Local News

Taylorville School Board Holds Meeting Wednesday Night

The Taylorville School District met Wednesday night in front of a packed crowd. They discussed various topics, including the Interim Superintendent of Schools, the financial report, and the ongoing building development on the east side of Taylorville High School.

 

The board started the meeting with the pressing issue of the lack of a superintendent of schools for the next school year, following the retirement announcement of former superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty, effective June 30th of this year. The discussion began with Dr. Ronald Mizer expressing his displeasure with the time wasted in delaying the start of the search. Mizer also raised major concerns about proceeding with an interim superintendent, citing concerns about finding a permanent superintendent in a similar situation next spring or hiring one now and being unable to Hire them.

Carla Mickey raised the question to the board if there were any internal candidates for the position, but the board did not believe there were any suitable candidates. Tricia Marberger expressed her dissatisfaction with the process and the length of time it had taken to reach this point. Brenda Patrick mentioned that the interim superintendent would be considered a one-year position. Patrick had been in contact with the Illinois School Board and mentioned the availability of several retired superintendents for a one-year basis.

Dr. Mizer stated that he believed this was the first time the Taylorville School District had considered an interim superintendent. The vote passed 5-2, with Norris and Marbarger voting no.

 

The board then discussed their requirements for a superintendent. The main themes that emerged were building and finance. The interview dates for the prospective candidates were set for Saturday, June 15th, with a backup date of Sunday, June 16th. Both decisions were approved by the board.

 

The meeting then moved on to a brief finance report, with the main discussion focusing on the funds available for the building project on the east side of Taylorville High School. Initially, the board had planned for $13 million to be allocated for the project. However, they recognized the need for additional funding and aimed to raise $18 million through fundraising efforts. Unfortunately, they fell significantly short, raising only $150,000. This led to a discussion about the possibility of using the remaining $5 million from the Education Fund. Dr. Mizer and the finance committee engaged in a heated conversation, with Dr. Mizer arguing for the use of the missing $5 million, while the finance committee stressed the importance of leaving the Education Fund untouched for safety. This concluded the finance committee report.
 

Shelby Electric Posts New Summer Hours

Shelby Electric Coop will sport some new hours of operation over the summer beginning Monday, June 12th.  Shelby Electric Coop, Company, and PWR Net will be open for business from 7 AM until 5 PM Monday through Thursday with offices closed on Fridays.  The summer work schedule will be in effect from June 12th through August 24th. 

 

Josh Shallenberger, President and CEO, says that this schedule will help rkflow efficiencies for the cooperative and will also offer some flexibility to members to have an extra hour in the early evening to do business over summer months. Manager of Operations Terry Oldham says if an outage comes up or something is required that needs to be handled on a Friday, that will still be taken care of. 

 

For billing and accounting questions, those can be addressed during normal working hours by calling 217-774-3986. If you need to make a payment you can use the app or the Pay-By-Phone feature at 1-855-385-9981 and follow the prompts.  Always call 1-800-677-26 12.  After hours numbers for coop are 1-800-677-2612, for Shelby Energy 217-774-2311, and for PWR-net 217-774-2323.

 

For more information visit www.shelbyelectric.coop. 

TFD Respond To Vehicle Rollover

One person has been transferred to the hospital after a vehicle rollover outside of Taylorville.  Taylorville Fire Department responded to the vehicle rollover at 11:23 AM on Wednesday morning.  After arrival, the Fire Department found one patient trapped in the vehicle.  The patient had severe injuries and was extricated in less than six minutes.  The patient was stabilized and transported to the hospital by helicopter. 

 

Taylorville Fire thanked  Ambulance Service   Taylorville, Arch Air Medical Litchfield Base, Christian County Sheriff's Office, Taylorville Police Department, and the Illinois State Police Troop 9 for all their help with the accident. 

 

 

 

Boat Ramp Closed At Lake Shelbyville

The Opossum Creek Recreation Area Boat Ramp is closed and will be through June 3rd.  The closure will not allow access to the Opossum Creek Boat Ramp area for both vehicle and pedestrian traffic.  Dam West Boat Ramp can be used as an alternative. 

 

Closures are necessary to provide safety for workers and members of the public while construction equipment is mobilizing to get on the lake for a shoreline protection project.  The Corps of Engineers say they understand the impact of road closures on the general public and apologize for any inconvenience.  For more information, contact the Lake Shelbyville Project Office at 774-3951. 

State Senator McClure Passes Legislation to Honor Local Fallen Trooper

A section of Route 121 will soon be known as the “Trooper Todd Hanneken Memorial Highway,” due to legislation filed by State Senator Steve McClure (R-Springfield) in the Senate and sponsored by Representative Dan Caulkins in the House.

 

“Trooper Hanneken dedicated his life to serving his community and his state,” said Senator McClure. “It’s important to honor his service and dedication, so he can continue to inspire others.”

 

Todd Hanneken was a graduate of Mt. Zion High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Illinois State University in 1999. In 2001, he married Michelle Jean “Shelley” Hillman.

 

“Our family would like to thank the chief sponsors of this resolution, Senator McClure and Representative Caulkins, and others who ensured this was adopted,” said Shelley Hanneken. “Todd’s legacy will always be about helping the community and we can think of no better place to honor him than the road that goes through his hometown. We continue to honor Todd for how he lived his life-with integrity, service, and pride.”

 

In 2000, he fulfilled his lifelong dream of becoming a second-generation state trooper as part of cadet class 100. He served as a trooper in District 15 in Downers Grove, then he was transferred back closer to home to District 10 in Pesotum.

 

As a state trooper, Hanneken received several professional honors. In his personal life, he was a dedicated to his family and friends, as well as serving his hometown of Mt. Zion.

 

Trooper Hanneken lost his life in a car accident on March 25th, 2021.

 

“Todd Hanneken was a second-generation State Trooper, he served honorably,” said Representative Caulkins. “Trooper Hanneken’s service to the State of Illinois will not be forgotten. His memory will be forever enshrined in our community by dedicating a portion of our local highway in his honor.”

 

Senate Joint Resolution 28, which passed both the Illinois Senate and House, will dedicate Route 121, from the Macon-Moultrie County line to Route 36 in Decatur as the “Trooper Todd Hanneken Memorial Highway.”

IDOA Encouraging Recycling Containers

The Illinois Department of Agriculture or IDOA is encouraging farmers and agrichemical facilities to take part in a free agrichemical container recycling program.  The program will begin in the middle of July and run through August, while sites will collect containers that are recycled to make shipping pallets.  

 

Jerry Costello, IDOA director says that the progrma offers farmers and agrichemical facilities a way to dispose of empty pesticide comtainers and demonstrate environmental stewardship. Participants are asked to rinse containers and remove all caps, valves, metal, labels, booklets, and foil seals. They are also asked to cut off the bottom and top of plastic drums and the cut the side of the drum from top to bottom.  Mini-Bulk and Intermediate Bulk containers can be recycled via the IDOA’s container recycling program. 

 

For more information on mini-bulk and intermediate bulk, contact G. Phillips and Sons, LLC, at 678-232-6047. In Effingham and Christian Counties, contact Andy Meinhart at 342-3123 at Effingham Equity.  In Fayette County, contact Randy Goodman at 618-283-1263 through Nutrien Ag Sol, and in Macoupin County, contact Brian McKinney at 217-627-2151 through M & M Service Co. 

 

To obtain a free brochure on the program contact the IDOA at 1-800-641-3934.

LLCC Awarded Grant For Healthcare

Lincoln Land Community College has been awarded a grant to allow 15 prospective health professions students to explore health care careers this summer while getting paid.

 

The HELPrS (Healthcare Entry-Level Professional Skills) program will run July 3-Aug. 10, Mondays through Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants will be paid $15 per hour (a total of more than $1,400) while experiencing a variety of health professions and job shadowing. The program also provides free uniforms, books, lunches and transportation to health care sites.

 

Students who will be high school seniors in fall 2023, as well as recent high school graduates, are eligible (ages 16-20).

 

“This six-week program will expose students to multiple health care career options,” said Leigh Giles-Brown, program director, diagnostic medical sonography at LLCC. “These include radiography, sonography, neurodiagnostic technology, respiratory care, occupational therapy assistant, emergency medical services and nursing.

 

“We want to open students’ eyes to the many possibilities available in the medical field. They’ll explore health care professions both on and off campus, learn about college life and get to practice important professional skills needed in the workforce — all while getting paid!”

 

The program aims to enhance diverse representation in the health care field, with priority given to minorities and males. Applicants from Lanphier High School, Southeast High School and Virginia High School will receive special consideration.

 

Registration is required by June 16, 2023 with more information available at www.llcc.edu/helprs.

 

HELPrS is made possible by the Trades School Grant Program and awarded through the Illinois Community College Board. 

Taylorville School Board Set To Meet This Evening

The Taylorville School board is set to meet on Wednesday evening at 6 PM to discuss the next steps in hiring a superintendent. After public comments, the board will go over what to do about posting a vacancy for interim superintendent of schools, discuss what to look for in an applicant, and when to do interview dates. 

 

There may be a closed session, and of course there will be public comments.  The meeting is set to take place at the District Office Boardroom at 1100 N. Sportsman Drive in Taylorville at 6PM.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story following the conclusion of the event. 

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear About Local Head Start Program at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about how the local Head Start program is helping children and their families, at the club’s weekly meeting on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.

 

Macci Lustig from the Effingham office of CEFS, which administers the Head Start program in several counties including Christian, highlighted how the program is helping some 17 families that have pre-Head Start children as well as 36 children in the Head Start program at Taylorville; and 20 families in the early program and 19 children in the Head Start program at Pana.

 

Lustig told Kiwanis members that the Head Start program focuses on education as well as a child’s well-being, including hearing and vision screenings, dental care, and healthy meals.  

 

 

Learning is done both in-class and on field trips.  She added that 80-percent of the program’s funding comes from the Federal Government with the rest made up by local donations.

 

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

House Approves Budget; Heads To Governor's Desk For Signature

The budget has passed the Illinois House and has been met with both praise and criticism from the respective parties as it makes its way to the Governor’s Desk for signature. Majority Caucus Appropriations Leader Senator Elgie Sims out of Chicago says that it is a good budget with investments in education, business attraction and development, public safety, and addressing the social determinants of health. 

 

 

Senator Sims also says that it sets the state up for both short and long term success.  Others do not agree. State Representative Dan Caulkins out of Decatur says that he is amazed at how much the spending has grown.

 

“I voted against the budget as it continues to spend more than ever. When I became a lawmaker five years ago the state budget was $36 billion, now it is $50 billion – that is outrageous! Illinois taxpayers are paying more for gas, groceries, and services and the Democrat majority has the nerve to give themselves a pay raise.” Representative Caulkins said, “Instead of providing tax relief to Illinois citizens, the budget approved will spend a billion more on health care benefits for illegal immigrants. It’s a shame the politicians running our state continue to force our taxpayers to do more with less all while filling their wallet with a pay raise.”

 

State Representative Mike Coffey from Springfield says that he isn’t a fan of how the system works.

 

 

State Representative Wayne Rosenthal says that it has received minimal input from Republicans and is filled with “Democrat Pet Projects.”

 

“The budget that passed tonight has minimal input from Republicans and is filled with Democrat pet projects and commits taxpayers to new long-term spending. It is loaded with gimmicks and cost shifts, like reallocating the Personal Property Replacement Tax to the General Revenue Fund and further shortchanging local governments by once again failing to restore the Local Government Distributive Fund to 10%. On top of that, hospitals who haven’t seen a rate increase for 29 years will only see half of their Medicaid rate request met in this budget year.”

 

“The fact that this budget includes a taxpayer-funded healthcare program that covers all expenses for undocumented immigrants with projected costs expected to exceed $1 billion is problematic. Legal residents with health insurance don’t even have access to such generous coverage like this. All of this will put families at risk of future tax hikes or cuts to critical services down the road. At a time when family budgets are still strapped with inflation-induced price hikes, this is the wrong approach.”

 

The $50 billion budget heads to Governor Pritzker’s desk for official signature.  

Morrisonville Teacher Wins Grant From WGU

A music teacher at Morrisonville Junior/Senior High School has received a $700 grant through the Western Governors University’s (WGU) “Fund My Classroom” initiative. The funds will be used to purchase a snare drum for the school’s band program.  Jessica Thurman learned she was selected for the grant on May 12th during a surprise check presentation at her school.

 

The current drums at Thurman’s school have not been replaced in over 20 years and that can really affect the sound and performance. With the grant from WGU, she’ll be able to help students improve their skills and excel as musicians.  

 

This project is one of 22 across Illinois chosen by WGU to receive funding.  The fully online university issued a notice to schools in early March for K-12 teachers across the state to nominate proposed projects by April 14th to receive full or partial funding through the “Fund My Classroom” iniative. Thurman’s proposal was one of 80.  Most grants were awarded during Teacher Appreciation Week which ran from May 8th through the 12th.  

 

Congratulations to Morrisonville Junior/Senior High School and congratulations to Jessica Thurman. For more information on WGU visit www.wgu.edu.  

Carlinville Hospital Auxiliary Recognizes Scholarship Winners

The Carlinville Area Hospital Auxiliary presented two $1,000 scholarships to Shelby Geisler, Gillespie High School and Olivia Thoroman, North Mac High School; during their May 9th meeting. A total of 17 Macoupin county high school students applied for the scholarship. Scholarship program leader Karen Lanzerotte introduced the two winners to the 45 Auxiliary members and guests at the dinner. 

 

Both, Shelby Geisler and Olivia Thoroman, have chosen nursing as their career in medicine. Thoroman said, “Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to be in a profession where I can help others.” Shelby Geisler and Olivia Thoroman plan to attend Illinois State University in Normal, IL this fall to pursue nursing.

 

Each recipient will receive an initial payment of $500 this fall, followed by an additional $500 during the second semester if they have an established a 3.0 grade point average during the first semester.

 

“Shelby and Olivia both had outstanding credentials. They had high GPAs that ranked them righty at the top of their respective senior classes, impressive lists of academic, extracurricular, and community-service activities, and the nicely written essays that they read for us at our dinner meeting,” said Lanzerotte.

 

Applicants for the 2024 scholarships will be available at all Macoupin County high schools at the start of this year’s fall semester. The awards will be announced Spring 2024. 

Dudley Smith Farm Field Day Approaching

Staying up to date on agricultural practices is important in central Illinois, whether you are a farmer, producer, or consumer.  The ag industry is filled with technology pushing efficiency forward.  Dudley Smith Farm is one location where tradition pushes sustainable agriculture practice into the future through hands-on research opportunities.  Look forward to hearing industry updates and application examples on-site at the upcoming Field Day beginning at 9:30 AM on Thursday, June 29th, near Pana in Christian County.  A free lunch is provided. 

 

Field Day topics that will be covered include factors influencing beef cow nutrition and the cost of beef cow diets, developing a grass-fed beef enterprise and direct marketing methods to consumers of grass-fed beef, what regenerative agriculture really means while exploring practical findings around regenerative ag, and updates on the drainage and cover crop research at Dudley Smith Farm. There will also be a discussion on related crop sciences research findings from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign.

 

There is no cost to attend the field day, but advance registration is required for the lunch, by June 23rd.  Check out the full agenda, speakers, and registration, by visiting go.illinois.edu/DSFFieldDay23.  For more information, contact Cassie O’Connell at coconne@illinois.edu or call 217-287-7246.  

State Rep Halbrook Supporting Invest In Kids Program

The Invest In Kids Scholarship program is special to State Representative Brad Halbrook who took to the House Floor last week to discuss and promote the program. The state of Illinois enacted the Invest in Kids Scholarship Tax Credit Program back in 2017. 

 

The program offers a 75% income tax credit for individuals and businesses that contribute to qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations or SGO’s.

 

 

The SGO provides scholarships for students whose families meet the income requirements to attend qualified, non-public schools and technical academies in Illinois. If you need more information to Invest In Kids, find it at https://tax.illinois.gov/programs/investinkids.html 

State Treasurer Encourages Signups For Photo Contest

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs is encouraging young Illinois photographers to submit photos for the 2023 Cream of the Crop Photo Contest so they can be eligible to receive scholarship prize money. The contest, for students ages 8 to 18, offers an opportunity for young people to display their skills and imagination to highlight agriculture in our state. The Treasurer’s Office is accepting electronic submissions for the contest until the entry deadline of June 12.

 

Bright Start scholarship funds will be awarded to the top winners in each of the three age categories. First?place winners will receive $1,000, second-place winners will receive $500, and third-place winners will receive $250.

 

 

The Treasurer’s Office is accepting electronic submissions for the Cream of the Crop Photo Contest at www.CreamoftheCropContest.com. Top photographs will be chosen in three age-based categories: ages 8?10, 11?14 and 15-18. Each student may submit up to two photos by June 12, 2023. 

 

Treasurer Frerichs administers Bright Start, the Illinois direct-sold 529 program that provides families with a tax-advantaged investment vehicle to help save for future education expenses at a university or college, community college, trade school or apprenticeship. For more information about the Treasurer’s Office College Savings programs, visit ILCollegeSavings.com or call 877.432.7444.

Being Safe With Alcohol Around Memorial Day

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission urges those who plan to drink this Memorial Day weekend to practice safe alcohol consumption and avoid binge drinking. Popular Memorial Day activities like grilling, boating, and swimming can all become dangerous when combined with too much alcohol.

 

Alcohol consumption increases on holidays and during the summer months. Follow the safety tips below to reduce the risk of alcohol-related injuries this holiday weekend and throughout the summer:

    Pace yourself
 

    Know your limits

 

    Drink plenty of water

 

    Never leave your drink unattended

 

    Don’t get behind the wheel after drinking

 

Remember to drink in moderation and always have a safety plan. Alcohol impairs judgement, lowers inhibitions, and decreases reaction time, which can lead to drunk driving accidents and other alcohol-related incidents. The ILCC encourages everyone to utilize good judgment to prevent these alcohol-related incidents, which are more frequent on holidays and in the summertime.

 

“Enjoy the holiday weekend but please drink responsibly. Keep in mind that proper planning leads to a safer environment for everyone,” said Illinois Liquor Control Commission Executive Director Lisa Gardner.

 

If you plan on drinking this Memorial Day, choose a designated driver in advance, take public transportation, or use a taxi or rideshare service. The ILCC wants everyone to be safe while having fun and enjoying the unofficial start of summer.

Memorial Day Reminder: Camp I Am Me Urges Public to Prioritize Outdoor Fire and Burn Safety

With the Memorial Day holiday just around the corner, signaling the start of summer and a host of outdoor celebrations, authorities are urging residents to prioritize fire and burn safety during their festive gatherings. The upcoming long weekend often involves cookouts, bonfires, and other outdoor activities that can pose fire hazards. In light of this, Camp I Am Me, formerly known as the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance, is providing important fire and burn prevention tips to ensure the safety of families and friends as they kick off the summer season.

 

"Memorial Day is a time when residents can fully embrace the outdoors, attending barbecues, going camping, or engaging in activities where fire or burn dangers may be present," stated James Kreher, President of Camp I Am Me and Chief of the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District. "We urge everyone to remain vigilant and follow basic safety tips and precautions to ensure a memorable and accident-free holiday."

 

To help the public stay safe during their outdoor gatherings, Camp I Am Me offers the following fire and burn prevention tips: Supervise children and pets when there is a campfire or fire pit.
Establish a "Kid-Free Zone" with a three-foot radius around the campfire or fire pit. Always keep a hose, bucket of water, or shovel with dirt or sand nearby to extinguish fires. When extinguishing a fire, thoroughly douse all coals or remaining flames with water and ensure no heat, glow, or flames remain. Never leave a fire unattended, even for a brief period.

 

Grilling safety is also a crucial aspect of outdoor fire prevention. Camp I Am Me advises the public to follow these guidelines. Maintain close supervision of food while it is cooking on the grill. Turn off the grill promptly after cooking is completed and let it cool completely before relocating it. Keep grills at least three feet away from flammable materials such as deck railings, overhanging branches, and homes. Use only charcoal starter fluid for igniting charcoal and avoid other flammable liquids.


In addition to campfires and grilling, it is essential to take precautions when engaging in firepit and outdoor burning activities. Camp I Am Me advises residents to check with their local fire department or municipality for any restrictions before starting an open-air fire, recreational fire, or outdoor cooking fire. Bonfires or yard waste fires should be at least 50 feet away from anything combustible, while campfires should be a minimum of 25 feet away from any flammable structures. Furthermore, fire pits should be placed at least 10 feet away from any potential fire hazards.

 

Camp I Am Me's Executive Director, Philip Zaleski, emphasized the significance of reviewing basic safety tips to prevent injuries and property damage associated with outdoor recreational activities involving fires. "Our mission is to educate residents across the state so that we can all create lasting memories with our loved ones as safely as possible," he said. 
To access additional fire safety and burn prevention resources and information to protect families and homes, visit the Camp I Am Me website at ifsa.org/prevention-resources/.
 

Senator Turner Recognizes Impact From Opioid Crisis

State Senator Doris Turner passed a measure that recognizes the impact of the opioid crisis on children and families across Illinois through the Senate on Friday.

 

“The opioid crisis has taken thousands of Illinois residents’ lives,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “It’s time we shine a light on the impact it has left on children and families. We need to prioritize support programs that can bring real, valuable solutions to these problems.”

 

Senate Resolution 36 recognizes the impact of the opioid crisis on the children and families of Illinois and affirms the General Assembly's support for home-visiting and early intervention programs as essential components of the state’s multifaceted approach to combating the opioid crisis.

 

The Turner-led measure calls on the General Assembly to support early intervention and home-visiting programs with settlement funds from lawsuits against opioid manufacturers. The resolution calls for these programs to be further invested into and expanded.

 

Opioid addiction can lead to negative outcomes for children such as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and adverse childhood experiences, and can affect families by causing increased maternal mortality.

 

Senate Resolution 36 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

When To Start Thinking About Social Security

If you aren’t close to retiring age, you might not think about Social Security.  It appears on your statement and you probably don’t spend much time looking at it, much less worrying about it, but how do you know where that money is going or how much money you have? Jack Meyers with the Social Security Administration says that is why it’s important to start a My Social Security Account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. 

 

 

Meyers encourages everyone to check their accounts to make sure they are getting what they earn. 

 

 

Meyers says that it all starts with their website where they can sign up.

 

 

He encourages everyone to get a text message because email can take a bit. Meyers also says to use your own phone number that way you aren’t waiting for the message from a spouse. 

 

 

Jack Meyers appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.  For more information visit www.ssa.gov. 

Memorial Day Ceremonies To Be Held in Several Area Communities

Memorial Day will be honored in ceremonies in several Regional Radio listening area communities.

In Assumption, a Memorial Day ceremony takes place at Sunday at 12 noon at their Veterans Memorial.

In Shelbyville, their ceremony will be Monday at 10am in the Blyman Addition at Glenwood Cemetery.

In Taylorville, the Memorial Day ceremony will take place Monday at 10am at Oak Hill Cemetery.

And in Pana, their ceremony will be in Kitchell Park Monday at 11am.   It'll include reading all the names off of Pana veterans who have passed, and a speaker from the Illinois National Guard.   

ISP Announces Memorial Day Crackdown

 As summer traveling season approaches, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and more than 200 local law enforcement agencies today announced the "Click It or Ticket" campaign to crack down on seat belt law violators and impaired drivers.

 

“Throughout Illinois, Memorial Day means the start of summer road trips and an increase in traffic,” said IDOT Director of Highways Project Implementation Steve Travia. “With additional vehicles on the roads, it’s more important than ever to take standard safety precautions. Make seat belt use an automatic habit. It’s not just the safe thing to do – it’s the law.”

 

During the Memorial Day campaign, which runs through May 30, law enforcement will step up traffic safety efforts, reminding drivers and their passengers of the importance of buckling up and the potential consequences of not wearing a seat belt.

 

The increase in traffic that accompanies summer holiday weekends almost always correlates with an increase in fatalities. Last year’s Memorial Day weekend – the period from 6 p.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Monday – saw 14 crashes resulting in 15 fatalities in Illinois.

 

Preliminary IDOT data shows that between 2020 and 2022, there were 2,475 traffic fatalities in Illinois. Of those, 979 were properly buckled in a seat belt or child safety seat. That means more than 60% of those who died in crashes during this timeframe were not buckled properly.

 

“The Memorial Day weekend is often seen as the unofficial start of summer, a time when people want to get out and hit the open road,” said ISP Division of Patrol Col. Margaret McGreal.

 

“Unfortunately, it’s also a weekend where we see an increase in fatal crashes. Holiday weekend or not – wear your seat belt, don’t speed, and don’t drive distracted or under the influence.”

 

For more information about “Click It or Ticket,” visit www.buckleupillinois.org.

4-H Holds Community Workshop

On May 9, the Christian County 4-H Youth Leadership Team hosted a Community Service Workshop at the Christian County Extension Office. The 4-H Youth Leadership Team and 4-H members in the county donated supplies. Local youth participants helped make baskets filled with candies, snacks, letters of encouragement, and thank yous, which were donated to hospitals in Christian County. The baskets were given to staff throughout the hospital.

 

If you are interested in learning more about joining 4-H or the 4-H Youth Leadership Team, please contact Amanda by emailing cunn2014@illinois.edu or calling the Christian County Extension Office at 217-287-7246.

 

The University of Illinois Extension leads public outreach for the University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.

Anticipation High For Christian County Fair

With Memorial Day right around the corner, it’s almost time for County Fairs and more importantly the Christian County Fair. Angela Ohl-Marsters and Craig Paulek stopped by the WTIM Morning Show to talk a little about the fair and what people can expect in 2023. Paulek says it starts with the ribbon cutting on Tuesday.


 

Angela Ohl-Marsters says there are plenty of new events that are coming to the fair. 

 

 

While there are plenty of new events coming, there are also some returning events as well.  

 

 

Paulek says he’s looking forward to the fair. 

 

 

For more information on the Christian County Fair visit their Facebook page. Ohl-Marsters and Paulek both appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Legislators And Governor Agree On Budget

Governor JB Pritzker and the General Assembly say that they finally have an agreement on the budget.  Governor Pritzker says this budget will prioritize fiscal responsibility while making transformative investments in early childhood and higher education, public safety, workforce development, behavioral and mental health services and more.  

 

 

This is the fifth balanced budget since the Governor has taken office.  Illinois Senate President Don Harmon agreed saying that “We’ve put together a responsible balanced budget that recognizes our shared goals and commitment to making progress on key issues for the people of Illinois.  The Governor says that this looks to the future of Illinois.

 

 

Not everyone is happy with the budget, which has extended this congressional session in Illinois because the two sides could not come to an agreement, has ruffled feathers among many Republicans and even some Democrats.  State Representative Brad Halbrook says it is anything but responsible. 


 

 

Extended negotiations over the budget required lawmakers to skip last Friday’s scheduled end to the legislative session.  The budget agreement is more than $50 billion in spending. 

Central A & M Helping Family Displaced From Fire

Central A&M High School along with the local Moweaqua community are coming together to help the family that lost everything in a house fire on Wednesday. All members of the family made it out safely but Raider Nation is stepping up to help in the effort to get the family back on their feet.

 

The help begins at the Central A&M High School front lobby which will serve as a drop-off zone for donations that have been requested. 

 

For the list of items that will help the family greatly: 

 

A 10-year-old girl
pants- m or 10-12
shoes- 3/4
shirts- 10-12 14-16

 

a 3 year old boy
pants- 6
shoes- 11 in toddler
shirt- 6-7

 

a 15 year old girl
pants- jeans 14-16
shoes- 9-10
shirts- M-L

 

17 year old boy
Pants- 30-32 jean m pants
shirt- M
shoes- 10

 

If you are looking for more ways to contribute to the cause there will be donation drop-off points at the Caseys and Gas Depot in Moweaqua.

 

If you do not have the items on the list to donate, A Go-FundMe has been started by one of the family members to aid in the financial costs.

 

For information on where to donate and for the Go Fund Me link you can click here
 

Pana Musical Students Earn Honors

The Bands and Choirs of Pana Junior and Senior High Schools recently presented their Spring Honors Concert on Friday, May 12.  Senior choir and band members were honored and several Junior High and High School musicians were honored with special awards.  It was a very special way to end our year of making great kids through music!  The students are directed by Mr. Tony Hicks, Band and Mrs. Angela Chase, Choir.

 

Senior Musicians honored included:

 

Legacy Ballew, Band and Choir

 

Jaylen Boswell, Band

 

Madison Carter, Band and Choir

 

Madison Clark, Band

 

Aaliyah Cooks, Choir

 

Paige Moss, Choir

 

Damion Pizzo, Band and Choir

 

Jeffrey Schmidt, Band and choir

 

Torrance Smith, Band

 

Tessa Strom, Band

 

Junior High Choir Awards:

 

Outstanding 6th Grade Choir Members:  Samantha Collins and Aubrey Strohl

 

Outstanding 7th Grade Choir Members:  Nancy Presnell and Johnathan Wade

 

Outstanding 8th Grade Choir Members:  Joscalin Foster and Brieanna Lenz

 

Beginning Band Awards:

 

Outstanding Brass 

 

Lilliaunna Frost, Brynlee Tipsword, Cody Heinrich

 

Outstanding Woodwind

 

Adelaide Bauer, Claire Heldebrandt, Savannah Swafford

 

Outstanding Percussion

 

Zander Hawker

 

Most Improved Brass

 

Jayce Prather, Carson Collins

 

Most Improved Woodwind

 

Caysin Lebon, Zya Cushing

 

Most Improved Percussion

 

Royal Jackson

 

7th/8th GRADE BAND AWARDS:

 

The Director’s Award

 

Cayden Boykin

 

Outstanding Brass

 

Aaron Moss, Dace Jones

 

Taylorville Kiwanis Awards "Outstanding Spiritual Leader" at Annual Prayer Luncheon Tuesday

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held its Annual Prayer Luncheon and awarded this year’s Kiwanis “Outstanding Spiritual Leader” recognition, at the club’s weekly meeting on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.

 

The event was again chaired by Kiwanis Spiritual Aims chair Dick Wamsley who presided over the meeting.

 

 

This year’s Kiwanis “Outstanding Spiritual Leader” award went to Sister Rose McKeown who has served as chaplain at Taylorville Memorial Hospital for over 28 years.   Her award was presented by Wamsley.

 

Special speaker for the event was Father Peter Kosk, who began his service at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Taylorville as well as Catholic parishes in Stonington and Kincaid, 11 months ago after serving a parish in Highland, Illinois.  Father Kosk, who is from Poland, talked about his journey in becoming a Catholic priest, focusing on service and ministry, adding it's been a constant learning experience.

 

 

Father Kosk also spoke about the ongoing war in the Ukraine, an adjacent country to his home country of Poland, saying some 3 million Ukranian refugees have been taken in by Polish families in their homes.

 

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

May Is Drowning Prevention Month

Pool parties and trips to the lake are what make summer memories, but as drowning deaths in Illinois rose to 15 cases, JB Pritzker has named this May Illinois Childhood Drowning Prevention Month. For children ages 1-4, drowning is the leading cause of unintended death, but the precautionary steps needed to keep young ones out of harm's way are not difficult. Illinois Division of Child and Family Services states that keeping pool gates locked and never leaving a child alone near water will prevent unneeded injuries or death. 

 

More safety protocols that will prevent unnecessary disaster include practicing diligence when children are playing in small pools, keeping 5-gallon buckets out of reach for children, and ensuring hot tubs and pools are covered when not in use. 

 

Knowing what to do in case of an emergency could save lives. Learning CPR and having rescue equipment on standby is recommended by DCFS. The threat of injury or death to a loved one while participating in the summer fun can be lessened by following these steps of safety.

Illinois Senate Adopts Resolution To Dedicate Portion Of Highway To Victims Of Crash

A portion of US Route 51 starting at N2600 East Road in Assumption north to the Shelby-Macon County Line could have a new name.  The route will be called the Conner-Keegan Memorial Highway. Senator Steve McClure sponsored the Resolution in the Senate and says the news follows a crash that occurred in July of 2022. 

 

 

Senator McClure says his hope is that this kind of crash never happens again.

 

 

The measure passed the Senate and now heads to the House for consideration. 

Getting Past The Stigma Of Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Month is in May and Memorial Hospital wants you to be aware of the resources that are available for you, should you need help. Darren Buttz, TMH Director of Community Health, and Caitlin Deady, Supervisor with Memorial Health, spoke of the many resources they have available.  One of the initiatives that Buttz says TMH has announced is “It’s OK to not be OK.”

 

 

Deady says that when there is a sign of problems, talking to your primary care physician can be the first step. 

 

 

One of the best places to start, Deady says, is through Memorial Health. She encourages you to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a mental health issue. 


 

There are many resources available for various industries, such as veterans, first responders, and farmers.

 

 

For more information on mental health services, call 217-525-1064. Darren Buttz and Caitlin Deady appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 
 

IFBW Scholarship recipients Announced

The IFBW Scholarship list has been released along with New Members and New Leadership. The meeting was held on Wednesday at Florinda's and recognized all the Scholarship winners, new members, and new Leadership. Congratulations to all the winners from Regional Radio News;

 

14 Scholarship Recipients:

Hailey Adcock

Mylie Corso

Alaina Deal

Lacey DeClerck

Anna Goodman

Analysa Harden

Mariah Lawyer

Alyvia McCullough

Taylor Michel

Sophia Muzeur

Meredith Repscher

Macy Richards

Sophia Robinson

Addison Vocks

 

New Members: Michelle Sklenka, Becky Adcock & Hailey Adcock

 

Leadership:

Tyler Frump – President

Kayla MaGraw – Vice President

Pamela Moses – Treasurer

Not pictured in leadership photo:

Mickey Emerson – Secretary

 

Taylorville Park District: Welcoming New Member, Approving Dog Park, and Preparing for Pool Opening

The Taylorville Park District swore in a new member, Roy O. Manasco, approved the establishment of a new dog park, and finalized the budget during their monthly meeting. Additionally, the board received the annual audit report.


During the meeting, Roy Manasco was officially sworn into office by Quinn Broverman.


Regarding the annual audit report, the board discussed the financial aspects related to the swimming pool and successfully maintaining the budget for the Fiscal Year, which concluded at the end of February. In their discussion, they mentioned the payment for a bench and siding for the maintenance shed.


The board unanimously voted to allocate funds for grant writing services to Design Perspectives, located in Naperville, IL.


The board revisited previous discussions about the dog park, which took place during the last meeting. They announced that a donor had been found to cover the entire cost of the dog park and had contacted several fence companies for the construction of the park's fencing.


The topic of memorial benches was also brought up. The current price of each bench is $375, but the expenses totaled approximately $480. The board deliberated increasing the price to $550, but Bailey Hancock expressed concern that it would barely cover the labor costs. However, the vote to raise the price passed unanimously.


During the meeting, Bailey Hancock mentioned the "Pennies for Pool" fundraiser.


In more exciting news, the pool is scheduled to open this Saturday, May 27th, at 1:00 pm.


The next park board meeting is set for June 2.
 

Taylorville School Board Votes On Moving Forward To Hire Interim Superintendent

By a vote of 4-1 the Taylorville School Board voted to start the process to hire an Interim Superintendent.  The meeting started off with public comments and Mary DelValle spoke concerning the construction project and support for the fine arts.  During new business, the meeting centered around what the board should do towards getting a new superintendent to replace Dr. Chris Dougherty who put in her retirement notice. 

 

Dr. Ron Mizer encouraged the board to get a consulting service, as they had previously because he said they were able to find a Superintendent relatively quickly using that process. Ann Chandler encouraged the board to hire an interim Superintendent for the year to make sure the process is done correctly.  A motion was put forward to hire an interim superintendent, and Trisha Marburger along with Dr. Mizer said that they didn’t think that the board would be voting on going the route of hiring an interim superintendent that evening only that they would be discussing the process moving forward. 

 

The board discussed pushing off a meeting until Wednesday so they could rewrite the agenda and move forward. Jennifer Norris spoke and said she had too much to do and couldn’t be attending meetings every night and encouraged the board to have an agenda that was better worded before abruptly leaving the meeting. 

 

With a motion still on the floor, the board voted on moving forward with an interim superintendent. The motion passed 4-1 with Trisha Marburger voting no, Dr. Mizer voting present, and Norris not there. 

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story as it develops. 

First Responders From I-55 Crash Recognized

The State of Illinois along with the House of Representatives honored the first responders who jumped into action to save lives during the  I-55 May 1st accident.  The accident stemmed from a dust storm that popped up making visibility difficult. State Representative Wayne Rosenthal and the House recognized the first responders who also got to meet with Governor JB Pritzker.  House Resolution 314 filed by Rosenthal, was adopted by the House to acknowledge their actions that day.

 

 

Those responding to the incident included Assistant Chief Brian Byers of the Farmersville/Waggoner Fire Protection District, and Chief Mike Webb who arrived on-scene after AC Byers and wisely allowed AC Byers to continue as incident commander. The firefighters who tackled the raging fire included Chief Adam Pennock on his first day as full-time Fire Chief for the Litchfield Fire Department, who worked hand in hand with AC Byers on getting the victims transported in a timely fashion, Chief Jess McKee and members of the Carlinville Fire Department who dealt with the removal of the deceased victims. 

 

In addition, Tyson Holhouser with the sheriff's office and other local police who maintained the safety of the roadways, Casey Canter who stayed at the landing zone, and all the EMS staff from the area who also helped.  

As part of their recognition, each first responder who was on the scene that day will receive a copy of HR 314. To read the full text of the resolution, click here

Being Garden Aware In May

Planting gardens is a great way to relax and a good stress reliever but sometimes you may have more questions about proper ways to garden and maybe questions concerning better ways to care for your plants.  Andrew Holsinger, with the U of I Extension Office, is a horticulture educator.  He says that they have some upcoming classes on container gardening and they just finished up some classes on growing great tomatoes and raised bed gardening. 

 

 

Coming up is also a class on Shade Gardening.

 

 

Visit go.illinois.edu/cjmmevents to register online with those courses.  The Master Gardeners are in full swing and encourage you to ask if you need help with gardening questions.

 

 

With May bringing thunderstorms and bad weather, paying attention to what your trees look like is important. 

 

 

For more information on these programs or for any questions, email Andrew Holsinger at aholsing@illinois.edu.  Andrew Holsinger appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Christian County Sheriff's Office Talks Renovations & Car Safety

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office will be getting an upgrade.  The Christian County Board approved an over $2 million renovation for the Jail and the Sheriff’s Offices. CCSO Chief Deputy Jim Baker says that its nice to start making some progress on this. 

 

 

Deputy Baker says that a jail advisory group has been a huge asset towards getting this renovation approved.

 

 

He is encouraging everyone to lock their car doors after a string of car thefts in Stonington.

 

 

Deputy Baker wants people not to get complacent just because they are in a small town. 


 

 

Chief Deputy Jim Baker appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville School Board To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville School District will hold a special meeting on Monday evening at 6 PM to discuss the process for selecting an Interim Superintendent of Schools.  The meeting will mostly consist of a closed session with action following the executive session shortly thereafter.  The meeting will take place at the District Office Boardroom at 1100 North Sportsman Drive in Taylorville.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio News following the conclusion of the meeting for any updates.

IFBW Launches Small Business Loan

The Illinois Federation of Business Women’s Clubs Incorporated Taylorville Chapter is launching an interest-free loan program for a woman-owned business.  A woman-owned business is defined as one where 51%  more of the business is owned by a woman.  Pam Moses and Amy Hagen spoke about this loan program.  Moses says that it is a way that the IFBW can give back. 

 

 

Funds are available to both start-up and existing businesses in Taylorville. Amy Hagen says that it is intended for those wanting to take their business to the next level. 

 

 

Hagen says that they are able to offer these programs because of how well the Spring fashion show has been going.

 

 

Moses says you never know when one of these loans might change a business forever. 

 

 

IFBW held the third annual Spring fashion show fundraiser and coordinates the Kicks for Kids shoe giveaway program at Christmastime.  There is an active scholarship program funding college-bound women in transition and graduating females of THS. For more information about the micro loan program or organizational membership visit @TvilleBusinessWomen on Facebook or contact Tyler Frump at 217-454-1875 or Pam Moses at 217-454-6105.

 

Amy Hagen and Pam Moses appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Park Board Set To Meet

The Taylorville Park Board has scheduled a meeting for Monday evening at 7 PM. During the meeting, the board members will go over and approve minutes. They will also carefully review the treasurer's report to ensure everything is in order.

 

Additionally, the board will be Appointing a new member to join their ranks. Afterwards, the members will engage in discussions concerning the Annual Audit Report for the Fiscal Year, which concluded on February 28th of this year.

 

One of the key topics on the agenda is the consideration of funding for hiring Design Perspectives Inc. Furthermore, the board will receive reports from various individuals, including the Maintenance Superintendent, the Office Administrator/Secretary, and the Recreation Director.

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more following the conclusion of the event.

Nuclear Moratorium May Be Lifting

Illinois has a 30-year-old ban on the construction of new nuclear power plants.  That might be changing.  On March 30th, following a bipartisan roll call, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 76 which would end the moratorium.  Proponents of the bill say that it would create jobs, lower utility costs, and provide more reliable clean energy.  The bill passed the House on Thursday 84-22.  he bill now moves to the governor’s desk for his consideration.

 

State Representative Brad Halbrook says that while it may not be perfect it is a great bill and he encouraged a positive vote. 

 

 

Senate Bill 76 would delete the language that provides no construction shall be built on any new nuclear power plant within the state.  Public utilities and energy companies wouldn’t be forced to invest in nuclear energy but would have the option. Some projects could either be traditional nuclear reactors or new small modular reactors or SMR’s.  SMR’s are the latest advanced nuclear energy technology being developed which have the added benefit of being able to be placed in existing buildings such as factories, or retired coal-fired power plants that are connected to the electric grid. 

Beautiful Night Greets Large Crowd for Shelbyville Graduation on Football Field Saturday

It was a beautiful night Saturday night on the Shelbyville High School football field, where the annual Graduation Ceremony took place. 

 

 

86 graduates walked across the stage to end one chapter of their lives and begin another, and was broadcast live on Cruisin' 98-point-3 WSVZ.

 

Class salutorian Mallory Holland told the capacity crowd and high school seniors, about the many memories she made in high school.

 

 

Holland challenged graduates about who they want to be.

 

 

S-H-S valedectorian Emily Oligschlaeger shared portions of an address by former broadcaster Ernie Harwell.

 

 

She then talked about the 2nd part of Harwell's speech.

 

 

 

Shelbyville School Superintendent Shane Schuricht announced that this year's Shelbyville High School Student of the Year, co-sponsored by WSVZ Cruisin' 98.3 and Family Drug, was Kallie Mathis.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club and Police Explorers Join Forces for Successful Drive-Thru Donation Day

On Saturday morning, the Taylorville Kiwanis Club organized a drive-thru donation day in front of the Miller Media Group studios. They were joined by the Taylorville Police Department explorers program, who provided assistance with the food drive. Brad Davis, a member of the Kiwanis Club, spoke about the positive experience of having the police explorers program involved in the event.

Davis also highlighted the importance of monetary donations and how they contribute to the cause. These financial contributions can greatly support the efforts of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club and the Taylorville Food Pantry in helping those in need.

For those who were unable to attend the event on Saturday, there will be additional opportunities to donate in the future. The Kiwanis Club will be stationed in front of the Miller Media Studios at 918 East Park for three weekends in July and September. This event marked the last day for donations in May.

 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club, the Taylorville Food Pantry, and the Miller Media Group express their gratitude to all those who participated and donated. Their generosity will make a positive impact on the community and help those who require assistance.
 

Treasurer Frerichs Discusses Programs

The State Treasurer’s Office is all about money and Treasurer Michael Frerichs says its about growing money for the state, helping save money, and putting money back into citizens pockets.  One of the ways that’s done is through the ICash program. Treasurer Frerichs says that unclaimed property is an important aspect of his job. One way that the Treasurer’s Office gives back is through the return of purple hearts.

 

 

One way that the State helps parents is through supplying them with resources to help put their children through College. 

 

 

Another program that Treasurer Frerichs cares about is one of the oldest investing programs, AgInvest. 

 

 

Another great program is ABLE which is a savings account for someone who is disabled.


 

 

For more information, visit https://www.illinoistreasurer.gov/. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

156 High School Seniors Receive Diplomas at Taylorville Graduation Friday Night

156 Taylorville High School seniors received diplomas during the 130th Annual Commencement in West Gym Friday night.

 

Senior class speaker Kallie Havera spoke to the standing room only crowd with her remarks titled "Writing the Sequel".  She compared ending her 4 years at T-H-S as closing a book.

 

 

Havera thanked her family for being great role models.

 

 

She ended her remarks by ringing the school bell one more time.

 

 

 

The Taylorville Senior High Choir, led by director Keith Chase, sang a song during Friday night's graduation ceremony.

 

YMCA Prepping For Busy Month

The YMCA always has something going on whether it’s regular day-to-day activities or upcoming events that may peak your interest.  Executive Director Bruce Blanshan of the YMCA says that is what makes every day going to work enjoyable. One event coming up is the 17th Annual Chip n for our Community Golf Outing.

 

 

Another event going on currently is the Rock Steady Boxing courses that resumed April 18th. 

 

 

Another YMCA event that’s being coordinated with the TMH Foundation is the Lose to Win Program.

 

 

There are some employment opportunities as well.

 

 

For more information, visit www.ccymca.org or call 217-287-7271. Bruce Blanshan appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Bike Rodeo Taking Place Saturday Morning

This week marks bike safety week and this weekend Taylorville Memorial Hospital is running a Bike Rodeo.  Darren Buttz, TMH Director of Community Health, talked a little about the Bike Rodeo taking place this weekend.

 

 

Bud Altman, with Lincoln Prairie Trails Conservancy, says that there will be different stations you will go to for the Rodeo all working towards “graduation.”

 

 

Bruce Blanshan, Executive Director of the YMCA, says that it is nice to collaborate with the Taylorville Memorial Hospital and the other sponsors on this event. 

 

 

Buttz says the next step is to educate the adults on bicycle safety.

 

 

Buttz, Altman, and Blanshan all appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Rock Springs Finalizes Summer Concert Series

Macon County Conservation District always has great things going on and every day is different. Alysia Callison, Director of Program Services, says that there really is something for everyone at Rock Springs Nature Park.  For instance, this weekend will be a Rock Springs Ramble 5K.

 

 

Callison says Papa Murphys will be there with pizza and other goodies. 

Another big event that will be taking place this summer is the Summer Concert Series. 

 

 

Another upcoming event is a series on the history of baseball in Central Illinois.

 

 

There will also be some yoga classes being taught this Sunday.

 

 

For more information, visit maconcountyconservation.org.  Alysia Callison appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Morrisonville Lifts Boil Order

The Village of Morrisonville has canceled its boil order that was in effect. 

 

For more information on this boil order, contact the village of Morrisonville at (217) 526-3521.

Taylorville Graduation Parade Cancelled

Taylorville School District has canceled their graduation parade set for Friday evening.  Taylorville Police and the School District both posted messages on social media alerting the public of the change.  It is unknown why it was canceled. Graduation is still set to continue as planned. 

 

Taylorville Police posted the following message:

 

"As always, the safety of our students, staff, and community is of the utmost concern. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the after-graduation parade has been canceled for this evening. Upon review with the Taylorville Police Department, the school administration, and school board, we are implementing safety measures and canceling the parade."

 

8th Victim Reported From May 1 I-55 Crash

The Illinois State Police (ISP) announced the death of another victim in multiple crashes that occurred on May 1, 2023, at approximately 10:55 a.m. on both northbound and southbound Interstate 55, between mile markers 72 and 78 near Farmersville in Montgomery County.  

 

Ruth M. Rau,  81-year-old from Sorento, IL succumbed to injuries last evening while in the hospital. A total of 72 vehicles are known to be involved in the crashes and 37 people were transported to area hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical. There are now eight fatalities associated with the crashes, including the following names previously released. 

 

Shirley Harper, 88-year-old from Franklin, WI

 

Joseph Bates, 73-year-old from Crystal Lake, IL

 

Donna Bates, 71-year-old from Crystal Lake, IL

 

Earl LeGrand, 64-year-old from Florissant, MO

 

Michael Zinchuk, 55-year-old from Champaign, IL

 

Amy Zinchuk, 54-year-old from Champaign, IL

 

Otto Medina-Salazar, 58-year-old from Carthage, MO

 

ISP recognizes the impact of this tragic event and offers its condolences to families and friends mourning their loss. ISP thanks all its first responder partners and sister agencies for their tremendous work and assistance during this incident.  

Turner Measure To Incentivize Gardening Heads To Governor's Desk

To promote community gardening, State Senator Doris Turner championed a measure that would provide incentives for affordable housing projects that incorporate urban and suburban gardening.

 

“Gardening can help households cut down on food costs,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Providing affordable housing units an incentive to garden allows residents to have access to nutritional foods right outside their doors.”

 

House Bill 3892 would allow the Illinois Housing Development Authority to develop a program that provides incentives for affordable housing projects that incorporate urban and suburban gardening.

 

Turner’s measure would require IHDA to consult with the University of Illinois on the program, work with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to facilitate the distribution of produce from the garden, and provide all necessary tools for the garden..

 

“Spending time outside gardening can reduce stress and help with a person’s overall physical and mental health,” Turner said.

 

House Bill 3892 passed the Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk.

Saturday is Last Kiwanis Drive-Thru Donation Day in May, Benefiting Food Pantry

Saturday is the last Taylorville Kiwanis Club Drive-Thru Donation Day in May, to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry.   Kiwanis members will be stationed in the front of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park in Taylorville from 9am to noon, asking listeners to come by and donate non-perishable food and monetary donations to the local Food Pantry.

The Kiwanis Club and Food Pantry both thank you for helping children and youth in our community that are in need.

Miller Media Group Stations to Broadcast Area Graduations Live This Weekend

The Miller Media Group will bring the sounds of high school graduations, to listeners this weekend.

Tonight at 6 on WRAN groovy 97.3, over 150 Taylorville High School seniors will receive their diploma in ceermonies in the West Gym.

And, Saturday evening at 7, WSVZ Cruisin' 98.3 will broadcast the Shelbyville High School graduation live from the football field.

Tune in to hear these area seniors reach a milestone in their lives.

Taylorville Getting New Restaurant

 

Taylorville is getting a new restaurant.

 

Rufino Morales, whose family has been in the restaurant business for many years in the Chicago area, is opening what will be called the American Eagle Restaurant in the former Round Table Restaurant building on East Park in Taylorville.

 

 

Morales told Regional Radio News he'll be offering an American menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

 

 

Morales told us he spent a lot of money on remodeling the building, and drove the town before selecting Taylorville.

 

 

Morales grew up in Chicago where his father has been a long-time restauranteur.

 

He's hoping to open the 2nd week of June and is currently hiring to fill 10 to 15 positions.

 

 

Morales will have details on how to apply, in the building's window in the coming days.

Comptroller Mendoza Deposits Money Into Rainy Day Fund

Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza announced a $150 million transfer to the Rainy Day Fund on Wednesday, bringing the fund’s balance to a record-high level of $1.73 billion. 

 

This week’s transfer into the Rainy Day Fund is part of an $850 million supplemental appropriation the legislature and Gov. Pritzker adopted in January. 

 

Comptroller Mendoza has been a strong advocate for reviving the Rainy Day Fund, which serves as the state’s main savings account. It had been decimated during the 2015-2017 state budget impasse. In August 2018, the reserve account stood at just $48,327.53.   

 

“Working together, we’ve brought Illinois’ finances to a much better place since I was sworn in six years ago, but more fiscal discipline is necessary to complete the process,” said Comptroller Mendoza. “When the state forecasted revenue surpluses earlier this year, I said, ‘Let’s not spend everything we take in but let’s prepare for economic downturns.’ That is the responsible thing to do, and the credit rating agencies have rewarded our fiscal prudence.” 

 

Illinois has earned eight credit upgrades from the credit rating agencies since June 29, 2021 – the first upgrades in more than two decades. The rating agencies have cited the state’s efforts to build up its reserves in the Rainy Day Fund. 

 

While the additional transfers into the Rainy Day Fund are a welcome boost, Comptroller Mendoza continues to call for regular automatic deposits into the fund during strong economic times, without having to depend on one-time infusions from future legislatures. 

 

Comptroller Mendoza will continue to advocate for provisions contained in the bipartisan HB2515, which requires additional regular contributions into both the Rainy Day Fund and the Pension Stabilization Fund. 

 

“It remains my goal to codify automatic savings when the state can afford it, so that responsible fiscal stewardship is baked into the budget,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “I applaud Gov. Pritzker and the legislature for ensuring the state saves for emergencies in recent years. Let’s leave a legacy of fiscal prudence for the next generation by ensuring the Rainy Day Fund remains an ongoing priority.” 

Taylorville School District Superintendent Announces Retirement

The Taylorville Superintendent is retiring. Dr. Chris Dougherty tendered her resignation at the Taylorville School Board Meeting on Tuesday night and reiterated it on the WTIM Morning Show. Dr. Dougherty says that she is proud of her time as Superintendent. Dr. Dougherty praised the other retirees before announcing that she would be retiring as well.

 

 

Dr. Dougherty expressed thanks to the community for the support.

 

 

She continued, saying that the reserves for the school district is great right now.

 

 

Dr. Dougherty says she is going to focus on her family and her dreams that have been put on hold to help her focus on the school district. She also says she’s excited about graduation.

 

 

For more information on Taylorville School District visit https://www.tcusd3.org/, Dr. Chris Dougherty appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Breaking News: Taylorville School Superintendent Announces Retirement

Taylorville School Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty announced her retirement after the School Board came out of Executive Session at last night's meeting.

 

Dougherty has been leading the Taylorville Schools since July of 2019.

 

Her retirement is effective June 30th of this year.

 

Dougherty also shared her retirement announcement with listeners on today's WTIM Morning Show.

 

Stay tuned to WTIM and taylorvilledailynews.com for more details on Dougherty's retirement.

Taylorville Fire Department Praises TPD Officer Nichols For Response

Taylorville Fire Department recognized the Taylorville Police Department and specifically Officer Matthew Nichols for his great police work on Tuesday. Captain Nicholas Zepin of the Taylorville Fire Department reported that they received a call for a patient dealing with post traumatic stress or PTSD and having a panic attack.  Taylorville Police assisted in the call.  

 

Officer Nichols and Sergeant Alan Mills responded and Officer Nichols immediately established a rapport with the patient who told police that he was a retired Marine veteran and was experiencing a mental episode.  Captain Zepin says that Officer Nichols gained trust with the patient through his history as a Marine and assured him he would help him. He offered and rode with the patient to the hospital via ambulance, leaving his squad car behind. 

 

Captain Zepin praised Officer Nichols saying that “His actions and character on this call exemplify the level of “service’ that police officers should have instilled in them and are often overlooked.”  We here at Regional Radio News, salute you, Officer Nichols!

State Senator Turner Secures Grants For Local Libraries

With strong support from State Senator Doris Turner, over $310,000 will be coming to five local libraries in the 48th Senate District.

 

“Libraries play a vital role in our communities and for students and residents,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “As a strong advocate for education, I know how important it is for students to have the resources they need to be lifelong learners and libraries are a big part of that.”

 

The Public Library Per Capita Grants are authorized under Illinois library law for public libraries. Each year the program allocates money for books and learning materials, staff, equipment, digital access, and new technology. The following libraries in the 48th District received funding:

 

    Lincoln Library – $168,731
    Stonington Township Library – $1,464
    Rochester Public Library District – $11,121
    Decatur Public Library – $104,019
    Chatham Area Public Library District – $25,601

 

More information about the Public Library Per Capita grant program can be found here.

Christian County Board Approves CO2 Moratorium For Two Years; Approves Spending For Christian County Jail & Offices

The Christian County Board met on Tuesday evening to review ordinances, discuss old and new business, and go over committee reports. The board heard from the public who spoke about relevant topics that would be discussed later that evening including the CO2 Pipeline and a discussion over what to do for health insurance. County Board Chair Bryan Sharp appointed John O’ Brian to the Taylorville Fire Protection District and Adrian Adcock to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The meeting moved fairly quickly through committee reports. The board was also recognized for their community support. 

 

One of the first big discussions came to health insurance rates for 2023/2024.  Hope Trust presented one plan while Diamond Brothers presented another. Bryan Sharp said that this has been an ongoing process to get information that was best for the county.

 

 

Sharp encouraged the board to make a decision saying that the board had “kicked the can down the road” long enough. The board allowed both representatives from the Hope Trust and from Diamond Brothers to plead their final cases.  After nearly 30 minutes of discussion, Bryan Sharp said both plans had some good and some bad, but they had to do what was best for the county. The vote was approved to go with Hope Trust.  It passed 10-6 with Jeffrey Nolan,  David Pucetti, Thomas Snyder Jr., Mike Specha,  David Buckles, and Linda Curtin all voting no. 

 

The board also approved a 2-year moratorium on special use permits to include CO2 test wells and other projects, until the board would have more time to review. To hear the full resolution see below.

 

 

The board passed the Moratorium.

 

The board approved ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreements with the Court House, Circuit Clerk, and Highway Department. Bryan Sharp announced the ARPA Funds Allocations. Sharp suggested that $2.1 million be spent on the Sheriff’s Jail & Office.

 

 

That spending and some other bills were approved.  The next County Board meeting is set for June 20th, 2023. 

After 3 Years of Planning, Construction Starts Tuesday on New Miller Media Group On-Premise Message Board

After nearly 3 years of planning, construction began Tuesday on the Miller Media Group's new on-premise message board in front of its Park Street studios in Taylorville.

Brad Tullis Excavating and Poggenpohl Concrete did the work to install the sign support pole as well as 5 parking stops around the sign.  

 

Star Electric will be doing the electrical work in coming days.

And, the 2 L-E-D sign panels will then be installed by Lilly Signs, the general contractor.

All vendors on the project are local.

 

The Miller Media Group will promote its 6 Taylorville-based radio stations, as well as taylorvilledailynews-dot-com and the group's digital division, on the new board. It'll also be used to promote other facets of community life.

The new on-premise electronic sign should be operational in the next few weeks after wiring and testing area completed.

5 Taylorville High School Seniors Awarded Kiwanis Club Scholarships at Annual Cookout Tuesday

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club presented their high school scholarships, during the Club’s annual cookout Tuesday evening at Kiwanis Park.

Taylorville High School seniors receiving scholarships to further their education were, from the left: Brian Short, son of Deborah Short; Sophia Robinson, daughter of Sarah and Eric Robinson; Darrian Ippolito, son of Jerry and Jennie Ippolito; Cole Paulek, son of Craig and Katie Paulek; and Anna Goodman, daughter of Jared and Paula Goodman.

The public is reminded to bring your children to this Saturday’s annual Bike Rodeo, co-sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, in the parking lot at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.   Prizes, including bikes, will be given away.

Kiwanis members will hold their annual Prayer Luncheon during their Tuesday, May 23rd meeting, and honor the community’s “Kiwanis Spiritual Leader of the Year.”

And, Kiwanis members are continuing to man the Miller Media Group Drive-Thru Donation Days this Saturday to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry.  The public is invited to donate non-perishable food and monetary donations those days from 9am to noon.

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

Retirees Honored at Start of Tuesday Night's Taylorville School Board Meeting

The Taylorville School Board honored its retiring employees at a reception before last night's board meeting.

Kathy Vocks (left) is retiring after 28 years with the district, including being in the tech department at the high school.  Jane Mazzotti (not pictured) served some 22 years in the Taylorville district teaching foreign languages.  Steve Steele (center) taught high school English and headed the T-H-S journalism program.  Pam DeWerff(right) taught some 33 years, with 26 years at Taylorville Junior High School.  And Janet Haynes (not pictured) has been with the district since 2006, including her service as a teacher at North School.

Board actions during the meeting included:

--approving overnight trips for bowling, cheerleading, and dance teams
--approving amendments to its agreement with the Capital Area Career Center
--renewing the contract with meal provider Aramarkfor another year, giving them a 10-percent increase for increased meal choices with federal grant money
--approved the list of 157 high school graduates that will be given diplomas this Friday night
--approved a revised Elementary Discipline Code
--and OK'ing several district administrative and teaching personnel to attend a conference in Denver, Colorado this summer.   They'll bring back how to implement what's called the "AVID Program", a program meant to close the opportunity gap, in Taylorville's elementary schools.  

Taylorville School Board Continues to Weigh Final Decision on New Buildings at THS

Discussions continued Tuesday night at the Taylorville School Board meeting, on what the final decision will be on new buildings to be added to Taylorville High School.

 

Board member Jennifer Norris gave a report on the latest architect plans.

 

 

Board member Doctor Ron Mizer said the district needs to only build what's necessary.

 

 

Board member Ann Chandler said the finance committee needs to meet first to determine what money is available for the project.

 

 

Demolition and clearing of the former East Gym and Junior High School are being completed at T-H-S, with what will be built awaiting a final decision by the board.

Small Town Taylorville Showing Its Worth

There’s always something going on in Taylorville and Small Town Taylorville wants to make sure the world knows it. Lee Skinner and Steve Craggs spoke about Small Town Taylorville and the impact that it has had on the community.  Skinner says there are some great activities coming up.

 

 

Craggs says you can see the boom in Taylorville over the last few years and there are many reasons for that. 

 

 

Steve Craggs who handles a lot of the data for Small Town Taylorville says that you can see on paper the impact that the website has had on the City of Taylorville.

 

 

One area that Small Town Taylorville wants to improve is the marketing for the Industrial Park.

 

 

Find out more by visiting www.smalltowntaylorville.com Steve Craggs and Lee Skinner both appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville School Board Set To Meet This Evening

Taylorville School Board set to meet this evening at 6 PM with a ceremony/reception to honor retirees. The board will officially call the roll at 6:30 PM. Under old business, the board will recap strategic planning focus, goals, committee reports, and timeline, and conduct a second reading and adoption of the IASB Press Policy.

 

Under new business, the board will hear a resolution approving amendments ot the Intergovernmental Cooperation Agreement Among Participating Districts for the Capital Area Career Center. The board will consider Aramark Food Service Renewal.  The board will approve the list of seniors tentatively eligible for graduation and adopt district fees for 2023-2024 along with the elementary discipline code.

 

There will be a superintendent report from Dr. Chris Dougherty and executive session. The board will hear on the consideration of personnel and adjourn for the evening.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story following the conclusion of the meeting. 

HSHS Offers Medicare Class

Medicare may seem like a complex and confusing topic, especially for those who may have just become eligible for Medicare.  HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital is hosting a Medicare Made Simple Class on Thursday, June 1st at  10 AM in the Assisi Room on the ground floor of the Hospital.  

 

Medicare is a vital program that provides health care coverage to millions of Americans, yet many are still confused about the components and options that may be available to them. Juliette Chihade will be leading the class.  She is a licensed insurance agent for nearly 40 years and is certified by the Center for Medicare Societies to educate and market individuals concerning Medicare plans, which include Medicare Supplement, prescription drug plans, and Medicare Advantage plans. 

 

This event aims to educate seniors on the basics of Medicare, including Parts of Medicare, who qualifies, enrollment periods, and more. You can reserve your spot by calling 217-464-2510 or emailing Laura.Cooper@hshs.org or visiting stmarysdecatur.com. 

Christian County Board To Meet Tuesday Evening

The Christian County Board will meet on Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM. Taking a look at some agenda items that will be discussed include appointments for the Taylorville Fire Protection District and Zoning Board of Appeals.  The board will also review a ZBA Referral and hear from the public. Agenda items the board will discuss start with highway and zoning.  The Board will review Sheriff’s Office improvements, zoning and solid waste business, and highway business, and hear a report on animal control. The board will also hear of any courthouse and building updates.

 

Under executive & personnel, the board will review an EMA Update, discuss Christian County Integrated Community Services, and discuss future site planning for the Christian County Health Department. The board will talk about a wind/solar ordinance and go over any text amendment proposals along with a CO2 moratorium on Special Use permits to include CO2 test wells and any other projects that might impact water quality in Christian County.

 

Under audit & finance, there will be approval of claims, and health vision rates announced, along with a discussion pertaining to the States Attorney hiring an interim attorney.  Under new business, the board will go over the CO2 moratorium and Bargaining agreements.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more following the conclusion of tonight’s event. 

Taylorville Mayor, Police Chief Part of Stakeholder Meeting Addressing Homelessness in Christian County

During Monday night's Taylorville City Council meeting, Mayor Bruce Barry reported to the Council that he and Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler recently attended a meeting on the homelessness issue in the city.   Mayor Barry told Regional Radio News after the meeting, that it was a good first step.

 

 

Mayor Barry added that in that meeting, Pana officials also indicated the homelessness problem was an issue there.

 

 

Mayor Barry added that all the stakeholders will continue meeting to work towards solutions.

Taylorville City Council Honors Wrestler, Bike Safety Week in 20-Minute Meeting Monday Night

In a short 20-minute Taylorville City Council meeting Monday night, aldermen recognized Taylorville 8th grader Brock Walton for winning 2nd in the Illinois Elementary School Association for earning 2nd in state competition, and also designated this week as Bike Safety Week in the City of Taylorville.   Walton was presented a proclamation making Monday "Brock Walton Day" in the city.   

 

 

Lincoln Prairie Bike Trail representatives Bud Altman (center) and Steve Dennis (left) were presented a proclamation by Mayor Bruce Barry (right) making this week "Bike Safety Week" in the city.

 

In the business portion of the Taylorville Council meeting last night, aldermen approved these expenditures:

--the purchase of 16 body cameras and 4 in-car cameras for the Police Department, with the city's final cost being just under 12-thousand dollars after federal grants;
--purchasing a directional drill costing some 116-thousand dollars.
--and the purchase of 2 industrial Dell tablets for the Water Department at a total cost of just under 7-thousand dollars.

Taylorville aldermen Monday night also OK'd a no-parking sign on the south side of the 300 block of East Esther near Taylorville Memorial Hospital; OK'd a Special Events Permit for the Mid-America Parachute Club to use the Airport from noon August 25th thru dusk August 27th; and forwarded to the Ordinance Committee a recommendation allowing all-terrain and utility vehicles on roads around Lake Taylorville.

Morrisonville Issues Boil Order

The Village of Morrisonville has issued a boil order starting Tuesday morning.  Boil orders are generally issued when there is an interruption in water flow due to a water main break, accidental cut, or required maintenance.  

 

Residents are advised to boil all water used for drinking, preparing food, beverages, ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, or brushing teeth for five (5) minutes prior to drinking it.  This is a precautionary measure for residents’ protection.  It is not necessary to boil tap water used for household purposes, such as showering, bathing or laundry. 

 

For more information on this boil order, contact the village of Morrisonville at (217) 526-3521.

Pana Man Dies In Route 29 Crash

A Pana man has died after a vehicle accident on Route 29 Saturday evening.  The crash occurred at 3:35 AM on Saturday morning on Illinois Route 29 just north of 2200 East Road north of Pana. 22-year-old Tanner Jacobs of Pana was traveling north on Route 29 and 53-year-old John Fleming of Kincaid was heading southbound.  Jacobs crossed the center of the road striking Fleming. 

 

Fleming and his passenger 47-year-old Donald Wiley of Kincaid were both able to exit the vehicle safely and no injuries from them were reported.  Jacobs was rushed to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries and passed away. No further information is available at this time.  ISP is still investigating the crash. 

Shelbyville School District Winding Down Another School Year

The Shelbyville School District is winding down another year, and Superintendent Shane Schuricht told WTIM listeners on Friday during the Morning Show live from our Shelbyville studios, it was a momentus day.

 

 

One of Schuricht's favorite events was what's called Corps Day.

 

 

Shelbyville High School students last Friday held what was called a "Service Day."

 

 

And, Schuricht reminded listeners that this Saturday, May 20th is Shelbyville High School graduation at 7pm on the football field, weather permitting.  That event will be broadcast live on WSVZ Cruisin' 98.3.

Shelbyville's Glenwood Cemetery Holding Annual Memorial Day Ceremony May 29th

The Blyman Addition at Shelbyville's Glenwood Cemetery will be the location of the annual Memorial Day Service at 10am.  Tom Schafer, who is part of the planning committee for the event, appeared on the WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios on Friday, and told listeners some 14-hundred veterans are buried in the Blyman Addition.  

 

 

Schafer said the Shelbyville American Legion and V-F-W take turns arranging the annual Memorial Day Ceremony.

 

 

Long-time Shelbyville community leader Bob Herdes will be the guest speaker. 

 

 

And, again the Shelbyville Memorial Day Ceremony is May 29th at 10am at the Blyman Addition of Genwood Cemetery.

Shelbyville Public Library Offering Summer Reading Programs for Children, Adults

Shelbyville Public Library Director Monica Cameron told WTIM Morning Show listeners on Friday morning, that the library will have an adult reading program this summer, with some special incentives being offered.

 

 

Cameron wants to offer an opportunity to both adults and children to use the Library.

 

 

The Shelbyville Public Library's summer reading program for kids begins in June.

 

 

Stop by the Shelbyville Public Library for more details.  Cameron appeared on the WTIM Morning Show live from our downtown Shelbyville studios.

Taylorville City Council Meets Tonight

The Taylorville City Council meets tonight in regular session.   Among major agenda items to be considered include:

--issuing a Special Events Permit to the Mid-America Parachute Club for an event at the airport August 25th thru 27th

--purchasing body and in-car cameras for the Police Department

--allowing the use of All Terrain and Utility Vehicles on Lake Roads

--purchasing a Ditch Witch directional drill and 2 tablet computers.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio and taylorvilledailynews.com for complete coverage following tonight’s meeting.

Severe Weather Hits Central Illinois for Second Sunday in a Row

For the second Sunday in a row, Central Illinois had several severe weather warnings as heavy rain, wind, and hail pounded several of the counties in the Regional Radio listening area.

 

Between 3pm and 8pm Sunday, the National Weather Service in Lincoln received several reports of damage and flooding.

 

During the 3 and 4 o’clock hours, flooding occurred in the Jerome area near Springfield, one-and-a-quarter inch hail fell in the Chatham-Glenarm-Pawnee area, and high winds from thunderstorms caused damage in the Pawnee area.

 

Between 5 and 7 o’clock Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening, the Weather Service received reports of heavy rain in the Chatham area, one inch nail near Morrisonville in Christian County, as well as near Harvel in northern Montgomery County, and flash flooding in Springfield.

 

And during the 8 o’clock hour Sunday night, the Morrisonville area reported receiving nearly 3 inches of rain.

 

Rain totals from Sunday afternoon’s severe weather ranged from 2-point-28 inches in the Springfield area, one-point-one-8 inches in the Chatham area, and 2-point-8-8 inches in the Morrisonville area.  Flash Flood Warnings were issued for Sangamon, Christian, and Montgomery Counties as a result of the heavy rain.   Many roads and fields were reported to be flooded, including streets in Springfield and Morrisonville.

Christian County Sheriff Announces Scholarship

Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp has announced the winner of one of the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association Academic Scholarships.  Carsyn Bugg, of Assumption, was awarded one of the 112 scholarships throughout the state of Illinois. 

 

“Ms. Bugg was selected from a number of highly qualified applicants in the Christian County area, and we commend all of them for participating in this process,” said Sheriff Kettelkamp. “Illinois Sheriffs consider this scholarship program to be an investment in the future as well as a strong signal of their respect and support for education.”

 

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association awarded 112 scholarships throughout the State of Illinois to students wishing to pursue higher education during the 2023/2024 academic year.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Holds Successful Drive-Thru Donation Day To Benefit Food Pantry

On Saturday morning, the Taylorville Kiwanis Club held a drive-thru donation day in front of the Miller Media Group studios.

 

 Kiwanis member Chuck Martin mentioned that they do accept monetary donations if individuals do not have non-perishable food to donate. He also mentioned that the food pantry has connections to make sure that donated money is well-spent. 

 

 

Martin emphasized how much this effort helps to fulfill the constant need at the Taylorville food pantry.

 

 

For those who missed Saturday's event, the Kiwanis Club will be in front of the Miller Media Studios at 918 East Park on May 20th, as well as three weekends in July and September. The Taylorville Kiwanis Club, the Taylorville Food Pantry, and the Miller Media Group express their gratitude to all those who donated.

Part of Route 29 Closed Down North Of Pana

Illinois State Police Troop 6 is currently handling a traffic crash involving a commercial motor vehicle and a passenger vehicle on IL Route 29 (north of Pana, IL) between County Roads 600 and 450 North in Christian County.    IL Route 29 is closed between those two roads while the crash is being investigated.  Please avoid the area and seek an alternate route of travel.  

 

 

 

 

Lake Shelbyville To Host Fishing Tournament

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Shelbyville and Friends of Lake Shelbyville is hosting a free fishing tournament for children 12 and under on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at Opossum Pond.  The pond is located near the entrance to the Opossum Creek Recreation Area.  Participants must pre-register by calling (217) 774-3951 ext. 2, or email lakeshelbyville@usace.army.mil. Information needed: name of participant, age of participant on event day, name of parent/guardian, and phone number for parent/guardian.

 

Registration check in begins at 8:00 a.m. for the age 6 and under category, and participants will fish from 8:30 to 9:00 a.m.  Registration check in begins at 8:45 a.m. for the age 7-9 and 10-12 category, and participants will fish from 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.  Prizes will be awarded for biggest fish, smallest fish, and most fish in each age division.  All children will receive a certificate for participating.  The tournament will be limited to bank fishing only.  All participants are required to bring and wear a life jacket.  Fishing equipment (including tackle and bait) is not provided, and children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Again, this year: catch and release after weigh-in.

 

Volunteers are needed to assist with baiting, weighing, measuring, helping kids, and recording tournament information.  The supplies for all volunteer activities will be provided, but if you have supplies that you would like to bring and use during the event, please do so.  All volunteers will receive one free night of camping at Lake Shelbyville at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Campground.

 

Illinois Free Fishing Days are June 18th - June 21st.  Fishing is a sport enjoyed by all ages and is recognized as one of the most peaceful of all recreational opportunities.  Illinois’ Free Fishing Days provide families and individuals an opportunity to try recreational fishing without the commitment of purchasing a fishing license.  Fishing is a great way to spend time with your family in the great outdoors.

 

Get your rods and reels ready to go, bring the kids, and watch them enjoy a free fun morning of fishing at Lake Shelbyville.  If you would like further information, to pre-register, or to volunteer call the Lake Shelbyville Interpretive Services and Outreach Department at (217) 774-3951 ext. 2.

Lake Land Announces New Class

Lake Land College announces a new 2Day Tech Program starting this fall. This program is for any Lake Land Student interested in high-demand trades and technical fields. Students enrolled in the 2Day Tech Program will only have to be on campus two days during the week.

 

The high-demand programs included in the 2Day Tech Program are Building Construction Technology, Civil Engineering, AutoCAD, Residential Wiring, Renewable Energy Technician, Programmable Logic Controllers, Electronics Engineering, Mechanical-Electrical Technology, Robotic & CIM Automation, Industrial Maintenance, and Automotive Technology.

 

During the program, students will be learning through internships or apprenticeships to receive hands-on experience. The programs will take the same amount of time to complete as a traditional schedule to obtain a one-year short-term certificate to a two-year associate degree.

 

“This program schedule is a really good way to give students the flexibility to work and go to school at the same time,” Automotive Technology Instructor Brian Madlem said.

 

Those interested in the Tech 2Day Program can visit lakelandcollege.edu/tech2day or by contacting Micheal Beavers at mbeavers@lakelandcollege.edu or 217-234-5341.

Bock Named April Colleague Of The Month

Barb Bock, a nursing technician with Acute Care at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, is the nonprofit hospital’s Colleague of the Month for April.

 

Bock is dependable, respectful, and compassionate with her patients. She organizes the care schedule to avoid disruption for patients at night when possible. She is known and appreciated for her positive attitude at work, which sets a great example for others.

 

Bock recently helped when a patient required assistance into the car after discharge. Bock and two others were able to provide professional and caring help.

 

“They were wonderful with the patient and her husband,” wrote the nominator. “The husband was very grateful for their help and so were we.”

 

Bock has worked for Taylorville Memorial Hospital since 2021.

Wright's Furniture and Flooring Breaks Ground on New 31,000 Sq. Ft. Warehouse in Dieterich

Wright’s Furniture and Flooring, with stores in Taylorville, Dietrich, Effingham and Robinson, this week broke ground on a new 31,000-square-foot warehouse facility inside the new Dieterich Industrial Park East.

 


 
Wright’s Marketing Director Alex Wright said the investment in a centralized warehouse allows the 4 stores to have access to product and also have room to grow.

 

The new warehouse is being constructed by AKRA Builders fromTeutopolis and is expected to be complete before the end of the year. 

 

Wright’s Furniture & Flooring is a fifth-generation family-owned business that is celebrating its 134th anniversary this year. 

McLane Food Services Hosts Annual Greater Taylorville Chamber Membership Appreciation Cookout Friday

Caption to picture, from the left:   Jennifer Franklin, President, Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce; Chamber Executive Director Linda Allen; and Lou Johnson, Manager of the McLane Food Service facility in Taylorville.

 

 

McLane Food Services on South Spresser in Taylorville hosted the annual Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Member Appreciation Day on Friday.

 

 

McLane personnel served a cookout lunch with hamburgers, chips, and refreshments, and manager Lou Johnson gave tours of the facility that services over 600 restaurants thru-out the Midwest.

 

 

McLane reviewed the numbers for Regional Radio News, including the plant having some 115 employees.

 

 

 

Johnson himself started at the plant several years ago and worked his way up.

 

 

 

Johnson was pleased to host Friday’s Chamber Membership Appreciation Cookout.

 

 

 

Find out more on the Greater Taylorville Chamber by going on-line to taylorvillechamber.com.

House Republicans Continue To Call For Ethics Reform

Just one week after guilty verdicts were handed down in federal court, Illinois House Republicans continued their criticism of the lack of ethics reform in Springfield. The pushes were even louder after former Democratic State Senator Tom Cullerton, who was arrested on embezzlement charges and spent a year in jail, is now part of a lobby firm. House Republican Assistant Minority Leader State Representative Ryan Spain addressed some of those concerns.

 

 

Former Democratic Governor Pat Quinn also called for addressing conflicts of interest. House Republican Floor Leader Patrick Windhorst pushed as well saying that it was time for change. 

 

 

Representative Amy Elik says that Republicans have brought many measures forward that have been ignored including former Speaker Mike Madigan collecting a taxpayer-paid pension until a guilty verdict is reached. 


 

Representative Blaine Wilhour says that public policy is why people are leaving the state of Illinois.

 

 

Wilhour has pushed more than a half-dozen bills on ethics reform in his time in the House.

Arrest Made For Drug-Induced Homicide In Christian County

On February 22, 2023, Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Zone 4 and Division of Forensic Services (DFS) Crime Scene Investigators were requested by the Kincaid Police Department to investigate a suspicious death in Kincaid.

 

At approximately 1:40 p.m. on February, 22, 2023, the Kincaid Police Department responded to a residence in the 500 block of Richardson Avenue in Kincaid, for a well-being check.  Upon arrival, Kincaid Police Department officers located a 40-year-old male, identified as Daniel Durbin, deceased inside the residence. Due to the suspicious nature of the death, ISP DCI Zone 4 Agents and ISP Crime Scene Investigators (CSI’s) responded to collect evidence and interview witnesses.

 

On May 11, 2023, the Christian County State’s Attorney’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Bradley P. Graham, age 39, for Drug-Induced Homicide 720 ILCS 5/9-3.3 (Class X Felony). Agents from ISP DCI Zone 4 and Deputies from the Christian County Sheriff’s Office arrested Graham later that day and transported him to the Christian County Jail. Bond was set at $1,000,000, 10 percent to apply.

 

The investigation is active and ongoing, and no additional information will be released at this time. 

Getting A Home Loan And Knowing The Differences

Buying a house is one of the most important purchases you will ever make in your life, and People’s Bank and Trust wants to make sure you do that process correctly.  Lindsay Lopian and Jeff Grimmett spoke on the WTIM Morning Show about what mortgages are the best.  They are broken down into categories and are different depending on what you are looking for. One of the first loans is rural development loans. 

 

 

The next option is your regular loan. 

 

 

Another option Lopian says available is an FHA Loan.

 

 

Lopian says a VA loan is also available and those loans are available for those involved or who used to be involved with the military. Lopian also says that once your home has equity, you can actually borrow against the equity in your home and get a home equity line of credit.

 

 

For more information, please visit People’s Bank and Trust at www.bankpbt.com or call 888-728-1954. Lopian and Grimmett both appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Ameren Illinois And CUB Arguing Over Rate Hikes

One of Illinois’ utility watchdogs says a new rate hike request by Central and Southern Illinois’ largest energy provider is “unjust and unreasonable.” Ameren Illinois has asked the Illinois Commerce Commission for about $160 million on the natural gas side of the company.

 

Citizen’s Utility Board spokesman Jim Chilsen says they are urging regulators to slash the proposal by at least $59.2 million.

 

 

The Illinois Commerce Commission will hold hearings and take comments over the next eight months or so before rendering a decision. If approved, new rates would take effect early next year.

 

In January, Ameren Illinois filed paperwork with the Illinois Commerce Commission seeking a rate adjustment that would increase the average household bills for both natural gas and electric.

 

While CUB has said it thinks the proposed hike is too much, Ameren Illinois spokesperson Marcelyn Love says they are focused on safety and reliability:

 

 

A decision by the ICC is expected in December, with new rates effective in January 2024.

Safe Passage Program Is A Way Out of Addiction in Taylorville

Safe Passage is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program allowing addicts to come to the Taylorville Police Department's Safe Passage office, turn themselves in, and get 30 days of treatment at a state sponsored treatment facility.   

 

Denise Evans is co-coordinator of the program and tells Regional Radio News there's been some confusion about jail furloughs to allow treatment.  Evans says that after some problems in recent weeks, there is now a specific process those jailed for drug and alcohol offenses must go thru to receive a furlough for treatment.

 

 

Evans says that their extensive public outreach effort has been paying off, but she still finds those that don't know about the program.

 

 

And, Evans says drug and alcohol addiction is a disease.

 

 

Find out more on the Taylorville Police Department Safe Passage program, by clicking the link HERE.

 

Evans appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

University of Illinois Extension Christian County Gets New 4-H Educator, Preparing for Fair

It's week number 2 for the new Christian County 4-H Coordinator Amanda Cunningham and she tells Regional Radio News she's not too scared yet.  4-H Youth Development Educator Sara Marten said their office is happy to have her.

 

 

Cunningham has quite a rural background.

 

 

Cunningham will also be heavily involved with 4-H'ers showing exhibits and animals at the Christian County Ag Fair in July.

 

Marten said the livestock shows have been moved around for this year's Christian County Ag Fair.

 

 

Marten added that those 5 days culminate months of work for local 4-H'ers and volunteers.

 

 

Find out the latest on Christian County 4-H activities on the University of Illinois Extension web site link you'll find HERE.

 

Marten and Cunningham appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Pandemic Era Orders Set To Expire

In the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. JB Pritzker recalls being handed a report from researchers at the University of Illinois. The analysis was written by scientists and mathematicians who were trying to estimate how many deaths and hospitalizations would occur under different scenarios – one if the state took no action; another if it imposed only moderate mitigation measures; and yet another if it imposed significant measures such as a stay-at-home order.

 

“And without any mitigations, their projection was, just in the Chicago area alone, we would see 40,000 deaths in approximately four months,” Pritzker recalled in an interview this week. He said he still keeps a copy of that report in his office.

 

On March 9, 2020, Pritzker issued his first statewide disaster declaration related to COVID-19, a declaration he would go on to renew every 30 days for more than three years. In the following days, he would issue executive orders closing schools to in-person attendance, then closing bars and restaurants and, eventually, a general stay-at-home order that would shutter all “nonessential” businesses for months to come.

 

Now, more than three years after he issued that first disaster declaration, the last of his pandemic-era executive orders are set to expire. Pritzker announced in January that Illinois’ disaster declaration would end on May 11, the same day chosen by the Biden Administration to end the federal COVID disaster declaration that also dates back to early 2020.

 

From a practical standpoint, most people won’t notice the end of the disaster declaration on Thursday because the state pandemic-related orders that most directly affected their daily lives – school closures, mask mandates, limits on public gatherings – have long since expired. But for some, it will mean the end of certain federally funded benefits.

 

“There are no restrictions,” Pritzker said. “Why was there a disaster declaration? Because in order for us to receive the federal benefits that were being offered to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients, who are the poorest people in our state, people who needed Medicaid, who are the poorest people in our state, you needed to match up your disaster declaration and executive orders with the federal government's executive orders and disaster declaration. So we did that.”

 

Pritzker said some people will receive less aid through SNAP and some Medicaid recipients could lose their eligibility, but he said those changes will not have a significant impact on the state budget. The end of the disaster declaration will also mean that as of Thursday, testing and many of the treatments for COVID-19 will no longer be free, although Pritzker said they will be covered by insurance.

 

Looking back over the last three years, though, Pritzker reflected on what it was like during the initial weeks and months of the pandemic when scientists and public health officials all over the world were still trying to understand this novel virus. Pritzker maintains that as a result of those measures, Illinois avoided the direst predictions of the mathematicians and scientists at the University of Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, as of April 30, the entire state of Illinois has seen 36,850 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, and another 5,155 “probable” disease-related deaths.

 

“But if one were to look at how Illinois handled the pandemic – and this is kudos and gratitude to the people of Illinois – people did the right thing,” Pritzker said. “And the vast majority of people in Illinois understood what they needed to do. They heard what they needed to do from the experts, and they did it.. And the result of that is, to the extent one can use the word ‘success’ here, the result is that we had real success here at keeping people safe and alive.”

PCH Promotes New Caring Suite

Pana Community Hospital is very proud of its MRI Caring Suite. Cindy Miles, Director of Diagnostic Imaging, says that the suite opened up on March 10th and has been very successful.  Miles says that the Caring Suite has some stuff that separates it from other MRI imaging facilities. 

 

 

Miles says that the point of the caring suite is to make sure that the patient feels comfortable. 

 

 

Miles hopes that if you have kids you will bring them by to see the room so that they can be comfortable if they have to go. 

 

 

Miles says the whole thing came together thanks to the Pana Hospital Foundation and the support of the community.

 

 

For more information, please call 217-562-6366. Click here for more information. Miles appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

ISP Releases Final Victim's Names From I-55 Crash

The Illinois State Police (ISP) is releasing the final name of the seven people fatally injured in multiple crashes that occurred on May 1, 2023 at approximately 10:55 a.m. on both northbound and southbound Interstate 55 between mile markers 72 and 78, near Farmersville in Montgomery County.  Otto Medina-Salazar, 58-year-old from Carthage, MO was fatally injured in the crash.  A total of 72 vehicles are known to be involved in the crashes and 37 people were transported to area hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical.  There were seven fatalities in the crashes, including the following names previously released. 

 

Shirley Harper, 88-year-old from Franklin, WI

Joseph Bates, 73-year-old from Crystal Lake, IL

Donna Bates, 71-year-old from Crystal Lake, IL

Earl LeGrand, 64-year-old from Florissant, MO

Michael Zinchuk, 55-year-old from Champaign, IL

Amy Zinchuk, 54-year-old from Champaign, IL

 

ISP recognizes the impact of this tragic event and offers its condolences to families and friends mourning their loss.  ISP thanks all its first responder partners and sister agencies for their tremendous work and assistance during this incident. 

 

William Walter Catch A Fish Day This Weekend

The 13th annual William Walter Catch A Fish Day will take place on Saturday May 13th, at Kiwanis Park on Lake Taylorville from 8 till 10 in the morning. Participants aged 12 and under are encouraged to attend.  Organizer Mike Walter says that this event is a way to get kids outside. 

 

 

The event is taking place as a memorial for Walter’s son who passed away who loved fishing. 

 

 

Walter says that the first 100 kids that show up will get some fishing gear if they don’t have any.

 

 

Walter asks that you RSVP before hand, so they have a general idea of how many people will show up. 

 

 

Find out more information by visiting their Facebook page. Mike Walter appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Fire Department Puts Out Fire At Taylorville Care Center

On Wednesday afternoon, at 12:27 p.m. Taylorville Fire Department was dispatched to 600 S Houston for a report of a smoke smell in the building. Upon investigating, firefighters found a fire in the attic of one of the wings to the building. The fire was quickly extinguished and extensive overhaul was performed in the area of origin. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the attic and kept the fire from extending into the other portions of the building.


Because of the quick action of the Taylorville Care Center staff and firefighters, residents were quickly evacuated to a safe area of the building. No injuries to any of the 60 residents, care center staff, or firefighters were reported. Taylorville Care Center has moved residents in the affected wing to alternative rooms in the facility. Care center administration has already started working with contractors to remediate smoke and make repairs to the facility.


The cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time

State Legislators Pushing For Bill To Support Tax Credits For First Responders

Following a massive dust storm on I-55, State Legislators are asking for bipartisanship and support towards inclusion of a tax credit for volunteer firefighters. State Senators Doris Turner and Christopher Belt are sponsoring a bill that will hopefully help alleviate the critical shortage of volunteer firefighters in Illinois. 

 

Legislation such as this was recently passed in New York, the proposal would provide a $500 state income tax credit for volunteer firefighters, who earn less than $10,000 in stipends for their service to the fire department.  

 

State Senator Steve McClure praised the first responders for their work on cleaning up the I-55 crash, but says that the state needs to do more.

 

 

“Recent FEMA data shows over 85% of Illinois fire departments rely on volunteers. Volunteer firefighters all over the state play a critical role in our state’s public safety, which was exemplified by the volunteer emergency response to the dust storm on I-55,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “A $500 state income tax credit for these volunteers would provide an incentive for volunteers to continue to serve their communities. Passage of this legislation is long overdue.”

 

“I want to thank all the volunteer responders who performed such an amazing task in the most adverse conditions possible last week. The message we want to get out today is two-fold: first, there is a dire need for this tax credit to become law and secondly, we want to encourage people to consider becoming a volunteer fire or EMS worker and make a major difference in the lives of their community. Not all departments are totally volunteer, and some compensate per call, while others provide stipends or reimbursement for expenses,” explained Illinois Firefighters Association Legislative Chair & MABAS Division 56 President Kevin Schott.

 

“We rely on first responders to help during an emergency, protect our communities and keep us safe,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Just one week ago, our first responders responded to the devastating dust storm that took lives. We can’t thank them enough and it’s important we prioritize our volunteer firefighters who risk their lives for us.”

 

Senator Belt presented MABAS Division 56 President Kevin Schott with a Senate Recognition Certificate, commending the emergency response expertise and heroic assistance, the members of his Division, provided to the victims of the recent I-55 Dust Storm tragedy.

House Republicans Frustrated Over Penalty Enhancement Bills

House Republicans are frustrated over recent penalty enhancement bills as certain bills are being pushed through and others are being ignored.  The Illinois House on Tuesday voted to pass legislation to make it a Class B misdemeanor to pet a bear or non-human primate.  According to the legislation, it was drafted to “address the public safety and animal cruelty concerns associated with the public handling and show of these animals being used as props and business commodities.”

 

The vote was passed along party lines 73-35.  House Republicans refused to vote on the bill seeing it as a penalty enhancement bill.  Frustrations mounted over a similar bill that Republicans have tried to bring forward that House Democrats will not call because of penalty enhancements. 

 

This bill would offer DCFS Workers the same protections that police officers and firefighters would get.  House Republican Leader Tony McCombie has been trying to pass the bill since 2017 and asked what the difference was between the two bills.

 


 
The House will be in session until May 19th. 

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear About Safe Passage, Induct New Member at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the Safe Passage Program to assist those with drug or alcohol addiction, and inducted a new member, during their weekly meeting at the Taylorville Moose Lodge on Tuesday.

 

Denise Evans is co-coordinator of the local Safe Passage Program, which was founded 5 years ago by Judge Brad Paisley and then-Kincaid Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler.  Evans with with Wheeler at Kincaid, and was asked by Wheeler to continue serving the program when he became Taylorville Police Chief.  Their goal was to get treatment for addicts to keep them out of jail if possible.

 

Evans told Kiwanis members that Safe Passage is a way to help addicts.

 

 

Evans told Kiwanis members that the non-profit organization has a network of local volunteers and police officers that drive what she called their “clients”, to state-supported drug or alcohol treatment centers where they can get treatment for 30 days before returning and hopefully not returning to their previous life and possibly jail.

 

 

Jeff Grimmett (left), the new Taylorville branch manager at People’s Bank and Trust, was inducted by Kiwanis membership chair Adam Jeffrey (right), as the newest member of the club.

 

Kiwanis members are reminded of several special events coming up.  Next Tuesday’s meeting will not be at noon, but rather be a cook-out at Kiwanis Park at 5:30pm that evening.   Taylorville High School Kiwanis scholarships will be presented.

 

Saturday, May 20th, the Kiwanis Club is co-sponsoring the annual Bike Rodeo in the parking lot at Taylorville Memorial Hospital.

 

Tuesday, May 23rd is the club’s annual Kiwanis Prayer Luncheon.

 

And, Kiwanis members are continuing to man the Miller Media Group Drive-Thru Donation Days this Saturday and next, to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry.  The public is invited to donate non-perishable food and monetary donations those days from 9am to noon.

 

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

Loving Arms Pregnancy Center Raises $22,700 at Annual Walk for Life

 

Loving Arms Pregnancy Center in Taylorville and Pana held their Annual Walk for Life fundraiser at Manners Park in Taylorville this past weekend.

Over 60 walkers participated in raising funds to support the Center.  Executive Director Cathy Coker told Regional Radio News she appreciates the support and dedication of all the walkers who helped raise over $22,700 thus far in gifts and pledges.  Coker said their faithfulness is an encouragement to the Loving Arms staff and volunteers.  

 


 
Loving Arms Pregnancy Center offers free services to those facing unplanned pregnancies and related issues. Their services include self-administered pregnancy tests, options counseling, parenting classes, material assistance, STD/STI information, community referrals, and post-abortion help.  Loving Arms Pregnancy Center does not refer for nor perform abortions.  Locations include their Main Office at 500 N. Walnut Street, in Taylorville, and 201 S. Locust Street, in Pana.  For more information go to LovingArmsIllinois.com.

OSFM Raising Awareness For Arson

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is raising awareness about the seriousness of the crime of arson during Arson Awareness Week (May 7-13). This year’s theme is Understanding and Mitigating Youth Firesetting Issues.

 

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), youth firesetting is a problem throughout the United States and around the world. Fire misuse behaviors in children may be attributed to issues such as curiosity or experimentation, underlying struggles with impulse control, emotional regulation, social/interpersonal skills, childhood trauma, or other behavioral health conditions. Children observe adults using matches and lighters but may not be taught about important fire safety practices. They may also observe unsafe uses of fire in media, videos, and gaming.

 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports municipal fire departments in the United States responded to an estimated annual average of 52,260 intentionally set structure fires in the five-year period from 2014 to 2018. These fires caused an estimated 400 civilian deaths, 950 civilian injuries, and $815 million in direct property damage each year. Three in five intentional structure fires occurred in residential properties and most of these fires involved homes. The incidence of these fires typically peaks in March and April and again in July.

 

OSFM’s Division of Arson currently is comprised of a Division Director, two Area Commanders, and 14 Special Agents in the field. The office staff also includes two Administrative Assistants. The OSFM has seven Accelerant Detection Canines who work with Special Agents across the state. In 2022, OSFM Special Agents responded to 1,121 investigations and canine teams assisted in 213 investigations. In 2022, the OSFM’s Arson Division closed 47 cases related to arson with an arrest.

 

A statewide Arson Hotline, (800) 252-2947, has been established so that citizens may anonymously provide information about a suspicious fire that has occurred or may occur. Arson fires are preventable through education and awareness such as the Youth Firesetter Intervention Program. To request help from this program you can call 1-844-689-7882 or visit the OSFM website at www.sfm.illinois.gov.

 

These tips listed below can help reduce the risk of arson:

    •     Keep leaves, firewood, overgrown brush, and shrubbery and other combustibles away from buildings.
    •     Keep doors and windows locked when a building is unoccupied. Board up abandoned buildings. Do not use double cylinder deadbolt locks without keeping a key nearby, bars without quick release mechanisms, or other security provisions that could trap a person in a building with a deadly fire. Store all flammable liquids such as paints, gasoline, and mowers in an approved storage location: locked cabinets, locked storage units, and locked garages (prevent access to kids). Also, keep away from heat sources such as furnaces and any type of heaters. Report suspicious activity near houses or other buildings to the local police and support Neighborhood Watch programs.
    •     If you suspect a child is setting fires, notify the proper authorities. Keep matches and lighters out of reach and out of sight of young children.
    •     If you know or suspect that an arson crime has been committed, contact your local fire or police department.

 

For more information about arson prevention and the OSFM Arson Division, visit www.sfm.illinois.gov.

Ameren Recycling Power Poles

Retired or broken power poles are getting special "tree-tment" as part of Ameren Illinois' new utility pole recycling program and the results are positive. In 2022, the initiative's first year, the company diverted nearly 750 tons of wood waste from being discarded into local landfills.

 

For Kyle Maxwell, Superintendent of Electric Operations for Ameren, it is something that is good for Ameren but also good for the environment.

 

 

Power poles are damaged or retired for several reasons: If poles break after a storm, if poles break after a vehicle accident, if they need to be upgraded or storm hardened the electric grid to remove poles at the end of lifespan, and if a  Commercial or industry business leaves a community and the poles and equipment need to be removed.

 

The utility works with Blackwood Solutions. Blackwood Solutions is a recycling company that specializes in repurposing or recycling old or broken power poles for fencing, landscaping or building materials. Customers and nonprofits can still request decommissioned poles from Ameren Illinois to use for parking lot borders and fences.

 

 

Maxwell said prior to recycling initiative, Ameren Illinois placed its wood waste into dumpsters, which was hauled away and consumed a sizeable footprint in the landfill. A typical 40-foot pole weighs approximately 1,000 pounds.

 

The average lifespan of a utility pole is 40 years, due to a chemical treatment that keeps the bugs and decay out of the inside. Ameren Illinois installs about 12,000 poles per year. The company has approximately 1.3 million single poles and nearly 9,500 multi-pole structures across its 43,700-square-mile service territory.

 

 

Ameren Illinois is extending its agreement with Blackwood Solutions in 2023 to include recycling wooden pallets. Blackwood will actually come to the site to pick up poles as well.

 

 

"We are committed to environmental stewardship and operating to reduce waste and preserving natural resources while providing safe, reliable, and affordable electric and natural gas services," said Patrick Smith, Senior Vice President of Operations and Technical Services for Ameren Illinois.  Over 746 tons of poles were recycled in 2022. For more information, on this project, visit Ameren Illinois on their website. 

Master Gardeners Of Christian County Discuss Plant Sale, Upcoming Events

The Christian County Master Gardeners recently had a very successful plant sale. Gwen Podeschi and Tim Vaughn were on the WTIM Morning Show, where they discussed the yearly event.  Podeschi says it went very well.  

 

 

The Farmers Markets are coming back, and Podeschi says they will be available next weekend during the Market to help answer questions.

 

 

There will be an upcoming class on Raised Bed Gardens.

 

 

There are plenty of different ways to create gardens.

 

 

Find out more by checking out the Christian County IL Master Gardeners on Facebook. Gwen Podeschi and Tim Vaughn appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Wright's Furniture To Build New Warehouse

Wright’s Furniture and Flooring will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on May 11th, at 10AM to celebrate construction on a new 31,000 square-foot warehouse n Dieterich.  Wright’s Furniture Marketing Director Alex Wright says that it will help make things easier for storage.

 

 

Wright says a bigger space is needed and this warehouse will help make everything easier. 

 

 

Wright says the natural thing was to put it in Dieterich, which has been home to the company since the beginning.

 

 

The new warehouse will be constructed by AKRA Builders out of Teutopolis and the expectation is that the warehouse will be complete by the end of 2023. 

 

 

Visit wrightsfurniture.com for more information. Wright’s Furniture has locations in Dieterich, Robinson, Taylorville, and window treatments in Effingham. Alex Wright appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Mental Health Strategists Work To Combat Burnout

Emotional exhaustion is something that is being discussed at great length on the mental health side and people are reporting feeling more and more stress which is wearing them down and causing something called burnout. Ed Lacheta, the Clinical Director of Shelby County Community Services, says that it’s something his office is seeing. 

 

 

Lacheta says it’s not too late to do something about it.

 

 

There is a new nationwide crisis line if you are having issues or feeling depressed—9-8-8. 

 

 

Lacheta also says that employers are now starting to see and recognize the symptoms as well.

 

 

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

ISP Releases Names From I-55 Crash

The Illinois State Police (ISP) is releasing five additional names of the seven people fatally injured in multiple crashes that occurred on May 1, 2023 at approximately 10:55 a.m. on both northbound and southbound Interstate 55 between mile markers 72 and 78 near Farmersville in Montgomery County. A total of 72 vehicles are known to be involved in the crashes and 37 people were transported to area hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical.  There were seven fatalities in the crashes, including 88-year-old Shirley Harper of Franklin, WI whose name was previously released. 

 

Joseph Bates, 73-year-old from Crystal Lake, IL

 

Donna Bates, 71-year-old from Crystal Lake, IL

 

Earl LeGrand, 64-year-old from Florissant, MO

 

Michael Zinchuk, 55-year-old from Champaign, IL

 

Amy Zinchuk, 54-year-old from Champaign, IL

 

ISP is working closely with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office to confirm the identification of the final remaining victim. Information will be released once positive identification is complete and family notifications have been made. 

 

 ISP thanks all its first responder partners and sister agencies for their tremendous work and assistance during this incident.  

Miller Media Group Names Advanced Title Group as May Business of the Month

Congratulations to Advanced Title Group in Taylorville, our Miller Media Group Business of the Month.  Staff from the left:   Jerry Handegan, Gerri Poor, Vanessa Manuel, Jo Spain, Jayme Mizeur, Joani Jones, Megan Smith, and Jeff Robinson. 

 

 

Owner Jeff Robinson started the business in 2000 and has seen lots of growth in that time.

 

 

 

Robinson talked about the expansion of their space.

 

 

 

He's expanded his staff as demand for title work increased.

 

 

The biggest change in the title business according to Robinson is technology.

 

 

Congratulations to Advanced Title Group in Taylorville, our Miller Media Group Business of the Month.

70 MPH Wind Gusts, Large Hail Hit Central Illinois Sunday

 

Ping pong ball to baseball sized hail from the Chatham and Auburn area to the Witt-Winonah area of Montgomery County, were part of a line of severe weather that impacted the Regional Radio listening area on Sunday afternoon.

 

Several severe thunderstorms dumped heavy rain from southern Sangamon County to northern Montgomery County and Christian County area in the mid to late afternoon hours.

 

Numerous reports of high winds and hail came into the Weather Service office in Lincoln on Sunday afternoon, including:

 

At 3:04 p.m., one inch hail was reported a mile east of Chatham.

At 3:09 p.m., 1.25 inch hail was reported a mile east of Auburn.

At 3:14 p.m., 2 inch hail was reported at Auburn.

At 3;15 p.m., 1.75 inch hail was reported at Chatham.

At 3:25 p.m., one inch nail was reported at Chatham.

At 3:25 p.m., one inch hail was reported 2 miles east southeast of Chatham.

At 3:35 p.m., 2 inch hail was reported at Divernon.

At 3:52 p.m., three-quarter inch hail was reported 2 miles north northeast of Divernon.

At 4:05 p.m., one-and-half inch hail was reported 5 miles northwest of Palmer.

At 4:52 p.m., 2-and-3-quarter-inch hail was reported 3 miles northwest of Winonah in central Montgomery County.

At 4:59 p.m., one inch hail was reported 3 miles west northwest of New Berlin in Sangamon County.

70 mile per hour winds and baseball size hail were reported just before 5:00 p.m., in the Witt area of Montgomery County.

At 5:13 p.m., hail measured at almost an inch was reported  at Pawnee.

At 6:04 p.m., one inch hail was reported a mile south southwest of Butler in Montgomery County.

At 6:12 p.m., 1.75 inch hail was reported at Taylor Springs just east of Hillsboro; Hillsboro reported one inch hail at 6:18 p.m.

At 6:24 p.m., quarter inch hail was reported at Coffeen in southern Montgomery County.

At 6:43 p.m., 1.75 inch hail was reported in Raymond.

At 6:44 p.m., 1.75 inch hail was reported 3 miles northeast of Atwater in eastern Macoupin County.

At 6:53 p.m., half-inch hail was reported 2 miles south of Farmersville in the Panhandle area of Montgomery County.

 

At least 20 tornado or severe thunderstorm warnings were issued by the Weather Service for the Regional Radio Listening Area Sunday afternoon into the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Holds Drive-Thru Donation Day Benefiting Taylorville Food Pantry

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club held a drive-thru donation day benefiting the Taylorville Food Pantry at the Miller Media Group front parking lot on Saturday.

 

Kiwannis Member Eric Kahle Mentioned that Even if you don't have Non-Perishable items, you can still add with monetary donations.

Kahle mentions even if you missed out on saturdays food drive  there are plenty of more dates for you to come out 

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club, the Taylorville Food Pantry, and the Miller Media Group thank all those who donated.
 

Kemmerer Village Plants Orchard

After 109 years, Kemmerer Village continues to grow! The childcare organization has deepened its roots and planted an orchard. A groundbreaking ceremony for Dr. Doyle and Linda Slifer Orchard took place on the 60-acre campus near Assumption, Illinois April 21, 2023. With the help of The Green Works, Kemmerer Village is planting up to 100 fruit trees! The first phase is 32 fruit trees, 11 Fuji apples, 11 Honey Crisp, and 10 Peach trees. These trees have been sponsored in honor of loved ones and churches. 

 

The Slifer family donated generously to Kemmerer Village over the years and is excited for their legacy to continue to help children and families in our communities. Dr. Doyle Slifer served the Taylorville Community specializing in Pathology for decades and served as the Christian County Coroner. Linda Slifer was a medical terminologist as well as a devoted mother, grandmother, wife, and friend before her passing in 2013. The Slifer’s gift to Kemmerer Village is going to grow opportunities for learning, nutrition, and leisure for generations to come. 

 

In 2022, Kemmerer Village served 1,400 children in its various programs, and an orchard is going to be an incredible addition. The orchard will assist the Village’s nature-based therapy programs for residential treatment and foster care programs. Kemmerer Village currently has an active gardening program with a greenhouse and an impressive equine therapy program. 

 

There are still a few places left to leave a legacy at Kemmerer Village in this first phase. For more information, please visit www.kemmerervillage.org/tree

 

Senate Democrats Working On Bills To Prevent Opioid Overdoses

Opioid overdoses in Illinois alone saw huge increases with 33% between 2019 and 2020 and members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus are rushing to figure out ways to handle the epidemic. 

 

State Senator Paul Faraci of Champaign says that House Bill 1121 would increase access to tools to help first responders handle overdoses.

 

 

With fentanyl on the rise, State Senator Laura Ellman is sponsoring House Bill 3924, which seeks to combat the risk of overdoses by requiring high school students to be enrolled in a state-required course to learn about the dangers of fentanyl.

 

 

State Senator Karina Villa is sponsoring House Bill 1557 to increase patron safety at concert venues.

 

 

The Senators will work over the weeks leading up to the May 19th adjournment to pass these measures. 

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.  The awareness month was designated to help educate the public and provide support to people with mental illness and their loved ones. Mental health was identified as a top health concern for Christian County residents in the 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment. 

 

According to the Healthy Communities Index, 17.9% of all adults in Christian County have been diagnosed with depression.  This includes 15% of the Medicare population, which includes people 65 and older, as well as those under 65 with certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease. The age-adjusted death rate due to suicide in Christian County is 20 deaths per 100,000 which is higher than the national average. In 2020, 12.8% of Christian County adults surveyed said that their mental health was not good for 14 or more of the past 30 days. 

 

Diana Knaebe, President of Memorial Behavioral Health, says that those statistics show how essential mental health services are in Christian County and around central Illinois. She encourages those who need help to seek it.  One way to obtain help is to call the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which is available 24/7, including holidays, for people experiencing a mental health crisis.  

 

The line is answered by crisis counselors from Memorial Behavioral Health from 7 AM until 7 PM, Monday through Friday.  Veterans who call 9-8-8 will be connected with a crisis counselor who is also a veteran. Services are available in English and Spanish.

Work Progresses on Jack Flash Project in Pana Toward Fall Opening

 

Construction is progressing on what will be the new Jack Flash Truck Stop and Restaurant in downtown Pana.  

 

Gasoline tanks were buried this week, and the gas pump canopy construction has begun.

 

The Jack Flash Truck Stop in downtown Pana is expected to open this fall.

Lake Land College Hosts Annual Business And Computer Contest; Winners Announced

Monticello High School placed first in the team event at the annual Business and Computer Contest sponsored by the Lake Land College Business Division and Club IT. Other high schools participating in the event were Brownstown High School, Centralia High School, Charleston High School, Fairfield Community High School, Flora High School, Monticello High School, Mt. Zion High School, Paris High School, Robinson High School, Shelbyville High School, Shiloh High School, St. Elmo High School and Teutopolis High School

 

“It was incredible to have high school students participating in individual and team events," said Tynia Kessler, business division chair. "We enjoy seeing and visiting with area business teachers and interacting with talented students. It’s a great opportunity for students to showcase their business and computer skills.”

 

Students from area high schools competed in the following categories: Accounting, General Business and Current Events, MOS Word, MOS PowerPoint, MOS Excel, and IT Problem Solving Challenges. Depending on the category, students either completed a written test or a hands-on test on the computer. First-place winners of each contest received a 3-credit-hour tuition waiver from Lake Land College.

 

The winners are as follows:

·         Accounting: Jamie Fyke, Mt. Zion High School

·         General Business and Current Events: Chase Cline, Fairfield Community High School

·         MOS Word: Aiden Hardy, Shelbyville High School

·         MOS PowerPoint: Lilah Bonny, Shelbyville High School

·         MOS Excel: Kennedy Crays, Flora High School

·         IT Problem Solving Challenges: Isaac Gardner, Monticello High School

 

For more information, contact Kessler at 217-234-5348 or by email at tkessler@lakelandcollege.edu.

Pana Industrial Development Corporation Announces Sale of Former National Greenhouse Building to B&R Barge and Marine

The Pana Industrial Development Corporation this morning announced the sale of the former National Greenhouse building in their Industrial Park, to Ross Kirkendoll, owner of B-and-R Construction, B-and-R Barge and B-and R Marine.  The Barge and Marine divisions, located at separate locations in Taylorville, will be moving to the Pana building.   

 

A signing ceremony took place this morning at the board room of People's Bank and Trust in Pana, who is the lender in the transation.  In the picture above, Kirkendoll (left) signed the paperwork to purchase the building.  People's Bank and Trust President and CEO John Gardner, whose bank provided financing for the purchase, is at the right.

 

 

Kirkendoll outlined to Regional Radio News how his businesses have evolved since 2010 when they started in a small building in Herrick.

 

 

And, he added his business has already upgraded some equipment for the pending Pana location.

 

 

Kirkendoll said the company currently employs around 25 employees and hope to get the employee count to 37 in the next 5 years.   He added the Shelbyville boat sales and repair business will remain open.

 

The Barge division sells some 150 sections nationally each year, while the Boat sales and service division moves some 300 boats and 200 outboard motors each year.

 

The Pana Industrial Development Corporation brought buyer and seller together for Friday's (today's) transation, and Pana Economic Development Director Kirby Casner told Regional Radio News they were excited to bring the buyer and seller together.

 

 

Kirkendoll added the Boat division buildings in Taylorville are under contract to be sold, with a move-out date of June 30th.

 

 

B&R Barge and Marine closed on the purchase of the former National Greenhouse building in Pana's Industrial Park this morning.  Standing in front of one of the boats B&R repaired in their shop are, from the left:   John Gardner, President and CEO, People's Bank and Trust, which financed the transaction: Pana Industrial Development Director Kirby Casner; and B&R Barge and Marine owner Ross Kirkendoll.

Willey's Elevator Taken Down

Willey's Grain Elevator was taken down on Friday after it started leaning heavily. Construction Crews worked throughout the morning to tear down the elevator and clean up the area.  The job was tough because of the proximity of the Highway and the train tracks.

 

It did not come without its hiccups. 

 

Eventually,  the elevator started to come down.

 

 

 

When the dust cleared, there was still some work that needed to be done. 

 

Krista Hayes who lives out in Willey's submitted the following video. 

 

 

The area is still being cleaned up.  Please use caution in and around Willey's especially on Route 48.

Greater Taylorville Chamber Of Commerce Excited For Spring Swing

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is excited about some up-and-coming events. The Chamber hosted the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Farm and Home in Taylorville and Jennifer Franklin, President of the Greater Taylorville Chamber, says that the next Business After Hours is May 17th at Spurling Title. 

 

 

The member appreciation cookout is coming up on May 12th.

 

 

Up and coming is the 9th annual spring swing indoor putt putt golf tournament that will take place on May 13th.

 

 

There are some other events that will be coming soon with summer right around the corner. 

 

 

For more information, visit the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce's Facebook Page or their website. Jennifer Franklin appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

National Herb Week Right Around The Corner

There is always something to learn, and the University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Lisa Peterson says that one class that they just taught was called Cooking For One or Two.

 

 

There are many challenges of cooking for one, because it can be easier to eat out than to cook something for yourself.


 

Peterson says there are some up-and-coming events including an event on August 1st for using a slow cooker. 

 

 

Another event coming up is National Herb Week. 

 

 

For more information on the U of I Extension Office and the many programs they offer, please visit their website.  Lisa Peterson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Riverton School Resource Officer Charged With Child Pornography

A former Police Chief and School Resource Officer is facing Child Pornography Charges. 

 

The Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office has filed charges against former Village
of Riverton Police Officer James Hillyer, including 8 counts of Child Pornography (Class 2, Child Pornography charges would be subject to potential penalties from probation up to 7 years. If convicted on any child pornography count, the Defendant would be required to register as a sex offender for life.), 5 counts of Official Misconduct (Class 3 felony; probation eligible; 2-5 years in prison), and one count of Grooming (Class 4 Felony; probation eligible; 1-3 years in prison). 

 

The Court issued an arrest warrant on May 4, 2023 with bond set in the amount of $150,000.00 (10% to apply). The Defendant turned himself in on May 4 without incident through coordination between the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office and the Defendant’s attorney, Greg Sronce. He remains in custody of the Sangamon County Jail.

 

Prior to serving as a School Resource Officer in the Riverton School District as a Riverton Police Officer, the Defendant had been the Chief of Police for the Village of Spaulding. No further information is available at this time to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation conducted by the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office.

Kemmerer Village To Host Upcoming Golf Tournament

There are plenty of great things that Kemmerer Village is working on this summer and beyond.  One of the big things that will be taking place is the 30th annual Golf Tournament on September 8th at Oak Terrace south of Pana. 

 

 

The golf tournament goes towards supporting Kemmerer Village operating funds.

 

Along with the golf tournament, Nagle says they are getting ready for the eclipse in 2024. 

 

 

Nagle says that Camp Carew will have a nice place where you don’t have to worry about parking or traffic. 

 

 

Find out more by visiting Kemmerer Village on their website and Facebook page. Schales Nagle appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Food Pantry Continues To Be Asset For Community

For the Taylorville Food Pantry, the need is always there.  Being able to provide for the community may not be the flashiest, but for Amy Hagen, she knows the need is there and she sees it firsthand. 

 

 

Brooke Dunne, Public Relations, says that the pantry is quite proud of some of the food drives that have happened recently.

 

 

Chloe Lucca, Development Director, says that there are many ways you can keep up with what’s going on at the food pantry.

 

Hagen says that May 13th will be the community letter carrier’s food drive. 

 

 

Amy Hagen, Brooke Dunne, and Chloe Lucca appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Legislation Being Pushed To Stop Banning Of Books

To protect people’s freedom to read, State Senator Laura Murphy passed legislation to prevent the banning of books.

 

“Our nation’s libraries have been under attack for too long—they are bastions of knowledge and proliferate the spread of ideas,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “We have a duty as lawmakers to protect the rights of our people—including the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression.”

 

Under this measure, a library or library system must adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights or develop a written statement prohibiting the practice of banning books or materials in order to be eligible for state grants.

 

Senator Murphy spoke on the Senate Floor about how important this is. 

 

 

Nationally, the number of attempts to ban books has been on the rise, with 681 attempts involving more than 1,600 titles throughout the U.S. in 2021, according to the ALA. Seven states have passed laws to impose restrictions on libraries, including Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida and Utah. If signed into law, Illinois would become the first state in the nation to ensure intellectual freedom for all across the state.

 

“Libraries are the beating heart of our communities, providing vital knowledge and invaluable services that allow our communities to thrive,” Murphy said. “Librarians are trained professionals, and we need to trust that they will stock our libraries with appropriate materials—they were hired for their expertise, and they deserve our respect.”

 

House Bill 2789 passed the Senate on Wednesday.
 

Taylorville Park District Anticipating Busy Summer

While everyone waits for the new pool to be built, Taylorville Parks Recreational Director Bailey Hancock says that there is still a lot of work being done on the current pool to make sure it’s ready for summer weather, which is right around the corner. 

 

 

Given the number of applications for swim lessons and the number of people that show up, Hancock says proves that the pool is an asset to Taylorville.

 

 

There are many activities that will be taking place at the pool this year including water Zumba and many others. 

 

 

As far as the work on the new pool, there’s still a lot that needs to be done including fundraising.

 

 

As always, you can visit the new and improved Taylorville Park District Website or on Facebook. Hancock appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Holds Annual Clean-Up Day at Kiwanis Park

Several members of the Taylorville Kiwanis Club spent April 15th at Kiwanis Park during the club’s annual Park Clean-Up Day.

 

Park co-chairs Larry Kemner and Duane Stock (right) headed up the effort, along with members Brad Davis (center) and Chuck Martin (left).  The 4 spent the day cleaning the pavilion and fire pit, clearing branches in the park and playground areas, and replacing an aging grill and table with new ones.

 

 

The Park co-chairs are planning another club Clean-Up Day this summer to do further work on the Park.

 

 

Since 1995, the Taylorville Kiwanis Club has spent over $35,000 on construction and upkeep of the Park pavilion, playground, and rest rooms.   The Club is working on additional smaller pavilions for families to enjoy, and considering other ideas to enhance the Park located along Lake Taylorville.

 

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

TMH Welcomes New Board Members

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has named three new members to its board of directors. Three new members have also been named to the Taylorville Memorial Foundation board of directors. Kim Bourne, President and CEO of Taylorville Memorial Hospital, says that she is proud to have a board that reflects the wide range of expertise and experience in the community. She also looks forward to working alongside new board members to fulfill their mission to improve lives and build stronger communities through better health. 

 

Some new members are joining the board including; Pavi S. Gill, Melisa A. Livingston, and Carl J. Neimann. Gill earned a medical degree from Punjabi University in Patiala, India, and serves residencies in Internal Medicine at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He is board certified in sleep medicine and Internal Medicine, is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Illinois State Medical Society, and Christian County Medical Society. 

 

Livingston graduated from Illinois State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and marketing and a minor in Business Administration. She serves on the youth committee at First United Methodist Church and is a board member and treasurer for Taylorville Youth Sports. Neimann has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and currently serves as director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation. He is also Vice President of Taylorville High School sports booster club and serves on the Midland Community Bank board of directors. 

 

The new members join current board members; James E. Adcock, Ashley M. Basso, Kim Bourne, John L. Ferry, DDS, David L. Hixenbaugh, Eric E Kahle, M.Adam Mathias, Roger S McClintock, MD, Linda L. Smith, Ronald D. Spears, and Adam G Volks. 

 

Memorial Foundation also has three new members, including Bruce Blanchan, Executive Director of the Christian County YMCA, Richard S. Bonitzer, president and CEO of PayCourt, and Billy Williams, retired entrepreneur. Blanchan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in health and dance with an emphasis in youth agency Administration from the University of Northern Iowa. He was program director at the Christian County YMCA for 12 years before serving as general manager of the Nelson Center in Springfield for 18 years. He returned to the Christian County YMCA as executive director in 2021. Bonitzer has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Columbia College of Missouri and is active on several industry boards and associations in the Taylorville community. Williams is the co-founder of CTI which he operated for nearly 25 years before recently selling the business. 

 

The current members of the Taylorville Memorial Foundation board are Kim Bourne; Iris N. Noblet Crites; Blake A. Davis; Shirley F. DeFraties; Christina C. Dougherty, EdD; Lacy D. Glenn; Cheryl K. Huggins; Matthew P. Hutchison; Loretta A. Kahle; Daniel E. McNeely; Ronald E. Mizer, DDS; Gregory L. Patrick; William H. Perkins; Jarred J. Rahar; Chad B. Sutton; Dwayne J. Wheeler; and Christina M. Zimmerman. For more information on Memorial visit memorial.health.

Prairie Cardiovascular Dr. Yifei (Alex) Sun Expands Practice to Taylorville

Prairie Cardiovascular's Vascular Surgeon, Dr. Yifei (Alex) Sun, MD, FACS, has expanded his practice to include a new outreach office in Taylorville

 

Patients can now schedule appointments with Dr. Sun at the outreach location located at 1304 W. Burnett Dr. in Taylorville.


Dr. Sun brings extensive experience to his new location, having completed his medical education at Ross University School of Medicine, a general surgery residency at Saint Louis University, and a vascular surgery fellowship at the University of Minnesota. He is also board-certified in vascular surgery and a Registered Physician in Vascular interpretation.


Dr. Sun specializes in open and endovascular management of peripheral arterial disease, carotid artery revascularization, complex aortic reconstruction, thoracic outlet syndrome, and dialysis access. 

 

Patients looking to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sun can call 888-4PRAIRIE or visit www.Prairieheart.org for more information.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Michael V. Stock Joins Taylorville Memorial Hospital's Medical Staff

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has welcomed a new ophthalmologist to its medical staff, Dr. Michael V. Stock, MD, who specializes in cataract surgery.

 

 Dr. Stock practices with Ideal Eye Surgery in O'Fallon, IL and brings a wealth of experience to TMH. 

 

He earned his medical degree from Washington University and completed his internship at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, as well as a residency in ophthalmology at Washington University Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. He is also board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and a member of various professional organizations, including the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

 

Patients who require eye surgery can now receive treatment close to home, as Dr. Stock sees preoperative patients in the clinic and performs procedures at TMH. Patients can be referred to Dr. Stock by their eye doctor or primary care physician.

 

Emily Bailey, director of clinical operations at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, expressed excitement about Dr. Stock's arrival, stating that previously, patients had to travel outside of Taylorville to receive eye surgery. Dr. Stock also shared his excitement to work with patients to discuss the best treatment options and improve their vision and quality of life.
 

Erica Edwards Wins Prestigious Scholarship At Music Festival

Taylorville High School band senior Erica Edwards was awarded the second annual Jim Smith music scholarship on Friday evening during the Taylorville Music Festival. This scholarship was started in 2022 by former Taylorville director of Music Jim Smith and comes with a $500 monetary award. The award goes to a THS band or choir student who plans to pursue music as a career. Edwards will be attending Millikin University next year measuring in music education. Regional Radio News salutes you Erica Edwards!

I-55 Reopened After High Winds Shut It Down

Northbound and southbound lanes of Interstate 55 (I-55) between mileposts 63 and 82 are reopened after winds decreased.  Out of an abundance of caution, the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Transportation closed that section of I-55 this afternoon due to extreme winds creating low visibility and dangerous driving conditions.  Use caution when driving in strong winds. 

 

Winds on Wednesday are expected to be better with 10 miles an hour sustained and 17 mph gusts. 

Seventh Body Discovered During Investigation Of I-55 Crash

A seventh body has been found from the I-55 crash that occurred on Monday.  ISP located the fatality after originally believing that six individuals were found deceased on the scene. The severity of the crash masked the remains and what was previously believed to be the remains of one person, was actually two.  ISP is working closely with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office to confirm the identity of the seven individuals. One person has been identified; 88-year-old Shirley Harper of Franklin, Wisconsin.  

 

Many vehicles involved in those crashes will be released on May 3rd, at 8 AM. If you were traveling south on I-55 prior to the crash, please call 217-685-4354 to arrange pickup for your vehicle.  If you were traveling northbound on I-55 please call 618-346-3653 to arrange pickup for your vehicle. Some, but not all, vehicles traveling northbound on I-55 will be released. 

 

ISP says that these instructions still apply if your vehicle will be retrieved by a tow service, as additional information needs to be gathered at the time your vehicle is released.  People retrieving vehicles must provide their driver’s license and insurance to the ISP Command Vehicle located at the intersection of Brown and Henrietta in Divernon.  An officer will ask basic questions such as, who was in the vehicle, your phone number, and insurance card information.  Adjustors and/or private reconstruction are not allowed to gain access to the vehicles until May 3, 2023 after they are processed.

 

ISP officially thanked everyone that came out to support this mass casualty situation. Law enforcement personnel from Divernon Police Department, Hillsboro Police Department, Litchfield Police Department, Macoupin County Sheriff’s Office, and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene. The following Fire Departments also responded to the scene: Carlinville Fire Department, Chatham Fire Department, Divernon Fire Department, Farmersville Fire Protection District, Girard Fire Department, Pawnee Fire Department, Rochester Fire Department, Shell Creek Fire Department, Springfield Fire Department, Springfield Hazmat, and Virden Fire Department.

 

Emergency medical services were provided by: Five helicopters from Air Evac and Arch, America Ambulance Service, Bunker Hill Ambulance Service, Carlinville Ambulance, Chatham Ambulance, Echo 6 Ambulance, Gillespie/Benld Ambulance, Hillsboro Ambulance, Litchfield Ambulance Service, Medic First Ambulance, Morrisonville Ambulance Service, Nokomis Ambulance, Pawnee Ambulance, Prairieland Ambulance Service, Raymond Ambulance Service, Stoughton Ambulance, and Virden Ambulance Service.

 

The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and the Illinois Secretary of State Police also provided personnel on scene. The Macoupin County Coroner, Montgomery County Coroner, and Sangamon County Coroner are assisting with the fatalities.  

Taylorville Kiwanis Honor Community Heroes, Hear About Current Children and Youth Projects at Tuesday Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club honored their April and May Kiwanis “Community Heroes of the Month, and reviewed Kiwanis projects for youth and children in the Taylorville community, during their weekly meeting at the Taylorville Moose Lodge on Tuesday.

 

The club honored its April and May Kiwanis “Community Heroes of the Month.” 

 

Kiwanis member Marty Vota (left) nominated Jeff (right) and Phyllis (center) Wilson of the “Salvage Dawgs” group, as the club’s April honorees.   That group collects scrap metal, sells it, and the money benefits area veterans.  So far, the group has salvaged and turned into cash, over one million pounds of scrap metal.

 

It’s May honoree was nominated by Kiwanis member Randal J. Miller (right), and was fellow member Eric Kahle (left) for his service to many local non-profit groups including the Christian County Crimestoppers, Taylorville Memorial Hospital, and the Loving Arms Pregnancy Center.   Kahle is a former president of the Kiwanis Club, and most recently was interim public relations reporter.

 

During the business portion of the meeting, it was reported a record 338 people were served at last Saturday’s annual Kiwanis Pancake and Sausage Day benefiting local Kiwanis projects for children and youth.  The club thanks the community for its great turnout.

 

Kiwanis Park co-chairs Larry Kemner and Duane Stock reported 4 Kiwanis members participated in the April 15th clean-up at the park, including installation of new grills and tables.

 

Kiwanis Priority One chair Bruce Blanshan reported the Kiwanis Club is again co-sponsoring the May 20th Bike Rodeo at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital parking lot, with bike safety to be taught and bikes to be given away.

 

Kiwanis members are reminded of some special May meetings. The May 16th meeting will be an evening cookout at Kiwanis Park at 5:30pm with Kiwanis high school scholarship winners to have their checks presented.

 

And, the May 23rd meeting will be the annual Spiritual Values Prayer Luncheon.

 

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

"ComEd Four" Found Guilty On All Counts

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted three ex-lobbyists and the former CEO of electric utility Commonwealth Edison for their involvement in an alleged bribery scheme aimed at longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

 

Prosecutors alleged the foursome gave Madigan allies jobs and contracts at the utility in exchange for an easier path for ComEd-supported legislation in Springfield.

 

Former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore and Mike McClain – the utility’s longtime top contract lobbyist and close confidant of Madigan – were each found guilty of nine counts of conspiracy bribery and falsifying records. Former City Club of Chicago president Jay Doherty, who also served for decades as an external lobbyist for the utility, and John Hooker, a former ComEd executive turned contract lobbyist, were each found guilty of six counts.

 

Defendants declined to comment as they left the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, although Pramaggiore’s attorney Scott Lassar briefly spoke to reporters, saying only that his team was “disappointed in the ruling” and planned to appeal.

Senator Turner Pushing For Tourism Grant Program For Route 66

State Senator Doris Turner supporting a new measure that will bring over $730,000 to the Springfield area to boost local tourism efforts and attract visitors to drive along the historic Route 66 and enjoy Illinois. Senator Turner says that Springfield has much to offer, especially with the history of Route 66, and investing in communities will draw visitors to show them that Springfield and the entire state are great places to visit. 

 

The Route 66 grant program awarded $3.7 million dollars in funding to seven recipients for the development of Tourism education preservation and promotion leading up to the 100th anniversary of Route 66 in 2026. Over 300 miles of Route 66 weave through the state and Route 66 economic and historical impact is felt firsthand and communities across the state. 

 

The City of Springfield was awarded $630,000 to create 12 murals connecting Williamsville, Sherman, Springfield, Chatham, and Auburn to the murals in Heritage Corridor and Great Rivers & Routes service area. The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association were awarded $30, and Springfield Visitors and Convention Bureau were also awarded $70,000 in the Illinois Travel and tourism grant program to support local tourism promotional efforts with the goal of attracting visitors to many destinations across the state. 

 

Find out more about clicking here

 

New Nonprofit Resale Shop Coming To Taylorville

A new charitable resale shop is coming to Taylorville.  Fur Love by Sherri Craggs is a not profit 501C3 which will see profits going to Christian County animals. Craggs says that this is important to her because of her love for animals and what she saw when she was working at the Christian County Animal Control.

 

 

Craggs says that not only will it help the animals, but she feels it will help the community as well.

 

 

Craggs was super grateful for the community support.

 

 

She says they are looking for some volunteers. 

 

 

Fur Love is in the old Harrison Building in Taylorville, and is diagonal from the BP. The address is 222 West Main Cross. Craggs hopes to have a grand opening on June 1st. Find out more by visiting their Facebook Page.  Craggs appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 
 

May Is Osteoporosis Awareness Month

May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month and research shows that dairy foods are integral for building and maintaining a lifetime of healthy bones because of the nutrients they contain like calcium, protein, vitamin D, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.  Kelsey Bentlage, with the St. Louis District Dairy Council, says that it all comes down to 1-2-3. 

 

 

Bentlage says that it is important as children to be able to consume enough dairy to make bones stronger. A lot of that bone support can come from calcium. 

 

Bentlage says there are many ways to get your daily dairy fix!

 

 

Bentlage says their website www.stldairycouncil.org has many tips on dairy and bone health.  

 

 

Kelsey Bentlage appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show. 

ISP Looking For Help Identifying Victims In I-55 Crash

The Illinois State Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying some of those that were killed in Monday’s massive 70 car pileup on I-55. One of the victims has been identified as 88-year-old Shirley Harper of Franklin, Wisconsin.  ISP Director Brendan Kelly says that they need help identifying two adults who were killed in the crash. 

 

 

One vehicle was a Blue Chrysler 300 and one vehicle was a Hyundai. If you know of anyone that may have been involved in the crash or know who any of the victims are you are encouraged to contact 618-346-3653.

 

Kelly says this has been a painful process and he is asking for patience with the investigation. He also doesn’t think at this time that there is anything criminal about it. 

 

 

To hear the full interview with Brendan Kelly, click here

 

Northbound and Southbound lanes reopened at 6 AM this morning.

Taylorville City Council Holds Swearing-In Ceremony, Conducts Business in Monday Night Meeting

4 Aldermen and a city treasurer were sworn in Monday night during the Taylorville City Council meeting, as a result of last month's municipal election.

 

Valerie Miles was sworn in after being elected treasurer, and 4 aldermen were re-elected and were sworn in:   Jim Olive, Chris Skultety, Megan Bryant, and Kathy Driskell.   Associate Judge Nathan Frisch presided at the swearing-in ceremony.

 

Taylorville City Treasurer Valerie Miles (right) being sworn in by Associate Judge Nathan Frisch.

 

Ward 1 Alderman Jim Olive (right) being sworn in by Associate Judge Frisch.

 

Associate Judge Frisch (left) swearing in Ward 2 Alderman Chris Skultety (middle).

 

 

Associate Judge Frisch (left) swearing in Ward 3 Alderwoman Megan Bryant (center).

 

Associate Judge Frisch (left) swearing in Ward Alderwoman Kathy Driskell (center).

 

 

After the swearing-in ceremony, the Taylorville Council passed a number of motions.  They OK'd a business development agreement with Edward Shoemaker, owner of the new Rural Rentals business; they OK'd an amendment to an existing business district agreement with downtowntaylorville-dot-org; and they approved splitting the salary of Health and Building Officer who also serves as Airport Manager, with 75-percent coming from the H-B-O budget and 25-percent from the Airport budget.  Taylorville Aldermen Monday night also OK'd the 132-thousand dollar purchase of a new backhoe for Oak Hill Cemetery.

 

In his Mayoral update, Mayor Bruce Barry gave his "State of the City" address reviewing his 6 years as mayor, and told Council members and the public his 2 major issues moving forward are homelessness in the city, and attracting more jobs.

 

 

In motions from committee reports Monday night, the Taylorville City Council directed City Attorney Rocci Romano to prepare an ordinance for a new Mutual Aid Box Alarm System Agreement, and also directed Romano to prepare an ordinance for a "No Parking" sign on the south side of the 300 block of East Esther.

 

Taylorville Aldermen Monday night OK'd donating 19-thousand dollars from the Tax Increment Fund # 1, to the Taylorville Development Association and Christian County Economic Development Corporation to go toward web site development.  They OK'd a bid from Phil Tullis Excavating, Incorporated for sidewalk replacement, curb and guttering; approved putting out for bid the North Main Street Reconstruction Project; directed City Attorney Romano to begin obtaining easments for installation of sidewalks on Illinois Route 104; and OK'd directing city engineers Benton and Associates to prepare documents to bid work on the City-owned Parking Lots Rehab Projects.

 

The Taylorville Council went into executive session following their 26-minute public meeting, to discuss collective bargaining.

UPDATE: Multiple Dead In Monday I-55 Crash

Illinois State Police are reporting at least six fatalities in a multicar crash on I-55.  The crash which occurred due to heavy dust and low visibility on Monday, has shut down the interstate between Divernon and Farmersville until at least Tuesday afternoon according to officials working the scene. Illinois State Police, Southern Patrol Major, Ryan Starrick gave a briefing where he detailed the crash saying that while the first crash occurred on the northbound side, there were multiple crashes on the southbound side as well. 

 

 

At 4:30 PM, Major Starrick gave another update.

 

 

Regional Radio News is still waiting on several confirmations of exact figures from state officials. 

I-55 In Montgomery County Shut Down Due To Crash

A crash involving a tanker has shut down I-55 from milepost 72-80 between Divernon and Farmersville both northbound and southbound. Traffic is being rerouted to a frontage road as the Interstate is completely shut down.  Motorists are urged to take alternate routes.  There is no word on when the interstate will be reopened.  High wind speeds have made visibility a concern in some areas of the area. Ambulances from four counties including Christian, Montgomery, and Sangamon have been sent out and there are multiple reports of helicopters on the scene to help evacuate. According to State Police, Divernon City Hall is currently being used as a reunification point for families.   We will have more on this developing story throughout the day. 

Equity Announces Scholarships

The Equity is announcing its 2023 Earn and Learn Equity Scholarship recipients.  Each year, the scholarship is opened to high school seniors and current community college, junior college, university, or trade school students.  Eligible students include those majoring in Marketing, Business, Accounting, Agriculture, Precision Ag, Automotive, Diesel Technician, or Technology.

 

Mariah Apke, Gavin Koonts, Baili Gore, Brant Bowker, and Dawson Smith were all named scholarship recipients.  Apke is a senior at Neoga High School who will be attending school at Eastern Illinois University. Koonts is a senior at St. Elmo High School, who will be attending Lake Land College. Baili Gore is a senior at Carlyle High School and will be going to Kaskaskia College.  Bowker is a senior at Pana High School and will be attending Lake Land College.  Smith is a Teutopolis High School Graduate, who is currently attending St. Louis University. 

 

The Equity Scholarship will bring a unique learning opportunity to those students as they will gain hands-on job experience through internships at the Equity during their college careers. The Equity’s Agronomy Department will help give reassurances of a full-time job.  For more information on the program, please visit www.theequity.com.  

Taylorville City Council To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Monday evening at 7 PM at the Municipal Building.  After the opening invocation, pledge, and minutes are approved, the council will hear the oath of office administered to Judge Nathan Frisch, the treasurer, and four aldermen. Committee assignments and commission and board appointments will be heard and discussed. Under ordinance, the council will discuss and potentially approve a BDD agreement with Rural Rentals at 1001 North Cheney Street and a BDD agreement with www.downtowntaylorville.org. 

 

After the city attorney and Mayoral updates, the council will hear committee reports. Under ordinance, the council will look at a motion for an ordinance to adopt a new mutual aid box alarm system, and a no parking sign on the south side of the 300 block of East Esther. 

 

Under finance, the council will look at a contribution of $19,000 to the Taylorville Development Association/Christian County Economic Development Corporation for website development, and accept the treasurer’s report.  Under Street and Sewer, the council will look at a bid from Phil Tullis Excavating for some sidewalk replacement along with curb and guttering, approving the North Main Street Reconstruction Project, and obtaining easements on Route 104 for the installation of sidewalks. The Council will also look at a rehabilitation project for the four city-owned parking lots.

 

The council will hear from the public and go into a closed session to discuss negotiations with the union and potential salary schedules. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this story following the conclusion of the event. 

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