Local News

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Inducts 5 New Members at Tuesday's Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club inducted 5 new members during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

 

Lee Skinner, co-owner of Dear Yesteryear and a number of other local businesses.  Skinner said his wife has been an intergal part of their businesses, and he's looking forward to serving the Kiwanis Club as well.

 

 

 

Noah Likes of People’s Bank and Trust, told Kiwanis members his boss and fellow Kiwanis member, John Gardner, asked him to join.  Likes talked about building community in college and how that translates into him coming back home after college.

 

 

 

Chuck Martin, Executive Director of the Christian County Coal Miner’s Museum, also said it was a homecoming for him to come back to Taylorville.

 

 

 

Darin Buttz, Director of Community Health for Memorial Health and Taylorville Memorial Hospital, told Kiwanis members that the goals of both his position with Memorial Health, and the Kiwanis Club, were similar.

 

 

Jennifer Horner of HSHS Medical Group was also inducted but was unable to appear in person.

 

Each were given a Kiwanis Club membership certificate, a card, and a Kiwanis pin.  They each gave some background and why they wanted to join the Kiwanis Club.

 

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

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THS Students Of The Month Honored For January

WTIM and People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville have announced their students of the month for January. The program recognizes one outstanding student from each of the four classes.

 

The Students of the month are: Mazie Fleming, Alyse Tomasello, Cole Paulek, and Emma Pennock.  Congratulations to our honorees!

 

L - R:  FRESHMAN MAZIE FLEMING; SOPHOMORE ALYSE TOMASELLO; JUNIOR COLE PAULEK; SENIOR EMMA PENNOCK; PEOPLES BANK AND TRUST REPRESENTATIVE NOAH LIKES 

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Back To Business Grants Aiding Area Businesses

Local businesses receiving millions in funding from the Back to Business Program. 

 

State Senator Doris Turner announces dozens of businesses in and around her district will receive a total of $3.3 million in funding from the program. 

 

Senator Turner says that the last two years have been a burden on those who own and operate small business, and that these grants are giving businesses across the area a lifeline to get back on their feet. 

 

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to distribute B2B grants. 

 

58 businesses received between $5,000 and $245,000 each to help them cover the costs of safely staying open. 

 

The grant application is still open. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis. 

 

For more information, visit the Depatment of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.

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Taylorville Officials Optimistic About Upcoming Projects

City of Taylorville officials optimistic about the direction the town is heading. 

 

Mayor Bruce Barry says that the East Main Cross project in Taylorville is ready to start in March. 

There are two other grants the city is looking at. The federal government has already approved one for the city’s industrial area. 

The other grant concerns the downtown area. The grant is part of the Downtown Revitalization initiative from the department of commerce and economic opportunity. 

Barry wants citizens to reach out to him if they feel there is a problem within the city. 

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

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New Baby - New Social Security Number

The New Year brought hundreds of thousands of babies into the world. 

 

Jack Meyers is a public affairs specialist with the Social Security Administration and says that, if you had your own baby, it’s never too early to sign up for their social security number and card. 

Meyers says that can be done from the moment the baby is born. 

Once you check that box, the process will only take the state a couple weeks. 

Not too long ago, your baby did not need a social security number the day they were born. That is no longer the case. 

Learn more at ssa.gov. 

 

Meyers appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Kincaid Police Receive Grant From Ameren

Kincaid Police have received a grant from Ameren Illinois to purchase equipment for the Police Department. The police department received a $5,000 grant from Ameren to purchase communications equipment.  The Starcom radios along with a new laptop for a patrol vehicle will benefit everyone as it allows for better communication between the Kincaid Police Department and Fire Department. 

 

Kincaid Police Chief DJ Mathon says that the new equipment will be a huge asset to the department and their dedication to the safety of the community.  He thanked Ameren Illinois saying that his officers will be able to perform their job even better.

 

The grant funds were made available through the Ameren Cares program, a program that connects Ameren Illinois with the communities it serves through charitable giving and volunteering. 

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Representative Butler Running For New 95th District

Thanks to redistricting, a lot of politicians are being shuffled around to other areas, and Representative Tim Butler, who is a Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives representing the 87th district since March 3, 2015, will be running for the 95th district. The 87th included all or portions of Sangamon, Menard, Logan, and Tazewell Counties in Central Illinois. The new 95th district will cover parts of Sangamon, Christian, and Macon.  Representative Butler says it has been a frustrating process, especially because he has worked so hard in the area that he represented before.

 

 

Representative Butler says the biggest thing that he can do is talk to residents of the area to find out what needs to be done and getting involved in the community.

 

 

Butler says rising crime rates need to be addressed.

 

 

Schools and property taxes are other big issues that Representative Butler says Republicans are going to be focused on.

 

 

For more information, visit https://reptimbutler.org/. 
 

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2021 Coroner Report For Christian County Sees Increase

The Christian County Coroner saw an increase in the number of cases handled in 2021. Christian County Coroner Amy Winans is reporting that the number of cases increased by 34.  “The year 2021 was a challenging year for our office.  Our call volume was the highest it's ever been since I was elected in 2004.” Winans said. 

Winans reported a total of 383 deaths to her office in 2021, 34 more than 2020 when 349 were reported. As a consequence of that, the number of autopsies also increased to 24 in 2021. Winans says that they have seen more people dying in their homes who aren’t under a doctor’s care or haven’t seen a doctor lately.

The number of cremations also increased.  In 2021, 211 permits were used, compared to 184 in 2020. Winans says that accidental deaths were at an all-time high.

 

The breakdown for the past three years is as follows.

 

 

2021

2020

2019

Reported Deaths

383

349

339

Natural Deaths

352

332

320

Accidental

22

13

8

Suicide

7

4

9

Homicide

1

0

1

Undetermined

1

0

1

Cremations

211

184

156

 

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McWard Announces Bid For State's Attorney

A criminal defense attorney has thrown in his name for Christian County State’s Attorney.  John H. McWard, has announced that he will also be seeking the Republican nomination for the Christian County State’s attorney spot that was left vacant by Mike Havera resigning. 

 

McWard has spent his time focusing on criminal defense, civil disputes, and family law.  McWard began practicing law in Christian County with his father, Monroe McWard in 2019. Mcward is a third-generation attorney and his father Monroe, has practiced for 37 years with 35 of those in Christian County. 

 

 

Mcward says that he has a vested interest in Christian County and keeping the community safe as his family has called the area home since the 1800s.  He has three main goals as state’s attorney including partnering with law enforcement to aid in the crimes involving drugs in the community.  He also wants to generate more money for the county through asset forfeiture and ensure that justice is served. McWard says it’s about making sure drug dealers don’t have a home in Christian County.

 

 

Mcward says that he is extremely dedicated to helping the community become a safe environment for everyone and feels confident the position as the state’s attorney will give him the opportunity to do so. To see the full press release from Attorney McWard click here

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Computer Techniques Gets New Digs; Looks to Move Mid-Year

 

Computer Techniques, also known as CTI, is getting new digs.  Last week, they purchased the former MAI building on North Cheney, with plans to move to this new 20,000 square foot building mid-year this year.

 

The move is due to their continued expansion of their business, and adding fiber internet into more communities in the area.

 

 

They've been operating from their present location on Sportsman Drive since building this structure in the early 2000's.  Even after expanding this building, they've ran out of space causing the need to re-locate.

 

 

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Taylorville Park Board Meets; Approves HVAC Work At Golf Course

The Taylorville Park board met on Monday evening to discuss business, review reports, and hear from the Treasurer in their regular monthly board meeting.  There was no meeting in December due to the holiday, so there was a lot to go over Monday night. The board heard from Jason Boldig who mentioned that the HVAC unit at the Lake Shore Golf Course was leaking.

 

 

Boldig got some quotes and the board approved Blakely’s Heating and Cooling to do the work. 

 

Recreational Director Bailey Hancock talked about Christmas in the Park.  The park saw the highest number of cars that they’ve seen for the event. 7,628 cars came through, 80 more than last year although it went a day longer.  Donations did drop though this year, from $28,933 last year to $28,512 this year. The highest day was Friday, December 24th, with 740 cars.  Saturday, December 11th, and Saturday, December 18th, also saw more than 600 people go through. Hancock says they are already starting to prep for next year and they’re looking at doing some work at the tennis courts. 

 

 

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

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TPD Welcomes New K9

Taylorville Police are welcoming a new K9 to the force. Joker joins TPD and was born on December 8th, 2019.  TPD will have two K9’s that will cover day and night shift.  Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler says that K9s are a great tool to fight the war on drugs. He also stated that Joker would be tasked with narcotics detection as well as helping to find missing persons and fugitives. 

 

Chief Wheeler continued by saying that having an additional K9 will deter individuals from conducting criminal conduct.  Joker will be working with Officer Rachel Priddy.

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Next Week Is National Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools week will be taking place from January 31st through February 4th, and in Taylorville, St. Mary’s School will be holding a week’s worth of activities to celebrate.  Principal Cathy Robertson says that while COVID has put a damper on some activities, the school is still going to have a lot of fun that first week in February.

 

 

There will be all kinds of activities including many special guests.

 

 

Robertson also says they will make valentines for veterans at the VA Hospital in Danville and will hold a Mass for Grandparents of 6th graders and the 6th graders themselves.

 

 

There will also be a different outfit for every day of the week as well with plenty of other activities planned for the students. Robertson says she and the students are looking forward to it.  Catholic Schools Week runs from January 31st-February 4th. 

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HSHS Introduces New Health Record System

HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital is introducing a new electronic health record system or EHR as part of their ongoing commitment to patient safety, along with streamlining health information and sharing with other providers.

 

The system is called Epic and information contained in that EHR includes care orders, test results, physician notes and reports, and patients’ medical history.  The system provides a technology platform for this information to be shared with nurses, physicians, and other caregivers in one system. 

 

Most of the top hospitals in America use Epic and every organization that does will be able to easily exchange patient data for improved patient care. Dr. Ryan Jennings, Chief Medical Officer for Good Shepherd HSHS, says that clinics will have access to the most complete and accurate information about the care of patients at Good Shepherd Hospital or at a clinic.  Epic will ultimately allow caregivers to spend more time at the patient’s bedside. 

 

Patients will also gain access to Epic’s patient portal, MyHSHS.  That portal is a secure and confidential resource for patients to view their medical records, manage appointments, and communicate with providers, along with providing billing options. 

 

Staff is asking for patience, while they learn Epic and learn the new systems. Good Shepherd reminds patients that if you have an appointment for a test, to arrive 15 minutes early, keep in mind that a new EHR affects every department including housekeeping, food and nutrition services, and business office, and to be patient with colleagues and caregivers as they learn the new system.

 

For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.  
 

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Rep. Halbrook: Schools Must Stay Open For In-Person Instruction

Education continues to be on the forefront of State Rep. Brad Halbrook’s mind. 

Rep. Halbrook says that districts must stay open for in-person instruction. 

Though the fix could be complicated, Rep. Halbrook is confident there are solutions. 

Rep. Halbrook takes pride in his availability to his constituents. 

Rep. Brad Halbrook appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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January Is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month

This month marks Human trafficking Prevention Month. The FBI in Springfield wants Illinoisans to be aware that there are more than 1700 pending FBI Cases of human trafficking as of January 5, 2022. Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.  

 

The FBI investigates all forms of human trafficking despite age or nationality.  95% of the FBI’s human trafficking cases involve sex trafficking and the remainder involve labor trafficking.  Labor trafficking may involve a greater number of victims.  In 2021 the FBI initiated 604 human trafficking investigation, leading to over 786 arrests. 

 

The FBI says there are many warning signs of human trafficking. Victims work in the same place they live, they usually have poor living conditions, they let someone else speak for them.  Victims are often not in possession of their own travel or immigration documents, and there are locks on the outside of doors where they live. Other warning signs to be aware of are victims being constantly watched and guarded, paying their boss for food, clothing, and rent, victims are lied to about the work they are to perform, and victims are subjected to debt bondage in which traffickers demand labor to repay debt.  

 

If you wish to report an incident of human trafficking or suspected human trafficking, call 217-522-9675. 
 

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Golden Apple Program Concerned Over Teacher Shortage

The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents issued a stark warning in a new Illinois Educator Shortage Report. The report shows that Illinois is facing a teacher shortage crisis with 88% of school districts responding to the survey reporting they have a teacher shortage crisis. The teacher shortage has gotten worse.  In October of 2020, this survey showed 77% saying they had a teacher shortage.

 

Golden Apple, a program that helps people get into teaching is working diligently towards fixing that problem.  Kesa Thurman-Stovall, Chief Program Officer of Golden Apple, says that there are two programs that can help resolve the crisis the Scholars Program and the Accelerators Program.

 

 

While the Scholars program has been going for a while, the new Accelerators program has been quite successful as well.

 

 

There is still time to get your applications in for the Accelerators and Scholars program.

 

 

Stovall says both programs are setting up Illinois for better success in the future when it comes to longevity in the classroom and addressing the teacher shortage. 

 

 

President of Golden Apple, Alan Mather says: “Today’s report reflects what we hear from teachers and administrators every day in schools and districts of need – there is a critical and worsening teacher shortage in Illinois, and our students are paying the price. That’s why Golden Apple is working to expand our Scholars and Accelerators programs that are training and placing highly effective teachers in classrooms across our state. Nothing is more important than our children’s futures, and we need stakeholders at all levels to recognize the crisis we face and work together to find solutions.”

 

Find out more on Golden Apple by visiting goldenapple.org. 

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CTI Buys Former MAI Building on North Cheney in Taylorville, Move Planned

Regional Radio News has learned that Computer Techniques in Taylorville, also known as C-T-I, has purchased the former M-A-I building on North Cheney in Taylorville, and will move their headquarters from their present building on Sportsman Drive.

 

Founder and Director of CTI Adam Vocks told Regional Radio News the company bought the building last week.  The purchase was the result of their continued growth.

 

 

Vocks added the hub for their internet service, currently at their present Sportsman Drive building, will be moved.

 

 

Vocks says the present CTI building will be put up for sale once the move to the North Cheney Street location is completed, and added the next step in their move is to hire an architect to plan where everything in the new building will go.

 

 

Vocks told Regional Radio News the staff is very excited about the move.

 

 

Find out the many services C-T-I provides on line at ctitech-dot-com.

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WTIM Presented Statewide Award for Best Spot News Coverage

 

 WTIM General Manager Kami Payne (right) is holding the "Silver Dome Award" from the Illinois Broadcasters Association, with WTIM news and sports reporter Leroy Kleimola on the left.  Kleimola's story with audio that aired on WTIM about the George Floyd death protest in Taylorville June 4th, 2020, won "Best Spot News Coverage" among small market radio stations in Illinois.

 

 

(Taylorville)--Miller Media Group radio station WTIM in Taylorville was this week presented their "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 late last year by the I-B-A.

 

 

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Shelby County State's Attorney Files Drug Trafficking Charges Against Oregon Man

The Shelby County State’s Attorney files felony charges against an Oregon man.

State’s Attorney Nichol Kroncke filed four felony charges against 39 year-old Joshua Hicks, alleging that Hicks illegally trafficked between five-and-a-half and 11 pounds of marijuana. 

 

Kroncke charges Hicks with Unlawful Cannabis Trafficking, Unlawful Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Deliver and Unlawful Possession of Cannabis, 2,000-5,000 grams – all Class 1 Felonies. Kroncke also charges Hicks with Unlawful Possesion of Weapons by a Felon, a Class 2 Felony. The judge handling the case assigned a $250,000 bond. 

 

Additionally, the charges allege Hicks possessed a firearm when he had a prior conviction of Bank Robbery in Oregon.

 

The State’s Attorney also filed two charges against 26-year-old Skye A. Halleman of Pana. This includes one count of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine, a Class 3 Felony, and one count of Obstructing Justice, a Class 4 felony. 

 

 

The charges allege Halleman knowingly possessed less than 5 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine and that she furnished false identifying information to the arresting office. The judge set bond for $25,000. 

 

Both defendants are scheduled to appear in court February 7th for their preliminary hearings. 

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Taylorville High School Staff Member Arrested On Meth Charges (WITH UPDATES)

An employee of Taylorville High School has been arrested for bringing and using methamphetamine at school.  38-year-old Adam Cherry of Rosamond was arrested following a traffic stop where he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia before he entered the school. 

 

The investigation started two weeks ago after the Taylorville Police Department received information that a current employee was bringing meth into the High School and using while on duty. TPD along with K9 conducted a traffic stop and Cherry admitted that he used during work hours inside the school.

 

Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty was notified and Cherry was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay. 


Update: As of 1:43 PM: 

The Taylorville School District has responded with a statement, after 38 year old Adam Cherry was arrested for methamphetamine entering school property. Superintendent, Dr. Chris Dougherty says that the school is still working with the local authorities on the investigation of this night custodian (Cherry) who served the district since August 2019.  Dr. Dougherty says that when he showed up for his shift last night, he was apprehended by police and taken into custody.

 

Dr. Dougherty says, “We do not condone bad behavior anywhere in our schools and removed him immediately from our campus.  We are followin protocol set forth by district policy which leads to termination.”

 

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Heartland Greenway Sets Sights For 2024

Tenaska’s Heartland Greenway project hopes to sequester carbon 5,200 feet below ground. 

 

Director of project development for Tenaska Monte Ten Klay says that this project is beneficial for all. 

Ten Kley describes Heartland Greenway as a multi-state carbon storage project that could aid farmer’s in the long-term. 

Specifically, the carbon storage could be used to aid ethanol.

Ten Kley invites you to reach out to Tenaska if you have any questions or concerns about Heartland Greenway or carbon sequestration and storage. 

Learn more at Heartlandgreenway.com.

 

Ten Kley appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Macon County Conservation Center Unveiling New Exhibit

The Macon County Conservation District is unveiling a new exhibit.

 

Alyssia Callison is the Rock Springs Conservation Center Manager and says that this new exhibit focuses on outer space. 

Callison hopes the exhibit is ready the week of January 23rd. 

Another Owl Prowl is in the works. 

If you can’t make it to the various conservation centers within the district for a program, then the district can bring a program to you. 

Learn more at maconcountyconservation.org. 

 

Callison appeared as a guest on the WTIM Moring Show.

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THS Sports Hall of Fame Accepting Nominations

The Taylorville High School Sports Hall of Fame is looking for candidates. 

That’s hall of fame committee chairman Dave Hixembaugh. He says that anyone can submit a nomination. Former student athletes 10 years removed from graduating from Taylorville high school, as well as coaches and friends are eligible. 

Nominees will join a list of around 100 eligible names to join the Hall of Fame. 

Once selected, the committee will celebrate inductees at a banquet in April. 

Learn more when you search for “Taylorville High School Sports Hall of Fame” in your web browser. 

 

Hixembaugh appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Christian County Health Department Board Gets Updates from State's Attorney, Administrator at Monthly meeting

The Christian County Health Depatment Board of Public Health held their monthly meeting virtually Wednesday night.

 

In the one hour 35 minute session, the board heard a review of the recent hearing on a violation of a quarantine order, from State's Attorney Wes Poggenpohl.  He told the board that he's in a better position to handle such cases in the future, and added the public's view to fight such orders has the potential of burdening an already burdened court system.

 

 

Health Department Administrator Greg Seiders gave his monthly report, telling board members that the state has taken over contact tracing, and that current guidance for those who have COVID symptoms or test positive, is 5 days of quarantine followed by 5 days of making.   The quarantine period for day cares is still 10 days according to Seider.

 

Seiders added that the Health Department is conducting rapid tests on 60 to 90 residents a day for COVID, and at the moment they have an adequate supply of tests.

 

Dr. Graham was appointed by the board as the new medical director, which is an unpaid position.

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Shelbyville Students Of The Month For January Announced

The WSVZ and Family Drug-Shelbyville Students of the Month for January 2022 were presented with their awards recently. Pictured from left to right are Freshman, Kelton Logan; Sophomore, Morgan Stirrett; Junior, Camryn Boehm; and Senior, Bailey Mercer.

Regional Radio News congratulates the Students of the Month!

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Christian County Board Meets Tuesday Evening

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 on the second floor of the Christian County building, 16 Christian County board members assembled to discuss finances, gather information, and vote on important topics related to the central Illinois county.

 

The first and most widely discussed topic came with Chad Coady presenting information about local solar farms being placed in Christian County. Although no motion or vote was initiated the board members spent about 20 minutes discussing and gathering information with Coady about what the farms would bring financially to the county. This included the effect on schools and individual residents, taxes, and bottom lines.

 

After the information was spread on the solar farms, the board voted in favor of all of the following:

-       A new truck for the county,

-       $20,000 in funds for Pana Bridge #66,

-       $13,000 in funds for Pana Bridge #71,

-       a current max of $5,000 to work on leveling the floors and ridding wires at the Christian County Building,

-       and $15,000 in ARPA funds for the Coroner’s office regarding equipment and other needs.

 

The two-hour session also included taking bids on a piece of land which the county owns out in Moweaqua and randomly determining which seats would be running for 2 and 4-year terms.

 

Topics that were pushed to committees or tabled for a closed session included: installing central air conditioning for the County building, the Hickory Point Project which is a solar farm development, and electronic software for law enforcement making it easier and safer for officers to issue citations.

 

The assembly adjourned near 8:30pm and the next meeting will be held on Februrary 15th, 2022. 

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Shelbyville Casey's Catches Fire, No Injuries Reported

Shelbyville Fire Department responded to a reported fire at the Casey’s General store in Shelbyville on Wednesday morning around 3 AM. There were no injuries reported and the Fire Marshall is on the scene. Shelbyville Fire Chief Gary Lynch says it started in a maintenance area.

 

 

Shelbyville, Strasburg, Findlay, and Tower Hill all responded to the fire. Early reports show that the building is a complete loss. 

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A Healthier 2022

Improve your health in 2022. 

That’s registered dietitian with the St. Louis Dairy Council Kelsey Bentlage. 

Bentlage says that not every health trend is worth it. 

Bentlage also says that dairy is the first step to a healthier year. 

Learn more at stldairycouncil.org. 

 

Bentlage appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Rosenthal Announces Bid For New 108th District

A new candidate has announced he is seeking candidacy for the Republican nomination of State Representative for the new 108th District.  This district covers all of Menard County, and portions of Sangamon, Christian, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties. 

 

Wayne Rosenthal, a Republican from Morrisonville, says that he has thrown in his hat to run for the new 108th District.  Rosenthal has received several endorsements including Congressman Rodney Davis, Darin LaHood, and Mike Bost.  He has also been supported by State Representatives Avery Bourne, Tim Butler and former State Rep Mike Murphy.

 

Rosenthal says that he and his family are excited to announce that he is running.  He says he knows the area well, and has served the citizens for many years including the Illinois Air National Guard, coaching youth baseball, and serving in the General Assembly.  ROsenthal also says that he plans to work hard, share his conservative vision for the state, and earn every vote in this election.  

 

According to the press release sent out by Rosenthal’s campaign team, Rosenthal’s top priorities are supporting law enforcement, fighting corruption, creating jobs, stopping tax hikes, advocating for life, and protecting the second amendment.  Rosenthal served in the Illinois Air National Guard’s 170th FIghter Squadron and retired as a Brigadier General (1-Star). He’s also a family farmer and former youth baseball coach.  

 

Rosenthal currently serves as a Trustee on the Lincoln Land Community College Board of Trustees.  He also spent time as Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and time on the Illinois House of Representatives.  Rosenthal has also served on the Morrisonville Community School District Board of Education and the Macoupin County Soil & Water Conservation District Board.

 

Rosenthal resides in Morrisonville with his wife Marcia and they have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. 
 

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Taylorville Council Discusses City Treasurer Position, Possible Comptroller in Closed Session Monday Night

While the public portion of Tuesday night's Taylorville City Council meeting was only 16 minutes including the swearing in of 2 city personnel, the most newsworthy part of the meeting was when the Council went into Executive Session to discuss the status of the City Treasurer position, and whether a new Comptroller position should also be established.

 

In an interview before the Executive Session, Mayor Bruce Barry explained that the Comptroller idea had been discussed before by the Council, and that they wanted to discuss the present status of the City Treasurer position as well as a possible Comptroller position.

 

 

Kellie Hamell is the current Taylorville City Treasurer.  

 

In other Taylorville City Council business Tuesday night, Nick Zepin was sworn in as a Taylorville Fire Department Captain, by City Clerk Julie Lilly.

 

Traci Bentley was sworn in as the city's Human Resource Manager, also by City Clerk Julie Lilly.

 

In comments before the Bentley hire, Alderman Larry Budd told the Council that the city's got to, quoting Budd, "get the train wreck back on track", while Alderwoman Kathy Driskell added that she was upset the appointment didn't go thru the Personnel Committee.

 

The Taylorville Council Tuesday night OK'd advertising the Deputy Clerk position and Airport Consultant position, purchasing a 2nd K-9 unit, and tabled revisions in the city's COVID-19 policy and procedures for employees and managers.

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Taylorville School Board's First 2022 Meeting

Taylorville School Board met Tuesday evening to hear from visitors and to review the consent agenda and old and new business.

 

Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty announced Tommy TV made a video to help kidney patient Lance Moritz more than two hours north of Taylorville. 

The board approved a request for an overnight bowling team trip set for February.

It also took action on the replacement of a storage shed. 

Dr. Dougherty gave a superintendent update.

The board then went into closed session. Their next meeting is in February. 

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IDPH Taking Over Contact Tracing

Starting last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health took over responsibility for contacting all diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Illinois. The IDPH will be sending out text messages to those who have tested for COVID and the messages are for those who test positive from the virus. 

 

The Illinois Department of Public Health is asking all individuals to follow the guidance that is provided in the message.  In order to increase your ability to receive this message, turn off any spam blockers you have on your phone.  The number that will be reaching you is 312-777-1999. Even if no one answers or you do not leave a message, you are opting in to phone calls.  There may be a delay in this process due to the surge of recent COVID cases.  The IDPH will provide you information on colaculating isolation and quarantine periods. 

 

The Moultrie County Health Department is encouraging all residents to reach out at www.moultriehealth.org and also on Facebook. If you are in a separate county, you can visit your local health department for more information. 
 

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Taylorville School Board To Meet Tuesday Evening

The Taylorville School Board is set to meet Tuesday evening at 6 PM at the Taylorville High School Cafeteria. After reviewing the consent agenda, the board will receive the treasurer’s report along with a consideration of personnel.

 

Under old business, the board will recap the strategic planning focus, goals, committee reports, and timeline. There will also be a second reading of the IASB Press Plus Policy Update along with considerations of action on an overnight bowling trip and a replacement shed.  

 

Under new business, the board will consider and take action on abating levied taxes along with a consideration of closed session minutes for the past 6 months. The board will also have a closed session followed by action on that closed session. 

 

The board will receive a superintendent report, along with communications, and hear from visitors as well. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News at the conclusion of the meeting for an update.
 

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Report Of Suspicious Activity Leads To Arrests In Pana

Pana Police arrested two men for burglary and theft on Monday.  Around 7:44 AM on Monday, Pana Police received a call of suspicious persons around and entering the former Aztec Mexican Restaurant building that is vacant at 29 S. Locust Street. With the assistance of Christian County Deputies, officers located two subjects inside the building, and both were taken into custody.  Several burglary tools and a bicycle cart loaded with electrical wire that was believed to have been cut from inside the building.

 

28-year-old Byron C. Kay and 26-year-old Tyler Englehart of Pana were both processed on burglary and theft charges and transported to Christian County Correctional Center. Kay, is currently out on bond in Christian County for possession of burglary tools after an arrest in March of 2021, possession of burglary tools after an arrest in 2019, and possession of meth after an arrest in 2018. Pana Police thanked the citizens of Pana who reported the suspicious behavior. 

 

 

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Taylorville City Council To Meet Tuesday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Tuesday at 7 PM at the Municipal Building. After giving the oath of office to Nick Zepin as the new Fire Department Captain, the board will review the minutes, and go over planning commission recommendations. There is also a motion to approve the Mayor’s appointment of Traci Bentley to Office of Human Resource Manager, followed by the oath of office. The board also will review a bid/advertise for the Deputy Clark position, revise the City of Taylorville COVID-19 policies and procedures, along with approving the purchase of a second K-9 unit.

 

The board will hear from the City Attorney along with Mayor Bruce Barry.  Under committee reports, the board will recommend the request to advertise for the Airport Consultant position along with payment of bills. 

 

The board will finish with a closed session to review the resignation of the City Treasurer and the creation of an office of comptroller. As always, stay tuned to Regional Radio News at the conclusion of the meeting for an update. 
 

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Stonington To Host Blood Drive

There will be a blood drive on Wednesday, February 2nd, at 1982 IL Route 48 inside Donor Bus in Bayer Parking Lot in Stonington. The blood drive will take place from 11:30 AM until 3:30 PM.  To donate, you are encouraged to contact Jackie Dowdy at 217-325-4381 or visit www.bloodcenter.org and use the code 60049 to locate the drive.  You may also call ImpactLife to schedule an appointment at 800-747-5401. 

 

Potential donors must be at least 17 years of age or 16 with parental permission and weigh more than 110 pounds.  Bring a photo ID, and the drive is open to donors who last gave blood on or before 12/8/21. 

 

All donors will receive a voucher for either a St. Patrick’s Day Shirt, or a gift card redeemable at Target, Amazon, Starbucks, Home Depot, Lowes, Subway, Dunkin Donut or Walmart. 
 

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Christian County Board To Meet Tuesday Evening

The Christian County Board will meet on Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM on the second floor of the Christian County Courthouse.  After approval of minutes, and public comments, the drawing of lots by district for 2 year terms versus 4 year terms for the 2022 election will be determined. 

 

In committee reports, under highway, building, grounds, environmental, zoning, and welfare, the board will discuss surplus property, bid on the opening part of a parcel, and go over solid waste and highway business.  The board will also request to purchase or lease a utility tractor and listen to a request to replace a pickup.  The board will also review a preliminary engineering agreement for the Assumption Locust Township Roadway Project on 900 N Road and review some resolution appropriating funds for the Pana Bridge. 

 

The board will also review animal control business and draft a municipal agreement for animal control. Under the courthouse and building business the board will go over cost related to work to level floor. 

 

Under executive, personnel, liquor, legislative, the board will hear from Simec Energy, review an EMA update, go over the OSHA COVID-19 policy, review a special use liquor license, and go over county board rules.  The board will review an ordinance concerning carbon capture and carbon sequestration fees, and review an Illinois Trust Proxy vote. 

 

Under audit, finance, purchasing, and budget, the board will approve claims, review ARPA Funding, and hear from the coroner for a request. 

 

Under new business, the board will bid on an opening part of a parcel, review tax rates on solar farms, take a look at a 2nd amendment proposal, review an ARPA request, and take a look at a cat room bid. The next meeting is set for Tuesday February 15th.  As always, stay tuned to Regional Radio News at the conclusion of the meeting for an update. 
 

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U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis Introduces Open Schools Act

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis introducing the Open Schools Act.

Rep. Davis says remote learning is creating a laptop education generation. 

He says it’s about giving parent’s choices. 

The Open Schools Act would not cost anything more than already pledged towards schools. 

Learn more at rodneydavis.house.gov. 

 

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

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BREAKING NEWS: Bourne To Run for Lieutenant Governor

Illinois State Representative Avery Bourne announced on her Facebook page this afternoon, that she’s running as a Lieutenant Governor candidate with Aurora mayor and Republican candidate for Governor Richard Irvin.

Bourne’s Facebook post indicated that as the youngest person to be sworn into the Illinois State Legislature in 2015, she’s promoted pro-growth policies to keep families in Illinois.  

She concluded her post by saying she loves Illinois and looks forward to working with Irvin to revitalize our state.

Irvin is part of a crowded field of Republican candidates for Governor to run against incumbent J-B Pritzker.

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Snowmobile Safety

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reminding snowmobile operators to focus on safety this winter when it comes to riding. International Snowmobile Safety Week is January 15-23 this year. IDNR Safety Education Administrator Jeff Hopkins says it’s extremely important that operators and riders review their safety checklist before hitting the trails and to pay attention, especially on frozen lakes and waterways. 

 

 

Some basic safety tips include never consuming alcohol or drugs before or during a ride, knowing your equipment, and making sure that equipment is in proper working order. Hopkins says dress for the weather.

 

 

Avoid wearing long scarves, as they may get caught in moving parts of the snowmobile, know the terrain you’re going to ride, be aware of trails or portions of trails that may be closed, and always use the buddy system by never riding alone or unaccompanied.

 

Make sure you are careful when crossing roads, coming to a complete stop and making sure no traffic is approaching from any direction, and travel at a reasonable rate of speed for visibility and conditions. Hopkins says in most instances, knowing the trail and slowing down can prevent most accidents.

 

Get more snowmobile information on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.

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When Not To Go To The Emergency Room

With COVID filling hospitals it’s important to know when to go to the hospital, when to go to the ER, and when to set up an appointment. Local health care leaders are urging the public to help manage the surge of patients filling emergency departments. The public is being asked to remember that emergency departments are not testing sites for people who have mild symptoms of COVID or need a return to work or return to school status update.  

 

Dr. Rajesh Govindaiah, a Senior Vice President and Chief Physician Executive of Memorial Health says that if you do experience a health emergency or serious COVID symptoms such as severe shortness of breath then go to your emergency department immediately.  

 

If you have a COVID-19 infection, you’re encouraged to wear a medical-grade mask and isolate yourself from family and friends for at least 5 days.  You can use local pharmacies, county health departments, COVID-19 pop-up testing sites, or the University of Illinois-Springfield Shield program for testing. Many local pharmacies also offer both in-person and at-home testing. 

 

If you have been exposed to COVID but aren’t showing symptoms or have minor symptoms, take infection prevention precautions.  Wait 3-5 days from your date of exposure to test for accurate results and it is possible to test early and receive a false negative. For more information on COVID-19 testing, visit memorialhealth/covid-19-information.

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Slip & Fall Safety

With winter here and snow covering many parts of the listening area, it’s important to stay safe when venturing outdoors.  HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital wants to remind all Illinoisans to use caution when traveling but especially when walking.  Slips and falls can cause serious harm as conditions of roads, parking lots, and sidewalks worsen in winter weather.  These slips can cause injuries ranging from minor bruises, cuts, and abrasions to even more serious issues like fractures, spinal cord damage, or even concussions. 

 

Slipping and falling on ice or snow may seem small, but can really cause serious injury, especially if you fall wrong. Here are some tips to follow for when you have to walk on ice. You should beware of wet, dark areas on the pavement.  There may be thin, hard-to-see areas of ice such as black ice as a result of dew or water vapor freezing.  Treat those areas as slippery. Walk slowly and take short strides, using handrails when possible to walk up and downstairs.  Choose well-walked paths and avoid taking shortcuts, since those areas may not be accessible for snow or ice removal. 

 

You should also keep your hands free and extend your arms while walking.  Avoid carrying too much or placing your hands in your pockets.  By doing that you will be able to keep your center of gravity from decreasing and help to maintain balance. 

 

If you do fall and need emergency care, call 9-1-1 or visit your nearest emergency room immediately. HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital’s emergency department is prepared 24/7. For more information about HSHS visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.

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Christian County Sheriff's Office Offering Scholarship

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association will be awarding over $58,000 in college scholarships throughout Illinois to students wishing to pursue higher education during the 2022-2023 academic year.  The scholarships are to be applied to tuition, books, and fees only.  The student must be enrolled full-time at a certified institution of higher learning within Illinois.  Full-time online learning is also acceptable.  

 

Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp of Christian County will be awarding a scholarship in the amount of $500. There are no restrictions on any applicant other than the Applicants must be permanent Illinois residents, scholarships must be used in Illinois, and students must be full-time students (excluding the summer session). 

 

You can get more information and receive an application at the ISA Website or at your local Sheriff’s Office. Visit www.ilsheriff.org/youth-2/ Students must complete the application, an essay question, and return all documentation by March 15th.  For more information contact your local Sheriff’s office, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, high school advising center, or college financial aid office. 

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Candlelight Walk Jan. 22nd In Shelbyville

The 12th year of the Shelbyville Candle Walk is Saturday, January 22nd. 

 

Bob Niestradt is a coodinator of the event. 

It will be dark, but not too dark for the event. 

There will be a bonfire and refreshments. 

Niestradt shares the details of the event. 

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

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Let Lake Shelbyville Tourism Assist You Or Your Business

Lake Shelbyville Office of Tourism can help you stay up to date with events in the area. 

 

Freddie Frye is director of the office. 

Frye invites you to reach out if you or your organization has an upcoming event. 

Frye says that they’ve partnered with the U.S. Corps of Engineers to disseminate information about public events. 

Frye also wants your business to take advantage of a little free advertising. 

Learn more at lakeshelbyville.com.

 

Frye appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Shelby County CEO Program Hosting Golden Gala Jan. 29th

Shelby County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities (CEO) holding the Golden Gala Saturday, January 29th. 

 

Central A&M senior Peyten Daniels describes the event that she says is inspired by the famous Met Gala.

According to Shelbyville High School junior Audrey Summers, tickets are $40 and must be purchased in advance. Doors open at 4:30

Junior at Shelbyville High School Akizia Aguilar says that it’s very easy to purchase a ticket in advance to the event at Spruce Street Studios in Shelbyville. 

All proceeds benefit the Shelby County CEO students and their programs. Shelbyville High School junior Serenity Roberts is focusing her project on aiding mental health issues. 

Learn more at shelbycountyceo.org. 

 

Roberts, Aguilar, Summers and Daniels appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show from studios in downtown Shelbyville.

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Scooters Coffee In Taylorville Holds Grand Opening

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held at the new Scooters Coffee in Taylorville on Friday morning. Marcus and Lauryn McGlasson own Scooters and they donated 20% of all of Friday’s sales to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Store Manager Craig Fuchs says that is excited to serve the people of Taylorville.

 

 

Fuchs says they have more than just coffee including an all-day breakfast and something for everyone.

 

 

Fuchs says with everything going on, it’s been nice to see hard work come to fruition with the new building and new location.

 

 

The new Scooters Coffee is located at 1187 E 1500 North Road in Taylorville. 

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Jennifer Franklin New Greater Taylorville Chamber President Elect

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce has a new president-elect.  Jennifer Franklin, who works for the Real Estate Group Kathy Garst Sales Team office on the north side of the square, is the new incoming president-elect of the Chamber board and says she's in the transition phase of taking office from incumbent president Sarah Van Huss and it should be complete in May.

 

Franklin says the Taylorville Chamber is the gateway for the community.

 

 

The Greater Taylorville Chamber Gift Certificates redeemable at lots of businesses in the community continue to be a big hit.

 

 

Franklin appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show's weekly Greater Taylorville Chamber Chat segment.

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Secretary Of State Offices Including Driver Services Closed An Additional Week

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will keep driver service facilities closed an additional week—until January 24th. All Secretary of State departments, including driver services facilities, will resume conducting in-person transactions Monday, January 24th due to the continued high numbers of COVID cases. Originally, the Secretary of State offices were set to open on January 17th. 

 

White noted that three Commercial Driver’s License facilities will open on Tuesday, January 18th for in-person CDL services only.  The CDL facilities aren’t in the listening area except for Springfield at 2701 South Dirksen Parkway. 

 

Secretary White is encouraging the public to visit ilsos.gov for online services. SOS Spokesperson Henry Haupt says that online transactions can be done through il.sos.gov.

 

 

Online transactions remain open for all departments to conduct office services including, but not limited to renewing a license plate sticker, renewing a driver’s license or ID card for those who qualify, obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card, obtaining a driver record abstract, or file business service documents.  If you want to renew your driver’s license you are encouraged to call 217-785-1424 to confirm your eligibility and obtain a pin.

 

Haupt says driver's licenses have been extended.

 

 

Secretary White has extended all driver’s licenses and ID card expiration dates to March 31st, 2022. Expiration dates for CDL’s have been extended to January 31st for CDL’s and CLP’s with expiration dates between November 1, 2021, and January 31st, 2022. The US Department of Homeland Security has extended the federal REAL ID deadline to May 3rd, 2023. 

 

For more information visit ilsos.gov.
 

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Christian County 4H Donates Blankets

Several blankets were donated from the Christian County 4H to Taylorville Memorial Foundation.  On December 7th and 9th, the 4H Youth Leadership Team hosted a Christian County Community Service Workshop ath the Christian County Extension Office. Fleece material was donated to make blankets and local youth participants came to the office to help make tie blankets and they were donated to the Taylorville Memorial Foundation.

 

These blankets will be given to patients throughout the hospital. Christian County Youth Development Program Coordinator Alexis McDowell says that the youth enjoyed making the blankets and the 4H hopes to provide comfort to many patients at the hospital.  The hope is to hold this workshop every year. 

 

If you are interested in learning more about joining 4H or the 4H Youth Leadership Team, contact Alexis McDowell at 287-7246. or email her at amcdo6@illinois.edu.

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U of I Extension's Rebecca Livingston Loves Her Job as Ag in Classroom Coordinator

Rebecca Livingston loves what she does.  She's the Ag in the Classroom Coordinator for the University of Illinois Extension in Christian and Montgomery Counties, and she's thankful to be back in person in most school classrooms.

 

 

Livingston makes learning about agriculture in school classrooms both educational and fun.

 

 

And, Livingston's style is unique to the counties she serves.

 

 

Livingston appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Taylorville Kiwanis Honor Community Hero of Month, Hear from National Blue Ribbon Teacher at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from a Taylorville Junior High School Blue Ribbon Award winner, and the club honored its monthly “Community Hero of the Month”, all during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  

 

 

The club presented its monthly “Hero” award to Mike Coady (right), a local pilot based at the Taylorville Municipal Airport.  He led the effort to collect needed items for those affected by the December 10th tornado in Mayfield, Kentucky.  Coady gained the support of 10 local pilots and their planes to collect, then deliver food, water, and other supplies to those affected.  They also collected some 2-thousand dollars in monetary donations to assist the effort.  Kiwanis member Martin Vota presented the award to Coady.

 

 

Jessica Miller, a teacher at Taylorville Junior High School, was the Kiwanis program speaker Tuesday.  Miller was nationally recognized as a 2021 National Junior High School Blue Ribbon winner.  Over 500 of these awards were presented nationally, and only 18 in Illinois.  Miller was one of just 2 downstate teachers honored.  She gave the club details on how T-J-H-S made themselves eligible for the process, and gave details on the award.  Kiwanis member Doctor Ron Mizer, a member of the Taylorville School Board, was program chair for Tuesday’s meeting.

 

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

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Tower Hill Responds To Machine Shed Fire

Tower Hill Fire responded to a shed fire at 3 AM on Thursday morning.  Upon arrival, Tower Hill Fire Department found a 80x60 machine shed fully engulfed in flames.  Pana, Shelbyville, Assumption, and Herrick Fire Departments responded to the blaze along with Shelby Area Ambulance for EMS Standby. The fire was safely put out and the area was clear around 6 AM with no injuries. 

 

Picture Courtesy: Tower Hill Fire and First Responders page

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Scooter's Coffee Taylorville Ribbon Cutting Friday

The new Scooter's Coffee in Taylorville opened in mid-December, and its ribbon cutting is Friday at eleven in the morning.  Franchise owner Lauryn McGlasson and her husband Marcus, both from Pleasant Plains, invested in the local franchise as their first, after stopping at a Scooter's Coffee while on vacation.

 

 

McGlasson told the WTIM Morning Show's Chamber Chat segment on Thursday that the new Taylorville location offers a variety of coffees and pastries from early morning until mid-evening.

 

 

And, McGlasson and her husband are looking to buy more franchise locations to operate in the coming months.

 

 

The new Scooter's Coffee in Taylorville is at the intersection of Illinois Routes 29 and 104 on the city's northwest side.

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New Ownership Means Exciting Changes To Taylorville Pub

Changes are coming to a pub in Taylorville.  Mity’s pub on 400 South Spresser in Taylorville is under new ownership and with new ownership comes some remodeling and a new name. Eddie Northcraft is the new owner of the Landing. With the airport right next door, Northcraft says the name The Landing was fitting. He is looking forward to the grand opening taking place on January 29th. 

 

 

Northcraft says there will be a lot of NEW that will be at The Landing and is excited to see everyone there. There are some big changes coming to the event center in the back and some big talent is coming in to perform as well. 

 

 

One big thing that The Landing has is a great kitchen. 

 

 

For more on The Landing, visit their Facebook page, or call them at 217-713-2140. 

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New Nurses And Doctors Added To Combat Covid Surge

Covid cases continue to rise in the state, and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is pleading with Illinoisans to mask up and get your vaccine and booster. Governor Pritzker says that nurses and doctors have gone the extra mile to help those who have the virus but they need help.

 

 

More than 2,000 health care workers have been sent out to help hospitals that have been overrun with COVID cases.

 

 

More than 7200 patients are in hospitals across Illinois with the COVID disease. Out of state health care workers have been granted permission throughout the state. 

 

 

Illinois Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike says that she doesn’t know if we have reached the downslope of Omicron, but she is hopeful that we will be there soon.

 

 

Christian County reported 211 new cases on Wednesday. 
 

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EPIC Looking For Host Families to House Developmental Disabled People

EPIC is an organization that places those with developmental disabilities with host families after that person decides they want to live outside their own home or a group home setting.

 

Hilary Frank is Community Options Recuiter with EPIC, and says they've been placing those with developmental disabilities in host family homes for over 35 years.

 

 

Frank says their organization is looking for host families in our local area.

 

 

Frank added there is a process where both the person who is developmentally disabled, their family, and the host family, all go thru in order to make the transition a good fit.

 

 

Find out more by going to the agency's web site, EPICci-dot-org.

 

Frank appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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January is Membership Month at Christian County YMCA

January is Membership Drive Month at the Christian County Y-M-C-A, and Executive Director Bruce Blanchan says the Y is offering special discounts to join and take advantage of all its many benefits.

 

 

Blanchan says the Christian County Y's acquatic center is a big reason people join.

 

 

And, Blanchan says the Y's gym insulation project is going well, with the gym expected to be open later this month.

 

  

Blanchan adds one of his 2022 goals is to build more collaborations with organizations and school districts in the coming year.

 

Blanchan was a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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First Christian County Public Hearing On Legalities Of COVID Quarantine Held

A public hearing was held in Christian County Court on Wednesday afternoon concerning quarantines over exposure to COVID-19, but not a positive test. A minor child was sent home from a school in Taylorville after the minor was exposed to someone else who tested positive. The mother, Dr. Stacey Funderburk, sent the child to school as the child had not tested positive and showed no symptoms. The Health Department filed a quarantine order with the State’s Attorney’s Office who then served the minor on January 10th. The choice was to stay home and voluntarily comply or a hearing would be held within 48 hours. Dr. Funderburk hired Attorney Thomas Devore, who has handled a few cases similar to this one.

 

During the public hearing, Devore informed the court that procedurally, the Christian County Health Department did the right thing.  The Health Department issued an emergency order which was brought by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office on January 10th. Devore told the court that due to the law, the State’s Attorney’s Office would have to prove that the child, who was at a volleyball tournament, had significant close contact with the person who tested positive, which is 6 feet for more than 15 minutes.

 

Devore continued by arguing that the State and more importantly the Christian County Health Department would not be able to provide any witnesses that could testify to the close contact of the minor in question. Therefore without any proof, the Court would have no choice but to find in favor of the minor. Judge Jeffrey DeLong checked with the State’s Attorney’s Office to see if they had a rebuttal to Devore’s statements.

 

State’s Attorney Wes Poggenpohl, admitted this was the first case he had tried.  Poggenpohl says they had to meet certain time frames and had to rush through it for presenting evidence. Still, Poggenpohl says that they were happy they were able to get most of the quarantine filled. He believed that they had the evidence to win the case.

 

 

The public hearing was dismissed due to a technical issue in the petition and Attorney for the minor, Thomas Devore, says that it is nice to see justice served correctly and the law followed the right way. 

 

 

Devore says that procedurally the case was done the right way, but the case didn't proceed to the hearing because of a technical defect in the petition. Judge DeLong says if the case is to be refiled or another case filed, the State will have to have the right evidence to show close contact. 

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As One Exhibit Closes, Another Opens At ALPLM

The music exhibit that is being displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will be coming to an end. The last day to see the exhibit, “The State of Sound: A World of Music from Illinois” is January 23rd.  The exhibit was created to explore the state’s impact on music history, from gospel to rock to jazz. 

 

There are many items on display in the exhibit including a double-necked guitar from Rick Nielsen with Cheap Trick, a red trumpet played by Miles Davis, a jumpsuit owned by Curtis Mayfield, a Cubs jacket that belonged to Steve Goodman, and much, much more. 

 

Christina Shutt, library and museum’s executive director, says that the ALPLM was honored to have those items in their care. She says tens of thousands of people got to enjoy them and expand their appreciation of music history.  

 

The State of Sound exhibit opened on April 30th in the Illinois Gallery, an area that focuses on Illinois history.  It features 13 mini-documentaries explaining Illinois’ contributions to different music genres and there is also a working studio where artists and radio stations both worked out of. There were special music events, a podcast, and playlists of extraordinary music with Illinois roots.

 

You can find more details on this exhibit by visiting www.musicfromillinois.com. 

 

Up next for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will be an exhibit on the Holocaust called “Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory.”  The exhibit was created by the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and opens March 23rd and will run through January 22, 2023. 

 

This exhibit will showcase more than 60 personal artifacts brought to America by survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. Some items on display will include such ordinary things as a baby doll and a black suitcase to a cookbook, and a wedding announcement.  Some of the places these artifacts have come from include Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Iraq, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Syria. 

 

For more information visit www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov or find out more on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

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Money Available For Small Non Profits

A charitable trust program has opened $200,000 for non-profits that provide food, housing assistance, and workforce and economic development.  State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says the program will help small non-profits to apply for grants to continue to help serve the public.

 

 

The Charitable Trust Stabilization Fund assists these small non-profits with annual budgets of $1 million or less. Money comes from filing fees non-profits pay when they incorporate into the state. The $200,000 that is available will be split into 10 different non-profits with the maximum award for each organization up to $20,000. Close to $3.3 million has been awarded to 163 non-profits already since the program was established in 2017.

 

 

Awardees are selected by an 11-member committee which oversees the management and guidelines of the funds.  Previous grant recipients are eligible to apply but their grant has to be complete for at least one calendar year.  Applications will be accepted through March 31st for the first cycle, with the second cycle running from July 1st through September 30th.  Find out more at www.ilcharitabletrust.com or contact the treasurer’s office at 217-836-4590.

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Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Welcomes New Members

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is welcoming some new members to the force.  Bill Kenny and Kenny Eller were sworn in on December 13th, 2021.  Kenny previously served as the Nokomis Chief of Police.  Eller served as the Raymond Chief of Police.  Jake Fenton and Leo Hernandez were both sworn in on January 5th, 2022.  Fenton spent time previously as a Correctional Officer with the MCSO and Hernandez was employed with the Nokomis Police Department.  Sheriff Rick Robbins welcomes all the new members and is excited to have them on the team. 

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Safe Passage Providing Route for Alcohol, Drug Addicts to Get New Start

The Safe Passage Program thru the Taylorville Police Department is seeing dramatic results in helping alcohol or drug addicts get the help they need to overcome their disease.  Denise Evans is the coordinator of the program that's just over 2 years old.

 

 

Evans says the program has helped drop crime some 45-percent, as a result of the success the program has had in Taylorville, it's been expanded into several adjacent counties.

 

 

The Safe Passage Coordinator says that rehabed drug addicts find positive groups can help encourage them to stay straight.

 

 

Evans was a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Jury Finds Shelby County Man Guilty Of Battery On Correctional Officers

A Shelby County man is facing up to 14 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of two counts of aggravated battery to two correctional institution employees. Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke announced that a Shelby County Jury returned two guilty verdicts against Jon R. Miller for aggravated battery to two correctional institution employees which resulted in bodily harm. The jury deliberated for only 15 minutes before returning with a unanimous verdict. 

 

The incident occurred on August 3rd, 2021 when Miller was an inmate in the Shelby County Jail.  According to States Attorney Kroncke, he became angry when two correctional officers, one male, and one female, attempted to relocate him to a different cell. He refused entry into the jail cell, as he tried to block the door with his leg, and struck and kicked officers.

 

During the attack, the male officer's glasses were knocked from his face and broken, his nose was bloodied, he received a cut lip that required stitches, and suffered a brain bleed. The female officer was struck in the head and face. Miller then punched the female officer that knocked her backward and onto the floor. Miller was ultimately subdued and restrained when other deputies and personnel responded. 

 

Both injured officers received hospital care. The male officer was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield for treatment. Both officers were unable to immediately return to work due to their injuries. 

 

Miller’s bond was set at $200,000 and it was revoked after the jury returned with their verdict. Miller remains in the custody of the Shelby County Jail until his sentencing hearing on March 21st, 2022.  Miller faces potentially probation to three to fourteen years in prison. 

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Taylorville Memorial Hospital Canceling Surgeries; All Hands on Deck to Treat COVID Patients

Taylorville Memorial Hospital C-E-O Kim Bourne announced on the WTIM Morning Show today that the hospital has canceled all surgeries until further notice, because the hospital is full of COVID patients.  Bourne added this COVID surge is worse than 2 years ago.

 

 

Bourne added the hospital is using every available nurse, nursing tech, and pre-and-post operating rooms to house an overflow of COVID patients.

 

 

And, the Taylorville Memorial Hospital C-E-O is asking the community not to come to their hospital or any hospital for a COVID test.

 

 

She urged residents that aren't vaccinated to get the vaccine to protect themselves from COVID and its variants.  

 

She added that according to random COVID tests being sent to the state, Christian County is seeing its COVID spike due to the Delta variant.

 

Bourne was a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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HSHS Offering Boosters For Those 12 and Older

A major area hospital is offering Pfizer COVID boosters to those 12 and older. HSHS is now offering the booster following the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Dr. James Bock, Chief Physician Executive of HSHS says that COVID cases are skyrocketing in Illinois and due to the highly transmissable nature of Omicron, getting your booster is important and is just as important as getting your first and second vaccine. 

 

HSHS is offering drive-thru appointments for testing and vaccines are booking up quickly. Bock says HSHS is doing their part to ensure that the new influx of patients with critical needs are being cared for. One way you can prevent yourself from getting seriously hurt or in the hospital is to get the booster.

HSHS Drive-Thru Care is available in Decatur and Springfield. First and second doses for individuals 12 and older are available.  Anyone under the age of 18 must have a guardian present to receive the vaccine. Third doses of Pfizer and Moderna for individuals with compromised immune systems are available. Pfizer Boosters are also available to individuals 12 and older five months or longer since the second dose was received. Moderna boosters are available for individuals who are 18 years old or older six months or longer since the second dose was received.

 

If for some reason you need a return to work or school test, have no symptoms or mild to moderate symptoms, you can make an appointment at HSHS Medical Group’s drive thru, retail pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, or utilize other public testing sites. 

 

You can get a vaccine or testing appointment by setting up an account on MyHSHS. Vaccine appointments may also be scheduled by calling 1-844-216-4707. Testing appointments may not be scheduled by phone and must be scheduled online via MyHSHS.

 

If appointments are full, HSHS encourages you to check back as additional days and times will be added based on available vaccine supplies and clinic days. You can also find out more at www.vaccines.gov/search or at www.HSHS.org/vaccine. 

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New Bill Will Pay For Security Footage

A bill that would have local communities help fight crime through security cameras has been filed. State Representative Mike Zalewski, a Democrat from Riverside, announced that under this bill community members could receive reimbursement if they supply video footage from their home security systems that assist in the apprehension and prosecution of criminal activity.

 

Representative Zalewski says this bill got pushed forward because he saw a need in the community.

 

 

The bill was filed on Wednesday under HB 4359 and would reimburse people $100 for providing video footage from their home surveillance cameras to the police if it assists in apprehension and prosecution of a crime. 

 

 

2021 was one of the deadliest years on the books for Chicago and Cook County and lawmakers and law enforcement officials are trying to figure out ways to help lawmakers and first responders to better apprehend criminals. 

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Virtual Public Hearing Underway For Public Railroads

The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting a virtual public hearing through January 21st, to study the state’s rail system and ways to improve it and help solve problems. The event will take a look at input collected throughout the year on current conditions, capacity concerns, and safety challenges.

 

The event can be found at www.illinoisrailneeds.org and includes a short video and information on feedback that has been received since the study was launched a year ago. The information gathered will be used to develop a railroad plan that will encompass the entire state of Illinois. It will also help IDOT for a long range transportation plan that will be part rail, part public transport, public waterway, part highway, and part street. The hope is to have a strategic plan and direction for the development of the transportation system moving forward.

 

This study is set to wrap up at the end of January.  Illinois is the only state in which all seven Class 1 railroads operate.  Illinois itself boasts more than 10,000 miles of track already and serves a robust passenger rail network not just in Chicago but across 30 communities statewide.  Metra does operate 11 lines in the Chicago area.

 

Under the new Rebuild Illinois plan, Governor JB Pritzker has invested over $500 million into reestablishing passenger rail and $78 to upgrade railroad crossings throughout the state. 
 

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Seasonal Affective Disorder Something To Pay Attention To This Winter

Winter can be tough on mental health and there are ways to combat it, but it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Ed Lacheta, a clinical director with Shelby County Community Services with the Mental Health Department, says that you may suffer from something called Seasonal Affective Disorder.

 

 

If you think you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, there are some symptoms you should be aware of.

 

 

There is also a summertime SAD, where people suffering from it, suffer from insomnia, or not getting enough sleep. 

 

 

Lacheta says while there are norms to Seasonal Disorder, if you feel off you should reach out and talk to someone.

 

 

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

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Master Gardeners Preparing for Spring Planting

Even though it's winter, University of Illinois Master Gardeners are still busy preparing for the coming spring growing season.  

 

Tim Vaughn is a Christian County U of I Master Gardener intern, and has grown some plants indoors in the winter to get a head start to the spring.

 

 

Retired Christian County U of I Extension Advisor and Master Gardener Linda Smith says don't ignore those seed catalogs if you want to get the seed you'd like for this spring's garden.

 

 

Smith adds the U of I's Horticulture youtube channel is a great resource for archived videos on everything gardening.

 

 

Smith and Vaughn were guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

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State Rep Says Judicial Sub-Districting, Budget Hole Her 2022 Concerns

Illinois State Representative Avery Bourne starts out the new calendar year by watching Democrats in the Legislature re-draw sub-circuit judicial maps around the state.

 

 

The whole in the unemployment trust fund is a problem that the Illinois budget will be facing this year.

 

 

Bourne says the Governor's Budget Address will officially begin the budget process by the Legislature.

 

 

State Representative Bourne was a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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State's Attorney Announces Bid For Election In November

Christian County State’s Attorney Wes Poggenphol is announcing his candidacy for election to the office of Christian County State’s Attorney.  The election will be in the November 2022 special election caused by State’s Attorney Mike Havera’s recent resignation. Havera brought Poggenpohl into the office to get acclimated to the day-to-day operations and helped make a smooth transition to taking over.  

 

Poggenpohl graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale, and he earned his Juris Doctor in 2014. Prior to law school, he attended Northern Illinois University in Dekalb where Poggenpohl graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Political Science in 2011. 

 

Before coming to Christian County, Poggenpohl was an Assistant State’s Attorney in Montgomery County where he held the position from 2014-2021. He is experienced with many issues including drugs, theft, and domestic violence.  He has also handled cases such as child abuse and neglect law while he was the Regional Counsel for DCFS. 

 

Poggenpohl is currently a resident of Morrisonville and is a native of Raymond. They have lived in Morrisonville since 2014. Attorney Dennis Atteberry has also thrown his name into the running for State’s Attorney. 

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Senator Turner Pushing For New Punishments For Those Who Hurt DCFS Workers

Two Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigators are prompting new legislation that will increase the penalties for attacking a worker. A similar law already applies to first responders such as police officers, firefighters, and others. State Senator Doris Turner says that something needs to be done after the murders of Deidre Silas and Pamela Knight a few years ago.

 

 

Pamela Knight was beaten in 2017 and Deidre Silas was stabbed to death last week while on the job. The bill will raise the penalties for attacking a DCFS Worker from a Class 3 felony to a Class 1 felony. 

 

 

Governor JB Pritzker has said he would support that measure. A Class 3 felony is punishable by 2-5 years in prison and a Class 1 felony is punishable by 4-15 years in prison. Right now the most you can get for attacking a DCFS worker is aggravated battery. State Republicans fired back at the move asking why it took a tragedy for movement to take place on this bill. 

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HSHS Sees Record Number Of COVID Admissions

HSHS is recording milestone records for COVID-19 and it’s not a good thing. A record of 303 patients are currently hospitalized and being treated for COVID-19.  This breaks the previous record of 293 in November 2020 before a vaccine was available. HSHS has also reported seven deaths with six of those seven unvaccinated.  There are currently 9 covid pediatric patients in HSHS Hospitals.

 

Dr. Marc Shelton, vice president, and chief physician executive of HSHS. is encouraging all to get vaccinated. He is concerned about testing being available. 

 

 

Dr. Shelton encourages to not go to the Emergency Room for just a COVID test. 

 

 

Interim CEO and Chief Nursing Officer at St. Johns Hospital in Springfield, Allison Paul, says that nurses are exhausted.

 

 

Paul urges everyone to not take this lightly. The last thing you want, Paul says, is to end up in the hospital. Getting a vaccine can go a long way to lowering those symptoms.

 

 

As of January 7th, 76% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated, 80% in the ICU are unvaccinated, and 84% on ventilators are unvaccinated. For more information on HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. 

 

 

 


 

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New Quarantine Rules For Taylorville School District

Isolation and quarantine rules have been updated for Taylorville School District students and staff members sick with COVID-19. Students and staff who have gotten sick with COVID-19 or considered close contact have been reduced to five days for their isolation and quarantine. Superintendent, Dr. Chris Dougherty made the announcement on Friday after the CDC updated its guidance for P-12 schools on January 6th. The announcement doesn’t change the state of Illinois’ mask requirement for anyone inside school buildings. That is still in effect.

 

If a student or staff member tested positive Monday, January 3rd, or Tuesday, January 4th they are allowed to return to school today. Wednesday, January 5th, they are allowed to return Tuesday, January 11th; Thursday, January 6th students are allowed to return Wednesday, January 12th, and Friday, January 7th, Students are allowed to return Thursday, January 13th. 

 

To return a person must be fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms improved.  For quarantine, a person must stay home for at least 5 days after exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19. This is due to the fact that a person may not show symptoms, but can still spread the virus. Quarantine is different from isolation.  Isolation is used by someone who has symptoms of COVID-19, or tests positive for the virus.  Isolation helps prevent transmission of the virus by separating people infected with the virus from those who are not infected. 

 

Schools must continue to ensure that students and staff wear a well-fitted mask around others for 5 additional days after release from isolation, avoid being around students or staff who are immuno-compromised or at high risk for severe disease. If masks need to be removed, ensure 6 feet of social distancing until 10 days after symptom onset or positive test.

 

The biggest thing is if exposed, to stay home and away from others for at least 5 days after your last contact with someone who has COVID-19. The date of your exposure is considered Day-0. Wear a well-fitting mask around others. If you test positive, isolate for at least 5 days from the date of your positive test (if you don’t have symptoms). If you then develop COVID-19 symptoms, then isolate for 5 days from when your symptoms begin. If fever or your other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, you should wait to end your isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Contact your healthcare provider for more information. 

 

For more information on the new guidance, contact the Taylorville School District at 824-5157.  You can also visit www.tcusd3.org for the latest guidance on COVID-19 and all updates. 

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Illinois Without Legislative Inspector General

Illinois is without a Legislative Inspector General and some politicians are worried about not having an ethics watchdog for state lawmakers. Outgoing Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope had her final day on January 6th and State Senator Jill Tracy out of Quincy, who is with the Legislative Ethics Committee, says that without a Legislative Inspector, the Legislation is more vulnerable to government corruption. 

 

 

Senator Tracy says they have tried to get this taken care of early, but it’s met resistance.

 

 

Senator Tracy says that a citizen advisory group picked someone but it was ignored.

 

 

Part of a new bill from Senator Tracy includes requiring LEC meetings to be open to the public and have the meetings publicly posted, no longer allowing elected officials to serve as members of the LEC, and providing the LIG with subpoena power to investigate ethics complaints against members of the General Assembly. 

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Christian County Has New State's Attorney

Christian County has a new State’s Attorney.  Wes Poggenpohl took the State’s Attorney’s Oath of Office on Friday, December 31st, 2021 at the Christian County Courthouse.  Poggenpohl takes over for former Christian County State’s Attorney Mike Havera who resigned in December. Poggenphol was given the oath by Resident Circuit Judge Brad Paisley and was appointed to the position of State’s Attorney by the Christian County Board on December 21st, to be effective January 1st, 2022. Wes and his wife Melanie have two daughters Cora and June Poggenpohl, who were both at the ceremony. 

 

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Taylorville Carrying Momentum Into 2022

City of Taylorville hoping for a fantastic 2022. 

That’s Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry talking about the downtown revitalization grant the city is applying for no later than Monday. 

 

The city will begin work on its East Main Cross project soon. 

Barry says the city is making headway on a skateboard park. 

Barry also looked back on the end of a career for the head of the Taylorville Fire Protection District. 

Mayor Barry appeared as a guest on the WTIM Taylorville Hometown Tour. 

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Hillsboro Police Announce Multiple Arrests After Spree Of Breakins

After multiple burglaries and break-ins, Hillsboro Police announce that they have six suspects in custody and more arrests and charges pending in the future. Hillsboro Police announced that they have arrested 37-year-old Jeffrey L. Atkinson of Schram City for burglary and possession of burglary tools; 29-year-old Cody N. Rice of Hillsboro for theft and possession of stolen property; 37-year-old Aaron M. Riley of Hillsboro on residential burglary, possession of stolen property, and possession of methamphetamine; 29-year-old Lauren B. Davidson of Hillsboro on possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine; 32-year-old Jacob Elkins of Hillsboro for criminal trespass to an unoccupied residence and possible further charges; and 31-year-old Ryan M. Harmon of Hillsboro for possession of burglary tools, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of a controlled substance.

 

On Christmas, Hillsboro Police learned that some vacant structures in and around Hillsboro had been burglarized by multiple people.  The suspects had been targeting seldom-visited storage units and residences where the owners hadn’t been for some time so nothing had been reported missing.

 

On December 29th, cut locks and a suspicious male were reported at 9:40 AM at the storage units on Route 16 in Schram City. Multiple units had been entered and one of the victims then discovered that her residence on Vandalia Road had been broken into.  Atkison was arrested on burglary and possession of burglary tools.

 

On January 1st and January 2nd, residences on Lake Street and Roundtree Street were broken into. At the Lake Street residence, the suspect was caught in the act of burglary and while the witness offered to give the suspect a ride, the witness tried taking the suspect to the police department and the suspect fled the vehicle and Rice was arrested on the 2nd. 

 

Also on January 2nd, thanks to a search warrant with the help of Montgomery County State’s Attorney Andrew Affrunti for an apartment on King Street, Riley and Davidson were both arrested. That same day, three industrial gas-powered generators were reported as being stolen from Beal Street in Hillsboro.

 

The next day, an investigation was conducted at a storage shed on North Road and Meisenheimer Avenue, north of Hillsboro, where more stolen property from the Lake Street burglary was recovered. Jacob Elkins was arrested for criminal trespass to an unoccupied residence.  Harmon was arrested on the 4th. 

 

The Hillsboro Police Department urges citizens to make sure residences and storage facilities are securely locked and regularly checked.  Report any suspicious activity or missing items to police.

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Local Attorney Announces Bid For Christian County State Attorney

A local attorney has announced his intention to run as the Republican nomination for the Christian County State’s Attorney left vacant by the resignation of former State’s Attorney Mike Havera. Dennis Atteberry, announced he will seek the Republican nomination for the Christian County States Attorney. Atteberry graduated from Taylorville High School in 1990 and has spent time as a substitute teacher, worked hard to bring a four-lane highway to Christian County through the Project 29 plan. He was also a youth director and an Elder of the First Presbyterian Church.  

 

In May of 2001, Atteberry graduated from both Southern Illinois University School of Law with a law degree and the University of Illinois Springfield with a Masters in Political Studies. Atteberry has over 20 years of experience including criminal, civil, juvenile, and municipal law. 

 

In deciding to run for office, Dennis Atteberry stated “I am married and have a 23-year-old step-son and twin 8-year-old boys. It is this community I have been vested in for not just myself, but my family. I opened my practice here in Christian County in 2008.  Since that time, I have built a strong relationship with law enforcement and have been a conflict public defender in juvenile, misdemeanor and felony cases. Being at the courthouse almost daily, I see the areas that need improvement to make our community safer.  Christian County has been plagued with drug and domestic violence issues for decades.  The jail is consistently overcrowded.  I will seek to curb the drug and domestic violence issues by giving swift justice for the victims, hold the criminals responsible for their crimes, and ease the burden on the jail system.”

 

The General Primary is March 15th and the election is November 8th. 

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Taylorville Police Chief Names Officer Of The Year

Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler has announced the Taylorville Police Department Officer of the Year for 2021. Sergeant Alan Mills has been named the Officer of the year out of the four Officers on the list to choose from. Chief Wheeler says that it was a very difficult decision and he wished he could have picked all of them. 

 

Chief Wheeler continued by stressing that the Taylorville Police Department is lucky to have so many committed officers that go above and beyond their normal duties. “We take great pleasure in recognizing you,” Wheeler said in an issued statement. “Your leadership skills as being in charge of Platoon A, your compassion to help others show the true meaning of not only as a Police Officer but as a person.  Your commitment as President of the Police Pension Board and your overwhelming commitment with the Christmas program “Shop with a Cop” is admirable to all.  You exemplify the innovative skills to be a great leader and service to the City of Taylorville.”

 

Chief Wheeler continued by praising Sgt Mills fidelity, steadiness, and desire to make the other Officers excel and help run the department effectively. Regional Radio News salutes you, Sergeant Alan Mills!

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Republicans Frustrated Over New Judicial Maps Passed Wednesday Evening

State Republicans are fuming after yet another bill was passed in the middle of the night on Wednesday. State Representative Avery Bourne spoke out about what she calls a terrible habit forming by the Democrats who have a super majority.  The latest bill to get pushed through was a zoom committee hearing that saw no witnesses testify and was a complete redraw on judicial subcircuit maps. 

 

House Republicans voted no on the measure. Representative Bourne says it is a kick in the face to transparency and good government when it’s passed in the dead of night.

 

 

State Senator Chapin Rose also spoke out saying that this is politicizing the judiciary branch. “The courts are meant to be independent of politics, I will not destroy that cherished constitutional precept by joining the Democrats in their court-packing scheme which, make no mistake, is specifically designed to politicize the courts.”

 

Democrats say that the idea has been on the table since the census and that Republicans had time to review the redrawing of the judicial subcircuits. You can view all of HB 3138 by clicking here

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Attorney General Focuses On Four New Laws

Regional Radio News continues their look at some new laws in place in Illinois starting in 2022. Attorney General Kwame Raoul highlighted four new laws that are taking effect. One of the laws lets victims of human trafficking take advantage of the state’s address confidentiality program which allows them to stay confidential and provides protection that was previously only available to domestic violence survivors. 

 

The program is free of charge and while it is not a witness protection program, it can be part of a safety plan.  Enrollment lasts for a period of four years and participants can renew their enrollment at the end of the period.

 

Another law that goes into effect is the Preventing Youth Vaping Act.  This is intended to address the levels of youth e-cigarette usage. The law prevents companies from marketing products to minors.  Attorney General Raoul says he has seen an uptick in recent years of youth using e-cigarettes and vaping.

 

 

Another law in effect increases the amount of money available to victims of violent crime and their families to cover expenses resulting from a violent crime.  The law provides that a victim’s criminal history or felony status shall not automatically prevent the victim or their family from receiving compensation. This law also increases the maximum amount of compensation from $27,000 to $45,000 for a crime committed on or after August 7th, 2022.  This compensation mostly happens in cases that involve the loss of support, earnings, and medical bills. 

 

There are also police certification and decertification changes. There are three areas of reform that the law is focusing on: creating uniformity during the review process, promoting professionalism, and increasing transparency. Uniformity allows for investigations of serious officer misconduct that may not automatically lead to decertification but still warrants a review. 

 

A mandatory reporting system is also being put in place to ensure that officers have completed in-service training, are still employed, and are in compliance with standards. The law also improves information between hiring departments, prosecutors, and the public. Raoul says it’s important for this transparency.

 

 

The law also gives the Attorney General’s office clear authority to investigate and resolve patterns or practices of unconstitutional practices by local or state agencies. 

 

All of these laws went into effect on January 1st, 2022.
 

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Rental Assistance Grant Closes Sunday

You may be eligible for up to $25,000 in rental assistance, but you have to act fast. 

That’s Taylorville School District Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty. The application closes this Sunday, January 9th. 

If your application is successful, you will not have to re-pay any funds distributed to you. 

There’s only a small list of items you will need to apply. 

Learn more about the application at illinoishousinghelp.org. 

 

Dr. Dougherty appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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State Pays Off COVID Loan

Illinois is ahead of schedule when it comes to a loan they took out in 2020 to cover Covid-19 expenses. Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza announced on Wednesday that the final $302 million payment on a $2 billion loan was paid off. It’s estimated that the early payback of the loan will save Illinois taxpayers $82 million in interest.

 

Comptroller Mendoza says it’s remarkable that the loan was paid off early.

 

 

 

Mendoza says it’s nice to show fiscal discipline.

 

 

Before the start of this fiscal year, the Comptroller was able to pay half the loan using regular state revenues. The loan was scheduled to be repaid in three installments by December of 2023.  Comptroller Mendoza says she used effective cash management strategies to put the state in a position to pay off the debt in its entirety early.

 

The loan was originally taken out in order to cover state medical bills during the pandemic.  The state is caught up though on its Medicaid payments with no additional borrowing expected in the state’s plans. The total backlog of bills is down to $3.8 billion and the state is paying bills in record time. Mendoza says that they are paying within 15 business days which is the fastest in over 20 years.     
 

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Woman Identified In Thayer Stabbing; Senator Turner & Governor Pritzker Respond

The woman who was stabbed Tuesday afternoon has been identified. Regional Radio News erroneously identified her as being from Thayer but that is not the case. That is where the stabbing occured.  The woman's name is Deidra Silas, a Department of Children and Family Services' Employee.  She was performing a home visit in Thayer when she was stabbed to death by 32 year old Benjamin H. Reed.

 

State Senator Doris Turner spoke out about the incident saying "The senseless death of Deidre Silas, a DCFS investigator who dedicated her career to helping at-risk youth, is devastating, My heart goes out to all who love her during this difficult time. The work is challenging, and can clearly be dangerous.  One death in the line of service is too many.  We must do a better job of protecting those who serve in positions like these."

 

 

Govenor JB Pritzker also spoke on the incident saying, “Today, the State of Illinois mourns the loss of Deidre Silas, a DCFS caseworker and a hero, taken from us in the line of duty. There is no higher calling than the work to keep children and families safe and Deidre lived that value every single day,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Our most vulnerable are safer because she chose to serve. I can think of no more profound legacy. MK and I send our deepest condolences to her colleagues at DCFS, her family, and all who loved her.”

 

Reed is being charged with first degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. 

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Woman Dies From Stabbing; Suspect In Custody

A woman has died after being stabbed on Tuesday afternoon. Sangamon County Central Dispatch received a call at 4:11 PM on Tuesday about a possible stabbing in the 300 block of West Elm in Thayer. Pawnee, Auburn, and Divernon Police all responded to the scene with Sangamon County Sheriff’s arriving shortly after.  When police arrived they found blood at the door of the residence and what appeared to be forced entry. .A 36 year old female was located deceased inside. 

 

Detectives arrived and obtained a search warrant for the residence.  During this time, information about a possible suspect was developed and an attempt to locate was aired.  A 32 year old suspect was located at a hospital in Decatur and he was arrested Tuesday evening around 6:29 PM. 

 

Detectives traveled to Decatur and interviewed the suspect at the Decatur Police Department and the suspect was taken for treatment for a minor wound and transported to the Sangamon County Jail,. Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell says that everyone involved in the case are accounted for and there is no threat to the community.  

 

32 year old Benjamin H. Reed of the 300 block of West Elm Street in Thayer was arrested and charged with first degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
 

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U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis Ready For Challenges Ahead

While U.S. Representative Rodney Davis is speculating, he is preparing for a Republican controlled House after the 2022 elections. 

Assuming he is re-elected, Rep. Davis says he will be the head of the House Administration committee and the Highways and Transit subcommittee. He wants to take action on security surrounding the U.S. Capitol. 

Rep. Davis wants you to reach out and voice what you feel needs to change so that he can make those changes if he is re-elected. 

He also touts his service record of accomplishing tough tasks in D.C. 

Reach out at rodneydavis.house.gov.

 

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

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Central Illinois Food Bank Ready For COVID Surge

More sick people means more demand for food banks. 

 

Adam Handy is a Partner Resource Coordinator for the Central Illinois Food Bank and says that the CIFB is ready for this surge. 

Handy says that the need is always there, but in this surge the need is different. 

The Central Illinois Food Bank is always looking for volunteers. 

It’s pretty easy to stay in touch with or visit the CIFB for volunteer opportunities and drive-thru distributions. 

Learn more at centralilfoodbank.org. 

 

Handy appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

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Rental Assistance Available For Those Hurt By Covid-19

The Illinois Department of Human Services, The Illinois Rental Payment Program, and the Illinois State Board of Education is encouraging those who need help with relief from COVID-19 payments for rent to apply for help through the rental payment program. 

 

The Illinois Rental Payment Program provides financial assistance for rent to income eligible Illinoisans who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois renters may be eligible for up to $25,000 and 18 months of emergency rental payments under the program that is a grant and doesn't need to be paid back.

 

The Illinois State Board of Education is urging Illinoisans to hurry though as applications will only be accepted through Sunday, January 9th. Proof of citizenship is not required. You may be eligible if you are an Illinois Resident, your household experienced a financial hardship during or due, directly or indirectly to the coronavirus pandemic, your household is behind on rent or at risk of experiencing homelessness, and your household income is at or below the limit for your county which in Christian County, Montgomery County, and Shelby County is $38,050 for one person, $43,450 for two people, $48,900 for 3 people, and $54,300 for 4 people. 

 

For more information visit www.illinoishousinghelp.org.

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Authorities Searching For Missing Montgomery County Man

Jacksonville and Hillsboro Police are looking for a missing man. 26 year old Austin Corrado went missing December 31st around 4-5 PM. Corrado is 5'6" and around 120-130 pounds. Family members are concerned for his mental wellbeing and are concerned as Corrado has no phone. He has dark brown hair and hazel eyes. 

 

Members of the public are asked to call the Jacksonville Police Department at 217-479-4630, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department at (217) 532-9514, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department at (217) 243-6123 or the Hillsboro Police Department at (217) 532-6120; or call or text pertinent information to 217-512-3969. If you text, please include your name and the pertinent information regarding his whereabouts.

 

 

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Taylorville City Council Approves Sunday Liquor Sales Ordinance

Taylorville City Council approved an ordinance for Sunday liquor sales with the proper documentation.

That’s Taylorville mayor Bruce Barry explaining the ordinance. City Attorney Rocci Romano also gave the reasoning for the ordinance. 

The motion passed 7-2 with Aldermen Jim Olive and Larry Budd voting no. 

 

Romano also announced the Taylorville Fire Protection District approved the purchase of a new fire truck. 

Mayor Barry gave a mayoral update. 

The council also approved a motion to advertise a replacement laborer position in the Street Department. City Council approved a motion to allow Petersburg Plumbing & Excavating to complete sewer lining and repairs on East Palmer Street at a cost no higher than $20,568. 

 

The council also approved minutes of prior meetings. 

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Pana Man Arrested On Burglary Charges

A Pana man was arrested on Monday after multiple incidents occured over the weekend. 23 year old Kade H. Jones was arrested on 2 counts of burglary and theft. On January 3rd, Pana Police was notified of copper pipe and wiring removed from a building under repair at 108 North Poplar Street.  Kade Jones was identified as a person of interest and he was later located by officers where the investigation continued.  He was later implicated with the burglary to 108 N. Poplar. 

 

During the investigation, Pana Police suspected that Jones was involved in a second burglary that officers had responded to the previous night in the area of Lake and Springside.  When police arrived there they saw a subject fleeing into the brush and timber area but he was never located. Police found multiple items removed from inside of a building that included a lawn mower, cords, wire, and other tools. A hydraulic jack was later located that was taken from a building on Orange Street.

 

Probable cause was found to charge Kade Jones with two counts of burglary and one count of theft for both incidents. Jones was taken to Christian County Correctional Center in lieu of bond. 

 

 

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Taylorville City Council To Meet Tuesday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet Tuesday evening at 7 PM at the Municipal Building to discuss business, ordinance, and legislation. A ordinance will be discussed on Sunday Liquor sales. A motion will be brought forward on advertising for a replacement Laborer position in the Street Department, and there will be a motion to allow Petersburg Plumbing & Excavating to complete sewer lining and repairs on East Palmer Street. 

 

There were no committee reports during this time, however there will be a closed session, plus Mayoral and City Attorney updates. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story at the conclusion of the meeting on Tuesday evening. 

 

 

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New Manager Appointed For State Fair

The Illinois State Fair has a new Manager. Rebecca Clark, formerly the Public Information Officer for the Illinois Department of Agriculture will take over as the new State Fair Manager. Governor JB Pritzker says shes an excellent choice for manager of the State Fair.

 

Governor Pritzker says "Rebecca's leadership at IEMA has helped guide our state through this pandemic, and i'm glad she will continue to serve our state as the next manager of the State Fair. Her dedication to keeping Illinois families safe and healthy will be such an asset to bringing together residents and visitors each summer, to explore the joys that Illinois has to offer. I look forward to our continued owrk as we celebrate Illinois' proud agricultural tradition-the force that drives our state forward."

 

Clarks says she's very appreciative of Governor Pritzker and Director of Agriculture Jerry Costello II for the opportunity to lead the State Fair. She continued by stressing how important the fairgrounds have been to her from growing up going to the fair to creating new memories with her children. "I can't wait to welcome Illinoisans to the fairgrounds, whether for the Illinois State Fair or one of the many events that call the fairgrounds home year-round."

 

Clark is only the second woman to hold the title of Illinois State Fair Manager.  Amy Bliefnick served from 2005-2014.  Clark assumed her new role on January 1st. 

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CCYMCA Recognizes Retiring Members

The Christian County YMCA is recognizing retiring members Jennifer Nagle and Jarred Rahar who have served on the YMCA Board. Nagle, who is the VP of Consumer Banking at People's Bank and Trust retires after dedicating 6 years to the YMCA. Rahar is an Associate Attorney at David R. Fines PC. Rahar also served 6 years. 

 

Christian County YMCA Executive Director Bruce Blanshan thanked Nagle and Rahar for their many years of service. He praised their leadership and thanked them for serving and helping develop 24-hour facility access, starting an Endowment program, and eliminating the capital debt. 

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Blood Donors Wanted In Springfield And Decatur

Blood donations are needed now more than ever, and State Senator Doris Turner is looking for donations especially in Macon and Sangamon Counties.  Senator Turner is partnering with ImpactLife to host community blood drives in Springfield and Decatur. The Blood Drives are taking place this whole week through Saturday, January 8th. at the Springfield donor Center at 1999 Wabash Avenue in Springfield and the Decatur Donor Center at 151 West Main Street in Decatur.

 

Donor Centers are following all recommendations from the CDC to keep staff, volunteers, and donors safe. Appointments and masks will be required. For more information contact Senator Turner's office at 217-782-0228 or visit her website at www.senatordoristurner.com. 

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Covid Hitting Central Illinois Hard

With over 245 new cases of COVID-19 reported and over 1,000 negative tests in Christian County on Monday, the Health Department announced that they are currently out of tests and will notify the public when they have tests available again. Currently there are 751 isolated positive cases and 43 are currently in the hospital. Currently the IDPH is reporting that Christian County is currently sitting at 8.4% positivity rate. There have been 33,857 total COVID-19 vaccines given out in the county. 

 

The latest numbers from Montgomery County are 70 new cases as of December 28th with ten pending.

 

Shelby County is reporting 66 active cases as of December 29th with 97 new cases. 


The IDPH is asking all Illinoisans to mask up, get vaccinated, and do your part to end this pandemic.  

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Moweaqua Man Sentenced For Threatening Official

A Moweaqua man has been sentenced for threatening a public official. 27 year old Travis L. Sinnard of Moweaqua was sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the offense of threatening a public official.  This is a Class 3 felony with a sentencing range of probation to 5 years in prison.

 

The incident occured on August 11th, when Shelby County Sheriff's deputies made contact with Sinnard at his home.  Sheriff's were there to serve Sinnard with an order of protection. According to the Shelby County State's Attorney Nichole Kroncke, when Sinnard answered the door of a residence, he had a knife in his hand and threatened to cut the throats of the two sheriff's deputies that were there to serve him. 

 

Sinnard physically resisted arrest and claimed that “this is all being done by the Democratic party.”  The knife was seized as evidence and one deputy was injured during the incident.  Sinnard has remained in the Shelby County Jail since his arrest in August. 

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Scooter's Coffee Holding Grand Opening in Taylorville January 14

Scooter's Coffee, that recently opened a new drive-thru location at the intersection of Illinois Routes 29 and 104 in Taylorville, has announced it's holding an official grand opening on Friday, January 14th.

Scooter's tells Regional Radio News they'll be offering 50 bonus Smiles when they pay with the Scooter’s Coffee mobile app that day.   With the app, customers earn 3 “Smiles” for every dollar spent, and once they reach 180 Smiles, they earn a free drink. 

Scooter's Coffee is a drive-thru franchise that's been in business over 20 years with 350 locations in 23 states.

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A Quick Tan Has Your Tanning Salon Needs Covered

Don’t leave yourself looking pasty when there’s a tanning salon in town. 

 

Nick and Alicia Quick are owners of A Quick Tan.

Alicia Quick is there to guide you through the process.

Tanning beds are reserved for those 18 and older, so spray tanning remains a viable option for teenagers hoping to look more tan. 

Nick says that they toured various tanning salons to learn the ropes. 

Nick and Alicia appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show from studios in downtown Shelbyville.

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Shelbyville Insurance Navigates Workers Compensation

Trust Shelbyville Insurance to help you navigate worker’s compensation.

That’s Derek Hayden. His colleage, Garret Uhlmer says that worker’s compensation gives you the most control. 

Uhlmer says that they can help you tailor-make your policy for worker’s compensation. 

Hayden says that he learned a lot of his profession from the YouTube reality show, “The Protege.”

Learn more at shelbyvilleins.com. 

 

Hayden and Uhlmer appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show from studios in downtown Shelbyville.

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Make Studio Gallery In Shelbyville Diversifying Arts

Meet Shelbyville’s newest business owner, Amber Wehrle. 

 

She’s the owner of Make on Main. 

Make on Main is a creative space anyone cant rent to create whatever they want. 

Wehrle says she loves Shelbyville’s downtown area. 

Make on Main aims to invite artists of various disciplines. 

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

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Minimum Wage Increasing In Illinois

Minimum Wage in Illinois is going up again. On Saturday, the new wage went up to $12 an hour. The Illinois Department of Labor is asking minimum wage workers to keep an eye on their pay stubs to make sure they are being paid the new rate. In 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation in 2019 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.  So far there have been three raises to the minimum wage increase 

 

Before the recent legislation signed by Governor Pritzker, the last time ILlinois raised it’s minum wage was more than a decade ago when it was raised to $8.25 in 2010. 

 

If you get tips, the new law maintains provisions for employers to count gratuities to offset wages for workers, such as food servers, who regularly earn tips. Tipped employees may be paid 60% of the hourly minimum wage. These workers must still earn the minimum wage though after receiving tips so employers must make up the difference.

 

If you are under 18 and work fewer than 650 hours in a year, the minimum wage of $9.25 began January 1st. The youth minimum wage rate will rise to $13/hr by 2025. 

 

If you are having an issue getting paid the minimum wage, you can file a complaint with the IDOL at 312-793-2800. 
 

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Miller Challenging Rodney Davis in 15th District Primary

US Representative Rodney Davis has his challenger for the 15th District. Republican Congresswoman Mary Miller announced that she will be running for the new 15th District against Representative Davis. Miller has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and in a Youtube video Miller says that President Trump gave her the confidence to run previously in 2020.  

 

Representative Miller says she’s not a career politician and that she’s the only politician from Illinois to oppose every aspect of the Biden agenda and that she is fighting for real election security. She says she also is the only Republican to vote against the gun confiscation bill. 

 

Miller continued stressing that she was endorsed by the NRA and that she has an A rating from the Gun owners of America.  She also boasted legislation banning taxpayer funded chemical abortion.

 

Representative Rodney Davis, who is also running for the 15th District says that Mary Miller is an outsider. His team released the following saying that  “She doesn’t live in the 15th District. She’s a carpetbagger and a Chicagoland native.  Miller is so desperate to stay in Congress she’s running in a district she doesn’t live in, just like her husband.”

 

Representative Davis’ team continued saying that “Representative Miller supported the Never Trump ticket for Illinois Governor and refused to vote against Nancy Pelosi’s sham, partisan ? select committee. All Mary Miller has to show for her time in Congress is quoting Hitler and voting with Democrats like AOC and the far left squad to defund our military and block a pay raise for our troops.”

 

To see Miller’s video click here. Illinois is set to have their primary election on June 28th. 
 

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Michigan Man Injured In Tow Truck Accident On I-55

A Michigan man is recovering after a vehicle accident on I-55. At 5:45 AM on December 30th, A 46 year old male from Nadeau, Michigan was southbound on I-55 at mile marker 106. The vehicle, a 1989 Freightliner Tow Truck, went off the roadway and into the right ditch. The driver attempted to drive the tow truck back out of the ditch and as it was coming back it overturned onto its passenger side. 

 

The driver was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with serious injuries. 
 

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