Local News

YMCA CPR Class

Looking to renew your CPR and First Aid Certification? The YMCA will be hosting CPR Classes during the Christmas Break says Excutive Director Rennie Cluver.

There is a fee to take the class, for first time CPR the fee is 80 dollars and for recertification is 50 dollars. The certification is good for 2 years. If you are intrested in the class call the Clinton YMCA at (217) 935-8307. The Clinton Community YMCA is located on 417 S. Alexander St, just off Highways 54 East and Rt. 10 East.

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Weldon Christmas Parade

Holiday festivities keep on going and Village of Weldon looks to celebrate those festivities this Saturday, December 15 with their Christmas Parade. 

 

The village of Weldon had lost some of their traditions and with the help of new festival committees and President for Village of Weldon Julie Brock, they look to bring some of those traditions back.

The festivities will begin at 10:30 am and will go till 2 pm with a parade starting at Weldon Baseball Diamond routing their way to the Village Hall, where food will be served and a fun holiday guest will be there.

The Village of Weldon President Julie Brock and the festival committee look forward to bringing their Christmas Parade, to enjoy the holiday season.

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Miller Park Zoo Parents Night Out Dec. 14th

Need a night out to finish some Christmas shopping? You can participate then in Miller Park Zoo's Drop and Shop, Parents Night Out. You can drop your kids off at Miller Park Zoo and go do some shopping says Miller Park Zoo Director Jay Tetzloff.

Kids between ages 4-12 years old, can come, 25 dollars for the first child, 20 dollars for additional siblings. Zoo members 20 dollars for the first child and 16 dollars each additional child. There is a maximum of 35 children so e-mail anelson@cityblm.org to register. There other ways to sign up as well says, Tetzloff.

Miller Park Zoo's Drop and Shop, Parents Night Out is from 5:30-9:30 pm on Friday, December 14.

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Above normal temps should be the rule for remainder of December

Above normal temps should be the rule for the remainder of December. So says meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather. It all has to do with a lack of cold Canadian air. 

Hicks says Illinois has been running about two-to-four degrees below normal so far this month with November finishing “quite a bit colder than normal.”

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Durbin says Trump border security priorities don't address the opioid crisis

Senator Dick Durbin responded to claims from President Donald Trump that Democrats “do not want border security.” In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Durbin maintained Democrats did tackle the issue, with a bipartisan majority of the Senate agreeing to Durbin’s bipartisan immigration and border security agreement. Durbin maintains it failed because of the Trump Administration’s opposition. Durbin also told U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, the President's border security plan doesn't properly address an ongoing crisis...

Durbin also said the Trump Administration is failing to address the root causes that drive migrants to the U.S. border. He cited cuts in security and humanitarian assistance and shutting down legal avenues to migration. 

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5G still a long way away for rural areas

Technology makes advancements every day and your cell phone signal is no different. 5G is becoming more of a reality in the modern world but won’t be around anytime soon according to some experts. Rob Benton owns CPR-Cell Phone Repair in Mt. Vernon and he says the idea has been in development for 2 years and just got finalized this past June.

Although the technology is advancing and the speeds will increase, Benton says if you live in a rural area, don’t count on having 5G available to you for some time.

Benton says realistically, 5G could become available everywhere in 10-20 years.

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Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging Team wins national title

A banner year for the Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging team. The group won the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest held last month in Louisville, Kentucky. The competition actually ended in a tie, but the Illinois team won based on a tie-breaker.

That’s coach Gracia Ramp—a University of Illinois ag education grad student from Yates City. She’s a graduate of Farmington High School and also attended Lakeland College in Mattoon before transferring to Illinois. 

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Ditching Dewey at the Vespasian Warner Public Library

The Vespasian Warner Public Library is ditching the Dewey Decimal System. The library has decided to stop using the numerical system for books that have been used for around 150 years. Children's Librarian Paula Lapatic says its because of crowded numbers.

The librarian has begun to relabel the books to organize them in the new word based classification says Lapatic. 

Lapatic wanted to reassure everyone that if people need help finding a book whether in the new word based classification or Dewey decimal staff is there to help. You can find the Vespasian Warner Public Library at 310 N. Quincy Street in Clinton or find more information at vwarner.org.

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Heyworth Hiring Junior High Math Teacher and Steam Teacher

Heyworth Schools are currently hiring for a Junior High Math Teacher and STEAM teacher for next year. Heyworth Superintendent Lisa Taylor says this will get applicants early with the teacher shortage in Illinois.

Heyworth is looking for a math teacher to help reduce the class size, making classes more manageable says Taylor.

The other position STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Heyworth Elementary has started the new program, and now Heyworth looks for a teacher to help with the new program.

Taylor says with hiring the new teachers they can continue to provide a great education for their students at Heyworth Schools and bring in new teachers showing the great community Heyworth is.

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Year-End Countdown, Social Security Online

Looking for other ways to find information about Social Security or how to use your benefits? There is a list of online services that can help you find your information says Public Affairs Specialist Jack Myers. One of those services is called Social Security Matters. 

A lot of times people reach out to Social Security says Myers is to replace a Social Security card. You can do that online as well.

Another online service is the application for retirement benefits, where it takes a few, for some, as 15 minutes.

With retirement, you can plan for your future by finding out how much you get from Social Security from their Retirement Estimator.

Also if you like to find more on Social Security through other means of media, such as Facebook and Twitter, says Myers.

If you still have questions on Social Security you can browse their frequently asked questions web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/faq. 

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Potential for industrial hemp in Illinois

One of the leading industrial hemp researchers in the United States says he thinks it could be a viable crop in Illinois and across the country;

University of Kentucky agronomist David Williams says industrial hemp does not contain the controversial chemical of its close cousin, marijuana. But he says it does have the potential to be used in animal feed, for its oil and as a fiber;

The Illinois legislature passed and the governor signed a law earlier this year that legalizes industrial hemp. The Illinois Department of Agriculture is currently writing rules that would govern how industrial hemp can be grown in the state.
 

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Winter driving tips

Driving in winter weather conditions can be a chore for even the most experienced drivers and can be even worse around the winter holidays. Laura Adams, a safety analyst for driversED.com says there are several reasons for a spike in accidents during the holiday season. 
 


 
Adams also notes that being in the right mindset when your behind the wheel is only half the battle.
 


 
Adams says the winter weather can be bad on the battery, belts and hoses, and windshield wiper blades. She also notes that it might not be a bad idea to look into purchasing snow tires. More tips and tricks can be found at www.DriversEd.com.

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Legendary Illinois high school football coach retiring

Legendary Illinois high school football coach Mike Papoccia (puh-po-see) is stepping down. He announced his retirement at Sunday night’s Sterling Newman Central Catholic team banquet.

Papoccia racked up five state titles in his 39 year run at Newman. 

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National FFA Organization Announces National FFA Convention & Expo staying in Indianapolis through 2031

The National FFA Organization announced Tuesday, December 11 that its National FFA Convention and Expo will be staying in Indianapolis through 2031.

 

The annual event has been held in Indianapolis since 2016 where more than 67,000 people attended from all over the country. The event brings in an estimated economic impact of 39.8 million dollars for Indianapolis. 

 

Members during the convention attend workshops, participate in competitive events, general sessions and help give back to communities. 

 

Membership has grown over the years for the organization along with attendance of the national convention and expo. After the 90th National FFA Convention and Expo, National FFA Board of Directors had a bid process to select the new host for the convention beginning in 2025. The final decision came between Atlanta and Indianapolis. 

 

Members chose Indianapolis calling the city the home of FFA. 

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New Years Eve Celebration at Allerton Park

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

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

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

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

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Rep. Davis Gives an Update on the Farm Bill


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

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

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

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

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

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Beware of Scammers Pretending to be Social Security

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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VETERANS' AFFAIRS HOSTED THE 77TH PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY

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

 

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

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

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

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TIPS FOR PICKING OUT THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE

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

 

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

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

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

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Friendship Center Holiday Luncheon

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

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

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

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Liberty Village Luncheon and Learn

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

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

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

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Feast of Juul at Allerton Park

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

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

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

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Museum researching pollinators across Illinois

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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EIGHTH COLDEST NOVEMBER ON RECORD

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

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

 

 

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

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