Local News

4th of July traffic enforcement is now underway in Illinois

FOURTH OF JULY TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT IS NOW UNDERWAY IN ILLINOIS. 
 
STATE AND LOCAL POLICE ARE INCREASING PATROLS …TARGETING SPEEDERS…TEXTERS…THOSE NOT WEARING A SEATBELT AND DRUNK DRIVERS. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SPOKESPERSON GIANNA URGO URGES ADULTS TO THINK AHEAD.
 

 

 
THE BEEFED-UP ENFORCEMENT INCLUDES ROADSIDE SAFETY CHECKS…IMPAIRED DRIVING PATROLS AND SEAT-BELT ENFORCEMENT ZONES.

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PGA's Web.com Tour reaches Springfield

Tomorrow's golf legends are facing off in Springfield this week with action underway for the PGA Web.com Tour's Lincoln Land Charity Championship. Although the developmental tour has been around since 1990, Tournament Director Kate Peters says some people still aren't familiar with the quality of play of the tour....
 

 

 
The Lincoln Land Charity Championship continues through Sunday at Panther Creek Country Club.

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Patriotic themed racing weekend getting underway at Chicagoland Speedway

A weekend of exciting racing action is underway at ChicagoLand Speedway in Joliet. The ARCA Racing Series Scott 150 (8PM Thursday) is kicking off four days of racing. Speedway President Scott Paddock says they are seizing the moment, celebrating the nation's upcoming birthday all weekend long.....
 

 

 
Paddock says there will be more entertainment than just racing....
 

 

 
Friday brings the Camping World Truck Series Overton's 225, Saturday will feature the Xfinity Series Overton's 300 and on Sunday the checkered flag will drop for the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series Overton's 400.

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EPA Considering Dicamba Registration as Injury Reports Climb

Herbicide injury reports are mounting in the South and the Midwest. A DTN
report says state regulators and the Environmental Protection Agency are
looking at the situation carefully. Most of the damage reports revolve
around dicamba. However, there are 2,4-D damage reports coming out of the
southern states. Most of the dicamba injury complaints are coming out of
the South, but there are more and more reports in the Midwest.
Post-emergence spraying in Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans is still going on
and double-crop soybeans haven’t been sprayed yet. Weed scientists tell
DTN that injury to non-soybean crops like fruits, vegetables, ornamentals,
and trees is being seen at a higher rate than in 2017. The EPA is planning
to make a decision about extending the registration of crop protection
products that contain dicamba by mid-August. An EPA spokesman tells DTN in
an email that their goal is “to make a regulatory decision in time to
inform seed and weed management purchasing decisions for the 2019 growing
season. Missouri is facing 42 dicamba injury complaints as of June 18th,
Tennessee has 19 complaints, and Mississippi has 13, so far. Arkansas is
facing 43 complaints in spite of the fact that in-season application is
banned.

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Dove's Annual Garden Tea Luncheon this Weekend

The Garden Tea Luncheon is hosted by Dove, Inc.’s DeWitt County Committee Against Domestic Violence, and is a fundraiser for the Dove DeWitt County Domestic Violence program.
 
Domestic Violence Coordinator Jennifer Tolliday says the luncheon has changed its approach for this years event.

 

 
Tolliday gives the schedule of events for the luncheon and how to purchase tickets.
 

 

 
The program will benefit the support groups, counseling and advocacy for victims of domestic violence in DeWitt County. Contact the Dove office at (217) 935-6619 for additional information.

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ALMH Collabrative Provides Extra Support

The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital has for a long time supported and cared for those in the community.  With several different entities at the hospital, they all help to make the hospital a functioning environment.
 

 

 
Angela Stoltzenburg is the Director for the ALMH Community Health Collaborative as she explains it was just this past October the collaborative effort was restructured, but the network is still intact.
 

 

 
Every three years a community health needs assessment is taken to see what services those in the community are looking for and require.

 

 
To find out more about the ALMH Collaborative visit almh.org. 

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Pritzker reacts to Janus vs AFSCME ruling

Reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on Janus vs AFSCME was swift and clear from Governor Bruce Rauner's fall election opponent, Democrat J.B. Pritzker. In an appearance in Downtown Springfield, Pritzker told reporters Rauner has sought to undermine Illinois’ workers at every turn...
 

 

 
Pritzker called the news an attack on working families that will lower wages and workplace safety.

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House GOP Leader Jim Durkin introduces legislation to get rid of the state's current property tax code

 
HOUSE G-O-P LEADER JIM DURKIN IS INTRODUCING A BILL TO REVAMP THE STATE'S PROPERTY TAX CODE. 
 
THE LEGISLATION DOES AWAY WITH THE CURRENT PROPERTY TAX STRUCTURE ON JULY FIRST OF NEXT YEAR. LEADER DURKIN SAYS THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO GET HIS COLLEAGUES TO TACKLE THE ISSUE.
 

 

 
DURKIN SAYS ILLINOIS HAS SOME OF THE HIGHEST PROPERTY TAXES IN THE NATION AND THAT THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS UNFAIR.

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Treasurer's Office returns Purple Heart to family of Vietnam vet

ILLINOIS TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS’ OFFICE IS RETURNING ANOTHER LOST PURPLE HEART TO A VETERAN’S LOVED ONES. 
 
THE MEDAL WAS AWARDED TO ARMY VET PHILLIP MORRIS OF HARVEY, LEFT IN HIS SISTER’S SAFE DEPOSIT BOX, AND EVENTUALLY TURNED OVER TO THE TREASURER’S OFFICE. HE'S SINCE PASSED AWAY BUT FRERICHS SAYS THEY TRACKED DOWN MORRIS’S DAUGHTER AND GRANDSON.

 

 
MORRIS EARNED THE PURPLE HEART AFTER AN INJURY SUSTAINED IN THE VIETNAM WAR. THIS IS THE SIXTH PURPLE HEART THE TREASURER’S OFFICE HAS BEEN ABLE TO RETURN TO A FAMILY.

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State Museum Celebrates Bicentennial

The Illinois State Museum is debuting a major new exhibition in celebration of the state’s 200th birthday which will feature rare and rarely-seen artifacts from the Museum’s 13.5-million-object Illinois Legacy Collection. Museum Director of Visitor Services Karen Everingham says the items are truly one of a kind....
 

 

 
Everingham says other items will tell Illinois's pre statehood story....
 

 

 
The Illinois Legacy Collection” exhibition is open to the public.

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Warm and muggy expected for July

Expect warm and muggy conditions throughout Illinois for most of July. That’s par for the course says State Climatologist Jim Angel.
 

 

 
The remaining days of June should also be warm with high temps expected well into the 90s both today and Saturday.

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New 4-H STEM Club in DeWitt County

The DeWitt County 4-H is offering a new free club exploring science, technology, engineering and math leading up to the start of next school year.
 
4-H Program Coordinator Jenna Ward says the program looks to incorporate different activites each week and make learning something new a fun activity.
 

 

 
The DeWitt County 4-H STEM Club will meet every Friday starting tomorrow from 9:45-10:45 a.m. until August 10.  The club is free but registration is required through the Farmer City Library.  For more information contact Jenna Ward at jrward@illinois.edu.
 

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Trauma Informed Partnership to Host Josh Shipp

The Trauma Informed Partnership, comprised of EDCO with the Community Foundation of Macon County, The Regional Office of Education, The Illinois Education Association, and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine will host global youth empowerment expert and acclaimed speaker, Josh Shipp. 
 
Jill Reedy is the Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Macon/Piatt Regional Office of Education as she says the four organizations brainstormed the idea of developing trauma-informed schools committed to changing culture, policy, and practices to ensure trusting relationships within schools and positive learning environments.
 

 

 
Shipp is a former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate and is renowned for his documentary TV series.
 

 

 
Shipp will be giving his presentation this morning at Millikin University in the Commons Building from 8:30-10:30 a.m.  
 

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Rock Springs Nature Center Offering New Exhibit

Summer allows many to visit local attractions such as parks, zoos, and other community sites.  The Rock Springs Conservation Area and Nature Center in Decatur offers a wide range of exhibits for local patrons to visit.  Nature Center Manager Richie Wolf joined the WHOW Morning Show and talked about a new exhibit that just recently opened at the Nature Center.
 

 

 
Wolf also explains that the new water exhibit can be viewed anyday during the week.
 

 

 
For more information on the Rock Springs Conservation Area and Nature Center visit maconcountyconservation.org. 

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Library Services Continue to Revamp with Changing Times

With a modern age of technology and social media, it may seem like local libraries would have a hard time attracting those in the community to come and use their services.
 
Just like the rest of the world, libraries are also changing how they provide services to library goers according to Barclay Public Library Director Lacey Wright.
 

 

 
The Warrensburg public library also offers a technology that has been around for quite some time but is revamping the way it is offered.
 

 

 
For more services through the Barclay Public Library visit barclay.lib.il.us. 

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Arthur Freedom Fest Kicks off this Weekend

With Independence Day right around the corner, many towns are gearing up for festivities to help and celebrate the holiday.  One celebration that will get underway this coming weekend is the Arthur Freedom Fest.
 
19 years ago the town of Arthur turned to Mark Jones in order to keep the festival alive. 
 

 

 
Jones holds the role of Creator and Producer of the Arthur Fireworks, as he explains the growth of the fest over the years has been eye-opening.
 

 

 
With this year's big budget and the growing popularity of the event, there is much anticipation for this year's firework display.
 

 

 
Jones says while everyone enjoys the big firework show, the Arthur community and lifestyle brings back a nostalgic feel.
 

 

 
The Arthur Freedom Festival gets underway this Saturday.  More information on the fest can be found at arthurfestivals.com.  

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Rauner celebrates victory in Janus vs AFSCME

Governor Bruce Rauner's stay in Washington lasted longer than he had hoped, but the wait matters little after he scores a major victory in a case with repercussions we're only beginning to understand. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of state worker Mark Janus in the the Janus v. AFSCME case which centered around fair share dues assessed to state workers who opted out of union membership. Rauner initiated the lawsuit against AFSCME that led to the court case. The Governor summed up the moment....
 

 

 
The Governor insists the decision is not a strike against unions...
 

 

 
The 5-4 decision throws out a 41-year-old decision that allowed states to make public employers responsible to pay some fees to unions.

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IEA weighs in on impact of Janus vs AFSCME decision

The Illinois Education Association is reacting to the Janus vs AFSCME decision, a decision seen as a setback for all public sector employee unions. IEA's Bridget Shanahan......
 

 

 
Shanahan says the teacher's union will be a force to be reckoned with as the November election approaches...
 

 

 
IEA officials say seven out of ten teachers are in a union nationwide.

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DeWitt County/Clinton Cooling Centers Open June 28-30

DEWITT COUNTY/CLINTON COOLING CENTERS

Teresa Barnett, EMA Coordinator

217-935-7790

Cooling Centers Open June 28, June 29 & June 30, 2018

 

NWS STATES DANGEROUS HEAT EXPECTED THROUGH SUNDAY

 

Increasing heat and humidity are forecasted with temperatures over 90 degrees and high humidity. This mix of heat and humidity will push Heat Indexes to 105 – 110 degrees through Sunday.

 

**DeWitt County Friendship Center – 410 E. Main, Clinton

Monday - Friday 8:00am – 3:00pm

 

**Vespasian Warner Public Library – 310 N. Quincy, Clinton

Monday -Thursday – 9:00am – 8:00pm

Friday – 9:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday – 9:00am – 4:00pm

 

*No drinks or snacks are allowed at the library*

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Arrest of Suspect in Orchard Road Double Homicides

On the morning of June 26, 2018, Hammet D. Brown (pronounced ha-met), AKA: "Law", age 26, was arrested in the 7100 block of S. Seely, Chicago, IL. The arrest team was composed of members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force and officers from Chicago Police Department. Brown, originally from Chicago, more recently resided at 1219 Orchard Road in Bloomington, IL.
 
Brown was arrested for 8 counts to include Murder and Attempted Murder related to the June 10, 2018 shooting that occurred outside of 1219 Orchard Road., Bloomington, IL.  The shooting mortally wounded Taneshiea A. Brown, age 20, Steven Alexander Jr., age 18, and injured two others.
 
Yesterday, Brown was transported to Bloomington Police Department by Bloomington Police Department detectives.

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America in Bloom Competition Coming to Decatur

America in Bloom is a competition that looks to promotes nationwide beautification through education and community involvement by encouraging the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements.
 
This year Decatur has enrolled in the contest according to Chair of AIB in Decatur Ellen Hearn.
 

 

 
Communities are evaluated on seven criteria including floral displays, landscaping, historic preservation, environmental efforts, urban forestry, community vitality, and overall impression.
 
One of the main reasons Decatur has entered the competition is because of a survey according to local members of the community.

 

Hearn says with it being the city's first year participating they are hoping for improved appearance and community involvement.
 

 

 
Judges for America in Bloom will be arriving in Decatur on July 18 with judging taking place July19-20.  
 

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The University of Illinois Extension to Begin Master Naturalist Training

The love of the outdoors can be turned into an educational training program through the University of Illinois Extension.
 
Dena Hyde is a Program Coordinator with Extension and she explains what the Master Naturalist training program involves.
 

 

 
Hyde explains that if a participant completes all the Master Naturalist training classes then a graduate status is given.
 

 

 
For more information on the Master Naturalist training program and the University of Illinois Extension contact (217) 877-6042.  

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Ancient Home Unearthed at SIUE

An archaeological dig on the SIUE campus is slowly revealing what remains of a home that is from the Mississippian period. The discovery is near what is now Korte Stadium. The remains appear to be just the foundation of what was once a semi-subterranean structure. The remains were found during the summer of 2015. Julie Zimmerman, professor of anthropology at SIU-Edwardsville says this is the third such discovery on this site.

 

 
Along with the foundation of the home, the field school students and faculty researchers have also found shards of Mississippian, and Middle and Late Woodland-era pottery and arrowheads. These findings, along with the soil and plant samples, will be taken to the SIUE Anthropology Laboratory on campus for analysis upon the field school’s conclusion. 

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Weekly Crop Report

ILLINOIS FIELDS ENJOYED SOME RAIN AND A LITTLE BIT COOLER WEATHER AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 
 
THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE THIS PAST WEEK WAS 75 DEGREES AND PRECIPITATION WAS SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS TWO PERCENT OF CORN IS NOW SILKING.
 

 

 
23 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING AND 78 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION, ALSO A SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT. 66 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED AND THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 22 PERCENT COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IMPROVED TO ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 8 PERCENT SHORT, 73 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 18 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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IEPA confirms algal bloom on portions of the Illinois River

THE STATE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY IS CONFIRMING AN ALGAL BLOOM ON PARTS OF THE ILLINOIS RIVER. 
TESTS ARE IN AND ALGAL TOXINS FROM BLUE-GREEN ALGAE WERE FOUND NEAR HENNEPIN AND MARSEILLES. ADDITIONAL SAMPLING WILL BE DONE THIS WEEK FOR I-E-P-A SPOKESPERSON KIM BIGGS WARNS TO STAY AWAY FROM THE ALGAE IF YOU SEE IT ON THE RIVER.
 

 

 
IT’S ALSO ADVISED TO KEEP PETS AWAY FROM THE ALGAE. IF YOU DO COME INTO CONTACT WITH IT…RINSE OFF WITH CLEAN, FRESH WATER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

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Plans announced for Illinois 200th birthday event

ILLINOIS’ OFFICIAL 200TH BIRTHDAY PARTY WILL BE HELD DECEMBER THIRD AT THE UNITED CENTER IN CHICAGO.
THE EVENT WILL INCLUDE A SALUTE TO VETERANS, HISTORICAL VIDEOS, LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND A LOOK AT CHAMPIONSHIP SPORTS TEAMS. ILLINOIS BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR STUART LAYNE SAYS THEY ARE EXPECTING SEVERAL CELEBRITIES WITH TIES TO ILLINOIS.
 

 

 
A FEW THOUSAND TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE BY THE PUBLIC…RANGING FROM 50 TO 75 DOLLARS. THEY WILL GO ON SALE ON FRIDAY, JULY SIXTH AT THE UNITED CENTER BOX OFFICE AND ON TICKETMASTER DOT COM.

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Peoria Congressman talks about working with Trump

Whether you are a supporter or critic of President Donald Trump, everyone can agree on one thing, his style is a big departure from his predecessors. Peoria based Congressman Darin Lahood believes the real estate baron turned reality tv host turned Commander in Chief does have some familiar qualities of past tenants of 1600 Pennsylvania 
Avenue....
 

 

 
LaHood says he doesn't always agree with Trump's approach, but he's usually happy with the results...
 

 

 
LaHood has taken issue with the President on occasion, in particular, he has objected to the President's tariffs against China. 

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Shots Fired in Bloomington

On Sunday, June 24, 2018, at approximately 6:33 p.m., Bloomington Police Officers responded to the intersection of West Monroe and North Mason Streets for a report of shots fired.

 

Officers arrived in the area and a witness reported hearing three gunshots. Another witness reported seeing one black male, shooting towards another black male.

 

No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made in connection with the incident.

Officers canvassed the area and no evidence of a shooting was discovered.  

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bloomington Police Department at (309) 820-8888.

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LifeCIL Striving to Help Those with Disabilities Around Central Illinois

LifeCIL, or Center for Independent Living, looks to advance equality and integration of all persons with disabilities through advocacy, education, support services, and community awareness.
 
Kim Tarkowski is the Vision Access Advocate for LifeCIL as she explains several factors that must imply in order to be a CIL.
 

 

 
LifeCIL offers five core services they must provide including advocacy, information and referral, independent living skills, peer support and mentoring, and transition.  Tarkowski explains her role as the Vision Access Advocate.
 

 

 
This week LifeCIL will be bringing a low vision fair to DeWitt County for those with vision imparities.
 

 

 
The LifeCIL low vision fair at the DeWitt County Friendship Center will take place this Wednesday from 10 am-12 pm.  For more information on LifeCIL visit www.lifecil.org.

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Juvenile Arrested for Armed Robbery & Stolen Vehicle

Bloomington Police responded to the 1000 block of Wright Street for the report of a vehicle accident on Friday June 22.  
 
It was reported the victim witnessed a juvenile male stealing his vehicle. The victim attempted to stop the suspect and the vehicle crashed. The victim attempted to detain the suspect, but he escaped and fled on foot. No injuries were reported from the incident.
 
A short time later, Bloomington Police officers located a subject matching the suspect’s description near the area of the accident. A 15-year-old juvenile male was arrested for Motor Vehicle theft. The male was also arrested for  warrants, Armed Robbery and Aggravated Battery stemming from the recent June 19 Papa John’s Pizza Armed Robbery.
 
BPD officers obtained a search warrant and served the warrant at an apartment in the 200 block of East Wood Street. During the course of the investigation, items which may be related to the vehicle theft and the Papa John’s Pizza Armed Robbery were seized as evidence.
 
The juvenile was transported to the McLean County Juvenile Detention Center.

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Parents Night Out Returning to Miller Park Zoo

For parents sometimes it can be difficult finding time alone in order to have a date night.  The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington is looking to help with this dilemma with their Parents Night Out program according to zoo superintendent Jay Tetzloff.

 

 
More information on the Miller Park Zoo and the Parents Night Out program can be found at bloomingtonparks.org.

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Weaver: Higher motor fuel tax possible

The state of Illinois has a spending plan in place for the next fiscal year for roads and bridges but State Senator Chuck Weaver of Peoria says higher motor fuel taxes may be a reality at some point in the future…
 

 

 
Weaver adds that IDOT currently has $11 billion allocated for the next 6 years.

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IDPH announcing more cases of severe bleeding linked to synthetic cannabinoids

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SAYS MORE CASES OF SEVERE BLEEDING AFTER SYNTHETIC CANNIBIS USE ARE POPPING UP IN ILLINOIS.
 
DESPITE REPEATED WARNINGS…PEOPLE ARE STILL USING THE DRUG AND SUFFERING SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS SAYS PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MELANEY ARNOLD.
 

 

 
MORE THAN 160 PEOPLE IN 15 ILLINOIS COUNTIES HAVE EXPERIENCED THE SEVERE BLEEDING WHICH CAN INCLUDE COUGHING UP BLOOD, BLOOD IN THE URINE, SEVERE BLOODY NOSE, BLEEDING GUMS AND INTERNAL BLEEDING.

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Manar says higher teacher salaries will help unfilled vacancies

State Senator Andy Manar (MUH-Nare) was successful in his push for increased minimum teacher salaries, but he knows the work is not over. In the months to come, he wants to soften the blow for school districts adjusting to the higher starting wage. He also thinks it will help school districts who don't get much response to their help wanted ads...

 

 
Manar's legislation will push the starting teacher wage to $40,000 by the 2022-2023 school year.

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Latest Illinois Top 200 poll names favorite authors including Ernest Hemingway and Carl Sandburg

THE LATEST ILLINOIS TOP 200 POLL SHOWCASES A WIDE RANGE OF THE PUBLIC’S FAVORITE AUTHORS. 
 
ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS SAYS ERNEST HEMINGWAY AND CARL SANDBURG LEAD THE LIST OF TOP AUTHORS FROM ILLINOIS.
 

 

 
OTHER AUTHORS MAKING THE TOP 10 INCLUDE GWENDOLYN BROOKS, LORRAINE HANSBERRY AND SAUL BELLOW. YOU CAN VOTE NOW IN THE NEXT CATEGORY: HEARTBREAKING MOMENTS, ONLINE AT ILLINOIS TOP 200 DOT COM.

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Nothing to do about Seedling Diseases in Soybeans

Soybean seed treatments aren't working at the moment in Illinois and
there's nothing a farmer can do. Todd Gleason has more from east central
Illinois…
 

 

 

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Members in Clinton Community Airing Concerns with Walmart Departure

Just less than a week ago it was announced that the Walmart Corporate office had made the decision to close the Clinton Walmart.
 
Many members of the community have reached out to Walmart Corporate including some city officials including Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marian Brisard.

 

 
Brisard says she'll miss Walmart both as a member of the Chamber and as a local citizen. 

 

 
The Clinton Walmart is scheduled to close July 20.

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New Emergency Management Coordinator Coming to DeWitt County

The DeWitt County Board held their monthly county board meeting last week.  One topic on the agenda under public safety put to motion the appointing of a new Emergency Management Coordinator.  Current EMA Coordinator Teresa Barnett is set to retire at the end of August.
 
Chairman of the Board David Newberg says Barnett will definitely be missed.
 

 

 
The board approved the motion to appoint Kurt Tweedy as EMA Coordinator.
 

 

 
Tweedy will be named EMA Coordinator upon successful completion of a background check, pre-employment physical and drug screening.

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Clinton School District Amends Budget at Board Meeting

The Clinton Community School District held their monthly board meeting last week wrapping up the 2017-18 school year.
 
Superintendent Curt Nettles stopped by the WHOW Morning Show and explained how at each June board meeting a look at amending the budget is always on the agenda.
 

 

 
Mr. Nettles says this school year the district was able to manage a solid budget and should finish in the black.
 

 

 
The Clinton School District Board of Education will not meet in July.

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Edward Jones to partner with The Write Stuff for Kids

One local business is partnering with The Write Stuff for Kids to collect much needed school supplies for children in DeWitt County.
 
Edward Jones, located on the square in downtown Clinton, is a drop off location. Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, Bryce Starkey, says it's a great feeling supporting the children in the community. Especially when children are in a situation they have no control over.
 

 

 
The president of The Write Stuff for Kids, Helen Michelassi, says, "our work would not be possible without the help of our community partners. It takes a great deal of effort to cover what's needed for this project." Michelassi is thankful for Edward Jones and the community's help.
 

 

 
Each year The Write Stuff for Kids provides supplies for over 400 Clinton students. Supplies may be dropped of at Edward Jones weekdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm at 707 Northside Square in downtown Clinton through July 25.

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Miniature Golf Course with Wildlife at Miller Park Zoo

The Miller Park Zoo is known for patrons going to see all types of animals and view some of their favorite creatures.  Now zoo goers can also enjoy another summer activity while making the trip to the Miller Park Zoo.
 

 

 
Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says adding more entertainment and family fun is a goal of emphasis to attract and keep patrons coming to Miller Park Zoo.  More information on the Miller Park Zoo can be found at bloomingtonparks.org.

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Retail Merchants celebrate Supreme Court Ruling on Sales Tax

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) is weighing in on Thursday's United State’s Supreme Court’s ruling which will allow states to collect internet sales tax. IRMA President and CEO Rob Karr is excited about the level playing field for retailers with a bricks and mortar presence...
 

 

 
Karr says Illinois is in a great position to quickly put the ruling to use...
 

 

 
Experts believe the ruling could bring another $200 million a year in revenue to Illinois.

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Rural Mainstreet Economy Expands for June

The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index measured above growth
neutral in June for a fifth straight month. This is the first time since
July 2015 the survey has recorded five straight months of overall indices
above growth neutral, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in
rural areas of a Midwest dependent on agriculture. However, the overall
index slid slightly to 56.1 from 56.3 in May. Further, organizers caution
that “the negative impacts of recent trade skirmishes has yet to show up”
in the survey results. As part of the survey, bankers responses project
farmland prices to sink by another 2.1 percent over the next year, and the
confidence index, which reflects expectations for the economy six months
out, fell to 48.8 from May’s 50.0, indicating declining economic optimism
among bankers. Bankers also say in the survey that over the past month
borrowing by farmers expanded, as the loan-volume index rose to 76.3 from
74.3 in May.

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It's been a warm, wet June so far in Illinois

IT’S BEEN A WARM, WET JUNE SO FAR IN ILLINOIS
 
STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL SAYS TEMPS HAVE BEEN MORE THAN FOUR DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL THIS MONTH.
 

 

 
PRECIPITATION IS ALSO ABOVE NORMAL…BUT VARIES WIDELY ACROSS THE STATE. PARTS OF NORTHERN AND EAST-CENTRAL ILLINOIS HAVE RECEIVED AS MUCH AS 11 INCHES OF RAIN WHILE WESTERN AND FAR SOUTHERN ILLINOIS ARE MUCH DRIER.

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Farm bill approved

The House Thursday approved a farm bill that will help farmers weather
the current economic storm they are facing. NAFB's Micheal Clements has
more…
 

 

 

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Durbin weighs in on Trump Executive Order on Separation of Families

Senator Dick Durbin says the story is far from over after President Trump's executive order on separation of families at the southern border. In a speech on the Senate Floor, Durbin said the executive order lacks teeth to prevent separation...
 

 

 
Durbin says the three-page executive order also doesn't set the stage for reunited families...
 

 

 
Durbin says President Trump's Executive Order attempts to overturn the Flores Settlement, a 1997 court order that set minimum standards for the detention, housing, and release of non-citizen children who are detained by the U.S. government and requires the government to pursue a general policy of releasing children.
 

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EU Imposes Retaliatory Tariffs on the U.S.

The European Union's response to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs take effect today (Friday). The EU will be charging import duties of 25 percent on a range of U.S. goods. Reuters reports that the European Commission formally adopted a law putting in place the duties on 2.8 billion euros, or $3.2 billion, worth of U.S. goods, including steel and aluminum products, farm produce such as sweetcorn and peanuts, bourbon, jeans, and motorcycles. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom stated “we do not want to be in this position,” but adds the U.S. “left the EU with no choice.” President Trump ended an exemption from the tariffs for the EU, along with Canada and Mexico, earlier this month. Canada will impose tariffs on $12.5 billion of U.S. goods, while Mexico has already implemented tariffs on U.S. products, including steel, pork, and bourbon.

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Unemployment rate fell in all Illinois metro areas for the third month in a row

THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FELL IN ALL OF THE STATE’S 14 METRO AREAS FOR THE THIRD MONTH IN A ROW. 
 
THE JOBLESS RATE WAS DOWN IN MAY COMPARED TO YEAR-AGO LEVELS SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON BOB GOUGH (goff). ADDITIONALLY…THERE WAS JOB GROWTH IN 11 METRO AREAS.
 

 

 
AREAS THAT LOST JOBS OVER THE MONTH INCLUDE CARBONDALE-MARION, SPRINGFIELD, AND DANVILLE.

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Clinton City Administrator Weighs in on Walmart Closure

On Wednesday the Walmart Corporate office announced they would be closing their store in Clinton by mid-July.
 
For many within the Clinton community, this came as a shock, including city officials.

 

 
City Administrator Tim Followell says when Walmart Corporate told city officials their Clinton location no longer fit their model officials had to decide for themselves what that exactly meant.
 

 

 
Over 70 employees will no longer have work which is a pressing concern for those both with the city council and county government.
 

 

 
While the city feels confident finding a new tenant to fill the vacant space, there still will be a hit for the community.
 

 

 
The Walmart is scheduled to close on July 20. 

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Library Looks to Help Keep Sensitive Documents Safe

Most people will let old bank statements or tax returns lay around the house and not know how to dispose of them safely.
 
The Barclay Public Library is providing a service to help dispose of those sensitive documents.
 

 

 
Wright explains how the shredding service came to fruition.

 

 
The shred day will take place this Saturday at the Barclay Public Library. 

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Olde English Faire at Wildlife Prairie Park

A taste of the medieval times is returning to the Peoria area.  The annual Olde English Faire will take place this weekend at the Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City.  Marketing coordinator Eva Kirschbaum explains what patrons can expect at the event.
 

 

 
Kirschbaum also explains a new event feature coming to the Faire this year.
 

 

 
Tickets for the King's Feast will go off sale at midnight tonight.  For more information on events happening at the Old English Faire visit WildlifePrairiePark.org.

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Governor Bruce Rauner is touting the state's new adoption tax credit

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER SAYS THE STATE’S NEW ADOPTION TAX CREDIT WILL HELP PROVIDE MORE CHILDREN WITH LOVING HOMES.
 
THE INITIATIVE IS INCLUDED IN THE NEW STATE BUDGET AND MAKES ILLINOIS A NATIONAL LEADER SAYS GOVERNOR RAUNER. 

 

 
THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CREDIT INCREASED IN THE FUTURE TO HELP KEEP ADOPTION AFFORDABLE AND SAYS HE’S WORKING TO STREAMLINE THE ADOPTION PROCESS.

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World Elder Abuse Month and the Illinois Department on Aging is urging the public to report any suspected cases of abuse

THIS IS WORLD ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT ON AGING IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO REPORT SUSPECTED CASES OF ABUSE.  THE STATE RESPONDED TO MORE THAN 16 THOUSAND CASES OF SUSPECTED ABUSE, NEGLECT AND FINANCIAL EXPLOITATION LAST YEAR. DEPARTMENT ON AGING DIRECTOR JEAN BOHNOFF SAYS THERE IS OFTEN MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF ABUSE GOING ON.
 

 

 
IF YOU SUSPECT ABUSE…CALL THE 24-HOUR ELDER ABUSE HOTLINE AT: 866-800-1409.

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Lawmakers hear testimony from CPS sexual abuse students

LAWMAKERS ARE HEARING TESTIMONY FROM VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE IN CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND ARE PREPARING LEGISLATION TO PROTECT STUDENTS STATEWIDE. 
 
HOUSE AND SENATE MEMBERS LISTENED TO MOVING TESTIMONY FROM TWO VICTIMS WHO SAID SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS DIDN’T CALL THE POLICE AND MADE THEM FEEL LIKE THEY WERE IN THE WRONG. REPRESENTATIVE CAMILLE LILLY OF OAK PARK PRAISED THE VICTIMS FOR THEIR BRAVERY AND SAID THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE SUPPORT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED.
 

 

 
OTHERS DISCUSSED STUDENTS NEEDING AN ADVOCATE TO HELP THEM THROUGH THE PROCESS OF REPORTING ABUSE. MORE HEARINGS ARE LIKELY THIS SUMMER.

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Survey shows opioid epidemic more than just "big city" problem

Information continues to be disseminated regarding the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic and numbers are showing a staggering impact in rural areas and farm country. The American Farm Bureau Federation commissioned a survey on the issue late last year and numbers are concerning says AFBF’s Ray Atkinson. 
 

 

 
AFBF has since teamed up with National Farmers Union in an effort called Farm Town Strong, with the goal of bringing awareness to the issue.
 
The campaign aims to provide resources and information to help those in rural areas impacted by the epidemic, and one of the tools is a website, “www.FarmTownStrong.org”.

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New Salary Structure to Apply for Clinton School District Aides

The Clinton Community Unit School District held their Board of Education meeting earlier this week, wrapping up items from this past school year.
 
On the agenda were a wide variety of approvals for new employees within the district, along with amending the district budget.
 
In new business, several different salary compensation increases were approved, including support staff and several administrators who will earn a 2.1% increase.
 
Superintendent Curt Nettles stopped by the WHOW Morning Show and explained a new salary structure that will be incorporated for district aides this coming school year.

 

 
Nettles says the reasoning for the salary restructures especially for teaching aides is to keep up with competition in surrounding school districts.

 

 
A new category system will determine the pay level of each teaching aide throughout the district.
 

 

 
The Clinton School District Board of Education will not meet next month.

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Dance Xtreme Expanding Dance Studio Space

Earlier this year it was decided by the team at Dance Xtreme in Clinton that space was at a limit and expanding their dance studio was a key priority.  
 
Dance Xtreme owner Kim Alexander says the dance studio will expand into part of the old First National Bank and Trust building on the south side of Mr. Lincoln's Square.
 

 

 
Alexander says that expanding into the entire space would be a possibility down the road.  To find out more about Dance Xtreme visit xtremedancer.com.  

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New Baby Additions at the Miller Park Zoo

Each year there are new baby animals born of all different species at zoos around the world.  Here in central Illinois, there was a special birth at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington.
 
Zoo superintendent Jay Tetzloff says one of the births earlier this April was only the second in the zoo's history.

 

 
Tetzloff adds there was also another birth just shortly after the new Lemar.
 

 

 
Being able to provide interesting animals not only for zoo patrons but also giving these animals a place to live is a big part of the mission at Miller Park Zoo.
 

 

 
To find out more about the Miller Park Zoo visit bloomingtonparks.org. 

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District scheduling for high school football to get much attention in the fall

With the coming school year, the IHSA expects to receive much attention over a district scheduling proposal for high school football. Jim Taylor reports.
 

 

 

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State Senator talks funding mechanism for school resource officers

How can school resource officers be funded across Illinois? State Senator Chuck Weaver of Peoria says he supports legislation that would allow counties the option to pass a 1-percent public safety sales tax—through referendum—with proceeds specifically used for school resource officers. 
 

 

 
Weaver hosted a town hall meeting in his district Tuesday night where he was asked about the issue. 

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Study being sought for SIU split

With a recent decision by the SIU Board of Trustees to block additional funding for the Edwardsville campus, State Representative Katie Stuart of Edwardsville is calling on the Illinois State Board of Higher Education to conduct an independent study into the funding split. Southern Illinois University trustees recently voted down a request from SIUE Chancellor Randall Pembrook to shift more funding away from Carbondale and toward the Edwardsville campus. Stuart says the petition drive is a step toward getting more information on the big picture.
 

 

 
In addition, Stuart is backing measures calling for the split of the two schools into two separate entities with two separate boards of trustees, and an equal 50/50 split in state funding.

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June Dairy Month Brings Nutrition Awareness

For over 80 years June has been designated as National Dairy Month and it's been a time to honor dairy farmers for their contributions to the nation's economy and health.
 
When it comes to dairy nutritionally, Monica Nyman a nutritionist with the St. Louis District Dairy Council says most Americans aren't getting their full dairy serving each day.

 

 
There are nine essential nutrients in dairy servings including milk, yogurt and chesse.  There is also a great amount of protein in dairy, esspecially with milk.
 

 

 
Nyman also makes the point that dairy is around us a lot closer than we may think.
 

 

 
More information on June Dairy Month and nutritional information on dairy can be found at stldairycouncil.org.

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Boil Order in Clinton Lifted

There is currently a boil order for the area of Violet Valley to Revere Rd including Evans and Stone. If you have any questions please call 934-3432 during business hours.

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Armed Robbery at Bloomington Papa John's

On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at approximately 9:33 p.m., Bloomington Police responded to 1407 N. Veterans Parkway, Papa John’s Pizza for an armed robbery.

 

It was reported a black male entered the store, displayed a firearm, and demanded money from an employee. After the employee was not able to access the money, the suspect damaged a monitor and fled north on foot.

 

No injuries were reported from the incident.

 

The suspect was described as a black male, approximately 5’1” in height and unknown weight.  

 

The investigation is ongoing, anyone with information is asked to contact BPD Detective Curt Maas at (309) 434-2534 or cmaas@cityblm.org

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Clinton WalMart Closing Next Month

The Walmart Corporate office has announced that the Clinton Walmart will close its doors starting July 20.
 
Walmart corporate director of communications Anne Hatfield says the decision to close came from several different factors.
 

 

 
The store and pharmacy will close on the same date, as pharmacists will look to help those with current prescriptions.
 

 

 
Hatfield says the main focus is now helping those associates in finding other positions.
 

 

 
The Clinton Walmart opened in 1983.  

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Boil Order in Clinton Lifted

A boil order has been issued for parts of Clinton Wednesday.

 

The area of E Washington Street to E Jefferson Street from Taylor Street to the railroad tracks to the west. If you have any questions, please call (217) 935-3432.

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Major Road Project in the Plans for Clinton Public Works Department

With several local roads getting summer work done by the Clinton Public Works Department in the coming weeks, there is a major road rehabilitation in the design phases.
 
Public Works director Steve Lobb says the plan could possibly get underway in 2019.  

 

 
Lobb explains this project has been in the designing phases because of new compliance laws.
 

 

 
While funding can be tight and with costs higher in order to be ADA compliant, the public works department has had to brainstorm other resources for spending.
 

 

 
The Public Works Department hopes the Center Street rehabilitation would get underway in 2019.

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Update on Bloomington Triple Homicide

On Monday, June 18, 2018, at approximately 2:43 p.m., Bloomington Police Officers responded to 311 Riley Drive for the report of a subject shot.
 
Officers arrived on scene and discovered three adult male victims, who were declared deceased at the scene. One additional victim, a 4-year-old male was found with a gunshot wound and was transported to an area hospital by Bloomington Fire. The 4-year-old male was then life-flighted to a Peoria, Illinois hospital. Family members stated the 4-year-old is now in stable condition.
 
On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis identified the three deceased males as Corey D. Jackson, age 22, of Bloomington, Nathaniel A. Pena, age 22, of Bloomington, and Juan C. Perez-Macedo, age 33, of Bloomington.
 
On Tuesday, June 19, 2018, Coroner Davis stated an autopsy was conducted and preliminary autopsy findings indicate that Corey Jackson, Nathaniel Pena, and Juan Perez-Macedo succumbed to injuries from being shot. Toxicology results are pending.
 
The Bloomington Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division is conducting the investigation with the McLean County Coroner’s Office.
 
No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting and no further details are available at this time. 

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Prairie Hike this Weekend at Rock Springs Conservation Area

With flowers blossomed summer conditions here, there are plenty of events happening each weekend around central Illinois.
 
The Rock Springs Conservation Area & Nature Center will host many events throughout the summer, but start with a hiking event this weekend.
 

 

 
Richie Wolf is the Nature Center manager at Rock Springs, as he explains another event for children also taking place this weekend.

 

 
For more information on Rock Springs visit maconcountyconservation.com.  
 

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6,000 mile run includes Illinois

The runners you may see crossing northern Illinois this week are taking turns running 6,000 miles across the country. George Lutz founded Honor and Remember which is organizing America’s Run for the Fallen. Every mile or so, runners stop for a ceremony to honor some of the 20,000 service members killed since the U.S.S. Cole bombing in 2000.

You’ll see different numbers of runners at different times. Lutz says they're taking turns resting in the motorcade between stops.

 

 

 
Lutz says anyone can offer support for gasoline, lodging, and other needs online at “www dot honor and remember dot org”. The runners entered Illinois last Thursday after leaving Burlington, Iowa. They went to Galesburg, then to Princeton, and were to stop in Marseilles Monday night after running all day from the Spring Valley area along U.S. 6. Their route is to be on rural highways south of Marseilles and Seneca on to Illinois 113 south of Wilmington and east to Kankakee. Then they'll run to Indiana today.

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Rauner announces millions in ag grants

Gov. Bruce Rauner has announced a series of agriculture grants. He says over a third of the 16 million dollars will go toward ensuring farm fields have a great foundation....

 

 
Rauner describes the fate of the remainder of the money....
 

 

 
County fair grants will help operations at the fairs and may be used to support critical facility rehabilitation needs. A University of Illinois study shows the state's county fairs generate more than $90 million annually and create more than 1,000 jobs each summer. 

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Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago moving forward with state support and new corporate and educational partners

PLANS FOR THE DISCOVERY PARTNERS INSTITUTE IN CHICAGO ARE MOVING FORWARD WITH STATE SUPPORT AND NEW CORPORATE AND ACADEMIC PARTNERS. 
 
THE INSTITUTE WILL BE AN INNOVATION CENTER LED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS SYSTEM. THE NEW STATE BUDGET INCLUDES MONEY FOR THE PROJECT WHICH GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER SAYS IT’S THE KEY TO MAKING ILLINOIS A NATIONAL LEADER IN INNOVATION, TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH.
 

 

 
THE PROJECT HAS SECURED IT’S FIRST CORPORATE PARTNER…O-S-F HEALTHCARE…AND TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY WILL COLLABORATE WITH RESEARCHERS AND ENTREPRENEURS HERE IN ILLINOIS.

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Rain & cloud cover to provide some heat relief

Some relief from heat advisories and excessive heat warnings on the way. It’s still going to be warm, but rain is expected in most parts of the state over the next seven days says agriculture meteorologist Eric Schmidt of EJS Weather in Newton. 
 

 

 
Schmidt anticipates temperatures to be more in the average range during July.

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Weekly Crop Report

CROP CONDITIONS ARE DECLINING A BIT AS HOT WEATHER PERSISTS ACROSS ILLINOIS. 
 
THE AVERAGE STATEWIDE TEMPERATURE THIS PAST WEEK WAS NEARLY 77 DEGREES…AND TOPSOIL MOISTURE LEVELS DIPPED TO FOUR PERCENT VERY SHORT, 16 PERCENT SHORT, 68 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 12 PERCENT SURPLUS. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS WINTER WHEAT HARVESTING JUMPED AHEAD TO 30 PERCENT COMPLETE.

 

 
93 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE EMERGED AND THREE PERCENT ARE BLOOMING. 77 PERCENT OF THE SOYBEAN CROP AND 81 PERCENT OF CORN IS IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION…ALSO DOWN A LITTLE FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK.

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Rauner critical of family separation

Gov. Bruce Rauner is weighing in on the separation of children and parents at the southern U.S. border.....
 

 

 
When asked about potentially responding to White House requests to send National Guard troops to help patrol the southern border, Rauner said he isn't thinking about that right now.

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Bost reaction to child separation/immigration issue

 
Southern Illinois Congressman Mike Bost says fixes to the nation's immigration issues need to be addressed sooner rather than later, and in a bipartisan manner. Recently, much attention has been given to the separation of children from their parents as families are caught entering the country illegally at the Mexico border. Bost says while it's getting a lot of attention right now, it's not a new development.
 

 

 
He reminds that if a citizen of the United States commits a crime and they have their children with them, the children will be separated from the parents for a period of time.

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Summer Concert Series to Start this Weekend

This Saturday marks that start of the Summer Concert Series on Mr. Lincoln's Square in downtown Clinton.
 
Police Chief Ben Lowers describes the lineup for the opening weekend.
 

 

 
The concert series has been able to draw up and coming acts such as Lauren Alaina and Sundance Head over the last several years.
 

 

 
More information on the Summer Concert Series can be found at clintonrec.com.

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United Way and DeWitt Couny Community Increase Funding for Programs

With the help of the DeWitt County community, United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois (UWDMI) will increase investment in multiple agency programs in DeWitt County that are changing lives and moving individuals towards self-sufficiency and independent living.
 
Eight different programs will receive the full amount of investment they requested from the United Way for one year.  James Keith is the Community Impact Director at UWDMI as he says the contributions made are all due to generosity from those in the community.
 

 

 
Programs such as Dove Inc.'s Domestic Violence Program, American Red Cross’s Disaster Services Program, Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Peace Meal Senior Nutrition Program, Clinton Community YMCA’s Grow the Impact Program, DeWitt County Human Resource Center’s Developmental Training Program, Boy Scouts of America – W.D. Boyce Council’s Comprehensive Youth Development Program, DeWitt County Friendship Center’s Senior Programming, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central IL’s Mentor Program have all received full funding for one year.
 
Keith says the overall impact these donations make will not be forgotten.
 

 

 
DeWitt County agencies will need to apply for funding in the spring of 2019 in order for their programs to be considered for investment again.

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Triple Homicide in Bloomington

Yesterday at approximately 2:43 p.m., Bloomington Police Officers responded to 311 Riley Drive for the report of a subject shot.
 
Officers arrived on scene and discovered three adult male victims, who were declared deceased at the scene. One additional victim, a 4-year-old male was found with a gunshot wound and was transported to an area hospital by Bloomington Fire. The 4-year-old male was then life-flighted to a Peoria, Illinois area hospital in critical condition.
 
Representatives from the McLean County Coroner’s office responded to the scene. McLean County Coroner Kathy Davis pronounced one of the males deceased at 4:08 p.m. and the other two males were pronounced deceased at 4:16 p.m. The names of the decedents are being withheld at this time pending notification of family. Autopsies are scheduled for today.  
 
The Bloomington Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division is conducting the investigation along with the McLean County Coroner’s office.
 
No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting and the motive is unknown at this time.
 
The investigation is ongoing, anyone with information is asked to contact BPD.

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Let's Keep Decatur Bee-utiful Contest Honors Local Businesses

Since 2011, the Let's Keep Decatur Bee-utiful contest has looked to find the most curb appealing businesses in the area.  Each year local businesses can participate in the free contest as Co-chair of the event Jill Davis talks about the legacy of the competition.
 

 

 
Davis explains that the judging takes place over a three day period with a total of nine judges.  Criteria for judging includes five areas with a possibility of 30 points.  Areas include well-maintained landscaping, no litter around the entire perimeter, well-maintained facade, well-maintained hardscape, and a WOW factor.  
 
This year there were over 100 businesses that entered the competition, as Davis says the growth of the event has continued to multiply.
 

 

 
The 2018 Let's Keep Decatur Bee-utiful winners will be recognized today with a presentation of awards.  Awards include gift cards to the top-3 finishers in each category and all winners receive a custom trophy courtesy of Caterpillar. 
 
A full list of the 2018 Let's Keep Decatur Bee-utiful award winners can be found at beautifuldecaturbusiness.com.

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Increased Traffic on Millikin University Campus

Millikin University will host the 39th annual Showchoir Camps of America (SCA) this week on the Millikin campus. The event hosts approximately 800 students, as Director of Public Safety Chris Ballard says there will be increased pedistrian traffic over the next couple weeks. 
 

 

 
Throughout the camps, Millikin University Police will be conducting proactive patrols focused on pedestrian and vehicle safety on the streets mentioned.

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Treasurer Mike Frerichs announces winner of Illinois Bicentennial Coin Contest

A DESIGN FROM A DOWNSTATE COLLEGE STUDENT IS THE WINNER OF STATE TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS’ ILLINOIS BICENTENNIAL COIN CONTEST. 
 
THE WINNER IS 21-YEAR-OLD HAYDEN SCHUMER OF CHATHAM WHOSE DESIGN, CALLED “THE FIRST 200” FEATURES DEPICTIONS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, CHICAGO's WILLIS TOWER, THE STATE CAPITOL, ROUTE 66 AND MORE. TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS SAYS SCHUMER’S WORK WAS CHOSEN FROM ABOUT 30 SUBMISSIONS.
 

 

 
THE DESIGN WILL BE MINTED IN SILVER ON ONE SIDE OF THE COIN. THE OTHER SIDE WILL HAVE THE STATE SEAL. YOU CAN PRE-ORDER THE COMMEMORATIVE COIN FOR $45 AND THEY WILL BE SHIPPED OUT AROUND AUGUST FIRST. VISIT ILLINOIS TREASURER DOT GOV FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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June Dairy Month Looks at Adding Dairy to Diet

With the month of June being dedicated to dairy, there are many people who don't get a full serving of dairy each day.  According to Monica Nyman from the St. Louis Dairy Council, the average person only consumes two servings of dairy each day when the recommended serving is three.  Nyman suggests substituting other beverges during meals such as sodas and sports drinks.  

 

 
There are also other ways to incorporate dairy into meal plans such as through snacks and other beverage items.
 

 

 
More recipes and meal plan options for including more dairy into everyday diets can be found at stldairycouncil.org.  
 

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Illinois Republican Members send letter to President Trump

Several members in the U.S. House of Representatives from the State of Illinois sent a letter to President Donald Trump airing their concerns with any pardon given to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.  Rep. Rodney Davis was one who signed and sent the letter, as he feels the former governor shouldn't be given any reprieve for the crimes he committed...
 

 

 
Other Republican Members who signed the letter included Reps. Darin LaHood, John Shimkus, Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren, Adam Kinzinger, and Mike Bost.

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Durbin takes on rising RX costs

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is taking on skyrocketing prescription drug costs. In a visit to Peoria's OSF Children's Hospital, he called for increased transparency from pharmaceutical companies when advertising directly to consumers......
 

 

 
While they are dramatically increasing prices on patients and the federal government, Durbin says the pharmaceutical industry spends more than $5 billion on advertising drugs to consumers and more than $20 billion in aggressive marketing to prescribers. Durbin says soaring prescription costs for Vitamin K are one example of the problem.....
 

 

 
Durbin is also calling for the Food and Drug Administration to intervene when it comes to shortages of EpiPens and other critical medicines.

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Plan for Summer Road Work in Clinton

Every year the Clinton Public Works Department will get underway on their summer maintenance program.  Public Works director Steve Lobb explains the process for undergoing work on local streets throughout Clinton.
 

 

 
The oil and chip work is planned to begin sometime during the July-August time period.  The following areas are on the list for oil and chip renovation.
 

 

 
There is also a larger road work plan for the upcoming months looking to help beautify one of the busiest areas in town.
 

 

 
The Public Works Department plans on having the oil and chip road work done before schools return to session in August.

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June National Dairy Month

Dairy is a large part of the nations food supply, as consumers who indulge in products like milk, cheese, and yogurt all are consuming dairy.
 
Monica Nyman is a registered dietitian and works with the St. Louis District Dairy Council to help promote dairy and connect people with where their food comes from.  She explains some of the reasons why this month is dedicated to dairy.
 

 

 
The St. Louis District Dairy Council also focuses on recognizing dairy farmers for their efforts in producing to the nation's economy and health.  More information on June Dairy Month can be found at stldairycouncil.org.

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Legislation introduced to provide four-year MAP grants

St. Sen. Sue Rezin says Illinois needs to work harder to keep high school students from going to college in other states. The Morris Republican says when students leave, they start to build lives in those other places and are less likely to come back.
 

 

 
A bill that Rezin sponsored would provide four-year MAP—Monetary Award Program—grants so students have certainty from year to year.  It also provides money for college scholarships and other funding to try to keep universities from raising tuition.

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State officials launch new website and highlight efforts to combat the opioid epidemic

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER IS HIGHLIGHTING HOW THE STATE IS TACKLING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN ILLINOIS.  THERE’S THE “WARM-HANDOFF” INITIATIVE, AIMED AT GETTING OPIOID OVERDOSE VICTIMS ACCESS TO TREATMENT IMMEDIATELY...THE STATE’S OPIOID HOTLINE AND THE USE OF NARCAN TO COUNTERACT AN O-D SAYS GOVERNOR RAUNER.
 

 

 
THE STATE IS ALSO LAUNCHING A NEW WEBSITE: HELPLINE IL DOT ORG WHERE YOU OR A LOVED ON CAN FIND HELP FOR AN ADDICTION. THE OPIOID HOTLINE NUMBER IS: 1-833-2FINDHELP.

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library offers walking tour of sites from the Lincolns' courtship and marriage

 
THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY IN SPRINGFIELD IS OFFERING WALKING TOURS THIS SUMMER EXPLORING THE COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE OF THE LINCOLNS. 
 
THE “ABE AND MARY: QUITE CONTRARY” WALKING TOUR TAKES VISITORS TO SITES THAT WERE IMPORTANT DURING THEIR ROMANCE SAYS LIBRARY SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS.
 
 
THE FREE TOUR WILL BE OFFERED EVERY TUESDAY AT 10 A-M AND 1:30 P-M THIS JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST. THOSE INTERESTED ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO REGISTER IN ADVANCE ONLINE AT: PRESIDENT LINCOLN DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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Smithsonian Institution exhibit coming to Illinois

 
Six Illinois communities have been chosen to host a new exhibit developed by the Smithsonian Institution. It's part of the group's "Museum on Main Street" series. The communities selected include Atlanta in Logan County, Marshall in Clark County, Shelbyville in Shelby County, Sycamore in DeKalb County, Winchester in Scott County, and Chester in Randolph County where it will begin first, shortly after Labor Day. Tammy Grah (Gr-AH) leads the effort to host the exhibit in Chester;
 

 

 
The federal and state-funded Illinois Humanities, the entity which selected the host-communities, says the exhibit will aim to examine the impact of rural American culture on the identity of the U-S. Each Illinois community selected must create a local exhibit as well, and Chester plans to focus on the first capital of Illinois, Kaskaskia, local industry and farms;
 

 

 
The exhibit entitled, "Crossroads: Change in Rural America," will start in the southwest Illinois town of Chester on September 8th. The five other Illinois communities chosen will each host it for about two months, all the way through next June.

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Davis Weighs in on Singapore Summit

With the historic Singapore Summit taking place last week, there is a feeling of hope when it comes to denuclearizing North Korea.
 
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis says there is a good sentiment in Washington with what President Donald Trump was able to accomplish, but he is indifferent if the North Korean government will hold their end of the bargain.
 

 

 
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will lead the negotiations to determine the denuclearization process.  

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National Fire Protection Association Annual U.S. Firefighter Fatalities Report

The National Fire Protection Association released their annual U.S. Firefighter Fatalities report, which indicated a total of 60 U.S. firefighter fatalities while on duty in 2017.
 
The 60 fatalities represent the lowest total reported since 1977 according to NFPA's manager of fire databases and systems Rita Fahy (FAY-he)...

 

 
Overexertion, stress and medical issues accounted for more than half of the deaths this year, while the number of fatalities caused by vehicle collisions was six higher than the 30 year average of four.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, two firefighter fatalities occured this past year in Illinois.

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Successful Year for Clinton FFA Chapter

It was a successful year for the Clinton chapter of the FFA.
 
Section Reporter Tennyson Kern received her Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) in Equine Entrepreneurship and is in the top three Section Reporters in the state. Kern adds that four people received their State FFA Degree: Megan Finfrock, Anna Mills, Kinser Wargle, and Emma Moore.
 

 

 
Kern indicates that the chapter is very pleased with how they did at this year's State Convention, even more so knowing that it is Chapter Advisor Jamison Holt's last year with the Clinton FFA and that they can send him off with pride.
 

 

 
Chapter Treasurer, Krayton Carter, got his SAE in Beef Entrepreneurship and plans to continue his involvement in FFA next year.
 

 

 
For a full list of American and State FFA Degrees, you can go to the Clinton FFA Alumni Facebook page.

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Springfield Native Serves as "Vanguard in Peace, Spearhead in War"

A 2016 Southeast High School graduate and Springfield, Illinois, native is serving in the U.S. Navy with Assault Craft Unit FOUR (ACU 4), one of the Navy’s most advanced amphibious warfare units.
 
Fireman Antonia Thomas is a gas turbine systems technician (mechanical) with the group operating out of Virginia Beach,Virginia. 
 
A Navy gas turbine systems technician (mechanical) is responsible for making sure the main propulsion machinery is working properly throughout the boat. 
 
ACU 4 is one of the components of Naval Beach Group TWO (NBG 2). 
 
Commissioned in 1948, just after World War II, NBG 2 trains and equips military forces for deployment overseas. Sailors with NBG 2 serve a vital role in the Navy our nation needs by ensuring that amphibious operations remain ready to defend and protect America at all times. 
 
ACU 4 operates landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) vehicles, which are designed to transport personnel and equipment from surface ships to shore.
 
The exercises and real-world operations that ACU 4 Sailors participate in include evacuation of American citizens from a hostile territory, delivery of food and medical supplies after a natural disaster, and many other tasks that involve movement from ships off-shore to the beach, according to Navy officials. 
 
Though there are many ways for a sailor to earn distinction in their command, community, and career, Thomas is most proud of being the only one who left her hometown and was successful. 
 
While serving in the Navy may present many challenges, Thomas said they have found many great rewards. 

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Local youth recently took home awards at the 2018 Central Illinois Angus Association Preview Show

Some local youth recently took home awards at the 2018 Central Illinois Angus Association Preview Show, June 1, in Bloomington.
 
The American Angus Association reports Dameron Northern Frontier earned grand champion bull honors after first winning junior champion. Jack Dameron, Towanda, Ill., owns the January 2017 son of DDA Dameron Northern Light.
 
FCF Blackbird 658 was named reserve grand champion female after first winning senior champion. Sierra Day, Cerro Gordo, Ill., owns the September 2016 daughter of PVF Surveillance 4129.
 
Schafers Prince Harry 7308 won grand champion steer. Eric Schafer, Owaneco, Ill., owns the March 2017 son of BSF Hot Lotto 1401.
 
FCF Proven Queen 632 won reserve grand champion cow-calf pair. Sierra Day, Cerro Gordo, Ill., owns the March 2016 daughter of EXAR Blue Chip 1877B. A March 2018 heifer calf sired by PVF Insight 0129 completes the winning pair.
 
Angus enthusiasts led 192 entries through the show.   Jim Pipkin, of Republic, Missouri., evaluated the 20 bulls, 157 females, 11 steers and four cow-calf pairs.

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CDC investigating multi-state outbreak linked to cereal; just one case in Illinois so far

THE C-D-C IS INVESTIGATING A MULTI-STATE SALMONELLA OUTBREAK LINKED TO KELLOGG’S HONEY SMACK CEREAL. 
 
73 CASES FROM 31 STATES HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED SO FAR…INCLUDING ONE IN ILLINOIS. STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MELANEY ARNOLD SAYS SYMPTOMS OF SALMONELLA POISONING USUALLY SHOW UP 12 TO 72 HOURS AFTER EATING CONTAMINATED FOOD.
 

 

 
ARNOLD RECOMMENDS CHECKING YOUR PANTRY FOR ANY BOXES OF KELLOGG’S HONEY SMACK CEREAL AND THROWING THEM OUT…EVEN IF YOU’VE ALREADY EATEN SOME AND HAVEN’T GOTTEN SICK.

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Governor Bruce Rauner announces $16 million in agriculture grants

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER IS ANNOUNCING 16 MILLION DOLLARS IN AGRICULTURE GRANTS FOR ILLINOIS COMMUNITIES.
 
GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS THE MONEY INCLUDES SIX MILLION DOLLARS FOR SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS AROUND THE STATE WHICH WORK TO PROTECT ILLINOIS FARMLAND. THERE’S ALSO MONEY FOR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THROUGH THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION SERVICE.
 

 

 
THE REMAINING FIVE MILLION IS FOR COUNTRY FAIRS. MORE THAN 54 THOUSAND DOLLARS WILL BE SENT TO EACH OF THE 92 COUNTY FAIRS AROUND THE STATE FOR OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE NEEDS.

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Mexico Turning to EU and Others to Replace U.S. Pork Imports

Mexico is turning to the European Union and Latin America to offset any
potential declines in U.S. pork imports. Mexico recently announced a 20
percent tariff on U.S. pork shoulders and legs starting next month in
response to steel and aluminum tariffs placed on Mexico by the Trump
administration. Mexican officials told Politico the nation will allow
350,000 tons of pork from all countries to ensure “that its consumers do
not face shortages.” Experts predict the quota will be quickly filled by
the European Union and Latin America. U.S. pork will still be able to
compete under the quota but is expected to see a sharp loss in sales from
the Mexican tariffs. The United States sent 25 percent of its total pork
exports to Mexico last year. Meanwhile EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil
Hogan said “if Trump does not want to do business, the EU is ready and
willing.”

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U.S. Tractor, Combine Sales Up

U.S. tractor and combine sales increased last month, according to the
latest monthly measure by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The
association’s monthly report shows sales of all tractors in the U.S.
during May increased 17 percent compared to the same month last year. For
the five months in 2018, a total of 96,700 tractors were sold which
compares to 92,100 sold through May 2017, representing a five percent
increase for the year. Farmers purchased 20 percent more two drive
tractors under 40 horsepower in May, compared to last year, along with 20
percent more two-wheel-drive 100-plus horsepower tractors. However, sales
of four-wheel drive tractors were down six percent for the month. For the
year, two-wheel drive tractors under 40 horsepower are up six percent from
last year, and sales of four-wheel drive tractors are up two percent.
Combine sales were up 52 percent for the month. Sales of combines for the
year total 1,550 compared to 1,225 in 2017, a 27 percent increase.

 

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DeWitt County/Clinton Cooling Centers Open

Cooling Centers Open June 15, June 16 & June 18, 2018

 

NWS HEAT ADVISORY NOON TO 1:00PM TODAY, JUNE 15 THRU 7:00PM June 18, 2018

 

Increasing heat and humidity are forecasted with temperatures over 90 degrees and high humidity. This mix of heat and humidity will push Heat Indexes to 100 – 105 degrees through Monday.

 

**DeWitt County Friendship Center – 410 E. Main, Clinton

Monday - Friday 8:00am – 3:00pm

 

**Vespasian Warner Public Library – 310 N. Quincy, Clinton

Monday -Thursday – 9:00am – 8:00pm

Friday – 9:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday – 9:00am – 4:00pm

 

**No drinks or snacks are allowed at the library**

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Millikin University named top college in Illinois for helping students land jobs

Millikin University has been named the top college in Illinois for helping students land a job after graduation according to Zippia, a career advice website dedicated to helping recent college graduates with their career choices.
 
Zippia identified the best colleges for employment in each state by using the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
 
Pam Folger is the director for Professional Performance at Millikin, as she explains the career planning process begins right as students arrive at the university.
 

 

 
Folger gave some of the key tools students use to land jobs after graduation and how her department feels seeing the success of their alumni.
 

 

 
Last year, 99.2 percent of Millikin graduates gained employment or continued their education within six months of graduation.
 

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Community Action Partnership offering help to those in need

Sometimes people don't always get the best start in life and they need help to find the right path.
 
Community Action Partnership here in Central Illinois looks to help those who may need extra guidance, from everything such as their food co-op program to classes on learning how to manage money more wisely.
 
Craig Farnam is the director of the food co-op program and he explains how members receive products through the service.
 

 

 
Along with the food co-op, Community Action also offers classes on the right way to handle yourself in a professional standard.
 

 

 
Mike Robbins is a family service worker for Community Action, as he says he's been able to see first-hand the impact these classes have made.  
 

 

 
For more information on the Community Action Partnership here in Central Illinois visit www.capcil.info.

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Warmer Temperatures Bring Advised Safety Precautions

The warm weather is here to stay in the area, with anticipated weekend weather in the 90's.  With the hot temperatures, its advised that certain precautions are taken in order to avoid heat-related instances.

 

 
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says there's also the issue of pets getting overheated, especially if left inside a vehicle.  
 

 

 
Chief Lowers also encourages extra precaution while traveling around neighborhoods with increased foot traffic due to the nicer weather.

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Bustos bill calls for more access to opioid treatment

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos has introduced legislation aimed at increasing access to treatment for those suffering from opioid addiction in rural areas. 
 

 

 
Bustos says only 55-percent of rural counties have substance use disorder treatment facilities. She says that makes access to telemedicine vital in combating the opioid epidemic. However, current federal law prohibits a medical practitioner from dispensing controlled substances through the internet without first evaluating the patient in-person. The Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act instructs the Attorney General to take the necessary steps to allow for the prescription of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and other controlled substances via telemedicine. Specifically, Bustos says the bill will lead to the implementation of a special registration process for physicians to prescribe such treatment, helping connect patients with the treatment they need without risking important safeguards to prevent misuse.

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State unemployment rate drops for the fifth month in a row

THE ILLINOIS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FELL FOR THE FIFTH MONTH IN A ROW IN MAY. 
 
THE STATE JOBLESS RATE CAME IN AT FOUR POINT THREE PERCENT LAST MONTH…DOWN SLIGHTLY FROM FOUR POINT FOUR IN APRIL. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON BOB GOUGH (goff) SAYS JOBS GREW BY 86-HUNDRED IN MAY…MARKING A POSITIVE TREND.
 

 

 
AREAS WITH THE MOST JOB GROWTH LAST MONTH WERE EDUCATIONAL AND HEALTH SERVICES, GOVERNMENT AND FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES.

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West Nile surveillance underway in Illinois

It’s peek mosquito season time in Illinois. And West Nile surveillance is an ongoing effort throughout the state says Connie Austin with the Illinois Department of Public Health.
 

 

 
Mosquito batches in Morton Grove and Glenview have already tested positive for West Nile this year. Last year in Illinois, there were 90 human cases of West Nile virus with eight deaths.

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Illinois State Fair/Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum offers double-play deal with half price tickets

A NEW PROMOTION OFFERS VISITORS HALF-PRICE ADMISSION TO BOTH THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR AND THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM IN SPRINGFIELD. (two stories, same lead).
 
STATE FAIR SPOKESPERSON REBECCA CLARK SAYS IT’S CALLED THE “DOUBLE PLAY” DEAL...AND IT ONLY COSTS 12 DOLLARS.
 

 

 
THE MUSEUM TICKET CAN BE USED ANY TIME THIS YEAR…NOT JUST DURING THE FAIR. YOU CAN GET YOUR DOUBLE PLAY TICKETS WEEKDAYS AT THE EMMERSON BUILDING ON THE STATE FAIRGROUNDS OR AT THE PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM IN DOWNTOWN SPRINGFIELD. THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR RUNS AUGUST NINTH THROUGH THE 19TH.

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Durbin calls for Republican help in bid to end child separation

Senator Dick Durbin is taking Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration to task for their policy of separating children from their parents who arrive at the nation's southern border. ....

 

 
Durbin says the policy gives America's reputation a black eye and he's hopeful Republicans will join him in calling for an end to the practice of child separation... ....
 

 

 
The parents are seeking protection from a pattern of violence in the Northern Triangle region of Central America, which includes Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Those country have some of the world's highest homicide rates and girls and young women in those nations fall prey to sexual violence, with little protection from local authorities.

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Rantoul Illinois Male Arrested for Drug-induced Homicide

The Bloomington Police Department continues efforts to combat opioids. There has been an arrest of a subject for the drug-induced homicide of a male in Bloomington, which is the second time this past year and highlights the continued problem of opioid use and addiction across Central Illinois.

 

An initial investigation began on March 23, 2018, when BPD divisions (Patrol, Criminal Investigation Division-Crime Scene Detectives, Vice Unit, and Street Crimes Division) worked jointly with the Champaign (IL) Street Crimes Task Force and arrested Troy D. McBride, age 24, of Rantoul, Illinois for Intent to Delivery of a Controlled Substance after a traffic stop in Urbana, Illinois. Recovered was heroin/fentanyl and crack cocaine.

 

On Friday, June 8, 2018, McBride was indicted by the Statewide Grand Jury for Drug-Induced Homicide as well as six counts related to Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance.

 

On Wednesday, June 13, 2018, members of BPD’s Vice Unit, Street Crimes Unit, and Champaign Street Crimes Task Force arrested McBride in the 200 block of North Vine Street, Urbana, Illinois after the McLean County States Attorney's Office assisted in the investigation.

 

McBride was arrested for Drug-Induced Homicide, and multiple counts of Manufacture/Delivery of 1-15 grams of cocaine.

 

McBride was transported from Champaign County Jail to the McLean County Jail.

If you know someone who is battling drug addiction, please call local treatment agencies at 309-827-6026 or 309-888-0993.

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State Grant Awarded to DeWitt County Friendship Center

The state budget approval has allowed for certain projects and grants to finally be awarded, specifically right here in DeWitt County.
 
The DeWitt County Friendship Center has long needed a new parking lot, as the current lot is insufficient and can cause headaches according to Friendship Center director Paula Jiles.
 

 

 
The State grant of $100,000 was awarded by Rep. Bill Mitchell, who has been working on this project over the last nine years.
 

 

 
The new parking lot addition to the Friendship Center is planned to add 30-40 new parking lot spaces.

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Maroa-Forsyth FFA Chapter Enjoying Big Week At State Convention

A local FFA chapter is one of many across the state receiving awards at this week's Illinois FFA Convention in Springfield.
 
The Maroa-Forsyth FFA chapter is having quite the week.
 
Chapter President, Reed Jostes, has received several awards.   Jostes was recognized as one of 10 outstanding chapter presidents in the state for exceptional leadership and service with the Outstanding Chapter President Award. The award is sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau.
 
Jostes was also recognized as one of 10 outstanding section presidents in the state who achieved the highest degree of excellence during their year of service to the chapters in their section and the Illinois Association FFA. The Top 10 section presidents are rewarded with an expense-paid, two-day leadership conference sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau.
 
Jostes was also selected as one of two 2018 recipients of the Sam Taylor Memorial Scholarship. 
 
Jostes has also been selected as one of ten candidate finalists for a 2018-2019 Major State Officer position with the Illinois Association FFA.  Elections for the new Illinois state officers is being held today (Thursday).
 
In addition, Cole Fredrickson, of the Maroa-Forsyth FFA Chapter, was recognized as Illinois' American Star in Agricultural Placement candidate and will compete with other American FFA Degree recipients throughout the country this fall at the 2018 National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.
 

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From 100 Bushels Per Acre Soybeans To No Longer Farming - The Story Of Dan Arkels

In the Fall of 2014, LaSalle County farmer Dan Arkels felt like he won the World Series.  He was the first Illinois farmer to have reached the 100 bushels per acre mark in the Illinois Soybean Association's Yield Challenge, but now ... he's no longer farming. 
 
NAFB Broadcaster, Jared White, has more...

 

 

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Piatt County Fair to Get Underway

County fair season is upon us, which means livestock shows, competitions and lots of entertainment.
 
The Piatt County Fair in Cerro Gordo gets underway tonight, as Piatt County Fair treasurer Carol Kussart explained the opening night festivities.
 

 

 
With events scheduled throughout the entire weekend, Kussart says one of the Friday night activities is a big attraction for most fair attendees.
 

 

 
More information on the Piatt County Fair can be found at piattcountyfair.com.

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ALMH Market Talk & Taste with Tony Curcuru

The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Market is in its third year and continues to add new events to its operation.  
 
This year the ALMH Market has introduced a new event called Talk & Taste.

 

 
Chelsea Campbell is the Coordinator for the ALMH Market, as she explains the purpose of Talk & Taste is to engage market goers and offer a learning demonstration.
 

 

 
The ALMH Market takes place each Saturday from 8am-12pm at the Logan County Fairgrounds. 

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Governor signed legislative ethics reform bill last week but says more change is needed

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER SIGNED LEGISLATIVE ETHICS REFORMS INTO LAW LAST WEEK…BUT SAYS FURTHER CHANGE IS NEEDED. 
 
 
THE NEW LAW LETS THE OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE INSPECTOR GENERAL LAUNCH AN INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT WITHOUT HAVING TO FIRST GET APPROVAL FROM THE LEGISLATIVE ETHICS COMMISSION. GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS NOW THE LAW NEEDS TO BE EXPANDED.

 

 
THE GOVERNOR ALSO SAYS THE COMMISSION SHOULD BE MADE UP OF PRIVATE CITIZENS…NOT LAWMAKERS LOOKING INTO ALLEGATIONS MADE AGAINST THEIR COLLEAGUES.

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IDNR holding auction of confiscated and abandoned property

TREE STANDS, FISHING GEAR, CROSSBOWS AND MORE WILL BE AUCTIONED OFF BY THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SATURDAY, JUNE 23RD IN DOWNSTATE PAWNEE. 
 
I-D-N-R SPOKESPERSON ED CROSS SAYS THE PUBLIC IS INVITED TO COME OUT AND BID ON THE ITEMS WHICH ALSO INCLUDE CUT UP DEER ANTLERS, COOLERS…AND TRAIL CAMERAS.
 

 

 
THE AUCTION WILL BE HELD ON THE 23RD AT I-D-N-R’S JACK PERSCHBACHER SERVICE CENTER IN PAWNEE. REGISTRATION BEGINS AT 8 A.M. AND BIDDERS WILL BE CHARGED A 15 PERCENT BUYER’S FEE FOR ANY ITEMS BOUGHT.

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Top Baby Names 2017

A persons name is what makes everyone unique in their own way.  Though sometimes people will meet others who share the same title
 
The Social Security Administration has been tracking name usage since 1997 and this year's top baby names have been released.
 

 

 
Myers explains that while this is one of the lighter topics the SSA gets to cover throughout the year, it's a way to drive traffic and make people aware of socialsecurity.gov.
 

 

 
The top name for boys in 2017 was Liam and for girls Emma.  The full top 10 list can be found at socialsecurity.gov. 

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AT&T Cell Service in Central Illinois Experiencing Outage Today

Regional Radio News has learned that A-T-and-T had problems with their cellular network in the Springfield area today.

It caused outages for those who have A-T-and-T cell service off of towers in and around Springfield.

Reported problems were mainly cell phone calls not being completed as dialed.

According to the web site "istheservicedown-dot-com", A-T-and-T's problems began around 6:30 local time this morning.  As of the noon hour today, the A-T-and-T problems persisted.

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Allerton Park Launches "All in for Allerton" Campaign

Trying to fundraise and raise money is something all organizations will strive to accomplish.  In particular, Allerton Park is launching a new initiative hoping to raise money to make their site more appealing.
 
The campaign is called "All in for Allerton," as the director at Allerton Park Derek Peterson explains, the campaign started after the University of Illinois's "With Illinois" fundraising drive.
 

 

 
The money will go towards capital campaigns and projects to make the facility much more accessible.
 

 

 
While "All in for Allerton" has just recently been announced, there have been silent phases of the campaign for quite some time.  To date, Allerton has raised almost $3 million of their $8 million goal.
 
For more information on the Allerton initiative visit allerton.illinois.edu.

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Illinois Prairie Community Foundation Seeking Philanthropist Nominees

Doing philanthropic work can a lot of times go unnoticed, but the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation is looking to acknowledge those who give back to others.

 

 
Michelle Evans is the Grants and Communications Director for the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.  She explains the process for picking the Philanthropist of the Year.
 

 

 
An individual, couple, or family are all accepted as applicants when applying.
 

 

 
Nominations for the 2018 Philanthropist of the Year are now being accepted until July 31.  Visit ilprairiecf.org for more information.

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Opportunity to Collect Benefits Before Full Retirement

While the age of retirement has changed over the years it has changed the full age of retirement for people born during different years.  Jack Myers with the Social Security Administration says that while the retirement ages have fluctuated, collecting benefits before or after your full retirement age has some stipulations.
 

 

 
While working after full retirement doesn't put a cap on earnings, there is an opportunity to collect before fully retired.
 

 

 
The limit pertains only to earned income, which includes gross wages or net earnings from self-employment.  Myers explains the exact details for limit earnings and penalties incurred if money earned goes over the limit.
 
 
More information on collecting social security retirement benefits both before and after the full retirement age can be found at socialsecurity.gov.

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Organic & Natural Health Association Launches Field Study Testing Program

There are many conflicting headlines revolving around the value and benefits of vitamins, herbs, and supplementation.  With thousands of products on the market, it can make life hard for consumers looking to better enhance their health.
 
Karen Howard is the CEO and executive director of the Organic & Natural Health Association, as she explains her organization focuses entirely on the public and the needs of supplying quality health goods products and services.
 
Howard joined the WHOW Morning Show and talked about a new research program looking at omega-3 and vitamin D.
 

 

 
There can also be the misconception that supplementations are unregulated.  Howard says that is far from the truth.
 

 

 
When consumers do consider taking vitamins and supplementation there are several key areas for success.
 

 

 
For more information on The Power of Nutrients field study visit organicandnatural.org.

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Governor Bruce Rauner is visiting downstate communities to talk about the new state budget

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER IS VISITING SOME DOWNSTATE COMMUNITIES TO DISCUSS THE NEW STATE BUDGET…BUT SAYS MORE WORK NEEDS TO BE DONE. 
 
THE GOVERNOR IS TOUTING THE BUDGET DEAL THAT INCLUDES MORE MONEY FOR EDUCATION AND A NEW ADOPTION TAX CREDIT. BUT HE ALSO NOTES THERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT STILL NEED TO BE ADDRESSED.
 

 

 
GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS HE’LL ALSO KEEP PUSHING TO REDUCE STATE MANDATES ON SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITIES IN FAVOR OF MORE LOCAL CONTROL.

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Davis: Farm Bill Vote Expected Soon

With the U.S. Senate moving on a farm bill, the House version may seem dead, but an Illinois congressman says that's not necessarily the case. The House bill stalled after what has been described as an unrelated fight over immigration policy in the bill. Taylorville Republican Rodney Davis says the House bill could come back if and when those with opposing views hammer out their differences. The bill also proposes new work requirements for participants in the federal food stamp program, SNAP. Davis says that's not a bad thing.

 

 
Provisions inside the House version would roll back restrictions on the wealthy obtaining federal farm subsidies, and would allow extended family members to receive payments. Some have called that the equivalent of welfare for the wealthy.

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JR Garner of The Sangamon Valley Boys Has Died

A local musician featured on WHOW during its country music heyday has passed away recently.
 
Ira Fielding Garner Jr., known around Central Illinois as JR Garner, recently passed away. Glenn Spain, one of JR's bandmates, remembers JR as a good friend and someone who loved playing music. Glenn Spain and JR performed together on WHOW in the Sangamon Valley Boys.
 

 

 
Spain reminisces that the Sangamon Valley Boys performed live on WHOW during the Johnny Barton days and played gigs all over Central Illinois. Spain says the band was featured on WHOW every Saturday morning for several years.
 
WHOW featured live country music from the time it went on the air in 1947 through the 1960's.

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25th Year of Scarin' Central Illinois

While Halloween and the month of October are quite some time away, that scaring spirit is always looming in the area.
 
This year marks the 25th year of "Scarin' Central Illinois," the annual event for the Clinton Chamber of Commerce "Terror on Washington Street."
 
Executive Director Marian Brisard says the Chamber is celebrating the anniversary with commerative items.
 

 

 
Brisard explains the specialty items do hold some stipulations when it comes to showing them off on your vehicle.
 

 

 
For more information on the 25th anniversary "Scarin' Central Illinois" license plates contact the Chamber of Commerce office.  

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Professor of Political Science Weighs in on State Budget

The Illinois state budget was signed into law just over a week ago by Gov. Bruce Rauner, the first time he's approved a full budget during his time in office.
 
With the approved budget many lawmakers and political minds have weighed in their thoughts on budget items.
 
Dr. Kent Redfield is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois in Springfield.  He attributes a budget signing from Gov. Rauner as a result of both parties tired of fighting.
 

 

 
With a portion of money in the budget going towards specifically higher education throughout the state, Dr. Redfield feels colleges and universities in the state are still struggling but will receive some needed help.
 

 

 
But while money in the budget is going towards higher education, the hardships over the last several years may have dug to deep a hole for institutes to climb out.

 

 
Dr. Redfield says that even though the budget has been signed, there are still short and long-term fixes lawmakers will have to make.

 

 
The full Illinois budget can be seen at Illinois.gov.  
 

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Lt. Governor favors school resource officers for every Illinois school building

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti is on board with a plan unveiled by Governor Bruce Rauner to place a school resource officer in every school building across the state. 
 

 

 
She says the legislature will be the deciding force on the funding mechanism for school resource officers.

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Voters Pick Top Illinois Books

VOTERS ARE CHOOSING THEIR FAVORITE ILLINOIS BOOKS…WITH “THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ” LEADING THE LIST IN THE LATEST ILLINOIS TOP 200 POLL.
 
ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS SAYS WHILE THE WIZARD OF OZ IS SET IN KANSAS…IT WAS WRITTEN BY L. FRANK BAUM IN CHICAGO IN 1891. COMING IN AT NUMBER TWO IS UPTON SINCLAIR’S NOVEL “THE JUNGLE” ABOUT IMMIGRANTS WORKING IN CHICAGO’S MEATPACKING INDUSTRY.
 

 

 
OTHER TOP BOOKS INCLUDE “THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY” AND “SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY,” A COLLECTION OF SMALL POEMS ABOUT A SMALL ILLINOIS TOWN. VOTE IN THE NEXT CATEGORY: TOP ILLINOIS AUTHORS, AT: ILLINOIS TOP 200 DOT COM.

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Schimpf Continues Work on Possible Southwest Illinois Connector

State Senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo continues to work towards building a highway connecting Carbondale to the St. Louis area. Schimpf says a resolution to put together a task force to work on the “Southwest Illinois Connector” has passed the Illinois Senate. He says the resolution is waiting on approval from his counterparts in the Illinois House.
 

 

 
Lawmakers are on recess until the annual veto session in November.

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Weekly Crop Report

 
FIELDWORK CONTINUES AND SOYBEANS ARE JUST ABOUT ALL PLANTED AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 
 
96 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED AND 90 PERCENT EMERGED. THAT’S AHEAD OF LAST YEAR’S PACE AND THE FIVE-YEAR AVERAGE. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 83 PERCENT OF THE SOYBEAN CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION…AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THE PREVIOUS WEEK. TURNING TO CORN…

 

 
WINTER WHEAT HARVESTING IS UNDERWAY BUT IS JUST ONE PERCENT COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IMPROVED SLIGHTLY TO THREE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 15 PERCENT SHORT, 66 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 16 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Illinois to Offer Specialty License Plates Supporting Alzheimer's Association

Specialty license plates supporting the Alzheimer’s Association are now available in Illinois. Illinois residents can now order their ENDALZ plate through the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.
 
These purple End Alzheimer's or ENDALZ plates will raise awareness and necessary funds in the fight against Alzheimer’s. More than 220,000 people are currently living with Alzheimer's disease in Illinois, and that number continues to grow.
 
The plate has a white background and features ENDALZ, as well as the Alzheimer’s Association's signature color purple and Association logo.
 
For information on the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter and the ENDALZ license plates visit alz.org/illinois.

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Red Cross Launches Missing Types

The American Red Cross is launching a new awareness campaign in hopes of avoiding an emergency call for blood this summer. The Missing Types campaign is meant to draw awareness to the fact that all blood types are needed, and especially during the summer. The organization says only about 3% of the U.S. population gives blood, meaning repeat donors are carrying the bulk of the load. During this time of year, people do not donate blood as often, according to Red Cross spokesman, Joe Zydlo (ZID-low). He says this is a nationwide effort.
 

 

 
If you want to donate blood, you can find information on where and how to do so at www.RedCross.org, or you can download a free Red Cross application from you mobile app store.

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Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce is looking ahead to the summer months preparing to promote its business community, tourist attractions, and achievements.
 
This month the Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for their golf outing, as Executive Director Marian Brisard explained what golfers can expect.
 

 

 
The Chamber of Commerce golf outing is scheduled for June 26th at the Clinton Country Club.

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Social Security Program for Caregivers

As people age many will need assistance to handle their affairs, sometimes having a family member or friend help be a caregiver to make life easier.
 
For those caregivers helping a loved one, there is a program through the Social Security Administration that allows caregivers to better helped those loved ones with their financial needs.

 

 
Jack Myers is a Public Affairs Specialist with the Social Security Administration in Springfield.  He explains that the Representative Payee program is also encouraged even for spouses who might be taking care of their significant other.
 

 

 
Myers explained the process to enroll in the program.
 

 

 
For more information on Social Security and The Representative Payee Program visit socialsecurity.gov/payee.

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Impressive history of quilts and farm implements in Illinois

There’s plenty of history in Illinois when it to comes farm implements and the art of quilts. And the Illinois State Museum in Springfield is proud to promote that rural heritage says Erika Holst, the museum’s assistant curator of decorative arts and history. 
 

 

 
And what about the history of Illinois quilts.
 

 

 
There are more than 18,000 items within the museum’s decorative arts and history department.  The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 South Spring Street and online at "illinoisstatemuseum.org".

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CDC investigating multi-state outbreak of salmonella from live poultry

THE C-D-C IS INVESTIGATING A MULTI-STATE OUTBREAK OF SALMONELLA LINKED TO LIVE POULTRY. 
 
STATE PUBLIC HEALTH VETERINARIAN DOCTOR CONNIE AUSTIN SAYS AS MORE PEOPLE GET INTO RAISING CHICKENS IN THEIR BACKYARD…IT’S IMPORTANT TO ISSUE THIS REMINDER.

 

 
THERE HAVE BEEN AT LEAST 124 CASES OF SALMONELLA POISONING FROM LIVE POULTRY IN 36 STATES. SO FAR THERE HAVE ONLY BEEN TWO FROM ILLINOIS.

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IDPH warns of salmonella outbreak linked to cut melons from Walmart

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS WARNING CONSUMERS ABOUT A MULTI-STATE SALMONELLA OUTBREAK LINKED TO PRE-CUT MELONS FROM WALMART. 
 
THE C-D-C IS REPORTING 60 CASES FROM FIVE STATES…INCLUDING SIX SO FAR IN ILLINOIS. PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NIRAV SHAH SAYS SALMONELLA CONTAMINATION CAN BE PRETTY SERIOUS.
 

 

 
SHAH SAYS SOME PEOPLE GET DIARRHEA SO BAD THEY MUST BE HOSPITALIZED. THE OUTBREAK IS TIED TO WATERMELON, HONEYDEW MELON AND CANTALOUPE FROM WALMART THAT HAS BEEN PRE- CUT AND PACKAGED INDIVIDUALLY OR IN FRUIT CUPS AND SALADS.

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Movement on the Senate farm bill

Movement on the Senate farm bill is set for this week. NAFB's Micheal
Clements reports.
 
    

 

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Severe Weather Causes Damage in Clinton, Farmer City, Other Areas of Central Illinois Sunday

Severe weather hit Central Illinois Sunday afternoon, causing the National Weather Service to issue a severe thunderstorm watch and numerous warnings.

Storm damage reports provided by the Weather Service included:
At 1:51, damage in Clinton to a shed roof near Adams and Portland Streets, and cable wires down on Isabella Street.
At 2 o’clock, a tree was blocking a road in Empire Township near Leroy.
At 2:05, trees were down in Mansfield.
At 2:07, northwest of Farmer City, a tree limb was down on Old Principal Road, which was quickly removed.
Also at 2:07 Sunday afternoon, one mile west of Farmer City, a tree was down on power lines and a house due to the high winds.
At 2:20, power poles were down north of Duncan and Kirby roads in southwest Champaign.
At 2:30, trees were down damaging 3 cars, a grain bin and crops in Philo in Champaign County.

The Weather Service also received reports of numerous high winds Sunday afternoon.
At 12:11, 56 mile an hour wind gusts were reported in Delevan.
At 2:10, 60 mile an hour wind gusts were reported in Mahomet.
At 2:58, 60 mile an hour wind gusts were reported at 2 miles north of Arcola.
At 3:23, a 53 mile an hour wind gust was reported at the Decatur Airport.

The severe weather moved out of the area late Sunday afternoon.

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Tips for reducing summer electric bills

WITH SUMMER OFF TO A HOT START…IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO TAKE SOME STEPS TO REDUCE YOUR ELECTRIC BILL. 
 
STEVEN GRONER IS A COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EDUCATOR WITH THE U OF I EXTENSION OFFICE. HE RECOMMENDS KEEPING YOUR THERMOSTAT AROUND 78 DEGREES, NOT USING THE OVEN TOO OFTEN AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF CEILING FANS. GRONER SAYS YOU CAN ALSO REDUCE ENERGY USE BY CONNECTING SMALL APPLIANCES TO ONE POWER STRIP THAT CAN EASILY BE TURNED ON AND OFF.
 

 

 
GRONER SAYS WEATHERSTRIPS AND CAULKS WILL HELP SEAL UP DRAFTS AND LEAKS SO COOL AIR DOESN’T ESCAPE YOUR HOME. HE ALSO NOTES THAT L-E-D BULBS ARE BECOMING LESS EXPENSIVE AND ARE A GOOD WAY TO SAVE MONEY OVER TIME.

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LaHood Ready for NK Summit With US

The President is going to be meeting with the North Koreans’ in Singapore and a central Illinois Congressman is on board. Republican Darin LaHood says that the devil may lay in the details but the current administration has made plenty of progress up to this point in working with the communist country.
 

 

 
Trump is expected to meet with Kim Jong Un on June 12.

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Bayer Closes Deal, Retires Monsanto Name

Bayer successfully completed the acquisition of Monsanto on Thursday,
retiring the Monsanto name. Acquired products by Bayer will retain brand
names and become part of Bayer's portfolio. However, company officials say
making the change will take some time. Shares in the U.S. company will no
longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole
owner of Monsanto. Monsanto shareholders are being paid $128 per share.
According to the conditional approval from the United States Department of
Justice, the integration of Monsanto into Bayer can take place as soon as
the divestments to BASF have been completed. The integration process is
expected to begin in approximately two months. Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant
said in a statement “the closing represents an important milestone toward
the vision of creating a leading agricultural company.” The acquisition is
the largest in Bayer’s history and doubles the size of its agriculture
business. The deal took two years to complete, and is valued at $63 billion.
 

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Extension Offering Bilingual Certified Food Protection Manager Exam

This August, the DeWitt County University of Illinois Extension office is offering the state mandated Certified Food Protection Manager course and test. Under the Food Service Sanitation Code, the Illinois Department of Public Health requires all food establishments be supervised by a Certified Food Protection Manager during hours of operation.  
 
The two-day course will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. August 1 and 3 at the DeWitt County Extension Office  located at 8425 Katie Road, Clinton. The course will be taught in English and the exam will be available in English or Spanish. If a participant needs a reader or translator, they can contact National Registry of Food Safety Professionals at 800.446.0257 or customer.service@nrfsp.com for the required forms.  
 
The fee for this course is $115 and includes the textbook, class materials and exam.  More information about DeWitt County Extension or the Nutrition & Wellness program is available at go.illinois.edu/dmp.

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Route 66 Festival stretches from Central Illinois to Metro East

On Saturday and Sunday, Route 66 enthusiasts will get a chance to take in a festival that runs some 80 miles long. The 4th annual Blue Carpet Corridor Festival, Miners, Mobsters and The Mother Road runs from Auburn, near Springfield, all the way to the Catsup Bottle in Collinsville. While much of the focus will be on horsepower and your usual Route 66 attractions, the event which features a number of towns along the route, there will be costumed characters reminiscent of famed 20th Century mobster Al Capone. Author Cheryl Eichar Jet says claims that Capone frequented Macoupin County like Carlinville and Benld (Buh-neld) are alive and well....
 

 

 
You can find out more at bluecarpetcorridor.org

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U.S. Offers List of Ag Concessions Wanted From China

The U.S. apparently wants more from China than a promise to buy more U.S. agricultural goods. Politico reports that U.S. officials have handed China a list of agricultural trade barriers that “must be lifted” to boost imports from the U.S. to China in an effort to reduce the trade deficit.
 
However, China has stated that it will not remove trade barriers as long as Trump imposes new U.S. tariffs, which could soon take effect. China said earlier this week that the outcome of the talks should be based on “meeting each other halfway.” China, meanwhile, has responded with targeting U.S. ag products with retaliatory tariffs, if warranted.
 
Further, the National Pork Producers Council said the trade war is already harming agriculture, as Iowa State University Economist Dermot Hayes says U.S. pork farmers have lost $2.2 billion on an annualized basis, from lower hog prices.

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Accurate Labels Act Introduced

Lawmakers introduced the Accurate Labels Act in the Senate Thursday, a bill that supporters say would provide American consumers nationwide with clear, accurate and meaningful nutrition information. Introduced by Republican Senator Jerry Moran (More-ran) of Kansas, and in the House of Representatives by Republican Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Democrat Kurt Shrader of Oregon, the bill would also prevent the issuance of inaccurate labels that mislead consumers and drive up prices. Supporters say the bill would establish science-based criteria for all additional state and local labeling requirements, allow state-mandated product information to be provided through smartphone-enabled “smart labels,” and ensuring that covered product information is risk-based. The American Farm Bureau Federation, along with the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, were immediately supportive of the legislation.

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Progress on The Vault Building Renovations

The Vault has called Mr. Lincoln's Square home for just over a year.  The 11,000 square foot space has seen improvements made over the year with the help of funding.
 
Demolition and hard construction took place in the early phases, but over the last six months, the focus has been renovations.
 

 

 
Lindsey Holtman is one of 20 plus student leaders at The Vault, as she specifically works on the design team and will run the snack shop.
 
With the strategy of opening the facility in three different stages, founder Michelle Witzke says recent fundraisers and donations have them on track for the first stage of the project.
 

 

 
Visit The Vault website for more information on fundraisers and donations along with the interior opening at thevaultclinton.wixsite.com.

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DeWitt County Relay For Life this Weekend

Relay For Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Relay is staffed and coordinated by volunteers in thousands of communities and 27 countries. Volunteers give their time and effort because they believe it's time to take action against cancer.
 
Relay For Life Community Development Manager Tony Holly stopped by the WHOW Morning Show to explain more in depth the history and purpose of the fundraiser.
 

 

 
The team fundraising event looks for team members to take turns walking around a track or designated path. Each event is 6-24 hours in length and each team is asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps.
 
Each team sets up a themed campsite at the event and continues their fundraising efforts by collecting donations.  
 

 

 
The DeWitt County Relay For Life will take place tomorrow at Clinton High School from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Visit www.relayforlife.org/dewittil for more information on the DeWitt County Relay For Life.  
 

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New Vendor Joins the Clinton Farmers Market

The Clinton Farmers Market is always looking for new vendors to supply their local goods to members of the community.  The markets newest addition is providing something sweet for market goers.
 
Witte Homestead Honey was started five years ago by Angela Witte and her husband.  Bees have always been a fascination for the Witte's, which in turn led them to start beekeeping on their property.

 

 
The passion and knowledge of beekeeping came from a workshop along with practice over the years.
 

 

 
Witte also states the advantages to raw local honey such as health benefits and better quality as opposed to store-bought honey.  
 
For information on vendors at the Clinton Farmers Market visit their Facebook page @ClintonILFarmersMarket.

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Bob Ridings Car Dealerships made a major impact for local veterans

Bob Ridings presented 10,500 dollar donation to Operation Honor Guard on Thursday. 6 Bob Ridings locations around Central Illinois, including the dealerships in Taylorville and Pana, donated a portion of each sale in the month of May to the charity organization which helps fund local veteran’s honor guard teams across the state. 
 
Rich Darby, the founder of Operation Honor Guard says the donation is larger than he could have ever imagined. 
                                                                                           

 

 
Bob Ridings, owner of all 6 Bob Ridings dealerships, explains that he thought honor guards were funded by the government, and that he was shocked to find out the costs associated with the groups. That is when Ridings and his team decided to find a wat ro help. 
 

 

 
Darby says seeing this type of donation reaffirms his belief that America supports and loves its veterans.
 

 

 
The donation will be split among 6 honor guards in Jacksonville, Pana, Decatur, Monticello, Lincoln and Taylorville, with each group receiving 1,750 dollars. To find out more information about Operation Honor Guard, visit their website at OperationHonorGuard.us

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Tracking pests never stops

Tracking insects never stops. What does 2018 look like so far. 
 

 

 
Kelly Estes is the Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator for the Illinois Natural History Survey. 

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New Red Ribbon Cash instant lottery ticket available

THE LATEST RED RIBBON CASH INSTANT LOTTERY TICKET IS NOW AVAILABLE. 
 
RED RIBBON CASH COSTS THREE DOLLARS TO PLAY AND OFFERS A TOP PRIZE OF 50 THOUSAND BUCKS. BUT ILLINOIS LOTTERY DIRECTOR GREG SMITH SAYS THE BEST PART IS…
 

 

 
PREVIOUS VERSIONS OF THE TICKET HAVE RAISED MORE THAN SEVEN POINT SIX MILLION DOLLARS.

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Lincoln Presidential Library looks at the impact of American troops in World War I

A century ago, America sent its troops “over there” – to Europe, where Germany was gaining the upper hand in World War I. On June 21, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will look back at what it took for America to build its army and prevent disaster.
 
Colorized Flag - World War I - smallHistorian Mark DePue will explain the huge offensive that Germany hoped would crush the French and British before a significant number of American soldiers could reach the battlefield. Adding special stormtroopers to its arsenal, Germany broke the stalemate of trench warfare and brought the war to within 75 miles of Paris.
 
DePue, head of the presidential library’s Oral History Program, developed an extremely popular series of presentations on key Civil War battles. Now he is bringing that same approach to World War I.
 
The free event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the presidential museum’s Union Theater.

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Clinton Farmers Market June Outlook

With the summer months upon us, that means farmers markets are opening all around the area.  Last month began the 19th year of the Clinton Farmers Market on Mr. Lincoln's Square.
 
With warm temperatures throughout May, the market saw lots of produce and other items from vendors and artisans according to farmers market co-manager Elizabeth Burns.
 

 

 
As the month of June gets underway, Burns says the farmers market goal is to have something different each week for market goers.
 

 

 
Residents are also urged to check the farmers market Facebook page to stay up to date on the happenings for each weekend.
 

 

 
The Clinton Farmers Market is every Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.

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Maroa Native Named Farm Credit Agriculture Scholar

The 2018 Farm Credit agriculture scholar class has been announced and included Reed Jostes, a graduate of Maroa-Forsyth High School.
 
Each scholar in the class earns $2,000 from FCI says Marketplace Initiatives Manager for FCI Beth Bolger.
 

 

 
Jostes says his passion for agriculture came at a young age when he would visit his grandmother's house.  He is a member of FFA and will be attending Southern Illinois University in Carbondale this upcoming fall.  But Jostes explains his fall plans could change as he runs for a major candidate position in FFA.
 

 

 
Jostes plans to study agricultural education with plans of teaching high school agriculture and helping grow and shape future generations of agricultural leaders.

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Summer Reading Programs Underway at Vespasian Warner Public Library

Summer break allows everyone from children to adults too catch up on reading.  One way to do so is through the Vespasian Warner Public Library summer reading programs.
 
Children's librarian Paula Lopatic explained the different offerings for child summer readers.
 

 

 
Different prizes and events are available for completing goals throughout the summer.  While this is an incentive to get kids reading, the larger benefit is to avoid drop off heading into next school year.
 

 

 
Along with the children's reading clubs, the library offers teen and adult programs.  Business Manager Samantha Rusk says even though the program is aimed at adults, there are still ways to win prizes like a kid.
 

 

 
For more information on the summer reading clubs at the Vespasian Warner Public Library visit www.vwarner.org.

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LaHood celebrates House passage of bill making Route 66 a National Historic Trail

The U.S. House believes getting your kicks on Route 66 is a history friendly activity. The chamber has unanimously passed legislation introduced by Peoria area Congressman Darin LaHood that establishes a federal designation of Route 66 as a National Historic Trail. LaHood says the massing of engines large and small on the Mother Road has proven to be quite the economic engine.
 

 

 
LaHood notes visitors are coming from far and near.
 

 

 
The Historic Trail designation would offer a permanent program to preserve, promote, and economically develop the Route 66 corridor as the Mother Road's Centennial approaches in 2026.

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Moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial coming to Ottawa

A half-size version of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC will be set up in Ottawa for public visits Thursday through Monday. It’s called the Moving Wall, and it’s moving in more ways than one.  Vietnam veteran Bob Cokley (KOH-klee) of Ottawa says it’s a good facsimile of the full size wall bearing more than 58,000 names in Washington.
 

 

 
Cokley says one of the men named on the wall died in his arms.  There’ll be a ceremony to open the wall to the public at the UAW Pat Greathouse Center on Ottawa’s south side at five Thursday afternoon.  It’ll be open 24 hours a day until the closing ceremony at noon next Monday.
 

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Rauner believes early release for Blagojevich is a bad idea

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich hopes to hear you're freed, instead of you're fired from President Trump. He has made it official, filing paperwork asking President Trump to bring his 14 year corruption prison sentence to an early end. He submitted paperwork to the Justice Department, seeking relief from the President, who previously worked with him on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice. The man who currently sits in Blagojevich's old office thinks that's a bad idea. Governor Bruce Rauner believes there's strong evidence early release isn't called for...
 

 

 
Blagojevich is part of Rauner's general election campaign strategy. Rauner has rolled out a new campaign ad featuring wiretapped audio from conversations between Blagojevich and his gubernatorial opponent J.B. Pritzker.

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Madigan's Chief of Staff Out After Allegations of Harassment

An employee inside the office of the Speaker of House says she was the victim of continued harassing behavior by members of the chamber and Madigan’s Chief of Staff. Sherri Garrett says that Tim Mapes, the Chief of Staff and the Executive Director of the Democratic Party, told her not to show off her pink bra when picking up a judge on inauguration day because he knows the girls who work on the second floor like to leave little to the imagination. 
 
Mapes is accused of making other inappropriate comments to and around Garrett and dismissing bad behavior from former State Rep. Ken Dunkin. In a statement released Madigan says that at his direction Mapes has resigned from his positions inside his office and in the Democratic Party. 
 
Madigan says his office previously handled the comments made by Dunkin but were unaware of the alleged complaints made by Garrett. 
 

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Clinton High School 4th Quarter Honor Roll

CLINTON HIGH SCHOOL
4th QUARTER HONOR ROLL
HIGH HONOR ROLL   A HONOR ROLL   B HONOR ROLL
SENIORS   SENIORS   SENIORS
BATESON, DAMION M.   AYERS, ADDISON M.   ASH, CLARA L.
BURTON, JOSHUA C.   BROWN, TILER M.   ATCHISON, ALEXIS N.
CHANEY, NICOLE S.   CHAPMAN, SIERRA N.   BAKER, AUSTIN L.
DEFEBAUGH, TESSA K.   DEFEBAUGH, TATUM R.   BAKER, DAMEON L.
ETTIEN, SAVANNAH L.   DEVORE, TANNER B.   BENNETT, SAMUEL S.
FATHEREE, MITCHELL D.   EARL, DYLAN G.   CASAREZ, BRENTON A.
FILKIN, MADISON L.   ERVIN, EMILY A.   CONATY, KEEGAN W.
FINFROCK, MEGAN E.   FRIESLAND, ALEXIS M.   COONCE, AIDAN G.
HICKMAN, MAC L.   HENNENFENT, DANYE L.   DWYER, KEEGAN T.
HUSTON, GAGE E.   HENNENFENT, DAYLE L.   FOSTER, ETHAN W.
KANE, JONATHON J.   KERN, TENNYSON R.   HARVEY, BAILEY A.
MAXWELL, KATELYN J.   MAGANA, EDGAR   HAYDEN, GARRETT C.
OVERBEY, KATHLEEN H.   NICHOLLS, CELESTE A.   HIESER, KAYLA R.
PATTERSON, KYLI R.   ORNELAS, CAMERON W.   HOSPELHORN, JACOB S.
REYNOLDS, CHASE A.   POWELL, DALLAS A.   JOHNSON, HALEE M.
SANDERS, OLIVIA J.   REEVES, BRYCE L.   KARR, BLAKE W.
SAULSBERY, ALYSSA M.   SARTIE, JENNA R.   KARR, JOHN C.
SCOLES, KAILEE R.   SMITH, LAUREN N.   LUKACH, ELIZABETH D.
WHITE, MILLIE K.   THAYER, BREANNA N.   MESSENGER, RACHAEL A.
WILLOUGHBY, HANNAH C.   WERTS, MAGGIE K.   MILLER, SAVANNAH L.
WOODS, MARCUS D.       MITCHELL, WELBY J.
        PRUSER, ALLY N.
JUNIORS   JUNIORS   RAUCH, AUSTIN D.
CALVERT, ZAYIN S.   ALSUP, CAMDYN R.   RIVA, JACOB S.
COOPER, TESS E.   BIERBRODT, OLIVIA G.   RUCKER, KESHON
DUPONT-BARLOW, RYTY L.   BRODEN, KATHERINE R.   RYAN, CARTER J.
HICKMAN, CLARA E.   FOSTER, MASON C.   SANDERS, DALTON L.
HOLTMAN, LINDSEY M.   FRYMAN, KAYEDEN S.   SHOBE, LUKE M.
KNAPP, JAMAICA M.   HENSON, GILLIAN C.   SMITH, DALTON T.
LONG, BRANDON J.   HICKS, SARAH V.   THRASHER, MEGAN C.
LUX, EMMA R.   JAMES, ANNMAREE E.   TURNEY, WYNN J.
MILLS, ANNA N.   KINDER, ALLISON R.   WADE, JACOB A.
MURPHY-LEACH, JORDAN M.   LINDQUIST, CHRISTINE L.   WARREN, HALLE L.
POLEN, ZOIE J.   LONG, DEREK A.   WATERS, SOPHIA R.
STURGEON, KAITLIN E.   LOWE, JESYKA D.   WERTZ, EMMA N.
TOOL, AMANDA R.   MCGHEE, ANDREW L.   WESTFALL, SETH S.
UNDERWOOD, SYDNEE E.   OVERTON, MATTHEW A.    
WORKMAN, CLAUDIA L.   PATELSKI, KADY A.   JUNIORS
    PATTERSON, KANE J.   ANDERSON BRISTOW, RAYANNA M.
SOPHOMORES   PATTERSON, KYLE A.   ARMSTRONG, MACKENZIE A.
BURKE, TORI L.   PETERSEN, LOGAN J.   BENTON, OLIVIA J.
BURTON, CODY W.   PRUSER, RILEY M.   BOUGHTON, GRACIE M.
CARTER, KRAYTON C.   RICH, SAMUEL M.   BRODEN, LAUREN M.
DEMPSEY, JACKSON R.   STEVENS, MADELYN J.   BUZICK, HALEY J.
EARL, OLIVIA N.   STONE, ABIGAIL M.   CASE, CALLAHAN W.
FABRIS, SARAH E.   TAYLOR, EMILY N.   CHAMPLEY, CALLIE R.
FRIESLAND, KAYLA B.   TORBERT, JAKE R.   CHAPMAN, JOSEPH A.
HALE, IAN W.   WARGEL, KINSER P.   CONN, JUSTICE N.
MAIER, ELIZABETH G.   WILLIAMS, HANNAH C.   DUNCAN-SAVAGE, WILLIAM J.
MCKINSEY, HALEY A.   WITTE, GENESIS G.   FOUGHT, KAITLYN E.
MONTGOMERY, KARA N.   WOOD, EVELYN M.   GLIDDEN, GABRIELLE F.
REEVES, BRETT K.       GOERGEN, CASEY E.
RHODES, NATALIE A.   SOPHOMORES   GREEN, JACALYN D.
ROBBINS, HAYLEIGH A.   ARNOLD, GRACE K.   HAYNES, PEYTON D.
SCHLESINGER, DESTINY K.   AUGHENBAUGH, ETHAN C.   HOOPS, MADELYN J.
STAUFFER, MAX C.   BENTON, LAURA R.   HORN, TRENT A.
STERR, KAYLA I.   BRENNAN, TY D.   JORDING, JARED A.
SVENDSEN, SEAN E.   CRUTCHFIELD, MARIAH L.   KUNTZ, KAITLYN E.
TURNEY, PAYNE E.   ETTIEN, RAVEN L.   LYONS, AMELIA J.
WAYNE, GARRETT D.   GREEN, DARCY C.   MCGHEE, ERIN T.
WILLIAMSON, SKYLER H.   HEMPHILL, BRIAUNA T.   MORSE, JACOB W.
    HORN, TYLER D.   NELSON, BENJAMIN J.
FRESHMEN   IJAMS, CORRIE   NORTH, ALYVIA S.
BARGER, BREANNA M.   KAUFMAN, MCKAYLA L.   OSORIO, AMAIRANI I.
BEEBE, CASSIE R.   LEBLANC, TRISTA C.   REYNOLDS, CHRISTIAN A.
BLACK, ETHAN C.   MAGANA, LENSLY   RICHARDS, BAILYN I.
CLIFTON, SAVANAH N.   MAXWELL, CLAIRE H.   SCHEID, NICOLE B.
HICKMAN, ZEKE C.   NEWMAN, ALEC B.   SHAW, ALEXANDRIA F.
KAUFMAN, MIA L.   NORD, ELSIE M.   STARK, AUDREY R.
MESSENGER, JACOB W.   OCAMPO, SARAH   THOMAS, MYA N.
NORD, INGA P.   PHILLIPS, JACOB A.   THOMAS, REID J.
OVERBEY, BETHANY K.   POLEN, JOSEPH E.   THOMPSON, PATRICIA J.
PAGEL, ANDREW J.   RICH, JAYDLYNN A.   WERTZ, RUSTIN D.
PAKIDIS, ROBERT T. JR   SANDAGE, EMILY R.   WHEELER, MERSADES V.
RANSDELL, DEANN M.   SCOTT, ARYN E.    
SWARTZ, RAYA L.   SLOAT, PRESTON A.   SOPHOMORES
TAYLO, LYDIA M.   TRUMMEL, JASMYNE S.   AGUILAR, AUREANNA N.
TAYLOR, KADENCE T.   WADE, EMILY P.   ALEXANDER, MACY B.
TORBERT, ALEXA P.   WEST, TYLER M.   BATESON, ELIZABETH G.
VALENCIA, JUAN   WOLFE, JACOB M.   BATESON, JORDYN C.
WITTE, JACOB D.   WOODBURY, DELANEY R.   BOND, EVA M.
WORKMAN, CORDELL J.       COOPER, CONOR W.
    FRESHMEN   COX, THEODORE M. JR
    CERVANTEZ, ARIANNA A.   CROSS, BRADEN D.
    CHIPMAN, JENNA B.   DAKE, CASSIDY R.
    EADS SNYDER, FAITH E.   DEAVERS, EVAN L.
    HENSON, NATALIE G.   GUILLIAMS, GAGE J.
    HUSTED, CONNER R.   HARDWICK, LUCAS D.
    JEWETT, BROOKE R.   HENDRIEX, TERRY L.
    LYONS, MICHAEL W. JR   HOLT, MASON E.
    PAGE, EMILY M.   HOSPELHORN, BETHANY G.
   

SMITH, KASEY D.

WEISS, KOLBY

  ISHMAEL, ABBY L.
    WOLFE, BRENNEN J.   KORNEMAN, ELLA G.
        LANE, KIMBERLY F.
        LANG, TREVOR M.
        MARTIN, HUNTER M.
        MCCAMMON, BRANDON L.
        MEARIDA, CHLOE M.
        NICHOLLS, ASTASIA C.
        ODANIELL, ETHAN L.
        OSWALD, MICHAEL S.
        OVEROCKER, KAELA M.
        PEAVLER, CODY E.
        QUINN, TRAVIS A.
        RAMIREZ CASAREZ, LETICIA
        SOLIS, EDGAR E.
        SPALDING, DALTON M.
        STACEY, DREW D.
        TAYLOR, KYLE S.
        TAYLOR, LONI J.
        THORNE, DAMIEN A.
        THORNE, MAKAYLA R.
        TRIMBLE, ALEXIS C.
        TURNER, JESSICA A.
        WELCH, CLAYTON R.
        WILSON, GRANT
         
        FRESHMEN
        ATKINS, BENJAMIN J.
        BALDASSARI, VINCE L.
        BLANKENSHIP, JAYDA N.
        BUGGAR, KYREN S.
        BURKETT, SABRINA M.
        CHITWOOD, SELAH M.
        DEERWESTER, ALEXANDER K.
        ECKROTE, BRYANNA S.
        GRIFFITH, LYRIC S.
        HARPER, ABBY K.
        HOOKER, REECE W.
        KARR, MACKENZIE J.
        MAPLE, ADYLYNN J.
        MCCORMICK, KAIDYN I.
        MCCUE, MARGARET E.
        MOORE, ANNA E.
        MURPHY, ALYSSA M.
        PETERSEN, OLIVIA L.
        PRUSER, KARLEE M.
        RODAS, KEVIN J.
        ROTH, AINSLEY I.
        SANDERS, TRENTON E.
        SCHMID, CARSON R.
        SHAFFER, HAVEN T.
        SHANKS, ALAXIS J.
        SMITH, EMILY M.
        TIMERMAN, TANNER
        WOODS, EVAN D.
        YOUNG, COLE G.
        ZOMBRO, BAYLEE N.

 

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3rd Annual Homecoming Celebration at Lincoln Trail Homestead

The Friends of Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial continue to make improvements and host events on the land Abraham Lincoln first lived on in the state of Illinois.
 
Melody Arnold is the Chairperson of the Friends at the Lincoln Trail Homestead and she explained the history and significance of the state park.
 

 

 
With the site becoming a friends group just a few years ago, the group looks to draw patrons into the site as they will be hosting their annual homecoming event titled "Celebration on the Sangamon (sang-a-mon)."
 

 

 
More information on The Friends of Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial annual homecoming celebration can be found at lincolntrailhomest.wixsite.com.

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Representative Bill Mitchell Voted for Budget, New Programs are Unneccassary

With the $38.5 billion dollar budget getting signed just a few days ago, many lawmakers are giving their thoughts on the first balanced budget during Governor Rauner's time in office.
 
Representative Bill Mitchell was one who voted in favor of the budget but gave his insight into what he feels is an issue.
 

 

 
While there are several reasons as to why the general assembly was able to work together to balance this year's budget, Rep. Mitchell gives one major factor that made this year different from the last.
 

 

 

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Balanced Budget Now in the Hands of Governor

With Governor Rauner signing Illinois' balanced state budget, it's the first time he's done so during his time in office.
 
While there are items within the budget that some lawmakers didn't agree upon, Senator Chapin Rose believes there still needs to be a bipartisan approach when dealing with budget items.
 

 

 
Senator Rose also eludes to the pension reform inside the balanced budget as an appealing reform when it came to Governor Rauner signing.
 

 

 
While there are critiques on both sides of the aisle, this could be one of the better budgets in quite some time.
 

 

 
Senator Rose is a big supporter of money in the budget going towards higher education, as he recently amended House Bill 5020 to ensure non-profit colleges would also be included in the new four-year Monetary Award Program.

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Illinois Looks To Improve Transport Network

The state is pushing more than a $141 million at projects to improve the way freight moves around Illinois. The state a nexus of class one rail lines, interstate roads and waterways that sets up the state a leader in transportation. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says Illinois needs to make the most of its strength.
 

 

 
The projects include speeding rail traffic around East St. Louis and improving overnight parking for tractor trailers.

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New IDVA Director

A state department that has been under scrutiny for the way it responded to and handled a deadly disease outbreak at one of its residential homes has a new leader. US Army Brigadier General Stephen Curda has been appointed by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to head up the Department of Veterans Affairs. Curda comes to the embattled department after years of active duty service.
 

 

 
The recently approved state budget has funds for repairs to the current vet’s home and to begin construction on a new home.

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Lipton celebrates Illinois Route 66 destinations with a visit to Pontiac

The folks at Lipton Tea are celebrating Route 66 this summer and Illinois icons from the Mother Road are being recognized. Lipton has teamed up with Trip Advisor to create of list of must visit road trip gems on Route 66. Lipton's Stephanie Sternberg says two Springfield sites and a Pontiac landmark make the cut...
 

 

 
Sternberg says Lipton will take their act to Pontiac this week, to Bernardi's...
 

 

 
Lipton will celebrate National Iced Tea Weekend in Pontiac, Friday through Sunday.

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June should continue to be warm

Most of June should have a pretty good round of heat to it, and that’s for most of Illinois. That follows a similar trend in May, but soil moisture levels aren’t that bad at this time in the Midwest says DTN agriculture meteorologist Bryce Anderson. 
 

 

 
On the calendar, summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21 and after that, into July, a break from the heat is expected.

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Secretary of State Launches New Route 66 Motorcycle Plate Program

Illinois motorcycle owners now have an opportunity to join car owners from across
the state to support perhaps the most famous road in the world, Route 66, by registering for the newly released Illinois Route 66 Motorcycle Plate.  State Representative Tim Butler of the 87th District sponsored the legislation.
 
Illinois Route 66 motorcycle license plates may be displayed only on motorcycles having an engine over 150cc's.  Illinois Route 66 Motorcycle license plates can be renewed online, by mail, touch-tone phone, or by visiting an Illinois Secretary of State Facility.

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Scovill Zoo Upcoming Free Admission Days

With warmer temperatures and summer right around the corner, the Scovill Zoo is opening up their doors to patrons throughout the seasonal year.  
 
Scovill Zoo director Ken Frye said many zoo-goers have been anticipating free admission days starting this week.
 

 

 
 
With crowd favorite animals like the penguins, wolves, camels and cheetahs, there could be new additions this upcoming summer.
 

 

 
For more information on the Scovill Zoo visit scovillzoo.com.

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Alzheimer's Association to Host "Know the 10 Signs" Program

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and 16.1 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer's or other dementias.  
 
Michelle Ramlow is the Manager of Education and Outreach in Springfield for the Alzheimer's Association, as she explained there are key areas to focus on when detecting the disease...
 

 

 
In an effort to help spread the awareness of detecting Alzheimer's disease a Know the 10 signs event will be coming to the area.
 

 

 
For more information on Alzheimer's disease visit alz.org.

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Real Estate Buying and Selling Tips from Utterback Real Estate

Deciding when to buy or sell real estate can be a daunting task.  Ryan Dalton, a broker at Utterback Real Estate joined the WHOW morning show to give his tips for maneuvering the market.
 
Dalton mentioned that when most buyers are looking for homes they might find the perfect home but overlook certain areas...
 

 

 
 As for when it comes to selling real estate, the myth that adding or revamping to a property will make it sell for more is false...
 

 

 
While trying to add value to a property could cost more in the long run, there are ways of making a property seem more appealing to a prospective buyer...
 

 

 
Dalton also suggests cleaning areas like kitchens and bathrooms, along with any minor repairs will all help in showing real estate for sale.

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Governor signs state budget

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER IS SIGNING THE STATE’S NEW BUDGET INTO LAW…CITING THE HARD WORK AND BIPARTISAN EFFORT PUT INTO CRAFTING THE SPENDING PLAN. 
 
THE 38 POINT FIVE BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET INCLUDES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MORE FOR EDUCATION, INCLUDING STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES. THERE’S ALSO MONEY TO START BUILDING A NEW VETERAN’S HOME IN QUINCY. GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS HE’S PARTICULARLY PROUD OF A NEW ADOPTION TAX CREDIT.
 

 

 
THE GOVERNOR URGES LAWMAKERS TO CONTINUE TO WORK WITH HIM IN MANAGING SPENDING, PENSION REFORM AND ADDRESSING THE STATE’S BACKLOG OF BILLS.

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Senator doesn't buy budget numbers

The budget vote in the Illinois Senate was nearly unanimous but one of the two no votes wasn't shy about his reasons. Lebanon Republican Kyle McCarter says rank and file lawmakers only had an hour to look over expansive budget documents. He doubts revenue projections and the success of cuts.
 

 

 
McCarter took issue with significant funds being applied to the site of the future Barack Obama Presidential Library on Chicago's South Side.
 

 

 
McCarter also took issue with abortion funding in the budget.

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Medical marijuana proposal to fight opioid abuse awaits Governor's response

Before lawmakers adjourned for the summer, the Illinois House has approved a proposal expanding the use of medical marijuana to fight the state's opioid crisis. Bill co-sponsor, State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield, believes there's evidence that having Illinoisans use medical marijuana instead of opioids can pay off.
 

 

 
The legislation has reached Governor Rauner's desk but he has resisted past efforts to expand medical marijuana.

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Rauner Approves Budget That Spends Tax Increase Dollars

The state has a budget. It’s the first full year spending plan that Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has ever signed. Rauner calls the budget one that moves the state forward. It also spends every dollar of tax increase that was vetoed by Rauner. He says there is nothing wrong with campaigning against more tax dollars but then turning around and spending them.
 

 

 
Many of those extra dollars are going to increase education funding.

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Roadside Mowing Strategy Reinstated to Conserve Monarchs

As concerns for declining pollinator species continue to buzz throughout the country, the Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding the public of a change in mowing operations designed to encourage the growth of pollinator species along state roadsides. 
The updated mowing routine, which began last May and was reinstituted this month, helps to re-establish plants that provide habitat for birds and that are food sources for bees and other insects native to Illinois, including the official state insect, the monarch butterfly.
 
The new mowing policy adjusted mowing frequency and timing as well as limiting the use of herbicides on state rights of way. Except for certain areas, crews now mow 15 feet beyond the edge of the road. The untouched vegetation encourages the growth of milkweed, the only food source for monarch caterpillars.
 
Designated the official state insect in 1974, the monarch butterfly population has gone down 80 percent in the past 10 years. Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared May as "Monarch Butterfly Month" in Illinois, calling on all Illinoisans to help in the restoration of the monarch butterfly population.

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Helath Insurance Renewed and Several Salary Compensations Set for DeWitt County Employees

Each year the health insurance must be renewed for the employees of DeWitt County.  This can sometimes be troublesome if there is an increase in premiums or out of pocket rates go up.
 
Chairman of the county board David Newberg explained that was not the case with this years health insurance renewal. 
 

 

 
Along with the health insurance renewal, several county positions had motions approved for their four-year salary compensations.
 

 

 
Chairman Newberg also gave an insight into the boards' agenda heading into the summer months.
 

 

 
The DeWitt County Board will meet later this month.

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State Representative Dan Brady Shares Thoughts on State Budget

Last week lawmakers were able to compose a state budget that got sent to Governor Rauner's desk.
 
The Illinois House approved a $38.5 billion dollar spending plan with focuses on higher spending in higher 
 
education.  
 
State Rep. Dan Brady said there were three common sense areas to cover in order to complete the budget.
 

 

 
With several years of no budgets, there was a different feeling for lawmakers this spring session...
 

 

 
 
This is the first time Gov. Rauner has approved a budget in his three-plus years while in office.

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DeWitt County Community Ranks Among Most Affordable Places to Live in Illinois

A new study from financial technology company SmartAsset ranks the most affordable places to live in Illinois. This is SmartAsset’s fourth annual study on the most affordable places in America. These communities are ranked on an affordability index weighing property taxes, homeowners’ insurance fees and mortgage payments relative to income. 
 
Clinton ranked 10th on the top-10 list, at it scored a 49.35 on the affordability index.  Auburn topped the list with an affordability score of 53.56.
 
 

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B-25 "Maid in the Shade" Arriving in Decatur

An airplane from World War II, B-25 Mitchell “Maid in the Shade,” will make a stop in Decatur at the Decatur Airport/Gaitros Aviation as part of its Summer Flying Legends of Victory Tour across the U.S. and Canada. 
 
The tour features three restored WWII combat aircraft: C 47/DC-3 Combat Legend “Old Number 30;” B17 Bomber “Sentimental Journey;” and B-25 Bomber “Maid in the Shade.”
 
The public will have the opportunity to climb aboard the B-25 Bomber.  The B-25 is an rare aircraft, as it’s one of 34 in the world that is still flying. The aircraft was used in America’s first large-scale bombing offensive in the Philippines.
 
"Maid in the Shade" in Decatur will take place June 25th-July 1st.

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Blue Mound Native serves with Navy Strike Fighter Squadron

A 2009 Meridian High School graduate and Blue Mound, Illinois, native is currently serving with a U.S. Navy strike fighter squadron, which flies one of the world’s most advanced warplanes.
 
Lt. Sean Brokaw is a naval aviator with the VFA 97 Warhawks, which operates out of Naval Air Station Lemoore. As a naval aviator, Brokaw is responsible for flying F/A-18 Super Hornets.
 
Members of VFA 97 work with the F/A 18 Super Hornet, one of the most advanced aircraft in the world. The Super Hornet takes off from and lands on Navy aircraft carriers at sea and is capable of conducting air-to-air combat as well as striking targets on land. It is approximately 61 feet long, has a loaded weight of 51,000 lbs., and a max speed of 1,190 miles per hour.
 
Operating from sea aboard aircraft carriers, the Super Hornet gives the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, at any time. The versatile jet has the ability to destroy targets located hundreds of miles inland, without the need to get another country’s permission to operate within its borders.
 
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Brokaw and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

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Voting open for Illinois Bicentennial Coin Contest

VOTING IS NOW OPEN FOR THE STATE’S BICENTENNIAL COIN DESIGN CONTEST.
 
ALL THE ENTRIES ARE IN AND TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS SAYS NOW THEY NEED HELP IN CHOOSING A WINNER IN CELEBRATION OF ILLINOIS’ 200TH BIRTHDAY.
 
 
THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON JUNE 18TH. VOTE NOW ONLINE AT: ILLINOIS COIN CONTEST DOT COM.

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Lawmakers pass bill offering medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids

PATIENTS NEEDING PAIN MEDICATIONS MAY HAVE ANOTHER OPTION BESIDES ADDICTIVE OPIOIDS. 
 
STATE LAWMAKERS PASSED A BILL LETTING SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN PRESCRIBED OPIOIDS FOR THEIR PAIN…GET MEDICAL MARIJUANA INSTEAD. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY CASSIDY OF CHICAGO SAYS THEY HOPE TO CURB THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN ILLINOIS.
 
 
THOSE HOPING TO WEAN OFF THEIR PAINKILLERS WOULD ALSO BE ELIGIBLE. THE BILL MUST STILL BE SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR.

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NCGA Calls for Year-Round E15

Consumers across the country will lose access to the option of E15 today, just as families plan to hit the road on summer vacation and gas prices are on the rise.. Despite President Trump’s repeated commitment to year-round E15, an outdated regulatory barrier still limits the ability of fuel retailers to offer ethanol blends greater than 10 percent in most of the country from June 1 to September 15.
 
The National Corn Growers Association is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to expeditiously take steps to remove this barrier and allow for year-round sales of ethanol blends greater than 10 percent, such as E15.
 
Federal law and regulations limit the amount of evaporative emissions from vehicle fuel, which is measured by its Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP). Fuels blended with up to 10 percent ethanol have a one-pound RVP waiver because ethanol-blended fuels reduce tailpipe emissions. To date, EPA has declined to grant a similar waiver to E15, even though research shows E15 produces the same or fewer evaporative emissions as E10. E15 is currently sold at more than 1300 stations in 29 states.

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Rose amends Illinois MAP program after conversation with Millikin President

After discussing the importance of MAP grants with Millikin President Dr. Patrick White earlier this month at the Decatur Community Leaders Breakfast, State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) amended House Bill 5020 to ensure non-profit colleges, such as Millikin, would also be included in the new four-year Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants.
 
 House Bill 5020 previously included four-year MAP grants for only public universities.
 
House Bill 5020 expands MAP grant awards to public institutions and non-profits from annually to four years. Currently, students have to reapply every year for their MAP grants.
 
Local community colleges, such as Richland, are also included in the legislation.

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Lethal order of protection bill headed to the Governor's desk

A BILL CREATING A LETHAL ORDER OF PROTECTION IS HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK.
 
THE GOAL OF THE LEGISLATION IS TO SET UP A PROCESS FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO FOLLOW IF THEY BELIEVE A LOVED ONE POSES A VIOLENT THREAT TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS. UNDER THE ORDER…A JUDGE COULD ORDER POLICE TO TEMPORARILY TAKE THAT PERSON’S GUNS AWAY IF WARRANTED. THE MEASURE HAS UNDERGONE SEVERAL REVISIONS BUT SENATOR BILL HAINE OF ALTON SAYS HE THINKS THEY GOT IT RIGHT THIS TIME.
 

 

 
A HEARING WOULD HAVE TO BE HELD WITHIN 14 DAYS OF THE ORDER BEING ISSUED. IT’S NOW UP TO THE GOVERNOR TO SIGN THIS INTO LAW.

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Massive gambling expansion bill on hold for now

A MASSIVE GAMBLING EXPANSION BILL WON’T BE CALLED FOR A VOTE AS THE SPRING LEGISLATIVE SESSION WRAPS UP…BUT SUPPORTERS SAYS THEY WILL WORK ON IT OVER THE SUMMER.
 
THERE JUST WASN’T ENOUGH TIME TO GET ALL THE KINKS WORKED OUT OF A MEASURE THAT ADDED NEW CASINOS, SLOT MACHINES AT RACETRACKS AND MORE SAYS REPRESENTATIVE BOB RITA OF BLUE ISLAND.
 

 

 
RITA SAYS THEY MAY ALSO DISCUSS TOPICS NOT INCLUDED IN THE ORIGINAL BILL SUCH AS FANTASY SPORTS BETTING.

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No Downstaters on ICC

The five-member strong Illinois Commerce Commission has the power to regulate utilities, approve utility rates, license trucking and towing companies and oversees railroad safety and crossing improvements. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is raising a concern about the panel; why are all the members from Cook and DuPage counties? He says the Rauner-appointed board is the first commission in a century that lacks a downstate or rural member. Citizens Utility Board spokesman Jim Chilsen:
 

 

 
Earlier this week, the Senate Executive Appointments Committee voted to recommend two more of Rauner's pending appointments to the commission. Both appointees are also from Chicago. One of the recommendations then went to the full Senate for approval on Monday afternoon. The Senate voted 45-1 for approval. Manar cast the single no-vote.

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Rep Facing Harassment Allegations

Another state lawmaker is facing down allegations that he harassed a female lobbyist. Democrat Lou Lang has been accused of threatening and blackballing Maryann Loncar while she was working on the medical marijuana bill passed years ago. She says that Lang also put his hand on her lower back and made inappropriate comments. After the allegations were made Lang resigned from being the House Deputy Majority Leader. Lang says that he’s ready to have a full investigation into his behavior and paints Loncar as a woman who didn’t achieve what she wanted out the legislative process so now she’s lobbing these accusations against him.
 

 

 
Loncar also alleges that Lang was close to accepting part of a $170 million dollar bribe that she and another person disrupted and stopped. Lang says nothing like that happened.

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Higher Education Working Group Unveil Initiatives

State Representative Dan Brady and fellow members of the bipartisan, bicameral Higher Education Working group this week unveiled a series of proposals to strengthen Illinois colleges and universities, and to make them more affordable and more attractive to Illinois students.
 

 

 
Representative Brady, who represents Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University and Heartland Community College, said the working group has held meetings and discussions with administration, faculty and students across the state on ways to strengthen the Higher Education system in Illinois.

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Joy, Illinois home to Rock, Paper, Scissors World Championship

Here’s a “did you know.” Joy, Illinois is home to the Rock, Paper, Scissors World Championship. Jim Taylor reports...
 

 

 

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Weekly Crop Report

IT WAS A WARM AND FAIRLY DRY WEEK FOR ILLINOIS PRODUCERS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 
 
TEMPERATURES WERE ABOVE NORMAL AND RAINFALL WAS BELOW NORMAL THIS PAST WEEK…LEAVING MORE THAN FIVE DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 89 PERCENT OF THE CORN CROP HAS EMERGED AND 83 PERCENT IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. HE NOTES 90 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED.
 

 

 

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YMCA Offering New Summer Survivor Program

The Clinton YMCA is offering a new program for adults looking to compete in a fitness challenge.  
 
YMCA Executive Director Rennie Cluver explained the program aims at getting those involved who want to exercise but might have a busy schedule...

 

 
While there is a reward for completing the 12-week program, Cluver says there are other benefits of getting involved...
 

 

 
For more information about the Clinton YMCA's Summer Survivor program visit Clintoncommymca.org.

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Second Hottest May on Record

With the month of May coming to a close yesterday, May 2018 will go on record as the second hottest May on record, according to the Lincoln National Weather Service.
 
Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Miller says temperatures averaged well above normal the entire month.
 

 

 
Rainfalls have been sparse throughout the month and Miller states predicting rainfalls heading into the summer can be hard to monitor.
 

 

 
Miller believes temperatures will hover around the average or slightly above in June, but temps will subside to their normal averages the rest of the summer.
 

 

 
Check the weather forecast anytime on DeWittDailyNews.com.

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Dixon School Shooting Hero Says Schools Need Support

The resource officer that shot an alleged school shooter in Dixon was honored at the capitol. Mark Dallas confronted and stopped a teenager with a gun before anyone could be killed. Dallas was a Dixon Police Officer before working as an armed school resource officer. He urged lawmakers that armed support is needed in the state’s school.
 

 

 
Dixon says it’s a new normal – having school shootings in the US. That he says needs to change.

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Tobacco 21 legislation headed to the Governor's desk

TOBACCO 21 LEGISLATION IS HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK.
 
THE BILL RAISES THE AGE TO BUY TOBACCO PRODUCTS IN ILLINOIS FROM 18 TO 21 AND IS SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE CAMILLE LILLY OF OAK PARK.
 

 

 
IT TOOK TWO TRIES TO GET THE BILL PASSED IN THE HOUSE. CRITICS SAY 18 YEAR OLD’S SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS AND CITE THE LOSS OF CIGARETTE TAX REVENUE TO THE STATE. THE GOVERNOR WILL HAVE TO SIGN IT INTO LAW TO TAKE EFFECT.

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Governor Plans on Signing New Budget

It finally appears that the state will have a budget that will get the signature of the Governor after years of no budgets or veto overrides to get the job done. The house approved a $38.5 billion spending plan. Included are increases in higher and K-12 education spending, but no new tax increases. The bipartisan plan came together the right way says House Minority Leader, Republican Jim Durkin.
 

 

 
Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says he will sign the budget, something he has never done for a full fiscal year in his first three and half years in office.

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Three Day Wait for Gun Purchases Approved

Gun control measures are heading out of the house and to the senate. Lawmakers approved holding consumers to a 72 hour waiting period to buy a gun in Illinois. The legislation expands the three day wait from handguns to any gun. Republican State Representative Allen Skillicorn says the new measure will only act to irritate legal gun buyers.
 

 

 
The senate and governor both need to approve the new restrictions.

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Industrial hemp bill moving forward in Springfield

The effort continues in Springfield to legalize industrial hemp in Illinois. State Rep. Dan Swanson’s legislation would allow Illinois farmers to apply for permits to grow industrial hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant used to make textiles, paper and a variety of commercial and industrial products...
 
 
At least 16 states have legalized industrial hemp production for commercial purposes. Swanson’s bill won approval in the Illinois House last week.

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Bipartisan group of lawmakers pushes package of bills to help improve higher education in Illinois

A BIPARTISAN WORKING GROUP IS URGING PASSAGE OF A PACKAGE OF BILLS DESIGNED TO IMPROVE THE HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM IN ILLINOIS.
 
THE GROUP HAS HELD 17 MEETINGS AND PRODUCED SIX PIECES OF LEGISLATION THEY HOPE TO QUICKLY PUSH THROUGH THIS WEEK. THEY AIM TO KEEP COLLEGE KIDS IN-STATE AND TACKLE ISSUES LIKE MAKING IT EASIER TO TRANSFER CREDITS SAYS WESTCHESTER REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS WELCH.
 
 
ANOTHER EXPANDS THE STATE’S MAP GRANT PROGRAM FROM YEARLY AWARDS TO ESSENTIALLY A FOUR-YEAR GRANT. SENATOR CHAPIN ROSE OF CHAMPAIGN SAYS THE CONSTANT UNCERTAINTY OF MAP FUNDING HAS CAUSED MANY STUDENTS TO SEEK OTHER OFFERS.
 

 

 

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Kinder, gentler Senate passes budget because of above board approach

Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady sang the praises of the budget process in the General Assembly's upper chamber. The Bloomington Republican says an above board, compromising approach made all the difference.
 

 

 
Only two Senators voted against the budget. State Senator Kyle McCarter was one of them. He said he and other rank and file Senators only had one hour to review 1250 pages of legislation and 37 pages of analysis. He said the budget is plagued by unrealistic assumptions of revenues and savings and a lack of of money set aside to pay off old bills to the tune of 1.6 billion dollars. He also took issue with state funding for abortions.

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Governor and IDOT announce new $11 billion six year road plan

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ARE UNVEILING A NEW 11 BILLION DOLLAR, SIX YEAR STATE INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN. 
 
THE PLAN AIMS TO IMPROVE NEARLY TWO THOUSAND MILES OF ROAD AND 525 BRIDGES IN ILLINOIS…AS WELL AS MAKE SUBSTANTIAL UPGRADES. GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS THEY ARE FOCUSING ON NEW MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF THE STATE’S TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM.
 
 
I-DOT SECRETARY RANDY BLANKENHORN SAYS THE PLAN FOCUSES ON PROJECTS THAT PROVIDE THE GREATEST ECONOMIC BENEFIT TO COMMUNITIES AND TAKES CARE OF THE STATE’S TRANSPORTATION ASSETS.

 

 
PROJECTS INCLUDE 148 MILLION DOLLARS FOR BRIDGE WORK AND OTHER IMPROVEMENTS ON I-80 THROUGH WILL COUNTY AND 205 MILLION TO REPLACE PEORIA’S MCCLUGAGE BRIDGE AT EASTBOUND U-S 150.

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White House Ag Adviser Moves to USDA This Week

President Trump's agriculture adviser in the White House will take on a new job starting Friday. Ray Starling, who currently serves as special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade and food assistance will become chief of staff at U-S-D-A;
 

 

 
Starling grew up on a North Carolina farm and has served on the staffs of lawmakers in his state and as legal counsel for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. He'll now run Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue's operation at U-S-D-A;
 

 

 
Starling will succeed Perdue's current chief of staff Heidi Green who plans to return to their home state of Georgia.

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