Local News

DCDC Business Spotlight of the Month K & K Graphics

Each month a new business is selected in DeWitt County by DeWitt County Development Council to be their business spotlight. DCDC picks a business who is actively engaged with DeWitt County, giving back and promoting local businesses. This month went to K and K Graphics. DCDC President David Torbet talked about how K and K support DeWitt County Businesses.

K and K Graphics was established by Jeff Thrasher back in 1998 as a home-based business. After 17 years of successful business they outgrew moving to their current location now. Thrasher says there some characteristics that have kept his business successful. 

Torbert had some key components as well.

K and K Graphics is located 101 S Grant St. in Clinton.

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Barclay Public Library Large Print Prize Drawing

Want to enter a prize drawing by just reading books? You can be going to the Barclay Public Library. The Barclay Public Library received a Library Services and Technology Act grant this year, adding more than 180 large print titles. To highlight the new collection the library wanted to host a large print reading challenge says Library Director Lacey Wright.

They were awarded 4 thousand plus dollar with the grant and reason for selecting the large print titles was due to the lack of variety in their collection says, Wright.

The people who read five large print titles by December 15th will be entered into the prize drawing. The Barclay Public Library is located at 220 S. Main St. in Warrensburg.
 

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Dealing with Alzheimer's during the holidays

Holidays are a fun time, but it can also be a hard time for others. Having a family member with Alzheimer's Disease can make it harder during the holiday says Manager of Education and Outreach for Alzheimer's Association Daryl Carlson.

Expectations seem to be the regular theme for families or caregivers because they are used to having that loved one involved in the holiday traditions now maybe not so much. Carlson says with that being the case caregivers and families need to adjust those expectations.

Caregivers who are responsible for that loved one with Alzheimer's battle stress. There are ways to relieve some of that stress even with the holidays says, Carlson.

Asking for help is just a phone call away and sometimes can make things easier if you communicate what you can and can't do.

 

If you need help with Alzheimer's Disease contact the 24/7 helpline at 1-800-272-3900 or go to alz.org for more information.
 

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Joy to Illinois this holiday season

A small town post office becomes "The Holiday Station" during December. It's Joy, Illinois. They have a special holiday postmark each year. This year it's designed by Mercer County High School art student Gracie Olson. 

To get the Joy postmark, you can send your cards and letters, already stamped and in a package, to the Holiday Station, 202 West Main Street, Joy, IL 61260. Each year, upwards of 13,000 cards and letters are stamped with the holiday postmark during December.

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GOVERNOR RAUNER WORKING TO MAKE IT A SMOOTH TRANSITION


GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER SAYS HIS OFFICE IS WORKING TO MAKE IT A SMOOTH TRANSITION FOR THE NEW ADMINISTRATION. 

 

GOVERNOR-ELECT J-B PRITZKER WILL BE SWORN INTO OFFICE ON JANUARY 14TH…AND UNTIL THEN…GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS HIS TEAM WILL HELP GUIDE THE NEWCOMERS.

GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS HE ALSO WANTS TO MAKE SURE THERE IS NO CLEMENCY PETITION BACKLOG WHEN HE LEAVES OFFICE AND SAYS HE WILL NOT BE ISSUING A BUNCH OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS OR APPOINTMENTS DURING HIS FINAL DAYS.

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Rauner blasts union label in state government management

In just over a month, Governor Bruce Rauner will watch J.B. Pritzker take the oath and succeed him as the state's chief executive. It doesn't sound like he'll go quietly, especially when it comes to a frequent target of his ire, AFSCME. Rauner is critical of the number of management types in state government who wear the union label....

Rauner says the percentage of state workers who are represented by unions has grown considerably since the Rod Blagojevich era....

AFSCME Council 31 reported this week that Rauner has run up a legal tab of more than 6 million dollars with what they call a high priced outside law firm to battle AFSCME and union workers in various court fights and legal challenges. 
 

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YMCA CPR Class

Looking to renew your CPR and First Aid Certification? The YMCA will be hosting CPR Classes during the Christmas Break says Excutive Director Rennie Cluver.

There is a fee to take the class, for first time CPR the fee is 80 dollars and for recertification is 50 dollars. The certification is good for 2 years. If you are intrested in the class call the Clinton YMCA at (217) 935-8307. The Clinton Community YMCA is located on 417 S. Alexander St, just off Highways 54 East and Rt. 10 East.

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Weldon Christmas Parade

Holiday festivities keep on going and Village of Weldon looks to celebrate those festivities this Saturday, December 15 with their Christmas Parade. 

 

The village of Weldon had lost some of their traditions and with the help of new festival committees and President for Village of Weldon Julie Brock, they look to bring some of those traditions back.

The festivities will begin at 10:30 am and will go till 2 pm with a parade starting at Weldon Baseball Diamond routing their way to the Village Hall, where food will be served and a fun holiday guest will be there.

The Village of Weldon President Julie Brock and the festival committee look forward to bringing their Christmas Parade, to enjoy the holiday season.

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Miller Park Zoo Parents Night Out Dec. 14th

Need a night out to finish some Christmas shopping? You can participate then in Miller Park Zoo's Drop and Shop, Parents Night Out. You can drop your kids off at Miller Park Zoo and go do some shopping says Miller Park Zoo Director Jay Tetzloff.

Kids between ages 4-12 years old, can come, 25 dollars for the first child, 20 dollars for additional siblings. Zoo members 20 dollars for the first child and 16 dollars each additional child. There is a maximum of 35 children so e-mail anelson@cityblm.org to register. There other ways to sign up as well says, Tetzloff.

Miller Park Zoo's Drop and Shop, Parents Night Out is from 5:30-9:30 pm on Friday, December 14.

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Above normal temps should be the rule for remainder of December

Above normal temps should be the rule for the remainder of December. So says meteorologist Dan Hicks with Freese-Notis Weather. It all has to do with a lack of cold Canadian air. 

Hicks says Illinois has been running about two-to-four degrees below normal so far this month with November finishing “quite a bit colder than normal.”

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Durbin says Trump border security priorities don't address the opioid crisis

Senator Dick Durbin responded to claims from President Donald Trump that Democrats “do not want border security.” In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Durbin maintained Democrats did tackle the issue, with a bipartisan majority of the Senate agreeing to Durbin’s bipartisan immigration and border security agreement. Durbin maintains it failed because of the Trump Administration’s opposition. Durbin also told U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, the President's border security plan doesn't properly address an ongoing crisis...

Durbin also said the Trump Administration is failing to address the root causes that drive migrants to the U.S. border. He cited cuts in security and humanitarian assistance and shutting down legal avenues to migration. 

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5G still a long way away for rural areas

Technology makes advancements every day and your cell phone signal is no different. 5G is becoming more of a reality in the modern world but won’t be around anytime soon according to some experts. Rob Benton owns CPR-Cell Phone Repair in Mt. Vernon and he says the idea has been in development for 2 years and just got finalized this past June.

Although the technology is advancing and the speeds will increase, Benton says if you live in a rural area, don’t count on having 5G available to you for some time.

Benton says realistically, 5G could become available everywhere in 10-20 years.

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Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging Team wins national title

A banner year for the Illinois 4-H Livestock Judging team. The group won the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest held last month in Louisville, Kentucky. The competition actually ended in a tie, but the Illinois team won based on a tie-breaker.

That’s coach Gracia Ramp—a University of Illinois ag education grad student from Yates City. She’s a graduate of Farmington High School and also attended Lakeland College in Mattoon before transferring to Illinois. 

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Ditching Dewey at the Vespasian Warner Public Library

The Vespasian Warner Public Library is ditching the Dewey Decimal System. The library has decided to stop using the numerical system for books that have been used for around 150 years. Children's Librarian Paula Lapatic says its because of crowded numbers.

The librarian has begun to relabel the books to organize them in the new word based classification says Lapatic. 

Lapatic wanted to reassure everyone that if people need help finding a book whether in the new word based classification or Dewey decimal staff is there to help. You can find the Vespasian Warner Public Library at 310 N. Quincy Street in Clinton or find more information at vwarner.org.

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Heyworth Hiring Junior High Math Teacher and Steam Teacher

Heyworth Schools are currently hiring for a Junior High Math Teacher and STEAM teacher for next year. Heyworth Superintendent Lisa Taylor says this will get applicants early with the teacher shortage in Illinois.

Heyworth is looking for a math teacher to help reduce the class size, making classes more manageable says Taylor.

The other position STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Heyworth Elementary has started the new program, and now Heyworth looks for a teacher to help with the new program.

Taylor says with hiring the new teachers they can continue to provide a great education for their students at Heyworth Schools and bring in new teachers showing the great community Heyworth is.

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Year-End Countdown, Social Security Online

Looking for other ways to find information about Social Security or how to use your benefits? There is a list of online services that can help you find your information says Public Affairs Specialist Jack Myers. One of those services is called Social Security Matters. 

A lot of times people reach out to Social Security says Myers is to replace a Social Security card. You can do that online as well.

Another online service is the application for retirement benefits, where it takes a few, for some, as 15 minutes.

With retirement, you can plan for your future by finding out how much you get from Social Security from their Retirement Estimator.

Also if you like to find more on Social Security through other means of media, such as Facebook and Twitter, says Myers.

If you still have questions on Social Security you can browse their frequently asked questions web page at www.socialsecurity.gov/faq. 

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Potential for industrial hemp in Illinois

One of the leading industrial hemp researchers in the United States says he thinks it could be a viable crop in Illinois and across the country;

University of Kentucky agronomist David Williams says industrial hemp does not contain the controversial chemical of its close cousin, marijuana. But he says it does have the potential to be used in animal feed, for its oil and as a fiber;

The Illinois legislature passed and the governor signed a law earlier this year that legalizes industrial hemp. The Illinois Department of Agriculture is currently writing rules that would govern how industrial hemp can be grown in the state.
 

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Winter driving tips

Driving in winter weather conditions can be a chore for even the most experienced drivers and can be even worse around the winter holidays. Laura Adams, a safety analyst for driversED.com says there are several reasons for a spike in accidents during the holiday season. 
 


 
Adams also notes that being in the right mindset when your behind the wheel is only half the battle.
 


 
Adams says the winter weather can be bad on the battery, belts and hoses, and windshield wiper blades. She also notes that it might not be a bad idea to look into purchasing snow tires. More tips and tricks can be found at www.DriversEd.com.

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Legendary Illinois high school football coach retiring

Legendary Illinois high school football coach Mike Papoccia (puh-po-see) is stepping down. He announced his retirement at Sunday night’s Sterling Newman Central Catholic team banquet.

Papoccia racked up five state titles in his 39 year run at Newman. 

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National FFA Organization Announces National FFA Convention & Expo staying in Indianapolis through 2031

The National FFA Organization announced Tuesday, December 11 that its National FFA Convention and Expo will be staying in Indianapolis through 2031.

 

The annual event has been held in Indianapolis since 2016 where more than 67,000 people attended from all over the country. The event brings in an estimated economic impact of 39.8 million dollars for Indianapolis. 

 

Members during the convention attend workshops, participate in competitive events, general sessions and help give back to communities. 

 

Membership has grown over the years for the organization along with attendance of the national convention and expo. After the 90th National FFA Convention and Expo, National FFA Board of Directors had a bid process to select the new host for the convention beginning in 2025. The final decision came between Atlanta and Indianapolis. 

 

Members chose Indianapolis calling the city the home of FFA. 

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New Years Eve Celebration at Allerton Park

Have any plans for New Year's Eve? There is a special evening taking place at Allerton Park filled with costumes, cocktails, music, and dancing. Last year Allerton Park tried this, and it was a great turn out says Event Coordinator Hannah Dole.

There are tickets still left to purchase, and you can choose on what part of the special evening to attend with rooms available in the mansion. 

Dole says that every year they try and make their events better to keep bringing people in.

Space is limited for the event, you can go to allerton.illinois.edu to purchase tickets or call 217-333-3287 for more information about the New Years Eve celebration at Allerton Park. 

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Rep. Davis Gives an Update on the Farm Bill


Representative Rodney Davis says he feels optimistic about the House Farm Bill.

The schedule for the farm bill has been pushed back due to the passing of former President George H.W. Bush. Rep. Davis hopes that many of the details will be released within the coming days and he said they have "a good base bill."

Rep. Davis indicates that what farmers liked about the 2014 Farm Bill have been retained. He says there were some issues he wished would have been addressed.

Davis indicates that he would have liked to have seen more discussion on the workforce training program. He feels that the Farm Bill will not have provisions to the level that he wanted.

Rep. Davis remains optimistic that the House Farm Bill will be based this year.
 

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Beware of Scammers Pretending to be Social Security

Have you received a phone call saying they were social security but the number looked fishy, it was probably a scammer? Social Security offices are receiving reports of phone calls and voicemails from scammers who are trying to steal people's personal information, and money says Public Affairs Specialist Jack Myers.

If you personally didn't request the contact from Social Security, Myers says to be skeptical. The scammers have tried ways to fool people by manipulating caller ID says, Myers.

The best way to fight against the caller ID is to hang up, then call the national toll free number 1-800-772-1213 or contact your local office that you already know or obtained from a trusted source. 

Myers also says to be calm, the scammers will sometimes scare you with threats or make you think something is wrong.

Myers says if you weren't expecting that call and it seems suspicious, don't give them any information, hang up and call the national toll free number or look up the correct number through a trusted source. 

 

If there are problems with your benefits or information with Social Security Myers says that most likely they will get that information to you in writing. 

 

If you have any calls claiming to be Social Security remember to remain calm if you think its suspicious hang-up call the national toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 or look up a trusted website calling that source. 

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VETERANS' AFFAIRS HOSTED THE 77TH PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS’ AFFAIRS HOSTED THE 77TH PEARL HARBOR REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY FRIDAY. 

 

THE EVENT IN SPRINGFIELD PAID TRIBUTE TO PEARL HARBOR SURVIVORS AND THE MORE THAN 24-HUNDRED AMERICANS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES THAT DAY. U-S ARMY CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER BOBBY EDWARDS HAS BEEN DEPLOYED OVERSEAS OVER 20 TIMES AND WAS THE GUEST SPEAKER. HE SPOKE ABOUT THE NEED FOR STRONGER PATRIOTISM THESE DAYS.

THE CEREMONY WAS HELD AT THE ELKS LODGE IN SPRINGFIELD, HONORING THE SURVIVORS AND MORE THAN 24-HUNDRED PEOPLE WHO DIED ON DECEMBER SEVENTH. VETERANS’ AFFAIRS DIRECTOR STEPHEN CURDA SPOKE AT THE EVENT.

ATTENDEES THEN GATHERED OUTSIDE FOR A SPECIAL WREATH LAYING IN THE WATERS OF LAKE SPRINGFIELD BY THE INTER-VETERAN DETAIL HONOR GUARD.

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TIPS FOR PICKING OUT THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE

IF YOU HAVEN’T PICKED OUT YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE YET…HERE’S A FEW TIPS FROM A HORTICULTURE EXPERT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION OFFICE. 

 

THE U OF I EXTENSION’S RICHARD HENTSCHEL SAYS YOU’LL GET THE FRESHEST TREE AT A TREE FARM WHERE YOU CUT YOUR OWN. HE SAYS DIFFERENT VARIETIES ARE STURDIER THAN OTHERS.

IF YOU’RE BUYING AT A LOT WITH PRE-CUT TREES…HENTSHEL RECOMMENDS TAPPING THE TREE LIGHTLY ON THE GROUND TO MAKE SURE A LOT OF NEEDLES DON’T FALL OFF…INDICATING DRYNESS. 

IN EITHER CASE, HENTCHEL RECOMMENDS BRINGING ALONG A TAPE MEASURE BECAUSE AN EIGHT FOOT TREE OUTSIDE LOOKS A WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT THAN AN EIGHT-FOOTER IN YOUR LIVING ROOM. ONCE YOU GET HOME YOU SHOULD MAKE A FRESH CUT AND ALWAYS MAKE SURE THE TREE HAS PLENTY OF WATER.

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Friendship Center Holiday Luncheon

Want to enjoy a Holiday Luncheon? The Friendship Center in Clinton will be hosting a luncheon to celebrate the holidays, along with their seniors and volunteers. You do have to hurry up and swing by the Friendship Center if you would like a seat says, Director Paula Jiles.

After the dinner, the Friendship Center will be doing some activities and something different this year says, Jiles.

The dinner will be having ham, corn, mash potatoes, and more. The dinner will also be served differently. Usually, it has been family style says Jiles, now it will be served. The Holiday Luncheon will be on Wednesday, December 19, with food being served at 11:30 am and bingo starting at 12:15 pm. 

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Liberty Village Luncheon and Learn

Want to learn some information about the power station? Well, you can if you go to the monthly lunch and learn at the Liberty Village in Clinton. Each month Liberty Village hosts a luncheon and learn to bring in a special guest, to talk about a specific topic. This time Exelon will be heading over to Liberty Village this month says Director of Marketing and Sales Nick Crimm. 

Crimm says that the power station will have some activities for the residents to participate in as well.

Crimm did ask that if you are interested in attending to call Liberty Village to let them know how many people will be coming. The lunch and learn will be on December 19th starting at noon. 
 

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Feast of Juul at Allerton Park

Want to join Allerton Park for a new celebration? Allerton Park is going to be hosting a Scandinavian tradition of burning the Juul log to celebrate the December solstice. It is a new celebration for Allerton Park this year says Event Coordinator Hannah Dole.

If you don't want to be outside enjoying the burning of the Juul log, you can still enjoy some indoor activities says, Dole.

The Feast of Juul will be held on December 21 from 5 to 8 pm at Allerton Meadow. This event is free, but donations are appreciated. If you have any questions, you can call 217-333-3287 or email allertoninfo@illinois.edu for more information.

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Museum researching pollinators across Illinois

Researchers from a Chicago museum have been traveling the state studying how much habitat exists to protect monarch butterflies and other plant pollinators. Alexis Winter serves as an environmental social scientist for Chicago's Field Museum;

The U-S Fish & Wildlife Service could decide to list the monarch butterfly as an endangered species next year. The state, Field Museum, farm and commodity organizations are examining conservation strategies to protect it and other pollinators;

The Field Museum official says all Illinoisans can play a part in protecting monarch caterpillars, butterflies and other pollinators. It could be as simple as planting nectar-rich flowers in gardens.

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Illinois State Police with a warning involving teens' cell phone use

Illinois State Police warning parents to keep a close eye on their teenagers’ cell phone use. Trooper Jason Wilson has been talking to kids and parents about the dangers of online predators who take advantage of teens via their phones.

 

 

Wilson encourages parents to get apps that give them full access to their kids' phones and that while they may trust their child, it's not hard for kids as young as 12 and 13 years old to become targets of online predators. Some of the dangers include sexting which can lead to 'sextortion' where predators request photos and videos via social media apps and then use those photos to extort more extreme activities. 

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EIGHTH COLDEST NOVEMBER ON RECORD

LAST MONTH WAS THE EIGHTH COLDEST NOVEMBER ON RECORD IN ILLINOIS.

THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE LAST MONTH WAS 35 DEGREES. THAT’S MORE THAN SEVEN DEGREES BELOW NORMAL SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL.

 

 

ANGEL SAYS THE DECEMBER FORECAST IS CALLING FOR AN INCREASED CHANCE OF WARMER AND WETTER WEATHER.

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IDOT ASKING THE PUBLIC TO TAKE A SURVEY

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS ASKING THE PUBLIC TO TAKE A NEW TRAVEL SURVEY.

 

THE ANNUAL ILLINOIS TRAVELER OPINION SURVEY SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON A VARIETY OF ISSUES SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON JESSIE DECKER.

 

 

THE ONLINE TRAVELER OPINION SURVEY COVERS EVERYTHING FROM ROAD CONDITIONS TO DRIVING HABITS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SAYS DECKER

 

 

YOU CAN ACCESS THE SURVEY ON I-DOT’S WEBSITE AT: IDOT DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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Money Match Rolls Out Round 2

Who couldn’t use a little extra cash this time of year and its even better if it comes your way with little work to get it. The Illinois Treasurer’s Money Match Program will be sending out more than 63,000 checks this month. Mike Frerichs says the program is a new spin on an old program that gets people back in contact with their forgotten bank accounts.

 

 

The checks will be from $5 to $50 bucks. 

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NEARLY 81 THOUSAND DEER DURING FIREARM SEASON

HUNTERS HARVESTED NEARLY 81 THOUSAND DEER DURING FIREARM SEASON. 

 

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SPOKESPERSON ED CROSS SAYS HUNTERS TOOK NEARLY 59 THOUSAND DEER THE FIRST WEEKEND OF FIREARM SEASON…AND THEN ABOUT 22 THOUSAND THE SECOND SEASON. HE SAYS WEATHER WAS A FACTOR.

 

 

THE TOTAL HARVEST OF 80 THOUSAND 896 DEER IS UP BY ABOUT 800 OVER LAST YEAR.

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HEPATITIS A RECENTLY DIAGNOSED IN ILLINOIS

WITH FIVE CASES OF HEPATITIS A RECENTLY DIAGNOSED IN ILLINOIS…THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS URGING PEOPLE TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE VACCINATED. 

HEPATITIS A IS AN INFECTION THAT CAN DAMAGE THE LIVER AND IS EASILY PASSED FROM ONE PERSON TO ANOTHER THROUGH FOOD, WATER, DRUG USE AND SEX SAYS PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NIRAV SHAH.

 

 

THERE HAVE BEEN 69 CASES OF HEPATITIS A INFECTION IN THE STATE SO FAR THIS YEAR…INCLUDING THE FIVE MOST RECENT IN EAST-CENTRAL ILLINOIS. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE FEVER, FATIGUE, LOSS OF APPETITE, DARK URINE AND JAUNDICE.

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Stop Expecting Antibiotics

Chances are over the next few months you won’t be feeling your best. Brought down by a brush with a cold or even the flu, but when you go see your doctor you might want to adjust your expectations about what they will do for you. The Illinois Department of Public Health says antibiotics aren’t always the answer. Dr. Nirav Shah, IDPH Director, says in most cases they won’t do you much good.

 

 

Antibiotics can be used to treat strep throat and whooping cough.

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Durbin Reflects on Bush's Handling of Demise of Iron Curtain

President Ronald Reagan gets the lion's share of the credit for the fall of the Iron Curtain. In a Senate Floor tribute to President George H.W. Bush, Senator Dick Durbin says the President, who passed away Friday, played a critical role in helping the world adapt.....

 

 

Durbin says in these times of win at all costs politics, "many of us feel that deep longing for a kinder, gentler nation that President Bush promised in his inaugural address 30 years ago,” 

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State promoting "200 years 200 stories"

Even though the official Bicentennial celebration is over in Illinois, there’s still plenty of information to digest about the state’s 200-year footprint. The Illinois Office of Tourism is promoting its digital project--“200 Years 200 Stories” says the agency’s Cory Jobe.

 

 

The “200 Years 200 Stories” feature can be found online at “enjoyillinois.com/illinois-200”.

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State Treasurer promoting Money Match program

If you get a letter from the Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs' office don't throw it away. Frerichs is touring the state trying to make sure that folks who have money being held by the state of Illinois get those dollars back via the Money Match Program. 

 

 

Those who are owed less than $2000.00 from the I-Cash program in Illinois will be getting checks in the mail from the Treasurer's Office over the next few weeks. 

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Still Legal to Buy Smokes at 18

No new law this year when it comes to how old you have to be to smoke. In the veto session at the statehouse, lawmakers decided not to override the Governor’s veto of making tobacco purchases legal only for those over 21. The House failed to stack enough votes up to bump the legal age from 18 to 21. State Rep. Allen Skillicorn says it might be a bad habit but 18-year-olds can decide for themselves.

 

 

Cities in Illinois can raise the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21 if they want.

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Claudia Workman signs for track and field at WIU

On Wednesday, November 28, a Clinton High School student-athletes signed to Western Illinois University to continue in track and field.

 

Claudia Workman has signed to attend WIU starting next fall studying meteorology. Workman will continue her track and field throwing shot put and discus, and she has had success over her career with the Maroons.

 

 

Workman chose to attend for many reasons, not only for schooling but because of others that have influenced her.

 

 

Workman will be attending WIU next fall and continues with her discus throwing next spring with the Maroons trying to break the school record. 
 

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Dec. 1 Event Sets Record for Largest December Tornado Outbreak in Illinois History

Saturday, December 1 provided a new record for Illinois with 27 tornados. The new record is now the largest outbreak during December in Illinois history, the previous record was 21 tornadoes back in 1957 says Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Miller.

Many of the tornadoes hitting Illinois affected several counties in Central Illinois, such as Christian, McLean, and Macon. Christian County having one of the largest of all the tornadoes hitting Illinois says, Miller.

Tornadoes are pretty uncommon in December, but there were a right set of conditions there to develop says, Miller.

DeWitt County was fortunate not being hit with any tornadoes, but that was due to some weather fronts being produced by the storms says, Miller.

DeWitt still received some rain and hail with storms coming in, but it escaped the stronger winds.

To find your weather, you can go to the National Weather Service at www.weather.gov or at dewittdailynews.com

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Illinois Pork, Corn, Soybean Groups Donate 10,000 pounds of Pork to Midwest Food Bank

The Illinois Pork Producers Association, Illinois Corn Marketing Board, and Illinois Soybean Association presented the Midwest Food Bank on Wednesday, December 5 10,000 pounds of ground pork. The three groups have formed up together to help out food banks providing high protein meats says Procurement and Logistics Director Mike Hoffman.

The group started up its Pork Power back in 2008, and continue to grow, providing over 60,000 pounds in its ten years with Midwest says, Hoffman. How it all started was more of a mutual understanding bringing in the protein food says, Hoffman.

Midwest Food Bank is bringing in the pork at no cost thanks to the three groups collaborating together. It also comes to thanking farmers says, Hoffman.

Midwest has already started to distribute some of the food out to food pantries around the area says, Hoffman.

Pork Power has generated over 625,000 pounds of pork for families throughout Illinois. Farmers and partnering groups give pork all year round to fight hunger in Illinois. 

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4-H Blue Ridge STEM Series

Want to learn about robotics, rocketry, or different kinds of science? Kids can join the STEM program with the DeWitt County 4-H Extension this January. New Extension Program Coordinator for the DeWitt 4-H Lindsey Burden says the STEM programs is for five weeks where they learn new skills.

The STEM programs are high school students teaching younger kids kindergarten to 5th-grade various activities throughout five weeks. The STEM programs have limited seats as the last art program 4-H had was full and had to turn away some kids said Burden.

The next STEM program will start January 9, but registration begins December 26. Visit go.illinois.edu/dmp to sign up. There is a fee of 15 dollars to attend the programs. Each session meets every Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:45 pm located at Schneider Elementary School cafeteria in Farmer City.
 

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Hep A Found In East Central Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public health is alerting the public to five new cases of Hepatitis A. The recent diagnosis can be used as a reminder to get vaccinated as a form of protection. The infection is passed from person to person via food, water or unprotected sex says Doctor Nirav Shah. 

In Illinois there have been 69 cases of infection this year. The most recent ones are spread around east central Illinois.

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State Lags in DNA Testing Speed

The state of Illinois has a pile of D-N-A samples waiting to be tested by the Illinois State Police and other law enforcement agencies. Some of those samples are connected with murders that happened more than a year ago. A recent report shows that there are hundreds of samples still waiting to be tested. Colonel Sean Cormier with the Illinois State Police Forensic Science Command says some of the backlog is due to a lack of funding and staff.

At a Senate committee hearing lawmakers wanted to know more as to how the cases are prioritized.

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New Principal to take over at Warrensburg-Latham in the school year 2019

Warrensburg-Latham has selected a new high school principal for next year. Current High School Principal Ken Hatcher who has worked with Warrensburg-Latham for over 33 years looks to retire. Superintendent Kristen Kendrick Wiekle says he is what some would call an anomaly. 

Over the last month, Warrensburg-Latham has been in the process of selecting a new High School Principal says Kendrick-Wiekle. 

Jonathan Downing has taught and was an Administrator in Decatur. Kendrick-Wiekle says that Downing has proven leadership qualities. 

Downing will take over as the new high school principal next year July 1, 2019.

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Heyworth outperforming the state in the school report card

Heyworth schools received their new school report cards showing they are outperforming the state and increasing in elementary math scores. Illinois at the beginning of the school year changed report cards to show how schools are doing overall and Heyworth Superintendent Lisa Taylor says they are comendable.

The state changed how they grade their schools with the report cards, and Taylor says she is pleased with how they report on the schools.

Looking at the report cards, the elementary school in Heyworth showed an increase in performance this year says, Taylor.

Taylor thanked the teachers for the hard work they put in helping their students achieve the outstanding reports.
 

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Carols at the McLean County Museum of History

One of Bloomington Normals most popular concerts are coming soon! You can join the McLean County Museum of History for some carols with the Illinois State University Civic Chorale. You can enjoy hot cocoa and cookies along with holiday spirit says Director of Education at the McLean County Museum of History Candace Summers.

The 60 people in the Choral Concert will be on December 18th, starting at 7 pm. Seats will fill quickly says Summers. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. All money collected will go to the ISU Civic Chorale.
 

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Meteorologist explains conditions for central Illinois 22-tornado outbreak on Dec. 1

What caused a nearly two-dozen tornado outbreak in Illinois on the first day of December? A lesson from Bryce Anderson, chief agriculture meteorologist for DTN Weather.

All of that added up to a reported 22 tornadoes throughout central Illinois this past Saturday night. 

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Southern Illinois hunter tells 51-point buck story

The 2018 firearm deer hunting season is over in Illinois and it includes quite the tale in the southern part of the state. Keith Szablewski (sh-blus-skee) of Johnston City is no trophy hunter though. He’s had some very humble success in the fields and woods, until this year anyway. He landed what appears to be a 51-point buck on private property in Williamson County during the first firearm weekend Nov. 16-to-18. 

The points will officially be scored by a panel of judges in July at the Deer and Turkey Classic trade show in Peoria. The current record, according to published reports, is held by a Tennessee hunter in 2016 scoring 47-points. 
 

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Normal West school bus collided with a semi

A Normal West school bus was reported at 8:30 Wednesday night that it collided with a semi on I-74
near Downs.

 

Illinois State Police reported that there are two confirmed dead and eight female passengers injured. The semi driver, a 34-year old Iowa man, was killed. Team volunteer, Charles Crabtree, 72, of Normal, also died.


Three adults were transported via helicopter to area hospitals. All female passengers were transported via ambulance with non-life threatening injuries. Reports indicated that the semi was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes on I-74, colliding head-on. 

 

Regional Radio News will have more on the story when additional updates become available. 

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Warner Hospital and Health Services looks to get new Electronic Sign Outside

Warner Hospital and Health Services are looking to invest in a new electronic sign outside. The outdoor sign that displays electronically has been down for a few weeks now, and it is time to get a new one said CEO Paul Skowron.

 The Dr. John Warner Hospital Foundation, who bought the previous sign looks to help buy the new sign, says Skowron. 

The foundation has raised money throughout the years through bingo games or various other fundraisers. The Dr. John Warner Hospital Foundation has been supporting the hospital for 20 years. 

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Heyworth Schools spending 7 million dollars on renovations

Heyworth schools are in a design phase of 7 million dollars in renovations. The schools are looking to get a new gym, weight room, office complex, and updating all classroom furniture. Heyworth Schools had feedback from the community to help make the decision making on all the new renovations said Heyworth Superintendent Lisa Taylor. 

Heyworth Schools allowed parents and families to provide feedback on the renovations and one of the big ones was a new competition gym says, Taylor.

The new gym will be able to seat around 1500 giving Heyworth access to host tournaments and more space for other groups that use the gyms at Heyworth schools for recreational use. 

All the money won't get spent on just the gym as a million dollars will go to new furniture.

The decision making for the new furniture was asking some of the students and teachers on what they desired to have to help keep everyone engaged says Taylor.

Heyworth looks to finish the gym sometime next year and continue with their other improvements as the years move on. 

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Connie Unruh with tips on saving holiday money

Have you been spending too much money on your holiday shopping? Need some tips on where you can save? Connie Unruh who is the Finacial Literacy Coordinator with TS Institute has some tips to help you survive the Christmas season financially.

One tip is setting a realistic budget, it's not just Christmas presents with your family says, Unruh.

One way for setting that budget is putting money into separate savings account that you use as only Christmas money. Banks will sometimes have Christmas accounts holding the money you put in till the holiday season says, Unruh.

 

Another way to help relieve some pressure of the holiday spending if you are hosting family dinners, you can turn the dinner into a potluck says Unruh.

Another way to help save money is to think about who you buy gifts. If you have to set a budget and can't buy everyone a gift it doesn't make you a Scrooge, just a smart money spending person says Unruh.

If you have questions on how to save some money or want more information you can go to tsinstitutue.org or call Connie Unruh.
 

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Rauner issues disaster declaration

Governor Rauner has declared Christian County a state disaster area after the mid Illinois county was hit by three tornadoes Saturday, including a powerful EF-3 twister that rocked Taylorville and surrounding towns. The Governor's Sunday visit to Taylorville wasn't far from his mind during last night's Bicentennial gathering at Navy Pier....

The disaster declaration opens the door to state resources for affected areas to use. The state also has “mobilized personnel” to help with recovery efforts. 
 

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Taylorville leaders offer advice on what not to do

Taylorville's plight after a powerful tornado is drawing lots of statewide attention and some national attention as well. With that attention, comes problems. While many are desperate to donate to storm victims, Montgomery County Emergency Management Chief Joe Gasparcih (Gas-purr-itch) says it would be best to keep your wardrobe out of it.....

Local emergency officials say monetary donations can be directed to 
Missions for Taylorville, c/o City Hall, 115 North Main Street, Taylorville, IL 62568
 

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USDA Ag Secretary speaks at annual Illinois Farm Bureau meeting

Another trip to Illinois for USDA Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. He spoke at the annual Illinois Farm Bureau meeting in Chicago on Monday.

Perdue says the upcoming funeral for President George Bush will lead to some delays in Farm Bill discussions. He adds that the next round of market facilitation payments could be finalized later in the week or early next week. 
 

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Warner Hospital and Health Services looks into transportation needs

Warner Hospital and Health Services is beginning research on the transportation needs of patients. The transportation needs are for the patients to have easy access to the hospital. Reason for starting the research is because rural hospitals have unique transportation says CEO Paul Skowron.

To decide on the transportation needs, Warner Hospital is going to conduct a community needs assessment and a cost-benefit analysis.

What research Warner Hospital will do are surveys, and asking how many people use the Show Bus for medical needs says, Skowron.

The research looks, to start with, the next fiscal year which begins on May 1, 2019, for Warner Hospital.
 

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Liberty Village Christmas Tree Walk

Liberty Village is having their annual tree walk this year. 

 

Every year the Liberty Village has allowed local businesses to put up Christmas decorations throughout Liberty Village. Businesses will decorate trees or wreaths with items similar to their market. Liberty Village's Director of Marketing and Sales Nick Crim says it gives the residents something new to see.

The local businesses bring in the trees or wreaths with their theme of business says, Crim.

The reason why it is called a walk, is that the Liberty Village is allowing the public to take a walk through the village throughout the month of December, says Crim.

Liberty Village is located at 1 Park Lane in Clinton. 

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Holiday Kid Workshops at the Barclay Public Library

Want to make a unique holiday ornament or enjoy edible holiday treats? The Barclay Public Library in Warrensburg is hosting two Holiday Kid Workshops to make the holidays special. The first one is a kids ornament workshop says Library Director Lacey Wright.

The second Holiday Kid Workshop is more of a delicious kind says, Wright.

Wright says that the ornament craft could be a great gift from the kids.

The ornament workshop will be on Saturday, December 8, from 10 am to 12 pm, and the sugar cone workshop Saturday, December 22 from 10 am to 12 pm. You can find the Barclay Public Library at  220 Main St in Warrensburg.
 

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Clinton Presbyterian Church to host Advent Concerts

On Sunday, December 9 at 6:00 PM, the Millikin University Trombone Choir under the direction of Dr. Gary Shaw will perform.  This performance will consist of original compositions and transcriptions for trombone choir as well as arrangements of Advent and Christmas Carols.  

 

The church will also host three noon time concerts on Wednesdays during Advent.  

 

On Wednesday, December 5, Dr. Nina Gordon, cello instructor at Illinois Wesleyan University and Ms. Nancy Pounds, staff accompanist at Illinois Wesleyan will present “Masterpieces for Cello and Piano by European Composers”.  

 

The Wednesday, December 12th performance will be presented by Mr. Bill Ogg of Gibson City, IL and Jeremy Lehman, organist at Clinton Presbyterian Church.  This performance will consist of organ and piano duets of traditional Advent and Christmas Carols entitled “A Time for Meditation and Comfort”.

 

On December 19th, Jeremy Lehman, organist, will present an Advent Concert consisting of the works for organ by Wilbur Held, J.S. Bach, and Marcel Dupré.  

 

All concerts are free and open to the public.  A free-will offering will be accepted.  Clinton Presbyterian Church is located at 402 N. Center St. in Clinton, IL.  

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Clinton Presbyterian is organizing a donation drive to help the Taylorville residents

Clinton Presbyterian is organizing a donation drive to help the Taylorville residents affected by the recent tornado. Clinton Presbyterian is a drop off site for donations and has been in communication with the Red Cross and here are some of the immediate needs.

 

Human supplies accepted: perishable food items that don't require electricity for preparation. Examples: peanut butter and jelly supplies, chips, Pop-tarts, granola bars. Also, blankets, coats, warm cloths, candles, flashlights and batteries.


Pet supplies: dog food, cat food, litter, blankets, cages, cleaning supplies, treats and paper towels.

 

Gift cards for clothing and canned goods to restock the food bank.

 

They will be accepting donations thru Wednesday December 5th until 7pm and will be delivered the next day. Hours for drop off are 8:30 to 7p.

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USDA chief on China cease fire, NAFTA 2.0, farm bill

President Trump may have announced a tariff cease fire between the U-S and China last weekend, but the war of words continues. Trump's Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, addressed delegates to the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting meeting Monday in Chicago;

The Farm Bureau handed Perdue a freshly-approved resolution urging Congress and the Trump Administration to seek resolution to current trade disputes with China and other countries. Perdue expressed optimism the recently-signed U-S-Mexico-Canada Agreement can help get more U-S farm products moving across borders;

The proposed U-S-M-C-A, also known as "NAFTA 2-point-0," still needs to be considered by Congress - and that won't happen until next year. The Ag Department chief, however, told the group he is hopeful Congress will approve a new multi-year farm bill yet this year, in particular to provide more money to develop markets in countries other than Canada, China and Mexico.

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DeWitt County Sheriff Jared Shofner Retires

This past weekend, Mike Walker officially took office as the new DeWitt County Sheriff. Jared Shofner the leaving Sheriff retires, and Regional Radio News spoke with Shofner on his past.

With a new Sheriff taking over, Shofner says, he is pleased with Walker coming in and how he is leaving the department.

With leaving the department, Shofner says he will miss the people the most.

Though, Shofner isn't retiring all together as he will be traveling to Decatur to teach.

Mike Walker took over as DeWitt County Sheriff for Shofner on December 1. 
 

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American Legion Post 103 Looking for Sons of the Legion

The American Legion started up a youth group called Sons of the Legion. The group is for youth who have or had someone in their family that was a veteran, wishing to support the American Legion. Commander Josh Thielen says this group is a big asset for the American Legion.

Daughters and spouses can also get involved with the American Legion says, Thielen.

The American Legion participates in many large events where Sons of the Legion and the Auxillary can assit, says Thielen.

If you would like to join or volunteer your time with the American Legion, Thielen says you can contact their Facebook page or visit the American Legion at 219 N Elizabeth St, in Clinton.
 

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Warrensburg-Latham Schools Reviewing District Strategic Plan

The Warrensburg-Latham school district began rolling out a four-year strategic plan to improve their schools during the 2018-19 school year.  The plan looks into many areas in the district, including finances, curriculum, and facilities, among other areas of interest. Warrensburg-Latham Superintendent Kristen Kendrick-Wiekle says parents input is important for their plan.

Kendrick-Wiekle says the survey suggests there are some things the district could improve.

Kendrick-Wiekle indicates Warrensburg-Latham plans to continue these surveys every couple years to understand the perception of the schools.
 

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GOVERNOR RAUNER ASSESSED TORNADO DAMAGE

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER ASSESSED THE TORNADO DAMAGE IN DOWNSTATE TAYLORVILLE SUNDAY, SAYING IT’S A MIRACLE NO ONE WAS KILLED. 

 

AT LEAST 29 STRUCTURES WERE TOTALLY DESTROYED IN TAYLORVILLE AND MANY MORE SUFFERED MAJOR DAMAGE. POWER LINES ARE DOWN AND TREES PULLED UP BY THE ROOTS. GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS THIS WASN’T THE ONLY AREA HIT SATURDAY EVENING.

MORE THAN 20 TORNADOES HIT 12 ILLINOIS COUNTIES SATURDAY EVENING. THERE WERE NO FATALITIES BUT THREE WERE SERIOUSLY HURT IN TAYLORVILLE, WHICH SUFFERED SOME OF THE WORST DAMAGE. GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS THEY HOPE TO PROVIDE THESE AREAS WITH SOME FINANCIAL RELIEF.

OTHER AREAS AFFECTED INCLUDE BEARDSTOWN…WHERE A HOLE WAS BLOWN IN THE ROOF OF THE ILLINOIS ARMY NATIONAL GUARD’S READINESS CENTER AND VEHICLES WERE DAMAGED.

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Rodney Davis Tornado react

Taylorville based Congressman Rodney Davis didn't have to leave town to assess tornado damage in the Christian County seat..... he weighed in on the out of season tornado...

 

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Taylorville battling tornado damage

The Christian County seat of Taylorville was hit hard by a long track tornado Saturday. Mayor Bruce Barry....

Barry says it could have been worse, but local officials cancelled St. Nick's Annual Christmas Parade in the nick of time....

At least 30 people were hospitalized at one point and at least a dozen people were trapped in their homes. Task force personnel are checking damaged homes to ensure more residents aren't trapped. 

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Free trade group doesn't plan to let up

Many Illinois farmers at the state Farm Bureau annual meeting in Chicago welcomed news of a cease fire in the ongoing trade way between the U-S and China. Still, a national group known as Farmers for Free Trade plans to keep the pressure on for a full resolution to the tariff battle that has caused a significant drop on agricultural commodity prices. Angela Hofmann co-founded the group and serves as its deputy director;

Hoffman points out that many farmers in Illinois and in other parts of the country will be watching closely to see if President Trump’s claim that China will resume purchasing U-S agricultural commodities actually materializes;

Hundreds of Illinois farmers Sunday signed a Farmers for Free Trade banner at the Farm Bureau meeting. 

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WHOW ANNOUNCES GREATER PEORIA FARM SHOW ANTIQUE TRACTOR EXHIBIT WINNERS

WHOW THE BIG 1520 across Central Illinois, 92-point-3 FM in DeWitt County, and 106-point-5 FM in Logan County, again sponsored the Antique Tractor Show Contest at this week's Greater Peoria Farm Show.

 

Attendees were invited to submit their favorite antique tractors on display, on ballots during the show.

WHOW announced the winners Firday on its Noon Farm Show.  They included first place winner being a Farmall 460 owned by Roger Henderson, of Jacksonville, IL who won 150-dollars from WHOW.

 

Second place was a 1951 Oliver 77 owned by George Weyrich of San Jose, Illinois, who won 100-dollars from WHOW.

 

Third place winner was a 1944 VA Case owned by Robert Blue, of Canton, Illinois, who won 50-dollars from WHOW.

 

WHOW and the Greater Peoria Farm Show thank all the antique tractor owners that brought their machinery to this year's show.
 

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NO NEW "TOBACCO 21" LAW THIS YEAR

THERE WILL BE NO NEW “TOBACCO 21” LAW THIS YEAR. 

 

HOUSE LAWMAKERS FAILED TO OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR’S VETO OF A BILL RAISING THE LEGAL AGE TO BUY TOBACCO PRODUCTS FROM 18 TO 21. REPRESENTATIVE CAMILLE LILLY OF OAK PARK SPONSORED THE MEASURE, SAYING IT’S ABOUT PROTECTING YOUNG PEOPLE’S HEALTH.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN SKILLICORN OF CRYSTAL LAKE ARGUED THAT 18 YEARS SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE THE DECISION FOR THEMSELVES.

 

 

IN HIS VETO MESSAGE…THE GOVERNOR SAID THE CHANGE WOULD JUST LEAD TO YOUNG ADULTS GOING TO NEIGHBORING STATES TO BUY THEIR CIGARETTES.

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LAWMAKERS ARE VOTING TO OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR'S VETO

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS ARE VOTING TO OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR’S VETO OF A BILL DESIGNED TO HELP IMMIGRANT CRIME VICTIMS. 

 

THE LEGISLATION SPEEDS UP THE PAPERWORK FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS WHO REPORT A CRIME TO APPLY FOR A SPECIAL VISA AND IS SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE LISA HERNANDEZ OF CICERO.

 

 

UNDER THE MEASURE, POLICE WILL HAVE 90 DAYS TO COMPLETE PAPERWORK FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS WHO REPORT A CRIME…SAID HERNANDEZ 

 

 

THE GOVERNOR WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE POLICE MANPOWER NEEDED TO MEET THE 90 DAY DEADLINE. THE BILL NOW BECOMES LAW.

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GOVERNOR RAUNER DISAPPOINTED IN ACTION DURING THE FALL VETO SESSION

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER SAYS HE’S DISAPPOINTED IN SOME OF THE ACTION TAKEN DURING THE FALL VETO SESSION. 

 

GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS SOME OF THE VETOES LAWMAKERS OVERTURNED WILL END UP BEING COSTLY TO TAXPAYERS. THAT INCLUDES ONE RAISING THE AMOUNT IN DAMAGES SOMEONE SUING THE STATE CAN RECEIVE TO TWO MILLION DOLLARS.

 

 

LAWMAKERS OVERRODE SEVERAL OF GOVERNOR RAUNER’S VETOES…WHICH HE SAYS COULD BE DEVASTATING TO TAXPAYERS. FOR EXAMPLE, HE CITES A PRESUMPTIVE MEDICAL ELIGIBILITY BILL, SAYING IT COULD COST TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS ANOTHER POTENTIALLY COSTLY BILL IS ONE RAISING THE AMOUNT PEOPLE WHO SUE THE STATE CAN RECEIVE IN DAMAGES TO TWO MILLION DOLLARS.

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WEEKLY CROP REPORT

THE FALL HARVEST SEASON IS ENDING AS WE HEAR IN THE FINAL WEEKLY CROP REPORT FOR 2018. 

 

MOST CROPS, INCLUDING CORN AND SOYBEANS ARE OUT OF THE GROUND…BUT CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS THERE IS STILL A LITTLE WORK LEFT IN SORGHUM FIELDS.

 

 

CORN AND SOYBEAN FIELDS HAVE BEEN HARVESTED…AND 94 PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN HARVESTED. SCHLEUSENER SAYS 86 PERCENT OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP HAS EMERGED.

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STAYED ABOUT THE SAME WITH TWO PERCENT RATED SHORT…72 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 26 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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