Local News

Food Pantry Donation Taking Place At Taylorville Car Cruise Friday Evening

There is a food pantry donation for canned foods that will be taking place in correlation with the car cruise being held by Small Town Taylorville. This will be an ongoing event that will take place month to month. The initial month there will be a special cash contribution to start it off.  Steve Craggs, with Small Town Taylorville, says that they will be taking food and cash. 

 

 

The car cruise has become a very successful event for Small Town Taylorville.

 

 

Country Kitchen, Angelos, Craggs Realtors, Dear Yesteryear, 40 MPH Club, Franklin Storage, ABC Supply, Florinda’s, Nesty’s, Route 29 Customs, Cleeton Sanitation, Coffee Can, and Durham Chiropractic all donated to the initial contribution.  The Check presentation will be on Friday evening at 6 PM.  The Car Cruise will be from 4-8 PM.  

 

There will also be a Trunk or Treat taking place on October 13th, with the Car Cruise including dressing up the cars in Halloween decorations. 

Republicans Pressing For Ethics Reform

In light of the guilty verdict handed to Tim Mapes, former right-hand man of criminally charged ex-House Speaker Mike Madigan, House Republican Leader Tony McCombie is pressing for greater ethics laws in the Illinois House. 

 

 

To do that, McCombie has filed legislation to prohibit elected officials from using political campaign donations to pay for criminal defense. To date, it has been reported that former Speaker Mike Madigan has used nearly $8.5 million in funds from his campaign coffer, ‘Friends of Michael Madigan,’ to pay for legal fees. Beyond that striking sum, Madigan continues to keep asking for campaign contributions, even though he is facing 23 felony counts of bribery, wire fraud, attempted extortion and racketeering, alleging he abused his position of power to enrich himself and his allies. 

 

McCombie’s legislation has been an ongoing effort from House Republicans to advocate for change, root out corruption, and instill greater public trust in government. House Republicans have repeatedly called for ethics reform, with the latest push coming shortly after the ComEd Four verdict was handed down in federal court where one juror remarked, “bad behavior doesn’t strike once.”

 

“It is time to address the bad behavior of elected officials and end corruption in Illinois government,” continued McCombie. “Speaker, it is time to call the bills for a vote.”

 

McCombie’s current bill, HB4119, was recently filed in the House and will await further consideration. Madigan's trial is slated to begin in April 2024.

ISP Ramping Up Drunk Driving Awareness During Labor Day

Heading into the final holiday of the Summer, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, and local police are stepping up their efforts to curb driving under the influence during the Labor Day holiday.  The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Labor Day Campaign runs through Labor Day weekend.  

 

IDOT and the ISP want everyone to remember to give their keys to a sober driver or call a taxi, rideshare service, or community sober ride program.  If you see an impaired driver, contact law enforcement, and remind your friends to never get into a vehicle with an impaired driver.  If you have a friend who is about to drive impaired, ISP encourages you to take the keys away and help them get home safely. 

 

“With Labor Day being the unofficial end of summer, there’s the temptation to celebrate and then get behind the wheel.”  ISP Division of Patrol Colonel Margaret McGreal, says Troopers will be strictly enforcing the fatal four violations, DUI, speeding, distracted driving, and occupant restraint laws.  

 

During the Labor Day enforcement campaign, motorists are reminded to “Click it or Ticket.”  Illinois law requires all passengers to be buckled, whether you are in the front seat or the back.  Find out more by visiting www.buckleupilllinois.org. 

State Senator Turner Announces Education Grants For Christian County Schools

State Senator Doris Turner announced that multiple Christian County School Districts will receive additional funding to help address financial challenges in recent years.  Senator Turner says that she has made it a priority to set students on a path to be lifelong learners and that students deserve to have every opportunity.  She also stressed that continuing commitment to invest in schools ensures students have a well-rounded learning environment for years to come.  

 

Funding was made possible thanks to new laws passed in 2017 that made school funding more equitable by calculating the needs of individual school districts and basing state revenue on those needs.  

 

South Fork and Edinburg School Districts are both receiving money.  South Fork is receiving $114,023 and Edinburg is receiving $3,443.  FY 2024 budget invested $350 million towards school districts.  For more information on the budget, visit the Illinois State Board of Education’s website. 

Night One At The Pana Tri-County Fair

Night one of the Pana Tri-County Fair was all about the pageant. While the carnival rides were in action, the attention was directed to the grandstand for the many contestants competing in the Little Miss, Jr Miss, Teen, and Queen Pageant. Dressed in their best gowns and prepared to answer some tough questions, the contestants preached community values, camaraderie, and passion for their pageant events.


Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR was reporting live from the Pana Tri-County Fair and was able to interview many of these well-spoken and pageant-ready individuals. The main focus for the Queens, Teens, and Juniors competing, were the friendships and personal growth that each contestant finds while competing.


Hayleigh Manuel is the 2023 Miss Christian County and a Pana native. Hayleigh took some time to speak to Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR about her experience, traveling to pageants, getting involved in her school's Future Farmers of America Program, and making memories she will not forget.

 

 


Holly Kruse, another crowned individual, took some time to speak on her experience competing in pageants.

 

 


The Pana Tri-County Fair has a great family-friendly environment with something for everyone. The fair runs until Monday, September 4th. There are plenty of days to enjoy the many grandstand events like the rodeos, demolition derbies, and harness racing.


For a full list of events go to, www.panatricountyfair.com/schedule-of-events.

New Center Opening In Litchfield

Earlier this week, State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville) joined the governor in Litchfield to celebrate the grand opening of South-Central Illinois Training and Innovation Center. This project has been in the works for a year, and now it’s officially open for student enrollment. Litchfield and the surrounding school districts will have access to this top-tier facility.

 

“Today is exciting for Litchfield students and others who want to pursue a career in trades,” said Rep. Rosenthal. “This new training center is staffed with superb instructors who will teach valuable education to students that will help them obtain great paying jobs. Creating a bright future for our next generation starts with opportunities.”

 

The South-Central Illinois Training and Innovation Center is where students can thrive in areas such as building trades, automotive, welding and more. Additionally, this facility has partnered with Lincoln Land Community College and Lewis & Clark Community College. Students can expect to earn credit courses while attending high school and can utilize their credits to transfer to a community college. This opportunity furnishes a  bright future for students who want to develop the skills needed to prosper in the workforce.

 

For more information, contact Rep. Rosenthal’s office at 217-782-8071 or visit his website at reprosenthal.com

Pana Tri-County Fair Begins Today

The long-awaited 73rd Pana Tri-County Fair is starting up this week, beginning Wednesday, August 30, and running until Monday, September 4th. Pageants, live music, and many vendors will be out along with the many grandstand events that include two rodeos, two demolition derbies, truck pulls, and different types of racing. The six-day event will be located at the Pana Tri-County Fair Grounds at, 605 North 2500 East Road in Pana.


For the kiddos, the carnival will be out every day of the fair, Wednesday through Friday from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM and Saturday through Monday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, taking a short break, the back at 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Armbands that allow entry to rides will be $25.


For Wednesday’s events, the Pana Tri-County Fair will get going with the carnival at 4:00 PM and the Little Miss, Jr. Miss, Teen, and Queen Contest.


The Grandstand events like the rodeo and demolition derby are some of the most popular events that the fair. Day one of the rodeo is Thursday, August 31st, at 7:00 PM, then back on Friday at the same time. The two demolition derbies will take place Sunday, September 3rd, and Monday, September 4th, starting at 3:00 PM, at the grandstand.


The Pana Tri-County Fair did not forget about agriculture, as there will be Ag judging in the Agriculture Building on Thursday, August 31st,  and Saturday, September 2nd, both at 1:00 PM. Pick-up for agriculture judging entries will be on Sunday, September 3rd, at 1:00 PM.


Monday will be the highly anticipated Labor Day Parade in Downtown Pana. The parade will get started at 10:00 AM and travel the streets of Pana for the entire community to watch. The Parade is said to last about one hour.


Many volunteers, coordinators, and local community members have put time and effort into the Pana Tri-County Fair for yet another great year of community involvement and end-of-summer fun.
 

Heat Stroke Vs Heat Exhaustion

On average, according to the Illinois State Climatologist, there are ten days in Illinois at or above 90 degrees each year.  With temperatures last week soaring above 90 degrees its important to remember the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Dr. Brian Curtis, vice president of Clinical Specialty Services for OSF HealthCare says preparation and awareness are key for staying safe in the summer months. 

 

 

If heat exhaustion is not recognized early, it could cause heat stroke.

 

 

Dr. Curtis says hospitals see heat stroke patients every summer, especially during longer stretches of hot and humid weather.  With high humidity, bodies can’t cool off as easily.  Dr. Curits says kids and older adults are more susceptible to heat stroke.

 

 

Sometimes heat exhaustion or heat stroke isn’t necessarily an outside issue.  

 

 

The effects of heat stroke can be long-lasting, or could even potentially lead to death. 


 

Dr. Curtis encourages you to play it safe when it comes to heat, and drink plenty of liquids, avoid dehydrating liquids, take frequent breaks, and get out of the sun.

 

 

Find out more information, by clicking here.

 


 

The Importance Of Ag Mental Health

As strong advocates of Illinois’ agriculture industry, State Senators Paul Faraci and Doris Turner joined state officials and agriculture leaders at the 2023 Farm Progress Show to support increasing across to mental health services for rural farmers and agriculture communities.

 

“Mental health affects people from all professions — especially farmers whose job, success and livelihood relies on many things out of their control,” said Turner (D-Springfield), chair of the Illinois Senate Agriculture Committee. “Together, we can uplift the health and well-being of some of our state’s hardest working individuals.”

 

Initiated through the legislative leadership of Former Champaign State Senator Scott Bennett, the Farm Family Resource Initiative started as a joint pilot program of SIU School of Medicine and the Illinois Department of Agriculture in 2019. It originated as a pilot program covering six Illinois counties providing telehealth mental health access in addition to a helpline. Following its overwhelming success, the FFRI was expanded to cover all 102 counties in the state. In addition to the telehealth helpline, family members can now access six free telehealth mental health sessions.

 

The program will fund up to 20 grants at $1,000 each to support FFA chapters implementing local initiatives encouraging access to mental health resources. Grants will be used to increase awareness of mental health and wellness in schools and communities across Illinois. All FFA chapters in Illinois are eligible to apply for the grant. Applications will be available from the Illinois FFA Foundation in fall 2023.

 

Faraci pledges to continue Bennett’s advocacy of this vital program and partner with the Illinois Department of Agriculture on expanding accessibility to farmers across the state.

 

“The FFRI program is a proven success and has given farmers an opportunity to talk about their struggles,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “I am honored to advocate for this lifesaving program and pay tribute to the work my friend, State Senator Scott Bennett started.. It is important to remember it is okay to ask for help, especially when it comes to mental health." 

 

The Farmer Assistance Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-833-FARM-SOS.

Christian County Correctional Center Due For Upgrades

The Christian County Correctional Center is due for some renovations as the Christian County Jail Advisory Group explored ways to expand and modernize the facility built in the 1970s. Overcrowding, deterioration of the jail, and standard operating procedures of the correctional center are being reviewed.


Chief Deputy Jim Baker of the Christian County Sheriff’s Office says that these renovations will be completed in phases, fixing current issues while proactively adding features that will meet the needs of the facility in the future.

 


The Christian County Board recently approved the administration and operational move for the sheriff’s office to be relocated to the once Zoning and Solid Waste building at 214 West Market Street in Taylorville. The renovations to the Taylorville Correctional Center have been paired with the location change for the Sheriff's Office making this a smooth transition for both parties.

 


Chief Deputy Baker is pleased with the response from the county board and looks forward to the new developments coming to his office and the correctional center.


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


 

Taylorville Music Lessons Celebrates Two Year Anniversary

A Taylorville music shop celebrated their second anniversary on Monday evening.  Taylorville Music Lessons in Taylorville had an open house with plenty of food, drink, a bouncy house, Kona Ice, and a recital for their many guests to celebrate their second year in business.  Mike Semarau, who owns Taylorville Music Lessons, says that he has been proud of how things have been in Taylorville for the last two years. 

 

 

Semarau says that he encourages people to come by and check out the music store to see if there is something there for you or your student.

 

 

Taylorville Music Lessons is located at 311 South Main Street in Taylorville.  You can reach them at 217-777-7100. 

Taylorville Kiwanis Hears From Owner of Dunn's Ambulance Service at Weekly Meeting Tuesday

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the owner of Dunn’s Ambulance Service in Taylorville, at the club’s weekly meeting on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.

 

Kiwanis president John Gardner (left) presided at the meeting and introduced Paula Dunn (right), who is president of Dunn’s Ambulance Service.  She told Kiwanis members they operate 3 ambulances from their Taylorville location.   Dunn added so far this year, they’ve answered almost 23-hundred calls, with just over 18-hundred being Advanced Life Support calls.

 

Dunn added their ambulance service has 3 what are called “Lucas Devices”, which are mechanical C-P-R devices.   She said they have a superior life-saving ability when they’re used.   Dunn told the Kiwanis members each machine costs over 25-thousand dollars.

 

Dunn also said their call volume during the pandemic was initially down tremendously as people were cautious to seek medical care, but added this turned around fairly quickly as people became less concerned about COVID contamination.

 

As other industries continue to face supply chain issues, Dunn told Kiwanis members their company was also affected by putting put on a waiting list for a new ambulance.

 

Dunn is proud of her company’s community involvement, including teaching E-M-T classes at Lincoln Land Community College as well as providing ambulances at eleven sporting events in the area.  

 

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.   

Shelby County Health Department Searches For Cause Of Legionnaires' Disease Cases

Health authorities in Findlay, IL, are grappling with a difficult situation as they investigate an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease that affected three individuals. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Shelby County Health Department, in collaboration with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA), are at the forefront of this investigation.


Initiated on August 16, the investigation revolves around three cases of the severe lung infection, Legionnaires' disease. The affected individuals, all residents of Findlay, reported symptoms between July 30 and August 4. Despite rigorous testing on water and swab samples taken from potential sources of exposure, the elusive Legionella pneumophila responsible for the illnesses was not detected.


Steve Melega, Administrator for the Shelby County Health Department says no new cases have been reported since the first three. Also noting that the water in Findlay is safe to drink. Melega says Legionella is known for spreading through water vapor.

 


Authorities noted that determining a definitive source of Legionella through environmental assessment is a rarity. The Illinois EPA's evaluation of the public water supply on August 11 found chlorine levels, crucial for Legionella disinfection, to be within safe limits. Ongoing sampling for chlorine residuals has been requested to ensure water safety.


Legionnaires' disease spreads through inhaling Legionella-contaminated water vapor, typically associated with complex water systems in places like hotels and hospitals. While healthy individuals are less susceptible, those aged 50 or above, smokers, people with chronic illnesses, and those with weakened immune systems face greater risk.


In 2022, Illinois reported 381 cases of Legionnaires' disease, with 237 confirmed cases in 2023 so far.


For more information, visit the IDPH and CDC websites. As investigations persist, Findlay's community and health officials remain committed to preventing further cases and solving the outbreak's mystery.

Public Pension Obligations Brings Budget Dilemma In Illinois

In response to Illinois' ongoing budget challenges stemming from public pension obligations, Democrats in the state's legislature are exploring solutions. They are considering a comprehensive bill to address the mounting pension debt and stabilize the current pension system.


The bill focuses on the existing Tier Two law, aiming to prevent potential non-compliance with federal regulations. If passed, this legislation would allow state and local governments to maintain control over social security benefits. Democrats are aiming for discussions on this bill during the upcoming fall or spring sessions.


Dr. Kent Redfield, retired Professor of Political Science for the University of Illinois Springfield says a large portion of the state budget will be used to pay off the unfunded pension liability.

 


Dr. Redfield calls the situation a dilemma in which states are trying to prove the impairment of benefits for current or former employees, which is unconstitutional.

 


There are mixed feelings on the likelihood of any meaningful changes being adopted before the 2024 elections.


Dr. Kent Redfield appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show
 

Illinois State Treasurer Talks Live Auction At The Illinois State Fair

The Illinois State Treasurer's Office hosts a live auction every year at the Illinois State Fair in order to make space for more valuable items in their safety deposit boxes. Illinois State Treasurer, Mike Frerichs says that citizens whose valuables are auctioned off may have passed away or forgotten about the item, these valuables have a shelf life of about ten years until they move to auction. This is not an auction for the treasures office, but rather one that returns the funds back to the appropriate hands.


Frerichs notes that these unique and valuable items are more useful in the hands of people who appreciate them and not just in the bank vault.

 


The treasurer's office holds on to unclaimed money forever. That money will be available for future claims to the respective heir or whoever is designated in the will. Frerichs says the treasurer's office tries to return this money as fast as possible

 


Frerichs says that he was happy to be at the Illinois State Fair, “reuniting a lot of people with a lot of money, said Frerichs.”


Mike Frerichs appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

Preparing For Success With Superintendent Of South Fork School District

South Fork School District had a successful start to their school year with new goals, points of focus, and even some building renovations. Chris Clark is entering his 5th year as Superintendent for the South Fork School District and says the sounds of students in the halls have not gotten old. The South Fork Junior and Senior High School are sporting new air conditioning and heating units that are up and running. Clark says week one got off to a “hot start."

 


Administration and staff have some new goals for the 2023-2024 school year. Superintendent Chris Clark has taken recommendations as South Fork Schools have been noticed as a targeted school for improvement. Attendance for the junior and senior high schools needed to be addressed and the curriculum for math and reading will be revisited. Clark Sees the needs of the students and is meeting them with action to ensure the success of South Fork Schools.

 


To combat frequent truancy, Clark and his staff will be taking a personalized approach to understand and help students who are missing out on education, by reaching out to parents or guardians. Clark describes the unique opportunity he has as a superintendent of a small school district like South Fork. Being a graduate of South Fork School District himself, parents and the local community are familiar with Clark, making the process of getting that child back into the classroom a little easier.

 


Clark has heard the needs of the South Fork School District and now looks to utilize his personal connections with students and the small community of learners to keep students in the classroom and learning to the best of their ability.


Chris Clark appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Park Board Discusses Ameren Updates, Security Improvements, and Project Proposals

The Taylorville Park Board of Trustees discussed updates with Ameren, talked about security improvements, and revisited previous matters. They started by approving minutes and the treasurer's report.

 

They also had two visitors. James A. Morris from Benton & Associates, an engineer with the City of Taylorville, and a representative from Ameren spoke about a construction project near Manners Park. Morris stressed the need to move a water main to park property near Webster St for this project. The Board agreed pending attorney approval.

 

Todd Altman, the owner of Altman Monitoring Solutions, then presented a plan to update the park's security system.

 

 

Altman showed different equipment to enhance park security. The Board saw the need for better security around the pool and the maintenance shed due to missing equipment. The new equipment combines video and sensors to reduce false alarms. The cost was around $20,000, and the Board unanimously approved it.

 

Recreation Director Bailey Hancock reported on the conclusion of the day camp, the end of the pool season, and the successful "Paws in the Pool" event.

 

 

The Board also finished the necessary work for the OSLAD grant.

 

The next meeting is set for September 25th.
 

Halbrook Calls For Renewed Ethics Reform

State Representative Brad Halbrook urged ethics reform after word came out that former Chief of Staff Timothy Mapes could receive a lengthy prison sentence. Late Thursday former Chief of Staff to longtime, now indicted, Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan was found guilty of lying to the Federal government in the government’s investigation into Madigan’s corruption. The conviction could result in Timothy Mapes receiving a lengthy prison sentence.

 

Speaker Madigan’s trial involving charges he’s facing for RICO violations amidst a corruption bribery and racketeering scandal is expected to begin in 2024.

 

Since the 103rd General Assembly was seated in January of 2023 Rep. Brad Halbrook and House Republicans have pushed harder for what they see as sweeping ethics reforms, to clean up government and stamp out corruption. Despite multiple press conferences, multiple bills being introduced, and sadly, multiple trials, guilty verdicts, and new indictments, Republicans say House Democrats have refused to take meaningful action on comprehensive ethics reforms.

 

“This is another disgrace. How many corruption convictions will it take to force the Democrat majority in the House and Senate to do something?” asked Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville). “It’s easy to understand why families in Illinois have lost faith in their government, and why so many are simply choosing to move to another state. We MUST enact real, meaningful reforms to stop the ongoing culture of corruption. Putting Illinois back on a path to growth and prosperity begins with honest government.”

 

House Republicans have demanded simple but necessary changes to state ethics laws, including:

 

- Empower the Legislative Inspector General with subpoena power, so that the LIG’s office can conduct thorough, meaningful investigations.

 

-  End the practice of legislators working as lobbyists. This creates inherent conflicts of interest and undermines the faith and trust of the people of Illinois in their government.

 

-   Suspend pensions from retired lawmakers that face corruption charges stemming from their work as legislators.

 

- Prohibit the practice of politicians utilizing their campaign committee war chests for legal defense against charges of misconduct, sexual harassment, or discrimination.

 

Mapes will be sentenced January 10th, 2024, and his most serious charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.

 

Madigan faces his own bribery and racketeering trial set for April.

TMH Names July Colleague Of The Month

Cody Tomaw, a CT technologist, with Radiology at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, is the nonprofit hospital’s Colleague of the Month for July.

 

Tomaw is helpful and takes on tasks beyond his normal assigned duties in Radiology. He assists when the Emergency Department is busy. Recently, he helped calm a patient with dementia while the nurse was doing a procedure.

 

Tomaw is considered a team player who recognizes and praises the efforts of his co-workers in Radiology. Last November, he praised individual co-workers during Radiology Week on Memorial’s internal communication channel.

 

“He is always so positive and helps out when needed,” wrote his nominator. “He just jumps in to take care of the patients. Seldom do we even need to ask for help.”

 

Tomaw has worked for Taylorville Memorial Hospital since 2011.

Taylorville Man Arrested For Possession Of Child Pornography

A Taylorville man was arrested for possession of child pornography.  43-year-old Troy J. Woods of Taylorville was arrested after a search warrant was conducted by Taylorville Police Department on August 25th. TPD conducted an investigation and took evidence and Woods was taken into custody.  Possession of child pornography is a Class X Felony that carries a sentence of 6-30 years in the Department of Corrections.  

 

TPD thanks John Mcward, Christian County State's Attorney, for his help in this case. 

Cowden Pioneer Days 2023

 Cowden Pioneer Days continued this Saturday, August 26th for the second of their two-day festival of events, food vendors, and community engagement. Saturday was started with the Parade at 10:00 AM, inflatables and carnival rides for the kiddos at noon, and lunch served from 11: AM to 2:00 PM at the Main Cook Shack.

 

Cruisin’ 98.3 WSVZ was reporting live from Cowden Pioneer days and got to see the community interact and enjoy the great activities and vendors. The talk of the Cowden Pioneer Days was the rodeo at the Thompson Arena. This is a two-night show and Friday's rodeo was a success with many local community members participating.

 

The rodeo will be out for their second night, Saturday, August 26th, at 7:30 PM. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children 6-12. This is the final event for the Cowden Pioneer Days and the community and organizers are happy with this year's turnout.


 

Central A&M Action Returns After Postpostment

After more than a quarter and half a severe storm appeared on radar near Le Roy IL. The football game between Central A&M and Le Roy was postponed, but the action will resume today on 94.3 WMKR. Le Roy led at the time of postponement 7-6 there was 5:19 left in the second quarter. Live Coverage will resume with pregame at 4:40 and kickoff at 5pm. 

Events and Renovations at the Shelbyville Chautauqua Auditorium

The Chautauqua Auditorium in Shelbyville is a landmark of the city and after some renovations, it has become a perfect place to hold weddings, receptions, pageants, and concerts. Built in 1903 the building continues to be a beacon of community engagement.


Today, August 25th, Scott Wattles and The Blue Suede Crew will be performing at 7:00 PM at the Shelbyville Chautauqua Auditorium. Tickets are $20 at the door, located at Forest Park, East North 9th Street in Shelbyville.


Poppet Maulding is on the committee for the Chautauqua Auditorium and specializes in public relations and booking. She says Scott Waddles is well known in the community and Maulding notes that this show brings many people into the town to see the various attractions. She notes that if the music is not for you, come out and enjoy the vendors.

 


Maulding says there is plenty of room to dance during the show. Handicap parking is already set up at the Chautauqua but Maulding notes that attendees can be dropped off at the door.


The Chautauqua building has seen many different generations and has been used for various purposes for the community. Maulding says that it was the “internet of the day” before people had a place online to go for information.

 


The Shelbyville community is proud of the Chautauqua Auditorium especially now with the new renovations. A metal roof has been added along with other minor touch-ups that have created a perfect place for large events.


Poppet Maulding appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show in Shelbyville.

Rising COVID-19 Activity Prompts Vigilance in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is closely monitoring a surge in COVID-19 cases across the state. Despite low hospital admissions, wastewater surveillance indicates rising COVID-19 activity.

 

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra urged caution, emphasizing the risk for vulnerable groups. The Illinois Wastewater Surveillance System showed moderate COVID-19 activity in all regions, but flu and RV activity remained low.

 

Ahead of fall and winter, IDPH focuses on flu, RSV, and COVID-19. Updated vaccines and treatments are available; residents should consult providers for protection options.

 

Immunization awareness is stressed, with IDPH encouraging adherence to guidelines for COVID-19, flu, and the new RSV vaccine for older adults. Preventive medication for RV is also approved for children.

 

Anticipating fall boosters, Illinois has 200,000+ therapeutic courses. CDC's Bridge Access Program covers costs for uninsured adults' COVID-19 care.

 

No-cost telehealth services are provided via SIU School of Medicine Covid Test to Treat services or by calling 217-545-5100 for COVID-19 symptoms.

 

For updates, visit IDPH's website. The federal toolkit for masks, treatment, vaccines, and testing is available at https://www.covid.gov/.

Christian County 4-H Coordinator Praises 4-H Illinois State Fair Competitors

The Christian County 4-H members had a successful week at the Illinois State Fair, showing their projects and livestock on the biggest stage. Christian Ribbon Winners went to Deacon Shanks for his work in welding and Ben Wamsley for his baking project. A total of 48 4-H members across the state of Illinois competed in showing and illustrating their knowledge of their beef, swine, and sheep.


$1,000 scholarships went to the top nine highest-scoring individuals, four of those winners were Christian County 4-H members. Ben Wamsley, Audrey Curtin, Isabel Pistorius, and Jay Bliler have been awarded the scholarships.


Amanda Cunningham, 4-H Youth Development Coordinator could not be more proud of all the 4-H members that competed.

 


With many different fields to dive into 4-H members are not limited to agriculture-related endeavors. Heritage Arts, sport-fishing, welding, and robotics are just some of the educational tracks young 4-H members can be interested in.

 


A new season for the Christian County 4-H is approaching as September programs are already beginning to be coordinated. Cunningham, with the help of the Youth Leadership Team, is prepared for another month of engagement.


Under the youth readiness section of programs, a banking class will take place on September 12th from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This class is for everyone ages 12-18 and not just 4-H members.

 


The Youth Leadership Program and the 4-H members will be filling birthday bags for the local food pantries. These bags will have the necessary items to bake a cake so anyone celebrating their birthday can do so right.


For information on the Christian County 4-H, you can visit their Facebook page at Christian County 4-H.


Amanda Cunningham appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

IDOA Announces AG Tour

The Illinois Department of Agriculture, IDOA, will host 31 international buyers from seven different Latin American countries to enhance existing relationships and increase export sales for the Illinois grain industry.  This event will take place on August 29th and the tour will make multiple stops including RTS Farm in Auburn, GSI in Assumption, the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, and other places.  In 2022 the Grain Tour returned to in person for the first time since the pandemic, bringing in $65 million in projected sales. 

 

Participants begin the tour by meeting with representatives from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. All participants are required to ay their own airfare and a participation fee prior to joining the tour. There will be a planned media stop at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur with Director Jerry Costello.  Information regarding the stop will be shared in the following days. 

12th Annual Youth Firearm Deer Hunt at Lake Shelbyville Organized by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is all set to host the 12th Annual Youth Firearm Deer Hunt on October 7 and 8, 2023, at the Lake Shelbyville site. This exciting event offers young hunting enthusiasts an opportunity to experience the thrill of the hunt while promoting responsible outdoor activities.

 

Eligible applicants must be under 18 years of age as of October 7, 2023, and must be accompanied by an adult during the hunt. Those interested in participating can obtain application forms either in person at the Lake Shelbyville Project Office on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or online through the provided link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LTj94VFVZWRKAzDJIHzB5BDInHWPpHU/view.

 

All applications must be submitted by 8:00 a.m. on September 8, 2023. A public drawing to select ten participants for the hunt will take place on September 8, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. This drawing event will be held at the Lake Shelbyville Project Office. Successful applicants will receive prompt notifications via phone regarding their selection for the hunt.

 

Throughout the event, each of the ten chosen participants will have the opportunity to engage in the hunt within designated closed recreation areas. They will be supported by dedicated personnel from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and volunteers, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.

 

For individuals seeking additional information about the event or those interested in contributing as volunteers, Park Ranger Tanner Coleman can be reached at (217) 774-3951 ext. 7002. This annual hunt not only encourages outdoor engagement among young individuals but also fosters a sense of conservation and responsible hunting practices
 

Lake Shelbyville Announces Tree Stand Policy

 Lake Shelbyville‘s Tree Stand Policy for this year will remain the same as it was last season. The policy allows hunters to leave one stand up for the season (“Seasonal Tree Stand”) and/or utilize up to two “Roving” stands that can be left up during archery season for a period not to exceed a break in use greater than 72 hours – the length of a 3 day weekend. Seasonal tree stands may be placed 2 weeks prior to archery season and must be removed within 2 weeks of archery season-ending. Archery season runs from October 1, 2023 - January 14, 2024. 

 

Hunters wishing to purchase a seasonal tree stand permit must present a valid hunting license before a permit will be issued. Seasonal tree stand permits will be available for purchase ($30.00) using a credit or debit card at the Lake Shelbyville Project Office Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. located at 1989 State Hwy. 16 in Shelbyville, IL, and Chip’s Marine located at 1068 Cr 1025n, Sullivan, IL.

 

Roving tree stand permits, which are free of charge, may be obtained in Sullivan, IL at Ace Hardware, Chip’s Marine, Bo Woods Fee Booth, or Phillip’s 66 (formerly Howy’s Lakeside) Gas Station located five miles south of Sullivan, IL on Highway 32. Hunters can also pick up roving tree stand permits at the Lake Shelbyville Project Office, Ace Hardware, Lithia Springs Fee Booth, Lithia Resort, and Craig’s Sporting Goods in Shelbyville. 

 

Hunters utilizing ladder stands are encouraged to purchase a seasonal permit. A roving permit is designed for the mobile hunter and requires the hunter to remove the stand from the woods if there is a break in use for more than 72 hours. While a ladder stand could be utilized in this manner, due to their size and weight they are not considered very portable. Because of this, numerous citations are issued every season to hunters placing roving permit stickers on ladder stands and failing to remove them when not in use. The expense associated with a citation for Failure to Comply with Posted Restrictions is $80.00, which is approximately 2.75 years' worth of seasonal permits.         

 

For additional information concerning the Lake Shelbyville Tree Stand Policy, contact the Environmental Stewardship Department at (217) 774-3951, ext. 7049.

Assumption Fest Pageant Winners Announced

Assumption Fest Pageant winners were announced at the Pageant. Kindee Dial was announced as Miss Assumption, Athena Reed was announced as Jr. Miss Assumption, Madelyn Sanders as Little Miss Assumption, 2023 Tiny King Hugh Griesmer, and 2023 Tiny Queen Holley Smith.

 

Left from right: Ashlyn Hunter 1st Runner up, Kinadee Dial Miss Assumption, Lea Sunderland 2nd Runner Up

Left to right: Kyrie Virden 1st Runner Up, Athena Reed Jr. Miss Assumption, Emma Hutton 2nd Runner Up

Left to right: Brynlee Burton 1st Runner Up, Madelyn Sanders Little Miss, Harlo Garcia 2nd Runner Up

2023 Tiny King Hugh Griesmer
2023 Tiny Queen Holley Smith

Illinois Reports First West Nile Virus Fatality

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has announced the first human death related to West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year. The Deceased, displayed WNV symptoms in early August and passed away shortly after. CDC testing confirmed the case.

 

Dr. Sameer Vohra, IDPH Director, expressed condolences and emphasized the serious risk WNV poses, particularly to older individuals and those with weakened immune systems. IDPH has identified 11 other non-fatal WNV cases this year. The virus, transmitted by infected mosquitoes, prompts a call for public vigilance, especially in high-risk groups.

 

In previous years, WNV led to seven deaths and 26 non-fatal cases in Illinois. Symptoms include fever, nausea, headaches, and muscle aches, with severe cases potentially causing brain infections or paralysis. With no specific treatment available, IDPH stresses prevention through measures like eliminating standing water, using repellent and reporting stagnant water locations. Positive WNV cases have been detected in mosquitoes, birds, humans, and horses throughout the state and in Christian County in 2023.

Family Tree Findings With The Christian County Genealogy Society

The community can discover and journey back in time to find out who their ancestors were, where they lived, and other interesting facts with the Christian County Genealogy Society. Getting their start in 1983, the CC Genealogy Society has assisted many local citizens in finding out about their true family tree. Files and records hundreds of years old have been collected and are housed in the Pence Building on the grounds of the Christian County Historical Society.


Vauna Crowder and Jeanine Biondolino are two members who have worked hard organizing these files, gaining more useful and historic documents, and then becoming the detectives who uncover names and dates that are significant to a family's history.


Sunday, August 27th, the CC Genealogy Society will host a Family Research Day from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Families can come out with their questions, names of past family members, and birthdays to uncover the family history.

 


The Christian County Genealogy Society will be celebrating 40 years of service and family knowledge with an open house at the Pence Building on September 10th, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Crowder and Biondolino are hopeful to have Dave Jones, Director of Archives in Springfield, as a guest speaker.

 


The members have struggled to find more space to fit their library of historical information, which is a good problem to have. Not only are the members finding significant dates for the community but they are focusing on four Miners who passed away with the Miner Memorial Program.


A cemetery walk usually takes place to research people's history, this time with Chuck Martins Coal Mining Museum, to honor and remember the brave coal miners in Christian County. A $10 fee will allow the whole family to experience the history.

 


The CC Genealogy Society is looking for volunteers to help with the many documents and research items that come through the doors. Members ask that volunteers have basic computer skills.


Vauna Crowder and Jeanine Biondolino appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.


 

Nokomis School District Prioritizing Mental Health

The Nokomis School District is putting the mental health of their students at the forefront of their focus for the 2023-2024 school year. Nokomis Junior High and Nokomis High School were awarded a national spotlight for their Capturing Kids Hearts Program. This program has put forth efforts to strengthen students in areas that are not just academic.


Scott Doerr, 15-year Superintendent for Nokomis School District says faculty, staff, and student mentors will work to address and help students struggling with social-emotional issues, mental health, character education, personal development, and culture. Doerr says the staff has done a wonderful job getting the students engaged.

 


Recently the Nokomis Schools have developed a mental health committee. Students, staff, and community members are involved in the committee to ensure there is full coverage and scope of situations.


Doerr notes that learning can not be done effectively if the student's mental health is not prioritized.

 


Student mentors will provide a valuable space for struggling students to go to. Asking a teacher or parent about a personal issue can be tough for a high school student, With the Lead Worthy Program at Nokomis School District, these mentors will apply, train, and prepare to be the change in a student's life that could be extremely valuable.

 


Nokomis School District is looking to aid in times of mental health crisis for students in many ways. The conversation of mental health is not prioritized in many school districts while the Nokomis schools are becoming proactive to end needless suffering in students.


Nokomis Superintendent Scott Doerr says he is fully staffed this year and week one went by without a hitch.


Scott Doerr appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

State Rep Speaks Out On Behavioral Health Licenses

A state representative is asking the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to look at the handling of behavioral health license applications.  State Representative Wayne Rosenthal, who serves the 108th District, signed a letter urging IDFPR to immediately assess the lack of communication that is causing delays with applicants seeking a position to help those in need.  Multiple lawmakers signed the letter as they look for feedback from their constituents about how delays impact their lives. 

 

Representative Rosenthal says that those who suffer mental health and substance abuse need professional aid to provide necessary treatment that helps them. Rosenthal stressed that the state is in need dire need of licensed staff to fill vacant positions, and unnecessary delays have a negative impact on qualified applicants and the constituents in the community. 

 

Applicants have worked to achieve licensing and Representative Rosenthal says they are now jumping hurdles to obtain high demand positions.  These workers he says are dealing with lengthy delays, lack of communication, and even some lost applications.  There is hope that the letter will bring immediate changes that will address these issues.  For more information visit reprosenthal.com.  

19 Year Old Arrested For Dissemination Of Child Pornography In Montgomery County

Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officials announce the arrest of 19-year-old Aaron Hartline of Witt, IL for Dissemination of Child Pornography, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, and Possession of Child Pornography.

 

In February 2023, ISP DCI Zone 4 Agents initiated an investigation after learning a male subject was communicating with a minor, in which the suspect was discussing sexual acts and requesting child pornography.   During the investigation, ISP Investigators assigned to the Office of the Illinois Attorney General Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) gathered digital evidence indicating that Aaron C. Hartline was possessing and disseminating child pornography from his residence in Witt, Illinois.  Additionally, DCI Zone 4 agents located a minor victim who had been sexually abused by Hartline.

 

On August 10, 2023, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office charged Hartline with six counts of Dissemination of Child Pornography (Class X Felony), one count of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse (Class 2 Felony) and one count of Possession of Child Pornography (Class 3 Felony).  An arrest warrant was issued for Hartline’s arrest with bond set at $250,000, 10% to apply.  On August 21, 2023, Hartline was arrested by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

 

Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact ISP Zone 4 Investigations at (217)782-4750.  The Illinois State Police provide the following resource for parents, for the public to report crimes against children, and victims to start their path towards healing and recovery. Anonymous tips of child pornography can also be reported through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's (NCMEC) cyber tip line at www.cybertipline.com. To keep kids safe online, learn more at: https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/onlinesafe/; www.cybertipline.org ; For resources for survivors of sexual abuse visit: https://www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/csam-resources

Cooling Centers Open Across Central Illinois as Temperatures Skyrocket

As a heatwave has arrived in central Illinois, finding refuge under extreme heat can be challenging for people. Here are some tips for dealing with extreme heat: drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, avoid direct sun exposure, and regularly check up on relatives and neighbors. Never leave young children and pets unattended in vehicles under any circumstances. If you have to work or spend time outside, take additional precautions. Consider rescheduling strenuous activities for the early morning or evening. Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Opt for lightweight and loose-fitting clothing whenever possible. To minimize risk during outdoor work, follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's recommendation of scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. If someone is overcome by heat, promptly move them to a cool and shaded area. Remember that heat stroke is a medical emergency.

 

An excessive heat warning is in effect until 10 p.m. on Friday, with heat index values potentially reaching up to 115 degrees.

 

If you're struggling to find a cool place, know that the Taylorville, Pana, Moweaqua, Midland, and Morrisonville Fire Departments have opened their doors as cooling centers.

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more updates 

Drive-Thru Chicken Dinner Coming Soon

A Drive-Thru chicken dinner will take place at Manners Park, Thursday, August, 31st so parents enduring back-to-school season do not have to worry about their dinner menu for the night. Hosted by the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, head out to Manners Park that Thursday from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM and enjoy having dinner handled by the chamber.


The dinner will be catered by Angelo's Pizza. Pre-sale tickets are online now and can be found on the GTCC Facebook Page. Linda Allen, Executive Director for the GTCC enjoys hosting these quarterly meals and mentions parents' schedules are crazy during this time of year.

 


A $10 fee will go towards the Mistletoe Madness and Festival of Trees 2023. All the information can be on the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page.


Linda Allen appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

Taylorville High School Athletic Director Talks Fall Sports

The beginning of the school year means fall sports are about to be in full swing. Taylorville High School is set to compete with the other teams in the Apollo Conference this year with strong rosters and coaches. This fall Taylorville High School will compete in football, soccer, tennis, cross country, and Volleyball.


Jason Hadley is entering his 4th fall sports season during his time at the helm for Taylorville Athletics. Athletic directors around the state have monitored practice times during week zero of football season to avoid exposure to extreme heat with game one approaching.


Hadley says the Tornado Football team will be getting an early start, practicing before the first bell rings.

 


Taylorville Girls Volleyball fell to the Rochester Rockets on Monday night, losing two sets to one. The Tornadoes went to the state tournament for volleyball last year. Hadley notes that Rochester is well known for their sports prowess and opening night would be a good indicator for the rest of their season.

 


As for the Apollo Conference, Hadley says it's a very good and tough mix of teams. With the loss of Lincoln High School last year, six teams remain. Taylorville, Mt, Zion, Mattoon, Mahomet-Seymour, Effingham, and Charleston. Hadley notes that anytime there is an Apollo Conference match-up, you know it's going to be a good one.

 


Taylorville Athletics, led by Hadley has worked hard during the off-season to bring a winning culture and attitude to the school. Tornado Football plays their first game this Friday, August 25th, against Richland County High School, on their turf in Olney.


Jason Hadley appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

Christian County Sheriff's Office Relocation

The Christian County Sheriff's Office has been approved for the relocation of their new office. The current office is located at 301 West Franklin Street in Taylorville. The new CC Sheriff’s office will reside at 214 West Market Street in Taylorville, the building once served as the Christian County solid waste building.


The new facility made for the perfect new home for the CC Sheriff’s office because of the minimal amount of renovations that are needed. Chief Deputy Jim Baker for the CC Sheriffs' Office says there will be an ample number of offices for the needs of the officers and administration. Baker says space for evidence storage was becoming an issue at the old location, the basement of the Market Street office is spacious and will serve as evidence storage.

 


Baker explains that the new location will provide areas for large meetings and even training for officers. The added meeting areas will make space for recorded interview rooms, Baker notes these will be conducive to their operations.

 


Baker says this will be a fast-paced re-model and the funds are received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Baker explained how the relationship between the CC Sheriff's Office and the county board has made the process smooth over the past six months. He thanks the board for their cooperation and partnership during the relocation.


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

Taylorville Kiwanis Hear From Tornadoes Head Football Coach, Honor "Community Heroes of the Month" at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the head football coach at Taylorville High School, and presented its August “Community Heroes of the Month” award, at the club’s weekly meeting on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.

 

Jeb Odam, an alum of Taylorville High School, is in his 14th year as varsity head football coach after being in various coaching positions at T-H-S.  He told Kiwanis members this fall’s squad has 41 varsity players including 8 seniors, and added this year’s team is more well-rounded and primed for a good year.  

 

 

He said his best 2 hours of the day are being on the football field.  

 

Odam also announced this Friday’s game at Olney had its start time moved to 8pm due to the heat.

 

 

The Kiwanis Club also presented its August “Community Heroes of the Month” award to the Christian County Ag Fair Board and volunteers, for their countless hours of service before and during this year’s Fair insuring children and youth have a place to show their livestock and exhibits.  Board president Craig Paulek (left) and long-time Fair board member and volunteer Ron Fleming (right), accepted the award.  Kiwanis member Randal J. Miller (center) nominated the Fair Board for this honor and presented them a certificate.

 

Paulek told the Kiwanis Club the Fair Board was honored to be recognized.

 

 

And, it'll be Fleming's 50th year of volunteer service to the Fair next year.

 

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.  

Fire Hits Taylorville Skilled Nursing And Rehab

Last night TFD responded to a fire alarm at 800 McAdam Drive which is the location of Taylorville Skilled Nursing and Rehab.  When TFD arrived, the building was very smoky and residents had already been moved to different locations.  TFD sprayed an arcing thermostat with an extinguisher. TFD was on scene in under 3 minutes. The building was thoroughly checked for fire and was vented to get rid of the lingering smoke. The wing was secured and residents were placed in a different wing.  No injuries were reported. 

Benefit Dinner For Husband Of Taylorville Police Officer

There will be a benefit dinner for a Taylorville Police Officer’s husband who is fighting cancer. Brian Grove is the husband of TPD Officer Jody Grove and he is battling polycystic kidney disease.  Grove is in need of a transplant. The family has been working towards helping him but they need the communities assistance.  The dinner will take place on September 30th at the VFW in Taylorville at 515 North West Street in Taylorville. Denise Evans says it will be a great event. 

 

 

Jody Grove says that there will be a $10 entrance fee including a BBQ Dinner, cash bar, music, auction, and the 50/50 auction.  She says that this came out of nowhere and has hit the family hard.

 

 

Grove says they are looking for a donor and if you can’t be a donor for Brian, there are others that need a kidney as well. 

 

 

Jody Grove thanked the Taylorville Police Department and the community for all their support over the last few months.

 

 

For more information on the benefit, contact Denise Evans at 638-3247 or Kayleigh Boston at 217-717-7576. 

Heatwave is Here Protect Yourself from Heatstroke

 The risk of heat-related health issues is escalating as the region struggles with excessive heat advisories and warnings. High-risk groups, including infants, the elderly (65+), overweight individuals, and those on certain medications, are especially prone to heatstroke complications.

 

HSHS St. Mary's Hospital experts recommend these precautions:

Loose Attire: Opt for loose clothing for better body cooling.
Stay Hydrated: Drink fluids to maintain body temperature and aid sweating.


Sun Protection: Shield yourself with sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses.
Seek Shade: Take breaks in shaded areas.


Time Smartly: Plan outdoor activities in cooler hours – early morning or evening.

 

One of the main concerns, when it gets warmer, is heat stroke. Make sure to recognize heat stroke signs which are, High body temp (≥104°F), Altered mental state, Nausea, vomiting, Flushed skin, Rapid breathing, heart rate, and Throbbing headache, If heat stroke is suspected, call 911.

 

For prevention tips, visit ready.gov/heat. The Shelby County Senior Center is a cooling spot open from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Mon-Fri. For more information on more centers call the Illinois DHS hotline at 800-843-6154

 

For details on HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, go to hshsgoodshepherd.org. Prioritize safety during this challenging heatwave.
 

Illinois Route 29 400 North Re-Opened

The Christian County Sheriff's Office has announced Illinois Route 29 North of Pana has been re-opened as the crash scene investigation has concluded.

 

 

Christian County YMCA Aquatic Center Update

As school season begins and summertime activities come to a close the Christian County YMCA is keeping the community active with their many events and programs. The aquatic center is getting a facelift and will be closed until September 5th. Re-painting and a total cleaning will take place for the pool while the sauna and steam room will be re-grouted.


Maggie Vocks, Program Director for the CC YMCA is happy to have the yearly work done to prepare the pool for its many visitors during the winter months. The depth of water indicators will also get a new paint job.

 


Keeping the patrons safe in the aquatic center are the lifeguards, which the CC YMCA is in search of. Lifeguards at the Manners Park Pool are provided with a bridge program that will make their entry training less strenuous. Vocks works hard to ensure that scheduling does not conflict with the young guard's busy agendas.

 


For information on the aquatic center or for lifeguards interested in the CC YMCA, visit https://www.ccymca.org/.


Maggie Vocks appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

Taylorville Mayor Gives August Update

Improvements are constantly being made to Taylorville, making the city a great place to live. Beautifying Lake Taylorville, rehabilitating the bike path and road construction are some main points of focus for the summer months.


The Mayor of Taylorville Bruce Barry plays a significant role in ensuring these projects are put into action to serve the community. A new gazebo will be making its way to Optimus Park and a new ordinance will be reviewed to stop the feeding of geese as droppings have started to overwhelm the grounds.

 


Construction is beginning to move forward for the updates to the Taylorville Square. Mayor Barry notes that the city-owned parking lots around the square have been resurfaced. A $2.5 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and funds from the city will make the downtown project an estimated $5 million endeavor.

 


Mayor Barry recently sat down with new Illinois Congresswoman, Mary Miller. Keeping good relationships with state representatives is nothing new for the Mayor. Mayor Barry is hopeful that these connections will bring grant money in the future to finish the many hardy projects.

 


Mayor Barry explains that he speaks with the Illinois State Senators often and these appearances and relationships bode well for the city in times of need.


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

Road Closure on Illinois Route 29 400 North

There is a road closure on Illinois Route 29 at approximately 400 North (north of Pana) and will be closed until further notice. Illinois State Police and the Christian County Sheriff's Office have responded to the two-vehicle crash.

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for updates on the situation. 

Route 29 North of Pana closed

According to the Christian County Sheriff's Office part of route 29 heading out of Pana is closed for an accident. 

 

Illinois Rt 29 at approximately 400 north (just north of Pana) will be closed until further notice. IL state police and the sheriffs office is on scene for a two vehicle crash.

Larry Budd Announces Retirement From Taylorville City Council

Taylorville City Council met Monday evening. All Aldermen were present except Jim Olive and Kathy Driskell.  Alderman Larry Budd announced his retirement stating that he was retiring due to health issues. Budd has been on the council for over ten years. Mayor Bruce Barry read his retirement letter.

 

 

Regional Radio News appreciates everything Larry Budd has done for the City of Taylorville and the community and he will be missed on the council.

 

The council heard from Cindy Frisina who talked about some of her projects around the Taylorville Square.   She shared an update saying that things were going well and that she was excited to bring this benefit to Taylorville.

 

 

All BDD agreements were approved.  Motions to approve bidding on the lease of 62 and 50 acres of hunting ground at Lake Taylorville was voted No. Aldermen Megan Bryant, Larry Budd, Jeremy Wilson, and Doug Brown all voted no on both motions. 

 

A working foreman for the cemetery and full-time dispatcher for the police department were both voted on with a yes vote for approving advertising for one. A motion to approve a closure permit for solar was tabled.  A motion to approve the contribution of $8000 from Ward V Fund to the Chamber of Commerce Chillifest was approved. Other special events permits were also approved. 

 

The council approved the purchase of two 2024 Ford F250 Super Cab pickups for the water department.  A Gazebo was approved for the lake/airport and motions to approve a fine of $500 for feeding geese at Lake Taylorville and a motion for any new home construction within Taylorville to have a minimum of 1,000 square feet.  

 

The next city council meeting is set for September 5th. 

Robert Hodson Sentenced In Two Hour Court Hearing Monday Afternoon

A packed courthouse on Monday was the scene for sentencing involving a two-year-old case.  48-year-old Robert Hodson was sentenced to 18 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections by Honorable Judge Brad Paisley in Christian County.  Hodson, who was employed by State Capital Police was involved in a car accident on April 8th, 2021.  Around 11 PM on Illinois Route 48 near East 1550 N Road, between Taylorville and Stonington, Hodson crossed the center line and hit 19-year-old Haley Anne Shoot, 20-year-old Zaydin Jon Dudra and Jade Thomas, formerly of Bulpitt, now residing in Lafayette, Indiana.  Shoot and Dudra were both killed in the crash.  Thomas had life-changing injuries. 

 

Earlier in 2023, a plea deal had been reached with both parties agreeing that the max penalty would be 20 years and the least penalty would be probation for aggravated DUI causing accidental death. Hodson appeared on Monday, August 21st, in Christian County Court with a sentencing hearing set for 1:15 PM.  Court deliberations went on for upwards of 90 minutes as both sides presented their final arguments and cases of aggravation and mitigation. 

 

Special Prosecutor for the State of Illinois, Nicole Kroncke, along with Christian County States Attorney John McWard represented the State, while John Sharp represented Hodson.  Impact statements were given by multiple people on the State’s side including Jessica Dudra, Christopher Shoot, and Christine Wells. 

 

Dudra, Zaydin’s mom, spoke about how much of a protector he was, and she stated that Hodson had not shown any remorse during the entire process, calling him a known alcoholic.  Christopher Shoot, brother of Haley, said that he has dealt with trauma since this incident occurred and how it has physically and mentally destroyed him and his family. Christine Wells, read a statement for Jade Thomas.  In it, she said that Jade felt guilty to be alive and remembered checking both victims in the car knowing that they had passed away.  She says that Jade was in a wheelchair following the accident and had to relearn to walk.

 

Impact statements were also read by supporters of Robert Hodson; including Theresa Gibson, Hodson’s older sister, and Taryn Gibson, Hodson’s daughter.  Theresa Gibson said that she did not know Hodson to drink unless it was a social occasion and that this incident has killed him and he hasn’t been the same.  Taryn Gibson asked for mercy on her dad.  

 

An Illinois State Police Crash Investigator Jacob Miller, spoke at the sentencing. Miller lead the investigation and worked the scene including drone footage, renderings, and data from both cars’ black boxes.  In this crash, he found that Hodson was going 88 mph at the time of impact while it is believed that Haley Shoot, who was driving the other vehicle hit the emergency brakes and when checked was going 30-35 MPH. Hodson declined to do a breathalyzer at the scene and when taken into custody his blood alcohol content was .353 and it was .299 at 1 AM.  Sharp tried arguing multiple times that Haley and Jade had marijuana in their systems at the time of the crash. Sharp also argued that the headlights were not turned on at the time of the crash.  There was a photo of the car in the tow lot where the light switch was in the off position.  A private investigator for the defense continued the argument for the lights and spoke out concerning the accident itself. 

 

A recess was taken, and after the recess, both sides gave closing arguments.  In those arguments, Kroncke argued that the 20-year sentencing was necessary and that ten years per victim was the best they could do in the state of Illinois.  She spoke about the ripple effect in the community and the impact that this incident had on all parties present.  Sharp spoke for Hodson, saying that Hodson was not the sole cause of the accident.  He says that Hodson was a law-abiding citizen who only had a few minor infractions previously and that he had been present for all court hearings, probation, and other settings. He brought up the Safe-T-Act, saying that Hodson had a low chance to commit another crime and that he argued that with Hodson being a former police officer he would need protections such as probation due to his previous status in law enforcement. 

 

Judge Brad Paisley heard both arguments and then spoke.  Judge Paisley reiterated that this sentencing needed to be a message to the community.  He wanted to make sure that anyone who committed crimes such as an aggravated DUI or reckless behavior would understand that there is no place for that in Christian County. Paisley threw out any discussion concerning marijuana being a contributing factor.  He threw out any discussion concerning extraordinary circumstances, and he threw out any discussion on the lights saying that at any time the lights could have been shut off. Judge Paisley noted that his biggest factors in sentencing were the blood alcohol level and the speed of Hodson’s vehicle. “Those kids should be alive,” Paisley noted.  

 

Judge Paisley then went to sentencing.  He said he wished he could issue justice and bring it back to that fateful day and hit a rewind button but he couldn’t.  With that being said, Hodson was sentenced to 18 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections to be served at 85%.  He was issued a $2500 fine plus costs and fees of court. He was also sentenced to 18 months of mandatory supervised release or probation. 

 

Judge Paisley finished his ruling and then made a statement to everyone who attended the hearing.  He released everyone at separate times and issued warnings to both parties, informing them that Christian County Deputies were not afraid to arrest anyone who caused problems on their way out of the courthouse.  

 

Hodson will begin serving his sentence immediately. He is eligible to be released in 2038. 
 

Robert Hodson Sentenced To 18 Years

Judge Brad Paisley sentenced Robert Hodson to 18 years in the Department of Corrections for aggravated DUI on Monday afternoon .  Robert M. Hodson of Taylorville pleaded guilty earlier this year in a negotiated settlement in front of Judge Brad T. Paisley on Thursday. Hodson plead guilty to aggravated DUI resulting in accident or death in connection to the deaths of 19-year-old Haley Anne Shoot and 20-year-old Zaydin Jon Dudra.

 

This is a breaking news story and we will have more later this evening concerning the sentencing today. 

August Update From The Shelby County Office Of Tourism

The Shelby County Office of Tourism keeps the community busy with many events each summer. Each season comes with its own set of activities for the office of tourism to coordinate and prepare for. Freddie Fry with the Shelby County Office of Tourism says you can never be too early with submitting your events.


Fry wants the community to know that if one has an event planned for Christmas activities, those can already be sent in. Giving the office of tourism ample time will provide more opportunities for posting and knowledge of the events.

 


The Windsor Harvest Picnic is already underway and continues to be the longest-running gathering in the state of Illinois. There is still time to enjoy the Windsor Harvest Festival as it runs all day Saturday.


The 51st Cowden Pioneers Days is another upcoming event happening Friday and Saturday, August 25th and 26th. Fry wants the community to come out and experience the Rodeo on Friday night at 10:30 PM, live music, and the many food vendors that will be on site.

 


The Lake Shelbyville Visitor Guide appears every year. This magazine-style information guide provides tips on what to do in the Shelbyville area for folks visiting. Fry says these visitor guides can be picked up from the Shelby County Office of Tourism.


For information about events happening in Shelby County make sure to visit, https://shelbyvilleillinois.net/.


Freddie Fry appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show from Shelbyville.
 

Taylorville City Council To Meet

The Taylorville City Council is set to meet on Monday evening at 7 PM at the Municipal Building in Taylorville.  After approval of minutes the council will review ordinance including BDD agreements.  There will be discussions on approval for bids on hunting grounds and looking for a working foreman and a full-time dispatcher for the police department. 

 

The council will also look at approving a closure permit for solar at the water treatment plant, a contribution of $8,000 for the Chamber of Commerce Chillifest, The council will also look at approving a special events permit for Paint the Town Purple for Amare NFP Christian County Celebrate Recovery Month with ribbons to be distributed August 23-31, 2023 and a special events permit for Pub 116 first anniversary party to be held on September 23rd from 4-11 PM in the parking lot of 116 East Main Cross. 

 

Under committee reports, the council will look to approve the purchase of two 2024 Ford F250 Supercabs for the water department.  Under lake and aiport, the council will discuss approving the purchase of a gazebo.  Under finance, the council will approve the treasurer’s report, and under ordinance, the council will look at a discussion for imposing a fine of $500, for feeding geese at Lake Taylorville and an ordinance that will require any new home construction within the city limits of Taylorville to have a minimum of 1,000 square feet of living space. 

 

There will also be city attorney and mayor updates. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more following the conclusion of the meeting Monday evening. 

Learning The Basics Of A Rodeo Clown

Watching from the grandstand as a bull rider tries their best to keep from getting kicked would cause the audience to forget about the brave barrelmen and rodeo clowns keeping the rider safe when they crash into the dirt. Mike Wallace is one of these courageous barrelmen and spends his summers working in rodeos and ensuring the safety of the bull riders.


There is much more to being a rodeo clown or barrelman than dressing up and getting the attention of that bull. Entertaining the crowd is one aspect that can be overlooked but is an added feature that keeps the audience engages and informed of what's going on.


Wallace describes his interesting line of work.

 


While the bull kicks and the rider holds on for dear life, Wallace is set up in a padded barrel awaiting his time to step in and control the show.

 


Wallace got his start riding bulls and moved to this position when his time taming beasts had come to an end.


Mike Wallace appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show in Shelbyville.

Event Planning Done Right

Leave the event planning to the professionals with Stephanie Brown’s Your Forever Story, a certified wedding and event planning service. It takes much preparation for an event or wedding to go off without a hitch, so while the guests and the hosts enjoy themselves, catering, seating, and all other aspects that make for a smooth event can be taken care of by Brown’s hard work.


Executive Director for the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, Linda Allen, says the chamber would like to get the word out on these services to ensure the best possible event experience.

 


Allen says Brown can travel to places outside of Christian County to relieve the stress of planning for an event. Allen notes that Brown has prepared multiple chamber events and has always satisfied the attendees and the hosts.

 


Brown's website can be found at yourforeverstory.godaddysites.com/, or call Brown directly at 217-503-9687.

Excessive Heat Warning Expected From Sunday Through Wednesday

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch in effect from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday evening.  Dangerously hot conditions with heat index values up to 108 degrees are expected for portions of central, east central, and west central Illinois from Sunday afternoon through Wednesday evening.  Xtreme heat and humidity will significantly increase the potential for heat-related illnesses, particularly for those working or participating in outdoor activities. Illinoisans are urged to drink plenty of water, stay in air-conditioned buildings, limit time outdoors, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts and stick to Regional Radio News for updates. 

GTCC Talks Successful Caterpillar Inc. Job Fair

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce recently opened their doors to host Caterpillar Incorporated, for an all-inclusive job fair experience. All items necessary to gain employment with Caterpillar were at the chamber, giving members of the community an opportunity to walk away with a new job.


Linda Allen, Executive Director of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce said it was a community effort. Caterpillar had reached out to the chamber in order to expand their employees. Allen called the day a success.

 


Of the 15 attendees, 13 secured an interview with Caterpillar Incorporated. Allen reminds the community that positions are still available with Caterpillar if one missed the event. A QR code that will guide job seekers to the proper pages can be found on the GTCC Facebook page.

 


For more information look to the GTCC Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TaylorvilleChamber/. Or visit their website at http://taylorvillechamber.com/


Linda Allen appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Agriculture In The Classroom

Agriculture education is getting started earlier in the classroom as many citizens of the community are unaware of what happens in the fields that border their cities. Rebecca Livingston spends the school year traveling to the various schools in Christian County, spreading the word about agriculture literacy.


Livingston notes that only 2% of the population is part of a family farm. This makes the farm-to-fork view difficult to grasp for youngsters. Livingston teaches 30-minute hands-on classes at the elementary school level to teach the importance of farming and agriculture.

 


Livingston is a 6th generation farmer and enjoys relaying her knowledge to the youth community. When natural disasters like dust storms or tornadoes appear, Livingston focuses on these issues and accepts any and all questions from the students.

 


Livingston displays her passion and knowledge to the students every day in the classroom. She said students are eager to learn and their questions are thought-provoking. Livingston makes the effort to educate the youth on how special Illinois is, in its agriculture and farming abilities.


Rebecca Livingston appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Edinburg Labor Day Picnic Adding New Events

The Edinburg Labor Day Picnic is coming up and this year's event promises to be one of the best on record with a rodeo, demo derby, and a carnival.  The event will be taking place from September 1st through September 4th.  Stephanie Zepin, with the Edinburg Labor Day Committee, says that they are very excited to have the carnival back. 

 

 

Zepin says that there is something for everyone at the Labor Day Picnic.

 

 

On September 2nd will be the demolition derby and on September 3rd will be the rodeo.  Tickets for the event will be available at the gate. Carnival wristbands are being presold at the Village of Edinburg and Citizens Bank of Edinburg.

 

The theme for this year’s event is Country Roads, Bring Me Home.  Zepin encourages you to come home to the Edinburg Labor Day Picnic at the Veterans Memorial Park in Edinburg.  For more information, visit their Facebook Page at Edinburg Labor Day 2023. 

Christian County Sheriffs Office Discuses Budget

As budget season approaches for the Christian County Sheriff's Office one item looks to be approved to bring more officers onto the roster. As of now, 17 sworn officers, including Sheriff Kettelkamp, Chief Deputy Baker, a courthouse officer, and two investigators handle the needs of the office for the county. That leaves 12 patrolling officers to ensure the safety of cities and villages like Mt. Auburn, Kincaid, and Tovey, whose towns are without local law enforcement.


Chief Deputy Jim Baker of the Christian County Sheriff's Office says the department has not added to the number of officers in 22 years.

 


Baker explains that night shifts in some cities are reliant on the Sheriff's Office to patrol and answer emergencies.

 


Emergencies are not the only call the Sheriff's Office is responsible for. Christian County relies on the Sheriff's Office for service calls, normal complaints, extra patrols, and the daunting task of serving over 150 civil paper services.

 


Baker says all he can do now is make the proposal and present it to the Christian County Board. He mentions the board has been receptive to the new recruitment of officers, saying the board is open-minded.


Baker notes that the Sheriff's Office has been able to manage the larger workload but with 14 cities in Christian County another hand on deck could make patrolling these cities easier.


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

Jeff Voorhees Announces Run For Circuit Clerk

A candidate has announced his run for office for the position for Christian County Circuit Clerk to replace retiring Julie Mayer. Jeff Voorhees resides in Morrisonville and has served as Chief Deputy Circuit Clerk in the Christian County Circuit Clerk’s Office for the past five years. 

 

 

Voorhees praised Mayer saying that she has really turned the Circuit Clerk’s Office around and he hopes to continue that work.

 

 

The primary is set for Tuesday, March 19th, 2024. 

Fun For The Whole Family at Windsor Harvest Picnic

This year's Windsor Harvest Picnic theme centers around family tradition, something that was felt throughout 98.3 WSVZ’s live coverage of the Farmers Picnic on Thursday night. The Farmers Picnic is full of live entertainment, excellent food, and fun for the entire family. The picnic will continue through Saturday, with the highlight being the marquee event: the parade, which starts at 2 pm.

 

The excitement continues Friday at 5 pm with the fish dinner and inflatables, followed by the main attraction of the night – the award-nominated and former #1 recording artist, Jarrod Niemann.

 

This sequence of events culminates Saturday with the 5k starting at 7:30 am, the pedal tractor pulls at 10 am, and the parade at 2 pm. The evening concludes with music from local artist and former contestant of The Voice, Allie Keck. The night wraps up with additional live music ending at 10 pm.

 

For a complete list of events for the Windsor Harvest Picnic, visit lakeshelbyville.com, and for more information, check out their Facebook page.
 

Free Tours Of The Homestead Prairie Farm

Travel back in time to the year 1860 to learn and explore rural life in Illinois with Homestead Prairie Farms at the Rock Springs Nature Center. Located at 3900-3976 Nearing Lane in Decatur, free tours of the homestead take place Saturdays and Sundays, through October from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.


Rock Springs Nature Center acquired the home in 1970 and created a museum to remember the history of the land. Alysia Callison, Director of Program Services for Rock Springs Nature Center invites the community out to be immersed in 1860s rural life.

 


To add to the vintage effect, tour guides will be appropriately dressed in late 1800s attire. Callison notes they are not in character but the large dresses and formal wear speak to the time period.

 


Rock Springs Nature Center is located at 3939 Nearing Lane in Decatur. Private tours of the homestead can be reserved online at www.maconcountyconservation.org/historic-sites/homestead-prairie-farm/, or call 217-423-7708 for more information.

Dick Adams Honored Upon Retiement As Christian County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation recently honored its retiring Executive Director Dick Adams, for his many years of service spurring economic development in the county.   Adams has announced his retirement effective August 31st.

 

Adams served multiple terms as mayor of the City of Taylorville, and under his leadership in the 1980's, Christian County landed a State of Illinois Correctional Center.

 

The City of Taylorville improved its services to its residents during his time as mayor, and in the 2003, the Christian County Economic Development Corporation was re-organized with Adams as its president.

 

Adams has always been passionate about attracting jobs to Christian County as an integral part of the county's future.  He's a former partner in a local real estate agency, and served stints at local businesses before being named CCEDC Executive Director in February 2022.

 

Adams plans on spending more time with his family.  

 

The Christian County Economic Development Corporation thanks Adams for his years of service to the residents of Taylorville and Christian County.

Taylorville Terrace Embracing Citizens With Disabilities

Ensuring the safety and quality of life of a person with an intellectual disability can bring many challenges. There are times when that care becomes too much for a family or guardian. These citizens with special needs sometimes have nowhere to turn and cannot be forgotten about. At Taylorville Terrace, an intermediate care facility for people with intellectual disabilities, these community members are well taken care of.


There are many homes like the Taylorville location across the state. Taylorville Terrace, located at 921 East Market Street, holds 16 licensed beds, a floor staff, and a nurse on the grounds daily. 11 of the beds are currently filled and the staff is ready to receive anyone that may need the support.


Kate Mansfield is the Residential Service Director for Taylorville Terrace and spends each day around the members of the home. Mansfield describes just how important this non-profit organization is for the community and how fulfilling the journey has been.

 


As it is called an intermediate home, those that reside can stay for as long as they need. The final destination for those living at Taylorville Terrace is a Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA), which holds fewer beds and is more suited for permanent living.


Mansfield explains that individuals staying at the Taylorville Terrace receive only $30 a month for basic spending. Necessities are provided by the home but spending costs for clothes, personal items, and extra food, make it a tight budget.


To help raise money for the residents, Mansfield and Taylorville Terrace will host a gift basket auction at Florindas in Taylorville on September 25th at 4:00 PM. These people with disabilities are often hard on their belongings and clothing items causing them to go through things faster. Mansfield asks local citizens and businesses to come out to the auction to help support an important cause.

 


Taylorville Terrace works hard all year to ensure the happiness of their residents. The holiday season can be a difficult time for those without family support, especially those with disabilities. Mansfield describes her effort in finding sponsors for each resident, making personalized lists of the resident's interests, so they can have a few presents under the tree.

 


Administrator Andy Kindernay and Service Director Kate Mansfield have put forth the effort to ensure the best quality of life possible for disabled individuals that have been left behind or are without support. Volunteers are accepted to help the house or to bring events and opportunities into the home.


Information about Taylorville Terrace can be found at www.phidd.org/. There, one can find sponsor and donation options for those looking to support Taylorville Terrace.


Kate Mansfield and Andy Kindernay appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

Legionnaires Disease Found In Shelby County

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with the Shelby County Health Department and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) to investigate a cluster of three Legionnaires’ disease cases. All three cases reside in Findlay, Illinois and reported illness onset dates between July 30 and August 4.

 

IDPH staff are working with Shelby County Health Department officials to determine common exposures between the three cases. Illinois local health departments investigating recent cases of Legionnaires’ disease are being asked to inquire about any time spent in Findlay or Shelby County during the 14 days prior to onset of symptoms.

 

On August 11, Illinois EPA conducted testing and evaluation of the public water supply serving Findlay and found no concerns with chlorine levels, an effective disinfection for Legionella. Illinois EPA has also requested daily sampling for chlorine residual within the system. Based on available epidemiologic information, IDPH Environmental Health will be conducting environmental assessments focused on potential sources. Environmental samples will be collected and tested by the IDPH public health laboratory. A definitive source of Legionella is rarely determined through environmental investigation. Rather, potential and possible sources of exposure are identified and investigated. Legionella control measures are then implemented to stop further exposure and disease.

 

“As the epidemiological and environmental investigation of this Legionnaires’ disease cluster continues, it is important to release this information to ensure that anyone with risk factors who has symptoms is aware and seeks evaluation and treatment,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “Legionnaires’ disease usually begins with a high fever (102 degrees F to 105 degrees F), chills, muscle aches, cough and shortness of breath, and symptoms usually develop up to two weeks after exposure.”

 

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection (pneumonia) that people can get by breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria. In general, people do not spread Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever to other people. Outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems like hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and cruise ships. The bacterium can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems, like hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, and decorative fountains.

 

Most healthy people do not get Legionnaires’ disease after being exposed to Legionella bacteria. People at increased risk of Legionnaire’s disease are those 50 years of age or older, or those who have certain risk factors such as being a current or former smoker, having a chronic disease, or having a weakened immune system.

 

In 2022, Illinois reported 381 cases of Legionnaires’ disease statewide with 215 confirmed to date in 2023.

 

Additional information about Legionnaires’ disease can be found on the IDPH website and the CDC website.

Youth Livestock Contest Sees Record Number

A record number of competitors headed to the 2023 4-H Illinois Superior Young Livestock Producers Contest.  The event was held on August 9th in conjunction with the State Fair. 58 4-H members from across the state competed in a three-phase competition challenging the youth’s knowledge of livestock production covering beef, swine, and sheep. 

 

Dan Jennings, U of I Extension Educator, 4-H Livestock says that the contest provides youth an opportunity to showcase their knowledge of the industry while competing for valuable scholarships to help them pursue their career goals. $1,000 scholarships are presented each year to the nine highest-scoring individuals overall.  The top nine 4-H youth receiving $1,000 scholarships this year include Ben Wamsley, Audrey Curtin, Isabel Pistorius, and Jay Bliler all from Christian County. 

 

In the Livestock Marketing competition, Ben Wamsley and Audrey Curtin received plaques and took home the highest honors.  This year marked the 27th consecutive year for the Superior Young Livestock Producers Contest, which has provided participating youth the opportunity to compete for over $500,000 in college scholarships since its inception.  The purpose of the contest is to create an educational activity that promotes youth development, career development, and personal growth through increased knowledge of the livestock industry. 

Local Farmer Spotlight

The Ag in the Classroom initiative is spotlighting local farmers to increase awareness for the “We are the 96%” campaign. This campaign acknowledges the effort made by the family-owned farms in Illinois, of which 96% are owned and operated by families.


The groups included in this campaign include the Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Soybean Association, and Midwest Dairy. Farmers from Christian and Montogomery counties will be the focus of the spotlights.


The first featured farmer is Gentry Dunkirk. 12-year-old Gentry works on his family farm in Morrisonville, IL, tending to his commercial pigs, show pigs, show sheep, and show cattle. The young farmer loves riding in the tractor during harvest season and taking care of his many livestock animals. When asked what was one thing he would tell people who do not live on a farm, Gentry responded that it is amazing, being in the country on a farm gives more opportunities for fun things, like working with animals and driving tractors.


The campaign is an effort of the Illinois Farm Families Coalition and they thank Gentry for his participation. The group looks forward to spotlighting their next local farmer.


 

Christian County Board Meets; Approves Next Steps For Solar Project

The Christian County Board met Tuesday evening at the County Courthouse. During public comments, the board heard from Patrick Murphy, Superintendent of the Morrisonville School District, who spoke out in support of the solar project saying that it would be a huge economic support for the School District.  Greg Vasilion, the developer of the solar project, also spoke about the project asking for an extension on the project.

 

 

Chief Deputy Jim Baker from the Christian County Sheriff’s Office encouraged everyone to download their new app. He says the radar is very accurate and was paramount for safety during the most recent storm. 

 

 

After going into closed session at 6:45, the board reconvened at 7:08.  Thomas Snyder Jr. brought agenda items for the highway/building/grounds/environmental/zoning/welfare committee. The board approved a motion to look at moving the zoning and solid waste departments to the  ROE Office on the first floor of the Courthouse. Clint Epley discussed executive/personnel/liquor/legislative.  A few residency waiver requests were approved.  The board also approved drafting a letter of support for a bill introduced by Senator Steve McClure and a CO2 Moratorium.  

 

Under new business/old business/and other, Jim Baker spoke out about updates on the jail and the upcoming budget. 

 

 

Deputy Baker says 17 officers are taking care of the entire county. Without Taylorville and Pana, 18,000 people are being taken care of by the 17 officers and an increase was asked for more officers. 

 

 

The ZBA recommended approval of the special unit permit for the upcoming solar project. Chairman Bryan Sharp spoke out about what he would like to see including some additional things that must be done before the project can be approved most notably clarity and  

 

 

The motion to amend the special use permit was approved with everyone saying yes except Jeffrey Nolen who abstained and two "no" votes. The next county board meeting is Tuesday, September 19th. 

Christian County Ag Fair 4-H Competition Results Now Available on taylorvilledailynews.com

Judging results from last month's Christian County Ag Fair, are now posted on taylorvilledailynews.com.

Click on the "Christian County Ag Fair" icon to the right of the masthead, and you'll be taken to a page with these results now listed:

--4-H Livestock Show results
--4-H General Show results, and
--4-H Food and Nutrition results.

Providing the results on taylorvilledailynews.com were part of the Miller Media Group's extensive coverage of last month's Fair.

Rock Springs Nature Center Brings More Outdoor Activities

There is Still time to enjoy summer outdoor activities with the Rock Springs Nature Center in Decatur. Family Friendly events can be found at the Nature Center for many weekends. This Saturday, August 19th, canoes will be available for rental from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Up to three people can fit in the canoe and rentals are $10 to take a trip around one of the many bodies of water on the grounds.


Alysia Callison, Director of Program Services for Rock Springs Nature Center is excited to offer canoe rides this weekend.

 


Callison says this event is great for beginners to get out on the water to give canoeing a try.

 


An outdoor sunset yoga event will follow on Sunday, August 20th at 7:00 PM. Callison notes that the Nature Center makes for a peaceful place to do yoga.

 


To learn more about these events make sure to visit www.maconcountyconservation.org/, or visit their Facebook page at Macon County Conservation District.


Alysia Callison appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Assumption Fest Kicks Off August 17th

Assumption Fest is getting set to kick off this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, in the Downtown Assumption area. This year, Assumption Fest features six different live music performances and even an appearance from Terry Grawey a hypnohumorist.


Thursdays events at the Main Stage include the opening ceremony at 6 PM, Little, Junior, and Miss Pageants at 6:15 PM, a live performance from Dylan Blankenship, playing rock and rolls, blues, and folk music, and rounding out night one, Josh Holland will be performing from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM in the Beer Tent.


Angela Ohl-Marsters is the President of Assumption Fest this year. Carnival rides will be present at the gathering and Ohl-Marsters notes that carnival rides are free during Thursday, the opening night from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

 


Ohl-Marsters says the community is excited about the many events that will be at Assumption Fest. She calls it one last summer celebration before the kiddos are back to hitting the books.

 


Friday at Assumption Fest begins with the Tiny Queen and King Contest at 6:00 PM on the Main Stage. Followed by the Cody Ryan Band performing from 8:00 PM to 10:30 PM. Nolan's Petting Zoo will be open from 3:00 PM to 8:30 PM, with over 40 different animals to see and interact with.


Saturday will be one of the busiest days with the Parade carrying down Main Street at 11:00 AM. The theme for the Parade is beach party.

 


For a full list of events and times for Assumption Fest, you can visit their Facebook page at Assumption Fest 2023.


Angela Ohl-Marsters appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Christian County Residents Take Home Awards At State Fair

Christian County 4-H members exhibited projects at the Illinois State Fair 4-H General Show on Friday, August 11. Members completed a process of evaluation called conference judging. This process allows the 4-H members to answer questions asked by the judges pertaining to the projects. The questions are asked to help the judge determine how much the 4-H member learned while doing their project. Christian County 4-H members who participated at the Illinois State Fair are listed below:        

 

Isaac Blakley- Heritage Arts

 

Nora Curtin- Cooking 101- Cookies

 

Connor Eggimann - Leather            

 

Cara Eggimann – Quilting             

 

Abby Erlenbush - Fiber                                

 

Caroline Hedden- Cooking 301-Dinner Rolls                        

 

Kelsie Hunt – Cooking 401 – Focaccia Bread        

 

Kyle Jackle-Hugh – Family Heritage

 

Hunter Mahan- Woodworking

 

Payton May - STEAM Clothing 1-Sewn Clothing    

 

William Pistorius- Sportfishing 1                                

 

Judson Shanks- Clay

 

Calum Shanks - Metal            

 

Deacon Shanks - Welding

 

Benjamin Wamsley – Cooking 101 - Cookies

 

Abigail Wamsley – Cake Decorating     

 

Christian Ribbon Winners- Deacon Shanks and Ben Wamsley for receiving Champion at the State General Show. Cara Eggimann and Caroline Hedden received Reserve Champion.

 

 

New Superintendent For Central A&M School District

Sacha Young is the new Central A&M School District Superintendent. Young began as a teacher for the Cowden-Herrick School District, then moved to a larger role, taking an elementary school principal position in Clinton. After seven years as a principal Young was prepared for her journey as Superintendent of the Central A&M School District.


As this was a completely new role for Young there were many names to learn and operations to familiarize herself with. Young prioritized creating relationships with her staff and hearing the ongoing issues and projects.

 


A new administration could mean changes for staff members and current operations. Young saw the well-trained and organized staff and noticed not much needed changing. Young will refer to the school's mission when leading her staff as she does not see any reason to make big changes. Young tells staff to lead with integrity and empower students.

 


Young said that to empower the students, it is her responsibility to empower the staff. Young wants to serve as a motivator for the teachers, so they can carry that same passion into their classrooms.

 


With Central A&M Schools District starting back up Friday, August 18th, the staff will be ready to serve their students with the same passion that their Superintendent displays.


Sacha Young appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.


 

TCCU Introduces Two New Programs For Helping Communities

The Taylorville Community Credit Union continues to support the community through community based programs such as the Stop Shop Vote campaign and the Freedom Tree Food drive.  Now, TCCU is introducing two new programs, both of which will be under the umbrella of “Help Us Help Them.” TCCU President Will Perkins says that over the past nine years, members and the public have increasingly supported scholarships and food drives. He says many people have asked how they can get involved and what organizations could use a little extra help. 

 

The first new program will debut in mid-August and will run through the end of October.  This program will benefit local school districts in the four communities where TCCU has offices including Taylorville, Hillsboro, Litchfield, and Pana.  TCCU members and the general public will be able to make monetary donations and donations will be given directly to the school districts to help them buy much-needed supplies.  Perkins says schools have seen an increase in expenses as well as budget cutbacks and these donations will help grades kindergarten through high school. In-lobby signage at the credit union’s four locations will remind visitors of the specific school districts that will benefit.  Donation receptacles will be clearly marked and visible. 

 

The second donations program will debut mid-January, 2024 and run through mid-April.  The four TCCU offices will each partner with a select local organization in its specific community.  These select community-based organizations will and can change each year, to ensure a wide range of organizations can benefit. The new programs are meant to generate cash donations to help support the needs and goals of the respective organizations.  All cash donations from the “Help Us Help Them” programs go directly to the named organizations.  TCCU simply serves as a collection point.

 

TCCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative.  Founded in 1956, it serves the financial needs of residcents throughout the tri-county area.  Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Christian, Shelby, or Montgomery Counties, as well as their family members.  For more information about TCCU visit www.TCCU.org.  
 

Taylorville Kiwanis Hears About Hope House At Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard about the local Hope House being constructed, at the club’s weekly meeting on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.

 

Jon and Monica Wamsley are founding board members along with several other local residents, to build the Hope House providing a place for parents and families that have lost children to death between 22 weeks and 24 years old.  The Wamsleys’ lost a baby in 2013.  Monica shared information that within a one-hundred mile radius of Taylorville between 2012 and 2021, some 600 families lost children. 

 

Monica added that for most families that have undergone the grief of a child’s death, it’s a period of adjustment.  In their case, Monica and her husband got away to figure out how their roles would change.

 

 

Monica added the Hope House, which has the driveway and shell up and is enclosed remaining under construction, will provide a safe environment away from others to make the adjustments to life without the child.

 

Jon Wamsley added volunteer contractors are lined up to finish the inside work, but some $217,000 or less is need to buy materials to complete the home, which is located south of Taylorville off the Nokomis blacktop.

 

Kiwanis Drive-Thru Donation Day chair Randal J. Miller shared with the club Tuesday, that the club’s efforts to collect non-perishable food and monetary donations for the Taylorville Food Pantry has provided them over 56-hundred pounds of food.  2 more Drive-Thru Donation Days are scheduled for September 9th and 16th in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park.

 

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.  

ISP Announce Human Trafficking Sting Resulting In Eight Arrests

The Illinois State Police (ISP) conducted an anti-human trafficking operation in the Springfield area resulting in eight arrests.  Between August 9-10, 2023, the ISP Division of Criminal Investigation Trafficking Enforcement Bureau led a human trafficking suppression operation focused on identifying individuals seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors. 

 

“ISP is increasing its efforts to protect those who are vulnerable to human trafficking, forced labor, and sexual servitude,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.  “ISP conducted a similar operation in June in which seven people in the Metro East were arrested.  Anyone who thinks about feeding the demand for human trafficking should know that ISP could be waiting behind a door for them with handcuffs.”

 

As a result of the operation, the following individuals were arrested and charged.

 

-David L. Kraemer (41) – Lovington, Illinois – Indecent Solicitation of a Child, Travelling to Meet a Minor 

 

-Cody R. Jones (34) – Springfield, Illinois – Indecent Solicitation of a Child, Travelling to Meet a Minor 

 

-Shannan C. Morrow (52) – White Hall, Illinois – Indecent Solicitation of a Child, Travelling to Meet a Minor, Sexual Exploitation of a Child 

 

-Edgar G. Mendoza (32) – Springfield, Illinois – Indecent Solicitation of a Child, Travelling to Meet a Minor 

 

-Phillip J. Smith (43) – Rochester, Illinois – Indecent Solicitation of a Child, Travelling to Meet a Minor 

 

-Timothy E. Smith (28) – Springfield, Illinois – Indecent Solicitation of a Child (2 Counts), Travelling to Meet a Minor (2 Counts) 

 

-Kory W. Tobias (45) – Chatham, Illinois– Indecent Solicitation of a Child, Travelling to Meet a Minor 

 

-Zebei D.. Zhu (37) – Springfield, Illinois– Indecent Solicitation of a Child, Travelling to Meet a Minor 

 

This operation was part of a multifaceted approach by ISP aimed at stopping human trafficking in Illinois.  Also participating in the operation were ISP Division of Criminal Investigation Zone 4 and Zone 6 Special Agents, Troopers from ISP Troop 6, ISP Division of Criminal Investigation Intelligence Support Unit, ISP Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT), West Central Illinois Task Force, Central Illinois Enforcement Group, ISP Highway Interdiction Team South, and the Department of Homeland Security.  The Sangamon County States Attorney’s Office also provided support for the operation. 

 

If you suspect human trafficking, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text *233733.  For more information visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org.  You also email ISP.Crime.Tips@illinois.gov.

 

ISP Encouraging Safety Around Schools

The Illinois State Police are reminding the public about the importance of focusing on roadway safety as children across the state prepare to head back to school, especially laws specific to the safety of children in school zones and while boarding buses.  

 

Back-to-School season means an increase in pedestrians and bicyclists in general and not only are children walking to school along with waiting at bus stops, but there are also possibly riding bikes or crossing the street.  Police say to be aware of kids walking in between parked cars. Motorists are asked to be alert while driving through the street and remember that pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks. 

 

ISP reminds motorists to be extra vigilant in school zones and obey posted speed limits.  Posted school zones have a speed limit of 20 miles per hour and are in effect from 7 AM to 4 PM on school days when children are present. Riving while talking or texting on a hand-held cellular device is strictly prohibited and fines are increased within a school zone. 

 

Motorists approaching a stopped school bus with lights activated and sign extended must stop their vehicle before reaching the school bus. A first-time violation for failing to stop for a school bus unloading/loading while their lights are activated and the stop arm extended can result in a mandatory $300 fine and a three-month suspension of driving privileges.  Find out more by visiting the ISP website.  ISP reminds Illinoisans that school zone laws keep kids safe. 

Pickleball Courts Open In Shelbyville

Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America and Central Illinois is staying up to date with the current forms of recreation with new pickleball courts ready for action in Shelbyville. The courts are located at the Whitetail Crossing Cabins, near Lake Shelbyville.


The brains behind this privately funded operation was David Brummer. Brummer saw the need for this new form of lower-impact and endurance recreation. Now the courts are seeing more action every week as word of the new game spreads.

 


Renting out courts by the hour comes with a fee of $12 for the hour or $20 for two hours. Reservations can be made at lspickleball.com. As this project used zero taxpayer dollars, Brummer called the fee a hurdle the pickleball courts would have to overcome. To help with this fee, refreshments will be offered and pickleball equipment will be on hand to use free of charge. Brummer notes this is a great way to try pickleball out without investing money into equipment.

 


Brummer sees a future for pickleball that he says makes the investment worthwhile. As the community learns of the new activity, Shelbyville is stocked with courts to hold these competitions. Lower-impact activities like golf are not for everyone, Brummer calls pickleball a reaction game, and the new courts bring variety to the local citizens.

 


Tuesday, August 15th, the pickleball courts will host their first Open Play Night where the community can come out and give pickleball a try for free. You can visit lspickleball.com to reserve a court and find more information.


David Brummer appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

FFA To Count Time Outside Of Classroom

Students who participate in a work-based learning experience, like Future Farmers of America or 4-H program competitions or exhibitions, will be able to count the time outside of the classroom as hours of school work thanks to a measure championed by State Senator Doris Turner that was signed into law Monday.

 

 

Turner’s new law allows students to count the hours that they participate in a work-based learning experience as hours of school work. The initiative includes participation in scheduled events of state and national Future Farmers of America associations as well as 4-H programs as part of organized competitions or exhibitions – something Turner strongly advocated for.

 

Illinois FFA is a youth organization that prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education. 4-H is the largest out-of-school youth organization across the state aimed at teaching practical skills to youth by offering lessons in communications, leadership, career development, livestock, home improvement, and computer technology.

 
“This is one step forward to continue encouraging students to learn about agriculture and what the industry has to offer,” said Turner. “I’m excited for our youth to be able to learn both inside and outside of the classroom.”

 

House Bill 3814 takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Do You Want To Become A Master Gardener?

The Master Gardners are looking for more green thumbs to help out the local community with their garden-related issues. Fall training spots open September 2nd for people well-versed and interested in gardening.


Gwen Podeschi, a current Master Gardner says classes take between two and three months to complete.

 


Podeschi explains that these classes take an online and in-person hybrid approach. Tests and assignments will be handled online. Podeschi notes that there is a $300 fee that includes the Master Gardner manual, an information DVD, and ten classes that give a comprehensive view of gardening.

 


For those interested in becoming a Master Gardner, contact the extension office at 217-287-7246 or go online at goillinois.edu/cjmm, navigate to the horticulture tab to find the register button.


Gwen Podeschi and Sandy Klein appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

Staying Prepared With The CC Emergency Response Agency

How a community responds when a natural disaster approaches is an integral piece of any community. To ensure the safety of its community, the Taylorville Fire Department along with the Christian County Emergency Management Agency is staying prepared with updated equipment and communication tactics.


Jeff Stoner has been the Director of the EMA for three years. Dealing with many storms and some devastating disasters, Stoner knows the proper actions and materials needed for a quick response to danger.

 


The City of Taylorville is a member of Hyper-Reach, an emergency notification system that will notify one of bad weather even when they are not in the area. These messages will reach landlines and cell phones that are on their database.

 


Jeff Stoner doubles as a Taylorville fireman when he is not keeping an eye on the sky. Stoner talks about the equipment the department has to identify and alert severe weather patterns. Stoner uses a mobile weather monitoring system to relay alerts back to the department. He states that this equipment is a necessity and the department is always looking for more to upgrade.

 


Stoner describes a time when severe weather made communications difficult, as many frequencies were clogging up the analog system. Taylorville and many other communities have made the switch to digital systems in order to avoid this problem.

 


Christian County is in good hands with fast-acting first responders like Jeff Stoner and the Emergency Management Agency. As equipment and communication upgrades persist, Christian County will be up to date on all information that is pertinent.


Jeff Stoner appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

Deadline Nears for Non-Profits to Apply for Taylorville Kiwanis Grant Funding

The deadline is nearing for local non-profit organizations that provide programs and activities for children and youth in the Taylorville community, to apply to the Taylorville Kiwanis Club for grant money. 

 

The Club already funds high school and YMCA scholarships each year, but many times there are other requests for funding that come to the Kiwanis Board at various times of the year.

 

This effort is to request those organizations and events, to formally apply for funding.  Any application must be centered on how local children and youth will benefit.

 

This year’s Kiwanis Grant Application deadline is September 15th, a change from past years.  The application can be found by going to taylorvillekiwanis-dot-com, or can be requested by e-mail’ing Kiwanis Funding Committee Chair Randal J. Miller whose e-mail address is sales@randyradio.com.

 

This is the third consecutive year that the Club is accepting applications to provide grants to other non-profits in the Taylorville that have a similar mission to the Kiwanis Club, to benefit local youngsters.  

 

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

Jack Flash Truck Stop in Pana Construction Continues Toward Fall Opening

 

Construction continues toward a fall opening for the new Jack Flash Truck Stop on Illinois Route 16 and US Highway 51 in Pana.

 

It's just one of at least 2 new projects for Pana's economic growth.  About 4 months ago, Great Western Popcorn Company broke ground for a new 100,000 square foot building in Pana's Industrial Park to expand their operation.

Local Red Cross Volunteer Heading To Hawaii

Hawaii is facing its worst wildfires in a long time, having an impact on many people. The American Red Cross is working hard to help those in trouble.

 

Together with government officials and partners, the Red Cross is finding safe places for people to stay, giving them food, and helping them feel better. If things get worse, they're ready to do even more to help.

 

In a bid to assist fellow Red Cross volunteers, Steve Hilgers from Central Illinois is gearing up for a mission to Maui. His mission? To ensure that his fellow workers have comfortable places to rest and support their tasks. Steve's no stranger to helping out in big challenges; he's lent a hand during major hurricanes in the past.

 

For more information visit Redcross.org/Illinois or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @RedCrossIL.

Christian County Circuit Clerk Retires

As Julie Mayer walked through the doors of the Christian County Circuit Clerks' office in 2008, she was prepared to head the department with 29 years of free-lance court reporting under her belt. But the path to this position did not come easy. Mayer explains the process of running for this office. With a number of knowledgeable actors helping along the way, Mayer was set up for success.


Even though Mayer says she wanted to continue on, her retirement has been announced. But Mayer left the Circuit Clerks' Office much different than she found it.

 


Mayer talks about the vast number of aspects that she needed to familiarize herself with. Job shadowing for months, learning the staff, and keeping track of the court fillings that do not stop. Mayer says the factor that set her up for success in the position was training from her predecessor, Donna Castelli. Castelli knew the ins and outs of the job that could have only been learned from years of experience.

 


Mayer made campaign promises that were looking to set up the Circuit Clerks' office for the future in their fillings and job training. At the time, all files were paper. The goal was to transition to a web-based program to ensure the safety and easy access of the files. Next, Mayer set out to cross-train employees, knowing that some members of the office were ready for retirement, the staff needed to be educated and prepared.


Mayer says these two goals were accomplished. But not without its struggles. In the beginning, this was a new system and was going to change operations in the department, but for the better. Mayer said it was a necessity.

 


After years of scanning and ensuring the safety of important fillings, Mayer has transformed the department into an efficient and tech-savvy machine. Now on the Judici site, citizens can access important court information, access traffic tickets, and now judges from different cities can have a look at filings without having the physical copy in front of them.


When asked if Mayer would follow in the influential footsteps of her predecessor, training the next Circuit Clerk, she answered with a resounding, “Yes.” She compared her department and others like it to a team. Working towards a common goal of organizing and making a smooth process for litigants.

 


The next Christian County Circuit Clerk is in great hands with the knowledge and passion that Julie Mayer had for the position. Thanks to the diligent work of Mayer and her staff, the community can count on proper court fillings and advanced online services.


 

Windsor Harvest Picnic Coming Soon

The 126 Annual Windsor Harvest Picnic is taking place August 16th, 17th, and 18th, located at 1103 Pennsylvania Ave, Windsor. This year the picnic will continue its tradition of free, stellar live music and food for the community.


Stacy Cole has been a Windsor Harvest Picnic Chair Person for longer than he can remember. The days of the picnic are varied by the food options, Thursday is the Pork Chop Dinner. The dinner gets started at 4:00 PM, followed by the Methodist church serving ice cream at 5:00 PM.

 


Friday's events begin with the fish dinner at 5:00 PM followed by deserts from the 5th and 6th graders. An official patriotic welcome will take place, run by the Windsor American Legion at 6:30 PM. Rounding out the night on Friday is a live music performance from Jarrod Niemann at 7:00 PM.


The theme for this year's picnic is “Family Tradition”, Cole says he continues to put forth the effort into these picnics because he loves his community.

 


Saturday at the Windsor Harvest Picnic will start with breakfast, provided and served by Windsor FFA from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Registration for the 5K run or the one-mile walk will begin at 7:00 AM with the race starting at 7:30 AM. Parade at 3:00 PM, the chicken dinner will be served at 4:30, then Exile performing at 7:00 PM.


For a full list of events for the Windsor Harvest picnic, visit, www.lakeshelbyville.com/events/windsor.htm.


Stacey Cole appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning show in Shelbyville
 

Taylorville Police Officer Reminds to Respect the Square

The Taylorville Square creates the perfect place for a relaxing night out. Activity picks up as the night rolls in and many local community members fill the parking spaces, break out their corn-hole sets and begin enjoying their evening.


But these nights on the square often leave behind garbage and remnants from the night before. Taylorville Police Officer Kirsten Beaman loves to see the community engaging and hanging out amongst the square, but she asks that the square goers respect the grounds and the people that may be living in the nearby buildings.

 


Beaman reminds everyone attending the Taylorville Square that there are residents living on that very square and trash should be the responsibility of the people who left it, not an altruistic citizens.

Different Styles Of Reading At the Shelbyville Library

There are many opportunities for readers at the Shelbyville Public Library all year. Audiobook usage at the Shelbyville Public Library has become a popular feature, Cameron says that each month about 50% of the consumption comes from audiobooks.


Monica Cameron, Director of the Shelbyville Public Library explains the multitasking abilities that come with audiobooks.

 


Cameron says There is an online catalog at www.shelbyvillelibrary.org/ where readers can view their entire inventory of books to see what the library has without going in. Cameron says they have many genre options available.

 


The Shelbyville Public Library uses the app cloud library for check-out of ebooks and audiobooks for download. Cameron explains that the “Share” app. It is downloadable on smartphones and makes checking the library's inventory easy.

 


The Shelbyville Public Library is changing with the times as audio and ebooks are on the rise. These materials are available now at www.shelbyvillelibrary.org/.


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

Attorneys General Coalition Led By Kwame Raoul Backs G.U.A.R.D. Act to Safeguard Veterans' Benefits

A group of attorneys general, led by Kwame Raoul, is backing the Governing Unaccredited Representatives Defrauding (G.U.A.R.D.) Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits Act. This bipartisan effort involves 44 states and aims to protect veterans seeking federal VA benefits.

 

The proposed legislation targets those who take advantage of veterans' financial needs by holding them accountable. It addresses a problem where dishonest individuals advertise services that appear better than Legitimate options, but often leave veterans to do most of the work.

 

The attorneys general emphasized that accredited veteran service officers and claim agents offer continued support, while unaccredited actors may disappear after a veteran's claim process. The coalition advocates for the G.U.A.R.D. Act to protect veterans' rights and promote a fair process for obtaining VA benefits.

 

The bipartisan coalition is united in its commitment to uphold the honor and well-being of veterans, urging prompt consideration and passage of the G.U.A.R.D. Veterans Affairs Benefits Act. This collective effort enforces a stance against exploitation and a firm dedication to ensuring veterans receive the support and respect they deserve.
 

New Campaign Urges Parents to Ensure Timely Vaccinations for Kids in Illinois

It's National Immunization Awareness Month and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has introduced a Campaign called "Don't Wait, Get Your Kids Up-to-Date." This campaign serves as a timely reminder for parents and guardians to make sure their children's vaccinations before the upcoming school season are up to date. As instances of measles and chickenpox outbreaks become increasingly concerning, the IDPH is emphasizing the significance of safeguarding children against these preventable infections. The campaign's launch coincides with National Immunization Awareness Month, observed throughout August, which underscores the importance of routine vaccinations for individuals of all ages.

 

Dr. Sameer Vohra, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Supported the fact that Vaccines have a crucial role in maintaining public health. He pointed out that vaccines have been instrumental in eradicating diseases like smallpox and significantly reducing the prevalence of other infectious illnesses. As a medical professional that works with kids, Dr. Vohra pleaded with parents not to delay and ensure their children's vaccinations are up-to-date before the academic year begins. His message to parents was clear: "Don't wait, get your kids up-to-date!"

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offers expert guidance on vaccinations for children. They recommend specific vaccines based on age and health factors. Children aged four to six require immunizations against measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox. For kids aged 11 to 12, vaccines are recommended to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, meningococcal disease, and human papillomavirus (HPV).

 

The State of Illinois adheres to CDC guidelines regarding minimum immunization requirements for children entering schools or childcare facilities. These guidelines are readily accessible on the Illinois Department of Public Health's official website. The "Don't Wait, Get Your Kids Up-to-Date" campaign will encompass a multimedia approach, utilizing videos, signage, and social media platforms to ensure its message reaches families throughout the state. The overarching objective of the campaign is to foster the health and protection of all children against preventable illnesses.
 

Illinois Electric Vehicle Rebate Program Opens for Applications on November 1st

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) has revealed the launch of the Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program, running from November 1st to January 31 of next year. Aimed at encouraging electric vehicle adoption, the program offers rebates to individuals purchasing new or used all-electric vehicles from licensed dealers in Illinois.

 

To qualify for a rebate, EV purchasers must apply within 90 days of their vehicle purchase date. The rebate fund, with an allocation of $12 million from the Illinois General Assembly, will be available until June 30, 2024. This fund will be available on a first come first serve basis.

 

John J. Kim, Director of the Illinois EPA, highlighted the program's success, noting over $19 million in rebates were awarded in fiscal year 2023. Kim stated that the program's early announcement allows potential buyers to plan accordingly.

 

 Eligible applicants can apply for rebates during this period, application forms and instructions will be accessible on the Electric Vehicle Rebate Program webpage starting October 18th.
 


 

TCCU's 'Freedom Tree' Drive Boosts Local Food Pantries

Taylorville Community Credit Union's (TCCU) 'Freedom Tree' food drive has once again rallied the tri-county communities of Taylorville, Hillsboro, Litchfield, and Pana. Running from June 5 to July 14, the ninth annual drive collected substantial donations of canned goods, hygiene products, and a record-breaking $2600 in cash.

 

President Will Perkins expressed gratitude for the ongoing community support, highlighting the importance of cash donations. These funds enable local food pantries to acquire more supplies from food banks, magnifying the impact of each dollar donated.

 

The 'Freedom Tree' initiative directly aids local food pantries during the challenging summer months when demand is high, and donations typically dip. Perkins praised the community's dedication to caring for its neighbors and reaffirmed TCCU's commitment to fostering a stronger community.

 

Founded in 1956, TCCU provides a range of financial services to Shelby, Christian, and Montgomery Counties. Learn more at www.TCCU.org or visit their locations: 422 W. Main Cross, Taylorville; 138 E. Wood, Hillsboro; 801 W. Union, Litchfield; 101 E. Fifth, Pana. The success of 'Freedom Tree' reflects the collective efforts of TCCU and the community it serves.

University Of Illinois Extension Celebrates Retirement Of Long-Serving Staff Members

The University of Illinois Extension in Clay, Effingham, Fayette, and Jasper counties bid farewell and extends best wishes to retirees Jo Stine, Debbie Boley, and Sarah Clayton. Together, they have dedicated a combined 70+ years to the community, leaving a lasting impact through their roles.

 

Jo Stine served Fayette County for 23 years as a SNAP-Education Community Worker, promoting health and nutrition education.

 

Debbie Boley spent 21 years as an office support professional at the Fayette County Extension office, contributing to the seamless operation of programs.

 

Sarah Clayton retired after 26 years as an office support professional, having served Jasper and Effingham counties, exemplifying dedication and efficiency.

 

Their commitment has strengthened the University of Illinois Extension's mission, enriching countless lives. The organization expresses gratitude for their service and wishes them a fulfilling retirement.

 

For details on the University of Illinois Extension Nutrition, contact Michelle Fombelle at mfombell@illinois.edu. Equal opportunities are provided in programming and employment, with accommodation options available upon request.

Taylorville Public Library-Internet Access And Video games Ready For Check-Out

The Taylorville Public Library has services the local community may not know about. Internet hot spots and a Nintendo Switch Gaming System are on-site at the library and are good for checkout. With a library card, citizens can check out an internet hot spot to take home when the internet is running slow or even if a home has no internet at all. Library cardholders can take the devices home with them for free, as long as it is returned, unharmed.


Ryan Reitmeier is the Director of the Taylorville Public Library and wants the community to know that these valuable services are here for the public's benefit.

 


Reitmeier says the hot spots were received last year and were funded through a grant. Setting up an internet connection can be a daunting task, Reitmeier and his team at the Taylorville Public Library are there to help with setup.

 


Renting the Nintendo Switch Gaming System is a great way to try out the game without buying one's own personal system. Reitmeier says games are available for checkout as well.

 


The Taylorville Public Library is located at 121 West Vine Street in Taylorville.


Ryan Reitmeier appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.


 

Meet The Machines Event Coming Soon

Small Town Taylorville is behind many of the great events that make their way to Taylorville each year. Events like the Car Cruise, the farmers market, and coming soon to the Christian County Fair Grounds, Meet the Machines.


The Meet the Machines event will take place Saturday, August 26th, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Steve Craggs, Co-Chair for Small Town Taylorville says there will be 100 different vehicles to explore. From emergency vehicles to agricultural modes of transport, the community is in for another great event.

 


Craggs notes that Meet the Machines is a fun day for the kids, getting into the cab of a large vehicle, honking the horns, and meeting the firemen, but there is also fun for the parents as Craggs says the views of the machines are special.

 


Craggs says he sees the parents get into the Meet the Machines event each year, watching their children enjoy the vehicles while taking in the new technology of the machinery.


Steve Craggs appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Illinois Raptor Center: Protecting Birds of Prey and Preserving Ecosystem Health

For some people, it takes years to discover their true passion in life. However, for Jack Nuzzo, the Program Director of the Illinois Raptor Center in Decatur, his passion was ignited at a very young age during an adventurous outing. While exploring a field one day, he spotted something he had never seen before as a child: a Pheasant in its natural habitat. Shortly thereafter, a bird of prey appeared, displaying its power. Jack, who grew up with two deaf parents, vividly recalls that day when he tried to convey in sign language what he had witnessed. Ever since then, he has been captivated.

 

Jack's fascination with birds of prey led him to become a volunteer at the Illinois Raptor Center in 1991. Situated near the Sangamon River, just off Route 51, in Decatur, the Illinois Raptor Center offers various services to the local community, including a wildlife hospital and educational programs.

 

 

Nuzzo noted that such centers are relatively rare. He mentioned that there are only a handful in Illinois, and he covers 18 counties. Running these centers isn't without challenges, with Nuzzo highlighting the significant issue of food costs. While there are other similar centers, none can rival the Illinois Raptor Center's In-Flight cages, which are the largest in the continental United States.

 

 

Ameren has played a substantial role in supporting the efforts of the Illinois Raptor Center. The company sent engineers to help construct the Superflight system and provided resources and materials for the structure. Power line structures serve their purpose for electricity, but they also inadvertently serve as bird perches, which can pose risks to both birds and humans.

 

 

Advancements have been implemented, such as extending the cross's length to prevent birds from touching both sides of the wires. Rubber caps have also been added to assist raptors.

 

Birds of prey play a crucial role in gauging the health of an ecosystem. As predators, their presence indicates a thriving ecosystem.

 

 

To learn more about the Illinois Raptor Center, you can visit their Facebook page, "Illinois Raptor Center," or their website at www.illinoisraptorcenter.org.
 

Winners Announced for the 2023 Cream of the Crop Photo Contest in Illinois

A Christian County high school student was among those announced by Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs as the winners of the 2023 Cream of the Crop Photo Contest, which encourages young photographers to express their views on agriculture in the state. Students who clinched the top three positions in their age groups will receive Bright Start scholarships.

 

Frerichs expressed his appreciation for the participants and their creativity in capturing the beauty of Illinois agriculture. He congratulated the winners, highlighting the significance of the Bright Start scholarships for their post-secondary education.

 

The winners' photos from each age group will be displayed at the Illinois State Fair in the Treasurer's Tent and can also be viewed on the State Treasurer's Office website. The award ceremony will take place on August 11 at the fairgrounds and will be open to the public.

 

The Cream of the Crop Photo Contest is part of the Illinois State Treasurer's Ag Invest program, which marks its 40th anniversary this year. The program supports farmers and agri-businesses with low-interest loans, contributing to the growth and development of the agricultural sector in the state.


Winners:
Age 8-10 Category:
First Place: Bennett Schumacher, At Sunset, Jacksonville, IL (Morgan County)
Second Place: Bennett Schumacher, Working Hard, Jacksonville, IL (Morgan County)
Third Place: Leah Johnson, Rose Lettuce, Pleasant Plains, IL (Sangamon County)


Age 11-14 Category:
First Place: Carolyn Lee, American Cattle, Wellington, IL (Iroquois County)
Second Place: Anna Parr, Moo, Mason City, IL (Mason County)
Third Place: Anna Parr, Mama and Her Babies, Mason City, IL (Mason County)


Age 15-18 Category:
First Place: Macy McLaughlin, Evening Elegance, Mason City, IL (Mason County)
Second Place: Alec Shields, Beneath the Bluffs, Carbondale, IL (Jackson County)

 


Second Place: Sophie Robinson (right), Crop Sprayer, Taylorville, IL (Christian County) 
Third Place: Hallie Smith, Mary the Little Lamb, Taylorville, IL (Christian County)
 

IDPH Provides Essential Health and Safety Services at 2023 Illinois State Fair

The 2023 Illinois State Fair in Springfield welcomes the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to offer vital health and safety services. From August 10 to August 20, fairgoers can access free immunizations, physicals, dental exams for school-aged children, and firearm safety initiatives.


IDPH, in partnership with Mobile Care Chicago, provides free immunizations and physicals for school-aged children at the Illinois Building booth. This service is available on August 11 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. Requirements for immunizations and physicals are outlined by state law and are detailed on the IDPH website.


Free dental examinations for school-aged children are offered on August 15 and 18, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the IDPH booth at the Illinois Building.


IDPH, along with the Illinois State Police, distributes free gun locks at the fair. These locks, provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, are part of the "Together for a Safer Illinois" program. The initiative aims to prevent accidents, gun violence, theft, and suicide. Locks come with installation instructions and information about the national 988 suicide and crisis lifeline.


Beyond medical services, IDPH emphasizes food safety through vendor inspections, ensuring compliance with regulations to protect fairgoers' health.


The IDPH tent and booths offer informational materials about the agency's services and potential employment opportunities.

 

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra encourages Illinoisans to make use of these public health resources during the State Fair. To learn more, visit dph.illinois.gov or illinoisstatefair.info.

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight Salutes Veterans on Mission #68

The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight (LLHF) is gearing up for an extraordinary journey as Mission #68 takes off on Tuesday, August 22, 2023. A total of 93 veterans, including 2 Korean-era and 91 Vietnam-era veterans, will gather at the Springfield Abraham Lincoln Capitol Airport, representing 54 towns across Illinois, including Assumption, Beardstown, Belleville, and many others. Notably, veterans from Springfield, MO, and Florissant, MO, will also join this honorable flight.

 

The veterans, accompanied by 86 Guardians, will convene at the airport bright and early at 4:00 AM. They are embarking on a heartfelt trip to Washington DC aboard a chartered Sun Country 737 aircraft. Their destination includes revered landmarks such as the World War I, Korean, and Vietnam War memorials, the Arlington National Cemetery Tomb of the Unknowns, the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia, the US Marine Corps Memorial, and the US Air Force Memorial. LLHF extends this day of honor to veterans at absolutely no cost, in recognition of their invaluable service.

 

Joan Bortolon, LLHF President, underscores the organization's commitment, stating: "Our mission is to show our most senior veterans our gratitude for their service by hosting this day of thanks absolutely free to the veteran. They have paid enough; it is our turn to pay them back."

 

The heroes' return is eagerly anticipated, scheduled for 9:30 PM on Tuesday. The LLHF invites the general public, friends, family, and fellow LLHF alumni veterans to participate in a heartwarming homecoming at the Springfield airport. Bortolon passionately expresses, "Please come to the airport to give our veterans the welcome home they earned, deserved, and never received." She encourages greeters to arrive early, demonstrating appreciation and support for the sacrifices these veterans have made for the country. Free parking is available, and volunteers will be on hand to assist guests and direct them to the shuttle bus, ensuring a seamless experience.

 

Bortolon extends an invitation to all eligible veterans: "We encourage any World War II, Korean Era, or Vietnam Era veteran to apply now. The waiting list for future flights has never been shorter. This is your time to be honored." LLHF prioritizes seriously impaired or terminally ill veterans for flight participation. Applications for both veterans and Guardians can be accessed at www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org under the Applications tab.

 

Land of Lincoln Honor Flight operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, reliant on the generosity of donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, and merchandise sales to fulfill its mission. Comprising entirely of volunteers, the organization incurs minimal administrative costs, ensuring that the vast majority of funds raised directly benefit flight costs for veterans.

Safe Passage Success Story

The Safe Passage Program is dedicated to serving people suffering from addiction and providing them with assistance, especially when these citizens feel as though they have nowhere to go.


Mike Hays is one of many cases that has been shown the light through Safe Passage.


Now, with 11 months sober, Hays has gained employment, moved into a two-bedroom home, and is on the way to receiving full custody of his son. Hays says this massive change in lifestyle would not have been possible without assistance from Denise Evans and Safe Passage.


Hays explains his journey, meeting influential people on his way, making his destination of sobriety reachable.

 


When asked if these accomplishments would be possible without Safe Passage, Hays responded with “Not at all.” Denise Evans talks about hitting rock bottom and what that truly means. Having nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Safe Passage was there with open arms. Hays speaks on the mechanisms he uses to remain sober.

 


One of the biggest takeaways for Hays was connections he needed to cut off, places he could not visit anymore, and habits that needed breaking. The workers of Safe Passage relate to the words, people, places, and things, aspects that need to be changed. Also living by the words, “the only thing you have to change, is everything.”

 


Hays is grateful for the Safe Passage program that has led him to the place he is today. Hays spoke on the effort and bravery it took for him to make this life-altering change, it is an everyday effort but he sees the progress made and continues to improve.


Mike Hays and Denise Evans appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.


 

Resource Officers Having Positive Impacts In Schools

School resource officers are keeping young learners and educators safe during the school day. But these accessible officers serve more purpose to the students and teachers than stepping in during a time of chaos. These resource officers know the day-to-day interactions and emotions of the students they are around every day, making relationships and knowing when a student is having an off day.


Kirsten Beaman is a resource officer at Taylorville Junior High School and has enjoyed making connections with the students and staff.

 


Officer Beaman offers some advice relating to social media. Beaman notes, recent posts are able to give away more information than meets the eye. Oversharing information about a child or that child posting themselves could expose them to eyes that may be unwanted. Beaman urges caution while posting as students enter back into school.

 


Irresponsible social media usage has extended to bullying and even harassment in schools. Beaman explains that this torment follows students out of the school, noting that you never know what someone is going through at home.

 


August 16th is the first day back to school for students. Beaman reminds parents and guardians to be aware of social media posting and that their own children's posting can have effects on other people.


Officer Beaman appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

LLCC Hosts Annual Workforce AND Agriculture Job Expo

Lincoln Land Community College is getting set to host their second annual Workforce and Agriculture Expos, on September 21st, inviting area high school students and employers interested in agriculture-related fields. There are two sessions on the day of the expo, the morning session runs from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM and the afternoon session will be from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM.


Dean of the Workforce Institute for Lincoln Land Community College, Nancy Sweet, invites all students interested in continuing their education. Sweet says that this is an opportunity to find out the many paths one can take

 


Last year there were 50 businesses that attended the expo to display their services. Sweet says this year they expect to have even more business coming to campus.

 


With so many fields to choose from, attendees will have an opportunity to test out current technology and see what interests them. Sweet notes that training for these professions consists of about half classroom time and half lab/field training.

 


There is something for everyone at the Workforce and Agriculture Expo, happening September 21st.


Nancy Sweet appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

Breaking News: Memorial Health Systems Lays Off Several Hundred to Reduce Workforce

Memorial Health Systems this afternoon announced layoffs of several hundred people at their hospitals in Springfield, Jacksonville, Taylorville, and Lincoln, due to what they're calling the current national and statewide economic trends negatively affecting the healthcare industry.

In a written statement to Regional Radio News, spokesperson Angie Muhs in the release said Memorial is restructuring to reduce its workforce with main focuses on leadership, administrative and support positions.   The statement went on to say several hundred employees are affected, including 20-percent of leadership positions across the organization.

The statement also said the reduction represents 5-percent of Memorial Health's total salary and benefits, and that departing employees will receive a severance package, health insurance stiped and support resources.   It also indicated some individuals may also be offered to transfer roles within the Memorial Health system.

It was not announced how many of the layoffs will specifically affect their Taylorville and Lincoln locations.

Memorial Health President and C-E-O Ed Curtis in the statement said the decisions were difficult and made after analysis and implementation of other cost-saving measures.   Curtis also cited the rising costs of supplies and equipment used by the Memorial Health system hospitals, plus the high cost of temporary labor and shifting trends in payer reimbursements.  Curtis concluded his portion of the statement by saying Memorial Health remains committed to providing the highest quality of care for the communities they're located in.

Taylorville Issues Boil Order

The City of Taylorville has issued a boil order starting Wednesday afternoon. This is the cause of an earlier water main break near Tastee Treat on the Northwest side of Taylorville.

 

 Areas impacted by this boil order include:

  •  Nectar Lane to Springfield Rd including Olivia’s, Liquor store, Tastee Treat, and Cherrywood Trailer Ct. (FS fast stop not included)
  • Arby’s
  • Schyler Lane from N Cheney St to Burnett Ave including HSHS 
  • Melrose Lane 

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. 

 

Residents will be notified when the boil order is lifted
 

Four Waterfowl Blinds Available For Hunting In Okaw Wetlands

Four waterfowl blinds will be available for hunting at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “Okaw Wetlands” during the 2023-2024 waterfowl hunting season. Currently the blinds are in the process of being rehabbed and will be ready by waterfowl season. This year’s waterfowl dates are as follows: Youth season - Oct. 21-22, Duck - Oct. 28 – Dec. 26 and Canada goose - Oct. 28 – Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 – Jan. 31.

 

Due to limited size of the area, all hunting in the wetland complex will be strictly controlled during the entire waterfowl hunting season. Hunters using the area during the regular waterfowl season are required to have a Special Use Permit in their possession while hunting. To obtain a Special Use Permit initially, all hunters must make a reservation by telephone. Reservations will be accepted Tuesday, October 3, 2023, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Prior to October 3rd, no reservations will be taken by mail or in person. Hunters will only be allowed to reserve one block of dates on this day. The telephone number to call when making reservations is: (217) 774- 3951 Ext: 7001.

 

Beginning October 4, hunters may secure up to one additional reservation per week for the remainder of the waterfowl season. Additional reservations may be made at one time by calling (217) 774-3951 Ext: 7049 Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Telephone reservations must be made at least 5 days in advance of the intended hunt date. In person reservations will be accepted Monday thru Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

When making a reservation, hunters may choose which numbered blind they want to hunt depending on current availability. The wetlands will be hunted Tuesday – Wednesday and Saturday – Sunday during the waterfowl and goose season. Hunting will not be permitted the other three days to allow the area to rest.

 

A $30, non-refundable permit issuance fee per blind will be assessed and collected between the time a reservation is made and the time the Special Use Permit is issued to the hunter. The Special Use Permit will allow up to two hunters to use a blind for a two-day period. All permits are non-transferable, which means the person obtaining and signing the Special Use Permit must be in the blind while the blind is in use. The permit holder may bring any hunting partner along on the hunt as he or she chooses. For additional information along with a map of the area please visit http://www.mvs.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Lake-Shelbyville/Recreation/Hunting/.

Water Main Break On North Cheney Street

Regional Radio News has learned that a water main has broken in front of Tastee Treet in Taylorville and has shut down Springfield Road to Cheney Street for at least the next five hours. 

Regional Radio News will provide updates on the situation as it develops.

Illinois Commerce Commission Probes Ameren Study on Grid Operator Transition

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has launched an inquiry into Ameren Illinois' study evaluating the feasibility of transitioning from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) to the PJM Interconnection (PJM). This move comes as MISO faces structural market issues, raising questions about resource adequacy and consumer costs.

 

ICC Chairman Doug Scott highlights the study's importance, stating it's essential to assess whether staying with MISO aligns with Illinois consumers' best interests.

Prompting the inquiry was MISO's 2022-2023 Planning Resource Auction, which revealed market deficiencies that could lead to energy shortages and higher utility bills in central and southern Illinois.

 

Ameren's study considers reliability, affordability, equity, and environmental impacts, aiming to guide the Commission's future decisions on grid operators.

Stakeholders can contribute during a three-month comment period starting with the inquiry. Initial comments are due by October 2, 2023, and reply comments by November 1, 2023.

 

The inquiry isn't a rulemaking process, but it could shape future Commission actions.

 

For more details, visit the Illinois Commerce Commission's website and refer to document 23-NOI-01.

 

The ICC oversees utility services and transportation safety in Illinois. Learn more at the official website or contact 800-524-0795 for utility disputes and 217-782-6448 for transportation concerns.

Taylorville Police Officer Talks National Night Out

The National Night Out event is not only beneficial for the local citizens to voice their concerns but also for the many officers from different precincts who attended, feeling the pulse of the community in a casual setting.


Taylorville Police Officer Kirsten Beaman was present for National Night Out and she compared it to a block party. Tons of community engagement and fun activities for the kids filled the night.

 


Some attendees voiced concerns about suspicious houses, wanted persons, and even basic traffic violations. Beaman says that the Taylorville Police Department is more than happy to listen to problems in the area that may need cleaning up.

 


Keeping Taylorville as a great place to live comes easier with events like the National Night Out. Beaman says the night has gotten bigger every year. Beaman is able to reconnect with officers outside of the Taylorville Police Department as well. She says it's a fantastic time for all.

 


National Night Out is an annual event that appears on the first Tuesday of August. This was another productive year for the community and the multiple departments that attended.


Officer Beaman appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

School Safety Tips When Heading To And From School

With school right around the corner, the red cross is offering ways to help make sure students stay safe as they head back to school for the upcoming year. If the student rides a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand away from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Students should board the bus only after it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has instructed them to get on and should only board their bus, never a different one unless instructed by a parent or guardian. Make sure that if you are boarding the bus you never walk behind the bus and stay in clear view of the bus driver.

 

Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals, and stay in the crosswalk.  Students should never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars. If children go to school in a car, they should always wear a seat belt.  Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly and ride in the backseat until they are at least 13. 

 

If a teenager is going to drive to school, parents need to make sure to use seatbelts and not text or drive. If they ride a bike, make sure they wear a helmet and ride in the same direction as traffic. When children walk to school, they should only cross the street at the intersection and use a route along which the school has placed crossing guards. Parents should walk with young children to school. 

 

Drivers need to slow down as children head back to school.  Stop for school buses when their lights are flashing.  Motorists must stop when they are behind a bus, meeting the bus, or approaching the intersection where a bus is stopped. Do not proceed until all the children have reached a place of safety. The Red Cross of Illinois says for more information visit redcross.org. 

Taylorville School Board Meets For First August Meeting

 The Taylorville School Board of Education held its monthly meeting last night at 6 PM at the administration building across from Taylorville High School.
All but one school board member were present for the meeting, Dr. Ronald Mizer. After approval of minutes from the July 11th and 19th meetings, the board addressed and approved August claims, the treasurer's report, and the overnight trip requests for the FFA program.


The board revisited the construction project discussion as revisions are being made to option three, a combination of athletics and performing arts. Approval from the focus group has been reached.


A presentation was given by Brian Sample Taylorville High School Baseball Coach, and Chip Donahue. They were seeking approval for a turf baseball field for the Taylorville Varsity Baseball Field. Sample described the completely privately funded project for the field that has differences of height that reach six feet in some parts.

 


The motion was tabled for the next board meeting.


The Next board meeting is set for August 14th with times subject to change.


 

Taylorville Kiwanis Hears from Farm Bureau Manager, Accepts WRAN Donation from Kiwanis Radiothon at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from the manager at the Christian County Farm Bureau, and accepted a check from WRAN for the Kiwanis Radiothon, at the club’s weekly meeting on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.

 

 

Tuesday’s program speaker was Alec Myers, manager of the local Farm Bureau, who gave Kiwanis members his background and shared the many things the local Farm Bureau does for its members and non-members.

 

Myers, a 2015 graduate of Taylorville High School, went on to college at Lake Land College in Mattoon, then earned his bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University.  He then enrolled in the Illinois Farm Bureau’s manager program, and was selected to be the manager of the Greene-Jersey Farm Bureau, then was hired by the Christian County Farm Bureau as its manager.   

 

Myers talked about issues the local Farm Bureau is providing information to its members about, including the citing of solar C-O-2 projects.  He added the local Farm Bureau and its Foundation raises a lot of money to give towards agriculture’s future, providing 8 15-hundred dollar scholarships to graduating high school seniors going to college focusing on agriculture.   Myers added the local Farm Bureau Young Leaders Committee recently held a food drive and also raised some 5-thousand dollars for the local Farm Bureau Foundation.

 

Among the many efforts the local Farm Bureau supports, are the "Ag in the Classroom" and "Adopt a Legislator" programs.

 

 

Myers said the Christian County Farm Bureau has some 25-hundred members, with 8-hundred of those as farmer members.

 

 

In other business, Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller (center) presented Kiwanis president John Gardner (left) and Kiwanis Radiothon chair Chuck Martin (right), a check for 13-hundred 25-dollars as half the total ad sales from Tuesday’s WRAN groovy 97.3 Kiwanis Radiothon.  Monies raised go to the local Kiwanis Foundation funding many projects for children and youth including Kiwanis Park, Coats for Kids, YMCA and high school scholarships, and the local CEO program.

 

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.   

Chillifest Coming to the Taylorville Square Soon

The 38th annual Chillifest is almost here. Coming to the Taylorville Square the weekend of October 7th and 8th will be an excellent competition of chilly tasting, an opportunity for local businesses, and an astounding 54 vendors, as of now, to visit. 


Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Allen is excited to have this great many vendors out for the Chillifest. Chillifest has become a staple in Taylorville's many great events and Allen says this is due to the advertisement efforts and the commotion created in Taylorville.

 


Allen notes how valuable this traffic to the Taylorville Square can be for the surrounding businesses. Allen sees this weekend as a time when stores can prepare for the slower months of the year.

 


Taylorville’s Chillifest has a Facebook page where information about the event can be found at Taylorville Chillifest.
 

Restarting Medicaid and Child Health Care Insurance Program Renewals

As communities work their way back to full strength, recovering from the Covid-19 Pandemic, one health insurance program is making its way back. States are beginning the renewal of Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Programs. Over the past three years, those enrolled in Medicaid or Children's Health Insurance Programs were not required to renew their coverage, renewals are coming back.


Jack Myers, Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration notes that these changes do not directly affect the Social Security Administration but people who receive benefits from Social Security should be aware of the situation.

 


To avoid gaps in your coverage, Myers reminds the local community to update addresses if there has been a change.


Myers says checking for changes and renewing coverage is easy. Just visit www.abe.illinois.gov to verify the address and even check your renewal. Myers notes that renewal dates are staggered, so not all participants will be due at the same time.
 

St. Louis Dairy Council Making Healthy Choices Easy

Making sure your child's lunch hits all of the nutritional goals might fall low on the list of to-do’s, but the St. Louis Dairy Council is easing the stress of diet and nutrition with their various back-to-school programs that are helping out parents.
Kelsey Bentlage, St Louis Dairy Council Nutrition Educator and Dietitian explains that for the month of August, parents will receive a back-to-school kit, with a nutrition pamphlet. This will educate parents on what to feed their children to ensure they are ready to learn all day.

 


Another program that will be helpful for the start of the school year is the Dollars for Dairy program. This yearly, grant-funded initiative has awarded 29 schools with new cafeteria equipment that will provide dairy-related products to students.

 


There is a new recipe for the month of August, a pancake recipe using cottage cheese. Don’t knock it till you try it, says Bentlage, noting that this may sound abnormal, but the health benefits and overall taste make it worth the try.

 


For information on the back-to-school programs or the many recipes, make sure to visit, https://www.stldairycouncil.org/.


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

Job Fair Opportunity Coming to Taylorville

The wait for the Caterpillar Job Fair coming to Taylorville is over. On Wednesday, August 9th, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce will open their doors for Caterpillar Incorporated to host an all-inclusive job fair experience.


Application filling, interviews, drug tests, and every other piece required to become a Caterpillar employee will be on-site at 108 West Market Street in Taylorville, on the second floor above the US Bank.


Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Allen is pleased with the opportunity being brought to Taylorville residents.

 


One of the challenges for the job fair was finding a space that would be useful for Caterpillar. With the many boardrooms and meeting places, the chamber building made for the perfect spot. Allen works diligently with the other chamber members to create these events that move the community forward.

 


Attendees will have an opportunity to sign up online prior to the event to make the process even easier, per-registration is not required.


More information about the Caterpillar Job Fair can be found on the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page.

This Week Marks Safe + Sound Week In Illinois

The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL), its Division of Occupational Safety and Health (IL OSHA), and the On-Site Safety and Health Consultation Program (On-Site) are joining federal OSHA and businesses across the state to recognize Safe + Sound Week, Aug. 7-13, 2023.

 

The nationwide event takes place each year in August to recognize workplace safety and health programs, though Safe + Sound is a year-round campaign to ensure workers everywhere return home safe and healthy each day.

 

“Every workplace needs a thorough safety plan that ensures the health of all workers,” said IL OSHA Division Chief Erik Kambarian. “The program should include management, worker input, as well as accepted industry standards to identify and fix hazards.”

 

On-Site provides free and confidential safety and health advice to small and medium-sized businesses committed to improving workplace safety and health.

 

If you have questions about the On-Site consultation program, you can call 800-972-4216, send an email to dol.consultation@illinois.gov or click here.

 

Enforcement of occupational safety and health standards in Illinois is a shared responsibility between the U.S. DOL OSHA and IL OSHA. Federal OSHA, an Administration under the U.S. Department of Labor, covers all private-sector workplaces while IL OSHA covers all state and local government workplaces.

Taylorville School Board to Meet This Evening

The Taylorville School Board is set to meet Tuesday night at 6:00 PM, in the District Office Boardroom, located at 1100 North Sportsman Drive. The Meeting will begin by thanking the efforts of Steve Walter’s custodial and maintenance crew for preparing the school for the incoming students. More thanks will be offered to Jessica Miller who has prepared the Taylorville High Schools tech department.


After approval of the consent agenda and reviewing committee reports and August claims, the board will cover old business that concerns a recap of strategic planning focus, goals, committee reports, and timeline.


Under new business, the Taylorville School Board will present the FY24 original budget, consideration of the renewal of the district health care policy, consider hazardous walkway resolutions, superintendent search process, approval for the privately funded turf baseball field project, and the superintendent's report.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for all of the details following the event.
 

Taylorville City Council Meets; Kroger Gaming WIthdrawn

A motion to approve the Class O Gaming Liquor License for Kroger was withdrawn in a short City Council Meeting Monday evening. There was no discussion on the motion. All Aldermen were present except for Chris Skultety who was on zoom and Larry Budd who was absent. 

 

All ordinances involving the BDD agreement were approved. Two resolutions involving real estate leases; one with Rick and Lisa Champley and Jake Heberling, failed because it needed ¾ of the Aldermen to vote yes. The motion failed 5-3 with Aldermen Doug Brown, Jim Olive, Megan Bryant, and Jeremy Wilson voting yes and Aldermen Skultety,  Kathy Driskell, and Steve Dorchinecz voting no. 

 

Motions to approve promotions for Water Office Employees Jaclyn McConnell and Jennifer Mayer were both approved. Motions were also approved for St. Mary’s Church Fiesta, Kiwanis Kids Day, and Chillifest days to take place. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry thanked everyone for their support during his recent surgery.

 

 

Jim Olive brought up public facilities during committee reports looking for a recommendation to approve the purchase of a storage shed.

 

 

The motion passed. The next City Council meeting is set for August 21st. 

Sonic to Re-Open Taylorville Drive-In as a Corporate Store

Regional Radio News has learned that the Sonic Drive-In in Taylorville will be re-opening.

The location, once opened, will be a corporate Sonic store.

The Taylorville drive-in first opened many years ago and was open only a few years when it closed.  

Reportedly, corporate Sonic officials want to expand the building before it opens.  No target date for the re-opening of the Taylorville Sonic Drive-In has been set.

Representative Halbrook Issues Statement On Target Of Crisis Pregnancy Centers

A Temporary Restraining Order on a new law giving the Illinois Attorney General broad authority to target crisis pregnancy centers is a win for the Constitutional rights of everyday citizens, according to State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) who is issuing the following statement:

 

“The judicial stay granted in the National Institute of Family Life Advocates et al. v. Raoul case is a major step toward preserving the Constitutional rights of pro-life activists not just in Illinois but across the country. The idea that crisis pregnancy centers can be shut down simply because the people in charge of our state do not like their point of view is absurd,  but more importantly, it is dangerous. 

 

The people working at these centers are mostly women and are there on a voluntary basis. They receive no state money and the women who walk into these centers are there of their own free will. These centers are upfront about being pro-life. They are upfront about their desire to help women choose life rather than abortion. There is nothing deceptive about the work being done at these centers. In fact, Attorney General Kwame Raoul could not cite one example of any crisis pregnancy center being accused of deceptive practices. This law is a radical attack on the free speech rights of everyday citizens and hopefully the actions taken Friday are the first steps toward overturning this outrageous law.”

Senator Turner Signs Community Gardening Law

To encourage community gardening, incentives will be provided for affordable housing projects that incorporate urban and suburban gardening under a new initiative sponsored by State Senator Doris Turner that was signed into law Friday.

 

“We’ve seen the positive outcomes that come from community gardens,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “There’s an economic benefit that provides residents with the needed tools that they may not get otherwise and engages the community by encouraging people to spend more time outside.”

 

The new law allows the Illinois Housing Development Authority to develop a program that provides incentives for affordable housing projects that incorporate urban and suburban gardening.

 

Turner’s law requires 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.

 

“Food deserts leave people with few options for nutritious meals,” Turner said. “This is a great opportunity to provide fruits and vegetables to the residents who can’t easily access a grocery store.”

 

House Bill 3892 takes effect immediately.

 

Taylorville City Council To Meet; Announce Promotions, Discuss Gaming License At Kroger

Taylorville City Council will meet Monday evening at 7 PM at the Municipal Building. After a review of the minutes, the council will review some ordinances, including some BDD agreements.   A few real estate leases will be discussed concerning resolutions with Rick and Lisa Champley and Jake Heberling.  

The council will discuss a motion approving a gaming liquor license at Kroger, promotions for Jaclyn McConnell and Jennifer Mayer, and pay and contracts for storm sewer improvements.  There will be a special events permit discussion for the St. Mary’s Church Fiesta on Friday, September 22nd to September 24th and the Kiwanis Kids Day Fundraiser taking place September 22nd and 23rd, and Chillifest taking place October 6th through the 8th.  

 

After city attorney and mayoral updates, there will be committee reports.  The only item listed is a recommendation to approve the purchase of an 8x10 storage shed.  Following public comments, the city council will be adjourned. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for an update following the conclusion of the meeting. 

New Additions to Lake Shelbyville

New additions have made their way to Lake Shelbyville and its various campgrounds. New restroom facilities have been added near Dam East and the final pit toilet has been replaced, making all Shelbyville Campgrounds equipped with proper bathrooms.


Ashley Florey is a Park Ranger and Natural Resources Specialist with the US. Army Corps of Engineers, she says there is still plenty of time to reserve a space at one of the many campgrounds.


 

 

Fishermen are in for a new, helpful fish-cleaning station. One is already installed and operating at Lithia Springs, Lake Shelbyville. Florey notes that the old system of one dumpster for fish remains was not working, this new cleaning station will be much more efficient, come spawning season.

 


Florey wants the public to know that Coon Creek and Lone Point Campgrounds are still closed and have been the entire season. Florey believes the campgrounds will be back open before this camping season ends.

 


Lake Shelbyville is a sure place for activity all summer long and camping season will extend into the fall. Florey wants the community to come out to Lake Shelbyville to see and use the new facilities.

 

For information about Lake Shelbyville and the various projects, you can visit, Recreation.gov.

 

Ashley Florey appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Hillsboro Man Arrested For Custodial Sexual Misconduct and Criminal Sexual Abuse

Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigation officials arrested a Hillsboro man for custodial sexual misconduct and criminal sexual abuse.  66-year-old James Dawson of Hillsboro was arrested on the Class 3 and Class 4 felonies.  On July 13th, 2022 an investigation was initiated on Dawson, who worked for IDOC as a sonographer and would perform sonograms on individuals in custody throughout Illinois. Dawson was charged in cases involving seven separate victims.  

 

After the investigation, Dawson was taken into custody on August 1st, 2023.  Dawson was transported to Montgomery County Jail where he is being held on a Fulton County Warrant with a $50,000 bond and a Johnson County warrant with a $4,000 bond.  

 

Police say it’s an active investigation and no additional information will be released.  If you do have any additional information, authorities encourage you to contact ISP DII at 217-206-0449. 

Bob Ridings Makes Plans for New Truck Farm Following Digging Up 1995 Truck Farm on Friday

Bob Ridings pulled his truck farm out of the ground on Friday, as he plans his next move in front of his Taylorville dealership.

 

Ridings’ 3 trucks that were buried in 1995, came out and he tells Regional Radio News he plans to plant another crop of trucks in that spot very soon, with some special plants surrounding them.

 

 

Digging up the Bob Ridings’ Truck Farm in Taylorville last Friday caused quite a stir in town with lots of people stopping by the dealership to watch, as well as lots of phone calls to Ridings asking if he was planning on sowing another crop of trucks on the site.

 

Ridings came to Taylorville, buying the Ford dealership, in 1975.

Severe Weather Hits Regional Radio Listening Area Sunday Evening; Tornado and Wind Damage Reported

The Regional Radio listening area was hit with severe weather, including a confirmed tornado early Sunday evening, with numerous reports of damage.

 

In Christian County, Emergency Management Agency Director Jeff Stoner told Regional Radio during our severe weather coverage about damage in that county, when we visited with him live at 7:19 Sunday night.

 

 

Stoner chased the storm that contained the confirmed tornado that was aloft, from central Christian County, thru the Willeys area, and into the eastern part of the county.    He told listeners to report any damage to their local fire department for relay to his office.

 

The National Weather Service received reports of a confirmed tornado Sunday night at 6:10 near Glenarm, 6:13 near Pawnee, one and three-quarter inch hail near Edgewood in Effingham County at 7:26, and one-and-a-quarter inch hail in the Taylorville area just past 7 o’clock.

 

The line of severe storms continued moving east southeast during the event triggering numerous severe thunderstorm warnings for all of the Regional Radio listening area, during our severe weather coverage Sunday night.

 

So far, no injuries have been reported.

Saturday at the Blue Mound Fall Festival

  It was a picture-perfect day at the Blue Mound Fall Festival on Saturday, August 5th. The community could not have asked for much more as the first two days of the festival were filled with carnival rides, live music, and food vendors.

 

Saturday had most of the action with the day starting at 7:00 AM with the Blue Mound Lodge Breakfast, corn-hole tournament at 12:30, and the event that had all the attention, the Tot Rod Pedal Pull competition.

 

President of the Blue Mound Fall Festival, Levi Hedges, was happy with the community engagement and after two years of coordinating the festival, he sees more festival involvement in his future.

 

 

The Blue Mound Fall Festival continues into Sunday with the day beginning at 10:30 AM with Remnant Church hosting a service at the pavilion. Following the church service at 11:30 AM the Camp One Way cookout will start serving food to those who give a donation.


 

11.5 Million Dollars Returned to Illinois Residents in July

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs has announced that his office returned 11.5 million dollars during the month of July. So far this year the treasurer's office has returned nearly 120 million dollars to the people of Illinois through over 103,000 claims.

 

I-CASH is Illinois’ unclaimed property program; it is one of the state's oldest consumer protection initiatives. Unclaimed property may include safety deposit boxes, unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, and unused rebate cards. Illinois holds over 5 billion dollars in unclaimed property.

 

The Treasurer's office has returned more than 1.8 billion dollars since Frerichs took over in January 2015. The number of claims has increased from 60,000 to more than 200,000 claims a year under Frerichs. 

 

Illinois is the national leader in the unclaimed property space and is frequently turned to by other states when reforming unclaimed property laws, rules, and procedures.  

 

The Treasurer’s Office asks that people check icash.illinoistreasurer.gov at least 2 times a year for unclaimed property.
 

Mental Health and Trauma Response Headline New Law

Senator Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford championed a new law regarding how schools deal with trauma response and mental health that was signed into law on Thursday. House Bill 342 is included in the Whole Child Task Force which establishes a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment for students dealing with trauma and mental health. 

 

This task force collects data on adverse childhood experiences and trauma. It also notes the total number of school counselors, social workers, nurses, and psychologists. 

 

House Bill 342 puts recommendations in place to improve schools in Illinois by ensuring that all schools are equipped with training and resources to meet the multitude of trauma and mental health needs of their students. 

 

Lightfoot states that it is very important every school is equipped to meet the diverse needs of all students.  School officials need to be ready to identify warning signs of mental illness, trauma, and suicidal behavior in youth. 

 

 

House Bill 342 was signed into law Thursday.  
 

Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce August Update

 Businesses in Shelbyville are receiving added promotions as events this summer look to recognize the many flourishing Shelbyville retailers. The Annual Golf Outing will be accepting sponsors as of now, with sponsorship letters sent out a week ago. Teams of four must register, $250 for members, $150 for hole sponsors, and, $100 for returning sponsors. Those registration fees will go back into the communities businesses.


Paula Fullerton is the Office Manager for the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce and just started with the chamber this June. A famous event for Shelbyville is coming soon, Scarecrow Daze is eventful for the Shelbyville community and Fullerton does not want the local citizens to miss out on the action. For vendors, a 10 X 10 spot will be $35. Scarecrow Daze will be October 7th, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

 


More news for the Greater Shelbyville Chamber of Commerce as Tony Lape of Remax Realty is named Chamber Member of the Month. Lape is a Shelbyville Native who has worked in real estate since his time at Illinois State University for over 20 years. Lape says the housing market has been interesting. He says inventory has been low since the pandemic.

 


Lape notes that these times may seem more stressful but has faith that the market will straighten out.


Tony Lape and Paula Fullerton appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show in Shelbyville.


 

Summer Heat Causing Mental Health Challenges

The heat wave happening across the United States and has recently stricken Central Illinois is bringing Unforseen health risks. The high-intensity heat has increased emergency room visits with psychiatric and mental health concerns. Citizens experiencing stress in the form of heat are more susceptible to, substance abuse, anxiety, mood disorders, and even heighten effects in people who have schizophrenia.


Ed Lacheta explains that these heightened symptoms are bringing more and more people inside the doors of emergency rooms just for relief from their discomfort. Lacheta calls the heat a “suppressive feel”.

 


Lacheta says that sleep is affected when there are sudden changes in body temperature throughout the day. So even if one has air conditioning, the changes in temp throw the body off. Bringing even more stress and anxiety with the lack of sleep.

 


Lacheta wants the community to remember that stress is affecting everyone. He correlates the high-stress levels to the society people survive through every day. Lacheta mentions, “the rat race” making those stress levels rise and it is best to remember that we are all in the same boat and it is good to talk about your issues with someone.

 


If your stress levels reach a level that is too much to handle, reach out for medical assistance or call the crisis numbers 217-774 -2113. There is a new national assistance hotline that is available day and night. Call 988 for a mental health emergency.


Ed Lacheta appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show in Shelbyville.

Pana People's Bank And Trust Holds Customer Appreciation Cookout

Over 250 people were fed at Kitchell Park in Pana for the People’s Bank and Trust Customer Appreciation Cookout Friday evening. Assistant Vice President Jennifer Mathis, says that it was the largest crowd she had ever seen at the Appreciation Cookouts.  

 

 

Terry Schafer, Assistant Vice President says that it is all about giving back to the customer.

 

 

Mathis agrees with that sentiment saying that they couldn’t run the bank and trust without the support from the community. 

 

 

A farmers market was going on as well, along with giveaways and plenty of food for everyone. The event took place 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM on Friday evening. 

 

 

Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Releases Sign-Up Forms, Web Link

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest Committee has released the various forms to be used to sign up as vendors or sponsors for the 2023 event taking place on the Square October 7th and 8th.

Forms now available on the event’s web site, chillifest-dot-info, that’s chillifest with 2-L’s, include the International Chilli Society cook-off sign up form, the event vendor form, and sponsor forms.

Sign-up for the various Chillifest pageants are being done separately, with a link also on the Chillifest web site.  Several categories are filling up fast since registration opened up August First.

Miller Media Group Names Central Commodity FS As Business of the Month

Central Commodity F-S was selected by the Miller Media Group this week, as our "Business of the Month", for their leadership in the agriculture industry in Christian County, and for their efforts in helping the next generation stay in the ag industry.

 

General Manager Mark Bauman says agriculture is the county's biggest industry and CCFS is a big part of that.

 

 

CCFS has continued to grow making it a stronger player in the ag retail space.

 

 

And, Bauman says CCFS gives back, investing in youth to get the next generation involved in agriculture.

 

 

Congratulations to Central Commodity F-S for being named this month's Miller Media Group "Business of the Month."

Bob Ridings Truck Farm Trucks Coming Out of Ground Today

 

After 38 years in the ground, the 3 Ford trucks at the Bob Ridings Truck Farm in Taylorville are coming out.

 

 

Owner Bob Ridings tells Regional Radio News that the last truck was being pulled out the ground today and it was an emotional day for him.

 

 

 

And, Ridings says he'll be planting a new crop of trucks in the ground soon.

 

 

Ridings has branded his Taylorville dealership as the Truck Farm since 1995.

 

 

 

Ridings' purchased his dealership in Taylorville in 1975.

Apologies For Earlier Press Release

Note:   This story was revised Aug 9th at 3:35pm.

 

Regional Radio News is issuing an apology after receiving a fake press release concerning the release of Jamal Shehadeh.  Judge Sarah Darrow denied a motion for overturn of conviction. After speaking with Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler of the Taylorville Police Department, Regional Radio News learned that they had received a fake press release that was sent out concerning a retrial of Jamal Shehadah.  Shehadeh is still in jail. The conviction has NOT been overturned. Shehadeh has lost his motion for a new trial, according to the courts. 

 

Regional Radio News apologizes to the Taylorville Police Department and to the public for this error and will make sure it doesn't happen again. 

Jam and Jelly Making with U of I Extension

Let's Make Jam! A jam and jelly-making class will be led by the University of Illinois Extension’s Lisa Peterson, on August 24th, at the Live Well Fitness Center in Pana. Peterson is the Nutrition and Wellness Educator for the U of I Extension and is excited to kick off yet another helpful cooking class. This free event will cover not only jelly making but the science of canning. Canning is an essential piece of any cooking process when wanting to store an item for a long period of time.


Lisa Peterson is excited to dive into the different types of canning and jelly-making.

 


There are many ways to go wrong while canning. One wrong step could expose one to botulism, a food-borne toxin that could be deadly. Research-based techniques are taught so that stored can may last for a long time on the shelf.

 


One issue that citizens run into while canning their own food or jelly is bubbles forming inside the can. That is air trapped inside the jelly, this can be helped by scrapping away the foam. Peterson says even adding a small amount of butter can help.

 


For information on the jelly-making class make sure to visit, extension.illinois.edu/cjmm


Lisa Peterson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Thursday was National Watermelon Day!

You can eat every part of the watermelon. That's right. From the seeds to the rind, all parts can be beneficial to one's health. Watermelon is 92% water, making it a great snack for the warmer summer months. And what better time to speak on watermelon, than on National Watermelon Day?


Lisa Peterson is the Nutrition and Wellness Educator for the University of Illinois Extension and spoke on many great ways to work watermelon into your diet. Peterson notes that less illness may occur during the summertime based on extra activity, and the increased consumption of highly nutritious and vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables.

 


Peterson notes how many citizens are not getting their recommended dose of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Also saying that working healthy options into one’s diet will take some preparation. Peterson reminds the community that canned and prepackaged fruits and vegetables have their place in a healthy diet, as long as the juice being used to preserve the food, is natural fruit juice.

 


Watermelon seeds will not produce a watermelon farm in one’s stomach. The seeds actually make for a great source of protein. Peterson says that only one-eighth of a cup of watermelon seeds is four grams of protein. There are also many ways to prepare the seeds and mix them into your diet. Like baking the seeds and sprinkling them on a parfait.

 


For more nutritious information about healthy summer snacks, you can visit, https://extension.illinois.edu/cjmm.


Lisa Peterson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Hope House of Central Illinois Receives Heartfelt Donation

A very special donation was made recently to the Hope House of Central Illinois. The idea was birthed from the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Banquet Dinner, where Hope House was one of four non-profits involved in receiving donations. April and Mark Wolfe who founded Wolfe Ranch, kicked off their Paint the Streets in Kincaid Fundraiser where plots of sidewalk were bought, decorated, and donations were sent off.


A total of $400, greater than the expected goal, has been gifted to the Hope House of Central Illinois to be used in their general fund. And it could not have gone to a much better place. The Hope House is a safe space for families to live, eat, and reset themselves, after losing a child. Often, even living in your own home can be the hardest for those that have lost a loved one, as one's own home can be a constant reminder.


The Wolfes and the Co-Founder of the Hope House, Monica Wamsley, both have suffered the loss of a child, making this truly devastating experience an issue that hits close to home. The building is nearly finished and Monica Wamsley is ready to accept families that need this recovery safe space.

 


Wamsley and the Wolfes talked about the daily routine that is harshly upended by this tragic loss. Many, thankfully, will not have to suffer through this pain, Wamsley and the Wolfes understand that these families just need a place to go to begin healing.

 


April Wolf speaks on the impact that is felt throughout different parts of a family. The Mother and father have suffered greatly, and so have the siblings, grandparents, and godparents. The Hope House is open for all extensions of the family to try to regain normalcy, surrounded by people who are feeling similar grief.

 


The Hope House of Central Illinois is grateful for the donation from the Wolfe Ranch. Thanks to efforts like these, there will be a family that can rest easier and experiences a less painful time through their pain with the Hope House.


April Wolfe, Mark Wolfe, and Monica Wamsley appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

ISP Announce Arrest For Child Pornography

Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) officials announce the arrest of 38-year-old Georg Goins of Pleasant Hill, IL, for Possession of Child Pornography (Class 2 Felony).

 

On June 23rd, 2023, ISP DCI Zone 4 Agents initiated an investigation after learning a subject was distributing child pornography through an online platform. During the investigation, ISP Investigators assigned to the Office of the Illinois Attorney General Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) gathered digital evidence indicating that Goins was possessing and disseminating child pornography from his residence in Mount Auburn, IL. Through the investigation it was also determined that Goins was a registered sex offender.

 

On August 2nc, 2023 ISP DCI Zone 4 Agents arrested Goins at his residence and charged him with 4 counts of Dissemination of Child Pornography (Class X Felony). Goins was transported to the Christian County Jail awaiting bond.

 

ISP DCI Zone 4 was assisted by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office with this investigation.  Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact ISP Zone 4 Investigations at (217) 782-4750.

 

The Illinois State Police provide the following resource for parents, for the public to report crimes against children, and victims to start their path towards healing and recovery. Anonymous tips of child pornography can also be reported through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's (NCMEC) cyber tip line at www.cybertipline.com. To keep kids safe online, learn more at: https://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/onlinesafe/www.cybertipline.org ; For resources for survivors of sexual abuse visit: https://www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/csam-resources .

Christian County Health Department Encouraging Immunizations

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, an annual celebration to highlight the importance of routine vaccinations. The Christian County Health Department is encouraging everyone to get little ones up to date on immunizations. 

 

This month is the perfect time for your little ones to get up-to-date on their routine vaccinations. If parents or guardians would like to schedule their child's immunization or have any questions about vaccinations, call The Christian County Health Department at 217-824-4113.

 

Here is a link to a simple test on the CDC website to determine what vaccines your child needs https://www2a.cdc.gov/vaccines/childquiz/default-sp.asp.

State Watchdog Investigating Employees Accused Of Bilking Federal Pandemic Aid Program

Dozens of state employees across multiple agencies are under investigation by a state watchdog for claims they fraudulently obtained payments from a federal pandemic-era loan program, Capitol News Illinois has learned. 

 

Neil Olson, general counsel at the Illinois Office of the Executive Inspector General, confirmed that “OEIG has been investigating allegations of Paycheck Protection Program fraud by state employees under our jurisdiction.” The review, he said, is “systematic,” involving multiple state agencies and the other governing bodies under OEIG’s jurisdiction, which include state universities, boards and commissions, and regional transit boards.

 

Congress intended for the loans issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration, most of which were later forgiven, to keep small businesses afloat and their employees on the payroll as COVID-19 resulted in lockdowns and interrupted commerce.  

 

Fraud in the PPP program has been widespread across the United States. In a June report, the inspector general for the SBA estimated that the agency paid out more than $200 billion in “potentially fraudulent” aid during the pandemic – about 17 percent of the $1.2 trillion that was dispersed through the PPP and other similar programs.

 

In the rush to swiftly disburse funds, the federal agency “weakened or removed the controls necessary to prevent fraudsters from easily gaining access to these programs,” the report stated. “The allure of ‘easy money’ in this pay and chase environment attracted an overwhelming number of fraudsters to the programs.” 

 

The OEIG typically does not comment on ongoing investigations, and Olson declined to say how many employees could face disciplinary action – up to and including termination – as a result of the widespread probe or provide any additional details.  

 

The scandal has ensnared numerous employees who work at the Illinois Department of Human Services, including at state-run facilities for people with disabilities that are facing staffing shortages. In late June, a spokesperson for the agency confirmed that at least 30 IDHS employees were in various stages of the disciplinary process for inappropriately taking PPP loans. At the time, eight IDHS employees had been fired, six had resigned and 16 were pending disciplinary action. 

 

In a statement, the agency said that it is “committed to safeguarding the public” and takes the outcomes of the OEIG’s investigations seriously. 

 

“Falsifying a federal loan document, for significant and improper personal gain, calls into question one’s character, honesty, and ability to act ethically,” the statement read. “While the vast majority of IDHS’ roughly 14,000 state employees are hard-working people of strong character who work tirelessly to help the most vulnerable, it is deeply concerning any time an employee takes advantage of public programs.” 

 

The agency said it will continue to work to detect and punish fraud committed by its workers, in cooperation with the OEIG, law enforcement and federal authorities.

 

The fraud was not limited to IDHS. Collectively, state employees may have obtained millions of dollars in fraudulent payments. A spokesperson for Gov. JB Pritzker declined to provide specifics about how many employees have faced disciplinary action for PPP fraud, saying that the governor’s office does not comment on ongoing investigations. While some employees have already received notices of their termination, they have a right to appeal that decision. 

 

Not every state employee who claimed a PPP loan committed fraud. Some may have had legitimate outside employment that made them eligible for the federal loan program. Those individuals would not be disciplined.  

 

State policies require employees to disclose secondary income, and certain state employees, such as agency managers and people who are responsible for procurement and other financial dealings, must also file statements of economic interest with the secretary of state’s office that would detail outside income. The investigations may center around whether they filed fraudulent paperwork to obtain the loan, thereby acting in a way unbecoming of a state employee, or failed to follow ethical guidelines disclosing such income – or both.

 

The OEIG is not a criminal law enforcement authority. In general, it investigates state employees for breaches of ethics and other misconduct and makes recommendations that could range from retraining to termination, depending on the seriousness of the offense. If conduct is criminal in nature, OEIG has the authority to share its findings with law enforcement. 

 

Other public sector employees in Illinois have also come under scrutiny for PPP fraud. Numerous Cook County government workers have been terminated or resigned for bilking the program of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past year.

Illinois Deer Donation Program Hosting Food Pantry Summit

The Illinois Deer Donation Program is gearing up to host a Food Pantry Summit on Wednesday, September 13, at the Lake Land College Foundation & Alumni Center in Mattoon, IL. The event will run from 9 am to 3 pm and aims to provide valuable training on food safety, the impact of trauma on food, and promoting food dignity. Among the highlights will be insights into the Illinois Deer Donation Program and the process of becoming a partnering pantry to receive ground venison for pantry guests. Attendees can also avail of complimentary food handlers training, complete with a certificate.

 

For food pantries keen on partnering with the Illinois Deer Donation Program, attending this free training is highly recommended. Moreover, priority will be given to those pantries that have participated in the food pantry summit during the upcoming winter and spring venison distribution. Interested participants can register at go.illinois.edu/foodpantrysummit, and lunch will be provided during the event.


This summit presents a unique opportunity for food pantries to enhance their operations, improve food safety practices, and forge valuable partnerships for receiving ground venison. By attending the summit, pantry volunteers can gain essential knowledge and contribute to a more dignified food distribution system.

 

For more information email  mfombell@illinois.edu

Latest Ag Economy Barometer

Farmers remain cautiously optimistic about the ag economy. That's the latest finding from the Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer. The data is for July says Purdue's Jim Mintert.

 

 

The index is based on a survey of 400 agricultural producers.

Mt. Auburn Man Arrested On Child Pornography

A Mt. Auburn man has been arrested and charged with 4 counts of child pornography. 38 year old Georg Goins from Mt. Auburn was arrested by the Illinois State Police on Wednesday, August 2nd; after an investigation took place by an ISP Special Agent.

 

During the investigation a search warrant was served to a website on June 26th and information from that website was returned to the ISP on June 28th. From the information returned to ISP several photos and videos of child pornography were found under Georg Goins associated username and IP address.

During the arrest on Wednesday, August 2nd child pornography was found on his personal cellphone and personal computer at his home in Mt. Auburn.

 

Bond was requested at $1,000,000 by State’s Attorney John McWard and set at $1,000,000 by Judge Brad T. Paisley. Next court hearing will be held on August 24th at 10 AM.

Annual Children's Concert Rescheduled for Tonight at CC Historical Society

Wednesday's concert at the Christian County Historical Society was canceled due to inclement weather conditions. But, the Historical Society will be back out tonight to try again because this week is the Annual Children’s Concert. Children will have an opportunity to play and perform with the band and in front of a live audience.

 

The Christian County Historical Society will be providing refreshments for the Annual Children's Concert, tonight, Thursday, August 3rd, at 7:00 PM, at the Christian County Historical Society, located at 1791 Morrison Drive in Taylorville.

 

For any information or questions you may have you can call, 217-824-2967.


 

CTI Performing Maintenance Near Pana

CTI will be performing maintenance on Route 29 between Taylorville and Pana.  Maintenance will be conducted on a backbone fiber cable and is a mandated relaction for IDOT bridge and road construction.  Work will begin on Friday, August 4th, at 1 AM until 6 AM.  

 

The location affected is 115 Patton Street in Pana. 115 CTI expects that customers within the Pana city limits will not experience an outage.  If an outage does occur, call CTI at 217-824-6398.  

National Night Out A Great Success

Multiple police agencies held a successful National Night Out on Tuesday evening at the Expo Building in Taylorville. Over 500 people came and had food, got their faces painted, played on bouncy houses, threw axes, and participated in the dunk tank, and raffles. Taylorville Police Officer Kirsten Beaman says that the event was a great success. 

 

 

Proceeds for the National Night Out were sent to the Special Olympics. 

 

 

To see more pictures, you can visit the Taylorville Police Department Facebook page. 

 

 

Kemmerer Village Continues to Benefit the Youth

Kemmerer Village in Assumption is changing children's lives for the better and has been doing so since 1914. Equine (horse) Therapy, recreation therapy, and an environment that promotes mental maturity are all facets of Kemmerer Village that have made them successful in getting kids back on the right track.


Schales Nagle has been the Executive Director for Kemmerer Village for 30 years. The next step in looking out for troubled youth is the creation of a licensed daycare facility within Assumption. Kemmerer Village has joined forces with the Assumption Community Pride Association, First United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church in Assumption, and other local businesses, to begin fundraising for the much-needed facility. The home of the new daycare will be at First United Methodist Church in Assumption. An open house will familiarize the community with the new daycare on Sunday, August 13th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at 209 North Walnut in Assumption.

 


Kemmerer Village is also getting involved with Sloan’s for their Family Fun Day. This is a meal fundraiser with Bricks Exquisite Eats providing the food.


Opening a new licensed daycare to educate and prepare 24 children will be beneficial to the city of Assumption. A process called mapping gave the Assumption Community Pride Association aspects of the town where improvements could be made. Nagle explained that multiple businesses have outgrown their previous locations, this is due to a “joint community effort”.

 


The facilities at Kemmerer Village are one of the many shining aspects of the grounds. Not to mention the many professionals that work every day to put the youth on the straightened arrow. Equine therapy is an alternative to standard mental health practices. Nagle describes that the students are able to take time to care for well-behaved horses, and even ride in the riding arena on the grounds.

 


Residential and foster children will also have opportunities to learn and grow through athletics. Recreation therapy is another beneficial program that competes against other programs. Sportsmanship is the main focus as failure through sport can teach valuable lessons.

 


Kemmerer Village is also open for volunteers. Helping out as a mentor is a valuable piece of Kemmerer Village’s mission. The beautiful grounds are also open for tours.


For more information about Kemmerer Village and their many programs visit, https://www.kemmerervillage.org/.


Schales Nagle appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum To Hold Back To School Bash

Anyone who thinks learning is boring should visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s Back to School Bash this Saturday! It’s a free day of games and crafts for children and helpful services for parents and caregivers as summer vacation begins to wind down..

 

Children will get to answer trivia questions, interact with a tornado machine, explore robotics by racing Hexbugs on a Lego track and so much more!

 

The bash is designed for parents, too! They can get free haircuts for the kids, learn about resources offered by the Lincoln Public Library, pickup materials from the Department of Natural Resources and get safety information from the FBI and National Weather Service.

 

The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Springfield’s Union Square Park (500 E. Madison Street, next to the Lincoln Presidential Museum). In case of rain, it will be held in the presidential library. Free parking is available in the ALPLM’s parking garage at Sixth and Madison.

 

“It can be hard for children to make the switch from vacation to the classroom. We think the Back to School Bash makes that a little easier by providing fun, hands-on ways for kids to begin focusing on learning,” said Christina Shutt, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. “We also want it to help parents and caregivers who always have so much to do during back-to-school season.”

 

Organizations planning to participate include the Springfield Fire Department, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Springfield Lucky Horseshoes, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Special Olympics Illinois, the University of Spa and Cosmetology Arts, Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office and many more.

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs Excited For Upcoming State Fair Auction

 A 14-karat white gold woman’s double halo-style ring, a $500 bill from 1934 and collectible basketball cards featuring seven Hall of Famers are some of the unclaimed property items to be auctioned live on August 19 at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs oversees the auction, which will take place on the Lincoln Stage at the fairgrounds in Springfield.

 

“We are pleased to host the unclaimed property auction at the State Fair and to give people the opportunity to bid on valuable and distinctive items,” said Frerichs, whose office manages Illinois’ unclaimed property program. “Potential bidders are welcome to attend our auction preview on August 2 to get an early look at the items before the day of the auction.”

 

Other items in the live auction will include an 1818/7 NGC-graded MS 64 Bust half-dollar, historic political memorabilia, a 1988 American Eagle gold bullion coins proof set, and a set of eight gold coins featuring the likenesses of writers Mark Twain and John Steinbeck, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, musician Louis Armstrong and actress Helen Hayes.

 

The unclaimed property has been divided into 250 lots for the auction, with some lots consisting of a single item and other lots consisting of multiple items. Prospective bidders may preview the auction items on August 2 in the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer in Springfield and on August 19 at the fairgrounds before the auction begins.

Updated Charges Listed On Attempted Murder In Taylorville

Regional Radio News has learned of an update on the home invasion incident from Monday afternoon.  To recap, on July 31st around 4:02 PM, Taylorville police received a call for a home invasion in progress.  When police arrived, they found two victims bleeding profusely from their heads, arms, and legs. One victim was transported to Springfield in serious condition and is now stable with a skull fracture and several lacerations, and other related trauma to the body.  The second victim was taken to Taylorville Memorial, treated for lacerations, and released.  The victims that a crowbar was used during the attack. The men were identified as Robert L. Scott and Timothy Wiseman.  

 

Jeffrey T. Jones was identified and Taylorville Police say they are still investigating motives.  In court for the probable cause hearing, Christian County States Attorney John Mcward said that the fight started over Jones accusing Scott of poisoning his dog. Police found Jones on East Adams Street within a few hours and he was taken into custody without incident.  56-year-old Jeffrey T. Jones of Hewitsville was booked on two charges of attempted murder and home invasion.  Jones has been in the Department of Corrections nine times for acts of violence and burglary.  Jones is currently being held on a $750,000 bond.  His next court date is August 25th. 

State Representative Reacts To IDES Fraud

Recently, the Illinois Auditor General concluded that the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) wastefully spent over $5 billion of taxpayer money on fraudulent unemployment claims during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. State Representative Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville) expressed his frustration at this failure by the administration and the lack of transparency with the residents of Illinois.

 

“It shouldn’t take an audit to identify this level of fraud and mismanagement,” said Rosenthal. “We should have protocols in place that flag fraudulent activity and lead to immediate action so our taxpayers don’t suffer from this lack of government accountability.”

 

Rosenthal and his House Republican colleagues have called for reforms to repair the broken system at the IDES but have been ignored by the administration.

 

Rosenthal continued, “Hardworking constituents should not have to pay the price for mistakes that easily could have been avoided by competent leadership, but now workers and job creators will feel the impact of this failure.”

 

For more information, contact Rep. Rosenthal’s office at 217-782-8071 or visit his website at reprosenthal.com

Illinois Wheat Association's Annual Summer Wheat Forum Returns

Illinois Wheat Association's annual summer wheat forum is back. On August 23rd, the forum will take place at the World Shooting Recreational Complex in Sparta from 4 to 9 p.m. This time, they have a special guest speaker named Greg "Machinery Pete" Peterson. He's famous for his show "Machinery Pete TV" on YouTube and RFD-TV, where he talks about farm equipment and machinery. At the forum, he'll be sharing stories from the auction trail and discussing the latest trends with used farm equipment values. 

 

The forum will have lots of interesting things to see and learn about. There will be industry exhibits featuring seed companies, millers, elevators, crop protection services, drone services, and other ag-service industries. You can explore different aspects of farming and get to know how things work in the wheat industry.

 

If interested, you can register on their website at illinoiswheat.org. Tickets are $25 for Illinois Wheat Association members and $50 for general admission. 

 

The Illinois Wheat Association does many important things for the wheat industry, from helping farmers to promoting marketing alternatives. They also represent their members in state and federal legislative activities. For more information,  visit their website illinoiswheat.org, or email Megan Dieken at mdieken@ilfb.org. 
 

Be Aware Of The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

Finding a lump in your breast can be very unsettling for women when they perform a monthly breast self-check for cancer signs, however, experts say that’s not the only thing you should be on the lookout for.  Heather Chambers, an OSF HealthCare breast health navigator, who is herself a breast cancer survivor says that lumps are the most important sign.

 

 

Women should also be aware of skin changes, such as an orange peel skin appearance, flaky skin, irritation, or a new dimple.  Also be aware of an unexpected release of fluid or blood from the nipple, unexpected inversion of a nipple, one breast larger than the other, changes to breast size, any new pain in the breast area, or tenderness, swelling, pain, or lumps under your armpit.  Chambers says this area often gets overlooked since it doesn’t deal with the breast itself.

 

 

Chambers recommends that women pick a date to do their breast exam and stick with it.  This way you can put it on your calendar and never forget it.  She says the feel of your breasts can change as days go by but doing it once a month will help give a baseline feel and help avoid false positives.  She also stresses that many women find it convenient to examine themselves in the shower, but regardless of where you do it, a good technique is to move your fingertips in a circle from the outside to the center of the breast, pressing down and feeling for abnormalities.  Another good idea is to take pictures during their self-check to show their provider.  

 

 

If you do find something concerning, call your primary care provider or OB/GYN right away and explain what you found.  The provider will likely order a mammogram where the radiologist should read the results on the spot.  If a closer look is needed, you may undergo an ultrasound or a biopsy. Chambers urges calmness and says don’t panic.  

 

 

Regularly scheduled mammograms are the most important ways to prevent breast cancer along with a monthly self-check.  Talk to your primary care provider or OB/GYN about what mammogram schedule is best. 

 

 

Unchecked breast cancer is a major killer in the US.  The American Cancer Society says that estimated 43,700 women will lose their life to breast cancer in 2023. 
 

YMCA Opens Batting Cages

There are new batting cages at the YMCA.  According to YMCA Director, Bruce Blanshan, the two new batting cages are on the mezzanine level and are ready for rental.  Individuals can rent 30 minutes for $20 for a YMCA member and $30 for a non-member, or one hour for $40 for a member and $60 for a non-member.  Teams can also rent for $70 for members and $90 for non-members. 

 

A coach or parent must be a member to get the member rate.  A coach or parent must be present unless the child is 14 or older.  Batting cage rental must be paid for and reserved in person or by phone.  No online booking is going on and 50% of the fee is due at the time of booking.

 

The batting cages are open from 11:30-6, Monday through Friday, and 9 AM-1:30 PM on Saturday.  The batting cages are closed on Sunday.  For more information, contact the YMCA at 217-287-7271, ext. 1.  

Harris Mowing and Water Hauling Services are Available

Harris Mowing and Water Hauling services are available here in Taylorville. They have delivered almost 100 thousand gallons of water to pools, hot tubs, spas, wells, and even livestock since spring. Carolyn Harris and her husband Monte Harris began this business together and say things have been going well.

 


Mowing is another specialty for Harris Mowing and Water Hauling. Harris says that estimates are made by the number of acres, edging work, and how frequently you would like the services.

 


Harris Mowing and Water Hauling operate during the winter season to serve those with well-water needs.


You can call or text Harris Mowing and Water Hauling at 217-827-0053, or reach them through email at, harrismowing.waterhauling@yahoo.com.


Carolyn Harris appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.
 

Back-To-School Season Brings More Activity to Taylorville Food Pantry

August is the busiest month for food pantries in local communities as back-to-school costs make grocery shopping more difficult for parents and guardians. Added pressure has been applied to local food pantries, like the Taylorville Food Pantry, as numbers have risen to record heights in the past months. Now, serving over 500 families during the month of June, July numbers are expected to be even greater.


Luckily struggling community members can be partially at ease with the tireless effort of the volunteers at the Taylorville Food Bank, ensuring these families walk away with the proper items and even locally grown vegetables. Pam Moses is a Co-coordinator with the Taylorville Food Bank and is grateful for the Taylorville Community Garden, TMH Garden, and the many volunteers who work daily.

 


Taylorville Food Pantry is an affiliate of the Central Illinois Food Bank. Fresh produce is being donated to the food bank as well through local growers and even grocery stores. Brooke Dunn works in public relations for the Central Illinois Food Bank and is pleased with the donations of fresh vegetables.

 


With fresh produce means more things to sort through for the volunteers. The produce is still good for the families utilizing the food bank, but stores unload what they would throw away with the food pantry, now volunteers are looked to for the rest of the job. Checking each vegetable for quality then packaging it for a family in need.

 


The Taylorville Food Pantry holds different hours than normal operating businesses. Distribution to families will be held: Tuesday, from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM, Thursday, from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM and Saturday, from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM. Moses says that the unorthodox times work well with the community. Volunteers are asked to show up 30 minutes prior.

 


Brooke Dunn shared the new Nutrition Policy that works well with the fresh produce being accepted. Three categories can tell you if the food you are about to eat is, green, yellow, or red. This signifies foods that are great for you, foods that need to be eaten in moderation, and foods to stay away from.

 


The Taylorville Food Pantry is always looking for donations and help with volunteering. Help is never turned away so if you would like to support the local food pantry just walk in the doors. The Taylorville Food Pantry is located at 1429 East Main Cross Street in Taylorville.


You can find more information about the Taylorville Food Pantry and the Central Illinois Food Bank on their Facebook pages. Or visit, https://www.centralilfoodbank.org/.


Pam Moses and Brooke Dunn appeared on the WTIM Morning Show as guests.

State Senator Turner Urging Agencies To Apply For Grant

State Senator Doris Turner is urging agencies across the 48th District to apply for the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant program before the Aug. 31 deadline.

 

“Our parks and wildlife conservation projects are essential for residents to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Central Illinois,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “We’ve seen remarkable enhancements through the OSLAD program that leave residents proud of all that their communities have to offer.”

 

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be accepting applications for Open Space Land Acquisition and Development, or OSLAD, grants through Aug. 31.

 

The program offers funding assistance to local governmental agencies for the acquisition and/or development of land for public parks and outdoor recreation areas. A total of $56 million is available for this round of OSLAD grants. In addition, IDNR will once again provide funding to cover 100% of eligible projects located in economically distressed communities.

 

Applications are being accepted through Aug. 31 and should be submitted to IDNR. For more information on the OSLAD program, visit IDNR’s website.

Miller Media Group Accepting Applications from Non-Profits for Community Spotlight Campaign

The Miller Media Group is currently accepting applications from local non-profit organizations to be featured in our monthly Community Spotlight campaign sponsored exclusively by TCCU. 

 

If your non-profit organization wants featured in several thousand dollars worth of announcements on WTIM, WMKR, and WRAN, over one calendar month, complete the application form which is available by calling our business office at 824-3395; or request it by sending an e-mail to adminasst@randyradio.com; or find it by clicking the "Community Spotlight Application Form" icon at taylorvilledailynews-dot-com.   

 

Completed applications are being accepted thru August 31st, with selections to be made immediately thereafter.  The new crop of Community Spotlight non-profits to be featured will begin shortly thereafter in September.

 

TCCU has been the long-time sponsor of this program to enable local non-profit organizations to promote all that non-profits do the the community.

Shane Ferris And Jayme Hardin Brings New Pet Supply Store to Taylorville

 

Taylorville has its first pet supply store.  Shane Ferris and Jayme Hardin has opened JorDee's Pet Store at 514 East Main Cross.  He's always had pets and decided he wanted to open a pet supply store. 

 

 

Response to the new pet store has been great, with Ferris saying one particular thing is selling very well.

 

 

The new JorDee's Pet Store offers some unique animals and fish.

 

 

And, Ferris says his first month open has been a big success.

 

 

The new JorDee's Pet Store is open Tuesday thru Friday eleven til 7, Saturdays eleven til 6.   They're closed on Sundays and Mondays.  They're on-line at jordeespetstore.com.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Hears Reports on Children and Youth Activities at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club heard from Committee chairs on various Kiwanis children and youth projects, at the club’s weekly meeting on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.

It was the monthly business meeting which was Tuesday’s regular meeting, where Kiwanis Committee chairs discussed the many activities respective committees are doing.

Funding Committee chair Randy Miller reported that applications are being accepted until September 15th, from other local non-profit organizations that focus on children and youth, for Kiwanis grants that will be awarded this fall.   The application is available on the club’s Facebook page located at taylorvillekiwanis-dot-com.

Miller also reported that the club’s efforts to assist the Taylorville Food Pantry in collecting non-perishable food and monetary donations on Saturdays in July in the front parking lot of the Miller Media Group studios at 918 East Park, went well.   2 more Drive-Thru Donation Days are scheduled for September 9th and 16th.

Fund Raising chair Will Perkins reported that the annual Kids’ Day fund raiser with Kiwanis members stationed at the doors at Wal-Mart Super Center, as well as at the corner of West Main Cross and Webster, takes place September 22nd and 23rd.   Bruce Blanshan is chairing this year’s Kid’s Day.

Perkins added the annual WRAN Kiwanis Radiothon, being chaired by Kiwanis president elect Chuck Martin, hits the air August 8th with the club netting over 12-hundred dollars from selling sponsors in the day of broadcasting.  Kiwanis members will be live delivering sponsor commercials that day.

Kiwanis member Blain Cornwell is again heading up the annual fund-raiser of providing ticket takers at various gates for 2 days during the upcoming Illinois State Fair.  Previous efforts have netted the club over one-thousand dollars.

Perkins also told the club the Fund Raising Committee will be meeting soon on additional fund-raising efforts to fund the Kiwanis mission of helping children and youth in the Taylorville community.

Kiwanis Park co-chairs Larry Kemner and Duane Stock shared with the club that the park recently got a summer clean-up and trim.   They also are working to replace the main Kiwanis Park sign just off of Illinois Route 29 that is starting to fall apart due to its years in the weather. 

Student Leadership chair Perkins reported that the incoming Taylorville High School Kiwanis Key Club President, Sophie Robinson, has reached out to him about attending some upcoming Kiwanis Club meetings.   The Kiwanis Junior High Builder’s Club will also be formed once the new school year starts.

Kiwanis Priority One chair Blanshan reported he’s working on the annual campaign to collect anti-bacterial wipes, facial tissues and paper goods, to be given to teachers at Memorial School.   Several local organizations assist in becoming collection locations including HSHS Medical Group, Taylorville Memorial Hospital, and Springfield Clinic.   Kiwanis members will also be involved in collecting these items with more information forthcoming.  

And, Blanshan is working with the Taylorville School District to expand the Kiwanis Club’s annual Coats for Kids drive, to enable more children to receive a warm coat, hat and gloves as we head into winter.

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.   

Taylorville Man Charged With Attempted Murder & Home Invasion

A Taylorville man has been arrested and charged with home invasion and attempted murder. Jeffrey T. Jones was arrested after the incident occurred on July 31st at 4:02 PM. Taylorville Police responded to South Webster Street for a home invasion.  When police arrived they found two males bleeding from their heads. According to Christian County States Attorney John McWard, one of the men, Robert L. Scott said someone hit him with a crowbar. Scott says that after a brief discussion over a dog being poisoned, Scott was hit 20-30 times with Jones saying he was going to kill him. 

 

Scott suffered multiple injuries and was taken to an area hospital.  Jones also attacked another individual Timothy Wiseman who was on the property.  Wiseman received multiple injuries as well.  

 

Jones has a parole hold and a lengthy criminal history including two pending cases for domestic battery. States Attorney John McWard asked for bond to be set at $750,000. Judge Brad Paisley set bond at $750,000 with restrictions. A preliminary hearing has been set for August 25th. 

Assumption Fire On Scene Of Gas Leak

 Assumption Fire Department is on the scene of a gas leak corner of Larochelle and 1st street. Authorities are urging residents to avoid the area. 

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Community Garden Makes Significant Donations to Taylorville Food Pantry

Taylorville Memorial Hospital Community Garden is making a difference this summer by donating over 100 pounds of fresh vegetables to the Taylorville Food Pantry. It all started from discussions after the 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment identified obesity as a top priority. Volunteers grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and more, benefiting those in need and TMH employees who enjoy spending time in the garden. The effort aims to support the community's nutritional needs and foster a healthier society

 

The collaboration between the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Community Garden and the Taylorville Food Pantry has been heartening to witness. Together, they are determined to address the pressing issue of obesity and offer a solution in the form of fresh, locally-grown vegetables. As the harvest season progresses, their generosity extends not only to the food pantry but also to the SIU Center for Family Medicine in Taylorville, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to the well-being of their community.

 

The tireless efforts of the garden's volunteers have yielded a diverse array of produce, including tomatoes, peppers, onions, squash, green beans, and herbs. This bountiful supply not only nourishes those in need but also provides a fulfilling experience for the volunteers themselves. Many TMH employees find respite in the garden during their work breaks, connecting with nature while contributing to the noble cause of feeding the less fortunate. Through their compassionate actions, the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Community Garden sets a shining example of how collective dedication can create a positive impact on society's health and happiness
 

State Senator Doris Turner Champions Two New Bills

State Senator Doris Turner is championing two new laws for the road.  School buses can now have two extended stop arms and motorcycles can now be equipped with forward-facing turn signals and driving lights.  

 

Senator Turner says her law will allow school buses to be equipped with a maximum of two stop arms that partially obstruct the roadway.  The extensions are required to be on the driver’s side of the school bus and contain a system of flashing red lights.  This law comes into effect after school officials have seen an increase in instances when people didn’t properly stop for a school bus. According to research, 79,959 school bus drivers reported that 51,593 vehicles around the nation had illegally passed their buses on a single day during the 2021-2022 school year. 

 

The new motorcycle law will allow a motorcycle to be equipped with two forward-facing electric turn signals that emit a white or amber light.  Two driving lights can be added that display a steady white or amber light in addition to the already required headlamps. The law allows a motorcycle to be equipped with red-light auxiliary lighting to use while braking. 

 

The motorcycle bill will take effect January 1st, 2024, and the bus law was signed into law on Friday. 

Pools See Uptick In Use During Hot Weather

With all the heat, the pools and lakes have been seeing an uptick in patrons that have been visiting.  Many pools such as the YMCA in Taylorville, the Taylorville Pool over at Manners Park and the Aquatic Center in Shelbyville have been very busy with people trying to beat the heat. Many fire stations have turned into cooling centers and people are taking extra precautions as temps on Friday and into the weekend rose to the mid-90s.

 

Alex Fisher with Shelbyville Family Aquatic says that it has been very busy.

 

 

Temps this week are expected to cool before rising again next weekend. 

New Development Projects for the City of Pana

The City of Pana is investing in its future with many business development projects underway now. The finishing touches are being applied to the exterior of the Jack Flash Travel Center and the renovations are not stopping there. The QIK N EZ gas station is following suit with building plans of its own, as they have purchased the car wash on the south end of the property to expand its business possibilities.


Historical sites can be a centerpiece of rural cities. The rich history of a town can be captured by these buildings that were built over 100 years ago. Kirby Casner, the Pana Economic Development Director, knows how important these artifacts are and how important it is to a city to restore and commemorate these sites.

 


A once famous Pana location locals know as, “The Music Store”, has been empty for some time. A development company has bought the existing building and looks to restore the site while preserving its history, progressing the City of Pana forward with a thriving business.

 


How will all of this be paid for? Casner describes an incentive approach for investment in Pana. A portion of the funds will come from Pana’s Tax Increment Financing Fund (TIF), the fund is derived from increases in property tax, so as the value of a city rises, so will the property taxes. The City of Pana is investing in the future, buying these properties, and going to work with like-minded developers to move the city forward.

 


The most important factor is outreach. How can the city of Pana attract more visitors? Casner references “The Music Store” as a building that will draw people in with the right business inside. Developers contribute funds and knowledge to the projects.

 

 

Returning soon to Pana is the 73rd Pana Tri-County Fair, starting August 30th – September 4th, and the Labor Day Parade. These large gatherings attract new and returning residents, who will soon be met by a newly renovated and developed Downtown Pana.

To learn more about the developments and plans for Pana visit, https://www.cityofpana.org/.


Kirby Casner appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

EPA Approves Ameren Remediation Project In Taylorville

Ameren Illinois will be accelerating its plan for remediation at the former manufactured gas plant at 917 South Webster Street in Taylorville.  Ameren has gotten permission from the Illinois EPA to begin work on the site. Starting in the late summer of 2023, remediation activities at the site will be performed.  Site activity will commence generally between 7 AM and 7 PM Monday through Friday and 7 AM until 5:30 PM on Saturday. The southernmost portion of South Webster Street in Taylorville will be closed. 

 

Amy Weber, project manager for Ameren, and David Palmer, Manager of Mediation Projects, swung by the Regional Radio News Studios to give an update on the project. Palmer says the project will close the road by Manners Park for about six months. 

 

 

He says the process is fairly simple moving forward and involves augers in the ground doing the hard work. 

 

 

Webster Street will be closed for a little longer than the actual duration of the project. You can visit the Taylorville library to find any more information you may need on the work. 

 

 

Ameren says the relationship with the City of Taylorville has been wonderful.

 

 

If you need more information, please contact Brian Bretsch at 618-343-8087 or email bbretsch@ameren.com.  

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