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Local News

DCRA Celebrating First Tenant To Magil Home

The DeWitt County Restoration Association's efforts to restore the Magill House on Center Street to it's once prominent state has taken a positive turn.
 
For many years the DCRA has been tirelessly working to restore the home and find business to fill the space and Becky Adams indicates they are going to welcome Bryce Starkey from Edward Jones into half of the space.
 
 
Starkey says it's a great opportunity for the agency and for him and looks forward to his transition to downtown Clinton.
 
 
According to Adams, Brady Realtors in Clinton has been authorized to seek out a tenant for the rest of the lower level and work on the upper levels continues.

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Clinton Police Gearing Up For Busy Halloween Night

Trick-or-treating in the City of Clinton tonight is from 5 to 8 pm and local law enforcement officials will be gearing up for a busy Monday night.
 
Police Chief Ben Lowers says it is best if costumes allow for maximum visibility for kids and for parents to accompany their children if they are under the age of 13.
 
 
Chief Lowers also notes there will be several different groups doing various Halloween events tonight and encourages the community to make a note of those and check them out.

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Authorities Anticipating Big Crowd For Wednesday Presentation on Heroin Crisis

Local authorities and organizers are excited about a very special event this week for what has become a crisis across the area, state and country. 
 
Addiction and recovery is the message shared by Tim Ryan (right), and his program, The Man in Recovery. Ryan comes to Clinton to share his story of heroin addiction and Dr. Harold Allen with the DeWitt County 708 Mental Health Board has heard Ryan's message and says it is powerful.
 
 
Dr. Allen indicates the 708 Board is providing the fund to allow Ryan to come and speak to junior high and high school students on Wednesday, then Ryan will have an opportunity at 7 pm that night to address anyone in the community and surrounding areas.
 
 
One of the primary goals of the presentation is to help the community recognize when someone is on drugs and ways to get them help.
 
 
Ryan will speak this Wednesday, he will address youth in the community during the day and then will address the community in the evening.
 
He will present at at the Clinton High School auditorium starting at 7 pm. It is a free event open to the public.
 
Local authorities thank the 708 mental health board for the support and to Ryan for coming to the community to tell his story. 

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Tragic Hunting Accident in DeWitt County Brings Reminder from Authorities

A tragic hunting accident in DeWitt County earlier this month has local conservation authorities reminding hunters to check their tree stands.
 
It's a warning that is given each and every year at the start of the hunting season and without fail, there always seems to be an accident or even fatality. John Williamson, DNR Conservation officer says a tragic tree stand fatality in northern DeWitt County claimed the life of a hunter.
 
 
Williamson says the message checking those tree stands before you get up in them for the day and using a safety strap are two messages that cannot be conveyed enough. 
 
 
With hunting season in full swing, we'll have more from Williamson in the coming days on Regional Radio News on safety reminders, regulations and other important information. 

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Farm Voters, Rural Voters Not the Same

In next week’s election, a lot of so called swing states have a significant rural vote. 
 
Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Wisconsin and several other states with large rural populations are still up for grabs. One mistake pollsters often make is confusing the rural vote with the farm vote. 
 
Alan Bjerga (Bee-yer.zhu), an ag reporter for Bloomberg News says the farm vote tends to be influenced by economic or business issues, while the non-farm rural vote is more influenced by social and employment issues.
 
 
And those differences center around issues like trade agreements, immigration policy, and the regulatory environment. 
 
 
Those issues, among others, makes a decision this election a little less clear cut than usual.
 
But whatever you’re your preference, be sure to vote next Tuesday, and make sure you research all those down ballot races as well.

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Madigan Hears About Absentee Ballots

You’re going to hear plenty about voting and possible fraud over the next week and half and the Illinois Attorney General wants to make sure that voting authorities are doing what they are obligated to do. 
 
Lisa Madigan says her office is hearing from people who have requested absentee ballots but have yet to receive one. 
 
 
Madigan reminds people that you can vote early now throughout the state and you can also wait and vote on Election Day – November 8th.

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Weekly Weather Summary

We'll be celebrating Halloween and ringing in November with unusually warm temperatures. Jim Angel has the latest....

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Local Unemployment Steady

Unemployment held steady from August to September across the area.
 
DeWitt County unemployment budget from 5.6% in August to 5.5% in September.
 
Piatt County unemployment was unchanged, registering at 4.8% in August and September.
 
Macon County unemployment crept up from 6.6% in August to 6.7% in September. 
 
In McLean County, unemployment was unchanged at 5.1%.
 
Logan County unemployment rose slightly, from 5.1% to 5.2% in September.
 
Champaign County unemployment dropped incrementally from 5% to 4.9%.
 
Pulaski County's 8.9% unemployment rate was the state's highest and Brown County's 3.4% unemployment was the state's lowest. 
 
The statewide unemployment rate for September was 5.4% and the national average is 4.8%. 

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Youth Pheasant Hunt This Weekend

The Department of Natural Resources is hosting youth pheasant hunts across the state and one takes place this weekend in DeWitt County.
 
DNR Conservation Officer John Williamson notes youth under the age of 16 can come out to Clinton Lake Saturday morning and be a part of the youth hunt. 
 
 
Williamson says it's a good opportunity to begin to inspire young people to enjoy the outdoors and hunting. He notes there's minimal training and licensing to take part in Saturday's youth hunt.
 
 

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Jobs Being Added in Chicago, Not Downstate

Jobs figures in the state have been stagnant and some downstate communities are losing jobs. 
 
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that seven of the states 14 metro areas lost jobs in year over year numbers. IDES Spokesperson Bob Gough says that 42,000 jobs were added in the state but most were in the Chicago area.
 
 
Manufacturing continues to see little job growth. The state added jobs in education and the health care fields.

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Kirk Apologizes For Comment To Duckworth

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has apologized a remark in Thursday's debate with Democrat Tammy Duckworth that has drawn national attention. 
 
Duckworth referred to her own military service and noted she can trace her family’s military service back to the Revolutionary War. 
 
Kirk said “I’d forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to fight for George Washington". 
 
In a Twitter post, he apologizes for a mocking reference to Duckworth's immigrant background and her family's military service record. 
 
Kirk tweted quote- "Sincere apologies to an American hero, Tammy Duckworth, and gratitude for her family's service."

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Attorney General Warns of Election Mailing Scam

ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN’S OFFICE IS ADDRESSING SOME CONCERNS ABOUT ABSENTEE BALLOTS. 
 
ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN SAYS THEY’VE BEEN GETTING A LOT OF CALLS FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE ASKED FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT…BUT HAVEN’T RECEIVED ONE YET.
 
MADIGAN SAYS HER OFFICE HAS RECENTLY BEEN FIELDING SEVERAL CALLS ABOUT MAIL-IN BALLOTS.
 
AND OF COURSE YOU CAN VOTE ON ELECTION DAY. POLLS WILL BE OPEN FROM SIX A-M TO SEVEN P-M.

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Durbin Likes Chances of Democrat Takeover of Capitol Hill

Senator Dick Durbin may not be running for re-election next month, but he'll have a lot on the line regardless. 
 
Democrats are pushing hard to regain majority status in the upper chamber of Capitol Hill, but Durbin says the best case scenario for his party is probably off the board.
 
Democrat Tammy Duckworth's effort to unseat incumbent Mark Kirk is seen as a key contest for Democrats. 
 

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State Police Increasing Patrols for Halloween Weekend

STATE AND LOCAL POLICE ARE INCREASING PATROLS FOR THE HALLOWEEN WEEKEND. 
 
THE BEEFED UP ENFORCEMENT WILL INCLUDE A STRONGER POLICE PRESENCE AND ROADSIDE SAFETY CHECKS. COPS WILL ESPECIALLY BE TARGETING DRUNK DRIVERS SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SPOKESPERSON BRIAN WILLIAMSEN.
 
 
PARTIERS ARE URGED TO DESIGNATE A SOBER DRIVER OR FIND ANOTHER WAY TO GET HOME. ADDITIONALLY…WILLIAMSEN REMINDS DRIVERS TO BE CAREFUL IN THEIR OWN NEIGHBORHOODS AS TRICK OR TREATERS GO FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE.
 
 
THE BEEFED UP ENFORCEMENT THIS WEEKEND WILL INCLUDE MORE PATROLS AND ROADSIDE SAFETY CHECKS.

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Halloween Safety Tips

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE IS OFFERING SOME HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS FOR CHILDREN…AND ADULTS. 
 
KIDS SHOULD HAVE REFLECTIVE TAPE ON THEIR COSTUMES OR HAVE A GLOW STICK OR FLASHLIGHT TO MAKE SURE THEY CAN BE SEEN WHEN THEY’RE CROSS THE STREET. STATE POLICE MASTER SERGEANT MATT BOERWINKLE SAYS ADULTS SHOULD USE SOME COMMON SENSE AS WELL.
 
 
AND IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT CLOWN SCARES…BOERWINKLE URGES THE PUBLIC TO REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES TO THE POLICE.
 
 
BOERWINKLE ALSO REMINDS THAT ADULTS SHOULD NOT WEAR A BIG BULKY COSTUME OR A MASK WHILE THEY ARE DRIVING.

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Clinton Police Drug Disposal Program Aims To Cut Down On Unused Drugs in Homes

As the epidemic of prescription drug and opioid abuse continues to rage on, a long time program with the Clinton Police Department may be as important as ever.
 
The drug take back initiative through the DEA allows the Clinton Police Department to collect unused prescription drugs and to dispose of those properly. Police Chief Ben Lowers says that drop off is available 24/7 at the Clinton Police Department lobby.
 
 
The primary reason many users turn to heroin is because of their dependence on opioids, or pain killers. Chief Lowers says older residents have a lot of those types of medications in their homes and have been the targets of burglaries and thefts, even within their own families.
 
 
Chief Lowers hopes to continue the dialogue locally about the heroin and substance abuse epidemic that is raging itself across the country. He encourages anyone who might like him to speak to their group to contact him at the Clinton Police Department.
 
The next community forum for this discussion will be Wednesday, November 2 at Clinton High School when Tim Ryan will present his Man in Recovery testimonial. 
 
Ryan will speak to junior high and high school students through the day and then the community is invited out to hear him that evening at 7 pm at the Clinton High School auditorium. 
 
We'll have more on Ryan's presentation next week on Regional Radio News. 

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Guardians of the Children Hosting Annual Halloween Event

A local group who's aim to provide support for children going through a child abuse case will be hosting a special Halloween event this weekend.
 
The Guardians of the Children, who support young kids in the midst of child abuse cases, will be holding their annual Halloween party in Clinton Saturday afternoon. Ed Moore says it's an opportunity for anyone to come out and enjoy food, hot chocolate and bounce houses.
 
 
Guardians of the Children is a non-profit group that provides support for kids in the midst of child abuse investigations and trials. According to Moore, they are essentially a support system for the child when it comes to counseling appointments, court appearances and the overall investigation itself.
 
 
Moore says they like to refer to the children they help as 'survivors' of child abuse. He feels it gives them a sense of security and accomplishment.
 
The Guardians of the Children's Halloween event Saturday afternoon is open to the public.
 
It is from noon to 3 pm at the Elks Lodge at 1520 East South Street in Clinton.
 
For more information on the Guardians of the Children, contact them at 309-323-8205. 

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Kirk Makes Questionable Comment During Debate With Duckworth

The candidate for US Senate squared off in a televised debate in Springfield on Thursday.
 
Incumbent Republican Mark Kirk is taking heat for a comment made towards Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. She said that she was daughter of the American Revolution and proud her history serving the nation and would want to part of any decision to send troops into battle. Kirk quipped back.
 
 
Duckworth’s mother is from Thailand but her she traces her father’s family ancestors back to the earliest days of the country. 

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Gas Prices Not An Issue in this Election

Gasoline prices don’t seem to be much of a topic in this year’s election.
We have seen periodic volatility in oil, and gasoline prices, since the early 1970’s. For the past decade or so, we have seen gas prices occasionally peak above four dollars a gallon. 
 
Remember the 2008 election, and all the chants of ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’, a call to increase production and drive down oil prices?
 
Well, since 2008 we have done exactly that. New extraction technology has made the U.S. virtually self-sufficient in energy production. Harry Cooney, energy expert with GrowMark says that has brought us back down to todays two dollar a gallon gas.
 
 
So, should farmers looking to book their spring diesel supplies jump on current low prices? Cooney says maybe not, prices could go even lower by the end of the year.
 
 
Cooney says this doesn’t mean we won’t see some volatility, but OPEC no longer drives the price of oil in the U.S.

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Clinton Crime Stoppers Seeking Information on Stolen Firearms, Ammunition

The Clinton Police Department is seeking your help and information in solving a residential burglary.   
On or around October 26 2016, the Clinton Police Department responded to a report of a residential burglary that occurred in the 900 block of W Clay St.
 
During this burglary, suspect or suspects made entry to the residence and once inside, stole two handguns. These guns are described as a blued Taurus .38 Special revolver with a wooden handle and also a pink and black, Walther P22 semi-automatic.  Also stolen were four boxes of .22 caliber ammunition.    
 
Crimestoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1000.00 when a felony arrest is made as a result of information that you have provided.  Anyone with any information regarding this burglary or any other crimes or wanted fugitives is asked to contact the Clinton Area Crime stoppers at 217-935-3333.
 
Crime Stoppers phone line is not recorded and does not utilize caller identification. CrimeStoppers wants your information, not your name. 

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Exelon, Weldon Springs Foundation Teaming Up To Start Restoring Trails

It was a project that was supposed to be big and make significant progress in restoring the trails at Weldon Springs State Park, but thanks to natural emergencies across the country, the project is on hold.
 
Mary Mitchell-Stites with the Springs Foundation says the AmeriCorp group that was supposed to aid the Trails for Illinois group in restoring the trails was called to several different disasters across the nation and they were called off for DeWitt County.
 
 
In an effort get something going though, the Weldon Springs Foundation and Exelon will be taking on separate projects this weekend to get the ball rolling. Mitchell-Stites indicates there is plenty to be done.
 
 
Skillsets of all types are welcome at the two work days at Weldon Springs. Mitchell-Stites hopes those with some carpentry knowledge might be willing to donate their skills.
 
 
Exelon's work day will be Friday and the Weldon Springs Foundation work day will be Saturday. 
 
Mitchell-Stites says volunteers are welcome and should plan to meet at the Chautauqua shelter area at 7:30 am and plan to work all morning. 
 
For more information, contact Charlie Montgomery at Weldon Springs Recreation Area at 217-935-2644. 

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New Save A Lot Taking Shape

The new building which will house the Clinton Save-A-Lot at Washington and Monroe Streets, is being completed on the outside, and is at a feverish pitch on the inside.
 
Store owner Dave Jackson tells Regional Radio News that there's a considerable amount of work taking place inside the building.
 
 
Jackson adds that while his target was to be open by the end of fall, he's shooting for the end of November.
 
 
he new 19-thousand square foot building is twice the size of the existing structure that's been the Clinton Save-A-Lot for nearly 20 years, just northwest of the new building.

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Farm Progress Show Site Expanding

Even though the return of the Super Bowl of Agriculture to central Illinois is ten months away, preparations for the 2017 Farm Progress Show are already beginning.  Farm Broadcaster Jared White has more....
 
 
 

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Long Term Warm, Wet Weather in Illinois

2016 has been a warm year, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel, and October may be the warmest month of all, compared to historic averages.
 
 
This trend toward warmer weather is not new. Angel says the trend over the years has been toward warmer weather, especially in the fall, winter and spring. Summer high temperatures have actually declined slightly as summer lows at night have risen. That trend is likely due to higher humidity, says Angel.
 
 
The long term trend toward warmer, wetter weather may be due to global warming, ot maybe a long term climate trend that could reverse in the future. But the fact is that 2016 may the new ‘normal’, for now.

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Schock Fined For Efforts To Boost Kinzinger's Campaign

Former Peoria Congressman Aaron Schock will pay a $10,000 penalty to the Federal Election Commission. 
 
In the 2012 campaign, Schock sought a $25,000 contribution from former Congressman Eric Cantor for a political action committee supporting Congressman Adam Kinzinger.
 
The maximum contribution allowed was $5,000.

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Farmers Improving Environment, Controlling Fertilizer Loss

The voluntary Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy is helping farmers keep expensive nutrients, especially nitrogen, on the field where it can be used by the crop. 
 
But another huge benefit is keeping nitrogen out of our waterways. Jean Payne is president of the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Assoc.
 
 
And if farmers do not limit nitrogen runoff, we may be facing mandatory rules on application in the future. Payne says we will never limit all nitrogen loss, we just need to get it down to tolerable levels.
 
 
 
The best way to limit nitrogen loss is making sure you wait until the soil temperatures are low enough, and likely to stay low enough, using a nitrogen inhibitor like N-Serve and following best management practices for applicant method and rates. 

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Equipment Malfunction Causes Corn Belt Energy Power Outage Wednesday

Equipment failure was the cause of a brief power outage that affected 6,723 Corn Belt Energy cooperative members located in Bloomington-Normal late Wednesday morning.

Officials with the power cooperative tell Regional Radio News that the power outage occurred at about 11:41 a.m. due to an equipment malfunction in the Normal substation causing the outage. Crews arrived on scene promptly to assess the situation and were able to restore power to all impacted cooperative members by 12:42 p.m.

Corn Belt Energy thanks their members for their patience, and encourages members to contact them at 1-800-879-0339 to report power outages, partial power, and downed lines or poles. 

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Medicare Open Enrollment Going on Now

Seniors have the opportunity to enroll in or review their Medicare coverage. 
 
Open enrollment is underway. 
 
The Illinois Department on Aging says they have Senior Health Insurance Program specialists throughout the state that can help make difficult or confusing decisions easier. Sandy Leith (leeth) notes you have plenty to consider when planning for next year. 
 
 
During open enrollment seniors can adjust Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage, switch plans, join a prescription drug plan or alter other decisions.

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Clinton Veteran Sees Sights of Nation's Capital

Mike Reynolds returned to Clinton late last night after a journey few veterans get to make.
 
Reynolds was able to see the memorials for the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the World War II Memorial and numerous other sights. The Vietnam War veteran says it was busy day but was a great experience.
 
 
Reynolds says everything about the trip was great and indicates the Vietnam Memorial was the highlight of the trip for him. 
 
 
To learn how you or a veteran you know can participate in the Honor Flight, contact Jeff Morlock locally at 217-853-2530 or visit the DeWitt County Honor Flight Facebook page. 

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Registered Voters Hits 7.9 Million

MORE PEOPLE ARE NOW REGISTERED TO VOTE IN ILLINOIS THAN EVER BEFORE. 
 
ACCORDING TO THE LATEST FIGURES FROM THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS…NEARLY EIGHT MILLION PEOPLE ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE. BOARD ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JIM TENUTO SAYS THEY ARE HOPING THAT MEANS THERE WILL BE STRONG VOTER TURNOUT FOR THE UPCOMING ELECTION.
 
 
IF YOU HAVEN’T REGISTERED TO VOTE YET…YOU CAN STILL DO UNDER GRACE PERIOD REGISTRATION…BUT YOU’LL ALSO HAVE TO CAST YOUR BALLOT AT THAT TIME. YOU CAN ALSO REGISTER ON ELECTION DAY.

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Mendoza Talks Money in Comptroller Debate

When it comes to fundraising for a statewide constitutional office, it's usually a story of go big or go home. 
 
Democratic Comptroller candidate Susana Mendoza believes some lines have been crossed though in her race with incumbent Leslie Munger.
 
 
Mendoza went on to call Comptroller Munger a wholly owned subsidiary of the Governor's office. 
 
Munger has maintained that Mendoza is beholden to House Speaker Mike Madigan.

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Durbin Discusses Early Voting

Senator Dick Durbin isn't just a spectator when you talk about early voting, he's a participant. 
 
Durbin believes the surge in early voting may have a lot to do with the ongoing Presidential race, but he also believes practicality is a big factor as well.
 
 
Now, some voters can cast their ballot at permanent polling places other than your County Board of Elections or Board of Election Commissioners office. 

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Police Chief Pleased With First Community Forum on Substance Abuse

Sunday morning was perhaps the first organized public forum on the substance abuse epidemic that is sweeping the country, and has hit the community of Clinton especially hard.
 
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers was very pleased with the turnout of over 150 to First Christian Church's Family Life Center Sunday morning to get it's first introduction of the problem at hand.
 
 
From the perspective of Chief Lowers, he felt like the forum crammed a lot of information into a short period of time. He says this is a topic that needs to be talked about further.
 
 
Sunday at First Christian Church was also the premier of a documentary outlining the problem locally and the Chief says there were several takeaways from that for him.
 
 
Chief Lowers felt there was some clarification of how the judicial system works and how law enforcement deals with the problems of heroin distribution.
 
He says while not all information can lead to an arrest, every little bit of information they receive helps, so he encourages anyone who suspects drug activity happening near them to contact their local law enforcement agency. 
 
We'll have more on this story in the coming days on Regional Radio News. 

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Local Clinton Veteran Off To Washington DC For Honor Flight

Another local resident is headed out for another trip for the Honor Flight. 
 
Mike Reynolds is a local Vietnam War veteran who will take part in today's Honor Flight to see sights like the Vietnam War, World War II, Korean War Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial and to check out Air and Space Museum. Those on the trip also see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
 
A welcome back ceremony is planned and organizers ask anyone interested in participating to meet at Dollar Tree at 10:30 pm tonight.
 
To help with other efforts in the welcome back ceremony, you can contact Jesse Owens of the Clinton Am Vets Post 14 at 217-413-7960.
 
Organizers also indicate Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police are teaming up with State Police and local law enforcement and first responders for the welcome home celebration.
 
For information on the Honor Flight, visit their Facebook by searching 'DeWitt County Honor Flight/Legacy Flight'.

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Weekly Crop Report

CORN AND SOYBEAN HARVESTING IS WRAPPING UP AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 
 
WARM TEMPERATURES AND LESS THAN AN INCH OF RAIN THIS PAST WEEK GAVE PRODUCERS AMPLE TIME TO GET FIELDWORK DONE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
 
 
76 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN HARVESTED…UP FROM 58 PERCENT THE PREVIOUS WEEK. 
 
 
61 PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN HARVESTED AND 68 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED. 
 
THE LATEST READING HAS AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE AT ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT…SEVEN PERCENT SHORT…76 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 16 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Elevators Trying to Keep Up With Rapid Harvest

As this years big harvest comes in, grain elevators are, as usual using temporary and emergency storage to hold all that grain.
 
Jeff Adkisson is exec V.P. of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, representing grain elevators across the state. The volume of grain handled this time of year is enormous, with a farmer filling a semi with corn every four or five acres.
 
 
In addition, modern, larger, harvesting equipment means the crop comes in faster every year and that puts a strain on elevators to handle that much grain, more rapidly, every year. 
 
 
Jeff Adkisson of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois.

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County Board Chair Support Sheriff's Decision on Jail Operations

Last week, DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner announced an intergovernmental agreement with Piatt County for them to house DeWitt County inmates.
 
Local leaders are applauding the decision and DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg says it is that type of outside the box thinking that will help DeWitt County through a financial struggle that could be ahead.
 
 
Sheriff Shofner say right now, the agreement is short term and his office plans to evaluate how things are going in six months.
 
 
According to the Sheriff, there have been a lot changes in jail operations across the country that are forcing many communities like DeWitt County to re-evaluate. One of those was an agreement with Cook County to house their inmantes.
 
 
State's Attorney Dan Markwell indicates Cook County inmates were also filing frivilous lawsuits and it was costing tax payers.
 
 
Sheriff Shofner emphasizes the jail is not closing nor is anyone getting laid off.
 
The uncertainty of the future of the power plant and the amount of turnover in their corrections staff continues to be challenges that they face at the same time. 

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DeWitt County Residents Asked To Support Electric Aggregation

Electric Aggregation has been a hot topic at various points in the last five years locally, and one final piece of the puzzle may now benefit everyone in the area.
 
Good Energy has represented several parts of the central Illinois area in this process and is now hoping to get the unincorporated areas of DeWitt County on board. Jered McMorris with Good Energy indicates they are saving people money through the process of what boils down to buying energy in bulk.
 
 
Electric aggregation allows the company that partners with DeWitt County, in this case Good Energy, to solicit bids from various energy providers for electric rates. McMorris indicates this is successful because the more residents they get buying energy, the cheaper the rate.
 
 
 
According to McMorris, residents do not have to participate in the program but if they do not want to be a part of it, they need to opt out by mail. He feels though, this is a win win for everyone involved.
 
 
 
Electric aggregation will be on the ballot November 8 for those in unincorporated areas of DeWitt County. 
 
There is a public meeting Tuesday evening at 6:30 pm for anyone that would like more information or have any questions answered. The meeting is in the Revere Room of the Warner Public Library in Clinton. 

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Maroa-Forsyth Schools Celebrating Grant From ADM

Officials in the Maroa-Forsyth school district are celebrating receiving a grant from ADM once again in 2016.
 
Superintendent Mike Williams says it will allow them to upgrade some of the technology in their classrooms.
 
 
Williams indicates technology in the classrooms across the district look different at various levels. The lower levels start with the tablets while the upper grade levels have mobile Chromebooks.
 
 
According to Williams, they were able to upgrade labs at the high school level and provide upgrades to the computers.
 
 
Williams calls the district 'pretty close' to where they want to be with technology in the classroom after receiving the ADM Cares grant this year. 

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Expect Mild Winter in Illinois

ILLINOIS MAY BE IN STORE FOR A FAIRLY MILD WINTER. 
 
ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE…NEXT MONTH AT LEAST SHOULD BE PRETTY NICE SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL.
 
 
THE OUTLOOK THROUGH JANUARY CALLS FOR AN INCREASED CHANCE OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPS IN THE SOUTHERN THIRD OF ILLINOIS, WHILE PREDICTIONS FOR THE REST OF THE STATE ARE UP FOR GRABS.
 
 
LA NINA IS PART OF THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE FORECAST. THERE IS A 70 PERCENT CHANCE OF LA NINA CONDITIONS DEVELOPING THIS FALL BUT ITS EFFECTS DEPEND ON HOW STRONG THE PHENOMENON IS AND HOW LONG IT STICKS AROUND.

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Prison Guards Hold Rally For Safety

Prison guards held a public demonstration outside of Logan Correctional Facility hoping to spur on more changes to support employee safety. The group talked about how female inmates have violently assaulted each other or guards. 
 
Sergeant Ashley Schafer says the Rauner Administration has made it worse with new rules on how mentally ill inmates are moved around the prison.
 
 
The union for prison guards says on average there are 24 assaults a month on employees at Logan. The Department of Corrections says through a spokeswoman that "Claims that staff assaults aren't taken seriously are baseless.”

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Weekly Weather Summary

It should be a very seasonable weekend across central Illinois. State climotologist Jim Angel has the story:

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Local Lawmaker Applauds Tuesday Nuclear Meeting in Chicago

A local lawmaker who was a part of a Tuesday panel on nuclear energy in Illinois is applauding the effort by those who put it together.
 
Sen. Chapin Rose was among those a part of the panel to discuss nuclear energy in Illinois. He calls it important to get in front of Chicago-land people to tell how important this issues is.
 
 
Chicago-area lawmaker Donne Trotter was a part of the legislative panel and is among those seeking to draft legislation. Sen. Rose calls him a great ally in the pursuit of this legislation.
 
 
Sen. Rose calls the meeting helpful in the sense that it helped other groups realize this benefits everyone and everybody involved needs to be proactive to keep nuclear energy in Illinois around.
 
 
The Senator continues to implore the public to educate their friends in different parts of the state and encourage them to contact their local lawmakers to get legislation passed. He says this quickly will become a state-wide issue.
 
 
Sen. Rose says it was encouraging as Speaker Mike Madigan has shown up to a few of the meetings in Springfield and Tuesday's event in Chicago. He indicates the Speaker is going to wait out to see the final product before he wraps his arm of support around it. 

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Jobs Growing But Not Fast Enough

Jobless numbers say the state is holding steady and even adding a few jobs in select sectors. 
 
The Illinois Department of Employment Security reports that the state added 7,400 jobs in September and since last year at this time the state grew more than 43,000 jobs. Department Director Jeff Mays says that job growth isn’t widespread and shared among all careers and regions.
 
 
The state’s unemployment rate is 5.5 percent, nationally it’s 5 percent.

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Senators Trying To Put Limits on Agency Directors

A bipartisan effort is underway to keep top officials in state government from politicking for a candidate. 
 
A pair of Senators, Democrat Andy Manar and Republican Sam McCann want to reign in the ways agency directors can campaign for political candidates. Manar calls it an ethics loophole.
 
 
McCann says the new law would allow for the individual to support a candidate with money or other support but they could not appear in paid advertising. 
 

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DeWitt County To Begin Housing Inmates in Piatt County

Making the best of a bad situation is how DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner described a new agreement with Piatt County Thursday night before the DeWitt County Board.
 
Starting early next week, inmates will be moved to the Piatt County jail and Sheriff Shofner says it's a decision that is being made out of necessity to continue their mission of public safety.
 
 
Sheriff Shofner says this has been in the works for several years and due to continued force turnover, the Department will enter into this new agreement. He says this will be beneficial to the County.
 
 
According to Sheriff Shofner, this agreement will benefit both Piatt and DeWitt County tax payers. He says the first year the budget should be unchanged but the following years it will be as if seven people were laid off, but no one is getting laid off.
 
 
There is a lot of benefits to partnering with Piatt County. Sheriff Shofner indicates Piatt County has a newer facility with better resources and the legal benefits as well.
 
 
Sheriff Shofner indicates the jail in DeWitt County is not closing. He stresses local inmates will be incarcerated and the rest of the space will be cleaned and left empty for the time being.
 
While there are great options for the empty space, local resources cannot support those ideas.
 
Sheriff Shofner says his staff is going to remain employed through this time, and says it is all about making sure the citizens of DeWitt County have access to law enforcement despite diminishing resources.
 
He thanks his staff for the sacrifices they are making through this time and still serving the public at a high level.
 
Hear from DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg and Sheriff Shofner Friday morning at 8:30 am on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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DeWitt County's Big Brothers Big Sisters Annual Barstool Classic Saturday

If you're looking for something to do in DeWitt County Saturday, local leaders with Big Brothers Big Sisters of DeWitt Couty are hoping you'll consider participating in their annual Barstool Classic.
 
Starting at Misflips Bar in Wapella, teams of four to five will play mini-golf holes set up at about a half dozen bars and restaurants across DeWitt County. Lauren Hutton with Big Brothers Big Sisters says it's a day of fun with food and drinks at the various locations.
 
 
Hutton indicates the teams will gather at Misflips to start and then will disperse from there. She says there's enough time for teams to golf and enjoy some of the specials each establishment puts together for the day.
 
 
Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraising efforts like the Barstool Classic and Bowl for Kids Sake are very important to the mission of the organization. Hutton says it help them keep up the programs in the schools in DeWitt County and their community based matches.
 
 
Registration for the third annual Barstool Classic begins at noon at Misflips in Wapella. Play starts at 1 pm.
 
It is $25 per player and a fifth player per team can be the designated driver, and they play for free and receive free water and soda at each location.
 
Misflips will also host an after party at 7 pm.
 
For more information, visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters website for more information.

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Lincoln's Harvest of Talents This Weekend

Aiding hunger relief and disaster assistance globally and domestically is the name of an event in Logan County this weekend.
 
Lincoln Christian Church's Harvest of Talents is in it's 33rd year entering this weekend and Chair Carolyn Neal says it's a day where everyone's contributions get used to help those in need in across America and across the globe.
 
 
The Harvest of Talents is a relaxed atmosphere with activities for young kids and adults of any age. Neal says they serve delicious warm soup, walking tacos and warm breakfast favorites as well.
 
 
Organizers received a surprised gift of red potatoes fresh from South Dakota. Neal says they will be selling the potatoes in 50 pound quantities and those can be purchased and then donated to local food pantries, or they can be purchased individually but they need to be sold by Saturday.
 
 
100% of funds raised from Saturday's event go to the International Disaster and Emergency Service (IDES) which supports hunger relief efforts across the globe. 
 
Doors open at Lincoln Christian Church promptly at 7 am. 

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Darin LaHood Receives Friend of Agriculture Award

Congressman Darren LaHood of Peoria stopped by our studios this week where the IFB Board of Directors awarded LaHood the ‘Friend of Agriculture’ award.
 
 
LaHood, son of longtime congressman and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, was elected last year in a special election. 
 
LaHood said one big accomplishment in his first year in Congress was passage of the WRDA bill. 
 
 
LaHood hopes to see a vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership after the election, but admits it is a tough sell with the current political climate. 

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Debate Producer Says They Don't Move Voters As Much

A visiting Monmouth College professor is serving as a good resource for the presidential debate season. 
 
Joe Angotti helped produce three of them for NBC. He says unfortunately, debates don’t have the same pull with voters like they used to.
 
 
Angotti is a former executive producer for NBC Nightly News and worked on the 1976, 1980 and 1988 presidential debates. 

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Fall in Clinton

Scenes from the fall season in DeWitt County:

 

Par 3 4th hole of Clinton Country Club behind Big Red Barn

 

Green of 3rd hole at Clinton Country Club behind Big Red Barn

 

More pictures will be added in the coming days.

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Local Religious Leader Calls Heroin Epidemic 'Crisis'

It's a term that is not put out lightly but one Clinton religious leader calls the substance and opioid abuse in the community a crisis.
 
Clinton First Christian Church's Pastor Greg Taylor says when you think Clinton, Illinois, you think you are immune to those types of challenges. He says it came as a shock to him the struggle was in his backyard.
 
 
The churches in the Clinton and DeWitt County community have collaborated and pulled resources to create a documentary about the challenge locally. Pastor Taylor says it features testimonial from local residents who have overcome their own addictions.
 
 
At 9:30 am Sunday morning, the Church will host a forum where DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner and Task Force Six leader Tony Kestner will be on hand to answer questions. 
 
 
For Pastor Taylor, from the religious perspective, they hope to bring light to a dark issue. They also hope to bring realistic answers to the crisis the community faces.
 
 
The documentary will be shown at First Christian Church at 8:15 am then 10:45 am. Churches across DeWitt County will show the documentary in the coming weeks. 
 
It was recently announced that DeWitt County now has a Narcotics Anonymous program thanks to the efforts of the Substance Abuse Coalition. The meetings are Tuesday evenings from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the Clinton Church of God. 

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Pair of Clinton Teachers To Be Recognized At State Board Dinner Saturday

A pair of Clinton teachers are going to be in attendance for special recognition by the State board of education Saturday. 
 
(Picture left to right: CUSD Board President John Blythe, Elizabeth Cunningham and Jessica Peterson)
 
Superintendent Curt Nettles indicates Jessica Peterson and Elizabeth Cunningham will be in Bloomington Saturday night for the Illinois State Board of Education's Those Who Excel dinner.
 
 
Peterson was the Teacher of the Year in the district last year and Nettles says her peers, students and parents give her rave reviews.
 
 
Like Peterson, Cunningham is a fifth grade teacher, and was nominated by her peers at the Elementary School. Teachers say she goes above and beyond what is required and is great with the students. 
 
 
Nettles calls the event a big deal and educators and administrators from around the state are a part of the evening. 
 
Nettles says its nice to see the proper people in education recognized when there continue to be many challenges for the edcuation system in the state and educators. 

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Historic State Fair Coliseum Closing

The Illinois State Coliseum on the State Fairgrounds has been closed after engineers inspected the building and found structural deficiencies. 
 
The Coliseum was set to hold a horse show this weekend. 
 
The Illinois Department of Agriculture says for safety reasons they have decided to close the building until repairs can be made. The IDOA added they are waiting on final engineering reports to determine the extent of the damage and how long the building will be closed. 
 
The Coliseum was built in 1901 and was last refurbished in 1958.

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LaHood Says Election Not Rigged

Even though Donald Trump says the election is rigged against him a supporter and a person running in the election disagrees. 
 
During a debate at the State Journal Register in Springfield both candidates in the 18th Congressional District say they have faith in the electoral process. Republican Darin LaHood says the US has an election system that is the envy of the world.
 
 
Democrat Junius Rodriguez says there has always been a peaceful transfer of power and expects that to be the case this year.
 
 
 
The election is November 8. 

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Former HRC Director Passes Away

The former Director of DeWitt County's Human Resource Center passed away last week.
 
53-year old Lynn Scoville passed away October 12 at Decatur Memorial Hospital.
 
Scoville had served as Executive Director of HRC in DeWitt County starting in late 2012 and recently parted ways with the organization amid the state's budget crisis. 
 
Services for Scoville were this weekend.

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Local Leaders in Chicago For Nuclear Power Summit

Local leaders are in Chicago today to discuss the economic impacts of nuclear power in Illinois.
 
Clinton City Administrator Tim Follow will join the likes of Cheri Bustos, Donne Trotter, and Chapin Rose in addressing a special panel about the impacts of nuclear power. Followell says his message is simple, no nuclear power in Illinois means rate increases that will be steep and implemented quickly.
 
 
Followell indicates this is just another step in the process of getting nuclear power legislation in Illinois. Followell says nuclear power across the country is becoming a big topic.
 
 
Followell says this is some evidence of work that is being done on the legislation. He points out all parties with an interest in this continue to meet and discuss the legislation.
 
We'll hear from State Senator Chapin Rose Thursday on the WHOW morning show at approximately 8:30 am on the hearing. 

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Battling Heroin, Substance Abuse Epidemic Community Effort

It may not impact you in your house or the people closest to you, or it very well may, but local authorities say promoting change and creating a help network for the substance abuse epidemic crippling the country and our community starts at home.
 
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says his department has seen too often, the first hand impacts of heroin overdoses and substance abuse on the community and it has forced law enforcement to change their way of thinking. 
 
 
In an effort to help promote change and provide help to those struggling with addictions in the community, Chief Lowers says they welcome anyone who recognizes they need help to give up their drugs and other paraphernalia and law enforcement will help get that individual help.
 
 
According to Chief Lowers, the safety of these individuals should always be at the front of the minds of those closest to them, whether it's family or friends. 
 
 
In November, Chicago-native Tim Ryan will speak about his battle with substance abuse and his program, Man in Recovery.
 
He will present to Clinton Jr. High and High School students on November 2 then will address the community at 7 pm in the Clinton High School Auditorium.
 
The program is free and open to the public. 

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Fire Department FEMA Grant Questioned

Monday night's Clinton City Council meeting was one with brief discussions highlighted by a grant from FEMA for gear for the Clinton Fire Department.
 
Gear valued at roughly $25-hundred was approved but Commissioner John Wise wanted a clarification on why the lowest bid was not approved. According to Assistant Fire Chief Jason Karr and City Administrator Tim Followell, the extra cost was minimal for gear that is much better.
 
 
The grant paid for 16 sets of turn out gear.
 
Other news from the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting:
 
>>With the continued reduction of services with the Human Resource Center in DeWitt County, the City of Clinton has purchased HRC's west facility of Route 54 in Clinton. The facility, purchased for $175-thousand, will be marketed for new business in the community. 
 
>>Demolition was approved for the building at 117 West Webster Street in Clinton by Krumsick Excavating for a cost of $27,600.

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Weekly Crop Report

HARVESTING CONTINUES AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
 
PRODUCERS GOT PLENTY OF TIME IN THE FIELDS WITH PRECIPITATION BELOW NORMAL THIS PAST WEEK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
 
 
58 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS AND 49 PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN HARVESTED.
 
 
SORGHUM HARVEST IS NOW 49 PERCENT COMPLETE AND 43 PERCENT OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP HAS BEEN PLANTED. 
 
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS NOW RATED AT ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT…SEVEN PERCENT SHORT…84 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND EIGHT PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Governor Forms Another Group To Streamline State Agencies

Every candidate says they want to cut red tape to make government work better. 
 
If anyone can do it remains to be seen, but Governor Bruce Rauner formed a new group to take yet another look at the how to streamline state agencies and government regulations. 
 
 
The group, Illinois Competitiveness Council, has a mission and that’s to see cut at least $250 million in license fee costs over the next 10 years. 

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Local Authorities Inviting Community Out For Powerful Presentation

The abuse of opioids and prescription drugs has swept the country and has hit the DeWitt County community hard in the last year.
 
Because of that, local authorities are inviting anyone within shouting distance to attend a powerful program that they hope gives people a strong message to help those in need.
 
Addiction and recovery is the message shared by Tim Ryan, and his program, The Man in Recovery. Dr. Harold Allen with the DeWitt County 708 Mental Health Board has heard Ryan's message and says it is powerful.
 
 
Dr. Allen indicates the 708 Board is providing the fund to allow Ryan to come and speak to junior high and high school students on November 2, then Ryan will have an opportunity at 7 pm that night to address anyone in the community and surrounding areas.
 
 
One of the primary goals of the presentation is to help the community recognize when someone is on drugs and ways to get them help.
 
 
Ryan will speak on November second. He will address youth in the community during the day and then will address the community in the evening.
 
He will present at 7 pm in the Clinton High School auditorium. It is a free event open to the public.
 
Local authorities thank the 708 mental health board for the support and to Ryan for coming to the community to tell his story. 

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Medicare Open Enrollment Underway

Medicare open enrollment for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage opened this weekend.
 
Local officials at the DeWitt County Friendship Center are reminding local seniors to contact Rebecca Wheat. Sissy Leggett, Executive Director of the Friendship Center says this is a time of year where Wheat is very busy, so it is best to get those appointments set up now to review your coverage.
 
 
With the open enrollment period comes the vulnerability to scams and Leggett indicates Wheat and others can help seniors decipher if a phone call or mailing is a scam.
 
 
Leggett explains there are several indicators a senior might be the target of a scam. She says agencies like the IRS, Social Security and other government agencies will not call you.
 
 
Leggett points to the DeWitt County Sheriff's office fraud prevention hotline as a great resource to utilize. She explains the best thing to do for a phone call the does not seem like it is legitimate is to hang up.
 
 
Wheat is in Farmer City on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. The first Wednesday she is in Farmer City from 8:30 am to noon, then the third Wednesday she's there 1:30 pm to 4 pm. 
 
She is also in Weldon one day a month for a couple hours.
 
To reach Wheat on any questions involving the open enrollment period, contact her at 217-935-4560. 
 
To reach the DeWitt County Friendship Center, call 217-935-9411. 

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EMA Hosting Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill

THE STATE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS URGING ILLINOISANS TO PARTICIPATE IN NEXT THURSDAY’S GREAT CENTRAL U-S SHAKEOUT EARTHQUAKE DRILL. 
 
MORE THAN 400 THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED UP FOR THE DRILL SO FAR…AND MANY SCHOOLS, COLLEGE CAMPUSES AND BUSINESSES WILL ALSO BE TAKING PART. THEY WILL LEARN TO “DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON” DURING THE EVENT SAYS IEMA SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON.
 
 
AN EARTHQUAKE IS A REAL POSSIBILITY SINCE ILLINOIS IS HOME TO TWO SEISMIC ZONES. IEMA SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON SAYS IT’S A POPULAR EVENT.
 
ILLINOIS IS HOME TO BOTH THE NEW MADRID SEISMIC ZONE IN SOUTHWESTERN ILLINOIS AND THE WABASH VALLEY SEISMIC ZONE IN SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS. TO PARTICIPATE…VISIT THE WEBSITE: SHAKEOUT DOT ORG SLASH CENTRAL US.

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State Applying For Waiver For Better Mental Health Services For Medicaid Recipients

THE STATE IS OFFICIALLY FILING FOR A WAIVER FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO HELP PROVIDE BETTER MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TO MEDICAID RECIPIENTS.
 
THE WAIVER WOULD GIVE THE STATE ACCESS TO TWO POINT SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL MEDICAID FUNDS TO RESTRUCTURE HOW THE PROGRAM HANDLES MENTALLY ILL PATIENTS. THE IDEA IS TO CREATE A SYSTEM THAT FOCUSES ON EARLY INTERVENTION AND PREVENTION SAYS GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER.
 
 
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTHCARE AND FAMILY SERVICES DIRECTOR FELICIA NORWOOD SAYS THEY WANT TO FOCUS ON A PATIENT’S TOTAL HEALTH…AND PROVIDE MORE PREVENTION AND EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES.
 
 
NORWOOD SAYS 25 PERCENT OF MEDICAID PATIENTS HAVE SOME SORT OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ISSUE.
 
IF APPROVED…THE GOVERNOR SAYS RE-TUNING THE STATE’S DELIVERY OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE WILL SAVE MONEY IN THE LONG TERM BY AVOIDING MORE COSTLY INPATIENT ADMISSIONS AND INSTITUTIONALIZATION.

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Truckers Tour Cuba

Over the past year or so, the Cuban market has started to open for U.S. travel and limited trade. 
 
The Midwest Truckers Association recently conducted an infrastructure tour of the Island. Don Shaefer, the group’s executive vice president, says the Cuban road system is frozen in time.
 
 
Cuba has very good education and medical systems, given their financial limitations, but infrastructure and agriculture have a long way to go if Cuba hopes to grow the economy. They have almost no pesticides, fertilizer or mechanization in agriculture.
 
Shaefer says the Cuban economy needs capital to improve it’s infrastructure and food production systems, and the Cuban government will have to allow a lot more free market incentives if the nation hopes to move into the 21st century.

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Weekly Weather Update

We could have a wet weekend but early next week will be unseasonably warm. State climotologist Jim Angel has the latest....
 

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DeWitt County Development Council Regrouping

The economic development arm of DeWitt County has undergone some noticeable changes in recent months, but recent news of a grant from State Farm Bank could get the organization back on track.
 
Kevin Myers is the President of the DeWitt County Development Council and indicates the Board has been focused on regrouping. The organization has moved from downtown Clinton to now meeting at the DeWitt County Farm Bureau building.
 
 
According to Myers, with the loss of funding in recent years, the goal of the DCDC board is to rally local support and then rebuild their reserves to allow them to go out and pursue businesses.
 
 
The $25-thousand matching grant through State Farm Bank could be a huge opportunity to get the organization back up on it's feet. David Torbert indicates the goal now becomes rallying community support with the goal of at least $25-thousand.
 
 
Torbert indicates the DCDC Board is working to provide incentives to potential member donors. He says while some things are still in the works the goal is to bring the community together and provide those donors with public recognition.
 
 
There is a deadline of December 31 to get the funds raised. Myers and Torbert thank the State Farm Bank for the grant and hope to meet the deadline to get the organization back on it's feet.
 
The DCDC is seeking a 15 member board with a little over half of the board seats filled. Myers and Torbert indicate they'd like board members with a community mindset and business experience.
 
To learn more about getting involved with the DeWitt County Development Council, contact Myers at 217-521-3143. 

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Scovill Zoo's Boo at the Zoo Kicks Off Tonight

It's annual event at the Scovill Zoo in Decatur kicks off tonight and administrators at the zoo are excited about another year.
 
For around 30 years, Boo at the Zoo has really ended the season at the zoo and Director Ken Frye it's an opportunity for youth to start their treat collections early leading up to Halloween.
 
 
Halloween falls on a Monday this year and Frye indicates the staff has decided to not host Boo at the Zoo on Halloween night. He indicates Halloween in the past has been slow.
 
 
Boo at the Zoo kicks off tonight and is October 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29 and 30. Weeknight hours are 5:30 pm to 8 pm then weekend hours are 3 pm to 8 pm. 
 
For more information, visit scovillzoo.com. 

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More To For Illinois To Get Licenses Compliant With Washington Demands

Illinois and 13 other states are getting a temporary reprieve from enhanced federal i-d standards. 
 
Federal officials announced a year-long extension to comply with stricter federal requirements for driver's licenses and identification cards. 
 
Illinois now has until Oct. 10, 2017 to comply with the 2005 Real ID act. 
 
It imposes tougher requirements for proof of legal U.S. residency.

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Rauner Gives Money But Doesn't Control the Message

Governor Bruce Rauner has given millions to the Republican Party since being elected. But he doesn’t feel as though he has much to do with content of direct mail pieces that go to voters in districts. 
 
The Republican Party sent out a downstate mailer that linked a Democrat House candidate to a convicted sex offender. 
 
 
The mailer connects Mike Mathis and a former State Rep. Keith Farnham, an Elgin Democrat who is serving an eight year prison term for distributing child pornography. 
 
Mathis was the Chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, Farnham a Democratic lawmaker at the same time.
 
Rauner says it’s important to spend money on political races and he doesn’t have a say on what happens with it.

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Durbin Discusses Farm, Rural Issues

U.S. Senator Richard Durbin visited with a group of farmers near Gibson City in Central Illinois. 
 
The Springfield Democrat rode along with Colfax farmer Gerald (GARE-old) Thompson while he was harvesting soybeans;
 
 
Durbin also discussed how federal farm legislation provides Illinois farmers with a financial safety net.
 
 
Durbin heard farmers talk about how they use crops improved through the use of biotechnology, why they favor the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and what might be needed to protect food security in the next federal farm bill.

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Avery Bourne Continues To Support Trump

Now even state candidates need to chime in on Presidential politics. Republican nominee for President - Donald Trump now presents a question that every Republican candidate for office needs to address. 
 
Incumbent Republican State Rep. (95th) Avery Bourne says she has a clear choice when it comes to casting a ballot on November 8th. 
 

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Angel Tree Sign Up Deadline Near

Parents with children interested in being on the DeWitt County Angel Tree lists this holiday season are encouraged to get their kids signed up this Saturday.
 
It will be the final opportunity to be a part of the program for 2016 according to Director of the Angel Tree, Sue Calvert. She indicates the sign up session is at the Warner Library and registering is a simple process.
 
 
While the community recognizes Angel Tree for their work during the holiday season, Calvert says there's a lot more to the organization than just that. She says their Samaratin Room group provides coats and shoes and many other necessities to community children throughout the year.
 
 
During the holiday season, the programs Shop With A Cop and Shop With A Fireman are very popular. Calvert indicates the children that participate in those events are selected by Angel Tree, so questions about the programs should be directed to them and not the Fire Department or Police Department.
 
 
Through the generous support of the community, Angel Tree for 25 years has been able to help all the kids that come to them to be a part of the program year after year. 
 
Again, this Saturday is the final opportunity to get registered and must go to the Warner Public Library. Registration is from 9 am to 2 pm. 
 
For more information, contact Sue Calvert at suecalvert13@gmail.com. 

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Illinois To Continue To Be Warmer Than Normal

Weather in Illinois has been warmer and dryer than normal this fall and that looks to continue. 
 
State Climatologist Jim Angel says that looking forward the state in general will be holding on to early fall temperatures. 
 
 
Temperatures Sunday and Monday are expected to return to the lower-80s and mid-80s by Tuesday in DeWitt County. 

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LaHood Continues To Stand With Trump

It's getting harder to do a political story without involving the name Donald Trump. 
 
While Republicans in Congress continue to abandon support for Trump's candidacy for President, Peoria Republican Darin LaHood is standing by him. His opponent, Democrat Junius Rodriguez is hoping to use that as political ammo to gain ground in the race. 
 
Rodriguez labeled LaHood the last guardian of the political gutter during a Peoria news conference. 
 
LaHood condemned remarks found in an eleven-year-old tape of Trump but continues to express support for his candidacy. 

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Iowa Bank Group To Acquire Clinton's First National Bank

TS Banking Group of Treynor, Iowa has entered into an agreement with First Clinton Bancorporation, Inc., to acquire First National Bank and Trust Company of Clinton, IL, with banking assets of 118 million and trust assets of 105 million.
 
In an announcement from TS Bank group, John M. Killian, President and CEO said quote - “As we reviewed potential merger candidates, we purposely approached TS Bank. Based on their track record of giving back to the community, their financial literacy programs for schools, and being a family-owned and managed bank, it gave us confidence in the culture and integrity of the company. TS Bank is a very good fit for our bank, our staff, our customers, and the community we serve.”
 
Bank officials indicate First National Bank staff will remain intact and they will keep their name. Another keep piece of the merger is the bank also keeps their national bank charter designation. 
 
TS Banking Group also will implement a couple community based programs as a part of the merger with First National Bank where 10% gross profits go back into community, including part of those funds going back into a school literacy program that focuses on financial education towards youth. 
 
“First National Bank and Trust shares many of the same qualities and values of TS Banking Group, which makes this a great fit,” said Joshua M. Guttau, TS Banking Group CEO.
 
TS Banking Group is headquartered in Treynor, Iowa, located in the Omaha, NE MSA.

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Local Representative Hopeful Exelon Language Will Come Out Soon

Language for legislation to aid nuclear power in Illinois could be released this week or next.
 
That's according to State Representative Bill Mitchell, who remains cautiously optimistic this deal could still get done and Exelon could remain in the community. He calls this the number one jobs issue in central Illinois.
 
 
Rep. Mitchell knows lots of different groups are meeting on this and they continue to work things out. His hope is some legislation might be brought forward this fall still.
 
 
Even though the fruits of the labor of lawmakers and those in negotiations remains unseen, Rep. Mitchell says talks are still going on and progress continues to be made.
 
 
While many issues at the state level could get tied up in the results of the November 8 election, Rep. Mitchell does not foresee Exelon and the nuclear energy bill being one of those issues.

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New Save A Lot Location Taking Shape

Construction of the new Clinton Save A Lot location is taking off and owner Dave Jackson tells Regional Radio News, a target of opening of the new store is roughly late November.
 
Jackson indicates the exterior is what is most noticeable to the public but there is a lot happening everywhere, even their parking lot.
 
 
One aspect of the new store Jackson is excited about is solar panels that will be installed. He says they will have the options for expanding the original amount later on but he is excited about the idea of 'free energy'.
 
 
The project of building the new Save A Lot location has been done almost exclusively by local contractors. Jackson has been impressed because this store for some is the biggest project they've taken on but those contractors are performing at a high level.
 
 
Jackson says because there is still a lot to do both on the inside of the store and the outside, a firm date for a grand opening is not yet been decided on but he maintains the building will be open in the fall season and a mid-to-late November open is likely. 

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Rauner Going Out Of His Way To Avoid Using Trump's Name

Governor Bruce Rauner always goes out of his way not to say the name of the Republican Presidential nomomiee Donald Trump. 
 
And he has stood by his decision to not endorse a candidate in the race for President. Rauner says Trump’s recently reveled hot mic comments were appalling.
 

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Durbin Concerned About America's Politics

Senator Dick Durbin has compared GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump to a leader of a banana republic after his threat to put Hillary Clinton in jail if elected President. 
 
Durbin is concerned in general about the nature of political debate across America.
 
 
Durbin was also critical of Trump's decision to bring Clinton accusers to the debate. He called it a new low in presidential debates. It really has reached a point now where it is all entertainment and theater.”

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Clinton Fire Busy During Columbus Day Weekend

Despite scary scenes during the Columbus Day Weekend, no injuries were reported during calls responded to by the Clinton Fire Department.
 
Starting Saturday evening at approximately 6:30 pm, crews responded to smells of smoke at 412 South Jackson. 
 
Upon arrival, responders found no smoke nor smells of smoke but it was discovered the home was filled with carbon monoxide at deadly levels. 
 
Crews treated the occupants of the home with oxygen, Ameren shut off gas as the house was ventilated. It was discovered it was an appliance issue.
 
While it is fire safety week in Illinois, crews are taking time to remind residents carbon monoxide an odorless gas that can cause severe confusion, which is what the occupants were suffering from. 
 
Clinton fire crews also responded to two combine fires Monday. The first was at approximately 1:15 pm at the corner of Ospur and Central Roads. 
 
Crews quickly extinguished what was a small fire.
 
Clinton Fire was on scene for roughly an hour and a half and no injuries were reported. 
 
Then around 7:15 pm Monday night, another combine fire was reported Airport Road in southern DeWitt County.
 
Due to the uncertainty of the location of the combine, Maroa and Clinton Fire Departments were on scene for what was described as another small fire.
 
Crews remained on scene for about an hour and no injuries were reported. 

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Local Boy Scouts Restoring Once Prominent Weldon Springs Recreation Spot

This past Saturday, you could find about a dozen local Boy Scout members at the Black Locust retreat area at Weldon Springs State Park, working to restore it to it's once prominent hot spot in DeWitt County.
 
Donald Husted is the Scout Master for the Clinton Troop 142 and indicates this year started the restoration process. He explains it was very overgrown prior to this year and it has been cleared out and the goal is to get it back to usability.
 
 
Husted hopes to see the area return to usability with community access. While getting it completely restored could take a couple years, he says their starting point is the pavilion.
 
 
Funding for the project has been a huge focal point for the Boy Scouts. Husted explains they have been blessed to receive donations from lots of different places and have received great support from community businesses.
 
 
Husted says the Boy Scouts Troop is growing and continues to be active in the various activities and trips they go on. 
 
For more information on how to join the Boy Scouts, visit clintontroop142.com or contact Husted at clintontroop142@gmail.com. 
 

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Apple n' Pork Kettle Corn Benefits Clinton HS Golf, #EvanStrong Foundation

If you waited in line for the always and consistently busy kettle corn at the bridge of the CH Moore Homestead grounds, you were benefiting a pair of groups.
 
Randy Workman is the Clinton High School golf coach and indicates the sales of their Apple n' Pork stand will allow the golfers to purchase really nice polos for a very good rate and to allow the school to afford a JV program.
 
 
The #EvanStrong Foundation started benefiting from the sales of the kettle corn on Sunday last year. Workman says this last year they gave out their first scholarships in honor of his son Evan.
 
 
Over the years the kettle corn stand at the Apple n' Pork festival has benefited the cheerleading squad, the football, baseball and golf programs. Workman says it's an easy operation they have down to a science anymore.
 
 
The Clinton High School golf team sent juniors Mac Hickman and Chase Reynolds to the Metamora Sectional Monday in Class 2A action. We'll have more on that on Regional Radio News.

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Davis Moving on From Trump Support

Sunday night's debate came too late for Donald Trump to maintain the support of Congressman Rodney Davis. 
 
Davis announced he was no longer backing Trump after the release of a 2005 tape where Trump made comments about women he has referred to since as locker room talk. Davis says as the father of a teenage girl and teen twin boys, he didn't turn to political consultants or party leaders.
 
 
Davis says the lack of support for Trump doesn't mean he's passive about the fate of Trump's opponent.
 
 
House Speaker Paul Ryan has shifted his focus from supporting Trump's run for President to helping Republicans win Congressional races.

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Same Day Voting a Go Again

For weeks there has been an uncertain outcome around the fate of same day voter registration in Illinois. 
 
The matter isn’t settled but Attorney General Lisa Madigan says that the issue won’t be back in court until after Election Day so voters will be able to sign up on November 8th and vote.
 
 
On Election Day you will want to make sure you’re headed to the right spot, in some places you will have to register and vote at specific place, in others you can sign up at your polling place. 

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Homecoming Week in Clinton

Clinton schools may be out of school for today but Homecoming week will still kick off as usual.
 
Principal Jerry Wayne says the week brings a lot of excitement across the community, culminating in the Friday afternoon parade and the Friday night football game.
 
 
Each day this week the students are in school, there will be themed days, and Wayne says the powder puff football game is Wednesday night. Friday will be a district wide early dismissal for the afternoon parade.
 
 
The Clinton Junior High and High Schools will dismiss at 2 pm Friday afternoon with the Elementary School and Lincoln and Douglas schools dismissing at 1:45 pm. 
 
The Friday parade starts at 3 pm. The route starts at First Christian Church, traveling down West Main Street to the High School.
 
Friday night's football game can be heard on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. 

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Fire Safety Week in Clinton

It's Fire Safety Week and local authorities are promoting safety and also the Clinton Fire Department's annual Fire Truck Parade Wednesday night.
 
Fire Chief David Dallas indicates this will the 20th year for the parade and says the route is from the Junior High School, down Illini Drive to the Clinton Square.
 
 
The Department's smokehouse will be on the square like in years past. Chief Dallas says it's an opportunity for youth to learn the basics of how to exit a building that might be on fire.
 
 
Firefighters will also be in the school teaching the kids about fire safety and giving out prizes with fire safety reminders.
 
 
The Clinton Square will be blocked off by the Fire Department starting at 5 pm Wednesday afternoon. No vehicles will be towed but the square will be blocked for access. 

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Pension Shortfall Tops A Trillion-Dollars

The latest numbers from Moodys on the state's pension shortfall shows that the pension systems for public workers are underfunded by $1.2 trillion. 
 
Moody's believes the gap will expand in coming years, as the funds' annual investment returns are running well below expectations.

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Clinton's American Legion Hosting CPR Training

The Clinton American Legion is offering a CPR training course next week.
 
The training will take place at the Legion building at 219 North Elizabeth Street Wednesday October 12 at 6:30 pm.
 
It is $25 per person and is a good opportunity for a refresher for those with the training already.
 
For more information, contact Lanna at 217-935-7790 or Darvin at 217-935-3551 or Debbie at 217-737-7443.
 
Organizers ask anyone interested in attending to please pre-register.

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Farmer City Seeking Entries for 2016 Christmas Parad

The 2016 Farmer City Christmas Parade has been set for Sunday November 20th and entries are not being accepted for the yearly event.
 
"The Magic of Christmas" is the theme for this year's parade, sponsored by the Farmer City Chamber of Commerce and entries can now be submitted. 
 
Groups or individuals can get involved. Entries in the past have included high school bands, shrine entries and holiday floats among many others.
 
To make a submission to the 2016 Farmer City Christmas Parade, contact Chad Wills, chairmen of the Christmas Parade at 309-830-7422 or mail a valid entry to 101 Comet Lane, Heyworth, IL 61745.

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HS FBALL: Maroons at Shelbyville; Monticello Goes For Okaw Title

>>Maroons Travel To Shelbyville
 
Coming off a 51-20 victory at Sullivan last week, the Clinton Maroons return to the road to take on Shelbyville in Central Illinois Conference action. 
 
The Rams at 4-2 are a victory away from giving themselves a chance at the postseason. Shelbyville beat Meridian 44-6 last week at home. 
 
The Clinton Maroons enter play tonight at 3-3 and need to win two of their final three games to ensure themselves a chance at the postseason for the second straight year.
 
Hear all tonight's action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
>>Sages Host St. Thomas More for Homecoming
 
It's Homecoming in Monticello this week and the Monticello Sages will put their undefeated record on the line tonight as the Sabres of Champaign St. Thomas More. 
If Monticello wins, they will win the Okaw Valley outright with victories already over Tolono Unity and St. Joseph Ogden. 
 
St. Thomas More is 5-1 on the season.
 
Monticello is coming off a 36-0 victory over Casey-Westfield.
 
Game time tonight from Monticello is approximately 7 pm with broadcast time about 6:45 pm.
 
Hear all the action on 95.9 M WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
 
High School football action across the area tonight:
 
Central Illinois
 
Decatur St. Teresa at Tuscola
Central A & M at Sullivan-Okaw Valley
Warrensburg-Latham at Meridian
 
Okaw Valley
 
Rantoul at Tolono Unity
 
Apollo
 
Charleston at Taylorville
Effingham at Mattoon
Salem at Mt. Zion
 
Big Twelve
Champaign Central at Peoria Notre Dame
Danville at Peoria (Sat.)
Norma  West vs. Peoria Manual at Peoria Stadium
Normal Community at Champaign Centennial
Peoria Richwoods at Bloomington
 
Central State Eight
Decatur MacArthur at Springfield Southeast
Jacksonville at Chatham Glenwood
Rochester at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
Springfield at Decatur Eisenhower
Springfield Lanphier at Lincoln
 
Corn Belt
 
Bloomington Central Catholic at Fairbury Prairie Central
Mahomet-Seymour at Normal U-High
Olympia at Pontiac
 
Little Okaw Valley (Northwest)
 
Arcola at Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond
Argenta-Oreana at Sangamon Valley
Cerro Gordo-Bement at Decatur Lutheran
 
Little Okaw Valley (Southeast)
 
Martinsville at Palestine
Oakland Tri-County at Toledo Cumberland
Villa Grove-Heritage at Oblong
 
Mid-Illini
 
Canton at Limestone
Dunlap at Metamora
East Peoria at Morton
Pekin at Washington
 
Sangamo
 
Athens at Virden North Mac
Petersburg (PORTA) at Auburn
Pittsfield at Williamsville
Pleasant Plains at New Berlin
Riverton at Maroa -Forsyth
 
Non Conference action tonight:
 
Ridgeview at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley
Tri-Valley at Fisher
Flanagan-Cornell-Cornell-Woodland at Eureka
Heyworth at MFieldcrest
Dee-Mack at LeRoy
St. Joseph-Ogden at Lawrenceville

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Illinois, ISU, Eastern Illinois At Home Saturday

>>Illinois Hosts Purdue Saturday Afternoon
 
Despite a solid first half, Illinois fell to Nebraska in Lincoln 31-16 last week. Now Illinois welcomes Purdue to Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
 
At 2-2, Purdue comes in off a 50-7 loss at Maryland last Saturday.
 
RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn had career highs in rushing yards (180), rushing touchdowns (2), long rush (78) and all-purpose yards (203) against Purdue last season as the Fighting Illini had 595 total yards of offense. However, Reggie Corbin displaces Vaughn as the starting runningback this week.
 
Game time Saturday from Memorial Stadium is 2:30 pm and can be seen on the Big Ten Network.
 
>>Illinois State Hopes To End Three Game Skid Hosting Youngstown State
 
A stretch of three road games in four weeks comes to an end Satureday, when the No. 22 Illinois State (2-3, 0-2 MVFC) begin a two-game home stand against the No. 13 Youngstown State Penguins (3-1, 1-0 MVFC) on Homecoming at Hancock Stadium. 
 
The Redbirds are coming off of three-straight losses and has not lost four in a row since the 2008 season, while the Penguins have won two-straight games including their win over South Dakota in last week's conference opener.
 
The Penguins are off to a 3-1 start to the season, with the lone loss coming to FBS foe West Virginia. YSU has played three of its first four games at home and picked up wins over Duquense, Robert Morris and South Dakota.
 
After a week 2 win against FCS opponent Northwestern, Illinois State has dropped three straight, including in-state rival Eastern Illinois and top-ranked North Dakota State. 
 
It's Homecoming weekend at ISU and game time is 2 pm Saturday afternoon.
 
>>Eastern Illinois Hosts Tennessee State Saturday Night
 
Off a disappointing 21-14 loss at Southeast Missouri last Saturday, Eastern Illinois returns home for Hall of Fame Weekend hosting Tennesse State. 
 
Ranked 25th in the country, Tennessee State topped Tennessee-Martin 34-30 at home. 
 
Eastern Illinois is ranked 19th in the country.
 
Hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com starting at 5:30 pm. 

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Bears in Indianapolis, Packers Host Giants

>>Bears At Indianapolis Sunday
 
Chicago Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman does not need to study film to learn the strengths of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
 
After all, Freeman spent the previous four seasons as Luck's teammate with the Colts.
The Bears (1-3) visit the Colts (1-3) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Neither team's start to the season has gone as planned, and both sides need a win to climb toward .500 and prevent their playoff chances from diminishing even further.
 
Indianapolis is averaging 27 points per game, which ranks No. 7 in the NFL. Defense is another story, as the Colts are allowing 31.3 points per game, third worst in the league.
 
On offense, Chicago is managing only 15.5 points a game, which is tied with the Tennessee Titans for worst in the NFL. The Bears' defense is allowing 24.3 points a game, which ranks No. 19.
 
Chicago is coming off its first win of the season, a 17-14 decision over the Detroit Lions. However, the victory carried a heavy price as wide receiver Kevin White, the team's 2015 first-round pick, broke his left fibula and badly sprained his left ankle. White missed all of last season because of injuries to the same leg.
 
White joins a long list of injured Bears teammates that includes quarterback Jay Cutler (thumb), running back Jeremy Langford (ankle) and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (ankle). One starter who could return is linebacker Danny Trevathan, who missed the past two games because of a thumb injury.
 
If Cutler is unable to play, veteran Brian Hoyer would make his third consecutive start. Hoyer faced the Colts last season while with the Houston Texans. He threw for 312 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 27-20 loss.
 
>>Packers Host Giants on Sunday Night Football
 
The New York Giants' trip to Green Bay to face the Packers is dripping with story lines.
 
Will Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham keep his poise and bounce back from the worst game of his career? In Monday night's loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Beckham was limited to three receptions for a career-low 23 yards. After scoring 25 touchdowns in the first 27 games of his career, Beckham hasn't found the end zone in four games this year.
Beckham has a chance to get back on track against the Packers. After being frustrated by Washington's Josh Norman and Minnesota's Xavier Rhodes, Beckham will attack a Packers pass defense that ranks 29th in yards allowed. That unit has had trouble coping with the loss of cornerback Sam Shields, who figures to miss his third consecutive game with a concussion. Last year's first-round pick, Damarious Randall, has struggled to adapt to life as the team's top cornerback, with Minnesota's Stefon Diggs and Detroit's Marvin Jones having big days mainly at his expense the past two games.
 
Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo is coming back to Green Bay, where he worked as tight ends coach from 2006-11 and quarterbacks coach in 2012 and 2013.
 
A quarterbacking matchup between Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning is about as good as it gets. Rodgers is a two-time MVP. Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion. Rodgers, coming off a four-touchdown first-half performance vs. Detroit, owns the highest career passer rating in NFL history. Manning is two touchdowns away from becoming the eighth player in NFL history with 300 touchdown passes and is one win from No. 100.
 
Manning is 2-3 in regular-season games against the Packers -- 1-2 vs. Rodgers -- but is 2-0 in the playoffs. The Giants won 23-20 in overtime to capture the NFC Championship in 2007 and 37-20 in the divisional playoffs in 2011. Both games were at Lambeau Field. The first was played with a kickoff temperature of minus-1; the second ruined the defending Super Bowl-champion Packers' 15-1 regular season.

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Blue Jays, Indians Take Game 1 in AL Playoffs

>>Blue Jays Route Rangers in Game 1
 
Jose Bautista hit another long, punctuating home run for the Toronto Blue Jays in the playoffs against the Texas Rangers.
 
This time, Bautista dropped his bat softly near home plate and rounded the bases after a 425-foot, three-run blast in the ninth inning of the Blue Jays' 10-1 romp Thursday in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.
 
Marco Estrada took a shutout into the ninth inning. The All-Star right-hander with an impressive changeup, who won Game 3 in last year's ALDS after Toronto lost the first two at home, struck out six without a walk.
 
The last of the Rangers' four hits off Estrada was Elvis Andrus' leadoff triple in the ninth. Gibbons removed the right-hander after Shin-Soo Choo's RBI grounder ended the shutout bid.
 
Troy Tulowitzki hit a bases-loaded triple for the Blue Jays. Toronto has won four straight overall, including an 11-inning, 5-2 victory over Baltimore in the AL wild-card game Tuesday night.
 
Cole Hamels, the MVP of the 2008 World Series and NLCS for Philadelphia, threw 42 of his 82 pitches in the third. He allowed seven runs (six earned) with three walks in 3 1/3 innings.
 
J.A. Happ, a 20-game winner, allowed one run in seven innings in a win against the Rangers on May 5. He stars Friday afternoon at Texas.
 
Yu Darvish starts only his second postseason game in his five seasons with Texas. The right-hander from Japan lost the 2012 AL wild-card game against Baltimore, and missed last season after Tommy John surgery.
 
>>Cleveland Takes Game 1 Over Boston
 
Back in October's spotlight, the Cleveland Indians rocked Rick Porcello for three long balls in the third inning in their AL Division Series opener. Francisco Lindor's homer capped the rampage off the 22-game winner, and the Indians held on to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Thursday night.
 
Lindor, Jason Kipnis and Robert Perez went deep in the third off Porcello, who lasted 4 1/3 innings in his shortest outing this year.
 
Andrew Miller, acquired by Cleveland in a July trade for an October night like this, pitched two scoreless innings for the win . Summoned by manager Terry Francona earlier than usual, the lefty struck out Ortiz with two on to end the fifth and threw a season-high 40 pitches.
 
Bryan Shaw gave up a leadoff homer to Boston's Brock Holt in the eighth that made it 5-4 before Cody Allen struck out Xander Bogaerts with the potential tying run at third to end the inning. Boston put a runner on with two outs in the ninth but Allen fanned Dustin Pedroia on a full-count checked-swing , his 40th pitch, for the save. Pedroia was livid, and Farrell went onto the field to question plate umpire Brian Knight.
 
Ortiz went 1 for 4 with a double in the first game of his final postseason.
 
Rookie Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also homered for the Red Sox, who will start David Price in Game 2 in the shadows Friday afternoon against Cleveland ace Corey Kluber.

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Chamber's Haunted House Opens Tonight

It's the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and it opens tonight in Clinton.
 
The Chamber's Terror on Washington Street Haunted House will open for the Halloween season and Chae Mills with the Chamber says if you've been a regular attender of their haunted house, you again will see new scares and frights starting tonight.
 
 
Mills indicates planning and preparations for the Haunted House start months in advance of opening night. She explains they start with attending a conference in St. Louis for fresh ideas culminating in long nights at the house getting ready.
 
 
The Chamber will seek out groups to come in and help each night of the Haunted House. According to Mills, they need around 15 volunteers each night, and when the groups are done, they'll receive a donation from the Chamber for their time.
 
 
When you come to the Clinton Haunted House, you won't be waiting in line. That doens't you wait but Mills indicates there is an open area with different entertainment opportunities and they have a food tent while attendees wait.
 
 
The Haunted House opens tonight in Clinton starting from 7 pm to 11 pm. The Terror on Washington Street Haunted House runs each Friday and Saturday night until the end of October and on Halloween night from 7 pm to 9 pm. 

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Decatur Glass Factory Adds Jobs

Chinese investment in a central Illinois town is paying off with more jobs at a glass factory. 
 
Fuyao Glass cut the ribbon on $200 million in improvements to the former PPG Glass plant in Decatur. The Fuyao workforce is growing from 50 jobs to 300. Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolf says that this makes it clear downstate Illinois can be a center of global manufacturing. 
 
 
President of the Decatur and Macon County Economic Development Corporation Ryan McCrady says that the arrival of a foreign business in central Illinois showcases the global nature of trade.
 
 
The plant manufacturers glass for the automobile industry. The Macon County plant can produce enough glass for about 4 million cars a year. 

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AmVets Post 14 Snow Cones, Grill Food Help Local Efforts

The Clinton AmVets Post 14 snow cones were a huge hit at this year's Apple n' Pork Festival thanks to a warmer than usual late September weekend.
 
Darrel Tucker with the Clinton AmVets says the sales of their snow cones, hot dogs and hamburgers helps them remain viable in the community at a time when AmVet posts in Illinois are struggling.
 
 
According to Tucker, they will also use the funds from the weekend to step up and provide financial support to veterans who need it, both locally and around the state.
 
 
Clinton AmVets Post 14 earlier this week teamed up with the local Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack for their annual flag retirement ceremony at Weldon Springs State Park followed by a potluck, cookout.

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Governor Hosts Another Facebook Live Event

It was another Facebook Live event for the Governor. Bruce Rauner was joined by Jim Schultz the head of the state’s new public private business support group Intersect Illinois. Rauner focused on creating jobs and retaining business to build the state’s economy. 
 
Rauner didn’t read any questions that would be deemed tough as his staff selected the ones that he would answer. Rauner says that Intersect Illinois is being funded by private donations.
 
 
Schultz says that he see’s Intersect Illinois as the go to place to help businesses expand and thrive.
 
 
Intersect Illinois currently has 7 employees, with a hope to have 25 people working by next year to bring business to Illinois and assist one’s that are already here.

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October Is Safe Sleep Awareness Month, Emphasis On Babies

THIS IS SAFE SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH IN ILLINOIS BUT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES SAYS YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR BABY BY FOLLOWING SOME SIMPLE STEPS. 
 
SLEEP IS THE NUMBER ONE SAFETY ISSUE FOR BABIES UNDER ONE YEAR OF AGE. D-C-F-S SPOKESPERSON JENNIFER FLORENT SAYS MOMS AND DADS SHOULD REMEMBER THE A-B-C’S: A BABY SHOULD SLEEP ALONE, ON THEIR BACK, AND IN A SAFE CRIB. THERE SHOULD BE NO STUFFED ANIMALS, BUMPER PADS OR PILLOWS IN THE CRIB.
 
 
FLORENT ALSO STRESSES THAT BABIES SHOULD NOT BE LAID DOWN TO SLEEP ON A COUCH OR ADULT BED WHERE THEY COULD EASILY ROLL OVER AND SUFFOCATE.
 
 
FLORENT ALSO REMINDS THAT SLEEPING WITH YOUR BABY IS DANGEROUS, AND THAT NO TOYS, PILLOWS, BLANKETS OR BUMPER PADS SHOULD BE IN YOUR BABY’S CRIB. SUFFOCATION AND SIDS ARE ONE OF THE LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH FOR CHILDREN UNDER ONE YEAR OF AGE.

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Clinton Police Chief Addresses Clown Phenomenon

It's taken the United States by storm and Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers calls it ridiculous.
 
The unsubstantiated claims of dangerous clowns in communities has taken the country by storm in recent weeks and Chief Lowers says while claims have been made in Clinton, everything is originating on social media with zero evidence of any clowns to be seen. 
 
 
Chief Lowers says the widespread reports of clown sitings is the negative result of social media on our society. He indicates his research is finding there are zero substantiated claims by law enforcement anywhere in the country. 
 
 
According to the Chief, if you are making these claims and they are found to be untrue, that is a crime and people are being arrested for making those claims. 
 
 
While claims of clowns intending harm are without proof, Chief Lowers explains someone may dress up as a clown as a joke however, that person could ultimately be putting themselves in harms way, and that concerns him.
 
 
Chief Lowers points out the infatuation with clowns has grown increasingly popular with youth in the community and calls it a great distraction to the education system locally. He also notes authorities have had to expend local resources over claims that have yet to be substantiated.
 
Chief Lowers also notes there are real problems to be dealt with locally and across the country like the drug problem that continues to claim lives or domestic violence but the focus has been shifted to phantom clown sitings. 

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Apple n' Pork Festival Clinton YMCA's Biggest Fundraiser

It's a common theme among the non-profit groups that set up each year on the grounds of the CH Moore Homestead: The Apple n' Pork Festival is their biggest fundraiser.
 
The Clinton YMCA has for many years served up tenderized pork cutlet sandwiches and Executive Director of the Y, Rennie Cluver, indicates the money goes back in to their general fund.
 
 
While the Clinton community benefits greatly from the Apple n' Pork Festival, Cluver indicates it is not just Clinton residents at the festival, but people from all over coming in supporting the various groups.
 
 
The now defunct-youth leaders club are a part of the YMCA's weekend help and do a great deal to help during Apple n' Pork weekend. Cluver says it brings together the youth and the leadership during the two-day festival.
 
 
The Clinton YMCA is located at 417 South Alexander Street in Clinton. To get more information on the 'Y', contact them at 217-935-8307. 

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Pleas For End Of Statute of Limitations in Child Sex Abuse Cases

The highest profile alleged victim of sex abuse at the hands of former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert delivers powerful testimony before state lawmakers. 
 
An emotional Scott Cross, the brother of former House Minority Leader Tom Cross, spoke in favor of ending the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases.
 
 
While Cross says Hastert's punishment is underwhelming to him, he's still happy with recent developments.
 
 
Hastert was sentenced in April to 15 months in prison for violating banking laws.

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Pot Sales Top $20-Million

More and more people are buying medical marijuana in Illinois. The state says that sales for September passed $3.8 million. 
 
That brings the total to more than $20 million for the life of the program. 
 
Licensed dispensaries now have 11,000 patients they can sell too. 
 
The number of locations to buy medical pot is also on the rise, there are now 44 dispensaries in Illinois. 

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Duckworth Continues Push For Debate With Kirk

As election season amps up it’s also debate season, but they have been hard to come by in the US Senate race in Illinois between the incumbent Republican Mark Kirk and Democratic Challenger and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth. 
 
Last week the two sat together for a joint appearance at the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board. Duckworth took to pushing Kirk for more debates while they sat in front of the Tribune.
 
 
Kirk said he should do another televised debate in Chicago but that he was tied to the voting schedule in the Senate. And he gave far from a solid commitment to do so.

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Indiana Offers Advice As Illinois Prepares for Bicentennial

Governor Bruce Rauner recently hit the reset switch on the state's upcoming bicentennial in 2018. He scrapped a previous bicentennial commission and named brand new members last month. 
 
Indiana Executive Director Perry Hammock notes his team had five years to prepare for 200th state birthday events around Indiana, but he thinks Illinois should have no problem putting together a first class event in less than two years.
 
 
Hammocks says it's not all about about direct economic impact either.
 
 
Indiana's bicentennial day is set for December 11th.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters Bar Stool Classic Later This Month

A local organization's yearly late fall event has blossomed into something local businesses look forward on a yearly basis.
 
Big Brothers Big Sisters' annual Bar Stool Classic has turned into an annual event local bars and restaurants look forward to and Lauren Hutton, with Big Brothers Big Sisters says registration is going on now.
 
 
Hutton indicates the bars and restaurants that participate have gotten into the event in the last few years by crafting creative mini golf holes for participants and by having food and drink specials.
 
 
Hutton thanks Baum Chevrolet Buick is providing the event with free rides for those who might need them. 
 
For more information on the event or to get registered, contact Hutton at Big Brothers Big Sisters in DeWitt County by calling 217-935-1234 or emailing lhutton@bbscil.org.
 
The event is Saturday October 22 starting at Misflips Bar in Wapella with registration at noon. 

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Blue Ridge Schools Excited After Successful Pilot Parents Academy

In September, parents of students turned out in great numbers to be a part of a first of it's kind program that Blue Ridge school leaders are excited about the future of.
 
Susan Wilson is the Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools and indicates the first Parents Academy was centered around the common core math curriculum and reviews from the first event were very positive.
 
 
Wilson says the district will have another Parents Academy in early November at their various schools centered around a couple different subject matters for students of all ages.
 
 
All of the parents academy sessions are free to the public and Wilson encourages anyone interested in upcoming dates and programs to visit the district website to find more information.

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Farmers Otulook Improves From September

Every month, the ag researchers at Purdue University survey a sample of 400 farmers and ranchers across the country to compile the Ag Economic Barometer. 
 
A little like the ‘consumer sentiment’ survey issued by the federal govt. each month, the ag economic barometer gives us a feel about farmers view of the ag economy. Dr. Jim Mintert, ag economist at Purdue, says sentiment dipped sharply in August, but picked up in September.
 
 
So what happened in September to make farmers feel a little better about the ag economy?
 
 
Just like consumer sentiment impacts the nation’s economy by predicting consumer’s willingness to spend money, the Ag Barometer influences how much farmers willing to spend on equipment, and other expenditures to improve or expand their operations. 

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September Sixth Warmest On Record in Illinois

LAST MONTH WAS THE SIXTH WARMEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD IN ILLINOIS.
 
THE FIRST DAY OF FALL CAME AND WENT LAST MONTH…BUT IT SURE DIDN’T FEEL LIKE IT SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL.
 
 
THE WARMEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD IN ILLINOIS WAS A TIE BETWEEN 1933 AND 1925 WHEN TEMPS AVERAGED OVER 72 DEGREES.
 
 
ANGEL SAYS THE LONG RANGE FORECAST FOR ILLINOIS IS CALLING FOR INCREASED CHANCES OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPS THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR.

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Demand For Bobcat Hunting Outstrips Supply

The demand is high for hunters to take aim during a new hunting season. 
 
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that 6,500 people applied for bobcat hunting permits when only 500 are being issued this year. 
 
DNR will hold a lottery drawing to select who will receive a permit. The permits are for the person who applied and cannot be transferred. 
 
DNR says there are about 5,000 bobcats in Illinois, the new hunting season will run from November 10 to January 31. 

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Illinois Part of Suit Against Drug Maker

The state has picked up on a lawsuit against a company that makes a drug to help treat opioid addiction. 35 states, including Illinois, says Indivior took part in a scheme to squash any attempts at having a generic version of suboxone. 
 
The drug is used to help patients addicted to heroin. And the AG’s Spokeswoman Eileen Boyce says the company was blocking attempts while pocketing big profits.
 
 
Madigan’s office and the other AG’s contend that standing in the way of generics from being made wound up costing patients money. 

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Clinton Police Detective Recognized For Service in DeWitt Savings Bank Robbery

Following the apprehension of the suspect in the DeWitt Savings Bank robbery from July 1, Clinton Police Detective Todd Ummel was given a letter of commedation at the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting. 
 
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers made the presentation:
 
 
Det. Ummel was grateful for the recognition, giving credit to numerous others in the investigating process.
 
 
Anthony J. Brown, 32, Bloomington, IL was apprehended as the suspect responsible. 

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DeWitt County 4-H Accepting New Members

It's National 4-H week and locally, 4-H leaders are encouraging those interested in getting involved to do so.
 
Sherry Fulton is the Youth Educator for the University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt County. She indicates now is the perfect time to get involved if you're interested in 4-H.
 
 
Fulton feels 4-H is one of the few organizations where the experiences you get will be beneficial for years to come.
 
 
One misnomer 4-H battles is that it is for those who are wanting to go into an agriculture related field or for someone who lives on a farm. Fulton says even in an agriculture dominated community like Clinton and DeWitt County, the numbers locally tell a different story.
 
 
When it comes to the 4-H fair in DeWitt County, Fulton indicates DeWitt County is very unique in the fact their County 4-H show is strictly 4-H. She feels it is a great atmosphere to be a part of.
 
To learn more about 4-H or becoming a 4-H member, contact the University of Illinois Extension Office at 217-935-5764 or stop in to their office at 8425 Katie Road in Clinton. 

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American Leagion, Youth Baseball Teaming Up Saturday Morning

Clinton's American Legion and youth baseball leagues are inviting the community to a breakfast Saturday morning.
 
President of the Travel Baseball league in Clinton, Nate Ennis indicates the American Legion in Clinton approached them about having a breakfast to benefit their efforts to continue offering summer baseball to youth in the community, and the opportunity is this Saturday morning for the public.
 
 
Ennis says next year, the Legion Baseball will join with the Clinton travel baseball program, so the funds raised from the breakfast Saturday will benefit both. He says things like buckets of baseballs, bags, and other equipment will be purchased.
 
 
This Saturday's breakfast is $7 for an all you can eat breakfast will be at the American Legion Hall at 219 North Elizabeth Street in Clinton. Breakfast will be served from 7 am to 11 am.
 
Ennis encourages anyone with kids wanting to play baseball next summer to be on the lookout for an upcoming workout at Clinton High School in November. For more information on that check out the youth baseball Facebook page. 

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Weekly Crop Report

CORN AND SOYBEAN HARVEST IN ILLINOIS IS QUICKLY MOVING ALONG AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
 
HARVEST PROGRESS HAS KEPT UP AT A STEADY PACE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
 
 
80 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE DROPPING LEAVES AND 16 PERCENT OF THE CROP HAS BEEN HARVESTED.
 
 
30 PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN HARVESTED AND SIX PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED. 
 
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE INCREASE A LITTLE BIT OVER THE WEEK AND NOW STANDS AT ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT…TWO PERCENT SHORT…86 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 11 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Sunday Smoke At East End Grill Turns Up No Issues

Despite what appeared to be an issue at East End Grill in Clinton Sunday, local authorities are still wondering what happened.
 
Clinton fire officials were called to East End Grill at 1:34 pm Sunday afternoon, at 308 South Portland. 
 
Reports of smoke in the building was the reason for the call and crews did indeed arrive to slight haze of smoke but could not locate problem.
 
After further investigation, fire crews could not locate the source of the smoke. Fire officials indicate the furnace and light fixtures and switches were investigated, however, the investigation turned up nothing.
 
Area of smoke could be seen near a furnace duct and up by the lights. 
 
Power was turned off before crews arrived and power restored after a thorough investigation again uncovered no problems.
 
Clinton, Kenney, Wapella and Maroa fire departments were all on scene. 

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Clinton Rotary's Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Pickles Hot Item At Apple n' Pork

The Clinton Rotary Club's pulled pork sandwich tent can be smelled for blocks at the Apple n' Pork festival on a yearly basis and the sales from the sandwiches and pickles go to a variety of places.
 
Tom Reddington with the Clinton Rotary Club indicates the sales from their yearly tent helps to support Rotary efforts both locally and abroad.
 
 
Reddington says the Clinton Rotary Club is fortunate to have the Apple n' Pork Festival to rely to help them further their efforts in the community.
 
 
The Clinton High School Interact Club, which Rotary sponsors, also helps out and according to Cody Monkman, adult sponsor for the Interact Club says it's a great opportunity of exposure for the kids, who receive a portion of the proceeds from the weekend.
 
 
Rotary begins their preparations for the pulled pork at about 7 am each morning. Reddington indicates most years the Rotary tent is going to sell out of their sandwiches. 

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Hunters Ready For 2016 Harvest

The 2016 hunting season will be in full swing shortly and local Department of Natural Resources officials are hoping hunters have a safe season.
 
John Williamson, DNR Conservation Police Officer is encouraging hunters to be mindful of other hunters with overlapping seasons. He says this weekend will be busy locally as it is the annual youth hunt at Clinton Lake.
 
 
Safety is paramount during the hunting season and Williamson indicates all hunters except waterfowl hunters must wear their blaze orange vests.
 
 
Williamson reminds hunters to get in those tree stands and get those checked before you set up for your day of hunting. He says most of the accidents they encounter during the hunting season are tree stand related. 

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Attorney General Loses Appeal On Same Day Registration Battle

The state won’t be having its request for another hearing on same day voter registration heard by a federal judge. 
 
The Illinois Attorney General’s Office was denied the opportunity by Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan. The judge refused to reconsider his decision that the same day option benefited Democratic strongholds. 
 
That flew against the argument from the AG that not allowing same day registration would unfairly deny some citizens voting rights. 
This isn’t the last step in the appeal process, another one can be filed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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LIHEAP Funds Available

At the first of the month families who have young children and need help heating their homes this winter can start asking for help with the bills. 
 
Illinois’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP is now open and accepting applications. Gail Hedges says the program generally results in the state paying the utility directly and as the program opens she urges people to sign up quickly.
 
 
You can visit Liheap Illinois.com for more info or contact a local social service agency and they will generally be able to provide you the information.

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Trout Season Opens Oct. 15

THE FALL TROUT SEASON OPENS OCTOBER 15TH…BUT FLY FISHING ANGLERS CAN PARTICIPATE IN A LIMITED CATCH AND RELEASE PROGRAM STARTING THIS SATURDAY. 
 
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES STOCKS OVER 50 SITES AROUND THE STATE WITH MORE THAN 80 THOUSAND RAINBOW TROUT EACH YEAR. NO TROUT MAY BE TAKEN BEFORE THE OCTOBER 15TH START DATE SAYS SPOKESPERSON TIM SCHWEIZER.
 
 
ALL ANGLERS MUST HAVE A VALID FISHING LICENSE AND INLAND TROUT STAMP. MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT DNR DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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Senator Durbin pushing on for allowing Syrian refugees

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin used his seat as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration to move the discussion forward on allowing Syrian refugees. Durbin says the numbers of the bloodshed and instability of Syria just keep getting worse and it's now the largest refugee crisis in history...
 
 
Durbin says children are bearing the brunt of the suffering...
 
Durbin cited the analysis of former CIA Director Michael Hayden, who notes the global refugee crisis is straining the resources and infrastructures of Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.

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AG Office Loses First Appeal In Same Day Registration Battle

The state won’t be having its request for another hearing on same day voter registration heard by a federal judge. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office was denied the opportunity by Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan. The judge refused to reconsider his decision that the same day option benefited Democratic strongholds. That flew against the argument from the AG that not allowing same day registration would unfairly deny some citizens voting rights. This isn’t the last step in the appeal process, another one can be filed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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