Local News

DeWitt County Museum Launches Inovative Fundraising Campaign

Buy A Board is a new fundraising campaign the DeWitt County Museum has started in an effort to renovate part of the CH Moore Mansion.

 

Executive Director Joey Woolridge indicates one of their porches is having some issues and to meet historical standards, special materials are needed.

 

 

The biggest concern is the front porch of the homestead and Woolridge indicates that may not be the only area of concern. She also notes, based on information they have, there wasn't always a west porch at the homestead.

 

 

Woolridge says they are still taking contributions for that campaign into the new year.

 

You can learn more about the DeWitt County Museum and CH Moore Homestead by visiting their Facebook page or finding them at 219 East Woodlawn. 

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Clinton School Leader Touts Importance of Reading During Holiday Break

With still a week left for Clinton school kids on their winter break, a district Principal is touting the importance of youth continuing to keep up with their reading skills.

 

Principal of Lincoln and Douglas Schools in Clinton, Beth Wickenhauser explains the recent introduction of Read Across Clinton was introduced to help kids keep up their reading skills while away from the school. 

 

 

While only a few weeks away from school, Wickenhauser says kids can regress in their reading skills if they are home reading just ten or fifteen minutes. 

 

 

Clinton Schools recently received a $5,000 donation from Miller Container for their summer program - Read Across Clinton. We'll have more on the donation later this week on Regional Radio News.

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Holiday Hoopa Biggest Fundraiser for Monticello High School Athletic Boosters

Last week's Holiday Hoopla at Monticello High School is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Monticello High School Athletic Boosters.

 

Booster Club President Angie Bundy indicated that the Holiday Hoopla is put on by the Booster Club. They had 8 boys and girls teams for three days of basketballs. Parents and teams were asked to help with concessions and hospitality rooms.

 

 

Bundy says the Booster Club supports all of the Monticello high school sports. Coaches will send item requests to a review board before being sent to the Booster Club.

 

 

Bundy indicated the Booster Club has purchased in the past warmups, golf bags, and scouting and recruiting software. She says the Booster Club is currently working on purchasing backstops for the baseball fields and press boxes.

 

 

The Monticello Booster Club meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7pm at Monticello High School.

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WHOW Announces New Afternoon Lineup

Central Illinois' Agriculture station – The BIG 1520AM, 92.3FM, & 106.5FM WHOW – is bringing you even more local news and agriculture content in 2019!

 

As of January 1st, 2019, you will now hear a new afternoon lineup featuring a replay of Agri-Talk every weekday at 3pm, and a replay of the RFD Network's RFD Today every week day at 5pm!

 

Every week day at 4pm will now feature a new Expanded Local Newscast at 4:09, a new afternoon local sports report at 4:30, a replay of the local Noon Farm Show with Jared White at 4:35, and afternoon Market and Weather reports from RFD just before 5pm!

 

We are looking forward to these changes, and hope you are as well....At WHOW we are committed to bringing you even more up to date local news and agricultural information in 2019 and beyond!

 

You can hear WHOW's new lineup on 1520AM daytime across central Illinois, in DeWitt County anytime on 92.3FM, in Logan County anytime on 106.5FM, and streamed online at DeWittDailyNews.com or the free WHOW Mobile App.

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AFBF President Reflects on 2018

While 2018 was a difficult year for the agricultural economy, it was a
successful year for agricultural policy. AFBF's Chad Smith has more…

 

 

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DeWitt County Riding Club Hosting New Year's Day Ride

If you're a horse enthusiast and want to try to brave the expected cold of New Year's Day, the DeWitt County Riding Club is hosting a special ride Tuesday morning.

 

Rob Lippert with the group explains they will ride at the Parnell Access area during the morning hours of New Year's Day. Anyone is welcome.

 

 

You can get more details about the event at the DeWitt County Riding Club's Facebook page. 

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Clinton Board of Education To Undergo More Changes in April

The Clinton Board of Education has already seen a number of changes already this fall and come the spring, more changes will be on the way.

 

In the aftermath of Mike Walker being voted to the post of Sheriff, his departure forced a small reshuffling of the board and Superintendent Curt Nettles says the April 2 election will bring some more small changes.

 

 

Nettles says right now the Board of Education is a good board that cares about the education of the students and doing what is best for them and the staff of the district. 

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GROWMARK Energy Office Seeing Flurry of Activity

Contracting volume being described as 'enormous' as a result of weakening crude prices. The current state of the energy market has led to a bevy of activity in Harry Cooney’s office. He is the Manager of Energy Customer Risk Management for GROWMARK.

 

 

 

AAA reporting Illinois average gas prices this week at $2.19 per gallon, down 10 cents from a week ago, 28 cents from a month ago and 40 cents lower from a year ago. 

 

Diesel in Illinois is averaging $2.90 a gallon in Illinois, which is 21 cents lower than a month ago, according to AAA. 
 

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Anticipate Increased Patrols This Holiday Weekend

STATE AND LOCAL POLICE WILL BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR DRUNK DRIVERS OVER THE NEW YEAR’S HOLIDAY.

 

OFFICIALS SAY IT’S EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS BEFORE GETTING BEHIND THE WHEEL…AND POLICE WILL BE WATCHING FOR THOSE WHO DON’T. I-DOT SPOKESPERSON JESSIE DECKER SAYS NEW YEAR’S CAN BE DANGEROUS.

 

 

I-DOT URGES THE PUBLIC TO PLAY IT SAFE AND MAKE PLANS FOR GETTING HOME BEFORE THEY START PARTYING.

 

 

 

LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS…SIX PEOPLE DIED IN VEHICLE CRASHES OVER NEW YEAR’S. FOUR OF THOSE DEATHS WERE ALCOHOL RELATED.

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Senator Durbin Talks Government Shutdown

The U.S. Senate is back to work. For those hoping for a quick fix to the ongoing partial federal government shutdown, Senator Dick Durbin didn't paint a rosy picture in a visit with NBC's Chuck Todd on Meet the Press...

 

Durbin says the President is negotiating with individuals on White House tvs and radios instead of lawmakers...

 

 

Democrats will have more leverage come January 3rd, when they take control of the U.S. House.

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DeWitt County Board Extends Building Lease for PSI

The DeWitt County Board approved another year for the lease of the DeWitt County home for Paramedic Service INC. 

 

Their location at the corner of Magill Street and Route 10 is DeWitt County property and County Board Chair David Newberg indicates they have PSI on lease for the building but also their service.

 

 

PSI plans to purchase another ambulance to the station in Waynesville to cut down on their response time to the northwest DeWitt County community. 

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DeWitt County Museum Leader Praises Board for Successful 2018

It was a very successful year for a DeWitt County historic site and their leader says a lot of the credit should be directed to their Board of Directors.

 

The DeWitt County Museum hosted their 50th Apple and Pork Festival, started new events and embarked on a new fundraiser in 2018. Executive Director Joey Woolridge says 2018 was a pretty big year for the Museum.

 

 

Woolridge says a lot of credit for the successes the Museum has experienced is due to their working board of directors. The board recently re-shuffled and added new members.

 

 

Woolridge is impressed by the board's ability to work together and the way everyone has something they are passionate about when it comes to the DeWitt County landmark.

 

 

The Museum recently wrapped up their final candlelight tour of the 2018 holiday season which means they will shut the mansion down after the first of the year to begin their annual building maintenance and other projects.

 

Hear more about what is to come this winter next week on Regional Radio News.

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Sen. Rose Anticipates Legalization Of Marijuana Quickly Under Governor Elect-Pritzker

A local lawmaker says he will be giving Governor-elect JB Pritzker an opportunity to prove himself as he takes office in less than a month. 

 

State Senator Chapin Rose anticipates the incoming Democrat to be successful in getting things done given he has the majority in his favor in the House and Senate. However, Sen. Rose says it is still somewhat a mystery what his agenda will be as takes office.

 

 

Sen. Rose says he has his attention on a few of the issues, particularly higher education and progressive income tax. Additionally, he has some tough decisions coming given the state of Illinois' finances.

 

 

Sen. Rose anticipates the legalization of marijuana quickly under the Governor, however, he has his reservations about the proposal.

 

 

Sen. Rose says his biggest concern is the likelihood of increased DUI arrests. He was once a DUI prosecutor and points to Colorado where traffic accidents are up since the passage of their marijuana legislation and fears more injuries will go up as a result. 

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New Illinois Department of Ag Director Named

The Pritzker Administration has announced who the next Director of Illinois Agriculture will be. John Sullivan will take over IDOA in the coming year. 

 

The former State Senator of the 47th District served as the chair of the Senate’s Agriculture and Conservation committee while in office. 

 

Sullivan’s ag roots include a family auction business in Rushville that specializes in farm real estate and machinery sales. 

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Second Round of Trade Aid Payments Underway

USDA is moving forward on the second and final round of trade mitigation payments to farmers hurt from retaliation by America’s trading partners.

 

Commodity producers are now eligible to receive Market Facilitation Payments on the second half of their 2018 production. USDA has been sending out the first round of MFP payments to producers since September on the first 50 percent of their 2018 production. The MFP payments are designed for almond, cotton, corn, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, fresh sweet cherry, and wheat producers. 

 

Producers are only required to register one time for both the first and second round of payments. 

The MFP signup period runs through January 15, 2019, but producers actually have until May 1 to certify their 2018 production numbers. 

 

Farmers who haven’t done so can find signup information and instructions at www.farmers.gov/mfp.

 

Eligible producers must wait until harvest is completely finished as payments are made based on 2018 total production. Farmers that have already applied, completed harvest, and certified their production, will receive a second payment on 50 percent of their production, multiplied by the MFP rate for each commodity.

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IDOT Reminding Public About Drone Regulations

GOT A DRONE FOR CHRISTMAS? THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS REMINDING THE PUBLIC OF SOME RULES YOU NEED TO FOLLOW. 

 

EVEN IF IT’S JUST FOR RECREATIONAL USE…YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF STATE AND FEDERAL DRONE REGULATIONS SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON JESSIE DECKER.

 

 

YOU CAN’T FLY YOUR DRONE WITHIN FIVE MILES OF AN AIRPORT WITHOUT NOTIFYING AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL AHEAD OF TIME AND THE DRONE MUST BE UNDER 55 POUNDS TO BE CONSIDERED RECREATIONAL.

 

 

DECKER SAYS THERE ARE SAFETY TIPS YOU SHOULD ALSO FOLLOW SUCH AS ALWAYS KEEPING THE DRONE IN SIGHT, NOT FLYING IT OVER PEOPLE OR MOVING VEHICLES AND AVOIDING USE IN BAD WEATHER.

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Record Number of Registered Voters in Illinois This Year

The 2018 elections went well in Illinois and the State Board of Elections hopes to keep it that way moving forward. 

 

ISBE made news this year when reports of Russian hacking of their database was made public. But Matt Dietrich with ISBE says they have raised their security levels and registered a record number of voters in 2018.

 

 

The next statewide election will be in 2020 when the President will be on the ballot. 

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Clinton YMCA Partnering With Agriculture Companies for First of Its Kind Fundraising Program

The Clinton YMCA is introducing a first of its kind fundraising program.

 

The Acres For Kids is looking for agriculture cooperators to help them raise money for the Clinton YMCA. YMCA board member Darren Moser explains it all started as they sought new ways to raise money. 

 

 

According to Moser, there are five seed companies that have agreed to provide the Y with product. Additionally, they are partnering with farmers to plant the seed and then donate the yields from that seed to the YMCA.

 

 

The program has two options for farmers in their donation to the YMCA. One option is to donate 100% of the gross harvested grain dollars but Moser explains they are offering a 75% donation to help offset costs of inputs.

 

 

Farmers who commit to the program are asked to have their donation to the YMCA by December 1, 2019. To learn more about the program, contact the Clinton Y at 217-935-8307. 

 

The Clinton YMCA's biggest yearly fundraiser is their Strong Kids Campaign which seeks to raise money to help offset the funds the YMCA puts back into the community through scholarships for their programming. 

 

There's much more to the program than just growing grain and the YMCA receiving a donation at the end of the year, there will also be an education component with the community's youth during the summer. Learn more about that in the coming days on Regional Radio News. 

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Monticello Stepping Up To Help Taylorville Tornado Victims Continue Recovery

The spotlight may be gone from the tornadoes that struck Taylorville in early December but a central Illinois community has not forgotten the folks devastated by the destruction.

 

If you're heading out to Monticello High School's annual Holiday Hoopla basketball tournament this week, you can help them too. Monticello High School Athletic Director Dan Sheehan indicates they have partnered with Monticello Cares to collect supplies folks in Taylorville still need in their recovery efforts.

 

 

Sheehan indicates the biggest need at this point is either cleaning supplies or fast food gift cards. He explains they are seeking a means to feed the volunteers still helping out.

 

 

For a full list of the items that are needed, Sheehan points anyone interested to the Monticello Cares Facebook page. Monticello's Holiday Hoopla basketball tournament runs Thursday and Friday following action all day Wednesday. 

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Maroa-Forsyth Schools Completed New Strategic Planning Process

The Maroa-Forsyth school district recently completed their new strategic plan.

 

Superintendent Dr. John Ahlemeyer indicated they assembled a 36 person team comprised of staff, students, and community members to lead the process. The district also sent out a satisfaction survey to the community.

 

 

The new mission statement is "to cultivate a passion for learning by challenging all students to reach their unique potential." Dr. Ahlemeyer said the purpose behind it was to reflect their location and what they wanted to equip their students with.

 

 

Dr. Ahlemeyer indicated that some of the district's goals are to have a middle school building planning committee and to have a districtwide curriculum evaluation team.

 

 

Dr. Ahlemeyer said the purpose of the strategic plan was to maintain their great programs while also finding areas for growth and to attract people to the district.

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Peoria Lawmaker Opposed To Progressive Income Tax

A downstate lawmaker opposed to a progressive income tax system in Illinois. Republican Chuck Weaver of Peoria says if that's the push by Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker, voters will have the final say.

 

 

Weaver is also opposed to both increasing the state's gas tax and legalizing marijuana in Illinois.

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DeWitt County Board Approves Updating County Voting Machines

An update of the County's voting machines has been in the works for several years and the DeWitt County Board is jumping in to buy new ones.

 

DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg says the purchase will be around $200,000 for the machines that are nearly 20 years old.

 

 

Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board meeting, County Clerk Dana Smith indicated the current machines have lasted much longer than they ever were intended. 

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Local Authorities Seeking Responsibility This New Year's Weekend

Be responsible, think about the people around you.

 

That is what Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers is preaching this holiday season as New Year's plans get underway starting this weekend. The Chief says to plan ahead if you're planning to partake of adult beverages.

 

 

If you know someone who is intending to drive impaired, call the police. Chief Lowers says it is much more preferable to deal with that individual before they get in their vehicle than to deal with anything that could happen after that.

 

 

Chief Lowers believes there has been a decrease in the incidents involving drunk drivers. He feels the awareness and education have worked and people are becoming more responsible.

 

 

Overnight downtown parking restrictions will be lifted for New Year's Eve. Chief Lowers encourages designating someone to take you home or staying where you are for any holiday celebrations. 

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Mahomet Aquifer Task Force Hopes Year's Work Breeds Results

After nearly a year of work and dedication to bettering the Mahomet Aquifer, the group tasked to find better ways to protect the central Illinois water source is hopeful their work will turn into results.

 

State Senator Chapin Rose led the group and says while they have big recommendations for Illinos lawmakers, they also have things that could be done to keep the momentum going. One of those is to create a government body that would see through the execution of this plan.

 

 

To prevent the report from going to waste, Sen. Rose points out he is going to use a lot of the recommendations in bills he will propose in the spring legislative session. He also points out a lot of the recommendations can be taken on at a local level.

 

 

Sen. Rose feels this will be an issue that continues to be of interest to residents of central Illinois. 

Sen. Rose feels the way everyone worked together and brought their various viewpoints to the table helped them bring together a well-rounded report. 

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Miller Park Zoo Jumping Into New Year Deep Into Master Plan

As 2019 looms on the calendar, a Bloomington-Normal entity is pushing ahead in a plan that was put in place several years.

 

The Miller Park Zoo's Master Plan has been more than just a pretty picture to dream about, as Superintendent Jay Tetzloff explains the plan has brought them to significant infrastructure improvement.

 

 

Tetzloff says the Master Plan has been more than just a picture or a dream. He says it indeed has been a step by step roadmap for them to get to a new level for the community.

 

 

Since the introduction of new exhibits from the master plan, the zoo has seen record attendance numbers; something officials sum up to the excitement around the things happening within their facility. 

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Macon County Farm Bureau Scholarship Application Available

The Macon County Farm Bureau is once again in 2019 offering a scholarship for the children of their members.

 

Jennifer Fink indicates the scholarship application is now available. The only requirement is they intend to major in an ag-related field. Once you apply for this scholarship, Fink notes it puts in you in the running for several other scholarships.

 

 

For more information, contact Fink at the Macon County Farm Bureau by calling 217-877-2436 or email jennifer@maconcfb.org. You can also get the application at the Macon County Farm Bureau's website, maconcfb.org. 

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Research Shows Promise in Curbing Runoff

A multi-year project examining ways to curb nutrient runoff from Illinois farm fields shows the use of cover crops on a widespread basis can have an impact. Catherine O'Reilly with Illinois State University's Department of Geography, Geology and the Environment serves on the research team and sums up some of the results;

 

 

O'Reilly's research group works with farmers in two watersheds. They had cover crop seed dropped by the air into central Illinois corn and soybean fields in late August and early September. The cover crop seed germinates and soaks up excess nutrients on farmland - and more;

 

 

O'Reilly says the large scale cover-cropping research funded by a checkoff on fertilizer shows promise. The next step is to conduct an economic analysis to see if benefits outweigh the added costs for farmers.

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Knowing What Can and Cannot Be Recycled

With Christmas comes a lot of extra packing material that gets tossed out. And now much of that can be recycled – cardboard boxes are easily turned into something else. 

 

But not all items connected to what shows up under the tree can be recycled says the I-E-P-A’s James Jennings.

 

 

If you want to see what you can recycle where you live then go Illinois EPA web page and find the new guide they have posted.

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2018 Has Been Year of New Records, Big Challenges at State Board of Elections

2018 HAS BEEN A YEAR OF NEW RECORDS AND BIG CHALLENGES FOR THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. 

 

THE BOARD FOUND ITSELF UNDER AN INTENSE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT THIS YEAR WHEN RUSSIAN HACKERS TARGETED STATE ELECTION DATABASES SAYS SPOKESPERSON MATT DIETRICH.

 

 

DIETRICH SAYS A HUGE POSITIVE IN 2018 WAS THE RECORD NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS FOR THE NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION AND THE 57 PERCENT VOTER TURNOUT THAT DAY.

 

 

AFTER RUSSIAN HACKERS TOOK AIM AT STATE DATABASES, OFFICIALS WORKED HARD TO BOOST CYBER SECURITY IN ILLINOIS.

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Miller Media Group Radio Stations Broadcasting All Night New Year's Party

Miller Media Group radio stations WRAN groovy 97.3 in Taylorville and WEZC “Your EASY Choice!” 95.9 FM in Clinton, will simulcast the 21st annual All-Night New Year’s Party, from 11pm New Year’s Eve, until 5:00am New Year’s Day.

 

Miller Media Group president Randal J. Miller will emcee the show, which will feature request and dedications of easy and top 40 hits from the 60’s thru the 80’s.  The show will also feature listener contests and give-aways.

 

The show will also feature messages asking listeners to “Don’t Drink and Drive” over the New Year’s holiday.

 

Miller began doing a New Year’s Show on his stations since the late 1980’s.  

 

The phone number to call in requests or to participate in contests during the show will be toll-free 1-866-500-9726.

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County Board Chair Discusses New Board

Last Thursday night was the first meeting of the latest edition of the DeWitt County Board and their leader is looking forward to working with the new member.

 

Nate Ennis, Dan Matthews and Travis Houser participated in their first full Board meeting Thursday. Board Chair David Newberg thanks the former board members and says the new board members have all jumped right in ready to learn.

 

 

Newberg calls the three new board members "intelligent young men" noting it can take some time to get a complete understanding of how the county board operates.

 

 

Cris Rogers, Randy Perring and Sue Whitted are the departing members of the DeWitt County Board. 

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Christmas Present Safety Tips

Don't advertise the nice Christmas gifts you received this week as you await garbage pickup.

 

That is the message from Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers who says leaving the boxes of those high price items in or near your garbage receptacles can make you a target for burglars in the days following the Christmas holiday.

 

 

 

There may be packages that are arriving at your home as well and the Chief encourages making sure those are secured as soon as possible upon their delivery. 

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Mahomet Aquifer Task Force Finishes Work - Ready To Present Recommendations

Local officials, residents, and leaders spent countless hours exploring how to best protect the largest drinking water source in central Illinois, the Mahomet Aquifer. 

 

State Senator Chapin Rose led the group and last week they announced the conclusion of their work and are ready to make recommendations to lawmakers in Springfield. While not everyone likely agreed with everything, he says everyone worked well together.

 

 

Helicopter electromagnetic imaging was the biggest recommendation that came from the task force and Sen. Rose notes, while it is an expensive project, it could be something that is done in phases.

 

 

One result of a high tech image would involve partnering with those in agriculture. According to Sen. Rose, it could help give information for a better nutrient loss reduction strategy.

 

 

Additionally, old landfills pose a great threat to the Mahomet Aquifer. Sen. Rose was concerned about this from the start of the task force and says this could help find out what is in these old landfills and if there is contamination at these sites.

 

 

Sen. Rose notes the findings in the report will likely be the subject of a number of bills he is proposing come to the spring legislative session. 

 

Hear more from Sen. Rose on the Mahomet Aquifer Task Force later this week on Regional Radio News. 

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USDA to Propose Regulatory Reforms for SNAP Recipients

USDA will be proposing regulatory reforms to tighten the ability of states to grant work waivers to SNAP recipients. Stephanie Ho has this report.....

 

 

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State Climatologist set to retire

Retiring Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel has plenty of weather stories to tell. 34 years worth anyway. He began his professional weather career back in 1984, but his love for weather came long before that. 

 

 

Angel finishes his career at the end of this month. 

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Ice fishing safety

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IS URGING ANGLERS TO KEEP SAFETY IN MIND WHEN THEY ARE ICE FISHING THIS WINTER.

THE FIRST THING YOU NEED TO DO IS MAKE SURE YOU’RE ON SOLID FOOTING SAYS D-N-R SPOKESPERSON TIM SCHWEIZER.

 

 

THOSE PLANNING TO FISH SHOULD STAY OFF OF ICE THAT IS LESS THAN FOUR INCHES THICK…AND REMEMBER THAT NEW ICE IS USUALLY STRONGER THAN OLD ICE SAYS D-N-R SPOKESPERSON TIM SCHWEIZER. ADDITIONALLY …

 

 

ANGLERS ARE ALSO ADVISED TO CARRY A ROPE OR FLOTATION DEVICE WITH THEM IN CASE SOMEONE FALLS INTO THE WATER AND IT’S RECOMMENDED TO WEAR A LIFE JACKET AS WELL. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ICE FISHING IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: I FISH ILLINOIS DOT ORG.

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Clinton Public Works Officials Still Picking Up Leaves

Mild temperatures this week is giving residents a chance to get one more chance at getting those leaves cleaned up after what has been a wet start to the winter season.

 

City Administrator Tim Followell points out if you're one of the many residents that might be looking to get those leaves raked out, the City is still picking up leaves, however, regular routes have been stopped. Followell says this is what you need to do....

 

 

City Hall can be reached at 217-935-9438. 

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Clinton Schools Seeking Minimal Increase in Annual Levy

A less than five-percent increase has been proposed in this year's annual levy for Clinton schools.

Superintendent Curt Nettles says the tax receipts should equal approximately $14.5-million.

 

 

Nettles indicates the school files their levy in December, the County reviews it in February and then the tax bills go out in the spring. 

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Miller Park Zoo Promoting Improved Perks For Memberships

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington-Normal is hoping you will consider a zoo membership for that friend or loved one and in return, supporting the Miller Park Zoo.

 

Superintendent of the zoo, Jay Tetzloff, indicates their memberships pay for themselves in just a few visits to the zoo and also get you discounts and even free visits to zoos across the country.

 

 

Looking ahead, Tetzloff indicates they would like to improve some of the perks that come with having a zoo membership.

 

 

To get more information about memberships at the Miller Park Zoo, visit millerparkzoo.org or find them in Bloomington at 1020 South Morris Avenue.

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ISP Talking the Fatal 4

Holiday drivers beware. The Illinois State Police will be on the road watching for speeders and drunk drivers. ISP Sergeant Jacqueline Cepeda says to keep the celebrations under control and be on the lookout for impaired drivers.

 

 

The fatal 4 is what law enforcement calls driving while drunk, not wearing a seatbelt, texting or speeding.

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum honored as a top event venue

THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM IS BEING HONORED AS A TOP EVENT VENUE.

 

“UNIQUE VENUES” MAGAZINE IS ANNOUNCING IT’S “BEST OF” AWARDS AND THE LIBRARY AND MUSEUM IN SPRINGFIELD WAS CHOSEN AS THE NATION’S BEST SMALL-MARKET VENUES FOR SPECIAL EVENTS. MUSEUM SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS SAYS IT’S REALLY A NEAT PLACE TO HOLD AN EVENT.

 

 

THE FACILITY IN SPRINGFIELD WON THE “BEST SMALL-MARKET VENUE FOR SPECIAL EVENTS” AWARD FROM “UNIQUE VENUES” MAGAZINE. MUSEUM SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS SAYS IT’S A GREAT PLACE TO HOLD EVENTS RANGING FROM WEDDING RECEPTIONS TO CORPORATE MEETINGS AND FUNDRAISERS.

 

 

THE LIBRARY AND MUSEUM IS ALSO A RUNNER-UP IN THE “BEST VENUE FOR SMALL GATHERINGS” CATEGORY. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOSTING AN EVENT THERE IS AVAILABLE AT: PRESIDENT LINCOLN AT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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Bustos Pleased With Rural Development Program in Farm Bill

Rural development may not have received as much attention as the debate over stricter work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP recipients in regards to Farm Bill discussions, but in the end, Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos happy with the finished product. She served as a Farm Bill Conferee and says rural development remains key to her district.

 

 

USDA rural development programs will also continue to provide funding for traditional infrastructure work like small town water and sewer projects. 

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Fraud Investigations Saving Millions For State

Fraud prevention efforts have saved the state more than $200 million dollars. 

 

A task force assigned by the Governor has secured 39 fraud convictions connected to fraudulent Medicaid spending. The Illinois State Police helped with the investigations says Lieutenant David Roll.

 

 

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services says they have a program established to help hospitals identify Medicaid overpayments and billing errors.

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Miller Park Zoo Taking Part in 'Ground Breaking Research'

Groundbreaking research is taking place at Miller Park Zoo this week.

 

Zoo professionals from each side of the Midwest are in Bloomington this week to attempt to inseminate one of the female snow leopards artificially. Jay Tetzloff, Superintendent of the Zoo in Bloomington indicates this is something that has only been tried once, in Europe. 

 

Cut 1: artinsem1        :33        CUE: outside of Europe

 

Tetzloff is not sure what results to expect but indicates this is a practice to improve the genetics of the snow leopards in captivity. Breeding of snow leopards in the United States has a very low success rate. 

 

Cut 2: artinsem2        :65        CUE: US Zoos

 

The goal is for the snow leopard to become pregnant, but Tetzloff says this will be a learning experience for all the officials involved.

 

Cut 3: artinsem3        :39        CUE: more than they're not

 

Currently, snow leopards are off the endangered species list, but Tetzloff believes the recent census of the animal was not accurate and is among many scientists pushing to put them back on the list.

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Last Minute Shopping Tips

Last minute Christmas shoppers will be out in full force at area shopping centers this weekend and local authorities want you to make sure you protect yourself, your goods and your finances.

 

Along with being careful in heavy traffic this weekend, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says there are many other things to be aware of if you're going to join the crowds.

 

 

The Chief recommends as you return to your vehicle after shopping to make sure you have your keys in hand and ready to unlock your car without having to find them in a pocket or purse. Lowers also points out there are many risks to online shopping.

 

 

The Chief also implores homeowners to make sure any packages that get delivered to your home today and this weekend get picked up as soon as possible. He points out, especially in more populated areas, theft of packages at front doors is on the rise.

 

 

The season of theft does not end once Christmas Day comes and goes. Next week on Regional Radio News, Chief Lowers will discuss minimize post-Christmas risks and what you need to know to not become a victim. 

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Trade Wind Energy Scores Partnership With Arcosa Inc, Formerly Trinity Structural Towers, For Alta Farm II Wind Project

If DeWitt County gives the thumbs up for a wind farm project in the northwest corner of the county, the developers will be using towers built locally.

 

Tom Swierczewski, Develop Director for Trade Wind Energy told the DeWitt County Board Thursday night they have secured their partnership with Arcosa INC, known formerly as Trinity Structural Towers, for the Alta Farm II wind project.

 

 

Swierczewski says this partnership remains in line with Trade Wind's goal to keep as much of the work as possible local.

 

 

The Regional Planning Commission will begin the hearings for the special use permit January 15. The special use permit was submitted by Trade Wind Energy earlier this fall. Upon passage from the Regional Planning Commission, the special use permit will move to the Zoning Board of Appeals before, pending approval at each stop, moving on to the County Board. 

 

Other action from the Thursday Night DeWitt County Board meeting....

 

>>The Board approved the extension of the building lease with DeWitt County Paramedic Services, INC for another year.

 

>>The Board approved a $200,000 purchase for new voting machines for the county clerk.

 

>>The Board approved the replacement of the hot water heater for the DeWitt County jail.

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DNR Authorities Seeking Information on Vandalism at Weldon Springs

Local Department of Natural Resources authorities is looking to the public for information on vandalism to Weldon Springs mailboxes earlier this week.

 

DNR Conservation Officer Matt Viverito indicates a mailbox post was dug up and the post removed and another damaged in an attempt to do the same.

 

 

Contact Viverito with information by calling 217-685-3969. 

 

 

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New Casey's in Clinton Opens

Clinton has another new gas station.

 

Casey's General Store opened a new location in Clinton Thursday morning. Store Manager Jean Seitzer says it's been exciting to finally get the place opened and they look forward to serving the community with some traditional offerings Casey's has and some things that will be unique to Clinton.

 

 

The store has 20 employees but Seitzer says they need more workers. She invites the community out next Friday and Saturday for Casey's official grand opening with food specials and free samples. 

 

Casey's hours are from 5 am to midnight with their kitchen closing at 11 pm. 

 

 

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Area Farmers Recognized In ISA Yield Challenge

With the 2018 soybean season setting records in Illinois and other states, it is no surprise that several producers topped 100 bushels per acre (bu/A) in the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program’s annual Yield Challenge competition.....and several of those farmers are located in central Illinois.

 

In its eighth year, 66 entries were considered for top honors in four contests—the 100-Bushel Challenge, Crop Region Contest, Double-Crop Challenge and Side-by-Side Contest.

 

Proving this year to be an exceptional one for soybeans, 15 producers harvested soybeans surpassing 100 bu/A with another 30 breaking the 90 bu/A mark.

 

Taking the top honor and out-yielding last year’s winner by less than a bushel, Paul Klein of Seymour, Illinois, won the 100-Bushel Challenge with 110.94 bu/A on his Champaign County field.

 

In the irrigated category, Greg McClure, of St. Francesville, broke the century mark with 110.19 bu/A. Winners of the irrigated and non-irrigated categories will each receive a grand prize of $4,000.

 

Entrants in the 100-Bushel Challenge must have the grain weighed on a certified commercial scale, submit original scale ticket and have yield verified by two witnesses, one provided by ISA.

 

Other area producers that surpassed 100 bu/A in the 100-Bushel Challenge are:

 

Joe Klein, of Seymour; Marc Padrutt, of Decatur, and Duane Noland, of Blue Mound.

 

The 2018 Crop Region Contest winners in Region 2 are: Chuck Walsh, of Bement, at 112.48 bu/A; and Joe Klein, of Seymour, at 106.28 bu/A.  First-place winners of the Crop Region Contest will receive $1,000 each.

 

Yield Challenge winners and top achievers will be recognized in Springfield, Illinois, Feb. 4th, at an Awards Banquet hosted on the eve of the 2019 Soybean Summit. The Summit will be held at the Crowne Plaza Springfield on Feb. 5th. 

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Illinois Population Down

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates Illinois' population shrunk by more than 45,000 over the 12 months ending July 1.

 

The estimates released Wednesday show that loss was more than any other state except New York, which lost more than 48,000. They were among nine states losing population during the 12 months.

 

Census Bureau demographer Sandra Johnson said in a statement that "many states have seen fewer births and more deaths in recent years. If those states are not gaining from either domestic or international migration they will experience either low population growth or outright decline."

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Grants Available To Help Companies Market Asian Carp Products

STATE GRANTS ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP COMPANIES MARKET ASIAN CARP PRODUCTS. 

 

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES’ MARKET VALUE PROGRAM IS OFFERING EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLAR GRANTS TO SUPPORT ASIAN CARP PROCESSORS AND COMPANIES THAT USE THE FISH FOR OTHER PRODUCTS. D-N-R’S KEVIN IRONS SAYS THE MONEY CAN BE USED TO ATTEND TRADE SHOWS AND BOOST SALES OPPORTUNITIES.

 

 

IRONS SAYS ANYTHING THEY CAN DO TO GET THE INVASIVE FISH OUT OF THE WATER IS GOOD FOR ILLINOIS. 

 

 

FOR MORE DETAILS, VISIT: I FISH ILLINOIS DOT ORG.

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Chances For White Christmas Slim

Friday marks the first official day of winter and it comes just four days before Christmas. A white Christmas in Illinois is defined as an inch or more of snow on the ground. Not too promising says meteorologist Eric Schmidt with EJS Weather in Newton, IL. 

 

 

Schmidt anticipates more of an El Nino pattern developing for the coming winter months—which means less snowfall and milder temps. 

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Rock Springs Nature Center Bringing In New Art Exhibits

Rock Springs Nature Center looks to get some new art exhibits next January. Right now visitors can see the Barn Colony exhibit which shows works in watercolor, pastels, oil, and mixed media depicting subjects from nature to portraits by talented artists in the area says Rock Springs Nature Center Manager Richie Wolf. Along with David Castor Photography Exhibit which features white-tailed deer, great blue herons, and plants. The New Year will host some new exhibits says Wolf.

 

 

Not only will they acquire the Decatur Camera Club Exhibit but also the Sustain Our Natural Areas Exhibit.

 

 

The Nature center changes out exhibits every other month to keep exhibits fresh and new for people to keep coming. 

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TS Institute Year End Giving Tips

With the end of the year approaching, TS Institute is giving tips on making charitable donations.

 

Connie Unruh, the Financial Coordinator with TS Institute, indicates that many charities receive the majority of their donations around the holiday season. Some charity donations are also tax deductible.

 

 

Unruh indicates that it is a good idea to plan on how much you give. Having a giving budget can help you when unexpected giving opportunities arise.

 

 

For more financial tips visit tsinstitute.org or call (217) 935-7464.

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Decennial Evaluation of Clinton Schools Facilities To Start This Spring

A thorough evaluation of the district's facilities will get underway this spring as mandated by the State of Illinois.

 

The Health Life Safety survey will do a top to bottom inspection of the district's facilities and Superintendent Curt Nettles does not anticipate any issues with the decennial inspection.

 

 

Nettles says the district does a great job of keeping their facilities up to code. He feels their maintenance staff do a great job on the front lines of that effort.

 

 

Nettles indicates the Health Life Safety funds are a part of the tax money they receive and he explains they remain committed to the community to maintain their facilities through that fund.

 

 

The final report from the architects comes back to the district, it then becomes a matter of the district addressing any concerns found. Once that has taken place, the state must give final approval. 

 

The district approved Tuesday night at the Board of Education meeting to work with Cordogan Clark for the work. Nettles notes that name should be familiar to the community, as they were the architects who designed the new CES building on Illini Drive. 

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Illinois Got Average Number of Tornadoes

December started with a tornado outbreak but it didn’t add to an already large number of tornados this year. 

 

The state is on pace for an average number of twisters. Normally the state sees 54 a year this year’s total is 58. Climatologist Jim Angel says that one year stands out among all others when focusing on the number of tornadoes. 

 

 

Angel says you don’t always think about tornadoes in December but you should be reminded that they can and do occur in any month in Illinois.

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Attorney General Focused on Robo Calls

Tired of picking up your cell phone after seeing a local number and then having it be a robo call? Attorney General Lisa Madigan is joining 38 other AG’s and states to try and do something about it.

 

 

 

Seeing a local number on a robo call is called neighbor spoofing and it’s done so you’re more likely to answer the call. 

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Happy Noon Year

Don't want to stay up late for the New Year's Eve but want to celebrate the festivities? Join the Children's Museum of Illinois in Decatur for their fun confetti flying, balloon drop, festive fun, Happy Noon Year.

 

 

The Happy Noon year is to have a special moment with family while still celebrating the New Year says Executive Director Amber Kaylor.

 

 

There is a pre-registration to attend but, they will be taking registration at the door says, Kaylor. The Happy Noon Year event will start at 10 am with the balloon happening at noon, with the event going till 2 pm. To register for the event go to childrensmuesumeofil.com or call 217-423-KIDS (5437).

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Holiday Fire Safety Tips

The Clinton Fire Department is providing fire safety tips for the holiday season.

 

Blake West with the Clinton Fire Department reminds that real Christmas trees need to be watered every day to prevent from being dried up.

 

 

West warns that incandescent Christmas tree lightbulbs can burn hot and this was a lesson learned by a local citizen...

 

 

Winter is also a good time to check your smoke detectors are working and have fresh batteries. West indicates that it is essential to have a carbon monoxide detector.

 

 

West also says to keep decorations clear of the fireplace to prevent a fire from happening.

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Second Sales Tax Report Shows Slight Drop Since Walmart Closure

The sales tax report presented to the Clinton City Council Monday night was the second report since the closure of Walmart in Clinton, and one city official indicates it was not as bad as the first.

 

City Administrator Tim Followell says the first sales tax report in the aftermath of Walmart closing was a significant drop in sales tax revenue, but Monday night, Commissioner Tom Edmunds reported a drop not nearly as substantial.

 

 

Followell indicates things slow down during the holidays for the City Council, so the most noteworthy discussion was the sales tax figures. 

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House Republicans In Opposition of Raising Gas Tax

REPUBLICANS IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE SAY RAISING THE GAS TAX IN ILLINOIS IS A BAD IDEA. 

 

THERE’S BEEN TALK OF INCREASING THE STATE GAS TAX TO HELP PAY FOR ROAD CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS BY AS MUCH AS 30 CENTS PER GALLON. BUT REPRESENTATIVE ALLEN SKILLICORN OF CRYSTAL LAKE SAYS LAWMAKERS SHOULD WAIT AND SEE IF AN INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM DEVELOPS AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL FIRST.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE JEANNE IVES OF WHEATON SAYS TAXPAYERS DON’T NEED TO BE BURDENED WITH A PROPOSED 20 TO 30 CENT PER GALLON HIKE.

 

 

OTHERS NOTE HOW BADLY THE STATE NEEDS MONEY FOR BRIDGE AND ROAD REPAIRS…AND POINT OUT THE GAS TAX HASN’T BEEN RAISED IN NEARLY THREE DECADES.

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Farmers Planning To Use Dicamba in 2019 Require Training

Those farmers planning to use crop protection products containing Dicamba in 2019 will again need Dicamba specific training this winter. So says Lyndsey Ramsey, Associate Director of Natural and Environmental Resources for Illinois Farm Bureau. 

 

 

Ramsey says you also need a certified applicator’s license to use Dicamba.

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Deer Season Firearm Totals Were Good

Outdoorsman and women still have a few options left to get out there and continue the deer hunt if they want. Antlerless season starts on December 27. 

 

The main shotgun season is over and hunters had a good year but not a great one says Department of Natural Resources Ed Cross. IDNR reports about 81,000 deer were killed over the two weekends of firearm season and the weather held down the second half number. 

 

 

About 800 more deer were harvested this year as compared to last.

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DCDC Receives $5,000 Grant From Local Bank

A local bank is helping the DeWitt County Development Council in their quest to keep momentum going into the new year. 

 

First National Bank and Trust Company presented a gift of $5,000 to the DCDC this week. The funds will assist in a matching grant program alongside State Farm Insurance to support local businesses.

DCDC's David Torbert says this is vital to reaching their goal of raising $25-thousand as a part of the State Farm grant challenge.

 

DCDC actively engages with current and potential businesses to market DeWitt County, with a mission to attract commerce and encourage job growth. The council promotes ideas for local business expansion and workforce development, and also provides direction for new and existing businesses or commerce seeking resources to enhance business operations, including revolving loan programs.

 

FNB President Josh Shofner said in a release yesterday, the bank is always proud to partner with the DCDC to continue to help grow the local business community.

 

Yesterday on Regional Radio News, Torbert indicated the DCDC was still about $3,000 shy of their $25-thousand goal. 

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Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Introducing Chamber Bucks

The New Year is around the corner some people look to change some of their ways or items. One item that will be changing with the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce is the gift certificates says Executive Director Marian Brisard. The "new" gift certificates will now be called Chamber Bucks.

 

 

The Chamber Bucks are used at local businesses which is excellent for Clinton says Brisard.

 

 

The Chamber Bucks can be used this year and next year, and even if you forget where you put the Chamber bucks then find them months later, you can still use those Chamber Bucks at local businesses. If you are interested in Chamber Bucks, you can go to the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce at 100 S Center Street in Clinton. If you have questions, you can call 217-935-3364 or go to their website at clintonilchamber.com for more information. 

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Double D Ranch Horse Boarding and Lessons Facility

A ranch in Farmer City offers horse riding lessons in addition to its boarding facility.

 

Dee Hasler, of Haslers Double D Ranch in Farmer City, indicates they offer private and group lessons for all ages. The horses they raise are Tennessee Walking and Spotted Saddle Horses.  They also offer lessons for special needs children. 

 

 

Starting in January, Haslers Double D Ranch will begin offering clinics and family shows for local 4-H youth thanks to a local grant. Dee Hasler says she hopes to bring in clinicians from other states.

 

 

For more information, visit the Double D Ranch Facebook page or call (309) 825-0148.

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Decatur Area Art's Council End of the Year Giving

The Decatur Area Art's Council looks to the end of the year, as it finishes celebrating 50 years. The arts council has been celebrating all year long, and now the council looks to get help with the new year coming. Executive Director Jerry Johnson says there are several ways to help support the Art's Council.

 

 

Johnson also mentioned a special incentive if you become a member of the Art's Council.

 

 

You can find more information on the Decatur Area Art's Council at decautrarts.org or by calling 217-423-3189.

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Rauner looked for his replacement

Many voters were waiting for an October surprise from Governor Bruce Rauner in his re-election campaign, but it turns out he was working on the ultimate surprise in his race against J.B. Pritzker. After seeing months of tough poll numbers, he confirmed in a visit with Chicago's WLS-TV that he was looking for a candidate to replace him in what became the most expensive race for Governor in U.S. history....

 

 

Chicago Tribune sources say Rauner contacted Todd Ricketts, who is a member of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs. He serves as finance chairman for the Republican national Committee. Then Attorney General candidate Erika Harold was reportedly approached in August and former State Senator Karen McConnaughay of St. Charles was approached during the primary season. Pritzker defeated Rauner by nearly 16 percentage points after signing legislation expanding abortion, immigrant and transgender rights. Rauner said when President Donald Trump won the White House in 2016, but lost Illinois by 17 percentage points, that “changed the dynamic from good chance of re-election to very, very difficult chance for re-election.” Rauner believes a Hillary Clinton win would have boosted his re-election chances dramatically. 

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Remembering the time Johnny Cash came to the local county fair

Remember that one time Johnny Cash came to town? Next summer marks the 50th anniversary of that memorable occasion for the Moultrie-Douglas County Fair in eastern Illinois. It happened in the summer of 1969 says newly elected Moultrie Douglas County Fair Board President Jim Fleming of Arthur. 

 

 

1969 at the Moultrie-Douglas County Fair also included appearances by the Statler Brothers, The Tennessee Three and The Carter Family. 

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Questions Remain Regarding Second Trade-Aid Payments

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue met with President Donald Trump to talk about a second round of trade-aid payments to farmers. Perdue had said an announcement was coming out on December third but that’s come and gone. 

 

It was first delayed as Washington honored the passing of former President George H.W. Bush. Now, the delay boils down to a Chinese soybean purchase and Office of Management and Budget Director Mike Mulvaney. Politico says the OMB Director is a longtime critic of farm policy. He’s pushing back against the idea of a second round of trade assistance for farmers and ranchers.

 

Perdue says quote - “OMB and Director Mulvaney, as always, are looking to hold on to money. I understand that. I think this is a commitment that the president made and we hope to have it resolved soon.” 

 

The first Chinese soybean purchase from the U.S. in six months has brought about questions on whether there should even be a second round trade aid, which could amount to as much as $6 billion. 

While the soybean purchase is encouraging, agriculture is still being hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed by China, Canada, and Mexico.

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Poll Says Farmers Negative on Ag Policy

The latest Farm Journal Pulse Poll is out, and it shows farmers have a negative view of agriculture policy in the U.S. 

 

Of the hundreds of farmers that responded to the poll, 49 percent say current Ag policy is mostly or very unfavorable. While 24 percent of the respondents said they were “neutral” on the question, only nine percent of the hundreds of farmers said the current policy environment was favorable. 

 

The poll came out during movement on a number of issues that are important to American farmers. Those issues include trade, Waters of the U.S., and passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in Congress. The poll was done before the U.S. reached a temporary truce in its trade war with China. Despite frustrations with Ag Policy, most farmers don’t seem to place a lot of the blame on President Trump. 

 

Out of all the responses, 62 percent rated the president and his administration as mostly or very favorable. Only 24 percent had a mostly or very unfavorable opinion of the president and his policies.

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China Dropping Tariffs on U.S. Cars and Corn

A Bloomberg report says China is taking even more steps to lessen its trade tensions with the U.S. 

China confirms it will remove retaliatory duties on American automobile imports and it’s preparing to restart purchasing American corn. 

 

The Chinese Finance Ministry says the 25 percent tariff on automobiles will disappear on January first. Sources close to the discussions told Bloomberg that China is preparing to purchase at least three million metric tons of corn. 

 

The White House will delay tariff increases on Chinese goods that were set for January first. Bloomberg sources say the corn purchases likely will start as early as next month.

 

The Chinese government is also considering how to handle the 25 percent tariffs on American corn imports that were implemented in July. 

 

The moves by China come only two weeks after its president, Xi Jinping, met with U.S. President Trump.

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Kenney, Illinois man pronounced dead in Macon County

William Shane Peterson, age 41, of Kenney, IL was pronouced dead at 10 PM on December 14, 2018. The scene of a single vechile crash on Washington Street Road near Lakefork Lane, West of Moroa, IL in rural Macon County. The vehicle that Mr. Peterson was in west-bound when it left the roadway striking a cluvert and a utitlity pole before rolling then bursting into flame. It was apparent that Mr. Peterson suffered severe head and chest trauma prior to the fire involvement. Another occupant of the vehicle was transported to the hospital by ambulance.

 

An inquest is pending into Mr. Peterson's death. Routine toxicology samples were drawn for testing. The Macon County Sheriff's office is investigating this crash.

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DCDC State Farm Grant Challenge

DeWitt County Development Council looks to meet their State Farm Challenge raising 25,000 dollars. State Farm is working with DCDC on a grant challenge that started in 2016. The DCDC received support from local business to help meet that challenge says President of DCDC David Torbert.

DCDC sits right now at around three thousand dollars shy of the goal and looks for that final push towards the end of the year. Getting that final push is continue communicating with businesses says, Torbert.

The State Farm Challenge for DCDC wraps up at the end of the year on December 31.

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Village of Weldon Fixes Water Lines

A project decades past due looks to get finished thanks to the help of President of The Village of Weldon Julie Brock. Brock became the President and helped get a water line project started that wouldn't have started without someone filling the role of President says, Brock.

The official project started in 2010 where Weldon took surveys to find out what it would take to work on the project says, Brock.

Previous Mayors and board members have been very involved in the project making sure the 1.4 million dollar project goes as planned.

Though coming in the project with help, there were still challenges for Brock.

Brock says this is one step to rebuilding Weldon, bringing the community back together.

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Christmas Break Day Camps Children's Discovery Museum

Looking for somewhere to have your kids spend some fun times during Christmas Break? Join the Children's Discovery Museum in Normal. They are going to be hosting their Christmas Break Day Camps where kids can learn and play with various topics says Education Manager Rachel Carpenter.

The kids will have a chance to experience a different topic every day where they will get to do more than just doing school work says, Carpenter.

The Day Camps will be taking place on December 27, 28 and then on January 2 through the 4. There is a fee of 45 dollars for the camp, the camps will run from 9 am to 5 pm. If you are interested in signing up, you can call the museum at 309-433-3444 or go to their website at childrensdiscoverymuseum.net.

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GOVERNOR SAYS FRAUD PREVENTION EFFORTS ARE SAVING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER SAYS HEALTH CARE FRAUD PREVENTION EFFORTS ARE SAVING THE STATE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. 

A SPECIAL TASK FORCE COMMISSIONED BY THE GOVERNOR TO CURB WASTEFUL AND FRAUDULENT MEDICAID SPENDING SAVED MORE THAN 218 MILLION DOLLARS DURING THE LAST FISCAL YEAR AND SECURED 39 FRAUD CONVICTIONS. THE STATE POLICE IS PART OF THE EFFORT AND CATCHES SEVERAL TYPES OF FRAUD SAYS LIEUTENANT DAVID ROLL.

 

 

EFFORTS BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTHCARE AND FAMILY SERVICES SAVED ANOTHER 190 MILLION. DIRECTOR PATTI BELLOCK SAYS MEDICAID IS A HUGE PROGRAM THAT SHOULD BE CAREFULLY WATCHED.

 

 

EXAMPLES OF FRAUD INCLUDE DOCTORS BILLING MEDICAID FOR SERVICES NOT NEEDED OR RENDERED AND KICKBACKS FOR PRESCRIBING CERTAIN MEDICATIONS.

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Dietitian: Holiday food a big part of family traditions

Don’t mess with success. That’s the advice from Hy-Vee registered dietitian Charlyn Fargo when cooking during the holiday season. She’s referring to those traditional family recipes handed down from generation to generation. 

 

 

As for cooking the holiday turkey, you should always use a thermometer and make sure the bird hits a temperature of 165-degrees before serving. 

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CHRISTMAS TREE CARE TIPS

THE TREE IS UP AND DECORATED…NOW HERE’S SOME TIPS FOR KEEPING IT LOOKING FRESH THROUGH CHRISTMAS. 

THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS MAKE SURE YOUR TREE HAS PLENTY OF WATER SAYS U OF I EXTENSION HORTICULTURE EXPERT RICHARD HENTSCHEL.

 

 

THE BASE OF THE TREE SHOULD ALWAYS BE COVERED IN WATER OR ELSE RESIN WILL FORM AND PREVENT ABSORPTION. AND HE SAYS ONCE IT’S DONE…IT’S DONE.

 

 

THAT’S WHEN IT’S TIME TO REMOVE THE TREE. OTHER TIPS FOR PROLONGING FRESHNESS INCLUDE KEEPING IT AWAY FROM HEATING VENTS AND FIREPLACES AND EVEN LOWERING YOUR THERMOSTAT A LITTLE.

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Rauner To Issue Report On Past 4 Years

Governor Bruce Rauner is on the way out and is taking sometime to comment on things that should be addressed moving forward in Illinois. Rauner has mostly avoided talking about the how and why of the election but he says that he wants to have his voice heard on how he still thinks problems in Illinois need to be fixed. 

 

 

Democrat JB Pritzker will be sworn into office on January 14th.

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Rauner Helping Transition But Plans Quiet Weeks

The transition of power is coming in Illinois. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says he and his staff is working for a smooth transition as Democrat JB Pritzker takes over. He’s sworn in on January 14th and until then Rauner will be running the state but he says that the next few weeks won’t be filled with last minute rule making or job filling.

 

 

Rauner will be working his way through clemency petition’s and the standing backlog of requests.
 

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More Mental Health Workers Needed

Is the state in need of more behavioral health care workers? The Illinois Senate is hearing about that issue from the health care industry. Groups say there is a shortage of psychiatrists and counselors that care for individuals with mental illness. Marvin Lindsey, with the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association says the state needs to set up a recruitment center that could be run by a state university. 

 

 

Why a shortage? Low wages and low reimbursement rates were mentioned as reasons. 

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IRS warns of new scam

The IRS warning people about a new email scam. Agent Michael Devine says the IRS will not email you about your taxes and never trust emails asking for tax information. 

 

 

More information available at 800-829-1040 or irs.gov. 

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Hep A Continues To Be Found In Illinois

At risk Illinoisans continue to deal with a Hepatitis A outbreak. The infection has already been found in 75 people but it’s a recent rash of new cases that has the Illinois Department of Public Health on alert. Director Dr. Nirav Shah says they are doing more help at risk groups.

 

 

The Hep A problem isn’t contained just to Illinois. Other Midwest states are seeing outbreaks and higher than normal numbers of infections.

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BBB Warns of Free Trial Offers

The Better Business Bureau is warning of the pitfalls and catches of "free trial offers." These offers are often promoted through various avenues on the internet, and make wild promises. All you have to do is pay for the shipping. But in the fine print, there is often wording that will hook you for a hefty monthly fee. Agency investigator Don O'Brien says they are calling on authorities to pursue more vigorously criminal charges against these scammers.

 

 

The agency also says social media sites need to better police this trend, and also calls on international authorities to cooperate in combating this fraud. Finally, if you feel you have been victimized, contact the BBB and your local police.

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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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