Local News

As #MeToo Movement Continues, The Shadow Home Reminds Area Women That They Have Help

Many women across the country are coming out with stories of sexual abuse and harassment against big names in Hollywood, the media, and politics. One local shelter is reminding local women that they too have help to get out of an abusive situation in our backyard.


The Shadow Home in Taylorville has been helping women and children in the community for 15 years. The Shadow Home’s Interim Director Rita Attaway says in many cases, it is hard for a woman to get out of an abusive situation.



Attaway says they encourage women to think about how badly they want out of the situation, because it is a big commitment stand up to abuse.



Attaway says most of the Shadow Home’s support comes from donations from the public. For more information on the Shadow Home, we have a link to their website here.

CEFS Recognizes Local Resident For Accomplishments in Programs

The CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation is recognizing a local resident for her achievements going through the programs the corporation provides at helping people get back on their feet. Amanda Beeney has been through CEFS’s Transitional Housing and Supportive Services Projects, and she was recently recognized by the organization.


Kevin Bushur is the CEO of CEFS. He says the organization’s goal is help people get out of poverty.



Bushur says the organization has a wide variety of programs available to those in the community, whether it be help with living expenses or education.



CEFS has been providing social services for limited-income persons in the community for over 50 years.

WTIM, People's Bank and Trust November 2017 Taylorville High School Students of the Month Announced

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


The Peoples Bank and Trust and WTIM Taylorville Students of the Month for November 2017 are (Left to Right): Senior Noah Nelson, Junior Melodie Paluska, Sophomore Parth Patel, Freshman Natalie Howard, and Lindsay Lopian from Peoples Bank and Trust.  


Taylorville Ministerial Association Looking For Bell Ringing Volunteers

The Taylorville Ministerial Association is partnering with the Salvation Army Bell Ringers to help raise money for the TMA's emergency assistance fund, and is in need of volunteers to help ring bells. The fund serves to help local residents who are in need of things such as food, gas, shelter, and more.


Bill Kerns and Michael Evanchak with the Taylorville Ministerial Association appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. Kerns shared what days the TMA needs volunteers for.



One of the big reasons why the TMA paired with the Salvation Army is that 85 cents of every dollar raised will stay local. That money will help with the Ministerial Association's emergency fund, and Evanchak shared why that fund is so important.



To volunteer to ring a bell, call Pastor Bill Kerns at Davis Memorial Christian Church at 824-8181.

Shorter Supply of Live Christmas Trees for Decorating This Year

If you are looking to get a live Christmas tree for your home this year, you will want to get your tree sooner rather than later this year. Christmas tree suppliers have a shorter supply of trees this year, and those trees in stock are going fast.


Seth McMillan is the owner of McMillan Landscaping in Taylorville. He says his business is selling roughly the same amount of trees as last year, but if that paces holds firm, they will run out of trees earlier than normal.



McMillan says if you want that fresh cut tree for your home this year, you need to get out and get it as soon as you can.



McMillan says once the current supply is gone, the growers have told him they are out of trees for the year.

Durbin Wants Action on DACA Before 2018 Arrives

Senator Dick Durbin is making a renewed push for Republican leaders in Congress to bring the bipartisan Dream Act to the floor for a vote before the end of the year. With President Trump planning to bring the DACA program to a close, Durbin says time is running out for undocumented immigrants with true passion and dedication for this country.

In July, Durbin and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced the bipartisan Dream Act, which would allow immigrant students who grew up in the United States to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship. 

Illinois Teachers Push for PE

Illinois teachers are responding to the reduction in mandatory physical education in Illinois Schools. Bridget Shanahan with the Illinois Education Association (IEA) says the union has launched the “Keep Learning, Keep Moving” campaign to preserve daily physical education (P.E.) classes. She says it isn't just about fitness alone.

Shanahan says some districts were already out of bounds with state law before Governor Rauner signed legislation in August that allowed school boards to have kids in p.e. as little as three days a week.

With 135,000 members, the IEA is the state's largest union for educators. 

Holiday Package Delivery Warnings

Christmas shopping is in high gear for many, and some thieves are taking advantage of those having packages delivered to their homes. Local police are warning of incidents in which online purchases have been delivered to some area homes, only to be stolen shortly after by thieves waiting for the packages while the residents are away. One of the biggest things you can do as a shopper, according to Madison County Sheriff John Lakin, is to not broadcast your schedule for any and all to see.

Lakin also says try to make sure any packages that are delivered are left outside for as little time as possible.

Peoria Farm Show Celebrating 10 Years

The annual Peoria Farm Show is celebrating 10 years. The event, at the Peoria Civic Center, has an antique tractor show that is organized by Jerry Tibbs, who says the annual show brings out the best of the collectors of antique machines.

There will be a special marketing meeting Thursday morning at the show. The Stewart-Peterson Group will host the meeting and the group's Cathy Ekstrand says they'll discuss markets.

There is no registration required to be a part of the market meeting. The Farm Show runs until Thursday afternoon and organizers encourage attendees to vote for their favorite antique tractors while they are there. 

Local School Districts In Need of Substitute Teachers

Education has been a key issue in Illinois over the past year, and now school districts are in need of what can be called an “unsung hero” of a child’s education, substitute teachers.


Pana School District Superintendent Jason Bauer previously worked as superintendent in the Donovan School District near the Indiana border. He says he knows the struggle for educators.



Central A&M School District Superintendent Dr. DeAnn Heck says it is important for students to be able to learn from substitute teachers because it helps the kids to build relationships and continue their education while the regular classroom teacher is out.



Bauer agrees with Heck on the importance of a substitute teacher, saying the less disruptions of educating kids there are, the better.



For those interested in becoming a substitute teacher, the Regional Office of Education #3 will be holding a free informational meeting from 5 to 6 p.m. on December 12th at Lincoln Land Community College’s Taylorville campus in room 1207.  

Taylorville Street Department Finishing Up 2017 Projects

Street projects in Taylorville are wrapping up for the winter with the Taylorville Street Department finishing up some final projects before the colder weather hits.


Taylorville Street and Sewer Department Superintendent Dick Wiseman says one project that will not be finished in time for winter is the Cherokee Street repaving project. Wiseman says Cherokee was reopened Tuesday afternoon, but motorists can expected periodic closures of the street throughout the winter as they prepare for paving the street next spring.


The street department has finished many other repaving projects across the city, and they are expecting to complete the replacement of a broken manhole cover on Walnut Street this week. That project has temporarily closed Walnut Street next to the Taylorville Fire Department.


Wiseman says besides the Cherokee and Walnut Street projects, all that is left for this year’s projects is to finish paying the bills for the work done.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - November 29, 2017

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to an arson that occurred in Taylorville.


At around 1:00 am on Friday, November 24, 2017, an unknown subject threw an item that ignited the back porch of a residence located a 1301 West Adams Street.  The item appeared to be a glass jar.  The patio of the residence did not suffer any damage after the fire was extinguished.  The unknown subject then left the scene in an unknown direction.


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.  

Jim Bohannon Unsure Over Future of Senate Tax Plan

There are currently two plans making their way through Washington that would reform the tax code in the United States. The House of Representatives has already passed their version of tax reform, and now the country waits on what will happen with the Senate plan that's currently experiencing doubt over it's ability to pass.
Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon Show heard weeknights on Newstalk WTIM says the Senate can only afford to lose a small number of votes on the tax plan.
One criticism of the Senate tax plan is it's inclusion of a repeal of the mandate for Obamacare. Bohannon says although it may be a good idea to repeal the mandate, the move didn't need to be a part of tax reform.
Jim Bohannon appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Illinois State Police Offering Safe Driving Tips To Motorists For The Winter Season

Although the temperatures across Illinois are currently on the warmer side, winter weather is just around the corner, and the Illinois State Police is reminding motorists to keep a few things in mind and a few key items in their vehicles to help them out if they find themselves in trouble this winter.
Trooper Sean Ramsey with the Illinois State Police appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and had some suggestions for a few key items to keep in your car this winter to help you out if you find yourself stranded.
It's also suggested to keep things such as extra clothing and a blanket in your car as well.
Ramsey also reminded motorists that although all wheel and four wheel drive can help in snowy conditions, you will still have trouble stopping on slick ice covered roadways, which can lead to expensive tickets.
Another tip Ramsey shared was to know where you're at, so if you are stranded, help can find you faster.

Dimond Brothers Insurance Celebrates 150th Anniversary

One local insurance agency is celebrating 150 years in business. Dimond Brothers Insurance was founded in 1867, and the company’s Taylorville branch is celebrating the milestone.


Abbey Corso with Dimond Brothers’ Taylorville office says it is a privilege for Dimond Brothers to serve the local community.



Corso says Dimond Brothers tries to help out as many groups in the community as they can.



The company celebrated the anniversary Monday and Tuesday afternoon by having an open house for its customers and the community, serving refreshments and giving away prizes.

New Program at Illinois College in Jacksonville Aims to Help Fill "Thousands" of Unfilled Jobs in Ag Sector

There are “thousands” of unfilled jobs in the ag industry. And a new program in Agribusiness at Illinois College in Jacksonville aims to help fill those positions says the school’s Michael Woods. 


Subject areas include ag lending, ag service and sales and farm management. Coursework also covers ag finance, ag economics and commodity and futures markets. More information on the program is available at “ic.edu/agribusiness”. 

Central Illinois Arborist: Start Planning Now To Take Down Ash Trees

The emerald ash borer, or EAB, has infected ash trees across the country and it has essentially wiped out the ash tree population in Illinois. Steve Lobb is the arborist in Clinton, Illinois and he says if you have an ash tree, it's almost certainly infected with EAB and could soon become a problem. 

While treatment options are available, Lobb points out they are costly and the effectiveness is unproven.

Lobb says when an ash tree dies, it becomes brittle quickly and can be a dangerous tree. He implores anyone with an ash tree to start the planning process for likely bringing it down before it becomes a danger to your home and property. 

Red Cross Asking For Holiday Donations

The holiday season is known for the spirit of giving and the American Red Cross is asking for your help in giving the gift of life. The holidays are traditionally a slow time for blood donations. Red Cross spokesman Joe Zydlo says he'd like to see donors offer up one more donation in 2017.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply of blood is available. Appointments can be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, on the new Red Cross Blood Donor App, or by visiting redcrossblood.org.

Christian County CEO Facilitator, Students Present Program at Taylorville Kiwanis Club

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the facilitator of the Christian County C-E-O, or “Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities” program, along with 5 students in the class, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Facilitator Dick Adams told the Kiwanis Club that the C-E-O program, that teaches business skills to high school seniors outside of a typical class setting, is in its 3rd year, paid for entirely by private donations from businesses and non-profit organizations. 

15 students from all over Christian County, are enrolled this year, with 12 of them attending Tuesday's Taylorville Kiwanis Club meeting.  5 of the 12 each gave short remarks to the club.

Taylorville senior J. T. Boehme told Kiwanis members that the class was far beyond what he expected, in teaching him business skills.

James Harris, a senior at South Fork High School, told the Kiwanis Club that he's already learned a lot from the other students in their first money-making venture, a Powder Puff football game.

Reese Bergschneider, a senior at Taylorville High School, told Kiwanis members that the C-E-O program has helped him overcome the fear of public speaking. 

Taylorville senior Jessica Parsons told the Kiwanis Club the C-E-O program has given her real world experience, and has offered lots of networking opportunities. 

And, Taylorville senior Riley Matheny said the C-E-O class has taught him the importance of best practices for a business.

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

Taylorville Police Department Building Getting New Roof

The Taylorville Police Department is getting a new roof. The city council previously approved the new roof and work started on the project this week.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says although the current roof wasn’t that old, it had major issues that they could not get fixed through the company who did that job. So, the city had to turn to completely replacing the roof.



Barry says although the city is paying for the mistake of installing the last roof, this roof has a much longer warranty and it comes from a company he has plenty of confidence in.



Barry expects the roof to be done before the end of the year.

Fate of Blighted Buildings in Downtown Pana Still Up In Air After October Building Collapse

The fate of multiple blighted buildings in downtown Pana remains up in the air after a building collapse in late October. The buildings were one topic discussed at Pana’s city council meeting Monday night.


Pana mayor Don Kroski says from what he knows, the buildings will be coming down, the question is how many buildings and when.



Kroski says IDOT is also involved in this process.



Other action items at Monday’s Pana city council meeting included calling for bids to replace a pump at the water plant and approving funds to send a police officer for K-9 training. Kroski says the town is still looking for help in their door-to-door survey. If you would like more information or to volunteer, you can call Kroski’s office at 562-2323.

UPDATED STORY: New Wave Communications Phone Service Slowly Being Restored Following Widespread Outage

UDPATED 4:31PM:  Phone service provided by New Wave Communications, was slowly being restored late this afternoon, after a widespread outage this morning.  Some calls are reportedly still being dropped by the system as of late afternoon.


STORY POSTED 10:16AM:  New Wave Communications has notified Regional Radio News, that they are experiencing a network outage over a large portion of their service area in Central Illinois.  Customers on New Wave's telephone service, can expect poor voice quality and dropped calls, until the outage is repaired.  New Wave has not given us a timetable on when their telephone service will be restored.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio for more information.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Provides Coats for Kids Again This Year

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club has been helping children since the club was chartered in October of 1954.  This year is no exception as Taylorville Kiwanis members continue to do their part to make sure children are dressed appropriately for Central Illinois winters. 

This year the Kiwanis Club of Taylorville provided for over 75 children at the Taylorville Walmart.  This Kiwanis project is called “Coats for Kids”.  However there is more to it than coats.  Children in need are provided coats, hats, gloves and boots.

For the past several years Kiwanis member Harriet Morrissey has taken the Coats for Kids responsibility partnering with Taylorville Walmart.  Children from preschool through kindergarten received assistance from the Taylorville club to help keep warm in the winter.

Funding for the Kiwanis Coats for Kids program is provided through several local fund raising events including Kiwanis Peanut Days, the Kiwanis Pancake and Sausage breakfast, and the Kiwanis Radiothon.  

As in past years the Taylorville Walmart was filled with smiling faces as Kiwanis members along with Walmart associates assisted children in finding the “just right” coat, the perfect gloves or mittens, boots and stocking hat.
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.

Tanya Reno Sworn In to Taylorville Park Board Monday

The Taylorville Park Board swore in a new member Monday evening. Tanya (TAN-ya) Reno will fill the seat held by Jim McCoy. McCoy announced his resignation at the October Park Board meeting.


Reno, who was previously elected to the park board five years ago, says she enjoyed her previous tenure on the board, and wanted to help out the park district however she could.



Reno says one of the biggest issues the board will be tackling following Christmas in the Park this month is the possibility of a new dog park in Taylorville.



Taylorville’s next regularly scheduled board meeting will be on Monday, December 18 at 3 p.m. because of Christmas the following Monday.

Taylorville Chamber Gift Certificates Keeping Holiday Shopping Money in the Community

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce wants residents to keep their holiday dollars in the community this season, and they have a program to help people keep their money in town. The Chamber is selling gift certificates that are good at many local businesses.


Patti Hornbuckle is the President and CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. She says 25 more dollars of every $100 spent stays in the community when you go to a local business versus a national chain.



Hornbuckle says the certificates can be personalized or generic, and they are working with local groups looking for holiday gifts.



Hornbuckle says certificates can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce office on the second floor of the U.S. Bank building on the south side of the Taylorville square.

Congressman Rodney Davis Weighs in on Roy Moore

Congressman Rodney Davis isn't sitting on the fence when it comes to the Roy Moore question in Washington. The Taylorville Republican believes Republicans are playing a losing hand if they support Moore for Attorney General Jeff Sessions' former U.S. Senate seat in Alabama.

Adding Grain Drying Capacity in Illinois Means Expanding Natural Gas Infrastructure

Expansion of natural gas infrastructure remains an important issue for the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois. If natural gas infrastructure expands so too does grain drying capacity, which is a big issue for much of Illinois this fall says the organization’s executive vice president Jeff Adkisson. 

Adkisson says there are some grain elevators that want to add grain drying capacity, but are limited because they would have to pay the utility company to expand the natural gas infrastructure. 

Full Calendar of Events Scheduled for Taylorville Park District's Christmas in the Park

The Taylorville Park District's annual Christmas in the Park event is getting ready to get underway and fill visitors with holiday cheer in the days leading up to Christmas. The Taylorville Park District has been hard at work to make sure the event is ready for it's kickoff December 7th.


Bailey Hancock with the Taylorville Park District appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the displays and events will open up on December 7th, with the Jingle Bell Walk.



It takes a lot of work to pull off Christmas in the Park, with Hancock starting her work for the event in September.



The light displays will be open to cars from December 8th through December 25th from 5 until 10pm. If you'd like more information, or to pre-register for one of the Park District's dining hall events, contact the Taylorville Park Office at 824-5878, or 824-3110.

Illinois State Police Offering Cyber Monday Tips

The busiest online shopping day of the year, cyber Monday, is here and the Illinois State Police has some tips to help you as well as your identity stay safe.

That’s Trooper Joey Watson, Safety Education and Public Information officer with ISP, who says you should also check with your credit card company to make sure they have a guarantee that will protect you if something goes wrong. He says some websites like Amazon and eBay also have remedies to help you in case a problem arises.

Area Businesses Seeing Green With Holiday Shopping Season Kickoff

The holiday shopping season kicked off with a bang with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday over the weekend. Area businesses are reaping the benefits of the annual kickoff to holiday shopping.


Sheila Yost is the owner of Cottage Rose Gift Shoppe in Taylorville. She says people from out of town helped her business do very well over the weekend.



Yost reminds area residents that there are plenty of places to shop in Taylorville.



Yost says she believes this holiday season may be better than last year after the success of the kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Begins Multi-Million Dollar Construction Project

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville is starting a multi-phase, multi-million dollar development project to upgrade its registration area, radiology department and emergency department. The $2.1 million dollar project will bring higher quality care to those in Shelbyville and Shelby County.


Glenda Plunkett is the Marketing Coordinator at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. She says the expansion will not only upgrade services, it will provide a warmer, more friendly atmosphere for patients, visitors and staff.



Plunkett says part of the expansion includes upgrading the CT scanner in radiology from a 16-slice scanner to a 64-slice scanner. She compared this upgrade to going from a regular color TV to an HDTV in terms of picture quality, and she says not many rural hospitals have this technology. Plunkett says this expansion will build on the hospital’s already great healthcare offered.



All of the construction is expected to be completed by April.


HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital CEO Aaron Puchbauer shows floor plans for the finished construction project.

Salvation Army Red Kettles Are Back for Holiday Season

Red kettles have reappeared across the area as the Salvation Army is once again looking to help those in need this holiday season. 85 percent of money raised this season will stay in the local community.


Bill Kerns is the co-coordinator of the local Salvation Army bell ringers. He says ringing bells is overall a great experience for everyone involved, and he thanks those who have already lent a helping hand.



Kerns says some volunteers are still needed. You can volunteer by contacting Kerns at 824-8181 or by private messaging Davis Memorial Christian Church on Facebook.

Blood Drive Thursday in Assumption Looks to Help Keep Blood Supply Going Through Holidays

Central Illinois Community Blood Center’s bloodmobile will be in Assumption Thursday for a community blood drive. The bloodmobile will be at the Masonic Lodge at 225 North Chestnut in Assumption from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday.


CICBC Donor Relations Consultant Caleb Parker says there will plenty of rewards presenting donors can choose from at the Assumption drive.



Parker says because the holidays are a busy time of year for everyone, they normally see donations tail off during the holiday season. But he reminds everyone that reasons for needing blood never take time off, and blood is always needed to help save lives.

Honor 200 Underway for State Vets

The Honor 200 is underway. A program centered around the state’s bicentennial celebration that will honor veterans. Governor Bruce Rauner has more details.

The nominations can be made at Illinois dot gov slash veterans.

Controversial Documentary to be Shown Across Illinois

The historic Egyptian Theater in downtown DeKalb will be the place to be tonight as the venue hosts one of the first of several local screenings throughout Illinois of the controversial documentary entitled, “Food Evolution.” The film, which highlights the debate over GMOs in food, has received rave reviews from media outlets such as the New York Times and viewer-rated venues such as Rotten Tomatoes. In the DeKalb audience, and part of a panel that will follow the screening, will be Kevin Folta, an Illinois-native who now heads the horticulture department at the University of Florida.

In a commentary for the online Huffington Post, Folta said the “Food Evolution” documentary provides viewers with both sides of the debate over genetic engineering.

The screening in northern Illinois kicks off a series of more than a dozen screenings of “Food Evolution” that will take place across Illinois in the months ahead.

HSHS Hospital Uses Robotics to Boost Knee Surgery

There's good news for individuals needing knee replacement surgery. HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield is taking the robotic route to improving the procedure. Mark Sudholt, Director of Orthopedics, talks about the advantages of the new technology.

Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako system allows surgeons to personalize each patient's surgical plan.with a high level of accuracy and predictability.

Kettelkamp to Take Life "Day By Day" Come Retirement After This School Year

Taylorville Junior High Principal Kirk Kettelkamp has been educating kids in the community for 33 years. This year, however, will be his last after turning in his letter to retire at the November Taylorville School Board meeting. He, along with TJHS assistant principal Beth Vincent are both retiring after this school year.


Kettelkamp says the thing he will miss most is the day-to-day interaction with the kids.



Kettelkamp says he hopes the new administrative team comes in and sees a lot of things they like about the educational process at TJHS, but that fresh ideas are always good and will come with new leadership.



Kettelkamp says once retirement comes, he’s going to take life day by day.



Kettelkamp says in his 33 years, the one thing that has surprisingly changed the least is how to educate kids.

Central Illinois Food Bank and Taylorville Fire Department Holding Healthy Food Distribution Event December 2nd

The Central Illinois Food Bank will be making their way to Taylorville in early December, and will be setting up shop at the Taylorville Fire Department for their Healthy Foods Distribution event to help feed hungry families in the community.


Krista Lisser with the Central Illinois Food Bank appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says these events used to be known as mobile pantries, and have since been repackaged with a focus on distributing healthy food to the hungry.



Another change is that the events function more like a farmers market, allowing those getting food to make more choices as to what food will help them the most.



The event will take place on December 2nd from 10 until 11am at the Taylorville Fire Department.

Lake Land College Holding Several Explore Lake Land Events For Prospective Students

Lake Land College is holding an event to help new or returning students get a better idea about how the school can help them advance in their academic or professional careers. The “Explore Lake Land College” events will allow potential students to speak with officials from a number of different departments to form a plan for their future.


Chris Strohl with Lake Land College says there will be two of these events at the colleges two campuses.



Potential students will be able to sort out the details to let those students start taking classes at Lake Land College.



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

Volunteers Desperately Needed for Moweaqua Community Ambulance Service

Moweaqua Community Ambulance Service could close for good without more volunteers to keep the service running. The service’s coordinator says if it were to close, those in Moweaqua may have to wait up to 40 minutes for an ambulance in an emergency.


Brookie Spa is the EMT Coordinator with Moweaqua Community Ambulance Service. She says first responders can only do so much.



Spa says the service has hired outside EMTs to staff the service, but that the payroll costs are quickly depleting their funds. She says although volunteers are desperately needed, they also may need money to make it until a new crop of volunteers can start serving.



Donations to Moweaqua Community Ambulance Service are tax-deductible because the organization is a not-for-profit. You can mail any donations to P.O. Box 85, Moweaqua, IL, 62550.

"Johnny Appleseed" Trees All Have Found Homes

Trees that are direct descendants from an original “Johnny Appleseed” tree are now all over the state of Illinois. The Illinois State Historical Society offered these trees to local governments and the public earlier this year, and the trees are planted all over the state.


Gwen Podeschi with the Illinois State Historical Society says three of the trees are in Christian County, and many more are across central Illinois.



The effort to get the trees out is a part of the preparation for Illinois’ bicentennial celebration next year.

Christian County Sheriff Wants Residents To Have Safe Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here and the Christian County Sheriff's Office wants everyone celebrating to have a safe holiday. According to Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, his office typically starts off slow during Turkey Day, and gets busier as the day goes on.


Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says his deputies say the day starts off slow, but the calls start coming in as people drink throughout the day.



Kettelkamp says his office fields a lot of domestic related calls during the holiday, as those dinner table disagreements escalate, often due to alcohol consumption.


Christian County Board Reduces Budget Deficit In New Budget Passed For FY18

The Christian County Board passed their budget plan for the 2018 fiscal year on Tuesday night at their regularly scheduled board meeting. The budget, although still running a deficit, is an improvement over budgets in years past.


Christian County Board Member Aaron Allen appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says the reduced deficit is evidence of an effort by the county board over the past several years to improve the county's fiscal outlook.



According to Allen, there is also a possibility of that deficit being smaller than originally budgeted at the end of the fiscal year.



Allen says for FY16, the original budgeted deficit of approximately $700,000 ended up being in the $400,000 range at the end of the fiscal year.

TJHS Assistant Principal Beth Vincent Speaks on Her Upcoming Retirement

Taylorville Junior High School will have a new administrative team next school year after both principals at the school turned in their letters at the November Taylorville School Board meeting.


Beth Vincent is the Assistant Principal at TJHS, and has been with the district for 24 years. She says what has never changed about the education field is working with the kids.



Vincent says she will stay involved with the district after the year is over.



The advice Vincent has for the next administrative team is that patience is key.



Vincent says she has a long list of things at home that she wants to get done once she is officially retired.

Pana Community Hospital Foundation Starting Task of Raising $1.5 Million for Expansion

The building project has started and the committee is now in place. Now the task for the Pana Community Hospital Foundation is to raise $1.5 million in two years for the hospital’s expansion project.


Vicky Gullion is the co-chair of the foundation’s capital campaign. She says donating the committee is looking for donations of more than just money.



You can get more information or donate online at their website by clicking here.

Pritzker Says Everyone Must Work Together to Solve Illinois' Problems

Next year’s governor’s race is already in full swing, and there is a handful of people looking running for Illinois’ top job.


One of those candidates, J.B. Pritzker, recently made a stop in Taylorville. He says to solve Illinois’ problems, it requires everyone working together.



So far, seven Democrats have declared their candidacy for governor. Incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner is also facing two challengers from his own Republican party in the spring primary.

Bourne Asking Constituents for Ideas for 2018 Legislative Session

State legislators are now looking towards next year, and they want to hear your ideas and thoughts on how to improve Illinois.


95th District State Representative Avery Bourne says she has already heard many ideas, and she always wants to hear more.



You can reach Bourne through her website here.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Members Visit Junior High Builders Club Meeting

4 members of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club, recently visited the monthly meeting of the Taylorville Junior High Kiwanis Builders Club.

Advisor Jackie Foil presided at the meeting, with some 15 members of the Junior High Builders Club attending.

Kiwanis Club members assisted the Builders Club with a project they Builders Club is working on, during the meeting.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club members attending the Taylorville Junior High Kiwanis Builders Club meeting, included Bill Kerns, Will Perkins, Sarah Van Huss, and Blain Cornwell.


Taylorville Junior High School teacher Jackie Foil, presides over a recent Taylorville Junior High Kiwanis Builders Club meeting.



Taylorville Kiwanis Club members (starting 2nd from left) Sarah Van Huss, Will Perkins, Bill Kerns, and Blain Cornwell (not pictured) attended a recent Taylorville Junior High Kiwanis Builders Club meeting.   Macy Richards (left) is the vice president of the Kiwanis Builders Club at Taylorville Junior High School. 


Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - November 22, 2017

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


Sometime during the late-night hours of Saturday October 28, 2017, an unknown subject had made entry after operating hours into Ace Hardware, located at 1713 West Spresser Street.  While inside, the unknown subject removed several sets of tools and then exited the business through a door on the east side of the building.  This was the same door that entry had been made and may had been previously propped open. The unknown subject may have arrived and exited in a red colored vehicle. The total dollar amount of the theft is estimated at over $1400.


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.  

Congressman Rodney Davis Pleased With Tax Reform Progress In Washington

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed their version of tax reform. The bill is designed to simplify the tax code, and give tax breaks across the board for all income brackets.
Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says anyone who files taxes should expect the process to be much simpler if the tax bill that the House passed is signed into law.
The Senate is also working on their own tax reform bill, and the two bills will likely need to be consolidated. Davis says there are some provisions to the Senate tax reform bill that he likes better than the current House bill, such as it's provisions on education tax credits.
Davis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Pana Community Hospital Establishes Steering Committee to Assist With Capital Campaign

Work continues on the massive expansion project at Pana Community Hospital, and the Pana Community Hospital Foundation is continuing efforts to help fund-raise to help offset the cost of the project. The PCH Foundation recently established a steering committee, designed to help with the process of raising money for the project.
Melissa Rybolt with Pana Community Hospital appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the Foundation has kicked off their Capital Campaign to help raise money for the building project, and has established a steering committee to help with the effort.
The campaign got off to a good start, with large contributions from two area banks.
The expansion project is expected to cost $20.1 million, and is expected to be comleted in 2019.

Salvation Army Bell Ringers Are Opening 2017 Season

The holidays are upon us, and the Salvation Army bell ringers will once again be collecting money at area stores. Volunteers are also still needed for some days this season.


Bill Kerns is the co-coordinator with the Salvation Army bell ringers. He says at least 85 percent of the money raised will stay in the area.



Kerns, along with his co-coordinator Bob Cook, have filled many of the volunteering slots but some volunteers are still needed.



Kerns says you can volunteer to ring bells by calling him at 824-8181 or by private messaging Davis Memorial Christian Church on Facebook.

Avoid Holiday Food Illness

Don’t give the gift of food poisoning this holiday season. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that 48 million people will get sick this year from a food borne illness. IDPH’s Melaney Arnold says that there are a few things to think about at home to keep everyone healthy.

Leftovers should only be kept for a few days after your big dinner and they should always be stored in the refrigerator.

Bid for Your Holiday Gifts

Haven’t found the perfect item just yet for your holiday shopping? Maybe you can get that one of a kind gift by bidding online during the state’s unclaimed item auction. There are 450 things to bid on and Treasurer Mike Frerichs says you can find some pretty special stuff.

The items are on the Treasurer’s website and the auction runs all next week.

Safe Sleeping For Babies

What is more calming or peaceful than watching a baby sleep? But the Department of Children and Family Services wants parents to be reminded that there is a safe way for babies to sleep. Suffocation while sleeping and SIDS are among the leading causes of death for babies under a year old. DCFS’s Jennifer Florent says to lower the risk of those two things happening babies need to sleep safe.

And Florent adds - keep that baby on its back when falling asleep. 

Michael Gianasi Takes Over As Christian County Clerk

Christian County’s newest clerk and recorder is now on the job after Tuesday night’s county board meeting. Michael Gianasi takes over for Laurie Mense who announced her retirement last month.


Gianasi says he was looking to settle his work situation when the opportunity arose for him to take over as county clerk.



Gianasi says he does have previous experience working in Christian County government.



Gianasi will serve out the rest of Mense’s term, which will end in 2018.

Newschannel 20/Fox Illinois Meteorologist Guest Speaker at Taylorville Kiwanis Club

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from Meteorologist Thomas Patrick from Newschannel 20 and Fox Illinois, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Patrick told the club he's a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and attended college at Valparaiso University in Indiana.  As an accomplished swimmer in high school, he was able to join the University swim team as a walk-on, while studying to be a television meteorologist.

Patrick joined a TV station in Rapid City, South Dakota, as his first job.  He covered the October 2013 blizzard there that dumped up to 5 feet of snow over the Black Hills in a 36 hour period. 

Patrick came to Newschannel 20 and Fox Illinois nearly 3 years ago as a staff meteorologist.

He says he likes becoming part of the communities that the TV station serves, and added that meteorology is one of the fastest growing sciences because of new technology being applied.

Patrick told the Kiwanis Club that it takes nearly 3 hours to prepare a 2 minute televison weathercast.

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.

Accident Closes Route 29 in Taylorville

4:25 UPDATE- The accident has been cleared and both lanes of traffic are moving uninterrupted.


4:15 UPDATE- One lane of traffic is moving on Route 29, but traffic is still backed up in both directions.


A crash has both lanes of Illinois Route 29 closed near the Casey's on the east side of Taylorville. Police and fire crews are on the scene of the crash.

PHOTO: CNB Bank and Trust Donates to "Kids, Cops, and Christmas" Program

CNB Bank’s Kent Richardson presents Officer Alan Mills a check for the Police Benevolent and Protection Associations annual Kids, Cops, and Christmas program. The program assist families in Christian County. Over the years, CNB Bank has been a generous sponsor for the event.


Better Business Bureau Offering Black Friday Shopping Tips

Once Thanksgiving is over with, many will be heading to stores in search of a Black Friday deal, but the Better Business Bureau wants you to keep a few tips in mind to shop smarter. One thing the BBB suggests is to keep a shopping budget, as well as to keep a keen eye on the products that are on sale to make sure you're actually getting a good deal.
Mara Clingingsmith with the Better Business Bureau appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says keeping a budget while you shop is a good way to make sure you don't end up spending more than you would like.
Clingingsmith also advises shoppers to keep a close eye on the products on sale on Black Friday, saying manufacturers will often sell similar items for cheaper that day that aren't the same items you may see on store shelves the rest of the year.
The Better Business Bureau also suggests checking to find out if there are any hidden fees associated with the markdowns you may see on store shelves this Friday.

United Way of Christian County Offering Ideas to Live United This Holiday Season

'Tis the season and many are getting into the holiday spirit. The United Way of Christian County is reminding people that the holidays are a good time to truly “live united”, and suggest several ways to help the community.
Susan Lawrence, Executive Director of the United Way of Christian County says there are several opportunities to volunteer and give through the United Way's member agencies, such as volunteering to help with Camp New Hope's upcoming Christmas Party on December 2nd.
People can also give during this time of the year, and one local organization that's in need is Shadow Home, which is currently in need of many different toiletry type items.
Lawrence appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Illinois Treasurer's Office Invests $10 Million in Israel Bonds

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs recently announced his office is investing $10 million in investments in Israel bonds. Frerichs says the bonds provide a stable, secure way for Illinois to grow it's funds, and diversify it's investment portfolio.
Frerichs appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and provided more details on the bonds, and why Illinois invested money in them.
Part of the goal with the investment is to diversify the state's investment portfolio. Frerichs says this helps ensure Illinois isn't left high and dry if the stock market takes a downturn.
With the additional investment, Illinois now invests a total of $50 Million in Israel Bonds.

CICBC Hosting Blood Drive in Assumption Next Week

The holidays don’t stop the need for blood in area hospitals. That’s why the Central Illinois Community Blood Center is holding a blood drive on Thursday, November 30 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge in Assumption.


Caleb Parker is a Donor Relations Consultant with the CICBC. He says because people get busier during the holidays, the center tends to see a dip in donations this time of year.



Parker says presenting donors will receive a voucher for their choice of a long-sleeve t-shirt or a gift card to Amazon, Starbucks, Subway, or Target. Parker hopes everyone can come out to Assumption on November 30.



Parker reminds everyone that donating blood can save up to three lives. Potential donors must be at least 17-years-old. 16-year-olds can donate with a parental permission form.  

Lawmakers Begin Work on Sexual Harassment

Lawmakers hope to reduce concerns about sexual harassment in the workplace. They will look for ways to combat harassment and discrimination. The ranking Republican, State Representative Sara Wojcici Jimenez. She says the state has failed to take care of the basics, namely putting a watchdog in place in recent years.

The group is being called upon to “conduct a comprehensive review of the legal and social consequences of sexual discrimination and harassment, in both the public and private sectors, and make recommendations to the General Assembly.” 

Deep Southern Illinois Takes Another Jobs Hit

A major employer in deep southern Illinois is going to lay off 170 employees. Honeywell is idling a plant that converts uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride or UF6, a key ingredient in the enrichment of uranium that is used in nuclear power plants. The facility in Massac County is the only place in the United States where that work is done. Honeywell says a declining worldwide need for UF6 is causing the layoffs. According to a press release the plant will move to an idling phase and will be ready to restart if the UF6 market improves.

Durbin and Duckworth Want Rauner to Weigh in on GOP Tax Plans

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are calling on Govenor Rauner to publically weigh-in on the Republican tax plans in the House and Senate and how these plans would impact Illinois families. The House passed its version last week while the Senate is working out its own version. Speaking Thursday, prior to the House vote in favor of the GOP tax plan, Rauner was staying mostly mum on the subject.

Durbin and Duckworth say the House and Senate bills would finance massive tax cuts for the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans by raising taxes on millions of middle-income families and eliminating vital tax breaks for people in Illinois.

Taylorville Progressing on Multiple Economic Development Projects



The city of Taylorville continues to progress on many development projects, and Taylorville’s mayor is optimistic for the city’s future growth. Many payments were approved for the projects at Monday’s meeting, including payments for the new water treatment plant and TIF district work.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says TIF district number one on the northwest side of Taylorville is finished, and the final touches are being put on the TIF district on the east side of town.



Barry, along with other area representatives including U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis met with an EDA representative to talk about the city’s application for an EDA grant for Taylorville’s new industrial park.



Taylorville’s next city council meeting will be held Monday, December 4 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.

THS Senior Serves as Page for State Senator Andy Manar for a Day

Taylorville High School senior Noah Nelson joined Senator Andy Manar at the Capitol in Springfield as his page for the day.


Nelson visited the Capitol Nov. 7 during the second week of the General Assembly's fall veto session. He is the son of Ed and Teresa Nelson of Taylorville.


One Effingham Man Dead, Another Injured Following Decatur Shooting

An Effingham man was found dead in Decatur Saturday evening. 48-year-old Todd D. Feldkamp was found dead from gunshot trauma in the 1600 block of N. Edwards St. in Decatur. Police also found another Effingham wounded when arriving at the scene. The injured person has not been identified.


An autopsy is scheduled at the McLean County Morgue. Decatur Police are investigating the case.

Positive Learning Culture Leading To Success At Shelbyville's Mainstreet School

Teaching is a skill that ironically isn’t easy to teach. It takes an ability to connect with the students, and get them to understand various ideas and concepts. Ryan Scott, Principle at Shelbyville’s Mainstreet School has developed theses skills during his time in education, and now leads the charge for Shelbyville’s kindergarten and elementary school programs.


Scott says one of the important elements to a successful school is cultivating a positive culture at the school.



Scott has gained his experience and knowledge in teaching from several sources, including his time coaching.



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

City of Pana Looking for Residents' Help to Earn $500k in Federal Grant Money

The city of Pana is looking to receive federal grant money for infrastructure projects and Pana’s mayor is asking for residents’ help. The grant would total $500,000 , and all residents have to do is take a quick survey.


Pana mayor Don Kroski says the city needs a 75 percent response rate on the survey to qualify for the grant, and they need the public’s help in taking the surveys.



Kroski says once the survey is completed, the data from that survey is good for five years.



Kroski says the city spends in excess of $100,000 per year repairing water leaks. He says if the city got this grant money, it would go towards new water mains and replacing out-of-service fire hydrants.

Bourne Hopes New Report on State Budget Changes Lawmakers' Spending Habits

Illinois’ balanced budget may not be balanced at all according to a new report. The report from the Office of Management and Budget shows that Illinois’ budget is $1.7 billion out of balance.


95th District State Representative Avery Bourne says she hopes this is a wake up call for all Illinois lawmakers to change the state’s spending habits.



Bourne says there are cuts that can be made, but the state economy also needs to grow.



Bourne says she is happy that part of Illinois’ backlog of bills has been refinanced to a lower interest rate, saving taxpayer dollars. But she says that the state budget needs to consistently have a surplus to be able to pay off all of Illinois’ bills.

New "SPIN" Clubs Coming to Christian County 4-H

It’s not too early to sign up for the Christian County 4-H program for 2018, and the program’s coordinator says there is more reason to sign up for next year.


Rebecca Livingston is the Christian County 4-H Coordinator. She says there will be two new special interest or “spin” clubs coming soon.



Livingston says interested kids have plenty of time to sign up for next year’s 4-H program. If you have any questions, you can give her a call at the Christian County Extension Office at 287-7246.

Enrollment Still Open for Medicare

There is still time left to sign up or enroll for Medicare. The process can be a bit daunting at times for seniors so the Department on Aging has more than 300 sites around Illinois offering free trained counselors to help in the process. Aging’s Sandy Leith says to start online at Medicare dot Gov and then sit down with a counselor if you still have questions on what plan is best for you.

Seniors looking for a list of the sites where they can meet with someone should start at Illinois dot Gov slash Aging. The sign up period closes on December seventh.

Illinois Corn Touting More Uses Than Just Ethanol

Corn can produce anything crude oil can. That's what the Illinois corn industry is touting. And Rodney Weinzierl with the Illinois Corn Growers Association says it's more than just ethanol. He says starch from corn is the key driver and can be used in the production of tennis shoes.



Weinzierl says a similar method is used for the production of degradable sutures used in the medical industry. 

Taylorville Ministerial Association Holds Open House and Dedication of New Food Pantry

The Taylorville Ministerial Association held an open house and dedication of their new food pantry Building at 1429 East Main Cross, on Sunday afternoon.


Co-director Amy Hagen told Regional Radio News during the event, that the new building is the culmination of nearly 3 years of work.



Hagen added the first Taylorville Ministerial Association Food Pantry opened November 13th, 1984.


Hagen (right) and Pam Moses(middle), are the new co-directors of the local Food Pantry, replacing long-time Don Readhead (left) who is retiring.  Readhead was given a plaque for his many years of service.


Pastor Rodney Blomquist of the Taylorville Trinity Lutheran Church, told Regional Radio News about the process that he and his committee went thru to get the new building constructed.



Blomquist says that with that seed money, the appeal was made for donations from the Taylorville community, to get the building up and finished.



Blomquist was given a plaque for heading up the building committee for the Food Pantry.



Long-time volunteer Wilbur Mills was also given a plaque for his work at the Food Pantry and on the Building Committee.


The new location of the Taylorville Ministerial Association Food Pantry at 1429 East Main Cross, is open for individuals and families to use, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 til 11:45 in the morning,


People needing food should obtain a voucher from most Taylorville churches or local social service agencies. People must live in the Taylorville, Mt. Auburn, and Owaneco area, to be eligible for food from the pantry.



Change In Leadership At Villas Of Hollybrook in Shelbyville

There has been a change in leadership at the Villas of Hollybrook in Shelbyville. Former Executive Director Jenny Stephens has moved on, becoming a regional director for Villas, and former Assistant Executive Director Kathy Kaigley has taken over as the new Executive Director.


Kaigley says she loves the job, and is excited to take over, however understands Stephens left big shoes to fill.



The family dynamic has changed from the days where an entire family spanning multiple generations would live in the same home. Today families are spread out, in some cases across the country. Kaigley says The Villas of Hollybrook is there to help care for those seniors who may not have family nearby, saying to the staff, those residents become family.



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

Shelby County Emergency Management Agency Says Prepare for Winter Weather

Winter is coming. This means the possibility of severe winter weather, and the Shelby County Emergency Management agency wants you to be prepared. The office is recommending residents take measures to be prepared for winter weather, from learning the difference between a watch and a warning, to putting together kits that could help you should things go south.


Jared Rowcliffe with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios, and says there's an important difference between a winter storm watch, and a winter storm warning.



It's also a good idea to stock up and have some supplies handy if your situation turns dangerous.



Rowcliffe also says you should stay off the roads during bad winter weather.

Fundraising Committee Now in Place to Raise Funds for PCH Expansion Project

Pana Community Hospital’s Foundation has pledged $1.5 million towards the hospital’s expansion project. Now, the foundation has a committee in place to tackle the big fundraising task.


Vicky Gullion is the co-chair of the foundation’s capital campaign. She says the committee will have a variety of fundraising activities over the next two years to raise money for the project.



Gullion says donating time to help raise the funds can be just as valuable as the funds themselves.



Gullion says you can get more information or donate online at their website by clicking here.

Lincoln Land Community College Aviation Program Training Next Generation Of Aviation Mechanics

Lincoln Land Community College is helping students in Central Illinois get their start in the aviation industry with their program that’s training the next generation of aircraft mechanics. Becoming an aircraft mechanic offers students the chance to enter a job field that currently has high demand for new employees.
Dave Pietrzak is the Director of the Aviation Program at LLCC, says the program at the school lets students earn the certifications they need to become an aircraft mechanic, as well as continue the education on to an associate of applied science degree.
Students are often concerned about the job market for their field of study once they graduate, and Pietrzak says the job market for aviation mechanics is strong.
The program typically takes about 18 months to complete, and potential students can get more information on the program by contacting Pietrzak at 217-544-4965.

Rich Peters Awarded Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry "Big Smile for the Community"

This month’s NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is Rich Peters. Richard Peters, director of the Christian County TRIAD program, works in coordination with local law enforcement to promote older adult safety.


Peters says when he retired, he wanted to try something new. He went to the Senior Police Academy, and he’s been working with the Christian County TRIAD ever since.



Peters says about 60 people graduated through this year’s Senior Police Academy.



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

Moweaqua Ambulance Service Could Face Shutdown Without More Funds and Volunteers

When you dial 911, you expect emergency services to be at your doorstep right away. One community ambulance service, however, is on its own form of life support. The Moweaqua Community Ambulance Service is in desperate need for volunteers, or the service may have to shut their doors.


Brookie Spa is the EMT Coordinator for Moweaqua Ambulance Service. She says the service, which started in 1982, was completely staffed by volunteers up until last year.



Spa says the service has since hired EMTs to serve the community, but that is eating away at their reserve funds.



Moweaqua Ambulance Service is a not-for-profit organization, and they do not receive any more from the village of Moweaqua. They would accept donations to keep them afloat as they search for more volunteers, and those can be mailed to P.O. Box 85, Moweaqua, IL 62550.

Fresh Turkey Sales On The Rise For This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is coming up quickly, and area residents are stocking up on the holiday favorites such as turkey, potatoes and stuffing. With the holiday, area grocery stores are seeing their sales spike as well.


Todd Bailey is the Meat Manager at 6th Street Market in Morrisonville. He says more people this year are buying fresh turkeys over frozen.



When it comes to sides, Bailey says people have been staying traditional.



Bailey reminds everyone that Thanksgiving only comes once a year. He says if you are on a budget for your holiday feast, he suggests spending the extra dollars on your main dish and look to save on side items to have a quality meal for you and your loved ones.

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Promoting Gift Certificate Program For The Holidays

With the holidays approaching, the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is once again reminding locals of the Chamber's gift certificate program. The program serves as a way for those in the community to purchase gifts for their loves ones, and ensure the money gifted stays local.
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says the gift certificates can be redeemed at a wide range of Taylorville businesses.
The gift certificates are easily redeemable at local businesses, and the process for those businesses to claim the money from accepting a gift certificate is simple as well.
To purchase a Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Gift Certificate, give the Chamber a call at 824-4919, or stop by their office on the second floor of the US Bank Building on the south side of the Taylorville Square.

Longtime Trader Expects Boom With Ag Economy by 2019/2020

Is the agriculture economy ready for a boom? A longtime trader says yes. Jim Bower with Bower Trading in Lafayette, Indiana says it may not be this year, but it’s coming.

Bower says either the stock market has to come down or commodity market has to go up because it’s the widest spread he’s seen in his 41 year career. 

Illinois Treasurer Frerichs Endorses Pritzker

Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker locks up another key endorsement in the race for Governor. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs endorsed him Wednesday morning at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. The location was no accident.

On the other end of the educational spectrum, Frerichs is saluting Pritzker for his support of early childhood education.

Pritzker previously locked up the endorsements of Secretary of State Jesse White and Comptroller Susana Mendoza.

Turkey Thawing Tips

With Thanksgiving on the schedule for next Thursday, many families will enjoy the traditional turkey dinner. RaeAnn Tucker with the Henry and Stark County Health Departments says that proper thawing of the bird is essential to a good dining experience.

Tucker also says that overnight slow cooking is not recommended as bacteria will have a chance to develop.

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

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


The 98.3 WSVZ New Country and Family Drug November students of the month are senior Mason Cameron, junior Malori Johns, sophomore AJ Stokes, and freshman Trinity Turner.



From left to right: Jamie Jefson with Family Drug, senior Mason Cameron, junior Malori Johns, sophomore AJ Stokes, and freshman Trinity Turner.

Hopper Foundation Commits $100,000 Towards New THS STEM Lab

The Bertrand Hopper Memorial Foundation is making a large donation towards a new STEM lab at Taylorville High School. The foundation held their annual meeting Monday, and they are committing $100,000 to a new STEM lab at THS.


Bill Hopper is the President of the Hopper Foundation. He says he was one of three foundation members that visited Taylorville Junior High School’s STEM lab recently, and they were blown away by the junior high’s lab.



Hopper says the foundation continues to do its best to provide a lasting legacy in the Taylorville community.



The Hopper Foundation also committed money towards their own and the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation’s scholarship programs, the Taylorville Industrial Park, the local CEO program and the Christian County Economic Development Corporation.

Ameren Illinois Warning Of Utility Scams That Often Target Small Businesses

With the cooler months taking hold, many are keeping a closer eye on their utility bills. One issue that some may have however are scam phone calls from people pretending to be with somebody's utility company, demanding immediate payment while threatening to shut off the power.
Brian Bretsch, Illinois Spokesman with Ameren says these kinds of scams often target small businesses.
Bretsch says Ameren, or any utility that's a part of the fight against these kinds of scams, won't call threatening disconnection, and would rather work with their customers to keep the lights on.
Bretsch appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Christian County 4-H Members Honored at Annual Achievement Night

Christian County 4-H members were recognized for their accomplishments at the 2017 Achievement night held on November 3rd. Over 100 members and guests participated in the annual achievement night.


Rebecca Livingston is the Christian County 4-H Coordinator at the University of Illinois Extension. She says many different kinds of awards were given out.



Livingston says the most rewarding aspect of her job is to watch the kids learn and grow.



For more information on the Christian County 4-H program or to sign your child up, you can give the Christian County U of I Extension office a call at 287-7246.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation Holding Gifts Of The Season Event December 2nd

While the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is preparing for their Holiday Extravaganza, the TMH Foundation are preparing for their holiday event, Gifts of the Season taking place December 2nd at 6pm at the Pillars Event Center in Taylorville. The goal of the event is to help raise money to fund local scholarships that encourage career choices in the healthcare field.
Raedena Ryan and Dave Hixenbaugh with the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event. Ryan says with a large portion of the workforce in the healthcare field considering retirement, TMH Foundation Scholarship program is an important step in replacing leaving talent.
Hixenbaugh added that the Foundation would like to help keep local students local, giving them training to take jobs at small town hospitals such as Taylorville Memorial.
Tickets cost $50 per person, and reserved seating is available. To purchase tickets or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, call 217-824-1600.

Christian County TRIAD Presents Check to "Kids, Cops, and Christmas" Program

The Christian County TRIAD is helping the Taylorville Police Department provide Christmas gifts to area youth in need. The not-for-profit presented a $100 check to the “Kids, Cops, and Christmas” program on Monday.


Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile is also a part of the Christian County TRIAD program. He says many community groups support the TRIAD so they give to other groups when they can.



Hile says the “Kids, Cops, and Christmas” program gives area kids a meaningful, positive experience with police officers.



For more information on the “Kids, Cops, and Christmas” program or the Christian County TRIAD, you can call the Taylorville Police Department at 824-2211.



From left to right: Chief of Police Brian Hile, TRIAD Director Richard Peters, Officer Alan Mills, and Officer Aaron Reimann.

AFBF Chief Economist: Illinois Farmer Needs NAFTA

The chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation says the Illinois farmer needs the North American Free Trade Agreement. Dr. Bob Young believes the U.S. should maintain its role with NAFTA.



NAFTA talks are taking place this week with trade representatives from the U.S., Canada and Mexico all meeting in Mexico City. 

Durbin on GOP Tax Plan

Senator Dick Durbin blasted Senate Republicans for supporting what he calls a partisan tax plan. Durbin says the tax plan would noticeably hurt middle income families.

Durbin says there will be greater problems down the road.

Durbin says under the House Republican plan, which will be voted on this week, the medical expense deduction will be eliminated. He says that means seniors will no longer be able to deduct out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

Duckworth Opposed Confirmed USDOT Nominee

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth spoke out against a nominee for General Counsel of the US Department of Transportation. The former military aviator told fellow Senators they should reject the nomination of Steven Bradbury, but he was was confirmed before the day was out. Duckworth says he authored legal memos that paved the way for American forces to use torture in the war on terror.


Duckworth says torture authorization has only made war zones more volatile.

Duckworth says she's fearful Bradbury might endorse actions that could hurt traffic safety if the President so chooses. 

Kettelkamp, Vincent Both Set to Retire from TJHS After This School Year

Taylorville Junior High School will have a new principal and assistant principal next year. TJHS principal Kirk Kettelkamp and assistant principal Beth Vincent turned in their letters announcing their retirement at Monday’s Taylorville school board meeting. Kettelkamp has been with the district for 33 years, while Vincent has been with the district for 24 years.


Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says it is hard to replace that much education experience at one time.



Fuerstenau says the two willing be leaving the junior high in great shape.



Fuerstenau says because the letters were turned in so early in the year, the district has plenty of time to search internally and externally for the best candidates, and it will also help the transition between administrations.



TJHS Principal Kirk Kettelkamp



TJHS Assistant Principal Beth Vincent

Registration Open for Youth Basketball And Swimming At Christian County YMCA

The Christian County YMCA is currently registering youth for several different activities. Teams can currently sign up for youth basketball at the Y, and there is still time to register for the YMCA's Predator Swim team to be able to compete in district and state competitions.


Chris Whitenhiller, Executive Director at the Christian County YMCA says there is a new twist to how to register for the youth basketball leagues this year.



Although the YMCA's Predator Swim Team has held several meets already, there is still time to sign up for the team in order to participate in district and state competition.



For more information on the Christian County YMCA's youth basketball or Predator Swim Team programs, stop by the Christian County YMCA at 900 McAdam Drive in Taylorville.

Many Vendors and Food Available At Annual Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Extravaganza

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary is preparing for their annual Holiday Extravaganza, taking place this weekend in the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auditorium. The event is designed to give people a jump start to their holiday shopping, while raising money for the hospital.


Debbie Johnson and Cheryl Sexton with the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the Holiday Extravaganza. Johnson says the event is one of the Auxiliary's largest fundraisers of the year.



Sexton says attendees can expect a number of vendors at the event offering a wide array of items for the holidays.



The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Holiday Extravaganza is taking place this Friday, November 17th from 10am until 5pm, and Saturday, November 18th from 9am until 1pm at the TMH Auditorium.

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Looking To Increase Awareness Of The Disease

Pancreatic Cancer is one of the toughest cancers to treat, with a five year survival rate of only 9%. Part of the reason behind the bleak numbers is due to a lack of understanding behind the disease, and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is working change that.


Frank De Seno with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network says researchers are playing catch up in detecting and treating the disease.



One way the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is trying to increase awareness of the disease as well as how to treat it is through their website, pancan.org. De Seno says the website is a great source for anybody looking to learn more about Pancreatic Cancer.



Again to learn more about Pancreatic Cancer as well as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, visit them online at pancan.org.

Springfield Teacher Enters 13th District U.S. House Race

A Springfield teacher has thrown her name into the ring for Illinois’ 13th District House seat in 2018. Angel Sides has announced her candidacy for the seat currently held by Rodney Davis.


Sides says there are three main issues she wants to tackle.



Sides says public education is the best way to educate America’s youth.



Sides is originally from Jacksonville. She went to the University of Illinois to get her psychology degree before she became a teacher.

New Miller Media Group General Sales Manager Guest Speaker at Taylorville Kiwanis Club

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the new General Sales Manager at the Miller Media Group, during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Chris Bullock of Mt. Zion joined the Miller Media Group in June, with some 30 years of radio experience on air, in radio advertising sales, and management.

Bullock, who is originally from Byron, Illinois near Rockford, shared how he got into the radio business as an overnight board operator for a Rockford station.  He enrolled in Millikin University in Decatur because it had a student-run radio station, which later in his career he managed on a part-time basis for some 10 years.

Bullock interned at a Decatur radio station, then was hired when WEJT went on the air in Decatur in 1990.  Bullock went up the ranks there, first on-air, then as program director, and later as general manager for what became a group of stations in Decatur.

Bullock told the Kiwanis Club that he's enjoyed doing local radio over the years, because the people on the air live and know the community.

He added he enjoys building relationships with local businesses, in his new role as General Sales Manager for the Miller Media Group.

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.

National Weather Service Says La Nina Winter Developing, Bringing Varying Temperatures

The things happening at the equator this time of year can give weather officials a good idea of what will happen during the winter months. Chris Miller with the National Weather Service indicates the water temperature of the ocean near the equator can dictate the weather patterns La Nina and El Nino. He says right now La Nina is developing.

According to Miller, a La Nina weather pattern will bring variable temperatures which could leave us with some nasty conditions when the precipitation comes around.

Miller also notes La Nina patterns have already been showing up this fall with varied temperatures and precipitation. 

Kennedy Ad Tackles Gun Violence, Cites Family Legacy

Chris Kennedy’s campaign for governor has rolled out its first television ad of the campaign. He's connecting the impact of gun violence on his legendary family with the blood on the streets of Chicago and elsewhere. Kennedy's ad immediately notes the impact of the events of June, 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Kennedy doesn't just draw on tragic memories in the ad.

The campaign has also rolled out a new digital ad as well as the Kennedy camp tries to gain traction in the social media realm.

Oral History Project Highlights School Consolidation in Illinois

An oral history project details the story of school district consolidation in Illinois. The work is through the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum says oral historian Mark DePue.

54 interviews were conducted for the project. You can find them at oralhistory.illinois.gov. 

Former Tower Hill Treasurer Accused of Stealing Over $100k from Village

The former Tower Hill village treasurer is out on bond today after being arrested and charged with stealing more than $100,000 from the small town. 51-year-old Nancy Finley has been charged with Theft of Government Property more than $100,000, a Class X felony.


Finley is accused of stealing the money from the village between 2010 and 2016. Bond was set at $50,000 and she has posted that bond. Finley could face 6 to 30 years in prison if convicted. Her next court date is scheduled for November 29th at 9 a.m.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - November 14, 2017

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


Sometime between October 17, 2017 and October 23, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a truck parked at 306 East Poplar Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a crossbow and a case.  There was some damage done to the vehicle when entry was made.  The total dollar amount of the theft is estimated at over $1400.


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.  

Bourne Calls for Atmosphere of "Respect and Dignity" in Illinois Statehouse

Women across the country are coming forward and standing up to sexual harassment. The accusations have also hit the Illinois capital as well, with 8th District State Senator Ira Silverstein being accused of harassment by a legislative activist.


95th District State Representative Avery Bourne is one of the youngest women to represent the people of Illinois in Springfield. She says the position that would investigate harassment and other claims has been vacant for three years.



Bourne says she has heard many stories from other she works with, and she wants to make working in Springfield the best it can be for the next generation.



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

Peoples Bank And Trust Makes Donation Towards Pana Community Hospital Expansion Project

Pana Community Hospital has begun a massive expansion project that will grow and improve the hospital as it moves forward with it’s mission of providing the best health care it can to residents of Pana and Central Illinois. Peoples Bank and Trust is helping with the expansion project, by donating $50,000 to the hospital to help with the costs.


John Gardner, President and CEO of People’s Bank and Trust says the bank felt the donation was a way to help the community.



Gardner says the bank was happy to see the hospital move forward with it’s expansion project, and was happy to assist.



Over 30,000 square feet will be added to the hospital as a part of the project, and will create space for several new departments, as well as expanding existing departments.

Illinois State Historical Society Looking to Get Lincoln Portraits into All County Courthouses in the State

The Illinois State Historical Society is looking to get Abraham Lincoln portraits into every county courthouse in the state, but time is running out before the price of the portraits go up. The portrait being sold was originally taken by Alexander Hessler right after Lincoln was nominated for president, and although the negative was likely destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire, the society has the glass-plate positives.


Gwen Podeschi with the Illinois State Historical Society says they would like to see outside groups help make getting Lincoln portraits in every courthouse a reality.



Podeschi says the price will be 500 dollars before the jump to 650 in 2018. She says the photo is a great way to see what Lincoln looked like as he lived in central Illinois.



Podeschi appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning show.

There's Still Many Ways to Take Care of Your Garden This Late in the Season

It is well into the fall season, and some days have already seen winter like temperatures, but there are still plenty of ways to take care of your garden this time of year. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi says now is the time to start preparing for spring.


Podeschi appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says if you haven’t done your garden cleaning, there is still a little time.



Podeschi says now is the time to be planting bulbs for spring of 2018.



The annual Master Gardener classes are also coming up in January. Podeschi says for more information, you can call the Christian County Extension office at 287-7246.

Social Security Helping Veterans Through Various Programs

Veterans Day is over but the Social Security Administration still has a few reminders for those who have served. 

That’s Jack Myers. He indicates if you were injured on or after October 1, 2001, you're claims are eligible to be expedited. Additionally, if you are on active duty but incapacitated, that doesn't mean you can't receive social security benefits.

When filling out a disability application, Myers says to make a note on your application that you are veteran rated 100% permanent and total. 

The Future Role of U.S. in NAFTA Remains Unclear

What’s the future role of the U.S. with the North American Free Trade Agreement? That’s a tough read says reporter Jenny Hopkinson. She covers the issue for POLITICO.

NAFTA talks take place Wednesday in Mexico City with representatives from Mexico, Canada and the U.S. all scheduled to be in attendance. 

Pritzker Still Pushing for Progressive Tax But Plan Still in Works

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker continues to call for a progressive tax structure in Illinois, but as of last week he had no hard numbers just yet for his push to have wealthier Illinoisans pay more.

A progressive tax would require a constitutional amendment because the Illinois Constitution calls for the current flat tax system in the state.

State Senator McCann Wants to Make it Easier to Stripe Roads

State Senator McCann is tired of blurred lines and we're not talking about political viewpoints. He has filed legislation giving local road authorities the potential for financial assistance to stripe dangerous roadways. McCann says road authorities often aren't able to use state and federal funds to stripe roads because of complicated financial rules. Currently only motor fuel taxes can be used for striping but increased fuel efficiency and heavy state use of motor fuel taxes has limited those dollars. 

2018 Tax Levy Presented to Board at Taylorville School Board Meeting


It’s been known that the Taylorville School District’s funding picture was bright for a few months, but the Taylorville School Board got to see the first estimates for incoming property tax money when the 2018 property tax levy was presented at Monday night’s meeting.


The district, which took in just under $10 million in 2016, is projecting to receive almost $11.8 million this coming year. The new money will come from the referendum passed in the spring.


Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says multiple factors have come together to make the district’s funding picture the best they could have hoped for.



Fuerstenau thanks the residents of the district for approving the referendum, which alone will provide the district with about $2.8 million more in annual funding.



The board will find out how much the district will actually receive in 2018 property tax money in the spring. There will be a truth in taxation hearing prior to the next board meeting to be held on Monday, December 11 at 7 p.m. at the district administration building.

Two Democratic Candidates for Illinois Attorney General Stop in Taylorville

Two democratic candidates for Illinois Attorney General stopped in Taylorville last week to speak with members of the community. Longtime lawyer Jesse Ruiz and State Senator Kwame Raoul appeared in Taylorville Wednesday night.


Ruiz, who currently serves as the President of the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners, says he wants to take on the complex job of protecting Illinoisans’ rights.



Raoul is the State Senator for the 13th Senate District, serving parts of the city of Chicago. He says when he took office, his predecessor, former U.S. President Barack Obama, gave him a piece of advice that he has followed his entire time in public service.



Ruiz and Raoul are among a crowded field of candidates running for Attorney General on the democratic side. Current Illinois AG Lisa Madigan announced she would not seek re-election in September.

Building Demolition Among Topics Discussed by Christian County Mayors at Meeting

Communities across the area are looking to beautify their towns in any way they can. Infrastructure was one of the issues discussed at a meeting of Christian County mayors Wednesday, and the topic of building demolition was a key item of discussion.


Assumption mayor John Kehl says building demolition hasn’t been the biggest issue there.



In Pana, there are currently five buildings on the chopping block according to Pana Code Officer George Heintz.



Moweaqua has unique stories that came out of their last two demolished properties.



The Christian County mayors plan on meeting quarterly. The next meeting is scheduled for February.

State Senator Andy Manar Says State Legislature Fighting Back Against Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment has become a major issue in both Hollywood, and government, with allegations being made accusing many of unethical behavior. These types of allegations have made their way to Springfield as well, and the Illinois State Legislature are working to stop sexual harassment.


State Senator Andy Manar says sexual harassment is difficult to legislate, due to its nature.



Although difficult to legislate, Springfield has responded to the wave of sexual harassment allegations being made across the country, and has made moves to help ensure it doesn’t become a major issue in the State Capital.



Manar also says there is more work to be done, and says there are several measures in the works to help further discourage sexual harassment.


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

Strasburg Santa Brigade and Breakfast Getting Community Into The Holiday Spirit

The Strasburg Santa Brigade held their annual breakfast over the weekend. The breakfast aims to help bring the community together and raise money for a number of causes.


Jane Giertz helps to organize the breakfast, and says it takes a community effort to put on the event each year.



Along with the breakfast, the event welcomed a number of vendors to the community to allow attendees to get a jump on their holiday shopping.

Country Music Star Tracy Lawrence Bringing Radio Show to Miller Media Group

The Miller Media Group will be bringing the radio show of one of country music’s biggest stars to New Country 98.3 and 104.1 in the near future. “Honky Tonkin’ with Tracy Lawrence” has been on the air for three years, and the show is aired in almost 80 markets across the United States.


Lawrence says he plays the music he grew up on.



Lawrence says he’s had to learn interview people as he has hosted the show, but he brings on plenty of his friends to join him on the program.



Lawrence’s new album “Good Ole Days” was released on November 10. The album features nine of Lawrence’s most memorable hits re-recorded with some of country music’s contemporary superstars and newcomers.

Manar Says Pritzker Good for Dems

State Senator Andy Manar is endorsing J.B. Pritzker for Governor. Manar doesn't just say Pritzker would be the right fit for Governor, but he believes his intense statewide campaign could lift up the state Democratic party in key spots.

Manar once was linked to the Governor's race but opted not to join to focus on his work in the State Senate.

Agrculture Industry Facing New Challenges From Expanding Global Environment

An ag economist says it’s a global environment for agriculture more now than ever and farmers are facing more challenges as a result. Bill Tierney is with Chicago based Ag Resource Company.

Tierney has been following the commodity market for 30+ years. He was in Kansas City this week for the annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention. 

Ag Secretary Perdue Conveys USDA Priorities

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says increasing trade, having a legal agricultural labor workforce, and reigning in federal regulations represent the top three issues his department has prioritized. During a press conference Thursday held at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention in Kansas City, Perdue tried to calm farmer-fears that President Trump will pull the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Perdue says NAFTA negotiations, in his words, “may go to the brink,” but that ultimately the administration will secure a better trade deal that will include agriculture. On the challenge many farmers face to find a stable and legal source or labor, Perdue says USDA is working on that too.

On regulatory reform, Perdue told farm broadcasters USDA has submitted several for review by the White House for possible repeal.

WTIM Farm Broadcaster Wins Award At National Convention

Jared White, local farm broadcaster for NEWSTALK WTIM Radio in Taylorville, was given the “Excellence in Ag Reporting” Award Friday, at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual convention in Kansas City.


White was given the award for the most used story on the NAFB News Service in 2017.  Farm broadcasters from around the country, share stories with each other on the News Service.


White was presented a certificate for his work.


White has been NEWSTALK WTIM'S local farm broadcaster since 2011.

Shelbyville Featured On WEIU "Our Story" Program

People who would like to know more about the city of Shelbyville will get the opportunity to with “This Is Our Story”; a television show on WEIU that spotlights local community, and will be debuting an episode on Shelbyville in the near future.


Freddy Fry with the Shelby County Office of Tourism appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says the show will highlight different stories that makes Shelbyville unique.



The Shelby County Office of Tourism had a connection with several of the people involved with the program, which helped get the ball rolling on the episode.



You can view the episode on WEIU's Our Story web page.

Shelbyville Festival Of Lights Preparing For Another Great Year

The Shelbyville Festival of Lights is preparing for another year of Christmas displays for area residents and visitors to enjoy. The festival which is run by a non-profit organization has been growing in recent years, and helps bring business and visitors to Shelbyville.


Bill Bly with the Festival of Lights says the festival has been growing since his time with the event. He also says the Festival isn't connected to the city itself.



The Festival of Lights is free to attend, but it is asked that a donation is provided to assist with the continued success of the festival. Bly says there is a misconception that tax dollars help pay for the event.



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

Pritzker Calls for Unity, Illinoisans to Come Together During Latest Taylorville Visit

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate J.B. Pritzker called for unity in Illinois in a stop in Taylorville Wednesday night. Pritzker is one of many democrats in the race for Illinois governor.


Pritzker says two of the main values he was instilled with as a kid were economic and social justice.



Pritzker says to fix the problems Illinois has, it will take leadership, vision, and Illinoisans coming together.



Pritzker received official endorsements from State Senator Andy Manar and House Representative Sue Scherer on Wednesday.

Lake Land Ag Students Do Well in Recent Competition

Lake Land Community College agriculture students went to the conference and competition of the Post-Secondary Agriculture Student Organization last week, and some area students did very well in the competition.


Gretchen Macklin of Findlay took 1st individiually and 1st team in the overall livestock competition. Christina Quance of Beecher City took 1st individually and 2nd team in the floriculture specialist competition.


Lake Land had 24 students attend the conference in Bloomington, with 12 of those students taking at least one medal in the contests. The school offers 12 different agriculture majors to students to prepare to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year-college.


Pictured left to right are: Micah Smock, Jackson Center, Ohio; Brandon Stickler, Pleasant Plains, Ill.; Parker VanDyke, Louisville, Ill.; Wyatt Claire, Watseka, Ill.; Konnar Haworth, Darlington, Ind.; Shannon DeHann, Taylor, Mo.; Tyler Fanning, Milford, Ill.; Taylor Hartke, Teutopolis, Ill.; Harley Lumley, Lafayette Ind.; Bryce Gullidge, Louisville, Ill.; Ashley Miller, Armington, Ill.; Patrick Watson, Paris, Ill.; Lacie Butler, Gibson City, Ill.; Justin Johnson, Bloomington, Ind.; Blake Schumaker, Effingham, Ill.; Christiana Quance, Beecher City, Ill.; Zack Stirrett, Shelbyville, Ill.; Gretchen Macklin, Findlay, Ill.; Chris Flood, Dieterich, Ill.; Kathryn Helmink, Montrose, Ill.; Emma Regking, Teutopolis, Ill.; Zack Koester, Effingham, Ill.; Alex Hartke, Teutopolis, Ill.; Michael Schmidt, Marshall, Ill.


Rauner Weighs in on Sexual Harassment at Statehouse

Governor Bruce Rauner says when it comes to dealing with sexual harassment at the Statehouse, there has been a pattern of failure.

He hasn't called for State Senator Ira Silverstein's resignation after sexual harassment allegations were leveled against him.

Rauner Taking Veto Session Setbacks in Stride

Gov. Bruce Rauner suffered a number of setbacks during the just completed veto session. Lawmakers achieved overrides on most of the votes taken, but Rauner is taking the votes in stride and he says he doesn't believe it indicates that GOP lawmakers are backing away from him a year before Rauner faces re-election.

Former US Ag Secretary and Illinois Native Block Eyeing Tax Reform

Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary and Illinois native John Block wants to see a tax reform deal completed by this year. He’s hoping for repeal of the estate tax and a reduction in the corporate tax rate. 

Block served as the nation’s ag secretary during the Reagan administration. He was born in Galesburg and has a farm just outside of Knoxville. 

Now A Good Time To Winterize Your Garden and Garden Tools

The temperatures are falling and many are preparing their gardens for the winter months. Andrew Holsinger, Horticulture Educator with the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 says now is a great time to do some maintenance to your garden and tools to get a quick start in the spring.


Holsinger appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says now is the perfect time to give your gardening tools some attention.



Holsinger added that now is also a good time to have any blades sharpened. This prep work is done to ensure that you can get a quick start to your garden next year.



Holsinger says it takes time for your garden soil to adjust for the proper PH levels, which makes the winter months a good time to apply nutrients.

Veterans Motorcycle Club of Illinois Holding Veterans Day Event At Major Leagues In Taylorville This Saturday

Veterans Day is this weekend, and many are preparing to celebrate and honor the veterans who have served our country. One local organization will be hosting an event with the goal of raising money to help veterans.


Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce says US Veterans Motorcycle Club of Illinois will be putting on the event to help support local veterans.



The event will feature many different activities designed to help raise money for local veterans.



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

Mendoza Praising Legislators for Override of Debt Transparency Act Veto

Illinois State Comptroller Susana Mendoza is pleased with the override of House Bill 3649, also known as the Debt Transparency Act. The bill would require monthly reporting of outstanding bills to the comptroller’s office rather than the currently statute that requires annual reporting.


Mendoza was in Taylorville Wednesday evening and says Governor Bruce Rauner originally vetoed the bill to try to conceal how the state is spending taxpayer dollars.



Mendoza says she only had access to about half of Illinois’ backlog of bills because of the old standard for reporting bills.



The Debt Transparency Act will go into effect on January 1.

Manar, Scherer Officially Endorse Pritzker for Governor

Two area lawmakers have officially given their backing to J.B. Pritzker to be Illinois’ next governor. 48th District State Senator Andy Manar and 96th District Representative Sue Scherer both made the announcement Thursday.


Manar says he has seen Pritzker in action over the past year, and he has put a lot of thought into this endorsement.



Scherer says Pritzker truly cares about all of Illinois, and he gave her all the time she needed to get to know him.



Pritzker is one of a handful of democratic candidates who have announced their campaign for Illinois’ top job.

Illinois Native Speaks Up About Food

Kevin Folta grew up in the leafy Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, but has become an outspoken advocate of biotechnology and other modern farming practices. Folta now leads the horticulture program at the University of Florida and believes Illinois farmers and others need to become more visible and vocal as well.

Folta holds two degrees from Northern Illinois University and secured a doctorate degree in molecular biology from the University of Illinois in Chicago. He says most people like farmers, but many don’t like farming;

Folta returns to DeKalb on Monday, November 27th to participate in a discussion about farming and food. The panel takes place following a screening of the recently released "Food Evolution" documentary at 7:00 p.m. at the historic Egyptian Theater. It's free and open to the public.

Training in Active Shooter Situations

Local law enforcement authorities throughout Illinois have access to an organization that provides training in active shooter situations. 

That’s Chief Deputy Clint Taylor with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. He says ALICE is a nation-wide program that can involve someone who may want to just learn or even become an instructor themselves. 

For information on the A.L.I.C.E program, you can visit alicetraining.com.

CCEDC Says Proposed Taylorville Power Plant Project Currently On Track

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation is continuing to work on bringing new business into Christian County, and one of the projects the group has been working on is a proposed natural gas production facility that would be located in Taylorville. The company that would build the plant seems to be moving forward with a plant in Pawnee, but according to the CCEDC, that plant doesn't necessarily affect the proposed Taylorville Plant.


Mary Renner with the CCEDC appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show says the company that would build the plants has plans for two separate projects.



Renner says Enermax, the company that would build the plant, is currently working with the city of Taylorville on possibly bringing the plant to the city.



Renner says if the Enermax plant is built, it would bring roughly 20-35 high paying jobs to Taylorville.

Battery Specialists, Taylorville Fire Department Providing Smoke Detector Batteries to Those in Need

The Taylorville Fire Department is reminding everyone to check their smoke detector batteries with the time change, and one local business is helping residents replace those batteries. Battery Specialists in Taylorville has donated 400 batteries to help the fire department replace smoke detector batteries for those in the community.
Taylorville Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall says it's all a part of the “Change a Clock, Change a Battery” program.
Goodall says these batteries help those in need in the communities in the event of a fire.
Goodall says the program is not new in Taylorville, the fire department has been providing the “Change a Clock, Change a Battery” program for numerous years.
From left: Taylorville Assistant Fire Chief Andy Goodall, Lori Simmons from Battery Specialists, and Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews.

Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association Promoting Required Dicamba Training For 2018 Use

Farmers planning to use crop protection products containing dicamba in 2018 must receive training prior to application. It's a new label requirement says Jean Payne with the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association.

In addition to monetary penalties, Payne says a farmer could also lose his or her certified applicator license if using dicamba without required training.

Christian County Mayors Meet to Discuss Community Issues Wednesday

Many of Christian County's village mayors met Wednesday morning at Taylorville City Hall to talk about issues among their communities. The mayors of Assumption, Mt. Auburn, Moweaqua, Owaneco, Palmer, Pana, Stonington, Taylorville, and Tovey were all in attendance at the meeting.
Many items were discussed at the informal meeting among mayors, including infrastructure issues. Multiple communities currently have projects to upgrade their water systems, but the consensus among the towns, as Assumption mayor John Kehl and Mt. Auburn mayor Brent Milburn put it, is that the area's infrastructure is old.
Other issues discussed include building demolition, getting grant money for project, water billing, garbage pickups, and video gaming. Pana mayor Don Kroski says the meeting was very productive.
The Christian County mayors are looking at having their next meeting in Pana in February.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - November 8, 2017

This week Crimestoppers is seeking information in regards to a series of vehicle thefts that occurred in Taylorville.


Sometime over the past few weeks, several vehicles around Taylorville have been stolen from different residences.  The vehicles were later recovered with varying degrees of damage.   The thefts may be connected and there may have been more than one subject involved in the thefts.  No damage appeared to have been done to make entry and the keys to each vehicle had been left inside.  The total dollar 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.  

IDNR Reporting A Good Start To Archery Deer Season

Archery deer season is underway in Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reporting that it's been a great season so far. One change to this season's deer season, is that hunters can use crossbows to hunt throughout the archery deer season.


Ed Cross is with the IDNR, and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. Cross says the fall and winter is a busy time of the year for their offices, and that the archery deer season is off to a good start.



New to the archery deer season this year, hunters can now add crossbows to the gear they bring out to the deer stand. Cross says there was a large demand for the change.



Cross also mentioned how crossbow use can also lead to more youth joining in on the hunt, as it's easier for them to participate than with a traditional bow.

Shelby County Resident Wins $1,000,000 On Illinois Lottery Scratch-off

A Shelby County resident is the area’s newest millionaire after hitting it big on an Illinois Lottery scratch-off ticket. Windsor resident Lisa Doss instantly won one million dollars on the 300-million dollar Cash Spectacular game.


Doss bought the ticket at EK Petro Mart in Windsor. She says she has hit two $1,000 prizes playing the game before. She opted to take her prize as a one-time payment and plans to invest the money.


EK Petro Mart received a bonus of one percent of the prize amount for selling the winning ticket. That one percent came to ten-thousand dollars for the store.

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis Calls GOP Tax Plan Criticism "Political Rhetoric"

Washington legislators are no longer debating healthcare, and have instead shifted their focus to tax reform. The GOP says their proposed plan will provide tax cuts to middle income families, and make the process of filing a simpler ordeal.


Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says citizens will be able to file their taxes on a form the size of a post card, and still be able to take advantage of several other deductions beyond the standard deduction.



The House GOP tax plan has been met with it's fair share of criticism, with many saying that it actually will increase taxes for middle income Americans, while handing huge tax breaks to the rich. Davis called this an example of political rhetoric, criticizing Illinois Senator Dick Durbin in the process.



Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Attendance Down Slightly But Christian County Senior Center Pubstool Open Still A Success

The 12th Annual Pub Stool Open fundraiser for the Christian County Senior Citizens Center took place this past weekend, and although attendance was slightly down from last year, this year's event still proved to be a huge success.


Gerry Mahr with the Christian County Senior Citizens Center appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss the event, and said he saw 90 teams pass through the hole he was stationed at during the open.



The fun isn't over either for the Pubstool open, with the Senior Center hosting their post party this Saturday at the Taylorville American Legion. At the post party, guests will be able to participate a number of fund-raising efforts with the opportunity to win some great prizes.



Mahr added the Cardinals tickets are for a weekday game of your choice.

Rauner Says Middle East Trip Went Well

Back from another international trip Governor Bruce Rauner says that Illinois can learn from changes Israel has made. Rauner says while he was there he worked on building relationships with businesses in the Middle East and sometimes needed to get investors to realize that there is more to the United States other than the East and West Coast. 

Rauner says he talked to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on how his nation worked to cut government spending and regulations, things Rauner says Illinois needs to do. 

Vets Get Free Admin to Lincoln Museum

Vets looking for something a little different to do on Saturday can tour the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum for free. The downtown Springfield landmark will grant passes for vets, current service members and Gold Star families. Chris Wills with the museum says they will host a special speaker on November 11.

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs will be at the museum to get vets the latest information about programs and support they are eligible for.

AG Madigan Joins Effort to Block Media Merger

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has joined colleagues from other states in the fight against a planned mega media merger. Madigan and fellow Attorneys General are appealing to the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed merger between Sinclair and the Tribune Company. Madigan and her peers say the merger will hurt the public interest by decreasing consumer choices and reducing the diversity of voices in the media marketplace. The combined Tribune/Sinclair company would be able to reach 72 percent of U.S. television households, nearly double the legal limit of 39 percent. Sinclair owns and operates TV stations in Springfield and Champaign. 

Many Factors Worldwide Playing Into Gas Price Spike at Home

Gas prices have taken a noticeable jump in recent weeks, and multiple factors are playing into the price increase. According to GasBuddy.com, gas prices are averaging at $2.70 a gallon in Illinois, up almost 20 cents from last week. That is up 52 cents from the same time last year.
Tim Sutton is the Energy Marketing Manager at Christian County FS. He says many factors worldwide are making American oil more attractive to export.
Sutton says the price increase is playing a role in farmers' profit margins as they finish up the harvest.
Sutton says once the supply of gasoline products gets back in line with the demand, he believes gas prices will drop again to levels they were at before the spike.

Former "The Voice" Contestant to Perform in Taylorville

A former contestant on “The Voice” will be performing at Los Rancheros in Taylorville next week. Gracia Harrison was on the show's third season and will be performing at Los Rancheros' Taylorville location next Thursday.
Nestor Lopez is the manager of Los Rancheros in Taylorville. He says the original plan was to have her perform outside, but the weather will probably not allow that to happen.
Lopez says the restaurant is looking to have more music nights as well.
As Lopez said, Harrison will perform from 6 to 9 p.m. in the bar area of Los Rancheros in Taylorville on November 16.

Tonya Reno Chosen to Replace Jim McCoy on Taylorville Park Board

Tonya Reno will replace Jim McCoy on the Taylorville Park Board of Trustees. The board voted Reno onto the board at a special meeting Monday night, with only board member Kay Champley absent.


McCoy announced his resignation at the last Taylorville Park Board regular meeting on October 24, citing health reasons for his departure. The next regularly scheduled Taylorville Park Board meeting will be Monday, November 27 at 7 p.m. at the Manners’ Park board room.

October Goes Down as One of the Wettest

Farmers are struggling to harvest their crops this fall and homeowners are mowing their lawns more than they did in the summer. It’s all thanks to a wet fall. The Illinois State Climatologist reports October goes down as one of the 10 wettest ever. Jim Angel says that that average rainfall was about 5 inches. 

Snow flurries were reported in a few places.

Three Area Police Officers Recognized for Work in Drug Task Force

Three local police officers were recognized Friday for their work in combating the drug epidemic in Central Illinois. Christian County Sheriff's Office Investigator Jeff Brown, Pana Police Officer Adam Ladage and Taylorville Police Detective Evert Nation were recognized at the Illinois MEG Directors and Task Force Commanders Association Annual Awards Banquet in East Peoria.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says these three men put in many hours to get drugs out of the county.



Brown was recognized for his investigation that led to the seizure of over 100 grams of methamphetamine and two handguns. Ladage was recognized for his K-9 handling skills that have led to the seizure of over 800-thousand dollars, almost 400 grams of methamphetamine, over 1,000 grams of heroin and more. Nation was recognized for his investigation that led to the seizure of almost 150 grams of methamphetamine and over 250 grams of cannabis. Kettelkamp says these men are taking a chunk out of the drug problem in the area.



The three officers are all a part of the Central Illinois Enforcement Group, which is a multi-jurisdictional narcotics task force. 



From left to right: Pana Chief of Police Daniel Bland, Illinois State Police Master Sergeant James Jackson (CIEG) Commander, Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, Christian County Sheriff Investigator Jeff Brown, and Illinois State Police Sergeant Brett Shearer (CIEG) Supervisor.

Pana Community Hospital and Faith in Action Teaming Up To Host Festival Of Trees Fundraising Auction

The Pana Community Hospital Foundation, Quad County Home Healthcare, and the Faith in Action organizations are teaming up this year to once again hold the Festival of Trees fund-raising Auction, taking place from November 6th until the 16th. Money raised from the auction will go towards the Pana Community Hospital building project, as well as Faith in Action.


Carol Chandler with Quad County Home Health says one change made for this years auction is that this year the bidding will be done online.



Chandler says a working relationship between the various organizations involved in the auction led to the partnership for the event.



You can place bids for the Festival of Trees Auction at PriceAuction.com, and the bidding will end on November 16th at 6pm.


Chandler as well as Kim Rodgers with the Pana Community Hospital Foundation appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

State Senator Candidate Seth McMillan Says State Needs New Direction

A local businessman recently announced his intent to run for State Senator in Illinois. Seth McMillan, owner of McMillan Landscaping and head of the Christian County GOP will challenge for the senate seat currently held by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).


McMillan appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss his campaign, and says after a history of being involved in local politics, he wants to work now to help the state of Illinois.



McMillan is running on several stances, such as pro life, tougher stances on immigration, and implementing term limits in Springfield. As a former member of the Taylorville School Board, McMillan also says education is an important issue for him.



Incumbent Manar has held the 48th district state senate seat since 2013.

Estate Tax Not Only Issue Farmers are Following in Tax Reform Discussions

As tax reform debate heats up in the nation’s capital, agriculture groups are keeping a keen eye on the estate tax issue. A house GOP plan unveiled last week calls for complete repeal by 2024, but that’s not the only area farmers are interested in says Mark Gebhards with the Illinois Farm Bureau.

The Senate is expected to release its tax reform plan later this week. 

Rauner Facing Competition in GOP Primary

In sports they say you can't look ahead to a future opponent. Likewise, Governor Bruce Rauner now has some unfinished business before he gets to a November faceoff with Democrats. State Representative Jeanne Ives says recent high profile decisions by Rauner led her to jump in the race.

Ives says she is running because of a growing call for an alternative for next spring's primary.

The Wheaton Republican and West Point grad is in her third term in the General Assembly.

Taylorville City Council Approves Purchase of Three New Police Cars


The Taylorville City Council approved the purchase of three new police cars at Monday night’s city council meeting. After trading in one police car, the cost of the cars comes to about $85,000 for the city.


Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says the city will add to their loan with First Mid Illinois Bank and Trust to make the purchases.



A few more derelict buildings have been torn down in Taylorville since the last city council meeting. Barry says he hopes the city can bring a few more down before the winter cold arrives.



Barry and Pana mayor Don Kroski are hosting a mayor's meeting for Christian County village mayors on Wednesday morning at 9:30 at Taylorville City Hall. Barry believes productive conversation will come out of that get-together with the county mayors.

Sunday Storms Spare Central Illinois, Leave Reminder That Severe Weather Can Hit Any Time of Year

Central Illinois was spared from the worst of the severe weather to hit the Midwest Sunday afternoon, but it should serve as a reminder that severe weather can hit the state any time of year.


Christian County EMA Director Mike Crews says one of the strongest tornadoes to hit Illinois in recent memory was in the month of November.



The National Weather Service has received reports of tornadoes Sunday in Indiana and Ohio, and hail larger than baseball size was reported as close as the St. Louis area. Locally, hail up to nickel size was reported at Taylorville Airport. Crews says residents should never take a forecast for severe weather lightly.



Crews says even as we head into the winter months, that does not end the chances of tornadoes until spring. He says Illinois can and has had tornadoes during every month of the year.

Economic Impact of Shelbyville Scarecrow Daze Still Being Felt

The 2017 Shelbyville Scarecrow Daze is now well in the rear view mirror for the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce, however the economic impacts are still being felt. Despite less than ideal weather, the Shelbyville Chamber is hearing that many businesses had their best weekends yet for the event.


Vonda McConnell with the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce says she's talked with many of the downtown Shelbyville businesses, and has heard great things about the weekend they had for Scarecrow Daze.



The entire idea of the event is to help get more people into downtown Shelbyville, and have a good time. Despite the weather, McConnell says this year's Scarecrow Daze did just that.



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

News Sons of the American Legion Chapter Holding First Informational Meeting Wednesday

A new Sons of the American Legion chapter is being former in Christian County. The chapter, based out of the Taylorville Legion post, will host an informational meeting for any son, grandson, or great-grandson of any veteran that is or was eligible to be a American Legion member on Wednesday evening.


Bruce Hallam is organizing the new Sons of the American Legion chapter. He says he has reached out to every Christian County American Legion post as he looks to start this group.



Hallam says the group will come to help any of the Christian County Legion posts in any way needed.



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.

Local Yoga Studio to Raise Money for Veterans' Yoga Project

Veteran’s Day is Saturday, but one local business is offering a special service by donation for Veterans Friday evening. Taylorville Yoga Studio will be holding classes to raise money for the Veterans’ Yoga Project.


Tina Coash is the owner and instructor at Taylorville Yoga Studio. She says yoga is an activity that has been done for thousands of years.



Coash says helping veterans is something she always wants to do when she can.



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.

THS Key Club Celebrating National Key Club Week

This week is National Key Club Week, and the Taylorville High School Key Club is celebrating throughout the week. The club at the high school does a lot of the local Kiwanis Club chapter in Taylorville.


Fawn Ames is the Key Club sponsor at THS. She says the club tries to help anyone in need.



Ames says the club will be encouraging all THS students to give or volunteer during National Key Club Week.



The club also helps with the Kiwanis Club in their annual Peanut Days fundraiser in raising money to buy kids coats for the winter. The THS Key Club will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in December.

Reaction to Governor Rauner's Harvest Emergency Declaration

Governor Bruce Rauner Sunday declared a harvest season emergency in the state, which allows farmers that secure permits to haul up to a maximum of 10 percent more than truck weight restrictions. Brent Riewerts, who farms in Rock Island County, explains why farmers sought the action;

Illinois Farm Bureau asked the governor to issue the declaration two weeks ago to provide relief from continued wet weather in some parts of the state and depressed commodity prices. Riewerts, who serves as vice president of the Rock Island County Farm Bureau, says the action could help some Illinois farmers.

Farmers need to check with local road authorities whether they plan to issue harvest season emergency permits and whether those will be a blanket permit or individual permits.

Durbin Continues Promotional Push for ACA

Senator Dick Durbin continues to beat the drum for Illinoisans to sign up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act. The health insurance open enrollment period began November first and runs through December 15th. Durbin says he's promoting ACA enrollment because he says President Trump's worked to make the Affordable Care Act a secret.

Durbin has spent some time on the subject with a recent report he produced – “1,000 Cuts: A Report on the Trump Administration’s Health Care Sabotage” – which outlines what he calls the Trump administration’s deliberate efforts to undermine the ACA. 

Governor Declares Harvest Emergency

Corn and soybean harvest is taking longer than normal this year. So the Illinois Farm Bureau asked the Governor to declare a harvest emergency. The declaration signed by Bruce Rauner allows farmers to add ten percent more weight in grain trucks that are headed local elevators or delivery points. Illinois Director of Ag Raymond Poe knows that every extra kernel on a truck helps speed harvest. 

Farmers still need a special permit to add the extra weight to their grain trucks. IDOT says they are ready to get those permits out. The Harvest Emergency is good for 45 days. Continued wet weather has hampered harvest around the state.

Shelby County Community Services Seeing Benefits to Medicinal Cannabis Use

Cannabis is a substance that has been a topic of discussion lately, with many states legalizing the medicinal use of the substance, and several states even legalizing it's recreational use. Here in Illinois, Shelby County Community Services is witnessing the drug's use help people with a number of different ailments every day.


Tom Colclasure and Daniel Semro with Shelby County Community Services appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville Studios to discuss how they're helping people utilize medicinal cannabis. Colclasure says they're hearing often about how the drug is helping people.



Semro is the Director of Shelby County Community Services' Cannabis Culture Center, and has seen the benefits of medicinal cannabis first hand.



To learn more about Shelby County Community Services, visit them online at


US Army Corp of Engineers Recieves Grant To Help Improve Fish Habitats At Lake Shelbyville

The Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville have received a grant that will allow the Corp to continue their work to improve the fish habitats at the lake. The Corp has been adding man-made structures to the lake to provide fish in the lake with better habitats to thrive and increase the fish population at the lake.


Sarah Haslett with the Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville says receiving the grant was great news for not only the Corp, but also for the partner organizations working alongside the Corp on the habitats.



Haslett described why this work being done to help improve fish habitats at the lake, saying it's a part of regular maintenance at the lake.



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

Christian County 2018 LEAD Program Quickly Approaching

The 2018 Christian County LEAD program is quickly approaching. The program runs on Wednesday afternoons from January 10th through March 28th and is open to anyone in the community looking to build on their leadership skills or make connections in the community.


Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO Patti Hornbuckle says the program rotates between Tuesdays and Wednesday each year to give as many people the opportunity to attend as possible.



Sharon Legrand with US Bank came to Taylorville three years ago. She says the LEAD program helped her meet people and get acclimated in the community.



Both Hornbuckle and Legrand appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Completing Multiple End of Year Street Repaving Projects

The city of Taylorville is working on multiple paving projects before colder weather takes hold for the winter.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says there are seven different repaving projects going on, and he expects most of those to be completed by the end of the week.



Barry says that completion date is depending on if the weather holds out for construction crews.

St. Louis Dairy Council Offering Tips For Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays are here and many are wondering how they will fit holiday eating into their diets. The St. Louis Dairy Council has several tips to help make sure you don't overindulge this holiday season.
Joyce Fikri with the St. Louis Dairy Council appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show to discuss healthy holiday eating, and says it all starts with making sure you eat a nutrition packed breakfast.
Fikri says one way you can make sure you don't blow past your calorie counts this season is to simply eat smaller portion sizes.
For more information on holiday eating as well as for several holiday recipes, visit the St. Louis Dairy Council online at STLDairyCouncil.org.

Taylorville Police Looking to Help Needy Kids Through Kids, Cops, and Christmas

The Taylorville Police Benevolent and Protection Association is once again putting on its Kids, Cops, and Christmas program. The program has been around for over 20 years and the program helps 30-40 kids have a Christmas each year.


Taylorville police officer Alan Mills says he hates to think of kids not having gifts on Christmas.



Mills thanks the community for the support they receive each year.



Mills says if you have any questions about the program, you can give him a call at the Taylorville Police Department at 824-2211.

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Preparing For November Business After Hours Event

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours is approaching once again, and this month three Taylorville businesses are teaming up to put on the event. The main host is Angelo's, and they will be joined by Diamond Brothers Insurance and First National Bank on Spresser on November 15th at Angelo's main location for the event.
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says the Business After Hours events are a great opportunity to network and socialize.
Usually Business After Hours are single business events, but this month, Angelos has paired up with Diamond Brothers Insurance and First National Bank on Spresser.
The Business After Hours event will take place from 4:30 until 6:30 at Angelo's main location on November 15th.

Colder Tempatures, Less Sunlight May Lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder

Does the cooler weather having you feeling a little blue? It could be more than just a bad day. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in late fall and easing up in early spring.


Amy Graham is a registered nurse and the director of the Senior Life Solutions department at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. She says the disorder is partially caused by the amount of light during the day.



Graham says there are multiple ways to cope with and reverse SAD.



Graham says friends and family should keep an eye on each other, as those dealing with SAD sometimes are the ones that don’t see the signs that they have it.

Illinois Grain Insurance Fund at Healthy $7.7 Million

The Illinois Grain Insurance Fund remains in a good position with $7.7 million available. Established in 1983, the fund provides protection for any farmer doing business with a licensed grain dealer in Illinois says IDOA’s David Gleason.

The Illinois Grain Insurance Fund also provides grain payable coverage when an elevator fails, which amounts to 100 percent for the first 21-days after the grain is priced. That lowers to 85-percent between 21 and 160 days after the grain is priced. And after 160 days, there’s no coverage from the fund.

Duckworth Calls for Trump Veto of Legislation Impacting Veterans

Senator Tammy Duckworth is calling on President Trump to veto the recently passed bill overturning Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s rule limiting forced arbitration. She says the deck will be stacked in favor of big banks and financial institutions in cases of fraud and other misdeeds.

The mandatory arbitration rule, which was set to take full effect next March, would stop financial services companies from using forced arbitration clauses to block consumer class action suits.

Langleyville Boil Order Lifted

The boil order issued in Langleyville on Tuesday has officially been lifted. Water is safe to consume without boiling.

Local McDonald's GM Receives Prestigious Ray Kroc Award

A local McDonald’s General Manager has been named the best of the best of General Managers in the McDonald’s corporation worldwide. Kenny Stewart received his Ray Kroc Award Wednesday morning. The award is given to the top one percent of McDonald’s general managers across the globe.


Stewart says he has a great team in place around him to make the customer experience a great one.



Taylorville McDonald’s owner Marty Davis says Stewart has been a part of his team for 30 years, and they are lucky to have him.



Stewart will get to go to the national convention in Orlando in April to be recognized for his award by McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook.



TJHS Builders Club Letting Youth Serve The Community Early in Life

The Taylorville Builders Club continues to let junior high students learn to importance of serving others. The club was originally started at Taylorville Junior High School in 2006, and they continue to partner with the Taylorville Kiwanis Club to serve the community.


Jacqueline Foil is the Builders Club Sponsor at TJHS. She says the club has done many different things for the community and for those in need since its inception.



Foil says the Builders Club at the junior high is a great club for kids to join to learn necessary like skills.



Foil says the club’s focus this year is helping the school’s teachers in any way they can.

CNB Bank and Trust Annual Food Drive Underway

CNB Bank & Trust has started their annual food drive at their 13 locations, including Taylorville. The drive is to collect food to fill pantry shelves before the holiday season, and local donations will go to the CEFS Food Bank in Taylorville.


Susie Montgomery is the Assistant Vice President of CNB Bank & Trust in Taylorville. She says the donations are going to CEFS because it is a county wide food bank, and because they collect more than just food.



Montgomery says to CNB, it’s the bank’s job to help out those in the community.



You can bring any non-perishable food item, personal care item, or monetary donations to the lobby of CNB Bank and Trust in Taylorville. The drive will run through November 17th.

Speaker Says Sexual Harassment Needs to Be Addressed

In a House committee meeting yesterday a victims’ rights advocate who lobbies the Illinois legislature says she was sexually harassed while trying to do her job. Denise Rotheimer says that she was harassed in person, over Facebook and via phone by Democratic Senator Ira Silverstein. The allegations were made during testimony as a committee considered enacting annual sexual harassment training for lawmakers, staff and lobbyist. Speaker of the House Mike Madigan says there also needs to be a task force to address the environment at the Capitol. 

Silverstein has said what Rotheimer is alleging is false. But he says if he offended her he will apologize.

Duckworth Urges Colleagues to Demand Congressional Authorization in North Korea

Senator Tammy Duckworth is joining a number of colleagues, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Chris Murphy, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, in demanding Congressional authorization before President Trump could launch a potential preemptive strike against North Korea. Duckworth says it's clearly a high stakes confrontation and would require a lot more than taking out missile sites.

Duckworth says the legislation is inspired by what she and colleagues call an escalation of irresponsible and reckless rhetoric against North Korea from President Trump.

Senator Chris Murphy said "It's important we join forces to reclaim Congress' constitutional role in matters of war and peace before there's no turning back".

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - November 1, 2017

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


Sometime between 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 15, 2017 and 10:00 am on Wednesday, October 16, 2017, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 111 South Houston Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a safe.  The safe contained prescription medication and over 100 memory cards.  There did not appear to be any damage done while making entry.  The total dollar amount of the theft is unknown at this time.


Please contact Crimestoppers if you have any information on this crime or any other crimes or wanted persons.  Crimestoppers will pay cash rewards of up to $1,000 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.  

Central Illinois McDonald's Restaurants Donating Coffee to Troops Through Buy One, Give One Program

For the fourth year, McDonald’s restaurants across Central Illinois are holding their “Buy One Give One to our Military” program. The program will run from now until November 12th.


Taylorville McDonald’s owner Brad Davis says those who want a cup of coffee and area schoolchildren will both have the opportunity to give back to the troops through this program.



Davis says this program is one of the many different ways McDonald’s tries to help those in the community and across the country.

National Weather Service Warning Of Colder Weather This Winter

Temperatures are getting cooler and the winter months in Illinois are right around the corner. The National Weather Service wants you to make sure you are prepared for the winter weather, and is reminding Central Illinois of several things to keep in mind so you can stay safe this winter.


Chris Miller is a Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Lincoln, Illinois office and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. Due to warmer than usual temperatures the past several winters, many drivers haven't had to deal with the snow and ice like in years past, and Miller reminded drivers to slow down, and drive safely in inclement weather.



Miller provided several statistics when it comes to traffic accidents in the winter months in Illinois, and also reminded that in the colder weather projected for this year, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for your neighbors.



Miller warned that a slip and fall accident could easily lead to things like hypothermia and even death in the cold weather if the victim is immobile and undiscovered for a lengthy period of time.

Waste Management Donates $5,000 Towards New Patrol Car for Christian County Sheriff's Department

Representatives from Waste Management’s Five Oaks Disposal Facility between Taylorville and Kincaid presented Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp with a $5,000 check Tuesday morning. The money will go towards the purchase of a new patrol car for the department.


Carl Niemann is the Director of Public Sector Solutions for Waste Management. He says they appreciate all that the Christian County Sheriff’s Department does to protect and serve residents of the county.



Kettelkamp says this donation helps him to provide his officers with the best equipment out there, and that he hopes this donation leads to other area businesses stepping up and helping the department.



Waste Management bought the site in Christian County 25 years ago, and Niemann says it has been a great partnership with the county since. He says they are happy to help the county in any way they can.

National Fire Protection Association Says Holiday and Winter Months Come With Increased Risk Of Home Fires

With the Holiday season getting underway, many are thinking about food and gifts, but not many are thinking about fire safety. This time of the year presents an elevated risk of home fires according to the National Fire Protection Association, and they say there are things you can do to help ensure a safe season.


Susan McKelvey with the NFPA says the holiday and winter seasons come with an increased risk of home fires, partially due to factors such as home furnaces, and more people cooking holiday meals.



There are many different things you can do to help make sure you and your family are safe this season.



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

TCCU Celebrates International Credit Union Day

International Credit Union Day was celebrated recently, and Taylorville Community Credit Union marked the occasion at each of their three locations.


Will Perkins is the President of Taylorville Community Credit Union. He says there were many activities at their Taylorville, Litchfield, and Hillsboro locations.



Perkins says because TCCU is a not-for-profit, everything they do is for the benefit of their members.



Perkins says there is always something going on at TCCU, including their scholarship program starting soon. The program will benefit local businesses and give six area students one-thousand dollar scholarships towards college.

Today's 4-H Not Just About Cows and Plows

4-H is not just cows and plows. That’s what Larry Haigh says when he describes 4-H. He’s the 4-H program coordinator for Ford/Iroquois County.

In addition, 4-H continues to stress leadership development, which Haigh says was key when he was a young 4-H member and that experience played an important role in his career path. 

Woman Steps Forward to Name Sexual Harasser Inside Capitol

A woman has stepped forward and put her face behind the movement to out sexual harassment inside of Illinois politics. Today at a House legislative committee hearing Denise Rotheimer says Senate Democratic Whip Ira Silverstein harassed her. During her testimony, she says last year Silverstein would say uncomfortable things to her, message her on Facebook late and night even killed a bill for a while because he thought she had a boyfriend. Rotheimer claims she lost 20 pounds and her hair started falling out over the stress of the situation. She also says that she filed a complaint with Senate President John Cullerton and the Legislative Inspectors General Office. But that office hasn’t had an Inspector General since 2013. 

In a statement to media members Silverstein says about Rotheimer’s allegations; “what she is saying is false”. 

Are You Prepared for A Zombie Attack?

Are you prepared for a zombie apocalypse? The Illinois Emergency Management Agency wants you to be. On Halloween Patti Thompson with IEMA says they are using the light hearted approach to get people thinking about how they would survive a natural disaster or even zombies. 

Another thing to remember is to have enough food and water for a pet and keep back-up copies of important documents. With critical paperwork experts say leave a second copy away from home, storing it at work or with a relative in a different area.


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