Local News

Cub Scout Troop 132 Named Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry Big Smile for the Community for April

This month’s NEWSTALK WTIM Central Illinois Smiles Family Dentistry “Big Smile for the Community” honoree is the Cub Scout Troop 132. The troop recently participated in the National Scouting for Food program and collected over 2,000 pounds of food for the TMA Food Pantry.


Steve Harrison is the troop’s leader. He says the troop does more than just collect food for those in need.



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.

How Are Local School Districts Using Their New State Funding Dollars? Part 2

New state dollars from school funding reform are starting to trickle down to local school districts. Now, those districts are deciding how that money can be best used for their students.


In Macon, the Meridian School District will get about $75-thousand in new state aid this year. Meridian Schools Superintendent Dan Brue says his district has done everything they could to keep their services in tact in recent years. So the extra money this year is going towards closing their budget gap.



Shelbyville Schools are receiving about $206-thousand in new state funding this school year. Shelbyville Schools Superintendent Denise Bense says with a bigger kindergarten class coming in this fall, part of their new money will go towards keeping those class sizes smaller.



The district is also looking at a new Reading / Language Arts curriculum at the elementary level. Bense says with even more state money to flow in the next few years, she hopes her district will reinstate a curriculum purchasing rotation.



Coming into the year, Shelbyville Schools were funded by the state at 62 percent adequacy, while the Meridian School District was as 67 percent adequacy.

25th Annual Letter Carriers Food Drive Is Approaching

May is almost here, and with the new month also means the annual Letter Carriers’ Food Drive is coming soon. This year’s drive is the 25th anniversary of the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Food Drive which will be held on Saturday, May 12th.


Brent Cornell is organizing the Taylorville portion of the food drive. He says residents will be receiving a reminder in the mail.



Cornell says contact the post office if your donations are not picked up. He says they will also accept cash donations.



Food raised locally will being going to the Taylorville Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry.

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO Trade Show

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is wanting residents to come out and support Christian County CEO students at the annual Trade Show.


CEO of the Chamber Patty Hornbuckle says these students have put in the work to earn their way to the event.



Hornbuckle says the event is a great way for the students to learn business skills to set themselves apart.



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

Mayor Barry's Update on Cherokee Street

The city of Taylorville has seen its fair share of construction in recent weeks.


Mayor Bruce Barry says the city has officially wrapped up part of of the Cherokee construction project.



Barry says part two starts this week, and he doesn’t expect it to take more than a week to complete.



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

WMKR, People's Bank and Trust April 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 April were presented with their awards recently.


In photo one from left to right: People's Bank and Trust Representative Joani Jones, Senior Kade Hrabak, Sophomore Tabitha Wood, Freshman Amanda Hunter, People's Bank and Trust Representative Jennifer Mathis.



In photo two: Junior Emily Kuhns.


Stretch of Cherokee Street to Close Monday for Road Work

A traffic alert for those who live or work in Taylorville, you may have some traffic delays come Monday morning. Cherokee Street between East Park and Main Cross Streets will be closed starting Monday morning.


Taylorville Street and Sewer Superintendent Dick Wiseman says the closure comes as more work will be done to that stretch of road.



Wiseman anticipates that the work will be done and Cherokee should be reopened by Wednesday.

Distracted Driver Awareness - Hands Free Not as Safe as it Seems

April is a month dedicated to distracted driver awareness.


State Trooper Sean Ramsey says to him it feels like the only way people learn is the hard way. He asks drivers to be more responsible when on the roads.



State law allows using a hands free device in the car such as Bluetooth. Ramsey says this really isn't a solution, rather the lesser of two evils.



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

Upsource Trying to Help Medical Professionals Find Jobs

Upsource Medical is a Shelbyville based company trying to help those in the medical field find jobs.


Sue Miner with Upsource Medical says they have 13 week contracts for those looking to try new locations.



Miner says Upsource can help any experienced medical professional find the right fit.



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

Standing Room Only at Taylorville Schools Spring Music Festival Friday Night

It was standing room only Friday night, as several hundred students from the Taylorville School District, Visionway Christian School, and St. Mary’s Catholic School, combined for the annual Spring Music Festival at the Taylorville High School West Gym.

The 2-hour concert featured the combined Elementary Chorus, Combined 6th and 7th Grade Choirs, the combined Taylorville High School Choirs, the Combined 5th Grade Cadet Band, 6th Grade Band, Junior High Band, the Taylorville Senior High Concert Band, and the Finale which was the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” performed by the Combined Groups.

The combined Elementary Chorus performed “Music from the 1950’s” and here’s a portion of their version of “Rock Around the Clock”.

The annual Spring Music Festival is the climax of months of work by the music directors at the various schools.

School Bus Accident in Taylorville Thursday Sends About 20 People to Hospital

About 20 people, mostly kids were taken to Taylorville Memorial Hospital after a school bus and van collided at the intersection of Park and Cherokee Streets.. 911 received the call of the accident at about 2:30 Thursday afternoon.


Taylorville Assistant Police Chief Vince Childers says the van ran a red light, causing the crash.



The bus was from the Flora School District, and according to the district’s facebook page, the fifth graders were on their way back from a field trip to Springfield.

How Are Local School Districts Using Their New State Funding Dollars? Part 1

New state dollars from school funding reform are starting to trickle down to local school districts. Now, those districts are deciding how that money can be best used for their students.


The Ramsey School District is receiving almost $147-thousand in new state revenue for this school year. Ramsey Superintendent Melissa Ritter says this is the first time in her tenure as superintendent that the district isn’t dealing with state cuts.



In Nokomis, the school district is receiving just over $164-thousand in additional state funds this school year. Nokomis Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr says they have hired two additional staff members for next school year, but there are still more decisions to be made.



Doerr says having additional dollars is a new issue for districts across the state, but it is a good problem to have.



Coming into this school year, the Ramsey School District was determined to be at 59 percent funding adequacy, while Nokomis was at 60 percent adequacy.

2018 Spring Rendezvous To Bring Many People Outdoors to Lake Shelbyville

The Lincoln Trails Council of the Boys Scouts of America are partnering with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to host the 2018 Spring Rendezvous and Links to the Future. The event will be open to the public on Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Wolf Creek State Park.


Melanie Byers is the chair of the event. She says while some events are restricted to scouts only, many are not and they invite everyone to attend.



Byers says other environmental organizations will be there as well, and it is a great educational event for kids and kids at heart.



Some of the activities open to the public include fishing, kayaking, shooting BB guns and traps, ham radio, and much more.

Missions for Taylorville Wants Residents to Join

Missions for Taylorville is an organization that is looking to help those in need.


Pastor Bill Kerns is associated with Missions for Taylorville. He says the group is here for residents that need help with home improvements or yard work.



Kerns says there is one house that comes to mind when he thinks of the purpose of the organization.



Kerns appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.

U of I Extension Sets Dates for Camps

The U of I Extension has been working on their workshops and schedule for the summer months.


Rebecca Livingston is the 4H Program Coordinator for the Extension. She says while the robotic camp has not sent out registration yet, she recommends signing up as quickly as possible when it is released.



Livingston says science camp this year will last two days and be for two different age groups.



Livingston appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.

Body Found Near Lake Lou Yaeger Not Believed to Be That of Missing Macoupin County Woman

A body found near Lake Lou Yeager in Litchfield is not believed to be that of a Macoupin County woman missing since January. State Police Investigative Commander out of Collinsville Calvin Brown says there does not appear to be any relationship between the disappearance of 37-year-old Denita Hedden of Royal Lakes and the body found Wednesday.


Brown says the body for found by a utility worker on the job in the area.



Brown says the area has been searched and evidence has been sent to the forensics lab for further evaluaton.



Brown says the investigation is ongoing and in its early stages. Investigators are continuing to work to identify the body.

Skeletal Remains Found at Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield

Skeletal remains have been found at Lake Lou Yaeger in Litchfield. The Litchfield Police Department contacted Illinois State Police Zone 6 Investigations about the remains on Wednesday.


The race, sex, and age of the remains are unknown at this time. More information will be released as it becomes available.

TMH Foundation Providing Community Update on Hospital Happenings

The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation recently published and sent out its annual community update in recent weeks.


TMH Executive Director Raedena Ryan says they want to express their gratitude to all donors and keep the community informed of what’s going on at the hospital.



Ryan says one of the foundation’s most crucial objectives in the future is helping the hospital attract and maintain a quality workforce. She says attracting the best and brightest health professionals to TMH is crucial for the area’s future.



Ryan says last year, the hospital received about $173-thousand in donations and awarded about $113-thousand in grants.

Adermann Assumes Position as Executive Director of United Way of Christian County

The United Way of Christian County has a new Executive Director. Samantha Adermann takes over the position previously held by Susan Lawrence.


Adermann says she is still settling into her new role as the Executive Director, and she looks forward to working with area organizations.



Adermann says she’s happy to be with an organization that keeps all of its dollars in the county.



Adermann says the United Way of Christian County’s golf outing is coming up in June, and after that they will start planning for next year’s campaign.

Social Security Administration says the Sooner you get Started on Social Security the Better

The Social Security Administration is wanting to help residents get ahead of the game when it comes to their retirement.


Jack Myers is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration. Myers knows most people don’t start thinking about retirement at a young age but he says they should.



Myers recommends residents take a serious look at their social security plan as soon as they can.



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

Christian Sheriff's Office Getting Ready for Distracted Driver Awareness

April is Distracted Driver Awareness month. The Christian County Sheriffs Office are preparing to educate residents on safe driving.


Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp says there is a 45-minute online course to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.



Many drivers have taken to using hands free devices to talk on the phone while driving. Kettlekamp says this is not as safe as people think.



Kettlekamp appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.

Durbin Concerned About State Department

As Mike Pompeo gets his day in the US Senate for a nomination for Secretary of State, US Senator Dick Durbin says much of his concern lies in what’s become of the of infrastructure of the department. 

Durbin says President Trump has cut the budget at the State Department thirty percent and if Pompeo gets the nod to be the nation’s top diplomat he’ll need to step in and rebuild what’s be done. But Durbin says he’s seen little assurance that Pompeo will be willing to do just that. 

Narrowing opioid epidemic down to county and zip code level

Narrowing the opioid epidemic down to the county or even zip code level. That’s what the Illinois Department of Public Health is doing with the Opioid Data Dashboard. It’s an interactive tool says IDPH Director Dr. Nirav Shah.



The dashboard is located at “idph.illinois.gov/OpioidDataDashboard”. State data shows there were 2,054 heroin or other opioid related deaths in 2017. 

Legislation advances giving frail visitation rights

Legislation designed to ensure visitation rights for people who have been prevented from visiting their sick or elderly parents.has breezed through the Illinois House. State Representative Sara Jimenez sponsored the Frail Individual Family Visitation Protection Act.

The bill now moves to the Senate. If a caregiver unreasonably prevents a family member from visiting a frail individual, the court may order the caregiver to permit visitation between the frail individual and the family member if the court finds that the visitation is in the frail individual's best interests

Landmarks Illinois includes both State Fairgrounds and Thompson Center on endangered list

Illinois State Fairgrounds facilities in Springfield and Du Quoin are in less than fair condition. That's the concern expressed by the historic preservation group Landmarks Illinois in their latest endangered historic buildings list. Landmarks President Bonnie McDonald says the Fairgrounds are part of an important staple of the Illinois way of life.


McDonald is also concerned about two neighboring buildings at the Springfield fairgrounds: the shuttered Coliseum, which has been a destination for horse shows for decades, but is closed because of structural concerns. She's also concerned about an unlucky Barn #13.

Earlier this year, the state hired an engineering firm to repair Barn 13. At DuQuoin, over a dozen buildings at the fairgrounds need significant repairs and new roofs, but funding sources have not been secured. The Grandstand in particular needs a new roof. 

Taylorville Big R Store Showing Off Renovation, Celebrating Customer Appreciation Days This Week

The Big R Store in Taylorville has recently completed renovations to their store on Route 104 on the northwest side of the city. The store is having Customer Appreciation Days this week with special events scheduled for Thursday through Saturday to celebrate the renovations and their Christian County customers.


Matt Greime is the General Manager for Big R. He says the Taylorville area has always shown great support for the store, and it was time to remodel the location.



Greime says Customer Appreciation Days will include plenty of savings and giveaways for customers, free food, and a special opportunity for little kids.



Greime invites everyone to come out to check out the newly remodeled Big R location. He says to sign up for the giveaways, you must come in-person to register.


A look at the Big R renovations:



April is Safe Digging Month in Illinois

April is Safe Digging Month across Illinois, and Marianne Manko with the Illinois Commerce Commission says there’s a simple way to prevent serious accidents while digging in the state.


Manko says the JULIE system will map out any underground lines around your dig site with two days notice.



Manko says the one phone call to JULIE could prevent an accident that could possibly turn fatal.



Manko says every nine minutes, someone unintentionally hits an underground utility line, many times because they did not have those lines marked before they put the shovel in the ground.

TIF District One Being Finalized

The city of Taylorville spent Monday night finalizing TIF district one at a special city council meeting.


Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says the city is looking forward to plenty of businesses possibly moving into the new TIF district.



Barry says he expects ground to be broken within a month.



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

Fight Crime, Invest in Kids Opiod Epidemic

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office recently sent a group to the capital for a fight crime, invest in kids opiod conference.


Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp says every 25 minutes there is a baby born with opiod withdrawls.



Kettlekamp says the program includes regular home visits to make sure that everything is as it should be for the child’s sake.



Kettlekamp appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.

Secretary of State Enlists Help from the White Sox

Secretary of State Jesse White may have been a Chicago Cubs farmhand in his younger days, but when it comes to the life or death game of organ and tissue donation, he easily finds himself on the same team with the Southsiders. White joined Pale Hose announcer Ed Farmer for a Monday press conference. Farmer wasn't on hand just to hear his own voice. The topic hits close to home.


Mr White Sox himself, Harold Baines, was also on hand for the White's press conference.

Fake Pot Kills Another

The death toll climbs. A fourth person is dead and it’s is being connected to synthetic cannabinoid use in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health says it’s a woman in her 30’s from central Illinois. The IDPH recently received a massive donation of vitamin K to help in the on-going care of the sickened individuals. IDPH’s Director Dr. Nirav Shah says if anyone is using the drug and suffers from severe bleeding they need to get help quickly.

More than 150 people have become ill after using the fake pot that’s been laced with rat poison. Large amounts of vitamin K are needed in the treatment to help the patient’s blood clot again. That effort can include the person taking 30 pills a day for 6 months.

Drop It and Drive

Two hands on the wheel if you’re listening in the car…. it’s distracted driving awareness week in Illinois. “Drop it and Drive” is this year’s slogan. Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says we all need to pay more attention to the most important thing we are doing when were behind the wheel – driving.

The Illinois State Police will be on the lookout too. It’s a good reminder that there is no driving and texting and talking on a cell phone in a car has to be done hands free

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears From Local Doctor on Head Trauma Studies

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from a long-time local physician, during their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Doctor Pavi Gill from Springfield Clinic Taylorville, talked to Kiwanis members about recent studies on head trauma and contact sports.  Dr. Gill said these studies are showing that repeated direct or indirect trauma of the head causes a variety of ailments.

Dr. Gill added that autopsies on NFL football players are showing why many of these players have these kind of symptoms later in life, and he said the same kind of symptoms are showing up in youth as young as 17, also from football trauma.

Dr. Gill told the Kiwanis Club that several large universities are in the midst of a major study the connections of the human brain, to further determine how head trauma can damage the brain.

In other Kiwanis news, 3 members participated in last Saturday's Bicycle Rodeo at Lake Taylorville.  Will Perkins, Brad Davis, and Joe Hauser, assisted young people during the event.

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

Taylorville McDonald's GM Stewart Receives Prestigious Ray Kroc Award

Late last year, Taylorville McDonald’s General Manager Kenny Stewart was announced as one of the winners of the prestigious Ray Kroc award for 2018. Last week, he received the award at an international conference in Orlando.


Stewart says he continues to be humbled that he was selected as a winner of the award.



Stewart says one of the best parts of the experience was to get to meet other McDonald’s staff members from across the globe.



Stewart says the goal is for McDonald’s to be the best place to eat and drink, and he tries to live by that each day, along with treating people with respect.

Shelbyville Couple Suing State Over Right To Keep Guns on Property While Running Home Daycare

A Shelbyville couple is suing the state of Illinois over their right to keep firearms in their home as they operate their home daycare. Jennifer Miller says state law and DCFS rules conflict, leaving a gray area that infringes on their second amendment rights.


Miller says state law requires concealed carry weapons to be locked away but allowed on the property, but DCFS rules don’t allow firearms on day care properties at all with some exceptions that don’t include handguns.



Miller says right now, she is suppose to take her guns out of her home while she works during the day, and is suppose to pick them up after the day is over.



Miller says concealed carry holders have to go through training, background checks, and fees yet she is still not technically allowed to have her concealed weapon in her home during her work day.



Miller says they always have their guns and ammunition stored separately and properly under lock and key, but something needs to be done about the gray area between state law and DCFS rules.

Food and farming are cool again

Xavier Morgan grew up in Chicago, not typically a place you might think would interest someone in farming or food issues. But he went to the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. And, he's now a senior studying agriculture policy and leadership at the University of Illinois; 

One of Morgan's classmates at the U of I, Danielle Brinkmann of Carlyle, is one of the few students in the U-of-I ag college that grew up on a farm;

Brinkmann and Morgan could be hot commodities when they graduate, since some farming and food-related jobs go unfilled. That's a big reason some Illinois high schools and junior colleges have re-started agricultural curriculums. 

Distracted Driving Month Won't Go Out with a Whimper

Distracted Driving Awareness Month is nearly over, but law enforcement and transportation officials are joining forces in the final days of April to grab driver attention. A half million dollars in federal highway safety funds will be split between nearly a hundred police agencies to step up distracted driving enforcement through April 30. Beth Mosher with Triple A, a partner in the safety effort, talks about the core values of the campaign.

Mosher says the campaign is also tackling one of the biggest distracted driving issues, highway hypocrisy.

Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55 mph for the length of a football field.

E-Coli Worries in Lettuce Expands to More Products/Types

As answers continue to be sought from public health officials on an e-coli outbreak the suggestion is to avoid more types of romaine lettuce. The Illinois Department of Public Health says that 53 cases have been confirmed nationwide with one in Illinois. And now IDPH says leave whole heads of romaine lettuce in the store.

That’s Melaney Arnold with IDPH. She adds that you can ask the store where their lettuce comes from; you’re trying to avoid products from Yuma, Arizona. Arnold notes that many stores have pulled it already, but you can remain safe by avoiding any unknown product all together. 

Durbin Holding Off Backing Pompeo

The US Senate is poised to vote on the nomination of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. The first vote comes from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then the whole Senate gets’ their say. US Senator Dick Durbin says he still has to wait for some assurances out of Pompeo on how he may calm the waters surrounding national security. 

It looks like the vote will be very close both at the committee level and in the full Senate. A full nomination vote is expected later this week.

Taylorville Park District Named Exemplary IPARKS Member

The Taylorville Community Pleasure Driveway & Park District has been named an Exemplary IPARKS Member. The recognition is for the district’s ability to provide a safe, friendly park environment and reducing the need for insurance claims through the IPARKS risk services program.


Park District Office Administrator MaryAnn Becker says in addition to being recognized, the district will also save a considerable amount of money on insurance through IPARKS for the next three years.



The board also approved their 2018-19 budget ordinance at Monday’s meeting.

Taylorville City Council Approves TIF District # 1 in Special Meeting Monday Night

In a short but historic meeting Monday night, the Taylorville City Council, in a series of votes, unanimously passed ordinances creating a new Tax Increment Financing, or TIF District.  The vote was 6 to nothing with Mayor Bruce Barry also voting yes.  Aldermen Lee Lanzotti, Ernie Dorchinez, and Shawn Burtle were absent from the meeting.

The new district provides tax incentives for those that bring business or industry to properties inside the district.

The vote culminates months of work to determine what properties would be included and how the district would be implemented.

Mayor Barry told Regional Radio News passage of the TIF District was very important to the city.

Alderman Larry Budd told Regional Radio News that work on the new TIF district began a year and a half ago.

Christian County Economic Development Director Mary Renner was also present for Monday night's Taylorville City Council TIF District vote, and told Regional Radio News that with just a few years left on the present Enterprise Zone, the passage of the first TIF District in Taylorville was critical.

Renner added that without a TIF District, many potential projects would not go on.

The Taylorville Council Monday night also formally approved the appointment of Kellie Hamell as Water Office Manager, retroactive to April 17th.

Lake Land College Foundation Names 50 Most Influential People in College's History

As a part of the college’s ongoing 50th anniversary celebration, the Lake Land College Foundation has named the college’s 50 most influential people. These 50 will be honored at a ceremony in June.


Among those on the list are the college’s first president Virgil Judge, former athletic director Jim Dudley, and many other faculty members, donors, board of trustee members and others associated with Lake Land College. The college’s current president Josh Bullock was named to the list. He says he is humbled by the honor, but there are more there just 50 people that deserved to be recognized for their contributions to the college.



Bullock says the committee that selected these individuals looked for people that have had an impact on any specific entity of the college as a whole.



The ceremony to recognize the honorees will be on June 8th at the Keller Convention Center in Effingham.

Effingham County Board Passes Resolution Making County a "Sanctuary For Gun Owners"

The Effingham County Board has passed a resolution declaring the county as a “sanuctuary for gun owners”. Although the resolution may not have much legal standing, county board member David Campbell says it is more about standing up to the state of Illinois that he says is infringing on residents’ unalienable rights.


Campbell says it’s time action was taken to send a message to higher levels of government.



Campbell says many other Illinois counties have inquired about Effingham County’s resolution since it was passed.



Campbell says the county’s resolution was modeled after Iroquois County’s resolution that has already been approved as well.

CICBC Holding Two Blood Drives in Taylorville This Week

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


The first blood drive will be at Taylorville Memorial Hospital on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the hospital’s auditorium. Then on Friday, there will be a community blood drive at Taylorville High School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the school’s east gym.


Donors must be 17-years-old, but 16-year-olds can donate with a parental consent form. A photo I.D. is required to donate. For more information you can call 800-747-5401.

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital To Help Feed Those in Need in Community Through Community Garden

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville is continuing to find new ways to help those in the community. Hospital staff celebrated the unveiling of a new community garden on Sunday afternoon.


The hospital’s marketing coordinator Glenda Plunkett says how the garden got started is an interesting story.



Plunkett says there was no better time to celebrate the unveiling of a community garden than the day to celebrate our plant.



Plunkett says the food harvested from the garden will be given to the Presbyterian Church for their monthly dinners, and any surplus would then be given to local food pantries.

Eight Christian County YMCA Swimmers Participate and Do Very Well in Fools of April Swim Meet

Eight members of the Christian County YMCA recently competed in the Fools of April Swim Meet in Decatur. 38 members from four area YMCA’s competed in the adult swim meet, and multiple members from the Christian County YMCA took first place in their events.


Christian County YMCA Program Director Andrea Bach says one of their members that competed was the oldest swimmer competing at the meet.



Other swimmers to compete in Decatur include Ryan & Janet Guhlstorf, Nathan Lynch, Tom Fergin, Sessy Lynch, and Catherine and Melissa Brookens.

U of I Extension Trying to Help with Stress

The U of I Extension Program knows that April is Stress Awareness Month, and they are doing their part to help residents relieve their stress.


Lisa Peterson is a Nutrition and Wellness Educator for the Extension. Peterson says stress eating can be a real problem and to combat that, she recommends prepping meals a week in advance.



Peterson says instead of eating the stress away, taking a walk is a healthier alternative.



Peterson appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.

DOVE Standing Up to Domestic Violence

DOVE is an organization based in Shelbyville that is trying to fight against domestic violence.


Susie Kensil is a representative for DOVE in Shelby County. She describes what being in an abusive relationship is like.



Kensil says abusive individuals sometimes come with warning signs.



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

Late Winter Hurts Lawn and Garden Sales

The late winter and early spring cold weather has put a damper on many outdoor activities and it has also impacted sales at lawn and garden centers. Martha Smith with the University of Illinois Extension says those retailers are hurting so far.



Sales are expected to pick up with warmer weather in the forecast.

St. Rep Butler calls for McCann resignation

Now State Senator Sam McCann has declared himself a third party candidate for Governor, a Republican colleague in the General Assembly is calling for McCann to call it a day in the legislature.. State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield says resigning is the right thing to do.


Butler says McCann has betrayed the party and the party's voters.



McCann's status as a member of the Republican caucus is up in the air. 
Senate GOP officials say McCann tendered his resignation from the Illinois Senate Republican caucus and Leader Bill Brady accepted. McCann says he only resigned his position as the top Republican on the Senate Public Health Committee. 

Lake Land College to Build Rural Development Technology Center in Effingham

Lake Land College has set aside funding for a new Rural Development Technology Center in Effingham. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and will house the Effingham Regional Career Academy, along with additional classroom and lab space.


Lake Land College President Josh Bullock says the project was truly a community effort.



Bullock says through fiscal responsibility, the new construction will be funded without having to raise taxes on local residents.



Bullock says the center will provide area students with the technical skills they need to be a productive member of the community.

Political science expert size up Rauner/Pritzker money game and impact on local races

It’s money, money and even more money. So says Monmouth College political science lecturer Robin Johnson as he sizes up this November’s Illinois gubernatorial race between Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner and Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker. Pritzker spent $70-million of his own money leading up to the March 20th primary with Rauner reaching into his pocket for $50-million. Johnson was asked what type of impact that race will have on local races.

There's now another candidate in the race for governor. West central state Senator Sam McCann announced Thursday that he is running on the Conservative Party ticket.

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital to Hold Ribbon-Cutting for New Community Garden Sunday

In celebration of Earth Day, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville will be celebrating a new project the hospital has created to help their community and the planet. The hospital is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday at 1 p.m. for their new raised-bed community garden.


HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital’s Marketing Coordinator Glenda Plunkett says it’s vital for the hospital to continue giving back to the community.



Plunkett says the fruit harvested from the garden will go towards feeding those in need in the community.

Next Week is Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week

The week of April 23-27 is Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week and Illinois State Police will be on the lookout for those who do not have their full attention on the road.


Sean Ramsey is a Safety Education Officer with the state police. He says distracted driving should be an easy problem to solve.



Ramsey says it only takes a second of driving distracted to cause an accident.



Ramsey says police will be out in full force looking for distracted drivers on Illinois roads not just to write tickets, but to bring awareness to the risks of driving distracted.

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours

On the third Wednesday of every month the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce puts on a business after hours event.


Patty Hornbuckle is the CEO of the Chamber. She says the event this week could not have gone much better.



With the event barely behind them, Hornbuckle says the Chamber is already looking forward to the next business after hours.



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

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - April 20, 2018

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


Sometime between 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 5, 2018 and 3:30 am on Friday, April 6, 2018, person or persons unknown made entry into an apartment located at 911 East Park Street.  While inside, the unknown subject or subjects took numerous items from though out the residence.  The items included TVs, a video game system, tools, and cash.  There did not appear to be any sign of forced entry.  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.  

Christian County Historical Society & Museum Hosting Cleanup Day Saturday

The Christian County Historical Society and Museum will be having their annual clean up day Saturday. They are asking for volunteers to help them in a variety of tasks from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.


Museum Director Maureen Bruns says there is a laundry list of different assignments they will need help with Saturday, and the volunteers will be fed.



Bruns says volunteers are vital for the museum’s success, and there is a big event coming up next week the museum is preparing for.



Bruns says they do have cleaning and gardening supplies available, but they may need some volunteers to bring these types of items if they have many people helping out.

Christian County YMCA Hosting Annual Healthy Kids Day Event Saturday

The Christian County YMCA is reminding everyone of the importance of being healthy from a young age by hosting a free community event Saturday. The Annual Healthy Kids Day will feature many businesses and organizations in the community to show residents the many ways to be active.


Andrea Bach is the Program Director at the Christian County Y. She says there will be plenty of events for kids and parents alike to enjoy.



Bach says it is important for kids to be active for long-term health.



The event is free to attend. Other activities at the Annual Healthy Kids Day will include face painting, a scavenger hunt, and being able to meet Sparky the Fire Dog, Echo the Police Dog, and Clifford the Big Red Dog.

TMH Construction Project Receives Approval From IL Health Services & Facilities Review Board

The Illinois Health Services and Facilities Review Board has given Taylorville Memorial Hospital the go-ahead to move forward with its $60-million expansion project. The approval came on Wednesday, and hospital CEO Kim Bourne says it is an exciting time as the final hurdles continue to clear before the groundbreaking.


Bourne says the approval means now they can take their plans to the Illinois Department of Public Health for final approval.



Bourne says some preliminary work on the project has been going on.



So far, Bourne says the project is progressing nicely towards that anticipated final completion date in 2021, but there’s still plenty work to be done.



Bourne says the first phase, which is the bigger phase of the project, will likely be completed in 2020. The hospital’s five-story building will be torn down once that phase is complete to make room for the final phase of construction.

PCH Building Project Topping Out Event

Pana Community Hospital is excited to announce that the hospital is putting the finishing touches on stage one of theie multi-million dollar building project.


Melissa Rybolt is the Marketing Manager for PCH. She says the topping out ceremony is an exciting part of the process.



Rybolt says the hospital wants residents to come out and join in the fun.



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

Paul Ryan to Step Down as Speaker of the House

United States Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has decided to step down and spend time with his family when his term is over.


13th District Representative Rodney Davis says he is sad to see Ryan go, but he understands where he is coming from.



Davis says with Ryan leaving soon, house members already have an idea of who could his replacement.



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

Bike Rodeo Coming to Taylorville

For the first time ever, Taylorville residents will have the opportunity to take part in a bicycle rodeo.


Geri Niemann is a volunteer with the Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservency. She says the event is this Saturday at 9AM.



Niemann says the event will be centered around child safety.



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

New Taylorville KFC Owner Doesn't Want to Mess With Success at His Newest Location

Kentucky Fried Chicken in Taylorville is under new ownership, and the new owner says loyal customers of the restaurant don’t need to worry about any changes in the near future.


Will Duryea is the new owner of Taylorville’s KFC. He says he doesn’t want to mess with what already is a successful restaurant.



Duryea is from Quincy and he also owns the KFC / Taco Bell locations in Highland, Greenville, and Vandalia. He says he wants to meet and hear from Taylorville residents, and encourages them to stop by and say hi.



Duryea says the only changes he could see to the restaurant in the near future are building renovations. But he says those won’t be coming until he meets with the KFC Corporation officials and they say it’s time to remodel.

Distracted Driver Awareness Week Starts Monday

Distracted Driver awareness week starts Monday.


Taylorville Police Cheif Brian Hile says with distracted driver awareness week, agencies will be conducting enforcement details.



Hile says with all the new technology in cars, it is easier than ever to get distracted while driving.



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

After Further Investigation, Charges Dropped Against Taylorville Man Accused Of Making Online Threats to Memorial School

Charges against a Taylorville man who allegedly made a threat to Memorial School were dropped earlier this week. Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera says further police investigation showed that it was not possible for the defendant Todd Daugherty to have made the threats.


Havera says more messages were sent following Daugherty’s arrest, making it impossible for him to be the perpetrator.



Havera says when threats like this are made, local law enforcement will as quickly as they can if they have probable cause.



Local and state authorities, along with the FBI are continuing the investigation into the source of the threats, and Havera says his office will continue to take online threats very seriously.

Central Counties Health Centers Helping Those with Little to No Insurance

Last July Central Counties Health Centers opened a location in Taylorville.


Heather Burton is the CEO of Central Counties Health Centers. She says the centers are open for everyone including those with little to no insurance.



Burton says the company also offers dental work.



Burton appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.

National College Recruiting Expert Speak to Area Athletes at THS

Many high school athletes aspire to play at the college level, but there is a lot that goes into the recruiting process and playing a sport in college. A national recruiting expert is coming to Taylorville High School next month to help athletes and parents with the ins-and-outs of being a student-athlete in college.


THS Athletic Director Paul Held says recruiting expert Jack Renkens has spoke at other area high schools before, and his information session has a lasting benefit.



The event is open to any area high school athlete or parent. Held says one of the biggest pieces of information athletes need to know is that you don’t need to go division one to play a sport in college, but that anywhere you go, being a college athlete is hard work.



Renkens will be speaking to interested students and parents on Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the THS cafeteria.

BBB Helping with Digital Spring Cleaning

April is digital spring cleaning month and the Better Business Bureau wants to make sure that residents are being secure.


Mara Clingingsmith is the Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau, she says one way to help with digital security is to delete old emails.



Clingingsmith says it is also wise to back up data and only use secure websites when online.



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

Illinois State Treasurer's Office Contests

The Illinois State Treasurer’s office is holding a photo contest for Illinois youth that will get them involved in agriculture.


Mike Frerichs is the Illinois State Treasurer, he says his office is excited for the contest that opens the young eyes to the world of agriculture.



Frerichs says one resident will have a chance to influence the bicentennial coin.



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

Christian County Board Approves Merging Zoning Officer and Animal Control Warden Positions

The Christian County Board voted to combine the positions of Zoning Officer and Animal Control Warden as they advertise the open position. The vote came at Monday’s board meeting after they had accepted the retirements of Brett Rahar as Zoning Officer and Joelynda Conrad as Animal Control Warden.


Many were in attendance to speak on the measure, and resident Patty Rykhus says she was against the merger.



There were many reasons for supporting or opposing the measure, but county board chair Tim Carlson says it’s a decision that can be reversed if necessary.



The board voted 10-5 to approve the merger. They also approved two percent pay raises for the five elected officer holders, while district three board member Aaron Allen officially turned in his letter of resignation at Tuesday’s meeting. The board will reconvene on Tuesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Christian County Courthouse.

Taylorville Water Superintendent Speaks to Kiwanis Club

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the City of Taylorville Water Superintendent, during their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Dave Speagle has worked with the Taylorville Water Department since 1984, and has been the water superintendent for many years.  Speagle gave a history of water treatment in the community, starting with construction of the present water treatment plan in 1951, which was added onto in 1983.

Speagle told Kiwanis members that at best, the present water plant could produce about 3-million gallons of water a day.  He added that the new 24-million dollar water treatment plant now under construction, will be able to treat and produce some 4-million gallons of water a day to meet the city's growing water demand.  He's expecting the new plant to be started up early next year.

Speagle said when city officials found out the former Taylorville Country Club property was headed for foreclosure, they quickly worked to acquire the property for what is becoming the new water plant.

The new plant will provide additional treatment such as nitrate removal, and also ultraviolet radiation for disinfecting the water.

Speagle added that doubling Taylorville's water rates were necessary to pay for the new plant, which he said will handle the city's water production for decades to come.

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.

WSVZ, Family Drug Shelbyville Students of the Month April 2018

The Family Drug and WSVZ Shelbyville Students of the Month for April are (Left to Right): Senior Maggie Furr, Junior Emily Hicks, Family Drug Representative Bridgett Depew, Sophomore Hannah Hicks, and Freshman Rachel Throneburg.


Missions for Taylorville Sets Date for First Work Day of 2018

Missions for Taylorville has set its first work day for 2018. The organization is seeking projects and volunteers for the day of service planned for Saturday, June 2.


Bill Kerns is the Coordinator of Missions for Taylorville. He says hundreds have projects since the organization was created in 2010.



Kerns says there are applications available now for volunteers or projects to be done.



Kerns asks that volunteers register as soon as possible, as that helps the planning process going into the upcoming work day.

Taylorville School District Working on Online Registration Process

The Taylorville School District continues to look at how to streamline the annual registration process, along with making it easier for district parents. The district is working on moving its registration process online.


Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the district had already created a semi-online application that sped the process along when parents had come in to register.



Fuerstenau says in addition to making registration online, the district has also been able to drop the credit card fee for online transactions.



Fuerstenau believes online registration will help many district families, and that if someone still wants to come in-person and register, they will be able to do so.



Fuerstenau says the plan is to have online registration ready for the coming school year.

Taylorville Wrestling Club Fundraiser Around the Corner

The Taylorville wrestling club is trying to help teach youth life lessons in Taylorville.


Gerry Mahr is the Treasurer of the Taylorville wrestling club. He says they have on fundraiser a year and is is coming up in June.



Mahr says the event always has a good turnout. It has grown so much in the past few years that they have had to move locations to accommodate all that come out.



Mahr appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.

U of I Extension Gives Farming Update About Cold Weather

The March and April weather in central Illinois has not been ideal for planting.


Andrew Holsinger, a Horticulture Educator with the U of I Extension Program, is the go to guy for planting questions. He says this cold weather has cause a delay due to soil temperatures being too low.



Holsinger says if residents are waiting to uncover strawberries they might be waiting a little longer.



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

Solar Farm Ordinance Passes First Hurdle at Taylorville City Council Meeting Monday Night

The Taylorville City Council held a public hearing on the possibility of solar farms and solar energy facilities in the city, on Monday night before their regular Council meeting.  Inside that Council meeting, the Taylorville Planning and Zoning Commission held a meeting to do a final review of a draft ordinance on allowing solar farms inside the Taylorville city limits, drawn up by city attorney Rocci Romano. 

The Planning Commission recommended the draft ordinance to the full City Council, with a unanimous vote Monday night.

The City Council then adjourned their public hearing moments later.

The public hearing and related discussions on regulating solar farms and solar energy facilities inside the Taylorville city limits, comes after Cypress Creek Renewables indicated to city and county officials that they're interested in leasing property near Taylorville for a solar farm.  The property the company is looking at, is directly adjacent to the Taylorville city limits, and would have to be annexed as part of the process.

Special Moment When Taylorville Mayor Names Youth of the Month at Council Meeting Monday Night

It was a special moment for Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry at Monday night's City Council meeting.

4-year-old Landon Durbin was given a standing ovation when his grandfather, the mayor, named him as this month's City Council "Youth of the Month."  Little Landon has battled stage 4 neuroblastoma the past few years.  He endured 6 rounds of chemo, then surgery, then a bone marrow transplant, then more radiation and surgery, and earlier this year got to ring the bell at St. Louis Children's Hospital as being cancer free. 

Landon will be starting kindergarten at St. Mary's School in Taylorville this fall.


Pictured are Landon's father Ty Durbin; Landon Durbin accepting his award; and Mayor Bruce Barry.

Taylorville City Council OK's Water Department Truck Purchase After Contentious Discussion

The issue of buying a new truck for the water department, became a bit contentious at Monday night's Taylorville City Council meeting.

Some aldermen were questionning the need for the truck, and Alderman Ernie Dorchinez defended Water Superintendent David Speagle's request.

Dorchinez talked with Regional Radio News after the meeting, and said he told the Council it was Speagle's idea to purchase the former Taylorville Country Club property, which is across the road from the present water plant, to be used for the new water plant, that saved the city at least a million dollars in construction costs.

The motion to allow the Water Department to purchase the truck, passed 6 to 2 with aldermen Martin Vota and Larry Budd voting no.

New Water Office Manager Starts Tuesday with City of Taylorville

The City of Taylorville will have a new water office manager as of today.  Kelly Hamel has been hired for the position, after the Taylorville City Council OK'd amending the city code to create it at their Monday night meeting.

Alderman Shawn Burtle questionned whether the position would be considered an employee or a management position, and who would actually appoint the person.

City attorney Rocci Romano discussed with aldermen what their intent was, and after much discussion, Council members stuck with the Water Committee's recommendation to make it a non-bargaining management position appointed by the Water Superintendent with Council approval.

The vote to create the position passed unanimously.

Taylorville Aldermen Act on Several Issues Monday Night

Taylorville aldermen Monday night acted on a number of items in their meeting that lasted just over an hour at the Council chambers.

An Intergovermental Agreement between the City and the Taylorville School District,
on the creation of a Tax Increment Financing District, passed unanimously.

City attorney Rocci Romano said that a suggestion by Mayor Bruce Barry on a proposed city fee for projects inside the present Enterprise Zone, is a possibility.  Romano added that the fee—which is a maximum of 50-thousand dollars—is already max'ed out, but state statute does allow for the city to request a developer to make a charitable contribution, with the developer then getting a double write-off on their tax return.  Romano added he will pursue this idea further.

The Taylorville Council Monday night OK'd waiving tapping fees for R-P Lumber when they install city water service on their property on West Route 104, and amended out of town water tapping fees from 20-dollars per front footage, to 5-dollars per front footage.

Taylorville aldermen also paid over one-point-7 million dollars in bills on the new water plant project.

Taylorville Police Department Again Participating in National Drug Take Back Day

National Drug Take Back Day is coming up and the Taylorville Police Department is once again participating in the program. Taylorville police officers will be at Walgreens on Saturday, April 28th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says you don’t even have to get out of your car.



Hile says leaving unused prescription drugs in your homes can only lead to problems.



The police department also has a place where you can drop off unused drugs any time of year. That is in the lobby of the Taylorville Police Department in the city municipal building.

Taylorville Schools Looking to Take Pressure Off Local Families By Reducing and Waiving Some Fees

The Taylorville School Board is looking to help local families keep some of their hard earned dollars next school year. The board voted on next year’s fees for many different items, and some fees were completely waived.


Many high school course specific fees were waived, along with the junior high athletic participation fee and the district is adding fifth through eighth grades to the free lunch and breakfast program next year. Fuerstenau says the district took an in-depth look at how they could help Taylorville families.



Fuerstenau says the community and state have shown their support by passing the referendum and school funding reform. He says it’s time the district does its part to show their appreciation for area families.



The only fee increases for next year will be a $5 increase in parking spots at THS from $35 to $40. Fuerstenau says that money goes towards maintaining the parking lots. The other fee increase is a 10-cent increase on daily lunch at THS, but Fuerstenau says that was a required fee increase to follow federal guidelines.

Oconee Lions Club Votes to Donate $5,000 to PCH Expansion Project

The Oconee Lions club has voted to make a five-thousand dollar donation to the Pana Community Hospital building project. The donation will be $2,000 initially, with an additional $1,000 annually for the next three years.


The $20.1 million dollar building project is the largest expansion to Pana Community Hospital since the 1970’s. It will add over 30,000 square feet to the hospital. The PCH Foundation has committed to raising $1.5 million of the total cost, and to date about $560-thousand has been raised.

Local Soil & Water Conservation Districts Again Face Withheld Funds From State

Governor Bruce Rauner has released only $5 million  of the allotted $13.5 million for local soil and water conservation districts. Christian County Soil and Water Conservation District Administrative Coordinator Sue Davis says it continues a pattern of diminishing funds for these local entities.


Davis says funds have been slashed considerably since their heyday about 10 years ago.



Since 2008, Davis has been the only employee at the Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District. She says it has also hurt their ability to help farmers with cost-share funds for projects.



Davis encourages farmers and residents to reach out to elected officials to make sure they understand the importance of soil and water conservation districts.

Benefits of the Shelbyville Rotary Club

The Shelbyville Rotary has been around for 95 years and is still going strong.


Kevin Ray with the Shelbyville Rotary Club says he has always appreciated the clubs strong foundation.



Ray says there are many benefits to joining the club, from meeting new people to helping your individual growth.



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

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce to Have Lunch and Learn

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce always wants to put on great events for residents.


Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle says on April 26th there is an opportunity to learn while being provided lunch.



Hornbuckle went through a similar seminar and says without it she wouldn’t be in the position she is in.



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

Largest dry mill ethanol plant in Illinois

Illinois is home to the largest dry mill ethanol plant in the U.S. It’s Marquis Energy located in Hennepin in Putnam County. They now produce 360-million gallons per year. Company CEO Mark Marquis says Illinois River access has been key to their success.

The first truckload of corn was delivered to Marquis Energy in April of 2008. Most of their corn comes from a 70-mile radius. 

Gov Wants A Look at German Education System

The Governor’s trade mission to eastern Europe is underway. Rauner is stopping in Germany and Poland to woo new companies to Illinois and create business partnerships. He is also going to learn more about how Germany’s school system works getting teenagers on a career track for hands on technical jobs that don’t always need a college education, or college debt.

It’s expected that Rauner will announce a few business ventures between Illinois and those European countries this week.

Higher Wages Sought for New Teachers

Some lawmakers in Illinois want to update a nearly 40 year old law and set a new pay scale for beginning teachers. Nationwide teacher pay has been news with strikes and walkouts. State Senator Andy Manar says that a law passed in 1980 setting beginning teacher pay to be a minimum of $9,000 to $11,000 needs to change.

The bill passed a Senate committee and now faces another vote in the chamber. Manar says a higher wage to start will attract more young people to the profession.

Lincoln Prairie Trail Conservancy Planning First Annual Bike Rodeo and Family Fun Ride

The Lincoln Prairie Trail Conservancy is organizing what they hope to be the first annual Bike Rodeo and Family Fun Ride on the trail. The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 21 starting at 9 a.m. at the Davis Lakeshore Estates at the corner of Sunset and Lakeshore Drives near Lake Taylorville.


Bud Altman with the Conservancy says he didn’t know what a “bike rodeo” was until recently.



Altman says they are looking for volunteers for the event to help make it a success.



Altman says the event is a great opportunity for parents and kids to enjoy a bike ride together while learning valuable safety tips.



To pre-register for the event, you can call or email Altman. His phone number is 820-0849 or his email is hlaltman@lincolnprairietrailsconservancy.com.

Taylorville Vision Source Completes Move to Office Across from High School

Taylorville Vision Source has completed its move to its new location across from Taylorville High School. The business started operating out of their expanded location at the beginning of April.


Adam Moore is the Operations Manager for Taylorville Vision Source. He says they fully remodeled the building.



Moore says they are looking to provide eye care for more residents in the new location.



Taylorville Vision Source will be having a grand opening celebration from their new office coming up in May.

Spores N' More Coming to Shelbyville Soon

The Shelby County Tourism Office has some upcoming events they want residents to know about.


Freddie Fry with the Shelby County Tourism Office says Spores N’ More is always an exciting time, and this year it will be different.



Fry says if you choose not to participate in the Spores N’ More day, you are welcome at the mushroom soup dinner afterwards.



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

Crews Giving Residents Controlled Burn Tips After House Fire at Lake Taylorville Thursday

The Taylorville Fire Department is warning residents to always be on top of your burns after a controlled fire Thursday went wrong and caught the side of a home on fire near Lake Taylorville.


Taylorville Fire Chief Mike Crews has some tips for those looking to burn yard waste or other items now that the area is seeing some warmer weather.



Crews also recommends having burns on days with lighter winds. He says wind played a role in the fire Thursday and lighter winds allow for more control of a burn.

School Board OK's Creation of TIF District One in City of Taylorville

The final preparations are being put in place for the implementation of TIF district one on the northwest side of Taylorville, and the Taylorville School Board gave their approval to the TIF district at its meeting on Monday.


Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau says the city has kept the school district informed of the process each step of the way.



Fuerstenau says although the school district will lose some revenue under the plan, the jobs and residents the TIF would bring to the community would more than make up for that lost money.



Fuerstenau says having TIF districts are a necessary tool in today’s economic environment to bring development to the community.

Jenner Ag Nominated for Great Game of Business All-Star Award

Jenner Ag has been nominated for a Great Game of Business All-Star Award. It is the fourth consecutive year Jenner Ag has been nominated for the award that recognizes companies worldwide that have shown big results in instituting the principles of open-book management and The Great Game of Business.


Autumn Pitman with Jenner Ag says the program has helped get their employees more invested in the business’ overall performance.



Pitman says the recognition from the Great Game of Business gives those at Jenner Ag encouragement that they are continuing to run their business the right way.



Pitman says the program does an excellent job bridging the gap between owners and employees and motivating everyone in the future success of the business.

Taylorville Police and Christian County TRIAD Partnering to Host Community Shred Event Next Weekend

The Taylorville Police Department and Christian County TRIAD will be hosting a shred event to get rid of old documents for residents.


Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says the event is free but there will be a limit to the number of documents you can bring to be shredded.



Hile says although there is no cost to have your papers shredded, Hile says they are asking those that come to bring non-perishable food to the event instead.



The shred event will be on Saturday, April 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at CNB Bank & Trust in Taylorville.

The Best of Harmony Concert Coming to Taylorville

For nearly the past decade, Harmony Choir has been an all female group providing entertainment for Christian County residents.


The Harmony Choir is putting on “The Best of Harmony” concert on Saturday, April 21st at First Presbyterian Church in Taylorville. It is free to the public. Debbie LeVault is an alto in the choir and says this concert will have something for everybody.



LeVault says there will be special guests accompanying the choir throughout the show, but says you need to attend to find out who those guests are.



LeVault appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.

Central Illinois Foodbank Attempting to Stop Hunger

The Central Illinois Foodbank is teaming up with Walmart in an attempt to fight hunger.


Ashley Earnest is the Public Relations Manager for Central Illinois Foodbank. She says together with Walmart they are trying to stop hunger by preparing meals for Feeding America Foodbanks.



Earnest says for those looking to help, an option would be plant an extra row in your garden and donate that row when you harvest.



Earnest appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.

Rauner says yes to sending Guard troopers to border, Senate feels otherwise

President Trump has indicated he'll send National Guard troops to secure the nation's southern border. Some Governors are balking at the request, others are enthusiastic. Governor Bruce Rauner says there's a precedent for such requests.

The Illinois Senate is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to reject a presidential call to send National Guard troops to help secure the U.S.-Mexican border. The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 33-22 to urge Rauner not to comply if President Donald Trump makes a request.

Rauner Leads Another Trade Mission

The Governor is on the move this coming week. Republican Bruce Rauner is taking another trade mission and says that he will have announcements about German and Polish companies coming to Illinois. 

Rauner has ventured out on trade missions before; traveling to Japan, China and Israel.

Dem's Cry Foul Over Republicans Willingness to Spend Tax Increase

As the budget making process begins. Democrats are pointing out that Republicans may have complained about the income tax increased that passed last year – but they are happy to spend it this year. The Governor and four legislative leaders met this week to start work on the spending plan and Senate President John Cullerton says because Bruce Rauner is fine including all the extra revenue from the tax hike in the upcoming budget revenue forecast, he should stop telling everyone that his plan is to make a small rollback of the increase.

Both Democrats and Republicans agreed to name budgeteers to lead the negotiations. 

Two Tax Filing Deadlines on April 17

The deadline for filing income taxes for 2017 is April 17. Michael Devine with the IRS in St Louis says that’s not the only filing deadline…

Further information is available at "irs.gov". 

Congressman Davis Wants To Focus on Workforce Development in Upcoming Farm Bill

Recent reforms to the farm bill saved taxpayers over $100-billion and Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis hopes to continue those reforms with the upcoming farm bill negotiations. The Taylorville Republican says the last farm bill flipped the emphasis from SNAP benefits to agriculture. Now he hopes to focus on getting those on food and nutrition benefits into the workforce.

Congressman Davis sees this problem in his district and wants to invest money into workforce training for those on benefit programs to meet the demand of employers.

Davis is hoping his colleagues on the House Ag Committee will work with him to help get those on the benefit programs into good paying jobs. 

Pana Man Dead After House Fire Tuesday

A house fire in Pana Tuesday afternoon claimed the life of the resident inside. 86-year-old George Rissler of Pana was pronounced dead in his home.


Pana Fire Chief Rod Bland says they got the call to the fire in the 700 block of S. Oak St. at about 3:15. He says the home was engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived.



It was in April last year that two fires in a matter of weeks took the lives of three people in Pana. Bland says this is the first fatal fire in the community since that time, and it is never easy to handle loss of life.



Bland says the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans released a statement late Thursday morning saying Rissler died of carbon monoxide due to inhalation of smoke and soot from the fire. The Pana Fire Department and the Office of the State Fire Marshal are investigating the blaze.

Special Visitor Coming to Strasburg This Weekend

The village of Strasburg will have a special visitor this weekend. Jean-Yves Bart is a translator and photographer from Strasbourg, France, and he is traveling around North America visiting all the communities named Strasburg. Strasburg, Illinois is on his itinerary for this weekend.


Gary Kull is the Vice President of the Strasburg Community Action Network, or SCAN, which has helped to plan the events for Bart’s visit. He says they have planned events for Bart to experience every day life in Strasburg.



Kull says the visit is an opportunity to revisit the community’s history.



Kull and SCAN President Justin Krile will show Bart around the community on Friday. Saturday, Bart is scheduled to visit with some local families in town and the country. On Sunday, there will be an open house reception with Bart at the Strasburg Community Center that the public is invited to attend from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Aaron Allen to Resign from Christian County Board

Christian County Board member Aaron Allen is resigning from his position on the board. The third district board member will be turning in his resignation letter at Tuesday’s county board meeting.


Allen says he just got a promotion at his job, and the new position has created a conflict of interest with his county board seat.



Allen says he is most proud of the budget work he has helped with in his term in office. He says they have sizably cut the county’s budget deficit.



Allen had hoped to know if he would get this promotion before having to file the paperwork to be on the ballot in November, but the timing did not pan out that way. He thanks his constiuents for their support during his time on county board, and he plans on still being involved in the community through other means.

Soldiers and Dogs Working to Partner Local Veterans with Service Dogs

When veterans serve our country, they are making a lifetime commitment for everyone’s benefit. One new non-profit organization is helping vets back at home by partnering them with dogs in an effort to help prevent veteran suicides.


Gary Shuck is one of the founders of Soldiers and Dogs. He says too many veterans are taking their own lives every day.



Shuck says the group was founded last summer. He says serving this country changes a person, and we need to do everything we can for everyone that has served.



For more information on Soldiers and Dogs, you can visit their Facebook page here.

Awards Nomination Deadline for Annual Chamber of Commerce Banquet is Friday

The annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet is still a few weeks away, but an important deadline for the event is on Friday. The chamber is sending out its last call for nominations for the Boss and Citizen of the Year awards.


Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Patty Hornbuckle says they need all award submissions by 4 p.m. on Friday. But, she says if you turned an award submission in last year, you don’t need to worry.



Hornbuckle talks about the qualifications for each award, saying one of the biggest factors for both awards is the impact each person has had on the community.



You can pick up a nomination form at the chamber on the second floor of the U.S. Bank Building on the Taylorville square, or you can request a form by emailing taylorvillechamber@gmail.com.

Taylorville School District Looking Into New Special Ed Cooperative

The Taylorville School District is getting much needed funds thanks to the school funding reform that was recently passed.


Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Greg Fuerstenau says the school is getting $225,000 dollars more than expected. He says one possibility in looking where this money could go is the Special Education Program.



Fuerstenau says the district is still being cautious as there are many steps involved.



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

St. Louis Dairy Council Advice For Weight Loss

With the winter months coming to and swim suit weather around the corner, some residents are looking to shed a few pounds.


Jill Williams is a nutrition educator for the St. Louis Dairy Council. She recommends keeping track of the food you eat.



Williams says for those that are not fans of vegetables, there might be an easy and good tasting way to get those nutrients.



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

Hearing at Home Holds Open House Monday

Hearing at Home owner Ashley May opened her doors to the public Monday afternoon for an open house at their new office. Hearing at Home is located in Suite B at 119 West Park Street in Taylorville.


May says they can provide a wide variety of services at the spacious new location.



May says she has high hopes for Hearing at Home in the future, but as a business owner, she is always cautiously optimistic.



Hearing at Home has been serving residents at their new location since mid-February.

Regional Office of Education to Hold Tech Night For Area College-Bound Students Thursday

Technology has changed the world we live in drastically. One way it has changed our lives is how we educate ourselves. The Regional Office of Education #3 is hosting a “Tech Night” in Pana Thursday to help students and parents pick the right equipment for their education beyond high school.


Julie Wollerman is the Regional Superintendent of Schools for Bond, Christian, Effingham, Fayette, and Montgomery Counties. She says it is our schools’ job to prepare kids for higher education, including any technology they may need in college.



Wollerman says there will also be a presentation on social media etiquette, which plays a big role in job hunting down the road.



The “Tech Night” will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday evening at Pana High School, and any students and parents in the area are welcome to attend.

Master Gardeners of Christian County Getting Ready for Plant Sale

The Master Gardeners of Christian County are getting excited for their plant sale coming up.


Gwen Podeschi says while the whether may not be ideal for planting at the moment, it can pay off in the long run.



Podeschi says the plant sale will have a variety of plants as they are hoping to cater to everyone’s needs.



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

Illinois Lawmakers Back in Session This Week

Illinois lawmakers are heading back in session this week.


State Representative Avery Bourne says one of her biggest priorities is getting the budget settled.



Bourne says she is hoping to carry the momentum over from the school funding reform bill that was passed last August.



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

National Work Zone Awareness Week

It’s not quite the summer road work season but projects are starting to pop up on area roadways and interstates and the Illinois Department of Transportation is calling attention safety to the workers who fix our roads. IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn wants drivers to slow down and be alert when driving in construction zones. He says 29 people were killed in work zones in 2018 and drivers can do their share to lower those numbers.

This is National Work Zone Awareness Week. Along with being safe in a construction zone, authorities are also reminding drivers that fines for speeding in those areas begin at $375.

Durbin appealing to GOP leaders to support Dream Act

Senator Dick Durbin is focusing his energy on trying to prevent deportation of young people in the DACA program on his colleagues on Capitol.Hill. Durbin is appealing to GOP leaders to support the Dream Act, that he is sponsoring along with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham after some disappointing results from the White House.

Undocumented immigrants in the DACA program face the prospect of losing their work permits and being deported to countries Durbin says they barely remember. Many dreamers remain in the country after a federal court issued an order blocking President Trump’s repeal of DACA, Dreamers that have DACA can continue to apply to renew their status for now.

Equal Pay Day In Illinois

Equal pay day was Tuesday in Illinois. The day was set aside to gain attention to the wage gap between men and women in the workplace. April 10 was day that women need to work too in order to have made as much money as a man in the same job made just last year. Democrat State Senator Toi Hutchinson says minority women have to work even longer into the new year to find wage equivalency. 

AG Sues Electric Provider

The state is suing an electric company for aggressive and deceptive tactics. Attorney General Lisa Madigan says that Major Energy Electric Services has been making confusing claims to new customers.

Madgian’s suit says the customers in Com-Ed regions are the one’s affected. And she says in almost every instance the bills for people who signed up with Major Energy were higher than they would have been if they would have stayed with Com-Ed.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears about Veteran Care Program at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about a local volunteer program that provides veterans in hospice, support and honor, during their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Rachael Springate heads up the “Veteran-to-Veteran” Care Program thru Quad County Hospice in Pana.  The program has over 30 volunteers in 4 counties, including Christian, to provide hospice care to veterans.  Springate said the goal of the program is that no veteran will die alone.

As part of the program, Springate and her volunteers provide an appreciation ceremony for the veteran, including pinning, a custom blanket featuring their branch of the military, and a pillow.  Patriotic music is also played at the ceremony.

Volunteers Joe Marley and Earl Baker joined Springate as presenters at the Kiwanis Club meeting.  Marley said the ceremonies he's been involved in, were very touching.  Baker said he gets attached to the people being honored and later pass.

Springate talked about the work her volunteers do.

To volunteer for the “Veteran-to-Veteran” Care Program, contact Springate at Quad County Hospice in Pana.

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.

Traffic Stop in Taylorville Monday Takes Large Amount of Synthetic Cannabinoids Out of the Community

As an outbreak caused by synthetic cannabinoids is spreading across northern and central Illinois, the Taylorville Police Department recovered more than 40 packages of the illegal drug in a traffic stop Monday afternoon. 33-year-old Jaclyn B. Harris and 53-year-old Bobby D. Smith, both of Taylorville, are both facing manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance charges after the stop.


While the Illinois Department of Public Health has not reported any cases in Christian County related to this outbreak, Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says synthetic cannaboids have been an ongoing issue in the community.



The drugs seized have not been connected to the outbreak across the state, but Hile says this seizure takes a large amount of product off the streets.



So far in Illinois, there have been 107 reported cases in this outbreak. Victims suffer severe bleeding and there have been three deaths in the state as well.


The investigation into this seizure is ongoing, and the product will be sent to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab to determine its chemical makeup.

Illinois Congressman Fighting for Central Illinois Residents

Congressman Rodney Davis is working hard in Washington to make sure that Illinois residents have their concerns taken care of.


Davis says he is working on a farm bill that will have an effect on residents for the next four years.



Davis says he got to work on a similar bill that was passed in 2014.



Davis says this time around it is crucial to look at the 2014 bill and keep what is good, while changing what was not.



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

Shelby County Community Services Helping Disabled Get Jobs

The Shelby County Community Services are trying to find a way to help those disabilities.


Tom Colclasure is the Executive Director of Shelby County Community Services, he says they have created jobs at the company’s greenhouse for people with disabilities.



Colclasure says with the work at the greenhouse, they have seen it help people’s ailments.



Colclasure appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show live from out downtown Shelbyville Studios.

Area Police Departments Showing Gratitude to Their Dispatchers during National Telecommunicators Week

This week is National Telecommunicators Week and local police agencies are showing their gratitude for their dispatchers that play that vital role of communicator with those in an emergency.


Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile says taking those calls is tough because that person doesn’t know what is going on and there’s nothing they can do over the phone to stop it.



Hile asks residents to thanks these people for their service if you see them in the community this week.



The Taylorville Police Department’s five dispatchers will be honored with a luncheon on Friday.

Scammer Sending Fraudulent Faxes Representing Themselves as Peoples Bank & Trust

Someone is sending faxes offering small business loans to area businesses using Peoples Bank name. But Craig Deere with Peoples Bank & Trust is warning area business owners that these faxes are not coming from their bank.


Deere says most community banks do not solicit business through fax, and even bigger banks rarely use the practice.



While the fax does not have the correct name of People’s Bank and Trust listed, it does list that they are located in Taylorville. Deere says if you ever receive something like this that you are skeptical of, don’t hesitate to call the bank.



The Miller Media Group was one local business that received this fraudulent fax. You can see the fax below.


Duckworth Becomes First Sitting Senator to Give Birth While in Office

The family of US Senator Tammy Duckworth has expanded again, as she becomes the first sitting Senator to give birth while in office. Duckworth and her husband Bryan Bowlsbey welcomed Maile Pearl Bowlsbey into the world today. Duckworth had her first child while serving as a US Congresswoman. In all 10 women have given birth while serving in Congress but none, until now, did so while a Senator. 

Rauner Calls For Meeting with Legislative Leaders

The Governor is laying out a spring legislative agenda that he says is full of bipartisan legislation. The plan looks and sounds much like it has for the past three years; term limits, pension reform and a balanced budget. Rauner says that he will call on leaders from both sides for a budget meeting.

Rauner says the first task will be for all sides to agree on what tax revenues will look like this year. Once the revenue side is taken care of Rauner says they can begin the conversation on spending. 

AG Madigan Wants Specialized Nurses in ER's

If you arrive at an Emergency Room a victim of sexual assault you don’t necessarily receive specialized care. Attorney General Lisa Madigan would like that to change. She’s behind legislation that would ensure assault victims would have to be seen by a specially trained nurse – one prepared to handle sexual assault cases.

Madigan says that the individual will benefit immediately from specialized care and a criminal case, if needed, would be bolstered by the proper collection of evidence. 

Congressman Davis Reacts To Trade War With China

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says China does not trade fairly and the country needs to do a better job. He reacted to the President's response to the steel tariffs and indicates China's practices are a matter of national security. The Taylorville Republican also points out, the day after the President's response to the steel tariffs, Granite City steel re-opened.

Davis says he is disappointed with the retaliation by China. He points out not all American products are not all getting into the Chinese marketplace.

May futures dropped four-percent last week after the news of the Chinese tariffs. 

With New State Dollar Numbers Set, Fuerstenau Says Funding And Budgeting Becoming Easier for Local Districts

Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau had good financial news to report to the Taylorville School Board meeting at Monday night’s meeting. With the Illinois State Board of Education releasing the amount of additional state funding each district will receive Thursday, Fuerstenau told board members that the district will be receiving an additional $225-thousand from the state.


Fuerstenau gave plenty of credit to State Senator Andy Manar, who led the fight for school funding reform for many years.



Fuerstenau says the law and finding out how much new money they will receive has given the administration something it hasn’t had in his years as superintendent.



Also at Monday’s meeting, the board approved an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Taylorville regarding TIF district number one, along with approving changes for next school year to the district fees, the district handbook and the discipline code. The board also voted to continue discussion on a new special education cooperative with the Pana and Nokomis school districts. That could be voted on at the next school board meeting scheduled for May 14th at 7 p.m. at the district’s administration building.

Manar Pleasantly Surprised With Final Money Amounts Allotted for Downstate Schools Thanks to School Funding Reform

State Senator Andy Manar is pleasantly surprised with how big of an impact the new school funding reform bill is having on downstate schools in year one of its implementation. The final new state money numbers each local school district will receive was announced by the Illinois State Board of Education on Thursday.


Manar says the estimates for how much money downstate schools would receive tended to be lower, which is good for area school districts.



One mandate in the law requires this year’s state funding level to each school district to be the baseline of funds each district will receive next year as well. Manar says two area education leaders reiterated to him the importance of financial stability for school districts.



Manar says the funding formula may be set, but lawmakers must continue to protect the formula going forward.



Here are the final amounts of new money each Christian County school district will receive from the state this fiscal year:




Percent of


Final tier funding

Base Funding Model

Total state


School district



(new money)

(hold harmless)*










Edinburg CUSD 4







Morrisonville CUSD 1







Pana CUSD 8







South Fork CUSD 14







Taylorville CUSD 3














Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce has New Program Coming

Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce Director Jody McCormick is settling in to her new role.


McCormick says being new to the Chamber, she is excited about a new program they are launching.



McCormick says next on her list is handling the parking situation downtown.



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

U of I Extension Spreading Ag Awareness to Youth

The University of Illinois Extension Program is always looking to spread awareness of agriculture.


Charlotte Schuricht is the Agriculture Literacy Program Director for the Extension Program. She says the classroom programs are about to get started.



Schuricht says that the Extension Program offers a field trip for teachers to learn about agriculture in hopes they will take the information they learn back to their classrooms.



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

Morrisonville Police Department Receives Grant to Purchase New Radios

The Morrisonville Police Department has received a grant of five-thousand dollars thanks to Norfolk Southern. The money will be used to purchase radios for the department’s officers.


Tony Telford is the Chief of Police in Morrisonville. He says it is a safety concern for officers to not have radios.



Telford says the grant should cover the purchase of three radios for the department. He is thankful for the help his department has received in getting the grants, along with the generosity of Norfolk Southern.



The department currently only has one radio for all of its officers.


Pana McDonald's Lobby Undergoing Major Renovation

Big renovations are happening at the McDonald’s location in Pana. Pana McDonald’s co-owner Brad Davis says this project is just the start of renovations at all of their four locations in Central Illinois.


Davis says the entire lobby is being redone in Pana, and with the renovation will come new technology.



Davis says Pana is the first location seeing the renovations, but their other locations in Taylorville, Shelbyville, and Vandalia will also be renovated in the near future.



Davis says the drive-thru at the Pana location is open through the renovations, and he expects the lobby to reopen on April 27th.

City of Taylorville to Host Public Forum on TIF District One Monday

As TIF district number one in Taylorville approaches completion, city leaders are inviting residents to an upcoming open forum on the districts. The hearing on the Tax-Increment Financing district will be Monday at 5:30 in the council chambers at the Taylorville Municipal Building.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the forum is a way for residents to come learn about this new economic engine for the community.



Barry says there is a period of time the city has to wait to officially approve the district, but barring any setbacks, it could be up and running soon.



Barry says there are businesses reaching out to the city about locating in the TIF district once it is established.

Extended Winter Delaying Start of Planting and Gardening Season

Winter cold has extended its stay into April in Central Illinois this year, and McMillan Landscaping owner Seth McMillan says the weather could delay some gardeners from starting their planting.


McMillan says normally the last frost date in the area is around April 15, but some early birds like to start their gardens around this time. He says he can’t keep some plants the business would normally have in stock right now because it’s too cold.



McMillan says although the cold is holding gardeners back this year, there are often delays to the gardening season for many different reasons.



McMillan says waiting a little longer to plant should not affect what you get out of your garden.

Two LLCC Livestock Judging Team Members Earn All-American Status

Two members of the Lincoln Land Community College Livestock Judging Team recently earned All-American status at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.


LLCC sophomores Mason Gordon and Adrian Austin, both of Springfield, were among the 15 students nationwide to earn the distinction.


To earn All-American status, students must excel in the classroom, and compete and score well in major national collegiate livestock events including the Kansas City Royal, North American International Exposition in Louisville, and the National Western Stock Show in Denver.


Gordon, who is originally from Rushville, Indiana, plans on transferring to Purdue University after graduating from LLCC to major in agribusiness and political science. Austin, originally from Mt. Vernon, is planning to go to Kansas State University after graduating to major in ag communications.

US Army Corps of Engineers Helping Lake Shelbyville

The US Army Corps of Engineers is looking at Lake Shelbyville and noticing that the lake is higher than normal for this time of year.


Ashley Florey is with the US Army Corps of Engineers and says that the water level in the lake affects the fish. She says they are teaming up with their Fish Habitat Alliance to try to come up with a solution.



Florey says vegetation in the lake is crucial to the survival of the fish.



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

Jim Riley Named Miller Media Group Employee of the Quarter, Wins Florida Trip

-Jim Riley, an account manager with the Miller Media Group radio stations in Taylorville, was named "Employee of the Quarter" for first quarter 2018, by fellow employees.  General Manager Kami Payne made the announcement Friday morning.

Riley has been with the company since October of last year, representing the group's 7 media platforms to businesses in Taylorville, Nokomis, and Litchfield among other communities.

Riley's name was then put into a drawing with the 3 others that earned "Employee of the Quarter" over the past year, and his name was drawn to win a Florida trip which includes airfare and car rental.

Some Pana Residents Show Support For Possible Dog Park, But Many Questions Remain

Some residents are showing support for a possible dog park in the city of Pana, but there are still many questions to be answered before any ground is broken. The Pana Community Support Committee met Thursday afternoon to talk about the possibility of a dog park in the community.


Pana resident Frances Schmitz says she has visited multiple dog parks, and they are relatively easy to set up and they don’t cause a lot of trouble.



Pana resident Cindy Dewey says the park can be a way to contain dogs in an open space as long as the owner is there with the dog.



Some of the issues to setting up a dog park, however, include where to put it, funding, rules for the park and enforcement of those rules. Pana’s Community Support Committee Chairperson Jerry Jordan says when it comes to city funding for the park, there are other priorities that have to come first.



Schmitz told the committee that there are residents looking at donating money to set up the park. City leaders at the meeting said they could support a dog park if the kinks currently in place are worked out. Both sides agreed to set up another meeting once more groundwork is done on the issue.

Mother Nature's Last Winter Stand? Central Illinois Could See More Accumulating Snow This Weekend

The calendar says April but Mother Nature is looking like it will give Central Illinois another bout of winter weather this weekend. Chuck Schaffer with the National Weather Service Office in Lincoln says the area could receive more accumulating snow this weekend.


Schaffer says a weather system will move into the area on Sunday, and that could bring accumulating snow for Sunday afternoon.



The latest forecast shows possibly one to three inches of accumulating snow on Sunday. But, for those sick of winter and ready for spring, Schaffer says warmer weather appears to be coming.



Schaffer says accumulating snow in April is rare in Central Illinois. He says snow falling in April at all only happens once every few years.

Lake Land College Getting Prepared For New Students

Lake Land College is taking registration for their summer courses.


Chris Strohl is he Director of Community Outreach for Lake Land College. It is her job to talk to anyone that will listen about Lake Land. She says that she takes a special interest in non-traditional students.



Strohl says one thing that Lake Land hangs their hat on is affordability.



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

NWS Confirms Tornado Touchdown South of Vandalia and Effingham

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touchdown from the severe weather Tuesday afternoon. An EF-2 tornado touched down in southeastern Fayette County and was on the ground for almost 20 miles as it traveled through rural Fayette and Effingham counties.


The tornado touched down at about 4:20 p.m. about 7 miles southeast of Vandalia. The twister traveled east-northeast crossing Illinois Route 185 and damaging many farm building and homes in its path. At it’s peak, the tornado was 100 yards wide.


The weather service estimates the peak winds from the tornado at 125 miles per hour. It dissipated about 3.5 miles northwest of Mason, Illinois in southern Effingham County.

Attorney General Madigan wants hospitals to take a lead role in dealing with sexual assault

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is promoting legislation that calls for the medical community to provide personnel who can provide comprehensive help and treatment of sexual assault victims.

Madigan acknowledges the legislation is facing some resistance.


Currently, there are roughly 150 of the specially trained nurses on the payrolls of Illinois emergency rooms.

Civil War Museum reopens

A hidden gem for Civil War buffs has reopened. The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum in Springfield has reopened after closing in August to update the museum's offerings. Curator Chuck Hill has been busy reorganizing the museum's artifacts from the organization that proved to be the forerunner to veterans groups like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The most impressive artifact of all was one that was seen and heard as the Civil War ended in Virginia.

Between now and October, the museum will be open Thursday through Saturday from 10 to 4. Admission is free and donations are accepted. 

Over 1,000 Illinois students compete for archery state title this weekend

You can win a state title in archery. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources hosts the National Archery in Schools Program Illinois State Tournament at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield this Friday and Saturday says IDNR’s Ed Cross.

The competition features over one-thousand participants from thirty-plus schools. 

New Solar Farm Could Be Coming to Taylorville

A new solar farm could be setting up shop in Taylorville. City leaders have been working on an ordinance for how to handle solar farms in the community, and now a business is looking at bringing a solar farm to Taylorville.


Fourth Ward Alderman Earl Walters has been working on the ordinance from its start at committee. He says it’s very early in the process, but this new solar farm could be built on the northwest side of the city.



Walters says solar power is an up-and-coming energy industry in Illinois.



Walters says the ordinance Taylorville is looking to put into place models Christian County’s ordinance recently enacted. He says although it is modeled after the county’s ordinance, there are still differences between the two.

Moweaqua Community Ambulance Service to Close May 1

Moweaqua Community Ambulance Service is closing its doors on May 1st. The service is closing because it does not have enough volunteers.


In a previous interview with Regional Radio News, the service’s EMT Coordinator Brookie Spa says they’ve had to rely on paid EMTs to provide their service in recent years, and that has eaten at the service’s funds.



Moweaqua mayor Boomer Neece says this is not only a loss for the community, but also for the rural surrounding area.



Neece says the Moweaqua Fire Department has been preparing for if the service were to close, and they will assume EMT duties until an ambulance can come in and transport those in need.



Neece says the fire department also relies on volunteers. He says although we live in busy times, residents cannot forget to volunteer if they can so the community can continue to have vital services that need the help.

Events Coming in May for the Christian County Historical Society

The Christian County Historical Society is looking forward to the chicken and noodle fundraiser Sunday.


Maureen Bruns is the Museum Director for the Christian County Historical Society and says that May will also be a busy month for them.



Bruns says that volunteers are always welcome to come out and help, especially with the museum clean up.



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

Senior Citizens Center Update on Upcoming Events

The Christian County Senior Citizens Center is looking forward to the events they have coming up in April.


Gerry Mahr is the Director of the Senior Citizens Center, and is in charge of planning the events for the seniors. He says the movie day coming up is sure to be a hit.



Mahr says they try not to turn anyone away and if enough people call to RSVP they will do everything they can to make sure it works.



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

Clean Up Saturdays Coming to Taylorville in April

The city of Taylorville will provide free trash drop-off services on Saturdays throughout the month of April. Residents can take their trash to the Taylorville Street Department anytime between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturdays in April.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says the city will accept most discarded items, but there are some restrictions.



Barry says not only do you have any Saturday to choose from in April for free drop-off, the city will also accept trash any weekday for a small fee.



Barry says the city is also looking for volunteers to help clean up the community on Saturdays in April as well. He says the service is just one way residents can help clean up Taylorville.

Soybean Farmers Caught In Trade War

Farmers took a big hit this morning when China reacted to proposed tariffs from the US. The Chinese government slapped a proposed 25 percent tariff on soybeans. The market reacted quickly and the 2018 crop lost more than $1.5 billion of expected value. Ron Moore, a soybean farmer from Roseville and Chairman of the American Soybean Association says that he’s been left frustrated by the escalating trade tensions between the US and China. According to Moore the US farmer needs the world’s consumers to grow their business.

China buys 61 percent of US soybean exports and that amounts to 30 percent of all US soybean production. 

U of I Garden Expert with Advice on Upcoming Gardening Season

Gardeners of all types are ready for the weather to permanently break so they can get out and move some soil. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener, Candice Hart, says one thing gardeners can do right now is some pruning of different trees, but warns you need to be careful which trees you pick to prune. 

Hart says it is not too soon to get those gardens cleaned up if you can find a day that is warm enough to get out. She also notes, if you are up for it, it isn't too soon to get some things in the ground.

Master Gardeners at the University of Illinois Extension can help with any of your garden planning or planting needs. Contact or visit your local U of I Extension office to for help on any challenges you come across this season. 

Plenty of Unclaimed Property in Illinois State Treasurer's Office

The Illinois State Treasurer's office hopes to reunite Illinois residents with their unclaimed property. That could include bank accounts, insurance policy proceeds and forgotten safe deposit boxes. Residents can check the database by going to IllinoisTreasurer.gov and clicking on the “I-Cash” link. Treasurer Michael Frerichs says his office is currently sitting on nearly $3 billion dollars that doesn't belong to the state, but may be owed to you.

There are multiple situations where a person or business could be owed money. Treasurer Frerichs even has experience in an instance, where money was owed to him.


The unclaimed property division in 2017 paid out more than $160 million in claims, the largest being $1.3 million.

Crimestoppers Crime of the Week - April 4, 2018

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


Sometime between the evening of Friday, March 23, 2018 and the morning of Saturday, March 24, 2018, person or persons unknown made entry onto 1200 West Vine Street.  While there the unknown subject or subjects cut the locks on a storage shed in the backyard of the residence.  A large number of tools were taken from inside the shed.  The total dollar amount of the theft is estimated at over $7500.


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.  

Thefts at Oak Hill Cemetery an Issue, But Resources to Stop Incidents are Limited

Taylorville resident Kathy Driskell says she has had multiple flower arrangements stolen from Oak Hill Cemetery in recent weeks. She brought her concerns to the Taylorville City Council meeting Monday night. Taylorville Airport Manager and Cemetery Superintendent Bill Newberry says this isn’t the first time he’s received theft reports at the cemetery.


Newberry says at this point there isn’t much his staff can do.



Newberry says he does have some recommendations for those who come to mourn at the cemetery.



Newberry says his staff works with residents to set up trail cameras at the cemetery if they would like. For a full video security system, Newberry estimates that they would need at least 100 cameras and wiring for those cameras. He says a project that big would have to come from money appropriated by the city council.

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Excited for Keynote Speaker at Awards Banquet

Coming in May the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is hoping to have residents flooding the banquet hall.


Patty Hornbuckle is the CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. She says while the volunteer of the year has already been chosen there is still time to send in nominations for other awards.



Hornbuckle says she could not be happier with this year’s choice for keynote speaker.



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

CHS Investment Professionals Market Advice

Brokers looking at the stock market can be left scratching their heads.


Steve Henry of CSH Investment Professionals says that when supply is down and demand is up that is a golden opportunity to invest.



Henry says CSH as a company is looking to invest to get a return on investments.



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

Chinese Tariff on Pork Products Could Have Wide Ranging Impacts on Illinois

With China’s announcement to impose a tariff on U.S. pork products, the impact could be far reaching and hit especially close to home for some Central Illinois farmers.


Chinese officials have imposed a 25 percent tariff on incoming U.S. pork products. Jim Monroe with the National Pork Producers Association says U.S. pork is a highly competitive product in a free global market, and this tariff makes access to a large Chinese market more difficult.



Monroe says there are hundreds of thousands of jobs tied directly to the pork industry across rural America.



Monroe says these tariffs open the door for other pork-producing countries, like Germany and Denmark, to get business the U.S. could lose because of the tariff.

Teens Get Off to Strong Start in Organ Donation

Illinois Secretary of States Jesse White's office reports teens haven't hesitated to become organ donors. A new state law that took effect this year cleared the way for 16 and 17-year-olds to become organ donors and Secretary White says they stepped up immediately.

More information is available at www.lifegoeson.com. 

La Nina Impacting Illinois Spring Weather

Water temps in the Pacific Ocean impacting spring weather in Illinois. And those water temps are cooler—creating a La Nina effect or cooler and wetter weather says DTN Chief Agriculture Meteorologist Bryce Anderson.

The central portion of Illinois experienced snow last weekend and the northern and western portions of the state the weekend before.

Child Abuse Prevention Month Underway

Illinois is going blue and we're not talking about your political affiliation. Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, the Department of Children and Family Services and Hospital Sisters Health System (St. Johns) are decorating the state with blue ribbons and blue pinwheels to mark Child Abuse Prevention Month. Prevent Child Abuse Illinois Executive Director Denise McCaffrey stresses kids have no safe harbor where abuse can't occur.

McCaffrey believes it's a time where individuals have been emboldened to come forward when they encounter abuse.

McCaffrey says parents should learn how to talk to their children about possible abuse to ensure they haven't been a silent victim.

Bill Proposed Could Put A Big Chill On Industry

Could anyone person in the state or even the country be able to stop a project from moving forward? That’s the concern if a pair of bills finds approval in the Illinois Legislature. The bills will grant anyone, anywhere the ability to sue a number of state agencies to stop an administrative decision. Those lawsuits could stand in the way of a highway being built, a campground constructed or a livestock facility being sited. Bill Bodine with the Illinois Farm Bureau says that it would add the potential for so many extra legal costs that it could kill a desire for agriculture expansion.

Bodine says in the case of a livestock facility there are already government regulations and processes put in place to find a proper site. Other opponents say this would harm business expansion in a state that is already lagging other Midwest ones in job creation.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Holds Business Meeting at Weekly Luncheon

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their monthly business meeting, during their weekly luncheon Tuesday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium.

Club committee chairs reviewed work to serve the children and youth in the Taylorville community.  Kiwanis Park chair Jerry Woodard reported that the annual park pavilion clean-up day will take place this Saturday morning at 9.  Junior High Kiwanis Builders Club and High School Kiwanis Key Club chair Will Perkins reported that certificates will be presented to officers of both clubs, at their meetings next week.  And, Spiritual Aims chair Dick Wamsley reported that plans have been finalized for the 27th annual Kiwanis Club Prayer Luncheon to be held May 8th.

3 members of the Decatur Early Bird Kiwanis Club were guests at Tuesday's Taylorville Kiwanis Club meeting.

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.

BREAKING: Lake Land College Cancelling Classes, Closing Campus Tuesday Due to Flooding, Inclement Weather

Lake Land College has cancelled classes and the campus is closing at noon Tuesday. The college made that announcement late Tuesday morning.


Kelly Allee is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Lake Land College. She says the campus is seeing flooding and it is not safe for students to be having classes.



Allee says a decision on classes Wednesday will be made by 6 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Yummy Hibachi & Sushi Food Truck Looking to Open in Taylorville

A new Japanese food truck will be making its home in Taylorville. Yummy Hibachi & Sushi will be located caddy corner from McClure Funeral Home at the corner of Webster and Poplar Streets in Taylorville.


Yummy’s owner Dedi says he hopes to be open sometime in the next month.



Dedi says his food truck will have a regular business schedule there once it opens to the public.

The Difference in Social Security When it Comes to Men and Women

Living in the 21st century, things are not like they used to be. The Social Security Administration is trying to adjust with the times.


Jack Myers is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration. He says that nowadays women need to take a closer look at social security options.



Myers says one of the first steps people should take when close to retirement is to sit down and find out how long you’ll be living in retirement to know how much you need saved.



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

Pana Community Support Committee to Hold Meeting Thursday on Possible Dog Park

Pana leaders are asking for residents’ input on a possible dog park in the community. The Pana Community Support Committee will have a meeting on Thursday at 3 p.m. at Pana City Hall, and they are asking residents to attend and give feedback on the possible dog park.


This is the first discussion on the possibility in the community. Pana mayor Don Kroski says there are many legal questions that would need to be answered before a dog park could be built.



Kroski says he knows dog parks are an up-and-coming trend in many communities. He says as long as all the necessary questions are answered, he is all for anything that will make the city of Pana a better place.



Kroski says there are many things the city needs to do before Pana can build a dog park, and that this meeting is the first step in the process of it possibly moving forward.

Lack of Broadband Internet Major Problem in Shelby County

Broadband Internet in rural counties in Illinois is becoming more and more of a problem, especially in Shelby County.  David Johnson with Shelby County Partners is among those working to get better Internet speeds in rural Shelby County.

Johnson gave an example of a business he founded after being a school administrator, that later was sold and moved out of Shelby County due to the lack of Broadband Internet.

Johnson added that people looking to move to a new area, aren't moving to areas without Broadband Internet.

Johnson says Shelby County residents need to contact their state and federal legislators to ask that something be done to provide Broadband Internet to rural areas of the county.

Johnson appeared as a recent guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our Shelbyville studios.

Eco Water Victim of Phone Scam

Tim Finks, owner of Eco Water of Shelby County, is the unfortunate victim of a phone scam.  Finks said someone used his business phone number, to raise money in the Shelbyville community illegally. 

Finks thinks he has the situation under control, but it's unfortunate that it happened.

Finks can be reached for now, on his cell 519-2929.

Illinois Earth Team Volunteer Program Having Success

The Natural Resources Conservation Service touting the success of the Illinois Earth Team Volunteer program. State Coordinator Jean McConkey says some great work is being done throughout Illinois.



McConkey says retired teachers and current high school and college students have the perfect skill set to help with Illinois Earth Team efforts. You can find out more on-line at “nrcs.usda.gov” and typing “Illinois Earth Team Volunteer Program” in search box. 

March Ends Cold and Wet

A good portion of the state suffered through a big snow fall in mid March before this weekend’s snow cut a narrower path through central Illinois. Those weather patterns were indicative of a cool and damp start to spring that impacted much of Illinois says State Climatologist Jim Angel. 

That March snow left as much as 8 to 9 inches from the Quad Cities to Champaign and this weekend April began with 5 to 6 inches of snow in areas south of Peoria. 

Sanguinetti Key to Peace With Ives?

Governor Bruce Rauner has a key issue to deal with as the march toward the general election battle with Democrat J.B. Pritzker moves forward. Rauner needs to mend fences with his primary opponent, State Representative Jeannie Ives, or at least her supporters. Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti could be of help in opening a dialogue. The Lt. Governor says she's no stranger to the West Point grad.

Sanguinetti has also shared that she opposed legislation Governor Rauner signed that paved the way for state funded abortions. That was one of the key issues that many believe led to Ives' surge in popularity. 

Taylorville City Council Approves Two Street Repaving Projects for Summer 2018


The city of Taylorville is continuing to put in effort to repave streets across town. The Taylorville city council approved two street repaving projects at Monday’s meeting that will affect major thoroughfares through town.


Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry says Main Cross and Webster Streets will be repaved this year.



Barry says the first priority though is going to be finishing what has already been started on Cherokee Street.



Also at Monday’s meeting, the city council also approved more checkoff items towards completing TIF district number one on the northwest side of town.

Hancock To Withdraw From Christian County Clerk and Recorder Race

Michelle Hancock is dropping out of the race for Christian County Clerk and Recorder. The Republican candidate sent the following statement to Regional Radio News late Monday afternoon.


Based upon my personal and professional obligations, I've decided to withdraw as the Republican candidate for Christian County Clerk. Making this decision has not come easily. I want to express my sincere appreciation for the overwhelming support from friends and family, the citizens of Christian County, and the Republican Party. I plan to continue to support current Republican candidates throughout this election and encourage everyone to participate in some way to help Christian County grow and prosper.” 

Business Prospect Already Scoping One Taylorville TIF District as Possible Site

Taylorville city leaders are progressing on work to establish two TIF districts in the community. Christian County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Mary Renner says she is already working with a company that could bring an operation to one of the two sites.


Renner told the Christian County Board at their last meeting that there is a company possibly looking to bring a power plant to Taylorville’s second TIF district.



Renner says it is the first TIF district in Taylorville, however, that is closer to completion.



Renner says with Route 29’s completion among other economic factors in play, Christian County has plenty of economic promise in the next few years.

Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet Coming Soon

The Christian County Chamber of Commerce is getting set for their annual banquet.


Christian County Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle says she is looking forward to the awards part of the festivities.



Hornbuckle says the Chamber is trying a different theme after using the same one for over 10 years.



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

LLCC Taylorville Has Summer Course Options

For students looking to get ahead on some course work, Lincoln Land Community College in Taylorville is available to help.


Director of LLCC Taylorville Dee Krueger says students can take courses and still enjoy their summer break.



Krueger says the school creates its summer hours trying to accommodate students.



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

Christian County Home and Community Education Association Plant Sale Coming in April

The Christian County Home and Community Education Association has an exciting event coming up.


Joan Swearingen is a member of the Christian County Home and Community Education Association and says that the annual plant sale coming up is always popular.



Swearingen says for the first time since the early 90’s, the table setting contest will not be a part of the event.



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

Fake Weed Turns Deadly

A death is now being linked to fake weed or a spice. The Illinois Department of Public Health warned last week about the drug causing a rash of gruesome symptoms including bleeding from the eyes. But using has turned fatal according the IDPH. The death joins 38 reported cases of bleeding from the eyes after people use the drug also known as K2. Melaney Arnold with IDPH says they battle a belief that using the drug has little to no side effects.

Details on the deceased person have yet to be released but people who have wound up in the hospital have tested positive for an anticoagulant found in rat poison.


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