LEAF PICKUP: TODAY, CITY CREWS WILL START WHERE THEY LEFT OFF IN ZONE 4 YESTERDAY AND MOVE IN TO ZONE 5.          
Local News

Wall of Honor Applications Now Available

Clinton High School is now accepting applications for the Wall of Honor nominations. 
 
The deadline for nominations of October 7 is approaching and Principal Jerry Wayne reminds individuals must be nominated in order to be considered for the Wall of Honor.
 
 
Once an individual is nominated, they will be considered for a period of five years. Wayne indicates after that five year period, the individual is able to be resubmitted for reconsideration. 
 
 
To be considered for the Wall of Honor, an individual must have made contributions that have had a significant impact on the community that distinguishes them from other graduates of Clinton High School. Wayne stresses the Wall of Honor is not exclusive to individuals with athletic accomplishments.
 
A form for nominations and more information can be found on the high school website, cusd15.org. All information that is necessary for inclusion needs to be submitted to Clinton High School by October 7.

0
comments


Early Voting Period Underway; DeWitt County Clerk Urging Residents To Get Registered

Get registered to vote as soon as possible.
 
That is the message from DeWitt County Clerk Dana Smith. Early voting is underway in DeWitt County and Smith is urging residents to get registered. She says getting registered ahead of election day on November 8 will allow you to vote on election day at your convenience and avoid long lines at the County Clerk's office.
 
 
According to Smith, election day gets very congested in their office with residents trying to get registered. Because of that she indicates the office will only be open for election day business.
 
 
Smith stresses if you register to vote after the October 11 deadline, you will have to vote at the time you register. 
 
She encourages anyone with questions to stop in to their office at the County Building at 201 West Washington Street or contact them at 217-935-7780. 

0
comments


First Fall Frost Expected in October

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING…ILLINOIS SHOULD BE SEEING ITS FIRST FROST SOME TIME NEXT MONTH.
 
STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL SAYS ACCORDING TO THE DATA FALL FROST DATES RANGE FROM EARLY OCTOBER IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS…MID-MONTH IN CENTRAL ILLINOIS…AND LATE OCTOBER FOR THE SOUTHERN PARTS OF THE STATE.
 
 
ANGEL SAYS THEY DON’T MEASURE FROST PER SAY, BUT COUNT TEMPERATURES OF 32 DEGREES AS FROST AND 28 DEGREES FOR A HARD FREEZE.
 
 
ANGEL SAYS OPEN AREAS ARE USUALLY THE FIRST TO EXPERIENCE FROST. HOMEOWNERS CAN HELP PROTECT THEIR PLANTS BY COVERING THEM WHEN FROST IS EXPECTED.

0
comments


AMEREN: High Wire Break Leads To Outage, Clinton Schools Closing

A broken Ameren Illinois high wire caused several issues in the Clinton area Friday morning. According to Ameren spokeswoman, Kelly Hendrickson, Friday morning's power outage in the Clinton area was caused by a broken high wire. The wire fell into a cross arm causing a short, and leaving around 450 Ameren Illinois customers in the dark. The Clinton School District was effected by the outage. The high school, junior high, and elementary school were all without power, which led to school being cancelled district wide for the day. Power was returned to the area just before 9 o'clock Friday morning.

0
comments


2-Vehicle Crash Stops Traffic on Business US Highway 51 Thursday

 

A rain-slickened highway appeared to have caused an accident in Clinton Thursday afternoon.

 

2 vehicles were involved in an accident at 12:30 Thursday afternoon at Business US Highway 51 at Kleeman Drive.  There were no apparent injuries in the accident that blocked traffic on 51 for a time.

 

Clinton Police handled the accident.

0
comments


Apple n' Pork Helping Local Charity Continue Growth

A Clinton teen's family, who was recently blessed with a service dog for her disability, is hoping the Apple n' Pork Festival can be a catalyst to fulfilling the mission of their formed non-profit.
 
Lukah Case's mother, Andi Case, says they formed the non-profit, Doggone Disabilities to be an avenue for those in need of a service dog to acquire one. She says the vision stemmed from their experience trying to get their dog, Jasper.
 
 
According to Case, the organization is still working to build up to a point where they could provide grants. She explains they just recently got their charity designation and they hope to begin giving out grants this year. 
 
 
Case calls their service dog, Jasper, a 'God-send'. She explains any time Lukah is going to pass out or showing signs of having a seizure, Jasper immediately alerts her and it has helped her avoid fainting spells for prolongued periods of time.
 
 
Case says Lukah is still having seizures but has been without them for about five months. When Jasper alerts Lukah to a seizure, he will climb on top of her rather than just nudge her.
 
To learn more about Doggone Disabilities, visit their Facebook page, you can also find them on Instagram.

0
comments


Bloomington Zoo Planning Trip To Costa Rica

The leader of a Bloomington/Normal attraction is excited to lead a group to Costa Rica this coming winter.
 
Jay Tetzloff is the Superintendent of the Miller Park Zoo of Bloomington and indicates he is leading a group to Costa Rica this winter. He says the rainforest is something he's very passionate about and is hoping to share that passion with others.
 
 
Tetzloff indicates the rain forest of Costa Rica is incredibly diverse. He feels it would be a trip someone would never forget.
 
 
According to Tetzloff, the trip serves two purposes. The first is a great opportunity for those that go along, but he hopes to build a relationship with those that go as well.
 
 
For more information, visit millerparkzoo.org. 

0
comments


Gov. Rauner Gets Flu Shot, Urges Illinoisans To Do Same

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER GOT HIS FLU SHOT THIS WEEK…AND IS URGING ILLINOISANS TO DO THE SAME.
 
PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY GETTING YOUR FLU VACCINATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOUR HEALTH THIS WINTER. GOVERNOR RAUNER AGREES AND WENT AHEAD AND GOT THE SHOT.
 
 
GOVERNOR RAUNER REMINDED THAT GETTING VACCINATED CAN SAVE YOU FROM LOSING TIME AT WORK OR SCHOOL THIS WINTER…OR EVEN WORSE…
 
 
THE FLU SHOT IS RECOMMENDED FOR EVERYONE SIX MONTHS AND OLDER. EXPERTS SAY YOU SHOULD STICK TO THE SHOT...SINCE THE NASAL SPRAY VERSION MAY BE LESS EFFECTIVE THIS YEAR.

0
comments


Trump, Clinton in Illinois This Week

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are stopping in Illinois to raise money for their presidential bids. 
 
Trump was in a Chicago suburb yesterday appearing at a fundraiser in Bolingbrook with former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka and other top Republican donors. 
 
Hillary Clinton will be in Chicago on today for a "Lawyers for Hillary" event.

0
comments


Sen. Manar Continues Push For Automatic Voter Registration

Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day and State Senator Andy Manar used that event to prop up his push for automatic voter registration. 
 
The measure that Manar sponsored was passed by lawmakers in a bi-partisan vote, but Manar says Governor Bruce Rauner reversed a previous stance on the legislation and vetoed it. Manar continues to tout the benefits of automatic registration and he responds to those who believe the legislation paves the way toward vote fraud.
 
 
Manar's legislation would create an opt-out voter registration system instead of the current opt-in system. Under the proposal, eligible Illinois voters would be automatically registered to vote when they visited the Illinois secretary of state and other similar state agencies for services.

0
comments


Edgar Won't Vote For Trump

Former Governor Jim Edgar reveals he won't be voting for Donald Trump for President. 
 
At a Better Government Association event, Edgar wouldn't say if he was voting for Hillary Clinton but he won't punch the ballot for Trump. 
 
Edgar said that Clinton handily won Monday's debate and she looked more Presidential.

0
comments


Kiwanis' Funnel Cakes Always Popular at Apple n' Pork

The Clinton Kiwanis Club's funnel cakes can be smelled for blocks among the many fantastic whiffs you might take in on an Apple n' Pork weekend.
 
The Kiwanis Club targets the youth of the community through their annual funnel cake sales and their President, John Baker says the unseasonable heat didn't seem to slow things this weekend.
 
 
Baker indicates the goal of Kiwanis is to give youth in the community further education opportunities and achievements. 
 
 
The Clinton Kiwanis has two major fundraisers each year, Apple n' Pork and then their reverse raffle. 
 
Kiwanis meets for dinner every two weeks. Baker estimates members give anywhere from four to six hours a month and they are always seeking new memberships.

0
comments


Brady Supports Election Day Ruling

Some election officials are rethinking their plans for November 8th after a federal judge scaled back Election Day voter registration for highly populated areas in Illinois. 
 
Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan's (dehr-YAY'-gehnz) move temporarily blocks wider same-day registration at individual polling places. State Senator Bill Brady weighed in.
 
 
Republican forces who filed suit claimed the extension of same day registration was unconstitutional. 

0
comments


Bloomington Man's Campaign For Congress Suffers Fatal Blow

Bloomington physician David Gill's roller coaster bid to get on the November ballot in the 13th Congressional District has suffered a possible fatal blow. 
 
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is denying Gill's request to face off against incumbent Rodney Davis and Decatur Democrat Mark Wicklund. 
 
Gill appealed to the Supreme Court last week the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked a lower court order to return him to the ballot. Gill is running out of options, but he has at least one more card to play. 
 
He plans to appeal to a different Supreme Court justice, which is allowed under court rules.

0
comments


Congressman Davis Pushing for Pediatric Cancer Research

Congressman Rodney Davis wants Washington to expand investment in pediatric cancer. 
 
Four percent of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) budget goes toward pediatric cancer research and he says that's not enough. It's not the only number that bothers Davis who is still stirred by the memory of a Jerseyville's boy battle with cancer.
 
 
September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

0
comments


With Harvest in Full Swing, Weather Looks Good For Near Future

With harvest moving along rapidly, farmers are hoping for a period of cool dry weather to keep the combines running, and State Climatologist Jim Angel says the next ten days will bring near perfect conditions.
 
 
That takes us through the first week of October.., The rest of the month should be mild, with normal to above normal rainfall, especially in western Illinois.
 
 
Jim Angel with our harvest weather update.

0
comments


Pros, Cons for Earthquake Insurance

We don’t often think of earthquakes in Illinois, but they do happen. 
Not only is the famous New Madrid Fault close to southern Illinois, but there is a Wabash Fault that runs along the Wabash river valley.
 
The New Madrid fault hasn’t produced a major earthquake since 1812, but every now and then someone predicts one. Is this something to worry about?
 
Tim Larson with the State Geological Survey says it depends on where you live.
 
 
Homeowners insurance typically does not cover earthquakes, but a rider can easily be added to your policy at fairly low cost. 

0
comments


No Injuries Reported in Monday Evening Rollover Accident in DeWitt County

A Latham teenager escaped injury Monday night following the rollover of the 1998 Chevrolet vehicle she was driving in DeWitt County. 
 
Just after 6:15 pm Monday night, authorities responded to a vehicle that had overturned near 10653 Osper Road.
 
19-year-old Rebecca Altig of Latham was westbound and failed to negotiate an S corner, leaving the roadway and rolled at least once. 
 
Altig suffered minor injuries but refused treatment. 
 
Altig's vehicle was towed from the scene.
 
No citations were issued and the investigation ongoing.

0
comments


Clinton Fire Department Responds to Two Small Fires Monday

Clinton fire officials were busy Monday. 
 
Clinton Fire crews were called to 721 East North Street in response to a small fire garage just after 2:45 pm Monday afternoon. 
 
Crews report there was a quick response to the small fire on the interior of the garage resulting in only minor damage and personal losses. 
Mutual aid was initially called but later canceled. Wapella Fire Department was on scene as well. 
 
The Illinois Fire Marshall is Investigating. 
 
Later in the evening, fire crews were called to Trinity off US 51 outside of Clinton for an electrical fire just after 5:30 pm.
 
Damage to electrical equipment in the assembly area but thanks to Trinity turning off power, that limited damage and the size of fire by time crews arrived.
 
Mutual aid was called initially but also canceled quickly. 
 
Clinton Fire crews extinguish fire the with Wapella on scene.

0
comments


Clinton Elks Expanding Resources To Make Annual A& P Favorite Work

85-thousand people attended this last year's annual Apple n' Pork Festival, and year after year, the tent set up in front of the carriage barn is stacked with people ready to get their ham and beans.
 
David Killian helped man the ham and beans tent for the Elks Club, who has manned the operation for many years. He indicates the crowds were steady all throughout the weekend despite the heat.
 
 
Killian indicates to get more people involved in the biggest weekend of the year, the Elks has reached out to different groups in recent years for more support.
 
 
Like the dozens of civic organizations that participate in Apple n' Pork weekend, Killian indicates their organization could not do the many things they are able to afford without the Apple n' Pork.
 
 
The ham and beans tent has seven kettles set up cooking at almost all times throughout the weekend. Due to the demand for them, they have set up two tables for people to purchase at. 

0
comments


Allergy Season in Full Swing

With the harvest in full swing in central Illinois, those who suffer from chronic allergies can often loathe this time of year because their allergies become hyper-sensitive.
 
With that in mind, nationally renown pharmacist Dr. David Foreman recommends a couple of natural supplements that can help allergy sufferers. He says butter-bur and nettle are two great supplements to try out during this time of year.
 
 
Getting blood work for regular allergies is always a good idea. Dr. Foreman says something as simple as altering your diet could help out your allergies. 
 
 
Dr. Foreman says it isn't necessary to use both nettle and butter-bur at the same time, he says one or the other should improve the allergy symptoms experienced and associated with this time of the year. 

0
comments


Suspicious Package Found Outside Illinois Supreme Court

The Secretary of State Police Hazardous Device Unit rolled into action in their own back yard over the weekend after a suspicious package was found outside the Illinois Supreme Court, across the street from the Capitol in Springfield. 
 
Henry Haupt with the Secretary of State's office talks about the process of how the elite unit determined the package was not a threat.
 
 
A number of streets around the Capitol and Supreme Court were closed while the unit. 

0
comments


DeWitt Savings Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested

The suspect in the robbery of the July 1st DeWitt Savings Bank robbery has been arrested.
 
Clinton Police have arrested Anthony J. Brown, 32, Bloomington, IL as the suspect responsible. 
 
Brown is currently incarcerated on unrelated charges stemming from an August 18th robbery of the Ascentra Credit Union in Bettendorf, IA. Pursuant their investigation and with the cooperation of assisting law enforcement agencies, Clinton Police were able to substantiate Brown’s involvement in the Dewitt Savings Bank robbery while he was being held in the McLean County Jail on the Iowa bank robbery charges. 
 
Clinton Police have turned their completed investigation over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the Dewitt County State’s Attorney’s Office has deferred prosecution to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Central District of Illinois where a federal indictment is expected. 
 
In a statement released Monday afternoon, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers said quote - “We’re happy to have this investigation behind us with the suspect identified and in custody so that prosecutors can move forward to the next phase. I appreciate the diligent work by our detective and the other assisting agencies that has brought us to this resolution in the case.”  
 
Brown robbed DeWitt Savings bank on July 1
 
Officers learned that the suspect entered the bank, approached a teller station and presented a handwritten note demanding money. 
 
After a brief exchange, the bank employee complied with the suspect's demands and the suspect left the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. 
 
No weapons were displayed during the robbery and no one was injured. 
 
Clinton Police were assisted in the investigation by the Dewitt County Sheriff's Department, Illinois State Police, McLean County Sheriff’s Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation. 
 
All suspects are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.  

0
comments


Clinton Fire Department Introduces Junior Cadet Program

In an effort to get connected with the youth of the community, the Clinton Fire Department has introduced a junior cadet program.
 
Clinton Fire Chief David Dallas says fire fighting has become a young man's game and he hopes to solve some issues with recruiting and retention through the program by reaching out to older high school students.
 
 
Chief Dallas says recruiting and retention has become a big challenge for fire departments across the state and country. He says many fire fighters have full time jobs during the day and sometimes can't make all the calls that come in.
 
 
For the program, junior cadets would do basic tasks like reel line and help maintain the trucks. Chief Dallas says there might be opportunities for training as long as there is not danger involved.
 
 
The program will start out with five cadets. Chief Dallas says that number could increase or remain the same depending on how things go off the start.
 
He indicates they already have a few junior cadets in the program.
 
For information, contact the Clinton Fire Station at 217-935-3712. 

0
comments


Nearly 85,000 Attend 2016 Apple n' Pork Festival

Heat and threats of rain weren't going to keep festival goers from experiencing the 2016 Apple n' Pork Festival. 
 
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates the total attendees from the two days estimates just short of 85-thousand. He says despite the weather, it was a great turnout.
 
 
Director of the DeWitt County Museum Joey Woolridge indicates even when the day was beginning to wind down, there were still people coming onto the grounds and enjoying what was left of the food.
 
 
Warner Hospital and Health Services provided the Homestead Grounds with an air conditioned and shaded resting spot at the corner of Monroe and Woodlawn. Jay Haynes indicates Saturday of the festival that was a popular spot even though they had a hard time keeping it cool.
 
 
The Apple n' Pork Festival is the primary fundraiser for dozens of civic groups across Clinton and DeWitt County. For the YMCA swim team, their baked potato tent is the biggest fundraiser of the year for them and one of their organizers, Darren Moser, says without the yearly festival, they wouldn't be able to give their athletes the opportunities they have.
 
 
From the perspective of Chief Lowers, there were minimal issues in the community all weekend. He says there were some heat related issues with some attendees but overall, the festival once again was just a self-run event without major issues.
 
 
Many vendors were running short on supplies by early-afternoon on Sunday with many of those selling out. Organizers say the measure of a successful Apple n' Pork Festival is more about their vendor sales than attendees.

0
comments


2016 Apple and Pork Day One A Success

Despite the warm and humid weather, the first day of the 48th annual Apple and Pork Festival had a good turnout.
Clinton Police chief Ben Lowers indicates the official approximate number of attendees was 49,770. Lowers said he noticed that the crowd died out a little earlier this year, possibly due to the unseasonable weather.
 
 
Lowers reminds those coming to the festival tomorrow to stay hydrated, take it easy, and try to stay cool.
 
DeWitt County Museum Director Joey Woolridge reports that the museum had an excellent turnout today and hopes the same continues for tomorrow.
 
 
Woolridge indicates that the museum will be open for self guided tours again tomorrow. Free entertainment also continues tomorrow with many acts, including local band Modern Cowboyz.
 
 
Tune in tomorrow for live coverage of the 48th annual Apple and Pork Festival from 11am to 4pm on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC, and online at dewittdailynews.com.

0
comments


Farm Safety for Kids

We should all be aware that farming is a dangerous occupation. In fact, it rates right up there with coal mining and Alaskan commercial fishing. And young people on the farm are especially at risk. 
 
Marsha Salzwedel, with the National Farm Medicine Center reminds us that young people, age 18 and under, often lack the judgement of adults and can easily put themselves at risk.
 
 
Children are on the worksite because a farm is not an ordinary workplace; it is a home and a lifestyle for the entire family. But the fact is that children, working or playing on the farm are at risk. Salzwedel says the number of injuries, many fatal to children on the farm is surprisingly high.
 
That’s about 12,000 debilitating injuries per year, plus over 100 deaths on the farm. 
 
By the way, the number one cause of death and injury to children involves being around, or riding on tractors. 

0
comments


Rep. Mitchell Continues Call For Exelon Legislation

Macon County State Representative Bill Mitchell is ready to go "nuclear" when he looks at the state's employment patterns. 
 
Rep. Mitchell is concerned with an August jobs report that shows the state lost 4400 manufacturing jobs in August, the worst month in that regard since 2009. He says the state shouldn't place it's immediate focus on trying to land new jobs. He wants lawmakers to save jobs connected directly and indirectly to the Clinton nuclear power plant, which is scheduled to close without proposed state incentives.
 
 
Exelon Corporation has announced it plans to close the DeWitt County facility by June 1st, 2017. 

0
comments


Time for Flu Shots

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN…TIME TO MAKE PLANS TO GET YOUR ANNUAL FLU SHOT. 
 
FOR SOME, THE FLU MEANS FEELING CRUMMY AND MISSING A FEW DAYS OF SCHOOL OR WORK. BUT FOR OTHERS, THE FLU CAN BE DEADLY. THAT’S WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO BE IMMUNIZED SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MELANEY ARNOLD. SHE SAYS THIS YEAR…THEY ARE NOT RECOMMENDING PEOPLE GET THE NASAL SPRAY VERSION OF THE VACCINE.
 
THE FLU SEASON IN ILLINOIS TYPICALLY RUNS FROM OCTOBER TO MAY…WITH FLU ACTIVITY PEAKING BETWEEN DECEMBER AND FEBRUARY.

0
comments


Weekly Weather Summary

An unseasonably warm weekend is in store in central Illinois. State Climotologist Jim Angel says next week should be much cooler.
 

0
comments


Hot Apple 'N Pork Weekend In Store

If you're coming out to the Apple 'n Pork Festival this weekend, brace for some above average temperatures.
 
Organizers have been blessed with superb weather for the Apple 'n Pork Festival the last several years but it is expected to be unseasonably warm. Clinton Fire Chief David Dallas encourages attendees to keep cool by drinking plenty of water and wearing light weight clothing.
 
 
The fire department will be roaming the community in gators. Chief Dallas says it allows them better mobility and likely quicker access to anyone who might need medical attention.
 
 
Chief Dallas indicates the types of calls they get varies from year to year. He says it's not uncommon to see rashes of bee stings. Last year they were challenged with falls and anticipates some heat related issues this weekend. 

0
comments


Dale Earnhardt Jr Among Visitors To Springfield Thursday

A crowd gathered outside international agribusiness giant Brandt's Springfield headquarters Thursday to see Nascar legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Riverton native Justain Allgaier of the Xfinity Series. 
 
Earnhardt told the crowd of race fans why Justin is a great fit for his "Jr Motorsports" team and why Brandt is a great fit for him as a sponsor.
 
 
Earnhardt had a stay in school message and it was no cliche. His father, the legendary Intimidator Dale Earnhardt Sr dropped out of school before high school and didn't want his son to follow in his footsteps.
 
 
Allgaier and Earnhardt were joined by two-time Brazilian Porsche series champ Miguel Paludo, whose racecar is also sponsored by Brandt.

0
comments


Less Aggressive US EPA Expected

An official in the George W. Bush administration says he's expecting a 'less aggressive' federal Environmental Protection Agency under the new president -- whomever he or she may be. Bruce Knight served as an Undersecretary of Agriculture for eight years at U-S-D-A and now runs a Washington, D-C-based consulting firm;
 
 
Knight explains there is a need for urban and rural residents to step up and take some action to improve water quality.
 
 
Knight recently moderated a panel discussion in Bloomington on water quality. He believes urban and rural communities and residents can meet the challenge without a lot of additional federal regulation.

0
comments


DeWitt County Board Approves Expenditures

It was a night of quick work for the DeWitt County Board Thursday night.
 
At the monthly meeting, approval of spending and appointments was the only major business at hand.
 
The DeWitt County Highway Department had a project in Rutledge Township approved. Highway Engineer Mark Mathon says a 60-inch diameter culvert is being repaired with concrete cloth on Pine Road.
 
The cost of the concrete cloth was just over $2000.
 
Additionally Thursday night, Mathon's salary was approved. 
 
Finally Thursday evening, the County Clerk requested their office be closed for business that is not election related on election night, November 8. 
 
County Clerk Dana Smith says the office becomes inundated with election business, especially with new regulations passed down from the State of Illinois in recent years.
 
The DeWitt County Board October meeting will include the Fiscal Year 2017 budget being put on file. 

0
comments


City Crews Ready For 80-Thousand Visitors To Clinton

With tens of thousands of visitors set to converge on Clinton this weekend for the Apple n' Pork Festival, City Street crews will likely be in the background, but without their preparation, the fluid circulation of the traffic and people through the community likely wouldn't be possible.
 
Public Works Director Steve Lobb indicates street closures will start around 6 am Saturday morning and go until the close of the festival each day, approximately 5 pm.
 
 
For motorists coming into the community, Lobb indicates things will be slow. He says with that many people coming into the community, drivers will have to have patience if they are going to use some of the main roads or the square in Clinton.
 
 
Be sure to tune in to The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com for live coverage from this weekend's festival in Clinton.

0
comments


Deer Starting To Emerge As Harvest Gets Underway

With the start of the harvest season in central Illinois, not only will slow implements be on the road but so too might be deer, which can be a major hazard to drivers at any spot.
 
With the harvest all but in full swing, deer sitings will increase, especially if you're traveling on rural roads. With that in mind, local authorities are reminding motorists to take it slow in rural areas and be aware that deer can pop out at any location, at any time.
 
 
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers reminds motorists to still be mindful of the large machinery out for the harvest. He indicates those implements aren't going to go fast at all and everyone needs to be aware of them.
 
 
Chief Lowers says both motorists and farmers need to put the cell phones down while on the road. He says distracted driving has become a major problem the cell phone is the number one culprit. 

0
comments


Sen. Rose Excited About Developing Lab in Champaign

Earlier this month, State Senator Chapin Rose was excited to help introduce the beginnings of what could be ground breaking industry in Illinois.
 
The State of Illinois approved an investment into the Bioprocessing Research Lab, or IBLR, at hte University of Illinois. Sen. Rose indicates this will create up to 20-thousand jobs in the state and would impact almost every area of central Illinois.
 
 
Sen. Rose says the rich, fertile farm ground of DeWitt and Piatt Counties is giong to be vital in this new operation.
 
 
While the lab in Champaign is still under construction, he says the industry and job growth locally should happen gradually over the next decade. 

0
comments


DNR Fire Crews Helped Fight Fires in Montana

A group of fire fighters being dispatched to a help in the case of a disaster is fairly common. 
 
But this time an Illinois group of wildfire experts was deployed to Montana to assist with wildfires out west. The Illinois Wildland Crew was gone for 2 weeks to work the fire lines. 
 
Tim Schweizer from the Department of Natural Resources says the team receives top notch training.
 
 
Big sky country isn’t the first place the team has been deployed, they have assisted in fires in Minnesota, Georgia and Arizona. 

0
comments


Landowners Encouraged To Watch Out For EHD

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IS URGING HUNTERS AND LANDOWNERS TO REPORT SUSPECTED CASES OF E-H-D IN DEER.
 
EPIZOOTIC HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE, OR E-H-D IS A VIRAL DISEASE THAT CAN KILL WHITE TAILED DEER. THERE HAVE BEEN 53 SUSPECTED CASES IN ILLINOIS SO FAR THIS YEAR SAYS D-N-R SPOKESPERSON TIM SCHWEIZER.
 
 
SCHWEIZER SAYS IF YOU SEE ONE…YOU SHOULD REPORT IT TO THE AGENCY.
 
 
THE VIRUS IS TRANSMITTED BETWEEN DEER BY A BUG THAT HATCHES FROM MUDDY AREAS ALONG LAKES, PONDS AND STREAMS.

0
comments


Gov. Rauner's IT Agency Paying Off

Governor Rauner says creation of the new agency designed to boost state government's effectiveness online has paid off. 
 
A few months after the launch of the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology, Rauner says the effort to streamline information technology has paid off.
 
 
Rauner launched the new agency, noting that some state agencies were working with 40-year-old computer technology. He said that inefficiency wasted taxpayer money. 

0
comments


Student Admission Fees To Be Waived For Sporting Events

The Clinton Board of Education Tuesday night approved waiving admission costs for students to attend sporting events.
 
Superintendent Curt Nettles says the district would not lose that much revenue by waiving the $2 cost and hopes it might increase student attendance and school spirit.
 
 
The proposal has been considered in the past but has never been acted on.
 
Nettles indicates there could be IESA and IHSA sanctioned events that would require admission fees, and administrators would work to inform students of those specific instances.

0
comments


Clinton Schools Enrollment Slightly Down

Compared to last year, enrollment in Clinton Schools is slightly down.
 
Superintendent Curt Nettles says that isn't cause for concern because of a large senior class last year. He notes, with larger class sizes in the lower levels, he anticipates enrollment numbers fluctuating over the next several years.
 
 
There was no other action from the Tuesday night School Board meeting, however, it was announced petitions for the Board of Education are now available.
 
There are three seats up for election in the spring 2017 election cycle. 

0
comments


DeWitt County Museum Preparing for Annual Festival This Weekend

The busiest weekend of the year is upon us on Clinton and the organization who is behind the Apple n' Pork Festival is ready for the big weekend. 
 
The 48th annual Apple & Pork Festival gets underway this weekend and DeWitt County Museum Director Joey Woolridge indicates the proceeds from this year's festival will go towards the continued maintenance of the C.H. Moore Homestead.
 
 
The Apple & Pork Festival, which brings in 80,000-plus people annually into the town of Clinton, is a major source of funding for many local non-profit organizations. Woolridge indicates along with the popular non-profit food booths there are some new additions this year.
 
 
Free entertainment on the museum grounds is once again provided thanks to contributions from Exelon. Woolridge says Modern Cowboyz will be performing along with returning acts from past years.
 
 
The Apple & Pork festival is Saturday, September 24 through Sunday, September 25. For musical schedules and more information  you can visit the museum Facebook page, go to their website www.chmoorehomestead.org, or call (217) 935-6066.
 
Tune in to the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com for live coverage of the festival Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday 11am to 4pm.

0
comments


Fall Should Be Warm

The late heat wave in September has continued through this week in most of Illinois and it looks to continue through the weekend and even into next month. 
 
State Climatologist Jim Angel says that right now it looks like October will be must like this month.
 
 
Angel says that a possible return of La Nina could show the bulk of winter could be cold and stormy but without it we just might dodge a nasty winter.

0
comments


Local Authorities Gearing Up For Apple N' Pork

The biggest weekend for Clinton and DeWitt County is here and local authorities are gearing up for the city to duodecuple in size.
 
Between 80 and 100-thousand guests are expected to converge on Clinton, Illinois this Saturday and Sunday for the annual Apple and Pork Festival. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says this one weekend will allow so many groups to operate throughout the entire year.
 
 
Chief Lowers says the biggest challenge facing Clinton Police that weekend is the traffic congestion. He says Business 51 comes to a very big slow down if that is route you chose to take to get into Clinton. He calls it a calm crowd overall though. 
 
 
The complaints and responses are generally minor in nature. Chief Lowers says parking issues or keys being locked in the car are the most common calls they receive.
 
 
Chief Lowers reminds attendees pets are not allowed on the Homestead grounds, something local law enforcement officials will be keeping close tabs on this year.

0
comments


Local Authorities Promoting Harvest Safety

It may only be mid-September, but the harvest is in full swing and local authorities are beginning their push to inform the public of safety measures that they should keep in mind with increased implements in the area.
 
DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner says central Illinois residents shouldn't be surprised to see the farm equipment rolling and hopes motorists first, slow down, but also give those implements plenty of space.
 
 
Sheriff Shofner encourages farmers to put their cell phones away when on the road ways, advice he gives for all motorists. 
 
Additionally, the Sheriff reminds motorists farm implements are not going to get going fast, so it is important to give yourself plenty of time when driving rural roads this fall. 

0
comments


Weekly Crop Report

HERE’S THE LATEST ON ILLINOIS FARM FIELDS AND PRODUCTION AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
 
WITH FIVE DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK…CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS CORN HARVESTING ADVANCED TO NINE PERCENT COMPLETE.
 
 
70 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE TURNING COLOR AND 31 PERCENT ARE DROPPING LEAVINGS. 
 
 
FOUR PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN HARVESTED AND THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 95 PERCENT COMPLETE. 
 
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS NOW RATED AT ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT…TWO PERCENT SHORT…79 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 18 PERCENT SURPLUS.

0
comments


November Election More Than Race For White House

As usual during a presidential election year, the race for the White House is getting nearly all the media attention, but David Yepsen, Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU says, with all the economic issues in Illinois, we all should be paying attention to the statehouse races.. 
 
While the Governor is not up for election, and House Speaker Madigan is in a very safe district, small changes in party representation can make a big difference for either party.
 
 
Yepsen says the way we draw statehouse districts in Illinois puts most members in safe districts with little chance of losing a general election, and is hopeful that the Fair Map Amendment, or a similar non-partisan redistricting plan, can be put in place before the 2020 census comes out which is when the next round of redistricting will be conducted.
 
Meanwhile, says Yepsen, too many people go to the polls knowing their choice for President, but pay too little attention to the myriad of down ballot races. He suggests getting a sample ballot, and looking at the positions off all candidates in order to be an informed voter in November. 
 
 
Their research and polling results on Illinois political and economic issues are available at PaulSimonInstitute.org.

0
comments


No Credidible Threats To Illinois After New York, New Jersey Incidents

IN THE WAKE OF THIS WEEKEND’S BOMBINGS IN NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY…GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER IS REMINDING ILLINOISANS TO REMAIN VIGILANT. 
 
GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS STATE OFFICIALS ARE IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH FEDERAL AUTHORITIES TO ENSURE SAFETY HERE IN ILLINOIS AND TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH POTENTIAL PROBLEMS.
 
 
GOVERNOR RAUNER WAS SPEAKING AT THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BOMB TECHNICIANS AND INVESTIGATORS CONFERENCE IN SPRINGFIELD.

0
comments


Illinois Supreme Court Picks New Chief Justice

The Illinois Supreme Court has picked its new leader. 
 
Justice Lloyd Karmeier has been tabbed by his colleagues to take over as Chief Justice effective October 26th. 
 
The court's choice was uninamous. 
 
Karmeier will serve a three year term. He succeeds Justice Rita Garman.

0
comments


Illinois Authorities Meet Over New York, New Jersey Incidents

Hidden explosives and crude bombs loaded with bbs to maximize terror have the New York metro area on edge. 
 
While the works of bomb squads are drawing great attention in the New York/New Jersey area, some of their colleagues are meeting in Springfield. 
 
The International Association of Bomb Technicians & Investigators conference has kicked off in Springfield. The Secretary of State's Police has been known for its bomb squad ever since the unit was formed in the mid 70s. 
 
Secretary of State Police Director Sydney Roberts continues to be impressed with the work of the squad.
 
 
Police and first responders from around the Midwest and even some from outside the US are taking part in the conference.

0
comments


Worn Clinton Rail Crossings Being Repaired

If you're a resident in Clinton, the rail crossings at Washington and Main Streets have long been in need of repair.
 
The repairs are underway and the hope is the work will be complete by the end of the month. Public Works Director for the City of Clinton Steve Lobb says the work is being taken care of by the rail line company.
 
 
Lobb indicates the work will involve the company removing the rails from the ground and doing a total repair job.
 
He indicates there is slight detour for the time being, but it is just one block.
 
Lobb also hopes, barring any weather setbacks, the roads are reopened and totally repaired by the end of the month. 

0
comments


Weldon Man Arrested in Connection With Meth Lab

On Monday September 12, as the result of a Task Force 6 (TF6) investigation, DeWitt County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Zachariah Wikoff, 37 of Weldon, Illinois on a warrant and was charged on several methamphetamine offenses that are Class 1, 2, and 3 felonies.  
 
Wikoff's home in Weldon was raided September 2 where illegal drugs used in the production of meth were seized and a homemade explosive was found.
 
Bomb techs from the University of Illinois were called to investigate and disarm the device in the home. 
 
Wickoff is incarcerated in the DeWitt County jail on $30,000 / 10 percent bond.  If convicted, these Felonies range from probation up to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

0
comments


DNR Officials Promoting Tree Stand Safety

Ahead of the upcoming hunting season, Department of Natural Resources officials are encouraging hunters to include checking their tree stands in the scouting. 
 
DNR Conservation Officer John Williamson says the number one issue they deal with during the hunting season is tree stands that fail hunters and end up injuring them. He is encouraging hunters to get out and check those tree stands in advance.
 
 
Hunters that have the back up safety harnesses for their stands need to make sure those are in working order as well. Williamson says they have seen cases where the harnesses have failed hunters and in some cases hunters have been found dead from the blood being cut off because of the pressure from those.
 
 
Additionally, Williamson says it is not uncommon to have a hunter's stand stolen. He recommends taking that stand down and then re-mounting it the next year. That can be a good practice for a couple reasons.
 
 
Some County's will offer hunters the opportunity to register their tree stands locally. Williamson notes the State had a similar program and also encourages hunters to take note of any special engravings or markings on the tree stand in the event it is stolen. 

0
comments


Community Action Researching New Program

A local non-profit is working on a new program that will help workers find good jobs.
 
Community Action is working on a new career ready program titled Strengthening Working Families. Executive director Alison Rumler-Gomez indicates the program is working to bridge the gap between the needs of the community and the needs of local employers.
 
 
The Strengthening Working Families program is an extension of the already existing Jobs for Life Program. Rumler-Gomez says Jobs for Life teaches disciplines and financial literacy associated with being an employee.
 
 
In addition to Jobs for Life, Community Action's Career Pathways is a part of the Strengthening Working Families program. Rumler-Gomez explains that is not well known but helps to establish workers in fields of need.
 
 
To get the program going, Community Action is seeking out funding from local entities. They do not have a firm start date established. 

0
comments


Goveror Praises FARM Group

As the state prepares for what could be a near record corn harvest and a bean harvest that is expected to set records groups from all over the states biggest business, agriculture met with the Governor. 
 
FARM Illinois is a made up of a number of ag interests from around the state. Governor Bruce Rauner says that the group should be commended on putting together groups of production agriculture and food processing business to see how they can help each other grow. 
 
 
Rauner says he’s hearing about possible record harvests this year for Illinois farmers. And he wants to see how it impacts already depressed prices. 

0
comments


Governor's Veterans Day A Hit

Saturday turned out to be a great day to be outside in central Illinois and the weather was enjoyed by many at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. 
 
Governor Bruce and First Lady Diana Rauner hosted current and former members of the military for a day of appreciation. 
 
 
The day included plenty of cookout food, games for kids and adults with a video game truck parked outside for everyone to enjoy. The event was sponsored and no state funding was used. 

0
comments


Clarity Coming About Former Republican House Member's Resignationdd

A quick resignation this summer from a top Republican in the Illinois House drew plenty of attention and now a little more is known about the reasons behind the decision. 
 
Republican Ron Sandack says he got wrapped up in “inappropriate online conversations” with a woman overseas and that he wound up being extorted and wired her money. 
 
Sandack, married and a father of two, says he was “lured” into the online conversations that include a call on Skype. 
 
The one time floor leader didn’t say how much money he wired to the Philippines for the women.

0
comments


Weekly Weather Summary

This past week has seen warmer weather with widespread rains. Right now we are currently between the event of El Nino and La Nina. State Climatologist Jim Angel has more...
 

0
comments


48th Annual Apple & Pork At St. John the Baptist Parish Hall

St. John the Baptist Parish Hall will host vendors for the 48th annual Apple and Pork Festival on Saturday September 24, and Sunday September 25. 
 
Vendors include "Tasty Treats" homemade bakery items, "Forever Fashion" American Doll clothing, and Crafton Custom Creation's metalwork signs and other various craft items.
 
Mamma D's Smokehouse BBQ and Mountain Dew Apple Turnovers will once again be offered. 
 
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church would like to remind festival attendees that they are the only craft site available with indoor restrooms. They also have plenty of seating in the Hall for eating in comfort.
 
The Hall will be open to festival attendees from 9am to 5pm both days.

0
comments


Texas Christian Church Hosting Illinois Sacred Harp Convention

Texas Christian Church is hosting the 32nd Illinois Sacred Harp Convention from 9:30am to 3:00pm Saturday, September 17.
 
Singers from all over the Midwest will gather to recreate the unique 4 part a capella harmonies of shape note singing at the convention.
 
The Sacred Harp is the most widespread shape-note tune book still in use and has given its name to this group of singers. No attempt of formal instruction will be made at the convention and a bountiful "dinner on the ground" will be served at midday.
 
The event is free and open to the public. Signs at the intersection of Little Galilee Rd. and U.S. 51 eleven miles north of Decatur, will direct you to the sing. Loaner books are provided and listeners and learners are welcome. Visitors may stay as little or as much as they wish. For more information contact Terry Hogg at 217-358-8255.

0
comments


Above Average Temperatures This Fall and Winter in Illinois

 
ACCORDING TO THE LATEST LONG RANGE FORECAST FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE…ILLINOIS MAY BE ENJOYING ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FALL AND WINTER. 
 
EVERY MONTH THIS YEAR EXCEPT MAY HAS BEEN WARMER THAN NORMAL…SO THE FORECAST ISN’T A BIG SURPRISE SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL. HE DETAILS WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE PREDICTING.
 
STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL SAYS THERE’S AN INCREASED CHANCE OF A WARMER THAN NORMAL OCTOBER, NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER THIS YEAR.
 
 
EVERY MONTH OF 2016 EXCEPT MAY HAS BEEN WARMER THAN NORMAL. ANGEL SAYS THERE CURRENTLY A 55 TO 60 PERCENT CHANGE OF LA NINA MAKING IT’S WAY TO ILLINOIS THIS FALL OR WINTER AND POTENTIALLY BRINGING ABOVE AVERAGE SNOWFALL.

0
comments


Local Authorities Celebrating Safe Year At Clinton Lake

Local authorities say the 2016 boating season at Clinton Lake was one of the safest they've seen in recent memory.
 
John Williamson, DNR Conservation Police Officer says the heavy boating season has wrapped up and feels it was a very safe year at Clinton Lake. He attributes that to their enforcement in years past and emphasis on drunken operators.
 
 
Even though the heavy boating season might be over, it may not completely wrap up until October. Williamson says you get some nice weekends in September or October and there will likely be boats out on the water. 

0
comments


Chamber Hosting Pokemon Go Event on Clinton Square Saturday

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is among several local businesses hosting a Pokemon Go event this Saturday on the downtown Clinton Square.
 
The Chamber is winding down Chamber Week in Illinois and is excited about their event to conclude the week on Saturday. Executive Director Marian Brisard says Wireless Mike's and the Clintonia Eagle Theater will have prizes available and the Haunted will be serving up food.
 
 
Brisard indicates the game is played by placing lures to attract Pokemon and testing your skills in battles in gyms. For those new to Pokemon or interested in joining the fun, the event might be a good opportunity to learn from experienced players.
 
 
The Pokemon Go event on the square kicks off at 7 pm and goes until 10 pm.
 
For further details visit clintonilchamber.com or contact the Chamber at 217-935-3364. 

0
comments


Illinois Unemployment Down In August

THE STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FELL LAST MONTH BUT OFFICIALS WITH THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SAY THAT’S MOSTLY DUE TO ANOTHER DECLINE IN THE LABOR FORCE. 
 
THE AUGUST JOBLESS RATE CAME IN AT FIVE POINT FIVE PERCENT…A SLIGHT DROP FROM THE FIVE POINT EIGHT PERCENT POSTED IN JULY. I-D-E-S SPOKESPERSON BOB GOUGH (goff) SAYS THE IMPROVEMENT IS LARGELY BECAUSE LESS PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR WORK. 
 
 
 
HE NOTES THE STATE LOST MORE THAN EIGHT THOUSAND JOBS IN AUGUST…WITH MANUFACTURING TAKING THE BIGGEST HIT.
 
 
THE BIGGEST JOB GROWTH WAS SEEN IN THE LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY…WHICH GOUGH SAYS IS PRETTY TYPICAL DURING THE SUMMER.

0
comments


Durbin Continues Push For Supreme Court Nominee

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin met with Illinois native and Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland about the status of his nomination. 
 
Durbin calls the lack of a hearing unprecedented obstruction. He also believes the election can do little to help.
 
 
Garland was nominated 182 days ago, the longest any Supreme Court nominee has awaited consideration.

0
comments


Marketing Specialty Crops

Illinois produces a lot more than corn and soybeans. Illinois farmers produce a wide variety of specialty crops apples to zucchini, specialty meats, honey, wine and everything between. But, producing is only a part of running a profitable specialty crop business. Marketing is the key to success. Cynthia Haskins, FB’s manager of Business Development says you can’t just take a truckload of fresh produce to the grocery store and hope they will buy it.
 
 
To help producers find out who the serious buyers of specialty products are, Haskins has put together nearly thirty ‘meet the buyers’ events in recent years. The next ‘meet the buyers’ event is coming up October 10th in St Louis. Farmers who attend will learn marketing tips, and actually have a chance to talk with a host of buyers including grocery chains, restaurants, and food wholesalers from the St Louis area. You can register on line.
 
 
A lot of farmers are seeing big profits from small acreage, but to be successful, putting together a solid marketing plan is essential.

0
comments


Warner Hospital and Health Services Health Fair A Success

The Warner Hospital and Health Services hosted its annual community health fair tonight. With food, vendors, prizes, and a raffle, event organizer Nick Rousseau indicated the night was a success.
 
 
The hospital's new renovations were also on display. Hospital board president Aaron Kameyer was happy to utilize the event to showcase the new renovations.
 
 
Clinton police chief Ben Lowers says the hospital is a great addition to the community. He hopes the community is aware of the services the hospital offers. Lowers also indicates that the police utilize the hospital almost on a daily basis.
 
 
The next big event for the hospital is the third annual Swifty Swine 5K on September 24 at 8 am.
 
For more information visit their facebook page or warnerhospital.org.

0
comments


New Save-A-Lot Building Taking Shape

The new Save-A-Lot building at Washington and Monroe Streets in Clinton, is taking shape.  Roof beams are being installed, with the crane being provided by AAK Mechnical of Clinton.

Store owner Dave Jackson hopes to be open in this new 19,000 square foot building by late fall.  This building will replace their existing long-time location on North Center.

The floor is complete and is being prepped for further work.

0
comments


Clinton Dairy Queen Remodeling Continues

The Clinton Dairy Queen remodeling continues.  A new stone facade' is being added to the front of the building, as part of the building's facelift.

The restaurant continues to be open during the remodeling process.

0
comments


Friendship Center Receives Grant From AT&T

The DeWitt County Friendship Center was awarded with a grant worth $2000 from AT&T.
 
Picture Right: Chris Warwick (left) with AT&T Illinois and Friendship Center Executive Director Sissy Leggett (left)
 
Friendship Center Executive Director Sissy Leggett says the grant highlights organizations making a difference in their communities around Illinois. She says State Representative Bill Mitchell nominated the Center for the grant.
 
 
The money will be earmarked to help continue several programs. The programs were not in jeopardy of going away but Leggett indicates it will go towards programs like the annual fan drive and their transportation budgets for their trips.
 
 
Leggett says grants like the AT&T grant and many others are very beneficial and allow the Friendship Center to be there for the County's senior citizens.
 
 
Leggett thanks Bill Mitchell for thinking of the Center for the grant. She calls him a great supporter of the many things they do.
 
She also thanks Chris Warwick with AT&T Illinois. 

0
comments


Rail Safety Week in Illinois

It's Rail Safety Week in Illinois and since Clinton was once a central rail hub in Illinois, local authorities are taking time to promote rail safety locally.
 
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says there are families that are still rooted in Clinton thanks to the impact the railroad once had in Illinois. He says even though the railroad industry has left Clinton, rail lines still run through town, impacting the community.
 
 
Rail lines are considered private property and Chief Lowers says sometimes it is a little known fact. He says honoring the fact those lines are private property needs to be respected.
 
 
Awareness is also a big talking point for rail safety week. Chief Lowers says a lot of people will often get used to not seeing trains at crossings close to home. He encourages motorists to take an extra second and double-check, just to make sure.
 
 
Chief Lowers points out they will be keeping a close eye on motorists obeying traffic signals, certain vehicles honoring stopping when they are supposed to because of cargo they are hauling and making sure pedestrians are not walking on or along rail lines. 

0
comments


Social Security Promoting Early Retirement Planning

Retirement is always a big talking point with representatives from Social Security, and one of the points of emphasis for them is starting the retirement planning process as early as possible.
 
Jack Myers with Social Security in Springfield says it's never too early to start planning for your post-working years. He explains getting the process started of setting money aside as early as possible will only be a good thing.
 
 
Myers finds many people believe they will be able to rely on Social Security through their retirement years, however, he says that is not the case. While Social Security will, and should, be a part of your retirement planning, that should not be the only income you have.
 
 
According to Myers, taking advantage of employer offered 401K matching contributions can be a huge starting point if that is offered in your workplace. He says not taking advantage of that is essentially leaving a raise on the table.
 
 
There's several resources to visit to learn more about retirement planning.
 
Myers says a good place to start is the government website, mymoney.gov.
 
He says for someone interested in starting their own 401K, you can visit myra.gov. 
 
He notes, those resources are not related to Social Security and are free to use. 

0
comments


Rodriguez Wants Multiple Debates With LaHood

Democratic congressional candidate Junius Rodriguez is trying to take up more space on the political radar screen in his battle with incumbent Congressman Darin LaHood. 
 
The Eureka College history professor is calling on LaHood to agree to a series of four debates before the November election. 
 
LaHood officials say he has taken part in seven forums and debates in 15 months and he is very interested in taking part in a debate. 
 
It's now a matter of working out conflicts and finding the right debate format. 

0
comments


Agribusiness Mergers Becoming A Concern

We continue to see more mergers and acquisitions in the ag industry resulting in bigger, but fewer companies serving farmers. 
 
Just this week we see the Canadian companies, Potash Corp and Agrium, announcing a merger which will make the new company the dominant player in the fertilizer industry. 
 
Meanwhile German based Bayer is buying Monsanto. 
 
Jean Payne, President of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association says the cost of bringing new seed and chemical products to market is driving the consolidation.
 
 
But are these mega mergers good for the farmer? They will give the companies the needed size and capital to innovate new products, but will they control so much of the market that competition is stifled?
 
 
Both of these mergers will need approval by the US, European and in the case of the fertilizer merger Canadian approval before moving ahead. The question facing the regulators is whether or not these mergers trigger anti-trust laws.

0
comments


Tuskegee Airman Display In Central Illinois

Some legendary men who could be described as the Jackie Robinsons of the military are being honored this week with a traveling exhibit. 
 
A portable museum honoring the Tuskeegee Airmen arrived earlier this week at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. 
 
The Airmen were African American pilots who excelled in times of a deeply segregated military during World War II. 
 
The museum on wheels is contained in a 53 foot long tractor trailer. The traveling exhibit will be near Horizon Aviation at the airport through Saturday. 
 
Public hours are: Wednesday, 2:30 to 5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 3 to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

0
comments


Local Leaders Praise Final Concert of Season

Up and coming country performer Tara Thompson was on the Clinton Square Saturday night and her performance is being proclaimed as another success.
 
Other than the evening being a little chilly, the night could not have gone better. That's according to Tim Followell, Clinton City Administrator. He says once again there were minimal complaints for another great performer.
 
 
The Clinton High School Class of 1982 served up pork chop sandwiches and walking tacos and Snappers served up some alcoholic beverages for those in attendance. Followell says because Snappers has been a great partner through the concert season, they allowed them to keep the proceeds from their sales.
 
 
This was the first year in a series of concerts on a renovated Clinton Square from a couple years ago. Followell says in the first year, things went as well as they could ask and felt a lot of their concerns were put to rest.
 
 
Followell says there was a lot happening in central Illinois with the Kenney Fall Festival, JFL had several games Saturday and there was University of Illinois home football game Saturday night as well.

0
comments


Local School District Looking to Become More Efficient

In an effort to find a way to be more energy efficient, a local district has applied for a grant that would help them in that effort.
 
Warrensburg-Latham Schools are seeking out a grant through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle is Superintendent of Warrensburg-Latham schools and indicates the work they are targeting would save them around $83-thousand.
 
 
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle indicates the grant could ultimately be worth just short of  $150-thousand, which would allow them to continue to save long term, and put more into their classrooms.
 
 
The district hopes to hear from the DCEO very soon. 

0
comments


Illinois Supreme Court Says No To Fair Maps

A final blow to the Rauner Administration today from the Illinois Supreme Court as the court denied a final request to reconsider the question about how legislative maps are drawn and if voters should have a say in the process. 
 
Earlier this summer the Independent Maps push was ruled unconstitutional by the court. After the decision the court was asked to rehear the arguments and they ruled 4-3 not to. 
 
The Fair Maps coalition had more than half a million signatures to get it on the fall ballot and Governor Bruce Rauner has pushed for redistricting reform since his election bid. 

0
comments


Warner Hospital and Health Services Hosting Annual Health Fair

Warner Hospital and Health Services will host their annual health fair this Thursday in the parking lot of their facility.
 
CEO Paul Skowron indicates the health fair will feature area providers with information available along with Warner Hospital having information about their services. 
 
 
Skowron says the community's health is a top priority for Warner Hospital and Health Services. He also adds it will be a chance to get a glimpse of the changes they've made to the facility.
 
 
 
The Warner Hospital and Health Services Health Fair is from 5 pm to 7 pm Thursday night in the Warner Hospital parking lot.
 
Hear live updates from the Health Fair on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com from 4 pm to 7 pm Thursday evening. 

0
comments


Clinton YMCA Adds Health Consultant

To better promote community health and wellness, a local non-profit organization is utilizing special training done by one of their staffers.
 
The Clinton YMCA has added a health and wellness consultant. Executive Director Rennie Cluver says the person was already on staff but some training she participated in allowed her to expand her role.
 
 
Cluver indicates this program could a great benefit to a lot of people. He explains it will be a way to individualize work out routines and target programs that will fit each individual.
 
 
Cluver feels a lot of times individuals are told they need to lose weight or eat healthier but they don’t' know how to attack that challenge. He hopes this is a resource for people to live healthier lives.
 
 
To learn more about talking with the YMCA's health consultant, contact them at 217-935-8307 or stop in to their location on Alexander Street at 417 South Alexander in Clinton. 

0
comments


Weekly Crop Report

WET WEATHER SLOWED FIELDWORK AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
 
ON AVERAGE ILLINOIS RECEIVED MORE THAN AN INCH ABOVE RAINFALL THIS PAST WEEK. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSNER SAYS CORN HARVEST ONLY ADVANCED TO THREE PERCENT COMPLETE BECAUSE OF THE RAIN.
 
 
50 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE TURNING COLOR AND 14 PERCENT ARE DROPPING LEAVES. 
 
 
36 PERCENT OF SORGHUM IS MATURE AND THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 92 PERCENT COMPLETE. 
 
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STANDS AT ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT…TWO PERCENT SHORT…82 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 15 PERCENT SURPLUS.

0
comments


Time To Start Thinking Harvest Safety

Harvest season is beginning, and that means farmers and everyone who travels in farm country needs to be extra alert as this is the most dangerous time of year. 

 
The number one safety issue for farmers remains tractor roll-overs, but collisions on the road with automobiles is a close second, according to Dave Newcomb with the Illinois Fire Service Institute.
 
 
The Fire Service Institute, based at the U of I in Champaign, trains full time and volunteer firemen across the state. Newcomb says actual firefighting has become a small part of the job, as most of the work involves being first responders for emergencies. Newcomb adds a big part of the training for first responders in rural areas involves issues related to farming.
 
 
Dave Newcomb is with the Illinois Fire Service Institute. 

0
comments


Governor Rauner Discusses Japan's Importance To Illinois

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER ATTENDED THE ANNUAL MIDWEST-U-S JAPAN ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE TODAY (MONDAY) AND SAYS ILLINOIS’ ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP WITH JAPAN HAS NEVER BEEN STRONGER.
 
THE CONFERENCE BRINGS TOGETHER GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS LEADERS FROM THE MIDWEST AND JAPAN TO DISCUSS WAYS TO STRENGTHEN THE BOND BETWEEN BOTH AREAS. GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS JAPAN IS ONE OF ILLINOIS’ MOST IMPORTANT ECONOMIC PARTNERS.
 
 
ILLINOIS IS ALSO THE FOURTH LARGEST EXPORTER TO JAPAN.
 
 
THE CONFERENCE TAKES PLACE EACH YEAR AND AIMS TO BRING TOGETHER BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT LEADERS FROM THE MIDWEST AND JAPAN TO FURTHER STRENGTHEN TIES BETWEEN THE TWO AREAS.

0
comments


New Legal Guidelines Released For Veterans, Service Members

A NEW GUIDE FROM ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN’S OFFICE OUTLINES ALL THE LEGAL RIGHTS DUE TO ILLINOIS SERVICE MEMBERS AND VETERANS.
 
THE “LEGAL RIGHTS OF ILLINOIS SERVICE MEMBERS” GUIDE DETAILS NEW AND UPDATED LAWS BENEFITING SOLDIERS AND VETS SAYS ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN.
 
 
MADIGAN SAYS THE “LEGAL RIGHTS OF ILLINOIS SERVICE MEMBERS” DETAILS STATE LAWS THAT HELP MILITARY AND VETS SUCH AS A REAL ESTATE PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION AND VETERANS EMPLOYMENT PREFERENCE. ADDITIONALLY…
 
 
THE GUIDE IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL DOT GOV OR YOU CAN CALL A SPECIAL HOTLINE FOR MILITARY AND VETS AT 1-800-382-3000.

0
comments


Clinton Chamber Excited For Chamber Week

It's Chamber Week in Illinois and while it is a yearly event, the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce is somewhat selective in when they celebrate it.
 
Executive Director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard explains the Chamber is important because it is a one stop shop for what is happening in a community.
 
 
 
Brisard feels the Clinton Chamber is able to provide the community a great service and stay afloat at the same time because of the many great events they organize throughout the year.
 
 
This year, Chamber leaders are excited about Chamber Week because of a couple of events to conclude the week. Brisard indicates they are hosting a Pokemon Go event on the square Saturday night. 
 
 
The Pokemon Go will have plenty of food, drinks and giveaways starting at 7 pm.
 
Tune in to Regional Radio News later this week to learn more about their Pokemon Go event.

0
comments


Community Action Taking Applications for LIHEAP

Low income and disabled residents are encouraged to apply for energy assistance through Community Action.
 
The annual LIHEAP program is an energy assistance program that is funded through grants from the State of Illinois. Alison Rumler-Gomez indicates this time of year is crazy at Community Action because they are taking applications. She indicates unlike last year, this year the grant for the program is being funded.
 
 
Rumler-Gomez is the Community Action Executive Director and indicates those who have applied for funding in the past have had their application processed and then received a check in the mail, but that has changed recently. Now applicants have an intake worker they talk to about what programming could be available to them at Community Action.
 
 
Community Action workers have found a lot of applicants are interested in what Community Action offers, and the programming is free. Rumler-Gomez says it's encouraging people want to take an initiative and better their lives.
 
 
To get more information about LIHEAP and to fill out an application, visit your local office or contact their corporate office in Lincoln at 217-732-2159 or visit capcil.info. 

0
comments


Rauner Not Budging On Presidential Race Stance

Governor Bruce Rauner continues to pledge to stay on the sidelines as the race for President moves toward its final weeks. 
 
He is shooting down speculation that he's ready to throw his support to Republican nominee Donald Trump.
 
 
Rauner meanwhile continues to offer his enthusiastic support to US Senator Mark Kirk in his race for re-election.

0
comments


LaHood Honors Olympian Held in House

Congressman Darin LaHood is joining the chorus of Central Illinois leaders praising Springfield swimmer Ryan Held after his gold medal performance in last summer's Rio Olympics.
 
 
Last Friday, Governor Bruce Rauner declared it Ryan Held Day in Illinois.

0
comments


Weekly Weather Summary

A wet finish to the week should give way to very seasonable weather this weekend and as we head into next week.
 

0
comments


U. S. Court of Appeals Takes David Gill Off November Ballot in 13th Congressional District Race

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Friday granted a stay to U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough’s preliminary injunction which had prevented the Illinois State Board of Elections from removing Dr. David Gill’s name from this November’s ballot. The stay was granted at the request of the Board of Elections and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.  The decision of the Court of Appeals, if allowed to stand, effectively prevents Gill from running for Illinois’ 13th District U.S. House seat as an Independent.

Gill and his team of circulators collected more than 11,300 petition signatures in 90 days this spring in an effort to gain ballot access. After the Democratic candidate and a representative of the Republican Congressman filed objections to Gill’s petition, the State Board of Elections determined that Gill only had 8593 valid signatures, short of the 10,754 required by Illinois law to run as an Independent.

Gill then filed a federal lawsuit seeking to have the signature requirement declared unconstitutional, and he won the preliminary injunction on August 25. State authorities immediately appealed that decision and asked the Appellate Court to stay Judge Myerscough’s decision while their appeal is pending.

In response to the Appellate Court’s decision, Dr. Gill said he was disappointed for the voters of Illinois' 13th Congressional District.

The decision means that incumbent Republican Rodney Davis of Taylorville will be running against Democrat Mark Wicklund of Decatur in the November 8th election, without Gill's name appearing as an independent candidate.

0
comments


Local Children's Organization Introduces K-9 Helper

Thanks to legislation in Springfield last year, a local children's group is able to now have a special companion help them through what can be the most challenging time of their young lives.
 
The Children's Advocacy Center has been excited about the possibility of allowing dogs to help children through abuse cases and now the DeWitt, McLean and Livingston County offices have welcomed a 2-year lab-retriever, Joch (right), to their staff.
 
Joch's day-handler, Stephanie Jewitt says Joch is going to be at the office to support kids in a way that sometimes can't be explained.
 
 
Joch wasn't just handed over to Jewitt and the folks at the Children's Advocacy Centers. According to Jewitt, there was a two-week intensive training that taught them to do basic things like feed or walk the dog.
 
 
Joch is a fully trained service dog, which means he can do things a service dog can do that usually works with one individual all the time. However, Jewitt notes, Joch is going to have a unique purpose in that he will be helping dozens of kids.
 
 
Joch has started to show Jewitt and his night-time handler, Jake Harlow, he knows when it is time for him to work and when he can be a two-year-old lab who still shows signs of being a puppy.
 
 
According to Children's Advocacy Center Executive Director, Judy Brucker, research has shown service dogs in a courtroom setting, and Illinois law now allows, is very comforting for young kids who have to testify in abuse cases.
 
 
Jewitt says Joch still shows signs of being a two-year old lab but both she and Brucker says Joch is already showing why he was brought to the center.
 
Picture right: Judy Brucker (left), Stephanie Jewitt (center) and Joch (right).
 
When Joch is in the courtroom, it will not be an announced presence, in fact, the jury will likely not even know Joch is in the room. 

0
comments


Richland Hosting Informational Days For Former ITT Tech Students

With the announced closure of the state's ITT Tech insititutes across the state, a local college is hoping to draw some of those students left high and dry with no options.
 
Richland Community College  is hosting three special events for ITT students on Monday, September 12, at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. in the Mueller Student Center, at the main entrance near the flags.  
 
Richland’s designated support team plans to keep ITT students on their career paths by providing personalized advising, records, financial aid assistance and career services. 
 
Rob Kerr will lead the event as the Career Development Specialist. He can be reached at 875.7211, Ext. 6284, or rkerr@richland.edu.
 
A variety of class options are available with some Fall Late Start classes beginning in the next few weeks. Some students may have the option to join Fall classes already in progress.
 
A special advisor will be able to find the right solution for each student based upon individual transcripts, goals, prior learning assessment, financial aid options, and more.

0
comments


Durbin Continues To Push For Zika Funding

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is blasting Republican leaders on the issue of Zika. 
 
He is asking Congressional Republicans to follow up on President Obama's request for 1.9 billion dollars in emergency funding to help fight Zika. 
 
Durbin says Zika discussions may center on Florida for the moment, but Illinois is not immune to Zika worries.
 
 
Durbin adds the Zika situation represents a new precedent.
 
 
 
President Obama made the request for 1.9 billion dollars in funding to fight Zika seven months ago.

0
comments


Wednesday, Thursday Fires Keep Clinton FD Busy

A downed power line Wednesday afternoon resulted in a small appliance fire in a nearby residents.
 
Just before 4 pm Wednesday, Clinton Fire Department was called to a downed power line at 804 West North Street. Clinton Fire officials indicate it was a residential line from a pole to a nearby house that a tree branch had knocked over.
 
The downed power line resulted in an appliance fire in home a home located at 802 West North Street while on scene. Minimal smoke damage was reported in the home as the fire was extinguished quickly. 
 
Clinton FD, Kenney, Wapella, and Maroa fire departments were called and were on scene until 6:30 pm.
 
Ameren had to turn off power and the Red Cross was called in. 
 
Later Wednesday, at approximately 9:40 pm, Clinton Fire officials were called to the emergency room at Warner Hospital and Health Services for a small electronic fire. 
 
Upon arrival, crews saw smoke coming from light fixture.
 
Clinton fire officials indicate the smoke was not heavy so there was no need for evacuation. There was no damage reported. 
 
Clinton Fire Fighters were able to deal with the issue quickly and were on scene until 10:30 pm. 
 
Early Thursday morning, crews responded to an apartment fire at 114 East Main.
 
Just after 7:15 am Thursday morning, crews were called to a kitchen fire. The fire was quickly contained and extinguished.
 
Crews from Clinton, Kenney, Maroa and Wapella were on scene and as of 11 am crews remained at the scene as the State Fire Marshall investigates. 

0
comments


DeWitt County Friendship Center Reminds Care Givers of Alzhiemer's Support Groups

The DeWitt County Friendship Center is the stie for a monthly support group aimed at those who provide care or support for someone with Alzheimer's.
 
Executive Director of the Friendship Center, Sissy Leggett, says the support group meets the second Monday of each month and if you are interested in attending, there is care available for the person you care for.
 
 
Leggett indicates there's already a good turnout but there's definitely room for more. She feels it's a great opportunity for caregivers to find emotional support.
 
 
This month's meeting is this coming Monday. 
 
Leggett also encourages those who battle declining or low vision to check out their low vision support group which meets the third Monday of each month at 10 am. 
 
For more information on the various support groups and daily activities at the Friendship Center, contact them at 217-935-9900. 

0
comments


ADM Provides Local School District With Grant For Expanded Opportunities

A local ag business is teaming up with the a local school district to provide them with funds for supplies for a new opportunity related to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, opportunities.
 
Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle is the Superintendent at Warrensburg-Latham Schools, she indicates ADM awarded them with a grant that will provide their students and staff with further opportunities as it relates to STEM.
 
 
The grant, which was worth just over $16-thousand will provide a lot of different tools and resources to increase the opportunities for students who participate in programs like the robotics club or art clubs. 
 
 
The final portion of the grant will give teachers further professional development opportunities.
 
 
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says the grant was very competitive and calls the grant a great opportunity for their students. 

0
comments


Numbers Down At SIU, Up At Illinois State

State universities are reporting mixed numbers on fall enrollment. 
 
The University of Illinois was near a record incoming freshman class this year and Illinois State is doing quite well. ISU in Bloomington Normal reports they have their largest fall signup in 27 years. 
 
More than 3,600 freshmen are enrolled as Redbirds. 
 
That’s not the case at Southern Illinois. Saluki enrollment is down 7.5 percent, to just under 16,000 students.

0
comments


Durbin Long Time Critic of ITT

Senator Dick Durbin has long been a critic of for profit colleges and the financial aid they've received from the federal government. 
 
Some of his more pointed comments have been directed at ITT Technical Institute, which announced Tuesday it was closing all of its campuses, including Springfield and three in Suburban Chicago (Arlington Heights, Oak Brook and Orland Park) In a March speech on the Senate floor, Durbin talked about the massive debt racked up from ITT Technical Institute and the not so massive repayment.
 
 
Durbin says the Department of Education clearly saw the storm clouds coming months ago.
 
 
The Education Department declared new students would not receive federal financial aid. ITT first stopped accepting new students, then decided to close their campuses. 

0
comments


Exelon's Clinton, Quad Cities Plants Announce 97% Capacity Operations This Summer

Exelon’s Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear power plants ran at an average 97.7 percent capacity factor through June, July and August, despite hotter than average summer temperatures and more than 30 hot weather alerts from regional grid operators. 
 
That's according to a release from Exelon late Wednesday afternoon.
 
This summer, Clinton and Quad Cities stations ran at their maximum allowable power levels during those hot weather alerts, providing 24/7 carbon-free baseload power to offset higher demand. 
 
In fact, all Illinois plants ran at an average 97.0 percent capacity factor through June, July and August. 
 
Capacity factors are used throughout the nuclear industry to track operational performance and reliability.
 
According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, June and July 2016 recorded the warmest average temperatures since 2012 for Illinois. 
 
When temperatures rise, regional grid operators issue hot weather alerts, which signal generation facilities to avoid or reschedule maintenance and testing activities that could cause a loss of generation to the grid. 
 
Bryan Hanson, president and chief nuclear officer of Exelon’s nuclear fleet said quote - “We continue to work with Illinois legislators to find a solution that values Clinton, Quad Cities and all our Illinois plants for the clean, reliable electricity they produce, but time is running out.”
 
In June, Exelon Generation announced plans to retire Clinton and Quad Cities in 2017 and 2018 respectively, due to sustained low natural gas prices and lack of state and federal policies that recognize nuclear plants for their many environmental and economic benefits.

0
comments


Clinton City Council Recognizes Chamber Week

While it isn't officially until next week, the Clinton City Council Tuesday night recognized Chamber Week.
 
Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber, Marian Brisard (right) updated the Council on the many things the Chamber takes an active part in coordinating and hosting.
 
 
Clinton Mayor Roger Cyrulik indicates there's so many ways the Chamber contributes to the community. From the yearly Christmas Parade to the Haunted House, he is proud of the efforts the Chamber and it's member business put into the community.
 
 
Chamber Week in Illinois is September 12-16.
 
Brisard was joined at the Tuesday Council Meeting by Chamber members President of the Chamber Board Ryan Utterback from Utterback Real Estate, Janell Thomas from the DeWitt County Farm Bureau, Ed Cicenas from EMC Photography and Paul Skowron from Warner Hospital and Health Services. 

0
comments


Cerro Gordo Schools Planning For Facilities' Future

Thanks to additional tax revenues, the Cerro Gordo school district will soon be in planning mode for the future of their faculties.
 
The one-cent education sales tax that passed in Macon and Piatt Counties has brought in additional revenues for facilities. Cerro Gordo Schools Superintendent Brett Robinson indicates their Board of Education will be looking at how to utilize those revenues going forward.
 
 
The district receives over $160-thousand in yearly revenue from the taxes in each county. According to Robinson, the revenues generated can only be used on facilities.
 
 
Robinson believes the district's facilities, while somewhat aging, are in good shape and would only need some smaller improvements to make them 21st century learning ready.
 
 
Districts with older facilities face the challenge of updating their aging facilities with increased regulations for the disabled and an increased demand for technology in classrooms.

0
comments


Weekly Crop Report

CORN HARVEST HAS BEGUN AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 
 
HARVESTING WAS LIMITED TO SOUTHERN PARTS OF THE STATE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHELUSENER.
 
 
19 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE TURNING COLOR AND TWO PERCENT ARE DROPPING LEAVES. 
 
 
25 PERCENT OF SORGHUM IS MATURE AND THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 85 PERCENT COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT…FOUR PERCENT SHORT…80 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 15 PERCENT SURPLUS.

0
comments


ITT's Shutdown Impacting Students

ITT Technical Institutes announced it was shutting down, several days after the federal education dept banned the school from enrolling new students using federal aid. 
 
ITT officials are offering parting shots, saying "These unwarranted actions, taken without proving a single allegation, are a 'lawless execution,' as noted by a recent editorial in The Wall Street Journal," the school's news release said. 
 
They called the government's action inappropriate and unconstitutional.
 
Senator Dick Durbin is urging The US Department of Education to swiftly make students aware of their eligibility for closed school discharges of their student loan debts & other options.

0
comments


Rauner Pushing For No Chicago Public Schools Strike

School just started this week for kids in Chicago and there are rumors of the Chicago Teachers Union and their members being upset about the direction of education policy. 
 
Governor Bruce Rauner says that right now the last thing students in Chicago need would be a possible strike that would keep them out of the classroom.
 
 
For now CPS schools are open and running but the teachers union could call for a strike starting in October. 

0
comments


Apple and Pork Festival Organizers Prepare for Biggest DeWitt County Weekend

The biggest weekend in DeWitt County is right around the corner and organizers of the Apple and Pork Festival are making final preparations as the big weekend awaits.
 
Joey Woolridge is Director of the DeWitt County Museum, who is the benefactor of the yearly festival. She says the festival had very modest beginnings as a means to repair the homestead, once in disrepair.
 
 
With the house in much better condition, Woolridge indicates the festival each year now targets repairs to maintain the house rather than restore it.
 
 
For Woolridge, the Apple and Pork Festival continues to maintain and increase it's popularity because of the unique theme. She feels the festival celebrates the harvest and heritage of DeWitt County.
 
 
While most visitors to the Homestead grounds come for the food that is available that weekend, Woolridge feels there's an increasing interest in the homestead itself. She says the Homestead gets hundreds of visitors but the trends are changing.
 
 
Apple and Pork weekend 2016 is September 24 and 25. Woolridge indicates there will be some new non-profits on the grounds this year as a few bow out. 
 
For all things Apple and Pork Festival, check the events Facebook page.

0
comments


Scovill Zoo Set For AZA Meeting This Week

Officials from a local zoo will be off to San Diego this week to meet with high ranking officials from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, or the AZA, to renew their accreditation.
 
According Ken Frye, Director of the Scovill Zoo in Decatur, they will send representatives to San Diego to sit before a panel that will analyze the zoo and give feedback before they approve their AZA accreditation.
 
 
The AZA does an inspection before the zoo makes their trip to San Diego to go before the panel and the zoo had to take care of a few things and others will take some time.
 
 
While the process can be intimidating, Frye says the group has the best interests of the animals and zoos in mind. He says they feel good about where they are at as they prepare to go before the panel.

0
comments


Trade Has Become Political Hot Potato

The current presidential campaign has been filled with a lot of anti-trade talk, which most economic experts agree is not a good sign for future economic growth. 
 
The public does seem to have a lot of misconceptions about the Trans Pacific Partnership in particular which will make it politically difficult for congress to approve the agreement. International trade expert Paul Drazek says failure to approve the TPP could have some international repercussions.
 
 
Drazek has a long career in trade issues with USDA, US Trade Representative’s office, American Farm Bureau Federation and other government and private agencies. 
 
A common complaint about the TPP is the myth that it was negotiated in secret by big business, and we don’t really know what’s in it. However, Tamara Nelson, Illinois Farm Bureau’s point person on trade the agreement is totally transparent, and the entire proposed agreement is right there on the internet.
 
 
Trade agreements, like the TPP as well as the decades old NAFTA agreement are taking the blame for a soft job market when most trade experts say the job market would be even softer without them. The major selling point of these agreements is lowering of import tariffs by our trading partners, making their markets more accessible to US exports, thus creating more jobs here at home.

0
comments


Warner Hospital and Health Services Unveils New Entrance Sign, Billboard

Last week Warner Hospital and Health Services officially transitioned from the former name Dr. John Warner Hospital.
CEO Paul Skowron indicates when you call, they will now identify themselves as Warner Hospital and Health Services and it will also be up on their new website, warnerhospital.org.
 
 
Skowron indicates the rebrand helps them reach the younger members of the community and encourages everyone to keep their health care needs local. He also hopes it ends the perception of the facility as a "band-aid station".
 
 
Skowron calls the new logo stream line and in line with their vibrancy. He indicates their new entrance signage is big and simplified and is well lit at night.
 
 
Warner Hospital and Health Services also introduced a new electronic sign that replaces the old sign with the old logo, originally provided by the Dr. John Warner Hospital Foundation. 

0
comments


Final Concert On Square Set For Saturday Night

Organizers are raving about the reception and success of the series of concerts on the square this summer, and the fun isn't over as Tara Thompson will perform on Saturday night. 
 
Thompson calls herself very laid back but also likes to have a good time. She hopes those that come to the concert Saturday. 
 
 
Thompson's music is inspired by her own life experiences. She says a lot of them involve her family.
 
 
City Administrator Tim Followell says the concerts have been very well received with few complaints from any angle, which he feels is a great thing. 
 
Followell indicates the concerts this year have been in the country genre, but he says it is not out of the question they try for a different genre next year.

0
comments


Social Security Puts To Rest Retirement Misnomers

With another Illinois State Fair in the books, Social Security spent a good deal of their time at the fair discussing retirement.
 
Jack Myers with Social Security indicates the biggest topic usually at the State Fair is often retirement and he indicates this year he got a lot of questions about how they calculate retirement.
 
 
Myers says his message to those with questions about how retirement benefits are calculated is that they take the 35 best years of earnings.
 
 
Myers indicates those 35 years don't have to be consecutive or the final 35 years. He indicates if you choose not to work in the final few years prior to retirement, those will not be calculated either.
 
He also adds if you do not have 35 years of earnings, zeros will be used for those absent years.

0
comments


Authorities To Beef Up Patrols For Holiday Weekend

MOTORISTS SHOULD EXPECT EXTRA PATROLS OUT ON THE ROADS THROUGH THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND. 
 
ILLINOIS STATE POLICE AND NEARLY 200 LOCAL DEPARTMENTS ARE PARTICIPATING IN THE “DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER” CAMPAIGN THIS WEEKEND SAYS CAPTAIN SCOTT COMPTON.
 
 
LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS…13 PEOPLE DIED IN CRASHES OVER THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND. THREE OF THOSE DEATHS INVOLVED A DRUNK DRIVER.

0
comments


State Police Emphasizing Cell Phone Laws

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE SAYS TOO MANY DRIVERS DON’T SEEM TO UNDERSTAND STATE CELL PHONE LAWS.
 
MOTORISTS EITHER DON’T KNOW THE RULES OR ARE IGNORING THEM. STATE POLICE CAPTAIN SCOTT COMPTON REMINDS THAT ILLINOIS LAW PROHIBITS THE USE OF A CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING, UNLESS YOU ARE USING A HANDS FREE DEVICE.
 
 
TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IS ALSO AGAINST THE LAW AND VERY DANGEROUS. ACCORDING TO THE STATE POLICE, JUST LOOKING AT YOUR PHONE FOR FIVE SECONDS WHILE DRIVING AT HIGHWAY SPEEDS IS LIKING DRIVING BLINDFOLDED THE LENGTH OF NEARLY TWO FOOTBALL FIELDS.

0
comments


Rauner Discusses Fair Foundation A DuQuoin State Fair

The DuQuoin State Fair approaches its final turn this weekend. 
 
When visitors pass worn out buildings and facilities, Governor Bruce Rauner says it's a clear reminder of the benefits of the brand new Illinois State fair foundation that will serve both state fairgrounds facilities.
 
 
The launch of the fair foundation is expected early next year. 

0
comments


September is National Preparedness Month

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH AND THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS URGING FAMILIES TO DISCUSS HOW THEY WOULD HANDLE A DISASTER. 
 
MAKING SURE YOU’RE READY FOR AN EMERGENCY SITUATION BEGINS WITH COMMUNICATION SAYS IEMA SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON. SHE NOTES THAT ILLINOIS’ UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER IS A GOOD REASON TO PLAN AHEAD.
 
 
TIPS FOR PUTTING TOGETHER EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS KITS AND FAMILY COMMUNICATION PLANS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: READY DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

0
comments


Weldon Meth Lab Shut Down, Explosives Seized

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with Task Force Six took possession of illegal drugs used in the production of methanphetamines in Weldon.
 
DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner says the home located at 49 Lynn Street in Weldon was the site of the meth lab. Additionally, bomb techs from the University of Illinois disarmed a homemade explosive in the home. 
 
 
There was no risk to the public throughout the investigation. 
 
Sheriff Shofner indicates meth continues to make a comeback in rural communities in the last several months.

0
comments


Clinton Schools Bring Substitute Teachers Pay In Line With Neighboring Communities

Finding substitute teachers in recent years has become a challenge for rural districts like Clinton.
 
In an attempt to attract substitutes, the district recently approved a pay increase for their subs. Superintendent Curt Nettles indicates it has been a long time since substitute-teacher pay has been adjusted.
 
 
Nettles indicates the State of Illinois already makes it somewhat challenging for retired or former-teachers to become a substitute. He explains those teachers have to go through the same process as a new sub despite the fact they may not be that far removed from time in the classroom.
 
 
The school board approved the pay increase at their most recent board meeting on August 16.

0
comments


2016 Farm Progress Show Concludes

The sun has set on the 2016 edition of the Farm Progress Show and organizers are declaring it a success once again.
 
Events manager for Penton Farm Progress, Matt Jungmann says the show was blessed with excellent weather all week and the Wednesday portion of the show was the biggest of the week.
 
 
The Wednesday crowd was very good for Farm Progress and Jungmann says the Boone, Iowa show site has come a long way to make the show more enjoyable for visitors.
 
 
There were some incredible unveilings at the 2016 edition of the Farm Progress Show and Jungmann says it's hard to pick a front runner from the big ones.
 
 
This year's demos were the best in the time in Boone, Iowa and Jungmann says the demos could be a precursor for a good crop in Iowa this year.
 
 
Jungmann says things now shift to preparations for next year's show in Decatur. 

0
comments


Growmark Releases Financial Report

The Bloomington-based Growmark cooperative has released its end-of-fiscal year financial reports. 
 
The co-op announced estimated fiscal year sales of $7.1 billion, down from $8.7 billion last year. It estimated pretax income at $103 million, down from $134 million in its fiscal year 2016, which ended yesterday. 
 
At its annual meeting underway in Chicago, Growmark C-E-O Jim Spradlin attributed the numbers to the current rocky farm economy;
 
 
Spradlin credits county Farm Bureaus with creating Growmark.
 
 
Still, the co-op, which not only operates in Illinois but 39 other states and Ontario, plans to return $52-million in patronage refunds to its member cooperatives and farmer-owners.

0
comments


Rauner Doesn't Think National Guard Is Answer To Chicago's Gun Violence Problem

The level of gun violence in Chicago hasn’t slowed down this summer. But Governor Bruce Rauner isn’t ready to call in the National Guard to help stamp down crime. 
 
This week some community leaders made the call again to have the National Guard deployed but Rauner says that even though Father Michael Pfleger is looking for that to be the next step it’s not the right one. 
 
 
Rauner says that he’s already doing what he can by helping increase State Police patrols on Chicago expressways and giving Chicago Police more surveillance tools.

0
comments


The Name Change Is Official: It's Warner Hospital and Health Services

The name change is official:  Doctor John Warner Hospital is Warner Hospital and Health Services as of today.  The name change is a result of months of work by the hospital board, administration and staff, to better reflect the services the hospital provides today.

The old logo came off the lighted sign on Routes 10 and 54 in front of the hospital this morning.

 

0
comments


Boil Order Issued on South Side of Clinton

A boil order has been issued till further notice. 
 
The area of concern is Evans & Stone subdivision and Covenant Vet Clinic on US Busn. 51 South. 
 
Call 935-3432 with any questions. 

0
comments


DeWitt County DOVE To Be In Clinton Schools Again in 2016-17

As kids get back into the routine of school, one area agency is once again back in the district for a brief period promoting peaceful relationships.
 
Megan Neville with DeWitt County DOVE says they are back in Clinton Schools with their regular programs aimed at grade school kids with their puppet programs.
 

 
At the junior and senior high school levels, Neville says they talk about teen dating violence and how friends can be instrumental in getting someone out of a bad situation.
 
 
Neville says the teachers and principals of the different buildings have been great to work with and are very receptive to them being in the classrooms and the message they have. 

0
comments


DeWitt County Cub Scouts Holding Informational Meeting Tonight

TheCub Scouts of DeWitt County is holding an informational session tonight at Clinton Elementary school to learn more about the packs of DeWitt County and to get signed up.
 
Ed Cicenas, Assistant Cubmaster, explains the Cub scouts is an opportunity for young boys to learn a variety of skills that they carry through the various levels of the local Cub scouts. 
 
 
Cicenas indicates Cub scouts learn a variety of things from outdoors skills to how to shoot bee bee guns and says it's a great place to meet friends that you'll stay in touch with for many years.
 
 
Tonight, area youth and their families can learn more about DeWitt County's Cub Scouts chapter and what all is involved. Cicenas says the County's Cub Scout leaders will be availabe tonight as well.
 
 
In addition to the traditional Cub scouts program this year, the local troop is joining several chapters nationwide in introducing a new program aimed at younger Cub scouts. Cicenas says it would target youth in the kindergarten age group.
 
 
Again, tonight, area families can learn more about all things Cub Scouts in DeWitt County by attending an informational meeting at Clinton Elementary School starting at 6:30 pm.
 
You can also contact Cicenas via email for more information, cub142pr@gmail.com. 

0
comments


Vermillion County Blast Victims Identified

Fire officials in Eastern Illinois's Vermillion County say two people are dead after an explosion rocked a small town. 
 
The blast outside Fairmount, town of just over 600 people. The Illinois State Fire Marshal is investigating. 
 
The Vermilion County coroner identifies the victims as 77-year-old Delores Sapp and 64-year-old Floyd Walton. 
 
Smoke could be seen for smiles and fire officials say the home was blown "completely apart". 

0
comments


Legislative Map Group Asks Supreme Court To Reconsider

The group that wants Illinois to reform the way it creates legislative maps has filed a petition asking the Illinois Supreme Court to reconsider its recent ruling that declared the effort unconstitutional.
 
In a split, four-to-three decision, the Illinois Supreme Court late last week voted to keep the initiative from reaching voters, despite signatures of more than a half million registered voters on petitions who want to see it on November ballots. It would create an independent, non-partisan commission to create legislative maps instead of the Illinois General Assembly.
 
At a Chicago press conference Wednesday, Independent Maps coalition chairman Dennis FitzSimons (fitz-CY-muhns) says the group filed the petition because they believe the court’s majority was wrong and inconsistent. The group says it has the right to point out arguments most of the justices overlooked and misinterpreted. 
 
Groups such as Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois League of Women Voters and Latino Policy Forum helped gather signatures on petitions. The Independent Maps group says it owes those groups and the more than 560-thousand Illinois voters who signed petitions to make every possible effort to get the question before voters in November.

0
comments


ISBE Chief Makes Appearance on CBS Late Show

The Illinois State Board of Elections recent bout with a hacker got some national exposure Tuesday evening. CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert introduced the Chairman of the Board, but he didn't exactly look like he was ready for an Illinois summer. In fact, it wasn't Charles Scholz, but instead someone with a Russian accent a much different name.
 
 
Chairman "Johnny Cowboy" had some less than helpful advice to avoid hacking in general.
 
 
The FBI is investigating the hack of the personal records of roughly 200,000 Illinois voters. 

0
comments


Local Weather