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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com to get them on their Wall of Valor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.