It’s been a long time coming, but the Christian County Coal Mine Mususeum is going to be opening this weekend. The journey of the museum has led to it settling down in its own building on Park Street in Taylorville. Admission is free, although Executive Director Chuck Martin says the weekend opening is by invitation only.
The grand re-opening may get busy, especially on Monday when anyone is welcome. Martin says parking should not be an issue.
Getting the building ready to go has been a long process and Martin is excited for people to see it.
Martin explains one of the main attraction is a simulated underground mine that gives the experience of being in a real mine.
Martin appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
Many states are seeing COVID-19 cases level off, but some areas are actually increasing and data shows that it is happening in many rural areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine hesitancy studies have been conducted from December through April and coverage was lower in rural counties at 38.9% than in urban counties which checked in at 45.7%.
A similar poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found vaccine hesitancy was highest in rural counties with 21% of rural residents saying they would definitely not get the vaccine compared with 10% of urban residents.
Doctor Robert Ayers, with OSF HealthCare Occupational Health says that he is concerned that some rural counties with low rates will see an increase in the delta variant from India. In some southern counties in Illinois less than 25% of the population is vaccinated.
The new variant allows the virus to spread more easily and brings different symptoms such as hearing loss and gangrene. The new strain makes up nearly 10% of US cases and is doubling nearly every two weeks according to a new study done by The Lancet.
Dr. Ayers says that it will become fairly standard in the near future for your regular physician to be able to give you the vaccine. You should see your doctor when you have questions about the vaccine and its benefits and drawbacks.
A recent CDC study showed that 86% of rural residents report they trust their own health care providers which is why it is so critical to go to your own Doctors if you have any questions. Dr. Ayers believes answering questions can alleviate a lot of fear and concern that you may have.
As far as talking with hesitant patients, he encourages patients by reminding them that 318 million shots have been given in the US without significant negative impacts that can be tied to the vaccine.
Safety data is there according to Dr. Ayers. He says the mRNA vaccines do their work and leave the body within weeks, so long-lasting impacts shouldn’t be a concern. The virus that causes COVID-19 is different for each person, so you won’t know what kind of impact it will have on your body.
Again, for more information, please contact your local physician.
Nowhere has the need for technology and computers been needed more during the pandemic than in schools. Many families had to make some hard adjustments during the height of the pandemic to make sure their kids were taken care of as technology ruled the way that things were done during the height of COVID-19. Sparklight, an internet company, is helping with the donation of Chromebooks for students at Lincoln Elementary School in Pana. GM of Sparklight, Kenny Wright says that access is invaluable in 2021.
In a post COVID world, making that adjustment from working at home and going to school at home continues to be something that many people do. Having chromebooks makes it easier for these students.
The School has already received the Chromebooks. There will be a presentation done in August when the kids come back. If you have more information you can visit www.sparklight.com.
Wright says that it’s about improving technology.
Sparklight has donated more than 2,000 Chromebooks to Title 1 Schools over the last eight years.
Around 4:50 PM Ameren Power reported over 2100 people without power in the Taylorville area. There is no word yet on when power will be restored but huge areas of Taylorville are currently out. Regional Radio News reached out to Ameren and they were still working on figuring out the cause of the power outage. Multiple customers have reported brown out conditions or no power whatsoever.
The Hillsboro Police Department’s K-9 dog “Lil Darryl” will receive free body armor, thanks to a charitable donation. Vested Interest in K9’s Incorporated is the company that helped sponsor the army and Lil Darryl’s vest was sponsored by Cyndi Brown out of Fort Collins, Colorado. It is embroidered a vest with the saying “Born to love-trained to serve-loyal always.” The company was established in 2009 as a way to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement throughout the US. The program is open to US dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement and other agencies.
Each vest is $960 but Vested Interest in K9s takes any donation. The vest has a value of $1,744-$2,283 and weighs an average of 4-5 pounds. It comes with a five-year warranty. To find out more information on the actual vests call 508-824-6978.
There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. You can get more information on helping at www.vik9s.org or if you want to help donate, you can mail your contribution to PO Box 9 East Taunton, Massachusets 02718.
Blood donation drives have reopened to the public at Memorial Health System’s five hospitals including Taylorville Memorial Hospital. TMH will be having a blood drive from 11 AM until 6 PM on June 24th. Donors who participate in one of the donation drives at a Memorial Health System hospital must follow safety guidelines in place on each hospital campus including wearing a medical-grade mask at all times and observing social distancing.
Donors who give blood through July 11th will receive a $10 e-gift card when they donate blood. The event takes about an hour. Less than 10% of the population gives blood so donors are important to meet that need. For more information on donating blood or to register for the event, visit ImpactLife at www.bloodcenter.org.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is asking the public to be on the alert for text and email scams asking for personal information. During the last month, IDOT has been made aware of messages that were sent fraudulently on its behalf attempting to defraud the public. IDOT Spokesperson Maria Castaneda says they will never ask for your personal information.
Delete unsolicited emails and texts that are requesting personal information or promising state driver’s licenses or ID’s. Hang up on any calls, including robocalls, that ask you to take immediate action or provide personally identifiable information. Also, ask to use other types of identifiers besides your SSN, and keep your software up to date including antivirus protection programs. Castaneda says that clicking links is where the problem comes in.
If you have questions about phishing scams or identity theft, please call the Illinois Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline in Springfield at 800-243-0618.
There will be a skateboard park meeting taking place tonight in Taylorville to talk about bringing a Skateboard park to the city. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says that the event will take place on Wednesday evening at 5 PM.
Mayor Barry says this has been discussed for a while. There is also a Facebook Group called “Taylorville Needs A Skateboard Park.”
Mayor Bruce Barry encourages everyone to get involved with local government and to bring your ideas and events to him.
And as always, the Farmers Market is every Saturday at the Taylorville Square.
Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard the Taylorville High School principal, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.
Matt Hutchison has been a part of the Taylorville school district for some 26 years, with the last 6 being the high school principal. Hutchison talked about the challenges he, his staff, and the school district faced starting in March of 2020 when schools across the state were shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Hutchison said the school district adapted to educate students remotely the rest of the school year.
He told Kiwanis members that the fall of 2020 began with all students in remote learning, which continued until the second semester in early 2021.
Hybrid learning started in the second semester, with students in their respective buildings 2 days a week and remote learning the other 3. He added having students in the high school building was a morale booster for him, the administrative staff, and teachers.
And in the 4th quarter of the school year, all students returned to in-person learning.
Hutchison said he was proud of his staff and the T-H-S students for adapting during a very difficult school year which just concluded. The coming school year will begin with all students attending.
The T-H-S principal cited to the Kiwanis members, the many awards and achievements earned by students during the past school year despite adverse circumstances, including having 26 Illinois state scholars.
Republicans have been very vocal about pretty much everything regarding the newly drawn redistricting maps. They’ve even filed multiple law suits. Democratic Senator Doris Turner understands the argument behind the Census data, but ensured constituents that this was as open of a process as it could be.
Senator Turner says they have to wait on the lawsuits, but she intends to continue representing everyone in the 48th District that was there when she took office regardless of what the maps say.
The maps may look different, but Senator Turner says Christian County will still be in her jurisdiction.
By the nature of the process, redistricting can cause some tension between the two parties every decade, says Senator Turner.
Senator Turner appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
It’s not a secret at this point that communities are coming together to figure out what to do about increasing safety on Route 48. There have been several meetings and one of the outcomes, according to Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, is a few different methods that will increase patrols on that stretch of highway.
Another threat to the roadway is drowsy driving, or driving while tired. Sheriff Kettelkamp shares that there are some startling statistics when it comes to not be awake and alert at the wheel.
Sheriff Kettelkamp says there are some clear signs of driving while drowsy.
It may seem simple, but there some easy ways to tell if you’re safely capable to drive and not drowsy.
Sheriff Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
The Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau Investigative Support Unit along with the Macoupin County State’s Attorney’s Office have filed charges against a Shipman woman for forgery and providing false Conceal Carry Weapon Certification.
60 year old Terry Lumma, a former CCL instructor, was charged after a complaint was filed in December of 2020. The complaint stated Lumma was not teaching the CCL classes and after a five-month investigation, investigators from the Firearms Services Bureau found evidence to support the allegations of the complaints.
Training certificates for over 200 students were deemed to be invalid after the investigation was conducted. All of these students were sent letters notifying them of their status and are being provided a grace period of 60 days from receipt of the letter to complete the requirements for a new valid CCL. During that time the CCL holder will be considered valid and in good standing. For more information on what to do if this has affected you, please visit www.ispfsb.com.
Lumma was mailed a notice to appear and is set to appear at the Macoupin County Courthouse on June 23rd, 2021 at 8:45 AM. ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly says, “The Illinois State Police takes these types of allegations seriously and will investigate those who attempt to defraud the system and bring them to justice. The men and women of the Illinois State Police, Firearms Services Bureau, continuously strive to protect and maintain the integrity of the FOID and CCL.”
There will be an Ag appreciation dinner to be held on July 22nd at the Christian County Fairgrounds in Taylorville. The dinner is sponsored by the Christian County Ag Group, Christian County Soil, and Water Conservation District, the University of Illinois Extension-Christian County, Christian County Farm Bureau, and many other agri-businesses and banks from Christian County. Mellisa McMillan, Manager with the Christian County Farm Bureau says the meeting started out as just a soil and water meeting but has grown since then.
McMillan says that the guest speaker for the annual AG Appreciation Dinner will be Mark Gebhards.
The meal will start at 11:30 AM in the entertainment pavilion at the Fairgrounds.
For more information, contact Mellisa McMillan at 217-824-2940.
The Taylorville City Council met on Monday evening. The board recognized for their volunteers of the month Jack Brown and James Smith. Brown has worked hard with Smith on the Memorial Day Celebrations. Brown has MC’ed and Smith is the Municipal Band Director. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry was pleased to recognize the two men for their years of service.
Jack Brown thanked the board for their support and for the support of the city.
The biggest surprises of the night came with an ordinance for reduced liquor license fees for gaming parlors and designated drive-up facilities for the sale and delivery of alcoholic liquors in their original unopened containers. Both motions failed to get support with the reduced liquor licenses not getting any support and the drive-thru motion failing 4-3 with Aldermen Jim Olive, Larry Budd, Steve Dorchinecz, and Kathy Driskell all voting no. Aldermen Megan Bryant was absent from the meeting.
Under Mayoral updates, Mayor Barry thanked the board for approving Ben Robinson to the Library Board and Ron McKavetz to the BDD Committee.
Mayor Barry also says that he held a Mayoral meeting on Monday and it went well.
Rodney Davis was on hand to meet with both Mr. Brown and Mr. Smith.
The Illinois Department on aging has announced it will assist eligible residents get through signing up for Medicare and avoid late enrollment penalties through a new program called "Welcome to Medicare Fair." The event is set to be on June 23rd from 2 PM until 6 PM to provide persons 60 and older and persons with disabilities ages 18-59 local, trusted, and unbiased medicare help.
The free virtual event will offer general sessions with expert presenters on Medicare eligiblity, enrollment, costs, and coverage options. Experts will be on hand to explain Medicare coverage options and how Medicare works with other insurance and state Medicaid. You may visit this story to find out how to register, but registration must be complete by today (Monday, June 21st). To find out more about the program and to register you may visit here.
The SHIP program stands for IDOA's State Health Insurance Assistance Program and is part of a national SHIP network, funded by the US Administration for COmmuntiy Living, Office of Healthcare Information and Counseling. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program hopes to empower, educate, and assist those individuals who need Medicare.
To receive assistance for Medicare visit https://www2illinois.gov/aging/ship, call 1-800-252-8966 or email SHIP at email@example.com.
Stonington Summerfest was held over the weekend and was a huge success despite some nasty weather that went through the area. With plenty of new events such as 3 on 3 basketball, dance crews that went through, sand volleyball, and of course food and vendors, there was something to do for everyone. Jody Rusher, says that as far as the event goes it was great to see it go from just people talking about it to an actual real life thing.
For the 2021 Miss Stonington Summerfest, the winner was Maggie Holthaus with Katelyn Wilson as Miss Congeniality, Tristin Stine as 1st runner up and Alexya Cisco as 2nd runner up. For 2021 Junior Miss Stonington Summerfest, the winner was Baylee Coffey with Chloe Ebert as 1st runner up and Kiera Neeley as 2nd runner up. In the 2021 Little Miss contest, Faith Montgomery won 2021 Little Miss with Leah Hasquin as runner up, and Oria Becker as 2nd runner up. For the 2021 Stonington Summerfest Little Mister contest, William McDermith won Little Mister with Myles Kater as 1st runner up and Colton McDermith as 2nd runner up.
Visit the Stonington Summerfest 2021 Facebook Page for more information.
The Taylorville City Council will meet for their second of a bi-monthly meeting in June on Monday evening at 7 PM at the Municipal building. After reviewing some ordinances, the board will look at some motions for a special events permit and appointing Ben Robinson to the Library Board and Ron McKavetz to the BDD Committee.
The board will also review committee reports. Under lake and airport the board will look to approve some lake lot signs and a mower. Under water and environmental, the board will look to approve starting the engineering process to facilitate a second pump at the Southwest tower and approve a purchase of a cargo trailer.
The biggest discussion will be under ordinances where the board will review a motion to recommend making a change to the Taylorville City Code to require the property owner to be responsible for the service line and connections with the City being responsible for the sewer main and tap with all extenuating circumstances to be taken to the Street and Sewer Committee for review and determination of responsibility.
As always there will be Mayoral and City Attorney updates. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for a complete wrap-up of the City Council meeting and to be able to watch it in it’s entirety after the conclusion.
Pana mayor Nathan Pastor has confirmed to Regional Radio News, that a new and larger Dollar General will be built on Illinois Route 29 on Pana's northwest side.
Contractors have been preparing the site for the new building, increasing the ground level of the location.
It's not known what the target date is for the new Dollar General store in Pana to open.
Macon County Coroner Michael Day tells Regional Radio News that a Sullivan woman was pronounced dead on Friday afternoon after a 2-vehicle accident at Monroe and Division Streets in Decatur.
89-year-old Christina M. Neeley was a passenger in a transportation van struck by a motor vehicle at one o'clock Friday afternoon. She was pronounced dead at the Decatur Memorial Hospital emergency room just after 2 o'clock Friday afternoon.
Day says an autopsy was conducted Saturday at the McLean County Coroner's Office, with the cause of death determined to be multiple blunt injuries to the chest and abdomen due to the crash.
Decatur Police fatality team is investigating the crash, and an inquest is pending.
Central Illinois was pounded with high winds and heavy rain Friday night and Saturday morning, causing tree limbs to come down and damaged crops.
The National Weather Service in Lincoln reported a 51 mile-an-hour wind gust at the Jacksonville Airport at 8:02 Friday night, while the Chatham area reported 52 mile-an-hour wind gusts.
At 12:58 Saturday morning, the Peoria area reported a 77 mile-an-hour wind gust, and at 6:56 Saturday morning, Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield reported a 70 mile-an-hour wind gust.
Locally, besides a host of tree limbs coming down, crop damage from the high winds was seen in the Taylorville, Millersville, Pana, Tower Hill, Raymond, Harvel, and Morrisonville areas.
This damage was seen on Illinois Route 29 just south of the Taylorville Correctional Center.
This damage was along Illinois Route 29 just south of Millersville.
This corn was blown down by high winds, just east of Pana on Illinois Route 16.
Several highway signs were also blown over.
Cooler and calmer weather is predicted by the Weather Service for the coming week.
40 kids were on hand for a scavenger hunt called the Search and Seizure Scavenger Hunt held by the Taylorville Police Department. The Police Department has held many events like this in an effort to foster relationships between the community and themselves including this event. There were many prizes given away including some Walmart Gift Cards and a brand new skateboard prized at over $100.
The event was open to ages 5-12 with prizes given out to multiple age groups as they competed to see who could find a list of items first, including handcuffs, a baton and other things. Farmers Insurance was on hand to give out raffle tickets for free slushies. 12 year old Mikaela Swiney of Taylorville won the skateboard which was the grand prize as she was able to find all the items in the scavenger hunt first.
The next event that the Taylorville Police Department will hold will be “Fishing with Offishers” that will take place at the Lake Taylorville Marina on July 9th.
Almost 90 people attended Friday night's Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet at the Pillars Event Center. It was a fun night with Music Bingo being played, a guest speaker and 2 awards presented.
Guest speaker was Taylorville native and U-S Congressman Rodney Davis, who told the Chamber crowd you can do anything you want in life.
Congressman Davis added that you can learn more from losing than winning. At the end of his remarks, he called his dad, McDonald's owner Marty Davis, to the platform, where he gave him an early Father's Day present, the pin Rodney was wearing signifying being a member of the U-S Congress.
Find the complete audio of his remarks below:
The Greater Taylorville Chamber presented this year's Boss of the Year award to Doctor Stacey Funderburk, owner of Countryside Veterinarian Service in Taylorville. Doctor Funderburk was nominated by co-worker Doctor Natalie Kocek, who told attendees why she nominated her boss.
The Greater Taylorville Chamber also presented Countryside Vet Service its Business of the Year Award. President Sarah Van Huss is at the left, Dr. Natalie Kocek is in the center, and Dr. Stacey Funderburk is at the right.
The Dudley Smith Virtual Field Day that was held recently by the University of Illinois Extension Office had some very good presenters. One of them is Stacy Zuber, State Soil Health Specialist with Illinois NRCS, who is new to the position. She says the position itself is new, but she’s happy to be in it.
Zuber has spent her whole career working with soil health, and that started with her science background.
For Zuber it’s not just about conserving the environment for future generations, it’s about improving it.
Zuber appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.
The Dudley Smith Farm Field Day took place recently in a virtual capacity. It provides an avenue for the farmers and the public to keep up with the latest research in the field of agriculture. Ed Ballard, Coordinator of Activities at the Dudley Smith Farm, explained some of the projects they have been working at the Dudley Smith Farm.
Ballard continued saying that he’s excited about what they have going on and he loves learning from those around him.
The Dudley Smith Family is the reason all of this is possible. Ballard says they were land owners who really believed in the local farmer.
It’s something Ballard describes as a win-win situation.
Ballard appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.
Governor JB Pritzker got his $42.3 billion Fiscal Year 2022 budget balanced and according to him, protecting Illinoisans by paying down debts and rebuilding the state stronger than ever coming out of the Pandemic. Governor Pritzker says that there was uncertainty leading up to this given everything Illinois has been through in the last 15 months.
Governor Pritzker says that now we have the time to continue to build on this budget.
The Fiscal Year 2022 is a budget that for the first time in nearly 20 years, the State is paying it’s bills on time.
Governor Pritzker says the cuts that were taken were needed to cut loopholes and help working class.
Illinois is expected to receive more than $8.1 billion in federal relief through the COVID-19 Recovery Fund over the next 3 ½ years.
A new variant for COVID has some doctors concerned leading into the Summer, especially as things start to open up again. The Delta Variant, which was first discovered in India, has slowly made its way to the US. According to the CDC, ten percent of the COVID-19 cases in the US are the Delta Variant. HSHS Health Experts want to address some concerns.
The CDC says that the Delta Variant transmits easier than some of the other variants do but both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are highly effective against it. Most health experts believe that the vaccine will be key in stopping the virus from developing and mutating even more.
HSHS is still giving vaccines to anyone interested. Call 1-844-216-4707 to set up an appointment or go onlin eto the HSHS Portal called MyChart. For more information visit www.HSHS.org/vaccine.
Taylorville Police Department will be hosting a scavenger hunt at Manners Park on Friday evening at 5:30-6:30. Open for ages 5-12, you can win plenty of prizes including a skateboard and plenty of other goodies.
The skateboard was donated by Sketbort, who has been instrumental towards getting Taylorville a new Skateboard Park. There will also be some Walmart Gift Cards given out, and other great prizes as well. The event is called the Search and Seizure Scavenger Hunt and it’s open for kids ages 5-12. For more information visit the Taylorville Police Department Facebook Page and check the events tab.
A 3.8 magnitude earthquake hit just outside Bloomingdale, Indiana on Thursday afternoon. Around 3:20 PM (2:20 Central). No reports of damage have been submitted yet, but some are reporting feeling movement even in Sullivan and in other parts of eastern Illinois. Find out more by clicking here.
Cell phones are a great resource to have in case of emergency. In fact, most have a way to make an emergency call without opening the phone itself. That has been happening a lot lately. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says that the dispatchers have gotten tons of those unintentional emergency calls where the owner of the phone doesn’t realize what happened.
Sheriff Kettelkamp says a lot of these accidental calls they get are from phones sitting in cup holders that just happen to hit the right button.
While the calls are accidental, Sheriff Kettelkamp says they do take up the time of a dispatcher who could be handling an emergency situation.
Sheriff Kettelkamp appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
There are far too many people who don’t have internet, and with COVID-19 resulting in many events using Zoom, Skype, and other internet-connected activities, the time is now to get as many people as connected as possible. For Heartland Forward, a company helping people who live in the midwest, the internet is a top priority. They are alerting people to the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Angie Cooper, Chief Program Officer of Heartland Forward, says that their mission is to help communities in America’s Heartland.
With the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, Cooper says that it is partly being run by funds from the pandemic.
There are many ways to find out if your eligible for the program, and how to sign up for it.
As far as the numbers are concerned, Illinois is behind other states in the midwest who have already signed up for this program.
When the money’s gone for this program, it’s gone. Cooper encourages you to at least see if you are eligible. For more information visit, https://heartlandforward.org/.
House Representative Avery Bourne, while she has voiced concern over the redistricting maps in the past, says that there will be some lawsuits put forward to challenge Governor JB Pritzker on the maps that were put together. Representative Bourne says that the lawsuits challenge the constitutionality of the maps.
As far as the data went for putting together the maps, Representative Bourne says they did not use the census for putting together the maps.
With Christian County, it’s been split into 4 different districts which Representative Bourne says does not keep communities together.
For more information and to see the new maps, click here.
Illinois will now recognize a new holiday. Governor JB Pritzker signed HB 3922, a bill that declares June 19th or Juneteenth as an Official state holiday. This holiday commemorates the abolition of slavery throughout the US and its territories in 1865. Juneteenth will be referred to as National Freedom Day in Illinois.
In commemoration of the event, and to recognize Juneteenth, all flags will be lowered to ½ staff, and a Juneteenth flag will fly over the State Capitol in Springfield. The legislation clarifies that Juneteenth will be a paid holiday for state workers and public education professionals when June 19th falls on a weekday.
State Senator Doris Turner spoke at the bill signing saying that this is something that she could not be prouder of.
Senator Turner says this is all something that she has worked hard in Springfield in both city hall and in the Capital.
Senator Turner became emotional thinking about how much this day has grown.
She says that she is so happy to see this as a National Holiday and thanked Governor Pritzker for being on the right side of history.
Many other politicians spoke at the signing including Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, Speaker of the House Chris Welch, and of course Governor Pritzker himself.
The University of Illinois Extension Office and acting county director Lisa Peterson, has announced a newcomer to the Extension Office in Alexis McDowell. McDowell will take over as a 4-H youth development program coordinator serving Christian County in Taylorville. She will be coordinating many 4-H activities throughout the County including general and livestock shows at the Ag Fair, various workshops, and working with area youth and volunteers. She says that she is from Nokomis and is excited to start working.
McDowell also says that working with youth is something that she has always wanted to do.
McDowell says she is most excited to use her marketing skills and things that she has learned to help the kids. She says that she started last Wednesday.
For more information on the University of Illinois Extension Office, visit https://extension.illinois.edu/cjmm.
The Christian County Board met on Tuesday Evening to discuss old business, new business and discuss committee reports. The board honored Mickie Ehrhardt. Ehrhardt, a 9-1-1 dispatcher was moving on from the Department. She had been with the Department in some capacity since 1993. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp said, despite the challenges, Ehrhardt was up for them.
The board discussed the Pet Crematorium. Vince Harris, in charge of animal control, has expressed desire to sell it on a Government Deal. Dale Livingston brought it to the board.
The motion passed. The board also is looking into a Cyber Security Recommendation working with CTI after the pipeline on the East Coast was hacked. Under new business the board elected not to extend the Emergency Declaration Proclamation, since Governor JB Pritzker moved to Phase 5. There will be a Special County Board Meeting to be held Tuesday, June 29th at 6:30 PM at the courthouse.
With tax season right around the corner, the Board is trying to make things easier on Treasurer Betty Asmussen. Due to money coming in from the federal government from COVID, there are many reports that need to be filed to track where that money is going including how much to spend, and what it’s being spent. Chairman Matt Wells says there is a company that is engaged in that business and can make things easier for the County.
There was quite a lengthy discussion. Craig Corzine put a motion to table it to the finance committee to see if this is something they want to spend money on. The motion to table failed 10-5 and it was voted on. The motion passed.
The next regular Christian County Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 20th. Click Here to watch it.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about a new exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.
Director of Public Relations at the Library, Joe Crain, told Kiwanis members about the new exhibit, called “The State of Sound”, featuring the world of music in Illinois. The exhibit highlights the music and artists that were either native to Illinois, or whose music originated in the state.
Crain said that in addition to the many genres of music featured in the exhibit, almost 150 musical artifacts from Illinois artists or music events connected to the state, are also on display. The exhibit is part of the library and museum thru next January.
Crain also told Kiwanis members that the library is seeing daily attendance start to increase since re-opening following the coronavirus pandemic.
The museum is offering free admission thru June 30th for anyone who’s had at least one COVID vaccine shot.
Regional Radio News has learned that the parade and cookout will not be on the 4th of July, the events will take place on the 3rd of July. The fireworks in Taylorville will still be on the 4th but everything else will take place on the 3rd. Regional Radio News apologizes for this mistake and has fixed it in the article.
The man accused of shooting someone in the downtown square in Taylorville will have a new judge appointed. Richard Klekamp Jr. appeared in court for A hearing motion that was heard on Monday for a new Judge to be appointed. Klekamp was represented by Attorney Tom Finks. The motion was granted without objection from the State. The case will be assigned by the Office of Chief Judge. Klekamp's preliminary hearing is set for June 24th. Chief Judge Douglas Jarman is the Chief Judge of the 4th Judicial Circuit which includes Christian, Montgomery, and Shelby County among others.
Last month the Christian County Master Gardeners held a plant sale that consisted of plants they shared from their own gardens. Especially in the midst of COVID restrictions they were not sure what to expect from the event. Gwen Podeschi with the Christian County Master Gardeners says it went extremely well and they were very pleased with the turnout.
These types of sales can breed success in other gardens. Podeschi explains they want to share success stories, and fellow Master Gardener Jan McClure has one in her garden.
Podeschi explains the plants from the plant sale won’t provide instant gratification with a return, but they will eventually.
It’s nice to share plants with other people who are interested in gardening. Podeschi knows that firsthand.
Podeschi and McClure appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
It's no secret that Republican legislators have been pushing for transparency. There have been steps taken recently, such as term limits, but that isn’t enough for Representative Avery Bourne who feels they still haven’t done enough to inspire confidence from the people of Illinois. She does say they've attempted many different pieces of legislation in the area of ethics and transparency.
It’s all about changing the culture. There was a very large ethics bill that was simplified before passing. Representative Bourne says that’s a start, but there is more needed to really start that shifting the culture.
The police reform bill and the budget are two examples of things happening last minute where the taxpayers didn’t know what was happening until the legislation passed. Representative Bourne says that shouldn’t happen and they’ve proposed a 72 hour waiting period.
Representative Bourne explains that ethics touches every corner of what they do as legislators.
Representative Bourne appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
Should you water your plants all summer or let Mother Nature take its course? U of I Extension Horticulture Educator Richard Hentschel says that you can find both pros and cons on both sides of the fence. Hentschel says that you should decide early if you are going to water or not because that will determine what you will do for the rest of the summer.
Those who decide to water will need to maintain a higher level of care including adding fertilizer. Cool-season grass goes dormant during the heat of summer. Keeping that grass alive with water means it will need more energy. More water and more fertilizer mean more mowing and more time spent on lawn management.
There is a potential for lawn fungal disease when you use more water and fertilizer on older lawns. Newer lawns are grown from improved seeds that are less prone to disease. A good practice is to map out your watering for when you are going to do it. If you do opt-out of watering, the lawn will stay green as long as the rain continues. When the weather turns hot and dry, your grass will suffer. Hentschel says one way to help will be to mow higher.
This option is the most cost-saving method. You will use less water, less fertilizer and less mowing which means less fuel. Hentschel suggests top-dressing the lawn annually with quality black dirt or other organic matter that will absorb and hold water for the lawn to use later.
The city of Taylorville will be hosting a parade and cookout for the 3rd of July. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry along with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is excited about the upcoming parade saying it is a good way to honor America.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Let Freedom Ring.”
The picnic will take place at the Courthouse lawn in Christian County on the 4th.
For more information, contact Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry.
****ORIGINALLY THIS ARTICLE SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE ON THE 4th. IT WILL ACTUALLY BE ON THE 3RD.***
The Taylorville School Board met on Monday evening for their regular board meeting. After roll call, approval of minutes, and hearing from some visitors, the board approved the treasurer’s report, claims, and personnel movement. Taylorville Superintendent, Dr. Chris Dougherty says everyone will be returning back to school next year unless they are on quarantine. There will not be any remote learning this year.
Dr. Dougherty says there are a lot of educational laws that will be coming out on July 1st that will change things next year and in the near future.
Dr. Dougherty recognizes that there is a teacher shortage and the School is working on addressing that.
The amended budget was approved for FY21 and Wendy Dulakis, Board Treasurer says things are looking good.
Taylorville High School Principal Matt Hutchison announced that Lincoln would be leaving the Apollo Conference for the Central State 8. The move would not take place for another couple of years. The Conference is looking through all their options for other teams to join in the near future. There will be no School Board meeting in July, the next one will take place on August 9th. You can watch the entire meeting here.
With COVID-19 patients decreasing and half of the State of Illinois vaccinated, Memorial Health Systems announced on Friday that it will be easing visitor restrictions. The hospitals will now permit two visitors at a time for each adult inpatient between 8 AM and 8 PM, it will also allow one overnight visitor for each patient. No visitors will be permitted for patients being treated for COVID-19 or any that are being evaluated for the virus.
Preventive Measures are still being followed at the five Memorial Hospitals. Masks will still be required. Visitors will continue to check in at the entrance to answer questions. Social distancing, especially in waiting rooms is extremely important, and care will be taken around COVID-19 patients.
In all, 11 COVID-19 patients were in Memorial Health System Hospitals as of June 4th. 6 of those were in intensive care. That is a decrease from a high of 173 patients back in November of 2020. If you have questions, please contact any of the 5 Memorial Health System Hospitals.
The Taylorville School Board will meet on Monday evening at 6 PM at the Taylorville High School Cafeteria for their regular monthly board meeting. After approval of minutes, claims, and a treasurer’s report, the board will review personnel changes and go over a COVID-19 return to learn update.
According to the ISBE, the school must resume fully in-person learning for all student attendance days, provided that remote instruction is available for students who are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and are under a quarantine order by a local public health department or the IDPH. Regional Radio News will inquire about what that all entails at the Monday meeting.
There will be an approval of the 2020-2021 final public school calendar along with an adoption of the new fiscal year 2021 amended budget. Under new business, the board will review general supply bids, the casualty insurance renewal and a consideration of the FY22 Foodservice Management Contract Renewal. The board will review a letter from Lincoln High School announcing their departure from the Apollo Conference to return to the Central State 8 Conference.
The meeting will end with a superintendent report from Dr. Chris Dougherty. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for a complete review of the board meeting on Monday evening after the conclusion of the meeting.
Taylorville Memorial Hospital is recognizing seven of its registered nurses with nursing excellence awards. Geri Kirkbride was recognized with the Florence Nightingale Legacy Award. Heather Alwerdt received the Pathways to Excellence Well Being Award. Pamela “Sue” Benton received the Pathways to Excellence Safety & Quality award. Tori Donaldson received the Professional Development Award, Anna LeVault received the Pathways to Excellence Shared Decision-Making award, Morgan McWhorter received the Pathways to Excellence Leadership Award, and Cassandra Peat received the Pathways to Excellence Well-Being award.
Geri Kirkbride, who is a registered nurse and the director of quality, safety and compliance, received the very first Florence Nightingale Legacy Award. The award is given to a nurse whose legacy has and will continue to shape patient care for years to come. Kirkbride has over 40 years of experience and has been with Memorial Health System since 1983.
Alwerdt was recognized with the Pathways to Excellence Well-Being Award. This award celebrates a nurse’s contributions to the well being of fellow nurses and clinical staff. Alwerdt has been with Memorial Health System since 2002.
Benton received the Pathways to Excellence Safety and Quality Award. This award celebrates a nurse’s effort to prioritize both patient and nurse safety. She has been a nurse for over 25 years and has served with TMH since 2005.
Donaldson received the Professional Development Award. Donaldson came to the Acute Care Unit in 2019 after graduating from nursing school.
McWhorter received the Pathways to Excellence Leadership Award. She has served as the main outpatient infusion nurse at TMH for about one year.
Peat received the Pathways to Excellence Well-Being Award. Peat has worked within Memorial Health System since 2007.
Regional Radio News salutes all of the Nurses for their hard work and helping and caring for people’s lives daily.
Heather Alwerdt received the Pathways to Excellence Well-Being Award.
Pamela "Sue" Benton received the Pathways to Excellence Safety Award.
Tori Donaldson received the Professional Development Award.
Anna LeVault received the Pathways to Excellence Shared Decision-Making Award.
Morgan McWhorter received the Pathways to Excellence Leadership Award.
Cassandra Peat received the Pathways to Excellence Well-Being Award.
Severe weather hit Central Illinois Saturday evening, causing power outages and tree damage but apparently no injuries.
In the Regional Radio listening area at the peak of the storms, 561 Ameren power customers in the Pana area were without power, and one in the Taylorville area during the 7 o'clock hour Saturday evening.
Trained weather spotters reported 2 to 3 inch tree limbs in the Pana area downed around 6:40 Saturday night according to the National Weather Service in Lincoln.
Most of the damage reports from Saturday evening's severe weather were in Champaign and Vermilion counties.
A 22 year old Taylorville man has died. On Friday, June 11th, at around 2:05 PM, Taylorville Police were called to do a welfare check on Damien Donoho of Taylorville. Donoho had failed to show up for work that day. When police arrived on the scene, they found the male deceased at his residence on the 500 block of South Houston in Taylorville.
Christian County Coroner Amy Calvert Winans postively ID'ed the body. An autopsy will be conducted on Monday. The investigation is being handled by the Taylorville Police Department.
The Taylorville Police Department reported that they are aware of multiple complaints of speeding on Lawrence Avenue and on Lakeshore Drive. The Police are saying that they will ticket you if you don’t slow down. The Police Department also gave out some guidance when it comes to Golf Carts and UTV’s.
For UTV’s, you must be at least 21 years of age and possess a driver’s license to operate a UTV on the roadway, all passengers must be at least 8 years of age or older and you must have mandatory insurance coverage for the vehicle. When riding there must be one seat per passenger and all passengers and the driver must be wearing a seatbelt when it’s being operated on the roadway. It is unlawful for any person to drive or operate a UTV on any city roadway at any time between one hour after sundown and one hour before sunup.
For golf carts, you must be at least 16 years of age and possess a driver’s license to drive a golf cart on the roadway, all passengers must be at least 8 years of age or older and you must have mandatory insurance coverage for the vehicle. When riding there must be one seat per passenger and all passengers and the driver must be wearing a seatbelt when it’s being operated on the roadway.
UTV’s and Golf Carts are not allowed to drive down Route 29 through town. For more information, contact the Taylorville Police Department or Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry.
With high temperatures going up and the Summer months upon us, spending time outdoors also goes up. However, with those rising temperatures the chances of you getting overheated can also go up and knowing some signs and symptoms of you overheating are extremely important.
Dr. John Rinker, Chief Medical Officer with OSF Healthcare at the Saint James Medical Center in Pontiac says that it’s much more common to occur in summer.
It is important to not only recognize risk factors and symptoms of heat related illness and injury, but also what to do if you are having issues. There is a difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is the less serious and you will feel faint, sweat excessively, feel nauseous, and have a rapid, weak pulse. If this occurs you need to get to a cool spot, drink water, and take a cool shower if possible.
Heat stroke on the other hand can be deadly, as it is the result of being extremly overheated and decrease circulation to the brain causing neurological problems and eventual organ failure. Signs of heat stroke are throbbing headache, a rapid pulse, and a loss of consciousness. If you are suffering from heat stroke, you could stop sweating completely.
Certain groups are more susceptible to heat risk including children younger than 4 and adults age 65 and older. Dr. Rinker says you should take the necessary precautions.
Stay hydrated, know the days forecast, and plan around the heat. You can also take steps to avoid sunburn by using sun screen and wearing a hat. For more information click here.
Phase 5 is coming today. The awaited time for things to get back to normal is here, and for many people it seems like an eternity has happened since Illinois Governor JB Pritzker introduced the phase system at the height of the coronavirus. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Public Health Department says that phase 5 will be encompassing a lot of different things all at once.
Dr. Ezike says that while COVID-19 is not over, it’s nice to get back to normal.
With 90% effectiveness for the vaccine, Dr. Ezike is once again encouraging everyone to get their vaccine. For those who have been fully vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask in most areas. There are some areas where you are still going to be asked to mask up.
According to Dr. Ezike, as far as schools go, masks are still going to be required for the time being.
For more information on Phase 5, click here.
There are many summer events that will be taking place around the Taylorville area. Sara Van Huss with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, sat down to discuss some things going on in Taylorville. She says that Dinner: Seasoned With Love will be taking place on June 19th.
Van Huss announced that Jimmy John’s has a new owner. US Bank is also doing some hiring and Van Huss says it’s a fantastic environment.
Van Huss also says that on Monday, June 28th the Christian County Coal Mine Museum will be open.
Sara Van Huss also says that with the 4th of July coming, that the parade is also coming.
Sara Van Huss appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
What started out as National Milk month has become National Dairy Month as June is when that event is celebrated in 1939. Jill Williams with the National Dairy Council says that it’s a special honor to the Dairy Farmers and the hard work that they do.
Williams says that milk and other dairy have plenty of benefits for your body.
Williams continued by stressing how milk and dairy can go a long way towards helping every single part of your body in some way.
Williams says that while Soy may seem like the healthier choice, there are a lot of extra ingredients in non dairy milk that helps give it its taste. Williams is asking everyone to compare them to see what they like and what they don’t like.
Jill Williams appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
Alysia Callison, Nature Center Manager for Rock Springs in Decatur, says that she is very excited for the Summer Concert Series that will be taking place on Select Sundays this Summer at Rock Springs.
There is a nice deck on the West Side of the Building that allows for a relaxing concert among Nature. They did have to modify the event last year due to COVID.
Rock Springs had their first show last Sunday and it had over 120 people in person and 200 online.
There will also be some Summer Camps coming to Rock Springs.
For more information visit MaconCountyConservation.org and you can visit them on Facebook as well by checking out Macon County Conservation District. Alysia Callison appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
A 95-year-old and 92-year-old husband and wife from Morrisonville were both killed in a vehicle crash that took place at 500E and 500N in Christian County at 1:03 PM on Tuesday. 95-year-old Carl Adden of Morrisonville was traveling north in a DTS Cadillac on Christian County 500E approaching the 500N intersection when he failed to stop at the stop sign.
25-year-old Michael Lockwood of Athens, Illinois who was driving a truck tractor semi-trailer struck their vehicle ejecting Mr. Adden. He was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Christian County Coroner. His passenger, 92-year-old Isabelle Adden was airlifted to an area hospital where she succumbed to her injuries around 10:29 PM.
The Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon and the Christian County Coroner Amy Winans confirmed the deaths and the crash is still under investigation by the Christian County Coroner, Sangamon County Coroner, and the Illinois State Police.
A signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation that was signed by President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward will be on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Chris Wills, Communication Director for the Museum says that the original original was burned up in the Chicago Fire, but they do have a unique copy.
The document will be on display from June 15-July 6th. Admission is free in June if you’ve had you’re COVID vaccine. The proclamation was issued on January 1st, 1863 freeing anyone enslaved who was in a state that was seceding from the Union, but the Union had to capture the territory before it would be enacted. It has led to Juneteenth being celebrated.
There is also an online discussion taking place on June 17th on the Underground Railroad in Illinois.
Wills says that it is so surreal seeing some of the great documents that come through the Museum.
For more information visit www.PresidentLincoln.Illinois.gov or follow the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Representative Avery Bourne, of the 95th District, discussed a litany of topics that were at the forefront of the most recent Legislative Session during a sitdown conversation with Regional Radio News. One of the first topics that Representative Bourne talked about was IDES. Representative Bourne says that Unemployment Buildings need to be open. They were able to get a resolution passed to start working towards that process.
Governor JB Pritzker has been very ecstatic about the new budget and Representative Bourne pointed out a few things about it saying that she was glad that Education was included but there was still a lot of wasteful spending.
Representative Bourne says there was a lot in this budget though overall that doesn’t “pass the smell test.” She says that there was quite a bit of pushback from Governor Pritzker after his tax hike didn’t go through. However, she doesn’t think that Governor Pritzker expected the economy to bounce back as fast as it did.
She also says that it is past time that the Capital Building be open again.
Representative Bourne says that they are expected to be back in Springfield soon to discuss some new energy laws.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the Radio Voice of the Fighting Illini, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.
Long-time Illini Sports Network play-by-play announcer Brian Barnhart visited with Kiwanis members about doing games in the middle of the COVID pandemic, and what’s ahead for Illini football and mens’ basketball.
Barnhart said the biggest challenge in doing games this past season, was not having crowds at games, and having to do play-by-play of away games in a studio in Champaign-Urbana.
The Radio Voice of the Fighting Illini told the Kiwanis Club that new football coach Bret Bielema has impressed players and fans with his down-to-earth attitude.
Barnhart added that mens' basketball last year was exciting, and he's hoping the same will happen this season.
Illini games are heard locally on Miller Media Group radio station WSVZ Cruisin’ 98.3.
The Pana Police Department is investigating a reckless driving complaint. On Monday afternoon at 2:55 PM, According to Pana Police, they received a complaint of a vehicle driving recklessly on South Hickory Street near Cold Springs Road in Pana. A short time later, the parents of that driver, who was a juvenile, filed a complaint against another female who damaged the juvenile's car.
Officers discovered during their investigation, Lisa McNear had become upset over the reckless driving of the minor and stopped the vehicle on South Hickory to confront the driver. It is reported that McNear struck the windshield of the vehicle with an object cracking the windshield.
The next day, officers continued to investigate and received additional information for the allegations against McNear. She was located at her residence and charged with criminal damage to property under $500. She was also issued a notice to appear in court on the charge and was released. Statements provided by witnesses corroborated the complaints against the reckless driving of the juvenile.
A complaint was filed and reports were forwarded to the Christian County State’s Attorney’s Office for juvenile petitions of reckless driving to be considered against the juvenile. The case remains under investigation.
Coming up in 2022 there will be an election for Christian County Sheriff. One of the candidates vying for the position is current Kincaid Police Chief DJ Mathon. One of the main issues guiding his campaign has to do with the drug use throughout the county, but he also wants to make sure there is police coverage in every corner of the county.
Those are not the only reason Chief Mathon wants to hold the office of sheriff. He also believes he can help make repairs to the prison within the current budget and he’d like to add K9 units to assist with the drug problem.
Mathon says he’s seen the budget for the jail and believes there is room for the repairs to be made.
The purpose of K9 units are help the officers in slowing the drug problem in the county, according to Mathon. He also says he’ll be raising the money for it so it won’t cost the county.
Mathon appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
Christian County Farm Bureau was nominated by the Christian County Extension for the 2021 Community Partner Award. The Bureau was selected for their exemplary service to the University of Illinois Extension. Mellisa McMillan, Christian County Farm Bureau Manager, says that it means that the Farm Bureau is dedicated towards giving back to the community.
McMillan says that despite COVID the Farm Bureau is here for the long haul in the County.
Mellisa says she is very happy for the relationship that the Farm Bureau has with the Extension Office.
Sara Marten and Rebecca Livingston both presented Mellisa McMillan with the 2021 Community Partner Award.
The Taylorville City Council met on Monday evening, Larry Budd and Steve Dorchinecz were absent. While there was a lot on the agenda, the Aldermen were able to move the meeting quite quickly. One of the first big topics of discussion was restructuring some of the city bonds. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says that this is a win/win for the city as far as lowering payments.
Mayor Barry says that while it’s still early in the post COVID world, he says the city is sitting OK cash-wise.
The city had cut off hiring during the pandemic, but that is back on as the Street Department is looking for two new employees. The city is continuing to prosper as there is talk about a new truck stop that will be built by the Steak and Shake near Walmart.
Mayor Barry also said the Taylorville Pow Wow was a success and thanked Kellie Hamell for her work in getting payroll taken care of.
In other news from the City Council meeting, the board approved a tax increase of .02% for the library purchase of sites and buildings and for maintenance. Everyone that was present at the meeting voted yes except for Aldermen Kathy Driskell who told Regional Radio News that she would not vote for any tax increase. The board also approved an ordinance amending the city code to allow for liquor sales through a designated drive-thru window. Jim Olive was the lone “No” vote. The board also recommended the reimbursement for gaming parlor establishments that had no other source of revenue for a total of 50% of the 2021 Liquor License Fees. Aldermen Chris Skultetty and Aldermen Doug Brown voted no.
To watch the meeting in its entirety, click here.
A vehicle crash in Montgomery County left one man dead and three others wounded on Sunday afternoon. A preliminary investigation by the Illinois State Police shows that a camouflage Polaris UTV driven by 44-year-old Chad Stewart was traveling west on North 20th Avenue approaching 1600 East in Montgomery County. Stewart failed to stop at a stop sign and was struck by 67-year-old Delmar Pray of Nokomis, who was in a Dodge SUV.
The collision overturned the Polaris ejecting Stewart. He was transported by ambulance to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Pray, along with a 64-year-old female Marsha Pray, and a 13-year-old juvenile were all transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. The crash is still under investigation.
The Christian County Coroner, Amy Calvert Winans, wrapped up several investigations and released her findings to the media. 26 year old Daniel T. Crosby of Carterville was found deceased in rural Pana on March 20th. His cause of death was undetermined. (The remains were skeletonized without antemortem injury). Mr. Crosby was last seen on February 27th, 2020. The manner of death was undetermined. The investigation was handled by the Illinois State Police.
60 year old Debra J. Basil of Taylorville was pronounced dead at her residence on April 4th. The cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation. The death was determined to be suicide. The investigation was handled by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office.
20 year old Zaydin J. Dudra of Taylorville was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash on Route 48 on April 8th, 2021. His cause of death was multiple blunt injuries due to automobile and jeep collision. The death was determined to be accidental. The investigation was handled by the Illinois State Police.
19 year old Haley A. Shoot of Taylorville was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash on Route 48 on April 8th, 2021. Her cause of death was multiple blunt injuries due to automobile and jeep collision. The death was determined to be accidental. The investigation was handled by the Illinois State Police.
51 year old Rodney J. Johnson of Springfield was pronounced dead at Taylorville Memorial Hospital ER on April 15th 2021. His cause of death was fentanyl intoxication. His death was determined to be accidental. The investigation was handled by the Illinois State Police.
51 year old Mark A. Pearse of Taylorville was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash in May Township on April 25th, 2021. His cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries due to a motor vehicle striking a fixed object. The death was determined to be accidental. Christian County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.
The Taylorville City Council is set to meet on Monday evening to discuss old, new business, and ordinances at the Municipal Building at 7 PM. After reviewing planning commission updates, the board will review ordinances concerning Dear Yesteryear, the Economy Inn Lodge, and a few other redevelopment projects.
The board will also discuss a resolution to levy an additional tax of .02% for the library purchase of sites and buildings. The board will look to approve a special events permit at the airport for the Parachute Club in August. The board will also go over some bonds and the approval of the hiring of two personnel for the Street Department.
Under committee reports, there are quite a few actions being brought in front of the board. Under cemetery, the board will approve purchasing sod, fencing, and a John Deere 3 bag bagger system. Under finance, the board will discuss a health care plan, accept an electric rate agreement, allow department-specific copiers for street and sewer, water billing, and the clerk's office. There will be motions concerning the business development district.
Under Ordinance, there is a motion to prepare an ordinance to reimburse gaming parlor establishments that had no other revenue a total of 50% of the 2021 liquor license fees, and a motion to allow for liquor sales through a designated drive-thru window. Under street and sewer, there is a motion to forward the salary increase for Superintendent Mann to the personnel committee, a motion to forward the hire 3 personnel for the street department to the personnel committee. There is also a motion to allow Superintendent Mann to purchase some necessary things for the department.
There will also be an update from City Attorney Rocci Romano and Mayor Bruce Barry. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story as it develops.
Last month was Mental Health Awareness Month. Even though it is over, the importance continues on. Especially in a COVID-19 landscape that is still ongoing, Ed Lacheta with Shelby County Community Services explains the pandemic has been a trauma inducing event.
Because of the trauma the COVID pandemic has caused for some people, professionals like Lacheta stress that it’s important to talk about the feelings rather than ignore them.
It’s hard to open up about mental health. Because of underlying stigmas of shame or even weakness, there are some who never do. While there is nothing to be ashamed of, Lacheta wants those who find the strength to share to be proud that they did.
Emotional support can a huge impact on your life, according to Lacheta.
Lacheta appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.
Governor JB Pritzker signed proposed redistricting maps into law on Friday evening, signing the three maps and saying that it reflected the unique diversity of Illinois. The maps outline new districts for the General Assembly, Illinois Supreme Court, and Cook County Board of Review.
The district boundaries account for population changes in the state, particularly the regions that saw the most population loss as recorded by the US Census American Community Survey. The General Assembly held more than 50 public hearings statewide.
Republican House of Representatives Leader, Jim Durkin says that Governor Pritzker sold out.
Representative Durkin says that the ultimate goal of this was to keep control.
Detailed summaries of each individual House and Senate district, including communities of interest, geographic descriptions, and demographic data were adopted by both the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate.
Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie says that Governor Pritzker said whatever he could when he was running just to get elected.
Governor Pritzker said that it all comes down to ensuring that communities have fair representation in government. "Illinois' strength is in our diversity, and these maps help to ensure that communities that have been left out and left behind have fair representation in our government, These district boundaries align with both the federal and state Voting Rights Acts, which help to ensure our diverse communities have electoral power and fair representation."
Republicans have said they will look and see what options they have before taking the next step.
The warm temperatures are here, and between all the rain its been a great time to get out on Lake Shelbyville. Starting in early Spring people will start paying attention to the lake levels, and Ashley Florey with the US Army Corps of Engineers shared in her fishing report that the levels are in a good spot right now.
Over the weekend, Florey says they held a kids fishing tournament at Possum Creek Pond.
Florey continued by saying there will be a bike riding event that will allow people to get some exercise and see what the lake has to offer.
Florey appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.
New guidelines for the State to reopen completely are set to go into effect on June 11th. This comes on the heels of weeks of steady declines in cases and over 67% of all adults have received at least their first COVID-19 vaccine. The test positivity rate in Illinois has been less than 2 percent. Key hospital metrics have declined since early May.
People who are fully vaccinated in Illinois can resume activities without wearing a mask except where required by law. The state will continue to recommend masking for those who are unvaccinated and for those who are traveling on public transportation, congregate settings, health care settings, and those who are in school, daycare, and educational institutions. Businesses themselves can implement mitigations as they see fit.
Also under this new phase 5, all sectors of the economy can resume at regular capacity meaning the return of traditional conventions, festivals, and large events without restrictions on numbers. Large gatherings can resume and mandatory social distancing at seated venues has been lifted. Guidance for schools is updated to align with CDC guidelines including lifting the requirement for people to mask outdoors.
Under the new budget, $1.5 billion has been set aside to support business grants, tourism recovery, workforce recovery, affordable housing, violence prevention, capital projects, and other investments throughout the state.
You can find out more by clicking on the IDPH link here.
Representative Avery Bourne encouraged work to be done on Route 48 sooner rather than later. She says that it’s going to take more than road work to fix the highway.
Representative Bourne continued, stressing that it never hurts to talk and encourage good driving on top of everything else.
Representative Bourne did touch on FOID cards during her recent visit with Regional Radio News saying that it needs to get tackled soon. Bourne says there were two competing strategies at the Legislative Session.
If you chose to give your fingerprints it would have been a lifetime FOID card, Representative Bourne said, but again that never made it to the floor.
Part of Route 48 is expected to be repaved in 2023. The ISP is looking to increase patrols on the route in the near future.
It was a beautiful Saturday night on the Shelbyville High School football field, where 76 Shelbyville seniors walked across the platform to graduate.
The 2021 Shelbyville High School Commencement was broadcast live on WSVZ Cruisin' 98.3.
The Shelbyville High School Band provided the traditional Pomp and Circumstance, and graduate Rachel Throneburg gave the Invocation. Following a welcome from principal Kyle Ladd, Senior Students of the Month and the Senior Student of the Year were announced by Superintendent Shane Schuricht. Rachel Throneburg was named Senior Student of the Year, receiving a scholarship. The Student of the Month Program is co-sponsored by WSVZ Cruisin' 98.3 and Family Drug.
Top Ten in the Senior Class and Seniors entering the military were all honored, followed by the Salutatorian speech by Shelbyville senior Mikayla Boehm who told graduates that commencement is the first stepping stone in her adult life.
The Shelbyville High School Valedictorian, Kade Kull, then gave his remarks telling the seniors and big crowd assembled at the football field that COVID was the big curve ball thrown at all of them.
Ladd then announced the students individually for their traditional walk across the platform.
S-H-S Senior Dalton Hoadley gave the Benediction, and the Shelbyville High School Class of 2021 was officially announced with caps flying.
It was the second year WSVZ Cruisin' 98.3 broadcast the event live.
Governor Pritzker on Friday gave signs that the state will move to Phase 5 this Friday, June Eleventh, in the fight against the coronavirus.
Pritzker said that with over 67 percent of the state's population age 18 and older getting at least once dose of the COVID vaccine, and a statewide positivity rate of less than 2 percent, he and the Illinois Department of Public Health are expected to move the state to Phase 5 on Friday, June Eleventh.
As of June 5th, according to the web site covidactnow-dot-org, Illinois' positivity rate is one-point-7 percent with just over 55 percent of the total population vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated people don't have to wear a mask inside or out according to Phase 5 guidelines, except if required by local authorities. Masks will still be required for all people travelling public transportation, health care, schools and day cares, educational institutions, and congregate settings.
Pritzker urged those who have not been vaccinated, to do so, to avoid a spike in COVID cases.
Govenor J. B. Pritzker on Friday signed legislation creating new political boundries in Illinois for the next 10 years.
The new maps outline districts for state lawmakers, the Cook County Board of Review, and the State Supreme Court, reflecting the diversity of Illinois according to the Governor.
But, Republicans are criticizing the maps, saying they were only drawn by the Democrats, not an independent commission as the GOP proposed.
Governor Pritzker says the new district boundries ensure communities that have traditionally been left out have fair representation in government.
Asked if they plan to challenge the maps, Republicans say they will review their options over the weekend.
The University of Illinois Extension Office is not slowing down their schedule for webinars and events in the near future. Andrew Holsinger is a horticulture educator and he is continuing to share information. Coming up soon he will be hosting something on taking care of interior plants.
Holsinger explains the intricacies of what will be discussed for interior plant care, such as water and soil.
There is a lot to think about to properly care for house plants. For some, changing the pot might be the way to go, according to Holsinger.
The webinar is free and registration can happen online.
Holsinger appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
Fred Dubay, CEO of the Taylorville Black Horse Native American Pow Wow tells us about the upcoming Pow Wow event June 4th, 5th and 6th at the Taylorville Lake Marina. It will be the 20th Taylorville Pow Wow and the event is free and open to the public. Dubay gave details on what to expect at the Pow Wow.
DuVay says the Pow Wow focuses on the Native American Culture.
There will be a service at 9 AM on Sunday from a Native American church group.
DuVay says there’s plenty of activities going on including a free chicken dinner on Saturday.
The Pow Wow begins June 4th and continues the 5th and 6th at the Taylorville Lake Marina and is welcome to all. Fred Dubay, CEO of the Taylorville Black Horse Native American Pow Wow, appeared as a guest on the WTIM morning show.
June11th could be a big day for the state of Illinois as that is the target date to reach Phase 5 in Governor JB Pritzker’s plan to open up the state. Phase 5 is where all restrictions are lifted. Each county has to do its part for the state as a whole to get there, though. Kim Bourne, President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital, says Christian County is among the lower echelon of counties in terms of vaccination numbers.
Bourne continued by diving into the numbers, which show the population under 65 years of age is where the discrepancy is between Christian County and the rest of the state.
Some people may choose not to receive the vaccine. For those who want it but havent gotten the shot yet, Bourne says there is plenty of opportunity.
With Phase 5 on the horizon, Bourne urges residents to do what needs to be done not to move backward.
Bourne appeared as a guest on the WTIM morning show.
Overall the legislative session was a lengthy frustrating process for most Republicans and State Representative Avery Bourne spoke with Regional Radio News about some of the issues that she saw with this most recent Legislative Session including what she saw as a lack of transparency.
One of the big topics Representative Bourne has been excited about is that her bill on trailer fees being reduced was approved.
Representative Bourne says that even though they are in the super minority, there are still significant roles for the Republicans during a time where they don’t have a lot of say in what is going on.
A new ethics bill was pushed through but it isn’t the most efficient bill according to Representative Bourne.
The Governor has said that he is going to approve the budget but has been quiet about the redistricting bill.
US Representative Rodney Davis was on hand to talk about Redistricting and what he sees as frustration over the dragged out process that isn’t using the correct data.
Representative Davis does concede that if these maps do get approved their will be some good representation in Central Illinois but the Counties, according to him, shouldn’t be divided up.
This is really about politics says Representative Davis but he is interested in what the Governor is going to do about vetoing it.
This issue was almost on the ballot according to Representative Davis but it was thrown out on a technicality.
Representative Rodney Davis appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
State Senator Chapin Rose did not mince words about the Legislative Session that was just held. The State Senator spoke about some of the big issues affecting the latest session including the budget, a sex ed bill, redistricting, and much more. Senator Rose said new session, same old song and dance.
Redistricting, Senator Rose says, did not include most Illinoisans.
A new sex ed bill has Senator Rose upset that Democrats are bombarding kids with bad ideas, but he’s also upset over what he sees as Democrats trying to get around the second amendment and what he also sees as a crumbling democracy.
Senator Chapin Rose also asked when the Unemployment Office will reopen.
The Governor is expected to sign off on the budget. It is unclear whether he will sign off on redistricting or some of the other bills that have been brought forward.
Another Legislative Session has come and gone and Republicans felt that they weren’t included at all in the session. State Senator Steve McClure says that he was disappointed that a lot of the experts that were supposed to talk at the budget hearings got excluded due to the late night push through.
Republicans, Senator McClure says, just want a seat at the table even if the Democrats don’t listen to their ideas.
Senator McClure bemoaned the IDES as well saying that the Unemployment Office should be open.
Overall Senator McClure says there were some good things done but not enough as most things were done with too much partisanship.
Senator McClure is hoping things will be open for the Veto Session in the fall.
The Best For Less Card Shop on the Taylorville Square has a new owner. Rebecca Steiner, who owns Rebecca’s Antiques has purchased the card shop from longtime owner Ed Downs. Steiner says they have done a complete restoration of the building. She says she is pleased with the job that was done.
Downs wanted to sell everything whereas Steiner just wanted the building, but Downs made an offer Steiner couldn’t refuse and Steiner says that things will remain the same.
Steiner says the restoration work is not done on it just yet.
Steiner says that she can’t thank her customers enough for their support.
For more information, visit the Best For Less Facebook Page or call 217-713-2600.
Pana Police along with the Christian County Coroner’s Office are investigating a death in Pana. 39-year-old Holly D. Durbin of Pana was found unresponsive alone in her residence. Pana Police, Fire, EMS, and Decatur Ambulance responded to a 9-1-1 call of an unresponsive female where she was pronounced dead on the scene. AN autopsy and toxicology are being conducted with results pending. The case remains under investigation with no additional information provided at this time.
An alcohol-related traffic crash sent two people to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries on Tuesday. On June 1st, at 1:45 PM, Christian County 9-1-1 received a call reporting a single-vehicle crash on County Highway #2, 1/10th of a mile west of County Highway #22. It was reported that the vehicle was traveling eastbound when the driver lost control. The vehicle entered the north ditch flipping and landing on its wheels in a cornfield north of the roadway.
Occupants in the vehicle included 27-year-old Naquita D. Marshall of Clinton and her three-year-old daughter. The three-year-old was taken to Children’s Hospital in St. Louis by airlift and Marshall was transported by ambulance to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.
The traffic crash is suspected to be alcohol-related. It is currently being investigated by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office. The Christian County Sheriff’s Office thanked Mt. Auburn Fire & Rescue, Dunn’s Ambulance, Arch Air Medical, Edinburg PD, and Stonington PD for their assistance on the crash.
A state budget was pushed through at the last minute in the legislative session and it was over 3,000 pages long meaning most Legislators did not read it. This infuriated Republicans who felt that this was once again pushed through at the last minute to prevent experts from speaking and to prevent any backlash about the budget that got approved. Chief Budget Negotiator, Senator Chapin Rose, says that most of the time the Republicans weren’t even included in the discussion but there was some good stuff put in it.
Senator Rose says there was way too much spending on “pork” in the budget and none of it was earmarked for Republican projects.
Senator Rose also says that the Democratic side got too greedy and did the budget for all the wrong reasons including huge tax increases after COVID.
There seems to be a disconnect Senator Rose believes with the State coming back to normal from COVID-19 with all these new taxes and the deficit.
The legislative session wrapped up on Monday evening with a passing of the budget. It now goes to the Governor’s Desk for signature.
The pandemic might seem like its reaching the end point, but food insecurity is still very much alive. It became more important as the pandemic went on for local and regional food pantries to make sure the right food was getting out there. From that idea comes there newest program, which Partner Resource Coordinator with the Central Illinois Foodbank, Adam Handy, says is called the Link To Feed program.
By collecting all this data virtually, it makes it easier to sort through the favorite options for each local area. Handy says it can also show what dietary restrictions there are,
The Taylorville Food Pantry has been able to help with the initial roll out of the Link To Feed program and Co-Coordinator Amy Hagen says she’s very thankful for their partnership with the Central Illinois Foodbank.
Handy explains this program can be local, but also present a birds-eye view.
Handy and Hagen appeared as a guest on the WTIM morning show.
The Taylorville Police Department will be hosting an event on Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 PM at the municipal building called Police Explorers Recruitment. There will be representatives from the Explorers program to talk to recruits from the ages of 14-20 about what the Explorer program is. Taylorville Police Officer Kirsten Bolinger says there are many benefits to this program.
The event will be taking place at the Municipal Building in the basement.
The program is being funded by Credit Collection Partners and led by Aldermen Megan Bryant. For more information visit the Taylorville Police Department Facebook page, and click on the events tab.
Patrols will be increasing on Route 48 from Raymond to Decatur over the next month as police continue to tighten down on speeders and distracted drivers after fatalities have increased. A committee meeting that was joined by State Representative Avery Bourne, US Representative Rodney Davis, a Representative for State Senator Doris Turner, Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, multiple law enforcement officers, Mayors, and even a spokesperson from IDOT were on hand with the Illinois State Police to discuss what they saw as issues or problems with IL Route 48.
The Illinois State Police got with IDOT to go over the last ten years and in that ten year period-from 2010-2020, records show that there were 278 property damage crashes, roughly 100 injury crashes and 8 fatalities in that ten year period. So far in 2021 there have already been four fatalities on that stretch of highway which were not included in that ten year plan.
US Representative Rodney Davis says that these gatherings are important because small groups is how Route 29 became 4 lanes.
Multiple issues were brought up concerning Route 48. Some of the issues that were brought up included distracted driving, tired driving, the road conditions being horrible, the road having drainage issue problems when it rains heavily, and the roads being too narrow to begin with.
Representative Davis says that one of the biggest issues of course will be cost if they do want to try to switch to a four lane highway.
A representative from the Illinois State Police said that he had patrolled the area quite heavily and during his time patrolling didn’t see very many speeders but saw an awful lot of distracted drivers, and tired drivers.
The general consensus in the meeting was better education in the area high schools on driving safer and with less distractions, increased patrols on Route 48, and a review in a few months to see if those changes have helped decrease the amount of accidents on the highway.
The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their monthly business session to continue their work helping children and youth in the Taylorville community, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.
Kiwanis treasurer Blain Cornwell told the club the late April Pancake and Sausage Breakfast netted the club some 2-thousand dollars for local club projects.
The club set Tuesday, June 29th at 5:30 in the afternoon, for their annual Kiwanis Club cook-out at the Kiwanis Park Pavilion. It’s an opportunity for club members to invite spouses, significant others, and guests for an evening of food and fellowship.
The Kiwanis Club learned that the Kiwanis board is launching a new initiative to honor those making a difference in the Taylorville community. Each month, Kiwanis members will nominate who they think should be a “Community Hero”. Selection will be by the Kiwanis board and that person honored with an invitation to a weekly meeting where they’ll be presented a certificate for their service to the Taylorville community.
Kiwanis member Mellisa McMillan is heading up this year’s WRAN Kiwanis Radiothon, where local businesses sponsor a day of Kiwanis members broadcasting on WRAN groovy 97.3. Members promote those sponsors by reading their ads live all day. WRAN again is giving half the total collected, to 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.
The Christian County Health Department is hosting a WALK-IN vaccine clinic at Pana Community Hospital on Wednesday, June 2nd from 8:00 am-9:00 am. The J & J and Moderna vaccines will be available. Please park in the back parking lot of Pana Community Hospital and enter in the rear door. A volunteer will be available to escort you to the clinic.
Bond was set at $1 million for a Taylorville man who is accused of shooting two people on Thursday night. State’s Attorney Mike Havera asked for the high bond in the case of Richard Klekamp, who is accused of shooting two people including fatally wounding 17-year-old Altar Ivy II. Klekamp is charged with 3 counts of murder (with intent to injure/kill), and one count of aggravated battery. For the 3 charges of murder with intent to injure/kill, one is a class X felony and two are class M felonies.
After probable cause was heard from the State, the State said that Klekamp showed no remorse and had given a taped confession to the murder. He also told police where the weapon was, but it was unknown to the State of whether or not they had taken the weapon in yet. Havera asked for $1 million for the bond.
Klekamps attorney, Tom Finks, who was only his counsel for the bond hearing, asked for $100,000. He said he understood the severity of the situation, but given Klekamp not having a criminal history, having roots in Taylorville, and the new rules on bond that will be in effect soon, Finks asked for a much lesser bond.
After both arguments were heard, Judge Brad Paisley agreed with the State and set the bond at one million dollars. Klekamp is set to have a status on his counsel on who he wants to hire on June 15th, with a preliminary hearing set for June 24th at 10 AM.
Illinois School currently teaches sex education to grades 6-12. However, Illinois Democrats want that changed. A measure was approved late on Friday afternoon to start those discussions during Pre-Kindergarten. Sponsor Camille Lilly has asked that the standards include LGBTQ health and gender fluidity but is not a mandate for schools to do so.
The bill says that students can learn about everything from STDs to drug and alcohol abuse, however, it is open-ended and doesn’t provide a breakdown over what would be taught at what age. State Representative Avery Bourne voted against the measure saying that it gives an independent group at the national level the authority to change standards at a moment's notice and not give accountability to anyone.
Representative Avery Bourne says that what comes through now, could be completely different in 5 years.
Representative Bourne asked the floor what they would want their kids learning.
SB 818 was approved on a vote of 60-48.