Local News

Taylorville Fire Crews Respond to Call on the Square Thursday Morning

The Taylorville Fire Department was called to the Hearing Healthcare building on the south side of the Taylorville square, Thursday morning just past 11:30.  Assistant Fire Chief Ron Smith tells Regional Radio News that a fuse box that ran the furnace, inside the building caught fire.  It was extinguished with a C-O 2 fire extinguisher.  The fire was contained to the fuse box.  No injuries were reported and there was no damage.

Time to Nominate for Taylorville Yearly Awards

As the new year approaches, it's time to start focusing on yearly awards for local citizens. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce said the awards vary from Boss of the Year, to Volunteer of the Year, and even to Outstanding Citizen. She said nominations should start coming in soon, and people shouldn't hesitate on it because the process can be a bit extensive as people have to be nominated and have letters of recommendation from their peers. Hornbuckle said the award of the night is the Outstanding Citizen Award.

Hornbuckle also hinted of Taylorville having a Hall of Fame that focuses on its citizens. She said the idea is still floating, and a lot of work still has to be done, but it's one thing she would love to provide for the community.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

New Laws Could Impact Driving Habits and Decisions

The Illinois State Police would like drivers to be aware of a new law that is coming into effect on January 1st that is intended to improve roadway safety. Scott’s Law, also commonly known as the “Move Over” law requires motorists to slow down or change lanes when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with it’s lights activated. Trooper Sean Ramsey with the Illinois State Police District 9 Office says changes in the law means the law now applies to any vehicle on the side of the road with their hazards on.



Another part of the law that has already been in effect for the past year are penalties when it comes to excessive speeding in a school or work zone. Ramsey said how if you decide to speed through a work or school zone, you could be facing possible jail time.



There’s also been changes to possible penalties for repeat citations of driving without insurance. Trooper Ramsey explained that if you get a second citation, you will lose your vehicle until you can provide proof of insurance.



The Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz commented saying how the ISP’s goal for 2017 is to reduce serious traffic crashes through education and enforcement. If you’d like a complete list of all of the new public acts going into effect for the new year, you can view them online at the Illinois General Assembly web site.

December Burglary in Taylorville Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

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


Sometime between 8:00 pm and 9:15 pm on Friday December 23, 2016, person or persons unknown made entry into a vehicle parked at the Palomino Club Bar, located at 1101 North Webster Street.  The unknown subject or subjects took a checkbook, credit cards, medication, and cash.  The vehicle’s passenger’s side window was broken out, so entry could be made.  The total dollar 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.  

Repeat Winner in 27th Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation Lose To Win Challenge

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation have completed their 27th session of the Lose-To-Win Challenge. Janelle Cornelle, Dietitian with Taylorville Memorial Hospital said the latest winner was actually someone who had won in the past, and they decided to donate their winnings to a local food bank.



The challenge is a weight loss competition that people can participate in either individually or as a team. Cornelle said the team aspect can help motivate participants to keep moving forward with the program.



Sign-ups for the next Lose-To-Win Challenge begin on January 4th. An informational meeting will be held that day at 6 pm in room 414 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, and participants can sign-up and weigh in that day as well. For additional information, contact Janelle Cornell at 824-1840.

SSA Feeling the Hustle and Bustle of the Holidays Now Through February

As the holiday season comes to an end and we come closer to 2017, the Social Security Administration feels the hustle and bustle of the holidays. The staff there doesn't feel it the same way as the regular public does, but during this time, the SSA has appointments made for weeks in advance, and it can be hard to reach people at their office. Kevin Rice, Assistant District Manager with the Social Security Administration said the holiday season is a great time for people to take advantage of their website, which allows people to file for retirement, medicare, disability, and much more. He said they can do all of this and not have to wait in a line to do so.

Rice said right now the wait list is quite long, so if someone does need to make an appointment, make it now, and don't chance it to a walk in visit, where it may take a while to meet with someone.

Rice appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Still Time to Donate to ADA for Tax Deductibles

The end of the year brings crunch time for people to give to charities or donate to non profit organizations to get a cut on their taxes. That's one thing the American Diabetes Association in Springfield looks at too, since this would be a busy time for them to receive donations. Vanessa Wiseman, Manager of Development for ADA said although they are a national organization, donated funds stay local and can go specifically to events such as Kiss A Pig or their Step Out Walk.

Wiseman said every bit counts for a non-profit organization, especially one that helps with a disease that affects as many people per day like ADA does. She said, about 2 people are diagnosed with diabetes every minute, and it's important people have the information, know the symptoms of diabetes, and know ways to prevent it.

Wiseman appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Park Board Wrapping Up Successful Christmas in the Park

The Taylorville Park Board is wrapping up another year of Christmas in the Park, and this year’s event was a huge success. Bailey Hancock, Recreation Director with the Taylorville Park Board said the reception for some of the new displays were overwhelmingly positive.



One of the challenges to Christmas in the Park is coming up with new ideas to keep the event fresh and exciting. Hancock said she’s always looking for new ideas.



Hancock also had the winners of the various community displays. The winners of the Church and School Group was Vision Way Christian School. Kiwanis won the Civic Organizations Group, and Monsanto won the Business Category.

New Phone Scam Using Names of Christian County Sheriff's Deputies

Another phone scam has emerged trying to get your money. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp discussed this new phone scam and said this one is even using the name of his chief deputy.



Sheriff Kettelkamp assured that a warrant is issued by a judge, and can only be rescinded by a judge. He also said if you do have a warrant, the Sheriff’s Office does not call ahead.


This latest scam is just another in a recent influx of phone scams across the area. Sheriff Kettelkamp said it’s par for the course to see an increase in these scams close to the holidays.



Should you receive any phone calls that you feel may be a scam, simply call the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, and never call any number that may be left on your answering machine or voicemail by one of these scams.

New "Virtual Kidnapping" Scam Hits Close to Home

The past week has brought about new reports of a “virtual kidnapping” scam that has come up and central Illinois residents are no exception. Police have stated that a scammer calls and claims to have kidnapped a loved one and is holding them for a ransom.
A former resident of Taylorville, now of Springfield, who asked not to be named, spoke with Regional Radio News about the recent scam and how he was a victim.
The Springfield resident says that the scammer kept him on the phone to get the ransom money and made threats that kept the victim stuck in place for fear of harm to his loved one.
The victim also says that the scammer did not use a voice alteration machine, so the scam sounded legitimate to a worried loved one. 
Police suggest that if a person receives one of these calls, they should try to use another phone or computer to contact the loved one or police, request to speak to the loved one, ask for a photograph of the "kidnapping victim.”

Olympic Gold Medalist Promoting Fitness Program in Home Area of Springfield

Ryan Held's gold medal continues to shine, weeks after the Olympics in Brazil. The Springfield Sacred Heart Griffin grad has seen his overnight celebrity come back to Earth a little after his emotional trip to the podium generated worldwide attention after he collected Olympic gold in the 4×100 meter freestyle relay. For Held, it was beneficial to get back to normalcy, namely in the water in September as a member of the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
Held is promoting the new GO 217 program at HSHS Hospitals in Central Illinois. The program is meant to encourage fitness and exercise. 

CNB Bank & Trust Employees Come Together for Charity

CNB Bank & Trust is empowering its employees to assist in a year-end giving campaign to help make the Holidays and New Year, that much better for charitable organizations in local communities. CNB has used a successful 2016 to add volunteer efforts and more philanthropy to its priority list outside of its already steady contributions.


These efforts include an annual food drive, hosting back-to-school supply drives, providing meals for each branch’s community through the annual Community Appreciation celebrations, and partnering with civic organizations to enhance the communities in which CNB serves.


The contributions made from CNB have extended to its 208 employees over 13 different CNB branch locations where they have selected 108 different charities from local communities to receive a total of $18,975 in addition to all other prior contributions.

Year in Review from Illinois State Treasurer's Office, Looking To 2017

With just days away from kissing 2016 goodbye, and welcoming in 2017, the Illinois Treasurer's office is one part of the State government that doesn't mind holding it's head high. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said 2016 brought about some good programs and his office has been given a lot of praise from other organizations. He said two of the things he's most proud of from 2016 is passing legislation toward life insurance companies and improving the state's college savings programs.

Frerichs said he's also looking forward to next year and some of the great things that will come with it. Two of those things being a new savings program, ABLE, as well as some changes to the state's college saving's program, Bright Start.

Treasurer Frerichs appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Jim Bohannon Talk Obama's Exit and Trump's Entrance

President Elect Donald Trump is less than a month away from being sworn in, and that means it's scramble time for President Barack Obama. Obama recently said in his exit interview, if he was given the chance he would've beaten Donald Trump and been in office for a third term. Jim Bohannon, Host of the Jim Bohannon Show disagreed, and said, right now, Obama is in a frenzy trying to preserve his legacy and tie a bow around what he's done the past 8 years.

Bohannon also said through Trump's picks for his cabinet, so far, he's okay with Trump's choices. He said he thinks they're all prepared enough to do their duties well, and they shouldn't have much of an issue being approved by the Senate, although a few might have a difficult being approved.

There's more talk on all things national news on the Jim Bohannon Show, weeknights from 9:00 until midnight on NEWSTALK WTIM.


Bohannon appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Christian County Sheriff's Office Warns of New Scam


The Christian County Sheriff's Office would like to warn citizens in Christian and surrounding counties that a scammer is calling and claiming to be the Chief Deputy, Sheriff, or a Deputy from the Christian County Sheriff's Office. They have even been known to use the names of legitimate sheriff’s office employees.

The scammer may leave a message asking for a return call if you do not answer but the scammer may also inform them that they have failed to appear for court. They threaten arrest or criminal charges and then indicate that it can be dropped to a civil matter due to your clean record and will request a payment.
Christian County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens to be mindful that the scammers may use the name of any sheriff’s office in this type of scam and to call the Sheriff's Office at 217-824-4961 if you have any further questions.  

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation Finishes up Lose-2-Win Challenge

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation has completed their 27th session of the Lose-to-Win Challenge.  The 14 week challenge had 118 participants who lost a combined total of over 748 pounds. Since the inception of the TMH Lose-to-Win Challenge, the total weight lost is over 48,138 pounds. Jerry Ippolito of Taylorville, won the challenge with 18.89% of weight lost.


An informational meeting will be held at 6:00 pm on the start date of the next Lose-to-Win Challenge on Wednesday, January 4th 2017, in Room 414 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.


Confidential weigh-ins are scheduled every other week on Wednesdays, with flexible times available between 6 am and 6 pm. Participants are urged to attend a meeting on the evening of the weigh-ins but they are not mandatory.



Tara Graham (5th), Maureen Arcis (2nd), Jerry Ippolito (1st), Amy Graham (7th) , Nancy Dowdy (8th)


Not pictured – Dwighla Yard (3rd), Michelle Binegar (4th), and Cathy Mosely (6th)


Taylorville Kiwanis Collect Donations at Christmas in the Park

Several members of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club, volunteered to again man the donation booth at the end of the Taylorville Park District “Christmas in the Park” tour at Manners Park on Thursday.

Kiwanis members took donations, and handed out candy and coupon cards to those who completed the tour.

This year's volunteers included Dean Ray, Martin Vota, Randy Miller, Joe Hauser, Patty Hornbuckle and Sharon Legrand.

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 PICTURE:  Taylorville Kiwanis Club members Martin Vota (left) and Dean Ray (right) were among those volunteering at the donation booth, during the Taylorville Park District “Christmas in the Park” at Manners Park Thursday night.

Bertrand Hopper Memorial Foundation Donates $50,000 to Taylorville Development Assocication

The Bertrand Hopper Memorial Foundation recently presented the Taylorville Development Association some 50-thousand dollars, to go toward the matching federal grant for infrastructure for the new Taylorville Industrial Park on Illinois Routes 29 and 104.

Bill Hopper, president of the Foundation, presented the check to Ken Hart, president of the Assocication.

Another 50-thousand dollars will be donated by the Hopper Foundation to T-D-A in 2017, also to go towards the matching federal grant.

Local banks and the City of Taylorville are also contributing towards the local match necessary for the matching federal grant.

Long Time Attorney Dan Austin Planning Retirement at End of Year

Dan Austin, long time lawyer and investor into the city of Taylorville has announced his plans of retirement at the end of the year. Austin had a hand in many different positive changes to Taylorville, including helping making the Lincoln Land Community College Taylorville Campus what it is today.



Austin was also involved in several other organizations in Taylorville. He discussed some of those, and said it was interesting to see what goes on behind closed doors.



Austin has also been on the Christian County Crimestoppers board since it’s inception in the 1980s. Austin said that moving forward, he feels that Taylorville should continue to be a community that continues to look to the future and what will be best for it’s citizens.

Stonington Post Office Getting Ready to Open New Location

The Post Office in Stonington has been getting ready to move to a new location just south of the old post office on Route 48. Vicki Wegmann, Post Master with the Taylorville, Stonington and Palmer Post Offices says the work at the new location is progressing, and they hope to be open for the new year.



Wegmann said the residents who use the post office have been understanding of the difficulties the Stonington Post Office has experienced due to the move.



The new location of the Stonington Post Office is at 416 North Main in Stonington.

U of I Extension Office Offering Program to Help Children With Fiscal Responsibility

The Christian County 4-H program has a portion of it’s curriculum that’s dedicated towards increasing the financial skills of students in the 4-H program. Alicia Gullidge, Program Coordinator for 4-H Youth and Development at the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 discussed what the goals are for the curriculum, and shed light on “My Financial Future”. A program aimed at increasing the fiscal skills of 11-15 year olds.



Gullidge discussed why it’s so important for kids in that age range to focus more on their fiscal responsibility.



My Financial Future takes place January 23rd from 4 until 5 at the Unit 18 Extension Office. Gullidge appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

U of I Extension Helping Pave the Way for Clean and Renewable Energy Resources

The University of Illinois Extension Office has an Energy Program that works on learning how to take things in surplus here, like corn and soybeans, and use it as a fuel for better and cleaner uses for energy. Gary Letterly, said a lot of money has been used to convert crops to ethanol to use as renewable power. He said now that it takes more time and money to get things like coal and other fossil fuels, especially since they are limited and not renewable. Using things like corn and soybeans would be a progressive step to using cleaner energy all around.

Letterly said fossil fuels are going to be a resourse that we can always go to, but with more wide spread use of them, and with populated countries using them more frequently, to conserve our planet, we will have to learn to use them more sparingly.

Letterly appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Need a Last Minute Christmas Gift? Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has an Idea

Christmas is this Sunday and while people are scrambling to find the last minute gift, the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has a gift that could work for anyone with any interests in the area. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said these gift certificates can be used at more than 100 businesses in Taylorville including, car detailing, restaurants, hotels, and much more. Hornbuckle said the goal of using the gift certificates is so the money used for Christmas stays local.

Hornbuckle said the gift certificates work in a way where the chamber acts as a pass through where the businesses will redeem the gift certificate and if there's money left over, the people using the certificate will receive cash back.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Illinois Hoops Ready for Bragging Rights

The Illini and Missouri Tigers are back on the floor tonight in the annual bragging rights game. The Illini are 3 and 1 in the game with John Groce as head coach. This year is the third straight year when neither team will be ranked at tipoff. Over all the Illini are 9 and 3 and the Tigers are 5 and 5. If the Illini win tonight it will be their 6th in a row and bring to a close of an undefeated December.

Third Time's A Charm For Blago?

Just before Christmas, imprisoned former Governor Rod Blagojevich is asking for another appeal. Blago’s lawyers filed it late Tuesday. The request is to nullify his 14 year prison term along with seeking another sentencing hearing. Blagojevich has already been through one resentencing but Federal Judge James Zagel didn’t alter the number of years that the politician would stay behind bars. This time his lawyers argue that the ex governors good behavior should be taken into account when considering a new sentence. 

WTIM Investment Professional Warns Against Always Following Industry Trends

Often when people invest in stocks they look to follow recent trends in investing in an effort to make money. WTIM Investment Professional Steve Henry shared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show that sometimes that’s not the best thing to do. Henry shared a story of a conference he attended where a friend of his who had been in the business for a while disagreed with many of the younger investors at the conference.



Henry said this veteran investor shared his reasoning for his much less enthusiastic demeanor. Henry also shared that he wasn’t the only one at the conference who was warning against following the latest investment trends.



You can listen to the full interview with WTIM Investment Professional Steve Henry by clicking on the Investment Professional icon at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com

Christian County LEAD Program Helping Change Opinions of Taylorville Correctional Center

The Christian County LEAD program has lead to many in the program to learn more about their community. For Jason Hoffman with the Taylorville Ministerial Association, it lead to an understanding that the Taylorville Correctional Center is misunderstood in the community.



Hoffman said he wanted to change that misconception of the Correctional Center, so he helped arrange tours of the Correctional Center for those involved in the LEAD program.



Hoffman said the tours have been very insightful to those in the LEAD program, and how many walk away with a feeling that the work being done at the Correctional Center is worthwhile.

Newborns Born This Week at HSHS St. Johns Hospital To Receive Santa Hats

HSHS St. Johns Hospital is doing something special for babies born at the hospital this week. Each baby born will go home with a special Santa hat, as a reminder that their birth is a Christmas miracle. Erica Cusumano with HSHS St. Johns Hospital said the hats are also an effort to help cheer up patients at the hospital over the holidays.



Cusumano said the hospital tries to do festive things for each holiday, and said that the hats have been very well received among the families of the newborns.



Cusumano said the Santa hats were just an extra touch to give to the families this time of year.

Make Small Goals for New Year's Resolution and Generate a Plan to Achieve It

While most are thinking about Christmas now, New Years is just around the corner, and that is the time to set goals and start fresh. The biggest problem is people try to set unrealistic goals at times with no plan, and that can cause stress, and often results in failure. Karen Vatthauer, Clinical Therapist and Owner of Beacon Professional Counseling said the best way to approach these goals is to start with smaller goals and to make sure a plan is set before trying to tackle it.

Vatthauer said one common resolution that can be hard to tackle is the goal of being happier this upcoming year. She said people often don't know what “happy” means to them, which causes difficulties when trying to accomplish this goal.

Vatthauer appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Davis Weighs in on Trump Cabinet Picks Including Possible Ag Chief

Congressman Rodney Davis says concerns about President Elect Donald Trump's cabinet are off base. Davis says two of the choices stand out as strong choices in his mind.


There are just a few open spots left on President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet and one of the big remaining questions is whom he will pick for Agriculture secretary. Davis believes there's a great pic among rumored candidates, not only for the post but to help his party's strength in the Senate.


Fortune Magainze reports other possible candidates include former Texas Ag Commission Susan Combs, former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, Nebraska cattleman Charles Herbster, Texas’s current Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, and Idaho Governor Butch Otter.

Longtime State Board of Elections Chief Weighs in on Russians

Ron Michaelson knows a thing or two about elections. He was the first Director of the State Board of Elections and held the post for nearly three decades before retiring in 2003. Hacking has been a concern at his old agency after someone hacked into the state voter database earlier this year. But, Michaelson says talk of more sinister hacking is off base. He doesn't entertain the possibility foreign interests directly impacted results of the Presidential election.

Michaelson is now a professor at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Specialty Crop conf coming to Springfield

On of the biggest, and most diverse, ag conferences of the winter is coming up January 11-13th at the Crown Plaza in Springfield. IFB’s Jim Fraley says the Specialty Crop, Agritourism and Organic Crops Conference has something for everyone.

Find out more about the Specialty Crops conference at Specialtygrowers.org. The dates, again, are January 11 through the 13 in Springfield. You can register online or through your county Farm Bureau 

State Biggest Loser in Population Game

The state has suffered though a fairly rough year – and now the Census Bureau is piling on. Official numbers show the state lost more people from July 2015 to July 2016 than any other state. More than 37,000 people moved out. Illinois joins 8 other states that lost population over that time, New York and Pennsylvania are also on the list. The states that grew include Utah, Nevada and Washington. 

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears from Norfolk Southern Officials at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from 2 officials with the Norfolk Southern Railroad, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Justin Meco and Tim Crouch from Norfolk Southern Railroad, presented the program on the Illinois Division of the railroad.  Crouch told the Kiwanis Club that the Illinois Division employs some 13-hundred employees with an annual payroll of some 110-million dollars, and covers over 1400 miles of track in the state.
Crouch added that their Decatur Terminal, is among the largest flat switching rail yards in the United States.
And, he added that the intermodal business, moving semi containers on trains, continues to be a growing part of Norfolk Southern's business.

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 PIX:   2 officials from Norfolk Southern Railroad, were guest speakers at Tuesday's Taylorville Kiwanis Club weekly luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  From the left:  Justin Meco, Superintendent, Norfolk Southern Railroad; Kiwanis program chair John McClure; Tim Crouch, Assistant Superintendent of Dispatch, Norfolk Southern Railroad; Kiwanis Club president Will Perkins.

Macon County Coroner Releases Details of Death of Blue Mound Resident on Monday

Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day has released details surrounding the death of a Blue Mound resident. 26 year old Brad A. Ramsey of Blue Mound was pronounced dead at the scene of a single vehicle accident in the 12-Thousand block of Pleasant View Road in Rural Blue Mound at 3:48pm Monday afternoon. It’s believed that icy road conditions caused Ramsey’s vehicle to strike a large utility pole. Cause of death was reported as a severe closed head injury coupled with massive internal trauma. Routine toxicology and an inquest are pending.

Taylorville City Clerks Office to Hold Lottery to Determine Ballot Placement For April Elections

Taylorville City Clerk Pam Peabody announced that on Wednesday, December 28th, a lottery will be held to determine ballot placement for the consolidated election held on April 4th.


Candidates for Mayor in the lottery include Bruce Barry, Tim Calvert, Rob Heberling, Raymond Koonce, and Terry Wright. Candidates for City Clerk in the lottery include Michelle Beck, Robert Besson, Julie Lilly, and Tanya Reno.


Other candidates include Billie Heberling and Jacque Nation for City Treasurer, and Willard Lanzotti and Christopher Skultety for City Alderman from Ward II.

Congressman Rodney Davis Optimistic for Future of Central Illinois Under Trump Regime

Since Congressman Rodney Davis was re-elected, he's been busy in Washington DC, seeing the country unfold with the Republicans holding the Presidency and the majority of the House and Senate. Davis said he's excited to see what unfolds throughout the upcoming years and what the government can do to better the country. Davis he will fully be able to get started once again in early January once he gets sworn in, and he already has some things in mind that will be repealed along with new regulations being put in place.

Davis said he knows the coal industry is important to Central Illinois and he's happy the Trump administration will help revitalize it to make sure those jobs stay around in the area.

Congressman Davis appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Year in Review: Pana Community Hospital

As the year comes to a close, the staff at Pana Community Hospital looks back at 2016 and is happy with the success they've brought to the hospital and the Pana community. Melissa Rybolt, Marketing Coordinator at PCH said she's very proud of the new personnel the hospital added this year. She said adding two new family doctors and two new nurse practitioners will do a lot of good for the Pana healthcare community.

Rybolt said she's also proud that PCH was able to bring in 3D Mammography. That way people don't have to go out of town to get the care they need, they can get the service in their hometown.

Rybolt appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Christian County CEO Board Meeting Meets Students

The Christian County C-E-O, or "Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities" Board, held their monthly meeting this (Tues) morning at Lincoln Land Community College's Taylorville campus.  It was the meeting where the 8 students enrolled from various Christian County high schools, got the chance to meet and visit with the C-E-O board.


Student Samantha Haflinger was among those who gave the monthly report.

Facilitator Dick Adams had each student make part of the monthly report about the C-E-O program, the class business, and upcoming business tours.

Adams told Regional Radio News after the meeting, that the 8 take ownership in their class.

Adams said the 8 students are involved in 3 business projects.

The C-E-O program culminates with an end of school year Trade Show.

For more information on the Christian County C-E-O program, go to christiancountyceo-dot-com.

Shelbyville Chamber Of Commerce Wraps Up Downtown Talking Tour

The Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce has wrapped up their talking tour of the downtown Shelbyville area. Vonda McConnell, CEO of the Shelbyville Chamber discussed some of the businesses the tour focused on.



The tour helps showcase the good things going on in downtown Shelbyville. McConnell added how one local business is getting ready to provide an additional product to it’s customers.



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

Ministry at Taylorville Correctional Center Benefits the Future Community

During the Christmas season, one of the most important church services, put on by the Taylorville Ministerial Association is at the Taylorville Correctional Center for the inmates. Jason Hoffman from Crossroads Ministries in Taylorville leads the services at the center and said he sees what the Sunday services mean to the inmates. He said the first time he preached at the correctional center, he could tell the difference it made as it moved the majority of the men listening, and brought hope back to many of them as well.

Hoffman said these church services are important to the men at the Taylorville Correctional Center and to the community because many of the men there are close to being released, and the Taylorville Ministerial Association hopes to show these men how to live by the Gospel everyday.

Hoffman appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Socks For Troops Collecting Donations Until 6:00 PM Christmas Eve

After Kicks for Kids ended, Taylorville's Shoe Sensation began focusing on sock donations for their Socks for Troops charity. Charity Spencer, Area Director for Shoes Sensation said Socks for Troops is a way to give overseas personnel extra socks, but also  give military vets socks too. Spencer said all of the socks that will go overseas from the Taylorville location have already been sent through Bridgette Crawford and Camp Courage, but Shoe Sensation is also partnering with local organizations to make sure local military veterans have help too.

Spencer said socks can come from anywhere, but must come from an unopened package, and must be unworn. She said while Shoe Sensation has military approved socks, socks can be of any variety because many will be used for casual time for active personnel and vets, not just normal black or white socks for professional use.

Spencer said donations for Socks For Troops can be made at any Shoe Sensation location, and they are also asking for shoe laces for boots as well.


Spencer appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

IDOT Road Conditions on Web

Most of us will be doing some traveling over the next couple of weeks, and with the wintery weather, road conditions can be a concern. The Il Dept of Transportation has a website, WWW.gettingaroundillinois.COM, that is updated 24/7 with current road conditions of interstates and major state routes in Illinois. Brian Williamson of IDOT, says salt and plow truck drivers call in conditions with information that gets quickly posted to the site’s map.

That website again is WWW.gettingaroundillinois.com and is available on your computer or mobile device. In addition to weather related road conditions, the site updates traffic delays, repair work and road closures year around.

Frerichs Envisions Impact of End of Stopgap Budget

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs isn't sugarcoating the potential impact of the end of a stopgap budget cycle New Year's Day. He also says there's plenty of blame to go around.

Frerichs has a number of concerns including the future of higher education.

Frerichs recently noted the state missed out on $5.5 million in investment income due to the budget impasse.

State Representative Lang Pushes for School Bus Seat Belts

State Representative Lou Lang has seen enough. After watching a number of students lose their lives in a Chatanooga, Tennessee bus crash, he wants to make seat belts on school buses mandatory. Lang wants new buses to include so called three point seat belts. Six other states have similar requirements. It would cost between 5 and 10 thousand dollars to add the seat belts.

Illinois Electoral College Backs Clinton as Expected

There wasn't much suspense and there were no national ramifications of today's meeting of the Illinois Electoral College. All 20 electors cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton for president after she won the state vote November 8th. State law bound the slate of electors, chosen last August, to choose the same winning candidate as voters.

National Weather Service Continues Winter Weather Advisory, Adds Wind Chill Advisory for Weekend

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has continued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Regional Radio listening area, thru 6 o'clock Sunday morning.

They have also issued a Wind Chill Advisory for the listening area, from midnight until noon on Sunday.

As warmer air tries to work northward ahead of an approaching storm system, the Weather Service says precipitation will change to drizzle or light rain along and south of a Danville to Taylorville line Saturday afternoon.

Temperatures will rapidly drop behind the departing system, causing precipitation to change to snow across the entire area by late Saturday afternoon into tonight.

A light accumulation of snow will likely cause continued hazardous driving conditions through Sunday night.

The Weather Service says many area roads and overpasses will be slick tonight into Saturday morning. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and plan on extra time to arrive at their destinations.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio and this web site, for the latest weather information.  You can find the latest cancellations by clicking the "Closings and Cancellation" icon.

Illinois Sheriff's Association Warns of Possible Telemarketing Scam

The Illinois Sheriff’s Association is advising all Illinois County Residents of a possible telemarketing scam. An organization using the name “Disabled Police and Sheriff’s Foundation” in their solicitation is calling residents asking for money. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp said although the Sheriff’s Association does do charitable donation campaigns, they run those campaigns through their local Sheriff’s Offices.



Sheriff Kettlekamp says unless you receive something from the Illinois Sheriff’s Association that’s signed by him, don’t trust it, and report it immediately. He also mentioned how according to CharityWatch, this group keeps the vast majority of the money donated for themselves.



This group is not registered with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office according to the Charitable Database maintained by General Madigan’s Office. They are also not associated with any Illinois Sheriff or legitimate police organization in Illinois. The Illinois Sheriff’s Association reminds everyone that if you have any doubts or are highly pressured, just hang up.

Shelby Memorial Hospital Joining with HSHS to Provide More Services and Benefits for Shelby County

Shelby Memorial Hospital is celebrating it's 100th anniversary next year and will do so by joining forces with HSHS, starting January 1st. SMH hopes joining with HSHS will bring many benefits to help them not only celebrate the last century but plan for the next. Judge Michael Kiley, Chairman of the Board for SMH said this pairing will bring many benefits to the hospital including more doctors and services to the public. Kiley said that's why they decided to go with HSHS over other possible health services.

Kiley explained the process of SMH pairing with HSHS. He said it was a bit long, and they investigated many possible partnerships, but after looking through everything HSHS was the best fit.

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

Shelby County Sheriff Hopes for Less DUI's this Holiday Season

The Winter Holidays kick off in less than ten days. With those holidays come parties, and with those parties, often times, comes alcohol. Shelby County Sheriff Don Koonce said during this holiday season is when the most amount of DUI's occur. Kooce said he hopes people take precautions ahead of time, this year, to prevent drunk driving at least in the Shelby County area.

Undersheriff Rob McCall added to what Koonce explained and said the Shelby County Sheriff's Department is willing to transport people who are impaired if they need to with no repercussions.

Koonce and McCall appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios.

New Owners of Lockart Green Funeral HOme

Lockart Green Funeral Home has new owners. Aaron and Devi (Deh-vee)Hawes have taken the reigns for the business and are looking to service the community in every way they possibly can. Aaron Hawes and his wife Devi said as of right now they have 6 different funeral homes spread across different communities, and they are making some changes to them to make them reflect their personalities more.

Hawes said during his time in the funeral home industry, he's experienced changes, including now, where Lockart Green may offer some things that incorporate more technology, such as online streaming.

Aaron and Devi Hawes appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our Shelbyville Studios. 

Radogno Talks Term Limits and Budget

The less than friendly budget negotiations this month could give someone a Scrooge like attitude this time of year but Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says Republicans and Democrats may not be as far apart as they appear.

Governor Rauner continues to demand support for term limits before he is willing to consider a stopgap budget. Radogno says the issue doesn't require complicated analysis....


The current stopgap budget runs out December 31st. 

Scholarships available from IAA Foundation

It’s that time of year when high school seniors are thinking about college, and their parents are thinking about tuition payments. Whether you have a student in your family heading off to college, or already in college, the IAA Foundation has scores of scholarships available, according to Susan Moore, director of the IAA Foundation.

Those 71 scholarships are generally awarded to students who are majoring in an ag related field, or whose family has a connection to one of many farm organizations or businesses. Moore says there is an easy on-line application process.

That site again is IAAFOUNDATION.ORG
The requirements vary for many of the available scholarships, but there is one on-line application and from there the foundation staff will match the applicant up with applicable scholarships. And remember to contact your county Farm Bureau. Many counties operate their own scholarship programs for students in their area.

University of Illinois Extension to Offer Free Seminar Series for Local Food Producers

The University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 is hosting a series of seminars this winter to help local specialty food business owners achieve greater success. Amanda Cole, County Extension Director for Extension Unit 18 gave details on the seminars.



Cole said the seminars are free, however they do ask that you register ahead of time so they can plan for the correct number of people.



The series begins on January 9th with the “Starting Right in Specialty Foods” seminar held from 1 until 3 pm. Steven Groner, CED Educator with the Extension will discuss at this seminar how to structure your business and business planning.

Taylorville Chamber Wants You to Buy Local Before and After the Holidays

Christmas is less than ten days away now and during these desperate times of getting gifts the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has a gift idea if the person lives locally. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said the chamber has gift certificates that can be used at more than 100 businesses in the area so the money can continue to stay local even after the holidays. Hornbuckle said the list of businesses that take the gift certificates specialize in many different things from crafts, to antiques, to restaurants.

Hornbuckle was joined by Sharron LeGrand, Branch Manager of US Bank, and they said one thing people can get from local businesses, they can't get from an online retailer, is service. They said small town shops offer some of the best service because they want customers to come back and to remember them as someone who helped and accommodated them as much as possible.

Hornbuckle and LeGrand appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

During Holiday Season Be Extra Cautious When Shopping and Take Precautions Before Vacationing

We're in the midst of the holiday season, and while happiness and cheer is generally the topic for this time, it isn't always the case. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp said this is also a time for giving, but some see it as an opportunity to steal. Kettlekamp said it's important, especially during this time, to be cautious when out shopping for gifts because people are trying to break into cars, and others are trying to pickpocket.

Kettlekamp also said when leaving to visit family for vacation, it's important to make it seem like someone is still home to prevent people from breaking in. He said never to post anything on social media going on vacation, or showing off the number of gifts underneath the tree. And it's also important to take extra precautions to make sure no one attempts to break in.

Sheriff Kettlekamp appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

U of I Extension in Planning Stages for Upcoming Year

While there are still get togethers, and workshops going on, winter is the off time for the Christian Country 4-H'ers. This is when Alicia Gullidge the 4-H youth and Development Coordinator at the University of Illinois extension begins planning things for the upcoming year. Gullidge said she's putting together new SPIN classes, and making sure things are set for the real start of 4-H in the spring.

Gullidge said one of the things she is planning is an Ag Career day to teach high schoolers about different agriculture jobs. This is the second straight year it's being put on, and she said she loves it because of her passion for agriculture.

Gullidge appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Janice Funderburk This Month's Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry Big Smile for the Community Award Winner

This month’s NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is Janice Funderburk, who volunteers for the Home and Community Education Association. Funderburk has been with the organization for quite some time, and that she enjoys the friendships she’s developed within the organization.



Funderburk said the Home and Community Education Association in Taylorville has been around for quite some time, saying how the Taylorville unit was one of the charter units of the organization.



To nominate someone for the NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” award, send your nomination to bigsmile@randyradio.com.

Rauner Says Property Tax Freeze Is About Giving Voters Control

For anyone who follows Illinois dysfunctional political saga, they likely know where the battle lines are drawn in budget talks between Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan. In recent weeks, Rauner has maintained he won't consider a stopgap budget unless lawmakers agree to term limits and property tax freeze legislation. Rauner says the tax freeze legislation is all about shifting power to voters.

Madigan has rejected Rauner’s reforms and says the Governor and legislative leaders need to work exclusively on a budget. 

New FDA Rules On Antibiotic Use In Livestock Feed

Livestock producers should be aware that the FDA’s new Veterinary Feed Directive rule kicks in January first. In order to get better control of the use of antibiotics in livestock, the FDA will require a prescription, or Veterinarian Feed Directive, for a producer to obtain and add antibiotics to livestock feed.
Dr Bob Ebbesmeyer, from Stephenson County, is incoming president of the Il State Veterinary Medical Assoc.

In order to obtain that prescription from a Veterinarian, a livestock producer must have a ‘working relationship’ with the vet. 

The new rules will be hard to avoid. Dr Ebbesmeyer says the FDA will likely enforce the new rules vigorously.

For more on the new Veterinary Feed Directive rules, contact your veterinarian and make sure you have a working relationship with your vet.

Fewer Students Will Get MAP Grants In New Year

Colleges and university leaders are facing a familiar issue. They are again deciding whether they can provide state grant money up front to low-income students while the state shows no sign of having a budget anytime soon. An Illinois Student Assistance Commission survey of 96 Illinois schools indicates some cash strapped schools that covered grants in the fall won't be able to duplicate that feat in the spring semester. The number of schools that will guarantee money this spring will fall from 60 percent for the fall semester to 53 percent.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center Hosting Blood Drive at Taylorville Memorial Hospital

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is hosting a community blood drive at Taylorville Memorial Hospital on December 28th. Libby Bair with the CICB said they encourage anybody who would like to donate blood to register for the blood drive ahead of time.



Bair said those who donate at the blood drive will receive something extra for their donation, as a special thank you for donating blood during the holiday season.



Bair also gave insight into the donation process for those who may not have donated blood before.



Donors who last gave blood on or before November 2nd are eligible to give blood at this drive. For any questions about eligibility, please call the Central Illinois Community Blood Center, at (800) 747-5401.

IAA Foundation and Illinois Farm Bureau Offering College Scholarships for Ag Students

With the rising expense of a college education, many students are seeking out scholarships to help pay for books, classes, and other expenses. The IAA Foundation and Illinois Farm Bureau is doing their part to help students seeking an agriculture related education by offering college scholarships for high school seniors accepted for enrollment, or students already enrolled at an accredited college. Susan Moore, Director of the IAA Foundation shared what the IAA’s goal is with the scholarships.



Moore said there are plenty of scholarships available for Ag students through the IAA Foundation.



Moore gave a picture of the typical student that is awarded a scholarship through the IAA Foundation.



A full listing of the available scholarships, eligibility guidelines, and application documents are available at the Foundation website at iaafoundation.org. Completed applications must be submitted online by February 1st, and for more information contact your county Farm Bureau, or the IAA Foundation.

Fall Semester Nearing It's End, Taylorville Schools Begin Eyeing Spring

Taylorville schools will finish up their Fall Semester next Wednesday and there is plenty that needs to be done to make sure the school is in good working condition for the upcoming Spring. Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau, Superintendent of Taylorville Schools said there will be routine maintenance and billing going on once the kids leave. He said the custodians will be hard at work waxing floors, replacing lights, and more.

Fuerstenau said the one thing he focuses on most during the spring semesters is graduation. But not because he wants the year to be over or he wants kids to leave, but because that ceremony and celebration is what the staff and faculty works so hard for during a student's school career.

Fuerstenau wanted to remind the public about the upcoming Madrigal Dinner taking place this Friday and Saturday. Tickets are still available at Taylorville High School.


Fuerstenau appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Run Deep: New Life Coaching Business Coming to Taylorville

There is a new life coaching business in Central Illinois, and it focuses on three main things Mind, Body, and Soul. Ramey Miller, Owner of Run Deep Life Coaching said these three focuses work together and affect how a person views themselves and their future. Miller said Run Deep is about helping people set and accomplish both major and minor life goals to help her clients be happier and feel more successful with their life.

Miller also said life coaching is different than therapy services because life coaching focuses on the present and near future, where therapy is focused more on the past. She did say if a person believes therapy would be more beneficial she would be more than happy to write them a referral.

Run Deep Life Coaching is offered both in person and over the phone, and Miller also writes blogs for added insight every month at her website rundeep.info.


Miller appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Montgomery County Cops for Kids Campaign Recieves Large Donation

On December 12th at the Illinois State Police District 18 headquarters, retired District 18 personell Ray Riemenschneider and his wife made a large donation to Cops for Kids.


Riemenschneider had collected toy cars for many years and had heard about the Cops for Kids toy driving campaign in Montgomery County. The campaign aims to give gifts to children who are less fortunate. Riemenschneider decided to donate his collection of toy cars to the toy drive, saying how the cars are worth more in a child’s hands than on his shelf collecting dust.


If you would like to donate to the Cops for Kids campaign, contact Trooper Heath Bryan with the Illinois State Police, or contact your local police department within Montgomery County for a drop box location.

WTIM Peoples Bank and Trust and WSVZ Family Drug Students of the Month Announced

The WTIM and Peoples Bank and Trust December 2016 Taylorville Students of the Month are Senior Paige Taylor, Junior Kyle Woods, Sophomore Rikki Clayton, Freshman Tawney Minks. Lindsay Lopian with Peoples Bank and Trust was on hand to present the students with their awards.





The WSVZ and Family Drug of Shelbyville December Students of the Month are left to right Senior Kary Langan, Junior Courtney Lee, Sophomore Nicole Owens, and Freshman Luke Jesgarz. Jamie Jefson of Family Drug was on hand to present the students with their awards.


Fire Damages Home in Rochester Saturday Night

A house fire damaged a home in Rochester on Saturday Night. Mark Poffenberger, Fire Chief of the Rochester Fire Department said the department was able to extinguish the fire with minimal damage to the home.


Frerichs Reunites Family With Purple Heart

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs has reunited the Springfield family of a Korean War Vet with the Purple Heart he received more than sixty years ago. Treasurer Frerichs turned over the recovered Purple Heart earned by Army Corporal John Naylor to his daughter Barbara Ann Reynolds at the State Capitol. Frerichs hopes to have similar holiday stories in the future as he continues efforts to reunite veterans and their families with military honors they so richly deserved.


Naylor passed away in 2006 at the age of 75. The Treasurer's office continues efforts to return military medals and other property through the I-Cash program. 

Bad News From Caterpillar

Some bad economic news that won't play well in Peoria. Caterpillar is laying off an undisclosed number of employees because of expected bleak market conditions in 2017. The heavy equipment giant hopes to find jobs for some impacted workers elsewhere int he company. The company is more than a year into a multi-year restructuring plan. Up to 10,000 jobs could be lost before the worldwide program wraps up in 2018. Sales have dwindled from $66 billion in 2012 to an expected total of $39 billion this year.

It's All About Christmas Carols and Community this Thursday for TMH and the Springfield Clinic

Taylorville Memorial Hospital and the Springfield Clinic are joining forces this Thursday for a Caroling Program and they invite the public to attend. This is the 4th year the event is put on, and it's a way for people to get together, enjoy the company of the community, and get into the Christmas spirit. Janelle Cornell from TMH and Christy Conrad from the Springfield Clinic said there is a small admission fee for the event, no money just donations, of a least one can of food for the Taylorville Food Pantry.

Conrad said the last time they had the event, there was more than $1000 worth of food and money donated, and this year they hope to surpass that.


Cornell and Conrad said the Caroling program isn't a concert with performers. They said it's a 45 minute get together that begins with some music and few people starting things off, and by the end of the night, they hope to have everyone up and singing while feeling the spirit of the holidays.

The Caroling Program is taking place this Thursday at 5:00, in the Hospital Auditorium.


Cornell and Conrad appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Winter Driving Tips from Sargent Alan Mills of the Taylorvile PD

With the recent snowfall and minor accidents due to the snow, Sargent Alan Mills wanted to make sure people were being as safe as possible on the roads. He said there are generally two types of snow drivers. One that acts like there is no difference, and one who is overly cautious. Mills said, it's important to take your time while driving through these hazardous conditions to avoid any possible accidents.

Mills said it's also important to have emergency kits available, because the unexpected could happen and leave you stranded for a while. He said things like food, blankets, water, and kitty litter can go a long way in the winter. He also said it's important to make sure your car is ready to the winter months.

Mills appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville High School Madrigal Singers Perform at Kiwanis Club Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the Taylorville High School Madrigal Singers, led by instructor Keith Chase, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.
Chase brought some 25 Taylorville High School students to the Kiwanis Club meeting, performing numbers that will also be part of their performances at the high school this weekend.
Here's a sample of the music the Kiwanis Club heard:

Kiwanis member John McClure was program chairperson for the meeting.  Several dignitaries also were invited and attended the meeting, including Taylorville mayor Greg Brotherton, and police chief Brian Hile.
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.

WMKR Peoples Bank and Trust Pana December Students of the Month

December's WKMR and People's Bank and Trust Pana December Students of the month are from left to right, senior Jordan Blake, junior Madison Hilbert, Sophmore Andrea Ambrose, and freshman Zoe Duduit. Sarah VanHuss from People's Bank and Trust in Pana was on hand to present the students with their awards.

LLCC Prepares for Winter Recess

Lincoln Land Community College has announced that no classes will be held and that administrative offices at the Springfield campus and outlying locations in the LLCC district will be closed for winter recess from December 17th until January 1st. Regular hours will resume at all locations on Monday, January 2nd.


Spring semester classes will begin on January 7th, and current or returning students can still enroll for the spring semester through online registration via WebAdvisor through January 13th. New students should contact Admission and Registration on the Springfield campus to begin the enrollment process.

Davis Says Efforts to Repeal and Replace Obamacare Are Moving Ahead

Congressman Rodney Davis says efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act are moving forward. Davis says coming up with a streamlined, unified plan is the key.

Davis says some aspects of Obamacare could be salvaged like protection for pre-existing conditions and a ban on yearly or lifetime dollar limits.

Huge Illinois Land Sale Brings In Over $50 Million

More than 85-hundred acres of land in northwest Illinois sold Monday for a little over $55-million dollars. The late Maurice Wilder owned the land, and the sale drew so much attention it took place at Western Illinois University in Macomb. R-D Schrader coordinated the sale;

The large tracts of Illinois land brought about $65-hundred dollars an acre. Schrader, who runs his auction company out of Indiana, said they had 64 bidders. That dropped to just a few that wanted all of the land up for sale in Fulton and Mercer counties. The final sale went to an undisclosed buyer.

Winter Weather Expected to be Variable

After a very mild month of November, December is turning out to be a little more wintery. Dan Hicks of Freese/Notis weather says the cold will hang around for a week or so, 

After nearly a year where every month has brought above normal temperatures, December could end up at or below normal, but that doesn’t mean we are in for an overall cold winter.

Schock Pleads Not Guilty

Former Congressman Aaron Schock enters a not guilty plea in his federal corruption case in Springfield. He faces a 24 count indictment claiming he misused government and campaign funds for personal use. U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough set a trial date for February 7th but that could be pushed back

Suspected Arson in Weekend House Fire in Pana

A vacant home in Pana went ablaze over the weekend. Pana Fire Chief Rod Bland said how the Department responded to a call of a structure fire, to find out the structure on fire was a property that they had been using to help train.



Arson is suspected as a source of the blaze. Chief Bland said the house was shut off from gas and electricity, so the sources of ignition are slim. He also said how although the structure couldn’t be saved, it did provide one last training exercise for his crew.



Fire Chief Bland said although they were fortunate that it was a vacant home this time, that it was an arson fire and that the arson threat is still out there.

Representative Bourne Hopes to Pass New State Budget by January 1st Dealine

Avery Bourne was re-elected as State Representative for the 95th district, and soon after got right back into working to better the state of Illinois for the people she represents. Soon after elections, the lameduck session began in Springfield, and during that time, a new budget was not discussed. Bourne said while many programs will receive funding for the next six months, many more will receive no funding after December 31st.

Bourne said she and many of her colleagues hope a budget gets passed before January 1st so many government ran organizations can get paid, especially because once mid-January hits, they'll be discussing the new budget that's to be passed this summer.


Bourne also said she has been meeting with people every week to finalize the school funding commissions to create a new formula, and they are making good work of their time as they move closer to their February deadline.

Representative Bourne appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Registration Deadline to Become Master Gardener is This Friday

Master Gardener Training begins in January of next year at the University of Illinois Extension, but registration ends this Friday. The training sessions are built to teach, those who want to be a master gardener, all of the basic ins and outs of gardening all types of plants as well as teaching people how to prevent pests and invasive plants. Gwen Podeschi, Master Gardener at the U of I Extension said this year the seminars will be both in person and online through Skype Business.

Podeschi said the seminars don't provide much difference in how they're given except in face to face, the setting is a bit more formal. But she said the real difference is the people giving the information, and through the online seminars, other experts from around the state will be teaching the classes.

The full schedule of classes can be found at the extension's website.

Podeschi appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Illinois State Historical Society Looking for Businesses More than 100 Years Old

With the end of the year comes renewals for membership with the Illinois State Historical Society. But not only that, with the holidays season here, people could happily use the membership to learn about their local community through the two ISHS magazines. Gwen Podeschi, with the ISHS said also with a membership comes an unlimited use of the online vault of historical Illinois works.

Podeschi also mentioned Illinois is just two years away from it's state bicentennial, and has begun it's search for businesses that are more than 100 years old, and will continue it's search for churches more than 150 years old.

Podeschi appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Bond Reduced to $100,000 for Angela McKinnon

Bond has been reduced for Angela McKinnon, who plead guilty to delivery of a controlled substance last week. The defense was asking for a recognizance bond, arguing that although McKinnon pleaded guilty to a Class 2 Felony, she is a first offender and that recognizance bonds aren’t uncommon for the offense McKinnon plead guilty to for first offenders.


Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera opposed the suggestion of a recognizance bond, citing concerns of her living situation should she be released, as well as testimony given by Kincaid Chief of Police Dwayne Wheeler that McKinnon did not intend to change her behavior based on posts she had made on social media.


Havera said the state would not oppose a reduction in bond however, and suggested bond be set at the amount of $100,000, with special terms and conditions to apply should bond be made. He also made it clear that should bond be posted, the state intended to file a source of bond motion. Judge Brad Paisley after considering the argument and testimony from both the state and the defense set bond for McKinnon at $100,000 with special terms and conditions to apply should McKinnon post bond. Sentencing is set for January 26th.

Burglary at Fairview Trailer Court in Taylorville This Weeks Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

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


Sometime between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm on Thursday, November 10, 2016, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence, located at #3 Fairview Trailer Court.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a Playstation 3, a vaping machine, vaping supplies, a dvd, clothing, and about $20 in cash.  The back door of the residence had been damaged while making entry.  The total dollar amount of damage and items taken is estimated at over $500.  


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.  

Today is the First Day to File Petitions for Elected Office in Taylorville

Taylorville City Clerk Pam Peabody has announced Monday, is the first day to file petitions for elected office in the City of Taylorville for the Consolidated Election to be held April 4. Petitions may be filed beginning at 8:00 A.M. in the City Clerk’s office. The last day to file petitions is Monday, December 19, 2016, at 5:00 P.M.


Citizens will be voting for Mayor, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and one Alderman from each of the four wards, all four year terms and one Alderman from Ward I for a two year term.


Terms that will expire in 2017 are Mayor Greg Brotherton, City Clerk Pam Peabody, City Treasurer Jacque Nation, and Aldermen in Ward I – Larry Budd, Ward II – Rob Heberling, Ward III - Ernie Dorchinecz, and Ward IV – Shawn Burtle for the four year terms, and Ward I – Jim Olive for the two year term.


Petition packets are still available and can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office Monday through Friday, from 8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.


The City Clerk’s office will be open until 5:00 P.M. on Monday, December 19, 2017.

Keep Your Christmas Tree Watered

Christmas trees are still being sold and a number of real ones are already in homes. Now you want to keep that tree in as good of condition as you can for as long as possible. Illinois Extension Service Horticulturist Ron Wolford says once it’s in your home keep it simple – plain water with no other additives in the tree stand.

Check the water level often and keep it above the bottom of the trunk to avoid a sap seal developing on the bottom that will make it harder for the tree to take up water.

If you still need to buy one give it a shake and see how many needles fall off and if you want the freshest tree go to a tree farm and cut your down. 

Katie Paulek Joins U of I Christian County Extension Staff

The University of Illinois Extension has announced that Katie Paulek has joined the Christian County Extension staff. Paulek spoke with Regional Radio News and outlined what she will be doing with the Extension, and also gave some background on her local roots.



You may reach Paulek by calling the Christian County Extension Office at 217-287-7246.

Wednesday Night's Business After Hours Event at Angelos Catering in Taylorville A Success

Angelos Catering in Taylorville hosted the December Taylorville Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours event, alongside co-hosts Diamond Brothers Insurance, and First National Bank on Spresser. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce gave some insight into the event. Alongside Hornbuckle was Dan McNealy with Diamond Brothers Insurance, who mentioned some of the business they’ve been helping their customers with.



Drew Peabody with First National Bank on Spresser also commented, and discussed the current mortgage rates, along with J.I. McDowell, owner of Angelos Catering, who discussed some of the new things coming to Angelos Catering.


CCEDC Have Nearly Secured Local Funding Needed for Taylorville Industrial Park Project

The Christian County Development Corporation have nearly secured the local funding needed for the proposed Taylorville Industrial Park. Mary Renner, Executive Director of the CCEDC said the organization has secured funding from two sources towards the project.



Renner mentioned how Ken Hart, Board President of the CCEDC has been instrumental in working to secure additional funding towards the project.



The funding has come quick for the CCEDC. Renner said the CCEDC is grateful for the support they’ve received for the project, and again credited Hart for helping sell the project to local organizations and the city of Taylorville to make the project a success.


Ag Literacy Program Making Sure Kids in Shelby County Know the Importance of Agriculture

In Central Illinois, Agriculture Education can be just as important as math, science and history. This is because a large part of students find their careers in the agriculture industry, and they should be able to learn as much as they can while they're in school, especially in lower grade levels. Kathleen Agney, Coordinator of Agriculture Literacy said she focuses on making sure agriculture is taught in Shelby county grade schools, to keep this career field and the importance of it in the minds of our youth.

Agney said she visits each Shelby county elementary school once a month, and  explained some of the things she's teaching the kids in the month of December. In particular, using fun ways to teach the students about different types of Christmas trees.

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

Holiday Happenings in Shelbyville This Weekend and to Come

The Shelbyville Festival of Lights is still taking place in Forest Park, and attendance remains high as people are taking advantage of this seasonal opportunity. Freddie Fry, from the Shelby County Office of Tourism said sleigh rides continue to be available this weekend and next weekend for people who want to experience the tour in a unique way. Fry said this festival wouldn't be the way it is without the volunteer efforts of Bill Bly who dedicates much of his time to making sure this month long event runs perfectly, and is exciting for everyone.

Fry said an event taking place this weekend will be a live Nativity Scene at the Nazarene Church in Shelbyville.

One other event Fry made sure to mention was free movies at the Roxie Theater where on December 11th they will be showing Elf, and on December 17th, they'll show Fred Claus.


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

Federal Infrastructure Progam Would Be Boost For Illinois

The incoming Trump administration campaigned on a major infrastructure program that would include funding for roads, bridges, waterways, rail, airports and more. Don Schaefer, exec VP of the Midwest Truckers Assoc. says gridlock in congress has prevented a lot of infrastructure work and is hopeful that we will finally see a major bill passed.

A trillion dollars over ten years could provide a huge boost to spending in Illinois.

Don Schaefer of the Midwest Truckers Assoc. An infrastructure program would boost the economy with immediate job creation for construction, and the benefits of improved and expanded road, rail, water and air transportation would have big economic benefits for decades. The big question yet to be answered is the mechanism to raise the funds for infrastructure. 

Stopgap Budget Down to Final Days

On New Year's Eve, Illinois leaders could drop the ball in a way far different than the folks at Times Square in New York. The stopgap budget runs out December 31st and Governor Bruce Rauner had few answers with what happens come New Years Day if no deal is reached.


This week, Rauner announced he would not take part in further meetings with legislative leaders until Democrats produced a budget proposal.

Taylorville Development Association Holds Annual Meeting

The Taylorville Development Association, a local non-profit organization working to develop a new industrial park on Taylorville's northwest side, held their annual meeting today at People's Bank and Trust.
The main focus of the meeting, was to plot a course to apply for matching grant monies to build infrastructure at the 47 acres T-D-A owns.  T-D-A must raise some 881-thousand dollars and president Ken Hart said they're on their way to achieving their goal.

Hart said constructing the infrastructure at the new Taylorville Industrial Park means an entrance off Illinois Route 29, as well as utilities thru-out the 47 acres.

Hart said for any prospective industry to locate in Taylorville, a location with infrastructure is critical.

Also during today's Taylorville Development Association annual meeting, new board members were elected and they include Linda Crawford, Adam Vocks, Will Perkins, Mary Renner, and Randy Miller.

Help Your Hometown and Shop Local this Holiday Season

The holiday season is here, and the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce wants to make sure when people are out shopping for gifts, they shop local. Patty Hornbuckle CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said shopping local helps the local economy greatly, especially buying from small local businesses rather than chains. She said shopping in your hometown at locally owned businesses makes a huge difference versus shopping out of town, online, or at a chain.

Hornbucklle said she knows people know it's important to shop locally. However, she said it's one thing to know it's important, but it's another thing to act on it.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taking Care of Holiday Plants: Poinsettias and Christmas Trees

During the holiday season people use specific plants to decorate their houses, including poinsettias, holly, and Christmas trees. When using these as decorations, it's also important to make sure you know how to take care of them and keep them healthy through the holidays. Andrew Holsinger, Horticulture Educator at the University of Illinois Extension said to keep poinsettias, you must keep them to a climate they are better suited for such as moderate room temperatures, especially when they're being transported.

Holsinger also talked about taking care of Christmas trees. He said, it's important to make sure the tree is watered, otherwise it could dry out, become frail, and possibly even start house fires.

Holsinger appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Tim Carlson Voted Unanimously as Chairman of Christian County Board

The Christian County Board has a new chairman. Tim Carlson was voted unanimously Monday night by the new Christian County Board to serve as Chairman of the Board. Carlson said it’s an honor to be voted Chairman, and he felt it was the right time to throw his name in for the position.



One issue Carlson hopes to tackle is the current deficit the county has. He says it will take some hard work, but has some ideas to help eliminate expenses.



Carlson said his time already serving on the county board gave him a better understanding of the various cuts that could be made to county spending to help fight the budget deficit.

Public Defender Appointed for Pana Man Accused of Home Invasion and Arson

A public defender has been appointed in the case of Brian Ferguson, who is currently facing charges of home invasion, aggravated arson, and domestic battery after an incident in Pana in November, where he allegedly entered a neighbors home, cut his own throat with a knife, and set fire to his neighbor’s home.


Originally Ferguson had elected to represent himself in the matter, but made the motion for a public defender after a motion to reduce bond was denied on December 2nd. The court appointed a public defender to represent Ferguson in the case, and set a date for a first appearance with counsel for December 9th.

Christian County LEPC Getting Ready for 2017 Planning Meetings

The Christian County Local Emergency Planning Committee is set to begin their yearly meetings on January 3rd. Christian County Emergency Manager Mike Crews said the meetings are a way for the various groups and organizations involved in emergency management to discuss and plan for anything that may happen in the county.



The LEPC already has a few things on the agenda for their January meeting, including electing new officers and discussion of new bylaws for the committee.



Crews also explained how local LEPCs were first formed in the United States due to a hazardous material leak in India in the 1980s.

Schock Case Staying Put

Former Congressman Aaron Schock's corruption trial is staying put in the Capital City. US District Judge Sue Myerscough rejected Schock's request to move his trial to his hometown of Peoria. Myerscough noted strong local vote totals for Schock in 2012 and 2014 in counties served by the Springfield federal court district. She believes that shows the area has no bias against the former GOP rising star.

Sangamon County Habitat for Humanity Seeking Volunteers with Kincaid Flood Home Renovations

Last December a series of floods ravaged much of the village of Kincaid, damaging the homes of 48 families in the area. Missons for Taylorville Coordinator Bill Kerns spoke with Regional Radio News and said how Habitat for Humanity has gotten involved in the renovation efforts for these homes.



Most of the homes have been completed, however there are several that still need work. Kerns said Habitat for Humanity is seeking to push to complete the renovations by Christmas, and are seeking volunteers in that effort.



If you’d like to volunteer with the effort, visit the Sangamon County Habitat for Humanity’s website.



Taylorville High School Wrestling Team Hosts Armed Forces Night Wednesday Night

The Taylorville High School Wrestling team is holding their Armed Forces Night Wednesday night at the Taylorville West Gym. Taylorville High School Wrestling Coach Lee Mateer said it’s an event that the wrestling team has been doing for a little while now, however this year’s event has extra special meaning, with the event falling on the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks, and with the team holding a special fundraiser for Maggie Bilyeu, a THS graduate injured in a Taliban attack in November.



Mateer said the event will feature a 50-50 raffle as well as a donation bucket for the fundraiser, and said how you can be sure that those funds are going directly to Maggie.



The event will have a posting of the colors at 5:45, with wrestling starting at 6 pm.

Kicks For Kids Hopes to Give 50 Local Children Shoes this Sunday

This Sunday, many local kids in the Taylorville School District will receive brand new shoes or boots, and socks through Kicks for Kids. Shoe Sensation in Taylorville and the Taylorville Chapter of the Illinois Federation of Business Women is teaming up for the second straight year to help these children, but this year they want to help more. Charity Spencer, store manager of Shoe Sensation said, last year they were able to give shoes and other clothing items to 40 children. This year, their goal is 50, but hope to help much more.

Amy Hagen from the Illinois Federation of Business Women said this event also wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the volunteers who spend hours helping these children find their new pair of shoes.

Donations can be taken to Shoe Sensation in Taylorville until, December 11th, the night of the distribution, and Kicks for Kids is always looking for more volunteers to help the children that night.


Spencer and Hagen appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Local Business Provides Service to Deliver Christmas Gifts to Loved Ones Far Away

Christmas is approaching fast, and for people who have family far away this year, having presents delivered through UPS, FedEx, or the Postal Service is something very important to them. Wrap Pack and Ship in Taylorville offers a local service through UPS to make sure those packages get to the waiting loved ones on time. Larry Peterson, owner of Wrap Pack and Ship said one important thing to think about when sending these packages is insurance to make sure, if anything happens, those gifts can be replaced.

Peterson said the insurance covers theft and broken items. And to make sure the items don't get broken and are packed correctly it might be worth it to have the professionals pack it, instead of doing it yourself.


Peterson affirmed if people are trying to get their packages to their destination by Christmas, UPS will get them there within 4 days domestically. He said if those packages are going outside of the country, find out ahead of time how long it will take.

Peterson appeared appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Kroger Relocating Floral Department to Front of Store

Once again there’s construction at the Taylorville Krogers. This time the store is looking to move their floral department closer to the front of the store. Robin Gross, Unit Manager at the Taylorville Krogers said they’re aiming to help improve their customer service with the move.



Gross praised the store’s floral department, saying the department employs a great staff.



Another thing Gross mentioned was new hours for the recently opened Starbucks inside the Kroger store, saying how the new Starbucks hours are now from 6am to 9 pm.

USDA Rural Development in Illinois

With a new administration coming to Washington next month, Colleen Callahan will be ending her term as head of Illinois Rural Development for USDA. Callahan says since 2009, USDA rural development has provided nearly five billion dollars in needed infrastructure capital to rural Illinois. 

The money isn’t just government money flowing in, but mainly low interest loans and loan guarantees that helps rural communities raise capital for projects they could not otherwise afford, like water and sewage plants, broadband internet, medical facilities, affordable housing and a host of other projects that low interest guaranteed loans make affordable.

Lincoln realized the economic importance of rural America and created USDA and established land grant colleges to help promote economic development, a program that continues today.

Rauner Inks Exelon Deal

The ink is on the paper for a bailout of two nuclear power plants in Illinois. Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation today that gives billions of state subsidies to Exelon Corporation. The dollars are meant to keep the power plants up and running – Exelon had threatened to close them if the state didn’t act. The bill provides $235 million a year to the company, caps increases in electricity charges for their energy customers and requires the plants, in Cordova and Clinton, to remain open for a decade. Rauner had blasted special deals in the past that would go so select corporations but changed his mind on this one. 

The agreement caps power rate increases at twenty five cents a month for 13 years. 

Neil Hohenstein Inducted as Newest Member of Taylorville Kiwanis Club at Weekly Meeting

(Taylorville)--The Taylorville Kiwanis Club inducted its newest member, at its weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Neil Hohenstein, an account manager and staff announcer for the Miller Media Group, became the newest member of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club.  Hohenstein is a long-time businessman in the community, and also owns and operates Audio Dimensions DJ Service in Taylorville.  His and his family also live in Taylorville.

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 PICTURE: Taylorville Kiwanis Club member chairperson Raedena Ryan (left) welcomes Neil Hohenstein (right), an account manager and staff announcer for the Miller Media Group, as the newest member of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club.

Shelby County Public Defender Voted to Fourth Judicial Circuit Bench

A local attorney from Shelby County has been voted to be an associate judge of the Fourth Judicial Circuit. Amanda Ade-Harlow, public defender for Shelby County said she’s honored to be selected to the bench.



Ade-Harlow said she brings a wealth of information to the bench.



Ade-Harlow also said she’s very familiar with the areas covered by the Fourth Judicial Circuit, having traveled through and practiced law in the various counties covered by the Circuit.

Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Warns of Scam Sales Calls

Recently several businesses in the area have been receiving sales calls regarding sales of an ad placement on a magnet. The caller is stating that they’re working with the Taylorville Chamber of Commerce and with the local Police and Fire Departments. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber wanted everyone to know that these calls are a scam.



Hornbuckle stated the Chamber wasn’t sure who was making these calls, and that the Chamber is diligent about letting the public know about events they’re doing.



The Taylorville Chamber also stated that whoever is making these calls are skipping all of the necessary steps including asking for permission or filing for the proper permits to conduct business honestly.


St. Louis Dairy Council with Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

One of the main focuses for Christmas, besides family and gifts, is food, and it's important people are making healthy choices when preparing for parties and feasts. Joyce Fikri, Nutrition Educator at the St. Louis Dairy Council said it can be easy to not eat healthily during the holidays. She said some ways to stay healthy include not skipping meals, adding more protein to the diet, and staying active.

Fikri said she knows leftovers are also very important to people to make sure the food doesn't go to waste. But during the holiday season people get a bit tired of eating turkey. Fikri said to make sure this doesn't happen, be creative when making leftover meals, and if needed, freeze the turkey and come back to it in a few months.

Fikri appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Christian County Senior Center Have Special Trees to Remember Loved Ones this Year

The Christian County Senior Citizens Center is gearing up for Christmas just like everyone else, but they have a few unique opportunities. For the winter holidays they are setting up two different trees for people to hang things on, a memory tree and an angel tree. Gerry Mahr Director of the Senior Center explained what these two trees are for and how people can be involved.

Gates joined Mahr and said during this month and early next month there will be some closures for Christmas and New Year's. But the closures for the Golden Circle Nutrition Program are different than closures for the Senior Center.

Mahr and Gates appeared appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

November WTIM and WMKR Students of the Month Announced

The WTIM and Peoples Bank and Trust Taylorville November students of the month are from left to right:

Senior Connor Smegal

Junior Kamila Allen

Sophomore Maddison Wilson

Freshman - missing Zeb Anthony

Far right is Lindsay Lopian with Peoples Bank and Trust Taylorville





The WMKR and Peoples Bank and Trust Pana November students of the month are from left to right:

Senior Emily Gatons

Junior Jacob Beeson

Sophomore Jared Beyers

Freshman - missing Trey Patton

Far right Sarah VanHuss with Peoples Bank and Trust - Pana


Governor Repeatedly Calls Lawmaker Lawsuit to Restore Pay An Insult

A group of Illinois lawmakers filed suit late last week to restore their pay. Former Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger earlier this year put state lawmaker pay in a waiting line with everyone else waiting to be paid by the state. Governor Bruce Rauner Monday blasted the lawsuit and urged newly-elected state Comptroller Susana Mendoza to keep lawmaker pay on the state's waiting list;

Rauner told the Illinois Farm Bureau meeting in Chicago that Mendoza should hire her own attorney to fight the lawsuit rather than having Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan take up the case.

Farmers Feeling More Confident About Farm Economy

Each month Purdue University, in cooperation with the CME group, issues the Ag Barometer. It’s a little like the government’s survey of consumer confidence, but the barometer surveys farmers views of the ag economy.

Jim Mintert, Ag Economist at Purdue, compiles the survey data each month, and says the November report, issued this week, shows a sharp uptick in farmer economic confidence in November

The November election of Donald Trump may have encouraged hopes for tax and regulatory reform, as well as concern over trade relationships, says Mintert, but the real driver of the rise in confidence was due to stronger commodity prices and record or near record yields.

To read the full Ag Barometer report, google Purdue Ag Barometer.

Selective Service System Looking to Fill Local Boards

The Selective Service System needs a little help. While there are no signs of a military draft on the horizon, they not only need to have potential military candidates on file, but they also need volunteers who serve on what could become local draft boards. Tony Libri with the Illinois Selective Service program says there's no shortage of openings.

If anyone is interested in serving on their local Selective Service Board, call Libri at 217-836-7669.

Tax Questions and Annexation Clarifications at Taylorville City Council Meeting

The Taylorville City Council met in their regular session on Monday night at the Taylorville Municipal building. The agenda for the night was rather short, with only a handful of items for the council to address. Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton spoke with WTIMTV proceeding the meeting, where he went over some of the things discussed, including clarifying the situation with the annexation of properties at the Bertinetti's Subdivision, and issues with underfunded pensions for Taylorville's Fire and Police Departments.


First Snowfall of Season Leads to Increased Number of Traffic Accidents

The first snow of the season resulted in an increased number of accidents on area roadways. Illinois State Police District 9 investigated a total of 17 crashes with two of those crashes involving injuries and transports to local hospitals on December 4th from 10:30 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon. District 9 wanted to remind motorists to slow down and increase following distances between vehicles, especially during rain and snow, as speed is often times a contributing factor in crashes during inclement weather.

U.S. Rep. Davis Staying Put With House Ag Committee

US Representative Rodney Davis says he plans to keep his seat on the US House Agriculture Committee. The Taylorville Republican addressed Illinois farmers participating in the Illinois Farm Bureau's annual meeting taking place in Chicago.

Davis told farmers he's "excited" about having one political party in control of the White House, the US House and Senate. He told farmers if a balanced budget depended on bargaining congressional office and committee moves underway, it would actually happen. In his words, "everyone's angling for something" as part of the transition from the current administration and Congress to the new ones that will officially take place in January.

Mendoza Sworn In As Comptroller

The Susana Mendoza era is underway in the Illinois Comptroller's office. Mendoza will continue the policy of putting lawmakers in the back of the line for overdue payments.

Mendoza accused her predecessor Leslie Munger of making the delayed payments to lawmakers a move for political reasons. A handful of lawmakers sued Munger for overdue paychecks. She said the decision should have come months earlier. Meanwhile, Mendoza, who was dressed in a red suit belonging to Judy Baar Topinka, promised the continued bipartisanship and independence Topinka brought to the office.


Mendoza also said she and staffers were denied access to the Comptroller's office prior to the swearing in.

Illinois Farmers Limit Nutrient Runoff Into Waterways

The Illinois office of the National Ag Statistics Service released a survey Monday on farmer progress and attitudes toward the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. The survey of Illinois farmers and landowners looked at progress since the base year of 2011, through the end of the 2015 crop year on improving management practices to reduce loss of nitrogen and phosphorus from fields. Mark Schleusener, Illinois State Statistician with NASS says the survey shows real progress with nitrogen management on corn.

The survey will help the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council, or N-REC , target future education and outreach information. Julie Armstrong, exec director of N-REC says the progress made so far will help convince the EPA and other regulatory bodies that Illinois farmers can reduce runoff into our waterways voluntarily, avoiding future mandatory regulations.

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 around 3:30 pm on Monday November 28, 2016, a female subject left her pocketbook in a cart at the Dollar Tree Store, located at 1516 Springfield Road, and left.  They returned a short time later to retrieve the pocketbook, but it had been taken.   The red clutch pocketbook contained driver’s license, credit cards, gift cards, and an unknown amount of cash.  The total dollar amount of the items taken 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 Coroner Investigating Death of Taylorville Man

On December 5th at approximately 4:31 A.M., 911 received a call of unresponsive male in the 900 block of East Oak St, Taylorville. Taylorville Police arrived on scene and requested the coroner. Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans identified the male subject as 41 year old Robby Wempen of Taylorville. An autopsy will be held in Bloomington later today. Taylorville Police Department and Christian County Coroner's office are handling the investigation.

Christmas in the Park Starts Thursday With the Jingle Bell Walk, Has New Grand Finale

The Taylorville Park District has ways to help people celebrate and get in the Christmas spirit. From December 8th through Christmas Day, they will have events and attractions for the entire family. These events include, Santa visits, sleigh rides, arts and crafts, and dinner with the Claus's. Bailey Hancock, Recreation Director of the Taylorville Park District said their Christmas in the Park starts up Thursday night with their Jingle Bell Walk.

Hancock said this year they have more displays up than in years past, with more lights, figures, and a grand finale at the end.

Hancock appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Greater Taylorville Chamber's Business After Hours This Wednesday at Angelo's Catering

The Greater Taylorville Chmaber of Commerce's Business After Hours won't be on the third Wednesday of this month, but the first one. The December Business After Hours will take place this Wednesday at Angelo's Catering and will be hosted by three businesses instead of just one, Angelo's, Diamond Brother's, and First National Bank on Spresser. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said this event is one she always looks forward to because of the spirit of the season, and explained all that will go on Wednesday night.

Hornbuckle also said the community should start thinking of ideas for Christmas presents, and one idea would be Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificates, which can be used in more than 100 of the local businesses in the city.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Plea Deal Reached in Angela McKinnon Case

A plea has been reached in the case of Angela McKinnon who was facing charges for the death of Charles Stevens of Kincaid. McKinnon plead guilty on Monday to the unlawful sale of Heroin to Stevens, however per the plea, the charge of drug-induced Homicide, a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison was dropped. Defense Attorney Tom Finks stated they’re pleased with the plea, and will be aggressively pursuing probation during the sentencing hearing, due to a lack of evidence directly connecting McKinnon to the death of Stevens.



Judge Brad Paisley who has been presiding over the case asked if the victim’s mother, Kathryne Stevens who was present in the courtroom during the proceedings, was agreeable to the terms of the plea. Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera informed Judge Paisley that she was, and that Kincaid Chief of Police Dwayne Wheeler who had been one of the lead investigators in the case was also agreeable to the terms of the plea. Kathryne Stevens said after the proceedings that her son is the true victim.



The charge of the unlawful sale of Heroin that McKinnon plead guilty to holds a required time served of 50% of the sentence, where as the drug-induced homicide charge carried a mandatory required time served of 75%. Defense Attorney Finks has also filed a motion for a reduction in bond to be heard on December 12th, with sentencing being set for January 26th.

Christian County Coroner Releases Finalized Death Investigations

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans has released the finalized death investigations for the following cases.


Agim Letniku 41, of Taylorville died on August 1, 2016 in Taylorville. His cause of death was determined to be Trazodone and Lorazepam Intoxication. The manner of death was determined to be suicidal.

Artimus K. Hutson, 18, of Pana died on October 15, 2016 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital E.R. His cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Synthetic Drugs were a contribution. The death was determined to be accidental.

Jessica N. Tyson-Ragan 25, of Taylorville and her unborn son died October 21, 2016 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital E.R. Her cause of death was Multiple Blunt Injuries due to automobile and pickup truck collision. Her death was determined to be homicide.

Dallas Green, 52, of Nokomis died on October 24, 2016 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital E.R. His cause of death was determined to be Blunt force chest trauma. His cause of death was determined to be homicide.

Tyler Lecocq, 35 of Tayorville died on November 4, 2016 in Rural Christian County. His cause of death was determined to be methamphetamine intoxication. His death was determined to be accidental.

John HIcks, 70, of Blue Mound died November 5, 2016 at his residence. His cause of death was gunshot wound to the head. The death was determined to be suicidal.   

Legislature Passes Bill to Keep Nuclear Power Plants On Line

As the clock was running out on the fall veto session of the state legislature this week, a bill was passed providing subsidies for two Exelon nuclear power plants in Clinton and in the Quad Cites. The bill will keep the plants open for several more years.

Jak Tichener of the Paul Simon public policy institute at SIU. He says this bill has been in the works for quite a while and will rely on very modest rate hikes for Commonwealth Edison and Ameren customers.

Jak Tichener. The bill also has some tax incentives to promote wind and solar power, but despite efforts of southern Illinois legislators, the current bill provides no addition support for the struggling coal industry. 

Lawmakers Suing To Be Paid On Time

A small group of lawmakers have sued the outgoing Comptroller demanding that they get their paychecks on time. Leslie Munger decided this year to put lawmaker pay in line with everyone else the state owes money too. That has prevented legislators from being paid since May. Six Democratic lawmakers say filed suit because that they have gone to work every day for six months and there are financial hardships for many. Munger understands how hard it is to go without pay and so do many in Illinois.


Munger says every dollar counts in state coffer’s right now and lawmakers can wait like everyone else.

Durbin Salutes Kirk on Senate Floor

Senator Dick Durbin offered a sendoff to his Junior Senator Republican colleague Thursday. Durbin recapped six years of frequent cooperation with Senator Mark Kirk. He also saluted him on his recovery from a massive stroke four years ago.

Durbin says Kirk's service to the state and nation started long before he reached Capitol Hill's upper chamber.

Durbin says Kirk's successor Tammy Duckworth will work with him on Kirk's outgoing request that Durbin works to protect Lake Michigan.

Christian County Quick Lube Opens for Business

Speed lube on north Webster in taylorville has reopened under new ownership. Former employee Tom Moxie has purchased the business and tells WTIM TV that he'll provide a host of maintenance services.


Pillars Event Center in Taylorville Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The new Pillars Event Center in Taylorville held their ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. Pillars Event Center is in the same building as the former First Baptist Church in Taylorville, and Lori Cocagne, Co-Owner of Pillars spoke with WTIMTV during the ceremony.


Chautauqua Christmas Home Tour Coming Saturday December 10th

The Chautauqua Christmas Home Tour is approaching and there are many businesses and homes to be on the look out for. Brenda Elder with the Chautauqua Preservation Committee said their line up this year is as good as ever and she's looking forward to the home tour weekend. She said this year they have 8 homes and businesses they are excited to show off, to get people buzzing around the city of Shelbyville.

Elder also said there will be transportation available for the Home Tour where people don't have to drive from house to house but can take the bus to make sure they don't have to find parking for each house. Elder said a good place to get on the public transit is The Best Wedding Chapel on Washington Street, that way people can park publicly and not on the side of the road.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, Shelby County office of Tourism, Niestradt, Shorts, or Late Bloomers on Main.


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

Okaw Valley Schools Partnered with Army Corps of Engineers to Make a Local and Environmental Difference

The US Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville recently partnered with Okaw Valley High School. Students from Okaw Valley are giving back to the community by working at Lake Shelbyville with the Corps and performing projects that help the public, doing things such as maintenance, planting trees, and farming. Wes Wise, teacher at Okaw Valley High said this partnership will allow students to gain experience, and even set themselves up for future job opportunities. Wise said from the beginning of the partnership, both sides have been working together to support each other in the best ways possible.

Wise explained some of the things students do on their Corps Days to help both locally and environmentally.

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

Shelbyville Chamber Hopes People Shop Local for the Winter Holidays

Shopping locally for Christmas is just as important as any other time of the year. Small towns and cities have many local businesses that sell exactly what people are looking for when Christmas gift shopping. Vonda McConnell from the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce said she knows people will have to buy some things online and from bigger cities, but locals should always give their hometown a try first.

McConnell said the Shelbyville Chamber is offering Chamberbucks, which are gift certificates good for any of the near 200 businesses within the chamber. McConnell said if anyone has any issues getting someone a gift this year, they should think about getting their loved ones some Chamberbucks to use.

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

Bond Remains at $250,000 For Pana Man Accused of Home Invasion and Arson

Bond remains set at $250,000 for a Pana man charged for a home invasion with a weapon as well as aggravated arson in an incident where he allegedly broke into a neighbor’s home where he threatened her with a knife, and set fire to her home while harming himself.


Brian Ferguson representing himself in court had filed a motion for bond reduction, which was heard Friday in the Christian County Court. Ferguson argued that he is a partial caregiver and also hasn’t been able to make contact with the people he needed to post bond. The Christian County State’s Attorney’s office opposed any reduction to bond in the case, due to the nature of the charges. Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Bach reminded the court that part of the reason for bond is for the protection of the public, and how Ferguson had allegedly threatened someone during the incident, as well as harming himself.


The court denied the motion for bond reduction based on the state’s argument. The matter is set for preliminary hearing on December 16th, with Brian Ferguson opting to continue to represent himself in the case.

Rauner Lays Out Terms For Stopgap Plan

After a big money campaign effort to reduce the Democratic majority in the Illinois House and Senate, Governor Bruce Rauner is turning to social media to weigh in on the budget. While House Speaker Madigan continues to push for another stopgap budget, Rauner has demands.


Madigan is accusing Rauner of planning a tax hike in the lame duck legislative session in January. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin maintains Madigan is the only one who has brought up a tax hike. 

Still No State Budget

The state legislature wrapped up the fall veto session without a new budget. Lack of a budget slows economic growth in the state, due to uncertainty over future tax policy and funding levels for businesses that depend on state business. Dr David Merriman, economist at the U of I, Chicago, and part of the U of I’s Institute of Govt and Public Affairs, says the road map to a long term balanced budget is clear, involving a combination of budget cuts and tax increases.

Merriman says every day without action on spending cuts and taxes means the long debt keeps growing. Meanwhile, lack of a budget in the short term hurts the most vulnerable citizens the hardest.

The legislature will take up the budget issue again in January.

Republicans Want Madigan to Grow Up

Republican’s at the Statehouse are not backing of the campaign mode of blaming House Speaker Mike Madigan for nearly everything that is going wrong in Illinois. The state party recently launched a Boss Madigan website and they were quick to blame him for missing one of the leaders meetings on Tuesday. Madigan notes he was ready to meet when the Governor was in Rome. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says there should be no issue or hurt feelings with taking a hard stance on the Speaker. 

Madigan is indicating that he wants a stand-alone budget to be voted on. Holding off a vote or making separate any demands by Republicans on turn around agenda items. 

A Push to Get Rauner Back to Table with AFSCME

Lawmakers are standing with the state’s largest employee union and asking the Governor to get back to bargaining table. The Governor and ASFCME have been determined to be at an impasse and that allows Rauner to impose his own contract terms to the union. State Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat says that the two sides should still be meeting.

Nearly 3 dozen lawmakers came together to address the issue and Republicans and Democrats say that this is a nonpartisan issue. Republican Senator Sam McCann says that the issues at hand are not partisan and not about anyone part of the state. 

State Treasurer Frerichs Says Good Things Happen With a Balanced Budget

The State budget is once again at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and lawmakers are trying to settle difference and come up with a balanced budget. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says many people think his office has a hand in creating a budget, and clarified that although he makes suggestions, he doesn’t have a direct hand in crafting a budget.



Frerichs spelled out some of the issues that the state ends up having with downgraded credit ratings.



Frerichs said passing a balanced budget helps the state save money by reducing interests rates on debt taken out by the state, and allows his office to invest differently to make more money for the state. Treasurer Frerichs appeared on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Pediatrician with Memorial Physician Services Offers Tips for Child Santa Anxiety

For many a holiday tradition is having your child’s picture taking with Santa Clause, but many children won’t set foot near the bearded bearer of gifts due to crippling fear and anxiety. Dr. Jennifer Snyder, Pediatrician at Memorial Physician Services had some tips for parents to help their children overcome their fear of Santa.



Snyder said there is nothing wrong with being in the picture with your children if it helps with their Santa anxiety.



Snyder also said it’s not a good idea to punish your child or make them feel bad if they are afraid of Santa, saying how it’s a common developmental phase that children usually grow out of.

U of I Extension's Lisa Peterson said "Maintain Don't Gain" Weight this Holiday Season

The Winter holidays are approaching fast and that means eggnog, alcohol, and high calorie foods are doing the same. Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator at the University of Illinois Extension said with all of the unhealthy foods and drinks being consumed during this time, people shouldn’t expect to lose weight, in fact people generally put on a few pounds during this time of year. Generally, that wouldn't be a problem, except people don't work it off later, so after a few years, it adds up.

Peterson said one tip she has is to set specific and realistic goals for accountability purposes, that way people set themselves up for success and not failure.

Peterson appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Busy Saturday for The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce have a busy weekend ahead of them as Taylorville celebrates Christmas city-wide. Saturday evening marks the start of the Taylorville Christmas Parade, and Patty Hornbuckle the CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said most businesses downtown will have their storefronts decorated, and the floats will be lit with Christmas lights and go with the theme, “Home for the Holidays.”

Hornbuckle said later that night the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation will have their Gifts of the Season Signature event at the new Pillars Event Center, and tickets are still available with all proceeds going to the THM Foundation Scholarship fund.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville LLCC Spring Semester Registration Open

For those in school, the Fall semester is coming to a close and registration for spring has begun. The new year marks the beginning of new goals and fresh starts so Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville is looking for a pretty heavy enrollment. Dee Krueger, Director of LLCC in Taylorville said many of the General Education Classes are close to full so new or returning students shouldn't hesitate and register now.

Krueger said they have some classes they are still trying to fill up such as their new journalism class, or classes such as geology or nutrition where those classes are hybrid based.


Krueger also said registration is a simple but deep process that makes sure students will sign up for the right classes and head to a career they'll enjoy.

Krueger appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


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