Local News

Taylorville School Board Approves Budget; Discusses COVID-19

The Taylorville School Board held a special meeting on Monday evening to discuss the School District Budget, announce a new tech grant, and of course, talk about COVID-19. The School Board passed the budget unanimously after a small discussion.



A new tech grant was received for $159,778 dollars to provide iPads for 1st and 2nd graders and hot spots for identified families.



Under COVID-19, the board says that it is best to have students in in-person learning, and they are working hard to do so, but at this time it isn't safe. There is a District Leadership Team (DLT), and the DLT met on September 23rd to review COVID-19 data and discuss the concerns from the community. The team reviewed student grade reports from midterms, discussed an uptick of positive rates in Christian County (113), the District’s positive number of employees who have tested positive, exposed, or have been quarantined (47), a staff survey, and community concerns.



Under community concerns, the school board says that starting in Quarter 2, teachers will increase instructional time and run full schedules on both Tuesdays and Thursdays, add iPads and hot spots, and increase counseling and mentoring. 



Taylorville School District will need to meet the following metrics for a period of 14 days before students can safely return to in-person learning. Students can also remain in remote learning if they choose to do so. The metrics are positivity rates in Christian County staying below IDPH guidelines which is 8% and school district employee positivity and quarantine rates need to trend down and stabilize. 



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


Park Board Meets; Talks Lakeshore, Pool, Welcomes New Secretary

The Taylorville Park Board met on Monday evening. Jason Boldig, from Lakeshore Golf Course, was there. He made the board aware of a dead locust tree that needed to be removed due to the close proximity of the clubhouse.  Boldig also said that the Pro shop needs to get new lights and suggested LED lights.



The Park Board voted to go ahead and allow Boldig to purchase LED lights for the Clubhouse.  The board announced the resignation of Office Administrator MaryAnn Becker and hired Lisa Morillo for the job.  Morillo says she is excited to get to work.


Recreational Director, Bailey Hancock gave an update on the pool and is excited to get started. There are 4 engineering firms that answered the request for qualifications.  Hancock says she got some very thorough plans, and there is a lot to go through moving forward on a project as big as this for getting a new pool.  The Board agreed to meet with the potential 4 at a later time to go over and ask questions.


Hancock says they’ve started to plan Christmas in the Park, but they have back up plans, because of COVID.



Hancock continued by stressing that it is way early in the planning process and there are still a lot of variables when it comes to planning. They just want to be prepared for anything.


The next park board meeting is scheduled for October 26th.


Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose Is Not a Fan of Positivity Rate Metric

Positivity rate is one of the half-a-dozen metrics used to determine the status of coronavirus in Illinois counties and a central Illinois lawmaker believes there are better metrics to decide on mitigation efforts. 


State Senator Chapin Rose believes the focus on positivity rate is very misleading, especially in parts of the state where COVID just is not prevelant. 



Sen. Rose believes the metrics that should be emphasized are hospitalizations and protecting vulnerable populations. Local health officials have been echoing this message for many months during the pandemic.



Sen. Rose is critical of the Governor's shift in focus in recent weeks as efforts have increased to bring back fall sports in light of many other states reversing earlier decisions. He believes we have passed giving hospitals and healthcare providers the capacity to deal with COVID and now we are focused on protecting people from themselves, something he calls an overreach. 


Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle Discusses The Chillifest Entertainment

Chillifest is scheduled to take place on Saturday October 3rd and Sunday October 4th on the Taylorville Square and the festivities will kick off with Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry at 9am on Saturday morning, says Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle.



The Little Chilli Bean contest also starts right at 9am on Saturday morning. The baby with the most change by Sunday at 1pm will win a few really cool prizes. 



The Chillinois Regional kicks off on Saturday morning, according to Hornbuckle.



The bags tournament will start at noon on the northeast corner and there will be a variety of entertainment for people of all ages throughout the two days.


Chillifest is scheduled for October 3rd and 4th on the Taylorville Square. Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Director Of Radiology Discusses Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Director of Radiology Amy Waddington says that women need to pay special attention to their breast health.



Accoring to Waddington a mammogram is the best way to detect breast cancer early.



HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital has a fund set up to help with expenses related to the detection or treatment of breast cancer.



The radiology department at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital offers a variety of different tests for patients including MRI’s and x-rays to name a few.  



Amy Waddington was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show live from our studio in downtown Shelbyville. 


Illinois Senator Andy Manar On Why Illinois Voters Should Approve The Fair Tax

To Illinois State Senator Andy Manar it is critical that Illinois voters approve the Fair Tax.



If the Fair Tax doesn’t pass on November 3rd, according to Senator Manar he and his collegues have a few choices. They can either cut spending or raise taxes on everyone.



60% of those voting on the question or a simple majority of all those voting in the general election need to vote in favor of the Fair Tax in order for it to pass and become law. 


Illinois State Senator Andy Manar says that he can’t ask people in his district to do more, but the wealthy millionaires in Chicago should be expected to do more.



There are those that are concerned about the negative impact that the Fair Tax could potentially have on the agriculture industry. When asked about this, Senator Manar said that any farm that has a net income over $250,000 would see a slight increase in income taxes.  



Illinois State Senator Andy Manar was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest Committee Holds Final Meeting Before This Weekend's Event

It was the final committee meeting Monday night, for the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce Chillifest before this weekend's first-ever socially distanced event on the Square Saturday and Sunday.  


Event chair Greg Hornbuckle told Regional Radio News after the meeting, that the many committee chairs and members are excited about this weekend.



Over 90 arts and crafts vendors will socially distanced, and although no chilli by the bowl will be served, Chillifest chilli will be sold in 2 drive-thru lanes by the quart and when it's all gone, it's gone.


Hornbuckle also said the weekend will again feature 2 days of International Chilli Society sanctioned cook-offs and judging, among many other events on the Square.



This year's 5 Chillifest Pageants Saturday afternoon will also have a different look to keep entrants safe, with Hornbuckle complimenting Pageant director Brittany Moore.



The Chamber does need additional volunteers to assist in selling chilli by the quart, as well as other duties.  To sign up, call the Chamber office at 824-4919.


Find out all things Chillifest by going to the event's web site, chillifest-dot-info, that's chillifest with 2-L's.


And, this reminder that the 5 Miller Media Group radio stations will bring you live coverage from this weekend's Greater Taylorville Chamber Chillifest in twice-hourly reports from 10 til 5 on Saturday and noon til 4 on Sunday.


Amy Calvert-Winans Announces Autopsy Results From August Death Investigations

The Christian County Coroner, Amy Calvert-Winans has released information to Regional Radio News from death investigations that were conducted in August determining the manner and cause of death in certain cases. 


56 year old Karen L. Davis of Pana, died on August 6th at Pana Community Hospital E.R. Mrs. Davis died of Hydromorphone Intoxication. The manner of death was determined to be accidental. Pana Police handled the investigation.


60 year old Kathy A. Moore of Palmer died on August 19th at her residence. Mrs. Moore died as a result of combined morphine and codeine intoxication. The death was determined to be accidental. Christian County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.


50 year old Robert Williams, of Pana, died on August 28th at his residence. Mr. Williams died as a result of Fentanyl intoxication. His death was determined to be accidental. Christian County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.


For more information, contact the Christian County Coroner’s Office.


Taylorville Public Library Reports COVID-19 Case

The Taylorville Public Library is closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. Chris-Mont EMA along with the Christian County Health Department was notified immediately to start contact tracing. Deep cleaning protocols have been initiated and the facility is awaiting the final results of contact tracing to reopen as soon as they can.


If you were recently a customer at the library, you would not meet the guidelines for exposure which are less than six feet for more than 15 minutes, therefore your risk would be quite low. As always, continue to monitor your health and check with your physician if you feel unwell or need more information.


To contact the Chris-Mont EMA, call 532-9560, call the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113, or call the Montgomery County Health Department at 532-2001.


October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and physicians everywhere are encouraging their patients to understand the importance of screenings as well as communications with their doctor. OBGYN Dr Christian Kramer of OSF Healthcare says screenings are really important.



The American Cancer Society says there are two types of mammograms, a screening mammogram and a diagnostic mammogram. A screening mammogram is used to look for signs of breast cancer in women who don’t have any symptoms or problems. A diagnostic mammogram is used if a woman has experienced symptoms or if a change is detected during a screening mammogram.


80-90% of breast cancers in women are detected without symptoms.


It’s important for physicians to discuss health maintenance issues during their visit about when screenings should start and whether it should be an annual appointment or done biannually. 


Dr. Kramer says there can sometimes be anxiety about a mammogram especially if you haven’t had one done before, but she tries to put women at ease.


For more information, please contact your local OBGYN or physician.


University Of Illinois Extension Office To Host Webinar Series On Diabetes Starting On October 14th

The University of Illinois Extension Office, according to Nutrition and Wellness Educator Lisa Peterson, is excited to be able to offer a Diabetes webinar series to help those who have diabetes manage it. The webinar will be held on Wednesdays from 10am - 11am starting on October 14th.



There are a number of myths that Peterson will address in the webinar including the fact that if you have diabetes you have to cut out certain foods. 



Individuals with diabetes need to have a variety of different foods in their diet, according to Peterson.



Another myth that Peterson hears a lot is that people with diabetes can’t ever have any salt.  



Lisa Peterson was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Area Schools Receive Grant For Help With Remote Learning

Area schools will receive nearly 2 million dollars in grants for remote learning. State Senator Andy Manar made the announcement last week. Senator Manar says that these funds can help to provide children with resources to stay engaged in their education during this remote learning stage of the pandemic.


471 districts in Illinois received over 80 million dollars including 16 schools in the 48th State Senate District which is Senator Manar’s. Taylorville received nearly $160,000, Pana received nearly $100,000, and Nokomis received over $60,000, 


School Districts can use the funds available to expand connections and provide those students with devices like computers and tablets. The grants are funded by the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.


Lincoln Land Community College Late Start Classes Begin On October 19th

Lincoln Land Community College is offering late start classes, according to Enrollment Coordinator Tishia Miller, and those classes begin on October 19th and they will finish in mid December with the rest of the first semester classes.



These late start classes will work for a variety of different students and will be offered in a variety of different formats. 



LLCC offers two different tracks for their students, according to Miller. For those students who plan on transferring to a four year university LLCC offers a variety of different classes.



LLCC also is excited to offer an Automotive Technology certificate program that will begin with the late classes on October 19th and run until May of 2021.  



Tishia Miller was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Taylorville Park Board Meeting This Evening

The Taylorville Park District is meeting on Monday evening at the Manners Park Dining Hall for their regular monthly meeting. Jason Boldig from Lakeshore Golf Course will be there to give an update. MaryAnn Becker has submitted her resignation as Office Administrator and Board Secretary. Lisa Morillo will be appointed in her place. 


For a complete look at the agenda see below.


7:00 P.M.


    I. Call to Order
    II. Roll Call
    III. Approval of August 24, 2020 Minutes
    IV. Treasurer’s Report
    V. Correspondence and/or Guests
A. LSGC – Jason Boldig, Golf Course Update
A.  Adopt Ordinance No. 2020-3  Levying Necessary Taxes for Fiscal Year March 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
    A. Accept Resignation of Office Administrator/Board Secretary MaryAnn Becker
    B. Hiring of Office Administrator/Board Secretary Lisa Morillo
    C. Appoint Lisa Morillo as Taylorville Park District IMRF Authorized Agent
    D. Authorization for Office Administrator/Board Secretary Lisa Morillo for Signature on all Taylorville Park District Accounts.
    E.  Decision on Request For Qualifications/Pool Engineer
    A.  Park Maintenance Superintendent
    B.  Recreation Director
    C. Office Administrator/Secretary
    A.  Finance Committee – Approval for Payment of Bills
    IX. Executive Session
    X. Possible Action on Matters Discussed in Executive Session
    XI. Adjournment


Chamber CEO Discusses Chillifest Drive-Thru Chili Sales

The biggest change for Chillifest, according to Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle, this year will be the fact that there will be no chili tent and that chili will only be sold via drive thru by the quart.



If you want to pick up chili you will need to head north on Main Street and turn right on to Market Street, according to Hornbuckle. 



The chili that will be served is not Angelo’s chili, but a special Chillifest recipe, according to Hornbuckle.


Hornbuckle said that they will begin serving chili at 10am on Saturday morning October 3rd, but when they run out no more will be made.  



Chillifest is scheduled for October 3rd and 4th on the Taylorville Square. Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Representative Avery Bourne Named Friend Of Agriculture

A local State Representative has been named a Friend of Agriculture. State Representative Avery Bourne was recognized by the Illinois Farm Bureau for her voting record in the 101st General Assembly on issues the farming community deals with. Rep. Bourne received a 100% score for 11 votes taken including legislation on the minimum wage, graduated income tax, and legislation affecting ethanol plants and the department of labor.


Representative Bourne agreed that agriculture is the number one driver of the economy and says she is committed to supporting farmers and agriculture in Illinois. 


The Christian County Farm Bureau has been in existence for over 100 years and is one of the oldest bureaus of its kind in the United States. 


Photo Identification (L to R): Christian County Farm Bureau members Mathew Heberling, Darrick Fleming, Mellisa McMillan, and State Rep. Avery Bourne


Dove Inc. Celebrates 50 Years

Dove is a social service organization that is celebrating its 50th year. Susie Kensil is the coordinator of the Dove Domestic Violence Program in Shelby County and she says that Dove strives to help those who are unable to help themselves.



Dove is a rather small organization within Shelby County, according to Kensil and they have a lot more programs in other counties in Illinois that they serve. 



Dove in Shelby County has two programs including a domestic violence program and a financial assistance program.



Kensil says that they’re seeing an increase in domestic violence calls, but not as much of an increase as they expected.  



Susie Kinsel was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show from our studios in downtown Shelbyville. 


Chris-Mont EMA Concerned About COVID Outbreak At Taylorville Care Center

As Christian County reaches the “warning level” for COVID-19, one of the main issues that the Illinois Department of Public Health is concerned about, is hot spots. With the virus being able to spread so easily, clusters are something that can see fast breakouts that are hard to keep in check. One of those outbreaks is in Taylorville at the Taylorville Care Center. The Taylorville Care Center last week reported that there are 40 new cases of staff and residents at the Center that are dealing with the virus.


This means that the Taylorville Care Center has 40 residents and 13 staff members for a total of 53 personnel that are still dealing with the virus. 


The Christmont EMA is reporting as of Saturday evening in Christian County there have been 656 total positive COVID-19 cases with 111 of those being active and 6 currently in the hospital. So far in Christian County, there have been 13 deaths. In Montgomery County there have been 350 total COVID-19 cases with 47 currently active, 1 in the hospital, and 13 deaths.


Continue to social distance, wear face masks, wash your hands frequently and clean common areas. For more information call the Chris-Mont EMA at 532-9560, the Montgomery County Health Department at 532-2001, or call the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113.



Final Drive Thru Donation Day Collects $160 And Food For Taylorville Food Pantry

This past Satruday was the final Drive Thru Donation Day to benefit the Taylorville Food Pantry. The Taylorville Kiwanis Club and Miller Media Group teamed up every Saturday in May, July, and September to collect both food and monetary donations.


Kiwanis member and Miller Media Group President Randal J. Miller, and his wife Cathy, collected a truckful of food and $160 that was given to the Taylorville Food Pantry. Miller told listeners about the true impact made by the community over the course of the three months of donations.


The need for donations has only increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Miller talked about what these donations have done for the food pantry.



In the closing minutes, Miller sent out a heartfelt message of thanks to the community for all they did during the Drive Thru Donation Days.


For more information on how to donate to the Taylorville Food Pantry visit this link.


Christian County Clerk Clarifies Some Issues With COVID And Voting

Christian County Clerk Michael Gianasi clarified some questions on Friday after an employee in the office tested positive for COVID-19. The employee that tested positive worked in the back room of the office which was separate from the front counter area where people vote. The employee was last in the office on September 21st. Other employees of the back office have been quarantined under the guidelines set by the Christian County Health Department.


None of the voting equipment had been set up yet. It wasn’t set up until September 23rd. All common surfaces have been wiped and cleaned including ink pens. If you want to vote early and don’t feel safe, feel free to bring your own pen with black ink to vote. Voting booths and laminated privacy covers are also wiped down after use, and you can use a stylus or a rubber tip to go on your finger to complete your vote to prevent touching of surfaces. 


If you are early voting in person, provide extra time, and maintain social distancing in the hallway. Early voting is available from 8 AM until 4 PM Monday through Friday at the County Clerk’s office in the courthouse. On October 24th and October 31st, the office will be open from 9 until 1 PM on both of those Saturdays. 


For more information contact the Christian County Clerk’s office at 824-4966.


IDPH Puts Christian County In "Warning" Status For COVID-19

Christian and Macon Counties are in the IDPH warning level for COVID-19. The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting that 24 counties in Illinois are at the warning level for the coronavirus. A county reaches the warning level when they have two or more risk factors for an increase in the virus.


Included in the warnings for this week are Bond, Boone, Cass, Christian, Clinton, Crawford, DeWitt, Fayette, Grundy, Hamilton, Macon, Menard, Peoria, Putnam, Washington, Wayne, and Winnebago. 


Factors that are looked at for counties to be in the warning level include new cases per 100,000 people, number of deaths, the weekly positivity rate, ICU availability, weekly emergency department visits, hospital admissions, tests performed, and clusters.


For Christian County to drop out of the warning level, continue to social distance, stay home if you are sick, use hand sanitizer often, and clean personal spaces. For more information contact the Christian County Health Department at 824-4113.


More COVID-19 Cases At Taylorville School District

A press release from Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty of the Taylorville School District announced more COVID-19 cases on Friday morning. Staff members along with some close family members have recently tested positive, been exposed, and have been quarantined for the virus. The school district is working with the Christian County Health Department as well as the regional office of education to keep them aware of any illnesses or exposures and are conducting contact tracing.


Taylorville High School is reporting 1 new positive case, Memorial is reporting 1 new positive case, and the Junior High School is reporting that some staff members may have been exposed and are being directed by the public health department to quarantine and test. 


Deep cleaning and sanitation efforts continue throughout the affected campuses and the custodial staff remains hard at work cleaning surfaces and common areas. Taylorville School District continues to encourage parents and students to maintain safe distances, wear masks, and wash your hands. For more information contact the school district at 824-4951. 


Jim Bohannon Says President Trump Has Every Right To Replace Justice Ginsburg

President Donald Trump, according to Nationally Syndicated Radio Host Jim Bohannon, has the right replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 



Democrats, according to Bohannon, are purely playing politics. 



The likely Supreme Court nominee, according to Bohannon, is current 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett. 



Bohannon expects things to get rather ugly, but reminds everyone that Judge Barrett was approved for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals with a bipartisan vote by the US Senate just a few years ago.  



Jim Bohannon was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Driver's Licenses Extended Until February 2021

Driver’s licenses and ID Cards have been extended again due to COVID-19. The new date will be February 1st, 2021. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White made the announcement on Wednesday. The February 1st extension includes those who have October, November, December, and January expiration dates. Secretary of State Dave Druker says he doesn’t want people to feel like they are in a rush.



License plate stickers remain extended until November 1st, 2020. Those can easily be renewed online. You can use online services for many things including renewing license plate stickers, obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card, obtaining an abstract, or renewing a standard driver’s license through the Safe Driver renewal program online.


For qualified drivers age 75 and older, the new expiration date is their birthday in 2021.  For more information visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com.


Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp On The Importance Of Gun Safety

There has been a huge increase in the sale of fire arms, and Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp wants to remind everyone to please keep your fire arms locked up and in a secure location. 



Sheriff Kettelkamp shared a few different critical tips for gun owners including the importance of always knowing your target and what is behind that target. 



You should also never handle a fire arm while you are impared in any way. 



When you store your fire arms make sure they’re not loaded and are secured with a gun lock.  



Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 



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