With the summer vacation season here, local authorities are reminding residents leaving town for extended periods of things to keep in mind to keep your home safe while you're gone..
Wednesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers told Regional Radio News a new wrinkle to risks of home invasions in today's world is social media. He says the best thing you can do is be discrete in who you inform of your plans and how much detail you are choosing to reveal.
According to the Chief, evidence and statistics indicate a home invasion is committed by someone known to the victims. While that may be a surprise to some, that can be the consequence of thinking information your sharing and not realizing who might be seeing it.
Chief Lowers recommends waiting to post those pictures or videos until you have returned. He also encourages smart device users to be mindful of the location settings on an app or phone as those often will without you knowing, give away where you are.
The Clinton Police Department offers their long-standing vacation watch program and Chief Lowers says it is as easy as calling the dispatch center to get some basic information to them and an officer will check on your house at least once during their shift.
Chief Lowers says if you have neighbors you are friendly with, it is a good idea to ask them to keep a watch over the home and to stop paper service and hold mail delivery as those can be giveaways of a vacant home.
Putting in place a policy on e-learning days will soon be taken up by the Clinton Board of Education.
Tuesday night at the June Board meeting, Superintendent Curt Nettles says he will put together a policy to bring forward in the months ahead. He has been hesitant to jump into e-learning days given a lot of factors in the community and keeping kids on a level playing field.
Administrators at the Board meeting weighed on how they would go about implementing this. High School Principal Jerry Wayne says it shouldn't be a big problem to implement with his students while Junior High School Principal Josh Maxwell agreed it shouldn't be an issue in his building.
The Board of Education will not meet in July but a proposal could be in front of the Board of Education in August.
Tractor Supply Company in Clinton is having a soft opening Saturday.
Clinton City Administrator Tim Followell says they likely going to hold a grand opening event sometime soon, but this Saturday, folks can start filtering in and checking the newest retail store for DeWitt County.
The opening of the new retail location is almost a year to the date of the closing of Walmart in that same location. Followell says this is a big win for the community, adding 2019 has been a strong year for DeWitt County businesses.
Followell says the stroke of good fortune is about being in the right place at the right time, recognizing Clinton is very fortunate, especially when you compare the fate of other communities' retail spaces in recent years.
In order to graduate high school students may have to fill out a free application for federal student aid.
Lawmakers approved a measure this spring designed to get kids thinking about the help they might qualify for in order to pay for college. Democrat Rep. Katie Stuart says a waiver can be granted for those who don’t want the extra hassle.
Those against the bill say that not all schools may have enough staff to help students fill out the application, creating a burden for them to get their diploma.
The bill needs the Governor’s signature.
Peoria Congressman Darin LaHood is joining the Illinois Farm Bureau in calling for a statewide disaster declaration for farmers. LaHood says it's hard for farmers to make headway with mother nature and the nation's trade battles....
LaHood notes tariffs are also producing some positive results....
LaHood believes it's crucial for the trade dispute to be solved by year's end to prevent loss of market share in China.
Legalization of marijuana, sports gambling and tax increases galore overshadowed some changes that are going to impact the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Mike Walker says there's a number of things that could ultimately hurt his department and others across Illinois, including how fines and fees are administered. He explains individuals can contest their fines and that could ultimately be adjusted based on income and expenses.
According to the Sheriff, there's already a good chunk of the fines and fees they administer heading to Springfield.
What's more disheartening for the Sheriff is the fact communities and their law enforcement agencies are asked to be more self-sufficient and the State of Illinois cannot do the same.
Sheriff Walker says it's all a part of the goal for Governor JB Pritzker to continue to expand revenues to Springfield for all the plans of the Democrats in Springfield.
If you were hoping for cooling assistance through Ameren's Warm Neighbors Cool Friends program this summer, a change in the program's qualifications may impact you.
Program Outreach Coordinator, Shane Hartman Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show told Regional Radio News, the program opened June 1 with new guidelines. This year, the program is targeting only seniors or those with a heat-related disability.
There are income guidelines for the program this year and Hartman breaks those down....
The program is funded through donations by bill payers. Hartman says if you'd like to donate so the program can expand and reach more people, all you have to do is check out your Ameren paper bill or find your electronic copy at the Ameren Illinois website and select how much you'd like to contribute.
Hartman serves Macon and DeWitt Counties and says he's seen the program benefit the senior community countless times and says it feels good to be able to see the program serve the purpose it was intended for.
To get more information, you can contact Hartman in Macon County at 217-423-7349 or in DeWitt County at 935-6619. You can also visit the Ameren Illinois website.
The Eagle's Women's Auxiliary is hosting their second BBQ competition for HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes this weekend.
Organizer Jean Rogers told the Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Monday registration kicks off bright and early Saturday morning at 6:30 am and you can decide the night before you want to come out and compete.
The event is a fundraiser for the HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes and Rogers says they have a raffle, 50/50 giveaway, car show and bounce house for kids.
Get more information about the event by finding the women's auxiliary page on Facebook or you can find the HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes page there as well.
The Maroa Library's summer reading club is underway and there is something for everyone this summer.
Andrea Wilbur explains kids can read books for Scrabble tiles and over the course of the summer form words with the letters they get.
There's lots of programming for the community this summer. Wilbur says they have a summer movie series planned and special guests among several other programs.
While not directly connected to the summer reading club, Wilbur explains they are going to organize a couch-to-5k get in shape program with the intent to run in a 5K in the fall.
The Library in Maroa is located at 305 Garfield Street. You can call them at 217-794-5111 or find them on Facebook by searching Maroa Public Library.
CORN PLANTING IN ILLINOIS IS NEARLY COMPLETE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
AFTER A LATE START…88 PERCENT OF CORN HAS NOW BEEN PLANTED SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
70 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED AND 50 PERCENT EMERGED.
SIX PERCENT OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP HAS BEEN HARVESTED AND 33 PERCENT IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DECLINED TO TWO PERCENT SHORT, 62 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 36 PERCENT SURPLUS.
Changes to the City of Clinton's brush pick up program could be on the way.
This week, crews are out picking up brush residents leave out. It is a once a month task but Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements, Ken Buchanan Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting indicated he will be talking with Public Works Director Steve Lobb about the future of the program.
Buchanan campaigned changes could be coming to the program and Monday night could be the first step in changes in the brush pickup program.
Sales taxes in Clinton are still down from the time last year but Commissioner of Finance, Tom Edmunds is optimistic perhaps things will start to level out as we approach the one-year anniversary of Walmart closing and approach the opening of Tractor Supply Company in Clinton.
Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting....
>>The Council approved the purchase of exterior lighting for a fire department engine at a cost of just over $7,000.
>>The Council approved the purchase of portable radios for the Police Department at a cost of just over $41,600.
>>The Council approved the purchase of a shared agency purchase for law enforcement reporting with DeWitt and Piatt Counties along with Farmer City. The cost was just over $62,000.
A recent women's health seminar hosted by Warner Hospital and Health Services proved to be a huge success and officials indicate they looking forward to doing more.
CEO Paul Skowron says a recent seminar hosted by one of their doctors was a huge hit with the community. Skowron was not sure how it would be received and the fact they had over half their signed up women attend at the Community Center of First Christian Church was a great thing.
Following the seminar, a survey was taken of the women and if the hospital hosted more, what they'd like to see for topics. Skowron says they got a lot of great feedback and feel good about continuing the offerings later this year.
In addition to being encouraged by the attendance by the women, Skowron hopes it will bring someone forward to lead a men's health group locally.
To learn more about the upcoming seminars and events, visit warnerhospital.org and visit the events tab to find out what is happening. Skowron also points the public to Facebook or take note of their electronic sign.
Authorities in Farmer City are asking their residents to keep their properties clean as the weather has finally turned to a more seasonable trend.
Police Chief Glenn Neal says, for the most part, they are getting good compliance and indicates while yard waste is certainly of priority, he's hoping their citizens take to heart the height of their grass and other things.
The Chief also touched on vehicles and other machinery items that are in yards or driveways and reminds their residents of the city ordinances and points out they are very similar to those other communities.
Chief Neal encourages a phone call to him or their department if there are any questions or complaints and those can be directed to 309-928-2111.
June is National Dairy Month and the St. Louis District Dairy Council is using the month to push factual discussion around dairy.
Monica Nyman with the St. Louis District Dairy Council says the theme is 'let's have a cow-versation' in hopes of dispelling the myths around dairy and it impacts on our health and diets.
Because of so much bad information that goes around social media, Nyman says that was the driver behind their campaign and says that bad information can go viral. She says it is about getting information out that is scientifically based.
In addition to the social media conversation, Nyman says they also have real-life conversations through tours of people on a dairy farm and she indicates most everyone learns something from that experience.
To get more information on June Dairy Month by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or you can check out the Dairy Council's Facebook page.
Finally, most found dry weather around Illinois. The past week was marked with a lack of rainfall but record cool temps to go along with them. Brian Kerschner with the Illinois State Climatologist office says that dry run is about to end.
Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois is already receiving inquiries regarding summer cooling assistance.
Executive Director Alison Rumler-Gomez told Regional Radio News Friday morning on the WHOW Morning Show they have not received funds from the State of Illinois for this program yet but indicates Ameren Illinois is set to announce a program for the public this summer.
The website for Community Action is capcil.info or you can find them on Facebook.
More than 13,000 livestock entries are anticipated for this summer’s Illinois State Fair. State Fair Competitive Event Manager Donna Miller says exhibitors still have time to get signed up.
The 2019 state fair runs August 8th to the 18th
THANKS TO A WET SPRING THERE ARE PLENTY OF MOSQUITOS AND GNATS TO CONTEND WITH THIS SUMMER.
BUGS ARE ALWAYS ANNOYING BUT THIS YEAR THE BUFFALO GNATS SEEM PARTICULARLY NASTY. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gozi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS THEY ARE ATTRACTED TO THE AIR WE BREATH OUT, PERFUMES AND EVEN OUR DEODORANT. THEY ALSO AREN’T FENDED OFF EASILY.
THE ONE BIT OF GOOD NEWS…. THE MOSQUITOS OUT NOW ARE MOSTLY FLOODWATER MOSQUITOS WHICH DON’T TYPICALLY CARRY THE WEST NILE VIRUS.
EZIKE SAYS TYPICAL INSECT REPELLANTS DOESN’T REALLY WORK ON THE GNATS, SO LONG SLEEVES AND EVEN A BIG FAN MAY BE THE WAY TO GO.
Taxes drive most people crazy but dealing with them or understanding tax rates or the collection process might be getting a little easier. The Illinois Department of Revenue is launching My Local Tax to communicate to local official’s tax allocation information and to help streamline the verification processes.
State Revenue Director David Harris.
Workshops are being held this month to get local governments up to speed on the web portal.
The Fishing Derby set for today at Weldon Springs State Park has been canceled due to rain. A make-up date will be announced.
The event is a Kids’ Fishing Derby to celebrate Free Fishing Days. This year’s event is sponsored by The Weldon Springs Foundation, Inc. and Boy Scout Troop 142. Trophies will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places for number of fish caught from the bank in three age divisions: 6 and under, 7-8-9, and 10-11-12. There is no registration fee. No experience is needed and volunteers will be on hand to assist participants.
Free Fishing Days is an opportunity for those who want to give fishing a try, or those who haven’t fished for awhile, to experience the fun of one of our most popular forms of outdoor recreation. Young people and adults alike can discover the joys of fishing and develop an appreciation for our lakes, rivers and streams and the wildlife in and around them. Illinois and non-resident anglers can fish without purchasing annual fishing licenses, salmon stamps or inland trout stamps during the four-day Free Fishing Days promotion June 14-17, 2019.
For more information please call the park office at 217-935-2644.
The relocated Four Paws Salon and Retreat is enjoying their renovated new location at the former Copper and Brass Room on Madison Street on the south side of Clinton.
Owner DeeAnn Cooley says about two years ago they starting to think about expansion and indicates the opportunity to purchase the former Copper and Brass Room and now offer boarding services and expanded grooming service.
There's plenty of space on the property for Cooley to use for multiple purposes. She explains they have fenced in the back with a white panel fence that keeps the dogs out of site from the neighbors and the dogs from seeing out. Inside, there's plenty of possibilities.
You can check out Four Paws Salon and Retreat's new facility at 1305 South Madison Road or find them online at fourpawssalonandretreat.com. You can also reach them by phone by calling 217-935-2972 or find them on Facebook.
Picture Above: Owner DeeAnn Cooley and DCDC Board President David Torbert
Monticello residents headed out of dodge for vacation this summer are encouraged to contact the police department to have an extra set of eyes on your home while you're gone.
While many may ask neighbors or friends to take care of pets or mail service or newspaper deliveries, Police Chief John Carter says his guys will drive by a couple of times a day to make sure everything is in order.
You can get signed up for the service by calling the Monticello Police Department or Chief Carter notes, there's a place at the city website to get all the information to them and sign up online.
The number for the Monticello Police Department is 217-762-7727 and that is from 8 am to 5 pm, or you can visit cityofmonticello.net.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture has been busy responding to industrial hemp applications. There’s been a lot of interest says state ag director John Sullivan…..
Sullivan says the department has two industrial hemp plots on the state fairgrounds to train their staff. One is for fiber and the other is for oils.
A BILL AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE AIMS TO BETTER PROTECT STUDENTS FROM SEXUAL ABUSE AT SCHOOL.
THE MEASURE COMES IN RESPONSE TO A CHICAGO TRIBUNE INVESTIGATION LATE LAST YEAR INTO SEXUAL ABUSE AND HARASSMENT IN CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. SENATOR IRIS MARTINEZ SAYS IT OVERHAULS HOW THESE CASES ARE HANDLED.
SENATOR JENNIFER BERTINO-TARRANT OF PLAINFIELD IS A CO-SPONSOR.
ADDITIONALLY, THE BILL REQUIRES SCHOOLS TO CHECK EMPLOYEES AGAINST THE STATE SEX OFFENDER DATABASE MORE FREQUENTLY AND ADDRESSES TEACHERS WHO DON'T REPORT SUSPECTED CASES OF ABUSE.
Opponents of the minimum wage hike in Springfield warned the legislation would impact non-profits and entities and not the least among them are agencies like DeWitt County's Encore Services.
Formerly the DeWitt County Human Resource Center, Director Stephanie Coonce says the state rate they get reimbursed with is just not enough to pay their clients minimum wage.
According to Coonce, plans are underway with their administration and board to begin planning for the $15 an hour minimum wage that will gradually and over time go into effect. There's an additional challenge for Encore Services in that they have quite a waiting list for people to come in and work.
While Encore Services did get more funding from the state in the last fiscal year which was able to go towards salaries, Coonce indicates their reimbursements for services is very low. She says it has been a decade since they have had an increase in their funding.
You can learn more about Encore Services by visiting encoreservices.org, call them at 935-2218, or visit their location at 10840 Route 10 East in Clinton.
Services are set for a four-month-old Clinton girl who was found unresponsive early Sunday and was a short while later declared dead at Warner Hospital and Health Services.
Services for Emily Killian will be noon, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at the Life Bridges Church, Clinton, IL with Pastor Jonathan Taylor officiating. Visitation will be 11 AM – 12 Noon, Wednesday, at the church. The family entrusted Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL with arrangements.
Memorials may be directed to the Emily Jane Killian Memorial Fund.
Emily was born February 8, 2019, in Springfield, IL to Eric Michael Killian and Sarah T. Moore.
She had a sister, Hannah, and a brother, Ethan.
The DeWitt County Farm Bureau will be teaming up with Casey's General store in Clinton on Route 54 to promote E-85 ethanol blend.
Casey's General Store executives recently announced several of their midwest locations will be some of the first gas stations in the nation to offer E-85 out of season thanks to a change in legislation that will allow its sale year round.
Janel Baum-Thomas with the DeWitt County Farm Bureau indicates the Farm Bureau will be at an upcoming Casey's General Store customer appreciation day to promote the details of E-85.
Customers of Casey's have been curious on the details of E-85 and Baum-Thomas indicates on June 21, they'll be at Casey's in the afternoon for a customer appreciation day to talk to folks with questions about the fuel blend.
The Farm Bureau will be at Casey's from noon to 5 pm Friday, June 21.
Some areas of Illinois have seen limited rain the last few weeks and that is likely bringing out the hoses for the first time this summer.
Most gardeners likely have their vegetables and flowers planted by now and despite Wednesday afternoon rain showers, Master Gardener at the University of Illinois Extension Office, Candice Hart, says a lot of gardeners are starting to break out the hoses lately.
The baby animal season has adult critters like rabbits, squirrels, and birds on the prowl for food. Hart says the best defense against some these garden pests is to have a barrier and protect young plants with milk jugs or coffee containers.
If you're wanting to fertilize this summer, Hart recommends an all-purpose fertilizer. She notes, if your soil is really healthy, you may not need to fertilize.
Hart says the University of Illinois Extension's master gardener's is available to help answer any gardening questions. To find your local extension office, just visit extension.illinois.edu or do a Google search for the office nearest you.
Warrensburg-Latham schools are continuing to add on to their extra-curricular offerings to their students.
Superintendent Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle indicates that Warrensburg-Latham had a dance team in the past but it was discontinued due to a lack of interest. The recently had a strong interest for the squad and tryouts were held in the last weeks of school.
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says there was a good attendance at tryouts and notes many of the girls have studied dance outside of school. She hopes the community will enjoy the addition of the squad to home sporting events.
The dance team is just one of many extracurricular activities that the Warrensburg-Latham school district has added in recent years. Last year the district start an FFA program and built a greenhouse for the program to use along with other classes in the school.
A NEW STATE LAW PROVIDES FUNDING TO HELP GET KIDS LIVING IN CRIME-RIDDEN AREAS TO SCHOOL.
THE LAW LETS DISTRICTS GET STATE REIMBURSEMENT FOR PROVIDING TRANSPORTATION TO STUDENTS WHO LIVE CLOSE TO SCHOOL…BUT HAVE TO WALK THROUGH AREAS WITH CRIMINAL GANG ACTIVITY TO GET THERE. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION’S TIM IMLER:
IMLER SAYS PARENTS SHOULD WORK WITH THEIR CHILD’S SCHOOL TO SET UP THE TRANSPORTATION. A SAMPLE LETTER FAMILIES CAN USE IS AVAILABLE ONLINE.
THE WEBSITE IS: ISBE DOT NET FORWARD SLASH TRANSPORTATION.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A LAW THAT HE SAYS WILL MAKE ILLINOIS THE MOST PROGRESSIVE STATE IN THE COUNTRY FOR WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT WILL ENSURE WOMEN HAVE A SAY OVER THEIR OWN BODIES…REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL.
THE NEW LAW ESTABLISHES THAT WOMEN HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO HAVE AN ABORTION AND REMOVES SOME RESTRICTIONS ON THE PROCEDURE.
THE NEW LAW EXPANDS INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR THE PROCEDURE AND CONTRACEPTIVES.
Robocalls of people posing at officials at Social Security continues to be an issue.
That's what Jack Myers with Social Security indicates and says the underlying theme of these calls is scaring the public into thinking there is a problem. He says the method or message is different but the theme is more often than not fear.
According to Myers, the goal is to get you to act quickly by 'verifying' information. He adds they are very skilled at what they do and advises to just hang up.
If you receive a voice message from one of these calls, Myers advises not to call the number they give you back. If you are going to call any number, call a number you find at socialsecurity.gov.
Myers notes, if you receive one of these calls, you can contact the Social Security Office of the Inspector General at 800-269-0271 and Myers reminds the public their website is www.socialsecurity.gov.
The IHSA has made significant changes to the Boys and Girls Basketball tournament following their Board of Directors meeting on Monday, June 10th. Matt Troha, Assistant Executive Director of the IHSA explains the most significant change, the decision to move both the Girls and Boys tournaments, all classes, to single weekends in March of 2021.
The venues for the tournaments will be opened for bidding beginning later this year.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THE NEW STATE BUDGET INCLUDES MORE MONEY FOR MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT IN ILLINOIS.
EVERYONE KNOWS SOMEONE WHO IS DEALING A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER…BUT TWO-THIRDS OF THOSE STRUGGLING DON’T GET THE HELP THEY NEED. HE SAYS THAT IS CHANGING…WITH AN 80 MILLION DOLLAR INCREASE TOWARDS MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION TREATMENT…AND STREAMLINING OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES.
THE GOVERNOR WAS SPEAKING AT THE KENNEDY FORUM’S ANNUAL MEETING IN CHICAGO.
When nature calls at this time of year, bees like to swarm. Larry Krengel, who serves on the board of the Illinois State Beekeepers Association, says swarming is what bees have done to survive over millions of years;
Krengel says if you encounter a swarm of bees, contact a local beekeeper for assistance;
For example, the Heart of Illinois Beekeepers Association has a form on their website people can fill out if they encounter a swarm of honey bees and want it removed. The state beekeepers association website has more information about all of its local chapters throughout the state that can help remove swarms too.
Is it time to feel more optimistic with more corn and soybeans now in the ground? Maybe.
Some nice progress was made in the latest Illinois crop report with 73-percent of the corn crop now planted and 49-percent of the soybean crop. As for the weather prospects moving into the summer months.
That’s Dan Hicks, who serves as agriculture meteorologist for Freese-Notis Weather.
With kids home for the summer months, a local non-profit indicates some families are starting to experience a food shortage because they have more meals they need to provide.
Community Action feels this is a chance to promote their food pantry co-op and their Executive Director, Alison Rumler-Gomez indicates a lot of families are unaware of the new system they have gone to.
The food pantry co-op has become a very popular option for their clients and now that kids have more free time, Rumler-Gomez says they have volunteer opportunities for the youth as well.
Kids can participate in helping clean the toys and materials for the Head Start program along with stock shelves within the food pantry. Rumler-Gomez indicates there is no shortage of things to do for anyone wanting to be a part of that program.
To get more information you can visit capcil.info or call the Lincoln office at 217-732-2159.
The Monticello Thursday farmers market opens this week in downtown Monticello.
Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Director of Community Development in Monticello, Callie McFarland told Regional Radio News their market is a good way to kick off the weekend with entertainment and food trucks along with the usual offerings for at a market.
McFarland says their market offers some unique items from sweet treats to jewelry makers and they have master gardeners that come out as well.
A new law through the USDA is going to open up the possibilities for vendors at Illinois farmers market and McFarland hopes there will be home-based businesses that will want to step up and participate.
The Monticello market opens this Thursday and is every Thursday until October, rain or shine, just off the square in Monticello from 3:30 to 6:30 pm.
Visitors this summer to Scovill Zoo will be able to experience an extended train ride.
Ken Frye, Scovill Zoo director, indicates the Zoo is building a 500-foot long extension to the train that will go to the Children's Museum and along the lakefront.
Frye says much of the bill was footed by the Howard Buffet Foundation and the Decatur Park District. He notes people will be able to get on and off the train at either the zoo or the Children's Museum.
The majority of the train conductors are volunteers.
FARMERS FINALLY CAUGHT A BREAK AND WERE ABLE TO GET SOME PLANTING DONE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
OVERALL…PRECIPITATION WAS A LITTLE BELOW NORMAL LAST WEEK…GIVING PRODUCERS ABOUT FOUR AND A HALF DAYS IN THE FIELDS SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
49 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE NOW BEEN PLANTED AND 25 PERCENT EMERGED.
THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 41 PERCENT COMPLETE.
93 PERCENT OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP HAS NOW HEADED.
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DECLINED TO FOUR PERCENT SHORT…54 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 42 PERCENT SURPLUS.
Some flood weary Illinoisans fear rising rivers are the new normal. Senator Dick Durbin is also alarmed. Senator Durbin fears flooding along major rivers is becoming the rule, not the exception...
Durbin believes the Army Corps of Engineers needs to lead a campaign of restoring and strengthening levees.
The annual Tour DeWitt is set for Saturday, June 29 and this Friday is the deadline to register and get the event t-shirt.
Event organizer Steve Lobb indicates the ride is non-competitive and is mainly a fundraiser for the McLean County Child Protection Network, which has a satellite office in Clinton.
Lobb says Tour DeWitt begins at the Clinton United Methodist Church and they offer a 9 mile, 22 mile, 40 mile, and 62 mile bike rides. He adds the routes are clearly marked and riders can change which ride they want to take mid-ride.
Registration is currently underway and Lobb says there is a special Tour DeWitt t-shirt that is only available by preregistration which is due to the Clinton Chamber of Commerce by June 14.
Lobb says same day registration will be available at the church from 6am-9am. For more information visit www.tourdewitt.weebly.com.
DeWitt County authorities are investigating the death of a 4-month old Clinton girl.
Around 8:30 am, officials responded to the 400 block of South Jackson Street in Clinton Sunday morning to a report of an unresponsive 4-month old girl. The girl, identified as Emily Killian, was pronounced dead at Warner Hospital at 9:30 am.
Assisting with the investigation is the Illinois State Police and Dewitt County Coroner’s Office.
In a release Monday morning, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers, said quote - “At this point, this is a death investigation and will remain as such until or unless we determine otherwise. We are following our death investigation protocol and anticipate more information following autopsy and toxicology reports”.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information will be released at this time.
Warner Hospital and Health Service CEO Paul Skowron has been watching closely the budget situation in Springfield, concerned with the status of dollars that would funnel in for Medicaid reimbursements.
Skowron can take a sigh of relief because the new budget from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker allocates funding for Medicaid reimbursements, a very significant chunk of the annual budget for the city-owned entity.
The impacts of the Medicaid dollars coming in is going to allow the hospital to speed up their capital expansion plans. Skowron explains they have purchased the building behind KFC and will be transferring their billing and collections staff to that location after it is renovated. Additionally, they are
going to be able to speed up their projects within the hospital itself.
According to Skowron, the availability of the building behind KFC changes the hospital's plans for the billing department. He explains it is going to save them money on a new building and allow them to advance the emergency room project.
Through not having to build a new building, Skowron says they have saved roughly $200,000 and allows them to dream even bigger about a facility several years down the road.
The new Illinois budget is a big win for education according to Governor JB Pritzker and a local school leader is says she is cautiously optimistic.
For the first time in some time, a state budget means schools can plan accordingly for funding from the state. Superintendent of Warrensburg-Latham Schools, Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle says that is certainly a good thing but wants to see the funds come in before she gets too excited.
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle indicates last year changes to the calendar put a wrench in their plans and now this year they are once again awaiting a decision from Illinois in regards to the structure of their calendar.
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle indicates the budgeting process has seen a shift in recent years. She explains there are four payments districts expect to receive from the State and in the worst of times they planned on getting two but she wonders if they can start planning to receive all four?
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says it makes them very optimistic going into the school year and they feel much better about their financial status going forward.
High-level golf is returning to Forsyth this weekend as the Symetra Tour invades central Illinois this weekend.
Played at Hickory Point Golf Course Friday through Sunday, Forsyth Classic coordinator Cindy Deadrick-Wolfer says this is one of the early steps for female professional golfers to get on the LPGA Tour.
With over 100 golfers coming to Forsyth and fans coming from all over to watch, the event is a big economic boost for the Forsyth and Decatur area. Deadrick-Wolfer says they can estimate its impacts but ultimately it is hard to put a real number on it.
Leading up to the Friday through Sunday event, there are a number of opportunities to interact and meet the golfers. You can get more on those events and the tournament itself by visiting decaturforsythclassic.com.
If you were on the southwest side of Clinton Friday you likely noticed a little activity around the water tower.
City Administrator Tim Followell indicates the tower was getting a much-needed cleaning.
Followell explains it is not hard to understand the water tower getting dirty and yet some may not even notice.
Followell estimates the water tower was last cleaned about ten years ago.
The water tower cleaning will cost the City $5250.
The wet 2019 planting season has caused the cancellation of the upcoming DeWitt County Museum Tractor Show.
The event had been set for June 15th, 2019. Museum Director, Joey Woolridge, made the announcement Wednesday saying the museum apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.
The Clinton YMCA is partnering with a local restaurant for a new Strong Kids Campaign fundraiser.
David Torbert, Clinton YMCA activity director, indicates on Saturday, July 6 at Whitney's Cove they will have corn hole, mud volleyball, and sand volleyball tournaments with all proceeds benefiting the annual Strong Kids Campaign.
Torbert says for the mud volleyball and sand volleyball tournaments there will be a high school and an adult division. The high school volleyball will start at 8 am with the adult division following in the afternoon.
The corn hole tournament is $25 per team and high school volleyball is $60 per team and adult volleyball is $120 per team. All proceeds go towards the Strong Kids Campaign. To register stop by the Clinton YMCA.
The DeWitt-Logan Retired Teachers Association will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12 at Cracker Barrel in Lincoln.
The speakers were part of the June 4th Leadership Conference and will present information and the latest developments from Springfield.
Committees for next year will be established at the annual gathering.
No reservations are required. The DeWitt-Logan Retired Teachers Association is a chapter of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association and is open to all active and retired teachers and their spouses.
Clinton residents Walter Strohl, Mark Rogers, and Kenney resident Alfred Hassebrock will be attending the Land of Lincoln Honor flight June 11 along with 85 other veterans from the local area.
Stops will include the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Other stops include the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum (Chantilly, Virginia), the US Air Force Memorial, the US Navy Plaza, and the US Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima).
The return to Springfield’s airport is planned at June 11 at 9:30 PM and the general public, along with friends and family, are encouraged to “pack the port” to Welcome Home the veterans.
They will also receive a police escort from Springfield to Clinton, with the Illinois State Police, Sangamon County Sheriffs Department, Logan County Sheriff Department, Dewitt County Sheriffs Department, Clinton Police Department, Kenney, Wapella, Clinton Fire Department and the Clinton ambulance service participating in the escort.
The Clinton Amvets will be also placing approximately 500 flags along the parade route from the Clinton high school to the Dollar Tree in Clinton, and the Amvets will also be hosting a welcome home ceremony for these local veterans.
The Welcome Home Ceremony will be at approximately 11 pm at the Dollar Tree parking lot in Clinton. For more information on the ceremony or to sign up a Veteran for the Honor Flight, contact Jeff Morlock at 217-853-2530.
The Honor Flight is free for all military veterans.
DeWitt County 4-H will be offering free, hands-on and educational projects for youth going into kindergarten up to the fifth grade at the Farmer City Library on Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. June 19 through July 10.
Participants will create art from nature, give back to their community, build electric cars and learn about photography. Program sessions will include outside activities and youth should wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
Youth can attend one or all four workshops. Parents should sign up their children by June 17 by calling the library at (309) 928-9532.
The University of Illinois Extension is offering a research-based, 30-minute course is designed to help those with prediabetes, caregivers and anyone who is interested learn about simple steps you can take that can reduce risk factors. This includes losing a small amount of weight, learning about food nutrients and designing healthier meals.
This program is free and available for anyone to take from the comfort of a home computer, tablet or smartphone. To sign up and access the online course, visit go.illinois.edu/DiabetesClass or call the Macon County Extension office at (217) 877-6042.
The Illinois State Military Museum on Thursday, June 6th, opened their brand new D-Day exhibit on the 75th Anniversary of the battle that turned the tide of World War 2. Illinois Army National Guard Major Michael Hart was the inspiration for the exhibit. The items on display in the exhibit come from his personal collection of World War 2 memorabilia...
Bill Lear, the Curator of the Illinois State Military Museum says that the goal was to honor D-Day and also the Illinois soldiers who gave their lives that day...
The D-Day exhibit at the Illinois State Military Museum runs through December 31st in Springfield.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IS URGING THE PUBLIC TO STAY OFF ILLINOIS RIVERS.
NEARLY ALL OF THE WATERWAYS IN ILLINOIS ARE AT FLOOD STAGE…AND PORTIONS OF THE ILLINOIS, KASKASKIA AND FOX RIVERS ARE CLOSED SAYS D-N-R SPOKESPERSON RACHEL TORBERT.
EVEN IF A RIVER ISN’T OFFICIALLY CLOSED…MOST ARE AT FLOOD STAGE AND POSE SEVERAL DANGERS SAYS D-N-R SPOKESPERSON RACHEL TORBERT. THAT INCLUDES STRONG CURRENTS AND DEBRIS.
TORBERT ALSO WARNS RESIDENTS TO STAY OFF OF LEVEES, SINCE MANY ARE CRITICALLY UNSTABLE AT THIS POINT.
Springfield Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki is banning Illinois Catholic lawmakers, including House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, from taking Communion if they promoted or voted for legislation that expands abortion access...
Legislation has legalized taxpayer funding for abortion and required private insurance to pay for abortion. House Speaker Madigan released a statement. “The Reproductive Health Act is a recognition that women across Illinois deserve access to health care without intrusion from government. I was notified by Bishop Paprocki that if I permitted the House of Representatives to debate and pass the Reproductive Health Act, I would no longer be allowed to accept the sacrament of communion. After much deliberation and reflection, I made the decision to allow debate and a vote on the legislation
B HONOR ROLL
CHAMPLEY, CALLIE R.
DIAL, RAYMI L.
DUNCAN-SAVAGE, WILLIAM J.
GOERGEN, CASEY E.
HAYNES, PEYTON D.
HINTZ, NICHOLAS T.
MCGHEE, ERIN T.
MCKEE, WILLIAM R.
MCMATH, KOLTON M.
NICHOLS, ISAIAH D.
OSORIO, AMAIRANI I.
OVERTON, MATTHEW A.
PATTERSON, KANE J.
PRIMMER, JACOB G.
REYNOLDS, CHRISTIAN A.
RICH, SAMUEL M.
STARK, AUDREY R.
THOMAS, REID J.
THOMPSON, KAITLYNN L.
WERTZ, CAMERON J.
WERTZ, RUSTIN D.
WHEELER, MERSADES V.
ARNOLD, GRACE K.
AUGHENBAUGH, ETHAN C.
BURTON, CODY W.
CARTER, KRAYTON C.
CROSS, BRADEN D.
DOWNS, MICAH B.
ETTIEN, RAVEN L.
HEMPHILL, BRIAUNA T.
HENDRIEX, TERRY L.
HORN, TYLER D.
HOSPELHORN, BETHANY G.
JONES, FLORA L.
KORNEMAN, ELLA G.
LANG, TREVOR M.
MCCAMMON, BRANDON L.
MEARIDA, CHLOE M.
NEWMAN, ALEC B.
NORD, ELSIE M.
OSWALD, MICHAEL S.
OVEROCKER, KAELA M.
POLEN, ELLISA N.
QUINN, TRAVIS A.
RAMIREZ CASAREZ, LETICIA
RICH, JAYDLYNN A.
SLOAT, PRESTON A.
SOLIS, EDGAR E.
STACEY, DREW D.
STAUFFER, MAX C.
TAYLOR, LONI J.
TRIMBLE, ALEXIS C.
WEISS, KOLETON M.
WELCH, CLAYTON R.
WOLFE, JACOB M.
BALDASSARI, VINCE L.
BECK, KAILE A.
BUGGAR, KYREN S.
CHITWOOD, SELAH M.
COCENZA, JOAO B.
DECKER, HAYDEN M.
DEVORE, GAVIN C.
DOWNS, SOREN G.
FORBIS, GATLYN K.
HARPER, ABBY K.
HENSON, NATALIE G.
HOOKER, REECE W.
JEWETT, BROOKE R.
KARR, MACKENZIE J.
MCCORMICK, KAIDYN I.
MCCUE, MARGARET E.
MISTHAL, CYNARA J.
PAGE, EMILY M.
PETERSEN, OLIVIA L.
POLEN, CHASITY A.
RODAS, KEVIN J.
SANDERS, TRENTON E.
SCHMID, CARSON R.
TAYLOR, KADENCE T.
TORBERT, ALEXA P.
WILSON, HADLEY R.
WOLFE, BRENNEN J.
YOUNG, COLE G.
BARNES, ZOE L.
BRINKOETTER, AUTUMN N.
CHRISPEN, KYLIE A.
CLYMER, DAMIEN J.
DEERWESTER, LOGAN W.
FORTUNE, MORGAN L.
GOLDEN, KAILEA J.
GRAVES, IZAC M.
HART, KAYLEY L.
HENRY, MARANDA J.
HITCHINGS, CARTER D.
JOHNSON, HAILEY J.
JOHNSON, JADE A.
JOHNSON, MAXWELL K.
KLITZING, LEAH H.
KROEGER, ADAM J.
LINGO, CHEYANNE N.
MCGHEE, ZACHARY A.
RAMIREZ, FATIMA G.
RICH, CAIDEN L.
ROBB, KENSETH A.
SMITH, ELIJAH X.
TULL, KAIRI I.
VANNOSTRAND, SADIE R.
WHERRY, KATIE A.
WILLIS, TREVOR M.
YOST, KAYLEE D.
ZENGER, NATHAN L.
ZENGER, NICHOLAS W.
A HONOR ROLL
ALSUP, CAMDYN R.
ARMSTRONG, MACKENZIE A.
BENTON, OLIVIA J.
BLACK, AVERY M.
BOUGHTON, GRACIE M.
BRODEN, KATHERINE R.
BRODEN, LAUREN M.
COOLEY, HUNTER L.
DUPONT-BARLOW, RYTY L.
FOSTER, MASON C.
FOUGHT, KAITLYN E.
FRYMAN, KAYEDEN S.
GLIDDEN, GABRIELLE F.
MCGHEE, ANDREW L.
MORSE, JACOB W.
STONE, ABIGAIL M.
TORBERT, JAKE R.
ALEXANDER, MACY B.
BOND, EVA M.
BRENNAN, TY D.
CRUTCHFIELD, MARIAH L.
DEMPSEY, JACKSON R.
GUILLIAMS, GAGE J.
HALE, IAN W.
MAXWELL, CLAIRE H.
MONTGOMERY, KARA N.
NICHOLLS, ASTASIA C.
NICHOLLS, SYDNEY K.
O'DANIELL, ETHAN L.
PHILLIPS, JACOB A.
POLEN, JOSEPH E.
RHODES, NATALIE A.
SCHLESINGER, DESTINY K.
SCOTT, ARYN E.
TAYLOR, KYLE S.
WOODBURY, DELANEY R.
ATKINS, BENJAMIN J.
BARGER, BREANNA M.
CERVANTEZ, ARIANNA A.
CLIFTON, SAVANAH N.
JOHNSON, XANDER S.
PAKIDIS, ROBERT T. JR
RANSDELL, DEANN M.
SHAFFER, HAVEN T.
WINEBRINNER-DODD, JOSEPH A.
ATKINS, ELI G.
BAKER, BLAISE L.
DECKER, BRADEN A.
DIAL, ISAIAH J.
ELLIS, MAYCIE L.
FOUGHT, EMILY N.
FOUGHT, MADELYN N.
GRIFFIN, CHLOE L.
HARRIS, KYLER J.
HAYS, EMMA G.
KARR, CORINNE E.
MALCOLM, CASEY L.
MENDOZA, LUIS E. JR
MILTON, DREW M.
MOORE, KYLEE K.
MOORE, PEYTON L.
MORRIS, TRINITY C.
PERHAY, ALEXANDER M.
QUEEN, LILIAN E.
RAYMER, KYLIE R.
SHANKS, AIDAN R.
TRIMBLE, KAINE B.
WEST, JUSTYN L.
WHITE, ISAIAH B.
WHITE, JAXSON L.
WILSON, EMILY J.
YOUNG, SOPHIE E.
HIGH HONOR ROLL
BIERBRODT, OLIVIA G.
CALVERT, ZAYIN S.
COOPER, TESS E.
HICKMAN, CLARA E.
HICKS, SARAH V.
HOLTMAN, LINDSEY M.
JAMES, ANNMAREE E.
KINDER, ALLISON R.
LINDQUIST, CHRISTINE L.
LONG, BRANDON J.
LONG, DEREK A.
LUX, EMMA R.
MILLS, ANNA N.
MURPHY-LEACH, JORDAN M.
PATELSKI, KADY A.
PATTERSON, KYLE A.
PETERSEN, LOGAN J.
POLEN, ZOIE J.
PRUSER, RILEY M.
STEVENS, MADELYN J.
TAYLOR, EMILY N.
TERRY, MICHAEL C.
TOOL, AMANDA R.
UNDERWOOD, SYDNEE E.
WARGEL, KINSER P.
WILLIAMS, HANNAH C.
WOOD, EVELYN M.
WORKMAN, CLAUDIA L.
BENTON, LAURA R.
BURKE, TORI L.
EARL, OLIVIA N.
FABRIS, SARAH E.
FRIESLAND, KAYLA B.
GREEN, DARCY C.
KAUFMAN, MCKAYLA L.
MAIER, ELIZABETH G.
MCKINSEY, HALEY A.
REEVES, BRETT K.
ROBBINS, HAYLEIGH A.
STERR, KAYLA I.
TRUMMEL, JASMYNE S.
TURNEY, PAYNE E.
WADE, EMILY P.
WAYNE, GARRETT D.
WEST, TYLER M.
WILLIAMSON, SKYLER H.
BLACK, ETHAN C.
CHIPMAN, JENNA B.
HICKMAN, ZEKE C.
HUSTED, CONNER R.
KAUFMAN, MIA L.
NORD, INGA P.
OVERBEY, BETHANY K.
PAGEL, ANDREW J.
SWARTZ, RAYA L.
TAYLO, LYDIA M.
WITTE, JACOB D.
WORKMAN, CORDELL J.
ALSUP, HAYDEN B.
BATESON, ELLA D.
BIEBER, PHOENIX R.
BRADD, ABEL N.
BURTON, KAITLIN D.
CALVERT, EMERALD S.
CARTER, JOSHUA T.
CRUTCHER, WYATT R.
CULBERTSON, EMMA G.
CYRULIK, MALLORY L.
DEMPSEY, GRACE A.
HARROLD, WESLEY J.
HOLLAND, CLARE M.
JENKINS, AUSTIN D.
LUX, DENNIS J.
MAHONEY, KAITLYN E.
MCDONALD, GARRETT L.
MILLS, ERICA M.
MORRIS, SHELBY R.
RAUCH, KAITLYN D.
STEPHENSON, NOAH K.
STERR, JACOB D.
WERTZ, JESSIE M.
WEST, JESSICA M.
The Clinton Public Works Department is going to one of the many areas of city government that is going to be feeling the impacts of the minimum wage hike.
By 2025, the minimum wage is going to be $15 an hour and Public Works Director Steve Lobb says they are already thinking about how that is going to impact them and are planning accordingly.
Many opponents of the minimum wage pointed to part-time workers and seasonal workers like those that could be most impacted by a minimum wage hike. While there is an age restriction in the bill, Lobb says they are very dependent on seasonal help.
Lobb says much like every other change that gets thrown at them, they will manage and make it through like they always do.
The recently passed state budget can achieve some relief of local taxes according to Democrat Governor JB Pritzker. He says it’s not as simple as just issuing a property tax freeze to save homeowners money because so many parts of local government use property taxes to fund local needs.
Pritzker notes as the state steps forward and pays its share for a number of services - that can give local leaders the ability to change the way they tax.
Pritzker says there is a task force that is meeting right now to discuss what can be done moving forward to give property tax relief.
THE NEW STATE BUDGET INCLUDES MORE MONEY TO BETTER SUPPORT THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND SERVICES’ MISSION.
D-C-F-S’ BUDGET IS GETTING A BOOST IN HOPES OF PREVENTING ANY MORE KIDS SLIPPING THROUGH THE CRACKS. REPRESENTATIVE GREG HARRIS OF CHICAGO.
D-C-F-S IS GETTING ITS LARGEST INCREASE IN SEVERAL YEARS. HOUSE MINORITY LEADER JIM DURKIN SAYS IT’S NEEDED TO IMPROVE THE CARE OF ABUSED AND NEGLECTED KIDS IN ILLINOIS.
THE NEW FUNDING WILL BE USED TO HIRE MORE THAN 300 FRONT-LINE STAFF, EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND MORE.
To honor the 75th anniversary of D-Day the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is opening an exhibit about World War II. Main parts of it are first-hand accounts of World War II – a series of interviews are available to watch with the men and women who fought and served in Europe and Japan. Museum Director Alan Lowe says those stories have to be recorded and shared.
Outside of the stories and videos that share accounts from the war and the effort to support it, you can also see artifacts like Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s helmet.
The farmers market season is in full swing and organizers of the Lincoln farmers market are ready for a busy year.
The Lincoln market is a grower only market meaning the vendors have to grow their own produce and Angela Stoltzenburg with the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation says that means a lot to those that come out every Saturday.
The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation is the sponsor of the weekly farmers market in Lincoln and Stoltzenburg indicates the community health perspective is starting to shift to freshly grown produce.
Chelsea Campbell is the Market Coordinator for the Lincoln Farmers Market and indicates they have roughly 22 vendors and most attend the Saturday markets on a full-time basis and every other weekend the market is rolling out a new program that gives an insight into the things you can do with the produce being sold by the various vendors.
The Lincoln farmers market is each Saturday from 8 am to noon at the Logan County Fairgrounds in the expo building. To get more information, you can find the ALMH farmers market on Facebook or visit thealmhmarket.org.
The new Goodwill store in Clinton is aiming for an early July opening.
Pat Anderson with Goodwill Industries says things are still on track and their target remains the same. He says the interior of the building is really starting to take shape.
According to Anderson, their recent hiring event was a success. He says they are looking to hire around 15-20 employees for their new store.
Goodwill has their signage up next to Tractor Supply Company in the former Walmart location on the west side.
The fight over a wind farm in DeWitt County looks like it is headed to a second round.
Tradewind Energy Alta Farms II Project Development Director Tom Swierzcewski says they are planning to re-apply for their project in the northwest corner of DeWitt County and are underway in preparing their new application.
Despite a rejection from the DeWitt County Board in late April, Tradewind still feels good about their chances at getting an application approved. Swierzcewski believes County codes are very modern and hopes once they submit their application, they can quickly get back before the County Board.
Since the rejection of the application, the Tradewind office on the square has been, according to Swierzcewski, surprisingly busy. He feels there is still a silent majority of people that support the project.
If Tradewind gets the application submitted in the second half of the year, the proposal could be back before the County Board in the early part of 2020.
This Friday, the Weldon Springs Foundation will host their quarterly meeting at 6 pm.
Held at Lookout Point, the meeting is a potluck beginning at 6 pm and the meeting at 6:45 pm. There will be information about what is happening in the park and what volunteers will be doing at the park this summer.
If you're interested in becoming a Foundation member, attending the meeting is a great introductory first step.
Again the meeting is this Friday evening with a potluck dinner at 6 pm and then the meeting starting at 6:45 pm at Lookout Point at Weldon Springs.
Even though the latest school year just wrapped up, Community Action of central Illinois is looking for income-eligible families to start the process to get their kids enrolled in Head Start.
Alison Rumler-Gomez, Executive Director of Community Action, explains July 1 they have their May selections made, they are in the midst of their June selections and there's still time to be a part of the program as they do another selection process in July.
In recent years, Community Action has struggled to keep their program full as area school districts have been able to expand their availability in their own pre-k programs. Rumler-Gomez explains they have adjusted their own programming to make them more available to the community.
You can fill out an application at capcil.info or call their Lincoln corporate office at 217-732-2159 and an application can be mailed to you. And Rumler-Gomez stresses it is important to get those applications in as soon as possible.
Abe Lincoln will have you surrounded if you pay a visit to Logan County come September.
The city of Lincoln and Logan County Tourism Bureau hope to break the World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed up as Abraham Lincoln. On September 21st, novice and veteran Lincoln impersonators will stand side by side at the Logan County Courthouse. Morgan Gleason, the Executive Director of the Logan County Tourism Bureau, offers the minimum standards for those who want to join in....
Gleason says you probably shouldn't try to add your infant, toddler or pet to the mix....
Beards don't have to be authentic, which means the door is open to women who want to join in the record attempt.
The IHSA will make a final decision next week on changing the state basketball tournament format for both the boys and girls.
Under consideration is a plan to have one state tourney weekend (Thursday through Saturday) for the girls and another weekend for the boys effective in 2021 says the IHSA’s Kurt Gibson, who spoke with WRMJ about the issue back in March.
The IHSA Board of Directors meets Monday, June 10th.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING THE NEW 40 BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET INTO LAW, SAYING IT WILL GET THE STATE ON BETTER FISCAL FOOTING.
THE BUDGET INCLUDES MORE MONEY FOR EDUCATION, SOCIAL SERVICES LIKE MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT, MORE COLLEGE MAP GRANTS AND DOLLARS TO CHIP AWAY AT THE STATE’S BILL BACKLOG SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER.
HE NOTES IT’S ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR EDUCATION.
THE GOVERNOR ALSO SIGNED THE RATE STRUCTURE THAT WOULD BE PUT INTO PLACE IF VOTERS SAY YES TO A GRADUATED INCOME TAX. PRITZKER SAYS ONLY THOSE MAKE MORE THAN 250 THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR WOULD PAY MORE.
The summer construction season is here and the DeWitt County Highway Department is gearing up for their annual season of work.
Highway engineer Mark Mathon indicates they have several miles of road they will be doing the standard oil and chip to and then some gutter work in parts of DeWitt County.
According to Mathon, the County roads maintenance budget is very similar to that of most entities. They have a set amount and typically it does not fluctuate significantly.
Mathon says there will culvert on Connors Road this summer, which is likely the most significant work they have planned.
Clinton youth are mere days into their summer reading club at the Warner Library in Clinton and once again they are offering up incentives for adults in the community to read this summer as well.
Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Business Manager at the Clinton Library, Sam Rusk, encouraged adults to be active in reading this summer whether they have kids or not. The library has stepped up its game with a twist on 'BINGO'.
Rusk explains they are incorporating the kids reading club prize system into their adult reading club. For every card turned in, adults will receive a prize and there will be a grand prize for the adults and one for the teens.
Rusk says they have a tremendous amount of support in the business community in Clinton and thanks them for stepping up year after year to allow them to put this on.
Rusk also indicates they are hosting events of interest for adults. To get more on those, visit vwarner.org or stop into the library at 310 North Quincy Street.
A handful of new taxes were pushed through the General Assembly on the way to the Governor's desk as a part of the upcoming budget in Illinois and a pair of Republican lawmakers have differing opinions on the gas tax.
State Representative Dan Caulkins explains the gas tax comes with increases to license renewals and license plate renewals and those are earmarked for transportation improvements.
Caulkins calls it the most progressive taxes you can have and feels this is going to cause a lot of problems on people and place a burden on everyday people. He says lawmakers did not listen to the people who opposed these tax increases.
Meanwhile, State Senator Chapin Rose says the roads in Illinois needs fixed and believes it needs attention now. He points out there will be a guarantee to keep some of the motor fuel tax funds local.
Sen. Rose believes this is going to be a big win for downstate Illinois. He explains downstate is going to get more out of it than any community will put into it.
Both lawmakers left the spring session very frustrated and with a lot of concerns about what is next for the state.
The gas tax and other tax increases take effect on July 1.
State climate experts say Illinois had the third wettest May on record and it was the sixth consecutive month with above-average rainfall.
The Illinois State Climatologist Office says preliminary average statewide precipitation during May was 8.4 inches (21.3 centimeters), 3.8 inches (9.7 centimeters) above the long-term average. The office says nearly the entire state had above-average precipitation for the month. A gauge in Dallas City along the Mississippi River in western Illinois registered the highest precipitation total for May at 14.75 inches (37.5 centimeters).
An area that stretches from Quincy and the Quad Cities east to Peoria had the most precipitation in the state, with seven rain gauges having 13 inches (33 centimeters) or more of rainfall during May.
Chicago had its wettest May on record at 8.25 inches (20.1 centimeters) of precipitation. That beats the previous record of 8.21 inches (20.9 centimeters) last May.
Both Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and DuQuoin will get a new revenue source under the gambling expansion legislation. State Representative Tim Butler....
Butler also says the door will open to possible horse races beyond the run of the Illinois State Fair.....
Your local Social Security office has long been the hub for business and information to the public but in recent years, agency officials indicate more and more business is taking place on Social Media.
Primarily basic messages and inquiries are handled through social media platforms. Jack Myers with Social Security says that is a change in recent years as people's consumption of information begins to evolve.
YouTube is becoming an increasingly utilized platform by Social Security. He calls it a great platform for general 'how to' information about their website.
For whatever preferred social media platform you prefer, just do a search by typing 'Social Security' and looking for their verified accounts.
PLANTING CONTINUES TO LAG WAY BEHIND AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
RAIN WAS ABOVE NORMAL THIS PAST WEEK…AND JUST TWO DAYS WERE SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
21 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED, COMPARED TO 93 PERCENT AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR.
87 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS HEADED AND THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 23 PERCENT COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STANDS AT 40 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 60 PERCENT SURPLUS.
THE SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM PROVIDES HEALTHY MEALS AND SNACKS TO LOW-INCOME CHILDREN.
THE GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE KIDS DON’T GO HUNGRY WHILE THEY AREN’T IN SCHOOL SAYS THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION’S MEGAN KUCHNER.
PARENTS CAN VISIT: SUMMER MEALS ILLINOIS DOT ORG, OR TEXT “FOOD IL” TO 877-877 TO FIND A LOCATION IN THEIR COMMUNITY. SOME SERVE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH OR JUST LUNCH. INCOME GUIDELINES MUST BE MET TO PARTICIPATE.
STATE LAWMAKERS ARE EXPANDING THE STATE’S MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAM.
THE PROGRAM BEGAN IN 2013 AS A PILOT VENTURE AND WAS SET TO EXPIRE NEXT YEAR. THE LEGISLATURE VOTED TO MAKE IT PERMANENT AND TO ADD MORE AILMENTS MARIJUANA CAN BE USED TO TREAT. HOUSE G-O-P LEADER JIM DURKIN SAYS HE INITIALLY HAD DOUBTS, BUT WAS CONVINCED AFTER HEARING THE STORIES OF PEOPLE WHO BENEFITED FROM MEDICAL MARIJUANA.
SENATOR LAURA FINE OF GLENVIEW SAYS MEDICAL MARIJUANA HAS BEEN BENEFICIAL TO HER HUSBAND WHO LOST AN ARM IN A CAR ACCIDENT.
THE NEW CONDITIONS IN THE PROGRAM INCLUDE ANOREXIA, MIGRAINES, IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME AND CHRONIC PAIN. THE GOVERNOR WILL NEED TO SIGN THE BILL INTO LAW.
Recouping costs associated with various incidents is the goal of a passed change to city code.
Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, the Council approved a change to the city code that would allow the Clinton Fire Department to bill insurance companies for costs associated with efforts for residents not within the fire protection district limits. City Administrator Tim Followell explains local dollars often are dedicated to incidents involving people outside the community.
A change in Springfield allows for fire districts to bill an individuals insurance for the costs they incur surrounding emergy response. Followell adds this is simply the city taking advantage of that change.
Also at the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting....
>>The Council approved the summer maintenance bid through Illiana Construction for just short of $100,000.
>>The Council approved the purchase o fa backhoe for the cemetery department for $64,500.
The wet theme of 2019 is going to continue this week in Illinois.
The National Weather Service in Lincoln says we can expect to receive rain in the amount of one-and-a-half to two-inches this week. Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Chris Miller told Regional Radio News a system is going to move into the area and sit on top of the nation's mid-section.
The outlook for June is not much better as Miller indicates they are looking at a spring-like month in terms of temperatures and it doesn't appear we're going to shake this wet trend.
Miller says it's going to make things very difficult on farmers this summer as they try to find time in the fields if they've been able to take advantage of the limited chances already. He adds it could even impact the harvest in September and October.
With kids out of the school buildings for the summer, Clinton maintenance workers will embark on summer projects.
Superintendent Curt Nettles indicates those projects are both indoor and outdoors. Inside at the high school, painting will take place and LED lights will be installed.
The outdoor athletic facilities will be a point of emphasis this summer. Nettles indicates the varsity softball diamond is going to get a similar makeover as the JV baseball field from a few summers ago.
The cost will roughly $10,000 and there is the possibility of having private funding sources help pay for the upgrades, much like with the JV baseball diamond.
With school out for the summer, the highly anticipated summer reading club kicks into high gear this week at Warner Library in Clinton.
Children's Librarian Paula Lopatic says registrations began last week and there will be three different age groups for this year's programming.
Lopatic is excited about the programs they have coming this summer, starting with a popular returning act this Tuesday with cold-blooded creatures featuring a nine-foot American alligator, tortas, and an albino python.
You can get signed up at the Library for the summer reading club by stopping into the library at 310 North Quincy Street. You can get a full list of activities by visiting vwarner.org.
Community Action is celebrating another successful Cheeseburger in Paradise from last month.
The central Illinois non-profit's biggest fundraiser raises money for their entire agency spanning counties from Piatt to Mason. Executive Director Alison Rumer-Gomez says it was a great night that brought supporters from all over their service area together.
Rumler-Gomez calls Cheeseburger in Paradise a critical piece to their operation. She explains the revenue they generate helps them gap-fill as their clients begin to see success in getting out of poverty.
Community Action's annual budget is around $9-million and while only a $20,000 infusion of cash may not seem like much, Rumler-Gomez points out it is a critical piece to their operation.
While the fundraiser is held in Lincoln, Rumler-Gomez stresses the funds raised are used across their service area including in DeWitt, Piatt and Logan Counties. To learn more about Community Action, you can visit capcil.info.
THE SPRING LEGISLATIVE SESSION HAS CONCLUDED IN SPRINGFIELD…WITH PLENTY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
AN EXPANSION OF GAMBLING, ABORTION RIGHTS, A BALANCED BUDGET, MONEY FOR ROADS AND BUILDINGS, LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA AND JOB CREATION INCENTIVES ARE JUST A FEW OF THE THINGS LAWMAKERS WERE ABLE TO GET DONE. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS EVERYONE SHOULD BE PROUD.
IT TOOK A LOT OF NEGOTIATIONS AND COMPROMISE SAYS SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER BILL BRADY.
THE SESSION WENT TWO DAYS PAST THE SCHEDULED ADJOURNMENT DATE OF MAY 31ST…BUT BIPARTISAN AGREEMENTS PUSHED SOME OF THE BIGGEST ISSUES THROUGH IN THE FINAL HOURS.
THE MINIMUM SALARY FOR TEACHERS WOULD INCREASE UNDER A BILL HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK.
THE PLAN CALLS FOR BASE TEACHER PAY TO RISE TO 40 THOUSAND DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS. THE FIRST JUMP WOULD BE TO 32 THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR. SENATOR ANDY MANAR OF BUNKER HILL SAYS TEACHERS DESERVE TO BE PAID FAIRLY.
MANAR SAYS THEY HOPE THIS HELP EASE THE TEACHER SHORTAGE IN ILLINOIS.
CRITICS, LIKE SENATOR JASON BARICKMAN OF BLOOMINGTON, WONDER HOW DISTRICTS WILL AFFORD IT.
THE BILL NEEDS TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR TO TAKE EFFECT.
ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS ARE APPROVING A SWEEPING WORKPLACE ANTI-HARASSMENT AND DISCRIMINATION PACKAGE.
THE LEGISLATION ADDRESSES SEVERAL ISSUES…REQUIRING MORE TRAINING FOR STATE EMPLOYEES, OFFICIALS AND LOBBYISTS AND GIVES VICTIMS MORE RIGHTS. REPRESENTATIVE ANN WILLIAMS OF CHICAGO:
THE BILL ALSO REQUIRES THE STATE TO PUT TOGETHER A SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING PROGRAM FOR USE BY EMPLOYERS AND LETS VICTIMS OF GENDER-RELATED VIOLENCE TAKE UNPAID LEAVE FROM WORK TO SEE A DOCTOR, THEIR LAWYER OR GO TO COUNSELING. SENATOR MELINDA BUSH OF GRAYSLAKE SAYS IT’S THE PRODUCT OF ABOUT TWO YEARS OF WORK.
IT NOW AWAITS THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE.
AN EXPANSION OF GAMBLING, AN INCREASE IN THE CIGARETTE TAX AND MORE WILL HELP FUND A MASSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE PACKAGE APPROVED SATURDAY BY THE ILLINOIS HOUSE.
SIX NEW CASINOS, SLOTS AT HORSE RACING TRACKS AND O’HARE AND MIDWAY AIRPORTS, MORE VIDEO GAMING AND SPORTS WAGERING ARE INCLUDED, AS WELL AS A DOLLAR A PACK TAX INCREASE ON SMOKES. THE MONEY GENERATED WILL GO TOWARDS “VERTICAL CONSTRUCTION” SUCH AS SCHOOLS, STATE BUILDINGS AND COLLEGES. THAT’S MUCH NEEDED SAYS REPRESENTATIVE MARGO MCDERMED OF MOKENA.
HELP PAY FOR MUCH NEEDED “VERTICAL CONSTRUCTION.” THAT INCLUDES REPAIRS TO STATE BUILDINGS, SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES SAYS REPRESENTATIVE BOB RITA OF BLUE ISLAND.
THE CASINOS WOULD BE BASED IN CHICAGO, WAUKEGAN, THE SOUTH SUBURBS, ROCKFORD, DANVILLE AND WILLIAMSON COUNTY. THE SENATE WILL CONSIDER THE PACKAGE NEXT.
HOUSE LAWMAKERS APPROVED AN INCREASE IN THE STATE GAS TAX TO HELP PAY FOR MUCH NEEDED ROAD AND BRIDGE IMPROVEMENTS IN ILLINOIS.
THE GAS TAX WILL DOUBLE TO 38 CENTS A GALLON ON JULY FIRST UNDER THE 45 BILLION DOLLAR "REBUILD ILLINOIS" PLAN, AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION COSTS WILL RISE. REPRESENTATIVE JAY HOFFMAN OF BELLEVILLE SAYS THE STATE’S DETERIORATING ROADS ARE ALREADY COSTING TAXPAYERS PLENTY.
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE REICK OF WOODSTOCK:
THE PROGRAM ALSO ADDRESSES HIGH SPEED RAIL AND MASS TRANSIT NEEDS. IT MOVES TO THE SENATE FOR A VOTE.
The McLean County Farm Bureau in conjunction with Country Financial will be hosting a prevented planting informational meeting this Monday.
Crop Claims Supervisor at Country Nyle Wiechmann, Adam Nielsen, Director of National Legislation and Policy Development with the Illinois Farm Bureau and Karen Corrigan, Agronomist with McGillicuddy-Corrigan Agronomics will present on everything you need to know about this unique planting season. McLean County Farm Bureau President Mark Hines invites anyone with questions out....
The meeting is at the McLean County Fairgrounds starting at 6:30 pm, Monday night. RSVP is not required but the Farm Bureau is asking if you know you plan to attend to contact them at 309-663-6497.
STUDENTS IN THE TOP 10 PERCENT OF THEIR GRADUATING CLASS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ADMITTED TO SOME STATE UNIVERSITIES UNDER A BILL HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK.
THE IDEA IS TO HELP KEEP STUDENTS IN ILLINOIS AND INCREASE MINORITY ENROLLMENT. GRADUATES IN THE TOP 10 PERCENT WHO ALSO MEET A COLLEGE’S S-A-T OR A-C-T REQUIREMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED AUTOMATICALLY. REPRESENTATIVE ANDRE THAPEDI OF CHICAGO SAYS IT ONLY APPLIES TO NORTHERN, SOUTHERN, EASTERN AND WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITIES.
REPRESENTATIVE ANDRE THAPEDI OF CHICAGO SAYS THIS WILL BE GOOD FOR ILLINOIS.
IF SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR, THIS WILL BE A FOUR-YEAR PILOT PROGRAM.
ILLINOIS DRIVER’S LICENSES MAY OFFER A GENDER-NEUTRAL OPTION.
LAWMAKERS HAVE PASSED A BILL TO BE MORE INCLUSIVE OF THOSE WHO DON’T IDENTIFY AS SOLELY MALE OR FEMALE. IT’S SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE ANNE STAVA-MURRAY OF DOWNERS GROVE.
IF THE GOVERNOR SIGNS THE BILL INTO LAW THE CHANGE WON’T HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY. THE OPTION WOULDN’T BE AVAILABLE UNTIL THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE MOVES TO A NEW DIGITAL LICENSE AND I-D SYSTEM.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS URGING FARMERS TO CONSIDER THEIR OPTIONS AS MANY FIELDS REMAIN TOO WET TO PLANT.
ACCORDING TO THE LATEST CROP REPORT…JUST 35 PERCENT OF CORN AND 14 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED SO FAR…WAY BEHIND PREVIOUS YEARS. STATE AGRICULTURE DIRECTOR JOHN SULLIVAN SAYS SOME IMPORTANT DATES ARE COMING UP FOR PRODUCERS LOOKING FOR RELIEF.
THE DEADLINE FOR FILING FOR SOYBEANS IS EITHER JUNE 15TH OR THE 20TH…DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU’RE LOCATED. SULLIVAN URGES FARMERS NEEDING ASSISTANCE WITH THE PAPERWORK TO CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT OF AG.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) Wednesday announced federal help for many communities fighting the opioid epidemic.
The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded Rural Communities Opioid Response planning grants to five organizations and agencies in central and southwestern Illinois.
Davis says the grants will go a long way in helping communities address the opioid epidemic. He points in the previous Congress, there were 60 other bills passed to help address opioid addiction.
Each of the awards is in the amount of $200,000, mostly in southern Illinois.
It was another wet week in central Illinois but the weekend looks to be shaping up nicely. State Climatologist Office Spokesperson Brian Kerschner has more....
ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS STILL HAVE WORK TO DO…BUT DID PASS A BUDGET WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT.
THE 40 BILLION DOLLAR NEW STATE BUDGET INCLUDES MORE MONEY FOR COLLEGE MAP GRANTS, EDUCATION AND THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN FAMILY SERVICES. IT ALSO FUNDS A STATEWIDE VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM AND EFFORTS TO MAKE SURE THE STATE GETS AN ACCURATE COUNT THE NEXT CENSUS. IT’S SUPPORTED BY HOUSE MINORITY LEADER JIM DURKIN.
THE BUDGET ALSO MAKES THE STATE’S FULL PENSION PAYMENT FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR AND PAYS DOWN ONE POINT FOUR BILLION DOLLARS IN OLD BILLS.
STATE LAWMAKERS ARE APPROVING THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT…EXPANDING ABORTION RIGHTS FOR WOMEN IN ILLINOIS.
THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT TREATS ABORTIONS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER MEDICAL PROCEDURE AND LIFTS SOME RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTIONS. SUPPORTERS SAY IT’S NEEDED TO PROTECT A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE…BUT OPPONENTS, LIKE SENATOR SUE REZIN OF MORRIS SAY IT’S WRONG.
THE PUSH TO PASS THE BILL GAINED STEAMED AS SEVERAL OTHER STATES WORK TO LIMIT ACCESS TO ABORTIONS. THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID HE WILL SIGN IT INTO LAW.
THE STATE WILL START A COLLEGE SAVINGS ACCOUNT FOR ALL NEWBORNS IN ILLINOIS UNDER A BILL PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE WEDNESDAY.
UNDER THE BILL…ANY CHILD BORN OR ADOPTED DECEMBER 31ST OF 2020 WOULD HAVE FIFTY DOLLARS PLACED IN A COLLEGE SAVINGS ACCOUNT. THE HOPE IS THAT THIS WOULD PUSH FAMILIES TO ADD THEIR OWN MONEY. SENATOR PAT MCGUIRE OF CREST HILL SAYS IT’S NOT A NEW CONCEPT.
IT’S SUPPORTED BY SENATOR JACQUELINE COLLINS OF CHICAGO.
CRITICS WORRY ABOUT THE COST TO THE STATE…ESTIMATED AT BETWEEN NINE AND 10 MILLION DOLLARS. IT’S NOW UP TO THE GOVERNOR TO SIGN THE BILL INTO LAW.