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Local News

YMCA's Strong Kids Campaign Kicking Off in April

It's the most important campaign of the year for one area agency.
 
That is how Executive Director Rennie Cluver describes the annual YMCA's Strong Kids Campaign. In mid-April, the non-profit DeWitt County agency will begin their yearly drive which helps support the programming they put on all year round.
 
 
Around $100-thousand is the annual goal for the Strong Kids Campaign at the Clinton YMCA. Cluver says last year they fell short of their goal. He feels some of the reasoning could be due to the uncertainty of the power plant, but he says they are thankful Exelon is going to remain in the community, as they are a huge supporter of the YMCA.
 
 
Cluver indicates the $100-thousand they strive for each year isn't even all of what they give back in programming scholarships. He indicates they subsidize around $135-thousand each year.
 
 
The Strong Kids Campaign is set to open April 19 and Cluver says if you have donated in the past, plan on receiving a phone call from the YMCA for their annual Strong Kids campaign. 
 
He also says they'll be reaching out to area businesses in hopes of rallying support and reaching their $100-thousand goal again.
 
To donate to this year's campaign, contact the Clinton YMCA at 217-935-8307. 

Trump Cuts Hit Home For Area Agency

Local leaders are still trying to digest the proposed cuts made by President Donald Trump after his budget proposal hit home for on area agency.
 
Last week on Regional Radio News, we outlined what the President's proposed cuts and what they would likely mean for Community Action's most popular program LIHEAP. But Community Action Executive Director, Alison Rumler-Gomez calls the cuts to their CSBG program disheartening because that program is at the heart of their mission.
 
 
Rumler-Gomez believes other Community Action agencies don't necessarily do things the way the local agency does. She explains that could be a reason the program is on the chopping block.
 
 
Rumler-Gomez indicates the Foster Grandparents program was one program she was very surprised to see come up for cuts. Like their CSBG program, the foster grandparents program is very different from other programs in other Community Action agencies. 
 
We'll have more on that later this week on Regional Radio News. 

Blue Ridge Schools Making Conference Switch

Blue Ridge High School will be leaving the Heart of Illinois Conference and heading to the Little Okaw Valley Conference in 2018-19.
 
The Blue Ridge Board of Education decided on the switch last week and Superintendent Susan Wilson says the Little Okaw should be a better fit as Heart of Illinois schools have seen plenty of growth in recent years.
 
 
Wilson notes they will likely end up in the northwest division for every sport but but football, where they will likely end up in the southeast divsion of the Little Okaw Valley conference. She points out travel for football will be less and travel for other sports will be comparable to what they do now. 
 
 
According to Wilson, the switch about being competitive in all sports but it is also about finding a conference with schools that are similar in size to them.
 
 
The switch to the Little Okaw Valley Conference came on very quickly for the distirct, so in order to get information out and clear up questions for the community and parents, there will be an informational meeting on April 12 at 7 pm at Blue Ridge High School. 
 
Wilson encourages anyone to attend and bring any questions or concerns they may have.

Seaton Teen Having Big Year in Livestock Shows

A Seaton, Illinois teenager continues to rack up wins on the livestock show circuit. 
 
Dalton Line and “Wacky Wade” picked up their latest Grand Champion Steer honors this past weekend at the Western Illinois University Hoof & Horn Jackpot Show. Line started the year by winning the Illinois Beef Expo in February. 
 
 
Also this year, Line and “Wacky Wade” have Grand Champion Steer wins at the ISU Redbird Challenge and University of Illinois Spring Showdown as well as the AGR Spring Showdown and Steers and Stripes Classic in Sedalia, Missouri.

Governor Pushing Passage of CPS Pension Reform Deal

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER IS URGING DEMOCRATS TO GET ON BOARD WITH A STATE AND CITY OF CHICAGO PENSION REFORM DEAL. 
 
THE PLAN OFFERS NEW PENSION OPTIONS FOR STATE, SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES, AS WELL AS LAWMAKERS. IT ALSO INCLUDES A ONE TIME PAYMENT OF 215 MILLION DOLLARS TO CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR TEACHER PENSIONS SAYS GOVERNOR RAUNER.
 
 
GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS SEVERAL HOUSE REPUBLICANS WILL SUPPORT THE PROPOSAL AND WANTS DEMOCRATS TO DO THE SAME.
 
 
SENATE DEMOCRATS AND CHICAGO LEADERS HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT THIS IS ONLY A TEMPORARILY SOLUTION FOR CHICAGO SCHOOLS. SEVERAL HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE PLEDGED TO PUT VOTES ON THE PACKAGE AND RAUNER IS URGING DEMOCRATS TO AGREE AS WELL.

Cubs, Cardinals Rivalry Exhibit Opening At Abrahal Lincoln Presidential Library

A NEW EXHIBIT FEATURING THE LONG-STANDING RIVALRY BETWEEN THE CHICAGO CUBS AND THE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS OPENED FRIDAY AT THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM IN SPRINGFIELD.
 
THE EXHIBIT INCLUDES RARE ARTIFACTS FROM BOTH TEAMS, AND HIGHLIGHTS BIG MOMENTS OVER THE YEARS. ILLINOIS STATE HISTORIAN SAM WHEELER SAYS THAT INCLUDES AN OLD CUBS LEASE DOCUMENT.
 
 
THERE’S TRIVIA, A DETAILED TIMELINE OF BOTH FRANCHISES AND SEVERAL RARE ITEMS ON DISPLAY. WHEELER SAYS THAT INCLUDES A PIECE OF HISTORY FROM “STAN THE MAN” WHEN HE RETURNED TO THE CARDS AFTER SERVING IN THE NAVY DURING WORLD WAR TWO.
 
THERE IS ALSO AN INTERACTIVE DISPLAY WHERE YOU CAN LOOK UP ANY AREA IN THE COUNTRY AND SEE WHICH TEAMS FANS ARE ROOTING FOR. THE EXHIBIT RUNS THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR.

Health Care Vote Canceled Despite Support from Rodney Davis

In a press conference yesterday addressing the health care vote, Representative Rodney Davis expressed that he felt the GOP bill had been thoroughly negotiated and was a good replacement for the Affordable Care Act.
 
He stated that if the government does nothing, the state of Illinois will suffer financially.
 
 
Senator Dick Durbin has been critical of the bill, while Davis calls the system that Durbin supports a "collapsing" one.
 
 
Despite Davis' feelings, the bill was pulled and the vote canceled by Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, after the bill failed to garner enough support from both sides of the aisle. CBSnews.com reported, "The health care vote has now been called off, after Republican leaders and the White House tried and failed to win sufficient support for the GOP legislation to undo Obamacare."

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