Local News

Representative Avery Bourne Urges Governor To Veto Redistricting Maps

Representative Avery Bourne is asking Governor JB Pritzker to veto new redistricting maps that were approved late in the evening, that are gerrymandered and put together without using census data. Representative Avery Bourne says it’s time for Governor Pritzker to live up to his promise and veto the map.

 

 

Democratic leadership has said they will relook at the maps once census material is available in a few months which Representative Bourne says should have been done in the first place.

 

 

Governor Pritzker had said in previous years, and on the campaign trail that he would support an amendment to the constitution to take the redistricting process out of state legislators hands’ and send it to an independent commission. Certain other states do that. Governor Pritzker has since said he trusts the Legislators. To see the maps, visit this story here.

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Republicans Speak Out On New Redistricting Maps

Multiple State Representatives spoke out about the new maps presented by Democrats for redistricting. The House Bill, HB 2777, was passed in the late hours on Friday evening creating new maps for the next ten years. The final vote was along party lines and Representative Avery Bourne says that Democrats manipulated the data.

 

 

Representative Bourne says they aren’t listening to the experts. She continued by saying that even President Biden has said to put an end to gerrymandering.

 

 

State Senator Chapin Rose says that this is a fake front put on by Democrats. He asks why aren’t we taking our time to do this right.

 

 

State Senator Steve McClure says Democrats pushed it through at 2 AM so most experts couldn’t testify.

 

 

The bill now goes to the Governor’s office for signature or veto.

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House Resolution Passes Putting Pressure On IDES

The Illinois Department of Employment Security was not ready for a pandemic and therefore could not handle the number of unemployed workers who needed their help. This is the message that State Representative Brad Halbrook wants everyone to know as the legislative session wraps up. IDES has been reopened to the public for almost 440 days. As of May 14th, there are over 27,000 calls waiting for a response from IDES Staff. 

 

A resolution has been passed by the House of Representatives to call upon the IDES to make an immediate commitment to reopen their public employment offices to provide face-to-face help to residents who need assistance. Representative Halbrook says that it is a huge issue that people call about.

 

 

The House Resolution is HR226. The Bill says, “That we support the working people of Illinois, whether currently employed or not, including the working people of IDES; we recognize the stressful circumstances of operating a publicly accessible office in a time of pandemic.” 
 

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Vehicle Crash On Friday Sends Multiple People To Hospital In Montgomery County

A 5 vehicle car accident snarled traffic on I-55 on Friday afternoon that sent multiple people to the hospital. 48-year-old Robert Arnold of Mason City, Illinois was traveling south on I-55 near milepost 59 in Montgomery County. Vehicles driven by 46-year-old Amal Naik of Beaverton Ohio, 20-year-old Amareon Naudain of Springfield, 52-year-old Miguel Garcia of Katy, Texas, and 52-year-old Paul Vazquez from Eagle Pass, Texas were all traveling south at the same location.  All vehicles had slowed or stopped in traffic in a construction zone.  Arnold failed to reduce speed and struck the rear of Naik’s vehicle. 

 

This caused a series of collisions with all of the other vehicles. The roadway was closed for approximately 4 hours during the investigation. Arnold was charged with aggravated driving under the influence, driving while license revoked, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failure to wear a seatbelt, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

 

Multiple people went to the hospital with injuries including Arnold and Naik. Arnold’s passenger 50-year-old Angela Arnold was transported with serious injuries, 38-year-old Shane Baker who was also in the car, was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries, and 46-year-old Urui Purani of Schaumburg, a passenger in Naik’s car was transported to an area hospital with serious injuries as well. The crash is still under investigation. 
 

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Illinois House Passes Redistricting Maps With Super Majority, Awaits Governor's Signature

Illinois Democrats in the House approved House and Senate Redistricting Maps Friday night, sending the maps--which had already been approved by the Senate--to Governor Pritzker for his signature.

 

Democrats hold a supermajority in both chambers, so the latest versions of the maps passed quickly over the cries by Republicans that the maps were gerry-mandered to keep Democats in power another 10 years.

 

Republicans also claim that Pritzker in his 2018 campaign for governor, wanted transparency in creating and passing the maps.  Pritzker's office has not indicated whether he'll sign the bill OK'ing the maps.  He has until June 30th to decide.

 

Both maps change boundaries moreso for area Representatives, and less for local Senators.

 

See the passed Illinois House map here, and the Illinois Senate map here.

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Victim's Name Released In Taylorville Shooting

Late Friday evening, the Christian County Coroner released the name of the shooting victim from the incident that occurred on the Taylorville Square on Thursday evening. Coroner Amy Calvert Winans confirmed that the person that was killed was 17-year-old Alter E. Ivy II of Taylorville. He was pronounced dead at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Emergency Room at 10:30 PM. Mr. Ivy died from a single gunshot wound. The investigation is ongoing and being conducted by Taylorville Police, Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services, and the Christian County Coroner’s Office. 

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Hillsboro Man Arrested For Possession Of Child Pornography

A Hillsboro man is in custody for possession of child pornography. 24-year-old Matthew A. McDowell of Hillsboro was taken into custody for possession of child pornography. The Hillsboro Police Department on Sunday, May 23rd, at 8:20 PM took a report of possession of child pornography on someone’s cell phone. After an investigative review took place on Monday, May 24th, police were able to apply for an electronic data search warrant on a cell phone.

 

Thanks to the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, the search warrant was obtained on Tuesday, May 25th. The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Police Department along with the city of Springfield Police Department assisted in the gathering of data and on Wednesday, May 26th, at 6:30 PM 24-year-old McDowell was taken into custody. McDowell was transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

 

Two counts were filed in court including child pornography (reproduction) a class x Felony and Child Pornography (possession), a class 2 felony. McDowell’s bond was set at $125,000 with ten percent to apply ($12,500). The investigation is still ongoing and the Hillsboro Police Department thanked the assisting departments.

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Taylorville Man In Custody Following Shooting At Square

A Taylorville man is in custody after a shooting leaves one person dead. 19-year-old Richard Klekamp also known as Richard J. McPeek was arrested without incident after a shooting on the Taylorville Square on Thursday evening. At 10 PM on Thursday evening, Taylorville Police responded to a fight call on the square, followed by a call for shots fired. At 10:01 PM, Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says Taylorville police arrived on the scene along with Christian County Sheriff’s Officers and observed a subject shot and unresponsive.

 

 

The person that was shot was walking and not on the ground. A motive is not yet known, but Police do know there was a fight and the subject exited a vehicle.  He shot two people, the first victim died from a gunshot wound in the chest. Chief Wheeler says that the second subject was shot in the armpit and taken to Springfield where he was released.

 

 

After getting together with witnesses and with a description of the vehicle, and video footage, Police were able to take the suspect into custody without incident. 

 

 

The deceased victim is a 17-year-old male from Taylorville. The second victim is an 18-year-old male from Taylorville. Chief Wheeler says this is an isolated incident. He also said that upon taking Klekamp into custody, the subject did not seem remorseful. 

 

 

The autopsy for the victim that was killed is set for today. Chief Wheeler thanked the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Kincaid Police Department, Assumption Police Department, and the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit for their assistance. Klekamp is set for his first appearance with counsel and a bond hearing on June 1st at 10 AM. He is currently being held without bond until then. 

 

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UPDATED: First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder Charges Filed Against Taylorville Shooter from Last Night's Incident on Taylorville Square

A 17-year-old from Taylorville is dead, and and an 18-year-old from Taylorville was treated and released, following a shooting on the east side of the Taylorville square at about 10 o'clock Thursday night.

 

In a news conference this morning, Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler said that upon receipt of a 9-1-1 call, one officer found one subject on the ground unconscious and started immediate aid.  A minute later, all available Taylorville Police and Christian County Sheriff's Deputies were on the scene.  They located the 2nd subject who was walking around with a gunshot wound to the arm.  

 

Wheeler added there were 30 to 35 people on the square at the time of last night's shooting, and there was a fight before the shooting.  

 

Wheeler said the shooter exited their vehicle, ran over to the 2 victims and fired 2 shots, then left.  A 17-year-old Taylorville resident died at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, and the 18-year-old Taylorville victim was transported to Memorial Medical Center where they were treated and released.

 

Wheeler told the news conference this morning, that there were several eyewitnesses who identified the shooter and his vehicle.

 

Wheeler said an officer located the vehicle and took the suspect into custody without incident.

 

Evidence was presented to Christian County State's Attorney Mike Havara, who approved charges of first degree murder and attempted first degree murder against the suspect, 19-year-old Richard Kelkamp.  

 

Wheeler stressed that the shooting was an isolated incident and said that, quote, "We don't have gun violence in Taylorville."

 

Stay tuned for continuing coverage of this shooting on Regional Radio and taylorvilledailynews.com.

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New Committee Formed To Discuss Route 48 Safety

A new committee has been formed to help study the safety of Route 48 from Taylorville to Decatur. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry, in a press release, says that the committee will consist of law enforcement officers from the Illinois State Police, Christian County Sheriff, Macon County Sheriff, Police Chiefs, and the Mayors of Morrisonville, Stonington, Blue Mound, and Taylorville.

 

Mayor Barry has also invited IDOT Personnel, Congressman Rodney Davis, State Senator Doris Turner, State Representative Avery Bourne, and State Representative Sue Scherer. The meeting is set to take place at 4 PM on Tuesday, June 1st at the Taylorville Fire House at 202 North Main Street.

 

All interested parties are encouraged to attend. If you have any questions, please contact the Mayor’s Office.

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Taylorville Square Open for Traffic Following Thursday Night Shooting

 

The Taylorville square is open for traffic this morning, following an overnight shooting there that left 2 shot and one dead.

 

 

While the police tape blocking the east side of the square is gone and the square is open for traffic, the southeast quarter of the park area next to the Courthouse, is still blocked off with police tape.  

 

 

The Illinois State Police Crime Scene Vehicle remained on the square this morning as the investigation continues.

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Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Available In Shelby County

The Shelby County Health Department has received another supply of Janssen Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. Clinics for adults age 18+ have begun and is available from 8-11:30 and from 1-3:30 at the health department in Shelbyvillle. Please contact the Health Department for an appointment time. The vaccine is a single dose shot. The CDC recommends that all adults receive the vaccine and there is no charge for it. For more information, contact the Shelby County Health Department at 774-9555 Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 4 PM. The Health Department is located at 1700 West South 3rd Street in Shelbyville.

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Taylorville Park Board Discusses Pool Passes & Fixing A Leak

Pool passes will be changing this year. The Taylorville Park District Secretary Lisa Morillo and Recreational Director Bailey Hancock talked about pool passes and gave an update on the pool leak that was announced at the Park Board meeting on Monday. As far as pool passes go, Hancock says they’ve been around since 2002, but prices will be going up on them this year due to a number of different reasons and they will not be able to give out free ones this year.

 

 

A summer pool pass is $100 and the Taylorville Park District is looking for some help to give these kids a chance to swim.

 

 

Lisa Morillo says donations have been going good—they’ve received over $1020 dollars, and the Park District has the

opportunity to give right now ten children a summer pool pass but would love to be able to help more children.

 

 

Hancock also gave an update on the leak in the pool, saying that they believe it’s fixed and has spent most of Thursday refilling the pool, the hope is to have it open on Monday for Memorial Day.

 

 

For the pool passes, if you are interested in getting a pool pass, you have to come into the Park District to make sure all of your information is correct. For more information check the Taylorville Park District Facebook page or call 217-824-3110.

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May is Stroke Awareness Month

A stroke kills someone in the United States every three minutes and 33 seconds. When someone is experiencing a stroke, Taylorville Memorial Hospital Emergency Room Nurse Manager Kristy Cesaretti, says it’s important to act quickly. If you or someone you love is experiencing the symptoms of a stroke call 9-1-1 immediately. An easy way to spot a stroke is to remember the acronym BE FAST.

 

 

While the B is for balance and the E is for eyes, the “FAST” hasn’t changed and that is for Face, Arm, Speech, and Time.

 

 

Cesaretti says that education is for people that are having symptoms but also for people who may come across someone experiencing a stroke.

 

 

Taylorville Memorial Hospital is considered a Stroke Ready Hospital and Cesaretti says that’s extremely important. 

 

 

For more information on ways to spot a stroke, visit Taylorville Memorial Hospital’s website. All 5 Memorial Health System Hospitals are recognized for their expertise in treating stroke victims. 
 

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UPDATED: 2 Shot, 1 Dead In Taylorville Square Shooting, Suspect In Custody

Taylorville Police are reporting a shooting that has left one person dead and one in the hospital. Taylorville Police have reported to the Taylorville Square where they have responded to the shooting. The entire area of the square is off limits and blocked by Crime Tape. Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler is reporting that the incident happened at the 100 block of South Main Street. 

 

No names or identification has been given at this point. This is a breaking news story and Regional Radio News will update this story as we get updates. 

 

UPDATE: Friday, May 28th 7:45 AM: The Taylorville Police Department responded to the shooting at 10 PM when they received a 9-1-1 call of a possible fight followed by a shots fired call. Upon arrival, two subjects were found to be shot. One died a short time later at a local hospital and the other transferred to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield for treatment. The suspect is in custody and charges are expected to be filed this morning. Again stay tuned to Regional Radio News, as there will be a special press conference taking place Friday morning at 11:30. 

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Taylorville School District Holds Informational Meeting On NPT

The Taylorville School District held an informational meeting for families regarding the pullout of the Nokomis-Pana-Taylorville Special Education program to form their own. There are 491 families that rely on the Special Education program. Only 6 families were present to ask questions about the NPT. The School District says that through their own program they can provide more individualized specifically tailored educational programs for students with disabilities.

 

Michael Edwards, who is in charge of the social and emotional program at Taylorville School District says that moving on is the right thing for the Students.

 

 

Edwards says there will be an official public hearing on this in the fall.

 

 

The Taylorville School Board has set goals for Special Education including responding to the changing needs of Special Education Students, expanding best practices and expertise through training and progressive educational initiatives, intensify the focus on fiscal responsibilities, and implementing IDEA requirements and best practices for all Students. 

 

For more information contact Michael Edwards at 217-824-4951 or email Mr. Edwards at medwards@tcusd3.org.

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Secretary Of State Warns Of New Scams

Every day it seems there are new scams to be worried about and to be on the guard against. Secretary of State for Illinois, Jesse White, is warning of yet another one; this one involving texting and emailing scams claiming to be from the Secretary of State’s Office seeking personal information. Secretary of the State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman says that they will never send a text message.

 

 

White encourages people to take the following steps to protect their personal information. Delete emails and texts that promise or offer access to driver’s licenses or state ID cards, and do not click on any links contained in such emails or text messages.  You should also hang up on any calls including robocalls that ask individuals to take immediate action or provide personal identifiable information. You should ask to use other types of identifiers besides your SSN. Keep your antivirus software up to date.

 

If you have questions concerning text message scams or identity theft, please call the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-243-0618.

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President Biden's Tune Has Changed Regarding Student Debt Relief

It’s no secret that there is a lot of student debt around the country. College is expensive and many students have to take out a loan to further their education. While running for President, Joe Biden used a student debt relief program as part of his platform, but it seems he’s changed his tune about it lately. Jim Bohannon, host of the Jim Bohannon show, is happy about that. He believes student debt forgiveness would be a bad idea.

 

 

If you’re going to accrue student debt, Bohannon emphasizes that it’s important to go to college for the right reasons. Something he believes not everyone does. 

 

 

President Biden has promised a lot of things that seem to be stalling out. Bohannon attributes that, in part, to the bills that pushed only being partially about what they are intended.

 

 

Bohannon appeared as a guest on the WTIM morning show.

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Tickets For Seatbelt Violations Increasing Over Memorial Day Weekend

The Illinois Department of Transportation along with the Illinois State Police and multiple law enforcement agencies across the state are joining the national “Border to Border” campaign by increasing seat belt patrols and enforcement zones through Memorial Day. 

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappell says it’s very simple: if you don’t want a ticket, wear a seatbelt. 

 

 

The movement which has been organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will have over 10,000 agencies across America participating.

 

 

IDOT is asking everyone to buckle up, slow down, sober up, and put the phone down. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says that they have seen way too much distracted driving lately.

 

 

Distracted driving can be more than just texting on your phone.

 

 

This Memorial Day, the Illinois State Police are asking everyone to “Click It Or Ticket.”

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Vistra Looking To Solar Power For The Future

VISTRA continues to try to push Solar power in Christian County especially in Kincaid. The Kincaid Power Plant has been burning coal to generate electricity since its construction in the 1950s.  The adjacent coal mine was at one time, the largest underground mine in the free world, employing nearly 1500 coal miners at its peak of production.

Vistra now owns the Kincaid Power Plant and wants to convert the site, which is interconnected to the national power grid, from generating electricity from its coal-fired power plant to a facility that generates electricity from solar. Brad Watson, a Senior Director of Community Affairs with Vistra, says that at the heart of this project it would not only bring construction jobs but also a sustained economic improvement.

 

 

That result would be an economic improvement of $10 million. Watson says that the benefits for Christian County would be overwhelming. He is encouraged by the support and wants Christian County to be a part of the future.

 

 

This is an everchanging story and Watson says that the Legislators are focusing heavily on solar.

 

 

Watson says that it is imperative that you contact your representatives and tell them what Solar means to you and Central

Illinois.

 

 

For more information, click here.

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Safe Passage Holding Events In June

Safe Passage is a non for profit organization that helps people overcome addiction, but they can’t do it without your help. Denise Evans, Coordinator of Safe Passage in Taylorville says that there will be a 50/50 raffle on June 18th.

 


Evans also says there will be a Community Garage Sale taking place June 26th at the Gagne Building on Spresser. They will be taking donations from June 21st through the 25th.

 

 

All Proceeds will go to Safe Passage of Taylorville. Please call Denise- 217-638-3247 for times of drop off. Do not drop off if no one is available to accept. For more information contact Denise Evans at Safe Passage. Denise appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

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Republican State Senators Angered Over Prison Board Appointments

Republicans spoke out against a procedural maneuver that Governor JB Pritzker is using to allow his own appointees to the Prisoner Review Board without being confirmed by the Senate. Republican State Senator Steve McClure says that it is a shady tactic done by Democrats.

 

 

McClure says that four individuals have been appointed and none of them have been confirmed by the Senate.

 

 

Senator Jason Plummer says that this isn’t anything new. Republicans have been asking for transparency on this for quite a while.

 

 

Over 200 nominees have been appointed and heard in Committee since these appointments have been made and more were scheduled to appear in the committee on Tuesday. Senator Plummer says it’s time to stop this. He has drafted legislation in an attempt to make it mandatory to be confirmed.

 

 

The Senate Executive Committee met on Tuesday at 8:30.  None of the appointees testified. The governor's office replied via Press Secretary Jordan Abudayyeh: "For the Prisoner Review Board to be able to undertake its difficult and complex mission, members must be able to make parole determinations entirely independently. Subjecting members to political grandstanding sets a new and dangerous precedent for this constitutional function.”

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Taylorville Kiwanis Hold Annual Prayer Luncheon, Name Outstanding Spiritual Leader

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their annual Prayer Luncheon, and named this year’s “Outstanding Spiritual Leader”, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

 

 

Following greetings from Kiwanis International Illinois-Iowa Governor Mark Petersen (above), Kiwanis member and Luncheon Chair Dick Wamsley announced the Outstanding Spiritual Leader.  

 

 

This year’s recipient honored at the meeting and given a plaque was Michael Perona of Kincaid (left), a member of St. Rita's Catholic Church in Kincaid, nominated by Dr. Ron Mizer (right).   In Mizer’s nomination, he said Perona makes sure everyone finds seating at church services, helps the priest, speaks to the congregation about meetings, and does whatever else needs attention. Perona also takes Father Anthony to McDonald's 2 or 3 times a week and volunteers pastoral services at the hospital. 

 

 

Guest speaker at the Kiwanis Prayer Luncheon was Barbara Sachtleben (above), who taught history at Springfield Christian School for 40 years before retiring in 2015.  She told Kiwanis members her stories of God's answer to prayers in her own personal life and for some of the missions she supports. One of them was answered just last week when a check for $2,000 was received by a mission that needed exactly that amount for digging a well that was crucial to the mission and its community.

 

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

 

            

Among dignitaries attending Tuesday’s Taylorville Kiwanis Club Annual Prayer Luncheon included, from left to right:  Martin Vota, Taylorville Kiwanis Secretary and Lt. Governor of Division 30, I-I District of Kiwanis International; Michael Perona, Outstanding Spiritual Leader Recipient; and Mark Petersen, Governor, Illinois-Eastern Iowa District of Kiwanis International, from Moline, IL.

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Christian County YMCA Is Concluding The Sustaining Drive

Christian County is fortunate to have a very nice YMCA facility that’s located in Taylorville. It provides many services for its members in the area, and they want to make sure they tread their members well. Andrea Bach, acting CEO for the  Christian County Y, says they do a fundraiser called the Sustaining Drive to ensure even those who can’t pay can still be a member.

 

 

Especially with the pandemic, there might be more people than ever who would struggle to afford a membership. Bach explains why providing one for them and their family is important.

 

 

Bach says the Y isn’t fully open yet, but they allow 60 percent capacity and several different programs available.

 

 

As expected, getting back to full capacity has been a slower process. However, Bach is happy to see some people slowing starting to return to the Y.

 

 

Bach appeared as a guest on the WTIM morning show.

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New Ideas For Legislative Redistricting Maps Released Late On Friday; Republicans Angered

The battle for legislative maps continues. State Representative Avery Bourne is concerned that her constituents' voices were not heard and that Democrats did it on Friday knowing that there would be fewer media coverage and public notice something that Representative Bourne says is an old tactic done by former Speaker of the House Mike Madigan. Representative Bourne called it a flawed process producing a flawed product. 

 

 

Representative Bourne continued stressing that if Governor JB Pritzker goes along with this, it will further distrust between Illinoisans and politicians.

 

 

Republicans are not the only groups to be protesting the overnight maps. 13 groups that advocate for good government, racial equality, and other causes have spoken out including the League of Women Voters and the Better Government Association.

 

Democrats continued to applaud the maps insisting that they are letting everyone have a say in it as there are public hearings taking place May 25th and May 26th that will be conducted hybrid. The proposal can be viewed at www.ilsenateredistricting.com and www.ilhousedems.com/redistricting.

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Sheriff Kettelkamp Concerned About Tentative Legislation

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is very concerned about legislation that is trying to be pushed through that will hurt Law Enforcement Officers. The bill is HB3653. The bill is being opposed by many law enforcement groups and Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is asking for you to write your representative to remove some of the language that will tie the hands of both Police and the Sheriff’s Offices.

 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp believes calling Representative Sue Scherer and voicing your opinion will make a difference. 

 

 

One of the thing that concerns the Sheriff the most, is the secrecy that the Legislators have used to try to push this through.

 

 

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

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Taylorville Pool Losing Water

The Taylorville Pool at Manners Park has had another setback. Maintenance Superintendent Gary Brown spoke at the Taylorville Park Board Meeting and reported that the pool is losing water-somewhere around 11-12,000 gallons a day to be exact. Brown thinks it might be in the scum gutters but they are unsure if that is the real reason.

 

 

Recreational Director Bailey Hancock says they do not have a date yet for when the pool will open. She says to check the Facebook page to stay current on what is going on.

 

 

Hancock also reported they are still in talks on the up-and-coming Taylorville Skateboard Park. The park passed a motion to donate some picnic benches forward to the parking lot on Main Cross behind the gas station next to the apartment buildings for the skateboarders to currently use. The board agrees that it should be built in phases which shows that the board is doing something now and has a good faith effort they will work on it in the future.

 

 

Hancock says there is still a long way to go but so far things are going well.

 

 

The next Park Board meeting is set for June 28th.
 

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Park Board Meeting This Evening At Manner's Park

The Taylorville Park Board will meet on Monday evening at 7 PM at the Manners Park Dining Hall at Manners Park in Taylorville for their regular board meeting. The Board will go over the annual audit report for fiscal year ending in February. The board will review reports from the maintenance superintendent, office administrator, and recreational director. Under committee reports, the board will approve payment of bills from May and discuss any other issues brought in front of the board.  Please visit www.taylorvilledailynews.com for more on this story after the meeting concludes. 

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Dudley Smith Farm Holds Event

A farm in central Illinois continues to be used for research updates and practical information. The Dudley Smith Farm in Christian County is a 226 acre farm, that Dudley Smith Jr. gave to the University of Illinois in 1993. Smith uses agricultural technological advances and continues with the farm serving as a field research site. 

 

For over 20 years, the farm has hosted bi-annual meetings to update the community on research and provide ideas and recommendations. This June the meeting will feature research updates on soil health and cover crops, using cover crops with annuals, progress toward soil “P” credit and long term effects of management practices on nitrogen loss. 

 

The meeting will be held on June 16th and will be virtual from 10 AM until Noon. The meeting is free and open to the public, all the University of Illinois Extension Office asks is for you to register in advance by Friday, June 11th at go.illinois.edu/DSFmeeting. 

 

Some of the speakers that will be there include Amanda Cole, University of Illinois Extension County Director of Christian, Jersey, Macoupin, and Montgomery County to do introductions, Stacy Zuber with the Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service, Jason Tower with the Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center, Andrew Margenot, University of Illinois, and Shailendra Singh with the University of Illinois.

 

For more information on this upcoming event, please contact the Christian County Extension Office at 217-287-7246. 

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Shelby County Holding 5K In August

There will be a 5K run coming up in August in Shelby County. Jerry Yockey and his daughter Molly Pruemer are coordinating the race.  Yockey works for Shelby County State Bank and was on hand to talk about the Tom Short 5K that will be taking place later this summer. The 19th annual Tom Short 5K will be taking place the first Saturday in August and Yockey says that’s for a special reason. 

 

 

Pruemer says there are some other events that will be taking place leading up to the 5K.

 

 

For signing up, registration is open and there are a couple of places you can go to register. 

 

 

For more information click here. Jerry Yockey and Molly Pruemer appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville. 

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Martial Arts In Shelby Is About Teaching & Building Confidence

There is a Martial Arts Business in Shelbyville. Derek Pearcy and his wife Marisa Pearcy run the Pearcy’s Evolution Martial Arts in Shelbyville and Pearcy has been running it since 1992. Derek got involved in Martial Arts in a very interesting way.

 

 

The two started working together in the industry, but for Marisa Pearcy, she used it as a way to stand up for herself and give her confidence.

 

 

Derek Pearcy says there are two important things you should learn and that’s martial arts and swimming. 

 

 

Marisa says that it’s all about getting out of situations where you are struck with fear. 

 

 

For more information call 217-774-4282 or visit http://www.glowweapons.com/taekwondo2/home.html. Derek and Marisa Pearcy appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville. 

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Disc Golf Tournament Coming To Shelbyville

There is a disc golf tournament coming up in Shelbyville. Cheryl Schultz, owner and operator of Craig’s Sporting Goods talked about the upcoming tournament. The tournament, which will be taking place over Father’s Day. The event will feature a top Disc Golf Player, Brian Cummings, will be on hand for a tournament on June 20th at Forest Park.

 

 

On a good day there can be over 170 participants in the event. The event is filling up fast.

 

 

For more information visit 773-805-1384 or visit www.discgolfscene.com. There are plenty of other things going on at Craig’s Sporting Goods.

 

 

With the weather warming up, Craig’s Sporting Goods also has plenty of equipment for going on Lake Shelbyville. 

 

 

For more information call 217-296-2130. Schultz appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.

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VISTRA Gives Update On Kincaid Power Plant

There are many reasons why the Kincaid Power Plant will be closing down. Brad Watson, a Senior Director of Community Affairs with Vistra says that in order to have the plant closed by 2028, they will have to have it retired by 2027.  Watson says this was not an easy decision to close it down. 

 

 

Watson says that the goal is to keep Kincaid operating until the end in 2027. 

 

 

Vistra says that it was forced to make these decisions due to some new rules by the EPA.

 

 

Watson says that the other option was to set a retirement date. 

 

Vistra says there are some options that remain on the table including moving to Solar. Coal to Solar will unlock a $550 million investment at all nine plant sites across Illinois creating tons of jobs.  Find out more on the new plans at www.taylorvilledailynews.com as we will be bringing you more on this story in the near future.
 

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Kiwanis Club Drive Thru Donation Days For Taylorville Food Pantry Continue

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teamed again to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry by doing Drive Thru Donation Days the first 4 Saturdays in May. The goal was to collect non-perishable food and monetary donations to be given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. This Drive Thru Donation day on Saturday collected $120 along with non-perishable food.

 

Kiwanis members Joe Houser and Dennis Barnard donated their time for the Drive Thru Donation Day. Houser explains why this is important. 

 

 

Barnard says what you can donate to the Taylorville Food Pantry.

 

 

The Saturday Kiwanis Drive Thru Donation Day monetary and food donations will help the Taylorville Food Pantry. The Kiwanis Drive-Thru Donation Days at the Miller Media Group front parking lot, continue starting the second Saturday in July. If you’d like information on how to donate, visit the Taylorville Food Pantry Facebook Page.

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Taylorville High School Holds 128th Annual Commencement Friday Night

Taylorville High School held its one hundred twenty-eighth Annual Commencement Friday night in the West Gym.  Some 150 seniors officially received their diplomas in front of about a thousand people, as attendance was limited to certain family members due to COVID restrictions.

 

The event was broadcast live on WRAN groovy 97-point-3 and video streamed live on Tommy TV.

 

 

After the graduating class entered the gym, the Senior High Concert Band under the direction of Chris Gunn played the National Anthem, Natalie Howard gave the Invocation, and class speaker Zackary Woodall spoke about "The Pursuit of Passion."

 

 

The Taylorville Senior High School Choir, under the direction of Keith Chase, sang followed by the Senior High Concert Band playing a special number.  Principal Matt Hutchison then presented the Class of 2021 to Superintendent of Schools Doctor Chris Dougherty, who told the ceremony the Taylorville High School Graduating Class of 2021 received the most scholarships of any graduating class.

 

 

Scholarships Taylorville seniors received totaled almost 2-million dollars from a host of local Foundations, civic organizations, and businesses.

National Honor Society and Honor students were honored, then Hutchison announced the names of the some 150 graduates with David Driskell, President of the Taylorville School Board, presenting the diplomas.  After all were given, Hutchison formally presented them to the audience.

 

 

Morgan Hogarth presented the Benediction, and the Taylorville graduates left the high school gym for the last time.

 

The event was followed by a senior parade thru the city from the Christian County Fairgrounds, thru the regular Taylorville parade route.

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The City Of Taylorville Is Still Looking For Summer Help

Those in need of a job this summer might just be able to find what they are looking for with the City of Taylorville. There is an immediate need for seasonal employees across several different departments with the city. Human Resources Manager with the city, Andrea Conrath explains what they are looking for.

 

 

They are looking for somewhere between five and ten employees. Conrath says you’ll be assigned to one department and work there for the duration of the summer.

 

 

Conrath says it’s a good way to get started on a potential career. They have full time employees who started as summer help.

 

 

They are always accepting applications. Conrath says there are a couple ways to get the application.

 

 

Conrath appeared as a guest on the WTIM morning show.

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State Senator Doris Turner Announces Road Improvements In Central Illinois

Central Illinois communities are set to see $400 million worth of funding for road and bridge projects over the next six years as part of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) latest plan for Rebuild Illinois. While roads have been a big focus of this, airports have as well including the airport in Taylorville. State Senator Doris Turner hopes that Taylorville will take advantage of this funding grant.

 

 

Senator Turner says this could be a significant boost for air traffic in the region.

 

 

With so much money available Senator Turner calls it a win/win. 

 

 

The multi-year plan will invest over $20.7 billion statewide over the next six years with an emphasis on the National Highway System and deficient bridges. Projects were selected based on objective criteria such as pavement conditions, traffic volumes, and crash history.

 

In Christian County, some of the repairs that will be done include joint sealing repairs alongside South of Assumption to North of IL 16, overlay repairs south of Cold Springs Road in Pana to the Shelby County Line, a new deck bridge over IL 48 in Taylorville, and a ramp and bridge replacement at Flatt Branch 0.7 miles southeast of IL 48. 

 

In Montgomery County, there will be bridge repair south of the Sangamon/Montgomery county line to Brush Creek, and a bridge replacement at the Sangamon Creek west of Ohlman.

 

In Illinois there are 6,976 miles of state-maintained roads and 4,077 bridges on the National Highway System. 

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The GTCOC Has Another Successful VIBE at Five

The VIBE at Five is a networking event that happens once a month, facilitated by the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. May’s event happened on Wednesday at Nesty’s Burger Joint of the square. Sarah Van Huss with the Chamber says it was a great time.

 

 

Van Huss explains that while this is a business event, it doesn’t feel like one. That is one of the great parts about it.

 

 

Vibe stands for Very Important Business Event. This used to be called Business After Hours, but when it returned post shutdown it was rebranded. Van Huss says that includes a time change that might make it easier for people to attend.

 

 

VIBE at Five isn’t the only thing that took place over in Taylorville over the last week.

 

 

Van Huss appeared as a guest on the WTIM morning show.

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Patrols Increase For Water Safety

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Conservation Police have stepped up patrols and are reminding boaters to stay safe on the water. Next week is National Safe Boating Week. Boat safety is important as a year ago, the IDNR investigated 81 boating accidents involving 36 injuries and 21 fatalities. The US Coast Guard says that four out of every five boating fatalities in 2019 were from drowning and 86% of those were not wearing a life jacket.

 

The IDNR would like to remind you to please wear a life jacket when on the water. The Coast Guard says that everyone aboard the boat must have some kind of personal floatation device and kids under 13 must wear a life jacket whenever a boat is underway. Motorboat operators should also make sure all required equipment is aboard including a fire extinguisher, working horn and whistle, navigation lights, and flares. A new law requires engine cut-off switches (ECOS) and links that shut the boat motor off if the boat operator is displaced. This prevents boats from taking off and causing damage or injuries. 

 

Finally, the Coast Guard and the IDNR ask you to stay sober. Treat driving a boat just like a car or truck. Conservation police arrested more than 100 boaters last year on charges of operating under the influence. 

 

Click here for more tips on water safety and what is allowed on water.

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U Of I Extension Promotes Eating Local Produce With New Eat Fresh, Eat Local Program

Shopping local is extremely important, and that includes eating local food. The University of Illinois Extension Office is trying to spread the word about local food through a new program. Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator, explains the new program is called Eat Fresh, Eat Local.

 

 

One great way to be shopping local produce is to go to local farmers markets. Peterson says getting that fresh produce opens up the door to a lot of healthy new and healthy recipes. 

 

 

Farmers Markets are never the same two weeks in a row, which is an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. Peterson says it’s good to meal plan based on what is available.

 

 

This information from the Eat Fresh, Eat Local doesn’t take a ton of time and they are available online anytime.

 

 

Peterson appeared as a guest on the WTIM morning show.

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Sheriff Kettelkamp Discusses Shooting In Champaign

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is very shaken up by the latest incident that happened in Champaign that left a police officer dead and another one wounded. Officer Chris Oberheim was killed in what they are calling an ambush style attack after police responded to a Domestic Incident. Sheriff Kettelkamp says that Police put their lives on the line every single day. One incident involved a car that was stuck on the tracks.

 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp talked about the recent Police Officers memorial that they had on May 6th. 

 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp says that they honored Officers from 2020 and 2021. 

 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp says that he loves his job and will be running for reelection next year and hopes to keep working for the County.

 

 

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

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Taylorville High School Commencement Tonight; Broadcast on WRAN groovy 97.3

Taylorville High School will hand diplomas to its Class of 2021 tonight at 6 at the West Gym.  Due to COVID guidelines, only certain family members are invited to attend as there will be limited seating.

 

The T-H-S Commencement will be broadcast live tonight at 6 on groovy 97-point-3 W-R-A-N, as well as on Tommy TV.

Approximately 150 Taylorville high school seniors will be handed their diploma.

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Legislators Weary Of Redistricting Process

There are less than two weeks before the end of the legislative session, there are still no answers when it comes to what redistricting will look like. Republican member of the House Redistricting Committee, Representative Avery Bourne once again asked for Democrat leaders for a response on what is going on with the new maps. 

 

 

Republicans have accused Democrats of rushing the process so they can maintain control of the State and also are concerned that Democrats will use data from the American Community Survey, which they don’t believe is a fair map. Representative Bourne says that we should know what data is being used for these maps.

 

 

The drop-date for the map-making work to be completed is later this summer. 

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Taylorville Fire Department Returning To Normalcy Following Pandemic

The pandemic may have shut down a lot of aspects of life, but some had to persevere. Emergency services couldn’t stop what they do, because emergencies weren’t going to go away. They did have to adjust a lot of what they were doing, but then again, who didn’t? Taylorville Fire Chief Matt Adermann says they are looking forward top opening some things back up to the community again, such as their CPR program.

 

 

Chief Adermann has been in his position since November of 2019 and he was forced to make adjustments very quickly when the pandemic hit. As of now, he says they’ve made some beneficial changes he feels are going well.

 

 

They’ve incorporated technology in many different aspects of their work, including out in the field.

 

 

By nature, those in the fire department were at a higher risk of exposure to coronavirus. Chief Adermann explains that because they are emergency medical services too, their risk was even higher.

 

 

Chief Aderman appeared as a guest on the WTIM morning show.

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Golden Apple Program Addresses Teacher Shortage In Illinois

After an extremely challenging school year for students, teachers, and administrators, the conversation of a teacher shortage has been at the forefront. The Golden Apple program, which helps future teachers for rural, suburban, and urban schools-of-need in Illinois through their Scholars and Accelerators programs, held a round table virtual event on Wednesday to discuss that shortage. 

According to the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, 77% of school districts in Illinois report having a teacher shortage problem, and 93% of districts report a substitute teacher shortage problem. Matt Snyder, Superintendent of the Regional Office of Education #39 says that districts are doing what they have to do to get teachers.

 

 

Golden Apple President Alan Mather says that they have an Accelerators Program which is a one-year residency program that expedites the preparation of highly-qualified teachers. Ashley Tyler, a member of that Accelerators Program says that it is a fantastic program that has helped her get ready to teach in Illinois and beyond. She says that COVID changed things but it helped with growth.

 

 

Michelle Stacy, a Professor of Education at Blackburn College says that Blackburn has worked hard to have coursework designed to help maximize the time students are in school so they can be best prepared to teach.

 

President Mather says that while the teacher shortage has been going on for a while, COVID exasperated it. Snyder says that this has been going on for at least 10 years.

 

 

Golden Apple welcomed its inaugural class of Accelerators in June of 2020 and placed participants in 22 districts throughout Illinois. The inaugural class will receive their teaching licenses this summer and begin teaching this fall. 
 

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New Phone Service Helps People Navigate Court

A new program was launched to help those in the court process to connect to people and find resources and information for their court case. Illinois Court Help is the first personalized court information service offered by the Illinois Courts and is designed to help make courts and information more accessible. 

 

You can call or text 833-411-1121 to connect with a court guide who can provide court information and answer specific questions about the process. It can also connect you to resources that you need whether you are going to court, filing forms, or trying to access legal aid. Initial hours are from 10 AM until 2 PM Monday through Friday with expanded hours coming soon.

 

During social distancing, COVID-19 has made court nearly virtual, allowing you to be in court from the comfort of your home, but a lot of times this makes things more difficult when trying to access the information you need. With many people relying on a public defender or even representing themselves, Illinois Court Help comes at a crucial time.

 

Nationally, an estimated 3 out of every 5 people in civil legal cases go to court without a lawyer. In Illinois, ½ of all family law cases and 56% of domestic violence cases had at least one person representing themselves in 2020. 

 

Illinois Court Help will provide step-by-step instructions on how to file court documents and explain how to appear in court on Zoom. Users can also access one set of easy-to-read forms that can be used in any court in Illinois. While this is helpful for citizens, it is also helpful for lawyers who may need to find courthouse information. The service does not provide legal advice but allows for people to connect with other people who can give legal advice. 

 

For more information you can visit www.ilcourthelp.gov. Again, that phone number is 833-411-1121. 

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Shelby County Office Of Tourism Is A Great Resource For What Is Going On

There is never a shortage of things to do in the Shelby County area. Freddie Fry with the Shelby County Office of Tourism is on top of it all, and ready to bring that information to the public. She says she covers a wide area, which is good because there can be a lot going on as the weather gets warmer.

 

 

Every year the Shelby County Office of Tourism puts out a guide filled with pictures from the community. Fry explains they get those pictures from their annual photo contest, which will be starting soon.

 

 

That guide is a big deal because of all the information, and Fry says it’s not just for visitors.

 

 

There is a helpful list of dates at lakeshelbyville.com that provides tons of information. Fry lists some of what can be found there.

 

 

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

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State Senator Urges The Vaccine As A Way To Return To Normal Life

State Senator Doris Turner has been very vocal about where she stands on her constituents receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. She’s all for it. With recent CDC guidance saying those who are fully vaccinated don’t have to wear masks indoors or outdoors, Sentator Turner believe that is a very good thing.

 

 

When the vaccine first released, there were people on one side or the other. As time went on there was some hesitation that seemed to be on the down turn before the pause of the Johnson and Johnson shot, according to Senator Turner.

 

 

There are many reasons to choose to get vaccinated. For Senator Turner, it came down to family.


 

Beyond the important family aspect, Senator Turner adds that the vaccine is the best way to help struggling businesses because people will be out and about again.

 

 

Turner appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Illinois Easing Up On Mask Mandates For Those Vaccinated

Illinois is falling into guidance with the CDC when it comes to mask wearing. Fully vaccinated people can stop wearing a mask and practicing social distancing in most indoor and outdoor settings. Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health have announced state executive orders rescinding previous guidance that had been put out by the IDPH and adopting the new guidance. 

 

Governor Pritzker says it will take a little bit to get used to, not wearing a mask.

 

 

The CDC is still requiring mask wearing for everyone in healthcare settings, in congregate settings, and in transit. The Illinois State Board of Education and IDPH still require masks to be worn in school and at daycare. The CDC continues to show studies that show that people that are vaccinated are better protected.

 

 

As of today more than 4.8 million Illinoisans are fully vaccinated, and 58% of residents 16+, 64% of residents 18+ and 86% of residents 65+ have received their first dose. 

 

Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks, resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel, refrain from testing before leaving the US, and refrain from testing following a known exposure provided they are asymptomatic.

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Hamell Excited For New Role As Treasurer

Kellie Hamell is excited to be the new City Treasurer, but it wasn’t something she ever thought or expected she would be doing. Hamell said she had some ideas for how she wanted to help elected Scott Alberssen with making the office a little easier, but he had to step down due to health concerns.

 

 

Hamell is proud of all of the accomplishments during her time running the water department. She will still be running it but knows that it’s going to be a little different. 

 

 

Hamell says during her time in the water department that they expedited the process to help catch leaks and keep bills down.

 

 

Hamell is looking forward to bringing the automation from the water department over to the Treasurer’s Office. 

 

 

Hamell is still getting acclimated to her new role and new office and she has already started working.

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Christian County Hires New Emergency Management Director

Christian County has elected a new Emergency Management Agency Director. Jeff Stoner was nominated by Chairman of the Board Matt Wells to be the new EMA Director for the county. Stoner is a firefighter for the city of Taylorville and Wells says he is very excited to have him on board. 

 

 

Wells continued by saying that while there will be problems, he feels that they picked the right person for the job.

 

 

The board approved a salary of $15,000/year that would be prorated since Stoner was taking over halfway through May. The board will also be hiring a part-time EMA person that will make $8,000 a year. There was some discussion about whether or not that would be enough money for the job that they do. Chairman Wells said they would revisit that topic at a later date. 

 

The board also discussed the Comprehensive Economic Development Plan. Matt Wells has a meeting with some higher-ups to discuss the next steps for this plan as the city of Taylorville and some of the other towns have already approved this. The county once again tabled the motion in an effort to learn more about it and sent it back to the finance committee. Wells says he probably should have explained it a little better in his presentation.

 

 

In other news from the County Board meeting, the board will be getting some money coming in grant-wise from the American Rescue Plan Act. There was talk about what that money would go to with some suggesting they use it for the jail. Treasurer Betty Asmussen said she wouldn’t know until July what that money would be allowed to be used for. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears from Taylorville Author at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from a budding Taylorville author, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

 

Noah Nelson is completing his junior year at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, majoring in journalism and minoring in political science and history.  Thru Amazon, he’s written a book entitled “Life:  A Collection of Short Stories”, which Nelson says contains both real and fictional stories about his life.  

 

The Taylorville High School grad told Kiwanis members that since one of his grandmothers was an author.

 

 

He added since he loves to read books and write, he’s trying his own book.  Nelson added it’s been a wild and fun journey.  

 

Nelson already had some 20 to 30 short stories written, so he selected some of them for his 50-page paperback book.    Nelson’s career goal is to be an author or writer.

 

His book can be purchased on Kindle or paperback, by searching his title at Amazon-dot-com.

 

The public is reminded to donate non-perishable food and cash donations for the Taylorville Food Pantry, at this Saturday’s Kiwanis Drive-Thru Donation Day at the Miller Media Group front parking lot on East Park Street.

 

And, Kiwanis Club members are reminded of next Tuesday’s Annual Prayer Luncheon where the Outstanding Spiritual Leader in the Taylorville community will be named. 

 

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

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Representative Scherer Helps Gold Star Families

Representative Sue Scherer is hoping that new legislation will be able to waive application fees for Gold Star Family license plates. Gold Star license plates are available for those who are surviving spouses or parents of veterans who served in the US Armed Forces. 

 

The legislation, backed by Representative Scherer will go to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice by helping people not have to pay a fee for remembering their loved ones. The bill, House Bill 20, repeals the registration fee. It passed the Illinois House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate after unanimous and bipartisan support. 

 

Representative Scherer says that Gold Star families have already experienced a lot of sacrifices so this is her way of giving back.

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Senator Doris Turner Celebrating 100 Days In Office

Monday marked the 100th day in office for State Senator Doris Turner in taking over for the resigning for Senator Andy Manar. Senator Turner says it’s felt quick, but she feels she’s gotten off to a great start with the goals she had in mind. One of those goals was to have a presence all over the 48th District.

 

 

In terms of legislation, Senator Turner has done her part to get change she feels will help the district, as well has being vocal about receiving the COVID vaccine.

 

 

During these legislative sessions, it’s been very important for Senator Turner to work in a bipartisan manner.

 

 

Senator Turner believes the best government comes from working together.

 

 

Senator Turner appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Mayor Gives Updates

The City of Taylorville is welcoming a new Treasurer and Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry couldn’t be more excited. After Scott Alberssen had to step down due to some health issues, Mayor Barry during a closed session along with the city council voted 8-0 in favor of Kellie Hamell. Mayor Barry says that Hamell will be doing both the job of water office manager and city treasurer but will only be paid for treasurer.

 

Mayor Barry says he was happy to have spoken at the FFA event on Sunday evening at the Christian County Fairgrounds.

 

 

Mayor Barry also talked about the upcoming Memorial Day event where he will be the keynote speaker.

 

 

The Mayor appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville City Council Meets; Swears In New City Treasurer

Judge Brad Paisley swore in new City Treasurer Kellie Hamell on Monday evening during the Taylorville City Council Meeting. Hamell says she’s excited about the new job and thanked everyone for their support. A motion to approve the handbook updates for employees was approved 8-0. A motion to approve hiring Terri France as an Independent Contractor at a rate of $35/hr to train Kellie Hammell was approved 8-0. Attorney Rocci Romano was asked if there was a limit to how many hours she could work.

 

 

The contract can be terminated at any time by either party. France says that she is limited to 600 hours per year. A motion to approve Alderman Larry Budd was also approved as Mayor Pro-Tem in the absence of Mayor Barry. The city also accepted the resignation letter of Kellie Hammel as Water Office Manager even though she will retain the position.

 

 

Mayor Barry says he is looking for volunteers for flag placements next weekend. 

 

 

A motion to approve an increase in pay of 10% of HBO Goodall’s current salary as compensation for the extra duties he is performing at the Airport was tabled due to some questions that the board had concerning extra funds.

 

The meeting then went into a closed session for pending litigation from Jamal Shehadeh versus the city of Taylorville. 

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Graduating Seniors Have A Couple Of Events Coming At Shelbyville High School

It’s not secret that school hasn’t been the easiest this year. For students at Shelbyville High School, however, they’ve gotten lucky in terms of how normal this school year has been. Principal Kyle Ladd is excited for the potential of a really normal year next year, but is very proud of how his students faced the adversity this pandemic brought to them.

 

 

There hasn’t been a single time that in person learning has been interrupted for Shelbyville. Perhaps the closest call was a heating issue at the elementary school, but Ladd says the community stepped up.

 

 

Out of necessity last year, Shelbyville opted to honor its seniors with a drive thru graduation as well as a regular ceremony. According to Ladd, the pandemic may have forced their hand for the drive thru ceremony last year, but they liked it. They are planning it again this year.

 

 

The recognition of seniors doesn’t stop there as Senior Awards Night is coming up too.

 

 

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

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Taylorville City Council To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville City Council is set to meet on Monday evening at 7 PM at the Municipal Building in Taylorville. City Treasurer Kellie Hamell will be sworn in and administered the oath of office. Under resolutions and motions, Terri France will be hired to train City Treasurer Hamell, except her resignation from the Water Office Manager, and add territory to the Taylorville Christian County Enterprise Zone.

 

Under emergency services, there will be a motion discussed on purchasing 6 body warn cameras and 2 in-car cameras. Under personnel, there will be a motion discussed to hire one police officer, and under water/environmental there will be a motion to purchase two computers and monitors and a anionic pump for the water department. There will also be a motion to increase the pay of HBO Andy Goodall 10% for his extra duties he is performing at the airport.

 

There will be a closed session, payment of bills, and mayoral and city attorney updates as well. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this after the conclusion of the meeting.

 


See Here for a complete agenda. 

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Shelbyville Library Is Gearing Up For Summer Reading Program

It’s never a bad time to go explore the local library. In Shelbyville, they always try to have events going  on to bring in new faces to the Shelbyville Public Library. Director Monica Cameron cares about getting the community to the library, so she was sad when they didn’t get to hold one of their better community events.

 

 

One thing the library was able to do during the pandemic was a winter reading program. Cameron says it’s the first time in awhile, if ever, they did something like that.

 

 

A lot of the library events are geared towards kids, but Cameron says the adults seemed to really enjoy the winter reading program.

 

 

Winter is over, however, which means Cameron is looking forward to the summer reading program. It’s taken some doing to put together, but she thinks it’s going to be a very good time.

 

 

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

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Republicans Talk Concerns From Legislative Sessions

Republicans continue to push for more work completed during the session in what they see as a midnight hour push for legislation getting done. Representative Dan Brady says that they haven’t been included at all, despite Democrats talking about unity. Redistricting of course still remains a heavy topic of discussion. 

 

 

Representative Jackie Haas continued by stressing that another largely ignored incident is the LaSalle Veterans Home.

 

 

Representative Chris Bos says that Ousted Speaker of the House Mike Madigan is still very much in charge.

 

 

Representative CD Davidsmeyer says that FOID card issues are still an ignored issue that he says seems like beating a dead horse, but nothing is being done about it. Right now it takes about 127 days to get a FOID card but Representative Davidsmeyer says some of his constituents have been waiting longer than 13 months. He shared a story.     

 

 

The Legislative Session is still going for another week. 

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Steering Clear Of Bites And Stings This Summer

As the weather begins to warm up, warm weather can also bring out bugs and insects in the forms of mosquitoes, bees, wasps, and ticks. Ashley Lisek, who is an APN with OSF Medical Group, says that there are many ways to stay safe and protect yourself before heading out to the great outdoors.

 

 

The Illinois Department of Health recommends walking in the center of trails. This prevents weeds from brushing up against you. If you are going to be outside for long periods of time, check yourself often for ticks and shower when you get home to help reduce the risk of Lyme Disease, which you can get from ticks. 

 

Common symptoms of a tick-related illness include fever, chills, aches, pains, or a rash. The most important spots to check is under the arms, around the ears and inside, in your belly button, the back of knees, in and around your hair, between your legs, and around your waist. 

 

 

What you wear and how you smell can make a difference. The CDC recommends wearing light-colored clothing when outside and wearing insect repellent while staying away from fruity fragrances.

 

If you do experience getting stung, first wash the site of the sting with soap and water and use ice to stop it from swelling. The severity of the sting can depend on the type of insect that stung you. 

 

 

If you or a loved one are experiencing a medical emergency caused by a bite or a sting, and are unsure what to do, go to your nearest Emergency Room or call 9-1-1.

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Taylorville Man Dies In Vehicle Crash; Two People In Critical Condition

A Taylorville man is dead and two others are in critical condition after a vehicle crash on Saturday afternoon.  According to the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, 9-1-1 received a call at 3:10 pm on May 15th of a crash on Illinois Route 48 at 2175 North Road, about 2.3 miles northeast of Stonington. EMS and Fire personnel worked to extricate the subjects involved. 

 

According to witnesses, 36-year old Brandon Estes of Taylorville was traveling northeast on Route 48 when it was struck head-on by a vehicle driven by 22-year-old Brandan Jack also from Taylorville that was coming southwest and came into Estes lane of traffic.  Witnesses stated that the Nissan attempted to swerve out of the way but was unable to do so. Estes was alone, but Jack had a passenger in his vehicle; 22-year-old Marissa Millman of Taylorville. 

 

All three people were conscious upon the Emergency Responders' arrival. Jack and Millman were transported to Decatur Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.  Estes was transported to Taylorville Memorial Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. 

 

Christian County Sheriff’s Deputies, Stonington Police Department, Stonington Fire Department, Taylorville Fire Department, Stonington Ambulance, and Decatur Ambulance responded to the vehicle crash. The investigation is being conducted by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office along with the Christian County Coroner’s Office. 

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hosts Third Drive-Thru Day

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teamed up once again to benefit the Taylorville Fod Pantry by doing Drive-Thru Donation Days through the month of May.  The goal was to collect non-perishable food and monetary donations to be given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. The Kiwanis Club was able to get many food donations that will be given to the Taylorville Food Pantry.

 

Kiwanis Members Melissa McMillan and Tim Sutton were on hand helping out with donations on Saturday. McMillan says that with COVID still affecting families and people slowly getting their lives back to normal this is as important as ever.

 

 

McMillan continued by saying it was good to see people helping out.

 

 

The Donation Days continue next Saturday, May 22nd from 9 until 1 PM.  If you would like more information on how to donate, visit the Taylorville Food Pantry Facebook Page. 

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Ag In The Classroom Coordinator Reached 15,000 Students During Pandemic-Riddled School Year

Perhaps the most abnormal school year ever is coming to a close. Rebecca Livingston, Ag in the Classroom Coordinator for Christian and Montgomery County for the University of Illinois Extension Office, had to spend most of this year teaching online. With summer programming coming up, however, she will be doing more in person. 

 

 

Because of the online platform, Livingston was able to reach 15,000 students this year. She was amazed by that number, but she’s also ready for next year to come.

 

 

As Livingston starts to plan for next years in person lessons, she wants to start with an old reliable, which is pumpkin pie in a bag. She also is planning to add a new game that is essentially agriculture related Uno.

 

 

Being mostly virtual has given Livingston a few new methods she can take with her once in person classroom learning resumes.

 

 

Livingston appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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NFPA Teaching About Grilling Safety

While Memorial Day weekend usually kicks off the summer, the weekend usually includes celebrations and cookouts. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) wants to remind everyone of some basic safety tips and precautions in order to grill stress free this summer. 

 

The NFPA shows that from 2014-2018, fire departments in America responded to 10,600 homes on average for fires that involved grills, hibachis, or barbecues. Of those 10,600 homes, 4,900 were structure fires. These fires resulted in an annual average of 10 civilian deaths and 160 civilian injuries. The NFPA estimates that over 149 million dollars in property damage were caused by fires. 

 

If you haven’t used your grill over winter it’s important to check it for leaks. Guy Colonna says the first thing you want to do when looking for gas leaks is to just look inside.

 

 

There are plenty of other methods to look for leaks on the hose as well.

 

 

A yearly average of 19,700 people went to emergency rooms due to grill injuries. Half of those were from thermal burns and children under five accounted for an average of 39% of the contact-type burns. 

 

The NFPA asks that you keep your grill clean, place it away from the home, deck railings, and out form under eaves and branches. You should always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it and keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grilling area. Above all else, never leave your grill unattended. For more information visit the NFPA’s website.

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May's Unpredictable Weather May Be Ending Soon

From sun to rain, and hot to cold, this May has been anything but normal. The constant changes in weather just haven’t been predictable. Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Chris Miller, is just as baffled as anyone else. 

 

 

Miller says this kind of weather filled with constant changes is known as a Progressive Weather Pattern.

 

 

Staying on par with the theme of unpredictable and weird weather, Miller says there have been more tornadoes than usual so far. Luckily they haven’t caused much damage.

 

 

The good news is that the National Weather Service is predicting some consistency in weather patterns very soon.

 

 

Miller appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Final Touches Being Put On Redistricting

House and Senate Republicans once again met outside the Governor’s office earlier this week to voice their concern over the Democrat controlled legislative map making process for redistricting taking place behind locked doors, but also frustrated over Democratic leaders flip-flopping their position.

 

State Representative Avery Bourne says that she is concerned that the Democrats are going to go ahead with maps while not even taking into consideration the citizens that gathered at hearings around the state where taxpayers could come and give their input on the map making process. Representative Bourne says she hopes it wasn’t a sham.

 

 

An announcement on redistricting is expected later this summer with a June 30th deadline.

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Department Of Transportation Pushing Funds For Airports

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation have announced that the Rebuild Illinois project will provide $94 million in funding to public airports including Taylorville Municipal Airport. State Senator Doris Turner says that the new funding will allow airports in Central Illinois and across the state to make much-needed repairs by keeping the economy strong. Airports must be for public use and included in the Illinois Aviation System Plan to be eligible for the funding. Applications are due June 14th and may receive a grant of up to $25 million. 

 

Governor Pritzker says that it’s nice to finally have a bipartisan plan for rebuilding Illinois.

 

 

Governor Pritzker continued by saying that the Rebuild Illinois plan is only the beginning.

 

IDOT Secretary Omer Osman also spoke at the event saying that with Illinois as the hub of the US, the roads, bridges, and airports absolutely need to be better.

 

 

Awards for the airport grants are expected to be announced later this year.

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Governor Pritzker Announces New Tourism Campaign

Governor JB Pritzker was at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield on Wednesday morning to tout his new tourism ad campaign called “Time For Me To Drive”. The Governor says now that Illinoisans are getting vaccinated, it is a good time to get back on the road and to see Illinois. The campaign will also be pushed in nearby states such as Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, and Iowa. Governor Pritzker says that people are tired of being home.

 

 

Speaker of the House Chris Welch says that there is still more work to do to get people out to see and to do things here in Illinois.

 

 

Representative Sue Scherer was also at the presentation. She says that the museum reminds her of a special time.

 

 

Scherer says she feels proud to have the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in her district. 

 

 

For more information on tourism and travel in Illinois visit https://www.enjoyillinois.com/.
 

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Taylorville Looking For Summer Help

The City of Taylorville is looking for Summer help. Andrea Conrath, Human Resources Manager for the city says that multiple positions are open in several departments throughout the city. 

 

 

Conrath says they are pretty flexible with schedules but it is a Monday through Friday position. Conrath also talked about how you can apply.

 

 

You can apply for the position you want, especially if you feel that there is a specific area you want to work in. 

 

 

For more information, visit www.taylorville.net under the Government Tab and Human Resources. You can also call Andrea at 824-3386. Conrath appeared as a guest on WTIM, your information station. 

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ROE Offering Testing For Adult Education

For adults who don’t have a high school diploma, there is an easier way to obtain an equivalency credential. The Regional Office of Education #3 is offering a paper-based version of the HiSET exam.  This exam is a high school equivalency test recognized by the state of Illinois and will assess five subject areas including Reading, Writing, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. It will also examine readiness for college and the workforce.

 

This test provides the same result as passing the GED test. The GED test is the high school equivalency diploma from Illinois. The HiSET exam will be offered at the ROE in Hillsboro on the first and third Friday’s of the month and the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Taylorville unless otherwise posted. This test will be done in pencil-and-paper format. 

 

For more information on the exam and to schedule a test, visit https://hiset.ets.org. For residents who are interested in a computer-based test, the GED can be taken at various locations including Springfield, Centralia, and Mattoon. For more information on the GED visit www.GED.com. If you are interested in taking a test, work with your local adult education provider at the community college to help prepare for whichever test you choose to take.

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TCCU Has New Website

Taylorville Community Credit Union is introducing a redesigned website in order to meet members time-sensitive financial needs. The new website will be more user-friendly, streamline accessibility, and expand capabilities. TCCU President Will Perkins says that at the end of the day it’s all about the website and its focus. For him the website is about how best to serve the members of TCCU.

 

A few of the new features of the newly designed website include a financial resource center page which will offer valuable information regarding financial planning and a calculators page which allows members to calculate payments for auto and home loans. The website will also offer banners displaying current loan and deposit rates for immediate reference as well as a quick and easy sign up button allowing members to quickly and easily register for online banking with the login prominently displayed on each screen. 

 

Perkins says there is also a history page for all of the branch locations. The news and events page has also been expanded and events and activities in the community will be highlighted as well. The new website for Taylorville Community Credit Union is www.TCCU.org. 

 

Taylorville Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative that has membership for those who live or work in Shelby, Christian, or Montgomery Counties. For more information visit www.tccu.org or call one of the four local offices. In Taylorville call 824-9658, in Hillsboro call 532-5300, in Litchfield call 324-7496, and in Pana call 562-2516.

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Rock Springs Offering Plenty To Do This Summer

There is always stuff going on at Rock Springs Nature Center. the Nature Center Manager at Rock Springs in Decatur, Alysia Callison, says that with everything going on, they are excited to see people coming back to the park. There are some programs coming up in May including a wildflower hike.

 

 

Callison says there is an archeological event that will be taking place soon. 

 

 

All of these programs are free except for the frog program on Saturday, May 29th. You do have to register for these programs.

 

 

There are some summer camps coming up.

 

 

For more information visit www.MaconCountyConservation.org. Callison appeared as a guest on WTIM, your information station. 

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Christian County Multiplier Announced For 2020

The Illinois Department of Revenue has issued a property assessment equalization factor for Christian County of 1.0.   This equalization factor is often called a multiplier and it helps to achieve uniform property assessments among counties based on a law that was passed in 1975.  Assessments for Christian County are at 33.38% of market value based on property sales from 2017,2018, and 2019.

 

The equalization factor currently being assigned is for 2020 taxes, payable in 2021.  Last year’s equalization factor was also 1.0. The equalization factor is determined for each county by comparing the price of properties sold to the assessed value placed on those properties by the county supervisor of assessments over the last 3 years.

 

A change in equalization does not necessarily mean that property tax bills will increase or decrease as those are determined by local taxing bodies. Your tax responsibility will not be changed from this number. 

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Pana Students Of The Month For May Announced

People's Bank and Trust along with WMKR are recognizing the Pana Students of the Month for the month of May. Congratulations to Xeneta Ademi, Emily Bock, Kaylee Zahradka, and Izaiah Lees. We here at Regional Radio News salute you!

L - R:  PEOPLES BANK AND TRUST REPRESENTATIVE LAURA DUDLEY; FRESHMAN XENETA ADEMI; SOPHOMORE EMILY BOCK; JUNIOR KAYLEE ZAHRADKA; SENIOR IZAIAH LEES; PEOPLES BANK AND TRUST REPRESENTATIVE JENNIFER MATHIS

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May Is Motorcycle Awareness Month

Governor JB Pritzker has named May as Motorcycle Awareness Month in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation along with the Illinois State Police, and safety advocates of riding motorcycles are asking all motorists to “Start Seeing Motorcycles.” 

 

The Start Seeing Motorcycles campaign is important as they account for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities even though they only represent 3 percent of total vehicle registrations. There were 1,010 traffic fatalities in Illinois in 2019 with 137 from motorcycles. In 202, there were 1,193 fatalities with 153 from motorcycles. 

 

Beth Kaufman, Secretary of State Spokesperson, says if you’re going to ride you should wear a helmet.

 

 

Motorists should always look twice before changing lanes or merging using your mirrors and looking over your shoulder to make sure it’s safe. Also allow appropriate distance given traffic, weather, and road conditions. Use care when driving near a group of motorcyclists sharing the road with them to give them plenty of time. Make sure you signal your intent and wait for the riders to give you space. Do not merge in between groups of riders unless there is enough space to do so.

If you are riding a motorcycle, wear DOT-compliant gear with bright colors, wear all the proper protective equipment, get regular maintenance and take advantage of the free motorcycle safety courses. Give yourself space and time to react.

 

Above all else, the Department of Transportation is asking you to ride sober and not text. 

 

 

For more information visit www.startseeingmotorcycles.org.
 

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Taylorville Announces New Treasurer

The Taylorville City Council and Mayor Bruce Barry have agreed on a new City Treasurer. Kellie Hamell has been named the new city Treasurer, taking over for Scott Alberssen who quit the position due to health concerns. The meeting was held on Monday evening at the City Council Chambers and Hamell was appointed the role to fill in for the next two years.

 

Taylorville Mayor Barry says Hamell spent time as the water billing manager for the last 3 years and has agreed to do both jobs. 

 

 

The meeting also had a motion to create the office of deputy treasurer and to fill the impending vacancy of the Deputy Clerk but Mayor Barry said that they haven’t filled the position for treasurer yet and the Deputy Clerk stays the same.

 

 

The vote was 8-0 in favor of hiring Hamell. She is set to begin the job immediately.

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COVID Vaccines Go Over Ten Million In Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday that over 10 million vaccines have now been given in the State of Illinois. On average, there are 83,887 doses given daily with 58,709 doses reported from Monday. Governor JB Pritzker says there are still many people who are hesitant about getting the vaccine. 

 

 

Currently the IDPH is reporting a total of 1 million 357 thousand cases of COVID-19 in Illinois with 22,261 deaths overall. The statewide positivity rate is currently sitting at 2.8% from May 4-10th. There are 1,930 individuals reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  There were 1,562 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday with 26 additional deaths. There were 16 cases reported in Christian County on Tuesday. 

 

Governor Pritzker says once you get the vaccine, you feel more at ease around everyone else.

 

 

The Christian County Health Department will be hosting a vaccine clinic on Thursday, May 13th from 5-6 PM The Moderna 2 shot and Johnson & Johnson Vaccines will be available. The event is taking place at the Morrisonville Legion. Please bring a completed vaccination form with you.
 

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Life's Journey To Hold Memorial Day Event On May 26

Memorial Day is coming up and with it usually comes many different types of celebrations to remember those who served and lost their life. At this point, nobody knows what the restrictions will dictate so it’s hard to know what will occur. According to Connie Young, Sales Director with Life’s Journey, they will be holding an event on May 26th.

 

 

Usually there would be a parade held by Life’s Journey, but this year they decided to stay on the conservative side of things to make sure they could be there to help those who have lost loved ones.

 

 

For more information Young says to call her or Kendra Gilman.

 

 

Young introduced Gilman, who is the newest member to the Life’s Journey team.

 

 

Young and Gilman appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Vaccination Has COVID Numbers Trending Downward

Vaccinations have been available for awhile at this point and the COVID numbers are starting to fall. It’s to the point where the state is on pace to move to Governor JB Pritzker’s ‘Bridge’ phase of reopening. Coleen Rakers, an Adult Nurse Practitioner with Pana Medical Group, shares that the numbers statewide are supporting that move and trending down.

 

 

The goal right now for positivity rate for the state is five percent. Rakers says the recent data has the state of Illinois well under that at 3.1 percent.

 

 

Rakers is excited to see things trending the way they are and credits the vaccine as a big part for what is happening.

 

 

The latest development about vaccines is that the Pfizer shot is said to be safe for anyone 12 years of age and older.

 

 

Rakers appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears From Food Pantry Co-Coordinators at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the co-coordinators of the Taylorville Food Pantry, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

 

Amy Hagen and Pam Moses, co-coordinators of the local food pantry, gave an update on how the pantry has served Taylorville and Christian County families in 2020 and so far in 2021.

 

Hagen said the Food Pantry operated differently before, during, and after the COVID pandemic.

 

 

The pair shared a host of numbers that showed the service the Taylorville Food Pantry provides, such as that 200-dollars worth of food goes out the door for just 12-dollars thanks to food donations and volunteer hours; 34-percent of food given by the pantry goes to children; 375 households per month were served before the COVID pandemic, while as many as 510 households per month were served during the pandemic, and in April of this year, some 455 households were provided food from the Taylorville Food Pantry.

 

Hagen and Moses thanked the Kiwanis Club for holding Drive-Thru Donation Days during several months in 2020 at the Miller Media Group studios’ parking lot, to benefit the local Food Pantry.  Due to the generosity of the Taylorville community, nearly 32-thousand pounds of food were collected by Kiwanis members during those events.

 

Club Spiritual Aims chair Dick Wamsley reminds Kiwanis members of the annual Kiwanis Prayer Luncheon taking place Tuesday, May 25th at noon, in place of a weekly meeting.  An “Outstanding Spiritual Leader” in the Taylorville community, will be awarded that day by the Kiwanis Club.

 

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

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WTIM & People's Bank Of Trust Recognizes THS Students Of The Month For May

People's Bank and Trust along with WTIM Radio would like to recognize the May Students of the Month. The May Students of the Month are Katelyn Wilson, Jayce Thomas, Rebekah Krah, and Wyatt Lawyer. We here at Regional Radio News salute you!

 

 

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:  PEOPLES BANK AND TRUST REPRESENTATIVE NOAH LIKES; FRESHMAN KATELYN WILSON; JUNIOR REBEKAH KRAH; SENIOR WYATT LAWYER; SOPHOMORE JAYCE THOMAS 

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Recent Weather Has Not Been Kind To Gardeners

The weather has not been predictable or nice for those trying to get out into their garden. Between long stretches of rain, and inconsistent temperatures, trying to get any gardening done has likely felt like an extreme sport. Linda Smith with the Christian County Master Gardeners says Monday morning’s frost didn’t help any.

 

 

Smith explains what to check for in plants such as rhubarb when a frost occurs.

 

 

Unfortunately Smith doesn’t have any secrets to share when it comes to reading the weather to know when to start planting.

 

 

Smith appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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St. Louis District Dairy Council Celebrates National Mediterranean Diet Month

Finding the right diet is very important for those looking to get healthier. And while not every diet works for every person, there are plenty of options out there. May is National Mediterranean Diet Month and Registered Dietitian with the St. Louis District Dairy Council, Jill Williams, says that it’s one of the more popular diets around.

 

 

According to Williams there is an emphasis on not eating as many processed foods as well as taking your time to eat it.

 

 

It can be hard to stick to a strict diet plan, but Williams says the key to the Mediterranean diet is the flexibility of what you can eat. 

 

 

Working with the St. Louis District Dairy Council, Williams shares how dairy fits in to this diet choice.


 

Williams appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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The Budget Among Upcoming Topics With Legislators In Springfield

The legislative session will be ending soon and that means it’s time to talk about the budget. Representative Avery Bourne says that is starting to happen because of something called Appropriation Working Groups where representatives on both sides of the isle in Springfield come together talk about it. She just hopes it will be done in a partisan way.

 

 

Outside of both sides of the isle being involved, Representative Bourne wants to focus on transparency and balance in the budget.

 

 

When budget talks come around, the term ‘balanced budget’ will be used quite a bit. Representative Bourne explains what that means.

 

 

A potentially big elephant in the budget room is the voting down of Governor JB Pritzker’s proposed tax plan. Representative Bourne says that hopefully will have sent a message.

 

 

Representative Bourne appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Taylorville Veteran's Park Making Progress

A Veteran’s Memorial Park in Taylorville is really starting to take off. The work has begun with the concrete being laid down. Dr. Ron Mizer who is on the Veteran’s Park Committee, says that the project started in 2018, but has really taken off now that things are slowly getting back to normal. 

 

 

One big thing that will be coming to the Veteran’s Park will be the Honor Wall which you can add a name to, to memorialize their time and their service.

 

 

Dr. Mizer says they’ve gotten a lot of calls already for the Honor Wall. They are also starting to plan for a great event on Veteran’s Day. Dr. Mizer is also looking for an Eagle Scout for a project. 

 

 

Dr. Mizer is also excited about what the State of Illinois is doing for The Veteran’s Committee.

 

 

For more information visit Facebook and check out “Downtown Taylorville” or contact Marcia Neal at 824-3555.

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Taylorville School Board Meets; Recognizes Graduates

The Taylorville School Board met on Monday evening to praise their graduates, review the budget for the upcoming school year, and to consider codes and handbook changes for 2021-2022. Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty praised The Class of 2021 Illinois State Scholars, and praised Elyse Clayton for winning state for yearbook design and Toby Winans, Izzy Miller, and Macy Richards for their hard work on a video news package for State. 

 

 

 

Dr. Dougherty also talked about the process for hiring a principal as the School Board has hired Michelle Reiss to be the new Principal at Memorial School effective July 1st.  Reiss comes from Eastern Illinois University.

 

 

The board also talked about the COVID-19 return to learn update and the plan for the Fiscal Year 2022 of returning to school full time this fall.

 

 

President of the School Board, Dave Driskell talked a little about a motion for the purchase of a new mental health building. 

 

 

The motion would be tabled. Dr. Dougherty gave an update on some of the grants and where the money was going to and a big part of it is to technology and computers.

 

 

To see the full meeting click here and here

 

 

 

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Court Finds No Intent On Bond Violation; Hodson Released

A Christian County man is out on bond again after the court ruled he didn’t violate his probation. Robert Hodson made his first appearance in court on Monday morning. Hodson appeared with his attorney John Sharp. He had been arrested on a probation violation and was in custody on a no-bond hold until they could meet in court. Both sides made their arguments, with Sharp arguing for the defendant that Hodson missed his appearances due to being in the hospital and due to unforeseen circumstances. He also argued that when the warrant was issued, Hodson turned himself in. After both arguments were heard Judge Brad Paisley said that while he understood the State’s motion for modifying bond, it was going to be denied.

 

Judge Paisley continued by specifying that the court didn’t find that the defendant willfully failed to comply with the conditions of the bond, it was just an unfortunate error in communication. The same conditions applied to his release that was there before and he needs to meet all the conditions set forth in his original bond.

 

Hodson waived his preliminary hearing and first appearance with counsel continued and is set for July 29th as the court is waiting for an accident reconstruction report. Robert Hodson is being charged with Aggravated DUI resulting in accidental death after a crash left two people dead and one person critically wounded in April.

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Taylorville School Board To Meet Tonight

The Taylorville School Board is set to meet Monday evening at 6 PM at the Taylorville High School Cafeteria for their regular Board of Education meeting. Announcements will be made concerning graduation taking place on May 21st, and congratulating the 2021 Illinois State Scholars from Taylorville. 

 

Under old business, the board will announce their return to learn update with a plan to start the FY22 regular day calendar. The board will also consider approval of a natural gas membership, and the purchase of a mental health building. 

 

Under new business, the board will review a budget amendment, announce and appoint Wendy Dulakis as the treasurer, renew the school’s IHSA membership, and review district fees, and student course handbooks. The board will also hear from Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty and any guests who wish to speak.

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story after the meeting convenes Monday evening.

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Man Who Went Missing During Korean War Returning Home For Burial

A hero is returning. Corporal Asa Emmitt Vance of Decatur is returning home after missing in action in the Republic of Korea. Corporal Vance was assigned to Dog Company 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He went missing on the 2nd of December 1950. 

Tanzyus Logan Funeral Service and Care will be transporting Corporal Vance home from Lambert Airport in St. Louis on Monday evening. Assisting in transportation will be the Patriot Guard and the Illinois State Police.  The transport will stop at the Mr. Fuel Travel Station on Corvette Drive in Litchfield between 4:45 PM and 5 PM. From 5:15-5:30 the transport will return to I-55 North where it will exit at Raymond. 

Police are suggesting to park in large parking lots and be outside of your vehicle standing when the procession drives by. Please be silent and place your hand over your heart. If you are in uniform, please render a salute and bring American Flags if you have them. 

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry is encouraging everyone to come out in support of this fallen hero. The procession will slow down through each town to allow everyone to observe the procession.

 

WE WILL PASS THROUGH EACH VILLAGE AT THE APPROX TIMES:

SUGGESTED AREAS:

 

 

 

1730

RAYMOND

WEST INN/TOSI DINER/IMPLEMENT/AUCTION

1735

HARVEL

MIDWAY B&G / BROWN INSURANCE / BERGSCHNEIDER TRUCKING

1745

MORRISONVILLE

S&B TOBACCO / LOUIS MARSCH / BAREFOOT ANGEL / LOT ACROSS FROM OTHER BAR

1750

PALMER

BETHARD TRUCKING / COPELAND TRUCKING / STONEYS BIKER BARN

1800

TAYLORVILLE

Rt 48 & LINCOLN TRAIL / RT 48 & CTY1 (1250E)

1810

STONINGTON

FARMER SUPPLY / CHURCH PARKING LOT

1820

BLUE MOUND

ANYWHERE DOWN MAIN STREET FOR PARKING

1825

BOODY

ANYWHERE DOWN RT 48 FOR PARKING

1830-1900

DECATUR

WE WILL BE TRAVELING THROUGH DECATUR ON ROUTE RT 48 ALL THE WAY TO PERSHING ROAD. WE WILL TURN RIGHT (EAST) AND FINISH AT TANZYUS LOGAN FUNERAL SERVICE AND CARE, 3085 N KANDY LN, DECATUR, IL 62526

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Hillsboro Police Announce Seperate Arrests For Gun Possession And Cannabis

On Friday morning at 10:40, a 9-1-1 transfer from Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office telecommunication center was received by the Hillsboro Police Department.  The caller reported a male subject pointing a gun at him over a financial dispute between the two gentlemen.  When police arrived at #12 Hilltop Drive in Hillsboro, the alleged offender was still on the scene. Police found him to be in possession of a loaded handgun. The male was handcuffed and the gun was secured.  45-year-old Aaron J. Kreiger of Collinsville was booked into the Montgomery County Jail for attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault. 

 

In a separate incident, Hillsboro police also reported stopping a vehicle traveling the wrong way on a one-way at the intersection of Wood Street and South Main Street on Friday afternoon. During the stop, police noticed a strong smell of cannabis. During the search, 140 grams of cannabis was recovered and 20-year-old Caleb I. Crain of Gillespie, was arrested for possession. Crain was also issued a citation for driving the wrong way on a one-way street.

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No Injuries From Fire In Downtown Pana

The Pana Fire Department responded to a report of a downtown structure fire at 106 East Second Street in Pana around 1:18 on Sunday afternoon. Pana Fire Chief Rod Bland arrived on the scene to find the building heavily engulfed in smoke and fire. Chief Bland initiated a mutual aid response to the scene with Christian and Montgomery County Fire response agencies being requested.

 

Chief Bland says that Pana Fire and Ambulance along with fire trucks from Owaneco, Tower Hill, Assumption, Moweaqua, Oconee, and Taylorville all responded. Nokomis and Witt also helped with the Nokomis-Witt Area Ambulance Service rescue unit. 

 

Once ladder trucks from Taylorville and Pana arrived, the fire was quickly brought under control, and the Witt Fire Department helped firefighters ascend to the second floor of the adjacent building to check for any fire spread. 

 

Chief Bland says that he knew what needed to be done and they were able to do it quickly with great support from their partners. The Chief also thought that there might have been an occupant inside, but there wasn’t. This is the second fire in downtown Pana in the last year. There was another fire in a downtown building in the block just to the east that occurred in December of 2020. That fire caused enough damage that the building had to be torn down.

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Missing Man Found Deceased In Lake Shelbyville

Illinois State Police are investigating a report of a dead body in the waters of Lake Shelbyville on Saturday Evening. 70 year old Donald E. Pygott of Mattoon was reported missing on Saturday by his family to local authorities. That evening, at 9 PM, Pygott was located deceased in the waters of Lake Shelbyville near Wolf Creek State Park in Shelby County. 

 

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office, Dive Team, Coroner's Office, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police are assisting in the investigation. The matter is still under investigation and anyone with any information should contact the Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation at ISP.Zone05.Media@Illinois.gov. 

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Firefighters Battling Blaze In Downtown Pana

Crews are battling a fire that broke out in downtown Pana Sunday afternoon. Firefighters are working on putting out a fire that broke out near 104 East Second Street in downtown Pana. Firefighters are asking people to avoid the area as they are working hard to keep the fire under control. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story as it develops.

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Christian County CEO Holds Annual Trade Show Saturday

 

The 2020-21 Christian County C-E-O Class climaxed their school year on Saturday when they presented the businesses they created during the annual C-E-O Trade Show.  This year, it was held at the Expo Building on the Christian County Fairgrounds.

 

 

C-E-O Facilitator Dick Adams said the word "adversity" would best describe what the C-E-O students went thru this year.

 

 

Adams added this year's class officially ends on Wednesday of this week.

 

 

 

Find out about this year's Christian County C-E-O Class, and a link for next year's high school seniors to apply, all at "christiancountyceo-dot-com."

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Second Kiwanis Club Drive Thru Donation Day For Taylorville Food Pantry Sees Slow Start, Finishes Strong

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teamed again to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry by doing Drive Thru Donation Days through the month of May. The goal is to collect non-perishable food and monetary donations to be given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. The second Drive Thru Donation day started slow, but finished strong with $280 in donations and some food was collected. 

 

Kiwanis members Bill Kerns and Dick Wamsley donated their time for the Drive Thru Donation Day. Kerns says that any donation helps. 

 

 

Wamsley says that this is important because people have a need for it. 

 

 

The second Saturday Kiwanis Drive Thru Donation Day monetary and food donations will help the Taylorville Food Pantry. The Donation Days continue next Saturday, May 15th, from 9 until 1 pm. If you’d like information on how to donate, visit the Taylorville Food Pantry Facebook Page.

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U Of I Extension Is Hosting A Virtual Tree Walk Next Week

The end of the pandemic may seem closer than ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. Things like the University of Illinois Tree Walk of Bremer Sanctuary in Hillsboro, run by Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger, are still going to be virtual. Holsinger says this free virtual event will be held on May 12th.

 

 

This tree walk will be done over Zoom and Holsinger will be providing pictures and video in place of walking around and seeing the trees.

 

 

For an event that focuses on identifying trees based on characteristics, a virtual experience might seem like it hinders the learning. Holsinger explains that he doesn’t believe that to be the case.

 

 

When it comes to deciphering which tree is which, Holsinger says the leaves and bark are very important.

 

 

Holsinger appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Food Banks Working On Eliminating Stigma's

Food banks need to not just be a focus during COVID, but should be a focus at all times. With food banks letting people having choice is extremely important. Adam Handy, Partner Resource Coordinator with the Central Illinois Foodbank, says that choice can make people feel comfortable who have to use the food bank. 

 

 

Amy Hagen is the co-coordinator with the Taylorville Food Pantry and she says that people come at all times due to perception.

 

 

Hagen says you never know when you may need the food bank. She says you don’t have to come every month. If you need it, then you need it and that’s OK. 

 

 

Hagen says that they are there to meet those needs, whatever they are. Handy and Hagen appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Angelo's And Greater Taylorville Chamber Of Commerce To Host New Event On Monday

In an attempt to continue to grow the business community in Taylorville, the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce and its members are constantly trying to come up with new ideas. Sarah Van Huss with the Chamber says one of those new ideas has become an actual plan. It’s called the Meet and Eat and it will be held on Monday at Angelo’s.

 

 

Owner of Angelo’s, J.I. McDowell couldn’t be more excited, not only hosting the event, but what might conversation might come out of putting business leaders into one room.

 

 

This is just the first week. McDowell is happy to be hosting, but he hopes other Chamber member restaurants will host this lunch event in the future.

 

 

Sharing ideas over food is the best way to do it, according to Van Huss.

 

 

Van Huss and McDowell appeared as guests on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Republicans Locked Out Of Redistricting

Republicans are being locked out of helping with legislative map-drawing when it comes to redistricting.  Redistricting, which occurs every ten years is based on the census and helps with voting. Republicans including State Representative Avery Bourne say that they are being kept out of the process which is another sign of corruption from state democrats. 

 

 

Despite the documented evidence from Illinois Democratic leaders including State Governor JB Pritzker and House Speaker Chris Welch asking for a fair process, they are still doing the map through partisanship. Representative Bourne asked Governor Pritzker where the fairness went.

 

 

House Republicans want transparency and say that they are being kept out of what should be a fair and open process.

 

 

Behind closed doors, Speaker Chris Welch is showing members one-by-one where the lines of their new districts could be drawn. 

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State Recognizes National Nurses Week

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) along with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is working with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to wish a thank you to Nurses in recognition of the start of National Nurses Week. There are currently more than 230,000 nurses who hold Illinois Licenses. 

 

Nurses have been fighting at the front lines of COVID-19 and have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the IDPH says that the pandemic would have been very different without the hard work put forth by nurses all over the state. Illinois has taken proactive steps to increase the number of health care professionals in the workforce. In March IDFPR issued a variance allowing Illinois nurses whose licenses were inactive or expired to meet a set of criteria to restore their licenses temporarily during the pandemic.

 

IDFPR also allowed out-of-state nurses to provide care to Illinois residents affected by the pandemic and almost 9,500 additional nurses are now allowed to provide care in Illinois. National Nurses Week was first observed in 1954 and the week continues in 2021 with celebrating our nurses. You can help nurses in the battle against COVID by taking preventative steps like washing your hands and staying home when you’re sick, following state guidance regarding COVID-19 including face coverings, and schedule and receive your vaccine.

 

For more information on COVID-19 visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/. The Vaccine Appointment Call Center's phone number is 1-833-621-1284. 

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Tornado Confirmed In Area; Damages To Kemmerer Village Reported

A tornado went through parts of Christian County and Shelby County damaging parts of Kemmerer Village in Assumption. Dawn Sabol, Director of Kemmerer Village tells Regional Radio News that there were windows blown out, big branches off trees, and a small uprooted tree. The tornado moved a couple of vehicles into each other and there was some roof damage as well. Sabol says there were no injuries from the tornado and the storm was over before the warnings even came in. The tornado touched down briefly around 2:10 PM. 

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Boil Order Lifted For Edinburg

A boil order that was in effect for parts of the Village of Edinburg has been lifted.

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Loving Arms Pregnancy Center Is A Resource For Those Who Need It

Pregnancy is something that instantly transforms lives, especially if it’s not planned. In those times, it’s good to know someone is there. Cathy Coker is the Executive Director of Loving Arms Pregnancy Center, and she explains they offer a lot of services to help those in need.

 

 

Loving Arms is able to offer all of their services for free because of donors and grant programs. Coker shares that they can help from the beginning with pregnancy tests. 

 

 

There are classes offered to help potential parents make informed decisions and Coker says they can earn something called ‘mommy and daddy bucks’ which can be very helpful down the road.

 

 

Coker shares there is also classes offered to teach abstinence, but it goes under a different name.

 

 

Coker appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Nature Explorers Spin Club Being Offered Again By U of I Extension Office

Last month the University of Illinois Extension office offered what they call a Nature Explorers Spin Club activity. Sara Marten, 4-H Youth Development Educator, says that it was so popular in April, they are offering it again in May.

 

 

Marten explains this is a different kind of event than they usually do because this puts the timetable in the hands of the participants. 

 

 

Since the kids are tasked with completing this on their own there isn’t any obvious room for instructors to be involved. Marten says that is where technology comes in.

 

 

There will be a few differences in what supplies the U of I Extension Office can give out this time around. 

 

 

Marten appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Redistricting In Illinois Is An Ongoing Battle

Illinois lost a seat in Congress once again following the census. Congressman Rodney Davis says this is not a new trend, but there isn’t much he can do. The power to draw the redistricting maps with the loss of that seat is in the hands of the majority party.

 

 

Even in his own district, Congressman Davis explains, it wasn’t drawn up for a Republican to win.

 

 

Governor JB Pritzker made a promise to not sign a gerrymandered map, a promise Congressman Davis says was broken last week. This is not a new issue, though. Congressman Davis has been fighting for fair maps for a long time.

 

 

Congressman Davis appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Republicans Frustrated With Redistricting; Dems Looking For Public Input

Republicans continue to be frustrated with Governor JB Pritzker who has backtracked on a campaign promise not to impact legislative redistricting but to have an outside company do it. Republicans are accusing Pritzker of continuing the long line of corruption in Illinois politics. In 2018, when candidate JB Pritzker was running for office, he said he would veto any legislative redistricting map drawn by politicians.  

 

When asked about it, Governor Pritzker said he would pledge to veto, amending the constitution in order to create an independent commission to draw legislative maps and urging both Democrats and Republicans to agree to an independent commission to handle creating a new legislative map that reflected the gender, racial, and geographical diversities of Illinois. 

 

Last week, Governor Pritzker backed away from his campaign pledge saying that upon receiving a map drawn by the Democrats who control the General Assembly, that he would be looking to it for fairness. State Representative Avery Bourne says that she is disappointed.

 

 

Bourne also says that Governor Pritzker is still very angry that his tax proposal was defeated last November when Governor Pritzker blamed the loss on taxpayers for not trusting the government.

 

 

Meanwhile, Democrats are encouraging Illinois residents to provide their own input into redistricting by taking advantage of a new online map that people can submit proposed legislative boundaries in before May 10. The Public Drawing Portal can be accessed at www.ilsenateredistricting.com and www.ilhousedems.com/redistricting.  While each state has a unique process for redistricting, legislative districts must conform to several standards including the voting rights act of 1965. 

 

In Illinois, legislative redistricting maps must also meet four requirements including being substantially equal in population, provide adequate representation to minorities and other special interests, be compact and contiguous, and meet all legal requirements regarding political fairness.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Review Efforts Benefiting Children and Youth at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club reviewed their many efforts for children and youth in the Taylorville community, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

 

Club committee chairs reported on several fund raisers and other events.  Treasurer Blain Cornwell reported that the recent Pancake and Sausage Breakfast netted the club approximately 2-thousand dollars, and event committee member Dick Wamsley reported some 320 people either ate in or purchased drive-thru orders.  The club thanks the Taylorville community for the great turnout.  The Kiwanis Board decided at their Tuesday board meeting, to make the last Saturday in April, the annual event date for the breakfast after last month’s success.

 

The Kiwanis Club will again be providing volunteers for the upcoming July 17th Bike Rodeo, assisting the event’s organizer the Prairie Trail Bike Conservancy.

 

Club members Blain Cornwell and Dennis Barnard, are co-chairing a committee to secure club members to earn money for club projects, by working a day at one of the gates at this year’s Illinois State Fair.

 

Club Spiritual Aims chair Dick Wamsley told the club plans have been finalized for the annual Kiwanis Prayer Luncheon taking place Tuesday, May 25th at noon, in place of a weekly meeting.  An “Outstanding Spiritual Leader” in the Taylorville community, will be awarded that day by the Kiwanis Club.

 

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

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Pana Man Leads Police/US Marshal's On Wild Chase

A man is in custody after a traffic stop led to a police chase in Pana. On Tuesday, US Marshals were in Pana to assist in locating a subject wanted for multiple warrants including an IDOC parole violation warrant. At 4:30 PM, the subject was identified leaving a location in Pana.  A Pana Police Officer attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle while assisting the Marshals. The vehicle failed to stop and fled out of Pana on 2500 East Road northbound.  The vehicle led Police on a chase and returned to Pana violating numerous traffic laws while failing to stop for police. 

 

At 4:39 PM the vehicle exited the roadway at Sheridan and Magnolia Street with the driver fleeing southbound on foot. US Marshals took both the driver and passenger into custody. 21-year-old Quentin J. McKittrick and 27-year-old Colby D. Coleman were taken into custody. McKittrick was charged with an IDOC parole warrant, a Christian County Warrant for FTA possession of meth, aggravated fleeing/eluding police, resisting arrest, no valid driver’s license, and other traffic-related violations. Coleman was taken into custody and later released after further investigation.

 

Additional charges were filed against McKittrick after the Pana Police Department investigated including theft/possession of a stolen vehicle, burglary, multiple counts of criminal damage to vehicle and criminal damage to property and battery. McKittrick is set to appear in court on Thursday for a pretrial hearing continuance. 

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Boil Order In Effect For Parts Of Edinburg

The Village of Edinburg has issued a boil order at 5 AM on Wednesday. The public Water Supply issued the boil order for customers locatedWest Washington Street from Eaten Street to Cook Street. Water supply personnel will return the system to normal operation as soon as possible after bacteriological samples demonstrate that the water is safe for domestic use. Customers in the affected are encouraged to treat all water for drinking or culinary purposes by bringing it to a rolling boil for at least 5 minutes.  For more information contact Superintendent Mike Lebshier at 623-5542.

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Man Involved In Deadly DUI Arrested; Held On No Bond

A man who killed two people in a DUI accident appeared in court on Wednesday after he was arrested on Tuesday on a warrant. Robert Hodson appeared in court Wednesday morning via zoom from the Christian County Jail. The state filed a petition to modify bond and a no bond warrant was issued which is the reason Hodson was arrested. The state is allowed to keep Hodson up to ten days without bond.  John Sharp, the attorney for Hodson, said that he wasn’t aware of the no bond warrant. Hodson’s next court appearance and first appearance in court and the hearing for the petition is set for 10:30 AM on Monday, May 10th. Hodson was arrested for aggravated DUI/death after a vehicle crash left two dead on April 8th on Route 48. 

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CCQMA To Hold Arrive And Drive On Friday

Taylorville has a lot of really cool places that many people may not realize exist. One of those is a place for kids to race. President of the Christian County Quarter Midget Association, Andy Gregory, says they are one of the best secrets in the community.

 

 

Quarter Midgets are the type of racing vehicle used at their track. Gregory explains what that looks like. 

 

 

There are kids who start racing with the CCQMA at the age of 5, which Gregory thinks really helps them to learn things like decision making.

 

 

For anyone interested, Gregory says there is an Arrive and Drive event happening on Friday.

 

 

Gregory appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Volunteering And Donating The Right Kind Of Food Is Very Important For The Central Illinois Foodbank

Food pantries have played a big role throughout the pandemic. With the grant programs winding down, the time to step up and donate is now. Adam Handy, Partner Resource Coordinator with the Central Illinois Foodbank, says that getting the right kind of food donated is very important.

 

 

Amy Hagen is the co-coordinator with the Taylorville Food Pantry says that getting the right food is something she sees at the local level.

 

 

Getting volunteers is very important for food pantries, just like getting donations are. Handy points out that it’s not a difficult process to become a volunteer.

 

 

Volunteering at the Taylorville Food Pantry is that easy. Hagen says they never turn away potential volunteers. 

 

 

Handy and Hagen appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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State Of Illinois Getting Caught Up On Debt

The state of Illinois is getting back on track when it comes to unpaid bills.  According to State comptroller, Susana Mendoza, the state’s backlog of nearly $17 billion dollars in 2017 of back-paid bills has been brought down to just $3.5 billion this week. Vouchers that are being paid to vendors and providers of goods and services are dated April 26th, and the state is paying it’s bills as they come in. This is a welcome sign for a state that has been absolutely reeling from a massive deficit and has struggled in the past to make payments on time.

 

$3.5 billion is still locked up, owed to other branches of government, group health insurance bills, and other invoices but Comptroller Mendoza says that’s pretty standard in the private industry. Comptroller Mendoza blamed the previous administration for the massive debt saying that under the Bruce Rauner administration, the State was paying nursing homes and hospice centers up to a year late. 

 

Comptroller Mendoza says one way that they have been able to get ahead on bills is by the monthly Debt Transparency Reports that was initiated in 2017. This has allowed the state to better manage its checkbook. She says that although the backlog of bills is pretty low, does not mean that the state has overcome fiscal challenges. 

 

Mendoza insists that the legislation must craft a balanced state budget for the fiscal year 2022 without depending on the federal government. You can find the most recent debt transparency report by clicking here.

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Congressman Rodney Davis Pushes For Constituents To Get The Vaccine

Vaccination numbers seem to be plateauing for the time being. With the light at the end of the tunnel seemingly in sight the more who choose to get vaccinated, the more things in the community can open up. Congressman Rodney Davis’ message about it is simple: go get the vaccine.

 

 

When it comes to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine being momentarily paused, Congressman Davis believes it’s perfectly safe. He says if it were any other vaccine the reports wouldn’t have been given a second thought, let alone stop distribution.

 

 

It can seem like the requirements to open back up are changing constantly. Congressman Davis says at the end of the say, the science doesn’t lie. 

 

 

The reality is that the economies will have to open back up soon. Congressman Davis says there isn’t much of an option in that. 

 

 

Congressman Davis appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Taylorville Man Shares His Story Of His Fight With COVID-19

A Taylorville man is sharing his story after dealing with COVID-19. Bill Jones of Taylorville was out hunting. Everything seemed to be fine. He was able to walk ½ mile to his stand, shoot a deer, haul the carcass back. However, in the days that followed, Jones started getting sick. He thought he had bronchitis feeling symptoms like shortness of breath, a cough, pressure in his chest, and feeling like a cold might be developing. A visit to the doctor confirmed his fears. He had COVID-19.

 

Jones would eventually spend ten days in the hospital at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. Jones's wife would also test positive for the virus and was admitted at the same time. She has since fully recovered. In the five months since Jones tested positive, he has been hospitalized twice with serious lung problems.  He is currently participating in pulmonary rehab therapy sessions and has been unable to return to his job of more than 20 years with the Street and Sewer Department.

 

He says that right now thanks to COVID he’s basically living on one lung and can walk 20 feet before his oxygen levels get super low. Because of what he’s been through, Jones has been very vocal about his fight and wants everyone to get vaccinated against the virus. He has convinced several members of his family to get the vaccine and hopes that his story will help persuade even more to get the shot. “Covid not only affected my health, it’s affected my quality of life, my livelihood, and my pocketbook. It’s serious, and people need to realize that,” Jones says.

 

For more information on getting the COVID vaccine, contact your local health department.

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How To Handle Cholesterol

For a long time, not much was known about cholesterol and the effects on diet, heart disease, and stroke. Much more is known now about high cholesterol and what you can do to prevent issues. Dr. Mirza Ali Khan, a Family Physician with OSF Healthcare says that cholesterol has many different types of uses.

 

 

Cholesterol in your blood comes from two sources: the food you eat and the liver. There is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol and the bad cholesterol is made up of what are called low-density lipoproteins. Khan says that bad cholesterol can lead to heart attacks.

 

 

Among the risk factors that can lead to high cholesterol is obesity, poor diet, smoking, lack of exercise, diabetes, and age. The best way to treat high cholesterol is by changing risk factors and incorporating more exercise. Dr. Khan says to eat more fruits and vegetables and less red meat and processed foods.

 

 

High cholesterol has no symptoms. The best way to determine if you are suffering or at risk is to consult your doctor. They will be able to tell you the best way to address the problem if there is an issue.

 

 

For more information on cholesterol, click here.

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Christian County Sheriff's Office Announces Scholarship Winner

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp has announced the winner of one of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association Academic Scholarships. Shawn Goebel of Harvel has won the scholarship. Sheriff Kettelkamp says that Goebell was selected from a number of highly qualified applicants and the Sheriff commended them all for their participation. The Illinois Sheriff’s Association awarded 112 scholarships throughout Illinois to students wishing to pursue higher education during the 2021/2022 academic year. 

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Christian County Master Gardener's Holding Spring Sale

The Master Gardeners of Christian County will be holding a spring plant sale that will be taking place on Saturday, May 15th at the U of I Extension office at 1120 North Webster Street in Taylorville from 9 AM until all plants are sold which is usually about noon. The event will take place rain or shine. Master Gardener Linda Smith says she’s just happy to be having a sale this year.
 

 

Smith says they will have something for everyone at the sale.

 

 

As far as things at the sale, there will be more than just plants. The Master Gardeners will also be there to give their tips, advice, and help.

 

 

Along with help from the Master Gardener’s will also be more information that will be included with the plants in every effort given to make your planting easier.

 

 

If you would like more information on the event, contact the Christian County Extension Office at 217-287-7246.

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High School Students Can Take Advantage Of LLCC's College Now Program

Being in high school and knocking out college credits can happen simultaneously. It might not seem right, but Lincoln Land Community College offers a program called College Now. Director Dee Krueger says it allows high school students to earn college credits.

 

 

As of right now he remains nameless, but in two weeks Krueger says she’ll have a student graduate college before high school. 

 

 

Taking advantage of programs like College Now can help make sure students start their college career on the right track. LLCC also offers success coaches that meet with them to make sure things are heading in the right direction. As one of those success coaches, Krueger is excited to see students face to face again.

 

 

Krueger shares there are lots of ways to get more information about LLCC.

 

 

Krueger appeared as a guest on WTIM, Your Information Station.

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Shelby County Health Department Offers Johnson and Johnson COVID Vaccine

The Shelby County Health Department has received a supply of Janssen Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.  Clinics for adults age 18 and older have begun and are available from 8 until 11:30 AM and 1 to 3:30 PMat the health department.  You may call the Health Department at 774-9555 Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 4 PM for appointment times. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is a single-dose shot. There is no charge for this vaccine. The Center for Disease Control recommends that all adults get a COVID-19 vaccination.

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Galloway Named TMH Colleague For March

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has named the hospital’s Colleague of the Month for March. Barbara Galloway, a central scheduler for TMH has been instrumental in mass vaccination efforts at the hospital. One of the nominators for Galloway says that she makes everyone laugh and that if you listened to her, you’d think she knew each person personally. Galloway herself says every day is rewarding and that she feels blessed to help with all of the vaccination work.

 

Galloway lives in Edinburg with her husband and has three adult children and enjoys camping, crafting, and Jeep rides. We here at Regional Radio News salute you, Barbara Galloway.

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Taylorville City Council Swear In New City Officials

The Taylorville City Council met on Monday evening and said goodbye to some outgoing Aldermen, all while welcoming new Aldermen. Doug Brown, Jeremy Wilson, and Steve Dorchinecz were sworn in as new Aldermen replacing outgoing Aldermen Lee Lanzotti, Ernie Dorchinecz, and Shawn Burtle. Alderman Larry Budd was also reelected.

 

Doug Brown says that he is excited to be on the board and is looking forward to helping his constituents.

 

 

Jeremy Wilson says that as far as goals go he is looking forward to continuing work on improving the streets.

 

 

Steve Dorchinecz says that he’s ready to give back to the community. 

 

 

Mayor Bruce Barry says that he still doesn’t have a replacement for City Treasurer yet, as elected treasurer Scott Alberssen had to step down due to health concerns. Mayor Barry says that he would like to set up a time each week to meet with all Aldermen to discuss concerns of the city.

 

 

The board approved an ordinance amending section 3-3-5 of the Taylorville City Code concerning liquor license fees for pour establishments. That motion passed 6-3. After some discussion, a motion concerning reimbursement for Ward 1 for $45,000 from the Drainage District was also passed 5-4 with the Mayor being the tiebreaker. 

 

To view the meeting in it's entirety, click here.

 

 

 

 

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Tornado, 2-Inch Hail Hit Regional Radio Listening Area Monday Evening

2-inch size hail and a tornado were part of severe weather that pounded the Regional Radio listening area Monday evening.

 

Trained weather spotters tracked a tornado on the ground starting at Virginia, Illinois in Cass County at 5:05.  It traveled near Pleasant Plains, Dawson, then was at Mechanicsburg at 6:15.  It was confirmed still on the ground in the Niantic-Harristown area, and over Mount Zion during the 7 o'clock hour.

 

Hail, ranging from ping pong ball and golf ball size, and as large as 2-inches, fell with the leading edge of thunderstorms that moved thru our area.

 

No injuries or damage have been reported so far in the Regional Radio listening area.

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IDPH Warning Of Ticks

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reminding the public to take precautions against tick bites to prevent contracting diseases that they may carry such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, Ehrlichiosis, and Babesiosis.  

 

Look here for more information.

 

You should check yourself often, along with your pets, and help children check themselves after spending time where ticks live such as wooded areas, tall grass, and brush.  Removing ticks within a 24 hour period greatly reduces the risk of transmission.

 

Learn about tick removal and symptom awareness, by visiting this story at www.taylorvilledailynews.com. You can also walk in the center of trails, wear light-colored clothing, tuck long pants into socks/boots. You can also apply an EPA-registered insect repellent that contains at least 20% DEET. Conduct full-body tick checks on family members by looking on underarms, ears, belly buttons, behind knees, between legs, the waist, hair, and scalp. 

 

Other tips include putting your clothes in the dryer for ten minutes on high or one hour for damp clothes to kill ticks, bathe or shower within two hours after coming indoors and if you find a tick on yourself, you should keep the tick for species identification.  You can do that by placing the tick in rubbing alcohol in a sealed bag and bring it to your local healthcare provider. If you do become ill, please contact your doctor as several tick-borne illnesses can be life-threatening if left alone. For more information click here.
 

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Republicans Want Answers After Report On Veterans Home in LaSalle

The Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs released an independent report that was requested by the Governor’s Office in concern over a COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans home that took the lives of 36 veterans. The report says that those deaths could have been avoided. State Republican Leader Jim Durkin says that Governor JB Pritzker failed to follow guidelines in his hire of the former VA Director Linda Chapa L Via and that she left the Veterans home in charge of a non-medical chief of staff who took a hands-off approach.

 

 

With the new report, Durkin says there needs to be an investigation of criminal negligence.

 

 

Moving forward the VA says there will be correctional actions taken including developing outbreak drills and stress tests, educating staff on the importance of quality infection control, integrate the standards for long-term care facilities, develop an infection control task force, establish and communicate thresholds for IDPH, provide an outlet for escalating internal complaints, and create temporary positions to ensure essential positions do not remain unfilled.

 

The new acting director Terry Prince, a 31-year Navy veteran with deep experience in veterans’ medical care. 

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Taylorville City Council To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Monday evening at 7 PM for their regular city council meeting. The board will appoint the new City Treasurer, Superintendents, City Attorney, City Engineer, and committee assignments. Judge Brad Paisley will be on hand for the oath of office. The board will also present awards to Alderman Ernie Dorchinecz, Shawn Burtle, Lee Lanzotti, and City Treasurer Jacque Nation. 

 

Under ordinances, business development district redevelopment agreements will be signed and there will be a look at a few ordinances amending Taylorville City Code. Under committee reports, the board will look at the annual maintenance agreement, approve a fuel bid, and look at some reimbursements over the drainage district. 

 

The board will also receive city attorney updates and Mayoral updates from Mayor Bruce Barry. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for complete coverage on this event Monday evening.

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First Kiwanis Drive Thru Donation Day Raises Money and Food for Taylorville Food Pantry

The Miller Media Group and the Taylorville Kiwanis Club are teamed again to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry by doing Drive Thru Donation Days through the month of May. The goal was to collect non-perishable food and monetary donations to be given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. They were able to raise $160, as well as a truckful of food donations that was given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. 

 

Kiwanis members Dean Ray and Brenda Spurling kicked off the first Drive Thru Donation Day. Ray says this is very important. 

 

 

Spurling also stresses the importance of the Taylorville Drive Thru Donation Days.

 

 

The first Saturday Kiwanis Drive Thru Donation Day saw a fantastic amount of donations, both in terms of food and money. The Donation Days continue next Saturday, the 8th, from 9 until 1 pm. If you’d like information on how to donate, visit the Taylorville Food Pantry Facebook Page. 
 

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