Many are expressing great concern about the lack of a budget in Illinois. While the state is in a clear cash crunch, backers of the transportation industry are expressing a unique frustration.
The Transportation for Illinois Coalition represents business, mass transit, construction and labor groups. Co-chair Todd Maisch (Mysh), the President of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says road builders and others are frustrated because the money is already there, it's just a matter of access.
Coalition officials are also expressing concern about proposed funding shifts in recent legislative proposals that they say would cost the state more than $1 billion in road and bridge repair and maintenance.
Illinois' state universities could get new salt in their wounds.
The Higher Learning Commission warns lawmakers that a continued lack of funding could lead to public colleges and universities being stripped of their accreditation. Southern Illinois University System President Randy Dunn talks about the consequences.
Dunn says universities don't just need cash, they need answers.
The commission is concerned because the lack of a budget has sparked increased tuition, delays in state grants, layoffs and canceled capital projects.
It's the time of year for firecrackers, sparklers and the occasional firework to go off as the Fourth of July celebrations start to kick off.
Local authorities are also taking this time to remind area residents of the safety precautions to take and to remind them of the laws of pyrotechnics in Illinois. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates legal fireworks can be purchased in the community at several pop up vendors.
The Chief says while there is an ordinance in Clinton for fireworks, he says they do provide some leniency in those laws for part of the day for celebrations.
The Celebrate Clinton Association will have a number of activities they will host on the downtown Clinton Square Tuesday and the Chief says he will once again participate in their dunk tank they will have.
The Chief also asks for those hosting gatherings and get togethers to be mindful of neighbors and minimize the noise. He says they do receive a lot of noise complaints this time of the year and encourages a respectful mind of those around you.
Dairy and the way it's consumed and regulated has changed over the past 85 years and the St. Louis District Dairy Council is using this 85th birthday to get the word out about dairy and how it effects communities on local and national levels.
According to Monica Nyman, from the St. Louis District Dairy Council, June was chosen as Dairy Month 80 years ago as a way to help dairy farmers disperse their extra milk and has evolved into a way to honor dairy farmers and educate the public about the health benefits of dairy products in your everyday diet.
Every glass of milk contributes to the economy and sustaining rural communities adds Nyman.
More information you can visit the St. Louis District Dairy Council website at stldairycouncil.org or check out their Facebook page, stldairycouncil.
Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz regretfully announces that ISP Trooper Ryan Albin, star number 5718, was tragically killed Wednesday while on patrol.
Wednesday at approximately 3:10 p.m. Trooper Albin was involved in a crash on I-74 near Farmer City. Trooper Albin sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash. At approximately 8:45 pm Trooper Albin succumbed to his injuries.
“Our hearts are heavy with grief as we mourn the loss of Trooper Albin,” stated Director Schmitz. “I extend my deepest sympathy to Trooper Albin’s family, friends, and co-workers. I pray that those who cared for and loved him find the strength they need during this most difficult time. No further words can express the pain and loss we are all feeling.”
Trooper Albin was 37 years old, and lived in Bellflower. He joined the ISP on January 8, 2006. He was assigned to District 6 in Pontiac as a canine officer. Trooper Albin’s canine partner, “Biko,” was in the rear of the squad car at the time of the crash. Biko was transported to a local veterinarian’s office and appears to have sustained only minor injuries.
The crash remains under investigation. An autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday, and an inquest may be held at a later date. No additional information is available at this time. The death is being investigated by the Champaign County Coroner's Office and the Illinois State Police, District 6.
The Clinton Chamber of Commerce will soon unveil a new website.
Gabe Goldsmith has been working on the website for the Chamber and indicates it is going to be much more user friendly, especially for their members. He indicates it will feature a community calendar and online bill paying.
For Goldsmith, the big feature of the new website will be the ability Chamber members pay bills online. He feels it gives the busy small business owner a quick way to settle up with the Chamber.
Goldsmith says the website had a soft launch last week but they are working out some of the bugs they found and hope to launch the new website fulltime next week.
A Clinton mother is seeking a potential partnership for a project she started almost two years ago that seeks to provide people with nice clothes for various events.
Heather Anderson explains her project, Dress the Rack, Clinton, IL, started in October of 2015 as a means to provide anyone with nice clothes for various occasions. Based out of her home, she says the project has outgrown the space she has in her home.
Anderson's inventory of hundreds of items have come from area consignment shops and donations from community members. She is seeking a partnership with a business to continue her mission.
Anderson encourages area residents to check out her Facebook page, Dress The Rack, Clinton, IL. You can reach out to her on that page.
You can also contact her at 217-520-2907 for further information.
The information found in the Census of Agriculture is used to make decisions that will shape the future of agriculture. Pork Checkoff spokesperson Cindy Cunningham encourages all farmers to participate…
There are important deadlines coming up for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. To participate, the deadline to sign up is this Friday, June 30th…
The results of the Census of Agriculture will be available in aggregate form only, keeping everyone’s individual information confidential. The Census of Agriculture is the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agriculture data for every county in the United States…
For more information, producers can contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center. Go to Pork-dot org or call 800-456-PORK.
New University of Illinois basketball coach Brad Underwood continues to reach out around the state. He was the guest speaker at an Illinois Broadcasters Association event in Normal on Tuesday. He says it was quite a trip that brought him to the U-of-I.
It’s Underwood’s second stint in Illinois. He spent several years as an assistant at Western Illinois University early in his career.
Setting aside all the political strife over health care and Russia, Central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis is part of a bipartisan task force to combat heroin addiction.
At a task force news conference in Washington, Davis said heroin became a drug of choice as government took steps to cut back on over-prescriptions of such opioids as Vicodin, OxyContin, and codeine.
On the task force's agenda this year, a series of bills that another congressman said combined enforcement with compassion. A news release from Davis cites statistics showing Illinois ranks 8th nationwide in the number of deaths from a drug overdose.
A rural telecommunications expect wants to see more broadband expansion in under-served areas of Illinois. Matt Johnson of Shawnee Communications in southeast Illinois says reliability is key in today’s digital world.
And that’s where certain rural areas are not keeping pace.
An Illinois project was awarded a $3.3 million loan from USDA earlier this month to construct 104 miles of fiber cable and provide supporting equipment to deliver enhanced telecommunications services to rural subscribers.
The money is going to Viola Home Telephone Company in western Illinois.
HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield has been dealing with delayed state reimbursement and a shortfall of state insurance payments for state worker healthcare.
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is battling reduced state funding for healthcare providers as well as cuts to the SIU system. Despite those obstacles, both are teaming up to build a new womens' and childrens' out patient clinic. St. John's President and CEO Dr. Charles Lucore (Lou-core) says the facility will meet a pressing need for a large portion of Central Illinois.
The $48.4 million facility is expected to open in August of 2018. The construction work is seen as crucial for the region's economy, especially with the potential for work on Illinois roadways threatened by the lack of a budget.
The often scrutinized subject of the date of Clinton High School graduation was brought up at the Tuesday night June Board of Education meeting and a date has been set.
The Board Tuesday night decided on the Sunday of the weekend before Memorial Day. Superintendent Curt Nettles says the Sunday afternoon graduation is working well but had hoped to get a date set this month.
Former Board President John Blythe explained there was a change from the Memorial Day weekend to the weekend prior because of conflicts with college graduations and some families were having to choose which graduation ceremony to be at.
Board members had varying reports from community members on what they wanted. Some reported members of the community against the Memorial Day weekend ceremony, others say, that was the preference.
The Board decided for the 2018 graduation date to be May 18, the Sunday before Memorial Day weekend.
The weather was perfect and the Clinton Country Club was full of golfers Tuesday afternoon for the annual Clinton Chamber of Commerce golf outing.
Chamber Director Marian Brisard says they filled their registration spots and unfortunately had to turn potential participants away, but says that is a good problem to have, though they will work to find a solution for next year.
According to Brisard, the Chamber golf outing nets approximately $3-thousand after all their expenses but says the day is about more than money. It's about the fun and fellowship for the business community.
Along with the day of golfing, there were several give aways and prizes for those that participated. The nine holes of the Clinton Country Club had two teams apiece at each one for a total of 18 teams.
If you’re looking to buy Powerball tickets, time may be running out.
The Illinois Lottery is suspending ticket sales at 9 p.m. Wednesday night because of the state budget situation.
MegaMillions sales will be suspended starting Friday night. The Illinois Lottery also says lottery winners who win over $25,000 will likely have to wait to cash in if lawmakers fail to reach a budget deal
Legislation on its way to the Governor's desk will in theory make the Alton-based SIU Dental School an even stronger school.
The bill would allow the school to create a faculty practice that would allow them to form a partnership to treat and charge patients, allowing faculty to maintain their clinical skills while continuing to teach students.
That's similar to the plan already in place for the SIU School of Medicine. The bill was sponsored by State Representative Katie Stuart OF Edwardsville.
She says the new practice plan would also generate much-needed revenue for the school to help offset reduced state appropriations. SIU is one of only three dental schools in Illinois.
A measure to freeze some property tax bills in Illinois is moving towards a full vote in the House.
The Democrat backed measure will freeze property taxes for four years but it exempts a number of locations; Chicago, Chicago Public Schools and more than two dozen other school districts will not be impacted by a potential freeze. Democrat Mike Zalewski says the plan should be accepted by the Governor.
But Republicans are leery of the exemptions. They want more time to negotiate. State Senator Karen McConnaughay says once the freeze is underway local voters need to be able to decide if those taxes should stay where they are or not.
The full House still needs to vote and pass the measure.
Sunday, House Speaker Mike Madigan added three things of his own that he expects from Rauner: signing the Democrats’ big education funding overhaul; letting Illinois regulate workers’ compensation insurance rates; and slowing down a big change in the Medicaid program, so it can go through the normal state procurement process.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says the speaker’s demands overcomplicates closure to the process and hampers his ability to provide votes for a budget resolution.
Additionally, Durkin continues to repeat that he cannot sell anyone on a budget deal until something comes forward that works for Illinois.
Up to this point it has been Governor Bruce Rauner who has been criticized time and time again by Speaker Madigan and House Democrat leaders for bringing his turn around agenda into the budget negotiation process. The House Speaker has consistently objected to the Governor making his political and economic agenda a prerequisite for passing a budget.
A Canadian agriculture official calling NAFTA “the most remarkable nation to nation relationship that mankind has ever witnessed”.
Jeff Leal serves as Ontario’s Minister of Ag and is visiting Illinois this week promoting the merits of the trade agreement.
And Leal is delivering that message across the U.S.
In addition to meeting with the Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Raymond Poe this week, Leal also lobbied for support of NAFTA earlier this month in a meeting with new U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue.
If you find yourself waiting at Warner Hospital and Health Services and need a charge for your electronic devices, fishing for a wall outlet near a chair will no longer be an option.
That is because administration at the City owned facility are exploring the possibility of adding charging stations to the waiting areas. Board President Aaron Kammeyer explains he had a stay in area hospitals during the holidays and took note of the feature as something that would be a great added amenity to the Clinton facility.
Warner Hospital and Health Services Administrator Heather Schofield explains the evaluation process continues but it appears a good number for the facility would be eight wall-mounted stations and two free standing stations throughout.
Kammeyer says the charging stations would be a feature that would a great addition to the patient experience at Warner Hospital and Health Services and make for one less thing for patience to have to think about.
CEO Paul Skowron called the addition of the charging stations a minimal investment for a great customer service feature.
After last week's successful low vision fair at the DeWitt County Friendship Center, the Life Center for Independent Living, or LifeCIL, is hoping those with struggle with a disability will consider them for assistance as they learn to cope.
Kim Tarkowski with LifeCIL explains they can offer assitance in a variety of ways from counseling to help finding and acquiring the proper tools to live independently.
LifeCIL's client base come from all different referrals. According to Tarkowski, an individual with a disability can come to them on their own or they can be referred from other agencies or health care professionals.
Tarkowski runs the low-vision care for the agency. She explains they offer those who suffer from low vision with a variety of services including mentoring. The agency hires people with disabilities themselves, so they can be a resource as they provide resources and help to individuals.
To get more information about LifeCIL and their low vision programs, contact them at 309-663-5433 or visit lifecil.org or you can contact Tarkowski at email@example.com.
LifeCIL also offers a low vision support group at the DeWitt County Friendship Center. To get more information about that, contact the Friendship Center at 217-935-9411.
A central Illinois college offering hands on learning in the subject of Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
That’s a statewide effort to improve water quality by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus levels in lakes, streams and rivers. Peter Fandel is with the agriculture department at Illinois Central College in East Peoria.
And Fandel says one of the plots involves conventional farming and the other involves no-till/cover crops.
ICC also plans to construct a multi-stage wetland this fall that will take all the water from the agricultural fields. The site will include water control structures and water samplers before and after the wetland to monitor water quality.
HOUSE REPUBLICANS SAY THEIR DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO MEET THEM HALFWAY TO GET A BUDGET DEAL DONE.
HOUSE SPEAKER MIKE MADIGAN HAS SAID HE WANTS THE G-O-P TO PUT 30 VOTES ON ANY SPENDING AND REVENUE PLAN THEY PASS. MINORITY LEADER JIM DURKIN SAYS HIS CAUCUS IS WILLING TO WORK WITH THE DEMOCRATS TO REACH AN AGREEMENT.
DURKIN SAYS HE’S PLEASED HIS MEMBERS HAVE BEEN MEETING WITH DEMOCRATIC NEGOTIATORS IN RECENT DAYS…BUT STRESSES THE NEED FOR AN AGREEMENT ON NOT JUST THE BUDGET…BUT REFORMS AS WELL.
DURKIN SAYS HE ALSO WANTS TO SEE A BUDGET PROPOSAL FROM HOUSE DEMOCRATS SINCE THEY HAVEN’T PRESENTED ONE YET.
WHOW THE BIG 1520 Radio in Clinton is celebrating its 70th anniversary on the air providing Central Illinois local radio service, with a special on-air Anniversary Show on 10am to 4pm on Saturday, August 5th.
WHOW president and general manager Randal J. Miller, along with station manager Jared White, and station engineer Wayne R. Miller—who began his career on WHOW in the 1970's—will host the on-air party, which will feature interviews with former staff members and community leaders.
Some of the music featured during WHOW's first years on the air, will be played as well.
Station officials are asking the public for their help in locating former staff members, or memorabilia. Please contact Randal J. Miller at 935-9590 or e-mail him at whow-at-randyradio-dot-com, if you know contact information of former staff members or if you have memorabilia you'd like to show off that day.
The station will also hold an open house at its studios inside the Big Red Barn at 2980 U-S Highway 51, 4 miles south of Clinton, during those same hours.
Tours of the station will be given, station memorabilia will be on display, and refreshments will be served. All those stopping by will be in a drawing for an AM/FM clock radio that will be given away at the end of the festivities, and you don't have to be present to win.
After receiving approval from the Federal Communications Commission, a group of local residents built and signed on WHOW THE BIG 1520 on August 2nd, 1947, with studios above the former Cannonballs Department Store on the south side of the Clinton Square. WHOW's tower location today is the same place it was 70 years ago, 4 miles south of Clinton on U-S Highway 51. What was to become known as the “Big Red Barn,” was built in 1972 when the station moved its studios from the Clinton Square, and is where they've been ever since.
A Clinton Rotarian member has recently returned home from attending the Rotary International Convention held this year in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tom Reddington explains that Rotary has an international convention every year. The convention offers Rotary clubs from around the world to get together and discuss what they are doing in their local communities. Reddington says there were sixty members representing Central Illinois at the convention.
During the convention, Reddington had the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of guest speakers from Bill Gates to golfer Jack Nicklaus, and activist Andrew Young to Muhtar Kent, the CEO of the Coca-Cola Company. He also heard speakers speak about the Rotary projects of Polio and Malaria around the world.
In addition to the general sessions, Reddington also attended several breakout groups that spoke on a specific topic. The breakout sessions that he attended were related to his involvement with the youth exchange program. Reddington indicates that one session in particular spoke a little close to home.
Reddington says that after attending the convention he feels rejuvenated and has a lot of ideas that he wants to implement into the community. Reddington invites those interested in Rotary or the convention to contact him for more information.
Taking advantage of what your local library has to offer is simply putting your tax dollars to good use.
Lacey Wright of the Barclay Library in Warrensburg encourages you to utilize the best deal in town by heading down to the library to check out books and movies the library has already purchased for your use.
Though your tax dollars support libraries, the Barclay Library also has their Friends of the Library that raises funds through books sales and the Christmas Cookie Walk to help keep the programs they offer the community up and running.
For more information about what the Barclay Library has to offer you, give them a call at (217) 672-3621 or visit their website at www.barclay.lib.il.us.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth continues to describe the Senate GOP's health care overhaul plan one with devastating effects.
Much of Duckworth's concern is centered on medicaid.
During a Duckworth teleconference on the health care debate, Citizen Action Illinois Co-Director Lynda DeLaforgue warned of a double whammy, saying the American Health Care Act combined with the continued lack of a budget in Illinois could lead to deep cuts in federal health care funding in Illinois.
After months of taking issue with Governor Rauner bringing non budget issues into the state's budget discussion, House Speaker Mike Madigan has joined in.
During a meeting of the four legislative leaders, Madigan revealed he wants Governor Bruce Rauner to sign a school funding reform plan that the Governor has said he'll veto.
Madigan also said he wants legislation passed that would regulate workers compensation insurance rates and force the Rauner Administration to abide by procurement regulations in advance of a large contract for Medicaid managed care services.
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin accused Madigan of moving the goal posts and says there won't be further meetings of legislative leaders until there is a balanced budget plan from House Democrats.
While Illinois House members waited to hear word on the budget during day two of Special Session at the Capitol, the only thing they heard during the extremely short session was Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) encouraging House Republican Leader Jim Durkin to go to the governor’s office and tell him to “lay down his arms and negotiate a budget.”
Instead of calling budget bills, Democratic leadership hosted a Committee of the Whole meeting where workers, business and executive directors testified about reforming workers comp. So, in connection to that, State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) took time to talk about workers comp reform in the House Republican jobs creation package.
Rep. Brady says lawmakers need to find common ground in causation in the workers compensation bill.
The Republican from Bloomington says it allows the employers to run businesses as they see fit.
The system would eliminate changing the system every five years and would create long-term longevity.
Rep. Brady calls the continuous session more of the same as leadership continues to hold committee of hte whole meetings.
Piatt County Fair results are in for the Junior and Open Shows from last week.
At DeWittDailyNews.com, visit the 2017 WHOW Fair Coverage icon for the latest results and be sure to tune in to WHOW and dewittdailynews.com for Fair coverage from the various county fairs throughout the summer.
Farmers are turning to an old technology this year to control weeds in their fields. Dicamba has been around for about half-a-century. It is a corn herbicide, but soybeans have been modified to tolerate it. This was done because so many weeds have modified themselves to resist being killed by glyphosate, commonly known as Round-Up. The primary problem, says University of Illinois Extension Weed Scientist Aaron Hager, is waterhemp…tape
This inconsistency makes the timing of dicamba applications extremely important. Without a doubt, says Hager, most post applied herbicides are going to do a better job of controlling a full suite of weeds in a field when the weeds are less than three to four inches in size…tape
It is possible for the weeds to recover, flower, and produce seed. And that, says Aaron Hager, is something to avoid.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday evening announced that it would halt imports of fresh Brazilian beef. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a statement said: “Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is one of our critical missions, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness,” in making the announcement. The suspension of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which USDA finds satisfactory. Since March, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been inspecting 100 percent of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil. FSIS has refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products. That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world. Brazil’s meat industry has been in turmoil this year since the investigation of a corruption scheme that allowed tainted meat to pass in-country inspections.
AS SUMMER STORMS POP UP, THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS REMINDING FAMILIES ABOUT LIGHTNING SAFETY.
MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM LIGHTNING STRIKES IN ILLINOIS OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS. AND THOSE THAT SURVIVE OFTEN SUFFER LONG TERM EFFECTS SUCH AS MEMORY LOSS AND CHRONIC PAIN. THAT’S WHY I-EMA SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT TO TAKE THE THREAT OF LIGHTNING SERIOUSLY.
ONCE YOU'RE INSIDE THOMPSON SAYS YOU SHOULD AVOID TAKING A SHOWER AND WASHING DISHES SINCE LIGHTING COULD HIT YOUR PIPES. YOU SHOULD STAY INSIDE FOR HALF AN HOUR AFTER YOU HEAR THE LAST RUMBLES OF THUNDER.
DATA SHOWS THAT THE MAJORITY OF LIGHTING FATALITIES AND INJURIES OCCUR DURING OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES SUCH AS GOLFING, SPORTING EVENTS AND SWIMMING.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS URGING FAMILIES TO WATCH OUT FOR RABID BATS AND ANIMALS.
MORE THAN A DOZEN BATS HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR RABIES SO FAR THIS YEAR IN ILLINOIS SAYS STATE PUBLIC HEALTH VETERINARIAN CONNIE AUSTIN.
SYMPTOMS CAN VARY.
AUSTIN ADVISES IF YOU HAVE BEEN BITTEN BY A BAT DO NOT KILL OR RELEASE IT UNTIL YOU’VE CONTACTED YOUR DOCTOR OR LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT. THEY CAN HELP DETERMINE IF YOU’VE BEEN EXPOSED TO RABIES. IF THE BAT IS AVAILABLE FOR TESTING AND THE RESULTS ARE NEGATIVE, PREVENTIVE TREATMENT IS NOT NECESSARY.
Bikers of all ages and skill levels will converge on DeWitt County this weekend for the annual Tour DeWitt Bike ride to benefit the Children's Advocacy Centers.
Steve Lobb and his wife Dana along with a host of entities and volunteers are once again readying for Tour DeWitt 2017 that takes place Saturday which will take dozens upon dozens of bikers across the beautiful landscape of DeWitt County.
The tour originates at the Clinton United Methodist Church and there are four levels of routes. Lobb says there is a basic and intermediate route, to Weldon Springs and the next near Syngenta and near Clinton Lake west side access area.
Then there is a couple more challenging routes. Lobb indicates one is about 40 miles that is a similar route to their intermediate routes and then a 62 mile route out to Farmer City.
According to Lobb, the ride benefits the Children's Advocacy Center is something that is close to Lobb. He explains he got involved with the agency about five years ago through a ride they did, and now hosts this event for an agency that is always in need of financial support.
Lobb thanks his wife for all her support in this effort. He also thanks the Clinton Police Department and DeWitt County Sheriff's Department along with clubs like Rotary, Kiwanis, and the Clinton and Farmer City Chamber Commerce offices.
The ride again is Saturday with registration starting at the Clinton United Methodist Church and rides opening as early as 6 am.
But first the Zoning Board of appeals must approve meteorological towers to determine the viability of a wind farm. Terry Ferguson (pictured right) updated the Board on a special landowners meeting at the DeWitt County Farm Bureau from earlier this week.
According to Ferguson, it was a good turnout for the session at the Farm Bureau office in Clinton. He explains it was timely as there is a renewed push for wind farms in DeWitt County.
Ferguson expressed concern about some language that would allow land owners signed up for the program who do not end up with a tower on their property but their land could be used as an avenue to a tower in another location.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will hear the requests for the meteorological towers on July 3 at 7 pm.
Alleged child abductions in Logan County this week have Lincoln authorities on high alert.
Reports to the Police Department indicate individuals in a red Chevrolet truck have been spotted in several parts of Logan County targeting children and according to social media claims, have made attempts at kidnapping.
Lincoln Police say no arrests have been made but they are taking the reports seriously and continue to investigate.
Police encourage anyone who sees anything out of the ordinary to contact the authorities.
Yesterday on Regional Radio News, we outlined the basics of the DeWitt County drug court as told by Dave Beery, probation officer in DeWitt County.
Beery, who spoke to the Clinton Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon, says it is a community program. He indicates it is important the community know what is happening within the drug court. He feels the program has come a long ways since its inception in 2010.
Being in the drug court is voluntary for the individuals and according to Beery, the individuals wave a lot of their rights, which means, they are subject to random tests at any time and being searched at any time.
Drug court starts with the individuals going to meetings, being tested and being in treatment. According to Beery, they start to pick up the community service they do with the end goal of getting a job.
According to Beery, a lot of those in drug court are in for felonies. He explains in the last year, positive tests for opioid tests have nearly doubled.
Beery says the access to resources for someone addicted to opioids is limited. He says they are working with a group in Logan County get them help.
He says one of the most disappointing parts of the program is when they get someone who continues to fail drug tests and doesn't show an interest in changing their life and they have to be dismissed from the program.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is gearing up for their first attempt at hosting a 5K run walk on the fourth of July.
The event will coincide with the Celebrate Clinton Association's Fourth of July celebration on the downtown square. Lauren Hutton, with Big Brothers Big Sisters indicates the registration gets underway bright and early at 6:45 am and pre-registration is open now.
The 4th of July 5K will take the place of the Barstool Classic, which Hutton indicates was starting to decline in attendance. She notes the 5K is also a way to get the youth in their organization involved.
Being a non-profit, Hutton explains fundraisers keep their doors open along with providing them money for the expenses the public may not sometimes realize cost money.
Habitat for Humanity had hosted the 5K on the square in the past and after they bowed out, Big Brothers Big Sisters stepped in to take it over.
Hutton also reminds participants, as a part of the Celebrate Clinton Association Fourth of July celebration, there will be a free breakfast available when the 5K is over.
Fore more information or to get registered, visit firecracker5k.kintera.org. If you pre-register, you will receive their 5K t-shirt at the race. There is still time to get registered, as totals for early registration will be put in early next week.
Less than a week after being on the scene of a politically motivated shooting in Virginia, Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis was visiting with central Illinois farmers Monday. NAFB Farm Broadcaster Jared White has more...
THERE WASN’T MUCH ACTION IN SPRINGFIELD FOR THE FIRST DAY OF THE SPECIAL SESSION.
THE HOUSE AND SENATE SPENT JUST A FEW MINUTES IN SPECIAL SESSION. REPUBLICANS ARE URGING HOUSE DEMOCRATS TO SUPPORT THEIR BUDGET PLAN AND END THE IMPASSE…BUT HOUSE SPEAKER MADIGAN SAYS HIS BUDGET TEAM IS ALSO PUTTING TOGETHER A PROPOSAL.
THE HOUSE WILL BE HOLDING TWO COMMITTEES OF THE WHOLE TO DISCUSS WORKER’S COMPENSATION REFORM AND A PROPERTY TAX FREEZE THIS WEEK.
No one had reason to expect Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker to praise Governor Bruce Rauner's speech at the Old State Capitol.
Rauner tried to set the tone for the ten day special session that gets underway today (Wednesday). Pritzker in particular questioned Rauner's call for bipartisanship.
Democratic contender Chris Kennedy offered a biting critique as well, saying "Governor Rauner promised a grand, unifying speech. Instead, all we got was a few minutes of empty remarks in an empty room".
Senator Andy Manar said “It’s as if Gov. Rip Van Winkle has awakened from a two-and-a-half-year nap to find the state he was supposed to manage is teetering on the brink of fiscal collapse."
Illinois’ US Senators are expressing their concerns about the state’s stalled efforts to land a budget and the impact on transportation.
Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are pressing Governor Bruce Rauner and the legislative leaders to reach a budget agreement in order to avoid what they call an unnecessary transportation shut down that could cost tens of thousands of jobs across the state.
Without a state budget, Illinois transportation officials will no longer have the authority to spend federal dollars.
700 construction projects around the state, worth an estimated 2.3 billion dollars, would have to be shut down.
The Senators say stopping work on the road and transportation projects would trigger the loss of an estimated 25,000 jobs.
If you were looking for fireworks or House of Cards level drama, you didn’t find it in the Illinois General Assembly on day one of the special session.
The Illinois House spent less than 20 minutes in session before moving to committees and private caucuses. The Senate was in session for about half of that time. Democrats decided that state representatives will meet in Committee of the Whole meetings. If there's one person who has no interest in such meetings, it's House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.
With lawmakers tied up in the committee of the whole meetings, a potential budget deal likely won't happen until next week.
The DeWitt County drug court is a program local law enforcement officials and those in the court system vouch for and say is a very good program.
DeWitt County probation officer Dave Beery addressed the Clinton Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon. He explains the drug court in DeWitt County is a pretty typical drug court.
Beery explains the way they work with the people in the drug court conflicts with how the court system works. He indicates it is an interesting balance in working with the individuals as the end goal is to change their lifestyle.
The court has continuous interaction with the individuals and are monitored very closely. Beery says it is a team effort to get individuals out of addiction.
With the heroin epidemic that is plaguing the nation and local communities, the drug court has never been more important.
Tomorrow on Regional Radio News, we'll outline the successes of the drug court and why it is effective.
Your boat's registration could be up come the end of the month and you won't be reminded by the State of Illinois if it is.
That is why DNR Conservation Police Officer John Williamson recently took the opportunity to remind boaters, the registration period expires at the end of the month, so get out and make sure everything on your boat is in order.
Because the state does not send out reminders any longer, DNR officials will be lenient to boaters for a short time. Williamson reminds boaters you can get those registrations renewed wherever you can get a registration application.
For new boat owners, the online application process does not work. Williamson explains however, the registration for the boat stays with the boat, regardless of it changes hands.
Williamson notes, there is a very specific sequence to the registration sticker and the displaying of the registration. He emphasizes the instructions for that are on the registration itself letter and how to display it on the boat.
Lawmakers are back at work today at the order of Gov. Bruce Rauner. Last night at the Old State Capitol, he urged lawmakers to end what he called the "unnecessary" budget crisis.
In an address that lasted just over three minutes,Rauner said failure to act could cause "permanent damage." to the state. Democrat lawmakers and gubernatorial candidates dismissed Rauner's speech as campaigning.
STATE AGENCIES ARE SAVING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THROUGH AN ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM.
SEVERAL AGENCIES ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE “FREE LIGHTS” PROGRAM, INSTALLING MORE EFFICIENT BULBS AND LIGHTING UPGRADES IN STATE-OWNED FACILITIES. THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY’S MOLLY LUNN SAYS IT’S A WIN-WIN SITUATION.
SEVERAL STATE-OWNED FACILITIES HAVE BEEN UPGRADING LIGHTING SYSTEMS AS PART OF THE “FREE LIGHTS” PROGRAM.
IT’S ESTIMATED THE PROGRAM WILL SAVE THE STATE ABOUT 16 MILLION DOLLARS IN REDUCED ENERGY COSTS OVER THE LIFE OF THE PRODUCTS.
A single vehicle rollover accident on US Highway 51 left four occupants seriously injured and DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner indicates one victim has been airlifted from after a wreck on US Highway 51 southbound north of Clinton late Tuesday afternoon.
A DeWitt County Sheriff’s Deputy was on scene to provide immediate assistance and the accident forced the closure of portions of the southbound lanes on Highway 51 as traffic was rerouted on Business 51.
The DeWitt County Sheriff’s office has turned the investigation over the State Police.
No other details were available at the time of this story.
If you, someone you love or someone close to you struggles with low vision and you need answers, you'll want to stop by the DeWitt County Friendship Center this Wednesday.
Kim Tarkowski with Life Center for Independent Living indicates the event, a low vision fair, takes place at the DeWitt County Friendship Center and it will highlight the resources available to those who struggle with low vision.
While they can be somewhat daunting and intimidating, Tarkowski explains technology, specifically the smart phone, can be a tremendous resource for someone who battles low vision. She says they will have folks talking about those resources available.
According to Tarkowski, low vision is when a person's optemetrist can no longer improve your vision.
The low vision fair runs from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm at the DeWitt County Friendship Center. Tarkowski says this if the first time they have done a low vision fair in DeWitt County, though they do provide services to the Friendship Center for their low vision support group.
To get more information about the low vision or the low vision support group, contact the DeWitt County Friendship Center at 217-935-9411.
Two of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce's fundraisers are taking place in the upcoming week.
Executive Director Marian Brisard indicates that the annual golf outing will take place on June 27 at the Clinton Country Club. Registration for the outing has ended but there is still time to take part in the Chamber's gun raffle. Brisard says the Golf Outing is a very enjoyable fundraiser for all.
Brisard says there are many prizes for golfers to win along with promotional items given away at the outing. Several local businesses also donated cash prizes to the golf outing.
There are also many different games that will test player's skills during the outing. The winner of the Chamber's gun raffle will be drawn during the golf outing.
Tickets for the gun raffle will be sold up until June 27. The winner does not need to be present at the golf outing. Tune in to WHOW on June 27 for a live broadcast from the Clinton Chamber of Commerce's golf outing. Live coverage is set to begin at 1pm.
Unless lawmakers and Governor Rauner hammer out a budget agreement, it will take a drive out of state to buy tickets for those massive multi-state lottery jackpots in the Mega Millions and Powerball games.
Bill Fleischli with The Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and the Illinois Association of Convenience Stores is hopeful a budget deal can be struck by month's end.
The state reported nearly $100 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales last budget year. It's not clear how much revenue the state gets from multi-state lottery sales.
The Clinton Rotary Club presented the Clinton City Council with their annual $3000 check for their contribution to the improvements made at Rotary Park on Quincy Street in Clinton.
President of the Club, John Hoblit made the presentation Monday night.
Picture Right: City Treasurer Clint Lichtenwalter (Left) and Rotary President John Hoblit (Right)
City Administrator Tim Followell explains, thanks to the Rotary Clubs efforts, the playground equipment has been upgraded with rubber chips in the playground. He adds the pickle-ball court has been hugely popular.
The Rotary Club borrowed funds from the City of Clinton to make renovations to the park happen with the intent to pay them back.
City Officials are praising another successful concert on the square from this past Saturday evening when up and coming performer, Sundance Head, took the stage.
The performance by Head beat the rain showers of Saturday night in plenty of time for several hundred to enjoy music, food and drinks on the Mr. Lincoln Square. Mayor Roger Cyrulik was one in particular who enjoyed the show.
Sundance Head was headlined by the Illinois Central Conductors.
The next concert rolls around July 29 when Snapper's Bar and Grill hosts Brushville on Mr. Lincoln Square.
The customers of First National Bank and the community has heard about the changes at the Clinton bank, but Monday afternoon, the institution welcomed all out for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
First National Bank recently was purchased the T.S. Banking Group of Iowa and their CEO, Josh Guttau has been impressed with the bank staff and their attitude through the merger.
According to Bank President, Josh Shofner, the Bank rolled a plethora of changes last week but the ribbon cutting Monday was a chance to get the community in to potential learn more about what is happening.
Shofner explains with their new holding company, they are able to maintain their charter but have access to resources that will allow them to offer more to their customers.
In his remarks at the ribbon cutting, Guttau made mention of The Vault project happening in downtown Clinton. First National Bank recently made a $25-thousand donation to The Vault project and Guttau says he hopes that partnership can continue.
The Miller Media Group today named its first-ever General Sales Manager for both its Taylorville and Clinton, IL clusters.
Chris Bullock brings nearly 30 years of radio on-air, sales and management experience to the Miller Media Group stations. He most recently was with the Cromwell Group in Decatur as their general manager, and spent some 27 years with that company.
Chris will be managing sales in both clusters, plus will take over the account list of retiring account manager Judi Humphrey.
The vacation season is in full swing and the Clinton Police Department reminds area residents they offer a free program to keep a close watch over your home while you may be away from home.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says if you provide them with your address and some other basic information, they will keep watch over your home while you enjoy time away from home.
To ensure your home doesn't become the target of someone who might intend to break into your home, the Chief says doing simple things like having someone pick up your mail or having your mail stopped through the post office is a simple way to eliminate the potential of such an occurrence.
While posting memories on social media is a lot of the fun of taking a vacation, the Chief reminds those away that those posts can be accessed by anyone and can be a giveaway of your absence from your home.
To contact the Department about their home watch program, contact them at 217-935-9441.
With students out of school for summer break, now is the time for maintenance and other projects to be completed in school districts.
Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle, superintendent of Warrensburg-Latham schools, indicates that the maintenance crew will be busy this summer replacing lockers in the elementary school, replacing windows for energy efficiency, and other minor renovations in the other schools.
Dr. Weikle says they will also be installing a new lightning tower. The tower will light up when lightning in within a certain mileage alerting everyone about the presence of lightning.
Funding for the various summer projects come from the facility sales tax. Dr. Weikle indicates that the money from the facility sales tax cannot be put towards the education or instruction of students. She says due to this restriction they put it towards maintaining the school campuses.
Teachers and administrators spend the majority of the summer preparing classrooms and buildings and working on professional development and activities.
With warmer weather comes an increase in pedestrian traffic.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers advises drivers to keep their doors locked and valuables out of sight. Chief Lowers indicates there have been three reported cases of vehicle theft within the past few weeks.
Chief Lowers stresses that drivers need to remove their keys from the vehicle and lock their doors to help prevent car burglaries.
Governor Rauner in the past has said he sees little value in calling special sessions for lawmakers but now he’s changed his mind. The Governor will have the legislature back in Springfield starting next week. Rauner will have them reconvene on June 21. He’s now standing behind a package of Republican budget and reform bills.
Republicans have filed a number of bills for consideration but they did not put their weight behind a tax increase or revenue bill to balance the budget they want passed. Instead they are relying on the Democrat sponsored tax bill to stand alone.
The state’s unemployment numbers are falling but the Department of Employment Security isn’t willing celebrate. Illinois’ jobless rate is four point six percent, but IDES’s Bob Gough says we are lacking in total job
Nationwide unemployment is four point three percent.
Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos not impressed with President Trump’s $1-trillion infrastructure plan. She’s looking for specific details, but says the public-private partnership, which the plan calls for, will be tough for rural areas to accomplish.
Bustos, a member of the House Ag Committee, remains critical of President Trump’s budget plan, which calls for closing the Peoria Ag Research Lab. Bustos says she is satisfied with President Trump’s choice for U.S. Ag Secretary—calling Sonny Perdue “a good man.”
THE ILLINOIS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPPED SLIGHTLY LAST MONTH…BUT JOB GROWTH REMAINS BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.
THE STATE JOBLESS RATE FOR MAY CAME IN AT FOUR POINT SIX PERCENT…DOWN FROM FOUR POINT SEVEN IN APRIL. 24-HUNDRED JOBS WERE GAINED LAST MONTH SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON BOB GOUGH (goff).
THE BIGGEST JOB GAINS LAST MONTH WERE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY AND THE EDUCATIONAL AND HEALTH SERVICES SECTOR. LOSSES WERE SEEN IN TRADE, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILITIES AS WELL AS GOVERNMENT.
THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR MAY WAS FOUR POINT THREE PERCENT.
Texas native Sundance Head will be the opener of a string of concerts on the downtown Clinton Square Saturday night and his journey from the radio stations of Texas to the big time of The Voice, Head says it was all about something clicking for him.
Head tried out for American Idol almost a decade ago and decided he wanted to get better and become a performer for a living.
Touring Texas and growing in popularity across the state gave Head and his band the motivation to pursue something bigger. He explains they worked hard to get to where they were and wanted something more.
Unsure how to grow their brand, Head explains going on The Voice was something he felt he could realistically do.
Head says he's excited to bring his unique brand to Clinton Saturday. He hopes to get people fired and up put on a good show.
Hear Sundance Head Saturday night on the downtown Clinton Square and opening act Illinois Central Conductors.
A budget proposed by Illinois Republicans in the General Assembly Wednesday will bring significant cuts and changes to the Illinois budget.
That is the message from State Senator Chapin Rose who applauds the bills that are being endorsed by Governor Bruce Rauner. He says it brings a little bit of everything from each side of the isle.
Sen. Rose anticipates the Governor getting behind the bill Thursday. He says initially there was agitative feelings about the proposal but notes as the day went on, more Democrats began to get behind the proposal.
Governor Rauner called lawmakers back to Springfield next week for a special session. Rose issued a statement late Thursday saying quote - "I completely support the decision to go back to Springfield and when we do the House Democrats need to step up to the plate – everyone else has!”
Sundance Head's much anticipated performance in Clinton Saturday is expected to bring a big crowd to the downtown area of the Clinton square and local authorities recently took time to refresh the public about how things will work with the performance.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says the performers should arrive in Clinton Saturday morning and begin setting up. He says with their arrival will come with a shut down of a portion of the square.
Alcohol will be available on the square for this year's performances and Chief Lowers explains there will be designated areas for alcohol consumption and wristbands will once again be issued to those of age.
Chief Lowers reminds residents to leave the pets at home for the concerts. He says last year's concerts were well attended and the crowds were excellent. He's hoping for more of the same this year.
The Chief also notes, the square will re-open a few hours after the performance wraps up Saturday night.
One day after House and Senate Republicans unveiled a compromise balanced budget plan to end the budget impasse, Governor Bruce Rauner today called lawmakers back to Springfield for a 10-day special session from Wednesday, June 21st through the June 30th fiscal year deadline.
State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) said he is hopeful we get a “real” balanced budget and get the state back on track.
If no action is taken by the General Assembly to pass the compromise balanced budget plan by June 30th, the ramifications for our state will be devastating and long-lasting.
In order to find a resolution, Governor Rauner issued 10 proclamations calling for special sessions every day starting Wednesday, June 21 at Noon. The proclamations direct the General Assembly to consider legislation that will reach a balanced budget with changes to our broken system, including property tax relief, job creation, term limits and spending caps.
Should the General Assembly enact the compromise balanced budget plan prior to June 30th, the Governor will cancel any remaining special session days..
Sundance Head has burst on the national music scene with his unique sound and fun personality.
Head says he grew up around music and found a liking for all kinds of genres that formed his musical taste today.
Before he stops in Clinton Saturday, Head will be at the Grand Old Opry in Nashville. He says he'll be among some big time performers there and explains he always takes that time to take in everything they have to say.
Head's father was a performer but Sundance's story takes a while for him to gain momentum. He says he wanted to pave his own path rather than use the connections his father had from his performing days.
Sundance takes the Mr. Lincoln Square Stage Saturday evening. The Illinois Central Conductors take the stage to open for Head Saturday.
Weldon Springs State Park will offer a Kids’ Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 17, 2017 to celebrate Free Fishing Days. This year’s event is sponsored by The Weldon Springs Foundation, Inc. and Boy Scout Troop 142. Registration will begin at 8:30 AM at the concession area. The derby will run from 9 AM to 11 AM. Trophies will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places for number of fish caught from the bank in three age divisions: 6 and under, 7-8-9, and 10-11-12. There is no registration fee. No experience is needed and volunteers will be on hand to assist participants. In the case of heavy rain or lightning, the event will be cancelled.
Free Fishing Days is an opportunity for those who want to give fishing a try, or those who haven’t fished for awhile, to experience the fun of one of our most popular forms of outdoor recreation. Illinois and non-resident anglers can fish without purchasing annual fishing licenses, salmon stamps or inland trout stamps during the four-day Free Fishing Days promotion June 16-19, 2017.
For more information please call the Weldon Springs park office at 217-935-2644.
For Congressman Rodney Davis, making it home after a morning "at bat" was a matter of life and death. He escaped injury in Alexandria, Virginia where police say a Belleville man targeted a practice for the Republican Congressional baseball team, firing dozens of shots, wounding five, including Congressman Steve Scalise.
Davis ran to the safety of a dugout then a nearby apartment. Davis credits Capitol Police with saving the day and he has no words of forgiveness for suspected gunman James Hodgkinson of Belleville, who was later pronounced dead.
An emotional Davis thought the worst when a bullet struck the hip of Congressman Scalise.
He repeatedly called for an end to political hatefulness and he says rhetoric needs to change on all sides. . Davis is happy that this week's Congressional baseball game will go on as scheduled.
REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS ARE OFFERING A BUDGET AND REFORM PLAN THEY SAY WILL BREAK THE IMPASSE.
THE PROPOSAL INCLUDES A FOUR YEAR PROPERTY TAX FREEZE, FUNDING FOR SOCIAL SERVICES, PENSION AND WORKER’S COMPENSATION REFORM AND MORE. HOUSE MINORITY LEADER JIM DURKIN SAYS THEY AIMED TO INCLUDE COMPONENTS THAT EVERYONE CAN BACK.
ADDITIONALLY…IT WOULD PROVIDE FULL YEAR FUNDING FOR SOCIAL SERVICES SAYS REPRESENTATIVE PATTI BELLOCK OF WESTMONT.
THE G-O-P PLAN ALSO ADDRESSES SCHOOL FUNDING REFORM AND PLACES A CAP ON STATE SPENDING FOR FOUR YEARS.
Perhaps no other Congressman is more familiar with the suspected shooter in today's incident at the GOP Congressional baseball practice in Northern Virginia than the man who represents the Belleville area, Republican Mike Bost of Murphysboro says all indications showed James Hodgkinson had politics in mind before opening fire on members of Congress.
Congressman Bost is concerned about the tone in Washington.....
Bost said his office has received 10 calls from Hodgkinson in the past year. Bost says none of the contact from the suspect led him to believe he was dangerous or threatening.
Despite some tough decisions almost a year ago, things are steadily getting better at the DeWitt County Human Resource Center.
That is the message from Stephanie Coonce at the DeWitt County Human Resource Center. She explained to the Clinton Rotary Club Tuesday afternoon, despite the loss of services, some things are returning to the community from other places.
Coonce emphasizes all their clients at HRC are adults. Everyone is over the age of 18 and says it does offend some of them when they get referred to as "kids".
Coonce hopes the public will consider what they are donating. She explains they are hoping for items that can be put out on their sales floor and not just thrown away once they receive it.
Coonce notes the unemployment rate for someone with a disability is 70-percent because someone with a disability is often dismissed, but she points out their clients are learning new skills each day and says great things can happen if you give someone a chance.
The Vault is having a dinner and auction fundraiser this Saturday the 17th to add to their renovation funds.
There will be both silent and live auctions with items donated by members and businesses in the community such as Disney passes, YMCA Memberships and wedding cakes. According to Michelle Witzke, the silent auction will go on through the dinner with breaks through the live auction for you to check on your bids.
Ginny Carter adds that there are many ways to get tickets for the event. They would prefer if you got your tickets ahead of time, but will not turn you away if you show up the night of the event.
The event will be at the Wapella Community Center on 301 North Poplar Street in Wapella this Saturday. The dinner will begin at 5pm and the live auction at 6pm.
To find out more information or to purchase tickets, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit The Vault's facebook page or give them a call at (309) 212-7332.
The purpose of your local public library is to meet the needs of your community.
In a world where more and more things occur online or are electronically based, the Barclay Library in Warrensburg has stepped up its game and according to Director, Lacey Wright, they are offering more and more digital services.
Programs and classes for both children and adults are big at the library right now. They've had classes on painting and cheese making, have had authors come to the library to speak and have recently started a senior lunch program.
Another service they offer is the fun, free, family friendly Barclay Backyard Theater the third Fridays in June, July and August.
To learn more about events at the Barclay Public Library you can visit their website, www.barclay.lib.il.us, or give them a call at (217) 672-3621.
Senator Dick Durbin grilled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on proposed cuts to the international affairs budget, namely humanitarian and development assistance.
Durbin argued that the proposed cuts would make the world less safe and undermine U.S. global leadership on refugees, global education, emergency food aid, and the fight against poverty. Durbin noted more than 20 million people face famine and starvation in Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Somalia. Meanwhile, a record-breaking 65 million people – including 11 million Syrians – are displaced.
With many students deciding not to buy school lunch, one local school district is looking into changing their cafeteria service.
Susan Wilson, superintendent of Blue Ridge schools, says that the participation in the Blue Ridge lunch program has decreased in recent years. Wilson indicates that she and the food service director performed an extensive evaluation of the school lunch program.
The Blue Ridge school district for years have operated their own cafeteria program. The misnomer of school lunches did not apply to the Blue Ridge school lunches. Due to federal regulations, the cafeteria program had to start to incorporate already prepared food service.
Wilson hopes they can increase school lunch participation while also staying in step with the federal guidelines.
Agricultural groups reacting favorably to President Trump’s massive infrastructure plan. He made the announcement last week in Cincinnati with the executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition—Mike Steenhoek—in attendance.
And Steenhoek says the President made key three points very important to his group.
Trump has indicated he wants to accomplish the $1-trillion plan to repair aging levees, dams, locks and ports through public-private partnerships. The Soy Transportation Coalition includes representation from thirteen state soybean boards, including Illinois.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS OFFERING SOME TIPS FOR AVOID TICK BITES THIS SUMMER.
TICKS ARE MOST COMMONLY FOUND IN GRASSES AND SHRUBS, WAITING TO CLIMB ABOARD A PERSON OR ANIMAL WALKING BY. YOUR BEST DEFENSE IS TO WEAR LONG SLEEVES AND PANTS AS WELL AS INSECT REPELLANT SAYS PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON MELANEY ARNOLD.
ARNOLD SAYS YOU CAN ALSO SPRAY YOUR CLOTHES WITH PRODUCTS CONTAINING PERMETHRIN. IF YOU DO FIND ONE…SHE HAS THIS ADVICE:
TICKS ARE MOST COMMONLY FOUND IN GRASSES AND SHRUBS. THEY CRAWL…AND CANNOT FLY OR JUMP.
Lightning bugs are a sure sign of summer, but they also serve as an important indicator for farmers. If you see them, it’s time to scout your fields says Kelly Estes with the Illinois Natural History Survey.
Even though populations have been low the past couple of years, Estes says corn rootworm still remains one of the top corn pests in Illinois.
Estes says she’s also been receiving scattered reports around the state of army worm in both wheat and corn.
Monday morning on Regional Radio News, State Representative Bill Mitchell admitted he has received phone calls about the situation and says it is hindering the quality of life for residents in the area but notes, he has not been updated on the situation in over a week.
Rep. Mitchell says his role as representative is to work with the legislative branch to solve problems like this. He indicates while he doesn't have direct authority to fix the problem, he can work with the EPA to get things going.
Rep. Mitchell indicates citizen complaints can also be directed towards him and he will relay those to the Illinois EPA.
Locally, the EMA office continues to be a point of reference for residents to call as well and they too, relay those messages to the Illinois EPA.
The warmest prolonged stretch of weather is here in Illinois and local officials are encouraging everyone to seek shelter somewhere cool.
With highs consistently in the 90s this week and lows in the 70s, keeping cool will be the challenge for residents this week. Teresa Barnett, EMA Director for DeWitt County says traditionally, they do not open cooling centers until the temperature reaches 105, which causes the National Weather Service to issue heat advisories or warnings.
She says, despite the temperatures not getting that warm, heat related sickness can still occur from strenuous activity.
She says stay hydrated and reminds residents this is no weather for pets either, encouraging owners to keep their animals inside in a cool place.
Thunderstorms are in the forecast for portions of the week, with a cool down expected on Father's Day, when highs are expected near 80-degrees.
Clinton High School graduate Landon Wargel has been named a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provost scholar.
SIU-E says his academic achievements, leadership skills, professional experience, extra-curricular involvement, and volunteer activities stood out.
Wargel plans to study civil engineering with the competitive full-tuition scholarship he will receive along with 140 other incoming 2017 freshmen.
He's highly active in competitive bass fishing and 4-H shooting sports. He was also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for two years and held leadership positions on the CCHS golf, track and field and basketball teams.
Wargel's parents are Thomas and Claudine Wargel. His grandparents are Charlie and Mary Beth Wargel and Kendall and Charlot Cole.
Little Free Libraries have swept the nation within the past few years with their quaint looks and their "take a book, return a book" mission.
According to Lacey Wright, the Barclay Library in Warrensburg has several registered Little Free Libraries out in Latham, Harristown and Warresnburg so that people out in the community can feel connected to the library.
These Little Free Libraries are a great and fun way to share reading materials and other forms of media entertainment with the community adds Wright.
Originally, they had problems with leaking, but other than that there have been no problems with vandalism and Wright believes that's because people still have a lot of respect for book lending institutions
To find a Little Free Library near you check out their website at littlefreelibrary.org.
With the amount of information and accounts available online, it is important to be safeguarding your information online.
Jack Myers with Social Security advises anyone conducting online business with Social Security to make sure they are visiting the correct website.
Myers indicates there are many basic ways to keep your information safe online. He says to use strong passwords and be sure not to use the same password for every account.
A security factor known as multifactor authentication is coming soon to mySocialSecurity. Myers reports that a multifactor authentication is the use of a username and password as well as a code from a text message or email.
Myers also advises people to read about scam alerts and review your credit reports to make sure there isn't any activity you don't recognize.
Identifying corn diseases and pursuing the best management plan available just got easier, faster and more cost effective due to new testing protocols announced by the National Agricultural Genotyping Center located in Fargo, North Dakota. Founded as a non-profit initiative by the National Corn Growers Association and Los Alamos National Laboratory, the center will provide research and testing services to both public and private researchers.
Larry Hoffman National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Productivity & Quality Action Team Chairman, explains the benefits the center offers farmers…
He says the testing is cheaper and faster than current options available to farmers when testing for diseases…
He the center says will research different issues in agriculture in the future…
HOUSE DEMOCRATS LAST WEEK STARTED A SERIES OF HEARINGS ON THE ILLINOIS STATE BUDGET.
FIRST UP ARE THOSE AFFECTED BY LACK OF FUNDING TO HUMAN SERVICE PROVIDERS, INCLUDING CARE FOR THE DISABLED. REPRESENTATIVE GREG HARRIS OF CHICAGO SAYS THEY NEED TO HEAR THESE STORIES AND QUICKLY REACH A BUDGET DEAL.
BUT REPUBLICANS, LIKE REPRESENTATIVE PATTI BELLOCK OF WESTMONT SAYS THEIR TIME WOULD BE BETTER SPENT ON NEGOTIATING A BUDGET.
DEMOCRATS SAY IT’S IMPORTANT TO HIGHLIGHT HOW ILLINOISANS ARE IMPACTED BY THE BUDGET STALEMATE. MORE HEARINGS ARE SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEK.
Law enforcement urging caution when dealing with door to door home repair contractors. In a recent incident in Madison County, an elderly woman was approached by two men claiming they were there to do repair work authorized by a family member. Scammers will commonly use the scheme in which they say they need entry to the house for one reason or another. While one is talking to the victim, the other disappears and begins stealing items from the home. Madison County Sheriff's Department Captain Mike Dixon says this is becoming a more common scheme.
Police recommend never letting anyone into your home you are not expecting ahead of time, and to report any suspicious visits to proper authorities.
Even though the Illinois General Assembly resoundingly supported legislation that would kill traditional home phone service in Illinois, the Citizen's Utility Board is hoping to convince Governor Bruce Rauner to veto the bill. The deregulation bill would allow AT&T to stop offering traditional landline service once the FCC gives final approval. Jim Chilsen of the Citizens Utility Board says he is hopeful the Governor will step in.
The legislation would also allow AT&T to eliminate the low-cost "Consumer Choice" local calling plans. Chilsen says this legislation does nothing to mandate AT&T make telecom-related improvements.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is advancing the expansion of broadband service to all of rural America. Pai says people often don’t think of agriculture and broadband service in the same sentence, but from his experience on farms, broadband is an integral part of agriculture…
Pai is wanting not only to make rural broadband available to everyone, but also affordable by working to have universal service fees be used for broadband service like it has been used in the past for land line phone service. Pai is currently visiting radio and tv station across the northern plains.
As the weather warms up, more ticks are starting to appear. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah reminds residents about the importance of taking precautions against tick bites and the diseases they carry.
Many tickborne diseases have similar symptoms. The most common symptoms of tick-related illnesses can include fever, chills, aches and pains, and rash. Within two weeks following a tick bite, if you experience a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye or a rash anywhere on your body, or an unexplained illness accompanied by fever, contact your doctor. Early recognition and treatment of the infection decreases the risk of serious complications. Tell your health care provider the geographic area in which you were bitten to help identify the disease based on ticks in that region.
Ticks are commonly found on the tips of grasses and shrubs. Ticks crawl...they cannot fly or jump. Some ticks will attach quickly and others will wander, looking for places like the ear, or other areas where the skin is thinner.
Simple tips to avoid ticks bites include:
• Wear light-colored, protective clothing—long-sleeved shirts, pants, boots or sturdy shoes, and a head covering. Treat clothing with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin.
• Apply insect repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET on exposed skin for protection that lasts several hours.
• Walk in the center of trails so grass, shrubs, and weeds do not brush against you.
• Check yourself, children, other family members, and pets for ticks every two to three hours.
• Remove any tick promptly by grasping it with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible and gently, but firmly, pulling it straight out. Wash your hands and the tick bite site with soap and water.
There are several events lined up for your enjoyment at the Warner Public Library this summer.
One of these events, according to Janet Ward, is a hobby beading workshop lead by community member Megan Holt on June 29th from 6pm to 7pm at the library.
There are also several reading clubs happening this summer at the library including Heroes vs Villains. There will be weekly prize winners and the opportunity to vote for your favorite hero or villain from literature to advance in the brackets.
Though the summer reading clubs have already begun, registration goes through until the end of the summer.
For more information on events or the summer reading programs you can go to www.vwarner.org, give them a call at (217) 935-5174 or head on out to the library. They love to see your face.
The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation has named Emma O’Donoghue of Lincoln as the 2017 Healthcare Career Scholarship recipient. Ms. O’Donoghue will receive a total of $20,000 over four years to help pursue her healthcare education. The scholarship includes an agreement to work her first job upon graduation at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital (ALMH) in Lincoln. Ms.. O’Donoghue was selected for the scholarship after a rigorous application process that included three rounds of interviews with members of the ALMH leadership team and foundation directors.
O’Donoghue is the first scholarship recipient who attended the Teens Experience Nursing camp that began at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in 2016. She is a 2017 graduate of Lincoln Community High School and plans to attend Illinois State University to earn a bachelors of science in nursing.
If you'd like to learn how to long jump or throw shot put, the Clinton High School Girls Track and Field Team will be holding a mini clinic and competition in those two events this Monday the 12th.
Participants will also be able to compete in some running events as well. On the track there will be toddler relays, mini hurdles and a 20 meter dash. For older kids and adults there will be a 4 by 100, a mile run and a 400 dash.
There is also a 60 meter dash for those 50 years and over.
The event fee is by donation.
For more information about the event go to the Clinton Girls Track and Field facebook page.
A surprising source of a comprehensive baby name list is the Social Security website.
When applying for a social security card for their new born, the parents must give a name. Social Security compiles that information and makes it available to the public through their website.
According to Jack Myers, for the fourth year in a row "Noah" is the most popular name for boys across the country and "Emma" has topped the list for girl names for the third year running.
Pop culture will always have a big impact on baby name trends, adds Myers. For instance, the name Kylo for boys tore through the list this past year due to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you're expecting a child, this is a great and free source to utilize.
A monthly survey on farmers thoughts regarding the farm economy held steady last month.
The latest reading of the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which is based on a monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers from across the country, was 130. The producer sentiment index has hovered near 130 for five of the last six months and remains considerably stronger than both last fall and a year ago. A reading above 100 reflects positive sentiment, while a reading below 100 reflects negative sentiment.
Producers' forward-looking expectations, as measured by the Index of Future Expectations, improved modestly to 136. This was the second month in a row that the index increased. Meanwhile, the Index of Current Conditions fell to 117, a 10-point decline from its April reading.
The latest survey also asked farmers about the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Results show 61 percent of respondents thought the outcome of a renegotiated NAFTA agreement would be beneficial for U.S. farmers.
If you've been looking for a way to get rid of that old TV or computer, then the City of Clinton has a solution for you the next two days.
Midwest Computer Recycling, of Lake Bluff, is accepting old electronics for recycling at the Clinton High School parking lot today (FRI) and Saturday. Clinton City Administrator, Tim Followell, indicates the company approached the city to host a recycling event. He says the timing was right...
Only electronics will be accepted for recycling. Followell says most items are free. The only exception is a 10-dollar cash fee for any size of television.
Since 2012, it's been against the law to dispose of electronics in landfills in the state of Illinois.
The electronic recycling dropoff will run from 9am to 3pm both Friday and Saturday. Again, it's located in the Clinton High School parking lot.
With summer right around the corner, expect to see road maintenance crews and orange traffic cones out this summer.
Public Works Director Steve Lobb indicates the summer maintenance program consists mainly of repairing roads and applying an oil and chip coat. Lobb says they hope to have the oil and chip process completed during the months of July and August.
One project this summer will be working on the intersection of Hillcrest and Jericho. The gutter system has sunk and the sidewalks attached are in a state of disarray. Lobb indicates that the work to be completed will hopefully decrease the flooding in the area.
Lobb indicates there will be inconvenience to residents of the area due to the pouring of new concrete. Residents will not be allowed to park in driveways for an extended amount of time. Road closures will be expected to affect the general public.
The Hillcrest project is estimated to be approximately $175,000 to $200,000.
A local government entity is here to help those in DeWitt and Macon counties who have been laid off or would like to make a career change.
Larry Peterson, Special Projects Consultant at Workforce Investment Solutions encourages those who have been laid off, are looking to make a career change or to advance in their field to take advantage of their services.
Peterson adds that, since they are government funded, they want to make sure that the jobs they help you train for are sustainable. The "hot industries" are logistics, truck driving and manufacturing among others.
There will be two information meetings next week on Monday, June 12th at 10am or Tuesday the 13th at 2pm. If you are interested in receiving training in manufacturing, logistics or truck driving, you must attend one of these meetings.
For more information, contact Larry Peterson at (217) 820-0577.
Governor Bruce Rauner says lawmakers may be returning to Springfield sooner, rather than later and not by choice as the state's budget disaster rolls on.....
Despite the threat, Rauner says there is some work going on in the General Assembly toward a budget deal...
Despite his claims the school finance restructuring bill is a bailout for Chicago schools, Rauner told a reporter in Peoria when it comes to a possible delayed start to the school year because of the budget impasse "we won't let that happen".
Former Illinois Farm Bureau president Ron Warfield is reflecting on his ten year run holding a key ag leadership post. Ron Warfield of Gibson City served in the position from 1993 to 2003.
Warfield says one of the things he’s most proud is helping launch an Illinois Ag Roundtable—featuring a number of key players in the industry working for a common cause.
The Ford County native says the ag roundtable was key in winning support from former Illinois Senator Carol Mosely-Braun in passing the 1996 Farm Bill. She was the 60th vote needed for passage of the legislation.
The intersection of Business 51 and Van Buren streets in Clinton is undergoing a change this week.
Demolition began this week to clear property for the future site of a new Mach One gas station. Included in the demolition has been The Shack restaurant, the former Lighthouse Thrift Store, and several homes. Clinton City Administrator, Tim Followell, expects demo and cleanup to move quickly.
Even though the demolition process is moving quickly, don't expect any construction to begin on the site in the near future. According to Followell, the company building the new gas station has not yet appeared before the City Planning Commission.
Despite the lack of finalized blueprints being filed with the city, Followell has been in contact with the developers. He says that in addition to a gas station, the site is expected to include a car wash and an undetermined attached business.
Developers hope to have the new Mach One facility open in Clinton by the end of the year.
Summer road maintenance in the city of Clinton is right around the corner.
Public Works Director, Steve Lobb, says that the funding for road maintenance mostly comes from motor fuel tax dollars that is distributed state wide.
Lobb adds that as funding decreases year to year, the cost of maintenance continues to rise.
The $100,000 of motor fuel tax money is still intact and there is $200,000 allocated for this summer's maintenance projects; however, Lobb says that they're just playing catch up and that there are a finite amount of dollars and an infinite amount of work to be done
To learn more about these projects you can call Lobb's office at (217) 935-5480 or contact City Hall at (217) 935-9438.
Tomorrow on Regional Radio, we'll tell you about the upcoming summer projects.
Two cars restored by a local high school automobile program are going to be put up for auction.
Robert Bagby, superintendent of Lincoln schools, indicates the cars were donated locally to the automotive department and will be up for silent bid this week with a two thousand dollar minimum bid. The cars up for auction are a 1985 Mercedes Benz and a Ford Fusion.
Bagby indicates the cars are clean cars and the Ford Fusion contains a new engine that was donated to the Lincoln Tech program.
For more information or to place bids, contact Robert Bagby at (217) 732-4131 ext 1297. All proceeds go to the Lincoln Tech program.
A local representative thinks a new push for an Illinois Constitutional Convention is a bad idea.
With a desire to start a serious discussion about the many large issues facing the State of Illinois, State Representative Tim Butler of Springfield has introduced a House Joint Resolution which would allow the question of calling a state Constitutional Convention to be on the 2018 Illinois General Election ballot.
Butler says the state has now gone over 700 days without a real budget and he pointed to the fact that last week the General Assembly once again ignored its mandated deadline to get something done for the people of the state. He added that changes to our Constitution are needed to truly move forward and thus his call for an Illinois Constitutional Convention.
However, State Representative Bill Mitchell of Forsyth said there are a couple of reasons he does not favor the idea. One being Chicago Democrats would control the convention.
Mitchell also believes the state’s problems do not lie with the Constitution but with the politicians.
The last state Constitutional Convention was in 1968. It led to the state's fourth and current constitution.
A trial began against Swiss agribusiness giant Syngenta over its decision to introduce a genetically engineered corn seed variety to the U.S. market before China approved it for imports.
It's the first of tens of thousands of cases to go to trial over the issue. The proceedings started Monday in Kansas City, Kansas. The federal trial involves thousands of plaintiffs from Kansas. That trial and another soon in Minnesota are meant to provide guidance for how the complex web of litigation in state and federal courts could be resolved.
The lawsuits allege Syngenta wrecked China as an increasingly important export market for U.S. corn and caused price drops that hurt all producers.
Officials with Exelon Generation announced Tuesday that operators returned Clinton Power Station to full power Monday, successfully completing a scheduled refueling outage that began May 8.
“The work done over the past several weeks will help us continue to provide clean, safe, reliable power to Central Illinois consumers for years to come,” said Clinton Station site vice president Ted Stoner.
More than 1,500 additional workers joined Clinton employees to complete the refueling outage. While the unit was offline, technicians replaced nearly one-third of the reactor’s fuel and performed thousands of inspections, tests, maintenance activities and modifications.
Clinton Power Station is one of six high-performing Illinois nuclear facilities owned and operated by Exelon Generation, supplying 90 percent of the state’s carbon-free power.
Clinton had been slated to close June 1, but passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act in December is expected to preserve the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants for at least 10 more years of operation.
The Complete Wellness and Integrated Health Center is having a Ribbon Cutting and an Open House today at 5:00pm that will last until 7pm.
Dr. Stephanie Cluver and Sara O'Brien, ANP invite you to come out for an evening of fun, food, prizes, and exclusive offers.
Country Junction is celebrating it's 25th anniversary with a full weekend of special events which will be kicked off on June 9th at 10:00am with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. The ceremony will be followed by Cupcakes and Cocktails from 5pm to 8pm, a Car Show on June 10th from 9am to noon, a Pop Up Market the 10th and 11th from 9am to 5pm, and a Picnic on the 11th from 11am to 3pm.
There will be special drawings through the weekend as well as food vendors.
Christopher Monkman of Clinton, Illinois has been named the May Employee of the Month at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln. Monkman has worked at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital for 6 years.
Monkman earned an associate of science degree from Heartland Community College and a bachelor of health science degree from Northern Illinois University. He has training and certifications to work multiple medical imaging modalities. Radiologic technologists are required to have a two year education program consisting of both classroom and clinical work.
In his current role as a radiologist technologist, Monkman performs diagnostic imaging examinations. A typical day can include imaging a patient in the emergency room, general x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, bone density exams, and interoperative imaging during surgery.
Monkman enjoys his position at the hospital and has great appreciation for the staff working well together.
“We work well together, care for each other, and care deeply for our patients. That is what makes ALMH a GREAT place to work. I’m proud to call it home,” said Monkman.
Monkman was recognized as a true example of a team player. His anonymous nominator also stated that he is patient, kind, and considerate to his patients even when he is working alone is very busy.
ALMH is a 25-bed critical access hospital located at 200 Stahlhut Drive in Lincoln, Illinois and is an affiliate of Memorial Health System. ALMH employs over 330 in a variety of roles. For more information about ALMH, visit ALMH.org.
State Representative Tim Butler is leading the charge for a new Illinois Constitutional Convention. If lawmakers approve Butler's legislation, a question would be added to the 2018 Illinois General Election ballot asking Illinois residents if a state Constitutional Convention should be called. Butler believes the timing is right.
Butler says the state's 200th birthday next year is the perfect opportunity to revamp the state constitution.
The last state Constitutional Convention was in 1968. It led to the state's fourth and current constitution.
Central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood says a 20-percent cut to the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget runs too deep. And one of the casualties in President Trump’s budget plan is the Peoria ag lab. LaHood says a joint effort is already underway in Illinois to keep the facility open.
And LaHood says the Peoria ag lab is more than just a central Illinois issue.
LaHood says Illinois’ entire congressional delegation has signed a letter sent to the President pushing to keep the lab open.
Three years after Illinois changed how science would be taught and tested, performance data still isn't available because schools haven't seen science exam scores.
Illinois officials indicate that science testing and scoring hasn't gone smoothly, largely due to state budget woes.
Illinois adopted the updated Next Generation Science Standards in 2014. A new exam wasn't created by 2015 testing time, resulting in no test or scores that year.
Scores still haven't been released for the new exam called the Illinois Science Assessment taken in 2016. Students have already taken the spring 2017 exam.
State Board of Education spokeswoman Jackie Matthews says the budget crisis delayed the agency's partnership with Southern Illinois University Carbondale to score exams. The 2016 scores are expected to be released this summer.
The nonprofit foundation designed to help upkeep Illinois' fairgrounds plans on selling naming rights to state fair buildings to help pay for improvements.
Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation chairman John Slayton says that the group is in negotiations with corporations for naming rights to various buildings. He says the foundations hopes to raise $3 million to $5 million a year and naming rights will be the "biggest dollars."
The Illinois Department of Agriculture says the backlog of repairs needed at the state fairgrounds in Springfield and Du Quoin total about $180 million. Agriculture Department director Raymond Poe backs the fundraising idea and says getting the first big naming rights deal will spur others.
The foundation held its first fundraiser in Springfield on Sunday.
There are several new additions to Scovill Zoo in Decatur.
According to Ken Frye, there are 6 sets of incredibly playful twin baby goats at the petting zoo, one of which is a nine day old Nubian Dwarf goat named Alabaster.
You can catch four newly hatched peachicks following their peahen mother around, but hopefully not into the alligator exhibit.
Three baby wallabies were born this past spring that are finally ready to leave their mother's pouches.
However, Frye says the cutest animals at the zoo are the Red Pandas. There are two that are new to the zoo that are a part of the Red panda breeding program. They aren't out for exhibit yet, but they will be soon.
The Scovill Zoo is open every day from 9:30am to 5pm. You can visit www.decatur-parks.org/scovill-zoo or give them a call at (217) 421-7435.
701 days without a budget. 14-and-half-billion dollars in unpaid bills. Those are the numbers in Springfield as state lawmakers move past another adjournment date. The next key day on the calendar is July 1. That’s the start of the state’s new fiscal year says Mark Gebhards—Illinois Farm Bureau’s Director of Governmental Affairs and Commodities.
Former State Senator Darin LaHood of Dunlap now serves in the U.S. House, representing Illinois’ 18th Congressional District. He places much of the blame in Springfield on what he calls “a legislature dominated by Chicago.”
Because the May 31st adjournment date has passed, it will now take a two-thirds majority vote in the Illinois House and State Senate for a state budget to be approved.
U.S. trade officials are meeting this week with counterparts in China to finalize trade protocols regarding the export of U.S. beef to China. The move follows last month’s announcement that the U.S. and China reached an agreement to restart U.S. beef exports to China, sidelined since 2003.
However, as the Financial Times reported last week, China already has access to some prime U.S. beef cuts. That's because there is a flourishing market in secondary imports from Hong Kong, where China's ban on U.S. beef did not apply. Cuts destined for China could make up half of U.S. beef exports to Hong Kong, according to some experts.
Still, beef demand is growing in China, along with demand for higher-quality beef cuts. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts says the plan gives U.S. beef access to more than one billion consumers…
Roberts told the U.S. Meat Export Federation recently that trade “wins” like the agreement with China is a good start to helping farmers and ranchers when it comes to trade negotiations…
U.S. agriculture and beef groups have estimated that exports to China, once established, could be worth an estimated $2.6 billion for the U.S. livestock industry.
The weekly Crop Progress report is mostly the work of Extension and FSA employees, at the least the data collection part. They report local crop conditions to state USDA offices, mostly on Monday morning, who in-turn tally those numbers and pass them along to Washington, D.C. for compilation and release on Monday afternoon. Work at the University of Illinois shows a strong relationship between the end-of-season crop condition ratings and crop yield, however, agricultural economist Scott Irwin says that doesn't hold so well for the rest of the season
The first corn rating of the season, released just after Memorial Day, wasn't good. The crop had been cold and wet. It showed up, or in this case didn't show up, in the good and excellent categories USDA NASS uses. Those are the two grades the U of I economist say correlate. The math works like this; the first corn condition rating was 65% good or excellent, minus 8 points for the average drop to the end of the season rating, which brings you to 57 percent
If you do, in about mid-July you can use the math in the farmdocDaily article to forward calculate the national average yield for corn; mid-August for soybean.
Bikers of all ages and skill levels will converge on DeWitt County later this month for the annual Tour DeWitt Bike ride that will benefit the Children's Advocacy Centers.
Steve Lobb and his wife Dana along with a host of entities and volunteers are once again readying for Tour DeWitt 2017 that takes place June 24 which will take dozens upon dozens of bikers across the beautiful landscape of DeWitt County. Lobb says after three years of organization, he's learned if it isn't broke, don't fix it.
The tour originates at the Clinton United Methodist Church and there are four levels of routes. Lobb says there is a basic and intermediate route, to Weldon Springs and the next near Syngenta and near Clinton Lake west side access area.
Then there is a couple more challenging routes. Lobb indicates one is about 40 miles that is a similar route to their intermediate routes and then a 62 mile route out to Farmer City.
According to Lobb, the ride benefits the Children's Advocacy Center is something that is close to Lobb. He explains he got involved with the agency about five years ago through a ride they did, and now hosts this event for an agency that is always in need of financial support.
Lobb thanks his wife for all her support in this effort. He also thanks the Clinton Police Department and DeWitt County Sheriff's Department along with clubs like Rotary, Kiwanis, and the Clinton and Farmer City Chamber Commerce offices.
The ride again is June 24 with registration starting at the Clinton United Methodist Church. To get registered, visit tourdewitt.weebly.com. Lobb indicates a pre-register by June 9 gets a rider the Tour DeWitt t-shirt for this year.
The communities the Children's Advocacy Center serves between DeWitt, McLean and Livingston Counties have always been very supportive of their organization.
Now they might need to be even more supportive if services are going to be maintained locally. Executive Brucker, Judy Brucker indicates it's been over 50 years they have been in the community, but with grant funding starting to dry out in places and fundraising not being as effective, it is time for them to consider other options.
Brucker says having their office in the community is the best case scenario for kids that come to them that have been abused. She explains their services are available at satellite offices in DeWitt and Livingston Counties, which she feels is very fortunate.
Brucker indicates the agency has always operated with the deficit but is seeking out ways to find a more efficient and dependable revenue source. She says they are in the early stages of exploring what possibilities there are from a local level.
On the heels of the DeWitt County Relay For Life event over the weekend, a government agency also took the opportunity to recognize cancer survivors.
Social Security administers the disability program and often times, someone going through their cancer battle cannot work. Jack Myers with Social Security says often times they apply for disability benefits and sometimes that person may qualify for what is called the Compassionate Allowance Program.
The Compassionate Allowance Program has several different types of cancers on it and Myers notes they can cut down the time it takes to get into the program based on your condition.
To learn more about the Compassionate Allowance Program, visit the Social Security website, socialsecurity.gov and find the search icon and type in "compassionate allowances".
Emerald ash borer adults are emerging from Illinois to Ohio and points northward. They'll continue to do so for several weeks and it means now is the time to treat for them in hopes of saving your Ash tree. This should most definitely be done if the emerald ash borer has been found within fifteen miles of your tree says University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Phil Nixon
Again, you can save your Ash tree, but it'll take about twenty years to do that, if the experience in the state of Michigan is any guide. You or a professional can do that by making an insecticide application
Call your local Extension office for more details about the process and how best to go about treating for the Emerald Ash Borer.
It looks like 2017 will be another rough year for grain farmers in the United States.
Even in Illinois, where the trend line yield for corn is 200 bushels to the acre and 61 for soybeans, the average income on a 1500 acre grain for this year is just $25,000. That's not good says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey…tape
It is a projection that wasn't quite so low earlier in the year. Then, like today, Schnitkey was using an average cash sales price of $3.70 a bushel in the Illinois crop budget for corn…tape
A decline in soybean prices to $9.00 likely will trigger 2017 ARC-CO payments, given county soybean yields are at trend levels. As a result, Illinois’s 2017 projections build in a $15 per acre government payment. It arrives until the fall of 2018, but an estimated $20 payment from last year's crop should arrive this fall.
In 2017, revenue is projected to be $755 per acre for corn, down by $77 per acre from last year. Gross revenue for soybeans is projected at $564 per acre, $140 per acre lower than in 2016.
Illinois and several other states want to rid waterways of a fish that threatens others and could be on the verge of entering the Great Lakes.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources seeks help from the state’s commercial fishermen. The agency wants black carp out of Illinois waterways—a species of the invasive Asian carp says IDNR’s Kevin Irons.
Irons says there are several different species of the Asian carp.
Those that catch a black carp, can contact Irons at 217-557-0719 or email@example.com to collect the $100 bounty.
Groups such as Illinois Farm Bureau are watching control efforts closely, since efforts to control black and other Asian carp have the potential to disrupt the river navigation system.
Nominee’s for The Department of Agriculture’s political post within the agency are expected within a month or so.
Sources close to the Secretary have allegedly told Politico that Perdue has made his picks for key positions within USDA, and those picks could be announced in June.
There are nearly a dozen political positions that require confirmation by the U.S. Senate, to go along with near 200-some political appointees within the federal government. No official announcements have been made yet by USDA or Perdue, but several have speculated that Steve Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association, will be nominated as USDA undersecretary.
Other names floated for USDA posts include Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, Indiana Agriculture Department Director Ted McKinney, and Sam Clovis, who has served on the USDA transition team.
LEGISLATION HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK IS DESIGNED TO HELP PROTECT STUDENTS WHO TAKE OUT LOANS FOR COLLEGE.
STUDENT LOAN DEBT HAS REACHED EPIC LEVELS SAYS SENATOR DANIEL BISS OF SKOKIE, WHO IS THE SPONSOR OF THE STUDENT LOAN BILL OF RIGHTS.
IT’S SPONSORED BY SENATOR DANIEL BISS OF SKOKIE.
THE BILL ALSO REQUIRES LENDERS TO EXPLAIN REPAYMENT OPTIONS WITH THOSE STRUGGLING TO PAY OFF THEIR LOANS AND SETS UP AN OMBUDSMAN WITHIN THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE SO STUDENTS HAVE SOMEWHERE TO GO WITH COMPLAINTS ABOUT THEIR LENDER.
The owner of a local trucking company has issued a statement regarding community concern over odors coming from the facility on Clinton's west side.
Travis Hoffman, owner of H&M Trucking, delivered a written statement to Regional Radio News Friday morning. In it, he addresses several statements he has heard regarding his company's waste water lagoons. Hoffman lists six statements that he has heard that he feels are not true. He offers six counterpoints to those statements. The statements include that he doesn't care, and the ponds are being overloaded.
Hoffman says in the statement - quote - "I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment and products to put in the water." -end quote-
He also states - quote- "procedures I have put in place it has stirred them up and is taking a while to get them balanced again. Unfortunately there is a lot of trial and error that we go through." -end quote-
Hoffman also talks about his thoughts on social media perpetuating rumors and negativity. He also invites concerned citizens out to H&M Trucking to talk to him.
There is an apology in the statement as well. Hoffman states -quote- "If any of you legitimately feel that I have ruined any of your days, I apologize." -end quote-
H&M Trucking was issued a Violation Notice by the Illinois EPA on May 31st for several Effluent (discharge) violations as well as Odor violations. Hoffman does not address those in his statement.
You can view the statement in full in the Letters Section of DeWittDailyNews.com. (Or by clicking here.)
(You can view Thursday's story on the EPA violations by clicking here.)
The Third Annual Pigs & Swigs Festival kicks off today in historic downtown Lincoln.
The Young Professionals Network in Lincoln and Logan County decided three years ago to supplement the barbecue with a craft beer beer garden event, which Michelle Bauer says is to promote small town breweries in the area.
There will be several vendors at the festival including local favorites Colors' French Fries, the Fish Wagon and Grandma Nana's Cookies. Chris Graue adds that there will be many different meat cooking competitions for all ages over the course of the weekend. People's Choice is also returning this year.
Bauer adds that the money made this weekend will be given to a charity of the BBQ team winner's and the Best Brewery winner's choice. In the past they've supported their local Food Pantry and their schools.
For more information about the BBQ events you can visit www.lincolnbbq.com or Logan County Chamber's Facebook page. And for more about the festival, check out the Pigs & Swigs Facebook page or www.pigsandswigs.com.
Free plane rides for kids 8-17 years old are on offer this Saturday at the Decatur Airport.
The event starts at 8:30am and could go to 11am. According to Tim Wright, the airport's director, entertainment for the day will include the Scoville Mobile Zoo, Mr. Softy Ice Cream, a K-9 demonstration, and an all you can eat pancake and sausage breakfast.
Wright adds that you can come and go as you please, but if your child plans on taking advantage of the free ride, you should probably stick around. The flight itself will be around 10 to 15 minutes.
All you need to take part in the rides is a parent or guardian to sign a waiver.
To learn more about Decatur Airport Fun Day, give the airport a call at (217) 428-2423.
Any way you slice it, the middle class continues to shrink in Illinois.
That’s the finding in a report finished by a University of Illinois expert in urban development and local economies. Robert Habans (hay-bins) says defining the middle class can be a moving target.
Habans research found that middle income households made up nearly 60-percent of Illinois in the 1970s to just under 50-percent in 2015.
And Habans says although there has been some growth in the percentage of upper income households, it hasn’t outpaced growth in the lower income demographic.
Habans says the complexion of the middle class is also changing because of the declining manufacturing base. Those jobs in middle income households are being replaced by service sector jobs—like health care, professional services and retail.
A local trucking company has been hit with a violation from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency after odors permeating from their facility on the west side of town have spread across the community very strongly for several weeks now.
H&M Trucking has been hit with a violation from the Illinois EPA and Spokeswoman with the Illinois EPA, Kim Biggs says H&M Trucking will be required to remedy the situation.
H&M Owner Travis Hoffman explains his pond is just turning over with the season change and says it will give off the odors from time to time. He says it will take time for the pond to get back in balance.
Clinton City Administrator Tim Followell says the odors from H&M Trucking have provided a hardship on local businesses and points to a certain incident of visitors from the south that could not enjoy time outside at the local Dairy Queen because of smell.
Biggs indicates the IEPA is looking into the source of the odors and says H&M Trucking is looking into the situation as well.
Hoffman invites anyone to come out and let him show them around his facility any time.
The DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency Office has become a point of contact for local residents to call and have complaints heard and the EMA office passes those along to the I-EPA.
Residents also have the option of contacting the Illinois EPA directly.
The DeWitt County EMA office number is 217-935-7790.
To contact the IEPA, contact Holly Hirchert at 217-782-3397 or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Underage drinking is a problem in DeWitt County and it needs to be addressed.
That is the message from the Piatt County Mental Health Center with a presence in DeWitt County through the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department and Divah Griffin indicates a grant they have received is aimed at areas of the state with an underage drinking problem.
An alarming finding from even more strategic studies in DeWitt County found teens did not think underage drinking was a big deal. Griffin says they surveyed teens through focus groups.
Griffin explains the group has identified some areas that need to be addressed and says the biggest one is relaying of information to youth. She says they are working on campaigns to get those messages out.
Griffin says the youth they surveyed were pretty open and also notes the written, anonymous survey taken had "trick questions" that would indicate if the student was being honest. She feels they got a lot of good feedback from youth in DeWitt County and was pleased they were able to get every school in the County to take the survey, not just Clinton High School students.
It's a local favorite and they're celebrating a national recognition and their 25th anniversary almost simultaneously.
Country Junction in Clinton is celebrating 25 years in business and a recognition in a national publication. Julie Hinds, Owner of Country Junction, indicates their business was recently featured in Home Accents Decor Magazine as one of their top 50 retail stars of the United States.
Hinds indicates the business economy has been through many changes in 25 years but says they've maintained through their ability to adapt as changes come along.
Next weekend, June 9-11, the store is doing a big celebration for their 25th year in existence. Hinds says they have things going on all weekend including a car show, a market and a hot air balloon coming to town.
To be recognized in Home Accents Decor Magazine is very humbling for Hinds. She says they owe a lot to their loyal customers across their 25 years.
Senate Democrats are done taking the heat for the state’s budget crisis.
Democrats in the chamber took tough votes this spring on a budget that cut billions in spending and a tax increase. They did so with no Republican support and Senator Heather Steans (Stains) says they more than anyone did their job.
The Governor called it a dereliction of duty. Speaker of the House Mike Madigan says Bruce Rauner won’t negotiate with them. Both chambers are planning working days throughout June.