Local News

Illinois Bans Indoor E-Cigarette Use Starting in 2024

Illinois prepares for a fresh start in the new year with Illinois enforcing a ban on e-cigarette use in indoor public spaces from January 1, 2024. Governor JB Pritzker signed this state law, expanding the Smoke-Free Illinois Act of 2008 to include electronic smoking devices. The ban prohibits their use indoors or within 15 feet of a public entrance.


The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) supports this measure, emphasizing the harmful impact of e-cigarettes containing nicotine and other chemicals. IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra highlighted the risks associated with vaping, citing potential lung damage and nicotine addiction. Dr. Vohra praised the state's commitment to ensuring safe and clean public spaces for all Illinois residents.


For businesses seeking guidance on compliance, resources are available at smoke-free.illinois.gov, offering information and signage. Concerned consumers witnessing non-compliance with the ban can also register complaints through the same website. The ban on indoor e-cigarette use is among several laws taking effect on New Year's Day aimed at improving public health in 2024. Other initiatives include the creation of specialized stroke treatment centers, expanded access to fentanyl test strips, improved hospice care facilities, and allowing trained podiatrists to administer certain vaccinations to eligible patients. More details and implementation guidelines for these laws will be provided by the IDPH shortly.

Illinois Law Enforcement Partners for Sober Driving Campaign

In a joint effort between the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police, and nearly 200 law enforcement agencies, the annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign is in full swing this holiday season, extending through January 2. With the primary objective of ensuring road safety during festive celebrations, authorities emphasize the importance of planning for a sober ride home before engaging in holiday festivities.


IDOT's Director of Highways Project Implementation, Steve Travia, emphasized, that impairment of any kind is impairment, whether by alcohol or drugs. Driving impaired is illegal and deadly. The campaign addresses the alarming increase in crash fatalities, with IDOT data revealing 1,213 lives lost through December 14, marking 11 more fatalities compared to the same period in the previous year.


The Illinois State Police will be doing their part to keep roads safe this holiday season, said by Division of Patrol Deputy Director, Christopher Owen. He highlighted enforcement measures such as roadside safety checks and directed patrols focusing on DUI enforcement. Owen urged the public to prioritize voluntary compliance with impaired driving laws, advising individuals to designate a driver, use ride-share services, or call a cab.


Key tips for a safe holiday season include planning ahead for a sober ride, designating a responsible driver, and utilizing community sober ride programs or ride-sharing apps. Authorities encourage bystanders to intervene if they witness someone attempting to drive under the influence, emphasizing the importance of taking away keys and ensuring a safe alternative.


The heightened law enforcement efforts, targeting impaired driving, seat belt violations, speeding, distracted driving, and other traffic offenses, are made possible through federal funds administered by IDOT. This initiative aligns with the comprehensive multimedia campaign "It's Not a Game," reinforcing the serious consequences of unsafe driving behaviors during the holiday season.

Gas Prices Predicted to Drop in 2024, Relief for Drivers Ahead

In a promising update for motorists across the nation, GasBuddy's latest annual Fuel Price Outlook foresees a welcome dip in gasoline and diesel prices throughout 2024. Following two years of elevated gas prices, relief appears on the horizon, offering consumers a break at the pumps. The projection anticipates a decline in the yearly national average, plummeting from $3.51 per gallon this year to an estimated $3.38 in 2024.


According to the outlook, the fluctuation in prices is expected to follow a pattern. They could dip below $3 per gallon as winter sets in, then gradually climb close to $4 per gallon by summer before experiencing a mild decrease. However, potential uncertainties during hurricane season could influence these projections. While some California cities might witness brief spikes above $6 per gallon due to refinery issues, most major U.S. cities are projected to peak at or slightly below $4 per gallon.


The report also highlights that Americans might collectively spend approximately $446.9 billion on gasoline in 2024. On an individual household level, the estimated average yearly spending is predicted to drop by about 2% from 2023, marking a more than 12% reduction compared to 2022. Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy's head of petroleum analysis, expressed optimism about leaving behind the era of $5 and $6 gasoline prices, citing an improving global refining scenario contributing to more stability and lower prices at the pump in the coming year. He acknowledged potential disruptions but remained confident they wouldn't lead to record-high prices, attributing the stability to increased U.S. oil production along with Canada's contribution.


The forecast suggests the peak of the summer driving season, specifically around May, might witness the highest national average, potentially reaching $3.89 per gallon. However, additional uncertainties are expected during hurricane season in late summer. Diesel prices, too, are predicted to decrease incrementally from 2023, with a projected peak at $4.13 per gallon in March 2024. The outlook also hints at potential influences from electric vehicles and the 2024 presidential election on fuel prices in the upcoming year.

For more information visit gasbuddy.com

Senator McClure Speaks on Gender-Neutral Bathroom Bill

New legislation is set to take effect moving into the 2024 year and one Illinois State Senator is concerned for businesses that will need to be making unintended renovations. Illinois State Senator Steve McClure spoke on the Gender Neutral Bathroom conflict surrounding House Bill 3195, stating that gender-neutral bathrooms within businesses must provide added signage and privacy barriers to the restroom.

Senator McClure says that there is confusion surrounding this bill and that the legislation is a democratic move that pushed too far, hurting the inclusive factor they were trying to attain.


Businesses that feature a gender-neutral bathroom will not be allowed also to have restrooms specifically designated for males and females.


As society moves towards more inclusive atmospheres, Senator McClure says businesses are now incentivized to have only male and female bathrooms.


HB 3195 will go into effect on January 1st, 2024. Senator Steve McClure speaks to constituents to understand the needs of his 54th Senate District and can be reached by calling 217-782-8206.

Senator Steve McClure appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Live Bait Year-Round with Craig's Sporting Goods and Family Fun Center

Craig’s Sporting Goods and Family Fun Center wants the community to know that they are one of the only local retailers that keep live bait during all months of the year. The popular fishing scene in Shelbyville has created this demand for fresh, live bait. Owner, Cheryl Schultz says that she has her regulars that come looking for live minnows this time of year.

Schultz has a variety of live bait from minnows to night crawlers that are delivered fresh each week.


Craig's Sporting Goods and Family Fun Center is located at 105 East Main Street in Shelbyville.

Cheryl Schultz appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show live from out downtown studios in Shelbyville.


Furlove Charitable Resale Shop Getting Expanded Digs on Taylorville Square

A historic building on the southwest corner of the Taylorville square, will become the new home of the Furlove Charitable Resale Shop come April First.   Sherri and Steve Craggs, who operate the 501c3 non-profit resale shop benefitting a proposed major addition to the Christian County Animal Control building, purchased the former furniture store building from Lee and Diane Skinner in November, and immediately went to work on remodeling the structure that has over 13-thousand square feet of space over 2 floors.


Steve Craggs tells Regional Radio News he has a hard-working construction crew working to get the building ready.



This is a passionate project for Craggs.



The new Furlove building will be a cornerstone of downtown Taylorville.



Craggs expects the Furlove Charitable Resale Shop to be operating from their new location by April First of next year.

WRAN Hosting 26th Annual "Budweiser New Year's Party" Sunday Night Into New Year's Morning

Miller Media Group radio stations WRAN groovy 97.3 in Taylorville and WEZC “Your EASY Choice!” 95.9 FM in Clinton, will simulcast the 26th annual Budweiser New Year’s Party, from 9pm New Year’s Eve, until 1:00am New Year’s Day.


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


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


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


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

Leave Rights Expanded For Workers In 2024

Two laws taking effect on January 1st, will expand leave rights for workers whose lives have been impacted by violence. Public Act 103-0314 amends the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA).  The amendment to VESSA will allow employees to take up to two weeks of unpaid, job protected leave from work to attend a funeral, arrange a funeral, or grieve, if a family or household member is killed in a crime of violence.


Another law, Public Act 103-0466, establishes the Child Extended Bereavement Leave Act (CEBLA). This provides job protected, unpaid leave for parents who experience the loss of a child through suicide or homicide. 


Governor JB Pritzker says the last thing an Illinois resident should be thinking about during tragedy is whether they will have a job or not.  Thanks to amendments with VESSA and CEBLA, Illinoisans can take the time and space they need to grieve and gather with loved ones.  


VESSA provisions currently allow unpaid time off for reasons including medical attention, counseling, victim services, relocating, or participating in legal proceedings.  CEBLA was the initiative of a mother in Rockford, Laura Kane, in memory of her son Zachary Birkholz.  The bill was successful because of her advocacy at the state capitol.  

Former Furniture Store Building On Taylorville Square Will Be New Home of Furlove Charitable Resale Shop

Furlove Charitable Resale Shop, which opened in the former Harrison Motors building on West Main Cross in Taylorville this past summer, is moving to larger quarters next April on the southwest corner of the square.   The new location last housed Betty Rose Furniture.   It was purchased a year or so ago by Lee and Diane Skinner, owners of a host of local businesses including Dear Yesteryear.  Steve and Sherri Craggs, who operate the 501c3 non-profit resale shop benefitting a proposed major addition to the Christian County Animal Control building, approached the Skinner's about purchasing the former furniture store building on the southwest corner of the square, for the new home of the charitable resale shop.


The Craggs' purchased that building last month, and Steve Craggs tells Regional Radio News remodeling began immediately after they got the keys.



The Craggs' are restoring the building to an early 20th Century motif.



Craggs expects the resale shop to be moved and fully operational at the new location by April First of next year.



Until then, shoppers can continue to find them at the corner of West Main Cross and Webster Streets in Taylorville.

Jack Flash Truck Stop Has "Soft Opening" to Open Its Doors in Pana

The new Jack Flash Truck Stop in Pana did a “soft opening” this week, and the public responded in a big way.



The one-square-block gasoline and diesel fuel stop features Cooper's Express chicken, an Express Pizza Hut, and an extensive liquor section including product from 3 area wineries. 


The new business also has a large snack area plus clothing and accessories, stuffed animals, toys, trinkets, and more.


The Jack Flash Truck Stop in Pana also features slot machines and a large tobacco section.


The new business has been several years in the making, and is a result of work done by the Pana Pride civic improvement group.

ISP Ramping Up Patrols Into the New Year

With 2023 coming to a close, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, and nearly 200 law enforcement agencies across the state are reminding the public they’ll be working overtime now through the beginning of 2024 to keep roads safe for everyone.  Through December 14th of this year, 1,213 people have lost their lives in fatal crashes.  This is 11 more than during the same period in 2022.  


ISP is encouraging you to get into the practice of designating a sober driver and not letting friends and family members drive impaired.  Plan ahead.  If you know you are going out and you plan to drink or use cannabis, plan for a sober driver to take you home.  Look to public transportation, your community’s sober ride program, cabs, or a ride-sharing app if available.  If you see a friend or family member who is about to drive impaired, take the keys away and plan to get them home safely.


IDOT’s Director of Highways Project Implementation, Steve Travia, says to wear your seat belt, don’t drive distracted, and slow down.  He continued by stressing, that the laws don’t exist to make your life miserable, they exist to keep you and others safe. 


ISP Division of Patrol Colonel, Chris Owen, echoed that statement saying that while more people are out celebrating, ISP has more troopers working the road to stop drunk and dangerous drivers before they cause a crash.  


The heightened law enforcement is made possible through federal funds administered by IDOT and coincides with a massive multimedia campaign called “It’s Not a Game.” 

Inside the Peer Mentoring Program with the Nokomis School District

The Nokomis School District is looking back on the 2023 year that was full of success academically, athletically, and emotionally. The Schools Peer Mentoring Program took off this year as 36 students, from grades 6th through 12th underwent training to be a student mentor to help struggling students in their grades.

Scott Doerr, Superintendent for Nokomis School District describes this initiative as kids helping kids in ways that adult staff cannot. The students will look to notice changes in other behaviors that could alert the mentor of a struggling classmate who needs some extra assistance.


The training the students receive makes the peer mentors aware and equipped to understand the daily struggles of their classmates. Doerr says, that speaking to someone your own age about student life is much easier.


The issue of struggling students continuing to fail begins and ends with having the tough conversations that start the road to success. Doerr adds that the student's confidentiality is important to the mentor's training and receiving aid comes easy for the students.


The students, staff, and faculty in the Nokomis School District are attacking the silent problems of students with the Peer Mentor Program and they hope the initiative finds success in the coming years.

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

Kincaid South Fork School District Finding Options for All Students

The Kincaid South Fork School District is taking a different approach to students who may not have four-year university plans. Chris Clark, Superintendent for Kincaid South Fork School District says many students already have a vocation in mind that would not require four extra years of education.


While ensuring the students are well equipped with the district's curriculum, there is a resource that allows these students to pursue a career in a trade or skill on their own time.


The Capital Area Career Center is located in Springfield and Clark says students are utilizing this opportunity, setting themselves up for life after high school.



Chris Clark and the staff in the Kincaid South Fork district are dedicated to serving their students by creating these paths to success, and understanding that advancement to a four-year university is not the desired destination for some learners.


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


Nokomis-Witt Area Ambulance Service To Downgrade Service, Hold First Responder Class

An area ambulance service is downgrading its services due to financial burden and is looking for new first responders in 2024.  Nokomis-Witt Area Ambulance Service announced that it will become a basic volunteer transport service with upgraded capabilities.  The hope is that they will continue to staff the service with basic EMT’s.  When they have a paramedic or advanced EMT, they will be able to upgrade a call to Advanced Life support if needed.  If a call needs a higher level and there is no higher level available, then whoever is on that call may need to call for help from another service meeting them en route to the hospital.  If no one answers, whoever is available may go to the call and take care of the patient until another service arrives.  The hope is that when the service is financially stable and staff is available they can return to the service they provide now which is advanced life support service. 


NWAAS (Nokomis Witt Area Ambulance Service) says that they have trained first responders who are able to drive for the service which will help out to where they will need an EMT and First responder to drive. They will also be hosting a first responder class sometime after the first of the year.  This class is free to the community and is six weeks long.  It will allow you to drive the ambulance and treat a patient within a certain scope of practice such as oxygen, nebulizer, low blood sugar, overdose, and other smaller treatments. If you are interested in taking the class, contact Joletta Hill at 825-8775, Nokomis Fire Chief Michael Smalley, Witt Fire Chief Donnie Keiser, or Mayor Dylan Goldsmith.  


If you have any questions or concerns, you are encouraged to attend the January 8th board meeting at 7 PM.  You can also contact Joletta Hill—Nokomis, Angel Lynch—Witt, Mary Spierer—Coalton, Dennis Aumann—Ohlman, Aaron Johnston—Wenonah, Nelson Aumann—Nokomis, Jim Miller—Witt, Dave Schweitzer—Rountree Township, and Annet McNeil—Audobon.  

Furlove Charitable Resale Shop Moving to the Taylorville Square

A former furniture store on the southwest corner of the Taylorville square, is being turned into the new home of Furlove Charitable Resale Shop.   Sherri and Steve Craggs' passion for animals caused them to open the shop in the former Harrison Motors building on West Main Cross, this past summer.   Steve approached the building's owners, Lee and Diane Skinner, about purchasing the building for the Furlove effort, when the Harrison building ran out of space.



That discussion between the Cragg's and the Skinner's led to a change in ownership for the former furniture store building in the square.



Craggs says the building is a throwback to days gone by.



Remodeling began right after closing on November 21st.   Craggs hopes to have the Furlove Charitable Resale Shop moved by April First of next year.

Christian County Coroner & Pana PD Investigating Apparent Suicide

A Pana resident has died from an apparent suicide on Christmas.  Pana Police Chief Daniel Bland, says that Pana officers were dispatched by Christian County 9-1-1 for a medical call for service at 500 North State Street Apartments.  Upon arrival, Officers located a 28-year-old subject with apparent self-inflicted wounds.  The subject was transported to Pana Community Hospital where they were pronounced deceased.  The initial reported cause of death is suicide.  The Christian County Coroner’s Office and Pana PD are investigating the incident. 

New Updates To Tax Filing In Illinois In 2024

The Illinois Department of Revenue is working on tips and changes for Illinoisans who will be filing taxes in 2023.  IDOR Director David Harris says with the 2023 tax filing season around the corner, the hope is to prepare taxpayers to have the necessary documents available and to electric file if at all possible. 


When gathering documents for tax filing, make sure to have your adjusted gross income from 2022 on the IL-1040, a copy of your federal income tax return and schedules, a copy of all W-2s and 1099 forms, a property number and amount of taxes paid if claiming a property tax credit, voluntary emergency worker credit certificate, receipts for qualified education or moving expenses, and your routing and account number. 


Taxpayers may be able to reduce the amount of taxes owed through tax credits like the Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit, the Illinois K-12 Education Expense Credit, and the Property Tax Credit. The Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC has been increased to 20% of the federal EITC.  The Volunteer Emergency Worker Credit is a $500 non-refundable tax credit for volunteer fire emergency workers. 


MyTax Illinois is the IDOR’s free online account management program. You can also utilize Where’s My Refund.  The information available includes IL-PINs, amounts of any estimated tax payments made, amounts reported on Form 1099-G, tax-prep software, tax professional, or even the paper form for IL-1040.


Taxpayers are encouraged to file electronically as early as possible.  If taxpayers electronically file an error-free return, they should receive a direct deposit refund in around four weeks. IDOR is continuing its efforts to work on expediting the process, along with increasing and enhancing efforts to protect taxpayers from identity theft and tax fraud. 


If you need more time, the state of Illinois does grant an automatic six-month extension to file an IL-1040 each year, but taxpayers must still pay any money owed on their returns by April 15th, 2024, to avoid penalties and interest.  Find out more at MyTax Illinois.  


Some changes this year include changing the 2023 personal exemption amount to $2,425.  The original due date for filing the 2023 Form IL-1040 and paying the 2023 individual income tax liability is April 15th, 2024, and the extended due date for filing a return is October 15th, 2024. Find out more information by calling 1-800-732-8866 or 217-782-3336.  You may also visit tax.illinois.gov.  

Christian County Sheriff's Department New Building Update

The Christian County Sheriff’s Department has been in the process of relocating to their new office and jail space located at 214 West Market Street in Taylorville. Chief Deputy Jim Baker of the Christian County Sheriff’s Department is looking forward to the move as the new space will provide updated facilities, security, and evidence storage space.

Structural renovations have slowed the moving process but Chief Deputy Baker thanks the Christian County Board for their help in this process.


After working with architects, Chief Deputy Baker says the new location looks to be up and running in early spring of 2024.


The new Market Street location will bring many benefits to the Sheriff’s Office, after some structural renovations, Chief Deputy Baker says all the new location needs is a facelift.


With many items to address like security cameras, key systems, and meeting areas, the Christian County Sheriff’s Department is ready to utilize their new space.

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

Over 300 New Laws Being Implemented January 1st In Illinois

On New Year’s Day, more than 300 bills will go into effect as new state laws.  Changes are being made that will impact gun owners, Illinois drivers, utility customers, and many others.  State Representative Brad Halbrook talked a little about some of the new rules that are being implemented in 2024. 


January 1st is the day that gun owners must register all firearms and ammunition they currently own that are listed under the law.  Illinois State Police have been tasked with creating rules for the registration process and have provided registration information here.


The minimum wage is also increasing to $14/hr.  The minimum wage for tipped employees will go up from $7.80/hr to $8.40/hr.  There is a schedule enacted within the Illinois Minimum Wage Law to get the minimum up to $15. Other new laws that will be enacted on January 1st include drivers being prohibited from video conferencing when behind the wheel, electronic cigarettes and vapes prohibited in public places and near building entrances, utility customers prohibited from cutting off services to residential customers when the temperature reaches 90 degrees, and new single and multi-family homes must have electric vehicle-capable parking, including the electric panel capacity and conduit needed for charging.


Other rules include libraries around the state adopting the Library Association Bill of Rights which prevents them from having to remove books based on content, and pharmacies and retail stores permitted to sell fentanyl test strips over the counter.  Schools will also be required to have an opioid antagonist in secure locations where an overdose may occur.  


State Representative Halbrook says some of these new laws are worthy ideas, but hundreds of real solutions were denied even debate in the House.  He hopes to see changes in 2024 and hopes to start seeing the word no to some of the spending going on.

Marine Veteran And Family Lose Home In Christmas Eve Fire

A Veteran and his family have lost everything including a pet and a community is working hard to help.  On Christmas Eve at around 4 AM, Nokomis and Fire Protection District were dispatched for a residential structure fire.  When crews arrived on the scene they found heavy fire throughout the first floor of the two-story home.  It took crews nearly 4 ½ hours to put out the fire.  The structure was saved, but the home was completely destroyed. All family members did make it out in time along with two dogs, but one dog perished in the blaze.  


The fire took the home of Evan and Aubry Washburn.  Evan is a Marine veteran and the family is looking for everything to help them and their four children.  Included in the items of need are toiletries, dog food, women's size medium large leggings/shirts, and men's size large/large tall. For the children a nine-year-old boy size 10-12 who loves anything basketball, a seven-year-old girl who wears size 7-8 who loves Selena Gomez, a four-year-old girl size 4T who loves playing dress up, and a two-year-old girl who wears 2T who loves coloring and drawing.  Anything is greatly appreciated.  You can also help with monetary donations to the families via Venmo at @Aubry-Washburn.  Regional Radio News is still working on finding out donation locations for these items.  

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Presents Coats To CEFS Head Start Program

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club presented the CEFS Head Start program winter coats, stocking caps, and gloves.  Pictured behind the children in the CEFS Head Start program are L-R Chuck Marten, Kiwanis Club President, and Bruce Blanshan, Kiwanis Club Priority One Chairperson. The funds raised from the Kiwanis Club Kids Days event provided all 36 kids in the CEFS Head Start program with winter coats, stocking caps, and gloves.  The Kiwanis club had some support from the Christian County YMCA and Lynn Perkins as they donated some of the coats. 


WSVZ And Family Drug Present Shelbyville December Students Of The Month

The WSVZ and Family Drug-Shelbyville Students of the Month for December were presented with their awards recently. Pictured from left to right are Freshmen Madie Mitchell, Sophomore Sara Tynan, Junior Marley Phelps, and Senior Jordynn Mayhall. 


Regional Radio News congratulates the Students of the Month!



Students from L-R: Freshman:  Madie Mitchell, Sophomore:  Sara Tynan, Junior:  Marley Phelps, Senior:  Jordynn Mayhall

WMKR and Peoples Bank and Trust Announce Pana December SOM

Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR along with People's Bank and Trust are recognizing the Pana Students of the Month for December. The December Pana Students of the Month are Freshman Phoenix Pope, Sophomore Parker Moore, Junior Carter Collins, and Senior Bailey Evrley. We here at Regional Radio News Salute you our Pana Students Of The Month. 








WTIM & PBT Announce December Taylorville Students Of The Month

WTIM and People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville have announced their students of the month for December. The program recognizes one outstanding student from each of the four classes. Students of the Month for December are Freshman Deacon Shanks, Sophomore Zoe Manasco, Junior Ashton Noreuil, and Senior Trysten Anderson.  We here at Regional Radio News Salute all of our students of the month. 








Prairie Heart Foundation To Hold Prairie Walk

The Prairie Heart Foundation is hosting Powered by Prairie, a walk and health fair on February 10th, from 8-10:30 AM.  The event is taking place at Decatur Indoor Sports Center, 1295 West Wood Street, Decatur.  All proceeds are set to benefit local Prairie cardiac rehab services in Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville, and Springfield.  Donations will support new equipment, participant incentives, specialized programs, colleague training, and facility improvements.


Register at prairieheart.org/walk by February 2nd, 2024.  Prairie Heart Foundation says this walk is a low-impact, high-fun event for all ages including a variety of activities to fuel your heart-healthy journey, along with prize drawings throughout the morning.  For more information, or questions, contact Brandy Grove, Prairie Heart Foundation manager of philanthropy, at brandy.grove@hshs.org or 217-814-5177.

Position Open For The Extension 4-H Program Coordinator

There is a returning position open now for the University of Illinois Extensions Christian County 4-H Program. The position is the Extension Program Coordinator for the Christian County 4-H, Unit 18, based out of Taylorville. This dynamic position requires leadership skills, organization, coordination of educational activities, and building relationships with the 4-H’ers, parents, and the community.

Sara Marten, County Director for the Christian County 4-H explains that communicating with the youth might be a strength for some, but it takes many modes of communication for the Program Coordinator spot.


The Program Coordinator will have duties such as screening and hiring volunteers, training and educating on the ways of 4-H, and other safety aspects that come with the largest out-of-school youth education organization in the state.
Marten lays out some of the qualifications for the position.


Marten says no two days are the same with the Christian County 4-H and for coordinators, days can be chaotic, but the reward and impact are priceless.
To find this job posting, Marten directs interested candidates to the state-wide job board or through the website jobs.illinois.edu. Applications must be submitted before 6:00 p.m. on January 11th, 2024.

Contact 217-333-2137 or email, marten1@illinois.edu.

Sara Marten appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Country FInancial Helps In Pawnee With Operation Helping Heroes

Country Financial in Pawnee is supporting local fire and police departments with Operation Helping Heroes.  Local Country Financial representative Brenda Beyers supported the Pawnee Fire Department and Police with a donation of $1,500 with $750 going to each respective department.  The funds will be used to purchase wearable safety police lights for officers and protective headgear for firefighters. Beyers presented the check at a recent presentation. 


Country Financial has donated more than $5 million since 2020 to organizations and programs that support first responders, active-duty service members, and veterans, supporting the company’s vision to “enrich lives in the communities we serve.”  The Operation Helping Heroes program was created in 2015, to establish and support non-profit events and programs that benefit active-duty service members, veterans, and their families.  The program has since evolved to include first responders and teachers.  

BREAKING NEWS: Springfield Clinic Becomes In-Network Blue Cross Blue Shield Provider January 1

Regional Radio News has learned Springfield Clinic and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois have agreed to a new five year agreement that will allow patient members to return to in-network status at Springfield Clinic beginning on Jan. 1, 2024.   The announcement was made by Springfield Clinic last last week.


Patients that want to establish in-network care should call Springfield Clinic during normal business hours, after Dec. 26.


Springfield Clinic became an out-of-network provider for those insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois the past 2 years, when the 2 sides could not come to an agreement.

 Zach Kerker, Chief Brand and Advocacy Officer for Springfield Clinic says that “Springfield Clinic and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois have agreed to a new five-year agreement that will allow patients/members to return to in-network status at Springfield Clinic beginning on Jan 1, 2024. Patients that want to establish in-network care should call Springfield Clinic during normal business hours, after December 26th.” -


Springfield Clinic operates a clinic in Taylorville and many other Regional Radio communities.

Horticulture Expert Looks Back on Successful 2023 of Events

The University of Illinois Extension focuses on providing programs and events for a wide range of topics. Horticulture and gardening is a popular topic for the extension and one horticulture expert looks back on a successful year of programs in 2023.

Andrew Holsinger, a Horticulture Educator for the University of Illinois Extension was reminded of his seasonal plant programs that took attendees through tropical plants, autumn vegetation changes, and wreath making for Christmas time.


The University of Illinois Extension is here to serve the community and Holsinger says that if a citizen wants to see a new program, an Extension Expert can build that experience and add to their programs.


To reach Holsinger for a new program idea contact him at 217-532-3941.

Andrew Holsinger appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

TMH Receives Four Star Rating

The National Rural Rating System, an organization that issues quality ratings for rural and critical access hospitals, has given Taylorville Memorial Hospital a prestigious four-star rating.  NRRS evaluates hospitals on patient satisfaction, high-quality care, and performance based on data collected by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems. 


Kim Bourne, TMH President, says that the rating comes as no surprise, due to what she hears from patients. 



TMH offers 24/7 emergency care, as well as a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services including outpatient surgery, lab and imaging services, and rehab.  Their Senior Life Solutions program provides mental healthcare and support for senior citizens.  TMH also offers a Swing Bed program that provides nursing care and rehab to patients recovering from illness or injury who are not yet ready to return home. 


Charles Callahan, President of the Memorial Health Hospital Group, says that critical access hospitals like TMH play vital roles in caring for the communities they serve.  He says Christian County residents receive excellent care close to home at TMH. 

Eagle Viewing at Starved Rock State Park with Macon County Conservation

The Macon County Conservation District has announced their yearly trip to Starved Rock State Park on Saturday, January 20th, 2024. Program Specialist Brock Rowland says that this trip is designated for eagle viewing, as Starved Rock State Park plays host to many of these majestic birds.

The topography of Starved Rock and food sources make for the perfect habitat for the eagle species. Rowland says some years the group will view over 20 eagles.


The journey to Starved Rock is $30 per person and the Macon County Conservation District urges attendees to dress for the elements.


Registration and information about the Starved Rock Eagle Viewing opportunity can be found at www.maconcountyconservation.org/events/trip-to-starved-rock. Registration is due one day before departure, Friday, January 19th, 2024.

Brock Rowland appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.



Christian County Sheriff's Department Reminding of Sober Driving this Holiday Season

With two holidays coming up means family gatherings and celebrations which often involve the consumption of alcohol. The Christian County Sheriff's Department is reminding the local community of the many services and options that deter any citizen from getting behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Chief Deputy Jim Baker notes that spikes in DUI are seen this time of year but Christian County has been fortunate to see a decrease in drinking and driving over the past holiday seasons.


The cold temperatures have not quite been seen in Central Illinois this year but the CC Sheriff's Department reminds all drivers to have their vehicles equipped with water, flashlights, blankets, and phone chargers.


Chief Deputy Jim Baker and the Christian County Sheriff’s Department urge using ride-sharing apps or a designated driver.

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

Christian County Sheriff's Department With Winter Vehicle Safety Tips

Temperatures capable of icing the roadways have not yet graced Central Illinois this year, but the Christian County Sheriff’s Department wants the local community to have their vehicle equipped before those frigid days roll in.

Chief Deputy Jim Baker of the Christian County Sheriff’s Department says that an ice scrapper with a long handle will be useful for more than just clearing off your windshield, as the long arm of the scrapper can be used to unclog an exhaust pipe.


Drying off hair and extremities while battling the cold is the first step to prevent hypothermia, Chief Deputy Baker recommends having towels in the vehicle along with water, snacks, and flashlights.


A unique way to free your car from ice or deep snow, where traction is not being made can be solved by having kitty litter to spread around the tires.


The Christian County Sheriff's Office reminds all citizens to watch for bridge surfaces as those are the first to freeze and can cause accidents when caution is not taken.

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

Minimum Wage Increasing January 1st

The minimum wage is increasing in Illinois on January 1st in 2024.  Workers will see an increase of $1/hr from $13 to $14.  The minimum wage for tipped workers will jump to $8.40/hr and youth workers working fewer than 650 hours per calendar year will see their hourly wage increase to $12/hr.


Governor JB Pritzker says that he has made it his mission to put Springfield back on the side of working families and with a minimum wage increase, Illinois is becoming a more affordable and equitable place to live for everyone.


Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton echoed Governor Pritzker’s statement saying that Illinois is continuing to strenghten its workforce and sustain it by increasing minimum wage.  This is the sixth increase in the state’s minimum wage since 2019 when Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation establishing a schedule of increases culminating in $15/hr by 2025. 

Former Assistant Coles County State's Attorney Charged

A former Assistant Coles County State’s Attorney has pleaded guilty to misconduct following interactions he had in his official capacity with Coles County women who were prosecuted by the state’s attorney’s office.  34-year-old Brady Allen of the Metro East area, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted official misconduct based on bribery, both Class A misdemeanors.  Coles County Circuit Court Judge Mitchell Shick sentenced Allen to 120 days in jail and two years of probation.  Coles has also agreed to give up his law license and will not contact any of his victims.  The plea also gave victims a chance to read impact statements one of whom did so in court at his sentencing.


Formerly from Charleston, Illinois, Allen is required to turn himself into the Coles County Jail by January 5th.  His next court appearance is set for February 14th for a status update.  Allen served as assistant state’s attorney from December 2018 til his resignation in August 2020.  Allen had inappropriate texts, emails, phone calls, and social media communications that were sexual in nature with female defendants he was currently or had previously prosecuted.  Attorney General Kwame Raoul says that Allen solicited sexual contact, photos, and videos with an understanding that in exchange, female defendants would receive preferential treatment for their criminal cases.  


Deputy Bureau Chief Jonas Hargar and Assistant Attorney General Mara Somlo prosecuted the case. It was investigated by the Illinois State Police Division of Criminal Investigation. 

Christian County 4-H Announces Winter Photo Contest

There may not be snow on the ground now but there are still opportunities to take festive photos as the University of Illinois 4-H has announced the 4-H Winter Photo Contest. There are three age categories for submissions: Cloverbuds, ages 5-7, and 4-H Members, ages 8-13 and 14-18. Winners will have a chance to win an assortment of 4-H goodies.

Christian County 4-H County Director, Sara Marten says this is a yearly contest and she looks forward to seeing the submissions each year.



Marten describes the layout for submissions and how the grading of these photographs changes based on age.


Submissions for the 4-H Winter Photo Contest are to be sent to Kate Harding at harding@illinois.edu, submissions are due by Friday, February, 23.

Sara Marten appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

SHADOW Home Volunteers Present Gift Certificate to Executive Director

Volunteers at the SHADOW Home for Women and Children in Taylorville, this week presented a $123 gift certificate to Executive Director Vicki Jackson, for all her efforts at the Home.   Jackson is at the right; volunteer Cathy Miller is at the left.

Representative Halbrook Response to Illinois Population Decrease

The State of Illinois has experienced a population decline for the 10th consecutive year, with 32,826 residents leaving the state from July 2022 to July 2023, as per estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday. This decline places Illinois second only to West Virginia, which is currently grappling with its 11th consecutive year of population decrease.

High taxes emerge as the primary reason for the exodus, according to polling conducted by NPR Illinois and the University of Illinois in 2019. A staggering 61% of Illinoisans contemplated moving out of the state, with taxes identified as the top reason. The report also highlights surveys of those who have departed, revealing that, alongside high taxes, better housing and employment opportunities are key factors driving people away.

State Representative Brad Halbrook has expressed concern over the new population figures, labeling them as "very alarming." He believes the data should serve as a wake-up call for the state's leaders, urging them to reconsider policies that would incentivize residents to stay in Illinois. 


Halbrook's comments could explain a growing sentiment that policy changes are essential to reverse the trend.

As the state grapples with the economic and social consequences of a shrinking population. The challenge for Illinois now lies in addressing these issues and implementing reforms to encourage retention and attract new residents.

Turner Spearheads Agriculture Move

FFA and 4-H students will receive school work hours when participating in a work based learning experience outside of the classroom starting January 1st, thanks to a new law spearheaded by State Senator Doris Turner.  Senator Turner says she’s been a strong advocate for ag education and wants to ensure students aren’t being jeopardized for attending FFA and 4-H program events.  She stressed that programs provide essential hands-on experience in the ag industry, which is prominent in Illinois. 


House Bill 3814 allows students to count hours that they participate in a work-based learning experience as hours of school work.  Senator Turner’s law includes participation in scheduled events of state and national FFA associations as well as 4-H programs as part of organized competitions or exhibitions—something she says she advocates 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.  


House Bill 3814 takes effect January 1st, 2024. 

Senator Steve McClure Talks Successful Bills in 2023

Illinois State Senator, Steve McClure has spent the 2023 year fighting for bills that make receiving medical information easier for affected parents and citizens. Senate Bill 188 closed the gray area for children with disabilities ages 12-17, giving the parent or guardian access to their medical documents.

The second legislation Senator McClure worked to pass was House Bill 2077, requiring dental facilities to notify patients of a closure within 30 days, with an addition to inform patients on how to obtain dental records.

Senator McClure describes the reasoning behind his push for Senate Bill 188, as parents with disabled children throughout the state struggled needlessly.


It was a constituent in the 54th district that Senator McClure represents that caused him to understand this issue and start the fight for change.


House Bill 2077, concerning dental records, was a product of the COVID-19 pandemic that caused many dental businesses to go under.


For information about these bills or more on Senator Steve McClure, go to senatormcclure.com.

Senator McClure appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Memorial Health Implementing New Visitor Restrictions

Memorial Health is implementing temporary visitor restrictions at its five hospitals in order to curb the spread of respiratory illnesses. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) recommended temporary visitor restrictions due to a statewide increase in respiratory illnesses including COVID-19, influenza, and RSV. 


The restrictions will apply to inpatient units at all five Memorial Health hospitals: Decatur, Jacksonville, Lincoln, Springfield, and Taylorville. The restrictions will not apply to outpatient Memorial Care locations, including urgent or primary care and laboratory or imaging appointments. 


For the safety of patients and their families as well as Memorial Health colleagues, Memorial Health requires that hospital visits be limited to two visitors per patient at any time and that all visitors be 18 years of age or older and show no signs of illness.  Masks are encouraged but not required at this time.  Disposable masks are also available for visitors upon entry.  


To help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, people should cover their mouths, especially when coughing or sneezing; wash hands frequently; receive all recommended vaccinations; and wear a mask around others.  Most people who suffer from respiratory illness recover completely in one to two weeks, but some people can develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, according to the IDPH.  


For additional information on respiratory illnesses, visit the CDC at www.cdc.gov. 

The 24 Days of Christmas with The Illinois State Treasurer's Office

The Illinois State Treasures Office has been counting down the days to Christmas by remembering their successes in 2023. On the first day of Christmas, the office of the Illinois State Treasure recognized the $ 1 billion of interest income the office has generated for the state, day two remembers the $ 2 billion in unclaimed property returned to the citizens of Illinois.

Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs and his team have compiled the 24 accomplishments made by his office and are proud of the work that has been done to benefit the lives of Illinois residents.


One highlight from the year that Frerichs revisits is the $ 17 billion in savings for students looking to pursue higher education.


State Treasures Offices’ often have the bottom line in mind while making decisions that will impact the financial stability of families across their state. Frerichs and his team at the Illinois State Treasures Office see these numbers as people, and that the financial decisions they make will impact the lives of Illinoisans.


As the Treasures Office looks into 2024, Frerich's goal is simple, more. Frerichs wants to see these already thriving programs grow in funds to further set Illinois Citizens up for financial success.

As a holiday treat, the Illinois State Treasures Office directs Illinois Citizens to icash.illinoistreasurer.gov to find unclaimed property and to even share, with the share feature to send funds to a loved one.

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

Shadow Home Seeking Volunteers

The Shadow Home is a safe space in Taylorville that provides a 9-month, life restructuring program for women and children. The home is located at 118 West Franklin Street and the volunteer staff is looking to add to their personnel. The Shadow Home features 24-hour coverage of the women and children they serve. In these hours the time is structured with wake-up times and a curfew, education in finance and basic home skills, and setting aside time for faith-based practices.

Vickie Jackson, Executive Director for the Shadow Home, lays out the available volunteer options, Jackson explains that with enough volunteers the hours can be flexible if one contributor had a prior engagement.


Cathy Miller, a volunteer for the Shadow Home since 2001 says that her time spent with these women and children has been powerful and that she has been blessed to lend a hand to those in need.


Jackson and Carol Spracklen, President of the Shadow Home explain the educational track these women are introduced to, learning recipes, basic cooking, even planning meals for the week, and what to buy at the grocery store.


To reach the Shadow Home for volunteer information make sure to call, 217-824-2001.

Vickie Jackson, Carol Spracklen, and Cathy Miller appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Christian County Board Meets for Final 2023 Meeting

The Christian County Board met last night at 6:00 for their last meeting of 2023. All members of the board were present with the exception of Ken Franklin.

Two large points of focus during the board meeting were the special use application for the Sangchris Energy Battery Storage Facility and possible funding for water testing in Christian County.

The battery energy storage units presented by Sangchris Energy were brought before the board for a special-use application. Will Frost, of East Point Energy was on hand to answer the board members' questions which had been covered heavily in the Zoning Board of Appeals meeting.

As conditions had been previously set with the board receiving drainage and geotechnical reports, after a brief discussion, the board denied the special use application for Sangchris Energy, which would have been constructed on County Road 1400 North and County Road 150 East in South Fork Township.

Under Committee Reports, the board considered possible funding for water testing in Christian County, specifically concerning the area near the Ameren Remediation Project.

Board member, Ray Koonce brought up that it would allow the community peace of mind knowing that testing was being done by the county. David Buckles, a board member, attended the recent special meeting that took place at the junior high school where Ameren officials answered questions, Buckle stated that Ameren had been partaking in third-party testing for the duration of the project.

The board motioned to carry the possible funding for water testing with a condition to review the motion at the finance meeting.

Under Executive/Personnel/Liquor/Legislative, the board unanimously approved a resolution for the state attorney's appellate prosecutor.

Matt Hart, the Executive Director of the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, introduced himself to the board and provided insight into his goals of bringing economic development and expansion to Christian County.

There was no executive session and the board wrapped up the 2023 season and look to their next Christian County Board meeting on Tuesday, January 16th, 2024.



Originally this story listed that there was a special park board meeting to discuss the Ameren issue.  THERE WAS NO PARK BOARD MEETING. THERE WAS NO SECRET CLOSED PARK BOARD MEETING. There was a special meeting that took place at the junior high school which was open to the public. As before, the park district has had nothing to do with the issues going on at the site. This was a misprint.  Regional Radio News deeply apologizes for the mistake. 

Taylorville High School Madrigal Singers Entertain Kiwanis Members at Weekly Kiwanis Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club hosted the Taylorville High School Madrigal Singers at their weekly meeting on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.   Here's a sample of what they heard.



21 T-H-S students and their director Keith Chase, presented songs from the recent Madrigal Dinner held last weekend.  Chase told Kiwanis members it was the 41st year for the annual performance and both dinners were sold out for the first time.   It was Chase’s 17th year of directing the music for the Madrigal Dinner.



Donna Gordon (right), the cook who serves the Kiwanis Club meals each week at the Moose Lodge, was honored for her service by the club and was presented a gift certificate and Kiwanis coffee mug by Kiwanis president Chuck Martin (left).


It was the last meeting of the year for the Taylorville Kiwanis Club.   Meetings will resume on Tuesday, January 9th.


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.     

Christian County Health Department Moves Into New Digs

The Christian County Health Department is officially moved and operating at their new location at 730 North Pawnee Street, across the street from the Taylorville Junior High School.

Dr. Chad Anderson, the Public Health Administrator for the Christian County Health Department says the move was needed for functionality, a better location, and to add more office space for incoming specialists.


The added space provided 2 full exam rooms, a waiting room, space for files, and offices for mental health specialists, an area that Dr. Anderson has focused on bringing to Christian County.



Dr. Anderson says the previous location was difficult to find for many and did not provide enough space for a waiting room, offices for staff like mental health case workers, and even space for filing cabinets. The new location features storage rooms and plenty of offices to support the expanding needs of the health department.


Dr. Anderson and the staff at the Christian County Health Department ask the community for their patience over the next week as they learn their new location.

Once again the new Christian County Health Department is located at 730 North Pawnee Street in Taylorville.




Narcan is available to the public and is displayed on the exterior of the CC Health Department building.


Taylorville Mayor Looks In To 2024

As Taylorville comes alive with Christmas spirit and businesses beginning and expanding, the 2023 year has been successful for the city's development. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry has been enjoying the festive Taylorville Square and the impressive Christmas in the Park light displays. 

Mayor Barry looks to 2024 as it marks the official start of the Taylorville Square renovation and the arrival of businesses that look to grow the City of Taylorville.
Mayor Barry began with his reactions to the Christmas season in Taylorville.


As for the 2024 year, Mayor Barry and the City have big plans.


Mayor Barry describes the funding for these many redevelopment projects.


Action is being taken on debilitated properties in the city, where the Taylorville City Council identifies abandoned homes, buys them, and demolishes them, leaving a fresh plot of land for the next Taylorville Resident. Work like this is being seen across the city, further creating a great place to live for current and future citizens.

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

Christian County Board To Meet This Evening

Christian County Board set to meet for the last time in 2023 at 6:30 PM at the Courthouse.  The board will hear from Mr. Matt Hart, with the CCEDC, go over ZBA amendments, and hear from the public.  Under highway, building, and grounds, the board will discuss some updates to the courthouse and an EPA Grant Program, along with a Nuisance Ordinance. Under executive/personnel, the board will get an EMA update, a resolution for the Appellate Prosecutor for the States Attorney, discuss paid leave for all workers, review board office staff, and discuss text amendment proposals.  Under audit/financing, the board will go over a CTI contract.


Under new business, the board will look at building permit enterprise zone for B and R Marine, discuss possible funding for water testing in Christian County, and consider key systems at the court house.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for a complete update following the meeting. 

Christian County YMCA Keeping the Community Active

The Christian County YMCA keeps local citizens of all ages active year-round with their programs and sports. 47 kiddos have signed up for this year's youth basketball season for grades one to four, and the YMCA is looking to the community to fill the spots for the fifth to eighth grade basketball season. This recreational-style league is for those not involved in their junior high sports programs.

The director of the Christian County YMCA, Bruce Blanshan explains the details.


The Teen Center is up and running on the first and third Fridays of each month for sixth to eighth graders from 6:00 p.m. to 10: 00 p.m., and for the grade schools, their parties are held every other Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Tanner Jones, first-year Program Director for the CC YMCA has more.


The Christian County YMCA is always looking to hire positions ranging from lifeguards to childcare counselors, to yoga instructors. To inquire about employment or any of the CC YMCA’s programming you can call 217-287-7271, or visit their website at, www.ccymca.org/.

Bruce Blanshan and Tanner Jones appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.


Petty Named TMH Colleague Of The Year

Taylorville Memorial Hospital has named their employee of the year.  Tammy Petty, unit secretary for Acute Care, at TMH, is the nonprofit hospital’s Colleague of the Month. Petty says the most rewarding part of her job is to help patients stay positive and get back to their homes. 



The Acute Care unit appreciates Petty’s positive attitude and attention to detail.  She also ensures supplies are stocked and available for patients, completes monthly audits, runs alarms, and answers call lights.  Petty is very knowledgeable in important areas including wound vacuum-assisted closure and central line dressing changes.  


Petty has worked for TMH since 1990.  The colleague of the year is selected from 11 individuals who previously named colleague of the month from January through November of the year.  Petty was the September Colleague of the month.  We here at Regional Radio News, salute you Tammy Petty!

Christian County Health Department Opening at New Location Today

Today is the first day of business for the Christian County Health Department at their new office location at 730 North Pawnee across from Taylorville Junior High School.

Staff with the Health Department spent last weekend moving offices and technology from their long-time location on West Springfield Road, to the renovated building that formerly housed the Christian County Mental Health Association.

Their office hours and phone number are all the same.

City Council Meets For Last Time In 2023

Taylorville City Council met for their last regular city council meeting in 2023.  The city approved the annual tax levy. The council also approved the 2023 maintenance bill under the Illinois Highway Code along with the 204 MFT estimate of maintenance cost and engineering.  The council tabled a motion to bid for the position of deputy treasurer. A motion concerning the appointment of Kaylee Jones as a FOIA officer carried 8-0.  Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry praised the displays at Manners Park for Christmas in the Park and gave an update on the Ameren issue that is outside of the park.



Under committee reports, the council approved a new HVAC unit for the fire department, 6 Flock cameras from Flock Safety, and a computer and software for the police department. A lateral hire for the police department was also approved by the Council.  During public comments, a member from the public spoke concerning the noise ordinance in Taylorville and hoping for some changes to make it easier to enforce. The Council then went into a closed session.  


The next council meeting is set for January 2nd, 2024. 

Daily Closures For Road Across Lake Shelbyville Dam

The road across the main dam at Lake Shelbyville will be closed periodically the week of December 18th – 22nd and again the first 3 weeks of January. Closures will only occur Monday through Friday starting at 7:00 AM and reopen at 4:00 PM the same day. These times are approximate and may fluctuate a few minutes. The closures apply to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic; however, access to the Dam West Overlook area will continue to be open during this time.


These closures are necessary to provide safety for workers and members of the general public while work is being conducted. The closures are necessary for workers to safely install new electrical components on the main dam.


The Corps of Engineers recognizes the impact of road closures on the general public and apologizes for any inconveniences it may cause.  For additional information, contact the Lake Shelbyville Project Office at (217) 774-3951.

South Fork Teacher Charged In Student Altercation

A high school teacher from South Fork School District was in court on Thursday morning following charges concerning an incident that took place at South Fork earlier this week. 39-year-old Michelle L. Freligh, of Taylorville, is being charged with a misdemeanor of reckless conduct after she allegedly pushed a student against a locker and ripped out hair extensions from the student.


South Fork Schools have released a statement saying they are currently investigating an occurrence during school hours between school personnel and a student.  The district is gathering information to help determine the best course of action and that student safety is of the utmost importance at South Fork.  The district says they have an obligation to maintain confidentiality during the investigation and will not provide any further comment on the matter. 


Freligh was released from custody and her first appearance is set for January 25th at 10 AM.  

Christian County Health Department Office Move Being Completed Today; Re-opening Tomororw at New Location

Officials with the Christian County Health Department are completing their office move from 902 West Springfield Road, to the former Christian County Mental Health Association building across from Taylorville Junior High School at 730 North Pawnee.

The building has been completely renovated in anticipation of the move, which will provide the staff better facilities to serve Christian County residents.

The Health Department will re-open at the new Pawnee Street location Tuesday morning at 8.

IFBW Announces Microloans For Two Taylorville Businesses

The Taylorville Chapter of the Illinois Federation of Business Women’s Clubs Inc. has launched an interest-free microloan program for local women-owned businesses. For the 2023 year, funds were available to two applicants with either a start-up or an existing business in Taylorville.  The application process included financial projections and explanations of the use of the funds as well as an interview with the microloan company. Applications were due at the end of May, but it was extended to September 1st.


Two women were selected in early November to receive the loan.  Marilyn Spillman and Tina Lancey were both selected to receive the loan. Spillman, owner of Emporium on Main offers antiques, collectibles, gently used furniture, and a full line of Dixie Belle paint right on the Taylorville Square. Find out more information on their Facebook page or call 217-827-1297 or visit 104 South Main Street.  Lancey, owner of Momsters Coffee Roasters, makes organic coffee ethically and roasted to order.  Momsters Coffee says they are made by busy moms for busy moms and donates 20% to ending domestic violence and supporting single moms.  Find out more information at www.momsterscoffeeroasters.com.  


IFBW coordinates with Shoe Sensation for the Kicks for Kids shoe giveaway program that was held Saturday and their 4th annual Spring Fashion Show fundraiser on April 6th. To learn more follow their Facebook page at TvilleBusinessWomen, email ifbwtaylorville@gmail.com, or call Tyler Frump at 454-1875, Kayla McGraw at 626-234-5403, or Pam Moses at 454-6105. 


Learning of Life Insurance with Shelbyville Insurance

Shelbyville Insurance handles a variety of services, from personal insurance to specialty farm coverage. Life Insurance is another feature that Shelbyville Insurance can help community members navigate.

Derek Hayden is a 12-year Risk and Insurance Advisor for Shelbyville Insurance and explains the coverage of Shelbyville Insurance.


Hayden digs deeper into the world of life insurance, saying that there is only one type of claim for this type of coverage.


Life changes will alter life insurance needs, Hayden describes his own background, tying his experience of a regularly evolving life to insurance needs.


To find the services of Shelbyville Insurance visit their website at, shelbyvilleins.com.

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

Taylorville City Council To Hold Last Regular Meeting Of 2023

Taylorville City Council is set to meet Monday at 7 PM for their last meeting of 2023. After approval of the minutes, the council will review a resolution for 2023 maintenance and a look at the annual tax levy.  The council will look to approve a motion to bid/advertise the position of deputy treasurer, discuss the appointment of Kaylee Jones as a FOIA officer to the city, and sign some 2024 MFT maintenance costs. 


Under committee reports, the council will approve some fire/police department needs.  The council will hear from the city attorney and Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry.  There will be a closed session concerning negotiations, purchasing some property in Taylorville including 504 West Second Street and/or 305 East Poplar Street along with the sale of 803 East Franklin Street. The council will also look to fill the vacancy in the office of city clerk.  Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more following the conclusion of the event.

Illinois 4-H Achieves Greatness in Louisville

In a groundbreaking achievement, the Illinois 4-H made history at the North American International Livestock Exposition, securing two national championships in the same year. The Illinois 4-H Quiz Bowl team clinched the National 4-H Quiz Bowl title for the first time ever, while the Skillathon team secured their victory for the second consecutive year. Adding to the accolades, the Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging team was named the Reserve National Champion.


The Illinois 4-H Skillathon Team, comprising Davis Howell, Ellie Drach, Hannah Miller, and Adam Stuckemeyer, demonstrated their expertise by winning first place with an impressive score of 1,568 points. Individual highlights included Hannah Miller securing third place overall and Davis Howell placing sixth.


On the Quiz Bowl front, the Illinois 4-H team, led by coach Eric Fugate and Dale Hummel, emerged victorious with members Blaine Homann, Chase Hummel, Isabel Pistorius, Hunter Shike, and Olivia Shike. Chase Hummel and Olivia Shike earned individual honors by securing second and third place overall, respectively.


The Livestock Judging team, under the guidance of coach Brookshire, displayed exceptional skills, earning them the title of Reserve National Champions. The team's members showcased their prowess in livestock evaluation at the national level.


Coach Eric Fugate, hailing from Mahomet, Ill., praised the dedication and camaraderie of the Illinois 4-H teams, emphasizing the incredible desire for knowledge displayed by the participants. Fugate expressed pride in the teams' achievements, noting their role as each other's biggest cheerleaders and their commitment to uplifting teammates.


In reflecting on the success, Coach Brookshire highlighted the rewarding experience of working with talented and sharp young minds, expressing confidence that these individuals would become exceptional contributors to agriculture in the future.


The Illinois 4-H livestock Skillathon, quiz bowl, and livestock judging teams extended their gratitude to the Illinois State 4-H office and the Illinois State 4-H Foundation for their crucial support in attending and representing the state at these prestigious events.

Representative Halbrook Talks Legislation in 2023

Illinois State Representative, Brad Halbrook serves the 102nd district and started his political journey in 2012. As 2023 comes to a close, Halbrook took time to speak on legislation and topics that loomed large this year.

Halbrook begins with the efforts he and his team went to in order to hear as many constituents as possible, setting up town hall meetings in many local cities.


Halbrook explains the upcoming Spring Legislative Session.


One piece of legislation that has been a topic of conversation is the Illinois Assault Weapons Ban, signed by JB Pritzker, and met with push-back by representatives like Halbrook.


Halbrook calls the recent ban a “countdown to confiscation,” saying that the ban is stripping Second Amendment rights away from Illinois citizens.

For more information on Representative Brad Halbrook, visit his website at, rephalbrook.com.

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

Understanding Emotional Spending

Financial spending increases during the holiday season as the community searches for the perfect gifts for their family and friends, but this leisurely shopping can sometimes turn into unwarranted purchasing during all months of the year just to satisfy a need. This is called Emotional Spending, according to Valerie Belusko, a Community and Economic Development Educator for the University of Illinois Extension.

Belusko says that emotional spending can be compared to an addiction where impulsive buyers will spend money with their hearts to satisfy a need.


There are five common reasons for overspending: social pressure, not accounting for inflation, lifestyle creep, credit misconceptions, and emotional spending. These aspects cause the affected person to make purchases that do not coincide with their lifestyle or financial abilities.


Belusko provides tips on how to curb emotional spending.


For information or questions regarding emotional spending, email Valerie at valerieb@illinois.edu.

Valerie Belusko appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Becoming Shopping Destination For All

Taylorville is becoming the shopping destination that local business owners have set out to achieve by expanding entrepreneurship, unmatched customer service, and a conducive shopping environment that makes shopping all year enjoyable. The Small Town Taylorville Website has a collection of local retailers' holiday sales and promotions.

To get an inside look at the reasons why citizens continue to travel to the town of Taylorville for any variety of items, WTIM spoke with Rachael Whitlow, Owner of the Vintage Dresser, Sherri Craggs, Owner of Fur Love Resale Shop, and Dyanne Skinner, Co-Chair of Small Town Taylorville and Owner of Dear Yesteryear.

Dyanne Skinner spoke on the unique opportunities Taylorville retailers present to their customers and how the location is everything when it comes to efficient shopping.


A business that is newer to Taylorville, Fur Love Resale Shop, has gained popularity and success this year, and owner Sherri Craggs says that she and the team of volunteers are kept busy with gracious community donations.


The Vintage Dresser, Owned and operated by Rachael Whitlow has participated in holiday donation opportunities as her store features a giving tree and holiday deals.


To see a full list of Taylorville retailers and their holiday specials, visit their website at smalltowntaylorville.com.

Dyanne Skinner, Sherri Craggs, and Rachael Whitlow appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Sparklight To Offer Free Internet For Those Who Qualify

An internet service provider is looking at providing affordable internet access to communities it serves. Sparklight has announced a free internet service for qualifying households through the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program.  Eligible households can now take advantage of fast and reliable internet at no cost. 


Available to individuals who qualify for ACP, Sparklight customers can sign up for internet service that includes 100 Mbps download speed, unlimited data, and a modem, free after the government’s ACP credit is applied.  All Sparklight internet plans up to 1 gig qualify for ACP, so those in need of a higher level of service can select the speed best suited to their needs, and $30/month ACP benefit will be applied to the selected tier of broadband service. 


Matthew Armstrong, Sparklight Senior Vice President of Residential Services, says that Sparklight is addressing digital equity across their footprint and ensuring families stay connected to reliable internet service at an affordable cost. 


New and existing Sparklight customers can visit www.sparklight.com/acp for more information, and to determine eligibility or sign up. 

Taylorville Announces New Superintendent

Taylorville has a new Superintendent.  The Taylorville School Board announced that Mrs. Brandi Bruley has been named the Superintendent for Taylorville Community Unit #3 Schools effective on July 1st, 2024. 


According to a press release sent out by the School District, Bruley brings a wealth of educational experience and leadership to Taylorville Community Schools through her service as a teacher, principal, and superintendent.  She knows the district as she spent 15 years as the principal of North Elementary School.  She has also served as the curriculum director during her final year at Taylorville. Bruley served as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Illinois State Board of Education. She spent three years as Superintendent for New Holland Middletown District. Currently, Bruley is the Superintendent of Waverly Community Schools.  


Bruley is recognized for her educational and professional accomplishments.  During her time in Taylorville, she led North Elementary to become a Blue Ribbon Award recipient for closing the student achievement gap.  She has been a national presenter for NWEA, MAP, and AASA.  In 2014, Bruley was named Illinois Elementary Principal of the Year.  She has also been named School Administrator’s People Watch page which highlights career moves through the American Association of School Administrators or AASA.  


Bruley and her husband have three daughters, Clarie, Maya, and Brenna.  Bruley says she is excited to return to Taylorville to collaborate with families, staff, and community members to improve achievement for all students and ensure every student has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.  


The School contracted the Illinois Association of School Boards to search to fill the superintendent position.  The process included a volunteer group of representative stakeholders, who heard the semifinalists respond to questions and provided feedback that was shared with the board. 

Pana High School Lockdown Lifted; All Students Safe

A lockdown that occurred after a note was found in a bathroom in Pana has been lifted.  The lockdown occurred at Pana High School and was lifted at 3:15 PM.  Superintendent Jason Bauer announced that everyone is safe and things are back to normal. Students were dismissed at regular time but there will be an increased police presence. 


The high school girl's basketball game against Taylorville and the junior high boy's basketball game against Vandalia will still take place as scheduled tonight. Girls basketball will begin with the freshman game at 5:00 followed by JV and varsity. Boys basketball will begin with the 7th grade game at 6:00 followed by the 8th grade game.

Bauer says he's grateful to the area law enforcement personnel including the Pana Police Department; Moweaqua Police Department, Christian County Sheriff's Office, and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. 

Pana High School Under Lockdown

Pana High School has released a statement regarding a current lockdown situation. All Children are safe. A note on a bathroom stall read "I am going to shoot up the school today."


The release says that students are safe at this time and more information will be provided when available. 


The Pana Police Department is assisting the school in the investigation and to reiterate, everyone is currently safe, Pana High School adds that the safety and well-being of students is always the number one priority.

IDOT Announces Road Closures And Openings In Effingham

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that Maple Street from the Fayette Avenue intersection to south of Edgar Street in Effingham will reopen on Thursday, December 14th, and Walnut Street east of Maple Street will close on the same day. 

The Walnut Street closure is necessary to reconstruct the intersection with eastbound Fayette Avenue.  Walnut Street will be closed from Fayette Avenue to 100 feet south of Fayette Avenue.  To access the areas south of the Walnut/Fayette intersection motorists should use Maple Street and Edgar Street.  One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction on Fayette Avenue during this closure.  Walnut Street is scheduled to reopen in early January. 


Motorists can expect delays and should allow for extra time for trips through the area.  Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using cellular devices and be alert for equipment and any workers that may be in the area. 


Over the next six years, IDOT is planning on improving more than 3,000 miles of highway and nearly 10 million square feet of bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation.  This year, there were $12.1 billion of improvements statewide on 5,339 miles of highway, 533 bridges, and 762 additional safety improvements. 


For updates on District 7, follow on twitter, or view area construction information on gettingaroundillinois.com. 

Using Dry Milk in Holiday Recipes with St. Louis Dairy Council

To ensure the local community meets their daily dairy intake, the St. Louis Dairy Council has tips and recipes to work nutrient-rich ingredients into holiday treats. Nonfat dry milk is a helpful addition to any baker's kitchen. Kelsey Bentlage, a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Educator for the St. Louis Dairy Council says dry milk has all of the same vitamins and nutrients but this product can last up to a year in one's pantry.

This month's featured recipe is Cherry Chocolate Cookies, a recipe where the addition of nonfat dry milk will enhance the flavor and texture of the final products.

Bentlage explains the basics of dry milk.


The shelf life of dry milk comes as a bonus, especially when one only wants milk for cooking purposes.


Bentlage explains dry milk's nutritional science and its positive value to recipes.


The recipe for Cherry Chocolate Cookies and more information can be found at the St. Louis Dairy Council’s website, www.stldairycouncil.org, or on social media on Facebook and Instagram.

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

Gillespie Holiday Sparkle To Return

Featuring shopping opportunities, children’s activities, and festive holiday decorations, Gillespie’s Holiday Sparkle will return to the downtown business district on Saturday, Dec. 16. The Holiday Sparkle will be a day-long event starting with the arrival of Santa Clause at 9 a.m. at the Gillespie Civic Center and concluding with a 4:30 p.m. lighted holiday parade on Macoupin Street.


The Civic Center also will be the location for free children’s crafts from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and face painting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Other children’s activities will include a petting zoo from 9 a.m. to noon on the vacant lot next to Lumpy’s Bar and Grill, 208 S. Macoupin St.., and a holiday story time from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Gillespie Public Library.


Drawing on the traditions of European Christmas Markets, the Holiday Sparkle will have nearly 70 crafters and food vendors offering their wares booths located inside multiple establishments in the business district including SS Simon & Jude Catholic Church, Gillespie Civic Center, Cee-Jo’s Saloon, the former Macoupin County Public Transit Office, John Hicks Maytag, Lumpy’s Bar and Grill, Headbangerz Salon, Ageless Apparel, and Kal’s Customs. Crafters will offer one-of-kind, hand-made gift items along Macoupin Street as well as food vendors offering sandwiches and holiday treats, including kettle korn.


Event visitors may register at numerous locations for a chance to win one of up to 40-holiday hams. Registration sites will be any vendor location, Gotcha Latte, and Illinois Valley Gift Barn. Costumed Christmas characters will roam the length of the festival venue during the day. Visitors can make s’mores or get warmth near fire pits located in front of the Gillespie Civic Center while live music, caroling, and band performances will take place throughout the day throughout Main Street. Grow Gillespie’s Colonial Giving Garden will be the starting point for a 5K Santa Stampede at 3 p.m. Persons wishing to participate in the Santa Stampede can register online at christmasingillespie.com.


A lighted Cruisin’ Into Christmas will conclude the event with a scheduled start time of 4:30 p.m. All participating vehicles must be decorated with lights and must be insured. Line-up for the parade is anytime after 3:30 p.m. on Macoupin Street near Moto Mart, and the parade will step off at 4:30 p.m.


For more information about the Holiday Sparkle, be sure to visit christmasingillespie.com or find the Gillespie Holiday Sparkle on Facebook. Further information also is available by calling 217-839-3167 or emailing gillespieholidaysparkle@gmail.com.

CCHD Reporting Increase In Covid Cases In Christian County

The Christian County Health Department is reporting an increase of a little over 48% over last week in the number of hospital admissions due to COVID-19.  The health department has also seen a 40% positivity rate in the last seven days, up 15% from last month.


If you haven’t received your COVID-19 vaccination, the CCHD is urging you to call to make your appointment at 217-824-4113.  If you suspect you have COVID or may have been exposed to it, testing is offered Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM until 10 AM. 


Find out more information by visiting https://covid.cdc.gov 

Taylorville Community Credit Union Announces Stop. Shop. Vote. Scholarship Program

Taylorville Community Credit Union is set to award $8,000 in financial scholarships to local high school seniors participating in its 10th Annual Stop. Shop. Vote, scholarship program. 29 senior students from Taylorville High School are vying for the chance to receive two of the eight $1,000 awards.


The scholarship program extends across four communities—Taylorville, Hillsboro, Litchfield, and Pana—with two scholarships available at each of the local high schools. The scholarships aim to support students pursuing higher education at trade schools, two-year community colleges, or four-year universities.


TCCU President, Will Perkins, revealed that the scholarship winners would be determined by the number of votes cast in participating businesses in the four communities. Residents have until February 29, 2024, to cast votes for their favorite students at the 75 locally-owned businesses involved in the program.

Shoppers can vote by spending $10 on a business, with one vote awarded for each transaction. There is no limit to the number of stores shoppers can visit or the frequency of voting.


The complete list of participating businesses can be found on TCCU's website, www.TCCU.org, where voters can also track the progress of the competition. Businesses are displaying posters featuring the registered students' photos, creating awareness in their front windows or interiors.


Perkins emphasized the importance of supporting local businesses, encouraging voters to "think global, shop local" as they participate in the program. TCCU, a not-for-profit cooperative financial institution, has been serving the tri-county region of Christian, Montgomery, and Shelly Counties since 1956. Membership is open to everyone living or working within the region.


Participating Taylorville High School students in the 2023-24 program include Emma Althoff, Jay Bliler, Justin Champley, Audrey Curtin, Megan Czajkowski, Abigail Erlenbush, Brenton Good, Ella Goodman, Chloe Grant, Claire Hadley, Milana Henson, Kyndall Hoy, Aubrey Kietzman, Hallie Lows, Jake McConnell, Ian McGrath, Drew Mickey, Owen Morgan, Mia Morelock, Abby Norris, Ava Odam, Mylie Sims, Hallie Smith, Mia Stephens, Lyris Stockon, Claire Vaira, Jake Whetsell, Rhyker Wicks, and Olivia Woodward.


For more information about TCCU's financial services, products, or membership details, visit www.TCCU.org, or contact any of its local branch locations in Taylorville, Hillsboro, Litchfield, and Pana.


TMH Donates AED To The Taylorville Food Pantry

Taylorville Memorial Hospital donated an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the Taylorville Food Pantry.  Matthew Adermann, Taylorville Fire Chief, trained food pantry volunteers to use the AED. Jay Boulanger, Memorial Health Community Health Coordinator, says that he appreciates the work the Food Pantry does for the community.  It helps ensure volunteers are prepared for potential medical emergencies is one way that they can support them.  


The donation and training equipped volunteers with lifesaving skills and improves safety for individuals who use the pantry.  Amy Hagen, co-coordinator for the Pantry thanked TMH and Chief Adermann for the generous donation of the AED and for providing training opportunities for the volunteers. She says that the skills they acquire will help ensure individuals the Food Pantry serves are safe while at the pantry.  

Pana Community Hospital Looks Back on Successful 2023

Pana Community Hospital is remembering a successful 2023, marking the first year of mostly normal operations in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. During the year, Pana Community Hospital began their MRI Caring Suite, where individuals experienced a new and comfortable way to receive detailed health imaging. New care providers have been welcomed, and community events are back to support those like caregivers.

Melissa Rybolt, Marketing Manager for Pana Community Hospital says the year 2023 gave the hospital an opportunity to return to what they do best, expand their services.


Many new care providers, surgeons, and staff have been added to the roster at Pana Community Hospital. Rybolt speaks on Dr. Brooke Dean, the newest care provider in the community medical clinic.


Community events bring citizens with common trouble together and with Pana Community Hospital these events could include a meal or conversations with like-minded people.


With operations at Pana Community Hospital back and running like normal, the team at PCH looks to 2024 to expand on even more services, renovations creating more space for incoming practitioners, and more events that create a closer community.


For more information on Pana Community Hospital visit their website at, panahospital.com.

Melissa Rybolt appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Standing Room Only at Taylorville School Board Meeting Tuesday Night; Still No Decision on New Building

It was standing room only on Tuesday night as parents and concerned citizens packed the regular monthly meeting for the Taylorville School District at 1100 N Sportsman Dr. in Taylorville.


The meeting began with public comments, enough to fill the 30-minute allotment for public remarks. These included comments from parents, teachers, and former board members. There was a common focus, which was the building project that has been in the works for a while now. Many parents were upset that there wasn’t more consideration for the performing art students.



The Taylorville FFA was then celebrated in front of the board for their success at the national FFA convention in late November.




The next item was the building project, which was started by Jacques Reynolds, the Architect for the project. He presented renderings of the proposed building of a gymnasium and space for performance arts.



There was then an option to go ahead with an early bid for the metal building that could potentially reduce the cost of the project as well as speed up the process in the future. There was no movement on the project tonight, as there was a hiccup, and the Tommy TV studios did not have renderings or a pinpoint cost. The board tabled everything until those items were completed. Dr. Ron Mizer continued to show displeasure with the project, saying that this money was always allocated for an auditorium and that there wasn't a dire need at the time for a sports complex.


Tom Finks brought up that he thought there was a way with the information presented that the Board could fit the auditorium into the budget.



The board then met for an executive session, and nothing was announced from that session. However, there will be a meeting on Thursday to continue the process of looking for a new superintendent of schools.


The next school board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 9th, 2024.

Taylorville Kiwanis Club Honors December "Community Hero of the Month" at Weekly Meeting

The Taylorville Kiwanis Club honored their December “Community Hero of the Month” at their weekly meeting on Tuesday at the Taylorville Moose Lodge.   Scott Campbell, chair of the Christian County “Toys for Tots” drive, was program speaker and also honored at the end of his remarks as the December Kiwanis “Community Hero of the Month”.


Campbell, a 1994 graduate of Taylorville High School, served 20 years in the Marines with multiple stints during the Iraqi wars.  Now retired, Campbell came back home and felt the need to help children in the community.  He’s the Christian County chair for the Marine Corps Reserve “Toys for Tots” organization, which is a 501C3 non-profit organization.   


Campbell told Kiwanis members the “Toys for Tots” effort was started by a husband and wife team in 1947, with the wife making dolls by hand and the husband distributing them.   The Marine Corps Reserve got behind the effort and its its first year distributed over 5-thousand toys.  Since that time, “Toys for Tots” hs raised money to give some 652-million toys to nearly 3-hundred million children.   


Campbell added there are now some 800 “Toys for Tots” campaigns going on in the United States, with the Christian County effort he leads raising funds to give some 56-hundred toys to almost 18-hundred kids the past 5 years.  



Campbell said the over 13-thousand dollars raised this year will be turned into toys for 290 Christian County children this year.  Get more information on the Christian County “Toys for Tots” organization that Campbell heads, on their Facebook page.


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.     

WTIM Peoples Bank and Trust TJHS November Students of the Month

WTIM and People's Bank and Trust wish to recognize the November TJHS Students of the Month for November.  Levi Buesinger, Olivia VanHuss, Kaiden Gipson, and Paige Spallinger were all recognized for their outstanding achievements. We here at Regional Radio News salute you; our November TJHS Students of the Month.

People's Bank Representative Jim Grimmett, Levi Buesinger - 8th Grade, Olivia VanHuss - 7th Grade. Kaiden Gipson - 6th Grade, Paige Spallinger - 5th Grade, People's Bank Representative Mason Crowe 


WTIM Peoples Bank and Trust TJHS September Students of the Month

People's Bank and Trust along with WTIM wish to recognize the Taylorville Junior High Students of the Month.  Congratulations to Camille Nash, Annabella Blue, Haylee Davis, and Tinsley DeClerck.  We here at Regional Radio News salute you.

5th - Camille Nash, 6th - Annabella Blue,7th - Haylee Davis, 8th - Tinsley DeClerck, and People's Bank & Trust Representatives Jeff Grimmett and Lindsey Lopian. 

WTIM Peoples Bank and Trust TJHS October Students of the Month

WTIM along with People's Bank and Trust are proud to announce the Taylorville Junior High School Students of the Month for October. Pictured are Sam Wagner 7th Grade, Daisie Williamson 5th Grade, Desirae Morrow 6th Grade, and Elayna Harker 8th Grade.  Congratulations!


Taking Care Of The Christmas Tree With The Master Gardeners

The University of Illinois Extensions Master Gardeners have some messages for those who chose the real tree route as opposed to the artificial Christmas Tree. Aspects such as hydration, insect habitation, and disposal are all important when taking care of the live Christmas decoration for over one month.

The Master Gardeners Gwen Podeschi and Sandy Cline say, you will not need to worry about over-watering, as the already chopped tree is ready to absorb any water that it can. The first main step for real Christmas tree success and safety is the placement in a person's home.


The Christmas tree might have been home to some critters taking refuge in a tree farm or hardware store parking lot. These critters are commonly insects that rise from their dormant stage as they hit the warm temperature inside a household.


The final step to ensure Christmas tree success is proper disposal. Taylorville and surrounding cities often have a designated day or days where sanitation departments will accept a Christmas tree carcass.


For more information on Christmas time plants or to become a Master Gardener make sure to visit extension.illinois.edu/mg.

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

Taylorville Police Looking For Three "Tree" Suspects

Taylorville Police are still looking for three suspects who are suspected of stealing a Christmas Tree on the Taylorville Square.  The vehicle is suspected to be a Buick or Chevrolet either maroon or red. There are three suspects including the driver who is believed to be female, of average height/build with long dark hair.  They are described as a juvenile or young adult and they were wearing a light-colored sweatshirt.


The second suspect, who was the front seat passenger is described as average height/build.  They are also believed to be a juvenile or young adult and police say it’s unclear whether they are male or female.  The third suspect who was the driver's side rear passenger is also believed to be female, average height, heavy set, with long dark hair.  It is believed they are a juvenile or young adult and they were wearing a purple sweatshirt.


If you believe you recognize the vehicle or the suspects' description, please contact the Taylorville Police Department at 217-824-2211. 

Edinburg Fire Under Investigation

A Edinburg fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal. At 3:01 PM Monday, Edinburg Fire along with multiple other mutual aid departments were dispatched out for a shed fire.  After arrival, fire crews found a 30x80 shed fully engulfed in flames.  Fire crews quickly brought the blaze under control but weren’t able to save the building or what was inside.  


No one was injured in the fire, and the State Fire Marshal is currently investigating. Crews that helped with the fire include Edinburg, Mount Auburn, Midland, Stonington, Taylorville, and Rochester Fire Departments.  Christian County Sheriff’s Office was also on hand. 

Social Security Benefits Increasing in 2024

Social Security Benefits are set to increase as those who receive benefits and Social Security Income will see a 3.2 percent jump from 2023. This increase will be effective for payments that will be received in January. Jack Myers, a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration explains what this means for beneficiaries.


Cost of Living Adjustment or COLA is an important aspect of the amount paid out to beneficiaries as the amount of benefits rises with increases in cost of living or inflation.


Letters have been mailed out to the over 71 million Americans who qualify meaning no registration or update is needed for a citizen to receive their benefit increase.


For information about Social Security Benefits or more visit the Social Security Administration’s website at ssa.gov.

Jack Myers appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville School Board of Education Regular Meeting Set For Tonight

The Taylorville School Board of Education is set to meet today at 6:00 p.m. at the district office located at 1100 North Sportsman Drive. The meeting will begin with a moment of silence, remembering three former educators who recently passed away, Tim Kratochvil, Superintendent of the Pawnee School District, David Willenborg- a driver education Teacher, and Suzie Freese- retired Choir Teacher.

The board will look to approve minutes from the Special Board of Education meeting on November 14th and a closed session, along with the regular November 30th meeting and closed session.

Under new business, the school board will look to adopt the 2023 tax levy. A second reading will take place of the IASB Press Policy Update concerning the search for a permanent superintendent for the Taylorville School District.

The meeting will enter a closed session where the conclusion looks to bring forth action on a contract for employment for the next Superintendent of Taylorville Schools.

A presentation will be given by architect, Jacques Reynolds for the design update to Phase 1 Option A of the Taylorville High School building project, possibly adding optional classrooms and a cost estimate will be released by Chris Tyra.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for updates following the conclusion of the meeting.

Fire Near Edinburg Monday Evening

Crews were called out to a massive fire outside Edinburg Monday afternoon. Multiple agencies were reportedly called to the blaze. Stay tuned to Regional Radio News for more on this breaking story as it becomes available.

Shelby County Office of Tourism With Area Holiday Events

The Shelby County Office of Tourism works diligently to gather and promote area events to attract more travelers to the cities that surround the already popular City of Shelbyville. Upcoming events for these surrounding cities include, Cowden Christmas in the Park on Saturday, December 9th starting at 5:00 p.m., Tower Hill Fire Department will be supplying treats for the kiddos, and there is still time to enjoy the Shelbyville Festival of Trees at the Chautauqua.

Freddie Fry, Director of the Shelby County Office of Tourism dives into the Cowden Christmas in the Park and what the community can expect.


The Shelby County Office of Tourism has set up bags for the first responders to throw out to the children collecting goodies.


Information about the Shelbyville Festival of Trees can be found at www.facebook.com/p/Shelbyville-Festival-of-Trees-Illinois, and for all surrounding events visit the Shelby County Office of Tourism website at www.lakeshelbyville.com.

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

Ameren Program Offers Help To Those Who Need It

Warm Neighbors Cool Friends helps low- to moderate-income individuals and families who don’t qualify for federal assistance. In 40-plus years, the Warm Neighbors Cool Friends program has provided bill payment assistance to more than 100,000 homes in Ameren Illinois' service territory. Sometimes homes just need a little bit of help to keep the lights on and keep a financial issue from spiraling out of control.  You never know who may need help.  Susan Sams, Executive Director, of the Energy Assistance Foundation says the program is designed to assist those who need that little extra help. 



Sams says she has noticed that the need for utility bill assistance has risen over the past few years. 



Sams also says that there aren’t many programs like the Warm Neighbors Cool Friends program offered by Ameren.



Ameren is also offering other energy-efficient programs as well.



Donations and more information can be found by visiting warmneighborscoolfriends.org. 


Here are the income ranges for the program. 

Family Size

WNCF Income Range


$2,431 - $4,513


$3,288 - $5,158


$4,144- $5,804


$5,001 - $6,446


$5,858 - $6,963


$6,714 - $7,479


$7,571 - $7,996


$7,776 - $8,513

Illinois Grapples with Respiratory Virus Surge as Holidays Approach

As the holiday season nears, Illinois is grappling with a surge in respiratory viruses, impacting communities across the state. The latest data from the CDC's National COVID Data Tracker reveals that COVID-19 hospitalizations have escalated in 44 counties, with an additional 39 at a medium level and five at high risk. The reported 20% spike in hospitalizations, totaling 1,039 new cases, emphasizes the severity of the situation for the week ending November 25.


This surge encompasses not just COVID-19 but a broader spectrum of acute respiratory illnesses, including flu and RSV. The limited capacity in pediatric ICUs across various areas within the state has raised concerns among officials at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).


To address these escalating concerns, IDPH has introduced an essential tool—the Infectious Respiratory Disease Surveillance Dashboard. This user-friendly platform will be updated weekly every Friday after 3 p.m., providing real-time insights into hospital visits, seasonal trends, lab test positivity rates, and demographic data. The dashboard, launched on December 8, aims to empower residents with vital information during this surge.


Dr. Sameer Vohra, IDPH Director, expressed foresight regarding the increasing respiratory viruses, affirming, "We are seeing an uptick in respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, flu, and RSV, both locally and nationally." Dr. Vohra stressed the collaborative efforts with health partners to educate the public, monitor hospital capacities, and develop effective strategies. The newly launched Infectious Disease Surveillance Report stands as a pivotal measure to ensure residents' safety.

"Amid rising hospitalizations, I urge all residents to utilize available resources to safeguard themselves and their families," emphasized Dr. Vohra.


Amid this surge, the federal government has stepped in, offering resources and assistance. The NIH Test to Treat line and programs like the Merck Patient Assistance Program aims to provide access to no-cost care and medications for eligible patients.


Moreover, a comprehensive toolkit, provided by the federal government, offers information on accessing masks, treatments, vaccines, and testing resources across the country through https://www.covid.gov/.


Shelbyville Superintendent Pleased With District Report Card

District report cards have recently been revived by school districts, giving staff and board members an idea of areas to improve in and areas of proficiency.

Shane Schuricht is the Superintendent of the Shelbyville Community Unit School District and is pleased with his school district's results this year.


Schuricht believes that all schools involved in his district are worthy of this exemplary rating, stating that the state's designation of an exemplary school is extremely difficult to achieve.


The Superintendent says the Shelbyville Community Unit School District is making a case for why citizens looking to move into the area would find the school system as a part of a reason to join the community.

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


2024 Christian County Agricultural Fair Will Be Bigger and Better Than Ever to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

The 2024 edition of the Christian County Agricultural Fair will be bigger and better than ever according to fair officials.   Dates are July 16th thru the 20th and promotions director for the Fair Angela Ohl-Marsters tells Regional Radio News a lot of special promotions that fairgoers have attended in larger numbers are back.



The expansion of the Wine Gala is due to the great response it had last year.



2024 will be the 100th Anniversary of the Christian County Ag Fair and Ohl-Marters says it'll be celebrated in a big way.



Again, the 2024 Christian County Ag Fair dates are July 16th thru the 20th.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library and More Coming to Shelbyville Public Library

New programs have been announced for the Shelbyville Public Library that further tell the community that their library is more than just a depository for books. A drop-in Christmas ornament-making class will be held on Saturday, December 9th at the Shelbyville Public Library, starting at 9:00 a.m. for all ages.

Monica Cameron, Executive Director for the Shelbyville Public Library works hard with her staff to provide new and relevant programs for their community.


On Wednesday, December 13h at 10:45 a.m. the opening of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library will be presented for Shelbyville Public Library. This program, made possible by United Way of Decatur Mid-Illinois and Shelby Electric Cooperative, registered children will have fresh reading material for the whole year.



This program is for kids ages 1-4 and the opening for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library will be in the kids section of the library.

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

Taylorville School Board Holds Stakeholder Meeting For Superintendent Search

As the search for the next Taylorville School District Superintendent continues a recent sign-up only stakeholder meeting was held where the public voiced their opinions on what qualities they would like in the next superintendent. President of the Taylorville School board, Brenda Patrick, said the candidates answered questions and heard from the public.

Patrick was unable to disclose the names of the candidates due to confidentialities.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio News on December, 12th for the regularly scheduled Taylorville School Board meeting at the district office for more information.

Finding Unclaimed Money with the Illinois State Treasurer's Office

Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs announced that the holiday season brings an extra dose of cheer for Illinoisans, as Christmas, Happy Holidays, Santa, Rudolph, and even Scrooge are among the millions of names listed in the state's missing money database. This surprise of unclaimed cash and property is awaiting rightful owners, creating an opportunity for some unexpected holiday financial boost.


Frerichs expressed the festive spirit saying, it's the most wonderful time of the year, and returning missing money to the rightful owners is even more special during this season. He encouraged residents to discover if they have any forgotten funds by entering their names at illinoistreasurer.gov/icash.



Unclaimed property, defined as money or accounts with no activity for several years, is entrusted to the State Treasurer when the legal owner fails to respond to inquiries. This includes unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, and unused rebate cards.


With an estimated one in four adults in Illinois finding missing money through the treasurer's database, the average claim is $1,000. Frerichs has overseen the return of over $1.9 billion in unclaimed property, marking a record-setting performance resulting from a comprehensive restructuring of the missing money process. The state treasurer's office has streamlined the claims process, introduced electronic claims, and leveraged technology for easy payments.


In a recent initiative, the Treasurer's Office launched the Enhanced Money Match program, sending letters to over 140,000 individuals by cross-referencing state-collected data with the missing money database. The program aims to simplify the process for unclaimed property owners, providing details about the amount and source of the money.


With a focus on the ease of the claims process, recipients must only watch their mail and cash the check, with the Treasurer's Office conducting additional security measures. Frerichs recommends that residents check for missing money at least twice a year, emphasizing the ongoing effort to reunite Illinois residents with their unclaimed assets. To see if any missing money awaits, individuals are encouraged to visit illinoistreasurer.gov/icash.

"Tommy TV On the Radio" Premieres Today 4-6pm on NEW Country 104.1

The Miller Media Group's NEW Country 104-point-one is debuting a new show today.

Students in the Tommy TV video production class at Taylorville High School, are hosting a new afternoon show from 4 til 6 weekdays on that station.


Several different students enrolled in the Tommy TV class, are getting the experience in being on-the-air and recording segments that are airing in the daily 2-hour show.

Find out more on their new show, and see some of the students participating, on the NEW Country 104-point-one Facebook page.

Kitchen Cleanliness Keeping Families Healthy This Holiday Season

The kitchen will become increasingly busier as we near Christmas and New Year’s, and extra care and attention must be paid to the cleanliness of your cooking space and food. Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator for the University of Illinois Extension says that salmonella can remain on a non-sanitized surface for 32 hours.


Steps as simple as proper hand washing is the first defense against food-borne illnesses that can end the Christmas fun.


For the oven and other cooking areas, Peterson says it is imperative to keep these areas clean and sanitized, and for those looking to hold their yearly kitchen cleaning, the Extensions resources are here to help.


All of this cleanliness information and more can be found at extension.illinois.edu/sites/default/files/cleaning-sanitizing-kitchen.

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

Illinois Secures $95M Federal Grant for Rail Upgrades

Illinois has been awarded a significant federal grant of $95.1 million by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to elevate its passenger rail infrastructure across the state. The allocation includes a substantial portion of almost $94 million dedicated to the rejuvenation and modernization of Chicago's Union Station, a pivotal transportation hub. Governor JB Pritzker praised the grant, highlighting Illinois' central position in the nation's transport network and emphasizing the strides made to modernize the state's railways.


The grant, a result of the collaborative efforts between the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the FRA, and the Biden Administration, includes two grants totaling $93.6 million, focusing on the Chicago Hub Improvement Program. This initiative aims to enhance rail services and operations not only in Chicago but also across the Midwest. The funds will facilitate upgrades in Union Station's accessibility features for riders with disabilities, renovation of outdated ventilation systems, and expansion of station platforms to accommodate the nearly 120,000 daily Amtrak and Metra train passengers.


Moreover, as part of the FRA's Corridor Identification and Development Program, IDOT received $1.5 million for planning enhancements in three state-supported rail corridors: Chicago to Carbondale, Chicago to St. Louis, and Chicago to Quad Cities. These grants will aid in developing comprehensive plans, schedules, and cost estimates, paving the way for future federal funding opportunities for construction and implementation. The Illinois Transportation Secretary, Omer Osman, hailed these grants as crucial steps in advancing Illinois' comprehensive transportation system, positioning the state as a North American transport hub. Governor Pritzker's Rebuild Illinois capital program, with a commitment of over $1 billion to enhance rail statewide, underscores the state's dedication to transforming and expanding its passenger rail services for the future.


For more information visit Illinoisrail.org

Florinda's To Host Ney Years Eve Party

For those looking to stay local this New Year’s Eve while still wanting to celebrate properly with, food, friends, drinks, and music, Florinda’s on the Taylorville Square will be opening their doors at 9:00 p.m. for a New Year's Eve Party. The party will be held in Florinda’s large event room right next door to their 114 South Main Street location. Attendees can expect finger-food appetizers from Florinda’s menu, a local DJ, and champagne on hand to toast as the community rings in the new year.

Florinda Guerriero, Owner and Operator of Florinda’s has been working the restaurant since its inception in 2000. Florinda explained that this is the first year to host a New Year's Eve party and she is excited to see the community enjoy a celebration in their own town.


Florinda’s Main restaurant will be open for dining on the day of the party but Florinda says the kitchen will keep pumping out authentic Italian for the party.


Guerriero’s story, coming to the United States from Italy when she was 13 to the Town of Taylorville was destiny she said, and is happy to now be in a position to hold a celebration for the entire community.


The New Year's Eve party will be held in the door to the left of Florinda’s, located at 114 South Main Street in Taylorville.

Christian County March 2024 Primary Ballot Set

The Christian County March 2024 primary ballot is set, with several Republican races.


In the race for Circuit Clerk with incumbent Julie Mayer retiring, the Republican ballot has Jessica Franks and Jeffrey Voorhees as candidates.


In the race for Christian County Coroner with incumbent Amy Calvert Winans' retirement, Austin Peters and Michael Assalley will square off.


Republicans will have challengers in several Christian County Board districts.


In County Board District One, Glen F. Goodrich, Jr is challenging incumbents Clint Gabriel and Venise McWard.    In District 2, incumbents Ken Franklin and Thomas Snyder Jr. will be joined by challenger Mark Wolfe.  And, in District 3, incumbents Mike Specha and David Buckles will be joined by Thomas Snyder Sr. on the ballot.  


The Illinois primary is Tuesday, March 19th.

Investment and Financial Consultations with CNB Bank and Trust

The world of finances and investments can be confusing and intimidating to many who do not want to make the wrong move with their hard-earned dollars. CNB Bank and Trust in Taylorville is here to help clear this confusion and set clients on the right track for financial success in their future. Mike Oeser, a Business Development and Wealth Management Officer for CNB Bank and Trust, meets with individuals and businesses to find the best fiscal options for them.
Oeser begins by explaining the cost-free initial consultation.


CNB Bank and Trust is a fiduciary advising group, meaning their advisors are held to a higher standard and are legally and ethically bound to provide their clients with the path that suits their best interests.


One service one can find at CNB Bank and Trust is the individual management accounts that focus on a single earner and how they can best approach their finances for success in the future.


Oeser says he is available to answer questions the local community may have about their saving and investing habits at 217-408-0114.

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

Protecting Yourself From Getting Sick This Holiday Season

December and January are usually times when runny noses, sore throats, and coughs are back in season. Often, parents have to deal with kids getting sick from school or social gatherings and other events that may spread germs. Dr. Kimberly Walker, a family medicine physician with OSF Healthcare says that there is plenty of ways to treat sickness with over-the-counter medicine.  



For children and adults, other products such as Vicks VapoRub can do the trick. 



One option that can do the trick, but doesn’t get talked about a lot is celery.



For Dr. Walker, hand washing is key. Teach kids to cough into their sleeve, and not into the air, to stop spreading the virus. She also encourages parents to keep children hydrated.



For babies and infants, medicine isn’t always an option.  There are ways to provide comfort though to newborns.



Decongestants can help.  But knowing what to choose, can be a tough decision.



Colds and viruses tend to last one to two weeks, but if you have symptoms that linger longer, reach out to your primary care physician. 

Toys For Tots Drive At Edward Jones In Taylorville

In an effort to spread joy to children this Christmas, Edward Jones is matching donations of funds up to $500 to a non-profit organization of an advisor's choosing. Keri Austwick, an Edward Jones Financial Advisor for the Taylorville location has chosen Toys for Tots as her non-profit organization and has donated the maximum $500 which has been matched by Edward Jones and will go to Toys for Tots.

Edward Jones in Taylorville is now collecting unwrapped presents for kids of all ages, inside their business located at 601 North Webster Street in Taylorville. Austwick begins with her inspiration for including Toys for Tots in the initiative's first year.


Austwick explains how the local community can get involved.


Austwick explained that teenagers are often hard to shop for when donating to Toys for Tots, adding that toys for youngsters are easy but knowing what a teen wants is important to keep this in mind while shopping for someone in need.

Donations are being accepted now through December 20th at Edward Jones in Taylorville at 601 North Webster Street in Taylorville. For more information, the community can call 217-824-7811.

Keri Austwick appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.


Protecting Against Holiday Scammers Busy Season

In a recent initiative to safeguard the public from increasing holiday scams, the FBI Springfield is urging citizens to stay vigilant against vindictive fraudsters seeking both money and personal information. Special Agent in Charge David Nanz emphasized the evolving tactics employed by scammers, urging individuals to exercise caution and conduct due diligence to thwart their efforts.


The FBI's 2022 Internet Crime Report revealed alarming statistics, with 14,786 Illinoisans falling victim to scams, resulting in a staggering $266.7 million in losses. Social media platforms are identified as breeding grounds for scams, particularly those disguised as holiday promotions or contests, leading unsuspecting users to participate in surveys designed to steal personal information.


The agency cautions against downloading mobile apps from unknown sources, especially those disguised as games, as they can lead to the theft of sensitive information. Various scams, including non-payment/non-delivery, investment, work-from-home, gift card, and charity scams, share common traits such as enticing offers, requests for swift action, and payment through nontraditional means like gift cards or quick payment transfer services.


To minimize the risk of falling victim to scams, the FBI recommends routine credit card statement checks, purchasing from reputable online sources, and exercising caution with website security claims. Additionally, individuals are advised not to respond to unsolicited emails, avoid clicking on links within emails, and refrain from providing personal information through email forms.


The FBI stresses the importance of donating only to known and trusted charities, securing credit card accounts with strong passwords, and remaining skeptical of exaggerated claims of earnings or profits. 


The public is encouraged to contact their financial institutions immediately if they believe they are victims of scams, report incidents to law enforcement, and file complaints with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at IC3.gov or by contacting the FBI Springfield at 217-522-9675. For more information on holiday scams and protective measures, the public can visit the FBI's official website at FBI.gov.

Christian County Tentative Multiplier Announced

Christian County has been issued a tentative property assessment equalization factor of 1.0000, according to David Harris, Director of the Illinois Department of Revenue.  The property assessment equalization factor, often called the “multiplier”, is the method used to achieve uniform property assessments among counties, as required by law.  


This equalization is particularly important because some of the state’s 6,600 local taxing districts overlap into two or more counties (e.g. school districts, junior college districts, fire protection districts).  If there were no equalization among counties, substantial inequities among taxpayers with comparable properties would result.  State law requires property in Illinois to be assessed at one-third (1/3) of its market value.  Farm property is assessed differently, with farm homesites and dwellings subject to regular assessing and equalization procedures, but with farmland and farm buildings assessed according to standards based on productivity.  


The equalization factor is determined annually for each county by comparing the sales price of individual properties sold over the past three years to the assessed value placed on those properties by the county supervisor of assessments/county assessor.  If this three-year average level of assessment is one-third of market value, the equalization factor will be one (1).  If the average level of assessment is greater than one-third of market value, the equalization factor will be less than one (1).  And if the average level of assessment is less than one-third of market value, the equalization factor will be greater than one (1).


Assessments in Christian County are at  33.28 percent of market value, based on sales of properties in 2020, 2021, and 2022.  The equalization factor currently being assigned is for 2023 taxes, payable in 2024.  Last year’s equalization factor for the county was 1.0000. 

Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshall Urges Caution While Christmas Decorating

The Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is recognizing the critical need for fire safety during the holiday season, emphasizing the alarming statistics provided by the National Fire Protection Association. The NFPA reports that over one-third of home decoration fires originate from candles, with more than two in five incidents caused by decorations placed too close to heat sources.


To raise awareness, the OSFM continues its annual "Keep the Wreath Red Campaign," initiated in 1954, where white lights replace red bulbs upon the occurrence of a fire-related death in the state. The campaign aims to symbolize the lives lost during the holiday season, with seven lives tragically lost in Illinois last year.


Highlighting the urgency of the matter, the NFPA reveals that U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average of 790 home structure fires annually due to decorations, excluding Christmas trees. Christmas tree-related fires average 150 per year between 2017-2021, often involving electrical distribution or lighting equipment. Candle fires peak in December, accounting for over half of home decoration fires during the month.


James A. Rivera, Illinois State Fire Marshal urges citizens to prioritize fire safety, recommending precautions such as following manufacturers' guidelines for light strings, replacing damaged cords, and considering battery-powered candles. Rivera stresses the importance of extinguishing all candles before leaving a room or going to bed.


The campaign provides essential safety tips, including using flame-retardant decorations, keeping candles at least 12 inches away from flammable items, and ensuring Christmas trees are adequately watered and positioned away from heat sources. The OSFM also advises cleaning ovens after holiday meals to prevent fires during subsequent holiday meals.


The OSFM urges residents to prioritize fire safety, reminding them that simple precautions can contribute to a bright and festive holiday season without the risk of accidental fires.

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission Urges Safety When Driving This Holiday Season

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.  With two major holidays and many people traveling, December can be a deadly month for drunk driving. National Impaired Driving Prevention Month intends to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.  Impaired driving refers to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances that can restrict a person’s ability to drive.


Impaired driving is a critical public safety issue.  The Illinois State Police, along with other law enforcement say to never get behind the wheel of a vehicle if you are impaired as that can cause traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities.  


The Illinois Liquor Control Commission stresses the need for drivers to be responsible behind the wheel, especially during the holiday season when there is an increase in alcohol-related incidents on the roadways.  The ILCC encourages everyone to plan alternative ways of getting home safely after enjoying holiday festivities.  Don’t drive impaired—choose a safe option such as a designated driver, rideshare, taxi, or public transportation. 

Geminid Meteor Shower to Light Up Decatur's Sky at Friends Creek

Get ready for a great show as the Geminid Meteor Shower graces the sky above Friends Creek Conservation Area. Happening on Thursday, December 14, from 9 pm to 11 pm, this yearly sky spectacle is set to charm both skywatchers and space fans.


During its peak, the show may produce up to 120 to 160 per hour, and while you're enjoying the show, hot chocolate and s'mores are available.


Anyone excited about the sky can join in! Just remember to sign up online at MaconCountyConservation.org by noon on December 13. Dress warmly to catch this mesmerizing sky show at Friends Creek Conservation Area located in Decatur.


For more information visit maconcountyconservation.org

Fayette County Man Charged With Possession Of Child Pornography

A Fayette County man has been charged with possession of child pornography.  39-year-old Izacc A. Logue of St. Elmo, Illinois was charged late last week with nine counts of possession of child pornography, Class 2 felonies, each punishable by up to seven years in prison in Fayette County Circuit Court.  


Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, Vandalia Police Department, and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, searched Logue’s residence on November 30th in the 2100 block of East 2350 Avenue in St. Elmo and arrested him. 


Kwame Raoul says that they will co-prosecute the case with Fayette County State’s Attorney Brenda Mathis who commended the cooperation of all law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of the case.   


Raoul also says that the public should report any exploitation at www.cybertipline.com and child abuse can be reported at dcfsonlinereporting.dcfs.illinois.gov.  Local child advocacy centers can be found at www.childrensadvocacycentersofillinois.org. 


Logue’s next court date is December 13th.  

Shelby County Primary Ballot Taking Shape

The Shelby County March 2024 primary ballot is taking shape, after the filing period ended on Monday.

Incumbent Republican Shelby County State's Attorney Robert Hanlon will not be on the ballot.   Hanlon had filed to run again but withdrew his filing late last month.   As a result, the only Republican candidate that will be on the ballot will be Ruth Woolery of Shelbyville.   No Democratic candidate filed.

There was only one candidate from each party filing for Shelby County Circuit Clerk.  Incumbent Democrat Kari Ann Kingston of Shelbyville will be unopposed in the primary, as will the lone Republican candidate Peter Otis of Westervelt.

And in the Coroner's race in Shelby County, incumbent Republican Brad Phegley of Windsor will face challenger Richard Moon of Lakewood in the Republican primary in March.   No Democrats filed for Coroner in Shelby County.

The primary election in Illinois is Tuesday, March 19th.

Taylorville Food Pantry Announces Holiday Meat Drive

The Taylorville Food Pantry has announced their new donation initiative to provide local, struggling families with a Holiday feast this Christmas season. The Taylorville Food Pantry has successfully served over 500 families for the past six months and now looks to the community to once again answer the call for donations for the Holiday Meat Drive.

This is the first year for the Taylorville Food Pantry to ask the community for specific items focused on creating a Christmas Dinner, namely, turkey, ham, or pork loin. Amy Hagen, Co-coordinator for the TFP explains the process of getting the drive started.


Hagen described the Taylorville Food Pantry’s recent partnership with the Taylorville Police Department to supply turkeys to families on Thanksgiving.


Pam Moses, Co-coordinator for the TFP updates the community on recent food pantry statistics that show numbers have only increased.


Amy Hagen, Pam Moses, and the Taylorville Food Pantry are grateful for the support given by the local community. The coordinators ask that while shopping for the family feast, think of the family that might not have the financial stability to do so, and grab seconds for the Taylorville Food Pantry.

Donations are being received now and can be dropped off at the TFP located at 1429 East Main Cross Street in Taylorville.

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

Shelbyville Students Of The Month Announced For November

The WSVZ and Family Drug-Shelbyville Students of the Month for November 2023 were presented with their awards recently. Congratulations to  Freshman:  Henry Woolery, Sophomore:  Tim Edwards, Junior: Brionna Wilkinson, Senior:  Caroline White

From L to R: Henry Woolery, Tim Edwards, Brionna Wilkinson, Caroline White, Tina From Family Drug


Regional Radio News congratulates the Students of the Month!

Taylorville Recognizes City Worker Anniversaries

The City of Taylorville held their City Awards Party on Friday, December 1st.


The following employees were honored for their years of service.

The first photo shows the 5 Years of Service and are listed left to right – Kirsten Beaman, Mike Bethard; Kellie Hamell; Crystal Nichols and Mick Rafferty.

The second photo shows the 10 Years of Service and are listed left to right – Tim McArdle, Tim Brown and Wes Withrow.


Not present was Kevin Krueger who received his award for 15 Years of Service.


We here at Regional Radio News Salute you all on your anniversaries with the city!

Christian County Health Department Offers Testing and Vaccines as COVID-19 Cases Rise

As people and events move indoors during the winter months seasonal sicknesses are more prevalent and Christian County has seen a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases. The Christian County Health Department offers tests and vaccines year-round and are dedicated to providing these services, especially during the holiday season.

Dr. Chad Anderson, the Public Health Administrator for the Christian County Health Department, says that an analysis of recent COVID-19 testing data shows 48% of citizens testing positive.


The Christian County Health Department urges citizens not to enter the health department if one is showing symptoms of COVID-19, RSV, or a cold. Nurses will provide testing or vaccinations like a drive-thru.


Anderson says the times for drive-thru testing or vaccinations is approximately 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Christian County Health Department, located at 902 West Springfield Road in Taylorville, the new location will be taken to by December 19th at 730 North Pawnee Street.

Contact the Christian County Health Department at 217-824-4113 or visit them online at cchdil.org/.

Dr. Chad Anderson appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville City Council Meets; Recognizes 7th Grade Girls Basketball Team

The Taylorville City Council met Monday evening for their first December meeting and recognized the Taylorville 7th Grade Girls Basketball Team. December 4th was named 7th Grade Girls Basketball Day in Taylorville. Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry praised the girls and their head coach Max Wilson for having a great season at 21-7.  



Ordinances approved included the annual abatement ordinance, an ordinance to approve the purchase of personal property including a tractor, deck, and mulch kit, an ordinance to approve the Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act for Taylorville, and adding rules for remote meetings.  


A motion approving a $5,000 directors membership contribution for the CCEDC was approved. A motion to approve city hall parking improvements was passed with Aldermen Chris Skultety, Kathy Driskell, and Steve Dorchinecz all voting no.  


Mayor Barry thanked everyone for their hard work concerning Christmas celebrations. 



The Council went into closed session to discuss salaries and a lawsuit between Julie Lilly and Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler concerning an incident that took place September 27th.  The next City Council meeting is set for December 18th.  


Limiting Holiday Stress With Ed Lacheta

Situational stress is a side effect of the busy holiday months and strain is put on the local community through personal relationships, work, and finances. Ed Lacheta, Mental Health expert with Shelby County Community Services says that there are ways to lessen the feelings of stress during the season that is supposed to be filled with joy.

Lacheta says this time of year reminds many of family members who have passed away, bringing about feelings of sadness, he continues by saying these feelings are natural and actually healthy for all humans to experience.


There are many ways to ward off the stressful effects of the winter season and Lacheta recommends staying connected to your family and community.


Just because the Christmas season provides joy for many, those feelings of glee are not meant to be permanent, says Lacheta. He says finding ways to celebrate with family or friends over a Zoom call is becoming more common.


Mental health services are available by phone at 988, a crisis line open 24/7.

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

Christian County Health Board Approves Move To New Building For Health Department

There will be a new Christian County Health Department location.  The County Health Board voted to close the current building on the 15th and the Health Department will move to the old Mental Health Association building which is 730 North Pawnee Street near the Junior High School. Dr. Chad Anderson, Public Health Administrator, says that they will try to keep operations as smooth as possible and are looking to hold a grand opening when things get opened later this month. 



Dr. Anderson urges patience during the move.



Dr. Anderson says the reason they needed the move was for a number of reasons, namely the current place being hard to find.



For more information on the Christian County Health Department and their move, call (217) 824-4113 or visit their website. 

Taylorville City Council; Lengthy Closed Session Expected

The Taylorville City Council will meet on Monday at 7 PM. The Council will have a fairly lengthy closed session, recognize the 7th Grade Girls Basketball Team, and review some ordinances. The council will discuss and potentially approve ordinances for annual abatement, personal property concerning some John Deere tractors, paid leave for all workers act for Taylorville, and rules for remote meetings.


The council will look at a motion for the Christian County Economic Development Corporation, and city hall parking improvements.  There are no committee reports to review, but the council will hear from the City Attorney and Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry. 


After hearing from the public, the council will go into a closed session.  During the closed session, the council will discuss salaries and a lawsuit between Julie Lilly and Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler concerning an incident that took place on September 27th. 


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

Christmas Twilight Parade Fills Taylorville Square

Small Town Taylorville held the Christmas twilight parade on Saturday night on the Taylorville square. 94.3 WMKR was live on the square joined with Steve Craggs and Lee Skinner as the broadcast was held. The community filled the Taylorville square as kids raced into the streets to grab candy from floats as they passed by. Both the Taylorville High School band and the Taylorville Junior High School band made appearances as well as Santa who made an appearance.


At the end of the broadcast, Steve Craggs and Lee Skinner said they were so happy with the turnout from the community.



For more events visit Smalltowntaylorville.com 

Morrisonville Holds Old Fashioned Christmas On Saturday

The Morrisonville Old Fashioned Christmas took place Saturday from 9 AM until 2 PM.  There were vendors at various locations, a parade, Santa Claus, covered wagon rides, and more.  Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR was live at Sloan Furniture to talk to some of the people who were taking part in the festivities.  Zarah Guzman, Miss Morrisonville and Emma Grande Junior Miss Morrisonville, stopped by to say hi and they both were excited about Christmas and what it means to Morrisonville. 



Both Guzman and Grande participated in the Christmas Parade.  


Malea Elson, was in charge of all the festivities, and in between running around handling all of the little issues that pop up, she says that vendors have all kinds of crafts and that it is nice to have the community come together.



Rita Sloan with Sloan’s Furniture says that Christmas is such a special time of year. 




The Morrisonville Old Fashioned Christmas took place from 9 AM until 2 PM on Saturday, December 2nd. 



Taylorville Abuzz Today With Multiple Christmas Events, Parade

Taylorville will be abuzz today with the arrival of Santa Claus during the Small Town Taylorville Christmas Parade around the square, and the Chamber of Commerce Festival of Trees.

The former Milling Millwork building on West Main Cross is the location of the Festival of Trees, while the Taylorville Christmas Parade steps off around the square at 5pm.

WMKR Genuine Country 94.3 will broadcast the Christmas Parade live.

Make No Mistakes With Frozen Lakes

As the cold temperatures roll in the community must keep in mind water safety while lakes still allow for boating and fishing. Brock Key, a Park Ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provides some basic tips to avoid emergencies while winter boating. Lake Shelbyville has the potential to freeze over and Key says to stay off the lake and to never drive a vehicle onto seemingly safe ice.


Similar to all season life jacket use is required while out on the water and Key says that falling into the cold lake will create less time to reach safe conditions.



Overall, Key says to use common sense while interacting with area lakes.



For information on Lake Shelbyville visit the website at www.lakeshelbyville.com/.


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

Santa To Appear at Wrights Furniture This Saturday

Santa will be making his way to Taylorville this weekend and making his first stop at Wright’s Furniture this Saturday, December 2nd, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. A photographer will be on hand and pictures will be printed on the spot. Wright’s Furniture hopes that the Christmas Spirit extends to the community as there will be a Taylorville Food Pantry donation box for non-perishable food items.

Sandy Carter, a saleswoman for Wright’s Furniture says one corner of the store has been decorated and prepared for Santa to arrive.


The staff of Wright’s Furniture is proud to be assisting the Taylorville Food Pantry with donations during the holiday season. Carter explained how important it is to think of the families and children who are less fortunate, and how they deserve full bellies during all seasons.


Wright’s Furniture is located at 400 North Webster Street in Taylorville. Sandy Carter and the staff at Wright’s invite the community for an afternoon of holiday cheer and community contributions through food donations.

Sandy Carter appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.

Taylorville Students Of The Month For November Announced

WTIM and People’s Bank and Trust in Taylorville have announced their students of the month for November. The program recognizes one outstanding student from each of the four classes. Students of the Month for November are Ava Watson, Hannah Chitwood, Ryan Sobish, and Hope Kietzman. 


Disaster Declaration issued For Multiple Central Illinois Counties Affected By Derecho

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack issued a disaster declaration for Christian, Hancock, McDonough, Sangamon, and Washington Counties due to losses caused by a derecho and tornadoes that took place, June 29th through June 30th.  Counties contiguous to Christian, Hancock, McDonough, Sangamon, and Washington counties are also eligible for the same assistance including, Macon, Macoupin, Montgomery, and Shelby Counties. 


Jerry Costello II, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director thanked Governor JB Pritzker for working with him and the USDA.  He encourages affected producers in declared counties to contact their local USDA Service Center to confirm eligibility.  A Secretarial natural disaster designation allows the USDA Farm Service Agency to provide emergency loans to producers recovering from natural disasters. 


Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loans.  Those eligible should contact their local USDA Service Center to ask questions or file a Notice of Loss.  

Christian County 4-H Holiday Wreath Workshop

The University of Illinois Extension presents a new upcoming program from the Christian County 4-H that looks to get kids ages 8-18 in the holiday spirit. A Youth Holiday Wreath Workshop will be coming to the Christian County Extension Office on December, 18th, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Registration is required and the event fee is $5.

Sara Marten, University of Illinois Extension County Director says that the event will not only allow kids to create holiday decorations but also receive some education on the natural materials used to make the wreaths.


This program was offered in all four Christian County 4-H counties which is a factor Marten is pleased with. The counties include Christian, Jersey, Macoupin, and Montgomery.


Registration for the Youth Holiday Wreath Workshop will be open for another week and can be found at extension.illinois.edu/cjmm/4-h-christian-county, or call 217-532-3941.

Sara Marten appeared as a guest on the WTIM Morning Show.


Pana November Students Of The Month Announced

Genuine Country 94.3 WMKR along with People's Bank and Trust are recognizing the Pana Students of the Month for November. The November Pana Students of the Month are Kooper Cole, Delaney Hackler, Kylie Evrley, and Noah Weeden. 



U OF I Welcomes New 4-H Youth Development Educator

Illinois Extension and 4-H recently welcomed a new 4-H Educator.  Jessica Jaffry will serve as the new 4-H youth development educator in Christian, Jersey, Macoupin, and Montgomery Counties.  Sara Marten, Illinois Extension county director, says that they are excited to have Jaffry on board and says her experiences with 4-H will serve her well in building partnerships, developing programs,a nd working with volunteers to help youth thrive.  


Jaffry first worked with 4-H as a program coordinator in Jersey County. Her areas of expertise include livestock, leadership development, healthy living, and school-based programming. Jaffry graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.  She completed her master’s degree in Kinesiology from SIUE.


Jaffry will provide leadership for the youth and development program that supports 4-H clubs and special interest groups, as well as educational events in local communities.  Jaffry says she is excited to work within the local communities and school districts to provide opportunities for youth to develop healthy living skills, as well as leadership and career readiness skills through hands-on programs that will help children to be successful. 


Jessica is based in the Macoupin County Office in Carlinville and can be reached at jjaffry@illinois.edu or 217-854-9604. 

Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce To Hold Festival of Trees Live Auction Today

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is set to hold their Festival of Trees Live Auction, this Friday, December 1st, starting at 6:30 p.m. located at 405 East Main Cross Street in Taylorville. Beautifully decorated trees and wreaths from area businesses line the windows of the building and will be up for auction for the community to take home.

Linda Allen, the Executive Director of the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce explains how Friday night will unfold.


Brad Davis, a board member of the GTCC lists the tree decorators.


Allen describes the wreaths that will also be up for auction.


Information about the GTCC Christmas events can be found on their Facebook page titled, www.facebook.com/TaylorvilleChamber.

Linda Allen and Brad Davis appeared as guests on the WTIM Morning Show.

Rochester Schools Closed Today Due to Power Outage

Rochester Schools are closed today due to a power outage.   Power officials there didn't know when the power would be restored, causing school administrators in the Sangamon County community to call off school today.


TFD Hosts Grain Bin Awareness Class

There will be a grain bin rescue awareness class taught by the Taylorville Fire Department on January 20th, 2024.  The class is free and open to the public. The class will run from 8 AM until 2 PM. The course is set to educate students about grain storage facility types, how they are constructed, and how they operate.  Upon completion of the course, takers of the class will be able to function as support members to a rescue team that can conduct rescue operations at a grain storage facility. 


Students of the class are encouraged to bring turn-out gear, a helmet, gloves, eye protection, ear protection, and steel-toed shoes. 


Make sure to click the link here to register for the class. 


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