The baby animal season is really ramping up now that young rabbits, deer, and birds are among animals that can finally get out and move around freely.
DNR Conservation Police Sergeant John Williamson reminds the public to leave those animals alone. It is very likely their parents are off for the day but will return to care for them during the night.
Williamson adds if you do touch a baby animal, it is likely the mother will abandon the young animals leaving them susceptible to death because of a lack of care.
There are circumstances where human intervention may be necessary and Williamson encourages a visit to the new Wildlife Illinois website at www.wildlifeillinois.org to find the nearest rehabber near you to get advice on how to handle the situation.
The Illinois House has sent Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker another victory by voting to legalize recreational marijuana use.
The 66-47 tally Friday would allow those 21 and older to buy marijuana at licensed dispensaries beginning next year. Residents could possess up to one ounce (30 grams) and non-residents could have 15 grams.
Pritzker called for legalization in his campaign for governor. He has pledged to sign the law.
Rep. Kelly Cassidy’s measure also includes opportunities for past convictions for possession of 30 grams or less to be cleared. The Chicago Democrat says “it is time to hit the ‘reset’ button on the War on Drugs.”
Private property owners could restrict use. Landlords could ban marijuana on their property. And employers would still be allowed to maintain “zero tolerance” policies toward marijuana use and the workplace.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the state’s largest public-sector union have put four years of rancor behind and announced a tentative contract agreement.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 and the Democratic governor said they reached a deal early Friday.
Officials said details would not be released until the union’s 40,000 members vote on ratifying.
The deal represents the first labor agreement between AFSCME and the government since the last one expired in June 2015. Then-Gov. Bruce Rauner feuded with the union. The Republican’s administration stopped negotiating in 2017 and declared the two sides were at “impasse.” That means that the administration could impose its terms and the union could call a strike.
Pritzker took office in January and announced he would return to bargaining.
If you've been trying to find a health program to get in shape with, perhaps a partnership between two Clinton entities is just what the doctor ordered.
Paul Skowron, CEO of Warner Hospital and Health Services told Regional Radio New Friday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, they are beginning the program, Couch to 5K, to ready the community for a couple of 5K events later this summer.
Skowron says it's about rallying the community to be better engaged in their own personal wellness.....
There will be an informational meeting to get the program started the coming Tuesday, June 4 at the Clinton YMCA starting at 6 pm. You do not have to be a Y-member. The program meets twice a week with giveaways throughout and it is free to anyone wanting to participate.
The venues for the bi-weekly activities will be at various locations. You can get more information by calling the Y at 217-935-8307 or stop into 417 South Alexander Street for more information.
Farm Credit Illinois crop insurance agents are hosting a free prevented and delayed planting informational meeting for area farmers to review their options.
Agents Lee Waters and Jeff Wheeler will lead discussions on crop insurance prevented and delayed planting scenarios and information on the USDA’s second Market Facilitation Program (MFP), followed by a question and answer session.
With continued wet weather conditions raising questions about delayed and prevented planting coverage levels, it is crucial for farmers to understand their insurance policies’ options and requirements as they face planting decisions for their specific situation – especially if they are considering switching acres to another crop.
The meeting is tomorrow (Friday) morning at 10:30 am at the Farm Credit Illinois office in Mahomet located at 1100 Farm Credit Drive.
A Piatt County wind farm proposal and the anticipated opposition to it prompted a school leader in the neighbor to DeWitt County to question when do we support growth in rural areas.
Flatlined job growth, revenues, and tax dollars can slow growth of rural areas and Superintendent of Monticello Schools Dr. Vic Zimmerman issued a general question recently, what are we going to support that is going to lead to growth?
Monticello Schools would stand to gain a great deal of the revenue from a wind farm if it were to be approved in Piatt County but he says he is neutral on the issue. Dr. Zimmerman points out in his 12 years in Monticello, there has been a fair share of proposals shot down by opposition.
Dr. Zimmerman recognizes the community pride in each city but at the same time, he feels central Illinois has to be progressive and look to the future.
While some may say the school leader isn't considering the impact on landowners, Dr. Zimmerman points his comments were neutral on the wind farm issue, they were strictly to point out folks tend to say no to things because they do not like change.
Voters were already getting their say on changing the states income tax structure and now the House passed a bill to set income tax rates if a progressive tax is given the go ahead.
The House passed along what the Senate had approved, raising taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year. But Republicans say the more than $3 billion in new revenue isn’t worth it and a progressive tax will only allow politicians to raise taxes on everyone else down the line. Republican Rep. Mark Batinick.
The bill contains a small shift in property tax relief and increases to the child care tax credit.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says 80 days of rain has pushed flood control measures to the brink. Today 200 National Guardsman were activated to help assist in flood control and protection efforts along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.
The Acting Director of IEMA Alicia Tate Nadeau (Na-DOUGH) says residents along those rivers need to prepare to leave at a moment’s notice; adding authorities are considering evacuation plans right now for some communities.
IEMA and others want everyone in those areas to have firm plans on how to get out if flooding starts to impact roads and other transportation options in their areas.
As more rain falls all over Illinois - flooding continues to be a big problem. Democratic Governor JB Prtizker says the state has already passed out more than 2 million sandbags and he’s issued a disaster declaration in 34 Illinois counties.
Now he’s taking another step to try and protect and support communities along the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
Experts have called this the longest continued flooding event along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers in the last 90 years.
The Illinois Legislature has one day to churn out a state budget.
Friday is the last scheduled day of the General Assembly’s spring session. Paperwork has moved in anticipation of adopting a spending plan of about $39 billion, but few details have emerged.
It promises to be a long day at the Illinois Capitol. Unresolved substantive measures join the budget.
Legislation to legalize recreational use of marijuana has cleared the Senate and awaits action in the House. Statutory protections for abortion have House OK and await Senate action.
Neither a long-discussed measure to legalize sports betting nor a massive expansion of casino gambling has seen action.
And Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has called for a $41.5 billion state construction program. But some say gambling expansion is necessary to fund it.
It'll be a loaded weekend in downtown Lincoln this weekend as the annual Pigs and Swigs event returns starting Friday.
Thursday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Event Coordinator Michelle Bauer told Regional Radio News there's a bbq competition cookoff, food vendors, a beer tent with entertainment and a wine tasting among a couple of days full of fun all on the square in Lincoln.
Starting Friday, the BBQ competitors will converge on the square and then in the afternoon, the dock dogs competition will open as well. Bauer adds, while you're enjoying the competitions, you can partake in plenty of great food as food trucks will set up downtown.
Friday night concludes with entertainment in the craft beer and wine tasting tents and that will go on until 11 pm. Bauer says Saturday the dock dog competition resumes and there will be a craft vendor and flea market set up at Scully Park, just a block south of the square.
At Scully Park, the Oasis Senior Center will have an area set up for kids of the community. Nancy Cunningham with the Oasis Senior Center says they will have inflatables, face painting and plenty of other things happening and it is their way of giving back to the community as a thank you for their continued support.
A full list of the activities, events, and vendors are available at lincolnbbq.com or at pigsandswigs.com.
Changes in health care are on the way for employees of DeWitt County.
Last Thursday night at the County Board meeting, Vice Chair Camille Redman explained health insurance took a 24-percent increase over the last year. Board members pointed out, the year prior, there was a general reduction in premiums, but because of the increase, Redman says they are offering one plan to employees this year.
On the other hand, according to Redman, the County is going to increase their contribution this year by $10 and Board Chair David Newberg says while the employee payment is greater this year, it is less than two years ago. He feels the County Board is very generous and the County contribution is very generous.
The County Board approved a change eliminating offering free dental and vision insurance to employees who declined health insurance. Redman says the savings allows them to contribute to the general health insurance. Board Chair Newberg points out, employees can still get those insurances at a minimal cost.
The County Board approved the changes unanimously and those will go into effect for the upcoming enrollment year starting in June.
The Illinois Senate voted through a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana Wednesday and a central Illinois lawmaker is weighing in.
Senator Chapin Rose feels lawmakers have a 'libertarian' view on the issue and points out the bill has evolved to 'corporatized big pot'.
The bill allows preference to vendors in the lowest income areas of the state. Senator Rose believes this is going to 'keep poor people stoned'.
Senator Rose questions where society is going with the way the law is written...
Senator Rose points out in Macon County in his district, roughly 500 jobs that pay well with benefits but they cannot find people to work because they cannot get enough people to pass drug tests and he feels the way the bill is written is not going to help solve that problem.
After days of tornadoes and severe weather pouncing upon the Midwest, Lyle Barker, a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Lincoln, says there will be calm after the storm....
Another round of severe weather threatens an area from roughly Havana to Champaign southward.
Legalized marijuana use is on the move in the Illinois General Assembly with two days remaining in its spring session.
A measure to legalize pot could appear in the House Thursday. It won Senate approval Wednesday night 38-17.
But lawmakers must also decide on an annual budget, a multibillion-dollar construction program, sports betting , abortion protections and more. They are scheduled to adjourn their spring session Friday.
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed a $39 billion budget in February. It counted on several new sources of revenue such as from nascent marijuana and sports betting industries.
Chicago Democratic Sen. Heather Steans says tweaks to her marijuana bill mean it will produce less revenue. But Steans says lawmakers are crafting a budget that doesn’t rely on those uncertain finances. She would not elaborate.
The Illinois Senate approved a measure to legalize marijuana on Wednesday night.
The bill received just two Republican votes, one of them from Bloomington’s Jason Barickman. Some of the particulars include allowing anyone over 21 to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana. A sticking point with Republicans and some Democrats was the home grow component of the proposed law. Now only those with a medical marijuana card will be allowed to grow pot plants at home. Barickman says the compromise bill is the right way to do public policy.
There is a path forward for expungement of past pot convictions. That had been a sticking point where compromise needed to be found. The House now needs to take up the bill.
People who have firearm owner identification cards may soon need to be fingerprinted under legislation passed Wednesday in the Illinois House.
Under legislation approved in the Illinois House Wednesday afternoon, fingerprints would be required for anyone who applies for or renews a Firearms Owners Identification Card. Under the proposal, both new applications for FOID cards and five-year card renewals would costs $20. The current cost for FOID applications and card renewals is $10 for 10 years. FOID cards would last just five years instead of 10. State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) voted against the bill and spoke against it during floor debate.
The legislation would create a database of people prohibited from owning a gun that could be accessed by law enforcement. The bill creates an Illinois State Police task force to take guns away from people who have had their FOID card revoked as well as those deemed to be a clear and present danger to themselves or others.
The new amendment also places a cap of $30 on the price vendors can charge for FOID fingerprinting, something that is not currently required but would be if the legislation is passed in the Senate.
The measure passed 62 to 52 and now goes to the Senate.
THE ILLINOIS HOUSE IS VOTING TO REWRITE STATE ABORTION LAWS.
THE BILL REQUIRES INSURANCE COVERAGE OF ABORTIONS AND CONTRACEPTIVES AND LIFTS SOME RESTRICTIONS ON THE PROCEDURE INCLUDING PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTIONS. ROCKFORD REPRESENTATIVE MAURICE WEST OF ROCKFORD IS A MINISTER. HE’S RECEIVED DEATH THREATS BECAUSE HE SUPPORTS THE MEASURE.
REPRESENTATIVE AVERY BOURNE OF RAYMOND ARGUED AGAINST THE MEASURE.
OPPONENTS SAY THIS IS A BROAD EXPANSION OF ABORTION IN ILLINOIS. THE BILL NOW MOVES TO THE SENATE FOR CONSIDERATION.
Some of the locks and dams on the Illinois River will get some work this summer.
The projects start next month. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Park Ranger Julie McDonald says the locks at Starved Rock and Marseilles will be shut down. Recesses will be put in to prepare them to be drained for more work next summer.
The Starved Rock and Marseilles locks and dams will be closed during the daytime for all of June, most of July, and half of August.
In the second half of August, they’ll be closed completely.
The wet spring is limiting the amount of time city crews can dedicate to maintain Clinton's green areas.
Public Works Director Steve Lobb says keeping up with the city parks and cemeteries right now is a challenge because of standing water but also the limited days suitable to get out and mow. He says they are juggling mowing along with the number of other things they do.
Because of the outstanding jobs and things crews have to take on, Lobb indicates he has guys working Saturdays and as the administrator is having to make sure they find tasks with the biggest need to get done first.
Additionally, as the winter has turned to spring, even if brief, and now spring transitions to summer, Lobb indicates they continue to work on potholes that cratered during the winter months. He encourages residents to reach out to him and let him know where they see any areas that need to be addressed.
It has been over 15 years since the City went to a general Public Works Department from individual departments and Lobb says that has streamlined their efficiency and allowed them to put more manpower to areas of need.
Tuesday afternoon storms that dropped about a half inch of rain in some parts of DeWitt County also came with hail.
DeWitt County EMA Director Micah Gallardo says between Lane and Weldon, there were reports of golfball to baseball sized hail with only minor damage reports.
Gallardo says chances for severe overnight storms has dropped a little bit but there is still the possibility of isolated storms, so anticipate a windy night with rain.
(Picture courtesy of Derek Atteberry)
(Picture Courtesy of Derek Atteberry)
(Picture Courtesy of Derek Atteberry)
A grant worth over a million dollars is going to allow Lincoln High School to install solar panels at their campus and supply nearly 80-percent of their energy consumption through solar energy.
Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Superintendent Bob Bagby told Regional Radio News it was a long, tedious process but it is a huge win for the district and will be the highlight of their summer maintenance work.
Bagby indicates they plan to place the panels on the roof of their facility. He notes to make way for the panels and make installation easier, they will transition to a metal roof.
In years past, the Board of Education in Lincoln had the chance to add more panels to the ground for better coverage and even partner with neighboring entities and farmers but they declined.
Bagby estimates the panels operating at full capacity by the end of September.
The weather story remains the same for much of Illinois this spring. More rain occurred over the Memorial Day holiday weekend with some parts of the state receiving some severe weather. The totals continue to add up for May says Brian Kerschner at the Illinois State Climatologist’s office.
Kerschner says two reporting stations have recorded over 11-inches of rain for the month of May--Hancock and Jersey counties.
PROPONENTS OF EXPANDING GAMBLING IN ILLINOIS SAY THE ODDS ARE GOOD THAT THEY’LL GET A BILL PASSED THIS WEEK.
THERE’S TALK OF A BIG GAMING DEAL EACH YEAR IN THE LEGISLATURE…BUT LONGTIME ADVOCATE SENATOR TERRY LINK OF WAUKEGAN SAYS EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE FALLING INTO PLACE THIS TIME AROUND.
A-F-L C-I-O PRESIDENT MICHAEL CARRIGAN SAYS LABOR IS ON BOARD.
THE PACKAGE TAKING SHAPE INCLUDES NEW CASINOS AND SPORTS BETTING. THE LEGISLATURE IS SCHEDULED TO ADJOURN ON FRIDAY.
A group of Republicans lawmakers in Illinois is asking for the push for a capital bill to slow down.
Members of the House Republicans want plans in the state to wait on a possible federal infrastructure plan. The group says the state shouldn’t be in the business of raising taxes and fees before seeing if the feds put together a nationwide $2 trillion dollar plan.
Rep. Allen Skillicorn says even with a divided and deadlocked federal government we shouldn’t be worried about those dollars never coming or taking years to wind up being spent.
Illinois lawmakers are facing several outstanding issues while winding down their spring session.
The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn Friday until the fall. Legislators must adopt a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Other prominent issues include a multibillion-dollar state construction plan and proposals to legalize recreational use of marijuana and betting on sports. Lawmakers also expect to set income-tax rates to go along with a constitutional amendment question on changing the state’s flat-rate tax structure to a graduated one based on income which goes to voters late next year.
A proposal to strengthen abortion protections won House approval and moves to the Senate.
The marijuana and sports betting plans have yet to be heard in either house. Spending bills are invariably left to the final hours.
CONTINUED WET WEATHER IS LEAVING CORN AND SOYBEAN PLANTING MORE THAN 50 PERCENTAGE POINTS BEHIND THE FIVE-YEAR AVERAGE.
ONLY ABOUT ONE DAY WAS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK THIS PAST WEEK…NOT GIVING FARMERS MUCH TIME IN THE FIELDS SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
14 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE NOW PLANTED WITH EIGHT PERCENT EMERGED. LAST YEAR, 89 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS BY THIS TIME.
THE CONDITION OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP DECLINED A BIT TO 35 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AS 30 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 70 PERCENT SURPLUS.
Students at Clinton High School are building a grill school leaders hope will eventually be portable and increase school spirit.
Jerry Wayne is fired up about the possibilities after his welding students started to build a grill that will probably be rolled out at home high school football games next year and he says it is something that will stand out to anyone nearby.
Wayne says this was a project they hoped would encourage students to come out and support their friends and increase school spirit. He hopes offering hamburgers, hot dogs or pork chops will be incentive to get students to the games, both home and away.
Wayne says the grill is not quite ready for travel just yet but he hopes when students return to school next year, they'll be able to at least pull it out for a few home games.
If you're a fan or Route 66 and its history, you're not going to want to miss a big weekend coming up in Lincoln June 7-9.
Geoff Ladd with the Route 66 Scenic Byway Association says they are bringing together individual events into one weekend. He explains it is centered around the Lincoln Route 66 garage sale.
Ladd told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Monday, the downtown business is getting involved in this event, offering specials and discounts. Additionally, the Route 66 Association of Illinois is hosting their annual Motor Tour and Hall of Fame Banquet at the American Legion in Lincoln.
Ladd points out The Mill Library is going to be dedicated that weekend. The David Clark Library is going to be dedicated and Clark is going to present about the collection and about the Al Capone piece of the history of The Mill.
Ladd believes the economic impact of Route 66 on the community is hard to measure. He explains with the road now encompassing the downtown area of Lincoln, it is a major economic driver for their community.
Ladd says there will be a car show on June 8. He believes you could spend a weekend in Lincoln and not see everything have to offer surrounding Route 66 but you'd see quite a bit of it. You can get all the details about the event on June 7-9 at lincolnroute66.com.
Thursday’s disaster aid package rollout was good news for agriculture but many of the details are still uncertain.
The total aid amount could come in at $16 billion and will cover a wider range of crops than last year’s aid to farmers. However, the administration didn’t disclose some key details like just how much money individual farmers and ranchers will get in cash.
Politico says $14.5 billion is being earmarked for direct payments to producers. USDA developed a new and more complex formula for calculating producers’ compensation to remove incentives for planting certain crops.
Instead of being tied to what farmers actually grew in 2019, they’ll be computed on a county-by-county basis. Officials say they’ve estimated the amount of damage inflicted on producers by trade disputes and will then multiply that by the acreage planted in the area.
Farmers who don’t plant a crop this year won’t be eligible for cash assistance. This will likely complicate things for Midwest producers who’ve been battling rain this spring while trying to plant.
The USDA’s trade aid package could encourage them to try to plant anyway. The president says the aid would be paid for by the tariffs that China is paying into the U.S. Treasury. That’s not the case. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the USDA will tap into the Commodity Credit Corporation, which has broad authority to stabilize the farm economy.
Democrat members of the House of Representatives voted 73-44 to raise taxes on Illinois families and businesses Monday.
The 44-member House Republican Caucus stood united in opposition to SJRCA 01 also known as the governor’s progressive income tax proposal. State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) spoke against the measure during floor debate.
The measure has to be approved by voters in Illinois. It will appear on the ballot next November.
A Clinton business is celebrating 50 years in the community.
Action Technology came to Clinton 50 years ago thanks to Carm Sarti (Pictured right addressing a group of local dignitaries at a Friday open house) who brought the company to Clinton from New Jersey. Sarti says their business exploded and he quickly had to hire more people.
Plant Manager Dan Leevy (pictured left) says today Action Technology primarily manufactures plastics for plenty of well-known companies and their products.
Leevy indicates the company just received its certification to make products that will allow for sanitary water and food delivery for companies. He says that is a market they are trying to grow.
Action Technology is located 1060 Route 10 in Clinton, across from McElroy Metal.
With this week being the last of the school year, the Clinton YMCA is gearing up for another summer of Camp Osage.
David Torbert, Clinton YMCA Activity Director, indicates the camp will begin Monday, June 3 and run through Friday, August 16. Camp Osage is offered for children entering 1st grade through 8th grade. Torbert says camp will consist of a variety of activities and will be for children with a variety of interests.
Torbert indicates they will be partnering with the Vespasian Warner Public Library, Clintonia Eagle, and the DeWitt County U of I Extension Office to offer activities for children whose primary interest may not be outdoors.
Registration for Camp Osage is ongoing throughout the summer. Torbert notes there is a $20 registration fee. Payment can be made on a weekly basis or for the entire summer up front. For more information visit the Clinton YMCA.
With school out this week for most districts and the weather finally turned, local authorities say it is important as ever to be mindful of the security of your vehicles and homes.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says his department is in the midst of the time of year when vehicle burglaries are on the rise and also from time to time, see the entry of garages to gain access to vehicles.
The Chief also reminds residents there will be an increase in kids out on city sidewalks and roadways as they will be out of school through the day. Additionally, Lowers says to keep dogs on a leash at all times.
Monticello Police Chief John Carter says they typically see an increase in car burglaries after school has let out for the summer. He encourages residents in his community to lock their vehicle doors and make sure their garages are locked as well.
Chief Carter encourages motorists to be on alert for kids outside playing and be mindful of what is going on around you.
School lets out for both Monticello and Clinton school kids this Friday.
While Illinoisans taxpayers were observing Memorial Day on Monday, Democrat members of the House of Representatives voted 73-44 to raise taxes on Illinois families and businesses. The 44-member House Republican Caucus stood united in opposition to SJRCA 01 also known as the governor’s progressive income tax proposal.
State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) spoke against the measure during floor debate.
State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) spoke against the measure during floor debate.
If signed by the Governor, the measure will then head to Illinois voters in the November 2020 election.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS MONDAY’S FAIR TAX VOTE IS A GIANT LEAP FORWARD FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS IF APPROVED BY VOTERS NEXT YEAR…97 PERCENT OF ILLINOISANS WOULD PAY THE SAME OR LESS.
THOSE EARNING MORE THAN 250 THOUSAND DOLLARS WOULD PAY MORE UNDER THE PLAN.
THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE’S ALSO PUSHING FOR THE CREATION OF A NEW TASK FORCE TO LOOK AT WAYS TO LOWER PROPERTY TAXES IN ILLINOIS.
GOOD NEWS FROM THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR…ADULT ADMISSION IS DROPPING TO JUST FIVE DOLLARS ON MOST DAYS.
IT WILL COST FIVE BUCKS INSTEAD OF 10 TO GET INTO THE FAIR ON SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY. STATE FAIR MANAGER KEVIN GORDON SAYS THEY ARE LOOKING TO BOOST ATTENDANCE DURING THE WEEK, ESPECIALLY FOR FAMILIES WHOSE KIDS HAVE ALREADY GONE BACK TO SCHOOL.
GORDON SAYS THEY MAY ANNOUNCE ADDITIONAL WEEKDAY PROMOTIONS.
THE FAIR ALSO OFFERS SPECIAL DAYS WHERE VETERANS, SENIORS AND FIRST RESPONDERS CAN GET IN FOR FREE. THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR RUNS AUGUST EIGHTH THROUGH THE 18TH IN SPRINGFIELD.
DeWitt County entities partnering with Piatt County entities are becoming an increasing trend in recent years given the two areas similar demographics and community sizes.
The latest example is increased partnerships with non-profits geared at substance abuse treatment. Vice Present of the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition, Paul Skowron, explains Piatt County groups have been very active along the Coalition since their inception.
Skowron points out this is a growing trend across the state and communities in northern Illinois are setting the example of what this looks like. To that end, he'll be in attendance of a seminar in June on how to make this happen in other areas.
Skowron says the Piatt and DeWitt County partnership is definitely getting stronger and the Substance Abuse Coalition is working to codify some things but in the meantime, they will continue their joint ventures serving the communities.
The DeWitt County U of I Extension Office will be partnering with the YMCA to teach cooking to the youth of Camp Osage.
Lindsey Burden, DeWitt County 4-H Extension Coordinator, indicates they will be offering cooking classes to Camp Osage on Tuesday afternoons during the summer.
Burden says in August the Extension Office will offer a three-week Robotics program in both Farmer City and Clinton. Attendees will learn how to program robotics for sumo wrestling and will host competitions.
Those interested in the Robotics program for either Farmer City or Clinton can call the DeWitt County U of I Extension Office at (217) 935-5764 to register.
On this Memorial Day, Social Security is reminding the public of the programs they have to honor those that have served in the armed forces.
Jack Myers with Social Security says they focus on the families of those heroes and their though benefits for widows, widowers, and dependent children. Myers also adds they recognize veterans that may be eligible for survivors benefits.
According to Myers, if a military member has been injured, claims through Social Security will be expedited and outlines what you need to do to get that process going...
Myers notes an example of an expedited claim would be a veteran that has a 100-percent permanent and total compensation rating from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. They also expedite disability claims for military service members who became disabled while on active duty after October 1, 2001.
You can learn more by visiting socialsecurity.gov/survivors or socialsecurity.gov/woundedwarriors.
THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT…REWRITING THE STATE’S ABORTION LAWS IS CLEARING ITS FIRST HURDLE IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE.
THE BILL PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE ON A 12 TO SEVEN VOTE. SUPPORTERS, LIKE ROBYN GABEL OF EVANSTON, SAY IT’S NEEDED TO ENSURE WOMEN HAVE A RIGHT TO CHOOSE.
A HOUSE COMMITTEE VOTED 12 TO SEVEN IN FAVOR OF THE BILL…WHICH AIMS TO MAKE SURE WOMEN HAVE A SAY OVER THEIR BODIES. SUPPORTERS SAY THAT GIVEN THE RECENT ATTACKS ON A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE IN OTHER STATES, THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. ZACH WICHMANN WITH THE CATHOLIC CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS SAYS THEY OPPOSE ABORTION IN GENERAL…BUT ESPECIALLY THIS PART OF THE MEASURE:
OPPONENTS SAYS THE MEASURE GOES TOO FAR…AND COMPLAINED ABOUT THE LAST-MINUTE HEARING ON THE ISSUE. IT NOW FACES A VOTE BEFORE THE FULL HOUSE.
A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois shows nearly 11-percent of households throughout the state can be classified as "food insecure." Craig Gundersen in the U of I College of Agriculture, Environment and Consumer Sciences oversees the annual study;
Gundersen works with Feeding America, the network of food banks across the country to conduct the Map the Meal Gap report. Results come from a monthly U-S government questionnaire that queries households about food availability and affordability;
The study found the most food insecure Illinois households can be found in Alexander, Jackson, St. Clair, Champaign and Vermilion counties. Those with the most food-secure households include Kendall, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Monroe counties.
HOUSE LAWMAKERS ARE UNANIMOUSLY PASSING TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR SCOTT’S LAW VIOLATORS.
DRIVER’S WHO FAIL TO MOVE OVER WHEN THEY SEE FLASHING LIGHTS ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD WOULD FACE HEAVY FINES UNDER THE BILL SAYS REPRESENTATIVE MARCUS EVANS OF CHICAGO.
REPRESENTATIVE TIM BUTLER OF SPRINGFIELD WORKED ON THE BILL.
SIXTEEN ILLINOIS STATE TROOPERS HAVE BEEN STRUCK THIS YEAR BY MOTORISTS WHO DIDN’T MOVE…AND TWO HAVE DIED AS A RESULT. THE BILL NOW MOVES TO THE SENATE.
THE FIRST SIGNS OF THE WEST NILE VIRUS ARE BEING CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SAYS A BATCH OF MOSQUITOS IN DUPAGE COUNTY TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE VIRUS. THAT’S ABOUT ON PAR WITH PREVIOUS YEARS. ACTING DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI EZIKE SAYS THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF THIS SUMMER IS TO WEAR INSECT REPELLANT.
LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS…176 HUMAN CASES WERE REPORTED, INCLUDING 17 DEATHS.
MOST PEOPLE WITH THE VIRUS WON’T SEE ANY SYMPTOMS BUT IT CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR THE ELDERLY AND THOSE WITH WEAKENED IMMUNE SYSTEMS.
A few places you go this Memorial Day weekend may be pretty crowded.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says get ready for big crowds at popular outdoor spots including Starved Rock state park. IDNR is warning that parking will be at a premium and with recent rains and continued high water getting around the park will be more difficult.
That’s IDNR’s Rachel Torbert. For the most up to date information on Starved Rock or any park this weekend she says to check out their Facebook page or Twitter feed.
Memorial Day brings lots of travel and the increased awareness of being safe on roadways.
The Illinois Department of Transportation and police around the state are stepping up enforcement efforts to get people buckled up when they are in the car. The “Boarder to Boarder” seatbelt campaign is underway now through the Memorial Day holiday. Law enforcement will be out looking for passengers not buckled up. IDOT’s Guy Tridgell,
The Memorial Day weekend can be deadly for some behind the wheel. Tridgell says about a dozen lives are lost each year over this weekend in traffic accidents.
The National Weather Service has confirmed five tornados in central and western Illinois after a line of strong storms moved across the state.
The weather service says the tornados touched down between 8:15 p.m. Wednesday and 8:15 a.m. Thursday with wind speeds between 60 and 105 mph. No one was injured but farm buildings were destroyed, power poles were snapped and one semi-truck was blown off Interstate 74 in a tornado confirmed in Vermilion County near the village of Muncie.
A tornado with 100 mph winds was confirmed in Hancock County in western Illinois. The other tornado touchdowns were confirmed in Sangamon County near Cantrall, Clay County near Xenia and Logan County near Lincoln, where the funnel cloud crossed south over Interstate 55.
It was a wild week as we saw overnight thunderstorms a couple of times this week. State Climatologist Spokesperson Brian Kerschner has details for the holiday and next week...
The Clinton YMCA is inviting the community out to participate in a golf outing to benefit their Strong Kids Campaign.
The 3rd Annual 'Fore A Great Cause' golf outing is June 7th at the Clinton Country Club.
This outing is part of the Strong Kids Campaign and the local YMCA is using this outing as a way to kick start the overall campaign.
Registration takes place up until May 28th.
Darren Moser, event chairman says this is a successful, fun, and rewarding way to get involved with the local YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.
The outing has a shotgun start at 9 am with registration one hour before. To find out more contact the YMCA at 935-8307.
DeWitt County is seeking a new Animal Control officer after current officer Melanie Kinney submitted her resignation earlier this month, effective May 28.
The DeWitt County Public Safety Committee will be charged with finding her replacement and Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board meeting, Committee Chairman, Lance Reece says that process has started. He thanked Kinney for her service to the County and praised her for the work she's done at the animal shelter.
DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg says Kinney did a great job for the County and says the County will miss her.
A second lawsuit has been filed against a gas supplier in connection with a 2016 gas leak in central Illinois that contained private wells.
The lawsuit filed in Champaign County Circuit Court accuses Peoples Gas of contaminating drinking water when a large amount of natural gas was leaked into the Mahomet Aquifer.
The action Monday by 21 residents brings to 38 the number of people who are suing Peoples Gas because of the leak from Manlove Field, an underground natural gas storage facility. The situation came to light when residents in the Mahomet area began noticing issues with their well water.
People’s Gas spokesman Brian Manthey said in a statement the company is reviewing the lawsuit and “doesn’t have any substantive comments on the lawsuit at this time.”
More than 500,000 residents rely on the Mahomet Aquifer in Central Illinois.
Ahead of the busiest weekend of the year for conservation authorities, DNR officials are reminding boaters to be safe this weekend.
DNR Conservation Police Sergeant John Williamson says good weather will make it the busiest of the summer holidays, adding it's imperative you have enough life jackets on your watercraft and for all the maintenance to be up to date.
Drinking and boating laws are much different for boats as opposed to cars but Williamson says it's important each group make sure they have a sober operator. Additionally, he reminds boaters about who needs to be in life jackets while on board.
Statistics compiled by the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement show 68 boating-related accidents in Illinois in 2018, resulting in 34 injuries and 18 fatalities. Annual boating accident statistics are compiled based on the Federal Fiscal Year of October 1 through September 30.
CPOs in 2018 issued 1,045 citations and 3,753 warnings in the enforcement of Illinois boating safety laws. CPOs made 124 arrests for boaters operating under the influence (OUI) in 2018.
What’s more, IDNR statistics indicate that 16 of the 18 people who died in boating accidents last year may have survived if they had worn a life jacket or other personal flotation device (PFD); four of the 18 boating-related fatalities involved alcohol or drug impairment.
A blockbuster deal in the medical industry. Springfield based Memorial Health System, the parent of Springfield's Memorial Medical Center and hospitals in Taylorville, Jacksonville and Lincoln,, is taking charge of Decatur Memorial Hospital under a new affiliation agreement.
D-M-H will become the second largest hospital in the Memorial System. Memorial Health System President/CEO Ed Curtis says the merger will pay off for patients across the expanded service region...
Curtis says there are many benefits for D-M-H to no longer go it alone...
The merger is set to take affect October 1st, pending regulatory approval.
An incident in his district was the reason State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) sponsored SB2124 which was approved in the Illinois House of Representatives Thursday.
According to the representative, a student brought a BB gun to school causing fear and panic in the school because other students didn’t recognize it as a BB gun, they just saw it as a gun.
Current Illinois law requires a student to be expelled for no less than one year if he or she brings any object to school or a school-sponsored event or activity that if used or attempted to be used could cause bodily harm, including “look-alikes” of any firearm.
STATE LAWMAKERS WILL GET A CHANCE TO RIDE ALONG WITH THEIR LOCAL SHERRIFF’S DEPUTIES UNDER A NEW PROGRAM.
THE ILLINOIS SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION IS LAUNCHING THE NEW EFFORT, IN HOPES OF BUILDING BETTER RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN POLICE AND POLICY MAKERS. SANGAMON COUNTY SHERIFF JACK CAMPBELL SAYS HE WANTS LEGISLATORS TO SEE WHAT THEY FACE EVERYDAY.
SENATOR ELGIE SIMS OF CHICAGO SAYS HE LOOKS FORWARD TO THE OPPORTUNITY.
THE RIDE ALONGS WILL BEGIN SUMMER AND THE ASSOCIATION HOPES LAWMAKERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY AT LEAST ONCE A YEAR.
PRO-CHOICE ADVOCATES ARE HOPING FOR A VOTE ON AN ABORTION BILL BEFORE THE END OF THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION.
THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT HAS BEEN LANGUISHING IN THE LEGISLATURE…BUT MAY SOON BE DISCUSSED IN A HOUSE COMMITTEE. REPRESENTATIVE KELLY CASSIDY OF CHICAGO SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT TO PROTECT WOMEN’S RIGHTS.
CASSIDY ADDS THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT MAY SOON BE GETTING ITS DAY.
THE BILL REPLACES THE STATE’S CURRENT ABORTION LAW WITH A LESS RESTRICTIVE VERSION. OPPONENTS HAVE ARGUED THAT IT’S TOO EXTREME.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is defending the funding ingredients of his capital bill infrastructure plan. Some critics maintain the poor will be hurt the most by tax hikes like boosting the gas tax and license plate fees, but Pritzker said his plan creates reliable funding...
Other Capital plan funding would come from tax hikes on alcohol, video gaming, cable, satellite and streaming services.
The gas and diesel market now running even. Reaction from Harry Cooney, Manager of Customer Risk Management for GROWMARK.
According to Triple A, the current Illinois average for a gallon of gasoline sits at $2.98 a gallon, which is 11-cents lower than a year ago. Diesel prices in Illinois are averaging $2.96 a gallon, 13 cents lower than a year ago.
The DeWitt County Board Thursday night at their regular monthly meeting agreed to send a plea to State Representative Dan Caulkins and State Senator Chapin Rose to be included in the Governor's capital plan that includes projects across the state.
DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg indicates the letter asks the Governor for dollars for Clinton Lake Marina. He says it is a big draw for DeWitt County and has already been invested heavily in recent years by the County.
According to Terry Ferguson, Rep. Dan Caulkins has indicated the Governor is going to be pushing for projects to be taken care of that were committed to in the previous administration.
While there was some confusion about the priorities of what projects would be funded first, Newberg and the Board decided they would indeed submit the letter to the Governor.
Also at the Thursday night DeWitt County Board Meeting, a lengthy amount of appointments were made. Most appointments pass through the board unanimously, however, the re-appointment of Thomas Smerz to the Regional Planning Commission drew an interesting vote.
Smerz was appointed with seven votes of approval but five board members voted 'present'. They included Cole Ritter, Lance Reece, Jay Wickenhauser, Camille Redman, and Christy Pruser.
Smerz's appointment to the Regional Planning Commission is the first appointment to come up since the County Board rejected an application for a wind farm in the northwest corner of DeWitt County upon a neutral recommendation by the RPC and the Zoning Board of Appeals sent the County Board a recommendation to reject the application.
The National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates the Memorial Day weekend is going to be slim on sunshine and there are chances of rain throughout the weekend.
Kirk Huttle with the National Weather Service says the early part of the holiday weekend has isolated chances early with higher chances of rain in northern Illinois.
According to Huttle, Friday could see some peaks of sunshine throughout the day as temperatures are expected to reach the upper-80s and remain in the 80s throughout the weekend.
Getting on the lake this weekend will definitely be a possibility but Huttle just points out, there are some indicators we could see some isolated rain showers. And by the time we get into next week, there will be increased chances of rain for the area.
For farmers, a change in the weather pattern could in the middle to late next week before we finally stabilize and see sustained dry conditions.
The portion of Clinton Lake near the power plant is going to be open at a no-wake speed.
DNR Conservation Sergeant John Williamson indicates from IP Point to the Route 54 bridge is open after 20 years of being closed for Homeland Security purposes after the attacks of September 11.
Communications Manager at Exelon Clinton Power Station, Gabe Goldsmith says this is their way of giving back to the community.
Williamson says Clinton Lake levels are starting to normalize after a lot of rain this spring. Forecasts for this Memorial Day Weekend are showing chances or rain but mild temperatures.
The Vault in Clinton is still seeking volunteers for a partnership program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of DeWitt County.
Michelle Witzke with The Vault in Clinton explains they need young adults who would be willing to mentor a junior high school or high school student to step up for a couple of hours a month. She says they have a lot of kids that need someone they can look up to and be a role model for them.
According to Witzke, they are very much in need of mentors for junior high and high school boys. She estimates they have around 15 youths ready for a big. Witzke indicates they will be hosting an informational meeting for parents, teens and interested mentors on June 26 from 6 pm to 7 pm at The Vault.
As the summer gets closer, The Vault is also seeking daytime volunteers. She says they have plenty of help in the evening but when they expand their hours during the day, they will need help to the tune of about four hours a week.
Witzke adds at their June 26 meeting, representatives from Big Brothers Big Sisters will be on hand with information and available for questions.
To get more information on becoming a 'big' for a young junior high or high school student or to learn about volunteering during the day at The Vault this summer, you can call 217-934-4003 or 309-212-7332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A number of projects will occupy staff at Warrensburg-Latham schools this summer.
Superintendent Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle says they will shut down their middle school for removal of floor tiles that contain asbestos. Additionally, they plan to redo their ceiling tiles for better optics but also to update their technology infrastructure.
According to Dr. Kendrick-Weikle, their buildings are all in one community and one central campus and are in very good condition. While making summer projects easier, she says that is a big advantage for their families.
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle indicates the district is fortunate to maintain quality facilities thanks to the one-cent sales tax that comes from Macon County taxes and is designated for facility improvements. At the same time, districts levy taxes for a fund called 'health-life-safety' funds.
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle feels the one-cent sales tax money is a great resource expense they know are coming and allows them to put funds away and preserve their general tax dollars for other things.
The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington made headlines with outlets like CBS and CNN after euthanizing a flamingo due to injuries sustained when a youth skipped a rock into the exhibit.
Superintendent of the Miller Park Zoo, Jay Tetzloff, in a written statement to Regional Radio News said quote - "a juvenile guest accidentally injured a flamingo on Monday by skipping a rock into the habitat. Unfortunately, staff determined the best course of action given the animal's injuries was to euthanize the bird. This was a truly unfortunate accident, and we are working with the juvenile's family to move forward."
The flamingo exhibit is just a couple years old and was one of the first major projects of a master plan approved roughly five years ago.
Tuesday night at the Clinton Board of Education, district building leaders discussed with the Board what they are doing to make sure they are reaching every student in their building.
Learning in the 21st-century world has changed a great deal and educators are being trained to recognize what moves the needle for each student. Principal of Lincoln and Douglas Schools, Beth Wickenhauser says the challenge they face is how do they recognize that in their students and how do they reach them where they are.
The word of the year at Clinton Elementary School is "relationships". Principal Sasha Young, who will be a guest on the WHOW Morning Wednesday morning, says they have seen great results by intentionally seeking relationships with their students.
A team was put together to explore goals for restorative practices and first-year assistant principal at Clinton Junior High School, Jim Peck explains their team worked on setting an example of how to communicate and set a culture.
The Clinton High School automotive class was able to showcase their restored Chevy Grand Prix and Principal Jerry Wayne says while its great they are giving their kids the opportunity to find skills they may not have known they had, he feels there remain larger challenges that need to be addressed to fully tap into the potential of their youth.
With minimal action gaining much discussion among the Board Tuesday, the Board approved a contract extension with FFA instructor, Lee Deal. The Board approved the summer maintenance projects and softball field upgrades.
First responders of DeWitt County will converge on The Abigail in Clinton this Friday night for a special appreciation night and training.
Katie Arnold with the 708 Board says they will have a night to recognize the first responders of the County as well as a special guest for a training opportunity.
According to Arnold, first responders face very difficult circumstances sometimes and often times they will need support after various situations and so this is an opportunity to provide them with that support.
Arnold says this is well timed as May is Mental Health Awareness month. She feels it is important to recognize the first responders and show appreciation for what they do for the community.
Again the dinner is this Friday at The Abigail in Clinton and it is free. Dinner is served from 5 pm to 8 pm and the training is from 6 pm to 10 pm.
On Monday evening, the Democrat majority passed a graduated income tax amendment out of the House Revenue and Finance Committee, over Republican objections.
State Representative Dan Caulkins spoke out against Gov. Pritzker’s graduated tax hike and voted against the proposal in committee.
SJRCA 1 passed out of the House Revenue and Finance Committee on a partisan vote of 9-6, with all Republican members voting ‘No.’ The graduated income tax constitutional amendment now goes to the full House of Representatives for a final vote. If approved by the House, the constitutional amendment would be placed on the November 2020 general election ballot.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana-Illinois or SAM-IL, wants state lawmakers to slow down and consider the best options before rushing headlong into the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Colton Grace is a spokesman for SAM-IL. Representatives of SAM-IL are continuing to lobby against the current legalization legislation which the organization claims does not account for DUI enforcement or the regulation of home grown marijuana.
Abraham Lincoln has towered over Downtown Springfield in a figurative sense since the mid 19th Century. Starting Wednesday, he'll do so literally.
A traveling 31 foot tall Lincoln statue will be installed next week in front of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The statue of Lincoln standing next to a modern man holding the Gettysburg Address recently ended his stay in front of Peoria's Riverfront Museum. Scott Dahl with the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau is confident Honest Abe will go viral...
The Lincoln state will remain in Springfield until September, 2020.
LAWMAKERS PASSED A BILL TUESDAY ENSURING ALL SINGLE-OCCUPANCY RESTROOMS ARE GENDER NEUTRAL.
SUPPORTERS SAY THIS WILL BENEFIT TRANSGENDER PEOPLE, PARENTS TAKING THEIR OPPOSITE-SEX CHILDREN TO THE BATHROOM AND ADULTS NEEDING HELP FROM A CAREGIVER. THE MEASURE IS SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE SAM YINGLING OF ROUND LAKE BEACH.
THE MEASURE EASILY PASSED AND IF SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR, WOULD TAKE EFFECT IN JANUARY. A COUPLE OF OTHER STATES HAVE A SIMILAR LAW.
STATE LAWMAKERS ARE WORKING ON A BILL MAKING IT ILLEGAL TO SMOKE WITH KIDS IN THE CAR.
THE IDEA HAS BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS IN HOPES OF PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM SECONDHAND SMOKE. THE LATEST VERSION IS SPONSORED BY SENATOR JULIE MORRISON OF DEERFIELD WHO SAYS IT WOULD BE A SECONDARY OFFENSE. THAT MEANS POLICE COULDN’T SOLELY PULL SOMEONE OVER FOR SMOKING WITH KIDS IN THE CAR.
SENATOR LAURA MURPHY OF DES PLAINES SAYS THIS MAY BE TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES.
THE LEGISLATION MAKES THE CRIME A PETTY OFFENSE, WITH A FINE OF UP TO 100 DOLLARS. SOME ADDITIONAL TWEAKS COULD STILL BE MADE BEFORE IT’S VOTED ON IN THE SENATE.
The full Illinois House is now set to consider legislation that would give the voters the chance to create a graduated tax system in Illinois where wealthy residents pay a larger percentage of their income. Tyler Diers with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce believes voters will want specifics, namely hard numbers.....
The legislation moved out of the House Revenue Committee on Monday
Results indicate a student at Clinton High School who was suspected to have contracted mumps was cleared after results came back negative.
Early last week, it was suspected a student may have contracted mumps and parents were notified by school nurse Jill Martin.
School dismisses for the summer next Friday.
Yesterday (Monday) on Regional Radio News, we outlined the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition's plans to absorb the Coalition for Bright Futures and Tuesday, Tony Kirkman from the Piatt County Mental Health Center stopped by the WHOW Morning Show to talk about that transition on their end.
He explains five years ago, they received a grant to help address the epidemic of underage drinking in DeWitt and Piatt Counties. Early on in their existence, they went through some transitions but kept their goals largely intact.
According to Kirkman, the grant required a sustainability plan after five years, which expires later this summer. That is where their transition to becoming a sub-committee of the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition came in.
Kirkman indicates around $75,000 will go away upon the expiration of their grant. He says that means a workforce reduction but another grant will help them to continue their efforts of outreach and education.
You can learn more about the Coalition for Bright Futures by finding them on Facebook by searching "We Are More". You can also attend the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition Meetings at The Vault in Clinton. They meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 10 am.
When the Clinton Board of Education gathers tonight at their regular monthly board meeting, High School principal Jerry Wayne will highlight his automotive class achievement of building a car from almost the ground up.
Wayne indicates Wayne Snearly, high school automotive teacher, has helped his students to build a car from the ground up. A shell of a car and parts have all been purchased to make this happen and it has almost been exclusively been built by the students.
On the agenda for tonight's school board meeting is a presentation by the automotive class and Wayne is hopeful the students will be able to showcase the vehicle for the Board.
Wayne could not be more proud of the work by the automotive students and says these are skills their students are learning that can lead them down a career path in the future or just be skills they carry with them throughout their lives.
Tonight the Board of Education, among other items, will approve a contract extension of FFA Advisor Lee Deal, approve summer maintenance projects and upgrades to the softball field at the high school.
FARMERS FINALLY GOT A LITTLE TIME IN THE FIELDS THIS PAST WEEK…BUT REMAIN WELL BEHIND LAST YEAR’S PACE.
ABOUT TWO AND A HALF DAYS WERE SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK…GIVING PRODUCERS A CHANCE TO START CATCHING UP SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
NINE PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED AND TWO PERCENT HAVE EMERGED.
64 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT IS HEADING AND THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW FIVE PERCENT COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE NOW STANDS AT 44 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 56 PERCENT SURPLUS.
The move to change Illinois flat income tax structure is another step closer for voters to consider in two years. It’s a long process but another rung has been climbed on the ladder as a house committee advanced a bill on Monday to the full house for consideration. However the bill out of committee looks quite a bit different than the Senate version did – as the house is choosing not to set tax rates at this time. The President of the Illinois Manufacturing Association Mark Denzler says this proposal sets Illinoisans up to be taxed out of the state.
A few more steps still remain; the full house needs to approve it along with getting a signature from the Governor. Then it goes to the public for approval on the November 2020 ballot.
Clinton City Commissioner Tom Edmunds was one many individuals that worked with Mayor Stan Stites, who passed away last week at his Clinton home.
Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Commissioner Edmunds recalled his time working with the two-term Mayor who suffered a heart attack while in office and made sure Edmunds was one of his first calls.
Mayor Roger Cyrulik joined Edmunds remembrance mentioning Stites wrote a couple plays in his post-mayor years. Edmunds says along with being a good mayor, Stites was a good man.
At the Monday night City Council meeting....
>>The Council approved the financial audits and TIF Funds audit with Floyd and Associates, CPAs
>>The Council approved the water tower cleaning with Difco, Inc. at a cost of $5250.
>>The Council approved a chemical testing machine for the water department at a cost just short of $4700 through Hach.
Law enforcement has been outspoken about a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois and Monday morning, DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker joined in.
The Sheriff says the proposal is costly beyond what it brings in. Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Sheriff Walker points to other states that have legalized recreational pot, their revenue is not at all what they projected, plus, they are finding other issues accompanying the changes.
Those against the legalization says there is also an increase in public safety liabilities. Sheriff Walker says those that vote for this are supporting a bill that increases traffic accidents and deaths.
Perhaps the biggest argument the law enforcement community is pushing is the fact they have no way to monitor how much marijuana may be in an impaired drivers system. Sheriff Walker says it's not as easy as determining as with alcohol.
Proponents of the legislation say they have considered what other states have done with their legislation and it takes those lessons into account as they craft a bill in Springfield.
Sheriff Walker also expressed concerns regarding having enough officers and resources to enforce the laws locally.
When the Clinton City Council convenes tonight, the singular bid for summer maintenance will go on file for the annual summer maintenance projects.
Public Works Director, Steve Lobb, says they have roughly 35-40 blocks of city roadways they are targeting with this year's budget. He explains they'll strip and repair the roads and seal coat them with oil and chip and while the public may not like that method of road repair, Lobb points out it is the most cost-effective and overall effective way to repair the secondary roads.
According to Lobb, the plans are set for where the oil and chip will take place and those maps are available at City Hall. He notes for now that could change depending on how much bids come in at.
Mother nature dictates when crews are able to get out and get the work done but Lobb says most years they are able to get everything taken care around July and August.
Lobb reminds the public, motor fuel tax money typically totals roughly $100,000. While the City brings in around $170,000, they have been putting money aside for big projects like the recently announced $1-million Center Street project. Lobb adds the limited amount of money doesn't allow them to tackle all the projects that need to be taken care of.
The bid that will go on file tonight at the Clinton City Council will be for just over $99,400 from Illiana Construction Company.
The DeWitt County Bright Futures Coalition is now a committee of the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition.
President of the Substance Abuse Coalition, Jeff DeLaughter says the Bright Futures Coalition was charged with addressing the epidemic of underage drinking in DeWitt and Piatt Counties and now they will be under the umbrella of the Coalition.
According to DeLaughter, they will have a representative from the Bright Futures Coalition that will represent them on the Substance Abuse Coalition. He says they will continue their mission or outreach and education to Piatt County and DeWitt County youth to prevent underage drinking.
The best way to find more about the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition is to visit their Facebook page or to join them for their monthly meetings, the third Tuesday of each month at 10 am at The Vault in Clinton. Their May meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday) morning at 10 am.
As the weather begins to warm up, the chances are increasing for unexpected severe weather.
With that in mind, local officials are promoting the Code Red emergency alert system for DeWitt County. Tony Harris, Director for DeWitt County CENCOM, explains the system is essentially an alert system for the public when events arise.
The public has plenty of options upon getting signed up for the system. Harris says you can enter your address and select how you want to be notified, whether that be by email, phone call or even text message.
According to Harris, those that lack access to the internet to get signed up can contact the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office, DeWitt County EMA or even Harris at DeWitt County CENCOM and they can take care of the registration themselves.
Contact information for all those offices and a link to the Code Red system is available at dewittcountyill.com. You can also get the same link at the City of Clinton website by visiting clintonillinois.com.
May is graduation month at colleges and universities across Illinois and May 29th serves as National 529 College Savings Day.
Joe Buhrmann, manager in Financial Planning Support at COUNTRY Financial says student loan debt remains a growing problem and college savings plans can help alleviate the burden.
In addition to college savings plans, Buhrmann also encourages families to consider the military as an avenue for higher education and also to aggressively pursue grants and scholarships to lower the financial burden of college.
SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE’S OFFICE IS LAUNCHING A PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN ON ILLINOIS’ MOVE OVER LAW.
REMINDERS WILL BE ADDED TO DRIVER’S LICENSE AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION RENEWAL NOTICES AND A TEST QUESTION WILL BE ADDED TO THE WRITTEN DRIVING EXAM. THE LAW REQUIRES MOTORISTS TO SLOW DOWN AND SWITCH LANES IF THEY SEE FLASHING LIGHTS ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD SAYS SECRETARY WHITE.
DRIVERS CONVICTED OF VIOLATING THE MOVE OVER LAW FACE A FINE OF BETWEEN 100 AND 10 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
SEVERAL STATE TROOPERS HAVE BEEN STRUCK BY PASSING MOTORISTS SO FAR THIS YEAR, INCLUDING THREE WHO HAVE DIED.
Rebuild Illinois is the branding for a capital plan from Democrat Governor JB Pritzker.
The Governor unveiled the plan Friday to lawmakers it comes with spending and new taxes. Billions of fixes and updates are being called for on horizontal and vertical infrastructure projects.
The draft projects spending $41 billion over six years. It will do so by doubling the motor fuel tax and bumping vehicle registration fees, boosting liquor taxes, altering video gaming taxes and the often sought but never realized tax on cable, satellite and streaming services.
This comes at a time when members of the Senate have been talking big about a capital plan of its own.
The spring session wraps at the end of May.
Ag and transportation groups continue to bring attention to the nation’s aging lock and dam infrastructure. Plenty needs to be done says Paul Rohde with the Waterways Council.
Rohde says the infrastructure was built during the Works Progress Administration in 1939 with 19th century traffic in mind.
LEGISLATION HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK AIMS TO BETTER PROTECT ANIMALS IN KENNELS.
THE BILL REQUIRES KENNELS THAT AREN’T STAFFED AROUND THE CLOCK TO BE EQUIPPED WITH A FIRE ALARM THAT AUTOMATICALLY NOTIFIES FIRST RESPONDERS. SENATOR DON DEWITTE OF ST. CHARLES SAYS IT WAS PROMPTED BY A TRAGIC FIRE IN WEST CHICAGO BACK IN JANUARY.
THE ALARM OR SPRINKLER SYSTEM WOULD HAVE TO BE INSTALLED IN EACH BUILDING OF THE FACILITY. IT’S NOW UP TO THE GOVERNOR TO SIGN THE BILL INTO LAW.
SOME “SNAP” RECIPIENTS MAY SOON BE ABLE TO USE THEIR BENEFITS IN RESTAURANTS.
LAWMAKERS PASSED A BILL SETTING UP A PROGRAM WHERE THE ELDERLY, HOMELESS AND DISABLED CAN USE THEIR BENEFITS TO GET A GOOD MEAL AT A RESTAURANT. IT’S SUPPORTED BY SENATOR DAN MCCONCHIE OF HAWTHORN WOODS WHO USES A WHEELCHAIR.
CURRENTLY, SNAP BENEFITS, WHICH WORK LIKE FOOD STAMPS, CAN ONLY BE USED AT GROCERY STORES AND FARMERS MARKETS. THE BILL STILL NEEDS TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR.
ILLINOIS STATE POLICE TROOPERS ISSUED MORE THAN 560 TICKETS DURING A SPECIAL DISTRACTED DRIVING EFFORT.
DURING DISTRACTED DRIVING WEEK LAST MONTH…TROOPERS ACROSS THE STATE FOCUSED ON DRIVERS WHO WEREN’T PAYING ATTENTION BECAUSE OF TEXTING OR TALKING ON THEIR CELLPHONES. TROOPERS ISSUED 569 DISTRACTED DRIVING CITATIONS DURING THAT TIME…AND ANOTHER 57-HUNDRED TICKETS FOR OTHER VIOLATIONS. LIEUTENANT JOE HUTCHINS SAYS THEY HOPE PEOPLE REALIZE HOW DANGEROUS THEIR BEHAVIOR IS.
AS PART OF THE EFFORT…STATE POLICE ALSO PROVIDED OVER 250 HOURS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION ON DISTRACTED DRIVING TO SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY GROUP.
STATE POLICE URGE DRIVERS TO PUT DOWN THEIR PHONES AND AVOID OTHER DISTRACTIONS THAT MAY NOT BE ILLEGAL BUT CAN STILL TAKE YOUR EYES AND MIND OFF THE ROAD.
This week afforded many farmers time in the fields but a pause is likely coming as more rain, even some severe weather, is forecast for this week. State Climatologist Office Spokesperson Brian Kerschner has more....
The bill for legalized marijuana in Illinois remains under conversation. It remains up for debate and possible changes as supporters seek passage and opponents remain skeptical that legal weed is good for the state.
Speaking on behalf of the Illinois Sherriff’s Association Sangamon County Sherriff Jack Campbell says his group and most in law enforcement have some big concerns. They begin with being on the front lines of public safety and trying to determine who’s really driving high and what they can do to stop them.
Police groups also are concerned about the Home Grow component of the law. Worrying about how they really limit those over 21 to just five plants being grown for personal use.
A Farmer City streetscape project that has been a long time in the making will finally come to fruition this summer and Blue Ridge officials are very excited.
As the school year comes to a close, each day brings the Farmer City campus of the Blue Ridge district closer to a project that will create better flow in the before and after school hours. Superintendent Susan Wilson says this project has been in the planning stages for some time and she's excited for it to get going.
The project is a city-developed project so it will be up to their contractors on when that will begin but Wilson is looking forward to having it complete in time for the start of school next year.
NEW PENALTIES AWAIT SOME DISTRACTED DRIVERS UNDER LEGISLATION PASSED BY LAWMAKERS THURSDAY.
IF YOU SERIOUSLY INJURE SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU ARE TEXTING AND DRIVING…YOUR LICENSE WILL BE SUSPENDED FOR ONE YEAR AND A FINE OF UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS WILL BE ASSESSED. SENATOR JIL TRACY OF QUINCY SAYS THE CHANGE WAS PROMPTED BY AN INCIDENT IN HER AREA.
TRACY ADDS IF YOU END UP SERIOUSLY HURTING SOMEONE BECAUSE YOU’RE ON YOUR PHONE WHILE DRIVING…EXPECT TO LOSE YOUR LICENSE FOR A YEAR AND PAY A FINE OF UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
IF SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR…THE NEW PENALTIES WOULD TAKE EFFECT NEXT SUMMER.
A NEW INSTANT LOTTERY TICKET WILL BENEFIT POLICE MEMORIALS AROUND THE STATE.
THE "BLUE" TICKET JOINS THE LOTTERY’S ROSTER OF SPECIALTY GAMES, AND ALL PROCEEDS WILL SUPPORT MEMORIALS HONORING FALLEN OFFICERS. HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER JIM DURKIN SPONSORED LEGISLATION CREATING THE NEW GAME. HE SAYS MONEY RAISED WILL ALSO GO TOWARDS THE COST OF BULLETPROOF VESTS.
ILLINOIS STATE POLICE ACTING DIRECTOR BRENDAN KELLY.....
THE BLUE TICKET COSTS TWO DOLLARS TO PLAY AND OFFERS A TOP PRIZE OF 20 THOUSAND DOLLARS.
The DeWitt County Museum was the host Friday for the annual Ag Day put on by the DeWitt County Farm Bureau.
Ag Day brings together area implement dealers to showcase the latest in agriculture equipment and show Clinton Elementary fourth grade students what farming was like before advancements in technology allowed for more efficient farming. Executive Director of the DeWitt County Museum, Joey Woolridge says it is can be a real eye-opener for the students.
Director of the DeWitt County Farm Bureau Janel Baum-Thomas says Ag Day has become more than just a display of modern ag equipment and has become a more complete learning experience about agriculture.
Woolridge says Ag Day is a long-standing tradition that many people that haven't been back to the Homestead in some time will recall their earliest memories of the DeWitt County landmark as being the ag day event they attended in grade school.
Former Clinton Mayor Stan Stites passed away Wednesday at his home in Clinton at the age of 93.
Stites served as Mayor of Clinton for two terms from 1979-1987. Major projects that were achieved during his service included changing the library - a city library with only a small city tax – to a district library that covered the same area as the school district. Tax funds from the nuclear power plant provided the Warner Library with money for its current facility on Quincy Street.
Mayor Stites learned that county and township motor-fuel tax could be used to help pay for a street from West Main to Route 10 which resulted in the city annexing the area which created Illini Drive.
Stites also helped secure a grant to build the DeWitt County Friendship Center.
As mayor, Stites named the downtown park “Mr. Lincoln’s Square” to honor Lincoln.
A memorial service will be arranged at a later date. The family requests no flowers. Memorials can be made to the Clinton United Methodist Church where Stan previously served as lay leader.
Encore Thrift Store will be modifying its name to better describe what they do.
Executive Director Stephanie Coonce is excited to finally reveal they will soon be known as "Encore Developmental Services". She indicates it was a long process to decide and finalize the name change and feels it better promotes what they do.
Leaders of the non-profit believe the name "DeWitt County Human Resource Center" has some negative stigmas and connotations surrounding it and they felt it was time for a fresh start.
President of the Board for Encore, Gary Gullone, says Encore has come a long way in the last four to five years. He points to their improvements to the facility and the financial stability as proof of that.
Gullone indicates Encore continues to receive money from the 708 Board and Coonce points out they also receive support from United Way and the State Farm Good Neighbor program that allows them to work their client's speech and communication skills.
So much to do with so little time to do it. That is how some feel about the legislative work ahead for lawmakers as the May spring session is ending in about two weeks. Lawmakers have to debate and vote on sports gambling legalization, marijuana legalization, changes to the income tax structure and maybe even a capital bill. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says it seems packed but there is time to get it all done.
And lawmakers have to approve a budget for the next fiscal year too.
JOBS WERE UP LAST MONTH IN ILLINOIS.
THE STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HELD STEADY AT FOUR POINT FOUR PERCENT IN APRIL…BUT PAYROLL JOBS INCREASED BY NEARLY 21 THOUSAND. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON SAM SALUSTRO SAYS THE BIGGEST GAINS WERE SEEN IN LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY, PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES AND CONSTRUCTION.
OVERALL IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD MONTH SAYS SALUSTRO.
JOB LOSSES WERE SEEN IN MANUFACTURING, INFORMATION AND TRADE, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILITIES. THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR APRIL CAME IN AT THREE POINT SIX PERCENT.
Last week, House Republican’s said the state can forgo tax and fee increases to balance the budget because state finances are in better shape than expected. Thursday, with revised and confirmed revenue numbers in hand, members of the House Republican Caucus reiterated their belief that the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) budget can be balanced without any tax increases.
State Representative and Deputy Republican Leader Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) said while Governor Pritzker had earlier wanted to call for another pension holiday, today’s revenue figures show without any taxes increase, the state can pay for their pensions, in full, in FY20 and have a balanced budget.
Lawmakers have until May 31 to pass a budget. Under ex-Governor Bruce Rauner, Illinois did not make that deadline in three of his four years in office.
A report came out mid-day Wednesday outlining the issues facing DCFS and Governor JB Pritzker says it is his focus to give the agency what they need to protect the state's children.
State Senator Chapin Rose has been talking about the issues surrounding DCFS for eight years and believes throwing more money at the agency is not going to solve the deep-rooted problems they face.
Rose says the things DCFS is concerning itself with right now is not what they should be focused on and points to specific examples in his district where they were impacting kids and communities in ways perhaps they shouldn't be.
Sen. Rose questions what is the function of DCFS. He explains they are being pulled in all sorts of directions and they have no direct purpose or function as outlined by the State of Illinois and feels if they had a mission, they could help them fix their issues.
Sen. Rose believes DCFS needs a quote - "functional, complete re-write to actually get to a point to where [they] can exist and function with any sanity". He questions if the objectives of DCFS as it exists currently is the best use of taxpayers money.
A Clinton High School student may have a case of the mumps and Clinton High School Principal Jerry Wayne weighed in on the situation Thursday morning.
On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday morning, Wayne told Regional Radio News they always keep the health of their students at the front of mind and in this time they are making sure students are very aware of what to do to keep from getting sick.
The vaccination debate continues to be fought by a small number in the public, Wayne says a vaccine doesn't necessarily mean complete immunity and points any parents with questions to their school nurse, Jill Martin.
Mumps is primarily spread by direct contact with respiratory droplets. Students are advised to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and washing their hands often.
For questions or information, you can contact the district nurse, Jill Martin, by calling 217-935-8337, extension 1007.
The annual May Days festival opens up tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon and it is sure to bring the crowds to the downtown area of Clinton.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says May Days is always a fun event for the community and surrounding areas and brings out the crowds. He reminds residents the area just south of the square will be blocked off for the carnival and the square will be blocked off for the duration of the festival this weekend.
Chief Lowers believes May Days a very clean and well-run festival that rarely brings any issues with it.
Chief Lowers asks those that plan to attend to leave the pets at home and also to plan to walk around the carnival and square area while leaving the bikes and skateboards at home. He notes if any of their officers encounter pets, bikes or skateboards, they will be asked to return those to their homes.
May Days are this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the square in Clinton. For a full list of the weekend's activities, visit clintonilchamber.com/maydays-festival.
Finding competitive bids is a challenge for area schools embarking on big-budget projects, that is unless you are Heyworth schools.
The Heyworth district is ready to launch a project that will renovate their athletic facilities along with a number of other smaller projects. Superintendent Lisa Taylor says they found their bids to be very competitive, something area districts are finding to be a challenge in this bidding environment.
According to Taylor, the Board has accepted the bids and construction is scheduled to begin once school is dismissed for the year. She says they are going to be taking on a new look for their classrooms and those decisions will be made this summer as well.
Taylor says some of the smaller projects include roofing improvements, boiler replacements, and asbestos work will take place this summer when students are not in the building. She also hopes their new gymnasium will be erected by the time students are back to school so most of the work can take place indoors as the weather begins to turn. She does not anticipate any interruptions to the school day come the new school year in the fall.
A group of Illinois prosecutors say a bill that would legalize possession and sale of marijuana for recreational use in Illinois has serious constitutional issues.
Prosecutors with the Illinois State Attorneys Association say having lawmakers toss out pot-related convictions would be out of step with the law because lawmakers would issue pardons.
Under the Illinois Constitution, only the Governor can issue pardons, Governor J.B. Pritzker believes the legislation is still in the legal clear....
Pritzker also says there is room for tweaks....
GOP State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington believes a mass pardon of all low-level marijuana convictions could eliminate the Constitutional issue.
TALKS ON RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LEGISLATION CONTINUE IN SPRINGFIELD.
THOSE TESTIFYING AT A SENATE HEARING INCLUDE JAY SHATTUCK WITH THE ILLINOIS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, WHO SAYS EMPLOYERS HAVE SOME CONCERNS. HE OFFERS THESE SUGGESTIONS.
OTHERS FEAR KIDS WILL GET THEIR HANDS ON WEED…BUT SENATOR TOI (toy) HUTCHINSON OF OLYMPIA FIELDS SAYS THAT’S ALREADY HAPPENING.
POLICE SAY THEY CURRENTLY DON’T HAVE A WAY TO TEST DRIVERS FOR MARIJUANA AND SAY IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO ENFORCE THE FIVE HOMEGROWN PLANTS RULE. OTHERS RECOMMEND EXTENSIVE EDUCATION ABOUT THE RISKS OF MARIJUANA AND QUESTION NOT ALLOWING PEOPLE TO SMOKE IN PUBLIC.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES IS EMBRACING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM AN INDEPENDENT REPORT ON THE AGENCY.
THE REPORT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO’S CHAPIN HALL FOUND THAT D-C-F-S FOCUSES SO MUCH ON KEEPING FAMILIES INTACT, THAT CHILDREN IN ABUSIVE SITUATIONS ARE LEFT IN DANGER. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS IT’S TIME FOR AN OVERHAUL.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS SOME CHANGES ARE ALREADY UNDERWAY SUCH AS REVIEWING THE MOST PRESSING CASES AND RETRAINING CASEWORKERS. OTHERS WILL BE MADE OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS D-C-F-S WILL IMMEDIATELY REVIEW OPEN HIGH-RISK CASES AND EXPAND TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR CASEWORKERS. A CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM WILL REVIEW ANY CHILD DEATHS TO DETERMINE WHAT WENT WRONG.
The Clinton Police Department is seeking your help and information in solving a bomb threat that was reported from the Clinton Jr. High School.
On May 14, 2019, the Clinton Police Department responded to the Clinton Jr. High School located at 701 Illini Dr. regarding a threat that was scrawled on a bathroom wall indicating there was a bomb in the building.
In response to this threat, all students and staff were immediately evacuated. The Clinton Police Department along with school officials conducted a thorough search of the building and ultimately deemed it safe for students to return to the learning environment after no explosive device was located. This most recent event comes on the heels of a previous bomb threat that was reported from the Clinton Jr. High only eight days prior.
Transmitting a bomb threat is a felony crime. These incidents are taken very seriously with the ultimate goal being to ensure that no valid threat ever goes unnoticed. Any person or persons convicted of transmitting a bomb threat will face dire consequences and could be charged with a class 3 felony. Agencies expend considerable man-hours and defendants can also be ordered to incur the considerable costs for what many times is a lengthy investigation while trying to determine if a true and credible threat exists.
Crimestoppers may pay a cash reward of up to $1000.00 when a felony arrest is made as a result of information that you have provided. Anyone with any information regarding this threat or any other crimes or wanted fugitives is asked to contact the Clinton Area Crime Stoppers at 217-935-3333.
Remember as always; our phone line is not recorded and does not utilize caller identification.
We don’t want your name, just your information.
A second bomb threat this year was detected at Clinton Junior High School Tuesday morning.
Superintendent Curt Nettles says the threat was discovered shortly before the noon hour Tuesday and authorities were notified and students were evacuated until the OK was given to return to the building.
According to Nettles, they take the threats very seriously and will pursue charges if they need to but he says it is a fine balance to remember they are dealing with young people who may be seeking attention for one reason or another.
Nettles points out it is only a small number of students who are disrupting things for around 400 students.
Bomb threats at Clinton Junior High School are nothing new. A couple of years ago there was a rash of threats that happened several at a time over several weeks in the spring and Nettles indicates this is the second threat to the school this spring.
It'll be a warm welcome - pun intended - when 80-degree weather and sun blankets central Illinois this weekend.
The hardware stores will likely be inundated with people purchasing the plants they'll be growing in their home gardens and University of Illinois Extension officials remind the public about their master gardener resources.
Candace Hart with the U of I Extension office in DeWitt County says their master gardeners are available to answer questions but they also have plenty of online resources.
Master Gardeners always see an increase in inquiries this time of year and Hart says it is never a bother to field questions from anyone doing any type of gardening.
Extension offices across the state host seminars and various programs for the community along with blogs and helpful resources for various topics. Again the website is extension.illinois.edu.
Alzheimer's advocates rallied in Springfield earlier this month and Regional Radio News' Christy Webb has the story....
A central Illinois entity is looking for baseball players to participate in their old-school baseball league this summer.
The Macon County Conservation District is looking for able bodies athletes of any skill level to play baseball from 1858. Richie Wolf indicates the vintage baseball team, The Groundsquirrels, will open their season May 25 at noon.
Wolf indicates baseball from 1858 is played like the baseball we know today but without gloves and a few twists in the rules.
The Groundsquirrels are looking for players for this year's season. Wolf explains players are volunteers and they travel all over the area for games throughout the summer.
According to Wolf, it is free for anyone to play but they ask you to register by calling Jenny 217-423-7708.
A number of Illinois towns have often been mispronounced over the years. And that's the motivation of the University of Illinois' Pronunciation Guide says recent U-of-I grad John Bruns.
The project is through the school's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. You can find the guide at "go.illinois.edu/pronunciationguide".
DRIVERS WHO IGNORE ILLINOIS’ MOVE OVER LAW MAY SOON FACE TOUGHER PENALTIES.
NEW LEGISLATION RAISES THE FINES FOR NOT SWITCHING LANES WHEN A VEHICLE WITH FLASHING LIGHTS IS ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. SENATOR TONY MUNOZ OF CHICAGO SAYS WITH 16 STATE POLICE TROOPERS STRUCK SO FAR THIS YEAR, THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING.
ILLINOIS STATE POLICE ACTING DIRECTOR BRENDAN KELLY SAYS IT’S A WAY TO DEAL WITH THE GRIEF OF LOSING TWO TROOPERS THIS YEAR TO SCOTTS LAW VIOLATIONS.
UNDER THE BILL, THE FINE WILL BE 250 DOLLARS FOR A FIRST OFFENSE AND 750 FOR A SECOND OFFENSE. AN ADDITIONAL 250 DOLLAR FEE WILL BE ADDED ON TOP OF THAT TO HELP PAY FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION ABOUT THE MOVE OVER LAW. MOTORISTS WHO HIT A FIRST RESPONDER WOULD FACE FELONY CHARGES.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING A PLAN TO END THE H-I-V EPIDEMIC IN ILLINOIS BY 2030.
THE “GETTING TO ZERO” INITIATIVE ATTACKS THE PROBLEM FROM SEVERAL ANGLES…ESPECIALLY PREVENTION. THAT INCLUDES INCREASING ACCESS TO “PREP” MEDICATION FOR THOSE VULNERABLE TO H-I-V, ESPECIALLY IN LOW INCOME COMMUNITIES SAYS PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gozi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay).
THE PLAN IS THE RESULT OF TWO YEARS OF WORK WITH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PARTNERS.
IT ALSO AIMS TO BOOST AWARENESS ABOUT HOW H-I-V IS TRANSMITTED AND TREAT THOSE ALREADY INFECTED.
Quad City area State Senator Neil Anderson is on the negotiating team discussing the new recreational marijuana legislation but he sees several problems with the way the language is currently written.
Senator Anderson expects a lot of negotiations to take place over the next several weeks. He is also hopeful that they will come to a bi-partisan compromise on the budget. Anderson says that they are expected to adjourn on May 31st.
Today was a day of honor for fallen firefighters in Illinois. Last year just one firefighter - Chicago Firefighter Juan Bucio lost his life in the line of duty. State Fire Marshall Matt Perez says that Bucio lost his life in a diving accident trying to rescue someone in the Chicago River. He says when a firefighter dies its hits as hard as losing a loved one.
Already this year two firefighters have died, one in Godfrey and another in Christopher.
This year marks 47 years in the partnership between the American Legion and the Illinois State Police for the annual American Legion Youth Camp. Illinois State Police Special Agent Melissa Uhles (Yoo-lis) says the camp is for kids with an interest in careers in the military or law enforcement.
Local youth have the opportunity to attend the camp. Clinton Legion Post 103 is looking for local youth interested in law enforcement. Post Commander, Josh Thielen, says they have funds available to send youth from across the area to the camp.
Registration for the American Legion Youth Camp in Springfield is due to the Illinois State Police by Thursday, May 30th. The American Legion Youth Camp will be held at State Police Headquarters June 23rd through June 28th. To learn more, contact the Clinton Legion Post 103 at their Facebook page.
Planting equipment could be rolling as early as this week across the area as the weather seems to be giving producers a chance to finally get in the fields.
As the equipment gets rolled out, State Police are reminding motorists to be on the lookout for the heavy machinery and slow down and give them space. Trooper Matt Frizzle says it's important to be cautious if you are going to pass them on country roads.
Trooper Frizzle also has a message for farmers who will be getting out in full force very soon to plant....
Trooper Frizzle indicates as planting season kicks into high gear in the next week or two, it will likely run up on the Memorial Day weekend when authorities will be planning details during the holiday.
Authorities continue to remind motorists it is the law to get over for emergency vehicles on the side of the road and they remained focused on the safety of their peers across the state.
WET CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO PLAGUE ILLINOIS FARM FIELDS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
LESS THAN ONE DAY WAS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK THIS PAST WEEK. NOT MUCH GOT DONE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
35 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT IS HEADING AND 37 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS NOW RATED AT 23 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 77 PERCENT SURPLUS.
Dealing with flooding or other natural disasters is enough of a headache you don’t need the added pressure of getting your taxes done on time.
The Governor and Illinois Department of Revenue is offering some relief to people in 34 flooded counties in the form of a waiver from penalties and interest on income taxes, sales taxes and other taxes that need to be filed.
But if you want a waiver you will have to request one says Revenue’s Sam Salustro.
The process can start online with an email – REV dot DISASTER RELIEF at ILLINOIS dot GOV
MoDOT has closed the westbound lanes of the Jefferson Barracks Bridge, the southernmost span linking Illinois to Missouri in the St. Louis region. It was closed Sunday as MoDOT Joe Molinaro, Bridge Engineer for the St. Louis Region says crews inspecting the bridge on I-255 found a crack on a steel beam the underside of the bridge's westbound span.
He says as of now, there is no good estimate on identifying a fix and making repairs, but MoDOT now anticipates it will take at least until the end of the week. Molinaro notes the eastbound lanes were also inspected on Sunday, and has been deemed safe. The closure produces even more bottlenecks, as the MLK Bridge leading into St. Louis is closed for repairs, and the lower lanes of US 67 just south of Alton remain closed due to flooding.
China for too long has abused the trading system. Those words from Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. He still believes the U.S. will eventually win the ongoing trade war.
Kinzinger resides in Channahon and represents Illinois’ 16th Congressional District, which includes plenty of farm ground--stretching from Rockford through Ottawa to Watseka.
July 12 is the targeted date for a grand opening for Goodwill in Clinton.
The second-hand retailer's new location in the former Walmart location is being shared with Tractor Supply Company. Pat Anderson with Goodwill says their construction continues and they are hopeful things will remain on track for a mid-July opening.
Anderson indicates there are aspects of the construction that are complete. He explains they have new front doors, donation drop off doors and windows installed.
According to Anderson, the opening of a new store relies on donations that are stored in their central Illinois warehouse in Jacksonville. He notes as they begin to get established, they will slowly get their local donations introduced to their inventory.
With a mid-July open date targeted by Goodwill, it is indicated to Regional Radio News Tractor Supply Company is seeking a late June opening.
May is mental health awareness month and a local group is using this month to promote their new website.
The DeWitt County Mental Health Board, commonly known as the 708 Board, has never had a web presence before and Sharon Mills says they are excited about its rollout and having a place for the community to go to find more information.
Mills explains the Mental Health Board helps to provide funding to area agencies that are aimed at providing support to residents that battle mental health issues.
The DeWitt County Mental Health Board supports area agencies through about a half-million dollars of funding from a tax levy through DeWitt County.
To find the Board on the web, visit dewittcountymhb.com or find them on Facebook.
The City of Clinton is planning a $1 million improvement project to Center Street to be completed in 2020.
Steve Lobb, Director of Public Works, indicates the project will cover the entirety of Center Street from the south end of Van Buren through the north end of Woodlawn. The City will perform curb, gutter, and sidewalk replacement along with a complete resurfacing.
Lobb says bids will start this winter with work starting in the spring. The city hopes to be completed by Apple and Pork. Handicap accessibility is a major focus for the project as well.
Lobb indicates the Apple and Pork Festival was a deciding factor for the necessity of the project.
It's National Police Week across the country.
Clinton Police Chie Ben Lowers says this is a week they take time to honor those fallen officials and appreciate the service of those serving the public now.
Chief Lowers says the rate of officer deaths in the line of duty continues to rise and points to the spike so far for officer deaths in Illinois n 2019.
Law enforcement continues to be cognizant of the dangers of conducting traffic stops and Chief Lowers reminds the public it is the law to get over when you see flashing lights on the side of the road.
While the law enforcement community locally has not conducted a Peace Officer Day ceremony in a couple of years, Chief Lowers encourages a visit to Downey Park and to check out the Walk of Honor set up there at the corner of South Street and White Street.
An energy efficiency project this summer hopes to the cure for high power bills for a DeWitt County School District.
Blue Ridge schools have battled high power consumption at their Farmer City campus and Superintendent Susan Wilson says they are targeting an energy efficiency project to help reduce those power bills.
Energy efficiency projects are not cheap, however, Wilson hopes the district begins to see a return on their investment rather quickly with the savings they are projected to realize.
According to Wilson, the system in place is a good system, however, they need to re-tune their motors and developing sensors to allow room-specific climate control.
The U.S. Grains Council is celebrating World Trade Month this May by highlighting the top markets for grain exports. Tom Sleight, President and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, says World Trade Month is an opportunity to celebrate the value of trade for agriculture…
Sleight says there are many successes and challenges the Council is highlighting through World Trade Month…
Developing new markets, part of the work done by the U.S. Grains Council, is the cornerstone of global trade…
Sleight says farming is a global business, and trade around the world affects farms in the United States…
Learn more about World Trade Month through the U.S. Grains Council social media pages and at Grains.org.
The trucking industry keeping a watchful eye on the state capital this spring. Don Schaefer is with the Springfield based Mid-West Truckers Association.
The Mid-West Truckers Association represents 3,700 members in 15 different states.
Its life or death out there on the state’s highways – that’s the campaign from the Illinois Department of Transportation. It’s the second year for the safety campaign – “Life or Death Illinois”.
The main message will be true stories from those who have lost a family member to a fatal traffic accident. IDOT’s Guy Tridgell says it’s intended to be a strong message.
The state’s roadways can be deadly. More than a 1000 people die each year in traffic accidents.
Data analysis of spring flooding along the Missouri River highlights the need for disaster relief in the Midwest. NAFB's Micheal Clements has more…
While this past week the majority of the state saw high levels of precipitation, expect drier conditions coming up. State Climatologist Office Spokesperson Brian Kerschner has more...
Goodwill is going to need between 15 and 20 employees for their new location in Clinton.
If you're in need of work, swing by Warner Library this Thursday for open interviews with Goodwill. Pat Anderson, Vice President of Communications for Goodwill says they will interview from 9 am to 2 pm.
While it isn't required, individuals interested in applying can visit llgi.org/careers and start the application process. Otherwise, you can just show up and fill out an application on site and begin the process at the library located at 310 North Quincy Street.
The Peterson Insurance Agency continues to bring in the awards for the first quarter of 2019.
Owner Jay Peterson says they received a number of awards again for their production and sales.
Peterson feels fortunate they continue to have the trust of the community and looks forward to serving them for years to come.
Peterson Insurance is located just off the Clinton Square at 117 West Main Street. You can reach them by calling 217-935-6605 or by finding them on Facebook.
Congressman Rodney Davis says he is "optimistic" after the President's infrastructure meeting with Democratic leaders.
Rep. Davis indicates that is he is excited that the President and Democratic leaders were in agreement about a need for an infrastructure bill. He says the details remain to be discussed.
Davis says he feels the internal division of the Democratic party is a reason why they have not passed much legislation despite their majority in the House.
It's a big year for railroad enthusiasts with the 150th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad. That fact is not going unnoticed by the folks at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. They're launching a new exhibit, “All Aboard: America’s Love of Railroads” at neighboring Union Station. The library and museum's Chris Wills previews the offerings....
There will also be a model of the funeral train that carried Lincoln’s body, and a place for visitors to share their own railroad memories.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) has announced that his staff will be holding a series of Traveling Help Desks in May. Traveling Help Desks are held while Congress is in session to ensure constituents in every corner of the district have an opportunity to connect with staff if they need help with a federal agency or have questions about legislation. These are in addition to Open Office Hours where Davis meets with constituents one-on-one or in small groups.
If you need assistance with a federal agency, have policy issues you would like to discuss, or just want to say hi, please stop by to meet with staff. You are encouraged to make an appointment in advance of these help desks.
Events in the area include:
Warrensburg Traveling Help Desk
May 15th, 10:00-11:30am
Warrensburg Village Hall
Cerro Gordo Traveling Help Desk
May 17th, 10:00-11:30am
Cerro Gordo Village Hall
State Sen. Chapin Rose and Representative Dan Caulkins have announced they have reached an agreement with the University of Illinois to increase access for veterans.
The lawmakers worked with the University of Illinois Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Andreas Cangellaris, reaching an agreement to form a committee to focus on the issue. The group will include Dean Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell and Naval ROTC Commanding Officer Captain Anthony Corapi.
Senator Rose was glad to see the long process come to fruition.
Representative Caulkins, a veteran himself, noted other state universities have much more extensive policies on this already, and this will ensure that veterans attending the U of I are treated fairly.
The new committee will be tasked with studying the issues and finding ways to make it easier for veterans to transfer credits they’ve already earned and to receive credit for real-time, real-world work experience.
Hard to believe warmer weather and boating season is just around the corner. The Clinton Lake Marina has worked through the winter to improve quality around the lake. This winter, that included replacing the old breakwater at the entrance of the marina. Dave Newberg with the DeWitt County Board says the new orange-and-blue barrier was needed after simply trying to repair the old structure in the past did not work out well.
Also new to Clinton Lake, this summer is the leasees operating the marina. Newberg indicates the vendor is still working on finalizing things like food service and mechanics for the summer, but he says the board understands there will be hiccups with a new team.
The unofficial start of summer isn't until Memorial Day, but you may see some boats popping up on Clinton Lake as the weather heats up.
The Clinton School District has set its academic calendar for the 2019-2020 school year.
Superintendent Curt Nettles indicates while the district is awaiting legislation to define a school day, the district has gone ahead and put together their calendar for the next school year. August 21 is set for the first day of student attendance for elementary, sixth grade, freshman and students new to the district. Everyone else will start on August 22.
Nettles says the district will plan to have "at home learning days" in the case school is canceled. He reports it will be set up to where every student will be able to complete assignments regardless of technology or internet access.
Nettles indicates that he is not willing to substitute more than three days of classroom instruction for the at home learning days.
If you haven't had the chance to get your veggie garden going, you're not alone.
Master Gardener Candace Hart at the University of Illinois Extension Office says it's been hard string together enough dry days to get your garden ready. For now, we seem to be past the 'freeze warning' phase of the spring.
If you've been adventurous this spring, you may have those cooler weather vegetables going. Hart says you could probably drop those in the ground now if you get a few hours to prep the dirt.
For those seedlings you've started inside, Hart says it's best to keep those under a fluorescent light and get them outside when you can until the weather turns long enough to get them in the ground. Initially, though, you'll want to limit their exposure to the outdoors.
Yesterday on Regional Radio News, we heard from the National Weather Service they are predicting drier conditions heading towards the middle to the end of May.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS LAUNCHING THE SECOND YEAR OF ITS “LIFE OR DEATH ILLINOIS” SAFETY CAMPAIGN.
THE CAMPAIGN FEATURES TRUE STORIES OF FAMILIES THAT HAVE LOST A LOVED ONE IN A FATAL CRASH. I-DOT SPOKESPERSON GUY TRIDGELL SAYS THEY WANT TO SEND A STRONG MESSAGE.
MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE DIE EACH YEAR ON ILLINOIS ROADS…AND MOST CRASHES ARE PREVENTABLE SAYS TRIDGELL.
THE CAMPAIGN IS RUNNING ON VARIOUS MEDIA CHANNELS AND AT THE WEBSITE: LIFE OR DEATH ILLINOIS DOT COM.
Economists from the University of Illinois and Ohio State University say serious planting delays will result in reduced yields this year. Gary Schnitkey of Illinois and Carl Zulauf (Zoo-laff) of Ohio point out that history suggests the odds have increased for lower corn yields in 2019 compared to 2018, and soybean yields will likely not be exceptional. Very little planting has occurred over much of the Corn Belt, as 23 percent of corn was reported planted in the top 18 corn-producing states, compared to a 46 percent average for the last five years at this time in the spring. Late planting does not necessarily mean that 2019 yields will be low. In 2009, much late planting of corn occurred, and national yields were still ten bushels above trend. However, the two economists write that yields have been exceptionally higher across the Midwest recently. With delayed planting, yields are expected to be more towards average. Higher yields kept net incomes high enough for farmers to get by last year, but that may be gone in 2019.
The Environmental Protection Agency must finalize its year-round E15 proposal quickly to allow sales this summer when current regulations would halt E15 sales in many states. NAFB's Micheal Clements has more…
Illinois House Republican leaders are calling for a balanced budget and a voice in budget negotiations. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin believes the news that the state received 1.5 billion dollars more than expected in tax revenue last month shows a new spending plan can be crafted without new taxes or tax increases for this year and the future.....
The Office of Management and Budget has revealed Illinois received more than $4.1 billion of individual and corporate income tax revenue last month.
That's up 38% from April 2018.
Expanding the state’s Monetary Award Program grants for higher education will mean fewer dollars than ever for families and students looking for help to make college more affordable. Ray Watt has more from the Illinois Statehouse....
If you need information about Warrensburg-Latham Schools, plan on getting used to a new website.
Superintendent Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle says they revamping their website and she believes it will be much more user-friendly and will better organize everything the community could want to find.
Districts developing an app for their community has grown in popularity, as Clinton Schools recently rolled out an app as a part of a revamping of their website. Dr. Kendrick-Weikle points out they have had an app for several years now, but the two will work cohesively together once they roll out their new website.
Making information more available and easily accessible was a focus of the new website and Dr. Kendrick-Weikle believes they have done a good job of that with the new website.
The district hopes to go live with the new website by July 1.
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says they are still in the process of building the site and their staff is working hard to get content on there. She says there are a lot of things they are mandated to have available to the community they are working to get on there and they are training their staff on how to update and get information to the website.
SEVERAL GROUPS VISITED THE STATE CAPITOL WEDNESDAY TO EXPRESS THEIR OPPOSITION TO LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA.
OPPONENTS LIKE REPRESENTATIVE MARTY MOYLAN OF DES PLAINS CITE SEVERAL REASONS THAT SMOKING POT FOR FUN SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED.
ILLINOIS ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE PRESIDENT STEVEN STELTER IS CONCERNED ABOUT IMPAIRED DRIVING.
POLICE ALSO SAY ENFORCEMENT WILL BE AN ISSUE AND OTHERS ARGUE THAT RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LEADS TO THE ABUSE OF MORE ADDICTIVE DRUGS AND MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS.
LAWMAKERS WORKING ON THE BILL SAY THEY ARE OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources actively recruiting new conservation officers. A conservation officer has the enforcement authority of a local, county or state police official but works predominantly in nature, enforcing the rules when it comes to poaching and licensing and other laws related to being in public forests, and other wildlife areas. Lt Curt Lewis is a Conservation Police officer...
What type of enforcement does a Conservation Officer do?
To apply to become a Conservation Officer with the Illinois Department of Resources go to DNR.Illinois.Gov.
The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center's extended forecast for the rest of the month has been released.
Meteorologist Scott Baker notes the updated predictions are calling for normal precipitation for the middle of May.
Baker indicates the forecast for the end of May is equal chances above or below normal precipitation. He says after this first couple of weeks the rest of the month may be drier.
For more on the extended forecast go to www.weather.gov.
Rain or shine, there's going to be fun and food at Richland Community College's Clinton Education Center tomorrow (Thursday).
Rachel Brewer, Site Coordinator for the Clinton Higher Education Center explains they are inviting the community out for their open house from 3:30 to 7 pm tomorrow afternoon. Pending weather, she indicates they are hoping to have a dunk tank, live music, and food on the grill.
With all the activities for the community to take part in, Brewer hopes the community will want to learn about what's happening at the Richland Center. There will be information about their credit and non-credit courses coming to the Center as well as opportunities to express interest in courses that may not yet be on the schedule.
The open house is at Richland Community College's Clinton High Education Center at 140 Sunrise Court in Clinton from 3:30 to 7 pm. Check out the Clinton Center page on Facebook to find the event page or get more information about the Clinton Center by visiting richland.edu/clinton.
Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois aims to provide the low-income population with the resources and knowledge to escape a life of poverty and maintain financial stability.
With that in mind, their Executive Director was recently surprised when she put together the figures for an impact report to their Board. Alison Rumler-Gomez explains their senior nutrition and transportation services in Logan and Mason County have been a great program for those areas.
According to Rumler-Gomez, this coming year the focus of the organization is creating a sense of building a wealth mindset within their organization. She hopes that will help their clientele think of Community Action differently so their mindset becomes in line with their mission.
Rumler-Gomez says the emphasis is going to be on helping their clients develop a mindset of wealth building and abundances. She explains they have developed an app that she feels will help Community Action get to where everyone is now at in the 21st century.
Rumler-Gomez says they've already piloted the app and plan to roll it out to their Head Start families in August when their new Head Start year opens up. She points out they have a motivational tool to it and feels it will have a powerful impact on their families.
Dewitt County Emergency Management Agency is advising residents to brace for impact as severe weather season ramps up. With warmer temperatures comes the thunderstorms and tornadoes, and Micah Gallardo with Dewitt County EMA says it's time to check those emergency supply kits and plans. He outlines the essential items needed when severe weather hits.
Although there may be sunny skies when a thunderstorm watch is issued by the National Weather Service, Gallardo warns that doesn't mean a tornado cannot develop. And, if conditions do produce a tornado watch or warning, Gallardo advises everyone in the affected area to take shelter immediately. He gives some signs that might indicate a tornado is near.
Anyone with questions about severe weather preparedness can contact the Dewitt County EMA at 935-7790 or email Gallardo at email@example.com.
A NEW PROPOSAL TO RAISE THE TAX ON A PACK OF CIGARETTES BY ONE DOLLAR EMERGED TUESDAY AT THE STATE CAPITOL.
THE ONE BUCK INCREASE WOULD RAISE THE STATEWIDE SALES TAX ON A PACK OF SMOKES TO NEARLY THREE DOLLARS. THAT’S IN ADDITION TO ANY LOCAL SALES TAXES APPLIED. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gozi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS THIS WILL HELP REDUCE THE NUMBER OF SMOKERS.
SENATE PRESIDENT JOHN CULLERTON SAYS THIS WILL GENERATE AN ESTIMATED 180 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.
THE PLAN ALSO RAISES THE TAX ON CIGARS AND OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCTS. IT’S ESTIMATED THE INCREASES WOULD BRING IN ABOUT 180 MILLION DOLLARS IN NEW REVENUE EACH YEAR.
Friday the United States Department of Agriculture will release its first estimate of this year's spring crops. The delayed start to the planting season could cause it to drop a much lower corn yield.
University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Scott Irwin and his colleague Todd Hubbs have looked at the history of late planted crops. Irwin says there is a good chance this one will have a lower yield if thirty-percent of it is planted after May 20th…
He says historical data shows lower yields…
That’s University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Scott Irwin.
How are pests holding up in all this water? Short answer. They’ll survive.
That’s state agricultural pest coordinator Kelly Estes. She says producers who utilize cover crops are being challenged this spring because it’s been tough to burn them down with the wet ground and that gives a certain insect a perfect place to set up shop.
Estes says she is also monitoring for both black cutworm and true armyworm as they are currently migrating in from the south.
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul wants you to be on the lookout for alternative retail energy suppliers and deceptive practices that some use when selling consumers on switching providers. The pitch comes with saving money from a new supplier but often Raoul says those promises seem empty when the bills start coming in.
Raoul says that consumers need to be well versed in the cost associated with switching suppliers and that existing energy suppliers have to give notice if eclectic rates or gas rates are headed higher.
The boil order issued over the weekend by the Clinton Water Department early Monday has been lifted.
The area was the 1200 block E Main thru the 1500 block of E Main St.
For more information call the Clinton Water Department at 217-935-3432 during business hours.
The Clinton Community Education Foundation, or CCEF, held their wildly popular Derby Day fundraiser this Saturday and organizers say it was another hit with their supporters.
Derby Day centers around the running of the Kentucky Derby and attendees are able to place bets on the race. Eileen Carter with the CCEF told Regional Radio New Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, things became interesting when the horse that crossed the finish line first was disqualified and the horse that came in runner up, was deemed the winner of the race.
The CCEF uses the funds raised to support programs like the Gold Star Banquet at Clinton High School that honors the academic achievements of students. Carter says the contributions of the CCEF allowed parents of students to attend the banquet before the school adjusted things to reduce the time commitment on that night.
The CCEF supports and promotes a growing program in the lower levels of the school district called Read Across Clinton. Carter explains it promotes summer reading among younger students by providing them with five to ten books of their own.
Carter says the Read Across Clinton allows students to pick out books of interest to them, provide books for younger siblings as they get older and also give parents material to read to their students without having to spend a lot of money on books.
The Clinton City Council welcomed Ken Buchanan (pictured right) as the newest member to the Clinton City Council and re-appointed city officials.
Upon the swearing in of Buchanan, Steven Myers was re-appointed as City Attorney, Cheryl Van Valey as City Clerk, Clint Lichtenwalter as City Treasurer, Tom Edmunds as budget officer, Steve Lobb as Public Works Director, Tim Followell as Public Health Officer and sexton of the cemetery, Jeff Hoke as Fire Chief and Stephen Paige as assistant fire chief.
Commissioner Tom Edmunds and Mayor Roger Cyrulik discussed the upcoming four years of budgeting. Mayor Cyrulik discussed his frustration with the cuts that come from the money taxpayers pour into the city coughers while Edmunds says it is important to keep our local lawmakers in the know of how these proposals will impact the City of Clinton.
City Administrator Tim Followell indicates there are improvements coming to the sidewalks along the former Spurgeon's to Maverick building. He says there are some issues that need to be replaced.
The concrete work was approved at a cost of just over $20,600.
Additionally Monday night, the Council also approved the city's portion of a facade agreement with John Miller, owner of Sorento's, for just over $30,400.
The DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition entered 2019 with a goal to become more visible to the community.
One of the ways the Coalition sought to be more visible was to relocate their monthly meetings to The Vault in Clinton. President Jeff DeLaughter says relocating to The Vault made sense as their location downtown and their big industrial windows were the perfect combination for the community to see them.
Vice President of the Coalition, Paul Skowron calls their new location inviting and that has paid dividends as the attendance is up for their meetings.
As the coalition continues to work on increasing visibility, DeLaughter says they will have brochures around the community. He adds you may also see their magnets around the community and you can also find them at the upcoming May Days Festival on the Clinton Square.
The DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition meets the third Tuesday of each month at 10 am at The Vault on the Clinton Square and again DeLaughter reminds, anyone is welcome to be a part of their meetings.
Second Chance for Pets of DeWitt County is partnering with a pair of community organizations to help support local pet owners.
The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is now a drop-off point for dog food donations to Second Chance. Heather Wantland with Second Chance for Pets says those donations then end up at Community Action, which is serving as a location for their pet food pantry.
Wantland emphasizes Second Chance does not have a facility to store their donations and is thankful groups like the Chamber and Community Action have partnered with them to continue to serve the community and their pets.
Chamber Executive Director Marian Brisard says they are happy to partner with the DeWitt County non-profit. She goes over the basics of the program but also provides details of how the Chamber fits....
The closure of Clinton Walmart has impacted the donations and availability of pet supplies for the community and for Second Chance. Walmart was a great supporter through donations of the DeWitt County Animal Shelter and Second Chance.
LAST WEEK WAS A BUST FOR ILLINOIS FARMERS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
RAIN OVER THE PAST WEEK AVERAGED MORE THAN TWO INCHES ABOVE NORMAL, KEEPING PRODUCERS OUT OF THE FIELDS SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHELEUSENER.
10 PERCENT OF CORN AND THREE PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED, WELL BEHIND LAST YEAR’S PACE AND THE FIVE YEAR AVERAGE.
NINE PERCENT OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP HAS HEADED AND 38 PERCENT IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STANDS AT 26 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 74 PERCENT SURPLUS.
The National Corn Growers Association is welcoming growers to enter its 55th annual National Yield Contest. The contest began in 1965 with 20 entries from four states and has grown to more than 7,200 entries from 46 states last year. Speaking from the tractor while planting his 2019 crop, Virginia farmer and owner of multiple yield records, David Hula, says the yield contest is a learning process that improves your crop…
After years of entering and winning the contest, Hula says he continues to participate because the lessons learned by achieving a record crop can be carried over to the rest of the farm…
He says high-yields start with seed selection and the planter…
Hula says his goal this year is to reach or improve his personal best yields…
He says by participating, growers will learn more about how to grow a high-yielding crop and learn from other farmers…
A grower must have an NCGA Membership number to have an entry in the contest which can only be obtained from NCGA. You can find both entry and harvest rules at NCGA.com. The entry period opened Monday and will close June 30th.
THE NEW RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA PROPOSAL REFLECTS SOME OF THE LESSONS LEARNED BY OTHER STATES.
THE PLAN IS THE RESULT OF MANY MONTHS OF HEARINGS AND STUDYING HOW LEGALIZING POT HAS WORKED ELSEWHERE SAYS SENATOR HEATHER STEANS (stains) OF CHICAGO.
THEY OFTEN HEARD WARNINGS NOT FOCUS JUST ON CREATING A CASH COW SAYS REPRESENTATIVE KELLY CASSIDY OF CHICAGO.
COLORADO OFFICIALS SAID CONSUMERS DIDN'T REALIZE EDIBLES TAKE LONGER TO TAKE EFFECT THAN SMOKING, SO PEOPLE WERE EATING TOO MUCH IN HOPES OF A QUICKER HIGH. STEANS SAYS THE ILLINOIS PROPOSAL INCLUDE A PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS LAUNCHING THE SECOND YEAR OF ITS “LIFE OR DEATH ILLINOIS” SAFETY CAMPAIGN.
THE CAMPAIGN FEATURES TRUE STORIES OF FAMILIES THAT HAVE LOST A LOVED ONE IN A FATAL CRASH. I-DOT SPOKESPERSON GUY TRIDGELL SAYS THEY WANT TO SEND A STRONG MESSAGE.
MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE DIE EACH YEAR ON ILLINOIS ROADS…AND MOST CRASHES ARE PREVENTABLE SAYS TRIDGELL.
THE CAMPAIGN IS RUNNING ON VARIOUS MEDIA CHANNELS AND AT THE WEBSITE: LIFE OR DEATH ILLINOIS DOT COM.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has announced the closure of the Illinois River due to flooding. Conservation Police are reporting flooding, dangerous currents and floating debris has created hazardous conditions on the Illinois River. River closures prohibit recreational river traffic. Public awareness of the area, and what is ahead, is imperative to personal safety.
“With river levels rising and additional rain in the forecast, conditions are not favorable for boating on the Illinois River,” said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. “These conditions are treacherous for not only boaters, but our emergency response personnel who are called upon to respond to and rescue those involved in water mishaps.”
The ordered closure will begin at the IL-17 bridge in Lacon (Marshall County/mile marker 185) and continue to confluence in Grafton. The following counties are impacted by the closure of the Illinois River: Marshall, Peoria, Woodford, Tazewell, Fulton, Mason, Schuyler, Cass, Brown, Morgan, Scott, Pike, Calhoun, Greene and Jersey counties.
A Piatt County woman was killed in a car crash Friday.
The Champaign County Coroner, Duane Northrup, announced today (Mon) that 77-year old Evelyn Dick, of Bement, passed away after being involved in a motor vehicle crash in Hickory Point Township in Macon County on May 3rd.
Dick was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois at 3:23 AM on May 4, 2019. Ms. Dick was reportedly traveling on Macon County Highway 20 when her vehicle collided with a second vehicle at the intersection of Greenswitch Road. Ms. Dick died from complications of injuries she received during the crash.
No autopsy will be performed. An inquest may be held at a later date. This death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office and the Macon County Sheriff’s Department.
A boil order is in effect from 1200 block E Main thru the 1500 block of E Main St. For more information call the Clinton Water Department at 217-935-3432 during business hours
The DeWitt County Museum is making good progress in fundraising for a new porch.
Museum Executive Director Joey Woolridge says the effort is seeking individuals to buy a board to help rebuild their front porch. She explains they are more than halfway to that goal.
Woolridge indicates the front porch needs some improvements and they also have to keep in mind the historical integrity of the mansion when they renovate it.
Woolridge believes they will make their goal but is not sure when construction might start as it depends on when they make their goal.
To get more information on the Buy A Board campaign, you can check out www.chmoorehomestead.org.
The healthcare industry is trying to shift the way the public thinks about healthcare and Clinton's Warner Hospital is a part of that effort.
CEO of Warner Hospital, Paul Skowron, explains the effort is a relatively new effort in the healthcare industry but it is trying to get people to be more proactive in taking care of themselves instead of waiting for illness or pain to befall them before taking action.
Educating the public on being more proactive in their healthcare has taken a while and Skowron indicates they are in particular, targeting the senior community to be more proactive in their overall wellness.
The healthcare industry has also seen a shift in incentivizing good health through apps and other benefits. Skowron indicates internally, they are offering free screenings to their staff and promoting less smoking. He believes if their staff is healthy, it projects an image of a healthy employer.
The Illinois House will soon debate what they think about the Senate’s stance on a constitutional amendment for a graduated income tax. But the Senate changed what the rates look like increasing the top rate to 7.99 percent and doing away with the estate tax. Governor JB Pritzker says first he’s very happy to have the first step towards a constitutional amendment completed.
The path forward for legalized marijuana is growing clearer. This weekend Governor JB Pritzker laid an agreed upon framework for legal weed in Illinois. The drug would be legal to have if you have purchased from a licensed dispensary, if you’re over 21 and you hold no more than one ounce at a time. The plan also lays out the option for adults to grow their own and expunge some marijuana convictions. The bill will be introduced today at the State House.
The Clinton City Council welcomed Ken Buchanan (pictured right) as the newest member to the Clinton City Council and re-appointed city officials.
Upon the swearing in of Buchanan, Steven Myers was re-appointed as City Attorney, Cheryl Van Valey as City Clerk, Clint Lichtenwalter as City Treasurer, Tom Edmunds as budget officer, Steve Lobb as Public Works Director, Tim Followell as Public Health Officer and sexton of the cemetery, Jeff Hoke as Fire Chief and Stephen Paige as assistant fire chief.
Commissioner Tom Edmunds and Mayor Roger Cyrulik discussed the upcoming four years of budgeting. Mayor Cyrulik discussed his frustration with the cuts that come from the money taxpayers pour into the city coughers while Edmunds says it is important to keep our local lawmakers in the know of how these proposals will impact the City of Clinton.
City Administrator Tim Followell indicates there are improvements coming to the sidewalks along the former Sturgeon's to Maverick building. He says there are some issues that need to be replaced.
The concrete work was approved at a cost of just over $20,600.
Additionally Monday night, the Council also approved the city's portion of a facade agreement with John Miller for just over $30,400.
The Federal Communications is proposing a significant investment in rural broadband access. The FCC is allocating just over $20-billion over the next ten years with the target of connecting up to four-million rural homes and businesses.
The new allotment is similar to 2015 when $9-billion was allocated for rural broadband under the Obama administration.
Weather was wetter than normal and colder than normal in Illinois in April.
The Illinois Climatologist office says that April is now the 6th consecutive month with above average rain fall and all that precipitation is having an impact. 130 river gauges are showing some level of flooding in the state. The Illinois State Water Survey’s Brian Kerschner says that conditions won’t likely improve very much next week.
Kerschner also says that two week forecast shows a trend towards wetter than average weather.
Cattle industry organizations Wednesday welcomed introduction of the Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act.
The bipartisan bill would provide livestock haulers with regulatory relief from the restrictive Hours-of-Service rules by the Department of Transportation. The bill was introduced By Nebraska Republican Senator Ban Sasse and Montana Democratic Senator Jon Tester.
The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association calls the bill a “prescriptive solution for livestock haulers that gives them the flexibility needed to get their live cargo to its destination as safely and efficiently as possible.”
The bill would increase the exempt miles under the Hours of Service regulation, increase the current driving time hours and give more flexibility to allow drivers to finish their delivery.
National Cattlemen’s Beef association’s senior vice president for government affairs, Collin Woodall, says current Hours of Service rules “present major challenges” for livestock haulers. Woodall says the bill recognizes the unique needs of livestock haulers, as “hauling livestock is inherently different than hauling typical consumer goods.”
The Illinois Senate made some tweaks to Governor Pritzker's graduated income tax proposal, namely moving to eliminate the estate tax. The Governor says such move are to be expected..
Speaker Mike Madigan's office says House action will commence as events warrant.
The National Honors Society at Clinton High School and the DeWitt County Friendship Center are teaming up this coming week for a special program for seniors to learn more about the devices they own.
Executive Director of the Friendship Center, Paula Jiles, is encouraging seniors interested in being a part of the Cell Phones For Seniors program Thursday to write down questions and have them ready for the high school student that will be paired with them.
First National Bank will be the site for this collaboration from 10 am to 11:30 am. Seniors can sign up by contacting First National Bank at 217-935-2148 and ask for Connie.
The Clinton Rotary Club is coming up on their 100th anniversary in Clinton and they are interested in helping Farmer City form their own group.
Tom Reddington with the Clinton club explains they are hoping to begin making contacts in Farmer City to help them get their own Rotary chapter off the ground.
Reddington says Rotary is a very giving organization and believes Farmer City would be a great fit for a club.
He is hopeful someone in Farmer City will reach out to him by calling 309-838-4072.
Congressman Rodney Davis believes American people are tired of all the games surrounding the investigation into alleged collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia.
The Taylorville Republican says $30-plus million dollars was used on an investigation with unlimited subpoena power and it is time to put the issue to rest as there is no evidence of any collusion.
Mueller's report became a best-seller as hearings took place on the report throughout the week in Washington.
Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos continues to bring attention to aging locks and dam infrastructure. She was questioned about the issue during a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Hearing this week in Washington.
Bustos serves on the House Appropriations committee and supports a major infrastructure package that would include significant funding for such areas as locks and dams, roads and bridges, airports and rural broadband improvements.
A bipartisan group of Congressmen are wanting answers from the VA as to what they are doing to reduce the number of veteran suicides in this country. The issue was underscored by four veteran suicides on VA property in April, and the seventh so far this year.
Since 2005, Congress has increased the money it spends on veteran suicide prevention programs more than 250% to $9.4-billion, but the rate of veteran suicides - about 20 per day - has remained constant. And Illinois Congressman Mike Bost of Murphysboro says that must change.
The first official hearing on the issue was held Monday night in Washington, D.C. If you or someone you know needs help, contact the Veteran Crisis Line 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255, option 1, or go veteranscrisisline.net.
The Mississippi River remains high and flood warnings continue up and down the waterway. Jessica Brooks is with the National Weather Service office in the Quad Cities.
Brooks doesn’t anticipate the Mississippi to reach 1993 flood levels, but the river “will get up there.” She says levels could change depending on the amount of rain the region receives during the remainder of the week.
Senator Dick Durbin questioned Attorney General William Barr about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's concerns with Barr's four-page summary of the Mueller Report on Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election.
Mueller sent a letter to Barr saying the memo did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of his report.
Durbin asked Barr if Mueller himself and former White House counsel Don McGahn could testify without interference...
Durbin says there is an apparent coordinated effort by Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to divert attention away from the Russia probe to Hillary Clinton's use of private email during her time as Secretary of State.
The House Judiciary Committee has served McGahn with a subpoena as part of its probe of possible obstruction of justice.
Attorney General Barr says a New York Times Report claiming President Trump instructed McGahn to fire Mueller as special counsel was inaccurate.
A $15 an hour mandate was handed down from the State of Illinois earlier this year and DeWitt County leaders are looking to get ahead and stay ahead, of the requirement.
DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg credits his finance committee chairperson and Board Vice-Chair Camille Redman for being proactive in looking at taking the lead to get out in front of the minimum wage hike.
According to Newberg, the increased wages are going to be almost an across the board impact. He explains as they move lower-level earners up, they will move those making more up as well.
Newberg says the mandate is going to make budgeting a little tougher but indicates they will make it work. He also points out they are renegotiating their union contracts this year.
A new book out today (Friday) explores the deaths of three Clinton kids at Clinton Lake in 2003.
Authors Edith Brady-Lunny and Steve Vogel explore the drownings of Amanda Hamm's three young children and the investigation and trial that followed. Brady-Lunny says "Unforgiven: The Untold Story of One Woman's Search For Love and Justice" will be received by the community in different ways but feels it is important to present to the public how the court system operates.
After Hamm was released from prison after serving five years of a ten-year sentence, she married, had three children and was enthralled in a custody battle with the State of Illinois upon the birth of her third child. Brady-Lunny wants the book to ask the question of how much punishment is enough for an individual.
Vogel says the victims deserve to be remembered and feels the community deserves to have the story told in an objective way.
Publishers Daily Reviews wrote quote - "It's these broader questions of abuse, justice, and redemption which galvanize a story made even more powerful (if that is possible) by the personal involvement of author/reporter Edith Brady-Lunny, who witnessed much, if not most, of what's described in this book.
"The Unforgiven goes far beyond the usual 'whodunnit' true crime approach, offering pointed considerations of justice and forgiveness.
"That it moves beyond the usual documentation of events to consider not just motives but the hearts of all involved places The Unforgiven in a highly recommended category of its own in the true crime field. It deftly employs the high drama of fiction to weave a compelling, can't-put-it-down story that considers different viewpoints as events unfold to an unexpected, riveting conclusion."
The book is available at Amazon and wherever books are sold. The authors will be at Warner Library in Clinton June 15.
The Vault in Clinton has been closed to youth for the better part of a month while major renovations on the facility's lower level have been completed.
Michelle Witzke with TheVault says they are pleased the work on the lower level is going to be complete in time for their re-opening this Friday night. The shaft for their lift is in place and they have a new set of stairs in place as well.
Student leader Harrison Moore is excited for The Vault to reopen. He explains they will have food catered by Cinco de Mayo and will show a movie for those that come out.
Moore says The Vault has meant a lot to him and he believes they are making a difference among his peers in the community.
Organizers encourage any high school student to swing by from 7 pm to 11 pm this Friday night.
There’s much to watch up and down Mississippi River this spring. Flooding season will not go away and it’s creating stress on levees says Tom Heinold with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District.
As for the Lock and Dam system, Army Corps of Engineers crews have been keeping a close eye on equipment as rising waters continue to present challenges.
Longtime Peoria Congressman and former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is weighing in on the funding picture for the state and nation's growing backlog of road and bridge repairs. Today, LaHood announced his support for an increase in the state gas tax. LaHood calls an infrastructure bill a “jobs bill and an economic development bill.” LaHood also called for a federal gas tax boost in a visit with Bloomberg....
LaHood says the winter has left a devastating impact across much of Continental U.S....
LaHood also called Illinois one big pothole in his conversation about the push to boost the state gas tax.
With DCFS in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons lately, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has proposed increasing funding for their agency and agencies aimed at protecting the state's most vulnerable.
The proposal also increases training opportunities for professionals in the field and area Republican lawmakers differ on the proposal. State Senator Chapin Rose believes the issues in the social service agencies are not surprising given Illinois is dead last in financial support of those agencies.
Meanwhile, Republican State Representative Dan Caulkins believes it is a worthy cause but wonders where the money is going to come from to fund an increase for those agencies.
Sen. Rose believes it is the duty of the State of Illinois to help people that cannot help themselves but want to live life to the fullest.
An increase in funding for social services is just one of a long laundry list of increases, mandates and tax proposals likely to be up for debate in Springfield this spring legislative cycle that is scheduled to conclude May 31.
Following the DeWitt County Board rejecting Tradewind Energy's application for a $300 million wind farm in the northwest corner of DeWitt County, officials with the renewable energy company indicate their stance from last Thursday remains largely the same.
The company last Thursday indicated they would internally see what was next for them in DeWitt County and Thursday morning Tom Swierczewski indicates that largely has not changed though he is telling his staff they are going to move forward with alternative options for their wind project.
The company remains committed to their Alta Farms II wind project and Swierzcewski notes they are starting to work on their Wapella Bluffs project, a wind farm on the east side of Highway 51, north of Clinton.
In leaning towards applying for a permit from again, Swierczewski explains Tradewind is looking at addressing all the concerns expressed throughout the process. He maintains their application was as complete of an application as he has ever put together.
Tradewind leaders continue to believe the project is good for DeWitt County. He thanks their supporters and says they continue to look to the future.
Leaders of residents against the project say they will continue to work with County leadership to update what they call "outdated ordinances."
With the spring legislative season underway in Springfield, local school leaders are closely watching what things lawmakers will act on by May 31.
The budget is the elephant in the room for Springfield but it's likely there will be legislation that passes impacting Illinois schools and Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles says this is becoming an annual event for him and his peers.
Among the changes potentially coming, perhaps not this year, but down the road could be a change in the physical education requirement for schools. Nettles points out that would not impact Clinton schools but it could be a harmful mandate for other districts.
The teacher shortage in Illinois has become a major concern among school leaders and Springfield seems to have taken a great interest in the issue. Nettles believes Springfield had a role in creating the problem and now needs to step aside and let local school districts and their leadership do their jobs.
Other legislation in Springfield that will impact schools will be the teacher minimum salary and minimum wage hike. Nettles has indicated that won't impact Clinton schools that greatly but says those are mandates that continue to take away local control from school boards.
THE ILLINOIS SENATE IS VOTING TO REVAMP THE STATE’S INCOME TAX STRUCTURE.
THE SENATE APPROVED AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION, REPLACING THE CURRENT FLAT TAX, WHERE EVERYONE IS TAXED AT THE SAME RATE REGARDLESS OF INCOME…WITH A GRADUATED SYSTEM WHERE YOU PAY BASED ON WHAT YOU EARN. OPPONENTS SAY THIS IS BAD FOR TAXPAYERS…BUT SENATOR DON HARMON OF OAKBROOK ARGUES THAT 97 PERCENT OF ILLINOISANS WILL PAY THE SAME OR LESS UNDER THE NEW PLAN.
REPUBLICANS, LIKE SENATOR DALE RIGHTER OF MATTOON OPPOSE THE PLAN, SAYING THIS WILL LEAD TO MORE TAX INCREASES.
THE HOUSE STILL NEEDS TO APPROVE THE AMENDMENT AND THEN IT MUST BE OKAYED BY VOTERS IN THE NOVEMBER 2020 ELECTION.
THE SENATE ALSO PASSED BILLS SETTING THE NEW TAX RATES, REPEALING THE ESTATE TAX AND ANOTHER AIMED AT PROVIDING PROPERTY TAX RELIEF.
Two boil orders were issued in Clinton Wednesday.
The initial area is S. Portland from Main to Jefferson then N. of Main on Harrison to Washington to Emma back to Main.
A second boil order was issued Wednesday afternoon. The area is S. Portland from Main to Jefferson then W.to Isabella to Main back to Portland.
Call the water department at 935-3432 with questions.
The Illinois Community Prairie Foundation earlier this week announced recipients for 77 grants to non-profits in DeWitt, Livingston, Logan and McLean Counties in central Illinois.
Among local recipients were The Vault teen center in Clinton, Warner Library in Clinton and the Farmer City Public Library. Michelle Witzke with The Vault told Regional Radio News Wednesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show they will use the $4,000 grant to support their Golden Gears Cafe training program which teaches youth small business and leadership skills.
The Warner Library received $700 to continue digitization efforts. Business Manager Samantha Rusk indicates their “Memory Lab” provides tools and education for patrons to preserve their memories for a lifetime, while also allowing library staff to digitize many items in archives so they can be posted online for public view.
Director of the Warner Library, Bobbi Perryman indicates this will be a great opportunity for the community and falls in line with their efforts in recent years of digitization.
Amy Johnson, Director of the Farmer City Public Library, indicates they received $700 to continue to develop the STEM materials they have available to the community at their library.
The Farmer City Public Library has been proactive in providing STEM opportunities to the community and Johnson says this grant money will help them further those efforts.
The Atlanta Public Library received $4,000 for their program "The Discovery Box". Director Catherine Maciariello says the former Union Hall will house a special space for kids called "The Create Space".
Maciariello calls the Illinois Community Prairie Foundation their primary funder and says it allows them to do a number of things with their programming.
Michele Evans with the Illinois Community Prairie Foundation says they awarded over $140,000 in grant money to the various groups across the four counties.
Other local recipients of the grants Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois and the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department. Evans says the Health Department received over $1,600 to help continue their dental clinic for their communities.
Community Action received $1,400 for their “Hand Up Project” project to empower the low-income population to lead a lasting self-sufficient lifestyle through a series of classes and coaching.
Other groups receiving funds included:
>>The Child Protection Network who received $500 for “Caring After Abuse: A Caregiver Support and Education Group” to provide education about trauma and its effects, self-care tactics for caregivers and information on parenting children who have experienced trauma.
>>Girl Scouts of Central Illinois received $650 for “Outdoor Skill Development I and II at Camp Peairs” to support two Outdoor Development events that will help girls develop life and leadership skills, discover new abilities and take on unique challenges in the outdoors.
Evans says applications for 2020 grants from the Foundation’s Women to Women Giving Circle and Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) will be available in October.
A series of systems bringing plenty of rain through much of Illinois this week and Freese-Notis meteorologist Dan Hicks doesn’t see an extended dry period anytime soon.
Hicks says none of the systems should bring severe weather to Illinois, just rain.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS TO GROW AND PROCESS INDUSTRIAL HEMP.
SUPPORTERS SAY THIS HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING, CITING THE POTENTIAL OF HEMP AS AN ALTERNATIVE CROP AND ITS MANY USES. STATE AGRICULTURE DIRECTOR JOHN SULLIVAN SAYS INTERESTED PRODUCERS SHOULD BE ABLE TO START PLANTING SOON AFTER THEY COMPLETE THE APPLICATION.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS INDUSTRIAL HEMP HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE A ONE BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY IN ILLINOIS.
THE APPLICATION IS AVAILABLE AT: AGRICULTURE DOT IL DOT GOV.
A SENATE COMMITTEE IS VOTING FOR THE NEW TAX RATES THAT WOULD BE A PART OF THE PROPOSED GRADUATED INCOME TAX PLAN.
THE PLAN IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT FROM WHAT GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER ORIGINALLY PROPOSED…BUT STILL MEANS MOST PEOPLE WILL PAY LESS OR THE SAME SAYS SENATOR TOI (toy) HUTCHINSON OF CHICAGO HEIGHTS. SHE QUESTIONS WHY THERE IS OPPOSITION TO THE NEW TAX RATES.
BUT OPPONENTS, LIKE SENATOR JASON BARICKMAN OF BLOOMINGTON QUESTION IF THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
THOSE EARNING MORE THAN 250 THOUSAND DOLLARS WILL SEE AN INCREASE UNDER THE GRADUATED TAX STRUCTURE. THE COMMITTEE ALSO VOTED TO REPEAL THE STATE’S ESTATE TAX. THE MEASURES NOW MOVE TO THE FULL SENATE FOR A VOTE.
A Piatt County district is using a short video series to promote the positive things happening in their schools.
Bement school leaders and staff have taken on a series promotional videos titled 'Why Bement' and Superintendent Sheila Greenwood explains its an opportunity to promote the things happening in their classrooms and the positive aspects of their district.
Greenwood says their STEM lab has been a huge asset to their district but she feels like even their staff may not realize how much potential there is. That is just one of the many things they are highlighting in their videos.
While the videos highlight the things the students and staff are doing, Greenwood says it is a great way to reach out to the community, she also hopes the videos could be a recruiting tool for potential families coming to the area.
The videos will be put out on the various platforms Bement Schools use, Greenwood calls it a game changer. She feels it helps provide their community with information in a timely fashion.