Local News

Clinton Woman Found Dead in Decatur Auto Body Shop

Authorities in central Illinois are attempting to determine the cause of death of two people whose bodies were found in an auto repair shop.

 

Macon County Coroner Michael E. Day says 34-year-old Beau W. Ford and 30-year-old Jacinda M. Jiles were found dead Saturday in the back room of the shop in Decatur.

 

Day says in a statement that autopsies were carried out on both bodies the same day they were discovered and there was “no injury and no trauma detected in either person.” He added the cause of the deaths were undetermined pending completion of toxicology testing.

 

Decatur police detective Sgt. Steve Carroll says the bodies were found after police executed search warrants. Police interviewed witnesses, and Carroll indicated no foul play was suspected in the deaths.

 

Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of arrangements for Jiles. 

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Clinton YMCA Continues To See Strong Numbers in Monticello Y-Zone Program

The Clinton YMCA continues to see a strong turnout for their Y-Zone program in Monticello.

 

The Clinton Y introduced the program in Monticello in 2018 and Executive Director Rennie Cluver says it is a tribute to his Monticello coordinators and the work they've done to make the community aware of the program.

 

 

Y-Zone, a before and after school program, looks very similar in Monticello as the program in Clinton, however, Cluver indicates next year they are looking at starting a Y-Zone extreme in Monticello. Y-Zone extreme brings students together on school holidays when parents may be working.

 

 

The Clinton Y offering Y-Zone is an unofficial first step in what has become a huge undertaking by Cluver and the Monticello community to explore opening a YMCA Clinton branch in Monticello.

 

Later this week on Regional Radio News, Cluver will update listeners on the latest of that research and explain why it is being led by the Clinton YMCA. 

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DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition Focused on Increasing Visibility in 2019

A local non-profit is going to make 2019 about making sure the community knows they are here and they are willing to help.

 

The DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition is hoping 2019 will be a year where their visibility in the community increases and more people become aware of who they are and what they do. 

 

Vice-President of the coalition Paul Skowron says they got a lot of attention when they brought Tim Ryan to the community to talk about his journey with drug abuse and recovery, but since then it has been hard to gain any momentum.

 

 

President of the coalition, Jeff DeLaughter says they want to make the community aware of their goals. He explains they aim to educate people about the pitfalls of substance abuse and be there for them when they are ready to seek help and get them connected to the appropriate people. 

 

 

Since the inception of the coalition, Skowron explains they have become a more focused organization. He says they have shifted to pointing people in the right direction who want help. He explains they have done this by having representatives from local providers be a part of the coalition.

 

 

The coalition is also seeking more volunteers to join their Board. You can learn more about the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition by finding them on Facebook or DeLaughter encourages a phone call to him by dialing 217-413-0901. The Coalition meets the third Tuesday's of each month at 10 am. They are going to start meeting at The Vault on the downtown Clinton Square. Those meetings are open to the public and anyone is welcome. 

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USDA to Reopen Farm Service Agency Offices Nationwide

Farm Service Agency offices will reopen soon, despite the government shutdown. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says USDA has recalled all of the more than 9,700 FSA employees to open FSA offices nationwide…

 


The list of programs allowed included the Market Facilitation Program…

 


USDA will keep offices open from 8 am to 4:30 pm weekdays beginning January 24, but will taper operations down over time…

 

 

Perdue made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

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Farmer City Names New Police Chief

Farmer City has named a new police chief.

 

Glenn Neal will take over the role of police chief starting February 4. Neal has been a sargeant within the Peoria Heights force for more than 20 years. He also served in the Air Force and Illinois National Guard. 

 

In a release Tuesday, City Manager Sue McLaughlin says quote - “We believe Sgt. Neal is a good fit for Farmer City as our new Police Chief.  Not only does he have the education and experience, but his experience comes from working with a similarly sized community which provides him excellent insight and understanding of our challenges and opportunities.”

 

Neal has a Master's degree in law enforcement and justice administration. 

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State Rifle Association Announces Winners From Indoor Championships

Young shooters from across the state competed in the 2019 ISRA Indoor Championships at the Central Illinois Precision Shooting's Bloomington gun range despite the challenges of navigating Winter storm “Gia.”

 

The ISRA Indoor Championship took place Jan. 11-13 in Bloomington. The event featured matches in air rifle and small-bore rifle with two matches for each gun type. Air rifle matches were shot at 10 meters in 3 positions (prone, standing and kneeling) with 20 shots in each position, and International Air (60 shots standing). International Air is the same match as the Olympic air rifle competition. Small bore matches are shot at 50 ft. in 3 position (prone, standing, and kneeling) with 20 shots in each position and in Prone Position (60 shots).

 

The most popular match this year was the 3 Position Air rifle. Rylie Passmore of McLean won this match with a 575/600, Adiana Schroeder of Gilman scored a 559 in second place finish and Blake Tammen finished with 558, one point behind in third place. Martina Gratz of Sigley International Air match with a 581/600. Rylie Passmore finished in second place with a 566 and Morgan Drozs of Farmer City placed third with a 546 score.

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FARM BUREAU MEMBERS ENCOURAGED BY USCMA

The Trump administration’s replacement for the North American Free Trade
Agreement will continue and improve trade with Canada and Mexico,
according to one national farmer group. NAFB's Micheal Clements has more…

 

 

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Farm Lenders See Silver Lining

Farm credit lenders see a ‘silver lining’ in agriculture, despite the downturn of the last several years, and continuing trade and government shutdown challenges.

 

There’s no question below-break-even commodity prices, trade war tariffs and shut down government services are squeezing producers — some, to the breaking point.

 

But, if there’s any silver lining, it’s that most producers are better off today than they were during the 1980s farm crisis.

 

Omaha’s Frontier Farm Credit CEO Mark Jensen…

 

 

Though the industry’s Farm Credit Council reports debt has still risen, as commodity prices have fallen and a quarter to a third of Midwest grain producers may fail to break even this spring.

 

North Dakota’s AgCountry Farm Credit CEO Marc Knisley…

 

 

Knisley added...

 

 

Farm Credit officials say their industry is also more financially secure today, able to help producers in more ways, including principal deferment, capital investment, and disaster help…with an eye toward greater ‘forbearance’ during the current crisis.

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Pritzker Signs Order To Strengthen HB40 Compliance

On the anniversary of Roe-v-Wade, Illinois Democratic Governor JB Pritzker is signing an Executive Order to guarantee the state’s reproductive rights law is being followed. 

 

46 years after the land mark decision Pritzker’s order forces a review of all state employee group health insurance to comply with the law passed last year and signed by then Republican Governor Bruce Rauner that gave abortion coverage to all employees. 

 

 

HB 40 last year expanded insurance coverage to all state employees and Medicaid recipients who wanted an abortion. 

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Lincoln Hometown Tour Recap: Fire Chief Talks New Fire Engine, New Fire House

Last week the annual WHOW Hometown Tour stopped in Lincoln. 

 

Their fire chief was one of the community leaders to join Regional Radio. Chief Mark Miller indicates the city is about to acquire a new ladder truck. The custom designed, custom made ladder-  truck will be arriving in February at a cost of around $1-million.

 

 

The Chief indicates the number one aspect of getting a new engine was it had to fit into their tight quarters inside Lincoln City Hall. The conversation of a new fire station has long been in the works in Lincoln and Chief Miller says those talks are still ongoing.

 

 

Chief Miller points out they are currently housed in a historic building and there would challenge in renovating it to meet their needs but he says a better solution might be an addition that would cross over the alley adjacent to City Hall and build onto the vacant lot next to their property.

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SNAP Cards Loaded With February Funds This Week

The Federal Government remains shutdown. And those who depend on food stamps or SNAP benefits will be getting funds through next month. But there is a change to the plan for the way those dollars are going out. 

 

The benefits that were just received will be larger than normal. It’s not a bonus or a mistake. Human Service Secretary James Dimas says the extra funds are for February food purchases. 

 

 

Link cards were loaded with the extra funds starting this week. But officials want those one point eight million who receive them to understand that money needs to last through the end of the month.

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C-Span Filming in Springfield

Political public affairs channel C-Span is filming in Springfield this week, with a focus on authors and the Capital City's history. 

 

C-Span's Ashley Hill says the channel is keeping up with the times by taking a page from CBS late night host James Corden....

 

 

C-Span will interview Governor J.B. Pritzker and visit the Illinois State Capitol, Old State Capitol, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, and landmarks from the 1908 Springfield Race Riot. The filmed segments will air February 16th and 17th during a special feature Springfield weekend.

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Clinton Schools Superintendent Talks New Governor

Last week Governor JB Pritzker spent his first days in office as the newly elected leader of a state that faces a mountain of challenges. 

 

Among them is the pension crisis which among those impacted by the crisis in schools. Superintendent of Clinton Schools Curt Nettles says the Governor has favorable messages when it comes to public education.

 

 

Nettles also took note of his inauguration speech and feels education will be just fine, however, he is worried about more mandates being added to their list.

 

 

Nettles feels the transition team Pritzker has assembled is going to bring a great deal of knowledge and good advice as he joins the political arena. 

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Rep. Rodney Davis Working on Social Security and Route 66 Bills

With the new Congress session underway, a Central Illinois Congressman has new bills on the table.

 

Rep. Rodney Davis indicated that two of the proposed bills deal with Social Security. The first secure earned benefits for public service workers and the second seeks benefits for the terminally ill.

 

 

Rep. Davis said he also proposed a Route 66 commission in anticipation of the Route 66 centennial. The commission would help with the planning of the celebration.

 

 

Rep. Davis said the impact Route 66 had on Illinois is undeniable and needs to be recognized on a national level.

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CES Fundraising to Welcome Famous Children's Author

Clinton Elementary School librarian Christina Soberalski tried many times to secure a date for famous children's author Patricia Polacco to visit her students, and it is tentatively set for April 29th. Now, her and the CES student council are trying to raise the funds needed to get the author down to Dewitt County.

 

 

The funds raised go towards a day full of Patricia Polacco for everyone. Not only will she spend a day with the kids of C-E-S, there will also be an event that evening for the whole family.

 

 

Polacco has written over 100 books for children over the last 30 years, and C-E-S students have been reading them almost as long. Soberalski believes bringing Polacco in to talk about those books will give them more meaning.

 

 

You can contact Clinton Elementary School or email Soberalski at C-soberalski@C-U-S-D-15.org if you wish to help them bring Patricia Polacco to Clinton.

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Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Providing Support for Diabetes

An estimated 10 percent of Americans currently live with some form of diabetes. Jennifer DiPasquale, the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program Coordinator at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, says being educated on the chronic disease is key to living with diabetes. She notes there are some misconceptions about managing diabetes, including the idea that some may be able to reverse their diagnosis.

 

 

Even if diabetes can't go away, DiPasquale says there are ways to manage a diabetes diagnosis. She mentions regular doctor's visits will typically screen for the disease and can catch pre-diabetes in its early stages. A-L-M-H offers both classes and support groups for those looking to manage life with diabetes.

 

 

The email to reach for diabetes support is A-L-M-H diabetes@M-H-F-I-L.com or visit A-L-M-H.org to find their calendar for all diabetes support groups and classes.

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Prolonged Cold Spell Coming To Illinois, Midwest

Enjoy the short reprieve from the blistering cold as Tuesday highs reach 40 degrees in central Illinois.

 

Chris Miller with the National Weather Service says Tuesday's mild warm-up is going to be short lived followed by a prolonged stretch of cold thanks to cold air that will be coming straight from the north.

 

 

How cold is it going to be in the midwest? Miller says it will be colder in Illinois than it will be in Alaska, although it's not as bad as it sounds.

 

 

In addition to being cold for a while, Miller notes it should be a little drier as we close out the month of January.

 

 

This weekend's snow put a halt to most every event in the area as events and activities were canceled all over central Illinois. 

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Weekly Weather Summary

After a winter storm left much of central Illinois with less snow than anticipated, State Climatologist Spokesperson Brian Kerschner has the latest on what's ahead this week....

 

 

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Pritzker Signs Veterans Homes Legislation

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS CALLING FOR AN AUDIT OF THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO BETTER PROTECT THOSE LIVING IN STATE VETERANS HOMES.

 

THE GOVERNOR SIGNED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT REQUIRES THE AGENCY TO PRODUCE A REPORT WITHIN 120 DAYS, DETAILING PROCEDURES AT VETERAN’S HOMES AND WHAT CAN BE DONE BETTER.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE WANTS VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICIALS TO WORK WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND NATIONAL EXPERTS TO COME UP WITH NEW SOLUTIONS AFTER THE LEGIONELLA DEATHS IN RECENT YEARS.

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United Way Offering Services Through 2-1-1 Number

The United Way offers a toll-free helpline for you to find social services. 

 

2-1-1 covers most of Illinois and it offers names and contact information for things like warming centers, rent assistance, and even job search. 2-1-1 is available from any landline or cell phone. Cathy Vaisvill (vase-vill) is the United Way 2-1-1 Community Partnerships Director and says 2-1-1 fulfills a great need:

 

 

The call is free and confidential, but representatives will ask for your zip code so they can direct you to services closest to you. 

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Congressman Davis Weighs In On Continued Shutdown

The partial government shutdown has lasted so long, it is not the longest in the country's history.

Congressman Rodney Davis says not only are workers starting to be impacted but there are going to be government funded entities and projects that are going to be impacted.

 

 

Congressman Davis says Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding up progress over the border wall requested by President Donald Trump. It's Davis' belief Pelosi would have accepted the President's deal last year.

 

 

Davis pointed out Pelosi won Speaker of the House by just two votes and believes that is an interesting part of this standoff with the President. He believes Pelosi is negotiating from a stance of fear of losing her power to her younger constituents. 

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Martin Luther King Jr Day A Reminder To Serve Others

Monday is a national day of service. The Martin Luther King holiday marks the largest volunteer day of the year. And the Executive Director of Serve Illinois Scott McFarland says it’s a great time to find new ways to lend a hand. 

 

 

The website is serve dot Illinois dot gov. 

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Martin Luther King Jr Activities Planned At Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will host a number of activities on Martin Luther King Day. The slain civil rights leader called Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation a “great beacon light of hope” so museum spokesperson Chris Wills says their place is an ideal location to honor King’s work.

 

 

Historical interpreters will be on hand and free admission for any not for profit group that is prescheduled with the museum.

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IDOT Anticipating Challenging Driving Conditions This Weekend

THE NEXT WINTER STORM IS ON ITS WAY AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS WARNING THAT TRAVELING WILL BE CHALLENGING THIS WEEKEND. 

I-DOT SPOKESPERSON GUY TRIDGELL SAYS THIS LATEST STORM WILL BRING NEW PROBLEMS FOR MOTORISTS.

 

 

GIVE SNOWPLOWS PLENTY OF ROOM AND SLOW DOWN.

 

 

I-DOT’S BEST ADVICE IS TO STAY HOME IF CAN OR CHECK GETTING AROUND ILLINOIS DOT COM FOR THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS IF YOU DO HAVE TO TRAVEL.

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Opponents of Proposed DeWitt County Wind Farm Celebrate RPC Decision

Earlier this week the DeWitt County Regional Planning Commission decided they would not send a recommendation to the DeWitt County Board for a wind farm in northwest DeWitt County.

 

That decision is being praised by opponents of the project and Andrea Rhoades says they are very pleased the RPC heard their messages.

 

 

The next step for opponents of the project is to get in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals starting in February. Rhoades says their message is the project is going to have serious impacts for those who live near this project.

 

 

February 5 is the first day of public hearing with the ZBA. They will also meet February 7-8 and then February 19-22. All hearings start at 5 pm and last until 10 pm to take place at Clinton High School.

 

To speak in front of the ZBA, you must sign up the first day of the hearings, otherwise your testimony will not be heard. 

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