Local News

Montgomery County Seeing Huge Spikes In COVID-19; 13 New Cases In Last 24 Hours

Montgomery County Health Department is aware of three outbreaks that they are currently trying to stay on top of. The first outbreak is at Cornerstone Ministries at 812 Old Route 66 in Litchfield. As of July 8th, there have been 25 positive cases associated with a direct link to this facility over a 3 county area. Two additional Illinois counties have pending tests. Montgomery County health officials are asking that if you were at this facility from June 21 through June 28 regardless of how you are feeling, to contact the Health Department for guidance at 532-2001. The facility remains closed to the public until further notice. 


The second outbreak occurred at a childcare facility, The Lily Pad Learning Center in Litchfield. Upon notification of the first COVID-19 case, Lily Pad owners have been in contact with the Montgomery County Health Department working together to keep staff and children safe from exposure. All staff and many children have been tested after 4 staff members tested positive. The facility has been on summer vacation this week and is scheduled for additional cleaning. The Lily Pad Learning Center is set to reopen on July 13th.


The third outbreak has occurred at the Tremont Ridge Assisted Living Center in Hillsboro. It was noted by Hillsboro Area Hospital on Wednesday on social media, that a resident and employee tested positive.  The hospital is still working with the Health Department as the situation develops. 


Montgomery County has had 33 new COVID-19 cases since July 1st with 13 alone reported Thursday. 


ISP Asking For Help With Missing Person Last Seen In Pana

The Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing person. Daniel “Danny” Crosby of Carterville, Illinois has been missing since February 27th. ISP DCI Investigators say that Crosby’s last known location was near the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Pana. Family and friends of Crosby have not had any contact with him since that morning. Crosby was reported missing to the Carterville Police Department on March 18th.


Anyone who has any information is encouraged to contact the Illinois State Police at 782-4750.




Be Aware Of All Kinds Of Cancer; Including Testicular

For many men, cancer can be an uncomfortable topic. However, one of the least talked about cancers according to the American Cancer Society, occurs in 1 out of every 250 men and that is testicular cancer.  This year alone, 9,610 cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed and there will ultimately be 440 deaths from the disease.  Dr. Zack Fulton with OSF Family Medicine says there are two kinds of testicular cancer.



Fulton says that signs and symptoms are usually unnoticeable or painless but you should look for a bump.


While not much is known about how men get testicular cancer, some risks include family history, abnormal development of the testicles, and history of undescended testicles.  Dr. Fulton says if you think you have a problem, best not to wait.


Dr. Fulton urges men to check yourselves once a month for any lumps, bumps, or swelling.



For more information visit the American Cancer Society’s website. 


Taylorville Chamber CEO Patty Hornbuckle Talks Business After Hours

The Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce is excited to be able to resume Business After Hours. This month it will take place on Wednesday, July 15th at Shafer-Perfetti and Assalley Funeral Home in Taylorville.



Business After Hours is hosted each and every month to get people into different businesses and to give the business owners the opportunity to showcase what they have to offer.



Hornbuckle is also a founding member of the Clinton J. Hornbuckle Memorial Foundation and they’re currently looking for silent auction items for the upcoming 3rd Annual Clinton J. Hornbuckle Memorial Foundation Sand Volleyball Bags Tournament and Silent Auction at the Funky Monkey in Taylorville on August 22nd. To make a donation for the silent auction, call the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce. 



For more information on the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce, please visit taylorvillechamber.com. Patty Hornbuckle was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


COVID Cases On The Rise But Deaths Remain Low

COVID cases are on the rise but death rates remain low in central Illinois. Since July 1st, there have been over 50 new cases of COVID-19 including 33 in Montgomery County that has seen its biggest spike since the pandemic began. There was also one death since July 1st and that was in Macon County. According to a Facebook post, Sangamon County has stopped reporting negative tests over the last week as Sangamon County was reporting they had negative tests in the 8k range.  The Illinois Department of Public Health was reporting over 20k negative tests. Macon only reports negative tests on Mondays and Fridays.


In Illinois,  there were 1,018 new COVID-19 cases the first day they’ve gone over 1,000 in over two weeks with 20 new deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 150,450 cases including 7,119 deaths in every county in Illinois. Within the past 24 hours, labs have tested 36,180 specimens for a total of 1,878,756 tests. The seven-day positivity rate is 2.6%. 


There are 1,507 people in Illinois who are reported as being in the hospital with COVID. Of those, 317 were in the ICU with 153 on ventilators. 


United Way Announces COVID Relief For Shelby/Moultrie Counties

United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois has announced an investment of $60,000 towards COVID-19 relief and recovery in Moultrie and Shelby Counties. Debbie Bogle, Executive Director of the United Way, says that with everything on with COVID-19, this is a blessing.



Bogle says this is for anyone who has been affected by the pandemic.



If you need assistance and are looking for help call CEFS (Economic Opportunity Corporation programs) at 217-342-2193. The Office of the Governor is giving out $6.95 million dollars towards the state’s most vulnerable populations.


Expiration Dates For Licenses/ID's Extended Until November 1st

Expiration dates for driver’s licenses and ID cards along with license plate stickers have been extended.   Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that expiration dates have been extended an additional month—from October 1st to November 1st. Expired documents will also remain valid until November 1st allowing customers time to get to Driver Service Facilities which have been hit hard as people try to renew their expired information.


White is still encouraging the public to use whatever online services they can as there are still long lines at most DMV facilities. Customers can go online to www.cyberdriveillinois.com to find out what services they can utilize online. June of 2020 saw an increase of 110% in online license plate sticker renewals when compared to June of 2019.


Driver Service Facilities will only be seeing new drivers or customers with expired driver’s licenses and vehicle transactions through July 31st. Face masks are required and social distancing is still requiring that will cause customers to have to wait outside despite hot weather conditions.


Again, for more information visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com. 


Abraham Lincoln Association Announces Campaign For Reconstruction Of Lincoln Cottage

The Abraham Lincoln Association announced earlier this week a plan to reconstruct the original cottage where Abraham Lincoln and his family lived before it was expanded into what is now known as the Lincoln Home.  The Association has launched a $400,000 campaign to acquire land on Eighth Street between Edwards and Cook in Springfield to design the replica home of the 1 ½ story, six-room Lincoln Home.  


For the project $70,000 will go towards land acquisition and $250,000 will be used for construction. President of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Michael Burlingame says he got the idea from visiting the Lincoln Home in Kentucky.



Burlingame hopes to have the project done in less than a year.



There is hope from the Association that the home which will be built away from the park will eventually become part of the park. 


For more information on the Lincoln Cottage Project visit www.abrahamlincolnassociation.org. 


Habitat For Humanity Restore In Sullivan Is Looking For Donations

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Sullivan is gearing up for Fall. They currently have a 50% off sale on all of their summer items, according to store manager Tara Reed.    



The Restore is currently in desperate need of air conditioners and box fans.



The Restore is also in need of Christmas items to get ready for their October Christmas open house.



Reed is also looking for any Food Trucks that are based in Moultrie County.



Tara Reed was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Protect Yourself From The West Nile Virus This Summer

It’s mosquito season and Moultrie County Health Department Public Health Administrator Glenda Plunkett is warning Moultrie County residents to protect themselves from mosquitos because of the West Nile Virus.    



Plunkett urges everyone to use what it takes to keep mosquitos off of you when you go outside.



The Moultrie County Health Department is tracking cases of West Nile Virus by testing dead birds and by talking with physicians on a regular basis.



If you are a Moultrie County resident and find a dead bird in your yard that wasn’t obviously killed by an animal, please reach out to the Moultrie County Health Department.


Plunkett also discussed the importance of wearing a mask when in public to protect those you love from COVID-19.



For more information on the Moultrie County Health Department please visit moultriehealth.org. Glenda Plunkett was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show.


Congressman Rodney Davis Talks Healthcare

A lot of people lost their jobs due to COVID-10 and because of it, their health insurance. Congressman Rodney Davis introduced a bi-partisan bill to help those families that did lose their health insurance due to COVID-19.



Everyone in Washington agrees that pre-existing conditions need to be covered and according to Congressman Davis, Democrats have been a disaster on the issue of health care since taking over the House.



On the topic of Medicare for all, Congressman Davis said that the Federal Government cannot be trusted to run our healthcare system. 



For more information on Congressman Rodney Davis, please visit rodneydavis.hosue.gov. Congressman Rodney Davis was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Decatur Memorial Hospital Has Partnered With Taylorville Memorial Hospital

Decatur Memorial Hospital has been an affiliate of Memorial Health System for over 9 months now and DMH President and CEO Drew Early said that they’re excited to be a part of the Health System and provide the same high level of care that people expect.



Decatur Memorial Hospital is excited to partner with Taylorville Memorial Hospital to offer patients a higher level of care that isn’t available in Taylorville, according to Early.



Decatur Memorial Hospital has a number of different services available that patients would have had to go to Springfield for, but now they can get those same services in Decatur. 



For more information on Decatur Memorial Hospital, please visit dmhcares.com. Decatur Memorial Hospital President and CEO Drew Early was a guest on the NEWSTALK WTIM Morning Show. 


Sewer Project On Poplar And Shawnee Streets Wrapping Up In Taylorville

A sewer project in Taylorville has taken a little longer than expected, but Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry says the end is in sight.  The sewer project on Poplar and Shawnee street is expected to be wrapped up this week.


The sewer project has had multiple issues and has been worked on for over a month.


Online School Registration Is Now Open In Taylorville

Online Registration is open at Taylorville Community Unit School District #3, according to Superintendent Dr. Chris Dougherty.    



This is the first year the registration will be done fully online at TCUSD #3.



The Taylorville School District, according to Dr. Chris Dougherty will be following all of the health department guidelines.



For more information on the Taylorville School District please visit tcusd3.org.  


Staying Safe During The Dog Days Of Summer

With Summer in full gear, there are always hazards to be aware of when it comes to bug bites, sunburn, and preventing infections like swimmer's ear. For summer when it comes to bug bites; mosquitos, gnats,  and other insects that can cause bites and stings. Melinda Cooling, an OSF Healthcare vice president for urgent care says that severe bug bites should be seen by a medical professional.



West Nile Virus can also be transmitted through infected mosquito bites can cause flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, stiff neck, body aches, and skin rash. 


Sunburn can also poise a potential issue. 95% of all radiation from the sun is ultraviolet rays. These rays can cause cancer and you should wear sunscreen with at least 30 SPF protection reapplying it every two hours. It takes only 15 minutes to get a sunburn. Cooling says you should suggest medical attention if the skin is more than just hot to the touch.


Drinking water in hot weather can help prevent dehydration.


One last area that Cooling talked about was preventing ear pain such as infections called swimmers ear. This infection happens when water remains in your outer ear canal.

As always in case of an emergency dial 9-1-1 or visit your local health physician. 


Shelbyville City Council Meets For First July Meeting

The Shelbyville City Council met on Monday night at 5:30 and the main topic of conversation was a number of different city projects, according to Shelbyville Mayor Jeff Johnson.    



The other big topic at the bi-monthly city council meeting was the Chautauqua Building and the recent referendum to repair the building.



Mayor Johnson thinks that the Chautauqua Building is an attraction that can provide things for the visitors of Shelbyville.



Cities across Illinois are preparing for a significant decrease in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Johnson says that Shelbyville is in good shape because of a cushion that they’ve been able to build up for situations like this. 



The next Shelbyville City Council Meeting will be held on Monday, July 20th.  


Clinical Trials For Cancer Treatments Now Covered By Medicaid

Illinois Medicaid recipients will now be eligible for clinical trials to beat cancer.  A bill proposed in part by Senator Andy Manar and supported by the American Cancer Society was signed into law today by Governor JB Pritzker. Senate Bill 1864 is a health care package that includes covering routine costs for clinical trials as long as Medicaid would normally cover those same routine costs for a non-clinical procedure.  Senator Manar says this is an extremely important bill to be pushed through.


Senator Manar says this will open up new treatments for cancer and save lives. Senator Manar says it is encouraging to be able to have bipartisan support on these bills.



While many people don’t realize this bill has been pushed through now, Senator Manar says the people that it does affect are extremely grateful.



More than 20% of Illinoisans are covered by Medicaid, making it the second-largest type of insurance behind Medicare.


Christian County Zoning Board Of Appeals Continues Tuesday Evening Hearing Testimony

The Christian County Zoning Board Of Appeals again heard testimony on Tuesday evening wrapping up a 4th day of arguments for and against wind turbines in Christian County. Cassie Hebert has a home that will be in the heart of the turbines. She asked that the ZBA be sensible in their approach and ere on the side of safety.


Joyce Throneburg spoke as well.  She was concerned about shadow flicker and the lights so that they would only trigger when a plane was in adamant danger of hitting one. 


Clint Gabriel was next to speak. Gabriel thanked the Board for their hard work listening and gathering all the facts. Gabriel urged transparency.


Travis Hermann spoke next and he is from Piatt County.  Hermann is a cropduster and spoke of his concern about what wind turbines would do to his flight routes.


Steve Craggs spoke at great lengths about studies that he has read and done showing significant real estate depreciation after windfarms were built.



The next Zoning Board of Appeals meeting will take place Wednesday, July 22nd at 6 PM. 


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 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.


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. 



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