Local News

Christian County Zoning Board Of Appeals Continues To Hear Testimony

The Christian County Zoning Board Of Appeals heard from interested parties on Monday evening as the board sat in on Day 3 of testimony concerning wind turbine amendments for both sizes of the turbines and setback zones. Jeff Nolen spoke to the board and talked about potential groundwater contamination.  Nolen, who is a plumber and inspector, says that the moratorium is important so they can do more studying of what water issues there could be from the wind turbines.


Anthony Jay Wehmhoff asked multiple questions and asked if this is the time to go into an uncertain situation.


Lonni Curry, who lives in Prairieton Township, spoke to the board about the Christian County Flood plane from the Sangamon County River as estimated by FEMA. 


The next ZBA meeting will take place on Tuesday at 6PM. 


Taylorville City Council Meets For First July Meeting

The Taylorville City Council met this evening to discuss ordinances, resolutions, and motions. Rick Downing was recognized for over 30 years of service as the volunteer of the month.  An ordinance approving a remodel that happened at Angelo’s Pizza to be paid by the BDD fund was approved. 


UTV use was discussed quite heavily. The number of UTV permits was voted to be increased for the trial run that is taking place until October.   Mayor Bruce Barry says he’s unaware of any issues but wants to make bigger stickers a priority for next year.



The motion passed 5-3 with Aldermen Shawn Burtle, Alderman Kathy Driskell, and Alderman Larry Budd voting “No.” 

Mayor Barry thanked everyone for the help with the fourth of July parade and picnic. The Mayor also announced that BDD funds had been approved for helping some of the local businesses.


A motion was approved for Board Member Greg Hager to be the new Chairman of the Cemetery Board. Ordinances for Oak Hill Cemetery prices were approved for $700 for a grave, $700 for regular burial, $500 for cremation, and $100 for Saturday & holiday added to the price. 


Taylorville Fire Chief Matt Adermann was approved to purchase eight fire helmets. There were many personnel decisions that were made at the City Council meeting as well including hiring two police officers laterally for the police department and promoting Travis Ostermeier to a Heavy Equipment Operator in the Cemetery Department. Larry Budd, Finance officer voted no on every single one and said as finance chair he couldn’t vote for spending more money on hiring people right now even though some positions needed it.



The next city council meeting is set for July 20th.


Coronavirus Exposure Found At Kincaid Town Hall Meeting

The Christian County Health Department has learned that on the Monday, June 29th, Kincaid Town Hall Special Meeting, there was a person in attendance that would test positive for COVID-19. All individuals who have been in direct contact with the case after contact tracing by public health have already been notified and are self-quarantining. Any persons who were in attendance at the meeting are advised to monitor their health for up to 14 days as recommended by the CDC.


Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If you develop any symptoms please call your doctor first for guidance. If your symptoms are severe, seek emergency treatment via an Emergency Department by calling them, or dialing 9-1-1 if it is life-threatening and explaining to the dispatcher your symptoms. 


There were 2 new cases reported in Christian County bringing up their total to 49 cases and 2 new cases in Montgomery County bringing up their case count to 47. Shelby County reported their 19th positive case last Thursday and Fayette County is still sitting at 23.


Lindsey Bliler Discusses Journey In July - A Shopping Adventure

Lindsey Bliler is the owner of Farmhouse Signs and Co in Taylorville and she is helping put together a 3-day shopping adventure in Taylorville and throughout Central Illinois to help give businesses a boost after a rough few months due to COVID-19.     



They will have shops, boutiques, vendors, food trucks, restaurants and a whole lot more for shoppers to visit.  



Bliler said that they’ll have a map available on their Facebook Page with all the businesses involved.



Bliler said that they have a lot of businesses that have already signed up, but they are looking for more.



For more information or to sign your business up for the Journey-in-July Shopping Adventure, find them on Facebook. Lindsey Bliler was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


Jill Williams With The St. Louis Dairy Council On National Ice Cream Month

July is Natonal Ice Cream Month and Jill Williams with the St. Louis District Dairy Council started out by discussing the origins of National Ice Cream Month.  



Williams went on to explain how ice cream is actually made.   



Ice Cream can fit into a healthy diet, according to Williams.



For more information on the St. Louis District Dairy Council please visit the link on this story at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com. Jill Williams was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


IDOT Bracing For Buckling Roads In High Heat

The Illinois Department of Transportation is fearing the heat but for different reasons than we are—buckling roads. Extreme heat combined with high humidity can cause the pavement to expand which will cause the road to buckle.  Paul Wappel, IDOT spokesperson, says it’s too hard to predict when or where a road will buckle.



Wappel says that they have already seen some roads buckle.

Buckling occurs when the pavement gets really hot and expands causing uneven driving surfaces and potentially dangerous situations. IDOT asks motorists to report any trouble spots by calling 1-800-452-IDOT.


Christian County Zoning Board Of Appeals Meeting Tonight

The Christian County Zoning Board of Appeals hearing will reconvene Monday evening at 6 PM at the Christian County Courthouse. The meeting is still closed to the public except for limited capacity. The public hearing will be conducted online and telephonically using a free conference call app which can be accessed through https://join.freeconferencecall.com/christiancounty. Those who wish to join via phone may call 701-802-5367 and hit the access code #7943957. 


Public comments continue this evening from interested parties. The discussion for wind turbines will continue with 15 people on the list of names expected to speak. For a full list of names, visit the Christian County Board website. 


It's The Perfect Time To Lose Weight With Physician's Choice Wellness

Physician’s Choice Wellness (PCW) is extending the best offer they’ve ever had through the month of July. According to Program Director Tara Nickerson, there is no cost to join the program except the cost of food. So, if you don’t have insurance or have insurance that is out of network now is the perfect time to join.



If you do have insurance, PCW will bill your insurance and write off the rest.



Once you get started on the program, according to Nickerson, you will notice the pounds come off. 



PCW is a weight loss program that gives people the accountability that they need to lose weight.  



For more information on Physician’s Choice Wellness please visit the link on this story at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com. Physician’s Choice Wellness Program Director Tara Nickerson was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Taylorville City Council To Meet Monday Evening

The Taylorville City Council will meet this evening to discuss ordinances, resolutions, and motions. Rick Downing will be recognized as the volunteer of the month. Minutes from all meetings from June and July 1st will be approved. An ordinance establishing an employment policy for certain non-bargaining employees will be voted on. An ordinance approving and authorizing the execution of BDD #1 Redevelopment between the City of Taylorville and Angelo’s Pizza will be voted on. The number of UTV permits will be discussed to increase the number. 


Under cemetery board action, A motion will be put forward to approve Board Member Greg Hager as Chairman of the Cemetery Board. Ordinances will be discussed for Oak Hill Cemetery prices. Under finance committee issues, a motion will be discussed to approve the renewal of insurance coverage and a motion to approve the treasurer’s report. 

Under street and sewer, a motion will be recommended for changes for the driveway at 828 West Vandeveer Street. A discussion will take place on the approval and installation of a stop sign at the corner of Fairview Street. A motion will be recommended for the Journey in July on the West side of the Square July 24th – July 26th. A motion to add a no parking on this side of the street from 311 West Wilson to the curve at the corner of Hawley Street and the installation of two Slow Children at Play signs at 3900 East Lakeshore Drive.


Under Emergency Services, there is a motion for new fire helmets for the Taylorville Fire Department. There is also a motion for the Fire Department to enter into a contract with Yard Heating and Cooling for heating and cooling units. There will be personnel decisions made as well including the ratifying of bills. 


As always, there will be city attorney and Mayoral updates as well. The city council meeting will be preceded by a Finance committee meeting at 6:30 PM at the municipal building.


State Trooper Arrested For Possession

The Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigation have announced the arrest of District 11 (Collinsville) Trooper 40-year-old Nolan Morgan of Greenville. Morgan was arrested for possession and manufacturing of a controlled substance. 


On July 2nd, Investigators immediately initiated an investigation into Morgan after receiving internal information that Morgan was allegedly involved in the possession and manufacturing of drugs at his residence. After multiple witness interviews and a search of Morgans home, evidence was gathered to include 259 grams of psilocybin mushrooms packaged for delivery, to support their arrest. 


Morgan would be arrested on July 3rd in Collinsville. Morgan has been charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver, and manufacture of a controlled substance, psilocybin mushrooms (both Class X Felony charges). Bond was set at $150,000 with 10% to apply. Morgan is being held in Bond County Jail awaiting his next court appearance. 


Lincoln Land Community College Highlights Flexibility In Fall Return To Campus

Lincoln Land Community College will be back in session this fall and have announced four class formats to provide students with flexibility and safety in following their career paths. The four formats are face-to-face, online, remote, and flex courses. Associate Vice President of Academic Services at Lincoln Land, Dr. Jason Dockter says it was tough to come up with something but having to go remote in the spring helped to come up with a plan.



Dr. Dockter says that remote courses are going to be held online but allow more flexibility for zoom and online technology.



Flex courses combine traditional face-to-face and online with remote learning.


LLCC has worked hard to have multiple contingency plans in place in the event there is a spike in COVID-19 cases but Dokter says he will be excited to see students return to campus in the fall.


Donations To TCCU's Food Drive Still Welcome

Taylorville Community Credit Union or TCCU is reminding residents that they still have time to donate to TCCU’s 6th annual “Freedom Tree” food drive. Donations of canned food and boxed food items can be dropped off at any of TCCU’s four locations. TCCU President Will Perkins says donating now is as important as ever.


Perkins says the “Freedom Tree” food drive is also taking cash donations as well.


Perkins continued by praising the food pantries for all the work they do for the communities.



TCCU has locations in Taylorville, Hillsboro, Litchfield, and in Pana. Donations will be accepted through Friday, July 10th.


Nutritious Ways To Grill On The 4th

If you are looking to grill for the fourth of July, you are not alone. According to the US Census, 79.1 million people grilled last year. Consumers will spend upwards of 6.8 billion dollars on fourth of July food. For people who are trying to lose a few pounds, barbeques can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. According to OSF Nutritionist, Erin Hanley, who is a lead clinical dietician, all it takes is a little planning. One way to do that is through grilling vegetables.



Another tip for not overdoing it is to have a small snack at home before you go or to bring a healthy dish with you to the cookout.


One easy way to really shed the pounds is to cut down on sugary drinks and that includes diet soda. 



For more on health and dieting contact a local dietitian. 


Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle Discusses Business After Hours And 4th Of July Parade

The annual Taylorville 4th of July Parade will be held tomorrow and it kicks off starting at 10 a.m. Setup will take place at the Fair Grounds starting at 9 a.m. until 9:30 and if you’re planning on walking in the parade you need to enter the Fair Grounds at the Spresser Street enterance, according to Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle.



Everyone is invited to the Mayor Bruce Barry’s picnic which will take place immediately after the parade. 



Because we have entered Phase 4 of Governor Pritzker’s Reopen Plan, Business After Hours is back. This month Business After Hours will take place on July 15th from 4:30 until 6:30 at Shafer-Perfetti & Assalley Funeral Home in Taylorville.



Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.  


ISP Increasing Patrols Over 4th Of July Weekend

With the fourth of July weekend approaching, The Illinois State Police will be increasing their patrols to look for speeders, distracted drivers, and drunk drivers. ISP Captain JW Price says to have a plan before heading out.



Price says there are more fatal crashes involving alcohol or drugs at this time than any other time of year.



The ISP is encouraging you to have a designated driver, use a ride share service, or public transportation if you are going to go out and drink.


Taylorville School District Registration Starts On July 6th

Registration will be done completely different this year if you have a child that attends school in Taylorville, according to Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty. Registration will be done using your Skyward account and it opens on Monday, July 6th.    



If your child isn’t able to be on campus due to a medical issue, the Taylorville School District has the ability to remotely educate students, according to Dr. Dougherty. 



Grades K-8 will receive free breakfast and lunch, according to Dr. Dougherty. For families in high school that need financial assistance for breakfast and lunch, applications will be available on the school district website.



Breakfast and Lunch will also no longer be self-serve for safety reasons.  



Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.  


Area Fourth Of July Firework Celebrations

While many places are not celebrating fireworks this year for Independence Day, due to COVID-19, some places in the area are still lighting them off. Blue Mound will be holding fireworks on July 3rd at dusk at 189 Northwest Street. Vandalia will be shooting fireworks off on July 3rd at Vandalia Lake.  Assumption will be holding fireworks at the Slag Pile at dusk. Moweaqua will be firing off their celebration at North Park on Saturday evening. 


In other firework displays, Tower Hill will be shooting off fireworks on the 4th at Jimmy D’s. Lake Springfield will not have a public gathering, but you are encouraged to come by boat on the 4th of July again around dusk. Oconee will be holding their fireworks on July 3rd.


--Blue Mound - July 3rd @ 189 N.W. St.


--Vandalia - July 3rd @ Vandalia Lake


--Assumption - July 4th – Slag Pile


--Moweaqua - July 4th - North Park


--Tower Hill - July 4th - Jimmy D's @ dusk


--Lake Springfield - July 4th - No public gathering, come by boat


--Oconee - July 3rd



New Laws In Effect Starting July 1st

With July 1st, comes new rules and new laws to follow in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation announced two new laws that will take effect today (July 1st) which will establish tough penalties for drivers who injure others while texting and driving. 


The first law establishes a 12-month license suspension and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a motorist who while texting or driving causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to another person. 


The second law, referred to as Mason’s Law amends the Illinois Vehicle Code by establishing a 12-month license suspension for any motorist who, while violating the right-of-way at crosswalks and in school zones, causes serious injury to another person.


Other new laws that came out on July 1st, include the raising of the minimum wage. The minimum wage which got an increase on January 1st to $9.25 will also see a jump to $10 an hour starting Wednesday. The raise is part of a mandated number of raises to eventually get the minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2025. 


The Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library In Sullivan Has Reopened

The Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library in Sullivan has reopened, according to Director Michelle Nolen and Children’s Librarian Laura Davison.



The reopening, for the most part, has gone smooth.



The summer reading program has been done virtually so far this summer, but moving forward they will be done in person.



For more information on the Elizabeth Titus Memorial Library in Sullivan please visit sullivanlibrary.org. Michelle Nolen and Laura Davison were guests on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.  


2020 Farm Progress Show Moving Online; Details In The Works

For the first time in over 60 years, there will not be a Farm Progress Show in 2020.  The 2020 Farm Progress Show was scheduled to be held in Boone, Iowa, September 1st thru the 3rd; but like many large gatherings, it has been canceled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.  Event Manager, Matt Jungmann, says the decision did not come lightly.


The event's cancellation shows just how quickly the landscape can change in event planning in a pandemic.  Show organizers just two weeks ago assured that the show would go on, however, Jungmann says concerns from both exhibitors and volunteers over rising case numbers forced the cancellation...



Jungmann admits things could change again potentially for the better between now and the show dates, however, too many question marks remained as on-site show preparations would need to begin...



Despite the in-person cancellation, Jungmann says producers should look forward to a virtual Farm Progress Show experience in 2020.  How that looks, and what is included, is currently in development...



Jungmann says to stay tuned to FarmProgressShow.com to learn about the virtual show as details are announced.  This year's Husker Harvest Days in Nebraska has also been canceled.  


The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library And Museum Has Reopened

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is open for business after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Joe Crain is the Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement and he said that the enthusasium is high.    



When you want to come visit the museum, you can no longer walk up and get tickets at the front enterance. You now must purchase tickets in advance by calling the museum or by purchasing them online.



The museum reserves times in 15 minute incriminates and Crain recommends arriving 5-10 minutes ahead of time for a quick health screening. You will be required to wear a mask while you’re in the museum and your temperature will be taken before you’re allowed entry.



Groups are limited to 10 people at this time, according to Crain. 



For more information on the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum please visit alplm.org. Joe Crain was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Area Fire Departments Receive Grants

The office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and Governor JB Pritzker have announced the recipients of the Small Equipment Grant Program. Over 3.5 million dollars was awarded to 154 fire departments and EMS Providers including over 15 in the Regional Radio listening area. A lot of the smaller fire departments rely on this to help provide support in purchasing equipment and the general needs of the fire department.


In Christian County, Pana, Owaneco, Assumption, Morrisonville, and Midland all received grants with Assumption receiving the largest one at $25,008.95.  In Macon County, Maroa Countryside, Harristown, Argenta-Oreana, and Blue Mound all received grants. In Montgomery County, Coffeen, Farmersville, Witt, and Hillsboro all received grants. In Moultrie County, Bethany and Lovington received grants. The Cowden Fire District in Shelby County received a grant and Buffalo, New Berlin-Island Grove, and Pleasant Plains in Sangamon County all received grants.


To be eligible for the grants, fire departments were required to participate in the National Fire Incident Reporting System for a minimum of two years prior to applying.


Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty Discusses Health And Safety Protocols

There are a lot of different components to putting together health and safety guidelines during a pandemic to make sure that staff and students are as safe as possible during the upcoming school year. Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty has been working with principals, the teachers union, Mayor Barry, the police chief, food service, and others to put protocols together that will keep everyone safe and also ensure a quality education for students.


When students return to campus on August 18th, they will be given an assessment to see where they are in regards to their reading level, according to Dr. Dougherty.



Reading at home with your children is one of the most important things that you can do as a parent, according to Dr. Dougherty.



There will be teacher leaders in each building that will serve as coaches to help in regards to reading instruction and social and emotional counselors to work with children through their development. 



Taylorville Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.  


COVID-19 Updates For The Month Of June; Cases Decreasing

COVID-19 cases have been slowly declining in central Illinois. Taking a look at COVID cases across central Illinois over the last month; Christian County has 12 new cases, Montgomery has had 3, Shelby has had 2, Sangamon has had 75, Macon has had 33, Moultrie has had 7 and Fayette County has had 2 new cases in the last month.  There have been 6 deaths in the last month in the Regional Radio listening area from COVID-19. 


Over the last 24 hours in Illinois, there have been 828 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 30 additional deaths. Moultrie County reported their 18th case, a woman in her teens who is recovering in isolation. Public health officials are notifying all close contacts. 


All in all in Illinois there have been 144,013 reported cases of COVID-19 with 6,591 deaths in 101 of the 102 counties of Illinois. Labs have reported 33,090 tests ran in the last 24 hours with a total of 1,636,055 completed tests. The rolling positivity rate in Illinois over the last 7 days is 2.6%.


Taylorville Memorial Hospital Urges Patients To Use The New South Entrance

All of the services at Taylorville Memorial Hospital were resumed in the first part of May and according to the Manager of Therapy Services, Jodi Holcomb, they’re taking every precaution they’re able to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.


Holcomb was very excited to move into the new building, but they only had one day in the new building before they had to close a lot of their services due to COVID-19.



There was a lot of disappointment in regards to having to close things down, but they kept seeing the essential patients until the beginning of May, but now they’re able to see everyone while still able to maintain social distancing. 



Holcomb urges people to please use the new south entrance because it is a lot more convenient.



For more information on Taylorville Memorial Hospital please visit the link on this story at TaylorvilleDailyNews.com. Manager of Therapy Services Jodi Holcomb was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 



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