Clinton Schools have announced their 'Teacher of the Year' candidates.
A special committee votes on the designation each year. This year's candidates included high school teachers Rodger Baldwin and Traci Manning, junior high school teacher Staci Rudd, and CES teacher Christina Soberalski.
Baldwin teaches high school students in dual credit chemistry, AP chemistry, physics, and introduction to laboratory science and serves on the technology committee, formerly served as IEA Region10 representative, and was President of the Illinois Association of Chemistry Teachers in 2009.
Manning is the Art Teacher at Clinton High School and has served on a variety of committees and teams in her 18-year career, along with sponsoring a variety of student clubs and activities.
Rudd is a seventh-grade language arts teacher and eighth-grade forensics teacher at Clinton Junior High school. Over the course of the past several years, she has served on various committees at the junior high and volunteers for many extracurricular activities district-wide.
Soberalski is a 2nd-8th-grade librarian at Clinton Elementary and CJHS. Some of the many hats she wears is serving as one of CES's student council teachers, is the CEA's Ways and Means chairperson, helps in her church, and served many roles with Clinton Cub Scout Pack 142. She loves reading and talking about books with her students the most.
Letters of support can be submitted to Claire Diener at Clinton Junior High School by April 6.
The CH Moore Homestead and DeWitt County Museum in Clinton will open this week.
Homestead officials announced via a release, they will open up for the season on April 3rd.
Museum tours include the restored Victorian mansion which was the home of Clifton H. Moore, one of Clinton’s earliest and DeWitt County’s most prominent citizens as well as a long-time friend of Abraham Lincoln; the original carriage barn; the Kent Collection Room; Telephone Museum; and the Farm Museum.
This spring, house has undergone a transition as the period furnishings have been rearranged and rotated from storage to display.
Recently donated pieces have been added as well.
These include a chair believed to have once belonged to the Moore family and often used by Moore’s friend, Abraham Lincoln, when he visited the family. The “Moore-Lincoln Chair” was given to the museum by a gentleman in Michigan.
Also, through the generosity of C.H. Moore’s descendants, Mr. Moore’s spindle-post, walnut bed has returned to the place he once called “home.” An heirloom passed down through the family for generations, the bed was recently bequeathed to the museum. Although more research is required to verify the facts, the bed has now returned to the master bedroom – the very room where Moore spent his restful nights and took his final breath. The DeWitt County Museum Association is very appreciative to have the bed returned to what is believed to be its former abode.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to view the most recently installed exhibit, Cornerstone, which features the contents of the 1893 DeWitt County Courthouse cornerstone time capsule. The artifacts, numbering more than 50, were loaned to the museum for display by the DeWitt County Board of Directors.
When unveiled last December, it was the first time these items were collectively displayed to be viewed by the public. Other current but temporary exhibits include DeWitt County and the War to End All Wars and The Railroad and DeWitt County.
In addition to regular daily tours, the museum will be offering a variety of events throughout the upcoming season. Among these will be the annual Quilted Keepsakes Quilt Show (June 1-30), DeWitt County Museum Tractor Show & Ice Cream Social, the 50th Annual Apple ‘n Pork Festival (September 29 & 30), Illinois Bicentennial History Lecture presented by Illinois State Historian, Samuel Wheeler, Ph.D., (October 14), Holiday Candlelight Tours (November 23 & each Friday evening in December).
Regular hours of operation for the museum and gift shop are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm and 1pm-5pm on Sundays. Groups are encouraged but not required to make advanced reservations.
For more information, contact the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum at 217-935-6066 or visit www.chmoorehomestead.org.
As part of its community reinvestment efforts, First National Bank has gifted $5,000 to
the Clinton Community YMCA to support the 2018 Strong Kids Campaign.
Rachel Costello joined First National Bank and Trust Company in October 2010, and today she serves as the Vice President of Personal Banking. Since 2017, Rachel has served on the Clinton Community YMCA as a board member.
"There are so many different aspects to the YMCA that our community can be a part of." Said Rachel Costello. "From open swim to organized classes, there really is something for everyone. Bringing that opportunity to children who may not have that outlet otherwise, is a blessing."
Faith, family, farming and financial stewardship are what drive First National Bank to be committed to reinvesting 10 percent of the bank's pre-tax income back into the communities. This reinvestment is made in the form of sponsorships, donations to local non-profits, and support of the local schools through the TS Institute.
"The YMCA strives to build community partnerships and collaborations so that we can create solutions to pressing social needs. First National Bank graciously donated $5,000 to the Clinton Community YMCA to help us advance our mission in meeting the challenges and needs of our community.” Said Rennie Cluver, Executive Director of the Clinton Community YMCA. “Continued support from local businesses is vital to the sustainability of our organization so that we can continue to fulfill our promise to the community."
The DeWitt/Logan Retired Teachers Unit has announced their quarterly meeting for Wednesday April 11.
The meeting will take place at the Clinton Christian Church at 10:30 am. Michelle Witzke will speak to the group about TheVault in Clinton.
Lunch reservations are asked for by Wednesday of this week to Nancy Wrage at 217-642-5379.
Membership in the Illinois Retired Teachers Association is open to all educators, active or retired, and their spouses.
March is finishing off as a cool and wet month and the trend will continue in April. State Climatologist Jim Angel has more...
The water treatment plant at the Clinton Lake Marina is rolling along in hopes of being complete by the time the boating season is in full swing.
Terry Ferguson is on the Marina Committee of the County Board and indicates it's an almost complete makeover of the system in place.
Projects like these have been mandated in various areas of central Illinois, however, Ferguson notes the Marina Committee felt it necessary and points out it will cost roughly $300-thousand.
Ferguson says the update is about efficiency and put something in place to provide proper treatment for the water.
He points out this system has been approved by the local health department and compares it to a system in a home, just a little bigger.
Warrensburg-Latham Schools is introducing an FFA program to their curriculum at the high school and recently the leader of the new program met with students and their district leader says the response has been very positive.
Superintendent Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle indicates the instructor has met with students and the community and is looking forward to what's ahead.
The FFA program will have several offerings and Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says interest among students is already very strong.
Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says the opportunities are going to open up quite a bit for their students who choose to participate in their ag classes and FFA program.
The FFA program and ag classes will start out at the high school, though Dr. Kendrick-Weikle anticipates there being outreach opportunities for the students in the lower levels.
Now is the time for seed starting and the University of Illinois Extension has some tips you will try this out for the first time.
Master Gardener Candice Hart says it's as simple as finding some seed-starting soil, get the seed-plants you want, and getting them going.
The biggest challenge for most when considering seed starting is making sure there is adequate light. Hart says you have a couple options.
If you're looking to do tomato seed starting, the deadline to start them and have them ready for planting season is starting to draw near. As for other vegetables, Hart says it depends on the date of the last frost.
Hart says your seed start plants need six to eight hours of sunlight and they need twice as much light with the artificial lighting.
For more details on seed starting, contact your local University of Illinois Extension office.
Did Governor Bruce Rauner turn the state into a sanctuary state? Rauner signed the TRUST Act this year that stops law enforcement from detaining someone based only on their on immigration status. Critics say it’s a bill to put Illinois on the list of sanctuary states. Rauner says it didn’t do anything of the sort, rather it just clarified what law enforcement should be doing.
Signing that bill and HB 40 led to strong showing by Rauner’s opponent in the Republican primary election and now Rauner says it’s time to welcome all Republican voters into the tent.
One Republican Congressman is upset that the President threatened a veto of the omnibus spending bill that Congress approved last week. Republican Rodney Davis from Taylorville, who voted for the bill, says to spin it now that the White House was upset with the spending plan or had problems with the amount that was approved is a turnabout from what was going on behind closed doors.
Davis says the President should have rather focused on the good parts of the bill including increased spending for opioid addiction and boarder security.
The College of Agricultural Sciences set for expansion at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It even includes a new name—the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences says SIU chancellor Carlo Montemagno.
As for the timeline, Montemagno is hopeful everything can be completed with the reorganization by mid-summer.
As heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and 95.9 WEZC Wednesday evening, the Clinton Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Business Expo boasted 59 businesses, clubs, and organizations which is up from last year's event.
According to Director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard, the Business Expo is a great opportunity to promote local businesses and the community. It's also a great place to network.
While the Business Expo is about introducing businesses to the community, it is also a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce.
The social media aspect was present again this year and according to Lacy Phelps the Chamber is
present on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The hashtag game made it's comeback using the hashtag #ClintonChamberEvents where participants were eligible to win door prizes.
Phelps adds that she hopes that the hashtag game will reach more people through scoial media than last year.
Next year's Expo will start being planned in November.
Officials within the Clinton Athletic Booster Club say this year's Maroon Madness is one of the most successful events they ever had.
Booster President Brian Ennis reports the boosters raised a little more than $15-thousand from this year's event.
The Athletic Booster club tries to get the whole community engaged in the event and thanks a number of Booster members for their outreach to different members of the community.
Ennis says a portion of this years $15-thousand raised will be going back to the junior high school wrestling program.
Earlier this week on Regional Radio News, we outlined the continuing problems law enforcement and school leaders face in regards to social media.
School resource officer Mike Bennett says one thing he does to try to when various situations arise is educate the parents. He feels parents need to be in tune with what their kids are doing on social media.
Parents who are on social media need to set the example of how to act. Bennett points out, it is like anything else, children will emulate the behaviors of their parents.
Bennett holds back few punches when it comes to dealing with youth and the problems with cell phones or social media. He says there's some parents who do not realize what their kids are doing and others that do.
Bennett says social media disruptions encompass about 40-percent of the student body at the various buildings.
The flu bug is still alive and kicking in Illinois and while not as volatile as in December and January, it still can be a problem into the spring months. Dr. James Lindbom with OSF Healthcare St Luke Medical Center in Kewanee details why this flu season has been so severe…
Also, the CDC has issued a warning about the rise of Influenza B cases. The Illinois Department of Public Health does not track individual flu cases, but the state's latest flu report does show 39 new ICU admissions from the flu during the second week of March.
The Clinton Chamber of Commerce's annual Business Expo is today at Clinton High School.
Chamber Director Marian Brisard says things kick off at 4 pm at the High School and run until 7 pm in the high school gym. Get information and giveaways from local businesses, not-for-profits and take advantage of the free community shred with the State Bank of Lincoln again this year.
55 business and community organizations are anticipated to be a part of this year's event. Brisard says they are going to try their social media challenge once again this year and hope it gains some traction in its second year.
With various business showing off their services, non-profits showcasing their benefits, and face painting for kids, Brisard says there is something for everyone.
Again the event is this afternoon from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Clinton High School gym.
Listen to live coverage from the event today starting at 3 pm. Hear long-form coverage on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com then from 5 pm to 7 pm in brief updates on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.
Dealing with some aspect of social media is an everyday occurrence in Clinton schools.
That's the message from school resource office Mike Bennett. He indicates they deal with everything from bullying to sexting and anonymous messages.
From a law enforcement standpoint, Officer Bennett says social media is here to stay and indicates they talk to the students about the impacts social media can have on things that happen to you in the future.
A lot of awareness has been raised with the youth in recent years of the consequences of sexting. Officer Bennett says that is actually a crime if those texts or snap chat messages are intercepted.
Bennett says he is always in contact with the youth in the school buildings and feels fortunate a lot of the student body is comfortable approaching him about the things going on on social media.
Geoff Ladd is currently in a position working with Route 66 and The Mill in Lincoln, but in previous years, he was an executive in the tourism of the county and is weighing in on the turmoil surrounding the Logan County agencies.
The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce is now defunct and Ladd says he is concerned on many levels because the Chamber played an instrumental role in so many things in the community.
According to Ladd, there is plenty to see and do in Lincoln and hopes the public does not forget everything they offer.
Ladd says the Logan County Tourism Bureau is trying to work it's way back as an independent entity but he also says groups like The Mill need to help in that effort to continue to promote what they have to offer.
The Illinois soybean industry getting set for another planting season in which there will be much attention on those farmers planning to use dicamba to protect their 2018 crop.
Illinois Farm Bureau’s Lyndsey Ramsey says some common sense also applies, which includes being very aware of your neighbors.
Over 11,000 Illinois farmers and applicators have received the required dicamba training heading into the spring planting season and on-line training is still available through the Illinois Dicamba Training website at ifca.com.
A spring warm-up in the near term not likely. So says meteorologist Eric Schmidt with EJS Weather in Newton, Illinois.
Schmidt says we’re in a very active weather pattern for much of Illinois. A system will likely impact the state for part of the Easter weekend, which could include a rain/snow mix in northern Illinois on Saturday.
Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti has taken an up close and personal look at the state's Asian Carp problem. She boarded fishing boats along with Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Bill Foster Monday in Joliet Monday. She's impressed with efforts to reduce the ranks of the invasive fish......
Sanguinetti says there is progress in making use of the unwanted fish....
Since 2012, Illinois Natural Resources officials have partnered with commercial fishermen to remove more than 6.3 million pounds of the carp from the Upper Illinois waterway.
Clinton High School administrators have canceled sports activities to allow students to attend the visitation of Spencer Toohill.
Toohill was killed last week in a single-vehicle car accident north of Wapella.
His visitation is from 4 pm to 8 pm at at the First Christian Church, Clinton, IL with Rosary Service at 3 :30 PM.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 AM, Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at St. John’s Catholic Church, Clinton, IL with Rev. Fr. James Henning, Rev. Fr. Jeff Stirniman, Deacon Todd Weber and Deacon John Leonard, celebrants.
Calvert Funeral Home, Clinton, IL is in charge of arrangements.
Clinton High School will be looking for a number educators this spring as they anticipate the departure of a number of their staff.
Superintendent of Clinton Schools Curt Nettles indicates one of the toughest positions to fill will be the FFA advisor and Jameson Holt has announced his resignation from the position. Nettles says that's just one of several openings they have.
There is also a vacancy for a new athletic director as the Board approved the resignation of Barry Gurvey, effective at the end of the year. Simultaneously they will be searching for a varsity football coach as well.
Updates are required for 9-1-1 centers in the coming years and the cost is almost overbearing. That's why a pair of neighboring central Illinois counties are exploring sharing the cost.
Tony Harris is the 9-1-1 Coordinator for DeWitt County and says it is very early on the process but Next Generation 9-1-1 is going to be almost a complete overhaul of the 9-1-1 system and it is so expansive and expensive, it would nearly impossible for either County to pay for it on their own.
Dollars available are very minimal and Harris explains the first step is to lay the foundation for all the equipment and then start purchasing the equipment itself. He notes, DeWitt County has actually already started that process to an extent.
The new system has to be in place by 2020.
He says it can be confusing to follow and emphasizes there is a lot of work still to do to make the partnership a reality.
Good jobs are available in central Illinois and employers are looking for qualified people to fill their positions.
That is the message from Larry Peterson, Director of Workforce Investment Solutions in Decatur. He says one area that has a high demand right now is truck driving and Workforce can help place people in those jobs through their program.
Peterson reminds displaced workers and under-employed workers, Workforce can help find you work or even help refine your resume and your interview skills. He also reminds local residents Workforce offers incentives to employers to hire you.
Get a hold of Workforce Investment Solutions in Decatur by calling 217-875-8751 for information on all the opportunities available to most anyone in DeWitt and Macon County.
Saturday's Rotary alumni basketball game to benefit Habitat for Humanity was called off because of inclement weather and organizers say the game will not be made up.
Terry Ijams announced Monday the annual benefit game would be simply called off for this year.
He indicates if anyone had purchased tickets for the game beforehand, they could get those reimbursed by contacting him at 217-433-3585.
Wind energy regulations in DeWitt County continue to be the hot topic at County Board meetings and Friday morning a couple County Board members weighed in on their opinions on the process.
Terry Ferguson and Lance Reece say they both want things done right and they believe all parties involved are taking this issue seriously. Reece feels both the RPC and the ZBA are very concerned with the quality of life for all residents and that it is the best it can be.
Ferguson echoes the thoughts of the Reece and says the two regulatory committees have a lot of things to consider going forward.
For Reece, the biggest talking point to most everyone he encounters is the lights above the turbines. He indicates the RPC addressed this issue last week, passing a recommendation along to the ZBA.
Ferguson has championed protecting non-participating landowners in the community and wants to see protections for those folks.
Ferguson has family with firsthand experience dealing with this issue and outlines the process that took place in Livingston County. He feels it is the County's obligation to do this right.
Much of the criticism towards the process has been the fact some feel the County is looking at only the revenue that could be brought from the wind farm however, Reece feels that is not the end-all-be-all in the decision and also feels the County needs to be somewhat progressive like the neighbors to the south, west, and north.
Reece feels there is a good ordinance in place and credits the RPC and ZBA as putting an ordinance in place that is one of the most up to date in the state but calls the process going on now an update to all that work.
It's been an ongoing effort in DeWitt County but a local religious leader is not giving up on starting a recovery program for individuals with addictions of all types.
Celebrate Recovery is a program that is religiously based and Brother Randy Myers from the Clinton United Methodist Church says it covers everything from drug or alcohol addictions to recoveries from abusive relationships or divorce.
While the program is based on the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Myers says it is a faith-based program but the 12 step program actually based on teachings from the early church.
Myers indicates the program seeks leaders within the community that are on their own journey of sobriety.
In DeWitt County, Myers indicates they need to get people introduced to the Celebrate Recovery program and create a community of people working on their sobriety. He also points to ending the stigma associated with those who battle addictions.
Those that may be hesitant to join Celebrate Recovery because of the religious affiliation, Myers encourages them to consider they need to seek out a higher power and keep an open mind.
To learn more about Celebrate Recovery, contact Myers' wife, Renee, by dialing 217-820-0907.
The omnibus spending bill passed by the House and Senate last week includes many victories for agriculture.
Farm groups applauded the inclusion of the Fair Agricultural Reporting Method, or FARM Act, that Act exempts air emissions from animal waste from being subject to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or CERCLA, reporting requirements.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts says he was “pleased” with the bipartisan deal, which will fund the federal government through the end of the fiscal year. Roberts says the bill gives farmers and ranchers “some regulatory relief.”
The omnibus bill prohibits funding to implement regulations requiring livestock haulers to install electronic logging devices on their trucks to monitor time behind the wheel. That comes after livestock haulers were granted another waiver extension to the law recently.
Also included is a solution to address the U.S. Forest Service budget for wildfire suppression, extension of current law of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, and legislation relating to dairy product labeling.
During a Senate hearing last week, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts linked the state of U.S. trade to the farm bill, remarking trade presents more challenges to the farm bill.
Speaking last week at a Senate Finance Committee hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Roberts simply said: “This is not a good situation.” Speculating that if Congress needs to add payments for farmers to reduce the impact of any trade retaliation, he says that would be another "dust-up" as lawmakers try to write a farm bill in the backdrop of a "severe budget situation," along with low farm income.
Roberts, during the hearing, told Lighthizer that the top trade official's agenda must include "a focus on returning the United States to reliable supplier status."
Roberts and the Agriculture Committee is actively working on crafting the next farm bill.
During field hearings held regarding the farm bill, farmers testified about the need for continued strong export opportunities as well as business certainty from regulatory reform.
IT’S NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH AND THE THEME THIS YEAR IS “GO FURTHER WITH FOOD.”
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION NUTRITION AND WELLNESS EDUCATOR LAURA BARR SAYS ABOUT THREE-FOURTHS OF THE POPULATION ARE NOT EATING ENOUGH FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND DAIRY. SHE RECOMMENDS ADDING THESE FOODS TO YOUR REGULAR MEALS.
SHE SAYS YOU SHOULD ALSO MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE LOW-FAT DAIRY OR OTHER SOURCES OF CALCIUM IN YOUR DIET.
THERE’S ALSO A FOCUS THIS MONTH ON FOOD WASTE. BARR SAYS PLANNING IS KEY…SUCH AS CHECKING THE PANTRY BEFORE YOU HEAD TO THE GROCERY STORE AND DECIDING WHAT YOU WILL BE EATING FRESH AND WHAT CAN BE FROZEN.
The Clinton Rotary’s annual CHS Alumni basketball game to benefit DeWitt County Habitat For Humanity to be held Saturday night has been canceled due to inclement weather. Organizers have decided to air on the side of caution with much of the county seeing snow and ice covered roads. WHOW was scheduled to broadcast the event. Plans to re-schedule the games have not been made at this time.
A winter storm is expected to roll through the midwest this weekend, but what's in store for the final week of March? State Climotologist Jim Angel has that and more....
Agriculture groups say trade retaliation from China will "costs farmers their livelihoods." China announced retaliation efforts to the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum.
The American Soybean Association says “It’s extremely frustrating” the administration is
targeting the nation’s largest trading partner during a time of low farm income.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall echoed those comments, stating Friday that if the trade situation “continues to deteriorate,” the lives of farmers and ranchers “will become more difficult.”
China is mainly targeting U.S. steel products, fresh and driedfruits, and even ethanol, along with U.S. pork. The National Pork Producers Council says the tariffs by China will hurt the rural economy.
Last year, the U.S. pork industry exported $1.1 billion of product to China, making that country the number two value market for U.S. pork.China is considering a 25 percent tariff on U.S. pork, along with recycled aluminum goods.
The Department of Agriculture is seeking feedback on the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Through the 2018 USDA Data Users’ meeting, USDA will seek comments and input on recent and pending changes in various data and information programs. NASS and partner agencies organize the annual meeting for USDA stakeholders.
Other participating USDA agencies include the Agricultural Marketing Service, Economic Research Service, Farm Service Agency, Foreign Agricultural Service and the World Agricultural Outlook Board.
The U.S. Census Bureau will also participate. Leaders from each agency will provide an overview of current issues and then take questions and comments.
The 2018 meeting will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 at the University of Chicago, in Chicago, Illinois.
Attendees can register online for free at www.usda.nass.gov.
China is threatening to impose stiff retaliatory tariffs on U.S. pork and soybeans, and that has U.S. producers worried.
China’s wasted no time in coming up with a 3 billion dollar list of U.S. targets for retaliation for billions in U.S. tariffs on Chinese metals and IP-related goods.
Politically-sensitive U.S. pork and soybeans, as feared, are on China’s retaliation list.
Iowa GOP Ag Senator Chuck Grassley reminded President Trump’s trade chief at a Senate Finance hearing last week…
China’s Commerce Ministry has listed 120 products for a 15-percent duty if trade differences are not resolved, and some, including pork for a possible 25-percent tariff.
National Pork Producers spokesman Dave Warner says the U.S. sells a lot of pork to China…
Followed by Japan…
Still, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree, China is the single-most important threat to U.S. trade. President Trump now plans $50 billion in tariffs to curtail hundreds of billions in Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property and forced technology transfers.
17-year old Spencer Toohill of Clinton has been identified as the teen killed in a Thursday afternoon single-vehicle accident in rural DeWitt County.
Toohill was driving an SUV north of Wapella on Harrold Point Road just after 4:30 pm and was pronounced dead at 5 pm.
The crash is being investigated by the DeWitt County Coroner's office and the DeWitt County Sheriff's Office.
Arrangements are incomplete through Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton.
Leaders from Clinton, Farmer City, and DeWitt County plan to meet in early April to discuss several aspects of the county and its entities.
Cris Rogers updated the County Board Thursday night on the meeting to take place at the County Building with the intent to reflect on good policies and put in place policies to make things more efficient.
Also at the Thursday County Board meeting, County Board Chair David Newberg presented DeWitt County Friendship Center Executive Director, Paula Jiles, with a $150 check from the Illinois Counties Association.
The American Legion Women's Auxilary is hosting a chili fundraiser for a group aimed at reducing the suicide rate among veterans who return from active duty.
Jeff Gaither is one of the leaders of HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes and indicates they host veterans for deer hunts, pheasant hunts, and fishing trips and try to give them an outlet to find other veterans who may be facing the same challenges they are.
Gaither indicates veterans who have been through the program have taken it to where they come from and Gaither says they've helped other veterans set up similar programs in different parts of the country.
Because HOOAH pays for all the expenses of the veterans to go on these trips, fundraisers like the one this Saturday at the American Legion are vitally important. This Saturday's fundraiser is from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Legion building at 219 North Elizabeth Street.
He won by the narrowest of margins and is looking for party unity, so it seems Governor Bruce Rauner will pick up the phone and try to call his primary opponent.
Rauner skipped the customary call to Jeanne Ives on election night. Rauner now says that he will set up a call with Ives who lost by less than 3 percent of the vote.
Rauner will need to look towards unity in his party as he begins his general election campaign. An electoral historian says in Illinois no previously elected Governor was ever faced with such a narrow primary victory.
THE STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WAS DOWN AND JOBS WERE UP LAST MONTH ACCORDING TO THE LATEST NUMBERS FROM THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY.
THE ILLINOIS JOBLESS RATE CAME IN AT FOUR POINT SEVEN PERCENT IN FEBRUARY…A SLIGHT DECREASE FROM THE FOUR POINT EIGHT PERCENT POSTED IN JANUARY. AND MORE THAN 15-THOUSAND JOBS WERE ADDED LAST MONTH SAYS DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON BOB GOUGH (goff).
HE’S HOPEFUL THIS WILL BE AN ONGOING TREND.
THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR FEBRUARY WAS FOUR POINT ONE PERCENT.
In advance of farmers market season in Illinois, the Illinois Famers Market Association promoting its “what’s in season” app.
It’s a great tool if your looking for some fresh produce this spring and summer says Illinois Farm Bureau local foods manager Raghela Scavuzzo.
The “what’s in season” app is available at “ilfma.com.”
A first of its kind program launched last year at Clinton High School and it returns again this year.
Clinton High School offered seniors a chance to go through a course to get their CDL and Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles, says they are readying for the second group of students to embark on that again this year.
One thing the district has sought is a volunteer from the community to allow the youth the opportunity to drive with someone's rig. Nettles says it would be good for the youth get some behind the wheel experience with a veteran driver.
According to Nettles, there is a big need for CDL drivers in central Illinois and he says this is something a lot of people who try to get their CDL do not have access to.
The class meets on Saturday's and it's about an eight-week course.
Come out to Clinton High School this Saturday and watch former Maroons take the hardwood in volleyball and men's basketball.
Rotarian Terry Ijams organizes the game each year as a benefit for the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He says they are againg starting with a women's volleyball game and then a men's basketball game.
Ijams indicates the game originates back to the early 80s and then took off from there. He says they started with players that were out of high school for at least ten years but have since wanted to attract players of all ages.
Last year the alumni game turned to a women's volleyball game and Ijams says that has been well received and feels it increased interest in the event.
Ijams says Habitat runs the concessions as part of the fundraiser and while funds from admissions go back to Habitat, there's also a 50/50 during the event and a raffle as well.
The women's volleyball game starts at 6:30 pm and doors open for the event at 5:30 pm.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has told Illinois to clean up its water and cities, towns and even farmers have started to make some changes.
More blankets of green vegetation are popping up around the state this time of year. They're not weeds, but crops planted to provide a protective cover. Southwest Illinois farmer Jack McCormick explains why he planted cover crops on his farmland;
In addition to farming, McCormick serves on the board of GROWMARK, made up of farm supply or F-S member companies around the state. The farm cooperative, along with the Illinois Farm Bureau, launched an effort to work with local F-S facilities and county Farm Bureaus to promote environmental tewardship;
The federal E-P-A requires Illinois to significantly reduce its nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from farm fields and city sewage treatment plants by 20-25.
WHILE OVERALL VOTER TURNOUT NUMBERS WON’T BE AVAILABLE UNTIL NEXT MONTH…THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SAYS MORE PEOPLE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF EARLY VOTING FOR THE PRIMARY.
437 THOUSAND ILLINOIS VOTERS CAST THEIR BALLOTS EARLY. THAT’S MORE THAN DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO EARLY VOTED IN THE 2014 GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY SAYS ELECTIONS SPOKESPERSON MATT DIETRICH.
DIETRICH SAYS MORE THAN TWICE AS MANY VOTERS CAST A BALLOT BEFORE ELECTION DAY AS THEY DID IN THE LAST GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY IN 2014.
DIETRICH SAYS THEY WON’T KNOW UNTIL ALL THE NUMBERS ARE IN IF THE INCREASE IN EARLY VOTING IS DUE TO THE ACTUAL RACES OR THAT VOTERS ARE GETTING MORE USED TO THE IDEA OF CASTING A BALLOT BEFORE ELECTION DAY.
There were apparently no phone calls between Governor Bruce Rauner and Jeannie Ives Tuesday night to let bygones be bygones after their race for the Republican nomination ended with a narrow Rauner victory.
In a conversation with Chicago's Morning Answer on W-I-N-D Radio, Ives didn't sound ready for a unity breakfast.
Ives went on to call Rauner unelectable. In his victory speech, Rauner acknowledged a strong race run by "his opponent", but did not mention Ives by name.
Crude oil futures still trading well below $100 a barrel. What’s that mean for prices at the pump?
GROWMARK’s Harry Cooney with the answer.
May crude oil futures are just over $64 a barrel. Prices at the pump in Illinois are averaging $2.62 a gallon.
Dan Caulkins is the State Representative for the 101st State House district.
Defeating Randy Keith with 44 percent of the vote, Caulkins received 6060 votes to Keith's 5,237 and Todd Hendricks received 2,493 votes.
Caulkins takes over the seat currently held by the departing Bill Mitchell, who announced his retirement from state service last year.
Other races include Republican Dan Brady in the 105th district, Jim Durkin in the 82nd district.
Incumbent David Reis in the 109th District was the only GOP incumbent to be defeated.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker has coasted to victory in the Illinois Primary. Pritzker vastly outspent his main opponents Chris Kennedy and State Senator Daniel Biss.
Now Pritzker is turning his attention to back to where it was in the early stages of the race..... Governor Bruce Rauner.
Governor Bruce Rauner held off a determined State Representative Jeanne Ives to win the Republican nomination. Rauner says the close margin of last night's vote did not go unnoticed.
With a small number of remaining Illinois precincts left to count, Rauner held a 3 percentage point lead over Ives.
There are openings for Head Start in Community Action's service area.
Leslie Keller says the program structure varies from county to county but it is a structured environment with a curriculum their instructors follow in each class.
The program is income and age-based. Keller says they encourage their head start families to go through some of their educational courses.
There's also a home-based program through Head Start. Keller indicates they have caseworkers who go into the home for a birth to three-year program and work with parents on development milestones among other things.
George White indicates while there are some areas that are at full enrollment, it never hurts to inquire about getting into the program because they want to be able to get someone into a vacant spot when it comes up.
Head Start officials will make their way around the areas they serve and knock on doors to make the community aware of what they are all about. White says they're not soliciting money or donations, they just want to make folks aware of their program.
To get more information about the Head Start program in your area, contact the Lincoln Head Start office at 217-732-2159 or visit capcil.info.
Voters across the state headed to the polls on Tuesday for the March primaries. Voter turnout in DeWitt County was 23.67 percent.
There were three contested races in DeWitt County. In the Democratic race for State Central Committeewoman in the 13th District Jayne Mazzotti lead Pamella Gronemeyer 445 to 245. In the Republican race for Clintonia 5 Committeeman Nathan Ennis defeated Dan Matthews 95 to 66. Terry Ferguson defeated Travis Houser in a landslide 53-0 in the Republican race for Harp Committeeman.
Uncontested County Board races included Democrat incumbent Randy Perring in District B, Democrat incumbents Sue May and Cris Rogers in District D, Republican incumbents Terry Ferguson and Christina Pruser in District B, and incumbent Republican Melonie Tilley along with Nate Ennis and Dan Matthews in District D.
District D will have contested races in the November election.
In Piatt County, a Monticello school referendum for issuing $29.8 million in bonds for upgrading buildings was leading 1947 yes to 1158 no with 14 of 16 precincts reporting.
In Logan County, a referendum for Mt. Pulaski schools to issue $15.7 million dollars in bonds for uprading buildings was defeated 499-714.
In the Republican race for State Representative in the 101st District Dan Caulkins was leading with 2,467, Randy Keith in second with 2,125 and Todd Henricks with 975 votes as of 10:30pm Tuesday night.
In the Republican race for Judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit Randy Rosenbaum leads Sami Anderson 6,909 to 4, 028 as of 10:30 pm Tuesday night.
All results are unoffical with absentee ballots having up to fourteen days to be counted.
Voters across the state headed to the polls today (TUE) for the March primaries. WHOW/WEZC/DeWittDailyNews.com will be broadcasting live from the DeWitt County Courthouse beginning at 8pm. The coverage will be heard on 92.3FM, 95.9FM, streamed online with reports every half hour.
Contested races in DeWitt County we will be watching include:
Democratic race for State Central Committeewoman 13th District -
JAYNE MAZZOTTI versus PAMELLA GRONEMEYER
Republican race for Clintonia 5 Committeeman -
NATHAN ENNIS versus DAN MATTHEWS
Republican race for Harp Committeeman -
TERRY FERGUSON versus TRAVIS HOUSER
We will also be watching area races, including:
Republican race for State Representative in the 101st District -
Todd Henricks versus Dan Caulkins versus Randy Keith
Republican race for Judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit -
RANDY ROSENBAUM versus SAMI ANDERSON
Polls are opening across Illinois in a primary that is being widely watched because of the money being spent in the governor's race.
Among the leading Democrats in Tuesday's primary is billionaire J.B. Pritzker, who has put almost $70 million into his campaign fund already. Democrat Chris Kennedy has about $2 million in his. State Sen. Daniel Biss is campaigning as the "middle-class candidate."
The Democrats are looking to unseat wealthy Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in November. He is being challenged by conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives.
Illinois State Board of Elections data show the number of voters casting early ballots for the Illinois primary has far exceeded the number who voted early four years ago.
Voters are also choosing nominees for the U.S. House, attorney general and other races.
Locally, voters are deciding between three candidates for the Republican ticket in the 101st Illinois House district.
There is also a contested DeWitt County Board district.
Hear coverage of election results tonight on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com starting at 8 pm.
Tom Anderson was a 21-year veteran of the DeWitt County Sheriff's office, and after a brief retirement from law enforcement, he is returning to the field with the Clinton Police Department.
Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers introduced Anderson at the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting and says he is nothing short of elated to have his experience on their staff.
Coming up at the next Clinton City Council meeting in April, the Council will consider their annual donation to the Clinton fireworks display, a $6000 donation.
If you're the family member of a DeWitt County senior with Alzheimer's, the DeWitt County TRIAD is hoping you'll take advantage of a resource they have that will help keep track of your relative.
Tony Harris is the CENCOM Coordinator in DeWitt County and indicates their 'Locate-You' program pairs a senior with a GPS-tracking device that is worn like a bracelet or smartwatch and does just what the name implies, helps track the senior wearing it.
According to Harris, TRIAD has purchased two bracelets for the seniors of the County, however, only one has utilized the device. He hopes more seniors or their families will consider taking advantage of this resource.
There is a small subscription fee for the devices but Harris says if that is going to keep someone from utilizing the device, they can find ways to get it to someone in need. He hopes to improve their marketing of the program and it's availability.
To learn more about the Locate You program, contact Harris at the 9-1-1 center by calling 217-935-3196.
On Friday, March 16, 2018, members of BPD’s Patrol Division conducted a drug investigation into the sale of illegal narcotics.
As a result of this investigation, Ruban T. Watson, age 39, of Bloomington, was arrested for Manufacture/Delivery of 15 less than 100 grams Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine 15 less than 100 grams, Manufacture/Delivery of Cannabis 2,000 to 5,000 grams, Manufacture/Delivery Cannabis greater than 5,000 grams, Possession of Cannabis greater than 5,000 grams, Possession of Cannabis 2,000 less than 5,000 grams, Manufacture/Delivery of Cannabis 30 to 500 grams, and Possession of Cannabis 100-500 grams.
Members of BPD's Patrol Division and Vice Unit, served a search warrant in the 2300 block on 25th Street, Bloomington. Recovered were 24.6 grams Crack Cocaine (approximate street value $2,880), 13 pounds of Cannabis Butter (approximate street value $116,720), $3,040 U.S. Currency, prescription medication, 169 grams of Cannabis, and evidence of drug distribution were seized as evidence.
Watson was transported to the McLean County Jail.
Shifting the cost of teacher pensions to local school districts is not anything new for Illinois school leaders.
So when Governor Bruce Rauner proposed the idea last month during his budget address, few school leaders were surprised. Dr. Vic Zimmerman, Superintendent of Monticello Schools, questions where the Governor thinks schools will get money from if they have to pay for teacher pensions and then may not get access to local tax dollars because of a property tax freeze.
This is a problem perpetuated by the state legislature, who many years ago, required districts to make their payments into the program but never matched those dollars.
Dr. Zimmerman says there is no doubt something needs to be done but school districts will be handcuffed if they cannot access dollars through local property taxes.
A NEW EXHIBIT OPENING FRIDAY AT THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL MUSEUM IN SPRINGFIELD HIGHLIGHTS PRESIDENTS FROM ILLINOIS.
THE EXHIBIT…”FROM ILLINOIS TO THE WHITE HOUSE” FEATURES SEVERAL ITEMS USED BY PRESIDENTS LINCOLN, GRANT, REGAN AND OBAMA AND CELEBRATES THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS SAYS MUSEUM SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS.
THERE’S ALSO A LOVE LETTER FROM REGAN TO HIS WIFE NANCY AND THE GRAMMY THAT OBAMA WON FOR THE AUDIO VERSION OF HIS BOOK…DREAMS FROM MY FATHER. THE EXHIBIT RUNS THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR AND IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF MUSEUM ADMISSION.
THE EXHIBIT ALSO GIVES VISITORS A CHANCE TO ANSWER PRESIDENTIAL TRIVIA QUESTIONS AND POSE FOR PICTURES BEHIND A LECTERN AS THEY DELIVER THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS FROM A TELEPROMPTER. IT RUNS THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR.
TWO ROCK LEGENDS ARE BEING ADDED TO THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR GRANDSTAND CONCERT LINEUP.
FOREIGNER AND JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS WILL PERFORM AT THE FAIR ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 12TH. THEY JOIN A LINEUP THAT ALREADY INCLUDES HALESTORM AND MASTODON, BRETT ELDREDGE AND BRANTLEY GILBERT SAYS FAIR SPOKESPERSON REBECCA CLARK.
TICKETS PRICES HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED BUT TICKET SALE DATES ARE STILL PENDING. DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE AT ILLINOIS STATE FAIR DOT INFO.
AGRICULTURE COMPANIES LEAD THE LIST OF THE TOP BUSINESSES IN ILLINOIS.
THE LIST IS PART OF THE ILLINOIS TOP 200 PROJECT…DESIGNED TO HIGHLIGHT WHAT’S BEST THE STATE AS PART OF THE BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS SAYS THE TOP THREE AS CHOSEN BY THE PUBLIC ARE ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND, DEERE AND COMPANY AND CATERPILLAR.
EVERY COUPLE OF WEEKS YOU’LL HAVE A CHANCE TO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITES. THE NEXT CATEGORY IS INNOVATIONS AND INVENTIONS AND CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT ILLINOIS TOP 200 DOT COM.
If you get home from work Monday and don't feel up to making supper for the whole family, just come to the Clinton United Methodist Church.
Brother Randy Myers says they have started offering a free meal to the community on Monday nights in their great hall. They call it "Extended Table".
Myers hopes the community will come out and fellowship with one another. He says it's an effort to bring neighbors together during a time of the week that can be most challenging.
Before the meal is served at 5 pm, Myers offers a prayer and brief devotional and they put out the menu for the night on their Clinton United Methodist Church Facebook page before each meal.
HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes is a none for profit organization that seeks to reduce the suicide rate among veterans by organizing hunting and fishing trips in central and southern Illinois.
The Clinton American Legion Women's Auxilary is hosting a fundraiser for the group. Jean Rogers explains they got connected with them a few years ago and says they are a great organization doing great things for veterans in need.
Rogers explains the ladies helped out with one of the events they held a few years ago and then decided to host the fundraiser. She says the veterans the group helps are very open and easy to talk to, making it worthwhile to give their time and money.
The fundraiser is Saturday at the Legion building at 219 North Elizabeth Street. It will be a chili and sandwich fundraiser from 5 pm to 9 pm. There will also be a silent and live auction as a part of the event.
Last week on Regional Radio News, we outlined a program that places young workers, ages 16 to 24 into the workforce.
Shelby Valladares says they have orientation meetings this week. Orientation meetings give anyone interested in the program the opportunity to learn more about it and find out how it can help them.
According to Valladares, you can fill out an application for the program at the orientation meeting and then from there you would do some assessments. She notes while it is not required it is preferred you be there if interested.
To get in contact with Valladares, dial 217-875-8766.
The democratic race for Governor is a three horse race headed towards Tuesday primary.
JB Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Daniel Biss are the frontrunners. This week they sat down for a debate on WTTW in Chicago and Chris Kennedy went on the attack towards both Pritzker and Biss.
Kennedy says Biss didn’t do enough when he could have to further Democrat ideals and the campaign promises that he’s running on now.
Voters go to the polls on Tuesday.
The ethanol industry and its backers in Congress are keeping the heat on Trump Administration officials not to cap ethanol credits as the oil industry wants, and instead back the renewable fuels program as written. It appears, the pressure campaign may be having some impact.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt recently suggested there may be other ways to bring down RIN prices the oil industry complains about—perhaps more transparency of the RINs market, maybe targeting speculators.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue just days ago, dismissed in a USDA Radio story recent public skepticism about his support for the Renewable Fuels Standard.
And at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on infrastructure this week, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth told Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross…
But, unsure Ross or other Trump officials won’t hedge again if the President presses them to find a way to help the oil industry, Duckworth asked Ross for his word, he will continue to fight demands to cap RINs…
Secretary Perdue also raised doubts about his RFS support at this year’s Commodity Classic conference, questioning the connection between RIN prices and ethanol demand.
But Duckworth also put Perdue on the record…
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley defended Perdue this week after criticizing Perdue’s earlier RINs stance, arguing Perdue was just ‘thinking through’ the economics of capping RIN prices and was probably under pressure by the president to resolve the issue.
Winter weather delayed progress at a planned gas station in Clinton but crews are back to work now that the weather has broken.
City Administrator Tim Followell says there's movement and things are going to start to take shape over the next few weeks.
Followell says he's not been updated on a timeline for completion but estimates construction crews lost probably a month of progress.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS REMINDING THE PUBLIC TO PARTY SAFELY THIS ST. PATRICK’S DAY.
IT’S A GOOD IDEA FOR THOSE CELEBRATING TO PLAN AHEAD OF TIME HOW THEY ARE GOING TO GET HOME SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON KELSEA GURSKI. POLICE ACROSS THE STATE WILL BE LOOKING FOR DRUNK DRIVERS THIS WEEKEND.
LAST YEAR 15 PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN CRASHES AROUND ST. PATRICK’S DAY AND FOUR OF THOSE DEATHS WERE LINKED TO DRUNK DRIVERS.
Job gains are being seen in Illinois. Eleven of the twelve metro areas picked up jobs over last year. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says that the unemployment rate is lower in all metro areas. That marks the 8th consecutive month of improvement.
That’s IDES’s Bob Gough. Areas with a heavy reliance on manufacturing saw solid job bumps including Rockford and Peoria.
It’s a crowded race for Attorney General on the Democrat side, and the field includes former Governor Pat Quinn. He says that running for AG is no step down for him; rather it’s another opportunity to represent the middle class of the state.
The primary election day is Tuesday March 20.
We saw a brief warm up in the weather mid-week but things finished cool and wet in places this week. State Climotologist talks this weekend's forecast and what's ahead for next week.
Illinois is brewing up excitement for the bicentennial celebration.
This week, Governor Bruce Rauner visited Binny's Beverage Depot in Springfield for the roll out of the state's official bicentennial beer ‘1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale', which was created by Petersburg based Hand of Fate Brewing Company. They defeated other top craft brewers i a competition at last year's Illinois State Fair.
Hand of Fate owner Mike Allison is thrilled to represent the state, less than two years after Hand of Fate opened its doors.
Governor Rauner says its an exciting moment for Illinois agriculture and the craft brewing industry.
The beer is now available at most Binny's, Jewel-Osco's, HyVee's and other select retailers statewide.
Drive a Ford vehicle Saturday and $20 goes to The Vault in Clinton.
Board member for The Vault, Jered Shofner indicates Andrerson Ford is donating $20 for every test drive this Saturday at their dealership in Clinton.
Join The Vault, again on Saturday at Anderson Ford in Clinton for the test drive event from 8 am to 5 pm.
In April, there are two more fundraisers the weekend of April 21 and 22. Visit their Facebook page, by searching The Vault Clinton.
Join the Kenney Fire Department again on Good Friday when they host their annual blood drive.
Fritz Robinson says this has become an annual event they host for the community and this year Good Friday falls on March 30, and the drive is from noon to 6 pm at the Kenney Fire Department.
Kenney Fire's Troy Lashbrook says they took 49 units last year. He hopes to get that much and more this year.
Last year, the Fire Department last year did the drive in memorial of a former firefighter in Kenney.
If you've given blood before, you can electronically access your donor card and Lashbrook says you can get yourself in and out faster if you use the app to get all your information filled out before you arrive, but you have to do it the day of.
To get registered, you can contact Lashbrook at 563-321-0416 or Robinson at 217-620-5407. You can also register at redcrossblood.org.
If you are teen who is not in school and looking for work or a young displaced worker, a program for DeWitt and Macon County residents is for you.
Shelby Valladares with Workforce Investment Solutions in Decatur explains they work with young adults between 16 and 24 and they are seeking to get them into work through a number of avenues.
According to Valladares, getting help through Workforce Investment Solutions can be as simple as providing resume support. She points out it can be as extensive as getting help for continuing education opportunities.
In some cases, it could take up to two years to find permanent stable employment, but if you stay committed to the process, Valladares says she'll work with you to get to that point.
Valladares can be reached in Decatur for questions at 217-875-8766.
The state may finally have a plan to handle, on a long term basis the Legionella outbreaks at the Quincy Veterans Home.
Since 2015, 13 people have been killed by Legionnaires’ disease and dozens more sickened. Governor Bruce Rauner says they want to go further than what the Centers for Disease Control has suggested doing.
A consideration is to purchase a vacant nursing home next door to the Quincy Veterans Home for some residents to move into along other potential home sites.
Rauner says there is also a plan to design a new facility to replace the existing home where Legionnaires has been difficult to eradicate. As the new plans were released Rauner is still trying to defend his administration’s handling of the outbreak dating back to 2015.
If you choose to participate in the community electric aggregation program, your electric rates will be dropping come June.
That's the message from Clinton City Administrator Tim Followell, who indicates the bidding process happened last week and the supplier for this cycle is the same, the rate is dropping and it will go into effect June 1.
The first year of the upcoming three-year bid is going to be lower, and while it is not much, Followell says some households could save anywhere from $5 to $15 per month.
Followell says because this will be a new cycle, residents who do not want to participate will need to submit another opt-out letter, which they should be expecting in the mail very soon.
After year one of the three-year contract, the rate goes down for years two and three, and Followell points out they are also projecting the rate to be lower than what Ameren will likely come in at around June as well.
Students in Clinton this month will be under the instruction of the School Resource Office, Mike Bennett, for the annual self-awareness training through the Clinton Police Department.
Officer Bennet indicates the training is intended for female students in junior high school and high school and it is given during a week in March in their physical education class.
The program is a three-to-five day program for the students. According to Bennett, the students start out learning about some simple things in areas of self-awareness with a little self-defense.
Last week, Officer Bennett was in the junior high school. This week, he is working with high school students. He will also be at Blue Ridge Schools and for the first time at Olympia. The program originated in LeRoy, where Bennett will also be.
School leaders in Monticello are hoping the third time's a charm for a referendum to update their facilities.
Two prior referendums have failed in the community as the district seeks to update school buildings that are, in some cases, over 100 years old. Dr. Vic Zimmerman says they're proposing an almost $30-million renovation to their current high school and Washington School campus.
Under the proposal, Lincoln School would close and the district would go to two elementary schools. Dr. Zimmerman says this proposal is different from the first two proposals in that there is no proposal for a new school building.
Dr. Zimmerman feels the district needs new facilities as their current facilities do not match up to the level education happening in the district nor does it meet the standards of students and families in the district.
Buildings in Monticello were constructed in 1893, 1911, 1921, and 1923 and a new middle school was constructed in 2003.
SENATE LAWMAKERS ARE ADVANCING A SERIES OF GUN CONTROL MEASURES.
LEGISLATION REQUIRING A 72 HOUR COOLING OFF PERIOD FOR BUYING AN ASSAULT WEAPON IS HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK. A BAN ON BUMP STOCKS AND RAISING THE AGE TO PURCHASE AN ASSAULT RIFLE GO TO THE HOUSE. SENATOR DON HARMON OF OAK PARK SAYS HE’S HOPEFUL THIS IS THE YEAR TO CHANGE GUN LAWS.
HARMON SAYS HE IS ALSO PREPARING TO OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR’S VETO OF A BILL REQUIRING GUN DEALERS TO BE LICENSED BY THE STATE.
THE SENATE APPROVED A BAN ON BUMP STOCKS…AND RAISING THE LEGAL AGE TO HAVE AN ASSAULT RIFLE TO 21. SENATOR NEIL ANDERSON OF MOLINE OPPOSES THAT MEASURE.
BOTH OF THOSE BILLS RETURN TO THE HOUSE FOR A VOTE.
As the debate on gun control took the national stage with school walkouts across the country the Illinois Senate passed a number of measures to try and curb gun violence.
The senate did not try and override Governor Bruce Rauner’s gun store licensing bill veto. That vote is expected in April. Rauner says today understood the action that brought students to walk out of class.
He’s still pressing for what he calls bipartisan action on gun control. Rauner says as the walkouts were going on he was meeting with law enforcement officials on plans to create an interstate crime prevention network.
Sunday Night's deadly New York City helicopter crash claimed the life of a Springfield (IL) High School graduate. 34-year-old Daniel Thompson, who worked as an employee of the helicopter tour company that operated the craft, was among five killed when the sightseeing chopper went down in the East River.
Thompson also devoted much of his time in New York to his love of music. It's something that began in his Springfield High School days under the tutelage of his mentor Mark Gifford.
Thompson served as president of the nonprofit Young New Yorkers’ Chorus.
Downstate State Senators Andy Manar and Sam McCann are pushing legislation that would bring broadband internet access to all schools in Illinois.
Manar says small town kids face a road block in their education due to a lack of internet access.
The bill would make state funds available and utilize federal funds to make Illinois one of the first states to make high-speed internet access available in every school.
Senator Dick Durbin tackled the issue of gun violence and mass shootings as students walked out of classrooms around the country to express concerns about school safety.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Parkland, Florida shooting last month, Durbin said the time to act is now on new gun restrictions.
Durbin than lashed out at Congressional Republicans and President Trump, as well as a three letter target.
Durbin also called on NRA members to demand tougher standards.
The flu bug hitting Clinton and DeWitt County combined with the opening of the Walk-In Clinic at Warner Hospital and Health Service's Family Medicine Center was a perfect storm, and it's resulted in a healthy financial bottom line.
CEO Paul Skowron says the opening of the Walk-In Clinic came right at the same time the flu intensified in Clinton and DeWitt County and resulted in January is one of the strongest months in the history of the hospital.
New customers have made up 20-percent of the Walk-In clinic's patients and Skowron hopes to continue to bring new customers to the clinic when the next wave of immediate care needs arrives.
Skowron feels the City-owned entity has laid a great foundation of services for bringing new patients to their facility. He feels there's plenty of things that can be serviced in Clinton.
After Skowron thought the flu bug had peaked, he indicates volume at the Walk-In Clinic has remained strong.
The numbers don’t lie. Many agencies are feeling the impact of the state’s opioid crisis and are also playing a role in the response.
Doug Wilson is the state director for USDA Rural Development in Illinois.
The USDA announced they will be hosting a series of roundtable talks on the opioid epidemic throughout all parts of the country. The first one is taking place this week in Pennsylvania.
With health insurance premiums that can total more than a thousand dollars every month, some Illinois farmers dread getting sick and wonder if they can get well without going broke.
Illinois Farm Bureau wants to find a prescription and held a rural Health Care Summit Tuesday to look for affordable health insurance options. Brian Duncan serves as the organization's vice president and leads a group of county Farm Bureau leaders examining the issue;
A representative from the Chicago office of Lockton Companies, which bills itself as the "world's largest privately held insurance brokerage firm," told the group the federal Affordable Care Act has been both a benefit and a beast. Lisa Carlson says some secured insurance despite prexisting conditions but now find only one or two options that are very expensive;
An effort to repeal and replace the A-C-A failed in Congress. In the interim, farmers hope they can find some affordable solutions to stay healthy in a dangerous and aging profession.
Governor Bruce Rauner is set to veto legislation demanding Illinois gun retailers get state licenses. Rauner wasn't willing to say whether he supported or opposed the legislation Monday, but he offered his priorities to reporters.
Reporters suggested Rauner may have been delaying a decision on the gun dealer licensing legislation until after the primary, but Rauner countered that he is looking for comprehensive solutions to gun safety.
Ahead of the primary election Governor Bruce Rauner has maintained that he’s being clear on gun control measures for the state.
Rauner says he has four goals that he is willing to work with Democrats on in the statehouse.
The only clear policy point Rauner laid out was a willingness to ban bump stocks and says he will veto a gun store licensing bill.
The first day of spring isn’t until March 20, but that doesn’t mean it’s not tornado season. Twisters are a year round thing in Illinois, according to Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Patti Thompson.
In fact the National Weather Service reports there were 16 tornadoes that swept across the state on Feb. 28, 2017 and that’s why you should always have access to a weather.
Further information on weather related tips are available on the state’s emergency preparedness website at "ready.illinois.gov".
The site is also giving away 100 weather radios as part of a contest that features a severe weather quiz. The contest runs through March 31.
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs is trying to fight off legislation designed to limit his office's ability to audit life insurance companies and other types of businesses to ensure they are in step with unclaimed property laws.
Frerichs says a new Senate bill would outlaw those audits and he says companies that knowingly keep unclaimed property would essentially receive a get out of jail free card.
Senate Bill 2901 is sponsored by McHenry based Republican Senator Pamela Althoff.
Jobs, sanctuary state, and taxes were among the many topics discussed by Republicans vying in the 101st district Tuesday night at Clinton High School.
Candidates Randy Keith, Todd Hendricks and Dan Caulkins shared their thoughts on a number of issues Tuesday night during the event hosted by the DeWitt County Republican Party and the DeWitt County Young Republicans.
When it comes to jobs, Randy Keith says Illinois needs to invest in itself and the jobs will follow.
Improving roads would come up again later in the forum and Dan Caulkins points to when the gas tax bill was rewritten and sent millions of dollars to Chicago for the Chicago Transit Authority.
Todd Hendricks echoed Caulkins comments and also points out Illinois' problem is not a revenue problem but a spending problem.
The candidates also discussed working together with Democrats to get things done in Springfield. Keith points to his record as Piatt County Board Chair and his ability to work with other people.
All three candidates oppose the sanctuary bill that was signed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Caulkins says he would not have signed the bill and calls it a terrible mistake.
When it comes to a property tax freeze and shifting the cost of teacher pensions to local schools, Hendricks says the Governor cannot have both or he will devastate schools.
Keith says his number one priority if he is elected, is to meet all his peers in Springfield and try to work with all of them.
Caulkins believes that he can make a difference and to do that, lawmakers on each side of the aisle have to find something in common.
Hendricks says he wants to make changes to the teacher retirement system in Illinois. He feels Illinois employees need to be able to participate in Social Security and have a 401K.
When asked about which Republican Gubernatorial candidate each is endorsing, Caulkins said he would make a decision next Tuesday when he gets the polls, Hendricks says he is endorsing Governor Rauner because of electability issues with Jeanne Ives, and Keith says he is staying out of their race.
The candidates running for the Republican ticket in the 101st district will be at Clinton High School tonight to answer questions on the issues important to you.
Nate Ennis with the DeWitt County Republican Committee indicates we are a week from the election and you can hear from candidates Randy Keith, Dan Caulkins, and Todd Hendricks on their stances on the issues that are important to central Illinois.
An audience at the Clinton High School auditorium will be able to submit questions for the candidates and a couple local radio personalities will also have prepared questions for the candidates.
Again, the forum is tonight at Clinton High School in the auditorium from 5:30 pm to 7 pm. Hear it in its entirety on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
When the IndyCar series returns to Gateway Motorsports Park later this year, you have an opportunity to experience what is being billed as one of the most unique lodging opportunities in all of motor-sports.
A tiny-house village will be constructed in the infield between turns 3 and four during race week, August 23- 26. Track spokesman John Bisci (BEE-shee) says similar villages have been popular additions at the Bristol and Indianapolis Motor Speedways.
Each unit rental will include two or four general admission tickets to the race (based on occupancy), one infield parking pass, two or four paddock passes and a concierge service provided by the Try it Tiny group. for more information, go to https://www.tryittiny.com/gateway
Republican Attorney General Candidate Erica Harold is fighting off allegations that as a beauty pageant contestant she told an interview panel that she would pick a home for foster children with known heterosexual child abusers over placing the kids in a home with a loving gay couple.
Harold says she can’t remember answering the question in 2000. NBC 5 Chicago says they have three people who remember her answer. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner recently donated $350,000 to her campaign and says that he supports gay adoption and Harold.
Rauner didn’t directly address her stepping out of the race for Attorney General. Harold’s campaign says that her current stance is supportive of same sex couples adopting children and being foster care parents.
Senate budget hearings in Springfield continue to progress and the Appropriations Committee Chair, State Senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, says he is confident the current budget will be used as a framework for the next budget.
Manar says spending limits were set in the current budget so state bills will not continue to pile up, and that after the long budget stalemate, he doesn’t see lawmakers wanting to start another budget dilemma.
Manar says the relative calm in the news about this year’s state budget shows that it has been successful for Illinois.
Senator Dick Durbin remains unconvinced that President Trump's talk of infrastructure investment will come to realization.
Durbin says the infrastructure program the President has promoted, isn't as big as advertised.
Meanwhile, Durbin is weighing in on the President's tariffs on steel and aluminum.
"President Trump wants to put China on notice for their abusive trade practices that hurt American workers and industries. I support that. The sweeping tariffs announced today are like dropping a bomb on a flea. Launching an all-out trade war will alienate the allies we need to actually solve the problem of steel dumping, and could have huge unintended consequences for American manufacturers who depend on imported materials."
A portion of Clinton High School students is planning to participate in a national walk out of class Wednesday morning to honor the students who were slain in the February 14 massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
Principal of Clinton High School, Jerry Wayne, says he was pleased with the way the students presented why they wanted to participate in this organized event. He feels this shows a lot about the students of the high school.
Wayne indicates the school is supporting the students right to freedom of speech but they also plan to follow the policies in place that do not excuse a student from walking out of class. He says these are policies are already in place.
Wayne views this as a way to change the culture as an example of how to treat people with respect.
Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles, hopes whether you agree with what the students end up doing Wednesday, that the opinions of the students and the school does not change.
Nettles says their message to students is once you know all the information and they still want to go through with walking out of class, they will do so knowing there will be consequences but leaders in the school will take their safety seriously as they exercise their first amendment rights.
Students across the country are planning a peaceful walk-out from classes Wednesday to honor the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School massacre from one month ago.
School leaders of central Illinois are behind their students right to freedom of speech but the response to students doing so is varied. Superintendent of Monticello Schools, Dr. Vic Zimmerman indicates as long as their students do not disrupt the school day, they view things as "perfectly fine".
Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles, says their administration is planning to follow the student handbook in dealing with students who choose to walk out of class. He calls it a potential disruption to the school day.
Both school leaders appreciate their student bodies for taking a respectful and mature approach to exercising their rights to freedom of speech during this time.
DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner is among many that have been involved with The Vault in Clinton since founder Michelle Witzke took her dream public for a community youth center in Clinton a few years ago.
'Investing in youth is fighting crime' is the message from Sheriff Shofner and the reason he feels this youth center is something the community needs.
The Sheriff explains, what The Vault will create is the breaking of a cycle that exists from generation to generation. He feels it will give kids a chance to reverse trends in their families that exist and provide them mentorship.
Sheriff Shofner says youth are getting exposed to drugs and alcohol at an earlier and earlier age and the mission of The Vault is to give kids who do not have a stable home life an outlet with some help and support.
Sheriff Shofner feels if they can get a youth into The Vault early, they have a good chance to change deviant behavior, those lessons sticking and that individual becoming a productive member of society.
Governor Bruce Rauner is proposing shifting the cost of teacher pensions from the State to local school districts and one local school leader says the issue has already been solved.
The Superintendent of Lincoln High School, Bob Bagby, says the pension shift issue has been solved but it is still many years away.
Bagby points out the new funding formula allows districts to fund their own pensions through general state aid. He says he has the solution...
Bagby feels school boards are conservative and responsible with money because it is a community's money and taxpayers money.
Comparing this winter to winters of recent memory can be very different from one area to another depending on where you're at.
James Auten with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says this winter has been in line with precipitation of recent winters but temperatures are varied depending on where you live.
Even though snowfall has been normal, Auten says moisture levels are actually below normal.
Auten indicates the abundance of rains from a few weeks went a long way to restore moisture levels across the state.
The Warner Library in Clinton is reminding the community of the free tax help being offered this tax season.
AARP is providing free tax help at the library this spring as the tax filing deadline approaches. Janet Ward with the Warner Library says tax professionals are in on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings.
Ward says if you want to take advantage of the free service, you do not need to make an appointment. Call the library at 217-935-5174 and when you make the appointment, library officials can tell you what you'll need to bring at the time of the appointment.
Kindergarten registration and orientation for Blue Ridge students will be held on Monday, March 12 at 6 p.m. in the Schneider School Cafeteria at 309 N. John Street in Farmer City.
Students who turn 5 on or before September 1, 2018, are eligible for Kindergarten.
Officials are asking only parents to attend the orientation session and to bring an official birth certificate and two proofs of residence if your child did not attend the Blue Ridge PreK/ECSE program.
Children must have a birth certificate and up-to-date physical and immunization record before entering school in the fall. These items are required before your child can attend the first day of school.
Please call the Schneider Office 309-928-2611 to ask any questions.
Blue Ridge has set dates for this year's free preschool screenings.
April 5 and 6 at Schneider Elementary School at 309 North John Street in Farmer City, children who are 3 or 4 years old at the time of the screening can be registered.
Children who turn 5 on or before September 1, 2018 are not eligible for the screening.
Blue Ridge officials say screening could take up to 2 hours and are also asking not to bring other children with you as you will be asked to join your child’s appointment.
Parents will be asked to complete an information packet and return it to the school a week before the appointment.
Please call Mary at the Schneider School Office at 309-928-2611 to schedule an appointment or ask any questions.
Illinois state Comptroller Susana Mendoza wants to force governors to meet payroll with their own personnel budget.
She's promoting legislation ending so called "off-shoring", the practice of shifting salaries to other agencies....
Mendoza says the practice impacts the wrong agencies at the wrong time...
While Mendoza has been an outspoken critic of Governor Bruce Rauner, she says off shoring has been an issue for Democratic and Republican Governors alike. Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold says the governor is open to discussing bookkeeping changes.
Trade is on many minds right now, between new tariffs enacted by President Trump to the renegotiations of NAFTA.
With that as a backdrop Governor Rauner says he’s headed on another trade mission. Rauner is going to Europe in April and will begin in Poland.
Rauner’s trip also includes stops in Germany and the UK.
Vermont Democratic Representative Pete Welch, along with New Hampshire Democratic Senator Tom Udall, introduced companion legislation into Congress attempting to reform the Renewable Fuels Standard.
On a press call announcing the legislation Thursday, the lawmakers were joined by Collin O’Mara, President of the National Wildlife Federation, as well as Debbie Sease, Director of the Sierra Club National Campaign.
The National Corn Growers Association says the bill seeks to kill what has been the most successful renewable energy program America has ever had. An NCGA news release says, “This bill ignores current science reflecting the significant environmental benefits of ethanol and would have a catastrophic impact on the nation’s economy, energy security, and family farmers.”
The bill would immediately phase out the ethanol mandate and reduce the amount of ethanol in American fuel by up to one billion gallons. It would also help farmers return cornfields to pasture and wildlife habitat through a ten cents per RIN fee to fund a new Private Land Protection and Restoration Fund in the U.S. Treasury.
It would pay easements designed to keep private land out of agricultural production and
keep the lands in conservation uses, including grassland, forests, and pollinator habitat.
Criminal justice reform has been on the mind of lawmakers and the Governor for a few years now. That even trickles down to what can be seen as fairly minor violation including driving on a suspended license.
But it’s one that can get you tossed in jail. So the House approved a measure to change that. Republican Rep. Peter Breen says that throwing someone in jail for failure to pay off parking tickets or other minor violations isn’t a proper punishment.
If caught, individuals would face another citation but they would not be jailed. The Senate gets a say on the matter next.
Expect a warmer and wetter March. That's according to State Climotologist Jim Angel, and as we enter a new week, it will be a cool and dry week.
About 20-percent of Warner Hospital and Health Services funding was on the line before Illinois lawmakers took action last week.
CEO of Warner Hospital and Health Services, Paul Skowron, indicates the legislature acted on a mandate to revamp the Medicaid distribution formula for Illinois hospitals.
Skowron explains the legislation would set in place a new formula and he hopes in the next week, it will be signed by the Governor and then passed along to federal lawmakers. He calls this a very good thing for Warner Hospital and Health Services.
Overall, Medicaid is about a third of the hospital's budget and Skowron indicates if the formula had not been revamped, the State would have lost the funding match that comes from the federal government.
Skowron says overall, Warner Hospital and Health Services will gain 2-percent to 3-percent. He calls that a victory after original proposals would have seen the City-owned entity lose about five-percent.
DeWitt County seniors are welcome at Clinton High School Monday for a first-time program through the DeWitt County Friendship Center.
The program pairs Clinton High School seniors that made the honor roll and senior citizens to teach them the basics of using smartphones. Friendship Center Director Paula Jiles explains it's a program that was trialed in Farmer City and went over very well.
Seniors at Clinton High School will be encouraged to give their personal cell numbers to a senior for a reference when they need help.
Jiles also says this could be a good opportunity for seniors to learn some things about keeping themselves secure while using a smartphone.
Jiles encourages any senior to come to Clinton High School Monday morning from 9:30 am to 10:30 am.
Governor Bruce Rauner continues to hope for victory in the U.S. Supreme Court case involving an Illinois State Worker and AFSCME Council 31.
Rauner told reporters this week that requiring employees to pay union dues, whether they want to wear the label or not, is part of Illinois' culture of corruption.
Rauner said fair share fees were a big part of the ills of the Blagojevich era.
Rauner says he expects the high court to announce a decision in the Janus vs AFSCME case sometime this spring.
Legislation has been introduced in Springfield that would allow public school students to wear military uniforms during graduation ceremonies.
State Representative Dan Swanson of Alpha explains the motivation behind his bill.
House Bill 5661 requires that the student must have completed basic training for and is an active member of a branch of the United States Armed Forces and is in good standing with his or her branch of the United States Armed Forces.
The legislation was approved in committee this week and now moves on to Illinois House.
THE GUN DEBATE CONTINUES IN THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE…WITH SEVERAL BILLS PENDING IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE.
THE HOUSE HAS VOTED TO PROHIBIT ANYONE UNDER 21 FROM BUYING AN ASSAULT RIFLE AND TO BAN BUMP STOCKS. ANOTHER MEASURE THAT HASN’T BEEN VOTED ON YET BANS HIGH CAPACITY MAGAZINES AND BODY ARMOR FOR ANYONE OTHER THAN POLICE OFFICERS. IT’S NAMED AFTER SLAIN CHICAGO POLICE COMMANDER PAUL BAUER AND SUPPORTED BY SUPERINTENDENT EDDIE JOHNSON.
LONGTIME GUN LOBBYIST TODD VANDERMYDE SPOKE AGAINST LEGISLATION BANNING ANYONE UNDER 21 FROM HAVING AN ASSAULT RIFLE.
A BILL REQUIRING GUN DEALERS TO BE LICENSED BY THE STATE IS AWAITING THE GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE.
A documentary about the hot-button topic of genetically modified food could be coming to a theater near you. It's called 'Food Evolution' and its director, the Academy Award-nominated Scott Hamilton Kennedy, says it opened his eyes to fact versus fiction on the G-M-O issue;
Already shown on some college campuses such as Illinois State and Southern Illinois University, Linda Olson with the Illinois Farm Bureau explains why the group is working with collegiate and county Farm Bureaus to bring the film to other schools and Illinois communities;
'Food Evolution' comes to Galesburg's Orpheum Theater this Sunday at 2 p-m, and at Freeport's Lindo Theater on Monday at 6-30 p-m. The St. Louis Science Center hosts the film on March 16th at 7-30, and the Sterling Theater will host it March 21st at 6-30. More venues in and near Illinois will host the film April through June.
If you tune in to the Friday games of the IHSA boys basketball Class 1A, 2A state tournament semifinal games, the music will be courtesy of a DeWitt County band.
The Blue Ridge Band was recently selected to be the pep band for the Friday games of the IHSA state tournament. Band member, Kaitlyn Stephens says it is a great honor for them to be able to participate.
Band Director Chris Mitchell says the pep band plays approximately 60 songs and they've worked to get more contemporary music into their lineup.
The Blue Ridge Band will play at 11:15 am Friday morning then at 1 pm for Class 1A semifinal action.
They'll play At 5:30 pm and then again at 7:15 pm for Class 2A semifinal action.
When you get your paycheck, Social Security taxes are among the numerous taxes that are taken each time and officials are reminding the public during this tax season where those funds end up.
While pride is not something that is the emotion that is felt if you notice those taxes, Jack Myers with Social Security contends, perhaps, it should.
While you're helping Americans receive benefits now, Myers also points, you are building up a quote-"safety net", for your future or the future of your family. He says circumstances arise like retirement, disability or death.
Studies project one in four of 20-year-olds today will become disabled before reaching retirement age and one in eight will die before they reach full retirement age.
Myers also points out Social Security can pay benefits to minor or disabled children with a parent who has died if a parent paid into Social Security and 98 out of 100 children could get benefits if a parent dies.
About 500 steelworkers will be heading back to work this month. U.S. Steel has announced it will be restarting one of two blast furnaces and the steel-making facilities at it's plant in Granite City in anticipation of increased demand as a result of President Donald Trump's announcement of pending tariffs on steel imports. Congressman Mike Bost says he got the news Tuesday night.
About a year ago, the company called a little more than 200 workers back as it restarted its hot strip mill. About 2,300 men and women at the Granite City plant were put out of work with the facility's idling in December 2015. The restart of the "B" blast furnace could take up to four months. The "A" blast furnace remains idled.
It isn't just AFSCME paying close attention to the pending Supreme Court decision on state worker Mark Janus' fight against so called fair share fees.
The Illinois Education Association believes the decision could have a direct impact on the state's teachers unions. IEA Government Relations Director Jim Reed.
Reed says teachers aren't just concerned about their compensation.
The Supreme Court previously was deadlocked on the fair share issue before Neil Gorsuch returned the high court to full strength with nine Justices.
HUNTERS AND TRAPPERS HARVESTED 318 BOBCATS DURING THE LATEST HUNTING SEASON.
THIS WAS THE SECOND SEASON SINCE BOBCAT HUNTING WAS REINSTATED IN 2016…AND ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL HARVEST SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SPOKESPERSON ED CROSS.
ILLINOIS’ SECOND BOBCAT HUNTING SEASON RAN FROM NOVEMBER 10TH THROUGH FEBRUARY 15TH
141 BOBCATS WERE TAKEN DURING LAST YEAR’S HUNTING SEASON.
OF THE 318 BOBCATS HARVESTED THIS YEAR…159 WERE TAKEN BY TRAP…29 BY ARCHERY…AND 130 BY GUN. PERMIT HOLDERS SALVAGED ANOTHER 40 ROADKILL BOBCATS DURING THE SEASON.
THE RULES WILL CHANGE EACH YEAR BASED ON THE STATE’S BOBCAT POPULATION. THE HARVEST LIMIT FOR THE 2018-2019 SEASON WILL BE 375 BOBCATS.
There's still time to be a part of this weekend's annual fundraiser for the Clinton Athletic Booster Club.
Maroon Madness is an annual event that brings Clinton Maroons sports fans together for the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Clinton Athletic Booster Club. Booster Club President, Brian Ennis, indicates Maroon Madness is it's the eighth year.
Ennis explains the event is basically a reverse raffle with dinner and an auction along with a cash bar.
Ennis says they've been fortunate to have a number of local businesses step up to provide auction items along with their usual tickets to several sporting events in the area.
The junior high wrestling program will be the beneficiary of this year's Maroon Madness as they will be purchasing new wrestling mats for that program. Ennis says money raised goes back into high school and junior high school athletics programs.
There are still tickets to be purchased for Maroon Madness this year. To get ticket information, contact Ennis at 217-433-8769. Doors open at 5:30 pm at the Abigail in Clinton.
Get to know what's happening in the Blue Ridge School district by attending a special event a week from today in Farmer City.
Blue Ridge Connect aims to provide the community with information about the Blue Ridge School district and get questions answered with Blue Ridge administrators and Board of Education Members. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson, says it will be held in the high school library next Wednesday night.
Wilson explains this coincides with their strategic plan which is updated every three years and the community plays an important role in the future of the district.
Blue Ridge Connect is again, next Wednesday, March 14 in the high school library starting at 6 pm. RSVPs are being asked for by the district. To RSVP, contact the district by phone at 309-928-9141.
The state’s soil moisture picture looks good entering the spring planting season. DTN Chief Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson provides an update.
The first day of spring is March 20th.
You can grow rice in Illinois. Blake Girard has done it for nearly 20 years in the southern part of the state.
Girard was among the exhibitors at the Illinois Products Expo in Springfield last weekend.
He devotes 1,000 acres of his farm to rice and the other 1,000 acres to soybeans. The rice is planted between April 1 and May 25 and harvested between mid-September and mid-October, which is similar to the corn season in southern Illinois.
The latest sales tax receipts brought the City's revenue up over the year but Clinton Commissioner of Finance, Tom Edmunds indicates sales are remaining flat. He is encouraged, however, by the latest report.
Edmunds updated the Clinton City Council at their first meeting this month.
There was an update on the City code related to teen truancy. City Attorney Steve Myers indicates it updates the age of parents responsible for a minor's truancy from 10-years to 13-years old.
Public Works Director in Clinton, Steve Lobb, indicated to the Council they are working on patching roads as weather allows. They are also active picking up tree branches following the windy weather.
Yesterday kicked off a week of state assessments at Clinton Junior High School.
Principal Drew Goebel indicates they got the week started with an assembly and for this year, they have worked hard to emphasize the importance of the test to students and parents.
The test taking process takes approximately three weeks and Goebel feels the students are ready for the tests this year.
There are a number of issues with the testing Goebel has. He points to the length it takes to administer and the time it takes to get the results back as just a few of the problems with the PARCC testing.
While testing is common practice across the country, Goebel is hopeful there can be some adjustments made so there is not so much emphasis put on test taking.
A new reading curriculum is going to be implemented for Maroa-Forsyth grade schoolers next year.
First-year Superintendent, John Ahlemeyer says they are utilizing district-wide leadership teams to improve each of their buildings and their grade school is working to revamp their reading curriculum.
Maroa-Forsyth middle school faces a lot of staffing turnover this year, as they anticipate the retirement of four teachers but hopes the revamped reading curriculum will be attractive to their potential incoming educators.
Ahlemeyer says the loss of expertise and experience from those retirees is going to be a challenge, however, he feels it is an opportunity to bring in fresh ideas and new dynamics.
THE RESULTS ARE IN AND ILLINOISANS ARE CHOOSING THE BLUES BROTHERS AS THEIR FAVORITE MOVIE IN THE NEW ILLINOIS TOP 200 PROJECT.
THE PROJECT IS PART OF THE ILLINOIS BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, WITH A NEW CONTEST EVERY TWO WEEKS. SPOKESPERSON CHRIS WILLS SAYS THE FIRST CATEGORY WAS BEST MOVIE IN STATE HISTORY.
VOTE NOW FOR YOUR FAVORITE ILLINOIS BUSINESS AT ILLINOIS TOP 200 DOT COM.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan has delivered her final top 10 list of consumer complaints. Unfortunately, her complaint list swan song features an unwanted comeback.
Madigan says a familiar tool from identity theft's heyday remains available to help Illinoisans.
That hotline number is 866-999-5630. The second biggest complaint is education concerns, primarily student loan debt. The third biggest complaint had been number one for nearly a decade, consumer debt related complaints.
Put March 13 on your calendars to hear from the candidates running for the Republican ticket in the 101st district at Clinton High School.
Nate Ennis with the DeWitt County Republican Committee indicates that Tuesday night falls a week prior to the election and you can hear from candidates Randy Keith, Dan Caulkins, and Todd Hendricks on their stances on the issues important to you.
An audience at the Clinton High School auditorium will be able to submit questions for the candidates and a couple local radio personalities will also have prepared questions for the candidates.
Ennis says none of the candidates have anything negative to say about any of their opponents and feels they will be there to discuss the issues and talk about their thoughts to better the state.
The event again is Tuesday, March 13 at Clinton High School in the auditorium from 5:30 pm to 7 pm. Hear the forum in its entirety on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.
School security has been at the forefront of the minds of central Illinois school leaders for many years as many have invested hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in upgraded measures in their buildings.
Heyworth Schools are among the many districts to invest in their buildings to protect the community's youth and Superintendent Lisa Taylor says reading the news and being versed in the facts is something that is a must for everyone in education.
Taylor says the district has installed a new camera and access systems to their buildings. She points out law enforcement has access to those cameras and alarms for the entry alarms.
Allowing teachers to carry firearms in the school building is something Taylor calls "a little extreme". She explains that is not something teachers are trained to do but feels there could be circumstances to allow a teacher to conceal a firearm in the school.
Taylor says districts and law enforcement need to continue to learn from the happenings at these previous incidents but also be in tune with the red flags that pop up with students who display signs of potential to commit acts of violence.
Taylor is promoting educating youth on the fact the police exist to protect them. She says there's nothing that is 100% foolproof.
It's too early to tell if planting could take place early in central Illinois.
National Weather Service Meteorologist James Auten indicates soil content has no frost depth as it has already melted but it is still too soon to indicate if planting could take place early.
Auten indicates March is calling to be above normal in precipitation amounts and average temperatures.
It's official, youth is being served at the Illinois State Fair.
25-year-old Luke Sailer has made a strong impression since joining the Illinois Department of Agriculture and now the Carmi native has been named the new State Fair Manager on a permanent basis.
Sailer has learned the finer points of the job, including realizing you can't wait to wait to book or promote concerts.
He's the fourth man to hold that title in three years. He has served in an interim capacity since Kevin Gordon announced his retirement and previously served as assistant state fair manager.
THE ILLINOIS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY IS PUTTING MONEY FROM A SETTLEMENT WITH VOLKSWAGEN TO GOOD USE.
THE STATE IS GETTING MORE THAN 108 MILLION DOLLARS AFTER IT WAS DISCOVERED VOLKSWAGEN WAS USING SOFTWARE IN CERTAIN DIESEL VEHICLES TO CHEAT EMISSIONS TESTS. I-E-P-A SPOKESPERSON KIM BIGGS SAYS THAT MONEY WILL GO TOWARDS ALTERNATE FUEL AND ENERGY PROJECTS AROUND THE STATE.
BIGGS SAYS THEY PLAN TO USE THAT MONEY TO FUND PROJECTS THAT HELP REDUCE NITROGEN OXIDE EMISSIONS AND HAVE POSTED A DRAFT PLAN ON THEIR WEBSITE.
I-E-P-A HAS POSTED A DRAFT PLAN FOR THE PROGRAM ON ITS WEBSITE AND IS SEEKING PUBLIC INPUT. AFTER THAT THE AGENCY WILL START FUNDING PROJECTS.
THE POPULAR ILLINOIS PRODUCTS EXPO WILL BE HELD THIS WEEKEND ON THE STATE FAIRGROUNDS IN SPRINGFIELD.
THE EXPO IS CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF INTRODUCING THE PUBLIC TO FOOD AND DRINK PRODUCTS MADE IN ILLINOIS SAYS STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPOKESPERSON REBECCA CLACK.
CLARK SAYS THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF ITEMS TO TRY.
ADMISSION IS FIVE DOLLARS PER PERSON AND YOU CAN SAMPLE THE FOOD PRODUCTS FOR FREE. WINE TASTINGS ARE AVAILABLE FOR A SMALL FEE AND YOU CAN PURCHASE MANY OF THE PRODUCTS TO TAKE HOME. THE EXPO RUNS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY IN THE ORR BUILDING.
The Illinois Sheriff's Association is offering a scholarship to a high school senior in each County in Illinois and DeWitt Sheriff Jered Shofner is encouraging high school students in DeWitt County to apply for it again in 2018.
Sheriff Shofner indicates the scholarship is for $500 and there is a short essay on a certain topic and this year's topic is about law enforcement's relationship with youth in the community.
Visit dewittsheriff.com for all the details. Applications are due to the Sheriff's Office by 4:30 pm Thursday, March 15.
This week on the WHOW Morning Show, we caught up with students about the importance of The Vault in Clinton and a local Superintendent heard that interview and chimed in his with his compliments of their efforts.
Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools, John Ahlemeyer says students like Olivia Earl and Jonathon Kane are in each district and is impressed with their efforts to create a teen center in Clinton.
Students in Clinton have been hard at work along with several adult leaders to create The Vault.
Get more information by finding them on Facebook or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAST MONTH WAS THE WETTEST FEBRUARY ON RECORD IN ILLINOIS. SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL IN THE THE NORTH AND THEN HEAVY RAINS OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS PUSHED FEBRUARY INTO THE RECORD BOOKS SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL.
THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS PROMOTING SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WITH A NEW CONTEST.
THIS IS THE TIME OF YEAR TO BE READY FOR ANYTHING WHEN IT COMES TO ILLINOIS WEATHER. A WEATHER RADIO IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO TRACK STORMS SAYS IEMA SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON.
THOMPSON EXPLAINS HOW TO ENTER.
THEN YOU’LL TAKE A SHORT QUIZ AND ENTER THE GIVEAWAY. THE CONTEST RUNS THROUGH MARCH 31ST AT: READY DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.
If you ask youth in Clinton about The Vault, they will tell you it is a place for their peers that is much needed.
Youth in Clinton are working hard to make the sure The Vault becomes more than a continuing project. Jonathon Kane is a student leader and says he has seen what youth in Clinton are into and indicates it is impacting his friends and peers at Clinton High School.
Olivia Earl feels The Vault will be a great place for the community's youth and hopes it betters them and the school.
Earl says the outpouring of support from the community for this project has been great to see. She appreciates the fact the community cares about her and her friends and the generations to come in Clinton.
The student leadership has been a big part of The Vault's progress and Kane says the leadership and participation from his peers show their desire to make a change in the community.
There's still plenty to be done at The Vault. To get involved visit The Vault's Facebook page by searching "The Vault Clinton" or email email@example.com.
There are work days happening frequently and Kane says there's a need for skills of all types.
Congressman Rodney Davis is anticipating the Farm Bill language to be released by the House in the next week.
He says things should start to quickly move forward in the next week or two, calling the farm bill one of the least partisan bills in Government.
In the upcoming farm bill, Davis is hoping to expand ag research by streamlining communication between the USDA and their employees.
Additionally, Davis is focused on grain handling provisions and preventing monopolies from taking place.
THE ILLINOIS SENATE VOTED THURSDAY TO ASK FOR YOUR OPINION ON LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA.
THE BILL WON’T START ALLOWING PEOPLE TO USE POT RECREATIONALLY…BUT DOES SET UP A STATEWIDE REFERENDUM ON THE ISSUE. IT’S SPONSORED BY SENATOR BILL CUNNINGHAM OF CHICAGO WHO NOTES THERE HAVE BEEN ALREADY BEEN SEVERAL HEARINGS ON THE TOPIC.
SENATOR CHRIS NYBO OF LOMBARD QUESTIONS WHY THIS SHOULD BE ON THE BALLOT.
IF THE HOUSE AND GOVERNOR AGREE…THE QUESTION WILL APPEAR ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT.
Wild temperature swings have created a bumper crop of potholes across the state's highways. For IDOT workers, who attack the problem like a light infantry unit, there are clear dangers patching those potholes.
Kelsea Gurski with the transportation agency, says motorists should look out for patching crews, noting that you won't have the benefit of the kind of barricades and other warnings tied to construction work zones.
Gurski says the rules are the same as any work zone.
Last week in Jacksonville, three IDOT workers were injured when a wayward driver struck an IDOT worker and an IDOT vehicle with two employees inside. The worker struck outside the vehicle was in critical condition but has since been upgraded to fair.
Some parts of Illinois experienced up to nine inches of rain over the last week. The recent deluge caused flooding in parts of southern and northern Illinois. Brian Duncan farms near Polo and shares what he experienced in Ogle County;
Still, Duncan, who serves as vice president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, says he and other Illinois farmers look forward to tilling fields and sowing seed this spring;
The late February rains pushed the statewide average three inches above normal to a record five inches of precipitation, according to State Climatologist Jim Angel. Spring officially arrives on March 20th.
Recognizing Illinois’ top 200. It’s a project of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The effort coincides with the state’s bicentennial celebration says the museum’s Chris Wills.
There are 20 categories in all with voting taking place in two week increments at “IllinoisTop200.com.”
Wills says by the state’s 200th birthday on Dec. 3, Illinois voters will have decided the ten favorites in each of the 20 different categories or the official Top 200.
Central Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood gets an audience with President Trump this week. Among the talking points--the ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
LaHood cited 98-percent of corn that Mexico presently imports comes from the U.S., with much of that from the Midwest and Illinois.
He also discussed getting a new Farm Bill completed this year and maintaining a strong crop insurance program.
A BILL BANNING TACKLE FOOTBALL FOR KIDS UNDER 12 IS ADVANCING IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE.
A HOUSE COMMITTEE OKAYED THE MEASURE…MEANT TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM BRAIN INJURIES. LISA DIMUCCI OF BARRINGTON HILLS TESTIFIED IN FAVOR OF THE LEGISLATION, DETAILING THE EFFECTS THAT YEARS OF YOUTH, HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL HAD ON HER HUSBAND, SAL.
DOCTOR CHRIS NOWINSKI, C-E-O OF THE CONCUSSION LEGACY FOUNDATION, WAS ASKED ABOUT THE REASON AGE 12 WAS CHOSEN.
SAL DIED IN A DRUNK DRIVING INCIDENT AND THE AUTOPSY SHOWED HE HAD STAGE ONE C-T-E…A DEGENERATIVE BRAIN DISEASE CAUSED BY REPETITIVE HEAD TRAUMA. THE BILL WILL NOW BE DEBATED ON THE HOUSE FLOOR.
The Better Business Bureau is giving a heads-up about what they say is the next evolution of a familiar scam, but with a violent twist. In a recent email to a target, the scammer threatened to kill him, but said he would not do so - for a price. BBB Investigator Don O'Brien says it appears the victim was not in any danger.
O'Brien advises you immediately contact your local police if you ever receive a message like that. He says the FBI has received reports of similar communications in other states as well, and encourages anyone that receives such an email to report them to its Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Junior high school students in Clinton recently visited the Heartland Community College's Challenge Learning Center.
The principal of CJHS, Drew Goebel, indicates this comes back to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, curriculum. He says the Clinton Community Education Foundation helped fund the trip for the entire sixth-grade class to make the opportunity possible.
Goebel explains the experience was very hands-on with the students as they were simulating the actions of a space flight.
The field trip was the ultimate goal of any field trip a school may offer. Goebel says you want it to be fun but educational at the same time.
The visit also provided students the opportunity to talk with a NASA scientist, and Goebel says it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for some of his students.
The Clinton Community Education Foundation provided the opportunity for the sixth graders and Goebel says it is the plan to allow their sixth graders in the future this opportunity again.
The University of Illinois Extension office will begin a series of hands-on horticulture classes next week and they are going to be monthly offerings for DeWitt, Piatt, and Macon Counties.
Master Gardener Candice Hart says they are starting with hydroponics, or growing plants without soil. She indicates this is becoming increasingly popular.
Hart will offer courses like these once a month and they'll cover topics from seed starting to rain barrels and many other throughout the year.
The first one is Monday, March 5 in Clinton, March 6 in Decatur and March 7 in Monticello. Cost is $25. For more information contact the DeWitt County Extension office at 217-935-5764 or register online
Rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds are all up across Illinois after several days of torrential rains and National Weather Service officials are indicating the farming community is likely going to feel the impacts of the rain as well.
James Auten with the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates concerns of drought may not be as high heading into the spring thanks to all the rain from last week.
Central Illinois received between 2-4 inches over about a week but Auten indicates northern and southern Illinois got most of the heavy rain.
Auten says if there are any lingering drought concerns, those could be alleviated in March as forecasts are right now, calling for above normal precipitation in March.
As Black History Month wraps up the State Treasurer Mike Frerichs honored individuals who lead the way in the African American community. He also is pushing for more diversity in the business world in Illinois.
Frerichs says once he took office he stopped doing business with banks who do not receive a good grade on the Community Reinvest Act. And he has taken steps to open up more opportunity for so called MWVD firms that didn’t always receive contracts with the state.
Frerichs says more diverse ideas lead to better decisions.
The Illinois House is considering legislation that would take steps to alter the state’s gun laws. A bill written and named after a Chicago Police officer killed in the line duty would prohibit the sale and possession of high capacity magazines and body armor.
The person who is accused of shooting Commander Paul Bauer was wearing a bullet proof vest and used a semi-automatic weapon with a 30 round clip. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he supports the measure.
Opponents right now are pointing out that ex-law enforcement and former military may still own and posses some of the proposed banned materials, making them a target of the law. House members pushing for the legislation say amendments are coming to try and address those concerns.
Looking for solutions to the shortage of vocational agriculture and industrial arts teachers around Illinois? Rob Werden has a few ideas. He’s the director of the Madison County Career and Technical Education System.
Teacher shortages are also impacting core subject areas such as math, science and English.
LEGISLATION PASSED BY THE ILLINOIS HOUSE PROHIBITS ANYONE UNDER 21 FROM BUYING AN ASSAULT WEAPON.
THE MEASURE IS SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE MICHELLE MUSSMAN OF SCHAUMBURG WHO SAYS IF THIS BECOMES LAW…THOSE UNDER 21 WHO CURRENTLY HAVE AN ASSAULT WEAPON WILL HAVE 90 DAYS TO GET RID OF IT.
OPPONENTS SAYS THIS ISN’T NEEDED SINCE YOU CAN’T BUY A GUN WITHOUT A FOID CARD AND A PARENT HAS TO SIGN OFF FOR ANYONE UNDER 21 TO GET THE CARD. THE BILL NOW MOVES TO THE SENATE.
GUN DEALERS IN ILLINOIS WILL HAVE TO BE LICENSED BY THE STATE UNDER LEGISLATION HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK.
THE MEASURE REQUIRES STATE LICENSURE…BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR DEALERS AND EMPLOYEES…AND CONTINUING EDUCATION ABOUT PREVENTING THEFT AND IDENTIFYING STRAW PURCHASES. REPRESENTATIVE STEVE ANDERSON OF GENEVA SUPPORTS THE PROPOSAL.
OPPONENTS SAY THIS WILL BE TOO COSTLY FOR SMALL GUN DEALERS. NOW, GOVERNOR RAUNER MUST SIGN THE BILL FOR IT TO BECOME LAW.
HOUSE LAWMAKERS ARE VOTING TO BAN BUMP STOCKS.
A BUMP STOCK TURNS A RIFLE INTO A SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPON…AND WAS USED IN THE LAS VEGAS MASSACRE. THE HOUSE APPROVED A BILL BANNING BUMP STOCKS AND TRIGGER CRANKS ON AN 83 TO 31 VOTE. IT WAS SUPPORTED BY REPRESENTATIVE DAVID HARRIS OF MOUNT PROSPECT.
THE BILL NOW MOVES TO THE SENATE FOR A VOTE.