Local News

Clinton Sales Tax Numbers Continue To Be Up and Down

The ebb and flow of sales taxes in Clinton continue as the latest report begins to show a trend in the months that have proceeded the closure of the Clinton Walmart.


City Administrator Tim Followell indicates the sales tax dollars are in an up and down trend right now and points out, the vehicle sales at local dealerships can sway figures a lot more than all the purchases at a retail store.



While the loss of Walmart was certainly a big loss for the community, Followell says the up and down nature of the sales tax figures was a trend long before Walmart closed.



As sales tax figures remain up and down, the City will face further funding challenges in the wake of the minimum wage hike that is on it's the way to the Governor. 


Tune in later this week as Followell outlines the things the City of Clinton will have to think about as that legislation gradually becomes law. 


Torbert Hired As Program Director At Clinton YMCA

You'll see a new face in a management role at the Clinton Community YMCA.


Clinton native, David Torbert, has been hired as the new Director of Adult and Youth Sports, and Director of Camp Osage, at the Y.  He's been in the new role for about a month and hopes he can help others enjoy the local YMCA just as he did.



Rennie Cluver, Executive Director of the Clinton YMCA, is excited to see the energy Torbert has already brought to the staff.  He says Torbert's addition is expected to bring more opportunities for both youth and adult programming.



Camp Osage is the YMCA's annual summer camp, which begins the first day after school ends.  Torbert says planning has already begun for this year's camp.



Cluver notes Camp Osage is by far the most important program offered by the YMCA.  He says the staff are doing their best to include a variety of activities to meet the widening interests of students.



Sign-up for this year's Camp Osage is expected to begin in April.  In the meantime, Torbert is being kept busy with the continuing youth basketball program, and sign-ups are underway for youth indoor soccer leagues.  Learn more about those by contacting the Clinton Community YMCA.


Bipartisan group of lawmakers introduce package of legislation to help protect Mahomet Aquifer

Springfield, IL - A total of five new bills have been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly with the goal of helping to protect the Mahomet Aquifer, the primary water source for Central Illinois. The package of bills is supported by a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives who are working to pass them into law.


State Senator Chapin Rose says -quote- "The Mahomet Aquifer is one of the most important and vulnerable natural resources in the state, supplying drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people. It's incredibly important that we protect this resource for our families and our future generations." - end quote


The package of legislation includes five bills that are all based on recommendations from the final report of Mahomet Aquifer Task Force.


Senate Bill 2073 creates a permanent body, the Mahomet Aquifer Council, to serve as a watchdog and to provide oversight for the Mahomet Aquifer.


Senate Bill 2071 would provide $1 million in funding for equipment for the University of Illinois' Prairie Research Institute (PRI) so that the organization can continue to research and study the aquifer.


Senate Bill 2072 would provide $2.3 million in funding for ongoing PRI operations.


Senate Bill 2070 would appropriate $4 million for the utilization of helicopter-based time-domain electromagnetics technology for the purpose of mapping and studying of an area of the aquifer known as Zone 2. This zone is where a recent leak of natural gas occurred.


Senate Bill 2074 would allow State Treasurer to accept restitution payment from Peoples Gas, if a court finds the company liable for a recent leak of natural gas into the aquifer.


The bipartisan group of central Illinois lawmakers hopes the bills are called in the spring legislative session.


Piatt County School Leader Optimistic About New Governor

While many school leaders are taking a wait and see approach with Democratic Governor JB Pritzker, one Piatt County school leader is optimistic.


Sheila Greenwood is the Superintendent of Bement Schools and says she is optimistic Pritzker will have a budget sooner for the state and believes he has surrounded himself with good people to get good advice from.



While funding for public education in Illinois has gotten better in recent years, Greenwood says she is in the camp that it is still the biggest challenge facing education in Illinois. She explains while more money is dedicated to them, how much of that they get is still a question.



Greenwood says right now, the Bement school district says they are still in good shape financially. She notes, like many districts, they are seeking substitute teachers and face a shortage of teachers available when they have job openings. 


ALMH Foundation Helping Logan County Serve Schools' At Risk Kids

The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation is supporting Logan County school children thanks to a grant they are providing to put a counselor in each school.


ALMH's Angela Stoltzenburg explains MOSAIC is a program mimicked from Sangamon County but it gives students support right there in their school building.



The program doesn't just put the counselors in the school and then checks in every now and then. Stoltzenburg indicates they are tracking the progress of at-risk students and says they are getting back encouraging results early on.



The importance of this program can be very beneficial for kids today. Stoltzenburg explains recognizing what kids are going through early can keep them from dealing with issues longer than they need to.



Currently, the program offers support for three schools in Logan County with the goal to expand to all schools. Additionally, they are hiring staff to expand the service. If you're interested in being a part of MOSIAC in Logan County, visit choosememorial.org for more information. 


Tuesday is Give FFA Day

A donation today (TUE) to the National FFA organization could go a long way toward changing a life. NAFB's Eric Pfeiffer explains…





Clinton Chamber Opens Registration for Annual Business Expo

Groups and businesses have already started registering for the 2019 Clinton Chamber of Commerce Business Expo March 27 at Clinton High School.


Chamber Executive Director Marian Brisard says registration has opened for the annual event and she hopes it will be another great year with lots of vendors.



Brisard says pricing for the annual event varies.



Brisard also points out the business expo is a great networking opportunity as it is a place where numerous businesses from across the community and central Illinois are all together in one place for about three to four hours.



Again the Chamber Business Expo is Wednesday, March 27 at Clinton High School from 4 to 7 pm. If your business or non-profit is interested in being a part of this year's event, you can visit clintonilchamber.com or contact them at 217-935-3364. 


Congressman Davis Continues Push To Improve American Infrastructure

Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville has been named a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transits.


He says being able to work that closely on infrastructure makes him hopeful he can make a difference in improving what is a crumbling system in America.



Governing for the people of central Illinois and the entire country isn't as tough as it may sound. According to Congressman Davis, if central Illinois benefits from a new infrastructure plan then the whole country will too.



Davis is optimistic the subcommittee will take a bipartisan approach and get things done to improve roads and bridges across the nation.


Social Security Reminding Beneficiaries To Look Out For 10-99s

If you are a recipient of Social Security benefits, you need to be on the lookout for your 10-99s for tax season.


Jack Myers with Social Security in Springfield says those are mailed out each year and they are vitally important when filing your taxes.



With tax season here, Myers says the scam calls are going to increase and get more intense. He says this is something everyone should be aware of as your awareness surrounding tax season heightens.



Myers indicates any time Social Security will try to reach you, it is more often than not going to be correspondence through the mail and not a phone call, especially an 800-number phone call.


Get more information about SSA-1099s or a MySocialSecurity account by visiting socialsecurity.gov. 


Illinois National Guard Has New Leadership

The Illinois National Guard has a new leader. Richard Neely has been promoted from Brigadier General to Adjutant General. Neely has almost 30 years of military experience. He wants the National Guard to be ready to deploy war both on physical battlefield and in cyberspace.



Neely plans a sharp focus on keeping recruitment numbers up.


FFA Week Preview

FFA Week kicks off Monday and area chapters are excited about the opportunity.


Tri-Valley FFA President Cole Newbauer says FFA Week is an exciting time to showcase FFA and the difference it makes in their lives. He says it's also a good opportunity to drum more interest from potential members.



Lincoln FFA Chapter Secretary Lauren Steenburgen says the theme days helps draw attention to FFA members and opens up the conversations with their peers in the school.



This coming week on the noon farm show, here from these chapters and numerous others as Farm Broadcaster Jared White highlights area chapters and the happenings within them. 


Lawmakers Discuss Shared Parenting Bill













House Progressive Caucus Launched

A new group of lawmakers has formed at the Capitol. Democratic State Representative Carol Ammons of Urbana made the reveal at a morning news conference.....



Ammons talks about the priorities of the caucus....



Among the Reps joining Ammons in the caucus are Rep. Will Guzzardi, Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Rep. Theresa Mah, Rep. Delia Ramirez, and Rep. Anne Stava-Murray.


State Names Legislative Inspector General

There's a new sheriff in town when it comes to policing the Illinois General Assembly, in fact, it's a breakthrough that there is a sheriff period. 


After a four year wait, the state finally has a legislative inspector general. 


Former Appellate Judge and Menard County States Attorney Carol Pope was the unanimous choice of the Illinois House. 


She will investigate complaints against state lawmakers.


JFK Exhibit Coming To Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Camelot is coming to Springfield today. The new photography exhibition “American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times” opens today at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. 

Alan Lowe, the executive director of the library and museum, previews the exhibit.....



Legendary photojournalist Lawrence Schiller, who worked for the likes of Life Magazine, is the curator of the exhibit. He took his fair share of photos of President Kennedy. He looked back on an age where photojournalism was king, something that sets the era apart from today when some believe you can just send out any reporter to a story with an I-Phone.....



Highlights of “American Visionary” include:

a 1953 photo booth snapshot of the Kennedy newlyweds, possibly taken on their honeymoon


a candid 1958 photograph of Kennedy playing with his baby daughter, Caroline, in her bassinet


a 1960 photograph of people peering at Kennedy through the window as he prepares for a campaign speech


a 1961 photograph of the First Couple and others heading to Kennedy’s inauguration ceremony, with the White House blanketed in snow


a haunting photograph of the first lady departing the White House on the day of Kennedy’s state funeral in 1963.


New Twist on Romance Scam

Romance scams aren't limited to just draining your bank account anymore. 


The Better Business Bureau says there are now variations on the scam that could land you in jail if you participate willingly or unwillingly in moving dirty money or drugs for the scammer that has convinced you they have a romantic interest in you. 

BBB Investigator Don O'Brien says most mules have actually met the person on the other end of the email, and have been roped into their criminal activity.



Money mules at times have been prosecuted, facing jail time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution payments. 


Peterson Insurance Group Celebrating Big 2018

It was another distinguished year for the Peterson Insurance group in Clinton.


Owner Jay Peterson says he was selected by his peers to lead the Inner Circle Club as the President. Additionally, Peterson says they continued to rake in the awards.



Peterson credits his hard-working staff and the customer loyalty they have to their success. He says their staff comes in every day and works hard and he says that is their focus each day. 


Sen. Caulkins Weighs In On Pending Minimum Wage Hike

Over the strong objections of Republicans who called it unfair and rushed, the Illinois House approved legislation Thursday that would increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.


The vote, which came after a two-hour debate, was 69-47. With the Senate approving the bill last week, Senate Bill 1 now goes to Gov. J.B.. Pritzker. State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) voted against the proposal and talked about it after the vote.



Under the plan, the state’s minimum wage would go from $8.25 to $9.25 on Jan. 1, 2020, and then to $10 on July 1, 2020. It would then go up $1 more each Jan. 1 after that until it reaches $15 in 2025.


Macon County Conservation District's Rock Springs Nature Center Hosting Saturday Syrup Making Demonstration

If you've ever wondered what it is like to see how authentic maple syrup is made, this weekend a Macon County organization has your answers.


The Rock Springs Nature Center at the Macon County Conservation District is hosting a maple syrup making demonstration. The Center's Richie Wolf says this is the time of year when maple trees are producing their sap, so it's an ideal time to tap into that resource.



According to Wolf, the sap is much like the blood of the tree. The taste of authentic maple syrup is much, much different from your typical maple syrup you'd find at the grocery store.



This Saturday is the only time the Rock Spring's Nature Center will host the demonstration. The event is free but Wolf says they are asking for RSVPs at maconcountyconservation.org. 


The sessions are one hour at 11 am, noon and 1 pm. 


Dan & Shay Coming To Illinois State Fair

Another grandstand act has been announced for the 2019 Illinois State Fair… Dan and Shay will be headlining on August 11th. 



That’s Morgan Booth with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The Fair will continue to announce headline acts over the next few Thursdays.


Weather Service Issues Winter Weather Advisory for This Weekend; Ice and Snow Possible


The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Regional Radio listening area thru Sunday afternoon.

The Weather Service says another winter storm system will effect Illinois this weekend, mainly tonight through Sunday evening, and will bring periods of snow, freezing rain and rain to central and southeast Illinois. 

The highest snow totals appear to be northwest of the Illinois river, where 2 to 4 inches of snow are possible. Snowfall of 1 to 2 inches may occur southeast of the Illinois river toward the I-72 corridor. 

The Weather Service added that light icing from freezing rain is also possible from late tonight through Sunday morning, before warm air changes that precipitation to all rain. Icing amounts should remain minor, less than a tenth of an inch. 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for the latest weather information.


Clinton Fire Department, Clinton Eagles Teaming Up For Annual Eagles Daytona Fundraiser

The Clinton Fire Department and the Clinton Eagles are teaming up once again this year for their annual Daytona 500 fundraiser.


Commissioner Dan Ballenger says it's an afternoon and evening of fun at the Eagles centered around the Daytona 500 with raffles and food. The proceeds benefit three DeWitt County fire departments.



The Clinton Fire Department intends to use the funds raised this year to continue to construct their training facility on Cain Street. According to Ballenger, it is made of old shipping containers they are turning into a three-story structure.



Thanks to donations and fundraising efforts, the facility is going to cost the department roughly $50,000. Ballenger notes without those fundraisers and donations, they would be looking at a cost of roughly $200,000.


Annual ALMH Wellness Expo This Saturday in Lincoln

Free screenings and lots of health information are just a few of the highlights of this weekend's Wellness Expo at the Lincoln Park District.


ALMH's Angela Stoltzenburg says a big focus for them is for everyone to 'know their numbers'. She says if you get any of the screenings they offer at the Lincoln Farmers Market, the machines will be at the wellness expo.



Stoltzenburg adds there's going to be plenty of kids activities with inflatables, a vendor and lots of demonstrations, there is something for everyone.


9 am to 1 pm is the time for the event at the Lincoln Park District. You can get more information by finding Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital on Facebook. 


WHOW THE BIG 1520 Gets Unique Valentine's Day Gift: An Updated Transmitter

WHOW THE BIG 1520 Radio in Clinton, got quite the gift for Valentine’s Day on Thursday—an updated transmitter.


The 2003 Broadcast Electronics transmitter with updated modules, was purchased by WHOW’s owner, the Miller Media Group’s Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Incorporated, in January from a radio station in northwest Illinois that recently went off-the-air.


Clifton Moving and Storage of Decatur, with assistance from WHOW engineer Wayne R. Miller, disconnected the transmitter from its former site, and hauled it over 150 miles to the Big Red Barn south of clinton, in January.


Miller, assisted by the Clifton movers and an electrician from ProAir Heating, Cooling and Electricial of Clinton and Bloomington-Normal, put the B-E transmitter on the air on Thursday afternoon.


The new transmitter replaces an aging model that was built by a company that is now out of business.  The aging WHOW transmitter has been difficult to repair and maintain the past 2 years, according to station president Randal J. Miller.


WHOW THE BIG 1520 transmits with 5000 watts daytime, covering an area from Pontiac to Effingham and the Illinois River to the Indiana State Line, with over 7 hours a day of agriculture programming, local news and weather, and Clinton High School sports.  WHOW is also heard 24/7 at 92.3 FM in DeWitt County and 106.5 FM in Logan County.  WHOW is also streamed at dewittdailynews-dot-com, on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.


UPDATED WITH PICTURES: Clinton Community Education Foundation Awards Annual Grants

It wasn't quite Publishers Clearing House but the Clinton Community Education Foundation made just as grand of an entrance in Clinton Schools classrooms Thursday morning.


The annual CCEF teacher grants were awarded to the classrooms of the winning educators across four of the five buildings in the district and Foundation board members Russell Long and Barbara Gullone says this was a great year of teacher grants.



Gullone indicates they are looking for creative ideas to enhance the district classrooms. Long believes they got the creativity they were looking for.



Christina Soberalski has been planning to host children's author Patricia Polacco and part of the CCEF grants this year were to help pay the expenses to bring her to Clinton. Additionally, she indicates there will be three sessions with one to include the opportunity to come out and hear her speak.





2nd-grade teacher Bethany Coffman indicates her classroom is making STEM upgrades thanks to the $500 grant she received.




4th-grade teacher Kristin Wilson says her class is going to use a $500 grant to purchase technology to help track their kids' activity during recess.




Carissa O'Brien, a fourth-grade teacher at Clinton Elementary School, indicates she is going to be purchasing picture books for her students that help them identify and deal with emotions. Her grant is for just over $412. 




3rd-grade teacher Rebecca Howell indicates her $811 grant is going to be for special critical thinking puzzles for her students to do during a designated part of their day.




Special education teacher Autumn Kenney (below) says her CES classroom is going to expand on their program that improves communication skills and teamwork skills. Her grant is for just over $628.




Clinton Junior High School teacher Jessica Hubrich says the grant will go towards her special education classroom to help her students.




Danielle Ward, a sixth-grade teacher at Clinton Junior High School, explains her classroom is receiving document cameras that are going to help her students increase their learning comprehension.




In the junior high school, Amy Whisker says her classes will receive upgraded sewing machines, something they are desperately in need of. Her grant is for $1000.




Savannah Riegler (below), ag mechanics teacher at Clinton Junior High School, says her grant for $220 will help purchase a new nail gun and air tank for their projects.




Kendra Abner's Consumer Science class at Clinton High School is going to take on international cooking and she explains they are going to use their $500 grant for the authentic ingredients they are going to need.




Wayne Snearly, the automotive teacher at Clinton High School, says he is seeking to use his $358 grant to upgrade the equipment in their shop to help students work on newer model vehicles.




First-grade teacher Amanda Brady indicates the first-grade class at Lincoln School is going to be purchasing books for their students to take home. Their grant is for $500. 




Fifth-grade teacher Samantha Rybacki is working to bring children's author David Biedrzycki to the community next year. Additionally, the CCEF is providing funding for Clinton Junior High School students to return to the Heartland Community College Challenger Academy again, a trip students are on this week. 


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