Local News

Warner Hospital and Health Services Offering Safe Sitter Class October 5

Warner Hospital and Health Services will be offering a Safe Sitter class on Saturday, October 5.

 

Ashley Angel, Safe Sitter instructor, indicates the class is designed to give students in 6-8 grades babysitting skills. Students will learn how to respond to natural disaster warnings, behavior management, and basic first aid.

 

 

Angel notes they usually have around 8-10 students per class due to the class being structured around hands-on training. Students will also receive handouts to remind them what was discussed in the class. Angel says the feedback from previous classes has been positive.

 

 

Safe Sitter will be held on Saturday, October 5 from 10 am to 4:30 pm at the Warner Wellness Center located at 418 West South Street in Clinton. The class fee is $10 and students should bring a sack lunch.

 

The deadline to register is Thursday, October 3. To register call (217) 935-5258 or email events@warnerhospital.org.

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Bement Schools File Fifth Straight Balanced Budget

It is the time of year when school boards put on file their upcoming year's budgets and a Piatt County district is on their fifth straight balanced budget.

 

Dr. Sheila Greenwood, Superintendent of Bement Schools says they are fortunate to be able to make that claim after the position the state put Illinois districts in.

 

 

According to Dr. Greenwood, the district faced some very hard times and she and the Board of Education set goals to get themselves turned around. She will retire after the next school year and wants to leave the district in good financial standing.

 

 

Like most rural school districts, Bement schools rely on local tax dollars. Dr. Greenwood says they work hard to keep the balance of not asking too much of the taxpayers but taking care of students at the same time.

 

 

Dr. Greenwood says getting the district back on sturdy financial footing has allowed them to give their staff the ability to dream big and she feels that is only benefiting the youth of the district. 

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Social Security and Medicare: Know the Difference

Many believe Social Security and Medicare are one-in-the-same and that could not be farther from the truth.

 

Jack Myers with Social Security says this is a general idea they find in the public often and officials are trying to set things straight. Myers points out Social Security deals with benefits regarding death, disability and retirement while Medicare is the national health insurance program for individuals 65-years-old and older.

 

 

There are several aspects of Medicare. Myers indicates the fundamental components of Medicare are original Medicare and then Medicare Advantage. Original Medicare contains the commonly known Part A, B, C, and D.

 

The enrollment for Medicare Part D will be coming starting October 15. That enrollment period will last until December 7. You can get more information by visiting medicare.gov. 

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IDPH Looking for Reasons To Vaping Illness

As vaping continues to grab headlines across the nation the Director of the Illinois Department of Health says that they are working hard to spread the message about the dangers of vaping. But as hospitalizations increase in connection to vaping Dr. Ngozi Ezike says 75 to 80 percent of the illnesses are tied to people vaping THC products but there isn’t a clear cut reason as to why people are getting sick and some are dying.

 

 

Of the 69 people who have been sickened by vaping in Illinois, one person has died.

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Attendance Down at 2019 Apple n' Pork Festival

Despite down attendance at the 2019 Apple n' Pork Festival, organizers and vendors alike remain optimistic about Clinton's biggest annual event.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers indicates attendance was very down this weekend as in total, just over 60,000 attended the 51st annual Apple n' Pork Festival. He feels the weather probably has a lot to do with it.

 

 

Director of the DeWitt County Museum, Joey Woolridge, says while attendance was down, people still come out for the Apple n' Pork Festival. She calls their following loyal.

 

 

Several groups were left with leftover food on Sunday afternoon and many more indicated their sales were behind their usual pace. Sunday saw two instances of downpours that lasted for several minutes.

 

The grounds were also more wet on Sunday than Saturday at the 51st Apple n' Pork Festival. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DeWitt County Gets Nearly Inch of Rain in Overnight Friday

Around an inch of rain fell in DeWitt County Friday night into Saturday morning and even higher amounts were seen in parts of central Illinois.

 

According to cocorahs.org (coco-raws), just short of an inch of rain fell in Clinton and near Farmer City, there were two reports of the same amount.

 

Several reports at cocorahs Saturday morning indicate between nine-tenths and an inch-and-a-tenth fell in Lincoln in Logan County. Near Chestnut, an inch-and-two-fifths were reported. Between Chestnut and Beason, around the same amount was reported.

 

Near Elkhart, an inch and a fifth were reported. 

 

Between Emden and San Jose (Joe's), there was a report of an inch-and-nine-tenths. 

 

Near the Mason County line, just short of an inch-and-a-half was reported. 

 

In an inch-and-a-quarter was reported in Monticello while just short of nine-tenths was reported south of Cisco. Just outside of Deland, over an inch was reported and to the east of there at the Champaign County line, a report of just short of an inch was reported and a few miles north, a report of seven-tenths was reported. In far southern Piatt County, a report of a quarter-inch was reported near Hammond. 

 

In McLean County, reports varied in Bloomington normal. Just to the west of Interstate 55, an inch-and-six-tenths was reported and in Bloomington/Normal, there was a report of an inch-and-seven-tenth. Near the airport, reports range near a two-and-a-quarter. North of Bloomington-Normal, an inch-nine-tenths. 

 

In Lexington, just over an inch-and-a-half was reported. In Heyworth, there are a couple of reports of an inch-and-a-third. Between Heyworth and LeRoy on Route 136, an inch-and-a-tenth was reported. At the McLean/DeWitt County line, an inch-and-a-third was reported. To the northwest of LeRoy, there was a report of an inch-and-a-tenth. 

 

South of Route 9 near Ellsworth, there is a report of an-inch-and-a-third and to the east of that marker, north of Saybrook, an inch-and-a-tenth was reported. 

 

Champaign County was spared of the higher amounts of rain Friday night and Saturday morning. 

In Champaign-Urbana, reports ranged from a third to a half, to two-thirds and three-quarters of an inch of rain were reported.

 

In Mahomet, three-quarters-of-an-inch was reported. Between Fisher and Gibson City in northwest Champaign County, reports range between over an inch-and-a-tenth and an inch-and-two-fifths. 

 

CoCoRaHS is an acronym for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.  CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation - including rain, hail, and snow - in all fifty states. 

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Weekly Weather Summary

It was a warm week and soggy start to the weekend. Is there relief on the horizon? State Climatologist Trent Ford tells what to expect this week...

 

 

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Sunday, Employers Cannot Ask Applicants Wage History

STARTING SUNDAY…EMPLOYERS CANNOT ASK JOB APPLICANTS ABOUT THEIR WAGE HISTORY. 

 

THE NEW LAW AIMS TO EVEN OUT THE PAY GAP THAT HAS MANY WOMEN EARNING LESS THAN MEN IN THE SAME JOB. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DIRECTOR MICHAEL KLEINIK EXPLAINS HOW IT WORKS.

 

 

KLEINIK SAYS THEY’VE BEEN TRYING TO EDUCATE EMPLOYERS AND THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE NEW LAW.

 

 

KLEINIK SAYS THE GOAL OF THE LAW IS TO HELP EVEN THE WAGE GAP BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN WORKING THE SAME JOB.

 

THE BAN DOES NOT APPLY IF THE PERSON’S SALARY IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD OR IF THEY ARE A CURRENT EMPLOYEE OF THE COMPANY. THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR’S WEBSITE HAS MORE DETAILS ON THE LAW AND A HOTLINE NUMBER TO REPORT VIOLATIONS.

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Pump Prices Starting to Settle Off to the Downside

It’s been a couple of weeks since two Saudi Arabia oil installations were hit by drone strikes, but it appears oil capacity has recovered quicker than anticipated. And prices at the pump are reflecting that says Harry Cooney with GROWMARK.

 

 

Diesel prices are currently averaging $2.99 a gallon in Illinois, which is 3 cents higher than a week ago, but a dime lower than a year ago.

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Over The Year Unemployment Down Statewide

THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WAS DOWN IN ALL 101 ILLINOIS COUNTIES LAST MONTH. 

 

ALL 14 METRO AREAS AND ALL COUNTIES SAW A DECLINE IN THE JOBLESS RATE COMPARED TO AUGUST OF 2018 SAYS STATE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON SAM SALUSTRO.

 

 

SALUSTRO SAYS JOBS WERE ADDED AS WELL.

 

 

JOBS WERE ADDED OVER THE YEAR IN 12 METRO AREAS INCLUDING THE CHICAGO AREA, SPRINGFIELD, CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, THE QUAD CITIES AND METRO EAST.

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Better Business Bureau Talks Business Scams

An in-depth investigative study by Better Business Bureau has found that business email compromise scams are skyrocketing in frequency and have cost businesses and other organizations more than $3 billion since 2016. Business email compromise fraud is an email phishing scam that typically targets people who pay bills in businesses, government and nonprofit organizations.

 

It affects both big and small organizations, according to Steve Baker, International BBB Investigator and former FTC Midwest Regional Director.

 

 

In this scam, the scammer poses as a reliable source who sends an email from a spoofed or hacked account to an accountant or chief financial officer (CFO), asking them to wire money, buy gift cards or send personal information, often for a plausible reason. If money is sent, it goes into an account controlled by the con artist. To see tips on how to deal with this fraud, go to bbb.org.

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Attorney General Supports Flavor Vape Ban

The state’s Attorney General Kwame Rauol says that his office is in the midst of an investigation into vape products after dozens of people have been sickened in Illinois. 

 

Rauol says that right now he supports a flavored vape ban and wants his office to learn more about the underground market that might be making people sick.

 

 

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DeWitt County Board Land Use Committee Approves Pushing Tradewind Application to RPC

A disagreement between members of the DeWitt County Board and the Zoning Administrator resulted in a special meeting of the Board's Land Use Committee Thursday night to decide what will be the next step for Tradewind Energy's latest application for their Alta Farms II wind project in northwest DeWitt County. 

 

Chairman of the Committee, Terry Ferguson indicates they approved bypassing the concerns of Zoning Administrator Angie Sarver and sending the application on to the Regional Planning Commission.

 

 

The Land Use Committee heard from both sides on the issue. According to Ferguson, the Tradewind folks indicated there is no specification the zoning administrator can prevent an ordinance from going forward due to deficiencies in an application.

 

 

Andrea Rhoades with Residents Against Wind Farms in DeWitt County spoke against passing the ordinance on the RPC without the application being complete. Ferguson says her message was we cannot pick and choose which parts of the ordinance we're going to follow.

 

 

Ferguson feels this could set a bad precedent for future special use permit applications. The application will be reviewed by the RPC later this fall. 

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CHS Students Very Busy During Apple and Pork Weekend

The weekend of the annual Apple and Pork Festival is busy for much of the community especially the students of Clinton schools.

 

Clinton High School Principal Jerry Wayne indicates the Apple and Pork Festival is the biggest fundraiser for a few of his student groups. Students are involved through parking cars at the high school or through various groups on the museum grounds.

 

 

While students may return to classes Monday morning tired, he believes the opportunity is great for them. 

 

 

The Apple n' Pork Festival is this Saturday and Sunday.

 

Among the high school groups participating will the groups parking cars at the high school but the M-Squad has their caramel apple booth on the CH Moore Homestead grounds. The FFA sells pork chops on the 4-H fairgrounds across the covered bridge and the Interact Club helps at the Rotary's pulled pork tent. 

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Miller Park Zoo Welcomes Baby Red Pandas

If cute baby animals are your thing then you need to stop by the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington.

 

Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff was excited last week when he announced for the first time in the zoo's history, they successfully bred their red pandas and now their baby red pandas are out for the public to view.

 

 

According to Tetzloff, the lack of success has left him and his staff puzzled. He believes it comes down to they just couldn't find the right pair.

 

 

According to Tetzloff, if the mom decides she isn't going to take care of her babies, it can be tough to watch the situation play out unfavorably but it's something they have to do. In this case, she was taking care of them and they decided to intervene.

 

 

If you'd like to check out the baby red pandas, Tetzloff anticipates the red pandas will likely spend the early portion of their time in their exhibit in their den box, but they should soon be out and active.

 

The Miller Park Zoo is located at 1020 South Morris Avenue in Bloomington. They are open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm every day. Get more information by visiting millerparkzoo.org. 

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Route 66 Mother Road Festival This Weekend in Downtown Springfield

If you are a Route 66 and classic car fanatic then a weekend event in Springfield is going to be right up your alley.

 

Geoff Ladd with the Route 66 Scenic Byway Association says around a 1,000 classic cars will converge on downtown Springfield for the annual Route 66 Mother Road Festival. A parade Friday night with 2,500 classic cars gets the weekend started. 

 

 

Visit Facebook.com/route66fest for more details. You can also check out illinoisroute66.org for details on the event as well. 

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Japan Trade Trip Seen as Positive

Members of the both the Illinois business community and state government recently returned from Japan after being part of a multi-state trade mission as part of the Mid-West Japan Association. 

 

Mark Denzler with the Illinois Manufacturers Association says that Illinois business relies on investment from Japan and these trips are critical to creating new financial opportunities.

 

 

Denzler says he’ll let the Governor’s office make any formal announcements of business deals that might have come from the trip but described the time spent building connections in Japan as positive.

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Department of Agriculture Conducting Spot Checks on Hemp Fields for Too Much THC

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS CHECKING THE T-H-C LEVELS OF ILLINOIS HEMP FIELDS. 

 

THIS IS THE FIRST SEASON FARMERS CAN GROW HEMP IN ILLINOIS…AND STATE AG DIRECTOR JOHN SULLIVAN SAYS THEY HAVE TO MAKE SURE THE PLANTS DON’T HAVE ABOVE POINT THREE PERCENT OF T-H-C. THAT’S THE COMPONENT THAT GETS PEOPLE HIGH.

 

 

IF A FIELD IS ABOVE THE THRESHOLD…

 

 

THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR ILLINOIS FARMERS CAN GROW HEMP. SULLIVAN SAYS JUST LIKE OTHER CROPS, IT’S BEEN A TOUGH SEASON FOR HEMP BECAUSE OF THE WEATHER.

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Clinton Police Chief Talks Apple n' Pork Safety

Local authorities are readying for roughly 100,000 visitors to Clinton this weekend for the annual Apple n' Pork Festival.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says it's all hands on deck for his staff and by the time Saturday morning rolls around, they are on standby for any issues that may arise. He notes over the years they haven't seen any major issues.

 

 

Chief Lowers reminds attendees pets are not allowed on the Homestead grounds. He says pet owners will be reminded of this if they choose to bring their pets along this weekend.

 

 

The nation has seen large events like this become the targets to unfortunate events and Chief Lowers says making sure this event is safe has always been on their radar.

 

 

Chief Lowers is the frontman in the count of visitors to Clinton with his methods being a long, well-kept secret. Last year, estimates were 105,000 people to the Apple n' Pork festival. 

The festival is this Saturday and Sunday in Clinton. 

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Fire Marshall Inspecting Illinois Haunted Houses

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND STATE FIRE MARSHALL’S OFFICE ARE WORKING TO MAKE SURE HAUNTED HOUSES ARE SAFE FOR THE PUBLIC. 

 

ALL HAUNTED HOUSES MUST BE INSPECTED PRIOR TO OPENING. THE STATE WANTS TO MAKE SURE THE PUBLIC HAS A SCARY…BUT SAFE TIME WHEN THEY VISIT SAYS FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ.

 

 

THERE’S ALSO A LIMIT ON THE NUMBER OF DEAD-END PATHS A HOUSE CAN HAVE…AND RESTRICTIONS ON OPEN FLAMES AND PYROTECHNIC SPECIAL EFFECTS. EXITS AND PATHWAYS MUST BE WIDE ENOUGH TO ACCOUNT FOR THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE ATTRACTION.

 

 

FULTZ SAYS A COUPLE OF TRAGIC HAUNTED HOUSE FIRES IN THE 70’S AND 80’S LED TO THE RESTRICTIONS. MOST HAUNTED HOUSES ARE ALSO REQUIRED TO HAVE SMOKE DETECTORS AND AUTOMATIC SPRINKLERS.

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Department of Health and Human Services Launches Opioid Helpline Video

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES IS LAUNCHING A NEW VIDEO CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE ITS DRUG ADDICTION HELPLINE. 

 

THE EFFORT INCLUDES FIVE VIDEOS THAT TELL THE STORIES OF ADDICTION AND RECOVERY. THEY HIGHLIGHT THE HELPLINE SAYS HUMAN SERVICES’ DANI KIRBY, URGING THOSE SUFFERING FROM OPIOID AND OTHER SUBSTANCE ABUSE.

 

 

KIRBY SAYS THE VIDEOS FEATURE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN RECOVERY, AND HOW SUBSTANCE ABUSE AFFECTS US ALL.

 

 

THE CAMPAIGN ALSO INCLUDES SOCIAL MEDIA ADS, BILLBOARDS AND TRANSIT POSTERS. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS SUFFERING FROM SUBSTANCE ABUSE, VISIT THE WEBSITE: HELPLINE IL DOT ORG OR CALL 1-833-2-FINDHELP.

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Ag Director Talks Slow Harvest

The state’s farmers are waiting. Federal crop statistics show so far just two percent of the state’s corn crop has been harvested compared to 17 percent on average. State Ag Director John Sullivan says much remains unknown about the coming yields but a run of warm fall weather has been helping.

 

 

Sullivan says everyone’s worst fear is an early frost that would damage a late planted crop.

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Blue Ridge Federation, Board of Education Remain 'Far Apart' in Contract Negotiations According to Federation President

The Blue Ridge Federation and the Blue Ridge Board of Education remain far apart in their efforts to reach a new contract agreement after a meeting Tuesday evening between the two sides in front of a mediator. 

 

That is according to Federation President Don Anton, who says the two sides are "miles apart" and little progress was made Tuesday evening. Anton told Regional Radio News Wednesday afternoon the Federation is concerned about the turnover the district faces, noting connections are an integral part of the education environment and feels their students are losing out on those connections. 

 

Anton feels when positions open up, there is not a large number of applicants and wants to see a better salary and more stable healthcare plan to recruit not just teachers, but support staff as well. 

He points out the district has the highest possible rating by the Illinois State Board of Education and says the district is in strong financial shape. Additionally, he does not feel district leaders have prioritized salaries and notes they would not ask the district for something they could not afford. 

 

Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson in a statement Wednesday says quote - "The Blue Ridge Board of Education and Blue Ridge Federation of Teachers met with the federal mediator for the second time on Tuesday, September 24. This was the 10th session since negotiations began on Feb. 11. 

 

"The primary remaining issues are salary and health insurance. Last night, the union made movement on health insurance, but have not made any movement on salary demands since August 12. The Board has given the union 3 new proposals for salary in that time period. The Union has requested public posting of the current offers for each side." 

 

The offers will be posted on October 7 and will be distributed to the public at that time. 

 

Earlier this month, the Federation formed a strike exploratory committee. 

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Logan County Group Ready for Saturday Alzheimer's Walk

A Logan County Alzheimer's organization is inviting the community out for a fundraiser this Saturday in Lincoln.

 

Julie King with the Logan County Alzheimer's Support Group indicates their walk gets underway at the Oasis Senior Center in Lincoln at 9:30 am. Before the walk, they have a guest speaker lined up and then participants can start their walk on a walking trail behind the senior center. 

 

 

According to King, she says the walking of the event is not the focus. She hopes the community will simply get behind them and help raise money for Alzheimer's research.

 

 

Paul Boatman says his wife lost her battle with Alzheimer's about a year ago and they were a part of research opportunities. He says while it didn't help her, he hopes what she was able to contribute will help future generations.

 

 

You can contact Nancy Cunningham at the Oasis Senior Center for more information, the Oasis number is 217-732-6132. You can also contact King at the Christian Village by calling 217-732-5013. 

 

The Alzheimers Support Group offers support regularly at the Oasis Senior Center in Lincoln. 

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Apple n' Pork Weekend Entertainment Preview

There will be plenty of entertainment this weekend at the annual Apple n' Pork weekend.

 

Director Joey Woolridge again thanks Exelon for their support to provide them with the costs to have a stage for their acts to set up but also providing them with the funds to pay these bands to come to their annual festival.

 

 

Scattered across the grounds, there will other forms of entertainment from the traditional tomahawk throwers to a magician and an Abraham Lincoln impersonator. Woolridge feels there will be a good mix for their thousands and thousands of guests.

 

 

There will be a rope maker, a blacksmith and Woolridge is excited about a portrait artist that will be on the grounds this year.

 

 

You can learn more about all things Apple n' Pork by finding the event's special Facebook page.

 

The Apple n' Pork Festival is this Saturday and Sunday in Clinton. 

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Teens Push Back to Lawmaker Wondering How They Would Stop Teen Vaping

This week lawmakers heard from teens who are working to combat their peers from picking up a vaping habit. 

 

After a harsh line of questioning from Democrat Michelle Mussman asking if they would be capable of getting their peers to stop vaping, Aresema Araya quickly shot back saying, she and the other students testifying to lawmakers are maxing out what they can do and now it’s up to lawmakers to act.

 

 

Illinois’ Attorney General Kwame Raoul says his office is in the midst of a wide ranging investigation in the vaping industry.

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Lawmakers Wondering What is Making People Sick From Vaping

AS LAWMAKERS CONSIDER TOUGHER VAPING LAWS…ONE BIG QUESTION REMAINS. WHAT EXACTLY IS MAKING PEOPLE SO SICK? 

 

THERE HAVE BEEN MORE THAN 500 CASES ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND AT LEAST 69 IN ILLINOIS. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gozi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS THE C-D-C HASN’T FOUND A COMMON DENOMINATOR BESIDES VAPING.

 

 

NGOZI SAYS 75 TO 80 PERCENT OF PATIENTS IN ILLINOIS HAVE VAPED MARIJUANA. 

 

 

RESEARCHERS ARE ALSO LOOKING AT VITAMIN E ACETATE OIL AS A POSSIBLE CULPRIT. IT’S LEGAL AND NOT HARMFUL WHEN INGESTED OR APPLIED TO THE SKIN BUT MAY POSE A DANGER WHEN INHALED.

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Gold Star Mission Ride Underway in Illinois

Leaving from the Marseilles National Guard training site Tuesday morning, about 30 bicyclists are starting the 500-mile Gold Star Mission ride.

 

They’re riding to several cities across the northern part of the state during the next five days in honor of military members killed in action. They're also raising money for scholarships through participation fees and donations.

 

Michael Graves of Decatur is honoring Sgt. Ivory Phipps of Chicago, killed in Iraq in 2004. He knew Phipps.

 

Graves rode the first Gold Star 500 and this is his third.

 

 

Supporting the bicyclists are people like Nita Cross of Galesburg, providing water and places to rest along the way.

 

 

Cross is a Gold Star mom. Her son Kyle Wehrly died in Iraq in 2005.

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DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition Celebrates Successful Health Fair

Over 60 vendors participated in the September 12 Warner Hospital Health Fair and a non-profit that participated is celebrating their time that afternoon.

 

The DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition promoted its organization and the things they can do to help struggling residents. Coalition President Jeff DeLaughter says they had a lot of good interactions with the community, and are still informing them they are established and looking to help.

 

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday morning,  DeLaughter told Regional Radio News they still find there's a good number of people in the community that didn't they existed. He says their interactions from the health fair was very informative.

 

 

Paul Skowron is the CEO of Warner Hospital and Health Services and also serves as the coalition's vice president. He says the health fair drew around 350 people and they received high marks for the vendors they made available to the community.

 

 

The coalition is still seeking more individuals to join them. You can learn more about them by visiting dewittcountysubstanceabusecoalition.com or by finding them through a name search on Facebook. DeLaughter says the Facebook page is often the easiest avenue.

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Congressman Davis Weighs In On Recently Received $29-Million Opioid Grant

Congressman Rodney Davis recently weighed in on the Trump Administration's $29-million grant to help fight the opioid epidemic in Illinois.

 

Congressman Davis says this will help expand treatment opportunities and reduce addiction. He credits the bipartisan work done by lawmakers.

 

 

Many may believe most of the $29-million will end up in Chicago and Cook County but Davis says it is going to be dispersed evenly. He points out the epidemic is not just in urban American.

 

 

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 1.27 million Americans are now receiving medication-assisted treatment, out of around 2-million Americans with opioid addiction.

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Clinton YMCA Readies For This Weekend's Apple n' Pork Festival

This weekend's Apple n' Pork Festival in Clinton is the biggest fundraiser of the year for numerous groups in DeWitt County and a local non-profit's director told Regional Radio News of the importance of this upcoming weekend. 

 

The CH Moore Homestead allows non-profit groups to set up on their vast grounds and sell food items. Executive Director of the Clinton YMCA, Rennie Cluver indicates he sees the benefits of the festival from all sorts of perspectives.

 

 

For the YMCA, they can bank around $10,000 in an Apple n' Pork weekend. When you compare that number to their targeted $100,000 target with their Strong Kids campaign, Cluver says it may not seem significant but it is.

 

 

Cluver says if the YMCA did not have the Apple n' Pork weekend, they would probably have to come up with two, if not three, additional fundraisers through the course of the rest of the year.

 

 

The YMCA's pork chop sandwiches have been a staple at the festival for many years. They are located almost directly straight out the front door of the CH Moore Homestead off Woodlawn Road. 

The Apple n' Pork Festival is this Saturday and Sunday in Clinton. 

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Three Clinton-Area Residents On Land of Lincoln Honor Flight

Clinton residents Gerald Komnick, Virgil Varvel and Maroa resident David Miller will be 85 Illinois veterans attending today's Land of Lincoln Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. 

 

Veterans will make stops across the nation's capital, those visits will be highlighted by the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Other stops include the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum (Chantilly, Virginia), the US Air Force Memorial, the US Navy Plaza, and the US Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima).

 

The return to Springfield’s airport is planned tonight at 9:30 PM and the general public, along with friends and family, is encouraged to “pack the port” to Welcome Home these local heroes. Come early. All are encouraged to wear red-white-blue patriotic colors, bring balloons, posters, etc. to show appreciation and support to these Veterans who served and sacrificed so much for our country.

 

They will then receive a police escort from Springfield Illinois to Clinton, with the Illinois State Police, Sangamon County Sheriffs Department, Logan County Sheriff Department, Dewitt County Sheriffs Department, Clinton Police Department, Kenney, Wapella, Clinton Fire Department and the Clinton Ambulance Service participating in the escort. 

 

The Clinton Am Vets and American Legion will be also placing approximately 500 flags along the parade route from the Clinton High School to the Dollar Tree in Clinton, and the Amvets and American Legion will also be hosting a Welcome Home Ceremony for These veterans at approximately 11 pm September 24, 2019, at the Dollar Tree parking lot in Clinton.

 

This day of honor is provided at absolutely no cost to local Veterans. 

 

For more information on how to sign a Veteran up for the Honor Flight, contact Jeff Morlock at 217-853-2530.

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Weekly Crop Report

IT WAS A HOT AND FAIRLY DRY WEEK FOR ILLINOIS FIELDS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 

 

RAIN WAS SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL THIS PAST WEEK…AND TEMPERATURES WERE MORE THAN 10 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. U-S-D-A HEARTLAND FIELD OFFICE DEPUTY REGIONAL DIRECTOR STEVE MALISZEWSKI (mal-eh-sheski) SAYS 77 PERCENT OF CORN HAS REACHED THE DENT STAGE.

 

 

53 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE TURNING COLORS AND 14 PERCENT ARE DROPPING LEAVES. 43 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. 

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS 91 PERCENT COMPLETE. 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT 11 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 22 PERCENT SHORT, 59 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND EIGHT PERCENT SURPLUS.

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State Issues Hundreds of Thousands of Real IDs

The state of Illinois has issued about 300,000 Real ID’s since March. 

 

The program is up and running as a federal deadline looms to restrict domestic air travel to only people who have a Real ID or a passport. Secretary of State Jesse White says each person will decide if they want a Real ID or not.

 

 

There is a checklist on the Secretary of State’s website showing the extra documents you need to get a Real ID. The deadline on restricted air travel is October 1st, 2020.

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Illinois Officials Discuss Tackling Vaping Problem

HOUSE LAWMAKERS AND STATE OFFICIALS ARE DISCUSSING HOW TO ADDRESSES THE VAPING CRISIS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER AND SEVERAL OTHERS ARE PUSHING LEGISLATION BANNING FLAVORED NICOTINE IN HOPES OF CURBING USE BY TEENS. BUT ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL SAYS THAT WON’T BE ENOUGH.

 

 

BUT REPRESENTATIVE GRANT WEHRLI OF NAPERVILLE ASKED WHY THEY WOULDN’T MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO VAPE MARIJUANA AS WELL…SINCE THE MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO GOT SICK HERE ARE T-H-C VAPERS.

 

 

RAOUL SAYS HIS OFFICE IS ALSO LOOKING INTO THE E-CIG BLACK MARKET. 69 CASES OF SERIOUS RESPIRATORY ILLNESS RELATED TO VAPING HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED IN ILLINOIS WITH ANOTHER 13 STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION. ONE PERSON HAS DIED.

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DNR Promoting Fall Foliage in State Parks

IT’S OFFICIALLY FALL, AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IS REMINDING THAT STATE PARKS OFFER BEAUTIFUL FALL FOLIAGE.

 

AS THE LEAVES CHANGE COLOR THE STATE PARKS REALLY COME ALIVE SAYS D-N-R- SPOKESPERSON RACHEL TORBERT. SHE SAYS AREAS IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS WILL BE THE FIRST TO GET A REAL TASTE OF FALL.

 

 

TORBERT SAYS THE HENNEPIN CANAL OFFERS 155 MILES OF SCENIC BIKING AND HIKING. DOWN SOUTH…GIANT CITY STATE PARK NEAR CARBONDALE HAS MANY AREAS TO GET A TASTE OF FALL.

 

 

 EXPLORE THE STATE’S PARKS AT DNR DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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EPA Investigating Mysterious Odor in Clinton

A mysterious odor in Clinton is under investigation by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. 

 

In an email, the EPA acknowledged they had received complaints of an odor described as something dead or decaying.

 

A concerned listener to Regional Radio tells us an official with EPA stopped them this week investigating the odor. 

 

We'll have more on this story as details become available. 

 

Concerned residents can contact the DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency at 217-935-7790. 

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Mid-September Boating Accident Highlight of Quiet Summer on Clinton Lake

It was a quiet summer on the safety side of things on Clinton Lake in 2019 and that is perfectly fine with local authorities.

 

As the summer boating season begins to wind down, DNR Conservation Police Sergeant John Williamson says last weekend they had a boating accident involving a family. Fortunately, everyone came away unharmed except for the boat which sank.

 

 

While the crowded summer days are behind the Clinton landmark, Williamson says warm days, like are expected this upcoming weekend, can bring the crowds out.

 

 

Authorities are always focused on compliance with life-jackets and sober operation. Williamson says it was a slow summer from that standpoint.

 

 

As the summer boating season slows, hunting seasons are on the horizon and DNR officials will soon turn their attention to those. Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Williamson discussed the upcoming seasons and safety. We'll have more on that soon on Regional Radio News. 

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Apple n' Pork Festival This Weekend

It's Apple n' Pork week in Clinton.

 

Regardless of how anyone feels about it, it is the biggest event of the year in Clinton and it means the world to the CH Moore Homestead. Its Director, Joey Woolridge says the festival started 51 years ago as a modest fundraiser and has grown to encompass the entire community and its groups and organizations.

 

 

Civic groups and non-profits will line the CH Moore Homestead grounds and Woolridge says while the Homestead Board puts countless hours into the festival, the groups do their share to give people a reason to come to Clinton.

 

 

This year's festival will offer the usual entertainment on the stage at the center of the grounds, thanks to Exelon and their contributions. Additionally, Woolridge says they will bring back their Abe Lincoln impersonator and she's excited about a sketch artist they will have on-site as well.

 

We'll have plenty more on the entertainment later this week on Regional Radio News. 

 

The Apple n' Pork Festival is this Saturday and Sunday in Clinton. 

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This Week is National Rail Safety Week

It's National Rail Safety Week. 

 

Once a central hub for the rail network, Clinton has some still functioning railroads and some that are no longer in use, but Police Chief Ben Lowers is reminding residents of the laws and safety measures during this National Rail Safety Week. 

 

 

In 2018, there were 17 fatalities at rail crossings and 24 trespasser casualties in a trespassing capacity. According to the Chief, walking along or crossing at non-crossing locations is against the law.

 

 

The Chief points out motorists are 40-times more likely to die in a rail crossing accident than they are in a car accident. This week you can anticipate a focus on rail safety and compliance of railroad laws by law enforcement. 

 

 

Chief Lowers remembers some of the hot spots around the community that was associated with the railroad network. He says there is a lot of history around the railroad in Clinton and so residents should take some these things to heart. 

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Maroa-Forsyth Schools Looking For Input on Future of Middle School

Maroa-Forsyth School leaders are turning to the community this week to offer up their thoughts on what the future should be at their middle school.

 

Superintendent Dr. John Ahlemeyer says they have identified the middle school as focus of a community group from earlier this year and so they are to the point they want to know what the community hopes to see happen. He says they have several options.

 

 

This Wednesday night, the community can come out and provide their thoughts on the future of the middle school. Those that come out will participate in an assessment developed by the committee. Dr. Ahlemeyer explains at the end of the night, they will take the top three results to present at their next meeting.

 

 

If you want to provide input but aren't sure what the district is working within their middle school, they are offering a tour of their middle school. Dr. Ahlemeyer feels it will be a good opportunity for someone to check it out that hasn't been in it in a while.

 

 

The meeting is Wednesday at 6:30 and will last until 8 pm at the Middle School at 101 South Cedar Street. The optional tour of the middle school will be at 6 pm. You can get more information at mfschools.net. Dr. Ahlemeyer says you can find information on everything the committee has done to this point and information about the upcoming meetings. 

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Bloomington-Normal Automaker Gets Huge Order from Amazon

The leader of Amazon announced today that the company will begin electrifying its fleet of delivery vehicles. The big news for Illinois is that Jeff Bezos picked Rivian, an electric car start up with a plant in Bloomington Normal.

 

 

Rivian owns the former Mitsubishi auto plant. They are headquartered in Michigan and last year announced a $700 million investment in the company from Amazon.

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Bustos on USMCA

As pressure builds to get the USMCA trade deal done, Democrats are still holding out for changes related to prescription drugs, labor and the environment. 

 

That according to Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. She is praising trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer, but says there are some aspects of the deal that Democrats want before the bill can be completed and brought to the floor...

 

 

The House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has said recently that a deal on USMCA is close but that her party remains adamant about what they believe needs to be part of the agreement.

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Central Illinois Lawmaker Wants More Research on Vaping

The topic of vaping has been on the rise, and a Central Illinois lawmaker thinks more research needs to be done before completely banning the industry.

 

State Senator Jason Barickman says he has some concerns about vaping, in particular, the industry targeting kids to use the product. He believes there needs to be more research and educations.

 

 

Barickman says he does not agree the vaping industry should be completely banned.

 

 

Barickman says if vaping is banned, he thinks cigarette smoking could go up.

 

As of today Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports 69 cases of respiratory illnesses related to vaping.

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Congressman Davis Introduces Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act

Earleir this week, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis introduced the Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act of 2019 after the EPA continues to increase the number of small refineries exempted from the Renewable Fuel Standard. 

 

The bill would require the EPA Administrator to use the average number of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) granted in the previous three calendar years when formulating the Renewable Volumes Obligations (SVO) for an upcoming year.

 

In a statemant, Davis says quote - “I’ve heard from many farmers in my district, and this is top of mind for them and it’s top of mind for me. We need certainty in an uncertain farm economy and the Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act will put us on the right path to move forward. This bill should be passed immediately, and I hope that any final package proposed by President Trump will include the provisions in my bill.”

 

Davis believes requiring the EPA to use realistic estimates of the number of SREs they will grant rather than stating they plan to grant zero when calculating their annual RVO will give industry some degree of certainty and effectively relocate some of the lost gallons that were detrimental to the renewable fuels industry when, most recently, the EPA announced that they had granted 31 SREs. 

 

NCERC Executive Director John Caupert said quote - “The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center supports the proposed legislation by Representative Davis which brings relief to the ethanol and agriculture industries from the recent increase in granting of small refinery exemptions. 

 

"The reallocation of these lost gallons and considering those exemptions when calculating Renewable Volume Obligations for upcoming years is essential to building demand for home-grown bushels and crucial to the continued growth of the ethanol industry.”

 

Ted Mottaz, President Illinois Corn Growers Association, says quote - “Illinois Corn Growers Association supports Congressman Davis’s initiative to bring economic stability back into the biofuels industry as it will help bring certainty in the marketplace by addressing the problems through EPA’s actions on small refinery exemptions.”

 

The Illinois Farm Bureau in a statement said quote - “Enacting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was a major accomplishment for Illinois farmers, the rural economy and for our environment. The recent proliferation of small refinery waivers not only undermines the RFS but unnecessarily exacerbates the current downturn in the farm and rural economy. 

 

"Illinois Farm Bureau strongly supports Rep. Davis’ Small Refinery Exemption Fairness Act. Quick passage of this important legislation will restore the integrity of the RFS so it can continue to produce markets for farmers, fuel for motorists, good paying jobs, and cleaner air.”

 

In an effort to incentivize the agency to issue fewer exemptions, Davis' bill does not set a minimum number of waivers that the EPA should grant.

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Weekly Weather Summary

It was a hot and humid week in central Illinois but will things turn around? Kevin Grady with the State Climatologist's Office has the details...

 

 

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State Unemployment Hits Historic Low in August

THE ILLINOIS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HIT A HISTORIC LOW LAST MONTH. 

 

THE AUGUST JOBLESS RATE CAME IN AT FOUR PERCENT IN AUGUST…DOWN FROM FOUR POINT TWO IN JULY. THAT’S THE LOWEST MONTHLY RATE ON RECORD AND A GOOD SIGN SAYS SAM SALUSTRO WITH THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY.

 

 

JOBS FELL SLIGHTLY FROM JULY TO AUGUST…BUT ARE UP BY 65 THOUSAND COMPARED TO AUGUST OF 2018. 

 

 

THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR AUGUST CAME IN AT THREE POINT SEVEN PERCENT.

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DeWitt County 4-H Partnering With The Vault for New After School Program

DeWitt County 4-H along with the Vault will be presenting an after school program for high school and junior high students.

 

Lindsey Burden, DeWitt County 4-H Extension Coordinator, indicates they are partnering with The Vault to present Adulting 101 for high school and mature junior high students. Burden says the program will run on alternating Thursdays from September 26-December 19 at The Vault. Topics to be discussed include cooking, financial literacy, and basic car maintenance courtesy of Baum Chevrolet Buick.

 

 

Interested students should contact The Vault for registration. For more information, contact Lindsey Burden at (217) 935-5764 or email lburden@illinois.edu.

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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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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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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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