Local News

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears About Low Speed Vehicles at Weekly Meeting


Taylorville Kiwanis members celebrated Halloween at their Tuesday luncheon, and heard about the increased sales of low speed vehicles.  From the left:  Will Perkins, program chair; Lori Simmons, program speaker from Battery Specialists Plus Golf Cars in Taylorville;
Kiwanis member Sarah Van Huss, who celebrated Halloween at her employment and at the Club meeting dressed as a cow; and Kiwanis president Martin Vota.



The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about low speed vehicles, and how they're allowed in the state of Illinois, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Lori Simmons with Battery Specialists Plus Golf Cars in Taylorville, spoke to Kiwanis members about growing market for low speed vehicles since they were legalized in the State of Illinois.

Simmons reviewed the state laws on low speed vehicles, which are sold at Battery Specialists.  L-S-V's are allowed to be on any roadway in Illinois that has a speed limit of 30 miles an hour or less.

Simmons went on to talk about the City of Taylorville ordinance which also allows golf cars to be used inside the city limits.  Simmons said there are differences between the state law on L-S-V's, and the Taylorville ordinance on golf cars.

Simmons talked about the difference between the low speed vehicle, and the golf car.

Simmons added that both are gaining in sales at Battery Specialists, specifically to be used on streets in communities across the state.

Kiwanis Priority One chairperson Harriett Morrissey told the club that thru the Kiwanis “Coats for Kids” program, some 80 Head Start and kindergarten students in the Taylorville School District, were provided with coats, hats, and gloves.  Several Kiwanis members were on hand at the Taylorville Wal-Mart, to assist the children with selecting their winter apparel. 

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.

Michael Pickett Selected as Miller Media Group "Employee of the Quarter"

Michael Pickett of Taylorville has been named the Miller Media Group "Employee of the Quarter" for the 3rd quarter of 2017.

Group president Randal J. Miller made the announcement on Tuesday.  Pickett has been a staff announcer for the group since April 2016.  Pickett's duties have expanded since joining the group, with on-air reponsibilities now including hosting Saturday programming and also being part of the Taylorville Tornadoes play-by-play team.

Management and staff members vote on an "Employee of the Quarter" each quarter.

Pickett received a 100-dollar check, and his name is in a drawing for a Florida vacation to be awarded by the company next April.

Langleyville Water Superintendent Issues Boil Order

Langleyville Water Superintendent Mark Jacoby has informed Regional Radio News, that a boil order is in effect for the 100 and 200 blocks of South Vollintine Street, and also South Parker Street, until further notice.

Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR / People's Bank and Trust Announce Pana High School October Students of the Month

Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR and People’s Bank and Trust in Pana have announced their Pana High School students of the month for February. The program recognizes one outstanding student from each of the four classes every month.


The Pana High School Students of the month are from left to right: Joani Jones from People's Bank and Trust, Senior Lilly Anna-Marie Anderson, Junior Jordan Reese Bock, Sophomore Owan Christopher Trey Patton, Freshman Christian Michael Smedley, and Jennifer Mathis from People's Bank and Trust.  


Central Illinois Lawmaker Calls Gun Debate Aversion Diversion From Larger Issues

New gun laws were on the agenda last week as a part of the fall veto session and a central Illinois lawmaker believes the debate is a distraction from bigger issues in the state. The banning of bump stocks in Illinois is the hot topic surrounding the gun debate but Senator Chapin Rose says when someone is insane, they will get what they need for the destruction they intend. He feels efforts would be better served to address mental health.

Rose feels the discussion is just an effort to divert the public's attention from the bigger issues in Illinois.

One measure for bump stocks failed last week with another measure being discussed in Springfield. 

New Sons of the American Legion Group Being Organized in Christian County

One local veteran is organizing a new chapter of the Sons of the American Legion out of the Taylorville Legion post. The organizer will be hosting an informational meeting for any son, grandson, or great-grandson of any veteran that is or was eligible to be a American Legion member next week.


Bruce Hallam is putting the Sons of the American Legion group together. He says he wants to continue a group that was originally started in Stonington.



Hallam says the group will aid Christian County American Legion posts in multiple ways.



The informational meeting will be held Wednesday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Taylorville American Legion Post 73 at 110 West Franklin Street in Taylorville.

New Businees Show Dubbed "Not Your Fathers Business Show" Coming to Newstalk WTIM

Robert “Sully” Sullivan has made a life of investing and broadcasting, and now his show “The Big Biz Show” is making its way to Newstalk WTIM. The show airs weeknights on Newstalk WTIM, and is billed as “not your fathers business show”.
Sullivan says his start in radio started by chance, when an appearance as a guest turned into much more.
Sullivan says the show isn't your father's business show, and deals with a number of different topics.
Sullivan appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Police Asking Drivers to be Cautious on Halloween

It is Halloween and kids looking for candy will be out and about trick or treating tonight. Taylorville Police Sgt. Alan Mills says all drivers should take extra precaution, and kids are twice as likely to be involved in an accident while trick or treating than any other time of year.



Trick or treating hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m. in Shelbyville, 5 to 8 p.m. in Pana and 6 to 9 p.m. in Taylorville Tuesday.  

Big D and Bubba, Country with Carson Making Their Debut on New Country WSVZ and 104.1 This Wednesday

A pair of new shows are making their way to New Country 98.3 WSVZ and 104.1 this week, as the Big D and Bubba show along with their counterpart Carson will be debuting November 1st.
Bubba and Carson both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed their shows making their way to the Miller Media Group. Bubba says one thing that makes their show unique is that the show is never fully planned.
Carson got into the radio industry due to a love of music, with her love of country starting when she discovered country music legend Garth Brooks.
Tune into the Big D and Bubba Show, along with Country with Carson starting November 1st on New Country.FM 98.3 and 104.1.

Taylorville Resident Wins Free McCafes for a Year Thanks to McDonald's "Hide and Go Sip" Contest

One lucky Taylorville resident has won free McCafe coffee for a year thanks to McDonald’s “Hide and Go Sip” promotion Monday morning. Angela Cortes of Taylorville will receive 52 free McCafe coffees, one per week for the next year.


Cortes says she found the four-foot tall McCafe coffee cup at Jaynes Park.



The Taylorville McDonald’s has hosted the “Hide and Go Sip” promotion the past five years.

Opioid Crisis Not Slowing Down in Illinois, Rural Areas Hit Hard

The state’s opioid epidemic showing no signs of slowing down. There were nearly 2,000 people who died from opioid related deaths in Illinois in 2016 and those numbers could reach close to 3,000 in the coming years, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. The agency’s Nirav Shah says they're focusing on prevention efforts.

IDPH has received a federal grant to help combat the epidemic. The $2-million in funding is from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and will be utilized in 18 south-central Illinois rural counties for prevention and education efforts. 

More Talk of Carbondale to Metro East 4--Lane highway

A proposed regional, 4-lane, state highway from Carbondale to southwestern Illinois has been a discussion item for decades. State Senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo supports the idea and recently spoke with the Illinois Department of Transportation about the prospects of connecting Carbondale with the Metro East.

Schmipf says the highway would require expansion of current 2-lane highways to 4 lanes and is important for the future economic vitality of southern and southwestern Illinois.

IDOT has indicated support for the idea, but at this time the proposal is just a discussion item. 

Trick or Treaters to be Out and About Tonight and Tomorrow

If a ghost, Darth Vader, or the Grim Reaper comes up to your door, don’t be alarmed. The Halloween Holiday is here and trick or treaters will be lining of the streets of area communities.


In Taylorville, trick or treaters will be out from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Kids can trick or treat in Pana both nights as well, with the hours being from 5 to 8 p.m.


Shelbyville trick or treaters will only be out on All Hallow’s Eve Tuesday, with the hours being from 5 to 7 p.m.

Community Care Systems Working To Help Seniors With Their Health Insurance Needs

Health insurance has been a hot topic as of late, and area seniors are looking to stay on top of any changes that are made that may affect their health insurance. Community Care Systems is working to help area seniors with their medical insurance needs.


Angie Oldham with Community Care Systems explained exactly what Community Care Systems does.



There have been some changes coming to medicare in the spring. Oldham shared what one of those changes will be.



Oldham appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

U of I Extension Teaching Thanksgiving Cooking Tips In Upcoming Class

While families across the country prepare for Halloween, many are also beginning to prep for the country’s next major holiday, Thanksgiving. Many have questions about how to cook a Thanksgiving meal, and the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 is offering a class to help answer those questions.


Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator at the U of I Extension Unit 18 appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the class will be a hands on class to help make Thanksgiving less daunting.



The class will teach it’s students about how to prepare a healthy Thanksgiving meal, including how to shop, prep, and prepare for the meal.



The class will take place on November 13th, and to register for the class, contact the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18’s office.

Taylorville Yoga Studio to Offer Free Classes, Raise Money for Veterans

Taylorville Yoga Studio will be holding classes by donation soon to raise money for the Veterans’ Yoga Project. The classes will be held November 10th at The Pop Up Shop on the Taylorville square.


Tina Coash is the owner and instructor at Taylorville Yoga Studio. She says she hopes this is something her business can do to help veterans each year.



For Coash, helping veterans hits very close to home.



The classes will be held at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 on November 10th. All of the classes are open to the public to come learn more about yoga and the Veterans’ Yoga Project.

Physician's Choice Wellness Holding "Wellness Day" Thursday

Physician’s Choice Wellness in Taylorville wants to meet area residents and let area residents see what they have to offer at the Wellness Day coming up. The event will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday at their office at 1000 West Spresser Street.


Becky Anderson is the co-owner of Physician’s Choice Wellness. She says coming from a small town herself, she wants to give the community a chance to meet her and her staff.



Anderson says they will be checking some vitals during the event, which could reveal bigger health issues attendees may not know they have.



Again, the Wellness Day event will be Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. at Physician’s Choice Wellness in Taylorville at 1000 West Spresser Street.

Prairie Farms Introduces America's First Milk Snack Bars

Prairie Farms Dairy recently released a new product that gives a new take on your traditional chocolate cake. The company’s new Milk Snack has an inner filling made with real milk, a first of it’s kind in the U.S.


Nicole Postin is the Public Relations Manager for Prairie Farms. She says this snack’s calorie count is low, so no one should feel guilty for indulging on a bar.



Postin says Prairie Farms is giving away free snacks through an online giveaway.



Also from the giveaway mention, five grand prize winners each week will receive coupons for five free milk snacks along with $50 in gift coupons towards Prairie Farms and North Star products. The online giveaway for Prairie Farms new Milk Snacks ends December 31.

Governor Dodges Bump Stocks Question

The legislature is still working on a possible ban on bump stocks. That’s the gun trigger modification that allows a semi automatic gun to act and fire more like a fully automatic one. They were used by the Las Vegas shooter. The original bill in the House banned more than just bump stocks, but a leaner bill just focused on that one item is being worked on. Where is the Governor on this? When simply asked if he supports a bump stock ban, Bruce Rauner says...

A slimmed down bump stocks bill could come back up during the second half of the veto session.

State Police, IDOT Want Motorists to Drive Sober on Halloween

Halloween parties now are as much for adult s as kids and those older ghosts and ghouls sometimes mix dress up with drinking. If those are your plans this weekend the Illinois State Police and the Department of Transportation wants you to beware that you better find a sober driver to bring you home.

That’s IDOT’s Kelsea Gurski. Special enforcement activities will be going through the early morning hours of November 1st.

GOP Will Now Have a Primary Battle for Governor

Governor Bruce Rauner has most likely had his focus on Democrat J.B. Pritzker in his re-election campaign. Now he faces a hurdle to get to November. State Rep. Jeanne Ives is circulating petitions to challenge Rauner in next year's GOP primary. Ives told supporters in an email that she is taking the first step towards restoring common sense in Illinois. Ives has tabbed former Quad Cities State Representative Rich Morthland as her running mate.

Quinn Wants to Return to Illinois Political Scene

Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is looking to make a political comeback. Quinn has confirmed he's entering the log jam race for the Democratic nomination for Illinois Attorney General. Quinn will discuss his quest this week with Cook County Democrats. He will face competition from six fellow Democrats, including former assistant U.S. attorney Renato Mariotti, who jumped into the race last week. Mariotti, a frequent television commentator, revealed he was entering the race during an appearance on MSNBC.

Shelbyville Manor Working To Provide Best Alzheimers and Dementia Care Possible

Helping a family member suffering from dementia or Alzheimers can be trying on a family, and Shelbyville Manor is working to help. Their Garden Court program works to help provide quality care for the individuals.
Julie Ambrose is the Garden Court Coordinator at Shelbyville Manor, and says it's the staff that sets Shelbyville Manor apart.
Alzheimers and dementia can be trying on a family, especially when that family is trying to play caretaker to their loved one. Shelbyville Manor works to take care of your loved ones, taking a large amount of stress off the family, and even offers a number of programs to help the family stay connected to their loved ones.
Ambrose appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.

NewsTalk WTIM and Peoples Bank and Trust Students of the Month for October

The NEWSTALK WTIM and People's Bank and Trust Taylorville Students of the Month for October were presented with their awards recently.


The People's Bank & Trust and WTIM Taylorville Students of the Month for October are from left to right: 

People's Bank & Trust Representative Lindsay Lopian, Senior Haley Shull, Freshman Averi McCullough, Sophomore Mercedes Kennedy, and Junior Blake Friedrich.


Springfield Clinic Gives Shed to Taylorville's Shadow Home

A Taylorville not-for-profit received a generous donation from the Springfield Clinic. The Shadow Home in Taylorville was presented the gift courtesy of the “Springfield Clinic Gives” Program Friday morning.


Rachel Gasperin is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the clinic. She says the donation isn’t just a monetary donation.



Gasperin says those at the Springfield Clinic – Taylorville location made it clear that the Shadow Home would be an excellent charity to help.



The “Springfield Clinic Gives” program was started in 2014 for the organization's 75th anniversary. The program makes a donation each quarter to a not-for-profit or charitable organization improving the lives of residents in the community.

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Preparing For Several Renovation Projects

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville is working on a number of upgrades and renovations made possible through the partnership with the HSHS Medical Group. The Hospital is preparing to get underway on several projects, including a new main entrance area.
Aaron Puchbauer, President and CEO of HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says the demolition phase of the projects should begin soon, with construction not long after.
Puchbauer highlighted some of the work being done to the hospitals main lobby.
Puchbauer says one of the goals for the upgrades is to create more privacy for the hospital's patients. 

Christian County TRIAD Graduated Another Class Thursday

The Christian County TRIAD’s Senior Police Academy graduated another class Thursday morning. The academy is in its ninth year, and Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says over 50 people completed the program Thursday.


Hile says the Senior Police Academy continues to attract new and returning members of the community.



Craig King is the Chief Division Counsel for the FBI’s Springfield office. He talked about the current American terror threats at Thursday’s academy session and he says it’s important that the public stays informed.



Anyone who would like more information on the Senior Police Academy or the Christian County Triad can call Chief Hile at 824-2211.



Craig King, Chief Division Counsel for the FBI's Springfield office presented to those in attendance at the Senior Police Academy on Thursday, October 26 at the University of Illinois Christian County Extension.

Lincoln Land Community College Offering Many Two Year Programs To Help Students Find Jobs Faster

Lincoln Land Community College is helping students start their journey to a four year degree, but also helps many students obtain the skills needed to enter the workforce earlier. LLCC's and it's Taylorville campus offers several two year programs to give students the skills they need to get a good paying job in many different fields.
Dee Krueger, Director at LLCC's Taylorville Campus appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says research shows many jobs are going unfilled due to a shortage of skilled workers.
One field that has a huge demand for skilled workers is the medical field, and Krueger highlighted some of the benefits of enrolling in one of LLCC's medical programs.
For more information or to begin the enrollment process at LLCC, visit them online at LLCC.edu.

U of I Extension Educator Offering Halloween Nutrition Tips For Your Children

Many parents are wondering how they can help their kids continue to maintain a healthy diet with the Halloween holiday coming up. Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator with the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 is giving parents several tips to keep in mind this season.
Peterson says one way to keep their children from snacking on candy while they're trick or treating is to feed them a well balanced meal before heading out.
Parents should also make sure to check their children's candy to make sure there isn't anything in the candy that could make them sick, such an ingredient the child is allergic to. Peterson says to keep an eye on the packaging as well, and if anything seems suspicious, just throw the candy out.
Peterson appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

New Taylorville Business Wins National Award

Physician’s Choice Wellness, which recently opened a new location in Taylorville, was recently recognized by its peers for the clinic’s outstanding work in helping people manage their weight. The recognition came at the National Weight Management Conference last week in Chicago.


Becky Anderson is the co-owner of Physician’s Choice Wellness. She says the award is given to clinics that continue to be creative in helping people lose weight.



Anderson says this is an award they strive to win each year, and they’ve been successful most of the time.



For more information on Physician’s Choice Wellness or their weight loss programs, you can visit their website here.

Christian County Senior Citizens Center Inviting Public to Luncheon Saturday

The Christian County Senior Citizens Center wants to invite the community to a luncheon on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the center. The luncheon is by donation only, and those at the Senior Citizens Center want everyone to come and socialize and find out what the center has to offer.


Jennifer Verardi is the Transportation Director at the Senior Citizens Center. She says many local businesses came together and donated food to make the luncheon possible.



Verardi says the center is offering the lunch to the community so they can come and see what the Senior Citizens Center has to offer.



Verardi says mostaccioli will be served, along with salad, garlic bread, and desserts at Saturday’s luncheon.

No Bump Stock Ban - Yet

A ban on bump stocks and more failed in the Illinois House. The bill would have made the trigger modification illegal to own and sell in Illinois but the bill would have gone further. Opponents made the case that it was too much, Democrat Jerry Costello says other standard modifications that people use for sport and hobby would have been banned; turning more guns into illegal ones.

The extensive reach of the bill is being reconsidered. And now one with only the bump stock ban is being shopped around the state house.

GROWMARK Energy Expert Anticipates Gas Prices to Weaken Entering Holiday Season

The price at the pump should weaken heading into the holiday season. That prediction from GROWMARK energy expert Harry Cooney. He says prices are strong now, but that will change.

Data from AAA Chicago shows Illinois gas prices are currently averaging $2.55 a gallon. The highest average in the state is in Chicago at $2.85 per gallon with Bloomington-Normal at $2.51. The national average at $2.46 per gallon. The highest average in the continental U.S. is $3.03 in California. 

Dog Park Supporters Talk to Taylorville Park Board About Possible Park

With action on a new dog park on hold at the county level, dog park supporters came to the Taylorville Park Board meeting Monday to plead their case.


Kathy Driskell is leading the charge for a dog park in Taylorville, and she says a dog park leads to more active and well-behaved dogs in the community.



Park Board President Marlene Miller says a dog park is something she looked into and worked on during her time as Recreation Director for the Park District.



Miller says more research would be done into how they would run the dog park and keep track of the dogs using the park. Driskell says there is a big desire in the community for a dog park, and the group had brought a sheet with over 200 signatures in support of bringing a dog park to the community.

Social Security Administration Offering Several Calculators On Their Website To Help Plan for Retirement

Planning for retirement can be a stressful activity, and the Social Security Administration is working to alleviate that stress. The SSA has several retirement figure calculators on their website to help citizens get a rough estimate of different aspects of their retirement.
Jack Myers, Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning Show, and shared how planning for retirement can alleviate some of the stresses of retirement, and their calculators can help.
Many single retirees are finding love and getting re-married, which can put a monkey wrench on receiving social security benefits. Myers says whether or not this happens to you depends on the situation.
To learn more about social security and to start planning for your retirement, you can visit the Social Security Administration online at SSA.gov

Taylorville City Council Approves Hiring Extra Help in City Treasurer's Office

The Taylorville City Council has voted to bring back a former city treasurer to get the Treasurer’s Office caught up following the office’s server crash in July. The vote came at a special board meeting Tuesday night.


Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says the former treasurer Terri France was the perfect candidate to help the office in this situation.



Barry says France will work as long as necessary to get the office back to normal operation, but they hope that everything is back up to speed by the end of the year.



The water agreements with the Village of Kincaid and with the Langleyville Public Water Districts were also a topic of discussion at the meeting. Barry says he believes they are close to an agreement with both entities, and they could be signed and put in place by the end of November.

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate JB Pritzker Accuses Governor of Creating Political Divide in Illinois

The race for Governor is heating up in Illinois, and one of the candidates running for the democratic nomination is Chicago Businessman JB Pritzker. According to Pritzker, Illinois has been under siege by current governor Bruce Rauner, and he's running to change that.
Pritzker says since Rauner took office, issues such as education and job creation have suffered.
Pritzker accused Governor Rauner of creating a political divide between Cook County and the rest of the state, saying Illinois should be working to bring it's residents together, rather than creating division for political gain.
If you'd like to learn more about JB Pritzker and his campaign for governor, you can visit his campaign online at JBPritzker.com.
Pritzker appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

TMH Hosts Area Hospitals for Senior Care Luncheon

Taylorville Memorial Hospital continues to look to improve its care for senior citizens in the community, and the hospital recently hosted other central Illinois hospital personnel to talk about community education efforts for senior citizen care and also to talk about special patient cases. Staff members from Taylorville, Paris, Staunton, Carlinville, and Sarah Culbertson Hospitals were in attendance for the luncheon.


Amy Graham is a RN and the director of Senior Life Solutions at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. She says Senior Life Solutions is a program to care for the elderly and show them they are not alone.



Graham says being able to talk to healthcare personnel at other area facilities brings higher quality of care to all of the participating hospitals.



The biannual luncheon was held on September 29. For more information on the Senior Life Solutions program, you can give Graham a call at 824-1896.

AG: Time For a Student Bill of Rights on Loans

The Attorney General in Illinois wants students to have better protections over their rights when it comes to their student loans. Democrat Lisa Madigan says one in four student borrowers are behind on payments or in default. A bill of rights would make loan companies accurately report all of the options students or former students have from loan forgiveness to repayment options.

For a student loan bill of rights to become law it the bill needs to be overridden by legislature. Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed it already this year saying it was a good idea but it lacked a clear way to accomplish its goals. 

NRA Stands Up For Gun Rights

Efforts to ban trigger modifications on firearms moved out of a House committee this week but the NRA says its too broad of a bill. Todd Vandermyde with the NRA notes that many gun owners have made trigger modifications legally and this new bill would outlaw those. 

The modifications can increase the rate of fire but he says won’t turn them into machine guns. The bill is mostly targeted at banning the use and sale of bump stocks. That was the tool that the Las Vegas shooter used to modify his guns to shoot faster. 

The Illinois State Rifle Association may be involved in negations about some of the bans or changes to gun laws.

Mendoza Celebrates Transparency Vote

Illinois House members spoke with one voice on transparency with a unanimous vote to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill requiring state agencies to issue monthly reports on bills they forwarded to the Comptrollers office for payment. Comptroller Susana Mendoza was pleased with the bipartisan victory.

Current requirements call for a report once a year. The bill moves over to the Senate for an override vote.

Economic Development Board Hears About Proposed TIF Districts at Annual Meeting

Steve Kline, who is the head of an economic development consulting business in Bloomington, was guest speaker at last week's Christian County Economic Development Corporation annual meeting.

Kline is working with the C-C-E-D-C and the City of Taylorville, on 2 proposed Tax Increment Financing districts to spur economic development for the Christian County seat.

Kline talked with Regional Radio News after his presentation, about why Taylorville is using this means to attract more jobs.

Kline added the community is all the residents.

For more information on the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, go to christiancounty-e-d-c-dot-c-o.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - October 25, 2017

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


At around 3:15 pm on Friday, October 13, 2017, a hit and run occurred in the 900 block of West Main Cross. The victim had slowed in traffic to make a turn, when an unknown vehicle struck them in the driver’s side.  The suspect vehicle then left the scene heading West on Main Cross Street.  The suspect vehicle was described as a gold colored, SUV, with front end damage and possible black paint transfer.  The total amount of 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 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.  

Michelle Hancock to Run for Christian County Clerk

A local investment professional has thrown her hat into the ring for the Christian County Clerk and Recorder race. Michelle Hancock will run for the job on the Republican ticket.


Hancock is a graduate of Taylorville High School. She says she wants to take the next step in serving her community.



Hancock is currently a senior operations officer at Investment Planners in Decatur. She says she is an outsider and can bring fresh eyes to the Christian County Clerk’s office.



Hancock looks forward to speaking with residents and working with community members to make Christian County a better place to live.

Taylorville Police Department Working To Ensure Safe Halloween Season

Halloween is coming up, with Trick Or Treating taking place in Taylorville on October 30th and 31st. The Taylorville Police Department wants residents to be safe this Halloween, and will be out and about making sure everyone has a safe holiday.
Sgt. Alan Mills with the Taylorville Police Department appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and reminded drivers to pay extra attention on the 30th and 31st, as there will be more people than usual moving around town.
The Police Department will be out and about making sure everybody is having a safe holiday, and will even be passing out candy to trick or treaters.
Mills reminded that those driving dangerously on Halloween will face tough penalties for their actions.

Proposed Budget Will Lead To Exploding Deficit According To Jim Bohannon

A budget is making it's way through congress, and Republicans in Washington are hopeful the budget can not only be passed, but then lead to tax reform. Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon show heard weeknights on Newstalk WTIM says although the budget is a step in the right direction, he still expects it and the proposed tax cuts to wreak havoc on the national deficit.
Bohannon says having a budget would be a positive step forward, but that fiscal discipline would be a good idea moving forward.
According to Bohannon, tax cuts can lead to more tax revenue in certain instances, but doesn't feel those instances will come to fruition under President Trump.
Jim Bohannon appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Pana to Set Funds Aside for Possible Special Water Projects

The Pana City Council wants to make sure it has funds set aside if an emergency arises in its water system. The council voted to amend a section of the annual water rate increase ordinance to set some funds aside for that purpose.


Pana Mayor Don Kroski says there will be no change to the annual water rate increase, it just sets aside some of the funds from the annual rate increase.



Kroski says he wants to have the funds available if an emergency or special need comes up.

Capitol Police Take on Role of Firefighters at Capitol Tuesday

In July, the vote to override Governor Rauner's vetoes of the budget and the state income tax hike, were delayed when someone dumped white powder inside the Capitol. Several weeks later, Tuesday's start of the fall veto session was delayed by fire. Secretary of State spokesman Henry Haupt says Capitol Police sprung into action when a blaze broke out in a Senate office.

No one was hurt.

Grain Official: Space, Space and Space Concerning Farmers This Fall Harvest

What concerns do Illinois farmers have this fall? Jeff Adkisson with the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois asked that question in a survey last week.

As of this week, 62-percent of the corn crop has been harvested in Illinois with 77-percent of the Illinois soybean harvest in the bin. 

NOAA Releases Winter Outlook

The NOAA weather prediction center has released its winter outlook and conditions are similar to last year at this time but that doesn't mean we're in for another winter with above normal temperatures.

Mike Halpert, Deputy Director of the NOAA Climate Prediction Center says drought is predicted in the northern plains for this winter, despite record rains from last year.

Wetter than average conditions are expected in the northern plains while the southern US is expected to be dry. Halpert says right now, Illinois finds itself in an 'equal chance' category for temperatures. 

Christian County Economic Development Corporation Makes By-Law Changes at Annual Meeting

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board of directors held their annual meeting Friday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. 

Executive director Mary Renner reported to the board on several current projects to keep and attract jobs to Christian County.  Renner told Regional Radio News after the meeting, about some by-law changes made by the board.

Renner added the by-law changes will allow the full board to have meetings when necessary.

Guest speaker was Steve Kline who spoke on how he's working with the C-C-E-D-C and the City of Taylorville on 2 proposed Tax Increment Financing districts to spur economic development.

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear About Faith Bible Christian Academy at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the newly organized Faith Bible Christian Academy in Rosamond, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Caleb Wheeler, the administrator at the newly formed school, was guest speaker.  Wheeler told the club that a newly formed organization, took over the former First Baptist Christian Academy when it closed in August.

43 children in pre-school thru grade 12, are presently enrolled in the new Christian-based school.  Wheeler said the new school isn't associated with any particular denomination, and as a result rely totally on contributions from the public. The school gets no public funding.

Wheeler added that at present, nearly 50 percent of the student enrollment are from Taylorville, 16% from Pana, and 37% from other local communities. 

Kiwanis president Martin Vota said that the club's annual Coats for Kids effort will begin this week, to provide coats, hats, and gloves, to area children thru local schools.  Some 80 children will be helped this year with monies raised by the local Kiwanis Club.

Kiwanis member Dick Wamsley presented perfect attendance certificates to Cliff Beatty for 3 years of perfect attendance, Blain Cornwell for 2 years of perfect attendance, and Martin Vota for one year of perfect Kiwanis meeting attendance.

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.

Lake Land College Foundation Honors 2 Area Individuals, Entities at Annual Meeting

The Lake Land College Foundation recognized 2 area individuals and entities Tuesday night during their annual meeting, for their contributions in helping the college raise money for scholarships.

Former president of First National Bank of Pana, and a former member of the Lake Land College Foundation board, John Livesay, was honored with the Foundation's Outstanding Fund Raising Volunteer Award.  Livesay told Regional Radio News about the donation he was instrumental in obtaining for the college.

Livesay said the Borgic family donated farmland to the Lake Land College Foundation.

Farm Credit Illinois C-E-O Tom Tracy was also honored for their support to the Lake Land College agriculture program.   Tracy told Regional Radio News that F-C-I management talks to their members every summer, and have told them supporting ag education is a priority.

Tracy added Lake Land College is an important part of F-C-I's success.

Find out more on the Lake Land College Foundation by clicking the "Foundation" tab at lakelandcollege-dot-edu.

UPDATE: No One Injured in Pana Building Collapse Monday Night

A Pana building partially collapsed Monday evening. Emergency personnel received the call about the collapse at Tanners’ Pub on East Second Street just before 5:30 Monday evening.


Pana Fire Chief Rod Bland says there are a few buildings involved in this collapse.



Bar patrons evacuated the building before it came down, and Bland says there has not been any reports of injuries.


Bland says Second Street near the pub is closed, along with Congress Alley between 3rd and 4th Streets. He urges people to stay away from that area as investigators continue to look into the integrity of the building after the collapse.

New Strasburg Royalty Crowned

New royalty was recently named in Strasburg. The new queens are Calla Roney, Miss Strasburg 2017, and Alexis Agney, Junior Miss Strasburg 2017. Calla is the daughter of Jarod and Thalia Roley. Alexis is the daughter of Troy and Kathleen Agney.


Retiring queens were 2016 Miss Strasburg, Morgan Braden and 2016 Junior Miss Strasburg, Samantha Gough.

The queens won a prize pack and will represent the village for one year at events such as the upcoming Santa Brigade and Market on November 11.


2017 Queens: Calla Roney Miss Strasburg 2017 and Alexis Agney, Junior Miss Strasburg 2017


Past and present Strasburg royalty including 2017 queens seated Calla Roney and Alexis Agney.  Back row from left: Teresa Davis, Morgan Braden, Samantha Gough, Olivia Telgmann and Rachel Kessler.

Saving For College Becoming More Important Says Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs

Some sort of education beyond high school is becoming more and more important in today's professional world, and the Illinois State Treasurer's Office is working to make sure saving for that education is as easy as possible. The office offers several college savings plans, and has recently been able to reduce the fees associated with using these plans to save.
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says back to school time is a good time for parents to start thinking about their children's education post high school.
Frerich's office recently re-negotiated it's contracts associated with their savings plans, cutting fees that parents need to pay to save for their children's future.
To learn more about the Illinois Treasurer's Office's college savings plans, visit them online at IllinoisTreasurer.gov.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Urging Hunters and Residents to Report Unusual Wildlife Sightings

It’s hunting season across Illinois, and some hunters across the state are bound to see wild animals they don’t normally see on their hunting trips. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is asking hunters or anyone that sees a wild animal not native to the state to report the sighting.


Doug Dufford is the Wildlife Disease and Invasive Wildlife Program Manager for DNR. He says there are a wide variety of species they want to know about if the species are sighted in Illinois.



Dufford says the reasons why they want to know about certain animal sightings can vary by the species.



Dufford says you can report animal sightings at web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife, or they can call or email Dufford. His email is Doug Dufford@Illinois.gov, and his office number is 815–369–2414.

Taylorville Holds First of Two Fall Cleanup Weekends

The city of Taylorville is continuing with it's efforts to clean up the town, offering another set of “clean up days” where residents can bring their junk to the street department, and dispose of that junk for free. The first fall clean up day took place this past weekend, and was a huge success.
Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says he's gotten word that the street department filled a half dozen dumpsters, and offered to pick up garbage himself if residents can't make it to the street department.
There had been discussion during the last clean up day about the possibility of holding more of these types of events throughout the year. Barry says that's still an option.
Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Treasurer Frerichs Pushes Override of Death Benefits Bill Veto

Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs is urging lawmakers to override the Governor's veto of a bill that would make sure families receive death benefits when they lose a loved one. The Life Insurance Reform Act requires insurance companies to search their records and make sure they don't have any old death benefits they never paid.Treasurer Frerichs says Illinois is the only state that doesn't have some kind of legislation in place covering this.

If lawmakers are successful in overriding the governor's veto, insurers would have to check their records back to the year 2000 for any policyholders who have died. 

IFB Roundtable Addresses Energy Creation on the Farm

Generating energy from the farm will be a topic of conversation in Bloomington next week as the Illinois Farm Bureau hosts a roundtable on the subject. Eric Rund with Green Flame Energy in Pesotum will participate in the session. He grows a large warm-season Asian grass on his farm that has been studied in the European Union and is now used commercially there for bedding, heat, and electricity generation. 

The IFB Roundtable on Renewable Energy is Tuesday, October 31st from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the IAA Board Room at the IFB headquarters in Bloomington. The event is free and includes a German-style harvest-themed lunch. Other topics to be addressed at the roundtable include bio-digesters from manure along with wind and solar power. 

Durbin Releases New Report on Trump's Handling of ACA

Senator Dick Durbin has unveiled an extensive report recapping what Durbin calls President Trump’s deliberate, year-long effort to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

Durbin hopes bipartisan efforts will undo some of the President's actions on Obamacare.

Durbin says Illinois health care consumers should know that ACA open enrollment starts November 1 and lasts until December 15.

Christian County Economic Development Board Reviews Ongoing Efforts at Annual Meeting

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board of directors held their annual meeting Friday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium. 

Executive director Mary Renner reported to the board on several current projects to keep and attract jobs to Christian County.  Renner told Regional Radio News after the meeting, about the proposed Emberclear natural gas generating and distribution plant, that might include solar

Renner added the Emberclear project would bring a lot of jobs to Christian County.

Renner said they optioned the former Tenaska property because of its access to pipelines, power and rail.

Guest speaker was Steve Kline, who talked about his work with the C-C-E-D-C and the City of Taylorville, on 2 Tax Increment Financing districts for the town, to spur economic development.

Building Partially Collapses in Downtown Pana Monday Night

Regional Radio News has learned that a building that housed a bar on the first floor, and possibly furniture storage on the second floor, in downtown Pana, partially collapsed Monday night.


The Pana Fire Department Facebook page reported at 6 o'clock Monday night, that their crews were on scene of the partial structure collapse downtown. They asked that all traffic stay clear of 2nd St, between Oak St and Locust St until further notice. 


Bar patrons evacuated the building before it came down, and so far there has not been any report of injuries.


Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for further updates.

McCoy Announces Resignation From Taylorville Park Board

Jim McCoy announced that Monday’s Taylorville Park Board meeting would be his last at the meeting Monday night. McCoy says he will be turning in his formal letter soon.


McCoy says he needs to step away from the position, and he doesn’t believe there’s anything else he could do for the board.



In other action items, the board voted unanimously to reimburse part of a new UV light filtration system at Lakeshore Golf Course in the spring. The park district’s Maintenance Director Gary Brown also reported to the board that there will need to be multiple repairs at the pool going into next season. Those repairs will easily surpass $100,000.

Rauner Announces Re-Election Bid

The Governor is officially going to run for reelection. Republican Bruce Rauner launches his campaign this morning with an online video. The two minute commercial shows Rauner riding his Harley Davidson throughout the state of Illinois. 

It’s expected to be the most expensive race for Governor ever in the United States. Last election Rauner and then Governor Pat Quinn spent more than a $100 million on the campaign.

Dacey's Hollow Haunted Trail Spooking Guests for Halloween

The Dacey’s Hollow Haunted Trail in Shelbyville is scaring children and adults alike, and is providing Halloween haunts to help entertain, as well as raise money towards the preservation of the Chautauqua Auditorium in Shelbyville.


Abby Hinton-Mars is the Director of the Haunted Trail, and says along with the events intended to scare the adults, they’re also offering not-so-scary events designed for younger children looking to trick or treat, at no cost to those attending.



Safety is taken seriously at the Haunted Trail, with the trail’s actors being trained in how to scare safely, and measures being taken to ensure the safety of those enjoying the Haunted Trail.



Hinton-Mars appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

City of Taylorville Looking to Prevent Nuisance 911 Calls

The city of Taylorville wants to prevent people abusing 911 from tying up needed emergency resources. The city approved a motion at last Monday’s city council meeting to look into options for how to prevent or re-coup costs of people making “nuisance” 911 calls.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says nuisance 911 calls aren’t a huge problem, but even one person abusing the system ties up the valuable emergency resources.



Barry says the city wants to deter these calls from happening.



Barry says calls like these put others in the community at risk in a real emergency.

Shelbyville Rams Athletics Having Successful Fall Season

The IHSA Football Playoffs are here once again and Shelbyville High School is looking to make another deep run. Along with football, the Rams are experiencing success in other fall sports as well.


Tony Pullen, the Athletic Director at Shelbyville High School appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville studios, and explained how the IHSA Football Playoff bracket works.



Shelbyville High School is also making space in their trophy cabinet for another title brought home by the girls volleyball team, after winning the CIC Conference title.



The Shelbyville Rams Football team will begin their playoff run with a game at Shelbyville High School this upcoming week against Villa Grove, heard on New Country 98.3 WSVZ.

Taylorville Fire Department Explorer Open House is Wednesday

The Taylorville Fire Department’s Explorer Open House is Wednesday night. The fire department will be welcoming those between ages 14 and 20 to the fire house starting at 6:30 p.m. on October 25.


The fire department is bringing back the Explorer program after a long recess to encourage young people to become firefighters and EMS personnel when they get older. The program combines classroom and hands-on training experience of what it’s like to be a firefighter, EMT, or paramedic.


Taylorville Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall says he and Chief Mike Crews were both a part of the Explorer program when they were teens. He is excited to bring back the program after a long hiatus.


For more information, you can contact the fire department at 824-2295 or by email at tfdexploring@gmail.com.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital CUPS Fund Helping Finance Mammogram Exams

It’s estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and getting a mammogram is the first step in diagnosing and treating the disease. The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation is offering their CUPS fund to help assist women who don’t have the financial means themselves to get their exam.


Raedena Ryan, the Executive Director of the TMH Foundation says this fund got started when a group of area women banded together to help a friend of theirs, and decided to take their help one step further.



Sammie Smith is the Patient Accounts Supervisor at the hospital, and is the person patients need to talk to to inquire about the CUPS fund. Smith says the fund originally started to help people without insurance, but has expanded to help the under-insured as well.



Ryan says in 2016 the CUPS fund provided over $4,500 in financial assistance to women so they could receive a mammogram.

Trio of Blood Drives in Christian County This Week

There will be multiple opportunities for area residents to donate blood this coming week. The Central Illinois Community Blood Center will be hosting three blood drives in the coming days.


The first blood drive is Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall at Davis Memorial Christian Church. On Wednesday, the action will move to Morrisonville. There will be a blood drive at the Morrisonville American Legion Hall from 2 to 7 p.m. Then Thursday, the CICBC will have a blood drive at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. The blood drive will be in the hospital’s auditorium from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Potential donors must be 17 years old and all donors must have a photo I.D. with them to donate. Anyone who hasn’t donated in the last 56 days are eligible to give again. For questions about eligibility, you can give a call to 800-747-5401.

Lawsuit Targets Rauner

The Governor is being sued by a former business partner and his legal team is doing all it can to keep the details of the lawsuit under wraps. But Bruce Rauner says he knows little about the legal proceedings and isn’t behind trying to keep the details private. 

Rauner’s lawyers are also seeking to dismiss the case. The former business partner Harreld “Kip” Kirkpatrick says the crux of the lawsuit predates Rauner taking office as Governor. 

Economic Development Director Reports on Current Projects During CCEDC Annual Meeting

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board of directors held their annual meeting Friday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  The meeting included a review of ongoing economic development efforts in the county, as well as re-electing board members for another year.

Executive director Mary Renner reported to the board on several current projects to keep and attract jobs to Christian County.  Renner told Regional Radio News after the meeting, about how the C-C-E-D-C and the City of Taylorville are working together on 2 proposed Tax Increment Financing districts, to help attract jobs to the community.

Renner talked about where those districts would be.

Guest speaker for the board luncheon was Steve Kline, who is working with the C-C-E-D-C and the City of Taylorville on the 2 Tax Increment Financing districts.

Tuscola Man Drowns in Sangchris Lake

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans tells Regional Radio News, that a Tuscola man drowned in Lake Sangchris on Saturday.


Dead is 30-year-old Kenneth Christopher "Chris" Adkins of Tuscola.  His body was recovered by dive team personnel just after 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon.  



Christian County Economic Development Corporation Holds Annual Meeting

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation board of directors held their annual meeting Friday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.  The meeting included a review of ongoing economic development efforts in the county, as well as re-electing board members for another year.

Executive director Mary Renner reported to the board on several current projects to keep and attract jobs to Christian County.  Renner told Regional Radio News after the meeting, about the pending re-application for matching grant money from the federal Economic Development Administration, for infrastructure construction at the new Taylorville Development Association Industrial Park.

Guest speaker for the board luncheon was Steve Kline, who is working with the C-C-E-D-C and the City of Taylorville on 2 Tax Increment Financing districts to assist the city in its economic development efforts.

Better Business Bureau Warning Of Employment Scams That Offer Jobs That Sound Too Good To Be True

Many are searching for employment these days, and can be tempted by job opportunities that sound wonderful, but in reality are too good to be true. The Better Business Bureau is warning job seekers of employment scams the organization is seeing, telling those looking for work to be careful what offers you take.


Mara Clingingsmith, Regional Director with the Better Business Bureau says work from home opportunities can sound very attractive, but to proceed with caution.



She says the problem with many of these types of jobs are that they are scams that deal with goods bought with stolen money, that you may end up being liable and even prosecuted for.



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

Herrick Wildlife Rescue Getting Injured Animals Back To Nature in Shelby County

The Herrick Wildlife Rescue is working to help rehabilitate animals in Shelby County that have come into the rescue for a number of different reasons, ranging from vehicle strikes, to attacks from other animals. The main goal of the rescue is to get the animals to a point where they can be released back into the wild.


Anne Eddings is the owner of the rescue, and explains the rescue handles just about any type of animal in Central Illinois.



According to Eddings, the reasons why animals come into the rescue for a number of different reasons, that typically varies throughout the year.



Eddings appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

Live Well Luncheon to Feature Quad County Veteran Volunteers

Pana Community Hospital will have their monthly “Live Well” luncheon on Monday, and some area veterans are set to be the guest speakers at this month’s event. Quad County Hospice Veteran Volunteers will speak to those in attendance about how they help hospice patients who served in the military.


Carol Chandler is the director of Quad County Home Health and Hospice. She says these veterans help to make sure no veteran will die alone.



Chandler says these luncheons provide educational opportunities for those who attend, along with a free meal.



Reservations are not required to attend the luncheon. It will be held in the community meeting room on the lower level of Pana Community Hospital from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Holidays Lead To Increased Donations At Central Illinois Food Bank

The holidays are a busy time for the Central Illinois Food Bank, with the majority of their food and monetary donations coming in during this time. The CIFB encourages residents in Central Illinois to take this time to donate to their local food bank or pantry, whether it's a food or monetary donation, or a donation of your time through volunteering.
Krista Lisser with the Central Illinois Foodbank says the food-centric holidays tend to lead to more donations overall.
Lisser encourages those who may not be able to make a monetary or food donation, to donate their time and volunteer at their local food pantry.
Lisser appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville to Offer Free Dumpster Services During Fall Cleanup Next Two Saturdays

For the next two Saturdays, Taylorville will be having its fall cleanup days, and mayor Bruce Barry is encouraging residents to do their part in cleaning up the community.


Barry says the city will offer free dumpsters and even free pickup of trash if residents cannot bring their trash to those dumpsters.



One of the platforms Barry ran for mayor on was cleaning up Taylorville. He says the city has started tearing down blighted buildings across the community.



Barry says any buildings that can’t be torn down this fall will be added to the list of properties to work on when the weather warms up again next spring.  

U of I College of ACES and Extension Offering New $2,500 Scholarship to Incoming / Transfer Students

The University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences is offering a new scholarship for the upcoming school year, and the local U of I extension is encouraging all seniors or students planning to transfer to the College of ACES at U of I to apply.


Amanda Cole is the Director of the U of I Extension District 18 serving Christian, Montgomery, Macoupin and Jersey Counties. She says two students from the District 18 area will win the $2,500 scholarship. Cole says if you plan on going into the College of ACES at U of I, there is no reason to not apply.



Cole encourages students who apply or just look into the scholarship to browse the other available scholarships. She says many dollars are left on the table because students don’t apply for the scholarships.



Cole says students should apply for the College of ACES scholarship through the Extension by December 1st.

After More Than 20 Years, Stewardson Gets a New Horse Arena

For the first time in over 20 years, Stewardson is once again home to a horse arena. The arena held its first event on August 27th, and the owners of the facility have big plans for its future.


Erika Corbin is a co-owner of the Tom Vonderheide Arena in Stewardson. She says the facility is named after the father of her other co-owner Doug Vonderheide, who was a well-known figure in the community.



Corbin says they already are planning big events to come to the arena next year.



Corbin says bringing a horse arena back to Stewardson will bring people and dollars back to the community. She says the local Lion’s Club is building a concession stand for their events plus other events to come to arena, and that should be completed for next year.

Christian County Sheriff's Office Offering Halloween Safety Tips On Their Website

Halloween is approaching which will mean an influx of children traveling around town trick or treating. Although the holiday is meant to be a fun holiday for kids and parents alike, the increased number of people outside can lead to some safety hazards that the Christian County Sheriff's Office wants the public to be aware of.
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says he's worried about excited children unexpectedly running into the roadway.
The Sheriff's Office is offering several Halloween safety tips that are available on their website, as well as a way to find out where registered sex offenders reside so parents can skip those houses if they choose.
Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Duckworth Puts Holds on EPA Nominees

This week, Senator Tammy Duckworth placed a hold on two of President Trump’s nominees to lead offices at the EPA – Bill Wehrum and Dr. Michael Dourson – claiming they each have a track record of putting corporate profits ahead of public safety. Wehrum has been nominated to lead the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation and Dourson, the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Duckworth is a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. She released an op-ed piece claiming Wehrum has opposed the Renewable Fuel Standard, something she says it crucial to Midwestern economies. She says that standard supports more than 4-thousand jobs through biofuels usage and generates more than 5 billion dollars in economic impact. Duckworth, went on the offense with her voice instead of her pen when it came to Dourson. She pressed Dourson for answers about his past research that Duckworth says claimed petroleum coke (petcoke) is safe.

Duckworth says Dourson’s research on petcoke was used to justify not cleaning up petcoke storage facilities on Chicago's Southeast side, leading to the presence of black dust which has been tied to high asthma rates and respiratory problems.

Earthquake Drill Practiced at Illinois Schools

At Springfield's Blessed Sacrament School, Mrs. Ketchum's class passed a key test with flying colors. They took part in an earthquake drill, the Great Shake Out Drill, with Illinois Emergency Management Director James Joseph. Students practiced the Drop, Cover and Hold On actions people can take to protect themselves during an earthquake. While outside of Southern Illinois, the state wouldn't have the kind of earthquake damage that levels buildings, Joseph notes residents in Central and Northern Illinois should be wary of threats within their homes.

The one minute earthquake drill was practiced at 10:19 Thursday morning at schools and workplaces across the state. 

Kincaid Traffic Stop Turns Into Drug Bust - Three Arrested

The Kincaid Police Department arrested three people in a routine traffic stop that turned into a drug bust Tuesday.


38-year-old Destiny Rickman, 46-year-old Donald Rickman, and 25-year-old Hank Skinner, all of Taylorville were arrested in the bust. Destiny Rickman had an active warrant for her arrest with a bond set at 50,000 dollars. Donald Rickman was charged with Meth Possession, Aggravated Battery to a Peace Officer and Resisting Arrest. Skinner was charged with Meth Possession and Obstruction of Justice.


Kincaid Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says all the suspects appeared to be nervous as he spoke with them in the vehicle. Then the driver, Donald Rickman, tried to flee.



Wheeler says the backup provided by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office and other local police departments kept the situation from escalating.



Wheeler says the police departments across Christian County work very well together, and they are doing everything they can to get in front of the drug epidemic in the county.

Dusti Odam 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 Dusti Odam. Odam is co-chair of the Tornado Open, Sports Boosters, and a volunteer for the football program. She can be found lending a helping hand wherever needed.


Odam says she’s just a football mom.



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

NewCountry WSVZ and Family Drug Shelbyville High School Students of the Month for October Announced

98.3 WSVZ New Country and Family Drug in Shelbyville have announced their Shelbyville High School students of the month for October. The students were nominated by their teachers due to a certain criteria.


The 98.3 WSVZ New Country and Family Drug September students of the month are senior Ryan Skowronski, junior Meliah Hennings, sophomore Evan Matlock, and fresman Dalton Hoadley.


From left to right in the photo: Bailey Peadro from Family Drug, Skowronski, Hennings, Matlock, and Hoadley.

Bourne Co-Sponsoring Bill to Prevent Tax Dollars From Funding "Elective" Abortions

Some members of the Illinois House are looking to bring down House Bill 40 before it becomes law. The house will take up House Bill 4114 during the upcoming veto session. The bill would prevent state tax dollars from funding “elective” abortions.


95th District State Representative Avery Bourne says the bill is modeled after the federal Hyde Amendment.



Bourne says she’s disappointed the governor chose to sign House Bill 40, but now the legislature can take action to stop it.



The Illinois House is scheduled to reconvene for the fall veto session on Tuesday.

Pana Community Hospital Auxiliary Preparing For Annual Holiday Bazaar

Pana Community Hospital is getting ready for the holiday season, and the fund raising events that go with it. One event that is upcoming is sponsored by the Pana Community Hospital Auxiliary, the Annual Holiday Bazaar taking place on November 11th.
Melissa Rybolt, Marketing Manager at PCH says the event dates back quite some time.
The Bazaar serves as a way for the Hospital Auxiliary to raise money for the hospital, and for the community to get a jump start on their holiday shopping.
Rybolt appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Christian County TRIAD Program and Taylorville Police Department Warning of Aggressive Door To Door Salesmen in Taylorville

The battle against scammers continues, and there are several things people should be aware of. One is a second breach of the credit reporting agency Equifax, and another involves a company that has been going door to door around Taylorville trying to sell it's product to residents, with some even claiming to be with Ameren.
Brian Hile with the Taylorville Police Department and the Christian County TRIAD program says although some of these door to door salesmen have gotten the proper permits from the city, you don't have to answer the door to them, and urged residents to give the police department a call should you have an issue.
Meanwhile even more people have had their information compromised through a second security breach at the credit reporting company Equifax. Rich Peters with the Christian County TRIAD program says putting a fraud alert on your credit isn't a bad idea.
Hile and Peters appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Illinois State Senator Andy Manar Firing Back At Christian County GOP After Facebook Post

Illinois State Senator Andy Manar is firing back after a post made on Facebook by the Christian County GOP claimed Manar had voted for a bill that Manar says he actually opposed. Manar calls the action another example of what politics on social media has become.
Manar joined the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and discussed the post, saying he actually opposed the bill the Christian County GOP claimed he voted for every step of the way.
Manar criticized the post, calling the action “Un-American”.
The Christian County GOP has since retracted the post on Facebook, and posted an apology. The bill in question, SB2814 passed in the Senate last December 32 to 18.

Global Demand for Soybeans 'Exploding'; Push Coming from China


The global demand for soybeans should remain strong with most of that interest coming from China. So says trading expert Jim Bower with Bower Trading in Lafayette, Indiana. 

And Bower says that’s due to the country’s expansion in turkey, pork, chicken, beef, lobster, catfish and even shrimp production.

The global demand for soybeans should remain strong with most of that interest coming from China. So says trading expert Jim Bower with Bower Trading in Lafayette, Indiana. 
chinademand :43 ‘…protein.’
And Bower says that’s due to the country’s expansion in turkey, pork, chicken, beef, lobster, catfish and even shrimp productio


Senator Durbin Pans GOP Tax Plan

Senator Dick Durbin is giving the Republican tax plan a thumbs down review. He told the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago that the GOP proposal would benefit the wealthiest of Americans and leave the paycheck to paycheck crowd picking up the tab.

Durbin offered hard numbers for the impact of the tax changes.

Durbin says there will be 2.6 trillion dollars in tax cuts for corporations over the first decade of the new tax system. Durbin says those tax cuts are made possible by hiking taxes on middle-income families. 

Forbes List of Billionaires Includes Pritzker

Illinois has a very rich man as Governor but he’s not nearly as wealthy as a person that’s trying to run against him next November. Forbes magazine ranks Democrat gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker as 219th richest American, saying he’s worth $3.4 billion. Pritzker is among the richest people in Illinois, but hedge fund manager Ken Griffin is atop the state list. His personal wealth is pegged at $8.5 billion. 

Pair of Accidents Cause Traffic Headaches During Morning Rush Near Taylorville High School

Two car accidents caused traffic headaches on Route 29 near Taylorville High School this morning. The accidents happened just before 8 a.m. as the school rush was ongoing.


In the first accident, one vehicle rear-ended another and shortly after that, a car pulling out from Hawley Street did not see a vehicle coming and those two cars collided.


No injuries were reported in either accident, but it did make for a longer commute for some in the northwest side of Taylorville.

Christian County Health Dept. Giving Drive Thru Flu Shots at Taylorville Fire Department

The Christian County Health Department will be having drive-thru flu shots until 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Taylorville Fire Department. Christian County Public Health Administrator Nancy Martin invites everyone who has not gotten their flu shots yet to come to the fire department and get their annual shot.


If you cannot make it today to get your flu shot today, that’s ok. The health department will also be giving flu shots on Friday at Stonington Bank from 10 a.m. to noon, and First National Bank in Mt. Auburn from 1 until 3 p.m. You can also go to the Christian County Health Department anytime during their business hours and get your flu shot then.


Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - October 18, 2017

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


At around 3:15 pm on Tuesday, September 26, 2017, a male subject entered Los Rancheros Restaurant, located at 201 West Bidwell Street.  While inside, the unknown male subject went behind a counter and began looking through a set of drawers.  The male subject took an I-Pad and then left the scene.  The male subject is described as around 14 to 17 years old, average height, with a thin build.  The amount of the theft is estimated at around $300. 


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 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.  

Laurie Mense Announces Retirement From Christian County Clerk and Recorder Position

Although she has not turned in her formal letter, Christian County Clerk and Recorder Laurie Mense told the Christian County board Tuesday night that she intends to retire from the position November 17th. Mense originally announced she would not seek re-election in September, but now she will retire from the position with about a year left in her term.


Mense says she wanted to follow through with her term, but circumstances will not allow that to happen.



Mense says her office always has something going on, but she says the middle of November is a time where she feels a transition can be smoother.



County Board Chairman Tim Carlson announced the vacancy after Mense’s announcement, and the county will start the process for looking for a replacement. Because Mense is leaving during her term, the replacement will be a Democrat.

Illinois Treasure's Office Paying Close Attention To Fall Veto Session

The fall veto session is coming up in Springfield, and there are several bills the Illinois Treasurer's Office is keeping a close eye on. One bill deals with life insurance companies paying out death benefits after a policy holder passes away, with another focusing on businesses that incorporate over-seas receiving state contracts.
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says HB302 which was vetoed by Governor Rauner, would mandate life insurance companies notify the beneficiaries of purchased life insurance policies of their payout once the policy holder passes.
Another bill Frerichs is watching would make it so companies that incorporate over-seas  to avoid paying taxes cannot in turn get a leg up on state contracts.
Frerichs explained how the bill wouldn't allow a company that is incorporated over-seas undercut an Illinois company on a state contract due to the lack of paying taxes.

Glo Bingo Craze Hitting Central Illinois

It’s not the form of bingo you imagine your grandma playing. Glo Bingo is taking central Illinois by storm for fundraising events.


Noel Ernst is one of the people organizing a Glo Bingo event to raise funds for the Palmer-Morrisonville Recreation Association next Saturday. She says Glo Bingo isn’t just sitting at a table and yelling bingo.



She says she went to other Glo Bingo fundraisers and had so much fun, she wanted to use it as a PMRA fundraiser.



The PMRA fundraiser is Saturday, October 28 at 7 p.m. at the Morrisonville KC Hall. For more information, you can give Ernst a call at 825-3076.

AFSCME Questions Recent Illinois Corrections Decisions

AFSCME officials say safety at Illinois Correctional facilities needs some serious correcting. AFSCME, which represents corrections officers, reports inmate attacks on state employees have surged 51 percent since 2015. Two years ago, there were 541 assaults. AFSCME projects that number will hit 819 based on assaults so far this year. AFSCME Council 31's Anders Lindall believes the expansion of inmates eligible for minimum security accommodations has played a major role.

Lindall says the state had previously maintained strict standards for inmates who were held in minimum security lockups like the facility in the Quad Cities.

Corrections officials say inmates are only transferred to lower-level security prisons when their progress and behavior warrants.

Archery Deer Season Underway in Illinois

The deer hunting season is here and conservation authorities are reminding hunters of some basic things to keep themselves safe. DNR Conservation Police Sargent John Williamson notes the archery season is underway in Illinois. If you haven’t been out to hunt yet, Williamson says it is best to get out and check those tree stands. 

Cross-bows are now legal for the archery season. The busy shotgun season opens before the Thanksgiving weekend.

Jesse White Calls Graduated Licenses a Success

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says the Graduated Driver's License has been a proven lifesaver for first time drivers. White believes stricter standards for younger drivers has played a lead role in cutting the number of teenage driver deaths by 51 percent in the past ten years. Illinois Transportation Department figures show That compared to 155 lives lost in that age group in 2007. That was the year before the graduated license program took effect. The graduated license program features nighttime driving restrictions, an increased required practice driving time with an adult before a teen can get a license and limits starting drivers to one passenger in the front seat. Cell phone use is prohibited, even with a hands free device, unless there is an emergency. 

Christian County's 2018 Insurance Plan Needs Plenty of Discussion, Multiple Votes to Pass at Tuesday's Meeting

It took three different votes for property and causality insurance, but the Christian County Board approved that and its workmen’s compensation insurance packages for 2018 at Tuesday night’s board meeting.


The board had bids from four different companies to choose from on insurance. In a nearly unanimous vote (one member abstained), Dimond Brothers Insurance was once again chosen to serve the county for workman’s compensation insurance. The property and causality insurance was where the board needed to mull things over.


In the first vote, the board voted down insurance from it’s current property / causality provider, Snedeker Risk Management, by a vote of 8-7. A motion was then made to go with Dimond Brothers for that insurance as well. Then that motion also failed 7-6 with two members abstaining. After each insurance company had five minutes to talk with board members and further discussion, the board took a second vote on going with Snedeker and that motion passed 9-6.


For those who voted for Snedeker, they did not mind paying about seven thousand more a year for the extra services they provided. District Three Board Member Molly Alaria says from the department heads she has talked to, those extra services provide peace of mind.



Those who wanted the county to pick Dimond Brothers seemed to wanted the lower cost option, along with keeping the business in Christian County. District One Board Member Ben Curtin voted no both times, and explains his vote.



The board will reconvene for its next meeting on Tuesday, November 21st at 6:30 p.m. in the board room at the Christian County Courthouse.

Taylorville Sertoma Club's "Project Warm Winter" Providing Warm Clothes to Students in Need Again This Year

The Taylorville Sertoma Club is once again holding their “Project Warm Winter” initiative, and they are looking for the public’s help to make sure every Taylorville child will have warm clothes for the winter.


Dan Raab is the club’s president. He says “Project Warm Winter” is not a coat collection drive.



Raab says the club serves over 100 students through “Project Warm Winter” each year.



Raab says donations can be mailed to the Taylorville Sertoma Club, P.O. Box 74 in Taylorville.

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear About Renovated Building and 3 Businesses at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about 2 new businesses, and a move of an existing business, all into a newly remodeled Taylorville building, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Pam Moses is the new owner of the former F. E. Storm Lumber building at the corner of Market and Clay Streets in Taylorville.  She purchased the building a year and a half ago, after the lumber yard closed 5 years ago.  Extension renovation has taken place since she purchased it.

They ended up putting up brand new trusses and a new roof on all 3 buildings.

That building today houses 2 new businesses and a 3rd business that moved from Decatur. 

The first new business is “Behind Locked Doors”, which offers people the thrill of finding their way thru one of 2 escape rooms.  Moses said the rooms change themes thru-out the year, such as Halloween, an airplane, and a jail.  Anywhere from 2 to 10 people can participate.

The second new business is a new recycling business called “Indoor Storage Shed Self Sort Recycling”.  As the name implies, it offers a free place for residents to recycle; all they have to do is the sorting.  Moses says she hopes to turn this into a profitable business in the coming months, with the profit coming from the bundling and selling of the items to be recycled.

The 3rd business in the complex Moses remodeled, is one she owns and moved from Decatur to her Taylorville building.  Trans Coastal Supply Company exports agriculture commodities to Asia.

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.

Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit Coming to Shelbyville for Illinois Bicentennial

Illinois is celebrating it’s bicentennial next year, and a Smithsonian traveling exhibit will make its home in Shelbyville next winter. The exhibit will focus on rural America, and there will be a local companion exhibit with a focus on Shelby County’s history.


Brenda Elder is the Co-Director of the Shelby County Bicentennial Committee. She says Shelbyville is one of six locations in Illinois where this exhibit will visit.



Elder says this exhibit gives Shelby County residents who cannot make it to D.C. a chance to have American history brought to them.



The exhibit will be housed at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Visitors Center at Lake Shelbyville from December 15, 2018 to January 26, 2019.

Shelby County Community Services Training Locals To Be Part of The Workforce

Shelby County Community Services works to provide many different services to residents in Shelby County to help better their lives. Those looking to train in a workplace environment can receive training in several different fields at Shelby County Community Services.
Lori Morman with Shelby County Community Services says their work program teaches it's participants how to do jobs in the workforce.
The program does actual jobs to help it's participants get the most beneficial experience they can.
Morman appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.

Many Volunteer Opportunities Available With United Way of Christian County

The United Way of Christian County is calling for area residents to step up and act out their motto of “Live United”, and give some of your time and effort to help a local cause, or even something as simple as listening to a neighbor.
Susan Lawrence is the Executive Director of the United Way of Christian County, and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says sometimes people can fall into a routine, and lose sight of who may be in need around them.
One way Lawrence urges people to give back to the community is through volunteering. She says there are many different volunteer opportunities through the United Way and it's member agencies, that will match many causes and schedules.
Lawrence also challenged listeners to make a trip to the grocery store and pick up some items to donate to your local food bank.

Lotto Ticket Back for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Illinois Lottery is recognizing breast cancer awareness month with the re-launch of a scratch off ticket. The Illinois Lottery’s Acting Director Greg Smith says since the Ticket for the Cure’s creation more than 12 million dollars has been raised to support breast cancer programs.

The three dollar scratcher is now for sale at your favorite lotto retailer.

Central Illinois College Hosting Drone Conference in November

Is it a toy or is it going to impact the bottom line of your operation? Farmers need to answer that question before moving forward with drone technology says GROWMARK’S Agronomy Information Services Sales Manager Brian Henze.

Henze is participating in a drone conference next month, hosted by Heartland Community College and Scott Smigel.

The conference is November 10th at Heartland’s Astroth Community Education Center in Normal. Advance registration is $69. You can register at “heartland.edu”. 

Emergency Response Test Next Month at Clinton Nuclear Plant

The Clinton Nuclear Power Station will be the scene of a first responder drill next month. On November first, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has announced it will conduct an exercise to test emergency response plans for a potential radio-logical incident. Emergency response personnel from four counties will join the plant operator Exelon and the State of Illinois in conducting the four hour response test.

Water Extension Agreements, New Roof and Police Car Purchases Approved at Taylorville City Council Meeting

The Taylorville City Council approved extensions for water service with Kincaid and Langleyville, multiple purchases and more in Monday night’s city council meeting.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the extension is for 20 years, and it keeps that revenue coming into the city to help pay off the loan for the new water treatment plant.



The water cooperation agreements must still be approved by the two entities before going into effect.


The board also called for action to prevent people from abusing the 911 system. Mayor Barry says the issue isn’t a widespread problem, but even one person abusing the system ties up emergency resources when they could be needed elsewhere.



A loan with First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust was approved by the council to cover the cost of a new roof on the west side of the Taylorville Municipal Building and the purchase of three new police vehicles for the Taylorville Police Department. Total costs of all of these items equal approximately $195,000.


The next Taylorville City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 6, 2017 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.

THS Jazz Band to Host Big Bands Decades Dance Saturday

The Taylorville High School Jazz Band is changing things up for this year’s fall dance for the public. They want to attract more people of all ages to the event Saturday, and this year’s event will be a “Big Band Decades Dance.”


THS Director of Music Chris Gunn says this event is just one event the jazz band participates in to be involved in the Taylorville community.



Gunn says the dance is free to the public, and will feature the high school jazz band along with one other musical act.



The dance will start at 6 p.m. and run until nine Saturday at the Taylorville High School Cafeteria. He invites anyone who wants to have a few hours of dancing Saturday evening to come out and enjoy, and the bands will be performing a variety of music from the 1960’s to contemporary music.

Rauner Ready to Meet With Leaders Before Veto Session

Lawmakers are preparing to return to Springfield next week. The fall veto session will be underway then and there are a host of issues to address. The state budget will still be one of them and perhaps a capital bill to fund road and other infrastructure projects. Governor Bruce Rauner says before everyone returns to Springfield he’s happy the four legislative leaders have been meeting to perhaps set an agenda for the end of October.

The House and Senate return on Tuesday October 24 and will continue the veto session through the second week of November. 

Volunteer Opportunities Available With the US Army Corp of Engineers Lake Shelbyville Office

The United States Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville are looking for volunteers to help their office and what they do for the coming year. There are openings doing many different tasks, from general office work to helping to maintain the trails the Army Corp of Engineers maintains.


Sarah Haslett with the US Army Corp of Engineers says the organization already has a good volunteer base, that handles many different tasks.



There are currently several volunteer positions open, but Haslett warns to sign up soon as the positions are filled quickly.



Haslett appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

Taylorville High School Seeing Big Results from New Freshmen Success Program

Taylorville High School has put a heavy emphasis and time investment on helping this year’s freshmen with the transition to high school, and that investment is paying big dividends. Freshmen at THS have the highest attendance rate school-wide at 96-percent, and 92-percent of the class is passing all of their coursework.


Taylorville superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says he’s very pleased with the results of the freshmen success program so far.



Fuerstenau says the time with these freshmen gives the teachers better ability to identify how to teach each student.



The freshmen success program consists of 12 advisory classes the freshmen attend each day. In these classes, kids can do homework and make up work, and teachers also talk with students about the best ways to succeed and enjoy their four years of high school. 

Children's Health and Safety Fair This Saturday at Pana Jr. High

Kids of all ages are invited to the Children’s Health and Safety Fair at Pana Junior High School Saturday. The fair runs from 9 a.m. to noon and is being put on by Pana Community Hospital.

Melissa Rybolt is the Marketing Manager at Pana Community Hospital. She wants everyone to be aware of the location change for this year’s event.



Rybolt says each booth will have a game that will teach children about a different health or safety hazard.



Admission is free to the fair, and every child in attendance will be eligible for a grand prize provided by First National Bank. Ronald McDonald will also be at the fair and put on a magic show in the junior high gym around 10 a.m.

CICBC Hosting Pair of Blood Drives in Taylorville

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is hosting a pair of blood drives in Taylorville in the coming days.


The first will be held at Taylorville High School on Thursday. It will be in the school’s east gym from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The CICBC will also host a blood drive in the fellowship hall of Davis Memorial Christian Church next Monday, October 23rd from 4 to 7 p.m.


Potential donors must be 17-years-old, but 16-year-olds can donate with parent permission. For more information or to set up an appointment, you can give a call to 241-7550.

Eco Water In Shelbyville Working To Provide Customers With High Quality Water

Water quality has been a hot button topic with the issues many across the country are having with their water supplies, and Eco Water in Shelbyville is working to make sure residents who use their services get the best water quality they can.


Tim Finks with Eco Water says one thing Eco Water won't do is scare you about your water quality.



One of the ways Eco Water helps improve your water quality is through a process called “reverse osmosis”. Finks explained how this process works.



Finks appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.

U.S. EPA Tightens Use of Controversial Herbicide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced stricter measures on the use of a crop herbicide that led to complaints in Illinois and dozens of other states. EPA says it worked with states, land-grant universities, seed and crop protection companies to examine the underlying causes complaints about a soybean crop protection product containing dicamba. The Senior Director of Commodities for the Illinois Farm Bureau, Tamara Nelsen, says the decision allows Illinois farmers and others to have access to the technology.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt called the actions "intensive, collaborative efforts" with states and university scientists working together to find a solution. As of earlier this month, the Illinois Department of Agriculture had received more than 200 dicamba-related complaints.

Christian County YMCA Holding Pay The Date Sign Up Special in November

The Christian County YMCA will be running a sign up special this November where sign up fees are waived, and the first months price is equal to the day where you sign up. This allows for a very affordable way to become a member of the Christian County YMCA.
Chris Weittenhiller says the special is a popular promotion that the Y offers to the community.
Weittenhiller says it's the perfect time to test out the YMCA and see if the facility fits your fitness needs.

October Business After Hours Taking Place At Midland Community Bank in Taylorville

Now that Chillifest is in the books, it's back to business as usual for the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, and that includes the monthly Business After Hours events the Chamber holds. This month's Business After Hours is being held at Midland Community Bank on Route 104 in Taylorville.
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce says Midland Community Bank isn't new to Business After Hours events.
Hornbuckle says Midland Community Bank is located in an area of town that's expected to grow tremendously in the future.
Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Hosts 200 Area First Graders at Annual "My Day" Event

Taylorville Memorial Hospital recently welcomed area first graders to the hospital for “My Day.” This is the 37th year the hospital has held the event, and nearly 200 students attended the field trip over two days.


Melissa Thomas is an Administrative Secretary at the hospital and the “My Day” coordinator. She says one of the kids’ favorite parts of the day has been a tradition for years.



Some of the activities the kids do include looking into a microscope, seeing the inside of an ambulance, and distinguishing candies from harmful prescriptions. Thomas says they want the kids to have a good experience at the hospital in case they ever have to make another visit.



Thomas says this is one of the events the hospital staff looks most forward to each year because of having the kids come to the hospital.

Miller Media Group Bringing Award Winning Morning Show to 98.3, 104.1

The Miller Media Group is bringing the award-winning country music morning show "Big D and Bubba", to its 2 new-country-formatted radio stations starting November 1. 

newcountry.fm radio stations WSVZ 98.3 that serves Shelbyville, Effingham, Mattoon and surrounding area, as well as NEW Country 104.1 that serves Christian County, will simulcast the "Big D and Bubba" Morning Show live from Nashville, weekday mornings from 4 til 9, and Saturdays from 5 til 9.

The duo won the Academy of Country Music 2014 National On-Air Personality of the Year award, the Country Music Association 2015 National Broadcast Personality of the Year award, and have been nominated for the Country Music Association 2017 National Broadcast Personality of the Year award.

Big D and Bubba interview the hottest country artists and celebrities, according to Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller.

Their sister show, Country with Carsen, will also air live from Nashville from 9 in the morning til 2 in the afternoon weekdays, also on 98.3 and 104.1.

Miller says the addition of these 2 live country music shows from Nashville, will provide these 2 stations destination programming for listeners and advertisers.

DNR Authorities Warning of Increased Deer Movement During Harvest

With harvest in full swing in Illinois, deer activity in rural areas has picked up and wildlife authorities are advising motorists to use extra caution.

DNR Conservation Police Sargent John Williamson indicates with the crops coming down, deer are much more active, especially in rural areas, and can be a major hazard for motorists.

In the event of a car/deer accident and the deer dies, the driver of the car does have the option to keep the deer. 

In addition to increased deer movement, with farmers continuing the harvest, heavy machinery and slow moving vehicles will be on roadways for several more weeks. Always slow down and allow those vehicles plenty of space. 

Career Training and College Credit Opportunities Continuing to Expand at Taylorville High School

The Taylorville School District has tried to provide more opportunities for students to receive hands-on training in different career fields in recent years, and many students are taking advantage of the programs.


Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the Capital Area Career Center, which 38 students are participating in, gives those students hands-on training in areas like cosmetology, law enforcement, and health occupations that can’t be provided at the high school.



Many THS students are also participating in the CollegeNow program at Lincoln Land Community College’s Taylorville campus. That programs gives high school students the opportunity to be in college classes as juniors and seniors in high school.


Fuerstenau commends the high school staff for the work they’ve put in to making the opportunities a reality.



Fuerstenau told board members at Tuesday’s meeting that he is proud to see Taylorville’s students participating in these off-campus programs and that those students have recognized the importance of their education for their future.

Pawar Drops Out of Democratic Governors Race

Illinois voters won't make a final decision on their choice for Governor for more than a year, but already two top contenders are dumping millions of dollars of their own wealth into their campaign warchests. In that high stakes fundraising game, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar is saying fold. After promising early polling numbers, Pawar says he's ending his bid for the Democratic nomination because he doesn't have enough money or resources to mount a successful statewide campaign.

Illinois Livestock Industry Seeing Young People Return to Farm

The Illinois Beef Association happy with a trend they are seeing. Young people are actually coming back to the farm says the organization’s Jill Johnson.

Johnson is a native of Henry County and grew up on a Galva farm that included Hereford cattle, corn and soybeans. 

Bustos Challenger in Illinois' 17th Has Raised Over $500,000 Already

A GOP challenger in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District off to a strong start financially. Mark Kleine of Galesburg has raised $507,000 since the beginning of his campaign in late August. He says around $400,000 of that has come from within the district and he provided $100,000 of his own money to jump start the effort.



Kleine is the former owner of John Deere implement dealer Kleine Equipment. Democrat Cheri Bustos of Rock Island has held the 17th District Congressional seat since 2013. 

Christian County CEO Students Finalizing Powderpuff Football Game to be Held in November

The date has been set for the Christian County CEO students’ Powderpuff Football Game. It will be held on Thursday, November 9 at 7 p.m. at Tornado Alley at Taylorville High School.


Luc Johnson is a CEO student from THS and is on the game’s details committee. He talks about what the differences are between a football game and a powderpuff game.



Johnson says part of the proceeds are going to go towards local VFW programs.



Johnson says the other part of the proceeds raised will go towards each of the business’ that the students will start as a part of the CEO program.

Rained Out Saturday Afternoon Didn't Ruin Very Successful Chillifest Event

The final numbers aren’t in yet, but chili sales on Sunday should set a one-day sales record for Chillifest according to Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle.


Hornbuckle says they will have more clear numbers next week, but one interaction with head chili cook J.I. McDowell told her everything she needed to know about Sunday’s chili sales.



Hornbuckle says the rains dampered sales for chili and vendors on Saturday, but Sunday more than made up for the lost dollars on Saturday.



Hornbuckle says she got to enjoy something at this year’s festival that she surprisingly hasn’t done for a few years.



Hornbuckle says this year’s Chillifest wrap-up meeting will be on Monday, October 16th.

Scarecrow Daze a Big Success for Downtown Shelbyville Businesses

The wind was howling, but the rain stayed away and Shelbyville businesses saw big numbers from Scarecrow Daze Saturday.


Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Vonda McConnell says she has talked to many business owners in town, and they’ve all told her they had great days with the Scarecrow Daze festival.



McConnell says the owners of Craig’s Sporting Goods, Simple Blessings, and My Little Bird among other businesses also told her they had great sales days on Saturday. She says although it’s tough to estimate how many people attended the free outdoor event. But from talking to others involved with the festival and from her estimation, she says this year’s event was very well attended.



McConnell says when you add both the people that came to Shelbyville and the dollars spent in town that day, the Chamber’s goal for Scarecrow Daze was achieved.



McConnell says it started to sprinkle in Shelbyville as the last vendors were packing up and calling it a day. She is thankful that the day went as well as it did even with the winds.

Taylorville Memorial Hosptial 3D Mammography Helping Detect Breast Cancer Early

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is working to provide quality healthcare to residents in Central Illinois, and one way is through offering 3-D mammography. The technology helps the hospital get a better look at any possible issues, and can lead to a shorter response time to combat any problems.


Mary Jo Coady, Mammography Coordinator at TMH says the 3-D mammography technology is the newest technology available.



Coady explained what the process is should the mammography show an issue.



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

Pana Community Hospital to Host Children's Health Fair

Pana Community Hospital will host its 14th annual Children’s Health and Safety Fair on Saturday, October 21st. The free event will run from 9 a.m. until noon at Pana Junior High School.


The hospital’s marketing manager Melissa Rybolt noted the location change from previous events. The fair is normally held at Pana High School, but with homecoming falling on that weekend, the fair was moved to the junior high school. She says each booth will have a game for kids to play and learn about health and safety hazards.



Rybolt says there will be a special guest for the kids to come and see.



Rybolt says they hold the fair to try and educate the public to prevent accidents.



Rybolt says all kids in attendance will be eligible for a grand prize provided by First National Bank. 

ISHS Opening Up Johnny Appleseed Tree Adoption to Public

The Illinois State Historical Society has been taking applications from various locations around the state for a number of apple trees that have been grown from one of the original trees that the famed Johnny Appleseed planted. The trees have since been delivered to the ISHS, and the organization is now opening the trees up to anybody who would like to buy one.


Gwen Podeschi with the ISHS says there are still a good number of trees available for adoption.



Podeschi says that the fruit these trees are expected to produce will be a good apple for cooking.



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

Illinois FFA Prez Not a "Farm Kid"

Illinois' FFA president enjoying his time in office. Joseph Birrittier was elected to the position last June and now represents 17,000 FFA members statewide. He doesn't live on a farm. 

After his one year term is up in June of 2018, he plans to enroll at the University of Illinois to study agriculture science education. 

New Democratic Attorney General Candidate Emerges

There's a new entry in the Democratic race for Attorney General. Former federal prosecutor Sharon Fairley has left her post leading Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability to run for the Democratic nomination. Fairley says the AG's office is no stepping stone for her.

While the Attorney General's office has drawn notice in recent years for tackling consumer driven matters, Fairley says she brings a lot of law and order experience to the table.

Fairley says she'll push back against President Trump's administration on a number of civil rights issues.

IDOT Wants Public Input on Rest Stops

Illinois Transportation officials are rethinking the layout and role of the state's highway rest areas in the Digital Age. IDOT's Kelsea Gurski says the agency has posted an online survey seeking public input.

Gurski says the rest stops aren't just a convenience, they're a proactive life saver for drowsy drivers and those who would be in their path.

The 20 question survey is available at idot.illinois.gov, is available through Sunday, Oct. 29. IDOT maintains a system of 30 rest areas and 11 welcome centers on highways throughout the state, serving more than 36 million visitors annually. 

Local Preschoolers Learning Fire Safety Tips at Taylorville Fire Department

Preschoolers from across the area have been coming to the Taylorville Fire Department this week to learn more about fire safety. This week is National Fire Prevention Week, and Taylorville Fire Captain Matthew Adermann says they want these young people to know their fire safety tips early.


Adermann says the department has a morning full of activities for the kids coming to visit.



Adermann says the best way to get information to parents is through the kids, and having it this week is always a great week to provide fire safety reminders.



Fire Prevention Week has been put on nationally by the National Fire Protection Association for more than 90 years. 

Boil Order Issued for Some Taylorville Residents

A boil order has been issued for residents living on Ridge Avenue west of Roosevelt Road in Taylorville due to water main repairs. The boil order will be in effect until further notice.
Taylorville Water Superintendent David Speagle reminds residents that if your home has been tagged with a red tag, then your house is in the area of the boil order. He says homes without a tag are unaffected by the boil order.
Those in the area are urged to boil all water used for drinking and cooking purposes to a rolling boil for five minutes before using. Residents will be notified when the boil order is lifted.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - October 11, 2017

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


Sometime between the hours of 1:25 am and 2:00 am on Sunday, October 8, 2017, an unknown subject made entered onto Trinity Dodge, located at 1550 Springfield Road.  While there, the unknown subject took a set of wheels and tires from several vehicles on the lot.  It appeared that the unknown subject used an ATV to arrive and then to leave the scene with the stolen items.  The total amount of the theft is estimated at near $3000.  


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.  

Seth McMillan Officially Announces Candidacy for State Senate

In front of the Abraham Lincoln statue next to the Christian County Courthouse, Taylorville businessman Seth McMillan officially announced Wednesday that he will challenge Andy Manar for the 48th District State Senate seat next November.


McMillan is the owner of McMillan Landscaping in Taylorville. He says he never has had a dream to run for office, he’s running to make Illinois a place his kids will want to live in the future.



McMillan says the legislative work in Springfield is driving Illinois youth out of the state.



McMillan thanks his friends and family for their support. He says he knows running against Manar will be a battle, but he is up for the fight because Illinois, Taylorville, and Christian County are worth fighting for.



95th District State Representative Avery Bourne introduced McMillan at his formal announcement to run for the 48th District State Senate seat Wednesday morning.



Taylorville resident and business owner Seth McMillan formally announces his candidacy for the Illinois State Senate. Also pictured from left to right: Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, McMillan's parents Mike and Teresa, his wife Melissa holding his son Andrew, and State Representative Avery Bourne holding his daughter Ella.



Family and friends pose for a photo following McMillan's announcement to run for State Senate.

Tax Filing Deadline Oct. 16

If you filed for an extension on your income taxes for 2016, the next deadline is rapidly approaching. Michael Devine says that penalties will begin after October 16.

Further information available at irs.gov.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears About Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail Conservancy at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about a new organization raising money toward work on the Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Bud Altman is with the Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservancy, a recently organized non-profit organization that's helping with upkeep of the 15-mile bike trail that goes from Taylorville to Pana.

Altman's personal experience of using the bike trail to improve his health, led him to become more involved in promoting and maintaining the trail. 

He said surveys show that the trail is a safe place for people to exercise.

Altman said that although the cities of Taylorville and Pana technically own the trail, his group is working to raise money for maintenance and repair.

Altman added that the cities have applied for a grant to replace the bike trail wooden bridge just south of Taylorville, after it was discovered to be unsafe.  He said an environmental study on the bridge replacement is ongoing, and it's hopeful that the dollars will be approved to replace and rebuild the bridge.

The biggest challenge for the trail at the moment according to Altman, are the many cracks and pavement push-ups that continue to occur, adding the Conservancy group and volunteers are working to repair them.

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.

Lake Land College Freezes Tuition Rates for Spring Semester

Lake Land Community College has announced that it will freeze tuition rates for the 2018 spring semester. The recommendation was approved at its regular board meeting on Monday.


Lake Land College President Dr. Josh Bullock says it is the college’s job to keep education affordable for area residents.



Tuitions and fees for one semester at Lake Land College averages about 19-hundred dollars, which does include textbook rental. Bullock says in today’s society, people need to go beyond their high school education to find a life-long career.



Bullock says there are many careers out there that only require 2-year degrees, and that people need to find their passion is so they can align their education with that passion.

Rauner Hoping to See Computer Upgrade Cash Freed Up Soon

Illinois Governor Bruce Raner says Comptroller Susana Mendoza's refusal to pay for information technology upgrades does not compute. As Mendoza continues to address a backlog of billions of dollars in bills, millions for the Governor's computer technology iniative remain on ice. Rauner is calling for Mendoza to end the wait.

Rauner says recent spending decisions by lawmakers make it more important to release the IT funds.

In the spring, Mendoza suspended 27 million dollars in payments for Rauner's Enterprise Resource Program.

Rauner Still Mum on Gun Control Talk

Gun control is again a topic up for debate in Washington after the Las Vegas mass shooting. But that conversation will be one that does not include the voice of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. He says his focus includes issues important to the state of Illinois.

Rauner so far will not say if he approves of changing the law that makes bump stocks legal in Illinois.

Fiscal Year 2017 Audit Provides Mixed Bag of Financial News for Taylorville School District


The Taylorville School District reviewed its annual audit at Tuesday night’s school board meeting. While there was a mixed bag of news from the audit, most of the news was positive.


Overall, the district spent about $230,000 more than it brought in. The district was also given a preliminary financial score of 3.45 which would put the district in the “Financial Review” category. Taylorville Schools Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau explains what the score means and says that the problem wasn’t the district’s spending, it was its financial sources.



The district’s per operating expense per pupil for fiscal year 2017 was just under $7,700 per student. The state average is over $13,000 per student, meaning Taylorville spends a little more than half the money per student as the average school district. Fuerstenau says with the tax referendum passed and more state funds coming, the district will be able to budget for the next fiscal year with much more reliable revenue numbers.



Fuerstenau expects to know how much new state revenue the district will receive by the next scheduled board meeting scheduled for November 13 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville School District Administration Building.

Halloween A Good Opportunity to Teach Kids About Healthy Eating Habits

Halloween is coming up, which often means children are eating much more candy than they would other times in the year. The St. Louis Dairy Council wants to provide parents with fun snack ideas to help their children eat healthier while remaining in the halloween spirit.
Joyce Fikri is with the St. Louis Dairy Council, and says although kids should enjoy the day, it can also be an opportunity to teach moderation.
There are many fun treats parents can make with their kids, including a healthy treat that fits the Halloween theme.
Fikri appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Truck Tractor / Semi Trailer Crash Shuts Down Lanes of I-55

Illinois State Police are warning motorists to avoid I-55 northbound in the Glenarm area Tuesday afternoon. The two right lanes of the highway are closed after a truck tractor / semi trailer accident near mile marker 85. Motors are urged to find an alternate route. Police say they anticipate the lanes being closed for about an hour.


There is no word on any injuries with the crash. The crash is under investigation.

Christian County YMCA Annual Fundraising Auction and Dinner Taking Place November 10th

The Christian County YMCA is preparing for their annual fund-raising auction and dinner taking place this year at the Pillars Event Center in Taylorville on November 10th. Proceeds from the event help the YMCA continue to offer affordable prices for their services, and tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available by contacting the Y.
Chris Weittenhiller is the Executive Director at the Christian County YMCA, and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says proceeds from the event help allow the YMCA to charge less for their services than it costs to offer.
Tickets are currently being sold for the event, and sponsorship opportunities for the dinner are being offered as well.
Tickets are available by contacting the Christian County YMCA, and are available to anybody who would like to attend.

Cricket Wireless Opens Taylorville Location

Cricket Wireless is coming to Taylorville. The cell phone company has opened its first Taylorville location at 1528 West Springfield Road near Walmart.


Clint Hargrave is an Indirect Sales Executive for Cricket Wireless. He says a number of factors brought Cricket to Taylorville, with the biggest being the demand for their service in the area.



Hargrave says there are multiple benefits that Cricket provides that the competition does not.



The Taylorville location will have a grand opening on Saturday, where they will have great specials and fun for the whole family. Hargrave invites everyone to come by and check out their newest location on Saturday.

TMH to Host Diabetes Self-Management Classes on Saturdays in October

Taylorville Memorial Hospital’s Diabetes Self-Management classes traditionally held on Tuesdays is being moved to Saturdays this month. The classes will be held on Saturday, October 14th and 28th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in room 457 at the hospital.


TMH Clinical Dietitian Janelle Cornell says the class was moved to accommodate for a prospective student.



Cornell says the class provides those newly diagnosed with the disease a wealth of information for how to live with diabetes, and it can also provide as a refresher course for those currently living with it.



Cornell says those interested in taking this month’s course need to contact her as soon as possible. You can call her at 824-1840 or email her at cornell.janelle@mhsil.com.

Renewable Fuels Industry Expressing Concern with EPA Administrator

The renewable fuels industry expressing some reservations with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt. The issue is lowering the renewable fuel standard or RFS. Bob Dinneen with the Renewable Fuels Association believes President Trump is supportive of ethanol and other bio-fuels, but that may not be swaying the EPA chief. 

Pruitt was confirmed as EPA administrator last February. He formerly served as Oklahoma Attorney General. 

Trees Need Water

Parts of Illinois still recovering from the 2012 drought and trees in those areas likely need water. That’s the message from University of Illinois Extension small farms educator, Doug Gucker, who indicates your tree could be showing signs of stress.

Gucker says it is a good time to try and get your tree some water and there's a few easy, practical methods to do that.

When using a sprinkler to water the trees, Gucker says a good way to measure how much water you've used is to put a soup can down and let it reach two inches. 

Opioid Deaths Continue to Rise in Southern Illinois

Opioid use continues to take lives in the Southern Illinois region, and Madison County is on pace for another record year for heroin deaths. In 2009, Madison County reported 9 heroin deaths, in 2010 the number doubled. So far in 2017 there are 10 confirmed heroin deaths, another 10 attributed to a combination of heroin and Fentanyl, and 15 solely blamed on Fentanyl. 

When prescription overdoses and other drugs are factored in, there are 60 drug-related deaths in Madison County so far in 2017. Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn says the emergence of Fentanyl is disturbing.

He says education efforts appear to be starting to have an impact, as age groups that have heard the message of the dangers of the drug are accounting for fewer deaths.

Wind Didn't Blow People Away From Coming to Shelbyville's Scarecrow Daze

The rain stayed away for the most part for Shelbyville’s 21st annual Scarecrow Daze event over the weekend. The surprise in the weather made for a great day to be at the annual festival.


Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Vonda McConnell says vendors and patrons did have to deal with wind Saturday, but she knows it could have been a lot worse.



McConnell says the wind didn’t keep people away from coming to Scarecrow Daze in downtown Shelbyville.



For more news and information from Scarecrow Daze, click on Scarecrow Daze at the top of the page.

Long-Time Taylorville Community Leader Dies

A long-time community leader in Taylorville has died at age 60.  Mike Drea died Saturday night at Memorial Medical Center.  He was active in public service for over 30 years, including working for the State of Illinois, being elected to the Christian County Board and later being elected chairman.  Drea also served as Christian County Treasurer starting in 2013. 

Drea also served on several local non-profit boards, including the Christian County Ag Fair Board for some 35 years, the C-E-F-S Board, Langleyville Water Board, and the Taylorville Community Garden.
Services are planned for Wednesday morning at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Taylorville.  For the complete obituary on Mike Drea, go to taylorvilledailynews.com. 

Fall Season Means Plentiful Pumpkins and Mums

Fall is here which means store shelves are filling up with pumpkins and mums. This time of the year can also be a good time to do some gardening maintenance according to Gwen Podeschi, Master Gardner with the U of I Extension Christian County Office.
Podeschi says things like pumpkins are not only plentiful this time of year, but many can be both beautiful, and edible.
Mums are also plentiful, and Podeschi says mums are one way you can refresh your garden for fall.
Podeschi appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Illinois State Historical Society Recognizing Centennial Businesses in Illinois

Part of the rich history in Illinois is the businesses and organizations that have been around to see it, and the Illinois State Historical Society is recognizing those businesses. The organization is giving out centennial business certifications, and is asking people to submit their businesses.
Gwen Podeschi with the Illinois State Historical Society appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says a centennial business doesn't need to be in the same family to be considered.
The ISHS does require proof of the businesses establishment, and is accepting several different types of proof.
For more information on being recognized as an Illinois Centennial business, contact the Illinois State Historical Society.

Taylorville City Leaders Say Chillifest Was Once Again a Big Success

Although Saturday was cut a little short due to weather, the rest of the weekend was a huge success for the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce’s annual Chillifest. The city of Taylorville put a good amount of money into this year’s Chillifest, and some city leaders already say it was a worthwhile investment.


Fourth ward alderman Earl Walters says events like Chillifest are a win-win for the community.



Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says although the weather didn’t cooperate for part of the weekend, when it did, the people came in droves.



For more news and winners from Chillifest this weekend, click on the Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest page at the top of the page.

One Local Farmer Says Pumpkin Crop Looks Good This Year

October and the fall season are here, and pumpkin sales will be spiking over the next few weeks. One local pumpkin farmer says her crop got exactly what it needed for a good harvest this year.


Linda Smith lives near Edinburg and grows a number of different crops on her land, including pumpkins. She says she doesn’t believe it matters what type of pumpkin you are searching for as most pumpkin types did very well this season.



Smith says she got her pumpkins in at the perfect time this year because of the soil moisture



Smith says she trys to grow different kinds of pumpkins each year to see how they will do in the soil on her land, and to provide a variety of pumpkins people can enjoy.

Taylorville Fire Department Teaching Kids, Reminding Everyone of How To Prevent Fires This Week

This week is National Fire Prevention Week, and the Taylorville Fire Department is doing its part to teach kids what to do if they are caught in a fire.


Taylorville Fire Department Captain Matthew Adermann says area preschools will be making a visit to the fire station this week.



Adermann also wants to remind people of some common sense safety tips for preventing fires.



Fire Prevention Week has been put on nationally by the National Fire Protection Association for more than 90 years.

CICBC to Host Blood Drive at Edinburg High School

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is hosting a community blood drive at Edinburg High School next Monday, October 16. The blood drive will go from 12:30 until 6:30 p.m. at the high school located at 100 East Martin Street.


Caleb Parker is a Donor Relations Consultant for the CICBC. He says each presenting donor will receive a free t-shirt.



Parker says the CICBC has a program with area high schools that host drives that gives the school a cash donation if the blood drive at the school reaches its goal.



Parker says donations have gone up with the start of the new school year, but the need for blood never diminishes. He encourages everyone that is able to come out to Edinburg to possibly help save three lives.

Godfrey Remembers Slain Officer

St. Louis County Police Officer and Illinois native Blake Snyder is being remembered my many who knew him as a kind person who was always willing to lend a hand. The 33-year-old was shot and killed by an 18-year-old suspect a year ago Friday in the Green Park area of the St. Louis County. Snyder, who is originally from Godfrey, Illinois was at one time a member of the Board of Directors for Riverbend Family Ministries and a summer employee of the Godfrey Park & Recreation Department. Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick says Snyder was a part of the Village of Godfrey family.

Snyder had been with the St. Louis County Police Department for four years and left behind a wife and a son who is now 3-years-old. He attended Alton High School and Evangelical School.

Chilli Cookoff Winners Announced Sunday in 2nd Day of Judging at Greater Taylorville Chillifest

Winners were announced Sunday afternoon, at the conclusion of the second day of International Chilli Society sanctioned judging, at the 32nd annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest.  Tom Calert was chief judge and chaired the Cookoff committee again this year.

In chilli judging Sunday, first prize winner was Jeff Netzer of Seymour, Indiana, who won 750-dollars, a certificate, and advances to the World Championship next year.  Second place winner was Larry Lentz of Nicholasville, Kentucky, who won 200-dollars and a certificate.  Third place chilli winner was Mary Thomas of Clinton, who won 100-dollars and a certificate.

In verde judging Sunday at the Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest, first place winner was Kristi Tobey of Bebe, Arkansas, who won 200-dollars, a certificate, and the right to cook at the World Championship next year.  Second place winner was Lloyd Weir of Normal, who won 50-dollars and a certificate.  Third place verde winner was Tom Hoover of Columbus, Ohio, who won 25-dollars and a certificate.

In salsa judging Sunday, first place winner was Tom Hoover, who won 100-dollars and a certificate.  Second place winner was Lloyd Weir, who won 50-dollars and a certificate, and third place winner was Helen Lewis of Springfield, who won 25-dollars and a certificate. 

In the People's Choice Awards on Sunday, the salsa winner was Brenda Weir of Normal, the verde winner was Henry Stephens of Hernando, Mississippi, and the chilli winner was Mary Cannon of Missouri.  All 3 will have their entry fee paid in their division at Chillifest 2018.

More stories on the second day of Chillifest, including winners in the "Lil' Chilli Bean" Cutest Baby Contest, can be found by clicking the "Chillifest" icon on the blue menu bar of taylorvilledailynews.com.

CAPTION TO PIX 2696:  Winners in International Chilli Society judging Sunday at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest included, from the left:  Chief judge and Cookoff committee chair Tom Calvert; Miss Chilli Pepper 2017 Allison Wright; Little Miss Chilli Pepper 2017 Thea Danyse Shanks; Larry Lentz of Nicholasville, Kentucky, who won 2nd place in chilli judging; Mary Thomas of Clinton, who won 3rd place in chilli judging; Kristi Tobey of Bebe, Arkansas, who won first place in verde judging; Helen Lewis of Springfield, who won 3rd place in salsa judging; Mary Cannon of Missouri, who was the People's Choice chilli winner; Henry Stephens of Hernando, Mississippi, who won the People's Choice verde award; and Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle. 

Saturday Winners Announced in International Chilli Society Judging at Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest

Winners in chilli, verde, and salsa judging were announced on Saturday, at the conclusion of the first day of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest on the square.

The cookoff, named the “Chillinois Regional”, was the first of 2 days of International Chilli Society sanctioned judging.  Tom Calvert is the chair for both days.  Some 33 cooks participated in the Saturday cookoffs.

In chilli judging, first place award winner was Dearl Thomas of Clinton, who won 750-dollars, a certificate, and advances to the World Championship next year.  Second place winner was Julie Netser of Seymour, Indiana, who won 200-dollars and a certificate.  Third place winner was Cathy Schmedeke of Clinton, who won 100-dollars and a certificate.

In Saturday verde judging at the Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest, first place winner was Mike Goodman of Madison, Wisconsin, who won 200-dollars and a certificate.  Second place winner was Dave Thordason of Iowa, who won 50-dollars and a certificate, and third place winner was Henry Stevens of Hernando, Mississippi, who won 25-dollars and a certificate.

In salsa judging on Saturday, first place winner was Henry Stephens of Hernando, Mississippi, who won 100-dollars and a certificate.  Second place winner was Lloyd Weir of Normal, Illinois, who won 50-dollars and a certificate.  Third place winner was David Thoradson of Iowa who won 25-dollars and a certificate.

Dennis Lanthrum of Hillsboro won the People's Choice Award in salsa on Saturday, while Bob Dunn of Taylorville won both the verde and chilli People's Choice awards.

More stories from the first day of the Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest, including Pageant Winners and results of the Chilli Eating Contest, can be found by clicking the "Chillifest" icon on the main menu bar of taylorvilledailynews.com.


CAPTION TO PIX 2642:  Winners were announced Saturday in International Chilli Society chilli judging at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest.  From the left:  Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle; 3rd place winner Cathy Schmedke of Clinton; 2nd place winner Julie Netser of Seymour, Indiana; first place winner Dearl Thomas of Clinton; and Chilli Cookoff chief judge and chair Tom Calvert.

CAPTION TO PIX 2640:  Winners in International Chilli Society verde judging Saturday, were announced at the end of day one at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest.  From the left:  Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle; 3rd place winner Henry Stevens of Hernando, Mississippi; first place winner Mike Goodman of Madison, Wisconsin; and Chilli Cookoff chief judge and chair Tom Calvert.

CAPTION TO PIX 2638:  Salsa winners in International Chilli Society sanctioned judging, were announced late Saturday afternoon at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest.  From the left:  Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle; 2nd place winner Lloyd Weir of Normal; first place winner Henry Stephens of Hernando, Mississippi; and Chilli Cookoff chief judge and chair Tom Calvert.

CAPTION TO PIX 2636:  People's Choice Award winners were announced late Saturday afternoon, in International Chilli Society sanctioned judging at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest.  From the left:  Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle; verde and chilli winner Bob Dunn of Taylorville; salsa winner Dennis Lanthrum of Hillsboro; and Chilli Cookoff chief judge and chair Tom Calvert.

Crossbows Now Allowed for Archery Hunting Season

Archery season is underway in Illinois and one state law change will benefit hunters in the state.


Eric Rollins is a Sergeant with the Illinois Conservation Police. He says a new weapon is being allowed during the archery hunting season this year.



Rollins reminds hunters to be safe during this hunting season by wearing orange when they are suppose to and always know what they’re target is and what is behind it.

Shelbyville Businesses to See Big Boost With Weekend Events

Shelbyville will be buzzing with Scarecrow Daze and Balloon Fest going on throughout the weekend. With thousands of people expected to come through the area, plenty of money will be spent at area businesses.


Vonda McConnell, the Office Manager of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce, says there’s no way to officially count how many people will be in town this weekend, but it’s easy to know that there will be a lot.



McConnell says these events should bring plenty of additional dollars into local businesses.



Scarecrow Daze runs in Shelbyville Friday and Saturday while Balloonfest will run at Lake Shelbyville Friday through Sunday.

Taylorville Musicians to Perform at LLCC Sunday

Some musicians with Taylorville connections will be performing Sunday at the Trutter Center on the Lincoln Land Community College campus in Springfield. JACK’d will be performing at 4 p.m. Sunday, and the event is free and open to the public.


The band consists of Taylorville natives Aaron Gosnell on tenor sax, wind controller and vocals, and Kevin Carman on guitar. Taylorville High School Band Director Chris Gunn will be on drums and LLCC professor and Taylorville native Jason Waddell will be on bass guitar and vocals.


Waddell says the band will play a variety of different music and even teach the audience a little bit during the concert.



Waddell says the event is family friendly, and he encourages everyone to come to see the band’s inaugural performance on Sunday.

Shelbyville Community Coming Together To Put on Balloonfest

The Shelbyville Balloonfest is taking place this weekend, and the community has once again come together to support the event. Along with Scarecrow Daze, the event is the last major event in the region for the year, and many are working hard to make it a memorable one.


Kevin Bernson with Shelby Electric Cooperative and one of the Coordinators for Balloonfest says it takes a large effort to put the event together.



Shelby County Sheriff Don Koonce says the community looks forward to the event every year, and puts in a great effort to make the event memorable each year.



Koonce and Bernson both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville Studios.

Strasburg Burnout At The Burg Event Taking Place This Weekend

There are many events taking place around Central Illinois from Taylorville's Chillifest, to Shelbyville's Scarecrow Daze, and Strasburg will be joining in the fun with their own event, Burnout in the Burg.


Burnout in the Burg is primarily a car show, however Freddy Fry with the Shelby County Office of Tourism says there are several other attractions to check out as well.



Fry says Strasburg itself is a great community, and a good place to spend a weekend.



Fry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

UPDATE: Traffic Advisory for Tonight's Luke Bryan Concert

The Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department and The Illinois State Police are issuing the following advisory for Friday, October 6, 2017, regarding the Luke Bryan concert scheduled to take place at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

For those attending the concert, the following advisory should be noted:


* All vehicles should enter the fairgrounds through gate 4, 7, 8, or 11. (Not Gate 6, corrected 12:40 p.m.)

* Parked vehicles cannot block or obstruct roadway traffic, driveways, roads, or gates.

* Follow all posted traffic signs as well as IDOT electronic signs.

* All concert traffic will follow the instructions of the traffic control officers on site.

* Handicap Parking will be at Gate 7 (Added 12:40 p.m.)


All motor vehicle traffic not attending the concert are urged to avoid the Illinois State Fairgrounds, and Peoria Road.

Concert goers can access the Grandstand Infield via the tunnels on the north and southwest corner of the Mile Track on foot only.

2017 Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Finally Here

The 2017 Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest is finally here, taking place this weekend on the Taylorville Square. The event will feature a number of different attractions outside of the sanctioned chili cookoffs, including a bags tournament, and a tent where attendees can sample chili and salsa made by the cookoff contestants.
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the Chamber has handed off the reigns of the Bags Tournament.
Chillifest will also feature the “People's Choice” tent, where Chillifest visitors will get the chance to sample chili and salsa made by those participating in the chili cookoffs.
Hornbuckle suggested visitors get to the People's Choice tent early, as chili will be served while supplies last.

Consolidated Communications to Hold Collection Drive for Operation Honor Guard

Consolidated Communications is teaming up with Operation Honor Guard to raise money for the non-profit this coming Wednesday, October 11.


Sarah Greider is a Corporate Communications Coordinator at Consolidated. She says Operation Honor Guard provides funds for local honor guards to buy the clothing worn to military funeral services.



Greider says hosting this collection is one way Consolidated is trying to give back to the community, and it also gives area residents a way to thank veterans for their service.



The collection will run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the company’s corporate offices in Mattoon. Donors are asked to pull in from Charleston Avenue and will be directed to exit the lot from the alley on to South 17th Street after making their donation. 

WTIM Investment Professional Warning of Economic Downturn

Stocks are at record highs, however many are warning of a possible economic downturn. WTIM Investment Professional Steve Henry says the market is showing a lot of the same warning signs it showed before downturns in the 1990s, as well as before the 2008 market crash.
Henry says you see many of the same patterns in investing, and the patterns he's currently seeing are troubling.
One of these warning signs is well regarded money managers turning away investment dollars. Henry notes of one well known investor who's currently doing just that.
WTIM Investment Professional Steve Henry with CSH Investment Management appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Western Illinois Native Returns Home to Open for Stapleton

Western Illinois native Margo Price returns home to open for Chris Stapleton. The concert was Thursday night at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline. Price says Las Vegas will continue to be on the mind of the music industry for many days to come.



Price is a 2001 Aledo High School graduate. Her career took off last year—making appearances on such shows as Conan, Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live. 

Fertilzer and Chemical Spokesperson: It's Never Okay to Drift

Agriculture departments from at least 16-states, including Illinois, have been inundated with spray-drift complaints involving dicamba use this past summer. The herbicide has caused the cupping of leaves in some soybean fields. A word of advice from Jean Payne from the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association.

Two states, Missouri and Arkansas, banned the use of the weed killer this past July. 

Scarecrow Daze Kicks Off in Shelbyville Friday

It’s one of the biggest weekends of the year for Shelbyville as the 21st annual Scarecrow Daze is Friday and Saturday.


Vonda McConnell is the Office Manager for the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce. She says the action kicks off Friday night with food and music.



McConnell says Saturday is jam-packed with events as well.



There will also be musical performances throughout the day Saturday starting at 11 a.m. with the Silvertown Band at the Mini Park. You can listen to live coverage of the Scarecrow Daze Parade starting at 10 a.m. on New Country 98.3 WSVZ.

Luke Bryan Concert Moved to Illinois State Fairgrounds

Due to the rain and wet field conditions, the Luke Bryan concert originally scheduled to be at the Ayers Family Farm in Edinburg has been moved to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The Christian County Sheriff's Office, Christian County EMA, and Illinois State Police have all confirmed the relocation. The concert will be on the infield of the grandstand just north of the grandstand at the fairgrounds. The concert is still scheduled for Friday with the gates opening at 5 and the concert starting at 6.

Chillifest Pageants to be Moved Indoors if Raining Saturday Morning

The Little Miss, Little Mr., Junior Miss and Miss Pageants at Taylorville’s Chillifest this weekend will go on rain or shine. There will be a venue change if there is rain Saturday morning. The pageants will be held at First United Methodist Church a block east of the Taylorville Square if there is rain.


Pageants organizer Brittany Moore says the official announcement should come around 8:30 Saturday morning.



Moore says there is plenty of seating at the church, and there are more contestants in this year’s pageant than in year’s past. She hopes everyone will come by and check out Chillifest and the pageants.

Ayers Family Farm Excited to Host Christian County's Biggest Country Music Concert in Years

Out of all of the farms in Central Illinois, a family-owned farm outside of Edinburg was selected to host the biggest country music concert Christian County has seen in years. The family having the concert is ready and excited for the event.


Cathryn Ayers is a part of the Ayers family hosting the concert on their farm. She says the Luke Bryan concert Friday has been in the making since the beginning of 2017.



Ayers says the family is honored to be the hosts of the event, but they also are thankful for how Luke Bryan is supporting agriculture.



Gates for the event will open at 5 p.m. with the show scheduled to start at 6 Friday at the Ayers Family Farm, located at 2535 North 800 East Road, about five miles north of Edinburg.

LLCC to Host Community Education Workshop on World War I

Lincoln Land Community College will host the community education workshop “Illinois in the Great War” Wednesday, October 11 at the LLCC Taylorville Campus. The workshop will focus on the state and Central Illinois’ role in World War I.


Dr. Chris McDonald is a professor of political science at LLCC and will be leading the workshop. He says Central Illinois played multiple roles in the Great War.



McDonald believes that World War I is often overlooked in American history, even though he believes it played a huge role in making the United States what it is today.



For more information on the course or how to register, you can call 786-2292, or visit their website here.

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis Says Tax Reform Proposal Makes Tax Code Simpler

After another failed healthcare push, the U.S. Legislature is now turning their focus to tax reform, and GOP House members have unveiled their framework for how the new tax code could look.
Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says tax reform is long overdue, and by utilizing an initial framework, everybody will have a say in what tax reform will look like.
Davis says the tax framework aims to make the tax code simpler, and put more money into the pockets of middle income families.
Davis says the proposed tax code would also reduce the corporate tax rate, as well as reducing taxes on small businesses.
Davis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Christian County Senior Citizens Center Taking Seniors Where They Need To Go

The Christian County Senior Citizens Center offers it's patrons many different activities and services, including their transportation program where Seniors can hitch a ride to a number of different locations throughout Central Illinois, and even several locations outside of the state as well.
Gerry Mahr and Judy Gates with the Christian County Senior Citizens Center appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the transportation system helps get seniors to the places they need to go.
The transportation program will give rides to those 60 and older by donation, and for a small fee for those under 60.
To schedule a ride with the Christian County Senior Citizens Center's transportation program, call the center at 824-4263.

Christian County Historical Society Preparing for Persimmon Party

The Christian County Historical Society is getting ready for their Persimmon Party, taking place on November 4th. The party will offer a number of fun activities, including the little miss Persimmon Pageant.
Maureen Bruns with the Christian County Historical Society appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says you just need to contact the Historical Society to register your children for the pageant.
The Historical Society also has many other activities taking place.

Former UFC Champs Thank ICU Nurses

An emotional gathering at HSHS St. John's Hospital in SpringfieldTuesday as UFC legend and Hillsboro native Matt Hughes paid a visit, weeks after a car-train accident nearly claimed his life in June. He and loved ones honored two nurses that played a key role in his recovery. Matt's friend Tony Zucca saluted ICU nurses Ashley Hull and Megan Simpson for their efforts after Hughes was airlifted to the hospital.

Hull and Simpson were honored with the DAISY Award. St. John's isn't commenting on Hughes condition but many were encouraged to see him up and moving around and getting emotional during the ceremony . Zucca says he has a long road ahead of him. While Hughes, family and friends were on hand to hand out awards to the nurses, Hughes received an unexpected honor of his own, receiving the HSHS St. John’s Superhero Award for turning a setback into a comeback.

Drought Having Minimal Impacts on Markets

Central Illinois is in a moderate drought but Doug Gucker, University of Illinois Extension small farms educator, notes the drought is very limited in a section that spans from Missouri to Illinois and Iowa. Gucker says the localized drought is not impacting the markets because it isn't widespread.

Gucker says this is going to leave a lot of Illinois farmers wondering why prices aren't reflecting their yield numbers this harvest season. 

Ag Census Mailed in December

The 2017 census of agriculture will soon be mailed to farmers across the country. The census is compiled every five years and provides valuable data for the industry says USDA statistician Mark Schleusner.

The census will be mailed in December and should be completed by February 5th. The data will be be released by February 2019 in both electronic and printed format. 

State, Local Police Taking Every Precaution For Luke Bryan Concert After Vegas Shooting

Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies will be putting every necessary resource into place to keep Luke Bryan concert-goers safe after the mass shooting at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas earlier this week.


Illinois State Trooper Sean Ramsey says there will be many police officers throughout the concert site, but he also encourages patrons to report anything that seems suspicious.



Ramsey says he doesn’t want anyone to be afraid to come out Friday night because of what happened in Vegas.



Ramsey says those coming to the concert should check the weather because of possible rain in the forecast. He also says whatever entrance you come in Friday night will be the exit you leave out of to prevent traffic issues.

US Rep Rodney Davis Says Better Mental Health Care Needed To Ending Mass Shootings

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas that has left nearly 60 people dead, the question now arises as to what the country can do to ensure that mass shootings don't continue to happen. U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) feels the focus should be on doing more to help mental healthcare in the country.
Davis says although the United States has already enacted mental health reforms at the federal level, more still needs to be done.
Davis, who was involved in a mass assassination attempt himself in June, says enacting stricter gun control legislation won't solve the issue.
Davis says he hopes Americans can unite on the issue to find a way to stop the mass shootings from happening.
Davis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Big Weekend to Have Impact on Taylorville, Christian County Economies

With the Luke Bryan concert north of Edinburg Friday night, and Chillifest in Taylorville Saturday and Sunday, the city and Christian County are in for a big economic weekend. About 15,000 people are expected to attend both the concert and Chillifest this weekend.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says he hopes people from out of town see these events going on and make a weekend of it in Christian County.



Barry says a lot of money will be pumped into Christian County and the surrounding area this weekend.



Barry encourages everyone to get out and enjoy these events going on this weekend.

SCAN Organization Continuing to Look To Improve Strasburg

The community of Strasburg is continuing to work to improve their village, and one way residents are doing so is through their SCAN program. SCAN stands for Strasburg Community Action Network, and have been working to achieve a number of goals to help improve the community.
Justin Krile is the president of the SCAN organization, and explained what SCAN allows Strasburg to do.
Krile says the program has accomplished the goals the group set for itself over it's first ten years, and is looking to continue that success in the future.

Christian County 4-H Program Celebrating National 4-H Week

This week is National 4-H Week and Christian County 4-H members are joining six million youth nationwide in celebrating. The 4-H program focuses on developing leadership and life skills in kids through hands-on learning activities.


Rebecca Livingston is the Christian County 4-H Program Coordinator. She says program members are working with local businesses to build 4-H awareness.



Livingston says there are two types of 4-H clubs in Christian County, but they can cater to any interest.



The Christian County 4-H program will hold an open house on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Christian County Extension Office for those interested in the program. If you have any questions, you can give Livingston a call at the office at 287-7246.

Senator Dick Durbin Reflects on Vegas Tragedy

Senator Dick Durbin has weighed in on the tragic events in Las Vegas. After his colleague Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy called for an end to what he called legislative indifference, Durbin isn't outlining any specific gun legislation but he believes its a time for action.

Durbin also saluted first responders in his remarks on the Senate Floor.

On Twitter, Durbin said "The notion that there’s no way to prevent gun violence is false—and without action to stop gun attacks, Congress is complicit in them. There’s a tendency in Congress to debate how the latest attack could have been prevented. But what are we doing to prevent the next attack??"

Illinois Air Guard Continues to Help Hurricane Victims

You may have heard the phrase "Will it play in Peoria". Well the works of the Illinois river city's 182nd Airlift Wing are being well received in areas ravaged by recent hurricanes. Wing Commander Robbie Robertson says it's been a busy time in the weeks since their first C-130 cargo aircraft brought supplies to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Robertson says his personnel put a wide array of day jobs aside to help hurricane victims.


Two C-130s delivered items to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Friday. The 182nd is also preparing to send about 15 security-force members to support airfield operations at Jose Aponte De La Torre Airport in Puerto Rico. Eight members of the 126th Air Refueling Wing at Belleville based Scott Air Force Base arrived in Puerto Rico last month. That unit is providing 24-hour voice and data communication to emergency responders.

Rauner Gets Flu Shot

Governor Rauner is practicing what he preaches when it comes to preparing for the arrival of flu season. Rauner received his flu shot during a morning press conference with the Illinois Department of Public Health. He says he is no worse for wear.

State Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah says there are no supply issues for the flu vaccine.

Governor Rauner is urging everyone six months and older to get their flu shot. Flu season typically arrives in October and can last until March.

Keeping Stored Grain From Spoiling

Harvest season means it’s once again time to store grain. GROWMARK’s Randy Houltaus says it’s important to keep the crop from spoiling and then also making sure the product comes out of the bin when it’s time. Among the tips he’s promoting is knowing the proper airflow rate.

Holthaus says once you know the airflow rate, that will help you determine how long to run the fans. And he adds when to run the fans is determined by following Equilibrium Moisture Content charts. 

Taylorville Business Owner Looking to Challenge Andy Manar for State Senate Seat

A Taylorville resident and business owner is looking to challenge State Senator Andy Manar for the 48th District Senate Seat. McMillan Landscaping owner Seth McMillan has started getting the signatures and is looking to formally announce his candidacy next week.


McMillan, who is also the Christian County GOP chairman, says he believes he can relate to the majority of people in the 48th district, making him the right choice to represent the district.



McMillan says he is disappointed in how Manar has represented his constituents.



A time and place for the official announcement has not yet been set.

Taylorville Police to Hold Coffee with a Cop Event Wednesday

Wednesday is National Coffee with a Cop Day, and you have a chance to meet Taylorville police officers. Taylorville Police will hold their “Coffee with a Cop” event at Taylorville McDonald’s Wednesday morning from 7:30 to 9:30.


Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says events like this are important to build trust with the community.



Hile says coffee is free during the event, and he encourages everyone in the community to come by and meet his officers.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - October 3, 2017

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


At around 6:00 pm on Tuesday September 26, 2017, an unknown subject broke a window on a white, 2002, Ford SUV while it was parked in the parking lot of Arbys, located at 932 Springfield Road.  While inside, the unknown subject took cash, cigarettes, prescription medicine, and a wallet. The total dollar amount of the damage and 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.  

Chillifest Coming Up This Weekend

One of the biggest weekends in Taylorville each year is almost upon us. Chillifest kicks off on Saturday, and approximately 15,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event.


Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Patty Hornbuckle says there will be plenty of happenings throughout the weekend.



Hornbuckle says there are a record number of vendors this year. Combine that and the events Saturday and Sunday, she encourages everyone to get out to Chillifest both days.



For more information on this year’s Chillifest, you can visit the Chillifest page by clicking on "Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest" at the top of this page.

Village of Strasburg Names Its Volunteers of the Year

The Village of Strasburg has named its 2017 Volunteer of the Year winners and presented the awards at the Annual Lion’s Club Community Weiner Roast Friday. Jim Weiss and Justin Krile earned the distinction of being this year’s recipients for Strasburg’s Volunteers of the Year.


Strasburg mayor Ron Thomas says Wiess has done big things for the community’s youth.



Thomas says Krile is a young person who has come back to Strasburg and is doing everything in his power to make the village a better place.



Thomas says there are many deserving residents of Strasburg who deserve this award, and that he is excited each year to present this award as a way to show that the village appreciates those who volunteer for the community.



Photo: Strasburg Mayor (back) poses for a photo with Volunteers of the Year Jim Weiss (front left) and Justin Krile (front right.)

First United Methodist Church Food Pantry Fighting Hunger in Shelby County

The First United Methodist Church Food Pantry is working to help solve the problem of hunger in Shelby county. The pantry works with larger food banks as well as with individual donations to help distribute food to those who need it.
Nancy Mills is the Coordinator of the Food Pantry, and says the Pantry is planning a food drive with Moulton School in Shelbyville, which has brought huge sums of food into the pantry in the past.
One of the main sources of food for the First United Methodist Church Food Pantry is the Central Illinois Food Bank, however the pantry also receives regular donations from local donors.
Mills appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

Spring Semester Registration At LLCC Starting October 19th

Spring semester at Lincoln Land Community College is just around the corner, and the LLCC Taylorville office wants to make sure students know the process to register. Spring registration opens on October 19th, and there are many ways to pay for your classes.
Dee Kruger, Director of the LLCC Taylorville Campus appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says as of Monday, students could start making appointments to discuss class schedules with Kruger.
Many websites scam students into thinking they're filling out their FAFSA application for federal student aid, but according to Kruger, there is only one website you need to go to, and registration is free. She also reminds students of the different methods LLCC offers to pay for your classes.
You can find out more about spring semester registration at Lincoln Land Community College at their website at www.llcc.edu.

Cost of Trump Tax Reform Plan Remains Key Question

How much will the Trump tax reform plan cost? That’s one of the key questions says Mark Gebhards, the Executive Director of Governmental Affairs for the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Trump’s plan calls for three federal income tax brackets, 12 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent, but it’s unclear at this time which incomes will fall into each tax bracket. As for the corporate tax rate, the Trump plan calls for a 15-percent reduction, from 35 percent to 20 percent.

Healthcare for Kids At Risk

Federal funding for some healthcare programs has expired, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP. It covers around 180,000 kids in the state and Congress missed a deadline for reauthorization. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin says the problem can be fixed but CHIP is at risk of running out of funding in about 6 months. 

Meetings are underway on Capitol Hill to work on the problem according to Durbin and he wants to see reauthorization done by the end of the week. 

Lincoln Presidential Library Captures Memories of High School Sports/Extracurricular Activities

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has devoted much of its time and space this year to sports role in Illinois history. After launching the Cubs and Cardinals Rivalry exhibit, the Presidential Library is focusing on sports at the grass roots level. The Library's oral history program has teamed up with the Illinois High School Association to capture decades of memories of high school sports and activities like chess, debate and journalism. 54 interviews have been produced so far. Longtime school administrator volunteer Philip Pogue, who served with Fairbury Prairie Central and Greenville/Bond County among other stops, says local sports is truly local history.

For more information, visit www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov.

Taylorville, Police Nearing Contract Agreement Following City Council Meeting


The city of Taylorville and its police officers are nearing a contract after months of negotiations. The Taylorville City Council approved some minor changes to an agreement already passed by the police union. City police officers have been working without a contract for about 17 months and have not had a raise since 2015.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the new contract does include a raise for city police officers.



This approved pay raise comes one day after the largest mass shooting in U.S. history in Las Vegas. Barry says the city’s officers deserve this raise.



Other action items included honoring Warren Kelly as the city’s “Volunteer of the Month” and approving the terms of what will be a loan for the new municipal building roof. The loan was not formally approved, that is pending the results of the city’s audit. The loan could be approved come the next city council meeting, scheduled for October 16 at 7 p.m. at Taylorville City Hall.



Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry (right) presents a plaque to the city's "Volunteer of the Month" for October, Warren Kelly (left).

Judge Denies Pana Man of Re-trial, Reduced Sentence in Arson and Home Invasion Convictions

A Pana man will not get a reduced sentence or a new trial after being convicted of Home Invasion and Residential Arson in May. 56-year-old Brian K. Ferguson was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the crimes in July. Christian County Circuit Judge Brad Paisley denied the motions because the reasons had been ruled on before the trial.


Ferguson’s counsel, Christian County Public Defender Greg Grigsby also filed a modification of sentencing motion, arguing that “great bodily harm” was never found by the court and that makes the 22-year sentence a mandatory 50 percent sentence instead of a mandatory 85 percent sentence. Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera did not dispute the argument, but he said that the courts should have a re-sentencing because of the court's error, saying the sentence handed down could have been steeper if it was known that it should have been a 50 percent time served sentence.


Paisley ordered both sides to file additional information in the next 30 days and that the modification motion would be taken under advisement. Ferguson will have the right to appeal the judgment once the modification motion is ruled upon.

Durbin on Puerto Rico Storm Response

Senator Dick Durbin says the discussion about Puerto Rico needs to shift from President Trump’s war of words or tweets with the Mayor of San Juan to recovery efforts. Durbin says it’s clear the nation was busy with recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey and Irma on the mainland. 

Durbin says now is not the time for the blame game of politics surrounding emergency responses. 

Push Continues for Redevelopment of Eagle Creek Resort on Lake Shelbyville

Eagle Creek Resort on Lake Shelbyville has been closed since 2009, and efforts to restore or redevelop the property have been ongoing since. Progress seems to have been made, with the IDNR reportedly planning on looking into development options for the property.


Dave Cruitt, Shelby County Board Chair says the DNR Office is looking to first look into redevelopment on Rend Lake in southern Illinois, with the focus shifting to Eagle Creek once the plan for Rend Lake has been sorted out.



The push for new development on the property has been a big issue in Shelby County, with the County losing tourism dollars and events since the resort was shuttered.



Cruitt appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

Taylorville Fire Department to Have Open House for Those Interested in Firefighting and EMS

The next generation of firefighters will have the opportunity to check out the job with the Explorer Program the Taylorville Fire Department is looking to bring back. The Explorer Program gives anyone between the ages of 14 and 20 the opportunity to learn more about the fields of fire and emergency medical services.


Taylorville Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall says they want to teach those who join the program the skills necessary for these life-saving professions.



Nick Zepin is a Taylorville firefighter and the Explorer Program Chairman, and he says he would have loved to have been a part of the program if it was around when he was younger.



Both Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews and Goodall went through the Explorer program. The fire department will be having an open house for those interested in the program on October 25th at 6:30 p.m. 

State Treasurer Frerichs: Drug Companies Must Help Fight Opioid Crisis

Many different organizations are doing their part to fight the opioid epidemic, and the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office is among them. State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says drug companies must act to address the epidemic or face financial consequences.


Frerichs, as the state’s chief investment officer, says these companies need to change their practices or the state could take its money to invest elsewhere.



Frerichs says he is joining his counterparts in other state’s to tell these drug companies they must help combat the opioid epidemic.



Frerichs says it will take a multi-pronged approach to reign in and solve the opioid crisis across the country, but that his office will do its part to help.

University of Illinois Extension Teaming Up With IAHCE For Networking Retreat

The University of Illinois Extension and IAHCE is partnering up once again to put on an educational and networking event to allow other IAHCE members as well as the public to interact and learn more about the work the group does. The event will take place Tuesday, October 17th at the U of I Extension Unit 18's Montgomery County office in Hillsboro.


Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator at the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 is the guest speaker at the event, and joined the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event, and shared more about the IAHCE and what the organization does.



The event will feature classes, a chance to get to know each other, as well as a free lunch.



For more information on the retreat, you can give the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 a call at 217-532-3941.

Illinois Groups to Host Documentary Screening

Illinois science, food and farm groups plan to hold a public screening of a widely-acclaimed documentary entitled "Food Evolution" on Tuesday, October 3rd in Chicago. The documentary probes debate over food grown using genetically modified organisms, or so-called GMOs. The movie's producer, Trace Sheehan, says the film has helped audiences around the country learn more about the food we eat;

The Illinois Farm Families program, Illinois Science Council, and the Chicago section of the Institute of Food Technologists will show the film at the Arclight Cinemas in the Windy City. It's expected to be available for wider distribution across the state in the coming months.

House Lawmaker Disappointed with Rauner over HB 40

It was a risk from the get for Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. He could not sign House Bill 40 and walk away from a campaign promise about protecting abortion rights in Illinois or he could sign the bill and anger pro-life supporters and most other Republicans. And that’s exactly what has happened. Rauner is facing a big back lash from rank and file Republican lawmakers, including Forsyth’s Bill Mitchell.

Illinois becomes the 16th state to fund abortions through Medicaid. 

Peoples Bank and Trust / WMKR Pana Students of the Month - September 2017

The Peoples Bank and Trust and WMKR Pana Students of the Month for September are:  Left Joani Jones from Peoples Bank and Trust, Senior Teagan Strom, Junior Aubrey Beyers, Sophomore Danielle Bieber, Freshman Adelyne Deere, and Sarah VanHuss from Peoples Bank and Trust. 



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