Local News

New Year's Eve Safety Tips

Taylorville enacting extra patrols for New Year’s Eve. 

Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says to plan a safe ride home – especially if you’re drinking. 

Wheeler says his department is able to put more officers on the roads for the holidays with the help of a grant.

He also says that for this New Year’s celebration, your best option is to stay home and celebrate with others who you know who have been taking COVID-19 precautions. 

Just remember Illinois Department of Transportation’s message – drive sober or get pulled over. Drive high and get a DUI. 

Taylorville Memorial Foundation Assisting Living Recovery Residencies

Taylorville Memorial Foundation assisting Living Recovery Residencies to help provide safe housing for Christian County residents recovering from addiction or mental health treatment. 

 

The foundation awards Living Recovery Residencies a $30,000 grant. 

 

Living Recovery Residencies is a program collaborating local landlords and the Christian County Prevention Coalition, providing housing for people before the Christian County Problem-Solving Court. 

 

Housing for the Living Recovery Residencies program is on East Franklin Street in Taylorville. There is a renovated apartment complex for participants in the program. 

 

Organizers of the program continue to seek funding from groups involved in community health to sustain it after the initial launch. 

 

The foundation’s community health grant provides up to seven residents with rent and living support while they participate in court-ordered treatment and recovery. 

 

More information at memorial.health/tmf

How To Achieve Your Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions seems to be something that gets set on January 1st and forgotten about on January 10th. Some resolutions include quitting smoking, exercising more, or reuniting with loved ones. A study recently done on people who set New Year's resolutions in 2021 was diet and losing weight. There are many ways to make food-related goals attainable in 2022. Adam Schafer, a clinical dietitian with OSF Healthcare says that people should make their goals realistic.

 

 

Schafer says to set specific goals to measure those goals, and have a plan to meet those goals. One way to do that is through what he calls SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Bound). Focusing on small, achievable habits and activities can improve your health over time. 

 

If one of your resolutions is to lose weight, Schafer says you should think about what you have done or not done in the past to set your future weight loss goals. People should avoid setting an actual number but focus more on things like having your clothes fit better and do certain activities easier.  Schafer says these milestones will keep you motivated.

 

 

Other tips include filling up on fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, watching your sodium intake, planning your meals, and keeping a food log to monitor what you eat.  Schafer says proper nutrition isn’t a quick fix but it can set up greater habits in the future.

 

 

For more information on nutrition facts, contact your local healthcare physician. 

TMH Top 10 Critical Access Hospital In Nation

The Illinois Critical Action Hospital Network names Taylorville Memorial Hospital as one of the top 10 critical access hospitals in the nation. 

That’s president and CEO of TMH Kim Bourne. She’s thrilled her hospital earned this award. 

Bourne says the award speaks to the consistency of care at TMH. 

Bourne thanks her colleagues for their hard work. 

Learn more at memorial.health. 

 

Bourne appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

How Silver Search Helped Find A Missing Woman

Thanks to a Silver Search, Christian County Sheriff’s Office found a missing woman with dementia earlier this month. 

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says that the program is versatile.

Sheriff Kettelkamp says that the woman’s family helped the sheriff’s office immensely. 

He also thanks the other agencies involved in the search. 

If you need to activate a Silver Search, do not hesitate to contact your local Sheriff’s department. 

 

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

Memorial Health Receives National Award

Memorial Health Systems has been recognized as a leader in creative and innovative internal communications.  Memorial Health received a National award for keeping workers engaged, informed, and a focus on employee well-being. The five hospitals were honored with a Best Crisis Management Award in North America by Workplace from Meta (Facebook).  This award was given out during the communication platform's 2021 Customer Success Awards program.  

 

The award is given out to the organization that has the most effective management of an issue using Workplace from Meta that looks at online group work, instant messaging, video conferencing, and news sharing.

 

Some other companies that were honored with a Workplace Customer Success Award include DirecTV, Accenture, Delta Air Lines, and Gucci. Memorial Health started using Workplace in June of 2018 as a way to help combat email fatigue, reduce redundant employee messages, and streamline communications.

 

A knowledge library was also used to cover important phone numbers, infection prevention, vaccine, employee assistance, facility updates, mental health resources, and preparedness plans. Employees could receive the latest COVID-19 information and ask questions if need be.

 

More than 96% of all Memorial Health employees have the ability to collaborate virtually on Workplace.   

New Laws Go Into Place On January 1st

There are some new laws that will be going on the books in 2022. Some of the new laws that will go into effect on January 1st, 2022 include the Victims Economic Security and Safety Act. That act was amended to create the Violent Crime Victims’ Leave Act.  This act allows family or household members who are victims of violence to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per any 12 month period to seek medical help, legal assistance, counseling, safety planning, and other assistance. The amendment also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are victims of violence.

 

The Illinois Department of Labor also will be responsible for maintaining a database that allows the public to search for certified payrolls submitted by construction contractors on public works projects. This is a bigger part of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.  It ensures contractors are complying with the Illinois Prevailing Wage Act.  IDOL must make relevant information available to the public every 16th day of the month. 

 

There are some new health insurance coverage disclosures that employers must inform employees on in accordance with the Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act.  This new law brings transparency and requires all employers doing business in Illinois to disclose to their employees what group health plans do and do not cover. There are up to 42 medical services and treatments that employers must identify as covered or not. Employers can find out more by viewing the website and looking at the Consumer Coverage Disclosure Act.

 

Another new law that will go into place on January 1st is a law concerning trampoline courts. Trampoline courts will be subject to inspeciton and permitting under the Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Act.  These courts must now be inspected and permitted and they must be reviewed to ensure that they meet industry standards. All employees that work for a trampoline court must have a criminal history records check and sex offender registry check.  They also must provide proper documentation for random drug testing and have a substance abuse policy in place. 

 

Regional Radio News will have more new laws throughout the next few days that take place on January 1st. 
 

WRAN Airing "All Night New Year's Party" New Year's Eve, Day

Miller Media Group radio stations WRAN groovy 97.3 in Taylorville and WEZC “Your EASY Choice!” 95.9 FM in Clinton, will simulcast the 24th annual Bud Light All-Night New Year’s Party, from 11pm New Year’s Eve, until 5:00am New Year’s Day.

 

Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller will emcee the show, which will feature request and dedications of easy and top 40 hits from the 60’s thru the 80’s.  The show will also feature listener contests and give-aways.

 

The show will also feature messages asking listeners to celebrate the New Year with friends, wear a mask, social distance and take precautions to keep yourself and others safe. The show again this year is sponsored by Skeff Distributing, the Central Illinois Budweiser distributor.

 

Miller began doing a New Year’s Show on his stations since the late 1980’s.  

 

The phone number to call in requests or to participate in contests during the show will be toll-free 1-866-500-9726.

Driver Service Facilities Will Close From January 3rd Until January 17th

Thanks to an increase in COVID-19, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has announced that all Secretary of State Departments will reclose from January 3rd until January 17th, 2022. All departments and Driver Services facilities will be reopened on January 18th. Secretary White is once again encouraging all Illinoisans to visit ilsos.gov for online services.


There are plenty of things that you do in person at the DMV that you can do online. Some online transactions that can be done include, renewing a license plate sticker, renew a driver's license or ID card, obtain a duplicate driver's license or ID card, obtain a driver record abstract, and file business service documents. To find out if you can renew a driver's license online call 217-785-1424. 

 

Secretary White earlier this month extended all driver's license and expiration dates to March 31st, 2022. The extension doesn't apply to CDLs. (Commercial Driver's Licenses). Secretary White says that the move comes out of an abundance of caution. The office has mailed out letters to eligible customers who's driver's licenses are eligible for renewal. 

 

REAL ID's have been extended to May 3rd, 2023. 

WTIM Wins Silver Dome Award from Illinois Broadcasters Association for Best Spot News Coverage

Miller Media Group radio station WTIM in Taylorville has won a "Silver Dome Award" from the Illinois Broadcasters Association, for the station's spot news coverage.

 

News reporter Leroy Kleimola's story with audio that aired on WTIM, concerning the protest that took place on the Taylorville square June 4th, 2020 after the death of George Floyd, was recognized by the I-B-A as the "Best Spot News Coverage" in small market radio across Illinois in 2020.

 

The awards were announced virtually this afternoon by the I-B-A.

Jim Bohannon Selected To NAB Hall of Fame

The National Association of Broadcasters select Jim Bohannon as an inductee to the NAB Hall of Fame.

Bohannon says that he has reached this point with longevity, persistence and a bit of luck. 

Bohannon thanks some of his mentors along the way. 

He invites you to listen to his show.

Listen to the Jim Bohannon Show weeknights from 9 to midnight on WTIM Your Information Station. 

 

Jim Bohannon appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

IDPH Focusing On Contract Tracing Efforts

The Illinois Department of Public Health is working to centralize COVID-19 contact tracing efforts in order to get information out quickly and to decrease the burden on local health departments across the state. All positive cases entered into the State’s data systems associated with a cell phone number will receive an automated text message from IDPH.  

 

The initial outgoing text will read: IDPH COVID: There is important info for you. Call 312-777-1999 or click: https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/confirmed-or-possible-covid-19.html 

 

Individuals who call the number in the text will be considered as “opting in” for an interview.  Public Health officials will prioritize case investigations for those who are 65 and older and are at higher risk of severe illness. 


Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Public Health Department in Illinois says the State will notify cases via text about interviewing with a contact tracer, as well as providing a link to guidance on quarantine, possible treatments, and close contact notification.” 
 

Celebrate Recovery Is For Everyone

Celebrate recovery at Davis Memorial Church in Taylorville. 

 

Celebrate Recovery starts Tuesday January 4th at 5:30 p.m. and takes place every Tuesday. 

That’s program facilitator Danny Lowis who is in recovery himself. 

 

Co-facilitator Chris Tucker says that holding the group helps him, too. 

Fellow co-facilitator Erica Wessling is there for women who are going through a range of recovery issues. 

Lowis says that they have all been through recovery in some form. He believes this will help others more than if they were in their average recovery program. 

Learn more when you visit davismemorialchristian.org. 

 

Lowis, Tucker and Wessling appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Prepare For Winter Storms This Weekend

Severe Weather is expected to hit Illinois this weekend and The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging those who plan to travel this weekend to know before you go what to do in severe weather. IEMA Director Alicia Tate Nadeau says it's unsure if this storm will hit northern Illinois or Southern Illinois so it’s best that everyone be prepared.

 

Some Winter Weather Preparedness tips include familiarizing yourself with the various weather alert definitions, build a home emergency kit with items such as food, water, medication, NOAA weather radio, flashlight, and spare batteries. Other tips include stocking your vehicle with the emergency items such as a first aid kit, phone charger, blankets, extra clothes, jumper cables, kitty litter, a flashlight, and snow scraper. 

 

Make sure you charge your mobile devices before any storm, don’t wait to communicate; create discussion plans for you and your family. Winterize your home and take steps to prevent frozen water pipes.  You can check and monitor road conditions by visiting www.gettingaroundillinois.com. In Central Illinois you can also visit www.facebook.com/NWSLincoln or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NWSLincolnIL.

 

More tips are available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov. 
 

Rebuild Illinois Plans For 2022 And Beyond

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced their completed projects for 2021 and a look at major projects and initiatives in 2022 and beyond. Illinois Transportation Secreatary Omer Osman says that going into 2022 the plan is to build an even safer more equitable transportation system for all of Illinois.

 

Through the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, IDOT was able to manage nearly $2.4 billion in improvements to 1,314 miles of highway and 142 bridges as well as 194 safety improvements in the 2021 fiscal year. IDOT broke ground on the Interstate 57/74 interchange reconstruction of Champaign-Urbana, I57 to be widened in southern Illinois and an overhaul of Interstate 80 in Will County. 

 

This Rebuild Illinois plan will impact all modes of Illinois transportation including roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. 

 

As far as rail services go, Amtrak trains resumed full service in July after being limited due to COVID-19. Ground was broken on some new tracks and work is being done for the Chicago-St. Louis corridor with the goal of increasing train speeds to 110 mph by 2023. 

 

A pollinator habitat and the monarch butterfly is a continued effort of the work of IDOT and local Montgomery County environmental groups.  This is a 10 acre prairie thats part of the Route 66 Monarch Flyway and is home to more than 200 native plant species and several types of large and small animals. The work is being called the Litchfield Route 66 Prairie.

 

For more on the work being done on the Rebuild Illinois Project, click here.

Man Arrested In Pana On Christmas; Citizen Praised For Aid

One man was arrested and another person is receiving a Citizen's Award of Appreciation for an incident that happened in Pana on Christmas. At 3:47 AM on December 25th, Pana Police arrested Donald R. Minard of Pana after a report of exploitation of a minor under the age of 13. Minard allegedley exposed himself outside his apartment in front of a child.

 

When police attempted to arrest him, he barricaded himself inside his apartment and refused to comply with orders. An officer was able to make contact with him later and a struggle ensued and continued into the apartment with Minard resisting arrest and struggling several minutes inside with the officer. The officer tried to call for backup but wasn't able to. A citizen than came into the apartment and helped secure Minard in handcuffs. Minard was processed on the charge of Resisting Arrest, Exploitation of a Child Under 13, Disorderly Conduct, and later transported to Christian County Correctional Center. The officer received a small abrasion but was not injured during the struggle.  


A Citizen’s Award of Appreciation will be issued later to the individual for coming to the aid of the officer. The Christian County Sheriff’s Deputies and Shelby County Deputies also responded to the scene to assist.  


Minard is out on bond in Shelby County for Aggravated Battery with Injury pending pre-trial and will appear in court on Wednesday.

Taylorville Memorial Foundation Receives $10,000 Donation

Taylorville Memorial Foundation receiving a donation to aid local careers in health care. 

 

Bertrand Hopper Memorial Foundation donates $10,000 to TMH’s Foundation to financially assist Christian County-based students interested in studying health care and offers opportunities for them to work at Taylorville Memorial Hospital upon degree completion. 

 

Taylorville Memorial Foundation President Billy Williams says that education grants are intended to create a talent pipeline to encourage students to build their careers at Taylorville Memorial Hospital. 

 

Executive director of the Taylorville Memorial Foundation Raedena Ryan says that the Bertrand Hopper Memorial Foundation has been a consistent source of support. 

 

She adds that donations like these strengthen the future of the community while encouraging young professionals to make a commitment to serve as the next generation of local health care providers. 

 

You too can support the Taylorville Memorial Foundation. Your gifts are tax-deductible. More information at memorial.health/tmf. 

State Comptroller's Office Looks Back At 2021 Achievements

Illinois receiving its first credit upgrade in over 20 years. 

 

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza says this is a sign the state is well on the road to recovery. She also looked back at some of the accomplishments the Office of Comptroller achieved. 

 

Those accomplishments include a bill backlog down from a historic $16.7 billion high during the 2015-2017 budget impasse. Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills is now less than $5 billion. The office accomplished this without the use of federal stimulus dollars. 

 

This all while the average wait for paying general bills is down to less than a month. 

 

Mendoza also flaunting the state’s ability to look out for tax payers, giving those struggling a break with the Earned Income Tax Credit and the state’s enforcement of prevailing wages. 

 

Comptroller Mendoza’s measure to end the practice of allowing legislators leaving their posts in the General Assembly to earn a full month’s pay for a single day of work passed in October with the No Exit Bonus/No Signing Bonus Reform Measure.

 

There are other accomplishments the Comptroller’s office achieved in 2021.

 

You can find more information at illinoiscomptroller.gov.

TMH Urging Boosters And Vaccines In Midst Of Surge

Taylorville Memorial Hospital urging vaccinations and boosters as they see more patients with COVID-19.

 

President and CEO Kim Bourne says that this month’s surge is record-breaking. 

Though the hospital is busy, they are not in crisis mode, but that does not mean that the community should ease up on COVID-19 mitigation. 

Bourne says that boosters have helped in most cases. Even if a breakthrough case occurs, the patient who is fully vaccinated and boosted is seen far less than the patient who has not received a vaccination at all. 

She also advises you to not delay emergency care when you become short of breath after testing positive for COVID-19. 

If you would like your vaccine or booster, contact your local health department or pharmacy. 

 

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

Governor Pritzker Expanding Vaccine Sites

As COVID cases once again continue to surge in Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker and IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike are asking the public to get vaccinated if they haven’t, wear masks in crowded areas, practice social distancing, and get your booster. The Governor announced at a Press Conference on Tuesday that Community Based Testing Sites will expand operations to increase testing availability in Illinois. 

 

Illinois is more than doubling personnel and adding at least 100 people to regional sites including Sangamon County to administer vaccines, prepare doses for clinic personnel, and do data entry. Starting January 3rd, Community Based Testing Sites will begin operating six days a week to increase testing availability throughout the state. 

 

 

Governor Pritzker says that the increase in staffing it will allow more people to safely get the vaccine quickly and efficiently.

 

 

Testing capacity will also be increasing along with providing equipment to those who need it.

 

 

The Governor says that he will do everything he can for all Illinoisans but if you haven’t received the vaccine you’re hurting fellow Illinoisans.

 

 

For information on the vaccine in Sangamon County visit https://scdph.org. If you are unable to attend that mass vaccination booster clinic, visit vaccines.gov to find a clinic near you. 

FOID Cards Changing; Combining With CCL's

FOID cards are changing. The Firearm Owner Identification Card or FOID card program will be changing to make things simpler and cheaper for owners. The Illinois State Police and Firearms Services Bureau announced several changes including new cards that will be printed without expiration dates. ISP Trooper Josh Robinson says that cards will be non-expiring.

 

 

Robinson says that the FOID card will be combined with the CCL (Conceal Carry License)

 

 

When a FOID card is suspended and the cardholder has a CCL, the CCL will be suspended until the FOID card is reinstated.  Upon reinstatement, if eligible, the CCL will be reinstated. When a CCL is suspended but the person still has a FOID card, they will retain the issued combined card, but it will not show a valid CCL in the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS).

 

The card will auto-renew without paying a renewal fee and the licensee will be sent a new combined FOID card and CCL. ISP Director Brendan Kelly says that they are pleased that this will decrease duplicity within the system. 

 

New Study Conducted On Illinois Airports

A new study from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that Illinois airports contribute $95.5 billion and more than 490,000 jobs to the state’s economy showing that they are extremely important to Illinois. The 2020 Illinois Aviation Economic Impact Analysis is the first report of its kind released by IDOT since 2012.

 

IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel says that this impact has been felt statewide. 

 

 

Wappel says that the study analyzed 85 different airports including 4 private ones.

 

 

Data was used to measure the impact at each airport as well as each IDOT region and at the statewide

level. Early next year, IDOT is expected to release the first Illinois Aviation System Plan in more than two decades helping to identify short and long-term needs of individual airports and the aviation system as a whole. 

 

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that $94 million had been awarded to public airports including Taylorville to improve them and to fix long-standing issues. It is the largest statewide investment program for airports in state history. For more information visit www.Ilaviation.com. 

Covid Update 12/27/21

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that there were 77,246 new cases of COVID in Illinois last week including 318 new deaths. IDPH is reporting over 2,020,000 cases and over 27,400 deaths since COVID began.  4,271 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID and of those 867 were in the ICU, and 485 were on ventilators. 

 

The seven-day positivity rate for cases from December 16-22 is 6.3%.  The seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 8.6%. A total of nearly 19 million vaccines have been administered with the rolling average of doses administered daily is 65,827.  Since December 17, 388,453 were distributed.  More than 71% of Illinoisans have received at least one dose and more than 64% are totally vaccinated. 

ISP Accepting Applications For New Recruits

The Illinois State Police is accepting applications for their Illinois State Police Academy Classes. Class 137 and Class 138 will be the next classes open and cadet class 137 is scheduled to begin on June 5, 2022, with applications and documentation submitted by January 21st, 2022. Cadet Class 138 is scheduled to begin October 2, 2022, and applications and documentation must be in by April 1st. 

 

There are two types of programs; a fast track and a non-fast track.  The fast track program is a way for certified police officers to become State Troopers and the Non-Fast Track is for those who have no prior law enforcement experience but be at least 21, not convicted of a felony, a citizen of the US, a valid driver’s license, be willing to accept an assignment anywhere in Illinois, and either have an associate’s degree or 60 credit hours from a school. Veterans and active members of the military can qualify without the 60-hour credit requirement. 

 

While at the ISP Academy, Cadets will be provided with up-to-date training and will work in one of the 21 patrol districts across the state. Anyone interested in joining the ranks of the ISP is encouraged to visit the ISP Merit Board website at www.illinoistrooper.com for application information. 

State Senator Turner Endorsing Blood Drives For Central Illinois

State Senator Doris Turner is partnering with ImpactLife to host community blood drives in Springfield and Decatur this January.  Senator Turner says that the need for blood is great in central Illinois and donations to continue to be a vital tool to help increase the supply. The blood drives will take place on Monday, January 3rd through Saturday, January 8th at the Springfield Donor Center located at 1999 Wabash Avenue in Springfield and the Decatur Donor Center located at 151 West Main Street in Decatur. 

 

Donor centers are following CDC guidelines from local state and federal health agencies to keep staff, volunteers, and donors safe.  Appointments and masks will be required and chairs will be 6 feet apart.  To find out more information contact State Senator Doris Turner at her office at 217-782-0228. For more information, you can also visit www.senatordoristurner.com. 

U.S. Rep. Davis Excited For Re-Election

You may have heard this one before, but to be clear – U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis is running for re-election. 

Rep. Davis says that he’s excited to serve the area he grew up in, while also serving new areas. 

He hopes to continue to hold other politicians accountable. 

Rep. Davis expects Republicans to control the House in 2023. 

Reach out at rodneydavis.house.gov. 

 

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

Lake Land College Nursing Donating To Local Non-Profits

Lake Land College’s Nursing program donating critical items to local programs. 

 

Lake Land College Division chair of Allied Health and Nursing Instructor Erin Swingler says that the program donated diapers, wipes, snacks clothes and art supplies to the Crisis Nursery of Effingham County and One Stop Community Christmas.
 
Swingler adds that the students and faculty are thrilled to help provide items assisting programs of great value to the community. 

 

Crisis Nursery of Effingham County is a non-profit preventing and protecting children from trauma, abuse and neglect with a 24-hour emergency shelter care program for children of birth-age through six years old. This is in partnership with HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital. 

 

One Stop Community Christmas is a local organization helping families in need during the holiday season in various central Illinois counties. 

 

More information at crisisnurseryofeffingham.com or onestopcommunitychristmas.com.

January A Big Month For CCYMCA

January is shaping up to be a great month for the Christian County YMCA.

 

Director Bruce Blanshan says the Y is returning many programs next month. 

Blanshan says the pool is up and running once again after a brief closure. 

The Y hopes they can re-open the teen center soon. 

Mothers who have their children with them during the day can find respite with the Y. 

Learn more at ccymca.org. 

 

Blanshan appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

State of Sound And More At Presidential Library And Museum In Springfield

Experience the State of Sound at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

 

Joe Crain, public programs director, says the State of Sound exhibit highlights the contributions of musical artists with Illinois roots and it is closing towards the end of January. 

The museum is offering a special performance from Maggie Brown January 13th. 

If you can’t make it to the museum, then you can experience the music at the State of Sound on Spotify. 

Crain invites you to listen to the Museum’s podcast. 

Find the State of Sound and more at presidentlincoln.illinois.gov/

 

Crain appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Sheriff Urges Paying Attention On Roadways

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is urging Christian County residents to pay attention to road conditions especially this holiday season and into January. While we haven’t had too many days to worry about ice and snow, there are many little things you can do to prepare yourself for icy road conditions when they do in fact come. Living in Illinois, we know it’s just right around the corner. Sheriff Kettelkamp says above all wear your seatbelt.

 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp is also asking you to be aware of road conditions and slow down. You should also give plows plenty of space to do their job.

 

 

You can also prepare an emergency kit that can help keep you safe in case of an emergency such as a crash. 

 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp says an accident can happen in an instant.

 

 

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

Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault: Aiding Recovery And Prevention

Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault offers services for those in crisis. 

Legal and medical advocate Erin Domanousky is there to walk survivors through their recovery process. 

Not only is Prairie Center there for victims, but also their families. 

Prairie Center visits schools and businesses in hopes of preventing future sexual assault.

Learn more at prairiecasa.org. 

 

Domanousky appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Driver's License Extensions Until March 2022

The Secretary of State’s Office has extended driver’s licenses and ID Cards until March 31st, 2022. Due to the recent spike of COVID, Secretary of State Jesse White has extended the expiration dates for both driver’s licenses and ID Cards.  A spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office, Beth Kaufman, says this extension was put in place so people had time to get their business taken care of.

 

 

Kaufman says law enforcement is aware of this change and will not be giving tickets for expired cards.

 

 

Kaufman says the Secretary of State and the Department of Motor Vehicles have a new website.

 

 

For more information, visit https://www.ilsos.gov/.

Interagency Agreement Paying Off In Kincaid

An interagency agreement between Taylorville, Kincaid, and Assumption, and many of the other communities in Christian County has really made things easier for everyone involved when it comes to police work.  Kincaid Police Chief DJ Mathon says that this agreement is extremely important because it’s nice to have the support of all the other agencies to work hand in hand together.

 

 

Chief Mathon says that he has seen crime levels go down.

 

 

Chief Mathon also stressed that they are staying on top of any drug problems, and if someone is using in Kincaid, they will find them.

 

 

Chief Mathon thanked the many citizens for reaching out if there is a problem.

 

 

For more information on the Kincaid Police Department, visit their Facebook page.
 

Shadow Home - Helping Women One Step At A Time

Shadow Home is there for women and their young children. 

 

Director Vicki Jackson says that Shadow offers a place to stay for women in various situations. 

There are some requirements and limits for what Shadow can offer, though. 

Shadow cannot accept mothers with boys over the age of 10. 

Jackson says that you should set aside a lengthy chunk of time to participate in Shadow Home. 

Learn more about Shadow Home on its Facebook page. 

 

Jackson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Drive Sober Holiday Campaign In Full Swing

The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, and nearly 200 law enforcement agencies are joining together in Illinois to remind motorists to buckle up and that they will keep impaired drivers off the road. According to preliminary reports, as of December 16th, there were 1,149 fatal crashes and 1,265 fatalities in Illinois in 2021.  That is an increase of 115 people since last year. IDOT Spokesperson Paul Wappel says the message is very simple. Don't drink and drive.

 

 

Illinois State Police Director Brendan F. Kelly says that he appreciates law-abiding citizens who help achieve the mission to report unsafe driving and criminal activity, but troopers do remain busy and steadfast in preventing crime and enforcing all laws. 

 

There are Some tips that Kelly says to keep in mind this holiday season. If you're under the influence of alcohol or another impairing substance like marijuana, please do not drive. If you think a driver is impaired, don't get into the car and instead, take their keys and help them get home safely. If you are going to drink alcohol, use marijuana, or take other impairing substances, plan ahead for a sober ride home.  This could be a sober ride program, a cab, or public transportation. If you see an impaired driver on the road, law enforcement asks you to pull over and contact local law enforcement. 

 

 

The campaign runs statewide through January 3rd.  It is funded with federal highway safety funds administered by IDOT. 

One Lick Can Make You Sick

Be safe with your holiday meals. 

 

Lisa Peterson is a nutrition and wellness educator with the University of Illinois Extension in Christian County and offers some tips to keep you well when handling raw eggs and flour. 

Remember, raw foods can make you sick. 

While raw eggs may contain salmonella, raw flower can contain E. Coli.

If you have to take a lick of cookie batter, there are ways to do it safely. 

Learn more at extension.illinois.edu.

 

Peterson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

TMH Names Colleague Of The Year

A housekeeping aid has been named the Colleague of the Year for 2021 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.  Melissa Mariconi has taken home the honor.  Mariconi's nominator, Sara Ferge, an ultrasound technologist says that Mariconi takes great care to safely and effectively clean and disinfect the emergency department at TMH. 

 

Ferge continued saying that Mariconi uplifts others and that speaking to her can lift any spirits on stressful days.  She says that Mariconi cares and you can tell.

 

Mariconi had been named the TMH Colleague of the month for April.  She receives $1,000, one week of paid time off work, and a special pin recognizing the achievement. 

 

Lake Land College Broadcasting Club Holds Food Drive

The Lake Land College Broadcasting Club collected several boxes of non-perishable food items to donate to the Laker Food Pantry. Broadcasting Club President Stephanie Sample says that nobody should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from and being a Laker means taking part in caring for your community.

 

Sample says that students in need of food and the mission of hte Laker Food Pantry were topics she was very familiar with as she grew up in a low-income house. She says there were times that she felt helpless and that she hopes none of her peers ever have to feel that way as they receive an education.

 

Greg Powers, who is the communication studies/broadcasting instructor and station manager of WLKL 89.9 FM says that this is a very important food drive. He says that it is important for the club to give back to the community and that broadcasters should always be involved in their community and have the potential to do so much for the areas they serve.

 

The food drive is a month-long event put on every year by the club since 2008.  To learn more about the club and other organizations and clubs at Lake Land College, visit lakelandcollege.edu/student-life. 

Memorial Health: Be Mindful When Choosing Toys

Keep your child’s safety in mind when buying their Christmas presents. 

 

Dr. Steven Lillpop with Memorial Medical Group says it’s important to purchase toys that don’t bring unnecessary risk with them to the home. 

 

Some tips from Dr. Lillpop include finding age-specific toys, securing batteries in a safe location away from little ones, avoiding sharp edges or points that could injure a child in a fall. 

 

Dr. Lillpop also says that flying toys or toys that shoot objects can be problematic. He also advises you to make sure your child wears a helmet when riding their brand new scooter, skateboard or bicycle. 

 

Small toys or toys with small parts can be a choking hazard. 

 

The child’s developmental level is something else to pay attention to when choosing toys and their ability to understand how to use the toy. 

 

Above all else, supervising your children with their new toys is the most important thing you can do. 
 

St. Louis Dairy Council: Butter Me Up!

Make sure you butter up your holiday baking.

That’s registered dietitian with the St. Louis Dairy Council Kelsey Bentlage. She says that butter is no longer considered that fatty unhealthy food you once thought of. 

Butter serves as an important ingredient for baking holiday cookies. 

Make sure you check out the dairy council’s website for their Butter Me Up campaign for a chance at some prizes. 

Learn more at stldairycouncil.org. 

 

Bentlage appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Sunshine Senior Services Helps Navigate Medicare Field

Picking the right medicare plan for retirement-aged individuals can be tough. 

 

That’s why Kathie Cravens, licensed healthcare medicare specialist with Sunshine Senior Services, is there to help. 

Some plans may be available in some areas while unavailable in others within the same state. 

There are many types of special enrollment periods for Cravens to help you out with. 

Cravens is easily accessible in Christian County. 

Learn more at sunshinesrservices.com.

 

Cravens appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

U of I Extension: Take Care

Take care of yourself during the holidays. 

That’s nutrition and wellness educator and acting director of University of Illinois Extension in Christian County Lisa Peterson. 

 

Peterson says that it’s all about finding the activity that helps you the most. 

Whatever you choose to do, it should be all about you – don’t feel like you’re being selfish. 

All in all – as said before – just take care of yourself. 

Learn more at extension.illinois.edu.

 

Peterson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Christian County CEO Students, Facilitator Visit Taylorville Kiwanis Club

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the Christain County C-E-O, or “Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities” facilitator, as well as 9 Christian County seniors enrolled in the program, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

 

Facilitator Neil Hohenstein gave an overview of the program, now in it’s 7th year, that teaches business and communication skills outside a normal school setting.  9 of the 13 students in this year’s program, which is supported entirely by private investors including the Kiwanis Club, also gave remarks.

 

Students speaking at the Kiwanis Club meeting included Averi Stephens, Summer Brandis, Alyson Williams, Daniel Sloan, Evan Morgan, Averi Noreuil, and Emma Pennock, all from Taylorville High School; Colin Hardin from Edinburg, and Kylie Hendrickson from Pana High School.

 

More information on the local C-E-O program can be found on-line at christiancounty-C-E-O-dot-com.

 

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.     

Taylorville Kiwanis Members Donate Time to Collect Monies at Manners Park's "Christmas in the Park" Monday Night

 

Several members of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club volunteered to collect monies for the Manners Park “Christmas in the Park” donation booth at the end of the displays, on Monday night.

 

First shift Kiwanis members were Brad Davis and Joe Hauser.  Second shift Kiwanis members collecting monies at the “Christmas in the Park” donation booth were Adam Jeffrey and daughters Grace and Ayanna, Lee Skinner, John Gardner, and Randy Miller.

 

Over 350 vehicles went thru the Taylorville Park District Manners Park displays on Monday night.

 

The local Kiwanis Club that’s part of a 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.

Greater Shelbyville Chamber Announces Tiny Tim Treasure Winner

The Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce has announced this year's Tiny Tim  Treasure Gift Certificate winner.

Director Madison Hilbert tells Regional Radio News that Alexis Kastl found the Tiny Tim Treasure, and as a result, wins a Chamber gift certificate to shop at a host of Greater Shelbyville Chamber merchants.

 

Loud Boom Reported To Be Sonic Boom

The loud explosion felt across Central Illinois today was a sonic boom.  That is at least, the message from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Federal, State, and local officials worked together to figure out what the noise was, as multiple people in multiple cities felt and heard the explosion. 

 

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says that it was a F-15 fighter jet in the airspace above Central Illinois that created a sonic boom from going faster than the speed of sound. The pressure wave created an audible noise and minor shaking in the region.

 

At this time, there are no reports of damage associated with the incident. 

More Information Released on Farm and Home Supply Purchase of Big R Stores in Taylorville, Lincoln, Springfield

More information has been released by Farm and Home Supply, based in Quincy, on their purchase of the Big R stores in Taylorville, Lincoln, and Springfield.

Officials tell Regional Radio News that both Taylorville and Lincoln stores will be converted to Farm and Home Supply stores, while the Big R Springfield location on North Dirksen Parkway will be temporarily closed and eventually be re-opened as the new Springfield East location for Farm and Home Supply.  Farm and Home currently operates a store just north of the former Big R location on the same street.

Owner Adam Bowles says all 3 stores will be remodeled, starting at the Lincoln location.  The Taylorville and Springfield locations will be enlarged in the coming year to provide more space for new products and services.  

Bowles added that Lincoln and Taylorville stores will be expanding clothing, lawn and garden, and hand tool brand lines, and will also offer full service small engine repair.

Hours for both Taylorville and Lincoln stores will vary in the first quarter as remodeling gets underway.  Grand Openings will be held at both stores later in 2022.

One Name Released In Fatal Pawnee Fire

The Christian County Coroner has released one of the names of one of the victims of the Pawnee fire in rural Christian County. 59-year-old Patrica E. Smith of Pawnee was pronounced dead at the scene on Sunday, December 19th at 8:58 AM. An autopsy was held in Bloomington on Monday and preliminary autopsy results indicate that she died of carbon monoxide intoxication due to the inhalation of smoke and soot from the fire. A male also passed away from the fire. His name has not been identified yet. The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is handling the investigation. 

CCYMCA Offering January Membership Drive

The Christian County YMCA December Toys For Tots Membership Drive a success – another membership drive ongoing for January. 

 

Director Bruce Blanshan says the YMCA collected nearly two boxes full of toys in December. 

If you join in January you will have your activation fee waived and receive a 10 percent discount for the first month.

Blanshan says it is a perfect time to join because there are many programs returning to kick off 2022. 

The Y has countless features for you. 

Learn more at ccymca.org. 

 

Blanshan appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Rep. Avery Bourne Wants Your Help

This is the time of year state legislators ask for their constituents help. 

 

State rep. Avery Bourne wants you to reach out if you think state laws could use adjustment. 

Though the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card system backlog has improved, Rep. Bourne is looking into ways to improve the system further so that backlogs don’t happen in the future. 

Family law is something Rep. Bourne is paying special attention to.

The first section of the Re-imagine Illinois package focuses on lawmaker corruption.

Reach out at repbourne.com. 

 

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

Lake Shelbyville Looking For Real Christmas Trees

Lake Shelbyville is looking for Christmas trees! Yes, you can extend your tree’s life by donating it for Fish Habitat Improvement Day at Lake Shelbyville.  The US Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Shelbyville Fish Habitat Alliance, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are looking to place discarded trees into Lake Shelbyville to enhance fisheries for years to come.

 

Donated Christmas trees are bundled together in small groups and submerged in the lake at certain locations that allow the fish to have breeding areas and escape cover.  

 

Trees will be collected in both Shelbyville and Sullivan and the designated collection site in Sullivan is at the Sullivan 66 Gas Station south of Sullivan on Route 32.  Trees can be dropped off inside the fenced-in area on the north side of the building, not in the parking lot. 

 

In Shelbyville, the collection site is the Johnstowne Mall on the west side of Shelbyville.  Make sure to place trees inside the fenced-in area on the grass at the Northwest corner of the parking area and not in the parking lot itself. No artificial trees will be collected.  Real Christmas Trees will be collected until February 12th, 2022.  

 

Make sure to remove the stand, tinsel, ornaments, or anything else you have in the tree. Remove any plastic from the tree and Lake Shelbyville is only accepting Christmas trees at this time, not wreaths or other decorations.

Taylorville City Council Discusses Downtown Grant; Swears In New Police Officers

The Taylorville City Council met on Monday evening to discuss business, finance, ordinance, and much more. The board saw the oath of office given to Chaz Dees and Ryan Tapp. Tapp and Dees are both from Taylorville originally, and Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler is excited to have them on the force.

 

 

The board approved all the new business development district agreements except for one between Taylorville and SM Capital which was tabled. The board announced that they are pushing for a grant concerning the downtown area called the Rebuild Downtowns & Main Streets Capital Grant Program. Aldermen Kathy Driskell says this is extremely important to the city of Taylorville.

 

 

The board discussed the embezzlement claim involving Robbin Sheets. Rocci Romano, City Attorney explained the latest.

 

 

It seems the board didn’t really wasn’t satisfied with what the final charges were going to be but understood that given the circumstances, they wouldn’t be able to get more. 

 

Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry gave an update congratulating the 7th-grade girls, new police officers, and wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

 

 

To see the petition on change.org, click here.

 

Vehicle Crashes Into Building In Taylorville

Taylorville Fire responded to a vehicle crash at the Mach 1 gas station in Taylorville on Monday afternoon at around 2:26 PM. The vehicle drove through the right side of the building and the driver was transported by Dunn's ambulance to TMH with minor injuries.  A passenger in the vehicle was uninjured.  Taylorville Fire reported that other than obvious damage to the window and stock, no other structural damage was noted.  It is reported that one worker had a minor scrape but no other workers or customers reported any injuries.

 

Pictures courtesy: Taylorville Fire Department

 

Rural Pawnee Fire Claims Two Lives

A fire in rural Pawnee has left two people dead. On Sunday at 7:15 AM, Christian County 9-1-1 received a call concerning a structure fire at 414 E 1525 North Road in Rural Pawnee. A 70-year-old male occupant was transported to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield where he later passed away. A 59-year-old female was also located inside the home and pronounced deceased at the scene.

 

Midland, Pawnee, Divernon, Taylorville, Morrisonville, and Edinburg Fire Departments all responded to the scene. Dunn’s Morrisonville and Pawnee Ambulances also responded to the fire. Pawnee Police, the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, the Christian County Coroner’s Office, and the Illinois State Fire Marshall also responded to the call.

 

The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the accident.

 

What To Look For With COVID Before The Holiday's

With COVID on the rise, hospitalizations are on the rise as well. HSHS Medical Group is concerned about these increases especially with the holidays right around the corner. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Jennings says that the majority of patients that are being admitted for COVID are unvaccinated and those who are unvaccinated, typically stay longer than those who aren’t. 

 

Dr. Dexter Hazlewood, a staff physician with HSHS says that about 40% of the population still is not vaccinated. 

 

 

With the vaccine being available, Dr. Hazlewood says it is much more comfortable to be with family but to have social distancing when you are with people you don’t know. 

 

 

While much information is still unknown about Omicron, Dr. Hazlewood says omicron is more infectious than previous strains. 

 

 

Even if you don’t have symptoms, the IDPH recommends you get tested for COVID regularly if you work in a high-risk setting or have been exposed to someone with COVID, before you gather with family or friends. If you are positive, even if you aren’t showing symptoms you are encouraged to stay home. 

 

If you don’t have severe COVID or a weakened immune system, CDC guidance says you can leave quarantine and be around others 10 days since symptoms first appear and 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicine and other symptoms of COVID are improving. COVID recovery can take time, even when you are no longer contagious. HSHS encourages you to take it easy especially if you feel tired. 

 

For more information, visit HSHS Medical Group’s website. 

Rep. Halbrook Excited To Serve Newly Drawn District

Rep. Brad Halbrook is running for re-election in the newly drawn district. 

Rep. Halbrook says that though the districts in central Illinois are unlikely to change, the maps are in litigation. 

Rep. Halbrook is pleasantly surprised to see a wide range of support for the litigation. 

Rep. Halbrook says that he is excited to serve a district with a new look to it. 

Reach out at rephalbrook.com.

 

Rep. Halbrook appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show from studios in downtown Shelbyville. 

Tornadoes Organize Relief For Mayfield

Four semi-trucks full of toys, clothes, toiletries, and other necessary products were gathered on Saturday morning from 8 to 10 by Taylorville Athletics led by Head Coach of the Taylorville Tornado Football Program, Jeb Odam. The trucks are headed down to Mayfield, Kentucky which was ravished by an EF4 tornado last week. One football player said it felt like the whole town came out. Odam has spoken about the event saying that after the tornadoes came through Taylorville it felt like the right thing to do. 

 

The Tornadoes Sports Boosters praised the efforts, thanking everyone who donated including the truck drivers. The Tornadoes even received donations from Apollo Conference rival, Mahomet Seymour. The Bulldogs faced the Tornadoes in basketball this week and held open donations at the door, along with raising money for the event. 

 

If you would like to help donate towards the rebuilding effort in Mayfield, click here.

 

 

Craig's Sporting Goods Open House Jan. 15th

There’s a sportsman show coming your way in January. 

 

Owner of Craig’s Sporting Goods in Shelbyville Cheryl Schultz says the event is January 15th. 

Multiple vendors will give away prizes. 

If you bring the kiddos with you, there will be something for them to do. 

Schultz is welcoming everyone to experience full access of Craig’s. 

Learn more about Craigs Sporting Goods on its Facebook page. 

 

Schultz appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

ISP Investigating Officer Involved Shooting In Jerseyville

The Illinois State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting in Jerseyville. On December 18th, at around 3:30 PM, an unknown suspect entered a home in the 18000 block of US Route 67 in Jerseyville. The suspect held the resident hostage for several hours before the resident was able to escape and call the police.

 

Deputies from Jersey County arrived on the scene, and reportedly, a subject fired shots at deputies.  Officers returned fire and the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System arrived on the scene. Officers were then able to enter the home and clear the residence, where they located the subject a short time later. It is unknown if the subject was struck by gunfire by the officers.

 

The investigation is still ongoing and no further information is available.

Illinois Driver License's Expiration Dates Extended Again

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has announced that expiration dates for driver’s licenses and ID cards have been extended until March 31st, 2022.  This extension doesn’t apply to CDL’s or CDL Permits (Commercial driver’s licenses). White says this will be the final extension. 

 

White says that his office has continued to serve the public, including face-to face transactions safely and responsibly. Throughout the pandemic, White says the goal of the Secretary of State Office has been to require appointments for behind-the-wheel road tests, REAL IDs, standard driver’s licenses, and ID cards. Customers can visit ilsos.gov for facilities as well as scheduling. 

 

Remote renewal has also been expanded for driver’s licenses and ID cards. Since last fall White says that they have sent out mailing letters to eligible customers to renew online eliminating the need for 1 million people to visit a facility. 

 

White encourages you to continue to use ilsos.gov instead of visiting a facility in order to purchase license plate stickers, obtain a duplicate driver’s license or ID card, or renew a driver’s license including a REAL ID for those who are eligible.

 

All REAL ID’s have been extended to May 3rd, 2023 by the Federal Government. 
 

Illinois State Police Investigating Fatal Crash On Route 29

ISP are investigating a fatal crash that occurred on Route 29 heading towards Springfield on Saturday night. Illinois State Police say that the crash occurred on Illinois Route 29 near Tansey Road outside of Springfield in Sangamon County at around 2:37 AM. 45-year-old Christopher W. Jackson, of Springfield, was traveling southbound on Illinois Route 29 when for unknown reasons, the vehicle drove off the roadway to the left and struck a pole. Jackson, who was alone in the vehicle, was pronounced deceased. No further information is available. 

New Farm Credit Illinois Taylorville Building Taking Shape

 

The new Farm Credit Illinois building on West Route 104 in Taylorville continues to take shape.

 

The new building will give their expanded staff more space to offer farmers FCI's lending and crop insurance products.

 

Officials plan on moving into the new building in the first part of 2022.  Their temporary office continues to be in the Marsango Plaza at the corner of West Spresser and Cheney in Taylorville.

Farm and Home Supply Buys Big R Stores in Taylorville, Lincoln, Springfield

The Big R stores in Taylorville, Lincoln and Springfield have new owners.  Regional Radio News has learned that Farm and Home Supply, based in Quincy, has purchased the 3 stores.

The Taylorville and Lincoln Big R stores closed as of Friday night, and are reopening Monday as Farm and Home Supply. 

The Farm and Home Supply store on North Dirksen Parkway in Springfield will eventually move to the Big R location just down the street.  

Farm and Home Supply has stores in western Illinois, Iowa, and eastern Missouri.

School Districts Concerned Over Social Media Threats; Encourages Parents To Talk To Children

The Taylorville School District is warning parents to be aware of what their kids are watching on social media. A new post on the social media sharing site “TikTok” has called for a nationwide “School shooting and bomb threats for every school in the USA even elementary” and it is set to take place today on Friday, December 17th.

 

There is no indication that there will be a threat at Taylorville School District. The School District says they are sharing the message out of an abundance of caution and as a precautionary measure. The School District is asking that parents talk to their children to report any concerning messages that the child hears or sees in person or online gets shared with a trusted adult, school administrator or staff member, or police. The staff is encouraging parents to talk to children about the Safe2Help Illinois program for students to share school safety issues and find resources to get help. 

 

The School district is asking children not to promote social media rumors but instead tell the staff, and children should report something they read, hear, or see, if it makes them uncomfortable. Parents should know who is connecting with their children online and set rules for social networking, instant messaging, e-mailing, online gaming, and using webcams.  If you have any questions, please contact Matt Hutchison at Taylorville High School at 824-2268.

G.Y.M. Donates Mammograms To TMH

Taylorville Memorial Hospital and G.Y.M Fitness in Taylorville tackle the second leading cause of cancer death among women. 

 

Get Yourself Motivated (G.Y.M). raises $1,200 towards breast cancer screenings through T-shirt sales and donations from clients and employees. They presented a check to the Taylorville Memorial Foundation. 

Executive director of the Taylorville Memorial Foundation Raedena Ryan says that the donation helps six women receive a screening that could be lifesaving. 

TMH provides free breast cancer screenings for under-insured or uninsured women each October as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Manager of Taylorville G.Y.M. says that the foundation is the perfect fit for the facility.

The National Cancer Institute recommends all women 40 and older are screened every one to two years. 

Be S.M.A.R.T With Your Resolutions

Preparing for the holidays and the start of 2022 can wear you out. 

 

Acting director of University of Illinois Extension Lisa Peterson is also a nutrition and wellness educator and she wants you to be S.M.A.R.T. this holiday season. 

Peterson1                        KEY:                    LENGT: 48

The “S” in a S.M.A.R.T goal stands for making your goal specific. 

Peterson2                        KEY:                    LENGT: 35

The “M”, “A” and “R” stand for measurable, attainable and realistic.

Peterson3                        KEY:                    LENGT: 63

The T is to make sure your goal is timely. 

Peterson4                        KEY:                    LENGT: 33

Peterson says that being S.M.A.R.T with your resolutions and goals will make you more successful. 

 

Learn more at extension.illinois.edu.

 

Peterson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Sacred Heart Grateful For Donation

After receiving a check from Shelby Electric and CoBank for $10,000 for Sacred Heart School in Pana, School Board President Joni Beyers says that the school can finally get updated computers, network equipment, and security cameras so they can stay current with technology benefiting classrooms and students. 

 

 

Beyers says the community support means a lot to the school.

 

 

Beyers says a school security system upgrade is needed to give the kids a safe environment to live in.

 

 

Beyers says that the school is very small and they depend on community support. She says she is proud to be a part of this program that has helped them out.

 

 

The village of Strasburg also received a donation of $10,000. 

Tiredness Could Be A Sign Of Anemia

While many people are feeling tired, often those symptoms are a sign of a work schedule, demanding schedule, and too much screen time. However, there can often be an underlying condition as well and if you feel that you have no energy or motivation, the answer may be something like anemia. 

 

Anemia is a condition in which an individual lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues within the body. There are more than 400 types of anemia which are divided into three groups, blood loss, decreased red blood cell production, and destruction of red blood cells. 

 

A simple blood test can be used to diagnose anemia. Symptoms include fatigue and weakness, dizziness, fast or unusual heartbeat, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet, pain in bones, skin that’s pale or yellow, and problems with growth for children and teens.

 

There are an estimated 5 million people in America who have an iron deficiency that can be treated with oral supplements, but in some cases, IV infusions are needed, because iron supplements can cause issues. Treatment can be brief or ongoing. Trisha Clevenger, RN for oversees infusion services with OSF Health Care in Alton says that especially for women, most are only treated on an as-needed basis.

 

 

Some genetic anemias such as sickle cell anemia are caused by cells that are shaped incorrectly and don’t function properly in the body. 

 

 

Symptoms of sickle cell disease can result in painful episodes when cells stick together and cause severe pain in the chest, stomach, arms, and legs. Sometimes it can lead to infection, acute chest syndrome, and stroke. The only cure for sickle cell disease is a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. 

 

The second most commonly treated anemia related to red blood cell production happens when a person doesn’t get enough vitamin B12, folate, or both. Sometimes the body doesn’t absorb enough B12. The condition can be treated with B12 supplements but it has to be monitored to make sure the body is using it right.

 

 

Anemia treatment plans often include diet changes.

 

 

Before taking any supplements, or if you are feeling tired or listless, contact your primary healthcare physician. 

Midland Institute National Program Director Attends CEO Facilitator Dick Adams Retirement Party

The Christian County C-E-O, or "Creating Entreprenurial Opportunities", Board, Students, and Alumni, held a retirement party for outgoing facilitator Dick Adams, this past Sunday afternoon at the US Bank lobby in Taylorville.  Adams retired November 18th after 7 years as the local program's first facilitator.

 

Amy Tarr, National Program Director for the C-E-O's parent organization the Midland Institute in Effingham, attended Adams' retirement party and said she was impressed with Adams from the first time she met him in 2015. 

 

 

Find out more on the Christian County CEO program by going to christiancountyc-e-o-dot-com.

Pana Man Charged With Injury To A Police Officer And Aggravated Burglary

A Pana man is facing charges of residential burglary and aggravated battery to a police officer after an investigation of thefts in the area. 30-year-old Ryan L. Tarrant of Pana was arrested on Wednesday after an investigation into some thefts that occurred on December 4th, and December 13th. 

 

On December 4th, Pana Police investigated a theft of surveillance cameras on the north side of town. Pana Police located and arrested Tarrant for theft and criminal damage to property and he was released with a notice to appear. 

 

On December 15th, Pana Police were notified by a homeowner in the same neighborhood as the previous thefts, that their house had been broken into on December 13th with items removed. Police again investigated and with the assistance of surveillance cameras were able to identify and arrest Tarrant again with residential burglary. 

 

According to police, during processing, Tarrant attempted to flee the Police Department and a struggle ensued with one officer being injured in the struggle. The officer was treated at Pana Hospital and released. Tarrant was processed on the charge of aggravated battery to a police officer with injury, and two counts of residential burglary and transported to Christian County Correctional Center. Tarrant’s bond was set at $75,000 with 10% to apply. 

 

The case remains under investigation and Tarrant has additional burglary charges pending. 

Donations Made To Strasburg And Pana School District From Shelby Electric

Sacred Heart School in Pana and the Village of Strasburg both received checks today as part of a program from both CoBanks and Shelby Electric Cooperative. Strasburg and Sacred Heart School in Pana both received checks of $10,000. 

 

Shelby Electric Vice President of Media and Public Relations Kevin Bernson says that it’s about a commitment to the community.

 

 

Bernson said that the students were very excited at Sacred Heart.

 

 

The Village of Strasburg received a check for $10,000 on Wednesday morning and they are hoping to use that money to renovate their park to be more ADA compliant and to match a state grant for upgrades needed. 

 

Sacred Heart School, as part of Pana School District also received a donation of $10,000.  The money will go towards updates for both the school building and academic tools for the classroom.  School Board President Joni Beyers says that the school needed updated computers, network equipment, and security cameras so they can stay current with technology benefiting classrooms and students. 

 

 

Bernson says that this program is part of a program called Sharing Success that sees a rleationship between Shelby Electric and CoBank. It has been going on since 2012.  

 

 

Other programs that have received funding in the past include Shelbyville Fire Department, the Roxy Theater, Shelby County Veteran’s Fund and the Shelby County CEO’s program. 

 

New U.S. Attorney For Central District of Illinois Sworn In

Central District of Illinois has a new U.S. Attorney. 

 

United States District Chief Judge Sara Darrow swore in Gregory K. Harris Monday at the federal courthouse in Davenport, Iowa. 

 

President Joe Biden nominated Harris in late October and the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed him earlier this month. President Biden signed Harris’s confirmation Friday, Dec. 10th. 

 

Harris says that it is an honor to serve as the United States Attorney for the Central district of Illinois. He adds that the office has a long history of excellence and integrity and looks forward to leading a talented group of dedicated attorneys and support staff. 

 

Harris concludes with, “I am eager to get to work.”

 

Just recently, Harris served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois, where he has served since 2001. He completed law school at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law in 1976. He went to Howard University for his bachelor’s in arts. 

 

The swearing-in occurred in Iowa because the Rock Island, Illinois, federal courthouse is closed for construction.

Sunshine Senior Services There For You Year-Round

Even though the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is over, Sunshine Senior Services is still there for you. 

That’s licensed healthcare medicare specialist Kathie Cravens. The Medicare advantage open enrollment period starts at the start of the new year. Cravens says that this period is a good time to review what you signed up for. 

Cravens says that Sunshine Senior Services is there to help – no pressure. 

Cravens is easily accessible in Christian County. 

Learn more at sunshinesrservices.com.

 

Cravens appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Effingham Man Arrested For Sexual Assault Of A Minor At An In Home Daycare

A 66-year-old man from Effingham is in custody on 8 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault to a child after an investigation at an in-home daycare. Martin D. Hubbard was taken into custody by Effingham Police on Monday after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.  Bond was set at $800,000 with 10% to apply.

 

Hubbard was arrested after an investigation in late August led to police receiving a report of a sexual assault that occurred at an in-home daycare in Effingham. Further investigation showed that there were multiple juveniles all under the age of 5. 

 

Each count of predatory criminal sexual assault faces a mandatory sentence of 6-60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and could lead to a mandatory sentence of natural life in prison. 

 

The investigation is still ongoing by both Effingham Police and the Effingham County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

Taylorville Pilots Flying Down To Mayfield, Kentucky With Supplies

In light of the recent storms that have gone through Kentucky, a group of Taylorville pilots have gotten together and are planning a trip down to Kentucky to help with supplies and to alleviate some of the issues that they are seeing down there when it comes to helping the victims of the tornadoes.

 

Michael Coady, one of the pilots has spearheaded the operation and will be taking a flight down to Kentucky on Sunday. His flights are called Wing and a Prayer Flight Service.

 

 

Coady along with his partner Jaime Ruan are taking light non perishable items down to Mayfield, Kentucky.

 

 

If you are wanting to donate items, you can drop them off at the airport and the door will be open. 

 

 

Diapers, granola bars, coats, and blankets are some of the items that are needed for the residents.

 

 

The Taylorville Airport is located at 1501 S. Spresser in Taylorville.

Community Action Team Growing; Adding Emergency Response Team

City of Taylorville’s Community Action Team is growing. 

 

Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says that Kincaid, Edinburg, Assumption, Stonington and Morrisonville are joining the CAT, which focuses on dismantling drug trafficking while offering treatment for those who suffer from addiction. 

 

Wheeler says that most theft and burglaries occur when an addict has to commit crimes to support their habit. 

 

He adds that the addition of surrounding communities to the CAT provides more man power to create a better quality of life in perspective neighborhoods. 

 

The city also forming the Emergency Response Team. Every member part of the ERT attends a one-week training to build on their skills. In addition to normal duties, team members are on call 24/7 to respond to critical incidents. 

 

Wheeler thanks Pro-shot Products and John Damarin in Taylorville, who provided ERT team uniforms, brand new armor, gloves, eye ware, helmets and other items. 

 

Taylorville School District discussed and approved elite communication devices for each team members.

 

Wheeler thanks everyone involved for their sincere support. 

Gov. Pritzker Issues Disaster Proclamation For 28 Counties; Several Local Counties Included

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker issues a disaster proclamation for multiple central and southern Illinois counties impacted by recent tornadoes and storms. 

The proclamation allows the state to expedite resources to counties in need. It also allows the Illinois emergency Management Agency to procure additional resources to help communities recover. 

 

Officials confirmed six tornadoes throughout Illinois. In Madison, the tornado caused the roof of a private business to collapse resulting in six deaths and multiple injuries. 

 

Local counties include Montgomery, Fayette, Macoupin, and Shelby.

 

The governor’s actions activate the State Emergency Operations Center or SEOC, which multiple state agencies to offer assistance on the ground. This includes the Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

 

The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Edwardsville Community Foundation and other nonprofits are also providing aid to local residents. 

 

Shelby, Montgomery, Effingham, Fayette, Macon, Moultrie and Sangamon counties are included in the disaster designation among 20 others throughout southern and central Illinois. 

Taylorville Kiwanis Entertained by THS Madrigal Singers at Weekly Meeting

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard the 22 members of the Taylorville High School Madrigal Singers under the direction of Keith Chase, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

 

 

The singers entered Kiwanis members and many spouses that attended the meeting.  They sang a variety of Christmas songs they performed at last weekend’s successful Madrigal Dinners at the high school.

 

Here's part of what the Kiwanis members heard.

 

 

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.    

Police Say Litchfield Man Set Fire To Own Trailer

Litchfield Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire after Montgomery County received a call on Tuesday morning.  At 9:02 on December 14th, a neighbor reported a mobile home with smoke showing south of Clark Street on the East side of Locust Street.  A fire truck and ambulance arrived on the scene to find a working fire with smoke visible from a mobile home with flames appearing outside of a window spreading on the roof. The bulk of the fire was put out at 9:18 AM and the crews would stay on the scene to continue to look for and battle hot spots. Raymond Harvel Fire arrived and assisted as did Mt. Olive and Hillsboro Ambulance. 

 

During the incident, an investigation was held into the cause of the fire and the Litchfield Police Department tracked down the whereabouts of the occupant of the trailer. A neighbor who called in the fire reported that the mobile home owner walked past their residence when smoke was seen coming from the trailer. Litchfield police were able to contact the occupant and he returned to the scene. Both the police and fire spoke with the owner who admitted to setting the trailer on fire. 

Re-Imagining Illinois

For state legislators, now is the time to prepare for the next General Assembly session. 

 

Rep. Avery Bourne is working on the Reimagine Illinois package. 

That includes addressing what Rep. Bourne calls a culture of corruption in the state. 

Rep. Bourne hopes this package can create job training while improving access to education. 

She also hopes that this package will attract professionals in industries such as technology to the state. 

Reach out at repbourne.com.

 

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

Christian County CEO Alumni, Board Host Retirement Party for Dick Adams Sunday

The Christian County C-E-O, or "Creating Entreprenurial Opportunities", Board, Students, and Alumni, held a retirement party for outgoing facilitator Dick Adams, Sunday afternoon at the US Bank lobby in Taylorville.  Adams retired November 18th after 7 years as the local program's first facilitator.

 

Myah Miles, an alum from the first class in 2016, was one of the organizers of the event, and told Regional Radio News that she wanted to do something for Adams when she found out he would be retiring.

 

 

 

Miles added that despite trying to make the event a surprise, Adams did find out.

 

 

 

 

Several Christian County CEO Board members attended Sunday's reception for Adams.

Find out more on the Christian County CEO program by going to christiancountyc-e-o-dot-com.

Taylorville School Board Meets Monday Evening

The Taylorville School Board met on Monday evening to discuss business, approve minutes, and review claims. The board agreed to take action on funding for a legal cause to support districts who are fighting for local control from ISBE and the Government. Dr. Chris Dougherty explained that it didn’t sign up Taylorville for the lawsuit, just that they would support other schools that did.

 

 

The board also switched from Blue Cross Blue Shield to Health Alliance and adopted the 2021 Tax Levy. The board heard from Aramark, who talked about some of the programs and benefits that Aramark is offering. The board received a copy of the policy updates from ISBE.  Dr. Dougherty says that with all the law changes, there are a lot of differences between this year and last year. 

 

The board announced they would be moving their meetings and after much discussion announced they would be the third Tuesday of every month. 

 

 

The meetings will switch starting in January. The board went into a closed session for litigation discussion, security procedures, and the purchase or lease of property discussion.  No action was taken from the closed session.

Christian County Board Puts Revised Reapportioned District Maps On File

At special meeting Monday night, the Christian County Board placed on file the newly proposed Election Precinct District boundaries.  Board chair Matt Wells explained to the board the need for tweeking the previously passed boundries, due to the Governor signing a new state law on November 15th which says county board districts must have 12-hundred registered voters or less.

 

 

There was about 20 minutes of discussion on the motion to place the new maps on file.  Some board members felt that since the board could pass the final maps up to 60 days after the next election, they wanted more time to study the maps.

 

Wells countered that he consulted the Illinois State Board of Elections, and was told if the county board didn't do it, the State Board of Elections would do it without any input from the board.

 

Wells added he did his best, in working with Christian County Clerk Jacque Willison, to move the fewest number of registered voters from one county board district to another, and yet have as close to 12-hundred voters per district as possible per the state law.

 

The new proposed maps also change the number of wards that are included in county board districts, in both Taylorville and Pana.  Wells stressed that the changes do not have any effect on the existing aldermanic boundries in each city.

 

The motion to place the new maps on file passed 10 to 2, with board members Linda Curtin and Bev Graham voting no. 

 

See the maps by clicking HERE.

 

The new proposed Christian County Board district maps will be voted on at their monthly meeting December 21st.

Man Rescued In Grain Bin Incident In Christian County

A man was rescued from a grain bin today in Christian County in the morning hours. An individual was trapped in a grain bin about 2 miles west of Mt. Auburn on the Rochester/Mt. Auburn Blacktop. Multiple units and agencies went out to assist to the incident and he was successfully pulled from the grain bin, but Christian County Emergency Management Agency Director Jeff Stoner was unsure on his condition as of Monday afternoon.  Mount Auburn, Taylorville, Stonington, Dunns Ambulance, and Springfield Rescue Team all assisted with the rescue. 

IDNR Says Less Deer Hunted In 2021

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources or IDNR announced hunters took a total of 71,675 deer during the 7-day 2021 Illinois Firearm Deer Season that concluded December 5th.  A total of 77,160 deer were hunted during 2020. 

 

IDNR Spokesperson Tim Schweizer says that there are still some hunting opportunities available.

 

 

The preliminary harvest for the second segment of the firearm season for 202 from December 2-5th was 21,375 compared with 29,432 during 2020. There were 50,300 deer harvested for the first segment of the firearm season that took place November 19th-21st.  

 

Schweizer says it’s unclear why numbers were down this year.

 

 

In Christian County, there were 569 deer hunted as opposed to 613 in 2020. In Shelby County, there were 1202 deer hunted as opposed to 1248 in 2020. Montgomery County was the exception as there 851 deer hunted, as opposed to 816 in 2020. Randolph County saw the most deer hunted this year with 2,162 deer harvested.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Recognizes Employees

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office recognized three employees for their accomplishments in 2021. Jim Stitt, Lance Weitekamp, and Jeff Wilson all were recognized for their hard work at the Sheriff’s Office annual meeting. 

 

Jim Stitt works as a Correctional Officer and he was recognized as the reciipiient of the Corrections Division Employee of the Year. Stitt was recognized in his nomination letter for standing out and never wavering from his daily duties. He was praised for his work ethic, personal integirty, and protecting his coworkers.

 

Deputy Sergeant Lance Weitekamp was recognized as the Patrol Division Employee of the Year. Weitekamp was recognized for his leadership and the handling of the K-9. He is also seen as the go to Deputy for guidance and according to his nomination letter, he has continued to grow in his role.

 

Telecommunicator/LEADS Coordinator Jeff Wilson was recognized as the overall and Telecommunications Division recipient of employee of the year. According to his nomination, he has a never quit attitude and is a moral setter who increases everyone else’s moral. Wilson takes the time throughout the day to assist anyone with issues despite being busy with his daily duties.

 

Sheriff Rick Robbins says that it was an honor to present the three awards to outstanding Montgomery County Employees and each of them contribute to thesafety and preservation of Montgomery County.

Early Childhood Development At Shelbyville Schools

Shelbyville School District taking child development into their own hands. 

 

Shannon Shallenberger is the director of early childhood education for the district and says they have distinct features when it comes to early childhood development. 

Shallenberger says that their programs help young kids get ready for full-time school.

This would not be possible without parent and teacher support. 

Don’t think of this program as a way to teach children, rather a program to prepare them.

Learn more at shelbyville.k12.il.us. 

 

Shallenberger appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show from studios in downtown Shelbyville. 

"The Cozy Grind" Video Gaming Parlor Opens Today in Taylorville

A new video gaming parlor is opening today in Taylorville.  Matt Rogers is opening "The Cozy Grind" at 310 North Webster.  Office manager Jackie Huddleston tell Regional Radio News the name of the business came from the feel of the building.

 

 

The Cozy Grind will be open 7 days a week.

 

 

Huddleston adds she and Rogers are excited about welcoming the public to their new business.

Taylorville School Board Meeting Taking Place This Evening

A school board meeting will take place on Monday evening at 5:45. The meeting will have a review of claims, and old business, along with the treasurer's report and approval of minutes. The board will take a look at old business which will include taking action on a FFA trip in Denver for January 4th-9th, a look at taking action on a "making it local" legal cause, and a memorandum of understanding for evaluations and a plan to switch health insurance. 

 

Under new business, the board will adopt the 2021 tax levy, review the Aramark Food Service update, and approve fund paying along with a review of ISBE Policy updates. The board will also review a occupation tax and go over some FFA events. 

 

The board will also review the school calendar and consider switching meetings from Monday evenings to Thursdays. There will be a closed session to discuss security and purchasing property. The board will also hear from Dr. Chris Dougherty, Taylorville Superintendent.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this meeting afterwards.

Dick Adams Honored By Christian County CEO Board, Alumni Sunday

 

The Christian County C-E-O, or "Creating Entreprenurial Opportunities", Board, Students, and Alumni, held a retirement party for outgoing facilitator Dick Adams, Sunday afternoon at the US Bank lobby in Taylorville.  Adams retired November 18th after 7 years as the local program's first facilitator.

 

Amy Hagen, who is a member of the C-E-O board and who helped organize the event, told Regional Radio News that they wanted to honor a man who had done so much for the program.

 

 

 

Hagen added he put his heart and soul into the C-E-O students the past 7 years.

 

 

 

Hagen, along with CEO alum Myah (meye-uh) Miles and Ben Robinson, put the Sunday reception together for Adams.

 

 

Find out more on the Christian County CEO program by going to christiancountyc-e-o-dot-com.

Christian County CEO Honors Dick Adams With Retirement Party Sunday

 

The Christian County C-E-O, or "Creating Entreprenurial Opportunities", Board, Students, and Alumni, held a retirement party for outgoing facilitator Dick Adams, Sunday afternoon at the US Bank lobby in Taylorville.   Adams retired November 18th after 7 years as the local program's first facilitator.

 

 

Adams was very grateful for being honored at the Sunday gathering.

 

 

Adams told Regional Radio News at the event, that the 7 years' worth of CEO students were all a talented group.

 

 

 

Adams added that while the C-E-O program was new to him and the board, he spent time with the late Craig Lindvahl, the creator of C-E-O, to know his vision on what it could be.

 

 

 

 

And, Adams said that after his 7 years with the various C-E-O classes, they're poised for success.

 

 

 Find out more on the Christian County CEO program by going to christiancountyc-e-o-dot-com.

 

 

7th Grade Girls Celebrate State Championship

The Taylorville Tornadoes held a ceremony for the 7th-grade girls basketball team who won the 3rd State Championship for Taylorville as they defeated the Morton Potters in the championship by a score of 18-16. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry praised the athleticism of the team.

 

 

Coach Doug Bowsher praised the team for never quitting.

 

 

Superintendent Chris Dougherty says that this is a memory the girls will cherish forever.

 

 

To hear the full audio of the ceremony including the players themselves see below.

 

 

Tornadoes To Donate Toys To Mayfield, Kentucky On Saturday

With the memories of the Taylorville tornado from 2018 still fresh in many minds, the tornadoes that swept through Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Ohio may bring back all of those memories from the storms. Towns like Edwardsville, Illinois; Bowling Green, Kentucky; and Mayfield, Kentucky have been changed profoundly by these storms. Taylorville High School is going to do something about it.

 

On Saturday, December 18th from 8 AM until 10 AM, the Taylorville Tornadoes Football team will be hosting a toy drive at Taylorville High School for the community and children of Mayfield, Kentucky. With Christmas right around the corner, Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty says that this is something that allows us to help.

 

The toys will be delivered on December 19th. As Head Coach Jeb Odam says, “Our football program just feels that if we can put a smile on a young child’s face during this trying time, then this is worth it.”

Tornadoes, High Winds Cause Extensive Damage in Several Regional Radio Counties Friday Night

Winds over 70 miles an hour, and tornadoes ripped thru the Regional Radio listening area Friday night, causing extensive damage in eastern Shelby, Moultrie, Coles and Effingham Counties, and causing at least one injury.

Here are storm reports gathered by the National Weather Service in Lincoln, from the Regional Radio listening area.

At 9:50, trees were blown down and power poles were bent along Illinois route 16 just northeast of Windsor.

At 9:52, a trained spotter spotted a tornado 2 miles west of Gays in Moultrie County, with trees down and power poles bent.  Silos were blown down and houses also damaged between Windsor and Gays.  The Fire Department also reported that the tornado destroyed the F-S Plant on Illinois Route 16 west of Gays.

At 10 o’clock Friday night, trained spotters reported that a semi was blown over near the Rural King Distribution Center on the northwest side of Mattoon.

At 10:02, trained spotters reported a machine shed was destroyed and numerous power lines were blown down near 800 North and 200 East roads 3 miles southeast of Coles Station in Coles County.

At 10:04, Coles County Emergency Management reported a tornado on the ground 3 miles northwest of Mattoon, causing a house to be severely damaged with people trapped inside.

At 11:06 Friday night, the Beecher City Fire Department reported power lines down in Beecher City in Effingham County.

Damage was also reported in several other counties thru-out central and south central Illinois.  The roof on an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville collapsed due to high winds, killing at least 2 people.   

Severe Weather, Tornadoes Hit Regional Radio Listening Area, Central Illinois

Severe weather hit the Regional Radio listening area Friday night, triggering tornadoes across Central Illinois including in Shelby and Coles Counties.

The Weather Service reported what they called a large and extremely dangerous tornado that first came down west of Herrick around 9:30.  It tracked thru south central Shelby County, then smashed into the Gays, Mattoon, and Oakland areas of Coles County with damage reported in that area during the 10 o’clock hour.

A tornado touched down and caused damage during the 7 o’clock hour Friday night in the Meredosia and Literberry areas of Cass County.  

High winds took power lines down at 8:50 near Latham in Logan County.

No injuries have been reported from Friday night’s severe weather that extended across the Midwest.

Tornado Watch In Effect Until 11pm Friday for Regional Radio Listening Area

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Tornado Watch for the Regional Radio listening area until 11 o'clock Friday night.

The Weather Service has put an area south of a Jacksonville to Bloomington to Watseka line, in the "enhanced" category for severe weather.

Damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 miles an hour and scattered tornadoes, are the primary thunderstorm hazards.

The Weather Service added a few of the tornadoes could be on the strong side, with the severe weather window being from 7pm Friday until 1am Saturday.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for the latest severe weather information.

See Something? Say Something

Illinois schools are experiencing an uptick in school threats. 

 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency reminding students, parents and community members about Safe2Help Illinois.

 

IEMA Spokesperson Rebecca Clark says that the program is intended to share school saferty issues in a confidential environment. 

If you think there is a threat, it is better to be safe than sorry. Clark says that the program is not intended to suspend, expel or punish students. Rather, the goal is to encourage students to seek help before harm of themselves or others. 

There have been 30 school shootings nationwide this year – 22 since the start of August, including one in Chicagoland area in mid-October. 

 

If you see something, say something when you visit Safe2HelpIL.com.

Ag In The Classroom Keeping Busy In Colder Months

Ag in the Classroom continues to bring agriculture programs to kids in school. 

 

Coordinator with the University of Illinois Extension Rebecca Livingston says that younger kids are learning about snow. 

Older kids are creating livestock snow globes. 

Middle-school age children are learning about the cycle of farming food. 

Livingston invites you to help out with Ag in the Classroom. 

Learn more at agintheclassroom.org. 

 

Livingston appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Placement A Plus For Teachers In Accelerators Program

The Golden Apple Accelerators Program is helping all kinds of people who want to teach get placed quickly. One such teacher is Ashley Tyler who teaches at Dennis Lab School in Decatur. Tyler went through the inaugural class of teachers in the Accelerators program for Golden Apple and speaks fondly of her time there. She is encouraging all future students who are interested in joining the program to apply. While Tyler didn’t start out teaching, it reached out to her.

 

 

One thing that Tyler did love was the placement and the help the Accelerators program did as far as putting her in a school that she wanted to teach at.

 

 

Tyler says shes had her ups and downs but having a mentor from the Accelerators program has really helped her. Tyler says that while some things have been the same, COVID has changed a lot of the ways that she has learned how to teach.

 

 

Tyler encourages anyone who wants to be a teacher, to check out the Accelerators program by Golden Apple.

 

 

For more information on the Accelerators program that is open right now and accepting applicants, visit https://www.goldenapple.org/accelerators. 

Taylorville 7th Grade Girls Basketball Team Wins 4-A State Championship

The Taylorville Junior High School 7th grade girls basketball team won the state 4-A championship Thursday night, defeating the Morton Junior High Potters 18 to 16 at Bollingbrook Middle School in suburban Chicago.

 

With the score tied at 16, Tornado Grace Rogers hit the winning bucket with 4 seconds to go for the win.  

 

Here's how the call sounded with Leroy Kleimola during NEW Country 104-point-one's live coverage Thursday night:

 

 

Morton then took the ball in after they called time out.  There were less than 4 seconds left.

 

 

 

The T-J-H-S 7th grade girls team ends the season with a record of 26 and 2.  Morton ends their season 28-and-2.

Nokomis Man Dies In Motor Vehicle Accident

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a traffic crash that resulted in one fatality. 31-year-old Charles L. Cummings Jr. of Nokomis was pronounced dead after a vehicle crash on December 8th at 8:11 on County Highway 1 just north of County Highway 8.  

 

Initial reports at the scene show that the semi was northbound and that Cummings was traveling south. Cummings vehicle crossed the center line and struck the semi-truck. Mr. Cummings was trapped in the vehicle and Taylorville Fire Department was able to extricate him from the vehicle but Mr. Cummings was pronounced dead on the scene at 9:22 PM. No other injuries were reported on the scene.

 

Illinois State Police responded to the scene to reconstruct the crash and conduct a commercial motor vehicle inspection. The coroner’s office has scheduled an autopsy to be held in Bloomington. The Christian County Sheriff’s Office, Dunn’s Ambulance, Taylorville Police Department, Illinois State Police, and the Christian County Coroner’s Office all responded to the call. 

Macon County Conservation Center Guides You Through Meteor Shower This Saturday

Gear up for the Geminid meteor shower with the Macon County Conservation District.

That’s Rock Springs Conservation Center manager Alysia (Al-ish-uh) Callison. The event is at 9 p.m. at the conservation center. 

 

You should pre-register to make sure you have hot cocoa available for you. 

If you can’t make it to the meteor shower watch party, then the conservation center has more in store for you starting in January. 

The conservation district is always looking for volunteers. 

Learn more at maconcountyconservation.com.

 

Callison appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Ameren Offering Programs To Help Those Struggling To Pay Energy Bills This Winter

There are many energy efficiency programs that are out there to be able to help you, in case of emergencies this winter. One program is run by Ameren Illinois and Susan Sams is the executive director of the Energy Assistance Foundation overseeing Warm Neighbors Cool Friends. Sams says that this foundation is a program that will help customers get through a temporary financial crisis.

 

 

Ameren covers all administrative costs and 100 percent of your donation goes towards a customer who needs it.

 

 

Sams says that end-of-the-year donations can go a long way, especially with COVID.

 

 

Depending on the county that you are in, you can get many different services. 

 

 

For more information on Ameren and the services they offer, click here.

CCYMCA Holding Membership Drive Aiding Toys For Tots

Don’t let application fees stop you from joining the Christian County YMCA. 

 

Director Bruce Blanshan says that they are offering a membership drive that waives the application fee if you bring a boxed toy to the YMCA when you join. 

Toys For Tots is helping the “Y” bring in more members. 

The YMCA has a lot to offer and is hoping to ease back to more programs soon. 

The CCYMCA is hiring for full or part-time.

Learn more at CCYMCA.org. 

 

Blanshan appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

SHADOW Home Helping Women and Their Young Children

SHADOW Home helps women and their young children in-need.

That’s acting director Vicki Jackson. She says that SHADOW is there for women in various situations. 

Jackson says that the home runs on donations. 

SHADOW Home also relies on volunteers. 

Learn more about SHADOW Home on its Facebook page. 

 

Jackson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Food Pantry Thankful For Support

The Taylorville Food Pantry is grateful for community support. 

 

Co-coordinator Amy Hagen says that the community really showed out for the pantry over Thanksgiving. 

Hagen says that there’s a wide variety of items the pantry accepts to distribute to the community as needed. 

While the pantry is constantly bringing in new volunteers, they’re always looking for more. 

If you want to help, you just have to show up. 

More information at taylorvillefoodpantry.com.

 

Hagen appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Missing Palmer Woman Found

A missing woman from Palmer has been found. 77-year-old Rebecca L. Arkebauer was reported missing on Tuesday. According to a press release sent out by Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp, Arkebauer was located by the St. Anne Police Department in Kankakee County. Police were able to track Rebecca’s vehicle in real-time and keep law enforcement up to date on her location. 

 

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office is thanking the Illinois State Police, ISP Air Operations, ISP DCI-Zone 4, ISP Silver Search, Iroquois County, Kankakee County, St. Anne Police Department, and all local agencies who assisted in searching for Mrs. Arkebauer. She has since been reunited with her family. 

Illinois State Fire Marshal Stresses Fire Safety This Holiday Season

Illinois State Fire Marshal stressing fire safety this holiday season. 

 

State Fire Marshal Matt Perez says that there were 17 fire related deaths during the 2020 holiday season in Illinois. 

 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than two of every five home decoration fires occur due to decorations placed too close to a heat source. Candles start more than one-third of home decoration fires. 

 

The  NFPA also reports that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 780 home structure fires per year that began with decorations between 2013 and 2017. 

 

Candles also start more than half of home decoration fires in December. 

 

Perez says that you should extinguish all lit candles before bed. He reminds you that holiday decorations can increase risk of a home fire and that it’s important to follow and practice fire safety measures to enjoy a safe and festive holiday season. 

 

He also reminds you to keep lit candles at least a foot away from decorations or anything that can catch fire. You should also check any decorating lights to see if they are fit for indoor use while also replacing any light strands that have worn or broken cords. 

 

Even though that tree is delightful at night, you should turn the lights off before bed. If you have a real tree, make sure to check water levels daily. Dried out trees are a fire hazard. 

 

When you go to make that holiday meal, make sure you’ve cleaned it since Thanksgiving. In case of an oven fire, turn it off and close the door until it is cool. 

Central IL Food Bank Responding To Supply Chain Disruptions

Even in the face of supply chain issues, the Central Illinois Food Bank is there. 

That’s public relations manager for the food bank Tim Kirsinikas. He says that they are adapting to the situation as well as continuing to adapt to the pandemic. 

Don’t feel pressured to squeeze a food drive in before Christmas – the need is there year-round

Volunteers are what make organizations like the food bank work. 

Learn more at centralilfoodbank.org.

 

Kirsinikas appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Park District Ready For Christmas In The Park

Over 100 displays at Christmas In The Park starting Thursday!

That’s recreation director for the Taylorville Park District Bailey Hancock. She says that the event starts Thursday in Manners Park and runs all the way through Christmas with special events through next Sunday the 19th.

She also says that you can drive through the display starting Friday all the way through Christmas Day. 

Hancock is still taking applications for the Little Miss and Little Mister Snow Flake Pageant taking place Saturday, December 11th. 

If you’re hoping to get a head start on next year’s holiday cards, then Tuesday Dec. 14th there is a great photo opportunity for you. 

Learn more about Christmas In The Park, including sleigh rides, Santa visits and Dining Hall Events, at taylorvilleparkdistrict.com.

 

Hancock appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Havera Leaving States Attorney's Office; Accepts Promotion

Christian County State’s Attorney Michael Havera is resigning as he has accepted a new position with the Illinois States Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor’s Office in the Special Prosecution Unit effective January 1st, 2022. Mike Havera says that it’s very similar to what he’s doing now, just on a much wider scale.

 

 

Havera says one of the nice things about the new job, will allow him to stay local.

 

 

Havera talked about some of the things that he was most proud of during his time in the Christian County Courthouse.


 

Mike thanked all of the support he has gotten over the years.

 

 

To see the full press release from Mike Havera, click here

Taylorville Kiwanis Gets $3500 Donation from People's Bank and Trust, Donates $525 to Camp New Hope at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club received a $3500 donation from People’s Bank and Trust, and donated $525 to Camp New Hope, all during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

 

 

People’s Bank and Trust provided the $3500 donation to the Kiwanis Club Foundation, towards the fund raising efforts towards replacing the aging concrete floor in the Kiwanis Park Pavilion on Lake Taylorville.  The Club is working towards raising a total of 7-thousand dollars, then the Kiwanis Foundation will match with another 7-thousand dollars towards the 14-thousand dollar total cost of replacing the Kiwanis Park Pavilion floor.  PBT Consumer Banking Officer Noah Likes (right) presented the check to Kiwanis president Brad Davis (left).

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Foundation also presented $525 to Camp New Hope, located near Mattoon, to enable one Christian County developmentally disabled youngster to attend a week of summer camp.  This camp is especially designed for developmentably disabled children and adults.  Eric Jostes (right) accepted the Kiwanis grant which was presented by Kiwanis president Davis (left).

 

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.     

Authorities Looking For Missing Palmer Woman

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a missing Palmer woman.  71-year-old Rebecca L. Arkebauer was last seen at her residence yesterday evening around 7 PM.  Arkebauer is believed to be driving a red 2020 Ford Escape with Illinois license plate 33053T-B. Family members advised that Arkebauer is showing signs of Alzheimer's and her destination is unknown.

 

If you have seen Mrs. Arkebauer or know where she is, please contact the Christian County Sheriff’s Office at 217-824-4961.  

 

Golden Apple Accelerators Program Looking For Potential Teachers

A program designed to help aspiring teachers get into classrooms quicker is accepting applications for the third time. Golden Apple announced that they are accepting applications for their Accelerators Teacher Residency and Licensure program.  Kesa Thurman-Stovall, Chief Program Officer of Golden Apple, says that Accelerators was launched in June 2020 in response to a teachers shortage that Illinois is facing. 

 

 

The Accelerators Program is a short-term solution to the Teacher shortage in Illinois. The program usually gets students in the classroom quickly with a 15-month turnaround to getting a teaching license along with receiving a stipend of up to $25,000 to apply for coursework and living expenses. 

 

 

Stovall says that the application window is open until mid-January. 

 

 

One big aspect of this program is mentoring along with job placement.

 

 

The second group of Accelerators started their training in June of 2021 and will begin teaching in the fall of 2022.  For more information, visit www.goldenapple.org/accelerators. 
 

ISP Making Progress In FOID Backlog

Illinois State Police unveiling a streamlined process for Firearm Owners Identification renewals. 

 

Director Brenden F. Kelly also announcing the hiring of additional Firearms Eligibility Analyst trainees.

 

ISP is making good progress in processing FOID renewals. The Firearm Services Bureau is currently processing FOID renewal applications in 38 calendar days. 

 

In November 2020, the FOID renewal backlog reached nearly 139,000 claims. The ISP narrowed that backlog to over 28,000 in September of 2021. The backlog is now down to 7,800 claims. 

 

Kelly says the firearms services bureau is committed to a firearms background check system focused on safety, not bureaucracy. 

 

He says they want to make it easy on the good guys and hard on the bad guys and that the ISP continues to improve workflow and these numbers show the agency is heading in the right direction. 

Taylorville Estates Has Options For Assisted Living

Taylorville Estates offering flexibility for assisted living. 

 

Executive director Janet Dobbs says that Taylorville Estates offers temporary stays, too. 

Temporary stays are great for transitional periods or times where living on their own is too much during a certain time of the year. 

Taylorville Estates is pet friendly. 

Veterans and their families have access to financial aid. 

Learn more at http://www.palladianmgt.com/.

 

Dobbs appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville City Council Approves Cozy Grind; Other Business

The Taylorville City Council met Monday evening for its regular board meeting. All aldermen were present.

 

The board approved minutes of its regular meeting and meetings of committees. 

 

Mayor Bruce Barry provided a mayoral update.

The board unanimously approved the redevelopment agreement between the city and Matthew H. Rogers and Cozy Grind, LLC at 310 N. Webster St. 

 

The board approved the low bid of just over $166,000 to perform maintenance on the municipal building roof. It also approved a motion to remove a portion of the retaining wall in the Police Department Parking lot at a cost not to exceed $2,750. 

 

Under committee reports, the board approved a motion from the Cemetary board to purchase a 2022 John Deere X750 Diesel Lawn tractor and auto connect deck from Sloan Implement. 

 

The finance committee submited a motion to recommend workers compensation and truth-in-taxation funds, while also providing $5,000 to the Christian County Economic Development Corporation utilizing the contingency fund. 

 

The board approved a motion increasing the Sewer Tap fee to $300 and the Excavation Fee to $500.

 

Under emergency services, the board approved the purchase of three portable radios for the police department at a cost not to exceed $5,000. It also approved the purchase of two sets of fire gear at a cost to not exceed $2,409. The board tabled a motion to obtain a second K9 unit. 

 

The board then went into a closed session to discuss evaluations and salary increases.

 

The next scheduled board meeting is set for Dec. 20th.

ISP Reports Two-Vehicle Personal Injury Crash Involving Alcohol

Illinois State Police District 9 reports a two-vehicle crash involving alcohol with minor injuries. 

 

Sunday evening approximately 5:15 p.m. 50 year-old Bruce Costello from Carrolton followed 43-year-old Jeffery Ekena from Washington, IL on Interstate 55 heading north. 

 

At milepost 98, Ekena noticed an active crash scene and pulled to the right shoulder to assist. Costello failed to slow and struck the rear of Ekena’s vehicle. 

 

The collision pushed Ekena’s vehicle off the road, striking a concrete barrier and rolled over. Paramedics transported Ekena and an 8-year-old passenger to an area hospital to treat minor injuries. 

 

ISP cited Costello for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and following too closely. 

Christian County Holds Problem Solving Court Commencement

Christian County held their problem-solving court graduation on Friday; with four people graduating from the course. Ryan Buerk, Danny Lowis, Emily Redfern, and Chris Tucker all graduated on Friday at the Christian County Courthouse in an emotional reception that saw the commencement of a lot of hard work, but as Judge Brad Paisley says it’s not really graduation but a beginning.

 

 

Judge Paisley says if you asked most of the participants, they would say that problem-solving court is harder than just going to jail but it’s been proven that problem-solving court works.

 

 

Judge Paisley told listeners just what it comes to when it comes to problem-solving court.

 

 

Public Defender Tiffany Senger spoke about choosing your hard. 

 

 

Charges were also dismissed against Kim Cohen and Darcy Moffett. To hear the full audio of the entire commencement, see below.

 


Lake Shelbyville Boat Launches Still Open

If you head to Lake Shelbyville, you’ll find the campgrounds are closed for the season.

 

The boat launches are still open, though. 

 

Brock Key is a park ranger for the U.S. Corps of Engineers. 

Fishermen rejoice to hear there are no day-use fees around the lake as of right now. 

That won’t last long, though. Come summer, you’ll see the return of fees. 

Tim Orlowsky is also a park ranger with the U.S. Corps of Engineers and he advises everyone to be safe on the lake. 

Learn more at lakeshelbyville.com. 

 

Key and Orlowsky appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show live from studios in downtown Shelbyville. 

Taylorville City Council To Meet Monday Evening

A jam-packed meeting will take place Monday evening at 7 PM at the Municipal building in Taylorville. The Taylorville City Council will meet on Monday evening to discuss business, review ordinances, and go over committee reports.  The board will approve minutes, then review some water and business development district ordinance updates including a new gaming parlor called the Cozy Grind.

 

Continued under ordinances will be the Franklin Street Improvement Projects, a consulting services agreement, a look at the Rebuild Illinois Grant Funds for East Main Cross project, some work to be done on the Municipal Building, removing a portion of the retaining wall in the Police Department and the approval of Mike Specha to the BDD committee.

 

Under committee reports, the board will look at a motion to approve the purchase of a lawn tractor for the cemetery board. Under finance, the board will also review workers' compensation funds, Christian County Economic Development Committee or the CCEDC Contingency Funds, review the truth-in-taxation levy and act, and approve the treasurer’s report.  

 

Under ordinance, the board will review increasing the sewer tap fee to $300 and the excavation fee to $500. Under emergency services, the board will review purchasing some fire safety equipment, 3 portable radios, and obtaining a second K9. 

 

The board will also hear from visitors, City Attorney, and Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry. 

The Family Holiday Meeting Survival Guide

Holidays can be stressful for everyone, but especially those vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse. 

 

Program Coordinator for Shelby County Community Services Natalie Inman specializes in deterring substance abuse and says that it’s important to practice self care. 

Inman says to be careful asking a relative about their substance abuse issues. 

There’s also a fine line between being helpful and being judgmental. 

The best thing to do for someone who is struggling is to just be there. 

More information at sccsil.org. 

 

Inman appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Many Areas In Illinois Seeing Spike In COVID

The Illinois Department of Public Health is seeing a spike in COVID numbers. 42,559 new cases were reported over the last week with 182 deaths attributed to the virus. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases from November 26th to December 2nd is 4.7% and the 7-day positivity rate from November 26th to December 2nd is 5.6%. Christian County is reporting 40 new cases on Friday, while Sangamon reported 161 new cases and 210 on Thursday. 

 

A total of 17 million vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Friday.  On average, 54,387 doses are given on a daily basis. Of the total population of the state, 69% have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose with more than 61% of Illinois’ total population being fully vaccinated.  36% of all eligible adults have received a booster. For more information visit https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html. 

Christian County Sheriff's Office Investigating Car Thefts

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office is warning people to keep their vehicles locked up after a pair of vehicle thefts in the area. On Thursday, the Christian County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call about a vehicle crash on Illinois Route 48 in Palmer. The caller stated two people were running away from the scene of a red Chevy Silverado pickup. 

 

Arriving on the scene deputies believed there were three occupants of the pick up truck. 36 year old Derek D. Hrabusicky was located near the scene and transported to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. As the Sheriff’s Office was attempting to locate the other passengers, they were notified that the vehicle was stolen out of Decatur.

 

Later that morning around 10:30 AM, Sheriff’s received a report of a stolen vehicle from Kincaid.  The caller stated his wife’s Jeep was missing. A gray, 2004 Ford F-150 was left running in his driveway, which did not belong to him.  During the investigation, it was discovered that that vehicle was stolen from Palmer. 

 

30 minutes later, Christian County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Clarksdale, that a suspicious person was at her residence and the caller stated that at 9:20 AM a black male subject exited a silvedr truck and walked up to her locked vehicle. The caller said that she saw the male wearing a colorful t-shirt, jeans, a hat and had braided hair. He left the area driving the silver truck. 

 

The two individuals involved in the vehicle thefts in Christian County are believed to be a white male, wearing a yellow shirt, and a black male or female who is shorter with black, braided hair.  The gray Jeep is still missing and has an Illinois License Plate of KRISTI4. Law Enforcement officials believe the vehicle to be in the Decatur Area.  If located, do not approach and contact your law enforcement agency. 

 

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is reminding everyone with colder weather arriving, to keep their vehicles locked up and remove car keys.  He is also asking anyone who sees suspicious activity to call it in. The Illinois State Police, Christian County K9 Unit, Taylorville Police Department, Morrisonville Palmer Fire Department, and Morrisonville Ambulance assisted with the investigation. 

Construction on Scooter's Coffee in Taylorville Nearing Completion

 

The new Scooter's Coffee location at the intersection of Illinois Routes 29 and 104 on Taylorville's northwest side, is nearing completion.

 

Construction started a few months back towards the December target date to open.

 

The location will be strictly drive-thru, and offer all types of coffees, teas, and "grab and go" pastries.

 

Employment opportunities can be found here.

Four People Plead Guilty To Fraud Charges

Four individuals responsible for approximately $1.3 million in losses for the state of Illinois plead guilty to mail and wire fraud and money laundering. 

 

42-year-old Tarnavis Lee of Burbank, 42-year-old Demetra Jackson of Chicago, 40-year-old LaShanda Hudson of S. Maplewood in Chicago, and 47-year-old Elizabeth McFarland of Madison, Tennessee all pleading guilty to various charges. 

 

According to the three indictments as well as their plea agreements, the individuals engaged in schemes to defraud the Illinois Department of Human Services Child Care Assistance Program. They submitted false claims for childcare services that were not provided. 

 

Both Lee and Hudson have agreed to pay a total of more than $160,000 in fines. 

 

Lee pleaded guilty on two counts of mail fraud, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering as she was responsible for over $900,000 in losses. 

 

In October, Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. She agreed she cost the government approximately $250,000. 

 

Also in October, McFarland pleaded guilty on one count of wire Fraud. She agreed she caused a loss of over $228,000. 

 

In November, Hudson pleaded to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. She agrees she cost the government over $421,000. 

 

All defendants remain free on bond pending sentencing. 

 

Investigations by the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, St. Louis Field Office and the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau - Central Division helped in the investigation.

Doctors Concerned About New COVID Variant

Yet another new variant of the COVID-19 virus has doctors concerned. The World Health Organization or WHO, classified the new variant as omicron. On December 1st, the variant was detected in California and is being classified as a variant of concern. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a variant of concern is a variant that has the potential for higher disease transmission and more severe cases.

 

Dr. Bill Walsh, Chief Medical Officer for OSF Healthcare in Evergreen Park says that the Omicron variant has origins in South Africa.

 

 

According to the WHO, the omicron variant has many concerning mutations and one is an increased risk of infection. Doctors are concerned that people who have previously had COVID-19 could become re-infected more easily. Studies indicate a lot more information is needed though. Meanwhile, Dr. Walsh says you can continue doing the things you do now to help keep yourself safe from COVID.

 

 

Health experts are still recommending you get your booster when you are eligible. Even with the mutations, Dr. Walsh says that getting the booster is your best protection against getting COVID.

 

 

Dr. Walsh compares getting your COVID-19 vaccine to wearing a seatbelt and says if you can do more to protect yourself, why wouldn't you.

 

 

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and the Omicron variant, contact your primary healthcare physician. 

Pana Students of the Month For November Announced

Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR along with People's Bank and Trust are recognizing the Pana Students of the Month for November. The November Pana Students of the Month are Isaiah Harbert, Ryan Karbach, Zoey Cvengros, and Austin Karbach.

 

L - R:  FRESHMAN ISAIAH HARBERT; SOPHOMORE RYAN KARBACH; JUNIOR ZOEY CVENGROS; SENIOR AUSTIN KARBACH; PEOPLES BANK AND TRUST REPRESENTATIVE JENNIFER MATHIS

Taylorville, Shelbyville, Others Receive Funding For Airports

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation will be awarding $94 million to improve public airports throughout the state as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program. There is also $11.5 million in local funding on top of it and the Governor spoke about how much this is a huge help for the state.

 

 

There are 96 projects selected for funding to help both large and small airports. The projects will include planning, construction, reconstruction, development, and improvement of public airports for both safety and efficiency. 

 

 

Many local projects are receiving funding including Taylorville Municipal Airport, which is receiving $1.4 million for runway rehabilitation, Shelby County Airport, which is receiving $460,000 for hangar construction, and Effingham County Memorial Airport, which is receiving $3.5 million for runway extension and $1.5 million for taxiway extension. 

 

Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman says that public airports in Illinois have to have the resources they need to thrive.

 

 

A total of $150 million in state bonds has been identified in Rebuild Illinois for the state’s airports, with $6 million committed to air traffic control in Romeoville and other airports near Chicago. Illinois has over 850 individual airports. It contributes more than $95 billion annually to the state’s economy. 

Holiday Parade In Downtown Taylorville This Saturday

Sign up now to participate in the Taylorville Christmas Parade contest!

 

It starts at 5 p.m. Saturday. Lineup begins at 4:30

That’s Smalltown Taylorville Executive Director Marsha Neal. She welcomes everyone to walk in the parade, but you must register if you’d like to be part of the contest. 

Neal says that there are some great prizes at stake for the window decorating contest. 

Make sure to bring some lights for your parade entry. 

Sign up for either contest at smalltowntaylorville.com. Registration closes Friday, Dec. 3rd. 

 

Neal appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Holiday Season Gardening Tips

Deck out your garden with plants of the season. 

 

University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger says there’s a lot you can do.

Groundcovers are a great way to fill space with holiday vibes. 

Trees can be a good way to provide cover from winds and adverse weather, but also shade for when spring returns. 

Holsinger also gives advice on how to maintain your holiday tree.

Learn more at extension.illinois.edu.

 

Holsinger appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville High School Madrigal Dinners Dec. 10th and 11th

The Taylorville High School Madrigal Singers are ready to put on a show for you!

That’s the singers performing one of their songs live in studio. 

 

Director of Choral Activities at Taylorville High School Keith Chase says that this is his 14th year working for the high school.

Chase says that this is the 39th year of the Madrigal Dinners. 

Rebekah Krah is the Lady of the Head Couple and a senior at THS. 

Kitchen Steward Athan Sherbert says Madrigal Dinners are one of his favorite things to watch when he isn’t in one himself. 

Gage Matthews is the Sir of the Head Couple. 

The Taylorville High School Madrigal Dinners take place Friday and Saturday Dec. 10th and 11th. 

 

The Taylorville Madrigal Singers appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. To see their full, in-studio performance, head on over to the Taylorvilledailynews.com Facebook or WTIM TV Youtube. 

Tips To Avoid Overspending During Holiday Season

Staying within your budget during the holidays can be a tough task. 

 

University of Illinois extension consumer economics educator Kathy Sweedler says that spending tends to increase when people are tired and stressed.

 

She also says to keep track of what you are buying. 
 

Sweedler says to be wary of overusing your credit card this holiday season.

Other tips include trading old items, recycling your wrapping paper or use newspaper, and plan ahead for next year. 

State Representative Brad Halbrook Announces Reelection

State Representative Brad Halbrook announced on Wednesday that he is running for reelection in the newly drawn 107th District. Representative Halbrook is from Shelbyville and says that he is excited about the new district. Halbrook is the current 102nd district State Representative.  Halbrook lost a lot of the eastern territory including parts of Douglas, Edgar, Vermillion, and Champaign Counties, and picked up parts of Effingham, Montgomery, Christian, Cumberland, and Macon Counties. 

 

Representative Halbrook says that he has many goals moving forward, and he knows the area very well being born in Pana.

 

 

Representative Halbrook is proud of his many accomplishments in office, including a bill on capping funds for townships.

 

 

There is a lot riding on this election and Representative Halbrook wants everyone to be aware of the big issues that Illinois will be facing in the next 5-10 years.

 

 

The hope is to get out and meet with local units of government, to be able to see where Representative Halbrook can help and make things easier for local government. 

 

 

Halbrook was elected State Rep in the 102nd District in 2016 and previously served as State Rep in the 110th District from 2012-2015.  He and his wife Linda live in Shelbyville and operate a small family farm there. 

 

Two Area Colleges Offering Scholarship Opportunities

Winter signals the start of scholarship season for those continuing their education. 

 

Two area community colleges are offering scholarship opportunities. 

 

Lincoln Land Community College opens its scholarship applications for the 2022-2023 academic year. Those planning to attend LLCC in fall 2022 are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 

 

Foundation scholarships are available for all students. Many are open to students in any program of study with an average award of $1,000. 

 

You can find the application at llccfoundation.org/scholarships. You do need an active LLCC email address to apply for these scholarships. 

 

Meanwhile, Lake Land College in Mattoon is offering a second-chance at a Presidential Scholarship to 2021 high school graduates. 

 

Those who did not enroll at Lake Land in fall 2021 are eligible for a scholarship covering the full cost of tuition for up to two consecutive academic years and is available to grads who enroll in Lake Land College in the fall following high school graduation. 

 

Graduating students who were in the top 15 percent of students in their senior class or have an ACT score of 26 or higher and an SAT total score of 1230 or higher are eligible. 

 

Qualifying students must also reside in the Lake Land College district at the time of graduation. They must also have graduated from a high school located in or serving part of the district within the last year. 

 

More information about the Presidential Scholarship when you email scholarships@lakelandcollege.edu.

Republicans Announce Election Campaigns For Christian County

Multiple Republican candidates from Christian County announced their election bids on Wednesday morning in a chilly session outside of the Christian County Courthouse. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettlekamp, Christian County Treasurer Betty Asmussen, and newcomer Jodie Badman running for County Clerk all announced their bids for this next election. They were accompanied by many other Republicans including State Representative Avery Bourne.

 

 

State Senator Steve McClure says that he is proud of the work Sheriff Kettlekamp is doing. 

 

 

Sheriff Kettlekamp talked about some of his goals if reelected.

 

 

Incumbent for the Treasurer’s Office, Betty Asmussen says that she is encouraged to keep working for the community.

 

 

Running for Christian County Clerk is Jodie Badman. 

 

 

To hear the full audio clip of the session, see below

 

 

Win A Spartan Mower At The Peoria Farm Show

Win a brand new lawnmower from the Peoria Farm Show when you ride and drive a Spartan Mower.  

Jeff Bass is owner of Bass Equipment based in Cuba, Illinois. He has teamed up with Spartan Mowers. 

If you don’t win a Spartan, then Bass Equipment has them for you in shop. Bass says that Spartans are American made which aids in repair times. 

This is in part because of supply chain issues. American made mowers have better access to parts at the moment. 

Bass appeared as a guest on the Noon Farm Show’s coverage of the Greater Peoria Farm Show. 

Collinsville Man Being Charged With Murder In Farmersville

One person is dead and another critically injured after a shooting on Thanksgiving. 45-year-old Leslie J. Reeves of Troy, Illinois was pronounced deceased on the scene and 48-year-old Christopher J. Smith of Farmersville was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

 

On November 25th, at 12:42 PM, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office received a call concerning a welfare check at 104 Nobbie Street in Farmersville, Illinois.  Montgomery County 9-1-1 also received a call. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office along with the Farmersville-Waggoner Ambulance Service responded and arrived at the home and once there contacted the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services.

 

A man is in custody in connection with the death. 48-year-old Robert J. Tarr of Collinsville is being held in the Montgomery County Jail and Circuit Judge Jim Roberts held his bond hearing. He is being held on $3,000,000 bond with 10% to apply and is being charged with 1st-degree murder of Reeves and a charge of intent to kill for Smith, who was injured in the shooting. First appearance with counsel is set for December 23rd. 

2021 Greater Peoria Farm Show Underway!

The Greater Peoria Farm Show displaying the latest in agriculture. 

 

Show manager Ron Bormaster is celebrating 40 years of the show after not having the show in-person last year. 

Bormaster says this is a great chance for farmers to check out new technology. 

It’s also a great opportunity for manufacturers to show off their new equipment. 

 

John Davis is a territory sales manager for Midwest Applications based in Decatur touting a brand new machine. 

Many industry and market experts make their way to the show, including Kurt Kimmell with Bates Commodities. He gives tips on how to navigate a turbulent market. 

Kimmell, Davis and Bormaster appeared as guests on the expanded Noon Farm Show’s coverage of the Greater Peoria Farm Show. 

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