Lake land College’s communications program is undergoing a name change. Formerly known as the Radio and Television program, starting this fall it will be known as the Broadcast and Communication program. Greg Powers, Director of the program believes that term will better encompass all they have to offer.
Students who go through this program receive and Associate’s degree, which will look a little different now. The program is also viable to those who choose to continue their education at a four year university.
Outside of the two year degree Powers says they offer one year certificates, too.
At Lake land College they are preparing students for all different types of media, which Powers says includes the relationship between traditional and social media
Powers appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
Senate Republicans today introduced legislation to address redistricting. The People’s Independent Maps Act would allow Illinois legislative redistricting maps to be created by an independent commission, rather than politicians.
The bill is Senate Bill 1325. It follows identical language as a constitutional amendment filed by Senator Julie Morrison, a Democrat from Deerfield, in 2019. That bill had garnered 37 co-sponsors in the Senate including 18 Democrats. An amendment pushed through the house passed in 2016 with 105 YES votes.
Senate Republican Leader Jim Durkin says that it is time.
Current Illinois law allows legislators to draw and approve a map by June 30th. The act would also give the Supreme Court the power to appoint 16 independent citizen commissioners to the Commission, it would reflect ethnic, gender, and racial demographics for the State and party affiliation would be evenly split with members without party affiliation.
The law would also prohibit legislators, state employees, and lobbyists from serving on it and the Commission would hold at least 10 public hearings throughout the State before it was adopted with at least 4 hearings after the map is proposed.
House Republicans have drawn up very similar legislature.
Social Security plays a large role in your life after you retire, and Jack Myers, Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration says that social security can also play a role in medicare. With medicare, Powers says it’s easy to apply and there are two parts to Medicare—part A and part B.
Myers says there is an initial enrollment period and you will want to get signed up within the first three months of that period.
You don’t have to be 65 to sign up for Medicare benefits.
There are other parts of Medicare also that aren’t covered under social security.
Jack Myers appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
With COVID vaccines on the rise, Regional Radio News is taking a look and breaking down the numbers as far as how much of the population has gotten the vaccine. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says once 70% of Illinoisans 65 and older have the vaccine, the State can start lifting capacity limits as we approach the bridge to Phase 5.
According to the CDC, Illinois is sitting at 15% total population being vaccinated with 28% receiving the first dose and 41% of those 65 and older receiving the vaccine. In Christian County, 15% of the population total has been vaccinated with 45% of those 65 and older having received the vaccine. In Macon County, 14% of the total population has been vaccinated while 37% of those 65 and older have received the vaccine.
In Montgomery County, 14% of the total population has been vaccinated with 36% receiving the vaccine 65 and older and in Shelby County, 13% of the population has received the vaccine with 28% of those 65 and older get it. In Illinois, Piatt County and Adams County have the highest vaccine totals.
So far 5.6 million doses have been given out in Illinois with 86,000 done on Tuesday.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the Christian County Coal Mine Museum, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.
Chuck Martin is the executive director of the Museum, which was founded 17 years ago. Martin told the Kiwanis members that it's had several different locations in those 17 years, and recently moved into a 7,000-square-foot building that formerly housed the Matrix Gym on East Park Street next to the Driver's License Office.
Martin shared with Kiwanis members on how the Museum got the new building.
Martin said the Museum celebrates Christian County's rich coal mining history, which began in 1885 with the first mine located at the intersection of East Market and East Franklin. Martin added that in 1910, Illinois had over 800 active coal mines, compared to just over a dozen statewide today.
Martin added the Museum will highlight the people that were part of the county's coal mines, as well as how safety improvements came to the mining industry, and the history of coal mining in the county. Martin plans to take part of the space to build a simulated coal mine for grade school children to experience.
Martin told the Kiwanis Club the new Museum location will hold a Grand Re-Opening in May.
Elections are coming up on April 6th. One of the candidates on the ballot for Mayor of Taylorville is Bill Newberry. He is running because he believes the tax money isn’t going where it should be, and he wants to fix that.
Another key issue for Newberry is bringing jobs to the city.
Newberry has experience with city government in his past as an Alderman, among other things. He says things were run differently, but the reasons he’s going for office are still the same as when he ran for Alderman.
If elected, Newberry says he would work to get funding used on streets and sidewalks, and take a look at the water department.
Newberry appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
Easter is coming up and with it comes a special time for churches. Lead Minister at First Christian Church Mowequa, Ryan Baker, says they are planning four different services in person, which is a change from last year.
According to Baker, one of the goals to having four different services was to spread things out and allow for people to feel safe.
As a church, being online wasn’t easy. However, Baker believes their message had a larger reach on that platform.
Now that First Christian Church Mowequa is getting back to more in person services, Baker is happy to see all the new faces that found them over the last few months.
Baker appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
House Representative Avery Bourne has been pushing for a new Illinois and a look at a change for where this State can go. Representative Bourne wanted one simple plan to put together the best plan for moving the state forward. For this “Reimagine Illinois” Bourne wants a focus on four pillars.
Representative Bourne says one of the biggest problems starts with fiscal spending.
One of the main proposals that House Republicans have pushed is an actual balanced budget.
Another big push is waiting periods where the public is allowed to view the bill before it’s voted on.
For more information, visit https://repbourne.com/
While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down a lot of necessities and put many things on hold, Doctors are urging patients not to forget their routine checkups like mammograms. Delaying a mammogram can lead to serious health problems and some patients have had issues due to delaying their health care due to the pandemic.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, other than skin cancer. The average risk of women developing breast cancer in her life is about 13% meaning that there is a 1 in 8 chance a woman will develop breast cancer. Nearly 44,000 women in the US will die this year from breast cancer. Allison Gleason, a supervisor of the Women’s Center for OSF Healthcare says that after the age of 40, women should be screened annually.
With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more available, health care providers are reporting that mammogram appointments are on the rise. One concern that doctors see is swollen lymph nodes under arms, which is a possible side effect of the COVID vaccine. Swollen lymph nodes can also be a sign of breast cancer.
Medical facilities continue to clean and take precautions to help provide comfort and accessibility for patients.
The procedure for mammograms is relatively painless with the entire process taking 20 to 30 minutes to complete after check-in. Gleason encourages you to check with your primary physician if you have any questions, and the best time for your mammogram.
If you visit Taylorville Memorial Hospital click here for more information or HSHS click here for more information.
A new pilot program has Taylorville Memorial Hospital at the forefront of vaccine distribution. Taylorville Memorial Hospital CEO Kim Bourne, says that TMH will receive one shot Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccines. Bourne says this shot is a game-changer.
While you can still develop an illness from COVID after you have the vaccine, it will help limit severe cases. The vaccine for the pilot program will be given out on April 9th. Bourne says you can call to make an appointment by calling 217-707-5472.
The vaccine is available for those 18 and older. Everybody that wants a vaccine will be put on the list, and the hospital will call you back with a time. Bourne says getting this vaccine will help towards getting back to normal.
While you’re not always able to know what vaccine you’re getting, whether it’s the Moderna or Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson, but with this pilot program, Bourne says you know what you are getting.
The clinic will once again be done on April 9th. You can call and leave a voicemail to get on the list by calling 707-5472. There are 200 shots available and it will be a first call, first serve vaccine.
It’s a sellers market. That’s what recent real estate transplant to Shelbyville Matt Forcum, Owner and Operator of Shelby Realty Bitzer and Associates, is saying.
The term sellers market speaks to the opportunity sellers have. It doesn’t necessarily mean buyers will get a bad deal. In fact, according to Forcum, it means the interest rates for potential buyers are actually really good.
The sellers market may cause properties to move quickly. Because of lack of supply of different properties, Forcum says buyers might have to pay and compromise more.
For potential sellers to get he most out of the current market conditions, Forcum recommends being prepared.
Forcum appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
With 4 new cases of COVID-19 in Christian County, the Christian County Health Department is urging residents to get the vaccine that is available. According to the Health Department, there are still plenty of slots available for those who want it. Illinois Governor JB Pritzker says that he is concerned about COVID increases as the state’s positivity rate has slowly climbed from 2.3% last week to 3.2% this week. While that number has increased slightly, it’s still way below the limit that would send Illinois back a phase.
Governor Pritzker says that the demand for vaccines is starting to slow, so the Governor has opened up the vaccine to anyone in areas where the demand for vaccines has been slowing.
As of April 12th, everyone in every county in Illinois will be eligible for the vaccine however in counties like Macon and Sangamon can get the vaccine now regardless of age or comorbidities.
The Federal Government is projecting that Illinois will receive nearly 1 million doses next week for distribution. If you are in Christian County and want the vaccine, click here to get on the waiting list and click here to download the form. In Montgomery County, please call 217-532-2001 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, or email your name, age, phone number, and what town you live in, to firstname.lastname@example.org, to have your name added to the list to find out more about how to receive the vaccine.
Over the past year live performances have only been a memory. As things clear up, those shows are coming back. Kim Jansen, Executive Director of Effingham Performance Center, says they have their social distancing programming coming up.
In order to host shows and still abide by social distancing rules, Jansen explains EPC has created what they call ‘Fam Pods.’
A couple times each year the EPC hosts what they call interactive movies.
There are several shows coming up including high school theater and the Swan Brothers. Jansen says you can find upcoming shows, and see what the pods look like on their website.
Jansen appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White issued reminders in a press release, urging the public to visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to conduct business online. Over the last nine months, his office has recorded more than 3.8 million transactions online, which is an increase of 75%. The Secretary Of State has also extended all driver’s license and ID card expiration dates an additional two months.
This means that all expired driver’s licenses and ID cards as well as those expiring over the next four months will now be valid until August 1st, 2021. This extension does not apply to CDL or CDL learner permits. Secretary of State spokesperson Beth Kaufman says that this is a way to get everyone in online to keep social distancing, and help prevent the spread of COVID.
Some online transactions that you can do include purchasing license plate stickers, renew driver’s licenses, and much more online. To renew license plate stickers online, you need a registration ID and pin. Those are located on the renewal notice and registration card. Click on “License Plates Renewal” under online services to complete the application.
You can check your eligibility status for online driver’s license and ID card renewal by clicking the “read more on how to renew your driver’s license or ID card online.” This can be found at the top of the main page. Than click “Check your eligibility now.”
For more information visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com.
With the border wall and immigration still being a big topic, Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon show, says that the discussion has led to some confusion and that President Biden is trying to appease too many people.
Bohannon says that this is a push to get as many people in as possible, because they will vote democrat.
The problem Bohannon says is that nobody has the right to enter a country illegally.
Bohannon says the policy is all wrong, as now the Government is letting anyone in.
Jim Bohannon appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Saturday night's severe weather in the Regional Radio listening area, dropped several poles and a primary power line owned by Ameren Illinois south of Taylorville.
Sub-contractors for Ameren were on hand Sunday to replace nearly 2 miles of poles just east of the Nokomis Road, and north of Lake Shore Golf Course.
Some Ameren customers in that area, were without power thru mid afternoon on Sunday.
The storms knocked Miller Media Group radio station "THE WINNER 96-5" off the air from Saturday night, until early afternoon on Sunday.
The bad weather also knocked out power in other portions of Central Illinois, with the Champaign-Urbana area still working to be restored as of Sunday afternoon.
It’s almost time for summer classes at Lincoln Land Community College. Director Dee Krueger says that registration for summer is open and they will offer in person learning for these classes.
While the last year has been hard on students and teachers alike, it did show LLCC what they were capable of doing. Because of that, Krueger explains they have five different options on how to take classes.
There’s also a new nursing center coming to LLCC in partnership with Memorial Health System that’s allowing them to expand their program to 215 nursing students.
The registration process starts with applying, and all that can be done on the LLCC website.
Krueger appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
Getting outside has been tough over the last year and so has learning anywhere but on a Zoom call. Coming up soon, Sara Marten, 4H Youth Development Educator with the University of Illinois Extension Office, has a way to both of those things.
Learning about the outdoors will immerse participants in what they are learning, which Marten says is very exciting.
Because this isn’t being done via Zoom, Marten explains there’s a different set up that allows the participants to work at their own leisure.
On top of the experience, there is no cost for this event.
Marten appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
A year ago, Memorial Behavioral Health established an emotional-support line to help individuals who are experiencing anxiety or stress. A year later, and Memorial Behavioral Health is reporting that more than 2,000 calls have been made to that support line in the last year.
Calls are usually involving anxiety whether it is for themselves or another loved one. According to Memorial Behavioral Health’s Amber Olson, there is a lot of concern over loved ones contracting COVID-19, or managing the stress of children at home doing online learning, or just needing a social connection. Olson says though that as the pandemic continued stress starting shifting to relationship troubles, the loss of loved ones, and fears of financial strain from not working, or losing a job.
Support lin staff would often make bridge calls which would help the Memorial Behavioral Health Crisis Clinic to bridge the gap between the patient and actual mental health services to give patients the support and care that they would need that would be more than just what a phone call gives.
Olson says that when you call the hotline, you can expect consistency, support, and care along with tips for combating COVID-19, handling money issues, and providing links to community services, and behavioral health services.
The Memorial Behavioral Health Emotional Support Line is always free and open to everyone, regardless of whether you are a patient or not with Memorial. Please call the support hotline at 217-588-5509. For more information, you can visit www.memorialbehavioralhealth.org/services/emotional-support-hotline.
The Spring Swing is an event held by the Greate Taylorville Chamber of Commerce each year. This year it will be on April 10th. It’s an event where different businesses set up a putt putt hole and those who register go to each business and play. President of the Board of Direcotrs for the Chamber, Sarah Van Huss, is looking forward to this event.
The pre-registration has passed, but you can still register for the event at any of the participating locations. Van Huss says this is a fun event and the businesses get creative when setting up their holes.
Playing golf at bars around town means plenty of food will be available.
Van Huss appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is urging motorists to be on the lookout for crews picking up trash and to do its part by not littering. If you do spot maintenance vehicles and other workers that are picking up garbage and trash, slow down, move over, and give them space. IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel says that by doing your part of not littering, you could save taxpayers money.
Last year IDOT spent $6.1 million on litter pickup. This is the same cost as resurfacing 30 miles of road or buying 40 new trucks that could plow snow in winter. IDOT also says items tossed onto the road can cause distractions, crashes, or even hurt people and put workers at risk who have to clean after you. Wappel says you can get a fine of up to $1500.
IDOT also says that litter can kill plants and animals and it's something that can easily be controlled by just not doing it. For more information please call 217-557-3224.
The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation is covering the costs of a Mental Health First Aid Class that focuses on youth training. Mental Health First Aid-Youth is an 8-hour certification course open to the public. It presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorder with a focus on youth. Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation Executive Director Raedena Ryan, who is not a mental health physician, does support the hospital and knows that this is an important program.
If you are interested in registering for the course, visit taylorvillememorial.org/foundation/events/mental-health-first-aid or call 217-707-5250.
While this course is designed for people who work with children or are completing mental health first aid training, Ryan says this class is open for anyone.
The class is set for May 18th and you must be preregistered. For more information visit www.taylorvillememorial.org.
Regional Radio News along with WMKR and People's Bank And Trust is proud to announce the Pana High School Students of the Month for the month of March. Congratulations!
L-R: Peoples Bank and Trust Representative Laura Dudley; Freshman Caleb Adams; Sophomore Olivia Anderson; Junior Kirsten Cravens; Senior Gage Brown, People’s Bank and Trust Representative Joani Jones
A Taylorville man is being charged with reckless homicide after a vehicle motorcycle crash left one person dead in August of 2020. 25-year-old Dylan Tucker of Taylorville was charged with one count of reckless homicide, disregarding a stop sign and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
The accident happened on August 19th, 2020 at County Road 400 East and County Road 2400 North. Tucker ran the stop sign and hit Michael Castelli of Lovington who was killed in the vehicle crash.
Tucker is expected to make his first appearance in court on March 29th in front of Judge Jeremy Richey in Moultrie County.
The Tractor Drive event through the Christian County Farm Bureau is taking place again this year. They did hold it in 2020 with restrictions, according to Manager of the Christian County Farm Bureau, Mellisa McMillan. This year, the date got pushed back.
Over the years the Tractor Drive has had a number of different routes. This year, there’s yet another new route on the horizon.
In years past they’ve started the event at Jenner Ag in Taylorville and McMillan says this year will be no different.
The proceeds from the Tractor Drive go directly to their foundation, which helps with things such as scholarships. There’s no need to register, they do that the day of the event. McMillan says it’s a fun filled morning and it doesn’t have to just be tractors.
McMillan appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show during National Ag Week.
Since the early 1980’s the Taylorville Ministerial Association has been a place for different churches in the community to work together for the betterment of the community. Bill Kerns is President of the organization and he says they are always looking for new churches to get involved.
Kerns, along with Vice President of the Taylorville Ministerial Association Curtis Franks, believe more involvement from local churches opens the door for more opportunity to help locally.
They work with the Salvation Army for bell ringing, and that is a great way to help keep money local.
Another thing they help with, according to Kerns, is with essentials like food, shelter, and gas.
Kerns appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
In the wake of the unfortunate acts of violence recently in Boulder and Atlanta, among others, gun control has come to the forefront of the national conversation once again. Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon Show, says that it’s the same tune that has been playing for years in regards to this issue.
Bohannon continues by saying that, generally, the correlation between gun control and gun violence is such that stricter laws usually means more violence.
For Bohannon, it seems nothing has changed to warrant more gun control to get passed considering this is a conversation that arises continually. The maintains that guns will always be available to those with bad intentions.
Bohannon appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
With Taylorville School District back in session full time, traffic is a big part. Traffic has always been hectic at the school, but going a long time between being in school full time, has led to some traffic issues as things kick off. Sergeant Alan Mills of the Taylorville Police Department says that he is appreciative of the people showing patience through this first week as things slowly get back to normal.
Backups at Taylorville School District are not uncommon but thanks to COVID and spreading the kids out a little bit more for social distancing has caused the backups to last a little longer.
With nicer weather, Sgt. Mills says that there will be more people outside in general never mind the fact that school is back in session.
When it all comes down to it Taylorville Police Department asks for patience as things get going.
Sergeant Alan Mills appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Governor JB Pritzker was on hand at Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield on Wednesday to receive his COVID-19 vaccine. Senator Doris Turner was on hand as well to talk about the vaccines. Turner says that thanks to vaccines, we can start moving towards a “new normal.”
As far as making an appointment, Senator Turner says it’s very easy and takes 3 simple steps. You don’t need to live or work in Sangamon County to get a vaccine there.
Governor JB Pritzker says that this vaccine will give Illinoisans a fighting chance.
Governor Pritzker says that he is encouraged by the number of people getting the vaccine but wants to see that number go up.
Find your nearest vaccination location by calling (833) 621-1284 to schedule an appointment near you.
Regional Radio News is proud to announce the March 2021 Students of the Month for Taylorville High School Brought to you by People's Bank and Trust and WTIM. Congratulations to Cameron Stephens, Bryce Friedrich, Jace Mollett, and Megan Czakowski!
L-R: PEOPLES BANK AND TRUST REPRESENTATIVE NOAH LIKES; SENIOR CAMERON STEPHENS; JUNIOR BRYCE FRIEDRICH; SOPHOMORE JACE MOLLET; FRESHMAN MEGAN CZAJKOWSKI
A search warrant led to a major arrest on Monday in Taylorville. Taylorville Police started an investigation into narcotics on the 900 block of West Rich Street. Complaints were lodged from neighbors about traffic in and out of the house. On Monday, March 22nd, TPD obtained a search warrant at that location and initiated it late at night.
Upon entering the home, 38-year-old Joshua M. Declerck and 42-year-old Nathan Domonousky were both arrested. Declerck, currently on parole, was arrested for an armed violence Class X Felony, possession of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, and possession of a firearm by a felon. Domonousky was arrested for possession of a stolen firearm, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver. Several grams of meth was recovered along with scales and baggies.
Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler thanked State’s Attorney Mike Havera and Judge Brad Paisley for the assistance. This investigation is ongoing and other co-conspirators are being investigated.
There are many things about the agriculture industry that might not be widely known to those outside of it. National Ag Week is a great time to learn. The term precision ag might be one of those that isn’t well know. Logan Sarginson, Precision Ag Specialist with Christian County Farmers Supply, explains it encompasses technology.
One thing that Sarginson works with in his field is something called Ag MRI.
Getting a birdseye view of a farm from this pictures can do a lot for farmers. One of the biggest positives is that it saves them from a logistical nightmare.
Sarginson says Ag MRI’s is a very versatile tool that can provide help in many areas for farmers.
Sarginson appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show during National Ag Week.
It’s National Ag Week and it’s a time to celebrate all of the things the agriculture industry does for everyday life. Mellisa McMillan, Manager of the Christian County Farm Bureau, says they don’t have to do anything special during this week. Every day is a celebration of agriculture for them.
Getting information out there about agriculture is very important. McMillan explains they do something called Field Fridays, which includes a Facebook Live post every Friday to help disseminate good information.
Field Fridays can be found of the Christian County Farm Bureau Facebook page. They offer scholarships for students studying agriculture and there are no rules on where some one attends college, which means students going out of state are eligible. They can also apply all four years.
McMillan says they don’t want to forget about students studying in the agriculture field just because they are continuing students.
McMillan appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show during National Ag Week.
After Christian County Clerk, Michael Gianasi’s resignation, the County is turning to a new County Clerk, albeit a temporary one. Katrina Dieterich, who has been the County’s Chief Deputy Clerk for the past two years, will hold the interim position until the Board fills it with a more permanent role. Dieterich says that while there are some differences, the Deputy Clerk position has prepared her for her new role.
Dieterich says she doesn’t know how long she will hold the position but is excited for it.
The County office remains open for day-to-day operations Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 4.
The number to reach the County Clerk’s Office is 217-824-4966.
With storm season here, the National Weather Service relies on spotters in the field to relay information to meteorologists, who than pass that information to the public. Ed Shimon (Shi as in ship-shi-mun), a meteorologist with the National Weather Service says that spotters are extremely important.
If you are interested in taking a spotter class there are classes coming up. You can register at weather.gov/ilx/spotter.
The classes usually go 1 hour and 45 minutes with a break in between.
Shimon recommends a good PC for viewing the presentation and registering online for the many classes that are available.
For more information visit www.weather.gov/ilx/spotter.
Skeletal remains found in a field in Pana have been positively identified. Coroner Amy Calvert Winans has identified the remains as Daniel T. Crosby of Carterville. Crosby had been missing since February of 2020. According to a press release from Winans, The positive identification process was able to be completed through dental records, a forensic pathologist, a dentist, and an anthropologist. The family has been notified and according to the press release appreciate all the various people and agencies that allowed them to finally get some closure. ISP Zone 4 continues to lead this investigation.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of things when it comes to how school is done. Tammy Reindl, who does Technology Integration for the Taylorville School District, said that they had to expand their plan to the 5th and 6th grade levels.
Ultimately this will allow for teachers to go remote for snow days to not miss any learning days. Reindl praised the teachers for all their hard work in adjusting to what the crazed school year has thrown at them.
One of the ways Taylorville decided to help the learning of students in a remote environment, and beyond when school looks more normal, is by bringing in something called interactive panels.
These interactive panels are very versatile according to Reindl.
Reindl appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
Elections are coming up next month and one of the names on the ballot will be Jeff Stoner, who is running for Ward 2 Alderman. Stoner has roots in Taylorville that includes being a firefighter.
Stoner is running for this office because it is a way to make a difference and take action.
Enacting change is a big part of what Stoner is hoping to do. He is a resident of Ward 2 and knows he has to listen to the people, should he be elected.
Injecting youth into the local government is something Stoner believes he’ll be able to do as a 32-year-old running for this office. He believes that is something that will be helpful for the community.
Stoner appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
The Taylorville Park District made the first real steps towards a new or remodeled pool in Taylorville. Recreational Director Bailey Hancock announced that there were three groups that were left for the assessment part. The assessment was needed for any project to see what was all needed before moving forward. The three groups were Williams Architecture, Burbach Aquatic, and Farnsworth Group. Hancock said she preferred Burbach or Williams but Burbach definitely had some pros other than no grant writer which would cost extra.
The motion was approved to go forward on Burbach Aquatics for the first part. Hancock says she’s excited that things are finally starting to move in the right direction.
Hancock also talked about the upcoming pool season. There is still a need for lifeguards and helpers at the pool. There was a big discussion on raising prices due to the minimum wage going up. One of those changes would be changing pool hours.
There was also talk about changing the reduced pool rates.
Nothing was set at this meeting and the discussion went on quite a bit over the best way to move forward. Hancock said she would go back and come up with a formal plan to introduce it to the board at the April meeting.
Specialized Hearing Solutions had its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. Krystal Baker, owner of Specialized Hearing Solutions which is located at 301 South Webster in Taylorville says she is excited to be opening.
Baker says she loves the location for her new business.
Baker says that you can give her a call or check their Facebook page for more info and to set up appointments.
Baker just says that she is excited to meet people, help the community with education and work with customers on their
The Taylorville Park District will meet on Monday evening at Manners Park Dining Hall in Taylorville for their regular monthly meeting at 7 PM. Pool engineers will be discussed along with the approval of payment of bills. There will also be reports from Maintenance Supervisor Gary Brown and a recreational director update from Bailey Hancock.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for complete coverage on this story and for a full report on this meeting.
The Shelby County Barr Association has set their 2021 leadership team. The team consists of Presidentt Cari Rincker of Rincker Law, Vice President Nichole Kroncke of the State Attorney’s Office, Secretary Ruth Woolery of Dove and Dove, and as Treasurer Walter Lookofsky of the Lookofsky Law Office. , Shelbyville Native and President for the 2021 term, Cari Rincker says that the Association meets quarterly but this year their meeting bi-monthly.
Rincker says that Zoom is probably here to stay as far as changes due to COVID.
Due to Zoom, Rincker is able to meet with more clients and there are no geographical restrictions.
Rincker says that there are some negatives but the positives of Zoom definitely outweigh the negatives.
The board met in January on Zoom but will meet in person at Monacal’s Pizza in March and do every other meeting via Zoom.
On Saturday, March 20th, Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Zone 4 agents, found human skeletal remains in a field near the 2500 block of East 6th Street Road in Pana. The human remains were located during a search by the Chrismont EMA, Pana Police Department, Pana Fire Department, Christian County Sheriff's Office, Coroner's Office, the ISP Crime Scene Services, the DCI, and numerous other agencies.
The skeletal remains were found in an area to the north and east of the last known location of Daniel Crosby. Crosby is a missing person from Carterville, who police have been searching for. The search was conducted beyond areas that had been previously looked at. NO identification has been made at this time. Identification will require additional forensic review. Preliminary observation of the remains showed no obvious signs of trauma.
Crosby last had contact with his family in February of 2020 and the family reported him missing to the Carterville Police Department on March 18th. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call the ISP at 217-782-4750.
The Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation along with the Chris-Mont Emergency Management Agency, Pana Police Department, Pana Fire Department, and the Christian County Sheriff’s Office are expanding their search for a missing person. Daniel “Danny” Crosby of Carterville went missing near the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Pana.
Additional information received from the public has caused the investigation to expand past the Fairgrounds. The public is asked to stay out of the area near and adjacent to the fairgrounds as authorities intensify their search.
Daniel Crosby’s family has not had any contact with him since February 27th of 2020 in Pana. Crosby was reported missing to the Carterville Police Department on March 18th of 2020. The investigation is still ongoing and no additional information is available at this time. If you have any information, please contact the Illinois State Police at 217-782-4750.
Taylorville City Treasurer Jacque Nation has issued a statement to Regional Radio News following a harassment complaint that she filed with Human Resources concerning Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry. Here is the full statement from Treasurer Nation on the incident that took place.
“On January 29, 2021, during office hours, I was headed to Mayor Barry’s office to discuss city business with him. As I walked up the stairs I heard Mayor Barry loudly say my name. It was apparent he was on speaker phone with someone at his secretary’s desk, which is immediately adjacent to the public area and Council Chambers. What he said was shocking, demeaning, sexist and totally unprofessional. His remarks very well could have been heard by anyone in the open stairwell and public vestibule below, with no need to ‘eavesdrop’. I immediately reported those disparaging remarks to the City’s HR Manager and filed a complaint; as required to do so in my capacity as City Treasurer, mandated by the City of Taylorville’s own policies. This complaint was made on January 29, 2021, and not ‘very late in the election cycle’ and absolutely not ‘politically motivated’ as Mayor Barry said. As Mayor Barry’s comments indicated he is ‘saddened’ by this; I am saddened that my complaint was even necessary.”
Mayor Barry has apologized for the remark and gave a statement to Regional Radio News earlier in the week.
There is help out there from the Illinois State Trerasurer to help non-profits. Treasurer Michael Frerichs says that the deadline to apply for the charitable trust fund is coming up quickly.
For non-profits that want to apply, that process happens online.
The foundation for this charitable trust program was already in place when Treasurer Frerichs took office, but he made sure to bring it to the forefront.
Frerichs appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
Easter is right around the corner and that means egg dying season is coming with it. Nutrition and Wellness Educator with the University of Illinois Extension Office, Lisa Peterson, warns to make sure you know how long those eggs have been sitting out.
There are kits to use when dying eggs, but Peterson says another way is to use spices.
Dry spices are one way to go, but there are some foods that work too, according to Peterson.
Dyed eggs are edible. Peterson even suggested a game where you guess what food or dry spice was used to dye an egg based on taste.
Peterson appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
Business After Hours is officially back, just with a new name. It’s now known as the Vibe at Five, and that stands for Very Important Business Event. Sarah Van Huss with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce says the first event back at Southern Ledge Pools and Patios was fantastic.
The samples of the spices offered at Southern Ledge were a real standout for Van Huss, who walked away from the event with the apple spice.
The Chamber is still looking for Vibe at Five hosts for future months, however in April it will be at Peoples Bank and Trust.
There is also the Chamber banquet coming up with special keynote speaker, Congressman Rodney Davis.
Van Huss appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
The gallbladder isn’t something you think about on a regular basis when it comes to organs in your body, however, if there is a problem, the gallbladder can cause all kinds of issues. Amy Henderson, a Family Practice Physician Assistant with OSF, says that the gallbladder helps break down fat in your diet.
There will be nearly 12,000 new cases of gallbladder cancer diagnosed this year according to the American Cancer Society. While gallbladder cancer isn’t usually found until it has progressed, be aware of the warning signs such as abdominal pain or bloating, rapid weight loss, or a jaundice appearance. The most common issue associated with the gallbladder are gallstones. Gallstones don’t generally cause issues unless they change in size.
Among the risk factors for gallbladder related issues are obesity, pregnancy, living a sedentary lifestyle, and eating a high-fat diet. Women are also more likely to have gallbladder issues than men. Anderson says there are plenty of things to do to help prevent issues.
Henderson says to go see your primary care physician if you have any issues.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced on Thursday a bridge between phase 4 and phase 5 in a new phase. This phase will feature higher capacity limits and will emphasize and encourage people to get the vaccine. There will be higher capacity limits at most businesses including spectator sports and public places.
In order to move to phase 5, 70% of Seniors must receive at least their first shot and case rates, and hospital admissions must remain steady or drop. Right now 58% of seniors have been vaccinated. While 70% of seniors must receive the vaccine, 50% of people 16 and older in Illinois must be vaccinated for the state to move to phase 5. Right now the number is at 28%. Governor Pritzker says all people aged 16 and older will become eligible for the vaccination no later than April 12th.
Governor Pritzker says that he understands some people are concerned about getting the vaccine so mask wearing will still be encouraged until the CDC says so.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Illinois Director of Public Health says that things are definitely trending in the right direction.
For more information click here.
Amy Calvert Winans released her investigation findings on several area death investigations. 12 year old Charlotte E. Tex of Taylorville died on January 20th at her residence. Her cause of death was determined to be bupropion intoxication. Her death was determined to be suicide. Taylorville Police Department handled the investigation.
23 year old Tanner J. Mitchell of Taylorville died on January 22nd at the scene of a crash on Route 48 near McAdam Drive in Taylorville. His cause of death was blunt force trauma. The death was determined to be accidental. Illinois State Police handled the investigation.
27 year old Trent Hunter of Pana died on February 8th at Pana Community Hospital ER. Cause of death was determined to be methamphetamine intoxication. The death was determined to be accidental. Pana Police Department handled the investigation.
Just off the heels of the first successful hip replacement surgery, Pana Community Hospital is not done. They set goals while undergoing their building project. One of those goals was to add new surgical suites to be able to perform surgeries, such as hip replacement, in house. Another goal is to be able to do MRIs in house, and Marketing Manager at PCH Melissa Rybolt says they are raising funds to make that happen.
There is more that goes into doing in house MRIs than just getting the machine. According to Rybolt that had to intentionally build a room specifically for this purpose.
All the PCH fundraising is done through their foundation, who set records raising money for the building project.
Rybolt says none of this growth would be possible with the continued support from their community.
Rybolt appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The State Treasurers Office recently reached a big milestone. Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says the investment earnings since he took office is now north of one billion dollars.
One billion dollars is a very large sum of money. According to Frerichs with the current interest rate environment, it makes the milestone even better.
This is not the first time this mark has been reached. Frerichs says it’s happened before, but it was under very different circumstances in terms of the interest rate environment.
With the interest rates being much higher than in 1999 when the feat was last achieved, it’s meant Frerichs had to get more creative to continue seeing gains. This is not the only area that they are seeing positive outcomes for. There are several other aspects where the office has been able to find money to aid citizens of the state.
Frerichs appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
With technology improving every day and new ideas and improvements continuing to shape the world we live in, one area that has seen a massive improvement in the last decade has been electric cars. Mike Abba, director of Smart Grid integration and system improvement with Ameren, says that electric vehicles is going to start being at the forefront of sales in the near future.
Abba says electric cars bring a lot of benefits including being more economical.
Abba says that it’s only a matter of time before electrical cars start to be the main focus of auto manufacturers.
As far as people not buying electric vehicles, Abba says people are skeptical.
Mike Abba appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Illinois House Republicans launched a new website and a new platform called Reimagine Illinois. The plan focuses on House Republicans' priorities for the 102nd General Assembly and wants Illinoisans to take a hard look at Illinois and see what they would Illinois to look like. GOP House Minority Leader, Jim Durkin says that these principles will make Illinois a better state.
State Representative Avery Bourne says that this is something that she along with other Representatives have worked hard on focusing on four areas including ending corruption in Government.
Representative Bourne says that conversations need to happen on actually balancing the budget. She says Illinois should have these tough conversations.
A multi-faceted website – ReimagineIllinois.com – includes various tools for the public to learn about the platform by downloading PDF’s, watching member video summaries, and signing a petition to get engaged.
The Moultrie County Health Department has announced that they along with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the National Guard will be hosting a COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic in Sullivan. The immunization clinic will have 800 Johnson and Johnson vaccines to those individuals who live or work in Moultrie County. The clinic will be held on Friday, March 19th from 8:30 AM until 2:30 PM. It will be at Building 1225 located at 1225 South Hamilton in Sullivan.
Vaccines will be provided to all those who qualify as 1A, 1B, and 1B+ on the IDPH Vaccination eligibility list.
The eligibility list is here: To register click here.
Those receiving the vaccine must be 18 years of age or older, bring a photo ID, along with proof of residency or workplace identification. Vaccines will be by appointment only.
If you have previously registered online with the Moultrie County Health Department and haven’t received your vaccine, you may also sign-up for this opportunity. Registrations on the website will not transfer to the clinic. Participants are asked to wear short sleeves and wear masks.
For more information visit www.moultriehealth.org or find them on Facebook.
Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry has been accused of harassment by City Treasurer Jacque Nation. Nation and Barry are both seeking reelection in the April Midterms. According to the minutes from the March 1st City Council meeting, it says that Nation asked for an update on the harassment complaint from Human Resources. Mayor Barry apologized to the treasurer and stated that he shouldn’t have made the comment.
Mayor Barry apologized for making the comments but says that Nation was eavesdropping on a private conversation and feels that this is politically motivated.
Regional Radio News reached out to Treasurer Jacque Nation but was unable to reach her at her office. A formal response is expected at a later date from Human Resources to Nation.
There are many cool things tucked away at the Christian County Historical Society. Among them is a log cabin, which Jodi Heberling from the Historical Society says is actually a unique log house.
With work needed on the log house, Heberling says they are taking steps to get that done. Among them is a call for volunteers and they will be raising funds.
The log house has been on the grounds since before 1970. Heberling shares the story she knows about how it was discovered.
It almost seems inconceivable that there was a mystery log house within another house, but Heberling says it does make some sense.
Heberling appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
State Senator Doris Turner has been in her position for a month. Filling a seat mid term can be a difficult transition, but she has hit the ground running. Senator Turner wants to carry on the tradition of constituent engagement that was set by her predecessor, former Senator Andy Manar.
Senator Turner is doing everything she can to have a presence in all corners of the 48th district.
Committees are going to be important for Senator Turner and she is happy to have been put on committees that she feels are most beneficial to her district.
Another really key issue for Senator Turner is education. She has already been in touch with many educators in the short time she’s held office.
Senator Turner appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The programming continues at the University of Illinois Extension as they do their best to spread information to those in the community. Sara Marten, 4H Youth Development Educator says there is something called Plant Life coming up on April 15th that is all about soybeans.
This is a free event. Marten says all you have to do is sign up.
With soybeans being such a prevalent crop in Illinois, Marten feels this is an important program to hold. It can be used for a number of things, including making crayons.
Marten appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Pana Community Hospital completed its first total hip replacement procedure in the hospital’s new surgical suite. The procedure was performed by Dr. Jacob Sams of the Decatur Orthopedic Center. He along with Dr. Donald Sullivan of the Decatur Orthopedic Center has brought a comprehensive joint replacement program to Pana Community Hospital. Stephanie Anderson, the perioperative manager of Pana Community Hospital says that the first procedure went very well.
Melissa Rybolt, Marketing Manager for Pana Community Hospital says that having these kinds of surgeries locally makes patients much more comfortable.
COVID did delay things a little, but Rybolt is pleased that they are able to offer so many procedures close to home for so many people. Anderson says she would have never known that was the first time they performed that procedure at PCH.
It won’t be just hips, but all replacement procedures will be able to be completed. Anderson says that while COVID affected some stuff, it hadn’t affected the replacement procedures at all.
Stephanie Anderson and Melissa Rybolt both appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show.
Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are always recruiting to get more kids into the program. James Grable district executive for the Abraham Lincoln Council of Boy Scouts says that there is a recruiting drive going on right now and that Scouts is a great way for you to make friends and learn a little bit along the way.
Grable talked about a big event coming up on March 20th to collect donations for food. The food donations help supply the Food Pantry in Taylorville. All you have to do is drop off your bag of donations on your front porch, and the Scouts will collect it.
You can also bring donations to the Taylorville Fire Department parking lot to drop them off as well. If parents are still needing help they can call Grable at 217-529-2727.
Even if you don’t have a kid, you can still help out with scouts as an adult. Grable says there are plenty of opportunities available.
To learn more go to beascout.org and put in your zip code for local units in your area.
The Christian County Board met on Tuesday evening to discuss ordinances, new and old business, and to say goodbye to some old friends of the board. One of the major topics that was up for discussion was the dissolvement of the Christian Montgomery Emergency Management Agency Agreements. With the resignation of ChrisMont EMA Director Greg Niemmo, Chairman Matt Wells asked the board if they wanted to get out of the agreement by giving the 90-day notice to dissolve the intergovernmental agreement. Treasurer Betty Asmussen spoke to the board on some concerns that she had including both counties thinking the other county owed the other money.
Matt Wells says that he is going to try to find out if they have any grants that haven’t been applied for and to communicate with Montgomery County. Asmussen says there is a lot of money that needs to be reimbursed but Wells says that he is working hard to get to the bottom of what is going on.
Wells says that he believed that Christian County got shortchanged and they want to make sure that Montgomery County got some of the bills and that things were even.
The motion to approve and recommend that County board Chairman Matt Wells to dissolve the consolidated EMA Services passed unanimously.
In other news; a moment of silence was held for former longtime board Chairman John Curtin. Mike Gianasi was recognized as well for his time with the board. Longtime assistant Jan Bland announced her retirement and was recognized by the board for her long service. A proclamation was issued that March 16 is Jan Bland day in Christian County. The next county board meeting is set for April 20th.
A Niles man was once again in Christian County Court Tuesday to have his bail set after a shooting left a minor in critical condition on Sunday. Jacob Mariacher appeared in court on Tuesday morning for a bond hearing. He had previously asked for time to talk to his own counsel however in court on Tuesday, Mariacher asked for the public defender. Normal public defender Tiffany Senger was out of the office but filling in was Attorney Ed Brandt.
Brandt asked for time to meet with his client, and Judge Brad Paisley advised both Brandt and Mariacher, that Mariacher had a new charge of possession of a stolen firearm to bring his total charges to 4 separate charges. The state asked for bond set at $750,000 with terms and conditions. Attorney Brandt asked for a bond in the range of $40-50,000 letting the court know, that there was no way Mariacher would be able to get that much. After both sides argued, Judge Paisley sided with the state setting bond at $750,000 with 10% to apply.
Preliminary hearing is set for April 12th.
Echo, the K-9 for the Taylorville Police Department, has passed away. The Taylorville Police Department posted on their facebook page that Echo started with the TPD in 2007 with K9 Officer Evert Nation and Officer Ben Toberman. She retired from service in 2018. TPD praised Echo for her work with different agencies and throughout many different counties.
Echo also worked for the community and 5th graders in the DARE program and she loved to swim in her spare time. TPD says that she was loved by all and both handlers family members.
Schools have had to put up with a lot of uncertainty this year. Shane Schuricht, Superintendent of Shelbyville Schools, says he is proud of his staff and how they’ve been able to be fully open since day one.
On top of everything else, Schuricht works closely with the health department to keep everyone safe. That relationship is something he sees as a positive to come from the pandemic.
Schuricht says right now they are working with the health department on getting the newly elected staff vaccinated.
There were a hefty percentage of students in the Shelbyville disctrict who chose remote learning in the first semester. By the time the second semester rolled around, Schuricht says many of them came back.
Schuricht appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.
As the temperatures heat up, the Christian County Historical Society opens up three days a week. To celebrate, they’ll be hosting a chicken and noodle dinner. President of the Board with the Historical Society, Jodi Heberling, says this year it will be on Sunday, April 11th.
This dinner is a tradition that Heberling says has been going on a very long time.
Heberling believes there is a lot the Historical Society can offer, especially when it comes to Abraham Lincoln.
There are many buildings to go through at the Historical Society. Two of Heberling’s favorites are the courthouse and the schoolhouse.
Heberling appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
When it comes to getting vaccines, Illinois has been struggling nationwide. State Senator Doris Turner of the 48th District has been pushing to get more vaccines to the area. Recently, the federal government announced more shots are on the way, which Senator Turner is happy about.
Getting the shots is a great step. Senator Turner says another aspect is making sure the right information about the vaccine is getting shared.
As a grandparent, Senator Turner wants to get back to a place where grandchilden can hug their grandparents. Beyond that, she says getting vaccinated can get our sense of community back.
Senator Turner thinks the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine is going to open a lot of doors for those who otherwise might not have had access to get the shot.
Senator Turner appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
A new bill in Illinois would allow a local teenager and other teenagers to start their own trapping business if signed into law. State Representative Avery Bourne says that the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee passed legislation out of committee which will lower the age restriction to 16 and older. It was previously set at 18. The student’s name is Sam and he’s from Ramsey. Sam wanted to start his own trapping business but wasn’t old enough to buy a Nuisance Wildlife Control Permit.
Representative Bourne says nothing else in the rules will change.
The bill was passed Monday. It is referred to as HB 2921. The bill now goes before the House for consideration.
Shelby County Health Department announced through a press release that the new Johnson & Johnson vaccines are here and they will be distributed. Admin with the Shelby County Health Department, Steve Melega says that he is excited to be able to have vaccines that can be given out on a regular basis.
To get the vaccine you must be a Shelby County resident or work in Shelby County. The vaccine is available for those 65 years of age and older and those with a comorbidity or those who are deemed essential workers. Melega says that it takes 5 seconds to register.
Melega encourages everyone to get the vaccine. He says it’s effective against variants of the disease.
For registration assistance, please contact the Shelby County Health Department at 217-774-9555
The Taylorville City Council met on Monday for their regular board meeting at the Municipal Building in Taylorville. After approval of minutes, the board swore in new Taylorville Police Officer Nicholas Todd. Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says that Todd came from Auburn.
Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry gave a Mayoral update including the announcement that Lake Taylorville is open.
The city approved the purchase of a Ford F350 for the Water Department. The city also approved bidding for an office position in the water department and hiring a new lateral police officer. The next city council meeting is set for April 5th.
A Niles, Illinois resident faced a slew of charges on Monday in Christian County court, after a shooting in Pana left a minor in critical condition. 21-year-old Jacob Mariacher appeared in custody Monday morning in front of Judge Brad Paisley. He is facing 1 count of aggravated battery, 1 count of aggravated discharge of a firearm, and 1 count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.
The incident occurred at 9:57 Sunday morning. The Pana Police Department was dispatched to 200 N 2375 East Road in Pana for a gunshot wound. The victim was a 17-year-old minor and had a gunshot wound to the mouth. He was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield where he is in critical condition. The investigation led to Mariacher as he was identified as the shooter. According to Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Carlson, the shooting followed an argument over a theft and a pistol was fired out of a vehicle that struck the minor. When Mariacher was arrested, they found a weapon on him that was stolen out of Moultrie County. Carlson says that there are future charges pending. The State asked for no-contact orders put in place. Bond is set to be heard Tuesday morning at 10 AM.
The current maximum penalties are 6-30 years in IDOC followed by 2 years parole for the charge of battery, 4-15 years in IDOC for aggravated discharge of a firearm, and 2-10 years for the possession of a weapon by a felon.
Mariacher advised the court that he has other charges in other counties including Cook County and that he is currently on parole from other charges in a separate county as well.
Since March of 2020, almost every American was impacted in some way when the WHO (World Health Organization) declared the new virus a global pandemic. Little did most Illinoisans know at the time just how much this virus would impact their life.
As of March 10th, there are currently more people in the US vaccinated against COVID-19 than the total number of cases in the US since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 33 million people and counting are vaccinated and for Dr. Douglas Kasper, the section head of infectious disease at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria, it is all due to the hard work of scientists and medical experts across the country.
Before COVID-19, the only thing scientists really had to compare it too was the influenza pandemic of 1918. Even from a pandemic over 100 years ago, according to Dr. Kasper, there are still lessons to be learned.
Dr. Kasper says that the lessons learned from COVID will also impact future generations.
With over 530,000 lives lost in the US from COVID, Dr. Kasper is still concerned about the effects on families and businesses.
For more information on COVID-19, contact your local health department.
Taylorville City Council will meet this evening at 7 PM for their regular board meeting. Police Officer Nickolas Todd took the oath of office. The city will look at purchasing a new Ford F350 for the water department. Under emergency services, there will be a motion to purchase a cellebrite system and two license plate readers. The 2021-2022 Fire Department budget will also be discussed.
Under water/environmental, the focus will turn to approving a renewal of the generator contract, a look at the water budget, and a software subscription vote. Under lake/airport, the board will look at the 2021-2022 airport budget, there will also be a look at lake lots and the budget for the lake as well.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News after the meeting for a complete recap and stay tuned to Taylorvilledailynews.com for more on this as it develops.
Taylorville students will be returning to the classroom 5 days a week and Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty praised the staff and students for their hard work and dedication over the last year dealing with everything that they have been through. Dr. Dougherty says that we are human and really need interaction and a defined schedule.
Dr. Dougherty says that remote learning will be obsolete and minimized to make things easier for students to be in the classroom however, they will be able to have remote access if they do happen to have COVID.
Dr. Dougherty thanked the Teachers and Staff for their understanding and dealing with all of the changes that have come so many times in the last year.
Dr. Dougherty said that things happened fairly quickly and there was no intention to blindside anyone.
Dr. Dougherty appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning show.
The Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation Zone 4 was called by the Pana Police Department to investigate a shooting on Sunday in Pana. The shooting happened at 200 N 2375 East Road in Pana.
At 9:57 AM on Sunday morning, Pana Police received a 9-1-1 call and was told that a 17-year-old male was shot during an altercation with another subject. The victim was transported to an area hospital with a gunshot wound. The victim is listed in serious condition.
A suspect was identified and taken into custody at the Taco Bell located in Taylorville at 1:30 PM by officers of the Illinois State Police, Taylorville Police Department, and the Christian County Sheriff’s Office.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more as this story develops. Anyone with any information on this case is encouraged to call the ISP Zone 4 Investigations at 217-782-4750.
Drive-thru clinics for vaccines aren’t necessarily “Open” anymore, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t happening. In talking with the Christian County Health Department, Regional Radio News has learned that the drive-thru clinics in Christian County are still going on. There are first dose clinics done on Tuesdays and second dose clinics done on Thursday.
You have to register for the clinics through the Health Department online at www.ChristianCountyIL.com and at the Christian County Health Department Facebook page. There is a clinic coming up on Tuesday that is open for everyone with priorities given to those 65 years of age and older, health care workers, and people with comorbidities. These clinics will be taking place every week.
You can register for your appointment by clicking here.
Fill out this form and bring it to your appointment.
A Hillsboro woman is dead after a hit-and-run incident took place in Montgomery County on Wednesday evening. A vehicle driven by 28-year-old Miranda J. Davidson of Irving, Illinois was traveling westbound on Illinois Route 16 .10 mile west of Grandpoint Avenue in Montgomery County. 24-year-old Bethany A. Dixon of Hillsboro was walking in the same location and was struck by Davidson. Davidson left the scene of the crash without stopping. She later returned and reported the crash. Davidson was rushed to a local area hospital where she was later pronounced deceased.
The roadway was closed for about 4 hours for the investigation which was conducted by the Illinois State Police Traffic Reconstruction Unit and ISP Zone 6. On Friday the office of Montgomery County State’s Attorney Andrew Affrunti charged Davidson with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death. This is a class 2 felony. Her bond was set by the court at $100,000 with 10% to apply.
With daylight savings time fast approaching on Sunday, Ameren Illinois would like to remind residents to make sure they check all carbon monoxide detectors, check smoke alarms, and refill their emergency preparedness kits. Nikki Taylor with Ameren Illinois says that an emergency kit can come in handy in case of problems.
Taylor says you should refresh your items so that they stay current especially checking batteries and replacing food that is expired.
Other things include checking on your vehicle, generator, and temperature in your fridge.
For more information on Ameren Illinois visit www.ameren.com.
The pandemic was not friendly to many businesses. The Christian County Mental Health Association was not immune to that. For President and CEO Brent DeMichael, it goes back to one specific day in his mind.
It was the manufacturing arm of the CCMHA that ultimately shed some light on what the future would look like, even if it was going to be a bit of a puzzle.
Once the details were figured out, and provided, they were able to know what they could do. DeMichael says he is proud of what his team accomplished.
According to DeMichael, things began to normalize and they found a rhythm.
DeMichael appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
The walking/biking bridge that connects Pana and Taylorville, or simply “The Bridge” is making progress. Bud Altman, co-founder of the Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservancy, says that due to the financial burden, the city of Pana and Taylorville met together to handle The Bridge together until it was complete, in which case Taylorville would take over. The burden was way more than either city anticipated.
So after going over the totals each city would be responsible for $62,000 each. There have been several delays in the project. Prices have also been higher than what both cities were anticipating which has led to tons of red tape.
Altman says that originally the structure was built in the 1870s and this is the only bridge that crosses the river.
The plans for the new bridge will help make things easier for building it and keeping it safe.
For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/LPTC2017/.
In a normal year, it would be time to pull out the incubators and eggs for the lesson on chicks. Ag in the Classroom Coordinator with the University of Illinois Extension Office, Rebecca Livingston says it’s feels weird not to be in the middle of this lesson.
One thing Livingston misses about being in the classroom is the stories she can tell from the experience. She was working on teaching the lesson about chicks to a classroom, and she got one of those stories.
When the incubators do come out, it is important to pay attention to the temperature and humidity.
The eggs are then put on a machine that slowly turns them to mimic what would happen when a hen sits on the egg. As the hatching process gets closer, there is more that Livingston can do with the class.
Livingston appeared as a guest on the NewsTalk WTIM Morning Show.
A power buying cooperative owned by 2 local rural electric co-op's, has signed an agreement to buy wind power from a wind project to be built in Pike County.
Shelby Electric Cooperative and Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative, are part of a power buying cooperative called Prairie Power, Incorporated. Senior Vice President, Robert Reynolds, tells Regional Radio News why Prairie Power signed a contract to buy 100 percent of the wind farm's generating capacity for the next 20 years.
So far Prairie Power is working on renewable energy in part because the state of Illinois has a mandated goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025-2026 with the goal of 100% by 2050.
The Panther Creek wind project near Pittsfield in Pike County Illinois will have sixteen wind turbines built and Prairie Power has coops all over central Illinois.
Construction on the new wind farm is set to begin in 2022.
Patty Hornbuckle, CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has retired and President of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, Sarah Van Huss announced on the Newstalk WTIM morning show, that Hornbuckle would be retiring and would be replaced by Linda Allen who has been the executive assistant for 14 years.
Van Huss says there have been a lot of changes at the Chamber, and they will be changing some of the hours as well.
Appointments can be set up by calling 217-824-4919 and leave a message.
Despite the changes, things remain the same, and there are a lot of events that are set to take place that the Chamber of Commerce will be hosting.
Nokomis Community Unit #22 is informing families that the Early Childhood Program is holding their spring screening for 3 and 4 year old children on Friday, March 19th. This will be held at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in Nokomis. Early Childhood Director Amy Blaum says that this is a good way to determine who is eligible to come into the PreK program.
Children must be 3 or 4 years old on or before September 1st, 2021 and live in Nokomis School District to be eligible for the program. If you were enrolled in the Nokomis School District Pre-K program last year, you do not need to register again or be screened. Blaum says they are looking at all kinds of different areas of child development during the screening process.
You will be automatically enrolled for a second year in Pre-K if the child is not yet eligible for Kindergarten.
If you had your child screened last year, but didn’t enroll him/her you will have to have your child screened again this year.
Taylorville Memorial and Hillsboro Area Hospital are expected to receive more COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government. The program is called the Safety Net Direct Vaccine Allocation Pilot program. The plan which is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that five federally qualified health centers and four safety-net hospitals would be selected in the first round.
This program focuses on rural communities to bring doses to areas that have problems getting them. This is also a way to have local providers give vaccines to eliminate stigmas or worries of receiving vaccines from unknown providers. The state is providing a total of nearly 6,000 vaccines per week to the nine selected hospitals and this is on top of the dosages already allocated from the state.
For more information visit coronavirus.illinois.gov.
There's been a change in leadership at the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce.
C-E-O Patty Hornbuckle has announced her retirement after 9 years at the helm of the town's gateway to the community.
In a board meeting on Wednesday, Linda Allen, who has been the Chamber's executive assistant for some 14 years, was named the new Chamber Executive Director.
Hornbuckle led the Chamber thru significant growth in membership, in revenue from fund-raising events, and in the continued improvements in the Chamber's signature event, Chillifest. The Chamber Board accepted her resignation with deep regret.
Allen says she's excited about continuing to serve the town she loves and grew up in, and with the support of the board and the community, she will continue to make Taylorville "A Great Place to Live."
The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is the gateway to the community, providing information to hundreds of callers each month, as well as assisting existing and new businesses in the Taylorville area. More information on the Chamber can be found at taylorvillechamber-dot-com.
A food allergy has led State Representative Avery Bourne to try to help by filing legislation called the EpiPen Crowdsourcing Task Force Act. This TaskForce would look into how crowdsourcing can help the availability of Epipens. Representative Bourne says that it all has to do with a constituent’s toddler who got sick.
Representative Bourne says that this could help first responders get EpiPens to those who need it faster.
HB635 received approval in committee this week and now moves to the full house for consideration.
Eating healthy means looking for needed nutrients across all different food groups. Sometimes it can be hard to know what that looks like when dietary guidelines change. That’s where Registered Dietitians like Jill Williams with the St. Louis District Dairy Council come in, and she says those guidelines have changed recently.
There’s a lot of research that goes into putting these dietary guidelines together and that is because they are important to have.
Williams explains the new changes are geared towards age groups.
With dairy being part of the five food groups, it plays a big role in maintaining a healthy diet based on the new dietary guidelines.
Jill Williams appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Republicans have reached out to the Department of Employment Security along with Governor JB Pritzker in an effort to help constituents be able to get help from the IDES. The hope is that IDES will allow constituents to come to representatives' offices in order to have calls and video conferences to get to the bottom of their issues.
Representative Brad Halbrook says that they are still hearing from residents that are dealing with issues with IDES.
Representative Halbrook says that they have tried reaching out to IDES and have gotten no response, so they are trying to go to Governor Pritzker in an effort to try to help the people that need it. He urged Governor Pritzker to stop shifting blame and to start working on fixing the problem.
Brent DeMichael was born and raised in Taylorville, but really didn’t know what the Christian County Mental Health Association was all about. Now, he is the President and CEO and shares that it’s a really great program.
In 50 years there have been a lot of changes with the CCMHA, but DeMichael credits those around him for how much they’ve been able to help clients over the years.
CCMHA is unique in a lot of ways, including on their business side. DeMichael explains more.
DeMichael says they are competitive and have even sold their plywood in different countries.
DeMichael appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Taylorville School Board will be looking for a vote at election time on a new policy that will shift picking board members from a restrictive boundary definition for school board candidates of Taylorville School District to those who have the popular vote. Dr. Chris Dougherty, School Superintendent, says there are a number of reasons for this decision.
Dr. Dougherty explained that sometimes right now if you are the popular candidate there are chances that you won’t get picked due to the current rules.
Melissa McMillan, Manager of the Christian County Farm Bureau says that the Farm Bureau is opposed to this potential rule change.
McMillan says that some communities including Mt. Auburn and Stonington need to get their representation and don’t want to be left out.
Election day is April 6th, but you can vote early in Christian County.
Regional Radio News has learned that Chris-Mont EMA Director Greg Nimmo has announced his resignation from the Emergency Management Agency. Nimmo who has held the position since Montgomery and Christian Counties merged, announced his last day would be March 12th. He has accepted a position with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Nimmo took over the job from previous Christian County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Crews.
The Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation offers a Healthcare Career Education Grant for students interested in the healthcare field. It’s been going on for a few years, and Executive Director for the TMH Foundation, Raedena Ryan is very proud of what it has done so far.
At the end of the day, this program is about helping the community on a several levels. From aiding in the education of a local student to then getting a professional to join the staff at TMH and ensure high quality care, the grant program is a key piece to it all.
The grant ranges in how much is given, but it can go as high as $30,000 depending on the track the student is on. President of the TMH Foundation, Billy Williams hopes that this program will help to avoid issues locally with an impending nursing shortage.
There are a few different positions that fall under this grant program, according to Ryan. They are listed on the website TaylorvilleMemorial.org/foundation, and Williams says they change from year to year.
Ryan and Williams appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, Taylorville High School still had a visual path to events happening at the school. That path is better known at Tommy TV. The program is a student run venture that covers a multitude of events, and Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty praises the work being done.
From creation to now, the program has really become a staple in a lot of ways. Adam Vocks even received an award from the Principal’s Association for how he’s facilitated a connection between the school and the community.
Dr. Dougherty says they are looking to make Tommy TV into something she calls a ‘career strand.’
Dr. Dougherty appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Vaccines are the future when it comes to COVID-19 and Taylorville Memorial Hospital CEO, Kim Bourne, was on hand to give an update on COVID-19 vaccination numbers and numbers in Christian County are on the up.
Bourne is proud of the hard work that has gone into vaccines going out, saying that it is impressive how well the county has done in just 80 days. She expects the numbers of those vaccinated to greatly increase in the near future with the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Bourne had her shot all done and had a reaction to it, which meant that the vaccine was doing its job.
Bourne discussed what the current qualifications are for getting the COVID vaccine as it is still not open for everyone.
Kim Bourne appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM morning show.
Representative Avery Bourne says things are getting slowly back to normal, but for right now things are being done virtually at the committee level. Representative Bourne would rather be in person, but at least things are being discussed and voted on.
Representative Bourne doesn’t want to see this become an excuse not to meet. Representative Bourne also talked a little about JCAR and the new teacher rulings and how things changed because people called and made their voices heard.
Bourne says that she feels they made some good changes and sometimes that’s all that matters.
Representative Bourne is on three education committees and talked a little about what that all entails.
Representative Avery Bourne appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
A Taylorville man accused of asking for sexual favors from a minor and having methamphetamine appeared in Christian County court Tuesday for his preliminary hearing. 24 year old Kyle D. Brown appeared remotely in custody for his preliminary hearing. Brown is accused of indecent solicitation of a minor through use of the internet and possession of meth. On February 2nd, a complaint was made about Brown concerning a minor. The mother of the minor told police that Brown was sending messages to her daughter on January 30th. During the preliminary hearing, Taylorville Detective Christopher Adams told the court that Brown offered the minor, who was the defendant’s sister-in-law, $50-$100 for sexual favors.
According to Detective Adams, on the 19th of February, Brown sent a message to the mother of the victim saying that he messaged the juvenile female and that if the female continued to prosecute the charges, he would harm himself by the police. Upon getting a search warrant, police tried to interview Brown, but Brown asked for a lawyer, so the defendant was arrested on the charges. Brown eventually told police that during messages that were sent to the minor, that he was high when he did it. During the search of the house, a box was found with drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine, with the initials KB on the box.
Public Defender Tiffany Senger, told the court that the charge should only hold if the activity happened, which it didn’t. Also according to the definition of family, Senger argued, that Brown—as brother-in-law—didn’t fit that definition. Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Carlson, argued in her rebuttal that there is enough probable cause for a felony, which the meth charge falls under. Carlson asked for a continuance to review the case a little more. Senger objected saying that they were ready to go now and Carlson had had ample time before to review the files.
Probable cause for count 2—the possession of meth charge—was found, however, a brief continuance was granted by Judge Brad Paisley for March 11th to go over and review the first charge which was the indecent solicitation of a minor charge.
There was a stretch of very cold weather that hit Central Illinois recently. While Christian County Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi is happy it’s gone, she says all the snow might’ve been a good thing.
Despite the interesting weather over the last few weeks, Podeschi says the bulbs are right on track this year.
In Central Illinois, there is always the chance for a few days of cold, even after it seems like things are warming up. Podeschi warns that even if those do happen, Spring bulbs can handle it, and they will be just fine.
The reason the Spring bulbs can handle the cold comes down to evolution.
Podeschi appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
There’s been a lot going on at the capitol in regards to the situation with Mike Madigan. The ongoing situation has resulted in what Avery Bourne, Representative of the 95th district, calls a new era for politics in Illinois.
When Madigan stepped down as Speaker of the House, he was replaced by Edward Kodatt. Within days, Kodatt, himself, resigned. Representative Bourne says there needs to be a higher standard when it comes to appointing legislators to positions like that.
It’s still early on since the replacement for Madigan’s replacement, Chris Welch, stepped into the role, but Representative Bourne says things are largely the same to this point.
According to Representative Bourne, Speaker Welch wants to bring back the Graduated Tax that failed on the last ballot.
Representative Bourne appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Taylorville Students will be coming back 5 days a week still with dismissal at 2 PM starting on March 22nd. Parents spoke out for and against bringing students back to Taylorville School District and during the public comments section, urged Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty and staff to either open the school up completely or continue to wait depending on whose side they were on. The conversation continued for 30 minutes for public comments as parents, teachers, and parent-teachers, all spoke in support or against bringing kids back full-time.
Dr. Chris Dougherty announced some upcoming changes to schedules to bring all students back into classrooms on the 22nd of March. Remote will still be allowed, but Dougherty says it is a top priority to bring students back into the classrooms.
Dr. Dougherty says that through cleaning measures they will place students in classrooms first and remote needs secondly.
Mr. Stephen Turner, School Board President, voiced his concern with the new plan including eating lunch in tents outside and that there are too many kids to be able to social distance.
Mr. Turner continued, frustrated at the fact that people are picking and choosing what data applies to them to fit the story to their needs and not tell the whole story.
The vote passed 6-1 in favor of returning to in-person learning with only Mr. Turner voting no. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story as it becomes available.
EDIT: Originally in this article, Mr. Stephen Turner was listed as Dr when he is not. Regional Radio News apologizes for the error.
For Ed Lacheta, the Clinical Director for Shelby County Community services, Covid 19 has put people’s mental health in bad shape.
Lacheta says our normal ways with connecting with other people are either eliminatad or greatly restricted.
Lacheta says that looking at mental health data and numbers are disturbing.
Lacheta is concerned most about the number of people that are reporting frequent thoughts of suicide or self harm.
Lacheta wants people to know there are resources available for help.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact Shelby County Community Services Outpatient Mental Health program at 774-21-13. There is also a 24/7, 365 days a year Crisis Intervention. Access that with the same number 774-21-13 or call 911. Clinical Director for Shelby County Community services Ed Lacheta appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.
Brock Key is a Natural Resources Specialist with US Army Corps of Engineers. One of his responsibilities include managing the lands around Lake Shelbyville. Friday's lake level reading was 596.55. The release rate of 1,770 and and in flow rate of 1,930. With warm weather right around the corner docks are being put in.
Working closely with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Fishery’s Biologist has led to longer lasting fish builds.
Volunteers are needed to help with the lake including a cleaning volunteer.
A donation through a partnership with Graphic Packaging of Shelbyville will lead to 4th grade students receiving a Swamp White Oak Seedling.
Natural Resources Specialist with US Army Corps of Engineers, Brock Key, appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.
It’s a busy time for Andrew Holsinger, who is a horticulture educator with the University of Illinois Extension. On top of an upcoming webinar revolved around pruning, he is also teaming up with a colleague for a two part webinar series on growing fruit trees.
This webinar will be taking place on March 17th and March 24th at about 3:30 in the afternoon. There are some things to consider to get the most out of a fruit tree.
The information doesn’t stop with that webinar series. Holsinger says that there is a statewide webinar series with a lot of good content coming up during the spring season.
If that’s not enough learning opportunity, Holsinger and his colleagues will be hosting a program called The Good Growing Garden Day.
Holsinger appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the business community very hard, especially when it comes to small businesses. Ariel Short, Director of the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce in Shelbyville, says that there’s been some creativity needed, but things are looking up.
Shelbyville was fortunate enough to actually have a new business open in the midst of all the craziness, and so far things are good.
Usually the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce would hold an annual banquet in March. They are still planning to hold the banquet, but with things still up in the air, Short says it won’t be until June.
The annual banquet doubles as awards season for local business. Awards aren’t going away, but they will be voted on this year. Short says more information on that is coming soon.
Short appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.
The Taylorville School Board will meet on Monday evening at 6 PM for their regular business meeting and agenda. After consideration and approval of minutes, the board will review the COVID-19 return to learn update. There will also be a consideration of a combined cohort model and action for looking at what the future holds with scheduling and COVID. Bonds closing on March 11th will be discussed and there will be a technology update.
Under new business, the Taylorville School Board will designate People’s Bank and Trust as the District’s Financial Institution. The consideration and adoption of TRS Supplemental Savings Plan will be discussed and there will be a superintendent’s report from Dr. Chris Dougherty.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for the latest most up-to-date information on the meeting later on this evening.
A Litchfield man was taken into custody late last week after a multijurisdictional investigation led to his arrest for a drug-induced homicide in December. 49-year-old James McBrain of Litchfield was arrested on March 4th by the United States Marshall Service at a location in Springfield.
On December 4th of 2020, at 4:10 AM, Hillsboro Police and Hillsboro Area Ambulance were dispatched to a possible overdose at a residence on Hickory Street in Hillsboro. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded as well at the scene. When they arrived, they requested the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. 30-year-old Justin Calcott of Hillsboro was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation began.
Hillsboro Police presented the case to Montgomery County State’s Attorney Andrew Affrunti after an investigation and data were collected by the Hillsboro Police Department, Litchfield Police Department, Illinois State Police, South Central Illinois Drug Task Force, and Carlinville Police Department. This led to one count against McBrain for Drug-induced homicide and a warrant was issued.
McBrain is being held on a bond of $750,000 with 10% to apply. On Friday, McBrain made his first appearance in court and asked for release with an ankle monitor. That motion was denied. Public Defender was appointed and his first appearance with public counsel is set for Wednesday, March 10th.
Several cities in Illinois, including Central Illinois, could lose federal funds as a result of a proposed re-designation by the Federal Office of Management and Budget.
The recommendation to O-M-B by several federal statistical agencies, would change the designation of a "metropolitan statistical area" to cities with a core city count of at least one-hundred thousand, instead of having a core city count of betweeen 50 and one-hundred thousand.
Illinois cities that could lose the "M-S-A" designation include Decatur, Danville, and Kankakee, all because of loss of population.
Many of these cities would be re-designated as "micropolitan statistical areas", and as a result, have federal funding and economic development implications.
Several of the mayors in these cities have written letters to the feds asking that the change of designation for their city, be stopped so their designation as a "metropolitan statstical area" can remain.
In all, some 144 cities across the country could lose their M-S-A status.
There are a lot of events coming up in Taylorville that the CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Patty Hornbuckle is excited about. One of them is the Spring Swing, which has a new date.
Coming up in May is the annual banquet, which is a very big event for the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce.
Congressman and Taylorville native Rodney Davis will be the keynote speaker for the annual banquet.
Hornbuckle says that the dates for Chillifest 2021 have been announced as well.
Hornbuckle appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Webinar series have become a big part of what the educators with the University of Illinois Extension do to continue to spread information. Andrew Holsinger specializes in horticulture and he has a webinar coming up about pruning.
Pruning is done when there is a reason to do it, and the right time to do it can depend on the season.
This pruning webinar will dive into the intricacies of the craft. Holsinger explains there are different kinds of cuts that can be made when pruning.
The pruning webinar will be on March 11th. Holsinger appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
One of the many scholarships offered by the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation is the John H. Butterfield Agriscience and Nutrition Scholarship. This is a $1,000 scholarship offered to a deserving student who has graduated from a central Illinois High School with priority given to a Christian County Resident. Executive Director Raedena Ryan says that this is a little different from some of their other scholarships.
There are a few requirements for this scholarship but Ryan says this mostly a post-secondary Scholarship.
Ryan says at the end of the day, John H. Butterfield wanted to help students, and this goes a long way towards making that dream a reality.
For more information on this scholarship visit www.taylorvillememorial.org/foundation or contact the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation at 217-707-5271.
State Representative Avery Bourne has announced the annual student art contest for 2021. Students throughout the 95th district are encouraged to participate in the competition from Kindergarten to 8th Grade. Representative Bourne says she loves seeing all of the different artwork that comes in.
All of the art has been saved in a coffee book and Representative Bourne talked about some of the different art that had been submitted.
Representative Bourne says you can mail it in or drop it off at the offices in Litchfield.
Representative Bourne’s District Offices are located at 106 East Columbian Boulevard North in Litchfield. The winners will have their artwork displayed and shown to the General Assembly. Winners will also receive a special certificate from the Illinois House of Representatives. The 95th district covers Montgomery County and parts of Christian, Macoupin, and Madison Counties.
The Illinois State Police have arrested a Tower Hill man on two counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse. 54-year-old Chris L. Williams of Tower Hill was arrested after the ISP Division of Criminal Investigation got a search warrant. Williams was taken into custody and is being lodged at the Shelby County jail on a $500,000 bond with 10% to apply.
On Thursday, additional charges of unlawful possession of weapons by a felon were filed against Williams. If convicted the Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse sentence range will be up to 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. The unlawful possession of weapons by a felon charge can get up to 2-5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
The ISP DCI was assisted by the Pana Police Department, Shelby County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Anyone with any further information on this crime and other crimes is encouraged to contact the ISP DCI by email at ISP.DCI.Zone05@Illinois.gov.
The weather is heating up and it’s almost pool season. Southern Ledge Pools and Patios is starting the process of opening up pools, but according to Samantha Adermann, they offer much more than that.
Adermann explains there are a couple steps they go through to open up a pool, and it starts by scheduling an appointment.
Along with everything else in 2020, getting above ground pools was not easy. Adermann says that will, hopefully, not be a problem in 2021.
Maintenance is very important for a pool. Adermann says they can provide that maintenance year round.
Schimpf appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
Paul Schimpf is hoping to have a chance to run against Governor JB Pritzker in the 2022 gubernatorial election. After spending years in the military, he ran a campaign against Lisa Madigan for the office of Attorney General. Even though the result wasn’t what he wanted, Schimpf was proud of the campaign.
When things didn’t go his way in 2014, Schimpf didn’t have any more designs for office. Then things changed and he served as a State Senator.
After deciding not to run for a senate seat because of the potential judicial nomination from from President Donald Trump that didn’t pan out, Schimpf once again figured he wouldn’t be vying for a statewide office again. What he didn’t plan on was his wife being just as upset by the nomination that fell through.
Schimpf didn’t always want to be Governor, but he believes he can win the election.
Schimpf appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
Scholarships are extremely important for high school students who plan on going to college. If you are going into nursing, agriscience, or nutrition, the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation has a scholarship for you. The TMH Foundation is accepting applications for the Carolyn M. Butterfield Trust Nursing Scholarship. Executive Director of the TMH Foundation, Raedena Ryan says that nursing is expecting a shortage in the next few years, so this scholarship can help propel someone to a very important job now and in the near future.
Through the Carolyn M. Butterfield Trust Nursing Scholarship, one scholarship will be awarded to a deserving student who has graduated from a high school in Christian County. Butterfield was a charter member of the TMH Foundation.
If you want to apply, simply visit TaylorvilleMemorial.org/Foundation/Education-Opportunities. Ryan says that they have made the website easier for filling out scholarships online.
Ryan went into detail about the scholarship explaining that it is worth $1000 and that it is a simple process.
You can email your applications or send it by postal mail at Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation c/o Raedena Ryan at 201 East Pleasant Street, Taylorville, IL 62568. All application packets must be postmarked on or before April 1st.
Between snow piled high on cars in the morning and snow plows working long hours to make roads derivable, it’s not a secret that February was a cold month. Chris Miller with the National Weather Service in Lincoln confirmed that, in fact, that was a much colder February than last year.
Weather can be tough to predict, which could even lead to snow still to come for Illinois. However, at least in the near future there is nothing suggesting that will happen.
That cold weather in February was not only surprising because winter was warmer than normal to that point, but also because at one point Illinois was colder than Alaska.
Drastic weather changes come with drawbacks, especially when the weather warms up with snow on the ground. According to Miller, Central Illinois was very fortunate that large amounts of rain didn’t occur when the temperature started to rise.
Miller appeared as a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.
Judge Mike McHaney announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Fifth District Appellate Court vacancy of Justice David Overstreet. Judge McHaney has spent the last 15 years of his career on the bench and spent 25 years in front of the bench as an attorney. He says that during his time in front of the bench he has handled all different kinds of jury trials.
Judge McHaney says the recent elections are the reason he is running for office.
Judge McHaney is most proud of the work that he’s done as a drug court Judge.
Standing proudly on his record, Judge McHaney is looking forward to the election.
Judge McHaney and his wife Laura live in rural Marion County and have four grown children and two grandchildren. For more information on the McHaney Campaign, email Judge McHaney at email@example.com.
Schools are asking for 25% capacity increases at events and Taylorville School District is getting behind the movement. Legislators and educators have sent a letter to Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health. In the letter, they have asked Governor Pritzker the IDPH to loosen the restrictions on Grades K-12.
According to a press release issued from Dr. Chris Dougherty, the letter contains signatures from both Republican and Democrat members of the Legislature. Dr. Dougherty says that through conversations involved with school officials on hosting events, there have not been any viral outbreaks from these games. Dr. Dougherty praises the effort of school officials, athletic directors, and athletes to take the proper precautions to keep everyone safe.
She says that Taylorville School District remains committed to keeping social distance limits and the crowd only at 25%. The letter also says that by doing this, Governor Pritzker along with the IDPH can help families make memories that might be lost from people that wouldn’t be able to attend games or see their children and grandchildren compete.
The Illinois High School Association, along with the Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, and the Illinois Association of Athletic Directors all join the Illinois Principals Association signing the letter pushing for support of 25% fan and audience capacity at sporting and extracurricular events.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the Lincoln Trail Bike Trail, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.
Bud Altman from the Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservancy, spoke about the ways his organization, which is non-profit, is helping to improve the trail which goes from Taylorville to Pana.
Altman told Kiwanis members that the conservancy's mission is to raise money to repair, maintain, promote and enhance the Lincoln Prairie Bike trail in cooperation with the cities of Pana and Taylorville. He emphasized that working together, great things can happen to the bike trail.
Altman added all donations to their organization are tax deductible.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club is part of global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Weekly meetings are held Tuesdays at noon at their new meeting location, the Taylorville Moose Lodge. For information on the club, go to taylorvillekiwanis.com.
Denise Evans is the Coordinator for the Safe Passage Program in Taylorville. She truly believes in the program and has been hard at work trying to expand it to other towns than just Taylorville. That process has been going well.
Drivers are always needed for the Safe Passage Program. Evans says that her current drivers find it to be a very rewarding experience.
Evans appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The chicken and the egg is a story as old as time. For Jerry Lowry it went from chicken to windows. After being in the family that owned the Taylorville Kentucky Fried Chicken until 2018, Lowry has started a business called Window Genie.
Doing window service needs to be done correctly, and Lowry says Window Genie has a three step method to ensure it is done right.
There are employees coming on that will go through extensive training that starts early next week. Not all work will involve entering a house, but when it does Lowry has put entensive work into ensuring cleanliness and safety for his customers.
Lowry says coming soon is something he calls the Genie Mobile.
Lowry appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The Illinois Sheriff’s Association wants to remind students that it will be awarding over $58,000 in college scholarships throughout the State of Illinois to students wishing to pursue college during the 2021-2022 academic year. These scholarships are for tuition books and fees only. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says that this is a great way to get $500 towards higher learning.
The applicants must be permanent Illinois residents, apply for an institute of higher learning in Illinois, and be enrolled full time. Sheriff Kettelkamp says that there is an application and an essay question.
Applications are available at your local Sheriff’s office or at www.ilsheriff.org/youth-2/. All documentation must be returned to the Sheriff’s Office by March 15th. For more information, contact your local sheriff’s office.
The first week in March every year in Illinois is Severe Weather Preparedness week. Bad weather can strike anytime, and Chris Miller with the National Weather Service in Lincoln wants people to be ready if that does happen.
Part of weather preparedness is knowing the difference between a watch and a warning. Miller says to think of it in terms of “Ready, set, go.” Ready is the first step, and that is a few days out when the storm possibility is first reported.
Watches are when the ‘set’ of the analogy comes into play. These are slightly more immediate, but they will last several hours and don’t necessarily mean there is going to be severe weather, but there is a chance it’s coming.
When a warning is issued, that means action, or ‘go’. Miller says the action you should take is finding shelter and stay away from windows. Basements are always the best option, but if one isn’t available Miller says go to the lowest floor of the building. If all else fails, a bathroom might just be the best bet.
Miller appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The Lincoln Library and Museum is offering free admission to Illinois Students. This deal runs through May 31st and is a way for students from Kindergarten through College to see the museum for free whether they are with family or on a field trip. Christopher Wills with the Library and Museum says this is a good way to come see all that the Lincoln Museum has to offer.
Usually, prices are $6 for children ages 5-15 and $12 for students 16 and older. School groups usually have to pay $4 per student. Everything for kids is free though right now and Wills says they have some great exhibits and some that are coming later this spring.
You can schedule your visits online and Wills says you can schedule them up two weeks in advance.
Inside the library and museum, there are over 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history. Find out more by visiting www.visitspringfieldillinois.com.
Michael Gianasi, Clerk for Christian County has announced his resignation. Gianasi, who has held that position since 2017 submitted a letter of resignation to the Christian County Board late last week. Gianasi will be taking a job with the Illinois Board Of Elections in Springfield. Gianasi says he’s proud of all the work that his staff has done for the elections here in Christian County especially the last November election.
Gianasi says this move was a great opportunity for him to move up especially with the skillset that he brings.
Gianasi doesn’t know if he will get picked for any of the special projects, but says there are plenty of other activities that the State Board of Elections is involved in as well.
Gianasi thanked his staff and the many people that came and saw him during his time as Clerk in Christian County.
Gianasi has offered a few suggestions for his replacement, but that will ultimately be up to the Democratic Party in Christian County Ben Curtin, to announce his replacement which will be voted on by the County Board. Gianasi’s term runs through November of 2022 and his last day is set for March 19th.
Paul Schimpf will be vying for a chance to run against Governor JB Pritzker in 2022. He has an extensive background in both politics and the military.
Having a responsible government is something important to Shimpf. That includes transparency that he doesn’t believe is currently there.
Transparency is so important to Schimpf that he promises to veto anything that would come across his desk that wasn’t brought forth in a transparent way.
Schimpf also wants a reliable government to be one that works under common sense.
Schimpf appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
The Safe Passage Program in Taylorville is something those struggling with addiction can use as a vehicle to recovery. Devon Moore is a success story of the program. He’s approaching two years sober in April, and Safe Passage played a big role in that.
After the initial conversation, Moore said it took just a few days to get everything else in place. He was able to get a bed at a treatment facility over an hour away, which is something that was important to him. Moore says Safe Passage was there every step of the way.
Moore’s life has changed for the better in many areas since he had that first conversation with the Safe Passage Program.
Being able to share a personal account of struggle like Moore does is not easy. He calls himself an open book and believes sharing his story is one of the most important things he can do.
If you’re struggling and want help, the Safe Passage Program is located in the Taylorville Police Department at 108 W Vine Street. Moore appeared as a guest on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show.
Leaky faucets. Dripping pipes. Having 7 people in your room. Water damaging your papers. Being stuck in the same room for 24 hours a day. No fire escape plan. No protections for those who are disabled. For Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, his staff, and the inmates at Taylorville Correctional Facility, this is a regular daily occurrence. A facility that was originally set to house 20 inmates, has swelled pre-covid to over 80 inmates and has presented multiple issues including multiple leaks and overcrowding. Sheriff Kettelkamp is hoping you will vote yes on the new Safety Tax to help build a new jail for Christian County.
When Taylorville Correctional Facility was built, there was never a thought that there would be that many inmates inside. It was a top-notch facility, with a gym, library, a nice sized kitchen, an eating area, and extra amenities. However, as the jail swelled with inmates, the extra amenities started going away as the facility needed extra space for the inmates. Pretty soon, any rec hours were gone, as there was just no place for the inmates to go. These are not inmates that have even been found guilty yet. Sheriff Kettelkamp says most of these inmates do not get any time out of their jail cell for any reason, some having been in the same room for over a year.
Kettlekamp says that while he is opposed to taxes, this will help get a new jail for just pennies on the dollar.
Sheriff Kettlekamp doesn’t believe that the new law will not put fewer people in jail when it comes down to Judges to decide on bond amounts.
The election is set for April 6th.
The Taylorville City Council met on Monday evening and discussed 207 West Main Cross at great length again. The original motion that was on the floor was for the City Council to approve a business development district redevelopment agreement between the City of Taylorville and George and Tina Coughlan (Two Brothers Tuckpointing) to provide repairs to the building located at 207 West Main Cross in the form of a forgivable loan in the amount of $70,000 provided that there is proof of insurance, release of lien, and transfer of ownership or property are provided with funds to be paid periodically as work is completed. City Attorney Rocci Romano suggested a slight change to the motion.
After much discussion, the board decided to put the document prepared and bring it back up once it’s got the proper wording to than vote on it at a later date. The motion was approved 8-0. Romano gave an update on the road behind the Steak and Shake.
Mayor Bruce Barry gave his update as well, talking about some of the work that the city has put into beautifying Taylorville.
In other news, the motion to proceed with the demolition of 510 North Cottage was tabled. The city approved the motion to hire one employee for the Sewer Department along with multiple ordinances.
To hear the full meeting, click here.
The next City Council Meeting is set for March 15th.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department responded to a break-in on Saturday that led to a standoff. On the afternoon of Saturday, February 27th, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a burglary in progress that was occurring at a house in rural Shelby County at 800 East 1650 North. When deputies arrived on the scene, they made contact with two individuals who had illegally entered the residence. These two individuals then retreated back into the residence and barricaded themselves into a room. The male suspect told deputies he had a gun, and if they attempted to enter the room, he would shoot them.
Deputies exited the house and secured the perimeter. About 30 minutes after the initial call came in, a request was made for assistance from the ILEAS Region 9/11 Southern Illinois Response team which is a regional tactical team of various officers from different departments. With assistance from this team, the two individuals that were in the house were captured and arrested. The two were transported to the Shelby County Detention Center for processing. No injuries were reported.
Jennifer L. Jones of Pana and Dustin J. Willoughby of Sullivan were the two individuals arrested. Jones and Willoughby have multiple charges pending including burglary, criminal trespass, and two counts of threatening a police officer. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office praised the assistance of the Moweaqua Police Department, Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby Ambulance Service and Dispatch Center, and the Shelby/Christian County 9-1-1 center.
Jones made her first appearance in court on Monday. Probable Cause was found and bond was set at $30,000 with 10% to apply. Willoughby made his first appearance in court on Monday. Probable cause was found and bond was set at $50,000 with 10% to apply.
The Christian County Health Department will be holding a 1st dose COVID vaccine clinic for 65 years of age and older on Tuesday, March 2nd. The clinic will be at the fairgrounds in Taylorville starting at 9 AM in Christian County. There are only 200 doses available, so this clinic will go fairly quickly and will be a first-come, first-serve clinic.
The Chris-Mont EMA is asking people to not line up earlier than 7 AM. Overnight parking or staying in your car overnight is not encouraged, and your vehicle may be towed if you do this. Please bring a special vaccine administration record authorization form with you when you show up on Tuesday Morning. You can get the form at any Casey’s in Christian County or at Ayerco in Edinburg. You should also bring your insurance card with you if you have one.
For more information please visit the Christian County or Montgomery County Health Department Facebook pages or visit www.christiancountyhealth.net or at www.montgomeryco.com/health. You can also call 217-824-4113 or 217-532-2001.
Taylorville City Council is set to meet Monday evening for the first city council meeting of the month of March. They will meet at the Municipal Building at 7 PM. There will be a presentation by Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp to talk about the Christian County Jail. There will be recommendations from the planning commission that will be heard and some ordinances will be discussed.
Under motions, Lisa Cope will be voted on for the Library Board, a USDA Grant Application for a new police car will be discussed. There will also be a motion to approve the hiring of one lateral police officer. The hiring of three seasonal staff for the cemetery and lake department will be approved as well.
Under ordinances, there will be a motion to proceed with the demolition of 510 North Cottage. Under finance, there will be some business development district redevelopments discussed. Under street and sewer, motions will be put forward to bid some curb and gutter replacements, a new copier, and to hire one employee for the sewer department. There will also be a motion to reject the bid from Tullis Excavating for the Police Department parking lot and rebid at a later date.
There will be city attorney updates and Mayoral updates. The next city council meeting is set for March 15th.
Last week was National FFA Week and there are many students with a bright future involved with that program across the country. Riley Waldon from the Stewardson-Strasburg chapter is one of them. He serves as the chapter president, and he is the Section 20 president too.
As part of his duties of section president, Waldon helps run a leadership training school for younger members.
For Waldon’s presentation at the training school, he focused on teamwork.
Waldon keeps up two record books on top of everything else he does for FFA. For him identifying what to focus on with his record books wasn’t difficult, but he recognizes that it can be for some people.
Waldon appeared as guests on the Newstalk WTIM Morning Show during National FFA Week.
The Christian County YMCA held their 41st annual meeting and unanimously approved the new officers for 2021 including Adam Vocks, as board president, Jeff Robinson as vice president, Jennifer Nagle as treasurer, and Raedena Ryan as Secretary. Executive Director of the Christian County YMCA, Chris Weittenhiller, says that he relies on his board and is proud of the work that they do.
Four new board members were welcomed on the board including Mary Del Valle, Bob Febus, Dave Hixenbaugh, and Nancy Voudrie.
Weittenhiller has high hopes for 2021 to get things back to normal.
The Board of Directors recognized retiring board members, Rick Bonitzer, Dan McNeely, and Steve Youngblut. The members were recognized with a presentation and a plaque for their many years of service to the YMCA. The eighteen members of the Board of Directors are Alan Lockwood, J.C. Olive, Raedena Ryan, Tony Suggs, Jennifer Nagle, Jarred Rahar, Adam Vocks, James Kirk, Jeff Robinson, Harold Smedley, Clint Hohenstein, Chris Dougherty, Tyler Nation, and Drew Peabody. For more information on the YMCA call 217-287-7271.
The Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services are aware of a security incident with the State of Illinois’ Integrated Eligibility System (IES). A file that was received from the National Change of Address registry at the US Postal Service was matched against an out-of-date client file by a State Employee. That file was loaded into the IES.
This changed the addresses for 8,848 Healtchare and Family Services and IDHS households. As a result in November and December notices were mailed to 8,848 households at incorrect addresses. In these notices, the name, case number, status as a recipient of medical assistance, SNAP benefits, and names of dependents and birth dates. Out of these 8,848 notices only one notice included a complete Social Security number, and five notices included a bank account number.
To date there is not any record of any actual or attempted misuse of this information. As soon as the department became aware of the problem, the glitch was taken care of and the department is currently mailing out letters to individuals whose information was sent to the wrong address. If you have any questions, or think your information was taken down write your questions to HFS HIPAA/Privacy Officer, 201 South Grand Avenue East, Springfield IL 62763 or email HFS.Privacy.Officer@illinois.gov.
For State Senator Chapin Rose, the JCAR ruling on new teaching policies has him worried. He spoke to Regional Radio News about some of the issues that he sees with not just the new JCAR ruling, but also Mike Madigan and what redistricting he would like to see. Rose says that JCAR shouldn’t have bended to the will of just a few people.
Parents have told Rose that they will be leaving Illinois or putting their children in private schools.
When it comes to public policy, Rose says, Madigan is the poster child of term limits.
Redistricting reform, Rose says, will go a long way towards hearing your voice heard more.
You can get more information on Senator Chapin Rose by visiting senchapinrose.com.