Local News

SIU reorganizing College of Agricultural Sciences

The College of Agricultural Sciences set for expansion at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It even includes a new name—the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences says SIU chancellor Carlo Montemagno. 


As for the timeline, Montemagno is hopeful everything can be completed with the reorganization by mid-summer. 

Rauner wants to see capital bill but without new tax dollars

Governor Bruce Rauner is continuing to express his support for a capital bill to meet the state’s infrastructure needs. However, he's doesn't want to make that happen through new tax avenues.

The Governor isn't ready to choose a size of the long delayed capital bill.

National research group TRIP, working in tandem with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, reports Illinois' deficient, congested roads are costing Illinois drivers $16.4 billion each year. The report shows about one-third of the state’s roads were in poor or mediocre condition and about one-tenth of its bridges are structurally deficient. The report says a substantial increase in local and state funding is needed to address the issue of ailing roads and bridges 

Vietnam Vets Honored with 50 year Pin

Vietnam vets were recognized at a special ceremony by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affair to mark a 50th anniversary of the war. During the ceremony vets were presented with a special pin honoring their service. IDVA Director Erica Jefferies says it’s a small way honor the service of Vietnam vets who were not welcomed back the right way.

The IDVA is also looking to honor the work of 200 veterans as part of the state’s bicentennial events. To nominate someone go the IVDA webpage.

Illinois Presidents Honored at ALPLM

Illinois has had its share of men call this state home and then wind up in the White House and one museum is taking time to honor them. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has a new exhibit to take a look at not only Lincoln, but also Grant, Regan and Obama. The ALPLM’s Chris Wills says a number of artifacts are impressive.

The exhibit has been up and running for a few weeks now and will be on display through the end of the year.

Pana Officials Looking at Many Buildings For Cleanup or Demolition

As the city of Pana continues to look to clean up its community, there is work being done on razing blighted buildings across the town along with work in downtown Pana.


Pana mayor Don Kroski says the city right now is in various stages of the legal process depending on each property they are looking to have work done on.



Kroski says having a more vibrant community is the way to make Pana more marketable to outside residents and businesses.



Kroski says Pana has some marketable pieces for a small town, but cleaning up the community must also be a priority.



Kroski says it is an ongoing process to cleaning up the community that every resident has to help with.

Chamber of Commerce Has More After Hour Events Coming

The Christian County Chamber of Commerce always looks forward to business after hours.


CEO of the Christian County Chamber of Commerce, Patty Hornbuckle, says they have another after hours event coming up, with a slight twist.



Hornbuckle says while there should be plenty of excitement about the new event she does not want people to forget the business after hours event.



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

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital to Hold "Pray for Our Children" Service

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital will be holding a “Pray for Our Children” service this coming week. The service will be held on the lawn on the east side of the hospital on Thursday, April 5th from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


The event will include hospital leaders and other community members and groups who advocate for families and children. Those in attendance are asked to wear navy blue to the service because it is the color of the movement. Attendees will also help hospital colleagues tie blue ribbons on the trees and place blue pinwheels on the hospital lawn at the end of the ceremony.

Taylorville High School Start Time to Change Next Year

After a listener request for information on Taylorville Schools start times next year, Regional Radio News reached out to school superintendent Doctor Gregg Fuerstenau.
Fuerstenau told us that all building start times will remain the same in the 2018-2019 school year, with the exception of Taylorville High School.  Its start time will change
from 8:15 to 8:30, and dismissing at 3:15 in the afternoon.

Shelby County Courthouse Roof Getting Makeover

The Shelby County Courthouse roof is going to get a make-over and needed repairs.   Board chair David Cruit says that the work will be similar to another building roof in the community.

Cruit says the Courthouse roof work will include replacement of some windows in the roof tower.

Cruit was a recent guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our Shelbyville studios.

National Drug Take Back Day Scheduled for Late April

National Drug Take Back Day is coming up in April. The event is a chance for residents to discard most of their unused prescription drugs safely with no questions asked.


Pana Police Chief Daniel Bland says keeping unused prescriptions around the house is asking for trouble when it comes to becoming addicted.



Bland says he does not know the total impact of the drugs collected off the streets of the community, but with how much is collected throughout the year, it can be assumed the take back program is playing a big part in curbing drug addiction.



There are also two year-round prescription drug collection boxes in Christian County. One is located at the Taylorville Police Department while the other is at Pana Community Hospital. The National Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for April 28th.

New Agriculture Business in Christian County Showing Signs of Big Success

A new business to Christian County has brought plenty of investment to the area according to one local economic official. Clearwater Organic Farms recently purchased a facility between Taylorville and Kincaid, and Christian County Economic Development Executive Director Mary Renner believes their business is going to be very successful in the county.


Renner gave the Christian County Board more information about the New York based business at Tuesday night’s meeting.



Renner says although she does not know the total investment amount into the project, she says all of the investment was privately funded.



Renner says Christian County is likely to continue to see growth as work is done on Taylorville’s new industrial park and two new TIF districts.

Christian County 4-H Starts New LEGO Robotics SPIN Club

The Christian County 4-H Program recently kicked off a new special interest club in Stonington for those 8-12 years old interested in LEGO robotics. The special interest, or SPIN club, is volunteer-led and members don’t have to be enrolled in 4-H to take part.


Rebecca Livingston is the Christian County 4-H Program Coordinator. She says someone came to her with interest in starting this club, and it took off from there.



The club met for the first time on Tuesday and built LEGO traps as well as other fun activities. Livingston says 4-H is trying to break the stigma of only being involved with ag-related activities through new spin clubs.



For more information on the LEGO robotics SPIN club, you can call Livingston at the U of I Christian County Extension Office at 287-7246.

Christian County LEAD Program Wraps Up With Graduation

The Chrtistian County Chamber of Commerce wrapped up their LEAD program on Wednesday night.


The LEAD program is a 12-week program that starts in January. Wednesday night the program was capped off with a graduation ceremony.



There were plenty of guest speakers at the event, including a graduate of the program.



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

LLCC Taylorville is Getting an Upgraded Welding Lab

Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville is getting upgrades to their welding lab.


Dee Krueger is the Director of LLCC in Taylorville and she says they are looking forward to the new equipment.



With the upgrades Krueger says the welding lab will be more energy efficient.



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

WMKR, People's Bank and Trust March 2018 Pana High School Students of the Month Announced

The Genuine Country, 94.3 WMKR and People's Bank and Trust Pana Students of the Month for March were presented with their awards recently.


Pictured from left to right:  People's Bank and Trust Representative Joani Jones,  Freshman Shelby Edwards, Sophomore Sway Denton, Junior Madylyn Rowley, Senior Natalie Kirkbride, and People's Bank and Trust Representative Sarah VanHuss.


County Office Holder Raises Becoming Hot Topic of Christian County Board

The Christian County Board has to decide if full-time elected office holders in the county will receive pay raises during their next term 180 days before the election. That decision needs to be made by May’s board meeting and so far, some discussions on the issue have become heated.


There was discussion on the raises at Tuesday’s board meeting. The raises would be for the County Clerk and Recorder, Circuit Clerk, Treasurer, Supervisor of Assessments and Sheriff. Third district board member Aaron Allen says previous decisions to freeze all county employees pay have been broken by other board measures passed, and that these five office holders deserve to be treated fairly.



One of the reasons against giving them raises is the county’s budget situation. The county board has been trying to cut expenses for the past few years to get the projected to balance. Third district board member Mike McClure says budgets that are passed are “worst-case scenario” and there is a difference between budgeting and actually spending money.



The five elected office holders have not received raises since 2014.

State Senators Visiting Illinois Power Plants

Two state senators are traveling around Illinois and tour all the power plant facilities.


Senator Mike Hastings of Tindley Park is the new Chairman of the Illinois Senate Energy Committee and says that they have already seen some nuclear plants with plans to visit more in the coming months.



A Montgomery County power plant has is in jeopardy Senator Andy Manar (MUN-ARE) says this concern is at the top of his priority list.



Hastings and Manar appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Social Security Administration Proud of Where Taxes Go

The Social Security Administration wants people to know as much as they can about the benefits of social security.


Most people don't like seeing tax money being taken out of their paychecks. Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration Jack Myers says taxpayers should be proud of what the social security taxes go to.



Myers says there is no need for concern for people that are nearing full time retirement age that plan on working after applying for benefits.



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

E.J. Water to Hold Interest Meeting for Johnson Township Residents Next Week

The E.J. Water Cooperative is gauging interest of Johnson Township residents for if they would like their water provided by the cooperative. E.J. Water will be hosting an informational meeting next week and is encouraging all interested and curious residents to attend.


Martha Miller is an Easement Specialist with E.J. Water. She says they have been scouting Johnson Township for a few years.



The cooperative also serves residents in multiple other townships in Christian County, including Locust, Rosamond, and May Townships. Miller says the cooperative is trying to make sure everyone in the area knows about its services.



The meeting will be held on Thursday, April 5th at 6 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County Office in Taylorville.

Assumption Police Looking for Someone Who Stole Charity Change Jar From Local Business

Assumption Police need the public’s help in finding someone that stole a charity change jar from a local business last week. The jar was stolen from Freedom Oil in Assumption Friday night. Assumption Police Chief Brian Wade says the jar contained about 100 dollars that was to go towards a local traffic accident victim.


Wade says the suspect is a female that was wearing a distinct hoodie.



Wade says many businesses in Assumption have charity jars like these to support their neighbors. He says this incident is a shock to the community.



If you have any information on this theft, you can call Crimestoppers at 1-800-568-TIPS or the Assumption Police Department.


Photos of the Suspect:



Pana City Council Looking to Raise Water Deposits on Renters

The Pana City Council is looking to raise its water security deposit for renters and keep the city from losing out on unpaid bills. The council voted to look at raising the security deposit from $100 to $200 and also to make landlords on the hook for any unpaid water bills from their renters.


Pana mayor Don Kroski says the deposit would go towards unpaid water bills before landlords would be on the hook for any bills. He says the city is looking to protect its coffers from residents running away from bills.



Kroski says he knows landlords being on the hook is not a popular idea, but it is the option of last resort.



Kroski says the issue will now be sent to counsel to have the ordinance change written up, with a possible first reading at the next city council meeting.

Illinois State Police Advises Caution on the Roads in the Rain

With the amount of rain Central Illinois has received, the roads are getting slick.


Sean Ramsey is with the Illinois State Police and has seen first hand what happens when drivers do not exercise caution in non-ideal driving conditions.



Ramsey says there is a website that can keeps drivers up to date on road conditions across Illinois.



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

Sunkist Cleaners Providing Only In-House Drycleaning and Laundry Services in Christian County

Taylorville and surrounding areas looking for a laundry service might not need to look much longer.


Bryan Payne is the owner of Sunkist Cleaners and says while he is staying based in Taylorville, he is looking to branch out to the surrounding communities.



Payne says that there are specials coming in April and there is still time to take advantage of the March specials.



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

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Adds Second Orthopedic Surgeon

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital continues to provide more services closer to home for Shelby County residents. The hospital has just added another surgeon for a service they added last year.


Glenda Plunkett is the Marketing Coordinator for HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. She says the hospital recently added a second orthopedic surgeon.



Plunkett says this addition is one of many new services already brought to the hospital, and there are more to come.



Plunkett says one of the reasons the hospital affiliated with the HSHS system is to help provide these advanced, specialized services in Shelby County.

Flu still active in Illinois

The flu bug is still alive and kicking in Illinois and while not as volatile as in December and January, it still can be a problem into the spring months. Dr. James Lindbom with OSF Healthcare St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee details why this flu season has been so severe.

Also, the CDC has issued a warning about the rise of Influenza B cases. The Illinois Department of Public Health does not track individual flu cases, but the state's latest flu report does show 39 new ICU admissions from the flu during the second week of March.

Sanguinetti gets up close look at progress on Asian Carp front

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti has taken an up close and personal look at the state's Asian Carp problem. She boarded fishing boats along with Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Bill Foster Monday in Joliet Monday. She's impressed with efforts to reduce the ranks of the invasive fish.

Sanguinetti says there is progress in making use of the unwanted fish.



Since 2012, Illinois Natural Resources officials have partnered with commercial fishermen to remove more than 6.3 million pounds of the carp from the Upper Illinois waterway.

Spring warm-up not likely in near term

A spring warm-up in the near term not likely. So says meteorologist Eric Schmidt with EJS Weather in Newton, Illinois.

Schmidt says we’re in a very active weather pattern for much of Illinois. A system will likely impact the state for part of the Easter weekend, which could include a rain/snow mix in northern Illinois on Saturday. 

Renner Updates Christian County Board on Economic Development at Tuesday's Meeting

Christian County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Mary Renner gave the Christian County Board an update of ongoing county projects at Tuesday night’s board meeting. Renner says the county has big economic growth potential in the coming years.


Renner told the board the federal grant for Taylorville’s industrial park finally gives the community something it has not had the last 14 years for companies looking to come to town.



Renner says the goal is to have infrastructure completed for the park by the end of 2019. Then, the job will turn to attracting businesses looking to expand or relocate.



The board also approved allocating additional money for the courthouse air conditioner project and discussed elected office holder salaries at Tuesday’s meeting. Those salaries will likely be brought up again at the next board meeting, scheduled for April 17th at the Christian County Courthouse.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - March 27, 2018

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


On Friday March 22, 2018, at around 9:00 pm, a subject entered Freedom Oil in Assumption.  While inside, the subject took a charity change jar containing around $100.  The money was being collected for a crash victim’s medical bills.  The subject was wearing a blue LeBron James sweatshirt with 1, 2, 3 on the front.  The subject appeared to be female, about 5’1” to 5’6”.  The subject covered their face with a bandana and was wearing gloves.


Please contact Crimestoppers is 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 did 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.  

Shelbyville Mayor Says Proposition Passage Last Week Shows City and Residents Are Looking Towards Future

The residents of Shelbyville have given their city council the green light to pass up to about $5.8 million worth of bonds to help the city refinance some of its current outstanding bonds, along with funding sewage system upgrades in the community.


Shelbyville mayor Jeff Johnson says while there are no dire sewage system upgrades necessary, their system is aging like many other municipalities. He says he’s thankful that residents understand the need to be proactive on these upgrades.



Johnson says the result of the vote shows how much residents care about the community not just now, but how it will be left for future generations.



Johnson says the city council is now looking into the most fiscally responsible ways to get the most of the possible money if the council does approve these bonds going forward.

Janice Hopper Auditorium Entrance at TMH to be Locked, Changed to Emergency Exit Only in New Security Procedures

Those visiting Taylorville Memorial Hospital are being told to use the main entrance after new security measures were put in place at the hospital Monday. One of the measures includes changing the entrance directly into the Janice Hopper Auditorium into an emergency exit.


TMH Marketing Consultant Allyson Phillips said in a statement to Regional Radio News:


“Taylorville Memorial Hospital is urging our patients, visitors and employees to park in our west lot and use the main lobby entrance. Beginning Monday, the hospital door near the Janice Hopper Auditorium will only be used as an emergency exit. This change has been implemented to better ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and employees. We have additional safety measures in place or in progress, but we will decline to discuss them publicly for the safety of all who use our hospital.”

South Central Illinois Chapter of American Red Cross Introduces New Director

The South Central Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross has a new Executive Director.


Executive Director of the South Central Illinois Chapter for the Red Cross Bryce Goff says the reason he got involved with the organization is because many families still need help.



Goff says while the organization gets a lot of credit for what they do during national tragedies, they are in towns across the area helping every day.



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

Christian County Historical Society and Museum To Make Big Announcement Next Month

The Christian County Historical Society has some exciting news coming in April.


Maureen Bruns Director of the Christian County Historical Society and Museum says that during the annual meeting and dinner an exciting announcement will be made.



Bruns says that a visit gives you a great feel of what it was like to live in the 1800’s.



If coming with a group larger than family size, Bruns recommends calling ahead to make sure that they can accommodate the group.


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

Election Turnout Lower Than Recent Similar Primary Elections in Christian County

Christian County voter turnout dipped at Tuesday’s election compared to recent similar primary elections. Christian County Clerk and Recorder Michael Gianasi says preliminary numbers show about 20 percent of registered voters in the county turned out.


Gianasi says compared to the most recents primary election with no ballot propositions, this year’s turnout was five to ten percent lower.



Gianasi encourages residents to register to vote if they are eligible and have not done so, because there is another important election coming in November.



For more information on the fall election or how to register to vote, we have a link to the county clerk’s website here.

Over 11,000 farmers/applicators receive dicamba training heading into planting season

The Illinois soybean industry getting set for another planting season in which there will be much attention on those farmers planning to use dicamba to protect their 2018 crop. 

Illinois Farm Bureau’s Lyndsey Ramsey says some common sense also applies, which includes being very aware of your neighbors.
Over 11,000 Illinois farmers and applicators have received the required dicamba training heading into the spring planting season and on-line training is still available through the Illinois Dicamba Training website at ifca.com. 

Park Board Approves Amended '18-'19 Operating Budget

The Taylorville Park Board approved the amended 2018-19 operating budget at Monday night’s board meeting. The vote was 4-2 in favor of passing the budget with Bob Steiner and Misty Marucco (Morocco) voting against. The board had voted to pass the original budget at February’s meeting.


Board member Sue Phillips says in the original budget, they had forgotten to account for Social Security and IMRF funds in the budget.



Steiner, who has said he objects to the levying of the museum tax in the past, told the board although he approved the changes made, he still would vote no on this proposed budget.



The next park board meeting is scheduled for April 23 at 7 p.m. at the Manners Park board room.

Christian County TRIAD Providing Safety Tips for Cyber Banking

Scammers continue to find ways to swindle money out of unsuspecting residents, and the Christian County TRIAD continues to try to keep residents up to date on how to keep themselves safe.


The TRIAD will be hosting an event on cyber banking in April, and Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says always be overly cautious with your private information.



Rich Peters with the Christian County TRIAD says the event in April is geared towards seniors, and will provide common sense tips to prevent residents from getting scammed.



Hile and Peters appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

HSHS Good Shepherd Event Planned for April

HSHS Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville wants to spread awareness on different kinds of health.


1 in 20 are effected by colorectal cancer, and Glenda Plunkett from Good Shepherd advises getting the test.



April is right around the corner and the hospital is preparing to spread awareness of child abuse by making some changes to the campus.



Plunkett appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning show from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

BNR is Stocked for the Warm Months

With the warmer months ahead of us, days at the lake are in the not so distant future.


Tim McConnell of BNR Marina says that they can accommodate people with a variety of boating needs.



McConnell says that BNR welcomes all customers and can help you whether you have an abundance of boating experience or none.



McConnell appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning show from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

With Multi-Million Dollar Gift Announced Thursday, LLCC Now Looking at Bright Future of Its Ag Program

With a substantial $18-million gift to Lincoln Land Community College’s agriculture program announced Thursday morning, the college is now looking towards the future.


LLCC Ag Program Director Bill Harmon calls the gift “transformative” for the program.



Morrisonville native Wayne Rosenthal is the Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and serves as the vice-chair of the college’s board of trustees. He says the gift is a testament to the work the LLCC work has done for Central Illinois.



Harmon says the first step the program is taking is to hire a recruiter to help bring more students into the LLCC ag program. The school’s goal is to double their ag program enrollment of 160 students in three years.

Kettelkamp Reminding Residents to Watch for Tractors on Roads as Planting Season Approaches

It is officially spring in Central Illinois and farmers are getting ready for planting season. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is reminding drivers to give farming equipment on the roads plenty of space.


Kettelkamp says with the weather how its been recently, people may forget that it is that time of year again.



Kettelkamp says because of the size of the machinery, people must always be cautious around them on the roads.



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

Ag Companies Top List of State Top Businesses

As the state celebrates its 200th anniversary, companies with ties to agriculture lead the way as being voted in as the state’s top three businesses. State spokesman Chris Wills says the top three have big ties to the state’s biggest businesses. 

The rest of the top ten include stalwart businesses McDonalds, Walgreens and another ag company DeKalb Asgrow.

Southern Ledge Pools & Patios Expanding Offerings With New Addition

Southern Ledge Pools & Patios is preparing for its second full pool season at their retail location in Taylorville, and the business is adding new features for this season.


Ron Wiltsie owns Southern Ledge Pools & Patios. He says the expansion to the business for this season will add a variety of new products to their inventory.



Wiltsie says his business has greatly improved since opening the retail location last year.



Wiltsie says Southern Ledge can also help those interested in his products but they are not sure how the design would fit their home. We have a link to their website here.

Shelby Soil & Water Looks Forward to Farmers Markets and Mushroom Hunt

Shelby County Soil and Water is always looking for ways to get involved in the community.


Gene Davis of Shelby County Soil and Water says that they are always excited to be involved, and they work with multiple farmers markets.



Davis says there is a lot of buzz about Spores N’ More coming up in the month of April, and they are working to make it more fair to some who are not regular mushroom hunters.



Davis appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning show from our downtown Shelbyville Studios.

Illinois State Fair Add Rock Act This Week

The Illinois State Fair is rounding out the concert line up for the 10 days in August. This week they announced Joan Jett and Foreigner will be taking a night at the grandstand. The classic rock night will be August 12. Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Becky Clark says the fair is striving to get affordable acts in the lineup that can appeal to every fairgoer.

The acts already announced include metal band Halestorm and of course plenty of country music lead by Brett Eldredge. The fair still has a few more acts to announce. 

IL Senator Durbin to Take Part in "March for Our Lives" Event

Senator Dick Durbin will take part in Saturday's March for Our Lives event. The march to end gun violence will feature a number of events around Illinois and the nation.

Durbin says the school shooting issue hits home, with his young granddaughter among students preparing for the unthinkable.

The Springfield March for Our Lives event will take marchers from the current State Capitol to the Old State Capitol.

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital to Celebrate 100th Anniversary This Summer

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is preparing to celebrate it’s 100th anniversary serving Shelby County. The hospital opened its doors on the Fourth of July in 1918.


The hospital’s marketing coordinator Glenda Plunkett says it all started in 1916 through the work of area residents looking to shorten the travel time to receive healthcare.



Plunkett says the hospital plans on serving Shelby County for many more years to come.



The hospital will be hosting festivities to celebrate the anniversary, but those plans will be announced in the near future.

CICBC Holding Two Christian County Blood Drives in Coming Days

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


The first drive will be at Taylorville Memorial Hospital on Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The drive will be in the hospital’s auditorium.


Then on Wednesday, there will be a drive at the American Legion Hall in Morrisonville from 2 to 7 p.m. There will be free t-shirts for presenting donors at the Morrisonville drive.


Donors must be 17-years-old, but 16-year-olds can donate with a parental permission form. A photo I.D. is required to donate. If you have any questions about whether you are eligible to donate, you can call 1-800-747-5401.

Ameren Wants to Help Homes be More Energy Efficient

Three communities are coming together for a friendly competition. Beardstown, Carlinville, and Pana are all competing in the Elevate Energy Community Challenge. The community that comes in first will win a fifteen thousand dollar prize.


Field Organizer for Elevate Marisa Joyce says they have a unique way of teaching people about energy waste.



Joyce says that with the Ameren Smart Meter, customers are getting more accurate readings on their energy usage.



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

U of I Extension Looking Forward to Health Jam and Workshops

The University of Illinois Extension is looking forward to a busy and educational summer.


Christian County 4H Program Coordinator Rebecca Livingston says that there is plenty of excitement for upcoming workshops and to hurry and sign up.



Livingston says that Health Jam is always a hit in the elementary schools and teaches kids how to stay active.



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

CEP Program to Include 5th Through 8th Graders in Taylorville in '18-'19

This year, Kindergarten through 4th grade in Taylorville have been provided free breakfast and lunches each day thanks to the federal CEP program. The Taylorville School Board voted to expand the program to include 5th through 8th graders at Taylorville Junior High School at March’s school board meeting.


Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says elementary student participation projections for the program this year have exceeded expectations.



Fuerstenau says the school board wants to expand the program to make sure every student K through 8 has a nutritious meal in their system at all points of the school day.



Fuerstenau says the program is a win-win for students and parents along with the teachers and the school district.

Taylorville Chamber Warning Business Owners About Out-of-Town Firm Soliciting Business Using Chamber's Name

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is warning area businesses about a marketing company approaching area businesses saying they are partnering with the commerce to help them with marketing products. Chamber President and CEO Patty Hornbuckle says they are not working with this company, and its not the first time they’ve had issues with the company.


Hornbuckle says Tri-County Publishing is reaching out to area businesses about magnet advertising. She says them trying to sell businesses their product isn’t an issue, it’s the misrepresentation of their business partnering with the chamber.



Hornbuckle says this company has also told businesses they have been working with the Taylorville Police Department, which they are not.



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

Rauner Will Call Ives

He won by the narrowest of margins and is looking for party unity, so it seems Governor Bruce Rauner will pick up the phone and try to call his primary opponent. Rauner skipped the customary call to Jeanne Ives on election night. Rauner now says that he will set up a call with Ives who lost by less than 3 percent of the vote.

Rauner will need to look towards unity in his party as he begins his general election campaign. An electoral historian says in Illinois no previously elected Governor was ever faced with such a narrow primary victory. 

LLCC Announces Gift of $18 Million Towards Agriculture Program

March 22, 2018 will go down as a college-changing day at Lincoln Land Community College. LLCC officials announced an $18-million gift to the school’s agriculture program on Thursday morning.


Bill Harmon is the Agriculture Program Coordinator at LLCC. He says the monetary and land donation will provide future ag students with research opportunities that will be hard to find anywhere else.



Morrisonville native and Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wayne Rosenthal is also the vice-chair of the Lincoln Land Community College Board of Trustees. He says this gives local youth looking to go into agriculture a chance to get the best quality ag education and stay close to home.



Harmon has been at LLCC for 21 years. He says it’s still hard to believe the size of the gift and how big of an impact it can have on the future of the college.



The college currently has 160 agriculture students enrolled, and the goal is to double that number in the next three years. LLCC is also looking to partner with local businesses and organizations to help expand the program’s education opportunities while also serving the community.

Taylorville Community Garden is Getting Set for 2018

Over the past six years Taylorville Community Garden has seen constant growth.


Gerri Niemann from Taylorville Community Garden shared how they are looking forward to a successful 2018 after a great 2017.



Niemann says that Taylorville Community Garden is always looking for more volunteers.



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

Central Illinois Native Joining Team at Peoples Bank and Trust

A Central Illinois native is joining the team at Peoples Bank and Trust. Jordan M. Ruppert has joined the staff as the Vice President of Business Banking.


Ruppert is a Nokomis High School graduate, and says he has spent time at a few area banks before joining Peoples Bank and Trust.



Ruppert says he’s excited to join the team at Peoples Bank and Trust, saying the bank has set itself up for long-term success for its customers.



Ruppert lives on his family farm in Witt and is still involved with Legacy Farms, a grain and purebred cattle operation.

Pana Community Hospital Foundation Progressing Towards Capital Campaign Fundraising Goal

The Pana Community Hospital Foundation is continuing to raise money to support the hospital’s expansion efforts. The foundation is about one-third of the way to their fundraising goal.


Melissa Rybolt is the Marketing Manager at Pana Community Hospital. She says the goal is one-point-five million dollars.



With summer approaching, Rybolt says the foundation will be hold a golf fundraiser and interested residents can already sign up for the event.



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

Warm, Wet Spring Possible for Central Illinois

The spring season is officially here and it could be a warm, wet spring. One meteorologist at the National Weather Service says it would be the result of the fading of a global weather pattern.


Chris Geelhart with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says we could see a warmer than average spring, especially towards May and June.



Geelhart says we can expect to see more rainfall than normal as well.



Geelhart says the fading “La Nina” weather pattern will play the biggest role in the spring weather pattern, as temperatures in the Pacific Ocean waters off of Mexico warm back up to normal.

Taylorville Police Seeking Information on Sex Offender Found to be Out of Compliance

Taylorville Police are looking for information on a man found to not be in compliance as a registered sex offender.


The department have recently conducted compliance checks 21 sex offenders and two violent offenders against youth. Out of those checks, only one man, 32-year-old Javier Barrera was determined to be out of compliance.


The investigation has been completed and sent to the Christian County State’s Attorney’s Office for formal charges.


Taylorville Police are asking anyone with information on Barrera’s location to call the department at 824-2211 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-568-TIPS.

Steve Henry of CSH Investments has Investment Advice

With the market going up like it has it is getting harder to find really good investments.


The International Maritime Organization is set to have new regulations with ships needing to be upgraded by 2019. Steve Henry of CSH Investments sees this as a potential investment opportunity that could pay off.



Henry says that it is best to wait for the market to get out of balance then buy low and sell high. He also recommends buying when others seem to be afraid of it.



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

Illinois State Fair Adds Grandstand Acts

The Illinois State Fair is calling all classic rock fans to check out this year's Grandstand lineup. 70s/80s supergroup Foreigner and Joan Jett will take to the Grandstand stage Sunday, August 12th. State Fair Manager Luke Sailer says the twinbill is designed to lure a "rock solid" audience.



The opening day of ticket sales will be announced.

Ives and Rauner not Mending Fences

There were apparently no phone calls between Governor Bruce Rauner and Jeannie Ives Tuesday night to let bygones be bygones after their race for the Republican nomination ended with a narrow Rauner victory. In a conversation with Chicago's Morning Answer on W-I-N-D Radio, Ives didn't sound ready for a unity breakfast.

Ives went on to call Rauner unelectable. In his victory speech, Rauner acknowledged a strong race run by "his opponent", but did not mention Ives by name. 

U of I has Plenty of 4H Events Coming in the Spring and Summer

The spring and summer are always busy for the University of Illinois Extension.


4-H Youth Program Coordinator Rebecca Livingston of the Extension shared some of what there is to look forward to over the summer.



Livingston says there is much more to agriculture than being the farmer that drives the tractor and puts the seed in the ground.



Livingston was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show for Ag Day, from the Christian County Farm Bureau Board Room.

Shelbyville Schools Looking into New Elementary English, Language Arts Curriculum

The Shelbyville School Board is looking at its options for a possible new English and Language Arts Curriculum for Kindergarten through 5th grade. The change could have a big impact on students’ education going forward.


Denise Bense is the Superintendent of the Shelbyville School District. She says changing curriculums is a big financial commitment, so they want to make sure they make the right decision.



Bense says teachers are currently testing different sets as they continue discussion on what the district should use.



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

Annual Farm Day to Return June 16th

3-21 6a JB


Tuesday was National Agricultural Day members of the Christian County Farm Bureau were itching with excitement.


Christian Country Young Agriculture Leaders Chair, Mathew Heberling says that the Christian County Farm Bureau has some big events planned in celebration of their 100-year anniversary.



On June 16th Christian County Farm Bureau is hosting a day on the farm for interested residents. The day is meant to be educational but the Farm Bureau is also expecting all who come out to have plenty of fun as well.



Heberling was a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show for Ag Day, from the Christian County Farm Bureau Board Room.

City of Taylorville to Tackle Issue of Solar Farms In and Near Community

The Taylorville City Council is preparing for how to handle possible solar farms in and near the community. The council voted to have a public hearing on a possible ordinance change regarding solar farms in April.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the city is receiving a lot of questions already about possible solar farms.



Barry says solar is a growing industry, but the city wants to make sure that solar farms will still be visually appealing for residents.



The public hearing on the ordinance change regarding solar farms will be held before the city council meeting on April 16th.

Rauner Wins by Narrow Margin

Governor Bruce Rauner held off a determined State Representative Jeanne Ives to win the Republican nomination. Rauner says the close margin of last night's vote did not go unnoticed.

With a small number of remaining Illinois precincts left to count, Rauner held a 3 percentage point lead over Ives. 

Pritzker wins Democratic Primary

Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker has coasted to victory in the Illinois Primary. Pritzker vastly outspent his main opponents Chris Kennedy and State Senator Daniel Biss. Now Pritzker is turning his attention to back to where it was in the early stages of the race..... Governor Bruce Rauner...

Vonda McConnell Earns Radio Industry Certification

Vonda McConnell of Shelbyville, an account manager with the Miller Media Group radio stations in Shelbyville and Taylorville, has successfully met the requirements to earn the designation of Radio Marketing Professional, or R-M-P, as certified by the Radio Advertising Bureau.

The R-M-P designation is the first step in a comphensive, multi-level training and certification program developed and administered by the Radio Advertising Bureau.  R-M-P graduates must complete a rigorous course of study that focuses on mastering the knowledge and skills necessary to help local businesses maximize their advertising success.  To earn their R-M-P diploma, candidates must pass a challenging one-hour online examination.

McConnell joined the Miller Media Group in January, after 6 years as office manager of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce, and has had a long career in business-to-business relationships.

The Radio Advertising Bureau, or R-A-B, is the sales and marketing arm of the Radio industry.  Today, the R-A-B consists of nearly 7,000 members including some 6,000 radio stations in the United States, and over 1,000 associate members, all of which promote and advance Radio as a primary advertising medium.

Regional Radio Election Night Central

We will have the latest election updates as they come in this evening on this page. Here are the races we are following this evening.


Last Update: 10:33 p.m.


In Statewide Primaries…

IL Governor (Lt. Governor) – Democrat

  • JB Pritzker (Juliana Stratton) - 46%
  • Daniel Biss (Litesa E. Wallace) - 26%
  • Chris Kennedy (R.A. Joy) - 24%
  • Tio Hardiman (Patricia Avery) - 2%
  • Bob Daiber (Jonathan W. Todd) - 1%
  • Robert Marshall (Dennis Cole) - 1%

(90 percent of statewide precincts reporting.)

IL Governor (Lt. Governor) – Republican

  • Bruce Rauner (Evelyn Sanguinetti) - 52%
  • Jeannie Ives (Rich Morthland) - 48%

(90 percent of statewide precincts reporting.)

IL Attorney General – Democrat

  • Kwame Raoul - 30%
  • Pat Quinn - 28%
  • Sharon Fairley - 12%
  • Nancy Rotering - 9%
  • Scott Drury - 8%
  • Jesse Ruiz - 6%
  • Renato Mariotti - 4%
  • Aaron Goldstein - 3%

(90 percent of statewide precincts reporting.)

IL Attorney General – Republican

  • Erika Harold - 59%
  • Gary Grasso - 41%

(90 percent of statewide precincts reporting.)


In U.S. House Primaries…

13th Congressional District – Democrat

  • Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan - 45%
  • Erik Jones - 23%
  • Jon Ebel - 14%
  • David M. Gill - 14%
  • Angel Sides - 4%

(94 percent of district precincts reporting.)

15th Congressional District  – Democrat

  • Kevin Gaither - 62%
  • Carl Spoerer - 38%

(98 percent of district precincts reporting.)


In other Shelby County Elections…

City of Shelbyville Proposition (Issuing Bonds to Finance Sewer System Improvements)

  • Yes - 381 (63.61%)
  • No - 218  (36.69%)

(9 of 9 precincts reporting.)

Cowden Fire Protection Proposition (Increase Tax Extension Limitation)

  • Yes 165 (47.14%)
  • No 185 (52.86%)

(6 of 6 precincts reporting.)

Village of Findlay Proposition (1 percent municipal sales tax)

  • Yes 65 (55.56%)
  • No 52 (44.44 %)

(2 of 2 precincts reporting)


In other Montgomery County Elections…

County Treasuer – Republican

  • Jay L. Martin - 1,701 (50.52%)
  • Daniel T. Robbins - 1,666 (49.48%)

County Sheriff – Republican

  • Rick Robbins - 2,191 (60.01%)
  • Scott Woods - 1,460 (39.99%)

County Board, District 1 – Republican

  • Megan Beeler - 338 (72.07%)
  • Jim Allen - 131 (27.93%)

Nokomis Township Proposition (Cemetery Tax)

  • Yes - 221 (48.15%)
  • No - 238 (51.85%)

(38 of 38 precincts reporting)


All results are unofficial until certified.

TMH to Give Away Free Colorectal Cancer Screenings

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Taylorville Memorial Hospital Director of Ancillary Services Lora Polley shared some services that they offer when it comes to treating colorectal cancer.



Taylorville Memorial Hospital is giving out free colorectal screening kits to the community Tuesday through Thursday.



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

BBB Warns Residents to Use Toys R' Us Gift Cards Quickly

Kids will no longer be able to ask mom and dad to take them to one well known toy store. Toys R’ Us announced that it is going bankrupt and closing all stores. There are still gift cards to the store that may be in some residents wallets.


Mara Clingingsmith of the Better Business Bureau advises that you make your stop at Toys R’ Us sooner rather than later.



Clingingsmith advises against forgetting that you have gift cards.



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

Loving Arms Holds Successful Annual Fundraiser

Loving Arms Crisis Pregenancy Center in Taylorville held another successful annual fundraising event Thursday night. The organization raised over $60,000 at the event, but that is short of their goal of $72,000.


Cathy Coker is the Executive Director at Loving Arms. She says many people attended and she hopes they were inspired by the organization’s mission.



Coker says this was the first year for the event being at the Pillars Event Center in Taylorville.



Coker says you can still donate online by going to their website. We have a link to their site here.

New Illinois Bicentennial Brew Now Available

Illinois is brewing up excitement for the bicentennial celebration. This week, Governor Bruce Rauner visited Binny's Beverage Depot in Springfield for the roll out of the state's official bicentennial beer ‘1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale', which was created by Petersburg based Hand of Fate Brewing Company. They defeated other top craft brewers i a competition at last year's Illinois State Fair. Hand of Fate owner Mike Allison is thrilled to represent the state, less than two years after Hand of Fate opened its doors.

Governor Rauner says its an exciting moment for Illinois agriculture and the craft brewing industry.

The beer is now available at most Binny's, Jewel-Osco's, HyVee's and other select retailers statewide.

THS Basketball Player Jordan Moats Honored as Taylorville Youth of the Month

Jordan Moats had a stellar high school basketball career for the Taylorville Tornadoes, and he was honored at Monday night’s city council meeting for his hard work for the team. The senior at Taylorville High School was named as Taylorville’s Youth of the Month for March.


Moats scored 1,007 points in his THS basketball career, making him one of only ten boys’ players in school history to score more than 1,000 points. He also helped lead the Tornadoes to their first 20-win season in more than 30 years.


Moats says the sport, the program, and especially this year’s team have had a huge impact on his life.



Moats says the team’s motto this year was “together”, and the team lived by that motto through their strong 2017-18 season.

UPDATE: Man Arrested After 12-Hour Crime Spree Across Multiple Counties Monday Has Died

UPDATE 4:48 p.m. Tuesday: Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards announced late Tuesday afternoon that the suspect in yesterday's string of crimes, 43-year-old Lee W. Kennedy, has died. He was pronounced deceased at 12:33 p.m. Tuesday. An autopsy will be performed Thursday morning, and we will have more information as it becomes available.




It was a day made for a storyline in a movie, but it all played out in Central Illinois Monday. Police apprehended a man accused of shooting three people Monday morning in Taylorville after a day of committing multiple other crimes.


After shooting the three people in a domestic dispute in a home on the 500 block of S. Walnut, Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says 43-year-old Lee W. Kennedy then proceeded to Hillsboro where he stole a 2004 Ford Focus mid-morning Monday. Just after 3 p.m., he made his way back to Stonington to rob the Colonial Food Pantry there. Finally, shortly before 4 p.m., Kennedy took multiple police agencies on a chase into Taylorville where it ended at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. The manhunt ended with Kennedy shooting himself in the face at the hospital. He was treated at Taylorville Memorial before being transported to Memorial Health Center in Springfield.


Hile says out of all the people involved in today’s string of crimes, only the people shot this morning and Kennedy were injured.



Hile says many city, county and other police agencies were involved during the day to track down Kennedy’s whereabouts. He says the cooperation between the number of police entities involved was great work on everyone’s part.



Hile thanks all agencies involved and members of the public for their help in bringing Kennedy into custody.

Special Election Night Coverage on Miller Media Group Tuesday

Tuesday is primary election day across Illinois and we will have special election coverage Tuesday evening on the Miller Media Group of radio station. We will have updates throughout the night on all of the contested races across Christian, Shelby, and Montgomery counties. You can listen for hourly updates or follow each race online with the latest updates at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com. The Miller Media Group and TaylorvilleDailyNews.com is your source for all things local elections on Tuesday evening.


Man Involved in Taylorville Morning Shooting Apprehended

UPDATE 4:27 P.M. - A source with one of the agencies involved in the shooting investigation has told Regional Radio News that the suspect in this morning's shooting in Taylorville has been apprehended. We are awaiting more details from Taylorville Police and the Christian County Sheriff's Office as they become available.


UPDATE 3:30 P.M. - The suspect's vehicle may have been found in Hillsboro. The Hillsboro School District posted this message on their Facebook page earlier this afternoon.



UPDATE 1:21 P.M. - We have learned through Kennedy's Facebook page that he is from Dubois, IL and works at Continental Tires in Mt. Vernon.


UPDATE 11:32 A.M. - Police say Kennedy's truck is a GMC Sierra, not a GMC Sonoma as previously stated in the first press release. A picture of his car is below.



Police are looking for a man in connection with a shooting that left three people injured in Taylorville early Monday morning.


Taylorville Police responded to the 500 block of S. Walnut around 5 a.m. Monday to a shots fired call. Officers found three people had been shot, one of them being a 13-year-old. All three victims were treated at Taylorville Memorial Hospital before being transferred to Springfield hospitals. Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says all of the injuries appear to be non-life threatening.


Hile says they are looking for 43-year-old Lee W. Kennedy in connection with the shooting. He says this is not the first domestic incident they have been called to involving Kennedy.



The Christian County State’s Attorney’s Office, Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, and other outside agencies are assisting Taylorville Police with the investigation.


Kennedy could be heading back to Southern Illinois, as Hile says he is familiar with that area. He was last seen driving a white 1996 GMC Sonoma extended cab truck with Illinois registration 2-3-6-3-5-1-0-B. Kennedy should be considered armed and dangerous. If you have any information on his whereabouts, call your local law enforcement agency.

Christian County Sheriff Kettelkamp Holds Regional Meeting On School Safety

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is encouraging residents to speak up if they believe someone could be a threat to themselves or others. His call is in response to the recent waves of local school threats and the Florida school shooting in February.


Kettelkamp says he recently organized a meeting with local school and police officials in response to the school shooting last month. He says many local officials came and represented their entity.



Kettelkamp says speakers from the FBI and Illinois State Police spoke to the group in attendance. He says he’s proud of everyone that came together on this day for student safety across the area.



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

New Medicare Cards Could Lead to New Scams, Christian County TRIAD Warns

The Social Security Administration will be starting the process of sending out new Medicare cards in April. The Christian County TRIAD wants to make sure residents are on their toes for scammers that could use this process for personal gain.


Rich Peters with the Christian County TRIAD, along with Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. Peters says one important piece of information that has been on the card in the past will no longer be on the card.



Peters says one thing to remember about Medicare cards when it comes to scams is that there’s no cost to getting a card.



Peters says the biggest key to keeping yourself from becoming a victim of these possible scams is to not give out any information over the phone.

SAIL Continuing to Provide Independent Living for Illinois Residents Needing Help

Soyland Access Independent Living, or SAIL, has 23 independent living centers across the state of Illinois, but those programs aren’t just for the elderly.


Betty Watkins is the Rural Outreach Coordinator for SAIL. She says she started at SAIL to make sure people know they have help for many different health issues.



There are many services SAIL provides through state money. Watkins says one of those programs, for people ages 18 to 59, is the community reintegration program.



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

Shelbyville Schools, Like Many Districts, Taking Every Precaution in School Safety Plans

Many school districts across Central Illinois have been reviewing their security policies after the Parkland, Florida school shooting and local threats. Shelbyville Schools is no different.


Shelbyville School District Superintendent Denise Bense says they have been fortunate to not have any serious threat to the district. But, a simple reference in another school’s threat led Shelbyville officials to make sure it wasn’t for their schools.



Bense says they treat every threat very seriously because they don’t take any chances with student safety.



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

Alta Himstedt 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 Alta Himstedt. Himstedt works hard to solve a common issue in rural areas. As a result of road construction and the need to haul water for their wells, Alta and neighbors formed the Sharpsburg and neighboring area water system, which brings water to more than 200 people and is still expanding.


Himstedt says she was thinking about her home and her neighbors when she helped to create the water system



Himstedt says when more people wanted help getting water after phase one was completed, she got back to work to help her neighbors.



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.

Stonington Elementary to Stay Open Next School Year

Stonington Elementary will remain open through the 2018-2019 school year, but elementary consolidation will likely again be on the table next year.


Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says with the recent board vacancy and other issues cropping up, elementary consolidation was put on the backburner this year.



Fuerstenau says the board knows Stonington Elementary’s future is a big issue with some parents. He says the board did not want to rush to make a decision that those parents are very passionate about.



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

Lake Land College Radio/TV Program to Hold Open House

Lake Land Community College’s Radio and TV Department is hosting an open house Friday. Guests are invited to come experience Lake Land’s broadcasting opportunities firsthand and enjoy lunch. The event will follow the college’s Laker Visit Day, which is a college open house for potential students.


Greg Powers is the Director of the Radio/TV Program at Lake Land. He says those who attend have an opportunity to be on the radio or on a TV newscast.



Powers says they are proud to help future broadcasters get into the radio and television industries.



The open house will be from noon until 2 p.m. on March 23rd.

Shelby County Art Show Continuing Long History in 2018

The 52nd Annual Shelby County Art Show is coming up in April, and it is expected to continue what has been a long and storied history of the show.


Carol Kessler with the Shelby County Art Show appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios. She says leadership of the show has been very stable over the years.



Kessler says the show also has not had to move between many venues over the years.



This year’s art show will be on April 14 and 15, and Kessler expects 500 to 600 people to visit this year’s show.

Kennedy Holds Nothing Back in Recent Debate

The democratic race for Governor is a three horse race headed towards Tuesday primary. JB Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss are the frontrunners. This week they sat down for a debate on WTTW in Chicago and Chris Kennedy went on the attack towards both Pritzker and Biss. Kennedy says Biss didn’t do enough when he could have to further Democrat ideals and the campaign promises that he’s running on now.

Voters go to the polls on Tuesday.

Jobs Up in Manufacturing

Job gains are being seen in Illinois. Eleven of the twelve metro areas picked up jobs over last year. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that the unemployment rate is lower in all metro areas. That marks the 8th consecutive month of improvement. 

That’s IDES’s Bob Gough. Areas with a heavy reliance on manufacturing saw solid job bumps including Rockford and Peoria.

Police Reminding Residents to Enjoy St. Patrick's Day Responsibly

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and state and local law enforcement are reminding residents to be safe on the roadways.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says St. Patrick’s Day is a day that everyone deserves to celebrate, but it should be done responsibly.



Kettelkamp says if you plan to drink, you should also plan to have a designated driver.



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

Master Gardeners Preparing for Annual Plant Sale

Planting season is coming, and the annual Master Gardeners’ Plant Sale is also right around the corner. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 5th starting at 9 a.m. at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County Office.


Linda Smith with the Master Gardeners says there will be more than perennial plants available this year.



Smith says the plants they sell are grown in the gardens of Master Gardeners.



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

Spring Turkey Season, Trout Release Approaching for IDNR

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has two different seasons coming up, turkey hunting season and trout release season.


Ed Cross with IDNR says the spring turkey season are approaching quickly.



Cross says the trout release is coming back soon as well. He says there are a few locations in Christian County where rainbow trout will be released.



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

Taylorville Chamber Seeking Nominations for Boss, Citizen of the Year Awards

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Banquet is less than two months away, and the Chamber is now looking for nominations for their annual awards. The awards they are seeking nominations for are the Boss of the Year and the Citizen of the Year.


Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Patty Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says any immediate supervisor at a Chamber member business can be nominated for the Boss of the Year award.



Hornbuckle says for the Citizen of the Year, they are looking for residents that have had a positive impact on the community.



Hornbuckle says the deadline for nominations is on April 6th.

March is National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month and the St. Louis Dairy Council is encouraging residents to know what they eat.


Jill Williams with the St. Louis Dairy Council says National Nutrition Month has a long history.



Williams says this year’s Nutrition Month theme is “Go Further With Food.”



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

Plans for Quincy Veteran's Home Residents

The state may finally have a plan to handle, on a long term basis the Legionella outbreaks at the Quincy Veterans Home. Since 2015, 13 people have been killed by Legionnaires’ disease and dozens more sickened. Governor Bruce Rauner says they want to go further than what the Centers for Disease Control has suggested doing. A consideration is to purchase a vacant nursing home next door to the Quincy Veterans Home for some residents to move into along other potential home sites.

Rauner says there is also a plan to design a new facility to replace the existing home where Legionnaires has been difficult to eradicate. As the new plans were released Rauner is still trying to defend his administration’s handling of the outbreak dating back to 2015. 

Fish Habitat Day Saturday at Lake Shelbyville Part of Much Bigger Plan

The Fish Habitat Improvement Day at Lake Shelbyville is coming up Saturday. Volunteers are being sought as habitat cubes will be put in the lake for the wildlife on that day.


Mike Mounce is a Fisheries Biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios and says there is a much bigger goal in mind.



Mounce says it is important to protect the fish in the lake for more than just the fish.



Mounce says one organization recently rated Lake Shelbyville as one of the top places in the nation to go to for croppy fish.

Fuerstenau Says Proposed Teacher Pension Cost Shift to Local Districts Would Cancel Out Money From School Funding Reform

Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed shifting teacher pension costs from the state to local school districts over the next four years in his latest budget proposal. Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says many districts won’t be able to eat that kind of new expense in only four years time.


Fuerstenau says the cost shift may be inevitable, but he is calling on a ten-year cost shift. He says under Rauner’s proposed budget, all of the new funds from the school funding reform model would go towards eating the new pension expense.



Fuerstenau says how the proposal is currently constructed just doesn’t make sense.



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

Chamber of Commerce to Hold Pair of Seminars for Current, Prospective Business Owners

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is having two seminars coming up for current and prospective business owners. The first seminar is coming up in just a couple weeks.


Patty Hornbuckle is the President and CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. She says the first seminar, coming up on March 28th is for those looking to start a business.



That seminar will start at 1:30 on March 28 at the chamber’s office.


The second workshop will be in April, and it helps business owners continue to be creative and keep employees happy to help their business succeed.



You can call the chamber to RSVP for either event. We have their phone number at this story at Taylorville Daily News dot com.

Bourne Looking to Make Getting Teaching Licenses Easier in Illinois

Many school districts across Illinois are facing the consequences of the teacher and substitute teacher shortage. State Representative Avery Bourne is advocating for a bill that would make it easier to get teaching licenses in the state.


Bourne appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says part of the measure makes it easier for out-of-state teachers to come to Illinois to work.



Bourne says licensing is only part of the solution to make teaching an attractive job in the state again. She says Illinois lawmakers must be fiscally responsible and keep their pension promises to state teachers.



Bourne says the retirement system does make financial decisions difficult at the state level, but lawmakers owe the teachers that have paid into the system.

Durbin Tackles Gun Issues in Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

Senator Dick Durbin tackled the issue of gun violence and mass shootings as students walked out of classrooms around the country to express concerns about school safety. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Parkland, Florida shooting last month, Durbin said the time to act is now on new gun restrictions.

Durbin than lashed out at Congressional Republicans and President Trump, as well as a three letter target.

Durbin also called on NRA members to demand tougher standards. 

Springfield Native Among Those Killed in NYC Chopper Crash

Sunday Night's deadly New York City helicopter crash claimed the life of a Springfield (IL) High School graduate. 34-year-old Daniel Thompson, who worked as an employee of the helicopter tour company that operated the craft, was among five killed when the sightseeing chopper went down in the East River. Thompson also devoted much of his time in New York to his love of music. It's something that began in his Springfield High School days under the tutelage of his mentor Mark Gifford.

Thompson served as president of the nonprofit Young New Yorkers’ Chorus.

Rauner Says He Understands School Walkouts

As the debate on gun control took the national stage today with school walkouts across the country the Illinois Senate passed a number of measures to try and curb gun violence. The senate did not try and override Governor Bruce Rauner’s gun store licensing bill veto. That vote is expected in April. Rauner says today understood the action that brought students to walk out of class. 

He’s still pressing for what he calls bipartisan action on gun control. Rauner says as the walkouts were going on he was meeting with law enforcement officials on plans to create an interstate crime prevention network.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - March 14, 2018

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


Sometime during the earlier morning hours of Sunday March 4, 2018, person or persons unknown made entry into a residence located at 122 South Main Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took a video game system, a debit card, an H and R block card, a black LG cell phone, and cash.  There was no damage done when entry was made.  The total dollar amount of the theft is unknown at this time.


Please contact Crimestoppers is 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 did 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.  

Taylorville Police, Christian County TRIAD Hosting Weather Preparedness Events Thursday

It’s a busy time of year for the Taylorville Police and the Christian County TRIAD. With warmer temperatures comes making sure residents are ready for severe weather. Taylorville Police and the TRIAD are offering a pair of events Thursday to help prepare residents.


Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile and Rich Peters with the Christian County TRIAD appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. Hile says Thursday starts with a weather preparedness event at the Taylorville Municipal Building.



Hile says the day finishes with a weather radio sale and programming event at Taylorville Walgreens.



Hile says the events continue to grow in popularity and draw big crowds each year.

Jones Running for Congress to Brighten Hopes of Illinois Residents Achieving the American Dream

One Democratic candidate for Illinois’ 13th District U.S. House seat says the “American Dream” needs to be made easier to attain during a time where it seems to be getting further away.


Erik Jones is one of five Democrats running for the nomination for the seat. He says college loans have become a long-lasting weight on many Americans shoulders.



Jones says company buyouts have hurt the Midwest and especially Illinois residents.



Jones says he has spent his life in public service, and he is ready to fight for 13th District residents on day one in Washington.

Ives, Morthland Visit Christian County Tuesday

Republican state gubernatorial candidate Jeannie Ives and her running mate Rich Morthland made a visit to Christian County Tuesday. The pair toured a variety of companies in the county while talking to voters about what they would bring to Illinois.


Morthland says agriculture is a key sector in the state’s economic future.



Morthland says part of the issue is education and opportunities in the state. He is a full-time professor, and says one question he recently asked a class shows why Illinois needs to open up education and economic opportunity.



Morthland says he and Ives understand the needs of everyone in Illinois, and that it’s time for new leadership to change the direction of the state.

Davis Believes School Security Funding Bill Will Be Taken Up in Washington This Week

A school security funding bill is expected to be taken up this week in the U.S. House, and Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says it has a reasonable chance of passing.


Davis says local leaders can take their own safety measures, and are starting to do so.



Davis says this bill would restart an old federal program that would allow local districts to tap into federal money to provide security options for schools, such as a school resource officer.



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

Manar Co-Sponsoring Bill to Provide High-Speed Internet to All Illinois Schools

State Senator Andy Manar is pushing legislation that would bring broadband internet access to all schools in Illinois.


Manar says small town kids face a road block in their education because of the lack of internet access.



Manar says he is co-sponsoring the bill with State Senator Sam McCann that will make state funds available and utilitize federal funds to make Illinois one of the first states to make Internet access available in every school.



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

Rauner Commits to 4 Gun Control Goals

Ahead of the primary election Governor Bruce Rauner has maintained that he’s being clear on gun control measures for the state. Rauner says he has four goals that he is willing to work with Democrats on in the statehouse.

The only clear policy point Rauner laid out was a willingness to ban bump stocks and says he will veto a gun store licensing bill.

USDA Responding to Opioid Epidemic

The numbers don’t lie. Many agencies are feeling the impact of the state’s opioid crisis and are also playing a role in the response. Doug Wilson is the state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois. 

The USDA announced they will be hosting a series of roundtable talks on the opioid epidemic throughout all parts of the country. The first one is taking place this week in Pennsylvania. 

Frerichs Attacks Senate Bill

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs is trying to fight off legislation designed to limit his office's ability to audit life insurance companies and other types of businesses to ensure they are in step with unclaimed property laws. Frerichs says a new Senate bill would outlaw those audits and he says companies that knowingly keep unclaimed property would essentially receive a get out of jail free card.

Senate Bill 2901 is sponsored by McHenry based Republican Senator Pamela Althoff.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears About Survivor Outreach Services at Weekly Meeting

TAYLORVILLE — The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the Survivor Outreach Services provided by the Army during their Tuesday luncheon at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Command Sergeant Major Lester Edwards along with Chris Milchuck representing Survivor Outreach Services focused on their responsibilities in assisting military families through the grieving process upon the loss of a loved one.

Milchuck stated that many times after the loss of a loved one there are unresolved issues or questions that need answers many of which may surface months or years later.  The Survivor Outreach Service is dedicated to providing support to surviving families for as long as needed.

Survivor Outreach Services are available to active Army, National Guard and Reserve families.  Support coordinators provide assistance utilizing support groups, life skills education and assist survivors to ensure that necessary services are received.  More information can be found by visiting www.sos.army.mil.

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


Caption to Photo:  Robert “Buzz” Besson, CSM Lester Edwards, Chris Milchuck, Kiwanis President Martin Vota.

Second Threat at Cowden-Herrick Schools In Recent Weeks Leads to Arrest of 13-Year-Old

A second threat in the Cowden-Herrick School District in recent weeks got the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office called to the school Monday. A threat was reportedly made on social media to a student and the school.


A 13-year-old male student of Cowden Grade School was arrested for making the threat. The threat was found to not be credible but a prank.


The first incident two weeks ago led to the arrest of a 16-year-old female student.


The investigation was aided by the social media application Instagram, the Illinois State Terrorism and Intelligence Center, and the East Central Illinois Drug Task Force.

Bourne Calling for "Common Sense" Gun Regulations, Calling Current Bills on Table "Politically Motivated"

State Representative Avery Bourne has some concerns with gun legislation brought up in Springfield in recent weeks in response to the Parkland school shooting in Florida. While she believes some common sense reforms could be enacted, most of those reforms are attached to what she calls “politically motivated” pieces of legislation.


Bourne appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says one of those restrictions that was up for debate would have put more work on mom-and-pop businesses because box stores would be exempt.



Bourne says she voted down all of the six to seven pieces of legislation up for vote because of these politically motivated issues.


She says while owning a firearm is an unalienable right, that doesn’t mean common sense restrictions can’t be put on that right.



Bourne says the gun licensing bill she mentioned was passed by both chambers and is waiting on the Governor’s desk. All other gun-related bills still have to go through the Senate, and there are still some House bills that need to be taken up as well.

THS Students to Perform "Seussical The Musical" This Weekend

Taylorville High School is putting on “Seussical the Musical” this weekend. There will be three performances plus other events Thursday through Saturday.


The musical’s director Kathy Fergin, along with cast members Liz Coady and Connor Chase appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. Chase says the storyline features 18 different Dr. Seuss books, with the main storyline following “Horton Hears a Who.”



Fergin says this is a special group of kids and she’s happy that she feels like she connected with the good majority of the cast members.



Coady says there is a special cast member this year that many people will recognize.



Thursday’s show will also include a catered dinner at 5:30 before the performance at 7. Angelo’s will cater and the cost for dinner and a ticket will be 18 dollars. You can call the high school office to reserve your tickets. Friday and Saturday’s shows are both at 7, and there will be a meet & greet luncheon for kids with the Dr. Seuss characters on Saturday afternoon from noon to 2 p.m. You can call the high school office to reserve a spot at that meal as well.

Ace Hardware Ownership Runs in Van Deursen Family

Mike Van Deursen has had full ownership of Shelbyville’s Ace Hardware location for about a year now, but he continues to learn the ins-and-outs of business ownership each day on the job.


Van Deursen appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios. He says Ace Hardware ownership runs in his family.



Van Deursen says his dad owns the Sullivan Ace location, and he used to work at both the Shelbyville and Sullivan locations part-time.



Van Deursen says owning a store requires a lot more work hours, but in the end, it’s fun and worth it to him.

Senator Durbin Not High on Trump Infrastructure Prospects

Senator Dick Durbin remains unconvinced that President Trump's talk of infrastructure investment will come to realization. Durbin says the infrastructure program the President has promoted, isn't as big as advertised.

Meanwhile, Durbin is weighing in on the President's tariffs on steel and aluminum. "President Trump wants to put China on notice for their abusive trade practices that hurt American workers and industries. I support that. The sweeping tariffs announced today are like dropping a bomb on a flea. Launching an all-out trade war will alienate the allies we need to actually solve the problem of steel dumping, and could have huge unintended consequences for American manufacturers who depend on imported materials." 

Tiny Houses Coming to Gateway IndyCar Race

When the IndyCar series returns to Gateway Motorsports Park later this year, you have an opportunity to experience what is being billed as one of the most unique lodging opportunities in all of motor-sports. A tiny-house village will be constructed in the infield between turns 3 and four during race week, August 23- 26. Track spokesman John Bisci says similar villages have been popular additions at the Bristol and Indianapolis Motor Speedways.

Each unit rental will include two or four general admission tickets to the race (based on occupancy), one infield parking pass, two or four paddock passes and a concierge service provided by the Try it Tiny group. for more information, go to https://www.tryittiny.com/gateway

Illinois School Leaders Discuss Arming Teachers

To arm teachers or not to arm teachers is among the numerous debates being had in light of recent school violence and further threats to school kids across the country. Illinois school leaders are weighing in on the debate and Bob Bagby, Superintendent of Lincoln High School in Logan County, says it’s disappointing that school leaders cannot guarantee the safety of their kids when they come to school but allowing teachers to carry guns in school is something he is not sure about.

Lisa Taylor is the Superintendent of Heyworth Schools in McLean County and she feels teachers carrying a firearm is not something they are trained for but feels there could be circumstances to allow a teacher to conceal a firearm in the school.

Illinois lawmakers are discussing a number of gun bills, however, none so far, have been discussed allowing teachers to carry firearms in a school building. 

THS Students Can No Longer Carry Bookbags, Purses to Classes Starting Monday

The new policy was discussed earlier this school year to go into effect next school year. But with the Florida school shooting and recent local threats, a new safety policy will go into effect Monday at Taylorville High School. THS students will no longer be allowed to carry their bookbags and purses from class to class, it must be stowed in their locker during the school day.


Multiple factors came into the decision for the THS Administration, and THS principal Matt Hutchison says safety was the top concern.



The board voted 6-1 to implement the proposal at the high school. Hutchison admits the policy won’t be popular with students, but in addition to safety, there are other concerns to be addressed as well, and students have lockers to keep their belongings.



Andra Ebert was sworn in to the Taylorville School Board Monday to fill Dennis Atteberry’s vacated seat. Also at Monday’s meeting, the board gave the green light to continue discussions with the city of Taylorville on bringing in a school resource officer, as well as bringing fifth through eighth graders at Taylorville Junior High School into the CEP program, providing free breakfast and lunch to each student.

U.S.D.A., Shelby Electric Present $1 Million Check To PCH Expansion Project

Pana Community Hospital has received a large donation towards their expansion project thanks to the U.S.D.A. and Shelby Electric Cooperative. Many were on hand as a one-million dollar check was presented to hospital officials Monday.


Pana Community Hospital President and CEO Trina Casner says the expansion and support from the community are vital to providing the best care for area residents in the future.



Shelby Electric Cooperative President and CEO Josh Shallenberger says the check was made possible through the Rural Economic Development loan and grant program. He says it is vital for rural areas to have high quality healthcare for its residents.



Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis was also on hand for the check presentation Monday morning. He says this expansion doesn’t just provide better quality healthcare for Pana area residents.



The entire PCH expansion project is expected to be completed by April 2019.




PCH President and CEO Trina Casner speaks to those in attendance about the hospital's expansion project along with the check presented by the U.S.D.A. and Shelby Electric Cooperative Monday morning.

Fishing Habitat Alliance Helping to Rebuild Lost Habitat for Fish at Lake Shelbyville

Those who work at Lake Shelbyville continue to do what they can to keep the lake as safe for humans and animals as possible. Part of that work for animals has been done through the work of the Fish Habitat Alliance.


Mike Mounce is a Fisheries Biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He says the Fish Habitat Alliance was developed last year as a grassroots effort to help develop extra fish habitat at Lake Shelbyville.


Mounce says as the lake gets older, it loses the natural habitat for the fish. So this organization is helping to artifically restore it.



Mounce says there are multiple aspects of the cubes that fish like, and clustering fish in one area is also good for fisherman.



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

Shelby County Office of Tourism Visitor's Guide Continues to Inform Visitors of County's Attractions

The Shelby County Office of Tourism promotes Lake Shelbyville and the surrounding area in multiple ways, with one of the biggest ways being the annual visitor’s guide.


Freddie Fry with the Shelby County Office of Tourism says the guide is not possible without the local businesses that help to make it happen.



Fry says there are so many options in Shelby County for visitors to choose from, and they have to make sure they can fit it all into this book.



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

Christian County LEAD Program Takes Tour of Illinois State Capitol, Meet with Local Lawmakers

The Christian County LEAD Program continued their tours of important staples of the community this week. They recently traveled to Springfield to tour the Illinois State Capitol building.


State Senator Andy Manar says he is one of the lawmakers that welcomes the group to Springfield each year. He says it is one of the best parts of his day job.



Manar and local representative Avery Bourne both took time to visit with the LEAD participants during the visit. Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Patty Hornbuckle says she’s happy these lawmakers take the time to have face-to-face dialogue with their constituents in the program.



Hornbuckle says the group also received a complete tour of the capitol building during their visit.

McClure Funeral Home Hosting Q&A Session to Let Residents to Learn About Planning Funeral Services

Planning a funeral for a loved one is very difficult, but one local funeral home is offering a question and answer session to prepare residents for when that inevitable day will come. McClure Funeral Home will hold the session for the public on March 22nd at 6 p.m. The event is free and a light dinner will be provided.


Scott McClure co-owns McClure Funeral Home in Taylorville with his wife Susie. He says there will be a presentation on all of the options available for services.



McClure says each service is unique and it is the funeral home’s job to tailor to the family’s needs.



McClure says he has received interest in also having more specialized information sessions, and they may offer those sessions in the near future.

The Start of Tax Cut Bill Benefits Are Coming to Fruition According to Davis

As Americans are starting to see less money taken out of their paychecks each month, Central Illinois House Representative Rodney Davis says the bill is doing what it intended.


Davis says the last time there was federal tax reform, he was still in Taylorville with an old-fashioned hairdo.



Davis says large companies are already starting to invest in their average workers, and there is more benefits to come.



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

Governor Plans Another Trade Mission

Trade is on many minds right now, between new tariffs enacted by President Trump to the renegotiations of NAFTA. With that as a backdrop Governor Rauner says he’s headed on another trade mission. Rauner is going to Europe in April and will begin in Poland.

Rauner’s trip also includes stops in Germany and the UK.

Possible Changes for Suspended Drivers

Criminal justice reform has been on the mind of lawmakers and the Governor for a few years now. That even trickles down to what can be seen as fairly minor violation including driving on a suspended license. But it’s one that can get you tossed in jail. So the House approved a measure to change that. Republican Rep. Peter Breen says that throwing someone in jail for failure to pay off parking tickets or other minor violations isn’t a proper punishment. 

If caught, individuals would face another citation but they would not be jailed. The Senate gets a say on the matter next. 

WSVZ, Family Drug Shelbyville Students of the Month March 2018

The WSVZ and Family Drug-Shelbyville Students of the Month for March 2017 were presented with their awards recently. Pictured from left to right are senior Courtney Lee, junior Kaitlyn Gritzmacher, sophomore Brayden Lynch, and freshman Kailee Griffith.


Annual Weather Preparedness Program, Weather Radio Programming Events Coming Up in Taylorville Thursday

March means thoughts of spring, and spring means thoughts of storms. As severe weather season approaches, the Taylorville Police Department and the Christian County TRIAD will host their annual weather preparedness program on Thursday, March 15. Local meteorologists will be on hand to give the latest information including new technology which helps track and predict the weather.


The weather preparedness program will be start at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday. It will be held on the lower level of the Taylorville Municipal Building. The program is free and refreshments will be served.


Also on Thursday, Taylorville Police and the TRIAD will host a weather radio programming event at Walgreens from 3:30 until 6:30 p.m. Weather radios can be purchased during the event at a discounted price and programmed for free while you wait. Those with weather radios that are having problems or cannot get it programmed can bring their radios to the event and have it fixed as well.

HSHS Good Shepherd Continuing Support of Community Through Military Packages, Blood Drive

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital continues to support their neighbors through multiple avenues. The hospital recently collected items for packages to send to U.S. military personnel and also is sponsoring a blood drive on Thursday.


The items collect for the troops will be donated to local resident Pat Garlick, who makes Pride Packages for military members. She sends out packages several times a year, and the recent drive focused on Easter gifts. The boxes include items like playing cards, gum, candy, treats, deodorant, foot powder and other toiletries.


The hospital is sponsoring the blood drive to be held at First Baptist Church in Shelbyville on Thursday. It will run from noon until 6 p.m. on that day. After donating, cobbler and soup from Longbranch Grill in Shelbyville will be served. Donors can schedule an appointment prior to Thursday by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, but the drive will also accept walk-in donors.

Sides Says There's No Place for Big Money in Government

The government’s role is representing its people, and one candidate running for the Democratic nomination for Illinois’ 13th District U.S. House seat says its time to get big money out of politics.


Angel Sides appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says some of these big money lobbying organizations are protecting issues that proving to be fatal.



Sides says America is refusing to follow the models of other industrialized nations that have solved some of the problems the country is facing today.

Dirksen-Londrigan Calls Tax Cut Bill Passed "Tax Scam" For America's Working Class

Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan is running for Illinois’ 13th District U.S. House seat to fight for working families. She says one recent piece of legislation passed hurts those people she is fighting for.


Dirksen-Londrigan says the tax reform bill passed in December is just another break for the wealthy on the backs of America’s working class.



Dirksen-Londrigan appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Ebel Calling For Legislation to Help Rural America Stay Connected in Changing Economy

One candidate running for Illinois’ 13th District U.S. House Seat says recent legislation and action taken by President Donald Trump and Congress are only a “sugar high” for the economy. He says more action needs to be taken.


John Ebel is running as a Democrat in the district. He says more action needs to be taken to protect America’s middle class.



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

Gill Calling for $15 an Hour Minimum Wage

Dr. David Gill believes that if you work hard, you should be able to make a good living. Gill is running for Illinois’ 13th District U.S. House seat, and he believes the minimum wage should be $15 an hour.


Gill appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM morning show. He says if minimum wage kept up with inflation, it would be a lot higher than $15 an hour at this point.



Gill says it would also be great for the economy because people making that wage spend their money instead of socking their money away like America’s wealthiest people.

Mendoza Seeks to End Off Shoring for Governor's Payroll

Illinois state Comptroller Susana Mendoza wants to force governors to meet payroll with their own personnel budget. She's promoting legislation ending so called "off-shoring", the practice of shifting salaries to other agencies.

Mendoza says the practice impacts the wrong agencies at the wrong time.

While Mendoza has been an outspoken critic of Governor Bruce Rauner, she says off shoring has been an issue for Democratic and Republican Governors alike. Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold says the governor is open to discussing bookkeeping changes. 

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - March 9, 2018

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


Sometime during the earlier morning hours of Tuesday February 27, 2018, person or persons unknown trespassed onto 1207 West Poplar Street.  While there, the unknown subject or subjects got into the back of a pick-up truck parked at the residence.  An older gray tool box on wheels and various tools located inside were taken.  The total dollar amount of the theft is unknown at this time.


Please contact Crimestoppers is 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 did 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.  

Extension Home Orchard Series Teaching Residents How to Grow and Maintain Their Own Orchard

The University of Illinois Extension’s Home Orchard Series continues later this month. The next session is scheduled for March 21, and each session cost five dollars to attend for class materials.


Andrew Holsinger is a Horticulture Educator at the Extension. He says the upcoming sessions will cover how to establish your fruit trees and how to treats pests and disease.



Holsinger says the most common fruit trees grown in the area are apple trees. He says that apple trees, however, can be one of the most challenging to care for.



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

Manar Confident Current State Budget Lays Framework For 2019 Fiscal Budget

State Senator Andy Manar is confident this year’s budget will be used as a framework for the coming fiscal year’s budget. He says the relative calm in the news about the current budget shows that it has been a successful state budget.


Manar appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says for the fourth year in a row, Governor Bruce Rauner did not propose a balanced budget. But he says Rauner did take lessons from the current budget.



Manar serves as the Senate’s Appropriations Committee Chair. He says lawmakers have set spending limits in the current budget that won’t let the bills continue to pile up on the state government’s doorsteps.



Manar says after the budget stalemate ended last year, he doesn’t see lawmakers wanting to start another dilemma by not passing a budget. But he says there is still work to do.



Manar says the Appropriations Committee is currently holding hearings two to three times a week to hear from agency directors and other officials about their budget requests. He says these hearings are open to the public and normally last about eight weeks.

Chamber of Commerce Spring Swing Winners Announced

Over 40 teams participated in the 4th annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Spring Swing event Saturday, and the top three teams were announced Thursday during the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.


The winners were the Skeff Distributing team made up of Riley Hamell, Austin Dowdy, Nathan Mink, and Aaron May. Second place went to the team with Mike Hinton, Alex and Charlie Durbin, and Eric Carroll. The third place team consisted of Brett Wiseman, Steve Claypool, Robb Yeager, and Josh Newberry.


Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Patty Hornbuckle announced the winners Thursday. She says these teams are all taking home a cash prize.



Hornbuckle thanks everyone that made the event another great one in 2018.



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

Congressional Candidate Wants to Uphold Lawmakers' Responsibility for Troops in Washington

Traditionally, Congress has had to authorize the use of military force across the globe. One candidate for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District says lawmakers have punted that responsibility to the executive branch too much in recent years.


John Ebel is a navy veteran that is running as a Democrat for the U.S. House seat. He appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show, and says no matter who the president is, Americans should ask themselves if the power to send our men and women into battle should be left to one person alone.



Ebel says his biggest global security concern is what is happening in Syria.



Ebel says when it comes to North Korea, it seems that their primary goal is regime survival, and they aren’t likely to use force to expand their influence.

Legislation Would Allow Military Uniforms to be Worn at High School Graduation Ceremonies

Legislation has been introduced in Springfield that would allow public school students to wear military uniforms during graduation ceremonies. State Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha explains the motivation behind his bill.

House Bill 5661 requires that the student must have completed basic training for and is an active member of a branch of the United States Armed Forces and is in good standing with his or her branch of the United States Armed Forces. The legislation was approved in committee this week and now moves on to Illinois House. 

Acclaimed Documentary to be Shown Throughout Illinois

A documentary about the hot-button topic of genetically modified food could be coming to a theater near you. It's called 'Food Evolution' and its director, the Academy Award-nominated Scott Hamilton Kennedy, says it opened his eyes to fact versus fiction on the GMO issue.

Already shown on some college campuses such as Illinois State and Southern Illinois University, Linda Olson with the Illinois Farm Bureau explains why the group is working with collegiate and county Farm Bureaus to bring the film to other schools and Illinois communities.

'Food Evolution' comes to Galesburg's Orpheum Theater this Sunday at 2 p.m., and at Freeport's Lindo Theater on Monday at 6:30 p.m. The St. Louis Science Center hosts the film on March 16th at 7:30, and the Sterling Theater will host it March 21st at 6:30. More venues in and near Illinois will host the film April through June.

New Website is Coming for Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce

The Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce is close to launching a new and improved website.


The chamber’s office manager Jody McCormick says the new site has been a product of months of hard work from multiple groups.



McCormick says it’s still being built, but it is going to be a sight to see once completed.



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

Sides Calling for Innovative Energy Technology in Campaign for 13th Congressional District Seat

One candidate for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District says it’s time for our country to put using renewable energy at the forefront.


Angel Sides is running as a Democrat for the U.S. House seat, and she appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says having solar roads could allow a city’s heat to power that community.



Sides says down the line, these roads would save taxpayer dollars.



Sides says we should be following the lead of other countries around the world in using this technology, but the U.S. has not stepped up.

Farm Bill Committee Work Could Start in Coming Weeks

Committee work on the next Farm Bill is expected to start soon according to Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis. He says he expects to start hearing language from the bill as early as next week.


Davis says the Farm Bill is a key piece of legislation for farmers and taxpayers.



Davis isn’t worried about partisan politics with the Farm Bill. He says as long as all areas of the country get what they need, it should be an easier bill to pass.



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

Spinoff Companies Provide Big Opportunity for Smaller Investors

It’s not often that a money-making strategy consistently works for decades, but WTIM’s Investment Professional Steve Henry says with investing on spin-off companies, that is exactly the case.


Spin-offs are the creation of independent companies through the sale or distribution of new shares of an existing business or division of a parent company.


Henry says investing in these companies outperforms investing in traditional companies.



Henry says there are multiple reasons big investors don’t normally look to invest in spin-offs, with one of those reasons being the size of the company.



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

Steelworkers To Be Recalled at Granite City Plant

About 500 steelworkers will be heading back to work this month. U.S. Steel has announced it will be restarting one of two blast furnaces and the steel-making facilities at it's plant in Granite City in anticipation of increased demand as a result of President Donald Trump's announcement of pending tariffs on steel imports. Congressman Mike Bost says he got the news Tuesday night.

About a year ago, the company called a little more than 200 workers back as it restarted its hot strip mill. About 2,300 men and women at the Granite City plant were put out of work with the facility's idling in December 2015. The restart of the "B" blast furnace could take up to four months. The "A" blast furnace remains idled. 

IEA Awaits "Fair Share" Decision in Supreme Court

It isn't just AFSCME paying close attention to the pending Supreme Court decision on state worker Mark Janus' fight against so called fair share fees. The Illinois Education Association believes the decision could have a direct impact on the state's teachers unions. IEA Government Relations Director Jim Reed.

Reed says teachers aren't just concerned about their compensation.

The Supreme Court previously was deadlocked on the fair share issue before Neil Gorsuch returned the high court to full strength with nine Justices.

After Son's Health Battle, Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan Seeks to be Voice of Central Illinois Residents in Congress

Betsy Dirksen-Londrigan’s family has had to deal with more of America’s healthcare system than she’s ever wanted to deal with when she nearly lost her son in 2009. The Democrat says she’s running for Illinois’ 13th U.S. House seat to be the voice of Central Illinois’ middle class on healthcare and all other issues.


Dirksen-Londrigan says if it weren’t for good health insurance, her family’s finances would have been in shambles after her son’s health battle.



Dirksen-Londrigan says the first thing that should be done is stablizing the Affordable Care Act, and then once that is done, she would like to see a public option introduced.


She also wants to fight for fully-funded pre-K through post-high school education. She says one of the battles that needs to be had is reiterating the importance of a college education to high school students.



Dirksen-Londrigan appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Congress Looking at How to Stabilize Highway Trust Fund for Future Infrastructure Projects

One of President Trump’s priorities for 2018 in his State of the Union address was infrastructure. Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says infrastructure itself is a priority, but so is fixing how the government funds infrastructure projects.


Davis says the majority of highway improvement money comes from the federal gas tax, but improving technology is making that tax less effective.



Davis says he would support a user fee for those who drive electric cars to keep the highway trust fund afloat.



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

Taylorville City Council Votes to Create Water Billing Manager Position

The Taylorville City Council has approved creating a new position to oversee water billing in the community. With the recent billing issues in the community and the changes coming in the near future, Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says now is the time to have one person solely in charge of water billing.


Barry says the city wants to provide better customer service with one person handling only water billing.



Barry says the decision at last night’s meeting was to complete the job description and to start advertising the open position.



Also at Monday night’s meeting, the board voted five to three to hire an additional police officer to send to training in May. They also voted to raise liquor license fees on certain establishments in the city.


The next city council meeting is scheduled for March 19 at 7 p.m. at the Taylorville Municipal Building.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Host Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Improvement Day

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be having its Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Improvement Day coming up. It will be held on Saturday, March 17 at Wolf Creek State Park.


Sarah Haslett with the Army Corp of Engineers says it’s a busy day getting a lot of work done.



Haslett says in addition to putting the structures in the lake, the cube structures are also normally assembled on that day.



To volunteer for Fish Habitat Improvement Day, call 774-3951.


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

Visible Progress Being Made on Pana Community Hospital's Expansion Project

Winter weather has not delayed progress on the $20.1 million expansion project to Pana Community Hospital. Work is moving along on both the front and back portions of the hospital’s building project.


Construction workers are working on putting in the frame of the three-story structure on the Patient Services addition to PCH. The vertical steel beams have been installed in the last month, and work continues to install the horizontal delta beams. Steel framing for the structure is set to be completed by early April.


The Patient Services addition to the back of the hospital will add space for a new surgical suite, laboratory, diagnostic imaging, cardiopulmonary, materials management, and nutritional services departments. Phase one of the project is expected to be completed by September.


Work has also begun on the main entrance addition to the hospital. That phase of the project will create space for an urgent care, improve access to the hospital building, and provide an updated waiting area with private registration offices.


The entire project is expected to be completed by the spring of 2019.

Southern Illinois Farmer Having Success Planting Rice

You can grow rice in Illinois. Blake Girard has done it for nearly 20 years in the southern part of the state.


Girard was among the exhibitors at the Illinois Products Expo in Springfield last weekend. He devotes 1,000 acres of his farm to rice and the other 1,000 acres to soybeans. The rice is planted between April 1 and May 25 and harvested between mid-September and mid-October, which is similar to the corn season in southern Illinois. 

Too Early To Tell If Planting Will be On Time in Central Illinois

It's too early to tell if planting could take place early in central Illinois. National Weather Service Meteorologist James Auten indicates soil content has no frost depth as it has already melted but it is still too soon to indicate if planting could take place early.

Auten indicates March is calling to be above normal in precipitation amounts and average temperatures. 

Gubernatorial Candidate Daiber Votes Early in Edwardsville

Madison County School Superintendent Bob Daiber says it's been a rigorous campaign thus far, as he mounts a bid for the Illinois Governor's office. Daiber and his family were at the Madison County Clerk's office in Edwardsville on Monday to participate in early voting. Daiber will spend the rest of his time campaigning in what figures to be his base of Southern Illinois, but says voters statewide seem to be listening to his message, as he's getting “good feedback.”


Daiber was a public school teacher for 28 years before he became the head of the Madison County Schools in 2007. 

Dr. David Gill Looking to Improve Illinois' Residents Healthcare By Fighting for Them in Washington

Healthcare has been a hot topic across the United States for many years with the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. One of the Democrats looking to run for Illinois’ 13th U.S. House seat says even more needs to be done to ensure everyone has access to quality healthcare.


Dr. David Gill appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says he is a member of a group calling for a single-payer healthcare system.



Gill says he has had to treat many victims of gun violence over the years. That has led to where he stands on guns.



Some of the so-called “common sense” reforms Gill would like to see passed include reinstating the assault weapons ban, mandatory background checks without loopholes, and having a national gun registry.

Meals On Wheels Program Providing Vital Care for Area Homebound Residents

Although it has been under the “Meals on Wheels” name for a little over a year, the program has been serving nutritious meals to area homebound residents for decades.


Judy Gates with the Christian County Senior Center appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says CEFS and the center run cooperating programs, and the same meals for the “Meals on Wheels” program is served at the senior center each day.



Gates says the program’s backbone are the many volunteers that take the meals to homebound residents.



Gates says you never know how much a volunteer bringing a meal can mean to a person. Recently, she says a volunteer may have saved a woman’s life.



Gates says volunteers make connections with these residents and that provides are satisfying feeling for those who put in their time helping Meals on Wheels.

TMH Hosting Mental Health First Aid Training March 20th

Taylorville Memorial Hospital will be hosting a session to train community members how to identify and respond to those showing signs of mental illness and substance abuse.


The Mental Health First Aid training session will be held on March 20th on the second floor of the hospital in the TMH annex. It will begin at 8 a.m. that morning.


Mental Health First Aid teaches signs of addictions and mental illnesses, a five-step action plan to assess a situation and help, the impact of mental health and substance use disorders, and local resources and where to turn for help.


There is a 16-dollar, 95-cent registration fee to cover the cost of training materials. You can register by calling 824-1675 or online. We have a link to that site here.

Local McDonalds Fundraiser Brings In Over $5,000 for Pana Community Hospital

The proceeds of the McDonalds sandwich and drink punch cards were recently presented to Pana Community Hospital. The fundraising effort brought in $5,500 for the hospital’s current expansion project.


The Pana Community Hospital Foundation has committed to raising $1.5 million of the $20.1 million cost for the hospital’s expansion. The expansion is the largest PCH has had since the 1970’s. The project will add over 30-thousand square feet to the hospital.


Donations to the PCH Building Project can be made at anytime by contacting the Foundation office at 217-562-6340 or by donating online. We have a link to that website here.

New Faces Bring New Energy to Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce

There are fresh faces at work with the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce. In addition to their new office manager, four new board members were sworn in at the beginning of the year.


The new board members include John Summers with the Army Corps of Engineers, Brittney Cavener with Best Bet Events, Aaron Puchbauer with HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, and Daniel Norton with J & R Collision Center. Jody McCormick, the chamber’s office manager says these four bring more energy to an already hard-working board.



McCormick says the best way to move forward is to listen to each other. She says she is hosting listening sessions with chamber members and she wants to hear whatever feedback they have.



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

TCCU Annual Member Meeting Approaching

Taylorville Community Credit Union is having its annual meeting later this month, and they are inviting all of their current members to attend. The meeting is free to attend and will be at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Taylorville on March 20th. Taylorville Community Credit Union is celebrating 62 years serving Christian, Shelby and Montgomery Counties at the event as well.


Doors will open at 5 p.m., with the meeting starting at 5:30. Election of board members will be held during the meeting as well, as well as updates from TCCU staff.


There will be picnic-type food and beverages following the meeting, along with games, prizes and giveaways. Although the event is free, TCCU is asking that members RSVP by calling 824-9658 by March 13th to reserve your seat.

AG Madigan Releases Final Consumer Complaint List

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has delivered her final top 10 list of consumer complaints. Unfortunately, her complaint list swan song features an unwanted comeback.

Madigan says a familiar tool from identity theft's heyday remains available to help Illinoisans.

That hotline number is 866-999-5630. The second biggest complaint is education concerns, primarily student loan debt. The third biggest complaint had been number one for nearly a decade, consumer debt related complaints.

Congressman Davis Anticipates Farm Bill Language To Be Released Soon

Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis anticipating Farm Bill language to be released by the House in the coming weeks. He calls the farm bill one of the least partisan issues in Government.

In the upcoming farm bill, Davis hopes to expand ag research by streamlining communication between the USDA and their employees.

Additionally, Davis is focused on grain handling provisions and preventing monopolies from taking place.

Blues Brothers Illinoisans favorite movie

Illinois is honoring state favorites through online voting during this bicentennial year. On Oscar weekend, it was only fitting that state officials revealed the favorite film of Illinoisans, the comedy classic Blues Brothers. 

It edged out the likes of the Untouchables, the Fugitive, Chicago, the Sting and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

VIDEO: Six Taylorville Emergency Responders Honored For Saving Resident's Life

Six Taylorville emergency responders were honored for their heroism in saving a resident’s life at Monday’s city council meeting. The six men were called to the home of Janet Beck in July, and when they arrived on scene, Beck was on the floor not breathing.


Monday, Beck was on hand as Taylorville police officer Alan Mills, and Taylorville firefighters Cody Rogers, Josh Reed, Nick Zepin, Mike Mann, and Ron Humes were all given their life saving awards.


Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews says these gentlemen were committed to not losing a life on that day.



Crews says there are kudos to go all around for saving Beck’s life.



See the full video below.


LLCC College for Kids Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for Lincoln Land Community College’s “College for Kids” program. The program gives hundreds of kids the opportunity to learn life skills during the summer months.


Culinary classes are some of the quickest classes to fill up in the “College for Kids” program. Director of the Culinary Arts Department at LLCC Jolene Adams says they are looking at doing something new this summer for one of their classes.



Adams says the kids not only learn about cooking, but about nutrition and healthy eating.



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

Lake Shelbyville Water Level High Going Into Spring Months

While most of the winter has been dry for Central Illinois, recent rains have put away the thoughts of a drought going into the spring. In fact, Sarah Haslett with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville says the lake is a little higher than where the Corps would like it to be.


Haslett appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios. She says the lake level right now is where they would expect it to be in the summertime.



Haslett says a positive to the lake being high is that the boat docks are open, and people have taken advantage.



Haslett says not all of the courtesy docks are in yet, but there are some installed up and down the lake.

Shelby County Community Services Providing Services to Give Developmentally Disabled Fulfilling Lives

Shelby County Community Services continues to help those in need in the county. One of the residential programs they offer is for the developmentally disabled.


Rose Hopkins is a residential specialist with SCCS. She says the goal is to give these people a fulfilling life.



Hopkins says they provide these services to people with all kinds of needs.



Hopkins, along with SCCS Executive Director Tom Colclasure appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.

Newer Technology Could Allow Farmers to Use Methane Gas For Energy

Greenhouse gases are continuing to pile up in the atmosphere, and Ashley Belle with the University of Illinois Extension says people can use one potent greenhouse gas for the greater good.


Belle is the Environmental and Energy Stewardship Educator at the Extension, and she appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says methane is a bigger problem than carbon dioxide because it is much more powerful.



Belle says livestock manure decomposing releases methane gas into the atmosphere. She says biogas can be made from methane and other feedstocks using anaerobic digestion technology.


Some farms are already using this technology, and Belle explains how it works.



She says there are three anaerobic digesters currently operating in the state, and the biogas being made are being used for heating and electricity.

Sailer Gets the Nod as State Fair Manager

It's official, youth is being served at the Illinois State Fair. 25-year-old Luke Sailer has made a strong impression since joining the Illinois Department of Agriculture and now the Carmi native has been named the new State Fair Manager on a permanent basis. Sailer has learned the finer points of the job, including realizing you can't wait to book or promote concerts.

He's the fourth man to hold that title in three years. He has served in an interim capacity since Kevin Gordon announced his retirement and previously served as assistant state fair manager.

February Closed Out As a Soggy One

In some places you shoveled it and others you watched rain puddles form, but wherever you were in Illinois during the month of February you saw plenty of precipitation. In fact, state climatologist Jim Angel says the month will go down as the wettest February ever.

Much of the precipitation was needed as parts of central and southern Illinois had been slipping into drought conditions. 

Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR, People's Bank and Trust Pana High School February Students of The Month

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


Pictured from left to right: Joani Jones from Peoples Bank and Trust, Senior Jacob Beeson, Junior Jared Beyers, Sophomore Quinton Perry, Freshman Jessica Gruber and Jennifer Mathis from Peoples Bank and Trust.


Shelbyville Street Construction Delays Leave Questions Lingering for Business Owners

While the Shelbyville Main Street construction project appears to be on hold until the summer, many downtown businesses owners are wondering how the construction will affect their business.


Jody McCormick is the Office Manager at the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce. She says many business owners are directing their questions to her.



McCormick says the delay is being caused by a state requirement.



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

TMH, U of I Extension Partnering to Host Free Vegetable Roasting Class

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is teaming up with the University of Illinois Extension to offer a free class on roasting vegetables. TMH Clinicial dietitian Janelle Cornell is teaming up with Extension nutrition and wellness educator Lisa Peterson to put on this free class on March 8.


Cornell says along with the commonly known benefits of eating veggies, roasting vegetables enhances their natural taste.



The class on March 8 will be held at the University of Illinois Christian County Extension Office at 6:30 p.m. The class will last about an hour and a half, and you do not have to register to participate.

The Beach Boys Are Coming to Perform in Central Illinois

The Beach Boys are coming to Central Illinois. The announcement was made Thursday that the famous band will play at Robin Roberts Stadium on May 25th.


The concert will kick off the 10th season of Sliders baseball in Springfield and the 90th year of baseball at the ballpark.


There will be 200 VIP tickets sold, and 30 random VIP ticket holders will be selected for a meet and greet with the Beach Boys.


Doors will open for the concert at 6:30 on May 25, with the show starting at 7:30. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, March 16. For more information, you can visit the Springfield Sliders Facebook page here.

Social Security Administration Remind Residents Of Milestone Ages for Benefits

One of the services older Americans have to look forward to is Social Security benefits. But there are a few milestone ages that residents need to remember.


Jack Myers with the Social Security Administration says the earliest ages a widower can claim their spouse’s benefits are 60 and 50 for those with disabilities.



Myers says the age 62 milestone is one more people are familiar with.



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

LaHood Talks Trade with President Trump

Central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood gets an audience with President Trump this week. Among the talking points--the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.



LaHood cited 98-percent of corn that Mexico presently imports comes from the U.S., with much of that from the Midwest and Illinois. He also discussed getting a new Farm Bill completed this year and maintaining a strong crop insurance program. 

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear About THS Stem Lab at Weekly Meeting


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about plans for a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or “STEM”, lab at Taylorville High School, during their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Instructor Jodi Van Uytven and 6 students from the Taylorville High School STEM program, talked about how the high school lab was formed.  The class turned into a formal proposal for a new room in the high school building to house the lab.

Van Uytven's 6 students that assisted in the presentation were Brock Swisher, Seth Sloan, Blake Beckley, Nick Livingston, Jack Livingston, and Riley Barker. 

Van Uytven and her students told the Kiwanis Club, that they've raised over one-hundred thousand dollars towards the 250-thousand dollar cost.  After several presentations to the School Board and community groups, the students have gotten a commitment from the School Board to cover construction and furniture, with the remaining monies raised to go for equipment.

Van Uytven said the difference between the proposed STEM lab and the way education has taught for decades, gives students more opportunities to learn.

The new Taylorville High School STEM Lab will be patterned after successful STEM labs at other high schools in the state, and comes on the heels of the success of the local Junior High School STEM Lab that was established last year.

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.

Greater Taylorville Chamber Welcomes Pair of Businesses with Ribbon Cuttings

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is welcoming a couple of businesses to the organization with ribbon cuttings.


Patty Hornbuckle is the President and CEO of the Chamber. She says the first business to be welcomed is a local realtor.



Hornbuckle says the second business is a local event venue outside of Taylorville.



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

Barry Believes Progress Has Been Made on Cleaning Up Taylorville

Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry ran for the position with his biggest promise being to clean up the community. Barry says he believes he’s off to a great start on his largest campaign promise.


Barry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says the number of blighted buildings torn down continues to go up, and he continues to ask for the community’s input.



Although the process to get a new water treatment plant in Taylorville started under previous leadership, ground has been broken on the plant since Barry has taken office. He says the new facility that will provider high quality water for residents long into the future.



Barry says the city continues to look at refinancing the loan for the new water plant to bring the interest rate down to one-point-three-two percent, saving the city money on loan payments.

LLCC Culinary Arts Department Continues to Expand Offerings to Students and Community

The Lincoln Land Community College Culinary Arts Department is continuing to expand for its students and the community. A big reason for the growth is the space the department moved into about six years ago.


Jolene Adams is the Director of the Culinary Arts Department at LLCC. She says the department has been around for about 20 years, but they took a major step forward with the move in 2012.



She says the new space has also allowed for the program to expand its offerings for the community.



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

Edinburg Schools Supported By Many Passionate Residents According to Superintendent

A school district needs community support in more than just taxes to provide the best education to its kids. Edinburg Schools Superintendent Fred Lambke says the residents of his district have a passion for the schools unlike anything he’s ever seen.


Lambke appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. He says there are many groups that chip in to helping the district.



Lambke says his district is a very diverse rural district.



Lambke says all of the boosters provide many events throughout the year to show their appreciation for the school district and its educators.

St. Louis Dairy Council Teaching Area Students Through Adopt a Cow Program

Educating area kids is just one of the jobs of the St. Louis Dairy Council.


Jill Williams with the St. Louis Dairy Council appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says there are many classrooms across their service area that are teaching their kids healthy habits through the council.



Williams says a class can register for the coming fall now, and the class will follow the maturing of a baby calf through next school year.



To register for next year’s program, teachers can go to the St. Louis Dairy Council’s website. We have a link to their website here.

Last Week's Rain Should Help Alleviate Drought Conditions

Rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds are all up across Illinois after several days of torrential rains and National Weather Service officials are indicating the farming community is likely going to feel the impacts of the rain as well.

James Auten with the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates concerns of drought may not be as high heading into the spring thanks to all the rain from last week.

Central Illinois received between 2-4 inches over about a week but Auten indicates northern and southern Illinois got most of the heavy rain.

Auten says if there are any lingering drought concerns, those could be alleviated in March as forecasts are right now, calling for above normal precipitation in March. 

Better Business Bureau Warns of Bitcoin Scam

The Better Business Bureau is giving a heads-up about what they say is the next evolution of a familiar scam, but with a violent twist. In a recent email to a target, the scammer threatened to kill him, but said he would not do so - for a price. BBB Investigator Don O'Brien says it appears the victim was not in any danger.

O'Brien advises you immediately contact your local police if you ever receive a message like that. He says the FBI has received reports of similar communications in other states as well, and encourages anyone that receives such an email to report them to its Internet Crime Complaint Center. https://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx/

Finding Illinois' Top 200

Recognizing Illinois’ top 200. It’s a project of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The effort coincides with the state’s bicentennial celebration says the museum’s Chris Wills.

There are 20 categories in all with voting taking place in two week increments at “IllinoisTop200.com.” Wills says by the state’s 200th birthday on Dec. 3, Illinois voters will have decided the ten favorites in each of the 20 different categories or the official Top 200. 

Potholes Raise New Worker Safety Issues

Wild temperature swings have created a bumper crop of potholes across the state's highways. For IDOT workers, who attack the problem like a light infantry unit, there are clear dangers patching those potholes. Kelsea Gurski with the transportation agency, says motorists should look out for patching crews, noting that you won't have the benefit of the kind of barricades and other warnings tied to construction work zones.

Gurski says the rules are the same as any work zone.

Last week in Jacksonville, three IDOT workers were injured when a wayward driver struck an IDOT worker and an IDOT vehicle with two employees inside. The worker struck outside the vehicle was in critical condition but has since been upgraded to fair. 

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - March 1, 2018

The Christian County Crimestoppers has another program to fight crime.  Gun stoppers is a program that began in 2005.  Cash rewards are paid to citizens for information that leads to the recovery of an illegal gun in Christian County.  The reward for any illegal gun on any Christian County school property, playground, school bus, or bus stop is up to $500.  A $100 reward will be paid for information that leads to the recovery of any illegal gun in Christian County.


Gun stoppers is a crime prevention program that originated in Lake County, Illinois.  The program is designed to help keep our schools, school buses, and playgrounds safe from the threat of accidents and gun violence. 


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.  

No Veteran Dies Alone Program Receives Four-Star Rating

The Quad County Hospice “No Veteran Dies Alone” program recently received a four-star rating, making it one of only four hospice programs in Illinois and Indiana to receive the honor. Some of the accomplishments achieved to earn the honor include providing services for veterans and spreading the word about the program.


Rachel Springate is the Hospice Volunteer Coordinator with Quad County Hospice. She says Quad County wants to provide a type of care for these veterans on hospice that only fellow veterans can provide.



Quad County also provides these veterans with a pinning ceremony, which Springate says is a way for them to show their gratitude to these veterans for their service to our country.



Springate, along with Quad County Director Carol Chandler appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

Doggie Day Care Opens Today in Shelbyville

Doggie Day Care in Shelbyville officially opens to the public Thursday. The dog kennel and grooming business is located across from the airport on the west side of the community.


Tasha Wendt owns Doggie Day Care. She says her day care will accommodate many residents’ work schedules.



Wendt says she has always wanted to work with animals for her career.



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

BBB Says Speaking Out is the Best Scam Fighter

According to the Better Business Bureau, over one billion dollars has been reported lost through scams. Mara Clingingsmith with the BBB says that may be only about 10 percent of the actual amount lost because much of the money lost in scams goes unreported.


Clingingsmith appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show. She says it’s the BBB’s job to educate the public on how to prevent themselves from becoming scam victims.



Clingingsmith says there has been a recent settlement made to help scam victims the used Western Union to recover their money.



Clingingsmith says if you ever have a doubt about something being a scam, always talk to someone you trust and don’t ignore that doubt.

Bohannon Says Don't Expect Much From Congress in 2018

While some legislation is making waves, there doesn’t seem to be much progress being made on any certain issue in Washington.


Jim Bohannon hosts the Jim Bohannon show heard weeknights on Newstalk WTIM. He says with it being an election year, he expects Democrats and Republicans to continue to be backed into their corners.



Bohannon says political advertising can get messages across, but it’s every American citizen’s duty to stay informed on issues.



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

WTIM Investment Professional Says Some Commodities Are In Prime Time for Investing

As the stock market continues to be on a roller coaster, WTIM’s Investment Professional says there are other markets that are at their low points. Steve Henry with CSH Investment Professionals says there are a few commodities markets that are in the perfect time for investors to buy.


Henry says the uranium market is sitting in a bear market, and investors could increase their money by huge numbers in this market.



Closer to home, the coal market has also bottomed out according to Henry. He says coal has very high peaks and very low valleys like where the market currently sits.



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

Looking Past the Deluge and Ahead to Spring

Some parts of Illinois experienced up to nine inches of rain over the last week. The recent deluge caused flooding in parts of southern and northern Illinois. Brian Duncan farms near Polo and shares what he experienced in Ogle County.

Still, Duncan, who serves as vice president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, says he and other Illinois farmers look forward to tilling fields and sowing seed this spring.

The late February rains pushed the statewide average three inches above normal to a record five inches of precipitation, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel. Spring officially arrives on March 20th.

Frerichs' Pushing For More Business Diversity

As Black History Month wraps up the State Treasurer Mike Frerichs honored individuals who lead the way in the African American community. He also is pushing for more diversity in the business world in Illinois. Frerichs says once he took office he stopped doing business with banks who do not receive a good grade on the Community Reinvest Act. And he has taken steps to open up more opportunity for so called MWVD firms that didn’t always receive contracts with the state. 

Frerichs says more diverse ideas lead to better decisions.

New Gun Law Focuses on Flack Jackets and Clips

The Illinois House is considering legislation that would take steps to alter the state’s gun laws. A bill written and named after a Chicago Police officer killed in the line duty would prohibit the sale and possession of high capacity magazines and body armor. The person who is accused of shooting Commander Paul Bauer was wearing a bullet proof vest and used a semi-automatic weapon with a 30 round clip. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he supports the measure. 

Opponents right now are pointing out that ex-law enforcement and former military may still own and posses some of the proposed banned materials, making them a target of the law. House members pushing for the legislation say amendments are coming to try and address those concerns. 

Looking For Answers to Ag and Industrial Arts Teacher Shortages

Looking for solutions to the shortage of vocational agriculture and industrial arts teachers around Illinois? Rob Werden has a few ideas. He’s the director of the Madison County Career and Technical Education System. 



Teacher shortages are also impacting core subject areas such as math, science and English. 


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