Local News

Former Clinton High School Principal, Board of Education Member Dies at 67

Former principal of Clinton High School Ron Conner passed away at age 67 Tuesday night in Bloomington.

 

Conner served as principal from 1994-2012. He has been on the Clinton Board of Education since 2015 and served on the IHSA Board of Directors as well as the HRC Board.

 

Conner was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, serving from '72-'73.

 

A time to celebrate with Ron’s family will be 4 – 7 PM Saturday, June 29, 2019, at the Clinton Community High School gymnasium. The family entrusted Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL with arrangements.

 

Memorials may be directed to R.C. Conner Scholarship Fund.

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Clinton Chamber Planning to Re-Purpose Visitors Center

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is going to pack up their visitors center at Clinton Antique Mall and move it to the grounds adjacent to the haunted house and repurpose it.

 

Executive Director Marian Brisard explains they are going to create an escape room with the structure. This will give attendees of the haunted house something more to do while they wait to go through.

 

 

Brisard indicates a haunted house convention in St. Louis this spring inspired them. The themes will change each week and she points out they are going to theme one weekend around a local veterinarian.

 

 

The change also comes with a small financial incentive for the Chamber. Brisard explains it is $600 a year to house their visitors center at the Antique Mall but it will be a cost of $500 to move it to the haunted house site on Washington Street.

 

 

After the haunted house season, Brisard says they could open up the escape room to anyone who may want to do a team-building exercise or even for special events. 

 

Chamber officials also say they are adjusting their dates for the haunted house. Brisard says they are not going to open on the traditional first weekend of October but rather the second and then take their open dates to November 1-2 immediately following Halloween on Thursday, October 31. 

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Community Action Focused on Changing Role of Family Service Workers, New App at Center of Change

Community Action of Central Illinois is again looking at a way to better serve their communities and their clients, and their new app is at the heart of the change. 

 

Executive Director, Alison Rumler-Gomez indicates they want their family service workers to become more of a coach with their clients and less of a monitor. She explains aiding them in this shift is the new app they developed for their clients.

 

 

The shift comes with more of a focus on their clients and asking them to evaluate themselves. Rumler-Gomez explains they are asking their clients to take control of their circumstances and then giving them the tools to work through that.

 

 

Rumler-Gomez indicates the way they were working with their families was becoming like a checklist of things to do. She explains they know this because their clients told them and so they listened and adjusted their approach.

 

 

While the checklists have their merits, Rumler-Gomez says their staff is starting to get on board more and more and they are seeing the value of the new approach. 

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Uncertainty Remains Surrounding Testing for Marijuana

NOW THAT ILLINOIS HAS LEGALIZED RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA…ONE QUESTION THAT REMAINS IS HOW WILL POLICE TEST PEOPLE FOR DRIVING WHILE STONED?

 

POLICE CAN EASILY TEST FOR ALCOHOL IMPAIRMENT WITH A BREATHALYZER OR FIELD SOBRIETY TEST…BUT THE SAME IS NOT TRUE FOR POT. THAT’S BEEN A BIG CONCERN FOR POLICE, BUT GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THEY ARE ADDRESSING THE ISSUE.

 

 

SENATOR HEATHER STEANS (stains) OF CHICAGO SAYS THEY ARE LOOKING AT METHODS USED IN OTHER STATES.

 

 

THE NEW MARIJUANA LAW CREATES A SPECIAL TASK FORCE TO LOOK AT THE ISSUE, ENLISTING THE HELP OF POLICE TO COME UP WITH SOLID WAYS TO TEST DRIVERS.

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Sen. Manar Announces Progress in Independent, Rural Pharmacies

One of the most discouraging developments in the pharmaceutical business is the struggle of rural, independent pharmacies to stay alive and profitable. 

 

State Senator Andy Manar says relief is on the way for those businesses and the people who depend on them as the Department of Healthcare and Family Services is now implementing the Critical Access Pharmacy Program, providing $10 million in additional funding to keep rural, independent pharmacies open....

 

 

Manar says throughout rural Illinois communities, consumers have experienced skyrocketing drug prices because of the poorly-regulated Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) industry. PBM operations craft special deals with large corporate chain stores that small, independent and locally-owned operations can’t compete with. 

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Red Cross Missing Types Campaign Is Back

The American Red Cross is in need of blood during the summer months at least as much if not more than during the rest of the year, according to an agency spokesman. As a rule, donations fall off between May and August, so the organization is bringing back an awareness campaign to try and stir people to make the effort to donate.

 

The campaign is called Missing Types. Joe Zydlo (ZID-low) says the goal is to get potential donors to make an appointment, and then follow through.

 

 

The Missing Types campaign draws attention to what happens when the letters A, B, and O are missing from everyday life. You can find donation location information on the organization's website, www.RedCross.org. 

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Marijuana Advocates Say Expungement Important Component of New Law

ONE OF THE KEY COMPONENTS OF THE STATE’S NEW MARIJUANA LAW IS ADDRESSING THOSE PREVIOUSLY CONVICTED FOR MINOR VIOLATIONS.

 

ABOUT 700 THOUSAND RECORDS COULD BE WIPED CLEAN UNDER THE LAW. MORE THAN HALF ARE ELIGIBLE TO BE AUTOMATICALLY EXPUNGED OR PARDONED IF THE OFFENSE INVOLVES LESS THAN 30 GRAMS OF WEED. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS TOUGH MARIJUANA LAWS HAVE HIT MINORITY COMMUNITIES ESPECIALLY HARD.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE JEHAN GORDON-BOOTH OF PEORIA. SHE ADDS THE EXPUNGEMENT PORTION OF THE LAW IS SO IMPORTANT.

 

 

THOSE BUSTED FOR LARGER AMOUNT OF POT COULD PETITION THE COURTS TO VACATE THEIR CONVICTION. NO VIOLENT OFFENDERS WOULD BE ELIGIBLE.

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Congressswoman Bustos Wants Federal Disaster Declaration for Illinois Farmers

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos urging U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to issue a disaster declaration for areas of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District.

 

 

Bustos is asking Perdue to issue a Secretarial disaster declaration for growers to be eligible for disaster assistance, increase prevent plant crop insurance coverage guarantee and to push back the premium payment date for crop insurance to December 1. 

 

She says farmers also continue to face uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes. 

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Seniors Invited To Participate in Peace Meal During Summer

Seniors are being encouraged to participate in Peace Meal this summer.

 

Certified nutritionists do the meal planning for Peace Meal and coordinator Shelly Tolley on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday said their program is a great way to make sure seniors are keeping up on their nutrition through the busy summer months.

 

 

In addition to Peace Meal being an excellent and affordable source of good nutrition for seniors, Tolley says it also has served as a great wellness check program for their seniors. She says they have a number of people that quite possibly had their lives saved from their delivery driver.

 

 

In DeWitt and Piatt Counties, there are site programs seniors can take advantage of. Tolley indicates the DeWitt County Friendship Center is always a location to get a peace meal but there are restaurant programs they've started in Farmer City and Bement.

 

 

To get more information on any ways to participate in Peace Meal, you can call 1-800-543-1770 or 217-345-1800. 

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Cooler Than Normal Temps Anticipated For July

The chances for an extremely hot July and August don’t look good. That assessment from Dr. David Kristovich with the Illinois State Climatologist’s office in Champaign. 

 

 

Most of Illinois should see dry weather for much of this week with the exception of some active weather Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening. Warmer temperatures are also anticipated for this weekend with much of the state seeing 90’s on Saturday and Sunday. 

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Duckworth Blasts Trump Administration Handling of Iran

Senator Tammy Duckworth is blasting the Trump Administration on the Iran front, calling the administration’s Iran strategy reckless and, incoherent. She said it's the kind of thing that could lead the nation to an accidental war...

 

 

The combat wounded vet of the Iraq War, Duckworth expressed fears of deja vu....

 

 

Duckworth urged her Senate colleagues to reclaim Congress’ constitutional authority to declare war.

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2019 Clinton Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Outing

he Clinton Chamber of Commerce's annual Golf Outing was hosted Tuesday afternoon at the Clinton Country Club.

 

Executive Director Marian Brisard indicated the 18-hole outing had 21 teams this year and featured door prizes donated from local businesses.

 

 

In addition to the several door prizes, Brisard noted that some businesses sponsored tents on certain holes on the course ranging from concessions to contests.

 

 

The annual golf outing is a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce that helps to fund all of their events. For more information on the Chamber or its events visit clintonilchamber.com.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Office Investigating Vehicle Theft, Burglaries in Kenney

In the early morning hours Monday morning, suspect or suspects burglarized a pair of businesses and a vacant home in Kenney, additionally, the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office is investigating a pair of vehicle thefts.

 

DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker says his officers responded to reports of suspicious activity early Monday in Kenney and says there were multiple incidents.

 

 

According to the Sheriff, they are working to acquire a still photo of the person who was located on video. He anticipates that image hitting their Facebook page later today.

 

 

Witness calls came in hours after the incidents and Sheriff Walker says it is important for the public to say something when they see something.

 

 

If anyone in the public has information about these burglaries and thefts, you can contact the Sheriff's office at 217-935-9507. 

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Clinton YMCA Still Looking For Teams For 'Battle at the Cove'

Mud volleyball, beach volleyball and bags will highlight the first weekend of July event for the Clinton YMCA's 'Battle at the Cove' at Whitney's Cove in Clinton.

 

Executive Director Rennie Cluver says the registration deadline for that event is this Friday and he's excited about the possibilities this event will bring. He told Regional Radio News Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show right now they need more teams to make the mud volleyball competition a go.

 

 

The Battle at the Cove and the recent Y golf outing are all part of events now falling under the umbrella of the Strong Kids Campaign. Cluver indicates the fundraiser is about halfway to its goal of raising $100,000.

 

 

The event is July 6 and you can visit clintoncommymca.org for a registration form or you can stop in at 417 South Alexander Street for that registration form. The high school division of volleyball kicks off in the morning hours and adults play through the afternoon.

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Lincoln High School Superintendent Looks Fondly on Years as District's Lead

This is the final week for Bob Bagby as Superintendent of Lincoln High School and the ten-year tenured leader of the Logan County High School feels like he accomplished a lot.

 

Bagby says the accomplishments of the sports programs are among the highlights of his time in Lincoln. He says that comes down to the district leadership and board of education hiring good people.  

 

 

From a programming perspective, Bagby indicates it has been nice to see the FFA program bounce back. He was also instrumental in the starting of the L-Tech program that gives students the skills to advance through high school and start in the workforce out of high school.

 

 

Duel credit opportunities have taken off across the area for students to earn college credits while taking high school courses. Bagby says it feels good to give kids the opportunity to take advantage of those opportunities.

 

 

As Bagby enters retirement, he hopes to spend more time watching his grandkids take part in their sports and activities and spend time on the lake fishing. 

 

Dwight Stricklin will take over for Bagby. Stricklin has spent the past four years at the Lexington School district where he followed current Clinton Superintendent, Curt Nettles, after he took over for Dr. Jeff Holmes. 

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Weekly Crop Report

ANOTHER RAINY WEEK HAMPERED PROGRESS IN ILLINOIS FARM FIELDS. 

 

WITH JUST ABOUT TWO DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK… THERE’S STILL PLANTING TO BE DONE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

79 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED WITH 67 PERCENT EMERGED. 42 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

 

JUST 15 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED AND 27 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 78 PERCENT COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE INCREASED TO 43 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 57 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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State Fire Marshal Talks Fire Safety

THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE IS OFFERING SOME SUMMER SAFETY TIPS. 

 

GRILLING OUT IS A BIG PART OF SUMMER FUN…BUT CAN TURN DANGEROUS. FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ SAYS KIDS AND PETS SHOULD BE KEPT AT LEAST THREE FEET AWAY FROM THE GRILL.

 

 

WHEN IT COMES TO CAMPFIRES…THE FIRE MARSHAL RECOMMENDS THEY BE AT LEAST 25 FEET AWAY FROM BUILDINGS OR ANYTHING THAT CAN BURN AND TO AVOID BURNING ON DRY, WINDY DAYS SINCE THE FIRE CAN QUICKLY SPREAD.

 

 

THE FIRE MARSHAL ALSO REMINDS TO KEEP KIDS AND PETS AT LEAST THREE FEET FROM THE GRILL WHEN YOU’RE COOKING OUT…AND TO NOT PLACE THE GRILL NEAR DECK RAILINGS OR YOUR HOME.

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State Board of Education Releases Report on Kindergarten Readiness

THE LATEST KINDERGARTEN READINESS REPORT FROM THE ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION UNDERSCORES THE NEED FOR QUALITY PRE-SCHOOL OPTIONS FOR KIDS.

 

THIS IS THE SECOND YEAR FOR THE REPORT…WHICH ASSESSES STUDENTS DURING THEIR FIRST FEW MONTHS OF KINDERGARTEN. ISBE DIRECTOR OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION CARISA HURLEY SAYS THE REPORT FOUND 26 PERCENT OF KIDS DEMONSTRATED READINESS IN ALL THREE OF THE AREAS MEASURED.

 

 

HURLEY SAYS JUST 30 PERCENT OF THE CHILDREN ASSESSED FOR THIS REPORT ATTENDED A STATE-FUNDED PRE-K PROGRAM. THAT'S SOMETHING THEY’D LIKE TO CHANGE SO THAT KIDS ARE BETTER PREPARED TO START SCHOOL.

 

 

53 PERCENT OF KIDS SHOWED READINESS WITH SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SKILLS AND 33 PERCENT WERE DOING WELL WITH MATH.

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Starved Rock State Park Cleaning Up After Flooding

Starved Rock State Park in LaSalle County is dealing with the aftermath of major flooding on the Illinois River last month. Floodwaters coated picnic areas and parking lots with mud and debris and infiltrated restrooms.

 

Site Superintendent Kerry Novak says staff members are working on dealing with the debris and mud.


 

 

The park is getting extra funds from the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources for the cleanup. Novak predicts it’ll cost between $60,000 and $80,000. He hopes to start awarding bids for the various projects soon. The picnic areas and boat launch are still closed.

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County Engineer: Gas Tax Increase Will Give Us More For Projects

The gas tax has been much maligned but last Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board meeting, the County Highway Engineer says it will allow them to take on more projects.

 

Mark Mathon updated the County Board at their regular monthly meeting last Thursday the gas tax will still get divided up the way it always has but says the County will get more as a result of the tax increase.

 

 

The gas tax has not been adjusted in Illinois since the 90s and Mathon points out, with inflation, which was not taken into account at the time, the rate would be at the 38-cents.

 

 

Mathon adds the new law takes a portion of taxes from areas like Cook County and sends them to smaller communities based off motor vehicle registrations per county. At that point, townships have a set amount they receive based on the number of road miles. 

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

On 06/21/19 Clinton Police arrested Christopher D. Mukes 47, Decatur for 4 counts of Burglary for the following businesses, 2 counts Big D’s, Circle K and Clinton IGA. Mukes was transported to the DeWitt County Jail and released to Corrections.

 

On 06/23/19 Clinton Police arrested Riley B. Lindsey 22, Powderly, TX for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Lindsey was transported to the DeWitt County Jail and released to Corrections.

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW

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Clinton Schools To Invest Portion of Reserve Funds For Rainy Day

Clinton School officials are going to re-adjust how they invest the money they have in reserves.

 

Superintendent Curt Nettles last Tuesday night, told the Clinton Board of Education they plan to take advantage of better interest rates. He explains this is going to be done locally through Clinton banks.

 

 

Part of the reason for the re-investment of the reserves is preparing for a day the power plant may not be here. Nettles says this was something he thought would be a good idea when he arrived in Clinton four years ago.

 

 

School districts are limited to investments like bonds, CDs or money markets. Nettles says while there is some risk in those investments, it is a minimal risk. 

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Miller Park Zoo Seeing Steady Attendance Through Wet Spring

The Miller Park Zoo has been pleasantly surprised with the attendance figures this spring.

 

Superintendent of the zoo, Jay Tetzloff says it has been a good spring despite the extremely wet weather. He attributes that to their new alligator exhibit that is drawing folks in and they are in the midst of a concession stand project to better serve their patrons.

 

 

Tetzloff says what is particularly surprising about the strong spring is their golf courses have experienced a pretty tough spring. He serves as the Parks Director for the City of Bloomington and says the condition of the courses haven't been the greatest at times.

 

 

Wearing his park director hat, Tetzloff says their department was very behind on their mowing throughout the city. 

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Central Illinois Lawmaker Talks Task Force To Address DCFS Problems

A task force has been established to address the shortcomings of DCFS and a central Illinois lawmaker believes they are headed in the right direction.

 

As the spring legislative season wrapped up, an increase in funding for DCFS and agencies like theirs was approved and State Senator Chapin Rose says DCFS is a mess and needs a new direction.

 

 

According to Sen. Rose, the goal is to break up the responsibilities of DCFS and pass those along to other agencies that are already better suited to deal with issues. He feels DCFS should be the crisis manager for kids and then send them to the appropriate agencies.

 

 

The task force is made up of leaders from both sides of the aisle and Rose is optimistic the recommendations will carry a lot of weight with Illinois Democrats who control the Illinois legislature.

 

 

Sen. Rose compares this task force to the higher education task force that made many positive reforms. While he's short of enthusiastic, Rose is optimistic and says DCFS needs to be a participant with the legislature and be on board. 

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Governor Signs Series of Bills Protecting Immigrants in Illinois

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A PACKAGE OF NEW LAWS TO HELP PROTECT IMMIGRANTS LIVING IN ILLINOIS.

 

ONE OF THE NEW LAWS BANS IMMIGRANT DETENTION CENTERS FROM SETTING UP IN ILLINOIS…AND ANOTHER CREATES THE “RISE” ACT. THAT ENSURES UNDOCUMENTED AND TRANSGENDER STUDENTS HAVE ACCESS TO COLLEGE MAP GRANTS. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS WITH ONE POINT EIGHT MILLION IMMIGRANTS IN THE STATE AND THREATS AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL…THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS A NUMBER OF IMMIGRANTS CALL ILLINOIS HOME.

 

 

A THIRD NEW LAW PREVENTS LOCAL POLICE FROM PARTICIPATING IN THE U-S IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS.

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