Local News

Richland Community College Will Not Extend Lease on Clinton Facility

Richland Community College has announced it will not be extending its lease on the Clinton Education Center on the community's west side.

 

In a statement to Regional Radio, the Decatur-based institution said quote- 

 

"Richland Community College is committed to providing educational and training opportunities for all individuals from the Clinton Community and DeWitt County with students from DeWitt County receiving the second highest percentage of scholarships from the Richland Community College Foundation. However, over the past few years, enrollment at the Clinton Higher Education Center has declined by an average of 26% annually over the last three years. Additionally, all Clinton High School Dual Credit course offerings for the fall 2022 semester are 100% online. After spending several years exploring all opportunities, Richland Community College has made the difficult decision not to renew our lease in the building where the Clinton Higher Education Center is located. Although we will no longer have a physical presence at the Clinton Higher Education Center, Richland Community College remains committed to providing accessible and affordable educational paths and training opportunities that meet the needs of the Clinton Community."

 

Richland has occupied the building since November of 2013.

DeWitt County Board Approves FY 23 Budget

The DeWitt County Board last week approved the Fiscal Year '23 budget. 

 

On the WHOW Morning Show, Board Chair Terry Ferguson told Regional Radio the budget is highlighted by a slight reduction in the tax rate and several projects within the County Building.

 

 

In addition to the overall tax rate being reduced, Ferguson indicates it was a labor negotiating year and so those update terms are reflected in the upcoming budget.

 

 

Ferguson notes there will be a flooring project for some of the offices of the County Building as well as a replacement of a door that they hoped they could just leave alone but it is an emergency and needs to be replaced.

 

 

Ferguson appreciates the work put in by the various County department heads and Administrator DeeDee Rentmeister who has many years of experience budgeting for the County. 

Monticello Schools to Move Forward with Sports Complex Improvements

The Monticello Board of Education has approved a plan to invest over $ 4 million in sports facilities improvements in the next year.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, Superintendent Adam Clapp told Regional Radio they will move the soccer facility inside the track and field complex, football turf will be installed ahead of next season, and turf will be installed at the high school baseball and softball fields. 

 

 

According to Clapp, work on the soccer field will come first. Later next spring, work on the football field will begin and then after the baseball and softball seasons, the turf will begin on those complexes.

 

 

After turf is installed, a facilities plan will look at improving the bleachers and press boxes for the soccer fields. Clapp notes they are looking into a greenhouse for the ag program as well as dugout improvements at the softball field.

 

 

According to Clapp, the project will come in north of $ 4 million. He credits the influx of corporate personal property replacement tax dollars, or CPPRT dollars, as well as Piatt County's one-cent facilities sales tax allowing them this opportunity.

 

 

Clapp notes there are lifespans on these turf surfaces and depending on how well they are cared for, those can be extended. He indicates there are tools to help keep them cared for. 

Firearm Deer Hunting Season Concludes This Weekend

Illinois’ seven-day firearm deer season concludes this Thursday through Sunday. A few safety reminders from Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan.

 

 

During the first firearm weekend Nov. 18-20, Illinois hunters harvested 52,354 deer.

Gov. Pritzker Hopeful Safe-T Act Gets Tweaked This Week

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS HE’S HOPEFUL LAWMAKERS WILL MAKE SOME TWEAKS TO THE SAFE-T ACT DURING THIS WEEK’S VETO SESSION. 

 

THE FALL VETO SESSION IS SCHEDULED TO END ON THURSDAY, BUT THE GOVERNOR THINKS A TRAILER BILL CAN BE PASSED BY THEN, CLARIFYING THE LAW THAT ENDS CASH BAIL ON JANUARY FIRST.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS LAWMAKERS, PROSECUTORS AND OTHERS ARE WORKING HARD TO REACH AN AGREEMENT THIS WEEK.

 

 

THE FALL VETO SESSION IS SCHEDULED TO END THIS THURSDAY.

Gov. Pritzker Plans to Make Good on Unemployment Insurance Fund Debt

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING A BIPARTISAN DEAL TO PAY BACK PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DEBT. 

 

THE AGREEMENT MAKES GOOD ON THE REMAINING ONE-POINT-FOUR BILLION DOLLAR UNEMPLOYMENT LOAN THAT WAS NEEDED TO PAY CLAIMS WHEN SO MANY LOST THEIR JOBS. IT WILL ALSO ENSURE THE FUND IS REPLENISHED FOR THE FUTURE SAYS THE GOVERNOR.

 

 

SENATOR SUE REZIN OF MORRIS WAS ON THE NEGOTIATING TEAM AND SAYS SHE’S RELIEVED SOMETHING COULD BE WORKED OUT.

 

 

THE STATE HAD THE PLAN NEEDS TO BE PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE TO TAKE EFFECT.

Greater Peoria Farm Show Tuesday Recap

The Greater Peoria Farm Show is underway this week. RFD Radio is on the ground.

 

 

There are plenty of exhibitors at this week's Greater Peoria Farm Show.

 

 

The Greater Peoria Farm Show runs through Thursday at the Peoria Civic Center.

Illinois Pork Producers Donates Hams to Illinois National Guard

The Illinois Pork Producers donated 180 hams in “The Give A Ham Challenge” to the Illinois National Guard.

 

The hams will be included in meal baskets that go out to service members and families in need during the holiday season. Mike Legler, Director of State Family Programs with the National Guard says the help is welcome for families that are struggling.

 

 

The donations were made on Tuesday as part of the National Day of Giving.

Weekly Crop Report

HARVESTING IS COMPLETE AND WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED AS WE HEAR IN THE LAST WEEKLY CROP REPORT OF THE SEASON. 

 

THIS PAST WEEK WAS SLIGHTLY WARMER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL AND AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS NEARLY UNCHANGED AT 12 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 16 PERCENT SHORT, 70 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND TWO PERCENT SURPLUS. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT WINTER WHEAT:

 

 

SCHLEUSENER ON ILLINOIS PASTURES:

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS NEARLY UNCHANGED AT 12 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 16 PERCENT SHORT, 70 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND TWO PERCENT SURPLUS.

 

THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT WILL START BACK UP AGAIN IN APRIL.

Lincoln High School Focused on Areas of Improvement from School Report Card

A Logan County school district is analyzing the recent school report card data and targeting areas of improvement. 

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Superintendent of Lincoln High School Dwight Stricklin told Regional Radio he felt the report card for his school building was good but recognizes there are areas of improvement to be made.

 

 

The 2022 school report card has been of particular interest to school leaders because it is the first real snapshot of what things look like coming out of COVID. Stricklin believes the report card shows students learn best when they are in the classroom.

 

 

According to Stricklin, Lincoln High School's 92-percent graduation rate can improve. While it is a good mark, his personal goal is to have that number get to 95 percent.

 

 

Lincoln High School received a 'commendable' school and feels good about where they are and will strive to achieve the 'exemplary' status.

Getting Good Sleep Can Help With Stress of Holidays

If you find yourself stressed during the holiday season, it's possible you may not be sleeping well enough.

 

Getting a good night's sleep can be critical in making it through the holidays and winter months with reduced stress. Dr. Jim LaValle is the author of 'Cracking the Metabolic Code' and explains even getting a good night's sleep can help curb appetite which leads to a bad diet.

 

 

If you find it difficult to maintain sleep throughout the night, there could be several things going on. Dr. LaValle indicates that stress hormones are being released in your sleep. He recommends melatonin before sleep or a supplement like magnesium during the day.

 

 

Drinking caffeine too late in the day can cause issues while sleeping but Dr. LaValle indicates alcohol consumption impacts sleep. He also recommends putting the phone and tablets down an hour or so before bedtime as the blue light from the screen impacts brain function.

 

 

If you are hearing from your spouse or significant other that you are snoring in the night, Dr. LaValle encourages getting tested for sleep apnea because that can lead to all sorts of risk factors. 

 

Dr. LaValle points out sleep and its importance is becoming a growing area of study in healthcare. 

State Climatologist on December

What are the weather models showing for December in Illinois? State Climatologist Trent Ford has an update.

 

 

The first day of meteorological winter is Thursday, December 1.

Rising Interest Rates and Impact on Farm

Rising interest rates and the impact on the farm is getting attention on the University of Illinois’ farmdocdaily website. Illinois Farm Business Farm Management’s Brad Zwilling authored a piece on the subject this month.

 

 

You can find the piece at farmdocdaily.illinois.edu.

Recognizing Giving Tuesday

The OSF Healthcare Foundation is hoping that residents across Illinois will consider the OSF Healthcare Foundation and their many projects as an option for Giving Tuesday, November 29th. Cathy Foes is a spokesperson for the OSF Healthcare Foundation and she says it's not just about giving money...

 

 

Giving Tuesday started in 2012 with a charitable organization in New York City and has since become a global force.

Bobcat Hunting Season Underway

BOBCAT HUNTING SEASON IS UNDERWAY IN ILLINOIS.

 

IT'S A POPULAR BUT COMPLICATED SEASON, WITH A LIMITED NUMBER OF PERMITS AVAILABLE, SOME AREAS OF THE STATE OFF LIMITS AND HARVEST RESTRICTED TO ONE BOBCAT. THE GOOD NEWS SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES WILDLIFE CHIEF MIKE WEFER (wee-fer), IS THAT MANY HUNTERS ARE SUCCESSFUL.

 

 

THE BOBCAT HUNTING SEASON RUNS THROUGH FEBRUARY 15TH BUT IS NOT ALLOWED DURING THIS WEEKEND'S FIREARM DEER SEASON.

 

 

WIEFER SAYS THE SUCCESS RATE FOR BOBCAT HUNTERS IS RELATIVELY HIGH, ESPECIALLY COMPARED TO TURKEY AND DEER HUNTERS, WITH NEARLY A THIRD HARVESTING A BOBCAT. THE BOBCAT HUNTING SEASON RUNS THROUGH FEBRUARY 15TH. IT IS SUSPENDED DURING THIS WEEKEND'S FIREARM DEER SEASON.

Christmas Tree Advice From State Fire Marshal

The Illinois Fire Marshal's Office warns the public to be aware when lighting up the Christmas tree after Thanksgiving.

 

According to J.C. Fultz, a spokesman for the fire marshal's office, the public needs to do the 'needle test' before putting up the festive lights.

 

 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, over 7-hundred fifty house fires are caused due to lights around the house. Another recommendation - never overload outlets.

20 Year Anniversary of First Amber Alert Broadcast in Illinois

IT'S BEEN 20 YEARS SINCE THE FIRST AMBER ALERT WAS ISSUED IN ILLINOIS.

 

AMBER ALERTS ARE BROADCAST WHEN A CHILD IS MISSING OR HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED AND IS IMMINENT DANGER. STATE AMBER ALERT COORDINATOR CRAIG BURGE SAYS THEY HAVE BEEN AN EFFECTIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT TOOL.

 

 

BURGE SAYS NEW TECHNOLOGY OVER THE YEARS HAVE HELPED MAKE THE ALERTS MORE EFFECTIVE.

 

 

SINCE THE AMBER ALERT SYSTEM STARTED BEING USED ILLINOIS, 118 ALERTS HAVE BEEN ISSUED. 67 KIDS WERE RECOVERED AS A DIRECT RESULT AND ANOTHER 22 WERE FOUND INDIRECTLY.

CAPCIL Seeing Increased Demand for LIHEAP

An energy assistance program is seeing more people than usual reach out for assistance.

 

Breann Titus with Community Action notes LIHEAP is a program to help people cover energy and utility expenses. She says they are seeing an increase in people reaching out in part due to the energy companies sending out disconnecting notices.

 

 

Titus says if you are in the potential jeopardy of getting disconnected the time to reach out is now. Community Action will schedule an appointment as soon as they have one available.

 

 

Do not be alarmed if your appointment is not as soon as you would like it to be. Titus says their office is understaffed and overwhelmed with the influx of appointment requests they are receiving.

 

 

Titus notes that LIHEAP works on a percentage system of what you qualify for. Depending on what you receive and how much your bill is it could be either one-time assistance or multiple assistance throughout the LIHEAP year.

 

 

To learn more about LIHEAP or to schedule an appointment visit capcil.info.

Managing Holiday Stress

While the holidays are a joyous time for most, they can be stressful for others.

 

Nadia Klekamp with Chestnut Health Systems has some tips for managing stress during this time of year. She says the first step is acknowledging how you're feeling.

 

 

Klekamp indicates it is important to keep things realistic and acknowledge that traditions can change and that not everything has to be perfect. Having a budget and sticking to it can also help to prevent stress.

 

 

Learning to say no and having time for yourself is important to keep in mind this time of year. Klekamp says while it may be hard to do, people will understand and respect you for taking care of yourself.

 

 

Klekamp implores anyone feeling overwhelmed or anxious during the holidays to call 988 or contact Chestnut at (888) 924-3786.

Logan County Wind Farms to Benefit Mt. Pualski Schools

A school district in Logan County will get additional tax revenue down the road thanks to a decision by the Logan County Board.

 

The Logan County Board recently approved the development of two different wind farms that will be in the Mt. Pulaski school district. Superintendent Fred Lamkey says he is grateful for additional tax revenue.

 

 

Mr. Lamkey notes the district previously has benefited from wind farm tax revenue. Mt. Pulaski was able to use wind farm money to supplement the tax referendum when they redid the high school.

 

 

Lamkey states during his tenure property values in the Mt. Pulaski school district have risen exponentially due, to his belief, the wind farms. He explains the additional revenue will allow the district to plan for the future and cross projects off of their wishlist.

 

 

The Mt. Pulaski School Board at its next meeting will be putting together a capital project of what it would like to accomplish in the short term and the long term.

Clinton Lake Marina Docks to be Repaired

A project planned for the Clinton Lake Marina has been scaled back.

 

At Wednesday night's DeWitt County Board meeting, Marina committee chairman Dan Matthews asked the board to reject the bids for the float replacement project in light of recent developments.

 

 

Instead of the float replacement project, the Board approved smaller repairs to be completed on docks and floats. Matthews hopes these repairs will give them more time before larger repairs are necessary.

 

 

The Board was scheduled to consider a bid from Chastain & Associates for the marina rip rap project but was tabled.

Farmer City Offering Energy Efficiency Grants

If you own a business in Farmer City, the administration is asking you to consider taking advantage of energy efficiency grants. 

 

City Administrator Sue McLaughlin indicates these are made possible by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and gives a business a chance to make some money-saving investments in their buildings.

 

 

McLaughlin can be reached at the Farmer City City Hall at 309-928-3412. 

Clinton Christmas Parade is Saturday

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its annual Christmas parade this Saturday. 

 

Executive Director Marian Brisard is excited about this year's event on Saturday at 2 pm. She hopes to have a big parade this weekend.

 

 

According to Brisard, Lou Mollett at First National Bank in Clinton is this year's grand marshal.

 

 

The Clinton Christmas parade is Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 pm. The parade route starts on the east side of the square and travels east down Main Street to the intersection of East Adams and South Center Streets. 

Maroa-Forsyth Starting to Transition Some Supplies to New Addition

As the construction of the new grade school addition starts to finish up, Maroa-Forsyth staff is beginning to transition what they can to new classrooms.

 

Superintendent Dr. Kris Kahler is very pleased with the progress being made on the addition on the Maroa campus and says the February move-in day is not far. He indicates as of now, they are starting to move what they can to some of those new spaces.

 

 

This Saturday will be the final day for the community to come out and see the old middle school building before it is demolished and any art and materials are moved over to the new building.

 

 

The new classroom setting will be made for more collaboration among students. Dr. Kahler explains that is an aspect of the 21st-century education environment that has greatly changed.

 

 

Dr. Kahler is looking forward to having new science labs for students because they will be finally updated to what today's student needs for hands-on learning. He notes those have been partially updated in the past but this will be what today's student needs. 

Monticello Christmas Season Begins Tonight

A slew of annual holiday favorites will kick off tonight (Friday) in Monticello.

 

Shelly Crawford-Stock, Monticello Main Street Executive Director, indicates the Reds of Christmas event this year is sold out. She says even if you don't have a ticket you can still patronize the local businesses and take advantage of the extended shopping hours.

 

 

The Monticello Area Arts Council's sixth annual Mini Christmas Tree Festival also begins tonight. The Arts Council will have a display of over 30 trees and wreaths decorated by local artisans. Attendees can vote on their favorite tree for $1.

 

 

Next weekend there is plenty to do in Monticello to get into the Christmas spirit from Allerton Park's GLOW event to the Monticello Railway Museum's Lunch with Santa and Polar Express. Crawford-Stocks notes the Monticello Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 3 at 11:30 am.

 

 

For the latest information on all of the upcoming holiday events in Monticello, visit the Monticello Chamber of Commerce and Monticello Main Street Facebook pages.

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