Local News

Clinton Police Chief Highlights Police Week

It's National Police Week and local authorities are discussing what it means to be able to promote their agencies and officers.

 

Among those is Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers who says there have been four active police officers that have passed away so far this year but only one is a line of duty death.

 

 

Before COVID, law enforcement officials had an initiative titled 'Under 100'. The idea was to bring the number of police fatalities in the line of duty to under 100. That effort has stalled since the spring of 2020.

 

 

Additionally, inflation of the officers killed in the line of duty has been a general disregard for authorities. Chief Lowers believes there are a lot of factors that are playing into this new atmosphere of anti-police.

 

 

Chief Lowers points out since the rise of the anti-police and disregard for authority movements, the complaints about officers doing their jobs have increased exponentially. 

 

 

While the Chief has strong opinions on the environment for law enforcement, he is appreciative to live in a community that is a strong supporter of its law enforcement officers. 

 

We'll hear more from law enforcement officials throughout the week on Regional Radio regarding National Police Week. 

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May is Osteoporosis Awareness Month

May is National Osteoporosis Month and an ideal time to consider assessing bone health. 

 

Monica Nyman is a Registered Dietitian and Senior Nutrition Educator with the St. Louis Dairy Council and explains osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become fragile and break easily. 

 

 

Bone health starts at an early age. Osteoporosis is often referred to as a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences and Nyman points out peak bone mass is the greatest amount of bone an individual can attain; reached in the late teens and early 20s.

 

 

Dairy Foods help build bones. Dairy’s unique package provides the right ingredients for building bones.  Calcium and phosphorus fortify the skeleton system, vitamin D helps to absorb calcium, and protein supports the structure of bones. Nyman explains getting more calcium in your diet can be as easy as drinking milk with meals, adding cheese to salads, pasta, and casseroles, or preparing soups and hot cereal with milk instead of water.

 

 

Nyman points out there are easy ways to maintain bone health as you age. She encourages eating calcium-rich foods, getting enough Vitamin D, exercising, and making good lifestyle choices.

 

 

 Children and adolescents today are more likely to break a bone than their parents were. Nine out of 10 girls and 6 out of 10 boys aged 12-19 do not consume adequate calcium in their diet. Nyman encourages helping your kids develop healthy habits for life is to be a good role models by drinking milk with meals, eating calcium-rich snacks, and getting plenty of weight-bearing exercise.

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Above Normal Temperatures to Conclude May

The first part of May has been a struggle from a weather perspective with lots of rain and cooler than normal days but things quickly turned around as we experienced record-setting heat that is going to transition us to more moderate weather to conclude May.

 

Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates last week's heatwave set records at their sites in Lincoln, Peoria, and Springfield for both daytime highs and overnight lows.

 

 

While today's weather is ideal, Shimon indicates there are chances of showers Tuesday and Wednesday this week before we return to above normal chances for warm weather the rest of the month.

 

 

Outlooks are indicating just a slightly above normal chance for precipitation to conclude the month. Shimon notes when you start talking about increased humidity, that does bring chances of pop showers and even thunderstorms so he implores to be watchful. 

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State FFA Convention Next Month

In about a month the Illinois FFA will hold their annual convention. 

 

Last year the group held outdoor events to accommodate COVID-19 mitigations but this year the convention will be at its traditional home, the Bank of Springfield Center in downtown Springfield. Kara Freebarin FFA State Treasurer says state officers are thrilled be back and they are deep into planning for thousands of students to attend.

 

 

The convention runs June 14 to 16.

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State Superintendent Expects State to Turn Around Teacher Shortage

Illinois State Supt. of Education Carmen Ayala feels recent legislation to help more people become teachers will turn around a teacher shortage. 

 

One of the bills Gov. Pritzker signed last month lowers the fee to reinstate a lapsed teaching certificate. Another lowers the age to be a classroom aide. And another increases the number of days a substitute teacher can be in the same classroom in some circumstances. Ayala says there are other things going on in Illinois to develop a pipeline for students to become teachers.

 

 

The shortage is caused at least in part by teachers leaving the profession. Ayala says those teachers are making the kinds of career and retirement decisions everyone makes. 

 

Sometimes, it's just time to retire or move on to another line of work. Education reform is a factor for some. Ayala says with every reform, some teachers decide teaching isn't for them anymore.

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New State Law Targets Retail Crime

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW TO COMBAT ORGANIZED RETAIL THEFT IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE LAW GIVES LOCAL PROSECUTORS MORE AUTHORITY TO GO AFTER SMASH-AND-GRAB CRIMINALS IN OTHER COUNTIES AND THE ILLNOIS ATTORNEY GENEAL COULD PROSECUTE VIA A STATEWIDE GRAND JURY SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL HELPED DRAFT THE LEGISLATION AND SAYS WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT PETTY SHOPLIFTING. THE LAW TARGETS ORGANIZED GANG EFFORTS TO QUICKLY STEAL A LOT OF MERCHANDISE AND THEN SELL IT ONLINE. BUT HE SAYS THIS IS ABOUT MORE THAN STOLEN GOODS.

 

 

THE LAW ALSO CREATES THE "INFORM ACT", CRACKING DOWN ON STOLEN GOODS BEING SOLD ONLINE BY REQUIRING THIRD-PARTY SELLERS TO VERIFY THEIR IDENTITY.

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Clinton Police Chief Touts Sunday's 'Peace Officer Memorial Day'

Sunday is Peace Officer Memorial Day. This upcoming week is police week.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers annually recognizes the three officers in DeWitt County killed in the line of duty. 

 

 

This coming week on Regional Radio, we'll hear from other central Illinois law enforcement officials on Police Week. We'll also hear from Chief Lowers more on the increase in the line of duty deaths. 

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Piatt County Sheriff Encouraging Caution With Planters Out for Seasonal Work

Farmers are taking advantage of the sudden turn in the weather and are hitting the fields to get that seed in the ground.

 

You've likely encountered a planter on the road whether you're traveling on rural roadways or maybe the occasional planter rolling along the highway or through town. Piatt County Sheriff Mark Vogelzang says slow down and give everyone plenty of space.

 

 

Sheriff Vogelzang indicates you want to be extremely careful when you encounter a planter or other implement because of now only their size but because of how difficult they can be to navigate a roadway with traffic.

 

 

Sheriff Vogelzang credits the farmers of Piatt County for their attentiveness and respect for other drivers during a hectic time. 

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Sangamon County Sheriff Discusses Gas Prices Impacts on Budget

Fuel prices are eating into everyone’s budget.

 

Police cars need to be on the road every day and now local departments are paying more than ever to patrol streets. Sangamon County Sherriff Jack Campbell says their fuel bill nearly doubled month over month this spring but the job means being out and about.

 

 

Campbell’s expecting the bill to increase this summer as fuel prices continue to rise.

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May Winter Wheat Production Report

ILLINOIS WINTER WHEAT PRODUCTION IS PROJECTED TO BE UP THIS YEAR. 

 

THE MAY REPORT IS OUT AND CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS WHILE THE YIELD IS DOWN A LITTLE BIT, MORE ACRES ARE EXPECTED TO BE HARVESTED.

 

 

OVERALL WINTER WHEAT PRODUCTION IS FORECASTED TO BE 49 POINT FIVE MILLION BUSHELS, AN INCREASE OF THREE PERCENT OVER LAST YEAR. ADDITIONALLY, ILLINOIS PRODUCERS SAY THE AMOUNT OF HAY STORED ON FARMS IS DOWN ABOUT FOUR PERCENT FROM ONE YEAR AGO.

 

 

NATIONALLY, WINTER WHEAT PRODUCTION IS FORECASTED TO BE DOWN BY EIGHT PERCENT.

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Weekly Weather Summary

We saw record-setting heat in some place in Illinois this week. State Climatologist Trent Ford has more on the past week and the week ahead...

 

 

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Rain to Roll Through Parts of Illinois This Weekend

A lot of spring yard work was done this past weekend with exceptionally nice days and depending on where you're at in Illinois, there could be the opportunity for more. 

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio a line of storms should start to form tonight but will fizzle out as they head east.

 

 

Humidity has been very present with the heat that came through this week. Shimon says dew points could remain high on Saturday but things will cool and create a pleasant day for Sunday and even Monday.

 

 

Tuesday and Wednesday there are more chances for rain in central Illinois but Shimon says things moderate heading into the middle-to-late part of the week with more warm air the last week of May. 

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The Vault Leadership Discusses Mental, Emotional Wellness of Youth

Youth in Illinois has returned to a normal school year and masks have been off for a couple of months now but a Clinton non-profit says that doesn't mean kids are well.

 

While some kids are doing just fine, there seems to be a general disinterest among young people says The Vault's Founder Michelle Witzke and Executive Director Tammy Wilson. Wilson points out a recent article that outlined what youth are going through and she says it describes a lot of what they see in the kids.

 

 

According to Wilson, they are trying to get young people to express their feelings through their words. She says their counselors are doing a good job of connecting with the kids to find meaning.

 

 

Witzke says a lot of kids have changed and called them not the same kids they were before the pandemic. Wilson wonders too if kids were disconnected for so long and if they are having a hard time learning to navigate those relationships.

 

 

The Vault held a program this past Tuesday night for the kids on relationships and things like perspective, sex, and even abuse. 

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DeWitt County Friendship Center Executive Director Focusing Grant Opportunities

Grant funding is becoming more available and a DeWitt County non-profit leader is focusing on trying to secure grants to help in some areas of need.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, DeWitt County Friendship Center Executive Director Paula Jiles told Regional Radio News the Friendship Center is hoping funding from the ARPA money the County is offering to non-profits and small businesses can help them afford a new van.

 

 

Jiles has discovered that restaurant chain Chik-Fil-A has a grant program that non-profits can apply for. She is seeking $30,000 from that opportunity to upgrade the agency van they have.

 

 

Jiles says her priority is the roof of the Friendship Center but there are other areas of need they will be addressing. She indicates any funding through grants is less of the Friendship Center budget they have to dedicate to those expenses. 

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McLean County Museum of History Offering Summer Camp for Young History Buffs

If you or a young person in your life enjoys history and has just a little bit of a passion for it, a McLean County non-profit has a one-week, summer program for them.

 

Candace Summers with the McLean County Museum of History indicates this annual week of exploration in the summer allows young people to get a glimpse of what can be done professionally in the arena of history.

 

 

For the individual that knows they love history but they don't know what they could do with that passion for a career, Summers indicates that was her as a young person and was fortunate to find herself in a career that centers around history and research.

 

 

Summers has been the summer program for the Museum long enough she had a young student stop her in a McLean County School and tell her a presentation she made inspired her to pursue her passion for history. Summers hopes an impact like that is what the program inspires.

 

 

The program runs from July 11-15. Registration opened last week but there are only 16 openings. Summers points anyone wanting more information to visit mchistory.org. 

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State Affirming Abortion Coverage to Medicaid Recipients

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS CONFIRMING THAT STATE COVERAGE OF ABORTIONS FOR LOW INCOME WOMEN WILL CONTINUE IN ILLINOIS. 

 

ILLINOIS IS ONE OF ONLY 16 STATES THAT PROVIDES MEDICAID COVERAGE FOR ABORTION CARE. THIS IS A PART OF STATE LAW AND WILL BE VIGOROUSLY DEFENDED SAYS THE GOVERNOR. HE HAD THIS TO SAY ABOUT REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS ON WEDNESDAY:

 

 

THE GOVERNOR ALSO SAID:

 

 

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTHCARE AND FAMILY SERVICES IS ADVISING MANAGED CARE COMPANIES THAT HELP ADMINISTER MEDICAID ABOUT THE LAW AND THAT THEY MAY BE GETTING QUESTIONS ABOUT COVERAGE.

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House GOP Questions Spending in New State Budget

HOUSE REPUBLICANS CONTINUE TO QUESTION SPENDING IN THE NEW STATE BUDGET.

 

THE G-O-P CRITICIZES THE INCREASED SPENDING PLANNED FOR THE NEW FISCAL YEAR, SAYING THE BUDGET RELIES TOO HEAVILY ON ONE-TIME FEDERAL COVID-19 RELIEF MONEY TO FUND PROJECTS IN DEMOCRATIC DISTRICTS. REPRESENTATIVE TOM DEMMER OF DIXON:

 

 

HOUSE G-O-P LEADER JIM DURKIN SAYS THAT’S MONEY THAT WON’T BE THERE IN THE FUTURE.

 

 

DURKIN SAYS ANY EXTRA MONEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED TO SHORE UP THE STATE’S UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUND WHICH TOOK A BIG HIT DURING THE PANDEMIC.

 

REPUBLICANS SAY THEY WERE LEFT OUT OF FINAL BUDGET NEGOTIATIONS AND THAT THE NECESSITY OF THESE PROJECTS WAS NEVER VETTED PROPERLY.

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Property Thefts on Rise in Clinton

Central Illinois went from feeling like mid-March to mid-August almost overnight and that quick transition has local authorities reminding residents of a few things to remember.

 

While the hot and humid temperatures of the midweek are expected to be short-lived, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday implored residents to keep a lookout for their neighbors, especially elderly neighbors.

 

 

Yearly, Chief Lowers indicates the seasonal transition brings more folks out for walks and gatherings. He indicates this often brings with it an increase in crime and the Chief points out this year in particular, there is an increase in thefts locally.

 

 

The Chief offers his annual reminders for residents to remove all valuables from vehicles and lock those cars up. He reminds they encounter very few forced entries into motor vehicles.

 

 

With May Days just a week away, Chief Lowers reminds residents to be aware of closures that happen on the square and encourages attendees to keep those dogs at home. He becomes concerned with the responses of dogs in big crowds and the safety of others. 

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Clinton YMCA Gearing Up for Monticello Y-Zone Summer Camp

The Clinton YMCA in recent years has expanded programming to Monticello and the summer program Monticello Y-Zone summer camp is back again this summer.

 

Executive Director of the Clinton Y, Rennie Cluver indicates Monticello Y-Zone summer camp looks very similar to the Clinton version of Camp Osage with themed weeks, trips to the Monticello community pool, and Allerton Park.

 

 

Monticello Y-Zone summer camp registration is done all online this year. Cluver indicates much of the other aspects of the program mirror Camp Osage for drop-off and pick-up times.

 

 

clintoncommymca.org is the YMCA website and if Monticello folks are in the Clinton area, they can stop by the Y at 417 South Alexander Street or call 217-935-8307. 

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State Representative Dan Caulkins Endorses Darren Bailey

State Representative Dan Caulkins is endorsing State Senator Darren Bailey for the Republican nomination in the Illinois Governor's race.

 

The Decatur Republican broke down the five candidates vying for the nomination in the June primary. Rep. Caulkins discussed two long-shots for the nomination in Gary Rabine and Paul Schimpf. 

 

 

Perhaps the three candidates with the best chances at securing the nomination are Aurora Mayor Richard Irvine, businessman Jesse Sullivan, and Senator Darren Bailey. Rep. Caulkins says Sullivan doesn't know why he's running for Governor.

 

 

Rep. Caulkins has blistering criticism for the campaign of Mayor Irvine's campaign calling them despicable, immoral people and accusing them of sending out twisted flyers every week. He says Irvine has no platform to run on. 

 

 

Bailey and Caulkins came to the General Assembly at the same time and Rep. Caulkins believes Bailey will be a solid, conservative with impeccable credentials. 

 

 

Rep. Caulkins announced his support for Sen. Bailey on the WHOW Morning Show Monday. 

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Illinois Gas Prices Sixth Highest in US; Diesel Fifth Cheapest

Gas prices jumped 19 cents in Illinois in this week's GasBuddy price report. Prices have seen a constant rise since the beginning of the war between Russia and Ukraine, and according to GasBuddy's Patrick De Haan, they are not going down anytime soon.

 

 

DeHaan says that Illinois ranks the sixth highest in average gasoline prices in the nation at $4.80, while diesel is averaged at $5.27 cents, which is actually the 10th cheapest.

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Gov. Pritzker Urges Congress to Act to Support Women's Reproductive Rights

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS URGING CONGRESS TO ACT QUICKLY TO PROTECT WOMEN’S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS. 

 

ILLINOIS HAS DONE ITS PART TO MAKE SURE WOMEN CAN CHOOSE HEALTH CARE OPTIONS FOR THEMSELVES AND NOW FEDERAL LAWMAKERS MUST DO THE SAME SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR MADE HIS REMARKS AT A PLANNED PARENTHOOD CLINIC IN THE METRO EAST AREA, WHERE 75 PERCENT OF PATIENTS SEEKING CARE ARE FROM OUT OF STATE.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS ILLINOIS WILL REMAIN A PLACE WHERE WOMEN ARE FREE TO CHOOSE.

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Illinois Farm Bureau President Gets Brief One-on-One with President Biden

Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert gets some one-on-one time with President Biden during his visit to a Kankakee County farm Wednesday afternoon.

 

 

President Biden announced measures to boost domestic fertilizer production and incentives for double cropping during his Wednesday visit at O’Connor Farms in Kankakee County.

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Blood Donors Needed Heading Into Summer

The American Red Cross is in need of blood during the summer months at least as much if not more than during the rest of the year, according to an agency spokesman. 

 

As a rule, donations fall off between May and August. When schools let out for summer and families set off on vacation, the American Red Cross typically sees a decline in donors, which can impact patient care. Red Cross spokesman Joe Zydlo (ZID-low) says it’s important that donors make an appointment to give now before heading out for summer activities to help maintain a stable blood supply in the coming months.

 

 

You can find information about how to donate on the organization's website: www.RedCross.org.

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Little Galilee Gearing Up for Summer Camp Season

Little Galilee Christian Camp in Clinton is gearing up for its busy summer camp season that will welcome hundreds of youth from across the state.

 

Registration is underway for the summer camp season and on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Camp Activities Director Max Aper told Regional Radio the camp will see an influx of registrations as school gets out for the summer. 

 

 

Last summer was among the most attended summer camps Little Galilee has had. Aper says they are approaching 1,000 registrations for this summer so far. He adds if a student is attending camp for the first time this summer, they will pay for their admission.

 

 

Aper notes Little Galilee is going to offer its family camp three times this year. The first one is the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, then the Fourth of July Weekend, and finally Labor Day weekend.

 

 

Aper points anyone wanting a schedule of the summer camp schedule or information about registration to visit littlegalilee.com. 

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