Local News

Clinton YMCA Looks Forward to Return of Apple n' Pork Festival

Last year, the Clinton YMCA was among a small handful of community groups to try to make up for the cancellation of the Apple n' Pork Festival and looks forward to the return of the full in-person event this year.

 

Executive Director Rennie Cluver told Regional Radio on the WHOW Morning Show Monday not having an event in 2020 was tough on their finances. He indicates it's going to be an important year of Apple n' Pork because of an upward trend in the Y.

 

 

According to Cluver, the YMCA rarely earmarks the funds from Apple n' Pork for specific purposes. He explains it goes into a general fund that does a variety of things for them and is an immense help in yearly budgeting.

 

 

Budgeting for the upcoming year will begin soon and Cluver indicates after membership dues and program fees, the Y needs to raise around $150,000 a year.

 

 

Cluver indicates the Y does in two days of fundraising what would take several other events throughout the course of the year. He also enjoys seeing everyone that supports the YMCA throughout the course of the year and makes a point to stop by its booth on the Homestead grounds.

 

 

Cluver indicates one thing the Y will have to deal with, like many other local non-profits, is sharing volunteers who will be doing work for other groups on the grounds of the homestead and in other parts of the community. 

 

The YMCA will be serving pork cutlet sandwiches again in 2021. 

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Clinton Sales Taxes Continue Positive Trajectory; Clinton City Council Talks Apple n' Pork

The Clinton City Council Monday heard more positive reports regarding the latest sales tax figures.

 

Clinton Commissioner of Finance Tom Edmonds says the latest report shows taxes are nearly $200,000 ahead of this time last year.

 

 

Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements, Ken Buchanan reminded residents Center Street will be closed from the railroad tracks at the old Save A Lot location to Woodlawn and Business 51. 

 

 

Commissioner John Wise indicated the Illinois EPA did an inspection of the water treatment plant and points out there were minimal improvements pointed out.

 

 

The Council approved bids for building lots for $25,000 and out lots for $2,000. One bid for a building lot was withdrawn and another bid for $1,000 on the out lot was rejected. 

 

Last month, Steve Lobb informed the Council of a grant opportunity to improve a stretch of the sidewalk by Lincoln School in Clinton. The Council approved moving forward on the financial commitment portion of that opportunity.

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Weekly Crop Report

IT WAS A WARM WEEK WITH PLENTY OF TIME IN THE FIELDS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

 

THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE THIS PAST WEEK WAS MORE THAN 73 DEGREES THAT'S SEVEN DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. BELOW AVERAGE RAIN LEFT NEARLY ALL SEVEN DAYS AVAILABLE FOR FIELDWORK. CROP STATISTICIAN STEVE PARN SAYS 72 PERCENT OF CORN IS NOW MATURE.

 

 

PARN LOOKS AT SOYBEANS.

 

 

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STANDS AT 11 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 27 PERCENT SHORT, 61 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND ONE PERCENT SURPLUS.

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This is National Farm Safety, Health Week

THIS IS NATIONAL FARM SAFETY AND HEALTH WEEK.

 

THE WEEK KICKS OFF WITH A MESSAGE TO THE PUBLIC SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPOKESPERSON KRISTA LISSER.

 

 

LISSER SAYS FARMERS NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THEIR OWN HEALTH NEEDS AS WELL.

 

 

THE STATE RECENTLY LAUNCHED AN EFFORT TO INCREASE MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVES FOR FARMERS STATEWIDE. LISSER SAYS THE PUBLIC MUST DO ITS PART, BY SLOWING DOWN AND GIVING LARGE FARM EQUIPMENT ON THE ROADS PLENTY OF ROOM.

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October Could Bring Frost to Corn Belt

It’s been a warm September for much of the Corn Belt, but that’s about to change when the calendar turns to October says Mike McClellan with Mobile Weather in Washington, Illinois.

 

 

The first day of astronomical fall is Wednesday.

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Large Animal Rescue Training for Rural Responders

First responder and farmer training being promoted as part of National Farm Safety and Health Week. Dave Newcomb is with the Illinois Fire Service Institute. He offers things like grain bin extrication and tractor rollover training. Newcomb also provides livestock animal rescue training.

 

 

Newcomb partners with many county farm bureaus throughout the state to offer training for first responders and farmers.

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Gov. Pritzker Gives Update on Vaccine Mandate

HERE'S AN UPDATE ON COVID-19 VACCINATION MANDATES FOR CERTAIN ILLINOIS WORKERS. 

 

UNDER GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER'S ORDERS, ALL PRE-K THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS AND STAFF, COLLEGE STUDENTS AND STAFF AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE RECEIVED THEIR FIRST DOSE OF THE VACCINE BY THIS PAST SUNDAY, AND BE FULLY VACCIANTED WITHIN A MONTH. HE WAS ASKED TODAY (MONDAY) IF THIS MANDATE WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE CURRENT WORKER SHORTAGE.

 

 

HE'S HOPEFUL PEOPLE WILL COMPLY.

 

 

WORKERS IN THIS CATEGORY WHO DO NOT GET VACCINATED MUST SUBMIT TO ROUTINE TESTING. AS FOR STATE EMPLOYEES STAFFING PRISONS, VETERANS HOMES, NURSING HOMES AND THE LIKE, THEY NOW HAVE UNTIL NOVEMBER 18 TO GET FULLY VACCINATED.

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53rd Apple n' Pork Festival to Look, Feel Normal

The 53rd edition of the Apple n' Pork Festival returns this weekend to a full in-person event.

 

Last year's Festival was a drive-thru ham and bean meal with a few other groups doing scaled-down events as well. Director of the CH Moore Homestead, Joey Woolridge explains the annual festival is a fundraiser for the upkeep of the Homestead and Museum.

 

 

According to Woolridge, each year, the funds raised from the Apple n' Pork Festival would go to restoring a room in the house. With so many rooms, it took a lot of festivals to restore the whole house. This year, the funds will help in the house's ongoing painting project.

 

 

As the festival grew, Clinton and DeWitt County non-profits began to join in on the festival with a portion of their proceeds going back to the Homestead.

 

 

Most of your food favorites will be back again this year along with musical entertainment provided by Exelon. The flea market returns and trams are planning to be running again in 2021. 

 

Get more information by finding the Apple n' Pork Festival on Facebook. 

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New 4-H Year Underway

A new 4-H is currently underway with lots of activities in DeWitt County. 

 

Lindsey Burden, DeWitt County 4-H Extension Coordinator, indicates while the 4-H year officially began on September 1 it is not too late to join. She advises those interested to visit a club meeting to see what 4-H is all about.

 

 

Burden says there are many benefits from being involved in 4-H from learning public speaking and leadership skills to mastering projects in an area that interests them. She notes 4-H has expanded programming in recent years and has more of something for everyone.

 

 

Burden adds in addition to being involved in a 4-H club there are also special interest clubs for those interested in hunting or wanting to learn archery or shooting.

 

 

For more information on 4-H call the DeWitt County Extension office at (217) 935-5764.

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DNR Discusses Hunting Season Prep

The deer hunting season is just around the corner and as local hunters get set to make their way out again this year, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources official is reminding hunters to get out and check that tree stand.

 

It's among a host of yearly safety reminders from Capt. John Williamson. He says before you head out, make sure you give your spot a visit and check on the tree stand, make sure it is stable and straps or chains are in good shape.

 

 

Capt. Williamson encourages hunters to check in with landowners for permission to hunt on the property. He says this is a good practice to make sure the land is still that person's or you may find out they have acquired additional land for you to hunt on.

 

 

Capt. Williamson says to make sure everything is current with your deer tags and FOID card. He also reminds, as the deer hunting season kicks into high gear, deer activity on roadways will increase. He is encouraging motorists to be on the lookout for an increase in deer activity. 

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Sen. Durbin Supporting Milley

US Senator Dick Durbin says he fully backs the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley when it comes to his conversations with the Chinese government during the Trump Administration. Durbin says Milley had a duty to protect the American people and lived up to it.

 

 

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Monmouth College To Host Even on Health of Constitution

There’s been plenty of debate about the Constitution on social media these days, but an Illinois school is taking it to the lecture hall. Monmouth College is presenting a program called the “Health of the Constitution”. The session is open to the general public and discussion will center around two of the more contentious constitutional issues of the day - abortion rights and COVID mandates says political science professor Andre Audette.

 

 

The “Health of the Constitution” program will be presented Tuesday (Sept. 21) at 7 p.m. at Monmouth College’s Poling Hall.

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National Farm Safety, Health Week This Week

National Farm Safety and Health Week is underway.

 

 

That’s David Newcomb. He serves as agriculture program manager for the Illinois Fire Service Institute.

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Illinois FFA Chapters Look Forward to In-Person National Convention

Many Illinois FFA chapters heading to the National FFA convention next month. The Seneca FFA group is a finalist for Premier Chapter in the Strengthening Agriculture category. Levi Meyerhoffer is a Seneca FFA member, and his dad is the advisor.

 

 

Jeff Meyerhoffer has been an FFA adviser at Seneca for 33 years. The National FFA Convention is Oct. 27 to 30 in Indianapolis.

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Illinois Department of Employment Security Offices Now Open Statewide

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY OFFICES ACROSS THE STATE ARE REOPENING. 

 

AS OF MONDAY, ALL 18 OFFICES, CALLED AMERICAN JOB CENTERS, WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC BY APPOINTMENT SAYS I-D-E-S DIRECTOR KRISTIN RICHARDS.

 

 

RICHARDS SAYS THEY CAN PROVIDE IN-PERSON SUPPORT TO THOSE LOOKING TO REJOIN THE WORKFORCE.

 

 

TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, CALL THE I-D-E-S HOTLINE AT: 217-558-0401. YOU CAN ALSO START YOUR OWN JOB SEARCH AND FIND OTHER RESOURCES ONLINE AT: ILLINOIS JOB LINK DOT COM.

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Sen. Turner Promoting Health Fair in Lincoln

Central Illinois seniors are encouraged to put Saturday, September 25 on the calendar for a health fair in Logan County.

 

Sen. Sally Turner is helping put on a senior health fair at the Oasis Senior Center in Lincoln. She says from 9 am to noon, there will be free screenings and health information.

 

 

State Rep. Tim Butler will also be part of the event helping sponsor it. The Oasis Senior Center is located at 2810 Woodlawn Road in Lincoln and it is again on Saturday, September 25 from 9 am to noon. 

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Red Cross Seeking African-American Donors

The American Red Cross has launched an initiative to grow the number of blood donors who are Black to help patients with sickle cell disease. Over 100,000 people in the U.S. have sickle cell disease, the most common inherited blood disorder, and the majority of patients are of African descent. Red Cross spokesman Joe Zydlo says that is why they are putting out this call for donors.

 

 

To find a donation site near you, call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to redcrossblood.org

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Putting Nutrients Back in Soil After Harvest

Many producers throughout Illinois expecting bigger harvests this fall and farmers also need to think about putting more nutrients back into the soil in preparation for next growing season. That’s the advice from Mike Wilson, who serves as chair of the Illinois Certified Crop Advisers.

 

 

Wilson is a certified crop adviser for Wabash Valley FS in southeastern Illinois.

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Nominations Sought for Certified Crop Advisor of Year

Certified crop advisors continue to play an important role throughout the state. An annual award is given for their work says Raelynn Parmely, who serves as environmental program manager for the Illinois Farm Bureau.

 

 

If you’d like to nominate a CCA for Certified Crop Adviser of the Year contact your local county farm bureau.

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Weekly Weather Summary

It was an overall warmer week in Illinois. State Climatologist Trent Ford talks the weekend and week ahead.

 

 

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CH Moore Homestead Director Excited for Return of Apple n' Pork Festival

The Apple n' Pork Festival returns to its full capacity next Saturday and Sunday, September 25-26.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, Director Joey Woolridge told Regional Radio News this will be the 53rd edition of the festival and she is very excited to be back and have everyone out 

 

 

The Apple n' Pork Festival is next Saturday and Sunday. We'll hear more from Woolridge next week on the festival and all the happenings as Clinton's largest yearly event return in 2021.

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Sen. Rose Blasts Attorney General for Task Force on Retail Theft

Hysterical at some level is how a central Illinois Republican describes the Illinois Attorney General's task force to combat retail theft.

 

State Sen. Chapin Rose on the WHOW Morning Show Thursday blasted the former Democratic lawmaker for his interest in the problem of retail theft because Kwame Raoul spent most of his time as a lawmaker "dismantling" criminal justice in Illinois.

 

 

In his district, the Mahomet Republican says most of the gun crimes are people that are out on bond for other felonies. He says that is the first thing that needs to end in Illinois. He points out though, the community needs to take ownership in any sort of turnaround. 

 

 

Sen. Rose anticipates having pro-police anti-crime bills ready to introduce next week. He says police should be trained to execute their power responsibly to protect our communities.

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Illinois Wesleyan Touting Diversity of Freshman Class

Fall enrollment numbers are out, and Illinois Wesleyan University's incoming class includes the most diverse class in school history. The incoming class includes 163 students, who identify as students of color, equally about 34% of the entire class. According to Greg Harris, Dean of Admissions for IWU, the incoming class comprises 15 countries and 25 different states.

 

 

IWU's fall enrollment was up to 1,653 from 1,636 in 2020.

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Lincoln Desk Restored

A trove of artifacts are newly on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library in Springfield.

 

Lincolns’ Life in Letters… The most impressive artifact is the desk that the then president-elect wrote his inaugural address from. A comprehensive restoration and preservation of the desk were undertaken to return it to its historical shape. ALPLM Director Christina Shutt says the desk, with its humble beginnings is a symbol of unity for anyone who sees it.

 

 

Another portion of the exhibit is letters written by not only Lincoln but also his wife Mary and his son Willie. The oldest piece is perhaps the “sum book” that Lincoln kept as a boy to teach himself mathematics. It even includes his first known signature.

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Clinton Schools Superintendent Continuing to Fight For Local Control

Around 80-some superintendents have penned what is to date perhaps the most scathing rebuke of Governor JB Pritzker's mandates on Illinois schools and insistence on restoring local control to Illinois school boards.

 

Clinton Schools Superintendent Curt Nettles is among the dozens of Illinois school leaders who have signed the op-ed, circulating in publications around the state. The op-ed at one point reads, quote "Gov. Pritzker himself once subscribed to that view. As recently as July, he stated that “families should be involved in making decisions for their own families. And, school districts and school boards will make decisions for the schools within their districts.”

 

Evidently, the Governor and ISBE really don’t believe this.

 

Meanwhile, those of us who took the governor at his word are now dismissed and derided as an extreme minority, the enemies of science and compassion."

 

Nettles says the letter reads like someone sat down and spelled out their feelings and hits on things that have needed to be said. 

 

 

Nettles points out Clinton is funded by roughly 80-percent local dollars and the state and federal government supplements the remaining 20-percent but their locally elected school board only makes about 20-percent of their decisions. He condemned the Governor for not having a pulse for the entire state.

 

 

As far as ongoing efforts to restore local control for Illinois schools to make their own decisions regarding COVID mitigations, Nettles continues to be in front of decision-makers calling it the most effective method of making concerns heard.

 

 

Another criticism of Nettles and others is the fact mandates are handed with zero guidance. He is calling on mandates to at least be thought out and offer a plan.

 

 

Nettles is growing tired of trying to balance the COVID mandates and manage the school district separate from COVID. He says many of his colleagues feel the same way, in fact, many have expressed frustration to Regional Radio they are more COVID managers than school district leaders.

 

You can read the op-ed signed by several local district leaders today at dewittdailynews.com and find the 'Letters' tab. 

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The Vault Seeing Record Attendance of Students

The Vault youth center in Clinton is seeing a record number of kids coming in this year for programming.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Executive Director Tammy Wilson told Regional Radio they are getting around 200 students out per week. Last year they averaged around 150 teens per week.

 

 

Wilson believes the word about the good things happening at The Vault is getting around the community and parents and kids are realizing it's a place where everyone of any socioeconomic background is welcome.

 

 

Wilson says getting kids registered for The Vault is easy, it's free and she says there are some things the kids need to keep in mind.

 

 

Wilson points to many positive things happening at The Vault like their comfort dog, Daisy, and recently started grief support groups.

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Central Illinois to Remain Warm

Warm weather should last through the end of the month and into October.

 

That's according to Ed Shimon at the National Weather Service in Lincoln. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, he told Regional Radio News a brief cool down Wednesday will be followed by warm and humid conditions heading into the weekend.

 

 

Ahead through the rest of September and into October, Shimon says things will stay warm and in fact, ground temperatures are going to remain warm which should help transition to the harvest season.

 

 

According to Shimon, the three-month outlooks are predicting warmer than average temperatures and October is looking at equal chances of average rainfall.

 

 

Like last year, we could start to see what a typical winter looks like later than normal but Shimon says the La Nina weather pattern developing is going to make things wet. 

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Private Property Rights Getting Attention Following Energy Bill Passage

There’s some concern about private property rights in Illinois following recent passage of an energy bill in the Illinois State Senate. Kevin Semlow is director of state legislation for Illinois Farm Bureau. He says there are a couple of factors in play.

 

 

The bill allows Invenergy, a private company, to use eminent domain authority in nine central Illinois counties to build the Grain Belt Express direct current transmission line that runs from Kansas to Indiana.

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Gov. Pritzker Signs Energy Legislation

Pen to paper today for the Governor on energy legislation, the bill approved by the House and Senate was signed by JB Pritzker.

 

The sweeping work by lawmakers sets possible closure dates for two municipal coal power plants, props up nuclear energy in northern Illinois and pours millions into backing renewable energy projects and supports the purchase of electric cars.

 

 

The legislation garnered both Democrat and Republican votes while passing the House and Senate.

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Illinois Harvest Permit Available Beginning This Month

Trucks will be moving corn and soybeans from fields as fall harvest rolls along. And the Illinois Farm Bureau has a few reminders about the Illinois Harvest Permit.

 

 

IFB’s assistant director of transportation Rodney Knittel says the harvest permit is available starting in September.

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Gov. Pritzker Reinforces Masking Importance

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS IT’S IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE CONTINUE TO MASK UP. 

 

WHILE SOME COVID NUMBERS MAY BE HOLDING FAIRLY STEADY, THEY AREN’T GOING DOWN. WITH THAT IN MIND, THE GOVERNOR ON TUESDAY CHASTISED LOCAL OFFICIALS WHO AREN’T SUPPORTING THE STATE’S INDOOR MASK MANDATE.

 

 

BASED ON THE NUMBERS GOVERNOR PRITZKER WAS ASKED ON TUESDAY ABOUT LIFTING THE MASK MANDATE.

 

 

AS FOR THE LATEST DAILY TOTALS, THERE ARE OVER FOUR THOUSAND NEW CASES AND 44 ADDITIONAL DEATHS. MORE THAN 22-HUNDRED COVID PATIENTS ARE IN THE HOSPITAL. ONE REGION OF THE STATE IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CURRENTLY HAS LITTLE TO NO I-C-U BEDS AVAILABLE AND A FEW OTHER AREAS ARE DOWN TO 20 TO 30 BEDS.

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First Electric Vehicle Rolls Off Production Line in Normal

After months of production delays, the first full-battery electric R1T truck from Rivian Automotive is now on Illinois roadways.

 

Rivian founder and CEP RJ Scaringe (LIKE SYRINGE) posted a variety of photos on social media on Tuesday, showing blue R1T trucks rolling off the assembly lines in the Twin-Cities. Scaringe spoke to the workforce at the plant on Tuesday.

 

 

The California-based company has dumped over $1 billion into their manufacturing plant in Normal, which will also produce thousands of delivery vans for Amazon. Rivian, who has raised around $8 billion since the start of 2019, has the backings from major companies such as Ford and Amazon. According to a plant spokesperson, the workforce is expected to increase to around 4-thousand employees sometime next year.

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Details Released of Wednesday Morning Chase in DeWitt County

An arrest has been made in a chase Wednesday morning that ended south of Maroa in Macon County and forced a brief soft-lockdown of Clinton Schools.

 

Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers told reporters late Wednesday his department was responding to a report of a domestic violence incident at a motel in the 1100 block of Highway 54 in Clinton. Chief Lowers indicates authorities were able to make contact with the male suspect who had fled with a child and was armed and wanted. 

 

 

Illinois State Police deployed spike strips to stop the vehicle that had fled south on US Highway 51. From there the vehicle came to a stop south of School Road in Macon County. The Chief indicates authorities were able to take into custody the child and apprehended the suspect.

 

 

Authorities are not releasing the identity of the suspect at this time. The Chief says the suspect's vehicle had multiple weapons and body armor. Authorities are speculating the reason for the suspect to leave the scene and was wanted out of LaSalle County. 

 

Clinton Police were assisted were the Illinois State Police, the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department, and the Maroa Police Department. The situation remains under investigation. 

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Vehicle Chase Locks Down Clinton's Schools Briefly Wednesday Morning

A vehicle chase that resulted in a vehicle being stopped south of Maroa Wednesday resulted in a brief soft lockdown of Clinton Schools.

 

The district reported the lockdown, which was issued around 11:15 am, lasted about 15 minutes.

 

Authorities have a vehicle stopped south of Maroa as of the noon hour. 

 

Negotiators were en route as of the time of this story. 

 

This story will be updated as details are made available. 

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Community Action Discusses Worker Shortage, Impacts of COVID Unemployment Benefits Expiring

Earlier this week, we heard from Alison Rumler-Gomez, the Executive Director of Community Action, on last week's vaccine mandates that she predicts will result in a worker shortage.

 

While it's only been a week, she is surprised there has not been an increased interest in people getting back to work, especially as it relates to job openings within her agency now that the COVID unemployment benefits have expired. She points to the challenges they are having with staffing ahead of the expiration of those COVID unemployment benefits.

 

 

According to Rumler-Gomez, they have many clients that are getting back to work that will be making less in the workforce than they were on unemployments. She says that is going to be quite the adjustment for some.

 

 

Rumler-Gomez does not anticipate a huge increase in the need for their services as people get back to work. She says employers are so desperate for workers and their clients understand that.

 

 

The time of the expiration of the COVID unemployment benefits and the vaccine mandate were also not coincidental for Rumler-Gomez. She called the time very interesting.

 

 

If you're an individual needing to get back into the workforce and could benefit from Community Action programming, you can visit capcil.info for information on all its programs. 

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City of Monticello Approves Master Plans for Burke Park

The City of Monticello this week approved plans to improve Robert C. Burke Memorial Park.

 

The Park is in the area where the Monticello pool is but Callie McFarland, Director of Community Development for the City of Monticello told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show Tuesday, once the pool was completed, they did not move forward with improving the remainder of the park.

 

 

According to McFarland, the Council's plans will erect a statue with an education component to tell the story of Burke's bravery. She believes it will be a much-needed improvement to that portion of the community.

 

 

McFarland anticipates the City taking on as much of the work on the park as possible. She indicates the plan will put together a schedule of phases of work on the park.

 

 

Several significant military locations around the country are named after Burke because of courage. Burke Park is among a trio of recreation areas in Monticello the city is focused on at this time and McFarland believes it is important to always be evaluating recreation as it is an important component in a community's health. 

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University of Illinois Extension Programming Focusing In On Rural, Farming Mental Health

The University of Illinois Extension promoting mental health first aid in farming and rural communities. Most people know what to do when someone severely cuts a finger, but responding to mental health first aid is a different story says extension specialist Josie Rudolphi.

 

 

The extension is offering first aid mental health training this fall. You can find out more at go.illinois.edu/FallMentalHealth2021.

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State Climatologist Gives Illinois Drought Update

Drought conditions persist in parts of Illinois. The northeast area of the state, specifically Boone, Lake & McHenry counties continues to be under the gun says state climatologist Trent Ford.

 

 

Ford says the state will not be receiving any remnants from Tropical Storm Nicholas.

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Governor Addresses Mask-Resistant Communities

Not every community has strong support for the state-wide mask mandate recently reissued by Governor JB Pritzker.

 

In local areas where mayors or others have been resistant to following the mandate, Pritzker says if you are not seeing enforcement of public health protections then remember that the next time you vote.

 

 

Illinois is still averaging about 3700 new cases a day over the past week.

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Congresswoman Underwood Reacts to Texas Abortion Law

Federal lawmakers in Illinois are sounding the alarm about the recent anti-abortion law in Texas. Democratic Congresswoman Lauren Underwood says a federal law, the woman’s health protection act is needed to protect abortion rights across the county. Underwood says Illinois is now and will always be a place where a woman’s right to choose will be protected.

 

 

House Democrats say they will be voting on the act this month in Washington DC.

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Clinton May Be Getting New O'Reilly Auto Parts Store

 

Regional Radio News has learned that Clinton may be getting a new O'Reilly Auto Parts store.

After the project being on and off for several years, O'Reilly has filed a preliminary site plan with the City of Clinton.  The City's Planning Commission will consider the plan tonight for site approval.

The proposed store will be on West Van Buren, across from the new Scooter's Coffee and yet-to-open Clinton Family Restaurant.

Once it's approved, we're told they'll be finalizing their structural building design and bring that to the Clinton Planning Commission for final approval, with a permit possibly being issued next month.

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Rep. Caulkins Discusses Illinois Democrats' Energy Legislation, What it Means for Clinton

Last week, Illinois Democrats were finally able to pass energy legislation striving for zero-carbon in Illinois. 

 

A central Illinois lawmaker weighed in on the legislation Monday and discussed what it means for Clinton and the Exelon Nuclear Power Plant. On the WHOW Morning Show Monday, State Representative Dan Caulkins called an energy policy that is not sustainable. He says there is a difference of opinion on how much of an impact it will have on people.

 

 

The Decatur Republican believes this bill will be a good thing for the Clinton Power Station when the current 10-year deal expires in another four or five years. 

 

 

The Illinois Farm Bureau was opposed to the measure. 

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DNR Conservation Police Captain Calls Summer on Clinton Lake Really Good

A central Illinois Conservation Police official is calling the summer on Clinton Lake a good one.

 

Despite a fatality early in the year on the lake, DNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson says it was a good year. He says sometimes unfortunate incidents like what happened early in the summer can be a bad omen but things settled down and they had a good year.

 

 

According to Capt. Williamson, safety vests continue to be a chronic issue on Clinton Lake. He emphasizes this is simply about everyone's safety.

 

 

Now that the thick of the boating season is behind officials at Clinton Lake, Capt. Williamson says now is the time to get out and fish. Catfish are very good right now.

 

 

After the lake was forced to be closed for a short period earlier this summer during some serious downpours, Capt. Williamson says despite the dry trend of the last month, the water levels have not dropped significantly, an indication of just how much water we got in central Illinois.

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Atlanta Illinois Tourism Pleased With First Year of Route 66 State Fair Exhibit

A central Illinois Tourism official is excited about the first year of a special Route 66 exhibit at the Illinois State Fair.

 

The State Fair wrapped up in late August and Atlanta, Illinois Tourism Bureau Director Whitney Ortiz on the WHOW Morning Show Monday told Regional Radio News they were able to raise a lot of awareness about Route 66 and the hidden gems along the road, like Atlanta.

 

 

Gate 2 is where the Route 66 exhibit is housed and Ortiz is excited to hear in a few years, there is going to be a miniature walk of Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis that is going to highlight the communities and Atlanta and its Paul Bunyan hot dog statue will be a part of that.

 

 

Ortiz was encouraged at the conversations she was able to have in Springfield as well promote some of the unique things that make Atlanta, Illinois special.

 

 

Ortiz believes Atlanta offers a great experience on the Route 66 corridor as it is not too big and everything can be enjoyed in a half-day or less. Find Atlanta, Illinois on Facebook or visit atlantaillinois.org. 

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Weekly Crop Report

CORN HARVESTING IS JUST BEGINNING IN ILLINOIS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT. 

 

STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER LOOKS AT SOYBEANS:

 

 

ONE PERCENT OF CORN ACRES HAVE NOW BEEN HARVESTED, AND 51 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS MATURE.

 

 

BELOW NORMAL RAINFALL MEANT AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE DROPPED TO 10 PERCENT VERY SHORT, 23 PERCENT SHORT, 65 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND TWO PERCENT SURPLUS.

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New Task Force Launched to Fight Organized Retail Crime in Illinois

ATTORNEY GENERAL KWAME RAOUL IS ANNOUNCING A NEW TASK FORCE TO FIGHT ORGANIZED RETAIL CRIME.

 

RETAIL THEFT IS BECOMING MORE OF A COORDINATED EFFORT, NOT JUST AN INDIVIDUAL RUNNING OFF WITH A FEW ITEMS FOR THEMSELVES SAYS ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL.

 

 

HOME DEPOT INVESTIGATOR KYLE PENOYER SAYS THE INCIDENTS HAVE BEEN INCREASING, AND WELL COORDINATED.

 

 

THE TASK FORCE WILL WORK TO COORDINATE EFFORTS TO STOP MASS RETAIL THEFT, RELYING ON THE EXPERTISE OF INVESTIGATORS, STATE'S ATTORNEYS, ONLINE MARKETPLACES AND RETAILERS LIKE C-V-S AND LOWES. RAOUL SAYS THIS IS IMPORTANT SINCE THESE ORGANIZED CRIME RINGS ARE ALSO OFTEN INVOLVED IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING, DRUGS AND OTHER ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES.

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Illinois Senate Pass Clean Energy Legislation

THE ILLINOIS SENATE IS VOTING IN FAVOR OF NEW CLEAN ENERGY LEGISLATION. 

 

THE MEASURE AIMS FOR THE STATE TO BE USING 100 PERCENT CLEAN ENERGY BY 2050, REQUIRES MUNICIPALLY OWNED COAL AND NATURAL GAS PLANTS REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS TO ZERO BY 2045, OFFERS A FOUR THOUSAND REBATE TO THOSE BUYING AN ELECTRIC CAR AND INCLUDES MONEY FOR EXELON TO KEEP NUCLEAR PLANTS OPEN. SENATE PRESIDENT DON HARMON:

 

 

BUT OPPONENTS, LIKE SENATOR STEVE MCCLURE OF JACKSONVILLE, QUESTION WHETHER THIS WILL BE RELIABLE ENERGY AND SAY IT WILL COME AT A COST.

 

 

THE COMPROMISE PACKAGE WAS ALREADY APPROVED BY THE HOUSE AND GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS HE WILL SIGN THE BILL INTO LAW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

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Gov. Pritzker Launches New Child Care Initiative

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING HELP FOR THOSE WHO NEED CHILD CARE IN ORDER TO HEAD BACK TO WORK. 

 

STARTING OCTOBER FIRST, ELIGIBLE PARENTS ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR A JOB CAN GET THREE MONTHS OF FREE DAYCARE. GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS THIS WILL BENEFIT FAMILIES AND THE ECONOMY.

 

 

HE'S ALSO RECOGNIZING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF DAYCARE WORKERS.

 

 

ADDITIONALLY, ELIGIBLE CHILD CARE WORKERS WILL GET AN UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR BONUS AND LATER THIS FALL, EARLY CHILDHOOD PROVIDERS WILL BE ABLE TO APPLY FOR GRANTS TO HELP RECRUIT AND RETAIN ADDITIONAL WORKERS.

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City of Clinton Offering Building Lots in New Subdivision

 

Construction has begun on the new Illini Addition to Horizon Lane by the City of Clinlton.

 

The City is offering residential building lots for sale, with 7 parcels available and lots priced at $25,000 each.  The area is zoned multi-family.

 

Interested parties can contact the City of Clinton at 935-6552.

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Demolition of former Pizza Hut Readies Site for New Scooter's Coffee

 

Demolition is underway at 614 West Van Buren Street in Clinton, of the former Pizza Hut building.  It will make way for a new Scooter's Drive-Thru Coffee location scheduled to open by the end of November or early December, according to officials with Scooter's Coffee's corporate office.

 

The building is being built by the company, then will be leased on a franchisee.  It's not known who the franchisee is.

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Warner Hospital Circle Drive and Parking Lot Construction Continues

Construction continues on the circle drive and parking lot at Warner Hospital and Health Services in Clinton.

 

 

The newly-paved circle drive is now open, with crews now focusing on the parking lot area near the Family Medicine building.

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Illinois Farm Bureau Watching Tax Policy Issues Stemming from Massive Infrastructure Plan

The Illinois Farm Bureau continues to closely watch tax policy issues as it relates to a $3.5 trillion infrastructure package along with a budget reconciliation process. Mark Gebhards is the organization’s director of governmental affairs.

 

 

The House Ways and Means Committee meets this week. Three Illinois reps are on the committee—Darin LaHood, Danny Davis, and Bradley Schneider.

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Central Illinois Non-Profit Leader Talks Feds Vaccine Mandate

A central Illinois non-profit leader is predicting her agency being understaffed after the Joe Biden Administration issued a vaccination mandate on federal workers and contractors of the federal government. 

 

Alison Rumler-Gomez is the Executive Director of Community Action of Central Illinois and on the WHOW Morning Show Friday told Regional Radio News she is predicting being about 30-percent understaffed come January as her agency is considered a contractor of the federal government. 

 

 

Rumler-Gomez says there will be a workforce issue. She wonders what a vaccine mandate will mean for those individuals that are not getting vaccinated out of principle. 

 

 

One of the reasons Rumler-Gomez predicts a workforce issue for her agency is because of the self-empowerment component she has tried to generate in the agency and this mandate is counter to that environment of standing for what they believe in.

 

 

Rumler-Gomez was surprised to see when the COVID unemployment benefits expired last week they did not see an influx in applications for open positions in their organization nor did they see more folks coming in for workforce services. 

 

She anticipates the need for those things growing as people realize many of the jobs available will be a lower wage than what they were receiving in unemployment benefits. We'll have more on that later this week on Regional Radio News. 

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Social Security Talks Scams

Scams are not going away and continue to come at us in nearly every direction.

 

This September, Social Security is once again taking time to raise awareness about scams for not just the often most vulnerable in our communities' seniors, but younger populations. Jack Myers with Social Security says they have spent a lot of time talking about government imposter scams that come over the phone and e-mail, but that is not all you have to look out for. Be aware that scams can come from text messages, pop-up advertisements, or fake websites.

 

 

While a lot of focus in rural areas gets put on seniors and their vulnerability to scams because of their trusting nature, Myers says youth are also the targets of imposters because of their curiosity when online. 

 

 

Other tips from Myers include not carrying around your Social Security card unless you are headed somewhere you need it. You can also shred documents that contain personal information regularly check financial statements.

 

 

Myers says Social Security is trying to clamp down on imposters claiming to be representatives from Social Security. You can report any scam phone calls to the Office of the Inspector General. Visit oig.ssa.gov to report any calls or scam attempts you get. 

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Secretary of State's Office Announces Sports Team License Plates Raised Over $13-Million for Illinois Public Schools

SPORT TEAM LICENSE PLATES HAVE RAISED MORE THAN 13 MILLION DOLLARS FOR ILLINOIS PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 

 

MORE THAN 71 THOUSAND VEHICLES IN ILLINOIS ARE ADORNED WITH PLATES REPRESENTING FAVORITE SPORTS TEAMS, WITH 25 DOLLARS FROM EACH PURCHASE AND RENEWAL GOING TO EDUCATION. SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE’S SPOKESPERSON BETH KAUFMAN SAYS SOME TEAMS ARE MORE POPULAR THAN OTHERS.

 

 

HERE’S SOMETHING INTERESTING…

 

 

YOU CAN CHECK OUT THE SPORTS PLATES AND OTHER SPECIALTY PLATES ONLINE AT: CYBER DRIVE ILLINOIS DOT COM.

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Gov. Pritzker Announces New Program to Revitalize Downtown Areas, Main Streets

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING A 50 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT PROGRAM TO HELP REVITALIZE DOWNTOWN AND MAIN STREET AREAS.

 

THE IDEA IS TO KICKSTART PROJECTS IN AREAS REALLY STRUGGLING OVER THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF, WITH GRANT AWARDS RANGING FROM 250 THOUSAND TO THREE MILLION DOLLARS SAYS GOVERNOR PRITZKER.

 

 

CITIES, LOCAL CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND PRIVATE DEVELOPERS ARE INVITED TO APPLY FOR THE GRANTS, RANGING FROM 250 THOUSAND TO THREE MILLION DOLLARS SAYS THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY’S ALY GRADY.

 

 

YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION ON D-C-E-O’S WEBSITE. THE DEADLINE TO APPLY IS JANUARY 10TH.

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Farmland Near Arcola Sells for $17,000 an Acre

Farmland values continue an upward trend in Illinois. A sale on Friday in Douglas County near Arcola brought $17,000 an acre says Dan Sullivan with Sullivan Auctioneers.

 

 

Sullivan says there were bidders from nine states and seven different parties were still bidding in the $16,000 range.

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5,000 COVID Cases Reported Friday

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ANNOUNCED MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND NEW CASES OF COVID-19 FRIDAY. 

 

THE LATEST DAILY TOTAL IS FIVE THOUSAND 309, AND 47 ADDITIONAL DEATHS. SIXTY POINT FIVE PERCENT OF ILLINOISANS AGE 12 AND UP ARE NOW FULLY VACCINATED. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER WAS ASKED ABOUT PRESIDENT BIDEN’S NEW VACCINE MANDATES.

 

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER WAS ASKED HOW HIS VACCINE MANDATE FOR STATE EMPLOYEES WHO WORK IN PLACES LIKE NURSING HOMES AND PRISONS IS GOING.

 

 

UNDER THE GOVERNOR’S OWN MANDATE, ALL TEACHERS AND STAFF AT PRESCHOOLS THROUGH 12TH GRADE, ALL COLLEGE STAFF AND STUDENTS AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS MUST GET THEIR FIRST SHOT BY SEPTEMBER 19TH OR SUBMIT TO REGULAR TESTING.

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Annual Firefighter Memorial Service at State Capitol

THE LIVES OF FALLEN FIREFIGHTERS WERE REMEMBERED FRIDAY MORNING AT THE ANNUAL CEREMONY ON THE STATE CAPITOL LAWN. 

 

STATE OFFICIALS, FAMILIES AND COLLEAGUES GATHERED TO HONOR THE SEVEN FIREFIGHTERS WHO HAVE DIED IN THE LINE OF DUTY IN 2019 AND 2020. GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SPOKE AT THE SERVICE, CALLING FIREFIGHTERS SOME OF THE STATE’S MOST HEROIC PUBLIC SERVANTS.

 

 

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SPOKE AT THE CEREMONY, RECOGNIZING THEIR BRAVERY.

 

 

AFTER THE CEREMONY, THE CROWD MOVED TO SPRINGFIELD’S CONVENTION CENTER TO PRESENT SEVERAL MEDALS TO BRAVE FIREFIGHTERS, INCLUDING THE MEDAL OF VALOR AWARD.

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Weekly Weather Summary

It was a magnificent weather week in central Illinois but a warm up this weekend is coming. State Climatologist Trent Ford outlines the week ahead.

 

 

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RC Festival Returning to Monticello This Weekend

The 'RC Festival' is returning to Monticello this weekend with all the fun, demonstrations, and hands-on experiences central Illinois residents have come to expect.

 

The event hosted by Hobby Horizon is this Friday and Saturday at Eli Field on Monticello's northeast side. Hobby Horizon's Steven Petrotto says it's fun for the whole family.

 

 

There will be an airplane, boat, and car station with hands-on fun and demonstrations, and that Petrotto says will be fun for everyone.

 

 

Along with hands-on experiences and demos, Petrotto says to look for their food vendors along with stay around Saturday night for a fireworks display with a night air show.

 

 

You can learn more about 'RC Fest' by visiting horizonrcfest.com and find Horizon Hobby on the world wide web at horizonhobby.com. 

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Will Army Worm Be A Problem Again in 2022?

Fall armyworm continues to have an impact on alfalfa, pastures, soybeans, corn, and small grains in Illinois. What does that mean for next year? Nick Seiter is a field crops entomologist with the University of Illinois Extension.

 

 

Seiter says fall armyworm has also caused problems for lawns and gardens this year.

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Watch Out for Flood Damaged Cars

The Better Business Bureau wants you to beware of flood and hurricane-damaged cars. 

 

If you’re looking for a car, know that cars that have been flooded may be entering the market, especially from areas hit hard by Hurricane Ida. It is common after major floods for scam artists to try and pawn off flooded vehicles as standard second-hand vehicles, according to an agency spokesman. Don O’Brien says these flood-damaged vehicles could show up at auto auctions, used car dealerships, and in classified ads.

 

 

He says when considering a vehicle purchase you should: ask to see the title and be especially worried if it’s stamped “salvage”; carefully check the dashboard to make sure all of the gauges are working; check the electronic components and flex some wires under the dash. Wet wires become brittle once they dry; check the condition of the fabrics; and check under the hood for standing water, mud, or grit.

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Illinois House Passes Energy Legislation

THE ILLINOIS HOUSE IS TAKING A BIG STEP TOWARD SLOWING CLIMATE CHANGE WITH APPROVAL OF A COMPROMISE CLEAN ENERGY PACKAGE. 

 

THE GOAL IS TO ELIMINATE CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2050 AND KEEP THE STATE’S NUCLEAR FLEET UP AND RUNNING. THE LEGISLATION INCLUDES INCENTIVES FOR PURCHASING ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND INVESTS IN WIND AND SOLAR POWER. REPRESENTATIVE ROBYN GABEL OF EVANSTON IS A BIG SUPPORTER.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE DAN BRADY OF BLOOMINGTON SAYS THIS WILL COME AT A PRICE.

 

 

AS FOR ONE OF THE BIGGEST STICKING POINTS, MUNICIPALLY-OWNED COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS IN DOWNSTATE SPRINGFIELD AND MARISSA WILL HAVE TO REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS BY 45 PERCENT BY 2035, AND THEN CLOSE IN 2045 IF THEY CAN’T REACH ZERO EMISSIONS. 

 

THE SENATE WILL ALSO NEED TO AGREE TO THE BILL.

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Illinois House Accepts Governor's Amendatory Veto on Ethics Bill

ILLINOIS IS ABOUT TO HAVE A NEW ETHICS REFORM LAW ON THE BOOKS. 

 

ON A SECOND ATTEMPT, THE HOUSE VOTED TO ACCEPT THE GOVERNOR’S CHANGES TO AN ETHICS PACKAGE. OPPONENTS ARGUED IT ONLY SCRATCHES THE SURFACE OF WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO CLEAN UP GOVERNMENT, BUT REPRESENTATIVE KELLY BURKE OF OAK LAWN SAYS THIS IS A GOOD START.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE AVERY BOURNE OF LITCHFIELD SAYS THEY NEED TO GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

 

 

THE LEGISLATION DOES A NUMBER OF THINGS SUCH AS PROHIBITING LAWMAKERS FROM IMMEDIATELY WORKING AS A LOBBYIST WHEN THEY LEAVE OFFICE AND BANS ELECTED OFFICIALS AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT FROM ENGAGING IN COMPENSATED LOBBYING.

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Congressman LaHood Says President's Infrastructure Plan Has Significant Tax Consequences

Illinois Congressman Darin LaHood expressing serious reservations with the funding mechanism for the Biden administration’s $3.5 trillion human infrastructure plan.

 

 

LaHood is a member of the House Ways & Means Committee.

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UPDATED: Court Rules in Favor of Enel Green Power for Building Permits for Alta Farms II Wind Project

A Champaign County District Court Judge has ruled in favor of Enel Green Power and its order of mandamus requiring the DeWitt County Zoning Administrator to resume processing the 15 building permit applications for the Alta Farms II wind project in northwest DeWitt County. 

 

Judge Jason Bohm ruled Wednesday to resume the issuances of the building permits. Alta Farms filed the suit in August. The energy company claimed in the suit they have a clear right to the issuance of the wind turbine building permits demanded in the action and there is no legal or factual basis for DeWit County to refuse issuing the permits for the remainder of the turbines. DeWitt County Board Chair Terry Ferguson called the ruling unsurprising. 

 

 

Additionally, the suit noted none of the wind turbines for which building permits are being sought are located on any drainage district right-of-ways, easements, or other drainage district facilities. Ferguson notes Enel is going to sign the drainage district agreements.

 

 

Alta Farms claimed they had submitted all required fees, information, and documentation necessary to obtain the permits for the wind turbines.

 

In November, Alta Farms applied for 57 turbines. Currently, 30 building permits have been issued for the turbines out of 57 total. The court ordered the Zoning Administrator to issue the 15 permit applications on or before September 13. 

 

Enel Green Power declined to comment. 

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Wagon Wheel Pumpkin Farm to Open for Season This Weekend

A DeWitt County agri-tourism attraction opens for the season this weekend. 

 

Wagon Wheel Pumpkin Farm opens to the public this Saturday. Brenda Martin indicates the corn maze is ready and things are going to be normal for the opening weekend. She says they have lots of outdoor fun for kids and of course, pumpkins that are coming right along.

 

 

This is the 20th year for Wagon Wheel Pumpkin Farm so instead of doing a big family weekend, throughout the season, Martin says they will have all sorts of fun activities for folks that come out.

 

 

All the rain of the early summer was not very good on pumpkins but Martin says they have since recovered and there should be a good crop of pumpkins to be had this year.

 

 

You can keep up with all the latest at Wagon Wheel Pumpkin Farm by finding them on Facebook. 

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Piatt County Domestic Abuse Leader Troubled By Local Trends

Domestic abuse data in Piatt County is reaching year-end figures and it's only the start of September.

 

Not only is that what Rachel LeJune is reporting but she's also very concerned about that. LeJune is the Executive Director of Willow Tree Missions in Piatt County and on the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday told Regional Radio earlier this week they issued the 100th order of protection in Piatt County.

 

 

LeJune indicates last year, larger and urban areas saw what was termed 'the shadow pandemic', however, those trends did not make it to rural America. Now, agencies like Willow Tree Missions are seeing spikes in abuse.

 

 

While often time the public may think of domestic abuse or domestic violence as women being battered and bruised and bloodied by the men in their lives, LeJune indicates that is not always the scenario that plays out. She indicates there is often a silent, controlling component to many situations where women are cut off from friends and family.

 

 

When the abuse facing victims is emotional and less physical, it can be difficult to provide help to them. LeJune explains it often comes down to those situations that exist and unfortunately because the signs of this kind of abuse are easy to hide.

 

 

For LeJune, helping victims of domestic is why they are hard at work to renovate their new location in downtown Monticello and why they have their retail store. Those are not just fun, shiny things to display and offer to the community, she calls those the 'why'.

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Latest Ag Barometer

The latest data is out from the monthly Purdue University/CME Group ag barometer. The numbers are for August says Purdue ag economist Jim Mintert.

 

 

The index is based on a survey of 400 agricultural producers on economic sentiment each month. Quarterly, the index is accompanied by an in-depth survey of 100 agriculture and agribusiness thought leaders.

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Farmers Concerned About Rising Input Costs

As the harvest season rapidly approaches, farmers are looking ahead to next year's crop and the cost of fertilizer and seed.

 

According to Illinois Corn Growers Executive Director Rodney Weinzierl, farmers would begin to feel the inflation pinch in next year's fertilizer and seed cost.

 

 

Weinzierl said that even though prices are increasing, farmers around the state would feel an economic pinch. As far as their year's crop goes, Weinzierl said he's "generally concerned, but optimistic" on this year's crop size.

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Clinton Police Chief Reports Another Retirement in Department, Highlights Challenges With Hiring

Another law enforcement official in the Clinton Police Department has retired, leaving Clinton's head law enforcement officer scrambling now to fill two positions.

 

Earlier this summer Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers reported the retirement of Sgt. Tom Anderson and this month reports Det. Todd Ummell has retired as well. On the WHOW Morning Show Wednesday, Chief Lowers wished Ummell well as not only a colleague but a friend. 

 

 

According to Chief Lowers, the latest retirement in his department is a trend that is taking place across the country in law enforcement agencies everywhere. He notes officials up for retirement are moving those plans up. Despite the negativity towards law enforcement across the country, the Chief believes the Clinton and DeWitt County communities are very pro-law enforcement.

 

 

Chief Lowers points out one of the top challenges facing the losses of law enforcement officers is the experience these departments are losing. While police training is so much better than it was, the experience of their veterans is hard to duplicate.

 

 

The Chief also notes trends in crime have shifted in recent years. 20-plus years ago officers dealt with crimes that had a lot of substance abuse connections but now the trends are shifting to mental and emotional wellness issues, something many veteran officers have not been trained in as extensively as younger officers. 

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City of Clinton to Pursue Grant to Improve Portion of Jackson Street to Lincoln School

Parents and students who walk from Washington Street to Lincoln School via Jackson Street may soon see improvements to that portion of the sidewalk in the years ahead if the City of Clinton can secure a grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation.

 

At the Monday night Clinton City Council meeting, the Council gave the nod of approval to Public Works Director Steve Lobb to pursue the grant and give Cummins Engineering the ability to draw up a proposal for the work to be done.

 

 

According to Lobb, this is a step forward in what will likely be a required continue improvement of community streets to ADA compliance. He feels this is a showing of goodwill that the City is moving forward and taking advantage of such opportunities.

 

 

Lobb points out it is a competitive grant and it is not guaranteed they will get it but he felt it would be worthwhile to try for it and the Council agreed.

 

The Council Monday night also approved the exemption for vendors for this month's Apple n' Pork Festival.

 

The Council approved an order for pavement patching of Kirkwood Drive for nearly $123,000 as well as cleaning and sealing of the same area for just over $27,000. 

 

The Council also approved bids for the removal of sludge lime from the water treatment plant at a cost of $20 per ton. 

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Warner Library Book Sale This Weekend

The much-anticipated return of a Clinton entity's bi-yearly fundraiser will make locals wait no more this weekend.

 

The Friend's of the Warner Library's bi-annual book sale returns this weekend and on the WHOW Morning Show Monday, Business Manager of the library Samantha Rusk says the return of the book sale has a lot of people excited.

 

 

The bi-annual book sale took a break during the COVID pandemic and Rusk indicates organizers have been hard at work to get this event back. She points out the Friend's of the Warner Library is to support the library in various ways.

 

 

According to Rusk, the Friend's of the Warner Library helps support a lot of programming including the summer reading club and grab-n-go kits. She notes it allows the library to keep so much of what they do free.

 

 

Again, the bi-annual sale is this Friday from 9 am to 4 pm and from 9 am to 3 pm Saturday in the Revere Room of the lower level of the library. 

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Decatur Area Arts Council Celebrating Successful Devon on Tap Beer, Music Festival

The Decatur Area Arts Council is celebrating a successful fundraiser from late August.

 

Jerry Johnson is the Executive Director of the Decatur Area Arts Council and told Regional Radio News on the WHOW Morning Show they estimated around 700 attendees to the all-day event. His only complaint was it was a warm weekend in central Illinois.

 

 

Last year, in place of the outdoor event, the Macon County-area non-profit utilized local establishment to create a 'cups' tournament and Johnson says it was fun to bring that back to the fold in 2021 and incorporate it into the Devon on Tap event.

 

 

Johnson reminds fundraising is crucial to the mission of the Decatur Area Arts Council. He emphasizes they do not receive tax dollars and only a few grants, so they have to fundraise to support their mission of promoting local arts and artists.

 

 

One of the Decatur Area Arts Council's bigger fundraisers of the year, Arts in Central Park, takes place later this month. We'll have more on that in the weeks ahead on Regional Radio News.

 

You can learn more about the Decatur Area Arts Council by visiting decaturarts.org. 

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Weekly Crop Report

CROP CONDITIONS DECLINED SLIGHTLY OVER THE PAST WEEK. 

 

CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER SAYS 96 PERCENT OF CORN IS IN THE DOUGH STAGE OR BEYOND.

 

 

SCHLEUSNER SAYS 22 PERCENT OF SOYBEAN ACRES ARE TURNING COLOR.

 

 

THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS 97 PERCENT COMPLETE AND AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT EIGHT PERCENT VERY SHORT, 17 PERCENT SHORT, 67 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND EIGHT PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Two New Laws Requires Health Insurers to Cover More Cancer Screenings

TWO NEW STATE LAWS REQUIRE HEALTH INSURERS TO COVER MORE CANCER SCREENINGS. 

 

THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY ESTIMATES THAT MORE THAN 48 THOUSAND PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY WILL DIE OF PANCREATIC CANCER THIS YEAR. SENATOR ADRIANE JOHNSON OF BUFFALO GROVE SPONSORED ONE LAW THAT MANDATES COVERAGE OF MEDICALLY NECESSARY SCREENINGS FOR THE DISEASE.

 

 

JOHNSON ALSO SPONSORED THE SECOND LAW, REQUIRING COVERAGE OF COLONOSCOPIES WHEN RECOMMENDED BY A DOCTOR AND AT NO COST TO THE PATIENT. BOTH LAWS TAKE EFFECT IN JANUARY.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, COLORECTAL CANCER IS THE THIRD LEADING CAUSE OF CANCER-RELATED DEATH, BUT IF CAUGHT EARLY HAS A 90 PERCENT SURVIVAL RATE. THE SECOND NEW LAW REQUIRES COVERAGE OF SCREENINGS FOR PANCREATIC CANCER. THE CHANGES TAKE EFFECT IN JANUARY.

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New State Law Aims to Reduce Pedestrian Fatalities in Illinois

A NEW STATE LAW AIMS TO REDUCE PEDESTRIAN DEATHS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE MEASURE WAS SPONSORED BY SENATOR LAURA MURPHY OF DES PLAINES AND REQUIRES THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO LOOK MORE CLOSELY AT FATAL ACCIDENTS ON STATE HIGHWAYS.

 

 

STARTING IN JANUARY WHEN THE LAW TAKES EFFECT, THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION WILL HAVE TO STUDY ALL FATAL ACCIDENTS WHERE A PERSON WALKING IS KILLED ON A STATE HIGHWAY. THEY WILL LOOK INTO HOW AND WHY THE TRAGEDY OCCURRED SAYS SENATOR LAURA MURPHY OF DES PLAINES.

 

 

MURPHY SAYS I-DOT COULD FIND IT WAS THE PEDESTRIAN'S FAULT FOR NOT PAYING ATTENTION, OR THAT SAFETY COULD BE IMPROVED BY SIMPLY ADDING A STOP SIGN. SHE WAS PROMPTED TO SPONSOR THE MEASURE AFTER A SERIES OF FATAL ACCIDENTS IN HER AREA.

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Gov. Pritzker Speculates on Labor Day Impacts on COVID

Could Labor Day travel cause a spike in COVID cases in Illinois? Governor JB Pritzker says it’s not likely if people spent the weekend following good health guidelines.

 

 

The state data is showing a slowdown in new hospitalizations.

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Scooter's Coffee Coming to Clinton

Regional Radio News has learned that Scooter's Coffee, a drive-thru coffee and breakfast menu shop, will be coming to Clinton.

 

Officials with the Scooter's corporate office have pulled a building permit, to tear down the former Pizza Hut building at 614 West Van Buren, to build the new Clinton Scooter's Coffee location.  We're told they hope to be open by the end of this year.

 

Scooter's apparently builds the building, then leases it to a local franchisee.  It's not known who the Clinton franchisee is, but we've learned, Scooter's corporate is constructing 3 new locations in Springfield, 2 in Decatur, and one in Taylorville, all to be operated by local franchisees.  

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Clinton Chamber of Commerce Continuing Work on Haunted House

We're less than a month from the open of the annual Terror on Washington Street Clinton Chamber of Commerce Haunted House season kicking off and organizers are busy at work getting things ready.

 

Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber, Marian Brisard indicates work was a bit slow but they are excited to have the haunted house back in 2021.

 

 

As the haunted house season nears, Brisard indicates they are starting to coordinate groups to help with tickets and scares, and concessions. She appreciates local groups like Second Chance for Pets that annually step up to make the haunted house a success.

 

 

You can support the Terror on Washington Street Haunted House through the haunted house merchandise store. Brisard says they have a wide range of things for purchase.

 

 

The Terror on Washington Street Haunted House opens Friday, October 8, and will be open on Halloween, Sunday, October 31. Visit clintonhauntedhouse.com for all the details on this year's haunted house season. 

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Maroa-Forsyth First Year Superintendent Talks Strategic Planning

Dr. Kris Kahler is in his first months as Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools and is diving right in with his staff to update the district's strategic plan.

 

He explains the last strategic plan targeted the building project that is now underway as a top priority. He says they are now going to shift to improving the learning environment to improve test scores.

 

 

Dr. Kahler explains part of the process will be to take what is in the existing strategic plan that is unaccomplished and work to put those things in the new plan. He was instrumental in the formation of the previous plan and looks forward to leading the process for this plan.

 

 

mfschools.net and finding the various entities within the schools on social media are the best ways to keep up with all things Maroa-Forsyth Schools. 

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Input Costs Pressuring Farm Income

Although farm income is up, expenses have risen too. Mike Doherty is a senior economist with the Illinois Farm Bureau.

 

 

Doherty says the cost for new farm buildings due to lumber and other prices are also up.

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Community Action Tackles Strategic Planning

A central Illinois non-profit is wrapping up its latest strategic planning process.

 

Alison Rumler-Gomez is the Executive Director of Community Action and explains every three years, the agency compiles data through a community assessment and its staff meets to break down what they find and come up with a refreshed strategic plan.

 

 

According to Rumler-Gomez, the pandemic brought to light some of the shortcomings of its programming and curriculum. In promoting a wealth mindset, she says they found many of their clients were not ready for the challenges the pandemic brought to bear. 

 

 

Rumler-Gomez believes there could be a two-fold issue with why some of its clientele were not as prepared as perhaps they could have been. She believes part of the issue was the pandemic interrupted the process for many, but also, perhaps they were not as connected to their clients as they could have been.

 

 

Now the mission for Community Action becomes why this happened and how they can fix it.

 

 

Rumler-Gomez believes those that are regularly engaged in the recently rolled out mobile application program for its clients, are more likely to be successful in the long term. 

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Lincoln National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologst Retires

Listeners to Regional Radio News have grown accustomed to hearing Chris Miller at the National Weather Service in Lincoln provide updates on all things central Illinois weather.

 

Last Friday, Miller left the Lincoln National Weather Service office for the final time and reflected on at 30-plus year career in meteorology. Miller hopes to increase his volunteering at his church in Lincoln as well as do something he's rarely had the time for - storm chasing.

 

 

Miller indicates weather has always been something that's piqued his interest. He recalls his fascination with weather from a young age and telling his parents he wanted to be a weatherman.

 

 

Miller's journey to central Illinois started in his home state of Wisconsin. While he interned at a TV station, Miller knew he didn't want to do TV but the network he created allowed him to start in Illinois.

 

 

Miller intended to end up back in Wisconsin or Minnesota but met his wife who is a central Illinois native, and never left. 

 

He calls it an amazing career and has found Illinois weather to not only be fascinating but as the saying goes, wait a day and it'll change. 

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McLean County Museum of History Bringing Back In-Person Cemetery Walk

A popular event that went virtual in 2020 is returning to its in-person roots this fall.

 

The McLean County Museum of History is welcoming back in-person Cemetery Walk dates starting later this month. Candace Summers explains the Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington and stories of the people buried at the cemetery are brought to life.

 

 

Last year's digital cemetery walk was very well received and Summers says they will bring back the digital component once the in-person events have concluded for the year.

 

 

According to Summers, they are highlighting a Jewish couple that made strides in promoting better treatment of everyone. She feels this is a timely story to tell.

 

 

Tickets for this year's Cemetery Walk are on sale now. You can purchase those by visiting mchistory.org. Virtual walks become available on November 1 and again that information can be found at mchistory.org. 

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Doctors say don't forget to get your flu shot

Contrary to what some may believe, the flu did not disappear last year. The numbers were down significantly, and doctors believe that was due to the COVID-19 mitigation measures that were in place like wearing face masks, staying home, and hand washing. Healthcare professionals are saying now is the time to get your flu shot.

 

Influenza activity typically begins in October, lasts through May, and usually peaks between December and February. Dr. Bill Walsh with OSF HealthCare reminds that if you feel sick, stay home.

 

 

If you have not yet gotten your COVID-19 vaccine and would like to get both, the CDC notes that both flu and COVID-19 vaccines can safely be given at the same time. In addition to getting a flu shot, Dr. Walsh urges you to continue to practice the COVID-19 safety precautions this fall and winter to not only protect from COVID-19, but also from other illnesses such as the flu.

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Illinois farmland values jump by 20-percent in first half of year

A big jump in Illinois farmland values in the first half of the year. The data is shared by Luke Worrell, representing the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.


 

The information was released during this week’s Farm Progress Show.

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ISBE, Governor Pritzker Extend Deadline for School Personnel to Get COVID Vaccine to September 19

The Illinois State Board of Education and Governor J-B Pritzker late Friday afternoon notified school superintendents around the state, that they will extend the deadline for teachers and support staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing, to September 19th.  School personnel previously had to be vaccinated or begin COVID testing on September 5th based on the Governor’s previous executive order.

 

Many superintendents across the state were caught off guard with the executive order and the extreme short timeline they were given, to implement the Governor’s previous executive order.

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State Police Announce Labor Day Weekend Traffic Enforcement

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION IS REMINDING THE PUBLIC NOT TO DRINK AND DRIVE OVER THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND. 

 

EXPECT TO SEE MORE POLICE OUT ON THE ROADS AS PART OF THE "DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER" CAMPAIGN. I-DOT SPOKESPERSON PAUL WAPPEL SAYS IT'S ABOUT KEEPING PEOPLE SAFE AS THEY ENJOY LABOR DAY.

 

 

ACCORDING TO THE MOST RECENT DATA, MORE THAN A QUARTER OF ALL FATAL CRASHES IN 2019 INVOLVED AT LEAST ONE DRUNK DRIVER.


 

IF YOUR WEEKEND INCLUDES ALCOHOL, WAPPEL RECOMMENDS PLANNING HOW YOU WILL GET HOME AHEAD OF TIME. THE CAMPAIGN RUNS THROUGH SEPTEMBER SEVENTH.

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Gov. Pritzker Announces Effort to Fight Homelessness

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING A MAJOR EFFORT TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE GOVERNOR HAS ISSUED A NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT CREATES AN INTER-AGENCY TASK FORCE, THE POSITION OF STATE HOMELESSNESS CHIEF AND A COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL. HE SAYS THIS WILL HELP BETTER COORDINATE EXISTING PROGRAMS FOR THOSE STRUGGLING.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HOMELESSNESS OCCURS ALL OVER THE STATE AND HAS MANY FACES, ALL DESERVING OF DIGNITY.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS THE ORDER WILL HELP BETTER COORDINATE EXISTING STATE PROGRAMS SUCH AS RENTAL ASSISTANCE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT AND HELP PAYING FOR UTILITIES.

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Peace Meal to Return to DeWitt County Friendship Center

DeWitt County seniors will be pleased to hear Peace Meal is planning to return for site meals this fall.

 

On the WHOW Morning Show Friday, DeWitt County Friendship Center Executive Director Paula Jiles told Regional Radio says details are still being worked out but reminds residents Peace Meal has been doing home-delivered meals during COVID.

 

 

Jiles says Peace Meal is a great service for area seniors as it provides them a nutritious meal during the day. Many would be surprised but some seniors struggle to afford enough food for themselves and are forced to settle for inexpensive, unhealthy foods.

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State Ag Pest Survey Coordinator Talks Armyworms

More reaction on armyworms that are showing up throughout Illinois and the Midwest. Kelly Estes is the state’s ag pest survey coordinator.

 

 

She says that involves scouting, scouting and more scouting.

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Social Security Discusses Mobile Options

If you're on the road or away from a standard personal computer, Social Security says you can still conduct your business from where ever you may be as long as you have an internet connection.

 

As we begin to travel again and move around more, Social Security is reminding the public of the things you can do if you're not at your personal computer. Jack Myers with Social Security says whether you are getting ready to travel and want to be prepared, or you just want to take a proactive approach to retirement planning, a good first step will be creating your mySocialSecurity account. Start by visiting www.ssa.gov/myaccount. 

 

 

There are a number of things you can do, some whether you are receiving benefits or not, others once you begin receiving benefits. Myers points to one example of a service that is available through your account is the ability to apply for a replacement Social Security card if you have a DL or ID from Illinois or many other states. Additionally, if you are receiving benefits you can get income verification letters, update your address and direct deposit, and more.

 

 

In addition to taking advantage of some of the services and information available to you within your account. If you create the account now, you will also be taking a step towards one-day filing that retirement or another type of online application with Social Security. 

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Gov. Pritzker Offers COVID Update

HERE'S THE LATEST ON THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN ILLINOIS. 

 

THE LATEST DAILY TOTAL OF NEW CASES IS FOUR THOUSAND 224. ON WEDNESDAY, NEW CASES HIT OVER FIVE THOUSAND, THE HIGHEST NUMBER SINCE JANUARY 22ND. 51 ADDITIONAL PEOPLE HAVE DIED. THERE ARE 26 KNOWN OUTBREAKS OF COVID-19 IN ILLINOIS SCHOOLS, ON TOP OF THE MANY STUDENTS WHO ARE IN QUARANTINE BECAUSE OF POSSIBLE EXPOSURE SAYS GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER.

 

 

GOVERNOR PRITZKER WAS ASKED IF THAT'S A PRACTICE THAT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED STATEWIDE.

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS ANOTHER THING TO WATCH IS NEW HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS. HE SAYS THAT NUMBER HAS BEEN FAIRLY STEADY BUT THAT IT NEEDS TO GO DOWN.

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Gov. Pritzker 'Deeply Concerned' About Texas Abortion Law

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER SAYS HE'S DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE ABORTION LAW PASSED IN TEXAS.

 

TEXAS NOW HAS ONE OF THE MOST RESTRICTIVE LAWS IN THE COUNTRY, BANNING ABORTIONS AFTER ABOUT SIX WEEKS OF PREGNANCY. THE GOVERNOR'S REACTION...

 

 

THE GOVERNOR SAYS HE WILL WORK TO PROTECT WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN ILLINOIS AS A DIVIDED U-S SUPREME COURT REFUSED TO BLOCK ENFORCEMENT OF THE NEW LAW.

 

 

A DIVIDED U-S SUPREME COURT REFUSED TO BLOCK THE LAW, AND GOVERNOR PRITZKER SAYS HE IS CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT THAT WILL MEAN FOR OTHER STATES. 

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Farmland Values up In First Half of 2021

A big jump in Illinois farmland values in the first half of the year. The data is shared by Luke Worrell, representing the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

 

 

The information was released during this week’s Farm Progress Show.

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Warner Hospital Purchases New CT Machines

A ten-plus-year-old piece of equipment needing to be replaced will be upgraded at Clinton's Warner Hospital and Health Services.

 

CEO Paul Skowron says the current CT machine at their facility is well past its 10-year life expectancy and he is excited to get a state-of-the-art machine into the hospital very soon. This has been a one-year search. 

 

 

According to Skowron, the CT unit was just over a half-million dollars. He explains after doing some research, their choice boiled down to the most efficient unit they could get.

 

 

The new machine will provide a better picture for doctors and those individuals that analyze the images. Skowron says the machine will offer better access for all patients and better safety for patients and staff.

 

 

Mid-October is the targeted install for the new machine. Skowron points out an interesting part of the installation is the German technologists come to install the unit. 

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Warrensburg-Latham Superintendent Calls Vaccine Mandate 'Gut Punch'

A central Illinois school leader is calling the latest mandate from Illinois Governor JB Pritzker to have Illinois school staff be vaccinated or be subject to weekly testing as a gut punch and a surprise.

 

Cheryl Warner is the Superintendent of Warrensburg-Latham Schools and says she shouldn't be surprised but what was perhaps the most astonishing component of the mandate was that it is to be implemented starting Monday, September 5 with little to no guidance from the State.

 

 

Concerns of deepening the shortage of teachers and staff across the education industry are on the minds of school leaders in all parts of the state. Warner says so far, this has not resulted in the resignation of staff in her district, superintendents are dealing with those things.

 

 

Warner is trying to keep a positive mindset. She indicates a lot of things look as normal as they have in a few years and gives credit to her students and staff who are very compliant with all the things asked of them. 

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Clinton Police Department's School Resource Officer Talks Social Media

Kids being back in school full-time again in 2021 should bring back the challenges school officials face regarding social media.

 

Clinton Police Department School Resource Officer Mike Bennett says issues stemming from social media occur on almost an everyday basis and they can begin to surface as early as fourth or fifth grade.

 

 

For parents that are contemplating a phone for their children as they enter an independent time in their lives, Officer Bennett says the key is to monitor and be aware of what your children are doing on these devices.

 

 

Officer Bennett indicates they are communicating with the kids of the district about how to behave online and how to handle situations of harassment and bullying. He says the advice isn't always what the kids want to hear but it is sometimes necessary. 

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Sen. Rose Blasts Another Late Night Bill Passage

A central Illinois lawmaker is growing frustrated by the trends of this latest edition of the Illinois General Assembly passing bills in the middle of the night.

 

Late Tuesday and early Wednesday, the Illinois Senate passed long-negotiated energy legislation and Senator Chapin Rose wonders why controversial bills like these continue to get taken up well after local newscasts have wrapped up for the night.

 

 

Sen. Rose is particularly opposed to the bill because of how it would impact constituents in his district. He says they're a lot of unconstitutional pieces to this legislation, additionally, there are ramifications for downstate Illinois for generations to come.

 

 

According to the Mahomet Republican, getting rid of carbon in Illinois would be replaced by carbon from other states, and transmission of that carbon back to Illinois would be paid for by rate-payers.

 

 

Sen. Rose went back to the timing of the bill and with so much doubt about how popular it would be with the Illinois House and the Governor, he is calling for the bill to be put together correctly with the unconstitutional components being removed.

 

 

Sen. Rose fears Illinois could end up like California or Texas where there are brownouts because of a back supply of energy to the grid. 

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Congressman Kinzinger Talks Afghanistan

Congressman Adam Kinzinger says it's not fair to say the Afghan people didn't fight and didn't want what they and America worked so hard to build. Most of the casualties in Afghanistan were suffered by Afghans. And he says most of the Afghan people did want something much better than what they had with the Taliban before.

 

 

Kinzinger says the Taliban moving in before American forces were even out of the country is what it looks like when a strong power chooses to lose. He's not believing the Taliban's statements that it will respect women's rights and be kinder and gentler than before.

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September is Disaster Preparedness Month

The University of Illinois Extension reminding everyone that September is Disaster Preparedness Month. Disasters come in many forms from natural disasters to home disasters such as house fires. Carrie McKillip with the University of Illinois Extension says that while there are many unpredictable disasters there are ways to be prepared for a disaster...

 

 

McKillip recommends going to Ready.gov for suggestions on what to have in your disaster preparation kit.

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House Lawmakers Looking at Ways to Better Address Student Mental Health Needs

HOUSE LAWMAKERS ARE EXPLORING WAYS TO BETTER ADDRESS COLLEGE STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS. 

 

REPRESENTATIVES FROM SEVERAL UNIVERSITIES AROUND THE STATE TESTIFIED AT A HEARING ABOUT HOW THEY ARE HELPING STUDENTS WITH DEPRESSION, ANXIETY AND OTHER ISSUES. INITIATIVES INCLUDE AN EARLY WARNING SYSTEM WHERE COUNSELORS CHECK ON STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN MISSING A LOT OF CLASSES, DISCUSSING THE SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS AT ORIENTATION, AND EVEN SMALL THINGS LIKE YOGA CLASSES AND THERAPY DOGS. WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY'S AMY BUWICK SAYS THEY HAVE A CARE REFERRAL PROGRAM WHERE FACULTY, PARENTS AND FRIENDS CAN SHARE THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT A STUDENT.

 

 

ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY HAS A THERAPY DOG NAMED SAGE, WHO LENDS SUPPORT TO CRIME VICTIMS AND TO THOSE WHO JUST NEED CHEERING UP SAYS VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS LEVESTER JOHNSON.

 

 

LAWMAKERS AT THE MEETING STRESSED THAT STRUGGLING STUDENTS SHOULD BE GIVEN EXTRA TIME TO MAKE UP CLASSWORK SO THEY DON'T HAVE TO RETAKE A FULL COURSE AND BE REASSURED THAT THEY WON'T BE PENALIZED FOR SEEKING HELP.

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Illinois Lawmakers Approve Revised Legislative District Maps Based on New Census Data

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS ARE SENDING A REVISED LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT MAP TO THE GOVERNOR. 

 

THE HOUSE AND SENATE CAME BACK TO SPRINGFIELD TO APPROVE THE NEW POLITICAL BOUNDARIES, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE RECENTLY RELEASED DATA FROM THE 2020 CENSUS. THE MEASURE WAS APPROVED ALONG PARTY LINES AND SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE LISA HERNANDEZ OF CICERO.

 

 

REPUBLICANS CRITICIZED THE PROCESS. IT PASSED WITH ALL DEMOCRAT VOTES AS REPUBLICANS, LIKE REPRESENTATIVE RYAN SPAIN OF PEORIA, CRITICIZED THE MEASURE.

 

 

REPUBLICANS ARGUED VEHEMENTLY AGAINST THE MAPS, SAYING THEY WERE DRAWN BEHIND CLOSED DOORS TO KEEP DEMOCRATS IN POWER. COMMUNITY GROUPS ALSO EXPRESSED FRUSTRATION AT NOT HAVING ENOUGH TIME TO REVIEW THE PROPOSAL.

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Illinois House Fails to Accept Governor's Amendatory Veto on Ethics Reform

NO STATE GOVERNMENT ETHICS REFORM AFTER THE ILLINOIS HOUSE FAILS TO ACCEPT THE GOVERNOR’S AMENDATORY VETO TUESDAY NIGHT. 

 

THE MEASURE WAS PASSED EARLIER THIS YEAR BUT THE GOVERNOR MADE A MINOR CHANGE. THE BILL BANNED LAWMAKERS FROM BECOMING LOBBYISTS RIGHT AFTER THEY LEAVE OFFICE AND FROM LOBBYING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. FROM THE GET-GO, REPUBLICANS LIKE REPRESENTATIVE C-D DAVIDSMEYER OF JACKSONVILLE SAID THE LEGISLATION DIDN’T GO FAR ENOUGH TO TACKLE CORRUPTION. HE ARGUED THAT THEY CAN DO BETTER.

 

 

SUPPORTERS SAY THE MEASURE IS A GOOD START AT FIGHTING CORRUPTION, BUT CRITICS LIKE JACKSONVILLE REPRESENTATIVE C-D DAVIDSMEYER AREN’T IMPRESSED.

 

 

THE SENATE ACCEPTED THE AMENDATORY VETO BUT THE HOUSE DID NOT, ESSENTIALLY KILLING THE BILL.

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Energy Bill Passes Illinois Senate, Still Held Up in House

Illinois lawmakers aren’t ready just yet to finish a new energy bill. It’s been stuck between a number of interests and parties in Springfield. For now the House isn’t willing to take up the legislation as pushed by Senate Democrats. Governor JB Pritzker says a compromise can still be found.

 

 

For now the bill seems stalled by House Democrats.

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Governor Pritzker Announces More Help for Farmers Struggling With Mental Illness

GOVERNOR J-B PRITZKER IS ANNOUNCING AN EXPANSION OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR FARMERS ACROSS THE STATE. 

 

A 500-THOUSAND FEDERAL GRANT WILL BE USED TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR STRUGGLING FARMERS TO CONNECT WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS SAYS THE GOVERNOR. THAT INCLUDES IMPLEMENTING A HOTLINE STATEWIDE, WITH OPTIONS FOR TEXTING AND EMAILING TO FIND RESOURCES AS WELL.

 

 

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DIRECTOR JERRY COSTELLO SAYS IT’S A SERVICE THAT IS NEEDED.

 

 

THE MONEY WILL ALSO BE USED TO TRAIN MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS IN THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES THOSE WORKING IN THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY FACE.

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Combine, Tractor Sales Up Through First Half of Year

Tractor and combine sales are up for the first half of the year. The numbers are from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ (AEM) mid-year tractor and combine sales report.

 

 

AEM’s Curt Blades says the current sales pace also remains above the five-year average.

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Army Worm Infestation Showing Up in Illinois Fields

Army worm infestation showing up in Illinois fields. Matt Montgomery is an agronomist with Pioneer.

 

 

As far as corrective action, Montgomery says it’s all about producers being vigilant in scouting their fields.

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Ameren Illinois Headed to Louisiana

As Hurricane Ida weakens on its path back out to sea, widespread damage exists in Louisiana. As part of their mutual assistance network, Ameren Illinois and Missouri will be sending 300 workers to the region to assist in restoration efforts.

 

Crews are planning a two-week deployment, but that could last longer, due to the enormity of the job. If that’s the case, different workers will likely be rotated in and out. Ameren Illinois spokesman Brian Bretsch says they will be dealing with catastrophic damage.

 

 

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

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