Local News

Just Over 50,000 Come to Clinton for Day One of Apple n' Pork Festival

Slightly down from last year's record attendance but a typical turnout for the Apple n' Pork Festival.


That's how Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers describes this year's Apple n' Pork Festival Saturday turnout. 



According to the Chief, the Sunday crowd of the Apple n' Pork Festival tends to be a little lighter than Saturday.



The Apple n' Pork Festival continues Sunday in Clinton. 





Clinton Police Chief Talks Apple n' Pork Security, Safety

Clinton authorities are sending out some annual reminders for those planning to come out for the annual Apple n' Pork Festival in Clinton.


Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says things are going to be congested most of the weekend throughout the community so plan accordingly. He credits all the leaders that have come before him for creating a well-oiled machine that is the annual Apple n' Pork Festival. 



It's all hands on deck for the Clinton Police Department and Chief Lowers thanks the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office and the State Police to help with the Festival and the crowds that come with it.



Chief Lowers has some tips for those coming into Clinton for the two days of the festival...



The Apple n' Pork Festival comes up this Saturday and Sunday in Clinton.


Be sure to tune into WHOW and WEZC for live coverage of the Festival all weekend long and keep up with the latest news from the Festival at dewittdailynews.com. 

Neighborhood Care Center's 'Deeper Still' Chapter Promoting Free October Retreat

A Clinton non-profit is promoting a free retreat for one of its programs next month.


'Deeper Still Ministries' is part of the Neighborhood Lab at the Neighborhood Care Center in Clinton and Tori Moore says their fall retreat is for men and women who are post-abortive.



Moore explains they share their stories in small breakout sessions. She explains they want everyone to feel loved, protected, and safe at this retreat.



The retreat also offers break-out sessions. According to Moore, there are breakout sessions all day Saturday and she indicates there are numerous 'Deeper Still' team members to meet with the men and women of the conference.



Once individuals or couples leave the conference, Moore says they are given resources for further consultation and they try to stay connected with those participants after the retreat as well.


The retreat comes up on Oct. 6-8. You can visit deeperstill.org and find information for the Central Illinois Chapter's retreat. 

Is Digital Drivers License Possibility in Illinois?

For now, you still need to have a small piece of plastic if you want to show someone your driver’s license. 


As more things shift to a digital world, will your driver’s license in Illinois be able to be held as a file in your cell phone? Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias says there is plenty of modernization going on with his office and this will be something that will be coming at some point.



8 states currently offer digital driver’s license

Illinois Farm Bureau Stressing Importance of Political Engagement Locally

Illinois Farm Bureau staff continue to stress the importance of engagement at the local government level.


The organization’s Director of Local Government and Political Engagement Ryan Whitehouse says there are some differences across the state as it relates to county governments.



Whitehouse was on the road this week meeting with the Mercer County Farm Bureau.

Clinton High School Administrators Highlight Students Who Work Apple n' Pork Festival Weekend

If you totaled up all the high school students that are a part of all the programs that have a hand in helping with the Apple n' Pork Festival, you would get to nearly half of the student body in Clinton that helps with the annual festival.


That's according to high school Principal Jerry Wayne who says it isn't an exact number but so many of the school's programs are part of the annual festival in some form or fashion.



For athletic director Matt Koeppel, the opportunity for kids to spend an hour and a half parking cars to make budgets for all the extra things they want to do is an opportunity unlike anything he's ever been a part of.



Wayne says the high school band gets things started for the musical entertainment on the CH Moore Homestead on Saturday morning. The sports teams will help park cars at the high school throughout the weekend. There will be the FFA pork chops on the 4-H fairgrounds. The M-squad will be serving their caramel apples and many more students will be helping in other phases of the festival throughout the weekend.

Clinton City Council Approves Economic Incentive Agreement with Eagle Theater

The struggles of the Clintonia Eagle Theater could be helped out after an agreement was approved Tuesday night between the City of Clinton and the theater.


City Administrator Taylor Baxter tells Regional Radio entertainment venues were been hit especially hard during the pandemic as streaming services ramped up their offerings and he explains the Eagle Theater is no exception.



Residents have likely heard rumors over the years of the struggles of the theater in Clinton and Baxter says its ownership has made it known that is no secret so it is the hope of City leadership this would be a benefit to all parties involved and keep a valuable asset in Clinton.



Baxter and other members of the Council are at the Illinois Municipal League annual conference in Chicago this week but were able to still hold its meeting Tuesday night. 

Clinton Board of Education Approves Going Out for Bid on Sports Complex Upgrades

It's been several months that the Clinton Board of Education has been discussing and planning for an update of the sports facilities on the high school campus. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles told Regional Radio they have been approved by the Board to go out for bid to turf the football field and expand the track.



According to Nettles, the sports complex should be taken care of in pretty short order. He explains they hope to see the press box moved to the west side of the grounds and then turn their attention to the baseball and softball fields.



The district is making this happen despite not having a one-cent sales tax in place which is how many districts are able to make these improvements happen. Nettles indicates we could see in the next year or two, a referendum on the ballot to push for that in DeWitt County.



Making the track eight lanes and turfing the football field would cost around $ 2.5 million if the architect's projections are accurate. 

Oil Refinery Issues Impacting Gas Prices

Oil refinery issues in the United States are sending prices at the pump up nationwide except for Illinois.


Over the past week, prices at the pump in Central Illinois are down about a nickel. But for other states - that's not the case. GasBuddy's Patrick DeHaan says prices are up in 37 out of the 50 states.



According to DeHaan, the refinery snag could shoot prices up 50 cents to one dollar per gallon in the corn belt.

Low Mississippi River Levels Continue to Cause Concern

Low water levels on the inland waterway system continue to draw concern, especially as harvest season ramps up and grain moves down the Mississippi River. John Baranick is an ag meteorologist with DTN.



Rain is in the forecast for the region through the weekend, which should help the cause.

It's Rail Safety Week

Recognizing National Rail Safety Week. A few reminders in rural areas, where crossings may only be served by crossbucks. Jeffrey Price is with CN Railroad Police.



There were 148 collisions at Illinois rail crossings in 2022 with 25 deaths and 44 injuries.

Clinton City Council Talks Apple n' Pork Festival

It's Apple n' Pork Festival week in Clinton and it was the talk of a short Clinton City Council meeting Tuesday night.


Acting Mayor and Commissioner of Finance, Tom Edmunds encouraged folks to come to Clinton, enjoy their time here, and support our local groups on the Homestead grounds on Clinton's north side.



Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements Ken Buchanan told the Council crews are out picking up brush this week ahead of the Festival to make the community look good.



The Apple n' Pork Festival comes up this weekend in Clinton. Tens of thousands of visitors to the community will converge on the CH Moore Homestead grounds as well as out to the 4-H fairgrounds as well as the flea market. Additionally, the west side of the community has seen significant growth in festival-adjacent happenings but organizers encourage getting to the Homestead grounds to support the DeWitt County Museum and CH Moore Homestead and non-profits in the community. 

Clinton Police Chief Reacts to Elimination of Cash Bail

Monday officially began the elimination of cash bail in Illinois - the first state in America to take up such a policy.


Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says there are still a lot of things to work through with the State's Attorney's office even as this is now in effect. 



One thing that concerns the Chief is the fact drug addiction is going to see no break in the cycle and he believes that is very significant in combatting the drug problem in our communities.



Law enforcement across the State is concerned with letting criminals return to the streets, keeping their victims and the general public in fear of rampant crime in their communities. 

Social Security Promoting Significance of Age 70 and Retirement Benefits

The choice of when to start receiving Social Security retirement benefits is a difficult one for many people as you can start to collect at age 62, and should do so sometime between age 62 and 70 depending on your circumstances. 


Jack Myers with Social Security tells us you can get personalized estimates of your own benefit amount at various ages through your mySocialSecurity account at www.ssa.gov/myaccount. He adds you should know that your full-retirement age is sometime between 65-67 depending on the year you were born but the significance of full retirement age is two-fold - benefits paid prior to FRA are permanently reduced for age and you’re also subject to an earnings limit if you want to work and collect Social Security benefits prior to FRA.  



Once you reach full retirement age you can work as much as you want and still collect your retirement benefits. If you start to collect your benefit at full retirement age it will be unreduced. If you wait beyond the full retirement age to start collecting your benefit, it will increase because of delayed retirement credits until age 70. 



You should apply for your retirement benefits to start at age 70 by visiting ssa.gov or calling 800-772-1213 and monitoring those benefits by visiting ssa.gov/myaccount. 

We Are the 96' Highlighted by Corn Maze

The “We are the 96” campaign continues this fall with a corn maze at Jonamac Orchard in Malta in northern Illinois. Kevin McArtor details the work that goes into designing the maze.



The “We are the 96” campaign highlights the fact that 96-percent of Illinois farms are family owned.

DeWitt County 4-H Fair Results Posted at dewittdailynews.com

If you've been searching for this summer's DeWitt County 4-H fair results at dewittdailynews.com, those are up and posted now. 


Visit the home page of dewittdailynews.com and at the very top of the page, click the 'Fair Results' icon for all the results from this year's fair. 

Clinton City Council to Meet Tonight

The Clinton City Council meets tonight with some unfinished business from earlier this month.


City Administrator Taylor Baxter tells Regional Radio some of the items on tonight's agenda deal with the project service agreements for the coming Park Lane West subdivision as well as a bid to purchase a property on North Maple Street.



Other business at tonight's meeting includes the approval of just over $6300 in 2023 fire prevention materials for the Clinton Fire Department as well as approving an ordinance for the motion picture ticket tax and a redevelopment and economic incentive agreement between the City of Clinton and the Eagle Theater. 

Entertainment at Apple n' Pork Festival

Entertainment for the annual Apple n' Pork Festival is set for this weekend's 55th annual event in Clinton.


CH Moore Homestead Director Joey Long indicates along with entertainment on the stage of the Apple n' Pork Festival, there will also be entertainment scattered across the grounds.



Conxxus is sponsoring the tent that sits on the lawn of the homestead where attendees can enjoy their food while listening to the music. Additionally, Abraham Lincoln will be at the Homestead for both days of the festival and Long raves about his knowledge and expertise of Lincoln and his ties to DeWitt County.



Long points those interested in learning about all things Apple n' Pork Festival to check out the Apple n' Pork Facebook page.


The Apple n' Pork Festival is this Saturday and Sunday in Clinton. 

Weekly Crop Report

Dry weather continued for most of Illinois this past week as we hear in this weekly crop report.


State Crop Statistician Mark Schluessner says it was another dry week as crops continued to dry out in anticipation of the harvest getting into full swing.



Schluessner says the soybean crop declined slightly with the crop ahead of last year's pace and the five-year average.



Corn has nearly completely reached the dent stage and the harvest is underway - in line with the five-year average.



Pasture conditions declined this week and Schluessner updated the soil moisture progress.



Winter wheat has reached eight percent finished and the third cutting of alfalfa hay is 93 percent finished, in line with the yearly average.

2 Construction Projects Ongoing at Warner Hospital and Health Services in Clinton

Warner Hospital and Health Services in Clinton is in the midst of 2 construction projects going on at the same time.


C-E-O Paul Skowron told Regional Radio News that access to their Speciality Clinic will be greatly enhanced with a new parking lot just west of the hospital campus, and an enclosed entrance also on the west side of the hospital building.



Above is where the new Specialty Clinic entrance will be built.


Skowron added it'll eliminate Specialty Clinic patients having to go thru the entire hospital to get to their appointment.



And he says it's all about providing a better experience for the patient.




The second project that just started is enlarging the hospital's emergency room and waiting area.


Apple n' Pork Festival This Weekend

It's the 55th annual Apple n' Pork Festival this weekend.


The festival this year ushers in the official start to the fall season and Executive Director of the CH Moore Homestead Joey Long is ready for all the crowds to join them on Clinton's north side.



While there will be some new things happening at the festival this year, Long says it's a step back in time and immerses itself in tradition.



Woolridge reminds the festival had very modest beginnings and grew out from there and now encompasses a lot of the community from non-profits and businesses that span from the downtown square to the Homestead grounds and even the outer edges of Clinton.



The festival is this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23 and 24. Get more information by finding the Apple n' Pork Festival Facebook page.


We'll have more coverage of the annual Apple n' Pork Festival throughout the week on Regional Radio. 

Clinton Business Expanding to Monticello

A Clinton business is taking its product and expanding to Monticello.


Jumpstart Nutrition in downtown Clinton has become a must-stop for people young and old in the last year and owner Jena Garrett tells Regional Radio she is expanding to Monticello.



Sage Nutrition will set up shop in downtown Monticello. Garrett says things will be very similar to her shop in Clinton with the hopes of having various programs and challenges for those who are hoping to dial in on their health.



Garrett credits Callie Jo McFarland at the City of Monticello as well as Shelly Crawford-Stock at the Monticello Chamber of Commerce for getting her plugged into the City's 'Business Bootcamp'.



Follow Sage Nutrition on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest developments of Garrett's store in Monticello. 


If you're a Piatt County resident in the Clinton area, get a preview of Sage Nutrition by stopping into Jumpstart Nutrition in downtown Clinton at 103 East Side Square. 

Illinois Re-Entering Drought

Drought is re-emerging in Illinois thanks to a recent dry trend.


Nicole Albano at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates we're seeing a deficit in rainfall so far this month which is helping move us back to a drought.



According to Albano, a typical late August or September will see the remnants of a tropical storm or two roll up into the midwest, unfortunately, that hasn't been the case so far this year.



The next chance of rain comes our way as we get into the upcoming weekend. Otherwise, as we head to October, precipitation is trending to equal chances of above or below average. 

University of Illinois Extension Says Fall is Good Time to Tets Garden Soil












Maintaining Heart Health During Harvest

Thinking about heart health during harvest. It’s important to get out and stretch those legs.



Matt Janus is an exercise physiologist with OSF Healthcare.


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