Local News

WHOW's Platforms to Broadcast April 25 DeWitt County Board Vote on Wind Farm

WHOW’s many platforms will broadcast the DeWitt County Board’s meeting live from Clinton High School Auditorium on Thursday, April 25th starting at 5pm.

 

The meeting will be the culmination of months of deliberation regarding the proposed Tradewind Energy Alta Farms wind project in northwest DeWitt County.

 

Station officials have been told there will be 30 minutes of comments each, by those in favor of the project, and 30 minutes of comments by those against.

 

The board will then discuss the project and then take a vote on whether or not the project can move forward.

 

WHOW’s many platforms include THE BIG 1520 across Central Illinois, 92-point-3 FM in DeWitt County, 106-point-5 FM in Logan County, streamed at dewittdailynews-dot-com and on the WHOW mobile app, and on Amazon Alexa.

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The Vault Focused on Finishing Lower Level

The Vault in Clinton is focused on making significant progress on the lower level of their downtown facility to have it ready for use for the community's youth.

 

Michelle Witzke indicates there are ADA mandates they have to meet and it requires a lot of work with the concrete in the building already and they have had to keep students out while the work is going on.

 

 

Witzke has been overwhelmed by the support that seems to show up at just the right time. She says every time there is a need or an unexpected project arise, someone is there to give them a hand.

 

 

According to Witzke, while the construction has been going on and The Vault has been closed down, students are able to help and many are showing great potential with what they can do already. The students will be instrumental in the development of entertainment in the lower level when it is ready.

 

 

The lower will have programs like art therapy, art stations and a self-defense course. Witzke indicates the upper-level is designed more like a lounge space to hang out and the lower level is for the higher level activities. 

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DeWitt County Museum Welcomes Nine-Foot Tower Clock

When you visit the DeWitt County Museum this year, you'll want to be sure to check out the nine-foot tower clock just inside the front door of the CH Moore Homestead.

 

Executive Director of the CH Moore Homestead, Joey Woolridge, told Regional Radio News Wednesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, the tower clock was on display when the museum opened for the season on April 1.

 

 

According to Woolridge, this clock was used to synchronize the watches of the locals working on the railroad. She calls it a beautiful piece of history to greet their visitors this year.

 

 

The DeWitt County Museum is now open for the season. You can stop in for a tour of the CH Moore Homestead Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and then Sundays from 1 pm to 5 pm at 219 East Woodlawn Street. 

 

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Social Security Reminds Public of How Payout Dates are Determined

If you receive Social Security Benefits of any type, officials are reminding beneficiaries of how they determine when you are paid.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security indicates it is usually determined by your birthday and payments tend to be made on the second, third or fourth Wednesday of each month.

 

 

For beneficiaries, Myers says to watch the Wednesdays and not the date on the calendar. It's likely you'll get your payments on different calendar dates.

 

 

You can find payment schedules at socialsecurity-dot-gov and then search "calendar" under the tab titled "publications".

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Ameren Remind Residents to Be Prepared in Case of Severe Weather, Losing Power

Ameren Illinois wants residents to be prepared if severe weather cuts power. George Justice is the Senior Director of Operations for the utility. He says it is important for residents to prepare a storm kit.

 

 

To report a power outage, you can call 1-800-755-5000 or visit Ameren.com.

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Statewide Alcohol Delivery Bill Passes in Senate

MOST PEOPLE MAY SOON BE ABLE TO GET BOOZE DELIVERED WITH THEIR GROCERIES.

 

THE SENATE PASSED A BILL LAST WEEK SETTING A STATEWIDE STANDARD FOR ALCOHOL DELIVERY. IT’S SPONSORED BY SENATOR DON HARMON OF OAK PARK.

 

 

HARMON SAYS THE LEGISLATION IS A WORK IN PROGRESS AND WILL LIKELY BE AMENDED IN THE HOUSE TO LET COMMUNITIES HAVE SOME LOCAL CONTROL.

 

 

A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE THEIR GROCERIES DELIVERED THESE DAYS…BUT IN SOME AREAS OF ILLINOIS…THEY CAN’T GET ALCOHOL DROPPED OFF AT THEIR FRONT DOOR.

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State Introduces Pot Hole Reporting Website

There are more than a few potholes on state roads but you might not have anyone to tell. That could be changing. 

 

The Senate passed a bill that would create a website for statewide reporting of potholes or other dangers on the roads. Republican Dan McConchie says there is evidence web reporting works.

 

 

Reports from the website would be funneled to local IDOT districts.

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Rain Every Few Days in Illinois This Spring

More moisture on the way for most of Illinois this week.

 

Meteorologist Eric Schmidt is with EJS Weather in Newton. 

 

 

Temperatures are expected to be slightly cooler than average for the remainder of the spring. 

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IEMA Says Stay Alert as Storms Expected This Week

THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO BE PREPARED FOR STRONG SPRING STORMS. 

 

AFTER AN UNEXPECTED APRIL SNOWSTORM…STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS ARE FORECASTED FOR SOME AREAS OF ILLINOIS OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. I-EMA SPOKESPERSON REBECCA CLARK SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PLENTY OF WARNING.

 

 

CLARK SAYS MOST WEATHER APPS HAVE ALERTS AND THAT IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO GO UNDER YOUR PHONE’S NOTIFICATION SETTINGS AND MAKE SURE “EMERGENCY ALERTS” IS TURNED ON. 

 

 

OTHER TIPS INCLUDE SETTING UP A FAMILY COMMUNICATION PLAN TO GET AHOLD OF EACH OTHER DURING A STORM AND TO REVIEW YOUR EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT.

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Clinton Board of Education Reshuffles

The Clinton Board of Education has reshuffled.

 

Tuesday night at the Clinton Board of Education meeting, the Board approved Dan Matthews at the new Board President, Rodney Rogers vice-president and Sondra Baker secretary. 

 

Additionally Tuesday night, Tammie Ennis was sworn into the Board of Education.

 

Pictured above from left to right: Superintendent Curt Nettles; Board Vice President Rodney Rogers; Secretary Sondra Baker; Chris Hammer; Ron Conner; Cole Ritter; Tammy Ennis (Not Pictured - Board President Dan Matthews)

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Clinton School District Goes Live With New Website, App

Need to know today's lunch menu? There's an app for that.

 

Need to find the email for your student's math teacher? There's an app for that.

 

Need to know what time the school play starts? There's an app for that.

 

Tuesday night at the Clinton Board of Education, the Board was introduced to the new website and app by district tech-guru Laura Molitoris. She indicates right at the home page you can find district news and information.

 

 

From the app, you can contact the school via email and phone call and also pull up the daily lunch menus. Molitoris indicates there is a notification system that will eventually take the place of School Reach and you can get notifications that pop up on your mobile device. Those can be customized as well.

 

 

The URL remains the same, it's cusd15.org. Molitoris says right now there are no events on the district page yet but those will be added soon. 

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Tax Returns Not As Significant in 2019

Did you get that tax return information and find sticker shock with how much less it was?

 

If that describes you, you are not alone. TS Institute's Connie Unruh says a change in the tax code also changed the deductions and not many people knew about it, so it is impacting returns this year.

 

 

Unruh indicates standard deductions changed and personal exemptions were eliminated this year, and that is throwing taxpayers for a loop recently as well. 

 

 

With the changes made and tax season in the past, Unruh indicates donations for non-profits will be more impacted because of more changes this year. It has gone as far as some tax professionals recommending a change in giving habits.

 

 

If you owed on your returns this year and it was an unexpected expense, Unruh encourages individuals and families to consider starting separate savings account for those expenses that come up out of the blue that is not part of your monthly budget and expenses. 

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Monticello Mayor Looking Forward to Working With New City Council

Monticello Mayor Larry Stoner is looking forward to the new look City Council he'll be working with very soon.

 

Mayor Stoner told Regional Radio News Tuesday Morning on the WHOW Morning Show they will have three new council members and he is optimistic they will bring forward fresh ideas and an attitude to better their community.

 

 

As the new council comes aboard, Mayor Stoner hopes they continue the many good things happening in the community. Turning approximately 30 acres of land into recreational facilities could be one of the top priorities with the new council.

 

 

The Mayor points to a streetscape project that is continuing in the community that will connect their downtown district to the west side of Highway 105. Stoner is hopeful that can be the start of some great things for their community.

 

 

Mayor Stoner indicates activities and recreation choices have changed a lot over the years as there is now sports being played all year and hopes to allow the community space and place to continue to play and develop their skills. 

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Legislation in Springfield Could Alter School Day for Monticello Students

Students in Monticello might end up with a change in the structure of their school day if legislation in Springfield is put into law.

 

Superintendent of Monticello Schools, Dr. Vic Zimmerman indicates there is a piece of legislation that would change the mandates on physical education. He says under the Rauner administration, there was more freedom on teaching PE. 

 

 

The potential change leaves Dr. Zimmerman frustrated pointing out there are only a certain amount of hours in the day for curriculum and there's a long list of mandates to try to make sure they teach.

 

 

The state's intrusion with mandates leaves many Board of Educations asking what is their role? Dr. Zimmerman indicates they lobby for local control and work to make the consequences of that action known.

 

 

Dr. Zimmerman indicates they operate on the block schedule which alternates days of the week physical education is taught to students. He says this legislation might change how they schedule their days in the future. 

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Passing A Stopped School Bus May Cost More Money

Fines may be headed higher for passing a stopped school bus. 

 

The Illinois House approved a bill to double the fine for passing a bus with its stop arm extended. The fine would increase to $300 and repeat offenders would pay more than three times that. Republican Rep. Darren Bailey says he hopes the higher fines result in stronger deterrents. 

 

 

The bill heads to the senate for action. 

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Social Security Talks Getting Number, Card for Newborns

If you are expecting a baby or are starting to think about bringing a new life into the world, you will want to think about applying for a Social Security number for your young one.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security explains you will likely want to claim them on your taxes so they will need a Social Security number. 

 

 

Myers points out, the process can be easy if you apply for it at the hospital. He explains everything will be streamlined if you get that process started while you're still at the hospital with your newborn. 

 

 

The Social Security card will then be mailed to the address given to the hospital 2-3 weeks later. If you don't apply at the hospital, you will have to visit a Social Security office to submit an application and provide additional documentation. 

 

For more information visit the Social Security website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

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IRS Warning of Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

As tax season comes to a close, IRS Agent Michael Devine wants taxpayers to remain vigilant of the Dirty Dozen tax scams...

 

 

Michael reminds taxpayers that the IRS will not call you out of the blue and that you have the right to request information from anyone who calls to try and tell you that you owe money to the IRS. 

 

Be suspicious, ask questions and don't be afraid to hang up the phone and call the IRS hotline at 1-800-829-1040. It's the fastest way to know if you someone is trying to steal your money or your tax information. 

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First Weekly Crop Report

FARMERS ARE STRUGGLING TO GET TIME IN THE FIELDS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

 

JUST ONE POINT SEVEN DAYS WERE SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK THIS PAST WEEK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE CAME IN AT 44 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 56 PERCENT SURPLUS. 

 

 

THREE PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS HEADED AND 54 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

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Employment Scams Top List from Better Business Bureau

If you are looking for a job, especially if you are looking online, you run the risk of being scammed. 

 

That, according to the latest report from the Better Business Bureau, which reports employment scams were the most reported and riskiest scams of 2018 as logged by the BBB Scam Tracker and is based on the BBB Risk Index. 

 

The index is a unique algorithm that calculates exposure, susceptibility, and monetary loss to offer a more accurate assessment of scam risk. And there seems to be a common theme: Agency investigator Don O'Brien says Amazon was in the news a lot in 2018 with its high-profile search for a second headquarters.

 

 

The agency reminds that scammers are opportunists, and whatever is in the news or being talked about on social media, they see as an opening to imposter a recognizable and respected organization or brand. 

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DCFS Opens Training Center in Chicago

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES IS OPENING A NEW SIMULATION CENTER IN CHICAGO TO PROVIDE HANDS ON TRAINING TO WORKERS.

 

THE CENTER HELPS EXPOSE CASEWORKERS AND INVESTIGATORS TO POTENTIAL SCENARIOS THEY MAY FACE OUT IN THE FIELD SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

PRITZKER TOURED THE NEW FACILITY THIS WEEK.

 

 

MORE THAN 600 D-C-F-S WORKERS HAVE ALREADY BEEN TRAINED AT A SECOND SIMULATION CENTER IN SPRINGFIELD.

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Clinton YMCA To Launch Annual Strong Kids Campaign Wednesday

The annual Strong Kids fundraising campaign will officially get underway for the Clinton YMCA this Wednesday.

 

Rennie Cluver, Executive Director of the Clinton Y told Regional Radio News Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, after their monthly Board meeting Wednesday, they will launch the annual campaign as board members will be sent off with their informational packets to rally financial support from the community.

 

 

The Strong Kids campaign helps the Y offset the thousands of dollars they put into the youth and adults that participate in their programming. Cluver indicates they have given over 
$100,000 in scholarships to give the community the opportunity to be a part of their programs.

 

 

Cluver appreciates the support of the community and emphasizes the importance of their overall goal at the YMCA. He explains they offer scholarships to more than just youth in the community. They have given families and seniors discounts on memberships so they can utilize their facility and services.

 

 

A new aspect to this year's Strong Kids Campaign is the Acres for Kids program started by members on the Y board. Cluver is excited about that opportunity and what it could do to grow their annual campaign. 

 

Cluver encourages anyone interested in giving that may not receive a phone call or letter in the mail to contact him at the YMCA by calling 217-935-8307 or visit them at 417 South Alexander Street. 

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New Goodwill To Offer Free Electronic Recycling

The new Goodwill store coming to Clinton is going to be a free electronic recycling location. 

 

Pat Anderson with Goodwill Industries told Regional Radio News last week the store will offer an electronic drop-off location. He notes the only thing they won't be able to take is the old, bulky tube TVs.

 

 

In addition to being a drop-off location for electronic recycling, Anderson says the store will be a typical Goodwill with a donation drop-off and plenty of merchandise.

 

 

Anderson says to anticipate a jobs fair in the near future because they will have to have employees to man their store.

 

Right now, the store in the old Walmart that will be shared with Tractor Supply Company, is still under construction. Anderson hopes for a grand opening of July or August.

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DeWitt County Friendship Center Talks Mission

Being a resource for seniors to stay active and independent, that is the mission of the DeWitt County Friendship Center.

 

Executive Director Paula Jiles explains she runs into a lot of people that seem to think the senior center is just the next step in moving to an assisted living facility. She says that is the farthest thing from the truth.

 

 

Many may not realize Community Care Systems has an office at the Friendship Center as well. Dianne Cusey is their outreach worker that provides many services from assistance with Medicare and Medicaid to referrals for home care. She says their mission is along the same lines as the Friendship Center. 

 

 

Jiles indicates she is working to come up with a calendar full of activities for local seniors all the way through the year.

 

Get more information about the Friendship Center by calling 217-935-9441 or visit their location at 410 East Main Street. You can reach Cusey with Community Care Systems by calling 935-4560. 

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Warrensburg-Latham Schools Adding Additional Social Worker

To meet the demands of their student body, Warrensburg-Latham Schools are adding support for students with emotional and social needs.

 

A trend that is becoming more prominent across the country, Warrensburg-Latham Schools are seeing an increase in students who need emotional and social support, so their Superintendent, Dr. Kristen-Kendrick Weikle indicates they have hired a second social worker to their staff.

 

 

Illinois law requires schools to have one certified social worker on staff. Dr. Kendrick-Weikle explains the difference between a social worker and a counselor....

 

 

The two social workers will serve roughly 950 students in the Macon County district. 

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Sen. Rose's Bill Passes Promoting Awareness of Scott's Law

THE ILLINOIS SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSED A BILL THIS WEEK TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THE STATE’S MOVE-OVER LAW.

 

THE LEGISLATION REQUIRES THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE TO INCLUDE A REMINDER ABOUT THE LAW IN REGISTRATION RENEWAL NOTICES…AND TO INCLUDE A QUESTION ABOUT IT ON THE WRITTEN DRIVER’S EXAM. IT’S SPONSORED BY SENATOR CHAPIN ROSE OF MAHOMET AND PROMPTED BY THE INCREASE IN STATE TROOPERS BEING HIT BY PASSING MOTORISTS.

 

 

THE BILL STILL NEEDS APPROVAL FROM THE HOUSE AND THE GOVERNOR TO BECOME LAW.

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