A new scholarship is going to be available to Clinton students thanks to an organizations aimed at bettering the lives of veterans.
The Clinton Am Vets will be offering $10-thousand worth of scholarships starting this year. Darrell Tucker with the Clinton Am Vets says it is for any Clinton High School students with a parent or grandparent that is a veteran.
Tucker indicates this is something the State Am Vets organization does but a Clinton Schools student has not applied to the best of their knowledge.
Tucker indicates the scholarship applications will be available in the school guidance office by November 1.
ON 09/22/17 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A FIGHT ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE SQUARE. NATHAN P. RICH WAS CITED FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED AND CITY ORDINANCE FOR FIGHTING ON PUBLIC PROPERTY, PUBLIC INTOXICATION, CALEB A. BREWER 26, CLINTON WAS CITED CITY ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS FOR DISORDERLY CONDUCT, PUBLIC INTOXICATION, FIGHTING ON PUBLIC PROPERTYAND JESSICA D. LOWE 19, CLINTON FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR. RICH AND LOWE WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.
ON 09/23/17 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A PROPERTY DAMAGE ACCIDENT AT GRANT & JOHNSON. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY SANDRA K. CALLISON 59, MOWEAQUA WAS SOUTHBOUND ON GRANT AND WAS STOPPED FOR TRAFFIC WHEN A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY ROSE M. GEHRES 17, CLINTON COULD NOT STOP IN TIME AND COLLIDED WITH CALLISON.
ON 09/23/17 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A PROPERTY DAMAGE ACCIDENT AT MAIN & GRANT. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY MICHAEL J. WELSH 59, MORTON WAS SOUTHBOUND ON GRANT ST, STOPPED AT THE STOP LIGHT. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY CHAUNCY L. GILES 28, BLOOMINGTON COULD NOT STOP IN TIME AND COLLIDED WITH WELSH.
ON 09/24/17 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A PROPERTY DAMAGE ACCIDENT IN THE 800 BLOCK BUS 51 SOUTH. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY MICHAEL L. POTTS 58, CLINTON WAS NORTHBOUND ON BUS 51 AND WAS STOPPED WAITING TO TURN. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY BAILEY D. GAMSBY 19, CLINTON WAS NORTHBOUND AND COULD NOT STOP IN TIME AND COLLIDED WITH POTTS.
With the page turned on the 2017 edition of the annual Apple and Pork Festival, leaders within the DeWitt County Museum will now turn their attention to the holiday season.
DeWitt County Board Chairman David Newberg indicates the time capsule from the old DeWitt County Courthouse is going to be donated the Museum for display during the holiday season.
Additionally, the DeWitt County Board is partnering with the Celebrate Clinton Association to create a mural of the old Courthouse on the west side of the current County Building. Newberg indicates the Association will put together the plans for that.
The time capsule will be donated indefinitely.
There is a new feature on the Social Security website that will allow you to request a new Social Security card online.
According to Jack Myers, if you have a My Social Security account and live in Illinois with a driver's license or a state ID, you might be able to request a new Social Security card.
This is brand new to Illinois and is being introduced to the country gradually state by state. Myers adds that if you're not changing any of your information on the card, then you can request a new card on the Social Security website.
There are 24 other states that have made this feature available on the Social Security website.
For more information visit www.socialsecurity.gov.
Governor Bruce Rauner now has a difficult choice on his hands.
House Bill 40 is now on his desk. It would prevent abortions from becoming illegal if Roe V Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court and expands abortion coverage to Medicaid and state worker health insurance recipients. The bill passed in May, but bill sponsor, State Senator Don Harmon, held the bill until Monday morning.
What happens next is unclear. Rauner says he will have open ears before making his final decision.
Rauner, who is pro choice, told a political action committee during the 2014 election campaign he would support similar legislation but this past spring threatened to veto House Bill 40.
Governor Bruce Rauner has been crunching the numbers on what it will take the state to pay overdue bills and he doesn't like what he sees.
Rauner says a review of the current spending plan will be needed to move forward.
6 billion dollars in state bonds are expected to go to the market next month and close by mid November.
House Speaker Michael Madigan released a statement:
“Contrary to reports, I have received no requests from Governor Rauner for further meetings on the budget or to work towards reducing the spending levels contained within the budget. The bipartisan budget enacted in July, despite the governor’s refusal to negotiate, included nearly $3 billion in cuts to government bureaucracy. Even as Republicans and Democrats came together to make cuts and enact a budget based on the governor’s own revenue projections, Governor Rauner refused to participate in the process despite our repeated requests. As was true then, I remain ready to work with the governor to make further adjustments to the budget.
“I believe Representative Greg Harris’ budget working group, who was largely responsible for crafting the budget we passed, is best equipped to continue discussion on the budget. Therefore, I have directed Representatives Harris, Carol Ammons, Kelly Burke, Kelly Cassidy, Fred Crespo, Will Davis, Robyn Gabel, Will Guzzardi, Lisa Hernandez, Elaine Nekritz, Elgie Sims and Mike Zalewski to work with the governor’s budget office and our House and Senate colleagues.”
Gov. Rauner is weighing in on the controversy over NFL player protests during the national anthem. Last weekend's protests didn't score points with him.
However, Rauner isn't following in the footsteps of President Trump, who says NFL players who protest during the anthem should be fired.
Rauner is a part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Illinois Rail Safety Week hits close to home for local authorities given the communities history as a once hub of the industry.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates the week highlights the laws surrounding rail lines and safety precautions. It is this week in Illinois.
Chief Lowers indicates the rail lines are actual private property owned by the rail companies. He explains it is against the law to walk along them or trespass them for other purposes.
Rail/car accidents very rarely end well and Chief Lowers indicates it is even lesser odds for rail/pedestrian accidents.
Chief Lowers also points out it takes a freight train traveling at 55 MPH around 18 football fields to stop.
Visit www.oli.org for more safety information and information on the rail lines in Illinois.
The DeWitt County Annex, home to the DeWitt County Animal Shelter and DeWitt County EMS, will receive some work in the coming weeks.
DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg indicates there is a portion of the drive area for the EMS facility that is going to be paved.
Additionally, continued issues with the H-VAC at the DeWitt County Animal Control facility are going to be resolved finally at no cost to the County.
The cost of paving the parking lot at the EMS facility is going to cost just under $65-thousand.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SAYS IT’S NOT TOO EARLY TO GET YOUR ANNUAL FLU SHOT.
IT TAKES ABOUT TWO WEEKS FOR THE FLU VACCINE TO BE EFFECTIVE…SO NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO THINK ABOUT GETTING THE SHOT SAYS PUBLIC HEALTH CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER DOCTOR JENNIFER LAYDEN.
FLU SEASON TYPICALLY RUNS FROM OCTOBER THROUGH MARCH…AND IT TAKES ABOUT TWO WEEKS FOR THE VACCINE TO TAKE EFFECT.
LAYDEN SAYS EVERYONE SIX MONTHS OLD AND OLDER SHOULD GET VACCINATED.
LAYDEN SAYS ONCE AGAIN THIS YEAR, THE NASAL SPRAY IS NOT BEING RECOMMENDED. SHE NOTES IT’S IMPORTANT TO GET IMMUNIZED NOT ONLY TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE FLU…BUT TO ALSO PROTECT THOSE AROUND YOU FROM FLU VIRUSES.
THE ILLINOIS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY IS SURVEYING COMMUNITIES ABOUT WHAT RECYCLING OPTIONS THEY OFFER.
THE IDEA IS TO USE THE INFORMATION TO PUT TOGETHER AN ONLINE DATABASE WHERE THE PUBLIC CAN EASILY LOCATE RECYCLING SITES AND EVENTS IN THEIR AREA. I-E-P-A SPOKESPERSON KIM BIGGS SAYS NOW, PEOPLE SOMETIMES HAVE TO DO A LOT OF LEGWORK TO GET RID OF THEIR STUFF.
ILLINOIS E-P-A IS LOOKING TO CREATE A ONE STOP SHOP FOR CONSUMERS WANTING TO RECYCLE EVERYTHING FROM ALUMINUM CANS TO OLD CARPET AND ELECTRONICS SAYS BIGGS.
I-E-P-A IS HOPING TO HAVE THE DATABASE OPERATIONAL BY EARLY NEXT YEAR.
ABATE typically focuses on preventing Illinois from adopting motorcycle helmet requirements, but they have other safety issues in mind too.
They are expressing concerns about drivers who lose their licenses yet continue to get behind the wheel. 29-year-old Justin Heath of Springfield was killed and his girlfriend 23-year-old Samantha Clardy was seriously injured when their motorcycle was struck in May by Doris Fisher.
Fisher has been unable to drive legally for 14 years, but ABATE says she was behind the wheel thanks to the help of her daughter. Witkowski is calling for Sangamon County Sheriff Wes Barr to arrest Fisher's daughter.
Witkowski believes charging Fischer's daughter will send a message to others.
Clardy has undergone extensive surgeries and faces at least three more as her recovery continues.
The DeWitt County Board heard Thursday night at their monthly meeting about windfarms in DeWitt County.
The company seeking approval in DeWitt County, Trade Wind Energy, has set up shop downtown Clinton and DeWitt County Board Chairman, David Newberg, indicates their purpose before the Board Thursday night was to inform them of their plans going forward.
Newberg points the project is still at least two years away from getting off the ground if everything falls into place. He adds, right now meteorological towers are currently up in parts of the northwest portion of the County.
The Illinois Department of Insurance reports rates for the lowest priced plans on the state's health care exchange could be on the rise.
Proposed rates submitted to federal officials show rates would jump by 16 to 37 percent. That would boost the average cost of the lowest-priced silver plans by 35 percent statewide.
The department's analysis says the lowest-priced bronze-level plans would increase by 20 percent and that the lowest-priced gold plans would increase by 16 percent.
Rates will be finalized in October.
It was a warm, humid week in central Illinois. There's more of the same this weekend, but could we get a break next week? State Climotologist Jim Angel tells us...
The Apple and Pork Festival is unlike a lot of festivals you'll find in central Illinois in the fall.
While many provide the area with a carnival atmosphere with rides and fried foods, the Apple and Pork Festival prides itself on its tradition. The CH Moore Homestead is the host and benefactor of the annual festival, and its Director, Joey Woolridge says there is something to be said for the tradition it provides.
The festival provides youth the opportunity to watch a rope-maker, there's tomahawk throwers and gandy dancer train cars. Woolridge notes the youth that come out are just as entertained by that as they would be a carnival ride.
The Apple and Pork Festival is this Saturday and Sunday at the CH Moore Homestead in Clinton. Visit CHMooreHomestead.org or find the Apple and Pork Festival Facebook page.
This year's annual Apple and Pork Festival entertainment lineup has been set.
Woolridge indicates, thanks to the generous contributions from Exelon, the entertainment of the festival is free.
The popular tomahawk throwers are back at the festival again this year and Woolridge indicates there's plenty to do for the kids on the grounds of the CH Moore Homestead.
Additionally, the CH Moore Homestead will be open for tours all weekend and with hot weather predicted, Woolridge hopes there is some interest in the Victorian mansion which is air conditioned.
The Apple and Pork Festival kicks off Saturday morning and concludes on Sunday evening.
Organizers and authorities remind attendees pets are not allowed on the grounds of the CH Moore Homestead.
The annual Apple and Pork Festival engulfs the entire community, so much so, a good amount of high school students will be participating again in this year's festivities.
From the band performing to open the Festivities on the grounds to several sports teams working the parking lots at the high school, Superintendent Curt Nettles says its great to see their kids being a part of an event that means so much to the community.
The 'M Squad' will be serving caramel apples on the grounds of the CH Moore Homestead. The band annually opens the festival playing the National Anthem and several other tunes on the stage.
For all things Apple and Pork Festival, visit CHMooreHomestead.org or find the official Apple and Pork Festival Facebook page.
This weekend is National Alpaca Farm Days and a couple local alpaca farmers hope you'll consider making them one of your stops on a festival weekend in central Illinois.
Houchin Family Alpacas in McLean County and Timberview Alpacas in rural DeWitt County are opening up their family operations as a part of the event.
Elizabeth Lord with Timberview Alpacas says their operation has 13 alpacas and indicates she discovered the fleece aspect of the business about a year in and has pursued that ever since.
Brian Houchin owns and operates Houchin Family Alpacas in rural McLean County and indicates alpacas are specifically raised for their fleece. Coming from the camel and llama family, alpacas allow those that cannot wear wool to wear their fleece.
Lord says the alpaca industry has started to rebound in recent years.
Houchin says he is seeing the same thing. He indicates the borders being closed for trade slowed things down but it is back on the incline following the recession.
Houchin adds with it being Apple and Pork weekend in DeWitt County, he doesn't think it has impacted their attendance for opening up their family operation.
Both Timberview Alpacas and Houchin Family Alpacas open up their operations for the weekend.
Timberview opens up their operation by appointment only. Lord says they still have some time slots available for the two days. The best way to contact them is through their Facebook page.
Houchin Family Alpacas is open to the public 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday. Visit houchinfamilyalpacas.com for more information.
State Sen. Kwame Raoul is the second Democratic entry in the race for Illinois Attorney General.
It's an open contest after Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced last week that she won't seek a fifth term.
Raoul was appointed to the Senate in 2004 to fill the vacancy left by then-state Sen. Barack Obama's election to the U.S. Senate.
The tragic deaths of a Bloomington man and his two sons in a Tuesday house fire has taken on a sadder note.
Bloomington Police reveal 33-year-old Eric Ringenberg strangled his sons to death before setting fire to the residence.
The young victims were listed as a 2-year-old boy and an infant. A female family member suffered smoke inhalation.
Police say the murders of the children were captured on home surveillance video.
Illinois Transportation officials and Triple-A are marking Naitonal Child Passenger Safety Week with nearly 100 free car-seat safety checks throughout the state. Most of them will take place on National Seat Check Saturday. IDOT's Rich Brauer.
The focus of the car-seat safety checks is eight car seat mistakes. IDOT Occupant protection coordinator Jessi Hopkins talks about the issue that tops the list...
You can find out about car safety seat checks near you at BuckleupIllinois.org.
IDOT says other mistakes include: Not adjusting the harness snugly against the child. Not securing the car seat in the vehicle properly. Forgetting to register the car seat for recall notifications. Having toys or other items unsecured in the vehicle. Not using the lower anchors/LATCH system as approved. Not using the top tether on a forward-facing car seat. Moving to the next car seat or booster seat too soon.
The recent breach of information from the lending agency EquiFax is having an impact locally.
That's the message from DeWitt County Clerk Dana Smith who says her office has fielded calls and emails about the issue and what to do. She is directing residents to the DeWitt County website, dewittcountyill.com to get signed up for alert if someone files a lean in your name.
Because EquiFax holds the vital information for millions of people, it would not be hard for someone to file for a loan or credit card in your name.
Smith has literature at her office about the service. She says be informed and be alert so you can be notified.
Increasing spending on teachers and aides has been the theme for a number of months now within the Clinton Board of Education and Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles says it's something he thinks needs looked at as well.
Tuesday morning Nettles told Regional Radio News it's about the time they should do a routine look at their salaries and see where they can improve.
Nettles agrees that starting pay for aides at $11 an hour is not sufficient and will look into creating a more equitable pay scale, especially for aides they ask more of.
In addition to assignments, the district will also look at the education level of their aides. He says they hope to attract well qualified staff for their kids, especially students in the formative years.
Three people are dead after an early-morning Bloomington house fire that has been labeled suspicious. The West Side fire on Chesapeake Lane has claimed the lives of an infant, toddler and middle aged man. A woman is hospitalized with injuries. Police and fire investigators aren't discussing a cause or starting point of the fire.
Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis sponsoring legislation aimed at encouraging private businesses to help their employees pay off student loan debt.
Davis says it’s not just an important issue for the country’s younger generation, it’s an issue for the financial stability of the country.
Davis says student loan debt will be a key issue as lawmakers look at federal tax reform in the coming weeks.
A change in China’s ethanol blend policy could provide a boost to corn prices. It’s all about demand says trading expert Doug Werling
Werling says bottom line is that demand for corn will increase with stocks peaking and as those stocks draw down, that should help push price.
The state recorded its first death in connection with the West Nile virus. The Illinois Department of Public Health says this week a person in Kankakee died after testing positive for the virus that is typically brought on by a mosquito bite. Public Health Chief Medical Officer Doctor Jennifer Layden says most anyone who winds up bitten and infected with the disease won’t be very ill, but for some it’s a different story.
Overall cases West Nile cases are down in Illinois. The very dry late summer weather is being cited as a possible reason why.
The agriculture industry seeking flexibility when it comes to hours of service trucking regulations, especially when it comes to hauling grain and livestock. Don Schaefer is with the Midwest Truckers Association.
The Midwest Truckers Association represents truckers in 15 states, including Illinois.
The words “local government” are big words in Illinois. That’s because there are nearly 7,000 units in the Land of Lincoln, most of any state in the nation. The Illinois Farm Bureau offers a resource for the local taxpayer—to help them understand or get involved in the local government process. It’s called LINK—Local Information, News and Know-How says Kevin Rund, Senior Director of Local Government for IFB.
LINK is distributed electronically at the county farm bureau level or the latest edition can be accessed by going to “ilfb.org” and type the word “LINK” in the search box. Topics addressed in the last release included such issues as local government accountability, landowner rights, rural development and strategic planning.
The state is billions behind in paying bills and some lawmakers and constitutional officers are asking the Governor to borrow to help pay down the backlog. Bruce Rauner says much has been made out of using bonds to dig out of the hole but that doesn’t fix the fundamental problems of being more than $16 billion behind.
Rauner says current state budget is going to run a $1.7 billion deficit and so cuts will have to be made before going to make a bond offer.
A shooting has been reported at Mattoon High School Wednesday.
At approximately 11:45 am this morning, authorities were called to the scene of reports of several shots were fired. One person has been shot with one person in custody.
Mattoon Schools released the following statement about the shooting early Wednesday afternoon:
Mattoon High School officials were made aware of an active student shooter at approximately 11:33 a.m. this morning on the Mattoon High School campus.
The School Resource Officers and school officials headed to the cafeteria where they heard shots fired.
The suspect fired shots in the school cafeteria, before he was subdued and disarmed.
Emergency procedures were activated and students and staff exited the high school. As a result of shots being fired, one student was injured.
First responders arrived, secured the facility, and transported the student to the hospital. The injured student’s parents were notified and all students were transported to Riddle Elementary School to be released to their parents.
We are saddened that this event has happened and we will provide counseling to students in need. We will continue to work with emergency personnel to determine what happened.
We appreciate the quick response of school staff and first responders. Most importantly, we offer our thoughts and prayers to the injured student and all who are affected by this tragedy.
Pressure is mounting from Board members on the Clinton Board of Education to raise the bar for the compensation of staff at the district.
For several months, Ron Conner has been an outspoken proponent to raise the levels of pay for Clinton staff and Tuesday night at the Board of Education meeting, the pay of aides in the district was the subject of discussion.
Conner contends the pay for aides in Clinton is not up to par of area schools.
Conner says many districts have a pay scales that their districts follow and implores district staff to explore their scales and see how Clinton compares.
According to Superintendent Curt Nettles, the district is exploring a scale for aides. He indicates the work aides do is very intense based on their assignments.
Board member John Blythe indicates the district has looked at the disparity before and says the current pay is something that fits the district.
The Board will continue to explore a teacher aide scale and hope to implement something for the start of the next school year because of financial challenges of making a change mid-year.
The Board approved the hiring of four additional aides for kindergarten and first grade.
Expansion of programming at Warner Hospital and Health Services in Clinton was the topic members of the Clinton Rotary Club heard about Tuesday afternoon.
CEO Paul Skowron indicates they need more space for their cardiac rehab facility because their demand is growing beyond the space they have available.
Suzanna Legner is the Chief Nursing Officer at Warner Hospital and Health Services. She explains they are in the process of getting quotes in for the expansion and there are three phases to the expansion.
Additionally, Skowron explains there is also a component coming for prompt care. Skowron explains this is going to be a service that would expand the clientel for their business.
The Warner Hospital Board and Health Services Board recently gave Skowron and the administration at the city-owned facility the thumbs up to move forward in pursuing same day care.
The Dr. John Warner Hospital Foundation is going to help back the expansion in the cardiac rehab department. Skowron indicates they are going to soon be fundraising for that effort.
A new face in the community is trying to start a recovery program in Clinton.
Brother Randy Myers, Leading Minister at United Methodist Church, is looking to start a local Celebrate Recovery (CR) program. The program is faith based and is for people with hurts, habits and hang-ups.
Myers adds that they are in the formation phase of this program. A venue is not a problem; however, they do need 12 people, who are not clergy, to lead the program.
A training event for CR is scheduled to start September 30th from 9 am to 11 am at Decatur First Church of the Nazarene. The training will take several weeks.
To learn more about the program, you can call (217) 820-0907.
A central Illinois zoo is mourning the loss of the oldest sun bear in North America.
Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington was home to Candy the sun bear and Site Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says it is a tough loss for their staff and guests she was part of the zoo for over 20 years.
Tetzloff says the zoo is asking anyone wanting to remember Candy the sun bear to direct those memorials to the Zoological Society, the fundraising arm of the City owned entity.
On a day when an earthquake shook Southeastern Illinois and a major quake has caused destruction in Mexico City, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is asking residents to prepare for a potential earthquake with a statewide drill one month from now.
On Oct. 19 at 10:19 a.m., Illinois will join other states and countries in practicing three simple actions that could save your life in a major quake: drop, cover and hold on.
Next month's drill is dubbed The Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. Southern Illinois has two seismic zones, making it the biggest area of concern.
A half million people took part in the drill last year. 300,000 people are signed up so far this year.
Schools, businesses, government agencies, families and others can register to participate in the drill at www.shakeout.org/centralus.
Internet retail giant Amazon is looking for a location to build a second headquarters. It’s seen as a huge opportunity to land thousands of high paying white collar and technical jobs.
Governor Bruce Rauner and others from Chicago are working on a bid to bring them to the city. But Rauner says he will also be working to see that other parts of the state are being supported.
Rauner says a group of industry and state leaders are in Seattle today laying groundwork to support bids made on behalf of Illinois.
Senator Dick Durbin is speaking out against the latest version of what he calls Trumpcare. Durbin accused his Republican colleagues of trying to ram through the latest effort to repeal and replace Obamacare without sufficient analysis.
Durbin says there is opposition from the medical community to the latest concept, Cassidy-Graham.
Durbin is also calling for extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health insurance coverage for more than nine million children and pregnant women nationwide.
The sudden pending opening in the Attorney General's office has set off a flurry of activity.
Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Pearson reports one of Chicago Alderman Ed Burke's two lawyer daughters is circulating petitions to run for the Democratic nomination for A-G now that Lisa Madigan has announced she won't seek another term.
Burke informed the Cook County Democrats his daughter was circulating petititions but wouldn't identify which one.
State Representative Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat, who recently announced she was leaving the General Assembly, is also circulating petititons.
There is also word State Rep. Scott Drury could leave the race for Governor and run for Attorney General instead. Reports out of Chicago also indicate former Comptroller and one time Democratic rising star Dan Hynes could rise from the political ashes and make a run for A-G.
Ameren Illinois working to keep all farmers safe out on the fields.
The utility’s George Justice says some power lines can contain so much energy that you don’t have to touch it to feel the effects of the electricity in the line.
Justice says all farmers or anyone looking to dig should always call 8-1-1 because it could save lives.
Calling the Julie 8-1-1 system is free. This is National Farm Safety Week.
A pair of alleged racial incidents at SIU Edwardsville are being investigated by campus police.
A note containing a racial slur was left on a student's on-campus apartment door last week.
The weekend before, a boulder in the SIUE quad was discovered with the Confederate flag painted on it. SIUE Spokesman Doug McIlhagga (MAC-ill-HAY-guh) says these two incidents are being taken very seriously.
He says the university "will not tolerate that kind of activity and behavior on this campus."
Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Officer Sean Crissey was officially promoted to Sergeant.
Police Chief Ben Lowers introduced Crissey to the Council Monday and he was officially sworn in. Sgt. Crissey has maintained several designations in his two years with the department.
Monday's meeting was relatively quiet.
The Council approved a Water Treatment Plant purchase for filter media at a cost of just over $42-thousand.
As the DeWitt County and Clinton community prepares for thousands of visitors this weekend, local authorities will be out monitoring what is traditionally a very mild crowd.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates authorities station themselves just off Center Street in Clinton and are active around the community as the crowds make their way to the CH Moore Homestead grounds.
According to the Chief, the event has rarely seen major incidents that require their attention. He explains the problems remain minor like traffic congestion, maybe a fender-bender or other minor vehicle trouble.
Chief Lowers explains the nature of the festival lends itself to a crowd that comes for the flea market and food. He notes with the absence of alcohol at the event, that can generally keep crowds from getting out of hand.
Chief Lowers indicates locals who wish to not participate in the festival generally know the areas of town to avoid but he says the western half of the community becomes very congested and indicates avoiding areas like Van Buren Street and Grant to Highway 51.
Don't call it a face lift, it's more like a reboot.
That's the message from Sue Calvert who heads the DeWitt County holiday program, Angel Tree, aimed at providing area youth with Christmas presents. She explains after an initial round of changes, the community reaction was strong enough to force them to re-think how they want to proceed with the program going forward.
According to Calvert, the program this year will allow for the community to continue to shop for youth in the community. She says the amount of shopping they will ask of the community will be much less compared to years past.
Calvert indicates much of the criticism towards the program surrounds abuse from people who are on the receiving end and she assures this public this is something she works very hard to monitor and prevent.
Registration for this year's Angel Tree program is underway. There are several income and other criteria to meet to be a part of it. To get more information, contact the school office your child attends.
You can also learn more about the volunteering opportunities within Angel Tree by contacting Calvert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the Clinton City Council made brief remarks regarding this weekend's Apple and Pork Festival.
Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements, Nan Crang, reminded residents of the street closures for the weekend.
Commissioner of Public Safety, Dan Ballenger indicates the cooling tent that was up at the festival last year will be up again this year. With temperatures expected near 90-degrees and heat index values in the upper 90s, it could be a resource for a number of visitors.
This weekend's Apple and Pork Festival will also have the usual first responder command post set up at the corner of Woodlawn and Center Street if attendees have any issues they need taken care of.
National Farm Safety and Health Week underway and the message from a youth ag safety specialist is to not have extra-riders on the tractor. Marsha Salzwedel is with the National Farm Medicine Center in Wisconsin.
Salzwedal says there are many ways to nurture a young child’s interest in farming—including Lego’s, barn sets, toy tractors, gardening and even video game simulators.
IT WAS A WARM, DRY WEEK FOR ILLINOIS CROPS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
TEMPERATURES WERE ABOVE NORMAL AND RAINFALL WAS PRETTY SPARSE. CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SUMMA SAY 89 PERCENT OF CORN IS NOW IN THE DENT STAGE.
70 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE TURNING COLOR AND 32 PERCENT ARE DROPPING LEAVES. 53 PERCENT OF THE SOYBEAN CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.
89 PERCENT OF SORGHUM IS TURNING COLOR AND 58 PERCENT IS MATURE.
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE AT 31 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 44 PERCENT SHORT AND 25 PERCENT ADEQUATE.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has wrapped up a nine-day trade mission to Japan and China. Rauner said Illinois faces familiar obstacles to business investment from overseas.
Illinois continues to get face time with top Chinse officials.
This week, Congressman Darin LaHood is visiting China. The Peoria Republican will lead Members of Congress on a trip to promote trade, business, and cultural exchange between the United States and China. He serves as co-chair of the US-China Working Group.
The trip’s 8 day itinerary includes high level meetings with government officials and U.S. companies operating in China, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Defense, U.S. embassy in China, and Boeing.
The labor dispute between AFSCME represented state workers and Governor Bruce Rauner has gone quiet of late and it will remain that way a while longer.
A court decision that blocked Governor Rauner from imposing labor terms has been on appeal for sometime, but it appears oral arguments won't occur until early next year.
AFSCME has been working on an expired contract since mid 2015.
The Governor returned from an overseas trip that took him to Japan and China to reinforce trade relationships and to build new ones.
Bruce Rauner says he didn’t want to travel overseas until the state had a budget. Rauner says though he heard plenty about Illinois troubles but there are companies that are looking to the bright spots that Illinois has to offer.
Rauner says he touted the benefits of the state’s transportation network.
As the Apple and Pork Festival enters it's 49th year, the yearly festival continues to remain a staple of the community and central Illinois.
Director of the DeWitt County Museum, Joey Woolridge indicates the festival started in modest fashion with a booth with a couple of kettles and a few sandwiches and now it is an event that draws anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 people to DeWitt County.
As Saturday and Sunday go along, parking comes at a premium. Woolridge encourages those coming into town to stop outside of town at the high school and take the trams to the homestead.
As the festival has evolved, the Festival grounds are full of non-profit groups that do fundraising for the weekend. Woolridge indicates there are numerous groups that make their budgets for the year, and if they don't, they come very close.
The Apple and Pork Festival is this weekend in Clinton.
We'll have plenty more on the Apple and Pork Festival this week on Regional Radio News.
The DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department has seen a decrease in their case load in their Family Case Management Program.
Tara Wickline indicates that the program helps educate expectant mothers about their pregnancy, delivery, newborn care, and development.
With the drop in their case loads they are currently doing outreach and have a commercial that will air before the movies at the Clintonia Eagle Theater, a facebook page and a potential cookbook in the works.
Wickline adds that the decrease in cases could be because of an unfair stigma that people attach to the program.
To find out more information about the program by searching for DeWitt Piatt Bi-County Health Department on facebook.
Pressure from the Ag community continues to build, as the President and his administration continue to toy with the idea of withdrawing the U.S. from the Korea-U.S. free trade deal, KORUS.
President Trump and his trade advisers are still considering if the U.S. should ditch KORUS, but farm groups are not waiting around to find out if the administration will.
Hundreds of farm leaders from heartland states like Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa and others are descending on Washington, D.C. to make ag’s case for keeping KORUS and expanding farm trade.
National Pork Producers Council spokesman Dave Warner says help is coming from inside the administration, as well…
South Korea is now the number five U.S. pork market, at valued at $365 million last year. The U.S. beef industry took in about$1 billion, making Korea its number two market, as KORUS tariffs move to zero.
Ag leaders in Congress are not sitting still, either. Longtime Ag Senator Chuck Grassley…tape
As for renegotiation of KORUS, Grassley isn’t sure. He says, with NAFTA, the U.S. and Mexico were both willing to make improvements. The suggestion of course, is that South Korea may not be so willing to change its deal with the U.S.
Despite unfavorable crop conditions reports earlier this week, USDA “doubled-down” on its yield analysis, raising both corn and soybeans yield projections in September’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates on Tuesday.
Does September’s yield data suggest that the crop conditions reports are irrelevant for projecting yields on the US crops during the pre-harvest time period? Mike Zuzolo is a Market Analyst with Global Commodity Analytics…
For instance, Zuzolo points out that Illinois yields for corn was pushed one bushel higher in the September report to 189 bushels per acre, but…
If the correlation between crop conditions and yield projections continue to not add up for Zuzolo, the way he sets a marketing plan will change dramatically…
That’s Mike Zuzolo from Global Commodity Analytics.
Sources reported late Friday morning that Attorney General Lisa Madigan would not seek another term. Now her father's office confirms the news.
House Speaker Michael Madigan's office has released a statement on Lisa Madigan's decision to not seek a fifth term as AG.
Throughout her life as an individual and as a public servant, Attorney General Lisa Madigan's achievements have been the result of her determination to fight for her convictions and to stand up for what she believed was right. I've always been proud of her desire to fight for those who need help the most, which has driven her sense of duty as a person and as Illinois' attorney general.
“It has been my privilege to watch her fight for the people of Illinois and do the right thing every day. She has authored tougher laws against criminals who prey on children and victims of sexual assault, fought for homeowners faced with losing their homes, and worked to ensure a more open and transparent state government.
“No father could be prouder of his daughter's personal and professional accomplishments, and I look forward to watching her continue her commitment to helping people in a new capacity.”
THE MASSIVE EQUIFAX DATA BREACH IS PROMPTING NEW LEGISLATION IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE.
ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN SAYS FREEZING YOUR CREDIT REPORT IS THE BEST WAY TO SAFEGUARD YOUR INFORMATION…BUT FOR MOST PEOPLE, THAT COSTS 10 DOLLARS FOR EACH REPORTING AGENCY.
SHE SAYS CURRENTLY THERE IS A 10 DOLLAR COST FOR MOST PEOPLE.
THE BILL ALSO REMOVES THE COST FOR LIFTING THE FREEZE. MADIGAN URGES AFFECTED CONSUMERS NOT TO WAIT FOR THE LEGISLATION, AND TO CONTACT EQUIFAX, EXPERIAN AND TRANSUNION TO BLOCK YOUR REPORT IF YOU AREN’T PLANNING ON TAKING OUT A LOAN OR GETTING A NEW CREDIT CARD RIGHT AWAY.
Like farmland values, cash rental rates are declining slightly statewide, but there’s still a lot of variability says Ray Brownfield, owner and managing broker of Land Pro LLC.
The highest cash rent average in Illinois is $289 per acre in Logan County and the lowest at $71.50 in Johnson County. The statewide average at $218 per acre.
SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE IS CELEBRATING THE NINTH ANNUAL U-S CONSTITUTION AND CITIZENSHIP DAY.
THE CELEBRATION IN CHICAGO INCLUDED THE SWEARING IN OF NEARLY 60 PEOPLE FROM 25 COUNTRIES TO BE U-S CITIZENS. SECRETARY WHITE URGED THE NEW AMERICANS TO GET INVOLVED IN THEIR COMMUNITIES.
U-S DISTRICT COURT JUDGE JOAN GOTTSCHALL PRESIDED:
SUNDAY MARKS THE 230TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SIGNING OF THE U-S CONSTITUTION.
It was another mild week in central Illinois with more cloudy days than sunny days as parts of the state felt the remnants of Hurricane Irma. University of Illinois Extension's Todd Gleason has more....
While the registration period officially opens today, DeWitt County 4-H groups are already meeting to s tart the new year.
That's the message from Kim Gibbons at the University of Illinois Extension office who indicates the new year is a great time for youth to join, but it isn't limited to just the fall, as someone can join at any time.
Joining a club is very easy and Gibbons says a lot of clubs are geared towards the interests of the youth. She notes just because you're in a certain club doesn't mean you can't take on other projects.
Leaders and officers in the clubs plan meetings, projects and community service projects. The big end of year 4-H Fair in DeWitt County is generally the most visible time for 4-H but Gibbons indicates throughout the year very little emphasis is put on the 4-H Fair.
Shooting sports and the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) have really taken off in DeWitt County. Gibbons notes students interested in being a part of those groups don't have to be in 4-H to participate.
To get more information on 4-H and getting into a club, contact the DeWitt County University of Illinois Extension office in DeWitt County at 217-935-5764.
Monticello Main Street is throwing their annual Monticellobration this weekend.
Kerry Redshaw indicates that this year's theme is Festifall. This celebration of Fall will include 50 vendors selling everything from pottery to pumpkins.
Saturday will start off with the Pet Parade that's put on by the animal shelter in Monticello where participants will be given prizes for best dressed pet, best tricks and the pet and owner who look the most alike. There will also be pony rides, amish buggy rides, face painting, and joyful bubbles among other family friendly events.
Redshaw adds that there will be a scarecrow walk, where people can reserve and decorate a lampost for 25 dollars and the money from that will go to Willow Tree Missions in Monticello.
Tune in this Saturday to 95.9 AM WEZC 10 am to noon for periodic updates at Monticellobration.
It's the end of an era for Fighting Illini sports and we're not talking about the demise of "War Chant".
The Alton Telegraph reports the athletic program's unofficial historian, Loren Tate, is stepping away from the keyboard, ending his Tatelines column based out of the Champaign News Gazette.
Reports out of Champaign say Tate, a longtime fixture on Illini broadcasts here, will continue some radio duties. The 86-year-old Tate played basketball at the U of I after graduating from Monticello High School.
He left the area in the mid 50s to serve as Sports Editor for the Hammond Times in Hammond, Indiana then returned to Champaign to work for the News-Gazette in 1966.
He continued writing for the paper while he served as sports director of WICD TV through the late 70s. He later migrated to radio working on WDWS, he moved up to Executive Sports Editor of the News-Gazette in 1987.
He also is a member of the IHSA Basketball Hall of Fame, the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame, and the Monticello High School Hall of Fame and he received the University of Illinois honorary Varsity I award.
He also authored the book "A Century of Orange and Blue: Celebrating 100 Years of Fighting Illini Basketball".
Many surveys show consumers want to know more about where food comes from, how it’s produced, and who produced it.
The Food and Agricultural Road Map – or FARM Illinois – held an event this week in Chicago to explore what it called, “From seed to shelf,” and how Illinois food companies and farmers can improve transparency. Tyler Strom serves as the managing director for FARM Illinois;
Strom explains what else FARM Illinois has in store to help ensure food and agriculture continue to be major drivers of the state's economy.
FARM Illinois aims to keep the state - and Chicago in particular - as a major regional, national and global food hub. You can find more information online at farmIllinois - that's one word - farmillinois-dot-org.
A local Farm Bureau “Adopt a Legislator” program brought Chicago State Senator Laura Murphy to three downstate farms this week.
Western Illinois State Rep. Dan Swanson helped with part of the tour.
Swanson is involved in a family farming operation near Alpha in Henry County.
There's been lots of talk about the impact of the extended state budget crisis on Illinois colleges and universities.
Now that money is flowing again and MAP grant dollars are going out to students, new trouble arises, a decline in international students. The University of Illinois at Springfield has depended on international students for its continued growth. Chancellor Susan Koch reports fall enrollment is down by 8.69 percent and a decline in students with visas has played a huge role.
Some blame President Trump's push for a travel ban on some Islamic nations as one reason international students are staying away.
Some reports indicate students from nations not impacted by the ban like China and India are going to other countries because they no longer believe Americans are as accepting of all foreign students.
Certain parts of Illinois are very dry, but nothing like Montana. The state has been ravaged by drought and wildfires and the impact has impacted virtually every farmer and rancher says Hans McPherson with the Montana Farm Bureau. He spoke with the RFD Radio Network Thursday.
McPherson describe the smoky conditions he's been experiencing.
In addition, McPherson says the Montana winds are not relenting this summer, which has escalated the problem. He adds that growth of hay and alfalfa in irrigated fields has also been stalled because there has been very little sunlight with all of the smoke in the air.
THE ILLINOIS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE INCREASED SLIGHTLY LAST MONTH.
THE JOBLESS RATE ROSE FROM FOUR POINT EIGHT PERCENT IN JULY, TO FIVE PERCENT IN AUGUST. STATE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON BOB GOUGH (goff) SAYS THERE WAS A LOSS OF 37 HUNDRED JOBS LAST MONTH AS WELL.
JOB GROWTH FOR AUGUST WAS SEEN IN TRADE, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILITIES, AS WELL AS EDUCATIONAL AND HEALTH SERVICES AND THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY.
The Warner Hospital and Health Services annual health fair provided the community the opportunity to learn about all the departments and services within the city owned entity.
The biggest highlight of the afternoon was the updates within the radiology department and the mammography area. Cathy Varvel says they got a lot of people through to see the updates and many were asking great questions.
She says the 3D image is providing a more complete scan of the breast which is providing better results at the same time.
Board member Nate Ennis says the addition of the 3D mammography service is all about offering services so the community can stay close to home.
Organizers of the Health Fair were pleased with the turnout. Along with Warner Hospital and Health Services staff, there were other area healthcare providers, non-profit groups and activities for youth.
Wind energy and wind farms are among the hot topics locally and a local entity is providing landowners with information they might need very soon.
It is a possibility a wind farm could come to DeWitt County and the DeWitt County Farm Bureau is providing their member landowners with information to make a decision on if that is something they'd like on their properties.
DeWitt County Farm Bureau Manager Janel Baum-Thomas says they are focused on landowner rights as the Farm Bureau has not taken a position on this issue yet.
According to Baum-Thomas, you'll want to make sure any future agreements cover an entire property and how the removal of those wind towers would be covered if it ever came to that.
Finally, the Farm Bureau is discussing ag impact mitigation returns. She says this is a requirement for developers in Illinois.
Members of the DeWitt County Farm Bureau were presented with information earlier this month. Anyone can join the Farm Bureau and will be kept up on the latest happenings. There are different levels of membership within the Farm Bureau. To learn more, contact Baum-Thomas at 217-935-2126 or visit facebook.com/dewittcountyfarmbureau.
US Congressman Rodney Davis recently spent several hours in DeWitt County meeting with local leaders and first responders and health care professionals discussing the opioid epidemic sweeping the country.
Finding treatment in rural America was a common theme among the many things that came up in his meetings and Davis says the federal government is making record investments into getting those battling substance abuse help.
While getting someone help when they are ready for it is a big point of emphasis, Congressman Davis believes there has be investments into discussing the dangers of drug and substance abuse.
Additionally, Davis discussed criminal justice reforms. He hopes to see reforms with how law enforcement deals with those that come in for abuse.
The Community Services Block Grant is what allows Community Action to be what it is.
According to Alison Rumler-Gomez, executive director of Community Action, the program is used to teach career readiness, financial literacy and give housing counseling as well as energy assistance to help people figure out why they're below the poverty line.
Rumler-Gomez adds that classes in DeWitt County start at the end of September and are filling up quickly. She indicates that you should contact them as soon as possible if you'd like a spot.
To learn more about Community Action and their programs you can contact them at (217) 732-2159 or for general inforamtion you can visit their website at capsil.info.
There's another departure from the Illinois General Assembly. House. Democratic State Rep. Carol Sente of Vernon Hills says she won’t seek re-election next year. She recently notified House Speaker Michael Madigan that she wouldn't run for another term in 2018.
Illinois State Police say there was a steep drop in fatal traffic crashes over the Labor Day weekend this year compared with last year. State police released figures Tuesday showing five fatal traffic crashes this year, compared with 19 last year, and five fatalities this year compared with 23 in 2016. State police handled nearly 200 crashes during the holiday weekend. Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz says it was one of the safest Labor Day travel weekends in the last six years.