Local News

Taylorville Park Approves Bid For Repaving Tennis Courts

A bid was accepted for fixing the tennis courts at the Taylorville Park Board meeting on Monday evening. Marlane M. Miller, President of the park board, read the lone bid that the board received, a bid from All Weather Courts in Dawson, Illinois.

 

 

The bid was for $38,900 but Recreational Director Bailey Hancock reminded the board, that some money was coming in from TMH.

 

 

The motion passed for approval of the bid. 

 

The board also approved a name for the new disc golf course.  After much discussion, the board came up with the Manners Park Disc Golf. Hancock says that she is looking for summer workers for the pool this summer and announced preparations for day camp.

 

 

The next park board meeting is set for March 28th. 

Coroner Identifies Man Found In Pana

The Christian County Coroner’s Office has released the name of the male who was found near the railroad tracks in Pana on February 23rd. 27-year-old Dylan Haines of Pana was found lying near the railroad tracks located at 375 N 2500 East Road in Pana. An autopsy was held on Friday and the results are pending toxicology. 

 

The investigation is still ongoing and is being conducted by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois State Police Crime Scene services, the Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigators, and the Christian County Coroner’s Office. 

State Democrats Working On Teacher Shortage Issue

School Districts are still in need of teachers and Senate Democrats hosted a press conference late last week, announcing a number of legislative measures that would help address these shortages. There are more than 4,000 unfilled positions according to the Illinois State Board of Education in Illinois schools and Senate Bill 3915, which would waive the application fee for short-term substitute teaching licensees when the governor has declared a disaster due to a public health emergency.  State Senator Doris Turner says that this is a common-sense solution.

 

 

Senate Bill 3907 will help keep kids in the classroom by allowing short-term substitute teachers to teach up to 15 days instead of 5. 

 

 

Turner continued by saying Senate Bill 3988 would lower the age requirement for teacher assistants from 19 to 18 for those who work in pre-K to eighth-grade classrooms.  Another bill would allow retired Chicago Public School Teachers to return to work without affecting their pensions.

 

 

Senator Turner says there is too much uncertainty in schools right now, and these bills will go a long way towards fixing that.

 

 

For a list of all bills in the Senate Democrats’ teacher shortage package, visit https://www.illinoissenatedemocrats.com/teachershortage. 

Hillsboro Police Arrest Two Connected To Burglaries

Two men were arrested for a string of thefts in Hillsboro. The Hillsboro Police Department responded to a suspicious person report on Sunday, February 20th at 3:36 PM. Hillsboro Police responded to a semi-truck parking area on Industrial Park Drive near School Street.  While there HPD located two males.  39-year old Brian J. Reinacher of Hillsboro was taken into custody for a warrant for his arrest in Indiana. 40-year-old Timothy D. Davidson was also taken into custody for criminal damage to property and criminal trespass to railroad property.  During the investigation, HPD found items that appeared to be equipment from the railroad tracks including a switch transformer.  Both men were transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

 

On February 12th, HPD responded to a report of a catalytic converter theft at Ace Hardware located at 300 Springfield Road. Video surveillance showed two suspects approaching a van from the rear of the building on February 5th just before 1 AM. Investigators reviewed the footage and recognized the clothing from a previous search warrant in January. 40-year-old Timothy D. Davidson was also recognized and identified. Davidson was charged with theft of essential motor vehicle parts. 

 

Further charges are suspected and Hillsboro Police thanked the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for their help. 

Energy Assistance Available For Low-Income Households

Those who rely on natural gas to heat their home could see prices rise in the coming months. 

 

Those with low income may be eligible for LIHEAP. Shelby County Outreach Coordinator for CEFS Bridgette Lockhart explains the types of assistance available. 

Lockhart wants people to know they shouldn’t feel bad about asking for assistance. 

If approved, the program will pay your utility provider directly. 

It should take no longer than a month for an accepted application to benefit the applicant. 

Learn more at cefseoc.org. Lockhart appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Park District To Meet This Evening

The Taylorville Park Board will meet on Monday evening at 7 PM at the Manners Park Dining Hall at Manners Park in Taylorville for their regular board meeting. The Board will go over a name for the new disc golf course. The board will review reports from the maintenance superintendent, office administrator, and recreational director, Bailey Hancock. Under committee reports, the board will approve payment of bills and discuss any other issues brought in front of the board.  Please visit www.taylorvilledailynews.com for more on this story after the meeting concludes. 

HSHS Good Shepherd Foundation Hosting Casino Night April 29th

The HSHS Good Shepherd Foundation hopes to further the hospitals mission while supporting the community. 

 

Foundation director Joel Fletcher describes the foundation’s goal. 

Right now, the hospital has its eyes set on an updated ultrasound machine. 

To further that effort, the foundation is hosting a Casino Night, Friday April 29th. 

The foundation is looking for businesses interested in sponsoring the event. 

You can contact Joel Fletcher at 217-464-5730 if you have any questions about the foundation or the casino night. 

 

Fletcher appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.    

New Bill To Recognize Dispatchers As First Responders

A new bill that is being pushed through would classify officially emergency dispatchers as first responders under Illinois code. The proposal, from State Senator Neil Anderson and Representative Dan Swanson would go a long way towards recognizing the hard work that goes into being a dispatcher. State Senator Anderson says most people don’t even realize how much dispatchers go through.

 

 

Senator Anderson says that Senate Bill 3127 would amend various laws to include dispatchers in reference to first responders, which would give them the same recognition as police, firefighters, and medics. 

 

 

Senate Bill 3127 recently passed out of the Senate Licensed Activities Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.  If it passes there it will head to the house. Representative Swanson says he will carry the bill if it gets that far. 

TMH Highlights Priorities For 2022-2024

A needs assessment has Taylorville Memorial Hospital adjusting some of its priorities. A community health needs assessment for TMH was released outlining the hospital's focus for 2022-2024. The nonprofit hospital has developed an implementation plan that includes mental health, obesity, and lung health.  Mental health was actually singled out as a priority for all five hospitals in Memorial Health. 

 

TMH collaborated with the Christian County Health Department and other health and social service providers to make sure they represent all members of the community.  Kim Bourne, President and CEO of TMH says they look forward to working with the community to address these critical health needs faced by many.  To view the needs assessment, visit memorial.health/CHNA. 

School Mask Mandate Denied By Illinois Supreme Court

Governor JB Pritzker announced that the mask mandate will end for both businesses and schools on Monday. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled on Friday that they wouldn't hear the appeal, challenging the mask mandate, calling it "moot." The court did vacate a lower court ruling that would have banned mask mandates in the future though, so it could be reinstated in the future. 

 

In a statement released by Governor JB Pritzker, he said: "I'm gratified that the Supreme Court vacated the lower court's restraining order, meaning that if a school mask mandate needs to go into effect in the future, we continue to have that authority. I'm also extremely pleased to say that because the CDC has recommended that masks are needed only in areas of high transmission, the State of Illinois will move forward to remove our school mask mandate, effective Monday. We will recommend that all school districts follow CDC guidance and will update our existing guidance in the coming days."

 

 

While the mask mandate is being lifted on Monday, you will still have to wear masks in places like the Dr's office, public transportation, nursing homes and other long term care facilities. Regional Radio News will have more on this story on Monday. 

 

Shelby County State's Attorney Announces Sentencing of Beecher City Woman

A judge sentenced a Beecher City woman to two and a half years in IDOC for Retail Theft with a prior conviction. 

 

Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke made the announcement that the judge sentenced 39-year-old Amy Merrifield Thursday. 

 

Authorities charged Merrifield in February 2021 with stealing groceries totally just under $45 from Walmart in Shelbyville by using the self-scanning device and deliberately not scanning items. Merrifield had been on parole at the time of her arrest. 

 

Merrifield received her sentence after a contested hearing that showed this is her third felony conviction, second prison sentence and fourth retail theft conviction. 

 

The Shelbyville Police Department investigated the case. 

Stewardson Man Sentenced For Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse

A Stewardson man has been sentenced to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.  42-year old Christopher Chiovari of Stewardson, formerly of Shelbyville was sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on two separate counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.  Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke announced the sentencing was concurrent. Charges are a class 2 felony that carries a sentencing range of probation to seven years in prison.  The four-year sentences will be served at the same time and Chiovari will be subject to lifetime registration as a sexual predator upon release from prison. 

 

Chovari had been charged in 2019 with committing acts of sexual conduct by touching two minor children. He was sentenced to IDOC after a contested hearing in which recorded interviews of the victims were played and a victim’s impact statement by the child’s mother was read. 

 

According to State’s Attorney Kroncke, Chiovari stated that his conduct was both “crazy and disturbing.”  He also said that he was innocent and requested a term of probation due to medical ailments that he suffers from as a reason why incarceration would be inappropriate.

 

Kroncke continued by stating that the conduct was abhorrent and would have a lifetime impact on the two innocent children he chose to victimize.  This is Chiovari’s first felony conviction. He was remanded to the Shelby County Jail to await transportation to the Illinois Department of Corrections.  Kroncke thanked the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation.
 

Central A&M FFA Officers Look To Their Futures

Central A&M High School FFA sets their students up for success later in life. 

 

President Tanner Etherton is a junior and is thinking about community college after graduation. 

He attributes his aspirations to working with FFA.

Senior at Central A&M and chapter secretary Abbi Durbin describes how her experience will help her later in life. 

Sophomore and chapter reporter Samantha Hazelwonder says she did not grow up on a farm like a lot of FFA kids, but still thinks it’s going to propel her into college and the workforce. She wants to work with animals. 

Hazelwonder, Durbin and Etherton appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show as part of National FFA Week. 

Catching Up With Edinburg FFA

Catching up with the Edinburg FFA Chapter. 

 

Vice President Emily Schleyhan details her duties.

As head of the FFA committee, she goes beyond the high school. 

Secretary Gabe Clark describes his role. 

As a freshman, FFA member Maya Klotz has fewer responsibilities. That does not mean she’s learning less. 

Klotz, Clark and Schleyhan appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show as part of National FFA Week. 

Landing Fire Determined To Be Incendiary

The Taylorville Fire Department has determined that the fire at The Landing, formerly known as Mity’s Pub at 400 South Spresser was incendiary.  An incendiary fire is a fire intentionally ignited under circumstances where the person knows the fire should not be ignited. The investigation is still ongoing by the Illinois State Fire Marshal.  Anyone with any information on the fire is encouraged to call the statewide hotline at 1-800-252-2947. That information will be forwarded to the Agent handling the case. 

 

The building was determined to be a total loss. The fire occurred on the morning of February 22nd. 

Christian County Sheriff Investigating Body Found In Pana

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a body they found in Pana on Wednesday morning. At 8:57 AM, Wednesday, February 23rd, the Christian County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a deceased male in his 20s laying near the railroad tracks located at 375 N. 2500 East Road in Pana. 

 

Christian County Deputies along with Pana Police Department investigated the incident. The Christian County Coroner’s Office, Illinois State Police Crime Scene, Illinois State Police DCI Zone 4 Investigators all helped as well. 

 

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp says that the initial results of the investigation reveals that no foul play is suspected.  An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.  The name of the male has not been released as of yet. 

Governor Appealing Mask Mandate In Schools

Governor JB Pritzker and the State of Illinois is appealing a recent ruling on masks in schools to the Illinois Supreme Court.  The Governor is appealing after a court refused to lift a restraining order on masks in several school districts. The Governor says this isn’t about the current pandemic but about future ones.

 

 

The Governor says that this is the right thing for the State of Illinois.

 

 

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules also refused to renew the emergency order put in place by Governor Pritzker. Governor Pritzker says he’s concerned about another pandemic. The mask mandate will be lifted on Monday but no date has been set for lifting it for schools, although a lot of schools have already made masks optional. 

Comptroller Trying To Track State Refunds Easier

A new system is being put in place to help Illinoisans track their state tax refund.  Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza says that it is called “Find My Refund” and says that it’s a handy online tool for taxpayers.  Users will provide their social security number, name, and whether they want to receive alerts.

 

 

The final update will let people know their payment is on the way.

 

 

Sign up for “Find My Refund” alerts online at  www.Illinoiscomptroller.gov. Mendoza is also pushing for ending penalties for late state payments.  The prompt payment act was set to serve as a detterent for state officials to let bills rack up, by applying interest penalties of 1% per month.  Mendoza says it just doesn’t work.

 

 

Mendoza also wants to do away with a program that will let private investors purchase debt owed to vendors and collect the interest.

 

 

According to Comptroller Mendoza, the taxpayer was facing the burden of paying on these programs but the state is in much better shape now than what it was previously.

Greenhands - The Next Generation of Senior FFA Officers in Taylorville

At Taylorville FFA, the green-hands are some of the future senior officers of the chapter. 

 

Sophomore and co-greenhand president Drew Mickey shares a bit of what he does. 

Vice-greenhand president Waylon Paulek is the right hand man of sorts for Mickey. 

Freshman member Lane Wemple has aspirations to become an officer this spring. 

Advisor Katie King can’t say enough about her junior officers. 

King, Wemple, Paulek and Mickey appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Nokomis FFA In Good Hands With Former FFA Student As Advisor

A long journey brings former Nokomis FFA kid Mason Fesser back as the advisor for the chapter. 

He says he’s excited to work with a bright group of young officers. 

President of the chapter Skylar Stewart is a senior and says FFA has helped her grow as a person. 

Secretary of Nokomis FFA Nora Patton, a junior at Nokomis High School, has similar feelings. 

Patton, Stewart and Fesser appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show as part of National FFA Week. 

Stewardson Strasbug FFA President Leaving Chapter Better Than He Found It

Senior at Stewardson-Strasburg High School Samuel Vonverheide always wanted to be president of his FFA chapter. 

Vonverheide is a busy guy as president. 

He says that he couldn’t do it without his officers. 

Vonverheide has mixed feelings about elections rolling around this spring. That means there will be a new president taking over for Vonverheide. 

Vonverheide appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show as part of National FFA Week. 

Taylorville Senior Awarded $36K Scholarship

A Taylorville High School Senior has been awarded a $36,000 scholarship for school from the University of Illinois Springfield.  Breauna Spencer of Taylorville has been admitted to the U of I Springfield for Fall of 2022 and awarded a $36,000 Capital Scholars Honors Program Scholarship.  She plans to major in biology at UIS. The scholarship can be renewed for a total of four years, provided the student maintains college GPA requirements.

 

While at THS, Spencer is a member of the National Honor Society, dance team, band, concert choir, madrigals, and is part of the school musical. She is hoping to continue her education to become a veterinarian. 

 

Capital Scholars Honors Program scholarships are competitive and are based on GPA. For more information on scholarships, contact the UIS Office of Financial Assistance at 217-206-6724 or finaid@uis.edu.  For a full list of scholarship opportunities, visit uis.edu/cost-aid/scholarships.  Students may apply for admission to UIS at uis.edu/apply. Contact admissions at 217-206-4847 with questions. 

Four Arrested In Pawnee Burglary

Four people were arrested after the Christian County Sheriff received a report of a burglary in progress.  On February 22nd, at 5:33 AM, the Christian County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a residential burglary in progress at 414 E. Road 1525 North Road in Pawnee.  When Christian County Deputies arrived on the scene, they arrested 47-year-old Charles D. Turner of Springfield, Christopher M. Boelling of Pawnee, 51-year-old Thomas J. Sipes of Springfield, and 24-year-old Cheyenne Treat of Kincaid.

 

All four were arrested for residential burglary.  Boelling was also charged with possession of burglary tools. All four were taken to the Christian County Jail. Taylorville Police helped assist in the arrests. The residence was not occupied at the time of the burglary. 

 

Treat

Boelling

Sipes

Turner

Shelbyville FFA Enhancing Futures Of Chapter Members

FFA is for more than the farm kid, and it sets teens up for success later in life. 

 

That’s according to Shelbyville FFA Secretary Graycee Gottfrieydt, a junior at Shelbyville High School. She has job prospects lined up for the summer and an eye on college. 

Senior at Shelbyville High School Rope Hatfield, who is the president of the chapter, has his eyes set on community college and the workforce. 

Gottfrieydt believes FFA is going to propel her into the next stage of her life. 

Hatfield shares a similar belief. 

Hatfield and Gottfrieydt appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show as part of National FFA Week. 

Pana HS FFA With Slew Of Events

A busy week ahead for Pana FFA. 

 

Vice president Hayleigh Manuel, a junior at Pana High School, tells everyone how the school is celebrating National FFA Week. 

Pana FFA treasurer Faith Horton, also a junior, is most excited to visit with elementary school kids. 

Though they’re both only juniors, Horton has big plans once she finishes high school. She attributes FFA as a huge reason why. 

Manuel does not have a college in mind as of yet, but believes FFA has set her up for her future. 

Manuel and Horton appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show as part of National FFA Week. 

This Week Marks Grain Bin Safety Week

The Illinois Department of Agriculture, along with the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal is encouraging Illinois farmers to take time this week to recognize Grain Bin Safety Week.  Farmers should review safety practices while working in and around grain bins. 

 

A 2020 study by the University of Purdue on US Agricultural Confined Space-Related Injuries and Fatalities reported 35-grain entrapment cases.  This is an 8% decline from 2019 when 38 were recorded. The total number of fatal and non-fatal entrapments is the second-highest in the past six years.  Illinois responded to a nation-leading 12 rescue incidents at Illinois grain bins/elevators in 2020. 

 

IL Dept. of Agriculture Bureau Chief of Warehouses Joe Small says it can come down to complacency and safety. 

 

 

The University of Illinois Extension suggests whenever possible, don’t enter a grain bin. But if you must Small says to try to keep grain in good quality. 

 

 

Other tips that you should use include wearing a harness attached to a properly secured rope, stay near the outer wall of the bin and keep walking if the grain should start to flow.  Get to the bin ladder or safety rope as quickly as possible.  Have another person or two outside the bin who can help if you become stuck.  Wear an appropriate dust filter or filter respirator due to fine grain or dust. Shut off power to augers and fans, lock out any unloading equipment. Do not allow children to play in the bin. Install ladders inside grain bins for an emergency exit.  

 

For more information visit www.gfai.org, www.grainsafety.org, or the U of I Extension website. 

Taylorville City Council Meets

The Taylorville City Council met on Tuesday evening due to President’s Day. After approval of minutes, the board approved a BDD agreement between the city and CTI. Aldermen Larry Budd explained why it was such an important agreement between the two.

 

 

The motion passed 9-0.  A motion for a lease agreement with the VFW was also approved unanimously. The board approved an audit engagement letter.  The board also approve advertising the airport records clerk position at the airport.  The board was split on a liquor/gaming license at 433 West Spresser Street. Mayor Bruce Barry says this had been approved previously just under a different name.


 

The motion passed 5-4 with Aldermen Kathy Driskell, Steve Dorchinecz, Megan Bryant, and Chris Skultety saying no and Aldermen Jim Olive, Jeremy Wilson, Doug Brown, Larry Budd and Mayor Barry voting Yes. 

The Mayor gave his updates.

 

 

Under committee reports, the board approved a dock at Campground 1-18, new amps for overnight camping, parking lots to be oiled, and new equipment for water/environmental. There was a closed session as well. 
 

Taylorville Kiwanis Honors Dick Adams as "Community Hero of Month", Hears About "Dinner Seasoned with Love" at Weekly Meeting

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club  honored another Kiwanis “Community Hero of the Month”, and heard about a local program called “Dinner Seasoned with Love,” during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge. 

 

Dick Adams (left) was presented with the Club’s monthly “Community Hero of the Month” award for his many years of service to the community, by Kiwanis president Brad Davis (right).  Adams is a former 2-term mayor, founding president and now Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, and former facilitator of the Christian County C-E-O, or “Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities” high school business program.

 

 

Program speakers at the Tuesday Kiwanis Club meeting were Suzy Traughber (left) and Megan Steely (right) from a local non-profit organization called “Dinner Seasoned with Love.”  The program was started by Mary Milling in 2007, designed to offer a free meal to the entire community regardless of financial condition or religious affiliation.  The ladies said the idea was to bring people together.  It became a 503c3 non-profit organization in 2017.  Meals are currently served the 3rd Saturday of every month at Calvary Baptist Church starting at 10:30am, with local Girl Scouts assisting with serving the meal.  

 

Suzy and Megan added the meals are provided at no cost to those attending, thanks to generous donations from various supporters.

 

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.     

Healthcare Career Education Grant Application Due June 1

Taylorville Memorial Foundation offering grants for those entering a career in healthcare. 

 

The foundation announces its grant application deadline is slated for June 1st. 

 

All healthcare education students are eligible for awards ranging from $1,500 for a certified nursing assistant to $30,000 for a graduate degree. 

 

According to president of the Taylorville Memorial Foundation Lindsay Barry, the grant establishes a pipeline of professional clinical staff for Taylorville Memorial Hospital, which helps ensure the nonprofit hospital has the staff needed to provide necessary care to patients.

 

Taylorville Memorial Foundation accepts financial donations to further missions the hospital takes on, including establishing a workforce pipeline. 

 

More information on the healthcare career education grant program at memorial.health/tmf. 

Landing Burns Down In Taylorville; ISFM Investigating

Taylorville Fire responded to a fire at The Landing in Taylorville. The bar that was formerly known as “Mity’s Pub” caught fire early Tuesday morning. Taylorville Fire Department received a call of smoke coming from a commercial building at 400 South Spresser.  Upon arrival, crews found fire that was burning through the roof. Taylorville Fire forced entry but were unable to enter due to roof collapse.

 

 

The Fire Department says they used a defensive strategy due to deteriorating building conditions.  Multiple hand lines, a master stream, and an aerial master stream were used by the fire department to bring it under control.  

The building and contents are believed to be a total loss and the Illinois State Fire Marshal is investigating the origin and cause of the fire. TFD was assisted by the Owaneco, Stonington, and Edinburg Fire Departments.  Taylorville Police, Dunn’s Ambulance, Christian County 911, and Christian County Sheriff’s Office also assisted.

 

 

Windsor FFA Taking On Challenges As They Come

President of Windsor FFA Sam Welton has enjoyed his role since taking over last Spring. 

 

He’s a senior at Windsor High School. 

Cameron Hughes is the vice president and says she has learned a lot over the years. 

Kelly Barringer is the advisor of the Windsor chapter and says that it has been a pleasure to watch Welton and Hughes work over the past several months. 

Welton hopes to carry the skills he’s learned into the workforce when he graduates this spring. 

Welton, Barringer and Hughes appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show as part of National FFA Week. 

Cowden-Herrick FFA Busy To Round Out School Year

Cowden-Herrick FFA has been busy this year. 

 

Advisor Dave Wojcick (Woah-check) says he’s proud of his officers this year. 

He says the chapter is in good hands for the run up to the end of the school year, which is very busy. 

Chapter president Brent Thompson describes his experience as president. 

Carter Bain, vice president, shares his memories as vice president the past school year. They went to the Farm Progress Show in Decatur as well as the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. 

Bain, Thompson and Wojcick appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show as part of National FFA Week. 

Meridian High School Celebrates FFA Week

Meridian High School FFA has come a long way in its three years. 

 

Chapter vice president Cole Rappe, who is a senior at Meridian High School, talks about his experience as one of the very first FFA members of Meridian. 

President Kaylin Moreland, who is a junior, had a similar experience. 

Sophomore officer Emma Pistorius is the co-manager of Meridian’s ag plot. She thinks its beneficial to have their own plot. 

Moreland gives the details of how Meridian High School is celebrating FFA Week.

Moreland, Pistorius and Rappe appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show as part of FFA Week. 

Taylorville City Council To Meet This Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet this evening for their regular bimonthly meeting. After approval of minutes, the board will review a CTI business development district, and authorize a lease agreement with the VFW. The board will review an audit engagement letter and look at a motion to advertise for an airport records clerk position with the airport. 

 

In other meeting news, the board will review approval of another liquor/gaming license at 433 West Spresser Street. The board will look at a concrete and rain shelter for the bike trail near the Paw Paw Street entrance.

 

During the lake/airport section, the board will look at some campground approvals including amp outlets, docks, and the parking lot being oiled and chipped. Under water/environmental the board will look at modifications for a SCADA system and a three-year maintenance and support plan.  

 

The board will also go into closed session to discuss the upcoming resignation of the water superintendent; discuss hiring Marlin Brune, and review a claim from the former Human Resource Manager. The board will hear from the city attorney and Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry.

WTIM's 107.9 FM Pana Signal Back On The Air

WTIM's 107-point-9 FM signal transmitting from a tower south of Pana, is back on the air.

The most recent winter storm caused problems with WTIM's audio feed from Taylorville to the Pana tower, sent on the internet, causing a nearly week-long service outage.

Station officials have secured a more reliable means of delivering its audio feed, enabling the signal to return to the air Monday night.

A backup audio feed to the WTIM Pana tower, is also being established.

WTIM thanks its many listeners to 107-point-9 FM in the Pana and Nokomis areas, for their patience and understanding during this outage.

Doctors Warn Of Heart Attack Signs; Prevention

Heart attacks are something that is often shown in movies or tv shows, but when they happen in real life, it’s important to know the warning signs and learn what to do if you have any signs or symptoms. Meredith Fleming, a nurse practioner with Prairie Cardiovascular, says that it is important if you feel like you’re having a heart attack to be seen immediately.

 

 

Fleming says you should call 9-1-1 and not have your spouse or loved one try to take you to the ER. 

 

 

Fleming says there are ways to prevent having a heart attack starting with a healthy diet.

 

 

Make sure to follow up with your primary care physician.

 

 

Find out more at www.Prairieheart.org.

Shelbyville Street Commissioner Thankful For Cleanup Efforts of Crew

Another storm last week means another cleanup effort for area townships.

 

Shelbyville Street Commissioner Thom Schafer details the cleanup process.

Schafer thanks his crew for their efforts. He says he can’t express enough how proud he is of them. 

He also says the community is extremely helpful in the time of a storm. 

Schafer reminds you to keep your car off of the street when there is a snow storm. 

Thom Schafer appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Secretary of State Encourages Purchasing License Plate Renewals Online

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding customers with license plate stickers expiring at the end of the month to renew online at ilsos.gov.  Illinois Secretary of State spokesperson Henry Haupt says that the receipt is good for up to 30 days after it has been printed.

 

 

Motorists are allowed to drive without an up-to-date vehicle renewal sticker on their license plate as long as they have that receipt from the Secretary of State. 

 

 

Last year 209,844 customers purchased license plate renewal stickers during the last seven days in February.  Of this 87,520 were purchased online.  

Shelbyville Eyeing New K-9 Dog For First Time Ever

Shelbyville hoping for its own K-9 unit. 

 

Police Chief Chad Brachbill details the process of obtaining one. 

Patrolman and K-9 handler Joe Houch details the adjustments the department would need to make if they acquired a K-9 unit. 

Chief Brachbill says the departure of the Shelby County Sheriff K-9 Kilo in November 2021 solidified the need for Shelbyville to have its own K-9. 

Houck has spent a lot of time around dogs and he is excited to be able to train the new K-9 – hopefully by the end of the summer. 

Cheif Brachbill hopes to obtain the K-9 by the end of August. 

 

Houck and Chief Brachbill appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Foundation Honors And Welcomes Board Members

The Taylorville Memorial Foundation is honoring two retiring board members and welcoming two new members to serve on the board.  Melissa Livingston and Billy Williams have both served two three-year terms on the board and Williams lead the board as its most recent president.  The seats will now be filled by Jarred Rahar and Chad Sutton, both lifelong Taylorville residents. 

 

Raedena Ryan, TMH Foundation’s Executive Director, praised both Livingston and Williams saying that they demonstrated their dedication to our organization and the vital role in the County.  She continued by excitingly welcoming Rahar and Sutton saying that they both bring experience and passion to the community to their positions on the foundation board. 

Melissa Livingston

 

Billy Williams

Williams served on the executive committee and held the position of secretary, vice president, and president during his tenure. Rahar currently serves as an associate attorney at David R. Fines Law Office in Taylorville.  He serves on the Taylorville Public School Foundation Board as president and is a league president and coach for the Taylorville Junior Football League.  He served on the board of directors of the Christian County YMCA. 

 

Sutton is the CEO of Endurance Capital, a firm in Pana and running his free time, sharing his passion for the sport as a coach of the Taylorville Junior High School Cross Country team. During the board’s meeting in January, a new slate of officers was proposed and accepted.  

 

New officers for 2022 include Lindsay Barry, president; Dan McNeely, vice president; Will Perkins, treasurer; and Ron Mizer, secretary. 

 

Jarred Rahar

 

Chad Sutton

Doctors Urge Women To See Warning SIgns Of Heart Disease

While many women may focus solely on breast cancer as a top health concern, Doctors warn that heart disease is something that is an even bigger risk to your health. Heart disease strikes nearly 1 in 3 women during their lifetime, compared to 1 in 8 women who will get breast cancer.  February is American Heart Month and health experts at Prairie Cardiovascular and HSHS Illinois hospitals encourage everyone to consider risk factors for heart disease. 

 

Some heart disease risk factors to be aware of include being 55 or older or postmenopausal, having high blood pressure or have high cholesterol, having diabetes, having a family history of early heart disease, being overweight, and making unhealthy lifestyle choices.  If you are postmenopausal you will see a decline in estrogen which offers women some heart protection.  High blood pressure can damage arteries in the heart.  Having high cholesterol can also clog arteries in the heart triggering a heart attack.  

 

Four ways to protect your heart are to carve out time for some exercise, eat more heart-healthy foods, maintain a healthy weight, and if you do smoke, try to quit. 

 

To learn more about the doctors of Prairie, call 888-4PRAIRIE or visit www.prairieheart.org. 

Appellate Court Dismisses Mask Mandate; Governor Vows To Take It To The Supreme Court

Governor JB Pritzker received another setback on Thursday, when the Appellate Court ruled against the Court decision made by Judge Raylene Grischow over mask mandates in school.  In a 6 page ruling, the Appellate Court dismissed the appeal saying it was “moot” as JCAR (the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules) had already rendered the decision void. 

 

A huge point in the ruling was that the Appellate Court says that schools may act independently and enforce their own rules. After the IDPH renewed the emergency rules on September 17th, JCAR objected to and suspended the IDPH renewal of those rules. 

 

The Illinois Education Association released a statement on the ruling from the court saying, “We appreciate the clarity brought forth in the Fourth District Appellate Court’s decision last night dismissing defendants’ appeal of the temporary restraining order.” The IEA continued by stressing that students crave consistency and frustration over Judge Grischow’s decision on February 4th.  They also warned that mitigation efforts weren’t political and that they are put in place to keep loved ones safe. 

 

Governor JB Pritzker says that he is disappointed in the appellate court’s decision and concerned for the health of those in school and the ability to continue in-person learning. He also says he will be requesting an expedited review from the Illinois Supreme Court. He continues to urge everyone to wear masks and also says he is encouraged that school districts can continue to keep their own mitigations in place. 

IL SoS Offices Closed For President's Day

Just a reminder Secretary of State offices are closing Monday for President’s Day. 

 

Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announces all offices and facilities are closed Monday, February 21st in observance of President’s Day. 

 

The closure impacts driver services facilities. Those operating on a Tuesday through Saturday schedule will be closed Saturday, February 19th and re-open for business Tuesday February 22nd.

 

Offices operating on a Monday through Friday schedule will be closed Monday February 21st and will re-open Tuesday February 22nd. 

 

Secretary White reminding Illinoisans that all driver’s license and ID card expiration dates have been extended to the end of March. This extension does not apply to commercial driver’s licenses or CDL learner permits. In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the federal REAL ID deadline to May of 2023. 

 

You’re encouraged to visit ilsos.gov for online services. 

Tenaska: Heartland Greenway Safe and Effective at CCS

Tenaska’s Heartland Greenway is a carbon capture and storage project in Christian County. 

 

Spokesperson Jim Prescott describes Heartland Greenway.

Technical expert Andrew Duguid says carbon capture and storage is a safe process. 

Prescott says that Tenaska is in the midst of applying for a highly regulated permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Duguid describes how this project can be beneficial for farmers. 

Learn more at heartlandgreenway.com.

 

Duguid and Prescott appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Calm After The Storm; Regional Radio Area Gets Up to 5 Inches of Snow, Ice

Well, it’s the calm after the storm today.   A Winter Storm dumped ice and snow on the Regional Radio listening area thru-out the day on Thursday.

The snow total map from the National Weather Service in Lincoln this morning showed that the Springfield and Decatur areas in the Regional Radio listening area, received plus or minus 5 inches of the white stuff, plus a coating of ice.  

Snow totals declined at a rapid pace, once you got south of Interstate 72.  The snow line appeared to be from Taylorville to Sullivan, with areas in between the interstate and those towns getting from one to 3 inches.

Mother Nature will give us sunny but frigid skies today, with a warm up this weekend.

February is Canned Foods Month

February is canned food month. University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator Lisa Peterson dispelling myths of canned food. 

Canned food can be just as good for you as un-canned food. 

High added sodium is something to look out for. There is a trick you can use to mitigate sodium from canned food. 

You should also be selective when picking out canned fruit as it can be high in added sugar. 

Learn more at extension.illinois.edu.

 

Peterson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

TMH Colleague Of The Month Named For January

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has named its Colleague of the Month for the month of January. Jeremy Buchanan, a phlebotomist with TMH was named the Colleague of the Month, and hospital officials praised his compassion and care for patients. 

 

Buchanan considers direct patient care to be the most rewarding thing he does at work and he says he loves meeting new people and interacting with his patients. He also enjoys playing a vital role in the care they receive at Taylorville Memorial.

 

Buchanan has worked at TMH since 2020 and he plans to pursue his master’s degree in medical laboratory science.  Outside of work, he enjoys spending time poolside with his husband Cody and their three dogs. 

Weather Update: Snow Continues Across Central Illinois; Wind Chills As Low As -8 Expected Thru Friday

Above graphic posted by National Weather Service at 5:11pm.

 

The National Weather Service in Lincoln issued an update mid-afternoon on Thursday, indicating that the changeover to sleet then snow, has occurred across Central Illinois.

They indicate the snow will end from west to east, between 6 and 10pm this evening, adding that gusty winds and high snowfall rates have combined to reduce visibility below 1/2 mile across most locations. 2 to 4 inches of total snow is expected thru tonight.  Travel has become treacherous, according to the Weather Service.

Those gusty winds tonight will bring wind chills down as low as -8, and continue tomorrow with sunny skies but wind chills staying as low as -8.

The Regional Radio listening area continues under a Winter Weather Advisory until 9pm tonight, and Macon County and points north remain under a Winter Storm Warning also until 9pm tonight.  

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for the latest school closings and cancellations, which can also be found by clicking that icon at taylorvilledailynews.com.

Taylorville Man Sentenced For Distributing Meth

A Taylorville man has been sentenced to 4 years in prison with three years of supervised release for possessing over 50 grams of methamphetamine. 54-year-old Daniel S. Ward of the 1300 block of South Cardinal Street was sentenced on February 10th, to 48 months’ imprisonment, with three years of supervised release for possession of meth with intent to deliver. 

 

Ward was indicted in March of 2020 and pleaded guilty in June of 2021. The penalties for possession of 50 or more grams of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute are a minimum of 10 years imprisonment to a maximum of life imprisonment, a minimum five-year to a maximum life term of supervised release, and up to a $10,000,000 fine. 

 

Ward was eligible for a lesser sentence due to a “safety-valve” provision in the law.  A safety valve allows a judge to sentence a person below the mandatory minimum term if certain conditions are met. The Drug Enforcement Administration, Illinois State Police Central Illinois Enforcement Group, Taylorville Police Department, and Christian County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.  Assistant US Attorney Timothy Bass represented the Government in the case. 
 

Winter Weather Advisory, Winter Storm Warning, Flood Watch for Regional Radio Listening Area Today

 


The National Weather Service in Lincoln says the Regional Radio listening area remains under a Winter Weather Advisory until 9 o’clock tonight, and a Flood Watch until 6 o’clock tonight.

Our listeners in Macon County are now under a Winter Storm Warning until 9 o’clock tonight.

The Weather Service says there has been a southward shift where today’s winter storm is headed in Central Illinois.

The Weather Service says the storm has shifted the axis of heaviest forecast snow amounts to near and along a Pittsfield to Bloomington line. Snowfall amounts of 5-11 inches are possible along this zone, with forecast snow amounts gradually decreasing northward or southward from there.

 A widespread glaze of ice is also expected today, with areas south of I-72 having the highest potential of receiving over a tenth of an inch of ice. Winter storm warnings/advisories have been expanded southeastward. 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for the latest weather information.   School closings, cancellations, and winter road conditions are all available by clicking those icons at taylorvilledailynews.com.

Submit Nominations For The Tommy Awards

Submit your nominations for the Tommy Awards. 

 

Junior at Taylorville High School Sophia Robinson details the award show. 

Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty likens it to national award shows. 

Robinson says this is a great opportunity for those in TommyTV to produce an award show. 

Dr. Dougherty is thrilled to see what TommyTV is doing. 

Learn more on the TommyTV Facebook.

 

Dr. Dougherty and Robinson appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Governor Pritzker Says Mask Mandate For Schools Still Applies Unless Part Of Lawsuit

Governor JB Pritzker says the mask mandate for schools is still in effect from his original executive order.  He says that the JCAR ruling from yesterday was simply a stop-gap measure, and they are expecting a ruling from the Appellate Court, relatively soon. The Governor spoke about the JCAR ruling from yesterday and said that if schools weren’t part of the original lawsuit, they should still wear masks.  He says there is too much confusion and he blames the judicial system for that. 

 

 

The next step is hearing from the Appellate court. 

 

 

The Governor says most parents want their kids masked up at school.

 

 

Governor Pritzker says that while COVID rates are down, Illinoisans can’t get complacent.  He says there are a lot of good people making decisions to protect residents.

 

 

The Governor says they are expecting a ruling this week from the Appellate Court.

Taylorville School District Paying Close Attention To Weather

While the National Weather Service in Lincoln is downgrading its Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Weather Advisory, Superintendent of Taylorville School District Dr. Chris Dougherty is keeping her eyes peeled. 

She adds that, if there are any cancellations or delays, the district will notify everyone as soon as possible. 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for the latest in school closings, delays and cancellations. 

Scooter's Coffee Donates to Taylorville Food Pantry at Grand Opening

 

Scooter's Coffee co-owner Lauryn McGlasson kicked off their new business January 14th with a Grand Opening, donating 20% of their sales that day to the Taylorville Food Pantry.

 

As a result, Scooter's donated $506 to the local Pantry as a result of great customer response that day.

 

McGlasson and the 22 employees of the local Taylorville Scooter's Coffee, thank the public for the wonderful response that day, and the welcome they've been given by the Taylorville and Christian County community.

Rep. Davis Introduces Pair of Bills

U.S. Representative Rodney Davis introduced a pair of legislation in the nation’s capitol last week. 

 

The first is a measure to make Trump-era tax cuts permanent. 

This is a re-introduction of the bill which has seen some partisan push-back. 

Rep. Davis also introduced a first-time measure so that the country can start to address shortages in crucial sectors. 

This legislation allows a study to specifically find what manufacturing can increase in America. Rep. Davis hopes to follow this up with another piece of legislation to incentivize manufacturers to make their products in America. 

The piece of legislation establishing the study has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and heads to the Senate for further consideration. 

 

Learn more at rodneydavis.house.gov.

 

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

Peoples Bank and Trust Hosting Medicare Information Luncheon

Have lunch and learn about your medicare. 

 

Executive Director of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Linda Allen says that People’s Bank and Trust is hosting an event where a licensed healthcare medicare specialist chats with everyone about the nuances of medicare. 

Kathie Cravens is a specialist located at her home office in Taylorville. You’ll hear from her during the luncheon. 

Allen says that Cravens wants people to be prepared.

You should let the Chamber know that you will be there. 

The Lunch and Learn is scheduled for noon Thursday, February 24th. 

 

Allen appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

New Exhibit Coming March 27th For Macon Co. Conservation District

Macon County Conservation District unveiling the updated eco-center exhibit.


Rock Springs Conservation Center Manager Alyssia Callison says a new grant is allowing the center to display the exhibit permanently.


Callison says it’s about time the center re-vamped its exhibit. 


She’s proud to be a part of the new exhibit because it has been something the center has been working on for years. 


Callison details some of what you’ll find at the new exhibit. 


The grand opening and open house is 2 p.m. March 27th. Learn more at maconcountyconservation.org. 


Callison appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear From Kiwanis Member Who Is Basketball Referee At Tuesday Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from a Kiwanis member who is a high school and college basketball referee, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge. 

 

Kiwanis member Tim Sutton has officiated high school and college basketball games for over 20 years.   Sutton has been a referee at countless games at various levels.

 

 

Sutton went thru the process of being a basketball referee at a game, from well before the jump ball gets thrown, to what he does after the game is over.

 

Sutton added that the Illinois High School Association, who recruits and registers high school referees, is seeing an extreme shortage for varsity basketball games this year.  

 

 

Kiwanis member Doctor Ron Mizer (left) helped Sutton (right) show allowed and disallowed basketball plays.

 

The Kiwanis Club announced that planning is going on towards their annual Pancake and Sausage Day on Saturday, April 30th at the Taylorville Moose Lodge, with both in-person seating and drive-thru service available.

 

And, the Kiwanis Club learned that the Taylorville High School Kiwanis Key Club will be holding a Color Run on April 16th. 

 

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

Taylorville School Board Hires Architect, Re-Hires Auditor, Hears About Lunch Price Increase at Tuesday Night Meeting

The Taylorville School Board hired an architect, re-appointed the district's auditor, and heard about an increase in their contracted school lunch price, at their Tuesday night board meeting.

 

The board began the work towards possible construction of a new Performing Arts Center, by spending the last month interviewing several architects, and last night hiring Architectics based in Quincy.  Superintendent Doctor Chris Dougherty told Regional Radio News after the meeting that construction costs will not mean a tax increase for taxpayers.

 

 

The Taylorville School Board Tuesday night re-hired the local accounting firm of Lively, Mathias, Hooper and Noblet as auditors for another year.

 

And, after an explanation of supply chain issues and increased food costs, OK'd an increase in the per-lunch price from their school lunch contractor Aramark.  School lunches that had cost the district a dollar-point-8-5-9-7 cents per lunch, will now cost 2-point-one-8-six-zero per lunch, for the remainder of the school year.

 

The Taylorville School Board heard a report on all the many programs for students at Central School, which Doctor Dougherty was very pleased with.

 

 

The Taylorville School District made several hires and accepted several resignations Tuesday night:

 

Retirements--

Melissa Williams, teacher, effective at the end of the '23-'24 school year

Janet Haines, reading teacher, North Elementary, effective at end of '22-'23 school year

Resignations--

Ronald Newton, custodian, high school, effective February 25, 2022

Resolution for termination--

Adam Cherry, custodian, high school

Request for leave of absence--

Nancy Dooley, 3.0 Cafeteria employee, junior high, medical leave effective January 26, 2022

Recommended to employ:

Alex Andretta, track

Amy Toberman, district interventionist

Claire Althoff, assistant varsity girls track coach, high school, effective upon completion of paperwork

Alex Ostermeier, volunteer assistant wrestling coach, high school

Brock Rodden, district custodian, effective upon completion of paperwork

Taylorville School District Drops Mask Mandate at Tuesday Night Board Meeting

The Taylorville School District Tuesday night dropped its mask mandate for students and staff, after the Joint Committee on Adminstrative Rules, a committee made up equally of Democrats and Republicans in the Illinois General Assembly that oversee executive orders, Tuesday afternoon said the Illinois Department of Public Health could not re-issue a previously expired mask mandate for Illinois schools.

 

School Board president Tricia Marberger made the announcement at the start of their regular monthly board meeting:

 

 

Taylorville School Superintendent Doctor Chris Dougherty told Regional Radio News she's relieved that the mask mandate is off:

 

 

Among a few members of the public in the audience was Mike Lawrence, a parent who was concerned that children who do continue to wear a mask don't get harrassed. 

 

 

Lawrence's comments were noted by school officials.

BREAKING NEWS: Taylorville Schools Drop Mask Mandate

Taylorville School District officials announced at the start of their monthly board meeting Tuesday night, that the district was dropping its mask mandate.

School board president Tricia Marburger made the announcement, saying dropping the mandate was the result of the vote this afternoon by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a legislative committee made up equally of Democrats and Republicans in the Illinois General Assembly.  That vote said the Illinois Department of Public Health did not have the authority to issue another school mask mandate.  The vote by JCAR was unanimous.

Hillsboro Man Sentenced For Enticement Of A Minor

A Hillsboro man has been sentenced to 120 months of prison and 10 years of supervised release after being sentenced on Monday. 32-year-old Andrew Collins of the 200 block of Main Street in Hillsboro was given the sentence for enticement of a minor. The sentencing hearing was held before US District Court Judge Sue Myerscough.

 

Collins plead guilty on October 14th, 2021 after the government presented evidence that online chats between him and a 16-year-old minor showed him persuading the minor to have sex with him by offering toy gifts and promises of weekends together, nude massages, and permanently living together in the future.

 

For the offence of enticement of a minor penalties are not less than ten years and up to life in prison, not less than five years and up to a life term of supervised release and fines of up to $250,000.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sierra Senor-Moore, represented the government and says that she appreciated the work of law enforcement in identifying the predatory online behavior and bringing the perpetrator to justice. 

 

Agencies involved include the US Secret Service and Central and Southern Illinois Financial and Cyber Crimes Task Force. 

 

The case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.  For more information visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. 

JCAR Rules Against Emergency Mask Mandate

A ruling from the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules may have serious ramifications on the school mask mandate. On Tuesday afternoon, JCAR voted 9-0 against extending the IDPH ruling on masks in school.  The IDPH tried to reissue an emergency rule that would have required schools that weren’t involved in the earlier lawsuit to have to wear masks.

 

IDPH had tried to push through a mask mandate as a stop gap measure until the Court of Appeals could make a decision on a court ruling that came down last week effectively ending mask wearing in schools for those named in the lawsuit. JCAR denied that emergency mandate.

 

The ruling was seen as a win for Republicans who have been pushing for mask optional rules at schools. State Senator Sue Rezin issued a statement saying that JCAR made it clear that the Governor’s attempts to go above a court ruling made by a coequal branch of government wouldn’t go. “Instead of allowing our judicial system to work through its process, the Governor tried to double down on his unilateral approach to COVID-19 mitigations.  This move was both bad government and dangerous to the rule of law as it ignored the court’s ruling on due process.” Senator Rezin also accused the Governor of “furthering the chaos and confusion for schools throughout the state.”

 

The Governor sent out a response.

 

A ruling from the Court of Appeals on the lawsuit that was filed is expected to come down later this week.

Taylorville School Board Meets This Evening

The Taylorville School Board will meet on Monday evening at 6 PM for their regular scheduled board meeting. After hearing from visitors, communications, and reviewing the consent agenda, the board will review and approve some overnight trip requests. The board will review old and new business.

 

Under old business the board will consider and take action on the FY23 Public School Calendar. The board will also review a recap of strategic planning focus, goals, committee reports, and timelines. Under new business the board will consider and take action on a school architect and an auditor for the next school year. The board also look at some increases of Aramark food prices. Prices are expected to increase from $1.85 to $2.18 per lunch meal effective Tuesday through the end of the school year.

 

The board will hear from Dr. Chris Dougherty along with a closed session.  To see the full agenda, click here. 

TMH Foundation Taking Applications For Agriscience Scholarship

College students who are enrolled in an agricultural science or food nutrition program can apply for a $1,000 scholarship awarded through the Taylorville Memorial Foundation. The scholarship is called the John H. Butterfield Agriscience and Nutrition Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a student who has graduated from a central Illinois high school, with priority given to a Christian County resident, and has completed the first year in an agriscience or food nutrition program at a two or four year college or university.

 

John H. Butterfield received a degree from the U of Illinois and worked as an appraiser for the Farm Credit Administration before returning to his family farm in 1940 in Christian County.  Butterfield was a strong advocate for soil conservation.  He served on the Soil Conservation Advisory Board, the American Soybean Association, and the National Corn Growers and Feed Grain Council. 

 

Raedena Ryan, Executive Director of the Taylorville Memorial Foundation, says that The Butterfield family established the scholarship to honor their father’s dedication to agriculture.  She also said that he had a lifelong interest in soil science and plant nutrition that led him around the world to observe and learn about farming practices in other countries. 

 

The application deadline is April 1st and it’s available on the foundation’s website at memorial.health/tmf. For more information, contact the foundation’s office at 217-707-5271. 

Master Gardeners: About That Garden - Relax

With March just two weeks away, you may be starting to get a bit anxious about your garden. 

 

Master Gardener Gwen Podeschi says to relax. 

She says it is much too early to start planting your seeds, but you can start thinking ahead with some programs the gardeners are offering.

This is all part of the event happening February 26th at the University of Illinois Macon County Extension Office. 

If this doesn’t fulfill your gardening itch, then you can go seed shopping. 

Learn more at extension.illinois.edu.

 

Podeschi appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

State Rep. Avery Bourne Eyes Lt. Governor Seat

Your local state representative is running for Lieutenant Governor. 

Rep. Avery Bourne is joining Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s ticket for governor. Rep. Bourne says Irvin is a perfect fit for her. 

Rep. Bourne wants to be a voice for her home region.

She also feels Illinoisans are feeling decades worth of state corruption.

Reach out at repbourne.com.

 

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

Nokomis Man Charged With Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor

A Nokomis man is being charged with Sexual Exploitation of a child. 48 year old Michael R. McKinney of Nokomis was arrested on February 13th, 2022 after a several week investigation by the Nokomis Police Department. The police served McKinney a search warrant and the investigation resulted in several charges including: grooming, a class 4 felony; aggravated delivery/possession with intent to deliver meth, a class 1 felony; and the sexual exploitation of a child charge, a class 4 felony. McKinney was arrested and taken to the Montgomery County Jail. 

 

The investigation is active and ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to call the Nokomis Police Department at 217-563-2141.  You can also leave an anonymous tip through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children cyber tipline at www.missingkids.org. 

Illinois Offering New Ways To Help Pick Colleges

Picking a college can be difficult, and the State of Illinois wants to help. The Illinois Bord of Higher Education (IBHE), the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), and the Illinois Student Assistance Commision (ISAC) will be launching a new tool to help students select the right college to attend. The Illinois Postsecondary Profiles Project or IPP will utilize comprehensive data directly from higher education state agencies, and 160 public and private universities and community colleges throughout Illinois.

 

The app is completely customaizable and focuses on three key profiles: Institutional Profiles, Occupational Profiles, and Equity Profiles.  Institutional Profiles let you discover the basics of what types of schools are out there, how much they cost, and what credentials they offer. Occupational Profiles let you see what majors are available, key employment data, programs of study, and pathways for careers. Equity Profiles lets you see the kinds of people enrolled and completing credentials at schools, colleges, and universities including age, race, ethnicity, and gender. 

 

This program was developed by Northern Illinois University and is a free resource available for anyone who wants to use it. For more information visit https://illinoispostsecondaryprofiles.com or visit https://you.tube/gAKGlqawzNc. 

Senator Turner Introduces New Bills

State Senator Doris Turner has been busy with some new bills. A new measure is being pushed to protect DCFS caseworkers and investigators.  Under Turner’s measure, if a person assaults someone they know is a DCFS caseworker or investigator, it will be considered aggravated battery rather than battery.  Aggravated battery is punishable by 5-10 years in prison, while battery is often less than a year. 

 

This measure comes following the death of Deidre Silas, a DCFS caseworker who was killed last month, and Pamela Knight who was killed in 2018. Senator Turner says that this bill shows the commitment to protecting DCFS workers and youth.  She says that she is hopeful that this is a common-sense solution to safeguard children’s health and their well-being. SB 3070 passed the Criminal law Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate for further consideration. 

 

Senator Turner is also pushing a bill to show support for the families of fallen heroes. This bill would ensure that military personnel’s next of kin would be presented an Illinois State flag.  Senator Turner says this bill demonstrates our commitment to honoring those who have lost their lives while serving our great state.

 

Under Turner’s measure, if an Illinois resident dies while on State Active Duty or Federal Active Duty, their next of kin would be presented the Illinois State Flag by military personnel. SB 3459 passed the Veterans Affairs committee last Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate for further consideration. 

Lake Land College Hosting Information Fair On Court Reporters

Lake Land College is hosting a virtual information session for a court reporting and captioning program that will take place on March 24th, at 6 PM.  Attendees will learn about career opportunities for court reporters and captioners and the advantage of Lake Land and their online programs.

 

Lake Land College had previously launched this program last fall in response to the high demand for reporters throughout the state and the country. The degree program trains students for careers in the judicial setting as either official or freelance court reporters. Students are also prepared for careers providing captioning for broadcast television and internet programs and word-for-word translations for the deaf and hard of hearing. 

 

The program trains students on a specialized, 24-key, shorthand keyboard used by court reporters known as a stenotype machine. Students will build up their writing speed from beginner speeds to a career-level speed of 225 words per minute.  If a student doesn’t have keyboarding skills prior a keyboarding skill building course can be taken. All courses will be available online, but many will offer a virtual component for attending zoom sessions.

 

Students will also complete a one-hour internship course for the final semester of the program, where they will be placed in a courtroom or deposition setting to work under the supervision of a court reporter. After graduation, students will be prepared to sit through the Illinois Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) and the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), Registered Skill Reporter, (RSR), and the Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification exams. 

 

To gain acceptance into the program, you must have an interest exam, english and grammar exam, and a timed keyboarding exam. For more information on this program, visit lakelandcollege.edu/high-demand-programs/courtreporting. 

Rep. Halbrook Details Legislation In Committee

Illinois Legislature has been a bit lax of late, but committee work continues remotely. 

 

State Rep. Brad Halbrook details the legislation. 

Rep. Halbrook says this would be different than your medical provider storing your information in a medical database.

He compares it to the FOID system the Illinois State Police uses.

That’s not the only piece of legislation Rep. Halbrook is focused on. 

These pieces of legislation are still in committee. You can check the status at ILGA.gov.

 

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

Lake Land College To Host In Person Commencement

Lake Land College is hosting a in-person Commencement for the first time since 2019. The ceremony will take place Friday, May 13th, 2022 at 6 PM at the Field House. Dean of Admission Services Jon Van Dyke says that he knows how much the graduates have been through over the last two years, and believes that since many didn’t have a traditional ceremony at their high school, it will be nice to have one for college. 

 

College Photographers will be there to capture moments throughout the evening and make the photos available for download at no cost. The ceremony will be streamed live from the college’s homepage at lakelandcollege.edu.  Overflow seating will also show a livestream on a large screen available throughout campus. A recording will be available for viewing on YouTube and local cable channels. 

 

There will be no cost to order a cap and gown or to participate the process to sign up for Commencement is simple and can be completed online. The deadline to file an Intent to Graduate is Friday, March 18th, 2022.  The deadline to measure for a cap and gown is Friday, March 18th, 2022 and for a cap and gown is Wednesday, March 30th, 2022.

 

For more information, call 217-234-5434. 
 

Main Street Elementary and Kindergarten Center Family Reading Night Feb. 17

Shelbyville School District’s Main Street Elementary, and it’s Kindergarten Center, are focusing on literacy in the dead of winter. 

That’s principal Ryan Scott. He says it’s about celebrating progress.

Scott says the family reading night invites high-schoolers to act out familiar stories for the young-ins. He hopes this increases parent participation. 

Scott thanks a community member for a donation of books. 

The Family Reading Night is 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Shelbyville High School auditorium.

 

Scott appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

DeWitt County State's Attorney Running For Christian County Office

Another candidate running for Christian County State’s Attorney. 

 

DeWitt County State’s Attorney Dan Markwell announces his intent to seek the Republican nomination for the Christian County seat. 

 

Markwell graduated from Taylorville High School in 1987. He has over 20 years of experience prosecuting criminals. 

 

Markwell says he has the expereinces from a 20 year career, the dedication to do his job to seek justice, and the respect of his peers, the court and community to be successful. 

 

He adds that he looks forward to the opportunity to return to his hometown of Taylorville to work with Christian County citizens to reduce crime, create opportunities, and keep people from entering the criminal justice system. 

 

See the full list of State’s Attorney candidates at iardc.org. 

Shelby County Tourism Unveils New Visitor's Guide

Shelby County Tourism Bureau off to a good start to 2022. 

 

Director Freddie Fry details what she’s looking forward to. 

The new Shelby County Tourism booklet launched Friday. 

The bureau can’t let the public know about your events if you don’t tell them. 

The guide is readily available at your fingertips. 

Learn more at lakeshelbyville.com.

 

Fry appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Tenaska Heartland Greenway Re-schedules Landowner Meeting, Schedules Open Houses

Officials with the Tenaska Heartland Greenway carbon sequestration project in northeast Christian County, has re-scheduled their landowner iinformation meeting, as well as scheduling open houses at the Taylorville office, in the coming weeks.

Their re-scheduled landowner meeting is from 6 til 8 in the evening on Tuesday, February 22nd at the Taylorville High School cafeteria.

Their office open houses are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, March 9th and 10th, at their project office at 913 West Spresser in Taylorville.

Project Manager Monte Ten Kley hopes the public will come out to any or all of these meetings to learn more about the project, what it will do for the environment, the revenue benefits for landowners in and near the project location northeast of Taylorville, and the revenue benefits for various governmental bodies in the county.

Taylorville School District: Slow Down, Leave Early, When Picking Up Kids From School

Taylorville School District administrators reminding parents of student drop off and pickup procedures for the junior high. 

 

In a Facebook post, the district reminds parents of these rules: First, slow down. They say if you are in a rush, that you should find an alternate route as this is a major safety issue, especially if you choose to use Esther to access Pawnee Street. 

 

The district also reminds parents to be extra cautious around buses. There has been an influx of drivers whipping U-turns in front of buses and cutting them off. This increases the likelihood of accidents. 

 

They say if you need to turn around that you should utilze a driveway or take a side street to get yourself back on track. 

 

Finally, the district wraps up its statement by asking drivers to be patient, leave early and to make better choices behind the wheel – especially in a school zone where children are present. 

Dudley Smith Farm Gathers At U of I Ext. For Winter Meeting

Dozens of farmers gathered at the University of Illinois Extension Office in Taylorville Thursday. 

 

It’s part of the Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting. Ed Ballard is the coordinator of Dudley Smith Farm. 

Associate Professor in Animal Sciences at University of Illinois Dan Shrike made a presentation. 

Tanner Mickey owns a farm in Christian County and he shared his various grazing strategies. 

University of Illinois Graduate Assistant Kylie Ewing made a presentation about integration of crops and livestock. 

The Dudley Smith Farm will invite local farmers to its farm in June for the next meeting. 

Two Men Sentenced On Thursday In Shelby County Court

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office reported two separate sentences on Thursday. 45 year old Aaron F. Hall of Ramsey, Illinois and 22 year old Dalton Maness of Shelbyville were both sentenced on Thursday with Hall sentenced to two years in IDOC for aggravated battery in a public place, and Maness was sentenced to 8 years for  the offenses of Unlawful Possession of a Converted Vehicle, a Class 2 Felony and Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer, a Class 2 Felony with sentencing ranges of 3-7 years in prison. 

 

Hall was arrested on October 16, 2021 following an altercation in the parking lot of the Herrick Fast Stop, 17 S. Broadway Street.  Following a verbal altercation, Hall pushed a seventeen-year-old male in the chest.  According to the victim, Hall threatened to kill him. This will be Hall’s 6th prison sentence and he has prior convictions for the offenses of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, Violation of Sex Offender Registry, Escape, Theft, and Obstructing Justice.  He has remained in the Shelby County Jail since his arrest on a $10,000 bond. 

 

Maness was arrested on October 24, 2021, at 2:31 am, Shelbyville Police Officers were dispatched to a Shelbyville home for a report of a stolen GMC pickup truck.  While enroute, they were informed of an accident where a stolen vehicle crashed into another Shelbyville residence, entering the living room of the house and causing significant structural damage to the home. When officers arrived at the scene of the accident, the truck was unoccupied.  Shelbyville police officers and Shelby County deputies located Dalton Maness walking near the area of the crash.  

 

Maness said he wasn’t driving the vehicle involved in the crash and claimed that police could not do anything until they found out if his DNA was in the vehicle.  Officers attempted to detain Maness pending further investigation.  He physically resisted officers, spitting on and injuring a Shelbyville Police Officer and two sheriff’s deputies.  Following a search, police found a hand-free car kit in his front sweatshirt pocket.  The owner of the stolen GMC pick-up truck identified the car kit as his and showed police that it was programmed to a second vehicle owned by the victim.  

 

One deputy who was injured required medical care.  Maness was ordered to pay the homeowners whose living room he crashed into a total of $91,555 in restitution. Maness was convicted of Aggravated Battery to a Shelbyville Police Officer in 2019 and sentenced to two years probation.  This will be Maness’s first prison sentence.   Maness was eligible for an extended term prison sentence as a result of a prior conviction.  

 

Maness has remained in the Shelby County Jail since his arrest on a $50,000 bond.  He will now be transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections to commence his sentence. Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kroncke praised the efforts of law enforcement stating that “the prompt response and diligent efforts displayed by the officers involved resulted in justice for the innocent people who were victimized in this case.”

 

ManessManess

 

Hall

IDOT Worker Struck By Vehicle Filling Potholes In Effingham County

An IDOT employee is in critical condition after a crash occurred in Effingham County. According to State Police, a 2020 Ford SUV was moving westbound on US 40 near 200 Street in Effingham County. An IDOT vehicle was at the location while employees were working to fill potholes in the road. 

 

State Police say that 81 year old Roberta Forbes of Saint Elmo, hit an IDOT worker before striking the IDOT vehicle. The IDOT employee was identified as 67 year old Steven Kresin of Cowden.  Kresin went to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries, Forbes was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. State Police are still investigating the crash.
 

Ventriloquism and Cartoons - How William Duff Is Chasing His Vision

Meet William Duff. 

He’s the president and publicity director of the Cartooning and Ventriloquist Museum in Pana. 

Those are just some of the cartoonists you’ll find at the museum. There’s also a slew of ventriloquists honored as well. 

This museum is a project in progress. Duff invites you to help out. 

Duff appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

What Is The Grainbelt Express?

Introducing the Grainbelt Express.

That’s vice president of Invenergy Patrick Whitty. Invenergy is the company managing the roll-out of the multi-state power line project. 

Whitty says aging infrastructure makes this project important. 

There are lots of public information and comment nights in the coming weeks and months. 

Learn more at grainbeltexpress.com.

 

Whitty appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

CCYMCA Celebrating American Heart Month

The Christian County YMCA is celebrating American Heart Month with a membership drive. 

That’s Associate Executive Andrea Bach. She details the drive. 

Program Director Mike Eisenbarth says American Heart Month is a perfect time to sign kiddos up for soccer. 

The Y is also opening registration for its 3 on 3 basketball tournament. 

Learn more at CCYMCA.org. 

 

Eisenbarth and Bach appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Mask Mandate End Date Set For February 28th; Schools, Jails, Other Facilities Not Lifted Yet

Governor JB Pritzker says that Illinois is on track to lift the state’s indoor mask mandate on February 28th. While not everyone will see this relief from masks, masks will be lifted at bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and more this month.  Governor JB Pritzker says he is pleased with the decline in covid-19 hospitalizations.

Audio Here.

 

Schools are not ready yet, as Governor Pritzker says that they will continue to fight for a mask mandate in place. The Governor says schools aren’t ready due to the number of people that go in and out of schools. Governor Pritzker says any federal and local mask rules will apply and masks will be required in places like mass transit and health care settings.  He also says they will stay for long term care facilities, prisons, and daycares.

Audio Here.

 

Republicans fired back at the mask mandate, saying that Governor Pritzker is still trying to control the issue without going to the legislation.  State Senator Darren Bailey who is running for Governor as a Republican, heavily criticized the governor. 

Audio Here.

 

The Governor has appealed a recently lifted mask mandate in schools. 
 

Governor Pritzker Lifts Indoor Mask Mandate; School Masking Continues While Going Thru Legal System

Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker Wednesday afternoon lifted the mask mandate for most indoor locations by February 28th.  The Governor kept for now, the mask mandate for schools while that issue continues thru the court system.

In making the announcment about lifting the indoor mask mandate except required by other municipalities or governmental agencies, the Governor said the masking mandate will remain in healthcare, long term care, and congregate settings such as prisons and shelters.  He added business and industries can continue masking of they choose.

Cold Weather - Busy Safe Passage


Taylorville Safe Passage is busier than ever. 

Coordinator Denise Evans says the cold has brought an influx of people looking for help with their addiction. 

The influx of people seeking Safe Passage are coming from all over the region. 

Evans says it has been hard working with all of these people searching for help, but adds that it’s worth it. 

Evans details the areas where she is seeing the Safe Passage program pick up the most momentum. 

Taylorville began its Safe Passage program in 2019, after Judge Brad Paisley saw a need in the community. In connection with the Taylorville Police Department, the program allows someone with addiction to get help without fear of incrimination. Safe Passage has proven that it reduces crime and makes the cities a safer place, while saving lives and bringing families back together. Call the Safe Passage Coordinator Denise Evans at 217-777-0080 or 217-638-3247. 

Miller Media Group News/Sports Reporter Leroy Kleimola Injured in Car Accident On Way to Tornado Basketball Game at Mattoon

 

Miller Media Group news and sports reporter Leroy Kleimola almost made it to Mattoon Tuesday night to broadcast the Taylorville at Mattoon boys basketball game, but a deer had other ideas.

The company vehicle Kleimola was driving, was slammed into by a deer in rural Shelby County on the way to broadcast the game.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office investigated the one vehicle accident.

Kleimola was injured and was able to drive the car back to Taylorville, then took himself in his own vehicle to Taylorville Memorial Hospital where doctors treated him for some neck pain.  They tell us he’ll be OK but suggested he take a couple of days off, which he’s doing.

We don’t know what happened to the deer.

As for the game, Miller Media Group officials reached out to the Cromwell Radio Group in Mattoon, where general manager Lucy Englum gave permission for WTIM to take their feed from Cromwell station WMCI to broadcast the game that Taylorville won 45 to 39.

Feel free to wish Kleimola well at this story at taylorvilledailynews.com.

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear From Mental Health Association At Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the president and C-E-O of the manufacturing division of the Christian County Mental Health Association, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge. 

 

Brent DeMichael has been leading that division of C-C-M-H-A, a non-profit organization, for many years, and spoke about the history of the Association dating back to 1971.  The manufacturing division provides around 80 developmentally disabled people, meaningful jobs making plywood reels used by wire manufacturers and distributors.

 

 

Those sales provide jobs for developmentally disabled people who work at the plant.  

 

DeMichael added that C-C-M-H-A also provides developmentally disabled adults, group homes at 3 different Taylorville locations, helping them function.  

 

He said the biggest challenge in helping developmentally disabled people, is government bureaucracy in getting funding to provide them the specialized services they need. 

 

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

Taylorville Police Respond To Questions Concerning 4th Of July Arrest

Taylorville Police are responding after body cam footage was released and an Illinois Times article was released concerning an incident that occurred on the 4th of July in 2021. Body cam footage of a situation with Zane Merreighn was released.  Merreighn would later the next day sexually assault a minor. In the video Merreighn is seen with open cans of cannabis, alcohol, and underage girls. Merreighn would be arrested in October after a minor told investigators in August, that they had a sexual relationship with him. You can see the video of the body cam footage here.

 

Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler wanted to release the video because he feels transparency is important for the department. He says he was proud of his officers for the way they handled the situation. Chief Wheeler says that he knows that there are members of the public who thought that Merreighn was receiving special treatment.  Chief Wheeler says that was absolutely not the case. 

 

 

Chief Wheeler says that the police had discretion over what they wanted to do with the marijuana that was found. He says Officer Jody Grove’s biggest concern was the safety of the girls and whether there was a weapon.

 

 

Wheeler says it was unclear whether there was a weapon or not. 

 

 

Merreighn mentioned several times in the video that his mom was a detective. Chief Wheeler says that she never contacted Taylorville Police about the incident. 

 

 

Merreighn is currently in Sangamon County Jail with a bond set at $250,000 with 10% to apply. 

 

To see the Taylorville Police Facebook post where they address the situation, click here

WTIM's 107.9 FM Pana-Nokomis Signal Back On Air

WTIM's 107-point-9 FM Pana signal went back on the air this afternoon, following an internet outage that occurred Sunday night.

WTIM thanks its many listeners to that signal in the Pana and Nokomis areas, for their patience, and for the kind phone calls while the outage occurred.

Assumption Man Sentenced For Home Invasion

An Assumption man has been sentenced to 20 years in the Department of Corrections for home invasion. 42-year-old Seth H. Bartimus was sentenced on Monday by Judge Brad Paisley. Christian County State’s Attorney Wes Poggenpohl says that Officers from the Assumption Police Department and the Christian County Sheriff’s Office arrested Bartimus on the night of December 1st, 2019. 

 

According to authorities, Bartimus made entry into the home of Raymond “Kenny” Ohl and Karen Ohl by breaking through the glass on the front door of their home.  Once Bartimus was inside, he caused injuries to both individuals by striking them with his hands and by striking them with a part of a kitchen chair that he had broken. 

 

Bartimus had previously been sentenced to IDOC on two previous occasions and convicted of violent offenses on four prior occasions. State’s Attorney Poggenpohl stated that while this sentence was non-probational, a lengthy prison term was appropriate and required under the law. “The right to security in your home is one of our most sacred and protected rights under the law.  When that right is violated, a stiff sentence is required to not only punish the criminal but to send a message to other criminals that this type of behavior will not be tolerated.” Poggenpohl continued by saying that the sentence won’t undo the trauma caused by Bartimus, but it is the first step and due to the extreme nature of the offense, Poggenpohl believed it best to request the longest sentence possible.

 

Home invasion that results in bodily harm, is a Class X felony, which is non-probationable.  The normal sentencing range is from 6-60 years in IDOC served at 85%. The state agreed to cap their sentence recommendation at 40 years. 

Governor Pritzker Fires Back At Sangamon Court Ruling Over Masks

Governor JB Pritzker fired back on Monday at a decision made on Friday concerning mask wear in schools. The court order is a little muddy saying that only school districts that are named in the lawsuit can go maskless. However, the Sangamon Judge Raylene Grischow said in her ruling also that her Court “has declared IDPH and ISBE's Emergency Rules void. Thus, non-named Plaintiffs and School Districts throughout this state may govern themselves accordingly.”  The Governor has asked the Illinois Attorney General’s office for an immediate appeal of the Judge’s decision. Attorney General Kwame Raoul is seeking an expedited appeal. Governor Pritzker says that the decision doesn’t help schools stay safe.

 

 

Governor Pritzker says that wearing masks isn’t about what’s required of them, it’s about keeping people safe and doing what’s right. The Governor says that this decision can close schools and businesses as well. 

 

 

Governor Pritzker encouraged all schools not named in that lawsuit, to continue with their protocols set in place by the Emergency order put in place by the Governor.

 

 

The Governor says that COVID rates are moving in the right direction, and he hopes to lift mask mandates soon but can’t at this time.

 

 

The IHSA will also communicate how State Series events will be handled with the mask mandate over the next 24 to 48 hours. Regular-season contest rules for masks shall continue to be determined by the host school.

Central IL Food Bank Tackles Food Insecurity Year-Round

Feeding America says there are over 1.2 million Illinoisans facing hunger. 

 

Tim Kirsinikas, Public Relations Manager with the Central Illinois Food Bank, wants to make a difference. 

Kirsinikas says to remember the amount of people who are food insecure year-round – not just holiday season. 

There’s a wide variety of items you can donate. 

Kirsinikas invites you to help out the Central Illinois Food Bank.

Learn more at centralilfoodbank.org. 

 

Kirsinikas appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

LLCC Reaching Out To Potential Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers are needed more than ever. 

 

Vice President of Advancement at Lincoln Land Community College Karen Sanders says that the college is hosting a healthcare information night March 16th. 

Sanders previews the event. 

Sanders says that there are more sectors than just nursing and assistant work. 

Not only will you fill a need within your community, but these jobs pay pretty well when you graduate the program. 

Learn more at llcc.edu.

 

Sanders appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Feeling Lonely? Don't Get Scammed

With Valentine’s Day less than a week away, you may be trying to find a date online. 

 

FBI Springfield wants you to be cautious with online dating this time of year, as scammers are tuning their scams to the beat of Valentine’s Day. 

 

FBI acknowledges many find love online, but says that folks should keep these warning signs in mind when trying to find a date. 

 

If the potential scammer asks you to leave the dating website where you met to communicate solely through email or texting, that is a red flag. Another red flag could be if the individual professes love in a rapid manner. 

 

The FBI says you should go slow and ask questions, and never send money to someone you met online and have not met in person. You should also be suspicious if you have not met the individual in person after a few months of contact. 

 

Other warning signs include consistent cancellation of plans to visit you, an individual trying to isolate you from friends or family, or if the individual claims they know about cryptocurrency while offering to help you make a substantial profit. 

 

Special Agent with the Springfield Field Office David Nanz says that romance scammers work hard perfecting the skill of playing to a victim’s emotions, which can lead to heartbreak and devastating financial losses. 

 

Preliminary results for the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center indicate a reported victim loss of nearly $1 billion. In Illinois, 2020 losses totaled over $150 million. 

 

FBI Springfield encourages you to report internet crimes at 217-522-9675. 

Taylorville Swears In 3rd City Treasurer, Firefighter Monday Night

The Taylorville City Council had its city treasurer resign, swore in a new city treasurer and a new city firefighter, plus passed several motions in a 23-minute meeting Monday night. 

 

 

 

Kellie Hamell resigned as city treasurer, and the city appointed Valerie Miles (left) as the city's 3rd city treasurer since the April 2021 election. City clerk Julie Lilly (center) gave the oath of office.

 

Alderman Larry Budd told the Council before the vote, and again in a visit with Regional Radio News after the meeting, that this is the start of getting the city's financial train back on track.

 

 

Former city treasurer Hamell was re-instated as Water Office Manager.

 

 

The City also swore in its newest firefighter, Dylan Goldsmith (left).  City clerk Julie Lilly administered the oath of office.

 

Taylorville Aldermen Monday night also approved spending 5-thousand dollars, to go with Pana's 5-thousand dollar expenditure, toward a 2nd grant application to replace the Bike Trail Bridge.  Mayor Bruce Barry told Regional Radio News after the meeting that the replacement cost has gone up appreciably since first being bid in 2016.

 

 

The Taylorville Council approved:

--Business Develpment District agreements with Christian County Integrated Community Services, Inc.; Gary and Brenda Spurling; Southern Ledge, LLC, Teresa and Ron Wiltsie; SM Capital, LLC; and the Coker Family dba Battery Specialists Plus Golf Carts

--a change order for the East Main Cross Roadway Project costing $5201.83

--payment for the Municipal Building Roof Replacement Professional Services to Graham and Hyde Architects, Inc., totaling $12,787.59

--the purchase of a 16ft by 16ft air curtain from Grainger costing $2400

--replacing levers on 3 aluminum doors in the Municipal Building's Police Department entrance by Gardner L&M Glass costing no more than $297.50

--the bid advertisement for the Illini Drive project

--installing 4 radio by Craig Anteanns Service in new truck for the Street and Sewer Department costing no more than $2420.00

--purchasing a new air compressor from NAPA Auto Parts costing $3390.00

--replacing the overhead door at the Street and Sewer Department costing no more than $4500 from Midwest Garage Door Company

Taylorville City Council Meets Tonight; Potential New Treasurer Incoming

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Monday evening at 7 PM for their regular city council meeting at the Municipal Building. The board will be addressing the city treasurer situation. Kellie Hamell will be resigning her position and returning full time to the water office manager position. A motion will be put forward to appoint Valerie Miles to the office of City Treasurer. 

 

The board will also discuss approving participation in the second grant application for the bike trail bridge replacement with the city of Pana with each side paying $5,000 for the application. The board will also look at some ordinances concerning the business development district and some redevelopment agreements. The board will discuss a motion to approve the payment for the roof replacement of the municipal building. 

 

Under committee reports, the board will approve the treasurer’s report, an air curtain, and replacement of levers on the police department.  The board will also approve installation of some new radios for the trucks, a new air compressor, and an overhead department for the Street and Sewer Department.

 

The board will hear from any visitors and of course from the city attorney, and Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News at the conclusion of the meeting for more updates.

Ameren Illinois Wins JD Power Award For Customer Service

While most people who have seen a Chevy, Dodge, or Ford commercial knows about JD Power and Associates awards, those aren’t just for vehicles.  The award is given out to corporations all across the US and Ameren Illinois is the new JD Power and Associates award winner for customer satisfaction among residential customers of the 145 largest electric utilities across the US.  Ameren Illinois President Richard Mark, says that Ameren has ranked in the top 10% of all utility companies in the US.

 

 

Mark says surveys are done quarterly, which helps the company improve.

 

 

Mark stressed that Ameren hasn’t always been high on the list, but he has worked hard to fix that.

 

 

Mark says he’s proud of his company, where he says his workers are your friends and neighbors, and if something goes wrong you can ask them about it. 

 

 

Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. 

COVID Numbers Down In Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health IDPH reported that there were 60,389 new covid cases in Illinois last week including 608 deaths since January 28th. The number of cases is less than half of last week when 123,812 new cases were reported. Currently the IDPH is reporting a total of 2,957,563 cases including 31,296 deaths in Illinois since COVID began. As of Friday 3,135 people were in Illinois hospitals with COVID-19.  Of those, 546 patients were in the ICU and 314 were on ventilators. 

 

The preliminary seven day statewide positivity rate is 5.8% and the test positivity rate is 8.0%. A total of 20,623,484 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Thursday night. The seven day rolling average of vaccines is 28,626 doses.  Since January 28th, 200,384 doses have been administered.  More than 75% of all Illinoisans have received at least one vaccine, with 66% fully vaccinated, and 47% boosted according to the CDC.  Governor JB Pritzker says COVID is down, because Illinoisans have been following the mandates.

 

 

Governor Pritzker has been very vocal about removing masks, and says he’s waiting for the goahead from scientists and doctors.

 

 

Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov. 

Taylorville School Superintendent Reacts to Friday's Court Decision on School Mask Mandate

Taylorville School Superintendent Doctor Chris Dougherty issued a statement Sunday evening to district employees and media about Friday's Sangmon County Circuit Judge ruling issuing a temporary restraining order halting the school mask mandate in the 146 school districts that filed the lawsuit against the state.

Dr. Dougherty said in her statement, that the Taylorville School District was not part of the lawsuit so it's not part of the temporary restraining order.

She said the legal track would call for the issue to have a decision by the 4th District Appellate Court, no later than February 16th.

She added the District is following developments on both sides of the issue, and is asking for patience while she and the District review this decision. 

Sangamon County Judge Halts School Mask Mandate; Only Districts in Law Suit Affected

Several media outlets are reporting that a Sangamon County Circuit Judge has issued a temporary restraining order halting the masking mandate in Illinois schools.

The order came late Friday from Judge Raylene Grischow who said the order came as part of what she called , quoting the judge, "to preserve the rule of law", end of quote.

Governor J-B Pritzker criticized the ruling saying the state's Attorney General's office would appeal.

The ruling only applies to the 146 school districts that filed the law suit against the state, including the Chicago Public School district which was a part of the suit.

Winter Storm Gone, But Dangerous Wind Chills, Blowing Snow Ahead This Weekend

While the winter storm may be over, dangerous wind chills along with blowing and drifting snow, will still be challenges this weekend.

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Wind Chill Advisory for the entire Regional Radio listening area thru Saturday morning.   

Then, the rest of the weekend will still see frigid temperatures with wind chills Saturday and Sunday as low as 16 below.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for the latest weather information and cancellations.

See An Emergency Vehicle With Its Lights On? Remember Scott's Law

If you see emergency lights on the side of the road – slow down and move over. 

 

That is the message from Illinois State Police as they announce drivers have struck multiple ISP troopers while they were working winter storm Landon. 

In ISP District 9 alone, motorists struck two separate trooper vehicles. 

 

Wednesday around 7:40 a.m. a driver failed to yield to a trooper parked on the left shoulder of I-72 and struck a stationary squad car with its lights on from behind. The driver of the vehicle did not have any injuries, while an ambulance escorted the trooper to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. 

 

Around 3:22 p.m. Wednesday, the driver of a vehicle entering Interstate 72 struck a fully marked squad car with its emergency lights activated while stationary. While the driver did not have any injuries, paramedics transported the trooper to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. This crash remains under investigation, but the driver violated the Move Over Law, according to ISP. 

 

The Mover Over Law, or “Scott’s Law” requires drivers to slow down and move over when an emergency vehicle has its lights activated on the side of the road.  Violators will be fined at least $250, but the fine can carry up to $10,000. If the violation results in injury to another person, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended between six months and two years. 

HSHS Medical Group - Be Aware Of Signs of Hypothermia and Frostbite

A 25-year-old woman died of hypothermia in Kentucky this week. 

 

HSHS Illinois Hospitals are urging Illinois’ residents to know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia – especially with sub-zero temperatures hitting the region. 

 

Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temperature falls below 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Warning signs include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness. This usually happens when a person is exposed to cold for long periods of time. 

 

According to the CDC, you should get the person into a warm room or shelter if you feel they have hypothermia. You should also remove any wet clothing. You can even provide the victim warm, nonalcoholic beverages to increase body temperature and keep them dry and wrapped in a warm blanket when their temperature increases. Once the situation is handled, seek medical attention ASAP. 

 

Frostbite can result in frozen skin tissue that often results in amputation of the impacted area. Symptoms include areas of white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy and numbness. 

 

CDC recommends folks who have signs of frostbite, but not hypothermia, to get into a warm room as soon as possible and immerse the area in warm – not hot – water. The temperature of water should be comfortable to the touch. Warming or heating pads, heat lamps or the heat of stoves, fireplaces or radiators can burn victims because impacted areas are numb. 

 

Dr. Marc McCleary says preparation is your best defense against cold-weather injuries. If you can – just stay home. 

 

More information when you contact your primary care physician. 

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis Expects Fellow Republicans To Treat S.C. Nominee With Respect

Supreme Court justice Stephen Bryer is retiring and President Joe Biden will make his pick to take over in the coming weeks. 

 

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis expects Republicans to treat the president’s nominee much differently than past nominees. 

Rep. Davis hopes fellow Republicans to treat the president’s nominee with respect. 

Listeners should not assume potential rulings based on the president who chose them.

Rep. Davis does worry about republicans returning fire on the president’s upcoming nominee, but doesn’t expect it to happen. 

You can reach out to Rep. Davis at rodneydavis.house.gov. 

 

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

Mixed Responses To State Of The State Address

Republicans and Democrats alike responded to Governor JB Pritzker’s State of the State address on Thursday.  With Governor Pritzker promising many changes and an influx of surplus in the budget, many Republicans just aren’t buying it and calling it “election gimmicks.” 

 

State Senator Steve McClure says that a lot of talk was made about crime, but the actions of the last year have been the opposite.

 

 

With $2.5 billion in spending coming, Senator McClure wants to know what happens after federal COVID relief stops.

 

 

Governor Pritzker has insisted that money is not from Covid relief funds. Representative Avery Bourne doesn’t think that Illinoisans will believe these one year payoffs. 

 

 

State Senator Chapin Rose says it is very reminiscent of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

 

 

State Senator Doris Turner praised the State of the State address saying, “Today’s budget proposal is a great first step in helping the millions of hardworking families that are still strugglin to make ends meet due to financial struggles worsened by the pandemic. It seems like almost every day we turn on the news, there is a new tragedy within the DCFS.  I am pleased this proposed budget allocates millions of dollars to benefit staffing and caseload management. Further, this budget prioritizes our law enforcement officers by setting forth money to help local municipalities purchase body cameras. There are some encouraging aspects of the governor’s proposal, and I look forward to further discussions in the weeks to come to pass a budget that provides support for all Illinoisans.  People around the 48th district are looking forward to a brighter tomorrow, and I intend to play a key role in delivering the support they rightfully deserve.”

Weather Service Cancels Winter Weather Advisory, Roads Still In Bad Shape

 

The National Weather Service in Lincoln early this morning canceled the Winter Weather Advisory that was issued Thursday night, and was originally set to expire at 6pm today.

The Weather Service says as the winter storm finally winds down, light snow will taper off in the southeast. However, travel hazards will continue across most of central and southeast Illinois today, especially east of I-55. Some improvement in road conditions will be possible thanks to some sunshine. 

They added bitter cold temperatures are expected again tonight, with temperatures dropping below zero. Wind chills will fall to -10 to -20 degrees by morning. A few flurries are possible along and north of I-74 this afternoon and evening, otherwise, dry weather is expected this weekend with temperatures at or below freezing. 

Around 100 Shelby Electric Customers Without Power In Oconee Area

During the 6 o’clock hour this morning Shelby Electric Cooperative reports 104 power outages in the Oconee area – roughly 30 percent of serviced customers. Otherwise, very limited outages scattered across Shelby Electric’s service area. 

Ameran Illinois reporting less than two-dozen outages across the state – none of them in the regional listening area. 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for the latest in power outages. 

Christian County Sheriff Lowers Snow Emergency Level; Roads Still Treacherous

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is lowering the snow emergency level to a level 1.

 

He says the state highways are snow-packed but passable. Many county townships are still treacherous with black ice and drifting. Crews are working on the county roads but it will take time. 

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp asks residents to be extra cautious when driving and to provide extra room when stopping and turning. 

 

He also says that you should make sure you have a full tank of gas and a charged cell phone if you leave home.

 

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office asking residents to stay home and off the roads. 

 

If you do have to travel, drive cautious and be aware of snow plows. Give them plenty of room. 

 

Meanwhile, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office says that the roads are still hazardous like much of the area. 

 

If you become stuck in a ditch, stay in your vehicle and call for help. 

Spring Closer Than You Think - Prepare Your Fruit Tree

There may be snow on the ground, but now is the perfect time to prepare your fruit tree to bloom.

That’s University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Andrew Holsinger. He says an overabundance of fruit may sound like a good thing, but that can be dangerous for trees. 

Without pruning or thinning, it’s easier for pests and disease to ail your tree. 

Holsinger also recommends spraying fruit trees – just be careful with insecticides. 

Learn more at extension.illinois.edu. 

 

Holsinger appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Weather Service Issues Winter Weather Advisory, Blowing and Drifting Snow Main Concern

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has the entire Regional Radio listening area under a Winter Weather Advisory until 6pm Friday.  The Weather Service says that blowing and drifting snow is expected thru early Friday evening.  There'll be little or no additional snow, but brisk north winds gusting to 30 miles an hour could produce deep drifts.

The Weather Service adds east-west roadways may see significant drifting of snow, especially in rural areas, with visibility being reduced.  As a result, travel between now and early Friday evening will be difficult or impossible on problem roadways. 

Ameren Reporting Outages in Litchfield, Decatur Thursday Afternoon

A new review of the outages map around 3 PM in the Regional Radio Listening area shows that the Ameren outage map showed spotty outages thru-out the Regional Radio listening area.

 

17 Ameren customers in the Decatur area were without power, as well as 4 Ameren customers in the Litchfield area.  To report an outage, call Ameren at 1-800-755-5000.

 

The Shelby Electric Cooperative outage map as of 3 PM showed no outages in their service area.

Christian County Raises Road Level's to 2; Bear Creek Township Impassable

Authorities tried to clear roads in Bear Creek Township, but were unable to keep the east/west roads open and David Eggiman, Bear Creek Township Commissioner has announced that they are shutting down the plows until the wind quits this evening. You can see the message from Eggiman below.

 

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp also announced that the danger level for roads has been raised to a snow emergency level two.  Drifting snow is expected to last until this evening. Again, most east/west roads are impassable at this time. Sheriff Kettelkamp is urging all residents to stay indoors unless you absolutely have to go out.  

 

 

 

9 Inches of Snow in Taylorville Makes for a Quiet Day on Illinois Route 29

 

An unofficial 9 inches of snow in Taylorville makes for a quiet day on Illinois Route 29, otherwise known as East Park Street.

 

 

Motorists are heeding state and county officials' pleas to not travel unless it's an emergency today.  The Weather Service says Central Illinois is to get another 2 to 4 inches before it ends mid to late afternoon on Thursday.

Governor Pritzker Delivers State Of The State

Governor JB Pritzker gave his state of the state address and budget address Wednesday at noon and says that the State of Illinois is strong. Governor Pritzker spoke in front of a small group of people at the State Capital in Springfield and announced over $1 billion in relief from grocery, gas, and property taxes as well as payments to state pensions and the rainy day fund.

 

Governor Pritzker thanked health care workers for their hard work during the pandemic. He also promised licensing fees waived for 470,000 frontline healthcare workers, $180 million to expand the healthcare workforce, $140 million to mental health care providers, $70 million for mental health crisis response services, and $25 million to expand the pipeline of nurses through the Illinois Community College Board.  

 

 

The Governor says the state will end this fiscal year with a $1.7 billion dollar surplus thanks to revenues from corporate taxes, cannabis, online sales taxes, and income far exceeding projections. Comptroller Susana Mendoza has urged transparency throughout the bill paying process.

 

 

A big push from the Governor has been for the “rainy day fund.”  The hope is to add $900 million over the next two fiscal years. 

 

 

Another talking point for the Governor was support for small businesses and employers including waiving retail liquor license fees, $38 million for employer training, and $35 million for capital appropriations.

 

 

Governor Pritzker addressed the rising inflation costs.

 

 

The state is also getting rid of the grocery tax for this year and relief on property tax as well.

 

 

Visit here for more.

 

Here is the full audio.

 


 

Ameren Reporting Outages in Shelbyville, Litchfield This Morning

During the 6 o'clock hour this morning, the Ameren outage map still showed spotty outages thru-out the Regional Radio listening area.

45 Ameren customers in the Shelbyville area were without power this morning, as well as 427 Ameren customers in the Litchfield area.  To report an outage, call Ameren at 1-800-755-5000.

The Shelby Electric Cooperative outage map during the 6 o'clock hour this morning, showed no outages in their service area.

Christian, Montgomery Sheriffs' Offices Asking Motorists Not To Travel Today

 

Central Illinois woke up to as much as 8 inches of snow according to the National Weather Service in Lincoln, as a winter storm continues moving out of the are.

We remain under a Winter Storm Warning until 6 o'clock tonight.  The Weather Service says today we'll see another 2 to 4 inches of snow before it ends, with winds gusting to 33 miles an hour.  Wind chills today will be between zero and 6 above.

The Illinois Department of Transportation on their Facebook page this morning asks motorists to please stay home if you are able to give crews more room to work.  They added all state highways and interstates are covered with ice or snow.

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp told Regional Radio News during the 6 o'clock hour this morning, that he's asking residents not to travel today unless it's an absolute emergency.  The Sheriff added he's implement a Snow Emergency Level 2 which asks motorists not to travel.  The Sheriff added that most Christian County blacktops and township roads are closed and impassable.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office informed Regional Radio News during the 6 o'clock hour this morning, that they're asking motorists in that county to stay off the roads as they're all slick and hazardous.

And, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office told Regional Radio News this morning that roads in that county are slick and hazardous.

For the latest in road conditions, cancellations and school closings, click the icons at taylorvilledailynews.com.

Scholarship Available For Nursing Students From Taylorville Memorial Foundation

Christian County high school graduates are eligible for a scholarship awarded through the Taylorville Memorial Foundation for students interested in nursing. The Carolyn M. Butterfield Trust Nursing Scholarship is awarded to a student who has graduated from a Christian County high school and is enrolled in a 2 or 4 year college or university.  Applicants must be in or have completed their first year in a nursing program.

 

Carolyn M. Butterfield was a charter member of the St. Vincent Memorial Hospital Foundation and according to Raedena Ryan, executive director of the Taylorville Memorial Foundation. She also understood the importance of a rural hospital. Butterfield provided an endowment funding annual scholarships.  It was her wish to financially assist Christian County students pursuing a career in health care, in the field of nursing.

 

The deadline to apply is April 1st. The application is available on the foundation’s website at memorial.health/tmf. For more information contact the foundation office at 217-707-5271. 
 

Christian County Courthouse & Driver Service Facility Closed Thursday

There are a couple bigger closings taking place today because of the snow and weather. Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp announced that the Christian County Courthouse is closed Thursday, February 3rd, 2022 due to high winds. Christian County remains at level 1, which means you may drive very cautiously and travel only if necessary.  Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation are encouraging all residents to stay home. 

 

The Secretary of State Jesse White has also announced multiple DMV closures including Springfield and Taylorville. The Driver Services Facilities have been closed due to hazardous road conditions caused by winter storm Landon.

 

White encourages the public to visit ilsos.gov to check the status of driver services facilities in their area before traveling to a local facility. You can still conduct business at www.ilsos.gov including a drivers license and ID card renewals, duplicate drivers license, ordering a driver record, and purchasing license plate stickers. 

 

Expiration Dates for driver’s licenses have been extended to March 31, 2022.
 

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Gets Updates on Projects for Children, Youth at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held their monthly business gathering to review their efforts for children and youth in the Taylorville community, during their weekly meeting Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge. 

 

Kiwanis members learned that the Taylorville High School Key Club will be holding a Color Run April 16th with the proceeds going to the Kiwanis Park Pavilion floor replacement project.

 

The Kiwanis Club got a revised quote on that concrete floor replacement, with the goal of raising the $14,000 needed and getting the project done this year.

 

Kiwanis Park Committee co-chair Larry Kemner reported that the Taylorville Lake Department has agreed to take down a tree in the Kiwanis Park playground area that’s at risk of falling.  Kemner added the club will hold a major clean-up day at the Park this spring.

 

And, the Kiwanis Club set the date for its annual Pancake and Sausage Day as Saturday, April 30th at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.  Proceeds will benefit Kiwanis Club projects in the community for children and youth, including Kiwanis Park, Coats for Kids, YMCA and high school scholarships, as well as grants to other non-profits that help children in the county.

 

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.     

             

Ameren Illinois Clarifies Issues From Station Tuesday Evening; All Problems Fixed

Ameren Illinois is clarifying the incident that occurred Tuesday evening outside of Taylorville on the West Side.  Ameren Spokesperson Brian Bretsch, says it didn’t blow up per se.  A piece of equipment malfunctioned at the site and that is what caused the power outages.  

 

 

Bretsch says the part that broke was called a lightning arrester, a piece that saves the station from having bigger issues. 

 

 

Crews responded right away and were able to get it fixed by 11:30 last night and there should be no issues getting things back to normal even with today’s weather. 

 

 

Bretsch says crews are working on some power outages due to Winter Storm Landon today as well.

 

 

In Illinois, call 1-800-755-5000 to report an outage with Ameren.

Roads continue to Deteriorate. Illinois Department Of Transportation Urging Residents To Stay Indoors

Winter Storm Landon continues to dump snow on central Illinois along with icy conditions and blowing, blustery winds. State Department of Transportation Secretary Omer Osman says please, stay home.

 

Even some snowplows are having issues, as ISP Director Brendan Kelly says, give snowplows room to do their job. 

 

Governor JB Pritzker has issued a state of emergency, along with activating the National Guard to help stranded motorists.

 

 

More than 1,800 snow plows have been activated for this storm as Illinois Adjutant General Major General Richard Neely says 130 members of the Guard are at the ready.

If you do get into an accident or slide off the road, Kelly says to remain in your vehicle with your seatbelt on and call for help.

 

Shelby Electric & Ameren Illinois Reporting Outages

Due to Winter Storm Landon, many companies are experiencing massive power outages. Shelby Electric is reporting at least 2,000 people down in their service area.  They are hoping that they have peaked on the outage total. 

 

According to a Facebook message, they do have some substations down as crews continue to work on the outages caused by the sleet and ice from the early morning rain.  For more information, call 1-800-677-2612. 

 

According to the Ameren Illinois outage map, in our listening area, they are reporting nearly 8,000 without power. 

 

Giving Season May Be Over, But Taylorville Food Pantry Still Needs You

Even though it’s no longer giving season, the Taylorville Food Pantry still relies on donations. 

 

Co-coordinator Amy Hagen says that the food pantry has a 24/7 drop box available. 

This time of year, food banks and pantries typically see a drop in donations. However, food insecurity is always present. 

Hagen says to think outside the box when there’s extra food laying around.

While the volunteer situation at the pantry is looking good, they’re always looking for more. 

Learn more at taylorvillefoodpantry.com.

 

Hagen appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Ameren Ready For Severe WX; Officials Urging Residents To Stay Home

Ameren Illinois is ready for severe winter weather and they have activated their emergency operations center to prepare for the latest. Winter Storm Langdon is forecasted to dump snow and ice across most of the Ameren Illinois service territory and the Emergency Operations Center or EOC is staffed around the clock to bring service restoration, crew mobilization, and communication to hard hit areas.

 

While snow may pose driving challenged for crews during a storm, George Justice, VP of Electric Operations for Ameren Illinois, says that ice and wind pose more threats due to frequent causes of winter power outages.

 

EOC is the first step the company takes to begin coordinating movement of personnel, supplies, and storm restoration equipment in the areas where damage is expected.  Storm trailers will be pre-staged in areas that are predicted to be at the highest risk for weather related power outages.

 

Ameren Illinois customers without power should call 800-755-5000 to report an outage or log into AmerenIllinois.com or report the outage using the mobile phone app.  You can also sign up to receive alerts on the status of restoration. SIgn up at ameren.com/alerts. Real time information on outages is available at ameren.com/outagemap. Customers are urged to take safety precautions and stay away from downed power lines.  Report downed wires to 800-755-5000. 

 

Central Illinois is expected to get between 6-20 inches and Governor JB Pritzker, ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly, and Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman is encouraging everyone to stay home for the next few days. Visit www.gettingaroundillinois.com.  You can also follow IDOT on Facebook and Twitter.

Bayer Fund Gives Grant To THS

Taylorville High School has received a grant from Bayer to help purchase STEM equipment. Taylorville High School received $13,000 from Bayer Fund and will be purchasing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math or STEM equipment for the Project lEad the Way Engineering Pathway Courses.

 

Taylorville High School authorities say they are excited about the opportunity to expand the STEM program at the Junior High to high school students as well.  The grant funds will purchase the equipment needed to offer two courses next year that will follow the PLTW curriculum.

 

This grant has also provided support to the community by allowing hands-on training and possible college credit.  This allows students to better be prepared for college and the workforce. In 2020, Bayer Fund awarded more than $17 million to over 3,400 charitable and nonprofit organizations to help address essential needs in food and nutrition, STEM education and community development.  Over the last 5 years, nonprofit organizations across the US have received more than $80 million.  To learn more about Bayer Fund visit www.fund.bayer.us. 

 

President of Bayer Fund, Al Mitchell says that these grants have helped strengthen communities and Bayer is proud to be able to provide support to develop programs that help combat challenges such as food insecurity, STEM education, and support services to patients.
 

Ameren Substation near Langleyville Blows Up; Portions of Taylorville and Western Christian County Without Power

Taylorville Police have informed Regional Radio News that Ameren has a power outage on the west side of Taylorville, as well as traffic lights thru-out the town.  T-P-D says a substation blew up on Langleyville Road.  Ameren has been notified. 

T-P-D is asking everyone to please stop calling them as dispatchers are being overloaded with calls regarding the outage and they're unable to answer emergency calls in a timely manner.  T-P-D added that until the traffic lights are working again, treat them as you would a stop sign.

As of 9:33pm, Ameren's outage map showed 599 customers without service in the city limits of Taylorville, 34 customers in Hewittville, 74 in Langleyville, 4 in rural western Christian County, 224 in Kincaid, 16 in Bulpitt, 50 in Tovey, 50 in Sharpsburg, and 633 in Edinburg.

To report an electrical outage, please call Ameren at 800-755-5000.

Winter Storm Warning Update: Some Ice, Over a Foot of Snow Expected by Thursday Night

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has updated their Winter Storm Warning for the Regional Radio listening area.

 

The Weather Service says Tuesday night into Wednesday morning will be a combination of rain, snow, freezing rain and sleet until around 7am Wednesday when it turns to all snow.

 

Between Wednesday around 7am and Thursday night, the Weather Service says we'll get winds gusting to 31 miles an hour, and a total snow accumulation of at least a foot.

 

Governor J-B Pritzker Tuesday declared a statewide weather emergency, and asked motorists not to travel during the winter storm.

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for the latest, and find all the school closings, cancellations, and winter road conditions by finding those icons at taylorvilledailynews.com.

All Water Main Breaks Fixed In Taylorville

After two water main breaks occurred over the weekend in Taylorville, crews spent most of the weekend working on repairs, and things are back to normal on Tuesday morning. David Speagle, Water Superintendent, says that crews worked overnight, but got things repaired. He said while it’s normal for one water main to break, it’s rare for there to be two.

 

 

All boil orders for Taylorville have been lifted as well.

 

 

Speagle thanked his distribution crew for all their hard work and dedication to getting the job done. 

 

 

Speagle says the upcoming snowstorms shouldn’t be a big issue for the water mains, as they act like an insulation blanket against the cold. 

 

 

The city of Taylorville operates a 4 million gallon per day treatment facility that provides water to nearly 18,000 residents in Taylorville and its surrounding communities.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis: Russia Closer Than Ever To Invading Ukraine

The world has its eyes set on eastern Europe. 

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis believes Russian President Vladamir Putin is closer than ever to invading Ukraine. 

Rep. Davis believes U.S. President Joe Biden is leading America down the wrong path. 

If Russia invades Ukraine, then it’s a signal global democracy is heading in the wrong direction. 

Rep. Davis says the U.S. must show strength against Putin. 

Reach out at rodneydavis.house.gov.

 

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

Sheriff Kettelkamp Reminding Christian County Residents About Road Levels; Encouraging Residents To Stay Home

Multiple Agencies are urging caution over the next few days with plenty of severe winter weather expected.  Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp is urging all Christian County residents to stay home if they don’t have to go out. “With the recent forecast calling for ice and possibly heavy snowfall in our area starting Tuesday night, through Thursday, I thought it appropriate to urge residents of Christian County to begin thinking about their potential needs.”

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp warned that during periods of severe weather, there is an increased burden on the 911 communications system as a result of vehicle accidents and medical calls. These can result in significantly reduced response times by first responders.

 

Residents of Christian County are reminded of the Snow Emergency Level ordinance put into effect in 2014 that may see closed roads throughout the county.  There are three levels: Level 1, which may have roadways hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy, and drivers are encouraged to drive very cautiously and travel only if necessary.  Drivers may be ticketed and vehicles may be towed if abandoned on the roads.

 

Under level 2, roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and may be icy.  Only people with real and important need to be out on the roads and streets should be out.  Under level 3, all roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel.  No one should be on the roads, unless it’s absolutely necessary to travel. Drivers may be ticketed if they hinder emergency operation.

 

Sheriff Kettelkamp is encouraging all residents to minimize travel as much as possible, salt/treat your walkways now and be cautious around black ice.  Check on those who are elderly or who have special needs and make sure they are prepared.  You should also have extra water and food on hand.  Stay away from downed trees near power lines. Be prepared for loss of electricity.  

 

You should also report any downed power lines and downed trees to the appropriate local agencies when possible.  Stay informed and monitor www.taylorvilledailynews.com and listen to your radio to the many Miller Media Group radio stations for any weather developments. 

Christian County Economic Development Corp. Has New Executive Director Starting Today

 

 

After a several month process, the Christian County Economic Development Corporation has a new Executive Director to succeed Mary Renner who is retiring today after 17 years of service.

 

Dick Adams becomes the new Executive Director after servicing the Taylorville and Christian County community.  Adams in November of last year retired after being the first facilitator for the Christian County CEO, or "Creating Entreprenturial Opportunities" program for 7 years.  

 

Before that, Adams's experience in business and government includes positions as Christian County Treasurer, community bank president of a local bank, Director of Development at the former Saint Vincent Memorial Hospital, 2 different stints as mayor of the City of Taylorville, and being a partner in a Taylorville real estate agency.

 

In accepting the CCEDC Executive Director position, Adams says that he's been active as a board member and former president of the organization dating back to the late 1980's, he's passionate about job creation in Christian County, which is what his newest job is all about.

 

Renner retires as the first Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, and has been instrumental in keeping and increasing job growth in the county.  Renner was a major part of helping to get Enterprise Zones in Taylorville and Pana, and the funding and construction of Taylorville's new industrial park.

Nursing Scholarship Available To Those In Effingham, Shelby, And Christian

A new scholarship is looking for nursing students. The Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation is now accepting applications for the Bruce V. Penwell, Jr. Nursing Scholarship. The scholarship application can be found online at www.enrichingourcommunity.org/scholarships. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 11th.

 

The Bruce V. Penwell Jr. Nursing Scholarship provides a scholarship to residents pursuing a nursing degree of three Illinois counties: Effingham, Shelby, and Christian.  Penwell was born in Pana and graduated from Beecher City.  While Bruce passed away in 2020, he still has deep roots in the region. 

 

To be eligible for the award, the applicant must have been a resident of hte county for at least 6 months of the last two years, be pursuing nursing at an accredited school, and have a minimum GPA that is 62% or above the maximum grade scale for the most recent three semesters of high school. You must also have demonstrated financial need for nursing school costs and a commitment to community service and involvement with special consideration to a commitment to care. Applicants will need a high school or college transcript, ACT or SAT score, and college financial aid information.

 

To apply, again visit www.enrichingourcommunity.org/scholarships and click on Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation Common Scholarship Application.  For more information contact Kristen Bertrand at kristen@enrichingourcommunity.org.  

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