Local News

Weather Service Issues Ice Storm Warning, Winter Weather Advisory for Overnight Into Friday

The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning and winter weather advisory, for portions of the Regional Radio listening area, from early Friday morning thru early Friday evening.

 

An ice storm warning is in effect from 3am to 6pm Friday for DeWitt, Logan, Sangamon, and McLean Counties, and counties to the northwest.  The Weather Service says travel is not recommended as significant icing expected, with total snow accumulations of up to one inch, sleet accumulations of between 1/10 and 2/10 of an inch and ice accumulations of two tenths to three tenths of an inch.

 

A winter weather advisory is in effect from midnight to noon on Friday, for Christian, Shelby, Moultrie, Macon, Macoupin, Montgomery, and counties to the south.  The Weather Service says mixed precipitation is expected, with total sleet accumulations of between 1/10 and 2/10 of an inch and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch.

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio and check dewittdailynews.com and taylorvilledailynews.com for the latest weather information.  That's also where you can find the "Road Conditions" icon to check the latest Illinois road conditions.

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Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose On The Race For Speaker

Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose says that despite House Speaker Michael Madigan not having the votes currently to remain as Speaker of the House that he has a legitimate shot at keeping his job if he can keep his coalition together.

 

 

Senator Rose went on to say that it would be nice to see Speaker Madigan lose his job, but he’s got a lot of different levers to pull and according to Senator Rose the unions are going to put a tremendous amount of pressure on Democrats to keep Speaker Madigan in charge.

 

 

The democratic caucus, according to Senator Rose, is more concerned with the Speaker election then they are about helping struggling Illinois families. 

 

 

There is also, according to Senator Rose, a variety of different issues with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) including tens of thousands of fradulent unemployment claims being filed.  

 

 

Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Senator Andy Manar On The States Population Decline

Illinois State Senator Andy Manar is deeply concerned about the population decline within the state and that the Governor and General Assembly are doing everything they can to address the issue. 

 

 

Another area that Senator Manar says has impacted population decline is a lack of legal immigration.

 

 

Senator Manar also says that the General Assembly also has to address the property tax issue. 

 

 

The budget is another area of concern and Senator Manar says that the Governor has made cuts where he can, but that the multi-billion dollar deficit must be addressed in a hurry.    

 

 

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

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Rep. Rodney Davis Discusses The Coronavirus Relief And Government Funding Bill

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis is glad that Congress was able to come up with a compromise and pass a stimulus bill. Rep. Davis said that they learned from their mistakes last time around and is hopeful that they’ll be able to come up with an agreement to raise the payments to $2,000.

 

 

Congressman Davis was one of a few dozen GOP members of the House of Representatives to vote in favor of the $2,000 stimulus payment. Rep. Davis says that he supported the measure in part because the President has been fighting for it.

 

 

When the President signed the stimulus and government funding bill he sent it back to Congress with a few suggested revisions. Rep. Davis explained that the President is looking for a few different things including wanting some changes to the anti-trust rules that govern social media companies. 

 

 

The President also, according to Rep. Davis, wants to address election fraud.

   

 

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

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Mt. Zion Man Killed In Vehicle Crash In Southern Macon County

A Mt Zion man was killed in a single vehicle rollover crash in a field just off US Route 51 near Riley Road in Rural South Macon County. 45 year old Jason Stout of Mt. Zion was pronounced dead on Tuesday morning at Decatur Memorial Hospital from a single vehicle rollover crash. The Macon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash.

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Moultrie County Health Departments Reporting COVID-19 Deaths

Moultrie County Health Department is reporting the county’s 17th and 18th death from COVID-19. Moultrie County Health Department Administrator Angela Hogan says that a male in his 80s and a female in her 60’s has passed away from the virus. “We send our condolences to their friends and families and ask for the privacy of their loved ones as they mourn.” Hogan continued by stressing that there have been 4 deaths in the last week of 2020 and Moultrie County residents need to continue to take precautions in 2021. 

 

The Moultrie County Health Department is urging all residents to do their part to help stop the spread and reduce the strain on hospitals by watching physical distance, wearing a mask when in public places, washing your hands, staying home if ill, and receiving the flu vaccine. 1232 Moultrie County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 including the 16 previous deaths.

 

Moultrie County Health Department is asking that if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that you get yourself tested. For more information on the Moultrie County Health Department’s news, events, and other services that you can receive please visit www.moultriehealth.org or find them on Facebook.

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Stimulus Bill Not Voted On After Lengthy Discussion

Negotiations continued on Wednesday afternoon as Democrats and Republicans in the US Senate continued to argue about the increase to $2,000 per adult for stimulus packages. Republicans objected to the outright vote on it and during arguments Senator Dick Durbin pushed the Senate to not talk around the issue and just vote.

 

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell along with other Republicans stressed that the amount was too large, stressing about the deficit that this hit would take on the economy. Senator Durbin continued by saying that there are families that have to use food banks through no fault of their own.

 

 

Texas Senator John Cornyn asked for the bill to be combined with Section 230 of the Communications Act. Right now there is a provision in the Communications Decency Act that gives legal protection to social media companies. President Trump has spoke at great lengths against Section 230. 

 

 

The bill was not voted on.

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TMH Foundation Seeking Donations

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is seeking donations in an effort to support local healthcare. The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation is spearheading the cause looking to improve the health and quality of care provided to the community.

In 2020, the foundation has invested $231,000 towards educational grants for current and aspiring healthcare workers, supporting patient care services, medical technologies, and local community health outreach initiatives. 

 

The Foundation looks to continue to invest in hospital care as healthcare workers continue to navigate through ever-changing goals and obstacles, especially during the pandemic. 

 

To support the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation 2020 Annual Appeal, contributions can be made payable to Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation and mailed to the address listed on this story at www.taylorvilledailynews.com.  For more information visit taylorvillememorial.org/foundation. 

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Christmas In The Park Huge Success In 2020

Christmas in the Park has been a huge success. That’s the message from recreational director, Bailey Hancock, from the Taylorville Park District. Hancock says that the numbers this year have been overwhelming but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

Due to the number of cars, Hancock says some people were in line for over an hour to get through the entire park. This year because of COVID-19 there were some changes to how things have been done.

 

 

Hancock greatly appreciated all the cooperation of people who came to follow CDC guidelines.

 

 

The hope is that next year’s Christmas in the Park will be bigger and better than 2020.

 

 

“The Blue Tree” and “Baby Yoda” won best in show in their respective categories this year. 

 

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Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp On The Dangers Of Drinking And Driving

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp urges everyone to please not drink and drive. All it takes, according to Kettelkamp, is four drinks an hour for a one hundred and seventy pound male to have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08.  

 

 

There are a variety of factors, according to Kettelkamp, that determine the effects that alcohol has on the body.

 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp also wants to remind everyone that it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of cannabis. 

 

 

Over 25% of the traffic fatalities in the State of Illinois in 2019 were caused by a drunk driver, according to Sheriff Kettelkamp.  

 

 

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

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Small Businesses Navigating Through COVID-19

What started off as just having a few antiques has turned into a full selling project for Tracy Parker. Parker owns Parker’s Pickens. Parker had no idea that it would catch on as much as it has during the pandemic.

 

 

Parker says the items they have are used but are definitely unique.

 

 

Tracy and her husband Larry work well together and bring different parts to the shop.

 

 

Parker knew that they had to have more space for bigger pieces.

 

 

To find Parker’s shop “The Shabby Shed” visit 1593 E 1150 North Road in Shelbyville or visit their Facebook page for more information.

 

Tracy Parker appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.

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Tiger Loans Becky Adcock Talks Home Loans

Becky Adcock is a Residential Mortage Loan Originator with Tiger Loans in Taylorville, Illinois and she got involved with Tiger Loans because she has known the owner for quite some time. 

 

 

Tiger Loans, according to Adcock, offers a variety of different residential mortage loan options for every type of home buyer.

 

 

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on homebuying, according to Adcock. 

 

 

There is a lot of help available for those potential home buyers who may have issues with their credit, according to Adcock.  

 

 

Becky Adcock was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Christian County Judge Brad Paisley Talks Safe Passage

Christian County Resident Circuit Judge Brad Paisley is responsible for helping bring the Safe Passage Program to Christian County. He says that problem solving court addresses the problem of addiction for those that are involved in the court system, but they were having trouble getting help for the addicts who weren’t. 

 

 

Judge Paisley was introduced to the Safe Passage Program by the police chief in Dixon, Illinois. He came down to Christian County to talk about the program, but then things kind of stalled a little bit.

 

 

Chief Wheeler, according to Judge Paisley, really took to the program and helped get it off the ground, but early on there was still an issue with getting the addicts into facilities. 

 

 

So, Judge Paisley went on to say that he and Sheriff Kettelkamp addressed the issue by meeting with rehab facilities in the area.    

 

 

Judge Brad Paisley was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Golden Apple Accelerators Program Looking For Strong 2021

The Golden Apple Program along with The Golden Apple Accelerators program has really helped a job market that has struggled and that’s getting teachers into areas where they are most needed. Golden Apple President Alan Mather says that they were pleasantly surprised by how great 2020 was for them.

 

 

COVID has played a big part in the teacher shortage and that’s where the Accelerators program comes in.

 

Mather says he has some great goals for the Golden Apple program in 2021. President Mather also says it’s very easy to apply.

 

 

Mather says that it has been rewarding seeing all the people apply to become teachers after the COVID-19 pandemic.


 

The Golden Apple program is particularly helping local schools such as South Fork Junior/Senior High School in Kincaid. 

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Nationally Syndicated Radio Host Jim Bohannon Talks COVID-19 Stimulus And The Georgia Runoff Elections

President Trump has signed the COVID-19 relief and Government funding bill, but he did submit a request to Congress to cut a few specific spending provisions. Nationally Syndicated Radio Host Jim Bohannon doesn’t expect that request to go anywhere. 

 

 

The vast majority of State Governors do have the ability to line-item veto and Bohannon thinks that the President should have that ability as well.

 

 

When it comes to the Georgia Senate Runoff, Bohannon expects both of the GOP candidates to win. 

 

 

Bohannon went on to discuss the claims by some that the election was stolen from President Trump saying that there is no chance that President Trump will be successful in overturning the results of the November election.    
 

 

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

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New Changes For Selling Vehicles In 2021

A new federal rule will change the way vehicles are sold. Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State, has alerted consumers of a new rule during vehicle sale’s concerning odometer readings.  The new federal rule, which has been issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has been put in place because of odometer fraud. The average age of a vehicle in the US is now almost 12 years. 

 

Under the new rules, vehicles made in 2011 and newer will be subject to odometer disclosure for 20 years rather than 10 years. Under the old rule, a vehicle from 2011 would have become exempt from disclosure in 2021. Odometer readings will now have to be disclosed until 2031. 

 

In short, if a vehicle is a 2011 model or newer, the seller must enter the current mileage in the odometer reading section of the title upon the sale of the vehicle. If the vehicle is a 2010 model or older, the seller may check the exempt box. 

 

Any vehicles that are newer than 2011, must have their odometer disclosed, or the sale will be null and void.

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Senator Andy Manar Discusses His Bill To Cap Insulin Prices

Illinois State Senator Andy Manar’s bill to cap insulin costs to $100 per month becomes law in just a few days and the Senator says that this is a step in the right direction. 

 

 

Senator Manar says that they delayed the effective date of the bill to avoid any potential lawsuits.

 

 

There aren’t a lot of other bills that will become law in 2021 because of COVID-19, according to Senator Manar. 

 

 

There are a number of other things happening though that Senator Manar says deserves our attention.    

 

 

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

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Moultrie County Health Department Reports Two More Covid Deaths

Moultrie County Health Department is reporting the county’s 15th and 16th death from COVID-19. Moultrie County Health Department Administrator Angela Hogan says that a male and female both in their 80’s have passed away from the virus. “We send our condolences to their friends and families and ask for the privacy of their loved ones as they mourn.”

 

The Moultrie County Health Department is urging all residents to do their part to help stop the spread and reduce the strain on hospitals by watching physical distance, wearing a mask when in public places, washing your hands, staying home if ill, and receiving the flu vaccine. 1,214 Moultrie County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 including the 14 previous deaths.

 

Moultrie County Health Department is asking that if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that you get yourself tested. For more information on the Moultrie County Health Department’s news, events, and other services that you can receive please visit www.moultriehealth.org or find them on Facebook.
 

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Shelbyville Man Starts Game That Has Grown To Nearly 13,000 Participants

Legends and myths exist in folklore and storytelling, but for Kyle Wilcox, it may be larger than life. Wilcox owns a business that helps people find Big Foot. Wilcox says that their website is growing in popularity and that he was shocked that it has grown as big as it has. The concept is to “catch the biggies.”

 

 

You can order biggies off of the website www.comefindmebigfoot.com and pick up packs to play the game. 

 

 

What started out as 11 biggies has grown to 3500. The bigfoot is a 4 inch by 2-inch metal piece that's 14-gage stainless steel. Wilcox is amazed at how much the website and Facebook have grown.

 

 

Wilcox says this is a game that has allowed people to find some relief from COVID.

 

 

You can find out more information by visiting www.comefindmebigfoot.com or visit the Facebook Group at “The Official Come Find Me Bigfoot Group. 

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Many Available Ways For Disposing Christmas Trees

With Christmas over, many people are looking for ways to dispose of their Christmas Tree. U of I Extension Local Foods and Small Farms Educator Katie Parker says that a lot of times if you don’t have a tree pick-up program in your area, you can try to recycle it. There are other options out there though.

 

 

Parker says that you should take caution if you want to try to burn it. 

 

 

Other options include using the pieces for your garden edging, or you can place the whole tree outside in a stand and fill it with goodies and feeders for birds.

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Nutrition And Wellness Educator Lisa Peterson Talks Portion Sizes

This is the time of year in which we typically eat a lot more heavy foods and Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator at the University of Illinois Extension Office says that it’s important to be aware of portion sizes and make some slight recipe substitutions. 

 

 

Two of the most common foods this time of year are stuffing and cookies. Peterson says that there are a variety of different ways you can make some minor changes to the recipe and make them healthier and no one would ever notice.

 

 

When you go to eat, Peterson recommends eating fruits and vegetables first before filling up on all of your favorite heavy foods. 

 

 

2020 has been a stressful year and Peterson says that before you go and get a second or third plate of food to take a deep breath and relax for a few minutes.    

 

 

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

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The Best Way To Approach New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s is coming up and with it come multiple resolutions and ways to improve yourself. Some resolutions include quitting smoking, exercising more and reuniting with loved ones. Adam Schafer, a dietitian with OSF Healthcare says that losing weight is the #1 resolution made by Americans every year. He warns though that people should be realistic.

 

 

Schafer says that you should think about what has worked in the past and what hasn’t worked. Rather than concentrating on a certain number, think about your clothes fitting better or doing certain activities better.

 

 

There is never a “starting point” for losing weight. If you don’t start on New Years, Schafer encourages people to start when they feel comfortable. 

 

 

Other tips include filling up on fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, watching your salt intake, planning your meals, and keeping a food log. A lot of times, you may not realize just how much food you’re actually consuming. For more information on dieting visit your local physician. 
 

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Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp Talks Budget Concerns

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is thankful for all of the outside financial support that his office has received because without it they would be in big financial trouble. 

 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp says they’ve been able to save the county a lot of money with the outside donations.

 

 

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office, according to Sheriff Kettelkamp, is in desperate need of additional Deputies. 

 

 

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is also urging residents to be responsible and not drink and drive.    
 

 

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

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TMH Volunteer Coordinator Debbie Johnson Discusses The Impact Of COVID-19

Debbie Johnson is the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Volunteer Coordinator and she said that the volunteer program at TMH has been severely impacted by COVID-19.   

 

 

Johnson said that the few volunteers that they do have are helping patients get to their appointments, and a few volunteers that help out with surgeries. 

 

 

Before COVID-19 Johnson was busy training the volunteers about the new building.

 

 

Johnson is also the Auxiliary Liaison at TMH and she said that COVID-19 has had a huge impact on what they were able to do this year. 

 

 

Debbie Johnson was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 
 

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Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans Named Citizen Of The Year During Chamber Virtual Annual Meeting

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting virtually live on NEWSTALK WTIM Wednesday morning.

 

Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle and President Sarah Van Huss co-anchored the meeting with Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller.

 

Paula Dunn of Dunn’s Ambulance Service nominated Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans to be named by the Chamber as Citizen of the Year, and she says that there is no one more deserving.  

 

 

Dunn went on to say that there is no one more dedicated to her community, than Calvert Winans.  

 

 

Coroner Calvert Winans is thankful to end 2020 with such a temendous blessing.

 

 

The job of Coroner, according to Calvert Winans, is a service project. 

 

 

Paula Dunn and Amy Calvert Winans were both guests on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Judge Paisley Talks About The Importance Of Problem Solving Court

Problem Solving Court Commencement was done virtually this year, according to Christian County Resident Circuit Judge Brad Paisley.  

 

Judge Paisley says that 2021 will be the 10th anniversary of Problem Solving Court. 

 

 

Problem Solving Court was designed for high risk offenders, according to Judge Paisley.

 

 

Judge Paisley went on to say that 75% of those that complete Problem Solving Court never get arrested again.

 

 

Christian County Resident Circuit Judge Brad Paisley was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show

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Lou Johnson Of McLane Food Service Named Boss Of The Year By Chamber During Virtual Annual Meeting

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting virtually live on NEWSTALK WTIM Wednesday morning.

 

Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle and President Sarah Van Huss co-anchored the meeting with Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller.

 

Michelle Epley is a McLane teammember and she nominated her boss Lou Johnson for the Chamber's “Boss of the Year.” Epley says that she is proud to have a boss like Johnson.  

 

 

Epley says that Johnson shows what true servent leadership is each and every day. 

 

 

Johnson says that he doesn’t see himself as the boss, but as a McClane teammate.

 

 

Johnson went on to say that he exists to serve and encourage his fellow teammates at McClane. 

 

 

Lou Johnson and Michelle Epley were both guests on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry Talks Budget Uncertainty And Goals For 2021

2020 has been a difficult year, but there is a whole lot of good news happening in Taylorville. Mayor Bruce Barry says that Christmas in the Park is the best that it has ever been.   

 

 

Mayor Barry is also excited about what Small Town Taylorville will bring to the community over the next several years. 

 

 

Mayor Barry has a lot of goals for 2021 for the City of Taylorville including getting some roadwork done on East Main Cross.

 

 

There are a number of challenges ahead for the City of Taylorville, including some budget cuts coming from the state, but Mayor Barry feels that the city is in good shape moving forward. 

 

 

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

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IDOT Encouraging Safe And Sober Travel This Holiday Season

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are encouraging travelers to buckle up and drive sober this holiday season. Law enforcement agencies will be ramping up a statewide campaign for Click it or ticket, and drive sober or get pulled over. 

 

The IDPH doesn’t encourage traveling, but if you are traveling, the IDOT spokesperson Paul Wappel wants you to do it safely and sober.

 

 

According to state crash data, the three people that did die in fatal crashes died between 6 PM on December 24th to midnight on December 25th. Two people that were killed involved at least one driver who tested positive for alcohol. 1,075 people have died on Illinois roads this year compared to 972 at this time a year ago. 

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Health And Wellness A Priority For The Taylorville School District In The New Year

There are big budget cuts likely coming from the state to school districts across Illinois, but the Taylorville School District is prepared, according to Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty.   

 

 

Dr. Dougherty says that the first semester was a really difficult one and the teachers and staff of the Taylorville School District are worn out and in desperate need of a break. 

 

 

When school returns in January Dr. Dougherty says that health and wellness will be a top priority.

 

 

Dr. Dougherty also hopes that more people will sign up for the food service program. If you sign up for the program you could potentially win a Walmart gift cart. 

 

 

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

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Moderna Vaccine For COVID-19 To Ship This Week; Illinois Over 100,000 Vaccines

Governor JB Pritzker announced that the state of Illinois and IDPH has administered over 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines and leads the nation. The Governor thanked the first-line workers for their hard work on this.

 

 

The Governor announced that the Moderna vaccine is being released this week and shipped around the nation.

 

 

Director of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike says flu levels have been at an all-time low due to what we’ve done to prevent COVID by wearing masks, but the height of the season is in January and February.

 

 

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 6,762 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 135 additional deaths.

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Taylorville Food Pantry Announces Totals Collected From Kiwanis Drive-Thru Donation Days

The Taylorville Food Pantry this week announced the cumulative total of non-perishable food and monetary donations, given by the local community as a result of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club's Drive-Thru Donation Days in May, July, September, and December.

 

Food Pantry officials report the events at the Miller Media Group front parking lot in December, raised some 23-hundred 90-dollars, and 621 pounds of food.

 

They add that, all told, the cumulative pound equivalents equals almost 32-thousand pounds of food, and was by far the Food Pantry's largest food drive of 2020.

 

The Taylorville Food Pantry thanks the community for their generosity, as well as the Taylorville Kiwanis Club and the Miller Media Group, for assisting them during what has been a very challenging year.

 

For information on the Taylorville Food Pantry, go to taylorvillefoodpantry-dot-com.

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Autopsy Results Confirmed in October Crash

A death investigation from a multi-vehicle crash in October has been released by Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert-Winans.  59-year-old Joe L. Taylor III of Kincaid was pronounced dead on the scene at a crash on Route 104 on October 3rd. Autopsy results reveal that Mr. Taylor had suffered a cardiac event that led to the crash. According to Winans, alcohol and multiple drugs were also present in the crash. The death was determined to be accidental.

 

67 year old William D. Garrett was also pronounced dead on the scene at the same crash. Autopsy results indicate that Mr. Garret died from injuries sustained from the crash. The investigation was handled by the Illinois State Police and the Illinois State Police Traffic Crash Reconstructionist Unit. 

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Judge's Feel Impact Of COVID-19 On Court System

Christian County Resident Circuit Judge Brad Paisley says that when the COVID-19 pandemic hit they had to do a lot of adjusting.   

 

 

Judge Paisley says that it has been a bit of a learning curve, but now that everyone is used to Zoom, everyone seems to like it. 

 

 

Judge Paisley thinks that the use of Zoom in the courtroom is here to stay.

 

 

Jury trials, according to Judge Paisley, have yet to return to Christian County. 

 

 

Christian County Resident Circuit Judge Brad Paisley was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Wrap Pack And Ship Center Owner Larry Peterson Talks Last Minute Holiday Shipping

Larry Peterson is the owner of the Wrap Pack and Ship Center in Taylorville and he says that while it may be to late to get your holiday gifts delivered out of state, you may have a chance at getting them delivered on time with UPS if you’re sending them within the state of Illinois.   

 

 

Peterson has a few pieces of advice for anyone shipping out last minute holiday gifts. He recommends getting the insurance and not wrapping the boxes that you’re sending out.

 

 

The Wrap Pack and Ship Center gets all sorts of unusual shipping requests. Peterson recommends contacting them at 824-6279 ahead of time because some items can be rather expensive to ship. 

 

 

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

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Driver's Service Facilities Closing for Christmas Holiday

All Illinois Secretary of State offices along with Commercial Driver License facilities, and Driver Services facilities will be closed on Thursday, December 24th and Friday, December 25th, in observance of the Christmas holiday. All other driver facilities have been closed until January 5th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

CDL facilities are scheduled to reopen on Saturday, December 26th. Offices and facilities that open Monday through Friday will reopen on Monday, December 28th, and facilities that run from Tuesday through Friday will open on Tuesday, December 29th. 

 

Secretary of State Jesse White has extended all expiration dates to June 1st, 2021 for driver’s licenses/ID cards. As always, you can visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com for services including renewing license plate stickers, obtaining replacement driver’s licenses/ID cards, and renewing driver’s licenses.

 

For more information visit cyberdriveillinois.com.

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Taylorville School District Superintendent Discusses Bond Restructuring

The Taylorville School District is in the middle of doing some strategic planning. Part of that planning recently involved restructuring some bonds that will save the school district, according to Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty, close to one million dollars.   

 

 

Dr. Dougherty says that the school district also bonded for additional money so that they can take care of some work that needs to be done around the different school buildings. 

 

 

The district does have a prioritized list of what needs to be done at the different buildings. At the top of the list is to take care of a heating and cooling and a roofing issue at the Junior High School.

 

 

The Taylorville School District is going to do everything they can to stretch the dollars as far as they possibly can, according to Dr. Dougherty. 

 

 

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

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Moultrie County Reports 15th COVID-19 Death

Moultrie County Health Department is reporting the county’s 14th death from COVID-19. Moultrie County Health Department Administrator Angela Hogan says that a 90-year-old female has passed away from the virus. “We send our heartfelt condolences to her friends and family. We ask for understanding and the privacy of her loved ones as they mourn.” 

 

The Moultrie County Health Department is urging all residents to do their part to help stop the spread and reduce the strain on hospitals by watching physical distance, wearing a mask when in public places, washing your hands, staying home if ill, and receiving the flu vaccine. 1,165 Moultrie County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 including the 13 previous deaths.

 

Moultrie County Health Department is asking that if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that you get yourself tested. For more information on the Moultrie County Health Department’s news, events, and other services that you can receive please visit www.moultriehealth.org or find them on Facebook.
 

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Multiple Fire Crews Battle Fire In Downtown Pana

A massive fire broke out in downtown Pana on Tuesday morning. Crews from multiple Fire Departments including Christian, Montgomery, Shelby, Macon, and Fayette Counties responded to the 5 alarm fire along with the ChrisMont EMA.

 

The fire started on East Second Street at 132 East 2nd Street at 10:01 AM near the Moose Lodge downtown all three buildings that caught fire were unoccupied. All three buildings are reported to be a complete loss. Crews were still battling the fire well into the afternoon. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation by the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal. 
 

 

 

 

 

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Insulin Bill To Become Law In January

While COVID limited the amount that the legislature was able to get together, a few laws did get passed starting in 2021. One of those laws is a law that will prevent pharmaceutical and insurance companies from charging hefty prices on Illinoisans suffering from diabetes. 

 

The bill which is sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar and State Representative Will Guzzardi goes into effect on January 1st. Illinois is the second state in the nation to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 per month for all patients using a state-regulated insurance plan, regardless of the supply they require. Senator Manar says this sends a message to health insurance companies and big pharmaceutical companies that “we don’t have to accept the status quo and can change the fact that prescription medication costs more in the US than any place in the world.” 

 

Nearly 1.3 million Illinoisans are living with diabetes and rely on insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. As part of the new law, Departments of Insurance, Human Services, and Healthcare and Family Services have to jointly issue an “insulin pricing report” to the public which outlines findings on pricing practices and ways that they are preventing overpricing of prescription drugs.

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Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry Gives COVID-19 Update

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says that the Taylorville Fire Department did a tremendous job over the weekend fighting the fire on Boch street.   

 

 

Mayor Barry went on to discuss the recent good news in regards to the COVID-19 numbers dropping within the community. 

 

 

Mayor Barry says that he thinks that the next step in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine is to get our first responders and seniors vaccinated.

 

 

The COVID-19 isn’t the only good news, according to Mayor Barry. Congress passed a COVID-19 relief bill that he says will help a lot of people. 

 

 

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

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Carlinville Holding Food Bank Giveaway For Everyone

There will be a free drive-up food giveaway in Carlinville on December 30th. The Central Illinois Foodbank is hosting a giveaway at the Carlinville Plaza at 1PM on December 30th. The giveaway is open to everyone, with no registration required and no financial eligibility requirements. 

 

The Central Illinois Foodbank asks that you please wear a mask and clear a space in your trunk or back seat, to ensure everyone’s safety. For more information, contact Beth Wakefield at 217-522-4022 Ext 210.

 

Click here for more information.

 

 

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Rep. Halbrook Talks FOID And IDES

The FOID Card and CCL issues facing Illinois residents continue, according to Illinois State Representative Brad Halbrook.  

 

 

The Illinois State Police is working to address the issues, but Rep. Halbrook says that there’s a process that they have to go through. 

 

 

The issues with FOID Cards and CCL isn’t the only issue that faces Illinoians at the moment. Rep. Halbrook says that the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is currently facing a number of different issues including fraudulent unemployment claims.

 

 

Rep. Halbrook says that he has heard from employers and employees across the district who have had different issues with IDES 

 

 

State Representative Brad Halbrook was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our downtown Shelbyville studios.
 

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Taylorville City Hall Meets; Candidates For April Election Announced

Taylorville City Council met Monday evening to discuss business and approve or deny motions. Aldermen Jim Olive discussed a motion to replace heat exchangers in the Municipal Building saying that it was well overdue.

 

 

That motion was approved. A motion to make changes to the Campground and Lake Leases was tabled 5-4 with Mayor Bruce Barry the deciding vote on tabling it. The motion was tabled for more guidance on the direction the board wanted to go with it. The demolition of 207 West Main Cross was also tabled as more information has become available and the city might have an answer to what they are going to do with it. 

 

Mayor Bruce Barry congratulated and thanked the Taylorville Food Bank along with Dinner Seasoned with Love encouraging people to volunteer to help. Mayor Barry also thanked the Fire Department for their work on the fire in Hewitville on Sunday

 

 

Mayor Barry says that despite all the work that was done in 2020 a lot still needs to get done in 2021. 

 

 

The City of Taylorville also released the candidates running for office in the consolidated April election in 2021. Running for Mayor will be Incumbent Bruce Barry and Bill Newberry. Running for City Clerk unopposed is Julie Lilly. Running for City Treasurer is Scott Alberssen and Incumbent Jacque Nation. Running for Ward 1 Alderman is Incumbent Larry W. Budd and James M. McCoy.  Ward 2 has three people running including Incumbent Lee Lanzotti, Jeffrey T. Stoner, and Jeremy Wilson. Doug Brown and Steve Dorchinecz are running unopposed in Wards 3 and 4 respectively. 

 

The next city council meeting will take place in January of 2021.

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Christian County Board Chairman Matt Wells Talks Courthouse Fountain Repairs

Newly elected Christian County Board Chairman Matt Wells says that the board is in a bit of a waiting game in regards to the proposed solar farm outside of Kincaid.  

 

 

That’s not the only issue facing the county board at the moment. The courthouse fountain is also in desperate need of repair, according to Chairman Wells. 

 

 

The fountain will be picked up, shipped for no cost, recast, and returned to the courthouse.

 

 

Chairman Wells will take all of the guidance that he can get from State’s Attorney Mike Havera and Treasurer Betty Asmussen.

 

 

Christian County Board Chairman Matt Wells was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Shelby County FSA Announces Election Results

Shelby County US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced Windsor resident Rory Rincker has been picked to represent his local administrative area during the county committee election with Gary Brehmer of Strasburg serving as the first alternative.

 

Every FSA office is staffed by a county committee made up of farmers, ranchers, and foresters who are all elected by local producers. Elaine Beery and Brad Turner also serve on the committee. These members impact the administration of FSA within a community by using knowledge and judgment to make important decisions that help support programs used within the FSA.

 

For more information on these programs, you can visit the FSA website at fsa.usda.gov/elections or contact the Shelby County FSA office at 774-5561x2. 

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Christian County Treasurer Betty Asmussen Discusses The County Budget

Betty Asmussen wears a few different hats in her capacity as an elected official in Christian County. She is both the County Treasurer and Collector. In her role as Christian County Treasurer, Asmussen says that this past budget negotiation was a little bit of a struggle.  

 

 

Asmussen says that the county has finally received their Cares Grant funding and that the county had a variety of unanticipated expenses that weren’t budgeted for during the last fiscal year. 

 

 

COVID-19 caused a variety of different budgetary issues for the county, according to Asmussen, with the courthouse being closed and court now being done mostly via Zoom.

 

 

After everything is said and done Asmussen hopes that the county, after the audit, will end 2020 with a slight surplus. 

 

 

Christian County Treasurer Betty Asmussen was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Commencement Held For Problem Solving Court

Members and team leaders of Christian County Problem Solving Court met on Friday for their Problem Solving Court Virtual Commencement. Judge Brad Paisley, who has been behind this program since it started led the ceremony that was done via a zoom call. Judge Paisley says that all the statistics show that problem solving courts work and save the county money however, due to COVID-19, Judge Paisley is worried that most of the gains have been wiped out.

 

 

Tiffany Senger, public defender spoke to the grads about not making excuses during the hard work that they did to get to graduation day.

 

 

Patrick Copelin, Zach Muncy, and Josh, were part of a group that had their records struck clean from previous drug problems and graduated on Friday. 

 

Judge Paisley finished off by encouraging the graduates to become a new person and that their journey is just starting.

 


Renee Horn, Renee Cox, LeAnne Kinsela, Jeremy Stark, Amelia Akins, Rachel Duncan, and Brianne Hughes all graduated on Friday. We here at Regional Radio News salute you all for your hard work and wish you nothing but the best moving forward!!

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Taylorville City Council To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet this evening. Aldermen will discuss some ordinances including BDD agreements and motions to approve 2021 MFT maintenance. Under committee reports, some wording changes are being reviewed by the Aldermen concerning the Campground and Lake Lot Leases. There will also be discussion continuing for the demolition of 207 West Main Cross. 

 

The meeting will also have notes from the city attorney and Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry. For more information and to see the entire agenda, you can click here.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more coverage on this throughout the evening.

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Taylorville Fire Department Responds To Structure Fire

Taylorville Fire Department spent Sunday morning battling a house fire in Taylorville. Taylorville Fire responded to a fire on the 1800 block of South Boch Street around 9:30 on Sunday morning. When crews arrived on the scene, they found flames and smoke showing from the attic. The Fire Department says the home was occupied at the time, and residents were taken care of. 

 

Crews remained on the scene for over an hour and a half to put out the fire and to save what they could from inside the building. Taylorville Fire was assisted by Owaneco and Stonington Fire Departments, along with Dunn’s Ambulance and Taylorville Police Department.  No injuries were reported.

 

PHOTO COURTESY: TAYLORVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT FACEBOOK PAGE

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Miller Media And Kiwanis Club Collects $1500 And Food For Taylorville Food Pantry

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teamed again to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry by doing Drive Thru Donation Days the first three Saturdays in December. The goal was to collect non-perishable food and monetary donations to be given to the Taylorville Food Pantry.

 

Kiwanis members Bill Kerns and Will Perkins were the ones taking donations most recently. They were able to raise $1500, as well as a truckful of food donations, that was given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Kerns says they were very busy with donations, even before the event technically began.

 

 

The community came out in bunches to support this cause. Perkins explained that they were having trouble fitting everything in the truck.

 

 

Saturday saw a fantastic amount of donations, both in terms of food and money, and Kerns talked about the impact that all these donations have.

 

 

This past Saturday was the final Drive Thru Donation Day benefiting the Taylorville Food Pantry. If you’d like information on how to donate, visit the Taylorville Food Pantry Facebook page.

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Rep. Davis Talks Speaker Madigan And IDES

With the investigation into State House Speaker Michael Madigan ending, Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis thinks that it’s typical Illinois politics and that every Illinois Democrat needs to answer for why the Speaker is still in power. 

 

 

One of the biggest issues facing the State of Illinois currently is with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and people fraudulently filing for unemployment. Congressman Davis says that it has happened to people all across the state including to him.

 

 

IDES is also asking some people in the state who received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and may have been overpaid to pay back potentially thousands of dollars to the state. IDES is placing the blame on the federal government while Congressman Davis says that the state is at fault.

 

 

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

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Central A&M Superintendent Dr. DeAnn Heck Discusses The Unprecedented School Year

Central A&M Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Heck says that they’re doing everything they can to keep kids in school. 

 

 

The school year this year isn’t the same without the extracurricular activities, according to Dr. Heck, but the students are resilient.

 

 

When Central A&M returns from winter break, Dr. Heck says that they will keep things exactly as they are. 

 

 

Dr. Heck went on to say that this entire school year has been completely unprecedented. 

 

 

Dr. DeAnn Heck was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 
 

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Christian County Treasurer Betty Asmussen Outlines The Budget Process

Betty Asmussen wears a few different hats in her capacity as an elected official in Christian County. She is both the County Treasurer and Collector. In her role as Christian County Treasurer, Asmussen says that her office is responsible for collecting all of the revenue for the county and they also keep track of the various county budgets.  

 

 

The Christian County budget, according to Asmussen, is extremely complex. 

 

 

Sometimes the county decides to pass a budget with a deficit. The 2020 budget has a $300,000 deficit, according to Asmussen.

 

 

Asmussen went on to say that all of the different elected officials within Christian County present their budgets to the county board and then the finance committee works to find any cuts, if necessary. 

 

 

Christian County Treasurer Betty Asmussen was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
 

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Community Medical Clinic Family Nurse Practitioner Marc Scholes Discusses The COVID-19 Vaccine

Marc Scholes  is the Family Nurse Practitioner at the Community Medical Clinic and he says that it’s crucial that first responders get the COVID-19 vaccine first not only because they have to be healthy enough to take care of patients who are in need, but also because it shows everyone that the vaccine is safe to take. 

 

 

The Community Medical Clinic has had some staff shortage issues, according to Scholes.

 

 

The COVID-19 vaccine is a new type of vaccine, but Scholes says that the research behind this type of vaccine has been happening for about a decade. 

 

 

Scholes went on to outline the differences between this new type of vaccine and the older type of vaccines.

 

 

Marc Scholes was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Rep. Davis Confident In COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis is confident in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, but the Congressman is concerned though that some individuals will put a political litmus test on the vaccines. 

 

 

Even though Congressman Davis doesn’t necessarily need the vaccine, he will take the vaccine when he can if it will make people feel more comfortable.

 

 

After we get through the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman Davis says that a number of things have to happen including getting the local PPE supply chain back to the United States. 

 

 

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

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Christian County Receives First Vaccines

Vaccines have arrived in Christian County and the Chris-Mont EMA is excited to start getting them distributed. The first doses of the Pfizer Biontech COVID-19 Vaccine were received on Wednesday under the IDPH Mass Vaccination Plan, Phase 1A. EMA PIO Kevin Schott says that he and the rest of the EMA are excited knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

 

The first doses went out to Taylorville Memorial Hospital and Pana Community Hospital.  The Hospitals are on standby in case there is an issue. Schott says he doesn’t foresee there being any issues.

 

 

Schott would ask that everyone be aware that this is still fluid and it is unknown at this time when the vaccines will be available to the general public. 

 

 

For a complete look at frequently asked questions and a little more insight into the vaccine, please click here.

 

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Central A&M To Start Second Semester With One Week Of Remote Learning

Central A&M Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Heck plans to do exactly what they did after Thanksgiving after Winter Break and start the 2nd semester remote just for one week to help keep any COVID-19 positive cases out of the school district.

 

 

After Central A&M came back after the week of remote learning after Thanksgiving, Dr. Heck says that they had over 20 kids out with COVID-19 like symptoms or who were quarantined because of a sick family member.

 

 

Dr. Heck says that the majority of positive COVID-19 cases that they’ve had have come from the middle school and high school level. 

 

 

It has been pretty well shown that schools are not COVID-19 superspreaders and because of that Dr. Heck thinks that a lot more of the larger school districts will move to in-person learning, but she went on to say that to have learning done in-person you have to have healthy adults.

 

Dr. DeeAnn Heck was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Republicans & Democrats Squabble Over Budget Cuts; Representative Bourne Concerned About LaSalle Veteran's Home

Governor JB Pritzker is outlining more than $700 million in cuts for the budget.  These cuts include public safety, human service grants, prison system cuts, and furloughs for government employees. The Governor says a lot of this could have been avoided if the fair tax would have been passed.

 

 

Representative Avery Bourne challenged the Governor saying that at some point he needs to step up and show some leadership especially since the Republican’s according to Bourne hasn’t even been given a chance to succeed.

 

 

Representative Bourne also had harsh words for the Governor and for the agencies in charge of COVID-19 when it came to the LaSalle Veteran’s Home. The Home has had 32 veterans with the disease die. Representative Bourne says she is tired of the excuses.

 

 

Since the beginning of the outbreak, the LaSalle Veterans home has had 108 positive residents and 97 positive employees. 

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Civility A Goal For New Christian County Board Chairman

Newly elected Christian County Board Chairman Matt Wells says that the most important thing he can do in his role is make sure that more civility is brought to the meetings each month. 

 

 

If he could go back and change anything about the past, Chairman Wells wishes that more reaching out was done to individual members and that the ideas were debated more and the personalities were kept out of it.

 

 

One of the biggest topics of debate over the past few years has been the topic of wind farms. Chairman Wells says that the wind ordanince that the County Board passed does not prevent wind farms from coming to Christian County. 

 

 

Chairman Wells at the County Board meeting on Tuesday night announced that board members Mike McClure and Clark Pearce decided to resign their positions. Chairman Wells wished both men nothing but the best.

 

 

Christian County Board Chairman Matt Wells was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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3 People Arrested In Taylorville On Meth Charges

3 people are in custody following arrests made by the Taylorville Police Department Community Action Team (CAT). 57 year old John S. Reynolds of Taylorville, 54 year old Margaret Durham AKA Peggy Newberry of Taylorville, and 39 year old Natosha Peck of Vandalia were arrested on Tuesday following a search warrant and an investigation into alleged narcotic activity on the 600 block of North Pine Street. 

 

The TPD had received notifications from citizens of potential subjects involved in narcotic activity. After the search warrant was conducted arrests were carried out. Reynolds was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and possession of a firearm by a felon. Newberry was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and possession of a firearm by a felon. Peck was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

 

All subjects have prior drug related crimes in their background. Two of the three subjects have current pending cases. Chief Dwayne Wheeler thanked the States Attorney’s Office for approving the search warrant and charges.

 

 

 


 

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Rep. Rodney Davis Talks COVID-19 Stimulus

Whether or not a COVID-19 stimulus deal gets passed is up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, says Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis. 

 

Congressman Davis says that the various stimulus proposals that are out there right now are all good places to start.

 

 

It’s not just politics that’s holding up another stimulus from being passed. Congressman Davis says that there are a few policy provisions that’s holding up the process as well.

 

The GOP, according to Congressman Davis, is pushing for liability protection. 

 

 

While the Democrats, according to Congressman Davis, are looking for more money for state and local government assistance. 

 

 

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

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Minimum Wage Increasing On January 1st

With 2021 right around the corner, the Illinois Department of Labor is asking employees to watch their paychecks to make sure they are getting paid at the new rate.   IL Dept. of Labor Assistant Director Jason Keller says that this new rate is providing a path to $15 an hour.

 

 

The last time Illinois increased its minimum wage was in 2010 when it was raised to $8.25/hr. The rates will go up 1 dollar per year until 2025 when it reaches $15/hr. A recent study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute at the University of Illinois shows that more than 1.4 million adult workers in Illinois make less than $15/hr. 

 

The new law also maintains provisions for employers to count tips to offset wages for workers such as food servers who regularly earn tips. Those who receive tips may be paid 60 percent of the hourly minimum wage. If the employee doesn’t make that, the employer must make up the difference.

 

If you have an issue regarding minimum wage or receiving it you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor at 312-793-2800. 

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Congressman Davis Discusses President Trump's Election Lawsuits

The electoral college voted on Monday to elect Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States. President Trump has unsuccessfully challenged the results of the recent November election in courtrooms all over the country and now is planning a longshot attempt to use the January 6th tallying of the electoral college results to overturn the election. Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says that they will be unsuccessful. 

 

 

Congressman Davis thinks that the President is getting bad legal advice. 

 

 

Representative Davis did not support the recent Texas lawsuit that was recently thrown out by the US Supreme Court because it was both bad policy and bad legal strategy.

 

 

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

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Christmas In The Park Sees High Car Totals

Christmas in the Park has been successful. Those are the words from Taylorville Park District Recreational Director Bailey Hancock. The event has now been going for about a week and despite some rough weather, Hancock says there have been high car counts. 

 

 

Hancock believes there are a lot of factors to why it’s been so successful.

 

 

 There are still quite a few events at Christmas in the Park that Hancock encourages everyone to join. These events are coming up that you can reserve your spot in.

 

If you do want to head out to Christmas in the Park make sure you reserve your spot.

 

 

For more information contact Bailey Hancock at 824-5878. Christmas in the Park runs from 5 till 10 PM through Christmas. 

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Social Security Announces Cost Of Living Increase Of 1.3 Percent

Almost 70 million Americans will see a 1.3% increase in Social Security and SSI Payments, according to Social Security Administration Public Affairs Specialist Jack Myers. 

 

 

Over the past 45 years the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment has been automatically tied to inflation, according to Myers. 

 

 

People link Social Security and Medicare Part B since the Medicare Part B premium is deducted from Social Security, but according to Myers they are run separately.

 

 

The COLA adjustment is automatic, according to Myers, and you do not have to call Social Security to get the increase. 

 

 

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

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Christian County Board Meets; Discusses Speeding In Assumption

The Christian County Board met for their regular December board meeting. Newly elected Board Chairman Matt Wells led the meeting. Wells announced that both Mike McClure and Clark Pearce had resigned their positions.  One of the big topics of discussion was a request for a light on the speed limit sign in the village of Assumption. Candace Smith, joined under public comments to note her concerns over the speeding through town. 

 

 

A motion was put forward to add more signs and to send it back to committee to figure out the way to do it.

 

 

It was asked to have a higher presence from the Sheriff’s Office to help limit the number of speeders going through Assumption. The motion passed. 

 

Matt Wells discussed the courthouse fountain replacement.

 

 

Discussion was held about the cost of this project and an estimate was at no more than $5,000 for the cost. The motion was approved. 

 

A proclamation was made by the County to recognize December 19th as Charles DeClerck day. DeClerck sat on the County Board for over 25 years. 

 

To listen to the entire meeting click here.

 


 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Raise Nearly $900, 138 Pounds for Food Pantry; Last Drive This Saturday

Officials with the Taylorville Food Pantry report that the Taylorville Kiwanis Club have collected almost 900-dollars and some 138 pounds of non-perishable food in their first 2 weeks of their December Drive-Thru Donation Saturdays at the Miller Media Group studios in Taylorville.

 

The final Kiwanis Drive-Thru Donation Day is this Saturday from 10 in the morning til noon, in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park.

 

All monies and non-perishable food donated, is taken directly to the Taylorville Food Pantry to assist local families during this holiday season.

 

The public is invited to stop by and give during this last Taylorville Kiwanis Club Drive-Thru Donation Day of 2020, to benefit the local Food Pantry.

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Christian County Board To Meet Tuesday Evening

The Christian County Board will meet Tuesday evening remotely. The meeting will take place at the Christian County Courthouse at 6:30 PM and can be viewed on freeconferencecall.com. For the access code and dial-in number see below.

 

Among items that will be discussed include an EDSA update from Chris-Mont EMA Director Greg Nimmo along with a look at a couple of zoning ordinances. Under committee reports, there will be a discussion for an HR Upcoming vacancy, along with a look at some work in Rosamond and a speed limit sign in Assumption. 

 

The meeting will also extend the Emergency Declaration Proclamation along with appointing Dr. Richard DelValle to fill a vacancy through July 2021. For a complete look at the agenda, see below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTIAN COUNTY BOARD MEETING

AT

Christian County Courthouse

Taylorville, Illinois

Tuesday, December 15, 2020-- 6:30 p.m.

 

In accordance with EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-07 issued by Governor Pritzker, this meeting will be conducted via remote participation and the

new region 3 COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations does allow us to social distance and to limit the number of people in a room.  However, none of the rooms at the courthouse can accommodate 25 people with social distancing.   There are 20 seats in the county board room and 22 in courtroom C. These meetings will continue to be done by freeconferencecall.com as well.  Seats are given preference to members and requested quests.

 

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

Access code: 7943957#

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

 

  There will be a gathering of members at 6:00 pm to review and sign claims for payment.  The conferencecall.com will be recording with any participates on mute.  The regular board meeting will begin at 6:30 pm with the following agenda.

Agenda:

1.                   Call to order 

2.                   Roll Call

3.                   Pledge of Allegiance

4.                   Approve minutes from the regular County Board meeting of the

November 17, 2020 and the Re-organizational meeting on December 7, 2020 as printed with any corrections or amendments to them.

5.                   Public Comments

6.                   EDSA Update: Greg Nimmo

7.                   Present in writing petitions, resolutions/or ordinances, proclamations:  Zoning Ordinance O2020ZN011: Adopt text amendments TX20-10-submitted by Drainage District 1 and 3 and TX20-11submitted by Zoning Administrator to amend definitions, adding an amendment page, adding to the home occupation, agricultural activities, changing 1-6-31 wind to personal wind and solar and add inoperable motor vehicle O2012ZN026 as appendix C to the Zoning Code.

8.                   Reading of Communications:

9.                   Agenda items:

 

Executive/Personnel/Liquor/Legislative—no meeting

New business:

1.       Secondary committee appointments.

2.      Evaluation of County Board Rules.

3.      Discussion for filling Assistant to the Board/HR upcoming vacancy.

 

 

[over]

Highway/Building/Grounds/Environmental/ Zoning/ Welfare—no meeting

New business:  

    Fuel Bids for 2021
    Petition to Remove from Plat, an Alley in Block 7, Rosamond Original Town Subdivision
    Request for Supplemental Beacon on Speed Limit Sign, Village of Assumption

4.      Annual Motor Fuel Tax Maintenance Resolution, Calendar Year 2021—R2020HY013

    Annual Motor Fuel Tax Retirement Fund Resolution, Calendar Year 2021—R2020HY014
    Annual MFT County Engineer Salary Resolution, Calendar Year 2021—R2020HY015
    Courthouse Fountain replacement.

 

Audit/Finance/Purchasing/Budget—no meeting

New business:

1.       Approve claims as presented for December.

2.       Review closure of FY 2020 budget. [bring treasurer reports dated 11/30/2020]

3.       Adopt resolutions to accept the purchase bids of delinquent properties:

a.       Bear Creek Township-02-17-27-418-003-00—R2020TR016

b.       Bear Creek Township 02-17-27-418-005-00-- R2020TR017

c.       Locust Township-07-19-16-408-006-02-- R2020TR018

d.       Pana Township-11-25-16-205-013-00-- R2020TR019

e.       Pana Township-11-25-16-435-003-00-- R2020TR020

f.        Pana Township-11-25-21-228-014-00-- R2020TR0121

g.       Taylorville Township-17-13-21-420-005-00-- R2020TR022

h.       Mobile Home17-13-21-HA-040—913 N Taylorville Blvd Lot 40-- R2020TR023

                      

10.               NEW BUSINESS/OLD BUSINESS/OTHER:

a.       Extend the Emergency Declaration Proclamation.

 

11.               Mileage and Per Diem Report:

12.               Appointments/terms: Christian County Health Board-Dr. Richard DelValle to fill a vacancy through July 2021.

 

13.               Adjourn meeting until Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

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Stay Up To Date On Changing Road Conditions In Illinois

As winter approaches, Illinoisans know that road conditions can change rapidly. Staying on top of those changing road conditions can make a huge difference for preparing for travel and getting important information. The Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding you to visit gettingaroundillinois.com for updated information on road conditions. 

 

Optimized for smartphones, “Getting Around Illinois” can be used on your computer and allows the user to identify and zoom into a location, travel route, or destination on a map. Plow drivers out in the field relay information on conditions and they are provided to the general public. 

 

Gettingaroundillinois.com gets more than 2.5 million page views during snow and ice season and uses color schemes to help determine road conditions including accessibility for those who may have issues seeing color. The IDOT asks you to consider if a trip is important before making it especially with COVID-19 still being out in the public. For more information visit gettingaroundillinois.com.

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Shelbyville Superintendent Shane Schuricht Talks Remote Learning

Remote learning has been a huge part of this school year, according to Shelbyville Superintendent Shane Schuricht.

 

 

When students return to campus in January only 5% will be remote, according to Superintendent Schuricht. 

 

 

The Shelbyville School District has been extremely fortunate so far this semester and Superintendent Schuricht hopes that continues in the 2nd semester.

 

 

In-person learning, according to Superintendent Schuricht, will look the same come January. 

 

 

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

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Lincoln Land Community College To Offer Open Door Workforce Equity Initiative

Lincoln Land Community College will be offering in-person workforce classes in January. The College will be offering face to face training starting on January 4th. Candace Silas, program manager, says that Lincoln Land received a grant to help low-income individuals get much-needed training for jobs.

 

 

If you want to apply for the grant all you have to do is log in and apply.

 

 

Silas says that the program allows for employment assistance and services

 

 

Silas says there are all kinds of programs that you can get career training in.

 

 

For more information email AETech@llcc.edu or call 786-2750.

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Illinois State Representative Avery Bourne Talks Budget, Taxes, And Speaker Madigan

Voter fraud is something that happens in every election, according to Illinois State Representative Avery Bourne, but she hasn’t seen anything that in her mind would change the outcome of the 2020 election.

 

 

Rep. Bourne hopes that the Democratic leadership in Springfield will not attempt to raise taxes, but she is fearful that will be the case. 

 

 

One of the biggest issues that the General Assembly has to address is the budget crisis and Rep. Bourne says that she thinks the General Assembly needs to take a multipronged approach.

 

 

Speaker Madigan has a difficult fight ahead to keep his job, according to Rep. Bourne, but he should never be counted out. 

 

 

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

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The Shelbyville Public Library Is Taking Steps To Keep Visitors Safe From COVID-19

The Shelbyville Public Library, according to Director Monica Cameron, is taking a variety of different steps to keep visitors safe from COVID-19.

 

 

One service that will be continuing, according to Cameron, is curbside pickup. 

 

 

The Shelbyville Public Library will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day, according to Cameron.

 

 

If you’re a fan of e-books, Cameron says that they have a number of different options available. 

 

 

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

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Taylorville School Board Meets; Approves Levy Adjust Start Date In January For Hybrid Learning

The Taylorville School District Board met on Monday evening for their regular board meeting. After approving claims and the treasurer’s report, the Board reviewed the strategic planning focus recap and gave a COVID-19 update.

 

Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty along with Taylorville School District Nurse Jenny Moats gave updates from the CDC on new guidance put out to lower the quarantine days. With that being said, Moats suggested that the start day of Hybrid learning be pushed back due to the holidays to have a return date of January 11th or January 18th.

 

 

Dr. Dougherty says that the CDC has also made adjustments to allow for easier remote learning including allowing non-teachers to supervise which would allow students to be in the classroom while teachers may have to remote in. The board made the adjustment that School will now start on January 11th but of course, this date remains fluid. Remote learning will take place the first week that students return to School after Holiday Break. 

 

Under new business, the board discussed and approved the 2020 Tax Levy. The board then discussed a resolution declaring the intention to issue working cash bonds of the district to increase the working cash fund of the district. Board President Stephen Turner says that this is necessary in order to prevent any issues in the future. Through a little refinancing, the School District will have to put a little more upfront but it will save them in the long run.

 

 

Turner says that a lot will depend on how you look at it but he believes this is the right thing to do for the School District.

 

 

Dr. Dougherty says that the School is continually updating the School Calendar online and the school doesn’t anticipate snow days to the emergence of remote learning.

 

The next school board meeting is set for January 18th. 

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Taylorville School District To Return To Hybrid Learning

Taylorville School District announced in early December that the district is planning on returning to Hybrid learning for the second semester starting on January 7th. The district will continue to implement plans that were used during the last cycle of hybrid learning. 

 

Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty says it’s important for students, families, and staff to stay healthy while waiting for a vaccine. She urges everyone to take precautions and continue to practice social distancing and wear masks to keep everyone safe. 

 

Dr. Dougherty says she is excited to have kids back in the classroom in a hybrid setting.  

 

 

Dr. Dougherty is encouraged by the new updates from the CDC as they continue to watch the science and data for the number of days after the symptoms kick in which is taking the quarantine from 14 days to 10 days. 

 

 

Dr. Dougherty has changed the way that the school is doing things in order to keep not only the students but also teachers safe.

 

 

For a complete look at the press release from the school district click here

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Life's Journey Senior Living Sales Director Connie Young Talks Loneliness

Life’s Journey Senior Living Sales Director Connie Young says that as we get older we tend to spend a lot more time alone which can cause loneliness, but that’s not always the case.

 

 

Young went on to say that the holiday season can also bring about painful memories for a lot of people. 

 

 

Loneliness can cause a variety of different health issues, according to Young.

 

 

Young says that we’ve learned the importance of making sure that your loved ones have emotional support. 

 

 

Connie Young was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 
 

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Electoral College To Meet This Morning

The Illinois Electoral College will meet on Monday to formally cast their ballots for President and Vice President of the United States. The 20 Presidential electors will meet from 10 to 11 AM at the Illinois House Chambers in the State Capitol Building in Springfield. 

 

Electors from all 50 states and the District of Columbia will meet on Monday to cast their ballots in the election. The people of Illinois have pledged to vote for Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President. Secretary of State Jesse White will be presiding over the proceedings. 

 

If you wish to watch the meeting live, you can visit the Illinois General Assembly’s website at www.ilga.gov. 

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Ag In The Classroom Coordinator Rebecca Livingston Discusses The Difficult School Year

Rebecca Livingston is the Ag in the Classroom Coordinator for Christian and Montgomery County at the University of Illinois Extension Office and while she hasn’t been in the classroom at all this year, she said that she’s a lot busier than she thought she would have been.

 

During a normal school year, Livingston puts together 3-4 lessons a year and is in classrooms around Christian and Montgomery County 4 days a week, but this year, in part due to COVID-19 she’s trying to push out one lesson each month. 

 

 

Despite the fact that Livingston isn’t in the classroom at all this year, she still loves what she does.

 

 

There are a variety of different positives that Livingston can take away from this extremely difficult school year. 

 

 

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

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Taylorville School Board To Meet Tonight

The Taylorville School District will meet on Monday evening at 6 PM. Due to the pandemic, the meeting can be viewed via zoom. You can find out more information by emailing the District Secretary Julie Lebeane at jlebeane@tcusd3.org by 5 PM on Monday. 

 

Some of the main discussion at the School Board meeting will consist of a recap of the strategic planning meeting, a COVID-19 update, and a look at the ISBE Press Plus Policy Updates. There will also be a look at security procedures and the use of personnel and equipment to respond to a threat or danger to employees students staff the public or public property.

 

The meeting will finish with a Superintendent report and you can stay tuned to Regional Radio News for a recap of this School Board Meeting after its conclusion.  Click HERE for a complete look at the agenda and more information on the upcoming meeting. 

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Christian County Historical Society To Hold Drive-Thru Dinner On December 29th

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce held their first ribbon cutting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last week at LP Coffee and Creamery. Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle said that it was a great event.

 

 

There aren’t many events happening right now, but one event that is happening soon is another drive-thru dinner at the Christian County Historical Society and Museum. 

 

 

The drive-thru dinner will take place at the museum on December 29th from 4-6 and Hornbuckle says that advance tickets are preferred.

 

 

Hornbuckle went on to say that the Chamber is extremely busy with gift cards this Holiday season. 

 

 

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

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Miller Media And Kiwanis Club Collects $645 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 on Saturdays in December. This previous Saturday 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 Joe Hauser were the ones taking donations most recently. They were able to raise $645, as well as food donations, that were given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Jeffrey talked to listeners about how the holiday time effects the need for the food pantry.

 

 

The Kiwanis Club has done a lot for the community as we approach the holiday season including a the Drive Thru Donation Day and a Coats For Kids Drive. Jeffrey says it’s all about the community.

 

 

Next Saturday is the last chance to donate for the year. Jeffrey encourages the community to keep the momentum going through the finish line.

 

 

There will be Taylorville Kiwanis Club Members stationed in the Miller Media Group parking lot on December 19th to take donations to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry.

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Police Say Investigation Just Starting In Youth Minister Grooming Case

On Friday, December 4th, the Taylorville Police Department arrested 33 year old Zachary Crowley on two charges of unlawful grooming. Crowley was employed at Taylorville Christian Church as a Youth Minister, at Visionway Christian School as the Athletic Director, and as an Assistant Football Coach at Taylorville High School.

 

Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says that the situation is really sad and that the Taylorville Police Department is working alongside the Christian County States Attorney’s Office and State’s Attorney Mike Havera on the investigation.  

 

 

Chief Wheeler says that they’ve only just started the investigation. 

 

 

At the end of the day, Chief Wheeler says that the families safety is most important.

 

 

When asked if he expects Crowley to be charged with anything further, Chief Wheeler says that they’ll present any additional evidence that they find during their investigation to the State’s Attorney and he’ll make the decision. 

 

 

Crowley faces 1-3 years in prison per charge followed by 1 year of mandatory supervised release (parole) and a fine of up to $25,000. His preliminary hearing is set for January 22nd at 10 AM.

 

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

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Senator Manar Pushing For Equality In Education

Equal footing for every child no matter where they are from. That is the message from State Senator Andy Manar who co-chairs the Illinois Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding. Senator Manar says that their is still a long way to go. On Thursday the commission held a joint hearing of the Senate Appropriations and Education Committees and Senator Manar gave an update about those hearings in an issued press release.

 

"Today's hearing was an opportunity to update the Illinois Senate on the work of the Commission and its effort to making a more equitable edeucation system a reality."

 

The commission, which was formed in December of 2019, meets monthly and made recommendations about how to achieve equal form in education at an early age for all Illinoisans. Some of the recommendations include redesigning funding mechanisms to improve equity, building on successful at-home services, and centralizing the early childhood education system.

 

"The current system only works for some, and it's our responsibility to construct a system that serves working families, bridges inequities forged by decades of negligence and affords opportunity for all." Manar continued by stressing that a lot of communities don't have pre-k programs in public schools or licensed child-care centers for parents who need them who may be working especially in rural areas and undeveloped urban areas.

 

The commission must have their final recommendations in by January 15th to Governor JB Pritzker.

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IFB Recognizes Incoming Nominated Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

The Illinois Farm Bureau has released a statement on the nomination of former USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack for Agriculture Secretary for President-Elect Joe Biden. Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert Jr. congratulated Vilsack in their press release.

 

“Illinois Farm Bureau members recognize the critical role USDA fills to provide a stable domestic food supply through a number of avenues including food banks, school nutrition, beginning farmers, and programs that keep America’s farms profitable during times of crisis. Vilsack, during his first term as Ag secretary, was a big proponent of biofuels and global trade expansion.  

 

Support for biofuels remains a high priority for Illinois farmers as one in every three bushels of Illinois corn produced is converted into ethanol. An experienced nominee like Tom Vilsack has a solid understanding of US agriculture and the broad scope of work necessary to form strong farm and food policy. Vilsack would be stepping in to steer a familiar ship as the agency works to maintain the country’s food security and vital agriculture programs once he is confirmed by the Senate.”

 

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a national organization of farmers and ranchers that has a total membership of more than 378,237 members. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.
 

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South Fork Schools Offering Free Meals For Families Over Christmas Break

The South Fork School District is doing what they can to help keep kids fed over Christmas break. Superintendent Chris Clark says that families can sign up for 7 days of meals that will be delivered on December 21st and December 28th. If you would like to sign up to receive those meals you need to do so by the end of the day on December 16th. 

 

 

Superintendent Clark is thankful that they have been able to get this far into the semester without having to make any drastic changes or close the school because of an outbreak of COVID-19. Clark says that’s because of the different mitigations that they have in place. 

 

 

Superintendent Clark says that they’ve been successful because of their staff stepping up and the students following the mitigations that they have in place.

 

 

Superintendent Clark says that he’s impressed at how the teachers have worked together to give students the highest quality education possible. 

 

 

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

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Eating Safe Around The Holiday's

The holiday season may look a little different this year due to COVID, and medical experts are asking for scaled down holiday celebrations this season. Adam Schafer, a registered dietitian with OSF Healthcare says that virtual gatherings will be a big thing this year.

 

 

Schafer says that since large families will not be gathering this year, having a scaled down dinner and a meal prepared safely can go a long way towards preventing issues later on down the road.

 

 

One way that you can avoid feeling full after eating is to get some activity after you eat.

 

 

Other recommendations include eating until you feel 80% full, drink plenty of water, use smaller plates, and avoid calorie full dips. Schafer suggests leaving food in the kitchen so when you’re in the living room you won’t be tempted to snack all throughout the day.

 

For more information on safe holiday eating visit the CDC website.
 

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The Christian County YMCA Has Been Severely Impacted By COVID-19

The Christian County YMCA like a lot of businesses and organizations has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Director Chris Weittenhiller says that things have been extremely tough. 

 

 

Weittenhiller says that they lost approximately $340,000 in revenue in part because they felt it wasn’t right to charge members while they were closed. 

 

 

Since they reopened Weittenhiller says that membership numbers are way down and that they haven’t been able to offer the same type of programming that they usually are able to offer.

 

 

Despite everything Weittenhiller says that they’ve been able to stay cashflow positive, but moving forward they’re anticipating a $20,000 loss each and every month. 

 

 

If you would like to make a donation to the Christian County YMCA, contact Executive Director Chris Weittenhiller at 287-7271. Chris Weittenhiller was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Taylorville Chamber Of Commerce Selling Chillifest Calendars

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce and the Miller Media Group have created a limited edition Chillifest 2020 calendar, with 12 months of pictures from this fall's event.  The calendar includes pictures from the flags being presented, the pageants, the entertainment, the dance squads, and chilli cooks.

 

There are only 20 available at a price of 39-dollars, available at the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville during business hours.  Proceeds benefit the Chamber.

 

GTCC CEO Patty Hornbuckle (right) bought the first Chillifest calendar from Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller (left) this morning. 

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Stay Safe Online This Holiday Season

With more people shopping online than ever before, the need to stay cyber safe becomes even greater. There are many ways that you can stay safe during your holiday shopping. The department of Innovation and Technology is working on better ways to protect you during your online shopping needs especially as they grow due to COVID-19. 

 

According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, you should think before you click. Beware of ads encouraging you to click on a link especially if you receive a notice or an enticing offer.  It’s better to go to the actual companies website. Another great tip is to do your homework. Cyber thieves are fond of setting up fake e-commerce sites. Prior to making a purchase make sure you read the reviews about the site that you are on. If you don’t find any reviews, it’s generally not a trustworthy site. 

 

Credit Cards are often safer than debit cards as there are more consumer protections to protect you from fraud. Always be wary of the information you are giving away when you enter data. If the merchant is requesting more data than you feel comfortable sharing, cancel the transaction. You should never save your payment information in your profile.

 

Continue to check your credit statement, and your bank account for any unauthorized activity. Knowing what you have spent money on can go a long way towards keeping you safe. For more information on ways to protect yourself, click here.

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Christian County YMCA Will Offer 24-Hour Access Before The End Of The Year

The Christian County YMCA just held their 32nd annual auction. The auction is typically in-person, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was held online. YMCA Executive Director Chris Weittenhiller says that they raised about 75% of what they typically do and that a portion of the money raised will go towards offering 24-hour access to the YMCA gym and wellness center. 

 

 

Weittenhiller says that they will be going live with the 24-hour access before the end of the year. 

 

 

To have access to the Christian County YMCA after hours you will need to purchase a 24-hour access fob, says Weittenhiller.

 

 

Weittenhiller says that without CTI and Adam Vocks this wouldn’t have been possible. 

 

 

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

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Illinois Republicans Demand Legislation To Fix Backlog Of FOID/CCL's

House Republicans are concerned over FOID card delays and backups with Concealed Carry Licenses. State Representative Avery Bourne along with Representatives CD Davidsmeyer and Mike Marron held a zoom press conference on Wednesday to discuss their plans to fix it. Representative Bourne says this is an issue that has been going on for a while and her constituents are frustrated.

 

 

Representative Bourne says that the whole “go at it alone approach” from Governor JB Pritzker is not working.

 

 

Representative Bourne, obviously frustrated with the process, believes that there is no reason that people should be waiting for this long 

 

 

ISP Director Brendan Kelly says that the delay for FOID cards and the backlog is unacceptable and needs to be changed. 

 

 

Kelly stressed that they have added more people and improved some technology but urged legislation to help fix some of the issues.

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Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler Talks Safe Passage

The Safe Passage Program came to central Illinois because of Judge Brad Paisley, according to Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler. 

 

Chief Wheeler says that the Safe Passage Program has been growing at an unbelievably fast pace. 

 

 

The community is really coming together, according to Chief Wheeler, to help put an end to the drug problem in Taylorville, says Chief Wheeler.

 

 

The city of Taylorville is addressing the drug problem head on, according to Chief Wheeler. 

 

 

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

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Two Men Arrested In Nokomis On Methamphetamine Charges

An afternoon consent of a vehicle turned into two men getting arrested in Nokomis. On Saturday afternoon at 2:26 PM, Nokomis Police Department arrested 45-year-old Brian K. Sisk of Ramsey and 45-year-old Brian V. Carter of Bingham for possession of methamphetamine of more than 100 and less than 400 grams along with meth delivery of more than 100 and less than 400 grams.

 

A Nokomis Police Officer was on a routine patrol and observed Sisk at a local gas station. After approaching the men, the Officer was given permission to search the vehicle. During the search, Nokomis Police seized 2 bags with a white substance which tested positive for methamphetamine. There was also cash and other items as well. Both Sisk and Carter were placed into custody and transported to the Montgomery County Jail. 

 

Bond for both Sisk and Carter is set at $150,000 each with 10% to apply. Preliminary Hearing for both men is set for January 4th. 

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Moultrie County Health Department Reports 12th and 13th Death From COVID

The Moultrie County Health Department is mourning the deaths of two female residents in their 80s.  1023 Moultrie County residents have tested positive for the virus including the 13 deaths. 

 

Administrator of the Moultrie County Health Department, Angela Hogan says, “We send our heartfelt condolences to their friends and families. We ask for understanding and the privacy of their loved ones as they mourn.” 

 

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, continue to wear a mask when in public, watch physical distance, wash hands routinely, and stay home if ill.  You can also protect yourself by receiving the annual flu vaccine. 

 

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID, the Health Department would ask that you get yourself tested. For more information visit https://dph.illinois.gov/testing. For more information on the Moultrie County Health Department’s news, and events and services, visit www.moultriehealth.org or visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/moultriecountyhealth. 

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Congressman Davis Talks 2020 Election, The NDAA, And The 2021 Budget

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says that Speaker Pelosi’s priorities have been in the wrong place and that good bills passed by Congress have been few and far between recently. 

 

 

Congressman Davis went on to say that the President wanting to get rid of the section 230 exemptions for social media companies in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is really bad advice. 

 

 

One of the main topics of discussion on Capitol Hill this week is the 2021 budget. The continuing resolution that was passed in late September expires on December 11th. Congressman Davis says that negotiations are ongoing and he hopes that there are a number of provisions included in the budget including additional PPP dollars for small businesses. 

 

 

Congressman Davis says that Vice President Biden is likely the next President of the United States, but he says that it won’t be official until the election is certified on January 6th. 

 

 

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

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Lawmaker Proposes New Laws For More Power To The Voters Concerning Corrupt Officials

Three proposed constitutional amendments could change the way that corrupt public officials are dealt with. Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington Illinois introduced the amendments as a way to recall elected officials which would include the Auditor General, the House Speaker, and even the Senate President. 

 

 

Senator Barickman says that the public wants this change. 

 

 

The amendments are still in the draft phase. A certain percentage of voter signatures would be required to remove someone from office. 18 states in the US already have similar laws.
 

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Safe Passage Program Expanding All Across Central Illinois

Safe Passage Program Coordinator Denise Evans is excited to hopefully bring the Safe Passage program back to Kincaid next week. 

 

 

Evans is also helping get the Safe Passage Program started in Springfield, but they’re waiting until the new year to meet again and get things started. 

 

 

Evans went on to discuss what happens when a community approaches about wanting to start the Safe Passage Program.

 

 

Another exciting development for the Safe Passage Program is a potential expansion into Macoupin County. 

 

 

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

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Taylorville High School Key Club Holding Food Drive

The Taylorville High School Key Club will be hosting a canned goods drive on Tuesdays and Thursdays in December. President of the Key Club, Isabelle Norris, says that the drive is replacing the winter clothing drive.

 

 

Norris says now more than ever it’s important to help donate whether it’s canned good or dried foods as the need due to COVID is great.

 

 

Norris says that you can reach out to the High School for more information or check the Key Club’s Instagram page.

Donations of Canned Goods and non-perishable items can be dropped off at the front circle drive in front of the High School. 

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TMH CEO Kim Bourne Talks COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

One of the most important topics of discussion happening across the country right now is how the COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed to local hospitals and health departments. Kim Bourne is the President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital and she says that things are constantly changing, but she expects the vaccine to be available as early as December 13th.   

 

 

The first round of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Bourne, will be given to the 50 county health departments with the highest COVID-19 death rates per capita. 

 

 

Bourne expects that the Christian County Public Health Department will be one of the local health departments to receive the first round of vaccines. A portion of the vaccine will be given to TMH and the health department will keep a portion for high priority individuals.

 

 

Bourne went on to discuss how the vaccine distribution will work at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. 

 

 

Kim Bourne was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 
 

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Area Counties On Short List For Vaccines For Health Officials

As local health departments battle COVID-19, the first vaccines are rolling out in England and parts of the US. Health officials in Illinois are expecting a shipment of 109,000 vaccine doses sometime in December. Among the counties that are receiving the vaccine will be counties that have the highest death rates. According to federal guidelines, the first vaccines will be dedicated to the hospitals and health care workers in those counties. Counties in the Regional Radio Listening area include Macon, Shelby, Christian, and Dewitt Counties. 

 

The hope is that when the vaccines are distributed that they will have enough to start getting into the long term care facilities to vaccinate those residents. There are two doses for the vaccines that will need to be spaced apart. Governor JB Pritzker has said he is not sure how long it would take to vaccinate those first in line. 

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Taylorville School District Announces New Covid Case & Investigation Into Assistant Football Coach

The Taylorville School District made a couple of announcements on Monday evening. The first was to inform the public of a staff member from Taylorville North School who has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is currently quarantined and the school district is working with the Christian County Health Department to conduct contact tracing. The Health Department does not believe at this time that there were any additional exposures to other staff members or students. 

 

The last time the employee was on campus was on Friday and deep cleaning and sanitation of areas that were used by the employee have already been conducted. 

 

In other news, the School District announced that an assistant football coach has been placed on administrative leave after an investigation into criminal misconduct. The School doesn’t believe any person associated with the district was ever in danger, and in an issued statement from the district, the school has confidence that all children and staff are and remain safe.

 

In the press release from Dr. Chris Dougherty, Taylorville Superintendent, she writes, “We are grateful for the quick work of our local police department to identify the subject and to provide us with sufficient information to keep our students and staff safe while the criminal process takes its course.  Should you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact school administration.”

 

As always if you have concerns contact the school district at 824-4951 or the Taylorville Police Department at 824-2211.

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Matt Wells Named New Christian County Chairman

The Christian County Board had their reorganizational meeting Monday evening to elect a new Chairman and move towards a new agenda in 2020. Judge Brad Paisley was on hand for the swearing-in of new members and re-elected members. Vicki McMahon, Craig Corzine, Thomas Snyder Jr., and Kenneth Franklin were sworn in for their respective districts. Also being sworn in were Mike McClure and Brian Sharp for District 3. Chuck Smedley and Gene Price were sworn in next for the 4th district.       

 

After everyone was sworn in, the meeting officially began. County Clerk, Michael Gianasi made the announcement that on Friday, Clark Pearce had resigned from the board. A nomination came up to make Ray Koonce a temporary chairman. Koonce was made temporary chairman.  The vote was then made for permanent chairman of the board. Matt Wells was nominated and in a unanimous decision, Matt Wells was elected new Christian County Chairman for the next term.

 

 

Craig Corzine was elected as Vice-Chairman in a unanimous decision from the board. Matt Wells then announced meeting times for the month of December. Committee assignments were then handed out. The committee assignments were approved for the 3 main ones and the roll call was unanimous.

 

With that the meeting was adjourned and the full board will meet again on January 19th.

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Shelby County Community Services Natalie Inman Talks Substance Abuse

The holiday season is stressful for everyone, but especially for those who struggle with substance abuse. Natalie Inman is the Substance Abuse Program Coordinator at Shelby County Community Services and she says that it’s crucial for those who struggle with substance abuse to plan every aspect of their day.    

 

 

Inman says that for those without a family the holidays can be even more difficult and so SCCS does offer in-person meetings despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

Shelby County Community Services offers a variety of different virtual meeting options with people all over the globe, says Inman.

 

 

Inman says that the virtual meetings can bring a little bit of a different perspective. 

 

 

Natalie Inman was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
 

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St. Louis District Dairy Council Nutrition Educator Discusses The Importance Of Meal Planning

There are numerous benefits to cooking at home, according to St. Louis District Dairy Council Nutrition Educator Jill Williams.    

 

 

Williams went on to say that there are a few disadvantages to cooking at home.

 

 

With everyone spending so much time at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Williams says that it’s important to embrace that time with your family.

 

 

When it comes to feeding your family at home, Williams says that making a plan is crucial. 

 

 

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

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New Coffee Place Opens Near High School In Taylorville

LP Coffee & Creamery had their grand opening on Monday. The place that has been slowly transformed from an automobile dealership to the creamery was met with a warm welcome on a rather cold Monday morning in December. Taylorville Chamber of Commerce CEO Patty Hornbuckle says that COVID has changed the date a little but the Chamber is excited to have them in Taylorville. 

 

 

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says that this is a great addition for Taylorville.

 

 

Larry and Paul Beshiroski, who own the business are excited to get working. Larry also owns the Spring Garden Restaurant. Larry’s wife, Gzime Beshiroski, says that they bought the building in the summer.

 

 

Beshiroski says they have ice cream, coffee, and much more. 

 

 

LP Coffee and Creamery is located at 715 Springfield Road in Taylorville next to the High School.

 

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TMH President Kim Bourne Talks Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on mental health and Memorial Behavioral Health has decided to do something about it. Taylorville Memorial Hospital President and CEO Kim Bourne said that the Memorial Behavioral Health Living Room is an alternative to the Emergency Department if you need someone to talk to during these difficult times.    

 

 

Bourne says that access to Mental Health in Christian County has been an issue and that The Living Room is open Monday thru Friday from 12 until 8 and that the services are available at no cost. 

 

 

Bourne made it clear that this free service is not for mental health emergencies, but for those over the age of 18 who need someone to talk with.

 

 

The Living Room, according to Bourne, is a place where you can hang out and get some help. 

 

 

For more information on The Living Room, please call 525-1064. Kim Bourne was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 
 

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Taylorville City Council Tables Demolition; Burn Ban Motion Dies On Floor

What was an anticipated discussion on a burn ban actually turned into a discussion on downtown safety at the Taylorville City Council Meeting on Monday night. With all Aldermen present, either in person or via remote, the board approved all of the omnibus votes and ordinances before discussing the motion regarding a burn ban. The motion didn’t receive any support and died without a single vote for it. 

 

What did get some serious discussion was the building over on 207 West Main Cross and whether or not it should be demolished or not. The building, which has come under fire in recent months for a partial roof collapse and a concern from the fire department, was the main discussion at the City Council Meeting.

 

The demolition would cost the city an estimated $70,000 and Aldermen were concerned that that was a major hit cost wise on the city. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry said the city has reached out to the owner but has not gotten a hold of him. Mayor Barry’s concern is with citizen safety. 

 

 

Mayor Barry says that this is something that will help beautify the city of Taylorville.


 

Aldermen Kathy Driskell was concerned that there are plenty of buildings that need help not just 207 West Main Cross. 

 

 

There were still a lot of questions after about 30 minutes of discussion so the motion was put on the floor to table it. The motion was tabled with All Aldermen voting yes on it except Aldermen Larry Budd, Jim Olive, and Megan Bryant. 

 

Some other motions were tabled as well including the motion for enterprise fleet leasing and mortgage grants for businesses within the business development district. 

 

The next City Council meeting is set for December 21st. 
 

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Youth Minister Accused Of Grooming Makes First Appearance In Court

A Taylorville man made his first appearance in court today after charges were filed for grooming underage victims. Zachary Crowley, a youth minister, assistant football coach, and Athletic Director for Visionway Christian School appeared in court via remote along with his attorney on Monday morning. 

 

Crowley currently faces two charges of unlawful grooming which is using a device to solicit, lure, or entice a minor to commit criminal sexual abuse, and sent instant messages of a graphic nature as well.

 

Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera says that Taylorville Police Officers received notifications from parents concerning messages that their child had received. According to Havera, after interviews were conducted, contacts were made through a cell phone traced back to Crowley including visual illustrations and text messages. 

 

After Crowley was arrested, he waived his Miranda rights and was brought in for questioning. During that interview, Havera says, Crowley admitted to at least one of those cell phone numbers being his personal number, and text messages were sent by him.  Since both counts were filed, more electronic devices have been taken in and will be investigated. 

 

There will also be a separate charge for distribution of harmful material with another victim. Havera asked the court to recognize the many contacts that Crowley had including the youth football team, the fact that he was a youth minister, and the JFL football team.

 

The victim's ages range from 13-18 years old. Bond was set at $250,000 with 10% to apply. He is ordered not to have any contact with any of the listed victims, not have any entry to any of the Taylorville Schools or Visionway. 

 

According to Crowley’s Attorney, Dan Fultz, the family was on the way to pay bond and he will reside with them.  

 

Crowley faces 1-3 years in prison per charge followed by 1 year of mandatory supervised release (parole) and a fine of up to $25,000. His preliminary hearing is set for January 22nd at 10 AM. 
 

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US Army Corps Of Engineers In Shelbyville Make Changes To Campsite Reservation Policy

The US Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville have started winterizing, according to Natural Resource Specialist Sarah Haslett.    

 

 

Haslett also said that they have closed the campgrounds for the winter.

 

 

There was some uncertainty about if holiday lights would get put up this year, but Haslett was excited to say that the lights were able to get put up.

 

 

The US Army Corps of Engineers has also made some changes to the campsite reservation policy, says Haslett. 

 

 

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

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Taylorville City Council To Discuss Potential Burn Ban

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Monday evening for their regular bi-monthly board meeting at 7 PM at the Municipal Building. Members of the general public are prohibited from attending the meeting but can send an e-mail to Mayor Bruce Barry at mayorbarry@taylorville.net. Among the main discussions will be a burn ban in the city, along with looking at some culvert repairs over on Lakeview Road. 

 

The board will also discuss ordinances and a motion regarding the demolition of 207 West Main Cross and the bidding of tree cutting services for the city. To get a full look at the agenda, click here

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on the City Council meeting and any actions that may be taken during it on Monday evening. 

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COVID-19 Has Caused A Dilemma For The Clinton J. Hornbuckle Memorial Foundation

Clinton J. Hornbuckle passed away just over three years ago and Patty Hornbuckle said that the family needed a way to channel their grief and so the Clinton J. Hornbuckle Memorial Foundation was created.    

 

 

Clint was passionate about youth sports and so the mission of the foundation is to help raise money for youth sports in Taylorville.
 

 

After they came up with the mission of the foundation Hornbuckle said that they found out about the school district transportation budget cuts and were able to step in and help out.

 

 

COVID-19 has caused a dilemma for the foundation, according to Hornbuckle. 

 

 

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

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Driver's Service Facilities Closing Down Until January 4th

Drivers Services facilities in Illinois will stay closed a little longer due to COVID-19.  Secretary of State Jesse White made the announcement on Friday that services will be closed until January 4th, 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic. Driver’s licenses and ID card expirations are extended until June 1st. 

 

White says online services have been expanded which includes renewing a license plate sticker, renewing a valid driver’s license, renewing a valid ID card, obtaining an abstract, and filing business services documentations. Certain facilities will be open for new drivers only including the Springfield location at 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway. 

 

For more information, and to fill out online services visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

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Physician's Choice Wellness Program Director Says Now Is The Time To Sign Up

If you plan to start a diet on January 1st, now is the time to get signed up with Physician’s Choice Wellness, according to Program Director Tara Nickerson.    

 

 

You can also lose a lot of weight between now and the 1st of the year, according to Nickerson. 

 

 

A lot of people may think that Physician’s Choice Wellness is shakes only, but it’s a lot more than that, says Nickerson.

 

 

There is a variety of food available and Nickerson says that individuals can sample the different food before buying a whole week of meals. 

 

 

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

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Taylorville Youth Minister Arrested On Grooming Charges

A Taylorville youth minister is in custody following an investigation and an arrest on Friday. Regional Radio News has learned that Zachary Crowley has been arrested for what Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler has called “grooming” which is the action of preparing a child for meeting with the intent of committing a sexual act. 

 

Crowley was employed at Taylorville Christian Church and has also spent time as the Athletic Director at Visionway Christian School in Taylorville. 

 

According to Chief Wheeler, multiple parents have come forward outside of Taylorville with similar stories, and the investigation is being ran jointly with the Christian County Sheriff’s Office. 

 

Chief Wheeler says official charges are expected Monday and bond will be set then. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story as it develops. 

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December Drive Thru Donation Days Kicks Off With Donations Of Food And $245

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 December. 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 Dean Ray and Joe Hauser were taking donations this previous Saturday. They were able to raise $245, as well as food donations, that were given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Ray explained part of the goal for the Kiwanis Club.


 

There’s a lot going on in the world that only increases the importance of each donation, says Ray.

 

 

Saturday was not the only opportunity to donate. Ray talks about what will happen the rest of the month, and his confidence that the Taylorville community will come through.

 

 

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

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Governor Pritzker Announces Vaccine Updates

Vaccines are coming but who gets the first rounds has been answered. During Governor JB Pritzker’s press conference on Friday, the Governor highlighted some of the information about the two vaccines and what goes into them. The first one is from Pfizer.

 

 

The other vaccine is the Moderna vaccine. 

 

 

Governor Pritzker says the first vaccines will be distributed will be sent out to healthcare workers in counties that have a high death toll from COVID.

 

 

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices or ACIP says that first line workers along with essential employees should have first priority. Governor Pritzker says that he understands that some people may have their doubts about this vaccine but says that the companies have been working on a vaccine like this for a while.

 

 

The Governor said in the question/answer session that he would be more than willing to take the vaccine if it meant more people would get it. 

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November Pana Students Of The Month

WMKR along with People's Bank And Trust are proud to present the November 2020 Students of the Month from Pana High School. Freshman Ryan Karbach, Sophomore Anne Beyers, Junior Rachel Holthaus, and Senior Addie Deere are this month's Students of the Month. Congratulations! 

L - R:  FRESHMAN RYAN KARBACH; SOPHOMORE ANNA BEYERS; JUNIOR RACHEL HOLTHAUS; SENIOR ADDIE DEERE; PEOPLES BANK AND TRUS REPRESENTATIVE JENNIFER MATHIS

 

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Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting To Be Held Virtually

The Dudley Smith Initiative, according to University of Illinois Extension Energy and Environmental Stewardship Educator Dr. Ashley Belle is a farm in Christian County that’s used for agriculture research.    

 

 

Through the Dudley Smith Initiative there are two different public events that are held each year, according to Dr. Belle.

 

 

Because of COVID-19 they will be holding the Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting virtually on Tuesday, February 9th on

Zoom from 10am until 3pm.

 

 

Dr. Belle went on to say that the Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting will cover a variety of different topics of interest to the farming community.

 

 

Dr. Ashley Belle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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USDA Closes Down Multiple Service Centers Due To COVID-19

The US Department of Agriculture is restricting in-person visits for service centers in Illinois due to high levels of COVID-19 throughout the state, however, the USDA will still continue to assist producers with programs and services. 

USDA is using data to determine which Service Centers will remain open for in-person appointments and fieldwork will continue with necessary social distancing.

 

State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Illinois, William Graff, says that many Service Centers will be physically closed but they remain open for business. Members from FSA and NRCS will continue to work with producers by phone, email, and digital systems like Microsoft Teams and OneSpan.  Producers can get more information by visiting www.farmers.gov/mydocs.

 

If you need a Service Center Agency, call ahead to confirm and schedule appointments. You can find out the status on a particular Service Center Agency by visiting www.farmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status. 

 

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The United Way Of Christian County Is In Desperate Need Of Donations

The numerous nonprofit organizations within Christian County have been severely impacted by COVID-19, and according to the United Way of Christian County Executive Director Samantha Adermann, they desperately need our support.    

 

 

The United Way of Christian County has also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and Adermann says that they are in need of donations.

 

 

Adermann says that it has been really difficult over the last year to keep things as they have been in the past without making any significant cuts.

 

 

The United Way of Christian County fundraising drive, according to Adermann, is going better than expected.

 

 

Samantha Adermann was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Midland Food Bank Doing Well Despite Pandemic

Food banks all over the US are prepping for winter and the upcoming holidays, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, people working at food banks find themselves working harder than ever. Pastor Randy Burwell, of the Midland Food Bank says that COVID has really had an impact especially locally.

 

 

Burwell says that there hasn’t been as big of an impact from COVID as it was expected. Midland Food Bank has a great partnership with Central Illinois Foodbank. 
 

 

Burwell says can donations are needed along with volunteers. If you want to help with volunteering call 217-237-2342.  The food pantry is open on Wednesdays from 1-2:30 PM. 

 

 

Pastor Randy Burwell appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.

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COVID-19 Has Had A Huge Impact On The Pana Community Mission Center

John Metzger is the President of the Pana Community Mission Center and he says that they are an organization that gives away various items to families and individuals that are in need.    

 

 

Board Member and Grant Administrator Linda Dunseth says that COVID-19 has had a tremendous impact on the amount of people that they’ve been able to help this year.

 

 

The Mission Center follows all of the COVID-19 protocols, according to Dunseth.

 

 

The Mission Center relies on donations to stay open, and Dunseth says that they’re doing alright financially, but COVID-19 has had an impact on donations.

 

 

John Metzger and Linda Dunseth were both guests on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Applications Open For Second Round Of Broadband Grants

A second round of broadband grants is being released to improve access to quality internet downstate. State Senator Andy Manar made the announcement on Thursday as a part of the Rebuild Illinois plan especially as COVID-19 has resulted in many people having to use the internet more and more for both school and work. 

 

The first round of Connect Illinois grants had a $4.2 million grant and helped provide access to high-speed internet for over 9,200 businesses, farms, households, and other places in Macoupin and Madison Counties. 

 

The second round, which was just announced, will allow for up to $5 million for projects and requires companies to dedicate funding that will accelerate the delivery of broadband. Manar stressed just how important this service is, “We continue to prioritize Connect Illinois because we recognize that reliable internet service is a crucial part of our impending economic recovery and will serve as a solid foundation for small business growth, successful school districts, and top tier hospitals.”

Rebuild Illinois is a $45 billion statewide construction program dedicating over $420 million to broadband infrastructure. 

 

To view the application,  visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity or click here. The application process will remain open until February 2021.
 

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Taylorville Chamber CEO Talks Business After Hours And The Kiwanis Park Pavilion

One of the premire events that the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce usually puts on each and every month is Business After Hours. Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle says that it’s a way for different people in the Taylorville business community to meet and network.    

 

 

The Chamber over the past several years has been the place to call if you wanted to reserve the newly remodeled Kiwanis Park Pavilion, but she says that they’re going to be handing that responsibility over to the city in the next few weeks.

 

 

There’s no cost to reserve the pavilion, according to Hornbuckle.

 

 

If you would like to make a donation, those are accepted and they go to the Kiwanis Club.

 

 

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

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MHS Warning Of Scams Through Phone Calls

Memorial Health Systems is warning the public of a phone scam where phone calls appear to originate from Memorial Health System’s main phone number. MHS says that they have learned that unknown parties had copied the system’s phone number and are making calls to local residents. 

 

Callers have claimed that the recipient owes a bill or are trying to sell a product. If you get a call from 788-3000 and you have concerns about whether the call is legit, hang up the phone and call the hospital back. Incoming calls to 788-3000 have not been impacted. 

 

If you have been a victim of fraud, please contact your local police agency. 

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The American Red Cross Is In Need Of Blood Donors And Volunteers

The importance of the American Red Cross cannot be understated, according to the Regional Communications and Marketing Manager, Drew Brown.    

 

 

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Red Cross has seen their volunteers step up, according to Brown.

 

 

Brown went on to say that despite have a strong base of volunteers that they are still in desperate need of more.

 

 

The American Red Cross is also in need of blood donations. Brown says that the need is constant.

 

 

Drew Brown was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Four Plead Not Guilty In ComEd Bribery Scheme

Four individuals who have been tied to a bribery scheme involving company ComEd and Michael Madigan appeared in Federal Court on Wednesday. Michael McClain, Anne Pramaggiore, John Hooker, and Jay Doherty all plead not guilty on Wednesday to bribery.

 

Thanks to a 50-page indictment handed down in late November the four are being accused of devising and executing a plan that provided money, contracts, do-nothing jobs, and legal work for friends of Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. The indictment says that this was done in order to gain favor with the Speaker to pass legislation that helped ComEd. 

 

Representative Avery Bourne says that Speaker Madigan needs to testify under oath or resign his position.

 

 

Representative Bourne says she is pleasantly surprised to see more people breaking from support of Speaker Madigan. Multiple Democrats have said they are in support of Speaker Madigan resigning. 

 

 

More than 100 emails have been made public that showed a pattern of misconduct. Michael McClain referred to the Speaker by name only once, the rest of the time he was referred to as “our friend.” Click HERE to view all of the emails. 

 

Madigan has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged. McClain, Pramaggiore, Hooker, and Doherty each face up to a 20-year prison sentence. A status hearing is set for February 16th with pre-trial motions set for March 3rd. 

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U Of I Extension Ag In The Classroom Coordinator Talks About The Difficulty Of This School Year

University of Illinois Extension Ag in the Classroom Coordinator for Christian and Montgomery County, Rebecca Livingston says that she is busier than ever despite not being in the classroom at all this year.    

 

 

Livingston has put together a variety of different lessons for kids so far this school year including a lesson on pumpkins and a lesson on poultry.

 

 

Livingston will be taking a break during the month of December, but is already working on a lesson on popcorn and another lesson on sheep.

 

 

There will not be incubators available with baby chicks this year, according to Livingston. Instead, she will have one incubator of chicks out and send daily videos out to the different classrooms.

 

 

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

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Governor Urges Illinoisans To Get Tested For COVID If They Traveled

With Thanksgiving come and gone, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is urging Illinoisans who traveled to get tested for COVID. While the IDPH urged people to stay home, Governor Pritzker knows a lot of people did travel, and those need to get tested. 

 

 

While there is no stay at home order, Governor Pritzker is urging people to stay in unless absolutely necessary.

 

 

If you have symptoms or know that you were exposed, the IDPH says to get tested right away.

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Christmas In The Park Kicks Off On December 10th With The Jingle Bell Walk

Christmas in the Park kicks off with the Jingle Bell Walk on Thursday, December 10th. The dining hall opens up at 5:15. Taylorville Park District Recreation Director, Bailey Hancock says that you do need to pre-register and that the cost is $5 per family.    

 

 

Christmas in the Park opens up for you to drive-thru on Friday, December 11th at 5pm and the first 350 people to drive-thru will receive milk and cookies, according to Hancock.

 

 

Santa visits this year will be socially distanced, according to Hancock, and will take place by appointment only.

 

 

Hancock was excited to be able to keep the Kids N Kritters Pictures with Santa on the Christmas in the Park calendar this year. It will take place on Tuesday, December 15th and the event starts at 6pm. The cost is $5 and reservations are required.

 

 

For more information on Christmas in the Park or to make a reservation please call 824-5878. Taylorville Park District Recreation Director Bailey Hancock was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Burning Leaves Cause Damage To Taylorville HS Storage Facility

A purple shed that was housing equipment was damaged in a fire on Wednesday afternoon. No injuries were reported by Captain Ron Smith of the Taylorville Fire Department who said that there were some burning leaves that got out of control.

 

 

Wind was not a factor today but Captain Smith says that it could have been worse had it been windy.

 

 

The building stored equipment and lumber inside. It was located by the softball field and the track.  

 

 

Stock photo of Taylorville Storage Facility that burned.

 

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Bethany Christian Services Helping Families Stay Together

Adoption is an important part of a lot of people’s lives. Safe families play a big role in that. Bethany Christian Services helps to bridge that gap. There is a preventative plan called “Intact” that Natalie Storm, with Bethany Ministries says is designed to help prevent children from being pulled out of homes and sent to foster care.

 

 

Storm says adoption means something personal for her.

 

 

At the end of the day, Natalie Storm just wants to make sure kids are protected. They will often go to homes to help close the case.

 

 

Bethany Christian Services will also be doing a virtual Angel Tree this year.

 

 

Natalie Storm of Bethany Christian Services appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.

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The Boy Scouts Of America Is About Volunteering And Giving Back To Your Community

The COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Abraham Lincoln Council for the Boy Scouts of America Scout Executive Jeff Whitten, has had a huge impact on the Boy Scouts, but they have made the necessary adjustments to keep the scouts as active as possible.    

 

 

Volunteering and giving back to the community is what scouting is all about, according to Whitten.

 

 

Whitten went on to say how the Boy Scouts go about preparing today's youth for the future.
 

 

The Boy Scouts are doing the best that they can, according to Whitten, in these difficult times.

 

 

For more information on the Boy Scouts, please visit alincolnbsa.org. Jeff Whitten was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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Shadow Home Is In Need Of Volunteers

Vicki Jackson is the acting Director of Shadow Home and she says that Shadow Home is a faith based shelter for women who want to change their lives.    

 

 

Shadow Home has taken a number of precautions to keep everyone safe, according to Jackson.

 

 

Jackson went on to say that Shadow Home is always in need of volunteers.

 

 

Jackson was taught by her father to give back and that’s why she decided to get involved with Shadow Home.

 

 

For more information on Shadow Home, please find them on Facebook. Vicki Jackson was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Skilled Nursing And Rehab Center Praises Employees

COVID-19 has been hard on everyone, but no one has felt it more than first responders and health care workers at Nursing Homes. Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab is recognizing its employees during the outbreak. Each employee received a pie for the Holiday along with a table set up for a “Heroes Need To Eat” idea. Director of Business Development, Mindy Semple, says that the staff has really gone above and beyond the call of duty.

 

 

Semple says the support of family is what has got them through this whole ordeal and that the staff deserved to be recognized.

 

 

Semple also urges the public to send letters to the residents. 


 

For more information on Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab, give them a call at 824-2277.

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Dinner Seasoned With Love Is Still Operating Despite COVID-19

Dinner Seasoned with Love was founded, according to President Suzy Traughber, to give those in the community a chance to come together and share a free meal.    

 

 

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on Dinner Seasoned with Love, according to Traughber.

 

 

The recent Thanksgiving meal was success despite it being done via drive-thru and not in-person due to COVID-19, says Traughber.

 

 

Traugher would also love to see more people get involved in Dinner Seasoned with Love.

 

 

For more information on Dinner Seasoned with Love, please find them on Facebook. Suzy Traughber was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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COVID-19 Has Had A Huge Impact On The Girl Scouts Of Central Illinois

The Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, according to Fund Development Specialist, Stacy LaFeber, have been severely impacted by COVID-19, but they’re getting thru it by staying positive and being creative.    

 

 

The Girl Scouts are still active in a virtual way, according to LaFeber.

 

 

There are a number of reasons as to why you should consider signing your child up for the Girl Scouts, according to LaFeber.

 

 

Girl Scouts are instilled with giving back to their community, according to LaFeber.

 

 

For more information on the Girl Scouts, please visit getyourgirlpower.org. Stacy LaFeber was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Complete Installation of New Roof on Kiwanis Park Pavilion

Several members of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club, recently completed installing a new metal roof on the Kiwanis Park Pavilion.

 

The original roof was installed when the club built the pavilion in 1995.

 

Kiwanis member Duane Stock spearheaded the work, with Will Perkins assisting.  Several members worked to install the new roof, including Adam Jeffrey, Blain Cornwell, Cliff Beatty, Dick Wamsley, Larry Kemner, as well as Duane's wife Cindy.

 

The new roof installation was completed on November 28th, and completed for about $3600 in materials, plus all of the volunteer hours by Kiwanis members.

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Moultrie County Health Department Reports On 11th COVID Death

The Moultrie County Health Department is mourning the death of an 80-year-old male as the 11th COVID-19 death in the county.  909 Moultrie County residents have tested positive for the virus including the 11 deaths. 

 

The administrator of the Moultrie County Health Department, Angela Hogan says, “We send our deepest sympathies to his friends and families. We ask for understanding and the privacy of his loved ones as they mourn.” 

 

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, continue to wear a mask when in public, watch physical distance, wash hands routinely, and stay home if ill.  You can also protect yourself by receiving the annual flu vaccine. 

 

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID, the Health Department would ask that you get yourself tested. For more information visit https://dph.illinois.gov/testing. For more information on the Moultrie County Health Department’s news, and events and services, visit www.moultriehealth.org or visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/moultriecountyhealth. 

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Taylorville Marks 2nd Anniversary Of Tornado

December 1st, 2020 marks the 2nd anniversary of the December 1st, 2018 EF tornado that came through Taylorville. Mayor Bruce Barry issued a press release thanking Missions for Taylorville for the hard work they have put into restoring the city.

 

 

The Mayor also thanked the many people who volunteered and announced a partnership with the local Tree Board.

 

 

Mayor Barry also asked everyone to take a moment and remember on December 1st.

 

 

For more on what you can do to help the community and Missions for Taylorville, please contact the Mayor’s Office at 287-7946.

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Sullivan Mayor Richard Glazebrook Talks Fiber Internet And Christmas

Christmas celebrations are going to be handled a little bit differently this year in Sullivan, according to Mayor Richard Glazebrook.    

 

 

There are a variety of different projects that the city of Sullivan is working on including a sewer project and installing fiber internet throughout town. 

 

 

Mayor Glazebrook is thrilled to be able to help bring fiber internet to Sullivan with Metro Communications.

 

 

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

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Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty Discusses A Potential Decrease In State Funding

With budget cuts likely coming for school districts across the state of Illinois, Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty says that any decrease in funding will have a huge impact on the district.    

 

 

To prepare for the anticipated cuts, Dr. Dougherty says that the district took a variety of different steps to save money where they could.

 

 

While the Taylorville School District did prepare for future budget cuts, if the state sends fewer dollars for this budget year, it could cause a variety of new problems for the district, but Dr. Dougherty doesn’t expect any further staff cuts.

 

 

There are a variety of different challenges that face the district besides the budget, according to Dr. Dougherty, including when to bring students back to campus and getting families signed up for the free meal program.

 

 

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

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The Central Illinois Food Bank Is In Need Of Volunteers

Beth Wakefield is the new Public Relations Manager at the Central Illinois Food Bank and they’ve taken a variety of different steps to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and still provide the food that so many central Illinois families depend on.    

 

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a large increase in need in central Illinois, according to Wakefield.

 

 

The Central Illinois Food Bank, according to Wakefield, is well stocked with food, but they are always looking for more

donations.

 

 

The Food Bank is looking for volunteers, according to Wakefield.

 

 

For more information on the Central Illinois Food Bank, please visit centralilfoodbank.org. Beth Wakefield was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 

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