Local News

DeWitt County Board Unpacks Loaded Subjects

Taxing marijuana, wind farms and Farmer City ambulance service were among a lineup of topics the DeWitt County Board unpacked Thursday night at their monthly meeting.

 

Land Use Committee Chair Terry Ferguson updated the board on the ongoing saga of the approval of Tradewind Energy's application for a wind farm in northwest DeWitt County. According to Ferguson, the application has yet to be approved and the Committee is going to have to set a special meeting to get things figured out.

 

 

There is some uncertainty surrounding the future of ambulance services in Farmer City. Safety Committee Chair Lance Reece says the County has been approached about expanding EMS services to Farmer City once Arrow Ambulance service agreement expires.

 

 

According to Reece, EMS leadership has agreed to work with the committee and Farmer City to try to get services to that community once their agreement expires next summer.

 

Thursday night, the DeWitt County Board also tackled the issue of a tax rate for marijuana. Finance Committee Chair Camille Redman says this is simply setting a tax rate if sales were to be allowed in the County and it had to be submitted to the State of Illinois this month to be approved by them by December 31.

 

 

DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg, responding to a brief expression of opposition, explains this is simply setting the tax rate for incorporated and unincorporated areas. 

 

 

In addition to the Land Use Committee discussing the status of Tradewind's application, the Committee is also being charged with directing the Regional Planning Commission regarding cannabis regulations. 

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Delta Dental Makes $100,000 Donation to DeWitt, Piatt Bi-County Health Department

The DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department was named the winner of the annual Widsom Tooth Award, a $100,000 grant, and that check was presented to leaders of the Health Department Friday.

 

Laura Vitek (Vie-tech) with Delta Dental says they are pleased to present the Health Department with the grant as they were impressed with what they were doing to improve dental health with children.

 

 

Director of the Health Department, Dave Remmert says the $100,000 will help them improve their equipment. He notes their dental clinic is about ten years old and the equipment is becoming somewhat dated.

 

 

Remmert says they can see anyone at the Health Department's dental clinic and their fees are on a sliding scale. He says they primarily see Medicaid patients but everyone qualifies. 

To get more information, contact them at 217-935-3427. 

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DeWitt County Museum Director Discovers Hidden Compartment

The 51st Apple n' Pork Festival next weekend benefits the CH Moore Homestead and its maintenance and upkeep, but the old building that has been around for over 100 years still has some secrets.

 

Friday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Director of the Homestead and DeWitt County Museum, Joey Woolridge told Regional Radio News earlier this week, she was informed of a hidden compartment in the attic of the old facility.

 

 

According to Woolridge, there is a small, two-foot-by-three-foot compartment in the attic floor. Woolridge speculates perhaps CH Moore kept money or important documents in that area.

 

 

Woolridge seems to discover something in the house several times a year she wasn't aware of and says it keeps her wondering what other secrets the house may have for them they haven't discovered. 

 

The 51st Apple n' Pork Festival is next Saturday and Sunday, September 28-29 from 9 am to 5 pm at the Homestead Grounds on the corner of Woodlawn and Center Streets. 

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New Tax Amnesty Program Available to Those Who Owe The State

OWE THE STATE TAXES? NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO PAY UP. 

 

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE IS OFFERING A ONE TIME TAX AMNESTY PROGRAM FOR THOSE WHO HAVE OUTSTANDING TAX DEBT INCURRED BETWEEN JULY FIRST, 2011 AND JUNE 30TH OF 2018. SPOKESPERSON SAM SALUSTRO:

 

 

SALUSTRO SAYS THOSE WITH OUTSTANDING DEBT SHOULD CONSIDER TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE ONE-TIME OFFER.

 

 

TAXPAYERS HAVE UNTIL NOVEMBER 15TH TO MAKE A FULL PAYMENT. MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: TAX DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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Durbin Sees Connections Between Big Tobacco, Vaping Battles

Another person has died in connection with vaping. The 7th death is in California and US Senator Dick Durbin says more has to be done to get vaping stopped across the county. Durbin says he see’s many connections to the current fight over vaping to the long ago battle against tobacco.

 

 

There are 52 confirmed cases of vaping lung disease in Illinois and at least a dozen more remain under investigation. One person has died in state after vaping.

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Illinois State Fair Sets All-Time Revenue Record

THIS SUMMER’S ILLINOIS STATE FAIR BROUGHT IN MORE MONEY THAN EVER BEFORE. 

 

TOTAL REVENUE FOR THE STATE FAIR IN SPRINGFIELD CAME IN AT MORE THAN SIX POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLARS…BEATING THE PREVIOUS HIGH OF SIX POINT FOUR SET IN 2013. STATE FAIR MANAGER KEVIN GORDON SAYS THE SUCCESS IS ATTRIBUTED TO RECORD GRANDSTAND CONCERT TICKET SALES, NEW PROMOTIONS AND MORE.

 

 

GORDON SAYS THEY ARE ALREADY PLANNING FOR 2020…SENDING OUT OFFERS TO POTENTIAL GRANDSTAND ACTS AND WORKING ON NEW PROMOTIONS. THE STATE FAIR IS A LITTLE LATER NEXT YEAR…RUNNING AUGUST 13TH THROUGH THE 23RD.

 

 

GRANDSTAND CONCERT REVENUE ALSO HIT A NEW HIGH THIS YEAR.

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Car Seat Safety Week

SEVERAL CAR SEAT CLINICS ARE BEING HELD ACROSS THE STATE IN RECOGNITION OF NATIONAL CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY WEEK.

 

THERE IS SORT OF AN ART TO SECURING CAR SEATS IN YOUR VEHICLE…AND TRAINED SPECIALISTS CAN HELP PARENTS GET IT RIGHT AT THE CLINICS. JONLEE ANDERLE WITH THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ADMINISTRATION SAYS THIS IS A VITAL STEP.

 

 

CAR CRASHES ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR CHILDREN AGES 1-13. HAVING THE CORRECT CAR SEAT FOR YOUR CHILD’S HEIGHT, WEIGHT AND AGE CORRECTLY SECURED CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE SAYS JOHN KURZATKOWSKI…WHOSE YOUNG DAUGHTERS SURVIVED A CAR ACCIDENT TWO YEARS AGO.

 

 

MORE THAN 100 CAR SEAT SAFETY CHECKS ARE AVAILABLE THIS WEEK INCLUDING 50 THIS SATURDAY. TO FIND ONE NEAR YOU…VISIT: BUCKLE UP ILLINOIS DOT ORG.

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ADM Flour Mill Ribbon Cutting in Mendota

ADM Milling President Kevin Like says 30 to 40 jobs have been created or transferred to the new flour mill in Mendota where he and other ADM managers held a ribbon-cutting Wednesday. 

 

Like says it’s not often a company gets to build new mill from the ground up. The Mendota mill has the latest technology for watching everything important.

 

 

The mill can process enough flour in one day to fill 60 trucks or 15 rail cars.

 

ADM sells to bakeries and other customers who buy bulk quantities.

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Bement Schools Focusing on Practicing What They Preach

Living out their mission is the goal of Bement School teachers this year.

 

Superintendent Dr. Sheila Greenwood says each year they give their educators a theme and this year they want to live out their mission statement, which focuses on communication and creating respectful learners and leaders.

 

 

According to Dr. Greenwood, her staff came up with this theme and the focus on their mission statement is something they are continually going back to.

 

 

The expectations from schools, leadership, and teachers have greatly expanded over the years and Dr. Greenwood says their staff has taken to heart the fact they spent a majority of the time with students during the school year.

 

 

Dr. Greenwood believes their students are watching their staff very closely and she says it is important they are focused on practicing the things they teach. 

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Central Illinois CEO Program Introducing Students to Basics of Business, And Then Some

The Central Illinois CEO Program is more than just field trips and some hands on learning opportunities.

 

That's the message from CEO Program Facilitator Melanie Brown who says they are spending the early portion of the program introducing students to the most basic skills like handshakes, looking someone in the eye and the proper way to present themselves. Thursday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, she called it branding themselves. 

 

 

Part of the program is to visit various businesses at their locations and learn not only about what they do but take advice in regards to business. Brown is trying to shift the mindset of their students away from thinking of these visits as 'field trips'.

 

 

The bottom line of the program is to show the students there are opportunities in their hometown and give them the skills to start up a business and make it a successful endeavor. CEO Board President Justin Fentress says there are a lot of great opportunities locally.

 

 

The program showcases what they are doing and basic details at centralillinoisceo.com or you can follow them on Facebook by searching "centralilceo". 

 

Around ten students from Clinton, Blue Ridge, Maroa-Forsyth and Warrensburg-Latham schools are participating in this first-year program. 

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Monticellobration This Weekend

The annual Monticellobration is this weekend.

 

Director of Community Development in Monticello, Callie McFarland, says Monticellobration is their community's biggest event that has come to encompass the whole community. 

 

 

According to McFarland, the Railroad Museum has gotten into the activities offering up a full variety of offerings and displays. She adds you can take the train from the museum to downtown and back to the museum.

 

 

Friday night kicks things off with an exciting concert at Allerton Park. McFarland says Dena Carter will perform and it will be an evening concert under the stars.

 

 

Visit makeitmonticello.com for a full list and details of all the things happening surrounding this weekend's Monticellobration. 

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State Police Say Tractor Safety Important Part of Farm Safety Week

Illinois State Police Trooper Tracy Lillard keeping an eye on speed during National Farm Safety and Health Week. And she’s using examples as well.

 

 

Lillard now oversees all social media for the Illinois State Police.

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Pritzker Lauds Illinois, China Business Relationship

As the trade war drags on between the United States and China a large gathering of business interests from that country were in Chicago this week.

 

The China General Chamber of Commerce - USA celebrated 40 years of working between the counties. Governor JB Pritzker said at the event that Illinois business remains good friends with China.

 

 

Pritzker took time to highlight to the Chinese business interests at the event that the state is working with a balanced budget and planning billions in infrastructure spending.

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Legislation Would Cap Out of Pocket Costs for Insulin

NEW LEGISLATION AIMS TO LOWER THE COST OF INSULIN FOR DIABETES PATIENTS.

 

THE BILL CAPS OUT OF POCKET COSTS FOR PRESCRIPTION INSULIN AT 100 DOLLARS A MONTH. IT’S SPONSORED BY SENATOR ANDY MANAR OF BUNKER HILL, WHO SAYS THE AVERAGE PRICE OF INSULIN HAS RISEN SIGNIFICANTLY IN RECENT YEARS…LEAVING MANY WITH SOME HARD CHOICES.

 

 

SENATOR MANAR SAYS HE’D LIKE TO BRING THE BILL UP DURING THE FALL VETO SESSION…AND JUMPSTART A REAL DISCUSSION ABOUT THE HIGH COST OF MANY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS IN THE U-S.

 

OFFICIALS SAY A PERSON WITH TYPE ONE DIABETES SPENDS ON AVERAGE, ABOUT 475 DOLLARS A MONTH FOR INSULIN. THAT’S LED TO PEOPLE RISKING THEIR LIVES TO CUT COSTS SAYS REPRESENTATIVE SUE SCHERER OF DECATUR.

 

 

ONLY ONE OTHER STATE, COLORADO, HAS SUCH A LAW.

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Grain Bin Safety Focus of Ag Safety Week

AS FARM SAFETY WEEK CONTINUES…THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS FOCUSING ON THE DANGERS OF GRAIN BINS. 

 

MOVING GRAIN BASICALLY ACTS LIKE QUICKSAND…AND CAN ENGULF A PERSON IN SECONDS SAYS STATE OSHA DIRECTOR BEN NOVEN. HE HAS THIS ADVICE TO HELP AVOID AN ACCIDENT.

 

 

WORKERS ARE ALSO URGED TO WEAR A SAFETY HARNESS WHEN ENTERING A GRAIN BIN. NOVEN SAYS THE DANGER MAY BE EVEN GREATER THIS YEAR…AS AFTER SUCH A CHALLENGING GROWING SEASON, GRAIN MAY GO INTO THE BIN A LOT WETTER THAN NORMAL.

 

 

THE MAJORITY OF GRAIN BIN ENTRAPMENTS HAPPEN ON FAMILY FARMS. NOVEN URGES MAKING SURE ALL POWER TO THE BIN IS OFF AND TAGGED TO REMAIN OFF.

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Census Could Impact Congressional Seats in Illinois

The state of Illinois could lose two congressional seats in 2020 unless more people make sure to get counted in the 2020 national census. Anita Banerji from "ILCountMeIn2020.org" is speaking around the state.

 

 

"ILCountMeIn2020.org" is part of a nearly 33 million dollar census effort sponsored by the state of Illinois.

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Ag Meteorologist Reacts to Latest Crop Report

The latest USDA crop report shows only 18-percent of the nation’s corn crop mature. What does that mean for DTN agriculture meteorologist Bryce Anderson?

 

 

With above-normal temperatures hanging around through much of September, Anderson says that’s provided a back end benefit to the 2019 growing season despite the extremely slow start.

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New 4-H Year Underway

The post-4-H Fair rest and recovery period is barely past us and it's already time to kick off a new year.

 

Lindsey Burden at the University of Illinois Extension Office in DeWitt County says the new 4-H year opened September 1 and that means it is time for youth to start getting back together with their clubs and plan on workshops and all the things that encompass 4-H.

 

 

There are plenty of programs to take advantage for youth in DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties. Burden says the highlight of the clubs is the ever-growing robotics club where the kids are doing some phenomenal things.

 

 

According to Burden, if you are interested in 4-H but wonder if you have the time for it, there is not that much of a time commitment. She feels there is something for everyone and feels it is a good experience for youth to take on.

 

 

If you're interested in joining 4-H or finding out more about it, you can contact Burden at the DeWitt County University of Illinois Extension Office at 217-935-5764 or visit go.illinois.edu/dmp. 

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Mt. Pulaski Schools Project Coming Along But Minimal Noticeable Progress

A major schools project in a Logan County district is moving along but you wouldn't know it if you were going strictly by what it looks like.

 

The Mt. Pulaski district is updating their facilities with an addition to their main building and it's going to eventually be a great benefit for their students and community but right now, Superintendent Fred Lamkey says it doesn't look like there's been significant progress.

 

 

Wednesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Lamkey told Regional Radio News the update includes five new classrooms, a media center, and an all-purpose room. He adds they needed to update the flow of their buildings. 

 

 

Lamkey says they needed to update their classrooms and get them up to 21st-century learning standards. They are hoping they could be moved in by the fall of next year but Lamkey indicates that is very aggressive for everything they have to do and believes the holidays of next year will be the latest they'll be using all their updates. 

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Clinton Board of Education Honors Late Ron Conner

It is customary to recognize outgoing Board of Education members for their time serving the community.

 

Unfortunately, that time was never allowed to Ron Conner, who passed away over the summer while still seated on the Board of Education. Tuesday night, Superintendent Curt Nettles recognized the long-time Clinton High School principal and his service to the community.

 

 

Nettles praised Conner's outgoing nature to understand what was going on and why decisions were being made. Nettles appreciated Conner's approach.

 

 

Nettles says it is still strange not to have Conner around but he still there are reminders or him being around.

 

 

Ron's family was presented with a plaque from the Illinois School Board Association and his nameplate that sat at his seat on the School Board. 

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Rock Springs Nature Center in Thick of Restoration Projects

The Rock Springs Nature Center in Decatur has a couple of projects that their guests likely have noticed and those are continuing to plug along.

 

Richie Wolf with the Rock Springs Nature Center says their two cat-tail ponds are under construction and are empty. The renovation is made possible thanks to a grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

 

 

The ponds will become one big pond and Wolf explains they are adding pathways for canoe and kayak launches.

 

 

Wolf indicates their bike trail is getting improvements at a couple of points. They will be shutting things down to renovate the bridges along the trail.

 

 

The volunteer and bus parking lot have been re-paved. Wolf says it comes just in time for school field trips this fall.

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City Leaders Pleased With Start of Business Boot Camp

The recently started Business Bootcamp in Clinton is drawing praise from city leaders who are pleased with the turnout the program has drawn in its inaugural year.

 

City Administrator Tim Followell on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday pointed out the third session of the program is Wednesday evening and he has been very pleased with the turnout and the response from their participants.

 

 

Followell explains the business boot camp gives individuals or couples looking to start up their own business the knowledge and tools for everything they will need.

 

 

The latest class introduced prospective business owners to marketing and Followell says their participants were very engaged. This week attendees will learn about the banking side of getting a loan for their business. 

 

 

At the end of the boot camp in October, those that have attended all four sessions and intend to open a business in downtown Clinton will have the opportunity to apply for a $5,000 grant to get them started. 

 

Followell feels the City may be on to something and is already exploring how to bring Farmer City into the program in future camps. 

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City Council Approves Brush Pick Up Program Changes

3 months are dedicated to brush cleanup each year by Clinton City crews and so changes to the program have been approved.

 

Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, the Council approved the changes that were a few months in the works under first-term Commissioner of Streets Ken Buchanan. Buchanan calls the changes major.

 

 

According to Buchanan, the change suspends pickup during December, January and February, however, if there is a storm that deems the program to be started back up, they will take care of those needs during that time.

 

 

Buchanan continues to implore the public to use the yard waste facility. Additionally, the size of the loads' City crews will pickup is now limited. 

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Weekly Crop Report

PRODUCERS ARE GETTING READY FOR THE FALL HARVEST AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

 

CROP PROGRESS STILL TRAILS LAST YEAR’S SCHEDULE, BUT MAY SOON BE READY TO HARVEST IN A FEW SPOTS SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SUMMA. HE SAYS 67 PERCENT OF CORN IS IN THE DENT STAGE AND 14 PERCENT IS MATURE.

 

 

25 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE TURNING COLOR AND THREE PERCENT ARE DROPPING LEAVES. 42 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

 

JUST 35 PERCENT OF PASTURES ARE RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 88 PERCENT COMPLETE.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE CAME IN AT 12 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 25 PERCENT SHORT, 57 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND SIX PERCENT SURPLUS.

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This Week is Farm Safety and Health Week

THIS IS NATIONAL FARM SAFETY WEEK AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE HAS SOME REMINDERS FOR THE HARVEST SEASON. 

 

THE THEME THIS WEEK IS “SHIFT FARM SAFETY INTO HIGH GEAR,” RECOGNIZING THE PERILS FARMERS FACE WORKING WITH HUGE MACHINERY AND THE NEED FOR DRIVERS TO GIVE THEM PLENTY OF ROOM SAYS STATE AG SPOKESPERSON KRISTA LISSER.

 

 

WHETHER IT BE WORKING WITH LARGE MACHINERY, DODGING CARS, OR THE LONG HOURS …FARMING REMAINS ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS PROFESSIONS SAYS LISSER.

 

 

THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WILL BE HIGHLIGHTING DIFFERENT SAFETY CONCERNS ON SOCIAL MEDIA THIS WEEK…INCLUDING YOUTH IN THE FIELDS AND MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES DURING A STRESSFUL PLANTING SEASON.

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Rock Springs Nature Center Beginning Restoration Projects

The Rock Springs Nature Center in Decatur has a couple of projects that their guests likely have noticed and those are continuing to plug along.

 

Richie Wolf with the Rock Springs Nature Center says their two cat-tail ponds are under construction and are empty. The renovation is made possible thanks to a grant from the Department of Natural Resources.

 

 

The ponds will become one big pond and Wolf explains they are adding pathways for canoe and kayak launches.

 

 

Wolf indicates their bike trail is getting improvements at a couple of points. They will be shutting things down to renovate the bridges along the trail.

 

 

The volunteer and bus parking lot have been re-paved. Wolf says it comes just in time for school field trips this fall.

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Blue Ridge Teacher Federation Approves Strike Exploratory Committee

Blue Ridge teachers could go on strike if a deal isn't reached with the Blue Ridge Board of Education and the first step towards that was taken Sunday evening.

 

The Blue Ridge Federation received what they call overwhelming approval for a strike exploratory committee. According to a release from the Federation, they were surprised and disappointed with the Board’s latest proposal. 

 

Quote - "According to the union, the Board still seems unwilling to take steps to address the issues that will help stop the revolving door for staff at Blue Ridge. Another session is scheduled later this month."

 

Blue Ridge Superintendent Susan Wilson released a statement Monday, quote - "We have received word the Blue Ridge Federation met Sunday night and voted to form a Strike Exploratory Committee. The Blue Ridge Board of Education respects and values the work of our employees. We remain committed and hopeful that we will come to an agreement that is fair to our employees and maintains the financial health of the school district. "

 

Federation President Don Anton said in a release Sunday, quote - "This committee will help us plan for how to best execute a strike and support members for whom a strike would cause a financial burden.”

 

The Federation says it has had one mediation session with the Board.

 

The two sides will meet again on September 24. 

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DeWitt County Clerk, Sheriff Discuss Property Fraud Alert System

Property owners can sometimes be at risk to fraud and DeWitt County officials are promoting an extra layer of protection from becoming victims to leans against the property you did not authorize.

 

DeWitt County Clerk Dana Smith Monday Morning on the WHOW Morning Show promoted their Property Fraud Alert program. She explains there is a kiosk in her office at the County Courthouse where residents can sign up to be notified any time there is a lean against your property.

 

 

According to Smith, a lot of times a lean may come against an individuals name or property by someone they know, and sometimes it can be a case of that person not realizing what they are authorizing their family or friends to do.

 

 

Sheriff Mike Walker calls this system an extra layer of protection because if you do not know something has been filed against your name, it can make things very difficult down the road.

 

 

Seniors can be especially vulnerable to these types of issues because according to the Sheriff, they still operate under the assumption they can trust someone who tells them they will do something.

 

 

The kiosk to get registered is in the County Clerk's Office at the DeWitt County Courthouse, located at 201 West Washington Street in Clinton. You can also visit www.propertyfraudalert.com or call 800-728-3858. 

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Clinton High School Wall of Honor Nominations Being Accepted

Clinton High School officials are asking the community to submit nominations for this year's Wall of Honor inductees.

 

Principal Jerry Wayne explains those nominations are being accepted now and notes if you have nominated someone in the last five years, they are still being considered but you can update their information if you feel it is necessary.

 

 

A few years ago, the committee shifted their focus from strictly sports standouts making the Wall of Honor to anyone that accomplished significant things in their lives. Wayne says it has been a well-received change.

 

 

According to Wayne, a committee makes the final decisions on the Wall of Honor inductees. Wayne explains it is a mix of representatives from the school and the community.

 

 

If you have someone you'd like to nominate, you can find the form online or contact the high school office to get one. Those are due to the school by October 11. 

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TS Institute Offering Budget Boot Camp This Week

If you want to get a handle on your finances, a local non-profit is offering a one-night crash course on getting started.

 

Connie Unruh is the Financial Literacy Coordinator for the TS Institute and she indicates their Wednesday evening event will help you get yourself started in setting a budget and better managing your money.

 

 

Unruh calls the boot camp a starting point for people, teaching about tracking spending and understanding where their money ends up each month. With a lot of good electronic resources available, Unruh says the tried and true method of writing things down is the best way to do it.

 

 

For those that come out, Unruh hopes to find out what they are interested in learning about. She says while a lot of people are at various points in their financial journeys, some topics will appeal to a lot of people.

 

 

The budget boot camp program is Wednesday night from 6 pm to 7:30 pm at the Warner Wellness Center at 418 West South Street. It is free and Unruh says anyone who comes out will get a budget booklet they will be able to use to get themselves started. 

 

You can get more information by contacting Unruh at connie.unruh@firstnbtc.com or you can call 217-935-7464. 

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Social Security Continues To Receive Scam Reports

Scam calls are as prevalent as ever with the creativity behind these calls at an all-time high.

 

Social Security continues to warn against these calls reminding the public about some basic things to keep in mind. Jack Myers explains the public is receiving threatening phone calls and the phone numbers are matching Social Security numbers.

 

 

Myers points out Social Security is not going to threaten anyone. Additionally, new trends are showing gift cards are being asked for and once money on those cards is spent, it is gone.

 

 

The best advice for anyone who receives calls matching these types of trends is to just hang up. Myers says if you want to report these calls, visit the Office of the Inspector General at www.oig.ssa.gov/report or you can call 800-269-0271. 

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Sextortion Email Scam

The Better Business Bureau is warning you of a new scam going around. These scammers are sending out emails claiming that they have evidence of you looking up pornographic sites, and threaten to share them with family, friends, and co-workers. They try to use these emails as blackmail and scare individuals into giving them money.

 

It’s called sextortion. Better Business Bureau spokesman Don O’Brien tells The Big Z these scammers want to be paid in bitcoin, virtual currency, or gift cards, all of which are hard to trace.

 

 

Red flags to be aware of in these emails are if the scammer doesn’t provide any details on the supposed site, can’t support their threat with evidence, and if they ask for urgent ransom. 


O’Brien says the best thing you can do is to ignore any of these emails and never send them any money. For more information on this scam or for more tips on how to protect yourself you can visit bbb.org.

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Pritzker Talks ISU Enrollment

Governor JB Pritzker says he’s thrilled about enrollment numbers at Illinois State University. The school welcomed its largest freshman class in 33 years.

 

Pritzker says education is a big focus for the state.

 

 

The governor says the capital bill that was signed into law over the summer invests into schools around the state, specifically 143-million dollars into ISU.

 

 

While numbers are solid at ISU, many other schools around the state have reported declining enrollment.

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Fall Hazardous Waste Collection Sites Announced in Illinois

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is announcing its fall schedule for collecting household hazardous waste .

 

Residents may take leftover household products containing potentially dangerous chemicals to sites in DuPage, Peoria, Adams, Champaign and Madison counties during October.

 

Waste will be collected in Bensenville on Oct. 5, Peoria and Quincy on Oct. 12, and on Oct. 26, in Champaign and Edwardsville. Those participating in Champaign must register with Champaign or Urbana officials.

 

Year-round drop-off is available in Naperville, Rockford, Chicago and in Lake County.

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Water of US Repeal Finalized

Final repeal of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule was announced Thursday, and what comes next is a revised definition. Rod Bain has more...

 

 

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Pritzker wants to address vaping in Illinois

Vaping recently has been linked to severe respiratory illnesses all over the country and here in Illinois. It’s something Governor JB Pritzker wants to address.

 

Pritzker says it's a huge issue, especially after Illinois officials reported in August a person died from vaping. The governor says he's gathered together health experts from around the state.

 

 

Pritzker says he's seen firsthand the effect vaping has on kids.

 

 

The Trump administration Wednesday announced it plans to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

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Weekly Weather Summary

Much of the state this past week saw higher than normal temperatures and heat indexes. That trend will continue throughout this weekend and into next week. State Climatologist Trent Ford has the latest...

 

 

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Monticello High School Industrial Tech Program Receives $50,000 in Donated Tools

A Piatt County school district's building trades program received a surprise donation in tens-of-thousands of dollars in value from a power tools supplier.

 

Ryan Woodham's young industrial tech program at Monticello High School needed a facelift in a makeshift space within the high school so he reached out to CPO Milwaukee to ask for a banner to hang to make their space look better. Instead, the company sent him almost $50,000 worth of new tools.

 

 

Woodham says they received everything from hacksaws, impact drivers and wrenches to lights with a stand, which is everything they could have hoped for.

 

 

Woodham says this donation will allow him to now focus on purchasing materials for their program and not having to worry about making sure their kids have the tools they need.

 

 

Woodham put up a post on Facebook and he says it was shared 30,000 times and he's gotten correspondence from people all over the country. He is very grateful to Milwaukee Tools for their donation and the impact it will have on their program. 

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Decatur Area Arts Council Pushing Community Grants

If you are a group that focuses on arts of any kind, a Macon County entity is encouraging you to check out their grant opportunities.

 

Jerry Johnson is the Executive Director of the Decatur Area Arts Council and indicates they offer grants to groups across the greater Decatur area, including Clinton and parts of DeWitt County.

 

 

Check out decaturarts.org for more information or call the Arts Council at 217-423-3189. 

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Secretary of State Announces Driver Records Now Available Online

ILLINOIS MOTORISTS CAN NOW GET THEIR DRIVING RECORDS ONLINE. 

 

INSTEAD OF HAVING TO GO TO A LOCAL DRIVER’S SERVICES FACILITY…YOU CAN QUICKLY DOWNLOAD A COPY OF YOUR DRIVING RECORD VIA SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE’S WEBSITE. SPOKESPERSON HENRY HAUPT SAYS PEOPLE NEED THE RECORD FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS.

 

 

MORE THAN 18 THOUSAND DRIVING RECORDS ARE PURCHASED EACH MONTH AT SECRETARY OF STATE DRIVER’S SERVICES FACILITIES. YOU CAN NOW DO THAT ELECTRONICALLY SAYS JESSE WHITE SPOKESPERSON HENRY HAUPT. HE SAYS OFTEN TIMES PEOPLE NEED THE RECORD FOR INSURANCE PURPOSES OR FOR A NEW EMPLOYER.

 

 

THE PUBLIC CAN QUICKLY DOWNLOAD THEIR RECORD FROM: CYBER DRIVE ILLINOIS DOT COM. THERE IS A 12 DOLLAR FEE PLUS A ONE DOLLAR CREDIT CARD PROCESSING CHARGE.

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New Lottery Ticket Targets Homeless Prevention Programs

THE ILLINOIS LOTTERY IS LAUNCHING A NEW INSTANT TICKET TO BENEFIT HOMELESS PREVENTION PROGRAMS.

 

THE GAME IS CALLED “EASY AS 1-2-3,” WITH ALL PROFITS GOING TOWARDS FIGHTING HOMELESSNESS SAYS LOTTERY SPOKESPERSON JASON SCHAUMBURG.

 

 

EASY AS 1-2-3 COSTS JUST TWO DOLLARS TO PLAY AND HAS A TOP PRIZE OF 20 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

 

 

EASY AS 1-2-3 IS JUST ONE OF SEVERAL SPECIALTY TICKETS OFFERED BY THE LOTTERY WHERE ALL PROFITS GO TOWARDS CERTAIN CAUSES.

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Attendance at DuQuoin State Fair Up

ATTENDANCE WAS UP AT THIS YEAR’S DUQUOIN STATE FAIR. 

 

THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE VISITING THE FAIR IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS INCREASED BY 23 PERCENT SAYS SPOKESPERSON KRISTA LISSER.

 

 

GRANDSTAND TICKET SALES WERE UP BY 26 PERCENT AND REVENUE ROSE BY 37 PERCENT. LISSER SAYS A SOLID GRANDSTAND LINEUP AND FREE ADMISSION TO THE FAIR HELPED BOOST NUMBERS.

 

 

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DeWitt County Soil and Water Conservation Fish Sale

The DeWitt County Soil and Water Conservation District are hosting a spring fish sale.

 

Available varieties are grass carp, channel catfish, hybrid sunfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, standard redear, black crappie, and fathead minnows all at various sizes.

 

Grass carp need to be ordered by Friday, September 20 and the other varieties need to be ordered by Friday, September 27 at 3 pm.

 

The fish will be available for pick up at the district office on Thursday, October 10 at 1 pm.

 

To place a fish order contact the SWCD by visiting them on Facebook @dewittcountsoilandwater, stop by the office at 5920 Revere Road, or call 217-935-2181 ex.3.

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National Weather Service Says Farmers Almanac Prediction for Cold, Snowy Winter Somewhat Accurate

The Farmers Almanac stirred things up late last month when they predicted this coming winter would be cold and wet.

 

The National Weather Service says predicting weather that far out is difficult but Chris Miller in Lincoln says that prediction is somewhat accurate.

 

 

Miller says things are trending to see a lot of weather patterns out of the north and northwest. He says that will make things pretty cold, but don't plan on extended periods of cold air, as things are likely to vary as they often do during the winter months. 

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Attorney General Concerned Over At-Home Sexual Assault Evidence Kits

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL IS RAISING CONCERNS ABOUT AT-HOME RAPE EVIDENCE KITS. 

 

THE DO-IT-YOURSELF EVIDENCE COLLECTION KITS ARE BEING MARKETED TO SURVIVORS…BUT REALLY DON’T PROVIDE THE SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT VICTIMS NEED SAYS ATTORNEY GENERAL SPOKESPERSON ANNIE THOMPSON.

 

 

THOMPSON SAYS SURVIVORS REALLY NEED TO GO TO THE E-R.

 

 

THOMPSON SAYS THERE ARE ALSO CONCERNS ABOUT WHETHER THESE KITS WOULD BE ADMISSIBLE IN COURT.

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Durbin Pleased With FDA Decision to Ban Flavored Vapes

After calling for stronger controls over vaping products this week US Senator Dick Durbin is gratified that the FDA finally acted to ban all flavored e-cigarettes. The ban comes as hospitalizations are spiking after the use of vaping products. Durbin says kids were clearly being targeted by e-cig companies.

 

 

The vape companies can, next year, come back to the FDA and try to make their case that the flavors are good for the public health.

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USDA Lowers Harvest Yields for Corn, Soybeans

THE U-S-D-A IS LOWERING THE CROP PRODUCTION FORECAST FOR ILLINOIS. 

 

CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS BASED ON CONDITIONS AS OF SEPTEMBER FIRST, THE ILLINOIS CORN YIELD IS 180 BUSHELS PER ACRE.

 

 

THE SOYBEAN YIELD IS FORECASTED TO HIT 53 BUSHELS PER ACRES, DOWN 12 FROM LAST YEAR. TOTAL PRODUCTION IS ESTIMATED AT 527 MILLION BUSHELS. THAT WOULD BE A 25 PERCENT DECREASE FROM LAST YEAR.

 

 

HARVEST IS EXPECTED TO GET STARTED LATER THIS FALL BECAUSE OF THE WET SPRING.

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Illinois Department of Insurance Working to Help Families Claim Unpaid Life Insurance Policies

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE IS HELPING FAMILIES COLLECT UNPAID LIFE INSURANCE CLAIMS. 

 

IT’S THE DUTY OF INSURANCE COMPANIES TO PAY BENEFICIARIES…BUT POLICIES AREN’T ALWAYS PAID OUT FOR VARIOUS REASONS. DIRECTOR ROBERT MURIEL SAYS CONSUMERS CAN SEARCH TO SEE IF THEY ARE DUE ANY MONEY ON THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE’S WEBSITE.

 

 

MURIEL SAYS THERE IS A FORM THAT NEEDS TO BE FILLED OUT WITH THE NAME OF THE DECEASED PERSON AND OTHER DETAILS.

 

 

SO FAR THIS YEAR…THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE FIND AND COLLECT MORE THAN 15 MILLION DOLLARS FROM LOST OR UNCLAIMED LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES. VISIT INSURANCE DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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Congressman Davis Says No. 1 Issue Should Be USMCA

As lawmakers reconvene in Washington, DC this week, central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis says their number one priority should be approving the NAFTA agreement.

 

Congressman Davis says Mexico has ratified the agreement and Canada is expected to soon and believes the longer Speaker Pelosi waits to call the agreement for a vote, the more leverage they give to China. 

 

 

Congressman Davis believes passage of USMCA opens up opportunities with agreements from a host of other countries, in turn, putting more pressure on China.

 

 

Davis says producers in central Illinois are growing in concern over tariffs and USMCA. 

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Warner Hospital and Health Services Annual Health Fair Draws Large Crowd

Warner Hospital and Health Services hosted its annual Health Fair from 5-7pm Thursday.

 

The hospital highlighted its new wellness center throughout the evening through tours. Lynn Schmidt indicates the wellness center offers a variety of classes for the public.

 

 

CEO Paul Skowron noted in addition to the hospital's facilities, 60 vendors from the surrounding area were present to showcase their health and wellness products and services.

 

 

Warner Hospital and Health Services also had a complimentary healthy meal and raffle drawing for all attendees.

 

First National Bank used the event to recognize the Warner Hospital Foundation with a check for $2,500.
 

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Warner Library's Semi-Annual Book Sale This Friday, Saturday

Stop by the Warner Library this weekend for some new reading materials and more.

 

Janet Ward with the Warner Library says the Friends of the Warner Library bi-annual book sale is this Friday and Saturday. They are not only offering books that have come from the collection at the library and through donations, but also CDs and DVDs.

 

 

The Friends of the Warner Library have stepped up to help the library numerous times over the years and regularly contribute to the summer reading program, which just wrapped up last month.

 

 

The book sale takes place in the basement of the library at 310 North Quincy Street. Hours are from 9 am to 4 pm on Friday and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday. 

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Monticello Schools Renovation Project Moving Right Along

You can see what is becoming the outer shell for the new gymnasium at the construction site for a multi-million renovation of Monticello Schools facilities.

 

Superintendent Dr. Vic Zimmerman told Regional Radio News says in the last month, things have started to pick up. You can start to see the shell for what will be the new high school gymnasium.

 

 

While the most visual portion of the project is the new gymnasium, there's also interior work being done and Dr. Zimmerman explains as those are complete, students will be able to start taking advantage of those spaces.

 

 

Flexibility will be key for students and staff. Dr. Zimmerman credits both for adapting to the changing conditions as the young school year has moved along.

 

 

Dr. Zimmerman credits all their contractors and architects for working well together and staying on the target timelines they have set.

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Warner Hospital Health Fair This Evening

The Warner Hospital and Health Services Annual Health Fair is this afternoon.

 

CEO Paul Skowron says there is going to be a great deal of health information from their various departments but also providers around the area.

 

 

Healthcare is moving into a proactive time, promoting preventative measures like the recently started smoking cessation class and overall wellness. Skowron says the Health Fair is a promotion of proactive health.

 

 

The Health Fair is in in the parking lot on White Street and runs from 5 pm to 7 pm this evening.

Hear live coverage from the event on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM/106.5 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com from 3 pm to 7 pm that evening. 

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University of Illinois Extension Now Assisting with Hemp Education for Farmers

Farmers who have considered growing hemp as a cash crop but are unaware of the best practices have an opportunity to learn from someone who's been at it for a few years now.

 

There will be a CBD Hemp Field Day at American Hemp Research in Roseville and CEO Andy Huston says that his company's objective is to assist farmers with getting started in hemp production.

 

 

He says that the hemp field day will help interested parties get a better understanding of how producers could benefit from a crop that he says could be "huge" for rural America.

 

 

The field day is a collaboration between the Illinois Extension and Huston's company.

Also speaking at the field day will be Extension Educator Phillip Alberti, who'll also talk about the potential new cash crop for producers in Illinois.

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Governor Pritzker Remembers 9/11

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS HONORING THE NEARLY THREE THOUSAND WHO DIED IN THE SEPTEMBER 11TH TERRORIST ATTACKS.

 

 

THAT WAS 18 YEARS AGO, THE DAY OF THE TERRORIST ATTACKS, WHEN SECRETARY OF STATE POLICE ANNOUNCED STATE BUILDINGS WOULD BE SHUT DOWN AND THE NATIONAL GUARD WAS PUT ON HEIGHTENED ALERT. TODAY…FLAGS ARE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF IN REMEMBRANCE OF THOSE WHO DIED AND THE FIRST RESPONDERS AT THE SCENE SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER. HE SAYS HE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT A TIME OF SUCH TRAGEDY WAS ALSO FILLED WITH HEROISM AND GENEROSITY FROM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC.

 

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS IT’S TIME TO REMEMBER THE NINE-11 VICTIMS AND FIRST RESPONDERS, AND TO RECOMMIT TO FIGHTING HATRED.

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Durbin Pleased With FDA Decision to Ban Flavored Vapes

After calling for stronger controls over vaping products this week US Senator Dick Durbin is gratified that the FDA finally acted to ban all flavored e-cigarettes. The ban comes as hospitalizations are spiking after the use of vaping products. Durbin says kids were clearly being targeted by e-cig companies.

 

 

The vape companies can, next year, come back to the FDA and try to make their case that the flavors are good for the public health.

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COUNTRY Financial Survey Shows People Want More Financial Literacy Taught in High School

Financial literacy will always be a continuing education matter. 

 

Just ask Joe Buhrmann. He serves as Manager of Financial Planning Support at COUNTRY Financial. And a survey they just conducted shows that respondents want more financial literacy taught at the high school and college levels.

 

 

Every other month COUNTRY conducts surveys of approximately 1,000 U.S. residents. Subjects such as financing, investing, budgeting, debt and insurance are addressed.

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Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Pharmaceutical Companies Over Opioid Crisis

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL’S OFFICE IS SUING SEVERAL PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES OVER THE OPIOID CRISIS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE LAWSUIT IS FILED AGAINST COMPANIES LIKE JOHNSON AND JOHNSON, JANSSEN PHARMACEUTICALS AND MORE. IT ALLEGES THEY ENGAGED IN DECEPTIVE MARKETING PRACTICES THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC SAYS ATTORNEY GENERAL SPOKESPERSON ANNIE THOMPSON.

 

 

THE SUIT ALSO ALLEGES THAT DISTRIBUTORS MCKESSON, CARDINAL HEALTH AND OTHERS FAILED TO LOOK INTO SUSPICIOUS ORDERS OF OPIATES LIKE HYDROCODONE AND MORPHINE.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE C-D-C…MORE THAN 130 AMERICANS DIE EACH DAY FROM OPIOID OVERDOSE.

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Clinton High School Principal Weighs in on Vaping

Vaping among youth has exploded across the country and central Illinois communities have taken action at various times over the past few years to try to curb this growing epidemic.

 

The Clinton City Council last week passed an ordinance that would fine students $100 if they are caught vaping at school and Principal of Jerry Wayne weighed in on the issue Wednesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show. Wayne says vaping has exploded among his students. 

 

 

According to Wayne, vaping devices are being created to help be discrete and easy to hide for students. He says it might be the number one problem in schools right now.

 

 

As this problem continues to be rampant among youth today, Wayne says now the emphasis not only shifts to increasing the penalties but also educating students and parents on this. Like many other things, he is focused on having personal conversations with the kids in his building about the impacts this can have on them.

 

 

As for the $100 fine students would face if they are caught with vaping devices at school, Wayne points out that is also a city-wide change, so it impacts teens outside the school walls as well. He believes the ordinance update was a necessary change. 

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Police Chief Weighs In On Missing Child Incident From Tuesday

A 2-year old Clinton boy was reported missing for a brief time early Tuesday and was quickly found and returned home safely.

 

That incident, unfortunately, is not all the uncommon for local authorities. Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says it was an intense situation and they had mutual aid authorities called in for help.

 

 

According to the Chief, oftentimes his patrol officers will encounter kids who have wandered away from their homes and sometimes find it difficult to find their parents or guardians. He says young kids become curious and accidents can happen.

 

 

The Chief thanks all those first responders that came to the aid of their department and also those that were at the ready if needed.

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Exelon Outage Starts Monday

The Clinton Exelon Nuclear Power Station outage gets underway Monday.

 

Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Site Communications Manager Gabe Goldsmith told Regional Radio News, the outage allows the plant to undergo routine maintenance and refuel. Between 1,500 and 1,800 temporary workers will be at the plant for the next three weeks.

 

 

While the outage helps the power plant maintain its efficiency, Goldsmith points out the outage is also a boon to the local economy. Local hotels are full, restaurants and bars see an increase in patronage and gas stations see an increase in activity as well. 

 

 

The outage begins Monday, September 16 and concludes Monday, October 6. Goldsmith says what is unique about this outage is it will coincide with the Apple n' Pork Festival and hopes some of their workers will check it out in their downtime. 

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Trump Says USMCA Better for Farmers

A revised trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada hasn’t been ratified by Congress. President Donald Trump says farmers will see improved market access once Congress acts.

 

 

The USMCA agreement needs to be called to the floor of the US House for a vote by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

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State Climatologist Talks Drought

The new Illinois State Climatologist is on the job and he’s talking drought. 

 

 

Trent Ford began his new job Aug. 15. He is a native of Roanoke, Illinois.

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Job Seekers Invited to Wednesday Job Fair in Decatur

Employers and employees will meet for four hours in Decatur Wednesday for a much-anticipated job fair hosted by State Representative Sue Scherer and Workforce Investment Solutions.

 

Larry Peterson implores displaced workers or anyone seeking new opportunities to stop by and see what is available. He indicates there will be employers from all over DeWitt and Macon Counties.

 

 

Employers are likely not going to be conducting interviews on-site, however, Peterson says that doesn't mean you won't have the chance to make yourself stand out. He explains you'll be able to interact with these employers and sell yourself.

 


The job fair is from 10 am to 2 pm Wednesday (today) at the Knights of Columbus Hall at 502 North Street in Decatur. Peterson says the initial opening is usually the busiest they get. He says if you want more one-on-one time, the noon hour is usually the best. 

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National Weather Service Harvest Outlook

The National Weather Service is expecting the cooler than normal trend that started in August to continue in September.

 

Chris Miller with the National Weather Service indicates Northern and Central Illinois are favoring cooler than normal temperatures, and are not expecting above-normal rainfall.

 

 

Miller says for October we usually see the first frost the last two weeks of the month. However, this year the National Weather Service is predicting above-normal temperatures for those weeks.

 

 

Miller reports for late fall and early winter we can expect cooler than normal temperatures.

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BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Missing Clinton Boy Found, Returned Home Safely

UPDATE:

 

Around 7:15 this morning, Clinton Police posted to Facebook an alert seeking a missing child.

 

Around 7:20 am Tuesday morning, 2-year-old Lenox Dallas was found and returned home safely. 

 

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2-year-old Lenox Dallas was last seen in the 1500 block of East Main Street. He was wearing light grey shorts with a cream blue horizontal striped shirt and was not wearing shoes or socks.

 

The young child was carrying a blue, white and grey chevron striped blanket. 

 

If you have information, contact authorities at 217-935-9441.

 

Police Chief Ben Lowers declined to comment at the time of this story. 

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McLean County Museum Unveiling Digitized Photo Collection from Local Donor

About five years, the Bloomington Pantagraph donated over a million of negative photographs to the McLean County History Museum and tonight will be the unveiling of a small fraction of those photographs to the public.

 

Candace Summers says while they weren't sure how to make it work when they received them, they felt it was important for them to accept and preserve the history of the county.

 

 

Thanks to a grant, the museum was able to digitize around 30,000 of over million negatives they received. Summers believes the interesting parts of these photographs is most of them were never published.

 

 

Tonight at 7:15 pm, the collection will be unveiled to the public and they will be available online. Summers says tonight they will show anyone interested how to find pictures they are interested in.

 

 

The McLean County Museum of History is located at 200 North Main Street in Bloomington. You can check out their website at mchistory.org or find them on Facebook. 

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Weekly Crop Report

CROP CONDITIONS HAVE DECLINED A BIT AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

 

CORN PROGRESS CONTINUES TO LAG BEHIND…WITH 88 PERCENT IN THE DOUGH STAGE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

THE CONDITION OF THE SOYBEAN CROP ALSO FELL SLIGHTLY TO 41 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION AND JUST THREE PERCENT TURNING COLOR. 

 

 

PASTURE CONDITIONS ALSO FELL TO 37 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION AND THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 82 PERCENT COMPLETE.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DROPPED TO 10 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 22 PERCENT SHORT, 65 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND THREE PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Durbin Wants Vapes Banned

One of Illinois Senators wants vaping and flavored vape products to be banned. 

 

Democrat Dick Durbin says that those items are focused directly at children and they are paying a deadly price for marketing efforts of Jull and others.

 

 

Right now the CDC says there have been five deaths linked to vaping this year in the US.

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Department of Labor Reminding Parents They Are Due Unpaid Time Off to Attend Children's School Conferences

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS REMINDING MOMS AND DADS THAT MOST EMPLOYERS ARE REQUIRED TO GIVE THEM TIME OFF FOR PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES. 

 

A 1993 LAW MAKES SURE BUSINESSES GIVE WORKERS UNPAID LEAVE FOR SCHOOL CONFERENCES…MINUS A FEW EXCEPTIONS SAYS STATE LABOR DIRECTOR MICHAEL KLEINIK.

 

 

WORKERS MUST REQUEST THE TIME OFF SEVEN DAYS IN ADVANCE AND CAN BE GRANTED UP TO EIGHT HOURS DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR AND NO MORE THAN FOUR HOURS ON ANY GIVEN DAY.

 

 

THE LAW ONLY APPLIES TO BUSINESSES WITH 50 OR MORE WORKERS…AND TO EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN THERE AT LEAST SIX MONTHS. AN EMPLOYEE MUST HAVE FIRST USED ALL VACATION AND PERSONAL TIME FOR THE TIME OFF TO BE GRANTED.

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Resume Prep Tips

A Decatur organization is readying for a big job fair in the mid-week and their leader is giving job seekers some pointers on making that resume look a little sharper and stand out a little more.

 

Larry Peterson with Workforce Investment Solutions in Decatur indicates it is important your resume be specific with what kind of job you are looking for. He says anyone can make blanket statements about what they are looking for but your resume will stand out if you cater it to the job you are applying for.

 

 

Employers want to see how you can benefit their company. Peterson indicates it is oftentimes a case by case basis and encourages anyone with questions about their resume to attend their workshop at their location in Decatur Tuesday (today) from 9 am to 10 am.

 

 

The job fair for job seekers is Wednesday, September 11 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Decatur. You can get more information on the employers that will be present by stopping into the Workforce Investment Solutions location at 757 West Pershing Road.

 

Again, the resume workshop leading up to the job fair is Tuesday (this) morning from 9 am to 10 am. Peterson says you do not have to be attending the Wednesday job fair to get help on your resume. 

You can get more information by calling 217-875-8751. 

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As Lawmakers Return to Washington, Congressman Davis Predicts Action on Impeachment of Trump

Lawmakers head to Washington, DC today and central Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis is predicting Democrats moving forward to impeach President Donald Trump.

 

Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Congressman Davis reiterated a prediction he has made for two years.

 

 

Congressman Davis believes moving forward to impeach President Trump is a "terrible path" to go down.

 

 

Also Monday Morning on the WHOW Morning Show, late-night host Jim Bohannon told Regional Radio News, Republicans should be welcoming this action by Democrats.

 

 

Davis agrees with the assessment by Bohannon, pointing out Democrats are concocting reasons to indict the President with very little evidence of wrongdoing. 

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University of Illinois Extension Releases Final Tallies of 4-H Fair

Organizers of the annual DeWitt County 4-H Fair are celebrating a successful 2019 show.

 

Lindsey Burden is 4-H Extension program coordinator at the University of Illinois Extension Office in DeWitt County. She says it was a busy couple of weekends that went very well from her perspective.

 

 

The DeWitt County 4-H Show has combined shows with Macon and Piatt Counties over the last few years and Burden believes the more kids and families in those areas get used to the change, the more onboard they are with it.

 

 

This year during the show, Burden arranged for some fun and games for youth to participate in to pass the time. She explains there can be a lot of standing around at times during the weekend so she wanted something for the kids to do.

 

 

The new 4-H year is now underway. We'll have more on that from Burden soon on Regional Radio. But if you're interested in joining 4-H, you can visit extension.illinois.edu/dmp for more information or call the DeWitt County office at 217-935-5174. In Piatt County, you can call 217-762-2191. And in Macon County, you can call 217-877-6042. 

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Warrensburg-Latham Schools To Assess Students for Emotional, Mental Wellness

A local school district is planning to introduce an assessment that will gauge the levels of their students emotional and mental well being.

 

Superintendent of Warrensburg-Latham Schools, Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle says it is important they know where their students are at in their psychological well-being because if they are not in a good place, it can impact their learning.

 

 

According to Dr. Kendrick-Weikle, the screenings will help determine how focused students are or how goal-oriented they can be. It will all come out in an overview of where their kids are at.

 

 

If there are areas for growth, teachers in the classrooms will work their students in those areas. Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says the teachers working with the students can take on different looks depending on the grade level.

 

 

Dr. Kendrick-Weikle doesn't worry about buy-in from the kids on these assessments. She indicates they have done self-reflection-like assessments before and their students, overall, take them seriously and they can get good information from them. 

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September is National Recovery Month

THIS IS RECOVERY MONTH IN ILLINOIS…WITH EVENTS PLANNED ALL OVER THE STATE TO RAISE AWARENESS AND CELEBRATE RECOVERY. 

 

THE THEME THIS YEAR IS “RECOVERY BELONGS” SAYS THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES’ DANI KIRBY.

 

 

IRBY SAYS IT’S ALSO A TRIBUTE TO THE DIFFERENT PATHS TO RECOVERY.

 

 

SEVERAL EVENTS ARE BEING HELD ACROSS ILLINOIS INCLUDING FREE OVERDOSE RESPONSE TRAININGS, OPIOID AWARENESS DISCUSSIONS, A THREE ON THREE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AND A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL. VISIT D-H-S’ WEBSITE FOR A COMPLETE LIST.

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ICJIA Looking for Members of LGBTQ+ Community To Participate in Survey

THE ILLINOIS CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION AUTHORITY IS LOOKING FOR MEMBERS OF THE L-G-B-T-Q COMMUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN A NEW SURVEY. 

 

THE AUTHORITY’S JACLYN HOUSTON-KOLNIK SAYS THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED HARM, AND WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THEY SOUGHT HELP.

 

 

THE GOAL IS TO IDENTIFY HOW TO BETTER MEET THE NEEDS L-G-B-T-Q INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE BEEN HARMED. 

 

 

HOUSTON-KOLNIK SAYS THEY ALSO WANT TO HEAR FROM INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE SUFFERED OTHER TYPES OF HARM SUCH AS EMOTIONAL ABUSE…AND THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER SOUGHT HELP FOR THEIR TRAUMA. 

 

THOSE INTERESTED CAN ACCESS THE SURVEY VIA THE WEBSITE: ICJIA DOT STATE DOT IL DOT US SLASH RESEARCH SLASH LGBTQ.

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Tips for Getting The Most Out of Wednesday's Workforce Investment Solutions Job Fair

This Wednesday, Workforce Investment Solutions is partnering with State Representative Sue Scherer to host a community job fair for job seekers in Macon and DeWitt Counties.

 

Larry Peterson and his staff will be hosting a special workshop Monday (today) on interviewing. He explains the opportunity to sell yourself to potential employers will be brief Wednesday so you'll want to make the most of it.

 

 

Peterson tells potential interviewees to be confident when talking with employers but doesn't talk too much. He recommends speaking clearly and doing a little research on the company you will be looking to apply with so you are informed.

 

 

The workshop for Monday runs from 10 am to 11 am at the Workforce Investment Solutions building at 757 West Pershing Road in Decatur. It is free to attend and leads up to the Wednesday job fair at the Knights of Columbus Hall on East North Street in Decatur. 

 

To get more information about Workforce Investment Solutions, contact them at 217-875-8751. 

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Workforce Investment Solutions Hosting Job Fair in Decatur Next Week

f you are a job seeker in Macon or DeWitt Counties, you'll want to be sure to put Wednesday, September 11 on your calendar.

 

Larry Peterson with Workforce Investment Solutions indicates the job fair will have dozens of employers in central Illinois looking for workers. He says if you are looking for work, this is the place to be. 

 

The job fair is Wednesday, September 11 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Decatur on East North Street and is from 10 am to 2 pm. 

 

Leading up to the job fair, Workforce Investment Solutions will be hosting a couple of helpful workshops. The first is on interviewing skills and the latter is resume building. The interviewing workshop is Monday from 10 am to 11 am at the Workforce location on West Pershing Road in Decatur. The resume workshop is from 9 am to 10 am at the same location.

 

For a list of employers at the job fair, you can stop into Workforce's location at 757 West Pershing Road and they will have a list available of who's coming. 

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September is National Library Card Sign Up Month

If it has been a while since you've been to the library, library officials hope you will make time this month to stop in and check out the latest at your local library.

 

September is Library Card Sign Up Month and Janet Ward with the Warner Library in Clinton says getting signed up is easy.

 

 

If you don't frequent the library very often, it doesn't hurt to have that library card active. Ward says you never know when a book might get released that you want to read.

 

 

The Warner Library offers movies to borrow and your library card also gives you access to the online resources through the Hoopla and OverDrive apps. 

 

The Warner Library is located at 310 North Quincy Street in Clinton. You can find them on most social media platforms as well. 

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Clinton Schools to Pay Sports Officials More

Last month on Regional Radio News, we highlight the Clinton School Board of Education's approval for pay increases for athletic officials.

 

Clinton Athletic Director Matt Koeppel indicates the raise was to ensure that Clinton offered similar pay rates for officials compared to other local schools.

 


Koeppel notes that for some sports Clinton was paying competitively so they were not raised. The majority of sports at all levels did see a pay increase.

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Scovill Zoo Director Reacts to Changes to Endangered Species Act

Last month, the Trump administration under-the-radar pushed through changes that would overhaul enforcement of the Endangered Species Act. 

 

According to cbsnews.com, quote - "The changes included allowing economic cost to take into account as the federal government weighs protecting a struggling species, although Congress has stipulated that economic costs not be a factor in deciding whether to protect an animal. That prohibition is meant to ensure that the logging industry, for example, would not be able to push to block protections on economic grounds for a forest-dwelling animal."

 

Friday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Director of the Scovill Zoo in Decatur, Ken Frye reacted to the changes and believes it makes preserving wildlife much more difficult.

 

Frye says he does not like the changes that were made.

 

 

Proponents of the change say this will allow more resources to go towards on-the-ground conservation enforcement. 

 

Frye is headed to New Orleans next week for the annual AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Conference and anticipates that being a big topic. 

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Charitable Giving After A Hurricane

Before you make a donation to help those people affected by Hurricane Dorian, take the time to see if the charity is legitimate. With disasters comes fundraising efforts. And with fundraising efforts come scam artists, according to the Better Business Bureau.

 

Investigator Don O'Brien says before you donate, check to see if the charity already has "boots on the ground." 

 

 

O'Brien says social media has made it easier for scammers to get your money. He says to be wary of donation seekers utilizing media such as Twitter or Facebook. 

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Weekly Weather Summary

It was a cooler week in central Illinois but we're in for a warm-up after some rain chances this weekend. Trent Ford with the State Climatologist's Office has more...

 

 

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Sen. Rose: Central Illinois, Ag Could Lead Illinois Out of It's Mess

A central Illinois lawmaker believes if there was buy-in from everyone, central Illinois and agriculture could lead Illinois out of the mess it is is in.

 

Speaking at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur last week, State Senator Chapin Rose believes for that to happen, the story of agriculture has to be told better for lawmakers, specifically Chicago lawmakers, understand ag's impact.

 

 

With optimism comes the realization that the things the state has done this year are going to impact agriculture. Sen. Rose points out the minimum wage increase is going to hit agriculture and wants to see the law adjusted.

 

 

The Decatur based show falls right in the heart of the Senator's district and says it is a great showcase of central Illinois and it's agriculture. 

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State Training Highlighting Updates on School Safety

SCHOOL SAFETY IS A MAJOR FOCUS AT THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY’S TRAINING SUMMIT IN SPRINGFIELD…AND STATE OFFICIALS ARE PROVIDING AN UPDATE ON WHAT’S BEING DONE TO TARGET THE PROBLEM.

 

AFTER LAST YEAR’S PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING, AN ILLINOIS SCHOOL SAFETY WORKING GROUP WAS FORMED AND CAME OUT WITH 13 INITIAL RECOMMENDATIONS. GROUP LEADER MIKE CHAMNESS SAYS HE’S PLEASED TO REPORT MANY OF THE IDEAS ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED…INCLUDING HANDING OUT “STOP THE BLEED” KITS.

 

 

CHAMNESS SAYS SEVERAL OF THOSE IDEAS HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED, SUCH A LAW REQUIRING SCHOOLS TO HOLD ACTIVE SHOOTER DRILLS.

 

 

ADDITIONALLY, A NEW ONLINE PROGRAM CALLED "SAFE 2 TELL ILLINOIS" WILL KICK OFF IN JANUARY, GIVING STUDENTS A WAY TO REPORT CLASSMATES THREATENING TO HURT THEMSELVES OR OTHERS.

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LaHood Says US Can't Stand Long-term Trade War

Reports are that President Donald Trump wanted to double tariffs on the Chinese after they retaliated against the US’s tariffs starting September 1st. The President had to be talked out of doubling them by CEO’s who warned of the damage it could cause to the economy. 

 

Republican Congressman Darin LaHood says there needs to be and end in sight to the disputes with China.

 

 

Trump ultimately decided on a five percent tariff hike on $550 billion in Chinese goods. This week the President has been tweeting that any deal with China would be much tougher if done during a possible second term in office. 

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Illinois Ag Director Serving on Broadband Advisory Council

First-year Illinois Department of Agriculture director John Sullivan serving on the Broadband Advisory Council. Specifically, he is charged with a working group dealing with the right of way access issues.

 

 

Sullivan was part of an audience with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week at the Farm Progress Show, which included state ag directors from Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Missouri. Among the topics was improving rural broadband access. 

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Davis Says Trump Still Feels He's Winning Trade War

Congressman Rodney Davis says by spending the month of August around farmers that he heard plenty about tariffs on farm products and the trade war with China. Davis says the President still feels that his path with China is right way to move forward.

 

 

Davis says a more immediate impact could be felt for farmers if Congress passes the new NAFTA agreement. 

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Call Before You Dig

Call before you dig. It’s the law. Ameren Illinois and a large collation of other groups want farmers and all landowners to dial 811 before doing something a simple as driving a stake into the ground. 

 

Gina Meehan Taylor with Ameren says for farmers regular farming practices like plowing are ok but if you’re starting a tilling project then you need to call before something tragic could happen.

 

 

The call and service is free and it’s also the law. Taylor says that if you would survive a pipeline hit you’re going to have to pay for the damage that was done.

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Bustos Talks Rural Green Partnership

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos touting her Rural Green Partnership. The effort aims to get rural America involved in lowering green house gas emissions...

 

 

Bustos was touring the 17th Congressional District prior to returning to Washington D.C for the start of a new legislative session. 

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Broadband Working Group Starting to Examine Roll-out

The Governor recently appointed a broadband advisory council to prepare for the rollout of $420 million in spending to expand broadband in Illinois. 

 

The group is trying to work through many early issues that will impact how to get high-speed internet to all parts of the state says Chief Technology Officer Lori Sorenson with the Department of Innovation and Technology.

 

 

Reports from the advisory council and working groups are due back to the Governor by December 31st. 

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Ameren Illinois Ready to Respond to Hurricane Dorian

As Hurricane Dorian heads up the Atlantic coast, the potential for widespread damage exists. If that damage requires a large-scale effort to get the lights back on, Ameren Illinois is ready to hit the road as part of their mutual assistance service. 

 

Ron Pate, Senior Vice President Operations and Technical Services says there are many similarities in equipment, but some differences that may have to be accounted for.

 

 

Restoring power after a major storm is a complex task that must be completed as quickly as possible.A speedy restoration requires significant logistical expertise, along with plenty of skilled line workers and specialized equipment.Electric companies affected by significant outages frequently call on other utilities for assistance to help speed restoration. 

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September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month and local weather officials are providing helpful tips for being prepared in Illinois.

 

This time of the year doesn't provide much excitement in central Illinois but Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln says it is always helpful to have an updated emergency kit.

 

 

Just because this time of year isn't peak time for winter storms or tornado activity, Miller says it doesn't mean something can't pop up. He says places like Taylorville and Washington are prime examples of severe weather popping up when we least expect it.

 

 

A visit to the National Weather Service website can get you more information. Visit weather.gov/lincoln and at the bottom of the page, you'll find information on weather preparedness. 

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Fourth Annual Brain Tumor Nature Walk This Weekend

Organizers of the annual brain tumor nature walk are hoping for a more intimate event this year and are inviting anyone impacted by brain tumors to join them this Saturday at Weldon Springs State Park in DeWitt County.

 

Thursday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Lauren Johnson indicated to Regional Radio News, they have had a lot of activities for kids in the past, and doesn't diminish those offerings but wanted to have a chance to get to know folks impacted by brain tumors and have a relaxed day of fellowship.

 

 

For the first time, the event has the support of local sponsors. Co-organizer of the event, Norm Emery called on businesses in the area to support their cause and he praises several local businesses for stepping up expeditiously.

 

 

Biscuits and gravy breakfast will open the day at 8 am at Snappers on the downtown square in Clinton. There will be a 50/50 drawing. 

 

The walk at Weldon springs will originate at the Chautauqua picnic area at 11 am with registration starting at 10 am. Johnson points out 83% of the funds raised for the National Brain Tumor Society goes towards research. They hope to raise $5000.

 

After the walk, the potluck lunch will commence and there will be a bounce house for kids. 

 

You can get details by finding the Fourth Annual Brain Tumor Nature Walk event on Facebook or contact Thompson at thompson.lauren84@gmail.com or Emery via text to 703-674-6828 or email norm.emery@gmail.com. 

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Fall Garden Veggies Should Be Planted Now

If you are hoping for a fall harvest with things like lettuce, kale, spinach, and other leafy greens, now is the time to throw those in the ground.

 

If you act quickly getting these into the ground, you could get a quick turnaround for a decent harvest during the fall months. Master Gardener at the University of Illinois Extension Office, Candace Hart says you can also throw some root crops in the mix. 

 

 

According to Hart, advanced gardeners will create a greenhouse effect and extend the life of their garden. Otherwise, things are at the mercy of the first frost of the fall.

 

 

If you had to bring any trees down or are looking to add trees to your property, Hart says this is also a really good time to get those in the ground. 

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Heyworth Schools Focused on Mental Health Support in New Partnership

A McLean County school district is focusing on the emotional and mental well-being of their students in a new partnership with Chestnut Health Systems.

 

Superintendent of Heyworth Schools, Lisa Taylor explains the mental and emotional health of today's youth needs to be made a priority and they are making it just that with a recently announced partnership with Chestnut Health Systems.

 

 

Taylor explains there is a wide range of issues facing students in today's world. From the general pressures of being a teenager to home life that may not be very good to the growing challenges associated with social media are some of the things that impact teens.

 

 

In today's world, going home isn't an escape from the things at school. Taylor explains the access to social media and seeing what your friends are doing brings its own set of challenges.

 

 

Taylor credits the work done by their school social workers, who are focused on working with the kids at a more personal level to help them understand the impacts the things they do on social media has an impact even though there isn't a face to face interaction. 

 

The job has been posted and Taylor hopes someone will be in their building this month. 

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The Vault In Need of 'Jailbirds' For Saturday Fundraiser

A local non-profit is making going to jail fun.

 

The Vault in Clinton is hosting 'Jail and Bail', a fundraiser for the downtown teen center. Executive Director Michelle Witzke told Regional Radio News Wednesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, this Saturday, local leaders and volunteers will be "arrested" on humorous charges and their "bail" will have to be raised before they can be released.

 

 

Organizers hope to have around 50 people arrested with an average bail set at $200 to raise around $10,000. Witzke indicates they still need about ten more individuals and hopes the community has some ideas who to "apprehend".

 

 

The goal for the $10,000 will be to continue to offer programs for the youth of the community. Witzke says with their lower-level now complete, they want to continue to give the youth things to do.

 

 

The event is Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm on the square in Clinton. Food will be available for purchase as a part of the event. For more information or to submit someone to be a "jailbird", you can contact Witzke at 309-212-7332 or email thevaultclinton.org.

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City of Clinton Passes Vaping Ordinance; Anticipated Brush Pick Up Changes Put on Hold

The Clinton City Council Monday night made official changes to the City's tobacco ordinance to enforce stiffer penalties on youth caught vaping in school. Additionally, the anticipated ordinance change to the brush clean up program was put on hold.

 

Chief Ben Lowers says Clinton school leaders have been eagerly awaiting the changes to the tobacco ordinance and this will give them harsher penalties for enforcing youth caught vaping in school.

 

 

The ordinance will go on the books in ten days after the Council unanimously supported it.

 

Additionally, last month, the Council put on file changes to the City's brush pick up program. Commissioner Ken Buchanan says they need to look at some language in the proposed changes before moving forward.

 

 

The Council Monday night....

 

>>Approved vendor exemptions for the Apple and Pork Festival later this month.

 

>>Approved the purchase of ten tires for a fire engine at a cost $5500 from Walker Tire.

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Weekly Crop Report

THE CONDITION OF ILLINOIS’ CORN AND SOYBEAN CROPS DROPPED SLIGHTLY AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

 

CROP PROGRESS STILL LAGS BEHIND…WITH 82 PERCENT OF CORN ACRES NOW IN THE DOUGH STAGE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER).

 

 

THE SOYBEAN CROP ALSO DIPPED TO 46 PERCENT IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION, WITH 84 PERCENT NOW SETTING PODS. 

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 77 PERCENT COMPLETE. 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE INCREASED TO EIGHT PERCENT VERY SHORT, 21 PERCENT SHORT, 66 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND FIVE PERCENT SURPLUS.

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September is Campus Fire Safety Month

THIS IS CAMPUS FIRE SAFETY MONTH IN ILLINOIS. 

 

MANY STUDENTS HAVEN’T RECEIVED FIRE SAFETY EDUCATION SINCE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL…AND MAY NEED A FEW REMINDERS AS THEY HEAD OUT ON THEIR OWN SAYS STATE FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ. STUDENTS IN DORMS ARE URGED NOT TO OVERLOAD ELECTRICAL OUTLETS…AND THOSE IN AN APARTMENT SHOULD TEST THEIR SMOKE ALARMS.

 

 

FULTZ ALSO SAYS STUDENTS SHOULD NEVER LEAVE CANDLES OR COOKING UNATTENDED…AND THOSE OFF-CAMPUS SHOULD HAVE AN ESCAPE PLAN IN CASE OF A FIRE.

 

 

ACCORDING TO “CAMPUS FIREWATCH”, 85 PERCENT OF COLLEGE RELATED FIRE FATALITIES HAVE HAPPENED IN OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING.

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New Law Cracks Down on Drivers Who Injure Pedestrians in Crosswalks

A NEW STATE LAW AIMS TO MAKE IT SAFER FOR PEOPLE TO CROSS THE STREET IN ILLINOIS.

 

“MASON’S LAW” CRACKS DOWN ON DRIVERS WHO FAIL TO YIELD IN INTERSECTIONS AND AT CROSSWALKS AND END UP SERIOUSLY INJURING SOMEONE SAYS REPRESENTATIVE LINDSAY PARKHURST OF KANKAKEE.

 

 

THERE ARE ALREADY TOUGH LAWS FOR DRIVERS WHO KILL SOMEONE AFTER FAILING TO YIELD IN INTERSECTIONS, CROSS WALKS AND SCHOOL ZONES.

 

 

PREVIOUSLY…DRIVERS IN THIS SITUATION USUALLY ONLY ENDED UP PAYING A FINE. THE LAW TAKES EFFECT NEXT SUMMER AND IS NAMED AFTER 24-YEAR OLD MASON KNORR OF RURAL CLIFTON. HE WAS KILLED IN AN INTERSECTION LAST YEAR.

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Illinois Drivers Can Now Order St. Louis Cardinals License Plates

ILLINOIS DRIVERS CAN NOW PURCHASE ST. LOUIS CARDINALS LICENSE PLATES. 

 

THE REDBIRDS ARE THE SIXTH SPORTS TEAM TO BE REPRESENTED ON AN ILLINOIS LICENSE PLATE. SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE SAYS HE EXPECTS THEY WILL BE POPULAR.

 

 

SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE SAYS HE’S HAD A LOT OF REQUESTS TO ADD THE REDBIRDS TO ILLINOIS’ LINEUP OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAM PLATES. NOW THEY ARE AVAILABLE.

 

 

THE CARDINALS PLATE WITH RANDOM NUMBERS COSTS 69 DOLLARS AFTER THE USUAL REGISTRATION FEE. PERSONALIZED AND VANITY PLATES COST MORE. 25 DOLLARS FROM EACH PLATE GOES TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS. ORDER ONLINE AT: CYBER DRIVE ILLINOIS DOT COM.

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First Responders Training Passing On Lessons Learned in Aurora Shooting

FIRST RESPONDERS AT THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY’S ANNUAL TRAINING SUMMIT IN SPRINGFIELD ARE HEARING ABOUT LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE AURORA WORKPLACE SHOOTING. 

 

THE AURORA POLICE DEPARTMENT SPENT A LOT OF TIME ANALYZING WHAT THEY DID RIGHT AND WHAT THEY NEED TO IMPROVE AFTER AN EMPLOYEE OF THE HENRY PRATT COMPANY KILLED FIVE CO-WORKERS AND INJURED FIVE POLICE OFFICERS. FOR EXAMPLE, AURORA DEPUTY CHIEF KEEFE JACKSON SAYS THEY REALIZED THEY NEED A NOTIFICATION SYSTEM FOR THE FAMILIES OF OFFICERS INVOLVED.

 

 

JACKSON SAYS THEY ALSO REALIZED DISPATCHERS DIDN’T KNOW ALL THE JARGON AND ACRONYMS THEIR OFFICERS USED, WHICH HAMPERED COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

JACKSON SAYS THE SHOOTING ALSO EMPHASIZED THE NEED FOR BETTER COMMUNICATION BETWEEN RESPONDING AGENCIES AND FOR ALL OFFICERS TO CARRY A TOURNIQUET KIT SINCE MANY SHOOTING VICTIMS DON’T DIE FROM THEIR WOUNDS…BUT FROM LOSS OF BLOOD.

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Bost Wants USMCA Taken Up Quickly to Provide Farmers Relief

While much of the attention on ongoing trade talks focus on the U.S. and China, U.S. House Representative Mike Bost says the new USMCA, or U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, will provide farmers looking for help some relief. And Bost says it’s one of his top priorities for the upcoming session.

 

 

House members return to Washington for session next week.

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Warrensburg-Latham Schools Among Area Schools Participating in Hands-On Business Class

Just one student from Warrensburg-Latham schools is participating in the inaugural year of the CEO program, however, that is not diminishing the excitement of the opportunity for school leadership.

 

Superintendent Dr. Kristen Kendrick-Weikle explains they are among four schools in their chapter of the program that will send students around the area to learn the ins-and-outs of running a business.

 

 

While only one student is participating this year, Dr. Kendrick-Weikle says the excitement around the program is only going to grow. She believes once their one student gives their testimony, it will get more kids interested.

 

 

Warrensburg-Latham schools are joined in their chapter by Clinton, Blue Ridge and Maroa-Forsyth schools. 

 

Next week on the WHOW Morning, the facilitator of the program, Melanie Brown, will be on the WHOW Morning Show. You can hear her on Thursday morning, September 12 at 9:30 am. 

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August Was Dry, Cooler Than Normal

The downspout of the spring wetness turned off in mid-July and didn't turn on hardly at all in August.

 

Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Chris Miller with the National Weather Service in Lincoln told Regional Radio News, most of the state was well below average for rainfall in August.

 

 

Normally, August is a hot and dry month. While we got the dry part right, Miller points out August wasn't all that hot given the trends.

 

 

While August was a few degrees below normal, Miller says the summer as a whole is shaping up to be normal from a temperature perspective. He explains a wet spring can lead to a cooler than normal summer. 

 

 

Thanks to the humidity throughout the summer, Miller says things have felt a lot worse than it has been.

For the year, things are a little cooler than normal because of how cold the winter was. 

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Warner Hospital To Offer Class to Quit Smoking

If you've wanted to quit smoking but haven't been able to stick with it when you try or can't seem to get the process started, a DeWitt County health entity is going to offer a seven-week support class you'll want to check out.

 

Starting September 9, Warner Hospital and Health Services is offering a smoking cessation class for adults. CEO Paul Skowron says it is a free offering sponsored by a grant from First National Bank.

 

 

Skowron throws out all the information you need to get registered and how the class works.

 

 

Also in September, Warner Hospital and Health Services will hold their health fair from 5 pm to 7 pm on Thursday, September 12.

 

Hear Skowron on the WHOW Morning Show this morning at 8:30 am. 

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Heyworth To Open Up Extracurricular Activities to Home School Students

Homeschool students in a McLean County district will have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities this year. 

 

Heyworth schools have opened up their student activities to homeschool students in their district. Superintendent Lisa Taylor explains this was something the community expressed interest in and she anticipates the Board of Education approving the new policy next month.

 

 

In Heyworth, there are cuts in some sports and Taylor explains their Board discussed how to go forward with who gets spots on the teams, enrolled students or homeschool students. The decision was made to keep everything even for all students regardless of their enrollment status.

 

 

Taylor gives her board credit for listening to the community and trying to be as accommodating as possible to what they want. 

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Now Is The Time To Plant Grass Seed

If you are looking to fill in a bare spot in your yard, now is the time to drop some grass seed.

 

University of Illinois Extension Master Gardner Candice Hart notes as things start to turn green thanks to recent rains, now is a good time to get out and drop some grass seed in those bare spots that may have turned up.

 

 

A lot of lawn maintenance was probably put on hold in some places because of how dry the month of July turned and August started. Hart says it doesn't hurt to mow over the weeds that are growing to keep them contained.

 

 

This time of the year brings a lot of questions about garden weeds, flower bed weeds, and lawn weeds. Hart points out master gardeners are available throughout the week to answer any questions you may have and offer strategies on dealing with those. She encourages a Google search for your local county University of Illinois Extension to get a hold of your local master gardener. 

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Clinton Schools Plan on Using Reserves to Fill Deficit, Maintain Lower Tax Rate

Clinton School's Fiscal Year '20 budget will have a deficit in the general education fund, but district leadership plans to use reserves to fill the void so they don't have to raise a very low tax rate.

 

Superintendent Curt Nettles calls it a typical budget for the district. He points out they are going to project a deficit but will plan to use reserves to cover a roughly $500,000 deficit out of a $14-million budget. 

 

 

Earlier this summer, the district adjusted their investments and because of that, that will allow them the flexibility to use reserves to fill the void of the half-million-dollars. Nettles indicates it also allows them to maintain their already very low tax rate.

 

 

According to Nettles, the district would have to go to referendum to increase their tax rate just a little to fill that void. He doesn't feel that is necessary as their reserves are intended for instances such as this.

 

 

Among the nine funds the district has, Nettles explains when they total-up the entirety of the budget, they project to finish in the black. 

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After One Year, Logan County Group Says Alzheimer's Support Group is Going Strong

It can be a challenge for support groups to hit their stride but a group in Logan County has been going strong for about a year now.

 

Started about a year ago, the Logan County Alzheimer's Support Group is finding a good amount of people willing to come together to talk and find comfort amongst each other. Paul Boatman tells his story of how he came to be a part of getting this group going.

 

 

Julie King with Christian Village in Lincoln has 25 years of experience in this area and explains she wanted to do something for the family members of people with loved ones with Alzheimer's. 

 

 

Boatman attributes the success of the group to their welcoming nature and the way they support one another. He notes they have had other groups wanting to know what they are doing right. 

 

 

The group meets at the Lincoln Oasis Senior Center on the third Tuesday's of the month at 1:30 pm. Oasis is located in Lincoln at 2810 Woodlawn Road. 

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Bloomington's Miller Park Zoo Celebrating Strong Summer

As the busy summer season brings a fall slowdown, a Bloomington entity is celebrating a strong summer of attendance.

 

The Miller Park Zoo has had a lot happening this year and Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says it led to a good summer for attendance. He says they ended up ahead of last year's figures.

 

 

With new alligators and baby animals throughout their exhibits, Tetzloff feels that helps but he also attributes it to the positive things they are doing for their guests.

 

 

With the busy summer season now slowing down, major projects are going to start to pick up. The most noteworthy is the parking lot expansion. That essentially came to a halt for the summer but Tetzloff anticipates finishing up later in the fall season. 

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Funding Secured in Infrastructure Bill for Widening 35 Miles of I-57 Downstate

Widening I-57 to three lanes from Marion to Mt. Vernon has long been talked about and needed to ease congestion downstate. State Representative Terri Bryant says the funding is in place to make the entire project a reality.

 

Bryant says a day she, and likely many others have thought about, will finally come because of the recently passed infrastructure bill.

 

 

Interstate 57 is already three lanes for six miles from Marion to Johnston City, and work has started to add a third lane six more miles to West Frankfort.
 

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