Local News

Taylorville Municipal Band Releases Summer Concert Highlight CD

The Taylorville Municipal Band has released a CD for anybody who is interesting in hearing some of the music that the band has to offer. The CDs are about 80 minutes long, and feature several pieces from the band’s summer concerts. The albums are $10, and are available at the Taylorville City Clerk’s Office.


Jim Smith, Director of the Taylorville Municipal band discussed how the CDs were put together.



The CDs feature several different pieces that the band played over the summer.



Smith had info for how anybody could purchase a CD.


217Go Program Looking to Get Citizens in The 217 Area Code Up and Active

A new program is coming to several area hospitals to help the community work on their health and wellness through fun activities. Go217 is hoping to keep everyone moving and improve the overall health of everyone in the 217 area code. HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital and the Shelby County Senior Center will be offering the classes each month, and focus on a dance workout.


Tonya Bowrey, Manager of Rehabilitation Services and the Wellness for Life Program discussed the focus of Go217.



Bowrey said the Go217 program fit with what HSHS Good Shepherd hospital’s rehabilitation department works to do with patients, and shared what the Shelbyville classes will be all about.



The classes are free to attend, and are welcome to everybody. The first class and sign-up event will be held Thursday, March 2nd at the Shelby County Senior Center starting at 7.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Announces Successful 2016 Blood Drive Effort

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary had a very successful 2016 blood drive effort. Through these drives, the community provided nearly 400 units of blood, impacting the lives of over 1,500 patients.


Pat Anderson is taking over as chair of the Auxiliary’s blood drive effort from former chair Marilyn Voggetzer, and discussed just how successful last year’s blood drive efforts were, and shared how the Auxiliary gets the word out about the drives.



Many thanks have gone out to Voggetzer for her tenure as chair of the drives. Anderson said Voggetzer is continuing to help her in her new role as chairperson of the Auxiliary’s blood drive efforts.



The next blood drive that the TMH Auxiliary will be hosting will be on March 2nd in the Janice Hopper Auditorium from 11 until 6.

Jim Bohannon Talks About President Trump's First State of the Union Address Tonight at 9:00 on NEWSTALK WTIM

President Donald Trump has had an interesting and, at times, difficult first month in office. Tonight he will give his first Presidential Address explaining all that happened, his opinion on it, and what he expects from congress going forward, including with what he wants to do with his Federal Budget.


Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon Show will dissect the address, talk about it in further detail including the president's demeanor, his word choices, his specificity, and the things he decides to highlight.

Bohannon said there is a good chance President Trump will explain his budget and why he wants to boost military spending and cut funding to the EPA and cut State Department Costs.

The Jim Bohannon Show is on NEWSTALK WTIM weeknights from 9:00 to midnight.


Bohannon appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center is There to Support With Open Arms

Surprises happen, and when a young or unprepared couple finds out they are having a baby, often times they need someone to lean on. Family and friends are generally the one's to go to, but Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center in Taylorville is there to both lean on and teach people what to do when these things happen all at no cost.


Cathy Coker, Director of Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center explained one of their programs that benefits not just the future mother, but the future family in many ways.

Coker said Loving Arms pairs with schools to teach students how to plan for their future and to be smart with their decisions to know how to control having a family until they are ready. She said they also offer a program similar to that for those who are no longer of school age.

Coker appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Does Your Breakfast Need a Makeover?

Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day but often times people skip it and skip out on refueling their bodies before the day begins. One key ingredient people should make sure not to miss for breakfast is dairy as it provides key nutrients and protein. But that's not all, it's important people makeover their breakfast to make sure they hit more key nutrients especially from fruit and vegetables, and try to cut out carbohydrates and sugar.


Joyce Fikri, Nutrition Educator at the St. Louis Dairy Council, said some changes people can make to make their breakfast better include adding higher fiber, pairing dairy with high protein foods, and reducing sugar.

Fikri said she understands some people have busy mornings, but a way to make sure breakfast is still available is to have portable breakfast options, or prepare it the night before.

Fikri appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.  

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 Saturday, February 18, 2017 and Sunday, February 19, 2017,  person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 1006 West Rich Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a Llama .9mm handgun and a loaded magazine.  No damage appeared to be done while making entry.  The total dollar amount of the theft 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.  

Severe Weather Expected to Bring Strong Winds, Damaging Hail, And Isolated Tornadoes to Central Illinois Tuesday Evening



The National Weather Service is warning residence of Central Illinois of a possibly severe storm system expected to move into the area Tuesday evening that could bring large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes. Taylorville area residents are also advised that the severe weather sirens are currently under maintenance, and may not be heard should severe weather strike.


Christian County Emergency Manager Mike Crews has participated in several conference calls with the National Weather Service, and shared what weather the area should expect.



Crews addressed the issue of the weather sirens, and said although workers hope to have the sirens working by the time the storm front hits, citizens should keep their eyes and ears on local media outlets to stay informed on the storm.



Widely scattered strong to severe thunderstorms will develop across central Illinois late this afternoon into the early evening. Given unseasonably high amounts of instability and wind shear in the environment, the thunderstorm cells will be capable of producing damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, large hail greater than quarter-sized, and a few tornadoes. Further west...a solid line of thunderstorms is expected to develop along a cold front across Iowa and Missouri early this evening. This line of storms will surge eastward into central Illinois tonight. At this time, it appears the greatest risk for widespread severe weather will develop across the Illinois River Valley between 6pm and midnight...along the I-55 corridor between 9pm and 3am...and further east to the Indiana border between 3am and 6am.

NWS Says The Night Ahead Holds Bad Weather

The National Weather Service is expecting severe weather throughout much of Illinois later today and early very Wednesday morning. An unseasonably warm and moist air mass for February is setting the state up for mix a nasty weather says NWS Metrologist Matt Barnes.

Barnes says the worst of the weather is expected to reach the state after midnight tonight and will stretch from the St. Louis area to north of Bloomington.

NWS Metrologist Matt Barnes says that it’s not normally this warm in February and those conditions are contributing to the threat for a rough night of weather.

Taylorville Park District Approves New Furnaces and Air Conditioners for Lakeshore Golf Course

The Taylorville Park Board approved new furnaces and air conditioning units for the Lakeshore Golf Course Monday night at their monthly meeting at the Manners Park Board Room. The decision wasn’t unanimous however, as there was much debate over several bids the board had gotten for the work, as well as the type of furnaces and air conditioners being installed.


Office Administrator Mary Ann Becker began the discussion by reminding the board of a bid the Park Board had received from Nolen Plumbing for installing the new heating and cooling systems at the golf course.



The board had received several other bids including one from Blakley Heating and Cooling, but ultimately elected to accept the bid from Nolen. During discussion however the board debated on the air conditioning units being installed, due to the new units being smaller than the old. The board wasn’t sure if the smaller units would perform the same as the larger.



Becker informed the board that all bidders included the smaller units due to the efficiency of the air conditioners, but debate remained as to where that efficiency came from.



The board asked Maintenance Supervisor Gary Brown for his opinion. He said that according to the people he had spoken to, they explained how the smaller units worked better, and assured him that they would work.



The Board ultimately elected to vote to accept the bid from Nolen, with the vote passing with a single no vote.  

Home in Weekend Stonington Blaze A Total Loss

A house fire in Stonington over the weekend has destroyed a home that had been a staple in the community since 1927. A home on the Briggs Family Farm caught fire on Saturday afternoon, prompting response from several area fire departments. There were no injuries in the blaze, but the home is being reported as a total loss.


Ron Smith, Captain with the Taylorville Fire Department discussed Taylorville’s assistance with the fire.



The source of the fire is still currently unknown and will be investigated by the State Fire Marshal’s office, who was expected to begin his investigation on Monday Morning.

Victor Pop Hopes to Make Changes for the City of Taylorville

Taylorville City early voting is in progress, and one massive change for the city will be for the mayor position. Victor Pop is one of the names in the pot to be the next Mayor of Taylorville, and he believes his experience in lobbying for new structures will help his case.


Pop said some of the issues include poor infrastructure and lack of jobs, and he's hoping as mayor, he can fix that.

Pop said a “Yes” to the school tax referendum will do nothing but benefit the city, as it will help both the students and economics of the city.

Early voting for candidates has begun at the City's Clerks office at the Taylorville courthouse.


Pop appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Mayor Explains Infrastructure Changes in the City

The city of Taylorville has its hands full when it comes to improving its infrastructure as there are multiple road projects taking place, as well as new sewer lines, and a new water plant preparing to be built. Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton said these projects may be expensive, but the end result will benefit the cities utilities and economy as businesses and incoming residents will be more likely move to Taylorville.


Brotherton said the road construction on East Main Cross and Cheney will also benefit the citizens, and while they may be annoying now, they aren't far from completion.

Brotherton said all of these improvements may not be as important if the Taylorville School Tax Referendum does not pass. He said it's important to vote “Yes” for the tax referendum, otherwise businesses and citizens won't move in, and it's likely many will move out.

Brotherton appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Rauner Spends Weekend In DC

The Governor spent the weekend in Washington D.C. Republican state leaders gathered in the nation’s capitol for their winter meeting. Rauner says the conversations he’d have would be focused on the possible changes to laws that would impact states.

U of I Extension Holding Healthy Dining Out Techniques Class In March For National Nutrition Month

Both February and March are months to focus on being nutritious and staying healthy. February is National Heart Health Month, and one way to make sure to stay healthy inexpensively is buying canned fruits and vegetables, but keeping and eye on sugars and sodium within them respectively. March is National Nutrition Month, and to celebrate the U of I Extension is holding a class about dining out and how to do it in healthy ways on March 22 from 1:00-2:00.


Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator at the U of I Extension said regular diets with more fruits and vegetables will highly beneficial to the heart, and one way to celebrate Heart Health Month is by having your numbers checked.

Peterson said for National Nutrition Month it's important when dining out whether its fast food or sitting down, to do research ahead of time, find the menus and see what might be the best meals to eat that would also be healthy.

Peterson appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Social Security Administration Celebrates America Saves Week

The retirement age, is increasing, starting with those born in 1955 where the age is no longer 66, but has no increased by two months, and for every year after, that continues to rise. The rise plateaus for those born in 1960 and later where the age for them to claim their Social Security will be 67. The increase is because of an amendment passed in the 1980's where the age was no longer 65 for everyone, but increased for the younger generations.


Jack Myers, Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration, said at Social Security they tend to focus on those who are turning 62.

With that people should also start to keep in mind they need to save money since many retire earlier than the Social Security Retirement Age. This week is America Saves Week and Myers said now is a time to start setting goals to save, and if goals are set, then to see if those goals are being achieved.

Myers said no matter what, it's never too early to start saving.


Myers appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

HSHS Good Shepard Rehabilitation and Wellness Dept Offering New Dance Class to Stay in Shape

The Rehabilitation and Wellness Department of HSHS Good Shepard Hospital in Shelbyville is partnering with the Shelby County Senior Center to offer a new dance program to help participants get in shape called Go!217. There is no age requirement and anyone is welcome to attend. The classes are free, and, as of right now, will be monthly, but that could change as the program progresses.


Tonya Bowrey, Manager of Rehabilitation and Wellness Services at HSHS Good Shepard said the classes are similar to a Zumba style class, but less strenuous.

Bowrey said as of right now, she and her staff are teaching the classes in a line dancing style, but they hope to connect to the community to eventually offer more and let professional dance teachers take over.

Bowrey was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville Studios. 

DMH Shelbyville Medical Center Offers More Services than the Average Family Practice

DMH Shelbyville Medical Center is a fairly new operation in the area that is ready to give local citizens the best medical service available. SMC opened this past October and is able to offer a slew of services to the area including CT scanning, lab testing, various therapies, and it's own pharmacy. Patients can make an appointment by calling the center and it's open Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00. 
Dr. Nathan Roberts, Family Medicine Practitioner at DMH Shelbyville Medical Center gave more details about some of the services they provide.

Dr. Roberts said they are able to offer all of these extensive services in part because of the staff they have, where most are there 5 days a week. Although, some are there as specialists who travel to Shelbyville Medical Center every couple of weeks.

Dr. Roberts appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville studios. 

Pana High School's FFA Chapter Celebrates FFA Week

Area schools were participating in FFA week this past week, and every school had their own agenda for how they celebrated. FFA allows students to grow life skills that will help them be prepared for the agriculture industry, prepare job applications and interviews, ag sales and much more. Pana High School's FFA Chapter had their own week of fun planned where they drove their alternative vehicles to school and dressed up every day.


Bradley Barringer, Senior and President of the Pana High School FFA Chapter explained all of the details.

Barringer was joined by Teri Hall, Senior and Vice President of the FFA Chapter, and they said that FFA has prepared them for the real world, both by occupation choice, and socially to where they both, are now more confident.

Barringer and Hall appeared on the special NEWSTALK WTIM FFA Week portion of the Noon Farm Show. 

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears From Local Marathoner Chad Sutton at Weekly Luncheon


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. The guest speaker was Chad Sutton .


Sutton gave a heartwarming story on his love for running. Although Sutton ran in high school with the cross country and track team, he started to take serious ownership of the hobby in 2009. Recently married and 100 lbs heavier, Sutton started running with the purpose of losing weight. He ran in the Chicago marathon where he hit a wall: heavy legs, closed lungs, and a shutdown body. His time: 5 hours, 46 minutes. In spite of the achievement of completing a marathon, Chad was still a little embarrassed and knew he had to make some adjustments to his purpose. At this this point he knew he still wanted to lose weight but also prove to himself that he could do better.


Sutton’s new goal was to lose weight and qualify for Boston within 5 years. During that time, his daughter Claire was born and became involved; moreover, his dad helped with training as well. Running has become a family hobby that has taken the Sutton’s to some fantastic places and has allowed them to meet other athletic icons as well. As for Boston, Chad completed the race in April 2016 with a time of 2 hours, 52 minutes. Sutton was quoted as saying “it’s important to have a purpose, a strong one.” His new purpose is to run for cancer research in his grandma’s name. The goal has been modified as well: Run a half marathon or longer in all 50 states… and Chad is off and running and well on his way!


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Accepting Applications for Free Nursing Camp for Students

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is now accepting applications for a free nursing camp for students who are interested in the profession. The camp, which will be held in June at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation as well as Taylorville Memorial Hospital will give students the chance to shadow and interact with nursing staff.


Stacy Hull, Workforce Development Consultant with Memorial Health Systems gave more details on the camp.



Other factors in the application process include a students grade point average and extracurricular activities.


Hull said the TEN Camp is a great way for students to learn more about the nursing field, and gave some details as to what’s on the first day agenda for the camp.



The following days will be held at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, where campers will have the opportunity to shadow nurses throughout the hospital. Hull gave details on how students can apply for the camp.



The camp will be limited to 10 students, and campers are expected to attend all three days of the camp. Applications are available online, and more information is available by calling 788-6254.

Stew-Stras FFA Chapter Celebrates FFA Week

Area schools are participating in FFA week this week, and every school has their own agenda for how they should celebrate. FFA allows students to grow life skills that will help them be prepared for the agriculture industry, prepare job applications and interviews, ag sales and much more. Stew-Stras High School's FFA Week is mainly built around fun and sharing the enjoyment of FFA with students from the Elementary and Jr. High Schools.


Alex Walden, Chapter Reporter for the Stew-Stras FFA Chapter, and senior in high school said throughout the week they celebrated with Tractor Day, a petting zoo, serving community breakfasts, and much more.

Olivia Telgmann, Senior and Treasurer of the Stew-Stras FFA Chapter, joined Walden and explained what the importance of the officers are and what they do both for the community, for the younger students, and for the future of their FFA chapter.

Telgmann and Walden appeared on the special NEWSTALK WTIM FFA Week portion of the Noon Farm Show. 

LLCC Summer Registration Open

Registration for Summer Session is now available at Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville. Many summer classes are general education based, but there are certification programs also available for those who may want to achieve their certificate in half the time as they would if they took the classes in the Fall or Spring.


Dee Kruger, Director of Taylorville's LLCC said Summer is a good time to try to complete one of the harder classes, but it's also a great time to play catch up, or even get ahead, especially for high schoolers.

Kruger said Summer classes are 8 weeks long, so double the amount of information is given to students than in a normal semester.

Kruger appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Early Voting Available for City Government Elections and School Tax Referendum

Early voting for Taylorville City Elections and the School Tax Referendum has changed. Early voting for Taylorville citizens starts today (started yesterday), and people can go down to the courthouse and cast their ballot whenever they please through April 4th. The city government will go through a major change as there will be a new mayor and city clerk, several Alderman positions are open, and the city treasurer's office is also available, with Jacque Nation running to retain her position.


Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce said this is an important election as so much change will happen in the city government. And not only that, the outcome of the tax referendum vote could affect the city for years to come.

Hornbuckle said, it's equally as important for people who live just outside of the city limits to vote, because there are still matters that need to be settled that will affect those in the fringe areas.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

AFSCME Votes to Authorize Strike

The largest union for Illinois state workers has voted on the potential for a strike and Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch reveals a strike authorization vote wasn't close.

AFSCME has been working without a contract since the summer of 2015.

Rauner Reacts to AFSCME Vote

It’s not a decision to strike but the choice is now on the table for ASFCME members as they voted in strong numbers to support authorizing one. However, the state’s largest employee union says they are prepared to do everything they can to find an alternative path. Governor Bruce Rauner says that his administration has made their last and best final offer and it’s time to accept the contract and keep the state working. 

More than 80 percent of AFSCME members voted to authorize a first-time strike against the state.

Cubs World Series Trophy Tour Comes to Springfield

Millions came to see it after a 108 year wait, now Downstate Illinois gets a chance to see the Cubs World Series Trophy. The trophy will come to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield March 8th after the Cubs finish showing it off at their Cactus League/Spring Training home in Arizona. The Library/Museum's Chris Wills says the news is the result of a great working relationship with the Cubs.


The first 500 fans will receive wristbands and be assured a chance to take a picture with the trophy beginning at 12:30. Additional fans will be admitted if time permits. No shelter will be provided overnight or during the day of the event, so fans should dress appropriately for the weather.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center Continuing 2017 Blood Drive Efforts With Blood Drive in Pana

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is continuing their 2017 blood drive efforts with another blood drive in the area. Pana Community Hospital will host a community blood drive on March 8th from 1 until 7 held at the First United Methodist Church in Pana.


Potential donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental permission, and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required, and individuals with diabetes or controlled high blood pressure can still be accepted as eligible donors.


The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is the exclusive provider of blood to both Pana Community Hospital and Taylorville Memorial Hospital. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to donate, call 217-623-5631.

Christian County Board Reduces Board and Chairman Salaries To Help Fight Budget Deficit

The Christian County Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to cut the salaries of county board members, as well as the county board chairman. The move is aimed to help reduce the budget deficit that the Board is facing.


County Board Chairman Tim Carlson says the move was the biggest highlight of a generally positive meeting of the Christian County Board.



Carlson says the board is just trying to do their part in helping cut the budget deficit. Carlson said over a ten year span, the move is expected to save the county quite a bit of money.



The next meeting of the Christian County Board will take place on March 21st at 6:30 in the Christian County Courthouse.

Tobacco, Poor Dieting, and Sedentary Lifestyles Cause Heart Complications

February is American Heart Month, a time to truly focus on the heart as heart conditions and issues continue to rise in the country. One true reason for this is because of high cholesterol from unhealthy eating habits, but it doesn’t stop there as tobacco use, and sedentary lifestyles can also attribute to this. If preventative measures aren't taken, by 2030, 40% of the country's population will have some sort of cardiovascular issue, including a stoke, heart disease, a heart attack, and many others.


Dr. Shabaz Mohammad, physician at the Community Medical Clinic in Pana said heart disease and heart attacks are most commonly caused by risks that can be modified.

Dr. Mohammad said the best way to fight heart complications is not to open arteries back up or have surgery, but to prevent them from clogging in the first place.

Dr. Mohammad will be hosting Lunch, Learn, and Live Well, an event where he will talk about taking care of the heart in a casual setting where people can eat and ask questions as he goes. It will be at Pana Community Hospital, on Monday, February 27, from 11:30-12:30.


Dr. Mohammad appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Cowden-Herrick High School FFA Chapter Celebrates FFA Week

Area schools are participating in FFA week this week, and every school has their own agenda for how they should celebrate. FFA allows students to grow life skills that will help them be prepared for the agriculture industry, prepare job applications and interviews, ag sales and much more. Cowden-Herrick High School is celebrating their FFA week like they would spirit week with every day having it's own theme, but also going out to other schools to talk about FFA and draw interest when those students hit high school.


Haley Atchley, President of Cowden-Herrick's FFA Chapter discussed the full week in further detail.

Atchley said this year her FFA project is taking care of chickens and keeping her record book on the things she does as she takes care of them, gathers their eggs, and sells those eggs. But that's not all, as she said FFA is helping build her leadership skills, social skills, and is preparing her to possibly become a veterinarian.

Atchley appeared on the special NEWSTALK WTIM FFA Week portion of the Noon Farm Show. 

In Various States Car Insurance Rates Rise Due to Distracted Driving

Recently car insurance rates have risen because of the higher number of accidents due to distracted driving. This goes for all demographics, and all forms of distracted driving including electronic devices, eating, reading, conversing, and even arguing. Taylorville Police Sargent Alan Mills said he knows there are variables that occur, but it's important people take driving seriously and do everything thing they can to stay focused.


He said while many people may want to fault this to millennial drivers, they aren't the only ones who are putting themselves in dangerous situations.

He said while patrolling, he's seen, too many times, people on their phone while driving through school zones, and that's one area where people need to be the most focused.

Sargent Mills appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Kidnapping Charges Dropped Against Taylorville Resident in Pennsylvania

A kidnapping charge has been dropped in Pennsylvania against a Taylorville resident. Billie Baker accepted a plea deal this week that drops the kidnapping charge, and sees him plead guilty to a lesser charge of concealment of the whereabouts of a child.


Baker was arrested by authorities during a traffic stop in Pennsylvania in April, concluding a two months search for 17 year old Rachel Barrish. Barrish was found as a passenger in Baker’s vehicle, with Baker originally being arrested on an outstanding warrant.


Baker will face sentencing in March and could face up to seven years in prison.

NEWSTALK WTIM Peoples Bank and Trust February Students of the Month Announced

The Newstalk WTIM and Peoples Bank and Trust Taylorville Students of the Month for February have been announced. Pictured from left to right are:


Lindsay Lopian  from Peoples Bank and Trust, Senior Herschel Rhodes, Junior Karlee Howell, Sophomore Chloe Lynn, Freshman Owen Morrison and Jessica Bland of Peoples Bank and Trust


Run for Political Office and Farm at the Same Time

An Illinois farmer proved you can run for a seat in the General Assembly and grow a record-sized crop all at the same time -- and live to tell. Marengo farmer John Bartman did it last year and thinks more farmers belong in the Illinois statehouse;

Bartman entered the race late after the McHenry County Democratic Party slated him to run due to former Representative Jack Franks' decision to run for a county office. Bartman came up short, but hasn't ruled out another run. He plans to share his experience next week at an Illinois Farm Bureau conference in Springfield. You can still attend. Contact your county Farm Bureau.

All Illinois Beer Set to Debut

Next Friday, local beer won’t just mean locally brewed anymore. Spokesman Mike Billy says Tangled Roots Brewing Company will sell a brew made with locally grown barley and hops.

The brew is named 41-88, because Ottawa is at 41 degrees north latitude and 88 degrees west longitude. Billy says just like grapes used in wine, hops take on a local flavor depending on the soil and water where they’re grown. The beer will debut at the company’s one year anniversary party next Friday.

Plans Being Pushed To Help Ease the Strain of Losing a Doctor

Health insurance plans can be expensive and confusing to sign up for. And even when you keep the same plan from year to year your plan may change without you knowing. That has the potential to leave patients breaking long relationships with doctors. And Representative Chad Hays of Danville in favor of a bill that would set up a grace period to allow patients to work with existing doctors while they look for a new one.

The bill would also make sure that health insurance providers have up to date information on in-network doctors on their websites.

Taylorville High School FFA Chapter Celebrates FFA Week

Area schools are participating in FFA week this week, and every school has their own agenda for how they should celebrate. FFA allows students to grow life skills that will help them be prepared for the agriculture industry, job applications and interviews, ag sales and much more. The Taylorville High School FFA Chapter is using a lot of their week to give back to the faculty, staff and administrators by treating them to a breakfast, and the FFA Alumni will treat the current members to a lunch.


Sue Schafer, Ag Science teach from THS, said the meals aren't all that's prepared for the FFA celebration, as they are also showing pride through their FFA colors and camouflage attire throughout the week.

Schafer said one major part of the FFA members during the year is their FFA project. Madison Taylor, President of the THS FFA Chapter, and Jack Curtin, Vice President, talked about their projects they are looking to complete this school year.

Taylor and Curtin will continue their projects and will be keeping up with their record books throughout the remainder of the year.


Schafer, Curtin, and Taylor appeared on the special NEWSTALK WTIM FFA Week portion of the Noon Farm Show. 

Taylorville Lenten Season Services Held on Wednesdays Starting in March; Schedule Finalized

The Lenten Season begins next month, and the Taylorville Ministerial Association has 6 weeks of services lined up on Wednesday's During the lunch hour. The services will all have food provided to those who attend, and donations are welcome as all proceeds will go to TMA's Financial Assistance Fund to help those less fortunate.


Bill Kerns, Pastor of Davis Memorial Christian Church and member of the Taylorville Ministerial Association said the 6 services will all have different speakers and will be at different locations. And while they all share the topic of forgiveness, it's a much more broad topic than one would think.

Kerns said the services are important fundraisers for TMA as the money will all go to their program to help those who need financial assistance with food, gas, or lodging.

Kerns appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


March 8: Davis Memorial Christian Church; Speaker: Rev. Michael Evanchek

March 15: First United Methodist; Speaker: Rev. Bill Kerns

March 22: Taylorville Memorial Hospital; Speaker: Rev. Ted Marrinan

March 29: Taylorville Christian; Speaker: Rev. Tiney Walker

April 5: First Presbyterian; Speaker: Rev. Bob Cook

April 14: St. Mary's Catholic Church; Speaker Monsignor David Lantz 

Taylorville City Council Votes Yes on Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail Motions



It was a packed house Tuesday evening at the Taylorville Municipal Building as many members of the community came out to Tuesday’s Taylorville City Council Meeting in support of the Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail between the cities of Taylorville and Pana. The Council voted 5-3 in favor of a motion to have the city attorney draft an intergovernmental agreement between Taylorville and Pana that would both fix the trestle bridge along the bike path, as well as transfer ownership of part of the path to Taylorville.


Taylorville City Alderman Martin Vota had mentioned during the meeting that he had spoken with many concerned citizens regarding the bike trail. Vota spoke with WTIMTV following the meeting where he echoed some of the concerns that he had heard.



Vota discussed the intergovernmental agreement the council approved to allow the city attorney to draft, and what it would mean for the trail.



Originally, Taylorville had only agreed to help Pana with the costs of the repair of the trestle bridge along the trail. With the costs of the project increasing, Vota discussed why the Council decided to now work towards taking over ownership of a portion of the trail.



Some concerns were raised by several members of the City Council as to whether or not this was a prudent expense for Taylorville, noting the condition of several sidewalks within the city limits. Vota shared why he felt spending money on the trail was well worth it.



Vota concluded by saying that once the Taylorville side of the trail is under city ownership, the city should promote the trail to help bring tax dollars and revenue into the city.

ISP District 9 Announces January Enforcement Numbers

Illinois State Police District 09 Commander, Chris Owen, announced Tuesday activity and enforcement figures for the month of January. Troopers in District 09, which includes 7 Counties, answered 262 calls for service and initiated 1991 incidents in the field during the month

In addition, enforcement figures totaled 995 citations and over 1000 written warnings, including 450 speeding citations, 33 DUIs, 110 seatbelt citations, 5 child restraint citations, 300 written warnings for speeding, and 46 criminal arrests. Troopers also assisted nearly 300 motorists, conducted over 400 Motor Carrier Inspections resulting in 16 unsafe Motor Carriers being removed from the roadways, and investigated 60 traffic crashes. There were 0 fatal traffic crashes handled by the Illinois State Police in District 09 during the month of January.

During the month, 331 citations and written warnings were issued for “Fatal Four” violations. These violations are most associated with fatal traffic crashes and include Speeding, DUI, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, and Distracted Driving.

Demolition Begins Of Old St. Marys School in Taylorville


Demolition of the old St. Marys School in Taylorville began in earnest over the weekend. So far the front third and part of the back portion of the old building has been taken down. St. Marys Principle Cathy Robertson says it’s sad to see the old building go, but she knows that moving forward moving into the new building was the right decision to make.


Robertson said a crowd had gathered on Saturday to watch as the demolition began on the old building.



As the demolition was taking place, Robertson noticed a small passageway between two rooms at the old school that she hadn’t known about. She said she joked with a coworker about discovering a secret passageway at the old school.



Robertson also said the school had been getting questions on whether or not people could grab bricks from the old school as mementos, and wanted to assure that the public is more than welcome if they’d like to grab a brick from the old school to keep.

Accident at Intersection of Rt 104 and Rt 29 in Taylorville

Regional Radio News has learned of an accident at the intersection of Rt. 104 and Rt. 29 in Taylorville. It is unclear what exactly happened at this time. At least one individual was taken from the scene by ambulance with unknown injuries. Regional Radio News will have more details once they become available.

House Will Hear Plan to Sell Thompson Center

The Governor has long sought to sell the hub of state government in Chicago. Bruce Rauner wants to sell the Thompson Center and get the state out of the business of owning expensive real estate and trying to keep up what is now seen as a crumbing building.

House Speaker Mike Madigan says a house committee will take up the proposal. The Governor says after selling the building that existing state workers would move to less expensive real estate in Chicago. 

Illinois State Fair Reveals Several Grandstand Acts for 2017

The Illinois State Fair is going public with its first Grandstand concerts. Half of the lineup is finalized and State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon reveals an act that should be familiar to any country fan who hasn't slept under a rock the last few decades.

Other big names include classic rock legend John Mellencamp on the final day of the fair, August 20th. Country star Chase Rice has been tabbed to perform August 11th. Pop star Jason DeRulo takes the stage August 17th and it could be a sleepless evening for any livestock left at the Fairgrounds on August 19th as metal act Five Finger Death Punch turns up the volume. A ticket sales date has not been set. 

Special Olympics Benefit From Lotto

Special Olympics will continue to benefit from another lotto game. Proceeds from an existing scratch off ticket have already generated more than a million and half dollars. Now a limited edition three dollar ticket will add to the jackpot of funds donated to Special Olympians says Karen Atwood, the Special Olympics Board of Directors.

Lake Land College Planning Series of High School Visits to Help Students Transition to College


Lake Land College is planning a series of high school visits to help students know what the college has to offer them. The visits are designed to help the students as they transition from high school to college, and how the school can make that process as easy as they can.


Pam Hartke, admissions representative with Lake Land College said the visits are something that most schools do, and gave insight into how the process works for Lake Land.



Hartke further explained the purpose of these high school visits, and how students can meet with representatives from Lake Land during their school’s visit.





School                                                                                          Visit Day         Visit Time

Altamont High School                                                                       March 1           2:45 p.m.

Arthur/Lovington/Atwood/Hammond High School                                 March 1           2:26 p.m.

Aspire Alternative High School                                                          March 15         1:30 p.m.

Brownstown High School                                                                  March 8           1:05 a.m.

Casey Westfield High School                                                            March 6           11:30 a.m.

Charleston High School                                                                    March 9           11:30 a.m.

Dieterich High School                                                                       March 8           9:57 a.m.

Kansas High School                                                                         March 14         11:10 a.m.

Effingham High School                                                                     March 23         12:40 p.m.

Marshall High School                                                                       March 9           2:42 p.m.

Martinsville High School                                                                   Feb. 28            8:00 a.m.

Neoga High School                                                                          March 10         9:30 a.m.

New Approach Alternative Education                                                 March 21         9:15 a.m.

Pana High School                                                                           March 23         2:35 p.m.

Paris High School                                                                           March 9           9:00 a.m.

Ramsey High School                                                                       Feb. 28            2:30 p.m.

St. Anthony High School                                                                  March 14         11:45 a.m.

Stewardson-Strasburg High School                                                   Feb. 28            12:15 p.m.

Teutopolis High School                                                                    March 1           11:00 a.m.

Windsor Jr./Sr. High School                                                              March 1           9:00 a.m.


Student Led Startup From Local University Heading To Nationals After Second Place Finish in Cleantech Competition in Chicago


BluSolar, a student-led startup from Millikin University had an impressive showing at the Cleantech University Prize Competition, finishing second, and earning a trip to the National Competition in June. The judges at the Cleantech Competition seemed most impressed at BluSolar’s rapid development, going from an idea to a growing business in a matter of months.


Estefano Martinez, a sophmore business major at Milliken and CEO of BluSolar gave a peak at what they pitched to the judges during the Cleantech Competition.



Martinez said the judges were both impressed with the technology that the company is developing, but also with the development of the company itself.



It’s on to the National Competition in June for BluSolar, and they’re looking to work on perfecting their business model by then.



The national competition is put on by the Department of Energy, where BluSolar will be competing against a number of different startups from around the country for a chance to win $100,000 to help with their company.

Julie Lilly Says She's Ready to Step Up for City Clerk, and Keep the City Running Smoothly

One of the city positions that will change with this year's local election will be the City Clerk's office. The reigning City Clerk, Pam Peabody, has been in office for more than 20 years, and runs a tight ship, and Julie Lilly, candidate for the office, believes she can step in and hit the ground running. Lilly has experience in Real Estate, works closely with the schools, and has been immersed in city organizations for years, and believes she's the right fit for the position.


Lilly said her mission is the same that her father's was. To help the community thrive.

Lilly also mentioned the upcoming vote for the tax referendum, where she said she believes it's important it gets passed, because without it, not only will the city's children be hindered, but so will the city's upcoming plans for growth.

Lilly appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

State Treasurer Frerichs Not Sold on Gov. Rauner's Budget Plans

There were many things mentioned that were good about Governor Bruce Rauner's Budget Address from last Wednesday, with a lot of promises for the state. State Treasurer Mike Frerichs wasn't sold on anything though. Frerichs said he thought it sounded a lot like a campaign speech with many promises and not many answers, which is not what the people need to hear when the budget is still $7 billion out of balance


Frerichs said Rauner's address had very little content, and seemed like it had more promises than plans, like a campaign speech. Frerichs said the programs the governor has in mind to set up are great, but where's the money going to come from to set them up and make them work?

Frerichs said he expects someone to step up soon and make the decisions on how to grow revenue so the state can get back on track and fund the organizations and systems it is supposed to.

Frerichs appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Bourne Hopeful For State Budget Following Governor's Budget Address

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) left Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget address last week feeling encouraged about the future of the state budget. Bourne mentioned several of the Governor’s budget proposals, and has said she’s looking forward to working on them in the General Assembly.


Bourne discussed the Governor saying he’s willing to work with the budget compromise that’s being crafted in the Senate, and that she’s hopeful the house can as well.



Representative Bourne also addressed some of the investments the Governor talked about in his address, saying she’s looking forward to getting to work on them.



The state budget remains as one of the biggest issues the state faces, with the current budget impasse reaching it’s second year, and the state’s backlog of bills climbing over 11 billion dollars.

Soda Pop Tax Could Have Unintended Consequences

Seneca High School Superintendent Jim Carlson says sometimes lawmaking has unintended consequences. In the case of the proposed sugary drink tax, it means the district could lose a lot of property tax money.

Carlson says if LaSalle Station were classified as a pollution control facility, it would get a big property tax rebate. Seneca High and ten other local government districts get a lot of property tax money from the nuclear power plant.

CCEDC Director Says Initial Stages of Taylorville Industrial Park Project Progressing

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation held their Executive Committee Meeting last week at the CCEDC Office in Taylorville. During the meeting, CCEDC Director Mary Renner informed the committee about progress being made for the new industrial park in Taylorville, as well as another possible, high impact project for the city.


Renner says the CCEDC has submitted the pre-application for the park, but are currently waiting on an appraisal on the property.



Although Renner couldn’t shed too many details, she did say that a developer is considering Taylorville for a reportedly “high impact” project.



Renner also touched on the upcoming Taylorville School Tax Referendum, stating how that vote will be critical for the future economic development of both Taylorville, and Christian County.

Hit and Run This Week's Christian County Crimestoppers Crime of the Week

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a hit and run that occurred in Taylorville.


At around 2:20 pm, on Friday February 17, 2017, a vehicle struck another vehicle as it was exiting Walgreens onto Spresser Street.  The victim advised that the suspect vehicle backed into their vehicle and then left the scene.  The suspect vehicle is described as a white pick-up truck with what looks like a homemade flat bed attached.  The vehicle was last seen heading south on Webster Street.  The total dollar amount of damage to the victim’s vehicle 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.  

Top Dem Says A Stop Gap Spending Bill Should Be Considered

On Wednesday the Governor presented ideas about what could comprise a budget in the coming year, but a leading House Democrat says he’s hasn’t seen a current budget book. Greg Harris the Dem’s top budget man says a 198 years of standard budget making process in Illinois has gone out the window with Bruce Rauner. And so the state slogs into another year without a comprehensive spending plan.
The Gov has maintained he has little interest in signing a stop-gap spending bill but Harris says it should be considered to keep critical state operations and services running.

Harris says he remains hopeful about what he may see in the senate’s package of budget bills once they reach the house.

State Rep Butler Wants to Change Date of State Seal

State Representative Tim Butler believes the state should tweak one of its symbols before next year's bicentennial celebration. Three Butler bills related to the bicentennial passed through the Illinois House yesterday, including a change to the State of Illinois seal.

Butler said the legislation does not require current state seals to be replaced but will change the date on new seals going forward.

Christian County Sheriff Announces Seizing of Nearly Ten Pounds of Marijuana


A Christian County resident has been arrested for possession of about 10 pounds of cannabis. Agents with the Central Illinois Enforcement Group, in cooperation with agents from the Metropolitan Enforcement Group Southwestern Illinois conducted a drug investigation that lead to the arrest of Zachary T. Bland of Pana for possession of the marijuana with intent to deliver.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said the drug task force groups were able to intercept and seize the cannabis as it made it’s way through the mail.



The task force was able to determine where the cannabis was eventually headed through that arrest, which lead to the arrest of Bland. According to Kettelkamp, this takes nearly $80,000 worth of marijuana off the streets.


Sheriff Kettelkamp praised law enforcement officers for making the bust because he feels that it could potentially save lives. Kettelkamp discussed how he feels that marijuana is a gateway drug, that can potentially lead to abuse of other drugs.



Kettelkamp mentioned how with the seized marijuana, you could make nearly 9,000 joints, and how one individual could possibly supply 448 people with 10 grams of cannabis.



Spending Too Much on Heating? Shelby Electric Cooperative Can Test to See if it's Your Insulation

The winter seasons are a good time to make sure insulation and home structures are in good working order. At times during the year, things can happen to mess with the insulation in someone's house, but Shelby Electric Cooperative, has many services for their members and non members to help and make sure people aren't wasting their money trying to keep their homes warm.


Dustin Theiss, from Shelby Electric Cooperative said they offer members special prices and even free walkthroughs to prepare them for the winter season.

Theiss said the services are available to those who aren't Shelby Electric members as well.

Theiss said there are some things people can do, themselves, to prevent them from having to call Shelby Electric, or to save money if Shelby Electric still has to visit to fix some issues.

Theiss appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM morning show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios. 

Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Looking to Grow Memberships

The Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce ended 2016 with more than 180 total members, and they look to grow even further this year. Businesses don't need to be in Shelbyville, but as long as they're in the greater Shelbyville area or the Shelby county area, the Chamber of Commerce will accept them.


Vonda McConnell, from the Shelbyville Chamber said they'll take just about anyone, and memberships are where they can help businesses the most, as they can use email blasts, and Facebook to help the chamber businesses.

McConnell said what she loves most about her job is using her resources to help the families and businesses in the greater Shelbyville area.

McConnell was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville Studios. 

Villas of Hollybrook Offers Temporary Stay for Visiting Family and Friends

The Villas of Hollybrook is a living residence in Shelbyville for people who may need more help day to day than the average family can provide, but they also have the option for people to live there who may not need assistance. Pricing is no different for either lifestyle of the residents, and rooms are available for temporary use for just $65 a night.


Jenny Stevens, Executive Director of the Villas of Hollybrook, said people have the option to have assisted living or not, and also have the option to come and go as they please, as long as they have their own vehicle.

Stevens said Villas is all inclusive, which includes meals, activities, utilities, and much more.

One thing Stevens said she loves about the Villas of Hollybrook is the food. She said the food is some of the best she's had in a community like this, and the dieticians make changes to the food to match the diet needs of the resident.

Stevens appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville studios. 

Another Democrat in the Running for Gov

Madison County Regional Schools Superintendent Bob Daiber has launched a bid for the Democrat party nomination for Illinois Governor in Edwardsville. In the event Monday afternoon, Daiber says jobs and education will be his campaigns key focus.

Daiber plans to remain on the job as regional schools chief for the time being. He says that could change sometime down the road. Primary balloting for the Governors race is more that a year away, March 20th, 2018. So far Daiber and Chris Kennedy, son of the late Robert Kennedy, are the only announced Democratic candidates. 

Madigan Loses Pay Suit But Says She Will Appeal

State employees looking to keep getting their paychecks won a sense of relief on Thursday but the fight isn’t over. A St. Clair County Judge ruled against Attorney General Lisa Madigan who was seeking to cut off employee pay because there was no appropriation to spend the money. But Madigan says she will appeal the ruling because the state’s constitution requires lawmakers to approve the spending. 

Governor Bruce Rauner had opposed Madigan’s lawsuit and issued this statement after the court’s decision.

“We’re pleased our hard working state employees, who show up to work every day on behalf of the people of Illinois, will continue to be paid. It is our hope the Attorney General drops this lawsuit so the bipartisan negotiations in the Senate can continue in order to reach a balanced budget with changes to get our state back on track.”

Hope for State Budget Resolution

Following Governor Rauner’s budget address this week, some experts following the state’s budget impasse are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Rauner agreed to sign off on an income tax increase, and expand the sales tax to include some services if the legislature would accept some of his ‘turn-around’ agenda, especially reforms to workmen’s compensation. His budget outline, which would include cuts along with the tax hikes would come close to closing the gaping budget hole the state now faces, and sounds similar to the so-called ‘Grand Bargain’ proposed earlier by senate leadership. Jak Tichener, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy institute at SIU says if there is a deal, it will have to be based on the ‘Grand Bargain’ coming out of the senate.

Tichener says he is more optimistic of a breakthrough than at any time in the past two years.


Jak Tichener of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Each day the state continues without a budget, bond ratings plummet, bills go unpaid and interest and service charges grow by millions of dollars a day.

Longtime House Minority Leader Bob Michel Passes Away at 93

His style played well in Peoria and Washington. Now a political legend who was known for making life in Washington less political has passed. Longtime House Minority Leader Bob Michel has died at the age of 93. Second generation Congressman Darin LaHood of Peoria witnessed Michel up close and personal with his father, former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, serving on Michel's staff before succeeding him in Congress.... LaHood notes long before his public service in a three piece suit, Michel served this country with his own blood on the battlefield.

LaHood says Michel's style was special whether on Capitol Hill or Main Street.

Congressman Rodney Davis also released a statement. “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of a good friend and mentor this morning,” said Davis. “Bob Michel was a war hero and one of the most respected members of Congress of all time. His 38 years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives and the incredible footprint he has left on Central Illinois and this country will never be forgotten. Bob’s ability to reach across the aisle to make a divided government work for the people he represented was second to none – a trait we should all strive to emulate each day. My thoughts and prayers are with his family this morning. He will truly be missed.”

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation Honors Retiring Board Members and Welcomes New Board Additions

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation recently honored several retiring board members at their annual meeting held on January 17th. Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau, Eric Kahle, and Joyce Langen were the retiring board members. Kahle was awarded a plaque from the Foundation, for his leadership, service, and significant contributions to the Foundation during his time on the board.


Raedena Ryan, Executive Director of the TMH Foundation highlighted some of the accomplishments of the retiring board members.



The board also welcomed newly appointed members Lindsay Barry, David Brummer, and Duane Stock. Ryan shared the process to being named to the TMH Foundation board.



In addition to the new board members, the Foundation also welcomed aboard a new slate of officers.



Pictured left to right:  Raedena Ryan, executive director Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation; Eric Kahle, past chairman; and Shelly Cappellin, current board chairman.  Kahle was awarded a plaque in grateful recognition and appreciation for his leadership, distinguished service and significant contributions to the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation from 2007-2017.


Longtime Shelbyville Family Doctor Dr. Urbano Duaz Joins HSHS Medical Group

HSHS Medical Group has added a new doctor to their organization. Long time Shelbyville Doctor, Dr. Urbano Duaz will be joining the HSHS family of providers, and will continue his tradition of patient-first medical care.


Dr. Duaz said he’s been practicing in Shelbyville for quite some time, and he’s seen many changes during that time.



Dr. David Oligschlaeger, another family doctor with the HSHS Medical Group says Dr. Duaz will be a great fit with HSHS due to his history in the community.



Dr. Dauz’s office is located in the Shelby Physician Center at 207 S. Pine Street, adjoining HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. If you’d like to make an appointment with Dr. Dauz, call 217-774-5508. 

Autumn Warren Speaks to Taylorville Kiwanis at Weekly Luncheon


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. The guest speaker was Autumn Warren with Kemmerer Village.


Warren gave a brief history of Kemmerer Village from its 1914 establishment from humble beginnings. Located just outside of Assumption, the cottages were built in the 1950’s to create a home environment to make foster transitions easier for children. In the 1980’s, Kemmerer was no longer an orphan home, rather it became a home for victims of abuse and neglect from all over Illinois. During this time, an on campus school opened featuring curriculum for Jr. and Sr. high graduation.


Warren also discussed many of the specialized programs for children designed for individual based treatment including therapeutic recreation, vocational education, and equine therapy. The typical census at Kemmerer is around 60 children and the outcomes are positive. From 2010 to 2014, 70% of the children and young adults returned to a family home did not require subsequent in-patient treatment for the twelve month period following discharge from Kemmerer’s program. Kemmerer Village is located at 941 N. 2500 E. Rd, Assumption, Il. 62510. For questions, call 217-226-3511 or log on to www.kemmerervillage.org.


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

University Women of Christian County Offering Two $1,500 College Scholarships

The University Women of Christian County will be offering two $1,500 scholarships to female residence of Christian County, who have completed at least one year of college work. The scholarship awards may be used by full or part-time students for graduate, or undergraduate study for the fall 2017 semester.


Judging for the award of the scholarships will be based on academic record, future career goals, employment experience, school and community involvement, and financial need. The deadline for acceptance of completed applications is Saturday, April 1st.


Application forms may be obtained at the Taylorville Public Library, the Taylorville office of Lincoln Land Community College, or the Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. For any additional information, contact the UWCC Chairman at 824-2988, or 820-4457. The scholarship recipients will be invited to attend the meeting of the organization on May 2nd to receive their awards.

Sheriff Kettelkamp Asks the Community to Vote "Yes" on the School Tax Referendum

Citizens of Taylorville will vote on a tax referendum on April 4th to show if they are willing to have an increase on their taxes to help the school system or not. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp added to the conversation saying, the public should vote yes to the tax increase because if the students don't have extracurricular activities to bind their time, it could cause more crime in the area.


Kettelkamp said idle time needs to be filled in kids lives, and at times teens fill that time with negative behaviors including crime.

Kettelkamp said when he was a student, he hated school, but he filled his time with sports, where he was able to find good life mentors, and grow and develop the frame of who he is today.

Sheriff Kettelkamp appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Welcomes New Members

The Taylorville Community is growing with new businesses popping up and joining the Chamber. Within the last week the chamber added four new members including Jimmie Johns, Megan Dain Weddings and Events, and HP Rentals.


Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber said one of the new members is an independent person who joined to be a social member.

Hornbuckle said the Christian County CEO students are spending this nine week session at the Chamber of Commerce, and recently they toured Jimmie Johns and talked to the owner of the local restaurant. Hornbuckle also said through this year's CEO program, one student is being mentored by her.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Ag Career Day Coming to Christian County Students Later March

The Christian County 4H program has paired with schools, where in late March, 25 students, including the top 8 Ag students from areas schools, will learn about careers in agriculture, and about all that's possible in the ag world nowadays. The ag industry isn't just raising livestock and plowing fields, it's much more, and Ag Career Day will hit on careers in Ag Media, Sales, Education, and more.


Alicia Gullidge, 4-H Youth and Development Coordinator at the University of Illinois Extension, said they have eight speakers that will talk about what they do as a career, and how it ties with the agriculture industry.

Gullidge said it's better to have fewer students for the career day, that way the  kids will have less distractions, they will be able to learn much more about the careers, and that way it'll have a higher quality impact on them.

Gullidge appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Democrats React to Rauner's Budget Address

Democrats are responding to Governor Rauner's latest budget address. State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, the budget negotiator for the House Democratic caucus, says the Governor is going down a wrong, familiar path.

Harris maintains Democrats have done their part to compromise.

Harris maintains Democrats are offering a plan to boost the economy with economic reforms that will boost the middle class while providing good jobs for working families and helping businesses grow.

Christian County Residents Volunteering with American Red Cross to Help With Spillway Relief Efforts in California

The American Red Cross are deploying a number of volunteers to California to help respond to the massive evacuation caused by the potential failure of a spillway for the Oroville Dam System. Two of the volunteers, Chuck Bullard and Kathi Knope are from Christian County, and will be helping the Red Cross with their efforts.


Bryan Soady, Executive Director for the American Red Cross serving South Central Illinois spoke with Regional Radio News and gave an overview of what the situation is in California, and how the Red Cross is helping those affected.



Soady discussed the two Christian County volunteers, and shared the role they’re most likely playing in the Red Cross’ efforts.



If you would like to volunteer with the Red Cross, you can sign up online, or contact your local American Red Cross chapter.

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Has Tips for a Healthy Heart During Heart Health Month

February is heart health month and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital has several tips to help prevent heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and simple choices such as eating better and getting a little more exercise can greatly reduce your risks of developing heart problems.


Sheli Evans, Emergency Department Manager at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital highlighted some of the avoidable risk factors for heart disease, and said a little exercise can go a long way.



Other things that can drastically reduce someones chances of developing heart health problems include quitting smoking, and healthier eating habits. Evans said when it comes to a better diet, it’s better to make better eating choices slowly, rather than trying to change your diet all at once.



Evans said if you think you’re experiencing a heart attack, the best thing you can do is get to a hospital as soon as you can, and warned against waiting to see if you feel better later.

Governor Bruce Rauner Speaks of Unity During Budget Address

Governor Bruce Rauner gave his budget address on Wednesday afternoon. The address largely spoke of unity, and how lawmakers are starting to agree that the state needs to change the way it does business to solve the financial issues the state is facing. According to Rauner, Illinois has fallen behind it’s neighboring states, largely due to irresponsible money management.
After nearly two years of budget stalemates, Rauner says lawmakers are starting to come together and agree on many issues that will help get a balanced budget passed.
Rauner pointed out how although the rest of the country has created jobs since 2001, Illinois has lost jobs. He said that if Illinois had managed to grow at even the national average, the state would be in much better shape than it is now.
Rauner talked about the issues the state has had in the last two years to come to a balanced budget, and said the fact that lawmakers are close to an agreement is great news.

Taylorville Superintendent Gregg Fuerstenau Calls State Government a Disgrace

The Taylorville School Tax Referendum vote is coming April 4th and people and organizations are stepping up explaining why the public should vote yes. If the referendum is passed, the schools will be en route to having the funds the state hasn't provided to the schools, but if the vote fails, changes will be made to save costs including teacher cuts, and cutting many key extracurricular classes and programs.


Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau, Superintendent of Taylorville Schools, calls the situation a disgrace for the state of Illinois, as the state is the cause for many communities asking citizens for help to give students the quality education the state has failed to provide.

Fuerstenau said if the vote fails to pass the tax referendum, it will negatively impact the students as they won't have the chance to be as well rounded as they would, if the vote passed.

Fuerstenau appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Munger Says State Needs to Tackle It's Debt

Deputy Governor Leslie Munger is once again in state government and crunching the numbers for a potential budget as Governor Rauner prepares to deliver his budget address. Munger says Illinois state government finances are a tangled mess.


Munger says the state's debt is the '800 pound gorilla in the room".


Munger, who lost to Susana Mendoza in last year's race for Comptroller, was named Deputy Governor by Governor Rauner last week.

Rauner Says He's Willing to Sign A Good Budget

Governor Bruce Rauner addressed the state budget today. The Governor says that he is considering the merits of many parts of the senate’s grand bargain plan. Rauner wants the state to spend more on MAP grants for college students, upping the earned income tax credit and creating a another pension plan for new state employees. Now he says it’s up to lawmakers to send him a complete budget that he’d be willing to sign. 

The Governor also continued his push for other items not tied to state spending like term limits and a worker’s compensation system that is similar to one in Massachusetts. 

Gov Won't Support Bigger Tax on Groceries

In his annual budget address at the state capitol Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says that he can support much of what the state senate wants to do with their grand bargain, but he wants to see changes to their plans for adding revenue or increasing taxes. 

He wants the legislature to pass a permanent property tax freeze and change the workers compensation system to resemble what another “blue” state did, Massachusetts.

Secretary of State Says Now's the Time for Seatbelts in School Busses

Millions ride on roadways and highways everyday without being buckled into their seats. And in spite of seat belt laws around the nation no one is breaking the law. Now that might change in Illinois. Secretary of State Jesse White now says he supports a law requiring seat belts on school buses. SOS Spokesperson Dave Druker says they want to see a standard three point belt in bus seats to keep kids safer.

This is far from a new issue in Illinois or other states, but cost has often been cited as a reason to keep seatbelts off of buses. 

Citizens for Education Members Optimistic Despite Proposed Budget Cuts at Taylorville Schools


Members of the local Citizens for Education group, an organization of citizens in the area fighting for better school funding was present at Monday night’s Taylorville School Board meeting. The group watched as the Taylorville School Board voted unanimously on a series of budget cuts the district would have to make should a local tax referendum not pass in the April 4th election. The school hasn’t received the funding they anticipated from the state, leaving the school asking the local community for their help in making up for the state’s lack of funding.


Lee Mateer, an educator at Taylorville Schools, and member of Citizens for Education said it’s easy to be discouraged by the proposed cuts, however he’s keeping a positive attitude.



Meteer said Taylorville has always been a community that helps those in need, and the tax referendum is simply another opportunity for the citizens of Taylorville to help each other.



If passed, the referendum would raise property taxes in Taylorville by 85 cents per $100. It’s estimated that the referendum would raise nearly $2.5 million in revenue for Taylorville Schools.

Memorial Medical Center to Host Free Seminar on Colon Cancer March 9th

Memorial Medical Center will be holding a free seminar on colon cancer on March 9th at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation. The 90-minute program titled “Get Your Rear in Gear: Demystifying Colon Cancer to Save Lives” will begin at 5 PM, and feature keynote speaker Shannon Davis, a registered nurse and colon cancer survivor who will share her story. Dr. Jan Rackinic, a colorectal surgeon with the SIU School of Medicine will also speak at the event.


Light refreshments will be served, and free parking is available on the first and third levels of the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation’s parking garage. To register, visit MemorialMedical.com/events, or call 217-788-3333.

Zoning Out vs Relaxation, Are They the Same Thing?

People often have the misconception that zoning out and relaxing are one in the same, but according to Karen Vatthauer, Owner of Beacon Professional Counseling, they are very different. She said zoning out, causes people to not release stress, but just push it aside, and when people actively relax by doing things such as controlled breathing or walking, they are able to live healthier.


Vatthauer said zoning out while doing things like watching television or playing the slots bring next to no positives for people besides entertainment.

Vatthauer said taking the time to breathe, meditate, or walk every day bring people a major positive by developing their immune system, and getting rid of stress, that can cause acid build up.

Vatthauer is offering a meditation class that will help with this problem. The next class will be offered in May.


Vatthauer appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Jacob Linder Named Miller Media Group Employee of the Quarter


Jacob Linder, an account manager and sports announcer for the Miller Media Group radio stations in Taylorville and Clinton, was named "Employee of the Quarter" for the 4th quarter of 2016 recently.


Linder's selection was voted on by staff members. Linder joined the company in July of 2016, and is an account manager in both of the Miller Media Group's markets of Taylorville and Clinton. He is also the Radio Voice of the Taylorville Tornadoes, providing play by play of games. Linder also substitutes for on-air shifts in both clusters of stations.


Linder received a 100-dollar check, and his name is in an April drawing among others named "Employee of the Quarter" for a Florida vacation.

Munger Discusses Duties of Deputy Governor

Leslie Munger is back in state government. The former Comptroller was named Deputy Governor by Governor Bruce Rauner earlier this month. She'll once again talk numbers, as the budget will be a primary focus but she'll also call upon other aspects of her experience in the new post.

Munger says it's crucial that a budget is passed soon, especially with overdue bills gobbling up much of Illinois' revenue.

Gov Gives Little Preview of Budget Address

The Governor is getting set to give another budget address but every year he has done so the state has gone without a comprehensive state spending plan. The state Senate is still working on a broad compromise that would strive to balance the state budget. Bruce Rauner says as he prepares for Wednesday he is appreciative of the work the Senate has done.

Rauner has said little about what his message will be on the during his budget address.

Duckworth Takes on Massive Price Spikes on Anti-Overdose Medication

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, along with colleague Dick Durbin, is seeing red after another pharmaceutical company dramatically increased the price of a life saving medication. The two Senators from Illinois teamed up with 29 other Senators to demand answers from Kaléo Pharmaceuticals for massive price hikes for an easy to use injector device that contains opioid overdose drug Naloxone and the injector device Evzio The price has surged from $690 in 2014 to $4,500 now. Duckworth says in many price gouging cases, the companies are pharmaceutical in name only.

You may not have to worry about opioid addiciton, but Duckworth says you're impacted by the price surges regardless.

The 31 Senators say the price hike threatens to price-out families and communities that depend on Naloxone to save lives.

*UPDATED* Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Fuerstenau Discusses Budget Cuts With WTIMTV


The Taylorville School Board voted unanimously Monday night to drastically cut back their curricular and extra curricular programs should the tax referendum fail on April 4th. The district has seen a huge reduction in funding from the state during the state budget impasse, and has stated they would not have the funding for these programs without increased local support in the coming school years.


Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau spoke with WTIMTV following the meeting, and said the district and it’s finance committee examined it’s expenses, and came up with a two year plan for the cuts should the tax referendum fail.



The cuts include non replacement of 4 retirements, teaching and other staff reductions, Madrigals, Scholastic Bowl, FFA, Journalism, Spring Musical, all school athletics, music, and art among other cuts by the 2018/2019 school year. The cuts would reduce the district’s expenses by nearly two million dollars. Dr. Fuerstenau said the issue lies with a lack of payments from the state.



Should the referendum pass, it’s projected to raise enough money to allow the district to continue with the programs cut. There would be a period of time before the district begins to receive the funding from the referendum however.



Dr. Fuerstenau stated the district would be able to make some decisions with their budget in the meantime to bridge the gap before they started to see the funds generated by the referendum. He also said the district is prepared to live within it’s current means, but that would lead to a reduced quality of education for it’s students.


U of I Hosting Ag Tech Summit

Agriculture, from agribusiness to the individual farmer, has always been a leader in technology innovation, and to be competitive in today’s world, farmers have to be near the cutting edge. The University of Illinois is one of the nation’s leaders in both technology and agricultural research, and the U of I Research Park is holding an AgTech Innovation Summit next week, February 23rd to unveil the latest developments in technology of equipment, data management, genetics and other leading edge technologies that will be impacting agriculture in the near future. Laura Bleill (Bl-eye-ill) is associate director of the Research Park.

The tech summit on the 23rd is free to anyone interesting in the latest ag technology, but you do need to preregister for the daylong event. 

Laura Bleill of the U of I research park. Again, the AgTech summit is free to all interested farmers and agri-business people.

House Fire in Springfield Results in the Death of Area Toddler

A house fire in Springfield has resulted in the death of an area toddler. Three year old Hailey Campbell of Springfield was pronounced deceased early Monday morning at HSHS St. John's Hospital. She was transported by EMS from the scene of a fire in her home on Sixth Street in Springfield. Autopsy results indicate that Campbell’s cause of death was due to smoke inhalation from the fire. The Springfield Police Department and the Springfield Fire Department, along with Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards are investigating.

Christian County Crimestoppers Seeking Information on Residential Burglary in Taylorville

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


Sometime over the past several weeks, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 701 East Esther Street in Taylorville.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a Glock 9mm pistol and 2 loaded magazines. There appeared to be no damage done while making entry.  The total dollar amount of the theft 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.  

Telephone Scams Continue To Be A Problem Locally

The Taylorville area has encountered an ongoing problem of scam phone calls. Taylorville Chief of Police Brian Hile recently was the recipient of one of these calls, and wanted to take the opportunity to remind the public to just hang up if you receive one of these scam calls.


Hile said he originally thought the call that he received was from someone else, but when he realized what the call was actually about, he couldn’t believe it.



It was the second scam call that Hile has encountered, saying some calls sound more legitimate than others.



One of the latest scams is where an individual receives a call from someone who immediately asks “can you hear me”. The Taylorville Police Department warns to not respond, since you are likely being recorded. The caller will record the victim saying “yes”, and then use that as a way to authorize charges on a phone, utility, or credit card bill. Again, should you receive any call you think may be a scam, just hang up.

Gary Brown This Month's Newstalk WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry Big Smile of the Community Honoree

This month’s NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is Gary Brown, who works with the Taylorville Park District. Bailey Hancock, Recreation Director for the Taylorville Park District said Brown and his crew are responsible for making sure the parks in Taylorville all operate flawlessly.



Hancock mentioned some of the projects that Brown and his crew have been working on to make the parks a better place for the community.



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

Craig Richardson, Owner of Gordon's Automotive Superstore in Taylorville Discusses His Retirement

Craig Richardson, owner of Gordon’s Automotive Superstore on West Spresser has decided to retire, and will be shutting the doors on his business in the upcoming weeks. Richardson said after 42 years in the business, it was a tough decision, but one he felt was best for him and his family.


Richardson spoke with Regional Radio News to discuss his retirement, where he shared what he’s looking forward to in his retirement.



Richardson plans to stay in Taylorville, mentioning how Taylorville is his home. He also said the car business can be a very demanding one.



Richardson wanted to make sure he thanked all of the people who have helped make his business a success over the years.



The property will be for sale once Gordon’s Automotive Superstore clears out their current inventory. Richardson mentioned how it would be a good location for anybody who was looking to start a car business of their own.

Taylorville Kiwanis Makes Donation to C.E.F.S. Head Start 0-5 Program

The Taylorville Kiwanis recently made a donation to the local C.E.F.S Head Start Program. Board games and food items were part of the donation as well as a check for $245. For over 50 years, the C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation has been providing Head Start services to the counties of Christian, Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Montgomery, Moultrie and Shelby counties. Head Start is a federal program funded through the Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive education and health services to children.


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.




Raedena Ryan, Bill Kerns, and Will Perkins from Taylorville Kiwanis


Andrea Wight, Taylorville II Teacher, Nicole Gardewine, Family & Community Engagement Manager, Shannon Heberling, Taylorville I Teacher from C.E.F.S Head Start:


Representative Avery Bourne Appointed to Several New House Committees

State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) has been appointed by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) to serve on several Key House Committees in the Illinois House. Bourne will continue to serve on the Agriculture and Conservation committee, while now also serving on four other committees in the Illinois House.


Representative Bourne said she knows how important these committees can be, especially to those in Central Illinois, and is excited to bring her voice to them.



Bourne said exactly what committees she will serve on, and said she’s particularly excited about one of those committees, since it will allow her to continue the work she’s done on the school funding reform commission.



Sometimes it can be confusing as to what a committee does, and how it affects state government. Bourne said committees help craft bills that are best for the state, by offering research and recommendations for any changes that need to be made.



Additionally, Representative Bourne was appointed to serve on the Legislative Research Unit, the chief general research agency for the Illinois General Assembly.

U of I Extension Master Gardners: What to do with Valentine's Day Flowers

Tomorrow we celebrate Valentine's Day, a day that many people give flowers as a gift, but also a day local florists make their biggest sales. But people wonder what to do with their flowers after the celebration is over if they don't want to trash them. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners say great uses for these flowers, are to dry them out and use the petals later, re-plant the bulbs of some to grow your own, or press them.


Gwen Podeschi, Master Gardener at the Extension further explained some of those options and what someone could do with the recycled bits.

Podeschi said when first receiving the flowers, the best way to care for them is to keep them in a vase of cool water, and to not mix flowers unless you are certain it's okay to.

Podeschi appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Illinois State Symposium Set for April 20 & 21; WWI and Women's Suffrage Centennial

The Illinois State Historical Society is kicking off it's Symposium on April 20th and is focusing on the centennial of Women’s Suffrage and World War I. The Symposium is held at Lincoln Land in the Treador Center and will have many programs and speakers discussing the main topics and delving into sub-topics such as the Spanish Flu, Mother Jones, and Central Illinois Women on the Homefront.


Gwen Podeschi, with the Illinois State Historical Society said there will also be programs on music, a play, and plenty other topics that may not even be related to World War I or Women's Suffrage.

Podeschi also mentioned the ancestry presentation and because of World War I, researchers have a lot of material to connect people.

Podeschi appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

WMKR, WRAN Getting New Transmitters and Audio Processing in the Coming Week

2 of the Miller Media Group Radio Stations that serve the Taylorville, Pana, and Shelbyville markets, will be getting new transmitters and audio processing in the coming week.


WMKR Genuine Country 94.3 and WRAN groovy 97.3. will have new solid state transmitters and solid state audio processors installed.


The new equipment will replace tube-type transmitters that are over 20 years old, and rebuilt audio processors that were also initially manufactured in the 1990's.


Listeners should hear a cleaner signal that will have more "punch" on the radio dial, once this new equipment is installed, according to station president Randal J. Miller. Miller added technology has changed drastically since buying the existing transmitters and audio processors in the late 1990's, making solid state radio transmitters and processors better-sounding and more energy efficient.


Both new transmitters were manufactured at Broadcast Electronics in Quincy, Illinois. Both of the new audio processors were delivered from S-C-M-S in Pineville, North Carolina.


Wayne R. Miller of Peoria Network Associates, is providing on-site installation services of all the new equipment. Star Electric of Taylorville is providing on-site wiring services, and True Value of Taylorville is providing transportation of the new transmitters to and from the Taylorville tower site.


WMKR and WRAN are 2 of the 6 stations that operate from the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville. Miller Media Group is celebraring its 25th anniversary of owning radio stations in Taylorville, this year.

Several Area Communities Line Streets To Welcome PFC Maggie Bilyeu Home


The city of Taylorville and surrounding communities came together Friday night to welcome home PFC Maggie Bilyeu home. PFC Bilyeu was injured in an attack in Afghanistan in November, and has since been recovering. Citizens lined West Main Cross Street in Taylorville waving flags and holding signs to welcome Maggie home.


The parade ended at the US Bank on the Taylorville Square, where Bilyeu took time to speak with prominent members of the community and the media. She said it’s been a long recovery process with more to go, but she’s a fighter, and ready to get right back out to her troops.



PFC Bilyeu said she’s not sure what the future holds for her right now. Bilyeu still has several injuries that are in the healing process, and she’s trying to get herself back to 100% before figuring out what’s next.



Bilyeu wanted to thank the community for their tremendous support, and that she hoped to meet with the families of her friends who couldn’t make it home.



PFC Bilyeu said the reception she received on her homecoming was a lot to take in and a step forward for her, and she wishes everybody’s homecoming was as tremendous as hers.

IMT Group Names Diamond Brothers Insurance 2017 Gem Agency

Diamond Brothers Insurance was recently named a 2017 Gem Agency by The IMT Group, a leading provider of personal and commercial insurance products in the Midwest. The designation recognizes Diamond Brothers Insurance as one of the highest performing IMT and Wadena Insurance agencies in a six state area.


Dan McNeely, agency manager of the Taylorville Office for Diamond Brothers shared what the designation means for Diamond Brothers.



McNeely shared some of the things that Diamond Brothers Insurance does that has helped land it it’s 2017 Gem designation.



Last year Diamond Brothers insurance was one of the top 125 IMT Group agencies to produce a positive premium growth or policy count growth, and also sustained a favorable loss ratio.

Saving Orphaned Animals Fundraiser in Sullivan February 19

Saving Orphaned Animals in Shelbyville is celebrating their 10 year anniversary since it changed over from the pound. Penny Standifer, with Saving Orphaned Animals and the Shelbyville Police Department said over time they've been able to raise money and this year, after ten years, they were able to open a new facility with hot water, heat, and even an adoption room.

Standifer said, on Sunday February 19th, they are holding a fundraiser for Saving Orphaned Animals at the Sullivan VFW, where all proceeds will go to  Saving Orphaned Animals.

Standifer said they receive animals from Animal Control and animal surrenders, but on average, per year, they have 250 adoptions. Standifer said donations are also welcome and will benefit all of their animals to get them food, medicine, pest prevention, and more.


Standifer appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM morning show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios. 

Shelby County Visitor's Guide Set for Distribution March 1

The Shelby County visitor's guide is nearly available and features maps, tourist destinations, and all that Shelby County can provide to newcomers and visitors. Freddie Fry, Executive Director of the Shelby County Office of Tourism said the guides will be available March 1st, and will be available in multiple locations across Shelby County and Illinois.


Fry said one part of their guide that draws attention is their accommodations list, which provides the names for the restaurants in the area, as well as local attractions.

Fry said, the guides, used to be ready by the beginning of the year, but now that the Office of Tourism is working with the Army Corps of Engineers, they have extra details they must flesh out 

Fry was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville Studios. 

Shelby County Holding Main Street Makeover on Earth Day

Shelby County is looking to improve the appearance of the downtown area, with their event Main Street Makeover, taking place April 22nd. Anna Kiley, with the Shelby County Economic Development Council, said businesses on Main Street and local citizens can volunteer and get involved to visually improve the downtown area and provide more of a reason for people to visit the downtown stores.


Kiley said Main Street Makeover will help the businesses for multiple reasons, such as attracting customers, improving business morale, and to show pride for the city of Shelbyville.

Kiley said the SCEDC is looking for volunteers with all skills for the Main Street Makeover, and they are happy with any amount of time, from one hour, to ten, and even for time volunteered days ahead of time.

To volunteer, go to the Main Street Makeover Facebook Page.

Kiley appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville studios. 

Central Illinois Community Blood Center Hosting Blood Drive in Taylorville

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center has been hosting a number of area blood drives recently, and has one planned for Taylorville on February 23rd. The CICBC will be at Fellowship Hall at 1500 West Franklin street taking blood donations that will then be given to local hospitals.


Potential donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental permission, and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required, and individuals with diabetes or controlled high blood pressure can still be accepted as eligible donors.


The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is the exclusive provider of blood to both Pana Community Hospital and Taylorville Memorial Hospital. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to donate, call 217-623-5631.

Christian County Sheriff Speaks To Students at Student Leadership Workshop

Central A&M Middle School recently hosted an area-wide leadership workshop to teach leadership and interpersonal skills to the student leaders of several area schools. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp spoke at the event, and shared with the students the leadership lessons he’s learned throughout the years.


Central A&M Middle School Principle Ryan Scott said the school was very grateful to have the sheriff speak at the event, and share his experience with the kids.



The program is a new program the school has implemented recently with the goal of helping the student body become better leaders both in the school, and in the community. Scott said he wants his students to understand why good leadership can benefit all.



Christian County TRIAD and Taylorville Police Department Hosting Information Meeting on Public Utilities

The Christian County TRIAD and Taylorville Police Department will be hosting an informational meeting on utilities on February 23rd. The meeting which will take place in the lower level of the Taylorville Municipal Building is designed to better inform the public about utility rates, power plant bail outs, and other concerns regarding public utilities.


Taylorville Chief of Police Brian Hile gave details on how the meeting took shape, and what guest speaker Scott Allen, outreach coordinator of the Citizens Utility Board will be discussing.



Hile said sometimes utility companies will use aggressive marketing techniques to try to persuade the consumer to switch. Those issues and questions will also be addressed during the meeting.



The meeting will begin at 9:30 am, and the public is encouraged to attend to learn more about their public utilities.

Taylorville Preparing to Welcome Home PFC Maggie Bilyeu

Taylorville is getting ready to welcome home PFC Maggie Bilyeu from her time overseas. Maggie was injured by a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan in November, and will be returning home Friday evening. The US Veterans Motorcycle Club will be leading an escort home for PFC Billyeu, and the town is planning a welcome home parade along West Main Cross street.


David Schafer, State President for the US Veterans Motorcycle Club said the club will be heading up to the Springfield Airport to welcome PFC Bilyeu home.



The Motorcycle Club had been planning the welcome home festivities for some time. Schafer said he had remained in contact with the Bilyeu family, and once the club had a date for Maggie’s return, the rest came together.



The escort plans to be back in town around 4:30, with the parade along West Main Cross to the Taylorville Square planned for 5 in the evening. US Bank will be handing out hand held American flags to the community to help show support, and the public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.


The complete schedule of events for the escort and parade are as follows.


•1:00-Line up all motorcycles/cars in empty parking lot on corner of West Main Cross and Webster in Taylorville (across from BP gas station by Square)
•1:15-Saftey Briefing
•1:25-Roll out to Springfield Airport (via RT 29)
•2:15-Arrive at Springfield Airport
•2:50-Flight Arrives Springfield Airport
•3:45-Line up for Escort Home
•4:30-Escort through town by Veterans Memorial
•4:45-Line up at Jaynes Park for Escort down West Main Cross (Filled with American Flags)
•5:00-Leave Jaynes Park traveling east on West Main Cross to the Taylorville Square
•5:15-Arrive at US Bank on the Taylorville Square

Early Voting Only One Month Away, Time to Start Thinking About the School Tax Referendum

Early voting for Taylorville Elections begins March 10th and the Taylorville School Tax Referendum is one thing people need to keep in mind as it will affect everyone. Patty Hornbuckle CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce said if the referendum gets passed, both students and the city will continue to move positively, but if not, Taylorville could be facing dark times.


She said if it does not pass not only will the students suffer because they will receive just core curriculum with no extracurriculars offered, but because of that, businesses could pull out or pass on moving into the city.

Hornbuckle said that doesn't even include people moving out because their children aren't reviving the quality education they once were. And if people move out, fewer local tax dollars are going back to the city.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Now it the Time to Plan to Plat, and Prune Trees

We are now in the back half of the winter season, and now is the perfect time to plan, plant, and prune trees. Andrew Holsinger, Horticulture Educator at the University of Illinois Extension in Taylorville said with trees being bare, people can easily see where to prune their trees, and they don't have to worry about most threats, such as beetles and oak wilt.


Oak Wilt is one of the major threats to trees right now, but the cold season suppresses that threat and allows trees to repair themselves.

Holsinger said winter is important for vegetation because it provides interests   by how they've evolved to to their surroundings, including their bark structures, or branch location and characteristics.

Holsinger appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Mendoza Says Gov Not Doing His Responsibility

As pressure continues to mount at the state house to pass a budget that lawmakers and the governor can agree to another elected official is being dragged into the fight. Comptroller Susana Mendoza says she will follow what a court case in St. Clair County tells her to do when it comes to authorizing payments to state workers. But Governor Bruce Rauner has encouraged Mendoza to ignore what the court may decide and continue to pay them. 

She says she won’t and notes if they are up to talking about what each other should be doing… it’s up to Rauner to submit the budget. 

The Attorney General will argue the case next week and the court’s decision on state worker pay is expected by the end of the month.

Grand Compromise Will Take More Grand Effort

The Illinois Senate returned to work Thursday after a disappointing stall in efforts to reach a budget deal. Efforts to strike a compromise deal fell apart as Senators voted down a pension reform plan. Three other budget bills that passed did so without Republican support. Republicans say they want to vote on a full agreement. Both sides say they'll continue to work toward a deal. Democratic State Senator Andy Manar recapped the struggles of the compromise effort.

Governor Rauner is set to lay out his latest budget plan next Wednesday.

John Block Advises New USDA Appointee

Former Illinois Ag Director and USDA Secretary John Block will turn 82 next week. He is still involved on his family’s Knox County farm, and he also still has a presence in Washington. He is optimistic that appointed USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue will do a good job after his confirmation.

Block says he advised Perdue to build allies within the cabinet, which he quickly learned as he tried to lift the Russian grain embargo. The embargo dramatically hurt US grain prices while Russia found new sources throughout the world.

Block believes farmers will benefit from regulatory relief and hopes the estate tax can be fully repealed. He says the tax code, in general, needs to be simplified.

Fred Peters Financial Group Offering Matching Donations for Christian County Senior Center

A local Taylorville business is stepping up to help the Christian County Senior Citizens Center. The Fred Peters Financial Group is offering a matching donation of up to $2,500 for donations brought to their office in the form of a check to help the Senior Center have funding by February 28th. The Christian County Senior Citizens Center recently had to cancel their Wednesday lunch service due to funding issues from the state’s budget impasse.


Fred Peters said his office felt the seniors were getting a raw deal, and wanted to help.



The services that the Senior Center provides can be critical for those who rely on them. Peters recalled a former client of his, and shared how day to day living can be tough on a fixed income.



If you would like to submit a donation, you can bring a check donation payable to the Christian County Senior Center to the Fred Peters Financial Group at 111 West Poplar Street in Taylorville.

New Attraction Possibly Making It's Way to Lake Taylorville


The city of Taylorville has been working to bring new businesses to town, and may soon have a new attraction for Lake Taylorville. Dale Shaver and Kirk Barton of “Princess Laura LLC” own and operate a “cruise boat” that hosts parties and other gatherings. The pair was in attendance at the Taylorville Lake Committee Meeting Tuesday seeking permission to bring their boat to a spot on Lake Taylorville.


Shaver said the company has scouted several lakes in the area, and explained to the committee why he wants to bring his boat to Lake Taylorville.



Barton said although the company received little interest from Springfield, they had conducted a survey of residents who live on the lake, who said they’d be interested in having the boat put onto the lake.



Taylorville’s Lake Committee was generally in favor of the new business, but did have some concerns such as where the boat would be placed on the lake, and the noise from the boat. A motion to allow the business however was successful.

Christian County Coroner Finalizes Pair of Area Death Investigations

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans has finalized a pair of area death investigations.


69 year old Russell Stockton of Palmer died on January 4th at his residence in Palmer. His cause of death was determined to be from Aspiration of Food Bolus, and the manner of death determined to be accidental.


50 year old Kevin C. Minnis of Palmer died on January 26th at his residence in Palmer. Cause of death was determined to be from carbon monoxide intoxication due to the inhalation of propane heater exhaust within his enclosed home. Minnis’ death was also ruled to be accidental.

Robert Besson Inducted as New Kiwanis Member

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. At the meeting, Robert “Buz” Besson was inducted as a new Kiwanis member.


Besson, a Stonington native, attended Lincoln Land Community College and Sangamon State University majoring in Law Enforcement. Buz started with the Taylorville Police Department is 1975. Besson became lieutenant in 1983 and worked as lieutenant with the TPD until his retirement in 2004. Also in 1983, armed with his series 7 certification (GSRE), Besson began work in investments with C.R. Davis as a stockbroker. Currently, Buz works as an innkeeper at the Market Street Inn in Taylorville and is running for the office of city clerk in the Taylorville 2017 consolidated election.


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.




Pictured (l to r): Will Perkins, Raedena Ryan, Robert “Buz” Besson

"Warm Neighbors Cool Friends" to Help Low-Moderate Families with Summer/Winter Ameren Bills

We are now in the thick of winter, and although this winter is more mild than normal, there will still be nights that get down to single digit temperatures. With the frigid temps not everyone is able to pay the high rates in the winter season and even during the summer. Susan Sams is the Executive Director of the Energy Assistance Foundation's Warm Neighbors Cool Friends Program and explained said program is designed to assist families year round who cannot afford their bills.

Sams said not everyone is eligible for Warm Neighbors Cool Friends. She said it's not a charity program, but is used to help those who in low to moderate income families that are facing financial hardships.

Warm Neighbors Cool Friends will match up to $350 in both the summer and winter for those who are eligible for assistance.


Sams appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Ray Koonce Will Push to Keep Taylorville's Economy on the Upswing if Elected

Local elections are approaching quickly, and many Taylorville citizens and natives are stepping up, ready to fill the position Mayor Greg Brotherton is leaving. One of those candidates is former City Alderman Ray Koonce. Koonce was on the city council for four years, and noticed some of the issues through his ward that he wants to focus on. Koonce said he wants to help fix the economy in Taylorville and help support the process of bringing in new business to help the city continue to grow.

Koonce also mentioned the upcoming tax referendum the citizens of Taylorville will need to vote on. He said this referendum needs to be passed to not only help the students, but to help the city's economy grow and stay positive.

Koonce appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Costs Rising to Repair Bike Trail Between Taylorville and Pana

The Taylorville Lake and Airport, as well as Water and Environmental Committees met on Tuesday night. The main topic of discussion was the bike trail between Taylorville and Pana, and the rising costs associated with it’s repair. Originally, the repairs to the trestle bridge along the trail were estimated to cost roughly $430,000, mostly paid through a grant through IDOT. Pana Mayor Steve Sipes informed the committee however the cost for the project has risen to just under $600,000, with Taylorville’s portion of the bill rising from $43,000, to around $60,000. Taylorville Alderman Earl Walters had issues with these rising costs, as well as potential additional costs should Taylorville agree to take over a portion of the bike trail.



Taylorville Mayor Greg Brotherton also commented, saying how even factoring in Taylorville’s increased bill for their share of the project, he still thinks it’s a good idea.



Concerns were made about where the additional funding for the project would come from. Taylorville Alderman Larry Budd said the city already has a lot of money tied up in other projects.



There was a motion to bring the issue to the regular Taylorville City Council meeting on February 21st, which passed 3 to 1.

Durbin Says No to Sessions

The showdown over Senator Jeff Sessions nomination to become Attorney General comes to a close with an expected vote this evening. Senator Dick Durbin will vote no. He rejects the notion that Senate Democrats should get out of the way of Cabinet nominees based on the outcome of the election.

Durbin continues to question Sessions independence.

Durbin says voting against Sessions and speaking out against his nomination is difficult because of a long working relationship with him in the Senate.

Kennedy Joins Race for Governor

Voters in Illinois won’t be electing a Governor for two more years but the race may have unofficially started today. Democrat Chris Kennedy announced via email this morning that he is a candidate and a video posted to YouTube.

Kennedy has been a Chicago resident for 30 years and has been a businessman, non-profit leader and the Chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. 

WTIM'S 107.5 FM Signal in Shelby County Back On Air Following Consolidated DSL Outage

NEWSTALK WTIM's 107-point-5 F-M signal in Shelby County, is back on the air after technical problems forced it off the air Monday afternoon.

Officials with Consolidated Communications tried upgrading the station's D-S-L service that receives WTIM programming from its main studio in Taylorville to WTIM's Shelbyville tower, but was unable to accomplish the upgrade. 

Consolidated wasn't able to get the D-S-L service they provide WTIM's Shelbyville tower, back until 6:40 Tuesday night.

WTIM apologies for the outage on 107-point-5 FM the past 2 days, and thanks its Shelby County listeners for their understanding while we worked with Consolidated to fix the outage.

Shelby County listeners can also hear WTIM during daytime hours at 870 AM, which is heard all over Central Illinois; on the WTIM stream at taylorvilledailynews-dot-com; and now on the WTIM app for iPhones and Androids.

Central Illinois Community Blood Center Heading to Edinburg High School For Late February Blood Drive

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is preparing for another area blood drive. The next drive will take place on February 21st at Edinburgh High School from 12:30 until 6 in the evening. The CICBC will have their Bloodmobile at the school, and will be offering free t-shirts to everyone who donates.


Potential donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental permission, and weigh more than 110 pounds. A photo I.D. is required, and individuals with diabetes or controlled high blood pressure can still be accepted as eligible donors.


The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is the exclusive provider of blood to both Pana Community Hospital and Taylorville Memorial Hospital. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to donate, call 217-623-5631.

St. Michael School Celebrates Catholic School Week

Last week many Catholic Schools in the region celebrated Catholic Schools week. One of those schools was St. Michael’s Catholic School in Sigel. Nick Niemerg, Principle at St. Michael’s spoke with Regional Radio News and shared what Catholic Schools Week is all about.



Niemerg said the school had plenty of activities for the students throughout the week to help celebrate the occasion.



More information on St. Michael School can be found at their website at ssmcs.org.

Congressman Rodney Davis Hoping to Make Coal a Staple in Central Illinois Again

Recently in Washington, legislation was passed to get rid of a rule that hurt coal mining in Central Illinois and across the country. Former President Barack Obama passed a rule, called the Stream Buffer Rule that focused more on clean energy rather than coal mining. Congressman Rodney Davis didn't like that for his district because it hurt the area for job opportunities, and when the chance was given to make a change, he didn't pass it up.

Davis said it's more important to focus on burning the energy we have in cleaner ways and developing that so America can be energy independent and not have to rely on other countries to help the US fuel itself.

Congressman Davis appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

New Bakery Coming to Taylorville in March: Happy Baked Goods

Sometime in the month of March, Taylorville will have a brand new bakery ready to serve the community. Meredith Eisenbarth, Owner of the future Happy Baked Goods, has been selling her goods at Farmer's Markets and Chillifest for the past five years, and already has a loyal fan base. But she recently learned that she was making enough money to work it full time, become her own boss, and now open her own bakery in the city she grew up in.

Eisebarth saidwhile her open date isn't fully set, but will be some time in March, people can test out her baked goods this month around Valentine's Day to find out what they will be in store for.

Happy Baked Goods can be found off Poplar Street in Taylorville and hours are pending, but more information can be found online on her Facebook Page.


Eisenbarth appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

New Tattoo Studio in Taylorville: Tornado City Tattoo

In mid January, Taylorville welcomed a new tattoo studio that offers something most tattoo studios don't have. Tornado City Tattoo has a more private setup in their studio, where in most parlors, there is an open area where people are working, but there, they have private rooms. Mara (Mare-Uh) Bertinetti, Owner of Tornado City Tattoo, said through the private rooms, both the tattoo artist and client have more privacy and are able to focus more during the process.

Bertintetti said Tornado City Tattoo also offers both flash designs, also known as a stencil, and free hand custom designs for their clients, that often, the tattoo artists design themselves.

Tornado City Tattoo is located at 415 West Franklin and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 to 6:00


Bertintetti appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Christian County Crimestoppers Seeking Information on Burglary in Taylorville In Crime of the Week

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


Sometime around 8: 30 pm on Sunday January 29, 2016, a male subject made entry into a residence located at 210 South Madison Street.  While inside, the male subject took 2 television sets.  The victim arrived at the residence and saw the male subject in the middle of taking a 3rd television.  The male subject left the television and ran from the scene.  The suspect was described as a light skinned black male.  A door had been kicked in to make entry. A silver colored SUV may have been involved.  The total dollar amount of the theft 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.  

Illinois Pork Producers Association Names Christian County Resident to Board

The Illinois Pork Producers Association has announced three new board members, one of which has local ties. Morgan Booth, Director of Communications for the IPPA shared why they picked Alan Hays, a second generation farmer from Christian County to serve on their board.



Hays has worked closely with the IPPA throughout the years. Booth shared some of the events where the two parties have collaborated.



Booth said as the Allied Industry Representative, Hays will provide a non-pork producing agriculture voice to the IPPA board.

Christian County Senior Citizen's Center Looking for Local Funding

Since the start of the year the Christian County Senior Citizens Center hasn't been able to provide lunches on Wednesdays because of the state's lack of funding. Gerry Mahr, Director of the Senior Center, and Judy Gates, Supervisor for Meals on Wheels of CEFS, said this impacts their members and participants because many rely on their lunches to eat, and often times, if they don't eat at the Senior Center, they may not eat at all. Mahr and Gates said it also doesn’t just keep the participants from eating, but also socializing.

Mahr said the Senior Center has ideas in mind to help bring back the lunches, but they need a lot of help from the community as well. He said the senior center is looking for food or monetary donations that could allow them to bring back lunches on Wednesdays.

Mahr appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

New Drug Addiction Recovery Program in Nokomis

Communities in Central Illinois struggle with drug use, abuse, and recovery.  In Nokomis, there is a new program called Recovery Worship America that meets every Sunday afternoon that teaches people how to live by their 12 step plan. Recovery Worship America Group leader, Brother Jim Vargo, said throughout the program, participants will realize they will not be in a normal church setting but in a comfortable familiar setting, but the spiritual word will guide the conversation and guide people back to recovery.

Vargo said the spiritual based program is one major way people are able to help themselves recover. He said people cannot heal themselves, they need a community, support, and the power of the spirit.

The program meets every Sunday at 2pm at The United Methodist Church in Nokomis.


Vargo appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Munger is Back

Former Comptroller Leslie Munger has resurfaced. Governor Bruce Rauner brought Munger back to state government with a new title. Munger has been named Deputy Governor. Rauner believes Munger, who fell to Susana Mendoza in her re-election bid, can "bring people together to find long-term solutions for our state and its residents.” Rauner's office says as Deputy Governor, Munger will add her voice to the state’s budget discussions and work with nonprofit leaders to address their challenges and increase their financial security.

Rodney Davis Fighting For Coverage of Pre-Existing Conditions

Congressman Rodney Davis is introducing a health care bill designed to protect people with pre-existing conditions from discrimination by insurance companies. Davis wants the legislation to be a part of the package of bills that will replace Obamacare. For Davis it's a matter of common sense but it's also personal.

Davis and other House Republicans are working on what they're calling the Better Way Agenda, a 37 page healthcare plan designed to replace Obamacare.

Possible State Budget Progress This Week

The state legislature is back in session after taking last week off. The action will be in the senate where Senate president Cullerton and the minority leader have been piecing together a budget. Mark Gebhards, Farm Bureau’s Exec. Dir. Of Governmental Affairs and Commodities says the hope is a budget bill can be wrapped up and sent to the house in short order.

While the House has some concerns over changes to some state union rules and workmen’s compensation, a suit filed by the State Attorney General’s office saying the state lacks authority to pay state workers in the continued absence of budget is putting additional pressure on the statehouse. A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for February 16th.

Meanwhile, Gebhards says the governor has yet to weigh in the pending senate budget plan. 

Mark Gebhards. Meanwhile, Farm Bureau members can get an update on the situation in Springfield, as well as Washington at the Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference March first and second at the Abraham Lincoln hotel, and Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield. For details on the GALC conference, check out ILFB.ORG or your county Farm Bureau.

Lunt Thinking Pros Again

Rochester High School turned Illini quarterback Wes Lunt isn't ready to give up on pro football dreams after all. Lunt's college career has had its share of disappointments and injuries, not only at the University of Illinois, but at Oklahoma State University, where he started for a time as a true freshman. He thought his football playing days were drawing to a close last fall but that all changed when a college football all star game came calling.

Lunt is in San Diego training for the NFL Draft or free agent opportunities. Some sportswriters say he helped his stock the most at the East West Shrine Game.

Christian County CEO Program Holds Winter Banquet Fundraising Event


The Christian County CEO Program held their Winter Banquet Friday Night to help raise funds for the students involved in the CEO program, and the projects and businesses they’re planning as a part of the class. Rhett Molen is a student involved in the program and shared some of the things the CEO class was doing to help raise funds at the banquet.



Molen previewed the next few months of the CEO program for the students taking the class, and said the class has been thanking the local business leaders who have been supporting the program.



More information on the Christian County CEO program is available online by visiting ChristianCountyCEO.com

Deadlines for Scholarship Opportunities from Shelby Electric Cooperative Approaching

Students who are looking for alternative methods to help pay for schooling through scholarships and grants should look no further than Shelby Electric Cooperative in Shelbyville. The Cooperative will be providing multiple scholarships to different students in the local area and the deadline to apply is coming up in March.
Heidi Hall, Member Services Account Manager with the Cooperative, says the scholarships are not just for students with aspirations of a two or four year degree. 
Hall says the registration is rather simple and students can pursue the opportunity a couple different ways. 
Hall appeared on the Newstalk WTIM morning show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios. 

Grammy's West Side Floral in Shelbyville Gears Up for Busiest Time of Year

February is the month of love but also the month of planning for that summer wedding according to Cathy Swarms, owner of Grammy's Westside Floral in Shelbyville. Swarms says with Valentine's Day right around the corner and this being the time for a bride to pick out her arrangements, Grammy's is never busier than now.
Gender reveal parties are all the rage nowadays and Swarms says the average customer might not be aware that her business does arrangements for those parties.
Swarms was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville Studios. 

Illinois DNR and Lake Shelbyville ready for Fish Habitat Day

Spring is on its way and that means Fish Habitat Day at Lake Shelbyville on March 18th. Lee Mitchell, with the Army Corps (CORE) of Engineers and the Environmental Stewardship Department at Lake Shelbyville, says the Fish Habitat Day is a great way for anyone to get involved with helping improve the areas where fish actually live. 
Mike Mounts, District Fisheries Biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, says all the different entries volunteers will provide for fish help bolster the decreasing landscape underneath the lake.
Mitchell and Mounts appeared on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville studios.

Good Turnout At Taylorville Kiwanis Club Pancake and Sausage Breakfast

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast this past Saturday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge. The breakfast was well attended as over 350 people were served. Breakfast was available for dine in and to go customers alike and it took a team of twenty-eight Kiwanis members and twelve Taylorville High School Key Club members to serve at the annual event. Zona Reynolds (pictured) was the winner of the 50/50 drawing that was held at the conclusion of the fundraiser. Proceeds will be used to support several Kiwanis projects for Taylorville area youth and children including “Coats for Kids,” which provides new winter coats, hats, gloves, and boots for 75-85 children, ages 3-5, every fall.


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.




Front Row (l to r) Judy Prasun, James Boettger, Zona Reynolds (50/50 winner), Natalie Daum, Alex Morelock, Lakota Clark, Taylor Evanchak


Back Row (l to r) Will Perkins (Kiwanis President), Dean Ray, Larry Kemner, Bill Kerns, Michael Evanchak, Dick Wamsley


Avery Bourne Files Proposed Bill to Guarantee State Worker Pay


State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) filed House Bill 1787 on Wednesday in an effort to guarantee state worker pay during a budget impasse. Bourne said the bill would make state worker’s salary payments a continuing appropriation.



Bourne said another bill has been discussed that would provide short term funding for state worker pay, but said she thinks the better solution would be to make state worker pay a continuing appropriation, which would leave a long term budget solution on the table.



Bourne said a stop gap appropriation would be a temporary fix, and leave the issue vulnerable to future attacks. So far the proposed bill have received early support according to Bourne.



Bourne said it seems that state worker pay is being used as a political tool, and she feels that that’s absolutely wrong.

Tornado City Tattoo Now Open For Business in Taylorville

A new business has opened in Taylorville for those looking to decorate their skin with a little ink. Mara Bertinetti, owner of Tornado City Tattoo said the shop has plenty to offer the community.



The private rooms Tornado City Tattoo offers are something that Bertinetti says sets the business apart. She said she noticed that many tattoo shops are open spaces leaving customers exposed. Bertinetti says the artists like the private rooms as well.



You can find Tornado City Tattoo in Taylorville at 415 West Franklin Street. They’re also very active on Facebook, and you can find their page by searching for “Tornado City Tattoo”.


Taylorville Chamber CEO Says if Taylorville School Referendum Doesn't Get Passed, It'll Hurt the Full Community

One thing on the mind of most Taylorville citizens is the upcoming tax referendum for Taylorville Schools. The school district has come up with this referendum because the state isn't taking care of them the way they need. Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Taylorville Chamber is part of Citizens of Education and said it's important for the citizens to vote in the tax levy because it won't just affect the students, but the entire city.

Hornbuckle said if the referendum isn't voted in, it will more than likely cause incoming businesses to pull out which will in turn bring less visitors, bring less new residents, and bring down property values.

Hornbuckle appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Looking Toward March: U of I Extension Holding Sheep-Goat Clinic for 4-H'ers and General Public

It's not too late to start thinking about upcoming programs the Univeristy of Illinois Taylorville Extension is holding next month, especially those geared toward 4-H families that could benefit kids for their livestock shows. On March 4th, Alicia Gullidge, 4-H youth and Development Coordinator at the Exnention is holding a Sheep and Goat Clinic to go over everything someone may need to know to raise a healthy sheep or goat. Gary Letterly, Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator said Gullidge will go over topics such as nutrition, herd management, and will be a good baseline when learning the best ways to raise goats and sheep.

Letterly said, while this program is focused more on 4-H kids and their families, this is a program that could benefit anyone who's interested in raising goats and sheep.

The Sheep and Goat Clinic is taking place Saturday, March 4th from 1:00 to 3:30, more information can be found at the U of I Taylorville Extension.


Letterly appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

LLCC Hosts High School Students for Annual WYSE Academic Challenge


High School Students from 19 area high schools gathered at Lincoln Land Community College on Tuesday for the annual WYSE Academic Challenge. Matt Vespa, a Professor at LLCC and Director of the WYSE competition shared information on the WYSE Challenge.



Students test in their choice of two of seven different subjects, and individuals and school teams that place in either first or second in their respective divisions advance to the sectional competition, with the chance to move on to the state finals in April. Vespa said if students are interested in competing in the WYSE Academic Challenge, they have several avenues to do so.


State Senator Andy Manar Stresses Importance of Fixing School Funding Formula

With many schools beginning to seek alternative sources of funding rather than rely on state funding, many questions remain on how Illinois funds it’s schools. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) sits on a school funding reform commission created by Governor Bruce Rauner, tasked with creating a better funding formula. Manar said in a conference call with the press Wednesday, that he’s proud the commission has tried to create a formula that better assists children from low income areas.



Manar stressed the importance of being able to better fund school districts in low income areas, but did warn that there are significant hurdles to overcome.



The bipartisan commission has recommended an increase of at least $3.5 Billion for school funding in Illinois.

Schales Nagle Speaks to Taylorville Kiwanis Club at Their Weekly Luncheon


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their business meeting to review current Kiwanis Club activities for children and youth in the community, at their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. The guest speaker this week was Schales Nagle, LCSW with Sense and Sensibilities Counseling LLC in Taylorville.


Nagle started off her presentation with a brief history about herself and her career.



Nagle holds a masters of social work and is a licensed clinical and social worker. Nagles business, Sense and Sensibilities LLC provides individual and family counseling in Taylorville. Nagle shared why she wanted to open her business in Taylorville.



Nagle’s private pay session fees are reasonably priced and she has a contract with Chestnut Behavioral Health through their EAP program for additional help. For more information you can contact Nagle and 273-4902.


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and community at a time. Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. For more information on the club go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.

Water Service Interrupted Near Bertinetti

Regional Radio News has learned that a utility company working near the Bertinetti region near Taylorville accidentally broke through a water line while working. Taylorville Water Department Superintendent David Speagle informed that water services had to be shut off to repair the lines, and expected the work to take around two hours to complete. Once water services are returned, affected residents will be under a boil order until further notice.

TMH Holding Knee Replacement Presentation for Those Interested, Monday, with Q&A After

Taylorville Memorial Hospital offers a Joint Works program that allows patients who are going to have a knee or hip replacement to find out all of the ins and outs of their upcoming procedure. Missy Keiser, Joint Works Educator, at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, meets with the families intimately for an hour and a half to two hours to talk to the family about the procedure, what the patient needs to do before the surgery takes place, what rehabilitation looks like afterward, and answer and of the patient or family's questions. Keiser explained some of the ways patients prepare before their procedure.

Keiser also mentioned their knee replacement presentation taking place Monday, February 6th. Tracy Seaton, Director of Nursing at TMH joined Keiser and said their last presentation on hips had a full house, and many people had questions on knees, so they decided to dedicate time to that procedure as well.

Seaton and Keiser appeared on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Police Department Reports Results of Saturation Patrols Conducted Over The Weekend

The Taylorville Police Department has reported the results of a series of saturation patrols the department conducted in conjunction with the Illinois State Police. Numerous traffic stops were conducted during the evening hours on Friday, January 27th and Saturday, January 28th, which resulted in numerous warnings and citations issued, along with two arrests made for individuals driving while under the influence, and one warrant arrest.

The Taylorville Police Department states that these type of details are to promote traffic safety along with looking for impaired drivers. Additional saturation patrols are being planned for the coming months.

Policy Group's Plan is to Cut State Spending by Billions

A budget proposal from a conservative action group in Illinois proposes freezing property taxes for five years, making schools and universities pay the full price of their pension benefits and cutting Medicaid spending by $415 million a year. John Tillman the CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute also wants to see the Local Government Distributive Fund cut to any community over 5,000 residents, that’s a share of the state income tax that’s shared with communities. It would save an alleged $1.75 billion a year but Tillman says cities would easily be able to absorb the cut in support from the state.

Tillman says the communities impacted would be able to save more than what had been given to them when prevailing wage laws and collective bargaining rules would be rolled back as part of a broader spending plan. 

Senator Dick Durbin Says No To Sessions

Senator Dick Durbin was among Democrats voting against the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to become the next Attorney General in the Judiciary Committee this morning. Sessions' nomination was approved in an 11-9 partisan vote. While Sessions is not a part of the Trump Administration yet, Durbin believes he's already acting in an unofficial capacity as a loyal advisor on immigration. Durbin believes Washington Post reports that Session is tied to executive orders on immigration that limited travel from certain nations with a mostly Muslim population.

Durbin also says he doesn't believe Sessions will pursue the investigation into reports of Russian interference in the November election.

High Demand for Locally Grown Food


Locally grown has become a buzzword in Agriculture as more farmers look for ways to market their products directly to local consumers, and consumers are looking for those locally produced items. While we often think of locally grown items as coming from smaller fruit and vegetable operations, that is not always the case. The Ropp family in McLean County has been in the diary business for six generations, milking Jersey cows. About a decade ago, Ken Ropp, on a whim, decided to try his hand at cheese making. Using his own milk, he produced small batches of cheese and sold it directly from the farm a couple of days a week. Demand quickly grew so they moved to farmers markets, and later to retail grocery stores. Today, Ropp Jersey Cheese is produced seven days a week and sold in over 200 outlets in a 200 mile radius of McLean county. Ropp says the cheese business adds value to their milk, and eliminated the ups and downs of the market for raw milk.



Ropp says the consumer is looking for locally grown products, as evidenced by the growth of farmers markets around the state. 

As Ropp works with retailers who sell his cheese, he discovers a strong demand from grocery chains for more locally produced items, whether it is fruits and vegetables, value added items like cheese and meat or nearly anything edible that can produced in Illinois. Grocers are also feeling the demand for locally produced food and are finding demand often outstrips available supplies.


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