Local News

Moultrie County Health Department Announces 4th COVID-19 Death

Moultrie County is reporting its fourth COVID-19 death. A male resident in his 70’s has died from the virus as reported by the Moultrie County Health Department. Administrator for the Moultrie County Health Department, Angela Hogan, extended her department's deepest sympathies to the family and asked for privacy during this time.


223 Moultrie County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 including the 4 deaths. Continue to watch physical distance, wear a mask, wash hands, and stay home if you aren’t feeling well.


For more information, contact the Moultrie County Health Department at 728-4114. 

People's Bank and Trust & WTIM Recognizes September Student's Of The Month

People's Bank and Trust along with The BIG 870, 96.1 FM, WTIM Radio is honoring the September Student's of the Month from Taylorville High School. Congratulations to Ava Odam, Cole Paulek, Leah Cody, and Isabelle Norris! Regional Radio News along with People's Bank and Trust and WTIM Radio salute you.




Park Board Office Director MaryAnn Becker Says Goodbye After 8 Years

The Taylorville Park Board is saying goodbye to their long time Secretary MaryAnn Becker. Becker has been with the Park Board for 8 years. Becker says sometimes she feels like she just got here, other times she feels like she’s been with the park forever.


Becker says she is proud of the achievements that the Board has accomplished over the last 8 years.



Becker didn’t realize everything that goes on in running a 55 acre park.



Becker thanked the Board for all their support.


MaryAnn Becker is taking a new job as a Brand promoter with Labell Inc.

New Boutique Coming To The Taylorville Square October 3rd

Uprooted by Willow and Birch is a brand new boutique coming to the Taylorville Square this Saturday, October 3rd. The owner is Jessica Kocurek (ko-chur-eck) and she started her career in Taylorville as a hairdresser until she decided to open up a full service salon, spa, and boutique in Springfield called Willow and Birch Salon.



Kocurek credits the ability to expand during these difficult times to their Willow and Birch Salon clients. 



Uprooted by Willow and Birch will be open from 10am until 4pm Saturday, October 3rd and Sunday, October 4th.



The decision to open a second boutique happened during the Journey in July event this past summer, according to Kocurek.  



For more information on Uprooted by Willow and Birch, please find them on Facebook and Instagram. Jessica Kocurek was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

DeWitt County Home To Illinois' Largest Pumpkin In 2020

When Henry Bartimus thinks about pumpkins, he thinks about giants...and now for 2020 at least...the DeWitt County grower can claim the largest pumpkin in Illinois.  


For nearly 30 years, Henry Bartimus has been trying to grow the largest pumpkin in Illinois on his property outside of Clinton. This year...he succeeded.  Bartimus' 1,673 pounder was recently named the largest pumpkin in Illinois in 2020 by the Illinois Giant Pumpkin Growers Association.



Bartimus says the win was a surprise given the weather challenges of 2020.  He also explains growing giant pumpkins requires almost daily monitoring and maintenance...


This year all that hard work paid off for Bartimus...



Congratulations to Henry! You can learn more about the art of growing giant pumpkins at igpga.com. 


Taylorville School Board Approves Budget; Discusses COVID-19

The Taylorville School Board held a special meeting on Monday evening to discuss the School District Budget, announce a new tech grant, and of course, talk about COVID-19. The School Board passed the budget unanimously after a small discussion.



A new tech grant was received for $159,778 dollars to provide iPads for 1st and 2nd graders and hot spots for identified families.



Under COVID-19, the board says that it is best to have students in in-person learning, and they are working hard to do so, but at this time it isn't safe. There is a District Leadership Team (DLT), and the DLT met on September 23rd to review COVID-19 data and discuss the concerns from the community. The team reviewed student grade reports from midterms, discussed an uptick of positive rates in Christian County (113), the District’s positive number of employees who have tested positive, exposed, or have been quarantined (47), a staff survey, and community concerns.



Under community concerns, the school board says that starting in Quarter 2, teachers will increase instructional time and run full schedules on both Tuesdays and Thursdays, add iPads and hot spots, and increase counseling and mentoring. 



Taylorville School District will need to meet the following metrics for a period of 14 days before students can safely return to in-person learning. Students can also remain in remote learning if they choose to do so. The metrics are positivity rates in Christian County staying below IDPH guidelines which is 8% and school district employee positivity and quarantine rates need to trend down and stabilize. 



Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story as it develops.

Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose Is Not a Fan of Positivity Rate Metric

Positivity rate is one of the half-a-dozen metrics used to determine the status of coronavirus in Illinois counties and a central Illinois lawmaker believes there are better metrics to decide on mitigation efforts. 


State Senator Chapin Rose believes the focus on positivity rate is very misleading, especially in parts of the state where COVID just is not prevelant. 



Sen. Rose believes the metrics that should be emphasized are hospitalizations and protecting vulnerable populations. Local health officials have been echoing this message for many months during the pandemic.



Sen. Rose is critical of the Governor's shift in focus in recent weeks as efforts have increased to bring back fall sports in light of many other states reversing earlier decisions. He believes we have passed giving hospitals and healthcare providers the capacity to deal with COVID and now we are focused on protecting people from themselves, something he calls an overreach. 

Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle Discusses The Chillifest Entertainment

Chillifest is scheduled to take place on Saturday October 3rd and Sunday October 4th on the Taylorville Square and the festivities will kick off with Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry at 9am on Saturday morning, says Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle.



The Little Chilli Bean contest also starts right at 9am on Saturday morning. The baby with the most change by Sunday at 1pm will win a few really cool prizes. 



The Chillinois Regional kicks off on Saturday morning, according to Hornbuckle.



The bags tournament will start at noon on the northeast corner and there will be a variety of entertainment for people of all ages throughout the two days.


Chillifest is scheduled for October 3rd and 4th on the Taylorville Square. Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Director Of Radiology Discusses Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Director of Radiology Amy Waddington says that women need to pay special attention to their breast health.



Accoring to Waddington a mammogram is the best way to detect breast cancer early.



HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital has a fund set up to help with expenses related to the detection or treatment of breast cancer.



The radiology department at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital offers a variety of different tests for patients including MRI’s and x-rays to name a few.  



Amy Waddington was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our studio in downtown Shelbyville. 

Illinois Senator Andy Manar On Why Illinois Voters Should Approve The Fair Tax

To Illinois State Senator Andy Manar it is critical that Illinois voters approve the Fair Tax.



If the Fair Tax doesn’t pass on November 3rd, according to Senator Manar he and his collegues have a few choices. They can either cut spending or raise taxes on everyone.



60% of those voting on the question or a simple majority of all those voting in the general election need to vote in favor of the Fair Tax in order for it to pass and become law. 


Illinois State Senator Andy Manar says that he can’t ask people in his district to do more, but the wealthy millionaires in Chicago should be expected to do more.



There are those that are concerned about the negative impact that the Fair Tax could potentially have on the agriculture industry. When asked about this, Senator Manar said that any farm that has a net income over $250,000 would see a slight increase in income taxes.  



Illinois State Senator Andy Manar was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Park Board Meets; Talks Lakeshore, Pool, Welcomes New Secretary

The Taylorville Park Board met on Monday evening. Jason Boldig, from Lakeshore Golf Course, was there. He made the board aware of a dead locust tree that needed to be removed due to the close proximity of the clubhouse.  Boldig also said that the Pro shop needs to get new lights and suggested LED lights.



The Park Board voted to go ahead and allow Boldig to purchase LED lights for the Clubhouse.  The board announced the resignation of Office Administrator MaryAnn Becker and hired Lisa Morillo for the job.  Morillo says she is excited to get to work.


Recreational Director, Bailey Hancock gave an update on the pool and is excited to get started. There are 4 engineering firms that answered the request for qualifications.  Hancock says she got some very thorough plans, and there is a lot to go through moving forward on a project as big as this for getting a new pool.  The Board agreed to meet with the potential 4 at a later time to go over and ask questions.


Hancock says they’ve started to plan Christmas in the Park, but they have back up plans, because of COVID.



Hancock continued by stressing that it is way early in the planning process and there are still a lot of variables when it comes to planning. They just want to be prepared for anything.


The next park board meeting is scheduled for October 26th.

Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Committee Holds Final Meeting Before This Weekend's Event

It was the final committee meeting Monday night, for the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest before this weekend's first-ever socially distanced event on the Square Saturday and Sunday.  


Event chair Greg Hornbuckle told Regional Radio News after the meeting, that the many committee chairs and members are excited about this weekend.



Over 90 arts and crafts vendors will socially distanced, and although no chilli by the bowl will be served, Chillifest chilli will be sold in 2 drive-thru lanes by the quart and when it's all gone, it's gone.


Hornbuckle also said the weekend will again feature 2 days of International Chilli Society sanctioned cook-offs and judging, among many other events on the Square.



This year's 5 Chillifest Pageants Saturday afternoon will also have a different look to keep entrants safe, with Hornbuckle complimenting Pageant director Brittany Moore.



The Chamber does need additional volunteers to assist in selling chilli by the quart, as well as other duties.  To sign up, call the Chamber office at 824-4919.


Find out all things Chillifest by going to the event's web site, chillifest-dot-info, that's chillifest with 2-L's.


And, this reminder that the 5 Miller Media Group radio stations will bring you live coverage from this weekend's Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest in twice-hourly reports from 10 til 5 on Saturday and noon til 4 on Sunday.

Amy Calvert-Winans Announces Autopsy Results From August Death Investigations

The Christian County Coroner, Amy Calvert-Winans has released information to Regional Radio News from death investigations that were conducted in August determining the manner and cause of death in certain cases. 


56 year old Karen L. Davis of Pana, died on August 6th at Pana Community Hospital E.R. Mrs. Davis died of Hydromorphone Intoxication. The manner of death was determined to be accidental. Pana Police handled the investigation.


60 year old Kathy A. Moore of Palmer died on August 19th at her residence. Mrs. Moore died as a result of combined morphine and codeine intoxication. The death was determined to be accidental. Christian County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.


50 year old Robert Williams, of Pana, died on August 28th at his residence. Mr. Williams died as a result of Fentanyl intoxication. His death was determined to be accidental. Christian County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.


For more information, contact the Christian County Coroner’s Office.

Taylorville Public Library Reports COVID-19 Case

The Taylorville Public Library is closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Chris-Mont EMA along with the Christian County Health Department was notified immediately to start contact tracing. Deep cleaning protocols have been initiated and the facility is awaiting the final results of contact tracing to reopen as soon as they can.


If you were recently a customer at the library, you would not meet the guidelines for exposure which are less than six feet for more than 15 minutes, therefore your risk would be quite low. As always, continue to monitor your health and check with your physician if you feel unwell or need more information.


To contact the Chris-Mont EMA, call 532-9560, call the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113, or call the Montgomery County Health Department at 532-2001.

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and physicians everywhere are encouraging their patients to understand the importance of screenings as well as communications with their doctor. OBGYN Dr Christian Kramer of OSF Healthcare says screenings are really important.



The American Cancer Society says there are two types of mammograms, a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram. A screening mammogram is used to look for signs of breast cancer in women who don’t have any symptoms or problems. A diagnostic mammogram is used if a woman has experienced symptoms or if a change is detected during a screening mammogram.


80-90% of breast cancers in women are detected without symptoms.


It’s important for physicians to discuss health maintenance issues during their visit about when screenings should start and whether it should be an annual appointment or done biannually. 


Dr. Kramer says there can sometimes be anxiety about a mammogram especially if you haven’t had one done before, but she tries to put women at ease.


For more information, please contact your local OBGYN or physician.

University Of Illinois Extension Office To Host Webinar Series On Diabetes Starting On October 14th

The University of Illinois Extension Office, according to Nutrition and Wellness Educator Lisa Peterson, is excited to be able to offer a Diabetes webinar series to help those who have diabetes manage it. The webinar will be held on Wednesdays from 10am - 11am starting on October 14th.



There are a number of myths that Peterson will address in the webinar including the fact that if you have diabetes you have to cut out certain foods. 



Individuals with diabetes need to have a variety of different foods in their diet, according to Peterson.



Another myth that Peterson hears a lot is that people with diabetes can’t ever have any salt.  



Lisa Peterson was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Area Schools Receive Grant For Help With Remote Learning

Area schools will receive nearly 2 million dollars in grants for remote learning. State Senator Andy Manar made the announcement last week. Senator Manar says that these funds can help to provide children with resources to stay engaged in their education during this remote learning stage of the pandemic.


471 districts in Illinois received over 80 million dollars including 16 schools in the 48th State Senate District which is Senator Manar’s. Taylorville received nearly $160,000, Pana received nearly $100,000, and Nokomis received over $60,000, 


School Districts can use the funds available to expand connections and provide those students with devices like computers and tablets. The grants are funded by the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Lincoln Land Community College Late Start Classes Begin On October 19th

Lincoln Land Community College is offering late start classes, according to Enrollment Coordinator Tishia Miller, and those classes begin on October 19th and they will finish in mid December with the rest of the first semester classes.



These late start classes will work for a variety of different students and will be offered in a variety of different formats. 



LLCC offers two different tracks for their students, according to Miller. For those students who plan on transferring to a four year university LLCC offers a variety of different classes.



LLCC also is excited to offer an Automotive Technology certificate program that will begin with the late classes on October 19th and run until May of 2021.  



Tishia Miller was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Park Board Meeting This Evening

The Taylorville Park District is meeting on Monday evening at the Manners Park Dining Hall for their regular monthly meeting. Jason Boldig from Lakeshore Golf Course will be there to give an update. MaryAnn Becker has submitted her resignation as Office Administrator and Board Secretary. Lisa Morillo will be appointed in her place. 


For a complete look at the agenda see below.


7:00 P.M.


    I. Call to Order
    II. Roll Call
    III. Approval of August 24, 2020 Minutes
    IV. Treasurer’s Report
    V. Correspondence and/or Guests
A. LSGC – Jason Boldig, Golf Course Update
A.  Adopt Ordinance No. 2020-3  Levying Necessary Taxes for Fiscal Year March 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
    A. Accept Resignation of Office Administrator/Board Secretary MaryAnn Becker
    B. Hiring of Office Administrator/Board Secretary Lisa Morillo
    C. Appoint Lisa Morillo as Taylorville Park District IMRF Authorized Agent
    D. Authorization for Office Administrator/Board Secretary Lisa Morillo for Signature on all Taylorville Park District Accounts.
    E.  Decision on Request For Qualifications/Pool Engineer
    A.  Park Maintenance Superintendent
    B.  Recreation Director
    C. Office Administrator/Secretary
    A.  Finance Committee – Approval for Payment of Bills
    IX. Executive Session
    X. Possible Action on Matters Discussed in Executive Session
    XI. Adjournment

Chamber CEO Discusses Chillifest Drive-Thru Chili Sales

The biggest change for Chillifest, according to Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle, this year will be the fact that there will be no chili tent and that chili will only be sold via drive thru by the quart.



If you want to pick up chili you will need to head north on Main Street and turn right on to Market Street, according to Hornbuckle. 



The chili that will be served is not Angelo’s chili, but a special Chillifest recipe, according to Hornbuckle.


Hornbuckle said that they will begin serving chili at 10am on Saturday morning October 3rd, but when they run out no more will be made.  



Chillifest is scheduled for October 3rd and 4th on the Taylorville Square. Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Representative Avery Bourne Named Friend Of Agriculture

A local State Representative has been named a Friend of Agriculture. State Representative Avery Bourne was recognized by the Illinois Farm Bureau for her voting record in the 101st General Assembly on issues the farming community deals with. Rep. Bourne received a 100% score for 11 votes taken including legislation on the minimum wage, graduated income tax, and legislation affecting ethanol plants and the department of labor.


Representative Bourne agreed that agriculture is the number one driver of the economy and says she is committed to supporting farmers and agriculture in Illinois. 


The Christian County Farm Bureau has been in existence for over 100 years and is one of the oldest bureaus of its kind in the United States. 


Photo Identification (L to R): Christian County Farm Bureau members Mathew Heberling, Darrick Fleming, Mellisa McMillan, and State Rep. Avery Bourne

Dove Inc. Celebrates 50 Years

Dove is a social service organization that is celebrating its 50th year. Susie Kensil is the coordinator of the Dove Domestic Violence Program in Shelby County and she says that Dove strives to help those who are unable to help themselves.



Dove is a rather small organization within Shelby County, according to Kensil and they have a lot more programs in other counties in Illinois that they serve. 



Dove in Shelby County has two programs including a domestic violence program and a financial assistance program.



Kensil says that they’re seeing an increase in domestic violence calls, but not as much of an increase as they expected.  



Susie Kinsel was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our studios in downtown Shelbyville. 

Chris-Mont EMA Concerned About COVID Outbreak At Taylorville Care Center

As Christian County reaches the “warning level” for COVID-19, one of the main issues that the Illinois Department of Public Health is concerned about, is hot spots. With the virus being able to spread so easily, clusters are something that can see fast breakouts that are hard to keep in check. One of those outbreaks is in Taylorville at the Taylorville Care Center. The Taylorville Care Center last week reported that there are 40 new cases of staff and residents at the Center that are dealing with the virus.


This means that the Taylorville Care Center has 40 residents and 13 staff members for a total of 53 personnel that are still dealing with the virus. 


The Christmont EMA is reporting as of Saturday evening in Christian County there have been 656 total positive COVID-19 cases with 111 of those being active and 6 currently in the hospital. So far in Christian County, there have been 13 deaths. In Montgomery County there have been 350 total COVID-19 cases with 47 currently active, 1 in the hospital, and 13 deaths.


Continue to social distance, wear face masks, wash your hands frequently and clean common areas. For more information call the Chris-Mont EMA at 532-9560, the Montgomery County Health Department at 532-2001, or call the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113.


Final Drive Thru Donation Day Collects $160 And Food For Taylorville Food Pantry

This past Satruday was the final Drive Thru Donation Day to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry. The Taylorville Kiwanis Club and Miller Media Group teamed up every Saturday in May, July, and September to collect both food and monetary donations.


Kiwanis member and Miller Media Group President Randal J. Miller, and his wife Cathy, collected a truckful of food and $160 that was given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Miller told listeners about the true impact made by the community over the course of the three months of donations.


The need for donations has only increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Miller talked about what these donations have done for the food pantry.



In the closing minutes, Miller sent out a heartfelt message of thanks to the community for all they did during the Drive Thru Donation Days.


For more information on how to donate to the Taylorville Food Pantry visit this link.

Christian County Clerk Clarifies Some Issues With COVID And Voting

Christian County Clerk Michael Gianasi clarified some questions on Friday after an employee in the office tested positive for COVID-19. The employee that tested positive worked in the back room of the office which was separate from the front counter area where people vote. The employee was last in the office on September 21st. Other employees of the back office have been quarantined under the guidelines set by the Christian County Health Department.


None of the voting equipment had been set up yet. It wasn’t set up until September 23rd. All common surfaces have been wiped and cleaned including ink pens. If you want to vote early and don’t feel safe, feel free to bring your own pen with black ink to vote. Voting booths and laminated privacy covers are also wiped down after use, and you can use a stylus or a rubber tip to go on your finger to complete your vote to prevent touching of surfaces. 


If you are early voting in person, provide extra time, and maintain social distancing in the hallway. Early voting is available from 8 AM until 4 PM Monday through Friday at the County Clerk’s office in the courthouse. On October 24th and October 31st, the office will be open from 9 until 1 PM on both of those Saturdays. 


For more information contact the Christian County Clerk’s office at 824-4966.

IDPH Puts Christian County In "Warning" Status For COVID-19

Christian and Macon Counties are in the IDPH warning level for COVID-19. The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting that 24 counties in Illinois are at the warning level for the coronavirus. A county reaches the warning level when they have two or more risk factors for an increase in the virus.


Included in the warnings for this week are Bond, Boone, Cass, Christian, Clinton, Crawford, DeWitt, Fayette, Grundy, Hamilton, Macon, Menard, Peoria, Putnam, Washington, Wayne, and Winnebago. 


Factors that are looked at for counties to be in the warning level include new cases per 100,000 people, number of deaths, the weekly positivity rate, ICU availability, weekly emergency department visits, hospital admissions, tests performed, and clusters.


For Christian County to drop out of the warning level, continue to social distance, stay home if you are sick, use hand sanitizer often, and clean personal spaces. For more information contact the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113.

More COVID-19 Cases At Taylorville School District

A press release from Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty of the Taylorville School District announced more COVID-19 cases on Friday morning. Staff members along with some close family members have recently tested positive, been exposed, and have been quarantined for the virus. The school district is working with the Christian County Health Department as well as the regional office of education to keep them aware of any illnesses or exposures and are conducting contact tracing.


Taylorville High School is reporting 1 new positive case, Memorial is reporting 1 new positive case, and the Junior High School is reporting that some staff members may have been exposed and are being directed by the public health department to quarantine and test. 


Deep cleaning and sanitation efforts continue throughout the affected campuses and the custodial staff remains hard at work cleaning surfaces and common areas. Taylorville School District continues to encourage parents and students to maintain safe distances, wear masks, and wash your hands. For more information contact the school district at 824-4951. 

Jim Bohannon Says President Trump Has Every Right To Replace Justice Ginsburg

President Donald Trump, according to Nationally Syndicated Radio Host Jim Bohannon, has the right replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 



Democrats, according to Bohannon, are purely playing politics. 



The likely Supreme Court nominee, according to Bohannon, is current 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett. 



Bohannon expects things to get rather ugly, but reminds everyone that Judge Barrett was approved for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals with a bipartisan vote by the US Senate just a few years ago.  



Jim Bohannon was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Driver's Licenses Extended Until February 2021

Driver’s licenses and ID Cards have been extended again due to COVID-19. The new date will be February 1st, 2021. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White made the announcement on Wednesday. The February 1st extension includes those who have October, November, December, and January expiration dates. Secretary of State Dave Druker says he doesn’t want people to feel like they are in a rush.



License plate stickers remain extended until November 1st, 2020. Those can easily be renewed online. You can use online services for many things including renewing license plate stickers, obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card, obtaining an abstract, or renewing a standard driver’s license through the Safe Driver renewal program online.


For qualified drivers age 75 and older, the new expiration date is their birthday in 2021.  For more information visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp On The Importance Of Gun Safety

There has been a huge increase in the sale of fire arms, and Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp wants to remind everyone to please keep your fire arms locked up and in a secure location. 



Sheriff Kettelkamp shared a few different critical tips for gun owners including the importance of always knowing your target and what is behind that target. 



You should also never handle a fire arm while you are impared in any way. 



When you store your fire arms make sure they’re not loaded and are secured with a gun lock.  



Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Loving Arms Pregnancy Center Hosting Diaper Giveaway

If you are in need of diapers and are hurting due to the pandemic, Loving Arms Pregnancy Center is planning a diaper giveaway in both Pana and Taylorville locations. Pana will be hosting on Tuesday, September 29th, at 201 South Locust Street. Taylorville will be hosting on Wednesday, September 30th, at 500 North Walnut Street. Executive Director Cathy Coker says they have been blessed with diapers from size 1 to size 4 to even include some pull-ups.


If you are in need of diapers and other supplies, call 824-7200.


Visitors at the giveaway who are pregnant or whose youngest child is under one year of age can sign up for services at that time. 



Coker says the services are free of charge and all services are confidential. 

For more information, you can contact the Loving Arms Pregnancy Center at 824-7200 or visit their website at www.lovingarmsillinois.com.

Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler On Suicide Among Police Officers

Suicide is a major public health concern, says Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler and 2019 was the worst year on record for suicide among police officers.



Chief Wheeler says that it’s critical that police departments start addressing things internally and that leaders need to keep a close eye on their officers and any dramatic change in behavior. 



Chief Wheeler says that with COVID-19, the stresses of life, and with the unknown, things are difficult for police officers. Wheeler went on to say that there are a variety of options available in Christian County for those that do need help. 



If you’re going through a difficult time, Chief Wheeler says that you shouldn’t hold it in and that you should find someone to talk to before something bad happens.  



Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Chris-Mont EMA Monitoring COVID-19 Case At Christian County Clerk & Recorder's Office

An employee of the Christian County Clerk and Recorder’s Office located inside the Christian County Courthouse located at 101 South Main Street in Taylorville has tested positive for COVID-19. The Health Department began to contact tracing immediately to help identify any individuals who may have had close contact with that employee. 


The building is being cleaned thoroughly. The Clerk and Recorder’s Office as well as the other Courthouse offices remain open. The Circuit Clerk’s Office will be closed due to a previous positive case. 


Early voting is still being scheduled. Voting booths, materials, and common areas are being cleaned. If you do enter the courthouse, masks are required to enter the courthouse, and hand sanitizer is available according to County Clerk, Michael Gianasi.


If you were recently at the circuit clerk and recorder’s office, you don’t meet the exposure guidelines of less than six feet for more than fifteen minutes. Therefore your exposure to COVID-19 would be low. 


Continue to social distance, wear face masks, wash your hands frequently, and clean common areas. For more information call the Chris-Mont EMA at 532-9560 or call the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113.

Chris Miller With The National Weather Service Discusses The Out Of The Ordinary Hurricane Season

The 2020 Hurricane season so far has been extremely out of the ordinary according to National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Miller. 



Miller says that one of the reasons why this hurricane season has been so weird is that they’re traveling a lot further north than they usually do. 



Over the past two decades there has been a dramatic rise in both the intensity and number of tropical storms, according to Miller. 



While the south has had an excess of rainfall, Central Illinois has been rather dry, according to Miller.  



Chris Miller with the National Weather Service was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Social Security Administration Offices Remain Closed To Visitors

The Social Security Administration is not able to serve people with in-person services at this time, according to Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration, Jack Myers. The SSA is available over the phone to address any concerns you may have. 



The Social Security offices may have limited personal at the moment, but if you need to mail anything to the Social Security Administration, Myers says that mail is still being gone through and securely uploaded to those who are working remotely. 



There are also various services that are available online at socialsecurity.gov. 



If you are a representative payee you can now sign up for a MySocialSecurity account at socialsecurity.gov, according to Myers.  



Jack Myers was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Denise Nichol: This Week's Tradewind Energy Christian County Educator Of The Week

The Miller Media Group and Tradewind Energy are co-sponsoring a weekly "Educator of the Week" from September First thru October 13th, to honor a different Christian County educator and the commitment they've made to their students and schools.  


This week's "Educator of the Week" is Denise Nichol, who is a Pre-School Teacher’s Aid at Central School in Taylorville. Nichol, who has been teaching for 20 years, says that she got started after being asked to help.



Nichol was a stay at home parent before she went and started teaching. She volunteered a lot and knew how Preschool works. She says preschool with COVID is quite an adjustment.


Nichol says she is happy about the chemistry that she has with the other teachers.


Nichol thanks whoever nominated her.



To nominate an "Educator of the Week", simply go to the Facebook page of taylorvilledailynews.com, or any of our 4 music stations--WMKR, WRAN, WSVZ, or NEW Country 104-point-one--and send us a comment or direct message.

Two Positive COVID-19 Cases Identified In Pana

Two Pana businesses are reporting positive COVID-19 cases. Pizza Man, located at 800 Jackson Street, and an employee at First National Bank located at 306 Locust Street.  Both facilities have been in direct contact with the Christian County Health Department and the Chris-Mont EMA. 


Both facilities are being deep cleaned and following protocols from the Health Department. They are set to reopen Thursday. Each positive COVID case involving a business is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Factors that are looked at include the building layout, ventilation, people answering their phone or returning calls for COVID-19. 


If you were recently a customer at the Pizza Man or First National Bank, you don’t meet the exposure guidelines of less than six feet for more than fifteen minutes. Therefore your exposure to COVID-19 would be low. 


Continue to social distance, wear face masks, wash your hands frequently, and clean common areas. For more information call the Chris-Mont EMA at 532-9560 or call the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113.

Chris-Mont EMA Reminding Public Of Health Codes

Christian and Montgomery County Health Department’s is reminding the public of health codes as a response to COVID-19. The Chris-Mont EMA announced that they are working with the local health departments to stay on top of policy, guidelines, rules, and code changes as they change due to the virus. 


The Health Departments along with Chris-MONT EMA are stressing public health laws, including any business service, or facility that is open to the public shall require employees and customers who are over the age of two to wear a face-covering as long as they can medically tolerate it. Any businesses that offer food or beverages may allow individuals to remove face coverings when eating or drinking but should wear it at all other times. 


For retail businesses, they must have signs saying that face coverings are required, offer face coverings (depending on the size of the business), and give verbal warnings to customers to wear face coverings, and request that customers leave who are not wearing face coverings. Gatherings of more than 50 people or 50% of a building are prohibited unless exempted by the law. 


Chris-Mont EMA says that the two counties together have had 889 positive COVID cases, 24 deaths either caused by or contributed to by COVID, 114 that are currently quarantined, and many more with potential exposure, including 5 that are hospitalized.


They encourage everyone to not put businesses into compromising positions by wearing a mask inside their facilities.

For more information contact the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113, the Montgomery County Health Department at 532-2001, or the Chris-Mont EMA at 532-9560.

Representative Avery Bourne To Hold Traveling Hours In Taylorville And Carlinville

State Representative Avery Bourne will be in Taylorville for traveling office hours on September 29th. Representative Bourne will be at the offices of Rodney Davis which is located at 108 West Market Street in the US Bank Building on Floor 2R from 10:30 AM until 1 PM. 


Bourne says she enjoys outreach events to help her connect with constituents of the 95th district. She says residents are more than welcome to stop by and receive assistance with issues such as FOID cards, unemployment issues, or any issues with a state agency.


Bourne will also be in Carlinville on October 6th from 10:30 AM until 1 PM at the Carlinville City Hall which is located at 550 North Broad Street in Carlinville.


For more information visit repbourne.com/events or call 324-5200.

With Flu Season Coming, HSHS Says Vaccines Important

The subject of vaccines can be tricky. Many people have their minds made up one way or the other about vaccines and whether they are good for you or not. One person who swears by vaccines is Nurse practitioner, Karen Koenig (Kay-NIG) from HSHS Medical Group. Koenig says that vaccines are important especially this year because doctors are concerned that you can get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.  You should also have kids get vaccines, especially if you are around senior citizens.

Koenig says the CDC has a schedule for when you should have a vaccine which you can find on their website.  Koenig goes on to say just because a virus isn’t in America doesn’t mean you can’t catch the virus if it spreads and you’re not


HSHS encourages all those over 6 months older to get a flu shot.


There will be a drive-thru flu clinic at HSHS Clinic at 1304 W. Burnett Drive on October 10th and October 17th from 9 until 12. Koenig says it doesn’t cost anything to get the shot. For more information call (833) 594-0336.

Greater Taylorville Chamber Announces More Details on First-Ever Socially Distanced Chillifest

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has announced more details on how this year's first-ever socially distanced Chillifest will happen October 3rd and 4th on the Square.


C-E-O Patty Hornbuckle says that although Chillifest chilli won't be served by the bowl, and there will not be a chilli tent serving food, it'll be sold by the quart via drive-thru.



There will only be a set number of chilli batches cooked, and once it's sold, it's gone.



Hornbuckle says the entire event's priority will be to keep people socially distanced and safe.



This year's Chillifest Pageants will also have a different look.



And, this year's Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Kids Zone will also be safe and healthy for the children.



Get more information on this year's first-ever socially distanced Chillifest by going to the event's web site, chillifest-dot-info, that's chillifest with 2-L's.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Final Drive-Thru Donation Day to Benefit Food Pantry This Saturday

This month's efforts by the Taylorville Kiwanis Club to collect non-perishable food and monetary donations for the Taylorville Food Pantry, has netted the Food Pantry over 3-thousand pounds of food, and several hundred dollars for the organization.

The local Kiwanis Club has been set up in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville.


This Saturday is the last Kiwanis Drive-Thru Donation Day, from 8:30 in the morning til one in the afternoon.   The Taylorville Kiwanis Club asks you to stop by and donate, and thanks all those who have contributed during each Saturday's drive.

Memorial School Shut Down Due To Possible COVID-19 Exposure

The Taylorville School District, according to Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty has a number of different challenges when it comes to remote learning, including, making sure that all of the teachers are working together and on the same page. 


Dr. Dougherty says that she sees improvement each and every week. 



If any parent is struggling with remote learning, Dr. Dougherty encourages parents to reach out to the school for assistance. 



Dr. Dougherty would obviously prefer that school be back in person, but the reality is with the lack of subs and so many staff members in quarantine it’s difficult to safely manage the individual schools.  



Dr. Chris Dougherty also announced via press release on Tuesday afternoon that two additional staff members within the District have been exhibiting COVID-19 like symptoms and are awaiting test results. Due to these developments, six additional staff members are being required by the health department to quarantine and test. The school district is working with the Christian County Health Department along with the Regional Office of Education to keep both of them informed throughout the process.


Thursday, September 17th was the last time the symptomatic employees were at Memorial School and Memorial School has been shutdown until further notice to stop the spread of COVID-19. The classrooms and school spaces that have been used and possibly infected will be deep cleaned and sanitized.  The school district continues to encourage all employees and their families to wear masks, practice social distancing, frequently wash your hands, and practice safe and healthy habits.


For more information, please contact the school district at 824-4951. Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Sullivan Superintendent Ted Walk Discusses The Start To the School Year

2020 has been an interesting year for everyone, but especially for educators. School is a lot different this year, according to Sullivan Superintendent Ted Walk, but the school year is going well so far all things considered.


The Sullivan School District is currently going 5-days a week in person, but they do have a remote option for students. 



Remote learning is a little different depending on the school and grade level, but Superintendent Walk says that for those 5-12th grade students, school is basically the same except that you’re at home on your device instead of in the classroom.



For those elementary students who are remote learners, Superintendent Walk says that teachers are checking-in multiple times per day.  



Ted Walk was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Flu Season And COVID-19

Flu season is right around the corner and OSF HealthCare Vice President of Community Medicine Dr. Mark Meeker says that the elderly, the very young, and individuals with chronic illness need to do what they can to  prevent exposure. 



Vaccinations according to Dr. Meeker doesn’t prevent every type of influenza, but it does prevent you from getting as sick as you would without the flu shot. 



Dr. Meeker went on to say that you will not get the flu or be any more likely to get COVID-19 if you do get a flu shot. 



The most important thing, according to Dr. Meeker, is to be as prepared as you possible can be.  



For more information on the flu and vaccines, please talk to your primary care physician. 

Child Passenger Safety Week

It’s Child Passenger Safety Week and the Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding everyone of some helpful tips. It’s the state law that a child safety seat must be used for children under the age of 8. If the child is under the age of two, that seat must be rear-facing. This is to keep children out of harm's way as best as possible in the event of a crash.


Something important to check on is making sure the safety seat is the correct one. The proper seat can vary with the height and weight of a child. IDOT reminds all parents to make sure the seat is properly installed, as well. 


Crashes are the leading cause of death among children ages 12 and under. Between 2014 and 2018 it was reported that 3,315 children passed away while riding in a motor vehicle. Thanks to proper safety measures, that number has seen a decrease in recent years. 


For more on Child Passenger Safety Week, and to see the full press release, click here.

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry Announces That He Will Seek A Second Term

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry joined the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show and announced that he would be seeking a second term as Mayor of Taylorville.



Mayor Barry says that there’s a lot of work left to do, but he’s proud of everything he’s accomplished in his first term. 



One of the things that Mayor Barry is most proud of is negotiating a new water contract with Kincaid and Langleyville and the new water plant.



Mayor Barry is also proud of the new TIF District and the Business Development District.  



Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

COVID-19 Testing In Illinois Has Surpassed Five Million

Governor J-B Pritzker says that the State of Illinois has made great strides since the pandemic began. Now running more than 52 thousand tests per day on average. 



Illinois is one of the top testing states in the country. Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says that they hope to expand testing even further so that everyone can be tested if they feel they need to. 



llinois State Senator Andy Manar says that Illinois being a testing leader didn’t happen on accident. 



Senator Manar went on to say thank Governor Pritzker and his administration for listening to all of his concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic.  



Public health officials say that testing is a crucial component in battling the virus. Visit coronavirus.illinois.gov and click on "resources" to find a testing site near you. State officials say that they continue to look at new methods for testing such as Abbott Lab's fast-action antigen testing and the University of Illinois' saliva testing.

Taylorville City Council Meets For Second September Regular Meeting

Taylorville City Council met on Monday evening for their second September meeting. All Aldermen were present except for Jim Olive. A few motions were tabled including an ordinance amending a section of the City Code, a motion to approve a Class O liquor license, and a motion to draft new ordinances regarding Nuisance homes. Those motions are being sent back to committee for a later date.


Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry announced that Saturday will be the last farmer’s market for the year and Chillifest is coming. Mayor Barry also says that he supports Taylorville School Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty during this time of remote learning.



Work and bids on the bicycle bridge heading towards Pana continues.



Mayor Barry also says that census work is going well, but more needs to be done in the next ten days as Taylorville is only at 73.2% completion.


The city approved a stop sign at the intersection of Oak and Snodgrass and Ash. The city also approved making updates to the Marina for the 2020/2021 season and the 2021/2022 season. The next city council meeting is set to take place on October 5th.

Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Committee Makes Safety # 1 Priority This Year

It'll be a very different Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest next month, as Committee officials place their number one priority on the safety of those attending due to the coronavirus.


The Committee met for almost an hour and a half last night as they put the final touches on the 2-day event on the Taylorville square October 3rd and 4th.


Event chair Greg Hornbuckle told Regional Radio News after the meeting that health and safety will be the focus, with attendees being asked to bring their own lawn chairs to sit on the Square this year.



H-S-H-S Medical Group in Taylorville is sponsoring the Chillifest Kids Zone this year, and providing masks and gloves for both children and volunteers who will all be socially distanced.



All Chillifest vendor booths will be spaced out this year.



Some 24 people have signed up for the "Hot to Trot" Color Run to benefit the Children's Miracle Network, taking place at Manner's Park just before Chillifest gets underway Saturday morning, October 3rd.  Registration will also be accepted on-site just before the race.


Pageant committee chair Brittany Moore reported some 27 sponsors have donated items for the participants' goodie bags.   She added that for the first time, the pageant will be livestreamed on the Chamber Facebook page.


And, International Chilli Society cook-off chair Tom Calvert reported that registrations continue to come in on-line.


Again, the big take away from last night's Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Committee meeting, is to bring your own lawn chairs to enjoy the event this year.


More information can be found on the event's web site, chillifest-dot-info, that's chillifest with 2-L's.    

Taylorville City Council To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Monday at 7 PM. Among hot topics, include work performed on the Ward 3 Storm sewer project, making improvements at the Marina for the 2020-2022 seasons, and purchasing an ACER Laptop for the Street and Sewer Superintendent.


The city will also discuss ordinances involving a liquor license for Tangles Salon, a four-way stop sign at Oak, Snodgrass, and Ash, and an agreement to allow CTI to place an antenna on the High School Water Tower.


You can find the full agenda online and complete coverage of this story here. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry and City attorney Rocci Romano will have updates as well. 


Ed Lacheta With Shelby County Community Services Discusses Suicide Prevention

Suicidal thoughts can impact anyone, according to Shelby County Community Services Clinical Director Ed Lacheta, and if you or someone you know is in an emergency you can contact a qualified mental health professional by calling 9-1-1.



There are various other services available you can contact according to Lacheta, including the National Suicide Hotline and the National Association for Mental Illness. 



Everyone can benefit from an honest conversation about suicide, according to Lacheta.



Lacheta went on to discuss how a lot of people have at the very least a fleeting thought about suicide throughout the course of their life, according to Lacheta.  



Ed Lacheta was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Shelby County Talks Mail-In Ballots; Assures Residents They Can Vote In Person As Well

Shelby County is clarifying some information concerning letters sent by the Secretary of State. Shelby County Clerk, Jessica Fox says that there have been letters sent to homes in Shelby County alerting them that they have not applied for a Vote by Mail ballot and they should let the Clerk’s office know to complete their application.


These letters have been sent to all Illinoisans due to an election bill passed by the State Legislature in May as a response to COVID-19. It requires election authorities to send mail ballot applications to every voter who has voted in any of the past 3 elections.  This bill also says that the Secretary of State shall send a letter to any voter who received an application for mail-in ballot, but has not filled it out.


Fox says that the notices are wrong and many people received the letter by mail even if they have shown no interest in voting by mail. Those who have applied for mail ballots will be sent to Shelby County voters by September 24th. These mail-in ballots will start arriving in homes starting in October.


Fox assures everyone that if you don’t want to vote by mail you absolutely do not have too. In-person early voting and election day polling places will continue to be available and any voters who wish to use them may do so when the time comes. 


If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Fox at the Shelby County Clerk’s office at 774-4421.

State Representative Brad Halbrook On The 2020 Election

The election is just a handful of weeks away and Illinois State Representative Brad Halbrook wants to remind voters to keep an eye out for a letter in regards to mail in voting and that early voting starts on September 24th.


Rep. Halbrook also wants to remind voters that you don’t have to vote by mail and you are able to vote on election day in your precinct. 


On election day, according to Rep. Halbrook, one of the issues you’ll be voting on is a question on your ballot to change the Illinois Constitution from a flat tax to a progressive tax.



If this were to pass, Rep. Halbrook says that it would automatically raise taxes by $2.5 to $3 billion dollars.



State Rep. Brad Halbrook was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our studio in downtown Shelbyville.

Ameren Working Hard To Protect Wildlife

Ameren continues to work hard to protect wildlife especially birds. Riley Adams is the Electric Initiatives Manager and Avian Protection Program Manager for Ameren Illinois. Adams says that Ameren is working hard to help protect birds from power lines and they are making adjustments all the time. He addressed how birds are able to land on power lines and not get electrocuted.


Ameren Illinois has an Avion protection program in an effort to protect wildlife so they can use the facilities safely.



Adams says that there are many protective measures that Ameren has taken to protect birds and it’s come a long way since power originally came to central Illinois including creating more space in between lines to give even the eagle enough room where the bird won’t touch both of them.



Ameren has also worked hard to rehab birds as well.



Ameren Illinois delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers in more than 1,200 communities with a service territory spanning 43,700 square miles.

Chillifest Committee Still Looking For A Few Craft Vendors

Chillifest is scheduled for October 3rd and 4th and Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce President Sarah VanHuss is excited that they’re able to hold the event this year.



Jennifer Franklin is a member of the GTCC Board of Directors and she said that the Chillifest committee still has a few non electricity craft vendor slots available. 



Franklin and VanHuss want to encourage everyone to come out to Chillifest to support local business and all of the different vendors.



Something new at Chillifest this year is the Color Run. The proceeds from the Color Run will go to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.  



Jennifer Franklin and Sarah VanHuss were both guests on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show

Two More Positive COVID-19 Cases At Taylorville School District

Two staff members at Taylorville School District have tested positive for COVID-19. Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty, says that the two employees are currently quarantined. The school district is working with the Christian County Health Department along with the Regional Office of Education to keep both of them informed throughout the process.


So far, the High School Employee was last on campus on September 12th, and a Memorial employee was last on campus on Wednesday of last week. As of Saturday, it is not believed that there have been any additional exposures, however, the health department continues to contact trace and will contact any individuals who need to quarantine or test.


The classrooms and school spaces that have been used and possibly infected will be deep cleaned and sanitized.  The school district continues to encourage all employees and their families to wear masks, practice social distancing, frequently wash your hands, and practice safe and healthy habits.


For more information, please contact the school district at 824-4951. 

Miller Media And Kiwanis Club Collects $117 And Food For Taylorville Food Pantry

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teaming up once again to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry by doing Drive Thru Donation Days every Saturday in September. Non-perishable food items along with monetary donations were accepted in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville.


Kiwanis members Larry Kemner and Will Perkins, along with Will’s son Colt, were taking the donations this previous Saturday. They were able to raise $117, as well as food donations, that was given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Kemner went into detail on what the purpose of the Drive Thru Donation Days are.



Perkins said that he was amazed by the response of the Taylorville community.



Kemner made sure to give a shoutout to one group of neighbors who made a significant donation for the Taylorville Food Pantry.



Listeners got to hear from Colt Perkins as well who was out helping take donations. Outside of teaching the Kiwanis members to dance, Colt said it was great to see the community involvement.


There will be Taylorville Kiwanis Club Members stationed in the Miller Media Group parking lot every Saturday in September taking donations to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry.

COVID-19 Case At Christian County Circuit Clerk's Office

An employee of the Christian County Circuit Clerk’s Office located inside the County Courthouse located at 101 South Main Street in Taylorville has tested positive for COVID-19. The Christian County Health Department was immediately notified and contact tracing was initiated to identify any individuals who may have come into contact with the employee. 


The entire courthouse was closed on Friday and the circuit clerks office will be closed to in-person traffic through September 29th. You will still be able to reach the Circuit Clerk’s Office via email during this closure at christiancountycircuitclerk@gmail.com.


If you were at the Circuit Clerk’s Offices to conduct business you would more than likely not meet the exposure guidelines of less than six feet for more than 15 minutes, therefore your risk would be low by IDPH protocols. If you feel ill, contact your local physician.


For more information contact the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113 or the Montgomery County Health Department at 532-2001.  You can also contact the Chris-Mont EMA at 532-9560.

Jessica Reber Named Tradewind Energy Educator Of The Week

The Miller Media Group and Tradewind Energy are co-sponsoring a weekly "Educator of the Week" from September First thru October 13th, to honor a different Christian County educator and the commitment they've made to their students and schools.  


This week's "Educator of the Week" is Jessica Reber, who is a 5th-grade teacher at Taylorville Junior High School in Taylorville. Reber, who has been teaching for 8 years, got into teaching for the same reasons many other teachers enjoy teaching, and that is the children.



Reber originally wanted to be a veterinarian when she was a kid, but teaching has always been something that she wanted to do. Reber says that COVID-19 has not only affected her in the classroom but like so many other parents it’s been hard at home as well.


Reber knows that things have been tough and the school is working hard to make sure they can accommodate everyone.



Reber thanked her family and her husband for all of the support over the years.



To nominate an "Educator of the Week", simply go to the Facebook page of taylorvilledailynews.com, or any of our 4 music stations--WMKR, WRAN, WSVZ, or NEW Country 104-point-one--and send us a comment or direct message.  

Greater Taylorville Chamber And Christian County Economic Development Corporation Have A Crucial Relationship

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation would not exist without the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, according to CCEDC Executive Director Mary Renner.    



The Chamber helps CCEDC in a variety of different ways, according to Renner.



The Chamber also helped Renner and CCEDC when it came to putting the industrial park application together. 



Edward Jones Financial Advisor and GTCC Board of Directors member Blake Davis says that the relationship that the Chamber and CCEDC has is crucial for Taylorville.



Blake Davis and Mary Renner were guests on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.  

Christian County Awaits CEDS Approval

A group of about 50 individuals from a six-county region in Illinois is working on bringing economic development to the region. With help from U.S. Representative Rodney Davis, State Senator Steve McClure, and State Representatives Avery Bourne and C.D. Davidsmeyer, leaders from the counties of Calhoun, Christian, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, and Montgomery County are working on a planning document referred to as a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy or CEDS. Jerseyville Economic Development Council executive director Shari Albrecht says that the CEDS helps bring in federal funding for industrial development projects.



Albrecht says that the area is referred to as the Western Illinois River Valley and that once it’s approved, federal funding can be available including money from the CARES act which wasn’t available prior to COVID-19. There’s only one problem, all of the counties haven’t signed off on it yet.



Albrecht is proud of all the work that has been put into this project so far.



Christian County has already paid for the CEDS plan. The committee is just waiting for final approval from the board before they can implement it. 

Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle Gives An Update On Chillifest

Chillifest is a go for October 3rd and 4th after getting approval from the County Board, according to the CEO of the Taylorville Chamber Patty Hornbuckle.    



UFC Referee and Taylorville native Bobby Wombacher is coming back to town to be a celebrity Chillifest Judge, accoridng to Hornbuckle.



There are also a few events coming up before Chillifest, according to Hornbuckle. There is an event this Saturday at Big R in Taylorville and the Ducks Cornhole is on September 26th. 



The past few months have been difficult for the Chamber, according to Hornbuckle and as a 501c6 nonprofit organization they didn’t qualify for any of the state or federal grants that were available to most businesses.



Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.  

Taylorville School District Staff Member Tests Positive For COVID

A Staff Member at Taylorville School District has tested positive for COVID-19. In a press release from the School, Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty announced that the employee has come in contact with other employees and students. The school has contacted the Christian County Health Department and the Regional Office of Education. 


The employee has been self-quarantined since the test and hasn’t been on campus since September 10th.   Everyone who has come into contact with that employee through school activities has been notified.  Dr. Dougherty stresses that the safety of employees and students will be her first priority. 


Upon reopening schools have been completely cleaned and disinfected. The school will continue to follow all necessary safety precautions. If you have any questions concerning exposure or if you are showing symptoms, please call up to the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113. The school encourages everyone to maintain safe social distances, wear masks, and wash your hands. If you have any concerns about the school and COVID-19, please contact head nurse Jenny Moats at 824-4951.

Shelby County Sheriff Urges Residents To Join Sheriff's Assocation

The Shelby County Sheriff is inviting Shelby County Citizens to become Associate Members of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association. Sheriff Don Koonce says that with government funding becoming difficult to secure, membership drives have taken on a greater importance and funding is vital to help carry out the mission of making communities a safer place to live.


Membership appeals will be going out to Shelby County residents soon. Individuals can choose to join the volunteer program for $20, while business memberships will be $50. The program was formed to provide citizens with an opportunity to help law enforcement protect citizen’s lives and property. 


Contributions are tax-deductible and the Sheriff’s Office will never “telemarket.” If you do not receive a membership appeal and would like more information visit www.ilsheriff.org or call 753-2372 or write the Illinois Sheriff's' Association at 401 E Washington Suite 1000, Springfield, IL 62701.

Habitat For Humanity ReStore In Sullivan Christmas Open House Scheduled For October 23rd

The Habitat For Humanity ReStore in Sullivan recently partnered up with Green Garden Memory Care, according to Store Manager Tara Reed, for a Spaghetti Supper that raised over $1000 for the ReStore. 



The annual ReStore Christmas Open House finally has a date, according to Reed. It is set for October 23rd from 4pm until 7pm. 



The ReStore is also still accepting Christmas donations, according to Reed.




With all of the home schooling going on, the ReStore is also looking for desks, according to Reed.  



Tara Reed was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Native Bobby Wombacher To Judge Chillifest

A Taylorville resident who is a referee in UFC is coming home for Chillifest. Bobby Wombacher is a MMA referee who will be putting down the referee gloves and picking up some judging gloves instead. Wombacher will be a guest judge for the event.  Wombacher says he got into MMA because the sport allowed anyone the chance to win.


Wombacher believes failure is what led him to success.



Wombacher remembers the very first Chillifest and he is excited to be back.



Chillifest is set to take place October 3rd and October 4th.

Sullivan Mayor Richard Glazebrook Talks Grants And The 2020 Census

We’re nearing the end of the 2020 Census and Sullivan Mayor Richard Glazebrook says that the census is easy to complete and should be completed by everyone. 



Sullivan has also applied for various grants including getting a grant to get some trees for the city. 



Glazebrook says that they’ve lost a lot of trees to storms and the Emerald Ash Borer and they want to replace as many of them as they can.



Glazebrook also said that the City of Sullivan has also put in a grant to replace some old water lines around town.  



Sullivan Mayor Richard Glazebrook was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Kincaid To Hire New Chief Of Police Thursday Evening

The village of Kincaid will be holding a special meeting to hire a new chief of police. The meeting will be held at the Kincaid American Legion for board members only. The public is invited to attend the call. To listen in on the meeting call 609-663-4051. Once you dial in, please mute your phone so there isn’t feedback. For more information, please visit the Village Of Kincaid's Facebook page or contact City Hall at 237-4714.

Congressman Rodney Davis On The Fair Tax

The Fair Tax is misnamed and not at all fair, according to Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis. 



This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue says Rep. Davis, it is an issue for the future of Illinois. 



The Fair Tax would have a negative impact on farmers in Illinois, according to Congressman Davis.



There is always a middle ground, according to Rep. Davis, but democrats have failed to make the tough decisions that must be made at the state level.  



Congressman Rodney Davis was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

New Grants Available For The Shelbyville Public Library

Public and school libraries across Illinois, according to Shelbyville Public Library Director Monica Cameron, were recently made aware of some grants that they would be available for them to apply for. 



There are grants available for PPE, books, and to help libraries expand internet service, according to Cameron. 



The COVID-19 requirements for libraries are rather complicated, according to Cameron.



The COVID-19 virus can live on books for upto 6 days according to Cameron and so the Shelbyville Public Library isn’t currently charging fines since books are being quarantined once they’re returned.



Monica Cameron was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Morrisonville Junior High/High School Switches To Remote Learning Until October 1st

Morrisonville High School and Junior High School is going to complete remote learning due to numerous COVID-19 cases at school. The buildings will be closed until at least October 1st. The Morrisonville Grade School will remain open at this time. Superintendent Dave Meister addressed the community through Facebook and a Youtube video.



According to Superintendent Meister, students are expected to participate. If you need to pick up books and other items, you will be able to do so from 8 AM until 10 AM Wednesday morning.



Meister says that right now the bus schedule might change and there is discussion still ongoing over athletics. The SAT test will continue as scheduled at this time.


If you need an internet connection and have contacted the school, hot spots have been ordered, and you will be contacted when there is one available. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dave Meister at the High School.

Christian County Board Approves Chilifest Use For Courthouse Lawn, Talks CEDS, Budgets For Sheriff

The Christian County Board approved the use of the courthouse grounds for the Chilifest held during the first part of October. 


Taylorville Alderman Megan Bryant addressed the board concerning the Chilifest event. 



The motion was approved. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) report was tabled. The county talked about budget discussions from the Sheriff’s Office and any public defender supplies and needs. The board tabled the vote to increase the Jail administrator’s salary for an adjustment by 5%. The board also extended the emergency declaration proclamation until the next County Board. 


The board tabled a text amendment concerning the definitions of farm animals, how long residential grass should be and what to do with inoperable motor vehicles. 


The meeting was broadcast in it’s entirety on New Country 104.1 FM.



EDIT TO THE STORY:CEDS and Jail Salary were tabled not approved. Regional Radio News apologizes for the error on this.

Christian County Board Votes In Favor Of ZBA Amendments Effectively Ending Wind Farms In The County

The Christian County Board voted “Yes” on Tuesday to keep the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals recommendations for setbacks and shadow flicker for wind turbines 10-6 effectively ending any chance of wind turbines being built in Christian County. 


After an hour’s worth of comments from participants either for or against wind farms, it was the board’s turn to discuss and talk about the ZBA’s recommendations. A motion was put on the floor by Ray Koonce to table any decision until December. That motion was withdrawn after County Board attorney Ben Jacobi said there could be legal action if the motion went through.



Craig Corzine made a motion to approve the ZBA amendments as is—without any changes. The motion passed 10-6 in favor of approving the amendments. Mike Gianasi issued the roll call.



Tom Swierczewski, Senior Director, Development of Tradewind Energy Rolling Farms issued a statement saying,


“We are disappointed that the Christian County Board accepted the text amendment recommendations of the ZBA. We appreciate the time and energy invested by all concerned parties, but this is a step in the wrong direction. The unreasonable restrictions against wind will not help in keeping Christian County open for business and future economic development. Tradewind Energy remains grateful for our positive dialogue with members of this community who made their voices heard in favor of a responsible wind ordinance.”

Christian County Master Gardener Discusses Composting

Christian County Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi says that now is the time to get rid of your weeds before they set seed and to also remember that the vast majority of spiders are harmless. 



Now is also the time to seed your lawn and have your soil tested, according to Podeschi. 



Composting, according to Podeschi, is a tremendous way to recycle.



There are a variety of different things that you can compost, according to Podeschi.  



Gwen Podeschi was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Christian County Board Meeting Tuesday Evening To Discuss Wind Ordinance On New Country 104.1

The Christian County Board will meet remotely on Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM. The meeting will be done virtually. It will also be broadcast live on New Country 104.1 FM.  One of the main focuses of this meeting will be on the text amendments concerning the Zoning Board of Appeals and their decision on the wind farms. The board will go through section by section with approvals or disapprovals. 


Another topic of discussion that will be talked about is the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy or CEDS. There will be speakers at the meeting to discuss this including Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry, Mary Renner, Montgomery Chairman Evan Young, and Heather Hampton-Knodle. The board will vote on accepting the CEDS report as well. 


The next regular Christian County Board Meeting is set for October 20, 2020.


Join the online meeting: https://join.freeconferencecall.com/christiancounty

Dial-in number (US): (701) 802-5367

Access code: 7943957#


1.                  Call to order
2.                  Roll Call
3.                  Approve minutes from the regular County Board meeting of the August 18, 2020 as printed with any corrections or amendments to them..
4.                  Present in writing petitions, resolutions/or ordinances, proclamations:
1-ZBA-Adopt O2020ZN007 Text Amendment TX20-7 a-Amendment page update, b-additions to the definitions of farm animal, residential grass, c-add Inoperable Motor Vehicle O2011 ZN026 to be included within the CODE from stand alone ordinance.
2-ZBA Advisory report from the WECS text amendments; TX20-02, TX20-03, TX20-04, TX20-05, TX20-06, section by section with approvals or disapprovals through ordinance O2020 ZN 008.
5.                  Public comments.
6.                  Reading of Communications:
7.                  Committee Reports:

Highway/Building/Grounds/Environmental/ Zoning/ Welfare-none

1.      Discussion to approve new Liquor License request Caplin Torres.
2.      Discuss and approve hold harmless agreement with Montgomery County for ESDA use of property.
3.      Inquiries about Health Department procedures during COVID.
4.      Discuss COVID reimbursement reporting.
5.      Review job description for Assistant to the Board/HR position.
6.      Personnel issues and/or personnel/other county policies/procedures, personnel or labor updates or any other matters or referrals that properly come before the committee and/or public comments and/or executive session for any personnel issue.


1.      Review the proposed office budgets and discuss.

2.      Referrals from other committees, any other matters that are properly brought before the board.

Audit/Finance/Purchasing/Budget --9/10/2020

1. Approve claims as presented for September.

2. Speakers requesting to address Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) report are Bruce Barry, Mary Renner, Montgomery Chairman Evan Young, Heather Hampton-Knodle. Motion to accept CEDS report.

3. Approve Resolution to accept a donation from the Macon County Public Safety Training Foundation to upgrade the 9-1-1 System.
4.Budget discussions including ESDA review, Sheriff's review, Public Defender supplies/equipment, Chief Probation Officer salary and non-bargaining salary increases.
5. Approve the $300 annual allotted funding to Langley Cemetery caretaker.
6. Public comments.
        7. Referrals from any other committee, any other matters that are properly brought before the Committee.

a.       Extend the Emergency Declaration Proclamation.
b.      Approve use of courthouse grounds for Chilifest.

9.                  Mileage and Per Diem Report:

10.              Re-Appointments/terms: none requested

11.              Adjourn meeting until Tuesday, October 20, 2020 for the regular meeting.

State Representative Avery Bourne On Speaker Madigan And The Flat Tax

There are strong arguments on both sides of the Fair Tax debate. Illinois State Representative Avery Bourne says that you should have received a pamphlet outlining arguments for and against it and with the actual text of the amendment. 



The tax rates are not on the ballot and the rates can be changed by the legislature multiple times over the next decade, according to Bourne. 



Rep Bourne went on to discuss a rarely used tool of the Illinois legislature called a Special Investigative Committee that has been convened to investigate House Speaker Michael Madigan.



The Special Investigative Committee will have no impact on the criminal and civil cases will move forward, but according to Representative Bourne it’s crucial that the members of the Illinois legislature are upholding ethics act.



Rep. Avery Bourne was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville School Board Meets; Keeps Remote Learning In Place---For Now

Parents and students gathered outside Taylorville High School before the board meeting Monday evening to protest remote learning and urge the return of students to the classroom. Signs were held that said “Educate Me” and “Kids Want To Learn.” Another sign said, “Online learning is harmful to our kids.” Due to IDPH guidelines, only 50 people were allowed in the cafeteria for the meeting which meant some parents could not get in. 

Once inside, the message was clear. Allow children back into the classroom. Many parents spoke in front of the board. One parent said that the school demands patience from the parents during this time, but she felt it was fair to ask for patience from the school for the children. Melissa Patterson, a mother of three in the district, says that she wasn’t there for herself, but for her kids and other parents who have struggled to handle remote learning.



The board let each parent say what needed to be said. While there was a 5 minute limit for conversations, School Board President Stephen Turner allowed each parent to speak. Over 9 individuals spoke about remote learning. Most praising the teachers but also asking for more transparency from the board concerning decisions that were made. 


Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty addressed some of the parents that had stayed for the meeting later on. A lot of parents had left after they had spoken and did not stay for the full meeting. Dr. Dougherty says that the whole process has been very frustrating but decisions need to be made from facts, not from emotions.



Dougherty says the situation is nobody’s fault. According to Dougherty Taylorville School District is remote learning because of the COVID outbreaks that are happening at much smaller schools such as Morrisonville, Pana, and other area locations. She says with Taylorville being much bigger than these smaller schools, the outbreaks would be bigger.


Dr. Dougherty announced that there have already been 24 COVID-19 infections in the School District including High School Principal Matt Hutchison, and that is without kids present in the school. She also announced that certain schools like Pana that started in-class learning are going hybrid learning because of all the infections. Dougherty says a knee jerk reaction would be bad.



For any parents who may have missed it, you can find Dr. Dougherty’s complete statement here.



Dr. Dougherty says the plan is to readdress the situation and make an announcement about remote learning before the end of the quarter.


Ag In The Classroom Coordinator Rebecca Livingston To Offer Virtual Farm Tours

A lot of Rebecca Livingston’s job in the classroom as the Agriculture in the classroom Coordinator for Christian and Montgomery County at the University of Illinois Extension Officeis hands-on. Livingston is going to keep as much of that hands-on experience as she can, but she is also taking precautions to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.



Since Livingston will not be allowed in many classrooms this fall, students will be given ag-bags to complete the lessons at home. 



Livingston is probably most excited about being able to offer classrooms virtual farm tours.



Livingston will also visit a hog farm and in the winter try to do a video of a calf being born.  



Rebecca Livingston was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Employee At Taylorville City Hall Tests Positive For COVID

An employee of the City of Taylorville has tested positive for COVID-19. The City of Taylorville notified the Christian-Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency along with the Christian County Health Department. Immediately the health department started contact tracing to identify any individuals who may have been in contact with the individual. Any city employee or member of the Taylorville Emergency Response Community who has been in contact with the individual will be tested for COVID-19.


If you were at City Hall in Taylorville, you would not meet the exposure guidelines of less than six feet for more than fifteen minutes which means your risk would be low. If you do feel ill or have a concern contact your physician. The City Hall in Taylorville is closed today while a professional cleaning company will come in and clean. 


Mayor Bruce Barry urges everyone to social distance, wear masks, wash your hands frequently, and clean common areas to help slow the spread of the virus.

Construction Continuing on New Location for Taylorville Home Source


Construction continues on the new location of Taylorville Home Source on East Park Street.  Part of the parking lot has been poured, and extensive work on what will be the new showroom is taking place.







Store owners Rick and Kathy White are hoping to move their business into the new building later this fall.  Taylorville Home Source has been at their original location of 919 West Spresser for some 15 years.

Taylorville School Board To Meet Tonight

The Taylorville School Board will meet on Monday evening at 6 PM. The meeting can hold up to 50 participants, however, due to COVID-19 if you feel safer at home you can watch virtually by contacting the district secretary, Julie LeBeane at jlebeane@tcusd3.org for a reservation or to request a code to join the meeting virtually via Google Hangouts.


Lisa Smith, Melissa Patterson, and Kathryn Graham will be addressing the board. There will be an update on the Memorial Drainage Project, along with an update on the School Year Plan for 2020-2021. 


The meeting will also receive an update from Superintendent Chris Dougherty. 


Click here for a look at the agenda. The meeting is set to take place at 6 PM at the High School Cafeteria.


Shelbyville School Superintendent On The Return Of In-Person Learning

Shelbyville Superintendent Shane Schuricht says that his school district isn’t unique to the obstacles and difficulties that they’re facing to start the school year.



The Shelbyville School District has done an outstanding job, according to Schuricht, at providing options for families. 



Remote learning is a little bit different in Shelbyville than it is in other districts, according to Schuricht.



There are various ways that students are able to come back to campus if they’re quarantined due to COVID-19, says Schuricht.  



Shane Schuricht was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

This Week Is Fall Prevention Week

Falls from elevation are the leading cause of death for construction workers. They account for nearly 1/3 of all construction fatalities in recent years. The Illinois Department of Labor is joining the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA in an effort to bring awareness to falls and to give some tips on fall prevention. The National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls In Construction will be taking place for the seventh year in a row.


IL Dept. of Labor IL OSHA Manager Brandy Lozosky says that there are plenty of things to be aware of to avoid falls.



According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 320 out of 1,008 fatalities recorded in 2018 were from falls from elevation. There are many resources available to employers on OSHA’s website. Included are videos, publications, and a training guide. The guide provides step-by-step guidance and lesson plans for employers to put on 15-minute guides for fall prevention.


Visit www.osha.gov/stopfallsstanddown for more information.




Crash On I-55 Sends Three To Hospital

Illinois State Police are investigating a vehicle crash on I-55 near South Grand Avenue that sent 3 people to the hospital on Friday afternoon. A preliminary investigation showed that a 2020 black Dodge driven by 23-year-old Timothy R. Gruen of Greenville was merging onto Southbound 55 from the South Grand Avenue exit ramp. The vehicle was slowed at the end of the ramp yielding to traffic when a 2015 white Dodge driven by 29-year-old Jeanne E. Clark of Springfield rear-ended Gruen. Clark's vehicle continued across all lanes of traffic coming to a rest after striking a concrete barrier.  


Gruen and Clark both went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Clark also had a passenger who was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Gruen’s passenger refused medical help. 


Clark was issued a citation for the failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Miller Media And Kiwanis Club Collects $237 And Food For Taylorville Food Pantry

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teaming up once again to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry by doing Drive Thru Donation Days every Saturday in September. Non-perishable food items along with monetary donations were accepted in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville.


Kiwanis members Adam Jeffrey and Vance Fraley battled the rain to take donations this previous Saturday. They were able to raise $237, as well as food donations, that was given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Jeffrey spoke to listeners about why this is happening.



Fraley believes this is a very important cause, especially in the midst of a pandemic.



These events are dependent on the community’s involvement, and Fraley was very happy with the amount of donations.


Jeffrey was very appreciative of the response from the community, despite the rain.



There will be Taylorville Kiwanis Club Members stationed in the Miller Media Group parking lot every Saturday in September taking donations to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry.

Miller Media Group, Tradewind Energy Continue Honoring Educators


Left to right:  ts Amy Kent, Kindergarten teacher at North School, Taylorville; Tom Swierczewski with Tradewind Energy; and Kailey LeVault, 4th grade teacher at VisionWay Christian School, Taylorville.


The Miller Media Group and Tradewind Energy are 2 weeks into a weekly recognition of Christian County Educators, by naming an "Educator of the Week" thru mid-October.


From nominations submitted on the Facebook pages of taylorvilledailynews-dot-com and the 4 Miller Media Group music stations, the public can nominate a teacher, principal or administrator that's made a difference in children's lives.


Tom Swierczewski, who is heading up Tradewind Energy's efforts to expand their wind farm electricity generation in Illinois, told Regional Radio News that Tradewind's sponsorship of the Miller Media Group Christian County "Educator of the Week" goes back to his upbringing.



The Miller Media Group and Tradewind Energy announce an "Educator of the Week" from names submitted, every Tuesday, with the honoree interviewed by Regional Radio, featured in our local newscasts, and on taylorvilledailynews.com.  Each honoree also receives a 100-dollar Greater Taylorville Chamber gift certificate from Tradewind Energy and the Miller Media Group.

Former Taylorville Resident Arrested For Child Pornography

A former Taylorville man is in custody after being arrested for child pornography. 64-year-old Robert T. Tobin of Springfield was arrested and transferred to the Taylorville Police Department after an investigation that started in February. Tobin lived in Taylorville at the time and TPD was able to obtain enough evidence to get a court-authorized search warrant at his apartment on September 8th. 


Taylorville Police learned that Tobin had moved to Springfield and contacted the Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigations Unit to assist. The Illinois State Police are conducting a further investigation stemming from the search warrant in a different county. Tobin was transferred to the Christian County Sheriff’s Office for processing. 


Robert T. Tobin was charged with possession/distribution of child pornography in Christian County. Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler thanked the State Police and the US Marshal’s Office for their assistance along with the Christian County State’s Attorney’s Office. 



September Is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death of men, second only to lung cancer. In 2020 alone, there will be nearly 192,000 new cases diagnosed and more than 33,000 deaths. Prostate cancer does not mean life is over though. More than 3.1 million men in the US have been diagnosed with prostate cancer who are still alive today. Dr. William Hook, a family medicine doctor with OSF Healthcare says that prostate cancer tends to be more aggressive in younger men.



African-American men along with men who have a family history of prostate cancer tend to have a greater risk of prostate cancer. Dr. Hook says that symptoms vary from person to person but can include difficulty urinating, slow starting, or week flow of urine, or frequent urination, especially at night.


The American Cancer Society recommends that all men make an informed decision about the pros and cons of testing for prostate cancer starting at the age of 50. If there is a family history, you should talk to your local doctor about testing earlier.


As far as treatment for prostate cancer goes, many options are available including surgery, hormone therapy, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.


For more information on cancer care, contact your local physician.

Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle Discusses Chillifest Safety Precautions

The 35th annual Chillifest is scheduled for October 3rd and 4th and Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle says that they’re taking every possible precaution to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.



Six feet physical distancing will be enforced and hand sanitizer will be placed throughout Chillifest, according to Hornbuckle. 



There will be no bounce house or carnival at Chillifest this year and vendors will be spread out and wearing face coverings, according to Hornbuckle.



The kid zone will be run by HSHS and Chillifest, according to Hornbuckle, is an opportunity to bring hope to Taylorville.  



Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Flat Rate vs Progressive Tax? The Question Everyone Is Talking About Hits Ballots In November

By now if you have watched television, or listened to the radio you have heard the advertisements for the Fair Tax vote that will be on the ballot in November. This Fair Tax question is simple. "Would you support an amendment to raise taxes for people that make more money?" However, once you start to peel off the layers, the question isn’t nearly as cut and dry. 


Taxes in Illinois have been the same for everyone since 1970. A flat tax rate is in effect for all Illinoisans whether you live in Kincaid or live in Chicago. State Senator Andy Manar says the system is outdated.



Senator Manar says this needs to happen. There is no reason millionaires should pay fewer taxes than the average working person.



State Representative Avery Bourne says that this removes protections in the constitution from tax changes with income tax.



Bourne says this will affect small business owners the way that it is structured.


Representative Bourne is very concerned that there aren’t enough millionaires in the state to be able to fulfill all the promises put forward by democrats especially if millionaires are leaving the state.



Senator Manar says this doesn’t raise taxes on everyone.



At the end of the day, the decision will fall on the voters of the state of Illinois on whether or not the State will change the tax code for the first time since 1970.

TradeWind Senior Development Director Says ZBA Recommendations Are Project Killers

The Rolling Farms Wind Project, according to TradeWind Energy Senior Development Director Tom Swierczewski, means more jobs, improved roads, and a big boost to the local economy.



For those individuals who have questions or concerns about wind energy there are many different places you can go to get them answered, according to Swierczewski. 



The various recommendations put forward to the Christian County Board by the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals are project killers, according to Swierczewski.



Swierczewski made it clear that if the ZBA recommendations are approved by the Christian County Board, then Tradewind Energy will look elsewhere to develop this project.  



Tom Swierczewski was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville To Honor First Responders For Patriot Day

The City of Taylorville will be honoring first responders with a dinner on September 11th. Mayor Bruce Barry along with local attorney Skip DePaepe will be hosting a cookout for all first responders on Friday, September 11th from 4 PM until 6 PM at the Skip DePaepe law offices located at 222 West Market Street.



Social distancing and masks are recommended if you do attend. The cookout will have hamburgers, hot dogs, and refreshments. 

St. Mary's To Host Drive-Thru Dinner & Raffle

Saint Mary’s Parish in Taylorville will be hosting a drive-thru Fish Fry and Chicken Dinner. Rita Moomey says that the event will be taking place on September 18th-September 20th.



There will also be a garage sale along with raffles.


Moomey also says there will be baskets available at the garage sale and at the dinners.



Moomey is hoping that this will be a good substitute for the festival which isn’t taking place this year because of COVID. Food will be available until they run out of supplies and for more information call the Parish office at 824-8178 or contact Rita Moomey at 827-0501. 

The Moultrie County Health Department Wants You To Fill Out The 2020 Census

The 2020 census is about ready to come to an end and Public Health Services Coordinator for the Moultrie County Health Department, Glenda Plunkett, wants to encourage everyone who has yet to fill out the census to please do so.



The money that comes from the 2020 census, according to Plunkett, will be spent on roads, bridges, education, and so much more. 


September is a high traffic month for mosquitos and currently 17 counties in Illinois have a case of the West Nile Virus. 



If you find a dead bird in your yard that has no obvious signs of trauma call the Moultrie County Health Department and that bird will be tested for the West Nile Virus. 



Glenda Plunkett was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

LeVault Named Educator Of The Week

The Miller Media Group and Tradewind Energy are co-sponsoring a weekly "Educator of the Week" from September First thru October 13th, to honor a different Christian County educator and the commitment they've made to their students and schools.  


This week's "Educator of the Week" is Kailey LeVault, who teaches fourth grade at VisionWay Christian School in Taylorville. This is LeVault’s second year teaching. She taught third-grade last year. LeVault says kids are the reason why she loves teaching.



Levault says that COVID has been a struggle, but the teachers at VisionWay are making it work.



LeVault thanked some of the mentors including Cara Thomas that have helped her along her way.


Levault acknowledged that this was a good surprise.



To nominate an "Educator of the Week", simply go to the Facebook page of taylorvilledailynews.com, or any of our 4 music stations--WMKR, WRAN, WSVZ, or NEW Country 104-point-one--and send us a comment or direct message.

Pana Community Medical Clinic Counselor Discusses Suicide Prevention

Suicide is a topic that doesn’t get discussed enough. Schales Nagle is a counselor with the Pana Community Medical Clinic and she says that the risk factors for suicide include a family history of suicide, prolonged stress and recent tragedy.



There are also numerous things that you should keep an eye out for with your loved ones, according to Nagle. 



Open communication and honesty is important when it comes to preventing suicide.



If your child doesn’t want to talk to a parent about their difficulties Nagle says to reach out to someone that can be trusted to



Schales Nagle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Local Food Banks Getting Assistance

September is Hunger Action Month and in order to draw attention to the cause, a hyperlocal news site called Patch is working directly with 200 local food banks with a goal of providing support and resources for the communities they serve. Autumn Johnson, Managing Editor of Patch says that there are families who struggle with hunger everywhere.


Johnson felt that once the pandemic hit, Patch needed to do more especially for families that were struggling.


Johnson hopes that her work with Patch and helping the food banks can bring meals to families.



For more information on Patch and what they are doing to help local food banks like Taylorville’s and Decatur’s you can visit www.patch.com. 

Nokomis Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr On The Return Of In-Class Learning

The school year in the Nokomis School District started in-person and according to Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr it has gone extremely well so far.



It wasn’t an easy process making the decision to start the school year in person. To help make that decision Dr. Doerr and his team talked with public health officials, staff, and families to gather as much information as possible to make the right decision for the community. 



Having all of those conversations helped Dr. Doerr and his team realize the importance of returning to in-class learning to start the school year.



It’s crucial to Dr. Doerr that the social and emotional needs of the students are being met. 



Dr. Scott Doerr was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Registered Dietitian Jill Williams Talks Plant Based Diets

Plant based diets is something that has been discussed a lot recently and registered dietitian and nutrition educator with the St. Louis District Dairy Council, Jill Williams, outlined how a plant based diet isn’t very clearly defined.



A plant based diet has various health benefits including helping with weight management and overall health, according to Williams. 



The environmental impact of a plant based diet is something that needs to also be discussed, according to Williams.




Dairy should play an important role in any diet, but Williams says that it should especially be a part of a plant based diet.  



Jill Williams was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Safe Passage Program To Be At Chillifest

The Safe Passage Program will have an informational booth at Chillifest this year, according to Coordinator Denise Evans.



There will also be a Pie in the Face Donation Contest between Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry and Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler, says Evans, with all of the proceeds going to the Safe Passage Program. 



You can drop your donation off or mail it in to the Taylorville Police Department.



The Safe Passage Program will also be holding a Steak Dinner and Live Auction and 50/50 raffle at the VFW in Taylorville on October 17th. 



Denise Evans was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

City Council Meets; Discusses Raises

The Taylorville City Council met on Tuesday. Police Officers Jody Grove, Greg Just, and Rachael Preddy were sworn in. Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says he is excited for the new hires. A motion to lay off the School Crossing Guards was approved. The crossing guards were laid off due to a lack of work. That motion passed 8-0.


The city had reached the 180 day mark to vote on raises for the next term. The city voted to approve the salary ordinance for the Mayor’s office at $58,000 per year with an increase of 2% each year over the four year term. The motion passed 6-2 with Alderman Chris Skultetty and Alderman Kathy Driskell voting “No.” 


The motion to approve the salary ordinance for the city treasurer at a decrease to $50,000 was approved with a final vote of 5-4 with the Mayor casting the deciding vote. 


The Aldermen voted against giving themselves a pay raise with Alderman Megan Bryant the lone member asking for a raise for them. The raise would have only been roughly $11 extra dollars a month from $589 to $600.


Mayor Bruce Barry gave an update on the cleanup of Taylorville and announced a dinner for first responders.



The city is also going to be tearing a house down on Walnut Street.  


The city voted to move the Street and Sewer Offices to be moved to the Gagne Building after repairs are made to be paid out of the Street and Sewer Budget. 


The city also voted to issue the Special Events Permit for the Chillifest. Alderman Jim Olive discussed it at further detail after getting some complaints from citizens. The boundaries will be expanded for social distancing.


For more on Chillifest visit that story at taylorvilledailynews.com. 

City Council Discusses/Approves Chillifest

The Taylorville City Council met on Tuesday evening. One of the big topics of discussion was the Taylorville Chillifest. A motion had been put forward to contribute $8,000 for the event payable from the Hotel/Motel tax fund.  This $8,000 has been contributed for quite some time and is nothing new for the city. There are serious concerns though over the money if the event gets canceled due to COVID. Aldermen Larry Budd brought up the motion and noted that he has gotten many questions about this event and whether or not it should happen. Budd said it should be up to the Health Department, not the city.



Budd mentioned it would be hard to conform to the strict 50 person guideline. He continued by saying that no matter what they do, it’s a double-edged sword. Alderman Megan Bryant believes that things will be done in accordance with health requirements after talking to Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle.


Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says he will do whatever the health board wants to do.



Alderman Ernie Dorchinecz made a motion to table the action until after the County voted on it at the September 15th meeting. The motion failed 6-2 vote. The motion was amended to add the changes that the money gets applied next year if the event doesn’t happen this year. That motion passed 8-0. The city also voted to approve blocking off the street for the event as well again contingent on the event happening.

Parents Urged To Keep Children Home From School If Sick

With some schools opening up for in-person classes, parents may wonder, if their child is too sick to go to school. That question takes on a whole new meaning with COVID-19. The Christian Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency or Chris-Mont EMA released a press release addressing concerns from teachers about children going to classes under the weather. 


Take the time to talk to your child each morning and determine their health status prior to allowing them to go to school. Do not send your child to school if he or she is sick or has COVID-19 symptoms. Things to be on the lookout for are fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, shaking after chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and a new loss of taste or smell.


Coronavirus can sometimes cause lower respiratory tract illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis. For more information on the coronavirus please contact your local health departments. For Christian County call 824-4113. For Montgomery County, call 532-2001, and for the Chris-Mont EMA call 532-9560.

Taylorville Pizza Hut Closes

The Pizza Hut in Taylorville has closed. As part of a deal between Yum Brands and NPC International, up to 300 locations including locations in Taylorville, Springfield, Effingham, and Lincoln have closed their doors. According to a statement released from the company, employees at shut down Pizza Hut restaurants operated by NPC will be moved to better-performing locations. The initial announcement was made on August 17th. 


Regional Radio News reached out to Pizza Hut both in Taylorville and at Corporate but was unable to get a comment. 

Miller Media Group Station NEW Country 104.1 to Broadcast September 15 Christian County Board Meeting Live

Miller Media Group radio station NEW Country 104.1 in Taylorville, will broadcast the Tuesday, September 15th Christian County Board meeting live starting at 6:30 pm.


The meeting is taking place virtually, and among items on the agenda includes considering the Zoning Board of Appeals' recommended amendments to the proposed wind farm ordinance. 


Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller said that due to the importance of the meeting, he decided to bring it to all Christian County residents on NEW Country 104.1, as part of his company's commitment to provide local information that makes a difference for the communities it serves.


NEW Country 104.1 is part of the 5-station group which operates from studios and offices at 918 East Park in Taylorville.

September Is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. This is the time of year that the Illinois Emergency Management Agency along with local emergency managers is encouraging Illinoisans to take the time and prepare for potential emergencies at home.


Along with considering COVID-19 guidelines, some other things you should do is make a plan for when a disaster strikes. Know where you are supposed to go and know what your family would do in case of a tornado, flood, or earthquake. 


You should also build a weather kit. In your weather kit, you should have basic survival items such as food, water, weather radio, batteries, medication, and supplies for each member of your family. Emergency kits should be kept in your home, work, and in your car. 


Prepare for disasters by practicing tornado drills, fire drills, and walking your family through procedures, that may take place. It is recommended that you keep a two-week supply of groceries on hand in case you have to quarantine due to COVID-19.


Teach your kids how to prepare for disaster. Children make up roughly a quarter of the US population, and it is important that you take the time to get kids involved.  One way that you can do that is by helping them or having them build their own emergency kit. Things to include should be your child's favorite toys, board games, books, or music to comfort them in case of a disaster.


For more information visit www.ready.illinois.gov. 

Taylorville City Council To Meet Tuesday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Tuesday evening at 7 PM and while last month’s second city council meeting was light on agenda, Aldermen will find themselves quite busy Tuesday evening. Police Officers Jody Grove, Greg Just, and Rachael Preddy will be sworn in. Minutes of all of the committees will be approved. 


Under ordinances, approvals will be voted on for the Local CURE program, the rural electric convenience cooperative, and the business district agreement. There will be a motion to pay for work performed on a storm sewer project in Ward 3. A vote will be taken for laying off the School Crossing Guards for lack of work, and a motion to bid the lumber sewer extension project. There will be a motion for more work to be done on the drainage swale improvements and the lumber sewer extension project.


On the finance agenda, multiple bills will be paid including contributions to the Chillifest, payments from the Business Development District, and approval of salary ordinances for the Mayor, City Treasurer, City Clerk, and the Aldermen. 


Under the ordinance committee, a motion will be recommended concerning a modification for an erosion fence. 


Under public facilities, there is a motion to accept a quote for resurfacing the basement floor and other work. There is also a motion to recommend the City Council to allow the Street and Sewer Offices to be moved to the Gagne Building. 


Under Street and Sewer, motions will be voted on for a couple of street signs, flowers to be planted, a special events permit, and sidewalk repairs. 


Under Personnel, a motion will be put forward for hiring one part-time dispatcher and one full-time dispatcher for the police department. 


As always, there will be City Attorney and Mayoral updates. 

Programs Available For Farmers Hurt By COVID-19

The deadline for farmers and ranchers for the coronavirus food assistance program or CFAP is September 11th.  This program offered from the US Department of Agriculture or USDA along with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) helps provide relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. 


Richard Fordyce who is a Farm Service Agency administrator says that the “FSA offers several options for farmers and ranchers to apply for CFAP, including a call center where employees can answer your questions and help you get started on your application.”


Over 160 commodities are eligible for CFAP, including livestock, dairy, wool, specialty and non-specialty crops, eggs, and many others. For more information online you can visit farmers.gov/cfap. Customers who may be seeking one-on-one support can call 877-508-8364. 


For more information visit farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Stress Manifests Itself In A Variety Of Ways

We are living in highly stressful times, according to Shelby County Community Services Clinical Director Ed Lacheta.



Stress manifests itself in a variety of different ways, according to Lacheta.



Shelby County Community Services emergency response is busier than they have ever been, according to Lacheta.



When stressful feelings get ignored they build up and can get worse, according to Lacheta.  



Ed Lacheta was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

CDC And IDPH Differ On Guidance For Asymptomatic Testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently changed its guidelines on COVID-19 testing. The CDC does not recommend asymptomatic individuals who come into close contact with a confirmed case be tested for the virus.  Many individuals who test positive for COVID-19 have not reported having symptoms. The State of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Public Health is encouraging all Illinoisans to get tested for COVID-19 especially if you come into close contact with someone who has the virus. 


Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Illinois Director of Public Health, says now is not the time to stop testing for COVID saying, “In the face of increasing infections, we need to promote more testing, not less, to identify new cases and interrupt further transmission. Given that asymptomatic individuals have been linked to virus spread, we will maintain our more stringent guidance to support testing of any Illinois resident who thinks they may have been exposed, as well as asymptomatic close contacts of confirmed cases 5-7 days post-exposure.”


Since March, Illinois has tested more than 3.8 million COVID-19 tests. There are over 300 testing sites in Illinois including 11 state-operated and 12 mobile testing teams.

Lake Shelbyville To Celebrate 50th Anniversary On September 12th With Fireworks Display

There’s a lot going on in Shelbyville, according to Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce President Derek Hayden, and it starts with the upcoming fireworks display on September 12th to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lake Shelbyville.


There will not be any vendors and will only be a fireworks display, according to Hayden.



The fireworks display will be going off around 8pm and should last approximately a half an hour. Hayden wants to remind everyone to please remain socially distant as there is plenty of room to do so.



The Shelbyville Chamber will also be hosting a golf outing for chamber members on Friday, September 25th, according to Hayden.  



Derek Hayden was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

TMH Redesignated As Stroke Ready Hospital

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has been redesignated as an acute stroke-ready hospital. The designation means that TMH has the means necessary to be able to treat stroke patients immediately before they are transferred. Kristy Cesaretti, TMH Emergency Room Nurse Manager says that the hospital is ready in case a stroke happens.



TMH has had this designation since 2014. Cesaretti says she is proud of her whole staff for the work they have done on this.



Cesaretti says there isn’t a lot of time when someone has a stroke. Timing is everything.


Medical director of TMH’s emergency department Dr. Richard E. Jeisy has been designated as the Clinical Director of Stroke Care at TMH.

Happy Labor Day!

Labor Day is the first Monday of every September but people may not know the history behind it.


According to the US Department of Labor, the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on a Tuesday, September 5th, 1882 in New York City by the Central Labor Union. By 1894 23 more states had adopted the holiday and in 1894, President Grover Cleveland made it an official US holiday. 


Labor Day was to have a parade followed by a festival “for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.” 

In fact, the first labor day was nearly shut down by Police as over 25,000 workers came to celebrate in the streets, and the police were wary of riots and “trouble.” According to the New York Tribune, “The windows and roofs and even the lamp posts and awning frames were occupied by persons anxious to get a good view of the first parade in New York of workingmen of all trades united in one organization.” 


The Illinois Department of Transportation is giving all of its construction workers the day off for labor day and all roads should be open for travel without construction restrictions.


The Illinois State Police have also announced increased patrols and checks for DUI’s, seatbelts, and texting and driving.

From all of us at Regional Radio, be safe, and have a happy Labor Day.

Beaches And Campgrounds At Lake Shelbyville Will Be Closing Soon

The lake level at Lake Shelbyville is slowly decreasing back to a normal level, says Natural Resource Specialist Sara Haslett, after being high for most of the summer. The lake level as of Friday was 602.75 which is slightly above the typical summer pool.



A lot of the regular boat ramps are back open, according to Haslett, after being closed due to the high water. 



The beaches are open daily, but they will be closing on September 13th, according to Haslett.



Lake Shelbyville will celebrate their 50th anniversary with a fireworks display on September 12th. The campgrounds will be closing a little late this year because of the anniversary. They’ll be closing on September 14th, according to Haslett. 



Sara Haslett was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Attorney General's Office Warns Of Scams Dealing With Election

The Illinois Attorney General is urging Illinoisans to be on alert for robocalls that discourage voting by mail. Attorney General Kwame Raoul says that some voters have reported receiving calls warning them that voting by mail could result in their private information being shared with third parties. Raoul says his office has received calls saying that information will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control to track people for mandatory vaccines. Again, Raoul says, these robocalls are not giving accurate information


Attorney General Raoul is urging all voters to do the following: Ensure your voter registration is up to date, update your voter registration, check the status of a vote-by-mail application, safely deliver your ballot to the election authority, and take advantage of other early voting options.


If you receive any robocalls you are encouraged to call the consumer fraud hotline at 1-800-243-0618. You can also call the Illinois State Board of Elections at 217-782-4141.

Physician's Choice Wellness Offering Health Care Workers And First Responders A Free Enrollment Package

Physician’s Choice Wellness, according to Program Director Tara Nickerson, is honoring first responders during the month of September.



PCW is honoring those hardworking first responders by offering a free enrollment package. 



Because of COVID-19, Nickerson said that they sat down and made the decision to also offer health care workers a free enrollment package.



If you’re interested in learning more about PCW follow the link on this story at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com to sign up for a free orientation.



Tara Nickerson was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

Miller Media And Kiwanis Club Collects $205 And Food For Taylorville Food Pantry

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teaming up once again to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry by doing Drive Thru Donation Days every Saturday in September. Non-perishable food items along with monetary donations were accepted in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville.


Kiwanis members Duane Stock and Dick Walmsley were taking the donations this previous Saturday. They were able to raise $205, as well as food donations, that was given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Stock talked about how important these Drive Thru Donation Days are.


There is a need in the community for the donations, especially now. Walmsley spoke about what that need looks like.


If you weren’t able to make it out to donate on Saturday, Stock says that you’ll have several more chances to donate.


There will be Taylorville Kiwanis Club Members stationed in the Miller Media Group parking lot every Saturday in September taking donations to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry.

Review Board Approves Christian County Enterprise Zone

The Enterprise Zone Application Review Board has approved The Christian County Enterprise Zone. The new enterprise zone will become effective on January 1st, 2021. Mary Renner, Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation says that she was speechless when she got the news.



Renner says that without the help from local leaders, this would have never happened.



The State has until September 30th to make the official award, but it has already been approved.



Mary Renner also expressed her deep thanks and gratification in the hard work and support from State Senator Andy Manar who has been a huge help to Renner in getting this process complete. 

Moultrie County Reports 3rd COVID-19 Death

The Moultrie County Health Department has confirmed their third COVID-19 death in the county. A Moultrie County female in her 90’s died from COVID-19. Angela Hogan, Moultrie County Health Department Administrator, issued a press release with the news. “We send our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends in their time of grieving. As her family mourns their loss, we ask for their privacy. No additional information will be released.” 


MCHD is reporting 175 positive COVID-19 tests which include 3 deaths. The Moultrie County Health Department is encouraging all residents to watch physical distance, wear a mask, wash hands, and above all else, stay home if ill.


Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on COVID-19 and visit taylorvilledailynews.com for the all of the latest coronavirus updates around the listening area.

Taylorville Industrial Park Construction Continues


Construction continues at the Taylorville Industrial Park on the city's northwest side.  The development, spearheaded by the Taylorville Development Association, is as a result of the local group raising some 537-thousand dollars to enable them to them get a 527-thousand dollar match grant from the Economic Development Administration.



The 32 acre tract will contain over a dozen plated lots for sale.



When the project is completed, the site will have paved streets, curb and gutter, power, phone and internet.  Both retail and industrial prospects are being contacted about locating at the new park.


To get more information on the Taylorville Industrial Park, contact Christian County Economic Development executive director Mary Renner at (217) 638-5032.

The 2020 LEAD Program Holds Graduation

The 2020 LEAD Program was finally able to have their graduation, according to Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle.



The Miller Media Group and Tradewind Energy are recognizing a “Educator of the Week” each week through October 13th. To nominate an educator visit one of the Miller Media Group Facebook Pages. 



The Taylorville Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will be holding a bags tournament on Saturday, September 26th. The event kicks off at 11. Signups begin at 9:30 at the Moose Lodge in Taylorville.



The Taylorville Food Pantry is in desperate need of donations, so the Taylorville Kiwanis Club will be holding another month of drive-thru donations days at the Miller Media Group starting this Saturday, September 5th starting at 8:30.


Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Illinois Receives Funding To Combat Opioid Addiction

The Illinois Department of Human Services has announced that the state of Illinois has received over $36 million in federal funding to fight the opioid crisis. The grant was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services.


Funds will be used by expanding access to medication-assisted recovery services, hospital screenings and linkage to community treatment programs, supportive housing and digital resources for those in recovery, and access to medication-assisted recovery at qualified health centers. There is also recovery support services for pregnant and postpartum women with disorders, mentoring and coaching for medical professionals prescribing medicine for opioid use, and a toll-free Helpline. Funds will also be used for the expansion of treatment of persons with stimulant use disorder. 


If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with substance abuse or substance use disorder, call the state’s Helpline for Opioids and other substances at 1-833-2FINDHELP, 1-833-234-6343.  You can also text “Help” to 833234, or go online and visit www.helplineIL.org. 

Legislative Committee Formed To Investigate Speaker Madigan

House Republicans have called for a special bipartisan legislative panel to determine if Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan should face disciplinary proceedings for his actions with ComEd. Three Republicans, Jim Durkin, Andrew Chesney, and Ryan Spain filed a petition to create a committee that will be made up of three Republicans and three Democrats. 

Assistant Republican Leader Avery Bourne says that this investigation is needed.



Bourne says this is a tool that can be used to help discipline and police themselves.



Republican Legislators have deemed that Madigan has shown “a pattern of concerning behavior.” This is only the second time this panel has been formed in the last two years.

September Is The Perfect Time To Work On Your Lawn

This time of year is the right time to get your lawn ready for next year, says University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger.



This is also the right time to do some soil testing. Soil testing, according to Holsinger, lets you know what plants would do well in your yard and what plants may struggle. 



Another reason why soil testing is important, according to Holsinger, is in regards to deciding what kind of trees might work best in your yard.



Holsinger went on to discuss why fall is also the perfect time to aerate your lawn.  



Andrew Holsinger was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Pana Junior High School Student Tests Positive For COVID

A student at Pana Junior High School has tested positive for COVID-19. According to a letter released from the Pana School District, a student who was in attendance at Pana Jr. High School School on Thursday, August 27th, received a positive COVID-19 test result. The student was not in school from August 28th through September 2nd. 


The district was made aware of the test on Thursday, September 3rd, and immediately put their contact tracing plan into action and contacted the Christian County Health Department. After tracing, 9 students but no staff members were quarantined for 14 days. Every student who needs to quarantine is advised to follow up with the health department for more information.


The District is resuming classes as planned on Friday, September 3rd. The school district continues to emphasize wearing face coverings, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, and maintaining social distancing. If your child is not feeling well, have him stay home and contact your health care provider.


Moratorium Extended For Utility Disconnections

The Illinois Commerce Commission or ICC announced that several of the state’s utility companies will be extending the moratorium on disconnections for residential customers due to COVID-19.  Nicor Gas, Northshore/Peoples Gas, Illinois American Water, Aqua Illinois, and Utility Services of Illinois have extended disconnections until September 30th. Ameren and ComEd have extended through September 10th. 


Consumer Gas and Liberty Utilities also have a moratorium as well and they will not disconnect until well past September. 13 different utility companies negotiated to come up with a plan to help including holding off disconnection and waiving late payment fees and reconnection fees. 


Chairman Carrie K. Zalewski says that she is encouraging residents who are struggling to set up a deferred payment plan so they don’t lose service when the moratorium is lifted. 


ICC Executive Director Christy George says that “The ICC is continuing to monitor the situation and is working to help residents impacted by COVID-19 from losing access to life-saving utility services.” 


For more information, visit www.icc.illinois.gov/home/covid-19.


Take Proactive Steps To Prevent Suicide

Suicide is difficult to discuss, but it’s an important conversation that needs to be had. Jon Bormann is a Therapist with Senior Life Solutions at Taylorville Memorial Hospital and Chaplain at the 183rd Air Guard Wing and Bormann says that we need to be proactive when it comes to preventing suicide.



At the 183rd Bormann helped put together a program to help those individuals in leadership positions recognize the warning signs of suicide. 



Another important factor, according to Bormann when it comes to preventing suicide is being willing to share your own personal challenges and struggles. 



There are so many things that can be done to help those who are contemplating suicide, according to Bormann.  



Jon Bormann was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Amy Kent Named Tradewind Energy Educator Of The Week

The Miller Media Group and Tradewind Energy are co-sponsoring a weekly "Educator of the Week" from September First thru October 13th, to honor a different Christian County educator and the commitment they've made to their students and schools.  


This week's "Educator of the Week" is Amy Kent, who is a kindergarten teacher at North School in Taylorville. Kent, who has been teaching for 19 years, says that the thing that excites her the most about teaching is teaching children how to read.



Kent says that technology has played a big part in teaching especially with COVID right now.


Kent thanked her many mentors for teaching her the importance of forging relationships with her students.



Kent says that the advice she has for parents is to hang in there.



Kent also thanked the Taylorville Chamber of Commerce and says that she will be using the gift certificate to purchase needs for her classroom.


To nominate an "Educator of the Week", simply go to the Facebook page of taylorvilledailynews.com, or any of our 4 music stations--WMKR, WRAN, WSVZ, or NEW Country 104-point-one--and send us a comment or direct message.

South Fork Superintendent Chris Clark On The Return Of In-Person Learning

The past few months have been stressful for South Fork Superintendent Chris Clark.


The South Fork School District is offering both in-person and remote learning for students and there were a number of factors that went into that decision, including the fact that 75-80 percent of families wanted school to be in-person, says Superintendent Clark. 



The start of the school year has gone as well as it possibly could, according to Superintendent Clark. 



Superintendent Clark said that his district leadership team deserves a lot of the credit for the start of the school year going so smoothly.  



Chris Clark was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Christian County ZBA Sends Text Amendments To County Board

The Christian County ZBA reconvened for a quick meeting on Wednesday evening.  The board voted to send the amended text amendments to the Christian County Board for approval. ZBA Chairman Steve Sipes thanked the board for their hard work on the committee over the last several months.



With that, the board voted unanimously to send it forward.



With that Sipes announced that the meeting was over and once again thanked the board for their hard work. 


Tom Swierczewski, Senior Director, Development, Tradewind Energy gave the following statement on Wednesday evening, saying “While we appreciate the efforts of the Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals to re-evaluate those wind ordinance, some portions of the recommended ordinance make wind development impossible.  Tradewind Energy is grateful for the opportunity to work alongside the community in Christian County, exploring the wide spectrum of positive economic benefits that wind energy can offer to the region. As the County Board prepares to take a final vote on the recommendation, we hope the County will establish a responsible and reasonable wind ordinance that keeps the door open to economic growth and new jobs.” 


The Christian County Board is set to meet on September 15th.


EDITOR CORRECTION:  Originally this story had the board meeting on September 22nd.  It is actually on the 15th. Apologies for the mistake.

Christian County Sheriff's Office Investigating Death In Rural Pana

The Christian County Coroner’s and Sheriff’s Office’s are currently investigating a death in rural Pana. On August 28th, Christian County 9-1-1 received a call of a deceased male in rural Pana. Pana Ambulance, Fire Department, and Christian County Sheriff’s Office along with the Christian County Coroner’s Office responded to the call. 


50 year old Robert Williams of rural Pana was identified and pronounced deceased on the scene by the Christian County Coroner.  There was no indication of foul play at the scene. An autopsy was conducted in Bloomington and toxicology results are pending.


The investigation is still ongoing.

More Than 1.1 Million Mail-In Ballots Have Been Requested In Illinois

Avoiding the polls and mailing in your November ballot is proving to be a popular option, with over 1 million ballots being requested so far, says State Board of Elections Spokesperson Matt Dietrich.



It’s almost certain that Illinois will set a new record this year, says Dietrich. 



Under a new state law, applications for mail-in ballots were sent to all recent voters. You can also request a ballot at elections.il.gov. Ballots will be mailed out in late September. 

Illinois State Police Reminds Motorists Of Scott's Law

Last year, 27 Illinois State Police squad cars were struck by violators of Scott's Law, leaving three troopers dead. Ten squad cars have been hit so far this year says Trooper Jayme Bufford.



Getting people to obey Scott’s Law has been very important to the State Police, says Trooper Bufford.



Scott's Law, also called the Move Over Law, requires drivers to slow down and switch lanes if they can when approaching a vehicle with flashing lights on the side of the road. Fines begin at 250 dollars and so far this year, Troopers have issued more than 13-hundred tickets for not moving over. 

Rep. Rodney Davis Talks President Trump

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis was honored to be in attendance for President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the White House last week.



Congressman Davis thought the President gave a great speech, but the aftermath of the speech was troubling. 



Congressman Davis says that the President is doing exactly what he should be doing in response to the violence across the country. 



President Trump made the right decision visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin, according to Congressman Davis.  



Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Moultrie County Health Department Confirms Second Death

The Moultrie County Health Department has confirmed a second COVID-19 related death, a male in his 80’s. Angela Hogan, Moultrie County Health Department Administrator said via a press release “We send our deepest sympathies to his family and friends as they grieve the loss of their loved one. During their time of mourning, we ask for privacy for his family. No additional information will be released.”


There have been 165 positive tests in Moultrie County with two deaths. MCHD urges businesses and residents to practice social distancing, wear a mask in public, regularly wash hands, and to stay home if you aren’t feeling well.


Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on COVID-19 and visit taylorvilledailynews.com for all the latest coronavirus updates around the listening area.

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Offers A Number Of Different Surgical Services

Kathy Fergin is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (uh-nes-thuh-tuhst) (CRNA) at Taylorville Memorial Hospital and she outlined what it is exactly that she does as a CRNA.



Taylorville Memorial Hospital offers a number of different surgeries, according to Fergin.



TMH also has two ophthalmologists and two colorectal surgeons.



TMH has three different podiatrists, a plastic surgeon, and an orthopedic surgeon, according to Fergin.  



TMH CRNA Kathy Fergin was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville School District Moves The Unit Office To The High School

The Taylorville School District has moved the Unit Office behind the green house at the high school. Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty said that the move will save the district approximately $40,000 per year.



The maintenance department spearheaded the move, according to Dr. Dougherty. 



Dr. Dougherty said that the first few weeks of school have gone fairly well and that they’ve even made some gains in a few key areas.



Dr. Dougherty has been extremely impressed with the Kindergarten team at North School and how they’ve worked so well together.   



Dr. Chris Dougherty was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Senior Life Solutions At TMH Offers Seniors The Help They Need

Senior Life Solutions at Taylorville Memorial Hospital is doing what they can to make sure that patients are safe from COVID-19, according to Registered Nurse and Director Amy Graham. 



Senior Life Solutions doesn’t just offer group therapy. They also offer individual therapy and family counseling for those patients that would like it. 



If you have a loved one that you think could benefit from Senior Life Solutions, please call 707-5660. 



It can be a struggle at times to get patients into Senior Life Solutions, according to Graham, but then when it comes time to discharge they don’t want to leave.  



Amy Graham was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

Registration For The 7th Annual TCCU Scholarship Program Is Now Open

Registration for the 7th annual Taylorville Community Credit Union Scholarship Program is currently underway and will run thru Friday, October 9th, according to TCCU President Will Perkins. 


Two students each from Pana, Taylorville, Hillsboro, and Litchfield High School will receive $1,000 dollars to further their education and registration forms are available at each of the four TCCU locations.



This is a different type of scholarship, according to Perkins. Members of the community vote for the scholarship winners by spending money at participating local businesses. 



Perkins said that they came up with the idea during a brainstorming session with a third party vendor about seven years ago. The goal was to help both students and the local business communities.



The scholarship funds can be used in a variety of ways, according to Perkins.  



Scholarships will be awarded at the end of the school year in May, 2021. For more information on TCCU please visit taylorvillecommunitycreditunion.com.

$1.5 Million Dollar Fast Track Grant Will Have A Huge Impact On Future Taylorville Projects

The $1.5 million dollar grant that the city of Taylorville received to redo East Main Cross, according to Mayor Bruce Barry, will have a huge domino effect that will help the entire city. 



Mayor Barry worked hand in hand with State Senator Andy Manar and Governor JB Pritzker after the Tornado to get the city of Taylorville the assistance that was desperately needed. 



The East Main Cross project was supposed to happen over the summer, according to Mayor Barry, but after Governor Pritzker announced the Fast Track Grant Program the city decided to apply for the grant and hold off until a final decision was made. 



The city has 90 days to start the East Main Cross project, but most of the work won’t be done until next spring, according to Mayor Barry.  



Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

IDHS Announces Social Media Campaign For National Recovery Month

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced that they would be joining the #RecoveryBelongs global social media campaign to help raise awareness in the fight against opioid abuse and recognize International Overdose Awareness Day. 


September is National Recovery Month and IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou released the following statement, "Despite the advances and progress we have made in educating residents about substance use disorder, many Illinois residents continue to face challenges. National Recovery Month sheds a light on substance use disorder, and the fact that effective treatment can, and does, lead to recovery. Local communities, providers, and activists are given the opportunity to celebrate life, raise awareness of harm reduction and recovery options, and highlight the impact of their work in combating addiction."


The Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) continues its work to promote and implement strategies that are targeted at reducing the harmful effects of substance use within the state of Illinois.


To learn more about International Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month please visit this link. If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid or substance abuse, please contact the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances by calling 1-833-2FINDHELP (1-833-234-6343), texting "HELP" to 833234, or by visiting helplineIL.org.


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