Local News

Christian County Authorities Looking For Missing Man

Christian County Authorities are looking for a man who's been missing September 16th. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Jonathan Deutch, please contact the Christian County Sheriff's Office. 



Autopsy Results Announced In Teenager Death

The Christian County Coroner along with the Taylorville Police Department has released the results of an autopsy on 17-year-old Alexia J. Garrison.  On Wednesday, September 15th at 11:58 PM, 9-1-1 received a call regarding an unresponsive female at her home in Taylorville. Emergency Crews responded and she was transported to the hospital where at 12:43 AM, she was pronounced deceased. 


An autopsy was held on Thursday in Bloomington, where preliminary reports indicate she died due to natural causes with COVID-19 being a factor.  Taylorville Police and the Christian County Coroner’s Office are handling the investigation.


Chillifest Right Around The Corner

Chillifest will be here before you know it. 


Linda Allen, executive assistant to the CEO of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, says that the chamber has been working hard on the 36th annual event. 

Allen says that the chamber is still taking entries for the Color Run at Chillifest. 

Not to mention, Chillifest isn’t just about chili. There’s plenty for kids to do as well. 

Allen says that the chamber still needs volunteers for the event in early October. 

Learn more about Chillifest happening the weekend of Oct. 2 at chillifest.info. 


Linda Allen appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show as part of Chamber Week.


Always Remember - Never Forget

The Gold Star Mission 500-mile bike ride memorializing fallen heroes in central Illinois makes a pit stop in Taylorville next weekend. 


Eric Murray is the director and organizer of Gold Star Mission. He says that the goal of Gold Star Mission is to make sure our fallen heroes are never forgotten. 

Murray says that the ride will wrap up with stops in Effingham, Taylorville and Springfield on day 5 of the ride. 

He also talked a little about the main function of Gold Star’s charitable efforts. 

Rich Wagoner is a volunteer with Gold Star and he says that the ride is breathtaking. 

Gold Star Mission will be at Bob Ridings Automotive at 12:15 p.m. Saturday Sept. 25 until 1 p.m. There’s a free lunch from the VFW and the local American Legion. 


There will also be a check presentation for $1,000. 


Gold Star Mission is always looking for volunteers. Learn more on the Gold Star Mission Facebook page.


Director and Organizer Eric Murray and volunteer Rich Wagoner appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. 


Chillifest Unveiling Cashless Technology

Angelos Pizza in Taylorville is unveiling cashless technology for Chillifest. 

J.I. McDowell is the owner of Angelos Pizza. 

McDowell hopes that this will speed up the lines for his stand. 

The theory is that this will make life easier for his business and volunteers with a couple thousand potential customers in the square. 

McDowell says that for him, the move to adopting cashless systems was about adapting to the current business environment.

McDowell appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show during Chamber Week. 

Learn more about chillifest at chillifest.info. 


$5.6 Million Awarded For Adult Literacy Programs

Millions of dollars in grants awarded to assist adult literacy in Illinois.


Secretary of State and State Library Jesse White awards over $5.6 million in Adult Literacy Grants to help students develop and enhance their reading, math, writing and English-language skills. 


White says, “an estimated two million Illinois residents need adult literacy and/or English-Language instruction.” He adds that he is pleased to provide funding for 108 local literacy projects allowing adult students to achieve their utmost potential. 


The grants will serve over 10,000 students around the state while a proposed total of 5,600 volunteer tutors will provide training. 


Grants awarded can be as large as $100,000, but do not exceed $25,000 in the first year of the grant award. 


The Secretary of State’s Illinois State Library Literacy Office administers the grants in three categories, which include the aforementioned program, as well as the Penny Severns Family Literacy Program, and the Workplace Skills Enhancement program. 


Those interested in becoming a volunteer tutor are encouraged to call or text the Illinois Adult Learning Hotline at 800-321-9511. 


St. Mary's Church To Hold Parish Fiesta

The St. Mary’s Church Annual Parish Fiesta is this weekend. 


It’s this weekend starting Friday morning and wraps up with a round of raffle’s Sunday. One of the organizers, Rita Moomey talked about the dinners including a fish dinner on Friday and a Chicken Dinner on Sunday. 



Friday and Saturday morning you can check out the garage sale from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The raffles include $5,000 in prize money, a freezer with meat – cut and customized by Taylorville Food Center – and a basket raffle. You can view the basket on the St. Mary’s Facebook Page. 



Enter the raffles at the Parish Office, the drive-thru fish or chicken dinners, or at the garage sale. 



Again, the St. Mary’s Church Annual Parish Fiesta Pandemic Style is this weekend. The St. Mary’s Facebook page has more information. All drawings will take place on Sunday, September 19th. 


Pana Man Sentenced In Shelby County For Meth Charges

The Shelby County State’s Attorney’s Office has announced a Pana man has been sentenced to prison time for meth charges. Aaron B. Coulter of Pana was sentenced to 21 years in prison for unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver with prior unlawful possession of methamphetamine conviction. 


Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke announced on Wednesday Coulter will serve 21 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and will have to pay a statutory street value fine of $14,000. Coulter had already served six years in Christian County following a conviction for meth manufacturing between 15 and 100 grams. 


Coulter was arrested on March 25th after a Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped his vehicle for an equipment violation. The police canine “Kilo” alerted Deputy David Myers to the passenger side lower door and between 100 and 400 grams of meth were discovered in the vehicle.


Wright's Furniture and Flooring With Two Custom Mattress Sets

Wright’s Furniture and Flooring unveiling two new mattress models at its stores. 


The 1889 Firm and 1889 Plush mattresses are both made in central Illinois and will now be sold at Wright’s Furniture & Flooring. Alex Wright is the owner of the company and he says that he wanted to offer his customers something unique. 

These new mattresses are a bit more boutique than popular name brands. 

Wright says that it’s easy to see the new mattresses for yourself, and his company has plenty of other options. 

Of course, you can always find out more about Wright’s Furniture and Flooring online. 

Wrightsfurniture.com has more details on the 1889 Firm and 1889 Plush custom designed mattresses. 


Scooter's Coffee Construction Continuing in Taylorville


Construction continues at the corner of Illinois Routes 29 and 104 on Taylorville's northwest side, for the new Scooter's Coffee location.


From information provided by Scooter's public relations firm, the new location will be a drive-thru only, offering many coffees, teas, and "grab and go" breakfast and pastry products.


The Taylorville location is targeting an opening in mid to late November, and will employ around 15 people.  To apply, go on-line to scooterscoffee.com.


Taylorville School District Grieving After Loss of THS Senior

Taylorville High School is grieving after it was announced that a high school senior passed away last night.

Taylorville School Superintendent Doctor Chris Dougherty, in a news release sent this morning, announced that Alexia Garrison, a senior student at Taylorville High School, died last night at her home where she collapsed. 

Dr. Dougherty, in the release, said there are no words to express the
grief, heartbreak, and sense of loss felt by everyone in the Taylorville School District.

She added that in response to this tragedy, the school counselors are at school and available for students and staff to assist for as long as help is needed. Dr. Dougherty added that for some students, school is the best place to be with friends, to begin to deal with their grief, and to fondly recall friendships and happier times.

Dr. Dougherty encourages everyone who has been affected by the tragedy to seek comfort in each other, in the resources available in the school and in our community, and with the assistance of trusted adults. Any student, parent, or staff member in need of assistance should be encouraged to reach out for help.

Dr. Dougherty completed the news release by saying the thoughts and prayers of the entire school district are with Alexia’s family and friends who are grieving from the loss of what Dr. Dougherty called a remarkable young lady. 


Building Trades House On The Market In Taylorville

The house completed by the Building Trades Program in Taylorville is complete and on the market.  Led by Teacher Matt Blomquist, the building trades program worked for two years with COVID and other setbacks to make sure the house was ready and complete at 727 W Vandeveer in Taylorville. Blomquist says he’s proud of the hard work the students put in to make the house ready to go. 



Blomquist says that the building is very efficient when it comes to energy. 



The home also protects against moisture and humidity. Blomquist says the students prided themselves on having a home that was up to standard and code and was ready for people to move in right away.



The Building Trades Program is now starting on a new house.



The house already has a couple of interested buyers and is being sold by Craggs Realtors. Features of the house include:  Energy Efficiency Features, Triple glazed Marvin casement windows, Trane brand high-efficiency heat pump heating/cooling, and all LED lighting. 



Taylorville KIwanis Club Hears Report on This Year's High School Key Club, Repairs at Kiwanis Park During Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the organization of this year’s Kiwanis Key Club at Taylorville High School, and repairs to the Kiwanis Park rest rooms, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  


Kiwanis Key Club and Builder’s Club committee chair Will Perkins reported to Kiwanis members, that over 40 Taylorville High School students have joined the Key Club, which is the high school arm of Kiwanis, this school year.


And, it was reported that Kiwanis members Larry Kemner and Eric Kahle, replaced some shingles on the Kiwanis Park rest rooms, that flew off from the August 9th high winds.


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.     


Missing Mattoon Man Found In Lake Shelbyville

A body was found in Lake Shelbyville that has been identified as a missing Mattoon man. Nathan Tipsword of Mattoon was last seen on September 10th around 6:30 PM, leaving a campground site at Lithia Springs Campground.  A family member saw him walk into the wooded area of the campground.  His family hadn’t seen or heard from him since and filed a report on September 11th that Tipsword was missing. 


After an extensive search of the wooded area and a search of Lake Shelbyville, he was unable to be located. 100's of search and rescue personnel were used including many volunteer searchers.  Overall 30 agencies were involved in the search.


Tuesday morning, a body was located at around 10 AM that was identified as the missing male.  The body was recovered and the family was notified.  An autopsy has been scheduled. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says that they are deeply saddened over this loss and thanked all the agencies for helping in the search.


Watch Out For Invasive Insects and Pests

Keep an eye out for invasive insects. 

Gwen Podeschi is a master gardener at University of Illinois Christian County area, and she says that they aren’t in central Illinois yet, but they could make their way to the region. 

The master gardener says that if these pests become prevalent in the area, they will cause major harm to the ecosystem. 

Podeschi says that you should report a box tree moth or spotted lantern fly if you see them. 

She does say that Christian County has been safe from most invasive insects, including the emerald ash bore, but she thinks the emerald ash bore is in the county already – just unreported. 


There are cards of invasive pests you can find at the University of Illinois Extension Office in Taylorville. If you think you see an invasive pest, take a sample and put it in a jar and turn it in. 


Podeschi appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 


Rep. Avery Bourne Objects Energy Bill

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is expected to sign an energy bill after it passed the senate Tuesday night. 


State Rep. Avery Bourne says that the bill is taking away from Illinois power capacity. 

Rep. Bourne also talked about the language including eminent domain to buy out farm owners to put power lines across central Illinois. 

She also talked about how this use of eminent domain is not like other uses of the law. 

Ultimately, Rep. Bourne wishes the bill was written with private landowners in mind. 

Rep. Avery Bourne appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 


Multiple School Superintendents and Representatives Send Editorial to Gov. Over Exec. Orders

A group of 80 school superintendents and school board members from around the state send an editorial opinion to the governor’s office in regards to masking and vaccination mandates. 


Representatives from Taylorville, Central A&M, Nokomis, Mt. Zion, Pana, Shelbyville, Windsor, Cowden-Herrick, Vandalia, Sullivan, Mulberry Grove, Effingham, Beecher City, Altamont and dozens of others want school decisions to be made by local school boards. 


The letter from the group of superintendents and school representatives asks what the point of electing school boards is if this power is taken out of the hands of them. 


The letter cites Gov. JB Pritzker’s more than 80 executive orders regarding COVID-19. 


It concludes with, “It’s not just about the pandemic. It’s about all of the decisions that have been taken out of local hands by those who are all too distant from the resulting fallout. Enough is enough.”


To see a full version of the editorial along with all schools that signed their names at the bottom, click here.


Remodeling Nearly Complete at Pana Save-A-Lot

The remodeling of the Pana Save-A-Lot is nearly complete.


New, larger produce cases are being installed this week according to owner Tim Christer.



The Pana Save-A-Lot is located at # One West 4th in Pana.


Fall Gardening Season Arrives

Now is the time to plant your grass seed for a lush and green lawn this spring. 


Gwen Podeschi, Master Gardner at University of Illinois extension in the Christian County area, talked about how you should seed your lawn before the official start of fall. 


Podeschi offered advice when planting your lawn. 

She also says you still have time to plant in your garden. 

Podeschi also reminds you that it is bulb planting season. 

Podeschi appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.


Names Released In Shelby County Motorcycle Vehicle Crash

The Shelby County Coroner has released the names of the two persons killed in the vehicle motorcycle accident that occurred on Friday evening on CR 2100 North Road in Shelby County. Kacy Alday and Stephanie Newton of Assumption Illinois were killed when Kylene Sisk tried to pass in a no-passing zone and hit the motorcycle head-on. 


Sisk, who is from Westervelt, was charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs; and aggravated driving under the influence of drugs. All three counts are Class 2 felonies, that carry a sentencing range of 6 to 28 years for each in the Illinois Department of Corrections. 


Bond for Sisk was set at $2,000,000 with 10% to apply.  Her next court appearance is scheduled for September 27th for a preliminary hearing. 


Shelbyville Library Offers Holiday Books and Tips

The Shelbyville Library can help you gear up for the holiday season. 


Monica Cameron works for the library and says she’s getting a bunch of new titles for fall and winter. 

Cameron talked about some popular holiday planning books that you can keep an eye out for. 

She says that the library also has some great non-fiction books for gift giving and she offered a gift idea. 

Learn more about the Shelbyville Library at shelbyvillelibrary.org. 

Monica Cameron appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from Springfield. 


State Rep. Avery Bourne Decries Ethics Bill

This summer, Illinois Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope offered her resignation due to an ethics bill that she felt limits the IG’s investigative authority. 


Illinois state Rep. Avery Bourne says that it’s worrisome a legislative watchdog is stepping away over the passing of this bill. 

The 95th district state representative says that the inspector general could still inspect legislative misconduct. 

However, Rep. Bourne says that, under this bill, the general public could not report inappropriate conduct of legislators outside of what happens with official legislative business. 

Rep. Avery Bourne also said that she voted no on the bill. Gov. JB Pritzker still has to sign it. 

Rep. Bourne appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.


Illinois Senate Passes Energy Bill; Goes To Governor's Desk

The Illinois Senate have approved a new energy bill that will now move to the Governor’s office, where Governor JB Pritzker has said he will sign it. Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton praised the bill saying,


“Today, Illinois confirmed its commitment to climate justice with the passage of Senate Bill 2408, which Gov. Pritzker has pledged to sign. Three years in the making, this historic legislation includes numerous provisions to end Illinois’ reliance on fossil fuels and transition to 100% clean energy by 2050. Recently, we have seen the devastating effects of rising temperatures through wildfires, hurricanes, and droughts. Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities bear the brunt of this global emergency. This law ensures they will have a voice in our efforts to slow climate change through expanded job opportunities and entrepreneurial inclusion in the clean energy sector.”


Republicans spoke out against the energy bill.  State Senator Steve McClure says there are many unanswered questions concerning the costs of new regulations being imposed on homeowners, businesses, and of course the energy industry itself.



Senator McClure went on and said that the difference is going to be negligible to the environment.



Senator Chapin Rose says that the differences between upstate and downstate Illinois are hurting downstate Illinois.



Senator Rose also added that at the end of the day, Illinois will pay more for the same product.



The bill was passed by the Senate 37-17.


Two Taylorville School Board Members Resign; Board Approves Real Estate Contract For Building Trades Home

The Taylorville School Board held their regular monthly meeting and were missing a few people. Vice President Tricia Marburger announced that President Dave Driskell along with Secretary Sara Van Huss had both put in their resignation letters and were no longer on the board. New LED Lights for the Football field were announced. The lights had been previously damaged in the 2018 tornado. 




The board approved the real estate contract to sell the Building Trades Home located at 727 West Vandeveer Street in Taylorville. 


Dr. Chris Dougherty talked a little about the sale.



Dr. Dougherty says that there was an accident at Memorial school today but the child is fine.  Dr. Dougherty explained that it occurred off school property over by the church. She says a plan is in place to change some stuff moving forward to prevent that from happening again. 



The board went into a lengthy closed-door session to discuss a student disciplinary case and set up moving forward on new board members. With Tricia Marburger in the acting president role, Dr. Ron Mizer was elected Vice President Interim and Jennifer Norris was named interim secretary. Dr. Dougherty announced what the plans for appointing new board members were going to be with an application deadline of September 21st. 



The meeting was adjourned around 9 PM. 


Vehicle/Motorcycle Crash Kills Two In Shelby County

A vehicle crash in Shelby County with a motorcycle left two persons dead and sent one to the hospital on Friday evening.  On September 10th, at 9:36 PM, A 2021 gray Hyundai Santa Fe, being driven by 36-year-old Kylene S. Sisk of Westervelt, was traveling eastbound on 2100 North Road at 800 North Road.  


A 1989 maroon Kawasaki motorcycle was traveling westbound at the same location.  Sisk attempted to pass an unknown vehicle traveling eastbound in front of her in a no-passing zone and collided head-on with the motorcycle.  Sisk was transported to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  The motorcycle driver and the passenger in the motorcycle were both pronounced dead on the scene.  The Shelby County Coroner will release the names of the deceased once the next of kin notifications have been completed. 


Sisk was charged with aggravated driving under the influence causing death to another, aggravated driving under the influence uninsured vehicle, passing in a no-passing zone, and operating an uninsured motor vehicle causing injury.  The crash remains under investigation. 


Sangamon County Sheriff's Office Investigating Bank Robbery In Sherman

The Sangamon County Sheriff's office is investigating a bank robbery at the Alliance Community Bank. At 2:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office received a call of a bank robbery at 5530 North St. Rte. 29 in Sherman.  


The suspect was identified as a “short, white female with pink hair” wearing a mask (unknown style) and a plaid shirt.  She had a box in her possession and said it contained a bomb.  She took an unknown amount of cash from the two tellers. She was last seen leaving the bank towards Andrew Road on foot.  No vehicle description and no other suspect information is available at this time. The Secretary of State Bomb Squad responded and is on scene. 


This is an ongoing situation. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story as it develops. 



Shelbyville Library Offering Library Crawl

Keep your mind right when you visit the Shelbyville Library. 

Monica Cameron with the Shelbyville Library says that it’s a good way to keep your brain healthy. 

Cameron says that the library in Shelbyville is starting a new program soon. 

She says the library crawl is a great way to experience different types of libraries. 

Cameron also talked about how easy it is to sign up for the Library Crawl. 

You can learn more about the Shelbyville Library and Library Crawl at shelbyvillelibrary.org. 


Monica Cameron appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show broadcast live from studios in Shelbyville Friday. 


Lake Shelbyville Photo Contest Still Open

There’s still time to participate in the Lake Shelbyville Photo Contest. 


Freddie Fry is the Executive Director of Shelby County Tourism Lake Shelbyville area. She says that the tourism center extended the deadline. 

Fry says that the tourism office will use the photo submissions in their displays. 

Fry says that this year, the photo submission load was light – hence the contest extension. 

If you’re not a photogenic person, then come on out to Lake Shelbyville to experience a bike trail. 

Learn more about Lake Shelbyville tourism at lakeshelbyville.com.


Freddie Fry appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show broadcasting live from studios in Shelbyville Friday. 


White Sox Highest Selling Sports License Plate

The Illinois Secretary of State has announced the totals of how much sports license plates have brought public schools and the state of Illinois. More than 71,000 sports team series license plates have raised over $13 million since the program began.  According to Secretary of State Spokesperson Beth Kaufman, the south siders lead with the most. 



Kaufman says there have been more St. Louis Cardinals plates sold in Illinois than plates sold in Missouri. 



The public may order the sports team series license plates by visiting www. Ilsos. Gov.  Fans may order a random number, personalized, or vanity plate. It will take about six weeks to receive plates in the mail and each plate and renewal raises $25 for the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and goes to the Common School Fund supporting public schools throughout the State. The first sports series license plate to be offered was the Blackhawks license plates which have been available since November of 2010. 


Total numbers for plates are Chicago White Sox, 21,890; Chicago Blackhawks, 19,848; Chicago Cubs, 13,970; Chicago Bears, 8,620; St. Louis Cardinals, 3,555; and Chicago Bulls, 3,416.


Vaccination Makes Life Easier As Mandate Approaches

Teachers, school faculty and those who work in healthcare settings must receive at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by September 19. Otherwise they will need weekly negative tests. 


There are plenty of places to get your jab in central Illinois. Kim Bourne is the CEO and President of Taylorville Memorial Hospital and she says that means more than just schools and hospitals. 

Bourne also talked a little bit about possible exemptions for the vaccine. 

Bourne offers advice for those who need to get tested regularly. 

Bourne also talked about the financial importance of getting vaccinated. 

Kim Bourne appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show broadcasting live from studios in Taylorville. 


Ethic Reform Bill Goes To Governor For Signature

The Illinois House of Representatives on Thursday voted to accept changes to an ethics bill that Governor JB Pritzker had requested, which will become law as soon as the Governor signs it. Thursday’s vote came a little more than a week after an earlier attempt fell short in the house at a late-night session held on Tuesday August 31st.  


Before the vote on Thursday, State Representative Kelly Burke said that the new bill has many needed reforms.



State Representative Avery Bourne said that the amendatory veto by the Governor has made a watered down bill even weaker.



Representative Bourne continued saying that the bill was so bad even Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope submitted her intent to resign by December 15th because the new bill would limit what she was allowed to do.



Senate Bill 539 originally cleared both chambers during the spring session 56-0 in the Senate and 113-5 in the House. The bill now goes to the Governor for signature.


Taylorville School Board To Meet Tonight

The Taylorville School Board is set to meet on Monday evening at 6PM to discuss business, review previous motions, and hear from visitors. The meeting will be at the Taylorville High School Cafeteria in Taylorville. Tricia Marburger will be recognized for her hard work as a recipient of the Illinois School Board Master Member Program. Dr. Chris Dougherty, Superintendent of Taylorville Schools, also announced that LED lights have been installed at the football field. There are 50 foot light poles and an 80 foot boom truck. The lights are on the north end of the football field.


The board will review minutes and approve claims. There will be a treasurer’s report along with an overnight trip request of the THS Ag National Convention. ISBE press Plus Policy Updates will be reviewed under old business and under new business, the board will review the CEO program, review and approve a real estate contract to sell the Building Trades Home located on 727 West Vandeveer Street in Taylorville and approve COVID-19 emergency contract amendments for the Food Service Management Nonprofit Food Service Program.


The board will hear from visitors and go into closed session for the purpose of hearing student disciplinary cases along with selecting a person to fill a public office. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story after the conclusion of the meeting.


First Christian Church Moweaqua Hosts Pair of Events This Weekend

Grab three friends and your golf gear and head over to the Moweaqua Golf Course Saturday at 8 a.m.


Ryan Baker is the Lead Minister at First Christian Church in Moweaqua and he says that the event is a blast for a good cause.

Baker also talked about how you don’t have to have a foursome when you arrive, and he talked about the entry fee. 

That’s not all – Sunday the First Christian Church in Moweaqua hosts a block party. 

Outside of events, Baker also offered advice to those who may know someone who is struggling. 

You can learn more about First Christian Church at fccmoweaqua.org. 


Ryan Baker appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show broadcast live from studios in Taylorville. 


Ag In Classroom Coordinator Wants You To Watch For Combines

Harvest season is right around the corner and that means the combines will hit the roads.


Rebecca Livingston is the University of Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Program Coordinator for Montgomery and Christian Counties and she asks you to be patient when you spot a combine in front of you. 

Otherwise, Livingston has remained busy this summer and will stay that way through the school year as she teaches children from Kindergarten to 5th grade about agriculture. Her main feature, though, is bringing in incubators for baby chickens. She says that is a great way to teach kids about the farm life cycle. 

She also talked about how she is giving farm tours to local classrooms. 

You can learn more about Agriculture in the Classroom at agintheclassroom.com

Rebecca Livingston appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show broadcasting live from studios in Taylorville. 


Taylorville Dog Days This Saturday

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is awfully busy over the next few weeks. 


Linda Allen works for the chamber and she’s excited to host Taylorville Dog Days this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Allen talked about how you should bring treats to the event as there is going to be a wiener dog race as well as a pageant for all dogs. There’s also contests for best kisser as well as best costume. 


And of course, chillifest. Allen says that the chamber has a surprise for the festival in early Oct. 

You can learn more about the events happening with the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce at smalltowntaylorville.com. 


Linda Allen appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning show broadcast live from studios in Taylorville. 


Chillifest Pageant With A Twist This Year

The 36th annual Taylorville Chillifest is hosting its pageant with a different spin this year. 

Brittany Moore is organizing the pageant and she says that she is adding a new category – Little Misters. 

Moore says that there’s a way for children younger than 3 years old to participate in the pageant. 

She also says that she is still looking for contestants. 

Moore also talked about how she got into pageantry, as well as her favorite part of pageants. 

Brittany Moore works with the Taylorville Chamber of Commerce and she appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show broadcasting live from studios in Taylorville. 

You can learn more about Chillifest when you visit chillifest.info.


HSHS Good Shepherd Reinstates Wellness Program

HSHS Good Shepherd has reinstated the Wellness Program to meet the needs of the community.  The program enables participants to exercise independently with the help and support of the staff. People participating in the program have full access to the outpatient rehabilitation services gym and a staff of physical and occupational therapists. 


Staff will guide participants through an orientation process to familiarize them with equipment and teach techniques before releasing them on their own.  The program is available Monday through Friday from 7 AM until 5:30 PM at 201 South Cedar Street in Shelbyville.  The Wellness Program costs $30 per month for individuals or $45 for a family plan.  


To learn more and to sign up contact Good Shepherd Outpatient Rehab Services at 774-6434. For more information visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org. 


Central Illinois COVID-19 Update

For your central Illinois COVID-19 update. The following numbers have been reported by the individual health departments, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the CDC. These are numbers that are reported to us.


For Christian County as of September 8th, there are 48 new COVID-19 cases reported with 4,951 total positives.  There have been 105 deaths and 118 are currently isolated.  21 current cases are in the hospital, and the positivity rate is currently at 4.2% which is below the 5% threshold asked for by the IDPH. There have been been 24,666 total vaccine doses administered.


In Shelby County as of September 7th, there have been 130 new cases over the previous week with one new death reported of a female in her 30s.  There are 143 in isolation. Shelby County’s positivity rate is currently at 8.7%. There have been 12,822 total doses administered of the COVID-19 vaccine with 32% of the county completely vaccinated. 


In Montgomery County as of September 8th, there were 31 new cases from Wednesday and 18 from Tuesday. Montgomery County has a 4.69% positivity rate. There have been 24,777 total vaccine doses administered and 42% of the population is fully vaccinated.


In Fayette County as of September 7th, there were 124 new COVID-19 cases over the previous week with 57 deaths overall. 27% of the county is fully vaccinated. The positivity rate is currently at 7.01%. 


In Moultrie County as of September 1st, there have been 1,994 total COVID-19 cases. The positivity rate is at 12.2% and the total vaccination rate is 34%. 


Stay tuned to Regional Radio News, for the latest information on COVID-19 and for where you can get tested, and receive the vaccine.


Over 160 Attend Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center Fund Raising Dinner

Over 160 people attended the Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center Fund Raising Dinner at the Pillars Event Center in Taylorville Thursday night.


The evening included dinner, remarks by Loving Arms Executive Director Cathy Coker, and guest speaker Pastor and Christian comedian Gordon Douglas.


Coker reviewed the successes of the Center the past year and a half since the last Fund Raising Dinner in March of 2020 just before the COVID shutdown.  She told attendees the Center, with locations in Taylorville and Pana, had over 50 individuals and their families appear in person or virtually at over 280 appointments and nearly 600 parenting and life skill lessons.


Coker added the Center's abstinence program reached over 250 students in 6 schools.



Douglas told Regional Radio News after the event, he was part of the event because of his support for similar ministries nationwide.



For more information on the Loving Arms Crisis Pregnancy Center, visit lovingarmsillinois.com.


Visionway Christian School Loses Recognition

Another school has lost recognition from the state for not complying with the Illinois mask mandate.  Visionway Christian School in Taylorville lost recognition from the state on Wednesday. Regional Radio News reached out to Visionway but they were unavailable for comment. The mask mandate went into effect in August and schools who lose recognition could have their student’s diplomas not recognized by the state for graduation, they would lose funding from the state, and sports will be sanctioned. 

For a full list of schools that are on probation click here.


Congressman Urges Use Of COVID Relief Funds

There’s plenty of unspent funds from COVID-19 relief programs. 


U.S. Representative Rodney Davis represents the 13th district of Illinois and he says that there isn’t a whole lot D.C. can do at this point to make the pandemic situation better. 

Davis says that because of the unspent money, there likely won’t be any new assistance for some time. He adds that everyone should manage their risk because COVID is likely to be around for the foreseeable future.

Representative Davis says that you should not hesitate to apply for assistance if you need help, and that his office is ready to assist you in finding that help. 

Rodney Davis appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show broadcasting live from studios in Taylorville. 


Christian County Historical Society Fully Open

The Christian County Historical Society is still fully open despite new COVID restrictions. 


Jodi Heberling with the historical society says that they are operating with full COVID precautions in place. 

Heberling says that there’s all sorts of things to do with the historical society outdoors, as well as some buildings that are best seen in doors with masks and social distancing. 

Regardless of what you choose to do when you visit the historical society, Heberling says that the most important thing is to just come out and see what they have to offer.

Jodi Heberling is with the Christian County Historical Society and she joined the WTIM Morning Show Live from studios in Taylorville Tuesday. Learn more about the historical society on their Facebook page. 


Central Illinois Food Bank Recognizes Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month and for the Central Illinois Food Bank and the Taylorville Food Pantry, while food hunger is something they want everyone to be aware of all the time, it’s especially important in September. Tim Kirsininkis along with Adam Handy spoke a little about the food bank and what they are doing to promote Hunger Action Month and Kirsininkis talked about the effect that COVID has had on food and hunger.



There is a campaign this month that will be helping promote Hunger Action Month.



There are plenty of different way that you can contribute to Hunger Action Month.



Of course, volunteers are needed and nobody will be turned away if they want to volunteer.



For more information, visit the Taylorville Food Pantry or Central Illinois Food Bank Facebook pages.


TMH Recognizes Employee Of The Month For July

A security officer with Taylorville Memorial Hospital is the Colleague of the Month for July.  Gary Freitag, who has been with TMH since 2017, was nominated for TMH’s Colleague of July.  Freitag’s nominator says that the Taylorville resident goes above and beyond the basic responsibilities of his position to ensure great patient care and safety.  “Gary offers help, whether it be getting a wheelchair for a patient or assisting a colleague by carrying something.”  


Freitag wears many hats whether that is getting donuts for the hospital, coffee, or covering screening stations if a bathroom break is needed.  Freitag says his favorite part of the job is the people he gets to deal with on a regular basis.  He views the safety and support of his colleagues and hospital patients and visitors as his top priority.


Freitag has served as a Shriner clown for 26 years.  We here at Regional Radio News salute you Gary!


Several Local School Districts Still Defying Governor's School Mask Mandate

While many school districts in Illinois have done an about face and complied with the state mandate for all school children to wear masks, some school boards still have not.


According to the latest information from the Illinois State Board of Education, several in the Regional Radio listening area are apparently still defying the ISBE and Governor's Executive Order.


According to ISBE, school districts in Cowden-Herrick, Beecher City, Brownstown, Teutopolis, Vandalia Christian Academy and St. John's Parochial School in Mattoon are still non-compliant and risk their state accreditation.   That means athletes can't play in I-H-S-A games and diplomas may not be recognized as official.


Governor J-B Pritzker issued the school mask mandate in an Executive Order on August 4th.


Taylorville Motorcycle Vehicle Crash Sends One To Hospital

Taylorville Police responded to a vehicle vs motorcycle crash around 6:27 PM on Monday. TPD was alerted of a crash that took place in front of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant located on Springfield Road in Taylorville. TPD Units arrived and found a man lying on the ground unconscious.  The officer called for back up and TPD Fire along with Dunn’s Ambulance arrived on the scene to begin treatment. The two occupants in the vehicle were not harmed. Both the vehicle and the motorcycle suffered severe damage.  


The person that was on the motorcycle was airlifted to a Springfield hospital in very critical condition.  The occupants of the vehicle were also treated at the scene and refused medical care. Illinois State Police were contacted to conduct the investigation due to it being a state road.  Nothing further is available at this time. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more updates as they become available.


Macon County Conservation District Hosting Monarch Madness

You can help save the monarch butterflies.


Alysia Callison with the Macon County Conservation District says that they are holding Monarch Madness this Sunday at Rock Springs Conservation Area. 

Callison also talked about how tagging butterflies is a tough task. 

She says that monarch butterfly populations have been on the decline for a long while now. 

You can learn more about the Monarch Madness event coming Sunday, September 12 at maconcountyconservationfoundation.org. 


Alysia Callison appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show Wednesday broadcast live from studios in Taylorville. 


Local U.S. Congressman Sounds Off On Afghanistan Tragedy

U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis sounds off on the tragedy in Afghanistan.

Davis says that the U.S. relied heavily on the Taliban to support the withdrawal. He thinks that was a mistake. 

He also talked about how the U.S. sent more troops to Afghanistan in order to bring the troops already stationed there home. 

Rodney Davis is the U.S. Congressman representing the 13th district of Illinois and he appeared on the WTIM Morning Show broadcast live from studios in Taylorville. 


Christian County Historical Society Hosts Hysterical Historical Day

Save the date for Hysterical Historical Day!


It’s Sunday, September 12 from noon to 4 p.m.


Jodi Heberling with the Christian County Historical Society says that they wanted to place an event on Grandparent’s Day to teach children about some of the challenges their grandparents had when they grew up. 

Heberling says that there is something for all ages to do at the Hysterical Historical Day. 

Otherwise, Heberling says that the historical society is still open in the midst of COVID restrictions with proper precautions taken. She says that staying open is beneficial in teaching this generation about history. 

Heberling also talked about how the historical society relies on community contributions to stay open. 

To learn more about Hysterical Historical Day, google just that – Hysterical Historical Day and take a look at the Facebook event page. 


New Law Goes Into Effect On Pedestrian Incidents On Roadways

For many pedestrians crossing the road can be a dangerous thing to do. State Senator Laura Murphy sponsored a new law that will require the Illinois Department of Transportation to look at trouble areas that have caused pedestrian accidents in the past. Senator Murphy says that IDOT can work proactively to pinpoint areas of concern and make immediate areas of improvement that can help save lives.



The legislation would require IDOT to conduct a traffic study after any fatal pedestrian accident at the intersection of a state highway. The study would include potential methods to improve safety whether it would be design improvements or traffic control devices. 



Murphy, who is from Des Plaines, Illinois says that she was inspired to sponsor the legislation after three fatal accidents in two years in her city. 


The bill was signed into law on Friday and takes effect on January 1st, 2022.  


City Of Taylorville Faces Lawsuits

The city of Taylorville is facing quite a few lawsuits.  Taylorville City Attorney Rocci Romano informed the media and the board that Jamal Shehadeh has as of Tuesday filed 5 lawsuits against the city of Taylorville. 



Romano says that Shehadeh has filed lawsuits against several other litigants as well.



The board met in closed session to review those lawsuits along with a complaint from former Treasurer, Jacque Nation against Taylorville and against Mayor Bruce Barry.


Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry held a moment of silence for a longtime resident of Taylorville who passed away. Barry also praised the hard work that went into cleaning up the city after recent storms went through.



All motions pushed through tonight were approved including an $8,000 contribution to the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce for Chillifest. There was some concern over a motion to bid out the West Franklin Street project for $86,000. The questions were, who was going to pay for it. Aldermen Jeremy Wilson addressed concerns from Aldermen Larry Budd.



The motion passed. The next city council meeting is set for September 20th.


Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Committee Meets To Plan the October 2, 3 Event

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Committee met Tuesday night at the Chamber office working towards the 36th annual event Saturday and Sunday, October 2nd and 3rd.  


Event co-chair Mark Wolfe told Regional Radio News after the meeting, the committee is excited about making the 2021 edition happen.



Drive-thru chilli will be sold during Chillifest for 10-dollars per quart.


This year's Chillifest will again include a Color Run, lots of entertainment and fun.


As was the case last year, attendees are urged to bring their lawn chairs to enjoy the 2 stages of music as well as the Saturday pageant.


Chillifest officials are looking for one more food vendor that would be willing to set up and sell their wares that weekend.  To register as a food vendor for the event, contact the Chamber office at 824-4919.


And, find out more on the event by going to chillifest-dot-info, that's chillifest with 2-L's.


Taylorville Kiwanis Club Makes Plans For Benefiting Local Children, Youth at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club made plans for more projects benefiting children and youth, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

It was the monthly business meeting, held the first Tuesday of each month, where committee chairs reported on the club’s activities.  Priority One Committee chair Mellisa McMillan is working with the Taylorville Fire Department on plans for a baby car seat safety day, and also with Kiwanis members on the upcoming Coats for Kids program.

Several Kiwanis board members reported on their continuing efforts toward improving Kiwanis Park, with replacement of the pavilion concrete and improving the playground area, both on the club’s radar.

Key and Builder’s Club Committee chair Will Perkins has reached out to have Kiwanis members visit the Key Club meetings, and help re-organize the Builder’s Club, during the just-started school year.

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.     


Social Security And Disability

Contrary to what some may tell you, the Social Security Disability Income program does not provide a lucrative income. 


Jack Meyers with the Social Security Administration says that it’s usually just enough for those with disabilities to pay the bills.

Meyers says that the administration partially relies on the public to report fraud. That is, if you think there is fraud happening, then you should report it. 

He also talked about how once you start your benefits, you are able to return to work. 

Meyers says that applying for the Social Security Disability Income program is easy to do. 

Meyers appeared on the WTIM Morning Show broadcast live from studios in Taylorville.  


Still Time To Sign Up For FFA

Fair season might be over for FFA, but local FFA chapters have plenty to look forward to.

Jaden Schaffer is vice president of Illinois FFA and he says that chapters will stay busy over the next few months. 

Schaffer says that the return of chapter visits have been on the minds of most FFA officers.

Schaffer also says that FFA is a great opportunity to learn about the perks of being a farmer while gaining animal experience. 

To learn more about the Illinois FFA, go to ILAgEd.org. 

Jaden Schaffer spoke to Jared White on the WTIM Farm Progress Show live in Decatur last week. 


Pana Tri County Fair Pageant Very Successful

The Pana TriCounty Fair wrapped up on Monday and everyone was extremely excited to be having it. From the harness racing to the mud drags, the demo derby, pageants, and everything in between there was something for everyone. One of the pageant mothers, Gina Kuhn, spoke to Regional Radio News about all the benefits that a pageant brings. 



The pageant always garnishes excitement and Gina says that there were a lot of different participants.



Kuhn’s daughters did not win, but they all enjoyed the contest immensely.



Winners for the pageant include: Miss- Sidney Wagner, Teen Miss- Hailey Durham, Jr. Miss- Laynee Smith, and Little Miss- Mela Miller. Genuine Country 94.3, WMKR, broadcast live from the Pana Tri County Fair.


(Picture courtesy: Pana Tri County Fair Facebook Page)


Springfield Plastics Solving Excessive Rainfall for Farmers

Over the last 10 years, the demand for farming drainage systems has skyrocketed. 

Jennifer Furken Vice President of Springfield Plastics says that her company prepares drainage systems for anything more than a half-inch of rain. 

Furken says the demand is so great that her company has had challenges making enough drainage systems to keep up. 

You can learn more about installing a drainage system on your farm with Springfield Plastics by visiting spipipe.com. Jennifer Furken spoke to agricultural broadcaster Jared White at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur last week. 


Lawmakers Looking At Better Mental Health For College Students

College is already a very tough place to be at with multiple exams, extensive homework, and growing up, that lawmakers are working on exploring better ways to address college student mental health.  Representatives from several universities around the state are pushing for new ways to help students with depression, anxiety, and other issues.  


Some ideas have been to include an early warning system where counselors can check on students who have been missing classes or are behind on their work. Other tips include discussing the signs of mental illness at orientation and adding classes such as yoga and even having therapy dogs. 


Western Illinois University’s Amy Buwick says there is a care referral program where faculty, parents, and friends can share their concerns about a student.



Illinois State University Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson says that they have a therapy dog named Sage who has been instrumental in mental care.



Lawmakers are urging schools to allow extra time for students who are behind to make up classwork so they don’t have to retake a full course or be penalized for seeking help. 


Taylorville City Council To Meet Tonight

Taylorville City Council will meet this evening at the Municipal building to discuss business, new ordinances, and regulations. The board will hold a public meeting concerning a Safe Routes to School Grant, issue a “Dog Days” proclamation, and review previous minutes.  The board will also approve ordinances concerning the business development district. 


Continuing the board will review motions concerning some special events permits, hiring two new police officers for academy, along with a new firefighter, and look at approving the appointment of David Brummer to the BDD committee. Other motions include approving payment for the removal of trees on Pawnee Street, rescinding a previous motion for sidewalk repairs from Pleasant Street to Ester Street with ward 5 funds and instead using ward 1 funds, and a motion to require Ward 5 funds to be used for emergency use only with a 6-2 minimum vote.


The board will review committee reports including ordinance for the city code, a no parking sign on the 1600 block of West Park Avenue, and other city code ordinances. Under finance, the board will provide a contribution to Chillifest and approve the treasurer’s report. Under street and sewer, the board will look at bidding out the West Franklin Street project.  Under public facilities, the board will look at approving a bid from Tullis Excavating concerning a parking lot for the Police Department. 


The board will have a closed session and hear from Mayor Bruce Barry along with City Attorney Rocci Romano. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News at the conclusion of the meeting for updates.


Kinzie Celebrates 50 Years; Unveils New Grain Cart

50 years of grain carts for Kinzie this year.


Justin Render is a product specialist with Kinzie tractors. He says that the farming equipment company is celebrating with a brand new grain cart with a familiar feel. 

Render says that the company is reverting to a throwback because farmers and vendors loved the 1050 style so much. Kinzie stopped production of the 1050 grain cart in 2012. 

Render talked about how you can customize the 1121 better than the 1050. 

Render also says that switching to tracks can improve compaction, which can improve yields. 

Justin Render spoke to WTIM’s Jared White at the Farm Progress Show live in Decatur last week. You can learn more about Kinzie at kinzie.com. 


September Is National Preparedness Month

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on US soil with the attacks of 9/11. The month of September is National Preparedness Month and Illinoisans are encouraged during this time to promote family emergency planning. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency managers are encouraging Illinoisans to take time to prepare for disasters at homes, at work, and in the community.  IEMA spokesperson Rebecca Clark says that you should gather emergency supplies ahead of time.


Some things to consider for your plan is to not only make a plan for when a disaster strikes, but you should also build a kit containing basic survival items necessary during an emergency. You can also prepare for disasters by getting the whole family involved.



Clark says you should review your insurance policies to determine what would be covered in the event of a flood or storm and practice tornado and fire drills. 


IEMA offers disaster preparedness information on the Ready Illinois website at www.ready.illinois.gov. 


Still Time to Go Camping; Hunting Season Begins

Labor Day signals that the end of Summer is right around the corner. Yet, there are still many recreational opportunities ahead. 

Brock Gee from the United States Army Corps of Engineers in Shelbyville says that the front end of Coon Creek Recreational Area in Shelbyville is open with new facilities.    

Gee says that you should make reservations ahead of time, and that the corps has shifted to an online reservation system. 

While Coon Creek will be open in early October, other campsites are starting to close. 

Gee also says that the end of camping season signals the start of hunting season. 

Reservations for camping can be made six months in advance and are open for early March 2022. You can go to recreation.gov to book your reservations.     


Central Illinois Experiencing Rise in Suicides

Central Illinois is experiencing a rise in suicides. 


According to Illinois Department of Public Health, suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the state. 

Natalie Cloe with Shelby County Community Services says that the pandemic is making the problem worse. 

Cloe gives some advice for those having a really hard time.

Cloe says that practices like tele-health aren’t giving her the same experience with clients as in-person sessions. 

Learn more about Shelby County Community Services at SCCSIL.org. Cloe appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.


Covid Cases Continue To Rise

On Friday, 5,980 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Illinois and Government officials along with the Illinois Department of Public Health are very concerned.  This is the highest number of new cases reported in a single day since January 22nd. Additionally, 37 people have died and Governor JB Pritzker is urging people to please get vaccinated to help slow the spread.



The Governor reminded Illinoisans that if you aren’t vaccinated, you should be social distancing, wearing a mask and use caution and if you do travel anywhere over the Labor Day weekend, you should be tested when you return.



All 102 counties, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health are considered high risk for transmission of the virus. Christian County reported 27 new cases on Friday, Montgomery County reported 22 new cases in their last update, and Shelby County hasn’t had a new update this week, but their last known numbers were 82 new cases as of the end of August. 


Several Labor Day Events Taking Place in Regional Radio Area Today

Several Labor Day events take place in the Regional Radio listening area today.

The largest Labor Day parade in Central Illinois, steps off this morning at 10 in Pana.  Past years' parades have taken as long as 2 hours to watch.

It's also the last day of the Pana Tri-County Fair at the fairgrounds east of Pana.  

Genuine Country 94-point-3 WMKR will broadcast live from both events today.

Today's also the day for the Edinburg Labor Day Picnic.  It kicks off with a parade with line-up at 8:30, judging at 9:30 and step off at 10.  There'll be awards for first, second, and third place for class floats, community floats, and golf cart side by side.

The Edinburg Labor Day Picnic Baby Contest took place yesterday.  Winners were:

1st Ravyn Harter
2nd Layklynn Jo Leach
3rd Jaxson Markley

The Picnic crowned its royalty on Saturday.  Their 2021 Little Miss is Lyndzee Harris and their 2021 Little Mister Wyatt Sanders. 


Audits Continue In Programs Conducted During Pandemic

State Senator Chapin Rose continues to look into what went wrong with the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.  Senator Rose is a member of the Legislative Audit Commission and he passed a resolution directing the Illinois Auditor General to perform a full audit of the program.


Senator Rose says that the limited report covers two months of that 16-month program and that things didn’t go well with it. He continued stressing that the PUA program was an unmitigated disaster that could have been avoidable, but officials failed to get unemployment payments to those who need it. He also stressed that there were no safeguards in the program to prevent fraud. 


A report that was released by the Illinois Auditor General showed that the Illinois Department of Employment Security, which oversees the unemployment program, showed a payment of unemployment benefits to deceased individuals, did not have any antifraud catches and had huge waiting lists with long phone calls that got nowhere. The audit found that nearly $155 million was awarded to ineligible claims during a period of less than two months. Outside experts estimate the loss to fraud was much higher. 


State Senator Rose also voted in support to audit the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program.  The BIG program had concerns as well including grants going to businesses that had already shut down and did not give enough money to downstate businesses.


ISBE, Governor Pritzker Extend Deadline for School Personnel to Get COVID Vaccine to September 19

The Illinois State Board of Education and Governor J-B Pritzker late Friday afternoon notified school superintendents around the state, that they will extend the deadline for teachers and support staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing, to September 19th.  School personnel previously had to be vaccinated or begin COVID testing on September 5th based on the Governor’s previous executive order.


Many superintendents across the state were caught off guard with the executive order and the extreme short timeline they were given, to implement the Governor’s previous executive order.


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hosting Lake Shelbyville Events

Get your bikes out for Shelbyville Dirtworx coming to Lake Shelbyville in a couple weeks.


Brock Gee is a park ranger with the United States Army Corp of Engineers and he talked a bit about the event. 

Gee says that there is an event for all skill levels – even those who don’t participate. 

If biking around the lake isn’t your thing, Gee says there are a lot of other events coming up.

To learn about all the events coming up at Lake Shelbyville, give this phone number a call – (217) - 774-3951. Gee appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from our studios in downtown Shelbyville.


Scarecrow Daze Returns In October

The annual Shelbyville Scarecrow Daze celebrating scarecrows is in October and it’s introducing the first ever Scarecrow Daze Pageant. 


Kari Dunn is with the Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce. She says it is a great opportunity for girls of all ages to show their skills. 

Dunn says that the early deadline for applications has passed, but the chamber will take late applications for the Scarecrow Pageant until September 17, but practices start soon. 

Aside from the pageant, this is the first opportunity for Scarecrow Daze after the height of the pandemic last fall and winter. Dunn says that the chamber has a lot planned. 

Scarecrow Daze kicks off Saturday October 9 in Shelbyville. Learn more about Scarecrow Daze on it’s Facebook page.


Substance Abuse On The Rise Amid Pandemic

Drug and alcohol abuse on the rise since the start of the pandemic. 


Natalie Cloe from Shelby County Community Service says drug and alcohol abuse is nothing new – but the pandemic has had a negative impact on those seeking help. 

Cloe says that more people who may not have been running into substance abuse issues before the pandemic have started to hit a wall. 

Cloe talked about how 13 percent of Americans reported abusing substances more since June of 2020

You can learn more about the Shelby County Community Service at sccsil.org.




Scooter's Coffee Coming to Taylorville

Regional Radio News has learned that Taylorville will be getting another coffee shop.

Scooter's Coffee, a drive-thru only coffee shop, is under construction at the corner of Illinois Routes 29 and 104 on Taylorville's northwest side.

No other details on the Taylorville location are yet available.

Information from the Scooter's web site, it indicates that the franchise serves hot and iced drinks, blenders, smoothies, teas, and a number of breakfast "grab and go" foods including muffins, sandwiches, burritos, cinnamon rolls, cookies and bagels.


2021 Farm Progress Show A Success

Another year and another Farm Progress Show in the books. 


Jeff Smith is regional sales manager for Farm Progress Companies and he says that the week was successful after last year’s virtual event. 

Smith says that a lot of people showed up to the show this year. 

Smith talked about how the demonstrations were some of the most popular he’s ever seen. 

Smith says that the best part of this year’s event were the interactions vendors had with farmers. 

Jeff Smith is the regional sales manager for Farm Progress Companies and he spoke to local farm broadcaster Jared White live on the WTIM Farm Progress Show from Decatur. 


IL Energy Bill Passes House; Senator Chapin Votes No

The Illinois Energy Bill passed the Senate late Wednesday night. 

Republican State Senator Chapin Rose represents the 51st district of Illinois and he says that there are more negatives than positives to the bill as it stands. He says it accomplishes the main goal of keeping two of the state’s biggest nuclear power plants open, but coal workers would get the short end of the bill.

Rose talks about how this bill will impact farmers and consumers. 

Rose also said that this use of imminent domain is unconstitutional. 

Rose says that the bill has to make it through the House before Gov. JB Pritzker signs it.

Republican State Senator Rose voted no on the energy bill. 


HSHS Announces COVID Testing Sites; Numbers still increasing in Central Illinois

Covid testing is important and there are many places that you can go to get that testing as needed. At HSHS Medical Group Multispecialty Care, located at 1304 W. Burnett Drive in Taylorville, anyone can get a COVID test even if they are not an HSHS Medical Group patient. HSHS offers rapid testing for symptomatic patients and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing. No appointment is necessary for testing and the public can walk-in Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. COVID vaccines are available at this location to HSHS Medical Group patients by appointment only. Call 833-594-0336 for more information or to schedule an appointment. 


Currently in Christian County, as of Wednesday, there are 25 new positive COVID-19 tests with 4,754 overall. 103 Christian County residents have lost their lives to COVID-19 and 16 are currently in the hospital. 24,272 total vaccine doses have been distributed and Christian County is sitting at a 6.6% for their positivity rate.  


In Montgomery County, there are 29 positive COVID-19 tests with 3,534 overall. There have been 74 deaths and Montgomery County is sitting at 4.8% for their positivity rate. In Shelby County there are 71 active COVID-19 cases with 82 new ones over the last week. Shelby County reported 42 deaths overall with one new death this week and Shelby County is currently sitting at a 9.0% positivity rate. 


To see the vaccine totals for your zip code, click here.


IDOT Encouraging Safe And Sober Travel This Holiday Season

The Illinois Department of Transportation along with the Illinois State Police are asking motorists to remember to drive sober over the extended holiday weekend. Law enforcement throughout the state are stepping up enforcement to keep impaired drivers off the roads.  The enforcement campaign runs through September 7th. According to IDOT crash data, there were 938 fatal crashes in 2019, with 258 or 27.2% of which involved at least one driver who tested positive for alcohol.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over the last ten years, the presence of marijuana has nearly doubled in drivers killed in crashes. 


IDOT would remind drivers that if you have used an impairing substance whether it be alcohol, marijuana, or another substance to not drive. If you think a driver may be impaired don’t get into the vehicle. IDOT encourages Illinoisans to plan for a sober ride whether that’s a friend, a public ride service, or your ride-sharing app. If you know someone is going to drive while they are impaired, take their keys and arrange for them to get home safely. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. 


Paul Wappel says that if you are going to drink, you should find an alternate way to get home.



Wappel says to expect extra law enforcement out over the holiday weekend.



The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is funded by the NHTSA and administered by IDOT. The overall arching campaign is called “Life or Death Illinois” and it highlights the responsibility of each driver to decrease the number of lives lost each year.


Visit lifeordeathillinois.com for more information.


Crop Insurance Gives Peace of Mind

It’s been an up and down farming year so far in 2021. Lindsey Rickenberger director of agribusiness commercial underwriting with Country Financial. She says that while some areas have struggled, most everywhere in Illinois will see improved harvest numbers. 

Rickenberger says that if your yields aren’t great, that’s what her and her insurance team are there for – to protect you from extreme financial loss. She also says that she has a great team of underwriters. 

Rickenberger talks about how new technology is assisting farming insurance companies. 

Rickenberger also says that it’s really easy to make a claim. 

To learn more about insuring your crop – visit countryfinancial.com


Youtubers Assisting AG Technology Companies

Farm technology companies are embracing the new age of advertising. 

Scott Sloan is the ad product manager for Titan Tire Corporation. He says that Titan is engaging with Youtubers to spread the word about Titan’s products and he says that is attracting a younger than normal crowd. 

Of Course, Titan Tire Corporation has a brand new line of products. Sloan talks about how the company is unveiling two new tires. 


Scott Sloan is the ad product manager for Titan Tire Corporation and he appeared on the WTIM Farm Progress Show happening live on WTIM in Decatur through Thursday. 


Crop Protection and Digital Technology

Area farmers looking for crop protection this farming season have a lot of options. 


Scott Kane is vice president of crop production in the U.S. for BASF. He talks about how digital technology is making crop protection easier. 

Kane says that BASF is attempting to assist farmers into the next age of technology, which lets farmers stick to the things they are best at. 

Vice President of Crop Protection in the U.S. for BASF Scott Kane spoke to Jared White at the 2021 Farm Progress Show in Decatur. To learn more, visit revytek.com. 


Breastfeeding Tips From A OB/GYN

Breastfeeding is a great way to get your baby off to a healthy start in the first year of life, but not everyone can breastfeed, and even when you can, it can be difficult for the mother or the baby. August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and many moms struggle with getting their child to eat, calm down, or latch. Dr. Christina Kramer, an OB/GYN with OSF Healthcare says that it is a common problem. 


According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) exclusively breastfeeding during the first six months provides all the nutrients a baby needs. At six months, babies can benefit from continued breastfeeding, while slowly incorporating other solid foods until at least 12 months, or as long as the mother wants to breastfeed. Dr. Kramer says those timelines can be negotiable.



There are plenty of benefits to breastfeeding and for mothers, that can include accelerating post-partum weight loss and decrease the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It provides the baby with important nutrition, antibodies, and helps lower the risk of diabetes, asthma, and ear infections. Dr. Kramer says it’s important to let your baby lead each feeding. Every baby is different and some will be easier to feed than others. Dr. Kramer encourages mothers to look for signs of hunger in babies including turning the head side to side, licking or smacking lips, putting their hands to their mouth, and crying.



Dr. Kramer encourages you to seek help if you’re having issues breastfeeding.



Dr. Kramer says it’s fine to supplement a baby with formula if it’s too challenging.



For more information on breastfeeding, talk to your primary care physician.


Driver-less Combines Showcased at Farm Progress Show

Technology in farming is advancing so much that you might not need to drive your combine anymore. 

Nick Langrock, director of Marketing with Raven, says OmniDrive is the product making driver-less combines a reality.

Langrock says that OmniDrive is just the start of Raven’s technological advances. 

Langrock talks about how Raven came to be one of the leading autonomous farming technology companies after just a short time.

Langrock also says that ultimately, Raven’s OmniDrive and OmniPower can help ease your farming operation into an autonomous system. That is- less hands you have to hire.

Nick Langrock is the director of marketing with Raven and he appeared live on the WTIM Farm Progress Show happening in Decatur. You can find out more about autonomous farming technology at ravenprecision.com


General Assembly Sounds Off On Redistricting Maps

The General Assembly met late on Tuesday evening and Democrats pushed through new redistricting maps. Redistricting is done every ten years following the census.  Democrats didn’t wait for the census data and passed maps in early June based off preliminary reports from smaller censuses. Once the census data was released on August 12th, a vote was held on August 31st to push through new maps. Republicans were not happy as they said that once again the process was pushed through with little notice and no details of the proposals have been released to the public. State Senator Chapin Rose didn’t mince words on it saying that Democrats are trying hijack democracy. 


“If you’ve had any remaining belief that Illinois Democrats cared even the slightest bit about democracy or the voices of the people of Illinois, it’s gone now. They have once again held a series of farcical public hearings, many with next to no public notice. Then they went right back behind closed doors, ignored the pleas of their own constituents, and drew a new map that is designed to do only one thing: maintain the Democrats’ stranglehold over the people of Illinois.”


State Senator Steve McClure asked how many maps is it going to take before they allow Republicans to get involved in the process.



State Representative Avery Bourne voiced her disappointment with the bill. 



Republicans had been asking for a separate committee to put out their own maps. Democrats had posted online a way to submit your own maps. 


State Representative Lisa Hernandez says everyone was heard.



Redistricting is a process that occurs every ten years, normally following the decennial Census. This year, the majority Democrats didn’t wait for U.S. Census data to be released and instead passed maps in early June.


Pageant Entries Closed, Little Chilli Bean Entrants Still Accepted for Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest

Pageant entries for the 36th annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest are closed as the contests have filled the available slots for each pageant.

But, entries are still being accepted for the Little Chilli Bean Contest for ages birth to 2.


Complete rules, and an on-line entry form, can all be found on the event’s web site, chillifest.info, that’s chillifest with 2-L’s.


This year's Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest takes place on the square October 2nd and 3rd.  Further information on the event, and the final schedule, will also be available on-line at chillifest.info.


Litchfield Man Arrested On Meth Delivery Charges

The South Central Illinois Drug Task Force arrested one man after a narcotics investigation led to a search warrant in Litchfield. 50-year-old Aaron A. Damm of Litchfield was arrested and charged by the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office with methamphetamine delivery over 15 grams which is a Class X felony.


On Monday at 8:30 PM, the South Central Illinois Drug Task Force conducted a narcotics investigation and a search warrant led authorities to the Baymont Inn Hotel in Litchfield.  Over 15 grams of suspected methamphetamine, multiple items related to narcotic delivery, and nearly $1700 in US currency.


Damm had his bail set at $150,000 with 10% to apply. Assisting in the investigation were Litchfield Police and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation is still ongoing and additional arrests are expected.


2021 Farm Progress Show Displays New Tech

The 2021 Farm Progress Show is underway in Decatur, and it’s showing off a lot of new farming technology. 


The idea is to increase farming efficiency all while improving yields. This has been especially important for farmers with labor shortages everywhere. 


John Tuttle is Director of Sales for Brock Grain Systems, and his company has an upgraded grain dryer sensing system. 

Tuttle adds that Brock Grain Systems has a complete line of products that work best when they are used together. 

John Tuttle appeared on the Farm Progress Show broadcasting live on WTIM from Decatur every weekday morning and into the afternoon. 


Honeybee Tractors Sell Themselves

Everyone is heading out to the Farm Progress Show in Decatur this week after last year’s cancellation. 

Jason Kremley is a territory manager for Honeybee tractors. He says that the show has been busy thus far. 

Kremley says that while Honeybee has been around since the 70s, the company’s use of social media and expanded marketing has significantly driven up demand for the farming vehicles. He also says when folks see the tractors, they sell themselves. 

Jason Kremley says that there’s a whole host of reasons why farmers love Honeybee. 

Plus, Kremley says that Honeybees are easy to maintain. 

Jason Kremley appeared on WTIM’s Farm Progress Show and he spoke with Agricultural Broadcaster Jared White. You can listen to the Farm Progress Show all week long throughout the morning and into the early afternoon on WTIM. 


IDA Receives Grant to Improve Farmer Mental Health

Illinois Department of Agriculture receiving $500,000 to improve farmer stress-related mental health initiatives. 


IDA applied to the federal grant in coordination with Southern Illinois University Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development and University of Illinois Extension. 


Department of Agriculture Director Jerry Costello II announced the grant at the 2021 Farm Progress Show in Decatur. 



This grant allows for the expansion of the 2019 Farm Family Resource Initiative pilot program. That will increase mental health first aid training for agriculture community members.


As well, the grant allows for a voucher program for professional behavioral health services and expands its instant help resources such as the telephone helpline.


The Farmer Assistance Helpline is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 833-FARM-SOS. 


Taylorville Kiwanis Club Reviews Past, Present, Future at Weekly Meeting

Caption to picture:  Taylorville Kiwanis Club member and secretary Martin Vota (right) shared about the club's past, present, and future, at Tuesday's meeting.  Will Perkins (left) presided at the meeting.


The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the club’s past, present, and future during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  


Kiwanis member and club secretary Martin Vota was the program speaker and gave a history of the club dating back to its founding on October 26th, 1954 when it was chartered and sponsored by the Morrisonville and Springfield Downtown Kiwanis Clubs.


According to Vota, some 250 people attended the charter dinner on December 14th, 1954 when the club officially began with 29 members.


Vota said that while the club has met in many different places since 1954, its goal has been the same—to benefit the children and youth in the Taylorville community and the world.


Vota shared many of the projects the Taylorville Kiwanis Club has been involved in over the years, including funding dental service for Taylorville students, aiding in spastic paralysis  research, providing funds and uniforms for “Biddy Basketball”, band camp scholarships, sponsoring Junior Achievement, helping create the local Mental Health Association, sponsoring YMCA teams, football camps, funding athletic equipment, Coats for Kids, Kiwanis Park, and hosting foreign students.


He added that fund-raisers to pay for these projects that benefit children and youth over the nearly 67 years has included a Halloween Candy Sale, Peanut Days now known as Kids Days,  the annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast, and the annual Radiothon.


Vota shared with the club where it is now with a current membership of 48, and current Kiwanis projects, and challenged club members to focus on the future, including working to increase membership.  A membership drive is planned for September and October.

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.     


CCQMA Racing Their Way Into The Heart Of Christian County

There are plenty of great activities all over Taylorville and Christian County that can keep you entertained, but according to Lindsay Barry with the Christian County Quarter Midget Association (CCQMA), there is nothing more entertaining than the Quarter Midget racing that takes place at the Fairgrounds. The CCQMA races take place on the back part of the Christian County Fairgrounds in Taylorville. Barry says the vehicles almost look like a go-kart with a roll cage and she talked a little about the races and how fast the cars can really go.



Drivers can start racing at the age of 5 but can start practicing at the age of 4 1/2. Barry says if you are just getting into the sport and want to see if you like it, they have an event called the Arrive and Drive that usually takes place in the spring and in the fall.



Barry talked a little about how long the Christian County track has been around and says she got involved with racing thanks to her brother. 



There are many ways to get involved with the CCQMA. Barry says they have something called scholarship cars. 



For more information visit the CCQMA on their Facebook page and on their website at ccqma.org. 




Calmer Cornheads Makes Cleanup Easier

Harvest season is right around the corner. Maybe you’re looking for some custom corn heads. 
Jay Dahl from Calmer Cornheads says their cornheads are as versatile as they are customizable.

Dahl says Calmer has new upgrades to well-known products. 

Jay Dahl says he foresees an abundant corn harvest this fall.  That means the need for better cornheads is even greater than before. And Calmer’s cornheads give you an advantage. 

Jay Dahl spoke to Jared White at the 2021 Farm Progress Show in Decatur Monday. 

You can learn more about Calmer Cornheads – at calmercornheads.com.


Illinois Department Of Revenue Reminding Illinoisans of Education Expenses

The Illinois Department of Revenue is hoping that taxpayers take advantage of school expenses on their 2021 Illinois individual income tax returns. Qualified educational expenses include tuition and book and lab fees in excess of $250 paid to the school where the student is enrolled on a full-time basis. If you are home schooled, book rental, and lab fees greater than $250 will be eligible when attending a qualified home schooling program. 


IL Dept. of Revenue Spokesperson Maura Kownacki says that the program is called the Illinois education expense credit and can get you a 25% tax credit.



The total credit may not exceed $750 for years ending on or after December 31, 2017, regardless of how many students qualify. Over 206,000 taxpayers claimed the Illinois Education Expense Credit in TY2020 totaling over $65.8 million with an average credit of $319. Kownacki says that you have to save your receipts.



To learn more about the Illinois Education Expense Credit visit IdoR’s publication 132 and 119 on the IdoR’s website, tax.illinois.gov.



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