylorville Police Department can raise and how much people in the county donate. He said all of the money raised goes directly to Kids, Cops, and Christmas.

Sargent Mills appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Ag and Rural Issue Election Website

In this presidential election, you probably have noticed the campaign have been heavy on personality, but light on specific policy. This is especially true with policy impacting agriculture and rural America. Except for trade and immigration, most issues have gotten little attention, but both candidates, and the political parties, have policy platforms. Cody Lyon, political affairs specialist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, has been compiling that information.

Lyon says all that information is now posted on a new blogsite.

Cody Lyon with the American Farm Bureau Federation. Election16.FB.org is the site for a little more in depth information on agricultural policy and Tuesday’s election.

Durbin Gives Low Marks to Wikileaks On Fair Play

Hacked e-mails to the Hillary Clinton Campaign have generated a fair amount of publicity. Senator Dick Durbin points to Russia and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange as culprits in what he believes is a one sided information war on the Clinton camp.

5 Million Watch Cubs Parade

The party is far from over but the official festivities are now complete for the Chicago Cubs. The team had their parade today and the city of Chicago says nearly 5 million people lined the parade route and filled Grant Park to cheer one more time. Cubs First Baseman Anthony Rizzo caught the final out and held on the ball during the celebration. Today he was on stage and found the right man to hand that ball too.

State's Economy Growing, But Lagging Behind

The state’s economy isn’t doing much better this fall. The University of Illinois Flash Index hit a four year low. The index is a way of measuring economic growth in the state. The index, based on a reading of 100 showing growth in the economy but in October the number was 104.3, the lowest reading since November of 2012. Fred Giertz is the University of Illinois Economist who tracks the index says state’s economy is lagging for a few reasons. 

The index takes into account growth in the economy by calculating personal incomes, along with sales and corporate taxes.

Poll Watchers Need Credentials

Poll watchers are in the news surrounding Election Day on Tuesday. But they have very specific things they can and can’t do. Jim Tenuto with the State Board of Elections says that poll watchers have a process to go through before Election Day. 

Jim Tenuto with the State Board of Elections says that poll watchers can at the polls before they open and as they close.


Election Judges are the individuals that maintain control over polling places and they would take any concerns that the poll watchers have and act accordingly.

Taylorville City Council Debates Over MFT Funds

The Taylorville City Council met in their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night at the Taylorville Municipal Building. The council approved Police Chief Brian Hile’s appointment of Vince Childers as his Deputy Police Chief, in a unanimous vote. Childers took his oath of office, and shook hands with the council.


Another item on the agenda regarded a resolution for maintenance to city streets. The resolution got tricky when it came to where the funds will come from for the projects. Alderman Larry Budd was against the resolution, saying how money the city would get for projects such as this through the motor fuel tax funds the city receives from the state, would not reimburse funds used from the city’s general fund on the projects.



Alderman Rob Heberling said how funding projects the way the resolution funded them was simply allowing the city to skip a step of transferring funds across various city bank accounts.



City Attorney Rocci Romano attempted to explain the resolution in further detail.



Romano went on to say that if funds are used out of the general fund for projects that could use motor fuel tax money, the general fund can be reimbursed through money from the motor fuel tax.



Ultimately the resolution passed by a vote of 5 to 2 with 1 abstain.

Life Journey Senior Living Holding Fall Festival Saturday, Money Raised Going to Local Veterans

Life Journey Senior Living in Taylorville is holding their first ever Fall Festival this weekend to celebrate Veteran’s Day and give back a little extra to local vets this weekend. Kristan Patnode, Marketing Director of Life's Journey said the Fall Festival will have live music played throughout the event coming from Leslie Morris, Hillbilly Circus, The Wolf Creek Boys and John Stevens. She said there will also be craft vendors at the festival and a portion of the sales from each craft vendor will go to Taylorville's local VFW.

Patnode said on the off chance someone doesn't see something they want to buy from the vendors, there will be donation booths, where people can still donate to the veteran's directly. She also said during the Fall Festival they will have a place where people can donate coats for veteran's and the elderly this winter.

The Life's Journey Fall Festival is taking place this Saturday, November 12th from 10:00-4:00 at their offices on McAdam Drive in Taylorville.

Patnode appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

CTI Celebrate Gimmie Fiber Day

CTI celebrated “Gimmie Fiber Day” on Friday with a celebration at their offices that included activities such as laser tag, food and more. CTI also recently won an award from the Fiber to the Home Council. Heather Gold, President of the Fiber to the Home Council was on hand for the festivities and said why CTI won the award.



Gold said the award was presented to CTI at a previous event, and how it celebrates how CTI has been able to provide fiber internet services to Taylorville.



Bobbie Durbin, General Manager of CTI shared what CTI was doing to celebrate both the award and Gimmie Fiber Day.


Rebeccas Antiques Celebrates Grand Opening With Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

A local business in Taylorville celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. Rebecca’s Antiques on the southeast corner of the Taylorville Square recently moved to the new location on the square, and renovated the location. Rebecca Steiner, owner of Rebecca’s Antiques told a crowd of local officials how the renovation process wasn’t easy, especially when it came to the original tin ceilings.



The store also received some help from the City of Taylorville due to Steiner’s decision to renovate the location inside and out.



It was a community effort to get the new location up and running. Steiner said how even the local Taylorville Tornado football team helped with the move.



Rebecca’s Antiques can be found on the southeast corner of the Taylorville Square at 100 West Market Street, and is open Monday through Saturday.

Christian County Coroners Office Investigating Death in Moweaqua *UPDATE*

An autopsy was held in Bloomington on Saturday morning for 35 year old Tyler Lecocq of Taylorville. Preliminary autopsy results  are pending toxicology studies. There is no heart disease, infection, tumor, or internal injury. Toxicology results should be available in the coming weeks. Mr. Lecocq was pronounced dead on November 4, 2016 in Rural Christian County. Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigations, Christian County Sheriff Office, and Christian County Coroner's office are handling the investigation.

Lake Shelbyville Mobile Disability Deere Hunt Takes Place in Two Weeks

Lake Shelbyville is preparing for it's Deer Hunt for People with Disabilities and Wounded Warriors Weekend. The hunt is taking place from November 18th-20th. Sarah Randall, Natural Resource Specialist, with the Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville said the participants applied for the hunt in March, and are now very eager to get going. She said the lake is expecting 20-25 hunters to take place in the event, and most of their recreation areas will be open for them.

Randall said after the hunter makes a kill, their volunteer will get the deer for them and the hunter will have a couple options of what to do with the meat.

Sign ups for the hunt are closed, but the Lake is looking for more volunteers for the event. To volunteer contact Lake Shelbyville at 217-774-2244. Randall appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

Vonda McConnell Urges Shelbyville People to Shop Local so Tax Dollars go Back to City

The Holiday Season is approaching fast and the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce has a way to celebrate. The Shelbyville Chamber is hosting the 6th annual Hometown Holiday Shop Shelbyville Show from 1:00-5:00 on December 4th.  Vonda McConnell with the Chamber said the Show will be at Moulton Middle School, and any chamber members can set up and bring merchandise for free.

And before then, McConnell still wants people to do what they can to shop local for their other purchases because it helps the community and the tax dollars go directly back to the community. She said many shops in the area offer great deals and ideas for the holiday season.

McConnell appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios. 

Shelbyville Chautauqua Preservation Committee has December Events Already in Mind

As December and the holiday season nears so does the Festival of Trees. Brenda Freeman, with the Chautauqua Preservation Committee, is organizing the event, and said this year will have some changes including location. She said this year it will be paired with the Hometown Holiday Shop Shelbyville show at Moulton Middle School.

The Festival of Trees will take place Sunday December 5th from 1-5 p.m.


Brenda Elder, also with the Chautauqua Preservation Committee said in December, the committee is also having a home tour to show off people's homes during the holiday season.

Elder said the upper level of that house is not yet ready, but Shelbyville locals are interested to see what Davis has done with the house since she acquired it.


Freeman and Elder appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios. 

Bourne Angry About Lewd, Fake Photos

Politics is getting pretty ugly and it doesn't always require your opponent to upset the apple cart these days. State Representative Avery Bourne is offering an angry response to the shipment of lewd, fake photos of her to voters and family members.


In a statement, the Bourne camp says they take the "disgusting" threat and act of intimidation very seriously and are working with state and local law enforcement to investigate. Bourne's opponent Mike Mathis also weighed in.


Bourne's office is urging anyone with information to call 217-836-2177.

Speed Limit Increased on Rt 29

The Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that the speed limit on Illinois Route 29 between Taylorville and Rochester will increase to 65 miles per hour starting Friday (today). The increase coincides with the recent expansion of the highway to two lanes in each direction.


Although the additional lanes will improve the flow of traffic, IDOT urges motorists to remain vigilant of traffic signs and changing traffic patterns, especially on intersecting roads.


To help motorists adjust to the new speed limits, IDOT has placed portable speed indicator trailers where the speed limits will change. These trailers are not speed enforcement cameras, and will be used for the first couple of weeks as reminders for travelers. IDOT encourages everyone to keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, avoid using handheld mobile devices, and to always buckle up.

Statewide Sessions To Begin On Future Food and Farm Policy

Think you have no interest in federal farm law? Think again, because more than 75-percent of the billions spent on that legislation goes to food programs for the needy, such as the so-called SNAP, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, and school breakfast and lunch programs. Illinois Farm Bureau along with beef, corn, pork and soybean organizations have teamed up on a series of meetings next week to start the planning process for the next so-called farm bill. University of Illinois assistant professor Jonathan Coppess will help moderate the sessions, the first that will take place Tuesday in Mt. Vernon;

Federal farm bills have traditionally tied food programs to help the poor along with so-called safety net, or crop insurance programs, designed to help farmers during periods of low commodity prices. Tuesday’s session starts at 6:00 p-m at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon. Another takes place November 22nd in Normal. The final farm bill session occurs November 29th in Sycamore. For more information and to register you can go to FarmWeekNow-dot-com.

October Was Warm, November Expected to Be

The state just finished up with one of the ten warmest October’s on record and now November is looking to continue that trend. State Climatologist Jim Angel says that this month is expected to warmer than normal. Some spots in the state might be a little on the dry side. 

Overall October was the 7th warmest on record, sitting about 5 degrees above average. And so far this year Illinois has had 9 of the first 10 months go down as warmer than normal.

Illinois Voters Voting Early

Less than a week before the election, candidates might focus on the undecided vote in close races. IN 2016, many Illinoisans haven't just decided on their favorite candidates, they've already voted. State Board of Elections records show 12 percent of Illinois' record 8 million registered voters have already cast ballots. Early voting in person, voting by mail and voters using grace period registration are key factors. Most of the one million Illinoisans who have already cast ballots voted in person. Four years ago, nearly 16 percent of registered voters voted early. 

Business After Hours At Ace Hardware This Month

There has been a slight change in plans to the Business After Hours schedule for this month. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce said the Chamber shuffled some things around for the next two months.



Hornbuckle said Ace Hardware puts on a fantastic event, with plenty of refreshments and door prizes. She also mentioned how the events are a great opportunity for Chamber Members to network.



Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Judge John Barberis Says He Wants to get Money and Politics Out of the Courtroom

Judge John Barberis is running for a seat on the 5th District Appellate Court. Judge Baberis said that he initially wasn’t intending on running for the Appellate Court until approached by people asking if he’d be interested in running. He said after giving it some thought, he decided to run for the position for the same reasons why he ran for circuit judge.



Judge Barberis said how he wants to change this and get money and politics out of the courtroom. Judge Barberis mentioned how his opponent had recently been supported by big law firms who raised big money for his campaign, and how he refuses to take any money from law firms for his campaigns.



Judge John Barberis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville PBPA Accepting Donations and Nominations for Kids, Cops, and Christmas Program

The Taylorville Police Benevolent and Protection Association is asking the community to help provide a Merry Christmas for less fortunate children in Christian County, by donating to the Kids, Cops, and Christmas Program. Sgt. Alan Mills with the Taylorville Police Department explained how the program works.



The program will begin taking nominations for families to assist beginning on November 8th. Mills said how the nomination process works.



Mills explained how easy it can be to make a donation.



The program which is over 20 years old has helped hundreds of children in the community enjoy a brighter Christmas. If you have any questions about the program, contact Sgt. Alan Mills at the Taylorville Police Department.

Deborah Riley Says Her Office Will Be More Transparent and Efficient If Elected State's Attorney

Deborah Riley is running to be elected Christian County State’s Attorney. Riley said one of the reasons she’s running for the position is because of a lack of transparency with the current Christian County State’s Attorney.



Riley also mentioned how people will go through the Christian County court system, appearing in court on a notice to appear, only to find out the State’s Attorney hasn’t filed charges in their matter yet. Riley said her plan is to speed up the process of filing charges.



Deborah Riley appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Cubs Win World Series

A 108 year wait is over. The Chicago Cubs won the World Series. A game that started on one day and ended on another was a fitting way to erase a century plus of pain and suffering. The 10th inning 8 to 7 win will be forever remembered. Cubs First Baseman Anthony Rizzo caught the final out and charged a pile of teammates with the ball.

The World Series MVP was Ben Zobrist who singled in the winning run. Zobrist is a Eureka (Illinois) native and went to Eureka High School and this is his 2nd World Series title.

A game 7 that had everything also had a brief rain delay. During the 15 minutes or so the teams were off the field, Right Fielder Jason Heyward called a players only meeting. The words were spot on according to World Series MVP Ben Zobrist.

Taylorville Memoral Hospital Upgrades It's Website

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has upgraded it’s website. Kim Bourne, President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital said the new website allows for greater access to online services and information.



The upgrades aren’t limited to just the Hospital’s website either. The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation’s page also received an update that will allow people to support the Foundation through what they buy on Amazon.



Bourne said that patients can also pay their bills, view their patient portal, and volunteer with the hospital all through their website.

National Ag Teacher Shortage

Every college student is faced with finding a job in their field after graduation. While many graduates continue to struggle finding good jobs, those students who major in Agriculture often get multiple job offers. This is especially true for Ag Education Majors.
Ellen Thompson, with the National Teach Ag Campaign, says every year hundreds of Ag teaching positions go unfilled due to a shortage of qualified teachers.

Thompson was speaking recently at the national FFA convention in Indianapolis.
Nationwide, there are nearly 12,000 Ag teaching positions, and annually there are about 1,000 openings due to retirement and teachers changing careers, but Colleges with Ag Education programs only graduate about 700 new teachers per year to fill those 1,000 positions.

Ellen Thompson of the National Teach Ag Campaign. Ag teachers leave the profession for other opportunities at a higher rate than most teachers due to higher paying opportunities in agri-business for people with degrees in agriculture. 

Put Your Baby To Bed the Right Way

Are you putting your young kids to sleep the right way? The State Department of Children and Family Services says there are a few easy steps to take to protect your baby. For a child under the age of 1 DCFS says sleeping is the number one safety issue. At that age babies and parents need to be following the ABC’s, sleeping alone, on their back and in a safe crib, DCFS’s Jennifer Florent.

Babies all need to sleep in cribs without stuffed animals, bumper pads or pillows and they shouldn’t be put to bed on a couch where they could roll over and suffocate. 

State's Attorney Mike Havera Explains His Side On Opponent's Accusations

State's Attorney Mike Havera is running to be re-elected at his position for the next four years. He said he believes the past four years were successful and he accomplished the goals he set for himself when he was elected the first time, such as improving the relationship between his office and local law enforcement, as well as standing tall for victim's rights. Havera said, if re-elected, in the next four years he helps to continue to improve those original goals and provide court programs to help those who need it.

Havera also wanted to point out the negative ads his opponent released against him that said he may only be the Christian County State's Attorney for one day, if he's chosen to be a judge. He said the ad is misleading and highly illogical.

State's Attorney Havera appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Judge Brad Bleyer Thinks He is More Qualified Than Opponent For Appellate Court Position

Judge Brad Bleyer is a candidate in the election next week to become a judge on the 5th District Appellate Court which covers 37 counties in south and south central Illinois. The open position is one that's important to fill with the right person who will be impartial to cases and judge based on the state constitution, not their own beliefs. Bleyer said with his qualifications, he's the right fit for the job.

Bleyer said one reason he feels like he is better suited for the position on the court over his opponent is because he has more experience on the bench, where his opponent has been on the bench for only two years.

Judge Bleyer appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Judge James R. Randy Moore Unhappy with Negative Advertisements Against Him

Judge James R. “Randy” Moore is running for one of the open seat on the 5th District Appellate Court. Judge Moore holds a temporary position on the court as he was appointed to the position, but he is looking to hold a more permanent position by being voted in rather than being appointed. During this campaign process, Moore said he hasn't been a fan of all of the negative advertisements from his opponent.

He said the ads are misleading and don't reflect the truth about him and his experience as a judge.

Judge Moore appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Residential Burglary This Weeks Crimestoppers Crime Of The Week

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a burglary that occurred in Taylorville.


Sometime during the afternoon hours of Thursday October 20, 2016, person or persons unknown made entry into a garage, located at 315 East Pleasant Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took: a 55” Sony flat screen and a Acer laptop computer.  No damage appeared to be done while making entry.  The total dollar amount of items taken is estimated at $850.


Please contact Crimestoppers if you have any information on this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons.  Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000.00 for information that leads to an arrest and you do not have to give your name.  Crimestoppers will pay double the normal reward for information that leads to an arrest for the crime of the week. 


You can contact Crimestoppers at 824-9100, at our website Christiancountycrimestoppers.org, or by texting CRIMES (274632) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  


Taylorville Kiwanis Club Holds Monthly Business Meeting at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their monthly business meeting at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium, to review ongoing efforts for children and youth projects in the Taylorville community.

Priority One chairperson Harriett Morrissey reported that the local club will provide coats for Head Start children this week, as part of the Kiwanis Club's annual “Coats for Kids” program. Over 70 children will benefit from coats, hats and gloves being provided by the local club.

Kiwanis Park chairperson Jerry Woodard reported that a 9-hold disc golf course is being discussed as a possible addition.

And, Taylorville Kiwanis High School Key Club president Noah Nelson reported that the club collected some one-thousand dollars for the United Nations International Children's Fund during their trick or treating earlier this week, and the Key Club will be hosting a basketball tournament at the end of November.  Nelson added the local Kiwanis Key Club at Taylorville High School has over 80 members.

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.

Christian County Senior Citizens Center Holding 11th Annual Pub Stool Open Saturday

Thirteen bars in Taylorville will be teaming up this Saturday with the Christian County Senior Citizens Center for their 11th annual Pub Stool Open. Gerry Mahr with the Senior Citizens Center explained what the open is.



The open which is essentially a miniature golf tournament played around Taylorville is a fun way to help fund-raise for the transportation program. Mahr said how there is also a cash prize for the team that wins the event.



Participants also don’t need to worry about transportation for the event, as the Senior Citizens Center has that covered.



The event begins on Saturday at 11, and teams have up until the event start time to register. For more information on the Pub Stool Open, contact the Christian County Senior Citizens Center.

Shelbyville Chautauqua Committee and Festival of Lights Partnering Up

The Shelbyville Chautauqua Committee is partnering with the Shelbyville Festival of Lights for their display this year. Brenda Elder with the Chautauqua Committee said the organizations partnered for the display since the two have had a good relationship in the past.



Elder said the Chautauqua Committee will be providing carriage rides through the festival this year, providing a unique way to experience the festival.



The Festival of Lights and Chautauqua Committee will also be splitting the costs of the annual kickoff soup supper.



Elder also said that the costs of the carriage rides will go towards fundraising of restoring the Chautauqua Building in Shelbyville.

Navy Sub with Illinois Name Commissioned

A new Navy ship is headed towards the water bearing the name of the state. The USS Illinois is a Virginia class submarine that was commissioned with help of the First Lady and a number of Navy dignitaries. Lt. Commander Preston Gilman, the ships Executive Officer says that sub is on the cutting edge of naval technology. 

The Illinois is the 13th Virginia Class sub in the Navy fleet. The sub has a crew of about 130 and is 377 feet long and can dive to depths of 800 feet. The first Navy ship named Illinois was a battleship built in 1901.

Munger: Bonus Pay Complaints Are Bogus

Comptroller Leslie Munger is responding to criticism from opponent Susana Mendoza when it comes to Munger's office cutting paychecks that include bonuses. Governor Rauner awarded bonuses to merit comp employees who hadn't had seen raises in sometime. While Mendoza criticized her for cutting the checks with the bonuses included, Munger said her lack of options was clear.

Munger continues to avoid expressing support or opposition to Donald Trump.

State Representative Avery Bourne Fights Back on Accusations

One of the main ways State Representative Avery Bourne campaigns and gets in touch with people is by going door to door to find out what the people are most uneasy about in the state of Illinois. She said one of the biggest issues she found is that people are frustrated with the government. Bourne said she thinks this can be fixed through political term limits and redistricting in he near future.

Bourne said her opponent Mike Mathis accused her of not supporting any of the programs in the last state budget and hasn't done enough to represent her district. She said, through fact checking, people can see these allegations just aren't true.

Bourne said, Politico, an independent fact checking group, rated these accusations as “Pants on Fire” lies.

Representative Bourne appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

What Being a State Representative Means to Mike Mathis

A State Representative's purpose is to go to the capital and vote to represent the district's views on issues and bills in the state. Mike Mathis thinks that job isn't fully being done by Representative Avery Bourne. He says he and the people are frustrated with the job Illinois State Officials are doing, and he looks to change that, if elected, by voting on as many issues as he possibly can.

Mathis said he thinks he can help make Illinois great by reaching out and getting both sides of the government to work together and have positive change come to Illinoisans.

Mathis appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Misty Borrowman Named National Bank President and Appointed to Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of National Bank recently promoted Misty Borrowman to President, as well as appointing her to the Bank’s Board of Directors. She will take over the position from Harry Hutchinson, who will assume the position of President of National Bank’s parent company, Country Bancorp Inc.


Borrowman joined National Bank in early 2010 as Chief Financial Officer and was promoted to Chief Executive Officer in 2015. Her previous career experience includes 11 years with Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, where she worked in corporate accounting and later as the Executive Assistant to the VP of Human Resources. Borrowman is a CPA, and attended Western Illinois University. She currently serves as a Director and Treasurer for the Montgomery CEO Program.

TCCU Scholarship Program Back For 3rd Year

Taylorville Community Credit Union’s Scholarship Program is back for it’s third year, and has also expanded. This year the awards for students have increased from $500 to $1000, and will be presented to six graduates from Taylorville, Litchfield, and Hillsboro High Schools. Several new businesses have also come on board for the program.


From November 9th through February 28th, tri-county residents are encouraged to “stop, shop, and vote”, in participating businesses. For every $10 a shopper spends in a participating business, they can cast one vote for any of the registered students featured on the posters on the store’s windows.


The program is designed to benefit both area students as well as businesses. 


The participating Taylorville businesses are:


  • A Classic Bouquet

  • Amenities on Main

  • Anderson Jewelers

  • Angelo’s

  • Audrey’s Boutique and Luxuries

  • Battery Specialists

  • Bella Amore

  • Betty Rose’s Furniture

  • Contemporary Cuts

  • Cottage Rose

  • Dana’s Book Exchange

  • Doc’s Home Appliance / Bedding

  • Florinda’s Pizza

  • Glik’s

  • Hair Studio

  • JMA Pawn Jewelry & Loan

  • Karma

  • Little Luxuries

  • Los Rancheros

  • Mathon’s Awning & Upholstery

  • Rebecca’s Antiques

  • Rene’s Drug Store

  • RJ’s Treasures

  • Samurai Sushi

  • (The) Upper Cut

  • Wendy’s

  • The Wooden Flower


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