Local News

DeWitt County Sheriff Walker Talks Latest in Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis has turned from focusing on the devastation to treatment and helping individuals battling addiction.

 

As the focus has shifted, a group approached DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker on joining a focused effort to bring local officials into a national conversation about the border crisis, which they say is the source of these drugs entering the country. Thursday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, the Sheriff says it's about getting more respected voices behind the conversation.

 

 

According to the Sheriff, rural communities want to hear from their local law enforcement officials and leaders about what is happening. He says it is a matter of gaining trust within the conversation.

 

 

Opioids continue to be an issue locally. While deaths are down, Sheriff Walker explains there is a trend they are seeing where people are using these drugs, keeping someone near with NARCAN, and then bringing them back if they need it.

 

 

The Sheriff indicates overdose cases come in waves. He points out they have a deputy within Task Force Six and they are still very active in DeWitt County. 

 

He says education is going to continue to be a part of curbing this epidemic.

0
comments


Illinois House Passes College Athletics Bill

THE ILLINOIS HOUSE IS VOTING TO LET COLLEGE STUDENT ATHLETE SIGN ENDORSEMENT DEALS. 

 

BILL SPONSOR, REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS WELCH OF HILLSIDE SAYS THE N-C-DOUBLE A, SCHOOLS, ATHLETIC DIRECTORS AND COACHES MAKE BILLIONS OFF OF COLLEGE SPORTS.

 

 

SUPPORTERS SAY THIS ABOUT FAIRNESS, BUT REPRESENTATIVE ANTHONY DELUCA OF CHICAGO HEIGHTS DISAGREES.

 

 

THE BILL PASSED 86-25 AND NOW MOVES TO THE SENATE FOR APPROVAL. N-C-DOUBLE-A OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK THAT THEY WILL BEGIN THE PROCESS OF CHANGING THE RULES TO ALLOW ENDORSEMENT DEALS.

 

THE SENATE WILL CONSIDER THE MEASURE NEXT AND GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER HAS SAID HE WILL SIGN IT INTO LAW. IF THAT HAPPENS, IT WILL TAKE EFFECT IN 2023, JUST LIKE A SIMILAR LAW ENACTED IN CALIFORNIA.

0
comments


Lawmakers Pass Stoppage in Drivers License Suspensions Over Non-Driving Violations

LEGISLATION ENDING THE PRACTICE OF SUSPENDING SOMEONE’S DRIVER’S LICENSE BECAUSE OF OVERDUE PARKING TICKETS IS HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK.

 

THE "LICENSE TO WORK ACT" PREVENTS LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR NON-MOVING VIOLATIONS LIKE PARKING FINES. HOUSE MINORITY LEADER JIM DURKIN VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE MEASURE.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE CAROL AMMONS OF CHAMPAIGN SAYS STRIPPING SOMEONE OF THEIR LICENSE BECAUSE THEY OWE MONEY DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. SHE SAYS THE STATE NEEDS TO SUPPORT PEOPLE FINDING GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT.

 

 

SUPPORTERS SAY PEOPLE NEED THEIR LICENSE TO GO TO WORK AND MAKE MONEY TO PAY OFF THEIR FINES. IF THE GOVERNOR SIGNS THE BILL INTO LAW, IT WILL TAKE EFFECT IN JULY.

0
comments


Madigan's Name Popping Up in Subpoenas

Democratic Rep. Luis Arroyo has been arrested; This summer Democratic State Senator Martin Sandoval had his offices and home raided by the FBI and questions swirl about who’s also connected to any other possible wrong doing.

 

How about the longest serving Speaker of the House in the nation? Democrat Mike Madigan isn’t showing any signs of stress when asked about his name showing up in federal subpoenas.

 

 

Madigan’s name came up in subpoenas tied to the City Club of Chicago and in connection with an investigation into ComEd’s lobbying practices.

0
comments


Rep. Brady Reacts to College Athletics Bill

Disregarding the announcement by the NCAA that it would soon change its rules regarding college athletes being allowed to be compensated, the Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation today that would allow college student athletes attending any four-year public or private universities in Illinois to be compensated for the use of their name, image, and likeness.

 

On a vote of 86 to 25 the Student Athlete Endorsement Act, was approved and will now head to the Senate for consideration. State Representative Dan Brady, whose district is home to Illinois State University, voted against the measure. 

 

 

Under pressure from lawmakers in various states, the NCAA announced Tuesday that it will change its rules to permit students participating in athletics the opportunity to benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model,” the organization said in a release. 

 

On the House floor Wednesday, the bill’s sponsor from Westchester called the NCAA’s announcement a “publicity stunt.”

0
comments


State Police Encouraging Parents to Check State's Sex Offender Registry Before Trick-Or-Treating

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE REMINDS THAT PARENTS CAN CHECK THE STATE’S SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY BEFORE THEIR KIDS HEAD OUT FOR TRICK-OR-TREATING.

 

YOU CAN EASILY SEARCH THE REGISTRY BY PLUGGING IN YOUR ZIP CODE OR CITY SAYS THE STATE POLICE’S TRACIE NEWTON. SHE SUGGESTS DOING A QUICK CHECK PERIODICALLY, AND BEFORE HALLOWEEN.

 

 

THE STATE HAS REGISTRIES FOR BOTH CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS, AND THOSE WHO COMMIT VIOLENT CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN SUCH AS MURDER. IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO CHECK BOTH SAYS THE STATE’S POLICE’S TRACIE NEWTON.

 

 

FIND THE REGISTRIES ONLINE AT: ISP DOT STATE DOT IL DOT US.

0
comments


Halloween Safety Tips from State Fire Marshals' Office

THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE HAS SOME TIPS TO KEEP YOUR KIDS…AND HOME SAFE THIS HALLOWEEN. 

 

FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ SAYS CANDLES AND DECORATIONS CERTAINLY POSE A RISK THIS TIME OF YEAR…QUICKLY IGNITING IF KEPT TOO CLOSE.

 

 

PARENTS ARE URGED TO MAKE SURE THEIR CHILD’S COSTUME IS FLAME RESISTANT AND DOESN’T HAVE LONG TRAILING FABRIC THAT COULD CATCH FIRE. FACE PAINT IS RECOMMENDED OVER MASKS, SO KIDS CAN SEE WELL AND IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE THEM CARRY A FLASHLIGHT OR GLOW STICK TO INCREASE VISIBILITY.

 

.

 

CANDLES POSE A BIG RISK AS WELL, AND FULTZ ADVISES KEEPING ANY OPEN FLAMES OR LIGHTS THAT GET REALLY HOT AWAY FROM DECORATIONS AND ANYTHING ELSE FLAMMABLE. 

 

THE FIRE MARSHAL SUGGESTS USING BATTERY POWERED CANDLES IN JACK-O-LANTERNS OR IF USING A CANDLE, KEEP THE PUMPKIN WELL AWAY FROM YOUR WALKWAY AND DOORSTEP.

0
comments


Slight Tax Increase Highlights Latest DeWitt County Budget

A slight increase in the county tax and ambulance service tax highlight this year's budget.

DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg says the county tax rate is going up less than a half-cent. He thanks the county leaders and board members who have been very proactive in coming up with a good budget again for the taxpayers. 

 

 

According to Newberg, the ambulance service is doubling their rate but he points out, they are still well below the max levy. Because of the tax increases, the County is hosting a truth in taxation hearing before the County Board meeting in November. 

 

 

Both the County and the EMS face future increases thanks to the minimum wage mandates. Newberg adds expenses have increased since the tax rates were last adjusted. 

 

 

Board member Nate Ennis cast the lone 'no' vote towards the budget and says he knew it would pass and indicates his no vote was a message to Springfield their mandates are hurting local taxpayers. He says things like the minimum wage and adjustments to the court system fines and fees are going to greatly impact local governments. 

 

 

The budget will get voted on by the County Board in November ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday and will be approved ahead of the November 30 deadline for the new fiscal year that starts December 1. 

0
comments


Local Veterans Advocate Named Clinton Chamber Christmas Parade's Grand Marshal

Local veterans advocate Jeff Morlock has been named the 2019 Clinton Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade Grand Marshal.

 

Chamber Executive Director Marian Brisard says Morlock's work with veterans in the community is very well known and he coordinated numerous trips for them on the Land of Lincoln Honor Flight, which is a one day trip to Washington, D.C. to see all the memorials.

 

 

Brisard says around 18 nomination letters came in and his parents will be driving him in the Christmas Parade on November 30 at 2 pm in downtown Clinton. 

0
comments


Weather Altering Trick-or-Treat Hours, Events in Central Illinois

Bundle up if you are headed out for trick-or-treating this Halloween. Daytime temperatures are calling for highs in the low 30s with rain and even snow and ice at times mixed it.

 

While things are expected to clear up overnight, it is going to be cold this Halloween.

 

The weather has already altered plans in several central Illinois communities. Mt. Pulaski has rescheduled their trick-or-treating to Friday evening from 5 to 8 pm. 

 

The annual Halloween parade in Warrensburg has been canceled. The community is holding trick-or-treat hours tonight (Wednesday) from 5 pm to 8 pm and then tomorrow (Thursday) night from 5 pm to 7 pm. At 7 pm, the community is invited to the fire station at 420 East Main Street for a costume judging contest and refreshments.

 

The Clinton United Methodist Church is holding its annual trunk-or-treat event in the parking lot from 5 pm to 7 pm. Organizers note, if the weather does not permit, they will simply move the event inside, so they hope the community will join them indoors, if necessary.

 

Trick-or-treat hours in Clinton are from 5 pm to 8 pm. From 4 pm to 5 pm, the downtown merchants will host trick-or-treaters as well. And the Clinton Haunted House has special Halloween hours from 7:13 pm to 9 pm. The Chamber reminds haunted house goers they will also be open Friday and Saturday night.

 

Lincoln trick-or-treat hours are from 5 pm to 8 pm and St. Clara's Manor at 1450 Castle Manor Drive (next to Walmart) is inviting the community out for their annual trick-or-treat event from 6 pm to 7 pm.

 

Monticello trick-or-treat hours are from 5 pm to 8 pm.

 

In Heyworth, the annual Halloween parade is tonight at 6:30 pm starting at the fire station and going to the high school. Then trick-or-treat hours are from 5 pm to 9 pm tomorrow.

 

The Farmer City Library is hosting its annual trunk-or-treat on Main Street from 5 pm to 7 pm. The community is encouraged to decorate their vehicles and park along Main Street and hand out candy. There will be prizes for the scariest, family-friendly and unique vehicles. The Chamber of Commerce will be serving hot dogs and drinks and the Haunted Forest will have their barrel train giving rides.

 

Trick-or-treat hours in Farmer City will be from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. 

 

Finally, Maroa trick-or-treat hours are from 5 pm to 8 pm. 

0
comments


Local Mental Health Professional Concerned With Impacts Legalized Marijuana Will Have on Vaping Epidemic

Teen use of vaping products has been at the forefront of discussion among just about anyone who deals with youth regularly the last several months and a local mental health professional says he has concerns regarding the impacts of the legalization of marijuana on this epidemic.

 

Wednesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Tony Kirkman, Executive Director of the Piatt County Mental Health Center, indicated to Regional Radio News the vaping epidemic was targeted as an area of concern by the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership. 

 

 

Vaping usage is on the rise among teens across the country and Kirkman says vaping devices are getting very sophisticated and the legalization of marijuana come the first of the year is only going to increase their access to those products. 

 

 

Kirkman is concerned with the increased access to THC vaping products because studies have shown the human brain is not fully developed until 25 years and the chronic use of these mind-altering drugs can have devastating impacts.

 

 

Kirkman explains keeping up with the latest trends in vaping and its devices is a lot like social media - as soon as you get things cornered in one area, another new trend arises. He says it's a constantly moving target. 

0
comments


Salaries, Health Insurance Among Areas Highlighted by Blue Ridge Teachers, BOE in New Agreement

The negotiations towards a new teacher's contract between the Blue Ridge Board of Education and Blue Ridge Teachers Federation was a very long process but in the end, both sides say they are pleased they were able to come to an agreement.

 

Both sides did not get everything they wanted but some of the bigger points of emphasis from the teachers' perspective were salary and health insurance. President of the Blue Ridge Federation, Don Anton says neither side got everything they wanted in those areas but they felt like where they ended up was a good starting point.

 

 

Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson, says there was a little bit of give-and-take on the health insurance and health savings account negotiations. As for the salary increases of staff, Wilson says they ended up a little higher than the Board wanted to go but feels there were indications they came to a good agreement.

 

 

Negotiations were intense and took nearly eight months to work through. Anton says while things were hard, he says things concluded positively and hopes relationships remain as strong as they were when things started.

 

 

Wilson believes because of the combination of the difficult process and the proximity of every one to each other, there will be some healing and rebuilding of relationships that will need to take place and believes that will happen.

 

 

According to Anton, the 2.75-percent increase in salary over three years is a good start but he feels there is more to be done in future agreements. He credits the board for their willingness to compromise on other issues. Overall, he feels both sides should feel good about where they ended up. 

 

Wilson looks forward to moving forward. The Blue Ridge Board of Education will meet Wednesday night to approve the agreement. 

0
comments


Central Illinois CEO Students Enjoying The New Program

The Central Illinois CEO program has been a huge success, at least for the students that are a part of this inaugural year of the collaboration. 

 

The students visit various businesses in central Illinois and learn about them and Monday and Tuesday, the 10 were at the Big Red Barn to learn about the world of radio. Maddie Miller is the lone participant from Warrensburg-Latham Schools and also the only female in the group. Initially, she was intimidated but has become good friends with her classmates.

 

 

Cameron Reynolds is a student at Maroa-Forsyth High School and feels the CEO program is giving him a leg up on his peers at this level. In the first few weeks together, the students learned a lot of soft skills and he feels that was a huge benefit for them.

 

 

Students have to be up at their site visits in the 7 am hour and be dressed up in business attire. Max Stauffer from Clinton High is looking forward to diving into the starting of a business, which students will do together this semester and then individually next semester.

 

 

Last week, the group met with investors of the program. The program is 100-percent funded by the community with no funds coming from the school. Brendan Flannell from Blue Ridge High School says it was a great experience to see the people that are giving back.

 

 

Trenton Sanders considers himself one of the quieter kids in the group of ten but says the meeting with the investors allowed him to be more outgoing. He is a student at Clinton High School.

 

 

The group is very active on its website on its Facebook page. Find them by searching 'Central Illinois CEO' on Facebook or visit www.centralillinoisceo.com and they hope you will sign up for their newsletter on the website. 

0
comments


Some Parts of Illinois Could Receive 2-to-6 Inches of Snow Later This Week

The first signs of snow were seen in Illinois and more expected later in the week. Some areas north of the Quad Cities and west of Rockford saw one-to-three inches on grassy areas Monday night into Tuesday morning, according to Freese-Notis meteorologist Dan Hicks.

 

 

East and south of those areas he expects the system to produce from a half-inch to 1.5 inches of rainfall and that includes parts of Illinois. He believes most of Illinois will finish October with normal to above normal precipitation.

0
comments


Senate Passes Out of Pocket Insulin Bill

THE ILLINOIS SENATE IS VOTING TO CAP INSULIN COSTS. 

 

THE BILL LIMITS THE OUT-OF-POCKET COST FOR A 30 DAY SUPPLY OF INSULIN TO 100 DOLLARS. IT ONLY APPLIES TO COMMERCIAL INSURANCE PLANS REGULATED BY THE STATE. SENATOR ANDY MANAR OF BUNKER HILL IS SPONSORING THE MEASURE, SAYING INSULIN PRICES HAVE SKYROCKETED IN RECENT YEARS.

 

 

SENATOR STEVE STADELMAN OF ROCKFORD SAYS KEEPING FAMILIES HEALTHY WILL SAVE MONEY IN THE LONG RUN.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, ABOUT ONE POINT THREE MILLION ILLINOISANS HAVE DIABETES. THE BILL NOW MOVES TO THE HOUSE.

0
comments


Senate Discusses Flavored Tobacco, Vape Products

SENATE LAWMAKERS ARE DISCUSSING A PROPOSED BAN ON FLAVORED TOBACCO AND VAPING PRODUCTS. 

 

WITH VAPING RELATED ILLNESS AND DEATHS ON THE RISE…AND THE APPEAL OF FLAVORED E-CIGARETTES TO TEENS…LEGISLATION HAS BEEN PROPOSED OUTLAWING THE PRODUCTS. RUBY JOHNSON OF NEW LENOX TESTIFIED IN FAVOR OF THE BILL. BACK IN AUGUST, SHE ALMOST LOST HER 18-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER TO VAPING.

 

 

BUT TONY ABBOUD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE VAPOR TECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION ARGUES THE BAN WILL HURT BUSINESSES.

 

 

0
comments


Tradewind Energy Still Seeking Substitute Zoning Administrator

Last week at the DeWitt County Board meeting, an agenda item the Board was going to discuss was a request by Tradewind Energy for a substitute zoning administrator for the matter of the Alta Farms II wind project.

 

The board removed that item from the agenda and county leaders say the issue has been resolved but Tuesday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Project Development Manager for Tradewind, Tom Swierczewski says they do not believe it is resolved.

 

 

Tradewind's biggest contention is they submitted their application nearly three months ago and it has yet to make it to the Regional Planning Commission. Swierczewski feels this process has taken far too long.

 

 

The RPC will take up the Tradewind application in November but Tradewind is maintaining their request for a substitute zoning administrator. Swierczewski called out Land Use Committee Chair Terry Ferguson, for not having control of his staff and playing politics.

 

 

Last Friday morning on the WHOW morning show following the County Board meeting, DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg did not elaborate much on the situation but did indicate they felt they had the issue resolved before the meeting.

 

 

Last month, the Land Use Committee voted to have Zoning Administrator Angie Sarver send the Tradewind application on to the Regional Planning Commission. 

0
comments


Clinton Board of Education Says 'No' To E-Learning Days

Never a backer of the idea of e-learning days, the leader of Clinton schools recommended not implementing a policy for the district.

 

Monday night at the rescheduled board of education meeting, Superintendent Curt Nettles indicated his concerns and notes this is a decision he did not make alone. Once the State of Illinois completed its regulations around e-learning days, the district deliberated and decided they were not going to pursue a policy for an at-home learning day.

 

 

Additionally, the issue of students in daycare would be problematic. Nettles has seen daycares that have set their regulations regarding students in their facilities.

 

 

Board of Education members agreed with Nettles' assessment. President of the Board, Dan Matthews wonders how a packet of work without a teacher's instruction would benefit a student.

 

 

Chris Hammer, an educator in Lincoln, says their district is implementing e-learning days and he is not in favor of. 

 

 

Nettles says if the focus is on how it impacts their staff, that is not what they are about. He wants the focus to be how this would impact their students. 

 

The Board agreed to not move forward with an e-learning day policy. 

0
comments


Weekly Crop Report

FARMERS WERE ABLE TO MAKE SOME DECENT HARVEST PROGRESS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 

 

THERE WERE ABOUT FIVE DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK THIS PAST WEEK. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 96 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE DROPPING LEAVES.

 

 

93 PERCENT OF CORN IS MATURE, AND 54 PERCENT HAS BEEN HARVESTED. 

 

 

75 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED AND 47 PERCENT HAS EMERGED. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE INCREASED TO TWO PERCENT VERY SHORT, EIGHT PERCENT SHORT, 71 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 19 PERCENT SURPLUS.

0
comments


State Conservationist Waiting for Industrial Hemp Rules

Farmers and conservation officials still looking for some clarity as it relates to growing industrial hemp in Illinois.

 

 

That’s Ivan Dozier who serves as State Conservationist with the Illinois NRCS State Office.

0
comments


Purple Paint Law in Illinois

Orange isn’t the only important color to remember when embarking on another hunting season in Illinois. Sure, you still need that orange hunting vest before heading out to the field or woods, but also understand the significance of purple as it relates to landowner rights. It's called the Purple Paint Law in Illinois says Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

 

 

Archery deer season opened Oct. 1 in Illinois and runs through Jan. 19. The two firearm weekends in Illinois are Nov. 22-24 and Dec. 5-8.

0
comments


Speaker, House Republicans Want Rep. Arroyo Out

A state lawmaker appeared in Federal Court today after being arrested on Friday. Democrat Rep. Luis Arroyo is being accused of trying to bride another lawmaker with $2,500 a month in exchange for that person’s support of a piece of legislation tied to gambling and sweepstakes.

 

Republican House Leader Jim Durkin says that he wants Arroyo out now as a member of the Illinois House and a conviction in court isn’t necessary for him to wait to be action to expel him.

 

He says if Arroyo won’t step down then proceedings will begin to remove him from office.

 

 

Speaker of the House Mike Madigan also wants him gone. For now Arroyo’s lawyer says the lawmaker is ready to step aside from a committee Chairmanship but for now, isn’t leaving his elected office.

0
comments


Governor on President's Chicago Visit

President Donald Trump is in Chicago today to announce a commission to study the root cause of crime. It will try and tackle if homelessness, drug abuse and mental health impact violence and crime rates around the nation.

 

Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says his message to the President is the same as it’s always been.

 

 

The President will be speaking at McCormick Place to the International Chiefs of Police.

0
comments


President Trump Blasts Chicago at Police Convention

The President was in Chicago today and took time during an address to the International Police Chiefs to take a swipe at the city and its problems with crime and gun violence.

 

 

The trip for Donald Trump was ultimately supposed to be about launching a commission to better understand what drives crime in the US. The commission is to consider the impacts of mental health, homelessness and other issues on gun deaths and violence.

0
comments


Tips for Looking for Holiday Work

Seasonal work can be found in many places again this holiday season, so the Better Business Bureau says the time to get in your application is now. If you are looking for extra work this holiday season, a BBB Investigator says that while holiday jobs are usually temporary, many retailers end up hiring some holiday workers permanently.

 

But you should remember as a seasonal employee, you can expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours, possibly including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Investigator Don O’Brien tells The Big Z you might want to start your job search at places you shop.

 

 

If this is the second job in addition to your day job, he says you be upfront and clear with your new employer about your available hours. And beware of classified ads for mystery shopper jobs: These are often scams that steal money from victims or use their personal information to commit fraud.

0
comments


Weldon Springs Concession Building Receiving Renovation In Time For New Operator

The concession building at Weldon Springs State Park is being remodeled and park leadership is anticipating it being finished in time for not only a new operator to take over but for it to be ready for the new park season.

 

Charlie Montgomery is the Superintendent at Weldon Springs and explains they have an operator that plans to use the renovated facility and open next year.

 

 

According to Montgomery, the park benefited from a sustainability fund. Montgomery explains if they tried to renovate the building within their budget they couldn't have done it.

 

 

Montgomery says this is going to be a big win for the park.

 

 

Montgomery says the operator will sell bait and rent boats. Tom and Julie Monaghan will operate the business, they currently operate a concession at Kickapoo Landing. Montgomery is confident they will do a good job. 

0
comments


Central Illinois CEO Students Discuss First Year of Program

The first students are participating in the Central Illinois CEO program, designed to introduce them to the world of owning and operating a business.

 

The students spend time at various businesses around central Illinois and Monday morning spent time at the Big Red Barn. They discussed what interested them in the program and why they joined. Terry Hendrix, a student at Clinton High School, says he doesn't necessarily want to own his own business but feels the program has still helped him.

 

 

Colton Holback, a student at Maroa-Forsyth, says things started slowly with the kids that come from Clinton, Blue Ridge, Maroa-Forsyth and Warrensburg-Latham. He feels though they are coming together and learning a lot at the same time.

 

 

Vince Baldassari indicates he is enjoying the site visits they are making but adds it's more than just field trips to all these places. He explains it is a very hands-on program.

 

 

Gabriel Jenkins, a student at Blue Ridge High School, is one that looks forward to the challenge of starting a group business and then his own business in the second semester. He feels it is going to be a great foundation for what he wants to do in the future.

 

 

The group will establish a collective business in the first semester and then an individual business in the second semester.

 

There are ten students in the first year of the CEO program and the other six students will be on the WHOW morning show Tuesday.

0
comments


Clinton City Crews Out For Leaf Cleanup Season

The leaf clean up season is here and Clinton City crews have already been making the rounds.

 

Public Works Director Steve Lobb says this is one of the busiest times of the year for their crews and leaf cleanup is an effort that at times can be the only thing they have time for.

 

 

Leaf cleanup season comes and goes in a pretty tight window. Lobb explains they bring on two additional part-time employees and he calls it intense in the thick of the cleanup but then quickly calms down.

 

 

Residents putting their piles in the streets is not helpful for city crews and can actually create a driving hazard for passing motorists. Lobb says to get the piles out to the curb or up against the street and that will allow crews the easiest access and ability to get in and out and on their way.

 

 

According to Lobb, they divide the city up into five zones and they just go one zone at a time until they finish and move on. At the peak of the busy time, he says they may only get to one zone at a time and the weather can also hold them up.

 

 

Lobb says generally their crews are generally through the whole city within a week. He realizes sometimes the wait isn't ideal but they work from start to finish and do as much as they can each day during the leaf clean up season. 

 

He encourages a visit to clintonillinois.com to find a map of the five zones of the city and frequent updates on the location and plans of city crews for a particular day. 

0
comments


Local Authorities Encouraging Safe Halloween

Thursday night, the little ones will be out in full force for Halloween and local authorities are wishing everyone a safe celebration.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says it's always fun to catch the unique costumes everyone puts on but hopes as youths get this year, they'll keep a few things in mind. The Chief points out, sometimes a costume can be a safety hazard.

 

 

Other general reminders include making sure kids are accompanied by an adult and they can see where they are going after dark. Chief Lowers reminds homeowners to turn off porch lights if they do not want trick-or-treaters arriving at your door. 

 

 

Trick-or-treating hours in Clinton are from 5 to 8 pm. The Clinton Square merchants will host trick-or-treating from 4 pm to 5 pm. Chief Lowers says the Police Department and Crime Stoppers will be out giving away glow bracelets. He encourages kids stopping by and getting a glow bracelet and checking out a squad car. 

0
comments


Vape Store Owners Hoping For No Flavor Ban

The Illinois Department of Public Health says a second person from Illinois died from vaping last week.

 

But the vaping industry is trying hard to avoid a ban on vape products and flavored vaping products. Supporters of vaping say the legal products, sold in stores and not connected to THC, provide adult users a safe product that helps prevent them from smoking cigarettes. Vape Store owner Craig Kitson says the right type of regulations is what’s needed.

 

 

The IDPH says they don’t know the exact reason why a second person has died in the state after vaping but called it a severe lung injury.

0
comments


Chicago Teachers' Strike Impacts High School Football Playoff Pairings

A strike by school teachers in Chicago has spread from the picket line to the playing field.

 

Thousands of high school athletes, shut out of class for more than a week, are arguing, rallying and even filing lawsuits for the chance to compete in post-season play. Hanging in the balance, they say, are not just the pursuits of state-championship glory and lifelong memories, but scholarships that for some represent a lone opportunity to attend college and, in some cases, escape drugs and violence in city neighborhoods.

 

About 25,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union walked out Oct. 17 . They continue to negotiate with administrators for the nation’s third-largest school system, but disagreement remains over issues such as class sizes and staffing. The work stoppage also idled action on the gridiron, tennis court, soccer field and cross-country course.

 

CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates, a basketball player in her Indiana school days, was sympathetic to the young competitors, saying, “This sucks.”

 

The strike came at the very moment competitors were gearing up for state playoff runs. Solorio Academy missed its chance to win a second state soccer championship in three years because the tournament began last week. The lawsuit by Jones Prep and other cross-country teams argues that a different interpretation of an IHSA rule could still allow runners to answer the state-meet gun on Nov. 9. Football teams that have completed eight games and won at least five were expected to be seeded for the playoffs by the IHSA Saturday. But IHSA rules stipulate that the strike must end by Tuesday night, allowing the teams to suit up for three days of practice before going full-tilt in the first playoff round Nov. 2.

 

Simeon Career Academy at 6-1 is ranked third in the state in Class 6A by The Associated Press, but was ineligible for the playoffs because a regular-season game fell through, leaving the team short of the eight required. The IHSA agreed on Friday to waive that rule for Simeon and two other schools, allowing them to be seeded, but rejected Simeon’s request to skirt the three-practice requirement. That means the strike would have to end by Wednesday to give eligible schools a chance to play.

A Cook County judge on Friday ruled that high school cross-country runners won’t be able to participate in a state-qualifying meet Saturday. Judge Eve M. Reilly issued her order a day after athletes from Jones College Prep filed a lawsuit. It sought to lift an IHSA prohibition on their participation in sectional competition before the state finals Nov. 9.

 

Saturday night during the playoff pairings, schools being unable to participate bumped schools like Rochester, Chatham-Glenwood and others up a class. 

0
comments


Nearly 3-Inches of Rain falls in Clinton Saturday; 2-Inches in Lincoln, 2.5-Inches in Monticello

The remnants of Hurricane Olga dropped enough rain on Illinois, farmers are left wondering if they can catch just one break this year.

 

Nearly 3-inches of rain fell in Clinton Saturday, two inches in Lincoln and over 2-and-a-half inches in Monticello.

 

According to CoCoRAHS.org, a reporting service of the National Weather Service, Clinton received 2.85-inches and a nearly identical report came from Farmer City.

 

On the north side of Lincoln in Logan County, a report of 1.9-inches came in yesterday and 1.94-inches in far northern Logan County. At the Mason, Logan County line, there was a report of 2.01-inches was reported. In Elkhart, there was a report of 1.65-inches north of Chestnut. 

 

Just to the south of Monticello in Piatt County, 2.6-inches was reported. South of Cisco near the Macon County line, there was a report of 2.7-inches. In far southeastern Piatt County, there was also a report of 2.7-inches. In the far northern areas of Piatt County, reports ranged around 2.5-inches. 

 

2.8-inches of rain was reported in the Heyworth area of McLean County. 2.85-inches of rain were reported between Heyworth and LeRoy on Route 136. At the McLean/DeWitt County line south of 136 between Heyworth and LeRoy, only 2.5-inches of rain was reported, but it is yet another report of over 2-inches reported in central Illinois.

 

Additionally in McLean County, in Bloomington-Normal, a report of just short of 2.5-inches of rain was reported, but near the airport, there was a report of just over 3.1-inches. Just north of Bloomington-Normal, there is a report of 2.95-inches of rain. 

 

In Champaign County, the largest rainfall totals came from the western portion of the county towards Champaign-Urbana, where rainfall was in the 2.5-inches range. Reports lessen going east in Champaign-County, ranging from 2-inches to an inch-and-three-quarters. 

 

According to cocorahs.org, areas along and just east of Interstate-55 received the heaviest rainfall totals. 

 

Farmers on social media indicate the farther west you go in the midwest, rainfall was not as impactful.

 

This has already been a challenging year for farmers with a very late planting season and now a harvest that appears to be headed into at least the early parts of November. 

 

0
comments


Mt. Pulaski To Reach Out To Community in Search For New Grade School Principal

If you are a resident of Mt. Pulaski, the school district is inviting you to provide input on what you'd like to see in their new grade school principal.

 

Superintendent Fred Lamkey says earlier this week, they put up a survey on their website for the community to participate in. He says they have a good pool of candidates with time for more applicants

.

 

Visit mtpulaski.k12.il.us to find the survey. 

0
comments


Rock Springs Fall Harvest Festival October 27

If you are a nature lover and are looking for something to do with the family, then head over to Rock Springs this Sunday.

 

Richie Wolf with Rock Springs Nature Center indicates their Fall Harvest Festival is Sunday, October 27 from 1-4 pm. Wolf indicates the festival is the second-largest annual event for Rock Springs. 

 

 

With the various family activities, a favorite amongst the younger crowds is pumpkin rolling. Wolf indicates they roll a pumpkin down a hill and the pumpkin traveling the farthest distance wins.

 

 

Rock Springs Nature Center is located at 3939 Nearing Lane in Decatur.

0
comments


Bement Offering Throwback Bement, 'South Piatt' Uniforms

If local throwbacks are your thing, then a Piatt County district has a real treat for you.

 

For a small donation, a Bement warm-up or a South Piatt basketball and baseball or track uniform could be yours. Superintendent Dr. Sheila Greenwood says they came across these earlier this fall and wanted the community to have a chance at taking one home.

 

 

It was eight years ago the South Piatt co-op disbanded. Dr. Greenwood says it was a fun discovery they made. 

 

Get more information by contacting the Bement unit office at 217-678-4200. 

0
comments


National Drug Take Back Day Saturday

Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day. In communities around the state, local authorities are setting up shop at police departments, county health buildings and elsewhere to help you properly dispose of prescription drugs. The DEA will be the ultimate authority at the locations to handle the drugs that are dropped off but Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell says this is the right way to get rid of medicine you don’t need anymore.

 

 

Check with your local police department to see where to bring your prescriptions. Many departments now offer year-round drop off locations to help combat prescription drug abuse and remedy the environmental cost of flushing drugs down the toilet.

0
comments


Vaccinations Urged for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are being urged to get the flu and whooping cough vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing a warning that women are putting themselves and their infants at risk for severe illness and possibly death. The CDC reports 65% of women do not receive both recommended vaccines.

 

The CDC recommends all expectant mothers get the flu vaccine as early as possible and the Tdap vaccine for whooping cough during the early part of the third trimester. Dr. Samuel Fox, an OB GYN with OSF HealthCare says he often finds himself battling misinformation and he says his young, healthy patients feel invincible.

 

 

Dr. Fox also warns patients to see him immediately if they develop flu-like symptoms or have been exposed to someone sick with the flu. He says pregnant women have lower immunity and they’re twice as likely to be hospitalized for the flu that non-pregnant women of child-bearing age. Infants who become infected with flu or whooping cough are at a high risk of hospitalization or death.

0
comments


State Police Hearing From Public About Proposed Gun Dealer Licensing Rules

THE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE IS HEARING FROM THE PUBLIC ABOUT PROPOSED GUN DEALER LICENSING RULES. 

 

AT A P

UBLIC HEARING, ABOUT 20 PEOPLE OFFERED THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE INITIAL RULE RECOMMENDATIONS. I-S-P MAJOR JAROD INGEBRIGTSEN (ing-grr-bret-son) SAYS THEY WILL TAKE THE COMMENTS UNDER ADVISEMENT.

 

 

 

JIM HOOD WITH HOOD’S GUNS AND MORE IN BENTON, ILLINOIS SAID HE CAN’T AFFORD TO PLACE MORE SECURITY CAMERAS IN HIS STORE AS REQUIRED UNDER THE SUGGESTED RULES. HE ALSO QUESTIONED THE NEED TO KEEP FOOTAGE FOR 90 DAYS.

 

 

OTHERS ASKED WHY DEALERS HAVEN'T BEEN INVOLVED IN THE RULE MAKING PROCESS. STATE POLICE OFFICIALS SAYS THEY APPRECIATE THE FEEDBACK AND WILL TAKE THE PUBLIC’S COMMENTS INTO CONSIDERATION.

0
comments


Second Vaping Related Death Reported in Illinois

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS CONFIRMING A SECOND VAPING RELATED DEATH IN ILLINOIS.

 

A SECOND PERSON HAS DIED FROM WHAT OFFICIALS CALL “SEVERE LUNG INJURY.” PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gozi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS THEY STILL DON’T KNOW THE EXACT CAUSE.

 

 

EZIKE SAYS IN MORE THAN 80 PERCENT OF THE CASES IN ILLINOIS, THE PERSON VAPED A T-H-C PRODUCT. THE DEPARTMENT IS CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING 41 ADDITIONAL POSSIBLE CASES.

 

 

SYMPTOMS OF THIS SEVERE LUNG INJURY INCLUDE COUGH, SHORTNESS OF BREATH AND FATIGUE. MANY ARE ALSO EXPERIENCING VOMITING AND DIARRHEA.

0
comments


Mix-Up Over Agenda Item Regarding Zoning Administrator Explained

DeWitt County Zoning Administrator Angie Sarver is not being replaced and County officials say it was a simple break down in communication.

 

Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board Meeting, Board Chair David Newberg removed from the agenda an item, that officials say should not have been on the agenda and was resolved earlier in the week, to have Angie Sarver removed and replaced for the issue of the Tradewind Energy Alta Farms II wind project. 

 

 

Land Use Committee Chair Terry Ferguson called it "a lack of communication". County leaders say Tradewind officials were not happy with the pace of which the process was moving forward. Ferguson explains now that the application has been passed on to the Regional Planning Commission, they do not act in conjunction with the zoning administrator and will review the application in November.

 

 

Ferguson emphasizes Sarver is not part of either the RPC or Zoning Board of Appeals, he called her a facilitator of their work.

 

Last month, the Land Use Committee pushed through the application by Tradewind Energy to the RPC despite concerns over the completeness of the application by Sarver. 

 

Also Thursday night at the DeWitt County Board meeting....

 

>>The Board put on file a budget with a .04-percent rate increase for the DeWitt County ambulance service. 

 

>>The County approved Lars Dunn and Kevin Hammer as independent public defenders starting December 1. 

 

>>The Board tabled putting the sale of recreational marijuana in unincorporated areas of DeWitt County. 

0
comments


DNR Promoting Schoolyard Habitat Grants

Illinois teachers are encouraged to apply for grant funding through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

 

Spokesperson for DNR, Rachel Torbert indicates they are targeting educators for their Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Grant to help establish pollinator habitat. 

 

 

There is plenty of grant money available for this grant and Torbert says there's plenty more grant money available for other projects.

 

 

Visit dnr.illinois.gov/education to find more on the Schoolyard Habitat Grant and all the other grant opportunities. 

0
comments


Weldon Springs Hosting Campers Halloween Event This Weekend

If you're camping at Weldon Springs State Park this weekend, a first-time event is on the agenda for anyone interested.

 

Site Superintendent Charlie Montgomery says they are hosting their first-ever Halloween event with trick-or-treating for the kids, a campfire with hot dogs, chili and s'mores being served and they'll show a movie at the amphitheater.

 

 

Montgomery says they have had a good response to the event. While reserved sites can no longer be claimed, drive-in spots are available.

 

 

Montgomery says this was something he did when he worked at Kickapoo State Park and decided this would be a big hit at Weldon Springs. Several businesses stepped up to provide support for the event and he thanks them for that support.

0
comments


Social Security Promoting Extra Help Program During Open Enrollment Period

As seniors across the country get enrolled in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, Social Security is encouraging them to check out their Extra Help program to assist with out of pocket costs.

 

Jack Myers indicates there are income eligibility guidelines to meet for the program, however, unlike Medicare Part D, there is no enrollment period.

 

 

Get more information about the program at socialsecurity.gov, call or visit your local Social Security office or contact your local community care advocate.

0
comments


Miller Park Zoo Wrapping Up Parking Lot Expansion

A struggle for parking at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington won't be as much of a problem after this week.

 

Throughout the summer, the zoo has been working on adding infrastructure improvements and this week will wrap up the parking lot expansion project. Superintendent Jay Tetzloff is excited this phase of their projects is set to be completed ahead of a busy season of special events.

 

 

According to Tetzloff, the parking lot expansion was part of a $1.2-million improvement to several aspects of their facility. He explains they eliminated the road that ran in front of their entrance, which will be a safety improvement at the same time.

 

 

As for the addition of a concession area in both the zoo and the visitors outside the park, Tetzloff says things are still plugging along there. Right now, concessions are being served inside the zoo and later this month they will start serving to guests outside the park.

 

 

The zoo's parking lot expansion will be done in time for this month's 'Spooktacular' event and ahead of December's very popular 'Wild Lights'. 

 

Tetzloff says it's exciting to see the plans they have in place continue to be executed. This is his tenth year as the leader of the zoo. 

0
comments


State Offering Dual Credit Endorsement for Teachers

ILLINOIS TEACHERS CAN NOW BE OFFICIALLY ENDORSED AS DUAL-CREDIT INSTRUCTORS.

 

THE ENDORSEMENT IS AVAILABLE IN NINE SUBJECTS INCLUDING MATH, SPEECH AND ENGLISH LITERATURE. IT SHOWS THAT A TEACHER IS QUALIFIED TO LEAD CLASSES THAT EARN STUDENTS BOTH HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE CREDIT SAYS THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION’S EMILY FOX.

 

 

THE ENDORSEMENT IS AVAILABLE TO TEACHERS SHOWING THAT THEY ARE QUALIFIED TO LEAD THESE COURSES IN SUBJECTS LIKE MATH, SPEECH AND BIOLOGY

 

 

FOX SAYS MORE AND MORE STUDENTS ARE TAKING THE DUAL CREDIT COURSES, GIVING THEM A HEAD START ON COLLEGE. TEACHERS CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ENDORSEMENT ONLINE AT: ISBE DOT NET.

0
comments


Secretary of State Highlights Drop in Teen Driving Death Rate

SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE SAYS TEEN DRIVING DEATHS ARE DOWN.

 

THE NUMBER OF TEENS KILLED ON ILLINOIS ROADS HAS DROPPED 69 PERCENT SINCE 2007. SECRETARY WHITE SAYS THAT MEANS MORE YOUNG DRIVERS ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING.

 

 

WHITE ALSO ATTRIBUTES THE DECREASE TO THE STATE'S GRADUATED LICENSE PROGRAM AND TOUGHER LAWS. SO FAR THIS YEAR IN ILLINOIS…32 TEENS HAVE DIED IN TRAFFIC CRASHES.

0
comments


It's Teen Driver Safety Week

IT’S NATIONAL TEEN DRIVER SAFETY WEEK AND STATE OFFICIALS ARE URGING FAMILIES TO TALK WITH THEIR BEGINNER DRIVERS ABOUT SOME OF THE DANGERS THEY FACE ON THE ROAD. 

 

ILLINOIS STATE POLICE LIEUTENANT HENRY SPIGHT SAYS SAFETY BOILS DOWN TO FIVE COMPONENTS: WEAR YOUR SEATBELT, WATCH YOUR SPEED, STAY OFF YOUR PHONE, NO DRINKING AND DON’T SUCCUMB TO PEER PRESSURE.

 

 

SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE SAYS SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AREAS PARENTS SHOULD FOCUS ON ARE DISTRACTED DRIVING, DRUNK DRIVING AND WEARING A SEATBELT. HE REMINDS TEENS THAT IF THEY DON’T FOLLOW THE RULES OF THE ROAD, THEY COULD LOSE THEIR LICENSE.

 

 

THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFICE SAFETY ADMINISTRATION SAYS MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR TEENS 15 TO 18 YEARS OLD IN THE U-S.

0
comments


Cyber Security Awareness Month Focuses on Flash Drives

CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH CONTINUES…WITH A WARNING ABOUT FLASH DRIVES.

 

STATE CHIEF INFORMATION SECURITY OFFICER ADAM FORD SAYS CYBER ATTACKERS HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO SCATTER JUMP DRIVES WITH A VIRUS AROUND A WORKPLACE PARKING LOT, IN HOPES THAT SOMEONE WILL PICK ONE UP AND PLUG IT INTO THEIR COMPUTER.

 

 

IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE THE DRIVE CAME FROM…DON’T PLUG IT INTO YOUR COMPUTER

 

 

A STUDY BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS A FEW YEARS AGO FOUND THAT IN A SIMILAR SCENARIO, MORE THAN 45 PERCENT OF PEOPLE PICKED UP THE FLASH DRIVE AND PLUGGED IT IN.

0
comments


DeWitt County Farm Bureau Leading Charge to Raise Money for New Bathrooms at 4-H Fairgrounds

Earlier this summer, the DeWitt County Fair Board announced they were seeking to upgrade the bathroom facilities at the 4-H Fairgrounds on Clinton's north side. Earlier this week, the DeWitt County Farm Bureau made a call to the community to help them raise the money for the project.

 

Terry Ferguson says they are calling on the community and farmers to help them raise the $60,000 needed to bring the facilities up to ADA compliance but also provide better facilities for their patrons during fair dates and Apple n' Pork weekend.

 

 

According to Ferguson, the summer of 2021, DeWitt County will host students from Macon and Piatt Counties for the general 4-H shows and indicates they'd like the restroom project completed well ahead of that. He hopes they can get started next summer.

 

 

Ferguson is challenging farmers that are a 4-H alumnus to make small contributions off the grain settlement sheets to put it towards a good cause.

 

If you'd like to make a cash contribution, Ferguson directs those donors to contact the DeWitt County Farm Bureau. 

0
comments


Doggone Disabilities Nacho Tent Raising Money For Service Dogs Across The Country

The Doggone Disabilities tent at the Apple n' Pork Festival this year was one of the few booths to sell out during what was a rocky weather weekend at the annual festival.

 

The group began selling pulled pork nachos at the Apple n' Pork Festival several years ago and Andi Case says they ran out of inventory Saturday and had to get more ready for Sunday, and still sold out despite a warm day and some off-and-on rain showers.

 

 

Case says Doggone Disabilities was formed after her daughter Lucca received a service dog and she wanted to help others in what is a very expensive process. She says Lukah was touched by the story of a person in her class when they received their dog, Jasper.

 

 

According to Case, Doggone Disabilities distributes grants to folks across the country seeking help buying a service dog. They also offer a scholarship to Clinton students and will do presentations for various groups in the area.

 

 

Learn more about Doggone Disabilities by visiting dogondisabilities.com or find them on Facebook. 

0
comments


Opioid Deaths Down Over Last Year

STATE PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS SAY PROGRESS IS BEING MADE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST OPIOID ABUSE. 

 

PUBLIC HEALTH’S JENNY EPSTEIN OVERSEES THE ILLINOIS OPIOID ACTION PLAN AND SAYS OPIOID RELATED DEATHS DROPPED FROM ABOUT 22-HUNDRED IN 2017 TO TWO-THOUSAND-167 IN 2018. THAT’S THE FIRST DECREASE IN FIVE YEARS, BUT EPSTEIN SAYS THERE IS STILL MORE WORK TO BE DONE.

 

 

EPSTEIN SAYS THE STATE NEEDS TO CONTINUE TO FOCUS ON OVERDOSE PREVENTION AND PROVIDING MORE ACCESS TO ADDICTION TREATMENT.

 

 

EPSTEIN SAYS THEY ARE ALSO WORKING TO BETTER REACH MINORITY COMMUNITIES…SINCE RATES OF OVERDOSE ARE HIGHER AMONG HISPANIC AND BLACK ILLINOISANS.

0
comments


FCC Reorganizing TV Frequencies

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is trying to make more room on the airways for mobile broadband. FCC Incentive Auction Task Force Chair Jean Kiddoo says that means having TV stations change frequencies.

 

 

Kiddoo says TV stations that make the change are getting financial help from the FCC. If a channel you watch suddenly disappears it could because it's changing frequencies. Kiddoo says just to use the TV set's scan feature to find all the channels that switched. TV stations should give viewers a heads up before changing frequencies.

0
comments


Governor Pritzker Announces $10 Million Parks, Rec Facility Grants

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING MORE THAN 10 MILLION DOLLARS IN PARK AND RECREATION GRANTS. 

 

THE MONEY IS PART OF THE PARK AND RECREATIONAL FACILITY CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM, HELPING COMMUNITIES CONSTRUCT AND RENOVATE BUILDINGS OR PURCHASE LAND FOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SPOKESPERSON RACHEL TORBERT SAYS A NUMBER OF PROJECTS AROUND THE STATE ARE RECEIVING THE GRANTS.

 

 

OTHER PROJECTS GETTING MONEY INCLUDE AN EXPANSION OF THE FORUM FITNESS CENTER IN RANTOUL, RENOVATION OF THE HISTORIC RIDGE PARK FIELDHOUSE IN CHICAGO AND CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW COMMUNITY CENTER IN VILLA GROVE.

 

 

THE VILLAGE OF RANTOUL WILL BE GETTING MONEY TO EXPAND THE FORUM FITNESS CENTER.

0
comments


Blue Ridge Federation, Blue Ridge Board of Education Pleased with Agreement

Both sides of the contract negotiations for teachers in the Blue Ridge district say they are pleased to have an agreement in place and are ready to move forward.

 

Late Monday night and into the early morning hours Tuesday, an agreement was reached between the Blue Ridge Board of Education and the Blue Ridge Federation. Don Anton is the President of the Blue Ridge Federation and says his group is pleased that things are wrapped up and they can get back to teaching kids.

 

 

Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools Susan Wilson says they are very pleased they were able to come to an agreement and look forward to moving forward with the work of the district.

 

 

While the session took over seven hours, Anton says the two sides were making good progress and they felt it would be beneficial to keep going. Both Wilson and Anton say it was their objective to come to an agreement each time they sat down.

 

 

Details of the agreement will be released Monday after the deal has been ratified by the teachers union on Sunday. 

0
comments


Clinton Police Chief Reminds Residents Rules Surrounding Leaf Burning

The fall foliage is beautiful to look at but some view it as a burden once those leaves hit the ground and need to be cleaned up. 

 

As you clean those leaves up in the City of Clinton, Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers reminds residents of the various ordinances surrounding leaves, starting with no burning of leaves in town.

 

 

With changes to the brush pick-up program, Chief Lowers encourages a visit to the cityofclinton.com website for a look at the codebook and the updates to the ordinance. Additionally, he reminds residents to rake those leaves to the edge of your property and not into the roadway. 

 

 

At the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting, Commissioner of Streets Ken Buchanan informed the community this week is brush pick-up week and this month would be the introduction to the new ordinances and anyone in violation they will be ticketed starting next month. 

0
comments


Blue Ridge Federation, Blue Ridge Board of Education Reach Tentative Agreement

The Blue Ridge Federation of Teachers and Blue Ridge Board of Education have come to a tentative agreement on a 3-year contract. 

 

The BRFT will meet on Sunday to vote on ratification. 

 

Details on the agreement will be released after that time.

 

The two sides have been negotiating a new contract since February. The Teachers Federation had filed a notice to strike last week. 

 

This story will be updated.

0
comments


Clinton Commissioner Buchanan Announces Railroad Crossing Repair, Start of New Brush Pick Up Program

As crews make their way out for the monthly brush pick-up rounds, anticipate a knock on the door if your brush pile violates the new ordinance.

 

Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Commissioner of Streets Ken Buchanan says this round of brush pick-up will provide residents the chance to become familiar with the new ordinance by issuing warnings, but after October, citations will be issued.

 

 

If residents are not home at the time of crews stopping, they have bright yellow flyers that will be left at your front door indicating which portion of the ordinance you are in violation of.

 

If you plan on taking Jefferson Street over the railroad tracks near the DeWitt County Friendship Center and DeWitt County Housing Authority's high rise facilities, plan on taking a slight detour. Buchanan indicates that crossing is receiving some improvements.

 

 

November will be the final month for brush pick-up before the service is suspended until next year. 

0
comments


Non-Home Rule Sales Tax Down, Local Sales Tax Up

Over the past year, Clinton's non-home rule sales taxes have been trending down and that continued in the latest report from Clinton Commissioner of Finance, Tom Edmunds.

 

Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, Edmunds reported the local sales tax figures are up over the last three month period.

 

 

Monday night the Council approved a purchase for a new fire hose for the fire department at a cost of just over $3,000.

 

A line locator for the water department was approved at a cost of just over $5,100.

 

Additionally, the Council approved a contribution to the Illinois Municipal League Risk Management Association, or IMLRMA, for $223,776.65.

0
comments


Weekly Crop Report

SOYBEAN HARVESTING MADE SOME NICE PROGRESS THIS PAST WEEK AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 

 

93 PERCENT OF SOYBEAN ACRES ARE DROPPING LEAVES SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

88 PERCENT OF CORN IS MATURE AND 36 PERCENT HAS BEEN HARVESTED.

 

 

63 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED. 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AS SIX PERCENT VERY SHORT, 16 PERCENT SHORT, 72 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND SIX PERCENT SURPLUS.

0
comments


IDNR Director Talks Floods of 2019 and Impacts on Levees

The 2019 flood and its impact on the levee system of Illinois has resulted in ongoing talks for Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Colleen Callahan.

 

 

Callahan was confirmed as IDNR director last April.

0
comments


Governor Addresses Road, Bridge Plans

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING A MULTI-YEAR 23 POINT FIVE BILLION DOLLAR TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PLAN FOR ILLINOIS. 

 

THE PLAN AIMS TO MAINTAIN, PRESERVE AND EXPAND MORE THAN 42 HUNDRED MILES OF ROADWAY AND OVER NINE MILLION SQUARE FEET OF BRIDGE DECK OVER THE NEXT SIX YEARS SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS ILLINOIS HAS SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ROADS IN THE NATION…AND THIS THE SIX YEAR PLAN AIMS TO MAKE SURE THEY CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SAFE AND RELIABLE TRANSIT FOR A LONG TIME.

 

 

PRITZKER ADDS THE STATE IS SHIFTING THE WAY IT APPROACHES TRANSPORTATION NEEDS…FOCUSING ON THE LONG TERM INSTEAD OF WAITING TO REBUILD UNTIL ROADS AND BRIDGES HAVE NEARLY DETERIORATED.

0
comments


Billions Getting Ready to Be Spent on State Roads

The state has started to spend the billions that are part of Rebuild Illinois. 

 

It begins today with the release of the Illinois Department of Transportation multiyear plan. Laid out on paper is the path forward for IDOT to improve the state’s transportation system. Republican State Rep. Ryan Spain says the first $23 billion spent this year will be critical to developing the state’s economy.

 

 

The multi-year plan is twice the size it was before because of the state’s higher fuel tax.

0
comments


Clinton Junior High School Teacher Honored by Illinois State Board of Education

Special education teacher at Clinton Junior High School, Jessica Hubrich, was recognized this weekend by the Illinois State Board of Education.

 

Hubrich was nominated for the "Teachers Who Excel" award and says it was very humbling to be recognized by those around her. She says she's just one of many teachers in her building doing amazing things.

 

 

Hubrich calls herself very passionate and works hard to advocate for the special education students in her classroom. She says she fights to make sure they have what they need to be successful.

 

 

Hubrich was in attendance for the "Those Who Excel" banquet at the Marriott Hotel in Normal. She says it was interesting to be there and hear the stories of things happening in education all over Illinois. 

0
comments


Maroa-Forsyth Schools Asking Community for Continued Input

This Wednesday night, residents in the Maroa-Forsyth school district will have another opportunity to weigh in on the continued discussion surrounding the future of the middle school facility.

 

Monday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, Superintendent Dr. John Ahlemeyer says the community has helped their steering committee narrow the options down to three. He indicates Wednesday night's forum will be about possibly getting those options down to one.

 

 

Dr. Ahlemeyer says it is very important for the community to come out and voice their opinions on where they want the district to go in this pursuit. He feels being fiscally responsible and providing the best education environment for the community's kids is the top objective.

 

 

Wednesday night will feature two presentations on the costs of each of the options their steering committee is considering. Additionally, Dr. Ahlemeyer also says they will talk about what those costs mean to the taxpayers.

 

 

The meeting is on Wednesday at 6:30 pm at the middle school in Maroa. Dr. Ahlemeyer indicates they will be providing tours of the facility so the community can see what the current state of their facility is. Those get started at 6 pm.

 

If anyone has not been able to attend the meetings and wants to know what the committee has been considering, Dr. Ahlemeyer points them to their website, mfschools.net.  

0
comments


Clinton Rotary Club Raises Money at Apple n' Pork To Give Back to Community

The Clinton Rotary Club is all about giving back to the community and the Apple n' Pork Festival helps them take that generosity even further.

 

Rotarian Tom Reddington says they will bring in around $10,000 and that goes back into the community through various projects.

 

 

Around half of the Rotary revenue is generated at the Apple n' Pork Festival. Reddington says if they didn't have the festival, they would have to do other fundraisers. He says the benefit is central Illinois and beyond comes to Clinton.

 

 

Reddington has a passion for the youth exchange program and has hosted ten international students and looks forward to hosting more. 

 

The Rotary Club meets Tuesdays at noon at the American Legion. Reddington encourages anyone in the community interested in joining to stop by one of their meetings and learn how you can join them in giving back to the community. 

0
comments


Miller Park Zoo Celebrating Record-Setting September

It was an all-time month at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington.

 

Good weather and baby red pandas were a few of the factors Superintendent Jay Tetzloff believes played into their attendance record getting broke.

 

 

The Miller Park Zoo has seen a great deal of success in their attendance numbers in recent years. It was just a few years ago the zoo broke their all-time attendance record in back-to-back years and Tetzloff says they are on-pace for those types of numbers again this year.

 

 

The Miller Park Zoo has also heavily invested in their infrastructure this year. They have opened a concession stand inside the zoo and are on the verge of their parking lot project being complete. Tetzloff believes the concession stand project has been a huge perk for their guests.

 

Visit millerparkzoo.org for more information on the zoo and the latest happenings. 

0
comments


McLean County Museum's New Digital Photo Collection Showcases Tidbits of DeWitt County History

Recently the McLean County Museum of History rolled out digitized photos, part of a small percentage of over a million photos donated to them by the Bloomington Pantagraph. Candace Summers says it was quite an effort to organize those thanks to a grant they received.

 

 

According to Summers, if you are into DeWitt County history, there is a portion of their pictures that have ties to DeWitt County. She says this is a free service available online.

 

 

The initial digitization of photographs happened thanks to a grant and Summers says they were fortunate to receive another grant to digitize even more photos.

 

 

mchistory.org is the website to check out the photo collection. Summers says the collection and the organization of photos are always evolving so she encourages checking back frequently. 

0
comments


New Smoke Alarms May Keep You Safer

Smoke alarms now have two important new features, a battery that will last a decade and another that should stop people from taking batteries out of the alarms or disconnecting them.

 

If you’ve ever burned something on the stove and had to listen to the smoke alarm ring out you know the annoyance. But taking a battery out to silence the alarm can be dangerous if you forget to put it back in. Fire Safety Alliance Director Phil Zaleski says a smarter alarm is a safer one.

 

 

October is National Fire Prevention Month.

0
comments


Bonfire Safety Reminders

BONFIRES ARE A GREAT WAY TO CELEBRATE FALL…AND THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE HAS A FEW TIPS TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE. 

 

IT’S THE PERFECT TIME OF YEAR TO SIT AROUND A BONFIRE OR CAMPFIRE…BUT ACCIDENTS SEND THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM EACH YEAR. FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ OFFERS THESE SUGGESTIONS:

 

 

FULTZ ADDS THE FIRE SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT UNATTENDED…AND YOU SHOULD BE CAREFUL COOKING OVER THE FIRE.

 

 

FULTZ SAYS IF YOU CLOTHES CATCH ON FIRE…FOLLOW THE OLD ADAGE OF “STOP, DROP AND ROLL” UNTIL THE FIRE IS OUT.

0
comments


DeWitt County Friendship Center Hosting Rules of the Road Course Tuesday

Seniors will want to be sure to attend the rules of the road refresher course this week at the DeWitt County Friendship Center.

 

Executive Director Paula Jiles explains the Secretary of State's Office comes in and provides a wealth of information for seniors.

 

Jiles says there are some changes for seniors regarding their driver's license renewals. She recommends seniors make time for this at 1:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday.

 

 

Again, the rules of the road refresher are at 1:30 pm at the DeWitt County Friendship Center this Tuesday, October 22. You can direct questions to 217-935-9411. 

0
comments


Downey Park Playground Equipment In Disrepair

Downey Park in Clinton recently saw it's playground equipment fall into disrepair in spots on the kids' play area.

 

The City indicates they are aware of the situation and Administrator Tim Followell says the Park was the next in line for attention, so it simply moves up the timeline of them getting to it.

 

 

Downey Park is two blocks to the west of Warner Hospital and Health Services on White Street.

 

Residents may recall, the park is the home to the first responders memorial, at the corner of Southeast Park Street and West South Street. 

0
comments


Peterson Insurance's Dustin Peterson Named IIA Young Agent of the Year

The Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois has named a Clinton insurance agent the Young Agent of the Year.

 

Peterson Insurance's Dustin Peterson received the award at the Association's annual convention. Peterson believes his experience with the agency helped in his nomination and then selection.

 

 

Peterson is the Vice President of the Independent Farm Insurance Agents of Illinois and says he enjoys serving on that group because of his proximity to farmers and enjoys staying in tune with the challenges they face. 

 

Peterson serves as the Chairperson of the Young Republicans Committee of DeWitt County and volunteers with the Clinton YMCA. 

0
comments


State unemployment rate falls to historic low in September

THE ILLINOIS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HIT A HISTORIC LOW LAST MONTH. 

 

THE SEPTEMBER JOBLESS RATE CAME IN AT THREE POINT NINE PERCENT…DOWN FROM FOUR PERCENT IN AUGUST AND THE LOWEST ON RECORD IN ILLINOIS. STATE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON SAM SALUSTRO SAYS JOBS CONTINUE TO INCREASE…WITH 48-HUNDRED ADDED LAST MONTH.

 

 

THE JOBLESS RATE FOR SEPTEMBER DROPPED TO THREE POINT NINE PERCENT, A NEW RECORD FOR THE STATE. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON SAM SALUSTRO SAYS JOB GROWTH CONTINUES.

 

THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR SEPTEMBER IS THREE POINT FIVE PERCENT.

0
comments


Clinton YMCA Otter Swim Team Supports Area Youth Through Apple n' Pork Festival

When you come out to the Apple n' Pork Festival, the baked potatoes you see everyone walking around benefit the Clinton YMCA Otter swim program.

 

According to Darren Moser, the money they raise selling loaded baked goes to make the program as inexpensive as possible for their swimmers.

 

 

Swim programs can be expensive and Moser says their costs are very low thanks to the Apple n' Pork Festival. If they did not have the festival to fundraise from, they would definitely have to do more fundraising throughout the season.

 

 

According to Moser, they are around 70-75 members and points out they have about a third of those youth coming from Monticello and Piatt County. He indicates they have had a lot of success as they have won three straight small team state titles and are hoping for their fourth title this year. 

 

Get more information by searching for "Clinton Otters" on Google. 

 

Swimmers will converge on the YMCA on Saturday, December 14 for the annual Clinton YMCA Reindeer Classic.

0
comments


USDA Extends $18-Million for Rural Broadband in Illinois

Some progress being made in expanding rural broadband in Illinois. Two projects just received word of USDA funding.

 

 

Douglas Wilson serves as State Director of Illinois for USDA Rural Development.

0
comments


Illinois Teens Address Cost of Insulin

An effort in the Fall Veto session at the statehouse will be to cap the out of pocket costs for insulin at $100 per patient per month.

 

The bill has a co-sponsor in the House and Senate and the backing of Governor JB Pritzker. Maddie Shalin, a 16-year-old type 1 diabetic, says she uses three to four vials of insulin a month. Her family's insurance helps but they still hit out of pocket maximums and deductibles every year. Maddie says she isn’t slowed down by a lack of access given the costs but knows other people are.

 

 

According to data released by the state in 2001 a vial of insulin cost between $35 to $40 and now it costs $270 to $289.

0
comments


Catch and Keep Trout Season Opens Tomorrow

Anglers should be ready to toss a line this weekend for the opening of state’s trout season. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says go to their website for a list of lakes and streams that have been stocked with fish.

 

Rachel Torbert says early catch and release has been going on for the past few weeks but now you can keep what you catch.

 

 

DNR dot ILLINOIS dot GOV will have the trout fishing information for this weekend.

0
comments


The Vault Community Night October 19

With all of the renovations complete the Vault is hosting a community night on October 19.

 

Michele Witzke with the Vault indicates it will be a night of family fun with food and games or all ages. She hopes everyone who was involved with the renovations will come out to see what their hard work manifested.

 

 

Witzke indicates they will have plenty of activities available for families. Student leaders will also be available to give tours of the Vault and to answer any questions the community may have.

 

 

The Community Night is Saturday, October 19 from 5-8 pm.

0
comments


Winter Could Be Very Cold, Wet Again

Another cold and wet winter could be on the horizon in central Illinois.

 

Last year was brutally cold and very wet to start the year and more of the same is being predicted right now. Chris Miller with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says they are about a week away from a long term winter outlook but right now things are showing a warmer start but then a cold and wet January through March.

 

 

The last few years have seen late starts to the summer season and then a late start to the winter season. A shift in the seasons is not likely as of right now. Miller says right now they are showing maybe a short spring transitioning to the warm weather of summer.

 

 

While it's still a ways away, Miller says they aren't seeing anything to suggest a white Christmas. In fact, he points out, snow is on the ground for Christmas only 30-percent of the time. 

0
comments


Kenney Civic League Uses Apple n' Pork Festival To Further Community Outreach

The Kenney Civic League has long sold their cinnamon rolls and apple danishes to further their efforts in the small DeWitt County community.

 

Charlotte Holland explains they want to raise money to host their Kenney Fall Festival. She notes they want to provide everything they can free of charge for their community.

 

 

The Kenney Civic League not having the Apple n' Pork Festival has not been much of a thought for the group but Holland reflects on the many things they can do thanks to the work they're able to accomplish each year.

 

 

Holland calls the group blessed as they receive a great deal of support from their community. She says not only do they get support from residents still in town but they also get a lot of support from those that send them funds for their fall festival that have, for whatever reason, left the community. 

0
comments


LGBTQ Month in Illinois

STATE OFFICIALS ARE RECOGNIZING L-G-B-T-Q MONTH IN ILLINOIS. 

 

ILLINOIS TREASURER MIKE FRERICHS HOSTED AN EVENT IN CHICAGO…CELEBRATING L-G-B-T-Q INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE LEADERS IN BUSINESS, COMMUNITY SERVICE AND MORE.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE GREG HARRIS OF CHICAGO SPOKE AT THE EVENT…NOTING THE STRIDES MADE OVER THE YEARS SUCH AS MARRIAGE EQUALITY AND ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS.

 

 

HARRIS URGES L-G-B-T-Q INDIVIDUALS NOT TO GET COMPLACENT AND TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR EQUAL RIGHTS.

0
comments


Farmer City Haunted Forest Opens This Weekend

The Farmer City Chamber of Commerce is inviting central Illinois to its annual Haunted Forest that opens this weekend.

 

Angela Testory says their hayrack ride begins at the Salt Creek Area 21 campsites and goes back to South Park. Saturdays of the Haunted Forest, there is a matinee option from 3 pm to 6 pm.

 

 

According to Testory, they are always in need of volunteers for their two weekends. She explains they have a good base of people that step up but they always could use more. Additionally, around eight people on their committee put together all their scenes and organize everything.

 

 

The Farmer City Haunted Forest Saturday matinee will have plenty of options for kids as well. Testory indicates there will be free face painting, a Halloween photo opportunity, and a costume contest.

 

 

You can get a full rundown of everything taking place the next two weekends in Farmer City by checking out the Farmer City Haunted Forest Facebook page or emailing fchauntedforest@gmail.com. 

0
comments


City Council Moves Up Decision For Sewer Department Backhoe

Last Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, the purchase of a backhoe was deemed an emergency purchase despite a delivery date of over four months.

 

Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements Kenny Buchanan indicates the City has been without a tractor for almost two months. Public Works Director Steve Lobb explains they tried too hard to get more out of the current one.

 

 

Initially, the Council had the purchase to be acted on at next week's meeting but they deemed it to be an emergency purchase. Lobb was hesitant to call the purchase an emergency when there is a wait time of 19-weeks.

 

 

According to Buchanan, he approved an emergency repair hoping to get more use out of it. During an appraisal, the machine broke down and it was deemed unfixable.

 

 

Mayor Roger Cyrulik questioned if there might be a dealer with a backhoe sitting on the lot and Lobb says it is very rare a dealership will hold one of these on their properties. 

 

Lobb adds the nearly $85,000 price tag seems steep but it is not uncommon for them to have their equipment for 20-plus years, calling it an investment. 

0
comments


State Ag Pest Coordinator Sums Up 2019 Growing Season

There were many things on the radar as Kelly Estes sums of the 2019 growing season in Illinois. She serves as Agricultural Pest Survey Coordinator for the Illinois Natural History Survey in Champaign.

 

 

Looking ahead to 2020, it’s all about scouting. Estes says knowing what insects growers had this year will help lead them into next year and that’s probably how they can make their best decisions moving forward.

0
comments


Newer Homes More Dangerous in House Fires

As fewer people are dying in house fires those blazes are becoming more dangerous. Ed Canny, a Fire Marshall with the Springfield Fire Department says new home building materials create a toxic environment that makes a quick escape all that more important.

 

 

Canny says most fire deaths now occur from smoke inhalation and not from burns.

0
comments


Comptroller Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

During National Hispanic Heritage Month Comptroller Susana Mendoza, the first Latina elected to state wide office is proud to celebrate her heritage and that of many others. Her office recognized Chef Gabriela Morin who grew up in Venezuela and now lives in Peoria where she started a small business called Eat and Evolve, she now delivers 500 meals a week to people’s homes and operates a restaurant.

 

Mendoza says recognizing a chef makes sense when you think of the communal nature of food.

 

 

Another chef from Springfield was honored along with the State Senate Sergeant at Arms.

0
comments


Department of Health Talks Flu Shot Myths

IT’S TIME TO GET YOUR ANNUAL FLU SHOT AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS DISPELLING A FEW MYTHS ABOUT THE VACCINE.

 

THERE ARE A LOT OF REASONS PEOPLE DON’T GET THE FLU SHOT. SOME THINK THEY JUST DON’T NEED TO, OR THEY RARELY GET SICK SO WHY BOTHER. BUT PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gozi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS CONSIDER GETTING VACCINATED TO PROTECT OTHERS.

 

 

DOCTOR EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS THE SHOT IS INACTIVE STRAINS OF THE VIRUS.

 

 

OTHERS THINK THE VACCINE GIVES THEM THE FLU…BUT EZIKE SAYS THOSE THAT GET SICK AFTER THE SHOT HAD PROBABLY ALREADY BEEN EXPOSED TO THE VIRUS.

0
comments


BBB Offers Payday Loan Precautions

The Better Business Bureau wants you to know the hazards of taking out a payday loan. Nationally, the agency received more than 1,000 complaints about payday lenders last year. 

 

Many complaints revolved around the loans’ high-interest rates, as well as difficulty canceling a loan contract or obtaining a refund for automatic payments withdrawn in error. BBB Investigator Don O’Brien says payday lenders tend to appeal to people who may be unable to obtain a credit card or bank loan.

 

 

A common finance charge is $15 or $30 per $100 borrowed, and annual interest rates can balloon into the hundreds. These high-interest rates can force these borrowers to renew the loan and pay new fees every two weeks until they can finally save enough to pay off the principal and get out of debt.

0
comments


Apple n' Pork River Rat Potatoes Sales Aids Missions, Capital for Clinton Christ Lutheran Church

The corner of Madison and Woodlawn is where you can find the Clinton Christ Lutheran Church's river rat potatoes at the annual Apple n' Pork Festival. 

 

The church slices up and deep-fries potatoes for the thousands of guests to Clinton each year. Julie Miller with the church indicates the funds they raise from the festival are usually earmarked for their missions team and any capital projects they come across.

 

 

According to Miller, it is a long weekend but it ultimately turns into their biggest and only fundraiser for the year.

 

 

Christ Lutheran Church is located at 701 South Mulberry Street in Clinton. 

0
comments


Weekly Crop Report

FARMERS ANXIOUSLY WAIT FOR CROPS TO MATURE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

 

73 PERCENT OF CORN IS MATURE…AND JUST 23 PERCENT HAS BEEN HARVESTED SO FAR. THAT COMPARES TO ABOUT 59 PERCENT NORMALLY. CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 44 PERCENT OF CORN IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION. LOOKING AT SOYBEANS…

 

 

43 PERCENT OF THE SOYBEAN CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION, UNCHANGED FROM LAST WEEK. 

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NEARLY COMPLETE.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STANDS AT FOUR PERCENT VERY SHORT, 13 PERCENT SHORT, 69 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 14 PERCENT SURPLUS.

0
comments


Healthcare Industry Concerned With Legal Weed

While there are established, accepted and legally binding blood alcohol levels when determining when someone is drunk or incapacitated, no such tests exist to see if you are high on marijuana. With recreational weed becoming legal in Illinois next year, that has employers trying to figure out policy on how to address its use. A spokesman from OSF Healthcare outlines some of the challenges.

 

Troy Overholt, Vice President for Occupational Health at OSF HealthCare admits to employers that while it may be risky and has yet to be challenged in court, monitoring for marijuana impairment in an employee may need to be less scientific and more observational.

 

 

There is no scientifically reliable way to measure for marijuana intoxication. THC is stored in fat cells, so the length of time it's in your system is not a blood test level. So, he says you could test high today from use weeks or months ago, and it depends greatly on frequency and the amount of use.

0
comments


Hard Freeze Not Likely Until Late October or Early November

There’s been a threat of frost in parts of Illinois over the last week, but nothing significant. It’s looking like a real hard freeze is out of the question until late October or even early November.

 

 

Those comments from DTN Chief Agriculture meteorologist Bryce Anderson.

0
comments


Construction at Monticello Schools Moving Right Along

As the cold winter months approach, contractors on the job at the Monticello schools addition are working to get what will become the new gymnasium enclosed.

 

The district is amid a two-year-long addition and Dr. Vic Zimmerman says the gymnasium and auditorium remodel are the highlights. With still office and classroom renovations to follow, he says it is aggressive but hopes the community will like what they see when it's all said and done.

 

 

Dr. Zimmerman indicates it didn't take long to get the walls of the gym up. He says the weather has cooperated and allowed them to make progress.

 

 

The spring production planned for February is planning to be held in the renovated auditorium. Dr. Zimmerman is also hoping 20-plus renovated classrooms will be in use next year. 

0
comments


Firearm Deer Permits On Sale Tuesday

Firearm deer permits are on sale for the remaining tags starting today.

 

DNR Spokesperson Rachel Torbert says those will be sold until there are none left or the season has expired. Those can be purchased at dnr.illinois.gov.

 

 

Resident and non-resident archery deer permits are still available. According to Torbert, those are available through their website or certified vendors.

 

 

Additionally, DNR officials are hoping hunters will take chronic wasting disease, or CWD, kits. Torbert says they will be taking samples through the end of the archery season into January.

 

 

dnr.illinois.gov is the website for information on all deer permits and CWD sample information plus anything else you need regarding the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 

0
comments


Apple n' Pork Festival Allows Waynesville Women's Club To Give Back

If the Apple n' Pork Festival failed to exist, the Waynesville Women's Club may not be able to have an impact in their community that they do.

 

The women's club's gingerbread cookies are one of the hits of the annual Apple n' Pork Festival and while attendance was down for this year's festival, they typically are sold out by mid-afternoon on Sunday. Kathy Cisco says it has allowed them to build a park in town among many other things. 

 

 

The Waynesville Women's Club has a focus on giving back to the community. Cisco says the whole community gets involved, especially, during the Apple n' Pork Festival.

 

 

Without the Apple n' Pork Festival, Cisco says their impact on the community would be limited. She adds they probably could not supplement those funds the annual festival brings in.

 

 

Cisco says they meet twice a month at the Waynesville Methodist Church and typically spend their time deciding on how they will give back to the community but they also go out for social activities as well. 

 

She indicates they typically hear from groups and organizations in town about what the needs are and decide how to best distribute what they raise. 

0
comments


Appointee off Tollway Board Amid Cloud of Investigation

The Chairman of the State Senate Transportation Committee has stepped down. 

 

As pressure mounted on Democrat Martin Sandoval it seems that the release of an un-redacted copy of a federal search sealed the outcome of his decision. Sandoval resigned the chairmanship with a short letter to Senate President John Cullerton.

 

And another person connected to the investigation is out of a state board position. 

 

Cesar Santoy, an alderman from Berwyn, had been nominated to the Illinois Tollway Board in February by the Governor. By the end of Friday Santoy took his name out of consideration for the spot. JB Pritzker says his office did all they could to make sure they were appointing a deserving individual to the board.

 

Neither Sandoval or Santoy have been charged with any criminal wrongdoing.

0
comments


Open Enrollment For Medicare Part D Opens Tuesday

One of the most important times of the year is here for those on Medicare.

 

Medicare Part D open enrollment opens Tuesday (today) and will go through December 7. Diane Cusey with Community Care Systems at the DeWitt County Friendship Center, says there are some new, exciting opportunities this year.

 

 

Open enrollment allows seniors to enroll, adjust and find the best plans for their prescription drugs. Cusey says it is very important for all seniors to check in with Cusey and update their plans. She indicates there are lots of opportunities for saving money.

 

 

Cusey says once open enrollment opens, she will be very busy meeting with people and making trips around DeWitt County. She says her schedule is already filling up with appointments. 

 

 

With the new tech-pieces of open enrollment this year, Cusey indicates she can get seniors set up with the app or on the website. 

 

To get a hold of Cusey, you can contact her at the DeWitt County Friendship Center at 217-935-4560. 

0
comments


Local Women's Group Collecting Coats for DeWitt County DOVE

Beta Sigma Phi of Clinton is kicking off their annual coat drive this week to benefit DeWitt County DOVE.

 

Donna Hall with the women's group explains this is a project they have done for over 20 years and are asking the community to donate gently used coats and other winter items like hats and gloves to go toward DeWitt County DOVE.

 

 

Hall says once the drive ends, October 27, they will wash them and turn everything over to DOVE and they will distribute those to the community. Last year, the group collected about 150 coats in total to give back to the community.

 

 

Drop off locations include the Clinton IGA, Clinton Save A Lot, Clinton YMCA, Warner Library, Lane Christian Church, Clinton Elementary School, and Lincoln and Douglas Schools. 

0
comments


Now Is Great Time To Plant Spring Bulbs

A HORTICULTURE EXPERT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION SAYS NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO PLANT SPRING BULBS. 

 

THE EXTENSION’S KELLY ALSUP SAYS WHILE MOST BULBS THRIVE IN THE SUN…SOME, LIKE GRAPE HYACINTH AND CROCUS ALSO DO WELL IN THE SHADE. SHE SAYS YOU SHOULDN’T PLANT IN SOIL THAT IS TOO WET OR HAS POOR DRAINAGE AND RECOMMENDS GETTING A TOOL TO MAKE THE JOB A LITTLE EASIER.

 

 

SHE SAYS MOST BULBS ARE PRETTY EASY TO GROW.

 

 

BULBS ARE USUALLY PLANTED TWO TO THREE TIMES AS DEEP AS THE BULB IS TALL, BUT RESEARCH OUT OF CORNELL UNIVERSITY FOUND THAT TULIPS PLANTED JUST TWO TO FOUR INCHES DEEP PRODUCED MORE FLOWERS.

0
comments


Duckworth Supports Work of House on Impeachment

She’s not directly included in the Impeachment process but US Senator Tammy Duckworth says that she supports the work of the House. The Democrat feels that the investigation absolutely needs to move forward.

 

 

Duckworth says that transparency in the process is a major issue and she says if the Trump administration has nothing to hide then they should show everyone all the evidence they have.

0
comments


Governor Pushes Through Legislation Lowering Costs of Insulin

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS URGING LAWMAKERS TO PASS A BILL THAT WILL LOWER THE COST OF INSULIN IN ILLINOIS.

 

SUPPORTERS SAYS SOME PEOPLE WITH DIABETES ARE HAVING TO FORGO THEIR MEDICATION BECAUSE INSULIN HAS BECOME SO EXPENSIVE. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THIS PROPOSAL WOULD LIMIT THE PRICE TO ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS IN OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS FOR A ONE MONTH SUPPLY.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS IT’S NEEDED BECAUSE INSULIN PRICES HAVE SOARED OVER THE LAST DECADE.

 

 

MORE THAN ONE MILLION ADULTS HAVE DIABETES IN ILLINOIS.

0
comments


DNR Fall Color Report

FALL COLORS ARE STARTING TO SHOW IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE LATEST FALL COLOR REPORT FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES SHOWS SOME PRETTY SCENERY DEVELOPING IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS. PEAK COLORS ARE EXPECTED IN A WEEK OR TWO SAYS SPOKESPERSON RACHEL TORBERT.

 

 

TORBERT SAYS LEAVES HAVEN’T TURNED MUCH AT STARVED ROCK STATE PARK, AND AREAS OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS ARE JUST BEGINNING TO SHOW FALL COLORS. COLOR CHANGES HAVE INCREASED RECENTLY DUE TO DROUGHT IN WAYNE COUNTY AND THE COOLER NIGHTS SHOULD IMPROVE COLORS STATEWIDE OVER THE NEXT WEEK.

 

 

TORBERT SAYS IN THE MCHENRY COUNTY AREA, MAPLE AND SUMAC TREES ARE REALLY STARTING TO TURN. 

0
comments


Clinton Police Chief Talks Harvest Safety

The harvest season is in full swing and local authorities are reminding the public of the safety basics this time of year.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says the most important thing to remember this time of the year is slow down and be mindful of the heavy machinery you encounter.

 

 

Eliminating distraction is one of the more paramount things drivers should do at all times. Chief Lowers says the dawn and dusk times of day are when you are likely to come across these implements on the road.

 

 

The Chief also encourages parents to talk to new drivers about driving near farm implements. He believes it is a new experience driving during the harvest season. 

0
comments


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and a local domestic violence advocate says this is a complicated topic.

 

Jennifer Tolladay with DeWitt County DOVE says domestic violence is not always apparent to the victims. She says things can start as innocent little things and then snowball over time into full-blown abuse of both a physical and often, emotional nature. 

 

 

Victims of domestic violence in rural areas often face a tough path to escaping a situation than those in urban areas. According to Tolladay, in rural areas, domestic violence shelters are not as prevalent and transportation and safety are often harder to come by.

 

 

Victims of domestic violence are far more likely to find themselves depressed or contemplating suicide and Tolladay points out the domestic violence national hotline receives around 20,000 calls. She also points out, domestic violence towards men is not that uncommon.

 

 

Tolladay says for victims of domestic violence if they suspect their situation is one of domestic violence, they are likely a victim of an abuser. She says abusers have a sense of entitlement and want control over another person. 

0
comments


Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference Later this Week in Normal

Those affiliated with Route 66 are looking forward to the Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference later this week in Normal.

 

Geoff Ladd with the Route 66 Scenic Byway Association is looking forward to the conference. He says if you are looking to connect the Route 66 product to your group, this is the place to be.

 

 

According to Ladd, the conference features a couple of keynote speakers that should bring great information. He's excited because the conference floats around the area but this year, they are holding it in Normal.

 

 

Ladd says the conference always brings something new to the table to learn about with Route 66. He is looking forward to a panel of speakers with a wealth of knowledge on Route 66.

 

 

Ladd invites the public to the presentation of Candacy Taylor. The presentation will be held at ISU Alumni Center, located at 1101 North Main Street in Normal on Friday from 7 pm to 9 pm.

0
comments


Downstate Police, Fire Pensions Could be Missing Out on Millions

A pension taskforce says that Illinois downstate police and fire pensions are leaving millions of dollars of lost returns on the table and the 649 individual funds should be consolidated into just two. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker announced the task forces’ findings today and says now is the time to stop small funds from losing even more money.

 

 

The task force pegs the lost returns at a million dollars a day. And says if the funds were brought together they could generate a billion to two billion in new gains over the next five years.

Any move to consolidate the funds needs to be approved by lawmakers.

0
comments


Department of Labor Urging Farm Safety During Hectic Harvest Time

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS URGING FARMERS TO MAKE SAFETY A TOP PRIORITY DURING THE HECTIC HARVEST SEASON.

 

FROM HUGE MACHINERY TO LONG HOURS AND STRESS…FARMING POSES A NUMBER OF SAFETY CHALLENGES. THAT INCLUDES TRACTOR ROLLOVERS SAYS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SPOKESPERSON MIKE MATULIS.

 

VISIBILITY IS ALSO IMPORTANT, AND FARM VEHICLES SHOULD BE EQUIPPED WITH TWO WHITE LAMPS ON THE FRONT AND TWO RED LAMPS ON THE BACK AS WELL AS A FLASHING AMBER LAMP. MOTORISTS ARE URGED TO BE PATIENT AND SLOW DOWN WHEN THEY ENCOUNTER FARMERS DRIVING ON THE ROAD.

 

 

FARMERS ARE ALSO URGED TO TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES AS THEY WORK LONG HOURS. THAT INCLUDES TAKING BREAKS, EATING GOOD MEALS AND STAYING HYDRATED.

0
comments


Weekly Weather Summary

It was a wet start to the weekend and now things have really cooled off. State Climatologist Trent Ford tells us what to expect in the week ahead...

 

 

0
comments


DeWitt County Friendship Center Hosting Flu Shot Clinic Monday

Seniors are invited to the DeWitt County Friendship Center Monday for a free flu shot clinic.

 

Walgreens' pharmacists will be at the Friendship Center from 10 am to noon getting seniors their recommended shots. Executive Director of the DeWitt County Friendship Center, Paula Jiles says it is that time when seniors need to get in and she hopes as many as possible will get their shots.

 

 

Seniors are one of the most susceptible groups of people vulnerable to the devastation the flu can cause. Jiles says that is why they must get their flu shots now.

 

 

The free flu shot clinic is from 10 am to noon Monday. You can contact the DeWitt County Friendship Center for information on this event and anything else going on by calling 217-935-9411. 

0
comments


Entries Being Sought for 2019 Farmer City Christmas Parade

Organizers of the 2019 Farmer City Christmas Parade are seeking entries for the event on Sunday, November 24. 

 

The Farmer City Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual parade and has designated the theme as "TV Holiday Classics on Parade". The Chamber touts the fact the parade is one of the largest in central Illinois and are hoping bands, groups, businesses, and shrines will enter for this year.

 

To get registered, contact Chad Will by phone at 309-386-2791 or send a completed entry form to 101 Comet Lane in Heyworth.

 

The parade kicks off the Saturday before Thanksgiving at 2 pm from the Farmer City Fairgrounds.

 

Get more information by contacting Wills or visit the Farmer City Christmas Parade Facebook page. 

0
comments


Haunted House Opening Weekend

It's opening weekend for the Clinton Haunted House.

 

Chamber Executive Director Marian Brisard says the Terror on Washington Haunted House is the biggest fundraiser of the year for them. She indicates without it, they would struggle to do all the things they do for the community.

 

 

The Terror on Washington Street Haunted House can only take on a certain amount of visitors per tour inside, so while guests wait, Brisard says they are introducing a couple of new attractions this year, including a virtual reality haunted house tour.

 

 

What a lot of guests should find exciting this year is the introduction of Frankie's Escape Room. Brisard indicates this is the old visitors center on the west side of town that has been repurposed this year.

 

 

The Terror on Washington Street Haunted House takes roughly 30 to 40 volunteers per night to make the operation a success. Brisard indicates without volunteers from various groups around the area, they couldn't make it happen. 

 

 

The Haunted House opens and will operate every Friday and Saturday, including the first weekend of November and special hours on Halloween night. Get more information about all the happenings at clintonhauntedhouse.com. 

0
comments


October is Cyber Security Month

THIS IS CYBER SECURITY MONTH IN ILLINOIS AND THE EXPERTS SAY KEEPING YOUR INFORMATION SAFE STARTS WITH A SOLID PASSWORD. 

 

YOUR PASSWORD SHOULD BE HARD TO CRACK…BUT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE OVERLY COMPLICATED SAYS STATE CHIEF INFORMATION SECURITY OFFICER ADAM FORD. HE RECOMMENDS A PHRASE LIKE “I LIKE PIZZA,” THEN ADDING A SYMBOL AND A NUMBER. FORD SAYS YOU ALSO SHOULDN’T USE THE SAME PASSWORD FOR EVERYTHING.

 

 

FORD SAYS YOU SHOULD USE THE STRONGEST PASSWORDS FOR YOUR MOST VITAL ACCOUNTS.

 

 

FORD SAYS YOUR PASSWORD SHOULDN’T BE SO COMPLICATED THAT YOU NEED TO WRITE IT DOWN. HE SUGGESTS USING A SHORT SENTENCE, SUCH AS “I LIKE PIZZA” AND ADD A NUMBER AND SYMBOL.

0
comments


The Vault Getting More Student Turnout Than Anticipated

So much of the development of The Vault in Clinton has blown away founder Michelle Witzke and the response and turnout by the youth in Clinton is the latest surprise to her.

 

From the financial backing to the support of the community in the renovation of their downtown facility, Witzke at nearly every turn has expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support for her dream of giving youth a safe place to be. Witzke says as The Vault becomes what she dreamed it would be, the turnout by students in Clinton has been very strong.

 

 

According to Witzke, as they bring students in, they are trying to throw tidbits of information at them they can carry with them when they are not at The Vault. She says they try to do short informational presentations before an event and she feels it has been well received.

 

 

Witzke says they have seen a record turnout among their junior high school students. She feels the activities and programs they offer are resonating with them and intriguing them to a degree they want to know what is going on. 

 

Get more information about The Vault by finding them on Facebook or visit thevaultclinton.org. 

0
comments


Exelon Postpones Community Open House

You likely received an invitation to an open house to the Clinton Exelon Nuclear Power Station later this month, if so, the company announced yesterday they are having to postpone the event.

 

The open house, scheduled for October 22nd, will be re-scheduled at a later date. 

 

Exelon's Clinton Power Station provides over 700 local jobs and an economic impact of some 700-million dollars, thanks to your continued support.

 

That's why they look forward to re-scheduling this fall's annual Community Open House.

 

Again, Exelon's Clinton Power Station has announced that the Community Open House scheduled for October 22nd has been postponed.  The event will be rescheduled at a later date.

 

Organizers thank the community for their understanding of the re-scheduling of this annual event.

0
comments


Run For Life Promoting Teen Suicide Awareness, November Event at Apple n' Pork Festival

Run For Life is a teen-suicide awareness group that is locally working to promote awareness around the issues.

 

2018 was a tough year for the Clinton community and Michael Moore, who is known for his work with ServPro of Clinton, helped found the group. He explains he used input from various community leaders, including Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers to try to address areas of need.

 

 

Run for Life will be the focal event at Weldon Springs State Park on the morning of November 2. According to Moore, they'll have custom shirts being made along with food vendors and the night before they'll have a pre-race party at The Abigail.

 

 

The Chevy Spark that is being given away was donated by Baum Chevy Buick and Moore thanks them for their support. He says they were one of the first to step up and support their cause. 

Get more information by stopping by one of their meetings on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Warner Library. You can also contact Moore at 217-800-1546. 

 

For race information, check out active.com and search for 'Run for Life'. 

0
comments


Piatt County Mental Health Center Addressing Teen Mental Health in Schools

Alarming statistics among Piatt County youth has prompted a collaboration of area organizations to tackle the issues of mental health among teens. 

 

Tony Kirkman at the Piatt County Mental Health Center says alarming returns on the Illinois Youth Survey prompted him and the Mental Health Center to try to address mental health among teens in the area. He explains they found an alarming number of students had thoughts of hurting themselves or even suicidal thoughts.

 

 

According to Kirkman, the collaboration focuses on working together to tackle mental health. They are since worked with three schools in Piatt County to place a therapist in the schools once a week.

 

 

Kirkman thanks the Superintendents and school boards for their willingness to work with them. He points out, their therapists have engaged with around 24 kids in the various buildings.

0
comments


In Light of Democratic Senator's Investigation, Republican Lawmaker Calling For Redo of Capitol Bill

A Republican lawmaker is calling for the state’s capitol bill to be scrapped. 

 

Allen Skillicorn says the $45 billion capitol bill won’t give tax payers any assurances that billions in new tax money will be spent responsibly. Skillicorn says no meaningful reforms came with tax increases and now the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee is under investigation by the FBI and IRS.

 

 

Senator Martin Sandoval has yet to be charged with a crime. And a number of lawmakers including the Governor have asked for him to step down or be removed from the Chairmanship.

0
comments


Illinois Lawmaker Introducing CBD Bill

There are currently no regulations in the state of Illinois for products containing or claiming to contain CBD. State Representative Bob Morgan is set to introduce a bill to change that.

 

 

Representative Morgan says the Federal government and the FDA have dropped the ball and the bill he hopes to pass this fall session will provide safety regulations on CBD products in Illinois.

0
comments


Duckworth Worried About US Leaving Kurdish Troops in Syria

US Senator Tammy Duckworth is worried about the President’s decision to pull US troops away from the Syrian and Turkish border. 

 

The move by Donald Trump leaves a Kurdish force to now engage in battle with Turkey and still try to defend dentition camps filled with ISIS fighters. Before the decision was made to remove them, US troops were working with the Kurds to keep peace in the region.

 

 

Duckworth says on this issue she agrees with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham that the President has made a serious mistake.

0
comments


Progress Made Between Blue Ridge Federation, School Board

After the latest meeting between the Blue Ridge Federation and the Blue Ridge Board of Education, both sides say progress was made, however, no deal has been reached as of yet.

 

The negotiations are an ongoing process to reach a new collective bargaining agreement between the teachers union and the district, negotiations that go back to February.

 

Agreements were reached on student evaluation surveys and board paid retirement. 

 

President of the Blue Ridge Federation, Don Anton says quote - "but we are still far apart on the issues of salary and health insurance."

 

The union made two moves on salary.  The Board moved once but did not respond to the Union’s latest proposal. 

 

The union’s initial movement was from a one year contract with a 4.25% increase to a three-year deal with raises of 4% the first two years and 4.25% the last year.  The Board countered with raises of 2.5% the first year and 2.25% in the last two years.

 

The union returned with a counter-proposal of a three year deal with raises of 3.9% the first year, 3.95% the second year, and 4.15% in the final year.

 

“We were hoping to keep discussions moving tonight,” said Anton.   “We were making headway, and then the Board decided to end the session.”

 

The Union represents 110 members, including drivers, cooks, custodians, secretaries, nurses, library clerks, and teachers.  They plan to file a ten-day intent to strike notice tomorrow and will strike on October 28th if an agreement isn’t reached.

 

Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson, in a release says quote - "The Board remains committed to negotiating a fair contract with the Union that hears their concerns and those of the community, while also weighing the financial well-being of the district for years to come."

 

The two sides will meet again on October 21. 

0
comments


DeWitt County DOVE Hosting Annual Candlelight Ceremony

DeWitt County DOVE is holding its annual candlelight ceremony tonight at the Lutheran Church in Clinton.

 

Jennifer Tolladay with DOVE says the ceremony is very brief and recognizes those who have survived domestic abuse situations. She adds they think of those that are still in the midst of their battles. 

 

 

The ceremony is open to anyone in the community to attend. Tolladay says they get both victims of domestic violence but also people in the community that are supporters of their cause.

 

 

The DOVE candlelight ceremony is tonight at 7 pm at Christ Lutheran Church in at 701  South Mulberry Street. 

0
comments


Scouts Sell Apple Cakes For Scout Activities

Scouts of Clinton and DeWitt County sold apple cakes at the Apple n' Pork Festival to further their efforts throughout the year.

 

Scoutmaster Ron Armstrong says the Apple n' Pork Festival is their biggest fundraiser. While they do other fundraisers throughout the year, he says the festival fundraiser has the biggest impact on them.

 

 

If the Scouts did not have the Apple n' Pork festival, Armstrong says they would likely have to do more door-to-door fundraising. He says they try to take them somewhere about every month.

 

 

Scouts continue working towards earning merit badges by learning a skill.

 

If you'd like more information on the Scouts of America, you can visit clintontroop142.com. 

0
comments


Rural Fire Departments Need Volunteers

For many rural communities, first responders heavily rely on citizen volunteers to bolster resource-constrained fire and emergency service departments at all levels. 

 

In many rural areas throughout the state very few people are volunteering, leaving too few providers to respond to emergency calls. Craig Swartz is the assistant fire chief in the Saunemin Fire Protection District. He says numbers have been dwindling, and some days it’s a struggle to staff the department, especially during certain times of the year.

 

 

Because tight schedules are often a stumbling block for would-be volunteers, OSF HealthCare Saint James - John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac is working to provide training for these citizens with the help of online technology. Saint James is launching an online Emergency Medical Responder course. Emergency Medical Responders receive additional medical training beyond normal First Aid and CPR but do not engage in more complex medical procedures like those done by EMTs and Paramedics. Michael Mercer, the EMS Educator, at OSF Saint James….

 

 

The course will run from January 23 to March 14, 2020. It is designed to provide training in a way that is minimally disruptive. Students in the six-week course do a majority of their training online but have three required in-person sessions on Saturdays in Pontiac.

 

Registration for the Online EMR Course is now open. Call 815-842-4984 or 815-842-6821 for more information.

0
comments


Rep. Darin LaHood Weighs In On Impeachment Proceedings

US Rep. Darin LaHood says the impeachment process of President Trump and that of President Bill Clinton are totally different.

 

 

LaHood says that he has real concerns about the impeachment proceedings going forward and thinks that Democrats just can’t get over the fact that Trump won the election in 2016.

0
comments


No Broad Energy Bill Seen For Veto Session

Will climate change demonstrations around Illinois lead to broad legislation to address energy at the state house in the fall veto session? 

 

Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says probably not, but current obligations will drive the state to adopt more renewable energy production. However, Pritzker does support the movement to address climate change.

 

 

According to Pritzker only seven percent of the state’s energy is produced by wind and less than one percent by solar and he says the state can do more.

0
comments


LaHood Sees Positive Movement in Trade War With China

Again there seems to be positive momentum with trade talks between the US and China this week. 

 

Republican Congressman Darin LaHood says he’s never been a fan of tariffs being applied in a trade war but China has been ripping off the US for years and if this is what’s needed to balance the playing field then he supports it.

 

 

LaHood remains hopeful the two sides can strike a trade deal or truce soon.

0
comments


International Dairy Tour Wraps Up

Illinois welcomed international visitors from around the globe this past week for a tour of the dairy industry. 

 

The participants were from Mexico, Central America and Thailand. A number of dairy farmers made the trip including Jose Mariucci from Guatemala where he and other farmers started a cooperative similar to Prairie Farms. He liked seeing the different ways dairy farmers produce milk and says he came ready to learn ways to improve his own dairy.

 

 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says they expect the economic impact of the tour to be about a million dollars in sales.

0
comments


Bustos, Durbin Tout Prison Jobs in Northwest Illinois

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos joined Senator Dick Durbin at a federal prison in Thomson, Illinois this week to discuss the growing economy. 

 

The facility is up to 400 employees and will be looking for 200 more. Bustos then joined Durbin in nearby Savanna to answer questions from constituents…

 

 

Other topics discussed by Bustos were health care costs, gun control, and staying involved in the community.

0
comments


DeWitt County Restoration Association Bringing Back Dinner Theater Production

Support the DeWitt County Restoration Association while having a good meal and enjoying some good entertainment.

 

The DCRA is again sponsoring their dinner-theater later this month. Becky Adams with the DCRA Wednesday on the WHOW morning show told Regional Radio News, next Friday is the deadline for ticket purchases for their next show that is Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26.

 

 

Clinton's Melanie Cheatham directs this year's production once again. Adams points out, it's a comedy written by the same writers as Golden Girls. The Dixie Swim Club chronicles five ladies' reunions over the years.

 

 

The DCRA has things to pay for like increased taxes and other things. Additionally, Adams says they still have dreams of getting the Magill Hotel ready for another developer.

 

 

Tickets for the 'The Dixie Swim Club' are on sale at several locations in Clinton. You can also visit dewittcountyrestoration.com for tickets and more information. 

0
comments


Clinton IGA Being Sold to Kirby Foods

A long-time Clinton business is changing hands.  Mike Chapman, owner of Clinton IGA, has announced he's selling the business to Kirby Foods of Champaign-Urbana, who has stores in eastern Illinois and western Indiana.

 

Chapman told Regional Radio News that after 47 years in the grocery business, it was time to retire.

 

 

Chapman says it's been difficult for him as a single operator.

 

 

Chapman told Regional Radio News that some family health issues weighed heavily in his decision to sell the store.

 

 

Kirby Foods will officially take over ownership of Clinton IGA in December.

0
comments


Clinton Fire Truck Parade Highlights Fire Safety Week

It is fire safety week and the Clinton Fire Department's fire truck parade tonight highlights the week of outreach and education.

 

Lt. Teddy LaCroix (la-qwa) with the Clinton Fire Department says they spent the first few days of the week with students at Lincoln and Douglass Schools allowing them to go through their smokehouse and learn about firefighters and their equipment.

 

 

Fire trucks from all over central Illinois will converge on Clinton Junior High School this evening for the annual fire truck parade that will go up to the square. LaCroix says they will again have the smokehouse on the square and the fire trucks from other communities will be parked for kids to go and check out.

 

 

LaCroix thanks Peterson Insurance for their contribution of 1,000 firefighter hats that will be handed out to the youth. Owner Jay Peterson says they were able to get the hats personalized this year with the Clinton logo on them.

 

 

Tonight's fire truck parade gets underway at dusk. LaCroix says that it will probably be around 6:45 or 7 pm. The square will be closed off the duration of the parade and then a while after. 

 

Get more information on the fire truck parade by finding the Clinton Fire Department on Facebook. 

0
comments


Time To Get Your Flu Shot

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SAYS IT’S TIME TO GET YOUR ANNUAL FLU SHOT. 

 

FLU SEASON IS HERE AND EVERYONE SIX MONTHS AND OLDER SHOULD BE VACCINATED SAYS STATE PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gozi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay).

 

 

IT TAKES ABOUT TWO WEEKS FOR THE SHOT TO BE FULLY EFFECTIVE. 

 

 

THE VACCINE IS AVAILABLE AS BOTH AN INJECTION AND A NASAL SPRAY THIS YEAR…AND IS RECOMMENDED FOR EVERYONE OVER SIX MONTHS OF AGE. IT CAN BE A VERY SERIOUS ILLNESS FOR SOME…CAUSING COMPLICATIONS LIKE PNEUMONIA. THOSE MOST AT RISK INCLUDE SENIORS, YOUNG CHILDREN AND PREGNANT WOMEN.

 

THE PUBLIC IS ALSO ADVISED TO WASH THEIR HANDS FREQUENTLY, COVER THEIR COUGHS AND STAY HOME IF THEY’RE SICK. SYMPTOMS INCLUDE FEVER, CHILLS, COUGH, RUNNY OR STUFFY NOSE, FATIGUE AND BODY ACHES.

0
comments


October is Infant Safe Sleep Awareness Month

THIS IS INFANT SAFE SLEEP AWARENESS MONTH AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES IS REMINDING PARENTS OF THE A-B-C’S OF SAFE SLEEP. 

 

UNSAFE SLEEP PRACTICES ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR CHILDREN ONE YEAR AND YOUNGER. D-C-F-S SPOKESPERSON DEBORAH LOPEZ SAYS YOU CAN HELP PROTECT YOUR LITTLE ONE BY FOLLOWING THE A-B-C’S:

 

 

ALTHOUGH IT’S TEMPTING…PARENTS SHOULD NOT BRING THEIR BABY TO BED WITH THEM.

 

 

“B”…BABIES SHOULD SLEEP ON THEIR BACK…AND “C”…THEY SHOULD SLEEP IN A CRIB FREE OF PILLOWS, BLANKETS, BUMPER PADS AND STUFFED ANIMALS. 143 CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF ONE DIED LAST YEAR IN ILLINOIS BECAUSE OF UNSAFE SLEEP PRACTICES.

0
comments


Democratic Senators Think Sen. Sandoval Should Step Down

As lawmakers prepare to convene in Springfield for the Fall Veto session a possible federal investigation looms over a Democratic Senator. 

 

Martin Sandoval had his home and offices raided by the FBI and IRS but the Democrat is still the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. And although the Governor has called on him to step down from his post he hasn’t. Democrat Senator Laura Murphy says right now Sandoval should step aside.

 

 

Senate President John Cullerton has yet to apply any public pressure on Sandoval to give up his spot.

0
comments


Deadly Start to Illinois Harvest Season

Even though it’s been a few weeks since National Farm Safety and Health Week, Illinois Department of Agriculture director John Sullivan hopes the message to heed cautiously during harvest season has not been lost. 

 

It’s been a deadly start in Illinois with two fatalities last week, one involving a grain bin and another involving a tractor.

 

 

The grain bin fatality occurred last Thursday near Keithsburg, in Mercer County, killing a 66 year old man after he fell into a silo. The tractor accident occurred in Whiteside County in Sterling last Saturday. 

 

The Whiteside County Sheriff’s Department report indicated a car attempted to pass the tractor, but the vehicle impacted the tractor’s carriage and a passenger in the car, a nine year old girl, died as a result of the mishap.

0
comments


Venture Club Uses Apple n' Pork To Fund Adventure Trips

Teens in DeWitt County were hard at work during the Apple n' Pork Festival raising money for their high-intensity adventures through the Venture Club.

 

The Venture Club is an extension of the Scouts program and Bobby Kreitler says they've already done a lot this year and used the Apple n' Pork weekend to raise money to continue with adventures.

 

 

According to Kreitler, the Apple n' Pork says the festival funds a majority of their summer activities. He indicates without the fundraising that happens at the annual festival, it would put more of the cost on the families in their program.

 

 

The Venture Club has about 12 members made up of both boys and girls. Kreitler says they welcome new members and hopes anyone with questions will check out their meetings the second and fourth Mondays of the month.

 

They also offer a closed Facebook group and Kreitler notes they are also working on developing a website.

0
comments


Time Running Out to Visit Scovill Zoo

If you want to get in to see the animals at the Scovill Zoo in Decatur, time is starting to run short.

 

This is the final week to check out the zoo before they close for the year. Director Ken Frye says they still have one more free admission Thursday and they have a young howler monkey that is starting to peek out from its mom's care.

 

 

When the zoo closes for the season, Frye says they keep all their animals on-site with several shelters for a number of their collection. He explains a lot of their day to day activity is the same and they continue to make enrichment a focus even though people aren't walking by the exhibits all the time.

 

 

Once the zoo closes down, the public will still have the opportunity to check out the zoo during Boo at the Zoo, their Halloween event that runs throughout several weekends in October.

 

Get more information on that event and other happenings at the zoo by visiting scovillzoo.org. 

0
comments


More Drama Around Fire Department's Training Facility

A recent letter to the editor to the Clinton Journal caught the eye and ire of Public Safety Commissioner Dan Ballenger.

 

The letter to the editor begs the question of why not a better location for the three-story shipping container-made facility for training for the Clinton Fire Department. The writer, Kim Glidden, calls the current state "an eyesore" and says materials for training are being stored around it as well.

 

Ballenger Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting says it has been made clear to the public numerous times, including on the WHOW Morning Show and at dewittdailynews.com, training will be held at the site despite the ongoing construction to it.

 

 

Ballenger, as has been pointed out on Regional Radio News in recent updates on the facility, points out it will save sending their staff to Champaign for training and has also made known they will be able to host other departments for training. 

 

 

The training facility is on the southeast portion of the city near the yard waste facility and other businesses like Zeigler's Towing and RR Donnelly. 

 

In other business from the Monday night meeting....

 

>>The Council approved bids for concrete work to be done on Kelli Court for a sidewalk project at a cost of just short of $20,000 with Quality Concrete.

 

>>An actuator purchase for the water department was approved at a cost of just over $7,100

 

>>The Council also approved an emergency purchase for a backhoe through Altorfer Ag at a cost just short of $85,000. 

0
comments


Clinton Am-Vets Use Apple n' Pork Festival To Further Help Veterans

Veterans helping veterans is the goal of the Am-Vets and the Clinton chapter uses the big Apple n' Pork weekend to help further that cause.

 

Ed Beck says they help local veterans and also donate time, materials and money to places like the Danville Veterans Hospital. He says everyone in the community is in the Apple n' Pork Festival together, raising money to support their causes.

 

 

The Am-Vets recently have been trying to get momentum behind their Dennis Davenport Am Vets Post 14 scholarship. Beck says they want to give five scholarships a year away but have had a hard time reaching that number.

 

 

During the Apple n' Pork weekend, Am-Vets were collecting money to continue that scholarship fund. According to Beck, Davenport contributed the first $20,000 and they want to continue that on.

 

Get more information by joining the Am-Vets for their monthly meetings, the second Mondays of each month at their location at 302 North Monroe Street in Clinton. 

0
comments


Weekly Crop Report

HARVEST PROGRESS LAGS BEHIND AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

 

91 PERCENT OF CORN HAS REACHED THE DENT STAGE, AND 59 PERCENT IS MATURE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

 

 

65 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE DROPPING LEAVES AND 11 PERCENT HAS BEEN HARVESTED. THAT COMPARES TO 40 PERCENT HARVESTED BY NOW NORMALLY. 

 

 

19 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED…MATCHING THE AVERAGE PACE…AND 94 PERCENT OF THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS COMPLETE.

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE HELD STEADY AT EIGHT PERCENT VERY SHORT, 15 PERCENT SHORT, 57 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 20 PERCENT SURPLUS.

0
comments


"The Cloud' Gets Boost from Illinois Lawmakers

Data centers are hot in Illinois. 

 

A data center is a storage space is a central spot to collect, store and distribute computer data on the internet. Some people might call them the “cloud” and they are a billion dollar business. A new tax incentive is being touted by Illinois lawmakers that will incentivize data centers to be located in the state. The new law will give data centers of a certain size a sale tax incentive. Digital Realty Chief Executive Officer William Stein says that these centers are the hubs of future business.

 

 

The centers will have to be a project of more than $250 million and supporters say that adding new data centers to Illinois will bolster the state’s tech credentials.

0
comments


IRS Extension Deadline Looming

A deadline looming for Illinois residents who filed for an extension on their Income Tax in April of 2019. Those who filed for an extension have until October 15th to file their taxes according to Michael Devine from the IRS....

 

 

Penalties for not filing taxes can add up to either paying well more than you owe due to late fees or, if you were expecting a refund you could see that refund shrink to pay your late filing penalty.

0
comments


RFD Means Cargo in The World of Airports

In the world of airports ORD once meant the world’s busiest airport and now RFD, the airport in Rockford, means the world’s fastest-growing airport for cargo. 

 

An industry group says that cargo into the airport grew by 56 percent in 2018. Democrat Governor JB Pritzker says he loves hearing how fast the airport is expanding business in northern Illinois.

 

 

The airport has added over a 1000 jobs connected to the cargo business in the past year.

0
comments


Dairy Tour Generates Long Term Sales

22 farmers and agribusiness folks from around the world toured Illinois dairy farms and local agribusiness companies over the past few days. 

 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture held its international dairy tour with individuals from Mexico, Guatemala and Thailand. Bobby Dowson with the IDOA says these tours pay off for Illinois in the short and long term.

 

 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says the last three dairy tours resulted in $5.5 million in agriculture sales.

0
comments


Congressman Davis Unphased by Impeachment Talks

Republican Congressman Rodney Davis says the impeachment process underway is purely political and House Democrats are making a drive towards impeachment without any evidence of an act worthy it.

 

 

Davis wants members of Congress to take on more pressing issues including passing health care reforms and passing the USMCA trade deal.

0
comments


Overnight Frost in Play in Places in Illinois This Weekend

Farmers have been against the clock this harvest season to beat the first significant frost/freeze of the season. 

 

This weekend is bringing a real possibility for a freeze or frost in parts of Illinois. Temperatures in central Illinois will hover in the 50s and Chris Miller with the National Weather Service in Lincoln says this is the part of the month when we first get to the freezing temperatures that bring a frost.

 

 

While the weekend forecast leaves the possibility for the first frost, Miller says there's good news on the horizon as they are showing dry trends to finish off the month of October.

 

 

Friday's rains could bring some stormy weather with them. Miller says the storm center is keeping an eye on things in that realm as rains could extend from Illinois and Indiana to Louisiana and Mississippi. 

0
comments


Blue Ridge Federation Authorizes Strike

The Blue Ridge Federation has authorized a strike.  The vote to do so took place Sunday night in Farmer City. 

 

The Federation has been negotiating with the Blue Ridge School Board since February, with the last two sessions involving a Federal mediator.  

 

In a statement Sunday night, Federation President Don Anton said quote - "The Board says they are committed to the negotiations process, but at our last meeting they rejected our latest proposal and failed to give a counter offer. Federation members want to reach a deal, but our collective patience is running thin. The Board needs to understand that time is running out.”

 

The soonest the Federation could legally strike would be October 28th.  Anton said the Federation is willing to give the Board until the end of the month to reach a deal.  If no deal is reached, the union is set to walk out on

 

The Federation will meet with the Board and a federal mediator again on Wednesday.  There will be an informational picket outside the high school starting at 3:45.

0
comments


Clinton YMCA Replacing Equipment, Renovating Front Desk

Giving the YMCA a fresh look is the focus of some upcoming projects at the Clinton facility.

 

Executive Director Rennie Cluver says for a while, he and the Y-Board have been discussing ways to freshen things up and they are starting with replacing outdated workout equipment in their wellness center.

 

 

Cluver says they will also be taking on a remodel project to their front entryway. They want to create a more inviting space for people to come and hang out.

 

 

According to Cluver, they want to give those people that workout at home a reason to come in and be a part of their Y-community.

 

 

The Y targeted the equipment upgrades to be around $50,000 and Cluver says they are going to come in way below that. Additionally, they are also coming in below their projected $100,000 cost for the remodel. 

 

 

The new workout equipment will likely be in by the end of the month. The remodel project will start just on the other side of the new year. 

0
comments


Wappella Christian Church Uses Apple n Pork to Fund Youth Activities

The Wapella Christian Church's corn on the cob stand at the annual Apple n Pork Festival provides the funds for the various activities and social events their youth participate in.

 

Tom Musik with the Wapella Christian Church indicates the fundraiser is mainly for their youth groups and allows them to take trips and do crafts.

 

 

Musik says without the Apple n Pork Festival their youth activities would be limited. He notes they have thought about other fundraising opportunities but have agreed that the Apple n Pork Festival is the best fundraising option.

 

 

To learn more about Wapella Christian Church visit www.wapellacc.org.

0
comments


Mahomet-Seymour Schools Leader Expresses Concerns Surrounding Vaping

Vaping among teens has become a growing concern among school leaders and a Champaign County school leader recently weighed in on what they are doing to curb the epidemic.

 

Dr. Lindsay Hall is the Superintendent of Mahomet-Seymour Schools and says the problem with vaping is that it has been promoted as a safe alternative to nicotine products, when in fact, it is proving to be the opposite.

 

 

Various districts have partnered with their community leadership to impose fines on students caught vaping at school. Dr. Hall says that it is something they have not explored. They are taking the approach of communicating the impacts of vaping on their students' health and hoping education will lead to a decline in the activity.

 

 

Dr. Hall does not believe disciplinary consequences are a deterrent to bad behaviors but also believes those are conversations that are best left up to individual school districts and doing what is best for them. 

0
comments


Weekly Weather Summary

Most of the state this past week saw high amounts of precipitation and cooler temperatures. That trend will continue into this week says State Climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

0
comments


Local Cub Scout Troop Uses Apple n' Pork Weekend For 'Extras'

Popcorn and candy bar sales are the staple fundraisers for the Boy Scouts of America and DeWitt County boy scouts are blessed to be able to tap into the Apple n' Pork Festival to provide more opportunities for the kids.

 

Ryan Morge says those traditional fundraisers pay for their regular activities but the Apple n' Pork Festival allows them to give back to families to give their kids the extras they can take advantage of.

 

 

According to Morge, if Apple n' Pork was not an option for their families, the families would have to come up with the funds for all the extra things they need and trips.

 

 

Morge says Scouts meet about three times a month with campouts and their Pinewood Derby. Learn more about becoming a Scout by visiting beascout.org and search for Clinton, Illinois. 

0
comments


Youth Deer Permits Still Available

Youth firearm deer permits are still available ahead of next weekend's youth hunt.

 

Friday morning on the WHOW morning show, DNR Spokesperson Rachel Torbert told Regional Radio News the permits are still available as DNR officials ready for next weekend's youth hunt across Illinois.

 

 

Currently, the county where you acquire your permit is the only place you can hunt however, Torbert indicates next year that changes. She explains the Governor signed legislation that will allow any permit-holder to hunt in any county.

 

 

Again, the youth hunt is next Saturday, October 12 through Monday, October 14. 

 

Additionally, Torbert indicates over-the-counter sales of the remaining firearm permits will go on sale starting October 15. 

 

Visit dnr.illinois.gov for all the information on the seasons and permit information. 

0
comments


Clinton Fire Fighters Collect Funds for Muscular Dystrophy During Apple n' Pork Weekend

Clinton Fire Fighters were at Van Buren and Grant street Saturday during the Apple n' Pork weekend.

 

The annual effort is a Saturday tradition for the firefighters who hope to take advantage of the large crowds to Clinton. Chief Jeff Hoke says last year they raised around $3,000 for Muscular Dystrophy.

 

 

The partnership stems from a group reaching out to them to raise money. The Chief says it's been a good partnership and they have worked well together over the years.

 

 

This year, the department was able to raise around $1800.

 

Hear from firefighters next Tuesday morning, October 8 at 9:30 am on the WHOW Morning Show. 

0
comments


National Manufacturing Day

It’s national manufacturing day and the Illinois Manufacturing Association says that Illinois makes just about everything. Gordy Hulten with the IMA notes industry in the state creates more than $300 billion in economic output.

 

 

The food processing industry is the largest manufacturing employer in the state providing 93,000 jobs.

0
comments


Former Chair of Impeachment Process Says Nothing Good Will Come of it

21 years ago the Republican Chairman of the impeachment proceedings inside the US House of Representatives was Ray LaHood. 

 

With an insider’s view of the process, the Republican says because the Senate likely won’t convict the President the proceedings will only lead to hard feelings and inaction in Congress.

 

 

LaHood was selected by then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to lead the process and he says he still remembers how those proceedings divided the country in 1998.

0
comments


Lincoln Heritage Committee Hosting Special CH Moore Event Oct. 26

The Lincoln Heritage Committee is hosting a special event later this month that will be very informative to the early years of Abraham Lincoln's influence in DeWitt County.

 

Joey Woolridge says it will be a great presentation from John Warner IV, CH Moore's great-great-grandson. She explains it will be a 1925 speech from Vaspasian Warner. 

 

 

Tickets are available now and they are limited. According to Marian Brisard, there will be a 10 am and an event at 1 pm. The event is free.

 

 

For more information on the event, you can find the DeWitt County Museum or the Lincoln Heritage Committee on Facebook. 

0
comments


Congressman Davis Believes Tariffs on EU Will Be Welcomed By Farmers

The World Trade Organization has given President Donald Trump the 'thumb's up' to impose tariffs on the EU.

 

Congressman Rodney Davis says this is going to be a move that should make American farmers very happy.

 

 

According to Congressman Davis, in the past, the EU has not held up its end of previous agreements and now the WTO is giving the United States permission to retaliate legally against the EU's illegal use of tariffs.

0
comments


September 4th Warmest on Record in Illinois

LAST MONTH TIED FOR FOURTH WARMEST SEPTEMBER ON RECORD IN ILLINOIS.

 

THE AVERAGE STATEWIDE TEMPERATURE LAST MONTH WAS 71 POINT THREE DEGREES. THAT’S NEARLY FIVE DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL, AND A STATE RECORD SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST TRENT FORD.

 

 

STATEWIDE PRECIPITATION AVERAGED OVER FIVE INCHES BUT VARIED QUITE A BIT ACROSS ILLINOIS. 

 

 

SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS WAS A DIFFERENT STORY…WITH SOME AREAS GETTING LESS THAN A QUARTER INCH OF RAIN LAST MONTH.

0
comments


Maroa-Forsyth Starting Hall of Fame

It's something that is needed and long overdue at Maroa-Forsyth Schools.

 

That is how administrators call the coming Hall of Fame for the district. Athletic Director Phil Applebee says when you go to other schools, their versions of a hall of fame are very prominent and that is missing at Maroa-Forsyth High School.

 

 

According to Applebee, their first step is to introduce their Wall of Valor. He explains theirs will be displayed on a 55-inch touch screen television. Applebee says they want to honor their alumni who served, some who have given the ultimate sacrifice. 

 

 

As for the Hall of Fame, Applebee says they are going considering athletes, teachers and support staff. He explains, over the summer they asked for nominations and have a lot to consider. He also notes their committee is a diverse group with roles throughout the community.

 

 

Applebee encourages anyone who knows a veteran that served who was a graduate of Maroa-Forsyth High School, to contact him at phil.applebee@mfschools.net to get them on their Wall of Valor. 

0
comments


Statehouse Lights Shining Bright

The lights are back on at the State Capitol. Since 2015 the lights that would illuminate the outside of the building had been turned off because of a lack of a state budget. But after years of sitting in the dark the Capitol is illuminated again. Henry Haupt with the Secretary of State’s office says the lights have been renovated and they are shining bright.

 

 

The lights are now LED and cost about four dollars a day to run. Haupt says the old lights cost about four times as much as operate and these should last about 25 years.

0
comments


Governor Returns To Public Appearances After Fractured Leg Injury

Governor JB Pritzker is starting to resume a more public schedule since suffering a fractured leg over the summer. Pritzker was told to stay off the leg by doctors and over the past few weeks was only visible at a few events. He was out on Wednesday and says he finally gave up walking with a crutch a few days ago and is looking forward to being out more.

 

 

0
comments


Governor Wants Senate Transport Head Off Committee

The Governor wants the head of the Senate’s Transportation committee out of that top spot. Today Democrat JB Pritzker says that Democrat Martin Sandoval, who has had his offices and home raided by the FBI should lose his committee chairmanship.

 

 

This comes as the state prepares a $41 billion capitol bill branded Rebuild Illinois.

0
comments


Drone Conference Coming To Heartland Community College

Heartland Community College in Normal hosting a “Drones in the Heartland” conference later this month. Among the presenters is Michael Ott with Iowa City based Rantizo.

 

 

The conference is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11. And you can register at “heartland.edu.”

 

Other topics at the conference will include technological leaps in high-resolution data and aerial photography. A portion of the day will also be devoted to a legislative and regulatory update involving drone technology.

0
comments


Blue Ridge Teacher's Union Makes Public Latest Proposal

Earlier this week, the Blue Ridge Federation posted its latest proposal to the Blue Ridge Board of Education.

 

The two sides have been negotiating terms of a new contract since February and the teachers union over the summer formed a strike exploratory committee.

 

Don Anton, President of the Blue Ridge Federation says they want to avoid a strike, remaining hopeful the Board of Education will work with them to prevent one. He feels this latest proposal is one step closer to a possible strike. 

 

According to a release by the Federation, the Board's best offer was a 1-percent increase to all employees but the Federation wants better.

 

The Federation wants a higher starting salary and indicates its proposed adjustments to salaries would be around a $100,000 impact on the district. 

 

Additionally, the Federation is seeking changes to the health insurance program. Reductions in the contributions to the teacher's health savings account, or HSA, were reduced from $3,000 a year in 2017 to $1904 this year. 

 

They want an HSA contribution of $2750, getting closer to the fully funded level of $3,000.

 

Federation estimates say that would be a cost of just short of $83,000 to the district. 

 

The two sides will meet before a mediator for a third time on October 9. 

0
comments


Homecoming Week in Clinton

Its Homecoming week in Clinton and the 4-1 Clinton Maroons football team is creating quite the buzz.

 

While the football team's success has everyone excited, Athletic Director Matt Koeppel says Homecoming week, in general, brings a different level of excitement because it allows students to cut loose while getting out of their normal routine.

 

 

Rallying student support has been an ongoing process for administrators at the high school to get behind the sports programs and Koeppel says Homecoming often brings out a good crowd but he feels their students have been behind all their sports this season, including volleyball.

 

 

Get the latest happenings in Clinton sports by following the Maroons on Facebook or at the Twitter handle @clintonhs. 

0
comments


Baum Chevrolet Buick Awards Chevy Trucks/FFA Scholarship to Kinser Wargel

Baum Chevrolet Buick and Chevy Trucks have partnered with the National FFA Foundation to support students seeking higher education. It’s one of many ways the dealership is working to support local youth.

 

Kinser Wargel is the 2019 recipient of the $1,000 Chevy Trucks/FFA Scholarship, jointly sponsored by Baum Chevrolet Buick, Chevrolet and the National FFA Foundation. Wargel is using the Baum Chevrolet-sponsored FFA grant to help defer costs as he begins work on a bachelor’s degree.

 

Currently a freshman in the Pathway to Illinois Program, Kinser is studying at both the University of Illinois and Parkland College in Champaign, Ill. With a strong interest in agriculture, Wargel is studying Agribusiness Markets and Management in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES).

 

As a Clinton Community High School student, Kinser was active in the FFA Chapter, helped with an afterschool program at Clinton United Methodist Church, was a member of National Honor Society, and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. He currently serves as New Member President for Illi-Dell of Alpha Gamma Sigma. Kinser is the son of Thomas and Claudine Wargel of Clinton, Ill. He is the grandson of Kendall and Charlot Cole of Virden, Ill.., and Charlie and Mary Beth Wargel of Equality, Ill.

 

Through the National FFA Foundation, businesses and individuals sponsor scholarships that are awarded to students with a wide variety of higher education plans and career goals. Just one application is required for multiple opportunities. To learn more about this and other FFA Foundation programs, visit www.ffa.org.

 

 

Pictured: Kinser Baum Scholarship: Scott Baum, right, president of Baum Chevrolet Buick in Clinton, Ill., presents the Chevy Trucks/FFA Scholarship to Kinser Wargel, left. Kinser is a freshman studying Agribusiness Markets and Management in the Parkland College/University of Illinois Pathway to Illinois program. 

0
comments


Clinton Chamber Haunted House Opens This Month

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce is readying for the haunted house season.

 

The Terror on Washington Street Haunted House has been under construction since the spring as organizers prepare for the upcoming scare season. Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber, Marian Brisard says they are working on sprucing things up in anticipation of the new season.

 

 

The big addition to the haunted house grounds this year will be the escape room. Folks may remember, the Chamber discontinued their visitors center and brought that structure to the site and Brisard says it will be on more piece of entertainment for their attendees that are waiting.

 

 

It takes many volunteers to make the Haunted House the success it is. Brisard says several community youth groups help along with Second Chance for Pets that man their concession stand.

 

 

It can take around 20-30 people to make the Haunted House itself a success. Brisard says they are always looking for more volunteers. She encourages high school students who may need volunteer hours to stop by the haunted house at 6 pm on Friday or Saturday nights so they can get their makeup ready.

 

The Haunted House opens for the season October 11 and runs Friday and Saturday nights until November 2. Brisard also points out they plan to host visitors on Halloween night until 9 pm. 

There are also friendly ghost tours Saturday, October 16, 19, and 26 at 5 pm. 

0
comments


DeLand-Weldon Students Participating in Ag Mechanics Course at Heartland Tech

For the first time, DeLand-Weldon students have the opportunity to participate in an ag mechanics class through the Heartland Tech Program at Richland Community College.

 

Superintendent Amanda Geary explains this is a great opportunity for their kids, expanding on opportunities they already take advantage of through Heartland Tech.

 

 

The Heartland Tech program has afforded its students a lot of great opportunities. Geary explains it is hands-on learning and is also a duel-credit opportunity.

 

 

Geary says allowing students to take credits to college with you upon graduation, that gives their students a big advantage as they advance. She also points out, the district is going even further by paying for the opportunities in the duel-credit arena. 

0
comments


Macon County Owl Prowl Friday Night

Area residents will have the chance to go on an Owl Prowl Friday night.

 

Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial in western Macon County will host the Owl Prowl at the Railsplitter Pavilion Friday at 7pm.

 

The program will discuss the beliefs held by pioneers about owls, listening for their eerie calls, learn what they eat, understand their silent flight, and learn about their talons.  There will also be live owls from the Illinois Raptor Center.  Attendees are encouraged to Bring your flashlights if you want to search for owls after the program.

 

The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial and Decatur Audubon.        

 

The park is about 10 miles straight west of Decatur. Take Route 36 past Harristown to Lincoln Trail Memorial Parkway; go south four miles. The park is on the east side of the road.

 

For more information contact:  Melody Arnold at melody2a@hotmail.com

0
comments


Illinois Prairie Community Foundation Fall Grant Cycle Underway

The fall grant cycle is underway for the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation. 

 

Non-profits in DeWitt, Logan, Livingston and McLean Counties are invited to apply for two different categories of grants. Grants and Communications Director for the IPCF, Michele Evans, says they are taking grant applications for Women to Women Giving Circle and Youth Engaged in Philanthropy.

 

 

According to Evans, the Women to Women Giving Circle says it is a group of women in all four counties that are dedicated to making a change in their communities.

 

 

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy is a group of 19 high school students this year and Evans says their focus is to help enhance youth programs in their communities by distributing funds.

 

 

The grants are due by October 31. Evans says they want groups in DeWitt, Logan and Livingston Counties to apply. Get more information or an application by visiting ilprairecf.org/fallgrants or you can contact Evans with questions about if your group might qualify to 309-662-4477.

0
comments


Contrast Key Word This Harvest Season

Let’s talk harvest forecast heading into October. The key word is “contrast”, according to DTN Chief Agriculture meteorologist Bryce Anderson.

 

 

Moderate to locally heavy rainfall is expected over the northern half of the state with drier conditions prevailing in the central and southern portion for the rest of this week and freeze concerns should not be an issue through mid-October.

 

Anderson says for the latter half of the month, he expects things to settle out and delays on harvest that we’re currently seeing over some parts of the state, should lessen.

0
comments


October Is National Prevention Month

October is National Prevention Month and with it comes encouragement to update your smoke detectors to those that come with a ten year battery. Fire Safety Alliance Director Phil Zaleski says the benefits start with avoiding buying nine volt batteries twice a year.

 

 

In a few years it will be a state law that you can only buy smoke alarms with a sealed 10 year battery.

0
comments


DeWitt County Land Use Committee Chair Weighs in on Recreational Marijuana Sales in Unincorporated Areas

At a special meeting of the DeWitt County Board's Land Use Committee, approval was granted for sales in the unincorporated areas of DeWitt County.

 

Chairman Terry Ferguson weighed in on the approval. He feels the business of recreational marijuana belongs in the larger communities.

 

State law allows only one certified vendor of marijuana sales per County and Ferguson calls any notion of the sales happening in the country ridiculous. He is taking a stance along with side law enforcement groups and doesn't feel it isn't in the best interest of local businesses. 

 

 

According to Ferguson, ethics preclude money for those that believe the County needs to be more progressive. Addressing both allowing marijuana sales in DeWitt County and the wind farm project, which Ferguson's Land Use Committee addressed last week, it is a matter of different issues.

 

 

Just like last week's vote to send the RPC the current form of the Tradewind Energy project in DeWitt County despite concerns from the County Zoning Administrator, the Land Use Committee voted 3-2 approving marijuana sales in the unincorporated areas of DeWitt County with Jay Wickenhauser, Camille Redman and Cole Ritter voting favor and Melonie Tilley and Ferguson voting against.

 

As for the issue of sales of recreational marijuana sales in DeWitt County, the Land Use Committee will ask for a vote of the full board for approval and if that happens, the Regional Planning Commission will be charged with determining regulations. 

0
comments


What is the economic impact of Apple n' Pork on Clinton?

What is the economic impact of the annual Apple n' Pork Festival on the City of Clinton?

 

It is hard to estimate but Clinton City Administrator Tim Followell says it has been tried to figure out how much of impact 100,000-plus visitors to the community is in terms of dollars and cents. However, he feels the P-R for the community from the event is priceless.

 

One of the primary routes of the Apple n' Pork will get an upgrade before next year's festival. Followell says Center Street is going to undergo a huge upgrade and one of the biggest perks of the project will be the ADA accessibility of the sidewalks.

 

While estimates of visitors to Clinton come in usually around 100,000, that doesn't include the vendors for the flea market and attractions on the west side of town. Those folks stay in local hotels and eat at the bars and restaurants in the evenings.

 

Additionally this year, the power station has hundreds of workers in town for the outage, which is also boosting the local economy. 

0
comments


Archery Deer Season Opens Today

With the opening of the archery deer season today, local authorities are reminding hunters to be safe when they head out this fall.

 

The warm start to October may deter some hunters from going out initially which would be a good time to check those tree stands. DNR Conservation Police Sergeant John Williamson says tree stand safety is becoming a growing concern for them as they have seen a spike in tree stand accidents the last few years.

 

 

Tree stand and trail camera thefts have increased in recent years. Williamson encourages hunters to make special markings on their stands or note the serial number so in the event they are taken, they increase their chances of recovering them.

 

Williamson also says to double-check with a property owner who's land you'll be on. Even if you're related or close with the owner, sometimes exchanges of property can take place and it never hurts to make sure the spot you go to is still theirs.

 

One of the most helpful things hunters can do is tell someone where they are headed. Williamson has seen it happen where a hunter will go out, not tell anyone where they went, something happens to that hunter and they find an unfortunate scene when they get them tracked down. 

 

 

0
comments


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.

0
comments


COOPERATIVE INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARREST FOR MULTIPLE COUNTS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AGAINST ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS EMPLOYEE IN DECATUR

Springfield, IL – On September 25, 2019, the Illinois State Police (ISP) Division of Internal Investigations (DIII) and the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) arrested Michael S. Williams, 49 years of age of Auburn, for 26 counts of Custodial Sexual Conduct.

 

On April 3, 2019, the ISP was notified of an allegation of custodial sexual conduct against Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Correctional Food Service Manager, Michael S. Williams. 

 

On September 24, 2019, the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office approved charges for 26 counts of custodial sexual misconduct.

 

On September 25, 2019, Williams was arrested at the Decatur Correctional facility by the ISP DII on the above specified charges. IDOC assisted with the both the investigation and arrest. Williams is being held at the Macon County Jail. His bond was set at $200,000.

 

0
comments


Boil Order In Clinton

A boil order is in effect on Clinton's north side.

 

Clinton City Hall says the area effected  is along Bus. Rt 51 and Evans & Stone Subd. Call the office at 217-935-3432 with questions.

0
comments


USDA Releases September Grain Stocks Report

The Grain Stocks Report Monday sent grain futures higher as estimates from the Department of Agriculture were lower than markets expected. Old crop corn stocks totaled  2.11 billion bushels, down one percent from September 1, 2018. USDA reports 753 million bushels are stored on farms, up 22 percent from a year earlier, but 331 million bushes below the last estimate by USDA. Meanwhile, old crop soybeans stored totaled 913 million bushels, up 108 percent from last year. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 265 million bushels, up 162 percent from a year ago. All wheat stored totaled 2.38 billion bushels, down slightly from a year ago. Barley stocks totaled 192 million bushels, up ten percent from September 2018. Oats stored totaled 61.2 million bushels, 18 percent below last year. Finally, old crop grain sorghum stored totaled 63.7 million bushels, up 83 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, USDA announced it would resurvey producers for the Small Grains Summary, as many crops were not harvested at the time of survey earlier this year.

0
comments


FCAE continues to cultivate high school ag teachers

The school year is well underway and that means work is well underway for FCAE or Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education, which is all about cultivating high school ag teachers says Jennifer Waters—District 3 FCAE program advisor.

 

 

There are five district FCAE program advisors in Illinois.

0
comments


Archives:

2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-05 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2019-01 | 2018-12 | 2018-11 | 2018-10 | 2018-09 | 2018-08 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-09 | 2017-08 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-04 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-12 | 2015-11 | 2015-10 | 2015-09 | 2015-08 | 2015-07 | 2015-06 | 2015-05 | 2015-04 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07 | 2013-03 | 2013-02 | 2013-01 | 2012-12 | 2012-11 | 2012-10 | 2012-09 | 2012-08 | 2012-07 | 2012-06 | 2012-05 | 2012-04 | 2012-03 | 2012-02 | 2012-01 | 2011-12 | 2011-11 | 2011-10 | 2011-09 | 2011-08 | 2011-07


Local Weather