Local News

New Years Eve Celebration at Allerton Park

Have any plans for New Year's Eve? There is a special evening taking place at Allerton Park filled with costumes, cocktails, music, and dancing. Last year Allerton Park tried this, and it was a great turn out says Event Coordinator Hannah Dole.

There are tickets still left to purchase, and you can choose on what part of the special evening to attend with rooms available in the mansion. 

Dole says that every year they try and make their events better to keep bringing people in.

Space is limited for the event, you can go to allerton.illinois.edu to purchase tickets or call 217-333-3287 for more information about the New Years Eve celebration at Allerton Park. 

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Rep. Davis Gives an Update on the Farm Bill


Representative Rodney Davis says he feels optimistic about the House Farm Bill.

The schedule for the farm bill has been pushed back due to the passing of former President George H.W. Bush. Rep. Davis hopes that many of the details will be released within the coming days and he said they have "a good base bill."

Rep. Davis indicates that what farmers liked about the 2014 Farm Bill have been retained. He says there were some issues he wished would have been addressed.

Davis indicates that he would have liked to have seen more discussion on the workforce training program. He feels that the Farm Bill will not have provisions to the level that he wanted.

Rep. Davis remains optimistic that the House Farm Bill will be based this year.
 

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Beware of Scammers Pretending to be Social Security

Have you received a phone call saying they were social security but the number looked fishy, it was probably a scammer? Social Security offices are receiving reports of phone calls and voicemails from scammers who are trying to steal people's personal information, and money says Public Affairs Specialist Jack Myers.

If you personally didn't request the contact from Social Security, Myers says to be skeptical. The scammers have tried ways to fool people by manipulating caller ID says, Myers.

The best way to fight against the caller ID is to hang up, then call the national toll free number 1-800-772-1213 or contact your local office that you already know or obtained from a trusted source. 

Myers also says to be calm, the scammers will sometimes scare you with threats or make you think something is wrong.

Myers says if you weren't expecting that call and it seems suspicious, don't give them any information, hang up and call the national toll free number or look up the correct number through a trusted source. 

 

If there are problems with your benefits or information with Social Security Myers says that most likely they will get that information to you in writing. 

 

If you have any calls claiming to be Social Security remember to remain calm if you think its suspicious hang-up call the national toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 or look up a trusted website calling that source. 

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VETERANS' AFFAIRS HOSTED THE 77TH PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS’ AFFAIRS HOSTED THE 77TH PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY FRIDAY. 

 

THE EVENT IN SPRINGFIELD PAID TRIBUTE TO PEARL HARBOR SURVIVORS AND THE MORE THAN 24-HUNDRED AMERICANS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES THAT DAY. U-S ARMY CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER BOBBY EDWARDS HAS BEEN DEPLOYED OVERSEAS OVER 20 TIMES AND WAS THE GUEST SPEAKER. HE SPOKE ABOUT THE NEED FOR STRONGER PATRIOTISM THESE DAYS.

THE CEREMONY WAS HELD AT THE ELKS LODGE IN SPRINGFIELD, HONORING THE SURVIVORS AND MORE THAN 24-HUNDRED PEOPLE WHO DIED ON DECEMBER SEVENTH. VETERANS’ AFFAIRS DIRECTOR STEPHEN CURDA SPOKE AT THE EVENT.

ATTENDEES THEN GATHERED OUTSIDE FOR A SPECIAL WREATH LAYING IN THE WATERS OF LAKE SPRINGFIELD BY THE INTER-VETERAN DETAIL HONOR GUARD.

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TIPS FOR PICKING OUT THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE

IF YOU HAVEN’T PICKED OUT YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE YET…HERE’S A FEW TIPS FROM A HORTICULTURE EXPERT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION OFFICE. 

 

THE U OF I EXTENSION’S RICHARD HENTSCHEL SAYS YOU’LL GET THE FRESHEST TREE AT A TREE FARM WHERE YOU CUT YOUR OWN. HE SAYS DIFFERENT VARIETIES ARE STURDIER THAN OTHERS.

IF YOU’RE BUYING AT A LOT WITH PRE-CUT TREES…HENTSHEL RECOMMENDS TAPPING THE TREE LIGHTLY ON THE GROUND TO MAKE SURE A LOT OF NEEDLES DON’T FALL OFF…INDICATING DRYNESS. 

IN EITHER CASE, HENTCHEL RECOMMENDS BRINGING ALONG A TAPE MEASURE BECAUSE AN EIGHT FOOT TREE OUTSIDE LOOKS A WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT THAN AN EIGHT-FOOTER IN YOUR LIVING ROOM. ONCE YOU GET HOME YOU SHOULD MAKE A FRESH CUT AND ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE TREE HAS PLENTY OF WATER.

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Friendship Center Holiday Luncheon

Want to enjoy a Holiday Luncheon? The Friendship Center in Clinton will be hosting a luncheon to celebrate the holidays, along with their seniors and volunteers. You do have to hurry up and swing by the Friendship Center if you would like a seat says, Director Paula Jiles.

After the dinner, the Friendship Center will be doing some activities and something different this year says, Jiles.

The dinner will be having ham, corn, mash potatoes, and more. The dinner will also be served differently. Usually, it has been family style says Jiles, now it will be served. The Holiday Luncheon will be on Wednesday, December 19, with food being served at 11:30 am and bingo starting at 12:15 pm. 

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Liberty Village Luncheon and Learn

Want to learn some information about the power station? Well, you can if you go to the monthly lunch and learn at the Liberty Village in Clinton. Each month Liberty Village hosts a luncheon and learn to bring in a special guest, to talk about a specific topic. This time Exelon will be heading over to Liberty Village this month says Director of Marketing and Sales Nick Crimm. 

Crimm says that the power station will have some activities for the residents to participate in as well.

Crimm did ask that if you are interested in attending to call Liberty Village to let them know how many people will be coming. The lunch and learn will be on December 19th starting at noon. 
 

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Feast of Juul at Allerton Park

Want to join Allerton Park for a new celebration? Allerton Park is going to be hosting a Scandinavian tradition of burning the Juul log to celebrate the December solstice. It is a new celebration for Allerton Park this year says Event Coordinator Hannah Dole.

If you don't want to be outside enjoying the burning of the Juul log, you can still enjoy some indoor activities says, Dole.

The Feast of Juul will be held on December 21 from 5 to 8 pm at Allerton Meadow. This event is free, but donations are appreciated. If you have any questions, you can call 217-333-3287 or email allertoninfo@illinois.edu for more information.

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Museum researching pollinators across Illinois

Researchers from a Chicago museum have been traveling the state studying how much habitat exists to protect monarch butterflies and other plant pollinators. Alexis Winter serves as an environmental social scientist for Chicago's Field Museum;

The U-S Fish & Wildlife Service could decide to list the monarch butterfly as an endangered species next year. The state, Field Museum, farm and commodity organizations are examining conservation strategies to protect it and other pollinators;

The Field Museum official says all Illinoisans can play a part in protecting monarch caterpillars, butterflies and other pollinators. It could be as simple as planting nectar-rich flowers in gardens.

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Illinois State Police with a warning involving teens' cell phone use

Illinois State Police warning parents to keep a close eye on their teenagers’ cell phone use. Trooper Jason Wilson has been talking to kids and parents about the dangers of online predators who take advantage of teens via their phones.

 

 

Wilson encourages parents to get apps that give them full access to their kids' phones and that while they may trust their child, it's not hard for kids as young as 12 and 13 years old to become targets of online predators. Some of the dangers include sexting which can lead to 'sextortion' where predators request photos and videos via social media apps and then use those photos to extort more extreme activities. 

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EIGHTH COLDEST NOVEMBER ON RECORD

LAST MONTH WAS THE EIGHTH COLDEST NOVEMBER ON RECORD IN ILLINOIS.

THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE LAST MONTH WAS 35 DEGREES. THAT’S MORE THAN SEVEN DEGREES BELOW NORMAL SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL.

 

 

ANGEL SAYS THE DECEMBER FORECAST IS CALLING FOR AN INCREASED CHANCE OF WARMER AND WETTER WEATHER.

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IDOT ASKING THE PUBLIC TO TAKE A SURVEY

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS ASKING THE PUBLIC TO TAKE A NEW TRAVEL SURVEY.

 

THE ANNUAL ILLINOIS TRAVELER OPINION SURVEY SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON A VARIETY OF ISSUES SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON JESSIE DECKER.

 

 

THE ONLINE TRAVELER OPINION SURVEY COVERS EVERYTHING FROM ROAD CONDITIONS TO DRIVING HABITS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SAYS DECKER

 

 

YOU CAN ACCESS THE SURVEY ON I-DOT’S WEBSITE AT: IDOT DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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Money Match Rolls Out Round 2

Who couldn’t use a little extra cash this time of year and its even better if it comes your way with little work to get it. The Illinois Treasurer’s Money Match Program will be sending out more than 63,000 checks this month. Mike Frerichs says the program is a new spin on an old program that gets people back in contact with their forgotten bank accounts.

 

 

The checks will be from $5 to $50 bucks. 

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NEARLY 81 THOUSAND DEER DURING FIREARM SEASON

HUNTERS HARVESTED NEARLY 81 THOUSAND DEER DURING FIREARM SEASON. 

 

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SPOKESPERSON ED CROSS SAYS HUNTERS TOOK NEARLY 59 THOUSAND DEER THE FIRST WEEKEND OF FIREARM SEASON…AND THEN ABOUT 22 THOUSAND THE SECOND SEASON. HE SAYS WEATHER WAS A FACTOR.

 

 

THE TOTAL HARVEST OF 80 THOUSAND 896 DEER IS UP BY ABOUT 800 OVER LAST YEAR.

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HEPATITIS A RECENTLY DIAGNOSED IN ILLINOIS

WITH FIVE CASES OF HEPATITIS A RECENTLY DIAGNOSED IN ILLINOIS…THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS URGING PEOPLE TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE VACCINATED. 

HEPATITIS A IS AN INFECTION THAT CAN DAMAGE THE LIVER AND IS EASILY PASSED FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER THROUGH FOOD, WATER, DRUG USE AND SEX SAYS PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NIRAV SHAH.

 

 

THERE HAVE BEEN 69 CASES OF HEPATITIS A INFECTION IN THE STATE SO FAR THIS YEAR…INCLUDING THE FIVE MOST RECENT IN EAST-CENTRAL ILLINOIS. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE FEVER, FATIGUE, LOSS OF APPETITE, DARK URINE AND JAUNDICE.

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Stop Expecting Antibiotics

Chances are over the next few months you won’t be feeling your best. Brought down by a brush with a cold or even the flu, but when you go see your doctor you might want to adjust your expectations about what they will do for you. The Illinois Department of Public Health says antibiotics aren’t always the answer. Dr. Nirav Shah, IDPH Director, says in most cases they won’t do you much good.

 

 

Antibiotics can be used to treat strep throat and whooping cough.

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Durbin Reflects on Bush's Handling of Demise of Iron Curtain

President Ronald Reagan gets the lion's share of the credit for the fall of the Iron Curtain. In a Senate Floor tribute to President George H.W. Bush, Senator Dick Durbin says the President, who passed away Friday, played a critical role in helping the world adapt.....

 

 

Durbin says in these times of win at all costs politics, "many of us feel that deep longing for a kinder, gentler nation that President Bush promised in his inaugural address 30 years ago,” 

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State promoting "200 years 200 stories"

Even though the official Bicentennial celebration is over in Illinois, there’s still plenty of information to digest about the state’s 200-year footprint. The Illinois Office of Tourism is promoting its digital project--“200 Years 200 Stories” says the agency’s Cory Jobe.

 

 

The “200 Years 200 Stories” feature can be found online at “enjoyillinois.com/illinois-200”.

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State Treasurer promoting Money Match program

If you get a letter from the Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs' office don't throw it away. Frerichs is touring the state trying to make sure that folks who have money being held by the state of Illinois get those dollars back via the Money Match Program. 

 

 

Those who are owed less than $2000.00 from the I-Cash program in Illinois will be getting checks in the mail from the Treasurer's Office over the next few weeks. 

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Still Legal to Buy Smokes at 18

No new law this year when it comes to how old you have to be to smoke. In the veto session at the statehouse, lawmakers decided not to override the Governor’s veto of making tobacco purchases legal only for those over 21. The House failed to stack enough votes up to bump the legal age from 18 to 21. State Rep. Allen Skillicorn says it might be a bad habit but 18-year-olds can decide for themselves.

 

 

Cities in Illinois can raise the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21 if they want.

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Claudia Workman signs for track and field at WIU

On Wednesday, November 28, a Clinton High School student-athletes signed to Western Illinois University to continue in track and field.

 

Claudia Workman has signed to attend WIU starting next fall studying meteorology. Workman will continue her track and field throwing shot put and discus, and she has had success over her career with the Maroons.

 

 

Workman chose to attend for many reasons, not only for schooling but because of others that have influenced her.

 

 

Workman will be attending WIU next fall and continues with her discus throwing next spring with the Maroons trying to break the school record. 
 

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Dec. 1 Event Sets Record for Largest December Tornado Outbreak in Illinois History

Saturday, December 1 provided a new record for Illinois with 27 tornados. The new record is now the largest outbreak during December in Illinois history, the previous record was 21 tornadoes back in 1957 says Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Miller.

Many of the tornadoes hitting Illinois affected several counties in Central Illinois, such as Christian, McLean, and Macon. Christian County having one of the largest of all the tornadoes hitting Illinois says, Miller.

Tornadoes are pretty uncommon in December, but there were a right set of conditions there to develop says, Miller.

DeWitt County was fortunate not being hit with any tornadoes, but that was due to some weather fronts being produced by the storms says, Miller.

DeWitt still received some rain and hail with storms coming in, but it escaped the stronger winds.

To find your weather, you can go to the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov or at dewittdailynews.com

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Illinois Pork, Corn, Soybean Groups Donate 10,000 pounds of Pork to Midwest Food Bank

The Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, and Illinois Soybean Association presented the Midwest Food Bank on Wednesday, December 5 10,000 pounds of ground pork. The three groups have formed up together to help out food banks providing high protein meats says Procurement and Logistics Director Mike Hoffman.

The group started up its Pork Power back in 2008, and continue to grow, providing over 60,000 pounds in its ten years with Midwest says, Hoffman. How it all started was more of a mutual understanding bringing in the protein food says, Hoffman.

Midwest Food Bank is bringing in the pork at no cost thanks to the three groups collaborating together. It also comes to thanking farmers says, Hoffman.

Midwest has already started to distribute some of the food out to food pantries around the area says, Hoffman.

Pork Power has generated over 625,000 pounds of pork for families throughout Illinois. Farmers and partnering groups give pork all year round to fight hunger in Illinois. 

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4-H Blue Ridge STEM Series

Want to learn about robotics, rocketry, or different kinds of science? Kids can join the STEM program with the DeWitt County 4-H Extension this January. New Extension Program Coordinator for the DeWitt 4-H Lindsey Burden says the STEM programs is for five weeks where they learn new skills.

The STEM programs are high school students teaching younger kids kindergarten to 5th-grade various activities throughout five weeks. The STEM programs have limited seats as the last art program 4-H had was full and had to turn away some kids said Burden.

The next STEM program will start January 9, but registration begins December 26. Visit go.illinois.edu/dmp to sign up. There is a fee of 15 dollars to attend the programs. Each session meets every Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:45 pm located at Schneider Elementary School cafeteria in Farmer City.
 

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Hep A Found In East Central Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public health is alerting the public to five new cases of Hepatitis A. The recent diagnosis can be used as a reminder to get vaccinated as a form of protection. The infection is passed from person to person via food, water or unprotected sex says Doctor Nirav Shah. 

In Illinois there have been 69 cases of infection this year. The most recent ones are spread around east central Illinois.

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