Local News

Edinburg Schools Making Headway Into Improving Education for Local Kids

The Edinburg School District has worked with local leaders and community members to develop a plan for how the district can meet the town’s expectations of its school system. Edinburg Superintendent Fred Lambke says they are in year three of implementing that five-year plan, and so far the district is ahead of schedule.


Lambke says the first thing to do was to create a consistent culture of learning.



Lambke says Edinburg had been affected by the Illinois teacher shortage because they did not have a Spanish teacher. Now, he says there is a teacher in the building and that program is growing.



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

State Police Urging Drivers to Avoid Distractions Behind the Wheel

The Illinois State Police are reminding residents to focus on the road. There have been a few accidents across Central Illinois recently that appear that they could have been avoidable.


State Trooper Sean Ramsey appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says people who drive distracted should put themselves in the position of the loved ones of someone that dies in an accident.



Ramsey says there seems to be an unlimited number of ways people can drive distracted.



Ramsey says 100 percent of a driver’s attention needs to be on the road, and drivers should treat the road like its their job. He says get the job done and focus on distractions after you’ve reached to your destination.

Taylorville Personnel Committee to Discuss Adding School Resource Officer Thursday

The city of Taylorville is working with the Taylorville School District to add security at Taylorville High School. The issue will be discussed at a committee meeting Thursday.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the city has been working on bringing a school resource officer to THS for a while.



Barry is encouraging residents to come to Thursday’s personnel committee meeting to voice their opinions on school security.



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

Greater Taylorville Chamber's Spring Swing is This Saturday

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Swing is coming up Saturday, and there is still time to sign up for this annual event.


Chamber President & CEO Patty Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says the event is a putt-putt tournament held at multiple venues across Taylorville.



Hornbuckle says the chamber’s goal is to have at least as many golfers participate as last year.



The cost per team is $100. There will be cash prizes awarded for the first, second and third place teams. Those placing teams will be announced on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Farm Management Associations Merging

Eight regional associations that help Illinois farmers with financial advice will merge into one. Adams County farmer Randy Sims serves as the new chairman of the Farm Management Farm Business Association.

Some of the regional FBFM associations have been around for close to 100 years. CEO Dwight Raab says the merger process took a couple of years to combine the eight into one;

The statewide Farm Business Farm Management Association will continue to have offices on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Hotline for Harassment Complaints

If you know of a case of harassment there is now a place to easily report it. The state has launched a hotline that connects you to options for counseling and legal services. Leslie Strain with the Illinois Department of Human Rights says victims need assistance at a very difficult time in their life.

The toll free number is 1-877-236-7703.

Governor Bruce Rauner Awaits Ruling in Fair Share Fees Case

Governor Bruce Rauner traveled to Washington for the opening day of arguments in the Supreme Court case tied to so called fair share fees that go to AFSCME Council 31, the union that represents the largest number of state workers. Governor Rauner sought to be the plaintiff in the case, but he was tossed aside by courts who ruled he didn't have standing. The torch has been passed to state worker Mark Janus. Appearing on Fox News Channel, Rauner continued to maintain fair share fees hurt state workers and taxpayers.

Rauner says the current state of bargaining between the state and public employee unions is unique in a way he's not that fond of.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan was also on hand for the opening day of arguments.

Farmland Sale Brings $9,400 Per Acre

A farmland sale in Western Illinois brings $9,400 per acre. The property is located near Alexis says Auctioneer Dale Jones.

The sale was Saturday and featured 30 registered bidders. 

This Week's Warm Weather Likely Isn't A Sign of Things to Come

We're getting a break from the cold and rain this week with some mild weather in Illinois bringing temperatures in the 50's and 60's most of the week.

National Weather Service Meteorologist James Auten says this is not a sign of things to come, rather it is a nice break.

For the next few weeks, there isn't necessarily signs of winter breaking but that doesn't mean this weather won't return. Auten predicts normal conditions for March.

Long-term, Auten indicates things are looking to be normal with a chance for above normal precipitation.

UPDATE: Name of Man Killed in Head-On Crash Monday Night Released

The name of the victim in a head on crash on Route 16 between Rosamond and Pana Monday night, has been released.

Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans tells Regional Radio News that 61-year-old Randal K. McElroy of Nokomis was eastbound at 10:40 Monday night, when police says a 19-year-old from Rosamond was driving westbound on Route 16 when he crossed into the eastbound lane and hit the McElroy vehicle head on.


Winans added McElroy was pronounced dead at the scene.  An autopsy was held Tuesday afternoon and preliminary autopsy results show that McElroy died from multiple blunt force injuries due to motor vehicle collision. 


The 19-year-old admits to being on his phone at the time he crossed over, and police say alcohol is also suspected.

Charges against the 19-year-old are pending.


The investigation is being handled by Illinois State Police Traffic Reconstruction,  Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigations, and Christian County Coroner’s Office.  

Following DASH Diet Could Lead to Healthier Life

The St. Louis Dairy Council is promoting the DASH diet, an eating plan that promotes a healthy lifestyle. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension and can help a person maintain their blood pressure.


Jill Williams with the St. Louis Dairy Council appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says this diet is an easier lifestyle to follow.



Williams says reducing pre-packaged foods in your diet can do wonders for your health.



Williams says there are no supplements or pre-made meals required for incorporating the DASH diet into your lifestyle.

CIPT to Add Route to Windsor Food Center in March

Central Illinois Public Transit is adding a new stop to its services in March. CIPT will start taking its riders to the Windsor Food Center on Tuesdays.


Nathan Nichols is the Mobility Manager at CIPT. He says the service will take riders from multiple communities over to the Windsor Food Center.



Nichols says the business has a wide selection of food for customers to choose from.



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

Nokomis Man Dead After Head-On Crash Between Rosamond and Pana

A Nokomis man is dead after a head on crash on Route 16 between Rosamond and Pana Monday night.


Police says a 19-year-old from Rosamond was driving westbound on Route 16 when he crossed into the eastbound lane and hit another vehicle head on. The 19-year-old admits to being on his phone at the time he crossed over, and police say alcohol is also suspected.


The eastbound driver, a 61-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the scene. Neither driver has been identified. Illinois State Police are continuing to investigate the crash, and charges against the 19-year-old are pending.

Tree-Trimming Causes Traffic Delays in Taylorville Monday

There were traffic delays Monday on Park Street on the east side of Taylorville. Tree trimming narrowed traffic to one lane on Route 29 through the city.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the tree known as the “Y-tree” over the road was one of the trees that was cut back.



Barry says Ameren Illinois does a great job trimming trees that could pose a threat to power lines.



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

BBB Warning Residents About Romance Scams

Love can be a powerful force, and some people out there are using it to scam innocent people. The Better Business Bureau is warning residents to pay attention to these scams.


Mara Clingingsmith with the BBB appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says the scam starts as an innocent conversation on a dating website.



Clingingsmith says it can be hard for victims to admit they’re being scammed because they feel like they have found their “soulmate,” and the scammer will never give up.



Clingingsmith says these scams are done by groups of people posing as one person on these sites, and they could have many victims at one time.

State Worker Gets His Day in Court, The US Supreme Court

A hearing today at the US Supreme Court focused on a case brought by a state worker from Springfield. Janus vs. AFSCME is about union representation of government employees who then have to pay fees or dues. Mark Janus says that he has a free speech right to not make contributions or fair share dues. Because as his side argues, everything a union does is a form of political speech. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan was at the hearing and afterword says the mission of groups behind Janus are clear.

Governor Bruce Rauner, also in attendance at the court says on Twitter that he stands with Janus and others.

Illinois State Fair Adds Paris Native Brett Eldredge to Grandstand Lineup

Eastern Illinois' own Brett Eldrege will turn this year's Illinois State Fair into a homecoming. Eldredge will be the headliner at the Grandstand stage on August 17th. Acting State Fair Manager Luke Sailer says Eldrege is a great fit, especially because he remains true to his Illinois roots.



Sailer says Eldredge also gets high marks for fan friendliness.

An opening act has not been announced. Fair officials say tickets will go on sale later this spring.

Janus Case Ramifications Extend to the Classroom, Says IEA

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in the Janus vs. AFSCME case. The lawsuit focuses on so called fair share fees paid to public unions. Illinois Education Association President says there is little question that AFSCME represented state workers won't be the only ones impacted by the final decision.

Gov. Bruce Rauner helped launch the case with a lawsuit he filed against AFSCME Council 31, in which he tried to ban fair share fees in state government. The federal court said Rauner did not have standing to bring such a suit, so he turned to a lone state employee—Mark Janus—to allow the legal challenge to proceed in his name. Griffin offered some parting shots.

Governor Rauner was on hand for today's oral arguments.

Farm Bureau Pleased With Results From "Adopt a Legislator" Program

The Illinois Farm Bureau continues to promote the merits of the organization’s “Adopt a Legislator” program. The initiative pairs an urban lawmaker with a rural county. 

Illinois Farm Bureau’s Ryan Whitehouse says the program was started in 2001.

Park Board Passes '18-'19 Budget, Chautauqua Tax Called into Question

The Taylorville Park Board approved its 2018-19 operating budget at Monday night’s meeting, but the board’s approval didn’t come without questions. The Chautauqua Museum tax was called into question by one board member before the vote.


The board is budgeting $39-thousand in tax revenue from the Chautauqua Museum tax this coming fiscal year. Although the revenue from that tax has been on the decline for years, board member Bob Steiner questioned why the tax is assessed in the first place.



Board president Marlene Miller says all of the money is put back into keeping up the Chautauqua building and providing park services.



The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Manners Park board room.

Jail Work Seen as Step in Right Direction By Christian County Sheriff's Office

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office was allotted funds to search for an architect and engineer for repairs and a possible expansion at Tuesday night’s county board meeting. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says the work to the current facility is long overdue.


Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says the facility is aging.



The facility was originally built to hold 15 inmates. With remodeling, the jail can currently hold 55 inmates. Now though, the average daily inmate count sits around 59 people.


Kettelkamp says part of the reason the jail is overcrowded is because they house federal prisoners. He says expanding the jail is a better option because housing prisoners actually makes money for his department and the county.



Kettelkamp says counties like Sangamon and Macon are having to turn away federal prisoners because of overcrowding as well, and Christian County is getting asked more often to hold these inmates.

Changing Technology Continues to Change Life on the Farm

Technology continues to expand at a rapid pace, and the farming industry is just one industry moving forward with the change.


Royce Thompson is the president of the Cowden-Herrick High School FFA chapter. He says there are self-driving tractors already out on some farm fields.



Chapter secretary Makayla Watson says it allows farmers to manage other parts of the farm while crop work is being done, but he can also get involved in the work if necessary.



Members of the Cowden Herrick FFA chapter appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Villas of Holly Brook Provide Independent Living and Care When Needed for Older Area Residents

The Villas of Holly Brook does everything they can for their residents to provide them with the highest quality of life. But Villas LPN Linda Childers says that about 90 percent of the residents are in independent living.


Childers says independent living or not, they make sure residents have the healthiest diet possible.



Childers says most residents already know each other when coming to live at the Villas, so it’s easy to make friends.



Childers and CNA Kelly Conner appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.


HSHS Good Shepherd Raising Heart Health Awareness During American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is raising awareness for how to take care of one of the most vital organs in the human body.


Michael Queary is the Emergency Room Manager at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. He says if you think you are having a heart attack, dial 911.



The hospital also recently held its eighth annual Red Event. The event raised almost $30-thousand to help support programs and services at HSHS Good Shepherd.


Queary says the Red Event is one of multiple ways they are getting the word out about American Heart Month and how to keep your heart healthy.



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

Part of Three Billion Dollars of Unclaimed Property at State Treasurer's Office Could Be Yours

Part of the Illinois State Treasurer’s job is to return the money and property back to its rightful owners across the state of Illinois, and the office does that through its I-CASH program.


Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says there is nearly three billion dollars in unclaimed property right now.



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

Christian County LEAD Program Visits Monsanto, GSI Taylorville

The Christian County LEAD Program toured the Monsanto Seed Research and Manufacturing plant in Stonington, along with GSI’s Taylorville facility during the past week’s class. The focus of the week was agriculture production and innovation. The group learned about how technology is helping produce resources needed by farmers, along with how technology is making a farmer’s job easier.


Christian County LEAD Coordinator Linda Smith says although most years they do have a week relating to agriculture, they can vary the activities and field trips each year.



For more information on the Christian County LEAD program, you can contact the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce or the University of Illinois Extension Christian County Office.

Durbin Says Congress Has Work To Do on Foreign Election Tampering

While the conversation about alleged Russian tampering with the Presidential Election is focused on people in power, Senator Dick Durbin says there needs to be another conversation, a bi-partisan one. Durbin says an effort needs to be made to prevent future electronic disruption of the nation's elections.

Durbin continues to be concerned about hacking of voter records, something that impacted the Illinois State Board of Elections last year.

UPDATE: 17-Year-Old in Custody In Connection With THS Social Media Threat

A 17-year-old is in custody after a social media threat was made to Taylorville High School Thursday night. The Taylorville Police Department made the arrest late Friday.


Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says the details about the original threatening post are still up in the air, so it’s possible this individual’s post may or may not be the post that led to the original investigation.



Hile says Taylorville’s incident comes as there has been a wave of threatening posts across Central Illinois.



Hile says there will be an initial hearing on the case Monday, and at that point, there will be more information on the formal charges this juvenile will be facing.

House Resolution Introduced to Stop Pension Shift

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to shift the cost of teacher pensions to local school districts.  The plan was presented in his budget address last week, but there’s been some push back at the local level and a House Resolution has been introduced on the issue says State Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha.

Rauner says the pension shift would save the state at least a billion-dollars, but critics of the plan say the change would result in a property tax spike at the local level.

Illinois Soybean Association Keeps Transportation Issues at Forefront

Transportation issues continue to get much attention from the Illinois Soybean Association.

The soybean association’s John Longley says two projects in Illinois are of immediate concern. 

Longley farms in Aledo in western Illinois. 

Two Taylorville Businesses Damaged After Car Accident Friday Afternoon

Two Taylorville businesses suffered damage after a crash Friday afternoon sent one to the hospital.


A witness told police that the driver of the vehicle was westbound on Park St. when he left the roadway, ran into the northwest corner of the Starlight Cafe, then continued straight across Main St. where he eventually stopped on the front door of China Pavilion.


Taylorville Police Officer Shane Ponzel says given the path the car took, the crash could have injured many more people than just the driver of the vehicle.



Ponzel says the driver suffered an apparent medical emergency while driving, which caused the crash.




Palmer Man Arrested, Charged With Battery Of His One-Month-Old Child

A Palmer man is in custody after he allegedly dropped his one-month-old child multiple times, causing severe head injuries.


19-year-old Darrel H. Sanders is charged with Aggrevated Battery of a Child, a Class X Felony.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says as a grandfather, this case hits him a little harder than most.



The baby was originally transported to Taylorville Memorial Hospital. She has since been transferred to Children’s Hospital in St. Louis where she remains in critical condition.


Kettelkamp says always report behavior like this if you hear about it.



Bond for Sanders has been set at one million dollars. His next court date is set for February 26 at 10 a.m.

UPDATE: THS Social Media Threat Deemed Not Credible, Extra Police Presence On Campus Friday as Precaution

A social media threat to Taylorville High School was deemed not credible after the school district and area law enforcement worked overnight Thursday into Friday to determine the threat’s authenticity.


Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says after investigating, they could not track the post back to a Taylorville student.



Hile says this is not an isolated incident. There was also a threat at Mattoon High School overnight and an arrest was made there.


Taylorville High School Principal Matthew Hutchison says there was extra police presence on campus today, but it ended up being a regular day at THS.



Hile and Hutchison say the biggest priority is the safety of the kids, and they treat all threats very seriously.

Flooring Being Laid on Phase One of Pana Community Hospital's Expansion

Pana Community Hospital’s expansion project continues through the winter months. The hospital is in the middle of a two-phase construction project that is expected to be completed by next spring.


James Moon, Chief Financial Officer at PCH, appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says major progress is being made on phase one of the project.



Moon says the construction crews are currently laying the flooring for the first phase of the expansion.



The project is the first major expansion for the hospital since the 1970’s.

Christian County Sheriff Kettelkamp Offers ATV Safety Tips

After a serious all-terrain vehicle accident last month, Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is reminding the public about ATV safety tips and regulations.


The accident happened outside of Assumption on January 20th. Three kids were hospitalized, one being seriously hurt and airlifted to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.


Kettelkamp says there have been many accidents and fatalities across Illinois because of ATVs on roadways.



Kettelkamp says ATVs are powerful vehicles and should be treated as such.



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

FFA Helping Students Learn Hands On Skills for Farming and Life

Students have many different projects they work on through the FFA program. From farming to food service, students across the area are learning the importance of farming through hands-on experience.


Kassie VonderHeide is a part of the Stewardson-Strasburg FFA. She says her project involves dairy cattle.



Adam Yoder is a member of the Edinburg FFA chapter. He says he is finishing up his project for the year.



Members of the Stew-Stras and the Edinburg FFA chapters appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Gun Threat to Taylorville High School Deemed Not Credible, Being Investigated By Police and School District

The Taylorville Police Department and Taylorville School District worked through the night after a gun threat was made to Taylorville High School through social media Thursday night. An automatic call went out to Taylorville School District parents at 6:15 Friday morning. Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau said in the message that class will be in session on Friday, and the district continues to work with Taylorville Police to investigate the threat.


The Taylorville School District has reported through their Facebook page that the threat has been deemed not credible. 


We will have more information as it becomes available.

Chamber of Commerce Announces New Member, CEO Raffle Tickets Are All Sold

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle made multiple public announcements Thursday morning during Chamber Chat on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


Hornbuckle says The Landing Barn outside of Taylorville is officially joining the Chamber.



There was also a big annoucement regarding the Christian County CEO program’s raffle.



Hornbuckle says tickets for the CEO Fundraiser Dinner Saturday are still available, and you can get a ticket at the Chamber office.

Americans Should Be Seeing More in Paychecks Thanks to Tax Cut Bill Passed

It is February, which means many Americans are seeing more money stay in their pockets after the tax cut bill passed in December.


Central Illinois congressman Rodney Davis says Americans are entitled to that money.



Davis says the economy is growing and changing, and Washington needs to take action on workforce training to make sure people can take advantage of the growing economy.



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

Specialty Growers Concerned About U of I Extension Staff

The state’s specialty growers are expressing concern about future staffing within the University of Illinois Extension system. The latest issue is the retirement of entomologist Rick Weinzierl says Randy Graham, chairman of the Illinois Specialty Growers Association.

Graham owns Curtis Orchard in Champaign. 

Davis Calls for More Security in Schools After Florida Shooting

One Illinois congressman is calling for more security in schools after last week’s school shooting in Florida left 17 dead.


U.S. House Representative Rodney Davis says it’s time to help local schools secure their buildings with federal funds if possible.



Davis is a father, and he says he worries for his own kids as he sends them to school.



Davis says if it weren’t for armed security guards, he wouldn’t be alive today after the Republican baseball practice shooting last summer.

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

Suspects Believed to be Apprehended in January Diesel Thefts

The suspects believed to have committed recent diesel fuel thefts in Christian and Montgomery Counties are believed to be in custody.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says two people were recently arrested in Montgomery County thanks to help from local farmers.



The thefts occurred in the Morrisonville and Palmer areas. 

Taylorville FFA Continuing to Celebrate FFA Week, Expanding into Community

Taylorville’s FFA program is among those celebrating National FFA Week this week. The club has been holding many events to celebrate.


One of those events includes a petting zoo for the students at Vision Way Christian School Wednesday. Ellie Tippett is the Vice President of the Taylorville FFA. She says the animals at the petting zoo include a dog, a calf, and a very special chicken.



The group also recently visited Taylorville Junior High School. Tippett says she believes there will be a big group of eighth graders that join FFA next year.



The FFA will also be receiving proficiency awards for their record books. Taylorville FFA President Kent Girard explains what keeping record books entails.



Tippett and Girard appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Illinois' College Savings Programs Doing Very Well Despite State Budget Problems

Families in Illinois looking to save to send their kids to college have plenty of options. In fact, some of the programs backed by the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office have been recognized as the top programs in the United States.


Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says one of the state’s programs is the only program in the country to receive a gold star designation.



Frerichs says even as the state has seen many credit downgrades in recent years, the state’s college savings programs have been bucking that trend.



Frerichs says keeping the college savings programs in tact will help send students to college with less debt. He says that could be very beneficial to the state for many years to come.

Rauner Visits Veterans Home After New Case of Legionnaire's

After a fourth case of Legionnaire's Disease was discovered at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, Governor Bruce Rauner paid a return visit to the facility. Rauner says he isn't ready to proceed with calls to move veterans out of the home.

There's a difference of opinion on what it will cost to fix the situation in Quincy. A state report on the veterans home indicated it would take $8 million to eliminate the Legionnaire's threat. Meanwhile, the Rauner Administration has talked of a $25 million price tag. The Governor isn't ready to name a final price.

Rauner's GOP opponent, West Point grad and State Rep. Jeannie Ives said during a Wednesday press conference "“Get them out of that home NOW.” 

Sanguinetti Believes Rauner Budget Has Bipartisan Flavor

A key part of Governor Rauner's budget framework should look familiar to Democrats. So says Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti who notes the Governor wasn't the first key figure in state politics to suggest shifting the responsibility for teacher pensions from the state to local school districts.

Rauner hopes the shift leads to $1.3 billion in savings in his new budget. 

Senator Duckworth on Ag Lab, Crop Insurance

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth told a group of farmers that she'll fight to keep the U.S. Department of Agriculture's research laboratory in Peoria open despite President Trump's effort to close the facility. The president's proposed federal 2019 budget would shut it and more than a dozen USDA facilities down;

Duckworth and other Illinois lawmakers had to fight off a similar proposal to close the Peoria ag lab last year;

During her meeting with farmers at the Peoria County Farm Bureau Duckworth also heard concerns about the president's budget proposal that would cut federal crop insurance. Duckworth says she'll oppose that proposal too.

Still Plenty of Time to Register to Vote

You can still get ready to vote in the March primary even if you haven’t registered. The State Board of Elections says start online at elections dot il dot gov. Matt Dietrich says registrations there will be taken through early March.

Or you can go in person and register and vote early – that’s called grace period registration. 

Water Treatment Plant, TIF Districts Again Main Topics of Taylorville City Council Meeting

The color scheme for Taylorville’s new water plant was decided, and the new TIF districts are in the final steps of being completed after Tuesday night’s city council meeting.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the council wants the new water treatment plant to blend into its neighborhood.



One of the two TIF districts is now at a point where a public hearing will be held before the council votes on the completion of the districts. That hearing is anticipated to be scheduled before the second council meeting in March. Barry says the second TIF district is progressing, and the district on the northwest side of the city could be operational by April.



The next city council meeting is scheduled for March 5 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.

Head-On Crash East of Pana Sends Three to Area Hospitals

Three people were transported to area hospitals Tuesday afternoon following a head-on crash on Route 16 just east of Pana.


Just before 4 p.m., Illinois State Police say 61-year-old Patricia Fitzgerald of Tower Hill was westbound on Route 16 near 2700 E. Rd. 70-year-old Joseph L. Bushue of Mason was traveling eastbound on the road. Fitzgerald drove off the road to the right, overcorrected, and crossed the center line hitting Bushue’s vehicle head-on. Fitzgerald was transported to Pana Community Hospital while Bushue and his passenger were both transported to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield via ambulance. None of the injuries are reported to be life-threatening.


Fitzgerald has been cited for Improper Lane Usage.

FEMA Funding Provision to Help Downstate Illinois Stripped Out of U.S. House Bill by Senate

Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis recently sponsored a provision in a bill to make it easier for downstate Illinois to receive FEMA aid, but the U.S. Senate removed it from the bill.


Davis says for small communities that suffer disasters, the current FEMA funding formula is unfair.



Davis says it’s just partisan politics causing good policies to be cast aside in the Senate.



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

Pana Community Hospital Looking to Clear Confusion About Medicaid Care

It’s that time where Medicaid patients are having to pick an insurance carrier again. Pana Community Hospital wants residents to know that no matter what carrier you pick, the hospital is a provider of care.


James Moon is the Chief Financial Officer at Pana Community Hospital. He says residents are not able to access the full list of providers, and that is causing confusion.



Moon says the hospital is doing everything it can to make sure residents can get whatever services they need.



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

Pana FFA Getting Out the Message That FFA Isn't Just About Becoming a Farmer

It’s National Future Farmers of America Week and many FFA chapters at area high schools are having events and activities to celebrate the organization and its history.


The Pana FFA is included in those chapters celebrating National FFA Week. Chase Tennen with Pana’s FFA chapter says it’s a way to get the word out that the FFA isn’t just about cows and plows anymore.



There are programs through FFA where students can learn life skills through farming. Tennen says high school students can start their freshman year.



Tennen, along with Abbie Lutz, Eric Schafer, and Amanda Hall of the Pana FFA chapter appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Lake Land College Introduces New Hybrid Option for Medical Assistant Program

Lake Land College will begin offering a new hybrid version of the Medical Assistant program this fall. It will allows students to take all their courses online and only come to campus one night a week for lab.


This will be offered in addition to the traditional two-year associate degree and the one-year certificate program.

Medical Assistant Program Instructor Molly Yeske says this will open up an opportunity for people who can’t be in classes during the day and it’s great for people already employed in the medical field who want to pursue promotions.


Medical assistants work in medical facilities under the direction of a physician and have both clinical and office responsibilities. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments and maintaining medical records. Clinical duties could range anywhere from phlebotomy and medication administration to taking and recording vital signs and medical histories to preparing patients for examination.


The application deadline for the fall 2018 semester is May 1, 2018.


For more information about the Medical Assistant program, you can call Yeske at 217-234-5055. Information can also be found at lakelandcollege.edu under the “Academics” drop down and clicking on “High Demand Programs.”

TMH Foundation Accepting Applications for John H. Butterfield Ag & Nutrition Scholarship

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation has started accepting applications for the John H. Butterfield Agriculture and Nutrition Scholarship. A one-thousand dollar scholarship will be given to one student who has graduated from a Central Illinois high school, with priority given to a Christian County resident.


Butterfield spent a lifetime promoting agriculture in Illinois and around the world. He was raised on a farm in Christian County. After receiving a degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois, he taught high school mathematics for several years before working as an appraiser for the Farm Credit Administration. He returned to the family farm in 1940. In addition to grain farming, he was actively involved with the American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers and Feed Grain Council, and on the local and state Advisory Conservation Board.


Interested students can get an application online at the foundation’s website here, or you can contact the Foundation office at 824-1651. Applications must be postmarked on or before April 1.

Durbin Reacts to Student Protests Against Gun Laws

Senator Dick Durbin is taking notice of efforts by high school students, who are joining in demonstrations like a "lie in" protest outside the White House. Durbin gives the young people high marks for getting their message across but he isn't ready to say it will lead to a breakthrough for those who want to see further discussion about the nation's gun laws.

Durbin talks about what the movement will need after the Florida school shootings fade from the headlines.

Students from the group Teens For Gun Reform say another event dubbed “March For Our Lives” will take place March 24.

No Movement on Obama Commemoration Efforts in Springfield

A 2016 announcement indicated Governor Bruce Rauner, Secretary of State Jesse White and Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder's office would team up to leave a permanent reminder of President Obama's years in Springfield. There has been no sign of movement since. Mayor Jim Langfelder says the effort is on the backburner for now as local and state officials focus on the state's bicentennial. . The three leaders pledged a committee of leaders would be assembled to commemorate the Obama years in Springfield. Langfelder says he's thinking about ideas though, like adding a statue of former President Obama at a proposed park in the Capital City's Downtown area. 

Illinois FFA Boasting Numbers During National FFA Week

Illinois FFA boasting numbers during National FFA week. There are 17,000 members in Illinois with 321 chapters says Illinois FFA’s Katie Burns.

Burns grew up in the FFA, served as a section president and also earned her American FFA Degree. She attended Sparta High School. 

Treasurer Unveils Rural Initiatives

The Illinois State Treasurer is announcing a trio of programs designed to free up money for predominantly rural parts of the state. The Community Uplift Program is designed to support communities that struggle with unemployment, poverty and business closings; Ag Invest partners with family farming operations; and Finally Home will help individuals purchase a home or help refinance in cases of hardship.

Treasurer Mike Frerichs announced these programs at the National Great Rivers Museum Tuesday morning. He says the treasurer’s office has partnered with lending institutions to provide below-market loans to start, expand or add value to family farming operations for more than 35 years.

The Community Uplift Program provides capital to lending institutions at below-market rates so they can increase lending activities, fund local development efforts, and assist local communities and their residents. Qualified applicants for Finally Home typically have marginal credit scores. The program also helps to stabilize neighborhoods through increased home ownership. For more information on these programs, go to www.InvestinRuralIllinois.com

Christian County Board Approves Funds to Hire Architect and Engineer to Design Jail Expansion

Christian County’s jail is getting older, and the facility is overcrowding. While a new facility is not in the near picture, the county board approved forty thousand dollars to pay an architect and engineer to design an expansion that will alleviate overcrowding issues and fix some of the problems the jail is facing. The decision came at Tuesday night’s meeting.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says the jail is facing multiple issues because of overcrowding and age.



The county jail holds federal prisoners as well to make extra income for the county. Kettelkamp says being able to hold more federal prisoners will allow the county to pay off the construction costs sooner.



The expansion would hold 20 new beds, 3 isolation cells, storage, and an updated kitchen. Kettelkamp says although a new facility is the ideal solution, he understands that Christian County residents don’t want any new taxes right now.



The board also approved liquor license renewals for many county establishments and replacing two county debit cards with two credit cards. The board will reconvene on Tuesday, March 27 at the Christian County Courthouse.

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Teaches Fourth Graders First Aid Tips

Members of HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital are teaching kids in Shelbyville the basics of first aid. The hospital’s emergency department manager Michael Queary recently taught basic first aid lessons to the fourth graders at the Moulton Grade School.


Queary says the 4-H program reached out to the hospital about hosting the classes, and that they covered some health basics with the kids.



Queary says having these basic skills could save someone’s life.



Queary also reminded the students the importance of washing their hands and demonstrated ways to avoid spreading germs.

Assumption Pride Continues to Help City Through Various Projects

There are plenty of good things going on in the city of Assumption, and one local group continues to push for growth in the small community.


Courtney Hiler is with Assumption Pride and says there are several projects going on to make the city better.



Hiler says the group is always looking for more volunteers.



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

What Does the State Treasurer's Office Do for Illinois?

Many residents may not know what exactly the Illinois Treasurer’s Office’s job is. State Treasurer Mike Frerichs says himself it’s the best, least-understood government office in Illinois.


Frerichs says his office’s job is actually to make money for the state of Illinois.



Frerichs says the ways his office invests the state’s money includes many different avenues, including investing in Illinois’ economy.



Frerichs says his job allows him to help Illinois residents every day.



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

Christian County LEAD Program Tours Taylorville Correctional Center

The Christian County LEAD Program is in the middle of their 2018 class, and the group of area leaders recently took a tour of the Taylorville Correctional Center.


Linda Smith is the coordinator of the Christian County LEAD Program. She says members of the class got to see the business functions and opportunities for prisoners at Taylorville’s facility.



Smith says visiting the prison is just a piece of giving LEAD Program participants a bigger picture look at Christian County.



Smith says although the program is designed for people new to Christian County, many people participate more than one time, and the class is designed to always have fresh information and opportunities.

Pension Shift and Health Insurance Tough Sell in Governor Budget Plan

The center piece of Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget blueprint is a cost shift for pensions. The move would involve Chicago and downstate schools as well as state universities and would save the state a billion dollars, but critics say it will result in a spike in local property taxes. The other big piece of the governor’s budget plan calls for removing health insurance from collective bargaining discussions with state employee unions and making some cuts in retiree health insurance premiums. Rauner estimates the move would save another half-a-billion dollars, but it’s a tough sell says Jack Tichenor, host of Public Media’s Illinois Lawmakers.

Tichenor says another issue presented in the Governor’s budget plan is rolling back part of last year’s income tax increase. 

Rauner Reacts to School Shootings

Governor Bruce Rauner is responding to last week's school shootings in Florida.

Rauner says he will continue to focus on the mental health issue as a part of criminal justice reform.

Peoria Airport Shutdown by Incident

Peoria airport officials were forced to close General Wayne Downing International for a few hours Saturday after a man reportedly used a stolen vehicle to ram the main terminal and breached security. The incident led to flight delays and cancellations. The man was taken into custody and hospitalized after the incident. There's no further word on the man's conditions or whether charges have been filed. 

Shelby County Students Getting Early Start on Ag Education

Shelby County students get an early start on agriculture education thanks to Shelby County Ag Literacy instructor Kathleen Agney.


Agney appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios. She says there are many ways to teach kids about the importance of agriculture.



Agney says it’s her mission to make sure Shelby County kids know the importance of agriculture to everyone.



She says programs like 4-H and FFA are also very important in reinforcing the importance of agriculture as students get older.

Doggie Day Care to Open in Shelbyville March 1

A new dog kennel and grooming business is opening its doors in Shelbyville in a few weeks. Doggie Day Care is set to open across from the Shelbyville Airport on March 1.


Tasha Wendt is the owner of Doggie Day Care, and she appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios. She says she went to school for taking care of dogs.



She says spending her days with animals is what she has always wanted to do.



Wendt says her goal is to give area dogs a way to play and use their energy during the day as their owners are away. She says dogs being able to socialize with other dogs makes them healthier.

Ameren Illinois Workers Continue Efforts to Restore Power in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico still has residents without power more than five months after Hurricane Maria, but Ameren Illinois is still doing its part to help the island recover. The electric company has multiple crews on the island working diligently to restore power to Puerto Ricans.


Brian Doran is an Electric Supervisor with Ameren Illinois. He is currently in Puerto Rico, and says restoring power on the island is a tougher job than back at home.



Doran and his crew are currently working to restore power in the Rio Grande area east of San Juan. He says as his crew travels with the power line to fix the issues, the residents are extremely gracious to the crew.



The workers Doran supervises are from all parts of Illinois, and they continue to work together to bring Puerto Ricans back on line.

As TJHS Sees STEM Lab Success, THS Looks to Have STEM Lab Ready for Next Year

Taylorville High School’s new STEM lab is in the final planning phases. Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the equipment for the lab needs to be ordered and renovation work will be done at the school over the summer.


Fuerstenau says there have been more donations made to make the high school STEM lab possible.



The STEM lab at Taylorville Junior High School has now been in place for one semester. Fuerstenau says not only can the high school look at the junior high as a model for their lab, but outside school districts are too.



Students at TJHS are succeeding in using the technology the STEM lab provides. Fuerstenau says some students even gave the school board a demonstration recently.



Fuerstenau says the district wants to have the THS STEM lab ready for students by next school year.

Christian County Blood Drives This Week

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center will be hosting two blood drives this week in Christian County.


The first drive will be on Tuesday from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Edinburg High School. The Bloodmobile will be parked at the high school, and all presenting donors will receive a free t-shirt.


Then on Friday, there will be a blood drive at Davis Memorial Christian Church at 1500 West Franklin St. in Taylorville. All presenting donors at this blood drive will receive a special edition St. Patrick’s Day t-shirt.


Donors must be at least 17-years-old, but 16-year-olds can donate with parental consent. For more information, you can call 800-747-5401.

Former Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Manager Now Helping Area Businesses Through Radio

Vonda McConnell spent many years in Shelbyville as the Office Manager at the Chamber of Commerce. Now, she has joined the Miller Media Group to help local businesses grow through the area’s local radio stations.


McConnell says working at the Chamber was a fantastic job, but it was time to move on.



McConnell will work with businesses in the Effingham, Pana, Shelbyville, and Taylorville areas. She says this is not her first go-around with working for a media outlet and that advertising is a key investment in a local business.



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

Lake Land College Receives Career and Technical Education Leadership Improvement Grant

Lake Land College has received a grant from the Illinois Community College Board to develop an apprenticeship program. The Career and Technical Education Leadership Improvement Grant is worth more than $40,000 and it is intended to support the startup of the Lake Land College Apprenticeship Collaboration Project.


The college plans to use the grant funding to oversee at least 30 new apprenticeships in both the production technician and the plastics manufacturing fields. There are also plans to recruit students for registered apprenticeships in the finance field. Through these apprenticeships, college leaders anticipate forming mutual relationships with a minimum of 10 business and industry partners from across the district.


For more information about Lake Land College’s Workforce Ready programs, visit lakelandcollege.edu.

Romance Scam Warnings

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but the Better Business Bureau has tips so you don't fall for online romance scams. Whether you are searching for a partner at a dating site, or are contacted randomly through the various messaging services, you need to keep your guard up for some warning signs, according to an investigator with the agency. Scammers often use these scams to steal large sums of money from their victims. Even if targets realize they have been victims of a scam, BBB Investigator Don O'Brien says the fraud may continue with a new scam pretending to help them get their money back, or the tried-and-true blackmail angle.

The spread of online dating sites and apps has made this fraud even easier to commit. Victims in the US and Canada have reported losing nearly $1 billion over the last three years, and BBB estimates there may be more than a million victims in the U.S. alone. Because most people do not file complaints about romance scams with BBB or law enforcement, this may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Limited Supply of Raffle and Dinner Tickets Left as Christian County CEO Dinner Approaches

Time is running out to get your tickets for the Christian County CEO Raffle or the CEO’s Fundraiser dinner coming up next weekend. The raffle winner will be announced at the dinner, and there are still a limited number of tickets available for both events.


Kyle Woods is a senior at Taylorville High School and is in this year’s CEO class. He says there will be other ways to help the CEO program at next week’s dinner.



This is Woods’ second year in the class. He says more students in the class and growing up in the same grade as these kids has made for more ideas for preparing for this year’s dinner.



If you have not gotten raffle or dinner tickets, you can contact the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. The dinner is next Saturday, February 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pillars Event Center.

After Investigation, Threat to Cowden-Herrick Schools Deemed Not Credible

Schools in the Cowden-Herrick School District received a threat of violence earlier in the week, but after an investigation, the threat has been found to not be credible.


The district sent a letter home to parents Friday afternoon. Cowden-Herrick Superintendent Darrell Gordon says the district worked with local law enforcement in investigating the threat.



Gordon says as superintendent and a grandparent of children in the district, he takes any threat very seriously.



With the shooting Wednesday in Florida, one solution Gordon says he would like to see in his district or nationwide if possible would be putting a resource officer in every school.

Another Deadly School Shooting Leaves Area School Districts Looking at Shooter Preparation Plans

With another tragic school shooting Wednesday in Florida, local school districts are looking at their procedures in place for handling an active shooter situation.


Nokomis Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr says his district works frequently with local authorities so that everyone is prepared.



The best way to handle a shooter situation would be to prevent it if possible. Shelbyville Schools Superintendent Denise Bense says they reiterate communication in her district as much as possible.



There have already been 18 school shootings in the United States in 2018. There also was the shooting at Mattoon High School earlier this school year.

Slots Still Available For Taylorville Chamber Spring Swing

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce’s Spring Swing is coming up and there are still spaces available to either participate as a golfer, or judge one of the holes.


Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says the winners will receive a cash price.



There’s also openings availble for those who would like to volunteer to judge.



The Chamber’s Spring Swing event will take place on Saturday, March 3rd with a shotgun start at 11. To register, contact the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, or visit one of the establishments hosting a hole.

Bio Gas A Growing Trend In Agriculture

The University of Illinois Extension held their Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting Thursday morning at the U of I extension Office in Taylorville. The Dudley Smith Farm is designed to test up and coming ideas in science in Agriculture, and one of those sciences is utilizing biogas on the farm.


Ashley Belle is the Enviornmental and Energy Stewardship educator at the U of I Extension Unit 18, and says there’s a growing trend in ag of using digesters to create bio gas to be used on the farm.



Belle says this gas that’s generated is being used in a number of different ways, and the technology has an opportunity to grow in Illinois.



Belle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show’s live coverage of the U of I Extension’s Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting.

Bill Rhymes 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 Bill Rhymes. Rhymes serves as the Chancellor at the Knights of Columbus in Taylorville and gives back to the community whenever he can. Through steak nights, chicken dinners, or Tootsie Roll drives, Rhymes is an active and reliable part of the KC Hall Family.


Rhymes says the Knights of Columbus is a great organization to be a part of to help the community.



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

Lake Land College Awarded America's Farmers Grow Communities Donation from Coles County Farmer

The Agriculture Division at Lake Land Community College has received a $2,500 donation as part of the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, sponsored by Monsanto.


The Grow Communities program partners with farmers to support nonprofit organizations in their local communities. The program has given more than $29 million since its inception, including more than $3 million this year.


Lake Land Agronomy Instructor/Farm Manager Mark Niemerg says the award is a reflection of the entire Agriculture Division.


Each year, farmers submit information for a chance to direct a $2,500 donation to a nonprofit they care about in their community. The organizations reflect the makeup and character of rural America, including emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs, food banks and many others.


The America’s Farmers campaign highlights the importance of modern U.S. Agriculture through communications and community outreach programs that partner with farmers to impact rural America. To learn more about the Grow Communities program, visit the Facebook page at facebook.com/Americasfarmers or americasfarmers.com.

Rauner Wants Tax Decrease

The Governor is pushing for a small tax decrease. Bruce Rauner claims that his budget proposal is balanced and will allow for a tax cut by the end of the fiscal year. 

The tax cut Rauner is proposing would trim one quarter of one percent off the income tax rate. Opponents suggest that Rauner’s proposed budget isn’t balanced and didn’t take into account the state’s $9 billion backlog of unpaid bills.

Durbin Tackles Gun Violence After Florida School Shooting

Senator Dick Durbin had plenty to say after the school shooting in Broward County, Florida that has left 17 dead so far. Durbin gave Congress a poor grade for its handling of the issue of gun violence.

While Durbin said there has been inaction on gun violence concerns, he takes issue with one area where action was taken.

Durbin also remembered the victims of the Northern Illinois University shooting ten years ago.

Another Legionnaire's Case at QVH

There is another case of Legionnaire’s at the Quincy Veteran’s Home. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Thursday a third person has contracted the illness. As with the other two cases already reported this week, the individual in question is in stable condition. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs says they have taken measures to stop the spread of the disease. This case comes on the heels of a patient testing positive for Legionnaires’ at the Chester Mental Health Center. 

Mixed Reaction on Cost Shift Proposal for Schools

The Governor proposed his budget this week and he says it a balanced proposal that paves the way to roll the state’s income tax back a quarter of a percent. He’s proposing spending money vastly differently than it has been before – especially when it comes to education. Rauner wants K-12 schools and universities to start paying their portion of pension costs. Republican Neal Anderson from the 36th district says it’s worth looking at, but the details need to be better understood.

The plan has been floated before, but the cost shift was proposed to roll out over a longer period of time. Rauner wants schools to absorb the full cost in just 4 years. Democrat Dave Kohler from the 46th says shoving the total cost to schools over a short period of time undermines the Governor’s long state wish of lower property taxes.

Boil Order in Effect for Parts of Edinburg

The Village of Edinburg has notified Regional Radio that there is a boil order in effect for the areas of Grant Street from Masonic to Martin Street, and on Martin Street from Eaton to Grant.

Two Overnight Fires Keep Taylorville Fire Department Busy

Two fires kept the Taylorville Fire Department busy overnight Wednesday into Thursday.


The first fire occurred at an apartment building on Grand Ave. on the east side of the city. Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews says the fire quickly overtook most of the second floor of the building.



Later in the night, the fire department got a call to the Gaslight Motel on the west end of town.



Crews says the blazes do not appear to be connected, but Illinois State Fire Marshals have been called in to investigate the two fires.

WSVZ, Family Drug Shelbyville Students of the Month February 2018

The Family Drug and WSVZ Shelbyville Students of the Month for February are:   Left to Right:  Senior Bailey Bly, Junior Gabi Pierce, Sophomore Abbi Hawes, Freshman Hunter Reed, and Kim Guiot from Family Drug, Shelbyville.


Manar Says Rauner's Proposed Pension Reforms Is Only Shifting the Monetary Burden

State Senator Andy Manar, a champion of education funding in Illinois, is calling Governor Rauner’s proposals at the annual budget address detrimental to schools of all levels across the state.


Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed shifting some of the burden of state pensions to local governments, including teacher pensions to local districts. Manar says that will not help the already underfunded schools in Illinois.



Manar says what Rauner is calling “pension reform” is just shifting the burden of those costs.



On a positive note, Manar says the governor called a meeting with the leaders of the Senate and House today for the first time in over a year.



Manar says more details about specific line items in the budget will come out in the next week.

Route 29 Expansion Already Having Positive Impact on Edinburg

It has been a little over a year since the 4-lane Route 29 expansion opened, and the village of Edinburg is already seeing the benefits of the new highway around the community.


Edinburg’s Village President David Luttrell says new businesses are setting up shop in the community.



Luttrell says the highway has made Edinburg an easy drive away from Springfield.



Luttrell says the city is also seeing an increase in tax revenue thanks to the new Route 29.

Details Coming Together For Taylorville Police Department Shred Event

The Taylorville Police Department and Christian County TRIAD program are putting the final details on a shred event to allow locals to shred unwanted documents to help protect from identity theft.


Taylorville Police Cheif Brian Hile says the date still needs to be worked out, but thinks the shred event will happen sometime at the beginning of this summer.



The city will shred your documents on site at no cost. Hile says the department will be taking donations during the event for the Taylorville Food Pantry.



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

New Principal at TJHS Named

The new principal at Taylorville Junior High School has been named. The Taylorville School Board approved the hiring of Jessica Miller as TJHS principal at Monday night’s school board meeting.


Miller comes to the district from the Pana School District, where she has spent her entire education career.



Miller is also a Pana native, and she says it will be hard to leave her hometown. But she says she is excited at what is already happening at TJHS.



Miller will assume the position on July 1.

Harassment Victim Details Texts and Perceived Slow Response For Help

A campaign worker for Democratic candidates is starting to tell more of her story about what it was like to be harassed by a high ranking aide to Speaker Mike Madigan. Alaina Hampton has worked on Democratic campaigns since 2012; she says harassing text messages from Kevin Quinn went on for months. She says that complaints seemed to go nowhere. 

Hampton says her initial complaints to Quinn’s supervisor went nowhere so she sent a letter to Madigan in November. After that an investigation was opened by a Madigan lawyer and Quinn resigned this week. Hampton says that she lived with crippling anxiety over the ordeal and has since left working for the Democratic Party and opened her own consulting business. 

Finding New Uses for Vacant Downtown Storefronts

Finding new and different uses for vacant downtown storefronts continues to be a challenge in rural Illinois. It’s something that will be addressed at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs 29th Annual Rural Community and Economic Development Conference next month. 

This year’s conference is March 6-8 at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield. You can register at “iira.gov”. 

Durbin Uses Tale of Olympic Dreamer to Press the Case for Dreamers

Senator Dick Durbin continues to take to the Senate floor in support of keeping young immigrants in the DACA program from a date with deportation. Now he's turning to the tale of an Olympic gold medalist to press the case for giving young people opportunities in this country. Her immigration status isn't in question, but Durbin believes Chloe Kim's experience as a member of a family that came to the U.S. in 1982 with minimal skills or knowledge of English is a good case study for keeping Dreamers here.

Durbin says time is of the essence in his push to protect Dreamers, because starting March, 5th, one thousand young undocumented immigrants protected by DACA will lose their work permits with potential for deportation.

Governor Bruce Rauner Delivers Annual Budget Address

Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his highly anticipated budget address on Wednesday afternoon, and in his address, he’s calling for tax relief, pension reform, and more autonomy for local governments to help with their budget concerns.


Rauner addressed members of the state legislature, and said for Illinois to be competitive and attract jobs from companies such as Amazon and Apple, the state needs to reform it’s pension process, and cut taxes.



These pension reforms extend to Illinois school districts as well, with the governor proposing local districts shoulder more of the costs of their pension plans, while offsetting those costs with higher education funding in the state.



The governor also touched on school funding for the state’s universities, recommending more funds directed towards schools such as the University of Illinois.


Efforts Continue to Clean Up Dilapidated Pana Properties

The effort continues to clean up blighted property in Pana. One issue that comes with cleaning up communities and unmaintained property gaining ownership of the property, or getting the current owners to agree to tearing down dilapidated buildings.


George Heintz is Pana's Code Enforcement Officer, and is helping with the effort to clean up the town. Heintz says the city just recently came into ownership of several properties which will help speed up the process of tearing those buildings down.



There are many more properties however that need attention. Heintz says these properties are owned by a number of different organizations.



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

Rock Steady Boxing Partnering With Christian County YMCA

A boxing class that's designed to help those struggling with Parkinson's disease is making it's way to the Christian County YMCA. Rock Steady Boxing is a program designed to help those fighting the disease maintain basic motor skills.


Chris Weittenhiller with the Christian County YMCA appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show, and says the Y is excited to offer this class to the public and YMCA members alike.



The class starts in the spring, with the price structure staying the same. The Y will however be offering a discount for YMCA members.



The class will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Kincaid Mayor Bill Jarrett Resigns Citing Health Issues

Kincaid mayor Bill Jarrett turned in his letter of resignation at Monday’s village board meeting. Jarrett was first appointed mayor in March of 2016 and was elected to his first full term last year.


Jarrett says he is resigning because of health issues.



Jarrett thanks the community for their support during his time as mayor.



The board will now start the search for a replacement to serve out the rest of Jarrett’s term.

Bourne Joining Colleagues to Call on Madigan to Adopt State Revenue Estimate

95th District State Representative Avery Bourne is joining other House colleagues in calling on Speaker Mike Madigan to adopt a revenue estimate on which to base Illinois’ upcoming budget. The estimate is required by the state’s constitution, but Bourne says Madigan has not fulfilled this mandate in three years.


She says it is common sense to budget based on how much money lawmakers think the state will bring in.



Bourne says passing a revenue estimate should not be a partisan issue.



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

New Legionnaire's Cases at QVH

Two more cases of Legionnaire’s disease have now been reported at the Quincy Veteran’s Home. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that both individuals are currently doing well. The new cases come on the heels of investigations and news reports on why it took so long to identify and alert individuals to an initial outbreak in 2015 that killed 13 people. 

Madigan Cuts Ties With Political Consultant

There is fallout from the growing conversation about sexual harassment at the Statehouse. Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has cut ties with a long-time political consultant after an investigation found he sent inappropriate text messages to a colleague. Madigan attorney Heather Wier Vaught discusses the investigation that led to the ouster of Kevin Quinn.

Wier Vaught referred to Quinn's oilder brother, Chicago Alderman Marty Quinn. Wier Vaught says Madigan's political operation is taking steps to help prevent future issues.

Wier Vaught says Quinn and the woman were not state employees and the woman who sought the investigation is a political consultant not employed by Madigan. 

Possible Alternative To Opioid's Are Sought

Opioid addiction is a problem across Illinois and a proposed law is aimed at finding an alternative to taking those pain meds. A new bill would let people who are prescribed opioids for pain get a temporary medical marijuana card. Democrat State Senator Don Harmon says it’s a solid alternative. 

Right now, intractable pain has not been approved by the states Department of Public Health as a reason to prescribe medical pot. 

State of Technology Covered at Monday's Taylorville School Board Meeting

Technology continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the Taylorville School District continues to adapt for the education of area kids. Chris Kuntzman gave a state of district technology report to the Taylorville school board at Monday night’s meeting.


Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the district continues to make progress in implementing the 1-to-1 initiative, giving each student a Chromebook for their studies.



Fuerstenau says a group of junior high students also joined the presentation by showing the board how to fly a drone.



Also at Monday’s meeting, the board approved the hiring of Jessica Miller as the next principal at Taylorville Junior High School. Miller comes to the district from Pana where she currently serves at the Technology Integration Specialist for the Pana School District.


The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 12 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville School District Administration Building.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - February 13, 2018

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


Sometime between Sunday February 4, 2018 and Tuesday February 6, 2018, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 912 East Market Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took several items including, video game equipment and a camera.  Also taken was a World War 2 burial flag, folded in a display box with campaign ribbons.  The flag was given to the widow of a soldier who was killed in Italy. There did not appear to have been any damage done while making entry. The total dollar amount of the damage and 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 (274637) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

State Representative Avery Bourne Signs On To House Resolution Opposing Vehicle Mileage Tax

There's a proposed tax in Springfield that would charge you for every mile you drive. Although not a formal bill yet, the proposal suggests using a GPS locator in your car to calculate how many miles you drive, and taxing you for those miles in an attempt to keep revenues high despite less motor fuel tax income.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) has signed on to a House Resolution opposing the idea of the tax.
One way the state may calculate how many miles are driven is through the use of a GPS locator placed in your vehicle. Bourne says she's heard from constituents with privacy concerns over the proposal.
In addition, Bourne says this tax would disproportionatly affect downstate Illinois.
State Representative Avery Bourne appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Local Communities Could Use Solar Energy As Economic Opportunity

Solar energy could become a valuable resource for many southern Illinois communities. Solar power was just one of the many issues discussed at Monday’s meeting of Christian County mayors.


Dick Breckenridge is with BlueGreen Alliance, an organization looking to promote renewable energy jobs in Illinois and other states. He was a special guest at Monday’s meeting and says that converting non-renewable resource jobs to careers in renewable resources is the future of the world’s energy.



Pana mayor Don Kroski says he would like his community to look at solar panels to put on the land of the old refinery in his community.



Breckenridge says he Future Energy Jobs Act gives focus to bringing renewable energy to downstate Illinois.

Christian County Mayors Gather in Pana Monday

Christian County mayors reconvened Monday morning in Pana for their quarterly meeting to share issues and ideas. Mayors and other officials from Pana, Assumption, Edinburg, Owaneco, Taylorville, Morrisonville, and Palmer were on hand for the meeting.


This was Morrisonville mayor Larry Tolliver’s first meeting of the mayors since the meetings were restarted in November. He says these meetings are a great way to help solve problems in local communities.



Tolliver says these meetings are a way to get many local leaders together and come up with better solutions for area issues.



The next mayor’s meeting will be held in May, with a tentative date scheduled for May 14 in Taylorville.

State Police Fight Drug Trade

The interstate highway system is heavily used by business interests, shipping goods around the nation. But drug traffickers also utilize the highways to move their goods. The Illinois State Police continually monitors the interstates in search of those transporting the illegal products. Illinois State Police Trooper Heath Bryan says they are seeing a lot more methamphetamine.

He says the increase in meth is likely due to the law of supply and demand - heroin is popular right now, so it's drawing a higher price. That means meth is cheaper, and is starting to gain momentum again. 

Southern Illinois State Lawmaker Reacts to SIU Tuition Increase

The Southern Illinois University of Carbondale Board of Trustees has approved a 2-percent tuition increase to $9,637.50 for full-time undergraduate students and $11,268 for graduate students. State Representative Terri Bryant says the tuition hike can be attributed to the budget issues in Illinois.

The tuition spike will only affect incoming students as previous classes, by law, must lock in their first year rates.

Chicagoland Speedway Out of the Chase but No Tears

The dates for the Chicagoland Speedway's Nascar races no longer intersect with the Chase for the Championship, but there are few tears being shed in Joliet. Speedway President Scott Paddock looks forward to a return to the summer spotlight with The NASCAR weekend kicking off June 28th and wrapping up with the Overton 400 on Sunday, July 1st for the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series. 


Paddock says fans who buy tickets this week for the Overton 400 will have extra incentive to pull for one driver in this weekend's Daytona 500.

The racing weekend starts off with an ARCA Series race June 28th, with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overton’s 225 on June 29th. On Saturday, June 30th, the NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will take to the track for the Overton’s 300.

THS Journalism Staff Brings Home Six IJEA Awards in 2017 Yearbook Competition

The Taylorville High School Journalism staff took home six first-place awards from the Illinois Journalism Education Association’s 2017 yearbook competition. THS’s journalism teacher Stephen Steele says the awards couldn’t go to a better group of kids.


Steele says the awards the kids received cover a wide range of topics.



Steele says the journalism students at THS, past and present, set a high bar for their work.



Steele says the publishing company is also honoring the latest yearbook by making it an example they give to schools of how to make a great yearbook.

Davis Optimistic that Farm Bill is Coming Along

There is a lot going on in Washington, but Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says something that has flown under the radar is the progress that has been on a new farm bill.


Davis says he believes discussion on the bill will start at the committee level in the next month.



Davis says he hopes the upcoming farm bill can be as productive for farmers and taxpayers as the current legislation.



The current farm bill expires at the end of 2018.

State Superintendent of Schools Commits to Start Getting School Funding Reform Dollars to Districts By April 1

After another strange turn of events in Springfield, school funding reform is again the law of the land. State Senator Andy Manar says Illinois’ state superintendent of schools has made a commitment to the Senate’s Education Committee that districts will start receiving additional state funding by the spring.


Manar says the bill Rauner vetoed that nearly held up school funding reform was a bill the Governor had asked for himself.



Manar says the state’s superintendent of schools has made a commitment to start getting the additional state money to school districts by April 1st.



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

Jenner Ag Sees Great Success Under Open-Book Management Program

One local business has seen great success using an open-book management program that gets all employees involved in running the business. Jenner Ag, based in Harrisburg and with a location in Taylorville, has seen sustained growth and has prospered even as the corn market tanked in recent years.


Clint Hohenstein is the Chief Financial Officer at Jenner Ag. He says the reason they got involved with the Great Game of Business is to incentivize their employee profit-sharing program.



Hohenstein says this program helped the company stay strong during the agriculture economy downturn a few years ago.



Jenner Ag and The Great Game of Business, Inc. will be hosting a workshop of area businesses to learn more about the program on February 20th in Decatur. For more information about the workshop, you can email Ryan Dean with Great Game of Business, Inc. at rdean@ggob.com or call 1-800-386-2752.

Drought Conditions Raising Concerns of Brush Fires

Drought issues are becoming a concern across the area, and that’s not just an issue for farmers. It could also lead to headaches for area fire departments dealing with dry vegetation fires.


Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews says discarded cigarettes have led to brush fires in the past.



Crews says along with disposing of cigarettes properly, there are some controlled burn tips that could prevent a planned fire from going out of control.



According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s drought monitor, most of the area is seeing abnormally dry conditions and portions of Sangamon, Christian, Montgomery, and Fayette counties are in a moderate drought.

Lincoln Presidential Museum gets impressive birthday gifts

On this day, Illinois celebrates the birthday of its favorite son, Civil War President Abraham Lincoln. This year's birthday celebration will be a little festive than usual at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield. Last week, Executive Director Alan Lowe announced two important gifts arrived at the museum, including a piece of artwork that gives use a closer look at "the Old Railsplitter's" early years.

The painting shows a young Lincoln taking a break from chopping wood to read a book.A letter that isn't exactly written in Gettysburg Address style has been added to the Library and Museum's collection as well.

The angry letter was written to Andrew McCormack, one of the “Long Nine,” a group of lawmakers who teamed up to move the state capitol from Vandalia to Springfield. McCormack was attacked by Lincoln for planning to vote against the group. 

Today, the museum is offering free admission. There will also be music from dulcimer and banjo expert Mike Anderson from 10 to 1 and appearances by historic interpreters portraying figures such as Mary Lincoln and a Civil War soldier from 10 to 3. Lincoln’s famed stovepipe hat will be on display in the museum’s Treasures Gallery, along with a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and two loving letters between Abraham and Mary. These special items can be seen through Feb. 27. 

The Lincoln Presidential Library will also host a roundtable of historians from 2:30 – 4.

Project Looks at Health Insurance Impact on Farmer Profitability

An Ohio State University researcher leading a report that looks at health insurance and its impact on a farmers’ profitability. Shoshanah Inwood’s work shows that half of all farmers in a national survey believe they will need to sell some or all of their farm assets to stay healthy. 

Inwood’s project is funded through the USDA. She was among the speakers at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Nashville last month. 

Winter Weather Advisory in Effect

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for the Regional Radio listening area.


The National Weather Service says mixed precipitation will continue to spread in from the southwest during this evening and continue into mid Sunday morning. The ice will result in difficult travel conditions. Total snow ice accumulations of up to two tenths of an inch are expected.

Spring Means More Recreation Opportunities For Shelby County

Spring is finally on the horizon and Shelbyville is gearing up for the tourism and recreational opportunities the warmer weather provides, especially at Lake Shelbyville. Along with activities such as fishing picking back up, there are a number of summer internship opportunities available through the US Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville.
Freddy Fry with the Shelby County Office of Tourism says her office is preparing for the warmer weather, and increased number of visitors to the area.
Ashley Florey is with the US Army Corp of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville, and says the Corp of Engineers has a number of paid internship opportunities this summer.
Fry and Florey appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.

Simple Blessing Boutique Offering A Number Of Products To Customers

Men and women looking for a boutique in Shelbyville or Effingham have a new option. Vanessa Shafer and Brittney Davis have opened Simple Blessings Boutique, a place where they say women can purchase a number of items.
Shafer and Davis both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our Downtown Shelbyville studios, and says their first store in Shelbyville opened in May last year after they fell in love with the location.
The store carries a number of different items to cater for a wide range of interests.

TMH, County Health Department Urging Residents to Take Health Needs Survey Before Deadline Monday

Taylorville Memorial Hospital and the Christian County Health Department have teamed up to conduct an area health needs survey, and the deadline to take the survey is quickly approaching. TMH President and CEO Kim Bourne is urging residents to take a few minutes to take the survey for the betterment of the community.


The deadline for taking the survey is Monday. Bourne says about 300 people have taken the survey but more responses are needed.



The hospital and the health department are each required to do a survey like this every three to five years. Bourne says this survey helps the hospital to know what other services community members are looking for.



You can take the survey by getting a print form at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, or take the survey online here.

Manar Calls on Rauner to Propose Balanced Budget for State

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will hold his annual budget address next week, and State Senator Andy Manar is calling on Rauner to do his job with the budget for the first time since becoming governor.


Manar says the governor is required by the state’s constitution to propose a balanced budget, yet Rauner hasn’t done that since taking office according to Manar.



In addition to not proposing balanced budgets, Manar says Rauner has also authorized additional spending not approved by the legislature.



Manar says it is a chance for everyone to look forward and do what’s best for the future of Illinois.



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

Learn More About Growing Fruit Trees During U of I Home Orchard Series

Those looking at growing fruit trees can get more information on the ins and outs of cultivating a home orchard from the University of Illinois Extension during the Extension's Home Orchard Series. The three session series is designed to teach about a number of subjects, from pruning your fruit trees, to managing the various pests that you may encounter.
Andrew Holsinger's a horticulture educator at the Unversity of Illinois Extension, and says the series is a great way to learn more about growing fruit trees.
According to Hoslinger, there's a number of things to keep in mind when starting a home orchard.
There is a $15 registration fee to sign up for all three sessions, and you can register by contacting the University of Illinois Extension Unit 18 office. Holsinger appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Time Running Out To Purchase Christian County CEO Banquet Tickets

The Christian County CEO Banquet is approaching and the event is close to selling out. The banquet serves as a way for the CEO program to raise money to fund the students in the program's businesses that they will start as a part of the program.
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is heavily involved in the CEO program, and says you want to purchase your ticket to the banquet as soon as possible.
There's going to be a number of different events to help the students raise money, and will also feature a special keynote speaker.
Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

HSHS Good Shepherd Announces MVP Shining Star Award Winner

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville recently announced their MVP Shining Star Award winner. The award is given each quarter based on one of the hospitals core values, respect, care, competence, and joy.


Jeanie Huff, a CNA and housekeeper at Good Shepherd, was selected as embodying the value of care. The hospital’s marketing coordinator Glenda Plunkett says Huff’s colleagues give her high praise.



Plunkett says Huff and everyone at HSHS Good Shepherd tries to embody the spirit and values of the original 22 nurses that came over from Germany.



Plunkett says Huff’s respect for patients and exceptional service makes her highly deserving of this award.

DCFS Worker Dies of Injuries after Trying to Protect A Child

A worker for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has died after being beaten while trying to take protective custody of child. Sue Knight died this morning from injuries sustained in the September attack. The man who attacked her is facing first degree murder charges. The attack happened in a Millegeville home as Knight tried to take in a two year old child. 

Corrections Needs Billion More Dollars

A billion more dollars are needed to keep the state’s prison system up and running for the rest of the fiscal year. That’s the take from the Department of Corrections and it will require lawmakers to pass a supplemental spending bill to get it done. The trouble comes from “unappropriated liabilities” from last year when the state was operating without a budget. The unaccounted for spending has been haunting the state after years after operating without an official budget, the Governor is set to give his budget address on February 14th where he claims he will introduce a plan to pay down past bills, balance the budget and put forth a plan to roll back the income tax hike. 

ISP Has Advice Around Snow Plows

More winter weather in the forecast for much of Illinois over the next several days and snow plows will be out in full force. Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson says motorists need to be careful when driving around those big orange trucks.

Forecasters are predicting a storm system to impact much of Illinois late Thursday into Friday.

Legionella Found at the Capitol Complex

It's official. Test results show potentially lethal Legionella bacteria has been found in the 14 building State Capitol Complex. 300 water tests showed four confirmed readings of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. Two positive results came from the cooling tower in the Central Management Services’ computer center, another was found in the women's restroom in the basement of the Howlett Bulding. That's the building next to the Capitol that serves as the headquarters for the Secretary of State's office. The fourth positive test was uncovered at an industrial humidifier in the Capitol Building's south wing. State officials say efforts are underway to drain and disinfect those areas and a water flushing program is underway throughout the Capitol Complex to maximize fresh water running through the pipes and fixtures. Aerators have been removed and showers disabled to prevent Legionella issues. There are no reports of illness from the Capitol and this week's email to state workers calls the spread of the bacteria unlikely. 

With Democratic Memo Release Coming, Davis Says Americans Deserve Transparency

The Democratic memo regarding possible FBI and Department of Justice infractions will be released no later than Saturday. The memo is a counter to the Republican memo released last week.


Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says the federal government should be as open as possible on the situation, and let the American people come to their own conclusions.



Davis says after reading both memos, he believes that some Americans’ basic rights were infringed upon.



Davis says the same standard of law should be held in courthouses of any level, from the local to federal levels.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - February 8, 2018

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


Sometime between 10:00 pm on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 and 8:00 am on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, person or persons unknown made entry into Early Bird Gaming Room, located at 208 West Main Cross Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects attempted to break into a money machine, but were not successful.  A small amount of cash was taken from a cash box.  The back door was damaged while making entry. The total dollar amount of the damage and 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 (274637) and then your tip.  As always, you will remain anonymous.  

Davis Happy to See Military, Opioid Crisis are Priorities in Senate Budget Agreement

Leaders in the United States Senate have announced a bipartisan budget bill that would fund the government for the next two years if passed. The announcement came late Wednesday morning. Some of the highlights of the bill include more funding for the military and for fighting the opioid crisis.


U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) says our troops have suffered greatly from past funding cuts.



Davis says it looks like billions of dollars will be invested across the country to fight the ongoing opioid crisis as well.



Davis says he has not read through the full bill yet, but that he hopes many of the House’s budget priorities were included in this budget agreement.

WTIM Investment Professional Sees Possible Market Correction On The Horizon

The stock market has seen an increase in volatility over the past week, and although this is one sign of a possible market downturn, WTIM Investment Professional Steve Henry doesn't believe this alone is a sign of a larger market correction. Henry does warn though that there's many things going on that signal the end of a bull market on the horizon.
Henry appearing as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show, and likened the current market environment to the dot com bubble of the late 90s. He says he's seeing a lot of behaviour now, that he saw right before the dot com market corrected itself.
Henry says you are seeing many companies have stock prices that don't make much sense when you look at their actual income, and that this is one sign of a market correction on the horizon.
Henry also pointed to volatility in the stock market sitting at an all time low. Although there has been increased volatility in the markets the past week, Henry doesn't see this as a sign of a full blown market correction.
You can get more information on Steve Henry's approach to investing, contact information, and listen to his complete interview by clicking on the WTIM Investment Professional Icon at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com.

Newly Formed Edinburg PTO Taking Lead on Providing Art Education to Students

Edinburg Schools’ new Parent-Teacher Organization is already having a positive impact on the kids and the community. The organization is taking the lead in provide art education to elementary school students.


Edinburg Schools Superintendent Fred Lamkey says the district has worked hard to stabilize its coffers, but this kind of help is invaluable.



Lamkey says it’s the district’s hope to add classes like art and other opportunities back into the curriculum soon.



Lamkey says the district is lucky to have a community that is as supportive as Edinburg.



Lamkey says the district will not see a big impact from school funding reform because of where they fall in the formula, so a supportive community is a huge player in giving Edinburg kids the best education.

TMH to Host Monthly "Marketing for Seniors" Seminar

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Senior Life Solutions program will host their monthly “Marketing for Seniors” seminar next Tuesday.


Amy Graham is the Director of the Senior Life Solutions program at TMH. She says the seminar is a great way to learn about the services available for area seniors.



Graham says many people don’t know what is available for seniors in the area.



The seminar runs from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Annex on the second floor of the hospital.

Solar Farms to Get Attention During 2018 Illinois Legislative Session

The 2018 legislative session underway in Springfield. What’s at stake for Illinois agriculture?

Illinois Farm Bureau’s Mark Gebhards says that IFB staff have been out and about discussing landowner rights with farmers.


He estimates 80-percent of Illinois counties have had some type of contact from companies representing the solar farm industry. 

Jones Not Ready to Hear From Pritzker

Democrat candidate for Governor JB Pritzker remains in damage control over leaked FBI tapes made when then Governor Rod Blagojevich was under surveillance. Pritzker is caught discussing the Senate seat appointment Blagojevich was going to make. He’s heard promoting Secretary of State Jesse White for seat over other African American candidates, including then Senate President Emil Jones. He suggests skipping over Jones because he’s too crass. Pritzker says he tried to call Jones to apologize about the comment but Jones wasn’t picking up the phone.

Pritzker held a press conference on Tuesday to address the comments. Secretary of State Jesse White was in attendance and says Pritzker’s apology to him about the comments were enough. 

Pritzker Under Fire After Chicago Tribune Release of Wiretap Tape

In recent weeks, Governor Bruce Rauner's re-election campaign has sought to make political hay over wiretapped conversations from 2008 between Democratic gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker and then Governor Rod Blagojevich. The Chicago Tribune has released additional portions of the conversation, mostly focusing on race. Pritzker recommends Secretary of State Jesse White as a possible choice for the U.S. Senate seat that former President Obama was vacating at the time.

Pritzker went on to tout the benefits of White's potential departure from the Secretary of State's office.

Pritzker apologized during a press conference where he was joined by Secretary White. He told reporters he was not "his best self". He also apologized to former Senate President Emil Jones in a phone call because he told Blagojevich Jones would be a poor choice for U.S. Senate because "he's more crass". Pritzker's Democratic rival Chris Kennedy labeled Pritzker’s comments “disqualifying.” State Sen. Daniel Biss said the conversation represents “everything that’s wrong with the connection between money and power.”

Pana Man Indicted on Meth Trafficking and Gun Charges

A Pana man was indicted Tuesday on meth trafficking and gun charges. A federal grand jury has indicted 49-year-old Michael Williams of distribution of methamphetamine.


Williams was arrested when authorities raided his home on January 26th. The indictment alleges that he distributed more than 50 grams of ICE, or pure methamphetamine, on January 24th, and possessed more than 50 grams of ICE on January 26th. The indictment also says Williams possessed a .38 caliber revolver, two 12 gauge shotguns, a .40 caliber carbine, .223 rifle, and a .17 caliber long rifle.


Williams faces ten years to life in prison on the meth distribution charge and an additional five years for the firearms possession charge.


The charges are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Central Illinois Enforcement Group. Along with the DEA and CIEG, the Pana Police Department, Christian County Sheriff’s Office, and ATF assisted in the raid of William’s home.


Williams remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

University of Illinois Extension Teaching Students the Power of Seeds

The calendar still says its winter, but local students are in spring mode planting seeds and learning about plants thanks to the University of Illinois Extension.


Charlotte Schuricht is the Ag Literacy Program Coordinator at the Extension. She says it’s been a busy few weeks for her helping classrooms across the area.



Schuricht says the experiment she is working with students on truly shows the kids the power of seeds.



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

CNB Bank and Trust Holding Farm Succession Planning Seminar February 12th

Many farmers plan for the coming years for what kind of crops are they going to grow and how to grow them, but many don't think about what may happen to their farm should they pass away. CNB Bank and Trust in Taylorville is holding a seminar on farm estate planning on February 12th to help farmers answer this question.
Ron Hanson serves as the Harlan Agribusiness Professor Emeritus, and will be the keynote speaker for the event. He says succession plans help a family know what happens with a farm following a death in the family.
Hanson had more information on the farm succession planning event.
Hanson appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Sullivan Police Department is Working Hard to Create Positive Relationships with Area Youth

The Sullivan Police Department is trying to instill a positive relationship between residents and officers from a young age through a variety of programs.


Jim Wagner is Sullivan’s Police Chief. He says the department works with city schools and businesses to foster a good rapport with area youth.



Wagner says his officers understand the importance of working with kids, and they go the extra mile to do so.



Wagner appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Hometown Tour live from Sullivan City Hall.

Gardeners Can Bring Garden Inside During Winter By Forcing Branches

Those looking to continue their gardening into the colder months can do so through a process called “forcing branches”. This is the process of cutting branches of plants and bringing them into your home during the colder months, where those cuttings then come into bloom.
Karen Cherry is a Master Gardener with the University of Illinois Extension, and explained how the process works.
According to Cherry, there are certain types of branches to look out for for forcing.
Cherry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville City Council Votes to Change Water Billing from Every 2 Months to Monthly

The city of Taylorville will be switching from billing water customers every two months to every month starting later this year. The city council voted unanimously to approve the change at Monday night’s meeting.


Fourth Ward Alderman Earl Walters says the change will help residents in preparing their monthly budgets.



The change will officially take affect May 1. Walters also says the city is preparing for taking credit card payments and online payments as well.



The city council also received an update on union negotiations between AFSCME and the city. No decisions were made on those negotiations Monday.


The city council will reconvene Tuesday, February 20 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.

Frasier Star Mahoney Remembered Fondly at WIU

A Hollywood legend with Illinois roots is being fondly remembered by past castmates and the two Western Illinois universities he collected degrees from. Quincy University grad and Western Illinois University masters recipient John Mahoney of Frasier fame, passed away Sunday in Chicago at the age of 77. Western University Relations chief Darcie Shinberger says Mahoney was a firend the university could count on time and time again.

Shinberger says Mahoney didn't just say nice things from a podium, he gave the personal touch to W-I-U supporters.

Mahoney went to become an English professor at Western in the 1970s before becoming a medical journalist and entering the field of acting in his late 30s. He also served as honorary chairman of Quincy University's Forever Forward Capital Campaign that launched three years ago. He also lent his voice to campaign ads for his nephew, State Senator John Sullivan.

Broker: Farmland Remains Good Investment

Farmland values aren’t what they were during the 2003 to 2013 run-up, but farmland still remains a solid investment. So says Randy Dickhut, who serves as senior vice president with Omaha, Nebraska based Farmers National Company. 

Dickhut says recently adopted tax reforms could help with the farmland market, but uncertainty over trade could be a detriment. 

Social Security Reminds Beneficiaries To Get All The Right Forms Ready For Tax Time

Getting all the right Social Security paperwork together for tax time is very important. Jack Myers with Social Security says there's a number of forms you're going to want to make sure you have when filling out your tax returns. Myers says you should already have those forms, if not, they are likely on their way.

If you did not get those forms or if you've misplaced them, Myers indicates you do have options to retrieve those. You can go online to socialsecurity.gov or visit an office near you.

To get any questions answered, many are in the 'Frequently Asked Questions' area of the socialsecurity.gov website, or you can find an office near you for additional help.

Taylorville Kiwanis Inducts 4 New Members, Conducts Monthly Business Meeting at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club inducted 3 new members to the club, and held their monthly business meeting, during their weekly luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Danny McNeely, Dennis Barnard, Austin and Evan Peters, were all inducted as the newest members of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club.  Kiwanis membership chair Raedena Ryan helped induct the 4 new members at the meeting.

The Kiwanis Club also reviewed current local projects helping children and youth in the Taylorville community.

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.

















Kiwanis Club membership chair Raedena Ryan & new Kiwanis members Austin Peters & Evan Peters

















Kiwanis Club membership chair Raedena Ryan & new Kiwanis member Dennis Barnard


















Kiwanis Club membership chair Raedena Ryan & new Kiwanis member Danny McNeely

Vonda McConnell Hired as Newest Miller Media Group Account Manager

Vonda McConnell of Shelbyville has been hired as the newest account manager with the Miller Media Group in Taylorville and Shelbyville.

McConnell just completed 6 years as office manager of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce, before joining Miller Media.  Before that, she was an advertising sales representative for Shelby County News in Shelbyville.

McConnell will be representing the company's 7 media platforms to businesses in Taylorville, Shelbyville, Pana, Effingham, and communities in between. 

McConnell will be taking over the territory of long-time account manager Judi Humphrey, who is retiring after nearly 17 years of service to the Miller Media Group.

Charge Filed as a Result of ATV Accident near Assumption in January

A charge has been filed against a Christian County man as a result of the ATV accident on January 20th that sent three teens to area hospitals.


47-year-old Eric S. Long of rural Assumption was charged with Contributing to the Delinquency or Criminal Delinquency of a Minor in Christian County Court on February 1st. According to a press release from the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Long owns the ATV and allowed the three boys to ride the ATV on a public roadway where the crash occurred.


The crash occurred before 3:15 in the afternoon on January 20th. The ATV was northbound on 2400 E. Rd. about one-fourth of a mile south of 1400 N. Rd when it went off the road, flipped several times and landed upside down in the west ditch of the road. The boys, ages 13 and 12, all went to area hospitals. One of the 12-year-old boys was severely injured.


Long’s first court date is set for March 1st. The 13-year-old boy driving the ATV also was issued a citation for Improper Operation of an ATV on a Roadway.

Shelby County Bicentennial Exhibit Looking For Volunteers

Shelbyville will be the host of a Smithsonian exhibit later this year, and as the Shelby County Bicentennial Committee prepares for the exhibit, they are looking for volunteers to make the exhibit possible.


Brenda Elder is the co-director of the Shelby County Bicentennial Committee. She says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville have already done a great job helping make the exhibit possible.



Elder says the committee is looking for townspeople to man the weekends and for other events during the 6-week exhibit run.



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

Christian County Historical Society and Museum Throwing Lincoln Birthday Bash February 10th

Abe Lincoln's birthday is coming up on February 12th, and the Christian County Historical Society and Museum is planning on celebrating with a Lincoln themed birthday party on Saturday, February 10th.
Maureen Bruns with the Historical Society and Museum appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show and says the day will be full of activities for parents and children alike to have a good time and learn more about Lincoln's era.
The Museum will also be opening two new exhibits during the event in the Pence building that day.
The party takes place from 10 until 2 at the Christian County Historical Society and Museum.

Christian County Senior Center Helping To File Your Taxes

Tax season is here and Seniors looking to file can do so with the help of the Christian County Senior Citizens Center. The Senior Center has partnered with AARP to help area seniors file their taxes at no cost to them.
Gerry Mahr with the Christian County Senior Citizens Center says the dates haven't changed from last year, however they're taking appointments earlier in the day this year.
Those looking to file should sign up quickly, as appointments quickly fill up for the year.
Mahr appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Volunteers, Players Still Needed for 4th Annual Chamber Spring Swing

The 4th Annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Spring Swing is coming up, and Chamber President and CEO Patty Hornbuckle says volunteers are still needed, and players still have time to pre-register.


Ten establishments are participating in the indoor mini-golf tournament. She says wherever you sign up at is where you will start your day on Saturday, March 3rd, and transportation is provided between the venues.



The pre-registration deadline for players is February 14th. Players can still sign up for the tournament the day of the tournament, but all players that pre-register will receive a t-shirt. When it comes to volunteering, Hornbuckle says many volunteers sign up for the whole day because it’s just as fun to volunteer as it is to play.



The winning team will receive a $400 first prize. The winners will be announced on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show during Chamber Chat on March 8th.

Ives Won't Back Away From Recent Attack Ad

If you haven’t seen the recent attack on Governor Bruce Rauner the Republican candidate behind it even admits it’s edgy.

Jeanne Ives says at the Chicago City Club that the ad has generated hysteria from the expected quarters but she says there is nothing to apologize for in the depiction of anyone characterized in the commercial.

The head of the Republican Party in Illinois has even called for the ad to be taken down and for Ives to apologize to the Illinoisans who were negatively portrayed.

Rauner Talks About Fading Tax Rate

On February 14th, Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his Budget Address. While it probably won't be known as the St. Valentine's Day Tax Massacre, Rauner is sharing early details of his plans to phase out the current tax rate.

Rauner continues to maintain a lower tax rate equates to more economic activity.

Dicamba Training Continues for Farmers and Applicators Throughout Illinois

The Illinois Chemical and Fertilizer Association continues to promote training and education sessions for soybean farmers planning to use crop protection products containing dicamba in 2018. Over 100 dates are planned says the association’s Jean Payne.

The dicamba training website is “ifca.com/IllinoisDicambaTraining”. 

Christian County Sheriff Calls Weekend Drug Bust "Largest ICE Bust Ever in County"

For the second time in recent weeks, the Central Illinois Enforcement Group has made another large drug bust over the weekend. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is calling this weekend’s bust the largest ICE, or pure methamphetamine, seizure ever in the county.


Kettelkamp says over 250 grams of ICE were recovered in a traffic stop near Sharpsburg Saturday.



25-year-olds Darien C. Shadwell and Shawn E. Cohan, both of Shelbyville, and 22-year-old Nathan T. Mount of Taylorville are all facing Meth Trafficking charges after the bust. Kettelkamp says the recent drug busts have taken a large amount of drugs out of the supply in a short amount of time.



The county has seized almost 43-thousand dollars worth of drugs in the latest two busts. The CIEG is made up of two Christian County Sheriff’s deputies, a Taylorville police officer, and a Pana Police Officer. 


Shawn E. Cohan


Nathan T. Mount


Darien C. Shadwell

Development Opportunities Appearing for City of Sullivan

The city of Sullivan continues to look at future growth opportunities, and some opportunities have arisen over the past year.


Sullivan City Administrator Dan Flannell appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Hometown Tour live from Sullivan City Hall. He says some land that could be developed recently went up for sale.



Flannell says Sullivan is unique because it has a much bigger annual budget than the average town of its size.



Flannell says the biggest issue in Sullivan is that the city needs more people, but he says it is the city’s intent to continue to expand and set up the area for future economic growth.

VA to Hold Town Hall at Taylorville American Legion Thursday

There will be a town hall on Thursday for veterans to learn more about their VA healthcare. The town hall will start at 2 p.m. at the Taylorville American Legion Post 73.


Todd Oliver is the Public Affairs Officer for the VA Illiana Health Care System. He says they likes to offer these meeting to get all veterans in one location to update them on what they need to know about VA healthcare.



For those who do not want to ask their questions in an open question and answer setting, Oliver says their members will stay after the meeting and answer questions, and there is also a 24-hour helpline to call.



Oliver says many veterans are eligible for VA health care and do not know it, so he urges all veterans that can attend to come to the town hall Thursday.

U of I Extension Taking Registrations for Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting Next Week

The University of Illinois Extension will be hosting their Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting on February 15. The meeting is open to the public, but pre-registration is required for the event.


Dr. Ashley Belle is the Extension Educator for Environmental and Energy Stewardship. She says many topics will be covered at the event.



Belle says anyone is invited to attend, and free lunch will be provided.



The pre-registration deadline is February 12. You can get more information about the meeting at the Extension’s website here.

CICBC Bringing Blood Drive to Stonington Wednesday

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is holding a blood drive Wednesday afternoon in Stonington. The drive will be in the parking lot at Monsanto from 1 to 5 p.m.


Krista Jiroutek is a Recruitment Development Coordinator with the CICBC. She says those who come out to this blood drive are eligible to receive a free t-shirt.



Jiroutek says the winter season and the flu season have taken its toll on the blood supply.



You can set up an appointment to donate by going to their website here or calling the CICBC at 325-4381.

Jim Bohannon Skeptical On President's Immigration Approach With Congress

President Trump delivered his first state of the union address last week, and the country is reacting to the different plans the President touched on in his speech. One of those topics is currently big debate in Washington; the future of the so called “dreamers”, or DACA recipients.


Jim Bohannon hosts the Jim Bohannon show heard weeknights on Newstalk WTIM, and says he finds the Presidents approach to the DACA issue interesting.



Bohannon is skeptical how well a bipartisan approach could work with the President's base supporters.



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

Ives Ad Causes Stir

GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives new internet and social media ad is facing criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. Patterned after Governor Rauner's ad, where neighboring governors thank House Speaker Mike Madigan, crediting him with creating bad economic conditions for Illinois that send jobs to their states, Ives has actors representing various issues that go against most social conservative values thanking Bruce Rauner, including a man in drag, who says Rauner made it possible for him to use the girl's restroom and a happy go lucky girl who thanks Governor Rauner for having Illinois families pay for her abortion. Rauner gaved the ad less than rave reviews.

GOP Attorney General candidate Ereka Harold was critical of the ad, saying “This ad denigrates, mocks and marginalizes groups of Illinoisans and cannot represent our Republican Party. I call on the Ives campaign to immediately take it off the air. The Republican Party must be about fighting for the ideals and values that have made our country the envy of the world and promoting the dignity and value of every Illinoisan.”

Getting AED's in Rural Schools

Rural schools the focus of an Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation effort to update and maintain automatic external defibrillators (AED). The organization’s Kathi Franklin is bringing attention to the subject this month during Heart Health Month.

Franklin says the effort has started in McLean County with the hopes of expanding the initiative statewide. 

New Leadership At Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce

The Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce has new leadership, as Jodie McCormick has now taken over for the recently departed Vonda McConnell. McCormick is a Shelbyville local, who's family has a long history with the town.
McCormick says her parents owned a business in downtown Shelbyville, that many may remember.
One of McCormick's focuses for the Shelbyville Chamber is to update the Chamber's website, as well as expanding chamber member's online presence.
McCormick appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.

Shelby County Community Service's Findlay Plant Employing The Disabled

Shelby County Community Service's Findlay plant is producing vital plastic products being used by the state. The facility also employs a number of disabled members of the community.
Rosco Hubner is the plant manager for Shelby County Community Service's Findlay plant, and gave a summary of what kind of products the plant produces.
Hubner touched on the disabled employees at the plant, as well as the jobs that they do.
Hubner along with Shelby County Community Service's Tom Coclasure appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

BREAKING NEWS: Taylorville High School Searched After Message Found

Taylorville High School and Taylorville Police Department released this statement at 5:04 Friday afternoon:


Shortly before the dismissal of school on Friday, February 2, 2018, a message was discovered at Taylorville High School.  The message was not easily visible.  Based on the circumstances of the message and location, it was not deemed a credible threat.


In cooperation with the Taylorville Police Department, the Illinois Secretary of State Police and the Taylorville Administration, a complete sweep of Taylorville High School was conducted.  This sweep did not result in any indication of a credible threat.


As an added measure, the Secretary of State Police provided their perspective and services regarding the possible threat.  They were in the area and adivsed that they would assist to provide support and additional training for their K-9 teams.

Police Urge Residents to Be Safe While Celebrating Big Game

The big game is this weekend, and many people will be enjoying it with friends and family. With the parties though will be alcohol, and local police are reminding residents to not drink and drive.


Brian Hile is the Taylorville Police Chief. He urges residents to not drink and drive, and have a designated driver if you plan on drinking.



Hile says have fun but be safe.



Hile says police on patrol will be looking for drunk drivers on Sunday.

Four Seasons Garden Workshop Coming To Taylorville Extension Office

The weather is cold once again, but there are still plenty of opportunities available for gardeners to get out and learn, gaining knowledge to bring to their garden in the spring.
University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners Gwen Podeschi and Jim Daughtery appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and shared some information on the Four Seasons Garden Workshop.
Podeschi previewed the subject for this year's workshop, which will focus on keeping potted plants from spreading into the surrounding enviornment.
The workshop is being put on through the University of Illinois Extension Office, and will take place at the Taylorville Extension Office.

Greater Taylorville Chamber Connecting Renters With Area Landlords

If you're moving to Taylorville, or are looking to change addresses and aren't looking to purchase, the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is looking to help. The Chamber has compiled a list of landlords in the community who rent homes and apartments to those looking to live in Taylorville.
Patty Hornbuckle is the CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber, and says although the Chamber doesn't have a listing of availble properties, they can get you pointed in the right direction to find a place.
Hornbuckle says the listing is one of the more popular items the Chamber sends out.
Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Manar Reacts to Illinois House, Senate Overriding Governor's School Funding Reform Follow-up Bill Veto

School funding reform will once again be the law of the land in the state of Illinois. The Senate and House have both overridden Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 444, a follow-up bill to the original school funding reform legislation.


Rauner’s veto had meant that the implementation of the new school funding formula would be delayed until some action was taken. 48th District State Senator Andy Manar, who championed Illinois’ school funding reform, says he’s tired of educating Illinois’ kids continues to become a partisan issue.



Manar says he still doesn’t understand why Governor Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 444 in the first place.



Rauner had said he vetoed the bill to get some additional non-public schools to be allowed to participate in the scholarship program that was a part of Senate Bill 1947.

HSHS Good Shepherd Upgrades MRI Equipment, Expands MRI Availabilty

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville has upgraded its mobile MRI equipment and will be offering extended hours for patients to get MRIs at the hospital.


Glenda Plunkett is the Marketing Coordinator for HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. She says the new machine is a newer model that will provide higher quality photographs for patients and doctors.



Previously, the hospital only offered MRI services on Wednesdays, but that has also been expanded to Thursdays and Monday afternoons as well. Plunkett says it’s all a part of the hospital’s effort to provide the highest quality healthcare in Shelbyville.



Plunkett says patients can expect to get their MRIs from HSHS Good Shepherd quickly and have a higher quality picture.

Dimond Bros. in Taylorville Named 2018 "Gem Agency"

Dimond Brothers Insurance in Taylorville has been named a 2018 “Gem Agency” by the IMT Group.


Dan McNeely is the Agency Manager at Dimond Brothers in Taylorville. He says the award is given to the top performing agencies that provide IMT Group insurance.



McNeely says IMT is a great company to work with.



McNeely says this is the second year in a row that Dimond Brothers in Taylorville has been distinguished as a “Gem Agency.”

Ives Lands Endorsements From Fellow Lawmakers

Two hours before Governor Rauner stepped up to the podium for the State of the State Address in the Illinois House chambers, his GOP primary opponent announced some of the audience members would be in her camp. State Representative Jeanne Ives announced a number of lawmaker endorsements Wednesday. She was flanked by State Reps. Tom Morrison and Margo McDermed as well as State Sen. Tim Bivins in a press conference at Springfield's historic Pasfield House.

Ives believes the endorsement of another lawmaker who wasn't present will carry some extra weight.

Cabello is going a step further, calling for Rauner to resign after he says the Governor previously said he would not sign House Bill 40 which paves the way for public funding of abortions.

Federal Money On The Line For Local Hospitals Unless Illinois Lawmakers Take Action

Federal money for Illinois healthcare providers, to the tune of a couple billion dollars, could be on the line if Illinois lawmakers do not take action, and soon.

State Senator Chapin Rose says he has been working hard lately to get Illinois in line with a federal mandate that would revise how the state disperses it's federal money.

According to Sen. Rose, the assessment hasn't changed in ten years and it is not an easy task. He is working with the Illinois Hospitals Association on changing it and has his eye on the process because it will impact hospitals differently.

Sen. Rose says $2.5 to $3-billion is on the line and a change in the system likely is not going to be great for any of the players, including Chicago.

PHOTO: Bourne Honors Local Visually Impaired Student Athlete

Student athletes from the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired in Jacksonville visited Springfield and met with their local elected officials this week. Bernie Roach from rural Christian County is pictured here with 95th District State Rep. Avery Bourne as he accepts a Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives. This certificate was awarded to Bernie for his performance on his school’s Goalball team, a sport designed specifically for athletes with a vision impairment, at an International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Conference Championship.


Christian County Health Department and Taylorville Memorial Hospital Conducting Community Health Needs Assessment

Taylorville Memorial Hospital and the Christian County Health Department are conducting a survey of local residents about what the community feels are the most pressing health concerns facing the region. The results from the survey will then help both organizations tailor their care to better serve the community.


Kim Bourne is President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital, and appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says this survey is a result of the Affordable Care Act.



According to Bourne, the survey will help both the hospital and the health department target the most specific health concerns facing the area.



Surveys are available both at the Christian County Department of Public Health, as well as at the information desk at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. You can also take the survey online, with a deadline of February 12th to complete the survey. 


The survey can be completed by visiting https://uisits.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bvcrJOnhUgsmjUV

City of Sullivan Doing Its Part to Keep Community Vibrant

The city of Sullivan, like many other small towns, continues to do its best to keep the community clean and vibrant. The town of about 4,500 people has done its best to give residents as many amenities as it can provide for a town its size.


Sullivan mayor Ann Short says many visitors pass through the community in the warmer months on the way to Lake Shelbyville, and the city wants to appear welcoming for those visitors to make a stop in town.



Along with the lake down the road, Short says the city has many parks in town that provide residents with ample recreational opportunities.



More recently, Short says a re-paving project around Sullivan’s square was a big project to help the community look its best for visitors.



Short appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Hometown Tour live from Sullivan City Hall.

Dates Set For Spring 2018 UIS Lunch And Learn Programs

Dates have been set for the spring 2018 University of Illinois-Springfield Lunch and Learn series. The lunch time programs are designed to help educate attendees on a number of subjects, and open dialog on various ideas.


Gwen Podeschi with the Illinois State Historical Society appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show and says there is a registration fee if you’d like to attend, with discounts available if you’d like to attend each Lunch and Learn event.



The first program will feature a program from several board members for the Central Illinois African American History Museum.



To register for the Lunch and Learn events, contact the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Opportunities Aplenty in the Sullivan School District

Sullivan Schools put pride in the many opportunities they provide to students. The district has an enrollment of about 1,100 students, but there are always mulitiple extra-curricular activities going on for their kids.


Ted Walk is in his first year as the district superintendent in Sullivan. He says middle school has had new service opportunities, along with a new show choir teacher that are provide fun learning for the kids.



Walk says it doesn’t matter what the students interests are, the high school provides clubs, sports, and other activities to help students grow during their teen years.



One of the brightest points though, Walk says, is seeing how excited his staff has students for learning each day.



Walk appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Hometown Tour live from Sullivan City Hall.

Lawmakers Dressing In Black For Me Too Movement Support

Many lawmakers took the opportunity Wednesday at the state of the state address to make a statement about sexual harassment in the workplace. Dressing in black for the occasion some women in the General Assembly say they did it to support the “me too” and “times up movement”. Republican Representative Sarah Jimenez says making statements is one thing – but now people need to move into action. 

Top Lottery Official Resigns After Twitter Controversy

The chairman of the Illinois Lottery Control Board has resigned after a Twitter controversy. Blair Garber of Evanston criticized Senator Dick Durbin for pressing the issue of President Trump reportedly using an expletive to describe African nations and Haiti. Garber responded to a Tweet from country music legend Charlie Daniels calling Durbin childish for his handling of the incident. Garber tweeted to Daniels that Durbin is from East St. Louis and he went on to describe the Metro-East by the same expletive Trump reportedly used, calling East St. Louis "The makeshift toilet (S-Hole) of the Universe, just do a Google search". 

Familiar Themes From Ives and Rauner Debate Surface on Democrat Side

Governor Rauner is preparing for his latest State of the State Address Wednesday. As he prepares to visit the House chambers podium, he's facing blistering critiques in advance from the likes of Comptroller Susana Mendoza. Mendoza also echoed claims from State Representative Jeanie Ives in Monday's Chicago Tribune Editorial Board debate.

Mendoza criticized the Governor for the $1 billion in late fees the state has had to pay because of the lack of a budget in recent years. 


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