NO 10: DCRA Celebrating First Tenant To Magil Home
The DeWitt County Restoration Association's efforts to restore the Magill House on Center Street to it's once prominent state has teken a positive turn.
For many years the DCRA has been tirelessly working to restore the home and find business to fill the space and Becky Adams indicates they are going to welcome Bryce Starkey from Edward Jones into half of the space.
Starkey says it's a great opportunity for the agency and for him and looks forward to his transition to downtown Clinton.
According to Adams, Brady Realtors in Clinton has been authorized to seek out a tenant for the rest of the lower level and work on the upper levels continues.
NO 9: DJWH Board Approves Hospital Name Change, Values and Mission Statement
Clinton's biggest health services provider will soon be under a new name.
Monday night at the Dr. John Warner Hospital Board meeting, the board approved a new name for the city-owned facility. CEO Paul Skowron explains the name Warner Hospital and Health Services will be its new title.
Skowron indicates he was very careful in how he approached the topic of a change to the name of the Dr. John Warner hospital. He explains he approached John Warner IV and got his approval.
Skowron believes a change in the name of the hospital will provide a fresh perspective for those outside the community on what the facility is all about and also believes it will help in the recruitment of providers.
This was a process that started at the Board level in February and Skowron says this was a process they took very seriously. He feels this is going to lay the foundation for the future of the hospital for many years to come.
NO 8: Lovie Smith Comes To Illinois
It was a rather unexpected weekend for the University of Illinois and their football team in early March. First the firing of Head Coach Bill Cubit and then the announcement that they would hire former Bears’ Head Coach Lovie Smith was a surprise.
Smith comes to the university after being fired from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past offseason and he hasn’t coached in college since 1995.
Smith says it’s an opportunity to relish.
Smith adds he won’t commit to any one style of play on the field but that he wants to give fans a reason to show up and support the team.
Smith says that the six year contract should speak for its self and he isn’t planning on going anywhere even if the NFL comes calling. The hire, worth $2 million a year over the next two seasons, $3 million the following year, $4 million in 2019 and then $5 million in 2020 and 2021.
In his first season in Champaign, the Illini went 3-9 with two wins in the Big Ten.
Many questioned whether Lovie Smith could recruit in his return to the college game. Illinois currently ranks 41st the country in the 247sports composite recruiting rankings.
NO 7: Clinton Football Coach Resigns
Clinton High School Football Coach John Hayden resigned his position as football coach in late October this year.
In his seven years at Clinton High School, Hayden compiled a 20-52 record, leading the Maroons to the 4A playoffs in 2015, their first appearance in 11 years.
The football coach position still remains unfilled.
NO 6: Clinton Police Department Investigating Drive-By Shooting
The Clinton Police Department investigated a drive-by shooting from the evening hours of December 12, near downtown Clinton.
At approximately 8:15 pm, authorities were called to the 400th block of South Center Street in Clinton for a report of shots fired.
Investigation by the police indicate four to six shots were fired from a semi-automatic handgun at intended victims standing outside.
No one was injured in the incident.
25-year old Michael A. Herald was arrested shortly after the incident.
Herald was charged with the unlawful discharge of a firearm and attempted murder.
Herald plead not guilty to the unlawful discharge of a firearm charge and the attempted murder charge was dismissed.
Tune in Monday on Regional Radio News for the top 5 stories from 2016.
There isn't much they can do about it, at least officially, but the members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation continue to track developments at the state level.
Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville says some people are pointing their fingers in the wrong direction with the political blame game and he remains hopeful.
The state budget situation is causing more problems for individuals that already have had major issues with the state.
14 men who have been exonerated of crimes they were said to have committed are waiting on $2.5 million in compensation.
The payments were not included in a stop gap spending plan that was approved this summer. Individuals are waiting on between $5,000 and more than $200,000.
Now those payments are even more in doubt when the stop gap spending plan expires at the end of the year.
Republicans have tried to turn up the heat on House Speaker Michael Madigan, even hoping to inspire an uprising among House Democrats with the Boss Madigan website. Individual lawmakers are attacked for their support of Madigan on that webpage.
Now the Chicago Tribune's editorial board is offering a similar message, calling for Democrats to give Madigan the boot from the leadership post he's held for most of a generation.
The Trib board says if Madigan remains in the Speaker's role, the state faces two more years of “dysfunction.” The board holds Madigan largely responsible for the exodus of residents from the state as well as woes for Schools, pensions, the state’s finances and the state's backlog of unpaid bills.
The Illinois House will vote for its leaders January 11th. Nine Democrats would have to vote for a different leader to end Madigan's run as speaker.
THE “SERVE ILLINOIS” COMMISSION IS URGING FAMILIES TO MAKE VOLUNTEERING A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION.
THOUSANDS OF COMMUNITIES ARE IN DESPERATE NEED OF VOLUNTEERS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR SAYS SERVE ILLINOIS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SCOTT MCFARLAND. HE SAYS EVEN HELPING OUT AN HOUR AT A TIME HERE AND THERE CAN BE A BIG HELP.
MCFARLAND SAYS WHEN THEY ASK PEOPLE WHY THEY DON’T VOLUNTEER…THE ANSWER IS THAT THEY EITHER DIDN’T KNOW WHERE TO GO OR THAT NO ONE ASKED THEM TO LEND A HAND. THE AGENCY’S WEBSITE MATCHES POTENTIAL VOLUNTEERS WITH GROUPS NEEDING HELP.
TO FIND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES NEAR YOU…VISIT THE WEBSITE: SERVE DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV. GROUPS SEEKING VOLUNTEERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO POST THEIR NEEDS ON THE SITE AS WELL.
WITH TRAFFIC FATALITIES ON THE RISE THIS YEAR…THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE AND DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ARE HOPING TO KEEP NUMBERS FROM CLIMBING ANY HIGHER OVER THE NEW YEAR’S HOLIDAY.
AS OF TUESDAY…ONE THOUSAND 55 PEOPLE HAVE DIED ON ILLINOIS ROADS…SURPASSING LAST YEAR’S TOTAL OF 998 FATALITIES. I-DOT’S SCOTT KRISTIANSEN SAYS THERE ARE A NUMBER OF FACTORS THAT MAY BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE INCREASE.
ADDITIONALLY…KRISTIANSEN SAYS LESS PEOPLE HAVE BEEN REGULARLY BUCKLING UP THIS YEAR COMPARED TO LAST.
STATE AND LOCAL POLICE ARE INCREASING PATROLS AND HOLDING ROADSIDE SAFETY CHECKS AND D-U-I- DETAILS THROUGH THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND.
Unemployment is down across the area from October to November.
The exception to that statement is DeWitt County, where unemployment remained stagnant at 5.1% from October to November. Over the year, unemployment is down almost a full percent.
Unemployment in Piatt County dropped only slightly, from 4.5% in October to 4.3% in November.
Logan County unemployment came in at 4.8% in November, down from 5.2% in October.
November's 5.9% unemployment was down from 6.1% in November in Macon County.
McLean County unemployment was 4.5% in November, down from 4.7% in October.
Champaign County had a 4.5% unemployment rate for November, down from October's 4.8%.
Brown County had the state's lowest unemployment percentage, at 3.2 for November.
Pulaski County had an 8.3% November unemployment rate, the state's highest.
Statewide unemployment for November was 5.3 percent, lagging the national average of 4.4 percent.
Local authorities want to remind drivers to exercise caution when driving during the winter.
DNR conservation police officer John Williamson indicates that anywhere there is a bridge or underpass, the roads are most likely to ice over. Williamson also says to exert caution when driving on blacktop roads due to "black ice."
Clinton Police chief Ben Lowers urges drivers to carry a safety kit in their vehicles when traveling during the winter season.
Chief Lowers reminds drivers that winter does occur in Central Illinois, and driving needs to be adjusted to combat the winter driving conditions. Lowers indicates that whenever there is a first snow or freeze, that is when law officials receive the most calls about winter driving accidents.
Chief Lowers reminds that if you do not have to be out on the roadways during inclement weather, then it is better to stay inside to reduce to the risk of getting stranded. Lowers urges drivers to respect the roadways and respect the weather.
The commercial driver's license (CDL) program going to be offered at Clinton High School is now in the final planning stages.
Curt Nettles, superintendent of Clinton schools, says that he has met with interested students and Richland Community College and is excited about the class.
Nettles indicates that Write Stuff for Kids will provide financing for the initial class. Students will have a few out of pocket expenses they will be required to pay for.
Nettles says that the CDL program is not a regular course and students will have to give up a portion of their personal time in order to take the class.
Nettles hopes that more people will become interested and involved in the CDL program. He thanks Richland Community College and Write Stuff For Kids for their efforts with the program.
This weekend's precipitation with ice, snow and below zero temperatures, turned streets, parking lots and driveways, into skating rinks, into Monday morning.
Gibson Ace Hardware sold out of salt Monday morning; they sold their last bags of sand as well.
That sand is what ended up on the driveway at the Big Red Barn in the above picture Monday morning. WHOW WEZC staff members had to park in the grass because the concrete parking lot was a glaze of ice.
Also as of Monday morning, Save-A-Lot and Clinton IGA still had ice melt.
Temperatures are to moderate as the week progresses.
The National Weather Service in Lincoln has continued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Regional Radio listening area, thru 6 o'clock Sunday morning.
They have also issued a Wind Chill Advisory for the listening area, from midnight until noon on Sunday.
As warmer air tries to work northward ahead of an approaching storm system, the Weather Service says precipitation will change to drizzle or light rain along and south of a Danville to Taylorville line Saturday afternoon.
Temperatures will rapidly drop behind the departing system, causing precipitation to change to snow across the entire area by late Saturday afternoon into tonight.
A light accumulation of snow will likely cause continued hazardous driving conditions through Sunday night.
The Weather Service says many area roads and overpasses will be slick tonight into Saturday morning. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and plan on extra time to arrive at their destinations.
Stay tuned to Regional Radio and this web site, for the latest weather information. You can find the latest cancellations by clicking the "Closings and Cancellation" icon.
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