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CEO Chapters Seeking Partnerships

Advocates of an entrepreneurship program for central Illinois high school students will be asking area business owners and others to step up financially for the program to continue forward.

 

The Central Illinois and Sangamon Valley CEO programs, while affiliated with local school districts, are funded through community support, mostly in the form of local businesses. Melanie Brown, Facilitator of the Central Illinois CEO program that encompasses Blue Ridge, Clinton, Maroa-Forsyth, and Warrensburg-Latham Schools, calls their investors the backbone of the program.

 

 

Local business leaders are invited to be engaged in the program in some capacity from being a place for students to spend their 'classroom time' to being a mentor to a student, Lisa Shephard, Facilitator for the Sangamon Valley CEO program, says this is a great opportunity for those businesses to see the value of the program and gradually work into an investment role.

 

 

According to Brown, the program does come at a cost. Those include the costs for facilitators, insurance, and costs for students to participate in other activities throughout the year. She emphasizes any donations go right back into the program.

 

 

This will be the third year of the program and investors are asked to make a three-year commitment. Shephard is hopeful they can get most of their investors back on board, however, understands COVID has impacted the business community differently. 

 

 

Shephard and Brown are thankful they can step back and focus on the program and the kids while the CEO Board takes most of the lead on the financing piece. They both indicate the connections they make through the businesses that they visit throughout the course of the year can end up in a partnership.

 

The community can visit centralillinoisceo.com or sangamonvalleyceo.com for more information on investing or opportunities to have a hands-on role in the program. 

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National Weather Service To Send Out Push Notifications For Severe Weather

If you find yourself in fishy weather and aren't tracking the conditions around, you'll soon have a push notification sent to your phone.

 

The National Weather Service is introducing notifications for severe weather and according to Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, these will be similar to notifications you receive for things like amber alerts.

 

 

You already get these alerts for tornado warnings but Miller indicates now the alerts will be expanded to severe thunderstorm warnings with the potential to do a lot of damage.

 

 

Last August's derecho storm was the catalyst for this process getting to the finish line. Miller explains if they would have had this type of system in place last year they could have gotten information to the impacted areas in a much more effective way.

 

 

Miller indicates most phones are programmed with these notifications that are set to go off automatically so you do not need to do any sort of signing up for them. 

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No Noise on Illinois Energy Legislation a Good Thing According to Central Illiinois Lawmaker

As the summer rolls along, Illinois lawmakers are back home in their districts, many working with constituents to work their way through the Illinois bureaucracy to solve problems.

 

Central Illinois state Senator Chapin Rose is in his law office taking note of the fact Illinois Democrats are quiet right now as it relates to their energy legislation that flopped at the end of the legislative year. 

 

 

There's another wrinkle in the conversation is the likely elimination of any source of energy production in downstate Illinois. The Mahomet Republican says this is an idea for Illinois Democrats that has not been well thought out.

 

 

According to Sen. Rose, Illinois will have to import power to residents, and not only is that going to cost more to build more power lines, but it will be sourced from carbon.

 

 

Sen. Rose points out, they are giving a private company imminent domain to allow a company to build power lines through central Illinois across state lines.

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Governor going to Lollapalooza

One of the biggest outdoor events in Chicago is set to go later this week. Lollapalooza will hold outdoor concerts at full capacity. It's an event that could draw more than 100,000 people but is that a good idea with COVID-19 still spreading? Governor JB Pritzker says he’s going and will be taking friends to the concerts.

 

 

If you are going to Lollapalooza you must provide a copy of your vaccine card or a negative coronavirus test from within the last three days.

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Weekly Crop Report

HERE’S THE CROP REPORT FOR THE WEEK ENDING JULY 25TH. 

 

77 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING AND 38 PERCENT ARE SETTING PODS. 64 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER. TURNING TO CORN…

 

 

91 PERCENT OF CORN ACRES ARE SILKING AND 20 PERCENT ARE NOW IN THE DOUGH STAGE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER. 68 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

 

93 PERCENT OF THE SECOND CUTTING AND 39 PERCENT OF THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DECLINED OVER THE WEEK TO THREE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 12 PERCENT SHORT, 77 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND EIGHT PERCENT SURPLUS.

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IDOT Announces Work on Interstate 74 Near Farmer City

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced construction on Interstate 74 in DeWitt County beginning Monday.

 

The $535,000 project involves the micro-surfacing of centerlines and joint ramps, which will extend the life of the pavement. The work will require intermittent lane closures on I-74 and is expected to be complete in September.

 

Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered.

 

Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.

 

Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 3,500 miles of highway and 9 million square feet of the bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation.

 

Accomplishments through year two included approximately $5.2 billion of improvements statewide on 3,020 miles of highway, 270 bridges, and 428 additional safety improvements.

 

For more information on IDOT projects, follow them on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict5 or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com

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DeWitt County Board Chair Says Enel Green Power Has Provided Update on Curtailment Details

The DeWitt County Board last Thursday night voted to block any further issuances of building permits for the Alta Farms II wind project in DeWitt County until Enel Green Power proves they can curtail the towers during severe weather events.

 

DeWitt County Board Chair Terry Ferguson wanted to give Enel Green Power two weeks to return with an answer to the concern raised by Board members. Ferguson says it was after the meeting he had a response from Enel in his County email.

 

 

The vote last Thursday was on a motion that was not on the agenda ahead of the meeting which Board members contended could have opened the County up to liability. Ferguson indicates he wanted to focus on giving Enel time to respond before the ultimatum that was put on the table.e

 

 

With a little over half the permits now issued and an answer from Enel about the curtailment process, Ferguson considers the issue settled in his mind. The question becomes, does the rest of the Board consider it settled?

 

 

State's Attorney Dan Markwell was not at Thursday night's meeting, which objecting board members pointed to when discussing the motion. Ferguson indicates he did not know about the measure was going to be brought forward other than there was going to be a discussion. He admits perhaps he dropped the ball even though the agenda stated "possible action" on the curtailment issue.

 

Enel Green Power had no comment on the situation when reached Friday morning. 

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Concerns Over Dilapidated Property Highlights Beautification Battle of Small Communities

An ongoing effort to deal with a dilapidated property in Clinton is just one of several but it highlights a challenge small communities have balancing keeping the visual appearance of neighborhoods attractive but not displacing people from their homes.

 

City Administrator Tim Followell says it isn't always a fun process and small communities face a greater challenge in dealing with properties that are becoming rundown. He explains small communities have to jump through more hoops to deal with these properties. 

 

 

Followell says it is a difficult line to toe encouraging homeowners to keep their properties maintained so the City doesn't have to take action and then determining action needs to be taken. He indicates you have so many parties and their rights to consider.

 

 

Followell indicates oftentimes, these homes end up being razed. He says they often end up as money pits for the community because so much money is poured into dealing with them and then are sold for far less than that investment - another challenge of dealing with these properties. 

 

 

The property under scrutiny on North Quincy Street in Clinton isn't the only property being monitored at this time. City officials continue to encourage homeowners and property owners to do basic things like keeping up with mowing and overgrown brush. They believe that goes a long way in keeping properties visually appealing. 

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National Weather Service: We're in the 'Dog Days' of Summer

The dog days of summer are here.

 

That's the message from Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln. Heat and humidity are settling in over the area this week and Miller says August will offer more of the same. He urges caution if you're doing anything out in this heat.

 

 

As we transition to August, Miller says the fluctuations of temperatures are going to go away and we're going to remain in this hot weather pattern with rainfall that will be, if anything, normal for this time of the year.

 

 

Miller is urging everyone to be careful in this heat. Be mindful of what your body is telling you and hydrate with water frequently.

 

 

Daytime highs this week will hover around 90-degrees with minimal chances of rain. 

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Sen. Durbin Supports Child Tax Credit Checks

Child tax credits hit mailboxes and checking accounts for many around Illinois this month. But those checks aren’t coming forever.

 

The checks will come once a month until the end of the year. Democrat US Senator Dick Durbin says the checks are part of the Biden Administration’s plan to help working families. Durbin says the checks are hitting at the right time and those checks are going to families who will spend it on needed items.

 

 

The checks were part of an economic stimulus bill that received no Republican votes.

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State Cybersecurity Expert Says It's Constant Battle to Keep State Networks Safe

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY SAYS IT'S A CONSTANT BATTLE KEEPING STATE NETWORKS SAFE. 

 

DURING A HOUSE CYBERSECURITY HEARING, DO-IT ACTING SECRETARY JENNIFER RICKER TOLD LAWMAKERS THAT STATE SYSTEMS ARE ATTACKED MILLIONS OF TIMES A DAY, REQUIRING A SWIFT RESPONSE.

 

 

CYBER ATTACKS ARE BECOMING MORE SOPHISTICATED AND ORGANIZED, PRESENTING AN ONGOING CHALLENGE SAYS FORD.

 

 

THE AGENCY HAS BEEN ADOPTING A "ZERO TRUST" APPROACH, TRUSTING NOTHING AND VERIFYING EVERYTHING.

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Illinois Department of Labor Reminding Employers to Display Health, Safety Posters Prominently in Workplace

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS REMINDING EMPLOYERS THEY NEED TO PROMINENTLY DISPLAY HEALTH AND SAFETY POSTERS. 

 

IT MAY SEEM LIKE A SMALL THING BUT THE POSTERS DELIVER IMPORTANT MESSAGES TO WORKERS ABOUT THEIR RIGHTS SAYS LABOR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR JASON KELLER.

 

 

THERE ARE CERTAIN POSTERS BUSINESSES MUST HAVE UP REGARDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CHILD LABOR, THE MINIMUM WAGE AND MORE SAYS KELLER.

 

 

THE REQUIRED POSTERS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S WEBSITE UNDER THE TAB "EMPLOYERS." KELLER URGES WORKERS TO READ THE IMPORTANT MESSAGES FEATURED ON THE SIGNS.

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Heart of America Grazing Conference in Mt. Vernon Next Month

Mt. Vernon will play host to the 2021 Heart of America Grazing Conference next month. Cliff Schuette (SHOOT-E) Chairman of the Illinois Grazing Lands Coalition says although the event is designed for livestock farmers, the general public could learn a lot from the 8 different guest speakers and discussion panel.

 

 

The event is Aug. 10 and 11. The featured speaker, Greg Judy, is a Regenerative Rancher. He along with his wife, Jan, operates Green Pastures Farm in Rucker, Missouri. Their grazing operation includes 16 farms, four owned and 12 leased.

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'Run for Life' Dissolved

A teen suicide awareness and prevention group in DeWitt County has been dissolved after the unfortunate passing of its founder earlier this year.

 

'Run for Life' was founded by Michael Moore, many knew as "Stymie", a couple of years ago to raise awareness around the growing issue of teen suicide locally. Moore's passion for the cause led to the formation of the group with focuses like paying for training for teachers, aides, counselors, and first responders on how to spot warning signs in at-risk youth.

 

The Run For Life board decided to dissolve the organization on June 30. In honor of Moore, two donations resulted from this decision, one to The Vault and the second to Heritage Behavioral Health Center, both with similar teen suicide prevention programs in place.

 

The Run For Life board would like to thank everyone that supported this cause.

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DeWitt County Museum Brings Back 'Parade of Pigs' for 2021 Apple n' Pork Festival

The 53rd edition of the Apple n' Pork Festival is set to return in September of this and one of the many hit features of the festival is back as well.

 

All who wish to enter the Pigs on Parade contest for the Annual Apple ‘n Pork Festival are asked to pick up entry forms and plywood pig cutouts at the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum August 17th through August 22nd, or until all available pigs have been claimed.  

 

There will be a $5 entry fee charged; payable when registering and receiving the pig. Artists, families, individuals and non-profit organizations are encouraged to participate- organizers ask for no commercial or political entries.

 

This is the ninth year for the popular contest. The museum uses the colorful, amusing porcine creations to decorate the festival grounds and museum fences during the Apple ‘n Pork Festival.

 

Completed pigs are to be returned September 14th through September 18th. Entries will be judged and cash prizes will be awarded. “Grand Campion” will receive $50 and $25 will go to the “Reserve Champion.”

 

The 2021 Apple 'n Pork Festival will take place Sept. 25th and 2th, 9am-5pm at the C.H. Moore Homestead and DeWitt County Musuem.

 

For more details, please phone the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum at 217-935-6066.

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Sales Taxes Remain Strong But Month-to-Month Taxes Down

Sales taxes in Clinton are remaining strong however, they are not as strong as they were last month. 

 

Clinton Commissioner of Finance, Tom Edmunds has a theory as to why...

 

 

Car lots across central Illinois are very sparse on inventory as the car industry joins the numerous sectors trying to recover from COVID.

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Time Running Out to Take Advantage of City-Wide Cleanup Vouchers

Time is running out to get vouchers for the annual city-wide cleanup.

 

Tim Followell, City Administrator for the City of Clinton indicates this is the last week to take advantage of those.

 

 

In other news for clean-up efforts, Followell noted this week on the WHOW Morning Show, another round of electronic recycling could be offered by the City this fall as they are targeting early October. 

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Hunting Safety Courses Returning to In-Person in 2021

If you are planning to hunt this fall, DNR officials are reminding to make sure you get those hunter safety courses taken care of.

 

DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson says the courses this year are returning to in-person. You can take an online course but he cautions there may be an in-person component you will have to complete.

 

 

dnr.illinois.gov is the website with a list of hunter safety course locations and times. 

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IDPH Director Says We're In a Pandemic of the Unvaccinated

THE STATE'S TOP PUBLIC HEALTH DOCTOR SAYS WE ARE NOW IN A PANDEMIC OF THE UNVACCINATED.

 

WITH COVID CASES INCREASING, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gahzi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS IT'S UP TO EVERYONE TO DO THEIR PART.

 

 

THOSE AT MOST RISK OF THE VIRUS RIGHT NOW ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T GOTTEN THEIR SHOTS.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE C-D-C, MORE THAN 73 PERCENT OF ILLINOIS ADULTS HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE DOSE OF THE VACCINE AND OVER 58 PERCENT ARE FULLY VACCINATED.

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US Attorney General Discusses Gun Violence in Chicago

27 people were shot in 8 hours in Chicago Wednesday and on Thursday the US Attorney General was in the city to talk about a federal strike force to help address gun violence.

 

Governor JB Pritzker says he welcomes the Attorney General and recently talked to the White House about what is needed to help quell the violence in Chicago and other cities in Illinois. But is the National Guard needed?

 

 

Pritzker says the Illinois State Police have been and continue to be ready to work with the Chicago Police Department.

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Weekly Weather Summary

The weather of summer is here. Hot and humid conditions will persist into the weekend and next week. State Climatologist Trent Ford tells us more...

 

 

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Local Veterans Group Asking Community to Support WWII Veteran During Saturday Funeral Procession

Clinton has lost another veteran and a local advocacy group is asking the community to help honor him during the Saturday funeral procession to Hallsville.

 

Jeff Morlock has been coordinating the efforts to line the streets of funeral processions with American Flags as well as lining the streets in support. 95-year-old Bud Steward passed away July 6 at St. Clara's Manor in Lincoln and services are this Saturday. 

 

Services will be at 2:30 PM at Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton with Ernie Harvey, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at McClimans Cemetery, Hallsville, IL with Military Honors. Visitation will be 12:30 – 2:30 PM, Saturday at the funeral home.

 

There will be an honoring for Stewart during his funeral procession to the Hallsville cemetery, and Morlock is asking if you are available to come out with flags along the route at approximately 3 pm Saturday. The route will be from Calvert Funeral Home west on Jefferson, turn left or south on Grant, to Van Buren, turn right, to Baums, turn right onto Rt 10 to the Hallsville Cemetery.

 

Veterans can meet at the cemetery entrance at 3 pm Saturday and place flags at the entrance before the procession arrives.

 

Steward was a WWII Veteran serving in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division. He was a patriarch in agriculture by becoming a partner in the Hallsville Elevator to keep grain elevators owned locally. 

 

Steward was committed to farming starting in 1949 and continuing for 47 years. He then was “part-time” help and mentor to two sons and a grandson who carried on the family tradition. 


He loved to travel, whether it was in his fifth wheel or to his second home in Ft. Myers, FL. He was an avid storyteller that didn’t know a stranger so he made friends wherever he went. 

 

Steward was also an expert gardener and was known for his delicious watermelons. Loy’s greatest love was spending time with his family that loved him immensely.

 

Memorials may be directed to the Clinton American Legion or the Clinton AmVets.

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DNR Indicates Boating Accidents Shifting to Mostly Non-Motorized Watercrafts

The trends in boating accidents are shifting. 

 

For many, hearing the term 'boating accident' conjures up images of bigger, motor-powered watercraft but DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday indicated to Regional Radio News as recreation activities like kayaking and canoeing become more popular, that is where most of the fatalities and emergency response incidents are going.

 

 

With so much rain in the last month in central Illinois, water in streams and creeks is elevated beyond a safe level. Capt. Williamson indicates this is causing a lot of problems for kayakers.

 

 

Capt. Williamson points out not only can getting on a body of water you're either unfamiliar with or has elevated water levels be dangerous to yourself, but you could be endangering anyone who might be trying to help and emergency responders.

 

 

There is a national coalition seeking to come up with answers as the challenge is introducing people to the activities of canoeing or kayaking. Capt. Williamson says anyone of any level needs to be aware of the flood stages of these bodies of water because you just don't know what you'll encounter.

 

 

Capt. Williamson encourages visiting usgs.com for the latest in water levels and other information for area waterways near you. He calls it a great resource for all boaters. 

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Congressman Davis Defends Texas Voting Bill

Left-leaning political pundits have dubbed the Texas voting bill as suppression of voter rights for women and minorities but a central Illinois Congressman says the bill is anything but.

 

Congressman Rodney Davis says the Texas voting bill, which resulted in Texas state lawmakers leaving the state to deny the legislature a quorum so a vote could not be taken, expands access for voting in the State of Texas.

 

 

The Taylorville Republican is disappointed in the Texas Democrats that left to prevent state business from getting done. He believes lawmakers need to state their case and then allow for the vote.

 

 

Congressman Davis does not believe the bills are racist or sexist in any way. He points to a Congressman Burgess Owens who has been outspoken against the idea African-Americans cannot get an identification.

 

 

Vice President Kamala Harris also recently commented on the ability of rural Americans to confirm their identity for mail-in voting because of a lack of access to office supply stores where they can have their identifications scanned and faxed. Congressman Davis believes these are just excuses to dismiss needing an ID to vote.

 

 

Many right-leaning pundits point to the need for identification to do things like pick up event tickets at will-call or get a COVID vaccine and question why showing identification to vote is racist and sexist. 

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2,000 New COVID Cases Reported Thursday, Highest Daily Total Since May

NEARLY TWO THOUSAND CASES OF COVID-19 WERE REPORTED TODAY (THURSDAY) IN ILLINOIS, THE HIGHEST ONE DAY TOTAL SINCE EARLY MAY.

 

THE LATEST DAILY TOTAL IS ONE-THOUSAND-993 AND SIX ADDITIONAL DEATHS. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THEY ARE CAREFULLY WATCHING THE NUMBERS.

 

 

HE SAYS MORE PEOPLE NEED TO GET VACCINATED.

 

 

AS FAR AS VARIANTS GO, THERE HAVE BEEN OVER FIVE TIMES AS MANY CASES OF THE NEW GAMMA STRAIN THAN THE DELTA VARIANT IN ILLINOIS

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