Local News

DeWitt County Resident That Tested Positive For Coronavirus Declared 'Recovered'

The DeWitt County resident that tested positive for the coronavirus last week has been declared recovered by the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department, bringing the county's active cases to zero.

 

The Health Department indicates DeWitt County now has zero active cases, 52 negative tests, and seven pending tests, categorizing the individual's case as 'recovered'.

 

In Piatt County, there are 54 negative tests, two pending and zero new cases, keeping their total at 4.

In total, 120 total tests have been conducted between the two counties.

 

The Logan County Health Department has tested 96 individuals with four tests awaiting results, 90 negative tests, and their two positive cases.

 

The Illinois Department of Public Health today announced 1,529 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois, including 82 additional deaths.  

 

The State's total fatalities are now 462 and 15,078 total positive tests out of 75,066.

 

13,042 of the state's 15,078 cases are in the Chicago area. (86%)

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Severe Weather Causes Damage, Power Outages in Regional Radio Area

The Regional Radio listening area was hammered with severe weather Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening, with trees, power poles, and barns blown down.

 

Among the damage and wind reports that have come into the National Weather Service in Lincoln, include:

 

Winds clocked at the Decatur Airport during the 5 o'clock hour Wednesday afternoon, at over 60 miles an hour, as well as at the Weather Service Office in Lincoln.  Wind gusts were clocked at 75 miles an hour 2 miles west of Bement.

 

Numerous tree and power pole damage reports came from Warrensburg, Argenta, Mount Pulaski, Kenney, Clinton, and Bement.

 

2 tractor trailers overturned on Interstate 55 north of Lincoln.

 

Power poles were down on Primm Road on the south side of Lincoln near Railsplitter State Park.

 

And, the Top Flight Grain Elevator 3 miles south of Maroa was damaged by high winds.

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Weather Service Issues Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Listening Area Until 9pm; Large Hail, Tornado Possible

 

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the entire Regional Radio listening area until 9 o'clock tonight.

 

The Weather Service says the strongest storms are expected to produce very large hail – golf ball sized or larger – and damaging wind gusts of at least 60-70 miles an hour.

 

A brief tornado can not be ruled out, particularly in east central and southeast Illinois later this evening. 

 

The Weather Service suggests you be ready to seek shelter in a sturdy building if warnings are issued for your location. 

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio and taylorvilledailynews.com for the latest weather information.

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Weather Service Issues Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Listening Area Until 9pm; Large Hail, Tornado Possible

 

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the entire Regional Radio listening area until 9 o'clock tonight.

 

The Weather Service says the strongest storms are expected to produce very large hail – golf ball sized or larger – and damaging wind gusts of at least 60-70 miles an hour.

 

A brief tornado can not be ruled out, particularly in east central and southeast Illinois later this evening. 

 

The Weather Service suggests you be ready to seek shelter in a sturdy building if warnings are issued for your location. 

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio and dewittdailynews.com for the latest weather information.

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Kenney Fire To Host Annual Blood Drive Friday

Taking numerous precautions, the Kenney Fire Department is hosting their annual Good Friday Blood Drive this Friday.

 

Troy Lashbrook with the Kenney Fire Department indicates despite the coronavirus outbreak, the blood drive will still go on with several precautionary measures being taken to ensure the safety of all participants and Red Cross workers.

 

 

Fritz Robinson with the Fire Department says the need for blood right now is urgent and coronavirus or no coronavirus, situations are going to arise where people are going to need blood.

 

 

Robinson and the Fire Department announced Wednesday they are not going to be accepting walk-in donors for this Friday's blood drive. Robinson is also asking anyone with an appointment already scheduled to please take advantage of the Red Cross' rapid pass program. That is to be complete the day of the drive and get individuals through quicker. 

 

Additionally, participants are encouraged to bring any PPE they feel necessary for them. 

To make an appointment, you can visit redcrossblood.org or contact Robinson at 217-620-5407 or Troy Lashbrook at 563-321-0416. 

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Clinton City Council Members Weigh In on Coronavirus

The Clinton City Council held a conference call council meeting Monday night and Council members are urging the public to stay safe during this time.

 

Mayor Roger Cyrulik issued a statement late last week and echoed his thoughts Monday night asking residents to abide by the stay at home guidelines and the social distancing guidelines. The Mayor is calling on the community to support susceptible individuals during this time.

 

 

Commissioner Dan Ballenger thanked the first responders who continue to put their lives on the line during this pandemic and says you can anticipate fire officials to wear personal protective equipment as they respond to emergencies.

 

 

The Council's meeting was limited to just essential business including the reapproval of the engineering contract for the Center Street project that is being adjusted because bids for the project came in higher than expected in March. 

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Illinois Receives Donation from California

The state of Illinois has been working to acquire more ventilators to have on hand to help support critically ill COVID-19 patients. Governor JB Pritzker says the state has ordered 3,620 ventilators, obtained 600 from the federal government and received 100 ventilators yesterday on loan from the state of California.

 

 

Pritzker says recent state data reports that 27 percent of all ventilators in the state were being used by COVID-19 patients. 

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Governor Pritzker Not Ready to Address Regional Stay At Home Order

As Illinois reports 13,549 cases of COIVD-19 in the state, 90 percent are in 7 counties surrounding Chicago. Some in the rest of the state are wondering if the counties or areas with few cases need to social distance and “stay at home” for at least the rest of April. Governor JB Pritzker says that cases are spreading around Illinois and right now he’s not ready to bring a regional approach to his executive decision to stay at home.

 

 

Randolph County has the fourth most cases per 100,000 residents in the state. 25 counties so far don’t have a confirmed case of coronavirus.

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Logan Correctional Center Confirms 5 Coronavirus Cases

The Logan Correctional Center has reported five confirmed cases of coronavirus in its facility.

 

Four cases are within the staff while one is confirmed as an inmate.

 

Logan County today announced its second case of coronavirus. Regional Radio News has learned at least one case is a Logan County resident however it remains unclear if the other three will be considered Logan County cases.

 

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Lincoln High School To Shift to Remote Learning For Remainder of School Year

In anticipation of direction from the state or federal government to keep kids out of school for the rest of the year, Lincoln High School will shift to remote learning for the remainder of the school year. 

 

The unit district announced a plan to mobilize remote learning for the remainder of the school year. Prom and the spring musical have been canceled at Lincoln High School. If the stay at home mandate extends beyond May 1, it is likely the spring sports season will be canceled according to a school release.

 

Additionally, graduation will be postponed until more information is released regarding the stay at home guidelines from the stay. 

 

Superintendent Dwight Stricklin cites the predicted apex of coronavirus cases in Illinois being a few weeks out and is asking parents of the district to stress the importance of social distancing.

 

This story will be updated.

 

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Piatt County Announces Fourth Positive Test; Logan County Confirms Second

The DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department is reporting the County’s fourth positive coronavirus test today.

 

A 50-year old male received testing at Kirby Medical Center and is now quarantined in his home. He is in contact with health officials daily. 

 

The Piatt County four cases do not include a Piatt woman who is in Chicago was tested, treated and is recovering there. Health Department Executive Director Dave Remmert indicates she is not being included in the Piatt total.

 

DeWitt County remains at one case with 55 total tests administered and 50 negative results and five pending. 

 

In Piatt County, 56 tests have been conducted with 50 negatives and two current pending tests. 

 

Remmert indicates it may take a while for the Illinois Department of Public Health figures to reflect the accurate count of cases if you visit their website.

 

The Logan County Health Department is reporting its second case of coronavirus. They have tested 92 individuals and are waiting on eight test results with 82 total negatives. 

 

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 1,287

new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 73 additional

deaths.

 

12,294 of the state’s 13,549 cases are in the Chicago area and Illinois now has experienced 380 fatalities.

 

91-percent of coronavirus cases are in Chicago.

 

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Weather Service Says Severe Weather Possible Today and Tomorrow

 

The National Weather Service in Lincoln has indicated there is a risk of strong to severe storms this evening into early overnight across central and southeast Illinois, with the best chances of severe storms this evening along and east of a Bloomington to Decatur to Charleston/Mattoon to Lawrenceville line. 

 

Additional strong storms are possible Wednesday evening, ahead of a cold front. Large hail and damaging winds are the main concerns on both days. Once this front passes, the threat of any severe weather will end for several days. 

 

Stay tuned to Regional Radio and dewittdailynews.com for the latest weather information.

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Logan County Health Department Provides Update on Coronavirus Testing

The Logan County Health Department reports still only a single positive case as of Tuesday morning.

 

Kara Davis tells Regional Radio News they are still testing and have administered 80 tests and nine are pending with their single case from last week. In Logan County, the process to get testing remains to contact your healthcare provider and follow their instruction. 

 

 

Angie Stoltzenburg with Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln believes Logan County is doing a good job of following the social distancing guidelines. While there are pockets of people still gathering, she believes overall things are good.

 

 

Drive-up testing sites are beginning to grow in numbers in central Illinois. Davis explains if you want to get tested, you are allowed to do so at those sites however, there are circumstances where the cost of that test would come out of pocket. 

 

 

Davis and Stoltzenburg encourage the Logan County community to continue to adhere to the social distancing guidelines and the stay at home order. 

 

Stoltzenburg also directs anyone who may be experiencing a difficult time from an emotional or mental standpoint to contact their emotional support line at 214-588-5509. 

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Local Coronavirus Statistics

Testing in DeWitt and Piatt Counties are now up over 100 administered.

 

The DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department has now reached 102 tests with a total of 94 negative tests. There are three pending tests in DeWitt County to just one in Piatt County. 

 

Piatt County's total positive tests reached three today and DeWitt County remains just one from last week.

 

Logan County still has a single positive test according to the Logan County Health Department. 80 tests have been administered in Logan County with nine pending as of Monday afternoon.

 

The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 46 cases in McLean County, 62 in Champaign County, nine in Macon County and 31 in Sangamon County. 

 

IDPH today announced 1,006 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 33 additional deaths.  

 

87-percent of the state's 12,262 cases are in Chicago, or 10,636. 

 

62,972 individuals have been tested in Illinois. One in five tested in Illinois returns a positive test for coronavirus. 

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Things Have Dried Out But April Still Looking to Be Wet

Despite things having dried out a bit the last few weeks, the National Weather Service says that trend won't last

 

James Auten at the National Weather Service office in Lincoln says things have dried out in recent weeks. He says if you've got outdoor activities to be done, take advantage of the nicer days ahead.

 

 

As we get through the Easter weekend and beyond, Auten indicates things are going to cool off and bring chances for above-normal precipitation.

 

 

There are chances for severe weather in the north and eastern portions of the state this week. Auten adds, if you were hoping for a white Easter, the chances are not looking favorable, unlike a few years ago when there was snowfall on Easter Sunday. 

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First Weekly Crop Report of 2020

ILLINOIS FARM FIELDS ARE STILL FAIRLY WET AS WE HEAR IN THE FIRST WEEKLY CROP REPORT OF THE SEASON. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER HAS MORE....

 

 

SCHLEUSENER GIVES AN UPDATE ON WINTER WHEAT IN ILLINOIS.

 

 

PASTURE CONDITIONS ARE RATED AT 60 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE CAME IN AT 71 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 29 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Congressman Davis Calling on Governor Pritzker To End Finger Pointing

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker's blame of the federal government's slow response to the coronavirus is becoming a regular mention in his daily press briefings and a federal lawmaker is hoping that ends.

 

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis believes the time for blame and evaluation will after this virus has been defeated. He believes the President is being transparent standing up in front of the media every day answering questions.

 

 

Davis says the federal government has delivered millions of pieces of personal protective equipment to Illinois and believes Governor Pritzker should be appreciative of those deliveries.

 

 

According to Congressman Davis, no one saw this coming and believes everyone, including himself, could have worked for a better stockpile of supplies. He points out, they will be prepared for something like this down the road.

 

 

Davis points out China continues to not act as a good global player in this situation and believes the world needs to react accordingly in the future. He says they also cornered the marketplace buying up PPE. 

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Burn Rate of PPE In Illinois Hospitals Will Be In Millions Over Ten Days

PPE stocks are precious in Illinois. It’s being used in hospitals in to protect nurses and doctors as they treat COVID-19 patients, first responders need it as they work with the public, nursing home staff use it when caring for elderly residents.

 

Governor JB Pritzker says over the peak 10-day period coming for the state's healthcare system millions of items will be consumed.

 

 

Pritzker says the state has ordered 10 million N95 masks, 14 million KN95 masks, 29 million other medical masks along with 22 million gloves. There are millions more masks, gowns and other items under order or being delivered too.

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Governor Pritzker Continues Back and Forth With President Trump

The continued back and forth over healthcare equipment and materials between Governor JB Pritzker and President Donald Trump continued Monday when Governor Pritzker updated the State of Illinois on the status of supplies in the state.

 

Governor Pritzker, citing information from the website of the Strategic National Stockpile, says the language of the website has changed since last month. He says they continue to be short of the requested materials from the Federal Government.

 

 

According to Governor Pritzker, his administration has not relied on the White House and have taken on their own initiatives to get equipment. He says they are doing everything they can.

 

 

The Governor says the coronavirus is targeting people of color because of the disproportionate availability of healthcare in communities of color, something he says have been going on for generations.

 

 

Tomorrow's (Tuesday's) forecast is expected to be very appealing to get outside and enjoy good spring weather with your family and friends, but Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike is hoping Illinoisans will simply stay inside and stay home.

 

 

Governor Pritzker touts his administration's testing expansion by adding drive through testing facilities. He says they are getting to where they want to be but they are not there yet and touts the hospital capacity expansion they have done in recent weeks. 

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Piatt County Reports Two More Cases of Coronavirus; DeWitt County remains at One Despite Confusion

Piatt County has reported two additional cases of coronavirus.

 

DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department Director Dave Remmert tells Regional Radio News, two females have tested positive. One is a 32-year old healthcare worker and the other a 47-year old female in Cook County.

 

 

Many wonders why the identity of these individuals cannot be released. While there are laws against such action, Remmert also fears the backlash these individuals would face if their identities were released.

 

 

The case of the Piatt County that is in Cook County is one that could ultimately end up being one of their tallies down the road. Remmert says that decision will likely be up to the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

 

The DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department is still reporting just a single case in DeWitt County despite the IDPH website showing three Monday afternoon. Remmert indicates one of those is still counting the college student at Mizzou and that case will soon be transferred to Missouri. 

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DeWitt County Friendship Center Director Encouraging Local Seniors To Stay In

The leader of the DeWitt County Friendship Center is encouraging local seniors to stay in as much as possible.

 

The more we learn about the coronavirus the more it becomes apparent the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are the primary victims of this disease. That is why Paula Jiles is encouraging seniors to stay in and ask for assistance if they need anything.

 

 

Diane Cusey with Community Care Systems says now could be a good time to get to know that electronic device you have and stay in touch with your kids and grandkids at their level. 

 

 

Last week, the Friendship Center received a $10,000 donation of Save A Lot grocery gift cards and Jiles indicates they are hoping seniors will contact them to go grocery shopping for them and keep them out of one of the busiest destinations the country has right now.

 

 

During the stay at home order, Cusey and Jiles are staying busy at the Friendship Center doing a little remodeling. Jiles indicates she is working on stripping the walls of the wallpaper and they are doing some painting with seniors out of the building.

 

In the meantime, if seniors want to inquire about the donation of Save A Lot grocery gift cards or to have someone run a few errands for them, contact Jiles at the Friendship Center at 217-935-9411. 

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DCDC Promoting Revolving Loan Fund To Help Struggling Small Businesses

The United States Department of Agriculture has lifted some of the restrictions around their revolving loan fund for small communities who may have struggling businesses.

 

The loan is administered locally through the DeWitt County Development Council and their Board President David Torbert says the loan can be used for payroll now to help their employees maintain a normal lifestyle during this time.

 

 

The USDA has temporarily lifted the restriction for a small business to use their loan for payroll. Torbert indicates a small business owner still needs to obtain a loan from a lender because the revolving loan fund is still a gap fund.

 

 

Governor JB Pritzker has opened up several loan and grant opportunities to small businesses of downstate Illinois as well. 

 

Torbert points anyone with questions or wanting more information to visit dcdc-illinois.net. You can also reach out via the DCDC Facebook page. 

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Governor Pritzker Remains Frustrating With Lack of Cooperation with Stay at Home Order

Governor JB Pritzker is showing mounting frustration at some of the responses to the following stay at home orders and guidelines for social distancing.

 

The city of Chicago had to shut down the lakefront and two major walking and biking trails to keep people from congregating and the Adams County Health Department has recently reported two large parties had been held on March 21 and 27 after stay at home orders were given.

 

There are now people confirmed with COVID-19 who attended those gatherings.

 

 

The state reported more than 2,300 new cases on Saturday and Sunday along with 64 additional deaths.

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Truckers Can Take Advantage of Overweight Waiver During Coronavirus Pandemic

Some more clarification for the trucking industry as it relates to moving supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois Farm Bureau’s Mark Gebhards says there is an overweight waiver now in play.

 

 

More information on the waiver is available on-line through fmcsa.dot.gov.

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Local Coronavirus Statistics

The DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department is reporting one new case of coronavirus Sunday.

 

The Department reports 42 total tests administered in DeWitt County with 38 negative results, two pending and the one positive from Thursday.

 

In Piatt County, 43 tests have been administered resulting in 41 negatives, none pending and two positive results from. The second case is a 37-year-old female who was symptomatic and tested positive on April 2 at a drive-thru testing event held in Champaign. She is quarantined in her household with her family. A 74-year-old male also tested positive in Piatt County but is considered a Michigan case since he is a Michigan resident. He is currently hospitalized locally and contact tracing will be conducted to ensure that local contacts remain quarantined for 14 days according to IDPH Guidelines.

 

Two of the three cases reported by the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department are recovered and are being monitored.

 

Meanwhile, the Logan County Health Department has tested 74 individuals with 65 negative tests returned, eight pending and the single case from Thursday.

 

The Illinois Department of Public Health Sunday announced 899 new cases of coronavirus in Illinois, including 31 additional deaths.
 

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