The DeWitt County Board has approved Cheryl Avery as animal control officer.
At the Thursday night Board meeting, the Board approved Avery's recommendation by the Public Safety Committee. Committee Chair Lance Reece indicates Avery's appointment is retroactive to June 1.
One of the first action's Avery has taken on is to reach out to the recently opened Tractor Supply company for support. Reece (pictured right) indicates they are willing to donate damaged bags of dog food to the shelter and also display the cats that are available for adoption.
Avery's area of enforcement expanded Thursday night thanks to the Board's approval of an intergovernmental agreement with Wapella for animal control services.
Huge opportunities for cooperation between Champaign, Bloomington and Decatur and all the areas in between are what a local lawmaker is focused on this summer.
Thursday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, State Senator Chapin Rose says there is a lot of potential for the triangular area of central Illinois that Clinton and DeWitt County falls right in the heart of. He says during his downtime as a lawmaker, he's been trying to get the ball rolling on what could be great potential for central Illinois.
According to Sen. Rose, he held a meeting earlier this week to get things going and came away feeling very positive about the possibilities. He notes ag-tech could be just one area that offers huge potential.
State Farm, Caterpillar and the University of Illinois Police Training Academy are just some of the areas that Sen. Rose says have the grounds for real potential and growth in central Illinois.
Sen. Rose feels the days of communities looking out for themselves are over and we have to start shifting our thinking to working together to better the whole region.
The Senator is focused on getting the right people in the room and developing a plan with quote - "some intentionality behind it."
JOBS WERE UP AND UNEMPLOYMENT WAS DOWN LAST MONTH IN ILLINOIS.
THE STATE JOBLESS RATE FOR JUNE CAME IN AT FOUR POINT THREE PERCENT. THAT’S DOWN FROM FOUR POINT FOUR PERCENT IN MAY. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON SAM SALUSTRO SAYS PAYROLLS INCREASED BY MORE THAN 11 THOUSAND.
THE AREAS WITH THE MOST GROWTH OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS INCLUDE LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY AND PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES.
THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPPED A TENTH OF A PERCENTAGE POINT TO FOUR POINT THREE PERCENT LAST MONTH. THE NATIONAL JOBLESS RATE CAME IN AT THREE POINT SEVEN PERCENT.
The renewed tradition of the Treasurer's Unclaimed Property Auction will continue at next month's Illinois State Fair. Treasurer Michael Frerichs believes the items on the block should impress...
Frerichs says there will be great opportunities to look over the items....
The items will also be available for preview at the Thompson Center on August 5th from 10:30 until 2.
492 pictures covering 157,000 corn acres in five states. That was the focus of a U.S. Corn Crop Project led by AgMarket.Net earlier this month. The firm’s Bill Biedermann.
For farmers that have a good looking crop, Biedermann says “they should have a good marketing opportunity.”
The executives of Clinton's recently opened Goodwill are under fire for a decision to pull paychecks from disabled workers.
State Senator Andy Manar is calling for a full review of state contracts and funding awarded to Land of Lincoln Goodwill following the nonprofit’s decision to pull paychecks from disabled workers.
The nonprofit recently told dozens of workers with disabilities that they would be laid off due to the state’s increase in the minimum wage even though the one dollar per hour increase doesn’t take effect for five months and it is exempt by the U.S. Department of Labor from paying these employees the minimum wage.
In a statement Wednesday, Manar said quote - "An organization that eliminates opportunity for the most vulnerable people in the state while simultaneously driving up executive compensation should be ashamed of itself. Blaming a minimum wage increase that hasn’t even gone into effect and that does not apply to these workers after receiving an increase in taxpayer funding is unacceptable.”
The Bunker Hill Democrat points to a report that indicates the executive director of the Land of Lincoln Goodwill is currently making $164,000. Further tax records show that Land of Lincoln Goodwill raised executive compensation for two positions during the height of the budget impasse by $86,155 over 3 years.
Land of Lincoln Goodwill currently receives nearly $400,000 in taxpayer-funded contracts and was slated to receive a 3.5 percent funding increase under the state’s new budget.
Manar sent a letter to the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Department of Central Management Services and Governor JB Pritzker Wednesday asking for a review of all contracts with the nonprofit.
Meanwhile, Sharon Durbin, President, and CEO of the Land of Lincoln Goodwill released a statement saying quote - " Our recent decision regarding the Voc Rehab program and the resulting harm it might have caused falls short of living up to our mission and we apologize for this error in judgment. We are reversing the decision to realign our Voc Rehab program and those participants affected will return to their part-time skills training program with pay."
Durbin apologized to their constituents, clients, and donors and says they will be working with lawmakers to make sure anyone willing to work can earn a living wage.
Sen. Manar and officials from Goodwill were unavailable for comment at the time of this story
The Lincoln Oasis Senior Center is inviting community members to cool off at their facility on the community's west side during the hottest stretch of the summer.
Nancy Cunningham says anyone is invited to cool off while there is an excessive heat warning in effect. She says their doors are open weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm.
Cunningham reminds Logan County seniors they have a variety of free programs for them to enjoy if they choose to come in.
The Oasis Senior Center is located at 2810 Woodlawn Road in Lincoln. You can get more information by visiting oasisseniorcenter.com or by calling 217-732-6132.
AS TEMPERATURES SOAR…THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHALL’S OFFICE IS REMINDING FAMILIES ABOUT POOL SAFETY.
DROWNING IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR CHILDREN AGES ONE TO FOUR NATIONWIDE…AND SIX KIDS UNDER 15 DIED FROM DROWNING LAST SUMMER IN ILLINOIS. FIRE MARSHALL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ HAS THESE SAFETY TIPS.
FULTZ ALSO SAYS A FOUR-SIDED FENCE WITH A SELF-CLOSING, SELF-LATCHING GATE SHOULD BE AROUND ALL POOLS AND SPAS AND POOL TOYS AND FLOATS SHOULD BE PUT AWAY AFTER SWIMMING.
SIX CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 15 DROWNED LAST SUMMER IN ILLINOIS.
OFFICIALS SAYS THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS READY FOR POTENTIAL PAVEMENT BLOWOUTS DURING THE CURRENT HEAT WAVE.
WHEN IT’S THIS HOT…MOTORISTS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR ANY BUCKLING IN THE ROAD SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON GUY TRIDGELL.
TRIDGELL SAYS CREWS ARE ON STANDBY WITH NEEDED MATERIALS TO FIX ANY TROUBLE SPOTS.
YOU CAN REPORT PAVEMENT BLOWOUTS BY CALLING I-DOT OR 9-1-1.
Join the DeWitt County Friendship Center for an open house this Saturday in Clinton.
Leadership of the Clinton facility hopes the public will come out and check out what they have to offer to seniors in the area. Executive Director Paula Jiles indicates they will have some of the activities they offer for the public to participate in.
The DeWitt County Friendship Center aims to be a resource for seniors to maintain their independence. Jiles hopes the open house will help highlight the mission of the Friendship Center.
Jiles says the atmosphere of the Friendship Center on a regular day is one with lots of socialization and laughter and seniors of the community enjoying themselves.
With temperatures expected to be in the mid-90s all weekend and an excessive heat warning in effect, the Friendship Center also serves as a cooling center and the public can learn more about the center while also cooling off.
Put July 29 and August 5 on the calendar to be a part of a free training on Narcan.
The DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition will be offering the training at The Vault in Clinton on back-to-back Monday evenings for those interested. Wednesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Paul Skowron, Vice President of the coalition told Regional Radio News the training will be offered by Joe Trotter from the Champaign County Health Department.
President of the Coalition, Jeff DeLaughter says after the training, those that attend will be equipped with a Narcan kit to take with them. He adds they wanted to offer two nights so as many could attend as were interested.
For more information, you can contact DeLaughter at 217-413-0901 or you can get more information by finding the Coalition Facebook page.
Again the dates are July 29 and August 5 at 7 pm at The Vault in Clinton.
If your child's summer has been busy this summer, it is not too late to join the Vespasian Warner Public Library's summer reading club.
Paula Lopatic, children's librarian, indicates so far they have had approximately 350 students participate in the current installment of the summer reading club. Some of the programs for this year have included Bubba the alligator and the Heartland Mini Hoofs.
Lopatic says they have a couple of programs left for the summer with the last Thursday program on July 18 at 2:15 pm. There are two remaining Tuesday morning programs: July 23 will be the Hanson Family and July 30 is the Children's Museum Star Lab.
The reading will end on August 10. Lopatic notes there is plenty of time to complete a reading log and turn it in for prizes.
In addition to the kindergarten through the junior high reading club, there are clubs for preschool and teens/adults. All of the reading clubs run through August 10 and are still accepting signups.
It took a while for much of Illinois to thaw out from last winter’s deep freeze, but we’re now into the “dog days” of summer. Air temperatures will be in the mid to upper 90’s for Wednesday through Saturday throughout most of the state with dew points in the low to mid 70’s says DTN chief agriculture meteorologist Bryce Anderson.
As for what impact this heat wave will have on the Illinois corn and soybean crop, Anderson says it’s a tough question to answer.
It was just 166 days ago, January 31st, that Illinois hit its record low temperature, -38-degrees recorded in the northwest Illinois town of Mount Carroll.
City crews will be out beginning the oil and chip process next week.
Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements, Ken Buchanan updated the Clinton City Council Monday night. A map of the targeted areas is below.
Lobb has reached out to Regional Radio News today indicating work will begin Wednesday.
You may have noticed some fire hydrants in the community have been painted. Commissioners John Wise and Dan Ballenger give an update on the situation.
In total, the Council met for a little more than five minutes.
So far, so good on Clinton Lake this summer.
DNR Conservation Police Sergeant John Williamson told Regional Radio News Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, there was a near-drowning on the Lake on the Fourth of July but thanks to people near him, everything turned out just fine.
When it comes to dealing with intoxicated operators on the lake, Williamson says DNR officials become a tow service for those that cannot continue operating their watercraft.
After the wet spring, things have dried out but Williamson says the lake water levels are still pretty high despite the recent dry stretch.
Williamson says the Fourth of July weekend was very busy with boaters from Thursday through Sunday.
Write Stuff for Kids of DeWitt County will be setting young school kids up with school supplies next month.
Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Edith Brady-Lunny and Kathleen Frick told Regional Radio News that process is underway. Frick says applications for this year's distribution are underway. Brady-Lunny adds they are accepting donations at Bryce Starkey Edward Jones agent on the north side of the Clinton Square.
Brady-Lunny says as the new school year approaches, they could really use donations of backpacks. She says they are sometimes more costly and bulky to purchase.
Write Stuff is not just limited to school children in Clinton. Brady-Lunny says they have been distributing supplies to students in Farmer City and DeLand-Weldon. Frick notes, in Clinton, those applications can be found online or at the DeWitt County Housing Authority.
Distribution this year is set for Saturday, August 10 from 8 am to noon at Clinton Junior High School. For more information, you can reach out to Frick on Facebook via the group's Facebook page. Or you can call her at 217-935-9637.
Just because the Clinton Board of Education has canceled their July Board meeting does not mean there is no business to take care of.
Due to the passing of member Ron Conner, the BOE is seeking interested residents to fill his position on the board by August.
Superintendent Curt Nettles sent the notice out Monday. The appointee will serve until the April 2021 election when the seat will be up for election.
Interested parties cannot be from Clintonia Township, as there are already three board members residing in Clintonia, the max allowed under state law.
Interested parties can submit their intent for consideration to Superintendent Curt Nettles by mail or email, to email@example.com.
Candidates must be 18 years old, lived in the district for a year and be a registered voter.
Submissions must be in by 4 pm July 30.
To submit your consideration by mail, the address is 1210 US Highway 54 in Clinton, zip code 61727.
The much-anticipated construction project in Heyworth is rolling on through the hot summer days.
Superintendent Lisa Taylor says it's been very busy since ground was broken earlier this year and things are moving right along. Right now it's all foundational work and she points out things are starting to be impacted by the wet spring.
The main construction is the addition of a new athletic gymnasium. Taylor says there will be improvements made to classrooms but for now, they are keeping to their schedule and do not anticipate construction having much impact on that.
The new gymnasium is going to have a view of their new weight room, allowing more options for their classes. Additionally, Taylor says they will double the size of the capacity in their gym, which is going to give them the opportunity to host tournaments and other events.
CROPS AND PRODUCERS CONTINUE TO PLAY CATCH-UP AS HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
96 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE NOW IN THE GROUND…WITH 91 PERCENT EMERGED AND 12 PERCENT BLOOMING SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER. THE CROP IMPROVED TO 41 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. TURNING TO CORN…
SCHLEUSENER GIVES AN UPDATE ON SOYBEANS:
90 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED AND THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 39 PERCENT COMPLETE.
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DECLINED TO ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 18 PERCENT SHORT, 72 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND NINE PERCENT SURPLUS.
Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos continues to urge the USDA to issue a statewide agricultural disaster declaration. She says farmers are being hit with a double whammy—a late planting season caused by a wet spring plus ongoing trade issues. Bustos first reached out to US Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue last month.
Bustos serves on the U.S. House Ag Committee. She has held discussions with farmers across her district this spring and summer, including Whiteside County, Henry County, Mercer County and Rock Island County. During those conversations, Bustos says farmers have expressed to her that conditions are the worst they have ever seen.
The summer weather means more outdoor activity and perhaps none take more advantage of the opportunity to be out than motorcyclists and bicyclists.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers points out nearly all motorcycle/car crashes are the fault of the vehicle operator. He says always be on alert.
Bicycle awareness brings on a more serious tone as kids are most often seen on bicycles. Chief Lowers says regardless of who is on a bike, we need to be aware of cyclists.
For cyclists, helmets are a must for both bicyclists and motorcyclists. Chief Lowers also implores the evening cyclist to make sure you have reflectors so you can see and reminds them of the rules regarding driving on roads where there may be traffic.
Chief Lowers indicates they collect quite a few stolen or abandoned bicycles during the summer months. He encourages young people especially, to lock up their bikes if they are going to leave them out for an extended period of time. He says they have their impound full of recovered bikes and they auction them off once a year at Clinton Auto Auction.
The new state budget and the touted benefits for schools should not have much of an impact on a Piatt County school district.
That is what Dr. Vic Zimmerman, Superintendent of Monticello Schools says in light of the recently passed budget in Springfield claims of benefits to Illinois public schools. Like most districts, he says they do spend very conservatively.
Local revenues are over 80-percent of the Monticello budget. Dr. Zimmerman says most of that revenue is split between the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax, or CPPRT, and their property taxes, leaving not much reliance on state or federal funding.
Even though the new budget is not going to greatly impact his district, Dr. Zimmerman calls the increase great for education in Illinois.
The CPPRT revenue goes up and down depending on the year and Dr. Zimmerman says the increased April revenues caused that fund to increase which helped them finish the year on a positive note to the tune $800,000.
THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IS ENCOURAGING TEACHERS TO DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE 2020 CENSUS WITH STUDENTS AND INVITES THEM TO BECOME CENSUS AMBASSADORS.
THE BOARD OF ED IS LOOKING FOR TEACHERS WHO REALLY WANT TO PROMOTE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE UPCOMING CENSUS AS AN AMBASSADOR. PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT LIZ HILER (high-
ler) EXPLAINS WHAT BEING THAT ENTAILS.
ADDITIONALLY, TEACHERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE LESSON PLANS.
TEACHERS MUST APPLY BY JULY 31ST. HILER SAYS CURRICULUM IDEAS AND CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO ALL TEACHERS ONLINE AT CENSUS DOT GOV FORWARD SLASH SCHOOLS.
The 2019 DeWitt County Fair was held this weekend with an emphasis on fun.
Lindsey Burden, DeWitt County 4-H Program Coordinator, indicates something new at the fair this year was a multitude of activities for the exhibitors to participate in while awaiting adjudication. She says the activities were open to the public to participate in also.
Doug Harlan, DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties Extension Director, indicates this was the first year adult former 4-H members were allowed to exhibit projects. The 4-H members voted on their favorite adult projects.
The fair wraps up Monday with the Beef Show at 8 am followed by the annual DeWitt County 4-H Foundation auction at 7 pm.
A prolonged period of warm and dry weather is here. How long will it last? Brian Kerschner with the Illinois State Climatologists Office tells us...
The Department of Agriculture Wednesday extended the deadline for farmers to report spring-seeded crops.
USDA says the new deadline, July 22, applies to producers in states impacted by flooding.
USDA undersecretary Bill Northey says the deadline extension is part of the agencies effort to "increase program flexibility and reduce overall regulatory burden for producers" going through a challenging time.
Farmers not in the selected states must file reports or be added to a county register by the original July 15 deadline.
The new deadline applies to producers in Illinois, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee and Wisconsin for reporting spring-seeded crops to USDA’s Farm Service Agency county offices and crop insurance agents.
Filing a timely crop acreage report is important for maintaining eligibility for USDA conservation, disaster assistance, safety net, crop insurance and farm loan programs.
Producers filing reports with FSA county offices are encouraged to set up an appointment before visiting the office.
Lincoln teens are invited out to the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital fitness court Tuesday evening for training to help others use the court effectively.
Angela Stoltzenberg with ALMH explains teens will learn about the courts seven stations and the variations of how to effectively use each one. The completion of the training will give teens the tools to promote and help anyone wanting to use the facility.
Again, the training is for teens ages 14-19 and the training starts at 6 pm. Anyone interested can meet at the court at 235 8th Street, at the former hospital location.
You can learn more about the court and other happenings at ALMH by searching "ALMH Community Health Collaborative" on Facebook.
SUMMER IS PRIME TIME FOR GRILL FIRES. THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE HAS SOME SAFETY TIPS.
JULY IS THE PEAK MONTH FOR GRILL RELATED FIRES…WITH GAS GRILLS CONTRIBUTING TO MORE FIRES THAN CHARCOAL GRILLS. STATE FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ SAYS THERE ARE PRECAUTIONS YOU CAN TAKE TO PROTECT YOURSELF.
FULTZ SAYS KIDS AND PETS SHOULD BE KEPT AT LEAST THREE FEET FROM THE GRILL AND IF USING CHARCOAL…THE COALS SHOULD BE FULLY COOLED BEFORE DISPOSING OF THEM IN A METAL CONTAINER.
FULTZ SAYS IF YOU SMELL GAS WHILE GRILLING, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY GET AWAY FROM THE GRILL AND CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT.
June 26, 21 area businesses and non-profits converged on the Clinton Country Club for the annual Clinton Chamber of Commerce golf outing.
Marian Brisard says the event was a big success. Friday morning on the WHOW Morning Show she unveiled the winners of the annual event.
While many Chamber sponsored events offer opportunities for networking among local businesses and leaders, Brisard feels the golf outing may be the premier event as it is the most casual of all their events.
Brisard says the funds raised from the golf outing helps them maintain their operations like giving back to the community through donations to non-profits and other investments in the community.
She also notes at the golf outing, the held their drawing for the annual gun raffle and the winner was Steve Coppenbarger.
Goodwill in Clinton opened their doors for the first time at 9 am on Friday morning establishing their latest location in central Illinois.
Sharon Durbin is the President and CEO of the Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries and says Clinton was the right location for them.
According to Durbin, Goodwill offers many programs that invest in the community. She says from youth to adults, they have several programs that help residents be successful.
Durbin says there will be designated days when their career coach will be in Clinton. She anticipates that person will be available in a few more weeks.
Check out the new Goodwill location on the west side of the community next to the new Tractor Supply Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 9 pm and Sundays from 11 am to 7 pm.
The DeWitt County 4-H is seeking donations to aid in renovating the fairground restrooms.
Dan Enos with the DeWitt County 4-H indicates they are planning to add a handicap restroom to the facilities and will be an estimated $60,000 project. He says currently there is no date set to begin.
Enos says donations from the public are much needed for the project. Those wishing to make a donation should contact the DeWitt County Farm Bureau or the DeWitt County University of Illinois Extension Office.
Earlier this week on Regional Radio News, we outlined ten DeWitt County organizations that received support from the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois.
Ryan Huffer with the United Way says it's easy to become part of their umbrella of support. He explains they recently broadened the requirements for who they can support and feels it's worth a call to them to find out if you might qualify.
Applying for the investment opportunity through the United Way is a lot like grant writing. Huffer explains they want to know things like what is an organization's budget, how do they impact whoever they are serving and how does that impact compare to someone who may not be in their program.
Huffer explains they serve DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties among others in central Illinois and seek to support non-profits and make their communities as strong as possible.
Huffer says they chose community investment intentionally because they view their role as investing in the community. He adds they also hold their non-profits accountable by checking in with them periodically to find out if the investment is paying dividends.
To get more information on the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois, you can visit uwdecatur.org or contact them at 217-422-8537.
Activity starting to pick up for the State Agriculture Pest Survey Coordinator. Kelly Estes provides an update from her office in Champaign.
Estes staff includes six interns this summer.
It's been more than a decade since the last F-16 Falcon Fighter Jet left the runways at Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. Members of the U.S. House and Senate from Illinois believe its time for military jets to return. Congressman Darin LaHood says the bi-partisan effort comes at a time when the Air Force is looking for more spots for aircraft....
LaHood says bringing aircraft back is a borderline turnkey effort...
The Springfield based 183rd Air National Guard fighter wing lost its jets after the Base Realignment and Closure Commission made a recommendation to transfer the jets last decade.
Join the United Riders Association for a special fundraiser this Saturday in Logan County to raise money for the Logan County Special Olympics.
The two groups are teaming up to raise money to help the Special Olympics expand on their flag football team. Event Coordinator Rick Hennessey says they started the car and bike show last year to supplement the loss of the popular Polar Plunge in Lincoln.
The Cruisin' For A Cause event is the latest event the United Riders Association has taken up for the Special Olympics. He says the show will consist of cars, bikes, and jeeps.
The Oasis Senior Center in Lincoln on Woodlawn Road is the site of this year's event. Hennessy says the event is from 11 am to 3 pm with free activities for kids as well.
Hennessy points anyone wanting more information to visit the event's Facebook page by searching Cruisin' For A Cause. You can also learn more about the United Riders Association by finding them on Facebook as well.
The 2019 DeWitt County 4-H Fair will run July 12-15 at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Clinton.
Lindsey Burden, DeWitt County 4-H Extension Coordinator, indicates Friday evening will see tractor driving, archery, and the Ag Olympics. Saturday will have the general project judging all day along with the poultry, goat, and master showmanship shows. The public will have an opportunity Saturday afternoon to find out more about the fair.
Burden says on Sunday they will have the beef, rabbit, and sheep shows along with with a continuation of the general project judging. Sunday evening is the annual 4-H Fair Association Pork Chop dinner at 5:30 pm followed by the awards program. Monday morning is the swine show and Monday evening is the auction.
Hear live coverage from the fair Saturday morning from 9 am to noon, and the awards show on Sunday evening from 7 pm to 8 pm, on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com, on the WHOW app, and on Amazon Alexa.
THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2019 WERE THE WETTEST IN ILLINOIS HISTORY.
ILLINOIS WEATHER DATA GOES BACK TO 1895…AND A NEW RECORD WAS SET THIS YEAR SAYS BRIAN KERSCHNER WITH THE STATE CLIMATOLOGIST’S OFFICE.
THAT BEATS THE AVERAGE BY MORE THAN EIGHT INCHES SAYS KERSCHNER.
THE WETTEST PART OF THE STATE? COBDEN, ILLINOIS IN FAR SOUTHERN UNION COUNTY RECEIVED MORE THAN 44 INCHES OF RAIN DURING THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR.
There's a continued uproar on social media over the state's decision to yank the Confederate Railroad from the concert lineup of the DuQuoin State Fair August 27th. Governor J.B. Pritzker offered his first comments on the subject Wednesday and he didn't feel the need to be delicate on the topic....
Some call it a double standard that rapper Snoop Dog will perform at the Springfield based State Fair despite an album cover with the feet of a cadaver with a toe tag labeled “Trump.” Pritzker calls that comparing apples and oranges....
The state is paying the Confederate Railroad the full $7500 contract they would have received if they performed. Nearby Marion's Harley Davidson dealer now plans to host the band September 5th.
A local school is feeling the effects of the statewide teacher shortage.
Clinton High School Principal Jerry Wayne notes he currently has three openings that he is trying to fill before the start of the school year.
Wayne indicates that if positions are not filled he would need to find a long term substitute teacher, which is facing a shortage as well.
Wayne argues that it is not only political reasons behind the statewide teacher shortage, but it has to do with the rigors of teaching as a profession.
Wayne says to stop the shortage, the public needs to recognize what teachers do and encourage youth to take up teaching as a profession.
The hottest day of the summer to date is likely today (Wednesday) and as we hit the dog days of summer, local authorities are reminding residents to keep a close watch on your elderly neighbors and pets.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says the elderly can be especially susceptible to the extreme heat if they live alone and don't have air conditioning.
Chief Lowers also advocates for those outdoor pets that will be subjected to the heat of the summer. Among many suggestions, Lowers says to make sure have shade to rest in and plenty of cold water that is changed out frequently.
Additionally, while leaving kids in the car on a hot day is against the law, the Chief reminds pet owners it is equally stressful on animals.
Chief Lowers points out the police still get complaints about dogs running at large. He continues to remind the public to keep dogs in enclosed, fenced in areas and when taking them out, to keep them leashed, as those are city ordinances and a citation can be written under some circumstances.
With millions of Americans dealing with disabilities, Social Security can help with disability benefits.
Jack Myers with Social Security indicates that they have strict criteria for their disability benefits. To qualify for benefits, individuals must have a condition that is expected to last for at least a year or result in death prior to a year.
Myers notes nobody is getting rich off of disability benefits. Benefits are supposed to help families survive but are not enough to fully replace wages.
Myers reminds that Social Security offers special assistance for veterans who are wounded or disabled during active duty to help expedite their application.
For more information on Social Security disability visit www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS URGING EMPLOYERS TO HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE TO ADDRESS WORKPLACE VIOLENCE.
WORKPLACE VIOLENCE HAS BECOME A GROWING CONCERN SAYS ILLINOIS OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR BEN NOVEN. THE FIRST STEP IS UNDERSTANDING WHAT THAT INCLUDES.
NOVEN SAYS THE BEST THING EMPLOYERS CAN DO IS ESTABLISH A ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY TOWARDS VIOLENCE AT WORK.
SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS, KEY OR BADGE ENTRY AND PROPER LIGHTING IS ALSO ADVISED. EMPLOYEES SHOULD BE URGED TO REPORT POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS BEHAVIOR TO THEIR SUPERVISOR.
In trying to find the balance of having teachers take advantage of needed professional development opportunities but also in front of their students consistently, a DeWitt County school district is trying some new things.
Susan Wilson is the Superintendent of the Blue Ridge district and says they found their teachers were out of the classroom so much and felt it was providing inconsistencies to their students.
Because a before and after school training requires paying teachers extra, Wilson says the trade-off is not having to bring in subs to cover their classroom time. This implementation started last year and Wilson feels it has gone really well to date.
Professional development in the district has started to be taken care in-house thanks to the hiring of a curriculum coordinator. Wilson adds partnerships with other districts have started to become a popular form of professional development.
Traditional professional development seminars are still an option as well. Wilson says they still send teachers to various conferences throughout the state bringing back great ideas for their various campuses.
Wilson believes the approach they have been using has had real benefits for their students by providing continuity they need.
The United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois recently wrapped up their bi-annual community investment process in DeWitt County.
Ryan Huffer with the United Way says this is a process that brings various people from different sectors of the community together to hear from non-profits about what their organizations do, how an investment from United Way would impact them and then decides how to distribute a set amount o funding.
Roughly $106,000 was invested in DeWitt County non-profits this cycle and Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Huffer told Regional Radio News four groups received 100-percent of the funding they requested. He feels that is a tremendous number for a central Illinois community.
According to Huffer, there's a number of programs in DeWitt County doing good things that are worthy investments by the United Way.
Huffer indicates their fundraising campaign in DeWitt County mainly takes place in the fall and then their community investment process happens in the spring every other year. He indicates there can be some tough decisions their community volunteers have after all their non-profits present.
To get more information on the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois and their bi-annual campaign, you can visit uwdecatur.org or contact them at 217-422-8537.
Around a dozen Clinton High School students, last month made the trip across the pond to tour and explore London.
Clinton High School Principal Jerry Wayne calls the trip a great experience for the kids that were able to take advantage of the opportunity. He says they saw all the sites you would typically associate with the area.
According to Wayne, tips his cap to the students and the way they conducted themselves. He felt they represented Clinton at the highest level.
About three years ago, Wayne explains his English teachers brought forward the idea of visiting England to connect what is being taught in the classroom to the real world. From there, they received the nod of approval from the Board of Education and then moved forward to fundraise for the trip.
Wayne anticipates in another three years having this opportunity again. He indicates that will have to be up to the Board of Education but they intend on showcasing their experience to the Board in August.
Photos of the students trip courtesy of Clinton High School's Twitter account:
Are you sick of the wet weather? Don't anticipate much of a change.
Chris Miller of the National Weather Service in Lincoln says the rainy pattern is going to continue as move through July. He explains the entirety of the corn belt could be looking at a pretty wet July.
All is not lost, however. Miller points to later this month when things to turn around and become more typical of summer with hot and dry conditions.
Farmers might be curious to know that Miller is seeing the possibility of above normal temperatures come the harvest season. While that is the forecast, for now, he is not sure it will hold as that is hurricane season and that could shake things up.
The recent heat and dry weather have helped dry out a lot of the fields of Illinois. While some planting was behind this year, Miller says the later summer forecast of warmer and drier weather may be just what farmers will need leading up to the harvest season.
SOYBEAN PLANTING IS WRAPPING UP AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
93 PERCENT OF SOYBEAN ACRES HAVE BEEN PLANTED…COMPARED TO 99 PERCENT NORMALLY SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
95 OF CORN HAS EMERGED AND FOUR PERCENT IS SILKING.
74 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DECLINED TO SIX PERCENT SHORT, 66 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 28 PERCENT SURPLUS.
OSF Health Care in conjunction with the Illinois Farm Bureau promoting a tool for farmers that targets stress, anxiety and depression. It’s called the OSF SilverCloud and it’s available through an app and website says Knox County farmer Matt Goedeke (go-deck-ee).
Anyone who lives in a region with an OSF HealthCare facility can access this digital tool by computer, tablet or smartphone. There is no requirement to be an OSF patient. More information is available at “osf.silvercloudhealth.com/signup.”
You may love them or hate them depending on the day, but referees and officials are critical to keeping high school sporting events going across Illinois and the country. The IHSA is continuing to look to get the younger generations into officiating throughout the state.
Sam Knox is the Assistant Executive Director.
The 2019 Illinois Farm Bureau Farm Income and Innovations Conference set for later this month. IFB senior economist Mike Doherty says there is plenty of information on the docket.
The conference is July 31st at the Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Normal. More information is available at “ilfb.org/FIIC”.
Maybe lost in the mix at the start of the month was the increase of taxes on cigarettes and the change that you now need to be 21 to buy them.
The changes were approved by a bi-partisan group of lawmakers and signed by Democrat Governor JB Pritzker. Supporters of the changes hope it gets people to quit smoking or to never start. The State’s Doctor – the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health – Ngozi Ezike says barriers to smoking prove a good return on investment.
Illinois is one of more than 20 states that’s bumped the age to use tobacco to 21.
A HOUSE COMMITTEE IS DISCUSSING THE REMOVAL OF MORE THAN 200 BOOKS FROM A DOWNSTATE STATE PRISON LIBRARY.
THE BOOKS WERE TAKEN OUT OF THE DANVILLE CORRECTIONAL CENTER’S EDUCATION JUSTICE PROJECT COLLECTION…USED BY INMATES TAKING COLLEGE COURSES. THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR…REBECCA GINSBURG WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS SAYS THE BOOKS ARE A VITAL PART OF THE CURRICULUM.
PROGRAM COORDINATORS SAYS THE BOOKS ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE CURRICULUM…AND ARE BEING REMOVED OR DENIED ARBITRARILY. JEFFREYS SAYS MOST HAVE SINCE BEEN RETURNED AND THAT POLICIES ARE BEING REWRITTEN.
JEFFREYS SAYS THE DEPARTMENT IS COMMITTED TO OFFERING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO INMATES IN HOPES OF GETTING THEM ON A BETTER PATH ONCE RELEASED.
The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office is among several DeWitt and Piatt County entities joining forces to update the reporting system they use.
The system won't be ready for use for approximately 18 more months but the Sheriff says this is something they are desperately in need of.
One of the benefits of the new system will be a lot of information sharing between all the entities involved in the purchase process. The Sheriff says this will not only benefit them but everyone involved.
The total cost of the system is roughly $291,000 and Sheriff Walker explains that will be able to be divided up to each participating entity. The implementation of this new system will gradually be installed, which is a bonus according to the Sheriff.
Sheriff Walker calls the new system much easier to use. The current system is very cumbersome but the new system will streamline all the information they will need in one place.
The Monticello School district has for roughly a decade been seeking community support to update their facilities and construction of an approved project is underway.
Dr. Vic Zimmerman says they broke ground shortly after the school year concluded and he looks forward to progress this summer.
According to Dr. Zimmerman, the project will force them to be flexible as the addition and remodeling going on during the upcoming school year but he says there likely won't be an issue they can't handle.
This coming school year, there will be four portable classrooms in use and Dr. Zimmerman indicates classes will likely be shuffling in and out of those throughout the year as various classrooms get renovated.
Dr. Zimmerman also indicates upgrades to the classrooms include AC, new lighting or paint.
If you need to apply for anything in the Social Security world, it is likely you can do it online.
While online applications aren't for everyone, Jack Myers with Social Security says that is becoming an increasing avenue for many of their beneficiaries and in fact, they have started to recommend it.
Myers stresses it will never be a requirement for anyone to apply for benefits online but it is likely the most convenient and easiest option for you.
Additionally, the application for a financial assistance program geared towards seniors is also available at the Social Security website. Myers says the Extra Help application is available online and is unique because a person can file on behalf of someone else.
For many of these applications, Myers points out you'll need to have a My Social Security account set up. That will be a handy tool down the road so he encourages having that set up when you start the application process.
On a weekend when people are hitting the roads and filling tanks the anger and grumbling continues about the motor fuel tax jumping 19 cents. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker has heard it but he says after decades of not raising revenue to fix roads the state has so much to repair and rebuild.
Pritzker says drivers are going to save money in the long run on car repairs and getting to places faster when roads are repaired or built.
July started off with stormy and summer weather, and the trend will continue this weekend into next week. State Climatologist Office's Brian Kerschner has more...
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS HIGHER EDUCATION IN ILLINOIS WILL RECEIVE A MUCH-NEEDED PICK-ME-UP UNDER THE NEW “REBUILD ILLINOIS” PROGRAM.
THE PROGRAM INCLUDES MONEY FOR EVERYTHING FROM A NEW PARKING LOT AT MORTON COLLEGE TO A NEW QUANTUM PHYSICS FACILITY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS IN URBANA/CHAMPAIGN SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER. ADDITIONALLY:
NEARLY THREE BILLION DOLLARS IN FUNDING WILL COVER DEFERRED MAINTENANCE NEEDS…NEW BUILDINGS AND OTHER COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY PROJECTS. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THIS IS AN IMPORTANT INVESTMENT.
MAJOR PROJECTS INCLUDE A QUANTUM PHYSICS FACILITY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, A NEW HEALTH SCIENCES BUILDING AT SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY EDWARDSVILLE AND NEW SCIENCE BUILDINGS AT WESTERN AND EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITIES.
THE GOVERNOR SAYS MAKING THESE INVESTMENTS IN HIGHER EDUCATION WILL HELP KEEP MORE STUDENTS IN ILLINOIS FOR COLLEGE.
AS THE LONG HOLIDAY WEEKEND CONTINUES, GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ASKING THE PUBLIC NOT TO TEXT AND DRIVE.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS DISTRACTED HAS BECOME A HUGH PROBLEMS…AND URGES EVERYONE TO PUT DOWN THEIR PHONES WHEN THEY’RE BEHIND THE WHEEL.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS DISTRACTED DRIVING KILLS MORE PEOPLE THAN DRUNK DRIVING IN ILLINOIS…AND IS A BIG CONCERN.
TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IS NOW A MOVING VIOLATION WITH A FINE OF 75 DOLLARS FOR FIRST TIME OFFENDERS. REPEAT OFFENDERS FACE FINES OF 150 BUCKS. IF YOU RACK UP THREE MOVING VIOLATIONS IN A YEAR, YOUR LICENSE COULD BE SUSPENDED.
Last month Illinois lawmakers approved legislation requiring graduating seniors to apply for aid to college before they would receive their diploma.
Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles weighed in on the legislation and called overreach. Uncertain if it is the FAFSA forms parents fill out, Nettles says if it is, that is a difficult form to navigate.
Nettles wishes lawmakers would allow local control to navigate issues like these and numerous other legislators have intervened on.
The National Weather Service is reminding the public to be cautious about the summer weather.
Chris Miller, National Weather Service meteorologist, reminds to not leave pets or kids in the car even for short periods of time. Temperatures inside cars can reach upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Miller indicates that with temperatures in the 80s, humidity and direct sunlight can cause it to feel much warmer. He advises keeping an eye on the elderly and young children as they are the most susceptible to heat.
Miller says current projections do not show many 90 degree days the rest of the summer.
The Clinton Community Unit School District 15 will open online registration for the 2019-2020 school year on July 16. Registration is available on the district website at www.cusd15.org.
Registration at Lincoln, Douglas, Clinton Elementary, the Junior High, and High School buildings will be held on Thursday, August 8 from 9am-1pm and 4pm-7pm.
In order to be accepted for registration in the Clinton school district, kindergarten students must reach their fifth birthday on or before September 1, 2019.
Wednesday, August 21, 2019, will be the first full day of school for kindergarten through fifth grade, sixth grade, freshmen, and students new to the district. Thursday, August 22, will be the first full day for all students.
Goodwill of Clinton is set to open their doors at 9 am on Friday, July 12.
The grand opening will be ushered in by a ribbon cutting ceremony and Pat Anderson, with Goodwill Industries says the store is coming together nicely and the finishing touches are being done with a week to spare.
According to Anderson, the Clinton store will mirror many of their stores across the state in that they will offer a drop off location and electronic recycling and the proceeds go back into some of their programming they offer.
Hear live coverage from the Goodwill grand opening on Friday, July 12 from 9 am to noon on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, on 95.9 FM WEZC and on at dewittdailynews.com.
This weekend opens the DeWitt County 4-H fair with the horse show.
Lindsey Burden with the University of Illinois Extension office says Saturday of the horse show is more of the competitive side of things while Sunday is more of the fun parts of the show.
Burden says youth are broken into three classes and while it can be a long day at the fairgrounds, it ends up being a good time for everyone.
The kids that participate are enrolled in 4-H and participate in several workshops throughout the year.
Burden is looking forward to being a part of the weekend of activities for the first time in her role as 4-H Extension Coordinator.
Hear live coverage from the horse show Saturday morning from 10 am to 11 am on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
To help boost numbers in football, this upcoming season the Blue Ridge Knights will be co-oping with Normal Calvary Christian Academy.
Superintendent Susan Wilson explains this expands the co-op already in place with DeLand-Weldon. While the number of kids coming to play won't be significant, it will be enough to expand opportunities for their student-athletes.
Wilson indicates the rebuilding of their program has been quite a process. The program was shut down around five years ago and then brought back but since they brought the program back, the numbers have gradually increased.
Blue Ridge opens their 2019 campaign at home hosting Martinsville with games at home against Toledo-Cumberland, Decatur LSA, Cerro Gordo Bement and Argenta-Oreana for senior night. Their road matchups include Oblong, Oakland, ALAH, and Arcola.
The 2019 season opens August 30.
Western Illinois State Representative Dan Swanson is critical of Governor J.B Pritzker regarding the Governor's recent comments on gas prices.
In a discussion with the media earlier this week as the new 19 cents per gallon tax became the law, Governor Pritzker stated that Illinois residents would save money in the long run on gas prices because the infrastructure bill will create safer, more reliable road conditions. Swanson takes issue with that.
The motor fuel tax in Illinois increased by 19 Cents on Monday, July 1st.
While many people who have entered into timeshare agreements over the years have said they love them, there are plenty others trying to get out of contracts they say don't offer what is promised. As a result, the timeshare exit industry popped up several years ago, but the Better Business Bureau warns some of these companies may not deliver the results they promise.
Getting out of a timeshare can be difficult, but it is possible. Sometimes, you can even do it yourself. But one tactic some timeshare exit companies use that is an outright lie, according to Better Business Bureau investigator Don O'Brien, is claiming the contracts will automatically be passed down to your children when you die.
O'Brien says you should beware of making upfront payments for the work if you decide to go with one of these companies and pay with a credit card so you can dispute the charge if you are not satisfied with the results.
The Illinois Democratic County Chairs Brunch at Springfield's Crowne Plaza has drawn some big names in recent years. Now they add another with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi booked to serve as keynote speaker next month. Current presidential contenders like Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and South Bend Mayor Pete Butigieg have addressed the crowd on Democrat Day during the State Fair in recent years, but with a flooded field of candidates, County Chairs President Kristina Zahorik (Za-haw-rick) thought the change would be good.
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Zahorik says the event continues to grow...
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Other past speakers include then future President Obama, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, and Minnesota Senator Al Franken before his fall from grace.
Tickets go on sale July 15 at the Democratic County Chairs website www.ILDCCA.org.
The Celebrate Clinton Association's downtown festivities will be capped off by fireworks that will be put up for display tomorrow night.
Ruth Lowers explains hosting the fireworks display the day after their celebration on the square gives everyone a chance to recover and for them to check out other displays in central Illinois.
Fireworks will get underway between 9 and 9:15 pm and it will be a 30-minute display. Celebrate Clinton has taken over the duties of raising money and coordination for the annual display in recent years.
WITH THE FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND UPON US…SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE IS URGING THE PUBLIC NOT TO DRINK AND DRIVE.
BETWEEN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION…SOBER FRIENDS…AND RIDESHARING SERVICES, THERE IS NO EXCUSE TO DRIVE DRUNK SYS SECRETARY WHITE.
WHITE SAYS PEOPLE CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAY SHOULD PLAN AHEAD TO MAKE SURE THEY GET HOME SAFELY.
WHITE ALSO REMINDS DRIVERS TO BUCKLE UP AND NOT TEXT AND DRIVE.
TWO OUT OF THE FOUR TRAFFIC FATALITIES LAST YEAR OVER THE FOURTH OF JULY INVOLVED ALCOHOL.
AS MANY PEOPLE HEAD TO THE LAKE FOR THE 4TH OF JULY HOLIDAY…THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES OFFERS SOME SAFE BOATING TIPS.
THERE HAVE ALREADY BEEN SEVERAL BOATING DEATHS THIS SUMMER IN ILLINOIS…AND THAT’S WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO TAKE BOATING SAFETY SERIOUSLY SAYS D-N-R SPOKESPERSON RACHEL TORBERT.
STATE LAW REQUIRES KIDS UNDER 13 TO WEAR A LIFE JACKET WHILE ABOARD ANY BOAT LESS THAN 26 FEET LONG..AND EVERYONE MUST WEAR A LIFE JACKET WHILE JET SKIING.ADDITIONALLY, TORBERT REMINDS THAT D-U-I LAWS APPLY TO BOAT OPERATORS AS WELL.
TORBERT SAYS STATE CONSERVATION POLICE WILL BE ON LAKES AND RIVERS LOOKING FOR VIOLATORS ALL SUMMER.
The Executive Director of the Clinton YMCA believes once a Y is established in Monticello it will take off.
However, as the process crosses over the year mark, Rennie Cluver says the Clinton Y continues to make sure they are doing it right and all their bases are covered.
According to Cluver, the next step is to have a company come in and tell them what they need to achieve through a fundraising campaign, along with what the possibilities are for a facility.
A YMCA in Monticello would put all the risk on the table for the Clinton Y, Cluver indicates that is why they are being cautious. Additionally, they don't want to establish a branch in Monticello and then have to shut it down because it is unsustainable.
Partnerships with a local hospital and YMCA has been a trend for the organization across the country and even locally there are examples of those types of partnerships. Cluver indicates a part of their feasibility study will be what is possible for them.
Cluver believes a Monticello YMCA is going to happen it is just a matter of how big. He says there are big dreams in Monticello however, where they are is finding out what they can afford and expand from there.
Cluver anticipates a capital campaign being announced very soon as the Board nails down final plans for a Monticello YMCA.
You've likely been out grilling for weeks now but a food safety expert is promoting grill safety this Fourth of July.
Whether you're cooking for a family of four or four generations, Caitlin Mellendorf with the University of Illinois Extension Office has several tips for us this holiday weekend. First and foremost, make sure you are washing your hands frequently when handling food of any type.
Your menu this year might include brats, burgers, chicken or ribs and Mellendorf encourages making sure the grilling surface gets raked off between the meats you set on it. Additionally, it's a good idea to establish cooking zones of the grill if you choose to cook everything at the same time.
To prevent food-borne illnesses, Mellendorf says it is imperative to make sure all the meats get cooked to their USDA recommended temperatures.
Foodsafety.gov is the website Mellendorf recommends for more information on cooking safety tips and for temperatures for all the various meats you may be preparing this Fourth of July holiday, but also all through the summer.
The Fourth of July Celebration in Clinton is set for its ninth year on the Clinton Square this Thursday.
The Celebrate Clinton Association has hosted the annual event and Ruth Lowers says it's a day of fun for kids and adults with plenty of entertainment.
The day begins at 8 am with a breakfast served by the Clinton Police and Fire departments. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says the breakfast serving can become a light-hearted competition between the two groups.
Lowers says there's plenty of fun stuff for kids this Thursday. From a watermelon eating contest to bike and trike decorating contest and a kids tractor pull competition, there's something happening almost all day to keep the young ones engaged.
Later in the afternoon, there will be a dunk tank with various local celebrities partaking. Chief Lowers will be getting into the tank and is always a crowd favorite.
Get more information about the Celebrate Clinton Fourth of July activities by visiting their Facebook page.
Lowers notes the week of the Fourth is a busy week for the department and encourages the community to celebrate safely.
Keep an eye to the sky this Fourth of July.
That is the message from Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln who indicates we could be in for some early fireworks as conditions seem to indicate mother nature may fire up a thunderstorm or two this Thursday.
Miller says there's been a spike in lightning injuries and fatalities near or in water. He says that is something to be very conscious about this holiday week.
Illinois has been on a run of rainless Independence Days and Miller adds it's typically been hot on the 'Fourth' as well.
Miller says to anticipate more rain fronts to settle over Illinois in the month of June and provide more above average rainfall for this time of year.
EXCITEMENT IS BUILDING FOR ILLINOIS COMMUNITIES THAT WILL ENJOY NEW GAMING OPPORTUNITIES UNDER THE STATE’S “REBUILD ILLINOIS” PROGRAM.
THE PROGRAM, WHICH WILL HELP WITH ROAD REPAIRS, CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS AND MORE IS BEING PARTIALLY FUNDED BY EXPANSION OF GAMBLING IN ILLINOIS. THAT INCLUDES SIX NEW LAND-BASED CASINOS. ONE WILL BE AT WALKER’S BLUFF IN CARTERVILLE, WHICH SENATOR DALE FOWLER SAYS WILL BE A BIG BOON FOR THE AREA.
ONE WILL BE LOCATED IN ROCKFORD…WHICH LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JULIANA STRATTON SAYS WILL PUT PEOPLE TO WORK.
ADDITIONALLY, WAUKEGAN, DANVILLE, CHICAGO, SOUTH SUBURBS AND WALKER’S BLUFF IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY WILL BE GETTING CASINOS. VIDEO GAMING WILL ALSO BE EXPANDED.
STATE PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY THE NEW “TOBACCO 21” LAW WILL REDUCE MEDICAL COSTS AND KEEP MORE KIDS FROM SMOKING.
AS OF JULY FIRST, YOU MUST BE 21 YEARS OLD TO BUY CIGARETTES, CHEWING TOBACCO, E-CIGS AND VAPES. ILLINOIS PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gozi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS THIS SHOULD HELP LOWER THE NUMBER OF NEW SMOKERS.
EZIKE SAYS THE LAW WILL HELP KEEP CIGARETTES OUT OF HIGH SCHOOLS, SINCE MOST OF THOSE GIVING THEM TO MINORS ARE UNDER 21.
EZIKE SAYS SMOKING AT AN EARLY AGE INCREASES THE RISK OF LUNG CANCER. 16 STATES NOW HAVE TOBACCO 21 LAWS.
CORN PLANTING IS STILL NOT COMPLETE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
95 OF CORN HAS BEEN PLANTED…COMPARED TO 100 PERCENT NORMALLY SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
87 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED AND 78 PERCENT EMERGED.
47 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED AND THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 86 COMPLETE.
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DECLINED A BIT TO ONE PERCENT SHORT, 53 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 46 PERCENT SURPLUS.
The much-anticipated train extension at the Scovill Zoo is complete.
Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Director Ken Frye told Regional Radio News the extension opened last week and now takes its regular route around the zoo but now extends to Lake Decatur and up to the Children's Museum.
With a new extension, you can get on at the Museum or in the zoo. Frye says you can buy a train ride with your admission to the zoo. The extension almost doubled its length.
Frye reminds those wanting to check out the zoo on the Fourth of July, it is free admission as part of their free admission Thursday promotion during the summer and they are offering free carousel rides.
Get more information by visiting scovillzoo.com.
It wasn't a record turnout, however, nearly 200 bikers turned out to take part in the annual Tour DeWitt.
Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, council members took notice of the job done by Steve Lobb and Councilman John Wise praised the work of Lobb and his crew for another successful event that raises money for the Child Protection Network.
Lobb says, however, it is a community effort to make the day happen. He thanked volunteers like Wise and City Administrator Tim Followell for the time they dedicated on Saturday.
Monday night the Council approved the appointment of Clarence Blessing to the Fire and Police Commission and approved the purchase of a 55-gallon drum for the Zoning Department at a cost of just over $26-hundred.
The Illinois gas tax doubled today in a bid to help with infrastructure needs.
The news has set off a social media storm with many border area residents saying they'll go to neighboring states to buy their gas. Governor J.B. Pritzker says the increase should have been small but not only was the tax not increased in nearly three decades, there was never a reaction to inflation....
Pritzker says some Illinoisans who will pay the tax most frequently have fewer complaints...
The per gallon tax increased today from 19 to 38 cents. The Illinois Policy Institute estimates inflation adjustments will increase the tax by a penny each year.
Pritzker adds it will be possible to save money driving around Illinois when driving is safer and easier.
Pritzker also highlighted savings to families once his progressive income tax could possibly become law.
With the Fourth comes fireworks and many people won’t leave the displays to the experts. The State Fire Marshalls’ office says one type of firework legal in Illinois are sparklers … but even those present plenty of danger if they are not used safely.
That’s JC Fultz. The list of prohibited fireworks includes Roman candles, paper lanterns propelled skyward with a lit flame inside and bottle rockets.
The State of Illinois passed a budget earlier this year that commits to making payments to Illinois Schools and a DeWitt County school leader is weighing in.
Superintendent of Clinton School Curt Nettles says it has been a struggle in recent years but the new evidence-based funding model has been praised by school leaders and it appears Governor JB Pritzker and his administration are committed to sticking with that model.
Nettles believes funding for schools will come down to if Illinois gets the revenue they are projected to receive. If revenues do not match the projections, schools are then at the mercy of lawmakers.
Nettles says while the state is still very behind on bills to schools, he credits the comptroller for keeping up on the payments to districts. He says as they enter a new fiscal year, they will get their last check from the State of Illinois however, it will not be on time and Nettles says it is tough to budget when they don't know when those funds come in.
Depending on where you live in Illinois, June may have seemed very wet and cool but that isn't exactly how it shaped up.
Chris Miller with the National Weather Service says the start of June was certainly wet and cool as rain fell across the area for several days in a row.
But thanks to the final two weeks of June, which were hot and dry, Miller says that changed the trends they saw in June and it became more typical for summertime. While it was a wet month, temperatures only came in a few degrees below normal.
The hottest day of the month was actually this past weekend when temperatures in some areas reached the lower 90s.
If you've seen Sgt. Morgan and K-9 Drax with the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office out this summer, you've likely noticed their new ride and new decals.
DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker says the new ride was becoming necessary for the pair as the old Chevy Tahoe was starting to age out. Additionally, Sheriff Walker points out you might notice the fresh decals.
The Sheriff says the Ford model police vehicles are becoming very trendy in the law enforcement world. As has been a trend for the last decade, the four-door sedans have become obsolete for police as they need more room for all the equipment they have to carry anymore.
The Sheriff indicates the department budgeted for two new vehicles in their fleet this year and they are awaiting the second one's arrival. The Sheriff hopes to have that in their possession sometime later this summer or early fall.
The summer construction season is in full swing and in Monticello, there are a couple of projects underway.
Director of Community Development, Callie McFarland says the big project is their streetscape improvement that will connect their downtown district to the west side of the community.
According to McFarland, there's also street rehab taking place in parts of the community. She indicates it is to some of their more traveled roads in town.
As the summer rolls along, there is a portion of land near their downtown the city is looking to develop. McFarland says their goal is to have the development mirror their downtown with commercial, retail and residential development.
McFarland says there is some interest with developers in that property adjacent to downtown and says it could be later this summer when requests for proposal go out and bids come back.
An assistance program in Macon and DeWitt Counties offers assistance for various needs.
Rev. Shane Hartman with the Macon County Assitance Exchange (Max) and DeWitt County Assistance Exchange (Dax) Programs, indicates it is a privately funded emergency assistance program that offers assistance with water bills, power bills, prescriptions, glasses, and clothing vouchers. There are no income guidelines for the program.
Rev. Hartman says they do not give out cash or currency only vouchers. The vouchers are available for use at many local businesses throughout Macon County.
The Dax program offers emergency assistance to DeWitt County residents similar to Max. Not all of the different types of assistance are available through Dax due to less funding.
In the past fiscal year, Max assisted 855 families with over $89,000.
For more information on Max or Dax visit the Dove office in Clinton at 803 W. Leander St. or call (217) 935-6619.