Hunting seasons in Illinois kick off Sunday with the first day of squirrel hunting.
INDR Police Captain John Williamson says squirrel season marks the official start of the hunting season.
Williamson notes, with squirrel hunting, the same safety precautions are in place, such as maintaining a safe distance from houses and getting permission before hunting on private property.
Dove season starts September 1, and archery deer season starts October 1.
COVID-19 CASES CONTINUE TO RISE IN ILLINOIS.
ACCORDING TO THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, THE NUMBER OF CASES HAS INCREASED BY 46 PERCENT OVER THE PAST SEVEN DAYS AND HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE UP BY 35 PERCENT. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER WAS ASKED THIS WEEK IF RESTRICTIONS WOULD AGAIN BE IMPOSED.
MORE THAN 11 THOUSAND NEW AND PROBABLE CASES HAVE BEEN REPORTED OVER THE PAST SEVEN DAYS...A 46 PERCENT INCREASE FROM THE PREVIOUS WEEK. HOSPITALIZATIONS ARE UP BY 35 PERCENT. ON WEDNESDAY, GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER WAS ASKED WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.
MASKS ARE NOW REQUIRED IN ALL STATE FACILITIES AND RECOMMENDED IN PUBLIC INDOOR AREAS IN MOST COUNTIES. THE C-D-C SAYS MORE THAN 74 PERCENT OF ILLINOIS ADULTS HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE DOSE OF THE VACCINE AND OVER 58 PERCENT ARE FULLY VACCINATED.
A NEW STATE LAW AIMS TO HELP OLDER SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS.
PREVIOUSLY, ONCE A SPECIAL ED STUDENT TURNED 23, THEY WERE NO LONGER ABLE TO ATTEND SCHOOL. UNDER THIS NEW LAW, THEY CAN STILL FINISH OUT THE ACADEMIC YEAR SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER.
SPECIAL ED STUDENTS CAN REMAIN IN SCHOOL UNTIL THEY ARE 22. BUT PREVIOUSLY, IF THEY TURNED 23 DURING THE ACADEMIC YEAR THEY WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE. THIS NEW LAW LETS STUDENTS TURNING A YEAR OLDER FINISH OUT THE SCHOOL YEAR AND GRADUATE WITH THEIR CLASS SAYS CHICAGO REPRESENTATIVE FRAN HURLEY.
THIS CHANGE BEGINS WITH THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR IN THE FALL.
Much of the state this past week saw at least one day with temperatures in the 90s. This weekend will see cooler temperatures due to a cold front moving in. State Climatologist Trent Ford has this report...
The Warner Hospital and Health Services Foundation is gearing up for its annual fundraising campaign.
Matt Riley, President of the Warner Hospital Foundation, told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday, the Foundation will be conducting a fundraising letter drive to raise money for the hospital. The public can expect to receive the letter within the next month.
Riley indicates the Foundation is raising money specifically for a new EKG machine. The machine will diagnose heart problems in patients and replace the hospital's current one.
Riley notes the Foundation did not hold any fundraising during 2020 due to the pandemic. With recovery underway, he hopes the community will continue to support the hospital.
To donate to the Warner Hospital and Health Services Foundation, you can write a check or click the donate button on the hospital's website, warnerhospital.org.
Many alumni will be back in Lincoln this weekend for Lincoln College's Alumni Reunion Weekend.
Lincoln College President Dr. David Gerlach indicates today and tomorrow is the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend. He is excited to welcome everyone back to campus.
The highlights for this weekend include an 8mm film made by a student from the Class of 1970. Dr. Gerlach says the film will be shown at the banquet on Saturday night.
In addition to the reunion, today is the 20th Annual Lincoln College Golf Classic at the Lincoln Elks Country Club. The outing is a fundraiser for the athletic programs.
Classes at Lincoln College begin on August 16.
COVID cases are on in the rise in Illinois and the Governor has established a new mitigation.
All state employees and visitors to state buildings will have to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. The step comes as cases reach highs not seen since this past Spring. Pritzker said earlier this week that new mitigations could come at any time.
For now the state is still in Phase 5 and there are no new restrictions on indoor dining or capacity limits.
A nonnative invasive species was found in Indiana and is expected to make its way to Illinois.
Doug Gucker, Local Food Systems and Small Farms U of I Extension educator indicates the spotted lanternfly which first appeared in Pennsylvania in 2014 was recently located in Indiana. He says this is concerning since it has not yet appeared in Ohio.
Gucker notes the lanternfly is easy to spot as it appears like a colorful moth. He says it is a concern because it feeds on 103 species of trees and can reproduce quickly.
Gucker says homeowners and landscapists should be on the lookout for the lanternfly as they will be the first to notice it. If you think you found one, Gucker says take a picture of it and show it to the Extension office.
You can learn more about the spotted lanternfly by visiting extension.illinois.edu.
GOVERNOR JB PRITZKER IS SIGNING WHAT HE CALLS LANDMARK LEGISLATION TO INCREASE AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ILLINOIS RESIDENTS.
THE NEW LAWS DIRECT 75 MILLION DOLLARS IN COVID RELIEF MONEY TOWARDS BUILDING AND REHABBING HOUSING IN AREAS OF THE STATE HIT HARDEST BY THE PANDEMIC SAYS THE GOVERNOR.
THE MEASURES EXTEND THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING TAX CREDIT, OFFER PROPERTY TAX INCENTIVES TO BUILDING OWNERS THAT IMPROVE THEIR PROPERTIES AND KEEP RENT AT REASONABLE RATES AND ALLOCATE 75 MILLION DOLLARS IN PANDEMIC RELIEF MONEY TO BUILD AND REHAB MORE RENTAL UNITS ACROSS THE STATE SAYS REPRESENTATIVE WILL GUZZARDI OF CHICAGO.
A NEW LAW ALSO EXPANDS THE STATE'S LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM TO INCLUDE UNDOCUMENTED RESIDENTS AND PRIORITIZES FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN.
Illinois Senate Republicans calling for a full audit of Governor Pritzker’s management of the state’s unemployment program. The push follows the release this week of a financial audit of the Illinois Department of Employment Security says State Senator Win Stoller of Dunlap.
Stoller says on Wednesday the Auditor General released a financial audit of IDES that detailed the Pritzker Administration’s failures regarding the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program. While the audit covered only seven weeks of the multi-month program, he says its findings were stark.
The Internal Revenue Service is out with their latest edition of the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams in Illinois. IRS Agent Michael Devine tells us what to watch out for
For a complete list of the Dirty Dozen Tax Scams of 2021 go to IRS.gov.
The Clinton Boy Scouts of America are presenting a free movie on the Square Saturday night.
Venturing Crew 2142 and BSA Troup 1142 are presenting Toy Story on Mr. Lincoln's Square in Clinton. The free movie will stark at dusk on Saturday.
Families are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs and snacks.
Standards ensure fresh fruits and vegetables are ripe, ready and safe to enjoy, but there are still some things the consumer can do after opening up a bag of fresh produce. Raghela Scavuzzo serves as Illinois Farm Bureau Associate Director of Food Systems Development.
Scavuzzo says another way to make sure your produce is safe is to talk with the farmers who grew it.
The COVID testing tent at Warner Hospital and Health Services is now down.
Paul Skowron, Warner Hospital and Health Services CEO, states it is due to low testing numbers. COVID testing will now be handled inside the hospital with same-day results available.
Skowron notes within the past couple of weeks the hospital was able to use grant money to secure a machine capable of reading PCR tests. Previously the hospital could only provide same-day results for rapid testing.
When asked about the Delta variant, Skowron assured that the hospital is ready should a spike in cases arise. He says they learned a lot the past year and are in a better place than they were last March.
With the removal of the COVID tent, the hospital will be moving forward with the renovation of the emergency room parking lot beginning August 3.
July is National Berries Month.
Caitlin Mellendorf, U of I Extension Nutrition Expert, says along with berries month July is also blueberry month with blueberries in season in Illinois. Mellendorf notes berries make a great snack because they are high in fiber.
Mellendorf indicates berries are also high in antioxidants. She says antioxidants help to lower levels of oxidated stress which in the long run can help lower risks of chronic diseases.
Mellendorf advocates the public purchase berries from local farms and at farmers markets while they are in season. She states this helps the local economy and builds relationships between farm and table.
Mellendorf says there are many preservation options for berries with the easiest being freezing. She says you could also make jams or jellies, or freeze them as a baked good.
When serving berries to young children, Mellendorf indicates you should cut them into smaller pieces to prevent choking.
The Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital's Farmers Market is "back to normal" this year.
Angie Stolzenburg with the ALMH Community Health Collaborative indicates the producer vendor only market has something for everyone from produce to prepared foods and children's programming.
As part of the hospital's mission to make sure everyone has access to fresh, quality produce, SNAP recipients can shop at the farmers market through a match by the ALMH Foundation.
Stoltzenburg notes in addition to their returning vendors, some of the new vendors this year include microgreens, a vegan and gluten-free bakery, and a coffee vendor.
The ALMH Market is held every Saturday from 8 am-12 pm at the Logan County Fairgrounds. To stay up to date on the Market visit their Facebook page or visit thealmhmarket.org.
The state of Illinois remains in Phase 5 of the Reopen Illinois plan. That means little to no mitigations in things like capacity limits on indoor events.
But that doesn’t mean the state can’t or won’t bring back mitigations if needed. Governor JB Pritzker says he’s watching areas in the state that are seeing a rise in cases.
Illinois reports 721 people in hospital with COVID. A number that has been creeping higher since mid-June but well below the Spring peak of 2288 in April.
THE STATE IS BOOSTING EFFORTS TO ATTRACT AND SUPPORT MORE EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS.
FOR STARTERS, GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SIGNED LEGISLATION CREATING A CONSORTIUM AMONG ILLINOIS COLLEGES TO HELP CHILD CARE WORKERS EARN ADVANCED DEGREES SAYS BILL SPONSOR SENATOR CRISTINA PACIONE ZAYAS.
A NEW LAW CREATES A CONSORTIUM OF ILLINOIS COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES THAT WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR CHILD CARE WORKERS TO EARN AN ASSOCIATE’S, BACHELOR’S OR MASTER’S DEGREE SAYS STATE BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GINGER OSTRO.
ADDITIONALLY, GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING 200 MILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL FUNDING FOR TRAINING AND SCHOLARSHIPS.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS DISTRICTS SHOULD KEEP THE NEW MASKING GUIDELINES IN MIND WHEN DEVELOPING PLANS FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR.
THE GOVERNOR SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT FOR SCHOOLS TO DEVISE SAFETY PROTOCOLS THAT BET FIT THEIR PARTICULAR NEEDS, BUT HAS THIS WARNING…
IT'S UP TO DISTRICTS TO PUT IN PLACE COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS, BUT THE GOVERNOR REMINDS THAT SCHOOLS THAT DON’T FOLLOW THE LATEST GUIDANCE MAY BE AT LEGAL RISK.
THE C-D-C NOW RECOMMENDS THAT ALL STAFF, TEACHERS AND STUDENTS WEAR A MASK INSIDE SCHOOL, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN VACCINATED.
MASKS ARE BACK IF YOU WANT TO GO RENEW YOUR LICENSE OR TAKE CARE OF OTHER BUSINESS AT AN ILLINOIS DRIVER’S SERVICES FACILITY.
SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE’S OFFICE IS REINSTITUTING A MASK POLICY BEGINNING MONDAY SAYS SPOKESPERSON HENRY HAUPT.
STARTING MONDAY, EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS WILL HAVE TO BE MASKED UP SAYS SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE’S SPOKESPERSON HENRY HAUPT. HE NOTES THEY HAVE NO PLANS TO CLOSE DRIVER’S FACILITIES.
MASKS WILL ALSO BE REQUIRED AT THE ILLINOIS CAPITOL AND SECRETARY OF STATE OFFICES.
The DeWitt County Board has rejected a proposal to offer roughly 12 employees a $1000 bonus for continuing to work during the thick of the COVID pandemic.
At last Thursday night's DeWitt County Board agenda was a measure to offer the employees a bonus through the federal COVID stimulus funds. A similar measure was approved to pay County first responders the bonus.
Board member Nate Ennis spoke out against the measure saying government employees never get bonuses but Finance Committee Chairperson Melonie Tilley also made note the County shouldn't be picking-and-choosing who gets a bonus.
David Newberg was the County's Chairman during the first half of the pandemic and spoke up Thursday in defense of those 12 employees and the work they did while the rest of the County's employees had the luxury of being safe at home.
Board member Aaron Kammeyer inquired as to how furloughs worked for employees that were sent home and how the County determined essential vs non-essential. County Clerk Dana Smith chimed in as to how it worked in her office during this period.
The measure failed by a 5-5 vote. Board Chair Terry Ferguson, Jamie Prestegaard, Dan Matthews, Jay Wickenhauser, and Newberg supported the measure. Buck Carter, Megan Myers, Ennis, Tilley, and Kammeyer voted against it.
Friday morning on the WHOW Morning Show, responding to Ennis' comments suggesting government employees do not receive bonuses, Ferguson proposed he look into government officials in Springfield and see what happens there.
If you live in rural DeWitt County and plan on going on vacation, give the Sheriff's Office a call.
DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker indicates his office offers vacation patrols for those living outside of Clinton and Farmer City. He says to call the dispatch center, and a deputy will add your home to their route.
Sheriff Walker says the deputies are making patrols in smaller communities and rural areas as much as they can. He hopes the patrols discourage criminals.
The Sheriff reminds the public that if something is awry, don't hesitate to call. He states there have been past incidents that could have been stopped.
To be placed on a vacation patrol, call the dispatch center's non-emergency number: (217) 935-3196.
A downstate lawmaker has kicked off his bus tour as he campaigns for Illinois governor. Republican State Senator Darren Bailey made the first stop at Rader Family Farms in Normal. Around 200 people attended the event.
Bailey will face several challengers in the 2022 primary election, which has been moved back from March 15th to June 28th.
Trees Forever continuing partnerships with farmers and ag groups.
The organization’s Debbie Fluegel says trees also go hand-in-hand with aiding pollinator habitats. You can learn more about tree buffer partnership and pollinator habitat opportunities at “treesforever.org”.
One of two Republicans on the House Select Committee on the January 6th riots at the nation's Capitol is from Illinois. Congressman Adam Kinzinger began questioning a panel of law enforcement members who were protecting the capitol that day. He grew emotional when talking to the four men.
The other Republican on the committee is Wyoming’s Liz Cheney.
The American Red Cross is putting out a call for blood donors as there is now an emergency need. Blood donations have fallen short of hospital needs recently. The Red Cross has been distributing about 12% more blood products to hospitals across the U.S. compared to this time last year.
The Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet the current hospital demand and end the severe blood shortage. American Red Cross spokesman Joe Zydlo (ZID-low) says in most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate.
Donation appointments can be quickly and easily scheduled by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by going to www.redcrossblood.org
He calls it the big run of summer. Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford says the warmest temperatures of the season may be in play this week, but there is some relief on the way this weekend. He spoke with the RFD Radio Network Tuesday.
Up to July 26, temperatures for the month have been 1-to-3 degrees below normal. Ford expects more comfortable temps to impact Illinois by the weekend. Rain chances are also spotty over the next 6-to-10 days.
The Neighborhood Care Center will now be serving southern McLean County through its new Heyworth office.
Cody Monkman, Neighborhood Care Center Executive Director, told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Monday morning, after almost a year of planning the new Heyworth Care Center will open Wednesday, August 4.
Monkman indicates the second Neighborhood Care Center, while based in Heyworth, will serve as far north as Shirley and Funks Grove and as far west as Ellsworth. He details what to expect on August 4.
Monkman says he has gotten lots of support from the Heyworth community already from several area businesses as well as members of the village board.
The Heyworth Care Center Network will be open every Wednesday from 3-4:30 pm starting August 4.
For more information visit neighborhoodcarecenter.net, or call (217) 935-6844.
Advocates of an entrepreneurship program for central Illinois high school students will be asking area business owners and others to step up financially for the program to continue forward.
The Central Illinois and Sangamon Valley CEO programs, while affiliated with local school districts, are funded through community support, mostly in the form of local businesses. Melanie Brown, Facilitator of the Central Illinois CEO program that encompasses Blue Ridge, Clinton, Maroa-Forsyth, and Warrensburg-Latham Schools, calls their investors the backbone of the program.
Local business leaders are invited to be engaged in the program in some capacity from being a place for students to spend their 'classroom time' to being a mentor to a student, Lisa Shephard, Facilitator for the Sangamon Valley CEO program, says this is a great opportunity for those businesses to see the value of the program and gradually work into an investment role.
According to Brown, the program does come at a cost. Those include the costs for facilitators, insurance, and costs for students to participate in other activities throughout the year. She emphasizes any donations go right back into the program.
This will be the third year of the program and investors are asked to make a three-year commitment. Shephard is hopeful they can get most of their investors back on board, however, understands COVID has impacted the business community differently.
Shephard and Brown are thankful they can step back and focus on the program and the kids while the CEO Board takes most of the lead on the financing piece. They both indicate the connections they make through the businesses that they visit throughout the course of the year can end up in a partnership.
The community can visit centralillinoisceo.com or sangamonvalleyceo.com for more information on investing or opportunities to have a hands-on role in the program.
If you find yourself in fishy weather and aren't tracking the conditions around, you'll soon have a push notification sent to your phone.
The National Weather Service is introducing notifications for severe weather and according to Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, these will be similar to notifications you receive for things like amber alerts.
You already get these alerts for tornado warnings but Miller indicates now the alerts will be expanded to severe thunderstorm warnings with the potential to do a lot of damage.
Last August's derecho storm was the catalyst for this process getting to the finish line. Miller explains if they would have had this type of system in place last year they could have gotten information to the impacted areas in a much more effective way.
Miller indicates most phones are programmed with these notifications that are set to go off automatically so you do not need to do any sort of signing up for them.
As the summer rolls along, Illinois lawmakers are back home in their districts, many working with constituents to work their way through the Illinois bureaucracy to solve problems.
Central Illinois state Senator Chapin Rose is in his law office taking note of the fact Illinois Democrats are quiet right now as it relates to their energy legislation that flopped at the end of the legislative year.
There's another wrinkle in the conversation is the likely elimination of any source of energy production in downstate Illinois. The Mahomet Republican says this is an idea for Illinois Democrats that has not been well thought out.
According to Sen. Rose, Illinois will have to import power to residents, and not only is that going to cost more to build more power lines, but it will be sourced from carbon.
Sen. Rose points out, they are giving a private company imminent domain to allow a company to build power lines through central Illinois across state lines.
One of the biggest outdoor events in Chicago is set to go later this week. Lollapalooza will hold outdoor concerts at full capacity. It's an event that could draw more than 100,000 people but is that a good idea with COVID-19 still spreading? Governor JB Pritzker says he’s going and will be taking friends to the concerts.
If you are going to Lollapalooza you must provide a copy of your vaccine card or a negative coronavirus test from within the last three days.
HERE’S THE CROP REPORT FOR THE WEEK ENDING JULY 25TH.
77 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING AND 38 PERCENT ARE SETTING PODS. 64 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER. TURNING TO CORN…
91 PERCENT OF CORN ACRES ARE SILKING AND 20 PERCENT ARE NOW IN THE DOUGH STAGE SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER. 68 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.
93 PERCENT OF THE SECOND CUTTING AND 39 PERCENT OF THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DECLINED OVER THE WEEK TO THREE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 12 PERCENT SHORT, 77 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND EIGHT PERCENT SURPLUS.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced construction on Interstate 74 in DeWitt County beginning Monday.
The $535,000 project involves the micro-surfacing of centerlines and joint ramps, which will extend the life of the pavement. The work will require intermittent lane closures on I-74 and is expected to be complete in September.
Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered.
Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.
Over the next six years, IDOT is planning to improve more than 3,500 miles of highway and 9 million square feet of the bridge deck as part of the Rebuild Illinois capital program, which is investing $33.2 billion into all modes of transportation.
Accomplishments through year two included approximately $5.2 billion of improvements statewide on 3,020 miles of highway, 270 bridges, and 428 additional safety improvements.
For more information on IDOT projects, follow them on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict5 or view area construction details on IDOT’s traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com
The DeWitt County Board last Thursday night voted to block any further issuances of building permits for the Alta Farms II wind project in DeWitt County until Enel Green Power proves they can curtail the towers during severe weather events.
DeWitt County Board Chair Terry Ferguson wanted to give Enel Green Power two weeks to return with an answer to the concern raised by Board members. Ferguson says it was after the meeting he had a response from Enel in his County email.
The vote last Thursday was on a motion that was not on the agenda ahead of the meeting which Board members contended could have opened the County up to liability. Ferguson indicates he wanted to focus on giving Enel time to respond before the ultimatum that was put on the table.e
With a little over half the permits now issued and an answer from Enel about the curtailment process, Ferguson considers the issue settled in his mind. The question becomes, does the rest of the Board consider it settled?
State's Attorney Dan Markwell was not at Thursday night's meeting, which objecting board members pointed to when discussing the motion. Ferguson indicates he did not know about the measure was going to be brought forward other than there was going to be a discussion. He admits perhaps he dropped the ball even though the agenda stated "possible action" on the curtailment issue.
Enel Green Power had no comment on the situation when reached Friday morning.
An ongoing effort to deal with a dilapidated property in Clinton is just one of several but it highlights a challenge small communities have balancing keeping the visual appearance of neighborhoods attractive but not displacing people from their homes.
City Administrator Tim Followell says it isn't always a fun process and small communities face a greater challenge in dealing with properties that are becoming rundown. He explains small communities have to jump through more hoops to deal with these properties.
Followell says it is a difficult line to toe encouraging homeowners to keep their properties maintained so the City doesn't have to take action and then determining action needs to be taken. He indicates you have so many parties and their rights to consider.
Followell indicates oftentimes, these homes end up being razed. He says they often end up as money pits for the community because so much money is poured into dealing with them and then are sold for far less than that investment - another challenge of dealing with these properties.
The property under scrutiny on North Quincy Street in Clinton isn't the only property being monitored at this time. City officials continue to encourage homeowners and property owners to do basic things like keeping up with mowing and overgrown brush. They believe that goes a long way in keeping properties visually appealing.
The dog days of summer are here.
That's the message from Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln. Heat and humidity are settling in over the area this week and Miller says August will offer more of the same. He urges caution if you're doing anything out in this heat.
As we transition to August, Miller says the fluctuations of temperatures are going to go away and we're going to remain in this hot weather pattern with rainfall that will be, if anything, normal for this time of the year.
Miller is urging everyone to be careful in this heat. Be mindful of what your body is telling you and hydrate with water frequently.
Daytime highs this week will hover around 90-degrees with minimal chances of rain.
Child tax credits hit mailboxes and checking accounts for many around Illinois this month. But those checks aren’t coming forever.
The checks will come once a month until the end of the year. Democrat US Senator Dick Durbin says the checks are part of the Biden Administration’s plan to help working families. Durbin says the checks are hitting at the right time and those checks are going to families who will spend it on needed items.
The checks were part of an economic stimulus bill that received no Republican votes.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY SAYS IT'S A CONSTANT BATTLE KEEPING STATE NETWORKS SAFE.
DURING A HOUSE CYBERSECURITY HEARING, DO-IT ACTING SECRETARY JENNIFER RICKER TOLD LAWMAKERS THAT STATE SYSTEMS ARE ATTACKED MILLIONS OF TIMES A DAY, REQUIRING A SWIFT RESPONSE.
CYBER ATTACKS ARE BECOMING MORE SOPHISTICATED AND ORGANIZED, PRESENTING AN ONGOING CHALLENGE SAYS FORD.
THE AGENCY HAS BEEN ADOPTING A "ZERO TRUST" APPROACH, TRUSTING NOTHING AND VERIFYING EVERYTHING.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR IS REMINDING EMPLOYERS THEY NEED TO PROMINENTLY DISPLAY HEALTH AND SAFETY POSTERS.
IT MAY SEEM LIKE A SMALL THING BUT THE POSTERS DELIVER IMPORTANT MESSAGES TO WORKERS ABOUT THEIR RIGHTS SAYS LABOR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR JASON KELLER.
THERE ARE CERTAIN POSTERS BUSINESSES MUST HAVE UP REGARDING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CHILD LABOR, THE MINIMUM WAGE AND MORE SAYS KELLER.
THE REQUIRED POSTERS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S WEBSITE UNDER THE TAB "EMPLOYERS." KELLER URGES WORKERS TO READ THE IMPORTANT MESSAGES FEATURED ON THE SIGNS.
Mt. Vernon will play host to the 2021 Heart of America Grazing Conference next month. Cliff Schuette (SHOOT-E) Chairman of the Illinois Grazing Lands Coalition says although the event is designed for livestock farmers, the general public could learn a lot from the 8 different guest speakers and discussion panel.
The event is Aug. 10 and 11. The featured speaker, Greg Judy, is a Regenerative Rancher. He along with his wife, Jan, operates Green Pastures Farm in Rucker, Missouri. Their grazing operation includes 16 farms, four owned and 12 leased.
A teen suicide awareness and prevention group in DeWitt County has been dissolved after the unfortunate passing of its founder earlier this year.
'Run for Life' was founded by Michael Moore, many knew as "Stymie", a couple of years ago to raise awareness around the growing issue of teen suicide locally. Moore's passion for the cause led to the formation of the group with focuses like paying for training for teachers, aides, counselors, and first responders on how to spot warning signs in at-risk youth.
The Run For Life board decided to dissolve the organization on June 30. In honor of Moore, two donations resulted from this decision, one to The Vault and the second to Heritage Behavioral Health Center, both with similar teen suicide prevention programs in place.
The Run For Life board would like to thank everyone that supported this cause.
The 53rd edition of the Apple n' Pork Festival is set to return in September of this and one of the many hit features of the festival is back as well.
All who wish to enter the Pigs on Parade contest for the Annual Apple ‘n Pork Festival are asked to pick up entry forms and plywood pig cutouts at the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum August 17th through August 22nd, or until all available pigs have been claimed.
There will be a $5 entry fee charged; payable when registering and receiving the pig. Artists, families, individuals and non-profit organizations are encouraged to participate- organizers ask for no commercial or political entries.
This is the ninth year for the popular contest. The museum uses the colorful, amusing porcine creations to decorate the festival grounds and museum fences during the Apple ‘n Pork Festival.
Completed pigs are to be returned September 14th through September 18th. Entries will be judged and cash prizes will be awarded. “Grand Campion” will receive $50 and $25 will go to the “Reserve Champion.”
The 2021 Apple 'n Pork Festival will take place Sept. 25th and 2th, 9am-5pm at the C.H. Moore Homestead and DeWitt County Musuem.
For more details, please phone the C.H. Moore Homestead DeWitt County Museum at 217-935-6066.
Sales taxes in Clinton are remaining strong however, they are not as strong as they were last month.
Clinton Commissioner of Finance, Tom Edmunds has a theory as to why...
Car lots across central Illinois are very sparse on inventory as the car industry joins the numerous sectors trying to recover from COVID.
Time is running out to get vouchers for the annual city-wide cleanup.
Tim Followell, City Administrator for the City of Clinton indicates this is the last week to take advantage of those.
In other news for clean-up efforts, Followell noted this week on the WHOW Morning Show, another round of electronic recycling could be offered by the City this fall as they are targeting early October.
If you are planning to hunt this fall, DNR officials are reminding to make sure you get those hunter safety courses taken care of.
DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson says the courses this year are returning to in-person. You can take an online course but he cautions there may be an in-person component you will have to complete.
dnr.illinois.gov is the website with a list of hunter safety course locations and times.
THE STATE'S TOP PUBLIC HEALTH DOCTOR SAYS WE ARE NOW IN A PANDEMIC OF THE UNVACCINATED.
WITH COVID CASES INCREASING, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NGOZI (en-gahzi) EZIKE (eh-zee-kay) SAYS IT'S UP TO EVERYONE TO DO THEIR PART.
THOSE AT MOST RISK OF THE VIRUS RIGHT NOW ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T GOTTEN THEIR SHOTS.
ACCORDING TO THE C-D-C, MORE THAN 73 PERCENT OF ILLINOIS ADULTS HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE DOSE OF THE VACCINE AND OVER 58 PERCENT ARE FULLY VACCINATED.
27 people were shot in 8 hours in Chicago Wednesday and on Thursday the US Attorney General was in the city to talk about a federal strike force to help address gun violence.
Governor JB Pritzker says he welcomes the Attorney General and recently talked to the White House about what is needed to help quell the violence in Chicago and other cities in Illinois. But is the National Guard needed?
Pritzker says the Illinois State Police have been and continue to be ready to work with the Chicago Police Department.
The weather of summer is here. Hot and humid conditions will persist into the weekend and next week. State Climatologist Trent Ford tells us more...
Clinton has lost another veteran and a local advocacy group is asking the community to help honor him during the Saturday funeral procession to Hallsville.
Jeff Morlock has been coordinating the efforts to line the streets of funeral processions with American Flags as well as lining the streets in support. 95-year-old Bud Steward passed away July 6 at St. Clara's Manor in Lincoln and services are this Saturday.
Services will be at 2:30 PM at Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton with Ernie Harvey, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at McClimans Cemetery, Hallsville, IL with Military Honors. Visitation will be 12:30 – 2:30 PM, Saturday at the funeral home.
There will be an honoring for Stewart during his funeral procession to the Hallsville cemetery, and Morlock is asking if you are available to come out with flags along the route at approximately 3 pm Saturday. The route will be from Calvert Funeral Home west on Jefferson, turn left or south on Grant, to Van Buren, turn right, to Baums, turn right onto Rt 10 to the Hallsville Cemetery.
Veterans can meet at the cemetery entrance at 3 pm Saturday and place flags at the entrance before the procession arrives.
Steward was a WWII Veteran serving in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division. He was a patriarch in agriculture by becoming a partner in the Hallsville Elevator to keep grain elevators owned locally.
Steward was committed to farming starting in 1949 and continuing for 47 years. He then was “part-time” help and mentor to two sons and a grandson who carried on the family tradition.
He loved to travel, whether it was in his fifth wheel or to his second home in Ft. Myers, FL. He was an avid storyteller that didn’t know a stranger so he made friends wherever he went.
Steward was also an expert gardener and was known for his delicious watermelons. Loy’s greatest love was spending time with his family that loved him immensely.
Memorials may be directed to the Clinton American Legion or the Clinton AmVets.
The trends in boating accidents are shifting.
For many, hearing the term 'boating accident' conjures up images of bigger, motor-powered watercraft but DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday indicated to Regional Radio News as recreation activities like kayaking and canoeing become more popular, that is where most of the fatalities and emergency response incidents are going.
With so much rain in the last month in central Illinois, water in streams and creeks is elevated beyond a safe level. Capt. Williamson indicates this is causing a lot of problems for kayakers.
Capt. Williamson points out not only can getting on a body of water you're either unfamiliar with or has elevated water levels be dangerous to yourself, but you could be endangering anyone who might be trying to help and emergency responders.
There is a national coalition seeking to come up with answers as the challenge is introducing people to the activities of canoeing or kayaking. Capt. Williamson says anyone of any level needs to be aware of the flood stages of these bodies of water because you just don't know what you'll encounter.
Capt. Williamson encourages visiting usgs.com for the latest in water levels and other information for area waterways near you. He calls it a great resource for all boaters.
Left-leaning political pundits have dubbed the Texas voting bill as suppression of voter rights for women and minorities but a central Illinois Congressman says the bill is anything but.
Congressman Rodney Davis says the Texas voting bill, which resulted in Texas state lawmakers leaving the state to deny the legislature a quorum so a vote could not be taken, expands access for voting in the State of Texas.
The Taylorville Republican is disappointed in the Texas Democrats that left to prevent state business from getting done. He believes lawmakers need to state their case and then allow for the vote.
Congressman Davis does not believe the bills are racist or sexist in any way. He points to a Congressman Burgess Owens who has been outspoken against the idea African-Americans cannot get an identification.
Vice President Kamala Harris also recently commented on the ability of rural Americans to confirm their identity for mail-in voting because of a lack of access to office supply stores where they can have their identifications scanned and faxed. Congressman Davis believes these are just excuses to dismiss needing an ID to vote.
Many right-leaning pundits point to the need for identification to do things like pick up event tickets at will-call or get a COVID vaccine and question why showing identification to vote is racist and sexist.
NEARLY TWO THOUSAND CASES OF COVID-19 WERE REPORTED TODAY (THURSDAY) IN ILLINOIS, THE HIGHEST ONE DAY TOTAL SINCE EARLY MAY.
THE LATEST DAILY TOTAL IS ONE-THOUSAND-993 AND SIX ADDITIONAL DEATHS. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THEY ARE CAREFULLY WATCHING THE NUMBERS.
HE SAYS MORE PEOPLE NEED TO GET VACCINATED.
AS FAR AS VARIANTS GO, THERE HAVE BEEN OVER FIVE TIMES AS MANY CASES OF THE NEW GAMMA STRAIN THAN THE DELTA VARIANT IN ILLINOIS
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW EXPANDING ACCESS TO TELEHEALTHCARE IN ILLINOIS.
THE MEASURE BUILDS UPON THE UTILIZATION OF TELEHEALTH SERVICES DURING THE PANDEMIC, ENSURING MORE PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE SAYS SENATOR NAPOLEAN HARRIS OF HARVEY.
THIS IS LANDMARK LEGISLATION SAYS THE GOVERNOR, BUILDING ON EFFORTS LAUNCHED DURING THE PANDEMIC TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE COULD STILL GET MEDICAL CARE.
THE TELEHEALTH LAW TAKES EFFECT IMMEDIATELY.
A NEW STATE LAW INCREASES ACCESS TO BIRTH CONTROL BY LETTING PHARMACISTS ISSUE IT OVER THE COUNTER.
UNTIL NOW, TOO MANY WOMEN HAVE STRUGGLED TO GET THE PILL SAYS BILL SPONSOR, SENATOR MELINDA BUSH OF GRAYSLAKE.
NO LONGER WILL WOMEN HAVE TO TRY AND FIT IN AN APPOINTMENT WITH A DOCTOR TO GET A PRESCRIPTION SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.
THE NEW LAW TAKES EFFECT JANUARY FIRST, LETTING SPECIALLY TRAINED PHARMACISTS COUNSEL CUSTOMERS ON THEIR BEST OPTIONS FOR BIRTH CONTROL AND THEN DISPENSE THE MEDICATION WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION.
The DeWitt County Board approved a controversial motion that is likely to receive pushback from Enel Green Power to cease issuing building permits until proof is shown the wind turbines can be curtailed during severe weather events.
Megan Myers offered the motion to the Board at the end of the regular monthly meeting Thursday night. Concerned Enel has not shown they can meet the standards of the special use permit, Myers offered a resolution to stop any further issuances of building permits until the company provides more proof of curtailment of the wind turbines during severe weather events.
Board Chair Terry Ferguson referenced during his Land Use Committee report a meeting he and acting Zoning Administrator DeeDee Rentmeister had with Brayten McGee with Enel. Ferguson offered McGee a 2-week window for a better solution to the problem.
That response from Ferguson did not sit well with other board members who pushed back. Buck Carter and Aaron Kammeyer believe this is the County holding the company accountable for its agreement.
But Dave Newberg and Jay Wickenhauser pushed back on the motion contending a vote on a motion not on the agenda could not happen and they did not receive council from the State's Attorney, who was not present Thursday.
The motion passed 6-4 Thursday night with Myers, Kammeyer, Carter, Nate Ennis, Melonie Tilley, and Jamie Prestegaard voting for the motion while Newberg, Wickenhauser, Ferguson, and Dan Matthews voted 'no'.
Regional Radio News has sought comment from Enel Green Power regarding the Thursday decision.
The annual YMCA Strong Kids campaign has shifted to a summer kick-off after last year's fundraiser was delayed due to the COVID pandemic.
Starting in August, donors to the campaign in the past will be approached about supporting the YMCA again this year through its biggest fundraiser, the Strong Kids Campaign. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Executive Director Rennie Cluver told Regional Radio News the Y does not receive taxpayer funds and only infinitesimal funding from the government.
According to Cluver, the YMCA sets out to raise $100,000 each year. He explains that dollar figure nearly supplements the entirety of the scholarships they award each year to kids and families.
Cluver says the YMCA can secure grants in addition to its streams of revenue through other smaller fundraisers, membership fees, and other special programming.
Cluver indicates, if you have a program that is near to you and would like to financially support that program, he encourages when you donate to make sure and point that out and any donations will go to that program.
To get more information about the YMCA or to contribute online, visit clintoncommymca.org.
The DeWitt County Farm Bureau has a new manager.
Grace Clark was recently named to the post. The Clinton High School graduate has an extensive history of involvement in agriculture-centered programs growing up.
Clark says being the Manager of the Farm Bureau is a dream job for her. She believes the programs she participated in the past have helped prepare her for this role.
Randy Toohill is the President of the DeWitt County Farm Bureau Board and credits Clark's familiarity with the Board and the community. He is encouraged by Clark's aspirations to be a Farm Bureau Manager one day.
Visit dewittcountyfarmbureau.com for more on the Farm Bureau and the many activities they have coming up.
It can happen suddenly or it can be something that was expected but it is never easy when the parent of a child passes and while it may be one of the last things you think about, Social Security has some reassurances for families in these circumstances.
In addition to being emotionally painful, the loss of a loved one can be financially devastating as well. Jack Myers with Social Security says they can help the financial aspect through its survivor benefits for children.
According to Myers, you must have worked and paid enough into Social Security for your children to qualify for this benefit. He says for those who do financial planning, knowing what those benefits are can be a great help.
To learn if you have, create a mySocialSecurity account at www.socialsecurity.gov, and look at your Social Security Statement. Social Security hopes your family doesn’t need it, but knowing what they’ll qualify for if something happens to you should be part of your financial planning.
An Illinois Congressman tabbed to help investigate the deadly capitol insurrection said he's disappointed in House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi after the Speaker rejected two of the five Republicans House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tapped for the panel.
On Tuesday, Speaker Pelosi announced she was vetoing the appointments of Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, due to both being allies of former President Donald Trump. In return, Minority Leader McCarty announced he would pull the rest of his members, including Rep. Rodney Davis, and create his own panel to investigate the insurrection. Representative Davis joined Minority Leader McCarty at a press conference on Tuesday.
The Taylorville Republican said even though Speaker Pelosi attempted to veto the Republican members of the committee, he still has questions.
DeWitt County TRIAD has been known for its activity in the community targeting seniors and the challenges they face.
A staple of that outreach has been their annual 'Senior Academy' seminars held during the summer months. Connie Unruh with DeWitt County TRIAD indicates those are returning this summer at the First Christian Church in Clinton starting Thursday, August 5.
Speakers and presenters are local and while they are still getting things finalized, Unruh says the potential experts they have coming will definitely provide local seniors with a great wealth of applicable information.
According to Unruh, the venue of the academies has shifted to First Christian Church in Clinton simply for more space. While registration is not required, there will be sign-ins taken in case something goes array in terms of COVID.
Again, the senior academies kick off Thursday, August 5, and will be the next two consecutive Thursdays from 9:30-11:30 am.
A recent study by Wirepoints found that Illinois spending on education grew the most in the country between 2007-2019 yet student learning remained flat.
A central Illinois state lawmaker indicates education spending in Illinois is very complex but one of the biggest problems is, according to State Sen. Chapin Rose, there is so much money wrapped up in administration and not funding going into the classrooms.
According to Sen. Rose, he has found himself in hot water in recent years suggesting administrative costs could be reduced by reducing the number of administrators in a district, something many school leaders are hesitant to agree to. Despite that, he does focus on the top-heavy trend in schools.
Another challenge of education in Illinois, and the Mahomet Republican points out he's tried to address this before through legislation, is to clean up the number of students in a building that could likely close but those students would have to go a longer distance to attend school in the opposite direction.
Last week, Sen. Rose advocated for local control when it comes to schools and COVID policies for the fall. He points out, if he's for local control in that circumstance, he needs to be for local control in this circumstance, admitting it is quite complicated.
In 2019, Illinois spent $16,227 per student. Across all 50 states, Illinois ranked 12th in total per-student spending and 8th when cost-of-living is factored in. Illinois’ National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math and reading scores have remained virtually flat over the 2007-2019 period.
THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE IS STRESSING SAFETY WHEN CHILDREN ARE NEAR WATER THIS SUMMER.
ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN RED CROSS, 69 PERCENT OF YOUNG CHILDREN WHO WERE FOUND DROWNED OR SUBMERGED IN SWIMMING POOLS WEREN’T EXPECTED TO BE IN OR AT THE POOL. FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ SAYS THAT’S WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO KIDS WHEN THEY ARE NEAR WATER. ADDITIONALLY…
FULTZ SAYS KIDS SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO STAY AWAY FROM ANY POOL DRAINS AND THAT DRAIN COVERS SHOULD MEET FEDERAL SAFETY STANDARDS.
FULTZ SAYS POOLS SHOULD HAVE A FENCE AROUND THEM WITH A SELF-CLOSING, SELF-LATCHING GATE AND DRAIN COVERS SHOULD MEET FEDERAL SAFETY STANDARDS. SMALL INFLATABLE POOLS SHOULD BE EMPTIED AT THE END OF THE DAY.
Rivian Automotive and its electric SUV made a cameo today (Tuesday) during the Blue Origin space launch with Jeff Bezos on board. Bezos and the three other flight passengers rode in the SUV to the spacecraft.
Rivian is producing its electric vehicles along with delivery vans for Amazon at its manufacturing plant in Normal. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says Rivian has become a national talking point.
Rivian has hired about 2,000 people at its plant in Central Illinois.
Inching closer to the Illinois State Fair and that means the sculpting of the state fair butter cow is underway. Kendra Anderson is with the Midwest Dairy Association.
The butter cow will be unveiled on Aug. 11.
The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage during the summer months. Red Cross spokesperson Drew Brown says many people have stepped up, but they need more donations.
Right now, the Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet current demand. Brown says in most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. You can find an appointment locally by going to RedCrossBlood.org.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS CALLING ON CONGRESS TO REPAY THE ILLINOIS NATIONAL GUARD FOR ITS MISSION IN D-C EARLIER THIS YEAR.
GUARD UNITS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ASSISTED WITH SECURITY AFTER THE JANUARY SIXTH RIOTS AT THE U-S CAPITOL, BUT STILL HAVEN’T BEEN REIMBURSED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. ILLINOIS ADJUTANT GENERAL MAJOR GENERAL RICHARD NEELY SAID LAST WEEK THAT THEY ARE OWED 31 MILLION DOLLARS, LEAVING A BIG FUNDING SHORTFALL.
THE SHORTFALL WILL AFFECT OPERATIONS AND GUARD MEMBER PAYCHECKS SAYS ILLINOIS ADJUTANT GENERAL MAJOR GENERAL RICHARD NEELY.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS CONGRESS NEEDS TO ACT WITH URGENCY TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE NATIONAL GUARD.
Drought conditions continue to impact the northern top of Illinois. An update from meteorologist John Baranick with DTN.
Areas of the top tier of Illinois range from abnormally dry to extreme drought.
Every three years, funding through the Affordable Care Act requires an assessment given to the community to prioritize public health concerns. Angie Stoltzenburg with the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Foundation in Logan County on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday told Regional Radio News, their latest community assessment just wrapped up.
The priorities out of the assessment were obesity, youth mental health, and substance abuse. According to Stoltzenburg, those do not vary much from the previous assessment.
Stoltzenburg believes in years past, the initiatives they have been able to take on have shown to be positive. She indicates they have focused on initiatives in the schools targeting programs promoting health and wellness.
Stoltzenburg notes the Foundation will now work to plan for the next three years. You can find the Community Health Collaborative on Facebook by visiting facebook.com/almhchc.
School is just around the corner and a local entrepreneurship program is opening up its programs for students to join.
The Central Illinois and Sangamon Valley CEO programs are readying for this upcoming year by both facilitators say they would like to see more students join the program. Lisa Shephard facilitates the Sangamon Valley program that has students from Monticello, Bement, Cerro Gordo, and Argenta-Oreana. She is encouraging anyone interested to swiftly inquire with their school principals in the next week or two.
Shephard's group is slightly smaller than Melanie Brown's group, which leads the Central Illinois CEO includes Clinton, Blue Ridge, Maroa-Forsyth, and Warrensburg-Latham. While she still has a strong number, she too is encouraging interested students to join.
Brown also encourages students who may have heard about the program but are not sure if it is the right fit, to consider at least applying and hearing more about it. She believes it is a program worth pursuing but if it isn't for them, at least they know instead of wondering 'what if' later.
Recruiting efforts for the program have been strained in the last year and a half thanks to COVID. Mirroring what the Central Illinois CEO Program is doing, Shephard indicates they are also offering a bring a junior to class day each month.
You can visit centralillinoisceo.com or sangamonvalleyceo.com for more information. Both facilitators say it is a good resource for parents or students to look into.
ABOVE-AVERAGE RAINFALL DOMINATED RECENT DAYS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS RECEIVED THE MOST RAIN, AND NORTHERN ILLINOIS THE LEAST, BUT TOTALS WERE STILL HIGHER THAN NORMAL. STATE CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 66 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE NOW BLOOMING.
NINE PERCENT OF CORN IS IN THE DOUGH STAGE WITH 65 PERCENT OF THE CROP RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.
THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NOW 87 PERCENT COMPLETE AND AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AS ONE PERCENT VERY SHORT, SEVEN PERCENT SHORT, 69 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 23 PERCENT SURPLUS.
A NEW STUDY OUT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA CHAMPAIGN FINDS THAT 2020 WAS A DEADLIER YEAR THAN THE PREVIOUS FIVE, EVEN WITHOUT COVID-19 NUMBERS.
THE VIRUS WAS ONE OF THE LEADING CAUSES OF DEATH LAST YEAR, BUT U OF I COMPUTER SCIENCE PROFESSOR SHELDON JACOBSON SAYS THEY FOUND NUMBERS GREW FOR OTHER DEATHS AS WELL.
AND WHILE THOSE 65 AND OLDER WERE MOST VULNERABLE DURING THE PANDEMIC, JACOBSON SAYS MALES BETWEEN THE AGES OF 15 AND 64 WERE HIT THE HARDEST BY OTHER CAUSES OF DEATH IN 2020.
HE SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT TO REVIEW THESE FIGURES TO ADDRESS ADDITIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH NEEDS THAT AROSE DURING THE PANDEMIC AND HOW THEY CAN BE BETTER TREATED IN THE FUTURE.
The State of Illinois ranks 8th in a study of the most dangerous states for distracted driving. Leo Waldenback is a researcher for Zutobi (Zoo-Toe-Bee), the driver's safety company that conducted the study...
Numbers for the study were culled from state reporting of accidents to the National Highway Transportation Bureau among other sources. In 2019 151 people in Illinois died in accidents attributed to distracted driving.
THE STATE BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION IS RELEASING UPDATED COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR COLLEGES THIS FALL.
THE GOAL IS TO MAKE IT A SAFE TRANSITION BACK TO CLASS BY MAINTAINING SEVERAL PROTOCOLS SAYS BOARD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GINGER OSTRO.
OSTRO SAYS THEY'D LIKE TO SEE EVERYONE GET THEIR SHOTS.
IT'S RECOMMENDED THAT STUDENTS AND FACULTY WHO ARE NOT VACCINATED WEAR A MASK INSIDE AND ALSO OUTSIDE FOR CROWDED EVENTS.
OSTRO SAYS THEY ARE ENCOURAGING SCHOOLS TO MANDATE THE VACCINE. MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLEGE GUIDELINES IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: IBHE DOT ORG.
It’s official. JB Pritzker’s running for Governor again.
The first-term Democrat launched his reelection campaign on Monday. Taking to social media with a campaign video.
Currently three Republicans have said they are running for their party’s nomination. State Senator Darren Bailey, businessman Gary Rabine and former State Senator Paul Schimpf.
It looks like a mostly dry weather pattern for much of Illinois this week. David Cousins is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities.
There will be scattered shower opportunities in portions of northern Illinois this week, but mainly dry in central and southern Illinois with some rain chances during the weekend.
A concerned resident who neighbors a blighted property in Clinton was before the Clinton City Council Monday night hoping for answers regarding a home on North Quincy Street in Clinton.
Jim Moberly addressed the Council last month about the property and this month was seeking an update.
City Administrator Tim Followell admitted things are moving slowly and what the end result will be is in question but he assured Moberly the City was taking action to do something about the property.
Clinton Commissioner of Public Safety Dan Ballenger pointed out he spent last Wednesday evening browsing other properties of interest and called on residents to take pride in their properties.
Other business from the Monday meeting, the Council approved the contract for the Illini Drive subdivision to Stark Excavating for just over $600,000.
The Clinton Police Department offers a program that gives local residents struggling with drug addiction the ability to turn over those substances and corresponding paraphernalia without criminal charges.
The department has reported only two individuals who had taken advantage of the offer until recently and Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers says they have met that number. He says it has given him a lot of hope that the program can be effective.
According to Chief Lowers, those who struggle with addiction struggle to trust authorities but the Chief hopes anyone ready and willing will step up and seek out the help they can get. He says it is a very short window to help folks find the help they need.
Chief Lowers indicates when an individual has the backing of law enforcement or the judicial system, sometimes that can expedite the process of getting an individual into treatment.
Chief Lowers points out the Police Department does not get that individual connected to treatment but rather they partner with the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition and its many networks.
He also points out, if an individual is not able to come to the police station, they will come to you and get that process started. You can contact the Department's non-emergency line for more information at 217-935-9441.
It wasn't even an hour after talking with Connie Unruh from DeWitt County TRIAD about the growing text scams on Friday afternoon that this broadcaster received a text "requiring your to validate your driver license" for an IDOT waiver.
Perhaps you've received messages like these as well or others from the Secretary of State's office. Unruh says anything unsolicited from a state agency is obviously not legitimate. She says do not click on these links because they are filled with malware that will allow unfiltered access to any information your phone may have.
As fraudulent unemployment claims continue to be a problem, Unruh says imposters are using text messages to capitalize on the attempts of other swindlers. She notes if the Department of Employment Security is going to reach out to you, it is likely going to be through the mail.
Unruh notes people are starting to receive alerts from scammers who are posing as security from their bank. She implores not answering those and if you think a fraudulent charge has been used on your debit or credit card to call the institution.
The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office has a fraud hotline that allows you to talk to a local deputy who can help you navigate potential fraud. You can call 217-935-7867.
While Illinois Republicans have a lawsuit pending challenging the redrawn legislative maps drawn by Illinois Democrats and signed by Gov. JB Pritzker, a central Illinois lawmaker says he plans to move if that challenge is unsuccessful.
State Representative Dan Caulkins contends the maps drawn by Illinois Democrats are unconstitutional because they were constructed without the latest census data that isn't available for another month.
The redrawn map cuts carve out Caulkins district and combine it with a few others. The Decatur Republican says he'll move if the challenge of the maps is unsuccessful. He points out this is permissible because of the redrawn maps.
Rep. Caulkins district goes as far north as Route 9 in McLean County to the east of Bloomington/Normal over to Gibson City and as far south as Mt. Zion. To the west, his district encompasses the DeWitt/Logan County line and to the Piatt/Champaign County line.
WHEN IT COMES TO MASK REQUIREMENTS IN THE CLASSROOM, GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS IT'S IMPORTANT FOR INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO SET THEIR OWN POLICIES.
THE STATE IS FOLLOWING C-D-C GUIDELINES. RECOMMENDING THAT STUDENTS AND STAFF WHO HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED STILL WEAR A MASK. BUT THE GOVERNOR REMINDS IT'S NOT A MANDATE.
IT'S RECOMMENDED THAT STUDENTS AND TEACHERS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED CONTINUE TO WEAR A MASK INDOORS. BUT THAT'S NOT A HARD AND FAST RULE SAYS THE GOVERNOR.
THE GOVERNOR SAYS DISTRICTS HAVE THE ABILITY TO MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS BASED ON THE COVID-19 RISK IN THAT AREA.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO PLANS TO REINSTATE MASK REQUIREMENTS IN ILLINOIS.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY IS ONCE AGAIN REQUIRING MASKS INDOORS AND LAS VEGAS IS RECOMMENDING VISITORS THERE DO THE SAME WHETHER THEY ARE VACCINATED OR NOT. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE'S NOT LOOKING TO IMPLEMENT A MANDATE AS OF NOW.
THE GOVERNOR REMINDS THAT THE VIRUS HAS PROVEN VERY UNPREDICTABLE SO THINGS COULD CHANGE IN THE FUTURE, ESPECIALLY IN THE AREAS THAT ARE SEEING THE LARGEST INCREASE IN CASES.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE DOES RECOMMEND WEARING A MASK INDOORS AT LARGE PUBLIC GATHERINGS, OR AT LEAST HAVE ONE WITH YOU. HE URGES ILLINOISANS TO DO WHAT THEY FEEL IS BEST IN A PARTICULAR SITUATION AND TO GET VACCINATED IF THEY HAVEN'T ALREADY.
Drug overdose deaths were up dramatically last year, and most of that is attributable to the pandemic. The state of Illinois saw more than a 27% increase in deaths. A member of the OSF HealthCare staff says that while the numbers may be shocking, for some they weren’t surprising.
With many factors contributing to mental health issues last year like isolation and economic issues, experts say many people turned to drugs as a coping mechanism. Cheryl Crowe, vice president of behavioral health for OSF says at one-time prescription painkillers were the focus of the overdose epidemic, but now they are seeing a variety of substances.
The CDC data suggests fentanyl was involved in more than 60% of overdose deaths last year. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance abuse disorder, reaching out to a Behavioral Health Navigator can get you connected to those who can help.
A group of youths from around the country will be in Lincoln later this month to provide a week's worth of work to help the city.
On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, Lincoln Mayor Tracy Welch told Regional Radio News they will welcome students from Work Camp for Life who will be helping with miscellaneous projects around the city the week of July 25-31.
The Mayor says he does not know yet what or where in the community the kids will be targeting but looks forward to any help they can provide in improving the town.
It was a wet finish to the week but a beautiful weekend will lead us into a seasonable week in central Illinois. State climatologist Trent Ford has the details.
THREE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS IN COMMUNITY GRANTS ARE BEING AWARDED TO HELP CURB SUMMER VIOLENCE IN ILLINOIS.
THE GRANTS WILL FUND 21 LOCAL YOUTH PROGRAMS THROUGH THE END OF SEPTEMBER SAYS THE ILLINOIS CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION AUTHORITY'S CHRISTIAN PERRY.
THE GOAL IS TO KEEP KIDS OFF THE STREETS SAYS PERRY.
THE GRANTS ARE AWARDED THROUGH THE STATE'S RESTORE, REINVEST AND RENEW PROGRAM, WHICH IS FUNDED BY THE SALE OF ADULT-USE CANNABIS IN ILLINOIS. AWARDEES INCLUDE GROUPS IN CHICAGO, CHAMPAIGN, DECATUR, SPRINGFIELD, EAST SAINT LOUIS, AURORA AND JOLIET.
Clinton School's this week approved a mask-optional policy for kids going back to school but there is more work ahead for school leaders before kids return in a month.
Superintendent Curt Nettles addressed things like quarantine policies and how to handle scenarios of what if there were a certain amount of cases in the school - would a mask requirement come back under that circumstance.
The targeted first day of class for students is August 18.
A central Illinois lawmaker is calling on Governor JB Pritzker to allow local school districts the autonomy to make their own decisions regarding COVID policies with the 2021-22 school year starting next month.
Despite murky guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health, districts across the state have already started taking control of their policies as many implement a mask-optional back-to-school plan. State Senator Chapin Rose is calling on the Governor to allow these local boards to be in charge of their policies.
The Mahomet Republican contends teachers who want a vaccine can get one and have for some time. With such a low risk of this virus to kids, Sen. Rose believes all students should be able to go back to school without a mask if that is the decision of their families.
According to Sen. Rose, there remains confusion in the guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education. He believes the Governor is either going to have to side with ISBE or the families of Illinois.
Central Illinois and Chicago suburban school districts have begun the momentum of establishing mask-optional policies for when kids go back in August.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS HE SPOKE THIS WEEK WITH PRESIDENT BIDEN ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE IN ILLINOIS.
WHILE IN D-C, THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE STRESSED THAT THE STATE IS FULLY ENGAGED AND WORKING WITH FEDERAL AUTHORITIES TO FIGHT GUN TRAFFICKING AND ILLEGAL SALES IN CHICAGO AND OTHER PARTS OF THE STATE.
ILLINOIS HOUSE REPUBLICANS HELD THEIR OWN PRESS CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE, SAYING RECENT LAWS TARGETING LAW ENFORCEMENT ARE REDUCING PUBLIC SAFETY. HOUSE G-O-P LEADER JIM DURKIN:
DURKIN SAYS THE CURRENT JUSTICE SYSTEM IN ILLINOIS PRIORITIZES DEFENDANTS OVER VICTIMS.
Ticket sales have been steady for the grandstand acts at the Illinois State Fair next month. An update from State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon.
Other grandstand acts feature Kane Brown Aug. 13, Toby Keith Aug. 15, Chris Young Aug. 17 and Brett Young Aug. 20.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE IS SENDING OUT THOUSANDS OF TAX REFUNDS TO PEOPLE WHO RECEIVED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.
A PROVISION OF THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT MEANS QUITE A FEW TAXPAYERS WILL BE RECEIVING THE AUTOMATIC REFUND SAYS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE SPOKESPERSON MAURA KOWNACKI (kuh-nacky).
KOWNACKI (kuh-nacky) SAYS NO ACTION IS NEEDED.
THE STATE WILL BE NOTIFYING AN ESTIMATED 33-HUNDRED TAXPAYERS WHO FILED PAPER RETURNS THAT THEY WILL NEED TO SUBMIT AN AMENDED RETURN TO GET THE REFUND.
ILLINOIS IS NOW THE FIRST STATE IN THE NATION TO BAN POLICE FROM USING DECEPTION WHEN INTERROGATING YOUNG PEOPLE.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A PACKAGE OF NEW REFORM LAWS, IN HOPES OF PROTECTING THOSE MOST VULNERABLE IN ILLINOIS’ JUSTICE SYSTEM.
THE NEW LAW IS PART OF A PACKAGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS THAT REPRESENTATIVE JUSTIN SLAUGHTER OF CHICAGO SAYS HAVE BEEN A LONG TIME COMING.
THE OTHER LAWS SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR PROVIDE MORE PROTECTIONS FOR THOSE PARTICIPATING IN RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PROGRAMS AND CREATE A RESENTENCING TASK FORCE TO STUDY WAYS TO REDUCE ILLINOIS’ PRISON POPULATION.
A week ago the President was in Northern Illinois and this week the Governor is in Washington DC.
JB Pritzker joined other Mayors and Governors at the White House for a meeting with Joe Biden on an infrastructure plan. Pritzker, just outside of the White House, says he’ll do all he can to help Biden muster the support to pass the plan that could send billions of dollars to Illinois for construction projects.
A skinny $900 billion bill focused on physical infrastructure currently has the most bi-partisan backing in Washington.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING THREE UPCOMING LOTTERIES FOR MARIJUANA DISPENSARY LICENSES.
ONE LOTTERY WILL BE HELD LATE THIS MONTH AND THEN TWO MORE IN AUGUST, GIVING APPLICANTS A SHOT AT BEING ABLE TO SELL ADULT-USE RECREATIONAL CANNABIS. THE GOVERNOR ALSO SIGNED A NEW LAW, DESIGNED TO DIVERSIFY THE GROWING INDUSTRY.
THE LAW ALSO AUTHORIZES SOME COMMUNITY COLLEGES TO OFFER A "CAREER IN CANNABIS" CERTIFICATE.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS IN ADDITION TO THE LOTTERIES, NOTICES ARE GOING OUT TO THOSE ELIGIBLE FOR CRAFT GROWER, INFUSER AND TRANSPORTATION LICENSES.
Summertime is concert and festival season, so that means more opportunities for scammers.
The Better Business Bureau is calling on you to be careful when making plans to attend these events, saying that with COVID-19 restrictions easing up, many people are looking forward to fun festivals this summer. As usual, scammers are finding ways to take advantage of the building excitement. BBB Investigator Don O'Brien says before buying tickets for these events, do your research.
Before buying festival tickets of any kind online, the agency suggests you check out the businesses involved, research the event, organizer, and ticket vendor, watch out for deals that appear to be too good to be true, and protect your purchase by knowing the festival or ticket vendor's refund and exchange policies.
Ameren Illinois has negotiated a tariff agreement with the Illinois Commerce Commission to expand access for electric vehicle charging stations across Ameren's electric grid in the state. Mike Abba is a spokesman for Ameren Illinois and explains what the tariff entails...
The agreement between Ameren and the state of Illinois will expand EV charging station installations along major corridors and create incentives for customers to charge electric vehicles during times when an increase in electricity usage won't affect the electrical grid. The incentives are intended to encourage more people to switch from gas to electric and customers with electric vehicles can begin to apply for the incentives this fall.
The Cuban people have hit the streets in the name of freedom and a central Illinois Congressman is disappointed in the President's response to the happenings in the Caribbean.
Congressman Rodney Davis stands with the people of Cuba in their pursuit of freedom and if it comes to it, hopes for an appropriate response from the United States in freeing our neighbors to the south.
The Taylorville Republican is calling on the Biden administration to take a stand against the Cuban government and if necessary intervene.
Davis says he's been unfortunately disappointed in the Biden administration's response to the Cuban people's protests and calls it 'weak'.
Congressman Davis doubts if Russian or Chinese soldiers were to end up in Cuba it would be too late but hopes the Biden administration would take a stand sooner than that.
A child abuse advocacy group is reporting an increase in child abuse cases in DeWitt County.
Samantha Stevenson is the Director for Development with the Child Protection Network and says in their three-county area, DeWitt and McLean Counties are seeing increases in child abuse cases.
From this time last year, active child abuse cases in central Illinois are down however, there are over 4,400 pending cases, which Stevenson pointed out on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday would take the case total past 10,000.
According to Stevenson, she is hearing from judges in the area there is a shortage of workers to get in front of these children for assessments which are clogging up the judicial system's ability to process every child efficiently.
Stevenson notes Livingston County saw a decrease in abuse cases and speculates that could be due to reports that have yet to be followed up on due to the worker shortages. She also believes it could be due to the mobility of families during the summer.
There's still time to check out this year's quilt show at the DeWitt County Museum and CH Moore Homestead.
Director Joey Long indicates with the Homestead opening delayed this year because of COVID, they decided to still move forward with their annual show but a month later from its time of June.
Long enjoys the variety each quilt show offers and indicates you'll never see the same display of quilts. She feels that is what makes the show fun year after year.
Long reminds those planning to come to the Homestead they are still requiring masks. She explains this is simply due to the fact they have so many people from all corners of the state coming to their building.
Again, you can catch this year's quilt show until the end of the month. Visit chmoorehomestead.org to check out the rebranded logo for the Homestead and to learn more. You can also find them on Facebook.
Monticello is turning the tragic death of Officer Chris Oberheim and turning it into something positive for the community.
Officer Oberheim was a staple in the Monticello community, especially when it came to girl's softball. Callie McFarland is the Director of Community Development for the City of Monticello and indicates his passion for softball is why it is a perfect fit they are re-naming their 30-acres of property 'Oberheim Park'. She reminds the community hopes to become recreation fields.
Renaming the park has energized the effort to turn the 30 acres into recreational fields. According to McFarland, the City of Monticello is dedicating $500,000 to the cause to get things re-started.
McFarland on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday indicated to Regional Radio, the Library District has property adjacent to the 30 acres and they are going to contribute some of that land to the recreation fields. She is very encouraged by everything that has happened surrounding this area of Monticello and hopes to see it continue going forward.
At the end of May, legislators in Springfield were able to preserve the biodiesel sales tax exemption, in what the top leader of the soybean association says will help farmers all across the state.
Senior Director of Government Relations for the Illinois Soybean Association Mike Levin said the tax exemption exempts about 13 cents a gallon on diesel fuel when blended with 11% biodiesel.
Levin added that the biodiesel industry has grown from 20 million gallons in 2003 to more than 200 million gallons in 2021. According to Levin, the industry supports 2,000 jobs in Illinois.
Harvest season is just around the corner, and according to the top leader of the Corn Growers Association, a fire in Northern Illinois this past June is going to hurt farmers all across the state.
Rodney Weinzierl, executive director of the Illinois Corn Growers Association said the Chemtool plant produced around 50% of the nation's grease for farm machinery.
To add on top of the grease shortage, the nation is facing a chip shortage that is forcing production of farming machinery to a standstill.
AMTRAK IS RESUMING FULL-SERVICE NEXT WEEK.
STARTING MONDAY, THE RAILS ARE BACK IN BUSINESS SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL.
WAPPEL SAYS THERE WILL BE FIVE DAILY TRIPS BETWEEN CHICAGO AND SAINT LOUIS.
TICKETS CAN BE PURCHASED ONLINE AT AMTRAK DOT COM SLASH MIDWEST.
Clinton community members have been working this summer to start up a community watch program.
On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Police Chief Ben Lowers applauded the efforts of community members to make our community safer. He says the program is essentially a coordinated effort of residents being good neighbors to one another.
According to the Chief, this is not a new concept to the city but in recent years, enthusiasm and interest in the program have fallen off. Thanks to recent thefts of neighborhood bikes and the continuing motor vehicle thefts, residents are coming together to revive this program.
Chief Lowers indicates it can be beneficial for a neighborhood watch group to pop up in several parts of the community but overall he says it all comes to a message he has given time after time and that is this all comes down to being a good neighbor and knowing your neighbors.
Chief Lowers says if you are interested in starting a neighborhood watch program with your neighbors, you can contact the police non-emergency line at 217-935-9441. One of his officers would be willing to walk through the program's relationship with police and what everyone can do to make neighborhoods safer.
The biennial distribution of community impact funding from the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois was recently announced and a dozen DeWitt County non-profits are this year's recipients.
Ryan Huffer is the Director of Marketing for the United Way and on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday told Regional Radio News they were able to fund nine repeat agencies and three new non-profits.
Other recipients of this year's funding include Encore Development Services and Girl Scouts. According to Huffer, new recipients of funding include The Vault, Macon County CASA, and the Neighborhood Care Center.
Before the United Way distributes the funding, they have all these groups do a presentation before a volunteer panel. Huffer says one of the things they like to hear about is the impact the funding is having on the community through the agency receiving it.
With this round of funding wrapped up, Huffer looks forward to a normal year of fundraising in preparation for the process to start again in 2023.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY IS ANNOUNCING AN EIGHT MILLION DOLLAR EXPANSION OF THE STATE’S APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM.
THE EFFORT AIMS TO CREATE HUNDREDS OF NEW APPRENTICE POSITIONS ACROSS THE STATE, FOCUSING ON INDUSTRIES HEAVILY IMPACTED BY THE PANDEMIC. WHILE YOU MAY THINK OF APPRENTICESHIPS MAINLY IN THE TRADES, D-C-E-O DEPUTY DIRECTOR JULIO RODRIQUEZ SAYS THEY CAN ALSO BE A STEPPING STONE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT, HOSPITALITY AND RESTAURANT INDUSTRIES.
RODRIGUEZ SAYS THESE POSITIONS CAN BE ESPECIALLY BENEFICIAL FOR LOW-WAGE EARNERS.
COMMUNITY WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT GROUPS ARE URGED TO APPLY FOR FUNDING ONLINE AT: APPRENTICESHIP ILLINOIS DOT COM.
A NEW STATE LAW CRACKS DOWN ON WAGE THEFT IN ILLINOIS.
THE LAW INCREASES THE DAMAGES EMPLOYERS ARE ASSESSED IF THEY HAVEN’T PAID WORKERS FAIRLY FROM TWO TO FIVE PERCENT OF THE AMOUNT OF MONTHLY UNDERPAYMENT SAYS STATE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ASSISTANT DIRECTOR JASON KELLER.
KELLER SAYS THE INCREASE WAS NEEDED TO FURTHER DETER BUSINESSES FROM NOT PAYING WORKERS PROPERLY.
THIS COULD BE NOT PAYING EMPLOYEES MINIMUM WAGE OR NOT COMPENSATING FOR OVERTIME. THE LAW TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY.
As school districts wait for more clarity on policies for COVID going into the 2021-22 school year, Clinton Schools passed a mask-optional policy Tuesday night at a special meeting of the Board of Education.
Those in attendance that chose to address the Board spoke in overwhelming support of a mask-optional policy. Jenny Haycraft-Rudat (pictured right) offered her thoughts on the harms of the masks in schools.
Jamie Holland (pictured left) offered thoughts on the quarantine restrictions that kept many students out multiple weeks out of the school year. She is imploring the Board to discontinue the quarantine of students.
Superintendent Curt Nettles recommended to the Board of Education they approve a mask-optional policy for all students and teachers. He emphasizes this is only the foundation of the back-to-school policy but believes it is a starting point and will ease the concerns of many.
While Nettles and the Board of Education would like to end quarantine measures, he would not commit to that Tuesday night citing the desire for more information and perhaps a better policy to move forward with but at the same time did not take the possibility off the table.
Board President Dan Matthews pointed to the flip-flop of policies in other parts of the country and committed to have as normal of a school year as possible.
The Board unanimously approved the back-to-school plan with a mask-optional provision. At the adjournment of the meeting, perhaps the biggest crowd to a School Board meeting in over a decade offered the board a round of applause.
Tenants in the service area for Community Action are encouraged to apply for funding to pay off any rent owed to their landlords.
The window is short and closing fast but Breann Titus with Community Action indicates they can help tenants navigate this process that must be complete by Friday.
According to Titus, who is Community Action's Director of Agency Development, the process this time around needs to be initiated by the tenant. That is different from the first round when landlords activated the process.
The challenge for this process, and Titus points out they incurred this in the first round of applications, if one party is unwilling to participate, that all but ends the process. She points out, Community Action can be a mediator in those situations if the tenant/landlord relationship is strained.
Tenants can contact Community Action by contacting their Lincoln at 217-732-2159. You can also stop into their Lincoln office at 1800 5th Street in Lincoln for further assistance. Titus indicates they can help anyone navigate the application portal and make sure all the paperwork is correctly filed.
The deadline for the application is Sunday, July 18 but because Community Action is closed on Saturday and Sunday, those need to be complete by the close of business on Friday.
Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis is co-sponsoring a bill with bi-partisan support that supports local journalism. The Local Journalism Sustainability Act seeks to support the efforts of local newspapers, radio stations and media through a series of tax credits that promote subscriptions, advertising, and the hiring of local journalists.
Davis says the bill is especially needed in a time with such partisan national news media.
The proposed tax credits are intended to encourage Americans to subscribe to local publications, help those publications retain and compensate journalists a livable wage, and provide businesses with advertising dollars. The bill was introduced by Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona and Dan Newhouse from Washington.
USDA tweaked crop estimates every which way Monday ahead of the all-important Aug. 12 crop production report. The commodity market reacted with double-digit gains at the Chicago Board of Trade. AgriVisor’s Karl Setzer speaking after Monday’s close.
The Aug. 12 USDA report provides the first survey-based estimates of the season for corn and soybeans.
The US Senate is getting back to work on a nationwide infrastructure bill this week.
A somewhat bipartisan bill is expected to be pushed hard this week in Washington DC. It’s a pared down bill that doesn’t have total backing from all Democrats or Republicans. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin says the test for the smaller, $900 billion plan will be simple math. And if there aren’t 60 votes for the infrastructure plan then the path forward gets a little more difficult.
Durbin says many other votes are being planned for this month on broadband expansion and day care funding.
THE CONDITION OF ILLINOIS CORN AND SOYBEAN CROPS HAVE DECLINED A BIT AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
IT WAS A LITTLE COOLER AND WETTER THIS PAST WEEK, AND 48 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE NOW BLOOMING SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
50 PERCENT OF CORN IS SILKING, WHICH COMPARES TO 45 FOR THE FIVE-YEAR AVERAGE SAYS SCHLEUSENER.
95 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED AND THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 79 PERCENT COMPLETE.
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AS FIVE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 16 PERCENT SHORT, 60 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 19 PERCENT SURPLUS.
If you're wondering when Ameren Illinois will replace the purplish mercury vapor lights and orange sodium lights in your neighborhood, don't worry. The crews will get around to it.
For the most part, they're installing energy-efficient LED lamps gradually--one by one as the old lights burn out. Spokesman Brian Bretsch says sometimes, the utility company does an entire street or highway in one shot.
Some cities own at least some of their street lights. It's up to them to decide what to replace them with and when, but they're usually going with LED's these days.
The State of Illinois released guidance for school districts this fall in Illinois but a local State Representative is calling on the Governor to allow local districts to make their own decisions.
On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, State Representative Dan Caulkins told Regional Radio News the mandates the Governor put in place follow CDC guidance but believes local school boards should have control over those decisions.
There are a number of issues Rep. Caulkins has with the latest guidance from the CDC and corresponding guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and State Board of Education. Among his grievances is the mask mandate for students and teachers.
The Decatur Republican believes not only do these latest edicts demonstrate why people need to be more proactive in their involvement with school boards, but the last year should be a good indicator of the importance of this public entity.
Rep. Caulkins is sending a letter to the Governor today asking the Governor to allow local control for the upcoming school year, something school leaders have been asking for throughout the summer.
He also points out there is always the possibility the Governor could change his guidance later this summer, closer to the school year.
The first joint 4-H for three local counties was held this past weekend in Clinton.
Lindsey Burden, DeWitt County 4-H Extension Coordinator, indicated the fair kicked off on Friday evening with tractor driving and the Ag Olympics. General project judging and livestock shows were held Saturday and Sunday, and the auction will close out the fair tonight.
DeWitt County 4-H exhibitor Morgan Drozs completed 20 different projects for this year's fair. She says 4-H is not just about agriculture and encourages anyone interested to consider joining a club.
Cole Young participated in the swine show. He says this was just one of several shows he will be showing across the country this year.
Miranda Reedy, leader of Cisco Clovers club in Piatt County, indicated her club received a grant from Farm Credit to build bleachers for the poultry barn. She says the bleachers were put to good use at this year's fair as poultry entries increased.
The DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties 4-H fair concludes today with the cattle show at 8 am and the DeWitt County 4-H Foundation auction at 7 pm.
The Atlanta Tourism Bureau is readying for a busy weekend.
Director of the Atlanta Tourism Bureau Whitney Ortiz indicates BMW and Jeep enthusiasts will want to put Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18 on their calendars for a pair of drive-in car shows. Things kick off with the 'beamer' show on Saturday then the Jeep show on Sunday.
If you're a classic car enthusiast, you can get your weekend started early when Atlanta will welcome a host of classic cars coming in from Pontiac Wednesday morning.
If you've never been to Atlanta, Ortiz indicates there is plenty to do, see, and plenty of good places to grab a bite to eat.
For the latest in all things Atlanta, Illinois, Ortiz encourages finding them on Facebook. She emphasizes finding the Atlanta, Illinois tourism bureau. She has been very encouraged by the success of its events so far this summer.
Depending on where you are in Illinois, June was either a very wet month or a very dry month.
Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates there were areas in central Illinois that ended up being very wet thanks to nearly a foot of rain over the last weekend of the month, but there were areas in southern Illinois that ended below normal for moisture.
Temperatures in June held true to the patterns of 2021 so far. Miller says we saw some very warm days and we saw some very cool days but it was still considered warm. This has been a pattern we've been in for most of the spring and summer in central Illinois.
According to Miller, July will be more of the same with up-and-down temperatures and precipitation that will vary depending on where you're at in Illinois.
Miller says you can the latest in weather data for our area by visiting weather.gov/lincoln.
Central Illinois residents will be disappointed to learn today a great honor for local veterans that takes them to the nation's capitol for a day is not going to happen again 2021.
The Land of Lincoln Honor Flight announced all remaining 2021 flights from Springfield have been cancelled.
This difficult decision was made after careful analysis of the extensive protocols issued by the National Honor Flight organization for resuming 2021 flights as well as the public access/gathering and COVID-19 restrictions currently in place at many of the Washington DC venues and the airports as well as on the aircraft and buses.
Areas of concern include COVID pre-screening of all passengers and volunteers, face covering requirements which would result in veterans and guardians being masked for multiple hours continuously during the day, COVID testing of non- or partially-vaccinated passengers and quarantine requirements for that group upon return.
Joan Bortolon, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight President, issued a statement indicating the decision was made after an exhaustive review and analysis of all of the factors involved in our ability to take a flight this year. Based on the current protocols and restrictions, they believe the Honor Flight will not be able to provide Veterans the full flight experience in a safe, healthy and comfortable manner. Veterans deserve the best and they don’t want to fly just because they can
She hopes to resume flights in 2022.
As a result of the flight cancellations caused by the pandemic, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has recently developed a Flightless Honor Flight option for any World War II, Korean War Era or Vietnam War Era Veterans who anticipate that they may not be physically able to withstand the rigors of an actual Honor Flight when flights resume in 2022.
Veterans who believe they might qualify for this option should contact LLHF as soon as possible for additional information. LLHF can be reached by calling 217-473-2540, 217-585-1219 or 217-652-4719 or by email at JMB4604@aol.com.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS ADOPTING SCHOOL COVID-19 PREVENTION GUIDANCE PUT OUT BY THE C-D-C FRIDAY.
UNDER THE GUIDANCE, TEACHERS AND STUDENTS WHO ARE FULLY VACCINATED DO NOT HAVE TO WEAR A MASK, BUT IT'S RECOMMEND THAT THOSE WHO AREN'T, CONTINUE WEARING A MASK INDOORS. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS HE'S PLEASED THE INFORMATION HAS BEEN PUT OUT.
THERE'S ALSO RECOMMENDATIONS ABOUT CONTINUED DISINFECTION, QUARANTINE, TESTING AND FREQUENT HANDWASHING SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.
THE C-D-C ALSO RECOMMENDS THAT STUDENTS IN THE CLASSROOM ARE SPACED THREE FEET APART AND THAT DISINFECTION, HANDWASHING, SCREENING TESTING AND OTHER MEASURES CONTINUE.
When complete, the Alta Farms II wind project will continue to provide local property owners with an additional revenue source on their farmland and will benefit local entities like the school district through property taxes, but the manager of the project is touting the economic benefits of the construction of the project.
Brayten McGee is the manager of the wind farm construction in the northwest corner of DeWitt County and indicates right now there are nearly 150 workers on the job and that number is expected to double. He says that is a very big impact on the local economy.
McGee hopes anyone in the community or area with questions or concerns about the project will reach out. You can visit enelgreenpower.com/altafarms or call McGee at 888-519-6043.
It will be wet this weekend and perhaps even next week. State Climatologist Trent Ford gives us the latest...
ILLINOIS IS NOW THE FIRST STATE IN THE COUNTRY TO REQUIRE ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORY BE TAUGHT IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
GOVENROR J-B PRITZKER SIGNED THE BILL INTO LAW, WHICH WILL BE IN EFFECT FOR THE 2022-2023 SCHOOL YEAR.
REPRESENTATIVE JENNIFER GONG-GERSHOWITZ OF GLENVIEW WHO SAYS THE PAINFUL PAST SHOULD NOT BE GLOSSED OVER.
THE GOVERNOR SAYS CURRICULUM WILL ALSO COVER THE TRADITIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE ASIAN AMERICAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER COMMUNITIES. THE UNIT WILL BE REQUIRED IN ALL PUBLIC ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOLS.
THE NEXT DRAWING FOR THE STATE'S VACCINE LOTTERY WILL BE HELD MONDAY.
IN THE SECOND DRAWING, THREE PRIZES OF 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS WILL BE AWARDED FROM A STATEWIDE POOL OF ADULTS. THAT WILL HAPPEN EACH MONDAY THROUGH AUGUST 16TH SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.
PRITZKER SAYS THE PROMOTION IS GOING WELL SO FAR.
THE STATE WILL CHECK THE VACCINE ROLLS A WEEK PRIOR TO SEE WHO IS ELIGIBLE AND A GRAND FINALE DRAWING WILL BE HELD AUGUST 26TH. MORE THAN 72 PERCENT OF ILLINOIS ADULTS HAVE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE DOSE OF THE VACCINE AND 57 PERCENT ARE NOW FULLY VACCINATED.
TEENS CAN NOW GET THEIR WORK PERMIT REMOTELY UNDER A NEW STATE LAW.
THE REMOTE OPTION WAS OFFERED DURING THE PANDEMIC AND NOW THE NEW LAW MAKES IT PERMANENT SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR SPOKESPERSON PAUL CICCHINI (chick-kini).
CICCHINI (chick-kini) SAYS IT STREAMLINES THE PROCESS.
CICCHINI SAYS ALL TEENS UNDER 16 NEED A STATE PERMIT TO WORK AND CERTAIN RULES ARE IN PLACE ABOUT THE HOURS THEY CAN SPEND ON THE JOB.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES IS URGING NEW HUNTERS TO GET THEIR LICENSE AND APPLY EARLY FOR UPCOMING HUNTING SEASONS.
WHILE D-N-R IS SWITCHING TO A NEW SYSTEM, SPOKESPERSON RACHEL TORBERT SAYS THOSE WHO PLAN TO HUNT IN THE COMING MONTHS SHOULD GET THEIR LICENSE NOW. SHE EXPLAINS WHY.
TORBERT SAYS ONCE YOU GET THAT CUSTOMER NUMBER YOU CAN APPLY FOR PERMITS FOR HUNTING SEASONS LIKE DOVE, UPLAND GAME AND BOBCAT.
A LIST OF SEASONS AND APPLICATION DATES IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT: DNR DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.
THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS INSTALLING HIGHWAY SIGNS TO INDICATE WHERE ALTERNATIVE FUEL IS AVAILABLE.
MORE THAN 30 SIGNS HAVE BEEN POSTED STATEWIDE ALONG HIGHWAYS LIKE I-55, 70, 90 AND 80, LETTING DRIVERS KNOW WHERE THEY CAN FUEL UP SAYS I-DOT SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL.
ADDITIONAL SIGNS WILL BE POSTED LATER NEAR EXIT RAMPS PROVIDING MORE DIRECTION. THEY WILL FIRST FOCUS ON ELECTRIC CHARGING BUT WILL LATER INCLUDE INFORMATION ON OTHER ALTERNATIVE FUELS LIKE HYDROGEN AND NATURAL GAS.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER HAS SET A GOAL OF HAVING ONE MILLION ELECTRIC VEHICLES ON THE ROAD IN ILLINOIS BY 2030.
It may not be a record number but a local entity is reporting an increase in participation in a yearly activity.
The Warner Library's summer reading club is reporting roughly 400 participants in this year's Summer Reading Club. Children's Librarian Corey Campbell is very grateful for the response to this year's program.
There's still plenty of time left to participate in the summer reading club. Campbell says it is great to see people starting to return to the library but notes you don't have to attend the library regularly to participate in the program.
The summer reading club is always a great way for kids to keep those skills sharp while they are away from the classroom. Campbell reiterates the summer slide is very real and if kids do not work on those skills, they will fall behind during the summer.
The summer reading club wraps ups July 31 with a concluding event outside at the library. Campbell views it as a culmination of the summer and looks forward to having everyone together. Between now and then, there's still plenty to enjoy at the library.
You can get signed up for the summer reading club by visiting them at 310 North Quincy Street in Clinton. You can also learn more by visiting vwarner.org or finding the Warner Library on Facebook.
ILLINOIS CONSERVATION POLICE HAVE AN ONLINE PROGRAM FOR THE PUBLIC TO REPORT SUSPECTED POACHING.
IT'S CALLED "TARGET ILLINOIS POACHERS" AND MAKES IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO FILE REPORTS ABOUT ILLEGAL HUNTING SAYS CONSERVATION POLICE SERGEANT STUART FRASER. YOU CAN START BY VISITING THE WEBSITE: DNR DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV AND CLICKING ON "REPORT AN INCIDENT.
FRASER SAYS SIGNS OF POACHING INCLUDE PEOPLE HUNTING AT NIGHT OR NOT DURING THE APPROPRIATE SEASON AND TAKING ENDANGERED WILDLIFE.
AGAIN THAT WEBSITE IS: DNR DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.
Researchers have found that small business startups during the COVID pandemic grew by almost 25-percent from 2019.
As more people look to create their own success through owning their own businesses, the Social Security Administration is reminding business owners to keep them in mind. Jack Myers indicates those who enjoy the independence of owning their own business, know that they have additional financial responsibilities when reporting their taxes. Part of this includes paying into Social Security. Self-employed people must do all those actions themselves including paying both the employee and employer’s share of Social Security taxes.
According to Myers, small business owners report these earnings to Social Security when they file their federal tax returns. If they have net earnings of $400 or more, they must report on a Schedule SE in addition to other forms they must file. Eligibility for Social Security benefits is based on paying into the system. In 2021, net earnings of $5,880 or more earn you your yearly maximum of 4 credits. Ultimately, you need 40 credits for eligibility for retirement benefits, and we use your 35 best years to calculate your benefits.
Additionally, couples often run businesses together. Sometimes they think filing a joint tax return is enough for both to get credit for the earnings, but Myers notes while this is enough to satisfy income tax requirements, you should consider whether or not it is appropriate to split the earnings for Social Security purposes. Each person’s share of the profits should be reported on a separate Schedule SE if each person wants to earn future eligibility for Social Security benefits.
Learn more by visiting our website www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs and looking for If You Are Self Employed.
Road work on the Alta Farms II wind project should wrap up this week and foundations will begin being poured through July.
That will proceed components for the wind turbines that will start to come to DeWitt County in mid-August according to Enel Green Power's Brayten McGee who was on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday.
Mid-August is the expected arrival of the components for the wind turbines. McGee says the larger turbines' components will arrive first.
The project has encountered significant rainfall since the start of the project but according to McGee, it really isn't slowing the progress of the project too greatly.
McGee points out they continue to promote safety on the worksite. He adds they have loosened some COVID restrictions but they are still taking temperatures of their workers and doing health surveys before they enter the site.
If you were hoping for a reprieve from the humidity, you're not going to like the message the National Weather Service has today.
Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln indicates thanks to the abundance of moisture in the ground, Illinois crops are going to have plenty of moisture to draw from and make the air very humid.
According to Miller, extreme heat is going to stay to the far west, however, he says that doesn't mean things won't be warm here. He indicates forecasts are calling for temperatures in the 80s even 90s most of the month.
For some, the question is just how far will those rains from the last weekend of June take us in terms of moisture levels. Miller's answer is simple - it should last us a good amount.
Miller mentioned yesterday on Regional Radio News, we could be in store for more flash flooding this weekend with a storm system weather experts are keeping close tabs on with the potential of an inch-and-a-half to two inches of rain coming in some places this weekend.
President Joe Biden visited Illinois for the first time since being elected on Wednesday. Biden was in northern Illinois and stopped in Crystal Lake to tout proposed federal spending as part of his “Build back Better” plan including a big boost in tax credits for working families.
Biden made the pitch in one of the few areas in Chicagoland that went for Donald Trump.
A NEW EXHIBIT AT THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR THIS YEAR WILL HIGHLIGHT THE HISTORY OF ROUTE 66.
STATE FAIR MANAGER KEVIN GORDON SAYS THE ROUTE 66 EXPERIENCE IS A MULTI-YEAR PROJECT, WITH THE FIRST PHASE OPENING DURING THE FAIR NEXT MONTH. IT'S BEING SET UP INSIDE GATE TWO AND WILL OFFER VISITORS A CHANCE TO WALK THE ICONIC MOTHER ROAD FROM CHICAGO TO THE CHAIN OF ROCKS BRIDGE, WITH STORIES ABOUT HISTORICAL ATTRACTIONS AND BUSINESSES ALONG THE WAY.
THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR IS THE ONLY ONE IN THE COUNTRY THAT SITS ON ROUTE 66, SO IT'S THE PERFECT LOCATION TO SHOWCASE THE MOTHER ROAD SAYS FAIR MANAGER KEVIN GORDON.
THE ILLINOIS STATE FAIR RUNS AUGUST 12TH THROUGH THE 22ND IN SPRINGFIELD.
As the President stopped in Illinois the Governor was excited to hear about plans for a big infrastructure bill. JB Pritzker says the state is in a good spot with Rebuild Illinois to make the most of federal spending.
Joe Biden stopped in Chicago and in Crystal Lake on Wednesday.
THE FIRST DRAWING FOR THE STATE'S COVID-19 VACCINE LOTTERY WILL BE HELD THURSDAY/TODAY.
THE INITIAL PRIZE IN THE "ALL IN FOR THE WIN" PROMOTION IS ONE MILLION DOLLARS. COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS WORTH 150 THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH WILL ALSO BE AWARDED TO THREE LUCKY TEENS. WINNERS WILL BE PICKED FROM THE POOL OF ILLINOISANS WHO RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE DOSE OF THE VACCINE BY JULY FIRST. EARLIER THIS WEEK GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER MADE ANOTHER PLEA FOR PEOPLE TO GET THE SHOT.
THE "ALL IN FOR THE WIN" PROMOTION RUNS THROUGH THE END OF AUGUST SO THERE IS STILL TIME TO GET A SHOT AND BE ENTERED INTO FUTURE DRAWINGS. EARLIER THIS WEEK, GOVERNOR PRITZKER URGED THE PUBLIC TO DO JUST THAT.
THE GOVERNOR SAYS WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH EITHER VIA PHONE, EMAIL OR BOTH. DRAWINGS WILL BE HELD THROUGH THE END OF AUGUST SO THERE IS STILL TIME TO ENTER BY GETTING VACCINATED. VISIT: ALL IN DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV FOR MORE DETAILS.
The county fair season continues to roll along in Illinois. It’s good to be back in-person says University of Illinois Extension Educator Duane Friend. He’s out attending the Morgan County Fair In Jacksonville this week.
Both the Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs will also be in-person events this summer.
Richland Community College's Clinton Higher Education Center will be fully reopened for the fall semester.
Rachel Brewer, RCC's Clinton campus manager, says they will be fully reopened for the fall semester with dual credit, GED, and non-credit course offerings available.
CHS seniors can enroll in up to four dual credit classes offered at the Clinton campus. Upon completion, they will be awarded high school and college credit.
In addition to classes, the Clinton Higher Education Center is available to rent for business meetings. Brewer notes they can also schedule safety training for employers.
For more information, call (217) 935-6791, or visit richland.edu/clinton.
A Piatt County non-profit aimed at victims of domestic violence is announcing the acquisition of property in downtown Monticello that may just transform its mission.
Rachel LeJune is the Executive Director of Willow Tree Missions in Monticello and told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday they have acquired a building in downtown Monticello that is going to expand its retail store and also allow for housing of victims of domestic violence situations.
LeJune explains Willow Tree Missions has been in existence since 2007. They seek to not only help and assist victims of domestic violence but have begun to take a proactive role in the community on raising awareness around domestic violence and that it isn't just an issue facing adults.
According to LeJune, the building in downtown Monticello will need a lot of work before it becomes a functional facility for the agency. She is very confident the community will step up and help them meet the challenges it presents because the community has been very supportive of their mission in the past.
LeJune calls the building's availability "a God moment" and is excited that a once very popular place in the community that at one time was going to be a dream fulfilled for a local family will now be an impactful place that touches so many.
LeJune reminds the community Willow Tree Missions is self-funded thanks to the retail shop. Because it is the lifeblood of the organization, the downtown location will be a second location that will also house the community's victims of domestic violence.
You can learn more about Willow Tree Missions by visiting willowtreemissions.org or find them on Facebook.
WINTER WHEAT HARVESTING IS AHEAD OF SCHEDULE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.
THERE WERE ABOUT THREE AND A HALF DAYS SUITABLE FOR FIELDWORK THIS PAST WEEK SAYS CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.
SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT SOYBEANS.
65 PERCENT OF CORN AND 63 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.
AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT THREE PERCENT VERY SHORT, 13 PERCENT SHORT, 67 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND 17 PERCENT SURPLUS.
A rough start to the short trading week. Corn, soybean and wheat futures all ending sharply lower Tuesday at the Chicago Board of Trade. AgriVisor market analyst Karl Setzer speaking just after the close.
Markets were closed Monday due to the extended Fourth of July weekend.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS URGING ILLINOISANS TO DONATE BLOOD IF THEY CAN.
ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN RED CROSS, EVERY TWO SECONDS, SOMEONE IN THE U-S NEEDS BLOOD. THAT’S WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO LEND AN ARM IF POSSIBLE, SAYS THE GOVERNOR.
JOY FIELDS WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS SAYS THE NEED IS GREAT.
YOU CAN LOOK FOR BLOOD DRIVES NEAR YOU ON THE WEBSITE: RED CROSS BLOOD DOT ORG.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS SIGNING A NEW LAW TO INCREASE ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE ACROSS ILLINOIS.
THE LAW BOOSTS THE STATE’S MEDICAID PROGRAM, PROVIDING MORE SUPPORT FOR VETERANS AND THOSE TRYING TO QUIT SMOKING SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER.
CHICAGO REPRESENTATIVE GREG HARRIS EXPLAINS FURTHER:
THE LAW ALSO REQUIRES HOSPITALS TO GIVE ANYONE WHO HAS OVERDOSED ON OPIOIDS IN-PATIENT STATUS AND INCLUDES COVERAGE OF KIDNEY TRANSPLANT MEDICATIONS FOR UNDOCUMENTED ILLINOISANS.
In a quick and quiet meeting, the Clinton City Council Monday night approved the sale of property and also the developer for a subdivision on Illini Drive on the community's south side.
Clinton City Administrator Tim Followell told Regional Radio News in June, the sale of property on East Washington Street to Jesus Soto, Jr. was well over their minimum offer requirement, a good thing for the City and that area of Clinton.
Additionally, the development of property on Illini Drive in the vicinity of Clinton Elementary School and Clinton Junior High School is set for a subdivision. Followell indicates there's already interest in what will be seven parcels for development.
Additionally Monday night, the Council approved playground equipment for Downey Park. Followell says because of shipping times on the equipment, the playground is likely to start being erected in the fall.
After a year off, the Warner Hospital Foundation is looking forward to fundraising for the hospital.
Matt Riley, Warner Hospital Foundation President, indicates the Foundation is currently fundraising for a new EKG machine for the hospital.
Riley says after a year of no fundraising, the Foundation is looking forward to connecting with the community to help the hospital.
Riley states fundraising events are currently being scheduled, one event on the calendar is the annual Swiftly Swine 5K held during the Apple n' Pork weekend.
It will be talked about for years and year, but those late-June rains that dropped anywhere from 7 to 11 inches of moisture in central Illinois was a record-setter in some places.
That's according to Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln, who on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, told Regional Radio News the rain set records in parts of McLean, Logan, and Macon Counties.
Looking ahead to the weekend, Miller indicates they are watching for more flooding possibilities as more rainfall is anticipated Saturday and Saturday night.
According to Miller, with all the rain of the final weekend of June, it will not take much for flash flooding to become a problem again.
Additionally, Miller points out with all the moisture that is in the area, there will be a lot of humidity in the coming weeks and ahead. He says the good news is this is good for Illinois crops.
Miller adds creeks, streams, and ponds in this area were at record levels with damage to area streets. He notes once you get to Interstate 70 and south, they ended up with just a small amount of this rain that ended up hitting the central part of the state.
It was a heartwarming part of the COVID pandemic this time last year - people who found themselves at home, some working some not, were adopting animals so fast shelters found themselves empty.
Now those animals are going back to shelters or adoption groups so fast there is no room for them. If you think that isn't happening locally, Heather Wantland at Second Chance for Pets of DeWitt County says think again. She says they are in "desperate need" of foster homes.
Wantland says part of the desperation of the situation is stemming from those that adopted last year but now are looking to send their dogs back. While frustrating, she is hoping the community will step up and support these animals that have done nothing to end up in the situation they're in.
Once a pet has come into your home, Wantland indicates the work begins to find that pet home. While some may say they couldn't foster because they would just adopt all the animals, she indicates they want the foster parents to be comfortable with the pet's new owner.
Visit secondchanceforpets.com for contact information on adopting through the agency. You can also find them on Facebook and reach out there.
What will school look like next year for K-12 students? Districts are waiting to hear what the State Board of Education will suggest when it comes to COVID protocols. Governor JB Pritzker says his administration is working now to formulate guidelines for the upcoming year.
Pritzker says he wants every child in Illinois in a classroom for the new school year.
The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office will be starting the hiring process for two deputies and get close to fully staffed for the first time in a few years.
DeWitt County Sheriff Mike Walker indicates as he starts this process, he is concerned the pool of candidates will be extremely limited. In fact, he knows it will be limited because other hiring efforts before COVID were already challenging.
Illinois has been one of the most progressive states in rolling back protections towards police officers and the Sheriff believes that is not only turning potential officers off to the profession in Illinois but across the country.
The Sheriff grows concerned when only a few seconds to a few minutes of a very long encounter shapes the narrative of incidents involving police are how the public then perceives police. He does not blame potential officers for being hesitant about getting into law enforcement.
When the Clinton City Council convenes tomorrow night, they will vote to purchase playground equipment for Downey Park.
City Administrator Tim Followell notes while the project was approved before COVID, it must now be reapproved due to price changes.
Followell indicates the product price increased by about $10,000. The quote from Molanda Company is for $101,778 which includes construction as well.
If approved, construction would begin in late September to early October.
The City Council is meeting Tuesday as City Hall was closed on Monday in observance of the 4th of July holiday.
The 'Medium Business of the Year' award went to the Clinton Save-A-Lot last week at the Clinton Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.
Dave Jackson was surprised by the award as he was invited to the expo for the awards presentation at 4:30 pm. Jackson, whose store was one of the few in central Illinois to remain stocked with items that were hard to find, is proud of the job done by his employees through COVID.
Jackson credits his relationships with suppliers and the success of the store as the reasons he was able to continue to keep things stocked throughout the pandemic.
Jackson credits his employees for their hard work during the COVID pandemic and felt compelled to reward them by going above and beyond.
WHOW/WEZC/dewittdailynews.com was the Small Business of the Year and Warner Hospital and Health Services was the Large Business of the Year. Second Chance for Pets was the Non-Profit of the Year.
A Clinton non-profit that has annually provided fun for all on the downtown square is excited about tonight's fireworks display and to bring back its annual celebration.
The Celebrate Clinton Association was unable to execute the annual Fourth of July celebration on Clinton Square however, Edith Brady-Lunny indicates the community was once again instrumental in helping them raise money to still have fireworks this year.
Brady-Lunny hopes the community will keep up with the latest for the organization by finding them on Facebook and finding a way to get involved.
Water levels on many bodies of water across the state are as elevated as they've been and authorities are urging extra caution if you're headed out to recreate for the Fourth of July holiday.
DNR Conservation Police Capt. John Williamson says the usual safety precautions need to be taken like making sure you have enough, appropriately sized life jackets and a sober operator for your watercraft.
According to Capt. Williamson, ramps, and other important pieces of infrastructure have been cleaned up as much as possible. He emphasizes even if you're on private property, rules of the water still apply.
Capt. Williamson says non-powered boats are becoming more popular. Because of that, there continues to be a surge in those watercraft being the source of incidents requiring attention from first responders. He encourages anyone heading out to the water to make sure they are in a familiar place and let someone know where you are going and how long you plan to be out.
THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM IN SPRINGFIELD HAS ACQUIRED AN INTERESTING LETTER WRITTEN BY LINCOLN IN 1854.
THE LETTER WAS IN RESPONSE TO A FRIEND REMINDING LINCOLN THAT SERVING IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE WOULD MAKE HIM INELIGIBLE TO RUN FOR A U-S SENATE SEAT THE FOLLOWING YEAR. LINCOLN WROTE “ACTING ON YOUR ADVICE AND MY OWN JUDGMENT, I HAVE DECLINED ACCEPTING THE OFFICE OF REPRESENTATIVE.” LINCOLN HISTORIAN CHRISTIAN MCWHIRTER SAYS IT CAPTURES THE 16TH PRESIDENT AS THE WHIG PARTY WAS COLLAPSING AND HE WAS CONSIDERING HIS OWN POLITICAL FUTURE.
THE LETTER FINDS LINCOLN DECIDING NOT TO TAKE SEAT IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE AND INDICATES HE WAS TORN OVER REMAINING IN THE WHIG PARTY OR MOVING TO WHAT WOULD BECOME THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. IT’S A GREAT FIND SAYS LIBRARY AND MUSEUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CHRISTINA SHUTT.
THE LETTER WILL BE DISPLAYED IN THE MUSEUM’S TREASURES GALLERY FOR ONE MONTH STARTING WEDNESDAY.
The IHSA hoping to add more officials heading into the new season. The organization’s Craig Anderson says there is a need in all sports.
The new season begins August 9.
At more than 2,000 hours per year per nuclear power plant, regulatory inspections are almost an everyday thing. No shift can be complacent. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says its resident inspectors don’t inspect at predictable times. The NRC’s Ken Riemer says power plant personnel sometimes get a clue about an upcoming inspection when they're asked to provide certain records. But they usually don’t know exactly when the next inspection will be or what it’ll cover.
Riemer says during the pandemic, record keeping was checked remotely when possible and a few inspections were rescheduled, but inspections weren’t cut back. The NRC made public presentations this week about the good safety ratings at the Dresden, Quad Cities, and LaSalle power plants for 2020. It says there was one less than optimal performance finding at the Clinton power station which led to a corrective action plan and more inspections.
THE ILLINOIS STATE FIRE MARSHAL'S OFFICE IS OFFERING SOME TIPS FOR SAFE SUMMER GRILLING.
MORE THAN 10 THOUSAND HOME FIRES ACROSS THE U-S ARE STARTED BY A GRILL EACH YEAR. THAT'S WHY IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO TAKE A FEW PRECAUTIONS SAYS FIRE MARSHAL SPOKESPERSON J-C FULTZ. THAT INCLUDES ONLY USING GAS AND CHARCOAL GRILLS OUTSIDE AND NEVER LEAVING THEM UNATTENDED.
FULTZ SAYS YOU SHOULD ALSO MAKE SURE YOUR GRILL IS CLEAN AND FREE OF BUILT UP GREASE AND WAIT UNTIL CHARCOALS COOL BEFORE DISPOSING OF THEM IN A METAL CONTAINER.
FULTZ SAYS NEARLY 20 THOUSAND PEOPLE VISIT THE EMERGENCY ROOM WITH GRILLING INJURIES EACH YEAR.
Earlier this week, Clinton Lake reopened to recreation enthusiasts and a local DNR official recently outlined the reasons the lake closed as water levels rose but also became somewhat unstable.
DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson says there are a couple of factors when closing the lake, among them is the water levels rising means boats do not have the room to move under bridges along the lake.
The spillway was experiencing a rush of water over the dam. Capt. Williamson is advising caution for those headed to the spillway as levels are still high. Additionally, the trail in that area of Clinton Lake is closed, and Capt. Williamson questions if it will make it through the flooding.
Capt. Williamson has been in central Illinois for a long time and cannot remember if the lake has ever closed because of water levels. He advises being cautious for boaters going under bridges to make sure your boat is going to make it as water levels remain elevated.
With the 4th of July falling on a weekend, the celebration of our country's independence will undoubtedly get rowdy in some places.
With that in mind, DeWitt County Second Chance for Pets is asking pet owners to keep their fury friends in mind. Heather Wantland implores pet owners who know their pets do not like fireworks or loud noises to simply leave pets home and provide background noise to minimize the booms and screeches heard.
Calls for runaway pets precipitously increase during the Fourth of July holiday. Wantland says to make sure your pets are secure somewhere safe because you never know where or whom your pet may end up with if they run away.
Wantland indicates not only do authorities get inundated with calls for lost pets but the Second Chance voice mailbox and Facebook messenger account receive numerous calls seeking help.
Student-athletes across the state can now receive compensation while in school after Gov. Pritzker signed the Endorsement Rights Act into law.
The Endorsement Rights Act grants student-athletes control over their name, image, and likeness or voice for the first time in state history through NIL legislation. University of Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman said the legislation is a "new era."
So far, only six states - Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Texas allow student-athletes to receive compensation for their name, image, and likeness. SB 2338 takes effect on July 1, 2021.
There’s been talk of using digital license plates with built-in GPS tracking to catch carjackers in Chicago.
Dixon Republican St. Rep. Tom Demmer has filed House Bill 4105 to prevent that. He says it's one thing for people to decide on their own to use GPS trackers on their vehicles. It's another altogether to empower the state to monitor everyone's movements.
Demmer says besides the cost of the plates, it may be expensive developing the infrastructure to handle all the data.
The Fourth of July Weekend is upon us and the weather should be absolutely fantastic. Beyond the holiday weekend, what is next? State Climatologist Trent Ford fills us in...
Friday was the last day for someone DeWitt County seniors have gotten to know quite well.
Dianne Cusey is the DeWitt County Friendship Center's Community Care Systems advocate and will be stepping down from her role. Thankful for all the support of the community, she implores the seniors to be prepared for a temporary gap in services.
Cusey indicates now is a good time to step down as there are no special enrollment periods going on. She thanks the community for their support of her and looks forward to the next step in her professional career.
Thursday afternoon at the Clinton Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, the Chamber announced its annual awards.
Second Chance for Pets was the 'Non-Profit of the Year' recipient and Heather Wantland with the DeWitt County non-profit animal rescue agency says it is very humbling the things they are doing are being recognized.
Wantland thanks everyone that has stepped up to support them through financial means and volunteering homes for fostering and many other ways.
While appreciative of the award, Second Chance faces several challenges in the year ahead. We'll hear more from Wantland next week on Regional Radio News.
Events happening this weekend in central Illinois:
>>In Kenney, Table Four 2 and Harmony Grits will perform on Saturday starting with Table for 2 at 4 p.m until 7 p.m followed by Harmony Grits. Come have some cold drinks and listen to hours of live music. A 4th of July Bag will be held and sign up for teams started Thursday. Teams are $10 per person with a 100 % payout for top 3 places, double elimination, teams are welcome and matches start at 2 PM.
>>In Heyworth, the fishing derby and mud volleyball events are canceled. The fishing derby is likely to be rescheduled once the ponds return to normal levels and the fish population is determined to be adequate. We are uncertain of rescheduling mud volleyball at this time and will provide updates once we know the “mud court” direction is set. Fireworks will happen at dusk on the 4th. Plans are to set the fireworks off at Centennial park as usual. The park will be opened only for fireworks with limited access; No one will be allowed in the Park prior to 6 pm. The playground, walking trail, lake, and ball fields will all remain closed due to “safety” issues caused by the Kickapoo Creek flooding into the park.
>>The Warrensburg Sportsman Club will host its annual fireworks display at the club on the 4th.
A staple of the Fourth of July holiday in Piatt County looks like it is going to have picturesque weather for this year.
Saturday afternoon and evening is the annual 'Freedom Fest' in Monticello and Chamber Director Shelly Crawford-Stock indicates there is fun for everyone at this annual event at Lodge Park.
According to Crawford-Stock, there will be food and other vendors on the grounds of Lodge Park and there is plenty of space for families to set up and for kids to run around and have fun.
Crawford-Stock also points out the Monticello Railway Museum will be hosting events this weekend and there are still tickets available for that.
For all things Freedom Fest in Monticello just search 'Freedom Fest Monticello' on Facebook. You can also find the Monticello Railways Museum on Facebook or at mrym.org.
ILLINOIS COMPTROLLER SUSANA MENDOZA SAYS THE STATE IS BEGINNING THE NEW FISCAL YEAR WITH THE LOWEST BILL BACKLOG IN DECADES.
THE CURRENT BACKLOG IS TWO POINT SIX BILLION DOLLARS…DOWN FROM A HIGH OF 16 POINT SEVEN BILLION JUST FOUR YEARS AGO. COMPTROLLER MENDOZA SAYS THIS IS A GREAT WAY TO KICK OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2022.
MENDOZA SAYS IT’S ANOTHER SIGN THAT ILLINOIS IS MAKING A ROARING COMEBACK.
MENDOZA NOTES THIS WAS DONE WITHOUT USING ANY OF THE FEDERAL AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN MONEY COMING TO ILLINOIS.
PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY FROM TICKS THIS SUMMER.
AFTER BEING OUT IN THE WOODS OR GRASSY AREAS IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO CHECK FOR TICKS SAYS UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION ENTOMOLOGY SPECIALIST SARAH HUGHSON. IF YOU FIND ONE, YOU CAN REMOVE IT WITH A PAIR OF TWEEZERS BY GRABBING IT AT THE BASE AND PULLING IT STRAIGHT OUT. YOU SHOULD NOT PINCH IT WITH YOUR FINGERS OR BURN THE TICK.
HUGHSON SAYS PETS SHOULD BE GIVEN THE ONCE OVER AS WELL.
HUGHSON SAYS DOGS SHOULD BE CHECKED AS WELL, ESPECIALLY NEAR THE EARS AND ARMPIT AREAS.
WHOW/WEZC/dewittdailynews.com has won the Chamber of Commerce's Small Business of the Year Award.
At the Thursday Clinton Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, the Chamber did its annual awards ceremony which traditionally is held at the annual meeting in January. Due to COVID, the meeting was virtual this year and the awards were held during the Business Expo instead.
Chamber Board President Josh Shofner congratulated the Clinton radio station and its online news publication along with Save-A-Lot, who won the medium business of the year, and Warner Hospital and Health Services as the large business of the year. Second Chance for Pets was the non-profit of the year.
Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber Marian Brisard was very pleased with the turnout and response from vendors. She felt it was nice to see everyone's faces once again.
Nearly 50 manned booths were set up with lots of giveaways for those that came out. Brisard says the Chamber can now take a breath as the Business Expo wraps up a busy six-week stretch with May Days, the Chamber golf outing last week, and Thursday's Business Expo.
She says it will not be long and they will start to turn their attention to the haunted house which has been given the 'thumbs-up' for this fall.
The DeWitt County 4-H Fair was set to return this past weekend if not for torrential rains that washed out events across the area.
With the rescheduled date for August, 4-H leaders are gearing up for next weekend's 4-H general show that will for the first time, welcome in 4-H-ers from DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. Lindsey Burden on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday indicates they are excited to have the kids back finally.
According to Burden, fully vaccinated individuals will not have to mask but notes there will not be checks of who is vaccinated and who is not.
4-H-ers from Macon and Piatt Counties will be joining DeWitt County 4-H-ers at the DeWitt County Fairgrounds this year and Burden is very excited to have everyone on one campus despite the fact it does create just a little bit more work for them.
Burden emphasizes a lot of work has gone into the 4-H fairgrounds in recent years to accommodate the influx of youth and families on Clinton's north side. Last year was the culmination of the work with a new restroom and wash facility.
A lot of traditional things will continue to happen at the fairgrounds like the concession being opened up serving food throughout the weekend. Additionally, Burden says they have some fun games and activities the kids can participate in during the downtime of the general show.
Again the general show is set for July 9-12 and the horse show has been rescheduled to August 7. A full schedule of the fair can be found at go.illinois.edu/dmp.
Last weekend's heavy rains throughout Illinois highlighted the dangers of flash flooding. John Baranick is a meteorologist with DTN.
Dry conditions should be in play for the Independence Day weekend for most of Illinois with daytime highs in the 80s.
In a little over two weeks, a lot of people will start getting advances on next year’s federal income tax refunds. Ali Braboy (BRAY-boy) with the North Central Illinois Council of Governments says it’s part of the stimulus package. The child tax credit went up and you can get some of it ahead of time.
If you filed a tax return in the last two years and you claimed children on it, you should get the money automatically. Anyone who has to make a change can go to “child tax credit dot gov” to find out how. Also, you should go there if you didn’t file tax returns for the last two years because you didn’t have to.
THE STATE'S CREDIT RATING IS BEING UPGRADED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN 20 YEARS.
GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS PASSING THREE BALANCED BUDGETS IN A ROW, PAYING OFF OLD BILLS AND KEEPING UP WITH PENSION PAYMENTS HELPED MOODY'S INVESTOR'S SERVICE BUMP UP ILLINOIS' RATING.
GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS EFFORTS TO INCREASE FISCAL STABILITY IN ILLINOIS ARE WORKING.
A HIGHER BOND RATING GENERALLY MEANS THE STATE CAN BORROW MONEY AT A LOWER INTEREST RATE, WHICH THE GOVERNOR SAYS ULTIMATELY SAVES THE TAXPAYERS MONEY.
TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY WEEKEND WILL FOCUS ON CATCHING DRUNK DRIVERS.
STATE AND LOCAL POLICE ARE ONCE AGAIN RUNNING THE "DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER" CAMPAIGN SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL.
14 PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS DIED IN CRASHES LAST YEAR OVER THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY. TWO OF THOSE DEATHS INVOLVED AT LEAST ONE DRIVER WHO HAD BEEN DRINKING.
WAPPEL SAYS THE BEST WAY TO STAY SAFE IS TO PLAN AHEAD OF TIME HOW YOU'RE GOING TO GET HOME AFTER CELEBRATING.